With a little over 4 days until spring training, all is quiet on the Yankees' front.
Nick Johnson is getting his work in with Kevin Long. Long has proven to be a competent hitting coach, helping correct errors but not trying to fix what's not broken (remember when they wanted Jeter to pull the ball more?).
The boys over at NoMaas put together the ideal Sabermetric Yankee lineup, using Tom Tango's analysis from The Book and the Yanks' wOBP platoon splits.
vs. LHPs: Jeter Teix Swisher ARod Johnson Posada Cano Granderson Gardner
vs. RHPs: Johnson Teix Granderson ARod Posada Jeter Cano Swisher Gardner
Cano Granderson Gardner (all lefties) seems like a matchup mistake in any lineup, but especially against a lefty starter.
It's hard for me not to like the lineup against RHP, especially if we expect Granderson's home run numbers to jump in NYS. I know there's no speedy guy at the top of the lineup, but I've always thought that was overrated anyway- especially with the way our 3-4 hitters hit doubles and homers. Stealing a base is more important when the guy at the plate is more likely to single than hit for extra bases.
Fangraphs examines the free agent waiting game as a money making tool. Waiting is less likely to bring in big bucks than in the boom years when Boras perfected the strategy. Hank Blalock, Carlos Delgado, Normar Garciaparra, Gary Sheffield, Jermaine Dye, and (of course) Johnny Damon are former stars still searching for work. All except Damon had poor years last year.
Any one you'd like to bring in to compete for a bench role? I'd be happy to have a Chili Davis quality hitter on the bench, again.
With the retirement of Glavine and Thomas, the Hall of Fame ballot for 2014 got down right crowded. Since Thomas and Glavine didn't play in 2009, they'll join Greg Maddux and Jeff Kent as first-timers on that ballot. If all four got in on the first ballot (they should), it would be the largest class of first time inductees since the opening class.
My guess: the voters will give the middle finger to Thomas as punishment for doing as the manager told him and not hurting his team in the field.
Mike Mussina will also be in that class, and while I think he's a HoFer, I wonder if that will hurt his chances of ever being inducted.