Yankees Sign Jacoby Ellsbury, Bet On Speed Aging Well

You’re going to hear Carl Crawford‘s name a lot over the next 24 hours. Carl Crawford was a speed-and-defense outfielder heading into his 30s and the Red Sox gave him $142 million over seven years, only to see the deal become an albatross almost immediately. Everyone who was skeptical of aging speed-and-defense outfielders was instantly vindicated. Everyone who is still skeptical of aging speed-and-defense outfielders is going to instantly point to the Carl Crawford deal when they hear that the Yankees have agreed to pay Jacoby Ellsbury $153 million over the next seven years.

Crawford is a data point in their favor, absolutely. He was a similar player to Ellsbury, and he got a similar contract to Ellsbury, and it didn’t turn out to be a very good idea. Crawford is absolutely evidence that this contract could be a big mistake. Crawford is a reminder that big free agent deals often turn out badly. But if you’re going to use Carl Crawford as the sole data point in your belief that players like Ellsbury are bad investments, you’re simply ignoring the fact that history doesn’t actually agree with you.

I published a piece here on FanGraphs a few weeks ago entitled “The Slow Decline of Speedy Outfielders“. It is hardly the first article published to note that players like Ellsbury actually have aged well historically, but it’s one I wrote and recent, so it’s the one I’m linking to. Many others have written similar pieces before, and this is not a new idea, but it’s one worth repeating. Most players that have had Jacoby Ellsbury like skills have performed pretty well in their 30s. Players like this age better than other types of players, not worse.

For those not interested in reading that piece, I’ll just repost the two tables. These are outfielders who, over the last 30 years, showed similar skillsets to Ellsbury from ages 27-29.

Name PA BB% K% ISO AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
Rickey Henderson 1788 14% 11% 0.165 0.285 0.387 0.450 0.374 133 28 99 6 17
Jacoby Ellsbury 1691 7% 14% 0.166 0.303 0.356 0.469 0.359 123 19 64 34 16
Ichiro Suzuki 2191 6% 8% 0.111 0.328 0.374 0.440 0.350 118 15 64 22 16
Kenny Lofton 1788 9% 11% 0.150 0.324 0.381 0.474 0.372 118 18 60 31 15
Tim Raines 1733 14% 8% 0.163 0.297 0.395 0.461 0.371 135 15 86 -8 14
Andy Van Slyke 1761 10% 18% 0.180 0.271 0.341 0.451 0.352 126 5 56 18 14
Devon White 1914 8% 20% 0.149 0.253 0.314 0.402 0.322 98 10 7 58 13
Derek Bell 1926 7% 18% 0.165 0.285 0.340 0.450 0.343 111 6 32 23 11
Aaron Rowand 1769 6% 18% 0.170 0.283 0.344 0.453 0.346 105 11 22 29 11
Steve Finley 1688 7% 11% 0.127 0.279 0.331 0.406 0.328 106 6 16 29 10
Marquis Grissom 1850 7% 11% 0.148 0.286 0.337 0.435 0.336 100 7 7 36 10
Average 1,841 9% 13% 0.153 0.289 0.354 0.442 0.349 115 12 45 24 13

And now, here’s how those players did from ages 30-36, the years guaranteed in Ellsbury’s new contract with the Yankees.

Name G PA BB% K% ISO AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
Rickey Henderson 869 3819 18% 11% 0.167 0.287 0.418 0.453 0.393 148 39 253 -10 38
Ichiro Suzuki 1115 5148 6% 10% 0.093 0.332 0.377 0.426 0.348 114 43 136 46 35
Kenny Lofton 940 4260 11% 12% 0.136 0.287 0.368 0.422 0.349 107 17 56 69 26
Tim Raines 834 3651 13% 9% 0.125 0.284 0.376 0.408 0.352 116 21 94 -38 18
Devon White 841 3640 7% 18% 0.163 0.272 0.332 0.435 0.336 100 12 11 48 17
Steve Finley 1041 4474 8% 13% 0.201 0.275 0.338 0.476 0.349 110 4 59 -25 17
Andy Van Slyke 557 2363 10% 15% 0.154 0.280 0.354 0.434 0.350 117 6 48 -8 13
Aaron Rowand 509 1865 5% 22% 0.142 0.253 0.310 0.394 0.309 88 -3 -29 12 4
Marquis Grissom 972 3952 5% 16% 0.149 0.264 0.304 0.413 0.311 84 2 -83 -5 4
Derek Bell 314 1373 10% 21% 0.135 0.241 0.323 0.376 0.311 82 0 -33 -17 0
Average 799 3,455 9% 15% 0.147 0.278 0.350 0.424 0.341 107 14 51 7 17

There are a few busts in there, and you can throw Crawford into that mix as well if you want even though we don’t technically know how his entire 30-36 span is going to go, but by and large, these guys held a large chunk of their late 20s value. Offensively, they hardly declined at all. Their defense got worse, but it didn’t become useless. They got slower, but were still better baserunners than most. They played fewer games, but most of them played enough to still be productive.

One cannot be intellectually honest while citing Carl Crawford if you’re not also going to simultaneously cite Rickey Henderson, Ichiro Suzuki, and Kenny Lofton. There are examples of every single player type that have signed huge contracts and immediately imploded. If we’re just going to cherry pick recent examples of contracts gone terrible, we could argue that teams shouldn’t sign any player at any position with any skillset. Power hitters who scare opposing pitchers? Meet Albert Pujols. Up the middle guys who can hit like sluggers? Hi there Matt Kemp. Elite aces in the prime of their careers? Johan Santana, come on down.

Carl Crawford’s production is not Jacoby Ellsbury’s fait accompli; it’s one possible path of many. Every player’s future is a probability distribution, bottoming out at completely and utterly useless. Every single player could turn into a total dud tomorrow. And every single player could actually play better in the future than they have in the past. There is no single example that represents the expected outcome for any other player, no matter how similar they might appear to be.

So, we have two options. We can either throw our hands in the air and say “who knows what the future will bring, sign anyone for whatever you want and hope for the best” or we can try to make educated guesses based on reasonable assumptions and decent amounts of data. Those decent amounts of data suggest that players like Ellsbury age well, even if Carl Crawford did not. That data does not support the idea that speed-and-defense players fall apart after they turn 30. If anything, the data suggests just the opposite, and says that big boned first baseman are the ones you should be really afraid of.

I know the Carl Crawford comparison is the easy one, especially because Boston is tied to both players. That doesn’t make the conclusion about Ellsbury’s future value based on Crawford’s failure any more true, however.

With that very long caveat out of the way, let’s actually talk about what Ellsbury is. Steamer and ZIPS both see him as roughly a +4 WAR player in 2014. If we do the standard half WAR per season decay for aging, then Ellsbury would project out to +17.5 WAR over the next seven years. Interestingly, that’s an almost perfect match for what the average player in the list above did from ages 30-36, so +17 to +18 WAR seems like a perfectly reasonable expectation for the next seven years. At $153 million, that would mean the Yankees were paying about $8.7 million per expected win, about a 40 percent premium over the cost of the deals we’ve seen signed thus far. Relative to other contracts already signed, including the Yankees own signing of Brian McCann, this looks like an overpay.

But there’s a caveat on every free agent signing with the Yankees, because their financial situation is entirely different than every other team’s situation. The Yankees have a crazy amount of money. The Yankees don’t really need to spend money as efficiently as possible. The Yankees can easily afford to pay more than the market rate for players and still be just fine, because they have more resources than any other team in the game.

So, yeah, this deal wouldn’t make sense for a lot of other teams. For a team with a payroll of $100 million, $22 million per year for Ellsbury probably doesn’t work. Even at $125 to $150 million, it’s probably too much. The Yankees, though, can afford it. $22 million to them is roughly equivalent to $12 or $13 million to a franchise with an average payroll. Even if the Yankees stick to their guns and come in right under $189 million for 2014, Ellsbury’s AAV would account for something like 12% of their total payroll.

The Yankees paid a lot of money for a very good player. That very good player is probably going to remain a very good player for the next few years, and then, like nearly every free agent, he’ll be an overpaid albatross in the last few years of the deal. For the price, the Yankees probably overpaid relative to the going market rate of wins. But because they’re the Yankees, the fact that they overpaid by $20 or $30 million doesn’t matter all that much.

It would hurt the Yankees more to put another mediocre team on the field in 2014 and watch their built in financial advantage begin to dwindle. The Yankees have a resource advantage to maintain, and the best way to maintain that advantage is to keep putting good teams on the field.

And Jacoby Ellsbury will help the Yankees put a good team on the field again in 2014, because Jacoby Ellsbury is a good player, even if he’s a good player because he’s fast. Runs created with speed and defense count too.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Petruchio
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Petruchio
2 years 5 months ago

I can’t remember an offseason day as fun and eventful as this.

Slats
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Slats
2 years 5 months ago

What’s ironic is it’s hard to tell the Red Sox and Yankee fans apart…they’re all whining about this deal!

ns
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ns
2 years 5 months ago

That isn’t ironic.

Doug Lampert
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Doug Lampert
2 years 5 months ago

As a Red Sox fan, I’m not whining.

I wish he’d gone to someone other than they Yankees, but if they want to dump that ammount of money on him that’s their privelege, the Sox simply were not going to offer him anything comparable.

It’s a job, he’s expected to try to earn money at it.

The Yankees have a lot of income, they reinvest a lot of it in the team, if I whine about ownership it will be for the Marlins and their ilk who are simply parasites on the league taking money that’s supposed to go to the team and pocketing it. I might like a hard salary cap, but a hard FLOOR is far more needed.

Rippers
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Rippers
2 years 5 months ago

Very good player, but injury prone and 30.

Not worth seven years and $153 million.

joser
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joser
2 years 5 months ago

It depends. If you have $150 million lying around and you need an outfielder, and spending it on Ellsbury isn’t going to interfere in any way with you spending another $50 million or $100 million or whatever you need to spend to make your team better, than it’s certainly “worth” it. You and I aren’t in that position. Most teams aren’t in that position. But the Yankees are. So it’s worth it to them. If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t have done the deal.

