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Thursday, December 06, 2007

N.Y. Observer: Megdal: The Santana Dilemma

A supernatural evening out with Johan Santana.

Once before in recent years, the Yankees walked away from a free agent who was in his prime: Carlos Beltran. The Yankees elected not to beat the Mets’ offer, even reportedly turning down an overture from his agent, Scott Boras, to play for slightly less money. They stayed with the aged Bernie Williams in center, and while Beltran has flourished in Queens, the Yankees have enjoyed a fraction of his production and defense in center ever since.

...But if the Yankees aren’t willing to pay for Santana, another team will. New York will be reliant on talented but aging hitters, a starting rotation hugely full of promise but short on track record, and a bullpen that currently consists of Mariano Rivera, talented but unproven commodities like recently acquired Jonathan Albaladejo, and yes, Kyle Farnsworth.

(“I think he’s here to stay,” Cashman said of Farnsworth December 3. “I doubt we’re going to move him, because we’re going to need him.”)

Chien-Ming Wang in a Game 1. Kyle Farnsworth in the eighth inning. And Johan Santana on the Red Sox. It’s hard to believe the Yankees are letting this happen.

Repoz Posted: December 06, 2007 at 05:48 PM | 79 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets, twins, yankees

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   1. Pete Sommers Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:08 PM (#2636950)
It's hard to believe how far Wang's stock has fallen among Yankee fans and beat writers after a couple of bad postseason starts.
   2. chris p Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:10 PM (#2636954)
It's hard to believe how far Wang's stock has fallen among Yankee fans and beat writers after a couple of bad postseason starts.

it's hard to believe how far wang's stock was among yankee fans before the couple of bad postseason starts.
   3. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:11 PM (#2636960)
It's hard to believe how far Wang's stock has fallen among Yankee fans and beat writers after a couple of bad postseason starts.

According to most Yankee fans -- and Yankee owners -- that's all that counts.
   4. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:15 PM (#2636966)
For what it's worth, my feelings on Wang haven't changed. I still see him as a serviceable major league pitcher who will likely have a wide variance in his future performance, and who is not an ace. And I'm on record saying so before the postseason.
   5. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:17 PM (#2636968)
Its good to see that a newspaper that prides itself on honest, fair reporting employs such a talented writer to present thoughtful, unbiased analysis of New York's baseball teams*.


*there are 5 lies in the statement above. Can you find them?
   6. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:19 PM (#2636971)
Ah, ad hominem attacks in lieu of actual baseball discussion. Who doesn't come to Primer for that?

What part of my piece do you actually disagree with?
   7. chris p Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:19 PM (#2636972)
I still see him as a serviceable major league pitcher who will likely have a wide variance in his future performance, and who is not an ace. And I'm on record saying so before the postseason.

me, too.
   8. JC in DC Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:22 PM (#2636977)
it's hard to believe how far wang's stock was among yankee fans before the couple of bad postseason starts


No it's not, b/c I don't recall any Yankee fan at this site or in the press saying that Wang is an ace. Wang is what he is: a very good pitcher who can have very good and very bad games. I said over and over that the Yankees had no real #1 (ace) starter, and I don't recall any Yankee fan ever disagreeing.
   9. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:26 PM (#2636987)
It's hard to believe how far Wang's stock has fallen among Yankee fans and beat writers after a couple of bad postseason starts.

It hasn't fallen at all among Yankee fans. Howard is acting as a sportswriter in this piece and in his personal life, he's a Mets fan. No one every looked at Wang as a true #1 pitcher. What he is is a guy that has strung together 2 consecutive 200 IP, 120+ ERA+ seasons. That's easily a top 20 pitcher in the AL, even if he's not a real "#1" like Santana or Sabathia or Kazmir.

It's hard to believe how many people on this site equate the feelings of New York writers with Yankee fans.

I still see him as a serviceable major league pitcher who will likely have a wide variance in his future performance

Serviceable is an extreme understatement of Wang's value and ability.
   10. Dan The Mediocre Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:27 PM (#2636988)
It's hard to believe how far Wang's stock has fallen among Yankee fans and beat writers after a couple of bad postseason starts.


I think it's more that he was highly overrated after 2006. He wasn't the 2nd best pitcher in the AL last year, but fans looked at the #2 finish in the Cy Young Award rankings, and decided he was an ace.
   11. Valentine Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:28 PM (#2636992)
Wasn't there talk about Wang being in contention for the Cy Young this year? That's either an assertion that the BBWAA has exceptionally poor taste or an opinion that he is legitimately one of the top five pitchers in the league. Bet you can find plenty of people who agree with either half. :-)

It's part of the media's obsession with everything pinstriped, combined with an ignorant emphasis on W-L. But there are, or were, plenty of Yankees fans who saw him as Beckett's equal.
   12. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:29 PM (#2636993)
Its good to see that a newspaper that prides itself on honest, fair reporting employs such a talented writer to present thoughtful, unbiased analysis of New York's baseball teams*.


