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Serve You Up Like Stove Top Stuffin'
2006-11-20 05:33
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Man, lil' Soriano...can you say Jackpot? Dag, kid. Wonder how Lou will take to Sori's penchant for Cadillacing triples into singles? Well, I guess so long as he pops 40+ jacks a year, it's a problem he'll just have to live with. As expected, Nomar is staying with the Dodgers. Meanwhile, the Yanks are laying relatively low. Go figure.

Comments (130)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-11-20 06:22:29
1.   OldYanksFan
Good morning Alex,
I'm very proud of the restraint Cashman has shown last year and this year. As opposed to being run by a 'spoiled kid' (Stein), Cashman is running the show like a smart professional.

While we have some holes to plug, our team, as is, is still very competitive. Of course, a lot depends on Moose, RJ and Pavano. We could have a very good 2,3 and 4, or a very average one.

I think we will get Zito unless someone comes up with a rediculous offer (like 15mil/yr)

Next year's crop is much better, and I prefer to wait rather then overspend this year on garbage.

2006-11-20 06:24:37
2.   Shaun P
I've been saying it for a couple of weeks now, but I really think Ca$hmoney is serious about not making any more big moves. Maybe it is a bluff, a la "I'm fine with Bubba Crosby being the everyday center fielder", but something tells me its not. But I just don't think so.

Man, the Cubs are really going for it, aren't they? If the pitching doesn't come around, it will get ugly quick in Wrigley. We all know how much patience Sweet Lou has for young pitchers . . .

2006-11-20 06:57:37
3.   C2Coke
1 Isn't the consensus that Zito's deal will be ridiculous?

2 Either way, if Ca$hman ever get tired of playing a GM (I really hope not). He can probably find another career in Hollywood and maybe even get a golden statue or two.

2006-11-20 07:10:05
4.   Knuckles
It's not the money per year that is so silly for Soriano, but 8 years?!?! Insane. I guess Hendry is betting that the increased revenues in MLB will make that deal worth it over the entire length of the contract. Maybe so, esp in a pretty equal division like the NL Central, but Alfonso just does not seem like the type of guy you want to sign that long at age 31. I wonder how much he kept his mouth shut and hustled in 2006 solely to sign that new deal...

Regarding the Yanks...I think their positional needs are small enough and common enough that Cash can wait a bit to see how the offseason unfolds. We're not even at winter meetings yet, and all they could really use is a backup/half-time 1B and I guess another utility infielder? Those types can be found fairly easily, thru FA or trades.

On the pitching front however, he's probably either bluffing, or also seeing how the market will form itself. I don't think Zito's the answer. I think, for the sake of the regular season, that the answer lies in quantity. Wouldn't mind him signing any two of: Lilly, Meche, Mulder, Padilla (note: 3 of these 4 were in the AL last year, and Mulder has pitched there before), use them to get to the playoffs, and by next September, hope that someone has stepped up, they maybe trade for an expiring contract, and maybe catch lightning in a bottle w/ Hughes and Sanchez. Aside from having 2 aces, which is very tough to do these days, this plan of attack is really the best way to head into the playoffs...

2006-11-20 07:18:13
5.   Yankee Fan In Boston
4 knuckles, please call brian ca$hman and relay all of that to him. long-term. low risk. perfection.

how is everyone feeling about the rich aurillia possibility at 1B? i am unexcited by it, but not repulsed, either.

2006-11-20 07:40:43
6.   jakewoods
Laying low for now maybe. But do you really think they're going to let Schmidt or Zito go without being involved in either?

We bid 35 mill on a Japanese pitcher just to talk. So i assume they got a few million to woo a top SP.

2006-11-20 07:53:27
7.   Shaun P
5 Signing Aurilia would go against everything Ca$hmoney has been preaching and doing. He's old (35) and will likely want a 2 or 3 year deal. Yes, he can 'play' all the IF positions, but go look at his career numbers. Last year screams "fluke!" more than Pavano's 2004 did. I don't see it happening.

6 "But do you really think they're going to let Schmidt or Zito go without being involved in either?"

Yes. DM was worth what it would have cost to get him - that's why the Yanks bid $35 mil. Zito and Schmidt won't be, so the Yanks will pass.

2006-11-20 07:57:44
8.   RIYank
David Pinto has put up

http://tinyurl.com/vxmg3

his Probabilistic Model of Range table for left fielders. Melky is 4th best in baseball. (Take a wild guess at who was worst. Hint: yes, I'm afraid Pinto did take the Monster into account and the guy is still bottom of the heap.)

The model works like this: Pinto has six factors for every ball hit into play, and using those six factors his model predicts what percentage of those balls should be turned into outs. A fielder gets a plus score if he turned more balls hit his way into outs than predicted, and a negative score if he turned fewer. I guess this does account for Melky's assists, though I'm not positive.

The Yanks scored very high in the outfield, largely because of left field, and were middlish for infield. Overall they were one of the top defensive clubs.

2006-11-20 07:58:36
9.   RIYank
I think Ca$hman will get in on the Zito action, but it does look like the money will be ridiculous, so I'm guessing we don't get him.
2006-11-20 07:59:06
10.   Cliff Corcoran
Interesting to see that the Yankees were the high bidder on Wes Helms with the intent of making him at the very least the righty half of a first-base platoon. Helms signed with the Phillies for $5.45 mil/2yrs, which is apparently less than the Yankees offered.

