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All Good
2006-12-29 05:54
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Apparently, Bobby Murcer's surgery was a success. Meanwhile, Bill Madden and Anthony McCarron report that the Yankees are closing in on a deal for The Big Unit. They also note that the Bombers are interested in Minky as a first baseman, and Mark Loretta as a utility infielder.

Comments (133)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-12-29 06:09:33
1.   monkeypants
Minky at 1B? Let's see, can't real field that well anymore, can't hit, bats LH. Pass.Cashman has avoided every other potential mistake this off season--let's hope he holds out for one more.
2006-12-29 06:38:29
2.   JohnnyC
Yeah, but he's got a belly full of guts. And he has a ring from a year after 2000. Plus, he's someone ARod can pal around with.
2006-12-29 06:39:53
3.   monkeypants
I bet he even got some of hits off Santana once!
2006-12-29 06:40:57
4.   Yankee Fan In Boston
1 mientkiewicz aside, the options are dwindling. i'd be alright with a 1 year contract to doogie. (so long as they played the doogie howser theme as he dug in.)

also, loretta would be an amazing upgrade over mr. cairo. i'd be behind that signing 110%.

anyone worried about pettitte and these steroid test results from '03 being made public? if MLB suspends these 100 guys, we'd already be down a DH. there were the grimsley rumors last season about AP and his workout pal... i hope they weren't accurate.

2006-12-29 06:49:51
5.   monkeypants
3 Er, "...some hits off of Santana once"
2006-12-29 06:50:00
6.   pistolpete
I'm just so happy that Bobby came through the procedure okay that they could re-sign Cairo for 5 more years and I probably wouldn't blink.
2006-12-29 06:54:22
7.   ChrisS
Before, when the Yankees were always criticized for buying up all the good free agents and free-agents-to-be - I thought it was misplaced criticism. Afterall, most of free agents were on the downhill side of their peak or prone to injury. I always thought that the Yankees could do much better things with their money than spend it on a bunch of guys that would never live up to the hype (Mike Witt, the original Carl Pavano).

Now, if Cashman starts this stockpiling of almost ML ready prospects by trading post-peak veterans and a little cash to off-set contracts, well people are really going to see what happens when a team with a lot of funds spends wisely. That Madden article gives me a lot of hope, that the Yankees might have one of the best rotations in baseball in 2-3 seasons.

Best wishes to Murcer and family, as well.

2006-12-29 06:57:03
8.   ChrisS
1 Even if they sign Minky, there's still hope that Josh Phelps puts on a show in spring training to win the gig.
2006-12-29 06:58:12
9.   monkeypants
4 The thing is, Loretta's and Mientkiewicz's career numbers are almost identical (though at this stage it looks like Minky swings the slightly better bat), so if you bring in Loretta as sup-sub, you might as well use him at 1B too.

If Minky is the 'only' option, go with Phillips-Phelps. Hell, go with Melky at 1B--you'd get more production.

I do think that there are a couple of options floating around. The high priced way would be to pry Sexson from M's. He's on the downside and he's no defensive wizard, but as Goldberg pointed out a couple of weeks ago, he would be a serious upgrade defensively from Giambi, and a serious upgrade offensively from anything on the club now.

Second, an RJ deal (if it happens) might include a position player who can moved to 1B--even though reports are that the Yanks are going after all Ps.

Third, one or two of the stockpiled young arms could be flipped for a 1B.

None of these options excites, except maybe Sexson, but only if he could be had for just one or two years. How's that for reallocating RJ's salary?

2006-12-29 07:11:36
10.   New Amsterdam Yankees
4 "anyone worried about pettitte and these steroid test results from '03 being made public?"

Yes. But for PR and personal reasons. I can't see MLB suspending guys based on three year old tests. Has that been discussed?

9 Goldberg = Goldman

From the Daily News article: "if the Yankees send Johnson home to Arizona . . . they'd like to get at least two of the following three pitchers: Dustin Nippert, Micah Owings and Ross Ohlendorf."

If that is at all accurate, I think it's a no-brainer. They'd probably get Ohlendorf (the lesser of the three) and either Owings or Nippert. That would give the Yankees crazy RH pitching depth, and allow them to make pretty much any other trade that came up.

2006-12-29 07:12:31
11.   Jim Dean
I just threw up in my mouth - no worries just a little bit.

As bad as Unit was, he was league average for two years with particularly bad luck last year. He's a solid #4.

Now they're shipping him off for 25 cents on the dollar. That's a package they could have had for Meat last year. All are fringe prospects in an area where the Yanks aren't exactly lacking. Would anyone be surprised if none of those guys makes it to the show? And with Unit pitching well in AZ? No thanks, not at those prices.

I want my catcher!

2006-12-29 07:19:16
12.   Yankee Fan In Boston
9 "None of these options excites, except maybe Sexson, but only if he could be had for just one or two years."

i don't need to be excited. flashy moves are so passe... if they get an able body at a reasonable price, i'd be happy. we don't need a slugger like sexson (particularly one of his progressed age, etc.). just give me a solid glove and an OBP above league average for 1 year and i'll be happy. our lineup is stacked.

10 re:suspensions for '03 tests "Has that been discussed?"

i don't think so. not by MLB, anyway. i saw an article that mentioned it in passing.

2006-12-29 07:20:04
13.   jedi
I dont know, even though Cashman is denying it, I still think RJ is a salary dump. In the end, I think he'll be happy to shed the salary, period and playing hard to get to make it look like he doesnt want to trade. He's got the pitching depth to go into spring training without RJ.

If you want to stretch it even further. Dumping RJ is either a reason to offset the Igawa signing or make the Clemens offer more realistic in the debit column.

2006-12-29 07:27:03
14.   jedi
13 sorry maybe I'm a little too eager to trade RJ for nothing because I'm still waiting since 2004 for fastballs that top 100mph when the summer hits.
2006-12-29 07:32:34
15.   pistolpete
13 Has anyone ever admitted a salary dump?
2006-12-29 07:37:03
16.   monkeypants
10 Yes, Goldman. Damn, I am an idiot this morning.
2006-12-29 07:37:42
17.   jedi
15 Mo Vaughn for Kevin Appier 2001. lol
2006-12-29 07:44:14
18.   monkeypants
12 Dangerous thinking. Just because the lineup is stacked doesn't mean you can "afford" to carry a weak bat relative to position. Having an "able body" at first mitigates the offensive advantage you have at another position (for example SS or C).

A high OBP guy would be good, but Minky that guy? His last three years: .359, .322, .326. If you're looking at around a .335 or .340 OBP, you might as well go for Sexson, who delivers that AND a SLG of around .500 (maybe .450 if he slips badly next year). His progessed aga? One year younger than Minky.

But I agree, whomever they get should really be only a one year (or two year at most) stop gap move. I just hope that Cashman continues to be clever and does not waste a few million dollars on Minky when a league minimum player would likely get the same results on the field.

2006-12-29 07:52:29
19.   monkeypants
11 Actually, it looks like they're shopping RJ for $1.00 on the dollar, as in, they want Arizona or whomever to pick up his salary. The Yankees probably figure the way you do--that RJ was a league average pitcher and a solid #4. And you can get that from any number of pitchers for a lot less change than 16 mil.
2006-12-29 07:54:48
20.   New Amsterdam Yankees
11 "Would anyone be surprised if none of those guys makes it to the show?"