He could be talking about Brooklyn again, Phil Hughes A Condom ;).
   13. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:34 PM (#2637008)
And the Daily News reported that the final deal the Yankees turned down included Hughes, Cabrera, a AA pitcher in Jeff Marquez with a mediocre strikeout rate, and a A-level singles hitter in Mitch Hilligoss.

If you believe that. I, personally don't.

But according to numerous reports, the reason the deal didn’t happen had far less to do with the package of players involved than it did with money

I also don't believe that. I am not saying those things weren't reported, I just think they're not true.

Chien-Ming Wang in a Game 1.

Or it could be Hughes or Chamberlain, or Pettitte. I'm far less concerned about Game 1 as long as we have pretty good chances at winnings Games 2, 3, and 4.

Kyle Farnsworth in the eighth inning.

Farnsworth will not pitch in the eigth inning. I'm pretty sure he didn't pitch in the 8th last year. It'll be Viz or Edwar or that AAA guy they signed or Britton or Ohlendorf or just about anyone other then Kyle Farnsworth.
   14. chris p Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:34 PM (#2637009)
No it's not, b/c I don't recall any Yankee fan at this site or in the press saying that Wang is an ace.

i recall some posters saying he should be getting cy young votes in 2006 and 2007.
   15. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:37 PM (#2637013)
It's part of the media's obsession with everything pinstriped, combined with an ignorant emphasis on W-L.

Wang received ZERO Cy Young votes this year. None. And he was 2nd in the league in wins. If your theory was even mildly based in truth, he would have gotten AT LEAST a third place vote from someone.

But there are, or were, plenty of Yankees fans who saw him as Beckett's equal.

Over the course of the last two years, who's been better?

I think it's the BBTF posters who are seriously overvaluing a couple of bad postseason starts.
   16. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:37 PM (#2637015)
I also don't believe that. I am not saying those things weren't reported, I just think they're not true.

That's fair. FWIW, I think the Yankees will end up with Santana- it makes too much sense not to happen.

No one every looked at Wang as a true #1 pitcher. What he is is a guy that has strung together 2 consecutive 200 IP, 120+ ERA+ seasons. That's easily a top 20 pitcher in the AL, even if he's not a real "#1" like Santana or Sabathia or Kazmir.

Wang is a year removed from a number 2 finish in the Cy Young vote. He was the game 1 starter for the Yankees. And plenty of people point to his win total as proof that he is an ace.

But he was 14th and 15th in DIPS ERA among American League starters for the past two years.

Perception and reality are separated on this pitcher- and whether Primer's perception is closer to reality or not (which I agree with you, it is), these pieces are written for more than just the Primer audience.
   17. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:40 PM (#2637023)
Farnsworth will not pitch in the eigth inning. I'm pretty sure he didn't pitch in the 8th last year. It'll be Viz or Edwar or that AAA guy they signed or Britton or Ohlendorf or just about anyone other then Kyle Farnsworth.

These are not encouraging Plan B options, are they CP? viz isn't signed yet, Edwar is a wild card (though I do like his potential, and love his change), etc. Quite a few lottery tickets there.

I do like adding Albaladejo into the mix, however. He's an impressive pitcher.
   18. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:40 PM (#2637024)
i recall some posters saying he should be getting cy young votes in 2006 and 2007.

8th in the league in ERA+, 5th in IP, 3rd in the leauge in VORP, why shouldn't he have gotten votes in 06.

Again, he didn't get votes in 07 and I challenge you to find one post by a Yankee fan on this board, who, at the end of the 07 season, said Wang DESERVED Cy votes.
   19. JC in DC Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:41 PM (#2637026)
these pieces are written for more than just the Primer audience


Of course. I was replying to Chrispy. A pitcher who has a great season can win the Cy Young, and a pitcher who wins the Cy Young is not necessarily an ace. Wang is very good, but for the past few years NY has tried to get a real ace despite having Wang, b/c they know and we know that Wang is not a lights-out pitcher.
   20. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:43 PM (#2637031)
Again, he didn't get votes in 07 and I challenge you to find one post by a Yankee fan on this board, who, at the end of the 07 season, said Wang DESERVED Cy votes.

But Yankee fans do exist that don't post on BTF.
   21. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:43 PM (#2637032)
Of course. I was replying to Chrispy.

My mistake. Interesting that once the initial attacks pass, it turns out we're all pretty much in agreement on Wang.
   22. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:46 PM (#2637037)
These are not encouraging Plan B options, are they CP?

