Paint The Black

Baseball and Beyond

Is It Miller Time ?

with 12 comments

Adding Miller and re-signing Robertson to go along with Betances would immediately give the Yankees a late-inning force comparable to Kansas City’s. In 2014, the Betances-Robertson-Miller trio struck out 334 hitters over 216.2 innings. The Royals’ threesome: 258 K’s in 204.1 innings. Davis, Herrera and Holland combined for a 1.28 ERA last season. Betances-Robertson-Miller a not-as-good, but still impressive 2.16. And so on.

A few weeks ago when Cashman  traded Frankie Cervelli  to  the Pirates and acquired Justin Wilson, a young  Lefty reliever with upside but not much command /  control of his pitches just yet, in my tiny pea brain it was a message that our wish list to  sign  the Tar Heel monster, Andy from Mayberry had gone up in smoke. Now fast  forward to  December 4th  and where there’s smoke there’s fire, as the rumor mills pumped out the Yanks are once again in on Miller, big time

We all know the rub, it’s an unwritten rule for baseball  accountants everywhere, you should not allot $10M per yr or $40M over 4 years to  a set up reliever who  might eat  70 innings. What’s a matter you don’t like your set up  guys making $143 Large per inning?

How about this, you just paid $175M to  acquire Masahiro Tanaka and got 136.1 innings out of him before he pulled up lame, that’s almost $1.3M per inning. I hope you enjoyed those split finger strike outs while they lasted, I at least thought we’d get to  see Mrs Tanaka put on a pre game show for that much dough

We can  go on and on with Hal Steinbrenner’s traveling ATM machine,  the only guy  who  really gave you a bang  for your buck in 2014  was Betances, and I have to  throw in Gardner  whose 4 years for $52M contract doesn’t kick in until this season.  Last year Brett the Face made $5.6M, and he put up numbers comparable to the Doughboy’s $21M. Break out the one hand clap  machine…

So  spare me the gibberish on Miller is an overpay, yes in conventional baseball  wisdom it could be considered psychotic, but with Steinbrenner’s hands tied, his budget already  at $188M counting benefits packages, the chances of him dropping $160M on Lester, or $180M on Scherzer, I’ll  even throw in $95M for Shields is as far fetched as giving the best  reliever weapon on the market a 4 for $40M deal.

Hold on Sally Boy, you have to have a lead to  actually make use of Betances and Miller, and in a few minutes I’m gonna add Robertson to this three amigo hat  trick, and with  suspect starting pitching how are you accomplishing that feat?

That’s a very salient question, it’s one I would have asked Dave Dombrowsky last season when he ran  Price, Scherzer, Porcello, Verlander and Sanchez to  the bump only to have Gas Can Chamberlin, Soria, and  Joe Nathan blow the leads late, so  what  good was it having 5 pitchers that  would be Aces on the Yanks if Tanaka didn’t make the bell?

The Yanks have more holes to  fill then Bill Murry’s character Carl Spackler in Caddy Shack, and with the payroll already orbiting the moon, dropping $80  to  $85M on the two  best  reliever weapons in the open market isn’t as crazy as it looks or sounds when the alternative is Shields at 33 yr’s old for 5 yr’s and $95M or Scherzer at 7 yr’s for $180M, and Lester 31 yr’s old with almost 1600 innings in his back pocket and  now with LA in the mix possibly 6 for $160M.

334 strikeouts in 216.2 innings is considered bonafide Shutdown Innings, Robertson  skewed the ERA line with some horrendous outings, but he also tossed a 13.43 K/9 ratio which was 5th behind Miller, Kimbrel, Davis and Betances, but ahead of Holland and Herrera. One of D-Rob’s selling points is he came in after Rivera,  hence his asking price is plus $50M for 4 yr.’s..

I think  at least a few guys could have done the same thing last season despite relievers like Chapman, Kimbrel, and Davis ( a non closer but like Miller a weapon in any inning) having pitched in smaller markets, they  also  had  a slightly higher P/PA ratio. In his favor, one of Robertson’s pet peeves is he throws too many pitches, but when I checked, the aforementioned weapons, actually threw more pitches per plate  appearance then D-Rob, but were still  able to  finish. Long story longer, D-Rob wasn’t, isn’t, and shouldn’t be considered an uber elite closer despite his sticker price

The Yanks look to  be out on Chase Headley, and you can’t blame them, him wanting the rumored 5 yr’s makes little sense for a diminished bat and a suspect back. The Yanks already  way overpaid for a dude that had 1 great  season in Ellsbury, and Headley’s down years weren’t even as good as Ellsbury’s so called good but not great seasons

Yes Headley would really create depth  for the Bomber infield, but 3 for $39M was starting to  approach  an overpay for the gritty Headley, the Yanks were balking at 4 yr’s and $58M, 5 yr’s tosses Headley out the window with Prado, Refsynder, and Pirela in the mix to  cover the infield spots.

We can  also  forget about Cashman making a huge splash on an Out field  bat like Melky Cabrera, not with close to $50M in 3 out fielders already on the books and no place to  put Beltran  with ARod most likely hogging the DH spot.

The Yanks need to  replace Jeter, but taking the Capt’s intrinsic value out of the mix, replacing his 2014 numbers doesn’t require a knee jerk move. Jimmy Rollins isn’t worth what  the Phillies are rumored to  want for the 1 yr rental, neither is Alexi Ramirez’s haul for a 1 yr rental, or  prospects and Elvis Andrus’ contract for the next 8 yr’s . Yanks could live with 1 yr of Stephen Drew once Boras comes to his senses and realizes it’s either a pillow contract or Japan for Mr .220 hitting  over the last 1000 AB’s Drew

So  what’s a “Championship caliber team” to do?

