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2007-11-01 20:16
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Yankees introduced Joe Girardi as the new Yankee manager at a press conference at the Stadium yesterday afternoon and, later that evening, the Dodgers announced that they had signed Joe Torre to a three-year deal worth $13 million. Between the Yankees' press conference, which provided opportunities the YES crew to interview Brian Cashman and Yankees COO Lonn Trost among others, and Mike and the Mad-Dog's 20th anniversary show, which featured interviews with Girardi, Torre, and Derek Jeter (as well as Bernie Williams, Darryl Strawberry, and many more of the biggest New Yorks sports stars from the past 20 years), we have plenty of information to put the Yankees' managerial saga to bed and shift our focus to the team's pending player transactions, which will begin today with the decision on Bobby Abreu's $16-million club option and continue with next week's general manager meetings in Orlando, Florida.

The most important information to come out of the day was the identity of Girardi's coaches. Pete Abraham, who's been doing incredible work on this story, be it by simply posting the audio of the team's various conference calls and press conferences over the past week, or by getting the tremendous Torre-to-L.A. story scoop, got the scoop on the coaching staff as well back on Tuesday. I updated the sidebar here accordingly, but have been reserving comment until the staff was officially announced. That didn't happen today because some of those coaches still have to sign their contracts, but Brian Cashman did confirm that the staff Abraham posted is indeed the one he's trying to assemble. Here's the breakdown.

Bench Coach: Rob Thomson

Not to be confused with former Giants second baseman Robby Thompson, Rob Thomson was a catcher/third baseman in the Tigers system from 1985-1988. After playing just two games in 1988, he became a minor league coach for the Tigers at the tender age of 24. The Ontario-born Thomson has been in the Yankee organization since 1990. From 1990 to 1997 he was a minor league coach and manager, his one season as a manager coming at the helm of the Oneonta Yankees in the short-season New York-Penn League in 1995. Since 1998 he's been a roving coach and instructor (officially a "Field Coordinator" or "Special Assignment Instructor"), which is technically a front-office position. Thomson was promoted to Director of Player Development in 2000 and again to Vice President of Minor League Development in 2003. He has been the hidden member of the major league coaching staff since 2004 as the Major League Field Instructor, most visibly filling in as a third base coach for Luis Sojo when Sojo was on bereavement leave in 2004.

Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi wanted Don Mattingly to stay on as the bench coach, but Mattingly, at least according to his public statements, didn't think it would be fair to Girardi to have another managerial candidate in the dugout with him as it would prompt "Fire Joe, Hire Donnie" articles at the first sign of trouble. Girardi didn't think that would be an issue. Mattingly, who is leaving the organization on good terms with both Cashman and Girardi, will most likely serve as Joe Torre's bench coach in L.A. Thomson is an excellent second choice given his 18 years in the organization and 20 years of coaching and front office experience.

Pitching Coach: Dave Eiland

Eiland was drafted out of college by the Yankees in the seventh-round in 1987. A righty starter, Eiland burned his way through the Yankees minor league system and made his major league debut in 1988. In 1990 he was the International League's pitcher of the year, but disappointing major league performances derailed what looked like a promising career and the Yankees released him after the 1991 season sending him on a nine-year journey through six organizations, including a return stint with the Yankees for four games in 1995 that went no better than the first. Eiland's best major league season was his second-to-last. In 1999, he set career highs in almost every category as a swing man for the Devil Rays, going 4-8 with a 4.97 ERA in 21 games (15 starts). Curiously, Eiland's playing career as a dominant right-handed minor league control pitcher who never made it in the majors is one of the data points that argues against Tyler Clippard's now-faded prospect status.

Eiland has been a pitching coach in the Yankees' system since 2003 working his way up through the organization, first with the Gulf-Coast Yankees in 2003, then low-A Staten Island in 2004, double-A Trenton in 2005 and 2006, and finally with triple-A Scranton this past season. The obvious advantage of having Eiland as the major league pitching coach is that he worked with many of the organization's young hurlers in the minors. Here's a quick breakdown of who he worked with, where, and for how long:

  • Joba Chamberlain for three games with Scranton this past year
  • Ian Kennedy for six games this year
  • Phil Hughes for five games this year and 21 with Trenton in 2006
  • Tyler Clippard for 14 games this year, a full 28 in 2006, and 11 in the Gulf Coast League in 2003
  • Jeff Karstens for six games this year and 39 games with Trenton in 2004 and 2005 combined
  • Matt DeSalvo for 20 games this year and 41 the two previous seasons
  • Chase Wright for 15 games this year and one in 2004
  • Steven White for 16 games this year and 22 over two years in Trenton
  • J.B. Cox for 41 games in 2006
  • Sean Henn for 16 games this year, four in 2005, and two in 2003
  • T.J. Beam for 29 games this year, 18 in 2006, and 12 as a starter with Staten Island in 2004
  • All of the team's bubble relievers in Scranton last year, including Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, Brian Bruney, Chris Britton, and Colter Bean, as well as starters Kei Igawa and Steven Jackson

Eiland has not worked with last year's break-out double-A starters Allan Horne and Jeff Marquez, but did have Chien-Ming Wang for a single three-inning start in the Gulf Coast League in 2003.

Hitting Coach: Kevin Long

Long was the Yankees' hitting coach last year as the Bombers led the majors in runs scored by nearly a half-run over the Phillies. He was the Columbus Clippers' hitting coach for the three years prior to that, which encompassed all of Robinson Cano's and Melky Cabrera's time spent at the triple-A level, as well as two monster seasons by Andy Phillips.

An All-American at the University of Arizona, Long spent eight seasons as a minor league outfielder in the Royals' organization and hit .264/.343/.352 for his career. He began coaching in the Royals' system in 1997 at the age of 30 and was named co-Manager of the Year as the skipper of the Royals' low-A Northwest League club in 1999. He's been a hitting coach every year since, serving in that position for the Royals' double-A club in 2000 and 2001, their triple-A club in 2002 and 2003, and in the Yankees organization in the four years since.

First-base Coach: Tony Peña

Last year's coaching staff had 29 combined All-Star appearances as players and 37 seasons of major league managerial experience. This year's staff has six combined All-Star appearances as players and five seasons of major league managerial experience, all but one of each by Tony Peña. In addition to being the most accomplished member of the staff, Peña is also the senior member at age 50, and the only member not to have played college ball.

Peña's 18-year career as one of the most highly regarded backstops in the game came to an end in 1997. In 1998 he was the White Sox coordinator of Dominican operations and led the Aguilas Dominican team to the Carribean Series championship. He managed in triple-A for the next three years and was Jimy Williams bench coach in Houston for a month and a half in 2002 before being named the Royals' manager. He was the 2003 AL Manager of the Year after leading the Royals to an improbable winning season, but resigned in 2005 after a dismal 8-25 start. He has been the Yankees' first-base coach and catching instructor since 2006.

Peña would have been a solid choice as manager, but it seems as though my fears about him being included only to satisfy baseball's minority hiring requirements were accurate. The Yankees are very fortunate that Peña, a jovial fellow who has done wonders for Jorge Posada's defense and has a great report with the team's young Latin American players, was willing to return as a coach.

Third-base Coach: Bobby Meacham

I have to say, having Meacham return to the Yankees as a coach is much stranger than having failed pitching prospect Eiland emerge as one of the organization's top pitching gurus. Meacham was drafted out of San Diego State (where he played with Tony Gwynn and Bud Black) by the Cardinals with the eighth-overall pick of the 1981 draft and came to the Yankees following the 1982 season in a surprisingly innocuous trade that brought Meacham and Stan Javier in exchange for three players who never reached the majors. Meacham was jumped straight from A-ball to triple-A and made his major league debut in his first season in the Yankee organization beginning a frustrating six-year career with the Yankees that saw him make countless trips between triple-A and the majors on what was then known as the Columbus Shuttle.

The most famous incident came after the fourth game of the 1984 season in which Meacham was inserted in the eight-inning of a tie-game as a defensive replacement and committed a two-out error that allowed the winning run to score. Following the game, George Steinbrenner ordered Meacham demoted all the way to double-A. The team fell out of the race quickly, even without Meacham, and thus Bobby was recalled to become the teams' starting shortstop in June and held the position in 1985 despite being flat out dreadful both in the field and at the plate (though a dislocated tendon in his left hand, which was never made public by the Yankees, was responsible for many of his struggles in the latter season). Bill Madden and Moss Klein sum up Meacham's Yankee career perfectly in their classic account of the dreadful 1980s Yankees, Damn Yankees:

While so many Columbus shuttlers have had experiences they'd never want to tell their grandchildren about, no "war story" is more rife with disappointments and setbacks than Bobby Meacham's. For six years, from 1983 until his trade to Texas in December 1988, Meacham was the embodiment of all the turmoil and torment that have befallen all those bright-eyed Yankee prospects. During those six seasons, Meacham did it all--or rather had it all done to him. He was a Columbus-New York frequent flyer in 1983, being called up four times, twice for a one-day stay; he was exiled in 1984, dropped all the way to AA ball for making an error in the fourth game of the season; he went from being the Yankees' regular shortstop in 1985 (playing the final two months with a hand injury at the Yankees' request) to a utility infielder at Columbus in less than a year.

Willie Randolph was outspoken about the way Meacham was treated: "What they're doing to Meacham is downright criminal," he said in late 1986. "Why don't they just trade him so he can have a chance."

When he didn't make the team out of camp in 1987, Meacham finally snapped:

Meacham sat in front of his locker in Fort Lauderdale, his eyes red and near tears. Pitcher Dennis Rasmussen, his closest friend on the team, sat next to him, consoling him while motioning the writers away.

Upon regaining his composure, Meacham said: "I'm shocked this time. I played well enough to make the team. It seems obvious they just don't want me around. They're messing with my mind now."

