Thursday, July 19, 2012

Yankees @ A's 7/19/12


Darnell McDonal has cleared waivers and will be assigned to AAA Empire State. That is a nice piece to have down there in AAA with Chris Dickerson. 

Cano extends hitting streak to 22 games in a 4-3 Yankees loss

Tonight the Yankees will start a four game series with the Oakland A's, Game 7 of 13 consecutive games in 13 consecutive days. How can you expect the Yankees to not be tired when they were in New York yesterday afternoon and are playing in Oakland this evening but hey I do not make the schedule. Although the Yankees did get a little help off their bench yesterday when Mother Nature came up and shortened the game after 6.5 innings. Tonight on the mound will be Freddy Garcia for the Yankees and for the A's it will be AJ Griffin. The game will be televised at 10:05 pm ET on YES.


Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Raul Ibanez LF
Eric Chavez 3B
Chris Stewart C

Go Yankees!!

The Yankees Don't Need Anybody's Help

"You know you want me."

Although I'd like to see the Yankees trade for Justin Upton, it's hardly a necessity. Just look at the numbers...

As a team the offense has put up 449 runs, good for 3rd best in the American League. They've hit 146 "evil" home runs, tops in the AL by 15. And the Bombers own the 6th best team batting average (.265), 2nd best on-based percentage (.339), and the best slugging percentage (.467), in the younger half of MLB.

The official baseball of the New York Yankees.

Just looking at the Yankee outfielders, the combination of Curtis Granderson (1.9), Nick Swisher (1.5), and Raul Ibanez/Andruw Jones (.5/1.2 = 1.7) have put up a fWAR of 5.1. The two biggest rivals in the AL East are the Boston Red Sox* and Tampa Rays, and the combined fWAR of their starting outfields is 4.8 and 4.7 respectively.
*Boston recently got back Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford, which should vastly improve their outfield.

Add all of that to a 10.5 game lead over Boston and Tampa, and it should be crystal clear why the Yankees don't need to do anything.

I, and millions of Yankees fans, believe that too.

Even when looking at the future I'm not 100% sold on trading for Justin Upton. For starters, Upton is signed through the 2015 season for another $38.5 million, meaning if he were to be a Yankee next year he'd basically be on a 3 year deal worth $38.5 million. In his last 3+ seasons Justin's put up a triple-slash of .285/.363/.480. His total fWAR between 2009 and today is 15.7.

On the other hand, in his last 3+ seasons (all with the Yankees), Nick Swisher has put up a triple-slash of .265/.364/.483. His total fWAR between 2009 and today is 12.6. This past offseason Josh Willingham signed a 3 year contract with Minnesota worth $21 million, and his numbers are incredibly close to the one's Swish has put up. The biggest difference between the two men is that Josh is a year older. So it's not "out there" to think Swisher is looking at a contract around 4 years and $40 million this offseason.

Nick: "Wow! So I don't suck as much as some fans think I do?" Me: "Nope."

So production wise, after seeing what the team may need, I don't think the boost in batting average from Swisher to Upton is that big a deal. And the Yankees would be paying Upton around $2 million less for one less year, so that after adding another outfielder for 2016 season to replace Justin, it would cost the Yankees less to re-sign Swisher.

In summary, I'm not saying Nick Swisher > Justin Upton. I'm not saying the reverse either. What I'm saying is that the team doesn't need to make this (or any) move at all. They can compete for a World Series title with what they have, and see what the trade market looks like for an outfielder during the offseason, then compare that to Nick Swisher's demands.

David Phelps Called Up, DJ Mitchell Sent Down

The Yankees called up David Phelps from AAA Empire State Yankees late yesterday and sent down DJ Mitchell to make room on the roster. Phelps has been absolutely dealing down in the minor leagues and DJ Mitchell has not been used very much since being in the Yankees pen. I wish the Yankees would let Phelps start in place of Freddy Garcia tonight in Oakland but I do not see that happening. 

What scares me about this whole deal is I wonder if this is just a showcase for a July trade for a Justin Upton or Shane Victorino or someone like that. I sure do like David Phelps and I would hate to see him go but for Justin Upton I would survive.

Nick Swisher Or Justin Upton : The Battle Of AAV


With the latest Gardner set back we now would have a place to play Upton rather then having to trade for him and potentially bench him a couple times a week. This makes this all the more intriguing. 

Don't get me wrong I love Nick Swisher, I think that needed to be said, and I love everything that he brings to the team. The walks, the defense, the smile, the clubhouse antics etc. I love the guy and I think everyone that is a fan of the Yankees does but would just like a little more. He maintains an average of about 15% walk rate and about a 3.0 WAR as a Yankee while playing more then adequate defense in right field in Yankee Stadium. He is what he is though and that is a mid .250's hitter generally and a 33 year old outfielder at seasons end. His prime, unless he has read Barry Bonds book, is probably gone and the decline will start in the next couple of seasons. We are not going to extend Swisher unfortunately though and I say unfortunately because his AAV , the point of this whole article, is only $5.92 million. That will not matter if he hits free agency. I'll give you a hint too imagine the dollar figure that Swisher is going to sign for and see if what you thought will be a higher AAV then Upton's current AAV below. 

I have always kind of had a sweet spot for Arizona and I cannot explain it. Well I did until they bought Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling and beat our asses in the World Series in 2001, but I digress. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the Brandon Webb's, the Stephen Drew's, recently the Ian Kennedy's,  and the Justin Upton's of the world grow up before our eyes. With that said I have seen some "laziness" and "attitude" problems out of Justin Upton that concern me a little but you have to remember that Justin is the man in Arizona. I would like to see how it would go if he started that kind of stuff in New York with the Derek Jeter's and the CC Sabathia's and the Mariano Rivera's of the world on the team. 

Upton walks an adequate amount, about 10% of the time while averaging about a 4.5 WAR and an above average UZR (take it for what you will). He has young and fresh legs and makes good plays out there in right field in what is considered a pitchers park in Arizona. Some will say that his UZR is bloated because of so much ground that Chris Young covers but I do not buy it, I watch the games. Upton is usually around a .280 average with lots of pop in the bat.Oh and Justin's AAV, which is why we are all here, is $8.33 million. It is currently higher then Swisher's but remember that Swisher is not going to sign an extension with the Yankees during the season. Swisher will sign for AT LEAST $12 million and for 3 years... his age 33, 34, and 35 seasons. 

Let's remember that positional players tend to pull in MUCH more in the offseason then they do at a trade deadline. I do not know why but that is the way it has been for a long time which makes this the perfect time for the Yankees to strike on a deal. I think we would have to get a third team involved unless the Diamondbacks are just in love with Brandon Laird, Eduardo Nunez, Ramiro Pena, Addison Maruszak, etc. Upton makes the lineup and the defense younger, more balanced as a right handed power hitter, and all around better.

In closing...
Get Greedy.... Save Money.... Get Upton