Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Help
Melk the Halls
2006-12-17 17:35
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The big rumor swirling around the Yanks this weekend involves sending Melky Cabrera away and getting a good left-handed reliever in return. I don't figure that Melky is long for New York. I really enjoyed watching him last year; his enthusiasm is infectious. I hope he becomes a good big league ball player. That said, I'm not sold on him becoming a great player, and if the Yankees can improve their team by trading him, I'd be all for it, in spite of the fact that I like the kid. What do y'all think about this proposed deal? Mike Gonzalez worth moving the Melk Man for?

Meanwhile, when was the last time that Alex Rodriguez said something provocative and was completely ignored?

Comments (287)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-12-17 17:57:27
1.   Maniakes
Not the way Torre breaks relievers.
2006-12-17 18:03:16
2.   mikeplugh
Hmmm....A-Rod talks retirement. I could see it, but I don't think he'll hang it up if there are big numbers in front of him still left unaccomplished. When you go through a season like he did last year, where you put up All Star numbers and get booed every night, you talk retirement.

If he's close to 700+ homers, he'll play on. It makes no difference one way or the other to the Yankees. If he's not the same player at 35 as he is today, it will be time to think about replacing him anyway. The team as a whole will be very different after the 2010 season. There will be no:

Mike Mussina
Andy Pettitte
Randy Johnson
Carl Pavano
Mariano Rivera
Johnny Damon
Derek Jeter (?)
Bobby Abreu
Alex Rodriguez (?)
Jason Giambi
Jorge Posada
Hideki Matsui

It's possible that both Jeter and A-Rod will be on the 2011 Yankees, but they will be past their primes and basically filling their positions with above average, but no longer MVP caliber, performance. The pitching staff will be almost unrecognizable from the 2007 team. You may see Wang and Igawa, if they play well. You'll certainly see Hughes, and maybe Cox. The lineup will be drastically different with only Cano as a certain holdover. You'll probably have Tabata there, if all goes well.

The fact is, the A-Rod talk is a non-story. The Sox and Yankees will be 95% different in 2011, so it doesn't merit much comment.

2006-12-17 18:07:21
3.   monkeypants
I've changed my mind. They should trade MElky, go with a 13 or 14 man pitching staff, resign Bernie to play all the OF positions, back-up DH, PH, etc. Resign Cairo to start at 1B and back-up all other positions. Or maybe replace Bernie with Stinnett--the team just wasn't the same after they let him go.
2006-12-17 18:17:47
4.   dianagramr
A-Rod has never had a major injury, and assuming his back holds up from playing 3B for a few more years (can we PLEASE move him to SS?), he should be fine for 38 or 39 as his final year.
2006-12-17 18:20:40
5.   monkeypants
4 With the DH and 1B, if he is still performing at a relatively high level, he'll be able to play until 40 in the AL--especially if he (and whatever team hires him) wants to start breaking counting-stat records.
2006-12-17 18:26:24
6.   joejoejoe
I think the Yanks are crazy to trade Melky. The guy came up and was killed by Torre for his defense as the greenest of green rookies. One year later he's rated the best defensive LF in the American League. Offensively Melky was exactly average in park adjusted OPS in '06 at age 21 as a switch-hitter. He's good now, under a microscope, under pressure at age 21. He has a chance to be very good and very cheap for several years. It's better to shuffle other roster parts to find room for Melky. Having Giambi at DH really causes a logjam for the aging OF (Damon, Abreu, and Matsui) in terms of rest and DH ABs.

Melky is a chip worth $10M/yr on the open market (Gary Matthews Jr.). I can't figure the Mike Gonzalez deal unless Cashman knows something about Rivera retiring in '08. These setup guys are too inconsistent to be using your top value chips to acquire.

2006-12-17 18:26:37
7.   Adam B
I'd prefer that they hold on to Melky for at least one more year. As a fourth outfielder, he has great value, and the kid does have a pretty good eye. Plus his defense is very good, as evidenced by how high he shows up in Pinto's PMR charts, despite him not being a starter the whole season. Having guys like Melky on the bench at the major league minimum is always a good thing. And it's not like Mike Gonzalez has a clean health record either, and he still walks quite a few guys despite last year having been his Age 28 season.
2006-12-17 18:29:01
8.   monkeypants
On other news--do you think the Sox are really concerned about Drew's shoulder, or are they trying to find a way to nix the deal now that they added the $ 100-million starter AND failed to shed Manny's contract?
2006-12-17 18:32:20
9.   yankz
Jeter will be playing in '11. Thus, Jeter will be on the Yankees in '11.

Everyone keeps saying that Tabata will be ready in '09. He's not even 18 and a half yet, a lot can go wrong (though you have to love his potential).

2006-12-17 18:36:29
10.   markp
Gonzales is not a set-up guy. He's a very successful closer who has numbers up there with the best RP in the game. If he's healthy, he worth Melky.
2006-12-17 18:49:15
11.   randym77
A-Rod will be 35 by the time his contract is over. Not exactly a shock if he retires at that age. Tiki Barber retiring this year, at age 31, that's a shock. Especially since he doesn't have a ring yet.

I'm already on the record in favor of trading Melky for pitching. I think the proposed trade would be good for the Yankees, good for Pittsburgh, and good for Melky.

I want to know what Murphy asked in the last thread: how did the White Sox land Toby Hall as their backup catcher?

2006-12-17 18:51:55
12.   Jeteupthemiddle
I'm not opposed to trading Melky.

I'm opposed to trading him for a reliever when we have a bazillion candidates already employed.

2006-12-17 19:08:10
13.   mikeplugh
12 I think Jeteupthemiddle just made the best case so far. I'm ambivalent to the current proposal, although I'd support it if it happened. The main objection to this deal has to be what value is coming back. Not the player in question, but rather the role he plays on the ballclub.

When exchanging parts, you need to consider what hole your trade in is going to fill. The Yankees need another strong left handed reliever. The only way they address that without a trade is betting on Pavano to play the whole year healthy, and Igawa coming out of the pen in his first season with the Yankees. Paying Igawa $11 million a year to come out of the pen seems ridiculous.

Melky would ideally be traded for a starter, maybe in a package, but no one is going to give up a top starter (that's significantly better than what we already have) without the Yankees including something more valuable than Melky. That leaves us in our current position.

2006-12-17 19:21:40
14.   markp
Aside from Rivera, we have nobody that approaches this guy. It doesn't matter how many candidates you have if none of them are close to this guy's ability. Referring him to "just another set-up guy" or a "BP candidate" is pretty far from what he really is.
2006-12-17 19:21:46
15.   Jeteupthemiddle
Actually, I think the Yankees have more use for LaRoche than they would for Gonzalez.

If the Braves are only getting Melky in the 3-way trade and sending out LaRoche, then why even bother with the Pirates at all?

Seems more worth our while to just cut out Pittsburgh and deal Melky for LaRoche straight up.

2006-12-17 19:29:10
16.   randym77
I don't think the three-way trade is going to happen. It sounds like the current deal on the table is Melky for Gonzalez, straight up. Maybe with a lower-level prospect or cash thrown in (by the Yankees).

There was talk of Melky for LaRoche earlier, but that's faded. The other hot rumor of the weekend is that the Yankees want to sign Doug Mientkiewicz. Not the righty bat many hoped for, but if they can't get that, I'd be happy with his good glove.

2006-12-17 19:30:12
17.   monkeypants
14 I'm not sold yet--he has only averaged 45 innings/year the last three, and his peripherals are mixed: lotsa Ks but 1.3+ WHIP the last two years.

15 I agree. Except for the fact that he's LH, and the team seems driven to get a RH. I wonder if Cashman doesn't have a series of trades in mind that yield ultimately a young C or a short term 1B solution.

2006-12-17 19:31:24
18.   monkeypants
16 Yikes. I wouldn't use the words 'happy' and 'Mientkiewicz' in the same paragraph.
2006-12-17 19:48:18
19.   Levy2020
12 I'm with 12. Right now assuming the Yankees keep Pavano and sign Igawa, they already have a 13-man staff. Meanwhile Bernie - who unfortunately can't really field but would be a solid righty DH option in the absence of Giambi - becomes the defensive replacement in the OF?

The only thing that would make adding Gonzalez work would be demoting Beam or Britton or flipping Farnsworth. And would the Yankees be able to flip Farnsworth for something better than Melky?

2006-12-17 19:50:25
20.   Jeteupthemiddle
17 Well, I certainly see the point of having a right handed first baseman.

As they stand right now, if the first baseman is lefty, the entire lineup sans Jeter and Arod will be left handed.

Probably too many. Although, I suppose it could be argued that the lefties in the lineup are too good for a lefty/lefty matchup to really effect them, but still, I would prefer to not be so lopsided.

However, if something comes along where a very good left handed first baseman comes along (LaRoche, Nick Johnson, etc.) then you can't just say no.

Of course, if that is the case, then it would probably be a good idea to fill the bench with righties. (even though, I think Kevin Thompson is the perfect 5th outfielder--still is regardless, I guess).

2006-12-17 19:55:04
21.   randym77
19 I'm hoping Cashman puts his foot down and doesn't re-sign Bernie. I love ya, Bernie, but your musical career is calling.

One of the first roster moves the Yankees made in the post-season was to add Sardinha to the roster. I'm hoping that means he's opened some eyes.

Maybe we could trade Farnsworth for LaRoche. I think they'd take welcome him back.

Or they could send down Beam. I like Bat-Boy, but IMO, he's not ready for prime time.

2006-12-17 20:06:51
22.   StolenMonkey86
A note about Mike Gonzalez:

In 2003, he was traded at the deadline by the Boston Red Sox with Freddy Sanchez and cash to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Brandon Lyon, Jeff Suppan, and Anastacio Martinez.

2006-12-17 20:15:14
23.   randym77
22 Are you sure? I thought Gonzalez was drafted by Pittsburgh and came up in their system.
2006-12-17 20:22:09
24.   gmt
I think another factor in the Yanks interest in Gonzalez is that the sox are also reported to be interested in getting him for their bullpen. It would be great to keep a hard throwing lefty away from the sox with all of the left handers in our lineup.
2006-12-17 20:22:49
25.   yankz
He was drafted by Pittsburgh in 97, was traded to the Sox on 7/22/03, traded back to Pitt on 7/31/03. Weird.
2006-12-17 20:22:54
26.   randym77
22 Wow, you're right. But it was must have been one of the shortest trades in history:

Jul 22,2003 - Traded by Pirates with Scott Sauerbeck to Red Sox for Anastacio Martinez and Brandon Lyon.

Jul 31,2003 - Traded by Red Sox with Freddy Sanchez and Cash to Pirates for Anastacio Martinez, Jeff Suppan and Brandon Lyon.

What was up with that, I wonder?

The Red Sox reportedly want him back now. They are supposedly our main competition, but so far they don't have anyone the Pirates want.

2006-12-17 20:24:32
27.   yankz
His closest match through age 28 is Al Holland, who pitched for the Yanks in 86-87. God, I love Baseball Reference.
2006-12-17 20:35:57
28.   JohnnyC
The reason for Gonzalez being returned to the Pirates was Brandon Lyon...the gimpy pitcher the Red Sox had to trade 3 times before it finally stuck. Typical Red Sox shenanigans. I guess Littlefield wasn't enough of a Sox fan to let them pull that one over on him.
2006-12-17 20:41:43
29.   randym77
28 Interesting. So it had nothing to do with Gonzalez, then.
2006-12-17 20:50:19
30.   OldYanksFan
"There was one game against Boston in Yankee Stadium in June when Rodriguez looked so anguished by the rough treatment from New York fans that Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, while watching him from the on-deck circle, grew concerned. Ortiz caught Rodriguez's attention and gave him an exaggerated exhale, the way you might when a physician asks you to take a deep breath. Rodriguez would later thank Ortiz. 'It was painful to see his face,' Ortiz said. 'I had to tell him to just breathe and relax.' "

"I don't really see myself playing past this contract," Rodriguez said on "Costas on the Radio"

"He was very matter of fact and there was no anger in his voice. It was a tone of resignation. He said a lot of the joy of the game was gone, and even if had a reasonable shot at breaking records, he would walk away from the game."

Man.... what have the Yankee fans, and media... but especially the fans, done to this guy? We have broken his spirit. Enjoy ARod as a Yankee this year... it will probably be his last.

2006-12-17 20:51:33
31.   JimCobain
Throwing this out there... trade Melky for Mike Gonzalez, then sign Shannon Stewart to be the 4th outfeilder? I think Shannon Stewart puts up the same numbers as Melky does in the same role next year. The point is, Melky is replaceable, not sure Mike Gonzalez's grow on trees...
2006-12-17 20:59:59
32.   Schteeve
Couldn't we make this deal at the deadline, when we know for sure where the holes in the team are?
2006-12-17 21:24:16
33.   mikeplugh
31 Jim...Stewart threw up OPS+ the last two seasons of 88. Why on Earth would we want him? His slugging percentage is under .400, his stolen base rate in 60% or below, he's always hurt, and his defense is barely league average.

If you want all that, you may as well keep Melky or give Kevin Thompson the job outright. You'd save a lot of money in the process and we wouldn't have to watch Shannon Stewart soil the pinstripes....

2006-12-17 21:34:55
34.   manila boy
33 Agreed on Stewart. He's bad and declining, so why bother?

32 Why wait till then when the holes are apparent now? And when the options might have dried up?

2006-12-17 21:35:46
35.   Schteeve
I also think that everyone who says, "I like Melky, but I don't know if he's every going to be anything better than a mediocre hitter" is basing that off of Melky's lack of power in his age 22 season.

Melky is a very young position player with MLB miles on him and a lot of upside. Mike Gonzalez is a reliever. Maybe a really good reliever. I still wouldn't make the deal.

2006-12-17 21:36:55
36.   Schteeve
34 What are the holes? Do we know right now that we need a set up guy?
2006-12-17 21:53:01
37.   yankz
It's also true that power can come out of nowhere. I remember a lot of us were knocking Cano early this year because he didn't have a power stroke. One DL stint later, and you have the kid who finished 2nd on the team in slugging- ahead of Arod- at age 23. If he ups his OBP to about .380, he's a star for the next decade +. Why can't Melky, who already has the good eye, develop the same power stroke?
2006-12-17 21:54:07
38.   mikeplugh
35 "I also think that everyone who says, "I like Melky, but I don't know if he's every going to be anything better than a mediocre hitter" is basing that off of Melky's lack of power in his age 22 season."

