Masahiro Tanaka: New York Yankee

The annoying thing about Masahiro Tanaka’s signing window was that we knew nothing would happen until the very end of it. The convenient thing about Masahiro Tanaka’s signing window was that we knew there was a designated, set-in-stone end of it, so it’s not like things could drag on forever. This put Tanaka in a unique position, and in the end, he didn’t wait until the very last minute to make a choice — with a few days to spare, Tanaka’s elected to sign with the Yankees, for seven years and $155 million.

Also, there is an opt-out clause after the fourth year. Also, there is the matter of the $20 million posting fee. Put the numbers together and it’s a commitment similar to the one the Tigers made to Justin Verlander and that the Mariners made to Felix Hernandez, and while you can’t just add the posting fee to the salary total like that, and while the opt-out clause has its own value, and while some extra time has passed, and while this is the Yankees, and while those other guys weren’t free agents, it’s clear that Tanaka isn’t expected to contribute a serviceable 33 starts. Regardless of the fact that this is Yankees money, the expectation is that Tanaka will pitch like an ace. At least, like he’ll pitch like a good No. 2.

On multiple occasions, there were rumors that the Cubs would out-bid everybody else, in both money and years. Though the Cubs aren’t quite ready to win yet, the argument was that the front office loved the idea of signing a young potential superstar. The Dodgers were also in the mix, as the only team that can really compete with the Yankees’ finances, and there was talk that Tanaka would prefer to land out west. But the Yankees always seemed like the predictable destination, once they accepted that $189 million was unrealistic. They openly talked about their need for another 200 innings, they’re expected to be good every season, and they sure do have a lot of money to play with. Throw in the success of Hiroki Kuroda and nothing about today’s events is surprising. Maybe you didn’t expect Tanaka to decide until Thursday or Friday, but one way or another, it seemed pretty likely he’d end up with the Yankees by the end of the week.

The opt-out clause is important — Tanaka could, conceivably, enter actual free agency right before he turns 29. That would put him in line for another major payday if he manages to stay healthy and pitch well enough. At that point, he’d have three years remaining with the Yankees, at a total of $67 million. He’d simply have to project to beat those numbers as a free agent, and when you think about that, remember to account for multiple years of inflation. If Tanaka’s as good as the Yankees expect, he’ll opt out. If he’s a little worse, he might still opt out. In a sense this is only really a seven-year contract if things for New York go somewhat poorly.

We’ll go into greater depth a little bit later. For now, the Yankees have their man, which most people should’ve been expecting. They probably still aren’t good enough to catch the Red Sox, but they’re a pretty certain Wild Card contender, which they might not have been with a worse starter in Tanaka’s place. And with Tanaka having made a decision, at last, the remaining offseason dominoes ought to begin toppling with spring training right around the corner. Bid farewell to the quiet period — February came early this time around, and now we should have activity of interest leading right into pitchers and catchers. And thank damned goodness for that.



Print This Post



Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Brian
Guest
Brian
2 years 4 months ago

That opt out clause and the posting fee makes this one very questionable for me. The upside (4 years of very good pitching, then opt out. Yankees pay $108M total for 4 yrs) doesn’t match the downside (mediocre or injury-riddled 7 yrs/$155 plus the posting fee).

I know the Yankees can afford it, but they are basically spending the Cano money on Tanaka, and leaving a bit of a hole at 2B.

Or is the Japanese marketing aspect bump up the upside an mitigate the downside enough that it makes sense?

Kenz
Guest
Kenz
2 years 4 months ago

The Yankees probably don’t care about the downside that much. Think about nearly every contract they’ve given out for seven years or more. The Sabathia deal is pretty much the same as Tanaka’s, and they’re already starting to see the downside of it. The downside for Jacoby Ellsbury is enormous is he loses a step on the basepaths as he gets older. And don’t forget the multi-year deals for slow first-basemen (Giambi, Teixeira).

The Yankees can afford it. That’s the beginning of the argument, and the end of the argument.

Iron
Guest
Iron
2 years 4 months ago

But opportunity cost is something. For instance, they evidently could not ‘afford’ Cano.

YankeeGM
Member
YankeeGM
2 years 4 months ago

The Cano decision had nothing to do with being able to afford it. The Yanks learned that 10 years for a 31 y/o player is insane, and with the ARod disaster front and center they flat out refused to do it again.

Iron
Guest
Iron
2 years 4 months ago

If you think Cano will produce less WAR/dollar over his contract than Tanaka will, that is a fair assertion.

But my point was just that “they can afford it, so that’s the end” is a stupid statement. They can afford more than other teams, but they obviously have to make cost/benefit analyses on every player the same as every other team.

jpg
Member
jpg
2 years 4 months ago

I think they should have resigned Cano. Yankees are one of the few teams with the wherewithal to pay Cano if he’s a replacement level player in 2023. They are only paying Ellsbury something like $3 million less over the next seven years.

Forget about win now mode, the Yankees are in win-forever mode. The team was pretty competitive all year despite all of A-Rod, Tex, Jeter and Granderson spending most of the season on the DL. The four guys probably made $75 mil collectively last year. Add in Sabathia who was awful and Youk who was hurt and awful and you’re at over $100 million worth of guys who did nothing. If that isn’t a sign that, especially with a decade’s worth of inflation, that $24 million in dead weight just wouldn’t be a big deal for the Yankees in 2022 and 2023.

Preston
Guest
Preston
2 years 4 months ago

They offered Cano a higher AAV than the Mariners. So it wasn’t about fitting him into the annual budget. It was about not giving a guy a contract until he’s on the wrong side of 40. Tanaka will be 32 at the end of his deal, it’s a totally different type of risk.

ken
Guest
ken
2 years 4 months ago

“They can afford it” was essentially Dave Cameron’s defense of the Ellsbury signing

Valuearb
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

They did not offer a higher AAV than the mariners when state/local taxes were factored in. They never budgeted on their lowball offer, them turned around and threw more money at worse players.

If they can afford Ellsbury, then they were better off offering Cano 7/$190M or 8/$210m to get a better player who fills a much greater need especially when the Yanks already have a center fielder 85% as good as Ellsbury).

Tanaka is going to cost $25m a year for 7 years (with posting fee) if he’s worth less than that. If in the unlikely chance he’s worth more than he’s paid, the Yankees get 4 years at $108m, $27m a year, and he opts out. Assuming inflation drives WAR to $6m/each over those 4 years, requires 18 WAR to break even before he opts out. Over the last 4 years only 6 MLB pitchersi have over 18 WAR. The odds that Tanaka will do it might be only 1 in 10. Using $5.5m per WAR pushes the line to 20 WAR, and only 4 pitchers have reached that over the last 4 years.

The odds that he gets hurt or disappoints and costs the full $175m are over 50%. Worse is he can be a 3-4 WAR pitcher every year, and a big disappointment based on that huge cost, yet still opt out to easily lock down a bigger contract than his remaining option.

If the Yanks can afford to pay $27m a year for players, do it for proven MLB stars in free agency or in trade, not for riskier Japanese talent that comes with a large posting fee surtax, and giving them absurdly bad options. They would have been better off giving Tanaka 7/$180m straight because they get to keep him 3 more years if he’s a stud, and doesn’ti cost much more if he busts. Or payi him $19m/year up to the opt out, and $27m/year for the 3 year option, so if he opts out they at least got a good deal for the first 4 years.

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

Ellsbury will be a bad deal just like Jeter’s contracts have been albatrosses for the Yankees (they haven’t been). Ellsbury is the best leadoff hitter in the game and the successor to Jeter for the Yanks. Great signing. There is almost no way to criticize accumulating the best available talent. McCann, Ellsbury, Tron, Tanaka. The Yankees have blown everyone else out of the water this winter (and I’m not a Yankee fan).

semperty
Member
semperty
2 years 4 months ago

Ellsbury’s got a whooping .356 OBP over the last 3 years (.355 last year). What, exactly makes him “the best leadoff hitter in the game”?

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 4 months ago

First of all, the comments about which you’re so incredibly certain are, at the very least, arguable. It’s not at all clear, for example, that Ellsbury is the best leadoff hitter in the game. Second, I fail to see how a guy who can’t play SS — especially when the Yankees have no obvious replacement for Jeter — is “Jeter’s successor” unless you’re stating that Ellsbury’s going to go on the DL as soon as Jeter comes off it.

Most importantly, if there’s “no way to criticize accumulating the best available talent” then the Yankees ought to be criticized for screwing the pooch on Cano. There, they opted NOT to sign the best available talent thus, by your estimation, making their offseason worse.

The Humber Games
Guest
The Humber Games
2 years 4 months ago

You see a great offseason – I see an offseason where they took a team that was already a parade of injury risks, and added a few more high injury risk players to it, and a big question mark in Tanaka.

I mean
Ellsbury
Jeter
Beltran
Teixeira
McCann
Soriano
Roberts
Gardner

Would you put money on any of these guys staying healthy all year? Soriano, maybe? It seems to me that the Yankees took a formula that gave them a lost season last year (aging players and little depth) and doubled down on it this year.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 4 months ago

The Yankees have missed the playoffs twice during Cashman’s entire tenure, running out veteran teams pretty much every year. They probably know what they are doing….

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 4 months ago

By comparison, the Redsox have missed the playoffs more times in the last four years than the Yankees have in the last 20. That is pretty crazy when you consider that the Redsox are thought to be among the best run teams in baseball.

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

clearly the Yankees chose (key word) to use the 240M commitment it would have taken to lock up Cano for 10 yrs instead to get Ellsbury for 7 and McCann or 5. Ells by himself nearly matched the 6 wins that Cano had in 2013.

As far as injuries go, predicting that Ells is likely to get bhp that will land him on the DL just shows that there is something more going on in these reactions…

Fardbart
Guest
Fardbart
2 years 4 months ago

They made the playoffs all those years due to 2 things:
* A fantastic crop of home-grown talent in the mid-late 90s
* Having the ability to massivly outspend everyone else (and keep that talent/buy other teams’ talent)

They can still do the latter, but the former is gone. Without both they are just another team of risky veterans, who need everything to go perfectly to contend. For the last decade, or so, they have been the worst-run team in the division (in terms of identifying and developing talent). The money covers up for a lot of mistakes, however.

Imagine if the Patriots in the NFL were able to spend 3x what the Packers spend. How awesome would they be?

John C
Guest
John C
2 years 4 months ago

“By comparison, the Redsox have missed the playoffs more times in the last four years than the Yankees have in the last 20.”

