CC Coming to the Bronx – Winter Meetings Open Thread

Joel Sherman at the NY Post is reporting that Sabathia has made his decision, and it's the Yankees.

126 comments… add one

  • Brad gets his wish.
    And there is speculation that the Yanks are also closing in on Burnett and Sheets. I kind of just made that up but I wonder what the record is for spending on pitching in one off-season.

    Nick-YF December 10, 2008, 6:40 am
  • Indeed.
    Good move by the Yanks. Now, hopefully he goes right back to his old AL self, and we’ll be all set.
    Again, the prospect of the Yanks getting Burnett and Sheets so much more terrifying for me.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 7:23 am
  • Burnett or Sheets might be next – the Yanks have a lot of innings to replace.

    SF December 10, 2008, 7:39 am
  • If Theo lets the Yankees get Burnett and Sheets and doesn’t try to at least get one of them, it’s a bad day.
    CC is fine, the other two, if healthy, are a much bigger threat.
    Beckett and CC are a toss up on any given day.
    Lester and Wang are a toss up on any given day.
    Burnett beats Dice K nine days out of ten.
    Anyone beats Wakefield, especially Sheets.
    I’ll be so much more down on the Red Sox if they let this happen, then don’t turn around and at least sign Tex.
    With him, that offense can at least put up a battle to anyone. Without him, NY’s pitching (assuming they offer another 40M above anyone else, and get Burnett and Sheets) will be tough to handle – and pitching wins.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 7:59 am
  • Good. I was afraid the Yanks would miss him and suck up Tex to make up for it. I think this GREATLY increases the likelihood of the Sox landing Tex; he’ll probably sign before the weekend.
    The Sheets/Burnett/Lowe dominoes should follow soon too.

    Atheose December 10, 2008, 8:25 am
  • i’ve seen some of the back and forth between brad, sam, and others about whether the yanks acquisition of cc is actually better for the sox…it’s a stretch not to concede that adding cc to the yanks staff strengthens it…the yanks starting pitching has been in a shambles for at least the last 2-3 years, with wang’s double 19′s and the now retired moose’s 2008 the only real bright spots, and if cc is able to keep doing what he’s been doing [yep a big if], he’ll establish himself as the ace without argument…i realize he stunk in the post season against the sox in ’07, but the yanks need to get to the post season, and that requires wins against all the other teams…i have no way of knowing how much money the yanks plan to spend on free agents, but if the rumors are true about them making offers to just about every pitcher available, will they even have money left to offer to tex?…that’s a better sign for the sox than the yanks signing a pitcher they’ve had some success against…anybody know the status of offers to tex?…might have been in a thread somewhere, but i missed it…

    dc December 10, 2008, 8:43 am
  • I think it’s funny that Brad thinks Beckett is actually on the same level as Sabathia, or that Sheets and Burnett are actually *better* pitchers than Sabathia. Hilarious.
    I’m looking forward to the Angels and Sox battling it out, starting at 8 years, $180 million. Meanwhile, the Yankees pick and choose who they want.

    AndrewYF December 10, 2008, 8:48 am
  • ” Now, hopefully he goes right back to his old AL self, and we’ll be all set.”
    What like winning the Cy Young, winning 19 games, and having a low 3′s ERA? Im all for it too. I thought you were a sox fan Brad…

    sam-YF December 10, 2008, 8:51 am
  • @Andrew
    While the Yanks swoop in and land Manny for two or three years…

    Rob December 10, 2008, 9:11 am
  • After the contracts to Giambi and Helton, I can’t wait to see the disaster that is a contract to Teixeira. He’s Helton without Coors and has never been the hitter that Giambi was. Good luck paying him $20 million+ to OPS .800 in years 5 through 8.

    Rob December 10, 2008, 9:16 am
  • I will admit, until proven otherwise (in the playoffs) that Beckett (a bad year here and there) is the man. CC is welcomed to prove me wrong.
    Going into this year, I wasn’t that high on CC – I liked Johan more. But his run down the stretch was simply stunning. Let’s just hope he isn’t ruined long term.
    Burnett is the kind of high volatility play that I’m not sure if the Yanks need, and for some reason I remembered him as being oft-injured, though he put up many innings. Sheets, on the other hand, is injured quite a bit.
    I might be the only one still hoping for Moose to come back for a few more years, but you can hardly go wrong with CC, Wang, Joba, (Burnett/Sheets) and maybe Hughes. Hughes might have underperformed as “the Saviour”, but as a #5 starter (or 4 if Joba isn’t himself) it’s hard to fail.
    But ya, Moose should come back for another run at the championship!

    Lar December 10, 2008, 9:22 am
  • Actually, I meant the CC of earlier this year in the AL – of course he’s a good pitcher.
    And Burnett has much better stuff than CC, as does Sheets – just not as consistent is all.
    Also, assuming that Beckett isn’t as good as CC on any given day is being blinded by the bright lights on your new 300lb. toy, Andrew. Of course he had a better year (since half of it was in the NL), but in his big year, it was Beckett who should have won the CY, and outpitched him twice in the big game. It was Beckett who showed the world what a real ace looks like on those two nights.
    It was CC who let his team down (again), then again this year for the Brewers, when it mattered most.
    Let’s see how CC looks after facing Boston and Toronto (and now Tampa) for a year.
    Again, it’s a good thing for NY, but it’s not the end all. Burnett however would swing the tide.
    I think it’s funny that you think they’re not, but whatever.
    We shall see. Again, it’s a good move for NY.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 9:22 am
  • I still hope the Yanks get Tex, but ya, I agree with Rob, I’m just not sure if anyone’s worth 8+ years. I also say that about ARod and his outrageous contract..

    Lar December 10, 2008, 9:24 am
  • I agree with Brad, though I think Orioles are the ones with the stick (but no pitching). His NL run, even if it was in the NL was pretty sick as is, but it was also on top of short rest days, which is kind of impressive, except for perhaps its long-term implications..

    Lar December 10, 2008, 9:26 am
  • which is kind of impressive, except for perhaps its long-term implications..
    ________________________
    Nope. Those concerns have been nullified by Yankee fans everywhere by the man’s “horse” status.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 9:28 am
  • @ Lar
    Especially a 1B – when’s the last time a long contract to one worked out well? Not Giambi. Not Helton.
    A-Rod at least has a better chance justifying his massive contract and he’s one of the few players to deserve one. Teixeira isn’t a HOF bat. Manny is.
    Sign me up for Manny hitting behind A-Rod for the next three years. Even if the Dodgers make a run at him, it will be half-hearted at best. 3 years at 60 million could easily get it done. And, yeah, that’s much better than 8 years at 200 million.

    Rob December 10, 2008, 9:29 am
  • Also, if Sheets sign for 2/26, it’s a great deal – unless he pulls a Pavano! (For Pavano money!)

