Friday, January 1, 2016

The (WAR)ing AL East

Happy New Year! 2016 is finally here and baseball season will soon be back in our lives. With Spring Training, fast approaching teams will soon start wrapping up their free agent shopping. Significant free agents remain on the market but to me, January 1st is the perfect time to review the current rosters of the AL East teams with WAR (Wins Above Replacement). A replacement player seemingly has a neutral impact on the team (0.0 WAR). The higher the players WAR the better they are and it is possible to have a negative WAR in which the player is hurting the team with offensive and defensive play.

This review is still too early, and the Orioles have been a rumored destination for Yoenis Cespedes, as well as re-signing Chris Davis and Wei-Yin Chen which will dramatically increase WAR. The depth chart comes courtesy of the respective team sites and WAR is from unless otherwise indicated.


C: Brian McCann: 3.1 WAR
1B: Mark Teixeira: 1.9 WAR
2B: Starlin Castro: 1.5 WAR
SS: Didi Gregorius: 2.0 WAR
3B: Chase Headley: 2.7 WAR
LF: Brett Gardner: 2.1 WAR
CF: Jacoby Ellsbury: 2.4 WAR
RF: Carlos Beltran: 0.6 WAR
DH: Alex Rodriguez: 0.7 WAR
Starting Nine WAR: 17
Masahiro Tanaka: 4.1 WAR
Michael Pineda: 3.6 WAR
Nathan Eovaldi: 2.0 WAR
C.C. Sabathia: 1.7 WAR
Luis Severino: 2.3 WAR
Starters WAR: 13.7
Aroldis Chapman: 1.4 WAR
Andrew Miller: 1.5 WAR
Dellin Betances: 1.2 WAR
Chasen Shreve: 0.3 WAR
Ivan Nova: 0.9 WAR
Bryan Mitchell: 0.2 WAR
Jacob Lindgren: 0.2 WAR
Bullpen WAR: 5.7 
Gary Sanchez: 0.6 WAR
Aaron Hicks: 0.5 WAR
Dustin Ackley: 0.6 WAR
Greg Bird: 0.9 WAR
Bench WAR: 2.6
Total WAR: 39


C: Matt Wieters: 2.2 WAR
1B: Mark Trumbo: 1.3 WAR
2B: Jonathan Schoop: 1.2 WAR
SS: J.J. Hardy: 1.0 WAR
3B: Manny Machado: 5.8 WAR
LF: Hyun Soo-Kim: 1.5 WAR - KANG Projection
CF: Adam Jones: 3.0 WAR
RF: Ryan Flaherty: 0.2 WAR
DH: Nolan Reimold: 0.1 WAR
Starting Nine WAR: 16.3
Chris Tillman: 1.5 WAR
Ubaldo Jimenez: 2.1 WAR
Kevin Gausman: 2.3 WAR
Miguel Gonzalez: 0.9 WAR
Mike Wright: 0.2 WAR
Starters WAR: 7
Zack Britton: 1.3 WAR
Darren O'Day: 0.6 WAR
T.J. McFarland: 0.2 WAR
Brian Matusz: 0.3 WAR
Jason Garcia: 0.0 WAR
Chaz Roe: 0.1 WAR
Brad Barch: 0.4 WAR
Bullpen WAR: 2.9
Caleb Joseph: 0.6 WAR
Christian Walker: 0.4 WAR
Jimmy Paredes: -0.6 WAR
Joey Rickard: 0.2 WAR
Bench War: 0.6
Total War: 26.8


