Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Carry On Wayward Son
2007-07-24 05:50
by Emma Span
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

After their offensive outburst against the Devil Rays over the weekend, the Yankees suffered a disappointing letdown in Kansas City last night. Their bats went cold, and they plated just nine runs, on only 13 hits and four walks.

Then again, it’s possible that Sunday’s 21-4 score may have warped my perspective somewhat.

Monday's game was actually fairly close throughout the middle innings, but the Yankees won 9-2 behind a strong, no-nonsense performance from Roger Clemens, who went seven innings and allowed only four hits. He walked nobody and struck out three. The Royals scored in the 4th on a Mark Grudzielanek double, a groundout, and a wild pitch, and again in the 7th on a solo home run from the unfortunately named Ross Gload, but that was all. (And by the way, you don’t scare me, Grudzielanek -- I’ve been typing out Mientkiewicz for months now. Punk.)

The Yankees scored early and late, and once again every Yankee starter had at least one hit. In the first, Hideki Matsui singled home Melky Cabrera and Derek Jeter; in the second, it was Johnny Damon’s double that scored Robinson Cano and Shelley Duncan.

Those four runs turned out to be enough for Clemens, Luis Vizcaino – who is teaching me how to trust again – and Ron Villone. But the Yankees added five insurance runs in the ninth, anyway, off of Kansas City relievers, turning the game into a last-minute blowout and keeping Mariano Rivera in the bullpen. The first of those runs was Alex Rodriguez's 100th RBI of the season, which came on a sharp single up the middle.

Other highlights:

-Melky’s nifty catch on a foul ball in the first. It seemed so certain to drop in that the YES cameras didn’t even bother cutting away from the batter, and the play occurred offscreen.

Cabrera’s batting average and OBP have risen steadily every month this season , from .200/.238 in April to .368/415 in July. Given that he won’t be 23 until August 11, that strikes me as encouraging, as does the fact that he’s started following A-Rod’s workout program. Seriously, if they trade this kid – even if it’s a smart trade that I should logically approve of – I’m going to throw a fit.

-There were several sweet familial moments during the game: Chris and Dave Duncan were in the stands watching brother/son Shelley, thanks to a Cardinals off-day, while in the Yankee dugout Tony Pena tried his best not to look happy when Tony Jr., the Royals’ shortstop, went 2 for 4. I think Tony Junior looks a little like an elf.

-Johnny Damon is starting to look human again; maybe he really has gotten healthy. He was three-for-five last night, and several of those were hard-hit.

-The Yankees announced that Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy have been promoted to AAA. Just typing that, I started salivating a little bit.

Damn Kansas, that song’s gonna be stuck in my head all day now. Carry on my waaaayward soooon, there’ll be peace when yooou are dooone, lay your weary heeead to reeest, don’t you cry nooo mooooooore…

Comments (226)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-07-24 05:57:41
1.   Dimelo
Things got out of hand in the 9th, but it was an extremely entertaining game and the Yankees had some crisp pitching (Clemens, Viz, and Villone).

Good write up, Emma.

2007-07-24 06:08:13
2.   ChrisS
That the Yanks bumped Chase Wright and Clippard down to AA for Kennedy and Joba says something about the move.

It's hard to get too excited about these guys, after hearing non-stop about how the Mets' pitching staff was going to be great for a decade ... and then they kinda fizzled.

But damn, Wang, Hughes, Joba, Kennedy ...

2007-07-24 06:11:57
3.   vockins
Phil Ehert (drummer) looks like he's playing for Lawrence Welk in that Kansas video. Get with the program, dude, Karen Carpenter's kicking your ass. Weak.
2007-07-24 06:13:00
4.   Jim Dean
Am I the only one disappointed by the demotion of Clippard? He's 22 yo and had a huge second half last year. It's true that all his numbers including peripherals are way off (esp. K/BB) but I'm just surprised they didn't give him more of a chance to figure it out. Why so they can continue to give innings to Runelvys Hernandez (!), Ohlendorf , and White?
2007-07-24 06:16:42
5.   Sliced Bread
0 Better that than "Duusst in the wiiind, all we are is dust in the wind..."

re: learning to trust Vizcaino. I was learning to trust Lindsay Lohan, too, before she got busted again this morning.
Poor dopey kid.

In light of this development, Viz will be required to wear his anti-game-blowing ankle bracelet 12 more weeks.

Anybody catch Lupica sputtering and spewing today? Rambling through his anti-Yankee litany in shuffle mode? What a mess.

2007-07-24 06:30:46
6.   Sliced Bread
4 The timing of the minor league roster shuffle, one week before the trade deadline, makes me wonder if the Yanks are trying to protect Clip and Wright by demoting and devaluing them, making them less appealing to other teams.
2007-07-24 06:32:37
7.   Alex Belth
Dude, best thing is to simply ignore Lupica. He's nothing more than a dillitante with an enormous ego.

As far as Joba goes, this is from a Keith Law chat last week at ESPN:

"I was at Joba's start on Saturday night in Trenton. He was 94-98 in the 7th inning, with a plus-plus slider, average change, and an inconsistent but occasionally plus curve. Fastball command is OK, control is at least average. He's a potential #1 starter, and I can't imagine the Yanks trade him, not even for Teixeira.

...I'd trade Hughes before I'd trade Joba."

2007-07-24 06:32:50
8.   williamnyy23
6 On the other hands, one hopes they aren't showcasing Chamberlain or Kennedy for a trade.
2007-07-24 06:35:06
9.   williamnyy23
7 Klaw has been immensely high on Chamberlain in just about every forum over the past month.

As for Lupica, he is an irrelevant twerp. I wouldn't waste a second of my time reading his work.

2007-07-24 06:40:01
10.   Sliced Bread
7 You're exactly right about Lupe. I tend to ignore him but allowed myself to be sucked in this morning, 3 Card Monty style. My bad.

8 It's possible, but I think they've branded Joba and Kennedy "untouchable." But of course we know nobody is really "untouchable."
2007-07-24 06:40:09
11.   rbj
Lupica -- name rings a bell. Didn't he used to write for the Daily News in the '70s & '80s? His big schtick was bashing Steinbrenner (which a comatose frog could do).

I wonder whatever happened to him.

Man, only nine runs? I guess the bats were tired. Good stuff all around. And Wang tonight.

2007-07-24 06:53:31
12.   Jim Dean
6 That might be more the case with Clippard than Wright. Even still, I can understand it (given his peripherals this year) but it wasn't necessary - not with White, Ohlendorf or Hernandez ahead of him on the depth chart.

And no way 8 they trade Joba or Kennedy, especially since they have 10 other arms they could more first, as well as Gardner.

Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised to see a Garnder, Marquez, Ohlendorf, and Smith for Teixeira.

2007-07-24 06:55:58
13.   Cliff Corcoran
4 They released Runelvys a while ago.

As for that Kansas video, that's exhibit A as to why MTV killed prog rock. Helluva performance, though, and, actually, the keys/vox/bongos guy looks a little like Dave Grohl (though Grohl's '70s stash and mop are, I assume, supposed to be ironic).

2007-07-24 06:55:59
14.   Jim Dean
10 Yup - "untouchable" goes out the window with Johan. He'll be getting moved in the next year (by July 08) and the price will only start dropping from this point forward...unless he's willing to give them a big-time hometown discount.
2007-07-24 06:56:48
15.   Shaun P
4 I'd rather Clippard get back on his feet against somewhat easier competition than continue to struggle against AAA hitters. There's a point where it goes from getting time to work it out to needing a boost, and I think Clippard is at that point. He'll be back in AAA before long.
2007-07-24 06:57:57
16.   ChrisS
12 I think the Yankees are pushing those guys down to get them work anywhere, they know that Clippard and Wright can pitch, but they don't know for sure what another level change for Joba and Kennedy will do this year.

If they excel, then Cashman and the Tampa braintrust have a bevy of young arms that can be at least serviceable in a major league role and Joba or Ian could be up in September for cup of coffee.

2007-07-24 06:58:37
17.   Jim Dean
13 Thanks - they still have him in pinstripes on milb and I saw he had pitched recently - my bad.
2007-07-24 06:59:36
18.   Cliff Corcoran
12 Looking it up, Runelvys only made six starts with SWB before getting cut. He's with the Indians' system now.
2007-07-24 06:59:55
19.   Jim Dean
16 The point is: Their numbers (esp. Clippard) aren't that different from White or Ohlendorf.
2007-07-24 07:02:29
20.   Jim Dean
18 It's the Indianapolis Indians - the Pirates AAA club. No biggie.
2007-07-24 07:02:37
21.   Cliff Corcoran
Meanwhile, checking the SWB site, I see that Britton is on the DL, which helps explain why he's not in the majors right now.
2007-07-24 07:03:09
22.   Cliff Corcoran
20 Right, sorry. The Indians triple-A is Buffalo.
2007-07-24 07:04:13
23.   Jim Dean
15 It's a fair point. He's a control guy and seems to have lost his control. He has plenty of time to get it back. Anyone know if the pitching coach at Trenton is the same guy he had last year?
2007-07-24 07:05:12
24.   Jim Dean
21 Someone here said 7-day?

I'm not sure if that's what explain it....since he wouldn't get work if he was.

2007-07-24 07:07:27
25.   Cliff Corcoran
More SWB fun, looks like they picked up Scott Williamson, who was released by the Orioles.
2007-07-24 07:07:50
26.   ChrisS
16 I don't know, I doubt we'll be seeing the last of Clippard or Wright. Unfortunately, they will likely be the odd men out when it comes time to plan for the '08 rotation.

In the end it doesn't really bother me that much, because I don't think they're getting dumped down because because they can't hack it.

2007-07-24 07:08:08
27.   Sliced Bread
13 Yep, video killed the prog rock star, and at the same time, prog rockers like Genesis and Peter Gabriel also went pop, and started producing TV friendly videos with puppets and claymation.
2007-07-24 07:09:46
28.   Sliced Bread
27 see "World of Confusion" and "Sledgehammer."
2007-07-24 07:10:41
29.   Shaun P
14 Especially with a new stadium on the horizon, and Mauer locked up cheap ($8M per), and Hunter ($12M) soon off the books, there is no way the Twins don't re-sign Johan. They could pay him $25M/year and still have $50M left to spend on the rest of the team - which they won't need too, because they have so many guys who cost so little.

13 I had the pleasure of seeing Emerson, Lake and Palmer in concert on their last tour in 1998 (along with Dream Theater). They put on an outstanding show, playing for over two hours, and the crowd wanted more. I wish I had discovered them sooner; I had only been a fan for a couple of years at that point.

2007-07-24 07:11:28
30.   Jim Dean
23 I answered my own question. Dave Eiland got promoted and is the Scranton pitching coach.

Their IF coach?

The immortal: Alvaro Espinoza

2007-07-24 07:13:41
31.   Shaun P
26 True, but it won't hurt to have guys with the ability of Clippard and Wright available to fill in when someone gets hurt. Much preferable to, say, Kris Wilson, or Tim Redding.
2007-07-24 07:14:47
32.   williamnyy23
Two comments on the thread from yesterday's game:

It was kind of funny that the bunting situation we discussed (1-2 and no outs) popped up again. Even though it would have taken the bat out of Arod hand (Matsui with the bags juiced isn't a bad consolation), I wasn't opposed to trying to push one or two more runs across because it was already the 9th inning and it would have permitted Torre to leave Rivera in the pen without angst (assuming he didn't continue his trend of bringing in Mo most often with a 4-run differential). I find it a little odd that Torre would be more committed to bunting in the fourth inning with the same situation than the 9th.

There was a lot of talk about the value of line drive hitters over home run hitters that was perplexing. Most studies seem to suggest things: (1) Homeruns, hitting and preventing them, are more the result of skill than almost any other outcome; and (2) OBP correlates best to runs scored than any other conventional stat.