    Lar December 10, 2008, 9:29 am
  • All this nonsense about CC. He was by far the best pitcher to reach the market in a long while and the best lefty to reach the market since Unit in 1999.
    The Yanks gave up money and no prospects – exactly what they planned going back to last off-season. It’s a great signing especially because of the advantages for lefties in Yankee Stadium.

    Rob December 10, 2008, 9:31 am
  • The Sox have proven, for the most part, that they are proactive, not reactive. And they aren’t reckless, though that doesn’t mean they aren’t risk-takers.
    The Yankees signing Sabathia is nothing but good for the Yankees, and somewhat (not entirely) meaningless to the Sox’ plans. They still have a battle for Texeira, albeit with different teams. I don’t see any reason, as a Sox fan, to be happy about Sabathia being in the AL again. The Yankees are not done yet, by any stretch, and adding the best pitcher available is as good a move as a team can make.
    At the moment, the Sox have done little to improve themselves. The Yankees adding CC improves the Yankees and does nothing for the Sox. Round one, uncontested, goes to the Bombers.

    SF December 10, 2008, 9:34 am
  • @ Lar
    I agree they seriously make a run at Sheets and make enough noise about Burnett and Lowe to run up their costs for other teams.
    Add in Pettitte ($13 million) and Manny ($20 million), and that’s a finished off-season. They drop ~$70 million. Solid upgrades to the rotation and lineup while cutting payroll.

    Rob December 10, 2008, 9:36 am
  • I agree with that, SF: I mentioned earlier that it was a good move for NY. I don’t want them (Red Sox) to be reactive at all, but I also don’t want Burnett and Sheets in NY was well.
    CC can be handled. All four cannot.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 9:38 am
  • Wow, reports now say a 7 year, 160M deal.
    Looks like CC and Genske played this one quite well, and extra special thanks to Ned Colletti.

    SF December 10, 2008, 9:42 am
  • *sigh* I was hoping he’d pick the West Coast team. Ah well.
    I’m curious about this idea, first posited by Heyman last night, that the Yanks will try to sign Sabathia, Burnett AND Lowe. That’s what, about $50 million a year for at least the next four years on three pitchers? Sounds very un-Cashmanlike to me.

    Paul SF December 10, 2008, 9:43 am
  • Yeah, that’s really bucking that “new philosophy” we kept hearing about.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 9:44 am
  • i think if they were to sign all 3 it would send Pettitte packing. I cant argue with doing so if he remains insistent on not taking a pay cut, they can spend $16 mil on a better pitcher then him.

    sam-YF December 10, 2008, 9:47 am
  • I agree with that, Sam. Pettitte is not worth that kind of money anymore.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 9:48 am
  • I disagree, Brad, and Paul. The Yankees cleared a ton of payroll this offseason, Mussina retiring was an unexpected gain to an extent. If the Yankees can hold at around the same payroll they were, they are in effect reducing costs. Consider the new Stadium revenues and payroll as it impacts their balance sheet is even smaller. The Yankees have done nothing to indicate a resumption of their “old” philosophy: they are sacrificing only draft picks, potentially, and they may recoup those in time as well.

    SF December 10, 2008, 9:48 am
  • @ Brad
    Since when does a team send four pitchers to the mound at the same time?
    If I’m the Sox, I worry more about re-signing Beckett at the current prices. They should have done it this year. You can’t eke out more revenue from Fenway. The problem is extending Papelbon and Youkilis just as they need to re-sign Beckett and Bay.
    @ SF
    7/160 is a better AAV than 6/140. And he’ll only be 36 at the end of that deal and with no injury history.
    @ Paul
    I agree. Signing all three is not what Cashman has been planning nor preaching. Signing Sheets and Pettitte is much more in line. It allows the kids to gradually take over and it allows them to make a run at the next big free agents in 2011 – Beckett and Webb. Tying up all that payroll into decent, but not ace, pitchers is far from their plan.

    Rob December 10, 2008, 9:50 am
  • “I’m curious about this idea, first posited by Heyman last night, that the Yanks will try to sign Sabathia, Burnett AND Lowe.”
    Honestly, I don’t even see where he says that. All he says is that it *looks like* the Yankees want to sign all three. Personally, I think they were hedging their bets, and have no plans to actually sign all three. Meanwhile, they get to price those pitchers out of Boston’s price range.

    Andrew December 10, 2008, 9:50 am
  • @ SF
    Agreed. Even adding ~$70 million, they will have cut payroll.
    Next year they cut another $26 million (Matsui and Damon), and so can make a run at Holliday or Bay and still cut payroll. If they re-sign Pettitte to a one-year deal, that could be another $13 million, especially if one of the young pitchers is ready.
    In 2011, they’ll cut a huge chunk of Jeter’s bloated contract.
    The plan is very much intact.

    Rob December 10, 2008, 9:53 am
  • And he’ll only be 36 at the end of that deal and with no injury history.
    Do you have ESP? If so, will you go to Las Vegas with me and sit at the roulette table, tell me what numbers to play!?
    I realize the AAV is lower, but if this is all guaranteed (I haven’t seen the specifics) the higher dollar value and contract length is a reasonably solid addition to the contract. I am guessing it was a somewhat mutual addition, though it would seem that CC had a little more leverage and was able to get this addition from the Yankees, who, as you say, saw an AAV reduction in adding the year.

    SF December 10, 2008, 9:54 am
  • Rob, who said anything about sending them to the mound at one time?
    In a short series, they’ll take the mound in order, and each will be equally as hard to beat. Surely, you didn’t think I meant four pitchers going to the mound at the same time, however four near-equally talented pitchers on consecutive nights is not a good thing for the opposing team.
    The Sox know they won’t resign Beckett at current prices, however when the time comes, there will be some very good options on the table VIA free agency if Beckett decides to walk, which I’m sure he will.
    Youkilis’ contract is something that I’m sure will be worked out; letting him walk is probably not high on Boston’s list of things to do.
    I do not care to venture how much money the Red Sox are capable of spending, or how much money they can “eke” out of Fenway. They’re nowhere near out of money, I would think.
    But, if they are broke, or in over their heads, maybe they can ask the city of Boston for a few hundred million dollars to ease the burden:)

    Brad December 10, 2008, 9:57 am
  • This is now a Winter Meetings Open Thread in addition to a CC discussion.
    More news: John Heyman reports the Yankees have offered Derek Lowe 60M+ or so for four years.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/jon_heyman/12/10/sabathia.yanks/index.html?eref=T1
    The Yankees’ new rotation is starting to take shape as they are also in serious negotiations with free agent pitcher Derek Lowe. An agreement with Lowe is likely to be finalized in coming days, as well. The sides were discussing a contract for four years and about $66 million late Tuesday.