C: Blake Swihart: 1.1 WAR
1B: Hanley Ramirez: 2.2 WAR
2B: Dustin Pedroia: 3.7 WAR
SS: Xander Bogaerts: 3.6 WAR
3B: Pablo Sandoval: 1.8 WAR
LF: Rusney Castillo: 0.8 WAR
CF: Jackie Bradley Jr.: 2.1 WAR
RF: Mookie Betts: 4.8 WAR
DH: David Ortiz: 1.6 WAR
Starting Nine WAR: 21.7
David Price: 4.9 WAR
Rick Porcello: 2.8 WAR
Clay Buchholz: 2.7 WAR
Eduardo Rodriguez: 1.6 WAR
Joe Kelly: 0.7 WAR
Starters WAR: 12.7
Craig Kimbrel: 1.2 WAR
Koji Uehara: 0.6 WAR
Junichi Tazawa: 0.4 WAR
Carson Smith: 0.8 WAR
Roenis Elias: 1.0 WAR
Robbie Ross Jr.: 0.2 WAR
Heath Hembree: 0.0 WAR
Bullpen WAR: 4.2 
Ryan Hanigan: 0.7 WAR
Travis Shaw: 0.6 WAR
Brock Holt: 0.6 WAR
Chris Young: 1.0 WAR
Bench WAR: 2.9
Total WAR: 41.5


C: Rene Rivera: 0.2 WAR
1B: James Loney: 0.5 WAR
2B: Logan Forsythe: 2.0 WAR
SS: Brad Miller: 2.2 WAR
3B: Evan Longoria: 3.9 WAR
LF: Desmond Jennings: 1.8 WAR
CF: Kevin Kiermaier: 3.5 WAR
RF: Steven Souza Jr.: 1.3 WAR
DH: Logan Morrison: 0.3 WAR
Starting Nine WAR: 15.7
Chris Archer: 4.1 WAR
Alex Cobb: 0.8 WAR
Drew Smyly: 2.3 WAR
Jake Odorizzi: 2.2 WAR
Erasmo Ramirez: 1.3 WAR
Starters WAR: 10.7
Brad Boxberger: 0.6 WAR
Danny Farquhar: 0.4 WAR
Jake McGee: 0.8 WAR
Matt Moore: 1.3 WAR
Matt Andriese: 0.5 WAR
Xavier Cedeno: 0.4 WAR
Alex Colome: 0.5 WAR
Bullpen WAR: 4.5
Curt Casali: 0.9 WAR
Tim Beckham: 0.0 WAR
Brandon Guyer: 1.0 WAR
Richie Shaffer: 0.1 WAR
Bench WAR: 2
Total WAR: 32.9


C: Russell Martin: 3.4 WAR
1B: Chris Colabello: 0.7 WAR
2B: Ryan Goins: 0.3 WAR
SS: Troy Tulowitzki: 3.4 WAR
3B: Josh Donaldson: 5.9 WAR
LF: Ben Revere: 0.8 WAR
CF: Kevin Pillar: 2.5 WAR
RF: Jose Bautista: 3.9 WAR
DH: Edwin Encarnacion: 3.0 WAR
Starting Nine WAR: 23.9
Marcus Stroman: 3.4 WAR
R.A. Dickey: 1.1 WAR
J.A. Happ: 1.8 WAR
Marco Estrada: 0.6 WAR
Jesse Chavez: 1.8 WAR
Starters WAR: 8.7
Daniel Hutchison: 0.8 WAR
Roberto Osuna: 0.7 WAR
Aaron Sanchez: 0.2 WAR
Brett Cecil: 1.0 WAR
Aaron Loup: 0.4 WAR
Ryan Tepera: 0.1 WAR
Bo Schultz: 0.0 WAR
Bullpen WAR - 3.2
Josh Thole: 0.1 WAR
Justin Smoak: 0.4 WAR
Darwin Barney: 0.1 WAR
Michael Saunders: 0.5 WAR
Bench WAR: 1.1
Total WAR: 36.9

Standings Ranked based on WAR

  1. Red Sox: 41.5
  2. Yankees: 39
  3. Blue Jays: 36.9
  4. Rays: 32.9 
  5. Orioles: 26.8
  • Best Starting Nine - Blue Jays
  • Best Rotation - Yankees
  • Best Bullpen - Yankees
  • Best Bench - Red Sox

The Boring Winter Ahead: Watch the 1996 World Series Game One HERE

To the Phillies Fan Base: The Yankees Fans Feel Your Pain

We all watched the Al Jazeera documentary showcasing that steroids and performance enhancing drugs were still prevalent in sports, and not just Major League Baseball. The documentary showed that many athletes in the NFL and in MLB are still using steroids and are blatantly getting away with it. If you haven’t seen the documentary it’s on the blog for you to see. The Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies cannot be happy about seeing their players mentioned in this documentary, Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Howard respectively, especially the Phillies who are simply waiting out the Howard contract and hoping to unload it to an American League team as they rebuild. If the Phillies fans need a shoulder to cry on it can definitely be a Yankees fan’s shoulder because us here in New York know exactly how you feel.

