FanDuel - WFBC

September 26, 2013

Yankees Out of Playoff Contention: For only the second time in 19 years, the New York Yankees will not be a part of the Major League Baseball postseason. The Yankees trail the Cleveland Indians for the final wild card spot in the American League by six victories with four games remaining. Any retooling for next season will occur without starting pitcher Andy Pettitte or closer Mariano Rivera, who are both retiring, and Alex Rodriguez is facing a season-long suspension over allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs. "It's extremely disappointing," manager Joe Girardi said. "And it's back to the drawing board."

posted by rcade to baseball at 03:08 PM - 21 comments

The Yankees really are in bad shape - they've got the most expensive re-sign on the market in Cano, plus Kuroda's probably the #2 starter out there behind Garza. They'll spend some money just staying where they are, let alone re-tooling.

posted by dfleming at 03:15 PM on September 26

My friend at work who is a Yankees fan is really pessimistic, though it reminds me of my attitude going into this season as a Red Sox fan, so maybe they will come up with some surprises.

posted by Rock Steady at 05:00 PM on September 26

How's their farm system looking? Are there players at the Triple A level that are ready to move up and make an impact?

posted by NoMich at 05:16 PM on September 26

Cano needs to get off the pipe if he thinks he's getting $305 million. I wouldn't give him a third of that.

Waiting for Jeter to announce next year is his final season. He probably wants the attention to himself as he goes around the league getting gifts.

posted by dyams at 06:47 PM on September 26

Waiting for Jeter to announce next year is his final season. He probably wants the attention to himself as he goes around the league getting gifts.

Well, it's only fair that someone give HIM parting gifts...

posted by grum@work at 08:49 PM on September 26

How's their farm system looking? Are there players at the Triple A level that are ready to move up and make an impact?

Four prospects in the top 100, but none in AAA.

posted by grum@work at 08:55 PM on September 26

How's their farm system looking? Are there players at the Triple A level that are ready to move up and make an impact?

Don't the entire American and National Leagues constitute the Yankee farm system?

posted by billinnagoya at 09:00 PM on September 26

Don't the entire American and National Leagues constitute the Yankee farm system?

Part of the reason for the failure for the Yankees this year (beyond injuries) is that the Yankees had nothing in the minors, so they were forced to acquire such luminary players like:

Lyle Overbay (89 OPS+)
Vernon Wells (76 OPS+)
Travis Hafner (87 OPS+)
Kevin Youkilis (79 OPS+)
Reid Brignac (-25 OPS+) (yes, that's a negative sign)
Brent Lillibridge (9 OPS+)
Ben Francisco (13 OPS+)
Brendan Ryan (82 OPS+)
Alberto Gonzalez (5 OPS+)
Chris Nelson (44 OPS+)

That's a boatload of suck that was acquired during the pre-season and during the season to fill the holes

Soriano, Reynolds, Boesch (who they cut) were the only pickups this season that provided any real positive value with the bat.

The days of the Yankees acquiring any player they want seem to be over. T hey don't have the minor league strength to swing a good trade, and they are going to be terribly hamstrung next year with big contracts on bad/old/injured players.

posted by grum@work at 10:43 PM on September 26

At the end of last year we heard talk of the Yanks concentrating on reeling in their payroll. Based on this years results I think they better stick with what they know ... buy every free agent they can get their hands on and overpay every player by at least 40%. They were really successful in the years they simply bought all of their competition's best players.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:11 AM on September 27

They're going to be like the Yankees I remember watching on bounced WPIX broadcasts in the pre-cable era when I was an impressionable youth.

The Horace Clarke years.

posted by beaverboard at 07:49 AM on September 27

They were really successful in the years they simply bought all of their competition's best players.

They've won only one championship during the luxury tax era which proportionally increases each time you exceed it up to the 4th - so they're paying 40% more on every dollar above $178 million from here on out.

They've paid nearly $200 million in addition to salaries through the luxury tax since 2003 and have only one championship to show for it. Financially, they need a new model for success and are transitioning as a result.

posted by dfleming at 08:31 AM on September 27

stick with what they know ... buy every free agent they can get their hands on and overpay every player by at least 40%. They were really successful in the years they simply bought all of their competition's best players.

I'm guessing you know this, but that claim is so specific as to be indefensible. Quickly scanning their salad days, there aren't many players that fit all three bits: acquired as a free agent after playing for a direct competitor and paid more than 140% of their previous salary. Jimmy Key is the one pitcher who matches. Kenny Rogers comes close. Even Roger Clemens, who seems like the perfect example of what you're discussing isn't a match: assuming we accept the Blue Jays were competition, his salary actually dropped when he moved to the Yankees (the same is true of David Cone). On the hitting side I looked at a number of people and only Tino Martinez fits, though given the sheer number of people I picked out names I thought of: Boggs got a slight bump in pay at age 38. Paul O'Neil was acquired in a trade. Knoublach didn't get a huge raise.

Much as I hate the Yankees and really hated them then (since the Red Sox were decent for a number of the years in the late '90s and early '00s), the idea the Yanks simply out-paid isn't really supportable. They spent well on the big-name players but did a great job of putting together incredible teams by finding under-valued players. One of my pet theories (and I stole it from somewhere; if it sounds smart it's because of whomever I stole it from) is the true power that money provides in sport isn't the ability to overpay for obvious stars, it's the ability to take "risks" without them actually being risky. A number of the players the Yankees got value from were people other teams couldn't afford to take on because of the downside risk: Doc Gooden and Daryl Strawberry are the most obvious cases, but even someone like David Wells who we now remember as a potential Hall of Famer and the author of a perfect game who pitched for another decade after first signing with the Yankees was a risky signing: a one-time All Star coming off his first bad year at age 34 isn't someone most teams would pay like a front-line starter.