I think you're right Schteeve.

In 357 minor league games, Melky has a line of .284/.347/.422 which is pretty good, but shows little power at his young age. The bulk of those games was at A ball and AA, so there is something to be taken from the fact that power will come later.

Bernie Williams hit .281/.395/.428 in 885 minor league games. He was never a power hitter, in the classic sense, but there's no denying what he meant to the Yankees in the 1990s. I can't say Melky will turn into Bernie, but their numbers are the same so far. People doubted Bernie early on, but you'll see his #51 in monument park someday.

I'm still not against the trade if it goes down, but there is an element of risk in dealing Melky. We could use a guy like him in 3 or 4 years. The only problem is that Bernie got the chance to play a lot by staying in the minors. Melky is with the big boys, and I'm afraid he won't play enough...

2006-12-17 21:56:03
39.   joejoejoe
Matsui and Damon will be 35 in '09, Abreu 34 in '08 - I just think it's crazy to trade a 21 year old OF making the league minimum who is league average in OPS and well above average as a fielder. Gonzalez is a nice player but I see three years of nagging injuries to thirtysomething outfielders in the Yankees future and no real solution if Melky is gone.

Let Damon channel Darin Erstad and play some 1B and keep Melky. Cabrera's done everything that has been asked of him in New York. I think it's stupid to let go of players that perform in NY (Lieber, Stanton, Nelson, Tino) for theoretical upgrades. I'd rather Cashman added the best new parts to a working core of players.

2006-12-17 22:07:01
40.   Chyll Will
Warning - The following contains sarcasm, satire and a disclaimer in a lame attempt to protect the writer from rejoinders and snappy comebacks like those found in extremely old issues of MAD Magazine. Reader discretion is advised.

30 Wowzers, speak for yourself. I came on board as an A-Rod (and Andy Phillips) fan, and though I tease, it's mainly out of respect. Of course, no one in the media's gonna let A-Rod see anything his supporters have to say because it doesn't make good copy. But I guarantee they'll be the first ones at the the retirement buffett when it happens. Well, here's a mouthful of spit in the foodtray for all those Max Mercys who deem themselves manna from heaven.

To A-Rod, my generation's answer to Maris: the prayer of St. Jude, and good luck with that mouth problem. The best medicine for such a thing also happens to be the best solution for certain night club indulgences: keep it shut.

(disclaimer, read in an impossibly fast narrative: The rantings from Chyll Will were in no way intended to offend OYF or anyone associated with his point of view, but instead were a series of spank-you-very-muches directed at Max Mecy-type sports writers and their collegues who rationalize their viewpoints by citing the First Amendment and trickle-down economic theory. For more information about constitutional rights, lefts, voodoo and fictional characters who represent a majority of law-abiding citizens and tabloid columnists/byliners, please slap yourself vigorously with a Sunday copy of the NY Daily News soaked in Florida oil and vinegar, then send the resulting vibes to: gollum@lupica.com)

2006-12-17 22:15:57
41.   Chyll Will
Oh, and I like Melky, too. He reminds me of a better Juan Rivera. I have no statistical basis for saying that. Don't leave marks where people can see them, please...
2006-12-17 22:30:11
42.   Peter
Using that neutralize stat feature on Baseball Reference, I put Mike Gonzalez on the 2006 Yankees and got the following:
53.3 IP, 2.19 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 10.64 K/9, 5.40 BB/9, 0.17 HR/9

By ways of comparison,
Farnsworth: 66.0 IP, 4.36 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 10.23 K/9, 3.82 BB/9, 1.09 HR/9
Proctor: 102.3 IP, 3.52 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 7.83 K/9, 2.90 BB/9, 1.06 HR/9

And just for fun,
Mo: 75.0 IP, 1.80 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 6.60 K/9, 1.32 BB/9, 0.36 HR/9

I like him. He's younger than the current setup men and, for the most part, has better numbers. If he was on a different team, he'd probably have a higher profile than he does now, but if the Yankees do get him, I could see him as the successor to Mariano.

I'd hate to see Melky go, for all the same reasons everyone previously cited here. Maybe Cashman could work out a deal for Gonzo and keep Melky at the same time. If any GM could pull that off, he can.

2006-12-17 22:44:15
43.   yankz
Mike Gonzalez's BR page is sponsored by GoofyAuctions.com. Reason enough to get him.
2006-12-18 03:10:43
44.   manila boy
36 Maybe "holes" is too strong a word, but it's not clear that the bullpen will be strong next year. Proctor pitched more than 100 innings, Bruney lost effectiveness, Farnsworth has a trick back, Mo is getting close to 40. Peter's analysis in 42 shows that Gonzo could be a remarkable relief pitcher, someone who might be able to replace Rivera in the near future. Sure, he could flame out; the lack of innings pitched is the scary thing, plus the elbow trouble.

But if the cost is Melky, why not pull the trigger now? I'm with mikeplugh in 38; I'm okay either way, but just as there's a real risk in trading Melky, there's also the real possibility that he won't be the next Bernie after all and that Gonzo might be a lights-out reliever with sustained success.

I just don't like the idea you proposed in 32 of waiting until the trade deadline to address a need when the options will have dwindled considerably by then.

And as for holes: the only big one seems to be catching depth. Which is what I hope Cashman stockpiled pitchers for.

2006-12-18 03:37:08
45.   randym77
35 I'm not. I'm sure he'll develop more power, though I suspect his BA will suffer.

I do think this year could be a fluke. As Cliff pointed out, he hasn't shown this kind of plate discipline in his minor league career. This season could prove to be a fluke.

I'm not convinced he has the range for CF, either. According to RLYW, he was way below replacement level on both offense and defense. Maybe he'll improve, but it's far from guaranteed.

We need pitching. I wish we had a stable of young stud starters, but we don't, and there's no way of getting that any time soon. The next best thing is a killer bullpen. I think this guy will be an upgrade on Farnsworth and Proctor, and maybe even Mo's successor. It's worth trading a fourth outfielder for that.

2006-12-18 04:21:08
46.   randym77
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has an article today:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06352/746984-63.stm

According to them, there was never a three-way trade proposed between NY, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh. The three-way trade was Atlanta, Boston, and Pittsburgh.

Littlefield wants LaRoche, but they think he'll end up going to LA.

They are interested in Melky:

===
The Pirates and Yankees have engaged in feeler-type talks regarding Gonzalez, but there is no firm word from Pittsburgh or Atlanta -- counter to the reports out of New York -- that those have included the Braves or any third party. Rather, they are focused on a deal that would send Gonzalez to New York for outfielder Melky Cabrera and another player, likely a pitching prospect.

It is not the first time the Pirates have inquired about Cabrera, 22, who hit .280 with seven home runs and 50 RBIs in 460 at-bats last season. He was the focus of their July talks with the Yankees that ultimately led to the Craig Wilson-Shawn Chacon trade.

One source in New York yesterday described the Pirates' interest in Cabrera as intense.
===

2006-12-18 04:56:23
47.   mehmattski
I just had an interesting thought.

What if there was a Banter back in the summer of 1996, when Bob Watson traded Gerald Williams and Bob Wickman for Graeme Lloyd? To expand further, the Yankees sent a young outfielder (though not quite as young as Melky) who had ML experience, along with a bullpen arm (comparable to Britton? at least in physique...) for a lefty power reliever, who incidentally became an integral part of two World Series teams.

If there were a Banter back then, would we be doing the same hand-wringing about Gerald "Ice" Williams?

2006-12-18 05:21:08
48.   mikeplugh
It was just announced on the Japanese news that Masumi Kuwata (38) will be joining the Pittsburgh Pirates next season. He had been rumored (quizzically) to be joining the Red Sox next season, but was forced to settle for the Pirates in the end.

His career numbers:

http://tinyurl.com/y6s6de

To be honest, I think the Pirates settled for him. He's a 38 year old Japanese right-hander who has posted the following ERAs over the last 4 years:

5.93
6.47
7.25
6.94

He's also pitched in 182 innings over those 4 years. So, basically the Pirates signed a 38 year old guy with no Major League experience and an ERA well over 6, and who is only suited to relief. What a joke. The ownership and management wanted to get involved in Japan, but have only recently even had a person from the organization visit here. I guess they must not have learned much. Way to go guys. The first image that Japanese fans will have of your team will be their former hero embarrassing himself in front of 3000 fans in your home stadium. Ugh.

2006-12-18 05:35:32
49.   tommyl
The thing that scares me off this trade a bit is who becomes the backup OF? Its a bit too idealistic at this point to see Damon, Abreu and Matsui staying healthy for the entire season. I guess we have the Kevin's at AAA but if we have a minor or major injury to one of the starting three, without Melky around we could be in real trouble. Cliff, assuming the trade goes through, any idea who the backup OF would be? and can he actually play CF?
2006-12-18 05:37:54
50.   jakewoods
A 4th OF'er for a difference making lefty out of the pen?

Sign me up.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-12-18 06:21:36
51.   kylepetterson
50 I think Jake hit the nail on the head. For the most part, we all agree that Melky is going to be somewhere between good and great. The problem is we don't have a place for him. We've got way too much cash tied up in the guys who are already grazing the outfield. "Well, what if one get's injured again?" What if Mo get's injured? (I don't even like to think about it, but still) Which would be worse to not have a solid backup for?
2006-12-18 06:23:25
52.   Jim Dean
6 Word.

If Gary Matthews is worth $10 million on the open market, what's Melky worth as a 22 yo?

38 Comps stats with Bernie and a better OF arm? Really, what so wrong with hanging on to him for two more years? He's still young AND cheap at that point. Let's see what he is - 4th OF or legit corner guy.

Remember last year at this time folks were worried if Cano would ever find his power and improve his defense. He did both in just one season. Now he's one the the top 2B's in the game.

47 Probably not -

Gerald was 28 yo at that point and was at: .270 .319 .433 in 233 AB.

Wickman was 27 with ok rates.

So, it was a trade of two fringe prospects, if that. But it's not like Lloyd was spectatacular. If anything it looks like they got lucky with him in 1998 when his walk and hits rates were his career lows. Otherwise, he consistently had trouble finding the strike zone and gettting smacked when he did.

2006-12-18 06:47:03
53.   Zavo
Mo, Farns, Proctor, Myers, Bruney, Britton, Veras, Beam, (Karstens, Rasner, Igawa, Henn, JB Cox). There are alot of potential arms for that bullpen. Maybe I am wrong, but I don't see the pen as a team weakness at all. Sure, many of those guys aren't a "sure" thing, but neither is a pitcher coming from the NL Central (even one with numbers as great as Gonzalez). I like Gonzalez, but don't think he is really needed on this team and I think Melky (or a solid 4th OF, is)

Gonzalez pitched 54 innings last year. If he is a set-up man for Mo and does well, how many innings will he pitch for Torre? Farns, who couldn't even pitch back-to-back games threw 66 innings. How is Gonzalez going to hold up with a heavier workload? Saving games in Pitt means not pitching all that often. Will he be effective pitching three days in a row? 5 days of 7?

For me, there are question marks on Gonzalez. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see the pen as a current weakness. I see the bench as a weakness and starting pitching not as strong as I would like it. Melky won't help with the pitching (other than his solid D), but he will help on the bench.

If we have another OF injury, which isn't all that unlikely as Damon seems to get more banged up each season, who is going to play?
Bernie in CF? No amount of innings from Gonzalez could make that a plus for the team.

2006-12-18 06:47:25
54.   ChrisS
Aegh. I am inherently skeptical of trading young, good, everyday players for relievers.

Personally, I think stats for relievers need to be taken with a grain of salt, considering the small sample size and the way that they're used - especially closers.

With an old outfield, Melky is worth more than a lefty-reliever.

2006-12-18 06:56:02
55.   Jim Dean
53 Word.

Who thought:

a) Proctor would be lights out last year?

b) Farns would be worth the money?

c) Villone would be money, after being ignored, then abyssmal?

d) Matt Smith would yield Bobby Abreu?

e) Tanyon! would be lost for the year and gone forever afterwards. Why God!?

Relief pitching is extremely variable, exactly because of the small sample sizes54. That's not to say that Gonzo won't be good - but it's just silly to assume he'll be a difference maker in the AL East and Melky is somehow at his peak value.

2006-12-18 06:56:11
56.   ny2ca2dc
Hi Gents. I've been lurking for the past year or so, but felt like chiming in on this topic. I don't disagree with the principle of this possible trade (4th OFer for a lefty w/ closer-potential), even though I see Melky as probably better than that (maybe not Bernie-level, but a nice career, even with the Yankees). What I'm having trouble with is seeing Gonzo as 'a possible successor to Mo'. How does someone with a ~1.3 WHIP and >5BB/9 rate anywhere near that?? I see the strikeouts, but still, this guy walks the park! Can someone convince me Gonzo is really elite (with a more nuanced case than the save streak). This isn't even considering what Joey-Four-Rings will think of Gonzo once he walks the bases loaded or worse walks in a run...
2006-12-18 07:06:39
57.   mehmattski
56 Welcome. I agree with most of what you're saying. I can't convince you that Gonzalez is an elite relief pitcher. Then again, there aren't a whole lot of elite relief pitchers around, with whom you would feel comfortable with a 1 or 2 run lead late in an important game.

And if you thought following Mattingly was bad... Lord help whoever has to close games for the Yankees in the post-Mo world. (shudders)... please never retire, Mo...

2006-12-18 07:11:43
58.   Jim Dean
57 In 2006, three of the top five teams in OBP were in the AL East, and Baltimore was #11. Seven of the top 10 are from the AL.

By contrast, the first team on that list from the NL Central is St. Louis at #14.

A reliever who walks alot of guys isn't going to do well in the AL or in the AL East.

2006-12-18 07:56:37
59.   Shaun P
47 I've been reading Sherman's "Birth of a Dynasty" on and off lately, so that question really resonates with me.

No, I don't think a '96 Banter (presuming we all knew then what we now know) would have been worried about the Ice Williams and Wickman for Lloyd deal.

At the time, the Yanks practically had OFs growing on trees - Ruben Rivera was the prospect on the farm, and Ledee was supposed to be very good too - and Bernie didn't turn 28 unti Sept '96. And, as Jim said 52, Ice was 28 and hadn't lit the world on fire - very different from the younger Melky, who still might do very good things. Wickman was just another late-20s reliever, and Lloyd was a lefty, which had value then as it does now.