If the Yankee offer was also two years for just a bit more cash (say $6 mil) it was a reasonable offer, but I don't see this as a loss. Helms had a huge fluke season last year. Historically his power is modest and his patience is average at best. The fact that he's primarily a 3B is interesting, but I'd still prefer to see them sign Eduardo Perez to a one-year deal, or even re-up Craig Wilson, who shouldn't be judged by his rough stretch run alone.

2006-11-20 08:01:07
11.   pistolpete
4 >> It's not the money per year that is so silly for Soriano, but 8 years?!?! >>

That just screams of a disaster, and I'm worried he'll somehow end up with the Yanks again in 2011.

2006-11-20 08:10:06
12.   Peter
I'd personally like to see both Guiel and Wilson come back and platoon at 1B. Guiel starts against RHP and plays emergency OF, Wilson starts against LHP and plays backup C. It gives the Yanks NL-style flexibility with the bench.

Whatever happened with Eric Duncan? Weren't they grooming him to take over for Giambi?

2006-11-20 08:12:19
13.   Knuckles
12 You know how the coyote runs off a cliff, and then falls once he looks down? Well, seems Duncan looked down after his strong AFL last year...
Meep Meep!
2006-11-20 08:12:54
14.   RIYank
Duncan didn't hit well last year. That's an understatement. So the time isn't ripe; my impression is that they're still hoping that Duncan pans out eventually, though.
2006-11-20 08:23:01
15.   jakewoods
Well how do we know what ridiculous money is? It sounds like it to us ie normal people but to the industry?

a 28 yr old lefty, who throws 200+innings a yr and wins may be worth the 15 mill a yr. who knows

i dont get to see their books but i gather if they're willing to pay a pitcher who has never pitched before 20 mill a yr i think they can pay a former cy young just entering his prime 15.

2006-11-20 08:25:09
16.   jakewoods
One thing to remember on Duncan.

He doesnt turn 22 until Dec.

2006-11-20 08:26:14
17.   dianagramr
re: 2007 1B possibilities

What is the contract status of Craig Wilson?

2006-11-20 08:28:55
18.   jakewoods
Wilsons a free agent and he didnt do much to warrant another look in '07.
2006-11-20 08:29:05
19.   Shaun P
15 I think you're right that the Yanks can afford to sign Zito, for whatever 'ridiculous' money is. But I don't think the Yanks will choose to sign him at any price because he's just not that good.

Like OYF said in 2 - I'd rather see the Yanks not splurge when there isn't anyone worth splurging on.

2006-11-20 08:31:15
20.   RIYank
OldYanksFan said that next year's crop of free agents looks better; can someone list (or link) the main suspects? Plainly that's a big factor in determining whether current free agents are being 'overpaid'.
2006-11-20 08:43:11
21.   Yankee Fan In Boston
20 free agent list for 2007:
http://www.mlb4u.com/freeagency07.php
2006-11-20 08:45:19
22.   jakewoods
Well, who would you rather have pitching next yr?

Zito or Gil Meche?
Zito or Lilly?

Remember, those 2nd tier guys are still going to make 11 mill a yr. Id rather shell out the extra for the better guy.

2006-11-20 08:52:01
23.   Yankee Fan In Boston
22 if i could get lilly or meche for $8 or $9M, i'd prefer one of them. zito walks a ton of batters (99 last season) and he lacks the drive that big $tein said he wanted. the day before his game 1 ALDS start, he wrote a blog entry for mlb.com saying that "if we win, we win. if we lose, we lose." i wouldn't want to pay $15M a year to a guy that feels that way in october.

lilly and meche (if secured cheaply) would be known commodities at relatively reasonable prices.

2006-11-20 08:52:48
24.   pistolpete
19 Well said. It's like running into Best Buy for no other reason than because you've got $500 burning a hole in your pocket..
2006-11-20 09:01:33
25.   jakewoods
I wouldnt exactly call Meche and Lilly known commodities. Unless you want 500 pitchers who have never won anything.

Zito is a known commodity.

I think its a mute point anyway because I cant see the Mets not going hard after him.

2006-11-20 09:03:01
26.   Chyll Will
21 How long has Livan Hernandez been 31 now?

24 Ha! If that money's buring in my pocket, I'm either going to J.P.Morgan Chase or Atlantic City, period.

2006-11-20 09:03:54
27.   Andre
latest rumor in Boston - Manny to the Angels for KRod or Schoenweis or Chone Figgins or more likely some combination of the above. Given Soriano's contract, Manny almost seems like a bargain.
2006-11-20 09:03:55
28.   Shaun P
24 Or spending huge cash on a name free agent pitcher just because you're "the Yankees", as Ca$hmoney himself said.

The Yanks seem to have learned that overpaying for average (or worse) starting pitching on the free agent market gets you nowhere fast.

2006-11-20 09:05:03
29.   JL25and3
21 Zambrano's due to be an FA, and since he's now represented by Boras the Spider, I expect he'll see what the market will bear. Carpenter will probably re-up with the Cards, and after that there's nothing.
2006-11-20 09:06:27
30.   OldYanksFan
Another thing to consider is mid-season trades. There will be some pitchers, in their walk year, playing on teams out of contention? These guys are usually tradable.

Anyone got ideas on someone decent on this list?

