Rivera and Jeter Re-up with New York

"Mo and Jeter will be back with the Yankees next season." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports

In the past few days the Yankees have re-signed two career Yankees in Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter.

Mariano was the first of the duo to re-join the Yankees by signing a 2 year contract worth $30 million. I cannot say I have any reason to complain about this contract, I think he can hold up for at least another two years and at $15 million per season this doesn’t seem like a gross overpay.

Derek Jeter and the Yankees agreed to a contract yesterday which is somewhat more complicated. The deal will pay him $51 million over the first three years of the contract ($17M per season), and then there is a player option for a fourth season. Since the option is a player option, this is basically a four-year deal. The option is apparently worth $8M and Jeter can earn an additional $9M that year based on incentives. While this seems to be an unnecessary overpay (especially giving Jeter the 4th year), this deal could have been a lot worse, so I can’t say I’m overly upset.

Notes

  • With Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera off the board, the Yankees can head into the winter meetings this Monday focussed on Cliff Lee and any other pursuits, knowing that there really is no rush to sign Andy Pettitte because he will either be going to the Yankees or retiring.
  • Lance Berkman has signed with the St. Louis Cardinals and will be playing left field. Yankee fans never really seemed to warm up to Lance, but I really liked him and although there was no real chance he would return to the Yankees, I’m kind of sad to see him gone. Good luck Berkman!
  • People have been wondering what the chance is that the Yankees sign both Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford. While Crawford would make the outfield defense otherworldly (assuming Swisher would be traded), I think signing the outfielder would be a misuse of resources.
  • We recently heard that the Yankees had a trade set up to send Francisco Cervelli to the Dodgers in exchange for Russell Martin. However, it didn’t go through but now Martin is a free agent so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees go after Martin as a possible backup catcher. He would certainly be an upgrade over Cervelli.
  • The Yankees have non-tendered Dustin Moseley and Alfredo Aceves. While the Moseley decision was not surprising, I was surprised that Aceves was non-tendered. I guess the Yankees are not confident in his health, especially after his recent bike-induced injury.
  • Sergio Mitre has been re-signed and should serve as the long man and a spot starter.
  • The Red Sox have agreed to a trade for Adrian Gonzales in exchange for three of their top prospects. The deal has not been completed yet and is waiting due to a physical and contract extension talks. I’ll analyze this deal further if the trade is finalized. Update 2:50 – According to Jon Heyman the Red Sox could not reach an extension deal with Gonzalez and the deal has fallen through. Still, I could see the Red Sox revisiting the trade.

 

Around the Horn: Jeter, Lee, Vazquez

Although the offseason has not been very exciting yet, I would expect that to change within the next few weeks so let’s try to sum up what’s happened so far, regarding the Yankees.

  • The negotiations with Derek Jeter have apparantly soured. The Yankees have likely made a contract offer of 3 years worth $45 million, an acceptable overpay in my opinion, and are even willing to up the offer to somewhere within the range of 3 years worth $50 million according to Jon Heyman. The latest news is that Jeter desires a contract for 4 to 5 years worth $23-24 million a year. I have no doubt that any team would offer him such a contract, and perhaps no team would even offer him the 3/45 contract. If Jeter’s agent Casey Close, a horrible lawyer in name, does not make his asking price a little more reasonable, I could easily see these negotiations stretching in January.
  • Cliff Lee has been reportedly shopping around to several teams this winter, but nothing has yet to come of it. But according to Buster Olney, the Lee talks are expected to heat up next week with the winter meetings coming up. Buckle up!
  • Javier Vazquez has agreed to a one year deal worth $7 million with the Florida Marlins. I would not be surprised to see him have a good season, I don’t know why he couldn’t keep it together with the Yankees, and I still don’t buy the ‘he can’t handle New York’ storyline. Oh well, I guess some things are not meant to be.
  • Jonathan Albaladejo will be playing next season with the Yomiuri Giants, Hideki Matsui’s old team, after requesting to be released by the Yankees. I, for one, was looking forward to the chance that he would finally get the opportunity to impact the Yankees next season, but fortunately the Yankees have been compensated with $1.2 million by the Giants.