And neither one of them cares about that. The Red Sox and the Yankees aren’t trying to “make the playoffs,” they’re both trying to win the World Series. If you lose in the Division Series, you might as well have lost 93 games. Right now, the Red Sox are a lot better at winning the World Series than the Yankees are. And that’s why the Yankees threw all that money at Tanaka today.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 4 months ago

don’t know if anyone’s said this yet, but seems relevant: the Yankees will enter 2014 with one of the oldest teams ever, and are thus very likely to lose a lot of games to injury..
My bet is that they will underperform badly.

source
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22579

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
2 years 4 months ago

I don’t see this as a gain in Japanese marketing, due to the fact that the Yankees already have a massive worldwide marketing edge. I can’t imagine this really increasing what is already a strong footprint.

Basically $27 million a year for the peak years of what is supposed to be a 3 to 4 win SP. That is no bargain at all.

Ollie
Guest
Ollie
2 years 4 months ago

Well, at market rates of 5.5 – 6 mil per WAR, if he is a 4 war pitcher it is not a gross overpay.

Tyler K Patterson
Member
Tyler K Patterson
2 years 4 months ago

It’s closer to 6.5/ 7 per win but your point remains.

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
2 years 4 months ago

I didn’t say it was an overpay.

The problem with the contract is that the Yankees are assuming a ton of risk. The kind of risk that only a handful of teams can take. Its another shot to competitive balance, which at this point is all but dead.

Iron
Guest
Iron
2 years 4 months ago

Best case being “not a gross overpay” is a pretty shaky place for a contract to start from.

JimNYC
Guest
JimNYC
2 years 4 months ago

“Competitive balance is all but dead.”

2013 opening day payroll ranks of all teams who made the playoffs:

Dodgers: 2
Red Sox: 4
Tigers: 5
Cardinals: 11
Reds: 13
Braves: 18
Indians: 21
Athletics: 26
Pirates: 27
Rays: 28

Meaning that as many teams in the BOTTOM 5 in Opening Day payroll made the playoffs as teams in the top 5. More teams from the bottom third of payrolls made the playoffs than teams from the top third.

But keep telling yourself that competitive balance is dead.

Anaphylaxis
Guest
Anaphylaxis
2 years 4 months ago

@JIMNYC

Yes, but all four of the teams that made the ALCS/NLCS are the top four on that list.

Oakland, Tampa, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh were awful for an extended period of time. All of those teams were highly uncompetitive for over a decade. And none of them have won a World Series on their current hot steaks.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

On the other hand, the Yankees don’t care about little stuff like “bargains.” They don’t exist in the same market as everyone else.

yanks bullpen
Guest
yanks bullpen
2 years 4 months ago

Day’s never finished, Masa’s got me working
someday Masa set me free!!!!!!!

Boris Chinchilla
Guest
Boris Chinchilla
2 years 4 months ago

Imagine the firestorm after it’s revealed that Tanaka’s NPB numbers are fake and that he is transgender!

Jack Zduriencik
Guest
Jack Zduriencik
2 years 4 months ago

Tanaka took the line and snorted it with million dollar bills.

hamjenkinsIII
Member
hamjenkinsIII
2 years 4 months ago

Tasahiro Manaka

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 4 months ago

Tanaka will put close to 100K more fans in the park in his starts alone in the Bronx. At 85 dollars a pop, that’s over 8 million. Add to this advertisements on YES games whose ratings will be through the roof, no idea how to estimate this. In stadium advertisements and Japanese sponsorships which could exceed 5 million based on the Matsui experience. And in stadium merchandise sales of Tanaka jerseys will be lapped up by the Japanese fans.

I would say Tanaka will add about 15 million in revenue to help pay for his salary and the tax. Also, by virtue of making the Yankees competitive, the Yankees can recover that 58 million in lost ticket sales in 2013 and increase attendance even in games he does not pitch.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 4 months ago

“Tanaka will put close to 100K more fans in the park in his starts alone in the Bronx. ”

How did you get this 100K number?

Ben
Guest
Ben
2 years 4 months ago

Makes Kershaw look like a bargain, comparatively.

lester bangs
Guest
lester bangs
2 years 4 months ago

And Felix, and almost anyone.

The Yanks overpaid because they could and they needed a major arm (obviously and obviously).

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 4 months ago

I agree. If he becomes a good, solid starting pitcher then the Yankees massively overpaid. We have no idea what to expect from him yet the expectations are that he’s going to be one of the top 5-10 starters in the game. It might happen, but that’s setting the bar too high.

JimNYC
Guest
JimNYC
2 years 4 months ago

As a Yankee fan, I’m just hoping he’s better than Kei Igawa. If he’s as good as Hiroki Kuroda I’ll be doing backflips over the moon. But still, a great signing that I’m very pleased with.

JS7
Guest
JS7
2 years 4 months ago

What the story doesn’t say is that Tanaka has agreed to play 2B when he’s not pitching. So win win.

Jon L.
Guest
Jon L.
2 years 4 months ago

This only seems like a win-win if you don’t follow the Venezuelan Winter League. Tanaka moves pretty well at second base but doesn’t have soft hands (to the tune of 7 fielding errors), and he batted .158. It’s going to be very tough for him to replace Cano in addition to his mound duties.

Yirmiyahu
Member
2 years 4 months ago

5th largest pitching contract ever (behind Kershaw, Verlander, King Felix, and Sabathia). If you include the $20M posting fee, the cost is only less than Kershaw and Verlander. PLUS an opt out clause.

Personally, I think it’s crazy to commit that much to any pitcher. Even crazier to commit that much to somoene’s who’s never pitched in MLB.

RMD
Guest
RMD
2 years 4 months ago

The short porch in right means Yankees need a pitcher that will be most likely person to retain their velocity and K rate(not to mention their horrendous infield defense)– They signed a 25 year old. They did the right thing.

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 4 months ago

Yes, though he’s not a typical 25 year old in any sense when you factor in the mileage on his arm.

Za
Guest
Za
2 years 4 months ago

The guy’s also got a straight fastball, apparently.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

Do you know the last pitcher who was a free agent after his age-24 season?

Doc Gooden.

It’s silly to compare this to a “normal” deal. It’s the Yankees and it’s unprecedented.

yuniform
Guest
yuniform
2 years 4 months ago

Y’know who threw a lot of innings by his age-24 season and never posted a 2 bWAR season after?

Doc Gooden

yuniform
Guest
yuniform
2 years 4 months ago

Ack, nevermind; I was reading the wrong column on B-Ref. He topped 2 WAR six times after that, 3 WAR twice, peaking at 3.5 WAR.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 4 months ago

Imma go ahead and say your point stands, despite the wondrous 3.5 WAR season.

It also doesn’t make sense to say “Well he’s young and this is weird so let’s not even try to analyze it”.

Tanaka pretty much has to be awesome for this to work out. When the only way a deal makes sense is if the best possible outcome occurs, that may not be such a great deal.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

Gooden threw 1482 innings from age 18 to age 24. Felix Hernandez threw 1392. Tanaka threw 1315.

Gooden pitched every fifth day over that time. Tanaka pitched every seventh day.

(I’m not going to get into the silliness of using Doc Gooden as a comparison for any player who isn’t addicted to cocaine.)

Ankle explosion, you do understand that your putting quotation marks around words and attributing them to me doesn’t actually mean that I said “Well he’s young and this is weird so let’s not even try to analyze it.”

What I said was that it’s silly to look to the past for comparisons because this is literally an unprecedented situation.

That’s true. The Gooden reference only reinforced that.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 4 months ago

every situation is literally an unprecedented situation.
There’s always combinations of unique things about each player that have never been seen before. Tanaka is a perfect example of this.

The broader point is that there’s substantial wear on Tanaka’s arm, which makes the deal more suspect.

The still broader point–which you didn’t address–is that this deal really only works out if Tanaka performs at about the upper end of his projections. There’s little margin for error if he has trouble, and there are some reasons to believe he may have trouble.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

A) There’s really not that much wear on Tanaka’s arm, if you look at how many innings healthy American pitchers actually throw from 18-24 and account for the fact that Tanaka got more rest than they.

B) The most common comps are Dan Haren and Hiroki Kuroda. If he’s as good as Dan Haren was from 25-28 (the years he is under team control), they’ll have gotten a bargain at $108M for 21 WAR.

C) As far as projections go, I haven’t seen one projecting him for fewer than 3.5 wins. ZiPS has him at 3.8; Pod has him with a 3.46 ERA and 190 IP. In YSIII, thats 3.5-4 wins. Both projections account for an adjustment period. They expect him to be better than that from 26-28 (and from 26-31). If you say that he’ll never be any better than a 3.5 WAR pitcher and he stays the full 7 years, they’ll have paid just over $7M/WAR. Accounting for inflation, that’s fair market value.

D) That brings me to my last point: these are the Yankees. They don’t give a rat’s ass about “fair market value,” because they have more money than any other team in baseball, including the Dodgers, and much more money than the 28 non-Dodgers baseball teams. It’s silly and shortsighted to evaluate a move made by the Yankees the same way you would evaluate a move made by the Red Sox or the Tigers, much less a team in the middle payroll bracket. “Fair market value” is just the amount the Yankees need to exceed in order to get what they want.

Your standards of a deal “working out” come from the perspective of a middle or a large market team. The Yankees don’t care if a deal “works out” by those standards, because they aren’t a “large market team.” They’re the Yankees.

Brian
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

I agree with you (and most of fangraphs) on this, but it’s an unpopular opinion in the mainstream apparently:

http://thereadzone.com/2014/01/22/number-crunching-the-yankees-signing-of-masahiro-tanaka-the-yankees-got-taken-for-a-ride/

Same guys who couldn’t give Cano 24M AAV. Big mistake.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 4 months ago

The Yankees could have, and would have, given Cano $24 M AAV. They didn’t want to give him 10 years. You’re dissembling by stating that they didn’t want to give Cano the AAV he wanted.

If you want to argue that they should have given him 10 years, make that argument. But please be intellectually honest when arguing that the Yankees were stupid in not re-signing Cano.

jim S.
Guest
jim S.
2 years 4 months ago

The Yankees were, what, eight wins over their Pythagorean number last season? Now without Cano, Rivera. McCann and Beltran are over the hill. Nobody who can play at second or third. An old man at short. They’ll be fortunate to contend for a wild card, fortunate to equal last year’s win total.

Art Vandelay
Guest
Art Vandelay
2 years 4 months ago

McCann over the hill? I wasn’t aware that 30 was considered old, and Beltran’s basically been a 3 win player or better over the last few years. That being said, their infield is a total disaster.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 4 months ago

Their infield was a disaster last year! It was Cano all by himself. As long as Jeter and Teixeira play this year, their infield will almost certainly be better than last year.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 4 months ago

That doesn’t mean it still won’t be a disaster. Expecting a whole lot out of Jeter and Teixeira may lead to a whole lot of disappointment in the Bronx.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 4 months ago

But can you imagine Jeter and Teixeira being worse than Nix and Overbay? I can’t even in the worst case scenario.

