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Jip, Gip, Jorge
2007-11-12 21:13
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Just as I was putting the finishing touches on a post about how important it is for the Yankees to re-sign Jorge Posada, no matter the cost, the word came down that Posada had indeed re-upped with the Bombers to the tune of $52.4 million over four years. Posada came within hours of hitting the market, as free agents are able to sign with any of the 30 major league teams starting today.

I'll get to the length and cost of Posada's contract (which just inches past the matching $52-mil/4-yr deals given Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui prior to the 2006 season) in a moment. First a word on Posada's value on the field.

Put as simply as possible, here's what the average major league catcher hit in 2007: .256/.318/.394.

Now here's Posada's 2007 season: .338/.426/.543 in 144 games.

Need I go on?

Okay, here are the top VORP totals by catchers in 2007:

Jorge Posada: 73.4
Victor Martinez: 55.0
Russell Martin: 46.1
Joe Mauer: 30.2

Notice how Posada's total is nearly as high as the third and fourth best catchers combined? Notice that the other three players are a minimum of three years from hitting the market (Mauer and Martinez are signed through 2010, and Martin will be under team control through 2011).

Let's do this with 2006, shall we?

Average C: .269/.329/.416
Posada: .277/.374/.492 in 143 games

VORP Leaders, Catchers:

Joe Mauer: 66.9
Brian McCann: 54.8
Victor Martinez: 47.8
Jorge Posada: 38.0

Sure, Jorge didn't dominate the field in 2006 like he did in 2007, but notice the trend: Jorge outdistances the average catcher's production by a laughable margin, while the VORP leaders at the position are once again Jorge and three guys who won't hit the market for another three years.

To be fair, there are four other catchers from the 2006 top-20 who are currently free agents. Here are their 2007 seasons:

Michael Barrett: .244/.281/.372, 101 games
Paul Lo Duca: .272/.311/.378, 119 games
Mike Piazza: .275/.313/.414, 83 games (0 games caught)
Jason Kendall: .242/.301/.309, 137 games

By the way, Lo Duca's 2007 season above was good for the 19th best VORP by a catcher this season, which means 11 teams did a lot worse at the position Actually, 12 did worse, as Lo Duca's backup, Ramon Castro, finished 12th. Meanwhile, Lo Duca and Castro combined had less than one-third of Posada's VORP total.

Any questions?
Okay, sure, Jorge's age. Posada's 36 and will be 37 in August and 40 by the time his new contract expires. Here are all of the catchers who have caught 130 or more games in a season at age 36 or older in the history of major league baseball:

Al Todd, 1938, 132 games at age 36
Bob Boone, 1984-1986, 137, 147, and 144 games from ages 36 to 38
Carlton Fisk, 1985, 130 games at age 37
Benito Santiago, 2001, 130 games at age 36
Brad Ausmus, 2005, 130 games at age 36

That's it.

Here's the list of catchers who have caught 130 or more games in a season at the age of 36 and posted an OPS+ above league average:

Carlton Fisk, 1985, 115 OPS+

That's it.

Posada has caught 130 or more games and posted and above-average OPS+ in every year of the current decade, but something will have to give soon, and the Yankees obviously would prefer it to be the games caught rather than the OPS+.

Here's the good news. Posada has already had the greatest season by a catcher age 35 or older in the history of the game (Gabby Hartnett's 1937 season was the previous standard), so he's already an outlier. Expecting him to have a productive season in 2008 despite his age is not unreasonable given the strength of his performance the last two years and the fact that September, a month when most catchers (including a younger Posada) tend to run out of gas, was Posada's best month in each of those two seasons. What' more, Posada's production is so far out in front of the other available catchers that he'll still be valuable to the Yankees even in decline. Plus, a large part of that production is due to his patience at the plate (his worst OBP in a season in which he's had more than 15 plate appearances is .341, his worst since becoming the Yankee starter was .352, and his career OBP is an outstanding 104 points higher than his career batting average), which is a skill that should survive the eventual loss in power he's sure to experience over the next four years.

