Under Freedom of Information Act, NoMaas discovers secret owner of Marlins

December 7, 2011 | 43 comments | in Featured | by Louis Winthorpe III

Soaring free agent prices!

From the weirdos who visit NoMaas, v1

December 7, 2011 | 14 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

A little over a week ago, we sent out the bat signal and encouraged our readers to email us whatever they wanted and we’d post our favorites. Here is your first glimpse into the minds of the weirdos who visit NoMaas.

From Elroy:

From Phil:

From Bo:


In a phone interview Monday, the man said Fitzpatrick fondled and groped him at least a half dozen times.

He said he remembers some of the Red Sox players joking sarcastically about Fitzpatrick.

“They would say, `Did Fitzy touch your arm or did he touch your leg?’ and then laugh,” the man said. “I think they were joking because they sensed something was odd, and I think they knew he was strange.”

To take your shot at internet immortality, email us at admin@nomaas.org or use our contact form.

11/27: “The Yankees should find another utility player to replace Nunez.”

December 7, 2011 | 50 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Despite the massive groupthink that exists around Eduardo Nunez, we made the case in late November to get rid of him. The hype that surrounds him is completely unjustified and it looks like the Yankees’ front office may agree with us (and try to capitalize on it). Time will tell.

Mark Feinsand of the Daily News:

The Yankees finally made some news at the Winter Meetings, winning the rights to negotiate with Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima.

Having submitted the winning bid to the Seibu Lions, the Yankees now have 30 days to agree to a contract with the 29-year-old shortstop.

Nakajima, a career .302 hitter in five seasons in the Pacific League. He hit at least 20 home runs in each season between 2008-2010, finishing last season with 16 home runs and 100 RBI.

Assuming they come to a deal, the Yankees figure to use Nakajima as a backup infielder, giving them depth at the spot to go along with Eduardo Nunez, who could be made available in a trade.

It’s only money

December 6, 2011 | 36 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Below are some of the pitchers that are being batted around in trade rumors and one pitcher who is a free agent.

Looking at the stats, it’s clear that all of these pitchers are in the same general range of class. They’re even all around the same age.

Considering the reports that teams are asking the Yankees for Montero and/or the Killer Bees (Banuelos & Betances), why not ditch all the prospect talk and just pay money for Edwin Jackson?

Granted, we don’t know yet what Jackson is looking for and if the Yankees are really trying to cut payroll, but the stats don’t lie. Jackson compares well to all these trade targets and the Bombers could keep all of their prospects for future use.

NoMaas on the radio tonight to talk Winter Meetings [REPLAY AVAILABLE]

December 6, 2011 | 18 comments | in Announcements | by SJK

Tonight (Tuesday), NoMaas’ Sensei John Kreese will be on NY Baseball Digest to talk about the Winter Meetings.

Your Sensei will be appearing around 8pm EST. To listen live, go here.


Cashman doesn’t do much on Day 1

December 5, 2011 | 26 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Cashman wasn’t seen that often.

Help, I’m in Triple-A and I can’t get up

December 4, 2011 | 48 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Whether or not you are content with the current construction of the Yankees starting rotation (we are not), most logical people would agree that it’s basically CC Sabathia and four back-end quality arms (need more proof from Nova).

And once you include Hector Noesi, you have 5 back-end quality arms: Nova, Hughes, Burnett, Garcia, and the aforementioned Noesi.

Now, head about 130 miles northwest to Scranton and you have three pitchers that all the beatwriters and internet dorks tout as additional depth in the Yankees rotation: David Phelps, DJ Mitchell, and Adam Warren.

While we agree that these three give the Yankees additional depth, no one projects these kids as anything more than back-of-the rotation arms. And since the Yankees re-signed Freddy Garcia, there’s no one they can replace (barring injury). This means all three of them will go through another year at AAA, which isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s quite obvious that they are blocked.

This is a much different case than Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos who project as upper-rotation arms. When they’re ready, they’ll push someone out. For Phelps, Mitchell, and Warren, that’s not happening. They really have nothing left to prove. They all had good years at AAA:

By using a bit of common sense, it’s clear as day that any type of consistent role in the Bronx is not in their cards. It’s not a knock on these pitchers, they’re just nowhere for them to go in the Yankees’ organization.

