Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Forget Wei-Yin Chen, What about Scott Kazmir?

The New York Yankees are linked to almost every single free agent almost every single season, it comes with the territory and it’s the nature of the beast. The Yankees could have four Giancarlo Stanton’s on the roster and if a fifth one became available someone out there would list the Yankees as interested. Whether that someone is the player’s agent who is trying to milk every penny he can out of a team, the columnists like Jon Heyman who want you to click their articles thus keeping them in a job or if it’s the crew over at ESPN, MLB Network and the equivalents but if you want me to be frank about it, it’s annoying.

It’s annoying when a marginal player or a marginal upgrade to the team is linked to the Yankees just because. For example, Wei-Yin Chen. Chen received a qualifying offer from the Baltimore Orioles this season after spending the last few campaigns as the team’s ace. Chen was the ace of the Baltimore Orioles but on about 90& of the playoff contending teams in 2015 he would not be an ace and would not be considered an ace on the Yankees. Despite being at best a #2 or #3 starter Mark Fiensand and others have linked Chen to the Yankees, a team full of middle-of-the-rotation starters that are much younger and that have more upside. Oh yeah, and none of the six or seven options the Yankees already have in their rotation will cost them the #22 overall draft pick in the 2016 Draft.

If you are hell-bent on signing a left-handed starter to balance out the rotation, or a starter in general, then what about Scott Kazmir? He’s also American League East tested, he’s a veteran, he’s left-handed and he’s shown some durability recently after battling the injury bug for much of his early career with the Tampa Bay Rays. Would Kazmir, using the last two seasons as an example, be better statistically than Chen inside Yankee Stadium and for the New York Yankees?

2014 16 6 3.54 31 185.2 193 77 73 23 35 136 111 3.89 1.228 9.4 1.1 1.7 6.6
2015 11 8 3.34 31 191.1 192 78 71 28 41 153 124 4.16 1.218 9.0 1.3 1.9 7.2

2014 ★ 15 9 3.55 32 190.1 171 81 75 16 50 164 105 3.35 1.161 8.1 0.8 2.4 7.8
2015 7 11 3.10 31 183.0 162 77 63 20 59 155 130 3.98 1.208 8.0 1.0 2.9 7.6

Well according to Baseball Reference I have to think the answer would be yes. While Kazmir enjoyed pitching in spacious ballparks out in Oakland and Houston he is also better suited to pitch in a historically hitter’s ball park in the Bronx. Kazmir induces more ground balls and garners more strike outs than Chen does and would come on a deal less than the five or six year deal that Chen is thought to be asking for this winter despite being attached to draft pick compensation. If you’re just not going to be happy without signing a starting pitcher this winter then just make sure it’s a guy like Scott Kazmir and not Wei-Yin Chen. 


  1. Guys, what is this junk about using Mateo as a trading chip? I keep reading about him being in on all kinds of deals.
    I don't understand that being the truth unless, the reports of his skill-set has been overblown. We all know the hitting numbers on the farm are only a guide as to what they can do in the Big Show. But, he has better speed/quickness, baserunning, glove, range than any SS we have ever had and projects as a hitter with good skills.
    I know we have Didi for now but will he hit. Being only 25 makes him about 27/28 when Mateo is ready, which isn't bad but, IF Mateo is what they have said he is it would behove the team to replace DiDi with Mateo who would be only 22 years old and have him for the next 10 to 15 years.

    1. I have seen more reports that Mateo is not going to be able to handle SS in the majors than I have trade rumors. If that's true, and it is a big IF because I don't know for sure, then you trade while his value is high. Even if it's not true it's hard to not trade a 20 year old in A-Ball. In the right deal of course.

      I wouldn't give Mateo away but I would have given him up as the center piece in the Kimbrel deal last season.

  2. Kenneth Reed.....Leader of men, follower of women. How are you ?

    RE: Mateo. To date, I've only seen him linked in one trade rumor....that would be for the
    Oakland Athletic's...RHP Sonny Gray...career stats: 2 years, 33-20, 2.88 ERA
    Some say he is very David Cone like. 26 years old.
    You have to pay to play.
    Hope this finds you well.

    1. Just ducky Patrick, about time you showed up getting a bit lonesome around here.

      I have nothing against trading prospects but, not guys with Mateo's talents IF he can work his way through the system without getting hurt he is a star in the making. Some of the new fans will have someone to have as their hero (I hope).
      This guy ever rates with Yoan Moncada, a bit better in some departments and not as well in others...in mean to say they are about the same except Yoan has a bit more power and Mateo has a better glove.

    2. I love Mateo but if it's Sonny Gray or Mateo I go with Sonny Gray. Aces don't become available often and you have to give to get. That's the right kind of deal you trade prospects for.

    3. I don't have a problem for the right deal, Daniel! but a couple of blogs had him going alone or with two or three others for some #3 pitchers and hitters.
      The Yankees have Mateo as an SS and star in the making so I said it would be nice for him to take DiDi's place at SS in a few years (or less).

      In a couple of years, IF they start this year, Mateo can become a star 2nd baseman if I read his numbers right. His arm is the one thing I have always had a reserve about. That is why I said they should move him to 2nd base, I think you may remember that.
      Having him at 2nd base along with DiDi at SS is a stone wall defensively. I think there are two other SS coming along that have better arms and as good with the Glove and Bat...but, not the speed and quickness, few players do.
      Abiatal Avelino is a good comp to Mateo and there is another one about 19 years old with better power and very good Hands/Glove...can't come up with his name at the moment (from South America?).
      IF Mato isn't traded he should be a 2nd baseman...only my opinion! In the meantime let Refsy have the job full time!

    4. His arm is good enough to be a shortstop, they worry about his feet. I think they called him "nervous feet" this season. You can survive that in A-Ball, that changes in AA and AAA. That also can be eliminated with development and such.


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