• Goodbye D.J.

    Posted by on September 25th, 2014 · Comments (51)

    Jeter Draft Card

    Derek Jeter has played the most games by any man in history who played one defensive position and never played anywhere else. He is the only big leaguer in history with 11 seasons in his career in which he batted over .300 and finished with both double-digit homers and steals. He’s one of only six players who played for the same team at age 20 and after turning 40. (The others: Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Brooks Robinson, George Brett, Cal Ripken Jr.) During his 20 years in the majors, Jeter has played in over 2,900 games (between the regular and post-season) and was never ejected by an umpire. And, he better have a voting percentage of at least 99% when his name first appears on a ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

    Comments on Goodbye D.J.

    1. redbug
      September 25th, 2014 | 4:00 pm

      I just read #15′s great post (on Closing Time). Like him, I miss it here, Steve. It’s good to see this post. I hope it’s a re-start.

      As to Jeter…Jack Curry just put in a good column and this quote says it’s all about Jeter’s character:

      “I thank my parents by not embarrassing them,” Jeter said. “I think that would be the worst thing I could do, if I embarrassed them and did something stupid. If I mess up, obviously, it’s going to be on TV. I show my respect for them by not messing up.”

      I don’t know how much my heart will be w/ The Yanks next year. I’ve been a fan since the early 60′s. Good and bad times. But Jeter, Mo, Jorge, Andy, etc spoiled me. Besides them all being gone, worse still, Arod will be back. (I think that’s one of the main reasons Jeter called it a career.)

    2. KPOcala
      September 28th, 2014 | 5:34 pm

      What a magical ending for a man of integrity and class, no playoffs be damned. I’m looking forward to next season, I think better times are coming. Icons come and will always go. We will more in the future. I thought Bernie William’s tribute had wonderful intonations, another class act, he should get his “due”.

      Steve, a lot of us are hoping you change your mind, and keep going. If not, best of luck in Life, and thanks for the memories :)

    3. redbug
      October 4th, 2014 | 10:10 am

      Well, Joba has proven Cashman a genius for not re-signing him! lol

    4. #15
      October 4th, 2014 | 9:41 pm

      @ redbug:
      Not sure if that’s Grizzly Adams or the bear that was in the show with him.

    5. Evan3457
      October 5th, 2014 | 7:31 pm

      Yanks are eliminated a week and a half ago, of course.

      But BOOM! Down go the Tigers and their invincible starting staff. Done in, again, by a terrible bullpen.

    6. Evan3457
      October 5th, 2014 | 7:52 pm

      Oh, and the 2nd place payroll in the AL lost to the 6th highest, a team it outspent by about 53%.

      Hi, Steve. Hope you’re OK.

    7. Evan3457
      October 6th, 2014 | 1:43 am

      BOOM! Down go the Angels, the team that was 4th in the AL in payroll, swept by a team that they outspent by almost 75%, a team that was 10th in the AL in payroll.

      Too bad for the Angels that their one true ace starter, Garrett Richards, blew out his knee in August in a freak, unlucky play, or they might have done better, but then, we all know that luck plays no role in the post-season, and that hitters and teams never get hot in the post-season, like, say, Eric Hosmer.

    8. KPOcala
      October 6th, 2014 | 12:59 pm

      After decades of watching baseball, reading and listening to the “pundits” regarding “lessons learned”, regarding the playoffs and what “wins”. There ARE NO “Lesson” to be learned. As often as not, it’s the “hot hand” that wins. Even in the “Core Five Period”, many series turned on a ball that fell inches one way or the other. It was never “inevitable” like our memories like to recall. BTW, funny how “easy” it’s deemed in Yankee land how easy it is to put together a bullpen on the fly. Ask Dombrowski about that. It “would” indicate that “someone” knows what they are doing regarding bullpens. Or, it could just be blind luck…..

