Offseason In Review: New York Yankees

The Yankees heavily invested in the free agent market, yet the team still has some notable holes as it tries to celebrate Derek Jeter's final season by returning to the playoffs.

Major League Signings

Notable Minor League Signings

Trades and Claims

Extensions

  • Brett Gardner, OF: Four years, $52MM.  $12.5MM club option for 2019 with a $2MM buyout.

Notable Losses

Needs Addressed

After missing the postseason for just the second time in 19 years, it wasn't a surprise that the Bronx Bombers went on an old-fashioned Yankees spending spree.  Between signing new free agents, re-signing a few of their own free agents and extending Brett Gardner's contract, the Yankees spent over $555MM on player salaries this offseason.  To put it in perspective, when Forbes Magazine released its annual team valuations a year ago, seven entire franchises weren't valued as worth $555MM.  When the Yankees decide to spend, they don't take half measures.

The Yankees ended up with five — Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Masahiro Tanaka, Hiroki Kuroda and Carlos Beltran — of the top 12 players on Tim Dierkes' list of the offseason's 50 best free agents and were known to be in contact with several other major names, from Shin-Soo Choo to Jhonny Peralta to several free agent pitchers and, of course, Robinson Cano.  GM Brian Cashman worked quickly to identify the players he wanted, as the Yankees reached agreements with all of those players (save Tanaka) by the end of the Winter Meetings.

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It's hard to argue with the results.  McCann's presence instantly turns one of the league's worst catching situations into one of its best; Beltran's still-powerful bat is a fine replacement for the departed Curtis Granderson; Kuroda's return helped solidify the rotation; Ellsbury adds speed and defense to the Yankee outfield, plus his addition allows the club to shift Alfonso Soriano to a more regular DH role (with Beltran and Jeter also seeing some time at designated hitter) and Ichiro Suzuki's declining bat is now relegated to the bench.

The one signing that took a bit more time was Tanaka, as first the new posting rules between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball had to be established.  Then, the Yankees had to outbid the Cubs, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Dodgers and Astros in order to land the 25-year-old right-hander with a seven-year, $155MM contract that ranks as the 18th-largest deal in baseball history.  That contract (plus the $20MM posting fee the Yankees paid to the Rakuten Golden Eagles) represents a huge investment in a pitcher who has yet to appear in a Major League game, yet given Tanaka's impressive scouting reports and his status as the best starter on the market, he was seen as a must-have for a Yankee club that needed rotation help.

The one signing that New York didn't make, however, was the one that many thought was a foregone conclusion when the offseason began.  The Yankees simply weren't prepared to offer Cano more than seven years (at $175MM), and thus Cano made his stunning move to the Mariners that left the Yankees with a big hole at second base.  While the team is still looking for infield help, right now it looks like newly-signed veteran Brian Roberts will man the position with the re-signed Brendan Ryan and roster holdover Eduardo Nunez also in the mix.

Another notable non-move was choosing to forgo signing an experienced closer to replace Mariano Rivera, as David Robertson will get a clear shot at the ninth-inning job.  Veteran setup man Matt Thornton was signed to add some left-handed experience to the young relief corps and Andrew Bailey was signed to a low-risk minor league deal to see if he can stay healthy and revive his career.

Maybe the biggest "need" for the Bombers this offseason was getting some of Alex Rodriguez's contract off their books, and the Yankees got their wish when A-Rod's 211-game suspension was only partially reduced to 162 games after his lengthy appeal.  The suspension saved the Yankees around $22.13MM in payroll for 2014, though A-Rod's absence leaves the Yankees thin at the hot corner.  Newcomer Kelly Johnson will get the lion's share of games at third, though since Johnson has only played 16 games as a third baseman (all last season in Tampa Bay) during his eight-year career.  Minor league signing Scott Sizemore could be an under-the-radar boon at either third or second if he's able to stay healthy, as he's missed virtually all of the last two seasons recovering from two separate left ACL tears.

The Yankees settled a bit of long-term business by signing Gardner to a four-year, $52MM extension.  Gardner would've been eligible for free agency following 2014 and he was the subject of a few trade rumors in the wake of the Ellsbury and Beltran signings, but now it seems he'll be wearing the pinstripes though at least the 2018 season.  Such extensions are pretty rare for the Yankees, as the team usually doesn't explore new deals with players, managers or even front office staff until their current contracts are up.  The Gardner deal could be a sign that even the Yankees are taking note of the rising costs of free agent contracts, and since Gardner was a player they liked and wanted to keep anyway, it made sense to extend him now and possibly get a bit of a discount if he has a big 2014 campaign.

Two major pieces of the Yankees' puzzle were put in place before the offseason even began.  Manager Joe Girardi was re-signed to a four-year, $16MM extension that will keep him in the Bombers' dugout through the 2017 season, a move that broke the hearts of Cubs fans and rewarded a manager who arguably did his best work in 2013 by squeezing 85 wins out of an injury-riddled roster.  Jeter was sure to pick up his player option for 2014 anyway but in early November, that $9.5MM option was shelved in favor of a one-year, $12MM contract that Hal Steinbrenner negotiated himself.

Jeter's new deal carried some extra luxury tax complications, which might've been an early sign that the Yankees were going to abandon their plan to stay under the $189MM payroll threshold.  The Yankees had been positioning themselves to get under the $189MM mark for the last two years in order reset their mounting luxury tax payments but, as Steinbrenner and Cashman always claimed, that $189MM target would only be kept if the team could remain competitive.  Since the Yankees don't abide by missing the postseason, they will head into 2014 with another $200MM+ payroll (hat tip to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info).        

Questions Remaining

For all of the hundreds of millions the Yankees spent this winter, most of that money was spent to simply replace departing stars, and not necessarily to fix other problem areas.  Beltran for Granderson is essentially a wash when Granderson is healthy, and while Tanaka is presumed to be an upgrade over Andy Pettitte, don't forget that the retired southpaw delivered 3.2 fWAR last season.  While McCann and Ellsbury are big improvements on the Yankees' 2013 catchers and the Suzuki/Vernon Wells outfield platoon, those additions could be offset by the losses in the bullpen and at second base.

Cano's departure leaves the Yankees with one of the shakiest infield situations of any contending team.  The hope is that Jeter and Mark Teixeira can stay healthy and regain some semblance of their former productivity, but that's a tall order for two players who combined for only 32 games last season.  While Ryan or Nunez could spell Jeter at shortstop, the Yankees don't have anyone on the roster who can realistically replace Teixeira for a lengthy stretch if his wrist injuries continue to bother him.  Roberts' health is also hardly a given considering his injury problems over the last few seasons.

The addition of a player like Stephen Drew could solve a lot of these infield questions.  Drew could step in at shortstop if Jeter was hurt, and since he has expressed a willingness to move to second or third base, he would provide the Yankees with an stable everyday option at either spot.  The Yankees did make Drew an offer early in the offseason but pulled it back to focus on other signings, while Drew passed up on the deal (believed to be for two or three years) since he felt he could find a longer-term deal.  In hindsight, the Yankees missed out by not landing Peralta earlier in the winter, as they were simply outbid by the Cardinals.