Ken
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Ken
2 years 5 months ago

Fangraphs is using a sliding scale to excuse this acquisition based on the logic “the Yankees can afford to do this”. Players have a determinable value. Ellsbury’s value isn’t $22M/yr. Yankee or not.

Laz
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Laz
2 years 5 months ago

Everything is bigger in NY though, including salaries. Adding an additional 5 wins is going to bring much more revenue in for the Yankees than say the Rays. It’s not always what the market rate is set as, but this deal is really going to help increase their revenues.

Baltar
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Baltar
2 years 5 months ago

I couldn’t agree more with Ken and disagree more with Dave. If the Yankees can be praised for spending any amount for any player, why even bother to write a post about it?
What does this do to the Yankees goal of getting next year’s payroll under $189M to save many, many millions over the next few years? This should be mentioned in the post, also.

Pitcha
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Pitcha
2 years 5 months ago

If the going rate for a W is $6m+ throughout the contract, I don’t think it’s outlandish to suggest Ellsbury has a chance to be a 3-4 win player for the duration, especially with the short porch in right.

Mike Savino
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Mike Savino
2 years 5 months ago

I could not disagree more.

There is, of course, a sliding scale value to players. That was the crux of the $/Win kind of debate. Recall that any win above 90 wins is worth way more than the preceeding 10 wins.

The one win that puts you into the playoffs is the sweetspot of value.

Combine this with the market size of the Yankees and a win is worth far more due to increased ticket sales, tv revenue and merchandising. Because of the huge market they have.

So, yeah, any win that Ellsbury (or anyone) is worth more in New York than anywhere else. That’s why they pay the salaries they do. Because if it wasn’t worth it, the Steinbrenners would be bankrupt and the team wouldn’t continue to spend money this way.

Hup
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Hup
2 years 5 months ago

Adrian Beltre knees him in the ribs, breaking them, and Reid Brignac lands on his shoulder, dislocating it.

These two injuries account for approximately 220 of his 250 missed games over the last 4 seasons. I’m not sure “injury prone” is fair, it’s not like he’s pulling hamstrings or battling bad knees.

Tony
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Tony
2 years 5 months ago

The ribs aren’t a problem, but you didn’t mention the broken foot (compression fracture), and a shoulder injury no matter how it happens is a big big problem for the future.

JS7
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JS7
2 years 5 months ago

Yanks pay $22m a year for Ellsbury who, in the last four years has played 18, 158, 74, 134 games.

WHAT?

Nick
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Nick
2 years 5 months ago

He literally had a guy fall on him in both of those instances. It’s not like he has bad knees or back issues.

Old School
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Old School
2 years 5 months ago

Fragile player who has seen his power vanish and next it will be his speed.

Larry Walker
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Larry Walker
2 years 5 months ago

Please everyone, do not upvote, downvote, or respond to this guy. He’s purposefully trying to get downvotes for kicks for some reason; if we ignore him, he will eventually go away.

hmk
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hmk
2 years 5 months ago

all you need to say is dont feed the trolls.

Gyre
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Gyre
2 years 5 months ago

even if he did have such injuries, NYY has a history of productive players with injuries. I’d bet most teams do. Injury threats are meaningless in terms of the game. Managers are paid to do something when accidents happen, winners do so.

Antonio Bananas
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Antonio Bananas
2 years 5 months ago

True that those injuries weren’t because of bad knees, but what are the chances those injuries cause more injuries down the road?

Jonathan
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Jonathan
2 years 5 months ago

I wouldn’t be concerned with his injury history (As you accurately note, it’s freak injuries).

I would, however, be concerned with what his true talent level is. He’s been all over the map in his healthy seasons.

It basically comes down to an inability to accurately gauge what he’s going to be going forward due to his missed time. Is he the 2.1 WAR player he was in 2009? The 5.8 WAR player this year? Something in between?

Taking out his best season and his worst season, you know who has similar WAR numbers? Brett Gardner. You know who’ll probably sign for significantly less money next year? Brett Gardner.

Red Sox boy
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Red Sox boy
2 years 5 months ago

Jacoby Ellsbury is a TRAITOR!!!

Warriors
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Warriors
2 years 5 months ago

It’s a business, champ. How many star players have you pried away from other teams via trades and signings?

Johnny Damon
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Johnny Damon
2 years 5 months ago

I’m feelin ya, man.

Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, et al.
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Us, too.

Baltar
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Baltar
2 years 5 months ago

What was Damon when he signed with the Red Sox?

Dan
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Dan
2 years 5 months ago

A Royal?

Dag Gummit
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2 years 5 months ago

Coming off a short stint with the Athletics

John
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John
2 years 5 months ago

Yeah as a die hard Red Sox fan I want to come firmly down against this kind-of attitude.

First of all Jacoby was part of not one but two World Series teams for a franchise that prior to 2007 had one championship since the Wilson Administration. He was integral parts of both teams, so unless he murders DP and burns down Fenway, Jacoby leaves Boston nothing short of a hero.

Second of all, as Warrior said, this is a business. He was offered $153 million dollars, a figure that is about 150% of what the Red Sox ceiling was. Can you not equally say the Red Sox betrayed him? It would be one thing if we were in the discussion, but we weren’t even in the room. And I don’t blame the Red Sox either.

Adios Jacoby. As a Sox fan, thanks for the tacos and stolen bases; I hope you and Carl Crawford are uttered in the same cautionary tone for the next 20 years.

Westy
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Westy
2 years 5 months ago

And I will root against him succeeding now that he is a MFY!

But what I won’t do is belittle him or boo him. He helped us win 2 WS titles. That demands a little respect.

RC
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RC
2 years 5 months ago

I root for the laundry.

And Jacoby isn’t wearing the laundry anymore.

Now, I won’t boo him like I boo’ed Damon, because Ellsbury never said anything along the lines of ‘I’ll never play for the yankees. It’s just wrong,’ but hes just another yankee at this point.

Jackson
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Jackson
2 years 5 months ago

Don’t feed the trolls guys

RMD
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RMD
2 years 5 months ago

Sometimes we just need to be reminded that Ellsbury is a Trader to are base.

LONNIE
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LONNIE
2 years 5 months ago

Or maybe the REd Sox have betrayed their fan base by not making a competitive offer to Ellsbury. It’s not like resigning with Bo Sux was ever an option for Ellsbury.

jesse
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jesse
2 years 5 months ago

“trader” to “are” base? Nice education, buddy.

JJ
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JJ
2 years 5 months ago

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out…unless the crushing impact lands you on the DL…again!

James.
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James.
2 years 5 months ago

He did great things for your team.

Stop being so bitter.

Mets boy
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Mets boy
2 years 5 months ago

When he comes back to Fenway, give him a standing O for those two World Series Rings

But especially give him a standing O for extracting that much money from the Yankees.

Westy
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Westy
2 years 5 months ago

No matter what you think of the deal – bitter, stupid Red Sox fans is something we can get behind.

Search Jacoby Ellsbury ‘Trader’ on Twitter and you will have a good laugh.

RC
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RC
2 years 5 months ago

Westy, you clearly don’t seem to understand twitter.

It’s pretty much verbal diarreah. All of it.

redsoxu571
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redsoxu571
2 years 5 months ago

Despite similar simple profiles, it’s not accurate to call Crawford (as a FA) and Ellsbury “similar”. Ellsbury can hit lefties. He can work counts, take pitches, and grab some walks. He’s shown a higher level of power. He’s actually willing to hit leadoff. He’s a CF type defender who actually plays CF. Outside of the “injury prone” tag slapped on him due to two fluke injuries, Ellsbury profiles as a better player in most every way.

Also, let’s not forget that Crawford’s struggles have not been due to issues with “aging speed”. He had issues mentally in Boston. So he’s a unique case and not really a point in anyone’s favor.

Colin
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Colin
2 years 5 months ago

No actually they are similar in basically every way. They derive their value in the same ways, Crawford was a superior player for his career by the time he hit free agency as well. It is all to easy to chalk up Crawford to ‘mental’ issues to fit your internal narrative, which, based on your user name I have little doubt you are doing whether you realize it or not.

Guy Who Posts On Blogs With No Facts To Back Up Claims
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Guy Who Posts On Blogs With No Facts To Back Up Claims
2 years 5 months ago

Well said!

Colin
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Colin
2 years 5 months ago

Both over 15 runs generated with baserunning in the three years prior to FA. Both roughly 105-110 wRC range, both in the 30-35 run defense range three years before free agency. But Ellsbury hits lefties a bit better and doesn’t have ‘mental’ issues (because you know him so well personally) so that makes him different? Yeah, they are the same type of player, being of the same type and identical are different and you can make reasonable guesses about how this contract could progress by seeing where Ellsbury gets his value from and comparing it to players who get it from similar places no matter the little nuances.

redsoxu571
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redsoxu571
2 years 5 months ago

Colin, seriously, learn to read. I mentioned Crawford’s struggles mentally as the reason for his “failures” since his signing, as a counter to those who would argue that his decline was due to his physical profile. I did NOT include it in the comparison with Ellsbury…hence the separate paragraph.

I’m not saying they didn’t offer similar overall value to each other, or that they aren’t similar players on the surface, but they are still significantly different players as a whole, and you did NOTHING to disprove that. Again…Ellsbury works counts and walks better, can hit lefties, is willing to hit leadoff, and plays CF…all major pluses for players of this type, and therefore all advantages when comparing him to Crawford. If you think it doesn’t matter how a player produces value (say, the difference between being able to work counts and hit good pitching vs producing best vs bad pitching), then you can take the latter type of hitter and my team will beat yours.

