Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Day Two
2005-12-06 10:31
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Nomar in New York? Don't hold your breath. Manny movin' on? M'ehh, could be. One thing is for sure: A.J. Burnett is now a Toronto Blue Jay. It is a high-risk deal, what with his injury history and all, but the guy can bring it. Don't know if he can pitch, but he's got dynamite stuff. The AL East just got more interesting.

Matt Cerrone is doing a bang-up job of updating all the latest from Dallas over at Check him out (again and again).

2005-12-06 11:56:04
1.   rbj
No to Nomar.
I'd have like to have gotten AJ, as insurance for when the other guys go down (or flip Pavano for a CF) but not at 5 yr/$55 mill. That's the sort of deal Steinbrenner would have beated in past years; I guess Cashman really does have a free hand this winter.
2005-12-06 12:07:56
2.   Peter
Thanks for pointing out Metsblog. There's lots of stuff over there.

He's saying Rickey Henderson announced his retirement.

2005-12-06 12:34:42
3.   Marcus
Gammons reported on Baseball Tonight (or Baseball This Afternoon, as it were) that the Red Sox are working on trading Wells and the A's have the inside track. Justin Duchscherer and another player would be sent to Boston.

I don't like that much, as Duchscherer has been very solid for the A's the past two years or so.

Why would the A's trade for a veteran pitcher? I mean, Wells can be very effective even at his age, but he's an big injury risk. Clearly Zito would be gone after this trade. It's not like Duchscherer is expensive. It's so un-Beane-like. Or maybe I'm missing something.

2005-12-06 12:53:06
4.   wsporter
If that's true its another good young arm in Boston. Anyone notice a trend? I don't like this either. Zito in Flushing?
2005-12-06 13:39:56
5.   debris
Where did Wells get this injury risk reputation? In the last decade, he failed to start 30 times in 2001. That's it. Last year, he was a league average pitcher. If you eliminate 4 starts, his first two when he wasn't quite in "shape" to start the season, the game when he hurt his ankle and the first game off the DL, when a rehab start would have cost him $300,000, he had a 3.68 ERA in his other 26 starts. He won 15 games and his bullpen blew 3 more.

David Wells did a fine job for the Sox last year and they really want him back. Add to his numbers the fact that he's only guaranteed $2.5 M next year in a well constructed incentive laden deal. The Sox know that Wells will retire rather than return to the east coast so he's on the market but will not be given away.

What the Sox are aware of is that the White Sox and Angels, like the Yanks of the '90s, have built their success on shutting the opposition down after the sixth inning. A bullpen with Timlin, Mota, Duchsherer and a closer, maybe even a healthy Foulke, can be awfully intimidating, particularly when you have a team that scores a lot of runs.

Everytime I think of the possibility of Darin Erstad in a Sox uniform, I die a thousand horrible deaths.

2005-12-06 13:50:49
6.   Rob

I think the 03 Series gave Wells that reputation. Unfairly, based on the stats you provide, but still a tough one to swallow for Yanks fans.

2005-12-06 13:52:07
7.   Schteeve
Timlin, Mota, Duchsherer and a healthy Foulke isn't really all that intimidating.
2005-12-06 13:58:50
8.   debris
Easy for you to say. You don't have to hit them.

Tough to swallow, I know. Blame Cashman. Wells wanted to come back, Cashman wanted Wright and Pavano. And the upshot of the Wright and Pavano deals is that now Cashman is gunshy. Admittedly it is better to be gunshy than silly ala JP Ricciardi, but wouldn't you like to see him do something?

2005-12-06 14:02:31
9.   unpopster
Debris, once again you show up sporting that pretty pair of rose-colored glasses:

"A bullpen with Timlin, Mota, Duchsherer and a closer, maybe even a healthy Foulke, can be awfully intimidating..."

You're kidding, right? Timlin was good -- statistically. But even the most faithful of Sox fans admitted last year that he couldn't keep inheritted runners from crossing the plate if his life depended on it. Plus he, like Gordon, is a 39 year old reliever who just came off a season where his manager grossly overworked him. My guess is he owns an ERA in the 4.50 range in '06.

As for Mota, the guy is a damaged pitcher who many scouts still think has some sort of shoulder issue. Mota had a 4.70 ERA in a pitcher's park last year.

Would that be Keith Foulke, the "headcase" who Sox fans were ready to run out of town?

2005-12-06 14:06:46
10.   Marcus
While the '03 Series is a bitter memory of Wells, it's more the fact that he'll be 43(!!!) next May that makes him an injury risk in my mind. He certainly has a history of being reliable, and he proved most prognosticators wrong this past year, but I personally would be reluctant to trade an under-30, effective reliever (plus whatever other players will be included) for a 43-year-old, fat starter. Especially when I have a rotation stacked with young pitchers and just signed a mediocre veteran pitcher.

If I was a GM and he's already on my team, I think I'd feel alright about him, but I wouldn't trade for him unless I was desparate for pitching, which the A's clearly are not.

