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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Kill the Closer! Millions Yanks will pay: Chapman $17, Betances $3.

Top Yankee management clings to an outdated idea that is in disrepute. It took long enough for the disrepute to kick in. After fuming about it, I finally wrote about the silliness of the closer role ... in 2006.

Radical Baseball Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Kenneth Matinale

June 9, 2006

Start the closer.

Last night the Yanks were leading the Red Sox 3-2 in the sixth, bases loaded, no outs. Starter Jaret Wright was done. With the game on the line manager Joe Torre called for not his best relief pitcher, Mariano Rivera, but his third best (at best) Scott Proctor. Proctor did an OK job allowing two of Wright’s runs to score. Unfortunately, in the next inning Proctor allowed three of his own.

Torre should have brought in Mariano Rivera, his best. Since Tony LaRussa created this nonsense called the closer with his use of Dennis Eckersley in the late 1980s, managers have adhered to this formula like their jobs depended on it. Part of the orthodoxy is: who will pitch the ninth inning? The closer is used almost exclusively to pitch one and only one inning, which he starts, and only with a lead. Save the game in the sixth and take your chances in the ninth. Is Scott Proctor more likely to allow runs entering a game with bases loaded and no out or when starting an inning?

Hey, isn't that what Cleveland manager Terry Francona did in the 2016 tournament with Andrew Miller? The Yankees had traded Miller at the trading deadline of July 31; the primary player in return was minor league "prospect" Clint Frazier.

Francona was praised elaborately for exercising basic common sense, which is all that I had done with what wrote in 2006, ten years before. Here's my very own "kill" recommendation followed by another that's a bit more mainstream.
Kill the Hall of Fame. Friday, December 26, 2014
There are some who want to kill the win, i.e., ignore wins and losses in evaluating pitchers ...
Kill Cooperstown!

Kill 20 wins? Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Kill the win. The idea has been bouncing around. The idea is that wins and therefore losses are meaningless stats.

I wondered about that for 20 wins.


Recent posts:

Dellin Betances threw the most relief only innings 2014-2016. 2/20/17

Commissioner should sanction Yankees and Randy Levine for his remarks about Dellin Betances. 2/20/17

Will Dellin Betances be traded? By his demand or Yankee retribution 2/19/17

Aroldis Chapman
Born: February 28, 1988 in Holguin, Holguin, Cuba (Age 28 and 359 days)

2014 54
2015 66
2016 58

YearAgeTeamSalaryServTm(OpnDay)SourcesNotes/Other Sources
201022Cincinnati Reds$1,000,000?
201123Cincinnati Reds$3,835,7720.034
201224Cincinnati Reds$2,000,0001.034contracts
201325Cincinnati Reds$2,000,0002.034contracts
201426Cincinnati Reds$5,000,0003.034contracts
201527Cincinnati Reds$8,050,0004.034contracts
201628Chicago Cubs$11,325,0005.034contracts
201729New York Yankees$17,200,0006.009
201830New York Yankees$17,200,000
201931New York Yankees$17,200,000May opt out of contract following 2019 season.
202032New York Yankees$17,200,000
202133New York Yankees$17,200,000
Earliest Free Agent: 2022
Career to date (may be incomplete)$33,210,772Does not include future salaries ($86M)

Dellin Betances
Born: March 23, 1988 in New York, NY (Age 28 and 335 days)

2014 90
2015 84
2016 73

YearAgeTeamSalaryServTm(OpnDay)SourcesNotes/Other Sources
201426New York Yankees$502,1000.078contracts
201527New York Yankees$507,5001.078contracts
201628New York Yankees$507,5002.078contracts
2017 Status1st-Year Arb EligibleEarliest Arb Eligible: 2017, Earliest Free Agent: 2020
Career to date (may be incomplete)$1,517,100
Chapman pitches the 9th inning.

Betances pitches the 7th or 8th, depending on whether the Yankees have another setup man such as Andrew Miller.

In 2017 Chapman will be paid 5.66 times more money than Betances, who is likely to pitch both more innings and more important innings. For his greater work load and flexibility, Betances is being penalized, not rewarded.

Why? Because Chapman is the closer and Betances is the setup man. The Yankee management argument in the arbitration case, which the team won, was that Betances was asking for closer money ($5 million) for setting up. Betances did not close for the Yankees because they preferred the more experienced Miller and then Chapman.

How many teams would be thrilled to pay Dellin Betances $5 million to be their closer?

How many teams are dumb enough to commit to paying Aroldis Chapman $17 million for each of the next five seasons? Only one.

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