Filling The Void

With the news of A-Rods latest injury that will keep him on the shelf until midseason at the least, the Yankees find themselves looking to fill yet another void on the field and in the lineup. Without a clear major league ready farmhand ready to step in the team will have to make a choice; roll the dice with a rookie or shop the FA market. Some may point to former pinstriper Brandon Laird, who was let go earlier this year, but with over 100 plate appearances that amounted to an OPS just north of .700 and a glove that was nothing to fawn over I can’t say I’d be kicking myself for letting him walk. The minors aren’t completely barren, and the FA market may provide a player or two that fit the bill so let’s take a look at who could land in the Bronx come next spring.

 Corban Joseph

Of all the players you’ll read about here, Joseph is the least likely to make a stand, but he is the closest minor league player we have in the system. Corban made his way to Scranton in 2012 after playing the first month in Trenton. His average fell off a bit, but his power saw a sizeable increase; his HR total more than doubled his previous season total in only 327 AB’s in AAA while his doubles total stayed on pace. To be fair, Trenton has one of the biggest parks in the league, but with the porch on his side in the Bronx he could continue to flash a bit of pop. He did however, show quite the platoon split for Scranton; his OPS against lefties was a dismal .493 while he absolutely mashed right handers to the tune of a .961 OPS. Of the 40 XBH’s he had in AAA, only five of them came against southpaws, so he’d have to have a platoon partner if he couldn’t get that straightened out. Even so, a left handed bat like that could certainly play in YS3. The big drawback for Joseph, and quite possibly the deal breaker is that it’s been a while since he’s seen time at the hot corner. 2011 was the last time he took the field there, and it was only for a handful of games. The rest of his career has seen him at second or the DH spot, so he’d be an option to fill in for Robbie if the injury bug bites or he needs a day, but the opportunities look to be few and far. I’d put him in the trade bait category, but with Cano’s impending free agency the FO might just want to hold on to him in case the Boras client prices himself right out of the BX.

 David Adams

Once upon a time Adams was on the prospect radar, until he nearly ruined his ankle and spent the better part of two seasons recovering and then getting his game back. Some will recall Adams as the guy that was initially in on the Montero for Lee trade until Seattle pulled the rug out on the deal and ended up taking a package revolved around Justin Smoak of the Rangers system. Adams made his way back to Trenton in 2012 and hit for a .306/.385/.450/.834 slash line while spending the first part of the season manning second and then getting moved to third later in the year. This, coincidentally or not, was right around the time that Alex ended up on the DL again. Adams was then sent to Arizona as part of the Yankee squad to participate in the fall leagues to get some more work in, where he continued to hit and ended his stint in the desert with a .912 OPS. With limited experience at the upper levels, they may not want to put all their money on Adams to run the hot corner in Alex’s place, but he isn’t far away. He hasn’t shown a ton of power in Trenton but he does take his fair share of walks and won’t strike out a ton. He’s also got a decent glove and was said to be making the transition to third well.

 Jeff Keppinger

As I type this, it’s been reported that Keppinger has inked a three year deal with the White Sox. From what I had read the Yanks were willing to go two years, so the third year put them out. Bollocks.

 Kevin Youkilis

It’s difficult not to have an initial emotional reaction when this guys name and the Yankees are mentioned in the same sentence. His incessant whining to the umpires is bad enough, and add in his stupid bat waggle and the fact that I’d be a afraid to see what’s under that goatee and it’s enough to send me running, tearing my hair out at the roots. With that stuff aside and the numbers in front of me, I can’t say that Youk on a one year deal would be a bad thing. He takes his walks, won’t strike out all day and hits for a bit of pop. On the other hand, he fell off quite a bit last year and has been prone to time on the DL, so getting his time at the DH spot and days off might be necessary. He can also man first base, which gives us the backup that we lost in Swisher. If he could get back to an OPS+ in the realm of 120 while fielding a decent glove I’d be in. It might take a daily cocktail of Dramamine, Valium and Makers Mark to get through it, but then again, I’ve done worse.