C.C. Sabathia, Tanaka, Kuroda, Ivan Nova and one of Adam Warren, Michael Pineda or David Phelps will comprise New York's starting rotation.  While there's at least a bit of uncertainly surrounding all of the candidates, Sabathia's status is the Yankees' biggest concern, as the 33-year-old is coming off the worst season of his Major League career.  Sabathia has gotten into terrific shape and returned to his old offseason throwing program in an attempt to return to his old form, though if he continues to decline, it will be a huge blow to both the Yankees' playoff hopes and to their future payroll plans (given how Sabathia is still owed $76MM through 2016, plus $20MM more in 2017 if his option vests).

Nobody can replace Rivera, yet it's surprising to see that the Yankees didn't pick up one veteran arm to provide some closer for Robertson if he struggles.  Bailey may not appear until after the All-Star break, while Thornton fits better as a setup man or even as a specialist against left-handed batters.  Joel Hanrahan has been on the Yankees' radar, though he's coming off elbow surgery himself.  Beyond Roberts, Thornton and Shawn Kelley, New York is going with a young bullpen that includes some promising arms (Preston Claiborne, former top prospects Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos and the losers of the fifth starter competition) but no proven experience.

If I had to guess, the Yankees still have a few more moves up their sleeves before Opening Day.  They added Wells and Lyle Overbay last March and I'd expect similar veteran additions to join the roster this spring to give the team some depth in the bullpen and especially around the infield, particularly at first.

Deal Of Note

Of all the Yankees' major signings, the McCann contract seems to have the fewest question marks, which is somewhat surprising considering New York is committing $85MM to a catcher through his age-34 season.  A big-hitting catcher is hard to find, however, and the Yankees simply couldn't go through another year getting barely replacement-level production from behind the plate.  Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart, J.R. Murphy and Austin Romine combined for only 0.9 fWAR/0.1 rWAR over a combined 202 games last season — McCann delivered 2.7 fWAR/2.2 rWAR in 102 games.  It's very possible that McCann improves on his performance, as he'll stay healthier by getting some DH days and his left-handed power swing is a great fit at Yankee Stadium.  Signing McCann also kept an All-Star catcher away from two AL rivals in the Rangers and Red Sox, both of whom were interested in McCann's services.

McCann's presence also turns the Yankees' catching pool from a weakness into potential trade bait.  Stewart was dealt to Pittsburgh and it's possible that at least one more of Cervelli, Murphy or Romine could be sent elsewhere for infield help.  The Yankees could even trade top prospect Gary Sanchez if they wished to strike a bigger deal, though the rough plan seems to be to groom Sanchez as McCann's eventual replacement, with McCann shifting to DH in a few years' time.

Overview

It's often said that Jeter personifies the Yankees, and that may be especially true in 2014, though not in the way that either Jeter or the team hopes.  A healthy Jeter can still perform at a league-best level, though it's anyone's guess as to whether he'll be able to stay off the DL and produce at his usual standard — the same could be said of the Yankees as a whole, as they'll need to rely on much better health from several key players return to contention. 

An argument could be made that despite all the struggles and injuries last year, the Yankees still won 85 games, so they're not far away from getting back to the postseason.  It's worth noting that Cashman doesn't buy that argument, as he saw his club's 2013 record as a fortunate overachievement and thus felt it necessary to spend big.  With how much of that money went towards reloading instead of actually adding talent, however, it's possible the Yankees may have only bought themselves a "real" 85-win talent level (by Pythagorean record standards) and could still fall short in the tough AL East.

Photo courtesy of Kim Klement/USA Today Sports Images


201 Responses to Offseason In Review: New York Yankees Leave a Reply

  1. Metsfan93 1 year ago

    I thought Brian McCann’s contract was for 85 MM?

    • Steve Adams 1 year ago

      It is. The $75MM was a typo that I’ve corrected. Thanks for pointing that out!

      • Metsfan93 1 year ago

        Was the 493 MM correct or is it now 503?

      • beisbolista 1 year ago

        “Beltran for Granderson is essentially a wash when Granderson is healthy…” Now there’s a statement that needs some justification.

  2. East Coast Bias 1 year ago

    Last time the Yankees spent half a bil in the off season, they won a championship.

    • Danny Phillips 1 year ago

      I think they spent around 300MM then on Burnett, Teixera, Sabathia.

      • East Coast Bias 1 year ago

        Just CC (161m), AJ (82.5m), and Tex (180m) put them over 420m.

    • Curt Green 1 year ago

      Not this time. Second, third, and relief will not let that happen.

      • East Coast Bias 1 year ago

        Name another team that has NO positions that will provide under average production.

        The point isn’t to have all above average positions, it is to have enough above average positions so that the under average positions are not an issue.

        And relief is a problem, but also easiest to fix.

      • Since_77 1 year ago

        Half way thru Spring Training you could be right about the 2b & 3b but they have the resources to take on salary at the trading deadline.

  3. Danny Phillips 1 year ago

    Half a billion just ridiculous.

    • matted 44 1 year ago

      That’s their annual revenue, so not for them.

  4. The Yankees signed 5 of the 12 top free agents, but they also lost the top ranked one in addition to the greatest closer of all time and Andy Pettite.

    The Yanks infield could be a complete and utter disaster and their pitching is near impossible to predict. You’d think that 493 million would get you a little more certainty than that. Despite all that money, they are still a very flawed team.

    • Metsfan93 1 year ago

      Way to analyze it without context; it’s 493 MM spread out over thirty contract years, including two players under contract (opt out ignored) through 2020, one through 2018 or 2019, one through 2016 and two through 2015. Of that 493 MM, 308 MM of it is committed to two players for a long-term reward in Ells and Tanaka. They upgraded big-time, but there simply wasn’t much way to improve when they already had A-Rod, Sabathia, and Teixeira on the books for a fortune and Jeter cemented at short. They could’ve kept Cano but then we’d be saying “you’d think 733 million would get you more”

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

        The 503 MM is just what they committed to players this offseason, it has nothing to do with A-rod, Sabathia or Tex.

        • Metsfan93 1 year ago

          I know this; I’m saying it wasn’t like they could invest long-term in a third baseman or first baseman until they knew A-Rod’s situation, in 3B’s case. Those were difficult positions to upgrade right now, which meant there was a limited amount of room to upgrade. Having them in the fold undoubtedly complicated things, which was my point. SS, 3B, 1B all really needed upgrades but the pickings for one-year stopgaps at 3B or long-term solutions at SS a year down the road basically came down to Stephen Drew, who they didn’t sign. McCann and Ells were the only position they really ‘upgraded’ significantly.

      • My analysis doesn’t lack context at all. It’s focused on 2014. You’d think that spending half a billion dollars would instantly put you in the World Series mix. In this case, it doesn’t.

        • East Coast Bias 1 year ago

          You’re not wrong. But every team functions differently. This is just our way of doing things. This is how we win. We’ll never be the Cardinals.

          Losing Cano is going to sting. A lot! But you’re downplaying the additions of Beltran, Ellsbury, & McCann to the lineup. Not to mention Tex & Jeter coming back is going to help also. We won’t have bench players like Wells & Ichiro in the lineup on a daily basis. On the pitching side, lost Andy and gained Tanaka, and hopefully Pineda. I count losing Phil Hughes as a positive; he just wasn’t cut out for Yankees Stadium. And in the bullpen, Mo’s out and Robertson is in at closer. Plus we have some options in the minors that may pan out in Bailey and others. The bullpen is a realistic need for improvement, but it is also the easiest to improve through out the season.