The Diamondbacks have one of the five strongest farm systems in MLB. Owings and Nippert are in their top ten prospects and Ohlendorf isn't far behind. And they are essentially MLB ready. For 2007, either Owings or Nippert would be a good bet to outperform Karstens or Rasner, with higher upside. So yes, I would be surprised if none of them make it to the majors.

"And with Unit pitching well in AZ?"

Why should we care how RJ pitches for an NL West team that won't make the playoffs?

"That's a package they could have had for Meat last year."

Seriously, what are you basing that on?

2006-12-29 07:56:34
21.   New Amsterdam Yankees
16 Didn't mean to be a school marm :-)
2006-12-29 07:58:07
22.   Yankee Fan In Boston
18 the point i was attempting to make was that i would rather fill the spot with an average hitter at 1B for a year than make a drastic move for a flashier marquee guy for the sake of getting a big name.

obviously they should get the best bat that they can, but if the yankees would have to sell the farm for sexson, i'd veto the move.

(not that i can actually veto anything, but you know what i'm saying...)

2006-12-29 08:02:36
23.   monkeypants
22 Point taken!

By the way, as I was fishing around this morning (i.e., not doing work), I came accross the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees site. Next year's coaching staff includes Butch Wynegar, Dave Eiland, and Alvaro Espinosa. Wow, it's like 1987 all over again.

2006-12-29 08:02:54
24.   BobbyBaseBall
To expand on 10's point about RH pitching depth:

There were whispers last year about Tiexiera being able to be had. What if Cash flips some of the pitching prospects and possibly Melky (I'd hate to see him go, but in the right deal...which Mike Gonz is most definitely not.) Especially coming off a (somewhat) disappointing year, and Daniels just losing out on Zito.

Or is that just a little too pie-in-the-sky?

2006-12-29 08:07:24
25.   Yankee Fan In Boston
23 i would attend a scranton/wilkes-barre game just to see the coaching staff. that's great.

i lived in oregon for a couple of years. i lived across the street from the padres' A team. rob deer was their hitting coach. front row box seats were going for $7 (that's american dollars), so my buddy and i would go on a regular basis to take in a game (and ride the umpires... and give mr. deer a hard time).

i love the minors.

2006-12-29 08:10:44
26.   Shaun P
24 If the Yanks trade Unit for (more) pitching prospects, then I hope that Ca$hmoney uses a bit of that depth to get some hitters, or even hitting prospects. No selling the farm, but judicious use of it. Everybody wants pitching, after all.

Like many of you, I'd like to see the Yanks get a hitter/hitting prospect (or more) off of Arizona in a Unit deal, if only because the Diamondbacks seem to be very good at drafting/developing hitters, and not so good with pitchers.

2006-12-29 08:33:44
27.   Raf
15 Jack Clark for Stan Jefferson Lance McCullers, & Clay Parker...

9 No Craig Wilson?

10 Could be that Cashman is aiming high, and settling a bit lower than the intended target.

2006-12-29 08:54:41
28.   jakewoods
A big risk trading a proven starter for 3 prospects when you're then relying on Pavano, a Japanese import and young guys to fill the slots.
2006-12-29 09:15:19
29.   pistolpete
28 Fill what slots? Forget about Moose, Wang and Pettite?
2006-12-29 09:26:08
30.   OldYanksFan
Fabian at RLYW links to some Pitching numbers ('Something to Think About') from 2006. I took the licience to post these same nunbers and a page that is sortable by pitching positions 1-5. For those interested:

http://tinyurl.com/yk8vtb

2006-12-29 09:30:30
31.   monkeypants
27 Are you mocking me? :)

Hey, I am all for Craig Wilson, for a variety of reasons. I thought the best move would have been to keep the Wilson-Gueil platoon, but that only would have worked if Melky were traded (then who plays back-up CF?) or if the team went with an 11 man staff (which they seem unwilling to do, especially with Meyers).

But, it's obvious the team wanted to go in another direction, so there is no use in arguing that they should pick wilson up (again).

2006-12-29 09:31:31
32.   Zavo
28 It may be a risk trading Johnson for prospects, but it is also a risk depending on a 43 year old coming off back surgery and a 5.00 ERA the season before.

Wang, Moose, Pettitte and then the Yanks just have to get some decent performances out of the combination of Igawa, Pavano, Karstens, Rasner, Hughes, Sanchez, maybe Clippard, and maybe some of the guys we get for Unit.

The way I see it, Unit has been pathetic in the playoffs the last two seasons. He is old and coming off surgery. Would you want him starting a playoff game this season?

2006-12-29 09:44:57
33.   monkeypants
32 Agreed! There is a problem with holding onto 'proven veterans' when they have only proven that they are not very good. Johnson MIGHT bounce back next year--or he might just be older and worse, and he very probably will be older and no better.
2006-12-29 09:49:44
34.   nemecizer
7 One of my favorite Cashman quotes when he announced he wasn't leaving and would be granted great autonomy to make personnel decisions was that he planned to focus on the farm and away from hiring over-the-hill veterans. His exact words were "when that happens, God help the rest of baseball".

Well, Cashman is doing exactly that. And I like what I see very much. I think Cashman's goal is clear: he is trying to build the next dynasty like Stick did in the early 1990s.

If Cashman can be allowed to continue as he is doing for one or two more years, I think the second decade of the 21st century is going to be very, very good for us Yankees fans.

2006-12-29 09:52:16
35.   C2Coke
I went away for a few days and came back to two pieces of good news like belated Christmas presents.

I was always easy on the Big Unit because of his age and because he did win games for the Yankees. However, I will also be one of the first to cheer if he gets traded. I don't think the Yankees need another big LSP to replace him, who's to say Unit's back wouldn't give up on him next year and we would end up with Rasner or someone else from the farm anyway?

I am also very glad that 126 mil/7 yr Zito contract ended up somewhere else than the Bronx. Another round of applause to Cashman for keeping his words and doing the right thing.

2006-12-29 10:10:28
36.   pistolpete
OMFG, Russo has zero credibility left - he's on now ranting about how Zito was a great move for the Giants.
2006-12-29 10:14:23
37.   David
Nobody knows what to expect from Johnson, Igawa or Pavano. They could be anywhere between a #2 starter down to entirely useless.

I think the Yanks shouldn't trade a starting pitcher until early in the season when they will know better what they have. Why risk getting rid of the wrong guy?

2006-12-29 10:16:13
38.   unpopster
All this hand-wringing about trading a "proven" Randy Johnson for three minor leaguers neglects to acknowledge the "elephant in the room": Cashman would not be making such a trade unless he, in my opinion, has assurances that Clemens will be coming back to the Yanks in '07.

Based on what I have seen from Cashman in the last year plus, Cashman has been playing some pretty impressive hot stove league chess and is always thinking a few moves ahead of everyone else. I also think that he has made the prudent decisions when making deals and that giving up The Unit and thus relying exclusively on Igawa and Pavano to fill out the #4 and #5 slots is misreading his intentions.