I don't see any scenario in which Ca$hmoney trades Melky for a reliever, even a lefty. The cost savings alone by keeping Melky are enough, IMHO, for him to stay. Add in the defensive value added, the Yanks first real young 4th OF since I don't know when, and that the bullpen is already chock full of arms, and I just don't see it.

2006-12-18 08:09:29
60.   monkeypants
59 I agree--I don't see Cashman making this move, at least if we believe all the hype that things are different in Yankeeland these days under his control. Now, I could see the move if Cashman plans on flipping whomever he would get for Melky in another deal, for a player of greater perceived need (the mythical righty 1B?), but then who is the 4th OF? Under the new regime we would expect a farmhand like Thompson (can he play CF)? Under the old regime, they would sign some awful aging player (Stewart, or the feared Bernie as the #4 OF scenario).

In any case, I much prefer talking baseball around Christmas (MLB has the best sports offseason, hands down) than think about yet another NYGiants debacle.

2006-12-18 08:11:49
61.   Bama Yankee
I'm for the trade. I'd love to be able to keep Melky. However, it looks like we can get a solid major league proven lefty setup man in return for a guy who has had one good year at the major league level.

I understand all the arguments about Melky turning into Bernie Williams, but what if he turns into Ricky Ledee or Shane Spencer? As others have said, if he doesn't get the AB's this year he might just regress and his trade value would drop.

Also, what if Gonzalez turns out to be the next Mike Stanton (version 1.0 instead of 2.0)? IMO, having Stanton in the pen back in the day was more valuable than Ricky Ledee coming off the bench.

Even though I am for the trade, if it does not happen I will not be disappointed. Ultimately, I trust Cashman to do what is best. He has been on a good roll lately and if he decides to trades Melky then I will defer to his judgement.

2006-12-18 08:14:11
62.   Howie
59 I completely agree. I can't see trading a switch-hitting 22 yo OF with patience at the plate for a reliever. We have no idea how Gonzo will do in the AL East and with the pressure of being a Yankee, especially if Melky keeps progressing.

The Yankees have enough arms that they should be able to find a solid set of relievers next year and the young guys should be ready for the bigs in a few years.

2006-12-18 08:19:29
63.   kylepetterson
We've been discussing a lot of if's. 61, I agree with you. If it happens, great. If not, great. Either player has upsides and possible downsides. It will be exciting to watch the Melk-man grow, though.
2006-12-18 08:21:18
64.   Schteeve
44 I understand your point, and it's not something to be ignored lightly, but if anything, Peter's analysis in 42 which projects a WHIP of 1.42 for Gonzo is enough to scare me off of the guy.

I think WHIP is an overrated stat when it comes to some starters, but when it comes to late inning relievers, I really focus on WHIP and 1.42 does not make me think "Mo's successor."

2006-12-18 08:29:24
65.   monkeypants
64 Let's also keep in mind that 'Mo's successor' will be thirty, at least, when he takes over for the master.
2006-12-18 08:29:31
66.   standuptriple
64 "Mo's successor" Ugh. Those are some scary words. While I'm not quite ready to accept the fact that his career will ultimately end we have to start interviewing "candidates" for the job. I'm still torn on this proposal (basically so I can argue about it either way later on) but Melky's value is extremely high. When it all comes down to it we're at the mercy of Ca$hman. I just hope he and the team do their dilligence and if they are going in this direction they have to be prepared for the fallout if it doesn't work.
2006-12-18 08:29:58
67.   Shaun P
62 Without looking at the stats, I've got to believe that one of those younger righty arms can get both lefties and righties out. They can't all be ROOGYs, with horrible numbers against lefties.

In retrospect, that might be one of the reasons why Mo is so consistently successful - he gets lefties out as well as, sometimes better then, he gets righties out.

This is also why Stanton was useful. In his best years, he could get righties out as well as lefties - and his off years tended to be when he had trouble getting one or the other out consistently.

2006-12-18 08:50:59
68.   monkeypants
Meanwhile, and I brought this up yesterday, it's nice to see the Sox try to wriggle out of their deal with JD Drew. Watch, somehow they will get him for less money and fewer years, afyer essentially taking him off the market with an overwhelming offer. Hmmm, I detect a pattern.

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20061217&content_id=1763164&vkey=hotstove2006&fext=.jsp

2006-12-18 08:53:16
69.   jakewoods
The more arms, the better in the bullpen especially if they are power arms.

I like Melky. im sure most Yankee fans do because hes young, plays hard and looks like hes having fun. But pitching wins and if you have 4-5 reliable power arms in the pen it'll be like 1998 all over again.

And dont forget, once the farm system really gets clicking like it has been the past 2 yrs, we'll have more than enough Melky types.

2006-12-18 08:54:11
70.   Count Zero
Lots of good discussion...I'm in the "keep Melky" camp myself. Besides the WHIP argument, I'm also swayed by the fact that if Melky goes, GOB definitely stays, and Torre will use every excuse to run him out there every day as a fielder. No thanks!
2006-12-18 08:54:49
71.   jakewoods
60

If the most worried we are is about a 4th OF, Ill take it.

I think Kevin Thompson can do a solid job as a 4th OF.

2006-12-18 09:01:18
72.   standuptriple
68 I saw that too. It might set a dangerous precedent. It also makes me wonder if it's underlying cause is fan/media backlash. I hope they're stuck with him for the $ and the time. Caveat emptor Beantown. Like anybody who knows anything about baseball didn't have reservations about a deal with the A) player B) agent and C) track record.
2006-12-18 09:02:08
73.   Keith R A DeCandido
I have to agree with most folks here. While I'm not averse to the notion of trading Melky for something valuable, Gonzalez doesn't even remotely fit the criteria of "something valuable." Relievers are way too fungible and volatile, and Melky's upside is way too high to waste on something like that.
2006-12-18 09:02:13
74.   monkeypants
71 I would normally agree with you, but I do think that the 4th OF will see serious playing time net year. Who plays CF when Daon breaks his foot? I guess Hideki (or Abreu) slides over.
2006-12-18 09:04:19
75.   Jim Dean
69 Who were the "4-5 reliable power arms" in 1998 that you speak of?

From the looks of it (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/1998.shtml): Stanton was terrible. Lloyd had the best season of his career. Nelson was just a bit above average. And after that it was Darren Holmes and Mendoza - neither of whom were power anything.

Right now the bullpen looks like:
Mo
Farns
Proctor
Myers
Britton
Bruney

Judging by last year's numbers, that's better pen than the 1998 team, except that Mo is older.

This isn't an empty pen. They're fine with what they have, and the cost of a "maybe upgrade" seems silly.

2006-12-18 09:05:22
76.   Shaun P
68 Before someone else gets you, monkeypants - tinyurl.com is your friend!

The Drew situation is an interesting one, compounded by Drew's agent being Scott Boras.

Maybe this is a way of getting back at Boras for how he handled the DM negotiations, getting Drew to take less money and/or less years? That kind of move by the Red Sox would not surprise me at all.

2006-12-18 09:09:15
77.   monkeypants
76 Y'know, I see this here tinyurl thing, but know not how it works! Perhaps a little research...
2006-12-18 09:12:24
78.   jalexei
I've got little to contribute on the Melky situation that hasn't already been said, so is it OK if I vent on a tidbit further down in the NYT A-Rod article?

I don't begrudge pro-sport salaries, and Vernon Wells seems a likeable guy, but could we please end the insulting nonsense about "now I can take care of my family" b.s. that often surfaces around the signing of a big contract?

I don't know if it's just a calculated bit of theatre to try and make a player seem more humble, but c'mon Vernon, 99.9% of people in the world could comfortably raise a family (and if they were minimally smart about saving/investing have plenty to pass along to future generations) on the league minimum.

2006-12-18 09:14:54
79.   kylepetterson
77 just go to tinyurl.com and put in you long url and it'll spit out a short one. easy as pie. mmmmmm...pie.
2006-12-18 09:25:28
80.   Shaun P
77 And if you use Firefox, you can download an extension so that, when you right click on a link, you can select "Create TinyURL for this link" from the menu that pops up, and presto!

All credit for that one goes to yankz, who mentioned it in the comments sometime last week, as well as the "Auto Copy" extension, which is awesome. Thanks, yankz!

2006-12-18 09:33:27
81.   ny2ca2dc
78, if you just landed a huge contract, what would you be more excited about, taking baths in Dom Perignon, or, like Wells actually said, "Obviously this gives me an opportunity to set my family up for a couple of generations." There's a difference between "now I can take care of my family", and "set my family up for a couple of generations." The former can almost certainly be accomplished, as you said, on the league minimum. However, the latter sounds like he means his family and descendants will be wealthy for generations to come. I guess what I'm saying is, it's different, and I don't understand how one can start by saying you don't begrudge big salaries, and then go to do somthing that's quite a bit harsher - question the player's sincerity. My family is the most important thing to me, I bet you feel similarly about your own, why is Vernon Wells the one being less-than-genuine?

I suppose I should lighten up, and I suppose I would agree with you if this were some serial playboy who spouted some lines before blowing the money on hookers and coke. But I don't think Vernon Wells is that guy, nor do I think the standard reaction to big signings should be to question the players core motives, and hold them to an entirely different standard than the rest of us.

2006-12-18 09:39:29
82.   monkeypants
81 I think it's all scripted nonsense. That is not to say that I think Wells is an unsavory character--it's just that all of these statements strike me as part of the scripted ports liturgy. Like, 'taking it one day at a time,' or 'not looking past this game,' or 'playing within myself.'

The player simply can't say: "Yeah, I want to extract the most money possible." It has to be justifified in some perceived wholesome context ('my family').

Frankly, I don't care WHY a player signs for this or that amount of money.

2006-12-18 09:54:00
83.   Bama Yankee
75 Our pen needs to be deeper than the 1998 team.

My rough calculations show:
In 1998 we had 952.3 IP (including 21 CG) by our top five starters and 269.6 IP by our top five relievers (29%).

In 2006 we had 869 IP (including 5 CG) by our top five starters and 354.3 IP by our top five relievers (22%).

We need as many arms as we can find to keep our pen from being shot when the postseason rolls around.

2006-12-18 10:00:12
84.   monkeypants
83 The pen will be shot anyway, because Torre will only use three pitchers,and continue to do so long after they are reduced to mush. Meanwhile another one or two will languish for weeks or months between appearances.
2006-12-18 10:11:18
85.   Shaun P
84 I don't know . . . maybe I'm being too optimistic, but look at it this way:

Farnsworth's back issue is likely enough to keep at least four guys in the regular mix (Mo, Farnsy, Proctor, and Bruney?) instead of the usual Torre-formula three guys.

The lack of a second, non-LOOGY lefty probably means Myers gets used vs lefties often (there's five).

And if anyone else shows an ability to consistently get lefties out (as well as righties) (Britton? Beam? Sean Henn? Igawa?), that person will probably also pitch regularly (six).

Presuming a 12-man staff, that leaves just the long-man in the pen (seven) as not being used often.

2006-12-18 10:12:40
86.   Jim Dean
83 Pettitte (214 IP) for Wright (140 IP), if healthy, will make up 74 IP just by himself. And don't forget the bevy of young options to fill in at starter and in the bullpen.

Even as it can be seldom said with certainty, the Yanks have the arms.

Gonzo's not the difference maker, and not with his walk totals coming into the AL Beast.

And while it's easy to remember the glory days with inflated importance, the bullpen in 1998 (apart from Mo) leaves something to be desired compared to the current version.

2006-12-18 10:12:53
87.   Yankee Fan In Boston
i, too, would get behind dealing melky, but only if it brought an impact player to the team. i'm not sold on gonzalez, but i haven't seen him pitch much, either.

while we're discussing the future of the yankee outfielders, there was a write up here considering johnny damon's chances of someday finding himself in the HOF:

http://tinyurl.com/y6e8jk

2006-12-18 10:28:40
88.   standuptriple
While I'm not sold on the idea of Gonzalez being the savior of the bullpen or the closer post-Mo, but what are the alternatives? What COULD we get back with Melky? It seems that while his market value very well may be in the Matthews Jr. scale I think it would be hard for teams to see it that way, especially the teams (penny pinching) that we'd be dealing with.
2006-12-18 10:41:05
89.   Shawn Clap
88 The Royals gave away Andrew Sisco for peanuts. With the proper coaching that guy could be lights out for the next decade.

I feel the same way about Zack Duke, like to see some package deal with the Pirates that includes him.

2006-12-18 10:49:52
90.   jakewoods
75

Yeah, the Yanks won 4 titles in 5 yrs from 96-2000 because they had a bad bullpen.

Give me a break. DId you not follow the team back then? It was a 5 inning game in '96 and 98 was the same way. You win games and titles with pitching. Power arms. Adding a Gonzalez to Farns, Prctor, Mo, and Bruney would make the back end dominating.

You win with pitching. Not because you have a good 4th OF'er.

2006-12-18 10:59:14
91.   Bama Yankee
86 I hope you are right about Andy pitching over 200 innings. I also hope that Wang, Moose and RJ all do the same. However, it is unlikely considering their age and I also seriously doubt that they combine for the 21 complete games pitched by the 98 staff. Therefore this years pen will still be counted on to eat up plenty of innings and thus the more proven quality arms (especially lefties) the better.
2006-12-18 11:03:54
92.   Jim Dean
90 Take a look at 83, then take a moment to think. The starters were carrying those teams, big time - it was far, very far, from "a 5 inning game in '96 and 98". Even in 1996, with Wettland and Mo, it was more like a seven inning game.

And yeah, I think I followed the team back then. I think I remember something about a
Chuckie Haynes? catching the last out in 1996, seeing I was there and all.

But I'm glad you know the slogans of announcers. I suppose you think "Defense wins Championships" too?

With the number of walks Gonzo gives up, he'd get spanked in the AL East. In other words - he'd be far, very far, from dominating.

Wait, but how do you know what Gonzo would do? You know being a "real man" and all, you must have watched ALL of the Pirates games last year to make a good opinion of the matter? You know, cause you wouldn't want to rely on stats or anything...

2006-12-18 11:06:31
93.   pistolpete
92 Yup, not much sense in having a dominating bullpen if the starters don't get to the 6th inning without giving up 5-6 runs...
2006-12-18 11:07:09
94.   Shaun P
90 Except that Jim never said the '96-2000 teams had a bad bullpen; he just refuted your statement in 69 that the '98 bullpen had "4-5 power arms". Which it most certainly did not. Except for Mo and sometimes Stanton, none of the primary bullpen arms in 1998 threw in a mid-to-upper 90s fastball consistently.