          Lastly, yes the infield is a mess. The most important thing is that we are back to being ourselves, unapologetically. There is no 189m talk. It’s back to the Yankees way, that if there is a need, we will address it using the most obvious advantage we have. Money. I’m confident that if the infield is not working out, then they will be replaced… somehow. I’m not the GM, so I won’t pretend to know how.

          • I’m not downplaying the additions or the returns of Jeter & Tex. Their line-up is compiled of way too many injury prone players. While you can’t predict injuries, the fact that there’s such a high risk for this particular team cannot be ignored either.

            The problem with replacing players is the fact that the Yankees farm system is a complete mess. Teams value their good young players more than ever. The fact that Yankees spent half a billion and still have holes shows that.

  5. Brian Baker 1 year ago

    Brendan Ryan 2 year deal with option for 3rd year?

    He would have signed a minor league deal with ST invite IMO

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      Why?
      He is a very good utility player. One of best defensive shortstops currently.

      • Brian Baker 1 year ago

        meh

        He’s Paul Janish with more chances to play in recent stops.

        • LazerTown 1 year ago

          He’s basically an equal hitter to Nix, yet better with the glove. He isn’t a star, but he is handy guy to have around if you want some filler.

  6. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    Soriano should play the OF long before Beltran. Beltran was the second worst defensive OF with at least 100 PA in 2013 (Ibanez was the worst). Soriano managed to post a URZ/150 of 7.3 in 2013, Beltran’s UZR/150 was -18.7. Letting Beltran play the OF should be a crime!

    • Metsfan93 1 year ago

      Yes, because the possibility of Beltran’s defense improving when he’s on the field by not *having* to take the field 162 times is impossible, same as the notion that track records matter is. Beltran’s a historically better fielder (by a lot) than Soriano, and neither is young, so the Yankees presumably are letting Carlos take the field until he proves he’s a full-time DH.

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

        The last time Beltran was a better defensive OF than Soriano was 2006. Beltran was not just a bad OF last year he was the worst among qualified player and the second only to Ibanez in the MLB. Carlos should be a fulltime DH.

        • TheRealRyan 1 year ago

          I agree that Soriano is a better LF than Beltran is a RF. I’m not so sure that Soriano is a better RF than Beltran is though. I’m not sure that Soriano has the arm to play RF. I would also guess that the Yankees are counting on him to use his arm, but not have to range too much, especially with Gardner and Ells filling LF and CF.

        • Metsfan93 1 year ago

          Did you reach that first conclusion through straight UZR comparison? I’m just curious if you used fangraph’s DEF numbers or straight compared their defensive statistics without accounting for the fact Carlos was a CFer for awhile in there.

    • UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

      What you are missing in your analysis is that playing in RF in Yankees Stadium is easier then playing in RF in most of the other MLB stadiums because of it’s size. You are also missing the fact that RF is Beltran’s natural position. Soriano has never to the best of my knowledge played RF in a MLB game. Beltran is the better option for the Yankees for the majority of games in RF.

      • HobokenMetsFan 1 year ago

        CF is Beltran’s natural position.

        • UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

          My friend since 2011 with the exception of about 9 games in CF all his games have been in RF roughly 500 games. Now if you want to go back prior to 2011 you are correct. But my point remains the same Beltran is a much better option in RF for the Yankees than Soriano.

          • Metsfan93 1 year ago

            Natural position has absolutely nothing to do with where Beltran has played in the past three seasons. “Naturally,” Carlos Beltran is a centerfielder and it isn’t really debatable. Just like, naturally, Brett Gardner is also a centerfielder, Alex Rodriguez is a shortstop, Michael Brantley is a centerfielder, and Jon Jay is the opposite- a centerfielder better suited for a corner.

          • UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

            OK have a good day.

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

        RF is not Beltran’s “natural position” he played 80% (13680 innings) of his career in CF. He played RF for the first time in 2011. Also UZR takes into account the stadium a player in playing in already. Beltran is now a horrible OF’er plain and simple.

  7. UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

    “Jeter’s new deal carried some extra luxury tax complications…” Actually that statement by the writer is inaccurate. Had Jeter exercised his player option for the 2014 season at $9.5MM the luxury tax implication for the Yankees would have been over $14.3MM since the option was considered part of the original deal. By tearing up that option and giving Jeter an entirely new one year deal the Yankees luxury tax hit is only $12.8MM. I say only because it’s about $1.5MM less.

    • Erik Trenouth 1 year ago

      But if he takes that option, what does it do to previous years’ luxury tax? Would it bring down the amount that they had to pay, giving them a credit?

      • UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

        No, because the luxury tax is based on AAV.

        • Erik Trenouth 1 year ago

          Yes, so why would him accepting the option increase his AAV in 2014, but not decrease in all the years before?

          • UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

            Because had he exercised his $9.5MM option the AAV for 2014 for Luxury Tax Purposes would have been the sum of the 3 years prior at $16MM ea. and the $9.5MM option = $57.5M divided by 4. His 2014 tax hit would have been $14.375MM per. That’s the amount the Yankees were charged each year from 2011 through 2013 and would have been charged in 2014.
            Since he didn’t exercise the option the Yankees should have been charged $16MM per for 2011 through 2013. They were charged less each year because MLB assumes the option of players in their tax calculation.

            I don’t know else to make it any clearer. I suggest if that’s not clear enough then you contact MLB for their official explanation.

          • Erik Trenouth 1 year ago

            Haha. Thanks.

            Then my next question becomes why don’t teams sign players to big contracts with several mutual options on the end that they never intend on picking up, just to lower their AAV for luxury tax purposes?

          • Bronx Bombers 1 year ago

            Players want security or “guaranteed money”.

          • Erik Trenouth 1 year ago

            Yes, I know that. On the end of a 10 yr, $200 mil contract, why not add on 5 mutual option years of $5 mil to drop the AAV of $15 mil instead of $20 mil?

          • UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

            Because MLB would see through the charade and never allow that. That’s why.

          • Erik Trenouth 1 year ago

            That’s a possibility, but even a gradual step down in options could save a team millions if they are paying 50% luxury tax. How unrealistic would a deal for a 36 year old be a 3 year, 48 mil with 3 option years on the tail end, worth 14, 12, 10 million? It would drop the AAV down $2 mil/year, saving them $3 mil overall when they don’t pick up the options. Not a whole lot when a team is spending over $200 mil, but it is still something.

          • UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

            My friend have a good day. I’ve said about all that can and needs to be said on that topic.

          • Erik Trenouth 1 year ago

            Haha. Fair enough. There has to be something preventing all of this from happening, as I am sure I am not the only one who has thought this.

            Thanks for the info.

          • Metsfan93 1 year ago

            Until those options are picked up, I’m not entirely convinced the luxury tax figure wouldn’t still be 20 MM a year.

          • Erik Trenouth 1 year ago

            But UltimateYankeeFan just said that’s how it works.

          • UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

            My friend whether you are convinced or not that’s the way it works.

