Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Yankees' Offseason So Far

So far this offseason is like riding a roller coaster.

First there was the signing of Chris Young to be the team's fourth outfielder. I wasn't worked up one way or another by this signing, as it's just a bench player. However, I'd rather see that spot given to a youngster, since Young is hardly somebody that's going to be a difference maker. Speaking of which, I'm not fooled by his time with the team last season, as that type of output is way above what he's done in his nine year MLB career.

That signing was followed up by the signing of left-handed pitcher Jose De Paula. If I didn't care a whole lot about the signing of Chris Young, this acquisition certainly wasn't going to get me hot and bothered. My initial thought was that De Paula was going to be a 2nd lefty in the bullpen until Jacob Lindgren is brought up.

Finally came some fairly big news, as the Yankees traded Shane Greene to the Arizona Diamondbacks for shortstop Didi Gregorius. I was really happy with this move. Sure, it stunk seeing Shane Greene shipped off, but the deal made a ton of sense for a team in dire need of a shortstop to replace the retired Derek Jeter. Don't get me wrong, I don't believe Didi will be a star. However, the Yankees made a nice move to get younger and gear up for the future, rather than just shell out big money for somebody like Hanley Ramirez, or settle on a so-so veteran like Stephen Drew.

My smile got a little wider when I learned that we had signed Andrew Miller, a 29-year-old lefty reliever. Here we have a guy that's struck out 13.6 batters per 9 innings over the past three years, and should be an incredible compliment to Dellin Betances, a right-hander that stuck out 13.5 guys per 9 innings last season. Of course, I assumed the Yankees would bring back David Robertson to be their closer, and complete a vicious three-headed monster in the bullpen.

I understand that the Yankees have been able to build a strong bullpen year in and year out, so there's really no need to spend a lot of money on relievers. But why spend $36 million on Andrew Miller only to let David Robertson, a better reliever, sign elsewhere for just a couple million more dollars per season (Miller and Robertson both signed four year deals)? If they had only planned on signing one of them from the start, why not spend a few more dollars to get the better of the two? If Andrew were two years younger than David I could make sense of it, but Miller isn't even two months younger than Robertson.

Not surprisingly, my reaction was tame next to some of the hate spewed out towards the Yankees and Brian Cashman. But unlike some fans, who continue to be pessimistic about the teams chances to win in 2015 and beyond, I'm actually liking the way things are going.

The fact of the matter is the Yankees are getting younger, and they appear to be looking to the future.

Currently, the Yankees have young players like the aforementioned Didi Gregorius (25 years old, and under team control through 2018), Masahiro Tanaka (26, signed through at least 2017), Michael Pineda (25, under team control through 2017), Ivan Nova (27, under team control through 2016), Dellin Betances (26, under team control through 2019), Rob Refsnyder (23, under team control through at least 2021), Jose Pirela (25, under team control through at least 2021). And then there are other minor leaguers who could make an impact in MLB fairly soon, like Manny Banuelos, Jacob Lindgren, Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Ian Clarkin, and Greg Bird.

I'm absolutely not saying that the team shouldn't look at some of the bigger names in free agency, either now or in the future. But by building a solid base of younger, cost-controlled, players the team can afford to give a big contract to a stud player without suffering due to it should an injury occur. So sprinkle in a guy like Max Scherzer this season, who could turn a good rotation into a great one. Or possibly sign Justin Upton a year from now, once he becomes a free agent.

What the Yankees should never do again is sign aging stars to big contracts like we saw in the mid-2000s. The Yankees signed 39 year old Kevin Brown in 2004, and paid him over $31 million for two years and barely over 200 innings of work. Then there was Randy Johnson, who got nearly $32 million for his age 41 and 42 seasons, and was an average pitcher despite winning 34 games. And who could forget the Yankees giving 44 year old Roger Clemens $17.4 million in 2007, and seeing average output along with the worst strikeout rate of his career?

