Author Topic: Yankees 2015 Preview  (Read 708 times)

Yankees CC

  • Chris Conley
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Yankees 2015 Preview
« on: 1 Oct 2014 3:01:52 PM »
In a vain attempt to forget the Yankees' September collapse (10-16, including 5-13 in our final 18 games), it's time to turn to the future...

Guaranteed Contracts
Phil Hughes ($5.6M/2016)
David Price ($13.824M/2017)
Anibal Sanchez ($18.1M/2017)
Sean Marshall ($6.57M/2016)
Sergio Romo ($7.23M/2016)
Brian Wilson ($3.75M/2015)
Prince Fielder ($23.029M/2018)
Josh Satin ($2.2M/2015)
Dustin Pedroia ($22.534M/2018)
Matt Joyce ($13M/2015)
Nelson Cruz ($9.1M/2015)

That's a shade under $125M in guaranteed contracts, which even for the Yankees is a huge amount. And we haven't even gotten to...

Arbitration Decisions
Jaime Garcia ($2.331M/6th)
Cory Luebke ($1.62M/4td)
Mike Dunn ($0.88M/4th)
Shawn Kelley ($0.968M/5th)
Michael McKenry ($1.066M/5th)
Elvis Andrus ($4.841M/6th)
Desmond Jennings ($7.452M/5th)

Garcia, Dunn, Kelley, McKenry, Andrus and Jennings will likely kept even with the arb salary bump, but the jury is still out on LTC for any of that contingent. Luebke could be kept around as a 6th starter wild card, but is also a potential victim of the budget crunch, as the first 6 are likely to add ~$25M to the Yankees' payroll.

Pre-Arb Contributors
Drew Smyly ($0.55M/3rd)
Lonnie Chisenhall ($0.55M/3rd)
Jordy Mercer ($0.5M/2nd)
Joey Gallo ($0.5M/---)

Chisenhall and Gallo give the Yankees a pair of cheap interesting bats... who happen to play the same position. If Gallo projects as well as hoped, we'll find room for both of them in 2015.

Expiring Contracts
Craig Breslow
Miguel Montero
Eugenio Velez
David Murphy
Victor Martinez
Jeremy Guthrie

Given V-Mart's incredible 2014 season, it would clearly be ideal to have him back, but in terms of his 2014 projection he's replaceable especially as a 1B/DH with Montero handling most of the catching duties.

Projected Roster

Lineup
2B Dustin Pedroia (99 wRC+, 20.4 UZR/150)
1B Lonnie Chisenhall (121 wRC+, 3.2 UZR/150)
RF Nelson Cruz (137 wRC+, 3.8 UZR/150)
LF Matt Joyce (113 wRC+, ~1 UZR/150 between LF & RF)
3B Joey Gallo (221/141 wRC+ in A+/AA)
C Michael McKenry (141 wRC+)
DH Prince Fielder (89 wRC+)
CF Desmond Jennings (105 wRC+, 6.6 UZR/150)
SS Elvis Andrus (79 wRC+, -4.4 UZR/150)

Actual 2015 projections are likely to look quite a bit different than the 2014 totals -- Chisenhall and Cruz will be a bit lower McKenry a lot lower, and Pedroia and Fielder at least a bit higher.

Bench
C TBA
IF Jordy Mercer (91 wRC+, ~0 UZR/150 @ 2B/SS)
OF TBA
OF TBA

Depending on projections, it's possible that Mercer will compete with Andrus for the starting job, otherwise he'll be a bench bat. The rest of the bench will need to be filled via waivers, trades, or FA signings.

Rotation
SP David Price (88 ERA-, 76 FIP-)
SP Anibal Sanchez (88 ERA-, 70 FIP-)
SP Phil Hughes (92 ERA-, 70 FIP-)
SP Drew Smyly (84 ERA-, 99 FIP-)
SP Jaime Garcia (115 ERA-, 105 FIP-)

Hard to predict exactly where guys like Sanchez (big drops in K%, BB%, & HR%) and Hughes (crazy K/BB, much improved HR%, but second straight year with .324 BABIP) will actually project, but both will hopefully be solid mid-rotation guys or even a notch better than that.

Bullpen
CL Mike Dunn (86 ERA-, 82 FIP-)
SU Shawn Kelley (115 ERA-, 78 FIP-)
SU TBA
MR Sergio Romo (109 ERA-, 115 FIP-)
MR Brian Wilson (132 ERA-, 121 FIP-)
MR Sean Marshall (208 ERA-, 136 FIP-)
MR TBA

Dunn and Kelley aren't spectacular, but they are decent cheap options for the middle innings. Unfortunately, Romo, Wilson, and Marshall were all varying shades of awful in 2014, bumping the cheap guys to the prime spots by default. Romo's 2014 struggles were largely due to the longball, as his other peripherals were largely stable, so hopefully he will bounce back with a strong 2015 projection. Marshall, on the other hand, was awful in every conceivable way during those brief stints when he wasn't on the DL. Good thing we have him signed until 2016 at $7M+.  :-[ Wilson is somewhere in between, but with another year between him and his last good season, the odds of a strong projection are slim.