Hank
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Hank
2 years 5 months ago

Crawford had some crazy UZR splits at the Trop. Fangraphs no longer publishes home/road splits but when they did:

Home UZR/150 ~22.5
Road UZR/150 ~7.5

Overall that averages out to an elite defender, unless you begin to wonder if his plus arm at the Trop (negative arm on the road) is meaningful and his range was really that much better. Or if maybe there was a park effect (and turf effect for his arm) that wasn’t being properly accounted for since this was a 6 year sample (3 years in each sample)

I think the valuation of Crawford’s defense going into FA was overstated and he was not nearly the elite defender the #’s made him out to be.

redsoxu571
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redsoxu571
2 years 5 months ago

As much as I love and appreciate the statistical revolution, you guys show exactly how easy it is to go too far. You really think players are all about how they can be distilled to a single number? It doesn’t matter how those numbers get there? It doesn’t matter that one player is much more flexible in his usage and can handle a wider range of pitching? Ridiculous.

You show FAR too much confidence in the precision of metrics.

Also, you do realize that it’s a logical fallacy to try to weaken someone’s argument by attacking the speaker, yes (in this case, by pointing out my username)? For the record, I had high hopes for Crawford, and I APPRECIATE how hard to clearly worked to try and work out of his funk. But it was a mentally-induced (at least initially) funk, make no mistake about it. Likewise, if you were right to imply that I have some sort of bias, why would I be praising a player who just signed with my favorite team’s rival? Maybe because I’m simply telling it like I see it.

hmk
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hmk
2 years 5 months ago

I’ll take the numbers over “telling it like i see it” all day

Michael
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Michael
2 years 5 months ago

I’ll take a healthy combination of both.

Iron
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Iron
2 years 5 months ago

He wasn’t making an ad hominem attack; he was pointing out the probability of bias based on your user name. If your user name is fanhomer175 and you make a comment about that team, it is fair to say you are probably somewhat biased in your assessment.

Seabass
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Seabass
2 years 5 months ago

LSATs are the worst :(

Antonio Bananas
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2 years 5 months ago

It’s not a single number. It’s many numbers supporting a case with a few big ones that tell the story quicker. Do you want your financial advisors to invest based on metrics proven to increase your odds or on gut instinct?

Natman
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Natman
2 years 5 months ago

Dashboard metrics aren’t awesome in themselves. The story as to why the metrics are going in the direction they are is what allows decision makers to rectify or support those metrics. The Red Sux guy is saying look at the forest and not the tree when evaluating players. Crawford’s decline was odd. Numbers tell us that. He hypothesized it was due to his mental state. That’s as good of a reason that I’ve heard. The “it’s all or nothing” when it comes to statistics arguments are dumb. Stats give us a frame to tell the story. They aren’t, in themselves, THE story.

Natman
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Natman
2 years 5 months ago

Financial advisers look at meetings, who is running the company, plans, etc., on top of the metrics. So yes, I want my financial adviser to look beyond the numbers.

Michael Scarn
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Michael Scarn
2 years 5 months ago

I have mixed feelings towards this. On the one hand, with Ellsbury and McCann in the fold, the Yankees look right back like their in playoff contention for 2014. They just need to add some backend pitchers and bench players to be a good bet for a 90 win team.

On the other hand, do these deals for 30+ year old free agents ever turn out well? Projections may peg Ellsbury as a decent bet to age well, but I feel like I remember Fangraphs and other intelligent sources saying the same thing about Pujols, Crawford, AGon, Kemp, ARod, Votto (this one isn’t terrible yet), and Teixeira. The only good deals of that size I can remember are ones in which teams extended under-30 guys who they already had (Tulo, Mauer, Posey, etc.)

SosaGBE
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SosaGBE
2 years 5 months ago

Add backend pitching? Where is their frontline or even mid rotation arms?

CC is clearly declining, he’s not a front line pitcher and is upside looks to be a workhorse mid rotation type. Pineda has mid rotation upside but is a huge risk and won’t be able to pitch enough innings. Nova is a mid rotation option. They need to sign both Kuroda and Tanaka (or deal for a mid rotation or better pitcher). This Yankees offense should be top 3 in baseball, but that rotation is easily bottom third as constituted.

golfpanther
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golfpanther
2 years 5 months ago

Of the players you mentioned, only Crawford and Kemp fit the parameters that the article was using to project Ellsbury’s value going forward (speed outfielders). And putting ARod in there just doesn’t make sense. The guy might be an albatross now (as the article points out most guys are in the final few years of a big deal) but between the ages of 30 and 36 (the article’s baseline) ARod never had a WAR below 3.7 and included years of 8.8, 9.6 and 6.0. And a world series title for his team. Kemp isn’t even 30 yet so who knows what will happen with him and AGon, Pujols and Teixeira all fit the article’s assertion that big first basemen do decline quickly.

golfpanther
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golfpanther
2 years 5 months ago

Of the players you mentioned, only Crawford and Kemp fit the parameters that the article was using to project Ellsbury’s value going forward (speed outfielders). And putting ARod in there just doesn’t make sense. The guy might be an albatross now (as the article points out most guys are in the final few years of a big deal) but between the ages of 30 and 36 (the article’s baseline) ARod never had a WAR below 3.7 and included years of 8.8, 9.6 and 6.0. And a world series title with his team (and was awesome for them in those playoffs). Kemp isn’t even 30 yet so who knows what will happen with him and AGon, Pujols and Teixeira all fit the article’s assertion that big first basemen do decline quickly.

buddaley
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buddaley
2 years 5 months ago

I am not so confident about the Yankees’ offense. It seems to me we can be reasonably confident in Gardner, Ellsbury and McCann. But what of the other 6 places in the lineup?

A lot of questions need to be answered positively-legitimate concerns over age decline, injury comebacks and current value. Are we optimistic about the returns of Jeter and Teixeira? About the resurgence of Soriano or the continued value of Ichiro? Of the viability of Nunez at 3B? Of the likelihood of the Yankees acquiring a solid second baseman? Of the depth of the bench?

The Yankees may yet do much more. Perhaps they do resign Cano or get Choo. But as it stands now, this still seems to me a team with serious concerns.

Johnny
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Johnny
2 years 5 months ago

When you also factor in 5% inflation over the course of the deal he will be getting paid to be just under a 3 win player in the final year of the deal. If he stays healthy I could see if being at least a 2 win player like Lofton at Age 35/36.

Johndango
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2 years 5 months ago

I wonder what this does to Cano’s market.

Money
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Money
2 years 5 months ago

If you can’t beat em… take their sloppy seconds!

Cliff
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Cliff
2 years 5 months ago

That’s actually pretty good advice

Sleight of Hand Pro
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Sleight of Hand Pro
2 years 5 months ago

if im jayZ or cano, im starting to get pretty nervous.

chuckb
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chuckb
2 years 5 months ago

Definitely. This may not close the door on Cano returning to the Yankees, but they’ve got to be feeling a little more skeptical than they were yesterday (Jay-Z and Cano, I mean).

Billy
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Billy
2 years 5 months ago

If I’m Brett Gardner, I’m starting to get pretty nervous.

I guess he gets moved to left and then either Ichiro or Soriano is moved out of the starting outfield. I won’t list all the ways these guys could get rearranged, but I’m curious how this will work out.

Cliff
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Cliff
2 years 5 months ago

Gardner is a 4-6 WAR player. Ichiro should be the odd man out- pinch runner, 4th outfielder, defensive sub, etc.

Jay29
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Jay29
2 years 5 months ago

Gardner to LF, Ichiro in RF vs RHP, Soriano at DH vs RHP. Possible platoon situations vs LHP (Jeter DH and Soriano RF?).

DT
Guest
DT
2 years 5 months ago

Red Sox nation has been flooded with tears.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
2 years 5 months ago

Actually this is a wonderful day. Except for pink hat sellers in the Boston area.

Ellsbury was never likely to be here once he hit FA. He is a good player that was going to receive a great player contract. Even projecting him at 21 WAR going forward (closer to what I think he’ll do), that’s a lot of money. Yankees can have him for > $7M a win.

Thanks for the contributions, now Yankee fans can enjoy when the manager asks you to bat 7th or play left.

Jackie Bradley, Jr.
Guest
Jackie Bradley, Jr.
2 years 5 months ago

True that!

David
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

and by pink hat, you mean pink sock…which is what the Yankees are left with after this deal.

AJ
Guest
AJ
2 years 5 months ago

Um no. Virtually ever Red Sox fan I’ve spoken to this offseason didn’t want him back for even a fraction of this contract. If the Yankees want to give him 7/153 and completely screw themselves financially again in a few years, be my guest.

Benjamin
Member
Benjamin
2 years 5 months ago

the yankees would need to put in some kind of effort to “screw themselves financially”

uruguayan
Guest
uruguayan
2 years 5 months ago

I realize these are murky waters, but wouldn’t the fact that almost all your examples overlap the steroid era muck up the argument a bit? I don’t really trust any dataset that includes a 39-year old Steve Finley hitting 36 dongs over a full 162 game season.

Bookbook
Guest
Bookbook
2 years 5 months ago

Since the dataset covers Finley’s age 30-36 seasons, that’s less of a problem than you might assume.

Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines, Ichiro, Devon White, Derek Bell? That doesn’t seem to me like a list that’s invalidated by steroid issues. If I saw, I don’t know, Luis Gonzalez, Sammy Sosa, Brady Anderson… I might be less inclined to believe the conclusions.

I don’t think of Ellsbury as being nearly in Rickey’s league, of course, which makes that comparison less helpful to me.

Ben
Guest
Ben
2 years 5 months ago

Jamal Strong and Matt Lawton took steroids… smaller speedy guys benefit from steroids just as much as anyone else.

KDL
Guest
KDL
2 years 5 months ago

Crap, I think my computer’s broken. Jamal Strong and Matt Lawton didn’t show up in the table on my computer. Anyone else having the problem where Jamal Strong and Matt Lawton don’t appear in the list of players comparable to Ellsbury? Anyone?