After the 2008 season, the Yankees will part way with Jason Giambi (buying out his $22 million option for a steep, but acceptable $5 million), clearing extra at-bats for Posada at DH and first base (Posada, who began his professional career as a second baseman, has played 18 major league games at first base and posted a solid, if small-sample, 117 Rate2). Of course, the competitive advantage that Posada provides decreases with each additional game started at first base or DH, but given the alternatives and the outside chance that Posada indeed could be the second coming of Carlton Fisk, who caught 106 games and posted a 134 OPS+ at age 42, (it's long been thought that Posada's late conversion to catching could buy him extra years behind the dish at the end of his career, that theory appears to be becoming a reality), it's well worth the gamble.

As much as giving a catcher a multi-year deal that stretches into his 40s sounds like insanity on the surface (I'm sure I was among those who laughed at the $40-million/4-year deal the Red Sox gave Jason Varitek, who's eight-months Posada's junior, two years ago), the length makes a certain amount of sense. To begin with, the Yankees had hoped to keep the contract to three years, but it apparently took a fourth year to get Posada signed, which was a concession worth making per the above. Following the third year of Posada's contract, Martinez and Mauer will hit the market (unless they receive extensions in the interim, of course). After Posada's contract is up, Martin and McCann will hit the market (again barring extensions). Meanwhile, the Yankees have Francisco Cervelli (a career .277/.379/.390 hitter in the minors who should begin his age-22 season with double-A Trenton in 2008), and Austin Romine, the strong-armed high-school catcher the team took in the second round of this year's draft, working their way through the system. There are no worthwhile catchers available now, but by the time Posada's ready to relinquish the position, there could well be a glut of them.

And, of course, there's something to be said for watching a home-grown player finish his career where it started while earning a place in the new Monument Park and, just maybe, a place in the Hall of Fame*.

*Milestones to watch: Posada needs 82 homers to become the seventh, or eighth if Ivan Rodriguez gets there first, catcher with 300 career home runs. Jorge's hit 83 over the past four years, so it's a long shot, but it's possible. If Jorge hits 18 homers in 2008 he'll move into the top-10 all time for catchers by tying Gabby Hartnett

Comments (68)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-11-12 23:15:48
1.   weeping for brunnhilde
No, no questions!

Yaaayyyyyyyyyy!

What a pleasant, pleasant bit of news to receive just before turning in.

Pfew.

One down, two to go...miles to go before we sleep, especially, it seems, as far as Andy is concerned...

2007-11-13 00:24:22
2.   thelarmis
besides cervelli and romine, jesus montero, who will be 18 next sunday, should be somewhat close to being ready for the show by the end of jorge's contract.

300 homers and the HoF will be cutting it close, but jorgie should definitely get consideration and hopefully a plaque in the new monument park.

time will tell, but either way, i'm just glad he's back. mo soon to follow... : )

2007-11-13 03:29:42
3.   OldYanksFan
Well, I predicted 4/$56, so it could have been worse.
Talk about having us over a barrel!
Glad it's done. Mo should be onboard soon.
I can't imagine Pettitte coming back. He doesn't want to now. I don't know what would convince him in the next 2 months. Jetes can't even throw him any castoffs.
2007-11-13 03:46:03
4.   OldYanksFan
The Yankees have $63m coming OFF the payroll after 2008 (assuming Abreu is gone). Another $31m after 2009 (Mats, JD and JG buyout). Po, Jetes, Cano are the only remaining position players. Wang, Mo and the best kids for pitching.

For 2010, what kids (position players) might be up?
Gardner? AJax? Tabata? Miranda (for a cup of coffee)? Alberto Gonzalez if he can hit? Marcos Vechionacci if he can hit?

I only see 2 or 3 who might really make the cut.

Cashnman has a lot of work to do over the next 16 months.

2007-11-13 04:56:59
5.   Sliced Bread
Great news.
I still would have preferred paying him more money to accept a 3 year deal, but I'm very happy Posada is sticking around.

Here's to your health, Jorge!

2007-11-13 05:05:36
6.   rbj
Phew!
It's probably a year too much and a few too many dollars, but I'm not going to begrudge Jorge. Nice to see him finish his career in pinstripes. He will have value at DH/1B, maybe mentoring one of those young catchers. Now just need to resign Mo and come back, Andy.