Fardbart
Guest
Fardbart
2 years 4 months ago

I could see Jeter/Tex being very similar to what they had last year (if you include defense)

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 4 months ago

“Their infield was a disaster last year! It was Cano all by himself.”

Well at least they still have Ca…oh, wait.

JimNYC
Guest
JimNYC
2 years 4 months ago

PA’s for the 2013 Yankees’ infielders (I’ll include catchers for the heck of it), and their OBP’s:

Robinson Cano: 681 PA’s, .383 OBP
Lyle Overbay: 486 PA’s, .295 OBP
Chris Stewart: 340 PA’s, .293 OBP
Eduardo Nunez: 336 PA’s, .307 OBP
Jayson Nix: 303 PA’s, .308 OBP
Alex Rodriguez: 181 PA’s, .348 OBP
David Adams: 152 PA’s, .252 OBP
Austin Romine: 148 PA’s, .255 OBP
Mark Reynolds: 120 PA’s, .300 OBP
Kevin Youkilis: 105 PA’s, .305 OBP

So… that’s 10 players who all got at least 100 PA’s for the Yankees’ infield last year. Of those ten players, only two (Cano and Rodriguez) put up an OBP higher than .308. .308! I’ll also point out that of those ten players, only Cano and Stewart are plus defenders, and some of them (Reynolds, Nunez, Youkilis) are downright abysmal.

I don’t care how badly they’ll miss Cano and Rodriguez; the rest of the infield last year was so unfathomably awful that this year’s infield literally cannot possibly be worse unless the entire 40 man roster comes down with flesh eating bacteria.

John C
Guest
John C
2 years 4 months ago

McCann already has more than 1,000 career games caught on his legs and he’s already showing signs of decline as a hitter. He’s not over the hill, but his best years are probably behind him. That said, he’s a big improvement over what the Yankees had.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 4 months ago

How is Brian McCann over the hill?

The Yankees are also without Nix, Adams, Wells, Suzuki, Stewart, and Overbay getting significant playing time, and that is a good thing. They probably won’t need to outperform their pythagorean to contend for the WC this year.

Iron
Guest
Iron
2 years 4 months ago

Most teams injury situations look fine in January. Even ignoring their average age, you may have to revisit who’s getting what playing time by May or June.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 4 months ago

Yes of course. That said, the amount of injuries the Yankees had last year is unlikely to repeat I should think. They basically lost their shortstop, third base, first base, catcher, left fielder and designated hitters all for the year. They also lost time from lots of their starting pitching. They really were a replacement team for much of the year.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 4 months ago

disagree… injury probability increases linearly with age. The Yankees were ridiculously old last year, and they got much older this year. There will be injuries. Many.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

How did they get older by retiring 2 40year old pitchers, a 36 year old DH and cutting a 35 year old backup OF?

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 4 months ago

because that’s not all the player acquisitions they made?

When you do the math, they gained upwards of a year of average age, going from about 32 to about 33 in their position players.

As for pitchers, Tanaka signing will decrease the average age slightly, but I don’t think it offsets the whole starting rotation aging a year. I haven’t done the math yet though.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 4 months ago

ah and source, I guess behind a paywall. Apologies. You’ll have to trust me or calculate it yourself.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22579

Boris Chinchilla
Guest
Boris Chinchilla
2 years 4 months ago

Mccann stopped hitting doubles years ago, but nobobdy noticed cuz he did it the right way

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

…and? He also started walking more and hitting more HRs.

JT Grace
Guest
JT Grace
2 years 4 months ago

I don’t really think McCann is over-the-hill at age 29. The back end of his contract might be ugly but he should be fine for the first 2 – 3 years…especially if he is allowed to DH a couple of times per week.

However, I do agree that the Yankees will be fortunate to contend for a wild card. They have too many weaknesses.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

The RedSox were the 5th best team on paper in the division last season.

They still are, despite winning the WS.

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
2 years 4 months ago

I’d like to see this “paper” where the Red Sox are the 5th best team in the AL East.

David
Member
David
2 years 4 months ago

You’re just trolling, right Tom? The Red Sox led the Majors in team WAR last year.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 4 months ago

Who projected the Red Sox to lead baseball in team WAR last year?

S. Urista
Guest
S. Urista
2 years 4 months ago

I think what he’s pointing out is that in pre-season 2013, many projections predicted an awful season for the Red Sox, based on the Valentine train-wreck that was 2012. None of the experts on ESPN or SI.com had them winning their division. These Yahoos (literally) had the Red Sox last in the division:

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/mlb–mlb-season-predictions–2013-division-and-playoff-races-055136969.html

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

and 2013 projections mean NOTHING for 2014 because 2014 projections have the Red Sox as the 2nd best team in the major leagues

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

“2014 projections have the Red Sox as the 2nd best team in the major leagues”

Which means… GASP… NOTHING!

john
Guest
john
2 years 4 months ago

It means much more than your retarded opinion of what will happen next year.

Who should I trust? Projection systems that have been worked on extensively, and very smart people use, or one dumb Yankees fan’s opinion? I’ll take the projections, thank you.

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 4 months ago

It’s not trolling. Tom B is a known dullard.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

They mean “nothing.”

They means exactly as much now as the 2013 projections that had them as terrible did then.

We should expect them to be just as accurate.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

“It means much more than your retarded opinion of what will happen next year.”

But last years projection didn’t mean anything because it was wrong?

OK.

NS – No idea who you are. Isn’t that sad?

Fardbart
Guest
Fardbart
2 years 4 months ago

They are projected to have the highest WAR in MLB, I believe

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
2 years 4 months ago

McCann’s over the hill in the sense that his best years are probably behind him. Catcher’s tend to age far more quickly unless you’re some kind of genetic freak, but McCann doesn’t strike me as that guy and decline has already seemingly set in for him. He’s still useful, just not what he was.

noseeum
Guest
noseeum
2 years 4 months ago

I don’t know where you’ve been looking, but this is simply not the case.

Catchers follow the typical curve of all players, and there is even some evidence that they outperform other positions in later years:
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/catcher-aging-is-a-curve-not-a-cliff/

Iron
Guest
Iron
2 years 4 months ago

Thanks for the catcher aging link. But… I have really started to question the survivor bias in Jeff Zimmerman’s aging curves and how meaningful they are in general after his latest claims that players now on average peak at 21 (despite not single player that can be pointed to as an example of the trend). I am now, inevitably, going to spend the rest of the evening looking at catcher aging data.

JT Grace
Guest
JT Grace
2 years 4 months ago

Brian came to the majors at a young age and has played in a ton of games. He isn’t over-the-hill but he does have a lot of mileage on him. He will be better than the most recent Yankees catchers but he won’t be as good as he was 2 – 3 years ago.

noseeum
Guest
noseeum
2 years 4 months ago

I can’t remember where exactly I was reading this, but there is a piece somewhere examining the “why” of catcher aging. If I can find it I’ll post a link, but here’s what I remember from it:

-First, the data clearly supports the idea that catchers age on a similar curve to other position players.

-Second, this is extremely counter-intuitive. Everyone assumes catchers take a beating back there, so they should age more quickly.

-Third, how could this be? The article argued that in a catcher’s early years, his offense suffers because he spends the vast majority of his time focusing on improving his defense. Conversely, after years of experience, they have a vast library of pitching tendencies from their years of catching, and they can finally begin to focus on hitting. These two “advantages” over other players help to counterbalance the potentially increased physical deterioration.

Anyway, I don’t know how much this helps without the supporting article, but it at least provides a possible explanation for the counterintuitive results.

Iron
Guest
Iron
2 years 4 months ago

I looked at a *lot* of comps for McCann, and here is my unsupported conjecture.

Catchers who do not deteriorate enough that they can still play, play at levels which decline with age similar to other position players. However, a greater number of catchers wash-out and end their careers and thus no longer show up in the data. Survivor bias. This also brings up the average because a good player who gets hurt may get a chance to come back, while players who were on the lower end prior to injury are retired and simply disappear from the data.

Lenard
Guest
Lenard
2 years 4 months ago

Don’t you need 6 years of service time to be a free agent? Does this mean he can opt-out of his current deal and enter arbitration with the Yankees for 2 years and then be a free agent (or more likely just try to renegotiate the deal to add on years and dollars like CC did)?

Yirmiyahu
Member
2 years 4 months ago

I’m assuming the contract has a clause requiring the Yankees to grant him free agency if he opts out. Because otherwise, you’re right, he’d just opt out and still end up under team control via arbitration (at a lower cost too).

JayT
Guest
JayT
2 years 4 months ago

I know that Cespedes had a clause in his contract that the A’s can’t offer him arbitration at the end of his contract, so I would guess Tanaka has a similar thing in his contract.

noseeum
Guest
noseeum
2 years 4 months ago

@JayT, you may be right that that’s how it works. Maybe Japanese players would technically fall under arbitration, but there’s no way the good ones would sign a contract allowing it. No way you sign a free agent contract of less than 6 years unless it blocked arbitration.

noseeum
Guest
noseeum
2 years 4 months ago

No, Japanese players are not subject to the draft, and thus are not subject to arbitration rules either. He’s an FA when his contract is over, no matter when that is.

mike wants wins
Guest
mike wants wins
2 years 4 months ago

Why do people think the Yankees are done signing people? Why does anyone care if the contract is “worth it” if it does not keep them from signing other players? They had a need, they filled it. They have plenty of money left to do more if they want.

YankeeGM
Member
YankeeGM
2 years 4 months ago

You are completely right. The Yanks stand at $209mm after Tanaka, and have had payrolls in excess of $235 in years past. Adding one (or more)late inning reliever and trading for an 3B are both well within reach and will probably happen.

Yirmiyahu
Member
2 years 4 months ago

Because, apparently, it does keep them from signing other players. They didn’t sign Robinson Cano. And then spent 75% of that money on Tanaka instead.

Is there another star-caliber 2Bman/SS/3Bman you foresee them spending big bucks on to fill those holes?

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

Money didn’t stop them from signing Cano, years did. Money has never stopped the Yankees from signing anyone.

Yirmiyahu
Member
2 years 4 months ago

So, you’re saying that the Yankees offered Cano $240 million over 6 years, and he turned it down for Seattle’s offer because it was more years?

Atreyu Jones
Guest
Atreyu Jones
2 years 4 months ago

I don’t think you get it. They didn’t want to pay Cano the MONEY in those extra years. It wasn’t having him under contract in those extra years that was the problem (they could release him at anytime) – it was the money that was the problem.

