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Homeward Bound
2007-01-04 15:35
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

So it looks like there is a tentative deal in place between the Yankees and Diamondbacks for Randy Johnson. It involves four young players coming to New York, three of them hard-throwing pitchers, and a double A second baseman. Yanks to cough up $1.5-2 million, mere bag of shells. I'm watching Verducci talking about it on YES and they ran a chart showing that the Bombers have now aquired seven young, strong arms this off-season. In an of itself, that is just so cool. They can develop some of them, and dangle the others as trade bait. I don't know how the move will work out but I have to admit that in an understated, un-splashy, un-Yankee (or just un-George) way, it's been an exciting and rewarding winter to be a Yankee fan. Yeah, I know, Minky Dinky Dog, but don't get too greedy now. They aren't going to be flawless and you can't get everything. Cashman and company really are running the show and that's compelling. If the team is run correctly, there is no reason why they shouldn't always be successful, right? I mean, aside from bad luck and injuries and all. Hey, I really liked the '06 team and think that this year's team will be even more appealing. Don't you think?

Say word.

Comments (114)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-01-04 16:06:26
1.   mehmattski
Shotgun!

From my last post in the previous thread:

Yeah I'd say it was more of a windbreaker than a fleece. Vizcaino offers a 1 K/9 upgrade over Scott Proctor, but not much else (other than depth). Jackson and Ohlendorf are both 24, both at AA, and both enter a Yankees minor league system overflowing with right handed starting pitchers. (Ohlendorf, though, went to Princeton and could give Mussina a crossword puzzle challenge or something). The lone position player, Alberto Gonzalez, appears to be a light-hitting (OPS .730) 23 year old shortstop, also at AA.

Overall, it's getting something in return, but not an Abreu-like steal. I believe this is not the complete puzzle, just the pieces. Or sausage parts, depending on your favorite analogy.

2007-01-04 16:07:44
2.   kylepetterson
DAMMIT!
2007-01-04 16:08:22
3.   kylepetterson
I so wanted to be #1.
2007-01-04 16:16:11
4.   C2Coke
I don't know how much more Cashman can be a hero to me. He scores AGAIN.

I am already itching to see the players and watch the games in March.

2007-01-04 16:29:07
5.   OldYanksFan
I love this place.
I feel like I have a lot of friends.
So I want to come clean.
My real name is.... Frank Purdue

Yes, yes chicken jokes through my whole life. It's okay - the ladies are jealous of my breasts.

2007-01-04 16:38:04
6.   kylepetterson
1 Actually, it's a cardigan but thanks for noticing.
2007-01-04 16:44:55
7.   Kirribilli Yankee Fan
The players listed are not much to write home about.....the kid from Princeton being the pick of the litter.

I hope they did not give up a dime on this deal.

The signing of Clemens would make me happier about the whole situation

2007-01-04 16:49:23
8.   Sliced Bread
Word, Alex. Excellent perspective.

I wasn't happy with the Sheffield deal, but I've come to terms with it, this trade I like a lot.

Unit wanted to go home. Cashman sent him there, saved the Yanks a fat wad of cash, and bolstered the farm. Well done. I wish Randy Johnson well. I think he got a bad rap as a Yankee, and don't blame him for wanting to finish his career at home.

The Minky Dinky Dog thing will irk me if it happens -- mostly because I don't think he's much of an upgrade (if any) over anyone we have for 1B. He seems to be a waste of money and roster space, but hopefully he'll prove me wrong if he becomes a Yankee.

B plus winter for Cashman.

2007-01-04 16:54:35
9.   joejoejoe
I'd love to hear Brian Cashman's views on the value of good hitting catching. As much as I love stockpiling young pitching arms the Yankees have had 115 starts from John Flaherty, Kelly Stinnett and Sal Fasano over the last 3 years.

It would have been nice to get back one of the two good D-Back catchers Chris Snyder or Miguel Montero instead of prospects. When will the Yanks stop throwing away 30 games a year on a veteran stiff and get a player as heir apparent to Posada?

2007-01-04 16:55:59
10.   Jim Dean
It sucks, Cashman blows, and they better get Clemens. Right now the Game 4 starter is Igawa, Meat, Karstens, or Rasner, and that's without any injuries to Wang, Moose, or Andy. How is that an improvement from Wright in Game 4?

How's that for negativity?

2007-01-04 16:58:41
11.   Jim Dean
9 Here, here. And the 81 games and 222 AB's from Cairo at a 59 OPS+.

Hey, but at least they have anohter RHP for the bullpen. What Sturtze signed elsewhere?

2007-01-04 17:00:12
12.   bobtaco
10 New meaning to the Dean Scream.... Yarrrrghhhhhh!
2007-01-04 17:04:25
13.   Jim Dean
12 You have no idea. If Melky gets traded because of a shitty platoon at 1B and Jorge loses time this year, my head just may explode. Jim Beam and all the ladies begging for my sausage won't help.
2007-01-04 17:18:21
14.   mikeplugh
10 Jim, I hear you on the 4th playoff starter, but as I've continued to say throughout this offseason, the 4th playoff starter is just as likely to be Phil Hughes, so no worries. Why not go easy on him at SWB for most of the year and then ramp him up for 2 months with the Yankees. If all goes well, he gets the Game 4 start. I'd be happy with that.

Ohlendorf is good. I like him. I wanted him. I wanted him as the #2 in this deal. They got fair value in my opinion, but I'd rather have Vizcaino and one A prospect, instead of 3 B or C prospects. Quality over quantity.

Whatever. I'm not mad at this. Slightly disappointed, but not mad.

2007-01-04 17:18:34
15.   mehmattski
Jim, I can't imagine what you'd be like if you were a fan of another team, like the Cubs (Marquis, Soriano), the White Sox (trading away Garland and Garcia), the Dodgers (Pierre), the Giants (one player under 30, and he cost $100 million), the Red Sox (Drew, Dice-K, Lugo), or, god-forbid, any of the small-market low budget teams.

How does the RJ deal, in a vaccuum, affect the 2007 Yankees? Yes, it makes them worse, how much is a factor of how the players you mention perform next year. I feel they will more than adequately replace RJ's production. How does the RJ deal, in context affect the 2007-2009 Yankees? I think it without a doubt, unequivocally, makes them better. Flexibility, and trading chips... Cashman and the Yankees have never had these before.

You're acting like this is the last deal ever and the Yankees have to play through all of 2007 with this roster. There is time. What if Melky gets traded, but in a package for Miguel Cabrera or Albert Pujols? What if these arms are flipped for the best young catcher you've never heard of? Is it possible for you to be rational here?