          • Metsfan93 1 year ago

            Show me some proof and I’ll believe you. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of this. Option years are not guaranteed. MLBtr (I’m pretty sure) has said this as well, that they’re not included in the luxury tax calculations. Show me an article from a reputable source that shows the exact way option/non-guaranteed years are factored into the LT calculation, or the article in the CBA that shows it, and you win. Until then I’m going to believe it’s AAV of the guaranteed portion of the contract. It’s silly to believe otherwise unless you prove it.

          • UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

            My friend I don’t care if you believe it or not. Have a good day. BTW, you might want to lose the attitude..

          • Metsfan93 1 year ago

            I don’t really have an attitude; I’m trying to engage in baseball discussion and debate, but you don’t seem to want to entertain the idea you might not be correct about something and have dismissed all of my posts since my first one as meaningless. I just asked you to back up your point with something resembling facts or evidence.

          • UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

            Whatever you say. Have a good day.

          • Curt Green 1 year ago

            For a Yankee fan, you have been more than patient and pleasant. Are you sure you are a Yankee fan?

          • UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

            All my life. Longer then most of the fans on this site have probably been alive.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            You love saying “My friend” don’t ya?

          • mattdecap 1 year ago

            John McCain??

          • Wek 1 year ago

            Non-guaranteed money/contract are not counted towards the luxury tax. If those options are not picked up then the tax charged would be recalculated base on the $200mil/10 years. The options HAVE to be picked up and when it does the AVV changes. So adding 5, 10, 20 years as options would not make a difference except make that contract somewhat amusing.

  8. Harrison 1 year ago

    I’m really having trouble seeing the Yankees finishing better than 4th or 5th this year- that rotation is full of question marks, their infield defense might be the worst in all of baseball, and their bullpen could be an absolute trainwreck if Robertson doesn’t hit the ground running.

    • matted 44 1 year ago

      They finished 3rd with half the talent last year and Boston only got worse. Plus the right side of that infield is well above average defensively. You seem lost.

      • Harrison 1 year ago

        Roberts is not well above average at this point in his career. I’m an Orioles fan and I’ve had plenty of opportunities to watch him. Trust me on that one. Also, the Yankees were very lucky last year- they were outscored by opponents by 21 runs, and their Pythag was sub-.500.

        • MB923 1 year ago

          He might not be well above average, but UZR/150 suggests in recent years he’s about average which I’d be fine with.

          They were also very very unlucky when 5 of their 9 players (Gradnerson, Jeter, Tex, A-Rod, Cervelli) all missed close to 100 games or more. Had they been healthy the whole year, assuming their W-L does not go based on Pythag, they could have very well been a 90+ win team. It’s something we won’t ever know though.

          • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

            A-rod is sure to miss more than 100 games this year…

          • Harrison 1 year ago

            Defensive metrics are fuzzy, especially with small sample sizes, which is all Roberts has over his last few injury-plagued years. But let me tell you, after watching him play everyday for the last few months of 2013, I can tell you that I’m not upset at all that he won’t be manning 2B full-time for the Orioles this year.

    • matted 44 1 year ago

      This is coming from an Orioles fan? LOL. Your best defensive player can barely walk, your best offensive player slumped the whole 2nd half, your highest paid pitcher has allowed 39 earned runs in 40 innings against Boston and New York, and your manager is arguably the worst im baseball. Talk about question marks…

      • MB923 1 year ago

        “and your manager is arguably the worst im baseball.”

        Ehh, I got a feeling you’re the only one who thinks that.

        • matted 44 1 year ago

          Find the last top 5 offense to finish in 4th place. Showalter actually managed to make Jim Johnson look like a bad pitcher. He has no clue how to handle his pitchers.

          • Bleed_Orange 1 year ago

            How did he make Jim Johnson look like a bad pitcher? Statistically Jim Johnson looked like an average pitcher (which is what he is) being on a competitive baseball team aloud his save number to become inflated (saves being one of the most overrated stats in all of baseball)

          • MB923 1 year ago

            4th place in a very good division. Still won 85 games which is a lot. Division ranking isn’t a great way to compare teams (unless they are in the same division). The DBacks went 81-81 and finished 2nd in the NL West. Orioles went 85-77 and finished 4th in the AL East, does that mean DBacks were better than the Orioles?

            Also to answer your first statement, how about in 2012. Rangers finished 1st in runs (didn’t make ALDS), Brewers 3rd (missed playoffs), Angels 4th (missed playoffs). Rockies, White Sox, Red Sox, Diamondbacks (ranked 6-9, all missed playoffs)

          • Bleed_Orange 1 year ago

            Also the O’s tied for 3rd place with the Yankees last year just FYI

          • MB923 1 year ago

            Yep. I believe Yankees were credited with 3rd due to season series win. I could be wrong though.

        • TheRealRyan 1 year ago

          Yeah, if you ask him he’ll always argue it.

      • Harrison 1 year ago

        When you say “your best defensive player can barely walk,” I assume you’re referring to Manny Machado, whom I would assume is the same Manny Machado that’s been doing baserunning and defensive drills in Florida with the Orioles here recently and appears to be right on track for Opening Day, or just a shade later.
        And if Buck Showalter really is one of the worst managers in baseball, you should probably tell a GM or ownership group so that they don’t keep hiring him and keeping him around for years at a time. And you should also probably tell his players to stop winning baseball games too, since their manager is so terrible.

    • MB923 1 year ago

      if you’re judging teams based on rotation (on paper), Yankees are no worse than 3rd in the division, possibly even 2nd

      • Harrison 1 year ago

        The Rays and Red Sox have better rotations hands-down, and I would even take the Orioles rotation over the Yankees’ at this point.

        • MB923 1 year ago

          Rays yes. Red Sox hands down? I don’t know about that.

          • Look at the stats and the decline of the Yankees and the improved play of Red Sox pitching. Then when you still don’t want to come back to reality, look at the stats.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            Last year’s stats have nothing to do with this year. Just like 2012 stats (when Yankees >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Red Sox) had nothing to do with 2013.

            On paper, I think the teams are very comparable. Red Sox have question marks too in their rotation as well – Lackey’s age, Buchholz’s health, Peavy’s health and inconsistency in the AL. Doubront is medicore,

          • Bleed_Orange 1 year ago

            Don’t forget Lesters regression last season… completely agree Sox have a ton of roster question marks as well.

          • Metsfan93 1 year ago

            Lester regressed? He improved on 2012..

          • Bleed_Orange 1 year ago

            I stand corrected. (Hence what happens when you don’t look at the stats first) fail on my part

          • You mean the regression where he posted a 2.57 ERA after the All-Star break? Or where he was throwing 96 in the post season? Which regression?

          • Pitching maybe. Offense is not comparable at all. The Red Sox get on base and get base hits and hit extra base hits. The Yankees hit home runs. And that’s it.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            I never said anything about the offense in that post.

          • “On paper, I think the teams are very comparable.” Your words right there. But if you want to get into pitching, I’ll be glad to. Sabathia has lost at 7 MPH on his fastball since they signed him. Kuroda is getting old and he’ll get lit up when his splitter doesn’t split. Pineda hasn’t pitched in 2 years. Ivan Nova is a good pitcher, but he needs more time before he’s an ace. And Tanaka won’t be as good as he could have been in now that he’s in the AL East and Yankee stadium.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            The initial post was about pitching. Why do you think I listed questions of the Red Sox pitchers.

