Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Baseball Goings On

Alright there's a decent amount of stuff to talk about so let's get right to it.

First, there's Andy Pettitte. He seems to have rejected the Yankees one year, ten million dollar contract offer. If I'm Cash, I call his bluff and say "Alright, Andy. You said Yankees or retire. You have the offer. If you want to leave it, fine. Have a nice retired life." The Yankees can definitely live without Andy Pettitte, as I said in my last blog post.

CHONE has projected Andy Pettitte at 9-9, 167 IP, 185 H, 15 HR, 54 BB, 125 SO, 5 HBP, 87 R, 80 ER, 4.31 ERA. That's a decent season. Decent. This would be nice for the Yankees to have, but there is no doubt in my mind that some combination of Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Alfredo Aceves, and possibly Phil Coke (who is getting a shot as a starter in Spring Training) could replicate those numbers, or something close to it.

But of course, I'm not Brian Cashman and this decision isn't in my hands. Chances are the Yankees could give Andy a little Yankee-bonus and raise their offer. In fact, according to those very same CHONE projections, Andy is worth 2.3 Wins over Replacement, which according to CHONE, is worth $10.1 million. I'm assuming the organization has this information and that could be why they're not budging. However, I"m more than certain they'd be willing to up the offer to $11 million, to which I wouldn't be opposed. But, I'd rather have them yank the offer off the table.

Next, there's the Jason Giambi signing. I think this move could win the A's the division again. A 3-4 combo of Matt Holliday is probably the best 3-4 combo in the AL West, now that Milton Bradley has left the Rangers for the Chicago Cubs on a three year, $30 million deal--more on that later.

Giambi's deal is for a shockingly low $4.5 million with a $5 million option for 2010. Now, I know Giambi is aging and not what he was when he was first in Oakland or even in New York, but he's worth more than that, IMO.

By my calculations, the same as the ones found here, Giambi will be worth $7.38 million as a DH and $8.33 million as a first baseman. So, like usual, Billy Beane is getting a discount.

On another note with the Giambi signing, for the last few years, every time the Yankees played in Oakland, the (hundreds of) fans in attendance would chant "STEROIDS" while Giambi came to the plate. Every time I would hear this, I would think to myself "Don't these dumb fucks realize that Giambi was taking steroids when he won an MVP in 2000 and was robbed of one in '01?" Morons. They'll start cheering for him again, though; that I'm sure of.

The next thing I'd like to touch on is the signings of Milton Bradley in Chicago and Pat Burrell in Tampa Bay. I think both signings are great for each team. Bradley and Burrell are underrated hitters and the argument could be made that both players were signed uner market value. The only thing holding back Bradley's value is his health. He's only played 140+ games ONCE in his career.

For what it's worth, Bradley projects to be worth $19.14 million next year:

21.7 runs above average - 7.5 (corner OF pos. adjustment) + 5 (corner def. projection)/10.5 (runs per win) + 2 (replacement level adjustment) x 5 (millions of dollars, value of win)

So the Cubs are definitely getting a huge discount on Mr. Board Game (lame joke, I know.).

As for Burrell, he made $14 million last year alone. Now, he's signed a two year, $16 million contract with the Rays. That's $8M a year. Burrell just took a $6M pay cut. Damn. Burrell's value this year projects to be worth $10.57 million in 2009. The Rays just made another great move after trading Edwin Jackson for Matt Joyce.

What does all of this have to do with the Yankees? Directly, not much; they're not in the market for a corner outfielder. However, indirectly it matters. Burrell and Bradley getting relatively below market-rate contracts for their services means that Brian Cashman anticipated the market tremendously when he didn't offer arbitration to Bobby Abreu. Abreu would've won way too much money through arbitration than he will probably get through free agency. Bobby Made $16 million in 2008 and his performance was valued at $5 million. This year, in the outfield, he projects to be worth 7.52 million (that -11 CHONE defensive projection really hurts) and 8 million flat as a DH. Funny, the deal Pat Burrell signed is exactly what Bobby Abreu should get.

Lastly, there's Mark Teixeira. I watched his press conference on Tuesday and was absolutely pumped. Tex seems genuinely elated to be here and I cannot wait for him to hit the field in pinstripes. Like he said, we should all go give his wife Leigh a big hug for convincing Mark to come to the Bronx!

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