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Monday, October 01, 2012

Dayn Perry: Is this the Yankees’ last ride?

Tumble Bug: WARNING: Keep Your Coarse Tremoring Hands Inside The Ride at All Times.

Consider a few things. The Yankees, at present, have the oldest roster of position players in all of baseball, and they have second-oldest pitching staff in all of baseball. To be sure, there’s nothing wrong with a roster that skews veteran insofar as the present is concerned, but the future is another matter. Up and down the lineup, stalwarts like Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson are all on the wrong side of 30 (or, in A-Rod’s case, the wrong side of 35). Derek Jeter, while enjoying a remarkable and historic renaissance this season, can’t possibly keep it up. He’s an all-time great and a future inner-circle hall-of-famer, but most of all he’s 38. Will they re-sign Nick Swisher? Should they re-sign Nick Swisher? What about catcher and DH?

In the rotation, will Hiroki Kuroda return and remain effective? Andy Pettitte will retire once again, right? Has CC Sabathia’s decline phase begun? Will Mariano Rivera choose to come back? Can Michael Pineda be counted on for anything of consequence? And how long can their pitchers keep working around what’s a pretty awful team defense?

...The “new economics,” if you will, means teams, many of which are flush with new local-television revenues, are more willing to lock up players long-term during their cost-controlled years. That, in turn, thins the free-agent herd. For instance, top talents like Cole Hamels, Yadier Molina, Matt Cain, Andre Ethier, Brandon Phillips and Carlos Quentin, among others, all signed extensions during this, their walk year. Maybe the Yankees could have taken their usual approach had none of those things happened, but happen they did.

Throw in an AL East that still figures to be pretty tough, and you’ve got the makings of a disappointing season for the Yankees. Age, a weak system at the upper levels and a paltry free-agent market may not permit anything more. And wouldn’t that be a change?

Repoz Posted: October 01, 2012 at 06:12 PM | 46 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Willie Mayspedester Posted: October 01, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4250355)
Plus they have the unstoppable Orioles and Rays in their division!

EDIT: Looks like a down period for the Red Sox too right?
   2. dr. scott Posted: October 01, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4250368)
Its one of the many bianual "the yankees are all washed up" articles. Ive never checked, but I wonder if they just re-edit these for next april, or if they are forced to write a different article that says the same thing.
   3. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: October 01, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4250370)
I didn't know Dayn Perry wrote serious pieces. I thought he just wrote ridiculous (and funny) things for NotGraphs.

Not that I'm making any value judgment between the two.
   4. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 01, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4250373)
Every year, people say the Yankees are too old. Then every year, the geriatric squad still performs somehow.
   5. Matthew E Posted: October 01, 2012 at 06:53 PM (#4250378)
Well, that seems to be a pattern in baseball.

1. A situation arises that causes people to make predictions of how things will play out.
2. The predictions coalesce into a consensus.
3. The consensus prediction fails to come true.
4. People keep making the prediction.
5. The consensus prediction still fails to come true.
6. People get sick of making the prediction, and stop.
7. The prediction comes true.

So if we're sick of the Yankees, we should stop saying that they're getting too old, and start saying that they're going to be able to keep this up forever.
   6. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 01, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4250381)
I can't really focus on the end of the Yankees; I'm too busy getting ready for the most important Presidential election of our lifetimes.
   7. Gamingboy Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:01 PM (#4250386)
The Yankees should remain title contenders until such a time that not only will they not be making the playoffs, but they aren't even in possession of winning records and have essentially entered a period of time where they are the Mets with more history. Unless Cashman (or whoever replaces him) makes decisions that make the Ken Phelps trade look like a stroke of genius, or the Steinbrenner family gets caught running a ponzi scheme, it's just not going to happen. Oh, right, there's also the possibility that some day the Steinbrenners might sell the Yankees (BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA) to somebody who is in the David Glass mold, who decides that the Yankees brand and history are so great that there's really no reason to put a competitive team on the field since so much money can be made simply from the YES Network and such.
   8. John Northey Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4250387)
The Yankees have been too old for years. But what is the average age?
Via Baseball-Reference...
2012: P: 30.5 H: 33.0
2011: P: 30.8 H: 30.6
2010: P: 30.1 H: 30.4
2009: P: 29.1 H: 30.7 - youth movement!
2008: P: 30.6 H: 31.4

Pitching seems fairly stable, hitting sure got old quick this year though.
   9. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:08 PM (#4250393)
6: elaborate.
   10. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4250406)
I guess the one thing that I would say puts the Yankees future in the most jeopardy has been the trend of teams locking up all their star players earlier and earlier. It limits their main advantage over the other teams (payroll vis a vis free agency).