Youppi!
Guest
Youppi!
2 years 4 months ago

not resigning Martin was weird and probably couched in the silly belief they could be sub 189 at that point. not resigning Cano was a deliberate business decision to avoid a huge contract from years 36+, for someone they must believe will age poorly and produce little value.

i’m glad they have gardner, ellsbury and a beltran (ichiro defensive sub) in the OF because every ball is going to get through the IF.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 4 months ago

I dont think it was just the money that stopped them from signing Russell Martin, I think it was also that they didn’t think he was that good. I’m sure they thought Chris Stewart could make outs 70% of the time, and play equally good defense. He pretty much did that, but without Martin’s pop (which turned out to be a pretty significant difference).

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

Yeah, I’m still pissed about the Russel Martin non-signing, but it wasn’t the money that stopped them.

He offered to come back on a one-year deal. It wouldn’t have affected 189 at all.

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

money didn’t stop them from signing Russell Martin. Clearly they had their sights set on McCann a year hence and couldn’t sign Martin for only 1 yr.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

Actually, LaLoosh, he offered to come back on a 1 year deal. They turned him down for some idiotic reason.

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

really not that relevant. the Yankees clearly had their sights on McCann.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

You do understand that Martin’s offer of a one year deal means that McCann could not have less to do with their choosing not to sign him, right?

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

Cool Lester: Are you a Sox fan?

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

Nope. Yankees all the way.

Skier44
Guest
Skier44
2 years 4 months ago

The money in terms of AAV wasn’t really the issue with Cano, it was the years. Cano wanted a contract that would pay him into his 40’s and the Yankees weren’t interested in paying a guy who will be 40+ at the end of the deal.

Tanaka has the interesting appeal of being on the FA market at 25 years old, which pretty much never happens. We don’t know for sure what Tanaka “will be,” but the Yankees know they have whatever he “will be” for his prime years. Comparatively most FA’s hit the market somewhere between 29-31 years of age and land contracts that only cover 1-2 “prime” years and then several “decline” years. That’s not the case with Tanaka. A lot of scouts have compared him to what Hiroki Kuroda was at age 25. The Yankees (rightly) like what they’ve seen from a past his prime Kuroda, so if they reasonably believe (not much of a stretch) that Tanaka is essentially Kuroda in his prime than they must be very happy to give him this contract.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
2 years 4 months ago

You’re right. Now that they have abandoned their goal of staying under the luxury tax for one year, they could still spend a lot.
There are a lot of pitchers left.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 4 months ago

what was that headline on NotGraphs recently?
Something like “Yankees Sign All Remaining Free Agents”. I can see that happening now that the luxury tax plan has been destroyed.

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

I don’t get the idea that the Yankees will prob still fall short of the Sox. The Sox overachieving in ’13 is now being taken for granted to continue into ’14. I don’t see it.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

I completely agree.

They were the worst team in the division on paper last year. They got lucky, got some great performances and then… they are running almost the same team out there this year? Minus Ellsbury?

Boston is probably the 4th or 5th best team in the division on paper once again… depending on how you view the Orioles.

George
Guest
George
2 years 4 months ago

Scored the most runs in MLB, tied for best record, won WS, most of their players were healthy and played to their career norms. But they got lucky.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

Yeah! I don’t get why people expect Napoli’s .367 BABIP to regress to his career average of .310;

or for Victorino to not continue to outproduce his career wRC+ by 13 points as he continues into his 30s;

or why they think that Saltalamacchia played above his career norm when he outperformed his career wRC+ by 23 points;

or why they claim that a .376 BABIP isn’t Jose Iglesias’ true talent level;

or that Stephen Drew staying mostly healthy isn’t his playing to his career norm;

or that Nava’s .352 BABIP is likely to regress;

or that Uehara won’t continue to halve his career RA9 as a 39 year old in one of the most difficult pitching environments in baseball.

Not a single one of the Red Sox’s signings outperformed expectations! Anyone who suggests otherwise, or that they might not continue to do so, is clearly a Yankees homer!

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
2 years 4 months ago

This laughable. The “paper” I read (ZiPS) says the Sox project at 42 WAR, Rays at 42, Baltimore at 34, Yankees at 31 (33-34 with Tanaka). Toronto has terrible pitching staff, I imagine they will be lower 30’s too.

FG’s has the Red Sox with the highest projected WAR in MLB at 47, followed bt TB 42, Jays 39, Yankees 37, O’s 33.

Yep they sure got lucky.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

From your “paper”.

“Finally, Szymborski will advise anyone against — and might karate chop anyone guilty of — merely adding up WAR totals on depth chart to produce projected team WAR.”

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

Avoiding major injuries and getting marginal players to outperform expectations… that’s pretty much how I define luck, yes.

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

And fangraphs projected standings, which use projections, and don’t do that, have the Red Sox as 7 wins better than the Yankees, and those have a much lower standard deviation than the real MLB wins standard deviation, so in reality, it’s more than 7 wins

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
2 years 4 months ago

That’s why I used multiple projections. You are delusional if you think the Red Sox are the 4th best team in the AL on paper.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

What did they project at for last year?

There’s no reason to expect the 2014 projection to be more accurate than the 2013 one was, other than that it tells you what you want to hear.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
2 years 4 months ago

In other words, if Tanaka is worth 4 WAR, they are a wild card contender, which is what Jeff said. He didn’t say they would be a wild card favorite.

Caleb W
Guest
Caleb W
2 years 4 months ago

So, this whole projections conversation is kind of ridiculous, but I will add a point:

Contra CLS, there really is a reason to expect the 2014 projection to be more accurate than the 2013 one was. At least, it will be more accurate for predicting the upcoming season’s performances, which is what this conversation is about, right? The reason is that the 2014 projection incorporates all the data from player performances in 2013. Whether or not players overperformed in 2013, those are highly relevant data points in predicting 2014 performances, no? We can’t just throw them out, high or low as they might have been.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that there is no reason to expect the 2014 projections to be any more accurate in predicting 2014 than the 2013 projections were in predicting 2013.

YankeeGM
Member
YankeeGM
2 years 4 months ago

The Vegas odds-makers have made the Yanks 10:1 odds to win the WS and Red Sox 12:1…

Say what you will about vegas and baseball betting, but Vegas odds-makers are pretty damn accurate in their assessment of teams and their probabilities for success.

Atreyu Jones
Guest
Atreyu Jones
2 years 4 months ago

What ‘paper’?

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 4 months ago

He’s not going to show any work. He’s going to throw stones at all the evidence everyone else has that he’s a moron, and continue to allude to his own secret knowledge that cannot be substantiated.

wobatus
Member
wobatus
2 years 4 months ago

Bambu or EZ Wider.

SDiaz
Guest
SDiaz
2 years 4 months ago

Lets just take a moment to look over the Red Sox;
Their rotation: While they have no real number 1 (unless you believe in Clays first half last season) they have three solid number 2s and two solid number 4s and more depth than they really need. Besides Tampa, I would say that they have best rotation in the East.
The Bullpen: Awesome: Koji, Tazawa, Mujica, Badenhorp, Workman… this is a very good group
Lineup: Lost Ells which will hurt, can probably expect regression from Ortiz and Carp. AJP will probably not produce like Salty did last year (which was unsustainable). Will get a full seasons worth from Xander which could be a big upgrade over Drew, WMB cant be worse than he was last year, JBJ will not be a disaster, Victorino will hopefully drop the switch hitting. All in all the lineup is worse than it was last season, but still will be in the top 10 in runs across baseball.
Defense: Pedy, JBJ, Victorino, and maybe Napoli are all above average defensively. LF may be a bit of adventure with Gomes/Nava.

Overall: The Red Sox have a very good lineup, a good rotation with depth, pretty good defense and a great bullpen. They should be favorites in the East. A well rounded team of good players is typically preferable to a team composed of Stars and Studs.

Spencer Jones
Member
Member
Spencer Jones
2 years 4 months ago

Stars and Studs lol, I’ll take that team.

However, you forget about A.J/Ross, that should be a pretty good offensive platoon at catcher.

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

The Sox rotation will have more depth but top 3 are equivalent to the Yanks as long as Tanaka is close to advertised. But I’ll take the Yankee lineup over the Sox by a big margin.

Ells CF
Jeter SS
Tron RF
McCann C
Teix 1B
Sori DH
KJ 3B
Roberts 2B
Gardy LF

JBJ CF
Pedr 2B
Napoli 1B
Ortiz DH
Vict RF
Nava/Gomes LF
Bogaerts SS
AJP C
Will M 3B

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

Xander will almost certainly not be “a big upgrade” on Drew.

21 year old rookies don’t usually post 3.5 WAR seasons.

Also, are you seriously expecting Napoli to repeat his absurd BABIP from last season and offset the continued decline of each of his other component stats? Or for Victorino to have one of the best years of his career again?

Not to mention the steep decline in defense from replacing Drew and Iglesias (who was more productive offensively for the Sox than anyone should expect Middlebrooks to be) with Bogaerts and Middlebrooks.

JayT
Guest
JayT
2 years 4 months ago

Even if the Sox did overachieve a bit in ’13, and I agree they did, they have a lot of room to fall back to the pack and still be in first place. They won arguably the hardest division by 5.5 games.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 4 months ago

I dont think it was necessarily that difficult a division last year. The Yankees basically ran out a replacement level team last year. There were really only two strong teams in the AL East last year.

JayT
Guest
JayT
2 years 4 months ago

2013 team WAR by division:

AL East: 199.9
AL West: 188.9
NL West: 185.9
AL Central: 181.5
NL Central: 165.4
NL East: 153.7

Obviously, team WAR isn’t the be-all-end-all, but at the very least it shows that the AL East is in the running for the hardest division.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

When did 30 WAR turn into “replacement level”?

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
2 years 4 months ago

I said before last season that all the predictions of the demise of the AL East were premature at best, and, by God, for once I was right.

George
Guest
George
2 years 4 months ago

How did the 2013 Red Sox overachieve? Their pythag was 100-62, 3 games higher than their actual record. Seems like they were right where they belonged.

Yirmiyahu
Member
2 years 4 months ago

Because at the beginning of the 2013 season, pretty much everyone projected them for 80-something wins. They may not have produced more wins than their runs would suggest, but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t produce more runs than their talent would suggest.

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
2 years 4 months ago

But their talent projects them being the best team in MLB in 2014. I think its more likely that “pretty much everyone” underestimated their talent.