    SF December 10, 2008, 9:58 am
  • Holiday (provided he continues to rake) will be an 18M/year player next year – especially after Boras gets his paws in it. Bay will also be a double digit player.
    It’ll be interesting to see the final numbers this year. Not that it matters at all, but it’ll be interesting to see where they fall.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 10:00 am
  • 4/66?
    For Derek Lowe? Really?
    Is Hank doing the negotiations here?
    That seems absurd.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 10:02 am
  • I take back that Hank comment. That was uncalled for.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 10:02 am
  • Do you have ESP?
    History is the best predictor of the future when there is no other.

    Rob December 10, 2008, 10:06 am
  • Hank comments are never uncalled for, Brad.

    SF December 10, 2008, 10:08 am
  • You clearly don’t run a mutual fund, Rob.

    SF December 10, 2008, 10:09 am
  • History is the best predictor of the future when there is no other
    ________________________________
    What’s the history say about a guy who has pitched as many innings as him in the last three years, and wen’t on several three day rest periods last year? Or about a guy who weighs 300lbs playing professional baseball?
    Or about huge pitching contracts? Or about his playoff games?
    I don’t buy into much of it at all, however, if you’re going to use history to predict the future of a baseball player, then I’m all for it!

    Brad December 10, 2008, 10:09 am
  • edit: went. No apostropy needed:)

    Brad December 10, 2008, 10:10 am
  • I’m happy for my NY bretheren here, but I still stand by my opinion on Tex v. CC – but I’m fully aware NY was in a tight spot. Tex is the more valuable player here, and if NY could have gotten him in addition to Burnett and Sheets, they’d be much better off.
    Of course, it isn’t over yet, so all of those things could still happen.
    At what point, I wonder, do you just offer to buy Tampa and merge the two teams? :)

    Brad December 10, 2008, 10:13 am
  • jeez. even my edits are wrong today. ha.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 10:14 am
  • “Tex is the more valuable player here”
    I think its a matter of the needs of a team. Given the state of the yankees rotation and their lineup, CC is a much more valuable player to them. Tex much more so for the sox. Sure the yankees could use him but they can score all the runs they want and they arent gonna win if they are running Rasner and Ponson types out there for a good chunk of their starts. The yankees needed pitching and thus CC was most valuable.

    sam-YF December 10, 2008, 10:44 am
  • “Actually, I meant the CC of earlier this year in the AL – of course he’s a good pitcher.”
    Im still confused Brad. CC had 4 bad starts in april and then more or less dominated the AL until he was traded. Runs of bad starts happen for all pitchers. I still believe you underestimate his skills and ability to dominate on any given day. The fact that he had 9 CGs last year should tell you all you need to know about being unbeatable on any given day.

    sam-YF December 10, 2008, 10:50 am
  • I agree, Sam. That’s why I qualified my statement with my understanding that NY was in a tight spot on this one.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 10:51 am
  • had 4 bad starts in april and then more or less dominated the AL
    __________________
    I would agree, if it was true:
    He had some good starts against some AL teams lowering his ERA from 7.88 to 4.4, which is nice, but he also faced KC three times in that run (two were not good), then went into the NL run with interleage and being traded, where he saw his ERA go from 4.3 to an awesome 2.7
    In that run of AL teams, he didn’t face one decent lineup, sans NY, where he did very well, and the PaleSox where he did well too. Now, I’m not going to use the “he didn’t face anyone good” argument, but if you’re going to say he “dominated the AL”, I’m going to have to look at who he dominated.
    Once in the NL, he went batshit.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 11:16 am
  • But again, I agree. On any given day the guy can dominate as well as anyone.
    It will be interesting to see him pitch in NY, and against the AL East for sure.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 11:18 am
  • What a great offseason for me so far!!! No more Fat Bobby and we add C.C!!!
    Not only is C.C. the best free agent pitcher to come along in quite awhile in both age and stats, he knocks Wang down to where he should be and that is the #2 starter. Add AJ and maybe he goes to #3? I’ll take Wang against any other AL Teams #3 starter any day..
    C.C., AJ?/Sheets?/Lowe?, Wang, Joba and Pettitte is a MUCH better rotation then we have thrown out there in years. Great job Cash!
    p.s. So now can we play the Sox and drive up the price for Texeira like they do to us since we got our guy?

    krueg December 10, 2008, 11:18 am
  • Just did some reading…
    C.C., AJ, Wang, Sheets and Joba??? That would be ridiculous…
    I would love to see Sheets signed, especially for the 2 year deal I just read about in the Daily News. Why not? The guy is SO good when healthy…

    krueg December 10, 2008, 11:34 am
  • The fact that the Brewers didn’t even offer arbitration to Sheets is a huge red flag for me. If the team that knows him best doesn’t want him, then why should anybody else (especially since they should have known they were not going to get CC).

    Nate December 10, 2008, 12:12 pm
  • Peter Gammons wrote last night:
    It is a near certainty that the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes will move on into next week, at the earliest. Nothing will happen with CC Sabathia until next week, again at the earliest. Sabathia is going to meet with the Giants, and if Teixeira leaves the Angels, the Angels will be players.
    I don’t think we need any more proof than this that these writers are basically just making shit up.

    SF December 10, 2008, 12:43 pm
  • I don’t think we need any more proof than this that these writers are basically just making shit up.
    ___________________________________
    Speaking of which, MLB trade rumors suggests that the deal has an opt-out clause on CC’s end after the third year.
    In the end, I don’t think that this is a big deal (even if it’s true), since I don’t really think that he’ll ever live up to something possibly worth more than the batshit crazy money he makes now with NY.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 1:39 pm
  • Anyone know about this rumored 3 year opt out the Yanks may be giving CC?

    walein December 10, 2008, 1:49 pm
  • “The fact that the Brewers didn’t even offer arbitration to Sheets is a huge red flag for me.”
    They offered Sheets arbitration and he declined. There goes your red flag.
    “Anyone know about this rumored 3 year opt out the Yanks may be giving CC?”
    Yes, he can opt out after 2011. Obviously it’s not a good thing for the Yankees, but a good thing can come of it:
    - He opts out, meaning he’s performed excellently over the past three years, and the Yankees let him walk. Then he gets injured, or starts a horrible decline, and the Yankees will have just gotten a 3 year deal for the best pitcher on the market.
    Granted that’s the only good thing that could happen, but it’s not horribly unlikely.

