Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Should The Yankees Go After James Shields?

While it's true that the Yankees don't have the best starting rotation in baseball, it's also true that they don't have the worst. 

Everybody cheer for us not being the worst!

In fact, in terms of fWAR, the Yankees' starters are 6th in the American League. While being 6th in the league isn't great, allow me to point out that four of the teams in front of them are not going to the postseason. The Chicago White Sox starters have the highest fWAR, but their team is currently 4th in the AL Central. The Oakland Athletics are 2nd, but are currently in last place in the AL West. The Cleveland Indians are next, but are cellar-dwellers in the AL Central. And finally there are the Tampa Bay Rays with the 5th best fWAR in the AL, who are currently in 4th place in the AL East.

The only team whose starters have a higher fWAR, and who are likely headed to the postseason, are the Houston Astros. Fortunately, the Yankees have a better bullpen and a better offense, so Houston does not frighten me.

Speaking of bullpens, the Yankees have the best bullpen in baseball. A bullpen that includes two pitchers with a sub-2.00 ERA (Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller), another guy with an ERA barely over 2.00 (Chasen Shreve - 2.06), and a fourth pitcher whose ERA is a very respectable 2.43 (Justin Wilson). That means that as long as the Yankee starters give the team a good five innings, the game is definitely winnable. 

Heck, I didn't even mention that Adam Warren and Bryan Mitchell are also currently in the bullpen, where they can give the Yankees three or more strong innings of work. 

Basically, another starter is not necessary.

Which brings me to James Shields.

"What's UUUUUUP!?"

The Yankees do not need James Shields. That's all that has to be said about it, but I'm sure you won't be surprised to find out that I'm not leaving it at that.

First of all, there's the fact that Shields is walking more batters this year than he ever has. His career walk percentage is 5.9%, but this season that number is 8.1%. 

Secondly, James is giving up a lot of home runs. His home run percentage of 3.9% is higher than it's ever been in his career. And if you think the majority of the homers against him have happened away from spacious Petco Park, you'd be wrong. He's given up 13 home runs in just 11 starts at Petco, while giving up 11 home runs in 13 starts on the road. Oh, and more home runs are hit at Yankee Stadium. Not a good omen.

My biggest issue is his contract, which runs through 2018 for another $63 million (not including the $2 million buyout of his team option 2019 season). If the Yankees have to pay a third starter over $20 million, then chances are they wouldn't be willing to go after somebody like David Price in free agency, as he would make it four starters earning $20+ million next season.

Now, I'm not going to ignore the opt-out clause in Shields' contract, which he can trigger after next season. While he's already 33, I don't think it would be hard for a guy with his consistency (he's made at least 33 starts in each of the past seven seasons, and has 24 already this season) to get a contract of at least four years and $16 million per. That means he would be guaranteed a million more dollars than he's already getting paid, plus another year. And that's a modest estimate.

So while it's exciting to think about the Yankees adding another solid piece to the rotation, when you actually sit back and think about acquiring James Shields you'll realize that it's not worth it.


    Five, or six years ago, it would have been time to lasso in James.
    Sorry, but his ship is beginning to sail, and the ticket to sail, costs a fortune. Count me out.

    Not only that....but, Anne Marie my lovely wife, maiden's name is Shields.
    The Shield's range from brilliant to lunatic. Be careful which one you reach for.

    1. That's funny my wife was a Shields for a while, long story. She was adopted

  2. NOT .....a good day to comment on...' breathing room / or, lack there of.'
    So. I will not.

  3. I'll answer now since no one else did. Yes the players hit and pitch, however any fool who thought this team was geared for the stretch run with this team is sadly mistaken, especially with Toronto's additions. Again I ultimately blame ownership and the Elf for sitting on their effing asses. WTF would Ackley bring them that they didn't already have. You know you need a bat and even though pitching has been decent you need another starter. When Baltimore passes the Yanks someone needs to be hung out to dry!!!!