    9. #15
      October 6th, 2014 | 9:57 pm

      @ KPOcala:
      I would largely agree with you regarding the postseason roll of the dice, the exception being when there is a really dominant team with pitching, hitting, and defense… it happens only infrequently.

      But, the Yankees could and should be better than we saw this year and I’d rather be playing now than watching. I really don’t care how much of my ticket/YES subscription/concession/memorabilia money they spend as long as they aren’t paralyzing the franchise and we have a solid chance to get in the playoffs and have a decent chance to win. Retool, sign free agents, eat contracts… whatever it takes. I’ve been fortunate to live through 7 WS victories, but I want more.

      The door is likely closing on this Tigers run. Free agency and age suggest it’s either over or close to done with no rings to show for it.

    10. Evan3457
      October 7th, 2014 | 8:40 pm

      …and BOOM!, down go the Dodgers.

      The NL team with the highest payroll in baseball, and the highest payroll in the NL, by far.

      Fails once again to win the World Series, or even win the pennant, and this year, fails to win even the NLDS. Defeated by the team that was 8th in the NL in payroll, a team whose payroll was less than half that of the Dodgers. Proving, yet again, that payroll means NOTHING in a short series.

      The team with the best starter in baseball, two Cy Young caliber starters, and a 3rd very good starting pitcher is done in again by a terrible middle relief corps, and hitting that fails in the clutch. Proving yet again that three ace starters on the roster guarantees…absolutely nuthin’ in a short series. The Cards, meanwhile, win the series despite their ace starter (Wainwright) getting shelled, and with THEIR bullpen winning 2 out of the 3 games.

      The point being not that the team with the better starting pitching DURING the series once again wins the series, which happened here again, and which is friggin’ obvious, tautologically (Oh, that word again!) obvious, but that the team that would get better starting pitching could not be determined BEFORE the series starts, as in: How could anyone have predicted that the best starting pitcher in the world would blow two leads, one of them of 5 runs, and wipe his own team out of the post-season?

      The answer: Nobody could’ve, because the post-season is largely a crapshoot, and will remain one for all time to come.

    11. KPOcala
      October 7th, 2014 | 9:19 pm

      @ #15: Yep. Total agreement. Want more rings :) Getting too old too be a “Cub Fan” TM ;)

    12. KPOcala
      October 7th, 2014 | 9:27 pm

      @ Evan3457:We got a bit “lucky” to have had the string that we went through over the last 18 years (OMG!). A bounce here or there, maybe one or two rings. One reason that Andy should be in the HOF, he kept his nerve while things sped up for the other team. And we still “could” have won against the D-Backs (I’m still screaming at the memory of Torre bringing the infield in, “knowing” the outcome). Losing to a red hot Angels team, the (ugh) collapse against the Sox, and losing to the Marlins. We could have so easily had 7-8 rings, just as we could have had 1-2. And let’s not forget those amazing Indian teams. I’d hate to make my living gambling on baseball….

    13. Evan3457
      October 7th, 2014 | 10:06 pm

      @ KPOcala:
      If last October chumped Sybil’s arguments about “what wins in the post-season”, this October is absolutely castrating them.

      I haven’t even gotten to such other gems as “matchups don’t matter”, as in why the Cards are the only team that not only beats the best pitcher in baseball consistently, but puts up a lifetime ERA over 5.00 against them, or mentioned that Carpenter got red-hot, or that Peavy was completely lost with the Red Sox, and came into this post-season with a lifetime post-season ERA of nearly 9.00, but is on fire for the Giants, and I could go on like this all day, but my time is too valuable to mention people like Kolten Wong and Brandon Crawford hitting game-changing home runs, and good closers like Drew Storen and Sean Doolittle folding like cheap cameras, or Mike Moustakas getting hot after not hitting much all year or the best player in baseball going 1-12 with 1 HR and 1 RBI in his 3 games in the playoffs, and on and on and on.