They're all wildcards with upside, other then Viz, who as you point out, isn't signed yet. Edwar could learn how to place his fastball and be dominant. Ohlendorf was throwing 95 out of the pen and looked good in limited service. Britton was successful in the bigs two years ago and good in the minors last year. They're looking into trades, I'm sure (Marte for now, who is a pretty good setup man IIRC). I didn't even think about Albaladejo. And they signed some AAA guy who had 92 Ks in 80 some innings to a major league contract a week or so ago, I wish I could remember his name. Anyway, they are rolling the dice, sure, but they're rolling it enough that I think they should be able to do better then Farnsworth in the 8th, and even if they can't, considering this guys baggage, he's not coming in anyway.
   23. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:48 PM (#2637041)
i recall some posters saying he should be getting cy young votes in 2006 and 2007.

I think it was more along the lines of "No, he doesn't deserve the award, but he's our guy and he had a nice season so yes we would enjoy if he got some votes."
   24. chris p Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:50 PM (#2637044)
Again, he didn't get votes in 07 and I challenge you to find one post by a Yankee fan on this board, who, at the end of the 07 season, said Wang DESERVED Cy votes.

a challenge? well ... i have to get back to work. decline.

well, i'll get back to work after i reply to jc ...

Of course. I was replying to Chrispy. A pitcher who has a great season can win the Cy Young, and a pitcher who wins the Cy Young is not necessarily an ace. Wang is very good, but for the past few years NY has tried to get a real ace despite having Wang, b/c they know and we know that Wang is not a lights-out pitcher.

all that you say here makes sense. i'm not a huge fan of these arguments over whether somebody was over/underrated b/c it all comes down to the perception of other people, and that's pretty much impossible. so, i'll end by saying it seemed to me like wang was considered an ace ... i guess that could just have been becuase he was the best start the yankees had ... but it's much more productive to discuss how good he actually is than how good i thought certain posters thought he was 4 months ago.
   25. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:51 PM (#2637045)
And they signed some AAA guy who had 92 Ks in 80 some innings to a major league contract a week or so ago, I wish I could remember his name.

Scott Patterson, he pitched for Trenton last year.
   26. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:51 PM (#2637046)
these pieces are written for more than just the Primer audience.

Fair point. But I haven't heard the mailroom guys come down on Wang either, and my initial post was in response to Post 1, not your article, which I don't think even addressed Wang until the last sentence.
   27. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:53 PM (#2637049)
Anyway, they are rolling the dice, sure, but they're rolling it enough that I think they should be able to do better then Farnsworth in the 8th, and even if they can't, considering this guys baggage, he's not coming in anyway.

You know, it's interesting. I'm normally in favor of such dice-rolling. But with both the Mets and Yankees, where everything is geared to win in 2008, it seems like the bullpens could use a little certainty.

The problem is it is hard to take the Yankees at their word- but according to them, Farnsworth is back next year and they are confident in him, and Santana will not be coming. Now, they have ample reason to say that even if it isn't true (Farnsworth's trade value, trying to get Minnesota to come down in price), but I can't exactly write about how "It's going to be fine, because the Yankees are liars." I can only evaluate what is, responsibly- it's kind of the anti-Robert Kennedy school.
   28. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:53 PM (#2637051)
Scott Patterson, he pitched for Trenton last year.

Thanks again.
   29. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:55 PM (#2637055)
Fair point. But I haven't heard the mailroom guys come down on Wang either, and my initial post was in response to Post 1, not your article, which I don't think even addressed Wang until the last sentence.

I'm really surprised to hear this. WFAN is full of callers like this, and feedback I get is similar. Even educated Yankee fans I know only came around to the idea that he wasn't a true number 1 after the postseason- which is a silly reason to do so, since it was two games.
   30. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:55 PM (#2637056)
Can anyone list the Top 20 for VORP amongst pitchers in the last 2 years?
   31. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:58 PM (#2637062)
You know, it's interesting. I'm normally in favor of such dice-rolling. But with both the Mets and Yankees, where everything is geared to win in 2008, it seems like the bullpens could use a little certainty.

How many relievers do actually provide certainty though?
   32. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:59 PM (#2637068)
How many relievers do actually provide certainty though?

Let's say relative certainty. A baseline for expectations.

David Riske was a smart move for either of these teams. Even if he regressed to his ZIPS projection, he'd have been a very useful part.
   33. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:00 PM (#2637069)
Am I the only one here who just doesn't care anymore? I mean, I care where Santana ends up and what the Twins get back for him, but someone just nudge me in the ribs when that happens, okay? Because the circus is just getting tiresome at this point.

[/grump]

That said, I think you're doing a fine job Howard. Even if you do understate Wang's ability. He's a damn sight better than just "serviceable" to put up the numbers that he has in New York over the last two seasons. No ace, but a solid 2/3 is better than just serviceable.
   34. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:02 PM (#2637076)
i recall some posters saying he should be getting cy young votes in 2006 and 2007.