    1. If Baltimore passes the Yankees I'll probably cry, literally. I've defended this team to the end and I don't like being disappointed

  4. TO BE BLUNTLY HONEST....What angers me the most....
    This squad played first place baseball for 2/3 of a season. They over came a lot.
    After all they had done....not one bit of help, to help them complete their goal.

    The Ackley move still insults me. And today he, and Jones are non issues.
    Toronto keeps on churning out wins. They know it is theirs. So obvious.

    Now I'm force feed that 2018 is the year, when unproven talent will be the new core. Really ?

    * Remember when they said the Yankees hit too many home runs ? The mgmt. caved.
    And then they made the team into a girls CYO team ?
    Please don't anger anyone, they will get mad ! And, it is not fair. Crap.

    We are ....................the F' Mets.

    1. Remember in the offseason when Cashman said if the team was close in July he could get them to the playoffs? Lol.

    2. You have a better chance of getting them to the playoffs Burch than the elf. Chaos is amongst us boys and its rearing its ugly head.

  5. It seems to me there are some people that need Anger Management Classes!

    Fans wanted a pitcher; Who and for what, our pitching has been good except for CC...one good game, a winner he isn't. They will not DFA CC so who would the new pitcher replace?
    A hitter we are said to need, ok and where do we put him or the player he would replace?
    Weakest links are Beltran, Ryan, Drew and...? Anyone know of a big bat to play 2nd or SS we Missed out on?

    We have seen the answers we get when we move in for a player...the price goes up except for other teams. Give Severino away for an older version, along with another top player/prospect. Not good management to me.

    Don't forget to wait and see what the new month brings us, it could be anything.

    1. NOOOOOO! ...Kenneth....This season's campaign efforts , got you Ackley? As an up-tick.
      I read your words, along with others who have tried to explain, dozens of times.
      You guys don't get it.

      The team is out of first place, and crashing big time. Hello ?
      Any help, is better than none......How about Jack Clark ? Fielder, Justice..etc.
      You don't get it.
      A $3 Billion dollar team, could only dig up an Ackerly ?

    2. Kenneth....name who the Mets gave up for Cespedes ?....Junk !

    3. I have to laugh at some people's responses Little P. I couldn't agree with you more

    4. It is ridiculous. They could have gotten more without giving up he farm. I'm ok with not getting a pitcher because we added Severino, I'm not okay with this offense continuing to struggle.

  6. As far as adding a bat and where would they play the answer is quite simple. Either get a 2nd base bat someone like Kinsler who is still better offensively tthen what we have or get an OF bat and rotate the bat in RF and DH every few games. Apparently Arod has hit the wall so let him sit a little as well as Beltran. You get a Cespedes type bat and don't worry who you will offend, and just maneuver your lineup. This team needs a jump start and Hal and the elf can say what they want about not being concerned,however they better be concerned.

    Lesson should be learned that you have over exceeded expectations and are close so don't go to war with the team you have when your enemies and opponents reload in a big way. No one is saying give the farm away, however there are plenty of upgrades out there that don't cost you Bird or Judge or LS and adding Ackley just proves my point about Cashman and his ability to get things done.

    1. I think Cashman read your words Hans, while Bird isn't an outfield bat he may be the guy that rotates in and out of the lineup for the remainder of the season. While he's not Kinsler, Cespedes or even Aaron Judge he can be more important by keeping both Teix and A Rod fresh and healthy for the stretch run.

      Cashman isn't trading prospects and Cashman is finally showcasing them. All we need is Refsnyder...

  7. Me thinks you have not read many of my comments, if you had you would know I asked the question; who get the ax when we bring in a player that is going to cost more money and good prospects?
    It is about the money, just in case you guys have been sleeping. IF Hal won't give the money for top players, what the hell can anyone do? Not a damn thing!
    As for an outfield bat, who gets cut? As for an offensive-minded infielder again, who get the ax? One can move players around all you want but you still only have room for so many.
    Ok, we cut Young, Ryan then what?
    The Mets gave up nothing for Cespedes, but for us...it would cost us much more talent.
    As for pitching, we have Severino which is good enough, so why get another pitcher that is just as good as he is but cost much more.

