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Rome Crumbles?
2008-09-05 04:22
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

It would be a shame if the New York Sun goes out of business but sure it isn't looking good for the paper. I've really enjoyed their coverage of sports and the arts. Tim Marchman and Steven Goldman have been great, as have columns by Allen Barra, Jonah Keri, Jay Jaffe and other voices from Baseball Prospectus.

Here is Goldman's latest, already a day old, but still worth checking out:

Unfortunately, the Yankees are about to enter a period that's anything but standard, a period in which they may require a complete rebuilding, one that takes not one overhaul, but several. The Yankees will say that they don't need to rebuild, that they are only a few pieces away — Mark Teixeira, perhaps, or C.C. Sabathia — from being back in championship form. Cashman will say this, and when you hear those words, you should know to a cold certainty that things are going to get worse before they get better.

In the New York Observer, Howard Megdal adds:

New York also has numerous questions to answer in their lineup. Jason Giambi had a monster first half. But Giambi seemed to wear down in the second half, and while New York is highly unlikely to pick up his option, the Yankees need to decide if it is worth bringing back this popular player as he turns 38. Of course, if New York doesn't, the free agent market offers the allure of Mark Teixeira and Adam Dunn.

But an even more interesting question seems to be Robinson Cano, who the team was counting on to continue his seeming march toward stardom. Instead, Cano's average has now dropped from .342 in 2006 to .306 in 2007 and .269 in 2008. His slugging percentages over that time also dropped from .525 to .488 to .411. If the Yankees are convinced that the 25-year-old Cano is unlikely to return to superstar form, the team could deal him. But a hot September would go a long way toward returning Cano to the team's good graces, and putting his 2008 more in line with his 2007 stats. Considering that Cano is a career .365/.385/.596 hitter in September/October regular season games, this is not an unlikely event.

Comments
2008-09-05 04:51:59
1.   williamnyy23
The Goldman article was so weak on logic that I have a hard time believing he wrote it. Here are just a few examples.

Chien-Ming Wang will be coming off a major injury and has always had durability problems.

Sure, Wang is coming off an injury, but since joining the Yankees he has been very durable. What's more, the foot injury is completely unrelated to any arm injuries he had earlier in his pre-major league career.

Yankees can't bear to use him for fear of breaking him, like a beautiful toy that you can't play with because it will no longer command "mint in box" prices once you take it out of the packaging.

Is Goldman really suggesting that the Yankees not take care of a prized arm like Chamberlain's? I don't see how being slated for 150 innings in your second full season of pro-ball is being too cautious.

Chamberlain will turn 23 later this month, an age at which Dwight Gooden had already pitched nearly 1,200 major league innings.

So? By age 23, Dwight Gooden was a league average pitcher with rapidly declining peripherals. Is that what Goldman thinks is best for Joba? Max out his ability for a season or two and then move on? Now, I guess you could solely blame the drugs on Gooden's demise, but those 1,200 early innings probably played a role too.

The Yankees are at exactly the same point in the life cycle of their team as the Orioles were just more than 10 years ago, if not further along. Their farm system is killing them.

It's killing them? Joba, Hughes, Cano (still) along with a variety of relief arms seems like a solid contribution. Also, there are some position players in the pipeline. Sure, the system is weak with hitters, but to say the farm system is killing the Yankees is absurd.

Also, the Yankees are coming off a historic run of 13 straight playoff appearances. They are really nothing like the Orioles.

Quite frankly, I don't see how adding Texeira and Sabathia makes the Yankees worse in the near-term. I guess you could look at a worst case scenario to predict doom, but it isn't very compelling. Again, I can't believe Goldman wrote this flawed piece. Maybe it has something to do with The Sun (Barra has a Sun piece that was equally poor).

2008-09-05 05:55:27
2.   Ken P
So? By age 23, Dwight Gooden was a league average pitcher with rapidly declining peripherals. Is that what Goldman thinks is best for Joba? Max out his ability for a season or two and then move on?