Let’s just assume for the sake of this article that Zimmerman and Howard really did steroids, and I venture to say that the Phillies are hoping its true anyway, this could spell the end of Howard’s tenure in Philadelphia. Howard is set to make a whopping $25 million in 2016 and another $10 million in 2017 if and when the Phillies buy out the final year of his contract and has played below replacement level in recent seasons. Meanwhile Zimmerman is signed through the 2019 season with $62 million remaining on his contract and barely played to replacement level in 2015. If either men are suspended their teams will benefit twice. We don’t know the timeline in which the steroids were being used but you would have to think the team would benefit from the performance that was enhanced by the drugs and now the teams will benefit from the suspensions as well.

The players are not paid while on suspension for drugs and steroids thus saving the Phillies roughly $12.5 million in 2016. The teams get off free while the players get all the punishment and such, this is likely to change soon I think. The team has absolutely no incentive to keep the game clean. They benefit from the performance boost or the injury recoup time and then they benefit fiscally when the player is suspended. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?

No Innings Limit Expected for Luis Severino in 2016

The New York Yankees have a habit of toying with their young starting pitchers a little too much with a mixed bag of reviews. The use of Michael Pineda and Joba Chamberlain are well documented with laundry lists of injuries and setbacks attached to both while the use of Adam Warren and Phil Hughes worked out, health wise, for the most part for the club. All four either had innings limits set on them or they were moved back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen taking the pitchers out of their comfort zone. The team tried a new tactic with Luis Severino this time around keeping him out of long starts at the beginning of 2015 in hopes of having him fresh at the end of the 2015 campaign and the plan for 2016 has seemingly been released.

Joe Girardi revealed that, in an interview with, Severino would not have a huge limit on his innings in 2016. Severino pitched a shade over 99 innings in 19 starts between Double-A and Triple-A last season and threw another 62 innings in the Major Leagues last season. Sticking with the "no more than 30 innings increase per season" logic that has since been shot down around the league Severino would be good to go around 190 innings in 2016. No Yankees pitcher threw that many innings in 2015 and no Yankees pitcher is likely to throw that many in 2016, not if the Yankees bullpen is as good as it was this season as it was last season.

Severino will likely have his innings limited just a tad at the beginning of the season. Severino may be the Yankees #2 starter in theory but he may pitch later in the rotation so the club can take advantage of the early off days to give him, and the rest of the Yankees starters, some extra rest. Either way it doesn't look like there is going to be another episode of the "Severino Rules" or anything like that any time soon.

That's the plan anyway.

Top 2015 Posts from The Greedy Pinstripes

Hello 2016. While 2015 was a great year for me personally and for the blog I am 100% looking ahead to 2016. 2016 is going to be so awesome that they had to have 366 days in it just to fit it all into one calendar, that's saying something! But really as we turn the final page of the 2015 year and open the book to Page 1 of the 2016 book we take one last look back at the year that was. Here are some top posts here on The Greedy Pinstripes according to view count and comments for your viewing pleasure... one last time. Happy New Years!

The most viewed article of the year was a hypothetical post, a post that outlined my predictions for the 2018 Yankees starting lineup. An awful lot can change between now and then but this is what I came up with. Hope you enjoyed! 

My bold predictions for the 2015 season were pretty popular last season. I predicted a healthy season for A Rod with 20 home runs (he hit 33), Mark Teixeira would play in at least 135 games (I was close though) and Didi Gregorius would be a great offensive player. I did well overall I think. 

This was a great year and I think 2016 will be even better. All because of you. Thank you. 

