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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Yankees sign free agent righty power Holliday and Carter, not Cespedes, Encarnacion, Trumbo, Bautista.

For Yankee general manager Brian Cashman the beat goes on. Cashman is entering his 20th season as Yankee GM. How many people do you know who are good enough to be doing a responsible job for 20 years? Few, if any, right?

The two previous posts here dealt with BB/SO for batters. The Yankees are no strangers to SO sluggers.

BB to SO ratio, HR >= 493. Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Matrix of the 29 batters who hit at least 493 Home Runs. In addition to BB/SO there are several other columns with somewhat related data...

In 1928 Babe Ruth became the career leader in SO, finishing the season with 919. Ruth retired in 1935 with 1,330, the record through 1963. The 1964 season increased the total for Mickey Mantle to 1,348; Mantle retired in 1968 with 1,770 SO. Mantle was the career SO leader through 1977 ...

Ruth's BB/SO ratio was 1.55, about 1.5 BB for every SO.

Mickey Mantle passed Ruth in SO and had just a few more BB than SO, almost the exact same ratio as Hank Aaron: 1.037...

So, Aaron having fewer SO and a better SO rate does not make up for the sheer number of BB that Mantle and Ruth have. And Ruth also has a BB/SO rate of about 1.5 compared to about 1 for both Aaron and Mantle.
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OK, you get the idea. Home Run (HR) hitters have value but it must be considered relative to SO and BB.

2016 HR >= 40,:
Rk Player HR BB SO OPS+ From To Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Mark Trumbo 47 51 170 120 2016 2016 30-30 159 667 613 94 157 27 1 108 1 3 0 0 14 2 0 .256 .316 .533 .850 /*9D37 BAL
2 Nelson Cruz 43 62 159 147 2016 2016 35-35 155 667 589 96 169 27 1 105 5 9 0 7 15 2 0 .287 .360 .555 .915 *D/9 SEA
3 Khris Davis 42 42 166 126 2016 2016 28-28 150 610 555 85 137 24 2 102 0 8 0 5 19 1 2 .247 .307 .524 .831 /*7DH OAK
4 Brian Dozier 42 61 138 136 2016 2016 29-29 155 691 615 104 165 35 5 99 6 8 2 5 12 18 2 .268 .340 .546 .886 *4/HD MIN
5 Edwin Encarnacion 42 87 138 133 2016 2016 33-33 160 702 601 99 158 34 0 127 3 5 0 8 22 2 0 .263 .357 .529 .886 /*D3 TOR
6 Nolan Arenado 41 68 103 128 2016 2016 25-25 160 696 618 116 182 35 6 133 10 2 0 8 17 2 3 .294 .362 .570 .932 *5 COL
7 Chris Carter 41 76 206 114 2016 2016 29-29 160 644 549 84 122 27 1 94 1 9 0 10 18 3 1 .222 .321 .499 .821 *3/HD MIL
8 Todd Frazier 40 64 163 109 2016 2016 30-30 158 666 590 89 133 21 0 98 1 4 1 7 11 15 5 .225 .302 .464 .767 *5/3D CHW
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/8/2017.

All eight bat righty. The top five all played in the American Conference, so the National Conference HR leaders were Nolan Arenado of Colorado and Chris Carter of Milwaukee.

These 40 HR batters were free agents after the 2016 season: Mark Trumbo, Edwin Encarnacion and Chris Carter.

All eight batters had way more SO than BB, so their value even as batters is somewhat questionable. However, except for Frazier, all have OPS+ well above league average 100. Chris Carter was 15% above.

Here's what happened to free agent righty power hitters since the end of the 2016 season listed in chronological order by signing dates.

Yoenis CespedesPositions: Left field
Born: October 18, 1985 in Campechuela, Granma, Cuba (Age 31)
  • November 5, 2016: Granted Free Agency.
  • November 30, 2016: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Mets.
201731New York Mets$22,500,0005.000
201832New York Mets$29,000,000
201933New York Mets$29,000,000
202034New York Mets$29,500,000
Earliest Free Agent: 2021

Matt HollidayPositions: Left field
Born: January 15, 1980 in Stillwater, OK (Age 37)
  • November 3, 2016: Granted Free Agency.
  • December 7, 2016: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees.
201737St. Louis Cardinals$1,000,000Buyout of contract option
201737New York Yankees$13,000,00013.000
Earliest Free Agent: 2018

Edwin Encarnacion
Positions: Third Baseman, Designated Hitter and First Baseman
Born: January 7, 1983 in La Romana, La Romana, Dominican Republic (Age 34)