Based on statement 1, I would think it would be an asset to have players who are capable of hitting home runs because it increasingly removes luck from the equation. Now, great pitchers are usually "great" because they have the skill of avoiding home runs, so that leads many to the conclusion that in a big game you need contact hitters. Well, I don't really buy that. Someone asked the question whether you'd rather have 9 Ichiro's against Pedro or 9 McGwire's (or similar players of that ilk). Personally, I'd rather have the slugger because it only takes one good swing to plate a run. As great as Pedro was, it always seemed easier to score on a lighting bolt than on trying to string together hits as part of a rally.

Of course, statement 2 makes the debate somewhat "mute" because the best hitters are those who get on base more; how they hit the ball is much less meaningful. In other words, I'd rather have as many guys who makes as few outs possible than any other combination.

I think the reason most people "feel" that having contact hitters makes for a more stable offense is because certain situations standout more prominently in the mind. When there is a man on 1st and 2 outs, most fans probably assume the inning is over, so when a Giambi-type jacks a two run homer, it's a pleasant surprise. On the other hand, when there is a man on 3rd and 1 out and Giambi K's, the missed opportunity sticks in the craw, causing one to lament the pitfalls of the slugger. The same psychological illusion probably explains why so many people think Cairo is a professional hitter. When he makes an out, you think nothing of it, but when he gets a hit, your shock and surprise makes the event standout.

One more anecdote to consider…how many big Yankee post season walk-offs have come on a hit versus a HR? Off the top of my head, the HR column is filled by the likes of Leyritz, Bernie (a few times), Jeter, Chad Curtis, Soriano and Boone, while the hit column has Vizcaino and Knoblauch. The Yankee post season has been littered with huge home runs that changed games on a dime, so I don't think you can make the argument that contact hitters and line drives up the gap win in the postseason, but power doesn't.

2007-07-24 07:15:09
33.   Cliff Corcoran
28 That's "Land of Confusion" and both of those were around 1987 long after the transition. Genesis went pop with "That's All!"
2007-07-24 07:18:42
34.   Shaun P
32 Fantastic; what a great way to argue the point. Can I copy that and paste it when necessary?

33 "Now this is the world we live in (oh oh oh) and these are the hands we've given (oh oh oh)"

At least I don't have Kansas in my head anymore. ;)

2007-07-24 07:18:54
35.   Cliff Corcoran
So next year's rotation: Wang, Hughes, Pettitte, Chamberlain, Mussina? With hopes and prayers for Kennedy to supplant Mussina mid-year?
2007-07-24 07:21:22
36.   Jim Dean
35 And Clemens as the 7th and 8th inning guy?
2007-07-24 07:21:48
37.   williamnyy23
34 You have express written consent for all reproduction, retransmission or rebroadcast.
2007-07-24 07:22:05
38.   Jim Dean
35 And what about Igawa!?
2007-07-24 07:22:33
39.   JL25and3
0 Emma, if you're the one quoting the song, it's hard to blame Kansas for getting it stuck in your head. And it's especially hard to blame them for getting it stuck in my head - that's definitely your fault. Carry on, my wayward son...Evil, evil earworm.

5 Yeah, but at least that one set up a great line in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure: "Dust. Wind. Dude."

2007-07-24 07:24:34
40.   williamnyy23
35 I'd sure like that Texas fella to stick around too, maybe as Mussina's June replacement. Kennedy could be the 6th man filling in when the inevitable injuries occur, working out of the bullpen in the meantime and perhaps taking a few starts from Chamberlain and Hughes so as to keep their workloads down (i.e., Hughes throws 120 in a shutout and then gets skipped the next time around).

The Yankees have enough good, young arms that they have an opportunity to be very creative with how they design their staff.

2007-07-24 07:30:32
41.   Sliced Bread
35 No Moose in '08, please.

33 "That's All" was on Genesis/Genesis which was around '83. Don't remember the video for it, but Collins tried to do straight up performance videos for as long as MTV would let him get away with it.

Sledgehammer was Gabriel's first video in the MTV era, if I recall correctly, and it seemed to me at the time that MTV was "forcing" both acts to change their tune as it were.

The Sting/Knopfler "I want my MTV" thing was where rock music completely caved in to MTV. Not a terrible tune, but a travesty just the same.

2007-07-24 07:30:52
42.   Shaun P
38 Igawa can be an effective reliever and, if needed, occasional long man/spot starter.

40 "The Yankees have enough good, young arms that they have an opportunity to be very creative with how they design their staff."

Unless Mr. Formula returns next year.

2007-07-24 07:33:53
43.   Jim Dean
42 Of 38, you mean at The Office?
2007-07-24 07:37:17
44.   ny2ca2dc
42 You think a guy that gives up that many bombs can be a good reliever?? The guy's bombs need to be measured in HR/IP, not HR/9IP!

35 Looks pretty good. Cashman has his work cut out trying to generate value from all the B/B- arms our there, Rasner, Clip, White, Wright, Karstens, Desalvo, Igawa, etc. Those guys ought to be able to yield a stellar bench & bullpen though. maybe.

What to do with Clemens though? What if he wants to pitch again next year? Do you let him go to the Sox (though they may have enough of their own young pitching to not need him)? Maybe if the guys buy him a nice, big truck as a retirement gift, then he'll finally retire, in pinstripes.

2007-07-24 07:37:43
45.   Shaun P
35 2008 pitching staff

Kennedy (mid-year/injury sub?)


And that doesn't leave any room for Karstens, Rasner, TJ Beam, or J Brent Cox. Pardon me, I have to wipe the drool off my keyboard now.

(* I presume the Yanks will let Myers, Villone, and Vizcaino all walk as free agents, and trade Farnsworth at some point.)

2007-07-24 07:41:19
46.   rconn23
WIth the prospects of Teixeira being traded on the upswing, I wonder if the Rangers would accept a package of Marquez and Horne with another prospect thrown in. Those two, even though they haven't see any major league time, both are about 23 or 24 and better than pretty much anyone the Rangers have in their rotation.

I like trying to acquire Teixeira more than any other possible quick fix (Dunn, Dmitri, Hatteberg) because whether the Yanks make the playoffs this year or not, they are set at first base for the next five years. That is provided they can sign him to a long term deal.

2007-07-24 07:43:13
47.   ny2ca2dc
45 Unless Procter & Bruney get it together, which you might not want to bet too heavily on, them being reliever and all, that's a pretty week bullpen. I would hope some of these guys + the spare part starters could generate some impact relievers. Viz might just be worth resigning, unless his departure could yield draft picks.
2007-07-24 07:45:47
48.   Shaun P
46 I read that the Rangers' GM won't give up Teixeira unless he gets a #1 blue-chip prospect in return. He's lost too many trades: Soriano for Wilkerson (though honestly at the time that looked very smart), Chris Young AND Adrian Gonzalez for Aki Otsuka, John Danks for Brandon McCarthy. And Tex isn't a free agent until after 2008, so there's no real urgency. I'm not sure Horne + Marquez + ______ does the job, though I'd be pleased. =)
2007-07-24 07:45:49
49.   Cliff Corcoran
41 Gabriel's first MTV success was "Shock the Monkey" which was late '82/early '83. "Sledgehammer" was three years later.

The video for "That's All!" (a year after "Monkey") had the three members of Genesis dressed as bums singing/playing the song around a very sound-stagey Skid Row trash can fire.

Meanwhile Igawa's future is definitely relief. I think he pitches better without advance notice.

2007-07-24 07:47:25
50.   williamnyy23
46 All accounts have the Rangers asking for Chamberlain. Marquez and Horne would be an awful package for Texeira, which probably means the Rangers would take it.

For some reason, there is a rumor that the Yankees are interested Jon Garland and Matt Thornton from Chicago. Regardless of whom they'd give up, that would be an awful deal. Garland would presumably take Hughes spot, which would be a net negative, while Thornton's chief talent is his ability to walk batters. I can't imagine why the Yankees would think they need another one those.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-07-24 07:48:19
51.   Jim Dean
46 Throw in Gardner (since the Rangers have 40 yo Kenny Lofton in CF) and I honestly think that could do it. If I'm the Yankees, I'd rather one of Horne or Marquez plus a Smith/Jones and White/Ohlendorf.

That's pretty nice haul for the Rangers. They get one or two potential back of the rotation guys and a CF prospect. I can't imagine any other team offering more unless it involves a true A prospect like a Buchholz or Bailey.

2007-07-24 07:51:30
52.   Jim Dean
48 Thing is: Like Santana, the trade value starts dropping sharply from this point forward (1.5 seasons plus two rounds of playoffs).

If they wait until this off-season, the trading team only gets one year in return. If they wait until next July, the trading team only gets half a season.

2007-07-24 07:54:24
53.   williamnyy23
51 Do you really think that's a nice haul for a 27 year-old 1B with a good glove and a career OPS+ of 128? Not one of the players involved would be a strong bet to be an impact player in the majors. I'd love for Texas to accept such a deal, but the only way I can see it getting done would be if Jon Daniels is secretly a Yankee fan.
2007-07-24 07:59:43
54.   rbj
44 Brian Cashman Jr. is still going to have that issue:

such a funny video

2007-07-24 08:01:44
55.   ChrisS
52 Unless the deep pockets trading team (e.g., the Yankees) gets the opportunity to sign a long-term deal before finalizing the trade.

50 I like Tex, but young, potentially dominate front-end starters (Joba) are harder to come by than slugging first basemen. So, I think the Rangers are probably out of luck on that one.

And I'm less concerned with grabbing a big slugging first baseman If they extend A-Rod. Though some new offense needs to be in pipeline sooner rather than later, all things considered (Jackson and Tabata).

2007-07-24 08:02:08
56.   ny2ca2dc
51, 53 What if you replace Gardner in the trade with Austin Jackson? How high are people on him, anyway?
2007-07-24 08:06:05
57.   williamnyy23
56 Jackson is just coming into his own now...I think the jury is still out on him. His potential is high, but he is not yet a blue chip prospect. I'm sure the Rangers will be able to hold out for at least one "can't miss" prospect, but Jon Daniels' history in trades isn't very good, so who knows.
2007-07-24 08:07:45
58.   Jim Dean
53 Sure - Marquez/Horne or Smith/Jones or White/Ohlendorf could all end up as LAIM. One of those is worth 10 millon a year right now. And they could have two if they choose wisely.

Gardner puts that deal over the top. He's a legit CF prospect on par with Ellsbury (though not on hype).

Furthermore, these deals never are equal at the time they're made. The team trading the established talent has to hope they get good prospects in return. But they never get back an A quality prospect.

For instance, look at the Tino Trade (when he was 27 yo coming off a 133 OPS+ year):

Traded by the Seattle Mariners with Jim Mecir and Jeff Nelson to the New York Yankees for Russ Davis and Sterling Hitchcock.

Or even the Sexson trade (28 yo coming off 136 OPS+ year):

Traded by the Milwaukee Brewers with a player to be named later and Shane Nance to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Junior Spivey, Craig Counsell, Lyle Overbay, Chad Moeller, Chris Capuano, and Jorge de la Rosa. The Milwaukee Brewers sent Noochie Varner (minors) (December 15, 2003) to the Arizona Diamondbacks to complete the trade.

Or even the Overbay trade (28 yo coming off 120 OPS+ average over the preceding two years):

Traded by the Milwaukee Brewers with Ty Taubenheim to the Toronto Blue Jays for David Bush, Gabe Gross, and Zach Jackson.

2007-07-24 08:10:00
59.   monkeypants

32 Excellent discussion about line drives, OBP, etc. Much more concise than all of my late and lame posts in the last thread (starting around #355)--If a monkeypants shouts in the forest...

53, et al. I have to be honest, I don't get the fascination with Texeira. Now don't get me wrong, he's a very good player who would improve the Yankees a good deal this season and in the coming few years. But we're also looking at a guy with a career OPS+ of 128, which is just not knock-you-socks-off good for a firstbaseman. For those who complain about strikeouts, he averages 130 Ks/162 games. He has pretty extreme home/road splits--get him away from that sandbox Texas plays in and see what happens. He's also 27 y.o this season, so we may be looking at his peak already.