Oh, and go get a thirdbaseman.

2007-11-13 05:23:31
7.   monkeypants
Warning: Lame pos from previous thread to follow.

6 Well, I said all along that any deal for Jorge should be considered as if it were three years (in other words, forget about how many total years on the contract--is the total aceptable assuming three productive seasons?). 3 years at about 17.5 million each is probably too steep, but it's not that much higher than the 3 year/45 million figure than many here (myself included) were tossing around.
IF (and it's a big if) Jorge defies nature and keeps hitting a bit in the fourth year, this will be a nice contract. If he turns into a pumkin, then like the Damon deal, you have to hope they get three good years out him and eat one year, rather than two and two.

2007-11-13 05:33:21
8.   Yankee Fan In Boston
seeing as it isn't my money, i am at ease with potentially over extending a contract on a guy who's meant so much to this team for such a long time.

i'm relieved that he'll be back. the thought of him in a mets uni made me nauseous.

2007-11-13 05:35:35
9.   RIYank
The Sox couldn't work out a deal with Lowell by the deadline. I know he's looking for four years. At what price shoud Cashman be willing to get into the game? I doubt we land Lowell, frankly -- he'll be overpaid, and it's more likely that Boston will do it (as we've just committed to overpaying Posada).
2007-11-13 05:39:49
10.   Knuckles
I'm happy enough with the deal. The one thing the Yanks do have is money, and without a better alternative at catcher likely available in the next couple years, this had to be done.

I'd like to see a breakdown along these lines, if possible:
2008: 130 games caught, 20 games DH
2009: 110 games caught, 40 games DH (some 1B)
2010: 80 games caught, 70 games DH (some 1B)
2011: mostly DH/1B, spot catcher

2007-11-13 05:46:25
11.   Mattpat11
The decision to wait until the season ended wound up biting us in the ass.
2007-11-13 05:52:43
12.   monkeypants
11 Yeah, it did this time. But if they signed him to a long-term deal at the start of the season and he tanked, we would complain the other way.

The FO played it right (in my opinion), but in the end it worked out worse for them.

2007-11-13 05:55:15
13.   Mattpat11
12 I think after being repeatedly fooled by contract years over the last X number of seasons, this shouldn't have blindsided them.
2007-11-13 05:59:06
14.   rsmith51
Remember when people used to think that Varitek and Posada were about the same?

Was that ever true?

2007-11-13 06:02:56
15.   Mattpat11
14 No. Varitek's absolute best year isn't as good as Jorge's average year.
2007-11-13 06:05:05
16.   monkeypants
13 Who said they were blindsided? In any case, for every time that they were folled by a contract year, you would have to consider how many FAs were NOT signed because of an off contract year, and then how many of those went on to perform close to their career averages (v. how many went into steep decline) before evaluating the overall strategy.

Frankly, not resigning MO before the season may work out just fine, since his relatively poor season gives the FO some more leverage.

2007-11-13 06:08:07
17.   Mattpat11
16 I think without any semblance of a bullpen, the Yankees have very little leverage with Rivera regardless of the year he had.
2007-11-13 06:11:09
18.   monkeypants
17 If that's their thinking, they are fools. With no BP Mo's 60 innings won't make much difference anyway. Moreover, no matter how bad the BP is next year, it shouldn't make much difference on the length of contract offered. I suspect that Mo's poorish season cost him an extra year--but that's just my guess.
2007-11-13 06:13:54
19.   monkeypants
17 Moreover, the emergence of Joba also undercuts Mo's leverage--as silly as it would be to waste him on the BP. If anything, Pettitte's sort-of decision to maybe-retire has helped Mo more than the lack of BP around him, since it puts additional pressure on the team to use Joba as a starter.
2007-11-13 06:14:08
20.   ChrisS
Indeed, take Andruw Jones as an example. He was looking at huge numbers and being the belle of the ball this year and now he's a question mark after a rough season.

I think they did the right thing with Posada, and it's not like he hasn't earned his money with the Yankees. They can afford to pay a premium for him. That fourth year is just so that they can give him Jorge Posada Day and maybe a plaque in Monument Park next to Jeter's.