            “Sabathia has lost at 7 MPH on his fastball since they signed him. ”

            Good thing he’s not a 1 pitch pitcher, and read the charts. The last 3 years, his fastball has not been his problems and batters have similar batting lines against his fastball the last 3 seasons. It’s his changeup that’s his problem.

            “Kuroda is getting old and he’ll get lit up when his splitter doesn’t split.”

            And When that happens remain to be seen. Pettitte was the oldest starting pitcher in baseball last year and as posted above, still had a 3.2 WAR season. Old players still perofrm well. Your team had the oldest DH (WS MVP) and 2nd oldest closer last year (ALCS MVP).

            “And Tanaka won’t be as good as he could have been in now that he’s in the AL East and Yankee stadium”

            You actually expect us to believe he’s going to post the same stats in Japan? Obviously not. FYI, Kuroda has had 2 excellent seasons in NY and he happened to pitch in that same league as Tanaka one time.

            For the record the Red Sox offense has some questions too now with 1 and possibly 2 (if Drew goes elsewhere) premium postion players now being filled in by rookies

          • The Red Sox can afford one or two positions being just okay, because everyone else gets on base and scores. And if we’re talking Xander Bogaerts, he’s a five star player just waiting to happen. defensively, maybe not, but he can hit, hit for power and walk the walk. So I see one position and that’s if Sizemore doesn’t stay healthy. I doubt he will.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            “And if we’re talking Xander Bogaerts, he’s a five star player just waiting to happen”

            I think he’ll be good too, but that’s been said about many many top prospects in the past and many many fail. Whether he becomes great or not remains to be seen. To say it is not a question mark is incorrect.

            Also that puts Middlebrooks, a below average hitter IMO in the lineup at 3B.

          • Middlebrooks is also two seasons in. Eric Hosmer had a terrible sophomore season and did great last year.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            And because one player did something that is the new baseline?

          • No, the advanced statistics, new scouting methods and minor league and major couching is the new baseline. Living in the past only brings you down.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            and how does any of that relate to Middlebrooks. Not every player becomes good, there are so many players that fail. Middlebrooks could become very good, but I don’t think we should set that as the baseline for him.

          • He’s young and has shown he can play at the Major League Level. Young players are taught to make adjustments. That’s what he’s learning at the Major League Level.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            Just because that is what they are taught doesn’t mean they can do that.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            Those same stats/methods/coaches, etc. that have predicted top players to be top players but have been below average or busts, and we are not talking about “years past”. Also talking about recent years.

            To name a few – Justin Smoak, Jesus Montero, Matt Wieters, Delmon Young, Phil Hughes, Cameron Maybin, Brandon Wood

            I can go on if you like

          • Jesus Montero is the only one of them that ended up surprising me. And of course a fly ball pitcher like Hughes is gonna be bad at Yankee Stadium.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            Hate to break it to you, but prospects regularly fail, and even the ones that don’t do not hit the ground running.

          • You can say the same about Tanaka. epically in that stadium.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            You’re absolutely right. No arguing against that.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            Right. We keep hearing about the Yankees infield, yet RS have questions in their lineup too. Pierzynski and Middlebrooks are pretty bad, and JBJ and XB are complete unknowns. Failure rate on prospects is pretty high, I wouldn’t count on them to hit the ground running even if they are good prospects.

          • But the Yankees are Jacoby Ellsbury and a bunch of Pierzynskis and Middlebrooks. Power and can’t get on base.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            Leaving out or forget about Jeter, Beltran, Teixeira, Gardner and McCann? All who have .350+ career OBP’s?

          • Career OBP doesn’t mean anything unless your young or retired. Over the last three years Teixera .347, Beltran .343, McCann .329, Gardner .358, Jeter .350. I wouldn’t hang my hat on that.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            and those stats have broken your idea that the Yankees don’t get on base.

          • compared to the rest of the division, yes. The Orioles are the only team that is about the same as them. The Jays, Rays and Sox get on base a lot more. A LOT MORE.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            Their questions are health, but I would not classify Ellsbury, McCann, Gardner, Teix, Beltran, Jeter as low obp players. Soriano, Johnson, Roberts, sure.

          • They’re OBP would be fine if they got hits. Ellsbury is decent at getting on base, so is Teixera. But when Teixera is strikeout all the time his OBP goes down.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            Strikeouts and obp is not directly correlated. He won’t be what he used to be, but he is a huge upgrade over what they had last year.

          • Strikeouts, are outs, which means they don’t walk, get a hit or get hit by a pitch. They are also demoralizing and make a player less confident in their ability to make contact.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            There are a million ways you can get outs. You also have to consider what kind of contact they are making when getting the bat on the ball.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            Rays get on base a lot more? That’s news to me. Their OBP last year was only .329. They have not had a .330+ OBP team since 2010. The Yankees had a .337+ OBP team Every Year from 1993-2012.

            Throw last year’s Yankees offensive stats out the window. The Yankees will have EIGHT new players in the lineup than they did last year come opening day. The only returning player in the lineup is Gardner. Much like how they had 7 new players in 2013 compared to 2012.

          • Dynasty22 1 year ago

            Now I can see you are just trolling. The Yankees are Ellsbury and a bunch of Pierzynskis and Middlebrooks? Nonsense.

          • look at the stat similarities.

          • Dynasty22 1 year ago

            Such as? The only guy I could see relating to your comment is Soriano.

          • McCann, Beltran, Jeter, Teixera, Roberts and Kelly Johnson are all about the same level. Except Middlebrooks can get better.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            NOW you are trolling.
            I think we can end this if you think Middlebrooks is currently as good as McCann/Beltran/Jeter/Teixeira.

          • Currently, yes. Injury pron. Strikes out a lot, hits home runs and doesn’t get on base or hit for average. That sound like all of them.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            FG has WB projected .298 obp. They have 3 of those guys projected .336 obp or higher, and one of them .328.

          • a successful season would be .350 or higher for a single player. There are exceptions, but that’s the rule in general.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            Previously. Batting has been in a league wide decline for several years now. Only 44 players passed your marker last year, or 1.5 players per team. Compared to 73 in 2008, and 96 in 2006. .350 used to be my cutoff point, but that is no longer a good point to expect most of your players to surpass.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            Fangraphs depth charts has 5 yankees starters with .330+ obp, and 5 RS with .330+ obp.

            Projections are not accurate predictions, but they do give us a good reference.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            Going by the first game of ST is terrible way to judge velocity. Wait until the season.

          • How about the end of last season when he was throwing 90.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            90 is still fine if you can locate your pitches, and 90 is not 7 mph off his fastball.

          • He threw 97. 97 minus 7 is 90. And he can’t locate it, which led to a career high in home runs at the allstar break.

          • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

            Sabathia hasn’t averaged over 94.1 MPH (2009) on his FB ever in his career, not sure where you got 97 from…..

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            Didn’t hit 97 very regularly, very few starters do.