Might as well copy cat  the Royals who’s Ace was James Shields, James might have pitched in Big Games, but he far from lived up  to his Big Game James moniker, and they  guys that  followed him in the Royals rotation are only household names in their own mother’s digs

Cashman shouldn’t stop at Miller, once Robertson’s market drops below his Papelbonish asking price they  should  sign him too and start  the D-Bet, A-Mill, ( or 10-Mill) D-Rob  era for the next  4 yr.’s. Once Betances hits his arbitration  yr’s we’re looking at close to $28M for 200 innings, over   a 3 year  span.

That’s not as insane as it sounds when you consider Scherzer and Lester will hopefully be in the same innings league for 6 to  7 yr’s, and the risk  they  won’t make it to  200 innings moving forward is as great  as Miller, Betances, and Robertson’s

Tanaka  and Sabathia have already dotted those I’s and crossed those T’s. Yes  in the perfect world you want that  200 innings coming from  1 pitcher not 3, but that’s getting harder and harder to  find, sort of like offense, the cheapest deal and potentially the best  value on the open market this season might be buying a 4 yr reliever weapon or 2…..


Written by Sal

December 4, 2014 at 8:40 am

Posted in Uncategorized

12 Responses

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  1. ok so we cherry picked every positive on Miller, but I did buy they don’t want to go long term on plus 30 yr old starters. so the next best thing is lock down the last 9 to 12 outs… turns it into a 15 to 18 outs game, not every night, but you need to win 86 to 92 games not 162….


    December 4, 2014 at 8:54 am

  2. Ya still have to score more runs than the other guys, right ??

    Gotta HIT the freakin pill, yeah ?

    Who gonna do dat ?

    Tex ?
    Alex ?
    Bubba ?

    Uh huh,,, like I said,,


    December 4, 2014 at 11:04 pm

  3. your right Donny gotta hit the pill.. NY will bank on there not being too many pill hitters in baseball.. Gotta wait until they see what they have with these guys they already paid

    good yr to try out the kids get the pen to be a power house.. Miller has a chance to be a special talent .. he’d stop Ortiz and any big LHB in baseball, combined with Betances and another closer type reliever and you might be surprised how many close games they could win

    every team has warts


    December 5, 2014 at 9:17 am

  4. Joel Sherman @Joelsherman1 · 31m 31 minutes ago
    Teams expect Miller decision today. #yankees willing to go to 4 yrs if annual avg value can be more limited


    December 5, 2014 at 9:23 am

  5. Sweeny MurtiVerified account
    #Yankees working on 3-team deal w/ AZ and DET to land SS Didi Gregorius. Hearing Shane Greene would go to DET, Tigers sending 2 P’s to AZ


    December 5, 2014 at 10:03 am

  6. yanks got their man a no stick good glove SS.. kid can run so more rabbits on the bases.. Pitching depleted team jettisons a young cost controlled pitcher for a no bat SS.. something else has to be in the makings here, more then Miller, they might be ready to pounce on McCarthy once Lester signs

    Source: Gregorius going to #Yankees. Deal is done.


    December 5, 2014 at 10:23 am

  7. yanks need pitching, they just traded Greene now they need two starters, and have to be more desperate which raises McCarthy’s value.. I hope Cashman has a better mouse trap that he’s ready to spring


    December 5, 2014 at 12:16 pm

  8. yanks just pulled off a trade and Francesa is schooling his unwashed masses on how to call the end of a game and some field goal that has zero buzz re: NY sports

    the giants and Jets are DOA give it up boys there is no football buzz outside of the gamblers, let’s leave it alone for a hour or two and find out what this trade is all about


    December 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm

  9. Yanks got younger and better at defense, maybe with Refsynder not that good defensively this makes sense from a few angles, one being Desmond will be a huge overpay as a FA next season… this deal makes some sense only if Cashman has the OK to ink some Starters.. And who in their right mind would think this is the heir apparent to Jeter, they got younger and have control over 2nd and SS financially for 5 yr’s

    let’s move on to Miller and a few starters, unless this actually killed the Miller deal, now that they need two starters and not 1…


    December 5, 2014 at 1:40 pm

  10. Jon Heyman retweeted
    David Lennon @DPLennon · 22m 22 minutes ago
    #Mets never really got involved in Gregorius derby. Told early that Syndergaard had to be in deal and that’s a non-starter for them.


    December 5, 2014 at 2:28 pm

  11. not sure how this is relevant but

    Mike Axisa @mikeaxisa · 4h 4 hours ago
    In the last nine months, NYY turned Solarte (MiLB FA), Nuno (indy ball signing) and Greene (15th rd pk) into Headley, McCarthy, Didi.

    that’s all well and good but 2 of the 3 are gone and McCarthy is gonna cost some money to retain

    why is this a big deal, big market teams take salary dumps like McCarthy and Headley all the time

    it’s only a big deal if they would get Headley for under market and same with McCarthy, if anything both used NY to make a killing in FA

    we have a pitcher who was young and controlled for a defensive SS, who might grow into a .260 hitter 12 to 15 HRs if we’re lucky

    and how much is it gonna cost to replace Greene? I like having Gregorius but lets not start beating our chests just yet


    December 5, 2014 at 2:37 pm

  12. Drinks on me fellas

    Jon Heyman @JonHeymanCBS · 59s 59 seconds ago
    andrew miller agrees to $36M, 4-year yankees deal. as jack curry said


    December 5, 2014 at 3:46 pm

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