Sunday, July 27, 2014

Giancarlo Stanton: could the Yankees just buy his contract? Caveat emptor.

In the late 1970s I thought the three young big boppers were: Jim Rice, Dave Parker and George Foster.  Today I think they are Mike TroutGiancarlo Stanton and Bryce Harper.  Trout has already signed a big contract extension with the Angels and Harper is a left handed batter, Stanton a righty like Trout.  My rule of thumb: when in doubt, go with the righty.  72% of pitches are thrown by righties and 63% of plate appearances are by righties.  A righty batter who plays a lot must be able to hit righty pitchers.  Not so for a lefty batter against lefty pitchers.  See Ryan Howard.

Harper's career OPS against:
righties: .871
lefties: .718

Giancarlo Stanton in Busch Stadium May 5, 2011
by d-deee  via Wikimedia Commons
So Stanton is the target big bopper for the Yankees.  Although Stanton is the oldest of the three, he's won't be 25 until Nov. 8.  The earliest Stanton can become a free agent is 2017.  But 2015 is his earliest arbitration year and he is likely to get a big pay increase from his 2014 compensation of $6.5 million.  His Marlins team may not want to pay him, especially if it seems unlikely that Stanton would sign a contract extension with the Marlins.

Stanton was born in Panorama City, CA and attended Notre Dame High School (Sherman Oaks, CA).  So he's a California guy and may want to return there.  His California  options:

Dodgers: already with too many overpaid outfielders
Giants: maybe
As: probably would not want to pay him
Angels: already paying first baseman Albert Pujols and outfielders Trout and Josh Hamilton
Padres: are you kidding?

So, what about the New York Yankees?  I've about given up on the Steinbrenners.  They're too dumb and unimaginative to compete within the spirit of the soft salary cap, which they have exceeded each of the past 12 seasons, far more than all other teams combined.  In other words, the other teams can compete within the limits but the Yankees cannot.  And the Yankees are locked in a downward spiral from which they cannot escape.  They continue to spend more and get older but not better.  The Yankee minor league players are not good enough to tempt the Marlins to trade Stanton.  The only hope is for the Yankees is to do what they have done since George Steinbrenner got controlling interest in the team in 1973: bludgeon the opposition into submission by spending obscene amounts of money to improve.

Should rich teams be allowed to buy players from poor teams?  Thursday, July 3, 2014

Bowie Kuhn was the fifth Commissioner of Major League Baseball from February 4, 1969, to September 30, 1984.  Kuhn basically stopped significant player sales ...

The main supporting argument for blocking such sales is that teams would buy championships.  But that argument has been prevalent for decades, pretty much form the start of free agency ...
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Blemished Club’s Playoff Bid Relies on a Mound Makeover  JULY 26, 2014
by Tyler Kepner  The New York Times

The Yankees included cash in all five transactions, and lost two fringe major leaguers and one prospect...

The Yankees had the will to land an All-Star, like Jeff Samardzija, but not the prospects. They would have the cash to grab a big name like Cliff Lee — if his elbow holds up — in an August waiver deal.
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It appears that the policy is eroding while commissioner Allan Huber "Bud" Selig sleeps.  The Yankees probably would have to wait until Selig officially leaves office in January 2015.  Plus, the Steinbrenner kids don't want to be outcasts in their social circles and bend the rules in order to really compete.  They'd rather continue to try to fool some of the people some of the time with ever increasing and meaningless ceremonies.

Caveat emptor: let the buyer beware.

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