2007-01-04 17:19:23
16.   mikeplugh
Now for post #15. Mientkiewicz makes me mad. More than disappointing. I'll live with it, but I keep asking myself, why? The Soxaholics made fun of the Yankees for that move, and I have to agree with their biting wit and mockery.
2007-01-04 17:20:11
17.   mikeplugh
Doh! I thought I was fast enough to post #14 and #15 but my main man mehmattski beat me to it. Ignore the #15 in #16....
2007-01-04 17:21:34
18.   mikeplugh
15 Jim is just passionate mehmattski. He lets his feelings spill out on these things, but I think he has a good perspective. He'll come around after Clemens come in using RJ's money.
2007-01-04 17:25:41
19.   mehmattski
17 Man, there must be mad wireless goin on at the hospital, eh Daddy-san?

I agree about Mientkiewicz (I need a macro like Bob Timmermann and Steve Goldberg suggested). But I think there's a real chance that he doesn't even make the Yankees' roster. There wasn't much in the free agent world for first basemen this off-season, and as I keep saying, Cashman is stockpiling enough young arms that perhaps dealing Melky (the horror!) wouldn't be necessary to upgrade 1B mid-season.

He can still be my Cash-man anytime.

2007-01-04 17:28:02
20.   Jim Dean
14 I'll believe it when I see it. 1) Torre starting a rookie in the post-season; and 2) the Yanks giving him the chance for meaningful innings all year.

Hughes should have been called up last year. If they were going to let his innings go from 80 to 140, then he could have thrown in the majors.

15 His contract was up after next year = same flexibility. If trading him means the 2007 Yankees are worse, then that's a bad deal.

They better sign Clemens or let Hughes show his stuff. Even still, if any of Moose, Wang, or Andy gets hurt that still means one of Igawa, Meat, Rasner, or Karstens in the post-season, or some crappy arm acquired down the stretch for a big chunk of that surplus pitching.

And for all the time - At this point last year the Yanks were going into the season with Cairo and Stinnett on the team and Wright and Meat in the rotation. Didn't see much improvement there, did we? Hey, but at least they brought back Bernie.

2007-01-04 17:28:09
21.   Jeb
WORD, Alex! I'm super excited about the moves that the yanks have made which aren't splashy, but subtle.
2007-01-04 17:36:19
22.   mehmattski
20 And so after next season, RJ walks, maybe even retires. If he signs with another team, then the first round pick the Yankees get in return is worth another year of a $16 million, average starting pitcher? If he retires, the return is zero. If he gets hurt, the return is nothing. As Goldman said at Pinstriped Blog, the only thing that's certain is that Randy Johnson will turn 44 years old next season. And that he had back surgery. The Yanks trade him away, and you're worried about durability of the rotation? He was the biggest question mark in there.

So instead of perhaps a 50% chance (injury + retire + compensation pick busting) of getting absolutely nothing out of Randy Johnson past 2007, we now have four players who could give us something as soon as 2009. I think Randy would have to win 20 games with an ERA below 3.00 in the weak-hitting NL West to make me even think twice about calling this a positive deal in hindsight. Not a slam dunk, not a fleecing, but a positive deal.

2007-01-04 17:38:59
23.   Sliced Bread
14 Quality over quantity certainly would have been preferable. That's the reason I didn't like the Sheffield deal at first. I thought the Yanks could/should have gotten 1 great Major Leaguer in return for Sheffield (but as I said earlier, I've come to terms with the Sheff trade).

I don't think Cashman had as much leverage in shipping Unit, who wanted to take his 43 year old bones back to the Arizona desert.

From the day he arrived, the old rattlesnake looked so out of place in NY, I kind of felt sorry for the prickly bastard.

As you said, Ohlendorf has great potential, and we'll see what becomes of him and the rest of the bunch.

2007-01-04 17:39:32
24.   Jim Dean
18 The thing is Mike - If they trade Unit for something they need (LHRP, RH 1B, BUC), I'm cool b/c it improves the team. The fact is they still can't trade any of the guys they just acquired for any of those things. Why? Exactly because they got quantitiy not quality. So they're still going to have to move Sanchez or Clippard.

Can you get that little one of your ready by the break?

2007-01-04 17:43:02
25.   Maniakes
I'm wondering if Gonzales might not be our new futility infielder. He's supposedly a fantastic defender, and the pickings are pretty slim. What's the MLB equivilency of his AA numbers from last year?
2007-01-04 17:43:05
26.   randym77
Mientkiewicz is okay by me, if only to provide some support for A-Rod. Don't really need another lefty, but I trust they saw something in his glove they liked.

I guess this is bad news for Andy Phillips?

But if the Yanks sign Scott Schoeneweis, too, I am going to give up typing anyone's name. I'll just call 'em by number.

2007-01-04 17:43:19
27.   Jim Dean
22 Sorry, still not with you. Vizcaino is gone next year too. And I'll be shocked if any of those boderline prospects sees one day in a pinstriped uni, or if tif they can be traded for anything.

24 Shef had no place on the team. ANd Sanchez is legit.

2007-01-04 17:52:47
28.   Jim Dean
22 How about this: Would you feel good or bad if the Sox traded Schilling back to Arizona for the same package?

Well, Randy's been better the last two years than Schilling.

Unit was a question mark, but had more going for him than any of Meat, Igawa, Rasner, or Karstens.

2007-01-04 17:58:38
29.   randym77
28 I wouldn't care. Though I'd wonder if they were going to trade all these players for someone that was worth worrying about.
2007-01-04 18:05:29
30.   Sliced Bread
28 Who gives a rat's ass about Schilling?
Unit wanted to go home to finish his career. There's no place on the Yanks for a player who wishes to be elsewhere -- especially if he's a 43 year old pitcher recovering from back surgery.
2007-01-04 18:10:17
31.   mikeplugh
I'm still sold on the Hughes thing. I think he'll be so good when he hits the Major Leagues that even Torre will feel obliged to use him in the postseason. I could be wrong.

I read a rumor somewhere recently that the Yankees may turn around Farnsworth and a package of prospects for Matt Cain. I pay little attention to these things generally, because anyone can type anything on the internet these days, but it's intriguing. If the Yankees can send Alberto Gonzales, Farnsworth, and something from their stockpile of young arms to SF for Cain I'd be thrilled.

Just baseless and ridiculous speculation, but there is room to make some aggressive moves now.

