Monday, December 10, 2012

Designated Hitter Opening

The New York Yankees are, as of now, without a catcher, right fielder, and third baseman. Their prospects at the three position are relatively positive. Re-signing Ichiro in right, and picking up Youkilis and Pierzynski for the third and catcher. For the past several years, the Yankees have been using the DH spot as a position for veteran players on the brink of retirement. 

In the past year, Rodriguez played a career low 709 innings at third. In his aging state, and with his hip situation, it’s hard to imagine that he will be spending much more time at third this year. Rodriguez was going to be the Yankees go to DH, but with his January surgery, the bombers will be needing a new player to take his position. 

The needed qualities of a new DH are very well defined in a River Ave Blues article. As with Raul last year, the Yankees will be looking for a player who’s versatile, can balance the lefty heavy lineup, and has a fair amount of experience. 

Right now there is no saying who the Yankees will have as their DH in the spring. Once the market settles and the team fixes its own internal problems, then it will be much more clear who we can expect in the spring. 

Heyman -- Hamilton, Youkilis, Pierzynski, Ichiro

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes about the Yankee's offseason potential.

Heyman tweets that the Yankees are "not involved with Hamilton at this point." He most likely won't be in pinstripes next year unless Hamilton is interested and cheap. 

Youkilis is currently deciding between competing offers between the Yankees and the Indians. The two clubs are offering him $12MM and $18MM respectively. Heyman writes that is could possibly comes as a surprise if Youkilis turns down the bombers offer. “likes winning, doesnt shy away from limelight.”[sic]

With the loss of Russell Martin, the Yankees have been pursuing A.J. Pierzynski, but they have been a little bit cautious, because he’s an average defender. Pierzynsi put up good number last year, hitting .278/.326/.501. His market is a mystery right now.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes the Ichiro will most likely resign with the Yankees for next season. Both the Yankees and Ichiro want to see the lefty in pinstripes next spring. The outfielder posted .322/.340/.454 with the Yankees in the latter half of last year, and if he resigns he will be along with lefties Gardener and Granderson in the outfield. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Alex Rodriguez Player Value: Injury

The New York Yankees' third baseman announced that he will be having surgery on his hip in the middle of next month to, among other things, correct a torn labrum. Rodriguez, upon commenting on his injury, has faith that he'll come back next season stronger than before. Despite the fact that the 37-year-old has spent the last several years struggling with injuries and his numbers, Yankees' nation should't his ability to have a good year behind him.  In 2009, Rodriguez suffered from the same injury posted a fair .286/.402/ .532 with 30 home runs. 

Baseball nation love criticizing Alex Rodriguez, a 3-time MVP falls apart and fails a drug test in his prime, it's the ultimate opportunity to mock an aging superstar. But compared to the other 3rd basemen in the league, Rodriguez still has a considerable amount of value as a player, taking into account his age and situation. On ESPN's MLB player ratings, Rodriguez ranks 12th among 3rd baseman. A closer examination of Rodriguez's 2012, shows that he was among one of the more valuable players at his position. 

In 2012, Rodriguez hit .272/.353/.430, with these stats he ranks 11th/7th/11th among. While these aren't impressive numbers for a 3-time MVP, they are impressive for a 37-year-old injured. Al Kaline, Cal Ripken, Mike Schmidt, Frank Robinson, and many other greats haven't been able to hit over .272 past the age of 37. 

Alex Rodriguez, has had a lot of career challenges over the last few years, but with all of his impediments in mind, the 3rd basemen has done a very good job aging. So how is he valued as a player? Compared to every other player in the league, every other 3rd basemen, and every other 37 year old, he is at the very least proficient. Putting up decent number on a decent basis. There is a natural tendency to be angry at him as a Yankee fan, but over time, reason bares the fact that he's not the player he used to be and never will be again. 

So Yankees Nation, be nice to him.

Cano's Hitting Free Agency

Following the 2012 winter meetings, it seems appropriate to address the fact that at the end of next season, Robinson Cano will be entering free agency. Unfortunately for the Yankees, the second baseman has expressed no interest in remaining in New York, or at least going easy on his home of 8 years. The New York Daily New's Mark Feinsand and Christian Red write that Cano won't be giving the yankees a "hometown discount," because they're more interesting suppressing their payroll than keeping Cano. 

Barring an extremely subpar season, its hard to imagine that Cano won't draw interest from every other team the league. The four-time all-star averaged .314/.365/.534 with 115 home runs and no less than 159 games played over the last four years.

ESPN rated Cano as the fifth best position player of the 2012 season, and of the top ten on the list Cano is one of two players who won't be exploring free agency. Among all second basemen in the 2012 season, Cano led in hits, BA, runs, HRs, RBIs, and OBP. 

Come 2014 will who will be playing second in the Bronx?  It's still hard to say. While the Yankees will be trying to cut money from their payroll, they'll have a very lucrative budget. Coincidentally, Cano's super-agent Scott Boras will be looking for a very lucrative contract for his multi-million dollar asset, and at the end of the day, Cashman's approach to the situation will be dependent on the market at second. We'll have to wait to see how Cano and the Yankees approach this for the rest of the year, but as of now, there is no way of knowing what could happen to Cano by the end of the 2013.