In fact, except for Mo's cutter, none of them relied on a 95+ fastball-type pitch. Nelson, Mendoza, and Lloyd all used breaking pitches as their primary out pitches, and Stanton used his curve plus a fastball that sometimes touched 95 but was often 92/93. Did you not follow the team back then?

Meanwhile, Proctor, Farnsworth, Bruney, and Briton all work in the upper 90s (or higher), while Mo still throws the cutter at around 95.

2006-12-18 11:10:11
95.   Knuckles
90 Amen to that. You don't even need to have an all star 3rd outfielder...

Baseball-Reference gives the following as the 3rd OF (in terms of GP/AB) for the dynasty years:

1996: Gerald WIlliams OPS .752
1998: Chad Curtis OPS .715
1999: Chad Curtis OPS .767
2000: Ledee .751, Spencer .790

Melky was .751 last year. With regular playing time (460 AB). Face it, if we knew Matsui was gonna get Huckaby'd on Opening Day 2007, then you keep Melky. But you don't, so you entertain any offers that could conceivably make the club better.

If this trade goes down in any shape or form, and Melky ends up hitting .290/ 22/ 82 with the Bucs this year, people need to remember one thing- he isn't going to get 500 AB's with the 2007 Yankees as currently constructed.

Every WS winner since the Yanks stopped winning has had either a starting rotation or a bullpen that got hot at the right time. Yes it's a crapshoot, but the way you increase your odds is make sure you have the type of arms on your roster that are even capable of getting hot in the first place. And adding a guy who shows a propensity to K almost 11 per 9 is one of the ways you do it.

2006-12-18 11:13:01
96.   Schteeve
90 You might "win with pitching" or something, but we have lost for the last couple of seasons, because our lineup went to sleep in the post season.

I really think that Melky and Cano are the type of agressive hitters we need to balance the pathologically patient approach of guys like Giambi and Matsui. I'm not saying that patience and taking walks isn't a good thing, it is. But if you have a lineup full of guys who look for a walk or a home run, you leave youselves little margin for error.

I like that Cano and Melky swing for contact and not the fences. I think our lineup is too dependant on one type of hitter, and I think that's cost us in the post season.

2006-12-18 11:15:43
97.   ny2ca2dc
95 Even if he also shows a propensity to BB almost 6 per 9? How does one get around the walks, especially Gonzo being an NL pitcher. How many 28/29 year olds suddenly discover good control after coming from a terribly weak league/div to possibly the strongest?
2006-12-18 11:22:14
98.   Bama Yankee
90 "You win with pitching. Not because you have a good 4th OF'er."

Didn't we trade a 4th OF'er type back in 2000 for David Justice, who helped us win the Serious? So maybe those 4th OFers can help you win championships, but only if you trade them. ;-)

Just kidding you jake. BTW, I agree with a lot of what you say. However, when you use phrases like "DId you not follow the team back then?" and terms like "real men" vs "stat geeks", it takes the discussions to a different level that is probably not needed, IMO. Just my two cents, sorry if I am being out of line with the advice.

2006-12-18 11:23:17
99.   standuptriple
96 I think the bats have partially gone to sleep, but let's not forget they've faced solid pitching. I remember the title runs watching the Yanks be extremely patient and yelling "pitch count!" while opponents did the bullpen cha-cha-cha. I know the philosophy has changed since then but I like having guys like Damon, Jeter, Abreu and Giambi seeing a lot of pitches. It sets the tone. I saw first pitch swinging too much and it kind of reduces their effectiveness (hitting into DP's doesn't help either). The lineup is fine. They need quality pitching. And they need their pitching to get the job done in October.
2006-12-18 11:27:48
100.   Schteeve
99 I agree with you. Watching our lineup work pitch counts gives me a hard on, but watching our hitters watch called 3rd strikes, with guys on base, or pop out with guys on base, quickly brings me down.

The lineup may be fine, but we get gameplanned to death. We didn't score a run for 12 straight innings this past post-season. So yeah the lineup is great, the execution sucks. And 'solid' pitching shouldn't be ebough to hold the Yankees fine lineup scoreless for 12+ post season innings.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-12-18 11:32:34
101.   Schteeve
Sorry, it wasn't 12 innings, it was 20. So we didn't lose to the Tigers this year because our bullpen sucked.
2006-12-18 11:34:06
102.   Count Zero
One thing to consider is that the Yankees are a very old and brittle team. When you have the oldest team in MLB every year, injuries aren't bad luck -- they're to be expected. Does anybody want to bet money on Damon playing >150 games in CF in '07? In order to have full use of Damon in the playoffs, he really shouldn't start more than 140 in CF. Add days off for Matsui and Abreu, and I think you'll find Melky gets 40 starts in the OF without anyone even getting seriously hurt. Throw in DH opps and late-inning replacement, I'm betting he gets at least 200 PAs.

As such, I would argue that a quality fourth OF (much like a decent sixth starter) is a requirement for the Yankees. Odds are, it will come into play.

2006-12-18 11:34:48
103.   Schteeve
Now I'm all worked up over the '06 playoffs again. Aaaargh.
2006-12-18 11:35:41
104.   tommyl
95 It helps though when your rotation includes guys like: Clemens, Wells, Pettite, etc. and they are all pitching well.

I forget who said it before, but the 98 (and 99, 00) teams were clearly carried by good starting pitching and a decent to good bullpen with a phenomenal back end (Rivera).

These arguments about not having to worry about replacing a 4th OF are spurious. No one here is arguing that a 4th OF is extremely valuable, what people are worrying about is that Melky has the potential to be a lot more. If this were Bubba for Gonzo, there wouldn't even be an argument.

One other thing to point out, relievers are probably the most available quantity for midseason trades. Gonzo's walk rates kind of frighten me.

Still I'm biased, my non-stat heart loves Melky too :).

2006-12-18 11:39:17
105.   Shaun P
97 Exactly right. BP's Davenport Translations - which adjust for league, scoring context, offensive era, etc - have Gonzalez's translated BB/9 as 4.7 last year, and 3.9 for his career. (That's skewed somewhat by 2004, when his translated BB/9 was 0.9, actual value 1.24, which is way out of line with the rest of is career.)

For reference, here are the translated rates of some other relievers last year:

Farnsworth - 3.5
Proctor - 2.6
Mo - 1.1
Villone - 5.5

Everything else about Gonzalez is very nice - low HR rates, huge K rate, he's a lefty - but those walks worry me a lot, especially in the AL East (as others have said).

2006-12-18 11:39:57
106.   Bama Yankee
99 & 100 I'm with both of you. I know it is unpopular around here, but I think we should play a little more "small ball" when our bats start to get shut down by the superior pitching in the post-season. Of course, the problem is that if they don't do it much during the regular year, then they are not going to be very effective trying it during the PS. Moving the runners over and getting that guy in from third with less than two outs are the things that you need to do in close games (even more in the PS when runs are a premium). We seem to always be waiting on one of our big bats to break the game open and when they don't we end up watching the Serious on TV rather than playing in it.
2006-12-18 11:41:59
107.   Schteeve
This got me thinking, is there an established, "post season scoring depression" that has ever been calculated? Like "in the post season the avg team can expect to score x% fewer runs per 9 innings, than they do in the regular season?
2006-12-18 11:43:27
108.   standuptriple
100 "Watching our lineup work pitch counts gives me a hard on". Um. Maybe you should get out more, Schteeve. Most of us think of baseball to reduce that.
2006-12-18 11:47:40
109.   Schteeve
106 I'm not even talking about small ball. First because I don't really know what that means, secondly because I don't believe in hit and running and sac bunts and all that NL nonsense.

I truly believe that the Yankees lineup is too one dimensional, but not in the obvious, they should bunt, way. I just think all our hitters are similar. I frankly think we need a couple of high BA mediocre OBP guys who are really good at putting the bat on the ball even on pitches outside the zone.

I have no real idea what I'm talking about, but it seems to me that the easiest way to gameplan a team is if that team has a limited number of approaches. Our offensive approach is homogenous (roughly) across hitters (only swing at meatballs that you can put in the seats.) Wait for walks, if you don't get it.

It's a great approach that has served guys like Giambi well over their careers, but in the playoffs where pitchers may be a tad more careful with their location...it kinda bites you in the ass.

Again, just hypothesis, I have no data to back it up.

Yet.

2006-12-18 11:48:37
110.   Bama Yankee
108 LOL. If Schteeve watches a six-hour game between two teams that work pitch counts, should he see his doctor? ;-)
2006-12-18 11:49:26
111.   Schteeve
108 I know, it's pretty sad. You don't even want to know what happens when I see a good relay throw.
2006-12-18 11:54:55
112.   standuptriple
I guess I might get one of those if I saw a MLB OFer actually get a running start on a routine flyball when a runner is tagging from 3rd. Of course, that never happens, so I think I'm safe.
2006-12-18 12:06:47
113.   jalexei
"I guess what I'm saying is, it's different, and I don't understand how one can start by saying you don't begrudge big salaries, and then go to do somthing that's quite a bit harsher - question the player's sincerity."

I truly don't care how much money Wells makes - If he signed for $500 million, awesome. If he said he was going to feed orphans, fantastic. Blow it all on hookers and coke? Knock yourself out. I believe players should get whatever the market (and a sharp agent) can shake loose.

Nor am I doubting his sincerity, I'm sure providing for his family is very, if not the, most important thing to him, as it is for me and most others here. I was really just using him as the latest example of the "now I can feed my family" reaction to giant sums of money. I suppose it could just be my own hangup, but I've always felt it was vaguely insulting to the people who are really struggling, and working 2 or 3 shi**y jobs to take care of a family.

So it has nothing to do with Vernon actually taking care of his family - it's the implication (intentional or not) that somehow he wouldn't have been able to if he'd signed somewhere else for less money. It's not like he'd be living in trailer eating mac and cheese if he signed a deal worth even a tenth of what he got. My league minimum line was hyperbole (barely) but Vernon's already made nearly $10 million for 7 seasons of work. With some common sense saving and a good accountant his family would be set for "generations" if he retired today.

I realize that taking this out of the context of the overall interview isn't fair - when you're asked a question about how it feels to make a gazillion dollars, I could see where you'd figure the family angle is the only one that won't make you sound like a greedy bastard (even if you aren't). I also realize this is probably my own irrational issue to deal with, but something about it just rubs me wrong. I'm cool that athletes are in an utterly different universe than I am terms of lifestyle, so don't give me that "I'm just a normal schmo" bit.

2006-12-18 12:07:38
114.   Shaun P
109 I think you might be onto something re: contact, Schteeve. But, I would argue that the Yanks even without Melky have at least three 'contact' type hitters, Damon, Cano, and Jeter.

What hurts the Yanks in '06 at least was them pressing too much and getting away from being selective, not failing to make more contact. As a whole, vs the Tigers the Yanks hit .246/.289/.388 with 8 walks, 24 strikeouts, and 33 hits - of which 22 were singles, seven were doubles, and 4 were home runs. I don't have the pitches seen per AB data handy, but I bet it was very low.

The Yanks have to stick to their game plan. When they fall behind in the playoffs, they don't, and that's what kills them, IMHO.

2006-12-18 12:09:18
115.   jakewoods
Small ball is code for "our team cant score any runs"

The Yankees scored almost a 1,000 runs last yr without their starting RF and LF. And a 2b who missed 2 months and a CF who battled injuries all yr and a 3b who "slumped".

The Yanks score enough runs. They play what people refer to as small ball since they take pitches and their OBP is so high. Thats small ball.

2006-12-18 12:10:10
116.   standuptriple
113 When I get my $100 million from the son of the Nigerian Chief I helped out, for only a few thousand $ I might add, I'll show you how the statement should come out.
2006-12-18 12:10:42
117.   jakewoods
Gonzalez may walk more than a few guys but no one can hit him. The guy barely gave up an extra base hit last yr.

Thats impressive.

2006-12-18 12:14:01
118.   Schteeve
115 In the regular season, the Yankees score enough runs. In the post season (05 and 06)they did not.
2006-12-18 12:16:19
119.   Schteeve
114 I agree with you about Damon, Cano and Jeets. I think they stuck to their gameplan but saw too many first pitch strikes that they didn't swing at.

In general I think it's wise to take pitches early in the count, but I think pitchers know that the Yankee hitters will give them strike one, and they exploit that. Hitting from behind in the count is harder than hitting from ahead in the count, and it seemed to me, again with no math to back it up, that the Yanks were behind in the count for almost the entirety of Games 2-4.

2006-12-18 12:17:18
120.   Bama Yankee
116 Man, that's a scam. I'm waiting on Bill Gates to send me that $245 for every email I forward, that's how I'm going to make my money...
2006-12-18 12:27:04
121.   Shaun P
119 I am hoping that new hitting coach Kevin Long will help the offense make those kinds of in-game adjustments.

Donnie Baseball just didn't seem to do that. Maybe he tried and the hitters didn't execute - its not an easy thing to do, hitting a baseball. But I'll never forget the way the Yanks just pressed and pressed in the '04 ALCS, swinging at so many first pitches and second pitches against Lowe and then Fake Bloody Sock. I similarly recall screaming "take more pitches, dammit!" against Kenny Rogers this past October. I can't help but lay at least a little of that at Mattingly's feet.

2006-12-18 13:06:52
122.   kylepetterson
Don't know if it's been said, but rumor has the Igawa deal done.

http://tinyurl.com/yxze3w

2006-12-18 13:07:22
123.   kylepetterson
122 5 years/20 mil
2006-12-18 13:35:55
124.   jakewoods
118

Its called "good pitching". You have to have it when you face it.

This "Small Ball" wouldnt have helped against ROgers and Bonderman this yr when they couldnt get a base runner on.

In the playoffs you are going to face great pitching. You have to bring some too and not just bring a good offense.

2006-12-18 13:37:02
125.   tommyl
Two other things to note:

Gonzo finished the year with elbow tendonitis. According to Steve Goldman (via Will Carroll) that's a non-diagnosis, diagnosis. I.e. it could be anything from a random soreness to the precursor to a full blow out. That makes me more than a bit wary.

Also, over at waswatching.com, Steve Lombardi has a chart showing position players the Yankees have had that have held their own in their age 21 season. Its pretty good company ;).

