Friday, December 11, 2009
Blogging the Offseason is a 30 team series in which I ask a blogging representative from each MLB team a series of ten questions about their desires and thoughts surrounding the offseason. Check out all of them here.
Today is World Series day and because the Yanks are the Yanks you're getting a double dose. Our second guest is Jay from the best named sports blog in the business, Fack Youk.
1. The Yanks declined to offer arbitration to everyone this offseason. The one and only player I thought it would have made sense to offer it to would have been Damon. He's looking for a multi year deal and would a 1 year deal a little better than he deserved have been all that bad? Plus you get the upside of a potential 1st round pick. What were your thoughts on not offering arbitration to anyone?
With Pettitte, it wasn't going to matter either way. In the end, the $11.75M he signed for was right about what he would have netted in arbitration, minus all the headaches of going through the process. Nady's elbow is a huge concern and because of that I think he would have been likely to accept, leaving the Yanks to foot the bill for well over $7M for a partial season from a 4th OF, so that was an easy decision.
Damon is the most interesting case, and I've gone both ways about his offer. If he goes somewhere else, it's going to be a shame not to pick up those draft picks, but at the same time, the prospect of making an easy $15M in arbitration would likely preclude him from taking a deal like Bobby Abreu's (2yrs/$19M) from the Yanks. Even if the deal is (2/22), that's a much better value than 1/15 and in a way less risky for the Yanks. It really hinges on how seriously they are considering resigning him.
2. One of the biggest question marks for the Yankees this offseason is Chien Ming Wang. What are your predictions for the Taiwanese former staff ace?
It doesn't look like Wang is going to be ready until May or June and it would be hard to justify taking him to arbitration when he would likely get close to $6M. The Yanks have been cautious with Wang, taking him to arbitration over $600K in 2008 and only going year by year in lieu of a longer deal (which looks pretty savvy in hindsight). I think they let him walk and he signs a significantly smaller deal with someone like the Dodgers.
3. Derek Jeter has one more year left on his contract. The Yankees have their policy of not negotiating in the middle of deals, but its Derek Jeter. Does he actually go into the 2010 offseason as a "free agent"?
I think they'll hammer out a deal between the completion of the season and when free agency actually begins. I doubt they'll let him dangle. Each side understands the importance of him being a Yankee and flirting with other teams to drive up the price isn't going to be worth it for him.
4. The Joba saga will continue into 2010 and worse yet we might be entering the Phil Hughes saga as well. Where do you think they should pitch next year? Where do you think they will pitch?
I would like to see them both begin the season in the rotation and I think they will unless the Yanks nab a free agent starter. They both should be given every chance to contribute to the rotation and if they stumble, the bullpen will be there as a back up. Also - Hughes only pitched about 105 innings last year between the minors and majors, and has never thrown more than 150 professionally. That might send him to the bullpen later in the year, if he racks up a considerable amount of innings - which would be a good problem.
5. The Left Field/DH spot is open with Matty and Damon and Nady entering free agency. How do these spots get filled?
I would like to see Curtis Granderson play left field and bring Damon back to serve as a DH, but that's not likely according to Cashman. I guess Mike Cameron would be a good choice for LF with Damon serving as DH but I'm not in love with that scenario cost-wise. This is a tough one, and it was only complicated by the Granderson trade.
6. Cano re-emerged as a beast in 2009 with 25 HRs, a .320 average and a .871 OPS. Is that his ceiling or do you think he potentially has more power and/or average potential? (And maybe next year he can show up for the postseason)
In addition to those 25 homers, Cano also had 48 doubles so I don't think he's topped out his power potential. His problem is that he can hit almost anything thrown in his general direction (he made contact with 77.5% of the pitches he swung at out of the zone last year), so that leads him to be less than selective (30 walks in 638 PAs). If he could ever improve his plate discipline (which is rare for a player to do) he would be downright unstoppable.
7. I've been asking every other interviewee "If you gassed your owner and convinced him to spend like the Yankees which 3 free agents would you want", well this is the Yankees, so which three free agents should they sign?
The team is so solid already and their payroll is so high, I'm not going to go nuts. I would like to see them bring back Damon, sign Ben Sheets and... Mike Cameron, I guess? [ed. note probably wouldn't need Cameron anymore] I'm not a fan of Matt Holliday, Jason Bay and John Lackey given their price tags and acquiring bullpen help via free agency is generally a bad idea (coughEdWadecough).
8. Which Yankee prospect are you most looking forward to seeing in Pinstripes?
Jesus Montero, without a doubt. Even if he doesn't stick as a catcher, he has a potentially devastating bat.
9. Is there any part of your inner being that feels a bit guilty over celebrating a World Series when the Yankees spent more on three Free Agents last year than the Marlins spend on their payroll in a decade?
I think the Marlins should be the ones feeling guilty. Maybe Miami isn't the greatest market for a baseball team, but their staunch loyalty to frugality over their fans has certainly contributed to that. Sure, watching your team win a championship as the odds on favorite right out of Spring Training is not as sweet as seeing them making a run as the scrappy underdog. But not by much.
10. Whom will provide the biggest road block to back to back Bronx world Series?
The difficulty of the AL East. Despite the Red Sox claiming that they are in a "bridge period", I think they will still be a formidable foe. The Rays are poised to make a run for the Wild Card, if not the division again. I think 3 out of the best 5 teams in the AL next year will be in the East and someone is going to be left out of the party when October rolls around.
And just for Shits and Giggles:
11. How many pitching moves will Joe Girardi make for the entirety of the 2010 season?
I'm going to say 528 because he's symbolic like that. Even if they don't find another lefty for the 'pen, he'll find a way to reach his quota. But don't worry, only 127 will be totally fucking inexplicable.