Monday, January 6, 2014

Plan C: Joe Blanton In Pinstripes?

If the Yankees miss out on Masahiro Tanaka and really do not like the other options in Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, & Matt Garza to name a few what would the Yankees do to fill their razor thin rotation? Would Brian Cashman dumpster dive, which he has already stated that he would, would he build the rotation from within, or would he just throw his hands up and say the hell with it? Obviously the latter is not happening with Cash in a contract season and with so many question marks down on the farm right now Cashman may have to try and catch lightning in a bottle again. Enter Joe Blanton.

The bad on Blanton is obvious but the good you may have to look a little deeper to see. Blanton went 2-14 with a 6.04 ERA in the first year of a two year deal worth $15 million, which is bad. The good thing is he is on a one year deal, is affordable with a $7 million AAV, and would be easily obtained for scraps, a PTBNL, or cash in a trade, which is good. The Los Angeles Angels are even reportedly willing to eat salary to move him and if they don't they are prepared to release him before Spring Training, again good. Why would we want him though, right? Keep reading.

Blanton, using advanced metrics, was an average pitcher or maybe a tick above in 2013 in the American League. His xFIP was a respectable 3.84 which was 26th best in the AL. Yankees ace CC Sabathia's xFIP was 3.76, albeit in a down year, Jimenez's xFIP is 3.62 in 2013, and Santana's xFIP was 3.69 in 2013.

Blanton still misses enough bats, 7.33 K/9 in 2013, and keeps it in the strike zone, 2.31 BB/9, which is another attractive element to look at. You would also have to think that Blanton's 2013 BABIP, batting average on balls in play, has to come down from an insane .346 and come back closer to his career .305. One alarming rate though is his fly ball rate which produced a home run which was a staggering 19.1%, up from a career 11.0%, would probably not translate well into Yankee Stadium if this were to come to fruition.

Blanton's numbers may not look great, pitching in the batter friendly Citizens Bank Park for four of the last five seasons has not helped that,  but the guy can give you 175-200 innings and has all the signs of improving next season with a change of scenery. If it comes down to Spring Training and we still need a starting pitcher lets make sure that change of scenery happens in the Bronx.


  1. See this is one of the issues that I have with Cashman on dumpster diving. You don't do it with a pitching staff and his inability to produce a farm system causes these type of maneuvers. To me getting Tananka is a must and with his agent Casey Close it is all about the benjamins so to me this comes down to dollars and if Hal doesn't pony up the savings he saved on Cano then we know he isn't serious about truly getting into the playoffs and these moves are just appeasement moves. I read an article that stated that Hal lost at least 58 Million on ticket sales and TV revenue from last years team which doesn't take into account the money at the food stands and the souvenir shops and this was all done to keep the tax money down. The economics genius realized that people will not come and spend money if you put an inferior product on the field all to save money which he ended up losing more money. I have no faith in the Yankee hierarchy as well as the management team.

    1. I don't necessarily agree with the dumpster diving unless it is on a minor league deal but I think I catch your drift here. The new way of doing business is broken and I think everyone, especially Hal Steinbrenner, knows it.

    2. Ken Hans....
      I agree with your fine assessment of the situation in upper management of the Yankees..."The Tampa Cabal", be it's name! Hal-Bookkeeper, Hank-Horse Rancher, and Randy-Bookkeeper (GM-Wanta be). They Know WHAT, about Evaluating Talent!@$#@!

      I don't think we can put the troubles of our farm players on those working with them or picking them.
      The good players get traded away for a "Once Was A Star", so we are always trying to cover up the need of the club with those that have good careers but not great.
      If one remembers rightly, the Core 4+1 came through the system while King George was suspended and "The Stick" was in charge. Watson, he and Cashman (Cash was the legman and organizer back then) with much input from Showalter.
      But when a team has very low or none in the 1st and 2nd rounds it is hard to draft high profile players as they did with Jeter and picking up Mo, Posada, Bernie, Andy and later Paul O'Nell, Cone, Wells etc. They still made a mistake or two...that is part of the business...we always see or hear of our mistakes and believe all the other good GMs are error free.