Meacham volleyed back and forth again in 1987. In 1988 he made the team as a backup only to suffer a pinched nerve in his neck. Meacham was ready to come off the DL in August of that year when he found out he'd been placed on the 60-day DL while watching a game on TV at home. "I was absolutely stunned. I was just about ready to come back. I had seen a chiropractor, and he gave me the go-ahead. The Yankees knew that. And then they knock me out for the whole season."

He was finally traded following the 1988 season, but failed to make the Rangers out of camp and spent two more disappointing seasons in triple-A with the Pirates and Royals organizations before retiring.

Meacham began his post-playing career in 1992 as a single-A manager in the Royals' system. He coached in triple-A for the Rockies in their debut season of 1993. Managed the Pirates' double-A team to a championship in 1994. He spent the next five years in the Pirates organization as a manager, base running coach, and infield instructor. He then spent 2002-2004 managing the Angels' single-A California League team in Rancho Cucamonga. In 2005 he became the Rockies' roving infield instructor. In 2006 he was Joe Girardi's third-base coach in Florida, and this past year he was the Padres first-base coach under his old SD State teammate Bud Black.

Bullpen Coach: Mike Harkey

The Cubs drafted Mike Harkey out of Cal State Fullerton with the fourth-overall pick in 1987. Like Eiland, he burned through the Cubs minor league system and made his major league debut in 1988. Harkey then missed most of the 1989 season due to shoulder and knee injuries. He had a strong rookie season for the Cubs in 1990 despite a low strikeout rate, but his shoulder blew out after four starts in 1991 costing him the rest of that season and most of 1992. He was never the same after that and drifted through five organizations over the next four seasons and retired after the 1997 season.

Harkey, who was a teammate of Girardi's with the cubs from 1990 to 1992 and in 1994 with the Rockies, was a pitching coach in the Padres' organization from 2001 to 2005, Girardi's bullpen coach in 2006, and the Cubs' triple-A pitching coach this past season.

* * *

As for Girardi, who will wear number 27, the only substantial thing he said about the 2008 Yankees is that it's entirely possible that Hughes, Chamberlain, and Kennedy could all wind up in the starting rotation. Girardi said that in his interview with Francesa and Russo, but implied that that wouldn't happen if Pettitte returned (the assumption being that Mike Mussina will be given a chance to lose his rotation spot again and that with Wang and Pettitte as well that would only leave room for two of the three kids). It also appears that Girardi, Cashman, and Hank Steinbrenner would be inclined to make Joba Chamberlain the closer if Mariano Rivera doesn't return. All the more reason to hope Mo comes back.

Finally, Derek Jeter told Mike and Chris that he believes that Hank Steinbrenner is a man of his word and if he's said that the Yankees won't pursue Alex Rodriguez now that he's opted out, then Jeter doesn't expect Rodriguez to be back in the Bronx. Maybe he'll sign with the Mud Hens.

Comments (181)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-11-01 21:54:08
1.   yankz
Excellent write up, and once again, hooray for living on West Coast time.

One thing I read about Girardi is that he's going to call every player personally. Don't know if that's standard protocol for a manager, but either way it seems pretty cool.

2007-11-01 22:00:08
2.   Mattpat11
Dane Cook is DYING on Conan.
2007-11-01 22:07:28
3.   Cliff Corcoran
1 I added a couple of notes on Girardi at the end there.
2007-11-01 22:26:42
4.   Andre
nice job Cliff.

How great would it be if no team offered ARod the kind of money he expects, and he turned away the best offer he would have gotten by leaving the Yanks. Unlikely, I know, but it sure would be poetic.

I'm beginning to doubt that the Sox are going to go after him. After winning the Serious without him, and being pretty well stacked again for next year (assuming they keep fan-favorite Lowell), they seem to be more inclined than ever to continue their youth movement. They also have flexibility for First/Third with Youkilis and I believe they have at least one decent minor leaguer ready to take over at third. Muts don't seem too interested right now in moving Wright or Reyes. Dodgers seem ok at third as well (although they might be able to use Arod at short). That's got to be a real kick in the pants for Boras - if the big $$ teams don't jump into the fray,the price should be suppressed a bit.

2007-11-01 22:29:42
5.   yankz
I hate to say it, but if they go with Wang, Moose, Andy, and two rookies, wouldn't it make the most sense to have Joba in the pen? IPK can pitch away in terms of innings, and Phil seemed to take an inning to settle down last year.
2007-11-01 22:33:15
6.   yankz
Whoa- Bronx Banter shows up in Google News searches.
2007-11-01 22:38:35
7.   Bob Timmermann
Actually all of the Toaster blogs show up in Google News if you look hard enough.

I've seen links to stories where I think, "Hey, that guy is ripping me off" only to find out it's me.

2007-11-01 22:52:14
8.   Cliff Corcoran
5 No, the Yankees need to develop Chamberlain as a starter. There's no telling how good he could be. They need to start stretching out his innings and his arm. Keeping him in the bullpen would be a tremendous waste of talent. The most logical thing would actually be to work out some complex six-man rotation that would see the three vets pitch on regular rest and the three kids staggered somewhat to suppress their overall innings totals, as Chamberlain and Hughes should probably be limited to about 150 frames given their small workloads from last year.
2007-11-01 22:53:24
9.   Cliff Corcoran
8 That said, injury and ineffectiveness usually solves this problem. The Yankees seem to enter every season with a six or seven man rotation and it always solves itself via injuries and ineffectiveness on the part of one or more of the pitchers.
2007-11-01 22:58:56
10.   yankz
8 I agree that that's the best course of action, but Girardi made it sound like one of the rookies will get bumped. Hopefully he'll start, however.
2007-11-01 23:01:11
11.   Zack
8 Shoot, you beat me to it. Pretty much to the word (well, maybe said better) that I was going to write.

Joba as anything but a starter is an egregious waste of what could (could, of course) be the best starter developed by the Yankees since, well, who knows. And the modified 6 man rotation make so much sense its almost certain to never even be a consideration...

The thought of Joba being put in the pen simply b/c Mo doesn't return keeps me up with my fingers crossed that the Yankees throw whatever it takes at Mo

2007-11-01 23:05:45
12.   yankz
OK, I have to defend myself, I have advocated many times here that Joba should start. But if the organization is convinced that one of the 3 will be a reliever, that's how I see it playing out.

OK, good night all.

2007-11-01 23:17:57
13.   Cliff Corcoran
12 Actually, I could see them kicking Joba or Kennedy back to triple-A if need be. Joba to get a bit more work in to transition back to starting. Kennedy because he's the least experienced of the trio at the major league level. The latter being the most likely.
2007-11-01 23:43:11
14.   thelarmis
cliff - thanks for the most excellent write-up on the new coaching staff!
2007-11-02 01:25:30
15.   joejoejoe
I remember the Yankees shortstop controversy of the mid-80s with Meacham and Andre Robertson. I went back and forth myself on the issue, unsure who I preferred. More often than not I came down on the side of Andre Robertson, mostly because I thought 'Andre' was a cooler name. It's fun to laugh at those days but Meacham played 156 games in 1985 on a club that went 97-64, a better winning % than any NYY team since 2004. Meacham played a solid major league SS on a team that lead the majors in runs. Meacham (59 OPS+, 535 PA) somehow scored 70 runs to Willie (106 OPS+, 582 PA) Randolph's 75 runs that year. Rickey Henderson was a monster leadoff hitter that year (.516 SLG%) and a better RBI man than anyone on the team not named Donnie Baseball. Meacham was a good baserunner at the bottom of the order. Magic ensued. Meacham's '85 season might be the best offensive season in history for a 59 OPS+ hitter. Time for a Yankeeography!

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/1985.shtml

2007-11-02 02:33:36
16.   BleedingPinstripes
I really wanted to see Paul O. on this staff. It looks like a good staff, but Paul would be sweet.
2007-11-02 03:40:07
17.   JL25and3
13 Once again: I know this is heresy, but they could also trade one of the young pitchers. Joba, obviously, is untouchable (and needs to be a starter no matter what); Hughes would only be considered in a deal for someone like Santana or Cabrera. But if they can trade Kennedy for, say, their 2010 catcher, they should think long and hard about it.
2007-11-02 05:25:02
18.   OldYanksFan
While I would consider IPK and Clip as trading chips, I think trading for Santana would be very expensive in terms of personel, and we would have to compete with other teams offering young, talented players. I would rather wait and see if he hits the FA market, where it just boils down to cash.

As talented as Cabrera is, he is showing many negative signs. At 24, he is lazy (so say many articles), comes late to the park, is poor enough on D that he really can't play 3rd any more, and has gained SEVENTY or so lbs in 2 years. I have to think (purely guessing) that if someone this young has such poor habits and has let himself go to such an extent, that he must be very full of himself and feels he is SO good, he can make himself worse and get away with it.

Maybe if he comes to ST in better shape it's worth looking at, but as it stands now, he is not a franchise type of guy and will be a poor influence on our kids. I also hear that Girardi is not a big fan of his.

I think our coaching staff looks very good. We have really pulled a 180, going from name brand players without lesser qualifications (Guidry) to lesser known, but young and intelligent guys. I would love to trade Meacham for Bowa, but... oh well.

The ONLY thing I'm concerned about is 'panic' trades, and I think Cashman is too smart for that.

Even with a crowded DH spot, I think Bonds really solves issues. His bat means we can look at 3rd and 1st with both offense and defensive in mind (and NOT worry about replacing ARods bat), and don't have to get expensive, good hit/no glove alternatives.

Bonds may be 43, but look at his numbers and PAs when he was 42. As a DH, with less stress on his knees (his major health concern), I'm not sure why he can't get 500 PAs and be very effective. He might fall of a cliff, but he looked pretty damn good a 2 months ago.

If he's willing to go for 1 year, and maybe a 2nd year option based on performance, I think we have to consider it. I know it's UGLY, but makes sense in many ways. Pure money deal, short term, and is the closest thing to replacing ARods bat available.