Tim
Guest
Tim
2 years 5 months ago

I’m generally not in favor of tarring guys with the steroid brush without evidence. But if I was I’m pretty sure Derek Bell would be high on my list.

olethros
Guest
olethros
2 years 5 months ago

Rickey is at the top of the list of suspects for Canseco’s comment that there’s at least one user in the HoF already.

I could give a shit, myself. The data tends to indicate that amphetamines were a much greater performance enhancer than steroids anyway, and everyone in the game used them for decades.

nada
Guest
nada
2 years 5 months ago

what data indicates that amphetamines are a greater performance enhancer than steroids? -Not trying to criticize, just curious.

olethros
Guest
olethros
2 years 5 months ago

Offense declined precipitously when amphetamine testing was implemented, not steroid testing.

http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-reasons-steroids-were-never-real-problem-in-baseball_p2/

Hardly conclusive, but it makes sense.

Tony
Guest
Tony
2 years 5 months ago

Is it easier to mask steroid use than it is amphetamines? I’m pretty sure it’s easier to mask steroid use. Steroid users don’t usually get sick until AFTER they stop taking steroids. Amphetamine users act like a person taking coke. That’s pretty easy to notice.

my jays are red
Guest
my jays are red
2 years 5 months ago

dave, what do you think about the Red Sox signing Cano? they would make him play 3b or 1b of course, at a similar 7/150 type of deal, they’d say eff you to the yankees, patch up a large hole at 1b, have an amazing middle of the lineup core of Bogaerts/Cano for years to come, and spell Ortiz/hole left by Napoli until they’re gone, he can DH for the last few years. it’s obviously not financially what the Red Sox would do but would you consider it by any chance?

psualum
Guest
psualum
2 years 5 months ago

was this transcribed from a 12:30 am call into a local sports radio station? YOu can’t think 7/150 will get Cano, or that he would move off second base

Tony
Guest
Tony
2 years 5 months ago

Cano or JayZ aren’t THAT dumb to take the same deal and also have to move shop.

Charlie
Member
Charlie
2 years 5 months ago

One of the most unproductive days of my life.

Thank you, baseball.

psualum
Guest
psualum
2 years 5 months ago

I actually think this isn’t a bad deal if Jacoby stays healthy.. I have a feeling he will outperform that 4 WAR projection in a Yankees lineup where he’s not asked to be one of the middle-of-the-order run producers. Him and Brett Gardner will make trying to hit a double to right-center a nightmare for any opposing hitter. Yes, they will probably have to pay the piper later but its only a small overpay when you consider, with inflation, what the cost of a win might be in 2018 or 2019 with all the tv money that will be rolling into other teams coffers.

Jay29
Guest
Jay29
2 years 5 months ago

*left-center

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 5 months ago

“n a Yankees lineup where he’s not asked to be one of the middle-of-the-order run producers”

The Red Sox lineup has been better than the Yankees for a very long time. He’s going to be asked to do more than he was in boston.

THat being said, you’re right. If hes healthy, hes going to way outproduce that contract, in my mind. A healthy Ellsbury next year has a floor, IMO, of 6 or 7 wins. The only way a 4 WAR estimate makes sense is if its heavily hedged for injury risk.

Tony
Guest
Tony
2 years 5 months ago

Since the year 2000 the Red Sox have had more runs than the Yankees 6 times out of those 14 years. I stopped at 2000. The Yankees had 3 other seasons before that that were great including probably the best team in baseball history in 1998. How have the Red Sox been better for a very long time? Lol

JD
Guest
JD
2 years 5 months ago

Johnny Damon Version II.

Cory
Guest
Cory
2 years 5 months ago

Dave, I agree the Yankees can overpay and still be profitable, but isn’t that a cop out in terms of analysis? If for no other reason than we have seen in recent years a time when the Yankees did decide to care about payroll, and it could happen again. Saying it doesn’t matter that they overpaid is true, but it strikes me like seeing the Rays’ Longoria deal and saying “he’s a good player, but no one will come to the Trop anyway.”

Dave
Guest
Dave
2 years 5 months ago

Jacoby has a lot of power to right… I wonder if he’ll see a spike in HRs thanks to the short porch at new yankee stadium, akin to Curtis Granderson. If so, this could turn out to be a great deal for the yankees, with Ellsbury playing a Soriano 2.0 role in the leadoff spot.

A-Rod
Guest
A-Rod
2 years 5 months ago

Ellsbury hasn’t really taken advantage of Yankee Stadium thus far, though: .285/.352/.431 with 4 HR in 144 AB.

Larry Walker
Guest
Larry Walker
2 years 5 months ago

144 AB.

A-Rod
Guest
A-Rod
2 years 5 months ago

‘Thus far’…

Tony
Guest
Tony
2 years 5 months ago

You don’t think 144 ABs is enough to gauge it? 144 x 4 times the ABs = 576. It would equate to probably less than 4 times the HRs which would be 16 HRs at Yankee stadium if you use the generous number. Hardly worth $22m a year for an extra 5 HRs. he usually has like 6 or 7 HRs a year. That one year of 32 HRs really skewed his numbers overall.

Evan
Guest
Evan
2 years 5 months ago

Johan Santa strikes again…

jruby
Member
Member
jruby
2 years 5 months ago

Dude Johan Santa doesn’t show up until Johan December 25th.

psualum
Guest
psualum
2 years 5 months ago

Johan Santa comes every year, wrapped in a bow of tattered rotator cuff remains

The Kardashian Sisters
Guest
The Kardashian Sisters
2 years 5 months ago

Ho ho ho!

Grady Sizemore
Guest
Grady Sizemore
2 years 5 months ago

SIGH!

Darren
Guest
Darren
2 years 5 months ago

I thought $/WAR was the AAV divided by the projected WAR in Year 1 of the contract. Thus this deal was closer to $5.5M per win, which is right in line with the market, and lower than pretty much every deal over 3 years given out this offseason

Josh
Guest
Josh
2 years 5 months ago

But there’s 6 years after that one “market value” year

Benjamin
Member
Benjamin
2 years 5 months ago

$/WAR = $/WAR

Darren
Guest
Darren
2 years 5 months ago

Ok, but by doing the way in Dave’s article it assumes teams cost per win is the same in 2014 as it is 2021. You cant compare year to year this way if you include 7 years of inflation

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 5 months ago

Baseball contracts are entirely guaranteed, so you’re buying the playing time today, so you use today’s value.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
2 years 5 months ago

One thing that we all have to remember.

Yankees 2014 payroll obligations, pre-offseason

A-Rod: $26,000,000
Teixeira: $23,125,000
CC: $23,000,000
Wells: $3,000,000
Jeter: $12,000,000
Ichiro: $6,500,000

Total: $93,625,000

And if the A-Rod suspension happens, this drops to below $70,000,000. This is a team w/ some serious money to spend. Adding $39,000,000 worth of McCann and Ellsbury is no big deal right now for them, and they can get Cano, too, if they want.

Not to mention, we’ve seen this story before. The Yankees will gladly take on albatross contracts, if it means putting together a WS winner. And with the prospects coming up for Boston (and the financial flexibility that will give them), this could be New York’s best chance for a little while.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
2 years 5 months ago

I just realized this post kind of contradicts what I said in the comment above.

I think Ellsbury is good. Just the money is ridiculous. This is the Yankees after a missed postseason, though, so Hank and Hal opened up the checkbook. As much as I hate the Yankees, I have to respect the Steinbrenners for their willingness to dump money into the team for the purpose of winning. We whine about Jeff Loria doing the opposite, so why shouldn’t an ownership that tries to deliver for the fans be respected?

Chris
Guest
Chris
2 years 5 months ago

what about soriano, robertson, and gardner? you left off a few big names on the list

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
2 years 5 months ago

Right, my mistake. I went by cot’s and forgot to factor in arb guys.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 5 months ago

He also left off most of the Yankees pitching staff… oh, wait…

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 5 months ago

Yankees still need a RF’er (Beltran), 2Bman (Cano), 3Bman (Reynolds), 2 SP’ers (Colon, Tanaka), and 2 guys in the pen to replace Logan and Rivera (Rodney, X?). They can fill those holes easily with quality players but will need to blow past 189 million.
At 230 million they pay 20 million in tax, their average over the last 10 years, so no sweat there.

Chris
Guest
Chris
2 years 5 months ago

They already have four outfielders, no need for a RF’er
Ichiro, Soriano, Ellsbury, Gardner

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 5 months ago

Ichiro is a black hole, and none of the other 3 can play RF I dont believe

Jay29
Guest
Jay29
2 years 5 months ago

Any one of those players can play RF.

hmk
Guest
hmk
2 years 5 months ago

its a bigger tax if you have been over $189,000,000 for 4 or 5 straight seasons (cant remember the exact number), and you only need to get under that figure for one season to reset the taxes.

Josh
Guest
Josh
2 years 5 months ago

I think its 1.75x for every dollar over?

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 5 months ago

Its a max tax of 50% on every dollar over 189. Up from 43%.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 5 months ago

It also affects the revenue sharing refunds, which are significantly large.

hmk
Guest
hmk
2 years 5 months ago

Yes thank you guys for helping to clarify.

Tony
Guest
Tony
2 years 5 months ago

Why doesn’t anyone want Robertson to be the closer? He has great numbers. He has better numbers than Rodney and he’s much younger too.

steve-o
Guest
steve-o
2 years 5 months ago

Hey, I’ll make a post hoc analysis based off aggregated numbers from a couple of HOFers mixed in with three scrubs and three 1-2 WAR a year players to support my claim.
Cherry pick much?

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
2 years 5 months ago

It isn’t that unreasonable, IMO.

But FWIW, Ellsbury’s #1 comp through age 29 is a guy who was out of the league 2 seasons later.

Obviously if Ellsbury can put together Ichiro’s run of production, this contracts is actually pretty good. Hopefully he doesn’t!