    IT IS THE MONEY, not the WS RING Hal cares about.

    The players are not done yet and Toronto is not going to run away with this thing. We play 162 games for a reason!
    Quit crying about what could have been and start supporting what we do have, "It ain't over until it is over!", right!

    1. Pineda may be back in the rotation, albeit on a pitch count limit, as soon as next Friday... and Severino is supposedly staying. Going to get interesting, especially with CC pitching, not throwing, better lately.

  8. FIX 2nd BASE !!!....Offensively !
    KEN REED....don't take my words personally.
    Toronto won again today. They believe in themselves, after reloading.

    Adding Bird today is great. Reminds me of a young Paul O'Neill.

    I agree with Hans...if a guy like Kinsler is available....get him!!
    Release Ryan, or Drew. Why not both ? Bring up Refsnyder.
    Two quick moves, costing little / nothing. The team is now better.

    This is a $3 Billion team, the Yankees said that. Lets start acting like a Bully ! Now !

    1. Toronto has won 11 straight games and have a 0.5 game lead in the division (assuming this 6-2 lead holds up tonight). How many more consecutive wins does this team have? Meanwhile the Yankees have lost five in a row and still down by only 0.5 game.

      Not saying it's ideal but if an 11 game winning streak doesn't bury the team behind you while they are uncharacteristically slumping then Toronto should be scared, not us. Sample sizes always correct themselves in a large enough scale. 2 weeks in not a large enough scale, the months of August and September will be though.

  9. Agreed Patrick. Time to use our financial muscle and not become penny pinchers.

  10. What money? Hal is in charge of the outlay of money for players!
    This may be a $3 Billion team but it is in the hands of Hal and family and they aren't parting ways with much of it at all.
    IF he will not dump Ryan, Drew and Beltran because he would have to pay them anyhow.

    1. He did dump Capuano, the same might come eventually with Ryan. Probably not though, not this close to September call ups

  11. "The Yankees don't care about the future!"

    "The Yankees don't try hard enough to win now!"

    Can't win. *sigh*

    1. Sarcasm from you Bryan, what will be next? lol

      The team, I am not worried about, they will and have played as hard as they can...I aim for the TOP (Hal).

  12. My biggest issue with all the hate thrown at people like Cashman, Girardi, etc. is that we don't know what is said or done within the organization. We simply make assumptions.

    On top of that those guys want to win as much, of not more than anyone. This is their job, and if the team does poorly then they could be fired. Why would anyone want that to happen? Do people think Brian Cashman is a spy for the Red Sox or Blue Jays? Come on!

  13. Bryan apparently you're looking at these guys through Rosey colored glasses. Just look at comments Hal makes about money and look at Cashman's track record the last few years and please explain to me with those glasses why the great Cashman would pick up a 215 reserve scrub OF? Curious to hear your take on it. Hal wants money and he has made that very clear.

    1. Do you believe everything you hear?

      I got a better question...

      Since when has Brian Cashman told us everything that was on his mind? He's made plenty of moves that none of us saw coming, and many of them have worked out well for the team.

      As for Hal, of course he wants to make money. Sorry to burst your bubble, but pro sports are a BUSINESS. Hal is rich, but not rich enough wear owning the Yankees would be considered a hobby. You know how you make more money, too? Winning.

      I believe those two, and others like Girardi, want to win. Is that so hard to believe? I also believe Cashman, Girardi, and others are not idiots.

      Oh, and that "scrub" was probably picked up because the team had planned on releasing him as soon as a couple guys were healthy... which happened. That guy did not get a single at bat, either, meaning calling up a minor leaguer would be a waste since they would have done nothing for a few days, instead of playing.

      Call them rosey colored, or what have you, but believing that this team wants and is trying to win is hardly a ridiculous thing to say.