He said that there was probably a happy medium between these two extremes. Obviously you don't want anything like Gooden's workload, but I agree that it's possible to use him a lot more than they have while still protecting a valuable asset.

It's killing them? Joba, Hughes, Cano (still) along with a variety of relief arms seems like a solid contribution. Also, there are some position players in the pipeline. Sure, the system is weak with hitters, but to say the farm system is killing the Yankees is absurd.

I'm not so sure. The current bullpen is a crop of so-so arms and converted back end starters who are as likely as not to be terrible next year. While they have been surprisingly good, bullpens have a tendency to be extremely volatile, and the same staff that was stellar one year can collapse the next with no explanation. Beyond that, Hughes and Kennedy, while I'm not giving up on them by any means, have a lot more question marks now than a year ago. Melky is pretty much a bust at this point, and Gardner and Christian are at most 4th outfielders and pinch runners. The only good prospects you can point to right now are Austin Jackson, who is at least a year away given continued development, and Jesus Montero, who is at least two to three years away, and despite the Yankee's best efforts, not a catcher.

The Yankees will need a lot more players in the next few years than the farm system can provide, and there just won't be enough quality free agents to fill all those holes.

2008-09-05 05:57:36
3.   bp1
1 Goldman is second to none in his pessimism regarding the Yankees. I can't read his columns anymore. What comes across as sober "hard thinking" really is nothing more than well phrased pessimism. There isn't a light bright enough that can shine through his dark clouds. I know there are some fans that eat that up - always looking for the upcoming disaster - but not me. Hand me my rose colored glasses when it comes to being a Yankee fan. I see enough disaster when I read the front pages and look at the stock market.
2008-09-05 06:16:30
4.   williamnyy23
2 A happy medium implies what? That Joba throw 600 innings by age 23? Instead of being snide and bring up a completely irrelevant comparison, why doesn't Goldman go on record and say what that happy medium is? The Yankees apparently think 150 innings is an acceptable level. Does Goldman hope advocate 200?

As I mentioned, you can definitely paint a worst case scenario, but the rosy view exists: Joba, Wang, Hughes, C.C. and Mussina makes an excellent rotation, while Cano rebounds and joins Arod and Texeira as the leader of an offense that also features solid contributors like Jeter, Posada, Nady, Damon and Matsui.

As for the relievers, I think the Yankees have shown enough quantity and quality to make you think that they'll be able to assemble a quality bullpen for the next few years.

3 I don't think you need to wear rose colored glasses...you just have to be realistic. During this season, after watching how inconsistently the Yankees played, I expressed my belief that they would not make the playoffs. Some though it was pessimistic, but I think it was realistic. Similarly, I don't think I am being optimistic in suggesting that the right free agents could make the Yankees a contender once again.

2008-09-05 06:48:33
5.   OldYanksFan
I think Goldman is a great sports writer, one of the best. Yeah, like Steve at WW, he feels the need to jump on the Yankees flaws and carry them out to their possible fatal ending. But with so many sports writers who say nothing, Steve (G. and Steve at WW) at least make you think.

That said, these comment are off. They do have some basis, but they exaggerate the negative. For one, Cano does NOT have to be a 'superstar'. A .300+ BA and an .850 OPS are just fine (although he needs to walk more). He doesn't have to hit .340 every year to be very valuable.

The Yankee farm is not as strong as it should be, but this is a reflection of 2001-2005. Had Cashman not made the farm a priority over the last 3 years, we would REALLY be screwed.

And MLB is full of average arms in BPs. At least ours don't cost anything, as many league average guys get $5m and up. Look at Washburn. Farnsworth. Many others.

When looking at our youth, you must consider how this teams works financially. With a $200m payroll, that's an average of $8m/player. So to pay ARod $27m/yr, we need 2 (free) kids to balance him. Jeter at $20m takes a kid and a half. Mo and Po each need a kid. In order to maintain a handfull of very highly paid (hopefully studs), you must have some league average or slighty better kids. This is why Melky is valuable... or might be, if he can at least post a .720 OPS while playing above average D.

