Olney’s Latest: Chapman, A’s, Yankees, Marlins

In his blog post this morning, ESPN's Buster Olney notes that evaluators are split on Aroldis Chapman, as some see him as once in a generation talent, while others see extreme risk because of control and makeup concerns. "Where was Randy Johnson when he was that age?" asked one scout, and the answer is in A-ball walking 94 batters in 119.2 innings.

Here's the latest on Chapman, and here are the rest of Olney's rumors…

  • Olney hears that if Oakland doesn't commit to a new ballpark for the Athletics, that commissioner Bud Selig will step in and negotiate a lucrative territorial rights deal with the Giants, similar to what happened with the Orioles when the Nationals moved into town. That could result in the A's getting their long desired San Jose stadium.
  • The Yankees are in no big rush to sign a righty hitting left fielder, and are content to let the market for guys like Reed Johnson and Jonny Gomes play out. Last night we learned that the team had interest in bringing Jerry Hairston Jr. back. 
  • The Marlins continue to scour the free agent market for a closer, however Jose Valverde is too expensive and they aren't expected to bring back Kevin Gregg

28 Responses to Olney’s Latest: Chapman, A’s, Yankees, Marlins Leave a Reply

  1. rottengazebo 5 years ago

    Marcus Thames to the Yankees?

  2. sbmke 5 years ago

    The key question to me is “what age was that again?”

  3. YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

    I wish Cashman would hire Randy Johnson to instruct Andrew Brackman on how to get his big frame (6′ 10, 240 lb) moving in the right direction and gain better control of his pitches. Nolan Ryan turned things around for Randy so maybe he will feel compelled to pay it forward. Also, I think RJ problem was more with the NY media more than it was the NY FO. Maybe it’ll happen.

    • Deanezag 5 years ago

      Somehow I dont see RJ going down to AA/A ball to talk to a tall pitcher that is in the organization he was in for just 2 years.

  4. YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

    Marcu Thames would be a horrible choice. He can hit HRS vs lefties and that’s about it. Yanks need a player who is solid all around. Randy Winn!!!!!

    • Deanezag 5 years ago

      You dont want Thames, but then you suggest Randy Winn? Did you look at his year?

  5. Red_Line_9 5 years ago

    Chapman defected to the US and should be entered in the same draft as any American or Puerto Rican player. I know it’s a routine complaint.

    • Rob NY 5 years ago

      I would agree with you if he was a citizen of the USA, or PR…

    • Deanezag 5 years ago

      I have a rountine complaint- lets get our facts straight before we post and pretend we know what we’re talking about.

      As jwb stated, Chapman did not defect to the US.

  6. Red_Line_9 5 years ago

    MLB has many absurd, head-scratching things about it. How foreign players are dealt with is just one issue. There probably needs to be a World Draft of not inclusion in the June Draft. US players have little of the same bargaining power that many of these foreign players have coming in. That said, the Royals did manage to land some fine Cuban talent recently. The way foreign players are dealt with now seems to fly in the face of why the draft was created.

    • Jason_F 5 years ago

      Have you seen some of the salaries that these amateur players demand coming out of the draft? Most of them end up getting the outrageous bonuses that they feel their talent commands, regardless of where they were drafted, or they don’t sign at all.

      It is such a crapshoot with international signings, that I’m ok with them being open to sign with whichever team they want to (or whichever team wants them). What I think will help the June amateur draft is a hard-slotted salary structure while allowing teams to trade draft picks. This way, draft picks take on a more hard aligned salary and are valued similarly across the entire sport. It also takes a stand against the “signability” guys who threaten not to sign unless they get the gobs of money that they want.

      Alas, I don’t see anything changing anytime soon.

  7. Olney hears that if the Oakland doesn’t……

    Time for an edit Axisa

  8. yanks should take a look at ankiel for LF…

    I like it

    Any thoughts?

  9. YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

    You dont want Thames, but then you suggest Randy Winn? Did you look at his year?

    I thought I did a petty good job of explaining why Winn was a good choice. Did YOU look at his year? Sure, you saw the hr totals and thought it was nice and pretty and that was enough, but it isn’t. Thames is NOT, in any fashion, a good player.

    Winn vs Thames

    -Winn can play all 3 OF positions, especially LF and RF. Thames is primarily a LF and has only played 31 games in RF over the last 4 years. Win appeared in 54 games in LF, 22 in CF and 104 in RF. He’s simply more versatlie.