          • Harrison 1 year ago

            I guess it depends on what you expect from CC- if you think he bounces back all the way to what he was, then I could almost see it. But if you don’t expect that, and I(along with a lot of baseball people much smarter than me) do not expect a full-fledged comeback season from CC, then the Red Sox clearly have the advantage there.
            That’s not to say I don’t expect him to be at least a little better than he was in 2013; I just think his days serving as the anchor of a Major League rotation are behind him.

          • Metsfan93 1 year ago

            It really depends on Buchholz vs. CC. If you think CC’s 2013 wasn’t a blip but rather the start of his decline, and you think Clay will be healthy, then it’s clearly in Boston’s favor.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            Games are not won on paper, and predictions are nothing more than predictions, but I think it would be fair to point out that Zips predicts the Red Sox SP to have a 16.5 WAR and the Yankees to have a 16.3 WAR. Those also happen to be the 2nd and 3rd best overall in baseball.

            We can make arguments both ways. Right now I’d call their rotations a push. Maybe a slight slight edge to Boston.

          • You can ignore the stats all you want, but they are there for a reason.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            They are, as are the projections. Let’s wait and see what happens and may the best team in this division win.

          • Harrison 1 year ago

            If you’d seen the ZiPS predictions for the Orioles the last 2 seasons and just how far they missed the mark, you wouldn’t even bother bringing them into the conversation lol.

            Chris Davis, for instance, was supposed to post a modest .750ish OPS in 2013. Fortunately, no one told him that 😉

      • Bleed_Orange 1 year ago

        I don’t think it’s even possible to judge the Yankees rotation right now with Tanaka and Pineda being complete unknowns (though I think both will be better than ml average this year)

    • MB923 1 year ago

      “their infield defense might be the worst in all of baseball”

      I could care less about their infield defense. So long as their infield offense is much better than last year, I’m satisfied.

      Jeter/Tex/Roberts/Kelly Johnson >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Nix/Overbay/Cano/Nunez/whoever

      • Bleed_Orange 1 year ago

        I agree. With a team like the yankees offensive production should outweigh what they lose in defensive production. The main concern I have is that a large portion of their team has an injury history. The injury bug that bit them last year could very well hit again…. and they didn’t help themselves with the signings of injury prone Ells, Beltran and McCann

      • Metsfan93 1 year ago

        If Jeter and Teixeira actually play a full season, sure. A-Rod also added some offense late last season, too. Losing Cano might actually make the infield a wash, IMO. Cano is a legitimate superstar, 7+ win player, among baseball’s top 5 or so players. It’s a massive hit to lose him.

        • MB923 1 year ago

          I won’t disagree with that, but I take it as a Mets fan you heard a lot about the Yanks last year. Half of the infield we had last year wouldn’t even be good enough to be starting on the Mets, that’s how bad it was.

          And you can’t predict injuries. I never said Jeter and Tex would play the full year and I wouldn’t bank on either of them doing it either. For now, they are, and that’s what they are going with. And if they are, I don’t see how they’d be worse than last year.

          • Metsfan93 1 year ago

            I’m seriously not sure if Jeter/Tex+scrubs is better than Cano+ three scrubs..

          • MB923 1 year ago

            You’re forgetting the other IF position in catcher. I don’t think I have to bother wasting my time comparing McCann to Stewart.

          • Metsfan93 1 year ago

            Considering you said Jeter/Tex/Johnson/Roberts > Nunez/Overbay/Nix/Cano I don’t think I’m going to waste any time trying this argument. We were clearly talking about 1B/2B/3B/SS otherwise you would’ve began this with Jeter/Tex/Johnson/Roberts/McCann > Nunez/Overbay/Nix/Cano/Stewart. Don’t add something to an argument when you realize you might be wrong that wasn’t in the original argument. If you want to make the argument the entire 2014 NYY IF is superior to the 2013 IF, then fine, but we weren’t arguing that.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            My mistake on that part, but fine, want to do position by position? I gladly will.

            McCann > Stewart
            Tex > Overbay
            Cano > Roberts
            Jeter > Nix
            3B is even (Kelly Johnson is an average player, the Yankees had 1 above average 3B last year in A-Rod and a bunch of terrible 3B). FanGraphs had them value wise as the team with the worst 3B value in all of baseball last year.

          • Metsfan93 1 year ago

            I think my issue is more that McCann >>>> Stewart, Teixeira >> Overbay, Jeter >> Nunez/Nix, and that I personally think Cano >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Brian Roberts. We have a difference in valuation of Cano, I guess. I think Cano is *that* good to outweigh the other upgrades.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            Fair point but don’t forget the Addition (though not an IFer) of Ellsbury who was only 0.2 wins behind Cano last year.

          • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

            I agree with you in general but 2014 Cano very well may = 2014 McCann+ 2014 Tex. Going position by position is a bad way to analyze a team because its does not take into account how much better a player is.

          • Metsfan93 1 year ago

            I think Cano is comfortably a 7+ win player and if he has a great year and cracks 8 he could equal Tex, Jeter, and McCann put together. Add in minimum replacement level guys around Cano and I take a Cano-led infield over the Yankees current infield, or at least pit it close.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            He’s only had a 7+ win season once. I wouldn’t say he’s a 7 win player comfortably. 6 is most likely.

            Funny thing is, all projections sites list him to have a 5.0 WAR (which is still excellent) or under this season. I guess that is likely due to the likely downgrade in offense he’ll have from moving to Safeco.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

      Im no Yankees fan but come on…. Their IF defense is not looking bad, its health is questionable but if healthy Tex and Roberts are fine defenders. Their rotation has some question marks but what (non-cardinals) rotation doesn’t?Adding Beltran, Ells and McCann will certainly improve the offense. The AL east is up for grabs.

      • Harrison 1 year ago

        Defensively, Roberts is bad, bordering on awful at this point in his career. And he’s not going to make up much of that value with his bat either. And that rotation is more questionable than most, especially their top 3. They’re relying on a nearly 34 year old CC who lost velocity and was terrible last year, a 39 year Kuroda who isn’t going to outrun nature forever, and Tanaka, a guy that’s never pitched in a Major League game in his life.

        • MB923 1 year ago

          All 3 of those pitchers would probably be number 1 starters on the Orioles.

          Are you really going to say the Orioles rotation is better right now?

          • Harrison 1 year ago

            Because of their contracts, maybe, but certainly not for much else at this point(with the possible exception of Kuroda, but heading into his age 39 season, who really knows?).

            Is CC going to regain his “ace” form? Possible, but his age and dipping velocity make that seem unlikely. Will Tanaka ever become an “ace” in America? Again, possible, but most of the scouting reports I’ve seen on him seem to feel his ceiling is well below that of Darvish and probably more in line with a #3 starter.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            I really like Tillman and have for years, but come on. The rest of that rotation is pretty iffy.