That said, they're always going to be good--there's no getting around that (for example, they will always be able to lock up all of their young players, no matter what). Just not "9 straight first place finishes" good over the next decade.
   11. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4250419)
6: elaborate.

I'm thinking fairly skillful sarcasm - this is what hacks on all sides say, every four years.
   12. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4250425)
That was my guess, but I wanted to see if it was something else.

Fairly skillful sarcasm often goes over my head, so I thought I'd check just in case.
   13. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4250428)
Fairly skillful sarcasm often goes over my head, so I thought I'd check just in case.


Rule of thum: if the post author is Gonfalon, he was trying to be funny. And generally succeeding.

   14. phredbird Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:44 PM (#4250430)
I can't really focus on the end of the Yankees; I'm too busy getting ready for the most important Hall of Fame election of our lifetimes.


FTFY
   15. DKDC Posted: October 01, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4250443)
I'm way too close to it to be unbiased, but I'm starting to believe this story line.

This is basically the same core as the 2009 team. I wouldn't be surprised to see the 2015 Yankees look radically different.
   16. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: October 01, 2012 at 08:15 PM (#4250458)
The Yankees have certainly looked old and tired today.
   17. John DiFool2 Posted: October 01, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4250462)
1. A situation arises that causes people to make predictions of how things will play out.
2. The predictions coalesce into a consensus.
3. The consensus prediction fails to come true.
4. People keep making the prediction.
5. The consensus prediction still fails to come true.
6. People get sick of making the prediction, and stop.
7. The prediction comes true.


Russian Roulette, I will note, can easily fit this pattern. Yes, the Sox hit their wall this year (tho in their case it was more due to injuries than age), but who in the Yankees' system is primed to replace their aging stars? [No snark, feel free to list names, tho a scan of their AAA/AA teams didn't show much.] IIRC the next two free agent classes are going to be rather underwhelming.
   18. Bruce Markusen Posted: October 01, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4250463)
Four of the older Yankees will almost certainly be cut loose this winter: Ibanez, Ichiro, A. Jones, and Garcia.

I'd also say that there's a decent chance that Kuroda, who will be a free agent, won't be coming back. So that's one-fifth of the roster right there.
   19. GregD Posted: October 01, 2012 at 08:33 PM (#4250467)
Even if you go with pessimistic scenarios, you get:
2012 Postseason
2013 Competitive for postseason--won't they be still the favorites to win the division?
2014 Who knows? Say they're competitive for the wild card or something
2015 Motherlode of new spending once they get their 2014 cap number in and reset the tax

Even if the 2014 offseason had a weak free agent class and they had to space out some acquisitions to offseason after 2015, that's not really a last ride scenario, is it? It's a retooling where you can't be sure they'll make the playoffs each year during the three-year transition but have already made it once. Wouldn't you bet on them making it once more either in 2013 or 2014?

And once they've got a massive amount of money to spend in the 2014 offseason, wouldn't you bet on them begin back in the playoffs in 2014 or, at worst, 2015? Then Tex's contract expires after 2016 season, A-Rod's after 2017. Surely they'll make some bad contracts in 2014-2015, but if they don't totally #### the bed, they'll have money to spend year after year.
   20. Blastin Posted: October 01, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4250470)
Seems to me that they'll have one year like 2008 (good but just off) every handful of years unless they make a lot of bad decisions.

   21. Srul Itza Posted: October 01, 2012 at 08:39 PM (#4250475)
Four of the older Yankees will almost certainly be cut loose this winter: Ibanez, Ichiro, A. Jones, and Garcia.


He won't be back with the Yankees, but the way he played in Seattle, I didn't think Ichiro would catch on with anyone next year.

With his mini-revival with the Yankees, though, I would not be surprised if somebody did take a flyer on him next year.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4250505)

He won't be back with the Yankees, but the way he played in Seattle, I didn't think Ichiro would catch on with anyone next year.