2006-12-18 13:37:22
126.   Kered Retej
Off topic, but Yankee-relevant:

I'm shopping for a Christmas gift, and I am stuck between the A&E MLB Vintage 5-DVD set (which covers 1943-2000) and the "NYY Fall Classic Collector's Edition" (which only covers 1996-2001). Any advice as to which one I should get?

2006-12-18 13:44:02
127.   Schteeve
124 Our pitching would have had to shut out Detroit for 2 games for us to have won that series then? Is that how we should build the team?

Cashman: Ok I have a foolproof plan to win the W.S. next year.
Torre: Great! Let's hear it, I need to get back to Rocco's Ceegar Bar.
Cashman: We'll tell all the pitchers not to give up any runs.
Torre: Brilliant!
Cashman: I know right?! That way, when we can only score 6 runs in 27 innings, we will still win!
Torre: I love it!
Cashman: Me too. Boy, this GM stuff is so easy. You can tell the hitters to take it easy in spring training.

2006-12-18 13:48:35
128.   Schteeve
I'm being silly, but my point is that the Yankees didn't lose to the Tigers because of their pitching. They lost because they didn't hit.

And I never said anything about small ball.

2006-12-18 13:48:53
129.   Peter
127 Now I'm imagining Torre and Cashman as those cartoon characters from the Guinness commercials.
2006-12-18 13:55:58
130.   thelarmis
126 Both are great and essential! the 1996-2001 is a 7-dvd set. 5 of those dvd's are simply full games. the last 2 discs are bonus footage. the covers of each dvd are super cool - newspaper like clippings, headlines, starting pitchers records, length of game on front; full box scores on back and inning recaps on the inner sleeve.

I just got the 1943-2000 5-dvd set from my brother for my birthday. I've only had the chance to watch Disc 1, but I plan on finishing the whole set this week (my vacation started today!) Of course, my dvd player shit the bed, so I'll need to replace that today (hopefully). the dvd covers themselves, don't have much 411, but that's no biggie. Disc 1, included about 30 minute highlight-type selections from 4 WS title years (43,47,49,50). It was really cool seeing footage of Jackie Robinson and hearing the announcers lingo from back in the day. Boy, were those some spacious ballparks!

You can't go wrong with either set. You can get them both cheap, replete w/ FREE shipping at Deep Discount DVD (yeesh, I sound like an ad!) The 43-00, will surely be cheaper. I'd say it depends on who you're buying for - what type of fan they are. Might be cool for them to see the old school footage and learn a bit more history. Of course, the 5-dvd set only includes WS victory years...

You also can't go wrong w/ the 2-dvd 100 Years set from 2003. The 4 volumes of Yankeeography 3-dvd sets are fantastic, esp. for those of us who don't live in NY any longer and can't watch the YES network. Man, I wish they would continue to put out those Yankeeography dvd sets. I've been dying for Vol. 5. Anyone know what's going on with that??? I've been wondering for some time now...

Hope this helps some. Sorry for the long post. Happy Holidays! : )

2006-12-18 13:56:26
131.   Shaun P
129 "Hey Joe!"
"Yes Brian?"
"I've been working day and night to make our team better, and think I've finally come up with a way."
"Yes?"
"You see, I'm going to trade a bunch of no-name prospects for Bobby Abreu."
"Trade for a bunch of no-name prospects for Bobby Abreu?! Brilliant!"
"Brilliant!"

-------------------
"Joe?"
"Yes Brian?"
"You know how Shawn Chacon has been a very bad pitcher this year."
"Yes."
"And how we could really use a guy who plays first base and hits."
"Yes."
"I am going to trade Shawn Chacon for Craig Wilson."
"Trade Shawn Chacon for Craig Wilson!? Brilliant!"
"Brilliant!"

2006-12-18 13:57:01
132.   thelarmis
129 I'll drink to that!
2006-12-18 14:04:39
133.   Bama Yankee
131
"Hey Joe, I'm going to trade our sophomore 4th OFer for Pittsburgh's lefty closer and let him set up for Mo"
"Brilliant!, I'll pitch him till his arm falls off..."

Maybe that trade is not such a good idea after all...

2006-12-18 14:08:32
134.   thelarmis
I wore my "got melky?" t-shirt this weekend at work in Tampa, which is Yankee Country. I came home to all this news about the kid getting exiled. I see both sides of it and will have to be cool with it either way. Still not positive it's worth spinning him for mike gonzalez though. at least if the Melkman ends up in Atlanta, I can follow him closely and wear my NY Melky shirt to The Ted.
2006-12-18 14:10:34
135.   Bama Yankee
128 I guess I was the one who brought up the dreaded "small ball" (sorry about that).

While I agree that our hitting let us down for the most part, we might have won game two if the pitching would have held up. Let me see... if we just could have brought in a solid lefty reliever to face Granderson in the 7th... Anyone know where we could find a solid lefty RP?

2006-12-18 14:28:55
136.   randym77
48 The Post-Gazette reported the Kawata rumors over the weekend. In the same column they reported the Gonzalez for Melky rumors. Someone's got a good source?

106 Agree with you, Bama. I really think the key to winning in the post-season is versatility. Having a well-rounded game. So you can try something different when Plan A isn't working.

And you're absolutely right, it has to be practiced during the regular season. Otherwise, you get what we got last year: Bernie missing the hit and run signal and hanging Cano out to dry. (And it cost us at least one run, dammit.)

I understand the concern over the health of our veteran outfielders, but our veteran pitchers are even older and/or more broken down. And I just don't think the difference between Melky and KT or Sardinha is going to be that great.

109 "high BA mediocre OBP guys" Sounds like Robby Cano. But he didn't do any better in the post-season than the others. :-/

2006-12-18 14:57:28
137.   fgasparini
Isn't the Banter at its best when kicking around something like the Melky/Gonzo trade, with healthy doses of numbers, nostalgia, high hopes for the kids from the farm, and the common desire to win another Series? That sounded fruity but seriously, it's awesome. Like going to my regular bar back in NY for games and debates.

I've posted elsewhere on this, but for the record, I don't want to trade Melky for a reliever.

To add to the debate, how about this--the Yanks thought so highly of Melky that they rushed him up in 2005. And then, despite the disaster, they rushed him back in 2006. Of course, now Cash & Co. have a major-league track record by which to evaluate him, but don't those two instances suggest that the organization has high hopes for the kid? And that he's worth more (to the Yankees right now) more than a reliever? (Unless the reliever was Mo's clone, but I think he pitches in Taiwan).

2006-12-18 15:02:44
138.   OldYanksFan
Mike Gonzalez
IP:155.2 BB:74 K:183 ERA:2.37 BA:206 OBP:300 SLG:291

I'm not that bright, but these stats don't look like 'run of the mill' middle reliever.
His WHIP may be high, but with an OPS of .591, I guess walks are the ONLY thing he gives up. Basically, everyone he faces is Tony Womack. WHIP is part of the story, but OPS is much more telling.

In our glory years our PB did not have power arms, but did have VERY effective quality pitching. While we had excellent SP, the quad of Medosa, Nelson, Stanton and Mo saved our asses MANY times. Our BP then WAS a difference maker.

Recently our PB has been very unreliable (sans Mo). Sometimes very good or sometimes very bad, but never consistant or reliable. People did not complain about Torre's BP management back then, because the guys got the job done.

Our BP now is better then average, but not great. If Mo goes down, our BP is lousy. I can't believe people here are saying a BP does not make a big difference... or that middle relievers are a dime-a-dozen (unlike OFer's?). Yes, average ones are... but not stoppers.

Would someone do some work and tell me how many other NL relievers have a .591 OPS or better? A 2.37 ERA or better?

We know pitchers peak later then position players. At 28, the guy still has prime years ahead of him.

2006-12-18 15:04:42
139.   fgasparini
As for the idea that we have to "plan to replace Mo," you don't do that by hoping that Mike Gonzalez is the next Rivera. Closers are a dime a dozen. Any pitcher can close. Bob Wickman was a closer. The Yankees will plug some other reliever in there and he'll do fine. But they will never replace Mariano and shouldn't try to "plan" to. You can't run and build a ball team by trying to identify the next Hall of Fame relief pitcher. You can build a good bullpen by stockpiling good arms and seeing who works out...as Cashman has been doing. And maybe the next Rivera's in there. But you'll notice he DIDN'T get any of those pieces by trading potential building blocks.
2006-12-18 15:12:04
140.   monkeypants
"In our glory years our PB did not have power arms, but did have VERY effective quality pitching. While we had excellent SP, the quad of Medosa, Nelson, Stanton and Mo saved our asses MANY times. Our BP then WAS a difference maker."

The thing is, no matter the personel Torre will manage the same way--in fact, as he gets older his tendencies seem to have become exaggerated. Torre continues to try to manage like it's 1996, pulling starters relatively early and going to the same RP over and over again.

1996-2000 he was hailed a genius because he "shortened" the games. What is lost is that the starters actually went a little deeper than the recent vintage, and the fact that he rode the arm of the best reliever of our generation (first as a set up man, then as a closer). But the current personel is not the same as five or ten years ago.

Who knows--I've argued vehemently about this Melky-Gonzalez trade, but maybe I have it backwards. Since Torre will not change, maybe the key is to construct a Torre-proof team. So, maybe loading up with as many RPs IS the key.

2006-12-18 15:13:44
141.   Schteeve
Dear Everyone,

The Yankees will not be replacing Mariano Rivera. Whoever is our closer after him will be a big fat letdown. And the guy after that, and the guy after that. Mo is not replaceable. We need to come to terms with that now.

2006-12-18 15:28:12
142.   OldYanksFan
109 Tell me.... if I drive my Porche to work, and I'm late 2 days in a row, is my car too slow? Should I trade it for a Corolla?

The Yanks FAILED in the PS. Stop trying to find a reason related to our offense... other then they played like shit 2 days in a row.

We have the best offense in MLB.
We have contact hitters (JD, Jetes, Cano, Mats, Abreu). When have many very patient hitters (Posada, Giambi, Abreu, JD). But we also have power/gap hitters. Want to replace ARod or Posada with a guy who legs out more infield singles? Maybe we should get Womack back?

By the way, we lead ALL of MLB in OBP and OPS. We were 5th in HRs. We were THIRD (of 30) in SBs (1st in the AL) and 2nd in SB% (1st in the AL). We were 7th (of 14) in Ks and 8th (of 14) in SFs... probably our only offensive flaw.

Giambi is really the only guy who tries to crush the ball (now that Shef is gone). Even ARod has the same consistant swing whether he hits a dribbler to SS or one of those soft pop flys that end up traveling 440'.

If you can't believe the Yankees have blown a number of PS games of late, remember that the Cards WON THE WS THIS YEAR.

With RJ and Moose and Iggy, God only knows how our SP will be. I, for one, think the easiest way for our team, as it is constructed now, to improve, is a great LIDR glove at 1st and our BP.

Even a Porche has bad days, Schteeve... but it should still give you a hard-on.
(please keep both hands on the table at all times).

2006-12-18 15:40:23
143.   randym77
I was just looking at Baseball America's "projected 2010 lineup." They have Mark Melancon listed as the closer.
2006-12-18 15:42:16
144.   kylepetterson
142 Pavanomos told me to tell you it's "Porsche". He should know, he wrecked his and is now being forced to drive his spare, which is only a 2005. DAMMIT!
2006-12-18 15:51:03
145.   Schteeve
142 So I should stop trying to figure out WHY they failed and just accept that they did? Sorry, not in my nature. If your Porsche was incapable of breaking 40 MPH two days in a row, would you tell the guy in the shop to stop trying to figure out WHY it can't top 40, because "it's a Porsche! It's just having a bad stretch. But it's FINE."

Also, A-Rod doesn't have a consistent swing. He didn't all last year.

As for having a slick fielding first baseman as a way to markedly improve this team...it's ridiculous.

The difference in terms of wins between the best fielding 1B and the worst is almost inconsequencial. 1B is the least important defensive position on the field. I wouldn't give a hoot if Giambi played every game at 1B except for the fact that his health and frailty preclude it.

2006-12-18 15:52:15
146.   Schteeve
Oh and congratulations on having a Porsche or whatever.
2006-12-18 15:59:15
147.   Schteeve
Also, I just read through all of the comments in this thread and nowhere does anyone say that "BP doesn't make a big difference." as was suggested in 138
2006-12-18 16:01:20
148.   Schteeve
135 The fucking bullpen catcher should be able to get Granderson out.
2006-12-18 16:35:22
149.   randym77
147 Read yesterday's thread. ;-)
2006-12-18 16:44:22
150.   randym77
Hmmm. This article says the Yankees will be trading Melky and a "major league ready" pitching prospect:

http://mvn.com/mlb-yankees/

It won't be Proctor. Beam? Rasner? Karstens?

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-12-18 16:54:50
151.   monkeypants
150 That would be craziness. Either this is more hot stove BS, or nothing has really changed in the "new era" of Cashman.
2006-12-18 17:23:18
152.   randym77
151 I'm sure the Pirates are asking. Whether they'll get it is another story. I do think the Yankees will have to throw in a little lagniappe. I was thinking a lower-level prospect, though. Or maybe cash, which Pittsburgh can always use.
2006-12-18 17:29:04
153.   kylepetterson
152 Could we give 'em some sleeves? They sure could use those.
2006-12-18 17:34:18
154.   Bama Yankee
148 Maybe we should just trade Melky for that bullpen catcher of which you speak or at least let Torre know that he has a LOOGY out there that he could use. ;-)

Just messing with you Schteeve, I get your point. BTW, good response to the Porsche analogy. I'm with you, it's not in my nature to just watch the team fail in the postseason and not try to figure out how to fix it.

142 OYF, that Porsche sure looks pretty sitting in the garage while your neighbor is driving his Corolla in October. ;-)

2006-12-18 17:34:57
155.   mikeplugh
The Daily Yomiui (Yomiuri Shimbun's English language paper) is reporting that Igawa signed with the Yankees at 5 years, 20 million.

http://tinyurl.com/yxze3w

It's the only news outlet reporting the deal as done, but I suppose the Yomiuri people probably would be among the first to know. Let's see if the US media reports it anytime soon.

2006-12-18 18:00:11
156.   OldYanksFan
145 Schteeve... My Porsche (I sold my Porche) might be the finest car on the road. As a matter-of-fact, throughout the PS last year, the constant talk was 'Is this the best offensive machine in the HISTORY of the MLCars?'.

It is a great car, and I love it. But it has it's bad days, and for some reason the best mechanics on earth can't answer.... it sometimes runs shitty in October... while my neighbors VW Bug was running great.