2007-01-04 18:11:43
32.   mikeplugh
Oh and by the way, no wireless at the hospital. I've been at work the last 2 days. I'm sitting here doing nothing right now, half asleep and playing out the string before I take 2 weeks off for babysitting.....
2007-01-04 18:30:53
33.   Jim Dean
30 Not true. By all reports, he indicated a preference. That doesn't mean they make a crappy deal for players that do them no good.

31 Why would they do that deal?

2007-01-04 18:38:54
34.   StolenMonkey86
hey, now the Yankees know who to bat 9th
2007-01-04 18:46:15
35.   Sliced Bread
33 Yes, he indicated his preference was to go home to Arizona.
How does that make this statement from 30 not true?:
"Unit wanted to go home to finish his career."

"A crappy deal for players who do them no good?" (your assessment). We'll see, but I'm trusting Cashman on this one.

2007-01-04 18:49:36
36.   Jim Dean
35 Just stronger than any report I saw. He said he needed to be be there for his family, or something to that effect. That's different from "Trade me to Arizona".

31 Oh, and I hope you're right about Hughes. Even before Clemens. I think the former will be better.

2007-01-04 18:52:32
37.   wsporter
28 I'd be pissed that the Snakes allowed Boston to replenish the upper levels of their farm system in exchange for an aging, tired and injured pitcher. But that's just me and my lousy anti-Redsawx attitude at work. I just can't stand seeing those guys get ahead. I guess that makes me kind of shallow. I'll try to be a better person.
2007-01-04 18:57:32
38.   Raf
20 I believe Chien-Ming Wang fit that criteria in 2005
2007-01-04 19:01:42
39.   Raf
33 Because he's too young for the Giants? :)
2007-01-04 19:03:38
40.   RIYank
How many innings will RJ pitch this year? I think Cashman gave up little, saved lots of that for which he is aptly named, and got trading chips. I know Jim D. thinks they aren't worth much of anything, but Cashman obviously thinks they are or will be useful for trading purposes, maybe in July.

I'm wondering whether some team with something we want has been inquiring about Proctor's availability. That would explain Cashman's wanting Vizcaino.

2007-01-04 19:05:05
41.   RIYank
And 37 wsporter, you're such a dog in the manger.
(I was going to hyphenate that but I knew someone would shout at me.)
2007-01-04 19:10:20
42.   randym77
40 That thought crossed my mind, too. Atlanta wanted Proctor and Melky, in the three-way trade that would send Gonzo to NY.
2007-01-04 19:10:33
43.   Jim Dean
37 See, and I'd be happy he was gone and wonder why they traded him for AA pitchers ranked at the very bottom of the Snakes top 20. And I'd worry that Vizcaino was their new closer - until I looked at his numbers and laughed.

38 Excellent point. I hope you guys are right and I hope Phil Huge starts the year with the big club.

2007-01-04 19:22:16
44.   wsporter
41 Now you see that's wierd because I think of myself as more a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. :-)
2007-01-04 19:32:38
45.   Jeteupthemiddle
20 Wang started in the playoffs in 2005.

And in general, Torre has broken in several rookies into the roster. What Torre doesn't do well, is get the "fringy" players in who are only destined to be bench players. The Andy Phillips and Kevin Thompsons of the world.

The Derek Jeters, Mariano Riveras, and even Ramerio Mendozas of the world will get playing time by Torre.

That said, if Phil Hughes is up (a Cashman call) and he performs well, he will get a start in the playoffs.

And honestly, I'd rather go into the season with Mussina, Wang, Pettitte, and Igawa guaranteed. With Pavano, Karstens, Rasner, and Sanchez fighting for the final spot in spring training with the expectation that Hughes or whoever will step up.

I'm sorry, but this team has been improved this offseason, and I think some people are just LOOKING for something to complain about now.

Yes, not getting Owings after all the build up all week is disappointing, but we have no idea if he was even an option...especially considering that Gonzalez and Jackson weren't anywhere near radars all week.

I am happy with this deal.

I'll be just as happy if Clemens does not become a Yankee (perhaps happier).

2007-01-04 19:38:06
46.   Bama Yankee
21 Hey Jeb, if you are still around, did you catch the Nick Saban press conference today? Looks like the Tide got the man they were looking for. Mal Moore did his best Brian Cashman imitation and finally got us a winner.
2007-01-04 19:46:48
47.   Sliced Bread
Unit won a few big games for the Yanks, but I think the only time he ever looked happy was the night he repeatedly doused Kim Jones with assorted drinks after they clinched the division.

Never seemed to get any better than that fer old Unit.

Sssssssssee ya, rattlessssssssnake.

2007-01-04 19:46:49
48.   mehmattski
46 He might be a winner at the college level, but just don't show him any grass on the other side of the fence. It, like money, is always greener. But for me it would be like Gary Williams replacing Coach K at Duke... I'd think it'd be weird to welcome a coach from a rival conference's school, two years after they won a championship...
2007-01-04 19:47:16
49.   thelarmis
fleece/windbreaker/cardigan...

is that a real poncho or a Sears poncho?

2007-01-04 19:48:56
50.   thelarmis
47 Kim Jones would make me eternally happy, too! Former Penn Stater and everything : )
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-01-04 19:51:36
51.   Sliced Bread
49 Zappa. Overnight Sensation?
2007-01-04 19:54:49
52.   Sliced Bread
51 Camarillo Brillo.
2007-01-04 19:56:26
53.   wsporter
Mexican poncho - Dynamo Hum
2007-01-04 19:58:32
54.   Jim Dean
45 Welcome to the discussion - pointed out 38 and answered 43.

And as for fringy types you mean how Cano consistently got the nod over Womack? Or Phillips over Cairo at 1B? Or Melky over Terrence Long?

All I know is that Unit won 34 games with 400 innings over the last two years. Pettitte as a step up from Wright? Yes. Over Unit's consistently average pitching? I'm not sure - we'll see.

And Igawa is what? Last year's fourth was Wright. Is he better than that? Who knows?

So the rotation has more uncertainty than the end of last year. And that's scary.

The lineup I feel good about. They're going to score some runs and make it easy on that shaky pitching staff.

The bullpen is about what a bullpen will be. There's Mo. Farns is overpriced. Proctor is no given. Myers will be alright. Bruney, Britton, and Vizcaino could all be the second coming of Sturtze (good and bad). Hey, it's the bullpen.

The bench? They had two improvements (Cairo and Kelly Fasano) to make and one addition by subtraction (Bernie). So far - nothing. And it's still possible that the bench could be worse from last year (trade Melky, re-sign Bernie, Raul Chavez, Cairo, platoon 1B of Phelps/Phillips and Mhfdjvkhg). That's even scarier.

But you're right. I'm just looking, under every rock, to find somethng to complain about.