2006-11-20 09:06:40
31.   JL25and3
27 I still think the Sox would be nuts to trade Manny.
2006-11-20 09:07:36
32.   Jim Dean
Some fun Winter baseball updates:

http://tinyurl.com/y43mmk

Joba has struck out 42 in about 34 innings with only 3 BB - two of which were in his first outing.

Beam's ERA is at 0.64.

Pilittere is hitting .400 in 11 games - I wonder if he starts the year in Trenton.

2006-11-20 09:11:41
33.   Shaun P
31 Me too. But stranger things have happened.
2006-11-20 09:12:02
34.   Jim Dean
Actually on Pilittere, it looks like that report is now a bit out of date, but he's hitting:

11 G 33 AB .394 .444 .545 .990

2006-11-20 09:19:09
35.   JL25and3
7 I love the idea of signing Aurilia as a supersub and, maybe, platoon 1b. Year after year the Yankees have been populating their bench with guys who are just plain crappy. Aurilia may not be a .300 hitter, but he's a .280 hitter with at least a little bit of pop. He can play all those positions - maybe not Gold Glove, but I don't think he'll hurt you either. I don't know what the price will be, but if you can get him for a reasonable salary, 2 years plus an option, I say grab him. Beats the hell out of seeing Miguel Cairo for another year.

12 I also like the idea of having Craig Wilson because of his versatility - I just love having a third catcher, even if you never have to use him. Unfortunately, while the idea is good, the player is another story. He really didn't show a thing when he was with the Yankees, and I can't see signing him.

2006-11-20 09:37:20
36.   RIYank
Zambrano. Carpenter. Mark Buerhle. Colon. Clement. Rheal Cormier, Francisco Cordero. Freddy Garcia.

Yeah, there are a bunch of SP due for free agency next year, including some potential aces.

2006-11-20 09:41:54
37.   Orly Yarly NoWai
Rheal Cormier, a starter?

I can't see Zambrano or Carpenter moving. Those two teams need those guys too much to let them walk. Colon's been hurt. Clement pretty meh. Either Buerhle or Garcia will move- the WSox have to make room for McCarthy.

Just opinion.

2006-11-20 09:44:20
38.   smingers
I think the Yanks would regret signing Lilly or Meche (esp. Meche) the second the ink dried on the contract. Just because they are among the best of what's out there in a terrible free agent pool doesn't make them worth having.

It also seems--and people who know a lot more than me have made this point already--that this FA class is not a fluke in its crapitude. Good, young pitchers don't hit the market much anymore. So the Yanks need to shift their attention from FA to the draft.

And that requires patience, especially the patience not to block young guys in waiting with career bums like Meche who also cost us draft picks. If we need a warm body for the rotation next year, go after Igawa. He's not an ace, but neither are Meche or Lilly, and Igawa won't cost a draft pick. Otherwise, stand pat.

2006-11-20 09:53:13
39.   Chyll Will
37 Clement's more Feh than Meh, so that's a No Part II. Carpenter might stay, but I'd try to get Carlos Z and Buerhle; depending on how the White Sox do might be mid-season trade bait anyway. Freddy can go either way, may be no more than a 4 by the end of next year if he continues a down pace. I'm open to what Count Zero said a few posts back about taking a look at Mulder this year if you can get him at a Lieber contract (the first one, not the Philly one.)
2006-11-20 09:55:12
40.   doppelganger
25 A 500 pitcher for the Blue Jays or Mariners does not equal a 500 pitcher for the Yankees. League average starters don't grow on trees.
2006-11-20 09:55:52
41.   vockins
27 I refuse to believe that is true, especially in light of what they threw at Matsuzaka.

I think trading Manny for all three of those guys would be goofy.

God forbid I have to watch KRod 19 games a year. That guy drives me insane.

2006-11-20 09:59:53
42.   Orly Yarly NoWai
Signing Meche, IMO, would absolutely be a mistake. The top Mariner blog (USS Mariner) is absolutely salivating over the prospect of getting rid of him. That's generally not a good sign.

I wouldn't mind Mulder at the moment for a low, incentive-laden contract. I'd be leery of Buerhle; maybe I'm not well-informed, but as I remember, he had a crap-tastic year last year. I'm wondering if the WSox are going to keep him over a superior pitcher because he's a hometown hero.

2006-11-20 09:59:57
43.   Chyll Will
38 Yep. This year is Crap, and thanks to the new Killer B's (Boston and Boras) this year might be the year of Golden Crap. So far, Cashman's shown a penchant for stocking up and perhaps looking at the trade market; all the speculation on free agents is mostly media restlessness and perhaps GM gamesmanship from my point of view. Already got us talking about the next year's FA class. >;'
2006-11-20 10:06:02
44.   Yankee Fan In Boston
25 they are indeed known commodities. they are .500 pitchers in the AL. that means that you know what they give you. this is different than relying soley upon youngsters to carry the load. (because you don't know what they'll do in the bigs.)