Around the Horn: Girardi, Sabathia, Warning track…

It hasn’t been long since the Yankees’ season ended, but the team is already in offseason mode. Here are some recent stories:

  • Mark Feinsand reports that the Yankees and Joe Girardi have agreed to a three-year contract worth $9 million which would put the incumbent Yankee skipper back at the helm. I know a lot of people claim to dislike Girardi, but is there really anyone else you’d rather be the Yankees’ manager? I’m very happy that Joe will be back.
  • Along the topic of coaches, Dave Eiland has been let go. His contract was up anyway, so you can get away without calling this a firing, but it sure seems like one.  Brian Cashman said the “letting go” of Eiland was all the GM’s decision and it was “private”. It will be interesting to see who the new pitching coach will be. If the Yankees don’t stay internal I could see Curt Young or Rick Kranitz taking over the position.
  • Yankee fans received some surprising news yesterday when they heard that CC Sabathia would undergo surgery on his right knee. The recovery period is expected to be anywhere from three to six weeks and the Yankees’ ace should be entirely ready for spring training. While this surgery may not be a big deal, it is interesting to wonder if this is the reason CC did not pitch up to expectations during the playoffs.
  • You may very well remember Lance Berkman’s recent slip on the warning track of Yankee stadium. Well it turns out that this was not a freak accident, and in fact the warning track at Yankee Stadium is overly dangerous. Mike Axisa of RAB covered the issue last week.
  • Unsurprisingly, the Yankees turned down the options to retain Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood, and Nick Johnson. I would still expect them to make an attempt to sign Kerry Wood who was excellent in his brief stint with the Yankees.

In case you are wondering, which I am pretty sure you are not, I’m supporting the San Francisco Giants in this year’s World Series, mostly because I love Matt Cain. Plus they had Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard perform at a game recently, which is pretty awesome.

Around the Horn: Call-ups, Javy, Jeter, Ted Lilly…

A few interesting items to cover during this edition of Around the Horn.

  • As reported last night, Jonathan Albaladejo, Chad Moeller, and Greg Golson have been called up as “September call-ups”. Furthermore, Lance Berkman has been activated. That’s gives Joe Girardi four new players to manage with, and more should be on their way, especially after the minor league playoffs are finished. Despite the hate he gets from many Yankee fans, Berkman should be a nice addition to this team, and when/if Marcus Thames cools down, “The Big Puma” should be able to get regular at bats at the DH position. I look for Jon Albaladejo to possibly have a huge impact with this team. I would say more about Albie, but Mike Axisa of RAB already has it covered with a post about the righty reliever.
  • After two very good relief appearances following his removal from the starting rotation, Javier Vazquez will be returning to the rotation. Earlier today Joe Girardi told reporters that Javy would be taking Dustin Moseley’s spot in the rotation and will be starting on Saturday. This seems like the perfect time to do this because Javy has been pitching well lately, and unfortunately it looks like the real Dustin Moseley has shown up.
  • We all know Derek Jeter has struggled immensely this year. It hasn’t become a huge issue yet for several reasons, a couple of them being that Derek Jeter is well, Derek Jeter, and the Yankees are winning without his contributions. The issue was, however, brought up during a pregame session with Joe Girardi today. Via Chad Jennings, we learn if Joe has considered moving Jeter down in the lineup, a move I would fully advocate for and support. Unfortunately, Girardi’s answer was, “I don’t see that happening.” Sure, it’s not a huge deal now to have Jeter at the top of the lineup, but when the postseason rolls around will the Yankees still be set to having Jeter at the top of the lineup if his struggles continue? I’m not so sure I would be comfortable with him up there. I love Jeter as much as the next guy, but I really would like to something done. If his name wasn’t “Derek Jeter” he’d be batting eight or ninth for the Yankees now. If the Yankees don’t have the guts to move him down in the lineup, will they have the guts to offer him a reasonable contract this offseason? Or will they overpay him for his past performances? I can only imagine.
  • Last night we got news that the Yankees won the waiver claim for Dodgers pitcher, and former Yankee, Ted Lilly, but the Dodgers pulled Lilly off waivers. Oh well, end of story. But wait, there’s more! The rules state that in order for a player to be eligible for the playoffs they have to be in the organization before September 1st, so while the Yankees could technically still acquire Ted Lilly, he wouldn’t be able to pitch in the playoffs. Here’s where it gets interesting. According to a Daily News report, the Yankees believe that because they had a waiver claim in for Lilly before September 1st, there is a loophole which would allow Lilly to pitch in the playoffs if they were to acquire him. Interesting. I don’t know what to make of it, so let’s just wait and see.
  • Alfredo Aceves has been on a rehab assignment in the minors for a while now, but has yet to be called up. Joe Girardi said, “he’s just not up to where we believe he can be yet [performance-wise].” Back problems are a tricky thing to recover from.
  • The Arizona Fall League rosters were recently announced, and Frankie Piliere says the Yankees will be sending Austin Romine, Brandon Laird, Corban Joseph, Craig Heyer, and George Kontos to Arizona this year. He also says there are a couple of open roster spots, so the Yankees could opt to send more players.