      A short series is not enough to determine true quality, and the Dynasty run of 4 titles in 5 years, and very nearly 4 titles in a row, is not likely to be repeated in our lifetime. MLB doesn’t like that, and like the NFL, has put in rule changes to prevent such teams from being assembled. No, the best strategy for multiple success may very well be the “Rotisserie League” strategy of the Red Sox, building up for 2-3-4 years, and then going “all in” for a title in one year, and then accepting a down year or three to rebuild for the next run.

      ===========================================

      There are a couple of teams in my fantasy league who, year after year, put themselves in position to be in contention, but never go “all in” in any one year, and, as a result, keep finishing between 3rd and 7th every year, but they never win the top prize, and usually don’t even get close.

      Me? I go “all in” when I think 1st is there for the taking, and as a result, I’ve won the league 3 times, and tied for 1st one other year, and finished 2nd one other year in the last 15. I usually spend two years rebuilding in between title runs. This was the 2nd rebuilding year after finishing 1st in 2012, and I finished 10th last year, but somehow wound up in 2nd this year. Next year, I have what looks like a very solid core, and I’m going for it all unless my season gets ruined early by excessive injuries/surprise underachieving.

      The obvious truth that winning in real MLB is far more complex and difficult than winning a Rotisseries League notwithstanding, maybe that’s something Hal “We intend to field a championship caliber team every year” Steinbrenner should think about, considering the Yankee payroll hasn’t moved significantly in the last 10 years, and everyone else in MLB is slowly catching up (in 2004, aside from the Yanks, the average team salary in MLB was about $65 million; this year it was over $110 million). Either that or risk the wrath of the other owners, and take the Yankee team payroll to $300 million. That’s the only way to field a championship-caliber team every year, and it assumes the Yankees will simple waive bad contracts like A-Rod’s, Tex’ and CC’s when big money free agents decline severely on the back side of the deal.

      Your move, Hal.

    14. Evan3457
      October 8th, 2014 | 12:41 am

      …and BOOM!, down go the Nationals, a team with 3 legit aces: Strasburg, Zimmerman and Fister, and fourth excellent starter in Gonzalez, beaten by the Giants, with one legit ace (Bumgarner), one mediocre starter who pitches like an ace in the post-season (Vogelsong), one former ace turned mediocre starter with a horrendous post-season record who nevertheless pitched a good game in this series (Peavy), and a former ace who was horrible in September in 5 starts (0-4 with an 8.72 ERA).

      The team that was 1st in the league in ERA and ERA+ was beaten by the team that was 8th in the league in ERA, and 10th in the league in ERA+. The team whose starters lead the league in starter ERA, beaten by the team that was 10th in starter ERA in the NL.

      Oh, so predictable. Not a crapshoot at all. The Giants have the highest remaining payroll, 7th in MLB, and 4th in the NL. The other three teams remaining are 14th, 15th, and 21st in payroll. Of the top 13 teams in payroll, 3 were knocked out in the ALDS, 9 didn’t even make the post-season, and only one got as far as the LCS. So much for payroll determining who wins, or who should win, in the post-season.

      =====================================
      All four teams that lost in the Division Series were favored to win. The odds to win it all at Bovada, BEFORE the post-season started, had the Tigers at 6-1 and the O’s at 13-2 (Tigers 12-13 favorites, in effect), the Dodgers at 5-1 and the Cards at 8-1 (Dodgers 5-8 favorites), the Nationals at 11-2 and the Giants at 12-1 (Nationals 11-24 favorites), and the Angels at 5-1 and the Royals at 16-1 (Angels better than 3 to 1 favorites).

      Nahhhh, the post-season ain’t a crapshoot. Not at all.

    15. Evan3457
      October 8th, 2014 | 12:43 am

      As to the thread topic, farewell to the Captain.

      A career well done, and to this point, a life well-lived.

      =========================================

      And with that, I think I’ll stop, because my points are proven beyond all doubt.

