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Movin' Right Along
2006-11-04 06:20
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Here's the latest on Mike Mussina and Gary Sheffield. According to Joel Sherman in today's Post:

The Yankees intend to sign Mike Mussina to a two-year contract and trade Gary Sheffield, sooner rather than later on both moves, to initiate an offseason plan in which they will emphasize upgrading their rotation, bullpen, catching and - if possible - farm system.

Bill Madden and Anthony McCarron add in the News:

The Yankees apparently won't wait until tomorrow's deadline to pick up the contract option on Sheffield. According to club sources, the Yanks were planning to trigger the option last night and begin entertaining trade offers from six teams, including the team that knocked them out of the playoffs - the American League champion Detroit Tigers.

In addition to the Tigers, the Astros, Indians, Rangers, Padres and Orioles all have inquired about the slugger, who played in only 39 games last season because of a wrist injury. The Cubs may have interest, too, according to a source.

Meanwhile, Ed Price reports that there may be some shady business in the D. Matsuzaka business.

Comments
2006-11-04 07:12:50
1.   mehmattski
If Cashman is able to trade Sheffield and Wright for usable parts, I think it would solidify his "genius" status as a GM. Since he's theoretically gotten complete control, his major moves have paid off in the short term and the long term. If this postseason had occured three years ago, there would be no doubt that the Yankees would sign Jason Schmidt and Barry Bonds. This year, the early mumblings out of the front office seem to indicate that Cashman wants to get younger and more versatile. It looks like this may be a postseason when we finally don't have to shake our heads slowly reading about some dumb signing or trade. That is, until Jeff Suppan or Ted Lilly is signed.
2006-11-04 08:30:14
2.   OldYanksFan
With all his warts, Sheffield is still a 'Class A' player. There is no reason to believe he can't be traded for someone who is valuable. Put Sheff in Boston, Detroit, Oakland or Minn, and he could be a difference maker (look what F. Thomas did for Oakland).

Is anyone else upset at this system of a 'bidding war' for Matsuzaka (or any Japanese player)? Is this system good for AMERICAN MLB? To pay 20-30 million for the RIGHT to sign someone who has never played in MLB, represented by an American agent, for a contract that only the most elite, proven MLB players might get?

If I'm Bud, I put a 5 mil cap on this thing, and let everyone in. If Japan doesn't like it, they can get nothing next year. Since everyone bids 5 mil. Matsuzkak picks his poison. OR we all wait ONE whole year.

It's nuts to be sending 30 mil of MLB money to Japan. Let him come here next year, and compete on even ground with all other FAs.

I know it's politically incorrect to bitch about money..... but does it reach a point of being ludicrous? Just how much will the fans have to pay for a hot dog at the stadium before there are some kind of limits on spending?

After all, it is US, the fans, who finance everything.

I guess we will wait until the only people at baseball games are employeea or friends of major corporations. Then we will start complaining.

After all, in the last 25 years, the minimum wage has a little more then doubled, while the average MLB baseball salary has gone up by more then 50 times.

Sorry for the rant, but MLB seemed to be doing OK back when 10 coupons off a milk carton got me into the bleechers at Shea Stadium. Bringing your kids to a live game is an experience that everyone should be able to afford.

2006-11-04 08:45:44
3.   Simone
2 Other than using public money to finance Stadium, it is the owners who finance "everything," not the fans. Once you pay for your ticket and buy your hot dog, it is the owners' money. They pocket the profits and the MLPA fights for the players' fair share. There is no "us" in this business transaction, only them.

If you were Bud, you would do what is the best interest of your employers not fans because that is how you would keep your job.

2006-11-04 10:18:20
4.   jakewoods
Why would the Japenese agree to that when they can get 20+ mill?

I wonder what type of package they'll get for Sheff.