I'm not saying this is the best way to construct a team, but we are stuck with it until 2011. And you can see why Cashman is so hesitant to continue commiting big dollars/long term contracts.

While I would love CC and Tex, buying EXTREMELY high (they are both asking for too much) for long term contracts is NOT rebuilding. It is simply continuing our past practices... except these guys are more overpriced. Giambi, with a 1.000 OPS cost $17m/yr 7 years ago. Now we will pay $22m/yr for Tex with a .900 OPS? How is that smarter then the past.

The truth is real dividends won't come from the farm until a number of years after a sustained effort to build the farm had been made. When you have the last picks for a decade, it ain't easy.

We are 'stuck' with ARod, Jetes, Mo and Po for a while. True rebuilding would be to accept less then PS years over the next three years, and build with young and talented players, as opposed to high priced superstars.

This year, Detroit tried the 'Steinbrenner philosophy'. It didn't work. They better hope then win it all in the next few years, because they gutted their farm. Same with the Mets.

The truth is that this amazing decade+ of dominance 'demands' a fall from grace. Trading youth and getting the worst picks is the price we paid.

We do have money, and I believe Cashman has seen the writting on the wall. He has made some concessions to 'winning now', such as losing Dorf and Tabata for Nady. But in general, he has saved a fortune on the BP, and if Phil steps up, we will have a high quality rotation on the cheap.

Rather then CC, maybe a solid (and young and not too expensive) starter would do. With Wang, Joba, Phil and #2/#3, we would have a good chance to win with 4 of our 5. If #5 turns out to be a kid (Aceves, Giese, Horne, Melancon, Patterson, who else?) who is better then a #5, they we are really in great shape.

Cashman might be able to 'buy' a year or 2 of titles with CC/Tex types. But if we want a self sustaining Dynasty, we need to spend our money smarter, keep up the commitment to the farm and international signings, and accept NOT winning it all every year.

The Sox have a very solid franchise now. Part of the reason was 'bargain guys' like Milar, Papi and others. However, they did NOT feel they HAD to win. They took a few chances with Beckett and Dice-K, but also relied on their farm (and their farm, with Hanley, got Beckett) and solid but not spectacular players.

Because we HAD to 'win now!', we got RJ. It was a reasonable risk at the time, but we lost some talent. It was a desperation move, not one designed for our future.

What we (or rather Cashman) has to do is not easy. It will take both intelligence and patience to put us back on top and keep us there.

2008-09-05 07:19:59
6.   williamnyy23
5 What's wrong with continuing the past practices? This team did make the playoffs every year since 1995. While they haven't won a playoff series since 2004, I think that is more the result of not having dominant pitching than buying too many high priced free agents. If you can sign C.C., I'll take my chances with a top-3 of C.C., Joba and Wang with Hughes in the wings.

I also disagree with your point about the Tigers. Their problem is they went into the season with an extremely flawed pitching staff and did nothing to upgrade it. Also, they acquired their big bat at the cost of two very good prospects. If the Yankees land Tex and/or C.C. it will only cost money (and picks, but the Yankees are set to pick up a bunch of supplementals as well). That's why Cashman didn't make the Santana deal...it would have costs prospects and money.

Unless you think the Yankees should save their money to spend it better after next season, I don't see the point in not heavily going after both Tex and C.C.

Your point about Boston seems a bit off too. They did trade prospects and did sign big name free agents. Pedroia and Lowry are coming through the pipeline now, but they haven't exactly stocked their entire team with young position players (if you want to count Ellsbury fine, but I am not convinced he is much better than Melky).

Finally, I still don't see why so many people complain about what boils down to Navarro for RJ. Until this year, the Yankees had no use for Navarro and RJ did pitch very well in one season and help out some in the second. Without him, the Yankees may not have made the playoffs in either 2005 or 2006. That means something.