40 someone else is on your side:
http://tinyurl.com/ygbo2z

2006-11-20 10:08:35
45.   smingers
44 I prefer unknown over known suckitude. I just can't stomach the idea of giving up a draft pick for Gil Meche. Gil Meche! If that's the plan, it would have made way more sense just to keep Wright.
2006-11-20 10:14:10
46.   Yankee Fan In Boston
45 i'm not saying that signing these guys should be a top priority. i am merely stating that breaking bank for a zito would be a bad idea in my opinion (for the reasons stated somewhere above). if the yankees would still like to pick up a free agent starter, signing lilly (my first choice of the two) or even gil meche at a reasonable rate for the duration of a short (1 year?) deal might be a better option.
2006-11-20 10:20:45
47.   Orly Yarly NoWai
I'm not opposed to a short deal for Lilly, but I AM opposed to any sort of Meche signing.
2006-11-20 10:25:17
48.   Yankee Fan In Boston
47 the only catch is that these players will likely want to cash in on this year's wek market and get locked in for at least 3 years... i guess the only way around that is to sign them to a contract that you think you might be acceptable to other teams if you want to dump them in a season or two.
2006-11-20 10:29:42
49.   pistolpete
45 I'd take 7-8 innings of 'mediocre' Meche than 5.2 innings of 'above average' Wright over the course of an entire season.
2006-11-20 10:33:46
50.   Zack
That trade to the Angels makes no sense whatsoever unless its all 3, in which case it still makes very little sense. K-Rod is good and all, but combined, their value doesn't even remotely approach Manny's, even with his hefty salary. Sure, Figgins solves 1B, K-Rod solves Closer, and Schoenweis I guess is a usefull lefty, but then they lose Manny and his bat, which you simply cannot replace. I would dance in the aisles if they made that trade. In no way can JD Drew or anyone else on the market do for that lineup what Manny does...
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-11-20 10:37:27
51.   Chyll Will
46 Then I would likely say it's not going to happen, if all you want to give them is one year in a seller's market. There are quite a few teams in the AL who would consider a Lilly or Meche an upgrade and would be willing to part with a pick they can't use right away. This year, the Yanks should just hold the line on overpaying for mediocre talent and concentrate on getting their youngins up to the bigs.

This may sound kinda wack, but what if you move Proctor to starter and rotate Karstens, Rasner and perhaps either Hughes or Sanchez out of the 4 & 5 spots so they don't get wasted to early in the season? Just a crackpot notion, I suppose...

2006-11-20 10:38:21
52.   Shaun P
48 I'd take Lilly over Meche too, but the key to your statements is IF the Yanks want to sign a free agent starter. My question is - given the mediocrities out there, why would the Yanks want to sign a free agent starter?

While being 'average' is not easy to do, I'd rather take a chance that one of Rasner, Karstens, White, or even Henn could average a 4.56 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 9.54 H/9, 3.19 BB/9, and 6.44 K/9 - the's the line for an average AL pitcher in 2006, according to BP.

For the record, Jaret Wright last year had a 4.49 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 10.07 H/9, 3.66 BB/9, and 5.38 K/9. No way one of the 'kids' can't equal Wright's line or be just a tad bit better and equal the 'average' AL pitcher line.

2006-11-20 10:39:44
53.   Raf
23 "What's the worst thing that could happen? If you lose, you'll be back home in Colorado hunting elk." - Richard 'Goose' Gossage, 1978
2006-11-20 10:41:27
54.   jakewoods
I cant believe they would trade Manny. Ortiz is probably having nightmares about his protection if they do.

JD Drew and Youklis and Lowell?

Yea, he'd see what? 4 good pitches all yr?

2006-11-20 10:46:16
55.   standuptriple
I still like the idea of Padilla holding down the back end of the rotation for us. He's got decent stuff, youth, experience and shouldn't break the bank. Plus I don't believe he is rep'd by Boras.
2006-11-20 10:48:08
56.   Raf
54 Can't remember the last time Bonds had someone decent protecting him in the order, and he manages to put up his numbers. I suspect Ortiz will be the same.

He'll mash no matter who's hitting behind him. If the league pitches around him, he'll just have to have a ridiculous OBP :)

2006-11-20 10:51:06
57.   Orly Yarly NoWai
Anytime people talk about a pitcher having "the best stuff on the market," he's going to cash in, Padilla or no.
2006-11-20 10:51:26
58.   Yankee Fan In Boston
52 torre has a well known fondness of veterans. if they think that the youngsters are ready, i'm certain that they will consider letting them plug the holes in the rotation. ca$hman said so much yesterday, whether he meant it or not.

however, he also mentioned the possibility of signing a free agent. i am assuming that the "why" would be a scenario where there weren't enough farmhands that they felt were ready to fill the roster, even with average performances. judging from some sources (32), some of the kids look like they might be ready soon. but there should always be a back up plan.

plus... with randy's back and pavano's everything, having another warm body around might not be a bad idea.

2006-11-20 10:53:43
59.   jakewoods
55

Padilla will makes just as much as Lilly and Meche and probably more since he does have better stuff.

Imagine writing that check out to him. Your hand has got to be shaking as you sign.

2006-11-20 10:59:54
60.   jakewoods
56

Papi is a great hitter but he will not see the same kinds of pitches without Manny behind him. He's seen a ton of fastballs because of Manny. i'm sure he'll still hit but he won't be the same guy. He knows it. He even said so the past 2 off seasons when Manny asked for a trade.

Imagine how good Bonds' numbers would have been if they would have actually got someone who could hit behind him?

