Friday, June 16, 2017

Clip and send to Hal: A critical, scientific treatise on how to build the next Yankee dynasty

Over the last few days, a bitter debate has curdled over the Yankees using their 2017 first round pick to draft a pitcher currently healing from Tommy John surgery and - hence - implicitly, convening a trial on whether the front office knows what the fuck it is doing. 

Defenders of the realm quickly pointed to Aaron Judge, whom the Yankees drafted in the first round of 2013, as the most successful pick since Derek Jeter in 1992 and, hence, Exhibit A in the argument that the front office knows what the fuck it is doing.

But in 2013, we had three first-round picks, two received as compensation for free agents who skipped for greener fields. Our first pick, 3B Eric Jagielo, taken 26th overall, later became a key lug nut in the trade that brought us Aroldis Chapman. Jagielo, now 25, is hitting .240 with 5 HRs in Double A. He is not listed among the top 20 Reds prospects.

Judge came as the 32nd choice overall, which we had because the Indians signed Nick Swisher to an Ellsburian, 5-year, beached-whale of a contract. For the 33rd pick, we selected LH Ian Clarkin, now 22, who is sporting a 2.49 ERA at Single A Tampa. Clarkin, who missed a year with a cupcake elbow, came our way because the Nats signed reliever Rafael Soriano, famous for pulling out his jersey after each save. He is now out of baseball.

The point: To win at drafting, it's nice to have extra picks. 

In the NFL, that's how the Patriots do it. But this is MLB. To get an extra sandwich round pick, a team must lose a Type A free agent after making him a qualifying one-year offer. That doesn't happen often. But... it just so happens that this winter, Mr. Michael Pineda will become a free agent, perhaps a Type A, and head for the plush comfort of a long-term deal. We should definitely make him a qualifying offer. If he goes, he might bring us a compensation pick - and once and for all win the Jesus Montero deal.

(I'm not sure how opt-out clauses fit into compensatory picks. If Masahiro Tanaka invokes his contract fine print and leaves, we might get nothing.)

There is another way to accumulate draft picks: the Competitive Balance Round. This relatively new phenomena gives cheap, inept small market teams a free pick - just for being cheap, inept small market teams - which MLB encourages all owners to build. And, naturally, because they are run by cheap, inept, small market owners, these teams can trade those picks.

Somehow, the Yankees must use their deep farm system - which is brimming with top-level talent - not only to get veteran spare parts, but to generate younger prospects. Last fall, that's what they did... sort of.

We traded a promising young OF, Ben Gamel to Seattle for two Rookie League pitchers. We simply had no place for Gamel, the IL's Player of the Year, and would have lost him in the December draft, anyway. This year, Gamel is the one who got away. In 171 at bats, he is hitting .345. with 2 HRs. As for the 19-year-olds we received, Gio Orozco has been cuffed around at Charleston. The other has yet to throw a pitch this year. But they're too young to celebrate or condemn. Frankly, they're on the level of draft picks.

It would be nice if the Yankees - with all the upper-level talent in their system - could trade some of it for a few first-round picks. Come September, we will have a bunch of players in Scranton who either must be traded or protected on the roster. Instead of trading them for extra bats or bullpen lug nuts, let's convert a few into draft picks. I'd happily get get one Aaron Judge every 10 years than five Billy Butlers. 


Leinstery said...

Why was Gallegos pitching the 10th? That would mean that literally nobody else could pitch. Send out the signal duque, we need a good old fashion juju intervention.

DutchFan said...

In the 4th inning the Master and Suzyn were already warning us that Joe wanted to stay away from Warren, Shreve en Heller. Well, he did.

Betances used about 40 pitches in the 9th (not a save situation) and that set up Gio for the 10th.

Alphonso said...

I am beginning to wonder if Ju-Ju can work in California.

I mean, the air is less polluted. But the seas have too many pollutants in them, due to runoff from excessive rain.

All the young men are loading up with human growth hormones to look good in movie tryouts.

Flowers are still blooming. Trees are still blooming.

Babes are still arrogant.

Food is plentiful for the well off.

Boats abound. Boards abound. Everyone and everything is on wheels, of one sort or another.

It's a complex environment for what we do.

For the Ju-Ju we use.

Why isn't it working?


el duque said...

You're not drinking hard enough.

Anonymous said...

What the hell is with this damned drum-pounding, every time the A's are batting?? No wonder our pitchers can't concentrate - - this crap is driving ME insane - - to the extent I almost need to mute the TV to watch...This (especially at the volume they're doing it) should be OUTLAWED. I can't count the number of times I have wanted someone to plug that loon who whangs away on the drums in Cleveland - - and this is much, much worse, imho.

I think Blue-Binders should issue his pitchers ear-plugs (or at least vented ones)...and then protest the conditions. LB (No J)

joe de pastry said...

I predicted that Gamel would be back in the minors by July 1.
I am an idiot.