Rivera vs. Jeter

"Isn't this a cool picture?" Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports

Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter are two of the most iconic Yankees ever. Both players played huge roles in the late 90s Yankee dynasty and both players contributed heavily to the 2009 World Champion Yankees. There’s no question that both players have been extremely valuable throughout their careers, but who has been more valuable? This poses to be a much more difficult question than it seems. Has Mariano Rivera and his persistent dominance as a closer been more valuable than Derek Jeter? Or has Jeter’s year in and year out above average play been more valuable than Mo? Well, when in doubt, turn to the numbers.

Mariano Rivera (since 1996)

Total WAR: 35.9

Average WAR (per season): 2.394

Highest WAR (1996) : 4.4

Highest WAR as a closer (2001): 3.3

Total innings pitched: 1,068.2

Derek Jeter (since 1996)

Total WAR: 70.6

Average WAR (per season):  4.71

Highest WARs (1999 & 2009): 7.5 and 7.4 respectively

Total innings played: 19,317

So clearly WAR heavily favors Derek Jeter as more valuable than Mariano Rivera since 1996. Jeter’s total WAR is almost twice as much as Rivera’s total WAR, same goes for Jeter’s average season WAR and highest single season WAR.

My take: Derek Jeter has been more valuable than Mariano Rivera since 1996. And I don’t think it’s even close. The reason, shortstops are more valuable than closers. There’s no doubt that Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer to ever live, the greatest reliever to ever live. While it’s a bit more arguable whether Derek Jeter is the greatest shortstop ever, he has been more valuable than Mariano Rivera. Closers play a much more limited role than do shortstops. As a closer Mariano only influences games for one inning, two at the most. On the other hand, as a shortstop Derek Jeter can impact a game for at least 9 innings. This is why Derek Jeter has been much more valuable than Mariano Rivera has been to the Yankees, in my opinion.

"The Captain." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports

Mariano Rivera’s statistics

Derek Jeter’s statistics

Link Fiesta: Trade poll, Jeter’s struggles, and Alex: an “amazing teammate”

The Yankees are off today but that doesn’t mean your day can be Yankee-less. There are plenty of great blogs out there which make it easy to get your Yankee fill. Let’s check out some articles worth noting in the blog universe:

  • Our friend Tom of Friday Nite Yanks has a poll up asking Yankee fans which recent pickup they think will be most influential. I recommend that you vote and check out the results to see what fellow Yankee fans think.
  • Over at his blog, Curtis Granderson wrote about A-Rod and his 600th home run. Here’s some of what Curtis had to say about Alex:  “He is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen. His drive and passion to win are above any individual accomplishments he could achieve. On top of all that, he is an amazing teammate.” I highly recommend that you check out everything Curtis had to say, it is really nice. I also recommend you regularly read his blog, if you do not already do so.
  • We all know Derek Jeter is not having a great season. He gets overlooked because he is Derek Jeter, but recently some blogs have been taking a deeper look at Jeter and while I may not agree with everything I definitely share some of the same opinions. Remember, some of these written prior to Jeter’s four hit game so don’t take game into consideration, not that one game matters that much anyway.
    • Rebbecca of This Purist Bleeds Pinstripes showed how Jeter has been one of the worst offense players on the Yankees this year.
    • Matt Imbrogno of TYU wrote about Jeter here and follows up his discussion here.
    • Moshe Mandel of TYU wrote about Jeter’s upcoming contract negotiations.

Off Day Musings (2010 1st Edition)

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the White House”

Earlier today, the remaining Yankees from the 2009 World Series Champions team visited the White House. President Obama and the Yankees celebrated last year’s championship, but focused on Yankee tradition rather than wins and losses. I feel President had an excellent speech today discussing the Yankee’s tradition and service, while throwing in some humor occasionally. Here is an excerpt of a few of my favorite things he said, but to read the whole speech head on over to www.whitehouse.gov

Now, it’s been nine years since your last title -– which must have felt like an eternity for Yankees fans.  I think other teams would be just fine with a spell like that.  (Laughter.)  The Cubs, for example.  (Laughter.)  But this is a team that goes down to spring training every year expecting to win it all — and more often than not, you guys get pretty close.  Of course, if I had Rivera, I’d get pretty close, too.  (Laughter.)  My White Sox would get close every year.  That attitude, that success, has always made the Yankees easy to love — and, let’s face it, easy to hate as well.  (Laughter.)  For a White Sox fan like me, it’s painful to watch Mariano’s cutter when it’s against my team, or to see the Yankees wrap up the pennant while the Sox are struggling on the South Side.  Although I do remember 2005, people -– (laughter) — so don’t get too comfortable.  (Laughter.)

