Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
In the New York Sun, Tim Marchman wonders if next year's Yankees won't look an awful lot like this year's edition.
For pitching, you have Wang, Joba, and Hughes. You may also have IPK or Aceves as a reasonable option for a #5 man. That means we're short a front end starter and some depth, but the depth can be filled by Horne, Marquez and Rasner, as well as some of the more recent draftees. I'm not going to worry about the pen at this point.
So that means we're short:
1B or C
Signing Sabathia takes care of the starter. Tex would take care of the 1B, or we could choose to pursue a lesser option. I'd strongly advocate Dunn if he's available. He'd be cheaper, shorter term and still rakes. We could also try to resign Giambi at a reduced price for a 1 or 2 year deal. Ditto on Moose and Pettitte.
So....that means we're short a CF because Melky sucks. Well, there are a few options there, we could try to stopgap with Damon in CF and someone like Melky/Gardner coming off the bench to rest him a couple of days a week. Or the organization could get very aggressive and slot in Ajax. Alternatively we could try to sign or trade for someone like Rowand, but again only as a stopgap as I expect Ajax to be the CF by midseason.
Now sure, what happened this year could happen again. Everyone gets hurt and Jeter and Cano stink up the joint. Jeter might decline, but he might bounce back. Cano should bounce back. I don't see the doom and gloom for next year.
1 Yeah, the whole reason the Yanks have 48 right-handed relief prospects is so that they don't have to spend $12M on guys like Howry and Marte. Marchman forgot that Melancon (salary: MLB minimum) can easily fill Marte's role, so (by his reckoning), that's another $11.6M to play with.
Marchman also left out buyouts (Giambi's is $5M, for example), and payments to guys in the minors with MLB contracts (Miranda and Brackman).
Otherwise, I see the exact same 3 holes you do: 1B, SP, CF. With those 3 holes, and every free agent gone, I've got the Yanks' '09 payroll at $141.77M.
My guess is some combo of Gardner/Christian/maybeevenMelky fills CF until Jackson is definitely ready (and that's another MLB minimum salary, so $142M).
Tex at $20M, CC at $25M, and say one of Pettitte or Moose back at ~$12M (they don't need both if they get CC), and that's just a hair under $200M.
Like you, I think AJax starts in AAA next year, but could be knocking on the door in July. And I think Montero's bat might be closer than people think, depending on which position he plays.
I don't think resigning Giambi (price & year dependent) is not that bad of an idea if the only alternative is doling out boatloads of years and money to Teixeira. Maybe Montero would be a capable 1B at 21 when Giambi is done at 40. And I'd hate to have Montero suck at catching, switch to first, and be blocked by Teixeira and his massive salary with 6-8 years remaining. One ridiculously expensive and long contract is a pain to navigate around, but three (A-Rod, Teixeira, and CC perhaps) would be trouble, IMO.
Cashman has his work cut out for him.
Because if someone pays a 28 yr old fat starting pitcher 25 million per year, they are nuts.
They need to add a bunch of HRs for next year. I still believe, the IPK debacle notwithstanding, that a lot of the pitching needs can be filled without dropping 25 million on one dude.
Next year is still a crapshoot, but then most years are. To get to teams like 1998 you have to endure some crapshoot years and have a lot of luck. Someone on the last thread pointed out that with either very young or older players there are risks (injuries, decline or not performing up to expectations). That's what we have right now and what we will have for some time. Longer term this is a team that could be really, really good soon. There's a reason nearly all of our minor league teams are either dominating or near the top of their standings. A few more drafts and some position prospects and we're really strong. I see next year as transition ver. 2. Still in transition but a better shot to contend. I'm ok with that.
That was me. We're basically in agreement. I don't think that Cashman can go out and sign two free agents and all will be right with the world and the Yankees will be the cat's meow again.
Teixeira, I don't think, is that important of an acquisition. Even without Montero, there's still the possibility of having to move Posada or, less likely, Jeter or A-Rod to first. It's tough to justify signing a 1B/Dh guy to such a long term contract when there are quite a few other options already under team control.
I'm not keen on many of the position FAs, though, which makes off-season solutions difficult. I do like CC a lot. A big power lefty. However, I'm not a huge fan of giant contracts.
I think that Cashman might have to be more active in the trade market than he usually is. Among other things, I really don't like any of the in-house solutions for CF, even for the short term. Damon comes the closest to acceptable, but I don't know if he can handle CF every day anymore. And while Jackson might be ready by midseason, he might not be. That's an awful lot of eggs to put in a AA basket.
I think Tommyl really wanted the magic 8 ball, though.
but then, he'd only get 5 years max from me.
scouts can be wrong, but i'd say the overwhelming outcome in this case is that montero ends up at 1st. i imagine that's why the yankees keep drafting talented catchers.
25 Its not ability, its size. Montero is, at 18, already 6'4" and 225 lbs. Catchers that big don't handle the wear and tear of the position that well (see Joe Mauer among many others).
Besides, with a bat that special, why play him at a position where the wear and tear, and risk of injury, is so huge? Let's call him a 1B and be done.
All that said, he's an 18-year-old in Low-A. I don't think the Yanks should sign Tex for more a contract longer than 4 years anyway, but let's not worry about 2011 and Montero and Tex blocking each other for now. A lot could happen between now and then.
Neither are super-highly rated prospects and getting near to ML-job-or-new-team time.
Tex, on the other hand, I think is far more likely to take a bigger money, shorter contract vs a big money long term contract. Nowhere near the injury risk. He'll want to be on the market again at 33.
A four-year contract wouldn't be an issue (even if the only foreseeable problem was Montero), but we all know it's going to take twice that many years.
... fielding .991 right now, has an average range factor, and has caught 26 percent of runners trying to steal on him, which isn't good but isn't as bad as what he did in the lower minors. He's made progress, but will it be enough? End-of-season scouting reports and stats will help us know.
I think maybe the real problem is: he's fat. I've never seen him and people don't quite say it, but that's my impression.
I'm talking solely size and effect. Mauer is a catcher, a big guy (6'5" 220 lbs says b-r.com), and has already missed many games throughout his career (and a huge chunk of 2007) thanks to knee problems. And he's only 25. Admittedly playing on turf hasn't helped, but still. Mauer was/is an athlete - high school QB, heavily recruited. Montero, I'm willing to wager, isn't nearly as athletic. I just can't see him lasting injury-free behind the plate.
30 I think 4 years $25M - shoot, give him $27M if that's what it takes - gets it done. Boras is Mr. OptOut Clause. A-Rod and Drew's contracts had them so that, if the market went up (which it did), they could get better deals. And make Boras more money.
The Baseball Channel starts next year. Attendance is going through the stratosphere. MLB's gross revenues last year were bigger than the NFL's. I see no end to the money train in sight, and I'll bet Boras doesn't either. He will want Tex back on the market in 4 years (it's another pay day for him, too). So whoever offers the most money for the shortest term, I think, will get Tex.
Here's some numbers from 18/19 year olds in A for thought:
Montero (18) - 489/14/31/14.5%/7.2%/.354
Heyward (18) - 473/11/29/14.8%/10.6%/.371
Freeman (18) - 490/18/37/14.7%/8.8%/.351
Stanton (18) - 475/33/27/27.6%/10.1%/.344
And some recent big name prospects:
Upton (18) - 499/12/29/19%/10%/.312
Rasmus (19) - 369/11/14/16%/9%/.350
Bruce (19) - 497/16/47/21%/9%/.351
Snider (19) - 522/16/42/24.7%/10.3%/.382
I went back through the last 5 years and 18/19 year olds that hit like that and fail are rare. They're typically fast-movers (unless a team is trying to turn them into something they're not). It doesn't make Montero a sure thing, of course, and there are oddities (cough Eric Duncan cough), but the numbers are pretty interesting. Hmm, I wonder if Cash can pry Brad Nelson from the Brewers.