Thus, they either rot away in AAA, waiting for an injury or spot start in the Boogie Down, or they should be traded. They certainly should have value to other clubs.

In prelude to the Winter Meetings, Ca$hMoney stated:

“We’re having our conversations,” Cashman told reporters in advance of the Winter Meetings. “We’re talking to other clubs. We’ve got prospects people like, but we like them too. If it makes sense, we’re ready to rock and roll.”

It’s time to rock & roll on these three.

This message was brought to you by NoMaas Offseason Idea #6.

We’ve notified the paramedics, Mr. Warren.

Cashman’s Winter Meetings invitation accepted

December 4, 2011 | 20 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Cashman’s invite was honored, even though he doesn’t look like a Tanaka.

Stay classy, Boston

December 1, 2011 | 46 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

WEEI Boston:

Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, in a long-scheduled appearance on The Big Show, said that the Boston Globe story suggesting that his ability to manage had been undermined by the use of prescription pain medications made him feel “terrible.” He suggested that he had been happy to take responsibility for the organization’s collapse on the way out the door, only to be caught off guard when he was hammered by allegations of personal conduct that Francona said were untrue.

“The people that know me that well knew that what was said in the paper wasn’t true. It was obviously said to hurt me,” he added. “If there was one thing I was probably guilty of, it was protecting everyone in that organization. Everybody. I felt that was part of my responsibility, even to the point where in that last press conference, I said I take responsibility for this. I couldn’t get to the players. I thought, ‘OK, I’m done here. I’ll take responsibility and go away.’ Little did I know I was going to be going away limping because someone cut my legs out from under me.”

Truly a disgusting organization.

Vile weed!: Newman on the new CBA

November 30, 2011 | 58 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Since the new CBA was announced, many people have speculated what the changes mean for the amateur draft and international free agent market. Instead of hypothesizing about how the Yankees will be affected, we went straight to the man who runs the club’s player development operation. NoMaas’ Sensei John Kreese sat down with the Bombers’ Senior VP of Baseball Operations, Mark Newman, to discuss how the labor deal changes the way the Yankees acquire amateur talent.

Sensei John Kreese: In general terms, what is your opinion on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and how it relates to acquiring amateur talent?

Mark Newman: By definition, it wasn’t designed to help the Yankees. It actually tilts the balance to an uphill position for us, both domestically and internationally. In the past, under the old draft and international system, we designed ways to compete in talent acquisition. Quite a few of those ways have been eradicated.

SJK: Many baseball pundits would actually disagree with what you just said. The general opinion is that this hurts small market teams more than big market teams.

MN: No, no. It could hurt a small market team that wins, like Tampa — when it comes to where they select in the draft and their ability to acquire extra draft picks. We haven’t had any extra draft picks because we haven’t offered arbitration to the free agents who’ve left. If you look at the amount of extra draft picks we’ve had over the past five years, we’re at the bottom.

SJK: Do you think that’s a function of the salaries the Yankees pay and the risk that players will actually accept arbitration?

MN: Yeah, yeah, that’s part of it. That happened with Bobby Abreu. He signed for $5 million with Anaheim when he went out there, I believe it was. What he could have received with arbitration with us was substantially above that. The arbitration number sometimes has nothing to do with market value.

SJK: Back to this big market-small market argument again, if you look at spending in drafts, the small market teams dish out the most money. Granted, some of this is due to landing the top picks of the draft which demand higher bonuses, but they still have gone over-slot in other rounds. The argument is that the new rules will limit the aggressiveness of small-market teams who can’t compete with teams like the Yankees and Red Sox when it comes to free agency.

MN: Well, those teams are still going to draft high. They will have more money allocated to them to pay. We’ve been declawed. We don’t have the ability to pay over-slot now. Our ability to respond creatively to the landscape has been reduced.

SJK: Ok, well, if you’ve been declawed and have less money to spend, what will need to change and/or improve in regards to your strategy?

MN: The strategy is the same — get the best players — but, our tactics will have to change. We have to come up with different ways to develop players. All teams that are in similar situations to the Yankees will have to come up with new ways to remain competitive [in the draft] in this new environment. Those ways will be proprietary. We’re not going to advertise those.

