Will Hal keep an eye on payroll?

November 4, 2014 | 10 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Over the last three years, it’s been difficult to follow the Yankees’ offseason strategy. In the first two years, Hal Steinbrenner made the club cling to a fiscal plan that would get the Yankees under the luxury cap, limiting new acquisitions to one-year deals and recycled veterans. Then, he abandoned that strategy in the most recent offseason, namely with the signing of Masahiro Tanaka.

So, what will fickle Hal do this offseason? Well, one thing is for sure, he will propagandize and say the team is “championship-caliber” no matter what happens.

However, with recent news that the Yankees are not interested in Pablo Sandoval, Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, and James Shields, is it possible that Hal is ruling with an iron fist again when it comes to payroll? For the record, we’re not interested in any of those players either, because our preference is for the club to rebuild. Hal may just not want to spend the dough though. It will be an interesting to monitor if he has implemented another arbitrary payroll limit.

In other payroll news, the Yankees offered David Robertson a 1-year qualifying offer @ $15.3 million, which would make him the highest-paid closer in baseball if he accepts. It’s a significant overpay, considering his 1.7 WAR (Fangraphs) last season (1.2 WAR if you go by Baseball-Reference). Inflation aside, D-Rob’s salary would be a higher amount than anything Mariano Rivera received.

The Yankees had the opportunity to sign D-Rob to a much more-team friendly deal, which we first advocated in December 2013. We suggested 2 years for a total of $16.5 million — which would fit very nicely into what he’s actually producing as a player. We warned that once the “magical save statistic” appeared on his baseball card, his price would go up significantly.

And then in August of 2014, Robertson himself admitted he would accepted non-closer money from the Yankees in return for an extension:

This offseason I probably would have gone for a discount, although I wasn’t a closer,’’ said the 29-year-old right-hander, who is making $5.215 million in a walk year.

Asked if he was puzzled by the lack of an offer, Robertson said he wasn’t.

“Not at all, it seems the way they do business around here,’’ he said. “I have been to arbitration three times. It’s not like I don’t like playing here, but I have to do what’s best for me.’’

So, for an owner that was trying to keep payroll costs down, he missed the opportunity to sign a player that was willingly open to a team-friendly contract. Now, if D-Rob accepts, the club will have a very overpaid closer.

McCarthy makes more sense for Yankees than Lester or Scherzer

October 30, 2014 | 25 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Considering Brian Cashman’s recent comments, it seems like an exercise in futility for us to make our traditional offseason recommendations. This team WILL BE lousy next season, but the front office will undoubtedly issue its now annual “championship-caliber” propaganda, be “short-term oriented“, and try to deceive the masses (and it’s amazing how many people still fellate this front office).

But what the hell, we’ll offer our suggestions in what now seems to be a perpetual uphill battle against a front office THAT PUBLICLY REFUSES TO CHANGE HOW THEY DO THINGS. After all, NoMaas was founded as a protest site, so why change our original mission. No one else has the balls to do it. Just be good sheep and Hal will pat you on the head.

One of the main reasons the Yankees are in their current predicament is the club’s penchant to sign players to long-ass deals. Max Scherzer and Jon Lester will command long-ass deals, and they’re both 30+ years old. They will not be worth the money and inflexibility that will undoubtedly result from their contract terms. Brandon McCarthy will certainly command less years and dollars.

Second, the Yankees’ pitching is not a problem. Larry Rothschild is a great pitching coach and the Yankees have achieved excellent results from their staff, finishing 1st in pitching WAR (Fangraphs) in 2014. So why commit major dollars/years to what will be a marginal upgrade?

Third, this team will miss the playoffs next season. The point of Scherzer or Lester will be what exactly?

McCarthy makes much more sense for the club.

If only Kansas City got him…

October 27, 2014 | 9 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Joel Sherman / NY Post:

The Royals beat the Yankees for one free agent they both pursued aggressively, Omar Infante, but not for another — Carlos Beltran.

Kansas City saw Beltran as an ideal addition.

Kansas City actually offered more than the Yankees’ three-year, $45 million bid and its proposal included a fourth-year option. However, Beltran has long wanted to play for the Yankees. Plus, he thought playing home games in a large media market and with a short right-field porch might boost his Hall-of-Fame candidacy.