I don't think Cashman is expecting anything from Pavano and is expecting little from Igawa as a starter. Therefore, I think trading The Unit is a first step in what he surely expects to be the Return Of Roger 2007. It might not happen in April or May, but then again we really don't need much of a #5 starter in the first 6 weeks or so.

Clemens in pinstripes is on the horizon, my friends. In fact, I think Cashman and Roger have already worked out the parameters of a one year deal.

2006-12-29 10:17:01
39.   pistolpete
37 Because he's 43, and we've already seen the best we're going to get out of him. Impressed? Didn't think so.

Make the move.

2006-12-29 10:34:35
40.   New Amsterdam Yankees
38 "I don't think Cashman is expecting anything from Pavano and is expecting little from Igawa as a starter"

I'm not sure I agree with the second part of that, if for no other reason than it contradicts your general impression of Cashman as a genius. Why would he pay 46M over 5 years (even considering the luxury tax benefits) for a guy he didn't think could hold down a rotation spot? I think a fair bit of the talk of Igawa being no more than a fifth starter is managing fan expectations, and I think it is very smart. Igawa may not be Matsuzaka, but his numbers were very good in Japan. I think we could be pleasantly surprised by his performance. Fifth starter is probably his floor.

2006-12-29 10:37:04
41.   Aviezer
I am still on the fence about the RJ trade but todays article that states that the yanks could get two of Nippert, Owings, and Ohlendof has the potential to get me off it. I like all 3 especially Owings but to me going after these prospects is foolish. our farm system is stocked with RH pitchers. Simply put if we get Owings and Ohlendorf (the package I like) where do we put them. There is no space in AAA all 5 rotation spots are taken. Does Cash release Steven White and Rasner to make room for them. White is basically Nippert. If Cash is going to trade RJ then we need to get position player prospects. Go for Montero and a prospect or Jckson and a prospect. We don't need more pitchers, we have the best RHP depth in the minors.
2006-12-29 10:41:13
42.   New Amsterdam Yankees
41 "Go for Montero and a prospect or Jackson and a prospect."

The D-Backs prob. wouldn't give up either of those guys for Johnson straight-up, let alone with another prospect (esp. Jackson).

2006-12-29 10:43:31
43.   Jim Dean
39 Sure, get rid of him. But not in the reported deal. Pitching prospects are fine and dandy, when you need some. The Yanks have other, more pressing, needs and better pitching prospects with few open slots. Unit's value will only increase into and through the Spring as he shows he's healthy. The D'backs rotation won't be getting any better. Wait them out.

40 His floor is the bullpen or the minors. Let's keep expectations exactly where they are.

2006-12-29 10:46:08
44.   jakewoods
We didnt win with Wang and Moose last yr. What makes you think we just add Pettite and subtract Units 17 wins and we win again?

The rotation isnt improved and certainly wont be if they trade RJ for prospects. Now if they have Clemens ready to roll it makes sense

2006-12-29 10:48:56
45.   fgasparini
I'll weigh in and say I'm in favor of trading Randy. I'm not a doctor, but I do have herniated disks in my neck. You can get rid of them--I intend to--but fusing vertebrae can cause further herniations in other disks. Also, the herniation causes arthritic deposits in other vertebrae. Finally, surgery is supposed to be much more effective in the neck than in the lower back--which is where Randy's problem is.

Johnson's problem is progressive and has likely already caused other problems in his spine. We're not talking about waiting for a clean break to heal, or for him to get over a bad cold. It's a major skeletal problem for an athlete whose skeleton is hugely important to him. And who's far from young (in athletic terms).

Dump him.

2006-12-29 10:50:50
46.   Zack
You can never, ever, have enough pitching prospects. Period. The Yanks haven't produced a bonafide starter since Pettitte, and have traded a lot of duds and so-so guys for players since then. Some of those AAA guys can pitch out of the bullpen for us right now, some are destined for the pen anyways, and obviously if we trade Randy without getting Clemens, which I really don't think we will, then that gives us two or so spots to fill with those guys as well.

The bottom line, again, is that stockpiling your farm with pitching is the best way to build a dynasty. Everyone needs cheap, young pitching, and every season pitchers need to be replaced. Filling the BP and rotation with these guys will make us a better, more likable, cheaper team with far more flexiability and power to trade.

And finally, 44, how is the rotation NOT improved? Take out Randy and put IN Pettitte for game 3 last season and who wouldn't make that switch?

2006-12-29 10:51:20
47.   monkeypants
44 Hmmm. well, we didn't win with Wang, Moose, and RJ. So maybe swapping out RJ for another pitcher is the key. Or wait, we didn't win with Jeter last year, so maybe he needs to go? We din't win with Mo last year, so we need to add another closer? We could play this game all day.

Really, wins are about the least valuable analytical tool for starting pitchers.

2006-12-29 10:51:46
48.   Zack
46 I should clarify and say that I think we WILL trade Randy and that we WON'T get Roger...
2006-12-29 10:52:36
49.   fgasparini
Off topic question--

Can anyone tell me, or tell me where to find out, what happens when a player gets called up from say AAA? Does a player get called up from AA to replace him and so on? What if a player is promoted from AA to AAA, does someone get sent down a level? Are roster sizes flexible in the minors? I've always wanted to know. Help!

2006-12-29 10:54:53
50.   tommyl
44 We did have the best record in the AL though. Once you get to the postseason, its basically a crapshoot, how else can you explain the Cardinals winning?

Randy's 17 wins were largely due to very large run support. Wins is an awful stat, two years ago I'd much rather have had Santana than Bartolo Colon even though Colon had more wins. Randy's year was unexceptional and he was awful in the postseason the last two years. Unit's main problem last year was dealing with runners on base. He had literally the worst percentage of allowing inherited runners to advance/score in the AL. That's likely a mechanical issue from the stretch due to his bad back. I'm not sure if that will improve or not, so I see him as a huge gamble.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-12-29 10:55:19
51.   tommyl
50 should have been to 47, not 44, sorry!
2006-12-29 10:55:46
52.   fgasparini
46 What about Wang? I know he was an international signing, but at a young age, right? To me it's a false distinction to say that guys from other countries don't count as having been "developed" by a team (unless they're really a finished product like Daisuke or Ichiro). For that matter, guys who come in trade could be considered as having been "developed" by the Yankees. I'm thinking of Proctor, for example.
2006-12-29 10:58:43
53.   Shaun P
45 Thanks for the insider's perspective.

43 True, Jim, it seems the last thing the Yanks need are more pitching prospects. But, if Ca$hmoney is thinking a few steps ahead of everyone, as unpopster suggests in 38, perhaps Ca$h already has a deal in place that turns, say, Nippert plus another pitching prospects into a hitting prospect or two (or three), including a thisclose to the majors catcher.

I'm just speculating but I don't see any reason to keep gathering pitching prospects without plans to move a couple of them for much-needed hitting prospects/young hitters.

2006-12-29 11:05:58
54.   tommyl
51 errr....nope, 44 was right the first time. Ok, I have a headache, so all forgive me?
2006-12-29 11:10:30
55.   Jim Dean
53 That's exactly where I'm at. Trade the bum - but insist it's something they need in return. At last count, Scranton had a full rotation in AAA (Karstens, Sanchez, Rasner, Clippard, Huge) and to say nothing of many bullpen arms. So where would those new guys pitch? And if the three are top ten propsects, get one top five instead - heck, even throw in 2 million if you're the Yanks - a signing bonus if you will.

But I'm starting to doubt the rumors. The D'backs have very few pitching prospects. They're going to trade them first, so they can have two decent catchers? Unless, Cashman really thinks Nieves is the answer - that should give all genius shouters pause.

2006-12-29 11:11:17
56.   Zavo
53 The most valuable property in baseball seems to be cheap, ML pitchers or ML ready pitching prospects who are under a teams control for a while. You can always trade young pitchers or pitching prospects for established bats. Bats are also cheaper to buy via FA than young pitchers.

The trend the last few years has been teams buying up the arbitration right and first few years of their young pitchers. The best young pitchers don't seem to come on the FA market anymore. This makes young pitchers even more valuable.

I agree with 46, there is no such thing as having too many pitching prospects. To me, that concept does not exist because some will make it, some won't, and if we are blessed to have too many good ones, another team will always be willing to pay out the nose for one.

If we don't trade Johnson, we will still only have him for one more year....at $16 million, and with a bad back. It seems like a no brainer to me.

2006-12-29 11:34:33
57.   Ravenscar
I really don't know about all this Clemens talk. Everyone who thinks it will happen just thinks "it's about to happen" as if the logic is infallible. Have there been any actual reports of ANY conversations between the camps at all? Has Clemens even made a peep about returning? I also wonder if NY fans and the front office will let him get away with the late joining and gone-for-the-rest-of-the-time ways and if this will affect his decision.

I'm in the city, and I just don't see Clemens to the Yankees as any kind of given with a Johnson deal.

2006-12-29 11:42:55
58.   ChrisS
53
"perhaps Ca$h already has a deal in place that turns, say, Nippert plus another pitching prospects into a hitting prospect or two (or three), including a thisclose to the majors catcher."

Exactly, young pitchers are like gold in MLB; they can be turned into anything. And it's a long time between January 1 and April 1.

2006-12-29 11:45:04
59.   jakewoods
There is never such a thing as having too many pitching prospects as the Yankees found out from 2000-2005 when they had Zero.

Cashman must think that Pettite, Igawa, and a healthy Pavano are an improvement over RJ and Wright and I have to agree with him.

Pitching is the most valued commodity in the game right now. And stock piling great power arms is a great way to restock the system and maintain the winning ways.

2006-12-29 11:45:45
60.   Aviezer
If Cash can't get Jackson or Montero then perhaps it is time to consider other trades. Kouzmanoff, Linebrink + sounds good and we can spin Linebrink for propects. All I am saying is that we have two very deep areas right now. Right handed pitchers and right handed relievers.

Karstens
Rasner
White
Sanchez
Hughes
Clippard

These are all RHP and all are close ,if not, major league ready. Adding Owens, Nippert, or Ohlendorf is just piling on. Morever we have no place to put them, as the AAA rotation is set. Do you release White and Rarstens to make room?

Britton
Bean
Beam
Veras
Cox
Whelan
Patterson
Clagget

These are all relievers who project to make the Majors. We have depth in these areas, we don't need to trade to add to these areas. Focus on C and IF. If however Cash can spin say White and Nippert for hitting prospects more power to him.

In addition Loretta will be our best utility man in years.

2006-12-29 11:46:30
61.   jakewoods
55

I really wouldnt worry about the Triple A rotation. Im pretty sure the Yanks will find a place for every good pitcher to pitch at. I think its a problem they and every team in baseball would love to have.

2006-12-29 11:55:58
62.   jakewoods
In trades, especially for prospects, you take the best package you can get. It doesnt matter if you're system is deep in a category. If you can add to that, all the better. If you can get high ceiling, upside pitching in a prospect deal you do it. The more high ceiling prospects you have the better for the organization and the system.

Especially in todays game. Young pitching is the best thing to have because no one has it and its cheap.

2006-12-29 12:38:56
63.   Yankee Fan In Boston
one less option for utility infielder:

aaron f. boone signs with the marlins.

http://tinyurl.com/ud2my

c'mon, ca$hman... ink loretta...

2006-12-29 12:45:33
64.   Yankee Fan In Boston
also, here's a fun game to play:

name that sleazy athlete!

http://tinyurl.com/y2hmdd
(spotted this at deadspin)

(not recommended for small children or wives of major leaguers.)

classy.

2006-12-29 12:50:04
65.   Aviezer
Jakewoods, I hear your point, but if the Yankees add two more triple A pitchers there will not be room for them all. There are only five spots. We are overloaded as it is, if we add more it cannot work. I agree that you take the best prospects you can get, but unless some are traded or released, 8 starting pitchers cannot fit into five spots. As well what if Marquez tears it up at Trenton? Where does he go? It is a problem that I like having ,after so many years of the farm being a afterthought, but it just seems to make alot more sense to focus on hitting prospects. Then again if Cash is going to stockpile pitchers and then trade for what he needs, more power to him.
2006-12-29 13:21:38
66.   Raf
46 Given that the Yanks were shut out in gm. 3, I don't think it would've mattered all that much.

50 Johnson has pitched in 3 games for the Yanks, the Yanks had a chance to win 2 of them. I think the "Unit has been terrible in the postseason" angle is a bit overblown.

2006-12-29 13:35:20
67.   tommyl
66 Fair enough, I was thinking of the Angels series foremost. Terrible might not be the right word, but he certainly hasn't been magical either.
2006-12-29 13:42:10
68.   New Amsterdam Yankees
66 RJ's given up 10 ER in 13 postseason IP. 20 H and 3 BB against 8 K. Small sample, sure, but let's not sugarcoat it. It would take a pretty damn fine 2007 season for me to have any faith in him for a postseason start.
2006-12-29 15:50:11
69.   drmt
I enjoy reading all of your comments.
I was wondering if someone could give predictions on what players the '07 Yanks will end up with for the following positions:
First base platoon
back up infielder
back up catcher
Left handed reliever
Thanks and happy new year.
2006-12-29 16:18:25
70.   yankz
Jim Callis ranked the Dbacks' farm system 3rd. Taking two of their top ten prospects would be fine with me.
2006-12-29 16:51:15
71.   mikeplugh
65 I think you hit the nail on the head with the last sentence. Cashman can find places for all the arms if he wants, but the real kicker is that he can use a combination of good prospects to get a proven Major Leaguer. While everyone else has been dropping their organization's entire wallet on mediocre pitching, Cashman has been trading off high priced veterans for very good prospects.

If push comes to shove, you throw (names randomly chosen) Sanchez and Owings into a deal that nets us Zambrano (again, names random and wildly speculative). The point is, a package of early 20s pitchers is the most valued trade commodity in baseball and we can get a HUGE surplus to deal with, while keeping a handful for ourselves. Genius.

2006-12-29 17:28:02
72.   Raf
68 I'm not trying to sugarcoat anything, the Yanks were in a position to win 2 of the 3 games that Unit pitched. The start against the Tiggers really doesn't matter; they were shut down by, of all people, Kenny Rogers.