With his mini-revival with the Yankees, though, I would not be surprised if somebody did take a flyer on him next year.


Well, if they cheap out on Swisher, why not sign Ichiro to play LF, move Gardner to CF, and Granderson to RF?

They'd have great D if nothing else.
   23. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:19 PM (#4250507)
They pretty much have to try to bring Kuroda and Pettitte back and hope for the best. The other starters available this off-season aren't promising.

Annibal Sanchez is a National League pitcher. Dan Haren looks like toast. They're not going near Zach Grienke. Who else is there? And Phil Hughes can't be relied on as anything more than the fourth starter if they want to have a division winning roster. I don't think Sabathia-Hughes-Nova-Phelps-post-shoulder injury Pineda is going to cut it.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:22 PM (#4250514)
They pretty much have to try to bring Kuroda and Pettitte back and hope for the best.

Why wouldn't they? Moderate money on 1-year deals is perfect if they're trying to get under the cap.
   25. DKDC Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4250517)
Cap?
   26. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4250520)
Why wouldn't they? Moderate money on 1-year deals is perfect if they're trying to get under the cap.


I agree, and I think they probably will. It could be a problem to get Pettitte to come back, though.
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4250532)
Cap?

They don't care until 2014, if they do actually care. So, they'd far prefer to overpay Kuroda and/or Petitte on 1-yr deals than sign a FA to a multi-year contract.
   28. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: October 01, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4250578)
Annibal Sanchez is a National League pitcher

Sanchez's ERA+ and K/BB ratio are all better in the AL than they were in the NL. He's got pretty good stuff. He might not be the best for Yankee stadium but I think it's too early to call him an NL pitcher.
   29. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 01, 2012 at 10:34 PM (#4250588)
Yeah, I really meant "not an AL East pitcher." His first start with the Tigers against Toronto . . . ugh. I can't see him doing even as well as Phil Hughes as a member of the Yankees.
   30. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 01, 2012 at 11:02 PM (#4250599)
He won't be back with the Yankees, but the way he played in Seattle, I didn't think Ichiro would catch on with anyone next year.

With his mini-revival with the Yankees, though, I would not be surprised if somebody did take a flyer on him next year.


I think the implication for requesting the trade was that he wasn't coming back at all after this season.
Or was I reading too much into his press conference translation?
   31. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 01, 2012 at 11:11 PM (#4250603)
Ryan Dempster, Edwin Jackson, Kyle Lohse, Joe Saunders, Sean Marcum, and Jake Peavy will all be available, too, but I don't think any of them are AL East pitchers, either. Not that I thought Kuroda was, though.
   32. Matthew E Posted: October 01, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4250624)
Marcum may not be up to the standards you have in mind, but I think you have to admit that he's an AL East pitcher.
   33. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 02, 2012 at 12:03 AM (#4250631)
I can't really focus on the end of the Yankees; I'm too busy getting ready for the most important Presidential election of our lifetimes.


We're all Time Lords?
   34. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 02, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4250633)
Ryan Dempster, Edwin Jackson, Kyle Lohse, Joe Saunders, Sean Marcum, and Jake Peavy will all be available, too, but I don't think any of them are AL East pitchers, either. Not that I thought Kuroda was, though.


Jason Hammel, on the other hand, was never more than a fourth starter in the NL West, but ripped through the AL East.
   35. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: October 02, 2012 at 12:23 AM (#4250636)
Is the AL East still really the "AL East"? Other than the Yankees, there isn't a team that has an OPS+ over 100 in the division. Sure, the Red Sox had injuries but they are going to have to do some massive re-tooling in the offseason when there are not a lot of great players available.

