When Ronald Reagan ran for the presidency in 1979, he posed a question to the American citizenry. He said “Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?” Judging by the 1980 election results, the answer from the American people that came back was a resounding “No”. Yankee fans may be asking themselves a similar question, after a 2009 World Series Championship that was followed by an off season with many changes. Did we really need to make all these changes? Are we any better? If it ain’t broke…right?
Yet just because a team wins 103 games and a World Series title, that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon in spots. Given the age of last year’s Yankee roster, expecting it’s members to repeat their 09 seasons might be a bit unrealistic. Good teams always try to get better, even championship teams. The Yanks were constantly adding during the late 90s run, and traded one of their best starters in David Wells (coming off a perfect game) for Roger Clemens after the 1998 season. The Phillies just traded their best pitcher and two of their best prospects to lock in one of the best starters in the game. It’s part of the playbook for winning GMs to always keep improving. Resting on your laurels is not an option, those that stand still ensure their own demise.
So I ask you, members of the Yankee Universe, are the Yankees better off right now than they were last year? First, let’s tally up the moves they’ve made thus far. They have added Curtis Granderson, Nick Johnson, Jamie Hoffmann, Javier Vazquez and Lefty reliever Boone Logan. They have lost Melky Cabrera, Hideki Matsui, Brian Bruney, Phil Coke, and some solid prospects who didn’t figure into this year’s plans in Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy and Arodis Vizcaino. Johnny Damon is very likely to be gone as well, but since he hasn’t signed elsewhere it’s not official yet.
On the plus side, the Yanks are younger, healthier, cheaper and more athletic than they were last year. The Vasquez move has the added benefit of moving one of Joba/Hughes to the bullpen, strengthening them in that area as well. On the minus side, they’ve lost some proven performers in Damon and Matsui for a collection of players, some of whom may not pan out (Hoffman/Logan) and others who have spotty track records health-wise and performance wise. Yet the same could be said of some of the players who are leaving from last year’s squad. So which team is better?
To decide, I wanted to use a comprehensive stat to asses the overall value each player brings, rather than get into a Grandy+Johnson over Damon+Matsui debate. That’s already been done elsewhere, and I’m addressing all the roster changes. WAR is the most commonly used stat in the sabermetric community to assess overall value, so WAR it is. I’ll use 3 year Total WAR to eliminate yearly variations and get a composite of recent production. I’ll also use projected WAR for 2010.
First number is 3 year Total WAR. Next number is 2010 projected WAR. (via Fangraphs)
Looks like a landslide for Brian Cashman whether looking at recent performances or projected performance for 2010, even without bringing back Johnny Damon. To be fair, this is a bit skewed since the Yanks gave up other young players who could be providing value elsewhere in 2010 and doesn’t take them into account, or consider more ABs for Brett Gardner. But IPK, Dunn and A-Jax didn’t figure into the Yankee plans for next year, and this is a Yankee-centric take. All three would have spent most of 2010 in AAA for the Yanks. Turning them into MLB talent is a plus for next season, which is all I’m looking at. In any case, the point is made that the changes made were substantial upgrades overall, and the 2010 Yanks are a far better ballclub than the 09 version. At least on paper.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- many dresses are especially for wedding or for other events2 on Chuck Johnson on Chase Whitley
- Brand bc on Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- http://2804lasela.wordpress.com/ on TYA Predictions: Bold predictions for 2012
- the tao of badass pdf on What about Austin Romine?
- Joey Parkhill on Dante Bichette Jr’s Swing
- lululemon factory outlet on Contact Us
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees