FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. A LOOGY is great since , Ortiz. Crawford, Ellsbury, and Gonzalez aren’t going to hit him.

    Comment by Ace — December 17, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

  2. “Yankees aren’t on the same pay scale as the rest of the league.” Actually the Phillies and Red Sox have caught up. There are reports that the Red Sox actually have a higher payroll now than the yankees. Can we stop pretending now that the Yankee’s money is in a league of their own?

    Comment by DT — December 17, 2010 @ 1:22 pm

  3. i also think that lefties are even more important to the yankees, and therefore make them more willing to overpay, because of boston’s lefty-heavy lineup weighing on their minds. i expect the yankees to indulge in a lefty starter (though not an elite one) as a reclamation project FA or a trade. they will also be begging andy to come back for another year.

    Comment by phoenix2042 — December 17, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

  4. If last year is a sign of things to come, Gonzalez hits everyone indiscriminately.

    Comment by Shaggychild — December 17, 2010 @ 1:29 pm

  5. Poor justification of a lousy contract because the writer is a Yankees fan.

    Comment by chris — December 17, 2010 @ 1:36 pm

  6. Right. The math saying that the Red Sox have caught up seems a bit fuzzy. There is no denying that the Yankees can sustain a higher payroll than anyone else in the sport.

    Comment by Piccamo — December 17, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

  7. “With only roughly $185 million on the books…”


    Comment by Piccamo — December 17, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

  8. “1) WAR might undervalue relievers”

    It might be more appropriate to look at relievers from a WPA standpoint rather than FIP and IP, since thats what teams seem to value relievers for.

    Comment by AK707 — December 17, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

  9. I’m sure that this kind of statement has never been wrong. At least Yankee fans still have hope eh?

    Comment by mbrady16 — December 17, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

  10. his .375 babip against lefties last year is sustainable?

    Comment by CG — December 17, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

  11. This is a really good idea.

    Would it be possible to slightly modify the WAR formula for different positions? I realize that it (to some level) limits WAR’s universal value, but really WAR is already different between pitchers and position players, so I see no reason a few tweaks couldn’t be worked in.

    Maybe work in WPA for relievers, take our UZR for 1b/DH types. We already have ‘positional value,’ could this be another step? As AK707 points out, different positions are valued for different sorts of a production.

    Even UZR could be modified, yea? Range is more important to centerfielders, shortstops, and second basemen. Glove work and reaction time for 3b and 1b. Arm for catcher and the outfielders etc…

    Is this possible, or am I being foolish?

    Comment by NJ Andy — December 17, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

  12. i’m not denying that, but the gap between the yankees and the next two teams have pretty much closed. The idea is that only the yankees can sustain such a high payroll but from what we’ve seen this offseason it’s not the case as both the Sox and Phillies are now in the same tier as the yankees.

    Comment by DT — December 17, 2010 @ 2:38 pm

  13. “There is no denying that the Yankees can sustain a higher payroll than anyone else in the sport.”

    Can sustain, or have owners who are willing to sustain? Very different analyses for very different statements. The Yankees as an entity are definitely worth more than all other teams and thus generate tons of revenue themselves ot sustain their vast payroll abilities, but I would think that almost all MLB teams are owned by extremely wealthy people. Some of them choose to spend more on the team they own and some choose to spend less. Maybe some of these teams would operate at a loss if the owners spent more, but the owners themselves have other revenue streams with which they could fund the teams’ payroll and thus ‘sustain’ it.

    Comment by C — December 17, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

  14. he called it an “overpay” in the article…

    Comment by Slugger27 — December 17, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

  15. WPA doesn’t really tell you talent though, and is greatly influenced by usage patterns, which players don’t control, thus its very noisy. WPA/LI might be better. That way, if you like a guy that one team uses in 6th and 7th inning in low leverage, you can compare him to another guy who’s team uses him in the 8th or 9th inning in high leverage. But just stick to FIP and WAR, but only looking at 3 seasons worth of IP.

    For example, look at Soria and Rivera’s WPA. The FIPs are about the same, but their WPA are about a factor of 2 apart.

