Sunday, February 17, 2019

What it could cost to extend Aaron Hicks

In this investigation, we will attempt to approximate the salary (dependent on the length of the deal) the Yankees will offer impending free agent (in their efforts to extend  him) Aaron Hicks through encompassing age decline and the average cost / 1 WAR on the FA market.
In Neil Weinberg’s Beginner’s Guide To Aging Curves, he explains that…
“a basic rule of thumb is that once a player gets to 30, you sort of expect them to lose about 0.5 WAR per year of value due to aging. Some players will age better or worse, but that’s an average estimate”.
Another one of his articles analyzed the price teams pay per 1 WAR on the FA market. Neil Weinberg asserts that…
$/WAR is basically a measurement of how much teams are paying for players on the free agent market according to how many wins they will add over replacement level players. Right now, we think teams are paying about $8 million per every WAR they add to their roster. For example, a 2 WAR player signed for three years would theoretically provide his team with 6 WAR, so a team might want to pay him anything up to $48 million. If the team pays less than $8 million for each expected WAR, we call this a “good deal” and if they pay more, we say they “overpaid.”
Although Hicks is not yet a FA, he will presumably insist on pay comparable (relatively speaking) to what he could have gotten on the FA market (if he had opted to go that route). 
Photo: Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports
29-year-old CF Aaron Hicks’ contract is up after this season. With no feasible replacement on the horizon (acclaimed prospect Estevan Florial is still ways away from reaching the majors and Clint Frazier hasn’t been able to stay healthy or play at a high level), the Yanks will undoubtedly pursue a contract extension. For the purpose of this investigation, let’s assume Hicks loses 0.5 WAR annually starting in 2020 (his age 30 season) and that the cost per 1 WAR is $8 million…
2020: 3.0 WAR (3.5 [FanGraphs’ Depth Charts projection for 2018] – 0.5 = 3.0); $24 million
2021: 2.5 WAR; $20 million
2022 (age 32 season): 2.0 WAR; $16 million
2023: 1.5 WAR; $12 million
2024 (age 34 season): 1.0 WAR; $8 million
2025: 0.5; $4 million
2026 (age 36 season); $0 million
Hicks contract possibilities:
  • 1 yr, $24 million
  • 2 yr, $44 million
  • 3 yr, $60 million
  • 4 yr, $72 million
  • 5 yr, $80 million
  • 6 yr, $84 million
Prediction: 5 yr, $80 million

Thanks for reading and feel free to follow me @MaxGold81356590

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Jonathan Holder

The New York Yankees have assembled potentially one of the deepest and best bullpens in all of Major League Baseball history. The bullpen has everything. A lockdown closer in Aroldis Chapman, the fireman and set up man in Dellin Betances, the former closer in Zack Britton, the strikeout machine in Adam Ottavino, the guy who can give you length in Chad Green, and the kid who just gets guys out by any means necessary, thus living up to his namesake. Let’s meet the young man that will look to hold the lead for the Yankees presumably every time he enters a game this season, Mr. Jonathan Holder.

Jonathan Holder, 25-years old, is a right-hander relief pitcher and former starter in the Minor Leagues for the New York Yankees. Holder holds down games and leads that the Yankees starters give him with a 93 MPH fastball, an 83 MPH slider, an 86 MPH changeup and a pair of rarely thrown pitches in an 87 MPH cutter and a 77 MPH curveball. Holder throws a lot softer, for lack of a better word, than most of the Yankees relievers, and also, if possible, is considerably shorter than a lot of his fellow bullpen mates standing at 6’2” and weighing in at 235 lbs. Holder would have to play point guard or come off the bench for the New York Yankees basketball team that is hitting the courts near you as soon as 2020, and I’m sure he is okay with that.

Jonathan Blake Holder was born on June 9, 1993 in Gulfport, Mississippi where he attended Gulfport High School before heading off to Mississippi State to play college baseball for the Bulldogs. During his collegiate career, Holder posted an 11-2 record with a 1.59 ERA and 27 saves with 191 strikeouts. Those numbers impressed the Yankees enough to draft Holder in the sixth round of the 2014 MLB First Year Player’s Draft. The Yankees quickly converted Holder from a relief pitcher to a starting pitcher in their farm system with successful results, prompting the team to promote Holder to the MLB level on September 2, 2016. Holder would finish out 2016 in the Yankees bullpen and would appear out of the pen for the Yankees another 37 times in 2017 before becoming a mainstay for Aaron Boone’s pen in 2018. Holder finished the 2018 season with a strong 3.14 ERA in 66 innings pitched and will look to be just as good, if not better, for Boone and the Yankees here in 2019.

Good luck to you, Jonathan, but I have a sneaking suspicion that you aren’t going to need it.