2008-09-05 07:26:00
7.   williamnyy23
6 Also, we should probably let Navarro do a little more before we wring our hands about losing him. He has had a nice season to-date, but has really struggled in the second half.
2008-09-05 07:39:54
8.   JL25and3
1 Wang did spend two months on the DL in 2005. That's two extended DL stints in four year. However, I agree that this year's injury is basically unrelated to anything else and doesn't necessarily speak to his durability.

5 Why do you worry so much about the size of the contracts? The money's there, it's only a question of whether CC and Teixeira get it, or the Steinbrenners pocket it.

The Yankees have painted themselves into a corner where they have to go all out to sign those two. I agree, it's not a great situation - at best, they end up bidding against themselves, and at worst, they don't sign either one.

But understand, that won't just mean "less than PS" for the next year or three. Without at least one of those two free agents - and, really, unless they sign both - next year's team could be very, very ugly.

2008-09-05 07:40:14
9.   JL25and3
8 *years.
2008-09-05 07:45:28
10.   williamnyy23
8 If the Yankees were looking at pushing the payroll toward $250-275mn, I could see balking at CC/Tex because it could negatively impact the team's fiscal health. With so much money coming off this season, I simply don't see the point in be so concerned about that money, unless you think the team's fiscal health is already in question, or you think there are much better alternatives next season. After looking at the FA list next year, the two most comparable free agents are John Lackey and Matt Holliday. I'd rather have C.C. and Texeira. Now, if you want to wait until 2010, well, I think that's too far down the road.
2008-09-05 07:51:11
11.   JL25and3
10 It's not just a question of the money that's coming off the books, but the amount that's going to be pouring in next year. I don't think they could spend enough to put the team's fiscal health in doubt.
2008-09-05 08:13:43
12.   williamnyy23
11 While that is true, it must also be noted that the Yankees are also going to be assuming significant debt levels, the likes of which they have never had. Of course, that also brings some benefits too...namely the ability to write-off interest and depreciation from the revenue sharing bill. Still, a case could be made that if the economy took a severe downturn, the Yankees might be forced into a more fiscally dangerous poisition they wouldn't be in had they stayed in the Old place.

Having said that, baseball has proven to be somewhat recession proof and this economy could actually be much improved by this time next year. In other words, the Yankees should not be shy about spending money on very good players.

2008-09-05 08:32:07
13.   JL25and3
12 Also, most of the debt is financed through low-interest tax-free bonds. Given that and the other advantages, $1.3 billion over 30 years should be minor compared with what will be coming in.
2008-09-05 09:26:11
14.   JohnnyC
The pessimism is entirely out of proportion with the reality of the Yankees' situation. If they finish with 85-88 wins, let's say, and miss out on the PS for the first time in 13 years, how is this similar to Baltimore or even the Braves? Teams that have made the post-season recently have suffered significant setback seasons (Indians, White Sox, Red Sox to name 3)and not because of financial reasons a la Arizona or Florida. Suddenly, because not every one of our prospects is Joba or Wang or Cano, our farm system is killing us? Wow, just wow. Let's get off the ledge. While nothing is given, I'd take the Yankees' chances of making a post-season comeback over almost every other franchise in baseball. 2008 has been sobering and disappointing but, really, it's not like our front office has been possessed by the long-dead spirit of Peter Angelos.
2008-09-05 10:00:13
15.   ChrisS
8 11 10 regardless of the Yankees' ability to pay oodles of money, big contracts are difficult to move (moreso when they come with a no-trade clause), which limits roster flexibility. Ownership, flush with cash, may be enthusiastic about paying their future, oh say, first baseman $20 million a year, but would balk at paying him $15 million a year to play for another team to move him after he performs less than admirably. In a GM's perfect world, and contracts and players could be moved willy-nilly, I don't think there would be a question to not sign the very best free agents each year. They already have one $20 mill/year player that could very easily end-up hurting them next year at SS and, despite A-Rod's tremendous gifts, he's no lock to put up 150 OPS+ seasons until he's 40. Add in Posada (and, less likely, Rivera) and it becomes exponentially more difficult to maneuver the ship of state in order to make improvements once more large contracts and dollar amounts are involved.