    -Winn is a much better defender in the corner spots than Thames.
    As a LF: Winn (Career UZR/150 of +3 ) vs Thames (Career UZR/150 of -12)
    As a RF: Winn (Career UZR/150 of +16.4 ) vs Thames (Career UZR/150 of + 1.8)

    -Win is a switch hitter where as Thames isn’t. Thames is a righty only who doesn’t particularly hit LH pitching that well.

    Career: Thames vs LH pitching (.256/.329 w/ 40 hrs in 620 AB)
    Career: Winn vs LH pitching (.280/.332 w/ 33 hrs in 1,623 AB)

    Career: Thames vs RH pitching (.234/.291 w/ 61 hrs in 929 AB)
    Career: Winn vs RH pitching (.289/.348 w/ 73 hrs in 4,305 AB)

    -Winn has more speed and better OBP than Thames:
    Winn lifetime SB (209), SB % (72 %) and OBP (.344)
    Thames lifetime SB (3) , SB % (25 %) and OBP (.306)

    Thames might be a more prolific HR hitter but that’s the only thing he does that might be above average. He’s not nearly as good of an overall hitter and he isn’t even close to being as good of a defensive player as Winn.

    Also, because Winn is also a good all around hitter vs LH and RH then he could be a possible full-time emergency starter in case Gardner falters or someone is on the DL for an extended period. Because he has historically hit LH pitching well as a RH batter he can also sub for Grandy in CF against tough LH pitchers. I’m banking that 2009 was just an off year and expect him to return back to his normal numbers, especially if he’s not being asked to be a full-time player. Age isn’t as much of an issue as Winn is only 3 years older than Thames and has averaged 152 games per year over the last 4 years compared to Thames who has averaged 97 games over that same 4 year period and has missed close to 70 games for various injuries over the course of the last 3 years.

    Can you imagine how many strikeouts the Yanks would suffer with Thames/Granderson/Swisher in the OF? Also, having Thames in LF would nullify what ever benefits we would enjoy from having Granderson in CF. However, with Winn in LF it would IMPROVE the defense and allow Grandy to cover some more ground in RF center for Swisher.

    • Deanezag 5 years ago

      1. Where did I ever say I wanted Thames? That’s right, I didnt.

      2. Guess who sucks more? Winn. Dont give me career numbers for a 36 year old. He hit .262/.318/.353 with a OPS of .671 and OPS+ of 75, he’s washed up. Even if Gardner sucks he’ll bring more value than Randy Winn

  10. bafaabojangles 5 years ago

    The Oakland A’s are a joke. They have a terrible owner, terrible fan base and the only way they can stay in the area is if they steal the Giants territorial rights. I hope that doesn’t go through so that they will just leave the Bay Area. There is a reason they cant find a suitable place to build a stadium, they still wont sell tickets and their ownership will not spend money.

    Look at the Nationals, they built a stadium and they still cant draw. Crap.

    • melonis_rex 5 years ago

      The A’s have won more games, have more division titles, and more playoff berths in the last 10 years than the Giants have.

      Oh, yeah, all of the Bay Area WS rings belong to the A’s. So yeah, Giants fans calling the A’s pathetic are funny.

      FYI: The Giants are blocking the move to San Jose because their MINOR league team is there. The A’s moving to San Jose has NOTHING to do with the Giants’ MLB squad.

      • jeffinsf 5 years ago

        Ummm… Not accurate. The SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS territory extends to the South Bay. Giants brass has repeatedly stated that the South Bay belongs to the Giants and are not willing to give up their territorial rights to the A’s. They believe that the move would impact the S.F. Giants attendance.

        • DickAlmighty 5 years ago

          The Giants territory only extends to San Jose if six of MLB’s other owners/ownership groups say it does.

          Baseball’s antitrust exemption allows MLB owners — as a group — to block franchises from relocating without fear of litigation from the blocked franchise. However, I believe that under the agreement between MLB owners, if 3/4 of the owners approve a franchise relocation, the remaining owners cannot block the move. 3/4 of the owners is 23 out of 30 owners.

          So, the Giants will vote to block an A’s move to SJ.
          The A’s will (obviously) approve a move to SJ.

          That means 22 of the 28 other owners would have to approve an A’s relocation to SJ. It sounds as if Selig is going to step in and force the issue (if Oakland politicians can’t get their shit together and negotiate a deal with Lew Wolff to build a stadium in downtown Oakland or Jack London Sq). If Selig puts his stamp of approval on an A’s relocation, and the A’s and San Jose can actually work out a stadium plan that is agreeable to the City and the team, 22 of the other 28 owners will approve the move.