2007-11-13 06:33:46
21.   JeremyM
I can't be anything but happy that Posada resigned. Now hopefully Mariano will follow.
2007-11-13 06:35:38
22.   Mattpat11
19 I think a competent agent would call that bluff, even if Pettitte wasn't being wishywashy. The Yankees would be fools to make Chamberlain a reliever with a starting rotation that bombed last year and has more than its share of injury issues.
2007-11-13 06:43:21
23.   monkeypants
22 And they would be fools to give a long term contract to a 38 y.o. reliever for the sake of the following season. Basically, you're saying that the staring pitching was awful and the relieving was awful, so Mo has to get a bigger paycheck, and the Yankees fumbled the ball by not extending him. I say you can turn all those arguments on their head--the starting was woeful, the relieving was woeful, Mo had a "down" year, and his 60 innings will be irrelevant. So best to cut him lose and plan for 2009 and beyond. The worse the pitching is, the less value a closer has, not more.
2007-11-13 06:54:49
24.   Shaun P
For one day at least, all is right in Yankeeland.

C'mon Mo, make it a two-fer.

2007-11-13 07:03:48
25.   ms october
24 Yes indeed. I flipped to ESPNEWS this morning and saw Posada signs 4yr deal with NYY - and was so relived to see a Y instead of an M. Sounds like Cashman is working on re-signing Molina as well which should really help.
Hopefully once Mo sees the market for him he will re-sign pretty quickly.
I'm glad that priority was put on re-signing our FAs and then filling in other needs.
2007-11-13 07:18:26
26.   YankeeInMichigan
23 You are basically suggesting conceding 2008 and gearing up for dominance in 2009 and 2010. That would work in most markets, but it just doesn't fly in the Bronx. Cashman is faced with delicate task of putting a 92-win team on the field in 2008 without disrupting the 98-win team of 2009 and the 102-win team of 2010.
2007-11-13 07:20:06
27.   YankeeInMichigan
With Clemens gone, Posada and Rivera are probably Pettitte's closest friends on the team. If anyone can recruit Andy to come back, it's them.
2007-11-13 07:29:30
28.   monkeypants
26 I'm not conceding anything--I am merely recapitulating Mattpat's arguments. If it is as Mattpat describes, the resigning Mo is nearly irrelevant to on-field success, and so the querstion of whether Mo should have been extended before last season is rendered moot.

In any case, ic Cashman wants (needs) to put a 92 win team on the field w/o disrupting the subsequent years, the closer position is probably not the best place to look. Better would be to follow OldYank's advice and sign Bonds for a season.

2007-11-13 07:32:55
29.   monkeypants
27 So you are suggesting that the team should overpay for Mo and Jorge in order to increase the chances that Andy returns? That's possible.

This might be heretical, but are there any FA pitchers available who could replace Pettitte's innings and ERA+ of 110, for the same $16 million? The ERA yes, but 238 INN is a lot to replace, I guess.

2007-11-13 07:50:32
30.   Shaun P
29 IF Freddy Garcia is healthy - that might be a huge IF - he could probably be had for a 1 year deal (or maybe even 2, though that's risky) at less than $16M/year. Prior to last year, when he was hurt, he pitched over 200 innings in each of the previous 6 years, and reasonably well (career ERA+ of 111). He'll be 33 next year.

I'm not sure Randy Wolf could pitch 200 innings, but he might also be worth a flyer, being a lefty strike-thrower and all. He's been hurt every year since 2003 though.

2007-11-13 07:51:47
31.   ms october
29 Basically no.
FWIW (and I think for the most part his FA rankings make sense), Keith Law has Andy ranked as the best FA SP.
The next two he has ranked are Kyle Loshe (192 IP/ 4.62 ERA/ 2.14 K/BB and Carlos Silva (202 IP/ 4.19 ERA / 2.47 K/BB).

If Andy doesn't come back, the Yanks obviously need someone who can throw 200+ innings. Don't think either one of them is the answer.
Livan Hernandez has the highest number of IP (204) for FAs - but he would get lit up.

I'd like to know what Beane would want for Haren or Blanton.

