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nyrsuck26

Official 2012 New York Yankees Thread

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Well, pitchers and catchers report today, and the Mets thread has already started, so it's time for a new Yankees thread.

Let's kick it off with some news just going down today:

Yanks agree to deal with Ibanez

It's been rumored for a while, and I personally don't mind it. We need someone to fill the DH roll with Jorge retiring and Montero being traded, and if he sucks we didn't invest much at all in him. I see it as a very low risk/high reward type of signing.

Here's to another great season, with hopefully another Division title and most importantly of all a World Championship!

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Any former phillies player normally has a hated place in my heart but I guess we'll see how this one pans out.

It's nice to see aj out of here too

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Been trying to get some thoughts down on various offseason moves for awhile. Still working on the Pineda-Montero trade but I absolutely love it. For now here are some of my random thoughts on the Yankees.

Thoughts on A-Rod:

Hopefully that knee procedure A-Rod had this offseason can help him stay in the line up. He hasn't played in a minimum of 140 games for the past 4 seasons. They should be able to lessen his workload by giving him a lot of half days of DH'ing. Looking at his stats the other day I did find it interesting that his ISO has dropped a lot over the past 3 seasons: .245 to .236 to .185. I really just hope he can stay relatively healthy (doubt he hits the 140 game mark) and be decent offensively (around .370 wOBA) even though he's in his decline. Man, does that contract look horrible for the Yankees.

Kuroda Signing:

I am a big fan of the Kuroda signing. First, it helps to stabilize the rotation with a solid veteran pitcher who has performed well over the past few years and stayed healthy outside of 2009.

63 GS 398.1 IP 7.23 K/9 19.4 K% 2.19 BB/9 5.9 BB% 3.30 K/BB 0.88 HR/9 47.2 GB% 33.4 FB% 1.19 WHIP 3.23 ERA 3.52 FIP over the past two years.

180 IP in 3 of his 4 MLB seasons.

He also has a solid repertoire. Using his averages for his 4 year MLB career:

Fastball: 59.7 % (92.2)

Slider: 26.0% (84.1)

Curveball: 1.5% (78.6)

Splitfinger: 12.3% (87.2)

The other reason I like this signing is the timing of it. The Yankees were able to wait him out late into the offseason, get him on a 1 year contract for just $10M - 3-4M$ less than he was rumored to be seeking earlier on in the winter.

Kuroda will also have some familiarity within the Yankees organization as he is re-united with his ex battery mate, Russell Martin who caught 71.8% of his innings with the Dodgers from 2008-2010. He will also have his translator from the Dodgers, Kenji Nimura, who was hired by the Yankees earlier in the offseason.

I don't expect Kuroda to pitch as well as he did for the Dodgers since he is moving over to a tougher division, league, and ball park, but he should be a solid mid rotation starter for them and offers no risk with his team friendly contract. Various projection systems have him around a 3.41-3.78 ERA 3.67-3.89 FIP which would be valuable to the Yankees, though I personally expect his FIP to be closer to 4.00.

I am very content with a top 4 in the rotation of Sabathia, Pineda, Kuroda, and Nova entering the year. If they can get Hughes back to the SP he was before then this rotation will be great.

Ibanez Signing:

I shouldn't complain about a cheap signing like Ibanez especially when the options were limited. I preferred Damon because his decline has been more gradual compared to Ibanez's which has been fast but he was out of his mind in trying to get a $5M deal. For the price I don't mind Ibanez but I don't expect him to do much. At this point in his career he is strictly a platoon hitter (.254 wOBA vs. LHP last year) and he can't field at all (-18.9 UZR last year). His role is to hit RHP as part of the DH platoon with Jones but his numbers against RHP the past two years leave much to be desired.

2010 vs. RHP: 12.8 BB% 14.4 K% .178 ISO .301 BABIP .277/.366/.455 .352 wOBA 116 wRC+

2011 vs. RHP: 6.9 BB% 15.6 K% .184 ISO .270 BABIP .256/.307/.440 .322 wOBA 101 wRC+

Hopefully he can put together a decent season but I'm not going to get my hopes up at this stage in his career.

Kontos:

I'm a bit bummed that Kontos suffered an oblique injury early in camp. I was looking at him to be one of the leading candidates to win that last bullpen spot. He had a decent year in AAA last season: 89.1 IP 9.17 K/9 2.62 BB/9 1.21 HR/9 1.10 WHIP 87.7 LOB% 2.62 ERA 3.85 FIP. His transition from SP to RP has gone well and I think he could be a decent middle reliever for them.

Burnett Trade:

Overall I was ecstatic when they were able to move Burnett even though they had to eat $20M and get nothing in return. It saved them enough money this year to complete their bench with Ibanez and Chavez and it removed a bit of the SP logjam. This clears the path for Hughes as long as he has a decent spring to be the 5th starter with Garcia waiting in the bullpen for the inevitable injuries to take place. While the Yankees ended up paying essentially $69.5M for 3 years of Burnett, I have no regrets. He was a key part of the 2009 WS team and they probably don't win it without him. For that I wish him the best of luck in Pittsburgh and I hope he can get his career back on track.

