Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Clock Turns Back: Yanks Look to Fill Out Coaching Staff, Bullpen
2005-10-30 05:01
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

In a column today about Billy Wanger, Murray Chass lists some of the big name free agent relievers who will be on the market this winter: Trevor Hoffman, B. J. Ryan, Bob Wickman, Todd Jones, Octavio Dotel, Kyle Farnsworth, Tom Gordon, Roberto Hernandez, Mike Timlin, Tim Worrell, Ugueth Urbina, Matt Mantei and LaTroy Hawkins. Timlin is reportedly close to re-signing with the Red Sox. It's likely that Boston and New York will engage in a bidding war for B.J. Ryan, or Wagner or maybe even Everyday Eddie Guardado. Anyone else on that list get you all hot and bothered?

Hey, in true glutton fashion--this is a Yankee site after all--how about throwing caution to the wind and signing both Ryan and Billy Wagner? Never happen I know, and maybe it wouldn't even be money well spent (Wagner is getting on in years for one, and there'd be whole lot of ego out there in the pen), but a boy can have his Christmas List can't he? If the Yankees can manage to assemble something close to what they had in 1996, or what the Angels and White Sox had this year, that would be tremendous. They can probably do it cheaper than inking Wagner and Ryan, but it seems inevitable that at least one high (over?)-priced reliever will be wearing pinstripes next year.

According to Tyler Kepner and Sam Borden the Yankees will not keep Neil Allen as their bullpen coach next year. Maybe this creates a job for Guidry before he moves into the high-profile position of pitching coach. It makes sense to me that Joe Kerrigan will eventually get that gig. But who knows, maybe Gator gets it and Kerrigan slides into the pen.

2005-10-30 05:51:23
1.   sabernar
Why do Yankee fans think that closers like Ryan and Wagner would ever agree to come to the Yankees and become a setup man? For the small possibility that, in the future some time, Rivera is going to retire? Probably not in the next 3 years or so, which is the length of the contract that they're going to get. These guys love being closers, they're not going to just roll over. If you were a closer and you were being offered $8M/yr by Boston to be their closer, do you think that Yankees would be able to spend that much on a setup man?
2005-10-30 06:46:19
2.   tommyl
As I recall, Ryan made comments at some point this summer/fall that he'd be willing to setup if it meant going to a bigger market and a contending team. Reading between the lines I think he was saying he'd be willing to be a setup man for Boston or NY.

No idea on Wagner, and the Phils will likely make a strong push to keep him.

Anyone else know what other setup man/closer types are available?

2005-10-30 06:48:06
3.   sabernar
But he wouldn't have to be a closer for Boston; they are in need of a closer. Seems like they'd be able to pay him more to be a closer then NY would be able to pay him to be a setup man. Imagine the outcry if the Yanks dropped $8M/yr on a setup man, no matter how good.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have Ryan on the Yankees. I just think that it's improbable that it will ever happen. I see the Yanks signing guys like Eyre.

2005-10-30 07:00:31
4.   murphy
speaking of wishlist: last fall (when he was still flying solo), cliff put together his '05 yanks dream team. i would love for you guys to each post your ideal version of the '06 yanks. and imagine the number of comments. :)
2005-10-30 07:47:39
5.   singledd
Alex and Cliff,
Just wanted you guys to know how GREAT it is that you're posting, and posting so frequently during this off-season.

The onset of a New Hampshire winter is always a bit of a bummer, and having no touch with the Yankees is REALLY a drag. Your site makes the off-season a lot more paletable for me, and gives me something to look forward to.

Thanks again for your great efforts.

2005-10-30 07:52:19
6.   alasky
If this is really a dream team and I know this would never happen, then here you go:

1B Giambi
2B Furcal (making jeter our 3rd best ss?)
3B A-Rod
SS Jeter
C Posada
LF Matsui
CF Hunter (cano trade?)
RF Sheff
DH Phillips/Lawton platoon (Phillips capable of playing 1B/2B, Lawton OF)

IF Alex Gonzalez
C Todd Pratt
OF Crosby
DH/OF Sosa or Salmon on a real-small take a chance that they have a hot month contract?

SP Johnson
SP Burnett
SP Mussina
SP Wang
SP Chacon

CL Rivera
LHP Ryan
RHP Gordon
RHP Small
RHP Wright
RHP Bean

No chance it looks anything like this...and even if it did, the usage wouldn't be right with Torre managing a few of these guys, such as Phillips and Bean, and I'm sure Furcal wouldn't want to b a 2B, but dreams are dreams right?

2005-10-30 09:59:32
7.   Cliff Corcoran
Chass needs to check his facts. Hawkins is already off the market because the Giants have picked up his option.

Murph, I may not do a full dream team this year, if only because the FA market is so weak and speculating about trades is pure guessing, but I'll do something close. Hopefully this week.

2005-10-30 10:56:06
8.   Zack
I don't see any need to sign Furcal when we have Cano, seems like a more expensive, less upside aquesition.
2005-10-30 11:30:18
9.   murphy
we sign cano and move jeter to center.
2005-10-30 11:37:17
10.   murphy
sorry... we sign furcal and move jeter to center.
2005-10-30 13:23:03
11.   Schteeve
I'd be happy to see Mantei or Dotel. I'd jump out the window if we got Farnsworth.
2005-10-30 13:29:28
12.   Schteeve
Also, I know nothing about minor league prospects, but if I was running the Yankees, I'd get rid of Flaherty, and forget this Piazza nonsense, and instead try to trade for a hot shot catching prospect, to back up Posada and eventually replace him. I think this needs to be a priority. Anyone know who might be out there?
2005-10-30 14:32:35
13.   randym77
Keep Cano at 2nd, keep Jeter at SS. Sign Soriano and move him to CF. :)

We definitely need a catching prospect. Posada's getting older; even if he and the Unit kiss and make up, we need someone who can spell him without being a millstone on offense.