The bottom line is that this isn't George Steinbrenner's Yankees, and while I certainly miss The Boss, I'm perfectly okay with that. No longer should we see knee-jerk reactions to poor play, or reactionary signings to what teams like the Red Sox do. Perhaps Cashman and the team will sometimes over-think things, and therefore miss out on players that would otherwise be good for them, but that's better than throwing out huge money to guys that just happen to be at the top of some experts top free agent rankings.


  1. The voice of reason, Mr. Bryan Van Dusen ladies and gentleman. Let's give him a hand

  2. Great work Bryan...
    Yup, someone that agrees with me always get a hand from me! Hit a HR with that one!

  3. Where to begin... Well first off I have season tickets two to be exact. They each cost $120 so right from the start I am in for $240 dollars. We grab food at Hard Rock Cafe for another $50 plus bucks and $30 for parking and grab a beer and some other things at the stadium and I'm in for about $350 every game.

    What Cashman is assembling does not constitute what Hal says each and every year which is World Series or Bust. Now lets look at this from a few standpoints, first which is Brian Cashman should not be the one leading this new transformation. He has had numerous years of being able to grow the farm and hasn't succeeded. Now before you Cashman supporters come running to save him and state it was Newman and Oppenhemier who is in charge of the draft, I want you to here me loud and clear. Brian Cashman is in charge of all baseball operations so he has allowed constant failure and failed to upgrade those areas which is a reflection on him.

    Second Hal doesn't have George's passion for winning and the minute he died so did the Yankees. Hal only invested last year since he lost over $85 million the previous year from TV revenue, concession revenue and the fans not showing up and watching a pathetic display of baseball. I have been a Yankee fan since Jerry Kenny, Horace Clarke, Fritz Peterson, Mike Keckich so I don't want to hear about me being a band wagon jumper because I have seen the good and the really bad.

    Cashman won his WS with the help of Stick Michael who built the farm up allowing the Yankees to make trades for big ticket players. Those days are gone because your GM hasn't had any players on the farm able to trade. He has to bring in a second team to make trades or he dumpster dives on players with expiring contracts such as McCarthy and Headley.

    He trades Shane Greene who by no means is a top flight arm but one who is young and can eat innings for a platoon shortstop that hits 220. Can he pick it, yes he can but so can Ryan. Are those extra 30 points in BA going to make a difference..not. We have not one reliable starter in the rotation. Pineda an injury waiting to happen, CC another injury waiting to happen, Kuroda currently gone, McCarthy gone, Phelps a bull pen pitcher and so is Adam Warren who down the stretch was terrible.

    Nova won't be back till June so who is taking the ball? Whether it is Hal pulling in the reigns or Cashman's inability to make trades or a mixture of both shows this organization is in deep trouble. Presently constructed we are a 4th place team and if the Rays do somethings we will be a cellar dweller. I for one don't need to waste my hard earned money for this product. I also would like to know why we hired a minor league hitting instructor to replace Newman? Look at the teams that currently rule the roost and you will see that it is the Cards and the Giants to name a few. Why not explore candidates from their system, they are always in the playoffs so it isn't stock piling high draft picks because they suck, no we would rather give it to a minor league hitting instructor. That's like asking your dentist to perform brain surgery on you.

    Very disgusted and appalled at what we presently have and I fear it is only going to get worse before it gets any better.

    1. I don't think I can add anything to this. I have been saying this, on Twitter mostly, since the 2012 season when the austerity crap happened. No way should anyone shell out that kind of money for a mediocre product.

      You wanna go watch the Astros? Get a bleacher seat for $5. This is the Yankees and I want to pay for what I am seeing.