2007-11-13 07:54:09
32.   ms october
30 I thought about Freddy Garcia too as a stopgap - which is basically what we need - but I bet Minaya will way overpay in money and years for him.
2007-11-13 07:57:45
33.   Shaun P
32 That's a real possibility, 'cuz the Yanks and the Mets are looking for the same thing - a slightly above average pitcher to throw 200ish innings. Great point.
2007-11-13 07:58:51
34.   Knuckles
30 Garcia's not expected to be ready until June or so, last I heard. He would make more sense for a 2-yr deal, if anything.
2007-11-13 08:08:13
35.   Knuckles
30 Garcia's not expected to be ready until June or so, last I heard. He would make more sense for a 2-yr deal, if anything.
2007-11-13 08:08:58
36.   mehmattski
31 I was going to suggest Livan Hernandez, and I don't know whether him getting "lit up" is going to matter all that much. With three starters on innings-caps next season, the Yankees need a guy that can go deep into games without his arm falling off. Hernandez is one of the most durable arms probably ever, and he's still only 32.

No, he's not going to dominate, but the Yankees don't need him too- thats what Hughes and Joba and IPK (and Wang) are there for. Hernandez can probably be signed for one or two years and then be replaced by one of the other arms.

On another note, people scoffed at my Tad Iguchi idea from yesterday, but what if they signed him with the intent of moving Robbie Cano to third base?

Overall, the best option (I feel) for the infield is to move Jeter to third and start Alberto Gonzales every day. But that will never happen.

2007-11-13 08:10:19
37.   YankeeInMichigan
29 Exactly. The innings are key. Hughes, Chamberlain and Kennedy will all be on strict inning-count and pitch-count limits. Moose used to be an innings-eater, but those days are long gone. Igawa may be able to throw 120 pitches a game, but he'll reach that count in 5 innings. Ditto with DeSalvo. Rassner is more efficient, but there may be a reason why he has always been on an 80-pitch count. So Wang and Pettitte are needed for the innings. If Pettitte walks, none of the alternatives are too pretty.
2007-11-13 08:12:26
38.   mehmattski
37 Heh, I had completely forgotten about the existence of Kei Igawa and Mike Mussina. Selective memory, I guess.
2007-11-13 08:17:09
39.   Shaun P
36 Jeter at 3B!? So he'd play the line and field all bunts, while AG covers the entire dirt part of the left side of the infield? Yikes.

35 I did not know that. How about Bartolo Colon? Another potential innings risk, but if he's OK, he's better than Garcia.

2007-11-13 08:18:05
40.   JL25and3
36 I think that might be 32 in dog years.
2007-11-13 08:19:56
41.   YankeeInMichigan
Will Cliff be starting a Cy Young thread? If not, here's my two cents. I concocted a scoring system encompassing conventional stats, VORP, SNLVAR and quality starts. Here are the results:

Sabathia 225
Lackey 221
Carmona 218
Beckett 215

Any of the four are deserving of the award.

2007-11-13 08:20:30
42.   JL25and3
39 If they sign Colon, they might have to get rid of Britton. I don't think both of them can fit in the clubhouse at the same time.
2007-11-13 08:20:31
43.   standuptriple
36 There are so many miles on Livan though. And he's been in the NL. There were times last year when he was topping out in the low 80's. To be honest, I'd be more confident with his older brother.
2007-11-13 08:24:37
44.   Yankee Fan In Boston
kepner says that the yankees offered mo 3 years at a total of $45M.

(http://tinyurl.com/yqx35m)

wow.

does mo think he'll get more elsewhere?

2007-11-13 08:27:36
45.   Cliff Corcoran
41 I'll have one up, but much closer to 2:00.

As for all mentions of moving Cano to 3B: the guy's one of the best defensive 2Bs in baseball and the best offensive 2B in the game after Chase Utley and he's still improving his game. There's no way I'd move him to third. No way.