George
Guest
George
2 years 4 months ago

Well it’s all about your frame of reference. Going into 2013, everyone was basing their predictions on the 2012 season. If you think the 2012 team was closer to their true talent level, the 2013 team overachieved. If you think the 2013 was closer to their true talent level, the 2012 team severely underachieved. Reality is probably a little bit of both, but considering the 2012 seasons that Lester, Buchholz, and Ellsbury had, combined with Lackey being out the entire year and their free agent signings, I would think their true talent level is much closer to 2013 than 2012.

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

Maybe people who projected them for 80-something wins were wrong.

The Humber Games
Guest
The Humber Games
2 years 4 months ago

Yes, because if results don’t match our projection systems, the logical thing to say is “The results were wrong” instead of “The projections were wrong”…Drrr…

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

how many games did almost the same Sox team win in 2012?

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 4 months ago

“how many games did almost the same Sox team win in 2012?”

Ohhh, I get it. First, we downplay the significance of the changes between the two teams. Then we assume that 2012 was representative of the true talent level, and that 2013 wasn’t. We don’t need to argue for this; we can just assume it. Let me try.

If you suggest that 2012 was an *underperformance* and 2013 was a correction+added talent, you’re nutty! My suggestion that 2013 was an overperformance, using the exact same thinking, is by contrast very smart! Just don’t ask me to show any work. My confident tone is as good as data.

Yirmiyahu
Member
2 years 4 months ago

For what it’s worth, I’m not arguing that the projections were right and the results were wrong. I was just explaining the argument that they “overachieved”.

I think the Sox were vastly underrated last year, plus had some good luck. But then again, every WS-winning team involves some luck.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

PH, you do understand that the 2014 projections are not necessarily any more accurate than the 2013 projections were, right?

Preston
Guest
Preston
2 years 4 months ago

Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli combined for 7 WAR in 2012 and then posted 18.7 WAR in 2013. I think most everybody expected those guys to bounce back a little bit after down and injury filled years. But I don’t think anybody would have predicted them all to bounce back like that. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Daniel Nava each enjoyed break out seasons. At his age the fact that David Ortiz maintained his production AND stayed healthy was probably not the most likely of outcomes. They got meaningful contributions from guys like Mike Carp, Jose Iglesias, Jonny Gomes, and David Ross. The only player on the Red Sox offense who performed as expected in 2013 was Dustin Pedroia, and the only thing that can be described as going wrong in 2013 was Will Middlebrooks.
That being said, I don’t think that the “lucky” 2013 means they’re going to regress significantly in 2014. As those 2013 numbers are now the most relevant data point in predicting 2014. Victorino, Pedroia, Ortiz and Napoli give you a pretty good core. Pierzynski and Middlebrooks are both bounce back candidates after bad 2013s, and Bogaerts should be somewhere between league average and future star at SS. Relying on Nava, Gomes and Jackie Bradley Jr. to be 2/3 of your OF isn’t ideal, but it’ll probably be adequate. The Red Sox offense probably won’t be as good as it was in 2013. But it will still be pretty darn good.

Fardbart
Guest
Fardbart
2 years 4 months ago

Boston has a ton of MLB ready talent that will be on the roster this year that was in AA/AAA last year. NYY does not

Ervin Santana
Guest
Ervin Santana
2 years 4 months ago

Anyone still think I’m crazy asking for $100 million+ ?

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
2 years 4 months ago

Yes. In your 9 year career you have been above average in 4 seasons. Over the last 4 years you’ve been worth 6.5 wins.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 4 months ago

I think that anyone who gives you that amount is crazy.

Ask for any damned thing you want. I just hope that my team’s GM and owner aren’t crazy.

Spencer Jones
Member
Member
Spencer Jones
2 years 4 months ago

Yes Ervin, you are.

Jay29
Member
Jay29
2 years 4 months ago

Yes. Ervin isn’t very good.

S. Urista
Guest
S. Urista
2 years 4 months ago

Disappointed that he ended up with the Yankees – I would have loved to have seen Tanaka in a Cubs uniform; that could be a really good team in a few years.

And yes, the contract is ginormous…but you know what? I like it. The Yankees were already over the luxury tax threshold IIRC, so they might as well use the money to lock in someone with a very high floor, and undeniable ‘top 10 pitcher in the game’ potential ceiling for his peak 3-4 seasons. And in four years, the Yankees will have a pretty good idea of where Tanaka is health-wise.

Matsuzaka came to the US in 2007, and turned 27 later that year. He had one very good year (2008) yet didn’t even get to 170 IP, only pitched 60 innings in the year he turned 29. Pitched 150 innings of mediocre ball in 2010 and has been a wreck ever since.

Like Tanaka, Matsuzaka was ridiculously over-used as a high schooler – I watched him in the 1998 Koshien game when he pitched *all 17 innings* – 250 pitches! – in sweltering summer heat, pitched 15 innings in the ninth inning the very next day in the semi-finals, then pitch a complete game shutout the *very next day* – oh yeah, it also happened to be a no-hitter – in the championship match.

Tanaka is 25 now. In four years he’ll be 29, right about the time Matzuaka’s arm finally gave out. I think the opt-out clause is an -excellent- option for the Yankees.

But I still don’t think this gets the Yankees past the Rays or Red Sox.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

Matsuzaka never even remotely approached the level of success, talent or hype that both Darvish and Tanaka had displayed in Japan.

I don’t know why people think anyone is trying to “catch” the RedSox. They were projected for 86 wins last year. They have a worse team on paper this year.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 4 months ago

Someone needs to point you toward the ZIPS and Steamer projections for the Red Sox. You can keep saying that “they’re worse on paper” if you want but that’s only true because Fangraphs, ZIPS, and Steamer don’t print in the traditional sense. They’re not worse according to those projections and the Yankees still don’t project to be as good as the Red Sox.

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

No, he keeps saying the Red Sox were worse on paper at the beginning of 2013, which has nothing to do with 2014

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

2013, which has nothing to do with 2014

Except that it’s basically the same team? Minus Ellsbury?

And Ortiz/Uehara another year older?

How is that not worse?

Maybe if your face wasn’t so buried in the ZiPS projections (which don’t even factor for playing time!) you could see that.

Fardbart
Guest
Fardbart
2 years 4 months ago

They have a different SS, Peavey, and a ton of young arms ready to contribute. And Bradley could be a reasonable replacement for Ellsbury (who did not have a great year. … Good not great)

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

5.8 WAR is pretty GD good.

Their new SS and CF are rookies, and can’t be “relied on” as to remove them from the questionmark category

Sure, they could be serviceable 3 WAR players… but the odds are certainly not in their favor.

Fardbart
Guest
Fardbart
2 years 4 months ago

I think it’s entirely plausable that the SS/CF combo in 2014 will be as good as the SS/CF combo was in 2013. Of course we don’t KNOW that. It’s annoying when people take projections and poo poo them as not being sure things. That goes without saying.

John C
Guest
John C
2 years 4 months ago

You can project regression for several Red Sox players from their 2013 levels, but then again, Middlebrooks is much better than his 2013 numbers, Pedroia played hurt all year which limited his power numbers, Victorino hit better than his career norms but also missed a quarter of the season, Buchholz only started 16 times last year, and they have Peavy for the full 2014 season rather than just 10 starts. There are variables both ways that could swing the WAR count back in the Red Sox’ favor, especially if Xander Bogaerts is what they think he is.

YankeeGM
Member
YankeeGM
2 years 4 months ago

Projections are fun, but what is the big-money saying about 2014?

The Vegas odds-makers have made the Yanks 10:1 odds to win the WS and Red Sox 12:1…

Say what you will about Vegas and baseball betting, but Vegas odds-makers are pretty damn accurate in their assessment of teams and their probabilities for success.

Question
Guest
Question
2 years 4 months ago

That isn’t even how oddsmaking works. Jesus some of you are dense.

The object of oddsmaking is almost completely unrelated to accurate assessment of “teams and their probabilities of success”. The object of oddsmaking is about accurately assessing *perception* to induce even betting on both sides of the line.

S. Urista
Guest
S. Urista
2 years 4 months ago

> Matsuzaka never even remotely approached the level of
> success, talent or hype that both Darvish and Tanaka had
> displayed in Japan.

Oh, wow – txs for making it clear you’re an idiot and can safely be ignored.

Matsuzaka was a legend in Japan, in part thanks to his Koshien feat. Matsuzaka was still only 26 the winter of 2006, yet had already one a Japan baseball Cy Young award, MVP of the Japan team that won the first WBC (beating heavy favorites Cuba in the finals) and had led the league in strikeouts *four times*. Was he Tanaka or Darvish good? No….but to say he was not ‘remotely’ close to the level of success, talent or hype is just retarded. The Red Sox paid $50 million just to be able to negotiate with him.

Unfortunately the Red Sox got him a bit too late. Hopefully getting to the US a bit younger will save some wear and tear on Tanaka’s arm, giving him a longer career.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

Yeah I got a little carried away with that… sorry. Career stats are probably not as good as Darvish/Tanaka… but you are correct, he was highly regarded before coming over.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

Daisuke wasn’t as good in Japan as Tanaka was. He had a 3.07 career ERA and had missed time with injuries in multiple years previous.

harry
Guest
harry
2 years 4 months ago

pretty sure the opt out clause is for the player to opt out. So the Yankees would not benefit from this at all. Either Tanaka plays well and is undervalued and opts out so he can get a bigger contract or he plays poorly or is injured so he is overvalued and does not opt out. there is no way for the opt out clause to benefit the yanks. There was an interesting piece about opt out clauses last week that Dave wrote, IIRC.

jpg
Member
jpg
2 years 4 months ago

“Tanaka is 25 now. In four years he’ll be 29, right about the time Matzuaka’s arm finally gave out. I think the opt-out clause is an -excellent- option for the Yankees.”

That’s not at all how the opt out works. Tanaka has the option to void the deal, not the Yankees. So if his arm falls off he’ll simply refuse to exercise the option and play out the contract. The Yankees get the honor of paying Tanaka more money if he pitches well in four years. There is nothing -excellent- about it.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

“They probably still aren’t good enough to catch the Red Sox”

Really? Boston has added exactly nothing to their team, and lost Ellsbury. Tampa was already a head of them, and the NYY were not really that far behind even without Tanaka. Boston is returning the same team to the field that was projected to be 4th or 5th in the East last season. They were projected for 86 wins last year. How is that team any better today than it was this time lats year?

Just about every single thing that could have gone right for that team last season did. Is anyone seriously expecting a repeat performance?

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
2 years 4 months ago

So, you want to ignore how far the NYY overperformed pythag, or 2nd order wins, or 3rd order wins in 2013? If you look at BP’s 3rd order wins the Sox and Yanks were 27 wins apart last year.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

The Yankees had 7/9 positions filled by back-ups last year, are we ignoring that as well?