    WAR isn’t broken for relievers. Its just very noisy due to small sample sizes, and I think people forget that relievers are just generally not as talented of pitchers as starters. So you see their WAR bouncing around relatively greatly from year to year, but generally pretty much centered close to zero.

    This should make intuitive sense to people. How often do you see some young half decent AAA arm thrown in the bullpen and do as well as any other reliever? Pretty frequently right? This should tell you most relievers are more or less replacement level.

    Comment by Wally — December 17, 2010 @ 3:15 pm

  16. C,

    Yes, but rich people don’t generally become rich, or stay rich, by throwing millions of dollars down the drain….. So, you’re selecting for a group of people that wouldn’t make decisions like that.

    Comment by Wally — December 17, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

  17. I just thought that it is curious that most teams tend to value the typical closer equally to an average second baseman. I wonder if there is something they know that we don’t.

    Comment by AK707 — December 17, 2010 @ 3:35 pm

  18. I’m curious to hear more about how this analysis is flawed.

    Comment by NBarnes — December 17, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

  19. @DT:
    The Yankees have had a payroll north of $200MM for three consecutive seasons and have had a payroll close to that for the last 6 consecutive seasons. They are the only team that has proven that they can remain competitive with those kinds of commitments. I’m a bit more skeptical of the Red Sox or Phillies’ ability to do so.

    An owner’s wealth is not the same as a team’s wealth. An owner who hopes to stay wealthy will base his financial commitment to the team on the team’s ability to recoup those costs. It is absurd to expect them to do otherwise.

    The amount of money invested into the team compared to their revenue is fairly standard across baseball, with some exceptions (like the Marlins).

    Comment by Piccamo — December 17, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

  20. Teams know that fans tear their hair out every time they blow a late-inning lead. They overvalue relievers because they want to entertain, rather than enrage, the fans.

    Comment by psiogen — December 17, 2010 @ 10:51 pm

  21. Do ground ball tendencies help so much with the Statue of Thievery at SS?

    Comment by Brandon — December 18, 2010 @ 3:28 am

  22. Or maybe we should call him Ellis Island? You know… let’s everything through…

    Comment by Brandon — December 18, 2010 @ 3:52 am

  23. Terrific stuff as always, Joe. I’m stealing a few lines for my morning piece today.

    Comment by Steve S. — December 18, 2010 @ 6:58 am

  24. Perpetual Pedro sucks….

    Comment by Swallow my cum — December 18, 2010 @ 8:56 am


    Comment by Slugger27 — December 18, 2010 @ 3:03 pm

  26. No shocker BTW that the only other team to have 2 or more 2+ year contracts to relievers offered this off-season is the Angels. It’s like this team doesn’t learn.

    Comment by Joe R — December 18, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

  27. let us everything through..? what does that mean… like when a panda eats, shoots, and leaves, right?

    Comment by fredsbank — December 18, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

  28. yeah, a team that won what, 95 games despite throwing javy vazquez and aj burnett out every 5th day is just a bunch of morons

    Comment by fredsbank — December 18, 2010 @ 7:53 pm

  29. I think Joe is referring to the Angels as the team that doesn’t learn.

    Comment by Raf — December 18, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

  30. No, they haven’t. Can you stop pretending the Yankees haven’t had and won’t continue to have an enormous advantage? The Yankees can go over and stay over $200m indefinitely. They can assemble the Red Sox or Phillies roster and add the salaries of Albert Pujols and Felix Hernandez.

    While some shame might be good for you as the richest kid on the block, delusional thinking probably isn’t.

    Comment by Jack Str — December 18, 2010 @ 8:48 pm

  31. As a Mets fan, I thank the Yankees for the draft pick.

    Comment by Matt — December 18, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

  32. As a Mets fan, I agree with Matt – I didn’t want Feliciano to accept arbitration; I was just hoping for the compensatory draft pick which they now have.

    Feliciano is not as good as he once was, and I think his performance will continue to decline over the next two years.

    Good riddance – hopefully he sabotages the Yankees.

    Comment by Khosbayar — December 18, 2010 @ 10:39 pm

  33. hehe, yes indeed,those fell flat. Happens sometimes.

    Comment by Brandon — December 19, 2010 @ 2:22 am

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