In all, he looks a little like an upgraded version of Tino. Now that's not bad, but the more objective will recall that after signing a 27 y.o. Tino, the team got precisely one great season and otherwise watched him decline.

2007-07-24 08:11:19
60.   Shaun P
52 Yeah, but if Daniels is going to trade Tex, he needs to "win" the deal, or he's probably out the door. He might be out the door anyway, though, which removes the desperation.

As for the Twins, they need Johan to compete, and I imagine Terry Ryan will get him re-signed. After all, the last time Ryan traded away a "name" player who was going to be a free agent in the middle of a season was . . . 2001, when Lawton was dealt the Mets.

2007-07-24 08:11:40
61.   Jim Dean
56 I think AJax has to be untouchable right now. He's absolutely destroying A+ (at 20 yo) to the tune of:

.374 .414 .642 in 123 ABs

That's 300 points better in OPS than Tabata at 1.5 years older.

If he keeps that up he's the Yankee RF in 2009.

2007-07-24 08:15:49
62.   Jim Dean
59 I agree completely on that assessment of Teixeira. He's an upgrade but how much and how long (especially with the necessary extension) is very much up in the air.

Plus, he's already an average defender.

Even more reason the deal shouldn't look like much.

2007-07-24 08:18:39
63.   ny2ca2dc
61 Thanks, i didn't realize he was so young. Haven't seen much discussion on his ceiling, but this should be fun to watch. For a farm that is suposedly so low on positional prospects, guys do seem to keep coming out of nowhere (Cano, Melky, maybe Gardner, maybe A-Jax).
2007-07-24 08:19:59
64.   williamnyy23
58 I'm sorry, but I think you are looking at those guys through Yankee colored glasses. None of the players you mentioned come close to appearing on a top prospects list. Instead, they are a collection of B-level prospects that may or may not have an impact in the major leagues.

As for your comparisons, Tino was not nearly as accomplished as Texeira at the time of that deal. Also, Davis and Hitchcock were much more highly regarded than the names you mentioned. Baseball America had Russ Davis as the 79th best prospect in all of baseball in 1995 (and 26th in 1994). Hitchock, meanwhile, had modest success in the majors and was also a top-100 prospect.

The Sexson deals you mentioned were more salary dumps than attempts to make good trades, but even in the first, Overbay was a top-50 or so prospect.

2007-07-24 08:20:03
65.   ny2ca2dc
63 Also, Juan Miranda, maybe Frankie Cervelli ... Plus the names with Tabata & Jesus Montero
2007-07-24 08:23:04
66.   Jim Dean
63 No worries.

Gardner was sort of borderline and he still may be. But his numbers are very close to Ellsbury and they're exactly the same age and having played in the same leagues against the same opposition. The only difference is Ellsbury was advanced a bit more quickly. But still, he's only half a year ahead.

If AJax keeps it up, he's in the top 20 of lists next year. The only problem is his performance in A+ sort of came out of nowhere even as the talent has always been there.

2007-07-24 08:26:31
67.   williamnyy23
59 Texiera isn't in Jason Giambi's class as a hitter, but his last three seasons of OPS+ (including the current) have been 146, 123 and 145. Having just turned 27, Texeira is now just entering his prime and could very well be a 140-150 OPS+ guy for the remainder of his 20s. He is at least average on defense, so I definitely think he'd be a significant asset.

Also, OPS+ accounts for the home ballpark, so the splits are not really relevant.

2007-07-24 08:26:38
68.   ChrisS
I'd like to see Melky start hitting some more doubles, and if he could improve to an .800+ OPS guy with 10-15 HRs and 20 steals and his defense, then CF is set for a while.

59 Tex is only a topic of discussion because he's a good hitter that's supposedly available. I doubt anyone would be trying real hard to pry him away from Texas otherwise.

2007-07-24 08:34:03
69.   Jim Dean
64 Of course they're all B or C prospects.

But you're overvaluing Teixiera AND trying to shoehorn him into past deals.

The only point of those other deals is that none included an A level prospect (no Hitchcok, Davis nor Overbay were at that level - history has proven that).

Teixeira is underpowered as a 1B, trending downward fensivbely, and will soon cost a big extension. It's silly to expect alot in a trade.

I think the Overbay trade is the type of framework we're looking at, plus one more B-position prospect (Gardner), even as at the time Overbay had three more years to free agency.

65 Miranda is old (24 yo) and on shady papers. He's a B prospect unless he keeps up his power in AA.

If Cervelli tops an .800 OPS in A+ at 21 yo, then he's a legit prospect. I don't know about his defensive reputation though.

2007-07-24 08:40:46
70.   monkeypants
67 Right you are about OPS+, my bad on that.

I am less optimistic about his three year performance than you are, I guess. I predict OPS+ 150 or so as the peak, with decline from there. Sure, we may get two or three years of 140+ OPS+, but we may also get Tino Martinez with a big price tag. I guess I am leery of taking on players who are already at their peak (probably) unless they are performing at all world levels.

2007-07-24 08:42:00
71.   Jim Dean
67 And you misinterpret "prime". Turning 27 means a player has typically hit their peak and will trend downwards.

The Tino comp 59 is exactly right. Where you get a range of 140-150 OPS+, I have no idea. Seeing he has been hurt for a chunk of this year, he could just as easily end up in the 120's as the 140's, given his career so far.

The 128 OPS+ is about the best that can be expected, as an average, going forward.

For 12-15 million/year plus great prospects?

No thanks.

2007-07-24 08:42:33
72.   weeping for brunnhilde
10 :)
2007-07-24 08:47:04
73.   williamnyy23
69 How exactly is Texeira trending down offensively? His Age 25, 26, 27 OPS+ are 146, 123 and 145? If anything, there is no trend (not up or down). Also, how is he underpowered as a 1B? Which 1B are more "powerful"? I count only Morneau, Pujols, Howard, Fielder and Berkman off the top of my head. I think you are significantly undervaluing Texeira.

Also, Russ Davis was an A-level prospect at one point, ranking as high as 26th in Baseball America's 1994 list. Overbay and Hitchcock were also top-100 guys. None of the current crop of Yankee prospects that you named have cracked a top-100 list yet.

2007-07-24 08:51:32
74.   weeping for brunnhilde
32 Points well taken.
2007-07-24 08:52:20
75.   Jim Dean
BTW: For what happens based on peak, and to a 1B, look at Sexson:

24 yo - 102 OPS+
25 yo - 112 OPS+
26 yo - 124 OPS+
27 yo - 130 OPS+
28 yo - 136 OPS+
29 yo - 120 OPS+
30 yo - 140 OPS+
31 yo - 120 OPS+
32 yo - 91 OPS+ (current year)

Career AVG = 122 OPS+

And right now, he's making 13 million a year.

Whatever contract Teixeira gets, half will be worth it, and half will be very overpriced. Anyone trading for him should know this, given his career so far.

By the way Tino had a 133 OPS+ the year he was traded, at age 27. He topped that once afterwards, at age 29 (144 OPS+).

2007-07-24 08:57:01
76.   weeping for brunnhilde
59 Yes, he does make a sound.
2007-07-24 08:58:16
77.   monkeypants
73 I think JD wrote that he was trending downward defensively.

I think that the whole debate around Teixera comes down to one thing: since he is likely at his athletic prime, where does he go in the next few years? The best case scenario is that he turns into Jason Giambi:

Age 27: 129
Age 28: 148
Age 29: 188
Age 30: 202
Age 31: 174
Age 32: 151
Age 33: 91
Age 34: 156, etc.

Of course, some of this performance may have been chemically enhanced. So, signing Texeira to a longterm extension may instead get you Tino Martinez:

Age 27: 133
Age 28: 107
Age 29: 144
Age 30: 123
Age 31: 110
Age 32: 86
Age 33: 115
Age 34: 108, etc.

Not so attractive for the expected price tag.

2007-07-24 08:59:38
78.   monkeypants
76 : )
2007-07-24 09:00:54
79.   monkeypants
75 77 I didn't see JD's post before posting my own; and I almost listed Sexson's numbers as well.

Uh oh, JD and I are starting to think alike. If we start to wear matching outfits, please shoot us.

2007-07-24 09:01:36
80.   Jim Dean

One, you overvalue what Teixeira has done this year, He could just as easily end up at 128 OPS+ as 145 OPS+.

Two, you underestimate the vast history of the game at estimating downward trends. Age 27 represents the peak, or pinnacle, of their performance. Teixeira is not showing what he will do going forward. He's showing the absolutely best you can hope for, and even then only for a year or two of a much lengthier contract.

Three, a prospect appearing once on a top 100 list does not make them a Grade A prospect. Russ Davis would be like trading Eric Duncan right now. And if you go back and look at Hitchcock's mL numbers when he was dealt, that's exactly a Marquez - but the latter is probably better at the same age.

2007-07-24 09:02:50
81.   rconn23
50. How is Horne and Marquez plus another prospect a terrible package for Tex?

Horne hastterffic numbers in AA with more ks than inings pitched and an incrediblly low walk rate. And Marquez is a very good sinker pitcher, a ground ball machine. How do we know he won't be another Wang. Remember, Wang when he came up was not a highly regarded prospect.

That Horne and Marquez aren't hyped like Joba, Hughes and Kennedy speaks to the depth of the young pitching.

The Rangers have zero starting pitching and I would gamble on those two, if I'm the Rangers GM, given that I would lose Tex anyway next season.

2007-07-24 09:03:43
82.   Jim Dean
79 Blue t-shirt with tan shorts :)
2007-07-24 09:03:44
83.   Schteeve
One thing that became very clear to me in the Tampa series, is that if the Yanks start looking for upgrades, they should focus on pitching. Getting Hughes back will be a lift, but Mussina and Pettitte are getting by with a lot of luck right now.

Outside of Wang, I don't think we have a legitimate shut down starter, the likes of which will come in handy in the post season, god willing. I think Tex would be a relatively low value acquisition relative to the needs of the team.

2007-07-24 09:04:38
84.   Jim Dean
81 I'd actually say including Horne is too much.
2007-07-24 09:04:51
85.   JL25and3
69 If Davis wasn't regarded as an A prospect, he was pretty darn close. The fact that his career didn't turn out that way doesn't reflect his value at the time.

Hitchcock was definitely not an A prospect at the time.

2007-07-24 09:10:05
86.   Jim Dean
At age 25 - right before Davis was traded:

AAA: .250 .389 .408 (76 AB)
MLB: .276 .349 .429 (98 AB)

For 3B, and his age, that looks very far from a Grade A prospect to me.

His final MLB toatals?:

.257 .310 .444 (1980 AB)

2007-07-24 09:10:18
87.   JL25and3
81 How do we know he won't be another Wang.

Wang is essentially one of a kind. You really can't use him as a comparison point, because there are virtually no other pitchers like him.

2007-07-24 09:12:20
88.   ChrisS
Re: Tex

Basically it comes down to whether someone thinks it's worth it to trade one of the big three (Hughes, Joba, Kennedy) for Tex. And I think that if it was, then it would have been done already.

2007-07-24 09:16:17
89.   weeping for brunnhilde
32 I don't know how deeply we want to get into this, but william, you write:

"(1) Homeruns, hitting and preventing them, are more the result of skill than almost any other outcome;"

What, exactly, is an "outcome?"

For instance, would not "hitting the ball squarely" (whatever we think that means) be just as much the result of skill than hitting a homerun?

I understand that homeruns can result from hitting the ball squarely, but so too can singles.

Not sure what I'm trying to ask here, other than to ask why homeruns are any more dependent on skill than hitting lasers.

Unless by "outcome" you mean not how the ball is struck, but whether it leads to an out or not?

2007-07-24 09:20:34
90.   rconn23
81. Wang may be unique, but he's not one of a kind. There are a lot of guys who throw power sinkers to get ground bals, but their K rates vary, Webb and Halladay are two examples.

Marquez may not be the same pitcher, but who knows?