      I hope all the old gang is OK, except for Sybil.

      Steve, thanks once again for hosting this for so long, and good luck to you in whatever you do from here on.

    16. KPOcala
      October 10th, 2014 | 7:09 pm

      The dumbest thing that the pundits and fans do is start off with the “what wins in the postseason” declarations. For those of us “geezers” who remember George trying to turn the Yankees into a “speed team” because of the Cardinals winning back in the eighties, we should all know better. With all due respect to sabermetrics, there “is something” with guys who hold it together under high stress. They may not be able to replicate it every time, but there’s no question that players get either “charged” or “grounded”, probably in conjunction with their “biorhythms” (yeah, I “know, I know”). Anyone who’s done anything competitive with their bodies, from sports to playing the piano, “understand” the concept.

      ———————————————————————————–

      I’d like to second Evan3457′s best wishes for you guys, and Steve in particular (Steve don’t!). With very few exceptions, this has been a great bunch to talk baseball, and yes, vent some too ;) If Steve pulls a “Beatles” and does “retire” from this “club”, I’d hope that someone starts a blog, and pulls in the “classy vets”, so that we can berate each other in a “tongue-in-cheek fashion (usually)”. I’m hanging in till the ‘audition’s over’, but hope to see at least some of the crowd elsewhere. If there “IS” an “elsewhere”, I’d appreciate a “heads-up”, obnoxious though I can be a times ;) For now, Ciao! :)

    17. KPOcala
      October 10th, 2014 | 7:14 pm

      PS, does anyone have a theory as to why Cashman just dumped Thornton to save a few dollars? Strange, strange move. Perhaps a deal fell through…….

    18. Evan3457
      October 11th, 2014 | 11:20 am

      KPOcala wrote:

      PS, does anyone have a theory as to why Cashman just dumped Thornton to save a few dollars? Strange, strange move. Perhaps a deal fell through…….

      Probably because Thornton had been ineffective in terms of keeping inherited runners from scoring. Possibly to open up a 40-man roster slot.

      I don’t think they’ll miss Thornton, given his poor performance in the 7th inning of Game 4 vs. the Giants.

    19. KPOcala
      October 11th, 2014 | 8:19 pm

      @ Evan3457:No, he’s not anything special, but at least get something, no? Yeah, “NO”. :)

    20. Raf
      October 13th, 2014 | 3:15 pm

      I think net shrine is still up and running :D

    21. Raf
      October 13th, 2014 | 3:18 pm

      Good to see all’s well, and some are still hanging around to see what’s what. Haven’t really landed elsewhere, I usually check River Ave Blues, Bronx Banter and The Captain’s Blog. Don’t post much anymore, though.

    22. Evan3457
      October 13th, 2014 | 7:05 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Good to see all’s well, and some are still hanging around to see what’s what. Haven’t really landed elsewhere, I usually check River Ave Blues, Bronx Banter and The Captain’s Blog. Don’t post much anymore, though.

      Good to “see” you again, Raf. Hope you’re well.

    23. KPOcala
      October 15th, 2014 | 2:00 am

      The other young genius has flown the coop after the high draft pick tunnel dried up. Nice to pick near the top……

    24. KPOcala
      October 15th, 2014 | 2:02 am

      I’ll second Evan, good to see you Raf. Best of fortunes ;)

    25. Evan3457
      October 16th, 2014 | 11:18 pm

      …and BOOM, down go the Cardinals.

      And now, all three teams that Sybil said were “set up for years” for winning pennants and World Series because of their dominant starting pitching, that is, the Tigers, the Dodgers, and the Cards, are now eliminated short of winning the pennant (and thus, the World Series as well), which means that unless the post-season really is a crapshoot after all, GMs Mozeliak, the recently kicked upstairs Coletti, and CEO/President/GM Dombrowski are all failures as big as Cashman. Again.