 Eric Chavez

Chavez has seen limited playing time in pinstripes the last two years, filling the hot corner and standing in as a left handed bat with some pop. We all know Chavez won’t be able to man the position ever day, but he could serve as a solid platoon player that can also play both corners. 2012 was a solid campaign for Chavez that saw him put up a 126 OPS+, hitting 16 HR’s; his hot streak kept the team running down the stretch, and while he did cool off he was a big part of us keeping pace with the pesky Showalters. His playing time increased quite a bit going from 2011-12, and if he could give us 250-300 AB’s I’d sign up for that in a minute. His defense is still very solid and given regular rest he could provide enough of a boost with his bat to run him out there and not sacrifice overall production in a major way.

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Posted on December 5, 2012, in Personal Opinion, Player Analysis. Bookmark the permalink. 49 Comments.

  1. If Joseph could play 3B, I’d be OK with an Adams & Joseph platoon. However, it won’t happen. Keppinger would have made a lot of sense but he’s gone. i don’t mind seeing Chavez go. he was excellent last yr in his role but he’s a time bomb waiting to explode. His chronic back problems could knock him out at anytime and I’m glad they let him go a year early than a year late.

    I’m hearing the Yanks are in on Jack Hannahan. An excellent fielding 3B who can’t hit a lick. i’d rather go with Ian Stewart who is said to be healthy after wrist surgery. But I keep coming back to Youkilis – he makes a lot of sense as a RH bat with power and patience. We all hate him from his Boston days but we’ve taken Boggs, Clemens, Damon, etc so I have no problem taking Youk since he seems like the best candidate. I don’t want Mark Reynolds.

    • Can we see if Charlie Hayes wants to come back.

    • Yankees are talking to Reynolds. Only better option than him would be Youk. We need righty power so they could do a lot worse. Although I’m sure most would, disagree but strikeouts are not as big as a problem to me as most. Although having him and Grandy would be tough even I would admit.

      • Looking at his defensive numbers they’re quite bad. Actually would be a good DH fit, since we don’t have one of those either.

      • I truly hope they don’t sign Reynolds. He’s a butcher at 3B and is another 3 outcome hitter at the plate…..HR, K or Walk. He Strikes Out even MORE than Granderson which is hard to do. The strikeouts alone aren’t the issue it’s what the strikeouts cause – and that is a terrible Batting Average. Yanks can’t afford another .213 hitter with poor defense. I really think Youkilis makes the most sense especially since he’ll entertain a 1-yr deal.

        I’d rather go with Ian Stewart platooning with David Adams or Laynce Nix before Reynolds. It seems like they had the right idea going for keppinger who is a high average, line drive hitter with some defensive versatility. If they can’t get Youk or pull a trade, go with the young upside of Stewart & Adams and use the money saved to get a better corner of AND/OR dh.

    • fishjam, I agree Youk is the best option.

      • Boras said at his press conference that Cashman told him he is unable to go after players he wants now and is working with ownership to see where he can go.

        • Matthew…
          Sorry to have missed the Chat. I know you have very good reasons for your opinions, I have a couple for you, I need a opinion on, if you please!
          I take it, you think D-Rob can close better than Joba?
          Any info on Shohei Otani the 18-year-old Japanese pitcher?
          I can’t see Jeter being at SS for Spring training, if he is, he must have broken his ankle above the Medial Malleolus, one of the Fibula (small bone) or the Tibia (large bone) must have been what broke if he is ready for ST, don’t you think?
          Thanks if you have time, if not…so be it! :)

          • Its all good Ken. Yeah he can probably close better than Joba even though he struggled doing it in a short stint last year. I know nothing on Otani and Jeter won’t be ready for Spring Training but should be good for opening day/

            • Matthew…
              Thank you for your input. Jeter good for opening day, good!

              • Morning Ken. hope all is well. Yankees seem to have a lot of issues. This off-season might be a long one.