2007-11-02 05:27:14
19.   Sliced Bread
Thanks for all that, Cliff. It was great of Peña to stick around. That would have been a big loss to the club.

"They're messing with my mind now."

Here's hoping Meacham isn't quietly vengeful, waiting now (precisely 20 years later) for just the right moment to exact his revenge upon the Yanks, say, windmilling Giambi to certain death at the plate - with the pennant on the line?
Oy, that would suck for us, but for him, my goodness, that would be some way to stick it to Steinbrenner after all these years.

2007-11-02 05:33:56
20.   bp1
Outstanding overview, Cliff. Can I ask you what your thoughts are on that coaching staff? Good, bad, indifferent?

My fanboy optimism seems to be at a peak this week, but I am really looking forward to next year. I see good things, and (silly as it may be), I was totally into Joe picking 27 for his uni number.

Bring back the free agents, and maybe one or two trades/signings, and I think the team is right on track.

2007-11-02 05:39:05
21.   bp1
19 Just thinking of Giambi lumbering around third - funny. I love watching him bust it out of the box on a ground ball. It reminds me of my dog when I was a kid - skidding on the linoleum floor for a few seconds before gaining traction.

Man - I hope he comes back and mashes this year. That head down, skip on the base home run trot of his is just fun to watch.

2007-11-02 05:41:20
22.   OldYanksFan
From WFAN: FIVE PLAYERS THAT WILL BE TRADED

1) GARRETT ATKINS
Colorado has a stud third base prospect at Triple-A named Ian Stewart, who is ready to go, making Atkins expendable. The Philadelphia Phillies need help at the hot corner, as do the New York Yankees. Atkins is average defensively, but any lineup could fit in his 25 HR and 111 RBI from a year ago. Atkins will be a popular name at the general manager meetings next week in Orlando, and the Winter Meetings in early December in Tennessee. I wonder if he likes the Bronx?

2) MELKY CABRERA
Don't be surprised if a deal involving Atkins includes Yankees center fielder Melky Cabrera. Cabrera is one of the few chips the Yankees have that is not a pitcher. With a ton of free agent center fielders on the market, the Yankees could afford to part with Cabrera, who was a big part of their second half- resurgence this past season. If it is not for a 3B, the Yankees could ship him out for some help in the bullpen.

3) COCO CRISP
In case you were one of the many that did not watch the World Series, Jacoby Ellsbury solidified his spot as the Boston Red Sox center fielder for probably the next 10 years or so. In other words, Coco Crisp is as good as gone.

4) AJ BURNETT
This may come as a bit of a surprise, but the Jays are getting tired of his constant injury problems. Plus the emergence last year of Shaun Marcum, as well as Jesse Litsch and Dustin McGowan, gives Toronto a solid group behind ace Roy Halladay. The Blue Jays still have a lot of holes to fill, and trading Burnett is a way to do that.

5) MIGUEL TEJADA
We have heard his name in trade talks the last couple of years. However, the door is closing on the Orioles if they plan on getting anything significant in return for him. Not to mention there is a chance that his name could be included in Mr. Mitchell's report. Unless there are some more B-12 shots in his future, his better days are behind him. Tejada, though, still has some trade value and the rebuilding O's could get a few chips in return for him.

I know people will puke at this but: If we trade Melky, Coco might be a good replacement. He has UNDERperformed on offense, but his D has been amazing (I watch a lot of Sox games). He WAS at one point, highly touted. Is there any reason he can't outhit Melky? Coco has great speed on the basepaths, and would cover an incredible amount of ground in Yankee CF. How much worse then Melky (on offense) can he be?
I just like the idea of getting someone who is undervalued (for a change), as opposed to a guy like Lowell, who is overvalued.

Whats money for: Do you take a chance on AJ?

2007-11-02 05:47:59
23.   mehmattski
Great stuff Cliff- maybe my 1991 Fleer Dave Eiland rookie card will spike in value!

Over on The Hardball Times, a great article today about a Yankees' off-season plan:

http://tinyurl.com/25gzp7

I don't agree with the lot of it (trading the farm- minus JobaHughesKennedy- for Johan Santana, Richie Sexon, and Jack Wilson), but there is a really interesting point I did not know:

"If 39-62 players qualify as Type A and B free agents, no team may sign more than three, with the limits increasing accordingly for higher totals."

So if the Yankees re-sign Posada and Rivera, they can only sign one more type A or type B free agent. That means if both come back, the Yanks can only sign ONE of A. Jones/Lowell/Bonds/Colon/Rowand/Hunter/etc.

2007-11-02 05:59:57
24.   Cliff Corcoran
22 You really think the Yanks and Sox could pull off a trade in the current atmosphere? If the Yankees trade Cabrera, they should put Damon back in center and cross their fingers that Austin Jackson's breakout this past season was for real. That or bring in Jones.

And no, I don't go after Burnett. With the kids the Yankees have coming, I don't give up anything for starting pitching unless it's Santana.

23 Colon? I doubt he'll even qualify as an A or B, but why would the Yankees want him anyway?

2007-11-02 06:00:50
25.   Sliced Bread
21 Heh. Love the dog on the linoleum floor image.

I'm with you re: Giambi. I'd love to see him bounce back with a big year.

22 re: Coco. Puke. Melk's my boy, and I think a better player, especially for the money.

re: Bonds. Just say no.
I'm no Bonds hater. I flew to San Francisco in late-September 2001, specifically to see him hit his 69th home run. Sure enough, he delivered in a huge way, blasting it out of the park. It was a baseball thrill I will never forget.
I wasn't as naive as others are pretending to be. I suspected something was up with the game, not just Barry, but if MLB wasn't complaining, neither was I.

That said, I'd prefer he not come to the Yanks. I have no doubt, even at his age, he'd make good use of the short porch, and would earn his short-term parking space at Yankee Stadium. I'm just not up for the spectacle of hate that would be kicked up by the sight of him in Yankee pinstripes.

I'd prefer the Yanks close the old Stadium without the midge-fog of negativity that would follow Barry to the Bronx.

By the way, I support his "kiss my asterisk" stance re: the Hall of Fame.

2007-11-02 06:04:35
26.   mehmattski
24 I just wanted to throw a starting pitcher in there and he came to mind. Actually Colon wouldn't have even qualified as one of the Type C free agents of old, being ranked as the 65th overall player by Elias at 28.968. 64th is Phil Hughes. 63rd is Carl Pavano...

But anyway, Posada and Rivera do put a crimp on the Yankees' splash potential in the free agent market. Also they would make a lot of agents sad if they signed their third man (Jones?) quickly and were off the market on all the other pricey FAs.

2007-11-02 06:08:41
27.   OldYanksFan
21 Nice to hear someone say something nice about Jason. He's had more health issues than I would have liked, but I think he's been a 'good' Yankee... and I expect good things from his this year.
2007-11-02 06:10:23
28.   iicollies
If you look through some old box scores of Eiland's, you find that he had some rough games, including a blown save by Rags in his first year and a game where he pitched 9 innings and lost 1-0
2007-11-02 06:10:57
29.   Cliff Corcoran
22 Also, from that list, Jones, Rowand and Hunter are mutually exclusive anyway, and since they already have an overcrowded OF/DH situation, signing Bonds would rule those other three out as well. So the choice is really between Lowell or an OF, and I still get the feeling that Lowell is going to stay in Boston, and I really don't think they need the outfielder, but we'll find out more once the announcement comes on Abreu today (for the record, I expect they'll pick up his option).
2007-11-02 06:14:35
30.   RIYank
Mehmattski, that includes a team's own free agents? If someone can point me to the official rules, I'll look it over.

I would love to get Garrett Atkins. I'd trade Melky straight up. Would that get it done?

2007-11-02 06:15:59
31.   OldYanksFan
25 My comment was only IF Melky was traded.
Matsui (I THINK) has better D numbers in CF then LF. If Melky goes, and we stick with what we got, might JD in LF and Mats in CF be worth considering?

I understand how you feel about Bonds. I just wonder if for a one year rental he might get a 'pass' in NY. We love HRs. I wonder if he performed if he would be booed or cheered?

Anyone got thoughts on GARRETT ATKINS?

2007-11-02 06:19:43
32.   DadinIowa
Please do not trade Melky. He adds energy, is the best buddy of Cano, and has stats about equal to Bernie at similar ages.

Best free-agent pickup would be Kerry Wood. He showed that he can come in for at least an inning and get people out. Perhaps a surprise set-up guy for Mo.

IMO, it doesn't make a lot of sense to mortgage the future for a 30+ outfielder or third baseman. Cabrera would be an interesting 3b pickup, but only if there was a good chance that Pena or Girardi could get him to develop a work ethic and diet plan.

With just a bit of help from the farm (primarily for middle relief), we have a playoff team, perhaps even a championship team. It all depends on the pitching.

2007-11-02 06:19:44
33.   RIYank
31 As I just said, I think Atkins would be much better than any plausible 3B alternatives. He'd be much better than Lowell, for example, because of age and price (Atkins is arbitration-eligible, but his arbit. salary wouldn't touch Lowell's market price).
2007-11-02 06:21:12
34.   RIYank
Who thinks we'll pick up Bobby A's option today? It seems almost inevitable. I'd be interested in the team taking a shot at Fukudome, though, and taking the draft pick compensation for Abreu. Tough call.
2007-11-02 06:23:02
35.   OldYanksFan
"Brian Cashman did not discount the possibility of moving Robinson Cano to third base to replace Alex Rodriguez. But he hopes it doesn't come to that."

WHY? Then we need a 2nd baseman. Cano won't be as good at 3rd as he is at 2nd. I don't understand why this would even be considered. Is getting a good 2nd baseman easier the getting a good 3rd baseman??