2007-07-24 09:21:17
91.   JL25and3
Well, remember, the A's did give up Joe Jackson in a midseason trade for Bris Lord, The Human Eyeball.
2007-07-24 09:24:27
92.   Jim Dean
River Ave Blues has word on some other moves:

"Meanwhile, in other news, Steven Jackson is headed from AAA to AA, Kevin Whelan from A to AA, and Brett Smith, who's been pretty decent, is heading to A from AA."

2007-07-24 09:26:44
93.   mehmattski
54 "This video is no longer available"


2007-07-24 09:26:54
94.   monkeypants
89 I think maybe william is building off of the assumption that neither pitchers nor hitters can much control what happens to balls in play. In other words (if I remember correctly) on balls hit in play fall for basehits about 30% of the time, over the long haul. This does not differentiate between the kinds of balls hit--presumably line drives fall for hits more often. But when looking at really big sample sizes over multiple years, BABIP tends to resolve around .300 or so. This leads to the conclsuion that batters and pitchers generally are not able to control balls in play.

Thus, batters who adept at hitting HRs increase their chance of overall success because they take the fielders (and luck) out of the equation--the rest of theeir BIP will fall for hits 30%, but their HRs are unable to be defensed againts; they are hits 100% of the time. On the opposite side, it is then imperative for pitchers to keep the ball in park, since he will get an out around 70% of the time on balls in play.

At least that's where I think he was going.

2007-07-24 09:27:49
95.   williamnyy23
71 I'll search for a link later, but I believe several recent studies have pushed a players prime deeper into their 20s. Being that Tex has just turned 27, there is every reason to believe that his peak is still ahead. As for how I came up with the 140-150 range, well, I looked at his age 25 and 27 season (the latter to date) and factored in that he was on cusp of his prime. If his 2006 season was the norm and 2005 and 2007 are the flukes, then he'd be a 125 OPS+ guy, but if not, then he easily has the potential to be a 140-150 guy. There is no basis for presenting the absolute argument that you are trying to advance.

By the way, I agree that I wouldn't deal a Chamberlain type prospect, but that doesn't mean Texas wont ask for and receive one. It also doesn't mean they'll accept a unch of B-/C+ prospects from the Yankees excess pile.

2007-07-24 09:41:23
96.   Jim Dean
95 That's just not true - age 27, and perhaps 28, typically represents the peak or pinnacle or summit of a player's career. I'd wager even more so for 1B because those players are often incapable of extending their careers anywhere else on the field (esp. in the NL). Whatever they've done up to age 27, they're not likely to approach very often again.

Sexson and Tino represent two perfect examples. And nothing suggests Teixiera will be any different, especially not a much higher peak that he'd "descend" from.

Even as 140 OPS+ is a possibility for Teixeira for a minority of years going forward (just as Tino had a 144 OPS+ at age 29), I have no idea where you get 150 from.

2007-07-24 09:44:18
97.   williamnyy23
75 You are providing one player's career trajectory. How useful is that? I'm sure there are lots of 1B whose best seasons occurred during the years 28 to 31. The timeline on player's primes has advanced significantly. Does anyone have a link to a more recent study?

Also, you keeping trying to force the Tino comp, but if you look beyond more than the most reason season, you'd see that Texeira had a much higher level of success than Martinez.

80 Russ Davis was a top-25 prospect, not a top-100. He was widely regarded as a A level prospect and easily stands out above the names you are tossing around now.

81 Marquez' numbers are not great. Also, Horne is a special case, having already had TJ surgery. He is also 25 years old.

86 You are playing fast and loose with stats, failing to mention his 1994 AAA season (.912 OPS) in many more Abs. It was that season that established Davis as a top prospect. His injury plagued 1995 season lowered his stock, but he was still highly regarded at the time of the deal.

2007-07-24 09:46:09
98.   JL25and3
94 This is something that's confused me for a while. The original research on BABIP had to do with pitchers, not hitters. The idea wasn't that the overall rate remains roughly stable; it was that any given pitcher's BABIP showed little to no consistency from one year to the next.

But I didn't think that the same principle necessarily applied to hitters at all. In fact, I thought it was clear that different batters had distinctly different BABIP. I don't think it's luck that Wade Boggs had a .348 BABIP compared with Mark McGwire's .260.

There's no reason that the same principle needs to apply on both sides of the equation. Each pitcher would presumably face a wide range of batters, so the differences between one and another would be neutralized.

I can't find research on how BABIP affects batters. Does anyone know of some?

2007-07-24 09:48:09
99.   weeping for brunnhilde
94 Thanks, mp.

Something about that seems fishy to me, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

I think it has something to do with long-term analysis, which is a composite of discrete events, v. what goes on in any one ab, which takes account of what a hitter does with the pitchers available to him.

A hitter who's "adept" at hitting homeruns (so it seems to me) is often a hitter who can make pitchers pay for mistakes. To me that suggests he's really not in control of the ab, but that his success is commensurate to the pitcher's failure.

But the guy who can hit a pitcher's pitch hard and take his chances from there, seems to me to have much more control (i.e., initiative) over his ab.

It also seems tautological to say "homeruns are hits 100% of the time."

I mean, so are singles, no?

And homeruns can be "defensed against," as when someone "robs" a guy from a homerun.

You can also rob a guy of a hit, of course, and perhaps that's easier to do than with a homerun, but I don't know.

If a guy hits a ball to the warning track that doesn't quite have the oomph to get out, should that not count as a missed homerun?--as a homerun that's been "defenced against?"

2007-07-24 09:48:30
100.   monkeypants
95 Whatever prospects they might want, I am also very concerned about the expected length of the deal and the salary. Right now most of us are cringing at the Giambi deal, even though he has been an extremely productive player when healthy (which has been most of the time). With Texeira they would probably get a player of lesser hitting prowess than Giambi (who, BTW, did not peak until after 27 y.o.), so his inevitable decline will result in an even lesser player. How happy will we be about Texeira in four or six years, when he's 31, 32, 33 y.o.?
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-07-24 09:48:50
101.   williamnyy23
89 By outcome, I mean an out, BB, Hit, etc. In other words, an end result and not a qualitative description (bloop, blast, line drive, etc.). The reasons HRs are more dependent on skill (in this case great bat speed and strength) is because fielders can't catch them. The hardest hit line drive in the history of baseball is still an out if it the SS is standing in its path.

94 Pretty much…although I don't believe that all balls in play are random. Pitchers do have some say over how often ball in play are recorded as out, in my opinion, but even if a small portion is due to luck, that means HRs are the one outcome almost entirely devoid of fortune.

2007-07-24 09:52:57
102.   weeping for brunnhilde
101 Again, it seems tautological.

If you hit the perfect scorching linedrive, say 10 feet over the shortstop's head and it splits the outfielders for a double, wouldn't that be just as much an outcome almost entirely devoid of fortune?

2007-07-24 10:05:15
103.   monkeypants
98 I think you're right that assumptions about BABIP probably don't apply the same to hitters and pitchers; I was only trying to extrapolate from the previous post.

99 I'm not sure I agree with your statement that HRs are essentially the product only of pitchers' mistakes. Cleary there are players who have very high GB/FB ratios, and players with the opposite high FB/GB ratios. This suggests that some batter have a particular skill at hitting the ball in the air--a sskill prized (I think) by sabremetricians the same way that Billy BEane, et all look for pitchers who get lots of ground balls (prhaps the next most important trait after high Ks andlow BBs).

It also seems rong to argue that warning track balls are failed or defensed HRs. Why not failed doubles? Or for that matter, a failed single that was hit very wrongly to be a single? The whole point about HRs is that players who are good at making them: strong, swing hard, upper cut swing, etc.) basically take the fielder entirely out of the equations except for the handful of times when an OF reaches a couple feet over the fence.

Moreover, you can't really--in any meaningful way--defend against the HR. Line drive hitters (like Jeter) will have certain tendencies that you can position your fielder against. But you can'tput your RF in the bleachers. Even if he plays back against the wall, he can't actually be positioned where the batter tends to put the ball.

But batters who never hit HRs are always to some degree at the mercy of fielders (or, 'bad luck') even if they only hit screaming line drives.

2007-07-24 10:06:53
104.   Shaun P
98 Joe Sheehan at Baseball Prospectus had an article earlier this year that essentially argued that BAC (batting average on contact, ie, BABIP + HRs) is a better judge for hitters than BABIP. Its a free article ( and here's the last paragraph:

"For hitters, doing well on contact is a skill. For pitchers, what happens on balls they allow to be put in play is all but disconnected from their skill. If you can isolate performance from the bounce of the ball, you can go a long way towards identifying the flukes in time to trade them off of your fantasy team… or, if you're a real manager, bench them before they do too much damage."

In any case, my understanding is that while different hitters do have very different BABIPs, one can compare a hitter's BABIP to his expected BABIP (eBABIP is "a generalization that assumes your expected BABIP should be within .12 of your line drive percentage" so that "flyball players generally have lower BABIP, etc.") to see if someone is way out of line with what they should be doing. Marc Normandin (also of BP) does this in his Player Profile series - most of which are also free.

9596 I think its Bill James who wrote that the age-27 season is not so much a "peak" as it is a plateau. That is, one does not instantly decline from that point forward, but rather it represents a point by which a hitter tends to not develop further in terms of ability, not necessarily skill. Refinements to skills are what allow many many players to statistically out-perform their "peak" age-27 season at some point past age 27.

Example: Pitch recognition (a skill) may improve with increased age. Recognizing pitchers' habits, allowing one to time when to steal bases (a skill), may improve with age (see Paul O'Neill's 20 SBs at age 38).

At the same time, if one does not have the ability to hit home runs at age 27, one is not going to suddenly start hitting home runs at age 32. If one does not have the ability to run fast at age 27, one is not going to be stealing 60 bases at age 32. Etc.

Many others researchers (including James, IIRC) have shown that, while the general peak is one's age-27, it does vary. There are (large) classes of players who's peak season is, for example, their age-28 season, others from whom it is age-26, and so on.

In Teixeira's particular case, the home-road splits plus contract length and salary are somewhat concerning to me. I'm sure he'd put up some very good seasons if he were a Yankee, at age 32 say.

2007-07-24 10:15:09
105.   JL25and3
104 I could easily buy the idea that any one hitter's BABIP might vary from year to year largely on the basis of luck, though even there I have some questions. But I think the difference between one batter and another should probably start with the batters, not with the luck.
2007-07-24 10:15:56
106.   ChrisS
95 Indeed if someone else wants to pay Texas with a top shelf pitching prospect, they can go ahead. I think the Yankees can get by (more so if they sign A-Rod again) with Giambi/Phillips next year and then see what gives. 1B isn't really a pressing need like dominant pitchers.

Pitching wins championships.

2007-07-24 10:23:55
107.   ChrisS
105 "But I think the difference between one batter and another should probably start with the batters, not with the luck."

And that's really what it's used for, much like with pitchers. If player A is having an unexpectedly good season and so is player B. But A's other peripherals are largely similar to his career norms and his BABIP is abnormally high, while player B's is not and his peripherals are better than career norms. Then it suggests that A is riding a hot/lucky streak and isn't likely to replicate those numbers. While player B may have improved as a hitter and has a better chance of repeating that success.

Sabremetrics are always better in context when possible.

2007-07-24 10:30:11
108.   RIYank
We've watched Chien-Ming too long to believe that BABIP is pitcher independent. Haven't we?

Though I just checked and his isn't as much lower than league average as I expected. I guess his ability to out-perform his K-rate by so much might have a lot to do with his low HR against numbers, his low BB rate, and of course the large number of GIDP he induces.

2007-07-24 10:43:10
109.   Jim Dean

1. How many times was Russ Davis a top-25 prospect? Here are his career mL numbers:

.253 .324 .434 (2986 AB)

That looks like a Grade A prospect, huh?

Indeed, it was like trading Eric Duncan:

.253 .343 .438 (1467 AB)

in three years.

