Random Thoughts: The Draft, Mitre, A-Rod, Igawa, etc.

Here are some random thoughts that didn’t warrant their own posts, as we wait for results of the all-important 5th starter battle:

– If MLB does institute a slotting system for the amateur draft, will that end up creating a strange situation where American players try to get citizenship in foreign countries so they can sign on the open market?  Clearly, a slotting system will be wildly unfair to American players.

Marcus Thames hasn’t done much to prove himself so far in Spring Training, yet the Yankees still decided to send Jamie Hoffmann, Thames’ primary competition, back to the Dodgers.  Did Hoffmann ever really stand a chance?  Are spring training stats really just that meaningless and the Yankees were evaluating the two on other things?  Or are the Yankees confident they can work out a trade with the Dodgers to get Hoffmann back?

– So why would the Yankees place Chad Gaudin on waivers before Sergio Mitre? Mitre’s numbers this spring have been far better, but we know spring stats are overrated, and Gaudin has a better track record in actual regular season games.  But all the spring Ks for Mitre look pretty good and he should still be improving after Tommy John surgery more than a year ago.  Mitre clearly has greater upside and he makes less than $1 million while Gaudin makes almost $3 million.  In the current market, more than $2 million is a big difference.

– If the Yankees opening day outfield ends up being Brett Gardner-Curtis Granderson-Nick Swisher, that will be the best defensive group in recent memory, even if Gardner is in left.  Without looking up numbers, I’d have to think it’s the best since Bernie Williams was in his prime and paired with Paul O’Neill and a speedy Chad Curtis or Ricky Ledee type.  As long as Derek Jeter doesn’t have too much of a regression defensively, the Yankees defense should be solid.  They’ve done a nice job slowly improving in that area the past couple years without sacrificing offense.

– I’ve tried for 3 consecutive years to do a “trade value” piece on Yankee contracts (similar to The Sports Guys’ trade value for NBA players piece), but baseball contracts just don’t work that way because every team values things differently.  Case in point: Alex Rodriguez‘s contract would be last.  No team would trade for that, despite how good A-Rod is.  And writing a piece that has Kei Igawa ranked higher than A-Rod is a waste of time.

– Speaking of the Kei-Man, is there any chance this is the year the Yankees finally trade him?  I know it seems implausible, but there was interest from the Padres in the past, and to be honest, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Igawa be a passable 5th starter in the NL.  The problem is there is no sense in simply giving him away, since Igawa isn’t blocking anyone while pitching serviceably in Scranton.  There isn’t much value in a triple-A starter but there is some.

– Cashman has made it clear that the Yankees have no plans at this point for Igawa and has made statements suggesting that the Igawa signing was a failure by the scouting department.  I always wonder if someone lost their job for that.  Obviously it’s ultimately on Cashman himself, but you have to think someone involved in Japanese scouting lost some respect within the organization.  I also wonder if the Igawa signing has made the Yankees a little gun-shy on international free agents, such as with Aroldis Chapman.

– You can follow me on Twitter @burkhartb .

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