2007-11-02 06:25:27
36.   mehmattski
29 Well, it also impacts the bullpen situation. If the Yankees re-sign Mo, Po, and Luis Vizcaino (type B free agent), then they're done. The only other bullpen people I can imagine it will apply to are Joe Borowski (eww), Troy Percival (also eww), Scott Linebrink (maybe).
2007-11-02 06:28:22
37.   OldYanksFan
32 You talking to me or Cashman? Melky might go. It was talked about last year and talks continue. I would like to keep him, but for discussion's sake: What do we do IF he is traded? Stick with what we got (an old, slow, often injured, poor defensive OF)
FWIW: Garrett is 27. Career: .302 .371 .482 .853
Makes $400,000
2007-11-02 06:30:08
38.   bp1
25 I'm with you on Bonds. Great player. Fun to watch in someone else's ballpark. I don't think Cashman is dumb enough to try to replace all of The Third Baseman's offense with one player. As has been proven, it's too easy to pitch around the one big hitter in the lineup (as was on display during the Angels series in '05, when he got nothing to hit).

Also - all this talk of replacing his 54/156. The Yankees waltzed into the playoffs in '06 with considerable less contribution on his part, especially in the late inning heroics category.

Just sayin'.

Just say No to Bonds. (flashback to the Damon signing)

2007-11-02 06:33:35
39.   mehmattski
30 I've never heard that rule before today, but see:

http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2003/01/transactions-glossary.html

Under "Limits on Free Agent Signings"

33 What do you think would get it done? Horne and Betemit?

34 I think I could join many Yankees fans in saying no to Japanese imports for a while...

38 Damon signed a contract that was two years too long, and he over-performed for a year, and is now under-performing, just as many expected. Bonds would be signing a one year contract and would not affect the long term plans at all. What's the comparison?

2007-11-02 06:36:56
40.   williamnyy23
0 I am not sure why Cliff keeps crediting PeteAbe with the Torre to LA scoop, but ESPN Radio had that rumor several hours before Abe "broke" it.

Also, John Heyman was the first to break through on the coaching staff, stating that Harkey and Mecham would be likely additions to the staff.

2007-11-02 06:40:54
41.   williamnyy23
8 That was my idea :)
2007-11-02 06:41:51
42.   Sliced Bread
39 Speaking for myself I think the Damon-Bonds comparison is: player you appreciate from afar, but don't necessarily want on your team, and "fear" inevitably will wear your colors.
2007-11-02 06:43:03
43.   OldYanksFan
38 As John Perricone has pointed out, Bond's real value is not his HRs, as much as his OBP. Unfortunately, SF has never had the guys behind him to take advantage (except when they had Kent).

Last year, this OLD man had an OBP of .480. Think about that. He's on base basically HALF the time. So, with pretty hot OBP guys like Jetes and Abreu in front of him, and Giambi, Posada and Matsui behind him, just how much can you pitch around him? Imagine a 3-4-5 of Abreu-Bonds-Giambi. Those 3 guys might AVERAGE better then a .400 OBP. So maybe Matsui and Posada each have 140 RBIs?

2007-11-02 06:44:25
44.   williamnyy23
22 I'll pass on Coco...he has established himself as a below average hitter. Also, while he played CF very well this season, he wasn't very good last season. What's more, he has an awful arm, maybe even worse than Bernie and Damon.
2007-11-02 06:44:32
45.   bp1
42 Exactly.
2007-11-02 06:48:45
46.   williamnyy23
22 Also, as for AJ, I think he also has an opt out decision looming. Regardless, I wouldn't touch him. After Pavano, I've had my fill of oft-injured pitchers.
2007-11-02 06:48:53
47.   mehmattski
I dug some more to find the real rule, from the 2007-2011 CBA, and also find this paragraph:

"Irrespective of the provisions of subparagraph (a) above, a Club shall be eligible to sign at least as many Type A and B Players as it may have lost through Players having become free agents under this Section at the close of the season just concluded"

Worst case, the Yankees lose: A-Rod (A), Posada (A), Rivera (A), Vizcaino (B), and possibly Abreu (A). That means they could sign five if they wanted to. But if they re-sign Posada and Rivera and pick up Abreu's option, then they can sign only one more A or B free agent. If only one of Posada and Rivera, then the Yanks could sign 2 A or B free agents.

2007-11-02 06:51:43
48.   OldYanksFan
44 His arm stinks. His numbers last year, in a VERY disappointing year, were slightly better then Melky's. He doesn't play CF very well, he is 100% stud with the glove. His last 2 years in Cleveland, he averaged an .800 OPS.

So, IF IF IF they do trade Melky, what is the 2008 Yankee OF?

2007-11-02 06:53:55
49.   bp1
48 Bring back Bernie.

(Kidding)

(sort of)

That'll get some guys here all excited for a number of different reasons, lol.

2007-11-02 06:54:23
50.   mehmattski
48 Depends on what they trade Melky for, but assuming it's not an OF, I vote for:

LF Johnny Damon
CF Andruw Jones
RF Bobby Abreu

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-11-02 06:55:09
51.   williamnyy23
31 I don't really view Atkins as a star. He was a late bloomer, so despite only two full seasons, he'll be 28 this December. Atkins is a very good defender, but I realyl don't see him as much better than his career OPS+ of 112. He also doesn't rake against lefties and enjoys playing at Coors.

I wouldn't make him a plan A, but he'd probably be a solid plan B and much better than a shaky platoon. Either way, I wouldn't give up too much for him...maybe Melky straight up, but no pitching prospects.

2007-11-02 06:58:17
52.   Sliced Bread
48 That's the point. Don't trade Melky.
No IF, IF, IFs...

I love this kid. Leave the outfield alone, and let Betemit play I say!

2007-11-02 07:01:03
53.   ChrisS
Trust me, I think Barold Bonds is probably the greatest hitter to ever play the game, but the circus is too much for me to want him on the team for a year. He's going bitch and complain about everything and anything while nursing sore knees and playing every 3/4 of the season. The steroid issue and his other personal baggage makes him a highly unattractive signing ... despite the obvious attraction of watching him hammer pitches into the right field stands.

As much as I hope it isn't the case, I think that what we're seeing from Melky is going to be what we get. So, I'm all for trading him for help, but it should be for something long term, not a bullpen arm or stop gap.

2007-11-02 07:04:10
54.   OldYanksFan
2008 Red Sox: Here's my take. With Lester and buckholz full time, with I think a better Dice-K, include a true young stud in Ellsbury replacing an ineffective Coco, and Nancy can't be worse, I see the Sox as at least as good, and probably a better team next year.

QUESTION: Are we playing in 2008 to beat the Sox? We can 'rebuild' and try... but on paper, it will be hard to match the Sox unless we get 2 real impact guys.

If you guys are OK with losing the division (again) to the Sox, and possibly missing the PS, then we have flexibiliy on how we build the team. However, if you REALLY want to win next year, I think we NEED a bat like Barry's.

Again, we might get lucky and fill 1st and 3rd with 2 guys who almost equal ARod's production. We should have better pitching (although it's that counting chickens thing), but I don't see us as is (even with Mo, Po and Andy) as competing with the Sox.

When I talk about Barry, I am talking about trading 1 year of a very bad smell for an enhanced change for the PS.

Am I wrong?

2007-11-02 07:07:26
55.   OldYanksFan
52 but sliced... IT AIN'T my decision. I say better then 50% chance he goes. We have no other non-pitching chips. We have 4 OFers now, and plenty of FAs this year.

Sorry guy. Don't kill the messenger.
IF IF IF is really probably probably probably.

2007-11-02 07:11:59
56.   OldYanksFan
BTW: John at 'Only Basebal Matters' has a homage to Donnie as one of his posts. SF does nothing for me, but OBM is a great site: His post starts with:
"Don Mattingly wasn't just a great first-baseman, he was one of the three or four guys who are in the argument for greatest defensive first baseman ever"
2007-11-02 07:16:11
57.   ms october
54 That is definitely the question that drives this off-season - do the Yanks have a season like the 2006 Red Sox where you compete but not at the cost for the future or are the Yanks going full throttle?
Based on what Cashman and Hank have said - they will not mortgage the future for next year - what exactly that translates to is what we shall see in the nex few months.

On the 3B note - in all of the trade/acquisition scenarios there is almost never any mention of Beltre. It is unclear whether he is available, but I doubt the Mariners are enjoying paying his salary. He is obviuosly not the hitter that Cabrera is - but we know he won't have to be moved from 3rd anytime soon. There is often talk of improving the D and this would help. His numbers are not great - but I think they are more than adequate - and we can certainly expect more from him than Crede.

2007-11-02 07:16:34
58.   bp1
54 The Yankees were the better team for about 2/3rds of the season last year. No reason the two cannot swap places next year. Beckett could just as easily retreat a step or two next year as he could continue on his current pace. Schilling is either older or gone. Papi's knees are becoming an issue. Nancy doesn't have to get better. Okajima is not a spring chicken, and Timlin is almost as old as I am. Gagne is gone (dunno if that is good or bad from a Yankees perspective, heh heh heh).

Things could easily go either way. The teams have played even steven for years, and I don't see that changing much anytime soon. If the Yankees didn't fall out of the box last year, the division ending could have been very different.

2007-11-02 07:24:17
59.   Sliced Bread
55
We'll see, but I think Cashman very much values Melky as the best outfielder on the team, and as a tremendous bargain.

If Posada goes, all bets are off. Cashman will be forced to consider deals he never would have before. Ya think Jorge's agent will use this to the catcher's advantage?

Here's a contract, Jorge, fill in the blanks.

2007-11-02 07:27:19
60.   mehmattski
59 Really? I love Posada too, but if he wanted five years/$80M and a full NTC, would you still do it? Sure he's needed for 2008 and probably 2009, but do you cripple your roster for half a decade because of it? Now that is something that reminds me of Damon.
2007-11-02 07:27:52
61.   RIYank
Trading for Atkins:
I have no idea what it would take. I suppose it depends on the market for 3Bs, which is very hard to predict because there will be both significant demand and significant supply. My feeling is that from a pure baseball perspective, Atkins is worth more to us than Melky (get a short contract for Andruw and pray that Jackson or Tabata pans out), but I do agree that it would be more fun to keep Melky and there could be clubhouse effects.