    2. So let me get this straight? You ask do I know everything that is said or thought by Cashman and Hal? Of course not and neither do you!. It's ok for you to make a comment to defend them because you think you know what is said and thought, but anyone else that has a thought and is right more times than you can't say anything? Hmmm let me think about that for a second? No I'll stay with my thoughts on Cashman and Hal and you continue to believe what you want.

      An owner has a team in any sport because this is basically a hobby for them. They have made millions or billions in their business life or have been left the team by their parents when they have passed on. Hal doesn't need this money to live a lifestyle that you and I only can dream about. He preaches he does this because his father was driven to winner and the Steinbrenner family will continue this. I say Bullshit and the proof is in the pudding.

      He doesn't have the desire to win like his dad nor the balls to reinvest in his product. And your last comment on Ackley was moronic that he was picked up because the team planned on releasing him anyway when guys were healthy....Really trade away two guys, which one of them could do the same job as Ackley so you can release him later on? Genius Bryan pure Genius.

    3. I'm not the one saying things, and making accusations, as if I know what Brian, Hal, and others in the organization are thinking. Through logic I concluded that they DO want to win, and therefore are trying. The fact that Cashman has been the team's GM for 17 years leads me to think he knows what he's doing. Mind you, he may not be the best, but you don't keep a job for 17 years without knowing a thing or two.

      There I go again... logic. *rolls eyes*

      "The proof is in the pudding". Proof? You have no proof, let alone any pudding.

      I hate saying anything bad about George, but I can't help it... George may have had the desire to win, but his meddling caused as many problems.

      Cashman didn't "pick up" Ackley, he traded for him. Also, Dustin Ackley is more than an "outfielder". Hence the confusion, as I thought you were referring to Garrett Jones, as he did play right field for the Yankees in 148 innings this season.

      I'm not going to be one of those "my team is run by morons" fans.

    4. First off I have a great deal of pudding, second you're giving Cashman way to much credit. I know there are others on here who feel the same way about Cashman and I even believe Mr. Burch made a comment about him in his article about Drew. I have been a Yankee fan since 1965 my friend and I am pretty sure you weren't even a twinkle in your daddies eye at that time.

      I have seen the good the bad the ugly and though you think Cashman is good I will gladly point out to you that he ran off the coattails to two particular gentleman at the time named Michael and Watson. I will also point out to you that the farm system was built by those two individuals as the Elf was winning his alleged and yes I said alleged W because he got the credit when he did shit to earn it. Anyone running the Yanks in the early Cashman days had the ability to outbid teams for FA and thats what he did because GS gave him the ability to do so. The farm system has been pathetic for many years under Cashman and just now is starting to show signs of life. We can go back and forth all day on this so bring it!!

    5. Ackley was brought in as an upgrade over Garrett Jones. The 2009 yankees did the same thing in July acquiring Eric Hinske and Jerry Hairston Jr. As their big acquisitions.

      I'm not defending the deal or saying it was the right deal, just explaining it. If Ackley could have stayed healthy and played not only first and outfield like Jones but middle infield as well he would have been an upgrade. Neither had a bat.

    6. Not sure I agree with that assessment. Jones provides more power and at the time a spell for Tex at first. Ackley is simply the move that the Elf has become accustomed too.

  14. Damn, all these years I thought the ownership was in business to win, money be damned! That isn't the way it is supposed to be?

  15. Didn't get around to reading this until today. Yea, James Shields isn't worth it. I used to want him, but he's more of a name at this point than a contributor.

    If I'm the Yankees, I just wait to sign someone in the offseason. Jordan Zimmermann, Cueto, Price and Greinke will be free agents, and they're all far betters than Shields at this point in their careers.

    1. Price and Cueto don't force the yankees to give up a pick. It's one of them or bust in my opinion

  16. Under Stick and Watson, they drafted Jeter, Randy Choate and Mike Pagliarulo and some guys by the names of; Mo Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Posada.

    I have been a Yankee Fan from back in the good days (1942), through the bad years up to now.