2007-11-13 08:30:26
46.   ms october
44 Yeah, I'm not sure of Mo's thought process. To me the 2 likeliest suitors were the Tigers and Phillies and both options seem to be over for him. And I can't see the Dodgers going after him. So, I don't see the market for him - no one else with money needs a closer and no one who needs a closer would top that. Maybe he is just dragging it out a little to get a little more or something.
2007-11-13 08:36:54
47.   ChrisS
44 Wow is right. I like Mo and all, but that's around $210k+/IP. I can't imagine him getting a better deal than that, especially at 38 years old.

I'm not sure I'd offer that deal, maybe 2 years and an option.

2007-11-13 08:42:58
48.   standuptriple
I heard on XM that he hinted he'd talk to Pappa Joe in LA. What the hell would make Mo think that A) They's get even close to the Yanks offer and B) Joe is making FO decisions? Let's not forget they also have a pretty good (and fairly cheap) closer right now. So tired of the posturing. Why do the Sox FA's give them "hometown discounts" and every Yank wants to bleed them for the last cent?
2007-11-13 08:46:10
49.   mehmattski
39 Range isn't as much of a factor at third base, which is all reaction time, since you're playing much closer to the hitter than at shortstop. I think Jeter's decreased range to his left would not be as big a detriment, and as you say he would be excellent coming in on bunts and soft grounders.

On defense, I think the Yankees would pick up about 20-30 runs per year with the AG at SS and Jeter at third. I think it would be preferable to Jeter at SS and Crede at 3B, for example. And it's better than Jeter-Betemit because it increases the Yankees' depth (Betemit becomes a super-utility player).

2007-11-13 08:49:29
50.   ms october
I keep reading the Cubs are desperate for left-handed hitting. I wonder if they would have any use for Matsui (or Damon) - this is the same team that thought Cliff Floyd could still play outfield after all - and whether they have anything worth trading for?
Or should I just accept that Matsui and Damon (and for that matter Giambi) will be back next year?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-11-13 08:55:46
51.   monkeypants
49 How many runs would they lose with AG playing full time, as opposed to a league average 3B (or even a sub-par 3B. Last year 3B hit around .780 OPS (if I recall).
2007-11-13 08:59:31
52.   monkeypants
49 Also, what sort of player does AG project to. If he's not supposed to be very good--and I have seen him described as a future utility player at best--the idea of starting such a player in order to create depth by pushing a (probably) better player to the bench strikes me as backwards logic.
2007-11-13 09:06:57
53.   mehmattski
52 Says Chad Jennings of the awesome SW-B Blog:

21. Alberto Gonzalez
Shortstop
Yes, I think Gonzalez's defense is good enough to justify ranking him this high. I look at him as a sure thing to be a top-notch defensive utility infielder in the big leagues, and I think he has a chance to develop into a Gold Glove shortstop with a solid -- but probably never great -- bat.
Expectation for 2008: His bat still needs to develop before the Yankees know whether they've got a big league starter or a reserve. He should be back in Triple-A and if he hits the Yankees will have to decide whether they're going to use him or trade him.
---

I don't know, maybe this season isn't the one to take a chance on AG, and other people would feel more confident with a solid year with the bat at AAA. We've gotten spoiled for so long with an offensive threat at SS that we've forgotten that the position is one of the hardest on defense. AG could give the Yankees Tulo-like defense (or better) right now, but perhaps his bat isn't enough to justify sliding him into the #9 hole and forgetting about it. For now.

As for Betemit, given how useless he is as a right-handed hitter, and that he's simply above average on defense, I would prefer he platoon with Duncan at first base, rather than starting at third.

2007-11-13 09:06:59
54.   JL25and3
47 , 48 Why shouldn't he look around? What does he have to lose?
2007-11-13 09:19:20
55.   mehmattski
45 And Cliff, I don't know where you get that Cano is the best defensive 2B, or even "one of the best." THT has 10 better 2B last year in RZR. He's not ranked by John Dewan in his 2005-2007 "Plus-Minus" system. His RATE2 of 118 is solid, but not other-wordly.

On offense, his 94 Runs Created in 2007 was fifth among major league second basemen. It would have been seventh among major league third basemen. I wouldn't make the move for the sake of making a move, but if there were a better 2B option than a 3B option, I would consider moving Cano over to third.

