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December 1, 2005

Yanks Sign Stinnett
by SG

Kelly Stinnett replaced John Flaherty as the New York Yankees' backup catcher, agreeing Wednesday to a $650,000, one-year contract.

The Yankees are finally getting younger, trading out 37 year old John Flaherty for 35 year old Kelly Stinnett. Stinnett's career line of .239/.320/.390 is not so great, unless you compare it with Bad Flash's .252/.290/.377. Stinnett's caught Randy Johnson before, so that may be part of the reason for this move.

This is actually a fairly big upgrade if you look at last year's VORP (Value over Replacement Player from Baseball Prospectus. Stinnett's VORP was 5.3 and Flaherty's was -9.6 in very similar playing time, so the Yankees are upgrading by about 16 runs.

I'm still waiting for official confirmation on Farnsworth before I analyze his signing. I am hearing rumors that the Yankees are still aggressively trying to bring back Flash Gordon as well. While Gordon and Farnsworth setting up Mo in 2006 has the potential to be great, I'd have concerns about 2007 and 2008, as well as the loss of draft picks from signing Farnsworth that would not be replaced if Gordon stays.

Update: Farnsworth tells Braves he's leaving

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
While the Braves held out hope Wednesday of re-signing shortstop Rafael Furcal, the next-most attractive of their free agents told them he's going to the Yankees.

Kyle Farnsworth has opted for the Yankees' offer to be a well-paid setup man over what Braves general manager John Schuerholz said was a three-year offer to be Atlanta's closer.


"We wanted him as our closer," Schuerholz said. "We offered a three-year deal and were prepared to stay engaged in the negotiations, but we were told that he had decided to go to New York as a setup guy."

Yankees officials said no deal was done with Farnsworth, the Milton High graduate, who spent most of his career with the Cubs.

If the Braves offer Farnsworth arbitration by Dec. 7 — or the Yankees sign him before then — the Yankees would owe the Braves a first-round pick as compensation. If neither happens, the Yankees would owe the Braves — who have not publicly indicated their intention — nothing.