Sunday, January 4, 2015

Ignoring the $$ Arruebarrena is Better Than Ryan

Jeff Levin and I had a lengthy discussion in the comments section of the site, which by the way I personally recommend you check out because some of the best minds across the web that don't write for a blog are in there in my very humble and bias opinion, about Erisbel Arruebarrena, Brendan Ryan and the last Yankees bench spot. I was on the side of the 24 year old Cuban defecting shortstop that still has four years and $20 million on his contract that the Dodgers gave him in 2014. On the other side Mr. Levin had a combination of Cito Culver and Ryan as suitable options. While I respect and thoroughly enjoy talking to Jeff, and this is in no way mean't to bash him, call him out etc., I think a lot of the information was missed by many since it was not in a formal blog post. I am basically going to go over the information from both sides here and leave you, the reader, to make your decision on who your pick would be.

Jeff mentioned the Yankees have Ryan and Culver who could hit for the low batting average and play a slick defense in the minor leagues that won't cost $4 million a season. Agree. My response was by playing Devil's advocate and asking who we would rather see on the field 81 times a year (if a platoon were to happen while using an even number for simplicity sake) or on the field if Didi Gregorius were to go down, Ryan, Culver or Arruebarrena.

Jeff replied with the fact that like Arruebarrena, Culver is just 24 years old and has upside and room to grow offensively although I quickly dismissed that Arruebarrena cleared as many minor league stops, four, in one season than Culver has since being signed out of High School. Culver's offensive upside has stalled if that term is even applicable with the amount of production that Culver has provided. Jeff replied by mentioning Ryan's minor league stats which immediately made me think of Arruebarrena's numbers in Cuba (which was a much larger sample size then his time in the USA's minor leagues since he was being rushed by LA). Many consider Cuba to be the USA's equivalent to Triple-A or AAAA so I thought it was fair to make the comparison, maybe it wasn't though.

Ryan hit .300 multiple seasons in the minors, sure, but never did above A Ball. Ryan's career minor league average in Double-A in parts of four seasons is .291 which is still good but falls off dramatically when he hit Triple-A. Again in parts of four seasons Ryan has managed just .252./303/.341 in Triple-A while it also worth mentioning that Ryan's career A and AA numbers are skewed however slightly by his rehab assignment with New York in 2014. Arruebarrena's numbers looked a little something like this in Cuba:

2010-2011 - .280/.314/.484

2011-2012 - .320/.367/.520

2012-2013 season cut in half due to WBC - 

first half: .275/.324/.366 

second half: .317/.415/.495

.375/.444/.375 in the latest WBC

With numbers like this I personally believe it's a lot easier to take Arruebarrena's upside and age on the Yankees bench while ignoring his 41 MLB at bat sample size and $4 million price tag then the "sure thing" in Ryan or the relative unknown in Culver. What say you?

Join us in the comments section and we can do a lot more posts and banter like this here on the blog. I thank Jeff for his opinion and for him sharing it here on a daily basis. I'm not saying I am right or he is wrong or vice versa with this post, we're all opinionated and none of us would know until the season played itself out. I just want the information out there because it was a fun and respectful debate and I hope it leads to more here on the blog with some new blood.


  1. All good points Daniel. Here's another though. After losing Ramirez and trading Gordon, Friedman still designated him and traded for a shortstop well into his decline. We had to watch Friedman operate for more than a decade. He's pretty good at evaluating talent. That's a red flag for me!

    1. Not an idea that I am above conceding to. LA is win now, he can't get away with being a cellar dweller for a couple years in LA like he could in Tampa. He HAS to win now, Arruebarrena is not a win now player on a star team like the Dodgers.

      Also many use the same excuse for Brian Cashman that I will use here. On a long enough time line every GM, even Andrew Friedman, gets one wrong every once in a while.

    2. Okay, I finally went and looked up his minor league stats for 2014. He did hit over .300 in a little less than 100 at bats at aaa. He strikes out a lot, but that's just part of the game these days. If you ignore the money, he would be a good depth signing. That being said, isn't LA responsible for his salary? They designated him. If he clears and we sign him, don't we just pay the league minimum?

    3. If he clears waivers and is released, yes. If he's traded then we take on the salary as well I believe.

  2. Problem is Cashman gets more wrong than right


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