2007-01-04 19:59:13
55.   thelarmis
nice, sliced! and Apostrophe, too. FZ throws that line in one or two other spots throughout his incredibly vast catalog, which continues to grow now that The Vault is opening.

maybe there's a spot for mient-wicz in the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen!!! ; )

2007-01-04 20:00:05
56.   murphy
not a speck of cereal.

(hate to nitpick, but it's "Over-Nite Sensation". frank was a fussy dood and he'd want you to get it right

2007-01-04 20:00:57
57.   thelarmis
53 word! Hmmm...no foolin'...
2007-01-04 20:02:28
58.   Sliced Bread
56 The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

55 Wouldn't trade a blade of Montana dental floss for Stinkwicz.

2007-01-04 20:02:51
59.   randym77
I think Randy's gonna miss Kim.

Nick Saban inspired Mike Ventre to write an article about great sports liars.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16458695/

Pete Rose is at the top of the list, as is Palmeiro. George Steinbrenner is also on it, for these immortal lines:

"We plan absentee ownership as far as running the Yankees is concerned. We're not going to pretend we're something we aren't. We'll stick to building ships."

2007-01-04 20:03:23
60.   thelarmis
56 in that case, you'd have to correct 53 with Dinah-Moe Humm. it's all good, though. FZ would be glad we're talkin' bout his godlike music.

i was told there'd be no spelling...

2007-01-04 20:06:43
61.   wsporter
60 After all, Billy was a Mountain
2007-01-04 20:07:24
62.   murphy
frank zappa comments on recent yankee goings-on:

mientkewicz ever on the team come opening day?

"i figure the ODDS be FIFty FIFtaaaaay!"

2007-01-04 20:09:11
63.   Jeteupthemiddle
Last year, our rotation was

Mussina
Wang
Johnson
Wright
Chacon/Lidle/Karstens

And technically, Johnson could be considered the 4th starter with Wright being the 5th starter. Johnson had a 12.3 VORP and an 88 ERA+. Wright had an 18.1 VORP and a 98 ERA+.

Anyway for 2007
Mussina-----Mussina
Wang------Wang
Johnson------Pettitte
Wright-------Igawa
Chacon/Lidle/Karstens-----Clemens/Pavano/Rasner/Sanchez/Hughes

Yeah, I would say we are improved.

A complete overhaul of the rotation and roster can't happen all at once. There has been a lot of improvement and there is still 6 weeks before pitchers and catchers report let alone the season.

I say stop freaking out.

2007-01-04 20:15:27
64.   Sliced Bread
re: mientkiewicz's overhyped defensive prowness:

"Let's talk about Leather: LEATHERRRRRR"

By the way, Poncho line is also in Cosmik Debris.

2007-01-04 20:15:58
65.   mikeplugh
I think the team is possible about the same today as it was at the end of last season, when all's said and done. You know what that means?

It means we have a team that finished with the best record in baseball and flamed out unceremoniously in the ALDS. So what? The ALDS doesn't start in February, March, April, May, June, or July. It doesn't start in August or September either. By that time this year, who's to say what the rotation will be? There is every possibility that Phil Hughes will be up, and then I believe we will field one of the best pitching rotations in the sport with Moose, Pettitte, Wang, and Hughes.

The beauty of what we've done (other than Mientkiewicz) is we've cut payroll, avoided taking on any overpriced/long term free agents, added a lefty under the age of 30, stocked the farm with some very nice prospects, and out ourselves in a position to make a big deal somewhere later down the line.

If the outcome of the 2006 offseason is a short term status quo, the eventual outcome, long term, is potential revolutionary. That's why it's been a successful winter. The days of "win now at all costs" is over. Some don't like that, and that's their right, but I don't care about winning one championship, I want dynasties. That's why the Yankees are not the St. Louis Cardinals or the Dodgers. They have 10 and 9, respectively, while we have 26. I want 26 more, not 3 or 4.

2007-01-04 20:17:42
66.   mikeplugh
65 sorry for all the typos...
2007-01-04 20:20:40
67.   Sliced Bread
65 Word, Plugh.
2007-01-04 20:21:14
68.   nemecizer
Let's look at these moves objectively.

Our lineup next year is probably something like this (with rough BA numbers)

1) Damon .280
2) Jeter .300
3) Abreu .300
4) A-Rod .280-.300
5) Giambi .250-.280
6) Hideki .280
7) Posada .250-.270
8) Cano .280-.300
9) Minky .240-.260

There will of course be permutations and my BA numbers are off the top of my head (no sourced in stats), but that's a powerful lineup, make no doubt. Minky is not Andy P. I always feared when I saw our 8 or 9th batter with a sub-.200 BA. We will have very few real holes in any position.

Starting pitching:

1) Wang
2) Pettitte
3) Moose
4) Igawa
5) Karstens/Rasner/Hughes/Pavano/some mid-season pick up

Again, that's quite good. Realistically, with that lineup, Wang, Pettitte and Moose could all win more than 15 games. I think Igawa could be good for 12-14.

Also, figure:

1) No Bernie (love the Bern, but he's done)
2) No Fasano or Stinnet
3) No Bubba
4) Melky in the mix, I think his power will increase this year
5) NO WRIGHT! (I never liked that signing)
6) Sheff and his attitude is gone.

I would have like Loretta as a bench player.

The bullpen:

Proctor
Farnsworth (he has historically had a good year followed by a bad year)
Bruney
Britton
Mo
Villone?

And btw, plenty of other options, such as Clippard, Sanchez, White, Cox, maybe Beam.

This is a pretty deep team, and Cashman has stockpiled exactly what is needed for a solid mid-season trade: young pitching.

Will all the prospects work out? No. Are there question marks in the starting rotation? Definitely. Is the bench deep enough? Probably not. Are there single points of failure (e.g. Mo/Posada)? Yes.

However, I feel very good about this team. It builds on the strengths of last year and gets rid of a lot of the weaknesses. And it shows that Cash is in control. He always said he would need a few years to rebuild the farm and restock the team. I think he's done that without the following recipes for long term failure: Long term contracts for high dollar value for players on the downslope of their careers.

There is no such thing as a perfectly constructed baseball team at the beginning of January. Cash has given us a very good team at this time of year, and given us real flexibility to make this team better as the season progresses.

I am a happy Yankees fan and gladly paid my invoice for my season tickets.

I don't really have any complaints. I think this team can win 95 games next year in what I see as fundamentally a year where we are correcting mistakes for the years that the Tampa crowd was in control.

I am a happy fan.

2007-01-04 20:23:05
69.   Jim Dean
63 No one's freaking out - if anything polyanna is too easy.