The Latest Cuban the Yankees Won't Get

The New York Yankees went hard on the international market during the 2014-2015 signing period and that resulted in over $30 million being spent, many young and talented players being added to the farm system, and spending restrictions being imposed on the team for the next two signing periods. The Yankees basically went all-in on that signing period leaving them unable to sign any international free agent for more than $300K this signing period and next (the signing periods go from July 2 to July 2 every single season). New York has had success signing major players to lower financial deals, see Jorge Mateo as a good example of this, but the team has also priced themselves out of many major international free agents with this strategy. One name you may not know now but you will know soon is Lazaro Armenteros, but you won't be knowing the next Cuban phenom because he's wearing a Yankees uniform.

The latest and greatest Cuban defecting phenom to come over to the United States will not land a deal with the New York Yankees due to those spending restrictions. Armenteros is 16-years old and will likely be the best player to sign a deal in 2016, period, says Bob Nightengale of the USA Today. Armenteros, or Lazarito as he's being called these days, possess a "rare combination of dazzling speed, raw power and outfield arm strength" that projects him to be a strong corner outfielder in the Major Leagues. That's all nice and good but Lazarito has also been compared to the likes of Willie Mays and Bo Jackson already, and that's nothing to ignore.

Lazarito has opened the eyes of not only MLB scouts but those in Japan as well. An unconfirmed team in the Nippon Professional Baseball League has already offered him $15 million to play there at just 16-years old although Lazarito has remained vigilant that he wants to showcase his talents in Major League Baseball. He will showcase his talents for MLB teams on January 8th in San Cristobal while he waits for Major League Baseball to decide whether he is eligible to sign during this signing period or whether he will have to wait for the next signing period that starts on July 2, 2016 to sign. The Yankees could only offer him $300K in both signing periods regardless.

MLB must decide when Lazarito will be eligible because the phenom missed the May 15th cutoff date to officially register for the international signing period. Lazarito was busy defecting from his native country Cuba during the cutoff. Regardless of when he is allowed to sign his showcase is the talk of the town among MLB scouts. There is expected to be at least 150-200 scouts on hand for the audition even though legally they aren't allowed to be there. This will be the first time scouts have seen him professionally in almost 18 months.

Quick Hit: Robert Refsnyder the Yankees Version of Ben Zobrist?

Apparently I’m not allowed to suggest that the New York Yankees trade a second base prospect that is blocked for at least the next four seasons. What about potentially moving his position again and turning him into a super utility player? Is that suggestion allowed?

I poke a little fun here but I was serious about potentially moving Refsnyder around to a few more positions to increase his versatility. Refsnyder was drafted as a right fielder and was moved to second base due to concerns with his arm strength. You have to wonder if Refsnyder could handle third base specifically, especially after the Yankees traded away their closest and possibly their best third base prospect in Eric Jagielo.

Refsnyder is young and athletic and I truly believe, with some practice, he could learn the hot corner, maybe some first base and get reunited with the corner outfield spots in the Bronx. Would he be Mr. Versatile like Ben Zobrist but he could become a useful part that could force his way onto the Yankees roster rather than hope that Brian Cashman doesn’t block him again.

I wonder if the Yankees have thought of this?

This Day In New York Yankees History 1/1: Exit Manny Banuelos

On this day in 2015 the New York Yankees traded Manny Banuelos to the Atlanta Braves for relief pitcher David Carpenter. The deal worked out well for the Braves as Banuelos has been seen on many of the club's top prospects lists while Carpenter was designated for assignment halfway through the 2015 campaign.

Also on this day in 1941 Babe Ruth spends $50,000 for defense bonds in support of the U.S. mobilization effort. The $50,000 is the maximum amount allowed by law for one person to purchase and was considered to be a big chunk of money back then.

Finally on this day in 1923 Wee Willie Keeler died as a result of heart failure. Keeler pomised his fans and former teammates that he would live to see 1923 and lasted until New Years Day, as promised. Keeler played for the Superbas (now the Dodgers), Orioles, Giants (New York), and the Highlanders (now the Yankees) in his Hall of Fame career. Keeler is known for his quote "keep your eye clear, and hit 'em where they ain't."