I think it was more along the lines of "No, he doesn't deserve the award, but he's our guy and he had a nice season so yes we would enjoy if he got some votes."


Or more along the lines of "he's our guy, and it'd be nice to see him get recognition for a good season, but we're not under any illusion that he's a real 'ace' in the usual sense of the word."

True aces have dominant stuff, either great heat or command of three or four pitches. There are plenty of Cy Young winners who aren't aces. Wang wouldn't have been the first, and I don't of any Yankee fan who ever thought of him as an ace.
   35. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:03 PM (#2637079)
Let's say relative certainty.

Well, Mo is a relative certainty. And I'm sure the Yanks will pick up another bullpen guy, like Marte or someone else they can pick up with out giving up much talent. But I don't think any of the guys the Yanks have geared for next year are likely to suck the way Ron Villone or Mike Myers (I don't care what his ERA+ was) sucked last year. Well except Edwar, who also sucked very hard last year.

I am pretty sure Guidry was bad at his job, so the fact that they have someone new is probably a plus for these guys too.
   36. Mayor Blomberg Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:04 PM (#2637080)
Howard, I'vegot a couple of questions about the part of the FA that I did R, if you hav the time to respond. (1) How much difference do you think Beltran would have made in the Yankees' last few postseasons? (2) What do the Yankees need more, Santana or a better bullpen? And with respect to one of your comments in this thread, are the Yankees really built to win in 2008 rather than experimenting with pitching development, and didn't the Mets just ruin what chances they had with that trade last week?

(& isn't the very definition of "ace" a high strikeout pitcher, which CMW certainly is anything but?)
   37. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:05 PM (#2637081)
No ace, but a solid 2/3 is better than just serviceable.

I meant no offense by this phrase- we agree a solid 2/3 is what he is.
   38. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:08 PM (#2637084)
Well, Mo is a relative certainty. And I'm sure the Yanks will pick up another bullpen guy, like Marte or someone else they can pick up with out giving up much talent.

I think they need to- and I do think they will. That's the point of the end of my piece- they can't, and won't, go into 2008 with Farnsworth as the second guy out of that pen.

But I don't think any of the guys the Yanks have geared for next year are likely to suck the way Ron Villone or Mike Myers (I don't care what his ERA+ was) sucked last year. Well except Edwar, who also sucked very hard last year.

But that's the problem. If I'm the Yankees, I go pick up Riske and Mahay and possibly Linebrink- even if it means no Santana, though financially, it shouldn't.
   39. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:08 PM (#2637085)
Wang ... was the game 1 starter for the Yankees.

But he should have been the game 3 starter.
   40. Valentine Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:15 PM (#2637093)
If your theory was even mildly based in truth, he would have gotten AT LEAST a third place vote from someone.

There's usually a SHRED of truth in what I say. At the time the article was written, Wang was 18-6. If he had reached that magical 2-0 then he would have found some writers willing to overlook the ERA. As it was there were three other pitchers with 19 wins and one with 20, all on playoff teams, so they monopolized the voting.

But he was 14th and 15th in DIPS ERA among American League starters for the past two years.

That's a fair assessment of his value IMHO.

8th in the league in ERA+, 5th in IP, 3rd in the leauge in VORP, why shouldn't he have gotten votes in 06.

Over Santana, Halladay, and Sabathia? You only get three votes for the Cy Young award, and those were the best... unless you have an obsession with pinstripes and W-L. Which takes us back to that "shred of truth".
   41. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:18 PM (#2637095)
Howard, I'vegot a couple of questions about the part of the FA that I did R, if you hav the time to respond. (1) How much difference do you think Beltran would have made in the Yankees' last few postseasons? (2) What do the Yankees need more, Santana or a better bullpen? And with respect to one of your comments in this thread, are the Yankees really built to win in 2008 rather than experimenting with pitching development, and didn't the Mets just ruin what chances they had with that trade last week?

Happy to.

1. That's a good question. I think while part of the postseason problems have been pitching, the perception of pitching problems is really in part defense. The event that comes to mind immediately is the 2005 Game 5 against the Angels- but I think a quality defender out there might have made a huge difference. Impossible to say, of course, but clearly they'd have been a better team.

2. We don't know the answer to this, of course, but they certainly need a better bullpen. I think the Yankees can do well with the youngg pitchers, who I am very high on, but there's a lot of uncertainty there. I love Hughes, but will he take a step forward this year? He's still very young. Joba has never started at the big league level- will his other two pitches grade out? And I'm not convinced Ian Kennedy is a star pitcher in the making- a very good prospect (on most teams, the best pitching prospect), but he'll need consistent location of his change to be a very good major league pitcher.
And the injury/ineffective contingency is Mike Mussina- Plan C is... who? Chase Wright? Jeff Karstens? We're back to early 2007. So getting a Santana is a huge hedge against the young pitcher variance.