    26. redbug
      October 20th, 2014 | 5:26 pm

      So, Gary Denbo will replace Mark Newman. I thought he might replace Kevin Long after the work he did w/ Derek Jeter a couple of years ago.

    27. #15
      October 21st, 2014 | 10:32 am

      Some guys swore by K-Long, but I never remember Jeter singing his praises. Denbo has been a loyal down in the trench guy for a long time. The org guys that I know like him and respect his baseball knowledge and ability to teach. I’m surprised Newman held on as long as he did.

    28. #15
      October 23rd, 2014 | 2:54 pm

      I’ve watched enough of the post season to be sure of one thing…. Nearly all of the playoff teams, particularly the last 4 standing, would be kicking our ass. We look old, slow and weak compared to the athleticism I’m seeing. There has been more pop in the bats, more consistently hard hit balls, better fielding, more aggressive base running and good to very good pitching than we can field with our 25 guys. Really drives home the peril of giving big, long term deals to 30+ year-old stars. They might be productive for a few years, but they are playing on reputation after that. The steroid era created the fantasy of a large number of players contributing significantly when they are north of 35 years old. Only the rare ones can do that. Going to take several years to wash that out of any team that leaned heavily on free agent signings as their foundation.

    29. KPOcala
      October 28th, 2014 | 5:36 am

      Interesting that ownership had an amazing amount of the “young, great” GMs pass by. Was this because of the commitment to Cashman, GMs NOT WANTING to go to NY, or the Yankees signing Cashman before all the ‘action’ took place? Or does HAS TRULY believe that Cashman is doing the best that he can, given the circumstances? I really don’t see a way of evaluating GMs. Dayton Moore was looked upon as an “imbecile” five years ago, and Frank Wren was regarded as one of the best. So maybe fans fancy themselves smarter than they are. And sportswriters, well, they are either shills, or mouth off, hoping to get lucky, so they are of zero value. It’s funny, every year to read the latest “lessons” of the postseason. What a CROCK!

    30. Evan3457
      October 28th, 2014 | 9:30 pm

      The 2013 Red Sox were a fairly old team themselves. The lesson the Yanks were supposed to have learned from them is to sign high-character players, which they did in signing all four of their key free agents.

      The Giants have a much younger lineup and a much older rotation.
      The Royals are younger everywhere, but they have been for years now, and this is the first time it’s actually paying off. And the Yanks won 4 of 8 from them this year, 2 of 4 after they got hot.

      And all of that doesn’t explain why these teams beat the other good teams, teams that were arguably better than they were over the regular season.

    31. redbug
      November 11th, 2014 | 2:20 pm

      An old friend signed with the Braves. The “worm eater” He’s still only 34. Best of luck to him.

      Wang has not made more than 15 Major League starts in a season since he recorded consecutive 19-win campaigns for the Yankees in 2006-07. The 34-year-old Taiwanese right-hander made a total of 22 big league starts from 2011-13 while pitching for the Nationals and Blue Jays. He spent this past season making a combined 28 starts for the Reds and White Sox at the Triple-A level.

    32. Greg H.
      November 12th, 2014 | 11:34 pm

      Worm burner I think. Do you like the Cervelli trade? I was hoping he would be part of a package for something more compelling.

    33. Greg H.
      November 12th, 2014 | 11:35 pm

      Dang. Worm killer.

    34. redbug
      November 13th, 2014 | 7:28 pm

      lol…right, worm killer…not worm eater.

      I’m not very familiar w/ Nat’l League players (Rizzutto use to call the Nat’l League the minors. I’m sort of w/ him on that.) But, reading about Wilson…he sounds pretty good. Anyone taking on Cervelli is really taking on an unknown. He doesn’t seem to be able to stay uninjured (maybe steroids?) and he can get the yips when throwing to 2nd.

