Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
Will Mike Piazza end up in San Diego? If he does, at least it will continue his streak of playing for team's with pitcher-friendly home parks. Over at ESPN, Alan Schwarz has a good piece about how Piazza and Frank Thomas can still be productive.
Picking up a washed-up, egotistical, no-defense, bat-speed-down-20%, has-been who doesn't mind losing for $3 million or more because he USED to be great would have been a typical Steinbrenner / Tampa Butt-Kissers move with no basis in reality. The fact that we shut the door on this stupidity, proves that someone with a brain made a decision. :P
I think this is decent for a 2nd string catcher making 3mil/yr.
Kelly Stinnett will be 36 this season, with a lifetime OPS of .710 and avg of .240. Piazza SHOULD be a major upgrade. Dump Stinnett and get Piazza.
He will play for us. He wants to be in a WS.
I guess Count Zero would rather have a washed-up DUD then a washed-up Piazza.
If Boston gives up Marte, Mota, and Shoppach for Crisp, Riske, Bard, I'm happy with that. They are going to regret trading Shoppach just like the Yankees are going to miss Navarro, no matter if their bats are sub par. Plus, the Sox will be giving Alex "Worse than Womack" Gonzalez a starting job.
I'm worried that Riske is better than Mota. Didn't Mota just afil the physical?
That was reported by a radio station in Philly, but according to Mota's agent, he didn't fail his physical. (But who knows what really happens with these things...)
And I don't see why Philly thinks that Arthur Rhodes is a fair trade for Michaels, inless they really just wanted him gone...
I don't deny that Piazza is likely a more productive hitter than Stinnett. Statistics all back that up. However, if you watched Piazza hit the second half of '05, you would've seen what everyone else saw -- his bat speed is way down and any hard thrower can just blow fastballs by him at will. (Which is exactly what Bernie's problem is now.) This has caused him to start guessing more...which in turn makes him very vulnerable to splitters and change-ups. He was a mediocre hitter at best in '05. When we had Strawman as PH-DH, he was on the decline but he could still wallop a fastball in a fastball count. Same for Sierra. Piazza can no longer tater a fastball in a fastball count, unless it's an 88MPH fastball.
But the offensive production of your backup catcher shouldn't be your number one priority anyway...his defense should be. And Piazza is one of the worst defensive catchers in the majors right now throwing out 13% of SB attempts vs. 34% for Stinnett. Which means Stinnett can be brought into a game in the 7th or 8th to give Jorge some rest, whereas you wouldn't dare bring Piazza in unless you have a five-run lead.
Argue for Piazza as a DH if you wish (although I think his numbers suck for that), but as a backup catcher he's a terrible choice. And those people saying he could spell Giambi at first have obviously never seen him with a first baseman's mitt on his hand.
I'm still not looking to add another veteran to this team. In the absence of a market for a younger guy, I'm happy the Yankees are staying with what they have. Our offense doesn't need more help. If we develop some kind of weird hitting ebola virus and can't score with Damon, Jeter, A-Rod, Sheffield, Matsui, Giambi, Posada, Cano, and Bernie/Phillips then we can look into someone that will be available either after Spring Training or before the trade deadline.
The Yanks questions entering the season are still the Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde starting staff and the new additions in the bullpen. The only thing we can do about that now is wait and see. At least we are DEEP with options on both fronts and a real pitching meritocracy will emerge in March and throughout the season.
Piazza would be interesting from a storyline standpoint and maybe he'd be better than Stinett, but I'd rather have room for Melky, or Duncan, or another pitcher at this point. The roster can mash. We need youth.
I ONLY want to SWAP Piazza for Stinnet... and just for a year. I believe he will sign for A year, and cheap, to stay in NY and have a very good shot at the PS. The guy just wants to pad his numbers, not get hurts, and play in one more PS.
We can make this swap AND still work on other issues.
I agree with Count Zero about Mike having a poor arm. We will need to choose what games he starts, putting him in against teams that typically don't run, major blow-outs, and other 'appropriate' times. I don't agree that Piazza is washed up. Slowing down, but not done. At his age, playing behind the plate 120 games slows you down. Using him primarily as a DH and PH, catching 350 innings might (I believe) bring his bat to life.
We seem to always face a choice between Offense and Defence. Most of our guys, Giambi, Sheff, Matsui, Damon, (and even to some extent Jetes and Posada) are not Yankees because of their gloves. There is debate whether A 'Stinnet' can save more games with his D and arm, the A 'Mike' can win with his bat.
If Mike really stinks, we can replace him. Stinnet is 'replacement level'. It's not like we could not pick up another replacement level catcher if we really needed to replace Mike.
I think it's an upgrade. It will certainly make us more fun to watch.
2 Million lousy $$.
We could have had him for less.
We spend $200 million to have the worst bench in baseball, and let Thomas and Piazza go for lunch money. Jeez.........
Matt LeCroy hasn't signed anywhere, has he?
Cashman is now the 7th longest tenured GM in baseball, behind:
--of that list, Towers and Ryan were the most surprising I think. 1998 doesn't seem that long ago but with Torre entering his 11th season as manager, and Cashman his 9th, and with George clearly on the way out of real operations, perhaps this organization has shifted once again into a new era...Just musing
Or perhaps everyone is convinced Bernie is the answer.
I'm completely flabbergasted that a National League team picked up Piazza.
I'll miss Piazza. At the top of his game Piazza was thrilling to watch in the batter's box. Piazza was also a good citizen while he was here in New York and he seemed to enjoy playing here--a quality I prefer in my Yankees and my Mets.
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