I think you mean that Unit could be the 4th starter with Wright being the 3rd.

Even still Pettitte has to prove he can throw 200 innings. Otherwise then you're replacing three spots in the rotation.

And Clemens still has to sign. Sure, if he does it's an improved rotation but that's far from a given.

So:
Pettitte = Unit???
Igawa = Wright???
5th = Depth but whom???

Just more questions.

The offense will be better with full seasons from Abreu and Matsui.

The bullpen can go any which direction.

And the bench looks like it's getting worse.

Instead of a 97 win team gaining a few wins with smart player upgrades, I'm not sure that's a given anymore.

And while I have no doubt it's a playoff team, the starting pitching is not clearly improved. Payroll flexibility? Yes. Better team? I'm not so sure.

I say learn some objectivity.

2007-01-04 20:31:47
70.   Jim Dean
65 See, I'm with you on all that jazz, Mike. All the other trades I'm cool, Fonzy cool, with. This trade just made the 2007 Yankees worse. Sure there could be other reverberations, but until they happen I'll call it as I see it.

And the bench is still a cesspool, save for Melky. Oh, Melk-man - where would they be without you? Who knows - we may just find out.

68 See, I see them treading water, but true with flexibility to make a move or two. Still, they have to make said moves or two. And if Jorge goes down, that takes a big chunk out of the surplus pitching because the prices skyrocket. If Pettitte goes down and Clemens stays home, that takes the rest of it. Some good moves have been made, but some moves, and non-moves, are just shocking.

Oh, and I finalized my ticket package today too. Saturdays all the way - can't believe only one Sox gmae though.

2007-01-04 20:38:36
71.   thelarmis
sorry for the Zappa sidetracking. i've been digesting every post about 'the trade' & 'the signing.'

mike plugh = is murphy a sawx troll? can't remember. last i checked Zappa's favorite color was Green, not red...

yup, poncho line on ', too! speaking of green, calling any vegetables?

nice work on mien...Z = Lather. like a telefunken U-47. you'll love it!

2007-01-04 20:42:16
72.   mikeplugh
70 Jim, you're more pessimistic about the moves than me, and maybe others, but I hear you.

The thing that you should hold onto, and others who feel the same way, is the idea that the big money, free spending Yankees didn't show up this winter, but......

If anything happens and the team skips a beat anywhere, there's a Gibraltar-size wallet full of $10,000 bills sitting on George's dresser, and he told Cashman that he should feel free to take whatever he needs. The Yankees have played it conservative so far, and while it appears as though they are about the same as last year (or slightly worse, at worst), they can outspend anyone to get what they want and I'm absolutely sure they will.

They've positioned themselves brilliantly for 2008 and 2009, but they have the resources to blow up the bank on something they need short term at any moment. That's how you run a billion dollar team with a bit of sense. I like what's happening.

2007-01-04 20:43:30
73.   mikeplugh
71 If I remember correctly, yes. Murphy might just be that, but I don't recall because I pay those types little mind.
2007-01-04 20:45:35
74.   Zavo
63 65 68 You all expressed yourselves beautifully and I agree heartily with those sentiments.

This has been my favorite offseason in years and I think the Yankees have been run extremely well since Cashman laid down the gauntlett last winter.

Is everyhting perfect? No, we could still badly use a catcher, but I really like the way the Yankees are going about their business these days and I have faith that things are going in the right direction long term.

2007-01-04 20:46:22
75.   Jeteupthemiddle
69 I have plenty of objectivity.

I think part of that is not judging the final roster until the first day of the season which is still 3 months away (to the day?!)

And yes, I am aware that Clemens would still have to sign, but as I said previously, I'm not sure I want him to. I think it is possible for Hughes to provide the same numbers in the half season Clemens would pitch.

I think our bench is stronger than it has been in years. Yes, that is obviously because we have had terrible benches in years, and yes, it is also mostly on the strength of one player in Melky.

I think it is very likely that the offseason isn't over (actually, that is a guarantee) and that it is likely more transactions are coming considering there are simply too many starters for the ML and AAA.

As for this trade on its own, I don't much care about Vizcaino, I like Ohlendorf (fun stat, in ~182 IP last season, he had 29 walks--15 wild pitches. odd). I think Jackson is extremely interesting (.36 HR rate)

We got two pitchers that no, may never pan out, but they throw strikes and have high potential.

As for Gonzalez, apparently an excellent defender. Perhaps he can be our utility guy.

Our bullpen has questions--I guess--in the matter that all bullpens do because relievers in general fluctuate from year to year. HOwever we have so much depth that I am confident in it. I'm not sure many bullpens are better than ours.

The rotation is clearly the weak link. It clearly has the most question marks and that is obviously because of age and injury concerns. Cashman changed it as best he could in a few months. He may not be finished, but this is an ongoing project.

2007-01-04 20:50:30
76.   nemecizer
70 I am Saturdays all the way through as well. And I am not happy about on one Boston game (in April!). But I am no longer going to be working in DC during the week this year so I will try to get supplementary tickets on stubhub for weekday games.

Make no mistake, the team has risks. I think Jorge is one of the biggest. I also worry about Mo. We need a good backup catcher and we need a good catching prospect. My only point is, I think Cash has prepped the battlefield well to get us that if/when we need it (subject to availability).

The one thing I like about this team is that is has become much more flexible. We now have prospects to trade, and we have the cash (no pun intended) to make the trades that we need. Witness Abreu. We got him because we could absorb his contract in full while basically giving up nothing. We can do that again.

I go back to Cashman's quote when he was resigned: "With payroll flexibility and a good farm system, God help the rest of baseball" (or something like that).

I am a happy Yankees fan these days. From 2001 to 2005 we were going back to the bad old days of the 1980s Yankees. I really feel that we are building the next dynasty that will take us to 3-4 World Serious in the 2008-20014 time frame.

The great thing about this game is that it is played on the strategic, tactical, and operational levels all at once. Strategic in what the team does to build for the future, tactical in what it does to win over 1-2 seasons, and operational in what it puts on the field to win every day. Cash is thinking like that (from my humble observation). He is setting us up for long, mid, and short term success. That's pretty powerful, and it's the best use of the amazing resources the Yankees have.

Anyway, I'll shut up now. Just very positive on the way things are going long-, mid- and short-term.