    When Stick left he asked Cashman to continue his work with the Farm System. Cashman was not "Stick" and didn't know how to trick George as did Michael. Then Hal/Hank and the Tampa Cabal took over...Cashman was GM in name only (well, just about)!
    Once he learned how to deal with George and his sons...to some degree...he started rebuilding the whole System back in 2000 and drafted some good players along the way; Brett Gardner, A.Warren, Phil Hughes, Joba, IP Kennedy, Heathcott, Ty Hensley, Ian Clarkin, Judge, Kyle Holder, Kaprielian, Romine, JR Murphy, Lindgren, M. Williams, T Wade, G Bird, R Refsnyder and a bunch of IFA.

    I think that is a very good bunch of players, from 1998 to today the Farm System has gone from LAST to the Number 10 spot...but of course, it must be a mistake because Cashman is not very good...right?

    Cashman is not the best GM around, but he isn't one of the worse either!

    1. Cashman has drafted a ton of talent, the problem I don't think was drafting the talent it was evaluating the talent.

      So much talent around the league came from the yankees farm system originally and were traded prematurely.

    2. Names like Hughes and Joba and the other thousand names you left off your list between players like Clarkin and Bird which are more recent.Where are all those alleged studs or more importantly duds? Hughes wasn't worthy of his first rd pick and neither was Joba. The farm system has been a joke and I challenge any of you to go back from the time Cashman really started running this team...not when he officially took over for Watson and look at his track record on drafting. Most of you guys always go back to the point that is was Oppenheimer and Newman running the show. Get it in your head people, the elf is in charge of all baseball operations. I have seen a glimmer of the farm, not enamored as some of you are. The Yanks always and I mean always overvalue their prospects. They sit in the minors forever. Remember even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every once and a while

    3. Ian Kennedy has had a nice career, Tyler Clippard has as well. There are a ton of names I could throw out there, Jimmy Paredes, Mark Melancon, etc. but I don't think it would do any good so I won't go through the hour of research to be easily dismissed as a Cashman fan. I'm not, but I don't kill the guy either.

    4. I would also advise you not to go through that list for my sake. Nothing anyone can tell me will change my mind on the elf. For everyone of those names mentioned I can give you 50 busts. Nothing I show you as well will change your mind on him so we will leave it as you feel one way about the guy and I feel another way. No harm no foul.

    5. Here's an idea. Name the best GM right now or the best GM of all-time for that matter and watch me spend that hour picking apart his 50 busts as well. Especially one who has been with the same team 17 years. NO ONE is going to get them right 100% of the time, just have to get the bigger ones.

      Cashman has been on the right side of a lot of big trades, Nick Swisher, Bobby Abreu, etc. than he has on the wrong side, Javy Vazquez TWICE. Again, I'm not sticking up for him I'm just saying that across a big enough sample size the best of the best have those "whoops" kind of trades and acquisitions.

    6. Or Jeff Weaver, Kei Igawa, Jarett Wright, Kevin Brown, Carl Pavano. Please Burch you're missing the point here. I told you that even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every once and a while so of course he has hit on some, he has also missed deadly on those I named above.Ill take Walt Jockety (sp) and Dave Dombrowski and Friedman along with Saban to name a few. Yes they have had clunkers too, but they hit more than he does. Giants 3 WS in last 5 years, Cards always in the thick of things, as were the Tigers

    7. There are better GMs than Cashman, never denied that. There are worse GMs than Cashman, that's my point. Walt Jocketty made bad trades, Dave Dombrowski made bad trades, so did Friedman. Leave Dombrowski on the Tigers for 17 years and his record won't be as impressive, same with Friedman in Tampa (he has enough money to buy his way out of things in LA) and the same can be said for Jocketty.

    8. Burch I said they all made bad trades, however those three I named are clearly superior then Cashman. Friedman only had money this year. What did he do with the Ray's? Come on now you're smart enough to know that Cashman isn't even in the discussion for the top 10 GM's in MLB. Come on now!!