3. Are the Yankees built to win in 2008? Their offense sure is- they brought back the guys who scored 968 runs in 2007. I expect some decline in performance, but they can weather that if the young pitchers come through now. They're sure not looking to win in 2010 by bringing back A-Rod, Posada, Rivera, etc.

4. No, I don't think the Mets blew their chance at winning in 2008 with the Milledge trade. I think they traded even performance in RF for 2008, roughly, while improving catcher defense a bit and losing the chance for Ramon Castro to greatly upgrade the catcher offense (because Schneider is going to be the every day guy). The trade is problematic down the line, and Milledge also could have broken out in a huge way next year, while Church is much less likely to do so (I'm guessing breakout percentages in ZIPS support this- I'll check in a moment). But no, while I think it was a shortsighted, terrible trade, I don't see it as a killer in '08. I see the psychological effect of Milledge starring in CF for a divisional rival from '08-'13 as huge.
   42. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:20 PM (#2637097)
Over Santana, Halladay, and Sabathia? You only get three votes for the Cy Young award, and those were the best...

In 06? VORP has Wang at 54.6 runs and Sabathia at 46.5 (Wang pitched 26 more innings). Wang is third in VORP, which is hardly the be all, end all of evaluating pitcher, but it is, IMO, more then enough justification for voting Wang third and you are going to be very hard pressed to convince me that anyone other the Santana or Halladay was better then Wang that year. Factor in the W-L thing, which sportswriters do have a known obsession with and you have Wang finishing second, instead of third, with a perfectly reasonable explanation that doesn't involve the mythical "New York Obsession" that seems to be dragged out everytime a NY player does well in an award.
   43. TH Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:22 PM (#2637100)
Top 20 pitchers in MLB by total VORP 2006-2007 (I think):

1. Johan Santana - 137.3
2. Brandon Webb - 135
3. Roy Oswalt - 132.2
4. Roy Halladay - 118.6
5. John Smoltz - 118.6
6. Jake Peavy - 116.2
7. C.C. Sabathia - 111.7
8. John Lackey - 107.8
9. Aaron Harang - 104
10. Chien-Ming Wang - 103.1
11. Dan Haren - 97.8
12. Carlos Zambrano - 97.3
13. Bronson Arroyo - 95.6
14. Erik Bedard - 95.1
15. Brad Penny - 94.5
16. Justin Verlander - 93.4
17. Chris Young - 91.6
18. Scott Kazmir - 85.9
19. Kelvim Escobar - 83.8
20. Matt Cain - 82.5

I am sure the formatting will suck...
   44. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:28 PM (#2637106)
Plan C is... who? Chase Wright? Jeff Karstens?

Alan Horne and Ross Ohlendorf. And of course, Wright will be more developed. The same would hold for Karstens if he had any chance of getting better. Sanchez might be ready, Marquez might be able to help. Two or three legit backup options in Moose, Horne and Ohlendorf (I realize I'm double counting Ohlendorf but I have no idea how the intend to use him) and a good number of dice rolls. They are alot better prepared for injuries then they were last year.
   45. Loren F. Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:31 PM (#2637110)
Wang started game 1 in the postseason because the Yankees have no ace right now, so he was the closest thing. It's that simple. I think posters here put it perfectly when they said Wang is not an ace, but a solid #2 or #3. That has TREMENDOUS value. Look at the free agent market now: the best pitcher out there was Pettitte, and he cost $16M per year. Wang is younger and likely in 2008 to give you more innings and a lower ERA. What's that worth? I'd say that in today's market that's worth $16M per year (figuring that Pettitte is being overpaid a bit). Which means Santana is worth $21M/year easy.

That said, it's because Wang is not an ace that the Yankees need Santana. Santana is an ace, he's the kind of pitcher you throw in games 1, 3 and 7 of the World Series if you have to. In the postseason, he's a difference maker.

Is Santana worth Hughes + Kennedy + whatever else has been rumored? Well, it depends on what the Twins are really asking for. But I think the Yankees have to weigh the cost of giving up Hughes and others against the cost of NOT getting guaranteed-ace Santana, and being forced to throw Wang in game 1 of the ALDS in 2008.
   46. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:34 PM (#2637114)
An interesting fact about Horne- he had similar periphs to his 4.77 ERA age 23 season hi high-A ball (and a pitcher's haven of a league), but had 15 unearned runs. How good is he actually going to be? I look forward to seeing more of him. He doesn't strike me as ready to step in for 2008, however.

