I don’t like to read stories like this one in today’s AJC.

The New York Yankees are negotiating with Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone and could be close to getting him to trade in his tomahawk for pinstripes.

Hours after Yankees manager Joe Torre gave Mazzone a ringing endorsement Tuesday, Mazzone’s attorney confirmed talks with the Yankees began several days ago and had progressed….

“Leo has great affection for the Braves organization and Bobby Cox but has reached a state in his career where, for his benefit and his family’s benefit, he has to consider all his options,” Reale said. “That’s what he’s in the process of doing right now. We’re proceeding in a formalized manner.”

That doesn’t sound good.

If you are visiting Sabernomics because of my previous work on Leo Mazzone, please see the article I wrote over at The Baseball Analysts. And if you’re Jack Reale or Todd Thrasher, drop me line.

5 Responses “Mazzone…Uh-Oh”

  1. Chuck Oliveros says:

    If the Braves let him go, they’re crazy. Reading between the lines of the articles, it’s probably a combination of pay and a multiyear contract. The Braves are apparently paying him $200K and the Yankees offering him $400K. I don’t see why they couldn’t match that for the guy who is probably the best pitching coach in baseball. In addition, Schuerholz said in the Atlanta paper that they don’t do multiyear contracts for coaches. If that’s the sticking point, and they choose to be rigid on it, then they deserve to lose Mazzone.

  2. Jose Soegaard says:

    JC, love the site, I’m a long-time Braves fan and have a sizable interest in the statistical aspects of the game; I recently got turned onto your site and I think it’s spectacular.

    That said, I sincerely hope the Braves do whatever is necessary to hold onto Mazzone. I understand that Schuerholz can’t offer nearly the amount of money that Cashman (or whomever takes over the helm in NY) can, but I think it’s essential to at least make an attempt to match the $400K offer.

    Maybe I’m afraid of change, but I don’t want to see the Cox-Schuerholz-Mazzone triumvirate broken up any time soon.

    One point I think it’s important to note: If he were getting offers to manage, I would wish him the best and be happy that he is getting the recognition and opportunities that he deserves (similar to how I feel about the Dodgers interviewing Terry Pendleton — my favorite Brave as a youngster). I know that Scheurholz knows when to let go of his stars, but I’ll be damned if he lets this rock(er) go.

  3. Dan says:

    If Mazzone really does lower the staff’s ERA by half a run, then I don’t see why he wouldn’t even be worth a few million dollars. I’m an O’s fan, and I obviously recently got turned onto your Mazzone article.

    I looked at the O’s last year with and without the possible Mazzone effect. To lower the team’s ERA by half a run you’d have to do something like replace Rodrigo Lopez with Roger Clemens and B.J. Ryan with Mariano Rivera. If the O’s had Mazzone instead of having to pay the large salaries of Clemens/Rivera (assume that they get real value, what they’re worth), Baltimore would be saving at least several million (my exact number was $12.6 M, but that’s obviously an estimate anyway).

  4. JC says:

    Well, you’ll find out if you’re right. The Orioles got him

  5. Kevin says:

    As to question in number 3 – while both options would conceptually have the same impact on runs allowed two points.

    1. Bringing in Leo will have lower volatility as Roger could have a down year (yes I’m talking his ERA could balloon all the way to 2.5) or face an injury.

    2. Which form of run reduction is more valuable – clearly bringing in a Clemens means that you have a much greater chance of winning 20% of your games. Bringing in Leo (assuming the Mazzone effect holds) will effect all of the games, but to a lesser extent. In terms of wins, my gut is the Roger.

    could be a classic risk/return trade-off. Fortunately there is an economist somewhere around here to think about this.