  4. Amen Daniel. I just think a three billion dollar machine should do better for its fans.

  5. I like this cheep $$$$ thing, in as much as it tells the baseball world we will not over pay in trades etc, for players anymore.
    I like that Boris can go to someone else for his high money players and using the Yankees to get others to pony over!
    I like spending for a game changer with the right contract, not back loaded and not to long!
    I like giving our kids the opportunity to make a name for themselves!
    I like trades that work-out for us, not one sided trades!
    I like having a good balance to the team in personnel, 5 or 6 home starters and fill in with some good FA and trades.
    I like the idea of going younger and home grown.
    I like to have a 10 to 15 year run of making it to the play-offs or more.
    I like the fact we can do just that with some smart management.
    I like to believe Cashman and Hal have the guts to cut lose some of the dead weight, no matter the cost!
    I like to think managers of the Yankees, can think of the team and not the bottom line.
    I like to believe the owners can understand, put a good product on the field and you make money!
    I like to think Hal didn't sleep through the #101 classes of ..."Build a Fine Team and they will come"!

    Time, it takes time, have patience, it can come to all have the time to watch a team grow before your eyes. I have seen it before, twice...It's now your turn.

  6. That's all fine Ken Reed but don't have Hal tell me the goal is WS or we failed because I don't want to hear that crap. If you know we are rebuilding tell us and don't think we are a stupid fan base because we are not. If we are rebuilding then say so

    1. Ok, so we agree on something after-all Ken Hans!
      If one looked at the team this year, one could see there was very little that could be done. we could have (and still may) traded Brett for a SS or pitcher but we have room for ONE pitcher only. OF is full! We needed a SS and and one of the top pitchers and that is it!

      Sorry, no more room at the Inn!

  7. Exactly Ken H. Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining. Take a book out of R Kelly's book and tell me you're gonna piss on me... yeah that got weird quick but you get the point I am trying to make.

  8. GP I couldn't of said it better. I would love to see Hal sell the team to someone like Mark Cuban who is a mini me of George. He wants to win so bad he will do whatever it takes. Hal really is a coupon clipper that just doesn't get it in my opinion. He puts up the front but you can see behind what he says isn't true. Why else would he sell like 80% of the Yes network?

    1. Because Hal and Hank make their living off the team, the team was George's hobby.

  9. NOT ROCKET SCIENCE HERE....and, you guys are smart.
    It is black & white, in what we see here
    $ 70-75+ million tied up this year only for contracts heading south
    IE: Sabathia, for all his piss, and vinegar...has nothing in his right landing knee....$25 million.
    Sabathia, Alex, and Mark T. are a blockage in your player advancement line.
    Roto-Rooter can't fix this one.

    So, what can one do ?......Release them / pay them / plug in youth.
    The youth will cost almost nothing in salary, while those cut will contribute little.
    You can add 3-4 roster spots, and change the look of this team. Lets clean house.
    In gambling circles, its called ' a wash'.

    Or, retain the dead, and watch MLB pass you by. ( The Yankees are in the rear view mirror now)
    I say cut them today, they will be memories by April.

    1. I think, and this is truly an opinion with nothing to back it up, that the Yankees will simply "hang around" until after 2016 when the team can get under the cap for a season with a few big contracts left on the board and then go ape sh&t crazy in 2017 (but smart hopefully).

  10. Patrick, good show kid! I'm done!

    Why wait, and miss the opportunity. Call, and sign.
    Why ? ...same monies as Gardner, but a far better player.
    Again, I say, ......package Gardner, and a catcher, for something real nice. Happens every day.

    Cut the lines to dead contracts, LEARN from mistakes, and plug in youth.
    DON"T GO TO GAMES ! Empty seats, silent fans, a ratings downward turn.
    That will garner attention..................Again, not rocket science.

    Good night Mr. Reed.

    1. I think we all agree here. I think Melky is the superior player in most facets of the game. Both are left handed, hit at the top of the order etc. Melky can hit for power, kills his former team (us) and can play more than adequate defense in left. Melky once supplanted Gardner out of center field for a reason.

      Plus he's clutch and they come. Dumb as they come, see steroid website, but clutch wins out every time on the field.

  12. A FOOT NOTE :
    It is great to be part of a wonderful Yankee blog site, such as this southern ' Greedy' red clay site,
    that has so may individuals contributing.
    I really mean that.

    1. I really enjoy days like today/yesterday when I can simply not keep up with all the comments and such flying around. I hope it's a sign of things to come.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)