New CBA and the Draft:

I absolutely hate these new draft rules in the new CBA. One reason I can't stand it is because it takes away a lot of money from the draft picks and a negative consequence of this would be a multiple sport athlete in high school deciding to pursue another sport in order to get a better payday. The other reason I hate this is because it could force teams (especially successful ones like the Yankees) to miss out on quality players in their first 10 rounds since they will have such a tight budget to stick to year to year. If a draft pick plays tough in negotiations and they can't sign them, they can't reallocate their money which makes no sense to me. Essentially I think will see a lot of draft eligible college seniors who are decent but not great prospects get drafted a lot higher around the 9th or 10th rounds so teams can save money on picks like that to give out to their tougher signs in the earlier rounds. The Yankees will only have $4,192,200 to spend on the first 10 rounds of the draft this year and given the strict rules can only go over that no more than 5% without sacrificing future picks. This doesn't just hurt teams like the Yankees who continually do well and will be punished with a limited budget, but a lot o the smaller market teams in recent years have spent a lot in the draft and now they are going to be limited, essentially cutting off one of the bloodlines to their success. I am all for limiting draft spending but I feel that MLB has gone the wrong way about this and it will hurt the game and teams in the long run.

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Good post. I agree with just about everything you said.

I was unaware of the changes to the draft system, but that does sound like something pretty weird for them to do... What are the exact rules?

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I was unaware of the changes to the draft system, but that does sound like something pretty weird for them to do... What are the exact rules?

River Ave Blues (RAB) did a fantastic job going through the new CBA in regards to the draft:

CBA Madness: Draft and IFA (the first 3 subsections cover draft and international free agency changes)

CBA Madness: Draft Pool Smaller than Expected (also can't re-allocate money from unsigned pick)

Jim Callis of Baseball America has a fantastic recap of everything you need to know.

Mike at RAB takes a look at how to work with the limited draft pool the Yankees will have. Some really cool ideas in the article so I suggest checking it out.

----

Other CBA related stuff...

Mike at RAB pointed out today that there is something in the new CBA that could help the Yankees as they move towards an austerity plan for 2014. Essentially, Type A and B free agents have been eliminated. A club can only get draft pick compensation for losing a free agent if they have extended a qualifying offer to them. The qualifying offer is a guaranteed 1 year deal with a salary that equals the average of the top 125 salaries of 2011(not sure if it will always stay at 2011 or if it changes year to year). Mike mentions in his article that this could be useful for the Yankees in dealing with Swisher and Martin after this season. If they accept the qualifying offer then you get them back for $12.4M for 2013 and it won't affect the 2014 budget. Otherwise the team can collect draft picks.

Edited by thefiestygoat

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I read the first article you posted (and I'll eventually get around to looking at the other ones). Honestly this section jumped out at me as having the most immediate impact on the game:

Equipment

Players will no longer be allowed to use those low-density maple bats that shatter and turn into dangerous sharp, flying objects.

The Great Gazoo helmet, which Frankie Cervelli wears following all his concussions, will be mandatory by 2013. The new version will be less bulky and hilarious looking.

It will certainly be interesting to see if the change from maple bats will have any significant effect on hitters.

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how crazy is it that AJ breaks is face today trying to bunt in practice for the Pirates. AJ's term with a new team is already in the zone and already on its way to be a disaster.. poor guy

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Horrible luck. I genuinely feel bad for the guy, who's probably trying to relearn how to bat for the first time in years.

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Horrible luck. I genuinely feel bad for the guy, who's probably trying to relearn how to bat for the first time in years.

id feel worse for him if he didnt practically steal $80 mill from us the past 4 seasons

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id feel worse for him if he didnt practically steal $80 mill from us the past 4 seasons

Not sure what to say to that. With the price of pitching these days I can't hate on a man who won us a World Series game and pitched well enough in two other postseason games for us to win them. Even if his drop was more precipitous than I expected, I choose to remember the good with the bad and ain't hating. It's not like they would have given the money to me instead.

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Not sure what to say to that. With the price of pitching these days I can't hate on a man who won us a World Series game and pitched well enough in two other postseason games for us to win them. Even if his drop was more precipitous than I expected, I choose to remember the good with the bad and ain't hating. It's not like they would have given the money to me instead.

he did pitch well the postseason we won the series. but AJ Burnett is now a scrub, do not deny that

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he did pitch well the postseason we won the series. but AJ Burnett is now a scrub, do not deny that

Oh, I know. Note I made no mention at all of his 2011 performance (second-worst in the bigs in WAR among qualifying SP's, IIRC). He was either going to be out of town or buried deep in the bullpen...if he even made the roster. But it's not like he did nothing for us. If you were talking about Kei Igawa, then maybe I'd be on that wavelength.

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Yea, AJ Burnett's time with the Yankees could have been far worse. People just focus on him because of the contract and how often he shows signs of been unstoppable. He's certainly the most frustrating pitcher in baseball to watch LOL.