This postseason, Rogers, Weaver, & Oliver Perez pitched great games. You really want to put that much stock in the postseason? :)

2006-12-29 17:38:55
73.   Raf
72/68 Eh, I know you weren't putting too much stock in the postseason, what I was trying to say was that this postseason was a bit weird, with great games being pitched by anything but the usual suspects
2006-12-29 17:43:52
74.   mikeplugh
I think the issue is not whether RJ is a liability to the Yankees and therefore should be traded, but rather whether we can improve our team going forward by using him as a chip. He's 43, 6'10", has a history of back problems, including recent surgery, and is paid $16 million.

He's also in the last year of his contract, and isn't crazy about pitching in NY. His brother just passed away and he lives in Arizona. For the Yankees, they can help the guy out by getting him back to home, and in an organization where he feels comfortable. We also get to bring back more young arms for trade chips, or to compete for a job out of Spring Training. We cut payroll $16 million, and get younger.

The loss of his potential 17 wins is the only drawback, but you have to figure that the addition of Pettitte and Igawa will make up for some of that difference when compared to RJ/Wright in 2006. Considering our 5th starter options last year, we also are assured an upgrade with all the young arms. Ponson and company show why having MLB ready arms on the farm is a must.

When the playoffs roll around you have Moose, Wang, Pettitte, and possibly Hughes as a #4. RJ's $16 million is expendable.

2006-12-29 18:35:00
75.   Jim Dean
74 Once again you're speaking sense. I'm just not feeling the pitching prospects, especially with position players on that same list. Surely a 24 yo 1B or C is not worth as much as a 25 RHP or three? Or are they?

I'm not buying the rumors. When a trade happens, then we can evaluate it. But until then, it's just silly. Three more RHP prospects would be beyond overkill. At that point they're hampering the development of some guys, and bringing their value down in the process (say Clippard in AA again). If anything I see a trade of Unit as opening up a 4 or 5 slot for the young guns - otherwise, why have them?

2006-12-29 18:52:28
76.   mikeplugh
75 Actually, I'd love to get a catcher or 1B out of this, but I'm not sure what Arizona is thinking. It probably would make more sense for them to give up Chad Tracy or Miguel Montero with one of those arms, rather than drain their deep pitching strength for a two year player.

I'd take Montero and Owings in a flash. We'll see.

2006-12-30 01:43:07
77.   BklynBmr
Short initial report, so copied in it's entirety:

-------

Yankees, D'backs near Johnson trade
Saturday, December 30, 2006

Randy Johnson's brief stay in New York could end as soon as today.

A baseball official who spoke with one of the teams involved yesterday said a trade that would send Johnson from the Yankees back to the Arizona Diamondbacks was nearing its completion. While several complicated details remained to be worked out -- mostly involving deferred money owed to Johnson by the Diamondbacks -- the official said those issues could be worked out by today and a deal could be done soon.

The Yankees have been speaking to the Diamondbacks about sending the 43-year-old future Hall of Fame left-hander back to Arizona for more than a week, since Johnson let GM Brian Cashman know he'd welcome such a move.

The Yankees are seeking three young pitchers from Arizona, with much of their focus on right-handed reliever Brandon Medders, whom they think could help their 2007 bullpen. But once the teams agree on players to be exchanged, the Diamondbacks and Johnson would want to open a 72-hour negotiating window during which they could work out financial issues and, most likely, a contract extension.

Johnson starred for the Diamondbacks from 1999-2004, winning four Cy Young Awards and a World Series title before Arizona dealt him to the Yankees just before the 2005 season. He is 34-19 in two seasons as a Yankee and has 280 victories in his career.

-----

By Dan Graziano / The Star-Ledger
http://tinyurl.com/yzlhml

2006-12-30 02:33:52
78.   BklynBmr
Add: NY Post's Sherman:

"They key item is just how much of the $16 million Johnson is owed for 2007 the Yanks are willing to eat and/or how much Johnson is willing to redirect toward a 2008 extension... the D'backs have made it clear the less they pay, the more they would surrender in talent."

http://tinyurl.com/yhafvq

2006-12-30 02:39:07
79.   mikeplugh
This is good. The thing is, we'd better be getting a couple of the pitchers that the Daily News article mentioned in addition to Medders. Medders is a throw-in on a deal like this, in my opinion. He's a middle reliever, and that's not going to cut it when Randy Johnson is involved.

I covet Ross Ohlendorf.... I mean that in a strictly baseball way.

2006-12-30 05:44:42
80.   unpopster
yes, this is good news...and I happen to agree with those posters that have argued that Cashman is building a heavy stable of RHP minor league and MLB-ready arms. I smell another deal on the horizon that would send some of our young arms for a significant, impact MLB player.

Could it be a trade for Dontrell Willis? Or maybe even a Richie Sexson or Mark Texiera? Not that I advocate such moves, but they are starting to sound more and more likely.

2006-12-30 07:50:22
81.   Jim Dean
The thing is: Randy's a solid #4. That costs $10 million in the open market today. So he's overpaid - what else is new with the Yanks. And with Randy there's always the chance that he could have a throw-back half-season, so he could wind up as a above-average starter in 2007. Even with all the risks, I still feel better with the thought of him at #4 or #5 than Igawa or Pavano.

And stockpiling pitchers at this point is beyond silly. They already have 6 guys 60 maybe (depending on Igawa and Meat) fighting for one or two rotation slots, with one going to Phil Huge. After that, it's all surplus available for trading. Why add to it?

The Yanks have two clear organizational needs right now: 1B and C. And don't you know the D'backs have prospects at both. This is the team to use to fill one of those slots. If all it takes is some cash to get a better prospects then there's no reason to acquire more pitching to then try to fill the positions later. Give Randy and 2- 4 mil and get back Montero and a C arm or two. Seems simple enough...

2006-12-30 07:56:12
82.   pistolpete
81 We paid for the legacy, but if his heart isn't in this thing - buh-bye.

One thing this whole Unit deal has made me realize is that at least people like Giambi and A-Rod want to try and succeed here. Whether it's age or just an intolerance for the frenzy that is NY, Johnson can't hack it with the Yanks anymore. Boston would have been the only place I could see as a worse situation...

2006-12-30 08:04:53
83.   wsporter
The guys brother just passed. I think, as fans, we should give him the benefit of the doubt, thank him for his service and respect his wishes. There is no doubt he's one cranky nasty SOB but he's our cranky nasty SOB.

Happy New Year everybody. Be safe over the next couple of crazy daze.

2006-12-30 08:05:33
84.   OldYanksFan
2 months ago, how many of you thought there was a market for RJ? Yes, a 1B or C would be better then more pitching. But I think Cashman is just taking advantage of the market to dump RJ. If we swap him for a few arms and save over 10mil in the process, we have come out ahead. Cashman will hold out for the best deal possible, but I don't think he wants this one to fall through.

I don't think these market conditions are permanent. Like Cashman has learned, over the next few years, many other GMs will learn the reality of long terms contracts.

10 mil will still buy a decent pitcher in 2 years. And while I believe RJ might help us some, he's an SOB, and I'll be glad to see him gone.

2006-12-30 08:05:34
85.   Jim Dean
Sorry, one more thing.

