Wednesday, December 4, 2013

BREAKING: Curtis Granderson Is Returning To New York

Curtis Granderson is coming back to New York for the 2014 season, no not with the Yankees, with the New York Mets. No word on the contract yet but Grandy will be in Mets pinstripes in 2014.

Early details on the contract say it is a three or four year deal worth $15-$17 million annually.

*Maybe my person inside jumped the gun on this a little bit as he was very clear last night the deal was done*

Jacoby Ellsbury's Power To Benefit From Yankee Stadium

I have recently fallen in love with's little tool that allows you to look at a certain players home runs, doubles, fly outs, etc in their current home stadium and see how they would translate in a new stadium. Today I looked at how recently signed Jacoby Ellsbury's luck would have been in Yankee Stadium this season rather then Fenway. I ignored his home runs because all of the home runs he hit in Boston would have been out in New York but I focused on his doubles and his fly outs. Let's take a closer look:

The dark blue dots indicate Ellsbury's triples and as you can see two of them would have been easily out of Yankee Stadium. Another one was basically on the warning track and since you cannot factor in the wind, elevation, and all that stuff I have to believe that this double also had at least a shot at leaving Yankee Stadium. The light blue dots indicate Jacoby's doubles and another five of those go out of Yankee Stadium that were contained inside Fenway. Using this logic in a perfect world and in a vacuum Ellsbury hits seven or eight more home runs at home in 2013 if he is playing for the Yankees and not the Red Sox. This of course does not include his road stats. Long story short Ellsbury will benefit from the short porch and Yankee Stadium's dimensions as a whole and that really excites me. 

Tanaka Expected To Be A True Free Agent

As we learned earlier the NPB is going to accept the proposal from Major League Baseball to put in a maximum bid of $20 million for all players posted under the new system. There was speculation on whether the player would get the power to choose who to negotiate with if there were more then one team to go to the maximum or if the team with the worst record from the previous season would get the exclusive rights to negotiate but the power goes to the player under this new system. If all 30 teams bid the $20 million for Tanaka, which I fully expect, then he would essentially be an unrestricted free agent. Tanaka would be allowed to pick from any of the 30 teams to exclusively negotiate with and then go from there. This obviously helps the Yankees as the Yankees brand is pretty huge in Asia, specifically Japan and Korea, so we at least have a fighting shot at Tanaka this winter if he is posted.

Mariners May Have Topped Yankees Offer To Cano

The Seattle Mariners may have topped the New York Yankees offer to free agent Robinson Cano after a meeting between Cano's representatives and the M's today. Then again following that clever wording going around the baseball blogosphere the Mariners may not have topped the Yankees offer so there is always that. The Mariners are going all in on Cano and trying to sell him to that fact that he could be a baseball legend in Seattle and bring them to their first World Series rather then just being a Yankees legend.

My stance remains the same, eight years $200 million MAX or walk. Enjoy the dome, enjoy the rain, enjoy only having a chance to win two or three times a week instead of every night. Adios Cano, maybe you and Jay Z can open up a night club in Seattle and make it rain.

NPB Approves Maximum Bid For Posting System

UPDATE: And just like that the NPD has agreed to the $20 million max big for posted Japanese players. No word on how we will determine a tie though whether it be that Tanaka gets to choose or the team with the worst record gets him. So either the Yankees or the Houston Astros are likely to get Tanaka by this time next week.

The Nippon Professional Baseball league has approved Major League Baseball's idea of putting a maximum bid to acquire players through the posting system. Exactly what the maximum bid will be has not been agreed on yet so the deal is not done but it is much closer now then it was this time last night. Major League Baseball threw out a number of $20 million but the NPB is sort of laughing at the proposal. Yu Darvish garnered over $50 million in his posting most recently and Masahiro Tanaka is expected to go over that so this is one thing they will have to hammer out.

If the maximum posting limit was just $20 million would not every single team in the league take a chance on that? Granted the early speculation would be  that Tanaka would then be able to pick from the pool of teams but if that is the case why even bother posting? Just make all Japanese players a free agent and add $20 million to the contract that does not count against the luxury tax that goes to his Japanese team.

Oh well we will see how it all unfolds hopefully this week when the new system is agreed upon and put into place. Let's get this Tanaka show on the road already.

Charleston's Ryan Baker Suspended For 50 Games

Charleston Riverdogs prospect Ryan Baker has been suspended for the first 50 games of the 2014 season because he refused to take a mandatory offseason drug test. Refusing to take the test is just as bad as failing one I guess, according to the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment program anyway. He's nothing more then a fringe prospect really but this is still interesting that these things are still going on around the league.

Boy Red Sox Fans Are Bitter About Jacoby Ellsbury Huh?

Eduardo Nunez Could Be Utility Player In 2014

Yeah because that has worked out so well in the past huh? Brian Cashman said yesterday that Nunez has "options" and "could be a utility player" for us in 2014. Yeah okay. I wasn't going to post this until I saw the picture on NoMass and I just had to share. God I love NoMass.