          The Giants “ownership” rights only extend so far as other MLB owners are willing to extend them. MLB owners tend to buckle to Bud Selig. If Selig asks them to approve a legit deal, it’ll happen (regardless of whether the Giants’ ownership groups wants it to or not).

    • yesyeah 5 years ago


      You are so ignorant, you should know the facts first.
      The territorial rights are a JOKE. They were given to the giants FROM THE A’S when the Giants were threatening to leave the area. When they didn’t leave the area, the rights just stayed with the Giants. They were originally Oakland’s.

      The A’s need a new stadium – but every owner since Haas has threatened to leave the area. The fans have had it – they have been lied to for many years. MLB blocked pro-oakland ownership years ago cause they want the a’s out of oakland. Selig and Wolff are frat buddies. The situation is so slimy, it’s disgusting. It’s collusion.

  11. nice…. i like the work you put in… Im sold on Winn and Im not a fan at all of thames

    thoghts on Ankiel? he K’s a lot too..

    Next yr Crawford please!!!

    • Deanezag 5 years ago

      How are you sold on Winn? I’ll un-sell you real quick: .262/.318/.353
      There ya go, now stop looking at career numbers when a guy is 36 and coming off his worst season

  12. YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

    You said “You dont want Thames, but then you suggest Randy Winn? Did you look at his year”?

    All I did was explain why Winn was better than Thames. Never did I say Thames was your ideal choice, but clearly you’re making it seem that Thames is better than Winn.

    You said “Guess who sucks more? Winn. Dont give me career numbers for a 36 year old. He hit .262/.318/.353 with a OPS of .671 and OPS+ of 75, he’s washed up. Even if Gardner sucks he’ll bring more value than Randy Winn”.

    Never did I suggest that Winn should start over Gardner. What I did suggest is that he would be a perfect 4th OF and he can play all 3 OF positions and act as a replacement for Gardner if he falters. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

    “How are you sold on Winn? I’ll un-sell you real quick: .262/.318/.353
    There ya go, now stop looking at career numbers when a guy is 36 and coming off his worst season”.

    I gave you career numbers to offer a historical reference to what Winn has done. I certainly don’t think he’s worse than some of the other non-Damon options people have been throwing around such as Gomes, Hairston, Thames, etc.

    He struggled accros the board last year and only hit .158/.184 vs LF pitching last year in 120 AB.

    His previous two years…

    2007 vs LH pitching as a RH hitter: .351/.399 w/ 7 hrs in 185 AB
    2008 vs LH pitching as a RH hitter: .289/.343 w/ 7 hrs in 166 AB

    I would bank on Winn having a reversal rather than betting that any of the other options would be better all around fits than most of the other players mentioned. Reed might be the only option mentioned that might suit us better. Winn personfies the better all around hitter and defensive replacement. Winn playing in a back role providing versatility, great defense, switch hitting ability could be ideal especially if last year was just an off year. Age 36 isn’t exactly ancient and is the same age as Johnny Damon and Matsui, both of whom would’ve been brought back under the right contract.

    • Deanezag 5 years ago

      Yes I think they both suck, whether one sucks more I couldnt really care.

      “I gave you career numbers to offer a historical reference to what Winn has done.”
      -Again, sorry if I dont put any stock in historical numbers when a guy is 36 coming off his worst season in the majors. And without greenies and everything, 36 is becoming more ancient than before.

      If you’re talking about Randy Winn coming in for 500k then fine; but if that’s the case it’s not even worth discussing Winn, I dont know why you need to do all that research to make a case for Randy Winn? Especially when there are other better options

  13. AkronHammer 5 years ago

    wow i wish oakland would get a new stadium already!

  14. johnsilver 5 years ago

    I think that the NYY are looking for a 4th OF more than anything and Thames just isn’t that, he’s a high K prone DH type that struggles vs lefties and is a liability at any defensive position.

    Winn, Nady, Ankiel, Damon.. All seem to be better choices. Maybe even Gomes, but think his extreme hot/cold streaks, rotten K record and awful glove would wear thin in NY also after a short time.

    NYY is playing this one very smart. Cashman knows that Boras is not going to find a 4-5M contract for all of Nady, Damon and Ankiel. one of those will fall into their lap.

  15. Red_Line_9 5 years ago

    My point was that international players should be subject to a draft.

  16. Red_Line_9 5 years ago

    Th amateur draft was created to help competetive balance in the leagues. The Yankees and Cardinals spent the better part of the earlier years gobbling up as much talent as they could sign. Why should international players be allowed to act as free agents while American players are subjected to the draft and a signing window?

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