    35. #15
      November 14th, 2014 | 11:33 am

      I was finally convinced Cisco was a capable back-up. Maybe trading now got all they could for him. I also would have hoped that if they were going to deal him, he could have been part of a bundle for better return.

      I guess signing Young means… Farewell Little Ninja.

      Yankees being coy staying away from the Tulo discussions? Looks like the market softened up by a lack of teams rushing in. I think Tulo and Car-Gon make a lot of sense for the Yankees. They are under contract for their prime age years, and done before they get too old. If they can pass their physicals, stay healthy and play to their baseball cards… the Yankees jump right back into contention for a playoff spot.

    36. Greg H.
      December 5th, 2014 | 4:10 pm

      Goodbye DJ….
      And hello DiDi…

      I’m ok with this trade – I liked Greene, but couldn’t help feeling his chariot would turn into a pumpkin soon.

    37. redbug
      December 6th, 2014 | 12:07 pm

      @ Greg H.:

      Didi doesn’t appear to be much of a hitter. We’ll see. At 24, I wonder how much he can improve.

      I’m not crazy about the Miller signing. Sounds like they won’t sign Dave Robertson. He’s proven as a closer – even on the heels of the great Mo.

    38. #15
      December 6th, 2014 | 4:40 pm

      Didi is young enough and cheap enough that if he can play good D he can fill the spot for a year or two, even if he can’t hit .220. Pure 9 hitter at this point, yet with that frame and a lefty stick he might play a bit a bit better in Yankees stadium. It gives us a cheap, tradeworthy option and time to evaluate if Tulo is healthy and the Rockies are motivated to move him at some point.

      Miller looks strong, but Miller plus D-Rob plus Dellin would be a monster. I’d take D-Rob over a high priced starter given where we are. I suspect the Yankees are a bit concerned that his velocity has edged down. 4 at 45 would still work form me. We’d be looking at 6 inning games for the most part.

      With A-Rod still lingering around and Beltran and Tex, there is little room for adding an impact position player. Strengthen the pen and hold our breath on the starters.

    39. Greg H.
      December 6th, 2014 | 8:19 pm

      #15 wrote:

      Miller looks strong, but Miller plus D-Rob plus Dellin would be a monster. I’d take D-Rob over a high priced starter given where we are.

      Interesting – that move offers a lock-down pen for 4 yrs, provided they all stay healthy. Still, they’ll need at least one starter, maybe a couple second tier types.

    40. redbug
      December 7th, 2014 | 8:46 am

      #15 and Greg…that’s IF they sign Robertson. Cashman is hinting they won’t. Neither Miller nor Betances has closer experience. Certainly not the quality Robertson has demonstrated.

    41. #15
      December 9th, 2014 | 3:56 am

      Well, 4 @ 46 for D-Rob, right what I aimed at above, but the wrong team went there. Not happy to see him go.

    42. redbug
      December 9th, 2014 | 6:39 pm

      That $10 million over 4 yrs difference for Miller instead of Robertson is petty cash for the Yankees. This really ticks me off.

    43. KPOcala
      December 11th, 2014 | 3:24 pm

      What happened? Did Jeffrey Loria buy the Yankees? This is infuriating! At this point, they would have to sign Scherzer AND Shields, and trade for a big bat to make me happy. I just can’t believe that they won’t pay “the piper” at this point…….. There’ll be plenty of empty seats if this is their “philosophy”. PLEASE, tell me that this isn’t it!

      They had better come crawling for Headley at this point……..

    44. KPOcala
      December 11th, 2014 | 3:25 pm

      @ redbug: Infuriating!!

    45. #15
      December 15th, 2014 | 8:05 pm

      Wow. Now Headley for 4 years. Sends chills up my spin. Okay, good glove, switch hitter, good in the clubhouse, yada, yada…. Just not much to be excited about, and for a long time. He does give us a serviceable back-up at 1st base, but, yawn, fans won’t pile in to see solid mediocrity on display for years. Guess Prado moves to 2nd, which means Refsynder sits and waits. A-Rod? Perhaps the Yankees are tipping their hand that a DFA is in his future.