My Reaction To Signing Jacoby Ellsbury

Last night's news, that the Yankees had signed Jacoby Ellsbury, had pretty much come out of the blue for me. Even though the team was interested in signing an outfielder, there was no way I thought it would be for 7+ years. And I figured they were looking for more of a power guy, such as Carlos Beltran. Not a top of the lineup guy like Ellsbury. I mean, they have Brett Garder, who is pretty close to being the same exact player as Jacoby.

"Now that I'm a Yankee, it's time to sign up for Dollar Shave Club."

So after a night to sleep on things, what do I think of it?

First of all, it's clear that the Yankees are not taking a hard line with the $189 million payroll thing. Even if Alex Rodriguez is suspended for the entire 2014 season, in order to fill all the holes on the team with good players, the Yankees may go over that number. I'm happy to see that. The Yankees are in line to make a lot more money by putting a good team on the field, than they would save by getting under the Luxury Tax threshold.*

*I don't know that for sure, but as a fan I don't care about the money. So there.

The Yankees are apparently still going to try to sign Robinson Cano, acquire pitcher or two, and not trade Brett Gardner. While I believe the first couple of things, I think the talk of not trading Gardy is just lip service. Of course they aren't going to say they are looking to deal away Brett. Why make that proclamation at this point? We already know that Cashman can be tight lipped, so we shouldn't take what he says to heart.

Getting back to the reason for this article, I initially didn't think Ellsbury was worth that much money. The average annual value of the contract is a bit under $22 million, which will make him the 9th highest paid player in Major League Baseball. But is he the 9th best player?

In terms of fWAR, Jacoby ranked 13th in MLB. So while the technical answer to that question is "no", when you look at the players in front of him on the list you should start to change your mind.

Mike Trout was the top player in MLB, followed by Andrew McCutchen, Josh Donaldson, Carlos Gomez, Miguel Cabrera, Matt Carpenter, Evan Longoria, Chris Davis, Paul Goldschmidt, Manny Machado, Joey Votto, and Robinson Cano.

Trout, McCutchen, Donaldson, Carpenter, Davis, Goldschmidt, and Machado would probably be in for bigger contracts than Ellsbury got were they free agents this offseason.

While the average annual value of Cabrera's deal is less than Jacoby's, Miggy will get paid $22 million in 2014 and 2015 (the final two seasons of his contract). If he were to be a free agent this season, he surely would get a contract that rivals ARod's.

Evan Longoria left a lot of money on the table when he signed his extension with the Rays. According to Fangraphs, over his six year career Evan's been worth $27 million a season. While Evan's highest paid season will be in 2022, when he'll make $19.5 million.

"This isn't the right place to think about it, but man... I should have gotten a lot more money."

The AAV of Joey Votto's contract with the Reds is the only one that is actually higher than Ellsbury's. Well, except for after Cano finally signs a contract for 8 or more years.

What it comes down to is Jacoby's health. But I think it's wrong to say that Ellsbury is an injury risk. Sure, if you just look at the fact he's missed around 300 regular season games in his seven-year career, then I can understand being concerned. But you have to take into consideration the reasons for him being on the DL.

In 2010 Ellsbury missed all but 18 games due to fracturing four of his ribs. That injury came when he crashed into Adrian Beltre.

In 2012 Ellsbury missed 70 games due to a shoulder injury, which he suffered while trying to take out Rays shortstop Reid Brignac on a double-play attempt.

Last season Ellsbury missed 16 games after fouling a ball off of his foot, and trying to play through the pain.

Right there you have 238 missed games that could have easily been avoided. See, this isn't a case of somebody being weak and prone to getting hurt. This is a case of a guy that's played so hard that he's hurt himself badly a few times. Jacoby doesn't need to be coddled, he needs to just tone it down a bit. That's something that comes with experience, just like a starting pitcher learning how to pace themselves to be effective for more than a few innings a game.

The only real concern involving Jacoby Ellsbury has to do with his base-stealing ability. He's stolen an average of 55 bases per 162 games, which is where much of Jacoby's overall value comes from. It's rare that a player is able to remain that big of a stolen-base threat into his mid 30s, and the Yankees will have Jacoby around through his age 36 season. The only hope for the Yankees that Ellsbury is still a top player during his last few years in pinstripes, is for him to boost his power output to make up for less stolen bases. Which is something players like Curtis Granderson have learned to do.

While I'm not happy with the Yankees signing Ellsbury to a seven, or possibly eight, year contract. I don't think it will necessarily be the disaster that some fans think it will be.

Don't worry, guys. It's not that bad.

Carlos Beltran Will Benefit From Yankee Stadium

This week we looked at the fact that Phil Hughes will not benefit whatsoever from his change to Target Field in Minnesota and we also learned that Brian McCann is what he is whether he is in Turner Field in Atlanta or in Yankee Stadium in New York. Today we look at Carlos Beltran who will actually benefit from a change to Yankee Stadium from Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Using for the information
Much like yesterday we see that the dark blue dots are Beltran's home runs that he hit in Busch Stadium and we will see zero change there. The light blue dots are his doubles and as you can see three of his doubles would have been home runs in Yankee Stadium and another two or three have a legit shot at going out since the ball seemingly travels better in New York then in St. Louis. Also three of Beltrans fly outs, the orange dots, go out of Yankee Stadium and another two could go out with the wind and the fans. If anyone will improve and benefit from Yankee Stadium it may just be Carlos Beltran. 