2005-12-06 14:10:43
11.   Zack
Add to the fact that the A's already have a lot of depth at pitching having signed Loiza, and the Wells deal makes no sense at all. Maybe as a veteran presence, not that hes the guy I would want for that. It would clearly mean a trade of Zito is evident, but I can't see why the A's would give the Sox so much for Wells, who they KNOW must be traded, and bullpen arms aren't that easy to find...
2005-12-06 14:12:45
12.   Nick from Washington Heights
The A's rumor relating to Wells makes very little sense. Why trade away a very useful young set-up guy for a 43 year old who is one year from retirement? Also, why offer the Sox such value for a player who is demanding a trade offer?
2005-12-06 14:47:05
13.   debris
Zack and Nick,

First off, Wells has a fabulous contract with only 2.5 M guaranteed. The fact that it has only 1 year to run is a plus, considering Wells' age.

And while they do HAVE to trade him, they don't have to trade him to Oakland. Reliable 15 game winners who make 30 starts every year don't grow on trees and Oakland isn't the only team trying to acquire him. The Giants, Dodgers, and Padres are all making offers.

Joe Sheehan had an article in BP yesterday suggesting that the era of the Frank Lane/Gabe Paul style GM may be coming to an end. The Sox have had a fabulous winter rebuilding a weak pitching staff with a team functioning much better than a single strong GM could ever hope to. For one, it's much harder to do something stupid when there are more voices in the discussion and for two, the job in the Moneyball era has gotten much more complex and may be too much for one.

Schteeve and unpopster can say what they will, but I'm very happy with the current structure of the Sox bullpen and will be more so if Duchscherer comes aboard. At the moment, it can be constructed from Mota, Timlin, Foulke, DiNardo, Delcarmen, Arroyo, Hansen, and maybe Duchscherer. I'd frankly be happy with this crew, but certainly two will have to go; there isn't room for them all.

2005-12-06 14:50:10
14.   Shaun P
I'd be very surprised if the A's traded for Wells - unless they already had another deal in place to move Wells for something useful.

Getting back to the Yankees' needs . . . Cashman does't want to trade Pavano (or so he says) - and as a 4th/5th starter, Pavano is probably OK. But, what if the Yanks offered Pavano to the Nats for Brad Wilkerson? (And threw in, say, $15 mil to cover half of Pavano's salary over the next 3 years.) Wilkerson can play all 3 OF positions, as well as 1B, and he and Bubba could essentially split (not 50-50, say 70-30) the CF job, and when Bubba's in CF Wilkerson could play a corner, letting Sheffield or Matsui DH. Bowden is always willing to take on guys like Pavano . . .

I also think Cliff is right on for suggesting Piazza as a C/DH/1B? guy, to spill Posada. I don't know what it would take to get him, but I also think that Pirates RF/1B/C Craig Wilson could be a steal, too.

All that said, if the Yanks do nothing else this winter, no complaints here - as long as the 'kids' get a real chance in the bullpen, and Andy Phillips as DH/backup 1B, come the season's start. I'm hopeful, but we'll see.

2005-12-06 14:59:18
15.   walein
Padres are suppossedly offering up Loretta for Wells.
The A's look like they're losing Zito and already bracing for it (Billy Beane has been doing the local news interviews pretty hard the last two days).
Getting an old winning left-hander might keep the boos down 30% in Oakland.
2005-12-06 15:08:12
16.   das411
So you guys are in denial that Toronto currently has the best starting 5 in the AL East, huh?
2005-12-06 15:11:04
17.   Rich
Toronto has the best starting 5 only if it rains everyday until Halladay's turn in the rotation comes up again.
2005-12-06 15:15:40
18.   jonm
I hope that Loretta is all that the Red Sox can get for Wells. He had a great, fluke season in 2004, but came back down to age appropriate levels in 2005. He's at a bad age for a second baseman.
2005-12-06 15:55:45
19.   Rob
I think the Pads are offering Loretta because they have Barfield's kid in the minors, but I don't know why they would want Wells back.

Debris, Cash shouldn't be gunshy but I don't want to see another Wright/Pavano experience (even though I think Pavano turns it around this year if he stays). I feel like everyone's first year in NY kinda blows.. Can anyone name someone recent (who arrived via trade/FA signing) who blew up his first year in NY? I can't think of any at the moment.