I am not trying to be rude or an ass. There is just such a thing as over-intellectualizing, and trying to apply logic to a quasi random event. We had a historically awesome offense last October. I mean, you can take the best team in the history of the game and still find things that could be better.

Unfortunately, Humans don't always run as well as my Porsche (which looks deceptively like a 1999 Subaru). In the PS, a few humans having a couple of bad days, while two other humans have a couple of really good days (read K.Rogers) can be the difference. The best team does not always win. Historically (in the 8 team playoff structure) I think it's closer to 50%.

2006-12-18 18:19:32
157.   randym77
153 LOL! I hate those sleeveless jerseys. And the undershirts made out of that weird metallic fabric that produces a moire effect on TV.

The Reds had sleeveless jerseys for several years, but will be going back to the sleeved jerseys next season. They said that they wanted a more traditional look, that they could wear for years, so generations could look back and remember the Reds in the same uniform. "Like the Yankees" - they actually said that.

2006-12-18 18:28:34
158.   thelarmis
157 you beat me to it! i can't stand those sleeveless jerseys, either! go reds! 3 so-called sentences, 3 exclamation points!!!
2006-12-18 19:18:21
159.   Jim Dean
137 Wonderful thought.
2006-12-18 19:25:46
160.   yankz
80 Oh you know it! I heart firefox.
2006-12-18 19:33:10
161.   RIYank
Now that it looks like Melky really will be traded, I'm not happy about it. I thought the deal looked okay, but damn, it's just a shame to see him go. Oh well.
Even if we add a 'major league ready' pitching prospect, it could be whatshisname, from the Tigers, right? I thought we were loaded with ml-ready prospects now.

Good Iguana signing. Posting + salary makes it $8mil/year, and half of that is free of luxury tax.

2006-12-18 19:49:26
162.   C2Coke
161 How did you get 8 mil/year? I thought it was 26 mil posting + 20 for 5 years? The signing is not exceptional but good enough.

I heard so many different stories about Igawa. He's definitely get an interesting character. He may not be the pitcher Matsuzaka is, but he is no less of a pitcher with strong wills (and I think that might help win big games).

2006-12-18 19:59:16
163.   Jim Dean
162 And last they faced each other this year, Igawa beat DM. Works for me.

Mike, what's their overall head-to-head look like? What are the teams like behind them - ie if one consistently wins is it that their team is consistently better?

2006-12-18 20:20:08
164.   Schteeve
Old Yanks Fan, I don't think you're being rude at all, no worries. My thing is that I wish I could over intellectualize about the post season. Unfortunately, the samples are so small in PS, that it's hard to figure out what works, what doesn't and what to do to smooth the randomness. But I believe there ARE keys to unlocking post season success, and I just decided I'm going to make it my life's work to figure out what they are.

Either that or I'm going to have a beer and hope I feel better in the morning.

2006-12-18 20:24:46
165.   ChuckM
It would be absolute insanity for the Yanks to include Sanchez in a deal w/Melky for Gonzalez. He's basically their #2 pitching prospect behind Hughes right now...
2006-12-18 22:04:42
166.   Levy2020
It would be absolute insanity to trade Melky PLUS somebody for a reliever.

I'm not sure that Melky for Gonzalez assuming a healthy Gonzaelz is a fair deal.

I mean, no one has even mentioned how many years are left in Gonzalez's deal. . .

2006-12-18 22:17:41
167.   yankz
166 3 years.
2006-12-19 01:01:20
168.   weeping for brunnhilde
Melky will be great, mark my words.

I'm outraged they're going to get rid of him.

The one guy I really want to watch play, whose future I'd love to see unfold.

He's going to hit .320 this year and go on to have a great career.

He's only just begun.

2006-12-19 03:50:46
169.   randym77
It's not a done deal yet. So far, it's all just talk.

But I don't see Melky hitting .320 for the Yankees. Not with the playing time he's likely to get as fourth OFer.

I think most objective observers would think Gonzalez is worth more than just Melky. If Melky was a Red Sox player, and they traded him for Gonzalez straight up, we'd probably all be griping about how unfair it was that Boston got a deal like that.

But Sanchez...no way.

On a completely unrelated note, I came across this story today:

http://tinyurl.com/ycs7mz

Zumaya's arm injury was caused by a video game, not by playing baseball.

===
Zumaya, 22, was known to play "Guitar Hero," a PlayStation 2 game in which a player uses a guitar-shaped controller to simulate the performance of popular songs.

...Dombrowski said the Tigers' athletic training staff discovered that Zumaya's forearm pain was more consistent with the action of a guitar player than a baseball pitcher. The Tigers asked Zumaya to stop playing the video game, and he did. Zumaya then pitched pain-free during the World Series, and went 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three appearances.
===

2006-12-19 04:36:16
170.   OldYanksFan
My first REALLY good slice of pizza was in 1964, at LaTosca in Great Neck: $0.25/slice

So... if a quarter buys great pizza in 1964, what does $54 million buy in 2007?

26m/posting + 20m/salary + 8m/40% tax = 54m
This equates to:
38.6/salary + 15.4/tax = 54m

So, for what Iggy actually cost us, we could have paid 36.6m for another player. Over 5 years, that 36.6m equates to $7.7m a year.

So basically, we could have found someone and paid them 7.7$m/year over 5 years for what Iggy cost us.

So what/who can you get for $7.7m annually... and how would that compare to Iggy? Considering the cost of pitching, this seems like a very decent deal.

2006-12-19 05:33:17
171.   Jim Dean
169 Did you see:

a) Bernie getting 420 AB's last year?

b) Melky getting 460 AB's last year?

c) Guiel getting the same number of AB's for the Yanks than Bubba, and combine for 160 AB's?

d) Godziller and Shef combining for 320 AB's

e) Long!, Thompson, Reese would combine for 80 AB's.

What good are predictions when we have no idea what's going to happen?

Melky isn't the fourth OF. He's the first player off the bench - big difference.

Does anyone really think that all of these guys will get 600 AB's this year (2006)?
Damon (593)
Godziller (172)
Abreu (548)
Giambi (446)

If they need time off or get hurt, Melky's the first one to pick up the slack at all the OF positions and shifting into the field when others cover the DH slot. Over the course of the season, those AB's add up.

2006-12-19 05:37:30
172.   RIYank
162 I just misremembered the posting fee.

On another topic: does Boras think the Red Sox deliberately waited until after the Matsuzaka signing to stick it to J D Drew? I'm less interested in whether they actually planned it that way than I am in whether Boras believes they did.

2006-12-19 05:57:38
173.   Shaun P
171 I think you're exactly right, Jim. With the age of the outfielders and the fact that anything can happen - remember Matsui's consecutive game streak? No one could have foreseen him breaking his wrist like he did - Melky isn't the 4th outfielder, he's the Yanks' best insurance policy.

I think Kevin Thompson would be fine as a strict 4th OF, but I believe he would not be as good as insurance policy as Melky. If Damon misses 3 months, I'm a little scared about KT getting 3 months of playing time. I have no such qualms about Melky.

The only way Ca$hmoney ever drops the payroll, which is a stated goal of his, is by holding on to guys like Melky. I don't see this trade happening.

172 I have no doubts that Boras believes that. I do too, FWIW.

2006-12-19 06:27:09
174.   OldYanksFan
Re: Melky v: MG
There is one thing I'm absolutely sure of:
I'm glad I'm not making the decision. It is TTTC.

With DM on the Sox, I think for 2007, MG gives up more of an edge. For the future, I'd like to hold Melky.

I trust in Cashman and hope whatever he does works out.

2006-12-19 06:27:54
175.   OldYanksFan
that's: Gives US more....
2006-12-19 06:36:04
176.   Andre
For me, the question on Igawa is, will he be HALF as good as DM, since that's about the price we paid. I'm betting yes.
2006-12-19 06:57:43
177.   sabernar
If we trade Melky for Gonzalez, I think we should throw in a minor leaguer and try and get one of the Pirates' backup catchers. Doumit? He didn't hit for much last season, but he'll only be 26 next season.
2006-12-19 07:13:06
178.   wsporter
172 When did Drew take his physical? If it was prior to the DM agreement then I would definitely be suspicious if I were Boras. If it was after I wouldn't even think about it. He has to do business with them in the future, he can't let a baseless suspicion cloud his judgment.

I'm sure he's pissed but if it turns out they did screw with him what recourse does he have? He can't really sit down in the mud and scream they outsmarted him. I guess he could negotiate independent physical exams in the future but the Sawx can always tell him to go pound sand. I'm not really sure there's very much he could do about it. The Sawx are a big market, big money team; he can't really steer his clients away from them. If he were to do that he might end up costing his clients bargaining leverage and money. Not a good thing for an agent to do.

That's what you get when you deal with the real "evil empire". :-)

2006-12-19 07:27:26
179.   Zack
The Sox probably realized what they got themselves into with Drew, and also realized they couldn't get out of it, so are looking for a way to make it less of an albatross. Boras should know that the Sox really need Drew at this point so he shouldn't back down at all...
2006-12-19 07:31:20
180.   ric
"When did Drew take his physical? If it was prior to the DM agreement then I would definitely be suspicious if I were Boras."

i believe drew and lugo were taking the physicals when the sox fo was in CA, hence they had to fly home to annouce the lugo signing (he passed the physical)i dont see the big conspiracy, players fail physicals all the time or cause concern with the results. i assume a deal will still get done but there will be some liability clause...

2006-12-19 07:57:17
181.   Harley
Fun Olney rumor. Mark Loretta at first.
2006-12-19 08:17:09
182.   RIYank
The physical was last week, but I can't see from the reports exactly when it was. I think ric is right that they'll add a condition or two to the contract rather than void the deal entirely.
Anyone who doesn't see a possible 'conspiracy' (or really just tactical timing, no actual conspiracy necessary) is just being naive. I don't pretend to know whether Boston did this intentionally or not, and I don't expect ever to know -- that's why I said I'm more interested in what Boras thinks. And wsporter, what can Boras do about it?? He controls half of the brightest stars in baseball! No front office wants to p* him off.
2006-12-19 08:18:39
183.   randym77
171 No, I didn't foresee that. But how likely is it to happen again?

More appropos is that if it didn't happen, Melky would probably have spent most of the season in Columbus. Because Joe only uses the kids when he's forced to.

2006-12-19 08:21:14
184.   RIYank
Just this morning I was listening to Boston sports talk radio (Dennis & Callahan, which is an absolutely awful show but they were both on vacation today so it was bearable) and they were talking to Johnny Damon. The hosts asked about A-Rod's clubhouse presence and Damon had nothing but praise. After he hung up, the hosts admitted that they were both on board with the BoSox front office last winter when they let Damon go but also that his 4 yrs for $52mil was looking like a bargain now. It sure does seem like one for Cashman's Plus column.
2006-12-19 08:22:01
185.   randym77
177 I'd love to get Doumit, but I think it would take a lot more than Melky to get him. He is hitting something like .400 in winterball. And he's playing right field. If the Pirates don't get Melky or LaRoche, Doumit could end up their outfielder or first baseman.
2006-12-19 08:42:46
186.   sabernar
185 I know it would take more than Melky, but maybe we can throw in a chump that the Pirates will bite on. It's been done before, I'm sure it will be done again.
2006-12-19 08:56:19
187.   randym77
186 I would be very happy if Cashman could get any of the Pirates' young catchers from them. They've got more young catching talent than they know what to do with, and it's a shame to convert them to first basemen or outfielders.

I am much more worried about what happens if Jorgie goes down than I am over the possibility of Matsui breaking his wrist again. KT or Sardinha playing as many games as Melky did this season...not the end of the world. Wil Nieves playing that many games...time to panic.

2006-12-19 09:24:55
188.   Shaun P
185 That is what mystifies me about the Pirates - why do they want Melky? Just because he's cheap and Gonzalez isn't?

What happened to Brad Eldred? Why can't Doumit play 1B and/or RF if he isn't catching? With Sanchez at 3B, Bautista plays CF, and Bay is obviously in LF - what about moving Bautista to RF, so Duffy or McLouth could play CF? And why isn't Xavier Nady a fine RF?

I just don't see Melky as any real kind of upgrade on those guys.

2006-12-19 09:44:03
189.   standuptriple
188 It IS the Pirates. Please don't let common sense play a factor in your analysis.
2006-12-19 09:44:15
190.   randym77
188 Yes, I think that about sums it up. The Pirates are really, really cheap. They are a team that cannot afford to keep their players once they're free agents, or even arbitration-eligible in this market. Plus, what is the point of having a good closer when you so rarely have a lead to hold? Better to get a bat that can give you a lead to begin with.

I think they are considering using Doumit in the outfield. That is why he was playing RF in winterball. But he may not have the range for it.

I gather they don't think Duffy is ready. He does have some maturity issues, that's for sure.

Last I heard about Eldred, he had some serious injury issues. He wasn't hitting all that well anyway, even before that. Nady is arbitration-eligible. The Pirates offered him a contract, but I think they expect to lose him. (Like I said, they're cheap.)

2006-12-19 09:52:50
191.   standuptriple
So Nady gets a raise? He stunk up the place in SD for quite a while, especially when you consider all the hype the surrounded him when he was drafted.
2006-12-19 12:05:58
192.   Yankee Fan In Boston
okay. the following is from http://mlbtraderumors.com .

"A baseball source indicated to MLBTradeRumors.com that the Yankees and Pirates are working on a trade that could be Mike Gonzalez and Nate McLouth for Ian Kennedy and Melky Cabrera. This is backed up by our good friend Jake at Bucco Blog, where Gonzalez, Kennedy, and Cabrera were mentioned in a recent podcast.

Of the four, the player with which I was least familiar was Kennedy. The right-handed starter celebrates his 22nd birthday today. Baseball America ranked Kennedy fifth among Yankee prospects. BA's John Manuel indicates Kennedy has excellent command with an upper 80s fastball and a sinking changeup. He manages to keep the ball down. Kennedy is still a ways off from the bigs and should start '07 at high Class A."

i've been duped by some posts of theirs before, however i have also seen them scoop.

take it with a grain of salt, but take it.

i'm riding the fence on this, mostly because i love to watch melky play. anyone got the skinny on kennedy?

2006-12-19 12:25:37
193.   monkeypants
192 Wow, these rumours get better and better. Now, the Yankees would be trading their #4 OF/relatively highly ranked pitching prospect for a set-up man with tendinitis and no-hit CF with a career OBP of .293. And McClouth bats lefty, so the problem of finding a RH bat isn't solved, either! Well, I guess since we let Bubba slip through oour fingers...

