Here are this weeks top three…
teams on the rise:
- Seattle Mariners
- Baltimore Orioles
- Philadelphia Phillies
teams on the decline:
- Anaheim Angels
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Boston Red Sox
free agent signings:
- John Lackey to the Red Sox
- Chone Figgins to the Mariners
- Hideki Matsui to the Angels (edit: thanks to Evan Coleman for the correction.)
- Curtis Granderson to the Yankees
- Cliff Lee to the Mariners
- Milton Bradley to the Mariners
available free agents:
- Matt Holliday
- Jason Bay
- Ben Sheets
If you have any questions or comments on any of the picks I made, leave a comment on this entry and I’ll reply to you.
Just as the Yankees introduced their new center fielder, Curtis Granderson, today, they were apparently in full force as we approach the 2010 regular season. The NY Post reported today that the Yankees are close to a one-year deal with the left hand hitting, Nick Johnson. He is a former Yankee, should the Yankees bring him back?
- He would fill in perfectly as a DH with Matsui gone and Damon questionable.
- He has a .402 career OBP.
- He is only 31 years old.
- He made $5.5 million last year, so the Yankees could get him for a cheap, one-year deal.
- He started his career with the Yankees, so he will fit in nicely.
- He has postseason experience.
- He is extremely injury prone, missing all of the 2007 season.
- He is slow and might not be a good number two hitter should he need to replace Damon.
Chat or Chuck?:
Chat. Nick Johnson was a great Yankee when he was around, and I was surprised when they let him go. Bottom line is that this guy is a good, solid hitter who can get on base, and that’s exactly what you need. In the end, a 1-year $5 million investment in the 31 year old Johnson is a lot safer than a 3-year $39 million investment in the 36 year old Damon.
The Yankees have declined to offer arbitration to free agents Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Andy Pettitte. The Yankees also didn’t offer arbitration to Jerry Hairston Jr., Eric Hinske, Jose Molina and Xavier Nady.
If the Yankees had excepted arbitration on any of the players, they would have been considered signed with an amount to be determined in the arbitration process. The Yankees can still negotiate with any of these players.
Was this a good choice of a bad choice? Lets take a look.
- All of these players would have gotten raises in the arbitration process.
- The Yankees don’t need Matsui anyway.
- The Yankees don’t get draft picks if any of these players sign anywhere else.
Was this a good or bad choice? It was a great choice. Why was it a good choice? Lets analyze that for each player.
Damon: The Yankees are likely to resign him. He had such a good year that he would have gotten a raise that his age doesn’t merit. He wants to play for the Yankees, so the Yankees can get him cheaper.
Pettitte: As I said, the only negative is that if they sign anywhere else, the Yankees won’t get compensation. As for Pettitte, that doesn’t matter, because in the twilight of his career, I don’t see him turning his back on the Yankees, especially after winning a championship.
Matsui: This one is interesting. Of the three, he has the best chance of signing with another team. But for two reasons, it wouldn’t make sense to offer him arbitration. (a) the Yankees still don’t need him and (b) he would have made a killing in arbitration. The Yankees can get him cheap if they want him because he really wants to play for the Yankees. So, theres no sense in bringing him to arbitration where he could make probably triple what he deserves.
The holidays are approaching, so I think it’s a good time to put together a wish list. For the Yankees, of course.
- Resist the urge to sign Hideki Matsui. I’ve said it before, his knees make him useless. I really don’t like having a player sit on the bench and clog up that DH spot considering their are other fielding capable players on the Yankees who will need that DH every once and a while.
- Sign Damon to a two-year deal. It will be tough to do considering Scott Boras is pushing for Jeter-like numbers (yeah right!). Damon showed last year that he is doing anything but decining and is probably on the incline. He had way better power numbers and looked better in the outfield.
- Keep your top prospects. That means no trading for Halladay and no trading for Granderson. I can’t tell you how horrible it would be for me to see the future of the Yankees deteriorate without even giving it a chance.
- Sign Bay or Holliday. The Yankees are going to need one of these guys, but certainly not both. They are both great players and can both fill a spot on this team.
- Sign a starting pitcher. I don’t care if its Lackey, I dont care if it’s Bedard, I don’t care who it is. The Yankees are going to need a starting pitcher no matter what. CC and AJ are the only sure ones right now, and that is not enough.
- Resign Pettitte. Age has proved to be an obstacle that he can overcome. He powered them through the playoffs and to a championship. The Yankees need starters anywhere they can get them. Pettitte will be cheap and will pay huge dividends.