2006-11-20 11:00:43
61.   Chyll Will
56 Yeah, but Bonds never whined about it either. Come to think of it, Bonds seems like he doesn't give a crap about much of anything with his team. On the other hand, Ortiz is likley to say something "uncharacteristic" and then boycott the media. Manny is the difference between 50+ home runs and 200+ BBs (with 75+ IBBs) unless Drew pulled a Jeff Kent. Likely? I dunno...
2006-11-20 11:01:11
62.   standuptriple
59 It'd be more steady than the one signing a similar check for Lilly or Meche. I will seriously have problems rooting for Meche. He posted those #'s with half his starts in Safeco. Come on!
2006-11-20 11:02:52
63.   Chyll Will
48,60 Jeez, I'm everyone's echo today. I gotta get something to eat.
2006-11-20 11:04:07
64.   JL25and3
53 Good quote. Players just don't see things the same way fans do, and it's not because they don't care. Gossage was as intense as anyone I've ever seen - when he was pitching. But there's no way to stay that rabidly intense all day, every day, even through a few postseason weeks.

I'm not advocating signing Zito, because the combination of years and money would be too much. But I've never heard it said that he's lackadaisical on the field.

2006-11-20 11:05:12
65.   JL25and3
50 Trading Manny = [Extended Wacky Dance]
2006-11-20 11:05:43
66.   jayd
Brosius In the Post:

The classy Brosius doesn't follow the Yankees closely but is aware Alex Rodriguez has had a tough time with the fans. "I would have been thrilled with those numbers," Brosius said.

Always loved Scott. still do.

2006-11-20 11:06:18
67.   jakewoods
Good point. You have never heard Bonds say anything about his lineup protection.

Granted I bet if he had Manny behind him you would hear him saying its not proection that matters, its him. It probably works better for Bonds having Pedro Feliz hit behind him. For his ego.

2006-11-20 11:06:53
68.   Yankee Fan In Boston
ryan howard is the NL MVP.
2006-11-20 11:07:55
69.   jakewoods
At this point I think A Rod would trade his numbers for Ferocious Brosius' rings.
2006-11-20 11:18:42
70.   jakewoods
Good article on SI.com, Alex. Going to have to add those books to my list.
2006-11-20 11:18:43
71.   RIYank
68 Wow, no kidding. I thought Pujols.
2006-11-20 11:23:52
72.   pistolpete
Looks like that last month and a half sealed the deal for Howard...
2006-11-20 11:31:51
73.   jakewoods
Dont forget that Pujols missed a solid month with an injury.

But Howard had monster numbers.

2006-11-20 11:35:04
74.   joejoejoe
Here's my cheap offseason plan -

1) Replace Miguel Cairo with Geoff Blum
2) Buy Johnny Damon a first baseman's mitt for Xmas
3) Sign RH 1B Eduardo Perez, age 37
4) Sign RH RP Giovanni Carrara, age 38
5) Make Scott Proctor the #4 starter
6) Let Rasner/Karstens/Sanchez compete of #5

Torre will play the old guys. Consider Carrara as a second LOOGY, his splits against lefties the last 3 years are .201/.299/.318. Getting 33 yr-old Damon to play 1B (ala Darin Erstad) makes sense and frees up Melky to play some CF. It's cheaper to buy Damon a mitt than it is to pay the likes of Rich Aurelia.

2006-11-20 11:35:33
75.   RIYank
Howard had great numbers, but in a hitter's park. That's why I expected Pujols to win. As an expanation for the voting, pistolpete's is probably right.
2006-11-20 11:43:34
76.   Shaun P
74 What do you think about Chris Woodward as the backup IF? He's a few years younger than Blum and can play the OF too in a pinch.
2006-11-20 11:59:08
77.   C2Coke
Considering the options for LSP out there, how is not signing anyone any worse? If it doesn't work out, I have the confidence in Cashman to make appropriate changes mid-season.

The Red Sox is helping Arod with all they can. Next year, regardless of how Arod performs, the fans who want to defend him would have reasons like:
"Look at what the Sox paid for Soriano..."

74 13 miliion + a glove for a 1st baseman?

2006-11-20 12:00:50
78.   C2Coke
77 I meants the Cubs...or Matsuzaka...
2006-11-20 12:02:53
79.   joejoejoe
76 I guess Woodward would be just as good a fit as Blum. Blum has a tiny bit more pop and more experience as an everyday player. Woodward is a better fielder and plays a little OF but CW is coming off an awful year with the bat.

For a lot of teams Woodward would add more flexibility than Blum but not the Yanks - Guiel plays 1B/OF and they have Melky as a 4th OF. You don't need a 6th OF and if you do Kevin Thompson is a better choice than Chris Woodward.

My guess is the Yanks either stick with Miguel Cairo or go with Andy Cannizaro as utility INF. I think Torre really liked Cannizaro during his call-up.

2006-11-20 12:04:02
80.   jonnystrongleg
77 agree. damon is a valuable centerfielder: good glove, good legs, good bat, bad arm. he would be a below average 1B, unknown glove, average to below average bat, legs wasted, arm irrelevant.
2006-11-20 12:06:26
81.   Raf
60 They would be about the same, IMO. I really don't think too much of the idea of players "protecting" each other in the order. It doesn't make any sense. If a hitter "doesn't get anything to hit," he simply takes a walk.
2006-11-20 12:15:34
82.   jakewoods
It makes absolutely no sense to put Damon at 1B.

I think they bring Cairo back for another go.