Assessment

It's a good thing the Yankees have the highest revenue in the league, as we have a ton of money locked up, some in worthwhile contracts (especially David Price) but a whole lot in bad deals ranging from the unfortunate (Fielder was probably a slight overpay before getting hurt, now he looks like an albatross) to the inexplicable (3 years/$21M for Sean Marshall?!). As a result, we have very little payroll flexibility for 2015.

Fortunately, the Yankees don't have a lot of glaring holes for 2014. The lineup isn't strong, but if Andrus and Fielder get reasonable projections it doesn't have any black holes either. The rotation remains the strength of the team, with Price as a bona fide ace and a solid crew behind him. We need a bench and a couple of bullpen pieces, but fortunately those can be had cheaply.

At a glance, the prognosis looks unpleasantly like 2014: somewhere above .500 and on the fringe of contention but not much more than that. Thanks to the 2014 draft, we have a few more lesser chits to move if we decide to upgrade and/or move some toxic assets to give the franchise more breathing room in the years to come. On the other hand, if there were a way to kickstart the housecleaning in the offseason, we'd have to consider that as well. Should be interesting...
« Last Edit: 1 Oct 2014 7:54:52 PM by Yankees CC »

Blue Jays SH

  • Scot Hughes
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Re: Yankees 2015 Preview
« Reply #1 on: 1 Oct 2014 4:19:04 PM »
I, for one, am not looking forward to finding out what a really good GM can do with the Yankees payroll in DMBO. I think we should adjust the rules to allow the rest of the league to vote to assign a crappy contract to the Yankees every year, in the name of competitive balance. (I nominate Josh Johnson as the contract to be foisted on the Yankees this winter)

Scot.
AL East champion 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2016
AL Champion 2003, 2004, 2006
WS champion 2004, 2006

Twins BS

  • Bobby Schmidt
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Re: Yankees 2015 Preview
« Reply #2 on: 1 Oct 2014 6:17:28 PM »
I'd say that team stands a pretty solid shot at the post season next year... especially if you can find ways to improve it... which from my experience, you will!

Yankees CC

  • Chris Conley
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Re: Yankees 2015 Preview
« Reply #3 on: 29 Oct 2014 6:29:49 PM »
Preliminary roster with Steamer projections:

Lineup
2B Dustin Pedroia (112 wRC+)
1B Lonnie Chisenhall (114 wRC+)
RF Nelson Cruz (122 wRC+)
LF Matt Joyce (113 wRC+)
3B Joey Gallo (102 wRC+)
C Michael McKenry (102 wRC+)
DH Prince Fielder (136 wRC+)
CF Desmond Jennings (103 wRC+)
SS Elvis Andrus (87 wRC+)

Bench
C TBA
IF Jordy Mercer (96 wRC+)
OF TBD
OF TBD

Rotation
SP David Price (3.23 ERA)
SP Anibal Sanchez (2.82 ERA)
SP Phil Hughes (3.89 ERA)
SP Drew Smyly (3.85 ERA)
SP Jaime Garcia (3.19 ERA)

Bullpen
CL Mike Dunn (2.99 ERA)
SU Shawn Kelley (3.11 ERA)
SU TBD
MR Sergio Romo (3.27 ERA)
MR Brian Wilson (3.74 ERA)
MR Sean Marshall (3.67 ERA)
MR TBD

Steamer, at least, was a lot kinder to Fielder and the relievers than I would have expected. Let's hope ZiPS feels the same way while continuing to be very optimistic about Gallo (IIRC ZiPS projected him to a ~95 wRC+ last year, so I'd guess he'll be significantly higher than 102 this year). We shall see...

Yankees CC

  • Chris Conley
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Re: Yankees 2015 Preview
« Reply #4 on: 9 Jan 2015 3:12:50 PM »
Preliminary roster with ZiPS projections:

Lineup
2B Dustin Pedroia (101 OPS+)
1B Lonnie Chisenhall
RF TBD
LF Matt Joyce (109 OPS+ / 0 DEF)
3B Joey Gallo
C Michael McKenry (108 OPS+ / -3 DEF)
DH Prince Fielder
CF Desmond Jennings (100 OPS+ / 0 DEF)
SS Elvis Andrus

Bench
C TBA
IF Jordy Mercer
OF TBD
OF TBD

Rotation
SP Anibal Sanchez (119 ERA+)
SP David Price (112 ERA+)
SP Drew Smyly (116 ERA+)
SP Phil Hughes (112 ERA+)
SP Jaime Garcia (93 ERA+)

Bullpen
CL Sergio Romo (121 ERA+)
SU Mike Dunn (115 ERA+)
SU Shawn Kelley
MR TBD
MR Sean Marshall
MR Brian Wilson (98 ERA+)
LR/SP Cory Luebke (97 ERA+)

Price's disappointing projection is largely cancelled out by Smyly's surprising one, though I suspect Price will be the better of the two once defense is factored out. Offensively, we're looking at a whole bunch of average-to-slightly-above-average bats with roughly average defense. Sum total is a contender but hardly one likely to sail into the post-season.
« Last Edit: 29 Jan 2015 3:57:06 AM by Yankees CC »