  • November 3, 2016: Granted Free Agency.
  • January 5, 2017: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cleveland Indians.
201734Cleveland Indians$14,666,00011.085
201835Cleveland Indians$18,667,000
201936Cleveland Indians$21,667,000
202037Cleveland Indians*$20,000,000$20M Team Option, $5M Buyout
Earliest Free Agent: 2020

Jose Bautista
Positions: Rightfielder and Third Baseman
Born: October 19, 1980 in Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic (Age 36)

  • November 3, 2016: Granted Free Agency.
  • January 18, 2017: Signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.
201736Toronto Blue Jays$18,000,00011.165
201837Toronto Blue Jays*$17,000,000$17M Mutual Option, $500k Buyout buyout payable if either side declines
201938Toronto Blue Jays*$20,000,000$20M Vesting Option vests with 300 games played in 2017-18 and is physically able to play in 2019
Earliest Free Agent: 2018

Mark Trumbo
Positions: First Baseman and Outfielder
Born: January 16, 1986 in Anaheim, CA (Age 31)

  • November 3, 2016: Granted Free Agency.
  • January 20, 2017: Signed as a Free Agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
201731Baltimore Orioles$11,500,0006.027
201832Baltimore Orioles$12,500,000
201933Baltimore Orioles$13,500,000
Earliest Free Agent: 2020

Edwin Encarnacion: all but one team will regret NOT signing him. Friday, December 16, 2016

Encarnacion HR, AB:
2012 42  542
2013 36  530
2014 34  477
2015 39  529
2016 42  601

The guy will turn 34 in January. Who the heck couldn't use his bat for the next few years? ...

It seems that general managers would rather follow the prevailing conventional wisdom than basic common sense...

the continuing madness of Yankee general manager Brian Cashman.

Yankees are beyond stupid: bad and boring. Sign Aroldis Chapman: $86 million, five years. Thursday, December 8, 2016

Aroldis Chapman back in Yankee Stadium in front of hundreds of Yankee fans at 11 PM wondering how 105 MPH fastball pitcher ages. Thursday, December 8, 2016


Pay per inning: Aroldis Chapman $239,000, Masahiro Tanaka $110,000. Friday, December 9, 2016


Paying exorbitant sums for the outdated closer and passing on a slugger. Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Encarnacion preferred to re-sign with Toronto this off season but turned down $20 million for each of the next four years. Encarnacion may have been foolish. But what about a team like the Yankees? In addition to committing to 29 year old Chapman for $17 million for each of the next five, the Yankees also signed 37 year old Matt Holliday for $13 million but for just one year. But that's $30 million in 2017 for a team that is supposed to be committed to a youth movement. Wouldn't the $30 million have been better spent on Encarnacion who is likely to do something that no Yankee did in 2016 and are unlikely to do in 2017: hit at least 30 home runs?

It's not too late. The Yankees could offer Encarnacion the same deal that he turned down from the Toronto Blue Jays: $80 million for four years. Those would be Encarnacion playing ages 34, 35, 36, 37. That seems perfectly reasonable but maybe just not according to current and fleeting conventional Wisdom.

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Hal Steinbrenner says Yankees will try to get under luxury tax
BY MIKE MAZZEO
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, February 2, 2017, 8:07 PM

The luxury-tax threshold for 2017 is $195 million, but the Yankees already have over $184 million committed to 17 players, according to Baseball Prospectus' payroll tracker, so it appears they won't be able to get under this season.

The Bombers have appeared in just one playoff game -- the 2015 AL wild card game -- since 2012.

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Yankees ink Chris Carter to a one-year, $3 million deal
BY MIKE MAZZEO
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 1:02 AM

Chris Carter is bringing his big bat to the Bronx.

The Yankees took a flier on the free-agent slugger Tuesday, agreeing to a one-year, $3.5 million deal plus incentives with the slugger, a source confirmed to The News...

Accoring to the Associated Press, his deal includes a $500,000 signing bonus, a $3 million salary and $500,000 in performance bonuses: $100,000 each for 250, 300, 350, 400 and 450 plate appearances...

... it’s a low-risk move for the Yankees, who can use the depth he’ll provide at both first base and designated hitter ...

Plus, Matt Holliday, brought in to DH and likely protect Gary Sanchez in the cleanup spot, has played in just 183 games over the last two seasons due to injury.

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So, the Yankees are $11 million over the cap and will pay Aroldis Chapman $17 million to pitch maybe 70 innings. And the Yankees sign two questionable righty batters to be DH and maybe play some first base but pass on Encarnacion, Trumbo and Bautista, all of whom signed for reasonable deals.

Holliday and Carter are signed for only one year, which on some planet is supposed to be good. But what do the Yankees do for a DH in 2018? Rotate their many 25 year old "prospects"? You do not put young players at DH. That's a spot for a proven big bopper, who will cost you a few bucks. And some common sense.

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