2006-11-04 10:18:41
5.   Mike T
The English Premiere League has something very similar to what the Japanese baseball league has, where teams can offer other teams money to basically buy their players. Chelsea, the two-time defending Premiership champions, have spent truckloads of money, many tens of millions of pounds, on transfers the last two years. In addition to the transfer fee, the team has to of course then negotiate a contract with the players. I know this system may strike American sports fans as a bit odd, but my take is that if teams are willing to spend that money then have at it I guess.
2006-11-04 10:20:16
6.   kylepetterson
3 2 If I was Bud I'd be batting 9th in every world serious. Then I would blame it on A-Rod when I struck out.
2006-11-04 10:35:54
7.   Mike T
4 Aren't the outfield bleachers at Yankee stadium like $5 or $10?
2006-11-04 11:51:07
8.   jakewoods
The Yank tickets are actually a cheap ticket. You can get bleacher seats for under 10. Upper deck for 20 bucks.

Now the brews and dogs can add up but I look it at like Im supporting the team and helping the team be able to sign guys like Matusaka.

2006-11-04 12:01:11
9.   Eirias
That Matsuzaka article notes that "While the bidding process is sealed, a team could offer inducements other than cash if Seibu agreed to accept only part of the bid, allowing the team to make a larger bid to secure the right to sign Matsuzaka."

Could we give them Sheffield?

2006-11-04 12:02:21
10.   JL25and3
2 "Politically incorrect to bitch about money?" I'm not sure what that means.

It seems like a pretty simple matter of supply and demand. Owners want Matsuzaka, and they're willing to pay to get him. The Japanese team has the rights to him, so the owners have to pony up for that as well.

2006-11-04 12:05:01
11.   Eirias
5 As well, players have a great deal more influence on whether they get traded or not. It would be unthinkable for the Yankees to trade one of their best to the Sox, but in the Premiership that kind of thing happens all the time.
2006-11-04 12:11:01
12.   jayd
A chicago sports writer offers this for the rumour mill:

The Phillies are shopping right-hander Jon Lieber, who was 9-11 with a 4.93 earned-run average this season and is due $7.5 million next year. Lieber and young pitchers Gavin Floyd and Ryan Madson could go to the Yankees in a package for Sheffield.

2006-11-04 12:14:25
13.   C2Coke
9 Now, that's a novel idea. Just simply imagine what Sheff's reaction would be is priceless.

2 Is it just MLB? I thought that's how the world works nowadays.

2006-11-04 12:15:11
14.   jayd
A "B" Free Agent

Ron Villone is classified as a "B" free agent, meaning the Yankees stand to gain at least a pick between the first and second rounds of next year's amateur draft if he signs elsewhere and if they have offered him arbitration.

2006-11-04 12:16:29
15.   C2Coke
After what Case-the-Man did after ASG with the Abreu deal, I am all excited to see what else he's going to pull. Talk about hight expectations.
2006-11-04 12:17:06
16.   C2Coke
15 Cash -the-Man...
2006-11-04 12:21:16
17.   jakewoods
Why would the Yanks take Lieber in that deal? Floyd and Madson would be enough. WHy get another 4 starter unless Cash thinks he can flip Lieber for a catcher?
2006-11-04 12:22:28
18.   Eirias
12, 17 Are Floyd or Madson any good?
2006-11-04 12:24:38
19.   jayd
What To Do With Jaret:

"Jaret Wright's contract includes a clause allowing the Yankees to pay him a $4 million buyout instead of a $7 million salary next year. They are exploring trade interest; if the Yankees decide they do not want to keep Wright, who was 11-7 with a 4.49 ERA and will be 32 next season, they could offer to eat up to $4 million of the $7 million salary in a trade and as a result save money and get something for him."

2006-11-04 12:31:24
20.   jayd
18 17Some stats on the two

Mr Floyd (23 yrs old):

Year TM W L G GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO SV HLD BLSV ERA
2004 Phi 2 0 6 4 0 0 28.1 25 11 11 1 16 24 0 0 0 3.49
2005 Phi 1 2 7 4 0 0 26.0 30 31 29 5 16 17 0 0 0 10.04
2006 Phi 4 3 11 11 1 1 54.1 70 48 44 14 32 34 0 0 0 7.29
Career 7 5 24 19 1 1 108.2 125 90 84 20 64 75 0 0 0 6.96