2007-01-04 20:54:33
77.   mikeplugh
76 Great post, but I hope the Yankees win more than 3 or 4 championships between 2008 and 20014. By that time they should have won about 5200 championships at the current rate!!
2007-01-04 20:55:39
78.   mikeplugh
77 or at least in the neighborhood of 5000. My math is a bit fuzzy today. ;)
2007-01-04 20:56:20
79.   nemecizer
76 Um, that's "2008-2014". I of course expect us to win 6,000 World Serious by 20014 (i.e. 1-2 every 4 years). Whoops.
2007-01-04 20:56:31
80.   Schteeve
Have Yankee fans always been this goddamn whiny and hand-wringy? The Yankees are going to win 92-95 games next year and make the playoffs. Randy Johnson was old,and salty, and old, and nobody liked him until now.

Wang
Moose
Pettitte
Igawa
Pavano
Karstner

I can live with that being the first 7 guys on the rotation depth chart.

And another thing with regard to this whole catcher bitch fest...
The heir apparent to Posada isn't just sitting out there with a fucking sign around his neck you know. Maybe light hitting 2B man turns into the next Posada. Maybe they acquire Posada's replacement next year. Or maybe they never do.

Posada is a freeking rarity in the history of the game. A catcher who can hit like crazy. They don't grow on trees, folks. So anyone who is like, "Cashman is a stupid moron because he hasn't found us the next Posada." I suggest you take your finger out of the light socket. The next Posada may not even exist.

2007-01-04 20:58:06
81.   nemecizer
78 Arigato, Plugh-San, you beat me to it :) Oh, and conrats on Hiroto! (is that right?) Do what my brother is planning to do with any new baby: tape the right arm to body to make sure he's a lefty ;)
2007-01-04 20:59:06
82.   Jukeofurl
Now that Mxyzptlk is a NYY, do we get the 2004 WS ball?
2007-01-04 21:00:02
83.   nemecizer
80 Word Schteeve. Big word. I wear number 20 to the stadium every time I go. I love georgie.

Anyway, off to bed. Here's to what I think is a great off season and what is going to be a good year!

Namaste.

2007-01-04 21:00:39
84.   Jim Dean
72 You're right, Mike. Overall I feel good about the direction of the club. This trade - not so much. The status of the bench - even worse. But the money can only go so far.

The first problem is that fewer quality players are reaching the market. And when they do, mid-market teams are paying silly contracts (Houston, San Fran). The Yankee checkbook isn't what it used to be because other teams are making dough and the Yanks are subsidizing them. If any thing's a reason for them to be smarter, that's it.

The second problem is that during the season money helps a little bit, but not often. The salary dumps are rare because you need a team that falls out of it and has a player that fits. Abreu was a great deal. But that's rare.

Sure, they could trade for Zambrano this year or Santana next year. And they are well-positioned to do so. But that's most of the pitching depth right there. Or Teixeira for a few A/B prospects. And then give them a big extension. But those trades don't always turn out for the best - the last one like it was Vazquez which I liked at the time.

Me, I don't like that the smaller moves aren't being made - the BUC, the utility guy, the LHRP. That's a sign of a creative GM - one that sees holes and plugs them. That I haven't seen from Cashman yet and it's now two off-seasons when he's had the "power" to do so, if you believe all that.

Hopefully there's more to come but I doubt it. Unit didn't have to be moved now - if that was their priority I expect things to be very quiet for the next six weeks. Hopefully I'm wrong.

2007-01-04 21:19:08
85.   Jim Dean
80 There are catchers out there that are blocked at the major league level (Clement, Mathis, Montero). They could be had - overpay if you must.

And the problem is I've seen this already with the next most important position - CF. A bit of a refresher for you:

2003 Serious - Pierre runs all over the place. Big Stein order a speedy guy gets signed. Lofton it is.

2004 - Torre refuses to play Lofton over Bernie. Yanks lose in horrible fashion in the ALCS where every base meant something. Lofton gets traded for a "decent" reliever.

2005 - Yanks search for a CF all year - Womack, Bubba, Reese, Melky, Bubba. ALDS gets decided by a misplayed ball in CF/RF.

2006 - Yanks overpay for Damon. Get one good year so far.

Where was the organization going out and getting a prospect CF or three? Sure, they don't grow on trees. But you get one or three and see what happens. Instead, they tried signing someone and then just pretended the problem would go away. Um, it didn't. Some of that could have been they thought they were going to sign Beltran. They didn't - they got Meat and Wright instead.

Now at the catcher position. Going back four years they've had John Kelly Fasano. Where's even a token effort at a Jorge successor? Even a guy like Bard, or Shoppach, or Kottaras (all of whom have changed teams in the last year) - someone who wouldn't replace Jorge but would be a fine stopgap? Instead, Cashman signed Kelly Stinnett in November and called it "problem solved". This year it was Zaun (who would have been fine for one year) and then it's Raul Chavez and Wil Nieves? Give me a fucking break.

Varitek gets hurt last year and the Sox fell off a cliff. They at least got Kottaras (for an often injured lefty who was less effective than Unit). When catchers go, it ain't pretty. Jorge tore a knee ligament and is going on 36. With some forethought, he could have been the RH 1B.

Hey, at least we know you won't be bitching if Jorge goes down.

2007-01-04 21:23:05
86.   unpopster
y'know, with all the back-and-forth going on here about this trade, you'd think that the 2007 Yankee team is suddenly all set for the season.

Something tells me that Ca$hman has one more trick up his sleave and it'll most probably cement his name in as today's greatest GM.

I'm not necessarily talking about a Clemens signing -- I think there's another trade coming around the bend.

And, by the way, I think some of us here are underestimating this bullpen. If there's anything that we all should have learned from the ALDS is the importance of power arms. Well, I think Mo, Farnsworth, Proctor, Bruney, Britton and now Viscaino give us a bonafide POWER bullpen. And as much as I love Melky, a trade for Gonzalez would be the bullpen coup de grace -- THAT would be the BEST pen in Baseball.

2007-01-04 21:26:44
87.   Jim Dean
80 BTW: Unit got the job done for 200 inning a year. That's more than everyone on that list over the last two years - knees and back and all. He would have been a fine #4 or #5. It's not clear if there's even a solid #3 on that list.

That's not whiny or hang-wringing - it's fact.

2007-01-04 21:28:34
88.   Jim Dean
87 Yup, and the WORST bench in baseball. Here's hoping there are no injuries, because my head may expode if I see Bernie playing the OF again.
2007-01-04 21:28:50
89.   Chyll Will
Maybe if Girardi does some "special instruction" during spring training, we'll see Nieves try to rip Sanchez' head off and eat it, then Cashman will trade both of them for Pyrzynzski or whatever the hell his name is and let him duke it out with Jorge over who backs up whom.

"Would you like to be the batter on the other team coming to bat with the catcher foaming at the mouth like that?" says Torre. "I know I wouldn't."