Ohlendorf pitched to a 5 ERA at AAA.

Wright had more walks than strikeouts at AAA.

I don't see a lot of legit backup options other than Mussina, and I have my doubts about him.

This is not to say a lot of teams have good SP options 6-10. But the Yankees arguably have more risk in 1-5, because of the youth of Hughes, Kennedy and Chamberlain. That's why Santana makes so much sense.
   47. Miguel Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:39 PM (#2637122)
I'm shocked that Professor Farnsworth has lasted this long in the Bronx.
   48. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:39 PM (#2637123)
Am I the only one here who just doesn't care anymore? I mean, I care where Santana ends up and what the Twins get back for him, but someone just nudge me in the ribs when that happens, okay? Because the circus is just getting tiresome at this point.


No, you are not alone. There's way too much heat and not alot of light in these threads. I'm just here because I wanted to see if anyone responded to my #12 or if Cowboy Popup had anything to say about UConn.
   49. Mayor Blomberg Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:39 PM (#2637124)
Give up Hughes and Kennedy, you've put Moose back in the rotation, increasing the chance of injury and perhaps ineffectiveness. Then where are you for the regular season? I've never liked that offereven without a "whatever else."
   50. Valentine Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:46 PM (#2637130)
Factor in the W-L thing, which sportswriters do have a known obsession with

Thank you.

a perfectly reasonable explanation that doesn't involve the mythical "New York Obsession" that seems to be dragged out everytime a NY player does well in an award.

First I've ever heard that the BBWAA bases their votes on VORP. Besides, isn't that cherry picking your stats a little? Rank them by SNLVAR and he falls to seventh, behind Verlander, Zito, and Sabathia. I have no problem with Wang receiving some third place votes, but I don't think you can explain away that second-place finish without reference to a pinstripe obsession. Maybe it is more of a "big market" obsession than one specific to the Yankees, but the Yankees are in the biggest market of all and you cannot deny that they have benefited from that in the voting over the years.

Nothing against Wang. He's a solid #2 or #1b pitcher.
   51. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:47 PM (#2637131)
An interesting fact about Horne- he had similar periphs to his age 23 season hi high-A ball (and a pitcher's haven of a league), but had 15 unearned runs. How good is he actually going to be? I look forward to seeing more of him. He doesn't strike me as ready to step in for 2008, however.

Yes, his periphs were similar other than BB/9 going down by 1.13, K/9 going up by .73, and HR/9 going down by .14...yeah, other than that, his periphs were pretty similar...
   52. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:47 PM (#2637133)
How good is he actually going to be?

I don't know, Goldstein has him as a #3, the guy in the Salfino article has him as a #1.

Ohlendorf pitched to a 5 ERA at AAA.

I'm pretty sure he was hurt last year, he only pitched 66 innings in AAA. With more seasoning and a healthy start next year, I'm sure he'll do much better then that. It's not like he has to be ready to go on opening day.

Wright had more walks than strikeouts at AAA.

He still did alright.

If the Yanks burn through 6 starters (Wang, Pettitte, Mussina, Kennedy, Hughes and Joba) then they're in trouble. But last year, they started the season with essentially four starters and guess work (Karstens? Rasner? Guidry?). They are in a much better position this year, IMO. Sure Santana makes sense, but if the Yanks got to the playoffs last year with that staff, they should be fine this year assuming they build a real bullpen.
   53. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:50 PM (#2637139)
Yes, his periphs were similar other than BB/9 going down by 1.13, K/9 going up by .73, and HR/9 going down by .14...yeah, other than that, his periphs were pretty similar...

Ach, very true- must have misread the BB column. That's a solid improvement. Good catch. The K rate is pretty similar, to my mind, and certainly the HR rate is.

I must have been off a year on BB rate (last year of college to A ball, not A to AA). In my defense, I've been neck-deep in prospect numbers all day for a piece.
   54. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:51 PM (#2637142)
First I've ever heard that the BBWAA bases their votes on VORP. Besides, isn't that cherry picking your stats a little? Rank them by SNLVAR and he falls to seventh, behind Verlander, Zito, and Sabathia. I have no problem with Wang receiving some third place votes, but I don't think you can explain away that second-place finish without reference to a pinstripe obsession. Maybe it is more of a "big market" obsession than one specific to the Yankees, but the Yankees are in the biggest market of all and you cannot deny that they have benefited from that in the voting over the years.

Derek Jeter '99 and '06 say hi. I mean really people, how many times is this argument going to be trotted out? When has there ever been some miscarriage of justice that worked out for the Yankees that wasn't explainable by the same factors that all of the MSM's views are controlled by?

I meant no offense by this phrase- we agree a solid 2/3 is what he is.

What he will be? I'm not going to argue that. What he has been? That's an understatement.