No reason to waste a bat like Montero's at a position that can harm him and limit his ABs.
The Sox are carrying 3 black holes at CF, SS and C. Not that that is a good thing, but we can carry 1 weak bat.
Also, as tempting as CC is, we still have some talent at AA and A even after Melancon and Sanchez come up. If Hughes pitches to his potential, I think our rotation will be well better then league average from what we have inhouse for a few years to come.
What we need is 1 power bat and one OBP bat, who hopefully don't suck on D. JD's D cost us 2 runs yesterday, yes? And health and decline wise, we are not sure what a 2009 JD will look like. It does not make sence to spend $10m to upgrade CF to an averageish bat (and maybe lesser D).
hit it or quit it, as the man said ...
RHP Dan Giese was examined today by Dr. Chris Ahmad at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in New York. He was diagnosed with rotator cuff tendinitis and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list. The club will make a corresponding move tomorrow.
damn, that shoulder tendinitis sure is catchy ... i wonder if matsui left his "collection" behind when he went on the DL and that's what's to blame ... jetes is gonna have to step up and be the cap'n and get teach there are other ways to get ... ummm ... "relief"
The 1985 Royals won a championship with Onix Concepcion and Buddy Biancalana at shortstop. That doesn't make that a reasonable plan for a team that wants to contend.
I also don't buy that it doesn't matter, because of course Austin Jackson will be in the lineup for good by July. The kid's 21, with a ton of tools, and he's having a very nice season in AA. He's not overwhelming the league, though, and it'd be nice to see a few AAA at-bats before we have him playing CF in Yankee Stadium every day. Isn't it time to stop assuming that development happens in a straight line, on our timetable?
There is every reason in the world to replace Melky, and no justification for failing to do so.
I'll try to look around some more; this may go back further than that...
45 56 Ellsbury isn't even a black hole; his .336 OBP is at least a bit about league average (.334) and AL CF average (.332), and just a tick below AL LF average (.338).
Lowrie (.357 OBP) and Lugo (.355 OBP) are way above average in this regard, both vs the AL and AL SS (.314 OBP).
But Coco is a black hole with his .301 OBP, and so is 'Tek (.304 OBP vs .324 AL C average). So you're right about that, OYF.
Still, I agree with JL.
57 Thanks, Chyll - serious consid., as always.
I'm not sure why my comment, of all of them, sparked this, but your reasoning makes sense.
Talk about depressing...I'm going on Saturday, when they will undoubtedly go down meekly against Greinke. But at least I'll get a luggage tag - the absolute cheapest, most embarrassing giveaway they have.
What's funny is that I think the comment he's talking about now was by Raf, not ShaunP.
And now his comment here has gone all 134 as well.
69 Praise be to Ken
I have to say, they're idiots but I enjoy them sometimes. And they sure as hell have to find someone to add a little life to Francesa.
That said, if you're gonna go after people like this one did, you should hope that there isn't too much info available to the empirical or intrepid to track you down with. That's why I was more concerned than I normally would be when I came across some other evidence.
And let this be a lesson to you trolls out there... we keep it real, dunny-dunn dunn!! >;)
72 Two hours of Star from Star & Buc Wild oughtta do the trick...
Last thing before I drift off into nightly bliss, I'll be doing a PA gig in Boston this weekend. Anyone that has some helpful hints about traffic patterns, places where I can go through and not be considered a suspicious character/suspect and most importantly knows some good hungry-man restaurants or diners that PAs can afford would be blessed in my book (or wherever I write my review of the trip.) G'nite! >;)
What does s/he have against cowboy astronaut millionaires? :D
72 Star will kill Francessa. Haven't heard their show since they returned, is it any good? Their stint on 105 seemed to be a bit more mature than the stint on 97.
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