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
2 years 4 months ago

As they will be this year too. The lineup is thin at multiple positions and the odds of keeping Tex and Jeter on the field are slim.

I’m all for being a fan-boy, but don’t get you hopes mixed up with facts.

Spencer Jones
Member
Member
Spencer Jones
2 years 4 months ago

The Yankees should be better this year, certainly, but their infield is not very good, their outfield should be very good, but they’re playing in arguably the toughest division in baseball. Catching the Sox this year would require some reverse curse of the Bambino magic.

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

Are we also ignoring that we lost their best player? While we ignore these things, the projections don’t, and the projections have the Red Sox as much better than the Yankees

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

*they

Spencer Jones
Member
Member
Spencer Jones
2 years 4 months ago

Most of the projection systems are.

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

They’re projected for the 2nd most wins in the majors this year after the Dodgers. Buchholz was also injured for most of the season. Will Middlebrooks performed horribly last year. They are also adding Xander Bogaerts to the lineup, the 2nd best prospect in baseball. Pedroia was also injured last year, and played through it, which caused his power to be low. Lester didn’t pitch like the ace he’s been before. Tampa was never ahead of them. The Red Sox won the most games last year, they had the best run-differential, they played in the toughest division, and they won the world series. They were clearly the best team last year, and the Yankees were worse than their record. You’re an idiot if you think the Yankees are better than the Red Sox this year. The Red Sox have the best lineup in baseball and incredible pitching depth.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 4 months ago

What’s paradoxical is that you keep referring to the 2013 projections for the Red Sox but seem completely ignorant of the 2014 Red Sox projections which are, you know, much more relevant than those preceding LAST SEASON.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

Are they more relevant? Or less relevant since they were so wrong lats year?

Personally I don’t think ZiPS is very good at all.

Spencer Jones
Member
Member
Spencer Jones
2 years 4 months ago

ZIPS is a lot better than Tom B’s factless predictions.

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 4 months ago

They were reliable last year, but not this year. That’s just basic science right there.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 4 months ago

Then stop referring to the 2013 Red Sox projections as if they’re gospel!

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

You are a complete idiot if you think 2013 projections are more relevant than 2014 projections. Projections are never going to be 100% right, but 2013 projections mean nothing

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

Then 2014 projections don’t mean anything either. You don’t get to arbitrarily decide when they are useful.

Just look at the roster. This years Boston team should be worse than last years, regardless of the projection systems overprojecting the players coming off of career years.

Were they under-projected in 2013? Yes. Are they over-projected in 2014? Yes.

Spencer Jones
Member
Member
Spencer Jones
2 years 4 months ago

2014 projections are more useful to projecting the 2014 season than 2013 projections are useful to projecting the 2014 season. If that isn’t self-evident then…

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

Projections are always useful, and they were wrong with the Red Sox last year. They’re not overprojected in 2014, what the hell leads you to think that? It’s homerism not logic. The Roster is actually fantastic because they have average or above average players at every position, and amazing starting pitching depth. The Yankees have stars and scrubs, and they’re stars aren’t even better than the Red Sox stars

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

“They’re not overprojected in 2014, what the hell leads you to think that? It’s homerism not logic.”

Because they are based on the team over-performing last season? I don’t *think* that, that’s how ZiPS works.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

2014 projections are exactly as good at projecting the 2014 season as 2013 projections were at projecting the 2013 season.

Jonah Pemstein
Member
Member
2 years 4 months ago

As Pirates Hurdles said above, the Red Sox and Yankees were TWENTY SEVEN wins apart last year based on Baseball Prospectus’s 3rd order wins. The Red Sox may have lost some players, but they were a bit unlucky last year and their pythag was 3 wins more than they actually got. The drop-off from Ellsbury to Bradley is maybe 3 wins at the most. They have a drop-off one probably under one win at catcher (from Salty to Pierzynski). They will likely have better production from SS (Bogaerts instead of Drew) and possibly 3B (an improved Middlebrooks instead of Iglesias/Brock Holt/Brandon Snyder/Middlebrooks).The pitching should be the same, maybe even better if Buchholz can stay healthy. I see another 97-win team there.

Fardbart
Guest
Fardbart
2 years 4 months ago

The Red Sox are extremely deep. That was true last year and it will be even more true this year. NYY are not. If you think the same 9 starters and 10 arms will play all year, you might be able to make a case that NYY will compete. But if they have an injury to literally anyone on that roster they will have to replace him with absolute crap. If you liked 2013 you will like 2014

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

Why is everyone so certain that Tanaka is going to be good? People think his ceiling is a #2 starter, and he’s not guaranteed to reach that at all. Tanaka could easily be a 175 million dollar innings eater

S. Urista
Guest
S. Urista
2 years 4 months ago

Have you seen him pitch? I mean…have you *seen* him pitch?

I have. In person.

He’s going to be a monster. I’m as confident projecting excellent things for Tanaka as I was for Darvish.

I mean, yeah, ‘can’t miss’ prospects bomb all the time. Anything could happen and nothing is ‘guaranteed’. But this isn’t any old prospect we’re talking about here. He’s young (only 25 years old) but with a proven track record. Japanese baseball ain’t MLB level by any stretch – think ‘relatively decent Triple-A’ – but against that competition, he’s 79-21 over the last five years. His highest ERA over that time? 2.50. His highest WHIP is 1.23. He’s had sub-1.0 WHIPS two of the last three years.

If he pitches 200 innings, 3.05 ERA and 1.13 WHIP, not only will he be the best pitcher on the Yankees, he could easily be one of the top 10-15 pitchers in all of baseball. And the floor for me is maybe 3.60 ERA, 1.3 WHIP and maybe he’s only a top-40 pitcher or so.

But I think the odds are that he’s much closer to the 3.05 guy vs the 3.60 guy.

The -only- real risk factor would be the wear and tear on his arm, and the fact that he was shut down for a month due to shoulder soreness.

> Arroyo / Garza over Tanaka

Sorry, that’s beyond stupid.

Steven
Guest
Steven
2 years 4 months ago

And Jose Abreu hit .382/.535/.735 last year…which was actually a step down from the previous year’s .394/.542/.837.

Stats in foreign leagues from older players don’t mean a ton. Look at players like Wladimir Balentien. Certain flaws like swing-and-miss tendencies for hitters or flat fastballs for pitchers can be exploited more easily in the MLB than other leagues. I agree he could be very good, but that’s not based on big success in Japan.

And I don’t think he could “easily” be a top 10 pitcher. He would have to “easily” beat out 3 of these guys: Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Cliff Lee, Felix Hernandez, Adam Wainwright, Yu Darvish, Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, Jose Fernandez, Stephen Strasburg, Matt Harvey, David Price.

S. Urista
Guest
S. Urista
2 years 4 months ago

I didn’t say he’d ‘easily’ be a top-10 pitcher; I said that if he can is half a run worse than his worst ERA the last five years with a slightly worse WHIP, that would probably make him a top-10 picture. Granted, that’s pretty aggressive, and probably overly optimistic…but is it whoo crazy crazy? I don’t think so. And I think he’s closer to 3.05 than he is to 3.60.

>he would have to “easily” beat out 3 of these guys

Well, for starters I predict Tanaka will easily beat out Matt Harvey in 2014.

:-)

Brian
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

I appreciate your take on it from a scouting point of view. I wish that I could have seen him pitch.

I had never heard anyone say that Tanaka was as good as Darvish. Is he? I’m not expecting the same K’s, but I think Tanaka will be very good.

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 4 months ago

“the floor for me is maybe 3.60 ERA, 1.3 WHIP”

Speaking of beyond stupid, what percentage of your income are you willing to wager on this?

S. Urista
Guest
S. Urista
2 years 4 months ago

Percentage of my annual income? Rather small.

However, I’m quite willing to make a gentleman’s wager ($100 to charity): Tanaka’s ERA for the year over/under 3.60, I’ll take the under (assumes he qualifies for pitching titles in averaged categories: at least one inning pitched for every game the team plays).

You game?

Gabriel
Guest
Gabriel
2 years 4 months ago

I personally rather have Arroyo and Garza (Arroyo on a one year and Garza on a four year deal) than 7 years of ace money to a guy that may or may not pan out.

Mike
Guest
Mike
2 years 4 months ago

Arroyo is notorious for giving up the home run. Add Yankee Stadium to the mix? I couldn’t do that. Garza on the other hand, I wouldn’t mind maybe giving him 4 years.

jim
Guest
jim
2 years 4 months ago

How are the Yankees not good enough to catch the Red Sox?? They seem to have a better Rotation, and the offence is pretty equal (especially taking Ellsbury away from the top of the red sox order).

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

Red Sox projected for 89 wins, Yankees projected for 82. Offense is definitely not equal, the Yankees are playing Brian Roberts, Derek Jeter, and Kelly Johnson, along with a ton of other question marks like Teixeira, Ellsbury, and Beltran. Red Sox are also much more deep, so injuries won’t hurt them as much, and the Yankees are more likely to get injured since their team is very old

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

Players in Red Sox uniforms = guaranteed sure things, will never be injured.
Players in any other uniform = question marks.

Did I get that right?

Spencer Jones
Member
Member
Spencer Jones
2 years 4 months ago

Jeter, Tex, Roberts, Tanaka, C.C are all question marks. Boston is a lot less question mark-y.

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

I would argue Beltran is a question mark too because he is old, and has a higher chance of declining or getting injured. Ellsbury is a question mark. The only Yankees that aren’t really question marks are McCann and Gardner.
The Red Sox only question marks are Bradley, Middlebrooks, Nava, and maybe Bogaerts

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

I can play this game too…

The only RedSox that are not question marks are:
Pedroia
Maybe Napoli?
Maybe Tazawa?

I can’t come up with any more.

Everyone else is either too old, too young, or too inconsistent to be called anything but a question mark.

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 4 months ago

Jon Lester hasn’t pitched fewer than 190 innings in his career. You suck at that game, and at almost anything that involves thinking.

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

Players in Red Sox uniforms = Less likely to get injured than players in Yankees uniforms because they are younger, that’s a fact. Also Red Sox have much better depth, so if injuries do happen, which they will, Red Sox have the advantage

Richie
Guest
Richie
2 years 4 months ago

My understanding is that age doesn’t correlate at all with injuries, but that older players who do get injured take longer to recover. But even factoring that in, the relationship isn’t all that strong.

But if you were injured last year, that correlates pretty strongly with getting injured this year too, even with seeming ‘fluke’ injuries. So that does still bode poorly for the Yankees.