Nothing against Wang. He's a solid #2 or #1b pitcher.

Agreed.
   55. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:54 PM (#2637147)
The K rate is pretty similar, to my mind, and certainly the HR rate is.

I would say a rise in K/9 of nearly 1 while moving up a level and facing roughly the same amount of batters per 9 is something more than "pretty similar". I have similar feelings about pitching 125% of the innings you pitched the year prior while allowing the same amount of home runs. Maybe it's just me.
   56. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:56 PM (#2637150)
Cowboy Popup had anything to say about UConn.

Yeah, even after the spanking WVU gave them (btw, I can't believe how much they sucked against Pitt after that game), I'm pretty excited. One of the linebackers might be on the All-American Freshman team. They should house Wake.

Besides, isn't that cherry picking your stats a little?

Absolutely, but if one objective and respected stat suggests that Wang is third in the league, I think you're hard pressed to argue that he only received votes because he's a Yankee with a good W-L record. It's pretty clear he was really good, one of the best five or so pitchers in the league.

but I don't think you can explain away that second-place finish without reference to a pinstripe obsession.

I think you're underestimating the writers love for W-L, because Colon wasn't a Yankee when he beat Santana.
   57. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:59 PM (#2637159)
If the Yanks burn through 6 starters (Wang, Pettitte, Mussina, Kennedy, Hughes and Joba) then they're in trouble.

sure. But with Ohlendorf and Wright the top two replacements, if they blow through two starters they're in trouble.

I'm pretty sure he was hurt last year, he only pitched 66 innings in AAA. With more seasoning and a healthy start next year, I'm sure he'll do much better then that. It's not like he has to be ready to go on opening day.

That's some kind of leap of faith- he was not healthy and ineffective once he was... but he'll be fine.

Wright had more walks than strikeouts at AAA.

He still did alright.


I don't understand this. He had more walks than strikeouts. He didn't do all right.

They are in a much better position this year, IMO.

Their rotation has higher upside. but there's a lot of volatility, and the hitters are a year older, making a repeat of 968 runs unlikely.

They solidified the staff with Hughes and Clemens. If Hughes, Chamberlain or Kennedy struggles, he can't replace himself. And what are the chances Clemens provides another 100 league average innings?

And what is a fair expectation for Mussina?

Let me say this- the Yankees don't need a good bullpen. They need a great bullpen. They can't, or shouldn't, expect 200 IP each from Hughes, Kennedy and Chamberlain, even if all three do well. and if they don't, you'll need to win a lot of games middle and late.
   58. chris p Posted: December 06, 2007 at 07:59 PM (#2637161)
so is cowboy popup arguing that he should be receiving cy young votes?
   59. Valentine Posted: December 06, 2007 at 08:01 PM (#2637164)
I think you're underestimating the writers love for W-L, because Colon wasn't a Yankee when he beat Santana.

I wonder how the voting would have turned out if Santana had played in LA with Colon in Minnesota (or Cleveland or Montreal)? Santana finished behind Mariano Rivera as well, another very good pitcher from a big market.

Was nice to see Sabathia win over Beckett this year, fighting both the W-L and market size factors.
   60. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 06, 2007 at 08:03 PM (#2637166)
so is cowboy popup arguing that he should be receiving cy young votes?

I'm arguing that he deserved Cy votes in 06 and that there is no "New York Bias" when it comes to the postseason awards.
   61. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 08:03 PM (#2637167)
I would say a rise in K/9 of nearly 1 while moving up a level and facing roughly the same amount of batters per 9 is something more than "pretty similar". I have similar feelings about pitching 125% of the innings you pitched the year prior while allowing the same amount of home runs. Maybe it's just me.

.7 rounded up is 1, this is true. It's also about a third less.

This seems semantic to me- clearly there's a jump in performance- I'm more impressed by the decline in walks- I'm curious about the unearned runs- and I think he's a good prospect, but not 2008 ready in all likelihood, though I'd like to see him this spring before I make that determination.
   62. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 08:04 PM (#2637170)
I'm arguing that he deserved Cy votes in 06 and that there is no "New York Bias" when it comes to the postseason awards.

CP is being disingenuous. He's willfully ignoring all the New York Mets' MVPs.

Though Kranepool was robbed in '79.
   63. Mayor Blomberg Posted: December 06, 2007 at 08:04 PM (#2637171)
Given the way the writers vote, given Wang's W-L, and the evidence of VORP, yes, he should get votes. Does he deserve them is a different question, but factoring all that we know about his numbers and predilections of voters, we should be surprised if he doesn't. Noe of that needs Yankee M&A;to account for it.
   64. TH Posted: December 06, 2007 at 08:20 PM (#2637197)
But with Ohlendorf and Wright the top two replacements, if they blow through two starters they're in trouble.