- Keep Joba in the bullpen. Alright, I’ll admit it. He wasn’t that good when he pitched out of the ‘pen in the playoffs. But, please don’t tell me you can tolerate another year of him starting. I certainly can’t.
- Give Robertson more of a chance. Robertson had few tough outings during the year and was pure dominant in the playoffs. He escaped the toughest of jams that without a doubt helped the Yankees win it all. You want to make this team stronger, make Robertson a regular out of that ‘pen.
- To MLB: Expand replay. For all that was made of all the bad calls in the playoffs, I’ll give them that none of them made a huge difference (although Mauers “foul ball” probably would have). But one thing is for certain: in the next 100 World Series, there will be a missed call that changes the outcome of the series. I would hate to see that happen knowing that MLB passed up on it.
That’s what I want. What do you want?
A table of Yankees got together for Thanksgiving. They went around the table saying what they were thankful for. Here’s what they said:
is thankful for Kate Hudson. And Luis Castillo for dropping that pop up.
is thankful for Lou Gehrig’s career being cut short, giving him the chance to break his all time Yankee hits record.
is thankful for championship number 27. Had the Yankees not won this championship, his job would be in serious danger.
is thankful for the Yankees didn’t just send him down to the minors. His 4.75 ERA was rough to watch all the way through.
is thankful that the Yankees have a disgusting amount of money, making it remotely possible that they will offer him a contract, after having an ERA over 9.
is thankful for Xavier Nady’s injury. He’s also thankful for his wit, which has made his atrocious defense and lack of postseason production, almost tolerable.
is thankful that MLB didn’t fine him an amount that actually matters to him for his fight with Jesse Carlson of the Blue Jays.
is thankful for his record breaking RBI total in the final game of the World Series. That may be a great ending to his Yankee career.
I am thankful for…
All of my readers that make writing this blog all worth while. And, of course, #27! Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!
What are you thankful for?
Write a comment on this entry saying what you are thankful for this thanksgiving. Help spread the holiday spirit!
Damon’s agent, Scott Boras, is seeking a four year deal, while the Yankees are seeking, at most, a two year deal. Damon would love to come out of it with at least an option for a third year.
The Giants and Cardinals could also give some attention to Damon. But it is unlikely that any team will commit to two years with the 36 year old Damon, who’s stolen bases were way down this season from last season.
Damon is the clear better choice than Matsui. With the numbers Damon put up last year, he showed us that there is no sign that he is slowing down, and if there is a sign at all, it’s that he is getting even better. He gives the Yankees the option of playing the field, which Matsui does not. He could also slip into the DH spot if need be. Bottom line, Johnny Damon is a Yankee, and he should go nowhere.
Hes the one we have all heard about. The most prized possession of the 2009-2010 off season. After a shaky ending in his time in St. Louis, Holliday is up in the air and ready to sign a big long term deal.
Age/Type FA: 29/A
Career (6 Seasons): .318 BA .933 OPS 152 HR 1030 H
Best Season (2007): .340 BA 216 H 137 RBI
- He led the league in hits, batting average, RBI’s, and doubles in 2007.
- He will only be 30 years old at the beginning of next season.
- He is consistent, hitting over .300 in his past five seasons.
- The Yankees need an outfielder with the absence of Damon and/or Matsui.
- He wants to play on the east coast.
- He has experience in the postseason, including the world series.
- He is a type A free agent and the Yankees will need to give up high draft picks again.
- He won’t be cheap and will demand a long term contract.
Chat or Chuck?:
Chat. This is the guy the Yankees need. This is the guy that can make the difference. Lets face it, Damon and Matsui will not be on the Yankees together next year, and the Yankees need to fill that hole. Holliday will make this team younger, and can be part of a core that will become a dynasty. The combination of Holliday, Teixeira, A-Rod, Sabathia, Chamberlain, Hughes, Cano, Burnett, and Cabrera looks nice for the next five years.
The Yankees have made it clear that there first priority is a starting pitcher. Having said that, the Yankees will go aggresivley after someone to fill that spot and will then come aggressively after Holliday later in the off season, with a big, long term deal.
Another big, big question for the Yankees. Johnny Damon, coming off a great season, jumps onto the free agent market. The Yankees seem to like Damon a lot, but have also favored younger, more athletic players. For a while it seemed as though Damon was sure to come back, but now, it is certainly no sure thing. Lets take a look at the options:
- He had a monster season, tying his career high in home runs at 24.
- His swing is perfect for the New Yankee Stadium.
- Although he didn’t show it as much this year, he can really run well.
- He is an impact player, he showed that in World Series game 4.
- He’s getting better at playing left field.
- If the Yankees don’t sign Matsui, Damon can fall back on the DH spot.