Mr. Madson (26 yrs old)
Year TM W L G GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO SV HLD BLSV ERA
2003 Phi 0 0 1 0 0 0 2.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
2004 Phi 9 3 52 1 0 0 77.0 68 23 20 6 19 55 1 7 1 2.34
2005 Phi 6 5 78 0 0 0 87.0 84 44 40 11 25 79 0 32 7 4.14
2006 Phi 11 9 50 17 0 0 134.1 176 92 85 20 50 99 2 6 2 5.69
Career 26 17 181 18 0 0 300.1 328 159 145 37 94 233 3 45 10 4.35

2006-11-04 12:40:22
21.   Eirias
20 So, Floyd is young but both pitchers are trending downwards?
2006-11-04 12:55:22
22.   JL25and3
14 If the Yankees offer Villone arbitration, I think there's an excellent chance he'll take it. Don't offer it if you don't want him on the team.
2006-11-04 13:21:03
23.   Jeteupthemiddle
eh. I'm not opposed to Ron Villone being on the team next season.

There is a good chance will not be as effective as the first half of 2006, but that is always a possibility.

Last season we had a pretty good bullpen...how did that happen? We acquired all sorts of people, threw them at the wall, and saw what stick. Perhaps Villone can stick again.

How much did he make last season? We could probably get him at a cheaper price than that.

2006-11-04 14:30:07
24.   JL25and3
23 I'm fine with having Villone next year. All I was saying was, don't offer him arbitration expecting to get draft picks. I think it's more likely you'd get Villone.

He made $2 million last year. In arbitration he might actually get more than that, certainly not a lot less. He'll probably sign for less if they give him 2 years.

I agree with your idea of how to build a bullpen. I don't like signing expensive free-agent setup/middle relievers. They tend not to be very consistent from year to year, and you're always signing last year's guy. They've been burned on it time and again.

I'd try to bring a slew of non-roster invitees to spring training - minor-league free agents, non-tendered relievers and so on. As you say, see what sticks. The Angels did that sort of thing very successfully.

2006-11-04 15:53:06
25.   randym77
Sammy Sosa has announced he wants to return. Just say no, George!
2006-11-04 23:01:56
26.   joejoejoe
23 24 Here are some junkbin pitchers I'd like to see the Yankees take a chance on in '07.

LHSP Bruce Chen - Chen was awful last year for the Orioles but he's only 2 years removed from 197IP / 1.27 WHIP / 3.83 ERA. Maybe he gets a boost from fellow Panamanian Mariano Rivera. He's only 29 - worth a flyer.

RHRP Giovanni Carrara - Carrara is 38 and could be had for a minor league deal. He's got great splits against lefties, almost as good as Mike Myers. Torre will use him if we get him because his name ends in a vowel.

RHSP Sidney Ponson - I'd bring him back to spring training on a minor league deal. His attitude was good in NY and if Sir Sidney is willing to pitch a 1/2 season in AAA and train hard there is a decent chance he could be a league average 5th starter for cheap.

2006-11-05 03:59:45
27.   mikeplugh
26 Please for the love of God tell me you are joking with the Sidney Ponson thing. Even if you're serious, do me a favor and tell me you're joking.
2006-11-05 04:20:54
28.   randym77
27 Hey, Mike, nice to see your phosphors. Any Matsuzaka insight? ESPN seems to think he'll end up in Texas.

Agree about Ponson. Ye gods and little fishies. Ponson???

2006-11-05 04:27:34
29.   joejoejoe
27 I'm not saying he's going to be the Ace of the Staff or even the 7th starter. Ponson is a guy who has struggled with alcohol and now enjoys ice cream. But he's only 30 and I think he's never had arm trouble. It's worth having him in AAA on the off chance he finds a little something in feel or velocity. Signing Ponson to a 1yr deal for the guaranteed major league minimum is worth a flyer.

The Yanks could sign 2 of the above 3 guys for the difference between Miguel Cairo and a rookie. We spent all year talking about the young guys the Yanks could legitimately play and Torre used exactly none of them by choice. At least these guys have been around so Torre will use them in garbage time instead of torturing Villone and Proctor.