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Dellin Betances

The New York Yankees may only have one more year left with one of the most special relief pitchers to ever grace the game, in my opinion, so let’s take full advantage of that and get the man they call Dealin’ Dellin a ring, shall we? The Yankees are banking on strong starting pitching, a powerful lineup and quite possibly the greatest and deepest bullpen in the history of the game to achieve this, and that begins and ends with Betances. Betances, and Chad Green as well, can come in when a starting pitcher has a short night, he can come in as soon as the fifth or the sixth inning, he can pitch the seventh, the 8th, and even the 9th. Hell, on some nights he could pitch two or three of them, so let’s get reacquainted with possibly the most integral part of the bullpen going forward this season, Mr. Dellin Betances.

Dellin Betances, 30-years old, is a right-handed relief pitcher for the New York Yankees that some would consider to be a “fire man.” Dellin has a 98 MPH four-seam fastball, an 86 MPH curveball, and a rarely thrown 90 MPH changeup that he uses to get himself (in and) out of trouble while on the mound. Dellin, standing 6’8” and weighing 265 lbs., is a big strikeout and groundball pitcher that plays extremely well inside Yankee Stadium, or any stadium for that matter. Dellin, a “failed” starter, is truly a special arm out of the bullpen for the Yankees and has been since arriving on the scene for good in 2014.  

Dellin Betances was born on March 23, 1988 in Washington Heights, Manhattan to parents, Jaime and Maria Betances. Dellin’s parents immigrated to the United Stated before Dellin was born from the Dominican Republic. Betances attended Progress High School within the Grand Street Campus in Brooklyn, New York and attended many Yankees games as a child, including David Wells perfect game in 1998 when Dellin was just 10-years old. If it were not for his family taking him to baseball games as a child Dellin may have chosen basketball over baseball and credits his family for his decision. Dellin was already 6’4” in High School and could throw over 90 MPH by the time he graduated, leading many to believe that Dellin would be chosen in the first round of the 2006 MLB First Year Player’s Draft. Dellin, like many pitchers before him, committed to pitching at Vanderbilt University on a baseball scholarship, just in case, and announced that he had a high signing bonus demand and a will to only pitch for the New York Yankees. This led many teams to pass on Betances, but the Yankees took the chance on the big right-hander in the 8th round of the 2006 Draft and gave him $1 million to forego his commitment to the Commodores.

Betances began his professional career with the Staten Island Yankees before being promoted to the Major Leagues for the first time on September 8, 2011. Betances only made two appearances for the team that season before spending the entire 2012 season back in Triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes-barre RailRiders. Betances, then a full-time starter, was shifted to the relief role in 2013 and was back in the Major Leagues on August 11, 2013. Betances, now a relief pitcher, made the Yankees Opening Day roster in 2014 and was elected to his first All-Star Game in that same season. Betances would finish the 2014 season with 135 strikeouts as a rookie, finishing third in the AL Rookie of the Year Award vote behind Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker and White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu.

Betances was back in the All-Star Game in 2015 and back to striking out opposing batters at an alarming rate, becoming the first reliever to ever strike out 100 or more batters in consecutive seasons for the Yankees on August 19th. Betances made a third straight All-Star Game in 2016 and for the third straight season the righty would strike out 100 batters, finishing the season with 126 strikeouts after seeing fellow relievers Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman traded for prospects, thus ending No Runs D.M.C. Dellin once again made the All-Star Game for the American League in 2017 and even threw an immaculate inning against the Detroit Tigers on August 2, 2017, striking out the side in the eighth inning on the minimum of nine pitches. Dellin was not selected as an All-Star in 2018, breaking his streak of four straight appearances, and will look to build a new streak here in 2019. Truth be told, though, In think Dellin would trade all four All-Star Game nods for just one World Series ring, so let’s see if he can make that happen and if the Yankees can accommodate that this season.

Dealin’ Dellin. The return in 2019.

Meet the 2019 Yankees: CC Sabathia

Image result for cc sabathia
“That’s for you, bitch.” I may or may not have imagined the Yankees and their GM, Brian Cashman, saying this as they offered CC Sabathia a one-year deal to anchor the Yankees rotation here in 2019. CC is a grizzly veteran and a great clubhouse presence that everyone around the league, players and fans alike, not only know, but respect as well. We don’t really need to re-introduce you to Mr. Sabathia, so we will more just check in with the big Yankees lefty.

CC Sabathia, 38-years old, is a veteran left-handed starting pitcher for the New York Yankees that is expected to anchor the rotation here in 2019 as the team’s fifth starter. CC will go out to the mound every fifth day or so and look to give the Yankees at least five innings of work with his 89 MPH cutter, 81 MPH slider, 91 MPH sinker, 84 MPH changeup and some impeccable command and control. CC is a big man, standing 6’6” and weighing in at 300 lbs. prior to his weight loss this winter, and comes with constant concerns about his right knee and the lack of cartilage surrounding it.