AJ
Guest
AJ
2 years 5 months ago

Comparing Ellsbury to Ichiro is laughable. Ichiro had one of the greatest hit tools in MLB history. It broke the 20/80 scale. Ellsbury’s hit is a 6.

Jay29
Guest
Jay29
2 years 5 months ago

What about his speed tool, eye tool, range tool, and power tool?

Spencer Dean
Guest
Spencer Dean
2 years 5 months ago

Ichiro probably isn’t as fast as ellsbury, but he has fantastic instincts. He’s still above average as a base runner. His defenseman is also very good.

Spencer Dean
Guest
Spencer Dean
2 years 5 months ago

Also, the tools are power, speed, hit, arm, glove.

dannyc
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

Take away Ellsbury’s career year and you have the same WAR as John Jay

Deelron
Member
Deelron
2 years 5 months ago

Not if I take away Jon Jay’s career year!

hmk
Guest
hmk
2 years 5 months ago

or, keep ellsbury’s career year and you have someone better than john jay! although ellsbury was never a supreme court justice…

Tim
Guest
Tim
2 years 5 months ago

Yet.

jruby
Member
Member
jruby
2 years 5 months ago

Byron “Whizzer” White broke the barrier for Pro Athletes, but we won’t have equal representation on the Supreme Court until we have a justice from every sport.

I nominate Carlos Gomez, Dirk Nowitzki, and Jaromir Jagr.

… wait a minute…

Z.....
Guest
Z.....
2 years 5 months ago

Sad to see him go, especially to the dreaded Yankees…Still at 7 years/$153 million it was obvious he wasnt going to be back, and the Red Sox will receive a compensation draft pick…As for the deal itself, if Ellsbury can stay healthy and utilize that little league ballpark to allow his power numbers to come back to anywhere close to where they were in 2011, this is a pretty good deal for both sides, and even if the power numbers dont come back and he does what he did in 2013, its still a more than decent deal (whether or not you like the idea of committing that much to a speed/defense guy for that many years and on the wrong side of 30). Ellsbury has the upside of one of the best players in baseball when healthy. Obviously the question is whether or not you think he’ll remain on the field, and whether or not you think that power will indeed come back. I personally would have a hard time giving him this contract, but I think the team that gave it to him had the best reasons to do it. Saying this, I question how they’d be willing to take this risk, yet wont go over a similar offer on Robinson Cano…Anyway, this signing will effect the free agent market. Carlos Beltran is likely not heading to New York (maybe Kansas City, Texas, or Seattle for him?) and Shin-Soo Choo could end up in Detroit (with that Jayson Werth contract he is looking for seeming more likely after Ellsbury just got this). I dont know where that leaves Cano, but I would think he is still a priority for the Yankees along with resigning Kuroda and adding another starter (perhaps waiting on the posting bidding on Masahiro Tanaka)…As I have said numerous times already this offseason, the money in baseball is crazy right now…These last couple of days have been insane. These teams know that Winter Meetings are next week right?

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 5 months ago

The thing with Crawford is he bulked after the signing hoping to improve his power numbers at Fenway to justify his contract (I remember the Rays announcers talking about it in ST of 2011 but Red Sox reporters never mentioned the muscle gain). It cost him speed and did nothing for his power since he had no plate discipline, and made him injury prone with repeated hamstring issues. All that lifting messed up his wrist and then he blew out his elbow. As a LF’er he was a terrible fit at Fenway anyways, and the fact he hit LD and GB to the opposite field did not help him at Fenway.

Hopefully Ellsburys injury woes are behind him and he recovers strength in that shoulder. If he comes close to his 2011 power numbers this contract could be a bargain for the Yankees.

The Yankees biggest hole was in RF. Not sure Gardner can move there, if he can the Yankees are all set, if not they may have to trade Gardner and still sign Beltran. If they also sign Cano 189 is out the window, where it deserves to be given the Yankees enormous revenues.

AJ
Guest
AJ
2 years 5 months ago

“If he comes close to his 2011 power numbers this contract could be a bargain for the Yankees.”

Keep dreaming… Ellsbury will never hit 20 HR again.

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 5 months ago

He will hit 40 one year, count on it

I Agree!
Guest
I Agree!
2 years 5 months ago

Totally! 40 HR easy. TAKE IT TO THE BANK.

Cordially,

The commenter who thought Morneau would hit 50 HR in Colorado.

Tony
Guest
Tony
2 years 5 months ago

Their biggest hole is RF? LOL

That’s pretty laughable!

Their starting rotation is in taters and oh yeah 3rd base is pretty much just like signing Youkilis again when they signed Kelly Johnson to play 3rd.

Rockdog
Guest
Rockdog
2 years 5 months ago

Dave,

Great, great analysis — the kind of stuff that brings me to Fangraphs. Thanks.

Larry Walker
Guest
Larry Walker
2 years 5 months ago

Saltalamacchia signed with the Marlins for 3 yr, only 21 mil!!! What?

Tony
Guest
Tony
2 years 5 months ago

I’m a Yankee fan and even I know that the they LOVE overpaying average players, even if they can steal 50 bases (on a broken foot or not).

McCann and Ellsbury will go down as the most overpaid player sin Yankees history.

Timothy Dunk
Guest
Timothy Dunk
2 years 5 months ago

I swear, the Fister + Fowler + Saltalmacchia + Gentry deals all make me think GMs are trying to rebel against the sabermetric crowd.

flailing
Guest
flailing
2 years 5 months ago

Crawford is a tubby compared to the list of former players. He carries at least 10% more body weight than most of them.

Timothy Dunk
Guest
Timothy Dunk
2 years 5 months ago

Body weight is not the same as body mass index.

Michael Scarn
Guest
Michael Scarn
2 years 5 months ago

Crawford was a three sport superstar who had scholarship offers to play QB at Nebraska and PG at UCLA. In no way is he a “tubby”, in fact, he’s probably the most physically dominant of all of the players on that list.

flailing
Guest
flailing
2 years 5 months ago

At his peak physical prime he was, but the discussion is for performance of athletes past the age of 30. It doesn’t matter whether it’s fat or muscle, the body, ie joints tendons etc, is still worn down by extra weight.

AJ
Guest
AJ
2 years 5 months ago

As a sox fan, I have absolutely no problem with this deal. This contract is absurd. Ellsbury is an injury prone player with make up questions at a position where we already have a viable cost controlled replacement in Jackie Bradley. Thanks to Ells for helping to win two WS, but I’m certainly not upset to see him go.

MDL
Member
MDL
2 years 5 months ago

The idea that Ellsbury is injury prone is a fallacy, but I agree with everything else you said. I’d rather see JBJ roaming CF on opening day next year than bumping Victorino over to make room for Beltran.

We’ll see what Cherington does, but I think it’s pretty clear by now that he knows what moves to make (and not make) to improve the team on the field, and the ownership group has learned not to interefere with that aspect of the business.

Tony
Guest
Tony
2 years 5 months ago

How is he not injury prone? He has a bum shoulder and that’s not just going to go away, plus he has a compression fracture in his foot!!! You think that’s not going to contribute to throwing his body out of balance?

Gaesomal
Guest
Gaesomal
2 years 5 months ago

Rickey seems to be a special outlier. When excluding Rickey, the mean change in wRC+ is minus 10, ranging -19.13 to -2.87 (95% CI: p < .014).
If Carl is a chery-picking comparison, Rickey is also a cherry-picking in an opposite direction.
It seems obvious to me that production based on speed can't be sustained well.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 5 months ago

“It seems obvious to me that production based on speed can’t be sustained well.”

Speed is sustained as well as anything else.

The thing is, speed players tend to get better in ways that counteract their losses as they get older. They walk more, they get more powerful.

Slower players age the same way, (walk more, more powerful), but they tend to get so slow that they can’t make up for it with more walks. Their BABIP tends to drop, and their contact numbers drop.

AJ
Guest
AJ
2 years 5 months ago

“The Yankees have a crazy amount of money. The Yankees don’t really need to spend money as efficiently as possible. The Yankees can easily afford to pay more than the market rate for players and still be just fine, because they have more resources than any other team in the game.”

I’ll never understand this stance. Just because they can afford to absorb make financially irresponsible deals does not mean that they should make them or that we should judge them any differently when they do. Yes, the Yankees have a huge payroll, and their resources give them a huge advantage. That advantage should alter their decision making process to some extent. But over the last decade, The Yankees have consistently failed to maximize the advantage provided by their resources by spending in an laughably inefficient manner. With the Yankees’s financial advantage, they shouldn’t be “fine.” They shouldn’t even be a “contender.” They should able to accumulate enough talent to be a prohibitive favorite to win the AL every single year.

hmk
Guest
hmk
2 years 5 months ago

“They should able to accumulate enough talent to be a prohibitive favorite to win the AL every single year.”

hmm… and they do. which is why it is pointless to berate them for one, two, or even three “bad” deals. like the author said, they have enough money to take the hits on bad deals and the wins on good deals. it makes no sense to say this was a bad deal for the yankees, even if you think they overpaid, because they have so much money that it is impossible for a deal like this to “cripple” them like it would to almost any other franchise.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 5 months ago

“hmm… and they do. ”

The Yankees have been the favorite to win the decision probably 30% of the time over the last decade.

They should be the favorite to win the AL 60% of the time with their payroll advantages, not the favorite in their division slightly more than average.

Tim
Guest
Tim
2 years 5 months ago

Part of the Yankee advantage is the ability to pay more for individual players than other teams. They get more out of this than they would by competing for players on a level playing field, but just having a bigger budget.

noseeum
Guest
noseeum
2 years 5 months ago

There are other factors than money to be considered. Of course if the Yankees could pay $1 more than the next bid and get their man every time, they would. But the player has other factors to consider, and the Yankees do too.