Japanese FAs:
I am right now inclined to be VERY wary of pitchers. But I think we've done well so far with Matsui and I think Fukudome might be a steal. And the Yankee bank account is bulging. Let's find a way to spend the money and get somebody good.

2007-11-02 07:30:30
62.   RIYank
60 Five years is pushing it, but if the alternative is, ugh, nobody, sure, I'd do it. Year four might be bad, and year five might be awful, but they could just swallow the salary loss. Jorge as a very expensive back-up for Monteiro? (I know, it's far from clear that he'll ever be a MLB catcher.)
2007-11-02 07:36:27
63.   Sliced Bread
59 No, I was half-kidding with the blank contract. I wouldn't go that many years.

3 years, $60 million should do it. Something like that is what I'd offer.

Problem is, the Mets will probably offer more. I won't be surprised if he lands there.

Cashman would be forced to scramble like he never has before.

2007-11-02 07:48:49
64.   Zack
54 I see everyone rushing to proclaim Ellisbury the real deal and beyond, a stud etc. Buying into the New England hype machine. Look, he played well in the postseason and in limited ML action this year, but be careful about claiming him a stud? Everything in his ml#'s indicate a guy who can hit right around .300 without striking out or walking all that much, with decent doubles power based mostly on speed but not much HR power (fenway might bump that a bit). He's got a relatively weak arm but good range due to speed.

Like many guys who fit the "classic leadoff" description, if he hits over .300 hes doing well, but under .300 and the obp % isn't going to be too high either. Sure, he's fast, but so is Coco Crisp. In fact, two seasons ago, Crisp looked like he was going to be a much better version of Ellsbury.

So just don't be so set on calling him a stud yet. Me, I hope for a little more out of my CF, but I was spoiled by Bernie I suppose. I've got my fingers crossed for A-Jax (I know, early) who continues to rake in Hawaii...

2007-11-02 07:53:26
65.   Zack
On a related vein, once again I ask why anyone would give the Sox ANYTHING for Crisp. They know they desperately want to drop him and don't have a place for him in their lineup. And that being said, some stupid team like the Nationals will give up something MAJOR for him, all the while demanding the Yankees part with Hughes/Joba for their BUC...

As for Bonds, all I have to say is, if a place for him in the lineup can be made, do it. The circus idea is a bit overrated and what he brings to the table can easily outweigh that.

And on the opposite end, people need to stop overrating Melky and Kennedy. I know its great to have homegrown kids playing, but don't worry, there will be lots more on the way. But just b/c they are homegrown or are fun guys doesn't mean they must stay or wouldn't be great bait for an improvement somewhere else on the team. Don't you think the team would be a lot better with Damon in center and no Kennedy but with Cabrera at 3b/1b or Santana pitching? If the yanks can geet either of those guys without Joba/Hughes, you do it. Period.

2007-11-02 08:02:24
66.   williamnyy23
48 Crisp hasn't really been close to Mleky with the bat over the past two seasons. Crips' OPS+ in 2007 and 2007 was 77 and 83 (which is brutal), while Melky was 95 and 89. Of course, Melky will 23 next season and apporaching his prime, while Crisp will be 28, suggesting he is in the middle of his.

As for defense, Crisp was very good last year, but he was actually only average in 2006. Crips does not have an established reputation as a great defensive outfielder, but even if he did, he still isn't as good as Melky. Then, add in that Crisp makes $5mn and Melky 350K.

I understand your point about "if Melky is traded", but I think Crisp is just a bad baseball player...period. At most, he's a 4th OF'er who can run.

2007-11-02 08:08:29
67.   williamnyy23
54 You are making a lot of assumptions. First off, Lester has not established himself yet. He was about average last season, but hasn't shown signs of breaking out. Buchholz is a nice prospect, but he actually wasn't considered an ace-type starter before breaking in with a bang. The same is true of Elsbury. I think the expectations for both of these players may be a bit too high. As for Dice-K, well, the history of Japanese pitchers says they dont' improve after their first full season, so he'd be bucking a trend.

Now, consider what they'd be losing: Schilling's ERA+ of 120 and Wakefield's miraculous 17 wins (whether he is back or not, he wont repeat that effort). What's more, Beckett could always come back to earth a little. Also, will Okajima turn in another monster season in the pen? His last two months suggest otherwise.

The 2008 Red Sox have the potential to be very good, but they also have a lot of questions.

2007-11-02 08:12:32
68.   williamnyy23
65 I agree...Melky and Kennedy could both be good players, but they are not untouchable talent. In the right deal, the Yankees should be prepared to part with them. Joba and Hughes is another story.
2007-11-02 08:13:27
69.   yankz
Isn't Atkins's D supposed to be awful?
2007-11-02 08:18:33
70.   williamnyy23
69 He has had a mixed career. He came up with the reputation as a solid defender and played quite well. At one point during this season, the defensive metrics rated him pretty poorly. I have a feeling he is pretty the solid glove that he was until this year.
2007-11-02 08:20:06
71.   Andre
please no andrew jones, torii hunter, coco crisp, et al. If Melky's gone, get a player we actually need. We could live with an outfield of Damon, Matsui, Abreu. That also alleviates the DH problem a bit, unless we get Bonds. Then, we're free to use Melky to get a third base or first baseman.
2007-11-02 08:20:16
72.   RIYank
I don't know about Atkins' defense. His zone rating makes him look bad. His range factor is just a bit below league average. I don't really trust either of those, though.
2007-11-02 08:22:13
73.   RIYank
71 Andre, the thing about Andruw or Torii is that they're free agents. If one of them could be signed (I prefer Andruw) for a reasonably short contract, then it only costs the Yankees money. Which they have tons of now.

But no Crisp, for sure. And only trade Melky to get someone we need, as you say -- but not for an OF, I think.

2007-11-02 08:29:45
74.   yankz
73 And draft picks.

I don't think I'd say no to Andruw on a 1 or 2-year deal if Melky could fetch us Santana or Cabrera. They were about equal offensively last year, and both play great D. But I doubt Boras would settle for that.

2007-11-02 08:38:38
75.   Schteeve
63 3 yrs $60 million for Posada? Did I read that right? $20 mill per, for a 36 year old catcher?

Look I love Posada, and yes, he's irreplaceable. But $20 million a year? Never that.

2007-11-02 08:39:56
76.   Schteeve
73 Torri isn't really much better than Melky. Andruw had that WTF? season this year. I'm anti both of those guys.

What we need is the biggest bat available.

2007-11-02 08:41:36
77.   RIYank
74 Draft picks, right. But Andruw is type B. So that wouldn't cost too much.
So is Gagne. Interesting.

76 Schteeve: I agree that Torii and Andruw aren't that much better than Melky. But the point is, you could trade Melky to get somebody else you need, and fill in with one of those FAs.

2007-11-02 08:44:13
78.   Andre
73 but why sign free agent outfielders when we already have 3 on the staff (assuming we keep Abreu)? We already have a glut of outfielder/DH's - we really don't want/need more, do we?
2007-11-02 08:44:41
79.   williamnyy23
77 That's good news on Gagne, as it makes the deal that much worse from Boston's end.

Hunter isn't much better than Melky, but Andruw is. Still, he isn't that much better to warrant a huge contract.

2007-11-02 08:46:31
80.   RIYank
78 Well, only because we'd have nobody who could really play CF. And with just 3 OFs, would there really be a DH glut? Wouldn't you want Giambi playing a lot of games at 1B?
2007-11-02 08:55:21
81.   Sliced Bread
75 I'm for whatever it takes to get him back for the next two years. The third year, whatever it costs, will be thank you money.

The Yanks have squandered as much for far less than what Posada will bring the next two years. (see Pavano & Igawa)

2007-11-02 09:07:18
82.   monkeypants
The number of years for Jorge are irrelevant. Just imagine whatever contract he gets is for three years--how much will you pay for three more years?

In other words, if he gets a 5 year/60 million contract, you have to imaging it as a 3 year/60 million dollar contract. Is Jorge worth 20 million/year? I don't think so.

I do think that he's worth (probably) up to 15/year--so 3 or 4 years/ 40 0r 45 million should do it.

2007-11-02 09:07:41
83.   standuptriple
I don't really see the Rockies giving up Atkins unless they get an inflated value for him. There has already been talk of moving Stewart to 2B since Kaz Matsui is a free agent. That team just made too huge of a stride to move away from their model of keeping it "in house" as much as possible.
Bonds in the Yankee lineup would be a sight to see. Even a team option 2nd year, a-la Andy Pettitte $ range, might be worth it's weight in gold. I've watched a ton of Giants games in the Bay Area. He gets one pitch to hit per AB and usually puts good wood on it. With the rest of the SF lineup there was no reason to pitch to him (last in baseball until they put up 9 in the final game) and he still put up pretty ridiculous numbers.
2007-11-02 09:08:16
84.   Andre
I'd take a platoon of giambi and betemit at first, bonds as dh, mats, Damon, abreu in outfield, and use melky to get santana or a 3b
2007-11-02 09:16:59
85.   williamnyy23
The more I think about it, the Bonds solution really makes sense. If the Yankees choose to not go that route, I really hope it isn't based on public relations.
2007-11-02 09:21:21
86.   standuptriple
85 I've been pretty adamant about not wanting him too, but it's been such a circus with A-Rod the last couple years I don't think it would be much of a change. My not wanting him is purely based on him as a person, not as a player though. If you can get over that hump (which is a pretty ominous one) then he could be quite the asset to the team.
2007-11-02 09:51:24
87.   Marcus
85 It's more than public relations though. The grand jury is in the process of determining if he should be indicted for perjury (and I think other crimes). The grand jury expires in January, so you have to wait until then.

Then again, I'm sure that's the thought process for every team even considering Bonds.

