Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Photo Credit: USA Today
Good morning, Yankee Universe. It’s Day 3 of the winter meetings where you surely have heard by now that Brian Cashman has already taken a Holliday from his search for a DH this coming season. Get it? Read THE YANKEES SIGN MATT HOLLIDAY! for more. Anyway...  

Apparently, the $13-million welcome Matt was rolled out as soon as it became clear switch-hitting ex-Yank Carlos Beltran was a $3-million bridge too far for Hal’s wallet. And so, he flew south for $16 million to swing his big hairy for the 'Stros who knocked the Bombers out of the postseason in their brief one-and-done October two years ago.

Here’s hoping the Yankees have the good sense to keep the former Cardinal who turns 37 next month and has played in just 183 games over the last two seasons miles from a first baseman or outfielder’s glove as some suggest.  That's right, let's keep the dude healthy, not hurt.

Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS via Getty Images
Now, for those bumming about losing out on Beltran, or perhaps still scratching their heads over our recently departed DH-in-waiting Brian McCann, here’s some sneaky geeky stats to keep in mind about this new bird that should help ease your mind. Casey hate stat nerds... but I got permission on this one... that's because these are fun. Check it out:

The first is that, unlike the aforementioned Bombers that got away,Holliday's power translates to all fields, as the attached Home Run Tracker charts from last year illustrate. And, to put it delicately, his big balls are better because they go further quicker, which translates to superior hard contact that over a full healthy season should translate into big numbers on both sides of the wall more befitting a career .303 BA and .897 OPS that has averaged 25+ dingers and 100+  RBIs over more than a decade spent in a power-draining ball yard. 

Indeed, last month in his Top 50 Free Agents piece, when Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron listed him among his top 10 rated position players (and 16th highest available free agent overall) he wrote: “His downturn in offense is almost entirely BABIP-driven, and while he’s going to have to transition to 1B/DH, he’s not that much worse of a hitter than the expensive guys at the top of the list. For a team looking for a good right-handed bat on a short-term commitment, Holliday could be a steal.”

In other words, he was extraordinarily unlucky when it came to the number of batted balls he hit in fair territory that happened to be right at the guys wearing gloves. A strong indicator all his offensive stats are likely to rebound. Interesting, right? And as for those "expensive guys at the top of the list” Cameron compared him with, you know who they are, right? 

(Oct. 4, 2016 - Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)
(Looking at you Cespedes, Turner, Encarnacion and Bautista.)

So, let’s all finally move on from this whole DH convo, shall we? Let's get the next two to-do’s on Brian’s winter meeting list over with pronto as outlined in Suzie Pinstripe’s recent piece, 3 GOALS FOR CASHMAN AT THE WINTER MEETINGS..., which were, and please pardon my personal spin, Suzie: 

(Sept. 29, 2016 - Source: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America)
  1. Hire a DH that hopefully does NOT do anything Zobrist-like other than hit the snot out of the ball – ESPECIALLY if he’s a fragile injury-recovery case named Holliday 
  2. Get Chapman locked up because, frankly, there’s no excuse not to as both team and player have raised the expectation. And anyone else would never survive the backlash unless they became the next Mo
  3. Dump Brett and Chase for what he can get, because it’s inevitable... the waiting only reduces their return value and hinders the rebuild... and hurts this year’s competitiveness.
(Sept. 10, 2015 - Source: Rich Schultz/Getty Images North America)
If Cashman can take care of those three little chores before he checks out of Gaylord National Resort on Thursday, then he can spend the next 115 days before Opening Day devoting all his time to fulfilling MY "3 Goals For Cashman AFTER The Winter Meetings"….
  1. A big arm.  
  2. An even bigger arm.
  3. The biggest, hairiest arm out there.

 --Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Follow me on Twitter@nyyankeefanfore

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