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MLB: Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals

Over at SI.com, Jay Jaffe’s winter report card gives the Yanks a preliminary grade of B-:

New York has exercised atypical financial restraint this winter, yet managed to shore up trouble spots by adding younger and less expensive players. Gregorius and Headley are the two youngest in the lineup, with McCann, who turns 31 in February, the only other regular younger than Drew. Meanwhile, the influx of new pitchers over the last two years leaves Sabathia and Capuano as the only pitchers over 30. Payroll will still be well over $200 million, but Cashman has ensured the Yankees more flexibility down the road, and the farm system is much improved thanks to better drafting and a burst of international signings. Whether or not they deviate by adding Shields, it’s a coherent philosophy that better sets them up for the long haul, even if they fall short of the postseason again in 2015.

[Photo Credit: USATSI]

Categories:  1: Featured  Hot Stove  Yankees

Tags:  james shields  jay jaffe

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1 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 2, 2015 5:11 pm

Gotta say, I don't agree with Jay that the Yanks should sign Shields. He is a very good pitcher, but I do not think he is going to age well, and a five year contract would have him on the Yanks in his age 33-37 seasons.

He's a very atypical pitcher and I wonder what happens when his fastball slows down some, not so much because of what it does to his fastball, but how does it affect his changeup?

BP had an interesting scouting report on Shields that suggests, even when his fastball velocity goes, he should be able to transition to being a cutter/two seamer/curve guy who can still use the changeup and his command and control to do well.

We have seen a pitcher make that transition before and succeed when his velocity fell. But Mike Mussina started from a much higher place than Shields, and so when he dropped from being a 5+ win pitcher to a 3 win pitcher, it was OK. But Shields has never been that good, more like a 3 win pitcher; if he turns into a 1 or 1.5 win pitcher, he's not worth it. I would pass.

2 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 3, 2015 1:19 pm

[1] (crosses arms and bobs head)
Werd to tha mutha...

3 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 3, 2015 1:50 pm

1) Good analysis, man. Thanks.

4 MSM35   ~  Feb 3, 2015 2:36 pm

Post Super Bowl the agents for unsigned players start to get nervous. Do you think that Mr. Shields representative is making some call to his favorite sportswriters?

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