So what happens is that they hang on to said player hoping that ... "he returns to form" "plays like he used to" "hits like he can" and pay oodles of money to said player. Instead of moving him for a cheaper, possibly better replacement, they hope he returns to form and scuffle along with a mediocre performer until the contract is up.

I'm not as pessimistic about the pitching staff as Steve is, but I agree with him on the premise of the positional problems and that a overhaul is due. It could be ugly and this team is not one or two pieces away from being a championship team. A-Rod may wind up his career just trying to get back to the post-season.

The comparison to the Orioles is not dependent on the previous years. The O's brought in boatload of free agents, had an old team that underperformed, spent time on the DL and, more often than not, bought high and sold low. They persisted with the idea that they were one or two pieces away for the better part of a decade and stagnated.

And, again, regardless of potential revenue, there's no reason to be wasteful or careless with money. Successful businesses don't stay that way by being profligate.

2008-09-05 10:30:30
16.   OldYanksFan
"What's wrong with continuing the past practices? This team did make the playoffs every year since 1995."

The dynasty was built from the farm. Jeter, Andy. Mo, Po, Bernie and Hernandez. All young, excellent and cheap. With this young, cheap nucleus, we well able to buy some excellent pitching and quality players (like Pauley, not a superstar).

Our cicumstances are different now. If we want to continue 'old practices', I would say it should be about building a team around a core of homegrowth youth... and we are not there yet.

2008-09-05 10:32:31
17.   ChrisS
6 "Their problem is they went into the season with an extremely flawed pitching staff and did nothing to upgrade it."

They traded away their farm for a very good young pitcher (admittedly coming off a poor year) and the game's top young hitter not named Pujols.

I could see the optimism for their pitching staff and they added a potential #1/#2 pitcher (not that I'm super high on Willis, but they did try).

And re: Navarro, he may never have Posada's bat, but he's an excellent defensive catcher and he hits a ton better than Molina. Had Navarro been on the Yankees, Cashman wouldn't have had to sign Posada to such a ridiculous deal and even if they had, they wouldn't be in a poor position to replace him (irrelevant of whatever "name" catcher they filled the void with).

2008-09-05 10:38:45
18.   OldYanksFan
My guess is the Yankees COULD spend $250m on payroll without a problem. The question is, on a level of competition, do they WANT to.

And as a fan, is this how you want them to try and win? By grossly outspending everyone else? Our people are not smart enough to 'only' outspend everyone one else by 20%-400% and still win?

2008-09-05 10:49:36
19.   vockins
18 I'd prefer it if they threw more of that money at signing bonuses.
2008-09-05 10:54:36
20.   williamnyy23
15 I stil don't think locking up players like C.C. and Texeira limits roster flexibility. I think both have a very good chance to be very good over the next 5 years. Like it or not, you have to take risks to win, and that includes free agents. You simply can't wait around for a whole class of prospects to emerge unless you want going to the playoffs to be a rare event.

I also disagree with you because I think the Yankees would definitely be a legitimate championship contender with Tex and Sabathia. After all, they will still win 85 games this year. If you add those two to the mix, and then factor in a healthier Wang and Joba, I think there is every reason to think the Yankees would be vastly improved.

17 The writing was on the wall for Willis. His decline was very evident to see (I posted about it several times BEFORE the season). If the Tigers thought he was a potential #2 or #3, they weren't doing their homework.

Also, my main point was the Tiger had to trade prospects to get Cabrera and Willis. The Yankees do not have to do that to get Tex and C.C.