2006-11-20 12:19:06
83.   jakewoods
81

If you dont believe in protection you should ask the players how they feel. Ask Ortiz what life would be like without Manny and ask the AL pitchers how they would attack the Sox without Manny in there. Just look back to the games this yr that Manny didnt play in.

Ortiz will not see the same pitches to hit. He wont get as many fastballs and he will be pitched around. Wouldnt teams rather take their chances on Mike Lowell? Ortiz will walk 150+ times easy.

Heres a protection thing from the past. 1961 Yanks. With Mantle behind him Maris hit 61 homers. You think he was seeing a lot of fastballs because they didnt want to face Mantle with a man on?

2006-11-20 12:21:07
84.   Yankee Fan In Boston
82 cairo's role is one that should easily be filled by someone from the minors. as joejoejoe said, cannizaro could probably put up similar offensive numbers. and while cairo is somewhat adequate at most IF positions, he didn't really excel at any of them. give a kid a chance. miggy shouldn't be a yankee next year. if they really want to trim payroll and get younger, this seems like a great place to do so.
2006-11-20 12:37:43
85.   Chyll Will
84 And if nothing else, Miggy should run like hell after pissing Posada off on that kid's show on YES this summer before Jorge "juices" him...
2006-11-20 12:42:05
86.   Shaun P
79 84 I'm all for giving the 'kids' a chance, and for not bringing Cairo back. But Cannizaro is only a couple of years younger than Woodward, and his numbers at AAA don't inspire me. Last year aside, Woodward has always hit pretty well for a backup MI. Just my $0.02.
2006-11-20 12:46:32
87.   Chyll Will
86 Is Woodward coming off of surgery in the coming Spring? If it's a toss-up between him and Blum, go with healthy. Woodward might bounce back and have a lighting-in-a-bottle season, or he might not. Blum is healthy.
2006-11-20 12:49:29
88.   Raf
83 Is walking 150+ a bad thing?

WRT Mantle & Maris, what happened in 1962? 1960? All the other years they played together?

Protection studies
http://www.baseball1.com/faqs/protection-faq.html
http://www-math.bgsu.edu/~grabine/protstudy.txt

2006-11-20 12:56:18
89.   Chyll Will
88 Yes, if the guys hitting next are in prolongeds slump or can't get the run home. Walks don't automatically mean runs, especially if it would normally take at least two hits to get the walk home like it would with Ortiz.

That said, Manny's the only consistent contact hitter left in that lineup behind Ortiz. You lose him, you lose two power bats.

2006-11-20 12:56:18
90.   pistolpete
85 What exactly would a 'juicing' from Jorgie entail?
2006-11-20 13:01:07
91.   Chyll Will
90 A red-ass glare like you were staring into the Sun, followed by agonizing shrieks of "I'm melting! I'm melting!!" amid a chorus of "What the F&@k are you doing???"
2006-11-20 13:03:15
92.   thelarmis
Pete Abe is back from the Tundra and has updated his blog. Nothing special, but always a good read.

Jeter for MVP, Moose taking his physical, Aurilia possibly coming home to NY and the like...

2006-11-20 13:06:45
93.   Shaun P
87 Woodward did have shoulder surgery in late October, to repair a torn labrum in his non-throwing (left) shoulder. Everything I could find says he should be just fine by Spring Training.

Given the age difference between Woodward (30) and Blum (33), I'll take Woodward, injury or not.

2006-11-20 13:09:19
94.   Chyll Will
91 With Carl Lewis and Roseanne singing a duet of the National Anthem in the background...
2006-11-20 13:13:52
95.   Yankee Fan In Boston
94 can this guy provide the beat?
http://tinyurl.com/y62lnj
2006-11-20 13:14:35
96.   Bama Yankee
91 "F&@k" What is "F and at K" ? ;-)
94 Good one, but now I can't get that image and sound out of my head...
2006-11-20 13:33:45
97.   Chyll Will
93 Age doesn't always mean much. Jose Valentin beat out Woodward, Hernandez and Matsui for the starting 2B job and slugged 18 homers and played a fairly clean infield.

And who knows? Julio Franco might be around longer than Minny Minoso or even Soriano (!)

2006-11-20 13:39:21
98.   jakewoods
Age doesnt mean much especially with UTL guys. I wouldnt mind Canny either. I just think they'll go with Miggy.

Im really interested to see what Cash does with the rotation. My money is on a surprise. I say he goes for Schmidt.

2006-11-20 13:41:40
99.   Chyll Will
95 Can't hear it, so I'd suggest they somehow do a Tupac with this guy -
http://tinyurl.com/y59m4v
2006-11-20 13:47:29
100.   Chyll Will
95 In fact, you can take your pick -
http://tinyurl.com/wnfw2
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-11-20 13:48:12
101.   Yankee Fan In Boston
99 hater.
mulano is just too real for you...
2006-11-20 13:49:58
102.   Yankee Fan In Boston
100 ...but now you have been redeemed.
but they ain't got nothin' on mulano. (ain't gonna stop!)
2006-11-20 13:56:20
103.   Yankee Fan In Boston
94 a "classic" rendition of the national anthem:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkI7F5u1BGY

they cut this clip just before he gets booed out of the ring.

2006-11-20 13:56:28
104.   randym77
I'm expecting Cairo to be back. Cannizaro was only called up because Cairo had that hamstring problem.

And I'd be willing to give Craig Wilson another shot at 1B. He didn't really get a fair chance.