    AndrewYF December 10, 2008, 2:12 pm
  • Brad: What if you are wrong and the guy plays like he pretty much has his whole career? Your whole deal really sounds more like wishful thinking than anything else…sour grapes even.

    krueg December 10, 2008, 2:17 pm
  • Tim Brown’s report says the contract gives C.C. an opt-out after 2011, by which point he will have been paid 69M with four seasons remaining worth 92M.

    attackgerbil December 10, 2008, 2:17 pm
  • Brad: What if you are wrong and the guy plays like he pretty much has his whole career? Your whole deal really sounds more like wishful thinking than anything else…sour grapes even.
    ________________________
    Hardly, K. I’ve been adamant for months now that I think that he’s not only overrated, but a complete failure in games that matter for his team (like playoffs and such).
    Sour grapes have absolutely nothing to do with how I feel – I wanted Boston to have NOTHING to do with him in any way, shape, or form as I feel as if he’s the next Bartolo Colon (another identical comparison).
    Really, I hope the guy contines to pitch just like he always has – especially in the playoffs.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 3:11 pm
  • ” but a complete failure in games that matter for his team (like playoffs and such).”
    Funny since he basically singlehandedly pitched his team into the playoffs last september.

    sam-YF December 10, 2008, 3:14 pm
  • You all know CC’s awesome, but are the Yankees just throwing money in a hole? Or is this actually smart because it’s “step one fix the pitching”?

    The Fare Cod December 10, 2008, 3:14 pm
  • CC’s contract is the first one i’ve ever seen where the player controlled opt-out kicks in prior to half the life of the contract. odd.
    count me in on the “History is the best predictor of the future…” with regards to CC’s postseason experience. couple that with wangs postseason track record and the yanks 1 and 2 starters have a 3-6 record with an ERA around 8.00. an ALDS short series would look to be exactly that….on paper.

    sf rod December 10, 2008, 3:14 pm
  • In fairness to Brad, he has been saying this for a long time about Sabathia.
    I obviously disagree with his assessment of Sabathia’s abilties. To say that Sheets and Burnett has much better stuff than he has seems like hyperbole. Better? That’s debatable. But much better? That’s crazy talk. Anyway, Sabathia is legitimate ace but my guess is if the Yanks just add pitching and don’t improve on the offensive and defensive side of things they’re still going to finish in third next season. And then maybe the old cliche that pitching wins championships will be put to rest…or not.

    Nick-YF December 10, 2008, 3:20 pm
  • “count me in on the “History is the best predictor of the future…” with regards to CC’s postseason experience.”
    You should be arrested by the sample size police.

    Nick-YF December 10, 2008, 3:24 pm
  • what other postseason numbers am i supposed to draw from? i used the entire sample.

    sf rod December 10, 2008, 3:29 pm
  • FWIW i bet i can pick 25 IP of Beckett’s post season resume that wouldnt look too good on paper.

    sam-YF December 10, 2008, 3:32 pm
  • or at least 5 of his starts which is the same # as Sabathia has had

    sam-YF December 10, 2008, 3:34 pm
  • > the Yankees just throwing money in a hole?
    I suppose that is one way to look at it until the results of the staggering investment can be discussed.
    > History is the best predictor of the future… an ALDS short series would look to be exactly that….on paper
    I realize you said “on paper, but.. Nah. Then you have to “predict” a Scott Brosius.. a Luis Gonzalez.. a Jeffrey Maier. Too small of a sample set, too different of a makeup to do anything but say “I told you so” from one side of the fence or the other once a post season is over.

    attackgerbil December 10, 2008, 3:39 pm
  • maybe i’m missing something here. i use the entire sample of CC’s and wangs postseason starts and that’s considered a “small sampling”. if you guy’s wanna argue that the postseason lights are no brighter than the regular seasons, than that’s another discussion entirely. i would disagree with you though.
    if you wanna parse up a guy who’s 7-2 with a sub 3.00 ERA in the postseason, that would be completely different than looking at the entire postseason body of work of the two pitchers i was assessing.

    sf rod December 10, 2008, 4:00 pm
  • It’s not a mystery regardless of sample size – he sucks in the playoffs. Period.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 4:11 pm
  • FWIW i bet i can pick 25 IP of Beckett’s post season resume that wouldnt look too good on paper.
    __________________________
    Cool. Well when they play the games on paper, we’ll count that, but until then, we should be looking at the two based on their entire bodies of work, on the field, in the postseason.
    Maybe he’d have more starts in the postseason if he would have been able to not fall apart in the earlier rounds.
    Just saying.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 4:15 pm
  • There’s a news link to the right from the Globe that says “With Sabathia to the Yanks, Division Stiffens”. I am not sure how a division can “stiffen”.
    That being said, if the Yankees make no other moves (NOT gonna happen), then CC isn’t enough. He replaces all of Moose’s innings plus another 50, and at better numbers. But that in and of itself probably won’t be enough to push the Yankees over the top. They have to count on a Wang resurgence, not guaranteed, and other components that will get them a better performance than whatever else they threw out there last season. We can’t underestimate how vital Mike Mussina was to the Yankees not having a very poor overall record last year, at least for the payroll.
    For that reason, I see at least one of the other marquee free agent pitchers heading to the Bronx. Without another pitching acquisition I think the Sabathia move, a strong one, isn’t nearly as strong.

    SF December 10, 2008, 4:16 pm
  • There is really no point in rehashing this argument. Many believe in the small sample argument others do not. Some players dont play well for a while in the post-season and then get better and others vice versa. Either way I sure hope we find out how he does in the post-season, without him we likely wont even be there. This is a pointless discussion since the SFs here are simply bringing it up as a way to piss on our parade.

    sam-YF December 10, 2008, 4:19 pm
  • CC isn’t enough. He replaces all of Moose’s innings plus another 50, and at better numbers
    -_______________________
    A Yankee fan would jump for joy if CC is better than Moose was last year. Or even close to what Moose was last year.
    He’ll replace the innings for sure. The numbers we need to wait and see.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 4:20 pm
  • This is a pointless discussion since the SFs here are simply bringing it up as a way to piss on our parade.
    Hey, count me out of that.

    SF December 10, 2008, 4:22 pm
  • Sam, stating the facts isn’t pissing on the parade man.
    It is what it is.
    If you listen to the fans long enough, soon enough you’ll be sitting with them.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 4:23 pm
  • I think I would have to give CC a pass on last year’s post-season appearance. There’s only so many starts in a row on three days rest a guy can go (each and every game being a “must win”) before he’s going to have a bad outing.
    I’m interested in seeing what the Yankees decide to do about their hitting.
    My guess is that they are going to sign at least one more top free agent starter and I would probably prefer a short contract (a la what’s being rumored could net Sheets) to a longer contract with either Lowe or AJ Burnett.
    I’m not a big fan of Lowe or Burnett and I’m really not a big fan of them pitching at a high level in the American League East. I say that in terms of the cost of what their potential contracts would be, not that they aren’t very good pitchers.

    walein December 10, 2008, 4:30 pm
  • Have you looked at CCs numbers the past two years Brad? With the exception of CCs first month of last year, he’s been phenomenal. He’s also become a better pitcher every year over the past 5 seasons (4 and 1/2 of which was in the AL).