As for Navarro, I completely disagree that his presence would have made a Posada deal unlikely. For starters, Navarro would have barely played behind Jorge. Secondly, his performance was Molina-like until the first two months of this season. Finally, the Yankees were not going to let a star like Posada walk and give his job to an untested rookie.

2008-09-05 11:00:08
21.   williamnyy23
16 It's all well and good to build a team of homegrown talent, but that shouldn't preclude signing premium free agents when you have obvious holes. The Yankees did not merely build from within...they also acquired high profile players. I see no reason to retreat from one method, while trying to improve upon the other.

18 I could care less how the Yankees choose to win...as long as they do. I am definitely not one who feels bad that the Yankees have more resources than everyone else. I don't care if they spend $500mn on their payroll.

2008-09-05 11:29:01
22.   tommyl
I think I actually agree with william here. There has to be a balance, purely relying on the farm isn't good, neither is selling off the farm to sign free agent after free agent. What made Michael such a great team builder was that he had an acute sense of which prospects/young players to hold onto and which ones to trade. At the time a lot of people thought the Kelly/O'Neill swap was a mistake. Kelly was younger, had been better and played CF. Yet that deal worked out great.

Its true that the dynasty team was built from within, but that farm system was lucky enough to have 3-4 potential HoF players (Jeter, Rivera, Posada, Pettitte) and a couple of perennial all stars (Bernie, Soriano, etc.) all come up at the same time. I don't care how good your farm system is, that's just not going to happen very often.

2008-09-05 11:36:43
23.   JL25and3
16 I don't count Hernandez as "building from within," any more than I'd count Matsuzaka that way.

Jeter, Pettitte, Bernie, Mariano, Posada. A couple of guys like Ramiro Mendoza and Shane Spencer. Everyone else came by trade or FA.

2008-09-05 11:38:00
24.   JL25and3
18 "And as a fan, is this how you want them to try and win? By grossly outspending everyone else?"

I honestly don't care. I don't believe that there are morally superior ways of winning.

2008-09-05 11:44:57
25.   OldYanksFan
"I stil don't think locking up players like C.C. and Texeira limits roster flexibility. I think both have a very good chance to be very good over the next 5 years."

I agree. I'd jump on them both for 5 years. But didn't Tex turn down 8/$160? So he either wants 10 years or $22m+ per. I'd go 6/$132 (overpaying for the talent but what-the-hey), but 10 years is nuts. We will be stuck with him and ARod in decline for 2 or 3 years (or more).

CC is looking for 7 or 8 years? Again, 5/$120m is OK by me, but 7 years on an arm with a ton of milage?

If we sign them both long term.... yeah, we will probably see a nunmber of Post Seasons in the next few years. But in 5 or 6 years, we could have $70m tied up in 3 players all in decline.

Again, I'm NOT totally against it. It depends on the length of the deals. I'm saying it's not a no-brainer, and there are risks for the future involved that should be considered.

Everyone complains about Giambi's contract.
Bernie's contract hurt us for 2 years.
Jete's might also.
Po's might also.
People complained about Moose also.
People piss and moan about 'old vets' all the time. These 2, along with ARod, will be old vets if we sign them LONG term.

I'm just thinking we should consider this carefully, AS WELL as what we have on the ferm, before jumping on these 2 guys.

2008-09-05 11:58:26
26.   ChrisS
24 It's not a moral or ethical question to me, it's about sustainability. IMO, teams constructed around the free agent flavor of the season, without a strong farm system, aren't ever very good.

William they'd never let Posada walk, but they wouldn't have been beholden to pay him whatever he wanted. Much like this season, the Yankees have already thrown away any leverage they might have had regarding free agents. They'll be bidding against themselves for the most part.

22 It wasn't a really risky move. They had Bernie Williams waiting to take CF and he, unlike Kelly, was actually really talented. O'Neill wasn't any kind of superstar and they really lucked into that one, but they traded an "established vet" from a strength to fill a hole (Tartabull was still hitting, just not fielding all that well). It'd be like trading Moose this year during the stretch run for decent late-20s pitcher.