2006-11-20 13:58:51
105.   jakewoods
I think we can do better than Wilson. Seems like he was an automatic out last yr.

I prefer Phillips to him.

2006-11-20 13:59:59
106.   JL25and3
While I like the idea that the Yankees aren't just throwing money around - for a change - I wish they would invest more, not less, in their bench. For years now, the bench has consisted of four basically useless players whose main qualification is a bellyful of guts. Sometimes you need to use bench players, though, and then you'd like them to be able to play a little.

There are role players who can do that - in fact, the Yankees actually have one now in Melky Cabrera. Because there's less wear and tear on a role player, I'm less concerned with age than ability. That's why I prefer Aurilia to Woodward or Blum - he's a noticeably better hitter than either of them.

Save money by not spending $15 million on Zito, but a couple of million invested in the bench might make a diffference.

2006-11-20 14:02:05
107.   Chyll Will
101 Moi?

102 I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for now; I can't hear anything on the job. I'll peep this when I get home, where I'm about to go now. Later!

(So-not lost on me that my handle is derived from a fellow crew member of one of the greatest BtBxrs of all-time... >;)

2006-11-20 14:16:49
108.   Mike T
66 Seriously.

I would like to add that the mere thought of Manny being traded out of the AL East puts a smile on my face.

2006-11-20 15:20:46
109.   Zack
65 Ahh, its been a long time since the [Whacky Dance] was invoked. I guess Sept. didn't really give any cause for it, huh?

It doesn't matter if Ortiz is being protected by Manny or not, the fact of the matter is, Manny is a much better hitter than Ortiz, and one of the best offensive threats. Ever. Removing him from the Sox lineup makes them much less potent. Even if they "replace" his production with a combo of Drew and someone else, you are talking about more than one player, neither of whom by themselves fills that spot at #3 vacated by Manny.

Obviously Ortiz will still hit Homeruns, its what he does, and he does it well. But he won't have nearly the same impact as he did. You are talking about one of the best 1-2 punches ever, and with just Ortiz, he represents the only real threat in that lineup, JD Drew or not. You couldn't pitch around Manny AND Ortiz, but now you sure as heck can pitch around Ortiz. His overall #s may remain similar, but I would put money on his rbi's and "clutchitude" decreasing...

2006-11-20 15:23:22
110.   randym77
106 Wasn't that the theory that got us Tony Womack and Matt Lawton?
2006-11-20 15:37:01
111.   Shaun P
106 Ummm, bench investment. I'm all for it. I think Woodward would hit (and field) better than Aurilia, but to each his own JL. Either would be fine, though I don't want to see Aurilia in an 'everyday' role (ie RHB of 1B platoon).

If the Yanks could get Zaun, and either Aurilia or Woodward as the backup MI, and then go with a Wilson/Guiel or E Perez/Guiel platoon at 1B, with Melky as the 4th OF, I'd be very happy.

2006-11-20 15:44:39
112.   Shaun P
BTW, rumor has the Dodgers signing Juan Pierre for 5 years, $45 million. And I thought the Soriano deal was crazy!

This is why I'm glad the Yanks are staying low.

2006-11-20 16:50:10
113.   Zack
Ugh, Pierre at close to 10 million a year? I shudder at the thought...
2006-11-20 16:50:36
114.   monkeypants
110 No, because Womack was signed as the starting 2B, not bench strength. Likewise, Lawton was picked up to bolster the already sucky bench.

Sadly, the Yankees invest $$ in the bench, but for horrible players like Cairo and Sierra (and even Bernie, for that matter).

I know he wasn't that good last year, but I would throw a few million at C. Wilson again, but only if he is willing and able to play a little backup C. Then Wilson and Guile could rotate between 1B, occasional DH, sometimes OF, some C, and platon PH.

2006-11-20 17:18:56
115.   jakewoods
I wouldnt call Sierra horrible. He was what he was. A good hitter. No field at all. And who can disparage the job Bernie did last yr???

That's terrible by you monkeypants.

And you want to throw money at Wilson??

2006-11-20 17:41:31
116.   Shaun P
115 What is wrong with monkeypants' analysis? Sierra was horrible, especially in 2005: he 'hit' a Womackian .229/.265/.371 as the backup OF and sometimes DH, with a strikeout for every 4 ABs, a walk for every 19 ABs, and a homerun every 40 ABs. If that isn't horrible, what is?

Bernie got 420 ABs last year. In 2/3rds of those, versus righties, he 'hit' a Womackian (or Sierran if you prefer) .261/.305/.383. Yes, he hit lefties well, but his poor showing against righties plus his bad defense meant he was a liability to the Yanks. There's nothing wrong with saying that - everyone declines eventually.

2006-11-20 17:47:20
117.   monkeypants
115 I can say Bernie was terrible because by and large he was. He played attrocious defense, and he hit for beans when he batted LH (which was much of the time). Worse, his presence kept other players out of the lineup, because of Torre's obsession with veterans.

Sierra was worse than terrible, but if you can't see that, then we probably can't have much of a conversation. Or do you really think his 2005 OPS of .636 as primarily a DH was good? Maybe DH really stands for designated horrible.

As for Wilson, his combined OPS last year was .760, though admitedly he stunk it up pretty bad with the Yanks. Of course, his season stats were basically on par with Bernie's .768 OPS.