The only point regarding Tino and Sexson and Overbay is how little the trading team got in return. And Sexson was a much better player at the same age as Teixeira. Meanwhile, now at age 32, he's extremely overpriced.

The point is: If it costs any more than a Marquez + Smith + White + Gardner a big NO THANKS and even then that's too much.

104 Thanks for the clarification. Any James insight into the differences between positions? 1B would seem much less likely to have an "extended plateau" than a corner OF or 3B, based on the defensive spectrum.

2007-07-24 10:49:48
110.   monkeypants
108 Right, the fact that his BABIP is not as low as we might expect basically confirms that it is pitcher independent. But that does not mean that the pitcher's overall performance is due to luck. A I mentioned above 103, Billy Beane and his devotees highly value pitchers with high GB/FB ratios because--assuming that more or less the same number of batted balls fall in for hits--GB pitchers tend to keep more hits in the park than FB pitchers; they also will (as you note) induce more DPs.

Of course not idividual conforms exactly to the statistically expected norms.

2007-07-24 10:58:15
111.   Jim Dean
109 Check that: If anything, Sexson and Teixeira have been pretty darn close.
2007-07-24 10:59:50
112.   JL25and3
107 But conceptually, BABIP is entirely different for hitters and pitchers. It's a skill for hitters, a matter of luck for pitchers. That was the point I was getting at.

108 Most of the recent research suggests that there are some pitchers who have more control over BABIP than others - usually the very best pitchers.

And Wang, in so many ways, is in a class unto himself. His nickname should be "The Bumblebee," because by all the sabermetric models he shouldn't be able to do what he does.

2007-07-24 11:02:49
113.   JL25and3
110 It's my understanding that a GB pitcher is actually likely to give up more hits than a FB pitcher, because fly balls generally become outs. But the hits they give up are of distinctly different types.
2007-07-24 11:03:13
114.   williamnyy23
104 Basically, BAC gives players credit for hitting homeruns, so it kind of speaks to the importance of balls that clear the wall. Basically, BABIP, or DIPS, adhere to the same concept. That there is a significant amount of luck associated with getting hits when a ball is put in play. I don't buy into that concept completely, but do agree with the basic premise, which is the homerun for the hitter and the strikeout for the pitcher represent the most pure representation of skill.
2007-07-24 11:15:08
115.   williamnyy23
109 Before his injury on 1995, Davis was rated a top-25 prospect by Baseball America. That's a fact, so I'm not sure how else to say it.

111 Pretty darn close isn't accurate either:

Sexson's OPS+ from ages 23 to 27 were: 135 (183 PA), 102 (525 PA), 112 (607 PA), 124 (667 PA) and 130 (652 PA)

Texeir's OPS+ from ages 23 to 27 were/are: 103 (589 PA), 128 (625 PA), 146 (730 PA), 123 (727 PA), 145 (311 PA)

If Tex keeps up his current season pace, his first 5 seasons will have been a clear notch above Sexson's.

2007-07-24 11:17:35
116.   monkeypants
113 Could be. I wonder for pichers if SLGagainst isn't more valuable than OBPagainst, whereas for hitters OPB is somewhat more valuable than SLG? But then, what about the BBs that a pitcher gives up? Hmmm...I'll have think about this more.
2007-07-24 11:33:24
117.   ChrisS
112 Well, more of a skill for hitters then pitchers, but it's still a useful metric to identify flukes.

As for Wang being the non-ideal sabremetric pitcher: not necessarily, he has a high GB:FB ratio, doesn't give up many HRs, and has a low WHIP, which is partially a result of a low BB/9. The only sabremetric knock (if it can be called one) is that he doesn't strike out a ton of hitters, which would give him a better BB:K ratio. But that seems to be changing for the better, anyway.

Even if he's never a 200K/year guy, he'll likely keep doing well as long as that sinker continues to induce groundballs (which help snuff out rallies via the GIDP - almost like when a power pitcher strikes out hitter, he removes the ball from play and the chance for it to go through a hole somewhere).

2007-07-24 11:58:23
118.   Jim Dean
115 And Duncan was rated highly too. That means nothing. You look at where Davis was when he was traded, and he was far, very far, from a Grade A prospect, just like Duncan now. I don't know how else to say it. There were no Grade A prospects in any of the trades for Tino, Sexson, or Overbay.

And I look at those age 26 and 27 seasons differently (based on his career OPS of 128). It's a big if for Teixeira to keep up his current pace. Furthermore, Sexson (career OPS+ of 122) is a great comp for Teixeira especially since that slight loss of offense is made up for Sexson's slightly better defense.

If anything, I'm more strongly against acquiring him if it costs more than three B-/C+ pitching prospects. Forget Gardner. Otherwise, Marquez and Eric Duncan seems about right.

2007-07-24 12:07:20
119.   Jim Dean
Meanwhile, any discussion of Teixiera has to include his splits:

Home: .303 .379 .577 (1474 PA)
Road: .265 .359 .492 (1508 PA)

All I know is whatever team acquires him is much more likely to get the .850 OPS guy than the .950 OPS guy.

If that involves a big contract and big trade package, I really hope it's not the Yankees. They could get .850 OPS from Juan Miranda next year.

2007-07-24 12:14:49
120.   JL25and3
117 Not more or less, really - a skill for hitters, mostly luck for pitchers.

But yes, you're right, it's still useful for identifying flukes. The excellent Joe Sheehan article that Shaun linked to above discusses exactly that. (He uses BAC rather tahn BABIP - the same, except that he includes HRs, figuring that batters shouldn't be penalized for that). Any hitter with a surprisingly high BAC, a high K rate and a bad K:BB ratio should be looked at with skepticism.

But there's no expectation that batters should almost all end up with roughly average BAC, as there is with pitchers and BABIP. The principle of looking for flukes is similar, but you compare batters with themselves, pitchers with the average.

2007-07-24 12:26:55
121.   williamnyy23
118 When Davis ws traded, he was still ranked around 60. The drop was mostly because he had been injured. Eric Duncan has not been a highly rated prospect for years! In fact, he is now a non-prospect.

For some perspective, BA had Aybar and Clement ranked in the 60s coming into this season. Joba Chamberlain was 75! The point is that when you are on a top-25, top-60 or top-100 list, it is an indicator that someone thinks you are an A-level prospect. Russ Davis was on such lists. None of the trade candidates you have mentioned have ever come close to reaching Davis' acclaim. Again, these are facts. Take them as you will.

2007-07-24 12:28:49
122.   williamnyy23
119 Once again, OPS+ accounts for home ball park, so the splits are irrelevant.
2007-07-24 12:32:09
123.   williamnyy23
119 You have a hard time seeing Texeira reach an OP+ of 150 (a few points above his career high), yet you confidently predict Juan Miranda will put up an OPS of .850 (which would rank him in the top-25 of AL hitters). Are you being serious?
2007-07-24 12:33:41
124.   rconn23
As to an earlier post about Marquez's numbers not being that great. His minor league totals compare favorably so far to Wang's. He has a lower career ERA in the minors and his walk and K totals are similar.
His ERA is 3.11 this year and his WHIP is 1.35. WHIP may not be great, but it's not too much off from Wang's was at that point.
Marquez is only 22, younger than when Wang came up. Also, Horne is 24.

I still argue that either of those pitchers are better right now than anyone in the Rangers rotation, including Millwood, who's been awful this year.

2007-07-24 12:34:45
125.   ny2ca2dc
This from BP today:

"The Reds seem less and less likely to make a big move. Every deal for Adam Dunn has been scuttled early by Dunn's option being voided by a deal and by Wayne Krivsky's asking price. One wild scenario that's been thrown out there is a deal with the Yankees, where Dunn could fill in for Jason Giambi and the Reds would get back Shelley Duncan and Jeff Karstens, plus one more prospect. That doesn't seem like the right kind of return, so I'm discounting the rumor, though it does add some credence to another rumor--that of Walt Jocketty to Cincinnati. I'll let you connect the dots."

Christ, if that deal were real - and I'll betcha it aint! - it would be a fleecing almost as sweet as Abreu. The 2 draft picks he'd yield as a departing free agent (if allowed to leave) would be worth more than Shelly, Karstens, & ___ (assuming ___ is of the same ilk as the first 2)...

A boy can dream...

2007-07-24 12:36:27
126.   tommyl
FWIW, rips Lupica a new one. Its a pretty damn entertaining read. Head on over.
2007-07-24 12:38:09
127.   JL25and3
124 But as I said earlier, Wang isn't a useful comparison point because he's sui generis. You can't project Marquez to be another Wang, because it's not clear that there's any such thing as "another Wang."
2007-07-24 12:41:26
128.   williamnyy23
124 As some else stated, if you really want to use Wang's minor league numbers as a model for future success...well...good luck.
2007-07-24 12:53:21
129.   Jim Dean
121 Look at these numbers again:

Davis: .253 .324 .434 (2986 AB)
Duncan: .253 .343 .438 (1467 AB)

But one was a Grade A prospect (while 25 yo), but the other (22 yo) is a non-prospect? Weird.

122 True, OPS+ includes park effects. But it doesn't fully account for 100 point differences. It's an adjustment, not a whole-scale resampling. His home numbers still make him look alot better than he actually is.

Indeed, relative to the team's offense (tOPS+) he's at an 89 tOPS+ on the road and a 111 tOPS+ at home. By contrast, Sexson is a 96 tOPS+ on the road and a 104 tOPS+ at home.

Again, the road Teixiera is the one a team will be picking up.

123 No. But the point remains: Unless the Yanks can trade two or three B/C prospects for Teixeira, he's not worth it. And even then, his next contract surely won't be worth it.

2007-07-24 12:54:51
130.   rconn23
I'm not saying Marquez is going to be a top-flight starter. But he is essntially the same type of pitcher as Wang.

And honestly, while we're talking about tracking models for success, would anyone have thought that Cano would have hit .342 last year based on his minor league totals? Or even put up the numbers he has this year?
I mean, if we want to talk about players who have usurped their minor league totals in the big leagues, we can be here all day.

2007-07-24 13:04:02
131.   Vandelay Industries
Anyone watching this Michael Vick nonsense?
2007-07-24 13:07:23
132.   Jim Dean
Looks we'll find out soon who the "lucky winner" is, and at what price. From Buster:

Executives with other teams believe that the Texas Rangers are definitely intent on trading first baseman Mark Teixeira before the July 31 trade deadline, which would make Teixeira the most prominent player dealt.

The rival executives say that the Rangers' demands for Teixeira have come down bit by bit. In addition, the Rangers feel they can get one or more of the targeted prospects that they can ask for from the targeted teams. However, the Rangers dispute the notion that their price is coming down or that it's a slam dunk that they will trade Teixeira.

At the outset of the Teixeira trade talks, for example, the Rangers had insisted the Yankees include either Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes, one of the Yankees' top pitching prospects, and had asked the Dodgers for three top prospects. They had asked the Red Sox for pitcher Clay Buchholz and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury.

The Angels, Braves and Giants are also involved in talks for Teixeira.

2007-07-24 13:08:38
133.   tommyl
130 If you mean did Cano fluctuate a bit in BA and not draw that many walks, then yes. While that .342 is eye popping, I think we need a few more seasons to see whether that .342 is the norm, or an outlier. Also, his OBP is much more in line with his minor league numbers (and generally a better predictor). His SLG did jump up, but he's very young and its typical to expect young players to continue to develop power as they get a bit older and mature.
2007-07-24 13:09:10
134.   williamnyy23
129 You are looking at the numbers after the fact and making a comparison. I am not arguing about the merits of either player, but simply stating that before the Tino deal, Russ Davis was a top-60 or so prospect, while Eric Duncan is no longer highly rated by any source. No matter how you crunch the numbers, you can't change what reliable sources thought/think about both players.

As for Tex' splits, well, in 2006, he had a .983 OPS (122 tOPS+) on the road, versus .791 at home. This season, his home and road splits are nearly even. So, maybe whomever is acquiring Tex is actually getting an even better player than his aggregate numbers suggests? In the hands of Scott Boras, that kind of info. could be very dangerous.