You keep throwing bombs and we'll keep defusing them :)

posted by yerfatma at 10:49 AM on September 27

Oops: just looked and Tino Martinez and Jeff Nelson came in a trade, so scratch Tino from the list too. If you want to include the 2009 Yankees, I suppose that team better matches your case, but it also seems like the death throes of a fattened king, one last round-up before the end.

posted by yerfatma at 11:02 AM on September 27

Jason Giambi fits, but they were not the only team to raid the A's cupboard over the years.

posted by dfleming at 11:58 AM on September 27

But he wasn't on a Series winner, was he? Closest he came was in 2003.

posted by yerfatma at 01:14 PM on September 27

Series winner wasn't really a part of the defined criteria, was it? I agree with what you are saying entirely and it's mildly pedantic, but if the criteria was paying 40% more and stealing from a direct competitor, Giambi fits.

posted by dfleming at 01:24 PM on September 27

If I was running the Yankees, I'd use the overwhelming money advantage in the minors everywhere I could. Pour money into facilities, scouting, coaching and prospects.

posted by rcade at 01:49 PM on September 27

If I was running the Yankees, I'd use the overwhelming money advantage in the minors everywhere I could

Couldn't agree more. A business strategy of continually buying assets at their peak value might fill some seats, definitely is an ego stroke, but doesn't result in on field results.

posted by cixelsyd at 02:49 PM on September 27

I got an e-mail from my priest, an avid Yankees fan in this rabidly Red Sox town, about 2 weeks ago asking if I could assist him as the Lay Eucharistic Minister at a funeral. I replied that I had another commitment, and I asked if he was performing the ceremony for the Yankees. He wrote back that it would not be nice to bury the subject while it was still breathing, however slight that might be. I think he can reconsider now, but it is still sad to see.

Where exactly do the Yankees go from here? There is very little "go to" talent on their roster, at least that is young enough to count on being able to play 150 or more games in a season. I am not up to speed on their minor league system, but I've not heard of any young players in AAA or even AA that are ready to make the club in spring training. To me it would appear that the best course would be to get rid of as many of the high-dollar deals as possible, If possible move some of your good-but-not-great major leaguers for bags of prospects, and start a rebuilding program. Boston did just that after the disaster of 2011, suffered through a terrible 2012, and with help from the Dodgers managed to fill an inside straight this season. If Brian Cashman can convince ownership to bite the bullet, he is certainly smart enough to do something similar.

posted by Howard_T at 03:20 PM on September 27

I agree with what you are saying entirely and it's mildly pedantic

Whoa, whoa, far be it from me to take a stand against pedantry. What would we talk about 45.93% of the time? I just assumed the Series win based on the "success" statement.

posted by yerfatma at 03:43 PM on September 27

There's a predominant story line that the Yankees were unlucky this year, and that's why they're not making the playoffs. Nonsense.

When you go into a season with a 39 year old shortstop and a 3rd baseman with 2 surgically repaired hips, you're lucky if they DON'T break down (and they brought in another broken down player -Youkilis- to back him up. Great plan).

They're lucky they got as much as the did from Pettitte, and their 43 year old closer actually made it through the season uninjured.

They spent the off season getting rid of players they could use and picking up washed up former stars. Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells went on to be two of the worst hitters in the league. Travis Hafner? Please.

Phil Hughes was terrible. Yet they had to continually send him out there because they have no one they thought even had a chance of success to replace him.

The Red Sox lost their closer, then their replacement closer, and still ended up with a closer that had a fantastic season. If Drew had gone down, they had two players in the minors that could have taken his place (and they traded one away for pitching).

Yeah, the Yankees had some bad luck. Granderson, Tex, but this was a team that needed everything to go their way to win because of poor off season moves to get under the salary cap, a barren minors at the AAA level, and depending on key players despite the fact that they're old as dirt.

They could turn it around, I wouldn't bet against them, but I wouldn't want to be the guy that tries to turn them around, at least not in the near future. And although there's no way on earth Cano is worth the money he's asking, I really don't know how they can't sign him. They should have, as many Yankee sites advocated, traded Cano when they could and hope for a good return.

Much as I hate the Yankees and really hated them then (since the Red Sox were decent for a number of the years in the late '90s and early '00s), the idea the Yanks simply out-paid isn't really supportable.

I've never thought the Yankees paid more than other teams for talent, in as much as they could match any team, and could sign more of those players (hence the high payrolls).

They also had the advantage that they were the Yankees. There is a certain prestige playing for the Yankees, and I've always felt that was a big advantage. If you have matching offers from the Astros and Yankees, I think most great players would choose the Yankees (legacy, prestige, history...). Yeah, some players don't want to play in NY, but I think it's a minor number comparatively.

I think Tex is a great example. I don't think he was ever going to be a Red Sox (thank god). I think he wanted to be a Yankee. And I think the reason Damon didn't give the chance to match NY's offer is because he loved the though of playing on the biggest stage.

At his point, teams are signing their stars to long term contracts earlier, and I don't think the Yankees are quite the prestigious pull they once were.

posted by justgary at 10:12 PM on September 28

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.