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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Goldman: Yankees Coming, Yankees Going

As Joe DiMatchingoffer once said…“I’d like to thank the good Lord for making me an ex-Yankee or a never will be a Yankee.”

Eric Chavez is gone, Raul Ibanez is at least potentially departing with rumors that the Mariners would like to effect a reunion with their former outfielder. These are not necessarily bad things for the Yankees, because the chances of those players repeating their 2012 successes are very, very low. Still, if both are to be scratched from the Yankees’ board, even more questions will be added to the pile. As I reported yesterday, questions are all they have.

It is not too late for Brian Cashman to make some dramatic moves that will cause us all to suffer whiplash, and it won’t be late until July 31, 2013 rolls around. Still, the progression is obvious, with the feeling that for the first time in a long time, with over-generous Yankees bucks removed from the equation, players just aren’t that motivated to come to New York. Despite the team’s obvious advantages - and there still are many - New York is not the first choice for available players, even those who were already on the team. In the past, you could count on the Yankees re-signing whoever they wanted to sign. That is no longer the case.

...Until then, we have the smoke of activity but painfully little fire, at least from the NYY section of the forest. The team is not in free-fall, will not plunge out of competition, but given the many openings on the roster and the way even the supporting players are threatening to get out of Dodge, it may be that ready panaceas will remain out of reach - at least at these meetings.

... And that’s true even if they sign Kevin Youkilis.

  Kevin Youkilis is being chased by the Indians and Yankees. If money is close, have to think he would pick the Tribe.
  — Pete Abraham

Repoz Posted: December 05, 2012 at 06:13 PM | 44 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Mark Armour Posted: December 05, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4318187)
Youkilis is a bad example, as he knows the Yankees only have a corner infield opening for a few months. Its often about the money, but playing time is just as important, perhaps even more so.
   2. SM Posted: December 05, 2012 at 07:37 PM (#4318199)
They do have a DH opening for the whole season though
   3. KronicFatigue Posted: December 05, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4318202)
Yeah, I presume that if they sign Youk, he plays 3rd until A-Rod comes back, and then is the primary DH, getting time at 3rd (a lot) and 1st (a little). He'll get his at bats with this aging team.
   4. Dan Posted: December 05, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4318205)
Doesn't it seem likely that the guy with 2 bum hips DHs when he comes back rather than taking over third base?
   5. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 05, 2012 at 07:44 PM (#4318206)
I will not root for Kevin Youkilis.
   6. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 05, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4318221)
Eric Chavez got 313 PA for the MFY's last season. One would have to assume that would be the low-end starting point for Youk-as-Yankee.

In related news, Heyman tweetered that Cashman beat the 3/$12MM deal that Keppinger took from the White Sox, but Keppinger took his talents to the South Side anyway. (cite https://twitter.com/JonHeymanCBS/status/276431391904907264)
   7. AROM Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:04 PM (#4318277)
I have a hard time imagining Youkilis and Joba co-existing as teammates.
   8. catomi01 Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4318283)
i have a hard time imagining both of them staying healthy for long enough to be an issue...if they fight it will be during a rehab assignment in tampa.
   9. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:10 PM (#4318303)
If the Yankees sign Youkilis, I will root against the Yankees 11% of the time.
   10. Gotham Dave Posted: December 06, 2012 at 04:33 AM (#4318393)
See, if the Yankees sign Youklis I won’t root against him. I’ll just create an elaborate narrative in my head where he’s a total jerk and detested by his teammates, but over the course of the summer, the ice begins to thaw and Youklis and the Yankees all learn valuable lessons about baseball, life, and themselves. And this fantasy narrative can be adjusted, day-by-day, all season long! And then it ends with him being the best man at Joba’s wedding.
   11. ThisElevatorIsDrivingMeUpTheWall Posted: December 06, 2012 at 09:37 AM (#4318435)
The Yankees wouldn't have to give up much for Michael Young, and just pay him for one year.
   12. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4318452)
The Yankees wouldn't have to give up much for Michael Young, and just pay him for one year.


Michael Young is 36 years old, is owed $16 mil, plays awful defense, and last year hit .277 with no power in the best hitters park in the league. It's hard to think of a worse option (outside of comical Adam Dunn at 3B hypotheticals).
   13. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4318455)
I've always thought we gave Young a bit too much grief around here. He's a consistent 105-115 OPS+ guy and yeah the contract is silly and yeah he's got no business playing the field but he's a serviceable enough guy.