In this case, the Yankees are trying to execute on a plan which seems to still include getting Cano. They had a ton of holes to fill and rather than haggle over a million a year or one year of a contract, they decided to lock this deal in quickly with an overpay. They wanted this deal done quickly, so that Cano could take a look around and so the team can focus on the Cano negotiations with the knowledge they’ve built a good team around him already.

Before the offseason, I wanted the Yanks to let Cano walk and accept their suckitude for next year. But that was all with the assumption they would only be signing Cano. I thought it was a waste to pay him so much money when he’s surrounded by a crappy team. Well, I guess the Yanks felt the same way, so they’ve built a good enough offense that it makes signing Cano worthwhile.

AJ
Guest
AJ
2 years 5 months ago

Given their financial advantages, it is utterly absurd that the Rays would ever been able to match the Yankees’s win projection. The talent differential should be akin to MLB vs. AAA. Deals like this are the reason why the Yankees allow it to happen.

hmk
Guest
hmk
2 years 5 months ago

you do realize that scouting, signing, and developing talent is not reliant upon money? the only time teams can use their financial power is after a players team rights have expired, or if that team is willing to trade said player fearing his inevitable departure for greener ($) pastures. the rays are excellent at scouting, signing, and developing players. this route is significantly cheaper than spending money on free agents, and when done correctly, yields young and talented teams. remind me about the time the yankees bid on mike trout, jose fernandez, verlander, kershaw, kemp, braun, miggy, OR LITERALLY ANY OTHER YOUNG TEAM CONTROLLED PLAYER.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 5 months ago

“you do realize that scouting, signing, and developing talent is not reliant upon money?”

This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read on this site. You don’t think the trainers and scouts get paid?

The only reason the Rays have better scouts and development people than the Yankees is the Yankees haven’t been smart enough to use their financial advantages in that market.

hmk
Guest
hmk
2 years 5 months ago

I can’t believe you’re serious. Apparently you think that all draft picks are subject to the same financial rules as 30 year old free agents. You can pay your scouts all you want, it doesn’t mean that you get to sign all the talent. You can only pay drafts picks a certain amount, for example. If maybe you pointed out that financial restrictions are still limited in overseas markets, maybe you would have made a decent point. Instead, you suggested that Yankees can overpay on scouts and trainers in order to defeat the rays. Like I said before, the leagues collective bargaining agreement helps to drastically level the playing field in regards to young talent by giving their teams control over them for many years. I’m sure you’ve heard of the arbitration process. Maybe you’re aware of why mike trout makes $500,000 annually. You seem to think that the Yankees could just buy up all these great players and that they haven’t and they are dumb.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 5 months ago

Do you really think a team’s financial standing doesn’t affect how they approach the draft? Really?

Do you really think that better scouts don’t help the draft?

Do you really think that better player development isn’t important?

Do you really think that better nutrition, better doctors, and better facilities don’t help players mature/learn/improve?

Because these are just some of the advantages the yankees could have over the Rays, but don’t, because they choose to focus on FA players instead of the draft.

If the Yankees were run like a smart, financially savvy organization, and used their payroll advantage wisely, they’d win 100+ games every year.

They don’t, because their constantly hamstringing themselves with poor decisions based on the right now.

hmk
Guest
hmk
2 years 5 months ago

are you purposefully ignoring what im saying?

on the draft: all teams are forced to spend the same amount on draft picks. the yankees cannot use their financial advantage here, unless they got the first pick and spent all their money on it, which any other team can do, most teams are just more likely to spread their funds around.

on scouting/development: you seem to think that the yankees spend less money on these aspects. if the rays are so cash strapped, how are they managing to outspend the yankees here? this is professional sports, every single team is spending an absurd amount of money on scouting and development. if anything, the yankees are most likely outspending the rays in these departments. the rays cannot compete with the yankees in free agency, and thus must stockpile team controlled talent. they do this by trading away soon-to-be free agents and acquiring more prospects. because every team is trying as hard as possible to scout and develop talent, more often than not it is simply a matter of luck which prospects make it and which dont. because the rays hoard prospects, they are more likely to hit on a major league caliber player.

your rhetorical on nutrition, doctors, and facilities… the yankees have the most expensive and luxurious facilities in the bigs, and if you have evidence they are cheap on the medical front, why dont you show some. i think, because we are dealing with PROFESSIONAL SPORTS, every team is trying as hard as they can to have the best medical staff for their players, and you’d be either an idiot or a troll to think the richest team in the league is the cheapest to their doctors.

your last two points:

“If the Yankees were run like a smart, financially savvy organization, and used their payroll advantage wisely, they’d win 100+ games every year.” the yankees have won a ridiculous percentage of division titles in the last 20 years. they are the most successful franchise of all time. im going to assume you are trolling here, because the yankees do manage to win around 100 games each year, and everyone is aware that nothing is guaranteed in any baseball season, and injuries and other factors can derail even the most talent laden teams.

“They don’t, because their constantly hamstringing themselves with poor decisions based on the right now.” <– now here is where i can tell that you didn't even read the article you are commenting on. as stated in the article, and by me several times already, the yankees ARE NOT HAMSTRUNG by a bad deal. they have too much money, it simply doesn't matter if one deal goes bad. or two. or three. they can simple take the hit and keep chugging, because they are a money making machine. for deals that may not be busts, but may be overpays, the author already laid this out: the yankees can afford to pay a little extra, because a win to them is likewise worth more than it is for most other teams, and because they have the extra money to spend. think of all these contracts: Arod, Tex, CC, Jeter and on and on. if anything you said were true, they would have been unable to sign McCann and Ellsbury, because they wouldve been hamstrung by all those poor decisions.

Justin
Guest
Justin
2 years 5 months ago

Comparing Ellsbury to Tim Raines and Rickey Henderson is quite a stretch. While their WARs may have been similar during a 3 year span (27-29 yrs old) these two players had far more consistency and durability than Ellsbury during his career.

Ellsbury (23-26) WAR = 7 approx. 350 games
Raines (23-26) WAR = 25 approx. 610 games
Henderson (23-26) WAR = 28 approx. 590 games

I understand that the most recent years should certainly weigh more heavily when comparing and projecting players going forward. However, it seems misleading to compare Ellsbury to the greatest leadoff hitter in baseball history and an incredibly under-appreciated player in Raines when Jacoby has not nearly had the same success as these two men in their 20s.

Sung
Guest
Sung
2 years 5 months ago

Put into consideration that: by 23, Henderson had 2.5 ML seasons logged in and Raines, 1.5. They had some time to get some ML exposure before they hit that age. Ellsbury was a college draftee and was 23 when he made his ML debut. Take into the factor it takes some ML seasoning for many young hitters to mature to their potential

Justin
Guest
Justin
2 years 5 months ago

I understand that, but I think you’re making my point even stronger. Raines and Henderson were far superior talents…thats a large reason why they reached the majors at such a young age.

Ellsbury is a great CF, but Henderson and Raines are not very good comparisons to him because they were healthier and more consistent throughout their careers in their 20s. If they are taken out of the comparison the list of quality OFs from age 30-36 drastically shrinks. Rather than an ave. being close to 18 WAR it would be something like 13 or 14 WAR which would be an even greater overpay.

Ellsbury can certainly age well fulfill this contract in Yankee Stadium, but comparing his career (or a 3yr part) to Henderson and Raines is very misleading.

Sung
Guest
Sung
2 years 5 months ago

I mean, Raines and Henderson signed out of high school instead of college like Ellsbury did. If those two were drafted out of college, who knows if they could have reached to the majors at the ages 19~20 like they actually did?

JeremyR
Guest
JeremyR
2 years 5 months ago

Henderson and Raines were great players, both hall of famers in my book (Raines should be).

Ellsbury? He’s a very good player, but nowhere near that caliber.

I mean, seriously, Raines had a career .385 OBP. Way higher than Ellsburys.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 5 months ago

“Raines and Henderson were far superior talents…thats a large reason why they reached the majors at such a young age.”

Then why weren’t they better in the preceeding 3 years?

Raines and Henderson clearly developed earlier.

Justin
Guest
Justin
2 years 5 months ago

A three or four year slice strictly looking at WAR is not always a strong comparison.

Gardner (09-13) 14 WAR
Ellsbury (09-13) 16 WAR

Does anyone think Gardner should be paid close to $150 mil? Of course not, I’m not saying that Ellsbury isn’t talented, but he did not have nearly the same track record as Henderson or Raines even if he performed very well during a 3 yr comparison.

james wilson
Guest
james wilson
2 years 5 months ago

The Crawford comp misses on at least one factor–Ellsbury has proven he can take the pressure of playing in an insane environment.

But I do not think the contract makes sense unless the Yankees thought they were one player away from being very good. They clearly are not.

Ellsbury played hurt all year, and performed well with injuries his teammates thought no one could have played with. But is was a contract year for all the marbles. Ellsbury will play 700 games in seven years going forward. He is truly injury prone, not unlucky. If he gets unlucky as well he won’t play 700 games.

His great ’11 season was no fluke, except for him being injury free. He could do it again if he is healthy, but lightening would have to strike twice.

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 5 months ago

Ellsbury had 2 major collisions, one with the human tank that resulted in multiple fractures and another on the bases that resulted in a dislocated shoulder that partially tore a labrum. That shoulder injury bothered him all of 2011 and 2012, although there were signs of his power returning in the 2nd half.

He was not like JD Drew where every other day he went to Tito asking for a day off because of a variety of strains and tweaks.

Furthermore, he is going to be treated by Dr’s who know the difference between football players and baseball players.

ChrisS
Guest
ChrisS
2 years 5 months ago

The Yankees’ training staff is laughably incompetent. Just look at their injury histories (moreso with prospects).

Damn my torpedo
Guest
Damn my torpedo
2 years 5 months ago

Ellsbury had 2 major collisions
Ellsbury had 2 major collisions
Ellsbury had 2 major collisions

Everywhere, being said by everyone. Do you guys even watch the game?