  17. Evaluating talent is the job of the people giving information to the GM along with their recommendations.

    Cashman has tried to get some of the best (and had one for a short time) people for running the Scouting and Talent Department. The best will not work for owners that overrule the recommendations made by them for someone that has a big name but less talent...or cheaper!
    Very few GM's are good talent evaluators, they have people that are good at that part of the job. At one time, No one wanted to work for King George, now it is Hal/Tampa Cabal.

    From the days of King George until recently we have traded away our top players for stop gap vet's. Until (around) 2004 it was mostly a short contract for the vet's. Now look at what the length of those contracts, they are two or more years into the time they are useless, and to cut them cost too much money for some teams to just eat!

    As the big contracts go by the wayside, it will open the spot for one of the kids to come up and play. We have seen the beginning of a new way for the Yankees doing business. A-Rod, Tex, CC and Beltran contracts will be far and few between.

    I think we still need one or two Big Time Players, but only with contracts that make sense, or do what we did with Matsui, Damon etc., trade them while they were still worth something but on the way out.

    My Opinion for what it is worth...I keep posting about the same thing, reworded a bit. It seems to me, some of this stuff is coming to pass...hey, what?

  18. We all have our opinions, and reasons for them. I don't agree with some of those opinions, as I believe the reasoning to be faulty, but it is what it is.

    1. Yup, that is why I said it is "MY OPINION". It's as good as any, maybe worse but, some of it has shown to be in vogue as of now.

      Anyone here think the team will pick up any big name bat or pitcher this year or before the 2016 season begins? I don't see it happening, not with the idea being to get under the cap.

    2. The argument in thinking that a GM is a terrible talent evaluator is this, the person who is in charge of talent evaluation was put there by that same GM. Kind of makes no sense when you simplify it like that but the fact remains the same.

      Sure, Cashman rarely goes to a game and watches a prospect or a minor trade or signing target play but the guy who does was sent there by Cashman.

    3. My point is, we have not been able to get any of the best Talent people, not because Cashman hasn't tried but they won't work for the team as it was with George or as it is now with Hal. We had one guy, but he didn't even stay the year. Maybe you remember him, I can't recall his name, but it was last year(?) and he went to another team.

  19. My point is that we haven't tried to get the best people as talent evaluators in this organization. Everyone has a price $$$$ and I would've been on the doorsteps of the Cards, the Giant's the Royals to name a few that have people that understand what it takes to draft and sign top flight talent.

    You guys can say all you want about Cashman not drafting the players. He hired Oppenheimer and he hired Newman and their track record is not stellar. Name me one 20 game pitcher they drafted, or a top flight pitcher they drafted. Don't give me Hughes, Joba, or Kennedy as they aren't top flight pitchers.

    Look at the Rays and look at their pitching studs. When Price was on the Rays he was the only first rd pick in their rotation. Everyone else was from the 4th rd on. That tells me the Yanks had every opportunity to draft everyone of their pitchers and didn't.

    Now the elf genius hires a minor league hitting instructor to be the head of the draft operations. That's like asking your dentist to fix your broken arm. Everyone is saying how ownership has changed from when GS ran the show so I find it hard to believe that any perspective candidate would say I'm not working for the Yanks because ownership has their hand in everything they do. You all put this guy on a pedestal for winning WS from a core group that Stick and Watson put together.

    1. I think you may have the wrong idea Ken H. I, for one, do not think Cashman is a great GM. He has been a good GM over the years. And has been under many handy caps, King Goerge and now the Brothers Dumm and Dummer, along with The Tampa Cabal.
      He isn't as bad as you say he is and not as good as I wish he were but, over the years he has done as much if not more than any other GM in the country...bringing a last place Farm System to number 10 in MLB.
      We now have many players in our system that will become major league, players. We may not have the number 1 type players some others have but, we do have much more to deal with as time goes on. When we lose some of the older players with big contracts we can then wheel and deal, until then we are hamstrung with those contracts and can't do very much.
      Hopefully, things will change sooner than later.
      I always read your stuff, and agree with some of it and disagree with others but, that's the name of the game. Have fun and don't change and join the followers...that would be a waist!


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