As WasWatching notes, the Yanks (or Cashman depending on who you think was in charge) gave up:

"Nick Johnson, Juan Rivera, Randy Choate, Brad Halsey, Dioner Navarro and $41 million to get Randy Johnson" for two league average seasons.

And all they're going to get back is two or three RHP prospects? Which is the last thing they need? Other trades may or may not happen - there's no guarantee of that. Besides which, if they Yanks have 10 decent AAA arms, wouldn't it be easier to get fleeced (trading three away in one deal) because of that surplus?

2006-12-30 08:17:36
86.   Jim Dean
84 The thing is: If Randy comes back proves he's healthy in Spring Training, his value only goes up. Further, in Spring Training the D'backs realize their rotation is one pitcher short. If Cashman isn't getting his deal now, he should wait.

I can't believe I forgot it but there's a recent trade that's a perfect example of what can be had:

Wells for Kottaras last year. Kottaras is 23 with a career minor league OPS of .820. (I can't believe the f'in Sux have had three decent BUC in their system over the last year while the Yanks have Wil Nieves.)

Montero is 24 with a career minor league OPS of .820.

Sure, you could argue that Unit is and more expensive. But he won more and pitched more over the last two years. And in going for 300 wins he'll bring immediate press attention.The extra cost is worth is and his value will only increase in the Spring.

2006-12-30 08:19:10
87.   OldYanksFan
85 Jim - No crying over spilled sausages... errr.... milk. We got beat on what we ultimately paid for RJ, but we can not get more now then the market will yield.

On the political side of MLB:
Ruling Erases Players' Victories in a Steroids Case
"...but yesterday the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco wiped out their sweeping victory, ruling in favor of the government in the matter of steroid-test samples that authorities seized in 2004."

Is anyone bothered that our government is so vigilant to get MLB steroid 'criminals', but don't seem to be bothered by CEO's awarding themselves 25-50 million dollars bonuses?

So now tests, done in secret, will become public property. This reminds me of the type of 'justice' that had teenage pot smokers in jail for 10 years, while lawyers and judges had 2 drinks at lunch, and drove their cars back to work.

2006-12-30 08:29:43
88.   Jim Dean
87 Since I think Cashman executed those deals, that affects my opinion of him. Genius he is not. Improving GM he is.

The market yielded Kottaras for two months of Wells. Montero should be the base minimum in any deal.

2006-12-30 08:53:29
89.   New Amsterdam Yankees
86 "If Randy comes back proves he's healthy in Spring Training, his value only goes up"

Absolutely true. But if he doesn't prove to be healthy, then he has no trade value. Plus, there is value in making a deal now and knowing where the roster stands, as well as having the pitching prospects to discuss trades from a position of strength in the interim.

As for the specifics of this trade, who knows? Maybe in the end, Cashman will spin some magic and get Montero for RJ. But all indication are that he is simply unavailable. Cash might be able to include something (prospects, 10M) to make the deal, but then you worry about getting equal value. Maybe Cashman doesn't even like Montero. The question becomes: would you rather trade an asset for good value, even if the return is surplus, or make a deal for mediocre value, and fill a need? Cashman seems to want to maximize his return, especially for high-priced veterans, where the market is limited to a select few teams (in this case the D-Backs, Padres, and maybe a couple of others). Pitching prospects can be dealt to virtually any team in MLB. And plenty of teams have C and 1B prospects. No need to get hung up on Montero or Conor Jackson.

Although I certainly take your point about all of us tending to overestimate Cashman's track record (although this off-season, I can't think of anything to complain about).

Tangentially related, a recently read an old post (approrpriately entitled One Craig Wilson) at a Pirates blog about this kind of thing that I thought was quite interesting: http://tinyurl.com/yk27sa

2006-12-30 08:56:29
90.   New Amsterdam Yankees
"And plenty of teams have C and 1B prospects."

I should probably revise slightly. "Plenty" of teams don't have good C prospects, but certainly more than one does.

2006-12-30 09:02:20
91.   JeremyM
I'm still not sold on the Johnson deal for the reasons people above mentioned. But it does sound like he doesn't want to be here, and maybe Cashman does have a master plan.
2006-12-30 09:09:08
92.   Jim Dean
90 There are few, very few, teams that have C's that can legitimately be moved (because of redundancy in the system). It's not that hard - see the guys moved around last year (Kottaras, Bard, Shoppach, Navarro) - but it's not easy either. This year it looks like Mathis (ANA), Clement (SEA), and Montero (ARI).

With all those pitching prospects, the Yanks are more likely to get fleeced. My worst case scenario has Jorge out 6 weeks in May with a hamstring tweak (shoot he tore a knee ligament last year), and the Yanks aren't going to let Nieves fill-in for that long. So then they're forced to make a trade, and they'll have to overpay in it.

The point is: They don't have to move Unit now. That's their leverage. Even if Unit is hurt, then they eat the contract - no big deal. The D'backs need a SP. The price should begin with Montero or even Snyder.

2006-12-30 09:18:42
93.   Raf
82 One good season, and one bad season (that may or may not been a case of luck), does not mean that RJ "can't hack it in NY." It could be that he wants to play closer to his family. After all, that is the reason he originally signed with the D-backs, isn't it?

85 Not necessarily. Teams (GM's?) get fleeced because they don't know what they have, not because they have a slurpus at a particular position.

As for the trades, I'd make them again. I hated to see Johnson go, but he was the centerpiece in the Vazquez deal. Got to give up talent to get talent. Rivera was a platoon OF'er, Choate was a lefty specialist who couldn't throw strikes. The following year, WRT acquiring RJ, the same applies. Vaz was the centerpiece to that deal. Gotta give up talent to get talent.

86 Yes, if he doesn't get his deal, he should wait. This could be the reason Unit hasn't been moved yet. And I don't think this is a priority, IMO.

Even though the Yanks seemingly have a slurpus of pitching, these things always seem to work themselves out with injury, ineffectiveness, and trades. If the kids on the farm have anything, the team will work them into the rotation/bullpen. No worries there (:

2006-12-30 09:25:34
94.   Jim Dean
93 Speaking sense, but fleecings also include injury replacements and pennant pieces. Both could apply in 2007 for the Yanks, esp. when everyone knows their surplus. High demand and limited supply (see Catcher) equals high prices.

More to the point about the pitching - you're absolutely right. How many of those pitchers will show improvement in 2007? Half? Even then, will the Yanks keep Huge in the minors for a second season in a row during peneant fever?

2006-12-30 09:30:31
95.   sabernar
This from Peter Abraham:

"In the end, the Yankees will be rid of Johnson, the Diamondbacks will ship the Yankees three prospects (one being RHP Micah Owings, it seems) and Johnson will get paid until 2020 or so."

Owings would be great to have, though he is a YARP (yet another right-handed pitcher). John Sickels gives him a B rating and has him as Arizona's #6 prospect.

I guess my wish for Conor Jackson was just too much to ask for. But maybe we can move Owings or someone else for Sexson who is the RH 1B that we need AND a good fielder (Rate of 100+ and also looks good on some other defensive stats). Who knows, maybe we can still steal Tracy from Arizona...