Ellsbury will remain an injury risk because 1) he doesn’t read the ball well 2) he uses his speed to compensate for that 3) with that compensating, he winds up hitting the carpet too often.

He’s gonna get hurt

4) If not in a contract year he seems unwilling to play through nagging injuries.

I still think this was a good signing by NY, but then again I think Gardner is a second division player. When you’re relying in him getting on base and being a pest once on, your offense is lacking.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 5 months ago

“he doesn’t read the ball wel”

This was probably true in 2008, but hasn’t been true for a very long time.

Also, hes never been hurt “hitting the carpet”

Damn my torpedo
Guest
Damn my torpedo
2 years 5 months ago

kinda true (he hit the carpet on the Beltre collision), but that style of play is not conducive to general health. So… maybe he’s been lucky in that he hasn’t been hurt rocking walls or sliding head first on dirt yet. Painful thought.

Tony
Guest
Tony
2 years 5 months ago

So you are saying these new Yankee doctors will perform magic? LOL

fuster
Guest
fuster
2 years 5 months ago

part of the reason why the Red Sox’ signing of speed-and-defense Crawford was so mind-boggling was that he was a LFer in a park that doesn’t really have a leftfield

off-black cadillac
Guest
off-black cadillac
2 years 5 months ago

I cringed when I read this line: “let’s actually talk about what Ellsbury is.”

What follows is an examination of what Ellsbury has been. These are similar, but distinct concepts. Past performance is a proxy for underlying skills, which, along with “luck” influence present performance. What we know of Ellsbury’s past does not provide any additional (or necessarily revealing or unique) information that suggests the degree to which those skills evolve/erode in the coming years. We know that when Ellsbury loses his speed, this won’t occur in a vacuum. It’ll effect his defense, his baserunning, his OBP, his ISO, his total value. We also know what successful speed/defense players do in their 30-36 years. They keep their speed, like Ichiro, or develop some eye/power. But this is a blueprint for establishing value–not a probability chart and and we shouldn’t confuse it for that.

The Crawford comments at the beginning are pretty spot on. Projecting players for 2014 is hard enough let alone projecting them 3 or 5 years from now.

Hank
Guest
Hank
2 years 5 months ago

Dave I think you need to rethink comparing contracts of different lengths when you look at premium over this years FA’s (or start adding inflation into your WAR models)

While you are aging the player skill wise you are then valuing the total WAR in 2014 dollars. paying 6mil/WAR for say 2014-2015 is not the same as paying 6mil/WAR for 2014-2020. This will make longer deals look worse than they really are.

The only way that makes sense is if you are assuming zero inflation or that teams aren’t factoring in inflation when they do these deals – neither seems like a good assumption.

n-titlement
Guest
n-titlement
2 years 5 months ago

This piece you published sir, with all due respect, is not entitled to a damn thing. Even if you frequently indicate that you, yourself, are.

budselogblows
Guest
budselogblows
2 years 5 months ago

You’re missing the entire point of the article, which is looking at the decline of players of a certain skill set, not who was better at age whatever. Of course the author isn’t going to pick obscure players of that skill set that no one has ever heard of.

Stay on track.

Robbie or Jacoby?
Guest
Robbie or Jacoby?
2 years 5 months ago

It’s been reported that Cano wants $252 for seven years, and the Yankees are offering him $170 for seven years.

As Dave mentioned this contract for Ellsbury appears to be ~$45 overpay.

Who has gotten the better offer? Ellsbury or Cano?

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 5 months ago

I don’t understand why people want to give Cano so much money.

He’s 32, so much more of the contract is going to be paying outside of his prime, and hes a suspect defender.

Cano on a 7 year deal just screams 4 years of $35M DH.

Purple Jesus
Guest
Purple Jesus
2 years 5 months ago

Lol his B-R nickname is “Tacoby Bellsbury”

La Flama Blanca
Guest
La Flama Blanca
2 years 5 months ago

Haha I remember that during the Rockies/Red Sox World Series, Taco Bell ran a promotion that if a player stole a base in the game, everyone in America gets a free taco. He stole one in like the 8th inning. I was super happy because I was stoned and in college, but eating the taco felt dirty as a Yankee fan. 6 years later, Tacoby makes it all right….

Purple Jesus
Guest
Purple Jesus
2 years 5 months ago

I still don’t get that 2011 power explosion though. Guy who’s never hit over 9 homers in a season (and hasn’t reached double digits since) just goes off for 32 one year ..

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 years 5 months ago

These two recent FG columns (which quite frankly were a lot better than this one) are worth reading:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/on-jacoby-ellsburys-power/

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-role-of-jacoby-ellsburys-power-going-forward/

Damn my torpedo
Guest
Damn my torpedo
2 years 5 months ago

Epstein has said that when Ellsbury’s bat matures he will be a 30+ HR guy. It’s hard to believe that bat hasn’t now matured given where he will now bat for 80 games.

Chris Johnson
Guest
Chris Johnson
2 years 5 months ago

Look at that second chart a little more closely. The darkies crushed the whities. Make leaderboards for sb, bsr, or spd filtered to only post-age-30 seasons. Darkies crushing whities again and it’s almost a flawless victory. Yanks had better hope his speed ages like Navajo (i.e. there’s a chance it stays elite) and not like Euro (i.e. he’s about to drop anchor).

Ruben Amaro Jr.
Guest
Ruben Amaro Jr.
2 years 5 months ago

you are an embarrassment to the human race. Can we get some moderation up in here? This post needs to be scrubbed from existence.

JeremyR
Guest
JeremyR
2 years 5 months ago

I think the big key is his walk rate. It’s much closer to the guys on the bottom of the chart than to the ones on the top (with the exception of Ichiro, who is a freak).

Derek Bell seems his closest comp, same walk %, close k%, same ISO. Only big difference is the 15 points of batting average.

Disk98
Guest
Disk98
2 years 5 months ago

I guess this means that the Yankees are losing out on Beltran…

anonynous
Guest
anonynous
2 years 5 months ago

Yes, they’re losing out on the opportunity to pay him $16M for his age 29 season.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 5 months ago

Beltran is 29?! He must have been discounted for Black Friday…

Laurence Fisherman
Guest
Laurence Fisherman
2 years 5 months ago

Man, that Ichiro guy used to be amazing. Hope he puts up a good season, even if he’s the 4th OF.

Chalupa
Guest
Chalupa
2 years 5 months ago

I will still remember Tacoby Bellsbury well.

Nick
Guest
Nick
2 years 5 months ago

What about this article you wrote? Or these players as comps?

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/michael-bourns-market-value/

Jacob
Member
Jacob
2 years 5 months ago

Ellsbury’s ceiling is so much higher because of that 2011 season.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-role-of-jacoby-ellsburys-power-going-forward/

Nick
Guest
Nick
2 years 5 months ago

Granted, but $100M and 3 more guaranteed years higher? And this piece makes no reference to his power potential being the reason for the difference, in fact in the title is “bet on speed aging well.” Like you, I’d say that the Yankees bet more on his power returning. But this contradicts the article written on Bourn last offseason where Mr. Cameron gave us many examples of speed not aging well.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 5 months ago

When your downside/floor is still a very good major leaguer, and your upside is MVP, yeah, you get a lot of money.

Matthew
Member
Member
2 years 5 months ago

An unusual short term, but decent long term move.

Yankees have several 3 WAR guys in the outfield. I’m not entirely convinced Ellsbury is much more than a 5 WAR player. I think you could better use that money to build a very good rotation or acquire help for the infield.It seems like this could be a bad move for 2014, but I understand the move going forward with all of their outfielders hitting free agency next year.

HawkeyeCub
Guest
HawkeyeCub
2 years 5 months ago

To which 3 WAR guys do you refer? Gardner, Soriano (maybe) and who else? Ichiro is still useful against lefties, but certainly not a 3 WAR guy. Wells? Plus DH was a sinkhole for them, so sliding Soriano to DH duty some of the time can solve that issue. And the “crowded outfield” is a myth. The Dodgers had a “crowded outfield” last year until they were forced to play Skip Schumaker in center.

Damn my torpedo
Guest
Damn my torpedo
2 years 5 months ago

If Gardner was actually a 3+ WAR player NY would not have just overpaid for Ellsbury. Soriano, Ellsbury, Beltran. Gardner is gone.

Tony
Guest
Tony
2 years 5 months ago

Tell me how Ellsbury is so much better than Gardner! Numbers don’t lie. The ONLY thing that Ellsbury beats Gardner in really is SBs. Gardner had 24 last year and in a good year where he plays close to 150 games he has close to 50 SBs. Gardner also gets more BBs and had more doubles and triples than Ellsbury in a healthy season. If you watch every Yankee game like I have you would also see Gardner busting his ass in the outfield making some great catches.

Tony
Guest
Tony
2 years 5 months ago

Plus on avg Gardner has a higher OBP over 162 games. Not by much, but still more.

Tony
Guest
Tony
2 years 5 months ago

Hardly deserving of $20m more a year than Gardner who is younger and even with being injured in 2012 Gardner is less injury prone than Ellsbury.

Hurtlockertwo
Guest
Hurtlockertwo
2 years 5 months ago

Hunter Pence is starting to look like a bargain.

Matthew
Member
Member
2 years 5 months ago

Also the crowd-source totally whiffed on this one.

Real Years: 6
Real AAV: $18.7
Real Total: $112.4

He got a year longer and $4m more a year. I know we are conservative, but still.

HawkeyeCub
Guest
HawkeyeCub
2 years 5 months ago

Re: the injury issue–the Yankees will certainly insure this contract, which blunts their risk of him missing substantial time. Obviously, you need to factor in insurance premiums into the cost of the deal, and you can only insure for a certain number of years and recoup a certain percentage of salary. But one can argue that the existence of insurance counsels in favor of spending big money on “great when they are healthy” guys like Ellsbury.