2007-01-04 21:28:55
90.   Jim Dean
Make that 86
2007-01-04 21:29:45
91.   C2Coke
65 Excellent, mike.

69 Obviously lots of question marks is not something most people like. But we have already seen the best Unit and Wright can be, yes, the Yankees had the best record but didn't win in the end. And that was that. So why not try the possibility of going cheaper and with the potential of being better? Admittedly, they could be worse, but do you really think Unit and Wright maintain their levels this year?

It's almost funny that we have Jim Dean for the Unit trade like we had Sliced for the Sheff trade before.

71,72 I think there are at least two murphies...one is a Yankee fan.

2007-01-04 21:34:59
92.   C2Coke
86 I think Cashman has more than one trick up his sleeve considering there are still 3 months left before opening day.

88 Be sure to call Cashman, perhaps that could be the most legitimate reason for the Yankees not to sign Bernie...

2007-01-04 21:35:56
93.   Chyll Will
91 That's great, first global warming and now the Anti-Murph...
2007-01-04 21:38:27
94.   Jim Dean
91 The question is will: Pettitte pitch better than 06 Unit. Me, I'm not so sure b/c I'm not sure he's out there every fifth day. But Unit in AZ? - He'll pitch better in 07 with the warmer weather and the weaker league.

Wright I was fine with trading. And it looked even better when it seemed like Andy was replacing him.

86 I hope so, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is the team they go to camp with. And trading young talent for an NL closer? I'd rather see that with Cordero in Boston.

2007-01-04 21:39:37
95.   Jim Dean
Thanks for the fun - have a good night everyone.
2007-01-04 21:45:23
96.   pistolpete
87 I see a lot of 'ifs' in your reasoning - 'if' Posada goes down, 'if' Pettite goes down, 'if' Clemens doesn't sign, etc, etc...

IMO the biggest 'if' out of all of those would be if Johnson can go another season (or two) at 43 when he's just come off back surgery. You seem to be glossing over that just a tad.

2007-01-04 21:59:34
97.   Peter
80 85 For all we know, Cashman could turn one of these newly acquired arms into a decent hitting backup catcher. There's still plenty of time left until Opening Day.
2007-01-04 22:15:05
98.   bobtaco
I saw this over at Pete Abe's earlier, thought it was a good summary:

"In 2006, in close & late situations, Johnson had an ERA of 9.00. So did Jaret Wright.

Compare that to:

Mussina: 1.13
Wang: 2.81

Want more?

With the bases loaded, Johnson's ERA was 27.00 No pitcher who was on the Yankee roster at anytime in 2006 was worse than that.

With runners in scoring position, his ERA was 12.84 Only 4 pitchers on the roster at anytime in 2006 were worse. Scott Erickson, Sidney Ponson, TJ Beam and Kris Wilson.

His ERA against Boston was 7.17. Against Toronto, it was 12.04.

And for those who want to blame it on his late-season back problems, his ERA was worse BEFORE the all-star break than it was after."

I thinking trading him now was a good thing, even if it wasn't for A prospects...

2007-01-04 22:42:14
99.   Chyll Will
Looks like I'm closing up for the night. sigh. Well, it was entertaining. Jim's gonna hate me for this, but if I had anything but AOL he would have seen this while he was still here. Oh well...

Sorry about this, Jim...

Phone rings middle of the night. Brian Cashman rolls over in his sleep and picks up the phone wearily.

CASH: Yes, George...

JD: What? I'm not George, my name's Jim Dean. I called to warn you...

CASH: Jim who? Oh, I loved you in Giant, the way you fell over the table when you were drunk in that wide-angle...

JD: No-no, you idiot! Listen, you gotta let go of Bernie! Don't resign him! Give him a coaching job, send him to Vegas, get Jay-Z on the phone and have him sign Bernie to Def Jam, do whatever it takes to keep him off the team in 2007...

CASH: zzzzzzz.....

JD: WAKE UP!!!

CASH: Whuh, whuh...

JD: That's right. Now tomorrow when you wake up, you're gonna call the Diamondbacks and tell them what?

CASH: zzz... I want Randy back becuzzz... he's our most prolific pitcher to datezzz... we got jobbedzzz...

JD: And if they don't, you'll do what?

CASH: Declare Chapter 12 bankruptcyzzz... destroy revenue sharing foreverzzz...

JD: Goood. He'll be back in no-time...

CASH: But I can't get rid of Bernie...

JD: What? Why the hell not?

CASH: Becuzzz... Joe's head would explodezzz...

JD: Well so what?? Go and buy Sweet Lou to replace him!!

CASH: But thenzzz... MY head would explodezzz...

Garbled words resembling YOU SUCK!!! followed by loud popping sound echo from the phone. Cashman rolls over and drifts back to sleep.

WIFEY: Honey, who was that at 1:00 in the morning?

CASH: That waszzz... Jim Deanzzz... man he makeszzz... good sausagezzz...

Good night, all >;)

2007-01-05 03:53:51
100.   randym77
Don't worry, Cashman is going get a LHRP before opening day. Gonzo? Villone? Schoenoeneoeweiss? I dunno, but dollars to donuts, he'll get someone.

I think he will likely get a backup catcher, too. The only question is whether it will be a young guy with some upside, or another Stinnett or Fasano.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-01-05 04:16:50
101.   randym77
Oh, my. From the Denver Post:

"The Rockies, attempting to improve their bench, offered a minor-league contract to outfielder Karim Garcia on Thursday while intensifying their pursuit of catcher Javy Lopez."

2007-01-05 04:41:58
102.   mehmattski
101 Who is Javy Lopez?
2007-01-05 04:52:04
103.   randym77
102 They're also talking to some guy named Sal Fasano, just in case Javy eludes them.
2007-01-05 05:06:48
104.   Jim Dean
99 No harm, no foul. But you can do better.

98 Sure, trade the SOB - but for something that improves the 2007 Yankees. Instead of C+ prospects and a middle reliever, they couldn't have held firm for Montero or Conor Jackson? A one for one swap - heck, throw in the same four million they're spending on Vizcaino and sending their way. The D'backs needed Unit more than the Yanks needed to get rid of him. This trade was not the one to make.

I'm going to be sick all over again. And they signed Mfduiovjfkd [wretch]. Brilliant!

2007-01-05 05:09:24
105.   Jim Dean
97 A decent hitting backup isn't out there. A prospect is. I'll be happy as shit if it happens. But I'm not holding my breath. If I was, I would have died last year from the stench of Kelly Fasano's corpse.
2007-01-05 05:55:14
106.   OldYanksFan
Jim Dean - You are obviously Baseball knowledgable, but your arguments are always backed by a few, carefully chosen questions and facts that fall in your favor. You should be a Republican pollster.