It seems as if your basic point is that unless the Yankees can rip off Texas, they shouldn't make a deal. Well, I can kind of live with that. That doesn't mean Texeira is worth the paltry offer you proposed, nor that the Rangers will accept a similar deal.

Finally, I don't see how one can determine whether Texeira would be worth a hypothetical contract without having any inkling of the terms.

2007-07-24 13:11:21
135.   williamnyy23
130 Being that most studies suggest Wang is a one-of-a-kind pitcher, it's hard to suggest that someone else is the same type of pitcher.

As for Cano, you are right. He has far exceeded what his minor league numbers would have suggested, which is probably why any team could have had him in a deal with the Yankees. The fact that AZ opted for Navarro over Cano was very lucky for the Yankees.

2007-07-24 13:12:06
136.   Vandelay Industries

I actually think he will end up with the Dodgers. They have the young pitchers, and they are wiling to part with two or three of them. I live out here in LA, and although the buzz is never strong no matter who the player may be, I have a feeling about this.

With Giambi coming back, do the Yankees actually part with Hughes or Chamberlain for Tex? I just don't see it, but Brian could go a long way in helping his awful legacy could he pull something off.

2007-07-24 13:12:40
137.   monkeypants
122 123 OK, JD is pressing the case more firmly than I am, but I have a question. How long do you expect Texeira to play at or near peak levels, assuming that he is approaching his peak now and will plateau for some period of time?

I am not challenging you, but I am curious what your gut instict is. This seems to be the critical question to answer when evaluating taking on a longterm and expensive contract. It was one of the reasons that I was against signing Beltran (age 27) to a six or seven year deal coming off a career high 136 OPS+ (I may still end up wrong about that one, but that was my reasoning.

So again, do you see Texeira more following a Giambi path (peak seasons at 28 and 29, followed by sustained excellence) or Tino Martinez? Or, look at the most similar players through age 26, according to baseball-reference (I know, sorta bogus, but humor me). Is Texeira the next Fred McGRiff, or Paul Konerko? The Next Mark McGuire of Kent Hrbek? Jeff Bagwell or Richie Sexson? You certainly wouldn't want to give all of these guys 6 or 7 years at 15-20 million per.

2007-07-24 13:12:53
138.   tommyl
Also, with all this trade talk, if we did land Tex, what exactly happens with the roster. You then have at 1B/DH: Giambi, Mink, Phillips and Duncan. But you also have at DH some rotation of Damon and Matsui. If you don't DH one of them that means Melky doesn't play again.

Now, if you told me getting Tex, would lead to the team dumping Cairo and Mink, moving Phillips to the utility man (he can play all but SS), making Damon into a PH/4th OF who also spot starts for Matsui and we use some combo of Duncan and Giambi at DH/PH then I think we'd be onto something. Joe will never, ever do that though.

2007-07-24 13:15:49
139.   Vandelay Industries

The right thing to do would be to carry two less pitchers, but as with your proposal, Joe and the team would never ever do that.

2007-07-24 13:17:45
140.   Vandelay Industries
That being said, I might waiver if they were willing to give Chamberlain some time, Karstens, and Hughes enters the rotation. Otherwise, everyone but Viz and Mo, and possibly Proctor are expendible.
2007-07-24 13:22:34
141.   williamnyy23
137 I think Texeira has established himself as a player whose peak is about 125-150 in terms of OPS+. I'd be comfortable predicting he'd remain in that range for the next 4 or 5 seasons. Over the past 4 seasons, Texeira's only outlier has been his 2006 SLG%. His 4-year OBP and SLG in the three other seasons has been pretty stable. As I exhibited in 134, he isn't soley the product of his hime ball park. There are a lot of things to like about Texeira and I would actively pursue him and readily commit to him for 5-years. That doesn't mean I'd consider Hughes or Chamberlain, but I'd certainly go higher than Marquez, Horne and Gardner.
2007-07-24 13:22:53
142.   tommyl
139 But with two less pitchers Joe couldn't use 4 guys in one inning and still never get one of them into a game. Isn't that how you manage a BP?
2007-07-24 13:24:01
143.   monkeypants
138 As much as I bitch about Torre, I think that problem would work itself out. First of all Texeira is a 'name brand' so he should have enough built in guts points and veteranatude to warrant PT from Torre. Second, I am still skeptical about Giambi coming back, I dn't care what the 'reports' say. Third, even if your 2008 starting 1B Migeul Cairo stayed and poor Andy Philllips got dumped, it would still be a net upgrade. The only real danger would be that Texeira replaced Phillips AND Damon replaced Melky, but recent little hot streak aside, I don't think we'll see Damon starting in the CF too much anymore. And if Torre is willing to sit Damon for Shelley Duncan, he'll do the same for Teixera.
2007-07-24 13:25:29
144.   monkeypants
141 Fair enough.
2007-07-24 13:26:24
145.   williamnyy23
143 I agree on Giambi. He's reached the point where you can no longer count on him to perform any roll full-time.
2007-07-24 13:28:22
146.   Vandelay Industries

Very funny. The Yankees have never been afraid to take the lead, and I would love for them to be the first to begin putting an end to teams carrying 12 or 13 pitchers, 4 of which have little or no real value. With Clemens, Pettitte, and Wang, we have three of only 5(?) neccessary starters, with Hughes entering the rotation, who can give you length. We don't need eight relievers going down the stretch.

2007-07-24 13:28:39
147.   rconn23
As far as trading any of the top three pitching prospects in the organization(Hughes, Joba, Kennedy) I'm against it for Tex.

There's a theory that you don't give up young pitching, no matter what. But I don't think anyone should ever be untouchable.
Hypothetically, what player would it take for any of us to want the Yanks to part with any of those three. I'm not just talking about available players, I'm talking about any player. Pujols? Howard? Sizemore? Reyes?

The Yanks have no legitimate position player prospects, espeicially at 1B. And there are no FA prospects that could fill the void for 08. I think the Yanks need to make an effort to package together some deal for Tex, with Kennedy being a last-ditch effort.

2007-07-24 13:30:57
148.   Jim Dean
134 Those "reliable" sources don't make trades. They try to rate based on a combination of hype, talent, and numbers. It's why Ellsbury can be "highly" rated and yet have very similar numbers as Gardner at the same age and against the same competition.

And sorry, irrespective of those lists, I refuse to believe that Davis was a Grade A prospect at the time he was traded. His numbers at the time and his resulting success bear that out. I similarly refuse to believe that Eric Duncan, at age 22, is a "non-prospect".

BTW: Duncan was #86 last year. So according to your "reliable" sources he's a Grade A prospect. Or, based on your reading of those same lists, he's gone from a Grade A prospect to a non-prospect in one year.

For someone who knows the pitfalls of small samples, you're being awfully disingenuous. Across his career (in the same ballpark), Teixeira is 100 points better at home. There's no changing that no matter how many ways you slice it.

And this Boras you speak of won't allow Teixiera to get any less than 13 million/year - the same cost as Sexson. Meanwhile, Sexson is grossly overpaid. And Teixeira will be too.

Your challenge (if you choose to accept it): Point out one trade for a young 1B in the last fifteen years in which one Grade A prospect was included.

I've indicated three in which only B/C prospects were included.

Suffice it to say, Grade A prospects sometimes get exchanged for top talent. And Teixeira isn't even top 5 at his position.

2007-07-24 13:31:40
149.   Vandelay Industries

I agree. However, it would have to be a trade and sign. I am not willing to give up a top prospect for a rental unit. But I believe they can get it done.

2007-07-24 13:33:02
150.   tommyl
147 At the moment, Andy Phillips is making a case to be a serviceable 1B option for '08, freeing up a lot of money to go after other players. I'd say the corner OF positions, especially RF, and finding something close to a replacement/backup for Jorge are much more glaring needs at this point. In addition, you could start spelling Posada at 1B a bit if we had another decent C.

Decent (not great) 1B are pretty easy to come by (this year and Cash's "defense" experiment notwithstanding). That's one position we really don't need a superstar, assuming we have A-Rod locked in.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-07-24 13:33:07
151.   Vandelay Industries

Good post. However, I don't thing 13 mil. is too much for Tex, and I doubt any team will be able to lock him up for any less than 15 mil. per.

2007-07-24 13:33:18
152.   williamnyy23
147 I could live with Kennedy being involved in a Texeira deal, depending on what it would cost to sign him long term. Unless all of the Yankees scouts really think Kennedy is going to be as special as Chamberlain an Hughes, then he should be expendable in the right deal. From all accounts, Kennedy is far from a can't miss prospect, so I would definitely shop in around. My biggest fear in dealing him for Tex would be that he could have been used as the main bait for a Miguel Cabrera-type.
2007-07-24 13:34:22
153.   Vandelay Industries

I think it is worth picking up Abreu's option for 2008. Who is out there that will be an upgrade over Abreu, if Abreu reverts to his mean numbers?

2007-07-24 13:35:50
154.   Vandelay Industries
More importantly, with Arod almost assuredly packing his bags, Tex will give us something of a power threat. Otherwise, who would we have, Giambi?
2007-07-24 13:37:21
155.   Vandelay Industries

Not until Cabrera learns that employing the Homer Simpson diet isn't a good idea. Although he would fill an upcoming void at 3B.

2007-07-24 13:39:27
156.   williamnyy23
148 Like it or not, those reliable sources do have influence. So, while Jim Dean may not agree with the conclusions, that doesn't change them. Maybe you can convince the conventional wisdom that Eric Duncan is still a prospect? Give it a shot.

I would venture to guess that most young players start their careers hitting better at home and then slowly improve on the road. Texeira's road numbers over the past two seasons bear out that trend. I don't think 450-500 PAs are insignifiant by any means.

Delgado was traded for Yusmeiro Pettit. He was ranked #46 by Baseball America at the time. Of course, if you refuse to consider him a good prospect, then I guess that doesn't count. Also, how many 27 year old 1B coming off 4 seasons with an avg OPS+ in the 130s get traded 1 1/2 years before free agency?

2007-07-24 13:39:44
157.   tommyl
152 154 Well in about 2 years we're going to have glaring needs at pitching too. If things pan out, our rotation will look like:


If scouts think Kennedy can fill one of those slots for years at the cheap I think that's more important than an above average first basemen for a year and a half. Remember how great Oakland was with the big three and such a low payroll? Think how great we could be with a big three or four and spending the rest of the money on some great position players.

As for A-Rod packing. I'm really not convinced about that. In addition, Tex isn't really a way to replace A-Rod, someone still has to play 3B and like I said, decent to good hitting 1B are really not that hard to come by. Frontline starters and skill position players are.

2007-07-24 13:40:16
158.   monkeypants
147 I think it's a mistake to overreact to the void at 1B next year. Getting a Teizera would be nice, but this might be one time the team has to grin and bear it for a season. The bigger concern is resigning A-Rod and then working from there.

Next season the team will still have Giambi under contract. Can he go a whole season at 1B/DH? Probably not, but unless he retires you have to pencil him in on opening day. Otherwise, I think the team should try to cobble together a 1B platoon or sniff around some more affordable stopgaps. And I'm not talking Minky here--every year Dmitri Young types float around the league, waiting to be plucked and utilized for a season.

2007-07-24 13:40:51
159.   tommyl
153 There is an argument to be made about sticking with Abreu going forward. I think a lot will also depend on how Melky and Damon perform in the second half.
2007-07-24 13:41:05
160.   williamnyy23
148 If Tex isn't top-5 at 1B, then he is 6th. Whom do you rank ahead of him?
2007-07-24 13:43:07
161.   rconn23
I just don't see how you count on Andy Phillips for 08. Other than a couple of timely hits recently, what has Andy Phillips ever done to indicate that he is a full-time major league player.

If the team doesn't sign A-Rod, which I think we all forget is a REAL distinct possibility, where is the power going to come from next year? Who's on the FA market that can even come close to replacing it.

Tex is no A-Rod, but he's a damn shade better than anything else that's out there, that is or would be available via a trade or free agency.