2007-11-13 09:23:58
56.   YankeeInMichigan
46 I'm surprised that Dombrowski didn't make an aggressive push for Mo. I breathed a sigh of relieve when I saw the Jones signing announced.
2007-11-13 09:33:08
57.   standuptriple
56 Especially when I heard about Zumaya.
54 And there is no way the Dodgers would move their All Star closer to a setup role for Mo, nor will they pay him what the Yanks will. It's a weak bluff, IMO.
2007-11-13 09:37:09
58.   ms october
56 Yeah agreed, I felt better when Jones signed, but with the loss of Zumaya felt they might push for Mo too. The Tigers have been moving pretty fast.

Pete Abe says Cashman is going to try and re-sign the Viz.

2007-11-13 09:38:19
59.   ms october
57 * sorry - i took forever to hit submit and didn't see your post
2007-11-13 09:42:31
60.   Cliff Corcoran
55 Well, I didn't say best, so I didn't get that from anywhere. Ultimate Zone Rating had him as the second best defensive 2B in the AL in 2007, and that 118 Rate is more than solid, it's pretty damn near otherworldly. Orlando Hudson's generally considered the best defensive 2B in baseball and 118 is the second best Rate of his career (123 was his best).
2007-11-13 09:43:15
61.   ChrisS
54 He can look around all he wants, but that's a huge contract for an aging reliever.

I don't know what he expects to get elsewhere.

2007-11-13 10:19:22
62.   Yankee Fan In Boston
61 that is a huge contract for any reliever.

wagner gets around $11M a year i think.

$15M?!?

staggering. (which isn't to say that he doesn't deserve that cash. he's mariano rivera. give him what he wants, but gee whiz... that is a lot of cash.)

2007-11-13 11:00:32
63.   YankeeInMichigan
46 Tom Singer of mlb.com lists Mo's suiters as Yankees, Mets, Cubs and Giants. Hmmm. The Mets have 21 million over the next 2 years committed to Billy Wagner, who is still near the top of his game. The Cubs have 5.5 million this year committed to Ryan Dempster. He's been a bit of a disappointment, but I'd be surprised if they broke the bank for another closer. The Giants have an opening, as the young Brad Hennessey was ineffective last year, and the Giants have never been shy about signing veteran Type-A free agents. But would Mo really want to go to the Giants?
2007-11-13 11:05:22
64.   cult of basebaal
55 David Pinto's PMR (probabilistic model of range) has Cano well above average, 8th overall, but 2nd in the AL.

http://www.baseballmusings.com/

though, as always, all of the defensive metrics have their issues

(here's the rather involved discussion of PMR methodology over at BBTF)
http://tinyurl.com/2httnl

2007-11-13 11:22:09
65.   3rd gen yankee fan
FOUR MORE YEARS!!!

FOUR MORE YEARS!!!

2007-11-13 11:38:51
66.   OldYanksFan
NoMaas suggested trying to trade Matsui to the Dodgers. They need a big bat, have a large Japanese audience, Matsui would be 3,000 miles closer to home, and most of all, because Torre is in LA, he would love Matsui and it might be one of the few places/reasons Matsui would waive his NTC.

Also, LA has a ton of kids we could use... like 3 or 4 to pick from.

It's a great idea. I don't know if it flies, but it makes a LOT of sense to try.

Mo is gonna sign soon. LA? Ha! He's just puttin' on the squeeze. 3/$45 is otherworldly... way more then he's worth. I say he's a Yankee by tomorrow.

2007-11-13 11:49:58
67.   JL25and3
63 The Cubs have already announced that Dempster is moving back into the starting rotation.

66 I just can't see Matsui waiving his NTC at all. He doesn't care about the local Japanese population nearly as much as the market back home.

2007-11-13 16:46:50
68.   weeping for brunnhilde
55 I hate to play the old fuddy-duddy, especially since I'm only 34, but is it my imagination, or are people much more flip about changing people's positions around than they were twenty years ago?

When I was a kid, I feel like a player's position was a player's position. People didn't just casually talk about moving players about the way they do today.

(Ok, you got me, I don't really hate playing the old fuddy-duddy, I rather relish it, truth to tell.)

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