FIFTY THOUSAND MOONS

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Yankees could have had Jorge Soler, and three years from now, we'll be saying the same about Yoan Moncada

Last night, the MLB post-season continued to showcase the talents of Jorge Soler, the Cubs' 23-year-old RF. Soler, who homered twice against St. Louis in recent days, gunned a Cards runner out at home, a pivotal play. Guy looks like a monster. I just hope that Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner was watching in his private super-disco lounge on his home Jumbotron, which he surely bought with the money saved by not signing Soler. It's another Yankee Classic Tightwad Success Story!

Cue the music! Sherman, set the Wayback for 2011!... Two Cuban free agents - Yoenis Cespedes and Soler - swim to Florida from the Fidel Castro Vintage Car Museum. Cespedes is chased by teams looking for a quick fix. The A's get him. Soler - then 19 - is viewed a Top 5 draft pick talent, a corner OF with star potential. Best thing, though, he'll only cost money. No salary cap, no luxury tax, no lost draft pick - those awful things that make I'm Not Cheap spit up his latte on the home disco dance floor.

Of course, the key phrase in that last paragraph is the one that goes "only cost money."

Theo Epstein signs Soler for $30 million over nine years - cheap, if you think in terms of Jacoby Ellsbury Monopoly cash (but let's not go there.) Prince Hal saves his coins, and Soler is a Cub. End of story.

Wait... no! Actually, after Soler signs, some Yankee websites crow that Epstein overpaid. And when Soler doesn't immediately set the minor leagues on fire, it inspires another wave of congratulatory brown-nosing! Hoo-ray for us.

So the Cubs have their corner OF for the next six years, and we get to watch Year Three of the statue of Carlos Beltran patrolling RF. It's the same Yankee Tightwad Success Story as it was for Yasiel Puig, Jose Abreu and Jose Iglesias (whom Yankee scouts said would be a utility IF.) And the biggest Tale of the Tightwad is yet to come.

In late 2014, we sat and watched Rusney Castillo and Yoan Moncada hit the market - again, without salary cap or draft pick implications. Castillo, a corner OF, signed with Boston, where he's been a roller coaster, (though the YES paid observers spent the summer congratulating the Yankee brain trust when Castillo was hurt.)  It's too soon to get a bead on Castillo, but know this: If he does break out, we can kiss the AL East goodbye, because the Redsocks would have the best OF in baseball.

But it's Moncada's signing that has burnished the legend of I'm Not Cheap.

Last winter, the 19-year-old Moncada, an infielder, arrived. He was projected as a Top 5 draft talent. With no salary cap implications, practically everybody in baseball figured the Yankees would sign him. It just made so much sense. Why wouldn't they? Well, of course, Boston got him. (That's OK, the friendly Yankee websites said Boston overpaid.) Moncada started slowly - a fact that was heralded by our courtier press - and finished strong, now considered one of the best prospects in baseball. He might hit the majors late next year. And I'm Not Cheap is looking for lamps to buy with all that money he saved.

Sadly, the Yankees once led the baseball world in opening the Cuban market, when they signed Orlando Hernandez, a guy with a funny nickname - can't quite recall it. Now, we watch Cuban stars play in the real post-season, and whenever a new one hits America, the notion of I'm Not Cheap injecting himself into a bidding war is a joke, a subject that nobody even raises to the mighty Wild Card warlord. (Oh, wait! We did sign Adonis Garcia and Ronnier Mustelier, each at bargain basement prices, because there was no bidding war. Where are they now? Back in Cuba?)

So enjoy watching Soler star for the Cubs. Maybe we'll sign him when he's 36. Ahh, a new lamp anyone?

9 comments:

KD said...

don't be so critical of Hal, duque. Lamps are very expensive.

KD said...

Axisa obviously won over by duque's logic (writing on RAB of a potential Jason Hayward acquisition):

"The Yankees have the money, there’s very little doubt about that, and next winter they’re going to shed Teixeira’s contract and Beltran’s contract. Hal Steinbrenner would have to be over his payroll comfort zone for one season before things get back to normal in 2017."

Anonymous said...