This sounds like a winner to me.

2006-12-19 12:34:21
194.   yankz
I don't see that happening. I assume McClouth would replace Melky, and he's just atrocious:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/mclouna01.shtml

OPS+ of 72 last year, good grief. And Kennedy's too valuable IMO. Essentially it went from Melky for Gonzo to Melky and Kennedy for Gonzo. Pass.

2006-12-19 12:34:59
195.   randym77
I do not want to give up Kennedy for McLouth. In fact, I don't understand why the Pirates want to trade McLouth. He's young and cheap, just their type. And they'll still have a hole in their outfield if they do this trade.
2006-12-19 12:38:10
196.   New Amsterdam Yankees
192 I saw that too; I think it would be a terrible trade (although I had never heard Nate McLouth's name until ten minutes ago, and he seems well-regarded). As for Kennedy, he was our first round pick last year. He doesn't throw hard, but has excellent control. The most common comparison is Mike Mussina.

This is what EJ at Fire Joe Torre blog had to say (he does profiles of many Yankees prospects):
"Ian Kennedy put up two of the more dominant seasons in NCAA history. In 2004 and 2005, Kennedy pitched a combined 209.2 innings. He posted a 2.70 ERA between the two years, striking out 278 and walking just 69. for a 19 and 20 year old just entering college, these numbers were monumental. He had a reputation as the best pitcher in USC history - a group which includes Randy Johnson and Mark Prior." more at the link: http://tinyurl.com/ycztau

In fairness, lots of people aren't so high on Kennedy.

2006-12-19 12:40:53
197.   Yankee Fan In Boston
personally, i'd hate to see melky wasted on the pirates.

...all yankee considerations aside.

as for the yankees' side of this "deal", i don't think ca$hman would pull the trigger on it. he's been swindling people lately. you don't swindle a swindler.

it is my hope that these yankee rumors are being floated in an effort to soak the red sox, who are seemingly desperate for a bullpen arm.

i don't care if this is a liklely possibility or not. i am choosing to believe this until i am forced to see otherwise.

2006-12-19 12:42:21
198.   YankeeInMichigan
Here is mlb.com's scouting report on Kennedy at draft time:
"Has been on radars for a long time, being drafted in the 14th round back in 2003. He hasn't been bad in 2006, but it's been a far cry from his first two college seasons. He's lost some velocity on the fastball, though he still knows how to pitch with an aggressive style and hard curve."

I don't think that he was terribly impressive this winter in Hawaii.

2006-12-19 12:48:29
199.   randym77
I'd give up Kennedy and Melky for Gonzalez and Doumit.
2006-12-19 12:53:29
200.   yankz
198 I'm pretty sure one of his K ratios (either K/9 or K/BB...think it was the former) was better than Joba's. Don't know where to find HI league stats, can anyone confirm?
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-12-19 13:00:38
201.   RIYank
197 I was thinking that too, about all the talk's being Ca$hman's way of driving up the price of Gonzalez to Boston.
2006-12-19 13:02:08
202.   New Amsterdam Yankees
200 It was k/9. 45 K in 30 IP.
2006-12-19 13:02:10
203.   Yankee Fan In Boston
201 regional media is torturing us... warping our minds...
2006-12-19 13:02:42
204.   jakewoods
I dont think Cashman will trade any of his high ceiling pitching prospects and that includes Kennedy unless he gets a young starter in return.
2006-12-19 13:03:15
205.   randym77
Hawaii Winter Baseball:

http://www.hawaiiwinterbaseball.com/teams/canefiresstats.htm

2006-12-19 13:03:58
206.   RIYank
203 I know.
Did you see my earlier comment (too lazy to go find it) about listening to WEEI this morning, the Damon interview?
2006-12-19 13:10:33
207.   yankz
202,205 Thanks.
2006-12-19 13:16:12
208.   Yankee Fan In Boston
206 you are a brave man for going anywhere near that frequency during the "dark hours" associated with D&C.

ugh.

it does my heart some good to hear that people around here are (finally) beginning to (finally) admit that losing damon was, and i assure you that the use of this word was not originally intended to be so brilliant, idiotic.

2006-12-19 13:19:35
209.   Zavo
This deal is sounding worse and worse. This last iteration, with Kennedy included, sounds so bad I don't think it is even possible. Why would we trade a 22 year old OF and our first round pick for a set-up man (even an excellent one) and garbage? That doesn't sound like Cashman at all.

Beyond the fact that it sounds absurd, I believe you are unable to trade a player you just drafted until a year after he signs. The only way to do it is as a "player to be named later". So essentially, the Pirates wouldn't get Kennedy until about August.

I think these rumors are made up (not by who posted them here, by the original site)

2006-12-19 13:39:50
210.   randym77
209 This is discussed in the link posted.

===
I should note that as a 2006 draft pick, Kennedy can't be traded until one year after he signed, which would be approximately July 15, 2007. Given that a player to be named later must be named six months in advance, the Pirates and Yankees would have to wait about a month to make such a deal official. After speaking to a couple of baseball guys, I can tell you for a fact that there is precedent for agreeing to trades in December involving June draft picks from the same year. Kennedy is fair game for discussion.
===

Basically, they would have to hold off finalizing the deal until January 15 if Kennedy is traded.

I still don't want to trade Kennedy for McLouth. And I don't see why Pittsburgh would want to give up McLouth, either. They need him more than we do.

A young catcher now, that's a different story...

2006-12-19 13:40:48
211.   kylepetterson
Peter Abraham is also talking about the possibility of Mark Loretta at first. I didn't think too much of him until I saw his pitching stats....
2006-12-19 13:40:49
212.   standuptriple
I'm not getting worked up about this any more. It seems like posturing at this point either to raise the price for the Sox or to see how desperate the Pirates are.
2006-12-19 13:41:01
213.   kylepetterson
211 http://tinyurl.com/y7m53u
2006-12-19 13:43:35
214.   kylepetterson
"Loretta faced five batters, gave up one hit and one walk and got two strikeouts on 19 pitches."
2006-12-19 13:45:35
215.   kylepetterson
214
BB/9 9
K/9 18
WHIP 2
2006-12-19 13:50:12
216.   randym77
214 LOL! What happened there?

He certainly did better than Caonabo Cosme, who came in to pitch the last inning of a blowout, and is now the proud owner of a 36 ERA and 4.0 WHIP.

2006-12-19 13:55:09
217.   Shaun P
212 I agree. This is someone trying to fan the fires of what is now a mostly cold hot stove. Nothing like using the Yanks to do that.

As someone else pointed out, whatever you think of Kennedy, Melky + Kennedy is much less than Gonzo + McLouth. McLouth is 25, and his minor league stats aren't that great: SBs, some patience, not much power:

http://tinyurl.com/ybt24l

His 2006 PECOTA isn't all that inspiring, but it does have Johnny Damon at number 3 on the comparables. Of course it also has Terrance Long at 10, so take that for what its worth.

Also FWIW, BP's fielding numbers say he was awful in CF.

2006-12-19 14:16:56
218.   sabernar
John Sickels had McLouth as his #7 prospect for the Pirates before last season. Here is his recap of McLouth after the season ended:

7) Nate McLouth, OF, C+
Hitting .220/.289/.330 for the Pirates. Has stolen eight bases but lack of pop is a problem and he hasn't done enough else to compensate. Probably destined to be a fourth outfielder.

2006-12-19 14:20:37
219.   wsporter
Not Kennedy. No No No Noooooooo. Exactly the wrong A ball B prospect. Let's figure out what we have there first.

212 217 Exactly. This looks like another case of "please read my really hot stuff".

Now watch, that trade will be all over the fish wraps in the morning!

210 I can't believe the Yankees would pay him the signing bonus they did and bring him to camp and work him out only to list him as the PTBNL. I have been laboring under the assumption that he can't be named for one year after the draft date not the signing date. I guess I was wrong on that. Thanks for clearing it up.

2006-12-19 14:48:08
220.   randym77
219 Well, at least it won't be all over the fishwraps tomorrow. All over the fishwraps on Jan. 15, maybe, but not all over the fishwraps tomorrow. ;-)

I just don't see how this rumored trade makes sense for either the Bucs or the Yanks. They need an outfielder. Trading a starting OFer for Melky still leaves them with a hole in the outfield. (Unless Doumit is going to play right field. Given that his BP rate in RF is 23 - yes, 23 - I wouldn't count on that one.)

And what are we going to do with McLouth? Reese, Thompson, or Sardinha will be fine as fourth OFer.

We need a backup catcher. Pittsburgh has more young catchers than they know what to do with. Give us a catcher, not another OFer!

The only way McLouth makes sense is maybe Torre will play him over Bernie. Since he's a major league starter and all.

2006-12-19 14:53:26
221.   kylepetterson
220 we want a catcher not a belly...not a belly...uhh...hmmmm.... not a crappy outfielder!
2006-12-19 14:59:21
222.   Bama Yankee
221 scratcher?
2006-12-19 15:06:13
223.   Bama Yankee
220 Hey randym, I'm not sure I understand you. Are you saying that you would like for the Pirates to trade us a young catcher? ;-)

I'm with you, maybe if we all keep talking it up (since we know that Cashman reads the Banter), maybe he can make it happen...

2006-12-19 15:13:13
224.   randym77
223 LOL! Sorry if I'm repeating myself. But jeez, Jorgie is going to be 36 next year. And Wil Nieves is not that great on offense or defense. When are they going to do something about getting a backup catcher? And not someone like Fasano or Stinnett, please. Gawd, they made me miss Flaherty.
2006-12-19 15:40:14
225.   Jim Dean
224 You're preaching to the choir, brother.

It's like 2003 and CF all over again.

2006-12-19 15:50:13
226.   Jim Dean
224 One more note on that. I haven't seen any studies on it, but in my mind, at least positional importance goes:

1. Catcher
2. SS
3. CF
4. 3B
5. 2B
6. RF
7. 1B
8. LF

So it's even more shocking the organization was blind to replacing two aging stars from within in the last three years. Are we going to have to live through this all over again in two-three years for Jete?

Further, you look at guys they could have drafted (Kurt Suzuki, Jeff Mathis) or traded for (Shoppach, Bard, Kotteras) and it's simply absurd. I suppose Pilittere could be ready next year, but that seems to be a long shot.

2006-12-19 16:50:14
227.   yankz
When could they have traded for Shoppach and Bard? One was from the Sox and traded for the other.
2006-12-19 19:52:00
228.   Jim Dean
227 The Tribe was willing to move Bard, and they did. That's what I was referencing.

And if Shoppach was moved once, why couldn't the next team be willing to move him again?

It's all about price. The point is that there is a market.

2006-12-19 21:00:21
229.   frank lee
well, mirabelli isn't available. thank god.
2006-12-19 21:24:19
230.   brockdc
226 Cashman evidently begs to differ. Or else he would've pursued a catcher with a pulse at any point during the past four off-seasons. It's unfortunate, since Posada's days as a premier catcher will most likely come to an end sooner rather than later.

I'm wondering if Atlanta would take Sanchez and a B prospect for Saltamaccia (sp?)

2006-12-19 21:28:13
231.   randym77
And Barajas isn't available, either.
2006-12-20 04:50:49
232.   mikeplugh
People....this winter is starting to drag. Does anyone realize that we're talking about backup catchers and potential platoon first basemen on a daily basis? Pettitte is going to phone in his welcome home press conference. Igawa hasn't had a haircut yet, and may show up in New York with his ridiculous shaggy locks.

What's become of our mighty Yankees? Where's the mayhem? Where's the big spending X-mas season with plenty of gifts under the tree? Where's the intrigue and the insanity? Oh...

It's in Boston this year. Thank God.

2006-12-20 05:12:57
233.   Sliced Bread
232 I dunno, Mike, this could be the calm before the mayhem.

I'm not expecting any big Christmas surprise from Cashman, but you never know.

Exactly a year ago today all was quiet on the Bronx Banter board until the Damon deal caused rioting in the streets of New England.

Who knows? Maybe Cashman celebrates the anniversary today grinching J.D. Drew from the Red Sox to play 1st base for the Yanks (a highly unlikely but wonderfully amusing scenario if only for the panic and vomit it would cause on Yawkey Way).

2006-12-20 05:22:17
234.   Yankee Fan In Boston
233 "Maybe Cashman celebrates the anniversary today grinching J.D. Drew from the Red Sox to play 1st base for the Yanks (a highly unlikely but wonderfully amusing scenario if only for the panic and vomit it would cause on Yawkey Way)."

the very thought is hilarious and i would take him a discounted rate and fewer years just to witness that reaction.

2006-12-20 05:46:12
235.   wsporter
From today's Post:

"Unless the Yankees agree to give the Braves Melky Cabrera and Scott Proctor for Mike Gonzalez, a three-way deal including the Pirates won't happen."

Good, then let's hope it doesn't happen.

2006-12-20 05:52:28
236.   ric
"Where's the mayhem? Where's the big spending X-mas season with plenty of gifts under the tree? Where's the intrigue and the insanity? "

such a thing is nearly impossible with a big fat albatross contract already existing in nearly every position. but youre right... 3 years ago Cano would be gone by now for Soriano...

2006-12-20 05:54:40
237.   Rob Middletown CT
Long time reader, first time poster, great blog, yadda yadda... ;)

I just don't see how this would be worthwhile. I'm not completely against trading Melky... I'm sure there is a deal out there that I would be happy with. But trading him for a relief pitcher? A relief pitcher from the NL Central? Um...

And they want another player too. That's just nutty, as far as I'm concerned. Melky may not end up being a great player. But he's a capable 4th OF right now and the Yankees actually need that. Damon's gonna run into a wall at some point, I'm sure. I suppose they could rely on Kevin Thompson for 4th OF, but I fear the Ghost of Bernie instead. I see "Williams - CF" in my mind's eye and it scares me. He's one of my favorite players... perhaps my favorite, period, but he's done.

Melky, meanwhile, hit major league pitching passably well at 21, and (once he calmed down) played good defense. Why would you trade that for a relief pitcher? Relievers come and go, and their performance fluctuates wildly.

Finally, there is the Torre factor. This guy Gonzalez seems to walk a fair number of guys. Failure to throw strikes is like a Cardinal Sin in Joe Torre's eyes. He hates that. This guy could end up in the doghouse and be of little to no use b/c Torre is pissed off about walks.

