Tuesday, December 8, 2009

2010 off season #1

It has been awhile since the last blog and I hope everyone has enjoyed the bragging rights and the excitement of the World Series Champion New York Yankees!

Time to move to the off-season which is under way.

The Yanks have paid Damon and Matsui a decent amount of money the last few years (about $13 mil a year) and everyone thinks they must bring them back. I don’t feel that way unless they will sign a Bobby Abreu type of deal where he received only 6 mil or so. I am not questioning whether these guys can be productive, but it is clear that they each were breaking down last year. Damon had a ton of ailments and Matsui’s knees were giving him a lot of trouble. No way am I signing them to a 3 year deal even at a reduced rate. A one year deal is probably all I would give or 2 at $12. I think they have pretty equal value overall, because while Damon could play the field, he doesn’t play it very well.

Moving on, there are rumors that the Yanks have traded for Curtis Granderson. Supposedly they have given up their prized minor leaguer OF Austin Jackson, Phil Coke and Ian Kennedy. Jackson seems like a guy who is developing but slower than the Yanks have hoped and doesn’t seem like a guy who will have great power. The Yanks supposedly love Granderson and I have to say they really didn’t give up too much to get him. Granderson is 28 and while I heard he is a free agent after 2011, ESPN had his contract at 5.5 next year 8.25 in 2011, $10 mil in 2012 and a club option of $13 mil or a $2 mil buy out. These salaries are pretty reasonable. The Yanks took this deal after the Tigers removed one player from the trade.

My take: Granderson is a guy who should platoon. He struggles against lefties but hits righties very well. His best year was 2 years ago and has steadily gone down the last 2 years. Overall, he fits the ball park well and can play CF better than anyone except Gardner. Granderson has an ok OPS of .780 last year but was a very solid .897 against righties and a horrible .484 against lefties. Over the last 3 years his OPS is an excellent .940 against righties and bad .570 against lefties. Truthfully, you normally would not pay this much for a platoon player, but if the Yankees treat him as such, he can be very valuable. I would not start him against lefties and if he is in the lineup and a lefty comes up he should bunt. He runs well, but is not a great base stealer and a solid OF’r. He did hit 30 HR’s last year for the first time but his batting average suffered. Overall, I like the move and this based on the stats I have seen about Austin Jackson and if the yanks platoon Granderson.

Last year I wanted the Yanks to go after Cameron for a 1 or 2 year deal. He had another solid year of being great against lefties and mediocre against righties. He can help us out again this year for the same reasons. He can still play a solid CF and he crushes lefties. Last year after a mediocre 2nd half where his OPS was only .743 (.838 1st half) he finished the year with an OPS of .954 against lefties. (.748 against righties) – his numbers over the previous 2 years were similar as well. I think it is safe to say one of Damon or Matsui will go and maybe both, Cameron would give the team some good punch from the right side and it would be good to offset the lefties teams like to throw at us and would be a fantastic platoon in CF with Granderson. What is interesting is when you look at the cost for the 2 players, it would be about $13 mil this year and probably about 17 mil next year and while next year may seem high to patrol CF you are getting a platoon that should give you a combined OPS of at the minimum of .860 which would be a fantastic CF’r. There is also depth and good defense which can be used at the corner spots as well. If Melky and Gardner are still around they would fill out our OF. The problem I see with this is if the Yanks decide that Granderson should not platoon. Maybe they see some adjustment he can make but if we are lucky his OPS goes up to .700 against lefties and while that would be a great improvement it is still not good.

Other news: The Yanks have sent Bruney to the Washington Nationals for a player to be named later. Hard for me to say whether this was a good move or not without knowing the player, but I think Bruney when healthy was pretty good. The Yankees felt they had enough righties and probably wanted to clear a spot on their 40 man roster, but overall, I would have hoped he could have done more for us or at least garnered more than the player to be named later.

As for Pettitte I would hope they work out a deal similar to last year where the Yanks don’t overpay unless Pettitte has a very good year (and at that point it is worth it).

More to follow, but wanted to get my take on Granderson out there.

Keep enjoying the fact we are Champions.

The Genius Maker tm is a tribute to Mariano Rivera who makes coaches look a like a genius...

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