Are those really the Yankees #7 and #8 starters? I thought Ohlendorf was headed to the pen and I assume Wright is now behind Horne, White, Karstens/Rasner (I always forget which is the "good" one), DeSalvo, Igawa (*shudder*) and probably Marquez.

Obviously that list has some very questionable (terrible?) names on it, but compared to Yankees teams in the past this is ridiculous depth even when assuming it will be tapped into more often due to the youth in the rotation.
   65. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 08:25 PM (#2637204)
Obviously that list has some very questionable (terrible?) names on it, but compared to Yankees teams in the past this is ridiculous depth even when assuming it will be tapped into more often due to the youth in the rotation.

My point is that none of those guys have any particular expectation of being decent. The only one I could see filling in even respectably is Horne, and I don't think he's ready (again, want to see what's changed since I saw him early last year).
   66. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 06, 2007 at 08:28 PM (#2637208)
This seems semantic to me- clearly there's a jump in performance- I'm more impressed by the decline in walks- I'm curious about the unearned runs- and I think he's a good prospect, but not 2008 ready in all likelihood, though I'd like to see him this spring before I make that determination.

The Aaron Baldiris Experience left much to be desired.
   67. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 08:30 PM (#2637213)
The Aaron Baldiris Experience left much to be desired.

Not the next Edgardo Alfonzo!
   68. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 06, 2007 at 08:31 PM (#2637217)
Are those really the Yankees #7 and #8 starters? I thought Ohlendorf was headed to the pen and I assume Wright is now behind Horne, White, Karstens/Rasner (I always forget which is the "good" one), DeSalvo, Igawa (*shudder*) and probably Marquez.

6. Moose
7. Horne
8. Marquez
9. White
   69. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 06, 2007 at 08:31 PM (#2637218)
My point is that none of those guys have any particular expectation of being decent.

The difference is that it will take two injuries to get those guys as opposed to last year when two of them started the season in the rotation.
   70. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 08:42 PM (#2637232)
The difference is that it will take two injuries to get those guys as opposed to last year when two of them started the season in the rotation.

Absolutely. The Yankees are in a better position with SP than at the start of last year, when they were 21-29. Not sure they are in a better position than they were in the second half of last year-though Chamberlain is probably a good bet to throw more innings at 107 ERA+ or better than Clemens. So it's probably a wash, with Hughes providing an improvement over Hughes minus last season's experience.

Of course, the eighth inning took a hit for that to happen. But I already see the Yankees are working to grab several additions to the pen.

Don't know where the Mets are on these guys. Ridiculous.
   71. aleskel Posted: December 06, 2007 at 08:45 PM (#2637236)
according to the ESPN snoopers, Mahay is down to a choosing between the Royals and the Yankees.
   72. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 06, 2007 at 08:56 PM (#2637259)
I'm shocked that Professor Farnsworth has lasted this long in the Bronx.

Come on. He's about as unmovable as a guy can be. They're stuck with him until he gets arrested for beating the crap out of a couple of heckling fans.

Valantine needs to keep his years straight on his CYA votes arguments. Sabatthia got zero votes in 2006, and it's pretty hard to argue that he deserved many. Rag on the writers' obsession with W-L all you want, but he was 12-11, not 16-7. He had a nice ERA+ and WHIP, but he only made 28 starts, and didn't even crack 200 IP.
   73. HowardMegdal Posted: December 06, 2007 at 09:05 PM (#2637274)
according to the ESPN snoopers, Mahay is down to a choosing between the Royals and the Yankees.

I'm so tired of the Kansas City Royals signing every expensive free agent.
   74. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 06, 2007 at 09:17 PM (#2637297)
according to the ESPN snoopers, Mahay is down to a choosing between the Royals and the Yankees.
Thus marking the first time the italicized part of that sentence has been used since discussing the 1980 LCS.
   75. Loren F. Posted: December 06, 2007 at 09:19 PM (#2637299)
Thus marking the first time the italicized part of that sentence has been used since discussing the 1980 LCS.

No, I believe that would have applied to some writers voting for the 1985 MVP as well.
   76. aleskel Posted: December 06, 2007 at 09:28 PM (#2637318)
I'm so tired of the Kansas City Royals signing every expensive free agent.

I'm so tired of the Kansas City Royals and Chris Truby and ... ah, never mind.
   77. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 06, 2007 at 09:32 PM (#2637322)
Mahay is down to a choosing between the Royals and the Yankees.

Mahay is 36 and has been in the AL for a long time. I kind of know what he looks like, I have no idea what he throws or why he's been so consistenly successful. Anyway, he just looks like a guy Torre would have ruined. I wonder if he'll continue to be good and what the proposed deals look like. He pitched well in Texas, that's a good sign.

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