Then I looked at his numbers for 2012. Holy hell I didn't realize he was that bad. Yeesh.
   14. JJ1986 Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4318456)
It's hard to think of a worse option


Freddy Galvis?
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4318465)
I will not root for Kevin Youkilis.

If the Yankees sign Youkilis, I will root against the Yankees 11% of the time.

That's crazy talk. The guy's not a rapist or murderer.

He's an annoying, assholish player. The Yankees have never had annoying assholish players you rooted for?

Did you root for Reggie? No one's a bigger ass than Reggie.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4318467)
The Yankees wouldn't have to give up much for Michael Young, and just pay him for one year.

You only take Young if he costs a C- prospect and Texas eats $13-14M of the $16M.
   17. DA Baracus Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4318469)
That's crazy talk. The guy's not a rapist or murderer.


As far as we know.
   18. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4318471)
As far as we know.

His ugly eye rapes me!
   19. The Good Face Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4318475)
The Yankees wouldn't have to give up much for Michael Young, and just pay him for one year.

You only take Young if he costs a C- prospect and Texas eats $13-14M of the $16M.


If I'm Jon Daniels, I take that deal, or something similar.

As dreadful as Young was in 2012, I can see a scenario where he's a useful player in 2013. A bit of a dead cat bounce is probably reasonable to expect, and if you play him part time, mostly against LHP, and limit his defensive exposure, he should be better than replacement level. The trouble is Ron Washington WILL play him every day if he's on the roster, and I don't think Texas wants an open pissing match between Daniels and Wash that might result in a divided clubhouse. So the best solution for Daniels is to ship Young outta town.
   20. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4318476)
The Phillies may beat the Yankees to Mike Young, but he will have to waive his no-trade. He appears to have no interest in doing so.
   21. bookbook Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4318480)
C'mon. You managed to root for Jeter all these years. (And Clemens and O'Neill, and...)
   22. The Good Face Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4318484)
The Phillies may beat the Yankees to Mike Young, but he will have to waive his no-trade. He appears to have no interest in doing so.


I'd be surprised if he did. He's going to lose playing time anywhere but on the Rangers, where his BFF Ron Washington will put him in the lineup every day regardless of how he performs. Plus neither the Yanks or Phils really look any more likely to be playoff teams than Texas; just no upside for Young to leave.
   23. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4318491)
I'd be surprised if he did. He's going to lose playing time anywhere but on the Rangers, where his BFF Ron Washington will put him in the lineup every day regardless of how he performs. Plus neither the Yanks or Phils really look any more likely to be playoff teams than Texas; just no upside for Young to leave.

They could throw him some bonus cash to waive his no-trade.
   24. AROM Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4318496)
I have a hard time imagining Youkilis and Joba co-existing as teammates.


After typing that I looked up the stats, and they have faced each other 23 times with only 1 HBP. That shocked me because my recollection is that something about Youkilis appearing in a batters box offends Joba at a very deep, primal level, and his response is to throw the baseball at the abomination as hard as he can.

So, for those whose memories may be better than mine:

1. Am I making all this up from one single incident? or
2. Several Youkilis-Chamberlain matchups have featured balls thrown at the batter, but Joba only hit his target once.
   25. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 06, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4318514)
2. Several Youkilis-Chamberlain matchups have featured balls thrown at the batter, but Joba only hit his target once.


That's about the size of it. When Joba made his splash the Sox/Yankees played a series in New York in late August and Joba threw a couple of pitches over or behind his head that got Youk riled up. I'm pretty sure it was the first time the Sox had seen Joba and it kind of snowballed from there.

Youk gets hit pretty frequently. He's right up on the plate and he dives out so he's going to take a few shots. He's also incredibly popular in Boston so when he gets wronged (in fact or in perception) the fans would get behind him.
   26. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 06, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4318516)
This is the game I referenced. The 9th inning pitching change where Edwar replaced Joba mid-batter was due to Joba being ejected.
   27. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: December 06, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4318540)
It looks like Mike Young will be a Phillie, if he wants to be.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4318559)
It looks like Mike Young will be a Phillie, if he wants to be.