SJK: So how does it work? You will be assigned a signing bonus pool for the first 10 rounds of the draft, and each pick will have some type of defined value?

MN: Correct.

SJK: Do you have to offer the defined value to your pick, or somewhere in that range?

MN: No, my understanding is that you don’t. If you don’t sign the pick though, you lose the money allocated to that pick. This stuff is hot off the press. Not everything has been committed to writing, and I don’t think they want everything committed to writing yet. They want to maintain flexibility, so if they see something they don’t like, they can fix it.

SJK: Do you think these new rules essentially eliminate “signability” cases?

MN: Certainly. I think they’ll severely limit the amount of players who fall in the draft. At the same time, we’ll have a better understanding of all this in two years. There’s a whole bunch of TBD [to be determined]. There will be a lot of trial and error in how we respond to the new environment. Everybody will try to game the system. Nothing wrong with that, that’s competition.

SJK: Do you think the draft will start to look more like the NBA and NFL drafts, where the perceived talent level decreases with each pick?

MN: Yes, the perceived talent level will more closely follow the order of the draft. Now, of course, the key is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and nowhere is that more true than in baseball. There will always be opportunity to evaluate more accurately. Our guys aren’t obviously going right to the NFL and NBA. In baseball, there is more room for projection and more room for error.

SJK: One of the arguments against the new rules is that 2-sport stars will give more consideration to pursuing the other sport.

MN: Yeah, I heard that too, but how many of those kids actually exist? The Bubba Starlings of the world are few and far between. If someone has the choice between playing for Kansas City or going to Nebraska, they’re still going to get a boatload from Kansas City if they’re a high pick.

SJK: Any idea what your draft pool amount will be at this point?

MN: It looks to be around $4.5 million.

SJK: And how does that compare to what you typically spend?

MN: We’ve spent mid-6s [million] the last couple years. We’re middle of the pack — 16th each of the last two years.

SJK: You see, though, that supports the argument that small market teams tend to be the biggest spenders.

MN: Well last year, it was Pittsburgh, Washington, Kansas City, Arizona, Seattle, Chicago Cubs, San Diego, Toronto, Boston, and Baltimore — they all spent above $10 million. Some of this small-market stuff is overstated. Toronto is not a small-market. Washington and Chicago are not small markets. The language needs to be more precise with some of this stuff.

SJK: Why is it that the Yankees have been middle of the pack when it comes to spending on the draft? Do you find more bang for the buck on the international markets?

MN: We’ve been higher relative to the competition on the international market. Internationally, we were 7th last year. The year before we were 9th. Only one year in the last seven years have we been #1 internationally. We haven’t been at the top there either.

SJK: Is that a function of what’s been allocated to pay for major league talent?

MN: No, it’s the way we’ve evaluated the market. There’s a crazy exuberance in the international market sometimes — irrational exuberance like Greenspan said. Someone gets into the market that hasn’t been in it very heavily, and you see kids go for $4-5 million. For instance, one year we signed Jose Tabata. He was the #1 guy on our list and was the highest-paid international player at $550,000, I think we paid. He got off to a good start, and everyone was like “Oh yeah!”, and the next year the Mets signed Fernando Martinez for something around $1.3 million. The highest we ever paid for a pitcher internationally was $800,000 and that was for Arodys Vizcaino [now with Braves]. Now, four years later, we have people telling me I should spend $4 million down there and that’s just crazy.

SJK: Well, every year, you’ll likely have one of the lowest spending pools for international free agents.

MN: It’s going to be a challenge. The way we look at it, there’s no point in moaning and groaning about the rules. We have to evaluate better, we have to do everything better. We’ve always been at a disadvantage in the draft. Through some strategic planning, we were able to make some headway. That’s going to be hard now. We’re all competitive people. We all think we’re smarter than we are, and we’ll try to figure something out.

SJK: Are your operations with Latin academies affected at all by these changes?

MN: No, we’re still intent on being big players internationally.

SJK: Well Mark, that’s all I got. Always fascinating and good to talk with you.

MN: Alright, see ya.

Many thanks to Mark for providing us with his insight and giving NoMaas this direct access to the Yankees.

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