Signing Teixeira and Sabathia does nothing to make farm system stronger. And continuing to rely on mostly older players in their decline years without a strong crop of replacement players is foolhardy at best.

2008-09-05 12:06:17
27.   williamnyy23
25 Where I disagree with you is I don't think the Yankees have really been "hurt" by any contracts. If getting 5 very good years of C.C and Tex means suffering through 2 bad ones, well, I think that is worth the risk and within the Yankees ability to absorb.

26 Fine...maybe the Yankees could have saved $2-3mn/season. I don't really care about that, though. In fact, I am glad that Posada got paid. It's not like that extra sum kept the Yankees from blowing cash on LaTroy Hawkins when they had better, cheaper options.

While signing CC and Tex does nothing to make the farm system stronger, it really doesn't do much to weaken it either. Besides, you don't make moves on the MLB level to strenghten the minor leagues. The name of the game is winning at the big league level. Acquiring two players with prime years ahead is far from fool hardy. In fact, one could argue that relying too much on youth is what is really fool hardy.

2008-09-05 12:35:15
28.   ChrisS
Yes, of course, teams with crappy farm systems are always in the winner's circle. I'm not even sure why the Yankees bother to have one.
2008-09-05 12:53:41
29.   ny2ca2dc
28 Right, that's exactly what William means.

27 In fact, one could argue that relying too much on youth is what is really fool hardy. Exactly; in fact (as OYF has frequently and correctly pointed out), that was one of the 2 or 3 primary problems with this year's squad.

William has it right - there is a balance to be had. Just look at what the Red Sox did prior to their 07 win, adding Drew, Matz, Lugo to supplement Pedroia coming up. And again, it's not trading away good young talent for over the hill veterans that did the Yanks in in the early 2000's, it's drafting poorly. Of course it's arguable whether the Yanks are now drafting well, but at least the problem seems to have been recognized and an attempt made at fixing.

2008-09-05 13:23:47
30.   Schteeve
While it's nice to dream of a team of "homegrown stars" the dream assumes that those homegrown stars exist. Just because in the mid 90s Posada, and Jeter and Pettitte, and Mo and Bernie came along, doesn't mean that there is a simple formula to make that happen every ten or 12 years when the last crop of homegrown stars wear down.

Homegrown or not, the job is to use the resources you have to field a winner. When the resources are there in the form of cheap young talent from the farm, by all means, build around that, but when that doesn't exist, (and I would argue that it's rarer for it to exist than not exist) you should use your financial resources to secure talent.

I agree with Cashman's general thesis of rebuilding the farm so you aren't bound to the FA pool every season. I think he's done a good job of it. But right now the Yankees are pitching rich on the farm, ergo, they better fill the holes in the lineup through trades or FA acquisitions.

2008-09-05 13:31:01
31.   Schteeve
If Pavano looks decent over his last couple of starts, and doesn't get hurt, do you the Yanks will try to resign him?
2008-09-05 14:36:56
32.   tommyl
31 You made milk come out of my nose! :)
2008-09-05 15:38:39
33.   OldYanksFan
31 The Yankees need to talk with Moose and Andy and see who wants to pitch another year. Since Joba abd Phil are both limited, we need 6 starters. So Wang, Joba and Phil are 3. I'm guessing we get CC.. that's 4. If one of Andy and Moose retire, Pavano become a slight posibility IF... he will sign a one year deal for less then $10m.

If Pavs goes for a contract now, he will be limited. IF he feels he's for real, then a one year contract to prove himself will lead to a much better deal for him as a FA in 2010.

I think the chances are slight, but I'm sure he's under consideration.

CC as #1, Wang as #2, Joba/Phil as #3 and Moose/Pavs and #4/#5 ain't bad.

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