Spencer Jones
Member
Member
Spencer Jones
2 years 4 months ago

Yankees have 4-5 starting quality position players, and like 4 starting pitchers. Boston has Ortiz, Gomes/Nava LF, Victorino, A.J/Ross C, Napoli, Pedroia, Bogaerts and 6 Servicable or better starters.

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

Don’t forget about Jackie Bradley, he’s projected for about 3 WAR by Oliver, and Middlebrooks is projected to turn it around too. They could have 9 above average starters

Ruds9243
Guest
Ruds9243
2 years 4 months ago

Tanaka has been described as pretty similar to Kuroda (younger, better command)and Iwakuma (with better stuff).

Even when considering that fWAR tends to undervalue this kind of pitcher vs. bWAR, Kuroda has averaged 3.2 fWAR per season, while Iwakuma just posted a 4.2 fWAR season. Even Matsuzaka averaged 3.6 fWAR before falling apart.

Tanaka not only is probably the better pitcher, but is the youngest of the 4 to come to the States.

If you assume that Tanaka can average around 4 fWAR per season, the cost of a win comes out at 6.75, which considering his age and the competition for his services doesn’t seem a big overpay to me.

Also the Yankees are in point, as several Fangraphs articles have acknowledged, where any added wins are worth more, as they could be the difference between winning the division or fighting for the Wild Card.

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

The Yankees are not going to win the division, they would’ve been out of the wild card with Tanaka, and they’re now fighting for the wild card with him

Cliff
Guest
Cliff
2 years 4 months ago

Preposterous. What do you think the standard deviation is on projections? The Red Sox projections were only off by what, 25 wins? Come on.

BMarkham
Guest
BMarkham
2 years 4 months ago

“If you assume that Tanaka can average around 4 fWAR per season, the cost of a win comes out at 6.75, which considering his age and the competition for his services doesn’t seem a big overpay to me.”

That’s the thing though. If he’s a 4 WAR player then yeah he earned the contract. But is Tanaka averaging 4 WAR per season really the average expected outcome? He’s capable of being worth 4 WAR/year, but if Vegas had an over/under bet on it I’d take the under. The contract is more likely to produce a deficit than a surplus.

I think the Yankees have had one of the worst off-seasons. They had a chance to get under the luxury tax and have 3 compensation picks along with their first round pick and now they’re back over the luxury tax line, their first pick is in the second round, and their team got even older.

The story of the Yankees off-season is that they delayed bursting the bubble. The delayed the inevitable, that they need to reinvest in draft and development. This off-season was a good time to start the painful rebuilding process, but they passed on the opportunity.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 4 months ago

…what are we the Redsox?! We don’t take three years off from the playoffs to rebuild! That’s just crazy!

YankeeGM
Member
YankeeGM
2 years 4 months ago

2013 almost cost Brian Cashman his job. And it should have. Last year was as poorly constructed a roster as any team in MLB, and with a $235mm payroll to boot.

Missing the playoffs last year probably cost the Steinbrenners over $80mm (reports say ticket revenue alone was over $50mmm); the Yanks pay roughly $30mm in tax each year. Do the math.

Cashman went through a period where he thought he was smart enough to build a franchise w/o spending the SteinCash; letting Yu Darvish go without even a bid, letting Russell Martin walk for a relative pittance, and many other examples show he was being insanely arrogant and overestimated his ability to field a roster with anything but $.

It’s obvious, to me anyway, that Hal told Cashman if he misses the playoffs again he’s out; luxury tax be damned. So Cashman has done what he does best, and flexed his only muscle…outspend the competition and cover his own inadequacies with Steinbrenner cash.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

How was it his fault that Granderson got hit by 2 pitches and Teixeira popped his wrist in BP? Or that Sabathia didn’t show up at all?

With just regular performances from those 3 players (forgetting all of the other injuries and underperforming players) they would have been a playoff team.

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

Is it his fault that he decided to sign Sabathia to a huge contract when he was old? Yes. You have to prepare for injuries, you can’t expect none will happen

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

John is just completely stupid.

Sabathia was 28 when he was signed. He’s 32 now.

This is old? I guess signing any player for more than 1 year is a dumb move in your eyes.

I hope the redsox aren’t planning on getting anything out of Lackey/Uehara/Ortiz then… since they are all older than Sabathia.

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

31 when he was signed to his extension

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

31 is still younger than most of the RedSox rotation.

What are you getting at? That you are a RedSox fan?

That much is obvious.

Ruds9243
Guest
Ruds9243
2 years 4 months ago

There’s a difference between injuries happening and Granderson, Teixeira, Jeter, ARod and Youkillis missing most of the season, as well as injuries to CC, Gardner, etc.

The Yankees were basically playing replacement or even below replacement players at 6 spots.

Jonah Pemstein
Member
Member
2 years 4 months ago

Tom B, it’s not that you can’t expect production out of people age 31 or older. It’s that paying them a lot of money on long-term deals past that age is not a good idea. Lackey was a disaster until this past year, and it looked like a bad deal. Uehara is earning very little money. Ortiz is never going to get another deal that’s more than 2 years because nobody knows when he’ll stop producing, it could be very soon. The Red Sox screwed up when they signed Crawford and Gonzalez to those big deals, but they found a way to fix it. The Yankees screwed up signing Teixeira, Rodriguez, and Sabathia to those deals and haven’t been able to fix it. That’s the difference.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

“The Yankees screwed up signing Teixeira, Rodriguez, and Sabathia to those deals and haven’t been able to fix it. That’s the difference.”

A-Rod is not debatable. He should have never been re-signed when he opted out…

Sabathia and Teixeira were not bad signings at all though. They are still relatively young players and no one has ever projected decline like this at their age.

My point was that these players are in their prime, and could never have been expected to perform or get injured in the fashions they did last year.

Like you said, not all injuries are created equal. Jeter being old and not recovering from a broken angle is not a surprise. Granderson breaking an arm and an hand in 2 pitches is just incredibly bad luck.

Their lack of replacement level talent last season was more of a reflection on their poor player development, not really a lack of a plan to keep it all together.

Jerry
Guest
Jerry
2 years 4 months ago

Yankee fans despise Cashman and Girardi. From an objective standpoint though, and given the constant pressure coming down from ownership, they do a pretty good job. I don’t think either of these guys is going anywhere.

Fans like to act like the Yankees are the worst-managed team in baseball because of the money they spend, but they spend a lot because they can AFFORD to spend a lot. Spending like they have is not a bad business decision at all for the Yankees. Why should Cashman run his team like a small market when it’s not a small market?

And for those who are going to cite the Red Sox as an example of what the Yankees should be like, keep in mind the Red Sox missed the playoffs for three consecutive years before 2013, holding draft picks consistently higher than the Yankees. Yankee fans and the New York media complain the team has a bad farm system, but are those same fans and media critics willing to go through a dry spell to rebuild the farm, like the Yanks did in the early 90’s? Nope. You can’t have it both ways. Can’t contend for the World Series every year for 20+ years and keep an amazing farm system throughout, unless you are the Cardinals.

Yankees are a popular punching bag among fans, but this remains a well-oiled, money-making machine. Most MLB organizations would kill to have a team that wins as much as the Yankees and that generates the kind of revenue the Yankees generate, even with their high costs. Yankee fans ought to be more appreciative of this, but they never will….

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 4 months ago

Many Yankees fans do not despise Cashman or Girardi. Personally, I think Girardi was the obvious manager of the year last year.

Cliff
Guest
Cliff
2 years 4 months ago

LOL, yeah Russell Martin for $10 mil/1 year was too much money for Cashman. It was stupid to let him go, but money obviously was not the reason.

Fardbart
Guest
Fardbart
2 years 4 months ago

It was his fault that there was zero organizational depth.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

Eh… there are already players in the system that were supposed to be ready.

That they didn’t actually progress in that expected fashion is a player development problem, not really an acquiring players problem.

Fardbart
Guest
Fardbart
2 years 4 months ago

And the GM oversees that too

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

Tom B is clearly an idiot. He decides instead of using 2014 projections, he’s going use 2013 projections to project the 2014 season, what an idiot

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

You clearly can’t read or comprehend anything I’m saying. If they were underprojected so badly last year, what makes you think their projection this year is “spot on”?

The nature of projections is that they are consistently over or under reality, depending on the previous seasons performance. Every projection you read this year will have Yankee players underprojected (because not one of them had a career average year last year) and will have Red Sox players overprojected for the same reason.

John
Guest
John
2 years 4 months ago

It doesn’t work that way. You clearly don’t understand projections

Jerry
Guest
Jerry
2 years 4 months ago

I haven’t done projections yet with Yankees vs. Red Sox using STEAMER or ZIPS yet, I’m just taking Jeff’s word that Yanks are not as good as the Sox, but right in the hunt for a Wild Card.

There is unquestionably, though, a bias toward the Red Sox and against the Yankees when it comes to the fans. When the Red Sox went on their spending spree in 2010, most online fans/commentators praised them for astute signings of talented players. The Yankees do the same thing in 2014, and those same online commentators criticize them for overspending and saying that they have no chance of even qualifying for a Wild Card.

I trust the numerical projections on Fangraphs. I do not trust the subjective narrative advocated by fans and (especially the New York) media saying that the Yankees spend blindly while the Red Sox are “smart.”

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

It works exactly that way John, you clearly don’t know how ZiPS projections are even calculated.

john
Guest
john
2 years 4 months ago

That’s not what this guy is saying. This idiot is saying we should use 2013 projections instead of 2014 projections to project 2014

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

LOL, look how lost you are John. Just give it up.

I’m saying that the 2014 projections are no more useful than the 2013 projections.

I’m also saying that the RedSox starting roster and lineup is WORSE today than it was at the beginning of last season. How could it not be? Subtract Ellsbury and add 2 rookies? Talk about question marks.

No amount of pointing at projections, regardless of the year… is going to change that.

john
Guest
john
2 years 4 months ago

Your point that 2014 projections are not more useful than 2013 projections for projecting 2014 is unbelievably stupid.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

I guess that would be pretty stupid, it’s a good thing I never said that.

john
Guest
john
2 years 4 months ago

You clearly are stupid, and you won’t listen to anything anyone will say. Anyone who is smart knows your opinion is retarded, but apparently, you won’t listen to anyone because you are such a Yankees homer

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

Jesus Christ, john, the ad hominem is really doing no favors to the perception that you’re a parrot who doesn’t actually know anything.

john
Guest
john
2 years 4 months ago

You never said that? You clearly said “I’m saying that the 2014 projections are no more useful than the 2013 projections.”

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

That’s right. And they aren’t. That has nothing to do with using 2013 projections to predict 2014.

Atreyu Jones
Guest
Atreyu Jones
2 years 4 months ago

Projections are based on past events, not past projections.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

The 2013 RedSox projections were lower than they probably should have been, because of their 2012 season was full of under-performance by key players.