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Spring always breeds hope and optimism. One thing I am hopeful for but cautiously optimistic about is A-Rod's health. We all know he had that knee procedure in Germany that Kobe recommended. Here is an interesting article about his new training program after he took some advice from Grant Hill.

An almost instant convert, Rodriguez invited Clark to his Miami home. The toes-to-neck assessment, which included a breakdown of Rodriguez’s swing, left Clark believing A-Rod had strength imbalances and/or a lack of flexibility in his right big toe, left ankle, right knee and right hip. It is a chicken-and-egg argument what came first, but all feed upon each other to create a domino effect of wear, tear and pain. They also helped cause, in Clark’s estimation, an impingement in Rodriguez’s left shoulder. A result of the lack of movement here and instability there was a swing that had lost some range and power.

You might want to dismiss the idea of inflexibility in a toe as being consequential. But Clark doesn’t, believing “in a ground up” evaluation. Rodriguez had a 27-degree range of motion in his right big toe, when 70 is ideal. Without that flexibility, when the toe grounds into the dirt just past the midpoint of a swing, greater stress is placed on, among other things, the knee and hips — the two areas where Rodriguez has had surgery over the past three years.

A-Rod also has a member of Clark’s staff with him daily in spring. Rodriguez is trying to reverse a negative trend — and possibly time. His OPS has declined each of the past four years, and he played just 99 games last year — a career low for a full season. At 36, he wants to return to follow the Hill/Nash route and sustain health and excellence to chase championships and historic milestones. Clark called Rodriguez “by far one of my best” patients and predicted health and success if Rodriguez stays the course with the regimen.

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Yeah, I have to admit that one is surprising. I wonder if it was Pettite truly missing the game, or the Yankees reaching out after Garcia got hurt?

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Yeah, I have to admit that one is surprising. I wonder if it was Pettite truly missing the game, or the Yankees reaching out after Garcia got hurt?

I think it was Curry on the YES broadcast that said the Yankees always left the door open to Pettitte to return since he retired. Garcia's injury is supposed to be nothing to worry about so I guess this is mostly Pettitte missing the game.

I don't want to get my hopes up too much, but I really hope Pettitte can successfully comeback.

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I think it was Curry on the YES broadcast that said the Yankees always left the door open to Pettitte to return since he retired. Garcia's injury is supposed to be nothing to worry about so I guess this is mostly Pettitte missing the game.

I don't want to get my hopes up too much, but I really hope Pettitte can successfully comeback.

I've heard unconfirmed rumors that Kuroda won't be available and Pineda's velocity is down. I do see something about Pineda's velocity on MLBTR but nothing on Kuroda, can anyone confirm?

And beyond that, this is a good move to help Pineda learn to be a young pitcher in the Big Apple.

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haha very interesting news here.. we'll have to see what Pettite has left!

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I've heard unconfirmed rumors that Kuroda won't be available and Pineda's velocity is down. I do see something about Pineda's velocity on MLBTR but nothing on Kuroda, can anyone confirm?

And beyond that, this is a good move to help Pineda learn to be a young pitcher in the Big Apple.

Kuroda is fine as far as I know. I never saw any report suggesting otherwise. I feel like people are overreacting to Pineda's velocity right now. He just changed his schedule between starts to how he had it in Seattle so we should see if that and just pitching more helps it get back up.

If Pettitte can successfully come back we are looking at May. Who knows if injury happen to the rotation by then but if everyone is healthy I expect them to move Garcia to a team that needs a cheap starter and probably put Hughes back in the bullpen if Nova and Pineda are succeeding. Its a shame but Hughes blew his chance coming into camp out of shape last year.

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Pettitte totally came out of nowhere. It will be interesting to see what he has left in the tank.

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Horrible news:

http://riveraveblues.com/2012/03/joba-out-with-dislocated-ankle-65794/

Via Jack Curry, Joba Chamberlain suffered an “open dislocation” of his right ankle playing with his son yesterday and had surgery last night. Brian Cashman called it a “significant injury” and said they “can’t put a time frame” on his return. Joba is in the hospital now and will remain there for a few days.

I was really looking forward to him coming back since his rehab from TJ seemed to be moving along great. Hopefully this isn't career threatening but until we get more information it sure looks like he will miss this season.

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Horrible news:

http://riveraveblues.com/2012/03/joba-out-with-dislocated-ankle-65794/

I was really looking forward to him coming back since his rehab from TJ seemed to be moving along great. Hopefully this isn't career threatening but until we get more information it sure looks like he will miss this season.

Just terrible.

Whenever you have an open dislocation, you're talking about it being a possible career.

Feel horrible for Joba.

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Just terrible.

Whenever you have an open dislocation, you're talking about it being a possible career.

Feel horrible for Joba.

Holy sh!t it's that bad?? That sounds awful.

Kurosawa is pitching a shutout in the 5th right now btw

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Holy sh!t it's that bad?? That sounds awful.

Google image search "open ankle dislocation" if you want to see how gnarly the injury is. Definitely don't do it if you are squeamish though.

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