If only KC had won the bidding for Beltran’s services….

Despite Brian Cashman’s bizarre assertion that we’ll see the “real Carlos Beltran” next season, he’s declined for 4 straight years. Before the Yankees signed him, we urged Cashman & Co. not to acquire him, mainly due to his age and deteriorating defense.

We guess he can’t be any worse than last season, in which he actually cost the team wins with a WAR of -0.5!! His bat might get better (95 wRC+), but his fielding will not.

Mets to decide if they want all their lefties to become 100% pull hitters

October 22, 2014 | 11 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

CBS New York :

Kevin Long on the Mets’ 2015 coaching staff is becoming more and more of a possibility.

According to multiple reports, the former Yankees hitting coach is interviewing with the Amazin’s on Wednesday for the club’s hitting-coach position.

Daily News: Yankees stay “in-house” in hiring new minor league head

October 20, 2014 | 2 comments | in Farm System | by SJK

Mark Feinsand / Daily News:

Former Bombers hitting coach Gary Denbo will take over as the Yankees senior VP of baseball operations, according to a source

Denbo worked under Newman and was in danger of not being retained as a source described the Yankees’ plan for a “total evaluation” of its player development system in the offseason.

Fresh pair of eyes wouldn’t have been the worst thing, but hopefully Denbo can turn things around.

A message for Cashman & the front office

October 18, 2014 | 21 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

In the last week, we learned via an interview with Brian Cashman that the Yankees:

1. Will always be in win-now mode
2. Will always think short-term
3. Will never trade veterans at the trade deadline for youth, even if the season is doomed.

Well, a wise man once said:

Quote of the Week: Trading veterans for youth “is not part of the playbook here.”

October 16, 2014 | 31 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Back on October 10th, Michael Kay (Michael, you see we don’t have to be enemies!) conducted a phone interview with Brian Cashman. We’ll embed the interview below so you can listen. But for anyone wishing the Yankees would change their mentality, then the following Cashman quotes put to bed any hopes for a philosophical awakening:

In Yankee baseball, everything is more short-term oriented. Our decision-making process, because we’re in a win-now mode, I don’t think that’s ever gonna change.

Playing on the margins of building the perfect beast over time…those are not going to happen here, willing to lose a ton of games — draft, draft, draft, live to fight another day. You know, trade off players at the deadline, when your team might not look good enough, and speed up the rebuilding process…that stuff is not part of the playbook here.

What can you even say at this point?

And once again, compare what Cashman is saying now to what he said in 2005:

“We have to get back to doing what made the Yankees so good for such a long period beginning in the ’90s,” said Cashman. “We’re in the position we’re in because we stopped developing our own young players.”

“… storm clouds are on the horizon if we keep just staying old,” Cashman said. “You’ve got to reinvent yourself with youth and mix them in with the veterans, instead of going all veterans.”

We post this quote frequently because it’s just unbelievable how much this philosophy has been abandoned.

Have a ton of money? Go get the best baseball minds in the biz

October 14, 2014 | 2 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

LA Times:

Andrew Friedman, who led the low-budget Tampa Bay Rays to four postseason berths, has been hired by the Dodgers to be their president of baseball operations.

That penchant for expensive blunders is ultimately what cost Colletti his position, as he spent more than $30 million constructing a bullpen that was widely viewed as responsible for the Dodgers’ first-round playoff elimination this year.

Another win for nerds everywhere.

What is the rush?

October 14, 2014 | 8 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

From Lohud:

“Being in my chair, I’m responsible for it all — offense, defense and pitching,” Cashman said. “I’ve got to find a way to get our fan base back to enjoying October sooner than later.”

How about building a team with a solid foundation as opposed to shooting your load every offseason? This team WILL be mediocre at best next season. Cashman has to realize that. Take your time. Build a team that can have a sustained run.

Cue “well what is he supposed to say?” comments. How about being truthful with the fanbase?

As we said in our 2015 forecast: Do Yankees fans really feel that much better about an 83 win season than a 73 win season?

VOTE: Are you happy with Cashman’s return?

October 13, 2014 | 14 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

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