2005-10-30 14:41:40
14.   sabernar
Soriano sucks. No reason to sign him. Take a look at his home/away splits last season - they were horrible. He was below average in his away games.

How about Brian Giles for CF? He's a bit old (35, I think), but he still puts up great numbers, and he's supposed to be a good guy, too. Torii Hunter is WAY overrated (lifetime average CF, and average lifetime OPS), especially since the Twins will ask an arm and a leg for him. Randy Winn is a better player and gets paid half as much - too bad the Giants picked up his option.

2005-10-30 15:20:30
15.   Alex Belth
I haven't thought about it enough to know if it'd make any sense, but Brian Giles has always seemed like a Yankee to me. He sure wouldn't help the defense but he's the right kind of high OBP, hustle guy the Yanks could use.
2005-10-30 15:31:23
16.   randym77
I like Giles, but didn't they move him to LF because CF was becoming too much for him?
2005-10-30 15:47:11
17.   rbj
Schteeve, bingo. A good, young, almost ready for prime time catching prospect. One who could catch about 60 games this year.

For CF, until Melky matures get someone who can cover lots of ground. With Matsui, Sheff, A-Rod, Giambi, Jeter, and to an extent Cano & Posada, plus a DH, the CF does not need to be a world beater with the bat, just legs and glove.

2005-10-30 15:56:27
18.   Dimelo
What a great Giant win, whoo-rah!!!! 36 Good Guys - 0 Redskins, almost felt as good as seeing the Skins lose 17 - 0 in 1986. With the Eggles losing, then this could be great for the G-Men. Well, enough about football.....

Anyhow, I needed a break and decided to check a few Yankee fan sites and I read this at NYYFans and I thought this was a good piece to share.

As for my Yankee dream team, a team that wins the Championship. I think the hardest question for the Yanks will be CF, there doesn't seem to be an easy solution - unless you consider signing Damon, which I think is an AWFUL move if they do. I don't want Cano to be part of any trade for a CF - unless that trade would bring Beltran and Milledge from the Mets (a dream, I know!!). I am not that high (well at least not "high" yet) on Furcal. I agree that using him as our everyday SS would be great and moving Jetes to CF would be a good idea - but I still question the move and whether if it's the right move.

2005-10-30 16:22:30
19.   BklynBomber
rbj — Exactly! We do not need a Damon (price, dead arm, yet another aging player), nor a Hunter (possibly losing Cano/Wang, and/or prospects). I don't know what centerfielders will be available mid-season '06 that could help out in the stretch, but I would let Bubba and Melky battle it out in the spring and see what happens. Not sure if we're out of options with Bubba, but he should at least get a good look.

Oh yeah, how 'bout dem 5-2 New York Football Giants? 36-zip! Barber was lights out today. He and Shockey did Wellington proud. I think this team is for real...

2005-10-30 16:46:51
20.   BklynBomber
#18 Great link, Dimelo. This piece really puts things in perspective and should be required reading for all mainstream media hacks, local and national.
2005-10-30 17:15:19
21.   Dimelo
Back to football quickly, with the G-Men winning and the Eggles losing, the Jints have taken control of first place in the NFC East. GREAT!!! Exactly, BklynBomber...they sure made Wellington proud. I think they are for real, too. This is going to be a great year in NY Sports, I know my Yanks broke my heart but I know the G-Men and Knicks will try and make it all better. For now, it's the hot-stove till pitcher-and-catchers finally report....

I hope I feel like this come February, but I feel the Yankees - with Cash-money running things - sure seem to be heading in the right direction and they are trying to make the best possible decisions. The fact that organizational meetings will be in NY and not Tampa is another good thing. Cash, it all starts with right by us.

2005-10-30 18:50:42
22.   BklynBomber
Same here, Dimelo — the surging G-Men, a revamped Knick squad under Coach Brown, and our hot stove 'Banter' will make this winter a little easier to deal with...

Damn, I can't wait for spring training. I don't think I've ever been this anxious during any off season in the past. Anyone up for petitioning Alex and Cliff to put one of those countdown meters on the sidebar? ;-)

2005-10-30 21:45:23
23.   susan mullen
Poster was correct in that BJ Ryan has already
said he'd be willing to set up for Mariano
Rivera. Not saying that he wouldn't prefer to
close. Wagner is a different story, and trouble
we don't need. Kerrigan, according to Bill
Madden, is a first class snake. I don't need to
see his face in the dugout or anywhere else for
that matter. This clubhouse environment needs
some air--it is overrun with vermin trying to
screw someone up as it is. Remember Kerrigan
made that 30 minute show at Randy Johnson's
locker, and we were all told that Randy had
been re-born as a result of that? Right. He
crashed and burned, cussed out an umpire be-
cause he knew he couldn't cut it. Wonder
what snake started that spin? Get this club-
house cleaned out of vermin, and maybe the
players can play.

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