2007-11-02 09:53:28
88.   OldYanksFan
58 Make a list of Red Sox players and figure out who might do better/same/worse then last year. Do the same with Yankees. Add a full year of Lester, Buckholz and Ellsbury. Ditto to Yanks for Hughes/Joba/IPK (although they were a big part of the Yankees 2nd half success). Now subtract ARod.

I don't see even. Not even close. You really do?

60 Rumor has the Yankees and Posada at 3/$40. He IS 35 years old. Maybe he will want 4 yrs, but I can't see 5. I can't imagine anyone going better then 3/$42 or 4/$50.

63 You would offer Posada $20 million for 3 years????????????

64 What you described sounded pretty damn good for a kid. Better then Melky in every way except for the arm.

65 Clear thinking. It's hard to eliminate emotions and our love of our own kids, but ya gotta be real. If we can nix Torre and Donnie, I guess anything is possible.

78 Because the defense of our 'big 3' OFers is terrible. Melky showed us the impact that just ONE good defensive/arm has. JD was a bad deal. If Matsui doesn't improve, he's a bad deal. I don't think we should stick with them just because we have them. JD will take a trade if he thinks he's gonna sit.

2007-11-02 09:56:14
89.   OldYanksFan
Matsui had a 2007 OPS of .855 (career .866) with 25 HRs, average or slightly less speed, below average defense. How does this compare to the average corner OFer? If there a list of VORP for OFers somewhere?

Is VORP the best (offense and defense) player comparison stat?

2007-11-02 09:56:18
90.   RIYank
I think Johnny Damon is untradeable.

He has a very big salary. Any team willing to take on a salary that big will go hard after Andruw or Torii, or take a gamble on Fukudome. There aren't all that many big-spending clubs in need of an OF.

2007-11-02 09:56:44
91.   OldYanksFan
oops... typo. Career (.856)
2007-11-02 09:58:42
92.   yankz
89 VORP doesn't include defense.
2007-11-02 10:00:33
93.   yankz
90 Damon's on a 2-year deal though, that might appeal to someone more than 6 years of Hunter.

However, it won't work like that. I'm pretty sure I remember reading that the teams on Damon's no-trade list are the teams that could afford him, and he'd have to have an extension guaranteed before waiving it.

2007-11-02 10:01:22
94.   OldYanksFan
84 "use melky to get santana or a 3b". Melky will get Santana's jockstrap. What will it cost for the rest of him? Melky has a career .728 OPS (don't know OPS+). He's a decent player, young and cheap, but he's not worth THAT much.
2007-11-02 10:03:29
95.   yankz
Yanks pick up Abreu's option.
2007-11-02 10:03:37
96.   OldYanksFan
85 As soon as Bonds hit's he first HR to win a game, fans will forget all about his personal problems. For all his garbage, we are still talking about the best player since Babe or Ted. If you could get used to Boggs, Clemens and JD, how hard will Bonds be?
2007-11-02 10:06:10
97.   RIYank
95 So that's settled.
I find myself relieved, which I guess means that deep down I wasn't happy with the Fukudome idea.
2007-11-02 10:06:20
98.   RIYank
Says here tinyurl.com/2dzo79 that the league average VORP for LF is about 25.

Hideki's VORPs have been
2004 44.4
2005 44.9
2006 13.3
(VORP is a counting stat, so the injury was huge.)

BP doesn't have the 2007 VORP yet. Or maybe it's behind the pay wall. But his averages were close to his career average this past year.

2007-11-02 10:06:44
99.   OldYanksFan
90 If we pick up $4m/yr of JDs contract, that's $9m/yr for 2 years. For a team with a good defensive OF that needs some offense, thats decent for a guy of his talent.
2007-11-02 10:07:50
100.   RIYank
99 I guess that's one reasonable way to spend the money, yeah.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-11-02 10:08:32
101.   yankz
98 http://tinyurl.com/27wah5
2007-11-02 10:09:25
102.   OldYanksFan
98 Thanks. Really? So Mats is still a fair bit better then average... and I guess so is JD. I don't think the Yankees would ever trade Mats (even if they could) because of the Japanese connection. It's JD that would have to go.
2007-11-02 10:09:33
103.   ms october
93 actaully - i think it is the reverse - he said he put a bunch of low spending teams on the list because he knew they couldn't afford him so it would serve as a de facto no trade clause in that he basically couldn't be traded anywhere without his approval

95 damn you are fast

2007-11-02 10:11:38
104.   yankz
103 Haha thanks- but WasWatching, where I got it from, is faster.

Also- he put the low spending teams on the list he CAN be traded to, right? I think we said the same thing.

2007-11-02 10:13:22
105.   OldYanksFan
92 What stat or 2 stats are the best for player comparison, INCLUDING DEFENSE? EQA+? They have to include defense. Remember when there was a post here comparing Piazza to Pudge? Piazza was a good deal better on offense, but Pudge literally blew Mike out of the water when defense and throwing was included.

It is time for the Yankees (and us) to start looking at the whole player... speed and defense included. We know that this is also part of a more potent PS team.

2007-11-02 10:14:11
106.   yankz
Wow- someone on LoHud said they wouldn't trade IPK for Santana straight up.
2007-11-02 10:15:12
107.   Shaun P
90 99 I think Damon is really untradeable because he can't play CF well anymore. And everyone knows it.

The other problem is, who fills Damon's role on the Yankee roster? The Yanks have 5 OFs on the 40-man (6 counting Abreu) - 1 is Sardinha, and 1 is Shelley Duncan. Which means without Damon, the Yanks have 3 OF. Why trade a guy, just to have to turn around and sign someone? Unless its a big upgrade - and it wouldn't be unless the Yanks signed Rowand or Andruw - it seems like a waste to me.

2007-11-02 10:15:14
108.   OldYanksFan
100 That's literally pennies for us to fill the position better, isn't it? Hell, it's on Torre.
2007-11-02 10:16:19
109.   yankz
107 I think trading Melky or Damon would require signing Andruw.
2007-11-02 10:16:19
110.   ms october
104 Yeah - I think I misread what you wrote. For simplicity's sake here is some Damon info:

Damon is the one rare big-name Yankee without the lock and key of a full no-trade clause.

Damon instead has a limited no-trade that includes a strategic, hand-picked list of 12 teams that the Yankees can deal him to without his consent. He has the option of changing any or all of those teams before every season.

On the current list, Damon divulged for the first time, are teams such as the Royals, Devil Rays, Marlins, Mariners and Twins.

No Red Sox or Angels.

"The reason why I picked the small-market teams," he said, "is because, for the most part, they can't afford to pick up my salary."

In other words, it gives him something of a defacto no-trade.

"Of course, if a big-market team like the Mets or Dodgers were interested, the Yankees could come to me and ask for my consent. And I wouldn't say 'yes' unless my deal was extended," he said.

2007-11-02 10:16:56
111.   williamnyy23
102 Matsui has been taken too many kncoks lately. His ops+ (which compares only offensive to league average on a park adjusted basis) was 123. Before his knee injury, he was actually living in the high 130s. If healthy, I think Matsui will still be an offensive force next season. His biggest drawback is his defense has really declined.
2007-11-02 10:17:41
112.   yankz
109 Unless they got a good defensive OF back, but I doubt that.
2007-11-02 10:19:18
113.   RIYank
105 WARP, I guess.
2007-11-02 10:19:46
114.   williamnyy23
105 WARP and win shares include defense. I prefer to evaluate them separately.
2007-11-02 10:20:28
115.   yankz
Arod would have been back...for 350 million: http://tinyurl.com/32sqc2
2007-11-02 10:22:16
116.   OldYanksFan
107 Melky, Bobby and Matsui (if he's not injured) play a lot of games. Traditionally, our 4th OFer did not see a lot of action. We want to get Shelly ABs, yes? If we do nothing else but 'trade' JD for Bonds, we have a much more potent team.
2007-11-02 10:24:03
117.   yankz
I got this from RealGM Baseball:

"According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Yankees are going to pursue Mike Lowell now that they have lost Alex Rodriguez.

They are likely to offer Lowell a four-year deal and look to outbid Boston."

However, the link doesn't work. If that's true, I hope Cash is just driving Boston's price up more.

2007-11-02 10:24:33
118.   RIYank
115 Wow.
I bet Boras will deny that.
Check out the last sentence:
"Sources say it is highly unlikely that the Dodgers will seriously entertain the possibility."
I.e., pursuing A-Rod.
I was betting on the Dodgers, too. Hmmmmmm.
2007-11-02 10:27:38
119.   Shaun P
105 EqA just includes offense.

WARP includes offense and defense - but the defense numbers may be suspect, as its not a play-by-play system.

118 This is going to be fun to watch.

Watch the Astros or the Nationals sign him. I'd laugh.

2007-11-02 10:28:43
120.   williamnyy23
88 OK, lets try that:

Beckett: Will he better or worse in 2008? Last year was his best season by far.

Wakefield: Do you expect another 17 wins with a league average ERA?

Dice-K: History says that Japanese pitchers regress as the league gets familiar with them.

Buchholz: Wasn't considered on the same level of Hughes coming up, but has thrust himself onto the scene. If he takes Schilling's spot, he'll need to post an ERA+ of 120. That might be a tall order.

Lester: Has been league average over parts of two years, so why expect a huge spike?

Bullpen: Papelbon should be great again, baring injury, which is a heightened risk with him. Their other main cog was Okajima, who really was awful over the last two months and in the post season. If he doesn't revert to form, that's a lot of huge innings the Red Sox need to get.

Offense: Aside from Elsbury for Crisp, I don't see a compelling case for an improvement. Manny should probably be better, but Ortiz may slip a little on his surgically repaired knee. Also, will Lowell be back, and if so, will he have a 124 OPS+?

As I mentioned, the Red Sox could be very good next season, but they are far from a lock. This isn't the 1998 Yankees.

2007-11-02 10:30:18
121.   OldYanksFan
115 That's insane! Were they going to use that number to get a better offer from other teams? I can't believe he will even get $300. $250 would even be a stretch for teams that can afford it.