    walein December 10, 2008, 4:32 pm
  • Brad you are framing and picking and choosing the numbers to cast him in the worst light possible. Thats your prerogative. I too and calling it how I see it.
    SF you are most definitely not who I was referring to earlier.

    sam-YF December 10, 2008, 4:35 pm
  • That should read “I too am calling it how I see it”

    sam-YF December 10, 2008, 4:36 pm
  • sam- i’m not trying to piss on your parade. if the goal for the yanks is to return to the playoffs, CC more than helps meet that end based on the entirety of his body of work. if the goal is to advance in the playoffs, then we might wanna look into his playoff body of work. if it was my intention to be self serving with small sample sizes, i would have opted to only list CC’s most recent postseason appearances.

    sf rod December 10, 2008, 4:37 pm
  • using postseason numbers is not “picking and choosing”, they are what they are.

    sf rod December 10, 2008, 4:41 pm
  • By the way…since we’re throwing out numbers:
    Sabathia Career versus:
    Boston- 48.1 IN, 3.91 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 35 Ks
    TB- 81IN, 2.44 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 73 Ks
    1 CG against each.
    Beckett:
    Yankees- 74.1 IN, 5.33 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 59 Ks
    TB- 66.2 IN, 3.11 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 75 Ks
    FYI

    walein December 10, 2008, 4:41 pm
  • I get that you never liked C.C. Brad, not trying to say anything more than you are really HOPING that he fails in NY. I get that, just that the opposite probably has a better chance of actually happening…the guy is no slouch obviously.

    krueg December 10, 2008, 4:50 pm
  • I guess we’ll see…
    We should all make mark to revisit this post a year from now.
    There should be absolutely no adjustment period whatsoever for CC.
    That first Red Sox game will be a doozie. As will the second playoff game.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 4:53 pm
  • Let’s get this out of the way, in case the Yankees sign Burnett:
    “Nyaah nyaah nyaah, you might have signed AJ Burnett and all, but the guy has never won a postseason start“.*
    So there.
    * please disregard the fact that Burnett has never made a post-season start, or whatever.

    SF December 10, 2008, 4:55 pm
  • undeniably great regular season #’s walein. i don’t think anyone is saying that isn’t the case. and as a SF those numbers scare me. CC is definitely gonna have an impact on the way AL East and playoff picture shapes up.

    sf rod December 10, 2008, 4:56 pm
  • K, I would hope that he fails (gloriously) no matter where he is.
    There hasn’t, in recent memory anyhow, been a guy I dislike less than him. It’s not a Yankee thing.
    I’d rather have Gary Sheffield, Manny Ramirez and Milton Bradley as my outfielders than have him on the Red Sox.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 4:56 pm
  • > if he would have been able to not fall apart in the earlier rounds
    Break it down on a game basis of those early rounds. A few ugly innings, but a lot of gravy that resulted in those innings being available. One can not play a tit-for-tat replacement across seasons using the post-season as justification. Dance with who brung ya.
    > CC isn’t enough.
    This is absolutely true. He is not enough to carry the Yankees to the post-season. He has done his part during the regular season, regularly.
    > He replaces all of Moose’s innings plus another 50, and at better numbers
    I guess, but this is tit-for-tat speculation. And who projected Moose to win 20? Anyone?
    > Sam, stating the facts isn’t pissing on the parade
    No, I get that it is just stating history. But no projection of history is a fact. What is a fact: the Yankees signed a pitcher who will be 28 years old in 2009 and has gone 180+IP/season at a rate that is attractive in comparison to the leagues. Let it play out.

    attackgerbil December 10, 2008, 4:57 pm
  • with regards to the playoffs, i will take an unproven Burnett over what CC has proven. i don’t think that is a horrible leap.

    sf rod December 10, 2008, 5:00 pm
  • hahaha.

    Brad December 10, 2008, 5:00 pm
  • I guess, but this is tit-for-tat speculation. And who projected Moose to win 20? Anyone?
    _____________________
    Is anyone here, besides SF, projecting CC to be better than Moose was last year? Seriously?

    Brad December 10, 2008, 5:03 pm
  • When did we go back to “wins” as the standards for pitchers again?

    Lar December 10, 2008, 5:18 pm
  • My question is.. where can I get in a money fantasy league with these guys who keep on picking Burnett over CC..

    Lar December 10, 2008, 5:20 pm
  • A “small sample size” is when he can have a good game or two and his numbers will be great. Playing for the Yanks will give him many opportunities (hopefully!) over the years to get that sample size.
    On a side note, it’s amusing to me, though I’m sure it’s been pointed out before, that CC led both leagues in Shutouts last year!

    Lar December 10, 2008, 5:28 pm
  • I guess, but this is tit-for-tat speculation. And who projected Moose to win 20? Anyone?
    Is anyone here, besides SF, projecting CC to be better than Moose was last year? Seriously?
    Wait! I am not predicting anything. I am only recognizing that the Yankees had one of the league’s best starters last year. CC is one of the league’s best starters. Let’s suppose that CC continues to be superb, a reasonable expectation. The Yankees need to do more to supplement him to be significantly better. That’s all I am saying. They haven’t upgraded from, say Phil Hughes to CC Sabathia. They’ve gone from Mike Mussina to CC Sabathia.
    I know this is a gross oversimplification, but all it leads me to believe (I am NOT PREDICTING ANYTHING ABOUT NEXT YEAR’S PERFORMANCES) is that the Yankees will sign another pitcher, and a good one.. That’s all that was meant to be culled from my statements about CC, Moose, and the innings replacement. That’s it, nothing else.
    I believe that the Yankees are going to sign another marquee pitcher, and not stop at CC. That’s the only point, the only reason I brought Moose into this.

    SF December 10, 2008, 5:33 pm
  • Is it that farfetched to think that the Yankees could sign all these guys?
    Moose, Giambi, Pettitte, Abreu gone. Why can’t they sign Burnett, Lowe, CC, and Tex, with the new revenues?
    Giambi – 23M
    Pettitte – 16M
    Moose – 11M
    Abreu – 16M
    Pavano – 11M
    Total – 77M
    Add Tex at $20M to CC at $23M to Burnett and Lowe at $15M each and you’ve basically pushed the salary totals. Simplistic, yes, but still scary to think about as a Sox fan.
    I realize that these new players’ contracts extend into the future, but really, why couldn’t/wouldn’t the Yankees think about going after at least three of these guys, if not all four?

    SF December 10, 2008, 5:41 pm
  • “Is it that farfetched to think that the Yankees could sign all these guys?
    Moose, Giambi, Pettitte, Abreu gone. Why can’t they sign Burnett, Lowe, CC, and Tex, with the new revenues?”
    I don’t think it’s far-fetched.