The 2014 projections are high, because their 2013 season was full of over-performance.

This is true in any projection system that uses multi-year regression data. This is basically every projection system other than the fangraphs Fans (which could be argued that public optimism works in a similar fashion).

It’s almost impossible for this to not be true.

DerekJeterGiftBasket
Guest
DerekJeterGiftBasket
2 years 4 months ago

Fangraphs writing an article connected in any way to the New York Yankees > 15 starving apes and 1 banana.

BerekGeterJiftDasket
Guest
BerekGeterJiftDasket
2 years 4 months ago

This seems to be the best comment.

Mike C
Guest
Mike C
2 years 4 months ago

Can I just say this is the first time I’ve been on television?

lou
Guest
lou
2 years 4 months ago

SABR Convention Panel, June 2014

John: Tom B is an idiot. He doesn’t like projections. Idiot.

Tom B: John, you don’t get it, don’t you realize projections are under the reality?

John: Projections don’t work that way. Tom B is an idiot.

Tom B: So basically you’re saying the Red Sox are guaranteed 100 wins just because they are the Red Sox while you are ignoring every Yankee player in history!

John: You are an idiot, idiot. Poop. Boobies.

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

wow, so much vitriol against the Yankees in this thread. It’s hilarious.

A-ball
Guest
A-ball
2 years 4 months ago

It’s more democratic.

Hurtlockertwo
Guest
Hurtlockertwo
2 years 4 months ago

You are surprised that people hate the Yankees??

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

no certainly not.

Clayton
Member
Clayton
2 years 4 months ago

The most amusing thing about this article and comments section is Tom B trolling the whole thing. He referred to an unknown “paper” at least half a dozen times. Wish my lunch break was longer.

A-ball
Guest
A-ball
2 years 4 months ago

You just got $215 million. Take as long of a lunch break as you need.

Tom B
Guest
Tom B
2 years 4 months ago

Is the phrase “on paper” really that much of a mystery to you?

Maybe spend the rest of your lunch break looking that up.

Atreyu Jones
Guest
Atreyu Jones
2 years 4 months ago

Where are the calculations that predict the Sox to be 4th in the division? You keep mentioning it – show us.

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 4 months ago

Just go look up “on paper”, dude. If that doesn’t serve as an adequate substitute for data, I don’t know what will.

Matt Bertelli
Member
Matt Bertelli
2 years 4 months ago

That opt out is HUGE!

To break the contract down it is basically a 4 year deal for 88 million plus the 20 million posting fee and it’s a 4 year 108 million dollar contract or 27 million per year. If you want to add in the luxury tax hit and assume that his entire contract will hit against the contract then it can be 88 times the 50% luxury tax. So 88 X 1.5 = 132 plus 20 posting fee = 4 years 152 million dollar deal or 38 million dollars per year if he is good and opts out.

If he isn’t good then you have to add in the 3 years and 67 million. Once again if you account for the luxury tax and assume it is still 50% (which it will probably change by then) then you are looking at 67 X 1.5 = 100.5 for the last 3 years.

Thus to the yankee’s this contract will either be a 4 year 152 million dollar deal (38 per year) or a 7 year 252.5 million dollar deal (just over 36 million per year). Even if you don’t consider the luxury tax hit it is either a 4 year deal for 108 million (27 per year) or 7 years for the 175 million (25 per year).

Even if the luxury tax baseline goes up in the next collective bargaining the yankee’s will probably be paying it for the foreseeable future with this contract, Ellsbury, Beltran, Teixeria, Sabathia, McCann’s deals all being on the books for the next 3 years if not more in some cases. Plus A-Rods coming back on after this year. That is roughly 150 million between 7 players.

This deal isn’t cost effective for a guy who has never pitched in the MLB. I still like the deal for the Yankees but I just hope they don’t plan on having a budget for the next few years. They should still upgrade the bullpen and probably even add another starter to move down Pineda (threw 40.2 innings in the minors last year) and Phelps down to the 6th and 7th man to be called up when someone eventually gets hurt.

Atreyu Jones
Guest
Atreyu Jones
2 years 4 months ago

Every contract on the Yankees should be considered to contribute to the luxury tax by proportion; it shouldn’t be by most recently signed.

pudieron89
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

No mention of the ARod effect on freeing up that money?

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

Actually, A-Rod’s suspension may have made them less likely to sign Tanaka, as it afforded an opportunity to get under 189.

pudieron89
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

that was never going to happen.

jordanjandrew
Guest
jordanjandrew
2 years 4 months ago

I don’t necessarily find this deal to be THAT terrible considering the circumstances. The Cubs were going to give nearly as much. You don’t view him as some old bum pitcher. You view him as a 25 year old that is essentially one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. Whether he pans out is the question, although I view Japanese ball as roughly that of AAA ball. And a 25 year old pitching the way he pitched in AAA would fetch a pretty high salary.

What I disagree with is how they handled Cano. They should have dished out the money they gave to Ellsbury and McCann to Cano.

With Cano

1 Gardner, CF
2 Jeter, SS
3 Cano, 2B
4 Beltran, RF/LF
5 Teixeira, 1B
6 Soriano, DH/LF
7 Ichiro, LF/RF
8 Mason Williams, CF
9 Gary Sanchez, C

Preston
Guest
Preston
2 years 4 months ago

Neither Gary Sanchez or Mason Williams are MLB ready, Cervelli, Romine and Murphy would all get shots at the C position before Sanchez, and Almonte and Heathcott would definitely get a shot before Williams in the OF. And you have two CFs and no 3b listed in your line-up.

bjoak
Member
bjoak
2 years 4 months ago

Sooo, is there any chance this kind of contract earns Tanaka his very own Fangraphs page? Also, any chance while putting that up, someone can throw up a page for Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez?

Max
Guest
Max
2 years 4 months ago

all this talk about the yankees trying to compete with the red sox, and nobody’s really put them head to head against each other, which is always the first step of these arguments

rotation-
the top 3 of lester, bucholtz, and lackey can’t be much better than cc, kuroda, and tanaka. all 3 red sox pitchers had best case scenario years last year, and cc has a worst case scenario year. I’ll call them even
the back end of peavy and dempster, with doubront for depth, i guess is a little better than nova and pineda, but the difference isn’t that big

small advantage- red sox

lineup-
catcher- mccann is better than ajp
1b-napoli’s probably going to outproduce tex/injury replacement
2b- pedroia rapes anyone the yankees put out there
3b- neither teams that good there, give the red sox a tiny advantage
ss- a rookie against an old veteran. I think this is pretty even
LF- gardners better than nava
CF- ellsbury’s better than jbj. by alot
RF- looks pretty even
DH- depending on how much you expect ORtiz to decline. small advantage red sox

overall, just like the rotation, these teams are similar, with maybe a tiny advantage to the red sox

bullpen- red sox are better

basically, the red sox are better, but probably only by somewhere around 2-6 wins, which is a very small amount in a long season that could be made up many different ways.

final verdict- red sox are favorites, yankees will contend for division and are favorites for a wild card spot

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 4 months ago

“pedroia rapes anyone the yankees put out there”

Umm….I don’t think you know what that word means.

Max
Guest
Max
2 years 4 months ago

umm…. I don’t think you understand connotations of that word

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 4 months ago

I don’t think you understand how hyperbolic and offensive the usage of that word in that way can be.

BerekGeterJiftDasket
Guest
BerekGeterJiftDasket
2 years 4 months ago

THE 21ST CENTURY LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!

pudieron89
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

good thing they only have to worry about each other!

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 4 months ago

BleacherReport rubbish.

john
Guest
john
2 years 4 months ago

Bogaerts and Jeter are even? HA!

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 4 months ago

…right, one is a first ballot HOFer, and the other has 50 MLB plate appearances.

NS
Guest
NS
2 years 4 months ago

Yeah, that’s what he said, “Bogaerts and Jeter have equal careers”.

You’re a moron.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 3 months ago

Jeez, chill with the ad hominem.

You do understand that prospects aren’t normally as good off the bat as Trout and Harper have been, right? It’s more likely that he’ll be Profar offensively than that he’ll be as productive as Machado was.

The question is whether or not Jeter’s healthy.

john
Guest
john
2 years 4 months ago

also why is Ellsbury better than jbj by alot, but Ortiz only has a small advantage over the Yankees DH?

me
Guest
me
2 years 4 months ago

luckily baseball is played heads up by position so the Sox obviiously will win the WS again since they have “better” players at each position than the yanks do 2.5 months before the season starts.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

Because Ellsbury is a lot better than JBJ and, while Ortiz is certainly better than Beltran and Soriano, he is not “a lot better.”

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

this comment section is hysterical.

Mr Flazm
Guest
Mr Flazm
2 years 4 months ago

I hate to be a realist, but anyone who thinks a 40 year old shortstop who missed essentially the entire year in 2013 can come back and be productive at SS is crazy. Even before his injury plagued year 39 season his previous 3 seasons averaged a 2.5 war. If the Yanks were smart they would grab Drew while they have the chance (3.4 war last year), and use Jeter as a pinch hitter.

Cliff
Guest
Cliff
2 years 4 months ago

Yeah I’m sure they negotiated a 12.5M deal because they plan to use Jeter off the bench. In that scenario they should have just cut him when he opted out.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 4 months ago

Your scenario would obviously never happen. ….in any case, Jeter was the best hitting SS in the American League the last time he played (2012). Its still a bit early to write the old guy off.

Connor Jennings
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

My projections are pretty high on Tanaka. Initially, I questioned the deal due to the opt out clause and high dollar value. But I think Tanaka is operating on a different market, and the Yankees are at a pretty critical point on the win curve. I don’t think it’s a bad deal at all.

I don’t mean to plug my site or anything, but my full opinions are too long to post here. I wrote them up on a post here:

http://nomprojections.com/2014/01/22/tanaka-signs-with-yankees/

I look forward to watching him pitch.

John Martin
Guest
John Martin
2 years 4 months ago

If Jeter comes back and has a good year, we can add him the to the long list of Yanks on the juice.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 4 months ago

I can never understand all the Jeter hate. He seems a good guy, and is obviously a great player. I understand that there is the hatred of all things Yankees, but it doesn’t seem to extend to Mariano Rivera. I don’t remember everyone hating Don Mattingly. So what is it about Jeter?

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 4 months ago

He’s the face of “The Yankee Way” in a way that Mattingly and even Mo never were.

hmk
Guest
hmk
2 years 4 months ago

hes the face of winning and class. people probably dislike him because hes also been the face of clutch hitting and gold glove fielding, when he may not have deserved such recognition.

wpDiscuz