2007-07-24 13:43:39
162.   Jim Dean
136 It it would be really dumb if they do. But then Coletti signed Juan Pierre. Hopefully the side effect is the Yanks could pick up Loney - you know, if they were to ever acquire prospects.

138 I'm going out on a limb and saying it's not happening. The play of Phillips and Duncan is cementing that as well as the cost (players and money).

And Joe would never do that. It's not happening. Thank God.

141 A peak of 125-150 OPS+!? You think?

I think Matsui has a peak of 111 to 140.
And Damon from 85 to 120.

147 Kennedy is WAY too much for a 1B. A 128 OPS+ from a 1B is not that valuable - he's barely in the top half of 1B especially when you consider his .850 OPS on the road.

2007-07-24 13:43:50
163.   tommyl
158 I completely agree and like I said before, I'm much more worried about the upcoming void at C, where someone of Jorge's production is much, much harder to come by. Now if they could make a run at Salty, that'd be interesting.
2007-07-24 13:46:44
164.   Shaun P
148 I feel that you are arguing semantics about this whole Russ Davis, really, but that's fine. The point is, the people receiving Russ Davis - and those trading him - considered him to be an "A" prospect. Whatever we can see with hindsight is irrelevant. What matters is what Gene Michael and Woody Woodward (the former Yankee GM who drafted Davis!) thought. But anyway.

Jon Daniels may be somewhat foolish, but by no means does he consider any of Horne, Marquez, etc. an "A" prospect. Ditto Brian Cashman.

As for your 1B challenge, what if the young 1B involved was himself the Grade A prospect? (And why limit it to 15 years?) I'm thinking Adrian Gonzalez to the Rangers for Ugeuth Urbina qualifies under this.

2007-07-24 13:47:11
165.   Vandelay Industries
Clemens, Abreu, Pettitte, Rodriguez, Posada, and Mo could all be gone next season. Granted, it's a long shot that Mo departs, but Cashman has to get something done. We have to get a deal done with Tex, and throw enough money at Gange to get him to set up for at least one season before taking over as the closer.
2007-07-24 13:47:15
166.   monkeypants
154 155 I'm not so sure A-Rod is assuredly packing his bags. The Yankees have the money he wants and, if the get an extension done before he opts out, they have Texas picking up some of the tab (which makes an extension more palatable). Other teams may give A-Rod the years, but I'm not sure he will get as much money any place else.

We'll see.

2007-07-24 13:48:42
167.   Vandelay Industries
Goodell "not circumventing due process?" Umm, ahh, that is exactly what you are doing dumb ass.
2007-07-24 13:49:21
168.   ChrisS
150 The problem being that this year's FA crop is really pretty thin.
2007-07-24 13:49:36
169.   tommyl
161 Ok, lets get one thing straight. If this team loses A-Rod, on the offensive side they are completely screwed for next year. There is no way to replace him, he's a once in a lifetime player. I don't have a BR account, but can someone who does look up leaders in 1B OPS+ over the last couple of years or so? I'd be curious where Tex ranks.
2007-07-24 13:50:19
170.   Vandelay Industries

I think he will. Boston, Seattle, maybe Los Angeles or Chicago (pending sale?) will give him equal dollars following a season like this. Teams have been doing it forever, and will continue to make these kind of financial mistakes forever.

2007-07-24 13:51:37
171.   monkeypants
161 There is a fundamental problem with the "what if A-Rod leaves who's gonna provide the power argument." Just because you lose a great player at one position does not mean that you should overpay for a player at another position. If A-Rod goes, the team will have bigger fish to fry,; Texeira's not going to fill that gaping hole.
2007-07-24 13:51:51
172.   Vandelay Industries
Henry and Luccino may not be all that mature, that's a certainty, but what they are, is spiteful.
2007-07-24 13:55:23
173.   monkeypants
170 Like I said, we'll see. The Yankees have two advantages: they have more money and they have Texas paying partial salary.

If A-Rod does leave, then fuck Teixera. As 169 says, next season will be screwed. They would be better off declining Abreu and riding out Giambi's and Mussin'a contracts and gearing up for 2009 (when Teixera will be a FA anyway).

2007-07-24 13:55:23
174.   Vandelay Industries

Hey, I agree with you. There may be young players out there who are available who we could pick up via trade who might be the next Cabrera (FL) or Jeter or.... There may be a pitcher in our system who could be the next Mariano Rivera. The problem is that under Cashman/Torre none of these players will ever see the light of day. So you have to operate from that point of understanding, making trades for established players the only option so long as those two are drawing Yankee paychecks.

2007-07-24 13:56:53
175.   Shaun P
Hey JL25and3 and tommyl - isn't this something you guys have been looking for? (more or less)

"James Click, "Baseball Prospectus Basics—Statistical Consistency": This study showed the level of year-to-year consistency of various statistical measures by measuring their correlation coefficients over the period from 1991 to 2003. Among pitching statistics, SO/9 and groundball/flyball ratio were the ones that showed significant year-to-year consistency."

2007-07-24 13:57:34
176.   Vandelay Industries

That is not the Yankee way under Steinbrenner, and he is not going to ask the fans to sit through a season he knows will be a losing one. That's not an option.

2007-07-24 13:58:25
177.   Vandelay Industries

I thought Tex was a FA following this season, no?

2007-07-24 13:58:51
178.   Jim Dean
156 You still haven't explained how Eric Duncan can go from a Grade A prospect to a non-prospect in one year.

And Russ Davis, with the same exact numbers but three years older, remained a Grade A prospect.

Meanwhile, those reliable sources like to think they have influence. But if anything, it's in propping up guys that don't deserve it (See Ellsbury, Jacoby).

Boy, and for a guy who loves the numbers, you chosen a very weird way to evaluate prospects. Where they appear on prospect lists!? Wow.

160 Let's use VORP:

1. Pujols
2. Fielder
3. Morneau
4. Howard
5. Pena
6. Dmitri Young
7. Derrek Lee
8. Teixeira
9. Youkilis
10. Helton
11. Garko

And Teixeira falls behind Dmitri Young and Carlos Pena this year? Two guys that would be almost free next year. Even still, thrown them out and I can't see how Teixeira cracks at top five of Pujols, Fielder, Morneau, Howard, and Lee.

I would much rather have them spend a few million and trade no prospects, than overpay, significantly, for Teixeira's bloated numbers.

2007-07-24 14:01:27
179.   ChrisS
167 Goodell isn't the government. As far as punishing a player essentially in his employ, he can do anything he wants that's not a breach of the contract said player is employed under.

I'd re-up Abreu, shop around for a 1B, but don't go nuts over it, Phillips can be at least replacement level, and make certain to resign A-Rod.

Resign Pettitte, Mo, & Posada, stick Melky in CF, bring up Hughes and Joba to the rotation and maybe look for a decent 3rd or 4th SP just in case.

2007-07-24 14:01:38
180.   monkeypants
176 Perhaps. Steinbrenner is old and according to all 'reports' not really running things as closely as in the past. Financial security is guaranteed for at least a few seasons, as the residual talent + last year in old stadium + first year in new stadium guarantee adequate wins and lots fans. If anything, it's the perfect time for a reload, if necessary.
2007-07-24 14:01:59
181.   tommyl
175 Thanks!

174 and 176 This is Torre's last year in his contract. Moreover, Cashman has shown a willingness to go with prospects, in some cases forcing them upon Torre.

As for it not being the Yankee way, you may be right, but well they did lose a whole lot between 1981 and 1995. If the team loses A-Rod, with the FA class available next year they just cannot compete. Unless their pitching up and down the rotation and in the BP is so lights out it doesn't matter they will get hammered. Looking at A-Rod's WARP1 and 3 he's worth about 13-14 wins a season or something on his own compared to having a regular scrub play 3B. At this point in the season its about 7-8 wins. Where would this team be if we had 7 or 8 more losses?

2007-07-24 14:03:18
182.   Jim Dean
164 He was a Grade A prospect to the extent Eric Duncan is a Grade A prospect. To some eyes, under the right lighting - sure. In this world I call reality? Nope. Not at age 25 , he wasn't with a .750 OPS in AAA.

158 163 I completely agree.

2007-07-24 14:03:47
183.   tommyl
178 What did you use to generate that list?
2007-07-24 14:04:36
184.   Jim Dean
179 Sounds good to me.
2007-07-24 14:04:36
185.   Vandelay Industries

I am not arguing that it is unlawful. Nor does Vick's contract matter, the CBA is the controlling document. What I am saying is that it is irresponsible, especially given the rather inocuous charges against Vick.

2007-07-24 14:12:19
186.   rconn23

No one is saying that Tex would completely pick up the slack if A-Rod leaves.

But whether Tex is 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th or whatever at his position, he is certainly an upgrade over the current situation. Andy Phillips is not your future, no matter how much of a feel-good story he is.

Not considering the possibility of losing A-Rod, when it is so distinct, is foolish.

Tex is still young, and giving him a 5-year deal is certainly reasonable. And what is overpaying him? The numbers are nebulous at this point. What the hell is even a "reasonable" contract anymore?

2007-07-24 14:14:25
187.   Shaun P
185 There are more than a few people who would disagree with calling the charges against Michael Vick "inocuous" [sic].

When the federal government indicts someone, it is because they know they have an ironclad case. US Attorneys almost never indict someone unless they know they can win. Their "won-loss" record, if you will, on such cases is otherworldly. (And if you don't trust me, a mere patent attorney, I understand, but I offer you this as evidence:

BTW, to me at least, that the federal government still hasn't indicted Bonds speaks volumes. I don't believe they have enough evidence to do it, or they would have done it by now.

2007-07-24 14:15:04
188.   Jim Dean
BTW: Yes, Yusmeiro Petit I have no problem calling Grade A. When he was traded, he was a 20 yo who owned AA. But then Carlos Delgado (140 career OPS+) is a much better 1B than Teixeira has ever been with a peak of 182 OPS+ (28 yo) and without those pesky Home/road splits.

Adrian Gonzalez seems more borderline with career mL numbers of: .296 .365 .448 (2480 AB). His MLB career is exactly that too. He might turn out to be a Tino-type, but he's running out of time. But I'd take him right now for the Yankees. Who knew that's available for the price of a machete-wielding crappy RH relief pitcher?

2007-07-24 14:16:44
189.   MainLineYankee
Who cares about Arod. Next year, we sign Bobby Bonds, and put him at third base. We sign Clemens to a 5-year extension and throw in a Hummer dealership. We can also bring back Al Leiter.
2007-07-24 14:19:54
190.   tommyl
186 Fine you don't think Phillips can be a stopgap, which is all we were advocating, not that he was the next Don Mattingly. Still, I think you can find another 1B who is a bit better than Phillips, but maybe not quite as good as Texeira for minimal cost. Certainly less than Kennedy. JD just gave you a list of them in fact. We had Pena in AAA last year and didn't use him. Do you really think Tex is the only option?
2007-07-24 14:21:27
191.   monkeypants
186 A five year deal seems reasonable. A seven year deal, not so much. Also, 'overpaying' includes the prospects that have to be given up. I am leery of sacrificing any of the top three pitching prospects for a rather overrated firstbaseman. Legit pitching prospects are hard to come by, and they seem to have have a relatively low 'success rate"--I would want to keep all three to maximize the chances that at least one survives to anchor the staff. By contrast, slugging firstbasement are relatively common.

I'm not "not considering" the loss of A-Rod. Precisely the opposite. If I thought that Teixera was the missing piece that would all but guarantee a WS ring, then maybe I would part with a super pitching prospect to get him. But if he's seens as the plug to fill the gap caused by the loss of A-Rod, forget it.

2007-07-24 14:25:23
192.   Vandelay Industries

Preaching to the choir my friend. I am a civil rights attorney. The easiest job any attorney can have is as a US Attorney. You cant win, plead or don't indict. I understand how the system works.