    Nick-YF December 10, 2008, 5:46 pm
  • “My question is.. where can I get in a money fantasy league with these guys who keep on picking Burnett over CC.”
    better yet, find me an odds maker/line setter who would be willing to not take into account CC’s past playoff performances when computing playoff odds.

    sf rod December 10, 2008, 5:50 pm
  • “better yet, find me an odds maker/line setter who would be willing to not take into account CC’s past playoff performances when computing playoff odds.”
    Wow! Chronology really matters to you. Imagine a world in which time went backwards. You ate breakfast at night. You ate dinner in the morning. And now imagine that 2008 came before 2004 and that one of the clutchest post-season players of all time batted .200 with a slugging percentage under .375 in a 2008 post-season. WOuld you imagine 4 years later he was to put up some of the greatest post-season numbers just 4 years later (in 2004)? Can you imagine that the guy just four years earlier in 2008 was capable of putting up almost the opposite numbers he put just four years later (in 2004)? And this guy did this in the same circumstances, the same exact conditions, exactly.

    Nick-YF December 10, 2008, 5:58 pm
  • chronology as it actually exists….
    ’01 = mildly steamy pile
    ’07 = steamy pile
    ’08 = steamy pile
    there’s a trend here. what indicators can you point to that says this will change? i guess one could hope for a return to “mildly steamy”.

    sf rod December 10, 2008, 6:24 pm
  • There’s only so many starts in a row on three days rest a guy can go (each and every game being a “must win”) before he’s going to have a bad outing.
    I don’t put much/any stock in C.C.’s postseason performances, except that in both cases (2007 and 2008), Sabathia was pitching at the end of a realy long season and appeared to be quite tired. Now maybe it just means the guy gets tired after 250 innings pitched (understandable), or maybe it means for the last two seasons, he’s been ridden beyond his point of endurance, which — as I’ve argued before — makes him a higher injury risk than your average starting pitcher.
    We need to break down long-term contracts to pitchers and see definitively which have worked and which have not. On the one side is Hampton, Zito as major failures that come immediately to mind — one of which is more comparable to this situation, the other was a terrible contract at the time it was signed and everyone knew it. On the other is Pedro Martinez, whose seven-year deal worked out quite nicely for the Red Sox in every single way possible (if only we could get 2001 back). Any others since, say, 1995?

    Paul SF December 10, 2008, 6:29 pm
  • “what indicators can you point to that says this will change?”
    um, that he’s thrown many hundreds of very good to brilliant innings against mlb hitters? In other words, his ability level is very high and I believe ability is a better indicator of future performance than notions of clutchness based on small sample size.
    But you know the argument beforehand. I don’t think you seriously believe yours.

    Nick-YF December 10, 2008, 6:29 pm
  • “Any others since, say, 1995?”
    Mussina’s deal with the Yanks worked out well for the most part. He put up some good years, had a poor year or two and basically never was a burden on the team’s roster.
    I’m blanking on others.

    Nick-YF December 10, 2008, 6:32 pm
  • Well, I think this has to be judged somewhat based on what the Yanks do with the rest of the offseason.
    I’m of the opinion, and have been since the beginning of the offseason, that Tex was a much better value than CC long-term. Position players, and guys like Tex in particular, are just better bets on a long-term contract. If Tex signs for eight years, it’s not unreasonable that he’ll keep putting up .300/.400/.550 for most of his contract, with great defense, and that will absolutely be worth 20M/year in this market. Yes, signing him would mean Boston would need to trade Lowell, but since we don’t know how well Papi’s going to bounce back and Manny’s gone, it seems like a great idea to me to secure our lineup anchor for most of the next decade. And frankly he’s an even better fit on the Yankees – Nick Swisher at first? Really? – especially given the aging nature of their lineup.
    The Yanks can absolutely afford to overpay, but I think they’d have been better served overpaying for Tex than CC. It’s not that CC isn’t a good signing for them – he’ll prove plenty valuable and while I think there’s a good chance that the later years of his contract are going to be a drag, he’ll earn his money the first few years – it’s that I think Tex would have been a smarter one. Of course, if they get BOTH of them, they win the offseason hands down, but I think Tex/Burnett/Sheets is better than CC/Burnett/Sheets (guess we’ll see which other pitchers they end up with).
    If the Sox manage to sign Tex, I will be pleased with this offseason no matter what. I really, really want him to come to Boston.
    A final note: without upgrading their infield defense, I think Derek Lowe is a bad signing for the Yankees. Having Jeter and Cano up the middle – assuming Cano doesn’t suddenly start working his butt off and paying attention on D all the time – is going to result in a lot of the Derek Lowe Face.

    Micah-SF December 10, 2008, 6:34 pm
  • Micah, I agree with everything in your post except for your point about Lowe and the infield defense. Put it this way, Wang’s shit works every year with that defense behind him. Lowe’s Dodger teammates were not especially good fielders, especially this year. So while I generally agree that pitching and defense are closely related, I’m not sure how big of an effect it has on pitchers such as Lowe and Wang, who have low walk rates and generally don’t give up hard hits.

    Nick-YF December 10, 2008, 6:41 pm
  • mlb.com is reporting a $180 mil/8 year offer for Tex from the nationals. Thats quite a starting offer. Anyone think the sox match that?

    sam-YF December 10, 2008, 7:05 pm
  • > i guess one could hope for a return to “mildly steamy”.
    That’s a funny line. But it doesn’t put anything to advancing the proposition that because Sabathia had a few bad games in the post season that he is more likely to have a bad game than not, based his overall body of work as a starting pitcher.

    attackgerbil December 10, 2008, 7:19 pm
  • From Jerry Crasnick:
    “The New York Yankees, making a hard late charge to beat out the Atlanta Braves for A.J. Burnett, offered the free agent right-hander a guaranteed five-year contract Wednesday, a baseball source told ESPN.com.”

    Nick-YF December 10, 2008, 7:28 pm
  • So I assume Rod and Brad would advocate for trading Ortiz as soon as possible then. This guy hit .186 in the postseason in 2008 with only 1 HR and 4 RBI in 11 games, leaving many runners stranded in the process.
    The stats clearly show that Ortiz has totally lost his ability to hit in the month of october. If the sox are lucky they could get a mid-level prospect for this guy who is essentially worthless now.
    While they are at it dump Pedroia – sure he was an MVP in the meaningless regular season but he was 1 for 17 in ALDS. How much less clutch can you be then that? Beckett too, 9+ ERA in the postseason, he has clearly lost his post-season abilities.

    sam-YF December 10, 2008, 7:32 pm
  • Sam, the key is that early in their careers they showed that they were capable of doing it in the post-season, therefore they are forever clutch post-season performers (See the overrated Derek Jeter). If you don’t do it early, you don’t get the label. Chronology matters.