2006-11-05 04:36:27
30.   mikeplugh
28 No one knows. It's starting to drive me absolutely crazy actually. So much speculation. Hicks and Minaya are going to spend like wild dogs. I think the Yankees may be out of it. They want to spend big, but the Rangers and Mets are going to spend like the 2007 will be the last in MLB history and they want the title.

The Yankees need to start thinking of Plan B, I think. I will be more than depressed to see Matsuzaka in another uniform, but I get this gut feeling that they're going to get outbid.

29 Ponson isn't worth a groundscrew contract, let alone a baseball player contract. If I see him near the Stadium next year, I'm going to throw pork rinds at his fat ass.

2006-11-05 04:50:15
31.   randym77
The Daily News seems to think "Plan B" is Andy Pettitte.
2006-11-05 04:59:26
32.   mikeplugh
31 I'm okay with that, but there really is no Plan B if Matsuzaka becomes an ace and a Cy Young candidate....especially for the Sox or the Mets. There's only weeping.
2006-11-05 05:07:13
33.   randym77
32 Ugh. I could handle the Mets acquiring a new young ace, but the Red Sox... Gawd, I hope he doesn't end up there.

Unless he turns into Hideki Irabu, which is what the Yankees seem to be worried about.

2006-11-05 05:11:56
34.   mikeplugh
33 Randy, I promise you that this guy is an MLB #1 pitcher. In a year or so, he's going to front a rotation. He's made of steel guts, and has vicious devastating stuff. If he goes to another AL team we'll be seeing plenty of it. If he goes to the Mets, he'll be on the front page and people in Japan will be buying plenty of Mets gear. It'll be second banana for the Yankees.
2006-11-05 05:32:26
35.   randym77
34 It's Cashman you have to convince, not me. :-/

Anyway, I'm not in NYC or Japan, so I don't have to worry about Mets gear or the newspapers. ;-)

We do need a young power pitcher or two, and Matsuzaka seems to be the only game in town.

2006-11-05 11:43:47
36.   jakewoods
I think D-Mat ends up in pinstripes.

They know the value of a potential #1 starter.

2006-11-05 13:33:52
37.   rbj
Just had to log on to vent:
I don't know who this "L.T." guy is, but Lawrence Taylor is LT. Ladamian, get a new freakin' nickname. Don't snag one from a Superbowl champ & Hall of Famer.

/vent.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Banter.

2006-11-05 14:55:32
38.   Zack
37
LaDainian that is.

And well, his initials ARE L.T. And he IS the best player in the game right now, and that has nothing to do with the fact that I live in San Diego.

2006-11-05 16:21:11
39.   das411
Hey guys, sorry I just found this now but I can give ya some info on Floyd and Madson (maybe even Lieber too)...

Floyd came up too early. Period. His #s in the minors seemed to show he was ready going into '05, but two good pitches does not an MLB starter make. Good good info here, start at "Gavin Floyd, oh my:

http://www.philliesflow.com/100306.html

Madson is a bit of a different story, he came up in late '03 and worked his way in '04 into the 7th-8th inning setup man role. Apart from one horrific start at the White Sox he put up very good numbers his first two seasons, but started making noises this winter about wanting to start and ended up in our rotation instead. BAD bad bad idea. Typical Ryan Madson start:

http://www.philliesflow.com/072606.html#072606

Both of these guys are still young, cheap, and potentially very good pitchers. Madson is fine so long as he is used in relief only; NYers may remember the May game that Beltran won with a HR off of Madson in the 16th inning but conveniently ignore the seven scoreless innings he had already thrown to that point. Floyd is more of a reclamation project, but is also younger and has shown considerable talent at times.

Lieber you know what you are getting, at least those of you who have not blocked out all of 2004. He has come up big in September in both of his years with the Phils, but has his troubles in the months before then, ideally you have the offense to hide that and that seems to be a Yankee specialty these days.

The reason the Yankees would want to pick him up is because your rotation is basically Wang and little else. Do you really want to count on Randy Johnson as a #2? Is Mussina willing to accept less than the $7.5m that Lieber is under contract for? Do you want to bid crazily on Matsuzaka and risk another Hideki Irabu moment? Or is the best bet to rid yourselves of Sheffield and bring back a starter who has already proven himself in pinstripes?

I hope this helps..

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