*this was written before we signed Jacoby Ellsbury but since the Yankees still are "interested" in Shin Soo Choo and there is always a Brett Gardner trade possibility I felt compelled to still post this*

SI Yanks Name Violetta To Chief Executive Offer

Steven M. Violetta, a proven leader in the sports & entertainment industry for over 20 years, has been named Chief Executive Officer of the Staten Island Yankees. The Staten Island Yankees are the short-season single “A” affiliate of the New York Yankees.

"I’m thrilled and honored to have been asked by Glenn Reicin, Nick Tiller and the other owners at Nostalgic Partners to lead this organization through what we all feel is an unprecedented period of opportunity,” Violetta said. “The power of the Yankees brand, attraction of baseball as a family-friendly sport and the unmatched views from this Ballpark are intriguing enough on their own. But when you factor in the upcoming New York Wheel project and the Empire Outlets retail project, both of which will almost touch our outfield walls, the number of potential customers we can showcase ourunique blend of value, entertainment and unmatched customer service to increases exponentially.”

The City of New York has planned the construction of the world’s tallest Ferris Wheel and a retail outlet complex literally feet from the Richmond County Bank Ballpark. Immediately adjacent to the left field wall will be the 625 foot tall New York Wheel. This structure will exceed the height of Singapore Flyer, London Eye and the New Wheel on the Las Vegas Strip. It will carry 4.5 million riders per year. In the right field area, between the Ballpark and the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, the City of New York plans a 350,000 square foot development. This features a 200 room hotel, 1,250-space parking garage and an upscale brand shopping mall featuring 100 stores.

As CEO Violetta is responsible for the overall strategic vision of the Staten Island Yankees franchise, including all planning and day-to-day operations. He also has full responsibility of the P/L, driving forward all club business operations including sponsorship sales, ticket sales, premium seat and suite sales, box office,
broadcast rights and operations and new media.

“Steve has developed a unique personal brand over his career,” Reicin said. “He’s known as a bottom line achiever who combines a strategic marketing mindset with ability to maximize assets like net revenue and brand development. Those skills will be key as we develop short term and long term plans for the organization”.

President and General Manager Jane Rogers enters her 16th season with the Staten Island Yankees. She will report to Violetta and continue to oversee Ballpark Operations as well as the player/affiliation relationship with the New York Yankees. Rogers will also now devote more of her time to Community Relations and generating non-baseball events for the organization.

“I am delighted to welcome Steve to our leadership team, Rogers said. “He joins us at an exciting time of the year as we prepare for the 2014 season. I believe with his extensive sports background, energy and resourcefulness, we will have one of our best seasons yet”.

As a Major League Sports Executive, Violetta has personally negotiated over $350 Million of sponsorship contracts, including two Facility Naming Rights deals. He was instrumental in the conceptualization, presentation and negotiations of the San Diego Padres naming rights agreement with PETCO.

Violetta most recently was Founder, President and CEO of S&V Sports Enterprises, a consulting company working with other sports entities in areas like Revenue & Sponsorship evaluations, Strategic Planning and Brand Management.

Also in his career Violetta has been the top Business Executive for the Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League. As well as Executive Vice President of Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres. Besides negotiating the Ballpark’s naming-rights deal, while with the Padres Violetta closed over $130 million in long-term sponsorship commitments, oversaw a 125-percent increase in season-ticket sales and helped the Padres’ attendance grow to over 3 million in the 2004 season.

Jacoby Ellsbury 2013 Highlights Video

Welcome to the family Jacoby!

#WhereAreTheyNow: Scott Brosius MLB NY Yankees

Continuing our look at "Where Are They Now" from our friend Eddie Matta we look at where Scott Brosious has been since his retirement. Enjoy.

Yankees Close To Signing Kelly Johnson

Have we seen the end of Robinson Cano in pinstripes? The Yankees are close to a deal with second basemen Kelly Johnson on a one year deal. Johnson's deal is worth a reported $2.75-$3 million for 2014. Johnson makes a lot of sense for the Yankees as he can hit for left handed power and can play second base, third base, and left field in a pinch. I do not think the Yankees will close the door on Cano just yet but everyone of these signing is going to make it less and less likely that Cano is back for 2014.

Not to brag but when I wrote about Imaging the Yankees Worst Case Scenario back earlier this year I did point out that Johnson would be a good fit. Thus cementing the fact even more that Brian Cashman reads my stuff. Hey ninja!

Get Greedy, Get Headley

This Day In New York Yankees History 12/4

On this day in 1964, in an effort to prevent teams like the New York Yankees from locking up all the talent in Major League Baseball, the owners voted to start a free agent draft. The team with the worst record would pick first and the team with the best record from the previous year would pick last obviously and this draft would happen every four months.