- He really only wants to play for the Yankees and if Boras will shut up, the Yankees could get him cheap.
- He will be 37 next season, and although it hasn’t shown, he may wear down easily.
- The Yankees could go out and get some good free agent outfielders that are younger and better than Damon in which case the Yankees will really have no need for him.
- Scott Boras wants a big multi-year deal for Damon which the Yankees just won’t do.
Chat or Chuck?:
Chat, definitely. All you need to know about Damon is what he did in game 4. To me, he won the game. Whenever Damon is at the plate, you know he won’t go down easily. He is a fighter, he is a winner and belongs on the Yankees. Damon has shown zero signs of wearing down, and, in fact, if he has shown any sign at all, he has shown that he is getting even better. His power is up, and his defense is better. The only thing that stands in the way is Scott Boras (surprise). To that I say, so what? The Yankees can afford it.
For the Yankees, this one is probably the biggest question of the offseason. Do you keep the reigning World Series MVP at 37 years old, or do you let him go? It will be a tough decision, but lets weigh the options.
- Quite simply, he is the reigning World Series MVP.
- His approach is perfect for the new stadium and he is sure to hit a lot of home runs following his 28 this season, the second best total of his career.
- He can provide protection for hitters like A-Rod or Cano.
- He wants to play for the Yankees more than anyone else, so the Yankees could probably get him cheap.
- He is a great hitter.
- He is going to be 37 years old.
- His knees prevent him from playing the outfield, so he has zero versatility.
- The Yankees don’t really need him.
Chat or Chuck?:
Chuck. It’s time for Matsui to pack it up. Like I said, the Yankees just don’t need him. He may be a great hitter, but for anything else he is useless, and you need versatility to win games these days. The Yankees are better off going for a younger, better player in Holliday who can play the outfield. Also, the Yankees need to clear out that DH spot for some of their older players. Matsui, you were a great Yankee, but your time is up.
Have a burning question? Something on your mind? Send your thoughts or questions to me via twitter @NYColeman or emai me at email@example.com. Once I have your NY Note, I will reply to it just like I did here. Be sure to include your name and location.
Here are the results to the first New York Meter of the off season. Thanks to all who voted!
Should the Yankees resign Matsui?
Yes 0% (0 votes)
No 100% (3 votes)
My Vote: No
Yes, he was the World Series MVP, and nobody doubts that Matsui is a great, great hitter. But his knees have handcuffed his ability, and this day in age, a player that can’t play the field is a bit of a liability on a 25 man roster no matter how good of a hitter he is. You need every bit of talent you can get to win this game these days, and a player that can’t play the field just isn’t good enough.
Should the Yankees resign Damon?
Yes 75% (3 votes)
No 25% (1 vote)
My Vote: Yes
The 37 year old has shown zero signs of slowing down. The new Yankee Stadium has played right into his strengths, and may be a great reason to bring him back. His 24 home runs this year tied a career high. Unlike Matsui, Damon can still play the outfield — quite well he proved this year — and if needed, can still fall back on the DH.
Should the Yankees resign Pettitte?
Yes 100% (4 votes)
No 0% (0 votes)
My Vote: Yes
It was the same debate last year, and was a very questionable signing in the end. This year, it seems pretty obvious that the Yankees should bring him back. He won every clinching game for the Yankees in the postseason, and was a HUGE part of this championship. Pettitte should come at a cheap price with huge rewards for a 3rd or 4th starter.
What should the Yankees do about their backup catcher?
Resign Molina 20% (1 vote)
Go with Cervelli 80% (4 votes)
My Vote: Go with Cervelli
This may end up being a long, tough decision for the Yankees. With Molina, the Yankees get a great defensive catcher, but a terrible hitter. With Cervelli, the Yankees get a younger, more athletic player who is a much better hitter. Tough choice for the Yankees, but getting younger always seems to be the better choice, no matter what.
What position do the Yankees most need to fill in the offseason?
Left field 0% (0 votes)
Right field 0% (0 votes)
Starting pitcher 100% (4 votes)
Relief Pitcher 0% (0 votes)
Center field 0% (0 votes)
Catcher 0% (0 votes)
Other 0% (0 votes)
My Vote: Starting pitcher
Starting pitcher wins by a landslide. The biggest question marks remain in left field and right field, but if the Yankees will compete, they are going to need another starter. I have talked about Lackey, and I hope it will happen. But, either way, the point is that the Yankees will need something to go with CC, A.J., and maybe Pettitte. At most, the Yankees have 3 starters at the moment (assuming Joba doesn’t start PLEASE!). They need someone else.