      I put it all at the feet of the Stinbrener Family, they want the money and live how they always have. One thing they forgot, King George built the company with his own money (Shipping Co) and the greatest hunger for the team to be winners and anything else is...unacceptable!
      Let us hope they learned the lessons of the last few years!

    3. I done done it again, taking a half a day, typing something that should have taken up about 5 lines of copy.

  2. Ken Hans....Great valid points. You hit all the nerve endings. There is no...But...coming from me.

    I think reality hit management square in the jaw. The fans know the difference from a baloney sandwich,
    and the one piled with roast beef.
    Keep the faith. That's all we can hope for. Take care.

  3. I know, I guys know this. But lets add some clarity. ( The word of choice, recently )
    It's decision is getting closer !!
    January 15
    Horowitz’s time is up
    The window for Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball to file their final appeal hearing briefs was set to end on December 21, opening a 25-day window for Fredric Horowitz to make his decision. That puts the deadline at January 15 (or sometime around there, anyway, just in case I’m missing something). It’s been a strange process with a lot of waiting, but a decision should come soon.
    ***** Courtesy of....the LOHUD Yankee
    After all this time, I can not guess how this will end.

  4. Guy's:

    I see all of our points but let me say this on drafting at the bottom of the draft year in a and year out. First I think we would all agree that the Rays are deep in pitching? They have one pitcher David Price in their starting rotation that was drafted in the first rd, every other starter has been from rd 2 on which means out crack staff could've drafted everyone of those pitchers but Price, yet we draft a kid out of college that we know needs TJ surgery in Brackman and where is he now, I believe out of baseball? The point is that Oppenheimer and the rest of the flunkies in the player development and drafting departments need to go. We have a great deal more money than Tampa, yet why are we getting out scouted and out drafted in the later rounds and lets not kid anyone here they are starting to draft in the back of the draft now and still hitting home runs while we sac bunt

  5. Well Ken,
    You are absolutely right, and I have the scoop on why! Of course it all may be BS, but, here goes....
    Do you recall about 4/5 years ago when Cashman reached out to three talented evaluators and after talking with them they went elsewhere? Well, the Yankees have had a very BAD reputation with managers etc.! It was all up and down the system except at the Tampa level!
    They are hired to make decisions and then, get over turned by a "Bookkeeper" in Tampa!

    That's my take on the situation, and I stand by it....maybe, I think, maybe not! LOL

  6. KR I think you are onto something, however I also feel that we have an inferior staff. In this past draft we had a shot at three left-handed pitchers in our slots and with the first pick we draft a 3rd baseman out of the hot bed of baseball called Notre Dame. We end taking a Frank Thomas body structure wise OF and one of three LH pitchers. We all know that we need arms yet we pass on two of them and the Cards get them and we all know the cards are great evaluators of talent especially in pitchers. My friend is a scout for the Cards and they were very excited the Yanks passed, in fact I have seen one of their picks pitch numerous times as he is a local kid and my son faced him a few times in HS. Money and People are the cause of this escapade and I loved GS as an owner and I despise the coupon clipper known as Hal

    1. Ken, you are a wise man and not wearing any rose colored glass at all.
      One has to have a reason for the best talent evaluators to come to New York! With the Bookkeepers in charge and the interference from the Brass in Tampa why would they come to NY? If they see a great talent, they have to get the ok from the brass, who sometimes think they know more than the peoples job it is to know. See; A-Rod, CC and Tex for just a few, over paying!
      The GMs job is to have people do these things that know what they are doing. I know he has talked to a few people to help him with the talent end of things. Remember, he had one for a year as his assistant in charge of talent. The guy ended up going to another team.
      The team needs a lot of help and Cashman needs to put his foot down, he knows he is not a talent man, that's not his job! Even though some think it is!


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