Coolerking101
Guest
Coolerking101
2 years 5 months ago

While it’s an interesting read, it’s hard to take this article seriously. Notice that Dave Cameron does not even discuss Ellsbury’s injury history. How can you talk an article seriously that simply omits any discussion of Ellsbury’s biggest red flag? Moreover, relying solely on memory, I recall only three of the guys the author compares Ellsbury to had a significant injury history (Grissom, Rowand and Van Slyke). 2/3 of those guys aged terribly. Finally, Ichiro is such a huge outlier and skews the stats for all. Take him out of the equation and these speedsters don’t age nearly as well as Mr. Cameron leads the reader to believe.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 5 months ago

Don’t say “2/3 of those guys” to make it seem like you have a sample of dozens of comparable players. A 3-player sample (for anything) is meaningless.

(Granted, the 10-player sample in the article is close to meaningless also.)

Coolerking101
Guest
Coolerking101
2 years 5 months ago

My initial sentence states there are three players in the sample. The next sentence says 2/3 of the players sucked. I don’t understand how you can suggest this is deceptive.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 5 months ago

Just saying that ‘2/3 of those guys did X’ has zero predictive power when n=3. That’s all :)

(And also that the predictive power is still super slight at n=10, like in the article.)

ErnestoSalvaderi
Member
ErnestoSalvaderi
2 years 5 months ago

If they were going to overpay by 5 million a year, they should’ve just given Cano his 9 yrs 250…

There’s little doubt for me that this is going to look horrible when Cano signs.

Mat
Guest
Mat
2 years 5 months ago

We can either throw our hands in the air and say “who knows what the future will bring, sign anyone for whatever you want and hope for the best”.

Let us do that.

Old-dirty wiener
Guest
Old-dirty wiener
2 years 5 months ago

In my understanding of the luxury tax, the max tax is 50% after the 4th year of being over the threshold. The Yankees made $471 million in revenue in 2013 according to Forbes.

Hypothetically speaking, keep in mind I am no mathematician, Yankees payroll would have to explode to $300million for them to be taxed so heavily that payroll would exceed revenue. Even then, it’s not like it’s the Steinbrenners money. They aren’t the richest owners in baseball. They just have the team that makes the most money by a wide margin, and use that money to reinvest in the team, rather than keep it for themselves.

Even in this situation, they’ve operated in the black for so many years, that paying this tax doesn’t hurt that bad considering the revenue implications fielding a team with players making a combined $300 million would have. This would be the yankees spending $10mill+ for every one of their roster spots.

Realistically speaking, the Yankees, not the owners, have nearly infinite amounts of money to spend before payroll begins to be an issue. They just signed arguably the best OFer on the free agent market (a case could be made for Chris Young, errr Choo) the best catcher available, can resign the top second baseman, and then go out and sign anyone they damn well please. It’s scary.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin
2 years 5 months ago

I think Soriano needs to mentioned as a prime speed BUST. He went from 40/40 to hobbling old man in the first month of the contract with the Cubs. The contract wasn’t as bad as it seemed because of his bat, but some of that contract was based on speed and the Cubbies didn’t get any of that.

themiddle54
Member
themiddle54
2 years 5 months ago

Dave I’m not sure you can put Rickey and Raines and Lofton in there. They are not “speed and defense” players. They were “get on base and speed and defense” players. Anyone with a double-digit walk rate is probably not a solid comp to Ellsbury, whose OBP is not patience-driven, but BABIP-driven.

KCDaveInLA
Guest
KCDaveInLA
2 years 5 months ago

Just another overpriced player to listen to Colin Cowherd blather on about.

Ruki Motomiya
Guest
Ruki Motomiya
2 years 5 months ago

There was something I always wondered about the aging speed post: Isn’t, like, all of it just from the 3 top end guys, 1 of which is a HoFer, 1 of which is a surefire HoFer and one of which probably should be in the HoF?

All the others dropped off a decent bit, and even with them in the average WAR comes to 17. 17 WAR over the course of 6 years is about 2.8 WAR, which isn’t bad, but is not particularly impressive. In terms of OFers last year, that comes to around Gregor Blanco, Will Venable, Andre Ethier and Alfonso Soriano. In addition, most of those guys had more power than Ellsbury: He has a .141 career ISO and most of it is from 2011, which seems unlikely to repeat (Though not impossible, especially at Yankees Stadium). It seems to me like Ellsbury has more tied up to his defense and speed than most, though not all (Ichiro, for example, also has a very low ISO), of the players on the list. Also, while I doubt it matters too much, I was surprised to not see the SB totals of the players on this list.

Though, IMO, the biggest worry with Ells is not his aging, but his injuries. He’s only played a full season 2 of the last 4 years (Assuming 134 games counts as full), which is worrying, especially as he gets older. Plus, IIRC, injuries cause players to age worse. The thing the people on the bottom of the speedy list have in common (3/4 of them anyway) is not having a lot of PAs.

Still I like Ellsbury and the way he plays, so I hope that he has a successful 7 years.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew
2 years 5 months ago

How good this deal is all depends on whether they resign Cano. If they use this as justification for not signing Cano it is a horrible deal because Cano is much better than Ellsbury. If I’m Cano I use this as leverage since they are only offering Cano slightly more than they did Ellsbury, and Cano has around +3 wins on Ellsbury, and plays a position with less good players

AJ
Guest
AJ
2 years 5 months ago

Baseball Reference’s Most Similar Players list. Here’s Ellsbury’s Top 10:

1. Pete Reiser (952)
2. Shane Mack (942)
3. Angel Pagan (935)
4. Russ Wrightstone (935)
5. Johnny Moore (932)
6. Beau Bell (932)
7. George Watkins (931)
8. Roy Weatherly (930)
9. Happy Felsch (925)
10. Danny Taylor (924)

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 5 months ago

Felsch II: Felsch Lives.

dental
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

Jacoby Ellsbury’s $153 Million Contract With The Yankees Is Not As Crazy As It Sounds
more : http://jacobyellsbury1.blogspot.com/2013/12/jacoby-ellsburys-153-million-contract.html

Casper Wells
Guest
Casper Wells
2 years 5 months ago

Dave – you are really embarrassing yourself by continuing to forward your speed study. I’m a fan of yours, but it is some of your worst, most incomplete, research. You may be right on the issue, but your study does not come close to meeting any sort of academic standard. The selection bias is astounding.

RC
Guest
RC
2 years 5 months ago

The same could be said about pretty much every baseball statistics article ever.

Atleast hes looking at it, which is a whole lot better than the people saying “Speed doesn’t age well”

Bill J
Guest
Bill J
2 years 5 months ago

What I don’t get is people saying that the Yankees “stole” Elsbury from the Sox. H was never coming back for a hometown discount. I think the over/under for his contract is three years. Will he remain healthy for the 1st three years of the deal? His injury history says no. If he does then it’s a good deal for the Yankees. FYI the Yankees STILL don’t have any pitching.

Phightin
Guest
Phightin
2 years 5 months ago

Everyone take a deep breath and look at what the article posted for ages 27-29 for wRC+. Ellsbury has the third closest wRC+ to Rickey behind only Raines and Van Slyke. Furthermore, Ellsbury posted an pristine 13 for Defensive Runs Saved (Rdrs) this year. This is why the man is getting paid (along with some sour grape money to rub into Boston fans). Stop focusing on myopic strawman stats (like OBP, Avg, etc) and embrace real stats like wRC+ which tell the entire picture.

Joebrady
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

Most RS fans hope you overspend on everyone. The only way for a large market team to compete with a mega-market team is to spend more effectively than them.

Monty
Guest
Monty
2 years 5 months ago

Though I am still not happy with the money for a player who has missed too many games lately, he is not Crawford. Crawford’s value was tied to his speed/steals, but his stolen base % had been decreasing for a few years before his Sox deal AND he spent years running on that concrete turf in Tampa, which I believed would cause injuries down the road.

Tony
Guest
Tony
2 years 5 months ago

Ellsbury COULD be a good fit in NY! If that broken foot doesn’t hinder his performance then he will definitely help on the bases and fielding in center, but he was grossly overpaid. Miguel Cabrera had an 8 yr $152m contract. There is no way he has more value than Cabrera. The Yankees could have signed Granderson again for 4 yrs at $60m at a huge bargain and he would have been just as if not more productive than Ellsbury. Granderson avgs more HRs, RBIs, BBs, and avgs 2 less Runs than Ellsbury in a 162 game avg. Ellsbury strikes out less and it’s hard to believe he walks less than Granderson, but I guess Ellsbury getting more hits avgs that out. Granderson’s OBP in his 162 game avg is .340 and Ellsbury’s is .350. The Yankees have definitely overpaid for Ellsbury and I don’t care if they “can afford it”. It’s a dumb contract. You have no idea how many games Ellsbury is going to play in 2014. Look at how many games Jeter played last year as he was recovering from a broken ankle. The Yankees have overpaid for McCann as well. $17m a year when they could have gotten better hitting catchers who play more games in either Pierzynski or Saltalamacchia at a much better bargain. They have more Hits and more RBIs. McCann is a better catcher though, but his offense has declined every single year he has been playing.

Joebrady
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

The biggest problem with Crawford was that he never made any sense, even if he was healthy. He came with a reputation as a good glove (probably overrated) but Fenway makes a guy like Manny just as good a fielder as someone like Crawford for 81 games.

And he had no spot in the lineup. Unless you’re a GG shortstop, it is a little difficult to rationalize spending that type of money on a #7 hitter with weak splits. You’re much better off going far cheaper with guys like Gomes and Nava out there, and spending money on a good RF like Vic.

IRT Ellsbury, it’s a pretty inconsistent logic to say he is a good signing because the NYY have lots of money. As someone else mentioned, if that logic is valid, then sign everyone. If that logic is valid, then allowing Cano to walk is egregious. It’s going to difficult to reconcile overpaying for McCann, Ells, and Beltran, and allowing Cano to walk. Without spending even more money, then they’ve simply spent more without necessarily getting much better.

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