    46. KPOcala
      December 19th, 2014 | 5:25 pm

      Well, Prado gets traded. I don’t get this unless it’s a prelude to another trade, and/or major free agent signing. If this does not work out, then Steve has had the UnDisputed Truth on Cashman. If it dominoes into something bigger, well, maybe some crow with marinara is coming ;)

    47. #15
      December 19th, 2014 | 6:14 pm

      I just hope Refsnyder gets a shot now. Two middle infielders under 25? Can it really be?

      This might be part of a salary dump as Prado was owed ~ 22MM over the next 2 years… hopefully they use it to strengthen the rotation.

    48. Evan3457
      December 20th, 2014 | 4:23 am

      I like the Eovaldi/Prado trade. It carries a heaping helping of risk, but it’s the right type of risk to take.

    49. KPOcala
      December 20th, 2014 | 1:50 pm

      I sure hope that the Yankees aren’t going to become a club that always has an excuse as to why they can’t go the extra mile for what top talent costs. They need a proven “ace” (Max), so that they have the pieces in place for either another move, or at least an impact player in ’16. Otherwise, these moves are nice, but they have the smell of saving money, which doesn’t concern me as a fan….

    50. redbug
      December 20th, 2014 | 6:01 pm

      Sweeny Murti ‏@YankeesWFAN

      2009 World Champs left on Yankees roster: ARod, Sabathia, Teixeira, Gardner. Who’s got a fancy nickname?? #TheFinalFour

    51. #15
      December 22nd, 2014 | 12:32 pm

      I’m kind of thinking the main moves are over.

      So, assuming we know our roster, are we better or worse than last year?

      We got younger in the middle infield, by a lot – like 30 years in total! I’d say our pen is about flat to 2014, but pretty damn good. Our reserve starter core and bullpen depth is fine… the Warren’s and the Whitley’s, etc…) We have a serviceable back-up 1st baseman (something we sorely needed and missed last year). Maybe down a bit in the back-up catcher, but only because Cisco played better than expected, and not enough to fret about. About flat in the back-up outfielder (farewell Little Ninja), but younger. Better/less unsure, but older at 3rd (remember Solarte won the job out of ST). The rookies and Ryan can outplay what we got from Roberts.

      We know we won’t have Nova for a while and I expect the usual middling post TJ performance anyway. Tanaka will do fine until his arm hurts or snaps. He’s a solid 1-2 if he’s healthy, which I’m guessing he won’t be past May or June. We’ve probably have lost Kuroda (a negative) – filling his 32 starts with ~ 3.71 era is the biggest hole I see; CC should be a 4 or 5 starter (actually somewhat of an improvement). Eovaldi and Capu, also back of the rotation types. Pineda ought to be a stud until he either does something stupid or gets nicked up (hint, hide the pine tar on your glove, not your neck).

      On balance, if what we have right now is what we field opening day, I think we are somewhat better than last year. Certainly younger.

      McCann (on offense) and Tex (kind of the last chance for him, if his wrist isn’t better by now it never will be; second lowest WAR of his career, only 2013 was worse) and Beltran (lowest WAR of his career) must produce more, which they should. If Beltran doesn’t… he needs to go like Soriano. We wasted more than 1/3 of the season waiting for Soriano to prove he wasn’t done.

      With or without A-Rod, I’d say we are a tick better. If A-rod goes he goes. Just need to .270, 20 HR, and 80-85 RBI’s out of the DH slot and we’ll be well ahead of 2014.

      Overall, the roster just screams for another solid starter.

      Tampa is rebuilding. Baltimore won’t be as tough as last year. Toronto and Boston will be better. Overall, we should be able to win a handful more games than last year if Kuroda’s contribution can be covered and guys that had bad years bounce back some.

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