                • Matthew S…
                  Yup, it is going to be a long and twisting road this year.
                  After all the years of the Yankees buying any player they wanted I have mixed feelings with this new way they have chosen to go.
                  I honestly think they should have started this thing many years ago, it is good business to not spend money they need not spend.
                  That could have been done without fans even noticing it, if spread over five or more years.
                  The other side is; I want to win….if you enter the game, you play to win, anything less is unacceptable.

                  Have a good one, tomorrow is another day! :)

                  • old yankee and Matt, as an old coach I always look at the next year as a challenge, I am enjoying the moves that the Yanks have made so far with the pitching. I always look at the glass half full. The pitching is solid for this year, maybe players like Dickerson, Joseph, Romine, and Adams will get their chance. The last few days it seemed like every player Cashman went after was signed, he must have been going after the right guys. It’s always time to look forward and only look to the past to change your direction.

                    • i agree with you that the pitching was taken care of. Now can we get the bats to support them and give them the runs.

                      Yankees always have a hard time going with the young guys.

                    • Doug and Matt S….The youngest player to ever be on the starting roster was the Great Mickey Mantle @19 years old After that there have been four at 21 years old and Jeter at 22. So Matt, you is right by damn, de Yanks ain’t got no learnens, only 4 players after Mick! ‘Da dun’t like you youngen’s so much does da’? :)

                      Doug…You seem to have the right out look on things as it seems (to me) you are also right, on most things! One thing that has been pointed out by a few fans is, Cashman’s lack of signing players. As You pointed out , those he has gone after have signed elsewhere for more years. He is really trying but Hal, Hank, King Gorge and Levin and had put the spending limit in place a few years ago. Example; Tex, Cash had to go to Hal to get the ok! Now, Hal and Dumber have put the number they want in ’14 and said to Cashman…”just get it done”! :)

  2. I must regroup!…I know nothing. All my schemes, Irish dreams, signings….all out the window.
    I think, Brian will again obtain players, we of yet, have not spoken of. It seems to be the way, he is most astute at, in accomplishing his goal. As for patrick?…I look in the mirror now, and see a dunce.

  3. In the coarse of regrouping….I have learned something! Irish, and learning, are never seen in the same sentence. Here today, I learned the word…………………………”Bollocks”. Funny, it was used in a post, and I had no idea. Bollocks to the Keppinger signing……….yes!

  4. WOULD A TRADE….involving Hughes, Nunez, and a young minor arm….bring back players that would make the 2013 squad clearer? Sure, why not? To whom?…don’t ask me…bollocks!

  5. Very talented writer…Mr. Toucon. The in depth knowledge, along with a mix of humor, and insight….make him a pleasure to read. Been wanting to say that.

  6. MARK REYNOLDS….I look at his strike outs, to number of at bats….and I begin to have a seizure.
    Can the guru, Kevin Long, correct him? As he did with Curtis? The Yankees met with his agent today. I hope they met by accident. But, don’t ask me, I know nothing. Is it cocktail hour yet?

  7. A. J. Pierzynski………lifted this one, from the blog site….. ‘Horsehide Chronicles’.
    In an attempt to say why the Yankees should not sign Pierzynski, they put the following in….
    “A Sports Illustrated poll of 215 players back in 2011 revealed Pierzynski to be the meanest player in all of baseball. More recently, a survey of 100 players by Men’s Journal carried out earlier this year revealed Pierzynski to be the most hated player in the league by a mile.”
    ********************************
    Thereafter, their fans voted overwhelmingly to sign Pierzynski…………..including patrick.

  8. This is very sad, all of it.

    • Michael P………………very sad? Don’t beat yourself up. Yes, some are off the table….but there are so many options/possibilities yet to unravel. Step back, and breathe out….better?
      Names yet to surface, will be your 2013 Yankees. I’m sure of it. Take care.

  9. Patrick no names should be off the table for the most lucrative franchise in sports. Management’s reluctance to spend money is troubling.