          • Harrison 1 year ago

            Not as iffy as the national media perpetually makes them out to be- Gonzalez and Chen have both been more valuable over the last two season than some much more “well-known” starters, such as AJ Burnett, Matt Garza, or Ricky Nolasco, for example.
            2012-2013:
            Burnett- 3.9 rWAR
            Garza- 2.7 rWAR
            Nolasco- 3.6 rWAR
            Chen- 4.5 rWAR
            M-Gon- 5.1 rWAR
            Neither is an ace, but they’re both reliable starters battle-tested in the always rough AL East.
            Jimenez is a bit of a question mark, but it seems like his mechanical issues have been solved and there’s good reason to expect his successes to continue. There was a really good in-depth article on Yahoo late last year about him, his struggles in 2012, and his prospects going forward. It’s worth looking up- really put my mind at ease after DD burned the first round pick on him.
            Assuming Ervin Santana signs elsewhere, the last spot is Bud Norris’ to lose and, while he’s not exactly a top-tier talent, he’s shown over the course of his career that he’s a solid(if unspectacular) back-of-the-rotation guy. Nothing to write home about, but he should be good for ~175 IP and an ERA in the low 4s, and I’d take that over Phelps or Pineda at this point.

    • Erik Trenouth 1 year ago

      Their entire defense will be weird. They have one of the best LF, CF and 1B in the game, but have one of the worst SS, RF, and 2B in the game. McCann and Johnson are the only ones on the team that someone could use the term “average” when describing his defense, and even it would probably be “above-average” for McCann and “below average” for Johnson.

      • MB923 1 year ago

        I wouldn’t say Roberts is one of the worst 2B in the game. Not saying he’s one of the best, but he isn’t terrible or one of the worst.

        • Erik Trenouth 1 year ago

          If he gets 120 starts there this year, I can’t see him being much better than Dan Uggla. Bottom 5 for sure. Any range that he used to have left him 8 years ago when the injuries started piling on. Will he be solid and not commit many errors? Probably, but so will Jeter. Watch Ellsbury pick up a lot of soft grounders in center this year.

  9. Leland G 1 year ago

    They should trade for Brandon Phillips.

    • MB923 1 year ago

      Won’t happen unless the Reds ate up some of his money. Sure money is not a problem for the Yankees but no point in adding on another bad contract (though it was a pretty good one at the time it was given) for a declining player who is moving to a ballpark that is Not hitter friendly for Right Handed hitters.

  10. The Yankees are going to be playing for the 2015 1st Overall Draft Pick this year. I can’t believe they could spend so much and look that bad. Their defense looks bad, they have no bullpen, they have too many question marks when it comes to Starting Pitching and their old offence doesn’t get on-base. I really can’t see how they are going to be any good. Can someone try and tell me otherwise.

    • MB923 1 year ago

      “Their defense looks bad”

      Who is bad defensively for them besides Jeter and Beltran (though Soriano has actually been an above average defender recently, but with no RF experience I wouldn’t put him there), and the starting 3B is unknown right now so we can’t say how good/bad they are.

      “they have too many question marks when it comes to Starting Pitching ”

      As do many many other teams, including other contending teams.

      “Can someone try and tell me otherwise.”

      Sure, watch the season and that will tell you. Surprises happen. One time a team won 69 games and the next year they won the World Series. Look it up. Crazy things happen.

    • Bleed_Orange 1 year ago

      No way the yankees are going to get the number one pick… come on now lets keep this in the realm of reality

  11. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    Realistically, even after NYY’s spending spree, the AL East is a 5 team race. Its going to come down to who gets hot and who stays healthy.

    (I was going to post that as response below but every comment seems to be either the Yankees are the best team ever or they will finish in last place)

    • Erik Trenouth 1 year ago

      Exactly. As it stands right now, I see:
      Orioles least likely to win the division, but also 2nd least likely to lose it. They have the second highest floor, but the lowest ceiling. The Jays I see as the most likely to lose the division, but they also have a chance at first place. The Yankees will be a boom or bust team. The Red Sox had most of their team last year play above their career average/ have a career year/ best in a few years, face the stigma of the championship hangover, but are nonetheless the reigning champions. The Rays are the only team that I would feel comfortable penciling into at least a wild card spot, but even then, who knows.

      • Guest 1 year ago

        Agreed. I would say:

        The O’s have pitching issues
        The Yankees have pitching issues
        The Rays have offensive issues
        The Red Sox have offensive issues
        The Jays have issues
        and anyone can have injury issues.

        • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

          The Red Sox don’t really have offensive issues that seems like a stretch considering they scored 100 more runs than anyone in the division last year and should get improved performance at SS/3B to help offset the decline in CF.

          Say they lose 100 runs from last year still just as many as Baltimore.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            I don’t see how Middlebrooks is an improvement over Drew (except the power). I know one is a 3B and one is a SS but the SS/3B goes from Drew/Xavier to Xavier/Middlebrooks so basically Middlebrooks is in the lineup instead of Drew.

            Other thing you gotta wonder if Boston’s pitching will be as good as it was last year. It can be as good, and it’s also got question marks (just like pretty much every single team in baseball does. No team is a perfect team)

          • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

            Bogaerts only had 44 regular season at bats so its not going from Drew/Bogaerts to Bogaerts/Middlebrooks. Its going from Drew/Middlebrooks+anyone else to Bogaerts/Middlebrooks.

            Middlebroooks in 2014 should improve over Middlebrooks in 2013 and the other 3B the Sox have and I think Bogaerts should be a big offensive improvement over Drew.

            I think Boston’s pitching though has to go down because they pretty much all performed above average the only help would be a full season of Peavy rather than Dempster, young guys coming up, and better pen depth. But that won’t make up for Koji, Breslow, Lackey, Lester, Clay, and Doubront regressing to a certain extent in my mind.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            I can certainly see Lester having a repeat performance and I can certainly see Buchholz pitching many more games, though I’m not sure based on the stats that he had, if he can repeat those stats throughout the year. Same goes for Lackey.

          • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

            As a Red Sox fan I would love it to go that way but Clay has had so many injuries, Lackey was dreadful in 2011, and Lester was pretty poor in 2012.

            Clay over 4 years has averaged 21 games and has a career FIP of 4.07 while his 2013 performance was 16 games and an ERA of 1.74

            Now that I’m looking at Lackey and Lester Career by FIP though they both seem pretty likely to repeat the performance so I’m feeling a little better about the rotation now.

          • pft2 1 year ago

            The Red Sox have downgraded at SS, CF and C and one would expect regression from Ortiz and Victorino. Red Sox got pretty good production at 3B from Iglesias (BABIP luck) when Middlebrooks was sent down for poor performance.

            Its important to note, the Red Sox had the highest BABIP as a team of any team since 1930. That point deserves more emphasis.

            I also expect the Red Sox to get their share of injuries unlike last year when they escaped significant injuries (except Buchholz). The injuries to their closers (Hanrahan and Bailey) actually worked out pretty well for them as it allowed them to move Koji there and he was the best closer in baseball for 4 months.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            Didn’t realize that, although did know many their players did have unsustainable great years.

          • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

            Igleasias only had around 100 AB at 3B and wasn’t anything spectacular. Middlebrooks fell off the cliff but still had 350 AB and Brock Holt had 50 AB with an OPS of .505. I just feel like overall production from Will should be a good improvement on that and Xander should be a pretty big improvement over Drew. That should help offset some of the losses you mention.

            Good point on the BABIP though.

            Overall, the Red Sox offense is going to regress but they have a lot of room to regress before they become questionable in my mind. Like I said before take 100 runs away and they are still tops in the division.

    • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

      Totally agree with this even as a Red Sox fan. Look at the Red Sox last year they had one pitcher get injured, had a few bullpen problems at first, and almost no time where multiple starting position players were hurt and they rode that to the best team in baseball that went clutch in the playoffs for the World Series.

      Yankees get that same kind of luck and they are making the playoffs especially since like the Sox getting Peavy last deadline they won’t be afraid to make a big deadline splash.

      I think still though they AL East is a 4 team race because pitching is the key to the game and the Jays rotation is just too weak even with a Santana signing.

  12. RudyMay45 1 year ago

    I’m a 35 year fan and look at this team objectively. Last ST I saw an 85 win team and that’s pretty much what we got. I guess everyone’s mileage varies, but with all the off season upgrades, this ST I’m seeing the same 90-95 regular season wins the Yankees usually get.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

      From watching ST I’m convinced the Mariners will be the best offensive team in baseball and no starter will make it past the 4th inning.

      • Erik Trenouth 1 year ago

        Hey now. There have been a few pitchers get past that mark thus far. Brandon McCarthy has 14 innings over 3 games. RA Dickey just went 5 scoreless (I know, Astros). So it can happen.

    • bjsguess 1 year ago

      They worked their way to 85 wins on a wing and prayer. They were +6 wins based on their differential. If they were to repeat 2013 they would essentially be just as likely to win 73 games as they are to win 85.

      Their “luck” score (Baseball Reference) had them as the 2nd luckiest team in baseball. Interestingly, Detroit, St Louis, Boston and Atlanta were all deemed unlucky despite winning 90+ games.

      • RudyMay45 1 year ago

        The big variable Yankees contrarians refuse to acknowledge is that if everyone stays healthy, this team scores 100-125 more runs than last year’s iteration. That alone should put them at 95 wins.

      • pft2 1 year ago

        Bostons BABIP was the highest in MLB history since 1930 and they did not have a single significant injury to a starting position player. Thats a pretty limited definition of luck B-Ref uses, and could easily be attributed to brilliant managing and clutch performance (Rivera and Cano particularly).

        Yankees lost some key performers, but if they have a bit of luck when it comes to health they could be tough

        • NL_East_Rivalry 1 year ago

          My guess is that they only looked at RS vs RA with possibly some ease of scheduling. If a team wins 8-0 in one game and loses 0-2 in another they are considered unlucky because statisically they should have won both those games 4-1.

  13. Mike1L 1 year ago

    I think we are going to have to see. The could be a good to very good team, or they could be lucky to finish at .500. Teixeira is important–he needs to return to .250/.350/.475 with 30/100 form. First base cannot continue to be a black hole for them. Jeter can probably still hit, and so can be useful even in the DH slot. The outfield has to be better, if for no other reason than Elsbury is better than Ichiro, and Beltran is better than whomever was filling in for Granderson. It’s anyone’s guess what Roberts/Johnson/Ryan will do, or the staff. I’m surprised that so many people are so sure of the results before we see the first pitch thrown.

  14. pft2 1 year ago

    The Yankees spent a lot of money, but they had a lot of money come off the books. Their payroll this year is about 45 million less than last year (salary + tax) and they are flush with cash from the YES deal and the new stadiums high ticket prices. Their payroll is at 2008 levels, a 30% drop in nominal dollars, and they spend about 43% of revenue (Yankees revenue after revenue sharing + YES profits) which is below the MLB average pf 47%

    • Croagnut 1 year ago

      They Yankees spent a lot of future money as well. They are committed to 181mil in ’15 and 184mil in ’16 (According Baseball Ref). Most of those commitments were created this year.

  15. Bob Bunker 1 year ago

    I felt like the Yanks would have been better served with Garza, Ubaldo, Cano, McCann, and a few relief pitchers plus the Kelley Johnson and Brian Robert type guys they added. Then their infield would be in better shape, their outfield would only be slightly worse, and their rotation would have more stability.

    • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

      Add Beltran to that though or else their outfield would be a good amount worse.

    • Riaaaaaa 1 year ago

      Garza and Ubaldo are average away from the AL East and would only get worse in the division. With Tanaka, he not only helps them this year, but in the future as well. With Cano, I’m not going to lie, he was one of my favorite players (I know not many Yankee fans will agree with me) and I was looking forward to him become the next great Yankee. I obviously do think we are a better team with him but not over the course of a 10 year deal.

      • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

        Garza has played in the East before and Tanaka hasn’t and Ubaldo played in the Colorodo ball park which is probably almost equal to playing in AL East and has been truly dominant before. Tanaka cost more money than the two of them combined and is an unknown.

        Cano’s upgrade over Roberts is bigger than Ellsbury upgrade over Ichiro who was worth 1.5 WAR last year. For the Yankees I just don’t think long term planning really needs to be a concern because revenue will always be increasing as will the luxury tax threshold and they can always scout and develop better over the 10 years to have cheap talent around him in year 8-10.

        • Riaaaaaa 1 year ago

          Yes Garza was a very good 4-starter years ago and Jimenez was once a very good pitcher. Ubaldo did do great years ago in Colorado but strangely enough, he was one of the worst pitchers in baseball during his time in Cleveland. I’m not buying his one solid year which happened to be his walk year. Tanaka’s upside is greater than both of these two and his youth is something the the Yankees desperately need when it comes to their aging roster. I don’t care what Cano’s WAR is because a 10 year deal just isn’t worth it unless you are A. 21-25 years old and B. The best player in baseball

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            There is no doubt about it, losing Cano is going to hurt this year. I do think it was the right move. I would do a 10 year deal at that price, but not for him.

  16. Riaaaaaa 1 year ago

    Well, the offseason isn’t over. There is a lot of talk about the Yankees questionable infield, however, that problem could be solved (to an extent) via trade. Chris Cotillo is saying a lot of teams are interested in Cervelli, including the White Sox, and have been scouting him during ST. I am confused because I always thought Murphy would have more value than Cervelli because he is younger and has more potential.

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      Cervelli has proven to be a pretty good hitter for a backup catcher. Some teams reportedly want him for spare parts, quite a bit cheaper than Murphy would cost.

  17. LazerTown 1 year ago

    I’m excited about this season. They are not a run away team, but this team has all the parts to be a contender within the division for the year. The rotation has a ton of potential with Sabathia/Kuroda/Nova/Tanaka/Pineda, all could have dominant years. They also should have enough offense to win games. They have question marks, but so does almost every other team. Sure, Jeter and Teix are both coming back from injuries, but I feel much better about them than I would a rookie. They are great hitters and know how to play. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see someone like Aramis end up on the Yankees, seeing as they can just take on a big contract.

  18. MB923 1 year ago

    I’m a Yankee fan and you can very well say the Rays and the defending champs are on par as well. Possibly the Orioles too. American League is a complete toss up. I wouldn’t call any team a favorite

  19. I think the World Series Champions might be a little better than a team that will struggle to turn double plays without breaking anything.

  20. Bleed_Orange 1 year ago

    Rationality is refreshing

  21. East Coast Bias 1 year ago

    It’s true. If Toronto can get their act together, they’re a force. Baltimore, you know, is going to contend till the end. Any of the teams can be first to last. AL East will be the most competitive division once again.

  22. Curt Green 1 year ago

    That made me chuckle. Thank you!

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