Carsten Charles “CC” Sabathia was born on July 21, 1980 in Vallejo, California where he attended Vallejo High School and played baseball for the school’s team while also playing football and basket as well. Sabathia was a pitcher in high school in baseball and a tight end in football, drawing scholarship opportunities from UCLA and Hawaii. Hawaii gave Sabathia the opportunity to play both football and baseball, so Sabathia signed a letter of intent to play there during his collegiate career. Instead, the Cleveland Indians came calling in the first round, 20th overall, of the 1998 MLB First Year Players Draft, signing for $1.3 million. Sabathia would make his MLB debut with the Indians by the 2001 season and stayed with the Indians until the 2008 season when Cleveland moved the big left-hander to the Milwaukee Brewers in a trade. On July 7, 2008 the Indians traded Sabathia to the playoff-hopeful Brewers for Matt LaPorta, Michael Brantley, Zach Jackson and Rob Bryson. Sabathia dominated down the stretch and led the Brewers into the NLDS, but Milwaukee would eventually falter and fall to the eventual World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies. Sabathia would hit the free agent market for the first time in his career at the conclusion of the 2008 season.

On December 18, 2008 the New York Yankees agreed to sign the big left-hander to a seven-year deal worth $161 million, the biggest contract ever given to a pitcher at the time. Sabathia was named the Yankees Opening Day starter in 2009 as the team opened up the newest version of Yankee Stadium. Sabathia, along with new arrivals in AJ Burnett, Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira, led the Yankees to a World Series championship in his first season, the team’s 27th World Series championship in their history. Sabathia pitched well again in 2010, finishing third in the AL Cy Young Award vote, but his offseason was disrupted after a scan found a torn meniscus in his right knee. Sabathia was the Yankees Opening Day starter for the third year in a row in 2011, fresh off recovering from his torn meniscus surgery, with a little added pressure on the big lefty. Sabathia had an opt-out clause written into his contract that would have allowed Sabathia to opt-out of his deal after the 2011 season, but Sabathia made it clear that he had no intentions of doing so. Instead, Sabathia signed an extension with the Yankees worth an additional year and $25 million in salary, along with a $25 million vesting option for the 2018 season.

Another year in 2012 and another Opening Day start for Sabathia and for the New York Yankees. Sabathia was also named to his third consecutive All-Star Game with the Yankees in 2012, but a strained abductor muscle kept the lefty out of the game. Sabathia led the Yankees to the ALCS, but New York could not overcome a broken ankle from their captain and shortstop, Derek Jeter, and ultimately fell to the Detroit Tigers. After the season, Sabathia has surgery on his left elbow to remove bone spurs and was ready for the start of the 2013 season, another Opening Day start. Sabathia had to learn how to pitch with diminished velocity in 2013, and it was not always an easy transition. Sabathia struggled throughout the season after dropping 40 lbs. but did see flashes of improvement as he moved towards the 2014 season. His 2014 season was cut short, though, after learning that CC had a degenerative knee condition that cost him all but eight of his starts in 2014. The Yankees initially worried that CC needed microfracture surgery on the knee, a surgery that would have essentially ended his career, and were pleased with the relatively good news.

CC returned to the mound in 2015 fresh off the degenerative knee condition diagnosis still trying to learn to pitch without being able to rear back and blow away opposing hitters with his fastball. Sabathia had his worst statistical season of his career this year, but he improved after coming back towards the end of the season with a new brace on his knee. CC pitched the Yankees into the 2015 postseason, but the team ultimately lost the Wild Card Game against the Houston Astros. CC missed the game after checking himself into a rehabilitation center after a struggle with alcoholism became too much for him to handle on his own. Sabathia continued to improve with his pitching in 2016 after the surgery before seeing his career revitalized in 2017. CC posted his best statistical season since 2012 back in 2017 and ended up finishing the season with a 14-5 record and a 3.69 ERA with 120 strikeouts in 148.2 innings pitched. CC pitched the Yankees to the American League Championship Series before ultimately losing to the Houston Astros in seven games. Sabathia became a free agent after the season and quickly agreed to a one-year deal worth $10 million for the 2018 season.

CC continued to finesse his way through his starts in 2018, well until a pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays, Andrew Kittredge, threw at the head of Austin Romine. In response, CC hit the Rays catcher Jesus Sucre and was seen leaving the field pointing into the Rays dugout yelling “That’s for you, bitch!” CC was suspended for five games and will serve the suspension at the beginning of the 2019 season after agreeing to return to the New York Yankees on a one-year deal worth $8 million. CC is the heart and soul of this pitching staff, both on and off the field, in my opinion and is an asset worth $8 million tenfold. We all love you, CC, and we can’t wait to see what you bring us here in 2019.

TGP Trivia and Fact of the Day for February 17th, 2019

Good morning Yankees family. Drink your coffee, get ready for church, do whatever you have to do, including nothing at all, while answering this trivia question.

What player for the New York Yankees holds the MLB postseason records in the following categories: games, at-bats, runs, hits, singles and doubles - and is tied for the lead in triples?

Highlight the below for the answer:

Derek Jeter

Leave your comments and answers in the comments section below, no cheating please.

And a special good morning to my amazing wife, Kari. I love you my baby!