2006-12-20 05:56:49
238.   OldYanksFan
232 You are correct Mike, this Yankee Hot Stove is barely simmering.

There are topics that are sometimes difficult to discuss. Sometimes in our love of all things Yankee, there are issues here we leave unaddresed.

However, I think it's time to shed some light on an issue we are all thinking about. I will shed political correctness, and for the collective sake of all here, voice that question we all want an answer to:

How much pussy is Jeter gonna get before the season gets underway?

2006-12-20 06:53:13
239.   ny2ca2dc
238 he was front row for the Victorias Secret fashion show that aired last night. I vote "plenty".
2006-12-20 07:25:41
240.   yankz
239 I'm going with two on weeknights, three on weekend nights, and Sunday brunch.
2006-12-20 07:38:36
241.   Bama Yankee
240 That's Wilt Chamberlain type numbers...
2006-12-20 07:57:34
242.   kdw
238 Maybe most but definitely not all. Hadn't even crossed my mind as a question I want answered. Thanks anyway, tho.
2006-12-20 08:09:27
243.   OldYanksFan
238 I hereby change "all here" to "all heterosexual males here". I hath painted with too broad a brush.
2006-12-20 10:49:19
244.   wsporter
That was a Thread Killer.
2006-12-20 11:26:29
245.   brockdc
So...how 'bout those Islanders?
2006-12-20 11:37:34
246.   Shaun P
245 Not Islanders (or Rangers) related, but I understand that Crosby and Ovechin are both doing very well. Too bad the NHL has seemed to become an afterthought in the sports landscape.

In retrospect, hockey talk is probably not going to get things going again.

2006-12-20 11:42:30
247.   Yankee Fan In Boston
236 ric, soon you will know the joys of albatross contracts.

enjoy.

...and at the risk of killing the thread again, but didn't jeter already date a victoria's secret model? the lovely adriana lima? i believe so...

...he is our generation's more prolific joe dimaggio.

2006-12-20 11:43:23
248.   wsporter
Sooo ... I heard the Rangers traded Eddie Giacomin.
2006-12-20 12:10:29
249.   standuptriple
247 I don't think it was Lima (although she is more than worthy). I believe it was Alessandra Ambrosia (who is no slouch). It's so hard to keep up with all the top notch tail DJ has "known". Plus, I've heard Lima does not plan on having sex until she gets married. Whether that means back-door only is up to your imagination.
2006-12-20 12:13:25
250.   Yankee Fan In Boston
249 !
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2006-12-20 12:15:07
251.   Yankee Fan In Boston
250 oops.

you know a lot about this lima situation, standuptriple... a bit TOO much perhaps...

2006-12-20 12:20:39
252.   OldYanksFan
How can you complain about a slow Hot Stove when ESPN has posted the video clip:
"Was the game 'Guitar Hero' the cause of Joel Zumaya's forearm strain? Hear what the Tigers' reliever has to say"

Hard to believe it wasn't on CNN first.

2006-12-20 12:21:03
253.   wsporter
John Ratelle?
2006-12-20 12:35:00
254.   Shaun P
Mike Gartner went into the Hockey Hall of Fame - who's his equivalent in MLB? Maybe Fred McGriff? I'd say Palmiero - who also played for more than a few teams - but then I risk bringing up steroids and all that fun stuff.

Of course, given some of the other stuff being thrown around, maybe a nice PED discussion would be welcome?

2006-12-20 12:39:44
255.   wsporter
254 MFD Mike Gartner - Ernie Banks. Both highly skilled and played for bad or mediocre teams?

PED?

2006-12-20 12:51:07
256.   standuptriple
251...and I'd like to know more (I'm using "know" in the Biblical sense). Mmmmm, Lima.
2006-12-20 12:59:28
257.   yankz
It was Lima.
2006-12-20 13:00:34
258.   yankz
"We are told ahead of time that any questions about Lenny Kravitz, the model-collecting rocker with whom she was allegedly involved, are "off-limits." Ditto for Derek Jeter.) "

http://men.style.com/gq/features/landing?id=content_4255

PG-13

2006-12-20 13:34:52
259.   Shaun P
256 Jose Lima?

Just kidding - but I'm shocked no one else had said it first.

2006-12-20 13:45:13
260.   standuptriple
Adrianna Lima=dreams, Jose Lima=nightmares.
2006-12-20 14:11:15
261.   randym77
I seriously doubt anything can top the story about Jeter and Jessica Biel making out in an art museum in front Hassidic families there to see the religious art. The museum security guards had to tell them to get a room.

Not much else going on in Yankeedom. Celizic thinks the Yankees still need pitching:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16211943/

>> The day will come when the Yankees don't win the AL East and don't even make the playoffs. They apparently don't think it could be next year. If they did, they'd be camped out on Barry Zito's door, refusing to leave until he agrees to put on the pinstripes and take them back to the Promised Land.

Instead, the Yankees think they don't need Zito and don't need a true ace. That could turn out to be the miscalculation of the century. <<

Pittsburgh fans aren't sure they need Melky:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06354/747309-126.stm

McLouth has more power, and they need power more than anything.

And the Louisville Bats extended their contract with the Reds. This is a disappointment to the Clippers, who intentionally signed a short contract with the Nats, hoping to lure Cincy once their contract with Louisville was over. (Seems to be the trend now, for minor league teams to be close to their major league affiliates.)

2006-12-20 14:16:02
262.   mikeplugh
261 Celizic? The Hat Guy? I'm so happy he thinks the Yankees should sign Zito. It means that Cashman is operating exactly as he should. Now if Hat Guy would suggest that the Yankees should let Bernie retire, I'd have to rethink the whole thing and sit Damon in favor of Bernie Williams starting centerfielder...
2006-12-20 14:25:36
263.   randym77
I'm not wild about Zito, but I do think the Yankees need pitching. A lot of people seem to think the Yanks will sign the Rocket for half a year.

On the Melky front, the Atlanta papers say the Braves want to get a deal done before the New Year. SI says there are two obstacles to the three-way trade. One is that Atlanta wants Pittsburgh to kick in an extra player; they don't think LaRoche for Melky is fair. They want Melky, but not just Melky. The other is that the Yankees want to examine Gonzalez before they agree to anything.

2006-12-20 14:26:19
264.   Raf
260 Mrs. Jose Lima=dreams
2006-12-20 14:31:32
265.   yankz
264 Jeter's > Jose's, on principle as well as looks, IMO.
2006-12-20 15:41:31
266.   OldYanksFan
262 Mike... you must be crazy. The HatGuy is correct. The Yankees can always use a decent pitcher, and should offer Zito what he's worth.... a 4yr/36$m contract.
2006-12-20 15:43:25
267.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
I am finally experiencing some Daisuke signing post traumatic stress....reading too much of the hype...

someone talk me off the ledge, their signing him coupled with us signing a soft tossing lefty to pitch BP to the AL East is worrisome

2006-12-20 15:46:36
268.   yankz
267 If you're into women, check out the link in 258. I promise it'll take your mind off baseball.
2006-12-20 15:56:36
269.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
268

yup....looks like a virgin to me.

In that same way that Miss USA is...

2006-12-20 17:01:47
270.   OldYanksFan
Anyone catch LoHud today? Old Pete was pretty rough on the Strawman.

As an insider, he should know a lot more then any of us, but it's hard for me to ignor my eyes and my perceptions. If ARod dropped dead tomorrow, my guess is Jetes would mourn by having a threesome.

I remember someone posted a link to a pic of Jetes/ARod in the field. ARod was laughing and wrapping an arm around Jetes, and Jeter looked like he was being attacked by a hoard of lepers.

When it comes to ARod, to me, Jeter's speech and looks makes a New Hampshire winter seem tropical.

2006-12-20 17:18:20
271.   yankz
A picture from 4/16/06: http://tinyurl.com/ylqxso

Aw, so cute: http://tinyurl.com/y3ok3h

Looks like he's first out of the dugout here: http://tinyurl.com/yzwupq

I'm not denying that the two aren't exactly BFF. I just wish people would stop trying to read their freaking body language and realize that they should've won back-to-back MVP awards. It's not affecting them on the field.

2006-12-20 17:50:10
272.   brockdc
268 Meh. Exactly how skinny is TOO skinny? She looks like she has an exoskeleton.
2006-12-20 17:55:49
273.   mikeplugh
I don't know why people think that the Yankees need pitching. There aren't too many teams that throw out a staff like this (2006 ERA+ in parentheses):

Moose (127)
Wang (125)
Pettitte (108)
Randy Johnson (88)*
Kei Igawa (???)
Carl Pavano (100?)

* Randy Johnson pitched to a 117 ERA+ in his first year with the Yankees. By all accounts he pitched most of last year with a back problem, that was later diagnosed as a herniated disc.

That's 6 pitchers of which Johnson, Pavano, and Igawa will likely produce one league average pitcher, at least. The biggest point to consider, however, is that none of those guys matters a lick in the end. In the playoffs we only need 3 quality pitchers to make a good run, and a 4th would make it very tough on other teams. By the time the playoffs come around, it's likely that we'll have seen Phil Hughes.

Hughes, in a rotation which includes Mussina, Wang, and Pettitte, is as good as there is anywhere. If we throw that 4-some out there, the rest of the discussion is moot. Zito is an overpriced, and overrated guy who would be a great addition at the right price. That price is not out there, so Hughes makes our club as the trump card. I'll take that any day of the week.

Last thing, if we add another pitcher to the rotation in the next year or two we have to be sure he's the genuine article. If Carlos Zambrano replaces Johnson in next year's mix, suddenly you have Moose, Wang, Pettitte, Hughes, and Zambrano to go out there in the rotation and a very nice 5-some to structure appropriately in the post-season when the games count a lot more.

2006-12-20 18:31:37
274.   monkeypants
270 If so, who cares? Gehrig and Ruth hated each other, but that didn't affect their play, or the team's play, and they are both in the HOF.
2006-12-20 18:47:35
275.   yankz
273 It's a bad idea to mention 5-somes on this thread. Jeter, Lima, Alba, Minillo, Johanssen...guess there's no room for Ms. Universe.
2006-12-20 19:13:55
276.   mikeplugh
If Igawa doesn't get that mop on his head cut soon, Jeter may get the beer goggles and...well we all know what happens then. The Hassid incident all over again. Oy!
2006-12-20 21:13:03
277.   Chyll Will
274 Gary Cooper > William Bendix + John Goodman.
2006-12-20 21:33:51
278.   Schteeve
We need something to happen, the comments in this thread are deteriorating quickly.
2006-12-20 22:02:20
279.   Chyll Will
Merry Christmas, Schteeve!
2006-12-20 22:14:29
280.   ric
you guys seem really proud of jeter's sex life. why?
2006-12-21 04:00:28
281.   yankz
280 Have you not been paying attention?
2006-12-21 06:10:34
282.   wsporter
WTF. I hate to appear prudish but this preoccupation with another man's sex life is kind of creepy. It makes me think that some individuals aren't paying enough attention to taking care of business on their own end.

Merry Christmas

2006-12-21 06:15:13
283.   ny2ca2dc
280 see 278
2006-12-21 07:38:49
284.   Shaun P
278 282 I get the feeling it might be a long week and a half on this thread. ;)

Happy Holidays, whatever kind of holiday(s) you might celebrate!

2006-12-21 07:59:26
285.   Knuckles
Mebbe we should begin starting our own trade rumors here, and see how far around the blogworld they get before they're debunked. Or leave little messages on Gammons' cell phone and see what we can get on the air- he'll say anything if it has to do with the Sox...

Matter of fact, I heard this morning that Theo and Co. are trying to get that 2003 Sauerbeck trade unraveled with the intention of proving to Selig that Mike Gonzalez should be, in fact, property of the Boston Red Sox.

Also heard Bavasi is trying to trade Vidro, Horacio Ramirez, and Ichiro's mojo to the Royals, for the rights to pay for half of Meche's salary.

Gload for Glaus.

The Giles brothers for all the Molinas, irrespective of what teams they're currently on.

Rumor has it that if the Rangers miss out on Zito, Hicks is looking into pushing the fences back 30 feet, and signing the remaining FA pitchers in order of the flyball tendencies (I'm looking at you, Bruce Chen!), fielding an outfield of Justin Gatlin, Jeremy Bloom, Tim Montgomery, and Asafa Powell, and playing sans second baseman.

2006-12-21 08:19:59
286.   Bama Yankee
Since we are looking for something to change the direction of this thread, here's my version of The Gambler song that I had planned to post before Kenny Rogers' next start in the Serious that never happened (sorry if it is bad, but at least it is better than what we have been discussing):

The Gambler 2006

On a cool winter's evenin', in a bullpen over in Detroit,
I met up with the gambler; we both hadn't pitched in a week.
So we took turns a starin' at babes in the cheap seats
'Til boredom overtook us and he began to speak.

He said: "Son, I've made a career out of readin' hitter's stances,
And knowin' what pitch to throw by lookin' in their eyes.
So if you don't mind my sayin', I can see you're down 0-2.
For a taste of your Pedia-lyte, I'll give you some advice."

So I handed him my bottle and drank down my last swallow.
Then he bummed some greenies and challenged me to a fight.
And the crowd got deathly quiet, his face was all unshaven.
He said: "If you're gonna play the game, boy, you gotta learn to play it right."

"You got to know when to cheat 'em; so you can beat 'em,
I used to walk the game away and now I rarely give up a run.
You never pitch in the postseason, without loadin' up on pine tar.
Then be vague enough to reporters when the dealin's done."

"Now ev'ry gambler knows the secret to survivin'.
Is knowin' when to throw one away and knowing when to bring heat.
'Cause a dirty hand's a winner and a clean hand's a loser,
And the best that you can hope for is the umps don't see you cheat."

So when he'd finished speakin', he turned toward the diamond:
Punched out a cameraman and headed to the mound.
And somewhere in the 8th the gambler, he got in trouble.
But in the final inning I got 'em all to hit it on the ground.

"You got to know when to cheat 'em; so you can beat 'em,
I used to walk the game away and now I rarely give up a run.
You never pitch in the postseason, without loadin' up on pine tar.
Then be vague enough to reporters when the dealin's done."

2006-12-21 09:43:53
287.   C2Coke
Looks like the Banter is on hiatus like all the great TV shows, hence leaving all the viewers who suddenly have extra time to stay at home with nothing to do but to go crazy....I am with you all fellow Banterers.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.