2005-12-06 16:37:18
20.   sabernar
Wilkerson is a poor centerfielder. We might as well keep Bernie in CF.
2005-12-06 16:38:48
21.   Rich
Sheff's first year in NY: .290/.393 /.534/.927

Giambi's first year in NY: .314/.435/.598/1.033

2005-12-06 16:39:27
22.   Rich
Wilkerson is better than Bernie.
2005-12-06 19:05:31
23.   Bruce Markusen
I know it's early in the off-season, but is anybody else losing confidence in Cashman's ability to make the necessary deal? The Yankees haven't had a good left-handed reliever for years, in part because Cashman hasn't been able to find the right guy. Now we have the center field situation, which really isn't a new problem, but just has a heightened sense of urgency because of Bernie Williams' departure from a starting role. Is it really that hard to find a competent center fielder?
2005-12-06 19:30:48
24.   murphy
if the royals are willing to take benson for affeldt, wouldn't it be worth it to try to trade them pavano and use affedlt out of the pen? he's a decent lefty.
2005-12-06 20:02:39
25.   Nick from Washington Heights
"For one, it's much harder to do something stupid when there are more voices in the discussion and for two, the job in the Moneyball era has gotten much more complex and may be too much for one."

apparently debris was not witness to last year's off-season for the new york yankees. I believe there were plenty of voices involved (Tampa and New York) and Womack, Pavano and Wright were the result.

2005-12-06 20:50:08
26.   Zavo
Congrats to Eric Duncan after officially being named MVP of the Arizona Fall League. He follows previous winners, Ken Harvey, Jason Dubois, and Chris Shelton.

2005-12-06 21:00:27
27.   Zack
YOu are giving too much credit to Wells. To say he is reliable is true, but you are talking about a cranky, incident prone guy who will be closer to 45 than 40, I hardly call that a safe bet. And in the A's world, it doesn't really add up. They aren't the team to bank on a one year pitcher, and they have, currently 6 pitchers, 5 if you cut out Zito.

And debris, its great what hindsight can do, so much for the panic about Theo. But, what about those rumors that he's coming back, if he does, is it suddenly time to revert back to the one manager world? Just like the closer by commity experiment, eh?

Funny who Clement's name is suddenly popping up in trade rumors too, guess they are losing some confidence in their 'ace.' I wouldn't go so far as to say they have had a fabulous offseason. They had the luxery of a great trade which was much more a result of the Marlins' fire sale than the Sox ingenuity, but I wouldn't be confident in either the Sox or the Yanks' bullpens...

And as for the Jays having the best rotation, well, they may have the best top of the line guy, if he can stay healthy, but beyond that, who the heck knows....

2005-12-06 23:59:11
28.   Zack
And it looks like our Pierre worries are over
2005-12-07 04:42:25
29.   singledd
Here's a bizarre idea.
Considering how thin the CF and OF market is, and although I like Bubba, he is a liability at the plate.....
presenting: Rondell White.
.810 lifetime OPS.
Did better then that last year.
Is 33, which is actually on the younger side of the current group.
Is making 3.2mil/year, which is cheap compared to Preston Wilson, Pierre, and a bunch of others that he is better then.

Maybe a 2 yr contract for 7-8 mil, and move Matsui to Center? It is a relatively minor amount of $$, and is a significant offensive upgrade. Not sure how good/bad he is on 'D'.

And I for one would give Milton B. a shot if he would sign for 1 or 2 years. These days, a decent OF'er for under 5 mil is a deal. Its nuts, but this is todays market.

Even with Budda a quasi-regular, we need another OFer (unless you want to see Bernie or Ruben wearing a glove).

Anybody want to guess how much (or rather how little) it would take to keep Bernie on the squad?

2005-12-07 04:43:34
30.   singledd
Oops... that's 'Bubba'
2005-12-07 04:58:12
31.   mikeplugh
Hey y'all. Haven't been around in quite awhile, but I'm back in on my regular posting. Too painful after the season's end, and then my work life got super hectic.

Gotta get my fix during the hot stove.

No to Nomar. In fact, no to anyone at this point. I like Cashman's poise in the face of ping pong trade and free agent action around the league. There ain't shit out there, so why force it? We've taken a dive on a number of big names that we jumped at for lack of better options (Kevin Brown) and we have a solid team. There's no reason why we can't win the division again, and advance.

I like the team as is. The only holes are CF and some pitching issues that will go unresolved. There's no way around it. There isn't a magic fix and we have horses to play with.

I'd be happy to leave the CF job open during Spring Training. Let someone win the job. It happens in other sports every year and the Yankees have some guys to try out. Start with Bubba, Melky, and perhaps another minor leaguer or two. Maybe you invite a veteran in for a look during the Tampa days. It'll take care of itself or Cash will get creative during the season.

Pitching should be cool too. We have plenty of starting arms. Compared to the league average I think we probably can put up enough runs to get our bunch a lot of wins. The pen is an issue.

Anyway, hope to be here more often. It's gettin' hot up in here!! Turn down the stove!

2005-12-07 05:48:21
32.   KJC
// A bullpen with Timlin, Mota, Duchsherer and a closer, maybe even a healthy Foulke, can be awfully intimidating //

Speaking as a Sox fan, that bullpen sounds good but hardly "intimidating"...

2005-12-07 07:47:16
33.   debris
I'm hearing that the Duchsherer rumor was a ploy with Beane complicit to help drive up the Wells' asking price. But I did leave young Hansen out of that bullpen mix.
2005-12-07 08:18:12
34.   Nick from Washington Heights
isn't that collusion or sorts? Isn't that against some rule?

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