    Nick-YF December 10, 2008, 7:34 pm
  • Nick, clearly chronology only matters for non-Yankees since A-Rod was a clutch post-season performer with great numbers up until half way though the 2004 ALCS.

    sam-YF December 10, 2008, 7:46 pm
  • according to mlbtraderumors, boras said that the sox offered a contract to varitek. No numbers but my guess is an 8 year, $120 million deal.

    Nick-YF December 10, 2008, 7:54 pm
  • Nick: Well, Lowe’s BABIP against remained pretty steady his whole time in LA, and you’re right that Wang’s worked out okay in front of that defense. But I’m still skeptical. My feeling is that he’d do better in Boston than he would in New York (while Burnett or CC would have similar performance in both places).
    My feeling on the 8/180 figure is to be somewhat skeptical of it, given that it’s the Nationals. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Red Sox break 8/160, given what I’ve heard so far, so they might not be entirely opposed to getting close to that. While I think Tex is looking to get as much money as he can, the top offers are likely going to be in the same range and my feeling is that Boston wins out over the Nationals if the numbers are close because of the ‘A-Rod in Texas’ factor. I could also see the Sox guaranteeing a ninth year to break a tie.
    As for postseason numbers, the whole ‘clutch/unclutch’ thing is silly. With minor exceptions, it’s ALL small sample size and most players will, long-term, perform about as well as their career averages in the postseason. I’d feel quite good about CC on the mound in October if I were a Yanks fan, especially if he’s thrown less than 250 innings (the exhaustion argument, I think, does have merit).

    Micah-SF December 10, 2008, 7:55 pm
  • If Burnett signs with the Yankees, this is terrible news for Rays and Sox fans.
    I am no advocate of reflexive GMing and the Sox seem quite good at resisting this, but if the Burnett chip goes to NY, I say Theo needs to offer Tex what he wants (which he might be planning on regardless of where Burnett lands), then figure out which pitcher he might go after, if he thinks the Sox need more pitching.
    I am fully on the “sign Tex now ask questions later” bandwagon.

    SF December 10, 2008, 9:02 pm
  • It’s an exciting day for the Yanks. They landed a whale, a real ace. YFs should check out Cliff Corcoran’s analysis over on BB if they really want to feel good about it. A rotation with CC, Wang, Joba, and Hughes means contention for the long term, and they’re not even done acquiring. (I’m hoping for Sheets and Burnett, and am extremely skeptical of Lowe, given the Yankee infield defense and his long residence in the no-hit NL west.)
    There’s a good argument that the Yanks biggest need this offseason was the bat of Teixeira. As it is, they should get a huge boost from the return of Jorge Posada, but they’re going to need to find some more runs, or it’s going to be very edgy year.

    YF December 10, 2008, 9:28 pm
  • If the Yanks do indeed pick up Burnett and Sheets, then you have a rotation of CC, Wang, Joba, Burnett and Sheets. What then becomes of Hughes? Is he a long-man out of the pen? A swing-man who gives the occasional start. Or do you trade him when his value as a relative unknown is still pretty high to get the runs you need? What becomes of Kennedy? I wonder if this very aggressive pursuit of pitching means the Yanks are thinking of dealing some of their talented young arms.

    Nick-YF December 10, 2008, 9:32 pm
  • I am fully on the “sign Tex now ask questions later” bandwagon.
    As the driver of that bandwagon for several months, SF, welcome aboard!
    I doubt seriously any reports about any offers the Nats have made. I’ve heard three reports today, each with a different length of time and each with a different value, so I guess we’ll see.
    The Red Sox paid Manny Ramirez $20 million per year for eight years. That contract looked right, finally, in the last few years, even with Ramirez’s reduced production. Teixeira is as certain a bet to come close to replicating Ramirez’s production going forward as you’re going to get on the free agent market (Teixeira’s 2007-08 is in line with Ramirez’s 2004-05). If Ramirez was considered to be worth $20 million posting 126 and 136 OPS+ in 07-08 for Boston, I would have no problem paying Teixeira $25 million for production hitting 140-150 OPS+.
    Basically, Micah nails it on the head. The Yankees can get Sabathia, Burnett and Lowe, but if the Sox get Teixeira, I’ll consider this offseason a success for Boston.

    Paul SF December 10, 2008, 9:36 pm
  • I knew Manny Ramirez, and Mark Teixeira is no Manny Ramirez.
    Not. Even. Close.
    One is the best hitter of his generation. The other isn’t even in the top 3 at his *position*.
    Quick, someone name the last huge contract to a 1B that panned out. Not Giambi. Not Helton. And Teixeira is Helton outside of Coors.
    Then look at Teixieira’s top comps:
    1. Carlos Delgado (935)
    2. Kent Hrbek (925)
    3. Fred McGriff (913)
    4. Jim Thome (911)
    5. Will Clark (910)
    6. Jeff Bagwell (909)
    7. Willie McCovey (906) *
    8. Richie Sexson (904)
    9. Shawn Green (901)
    10. Paul Konerko (899)
    Best case is: Delgado. Or McGriff.
    Worst case is: Hrbek. Or Sexson. Or Green. Or Konerko.

    Rob December 11, 2008, 12:25 am
  • Giambi worked out alright, and he was already terrible on defense.
    That said, as a slugger, Teixeira is no Giambi. He’s no Helton, either. But he’s the best there is on the market, and he’ll help tremendously an offense like the Red Sox, who have a questionable DH, a questionable 3B, a questionable RF, no catcher, and a questionable CFer.

    Andrew December 11, 2008, 12:28 am
  • @ Andrew
    Sorry, but it makes no sense for the Sox to overreact. With all their problems in 2008, they came one game short of the World Series. Tying up 200 million in a good, but not great, 1B is a recipe for long-term roster and payroll inflexibility, especially with the extensions they’ll need to sign over the next few years.
    Better to make small moves, at a fraction of the cost, to improve the blackholes at C and SS. That would keep them in contention, especially if they fortified the bullpen as well.

    Rob December 11, 2008, 12:46 am
  • I knew Manny Ramirez, and Mark Teixeira is no Manny Ramirez.
    Not. Even. Close.

    You’re right, he’s better now than Manny is now. He’s also a gold-glover at his position, which Manny, well, isn’t.
    He’s also 8 years younger than Manny, making him one of the best long-term options that will be available for quite a while. Manny is the better player over the course of his career, but at this point Tex is better.
    By the way, how has Helton’s contract been bad? He signed in 2001 and has OPS+’ed 160, 147, 165, 165, 144, 117, 133 and 100 since then, and he was injured last year. Sure he’s aging, but he has certainly delivered for the majority of his contract. And Giambi is a somewhat unique case; Tex’ body isn’t likely to degenerate due to steroid use. Also, Giambi hit more than 30 homeruns in 5 of his 7 years, and the other two years he was injured. 5 great years out of 7 ain’t bad, and like I said his steroid use made him a unique case.
    So really, what’s your definition of a 1B that has “panned out”? And how is Tex not one of the top three 1B? Pujols is obviously the best (by a wide margin), but behind him Tex has the highest OBP, SLG and 2nd highest AVG. You might say Youk is a better 1B, but until he has an OPS+ above 117 for more than one season I’ll be skeptical.
    Your arguments about tying up payroll for the next decade are spot on; I agree completely that extending Youk/Paps/Beckett are very important. But trying to say that Tex is not a great player (and that 1B contracts in general don’t pan out) isn’t exactly accurate.