(snip)

But what people tend to forget -– especially after watching their teams lose -– is that being a Yankee is as much about character as it is about performance; as much about who you are as what you do.  Being successful in New York doesn’t come easy, and it’s not for everybody.  It takes a certain kind of player to thrive in the pressure cooker of Yankee Stadium -– somebody who is poised and professional, and knows what it takes to wear the pinstripes.  It takes somebody who appreciates how lucky he is, and who feels a responsibility for those who are less fortunate.

President Obama went on to talk about Mark Teixeira, Jorge Posada, and Derek Jeter in particular. Make you check out everything he said.

Chris Garcia undergoes Tommy John surgery

Via Josh Norris we find out that Yankee prospect, Chris Garcia, underwent Tommy John surgery on April 20th. This is Garcia’s second Tommy John surgery in a four year period. This guy has sort of been forgotten the past few years because of his inability to stay healthy, but he was considered one of the best arms in the Yankee system and if he can stay healthy after this last surgery, he could easily retake his spot as one of the top Yankee prospects.

“Take your time”

David Biderman of the Wall Street Journal recently took a look at how long it took current Yankees to round the bases when they hit a home run. Out of all the current Yankees, A-Rod took the longest to round the bases last year, and Curtis Granderson was the fastest. As Biderman points out, most of A-Rod’s home runs are no doubters so he usually knows he doesn’t have to run hard. On the other hand, someone like Derek Jeter or Curtis Granderson may not always hit no doubters so they have to run fast just in case the ball doesn’t clear the fence.

Yankees Open Up Home for 2010

Earlier today the Yankees opened up Yankee Stadium for the 2010 season as they defeated the Angels 7-5. It was an enjoyable game, but I don’t know what was the bigger story: the pregame ceremonies or the actual game. Here are some pictures  from today’s event in the House That George Built…

To me the highlight of the day was when trainer Gene Monahan, who has been away from the team battling cancer, received his ring before everyone else got their rings.

Another incredible moment was when Hideki Matsui joined the present-day Yankees on the field and received his ring. Once a Yankee, always a Yankee.

The entire ring ceremony was great, including this handshake Jeter and Yogi have created.

It was also great to see A-Rod finally get his long deserved World Series ring.

I could post pictures all day of all the great moments created today, but since that is unpractical, I’ll just leave you with a picture of the man who put the time and effort, selflessly poured his money into the team, and has been the most dedicated owner in all of sports. Without this man, today would not have happened.

Teixeira and Jeter take home gold gloves

After winning the World Championship just last week, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter won the 2009 Gold Glove award for their respective positions. This is Jeter’s 4th time winning the award, and Teixeira’s 3rd time. We all know that Derek Jeter is often criticized for his defense, but he did improve this year. I’m not sure he completely earned the award, but there really wasn’t any other shortstop who you could argue was a much better fielder than Jeter. So, I believe Jeter was worthy of this award. I also believe Teixeira was definitely worthy of the award, but there were other first baseman who may have been better than Teix. In the end, these days gold gloves don’t mean much, but it is still nice to see a pair of Yankees win the award since the Yankees are always criticized for their defense.

Chicago+Cubs+v+New+York+Yankees+GzeloMKW3v2lKnight_Gunner_AWARD-Gold_Glove_AwardNew York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox

Derek Jeter, the Yankees all time hits leader

Going into last night’s game, Derek Sanderson Jeter was tied with Lou Gehrig with 2,721 hits for the most hits ever by a Yankee. The game did not start on time due to rain, but it seemed like every fan remained in the stadium, anxious to see Jeter break the record. When the game finally started around 8:20, Jeter struck out in his first at bat. But, in his second at bat, with a 2-0 count, Jeter a little line drive inside the 1st base line, and picked up career hit 2,722, to put him on top of the Yankees all time hit list. The fans gave Jeter a lengthy two and a half minute ovation as he stood on first base, the ovation would have gone on longer if there hadn’t been a game to play. During the ovation, Jeter’s teammates came onto the field to give him a hug.

Derek Jeter picks up the hit, which unsuprisingly went to right field where he ussually hits the ball with his inside out swing.

Derek Jeter picks up the hit, which unsurprisingly went to right field where he usually hits the ball with his inside out swing.

Jeter recieves a standing ovation.

Jeter recieves a standing ovation.

He is now the Yankees all time hits leader with 2,722

He is now the Yankees all time hits leader with 2,722.

He presumably points to his parents who were there to watch their son.

He presumably points to his parents who were there to watch their son.

Jeter's teammates come out to congratulate him and to give him a hug.

Jeter's teammates come out to congratulate him and to give him a hug.

Here is the video of the record breaking hit.

Here is the interview of Jeter which actually took place during the second rain delay.