But, since you did not pay attention to the substance of my post, I'll repeat. I would ONLY consider Wilson again IF he could play backup catcher, since that would give the team some more fleibility, perhaps offsetting offensive shortcomings. But maybe you're right--they should resign Sierra and Williams, so they can have as many can't play defesne"OF"/can't hit "DH" as possible.

2006-11-20 18:02:55
118.   Aviezer
While my opinion is that it may be best to stay with AP for now if we need to sign somebody then for a number of different reasons the only good choice is Craig Wilson. Aurilia costs us a first round pick IE someone who could be the next Phil Hughes. Unlikely but guess what we got in return for Andy Pettite. A utility guy isn't worth it. Our second round pick in 05 was JB Cox. Thats what signing Hillenbrand could cost us. As is becoming evident the way to build is through the draft abd forfitiing a top pick to sign someone who won't really outperform Ciaro or AP( who we can sign for nothing) is foolish.
2006-11-20 18:13:07
119.   Jim Dean
I'm on board with the Craig Wilson call (and Bernie and Ruben as terrible yet Je played them anyways). Problem is, Joe won't play Wilson enough and he'll never play him behind the plate. But we can dream...

BTW: Yanks added Sardinha, Kennard, and Chase Wright to the 40-man today.

http://tinyurl.com/u8n65

Wright (lefty SP) had a nice year in Tampa - 12-3 with 100 K's and 49 BB in 119 innings. He's 23 but if was his 6th year in the system. Anyone know any more about him?

2006-11-20 18:20:45
120.   manila boy
116 Agreed about Bernie. Bench players should be able to do several things decently, and only being able to hit lefties while fielding poorly is as one-dimensional as you can get.

If Melky is the 4th OF, then Kevin Thompson should be the 5th. I'd like to see Wilson given another shot. And I'd be okay with Andy Phillips at 1B since he seemed to have played the second half with a bum knee.

2006-11-20 18:25:37
121.   manila boy
118 Yes, Aurilia is a Type A free agent, and we'd lose the pick. Not with Phillips and/or Wilson.
2006-11-20 18:52:01
122.   joejoejoe
Craig Wilson as a catcher is not going to happen. He's played 674 MLB games and only 40 at catcher. If he could play a lick at C then he would have played a lot more based on his bat. He did not. That leads me to believe he makes Mike Piazza look like Johnny Bench behind the plate.
2006-11-20 19:00:01
123.   BklynBmr
OT: Anyone watching Jints-Jags? I lookin' at the 1980 Giants here...
2006-11-20 19:02:07
124.   RIYank
Not for nuthin', but Pinto's Probabilistic Model of Range has Andy Phillips ranked eleventh in baseball, ahead of Doug Mientkiewicz and Nomar and just a hair behind Kevin Youkilis.
Albert Pujols is second; he saved his team 29 outs last year. I'm certain he was more valuable than Ryan Howard. You wuz robbed, Albert.
2006-11-20 19:23:49
125.   jakewoods
Again what did Wilson do to warrant another shot?

Was it striking out every other at bat? Because he was a pro at that

2006-11-20 19:25:37
126.   Shaun P
122 Don't forget that Wilson spent all those games under the horrible management of the Pirates. Look at the bad players the Pirates played over Wilson over the years - Kevin Young, Randall Simon, Daryle Ward, Sean Casey, Jeromy Burnitz. I wouldn't hold his lack of playtime at C against Wilson. Lloyd McClendon clearly did not know what he was doing, nor did Jim Tracy.

123 Bklyn, after Eli's interception, I turned it off. I see online it didn't cost the Jints any more points. I have Rivers on my fantasy football team, and with each passing week I think Arcorsi made a huge mistake in getting Eli. I hope I'm eventually wrong.

2006-11-20 19:32:55
127.   Shaun P
121 No way Ca$hmoney gives up that draft pick. Isn't there a cutoff date though, past which signing Aurilia doesn't cost the Yanks the pick?

125 Are you purposefully skipping what monkeypants writes? Wilson has a career OPS of .834 and can catch in a pinch. That is enough to make him worthy of another shot. Wilson strikes out a lot in a 100 AB sample and he doesn't deserve another shot, but Sierra strikes out a ton, hits for crap, and you call him a "good hitter"?

2006-11-20 19:43:39
128.   BklynBmr
126 Smart move, Shaun P — it's an ugly game. This team went south overnight. The injury bug is one thing, but thats mainly hit the defense — there is a total lack of focus on offense. I don't know if it's the game plan, the scouting, the practices or what, but they're looking clueless. Good pick on Rivers, btw.

13-3 Jags now. And WTF is Brandon Jacobs doing kick returns? Yeesh!

2006-11-20 20:02:44
129.   JohnnyC
125 Our friend, the lefty reliever from the Seattle Mariners, obviously didn't catch Big Rube's all-time great performance as Joe Torre's everyday DH in September of 2005: .148/.188/.197. Yeah, real professional hitting.
2006-11-20 21:05:17
130.   joejoejoe
126 I looked at the Pirates teams and Craig Wilson played behind a health Jason Kendall for most of his career and then the three headed monster of Humberto Cota, Ryan Doumit, and Ronnie Paulino - all good catching prospects. So I may be wrong about Craig Wilson's catching ability - it's too small a sample to tell either way. Wilson's never really had a chance to catch with any regularity as you point out.

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