He fits well in their "rapidly aging veteran" theme.
   29. NattyBoh Posted: December 06, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4318689)
He's going to take a financial hit if he waives his no-trade. There is no income tax in Texas; Philly and NYC both take a chunk of change.
   30. Toolsy McClutch Posted: December 06, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4319017)
I'm so confused, I thought SG left PSB for Bleacher Reports or some such site. I killed my RSS feed for PSB and when Bleacher had no RSS option I thought that was the end of the road for my reading Steve. Yet it appears he's posted nothing on Bleacher, and has a handful of things on PSB. What the what?
   31. bond1 Posted: December 06, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4319032)
Eric Chavez had better numbers across the board than Youk last year. Youk's numbers have declined in each of his last 3 yrs while Chavez has improved. The Yanks couldn't pay Chavez $3 million? I just don't get it.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: December 06, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4319037)
The trouble is Ron Washington WILL play him every day if he's on the roster

While I understand the dread, at the moment, it's not clear Wash would have a lot of choice. No Hamilton, no Napoli. A starting OF of Murphy, Gentry and Cruz with Moreland full-time at 1B. Young's OPS+ last year was 78 but (without Gentry) the bench OPS+s were 69, 53, 95, 44, 55 and 17. OK, I guess this Olt kid is supposed to be a stud (1B/DH I assume) although I'm not thrilled with that minor-league BA and he's already 24.

Which is really just saying that the first thing Daniels needs to do is get off his butt and give Washington several better options than to give Young playing time, then he can exorcise Young from the roster.
   33. SM Posted: December 06, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4319057)
I was also surprised the Yankees didn't bring back Chavez, but from last year it seemed they were scared to play him in the field more than every other day.
   34. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: December 06, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4319074)
Regarding Chavez, I wonder if Arizona intends on making him a full-time starter (as much as his health will allow, anyway), and that was the difference between signing with them and the Yankees. All players want to start all the time, but I'd bet Chavez especially would like another chance at that.
   35. The Good Face Posted: December 06, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4319092)
While I understand the dread, at the moment, it's not clear Wash would have a lot of choice. No Hamilton, no Napoli. A starting OF of Murphy, Gentry and Cruz with Moreland full-time at 1B. Young's OPS+ last year was 78 but (without Gentry) the bench OPS+s were 69, 53, 95, 44, 55 and 17. OK, I guess this Olt kid is supposed to be a stud (1B/DH I assume) although I'm not thrilled with that minor-league BA and he's already 24.

Which is really just saying that the first thing Daniels needs to do is get off his butt and give Washington several better options than to give Young playing time, then he can exorcise Young from the roster.


The thing is, 2012 Young was a -2 WAR player. Unless you're making an argument that Texas will be unable to acquire a replacement player for some reason, that bWAR has set replacement level too high, or that 2013 Young will be better than replacement as an everyday player, Texas is better off just getting rid of Young and figuring it out as they go.
   36. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 06, 2012 at 06:40 PM (#4319122)
Kevin Youkilis is being chased by the Indians and Yankees.

Kind of ambivalent about this. Will Yankee pitchers be allowed to throw at Youkilis during batting practice? At least during spring training?

I've lost track of the restrictive covenants in the Yankees facial hair policy - are goatees permissible? If not, that's probably a deal-breaker for Youkilis, no? Not sure that I'd want to see more of him exposed, either. Tough call, but somebody has to play 3rd. The real problem is that Youkilis hasn't been that good lately. His best years were while playing 1st - it would be a lot easier to adjust to Youkils' presence if he could hit like that again.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: December 06, 2012 at 11:17 PM (#4319214)
The thing is, 2012 Young was a -2 WAR player. Unless you're making an argument that Texas will be unable to acquire a replacement player for some reason, that bWAR has set replacement level too high, or that 2013 Young will be better than replacement as an everyday player, Texas is better off just getting rid of Young and figuring it out as they go.

1. Of course we expect Young 2013 to be better than Young 2012. Obviously he wouldn't be the first old player to completely collapse but there's no reason to expect him to be one of them.

2. Replacement players are something of a myth. The question is what options do the Texas Rangers have under contract for 2013.

3. At the moment, as near as I can tell, Michael Young is at least the 10th best hitter on the Rangers roster. That roster includes platoon players like Moreland, Murphy, Gentry and Cruz among their 9 starters.