I wonder why this news wasn't published with the earlier articles. So ARod didn't quite snub the Yankees, he just said it would cost $350 to talk. WOW!~

2007-11-02 10:31:26
122.   yankz
Goldman is funny: "Nate suggests tolerating Kyle Farnsworth as closer for a year. I wouldn't tolerate Kyle Farnsworth handing me a burger at a drive-through window. "
2007-11-02 10:32:04
123.   williamnyy23
115 In that case, it really was a no brainer. Good bye Arod. I'll be shocked if he approaches that elsewhere, but if he does, you can look forward to that team whining about the contract in the near future.
2007-11-02 10:32:22
124.   bp1
88
C - Posada > Varitek
1B - Youk > whoever
2B - Cano > Pedrioa
SS - Jeter >>> Lugo
3B - Lowell >> ???
LF - Dreds >> Matsui
CF - Melky ~ Crisp (Yankee fan in me wants to say Melky > Crisp)
RF - Advantage Yankees (Abreu >> Nancy)
DH - Papi > Giambi/Duncan (Giambi - oh whatever happened to you?)

Pitchers:
#1 Beckett > Wanger (I still think Beckett regresses this year)
#2 Andy > ?? (Schilling is gone?)
#3 Joba > Dice K (at least I hope so)
#4 Phil ~ Lester (hard to call)
#5 Moose ~ Clay (maybe not anymore)

2007-11-02 10:33:32
125.   williamnyy23
117 Signing Lowell for 4 years would be a big mistake, especially because the Red Sox likely don't want him. Cashman would be doing Boston a favor by freeing up the position to do the same creative things that the Yankees could do.

This is a rumor I really hope isn't true.

2007-11-02 10:36:34
126.   williamnyy23
124 I think you are seriously overestimating Lester/underestimating Hughes. Before his injury, Hughes was heralded as the best pitching prospect in the game. Lester never approached that recognition. I think it is a safe assumption to think Hughes will be significantly better than Lester.
2007-11-02 10:40:00
127.   williamnyy23
It wasn't featured prominently in many places, but Joel Zumaya's career may be over. There but for the grace of (insert your own personal diety here) goes Joba Chamberlain.
2007-11-02 10:42:04
128.   yankz
Would you trade Melky and sign Andruw if you knew you could get someone like Kouzmanoff or Atkins without giving up any of The Trio? I think a Betemit/Duncan platoon at 1B could be above average offensively.
2007-11-02 10:45:43
129.   williamnyy23
128 No...because I don't really think Kouz or Atkins are great long term options. That would be settling. I keep saying it, but the Yankees have to really drill down into Cabrera and find away to make a deal.
2007-11-02 10:48:33
130.   OldYanksFan
Beckett: Regress some. Still a stud.
Wakefield: Pretty easy to replace a league average ERA. Buckholz should be better. And is Wake done? If not, should be about the same.
Dice-K: I think next year he is better. His main problem was walks. Not because he lacks control, but because he nibbles. He's good enough to go after guys.
Buchholz: Should be a decent #4, very good $5.
Lester: He got Cancer between years 1 and 2, remember. He's only back 1 year. He should be smarter and stronger. I expect he will be better.
Bullpen: Papelbon: same, Okajima: regress
I assume, like us, they will seek help for the BP.

Offense: Ellsbury is MUCH better then 2007 Crisp. Big Upgrade. Ortiz had close to a career year WITH the bad knees. He's still a stud. Lowell will regress some.
JD can't get worse. He can get a LOT better.
Lugo's 2007 OPS was 80 pts below his career numbers. He should get a fair amount better.
Tek: So-so in 2007. Should regress a bit.
Manny: walk year and was 'off' a bit in 2007. I think he's good for similar, maybe a little better numbers.

Yankees:
Better:
No one for sure. Giambi if he's healthy. Cano probably has the best chance. Melky? JD? Jeter (whos D gets worse every day and power is way down)
Posada has to regress. Jetes could. Aside from Giambi, I don't see anyone who will be significantly better.

"As I mentioned, the Red Sox could be very good next season, but they are far from a lock. This isn't the 1998 Yankees."

True... but would you be surprised if Melky 2008=2007? If Mats or JD never gets better then 2007? do you expect Jeter to get better?
Abreu maybe a little better.

I agree. Before we lost ARod, it was close. But we DID lose ARod.

2007-11-02 10:50:21
131.   yankz
I don't know man, Kouz flat out raked in the minors. I don't think it'd be bad to keep him for his cost controlled years and then get someone else- especially compared to the options.

Holy- good lord- his Rate was 78 last year at 3rd. For reference, Derek Jeter was 96. OK, so not a solution at 3rd.

2007-11-02 10:51:55
132.   Shaun P
128 No. I'm scared of Jones. I think he might be toast. And my understanding is that his defense is only so-so at best now, but the reputation carries him. (Anyone have a copy of the Fielding Bible handy?)
2007-11-02 10:53:45
133.   yankz
132 Well, if you believe Rate, he's declining for sure, but was still above average last year and well above average for his career.
2007-11-02 10:54:41
134.   RIYank
Just a few comments on comparing the direction of Sox players and Yanks:

The Yankee starting rotation is very likely to be better.

Lester should improve. Wakefield will have ERA+ about the same as this year, but I agree with william that he'll contribute fewer wins. Drew almost certainly hits better -- but there's also a fair chance that he'll be on the DL for a substantial period.
Manny is in a walk year, true. But I believe he is now in decline, so he'll be worse at the plate.

2007-11-02 10:55:06
135.   bp1
126 Even better, then.

I still see the two teams as pretty evenly matched. Some see-saw in the position players, the pitching staff depends on how the youngsters perform next year, the middle relief is a crap shoot (as it always is), and the closers are both superstars.

Beckett could be stud ('07) or dud ('06). He has stud stuff, no doubt. Then again, Andy was pretty studly for a long strech in '07 as well. I have not seen Joba as a starter, but does anyone doubt he has the stuff to be a total dominating stud? I don't.

I'm not ready to shortchange the '08 Yankees. They are still a very good team, even with The Third Baseman.

2007-11-02 10:55:31
136.   Shaun P
129 The MSM assumes the Marlins will trade Cabrera - but I doubt they will. I think the asking price will be too high. In which case the Yanks can just sign him as a free agent.

Even if I'm wrong, the Marlins like name power arms and name toolsy hitters; they'd probably want one of each, or two of one kind. But the only Yankee "prospects" to fit one of those criterion are Hughes, Joba, and Tabata. And the Yanks can't afford to give up two of those three.

2007-11-02 10:56:27
137.   RIYank
I remember reading several contradictory things about Andruw's defense this year. His ZR was a lot worse, but then someone at BP said that he gets a lot of balls out of his zone.

It's his hitting that worries me. Aberration, or beginning of the end?

2007-11-02 10:56:36
138.   bp1
135 Correction. Should be "without The Third Baseman".
2007-11-02 10:56:39
139.   yankz
134 Do you think Manny even knows he's in a walk year?
2007-11-02 10:57:08
140.   OldYanksFan
124 I agree, however:
2B - Cano > Pedrioa (close-.018 OPS better for Cano). I like Cano, but Dustpin was surprising.
CF - Ellsbury >> Melky. Ellsbury is maturing nicely. Like Cano, his MLB numbers may be better then his MiLB numbers,
RF - Abreu >> Nancy. Probably... but could be closer then we think. Their Career #s are similar.
2007-11-02 10:58:27
141.   RIYank
Shaun, when would M. Cabrera be a free agent? He only has 3.1 years of MLB service.
2007-11-02 10:58:38
142.   Marcus
127 Zumaya made a statement that said "My career may be over" but from what I've read, the doctors are saying he can come back by mid-May or a little later. It was the AC-joint (whatever that is), not the rotator cuff or labrum, that Zumaya injured.
2007-11-02 11:00:04
143.   OldYanksFan
125 AGREED! 4 years is nuts. Read this! Lowell was .225 OPS better in Fenway then the road. Yankee LF will kill him. Give him 2 years at most!
2007-11-02 11:02:32
144.   williamnyy23
130 The Yankees were a much better offense than Boston...they have some room to regress. Basically, each team could see up or down swings for each player. It seems as if you are comparing the best case for the Red Sox versus the worst case for the Yankees. In that case, yes, the Yankees wont win the division next season.

One more point on Elsbury. While he should be much better than Crisp, I think way too many people are annointing him as a future star. As early as August, scouts were less than impressed with his development. Sure, he came up and made an impact, but the jury is still out on him. It is a stretch to pencil him in as a big performer.

As for the pitching side, I think you are discounting losing Okajima's ridiculous 214 ERA+ over 69 innings. If Okajima struggles like the second half, that creates a huge hole. In fact, the entire Boston bullpen was so good, I think you could see a lot of regression. As for Wakefield, sure, anyone can replace his league average performance, but will they win 17 games? Somehow, he was able to do that. Luck may have been a factor, but that's still something Boston needs to replicate. Finally, if Schilling leaves, you have to replace 120+ ERA...I don't think you can simply pencil in Lester and Buccholz in for that. If so, then what do you allow for Hughes and Chamberlain, both of whom are better prospects?

2007-11-02 11:02:48
145.   OldYanksFan
126 Absoulutely.
Hughes + Joba >>>>> Lester + Buckholz but
Beckett + Dice-K > Wang + Andy
Moose/IPK ??? Schrill/Wake
2007-11-02 11:04:33
146.   yankz
One staff spot they didn't mention: Who will be the Director of Performance Enhancement??? I don't want another hamstring epidemic.
2007-11-02 11:04:56
147.   JL25and3
47 I think THT and Cot's got the rule wrong. Here's the CBA language:

"Clubs shall be limited in the number of Type A and B players...they may subesequently sign to contracts. The number of signings permitted shall be related to the number of Players electing free agency under this Section B. If there are 14 or less such players..." etc.