    • Michael………yes, some names are off the table….true. But it is like pealing away at a piece of fruit. Perhaps what management wants, is inside, and as yet….not revealed. Don’t be troubled, all will be well.

  10. Matthew Smircich…Editor, co. Founder of YFU.
    Regarding Jim2222/4444…………with all do respect.
    Matthew, a few days back, I pointed out to Jim222 that what he was posting was out of line.
    That was my opinion, nothing more. Simply…man to man.
    If he is banned now, that was not my intent. I only brought up points, that I was troubled by.
    I think Jim can be addressed, and be put back on track. Your site, your call.
    Someone said you do not like e-mails, so I’m in the open tonight. My two cents, take care.

    • I don’t like to follow nor do i like rules, to PC for me!
      I don’t think Jimmy2244 means any harm or disrespect to anyone, I just see it as not knowing who sets the rules. Rules, buy the way, we have all broken a few times. I’m not big on rules, to confining but, you are the boss…we follow or fly off!

  11. Bring back the Rooster!

  12. Bring back Barney Rubble!

  13. Bring back George Jetson!

  14. Bring back the Ghost of Joe Quinn!

  15. Bring back Free Hankies!

  16. Bring back Dan L. !

  17. OK here I go again—-Help me out here, this 189 thing for 2014? I am all over the place and high math not my best suit. Does this NOT only save the difference after reaching the 189, dropping tax rate to 17 1/2 from 50% on a 220 payroll sae like 6.8M??? where am i wrong?

    • john…..fishjam, and Toucan know this stuff. But, I think if they hit the 189# by 2014….the luxury tax # will be lower going forward. Much lower.

    • John, you are correct. The Yanks going under the cap get to reset their Tax Rate. As habitual offenders, they are now up to the maximum 50% tax. So by going under once they reset the tax to 17.5% the 1st time, 30% the 2nd time, 40% the 3rd time, then back to 50%. So the hypothetical savings would be as follows:

      2014 – drop payroll from 220 to 188 is a $32M Savings plus 16M saved in Tax for a $48M savings
      2015 – back to 220 but 32m is taxed at 17.5% so only $5.6m tax instead of $16m so a $10.4m Savings
      2016 – 220 but 32m taxed at 30% (9.6m) instead of 50 for $6.4 Savings

      So that’s a 3 year savings of $64.8m to get below tax for 1 season

      ALSO, by getting below the cap they will get a rebate on their Revenue Sharing Money. While the numbers vary greatly, they could be looking at another $20-60m rebate here. So there is a huge potential savings of over $100 Million over 3 years and a lot more if they get under for more than 1 year.

      That said, I don’t think it’s a smart decision. The organization already prints money just by being the #1 team in pro sports. They maintain that money by annually being the most interesting team in sports with a massive fan following. In recent years they have seen a decrease in attendance and a bit of apathy from fans. To stop spending big money now when the Farm System isn’t ready to supply good cheap alternatives is not a wise business move IMO. Perhaps going for the $189 in 2015 or 2016 would be wiser since they should have a lot of young MLB ready talent by then….right now the cupboard is bear thanks to many bad trades and a reluctance to give youth a chance for years.

      • Fish thanks even I can understand that explanation—-I was not considering the savings of 32M (difference) from 220 t0 188. Was thinking only of the tax difference, thus the 6.8ish. Hogwash they been making tons by spending now this!!!! wonder what genius came up with the plan.

  18. I am but 1 exiled fan, indirectly pay into Yankee coffers thru Extra Innings on Direct TV + Sports package to add YES somewhere around $400 per year

    • Wow that’s a lot to watch the bombers. You are from Chicago I believe you said before right?

    • john…so whats it gonna be, son? $400 per year?…or nothing?
      I have cable….do not know the % that goes to the Yankees.
      You can save money, watch re-runs of Dallas……and read the paper in the am.

  19. Heads-up..Cowgirls!
    “The Yankees are still listening to offers on Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes, and Ivan Nova, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.”
    ********
    Why not. The alternative, is to fill the ranks with nondescript minor leaguers. No way.

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