2006-12-30 09:45:21
96.   New Amsterdam Yankees
94 "but fleecings also include injury replacements and pennant pieces"

Which was the case with the Kottaras/Wells deal. And Wells didn't have a no trade clause, making it easier to get a top return for him. But I take your point, that, plus the low salary, is offset by the fact RJ is the superior pitcher and not a rental. There were certainly some strange dealings between the Sox and the Pads last year.

2006-12-30 09:55:50
97.   jakewoods
I think RJ can hack it any city as a pitcher. Check out his stats against the Red Sox. Convinces me he can hack it in NY. Isnt that part of the reason why he was brought here?
2006-12-30 09:56:19
98.   Jim Dean
95 Call me crazy, but I'm not all that impressed with Owings numbers as a 24 yo. Sure he had a great W-L in AAA but his peripherals there weren't all that impressive (2 K:1 BB). So he'll spend his year 25 in AAA full-time? That's a step up from Rasner and Karstens (and not Sanchez, Clippard, or Hughes) but how much?

96 Or the market value of a 23 yo C who = 43 yo lefty for two months? :)

2006-12-30 10:02:50
99.   New Amsterdam Yankees
98 "Or the market value of a 23 yo C who = 43 yo lefty for two months? :)"

I'm sure that's what Cashman is trying to tell Josh Byrnes ;)

2006-12-30 10:08:21
100.   Jim Dean
99 I'm not so sure. He had three years to get a CF prospect with the rapidly impending doom that was Bernie. Now he's had three years to get a catching prospect with the likely even more rapid doom of Jorge. See, when catchers go, they go quickly. Anyone in Soxland, hoping for a Varitek comeback is mistaken. But at least they have Kottaras.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-12-30 10:15:14
101.   jkay
85 Don't forget Javy Vasquez.
2006-12-30 10:20:58
102.   Jim Dean
Javy = the NJ, Juan bit and nine million of cash.
2006-12-30 10:27:39
103.   monkeypants
97 As I recall, RJ was brought in to be the stud #1 pitcher that the team (it was perceived) lacked--so that we had a stud to line up against any #1 pitcher in the playoffs, a pitcher whom we could hope would pitch games 1, 4, and 7 if necesssary, etc. Johnson has simply not been that guy.

You are right, though--it has nothing to do with him being able to "hack it" in NY. Rather, it is more probably related to three factors: back, knee, age.

100 et al. As for Cashman, it is hard to judge his record since we don't know how much he was "in control" before. The tendency on Yankees blogs seemed to be to blame all bad moves on the Tampa bunker, and credit all good moves to Cashman. But you're right--some on has to take the blame for no attempt to get a credible back-up pitcher for five years, and to whistle in the dark for at least two years too many as Bernie trotted out to CF. Likewise, do we count Pavano as a Cashman move?

Only with from this offseason, or maybe from last year during the seasn, can we really begin to evaluate his knack as a GM, but most of those results won't be observable for years.

2006-12-30 10:31:12
104.   unpopster
ok all, let us all now speculate -- and salivate -- over the following tidbit in today's Rotoworld.com:

[quote]"As a result of Barry Zito's deal, the Minneapolis Star Tribune's sees no chance of Johan Santana still being in a Twins uniform come 2008.
Not that one had a lot to do with the other -- it's a simple fact that a healthy Santana would get far and away the largest deal ever for a pitcher should he sell himself to the high bidder. Still, Santana gave up his first two years of free agency to the Twins at a rather inexpensive rate (he signed a four-year, $40 million contract prior to 2005), and with the new ballpark opening up, the Twins should be able to make a fair offer to keep him beyond 2008. If Santana does become available in trade next winter, he's probably the one player the Yankees would give up Philip Hughes to bring in."[/quote]

2006-12-30 10:36:31
105.   Jim Dean
100 103 Let the Cashman Era begin. But hey, he grew up in the organization, so maybe he was just a king growing into his role? Then he took the throne.

No doubt he's going to be around a few more years. By then we'll see how he manages this next transition to a new crop of stars. We'll see if he's around for the full harvest.

A prospect, or two, at catcher would help.

2006-12-30 10:46:16
106.   sabernar
98 Keep in mind that he was playing AAA in the PCL which is death to pitchers.
2006-12-30 11:40:11
107.   Nick from Washington Heights
Rumor is that they've agreed on a deal, and are now awaiting the results of contract extension talks:

http://mvn.com/mlb-yankees/2006/12/30/yankees-trade-unit/

2006-12-30 12:18:40
108.   thelarmis
92 jim's right about there not being a whole lot of legitimate catching prospects at the moment. but you can probably add Atlanta's Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the list.

he's a 21-yr. old switch-hitter with power from both sides and has been improving his defense at every stop. he's not quite ready yet (AA) and recently had groin and hamstring injuries. but all accounts look for him to be fine, improving and a good major league backstop...

2006-12-30 12:20:48
109.   Jeteupthemiddle
I just wanted to point out with the Wells Kottaras deal, it was done in August.

The Padres needed an extra push to get into the playoffs--after the trade deadline.

Wells was the only decent pitcher who made it through waivers, so the Red Sox had some real leverage.

I would still like Montero though. I would like to assume, however, that Cashman has some plan that extends beyond this deal because logically, there is just no space in the ML and AAA rotation for all the arms the Yankees have.

2006-12-30 12:38:46
110.   David
109 I hope you're right JUTM that Cashman has some good follow-up in the works. Otherwise trading Johnson for 2 or 3 minor league pitchers looks unhelpful.
2006-12-30 12:52:58
111.   thelarmis
just for the record, i would love to get montero in this deal. who wouldn't...

if glass carl proves himself healthy in the spring, i would guess cashman moves him before opening day for some other pieces.

if we only get arms back in this one, i'm sure cash will take care of the rest by the time april rolls around...

how awesome would that offseason purging be - sheff, wright, eunuch & pavlavNO ?!?!

2006-12-30 14:16:25
112.   rsmith51
Would the Twins get more for Johan Santana now than they would if they traded him at the deadline? I would think that they would, because the trading team would have the benefit of Santana for the entire season and have more potential bidders due to the PSS(Pre-season Syndrome) of some non-contenders. What would the Yanks have to offer to get Santana? And could an extension be part of the deal? Can anyone think of a previous trade that is similar to this situation?
2006-12-30 14:24:45
113.   yankz
112 Unit to the Astros midseason?
2006-12-30 14:54:24
114.   jakewoods
You dont trade Santana now especially if you think you can win the Series. And a team that just won 95 games and has a good core must be thinking that way.
2006-12-30 14:56:40
115.   Orly Yarly NoWai
108 Forget Atlanta. The Unit is being traded per his own request after a death in the family; his brother, I believe. He's got a no-trade clause and said at the beginning of talks that he wanted to go to a team in the southwest to be closer to his family. In no way was it a trade demand; he said that if Cashman didn't find anything. he'd enjoy coming back to New York. Talks started more as a courtesy to Johnson than anything else.

Then it became apparent that there was a market and things started to snowball.

2006-12-30 15:28:30
116.   randym77
Has anyone heard what happened to RJ's brother? He can't have been that old.

The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the Orioles have signed Aubrey Huff. Three years, $20 million. Which means they won't be signing Craig Wilson...or Adam LaRoche.