Part of the reason it is hard to be an AL East pitcher is because you have to face the Yankees. If you play for them, pitching the division isn't that hard anymore, IMHO.
   36. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:45 AM (#4250682)
It seems like a lot of guys have a hard time against the Blue Jays, too, but the Blue Jays don't win a lot, so I guess that doesn't compute. Maybe "a lot of guys" is just Phil Hughes.
   37. depletion Posted: October 02, 2012 at 06:53 AM (#4250704)
The Nationals have a really good record and are really young. The Yankees have a really good record and are really old. Obviously one has to purge the team of 27 to 32 year old players to be a contender.
   38. Bug Selig Posted: October 02, 2012 at 07:15 AM (#4250713)
People need to stop acting as if the AL East is some kind of higher league. I get it, there was a period where the Yanks and Sox (and then suddenly the Rays) were dominant, but Keith Foulke has long since retired. With two of those teams sitting at home next week, can you please stop patting yourselves on the back for allowing the other, lesser divisions to share your airspace?
   39. Howie Menckel Posted: October 02, 2012 at 07:54 AM (#4250730)

"People need to stop acting as if the AL East is some kind of higher league."

+1

   40. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: October 02, 2012 at 09:37 AM (#4250804)
These Yankees are cooked. They've only four, maybe five World Series teams left in them!
   41. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4251271)
It appears that the AL West was the best division in baseball this year. Which is scary for the Astros.
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4251289)
It appears that the AL West was the best division in baseball this year. Which is scary for the Astros.


The arrival of the Astros is the best chance for the the AL West to stop being the best division in baseball, which it's been pretty consistently over the last dozen years.

   43. Ron J2 Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4251404)
#4 It was a theme at BP (this is the year they're finally too old!) for something like a decade. Sooner or later it's going to happen.

EDIT: The major issue is whether it happens before the heat death of the universe.
   44. Kurt Posted: October 02, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4251418)
#4 It was a theme at BP (this is the year they're finally too old!) for something like a decade. Sooner or later it's going to happen.

I was about to say, the earliest instance I can remember is the 1998 BP.

   45. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 02, 2012 at 07:06 PM (#4251662)
Well, this certainly won't help next year's team get any younger ...

[
According to Trenton Thunder beat writer Josh Norris, Manny Banuelos will have Tommy John Surgery on October 4th, putting his 2013 season in jeopardy. Banuelos was the New York Yankees' top pitching prospect entering the season and has been for a couple years now despite his young age of 21. Although the news was not surprising given his injury-plagued season and arm problems, it was strange to hear that they just now decided to have Banuelos go under the knife. He has not pitched in a minor league game since his last start with AAA Scranton on May 18th. Why did general manager Brian Cashman wait so long for Banuelos to have the surgery?

Josh Norris ?@jnorris427
Cashman said TJ only a reality recently. "If we knew he'd needed TJ a year ago, he'd have had it done a year ago." #Yankees

It seems as though the Yankees were operating at all costs to avoid Tommy John surgery for their young prospect, which makes it harder to be upset about it. Obviously no organization wants its pitchers to go through such an intense procedure, and his X-rays may not have indicated that he needed it until recently. Either way, we can use Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg as a possible barometer for how long it will be until Banuelos starts to make rehab appearances, barring setbacks. Strasburg left the mound on August 21, 2010, then had the surgery done on September 3rd. It took him until August 7, 2011 to make a rehab start with the Low-A Hagerstown Suns.

/quote]
   46. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 02, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4251695)
Well, this certainly won't help next year's team get any younger ...


According to Trenton Thunder beat writer Josh Norris, Manny Banuelos will have Tommy John Surgery on October 4th, putting his 2013 season in jeopardy. Banuelos was the New York Yankees' top pitching prospect entering the season and has been for a couple years now despite his young age of 21. Although the news was not surprising given his injury-plagued season and arm problems, it was strange to hear that they just now decided to have Banuelos go under the knife. He has not pitched in a minor league game since his last start with AAA Scranton on May 18th. Why did general manager Brian Cashman wait so long for Banuelos to have the surgery?

Josh Norris ?@jnorris427
Cashman said TJ only a reality recently. "If we knew he'd needed TJ a year ago, he'd have had it done a year ago." #Yankees

It seems as though the Yankees were operating at all costs to avoid Tommy John surgery for their young prospect, which makes it harder to be upset about it. Obviously no organization wants its pitchers to go through such an intense procedure, and his X-rays may not have indicated that he needed it until recently. Either way, we can use Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg as a possible barometer for how long it will be until Banuelos starts to make rehab appearances, barring setbacks. Strasburg left the mound on August 21, 2010, then had the surgery done on September 3rd. It took him until August 7, 2011 to make a rehab start with the Low-A Hagerstown Suns.

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