I can argue with facts too: George Bush is a great president. He has a great program to fight AIDS in Africa and he's definitely a 'man of conviction' who follows his beliefs (even if they are immoral, illegal or against the constitution). I have presented 2 facts that even the most diehard Democrat would have to agree with. But my conclusion?

How do we replace 17 wins and 200 IPs? Sounds very, very difficult. However, the 17 wins came from the best team in MLB, who scored the most runs, and RJ just happed to receive more run support than any pitcher in MLB.

So I ask you. How do we replace a pitcher:
with a 5.00 ERA / 88 ERA+
who is 43 and coming off back surgury
who is taking up $16m in resources

On a more esoteric level, how do we replace a guy:
who was nasty as hell and may have had a negative impact on the clubhouse
who never liked or respected the Yankee organization and who hated NY
who pitched even worse in the PS then the regular season

And on a purely technical, sabermetric basis:
how do we replace a guy who is just so damn ugly?

2007-01-05 06:07:44
107.   Jim Dean
106 I was fine, very fine, with the Yanks trading Unit. Just not for that bag of balls.

Two months of David Wells got Kottaras. The money was less but then David Wells is not the best lefty of his generation. Nor has he thrown 400 innings of league average performance over the last two years. And Wells had to bad back to go with a massive gut.

The Yanks could have held out for Montero or Jackson. They didn't need to trade Unit.

Do I think they can replace him? Probably. But right now that's not a given, and for what they got in return? No thanks.

2007-01-05 06:38:36
108.   Chyll Will
104 I knew I didn't quite get the voice down pat. Throw in some VORPs and ERA+s and a few other SFIPs and WMDs (Stats For Intimidation Purposes, Words of Mass Destruction) and I'm on the right track... >;)
2007-01-05 06:46:37
109.   Chyll Will
107 For what it's worth, those situations were different. San Diego figured they needed a boost to get to the playoffs and a comfortable Wells could do the trick for them. Arizona has something different in mind for Randy and could just as easily have held off until after Spring Training. I think that Cashman was more interested in striking while the iron was hot; Randy hinted he wanted to go and that was enough to get something better than a compensation pick, or worse, packaging some of our stockpile for a middling rental.
2007-01-05 06:59:26
110.   Jim Dean
109 Of course, they were. But that's as good as a comparison as you're going to get. Randy's makes much more, but the chances are much higher that the results will be much better, and for a full season at that, while approaching his 300th for a team he has history with. Indeed, Unit will likely wear a snake on his HOF cap.

The difference is: the Sox held firm and got some something they needed. The Yanks didn't.

The Yanks could have just as easily held off until Spring Training too. Unit expressed a preference, but the Yanks were under no obligation to honor it. They could have simply told him they weren't getting a deal that worked for them (as Boston told Wells all year) and that if he really wanted to go the best thing he could do was pitch well.

2007-01-05 07:14:19
111.   Chyll Will
110 Not that he could guarantee to pitch as well as they wanted him to. Well he could guarantee, but to what end coming off back surgery? There's more to this deal than meets the eye.

Randy would never have gone into the Hall wearing a Yanks cap even if he won his next forty here, just as Clemens will never return that Hummer if he comes back in May. Boston got something, but was it enough to boost them into the playoffs? Not a chance. They protected themselves in case Varitek is done, but then they're relying on DM, Nancy and Lugo to be their playoff boosters, not Kottaras. I think we get into the playoffs even with Wil Neverbe behind the plate for six weeks. But even so, Cash has enough stock to make another deal.

2007-01-05 07:43:19
112.   Jim Dean
111 Wells had just as many injuries that directly affected his ability to get out to the mound. The only clear difference between the two deals: timing and money. The former could have been used to the Yanks advantage if they waited. Either the D'backs were going with youngsters in the rotation who were clearly not ready, or they were acquiring other talent - none of whom would have meant as much to them as Randy Johnson. As for the money, that's what the checkbook is all about. Unit + 6 million = 10 million for Unit this year. That's very reasonable and you do it if it nets Montero or Jackson, especially since the Yanks are already on the hook for about 5 million (2 mil to AZ and 3 million (salary and tax) to Vizcaino).

And why acquire more stock to make another deal when the D'backs had real pieces the Yanks could have used? That's just delaying things for no reason. And with delay the prices will only go up. Further, the pieces they just got will do no good in that deal excepts as throw-ins. They'll still have to lead with Clippard or Sanchez, and those are guys who shouldn't be traded.

Sure, they can make the playoffs with Wil Neverbe (nice!) for six weeks, esp. since they made the playoffs with Cairo and his 60 OPS+ for six weeks. But why go into a season with that knowledge? Further, you can't control when Jorge gets hurt. It could be in April, June, or September.

2007-01-05 08:01:16
113.   Jeteupthemiddle
I realize there is another post already, but I must point out, that Wells was the ONLY pitcher available at the time he was traded.

The only playoff tested, proven starter anyway.

Not to mention so extremely cheap.

He was traded in August when players had to pass through waivers.

Because the commodity was so rare, and because the Padres felt they REALLY NEEDED a playoff push, and because Wells' contract was so cheap and incentive based, they were willing to give up more...and by more, I mean a single back up catching prospect. (With Mirabelli STILL their backup catcher).

And for the record, I don't think the Yankees gave up Johnson for "a bag of balls."

2007-01-05 08:24:49
114.   Jim Dean
113 Kottaras isn't a backup - he's a legit replacement for Varitek, and as soon as this year.

He's going on his year 24.

These are his career minor league numbers:

.283 .383 .450 .833 in 1228 AB's

He probably needs half a year at AAA. But that's perfect for the Sox. He gets his playing time in Pawtucket, Mirabelli is the backup/Wake catcher, and if Varitek gets hurt again, he gets his shot. Exactly the situation that the Yanks should have had with a catching prospect for the last two years.

As for the Pads being desparate, have you seen the D'backs depth chart for their rotation? It's:

1. Webb
2. Livan Hernandez
3. Doug Davis???
4. Edgar Gonzalez???
5. ????

Just an awful trade. The Yanks had the leverage, by far. The fact it's even in most people's eyes tells me even more they lost, and they got four players in return.

Montero or C. Jackson, straight up, and I wouldn't have spent a day of my life pulling my hair out. Both were reasonable, especially with a bit of cash, for Unit and Montero probably moreso because they have Chris Snyder starting.

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