Young was -15 Rbat last year. That's terrible. But, all told, Gentry aside since he's currently the "starting" CF, the guys listed as "bench" for the Rangers on b-r were -32 Rbat in 600 PA. Even if you take out the flotilla of Cs, it's about -14 in 250-300 PA. My guess is the only one of those guys who projects to hit better than Young is Olt, who I have already pencilled in as starting DH when calling Young the team's 10th best hitter. It's not my fault the Rangers have no hitting talent.

So what I am arguing is that, near as I can tell, the Texas Rangers have not acquired any of these freely (or un-freely) available players who are better hitters than Michael Young and that it would behoove them to do so. Even last year, the only player who was actually on the Rangers roster who was clearly a better option than even 2012 Michael Young was Gentry. And given injuries to Hamilton, Napoli and Moreland, it's hard to see how Young wouldn't have gotten about 400 PA anyway.

Which means the fans' ire over Young's playing time in 2012 would be more correctly directed at Daniels than Washington since Daniels gave him virtually no choice but to give substantial playing time to Young. And unless Daniels upgrades the roster soon, Washington will again have little choice.
   38. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:37 AM (#4319256)
I've lost track of the restrictive covenants in the Yankees facial hair policy - are goatees permissible? If not, that's probably a deal-breaker for Youkilis, no? Not sure that I'd want to see more of him exposed, either.

He's been completely clean-shaven from time to time. He looks even weirder that way.
   39. PreservedFish Posted: December 07, 2012 at 02:26 AM (#4319267)
Michael Young was a +2 WAR player in 2011, when he had a 125 OPS+. Fangraphs had him at +3.7! At what point during the 2012 season do you expect the manager to decide that Young is sub-replacement level? And who was supposed to start in his staid? Yorvit Torrealba? The great Brandon Snyder? Leonys Martin? I don't think it's even so clear cut that Craig Gentry is a better option at DH. I have to agree with Walt here...
   40. Dan Posted: December 07, 2012 at 02:30 AM (#4319268)
I assumed that Youkilis on the Yankees would just keep the mustache and shave the goatee. Kinda like this.
   41. Jim Wisinski Posted: December 07, 2012 at 06:16 AM (#4319277)
Youkilis with a moustache and no beard isn't nearly as hilariously awful as I expected it to be. I'm pretty disappointed.
   42. Howie Menckel Posted: December 07, 2012 at 07:54 AM (#4319287)

The immortal Dann Bilardello, the ex-Reds catcher, once said of owner Marge Schott's restrictive facial hair policy in the 1980s: "We were lucky she let us have eyebrows."

lol

   43. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 07, 2012 at 08:02 AM (#4319289)
If anyone is a sneer personified, its Youk.
   44. The Good Face Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4319340)
1. Of course we expect Young 2013 to be better than Young 2012. Obviously he wouldn't be the first old player to completely collapse but there's no reason to expect him to be one of them.


Yes, but do we expect him to be better than replacement level? When you're -2 WAR, there's plenty of room for improvement while still being an overall negative to the team. Reasonable people can differ as to whether Young will or won't top replacement level, but we should certainly expect him to be better than 2012.

2. Replacement players are something of a myth. The question is what options do the Texas Rangers have under contract for 2013.


If true, then WAR is a hopelessly flawed stat, and we'd all be better off never talking about it again. Or, you're implicitly arguing that bWAR has set replacement level much too high.

Young was -15 Rbat last year. That's terrible. But, all told, Gentry aside since he's currently the "starting" CF, the guys listed as "bench" for the Rangers on b-r were -32 Rbat in 600 PA. Even if you take out the flotilla of Cs, it's about -14 in 250-300 PA. My guess is the only one of those guys who projects to hit better than Young is Olt, who I have already pencilled in as starting DH when calling Young the team's 10th best hitter. It's not my fault the Rangers have no hitting talent.

So what I am arguing is that, near as I can tell, the Texas Rangers have not acquired any of these freely (or un-freely) available players who are better hitters than Michael Young and that it would behoove them to do so. Even last year, the only player who was actually on the Rangers roster who was clearly a better option than even 2012 Michael Young was Gentry. And given injuries to Hamilton, Napoli and Moreland, it's hard to see how Young wouldn't have gotten about 400 PA anyway.


The concept of replacement level hinges on the fact that there exist replacement players who are freely available talent. Again, your argument here is either that replacement is set too high, such that there is no freely available talent out there better than Michael Young and his -2 WAR, OR you're arguing that the Texas FO is uniquely incapable of finding such a player for some reason.

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