    Atheose December 11, 2008, 1:41 am
  • Tying up 200 million in a good, but not great, 1B
    Repeating this over and over again does not make your opinion any more valid. Mark Teixeira has just put up OPS+ of 150 in back-to-back seasons, and he’s 28.
    Care to guess how many first basemen since 1995 have done that in EITHER their age 27 or age 28 seasons? Twelve. Their names:
    Pujols, Delgado, Thomas, Bagwell, Helton, Teixeira, Giambi, Thome and Vaughn.
    Who did it both years? Pujols (157 and 190), Thomas (179 and 178) and Teixeira (150 and 153).
    Let’s look at it this way: Best OPS+ for first basemen their age 27 and 28 seasons combined, back to 1975. Ten players with a 150 OPS+ or better. Thomas, Pujols, Bagwell, Delgado, McGriff, Murray, Helton, Teixeira, Will Clark and Andre Thornton.
    Go back to 1955 and you add four more: Boog Powell, Dick Allen, Jim Gentile and Willie McCovey.
    Go back to 1935, and add four more again: Jimmie Foxx, Johnny Mize, Hank Greenberg and Phil Cavarretta.
    Go to the beginning of the live-ball era in 1920, and add three more: Lou Gehrig, George Sisler and Jim Bottomley.
    So in the live-ball era, there have been 21 first basemen with an OPS+ of at least 150 in their age 27 and 28 seasons combined. Eight are in the Hall of Fame, four probably should be when they become eligible (Pujols, Thomas, Bagwell and Helton), there’s terrific cases to be made for two more (Delgado and Allen). You’ve also got generationally great hitters who fall short, such as McGriff, Powell, Cavarretta, Thornton and Will Clark.
    That leaves exactly one player of the 21 who fell flat — Jim Gentile, whose presence here is largely because of his insane 187 OPS+ age 27 season in 1961. He never topped 130 after that, posted a 125 in 119 games at age 31, then played just 81 games the next season and went to Japan before retiring.
    Now, two seasons is a pretty small sample, so let’s go all the way back to Tex’s breakout age-24 season, from which he has a 140 OPS+. How many first basemen in the live-ball era did so well from ages 24 through 28?
    Just eighteen. Don Mattingly and Jim Thome jump in. Thornton, Cavarretta, Gentile, Allen and Sisler drop out.
    So Teixeira’s company grows even more elite:
    - Eight Hall of Famers (Gehrig, Foxx, Mize, Greenberg, McCovey and Bottomley).
    - Five active or recently retired players who should or will eventually make the Hall (Thomas, Pujols, Bagwell, Thome and Helton).
    - Four borderline cases of varying candidacy strengths (McGriff, Clark, Mattingly, Delgado).
    - And Mark Teixeira.
    Not a single first baseman with the OPS+-based career arc of Mark Teixeira thus far is anything less than a borderline Hall of Famer — even if the currently active players all retired tomorrow.
    Only three of those who have retired failed to be productive through their age 36 seasons — Gehrig, who was stricken with ALS after age 35; Foxx, who drank himself into oblivion after age 33; and Mattingly, whose back woes cut short his career after age 33. A fair number put together productive seasons into their late 30s, though it gets pretty sketchy after age 37.
    The historical data does not give any reason for concern — Teixeira is a healthy switch-hitting slugger with a career track for greatness. Nothing’s a sure thing, but he’s as close as you can get.

    Paul SF December 11, 2008, 3:03 am
  • I predict that with the CC signing, the Yanks will now only finish 7 games behind the Rays and Sox for third place in the AL East next year.
    Remember, improvement is measured in baby steps.

    SoxFan December 11, 2008, 8:03 am
  • @ Atheose
    You want to be paying Teixeira $20 million/year to OPS+ 100 and 117 and in two of the last three years of an eight year deal? What if the cost goes to ten years?
    And Teixieira isn’t even Helton, unless you’re talking about the one that hits outside of Coors.
    Helton – Road: .294 .394 .494
    Teixeira – Road: .273 .368 .502
    Teixeira just doesn’t have the power or patience that ages well. His baseline is already low to begin with.
    @ Paul
    You’re just looking at confirming evidence. That’s never a way to approach reasoned analysis, unless you work for Scott Boras.
    Problem is, 150+ OPS is completely arbitrary. It creates a group where there isn’t one. If you merely boost that to 160 OPS+, Teixeira falls by the wayside because he isn’t, and has never been a hitter equal to those twelve names. Teixeira has never hit for the power to suggest his bat will age well.
    You make Will Clark a footnote. Except he fits much better than any of the other names you give more attention to. He’s in Teixiera’s top 10 comparables and he also had back to back 150 OPS+ seasons at age 27 and 28 (154 and 150). But he had better numbers than Teixeira’s ever had and at younger age (175 OPS+ at 25 and 160 OPS+ at age 24). And he went on to stay mostly productive, just not HOF, or borderline, productive.
    Will Clark was a very good baseball player. Just not a Hall of Famer. And not one I’d have wanted to pay $20 million a year for six to eight years after his 30th birthday, not even if it means two very good years before that.
    Will Clark’s trajectory is Teixeira’s best case. And that just isn’t good enough for the dollars and years required.

    Rob December 11, 2008, 8:50 am
  • Here’s Will Clark after his back-to-back 150 OPS+ years at age 27 and 28:
    29: 117
    30: 140
    31: 123
    32: 101
    33: 128
    34: 126
    35: 127
    36: 144 (split season)
    That’s a very good run to round out his career but averaging about 120 games a year. It’s just not worth $20 million/year and the roster and payroll inflexibility it creates at position where finding offense isn’t that difficult.
    For those numbers, sign Giambi for a fraction of the cost and rotate him in with Ortiz and Lowell. Defense at 1B matters little any ways and it’s the least important defensive position. He’d be fine filler until Lars has arrived.

    Rob December 11, 2008, 8:59 am
  • Good numbers Paul… and that’s not even including defense.
    Rob, if Tex can OPS+ 150 in 6 of his 8 years I’ll consider it a success, even if he’s only league-average in those other two seasons. And seriously, what’s your definition of a first-baseman “panning out”?

    Atheose December 11, 2008, 9:51 am

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