2006-12-30 16:07:55
117.   Aviezer
In all the forecasting that has been done about this trade, to me, one point arises. What's the hurry to do this now. Better to wait until spring training, when hopefully Jhonson and Pavano will be throwing, and see what we can get then. Unless Arizona is willing to give us Montero and Owings right now I think it makes sense to wait until the Zito signing sinks into their collective minds and see what we can get then. I am also not adverse to taking on salary to get better prospects. The one think we shouold not hesitate to exercise is our financial superiority.
2006-12-30 17:01:49
118.   Zavo
117 On the other hand, what happens if/when Johnson isn't ready come spring training? He is coming off surgery and Cashman had been saying he wasn't sure Johnson would be ready come the beginning of the Spring. If Johnson doesn't come through the surgery throwing well, then we have a 43 year old guy for one more season, sitting on the IR, paying him $16 million.

I remember discussions of trading Pavano last offseason, and many wanting to wait until Pavano showed he was healthy because "we get go so much more then". We all know how that worked out.

2006-12-30 17:27:08
119.   Zavo
That should have said "We could get so much more then". My bad.
2006-12-30 17:40:25
120.   jakewoods
The problem with the wait on RJ to pitch so you can get more for him thing is he has a full no trade clause.

It makes no sense to wait especially if theres a market for him now and he wants to go somewhere.

I think Arizona wouldnt be even having discussions for him if they didnt think he would be 100% healthy.

2006-12-30 18:04:11
121.   randym77
According to the Times:

>> A major league official informed about the talks said that the Yankees were prepared to pay some of the $16 million Johnson is owed next season in exchange for a combination of minor- and major-league players.

The official, who was granted anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss trades, said the Diamondbacks appeared willing to offer only minor leaguers. <<

2006-12-30 18:15:09
122.   jakewoods
Doesnt this official contradict himself??
2006-12-30 18:35:24
123.   BklynBmr
Latest from Dan Benton (Off The Facade):

There are a ton of rumors swirling now, none that I have been able to confirm.

1 - Conor Jackson will be coming to New York.

2 - The Yankees will pay $6 million of RJ's remaining contract.

3 - The Yankees will be sending a second player over to Arizona in this deal.

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

2006-12-30 18:45:14
124.   OldYanksFan
Is it possible that Cashman's frugality has some real basis to it? I think the Yanks have lost money 3 years in a row... and thats with sellout crowds.

Might our assumptions that the Yankees are a bottomless cash-pit be wrong?

117 "The one think we shouold not hesitate to exercise is our financial superiority."
I agree (but not with your grammar). It would be money well spent.

2006-12-30 20:32:05
125.   jakewoods
124

The Yanks losing money???

I find that hard to believe. Especially with a new stadium, Yes Network going thru the roof, and 4 mill+ fans. And dont forget the value of the franchise near a billion bucks.

2006-12-30 20:45:03
126.   yankz
I would gladly throw in Eric Duncan or almost any of the team's YARPs minus Hughes for Conor Jackson. His 2005 OPS in AAA was 1.010!

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/J/Conor-Jackson.shtml

2006-12-31 04:26:23
127.   OldYanksFan
I need some help from the chorus here but...
I believe I read in the papers, over the last 2 years, that that Yanks LOST money.
I believe one year's figure was $50mil.

Now, with the franchise being worth close to a billion, Steinbrenner ain't crying broke yet. And God knows what kind of creative bookkeeping is used to come up with the numbers.

As far as the new stadium goes.... I don't know how much more money (due to higher prices and more luxury suites) the new stadium will generate, but it's not like we're not paying a forture for it.

Now.... put your wallets back... I'm not asking for donations. I'm just saying that:
1) Our resources are NOT unlimited
2) Even multi-millionaires don't like to lose money
3) Losing money is bad business, regardless of the circumstances
4) Our 'model' over the last 5 years has not been greatly successful
5) Teams with 1/3 our payroll have made it to the PS

I simply think Cashman is taking us back to the late '90s model. Develop the core of your club internally, and use our economic advantage to sign a few FAs that put us over the top.

I honestly believe that NOT signing Beltran (which really hurt the franchise) was NOT a random event, but the signaling of a new beginning for the way we do business.

2006-12-31 06:16:50
128.   Raf
127 I can't see how not signing Beltran hurt the franchise; the Yanks have won 95 & 97 games without him. Having said that, I'm not quite sure why the Yanks didn't sign him (though Lofton was no slouch), I'm also not sure why they didn't go after Pedro either, preferring to sign Pavano & Wright.
2006-12-31 08:05:03
129.   yankz
Daily News says the deal is slowing down- http://tinyurl.com/y7b368
2006-12-31 08:10:50
130.   Jim Dean
128 Torre didn't play Lofton when he damn well should have.

127 What's the answer if the YES makes 100 million/year but the Yanks lose 50 million/year? Until they release the accounting books on both, I won't believe any of it. IMHO, the Yanks would not be throwing out 26 million in lump payments if they were losing $50 million a year.

2006-12-31 08:34:55
131.   OldYanksFan
"Orioles reportedly reach agreement with
utilityman Aubrey Huff. The offer is believed to be for three years and $20 million"

I thought he would have been a real good option for us. 6.66$mil doesn't buy much there days, a Huff would like Yankee Stadium.

127 Those 2 facts have nothing to do with one another.

26$m posting + 20$m signing + 8$m tax / 5 = 10.8$m/yr
For a fully taxable salary, this equates to 7.7$ m/yr (+ 3.1 tax).

Therefore, to get a better deal on a DECENT 5th (LH) starter, we would have had to find one for 7.7$m/yr or cheaper. The Iggy deal was good baseball sense, especially in this market

2006-12-31 08:55:38
132.   OldYanksFan
RE: RJ and Goodbye.
The more I think about it, the more I want RJ banished to the desert. From his point-of-view, he will be playing in a much easier division, of an easier league, on a team where he is actual popular and wanted, and be able to drive home for visits.

Aside from chasing 300 wins, RJ in only 130 Ks behind Clemens for Second on the all-time strikeout leaders list. Since Rajah is only playing 1/2 seasons these days, if RJ can pitch in 2008, second place should easily be his. (In the NL, thats also 120+/- ABs against a pitcher/PH instead of an AL DH).

Morphing myself into RJ (tall, white and ugly) I definitely WANT to go home.... and a few million is peanuts compared to my comfort level and especially my historical ranking in both Wins and Strikeouts.

Morphing myself into Cashman (short, dark amd smart), I gotta think this is a little leverage to get more from Arizona and let RJ compromise a bit, to make it happen.

I think Man-of-Cash will squeeze out a decent MLB ready player from this deal, although I don't want Melky to be thrown into the mix.

2007-01-02 06:18:32
133.   Rob Middletown CT
RJ is old and busted. I know there are projections out there that say he'll be good this year (PECOTA among them), but I'm not buying it.

The man is 43 and coming off back surgery. Maybe it's just because I have back/neck troubles myself (scoliosis in my lower back and a herniated disk in my neck), but I just don't see him being any better than he was last year. He sucked last year.

Obviously, what the Yanks get in return matters. There are prospects and there are prospects. I don't want the sort we dished out for Abreu. :)

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