I REMEMBER QUITE A WHILE AGO, WHEN I FIRST HEARD THE YANKEES WERE LOOKING AT, AND READY TO SIGN HIDEKI MATSUI (SOME GUY NICKNAMED "GODZILLA)..I WAS STUNNED. MY REACTION WAS, "ARE THEY NUTS?..WTF?..JAPAN?..WHERE DID THIS COME FROM?...I CAN'T SEE THIS WORKING!"...BUT IT WAS A SWIFT, DETERMINED, AND ULTIMATELY SUCCESSFUL MOVE. I SUSPECT ONE OF GEORGE'S LAST ORDERS. THERE IS SOMETHING ELSE I SUSPECT.....REMEMBER HOW I KEEP INSISTING HOW IT IS BRIAN CASHMAN THAT HAS BEEN GIVEN, "THE KEYS TO THE CAR", AND I BELEIVE HE HAS HAD THE TOTAL TRUST OF THE STEINBRENNER FAMILY (SINCE GEORGE HAS PASSED), THAT HE WILL DO WHAT IS BEST FOR THE TEAM "WITHIN THE FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS OF WHAT THEY REALLY WANT" -AND THAT IS TO SOMEHOW WIN WHILE CUTTING PAYROLL.....REMEMBER THE RAFAEL SORIANO SIGNING?..CASHMAN DID NOT WANT IT...BUT MARIANO WAS HURT, WE NEEDED HIM..HAL OVERRULED HIM. THE MOVE WORKED OUT NICELY BECAUSE SORIANO HAD A GREAT YEAR....CASHMAN KEPT LEAKING QUOTES ABOUT HOW HE WANTED TO KEEP THE PICK THEY LOST. THE PICK, I BELIEVE WAS A PITCHER NAMED COREY BLACK...AS FAR AS I KNOW, HE HASN'T CRACKED THE MAJORS YET.....CASHMAN WOULD HAVE NEVER SIGNED SORIANO THAT YEAR, (BUT HE DIDN'T HAVE THE KEYS TO THE CAR YET), NOW HE DOES.....WHO IS GETTING SIGNED THESE DAYS?...REALLY NOBODY, (IF YOU DON'T COUNT CHRIS CAPUANO, AND STEPHEN DREW)...WE DID SIGN ANDREW MILLER (THANK GOD)...BUT, DO YOU SEE HOW THE DECISION MAKING HAS CHANGED?...THERE IS NO MORE "OVERRULING" GOING ON...IT IS ALL CASHMAN...HE HAS THEM CONVINCED HE WILL ALWAYS DO THE RIGHT THING FOR THE "BUSINESS"...THE PROBLEM WITH THIS IS CASHMAN IS NOT A GOOD TALENT EVALUATOR, (EXAMPLES?-(COREY BLACK, CARL PAVANO, HUMBERTO SANCHEZ, KEVIN WHELAN, DAVID ADAMS, JARET WRIGHT, JAVIER VASQUEZ (TWICE!), CHASE HEADLEY, JACOBY ELLSBURY, STEPHEN DREW, BRENDAN RYAN, DOUG MIENTKIEWICZ-I COULD GO ON AND ON AND ON)...- I HAVE THE BOOK "THE YANKEE YEARS" BY JOE TORRE. AND IF YOU READ IT, YOU CAN SEE HOW TORRE CLASHED WITH CASHMAN'S IDEAS, PHILOSOPHY'S AND CERTAIN "SABER-METRICS"....THIS BEGINS TO GIVE A US A CLEARER PICTURE OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO OUR TEAM.....IT'S ALL CASHMAN NOW, AND HAL REALLY DOESN'T WANT TO BE OVERLY BOTHERED, EXCEPT FOR THE OCCASIONAL RADIO INTERVIEW.....THE MONUMENTAL PROBLEM WITH THIS IS......CASHMAN IS JUST NOT "BASEBALL SMART ENOUGH", AND HAL THINKS HE IS, AND MAY NEVER DUMP HIM.....O CHRIST...PLEASE HELP US...

ceeja said...

The Yanks were ahead of the curve on signing free agents in the 1970s, in getting guys with high OBP in the 1990s, in spending big, big bucks on free agents in the 1990s & 2000s, and in some early international signings.

They seem to have been slow to pick up on spending big bucks to sign the latest wave of Cubans.

The question is what's the next big thing. With teams spending money to tie up their stars before free agency and with other markets matching the Yanks former advantage in TV money, where is this team's comparative advantage? Because of the complete incompetency of Yankee management, I don't expect them to be able to come up with any innovative thinking.

But it seems to me the future is with:

1. Better models to predict player development; lots of great players are not first round picks and are obtainable by the Yanks. Do we need teams of nerds and scouts to do a better job of spotting undervalued talent?

2. Does the team exploit its financial advantage by having more affiliate teams in the minors or even in independent or international leagues? Would this be a good way of spotting, landing, and developing undervalued talent?

3. Are there certain positions (like pitcher) that do not require a development period that includes the entire youth of the prospect? If so, then perhaps there are untapped international sources of that talent.

4. If the path to the World Series is to have a team just good enough to squeak into the playoffs but built for the postseason, then why not construct the team along those lines. Should not the highest priority be to have a dominant no. 1 and no. 2 starter? Is another priority on offense not the star system but 9 Joe Rudis or Roy Whites in the lineup. That is, increase the likelihood that someone will be hot and reliable at playoff time or at least they can competently scratch out a run or two.

5. Although not entirely consistent with no. 4, should we rethink the whole notion of the roster. Is "starter" an obsolete role? Would the greatest team in history have 13 or 14 Dellin Bettances who pitch 110 innings per year?

Conclusion: The above is irrelevant. The Yankees are too arrogant, lazy, and stupid to consider any new ideas

Leinstery said...

ceeja, I didn't really read your comment, but guessing by the effort you put into it you are probably more suited to run this franchise than any of the incompetent fucks they have now.

Anonymous said...

CEEJA...NICE SEGMENT MAN....BASEBALL SURE SEEMS TO BE EVOLVING INTO #5.

ceeja said...

Dear Leinstery: You got my most important point. Yankee management is incompetent so long as the Steinbrenner family is in charge.

jdrny said...

Dear Anonymous:
You are correct. Cashman s not "BASEBALL SMART ENOUGH" but the problem is deeper. Neither is HAL.

Anonymous said...

I KNOW JD...PLUS HAL DOESN'T REALLY SEEM TO GIVE A SHIT WHAT US FANS THINK (OR WANT, OR WHAT THE TEAM REALLY NEEDS)..I REALLY THINK HE HAS DECIDED TO GIVE CASHMAN THE WHOLE KITTEN-KABOOLE IN THE DECISION-MAKING OF THE TEAM.....NOT GOOD!