I am sure there millions of folks who disagree with me. I just don't care if he fights them or eats them. Dogs actually don't make bad eating. When we say we protect animals in this country, what we really mean is that we protect pets. Animals are raised for food, for slave labor, for all sorts of reasons in the US. This without mentioning that cockfighting is still legal in a handful of states in the south, and the charges against Vick would have misdemeanors prior to the Bush administration's signing of recent legislation.

2007-07-24 14:25:51
193.   Shaun P
178 Why Eric Duncan went from being graded an "A" prospect to not

Eric Duncan was a number one draft pick in 2003. He did OK up to that point, but ultimately disappointed. Then, he destroyed the ball in the Arizona Fall League in fall 2005, and mashed in spring training in 2006. He was 21 at the time. Many top prospect lists were fooled by one or both of those performances, thinking he was finally tapping into his potential.

After spring training, he was assigned to AAA. He "hit" .209/.279/.255. He was demoted, and had an OK OPS at Trenton (.840) but the batting average was crap, again, (.248) and his overall track record, even taking his age into account, was poor. Hence, he dropped into non-prospect land.

Finally, compounding minor league statistics is also a bit misleading. Just because a guy has a total OPS of, say, .750 in the minors does not mean he will not be an effective, even a star, major league hitter. As you yourself often argue, what really counts is performance at AA and AAA. When Davis was healthy in 1994 (he was not in 1995), he crushed the ball at AAA.

2007-07-24 14:30:53
194.   markp
between 81 and 95 the Yanks had some very good teams. The 81 team went to the WS.
Between 83 and 88 they had 108 more wins than losses.
In 93 & 94 they won 158 and lost 117.
They had more regular season wins in the 80s than any other team in MLB.
2007-07-24 14:31:41
195.   monkeypants
192 I see it as a market solution. I don't care too deeply on a philosophical level about fighting dogs, though I admit that on an emotional level it bothers me. But it obviously rubs people the wrong way, and in that regard it seems to be within the powers and resposnibilities of teh commissioner to make some gesture, which will be good for th NFL's image (and so good for business). The same way that it didn't bother me all that much that baseball punished John Rocker for offending everyone. Actually, one could make the case that Rocker's behavior was more worthy of defending (his right to free speech) than Vick's (no explicit consitutional protection).

In any case, I don't get too worked up when barbarism is punished or otherwise discouraged.

2007-07-24 14:31:41
196.   rconn23
No, that was a list of the best first basemen. Which one of those guys do you think the Yanks could even sniff? To paraphrase Rick Pitino, Albert Pujols isn't walking through that door, Justin Morneau isn't walking through that door, Ryan Howard isn't walking through that door.

As for Pena, let's wait another year to see if he is for real. This season could be an absolute fluke.

2007-07-24 14:32:08
197.   Jim Dean
193 But what about the "reliability" of those lists!!! How can they be "fooled"???

And Davis was traded after 1995 - at age 25. Even mashing the ball (900 OPS) at age 24 in AAA is not a super-duper prospect. Suffice it to say, he was not a Grade A prospect then, and Michael knew what he was getting rid of. Indeed, that trade was a fleecing.

BTW: Don't distort what I say. When I judge a prospect, I care about:

1) Age
2) Level
3) Performance

A 25 yo struggling in AAA is just not worth that much. A 22 yo struggling in AAA still might be.

2007-07-24 14:32:33
198.   Shaun P
192 All true, and an excellent distinction between pets and animals that is probably lost on people who don't think about it. Still, Goodell's job is to protect his league's bottom line, and as you well know, often the bottom line is considered far more important than a person's rights. Sadly.

Having a marquee, name player like Vick be booed, protested, and what not everywhere he goes is bad for that bottom line. Not taking a stand is probably bad for that bottom line, because then Vick becomes the story of the season. And if there's one thing the NFL does better than everyone - including FOXNews and the current administration - its to spin and control a story.

I'm not saying I agree with Roger's decision, but I do understand why he's doing it.

2007-07-24 14:32:34
199.   Bama Yankee
192 I believe that cockfighting is illegal in every state except Louisiana (their recent ban doesn't take effect until August of 2008).
2007-07-24 14:34:02
200.   Jim Dean
196 Dmitri Young will be very cheap. And he's got a career OPS+ of 114.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-07-24 14:34:24
201.   tommyl
194 I meant 82 not 81, sorry. I just meant that was a bunch of years of not making the playoffs.
2007-07-24 14:34:45
202.   monkeypants
198 As for personal rights, Vick did break the law, rcorrect? So this is not exactly a case of bottom line trumping personal rights.
2007-07-24 14:35:47
203.   Jim Dean
199 My wife cockfights every night.
2007-07-24 14:37:00
204.   tommyl
200 And I'm sure some trades can be made in the offseason with some B/C prospects for a reasonable first basemen. Its just not that hard to imagine.
2007-07-24 14:38:01
205.   tommyl
203 Way, way, way too much information
2007-07-24 14:38:32
206.   monkeypants
192 Actually, from a philosophical perspective, it is bogus to refer to animals as "slave labor." The issue is not really about protecting the "rights" of animals, in my opinion, because they don't have rights. It is about establishing a code of ethical behavior in treatment of animals. Society has decided that dog fighting does not conform to that ethical code. To violate that code is not a crime against the animal, but rather a cime against the society.
2007-07-24 14:38:51
207.   Vandelay Industries

I understand as well, and I agree with you. I just wish beating your wife or girlfriend, or boyfriend for that matter, garnered an equivalent punishment. Apparently dogs are more important than women insofar as the NFL is concerned. Now that is indeed sad. There are at least three NFL players playing right now with substantial evidence of rape against them, including multiple witnesses, but yet they play on because DA's havent seen fit to indict. That's not sad, that is criminal. I understand your point about the bottom line, I just desire someone out there who will call it what it is, public relations, and that it has nothing to do with conduct, or protecting animals.

2007-07-24 14:40:28
208.   Vandelay Industries

Is it just Louisiana? I could have sworn I read that Alamabama was another, no?

2007-07-24 14:40:51
209.   OldYanksFan
104 Very, very well said. After 2006, what would ARods 'peak' year have been. What will his peak year be after this year? Did Jetes have a 'peak' year, last year, at 31? He's doing OK at 32.

I think physical conditioning as well as being able to still learn (skill) are important. Some guys coast on their talent, and may not be as valuable as they age. Guys who are smart and adjust, may play better(compared to their own peak years) as they age.

Five years of a guy like Tex, costs $70m. 5 years of a guy like Joba cost under $10m. Aside from impact, you do have to look at cost. I think we should keep as much young pitching talent as possible, for both our future and future tradebait.

2007-07-24 14:41:14
210.   RIYank
There's a game thread up, folks. FYI.
2007-07-24 14:41:15
211.   Vandelay Industries

Yes, as are all crimes. Which is why victim statements prior to sentencing should be unconstitutional.

2007-07-24 14:42:01
212.   Vandelay Industries

How exactly does the betting line work there?

2007-07-24 14:42:18
213.   monkeypants
205 Yep, that just put me off my dinner.
2007-07-24 14:43:00
214.   Vandelay Industries

Any word on Croyle? Did Herm say he is going to get a real shot to start?

2007-07-24 14:46:23
215.   Bama Yankee
208 Yeah, it's just Louisiana. New Mexico and Oklahoma have recently passed laws against it.

BTW, I'm no expert on cockfighting but there is a guy across the hall from me here at work that is. Seriously, he actually raises game roosters (which is not illegal) and sells them to people overseas via the internet.

2007-07-24 14:47:41
216.   Vandelay Industries

Oh my! Can I ask what that guy does for a living?

2007-07-24 14:51:26
217.   Bama Yankee
214 That's what I heard. I think they want to let Croyle start the season and bring in Huard if Croyle doesn't get the job done, rather than vice versa.
2007-07-24 14:52:51
218.   Vandelay Industries

That does a heart good. I am rooting for that kid.

2007-07-24 14:53:43
219.   Vandelay Industries

It is nice to see that Edwards insn't employing the Joe Torre approach.

2007-07-24 14:54:44
220.   Bama Yankee
216 He works in our sales department...
2007-07-24 14:56:39
221.   Bama Yankee
219 Good point, maybe Herm will also have a slower hook than Torre...
2007-07-24 15:10:25
222.   williamnyy23
162 If you think that a 128 OPS+ from an above average defensive 1B "isn't that valuable", then you don't have much credibility in this debate. If you continue to ignore that OPS+ adjusts for home ball park and ignore Texeira improving road numbers, then I don't see the point in continuing.

178 No one needs to explain how or why Duncan has fallen from the ranks of a highly regarded prospect. All that matters is he has...period.

By choosing VORP, you have exhausted your last shred of intellectual honesty in this debate. VORP heavily accounts for playing time, so clearly an injured player would rank relatively low on the list. That list you've compiled is laughable when you consider a longer track record.

2007-07-24 16:06:05
223.   Jim Dean
222 Riiiii-ght.

A top 5 of:


is laughable. Hahahahahahah! So much so that Delgado belongs somewhere in there too.

Teixeira, meanwhile, is on the outside looking in and his rapidly disintegrating glove isn't helping him.

And you, sir, fail to realize that OPS+ makes a correction for ballpark effects but doesn't equalize them. Teixeira's splits still bias his scores. If they didn't, he'd be much closer to 120 than to 130 in his career. Face the facts: He's got an 850 OPS written all over him, especially in the next few seasons

Meanwhile, the point wasn't that Duncan has "fallen" from the top prospect list. It was just a nice example of how lame your Grade A standard was. (By the same standard, Matt Drews and Drew Henson were Grade A prospects for the Yankees). The point will be crystal clear when we see the package Texas gets - like almost every other 1B trade of the last fifteen years. It's Grade B/C prospects through and through with someone of Teixeira's "caliber".

2007-07-24 17:55:25
224.   Jim Dean
Cano - 8 pitch AB to walk.
2007-07-24 18:26:22
225.   williamnyy23
223 Wow...that's a lame response. It's pretty funny how your list from 178 has shrunk from 11 to 5. Of course, in 160, I suggested Tex was 6th, so thanks for coming around.

As for having a rapidly disintegrating glove, UZR suggests Tex is having his best season. Have you abandoned your faith in fielding stats?

I'll dismiss your failure to understand OPS+ because it's clear you fail to grasp the concept. Also, any analysis of Tex' road stats has to account for the West being made up of pitcher's parks. Of course, that doesn't fin in with your theory, so feel free to dismiss that incovenient factor.

Finally, I'm sorry you can't grasp that Davis was considered a top prospect, but it's becoming clear that you don't have much regard for facts. The following is an excerpt from a NYTimes article that names Davis as the key to the Tino deal. Frighteningly, the Yankees were trying to push Posada on the M's, but they insisted on Davis. If you still can't fathom that Davis was in demand, well, have it your way.

-Published: December 5, 1995
With their pursuit of first baseman Tino Martinez stalled because they removed third baseman Russ Davis from the discussions, the Yankees have angered the Seattle Mariners and are considering other options in securing a replacement for Don Mattingly.

A Yankee executive said yesterday that the talks with the Mariners were "not dead." But a Mariner official said the only way to breathe life back into them was for New York to return Davis to the equation.

2007-07-24 18:48:32
226.   Jim Dean
225 Tsk, Tsk again with the small samples. What did UZR show the last three years?

First you rely on prospect lists and now you rely on the NY Times? Wow. That's quite an argument.

And, according to your standard, Matt Drews and Drew Henson were both Grade A prospects. That's funny.

And Tex's road stats aren't just because of AL West parks. He's played the other half of his road games in non-West parks. tOPS+ shows the difference, but it seems you don't understand that.

And I'm not convinced Teixeira is even top 6 - unless you care to breakdown how he's better than Lee. Me, I could care less. But given the number of full-time 1B in the game he's barely in the top half - and you admit that! Yet you think a team needs to send a Grade A prospect their way?

No, no, really, the Yanks should trade at least Kennedy and Jackson then give him a 5 year 75 million extension. That would be fantastic!

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