So the limits aren't determined by the number of Type A and B free agents but the total number of free agents on the market.

There are also two loopholes. One is the one you mention - if they let Rodriguez, Minky, Molina and Villone walk, they can sign a fourth. Also, if they offer arbitration and the player accepts, that doesn't count against the limit. So, theoretically, they could work out a deal whereby they offer Posada arbitration and he accepts; then, before the hearing, they miraculously reach agreement on a deal to avoid the hearing.

2007-11-02 11:05:51
148.   Shaun P
BTW, for those interested in make sure we get guys who play the field well, here are some Ultimate Zone Rating numbers for 2007:

3B

NL

Worst

1. Cabrera -28
2. Atkins -23

I could not find numbers for Andruw. He wasn't among the 3 best, or the 3 worst.

2007-11-02 11:06:00
149.   standuptriple
One thing I will stand by, I DO NOT WANT ANDRUW JONES IN PINSTRIPES. The guy has been cruising on pure ability for years and his work ethic is crap. He will go downhill from here. Caveat emptor.
2007-11-02 11:06:18
150.   bp1
140 Abreu is in his walk year. I just see him going nuts this year. Not The Third Baseman nuts, but I bet he shows up in shape and ready to mash this Spring.

(fingers crossed)

I think Giambi is a key. There is so much potential there - for greatness and for bitter disappointment. Does he have anything left, or is he just content to party like a rock star from here on out? He could be better than Papi, and has been in the past. He could also be the most expensive pinch hitter in the history of the game.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-11-02 11:08:14
151.   williamnyy23
140 On the Pedroia/Cano comparison, I don't think you can dismiss the glaring talent discrepancies. For all the bluster about duster, he only had an OPS+ of 112. Cano was at 120 after being at 126 last season. That's a notch better. Think of it this way...after watching both men swing, would you even dream of not taking Cano over Pedroia. I think Dustin is around his ceiling (which would be pretty good for a 2B), but Cano still has much more potential.
2007-11-02 11:08:48
152.   OldYanksFan
Red Sox vs Yankees.
Put Bonds at DH 75% games.
Giambi at 1st 33% and DH 25%
Any help at 3rd is a bonus.
Now compare the 2.

Papi-Manny-JD vs. Bobby-Barry-Jason
And we are much better in the other 6.
BIG difference to me.

2007-11-02 11:08:55
153.   JL25and3
141 When Cot's says "ML Service: 3.101," that's 3 years, 101 days. Also, the site hasn't been updated to include 2007 yet.

So Cabrera should be a FA after 2008, no?

2007-11-02 11:09:19
154.   RIYank
148 Ouch.
So. Wilson Betemit. Huh.
2007-11-02 11:09:20
155.   OldYanksFan
146 Bonds, obviously :-)
2007-11-02 11:09:22
156.   Shaun P
141 What?!?!? RI, your data source is inaccurate. That makes no sense. Check out Cabrera's b-r.com page:

http://tinyurl.com/djvk5

I count at least 4.5 (full seasons in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, half a year in 2003) . . . which sadly means he's not "free" until after 2009.

Even still, I say wait until then to get him.

2007-11-02 11:11:05
157.   RIYank
153 Ah, right. Thanks.
In that case, I wouldn't give up much for him. If the Marlins ask for a huge return, nobody will trade and Cabrera walks next year.
2007-11-02 11:12:23
158.   Shaun P
153 OK, that explains 3.101, but how do you figure he's free after 2008? I think the '06-'07 offseason was the first time he was arb-eligible. He should get two more arb cracks before he's free. Or does service time accrue in the offseason too?
2007-11-02 11:12:36
159.   OldYanksFan
149 In that respect, Andruw is a choir boy compared to Cabrera (the worst D in the league). The guy has gained 60+ lbs in 2 years! How can that be ignored? The hell with his contract. Imagine what it will cost to feed him!
2007-11-02 11:12:39
160.   Bama Yankee
155 You beat me to it...

Actually, that would be a good job for Clemens (if anyone would/could follow his regimen).

2007-11-02 11:13:01
161.   RIYank
So, could we live with Betemit for two whole years?
2007-11-02 11:13:12
162.   williamnyy23
148 If the Yankees get Cabrera, I think he becomes the new 1B.
2007-11-02 11:13:42
163.   OldYanksFan
150 Wasn't 2007 ALSO a walk year? It's the Yankees option, not his
2007-11-02 11:15:20
164.   yankz
161 With Cabrera at 1st...

I really, really think whoever trades for Cabrera would try to lock him up for the next 7 years. Doesn't make sense otherwise.

2007-11-02 11:15:24
165.   JL25and3
64 In other words, Ellsbury could end up being Ichiro!, or he could end up as Juan Pierre.

Before people get too interested in Garrett Atkins:

Career, home: .336/.399/.528
Career, road: .269/.344/.437

2007, home: .349/.409/.527
2007, road: .254/.327/.446

I'll pass, thanks.

2007-11-02 11:19:52
166.   RIYank
161 Yes, someone would try to do that. But I'm thinking right now that makes the trading partners for the Marlins far fewer. Who is going to be looking to trade for Cabrera and spend $120M?
2007-11-02 11:19:56
167.   Shaun P
Slightly off topic - what is Jayson Stark talking about? http://tinyurl.com/ypsvf5

I'm too young to remember anything of '77, '78, and '81, but my understanding is that there is no rivalry between the Yanks and the Dodgers anymore. And I don't think Torre managing the Dodgers brings it back.

2007-11-02 11:20:20
168.   RIYank
Whoops, 166 was supposed to refer to 164 .
2007-11-02 11:20:55
169.   williamnyy23
156 Cabrera wasn't eligible for arbitration until last year, so you are probably right. Of course, he is likely to make $10+mn this season and even more next year, so there may still be an impetus to move him.
2007-11-02 11:21:56
170.   JoeInRI
Oh Eric Duncan . . . wherefore art thou so sucky . . . .
2007-11-02 11:22:54
171.   williamnyy23
167 I didn't get that either...the Yankees and Dodgers are so removed from each other that I thought his premise was silly.
2007-11-02 11:23:22
172.   Shaun P
Fielding Bible Defense Awards for 2007:

Best CF - Andruw Jones

Now I don't know what to think.

http://tinyurl.com/2z8u5a

2007-11-02 11:24:35
173.   williamnyy23
172 I think Jones is a case of defense being judged by one's offense. At Jones age, he shouldn't be expected to have dropped significantly, and he did reside on a rather lofty perch.
2007-11-02 11:24:55
174.   RIYank
170 Oh yeah, remember that?

New thread, folks.

2007-11-02 11:25:46
175.   JL25and3
158 I think you're right, but I have to say, I'm confused. I somehow thought that FA came after playing in 6 seasons, but it's 6 years of credited ML service - 172 days making a year.

But that means that Wang and Cano - who will presumably be "Super 2s" and arb-eligible, still won't become free agents for 4 more years.

2007-11-02 11:25:59
176.   OldYanksFan
"The Rockies finished second in the league in runs but scored only 10 runs in the series and hit .218."
Yankeeitis?
2007-11-02 11:27:23
177.   OldYanksFan
167 It's more exciting to make up news then report it. There is zero rivalry.
2007-11-02 11:28:04
178.   jeterian swing
165 But look deeper at Atkins' splits and the Coors Effect seems to be less pronounced: Over his career, he has 35 HRs at home, and 33 on the road. Also, he has a .348 BABIP at home, and a .288 BABIP on the road. I'm not saying I want him, but is he really a product of Coors?
2007-11-02 11:28:06
179.   JL25and3
172 I think that defensive stats are highly suspect.
2007-11-02 11:36:43
180.   JL25and3
167 , 177 I don't know. Back then, I hated those Dodgers more than I hated the Red Sox. I respected the Red Sox (and the Royals) as worthy adversaries, good teams that I appreciated watching. But I hated Lasorda and his "bleed Dodger blue" crap, hated Garvey and his white-bread sanctimoney, hated the fuzzy nostalgic "Boys of Summer bullshit, hated the whole damn team. (OK, not Tommy John - even before he came to NY, it was hard to hate him.)

I've never lost that entirely. I wouldn't call it a rivalry, no, but I still hate the Dodgers.

2007-11-02 11:55:57
181.   Andre
I still don't get why we're going after high priced outfielders when we already have 3 of our own.

Trade Melky + IPK + some other pitching prospect to Twins for Santana and hope that gets it done.

Keep an outfield of Damon, Mats, Abreu with some minor leaguer or Barry as 4th OF. Surely we can find a serviceable 4th OF. We made it to the postseason with Bubba in CF so surely we can get by with these old guys plus 1 avg to slightly less than avg alternate.

Alternate Giambi with Betemit at 1st.

Go find a 3rd baseman or alternate Betemit with Andy Phillips at 3rd.

Sub Duncan at 1st, 3rd, DH as needed.

With Barry's bat in place of ARod, and everyone else staying basically the same (Mats/Damon/Betemit/Duncan/Giambi all alternate to take Melky's at bats) we really don't lose much offense, but we really upgrade pitching by getting Santana.

We need more roster flexibility. We won't get that by signing long term CF's who may or may not be washed up, and we don't get that by signing Lowell. We were already head and shoulders above everyone on offense. Take a huge upgrade on pitching and a slight downgrade on offense and we should be in pretty good shape. plugging in another veteran OF is not the answer. We have to bide our time until we can be rid of the likes of Damon, Mats, Giambi and replace them with much younger versions of themselves, none of whom seem to be available right now. Melky may be, but I think we need a pitching upgrade more than we need a young stud CF.

Damon
Jeter
Abreu
Barry
Posada
Matsui
Cano
Giambi
Betemit

or

Damon
Jeter
Abreu
Barry
Posada
Matsui
Cano
Betemit
Phillips

seems pretty good when paired with:

Santana
Wang
Pettitte
Hughes
Joba

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