Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Yanks Standing Still So Far
2005-12-07 05:15
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

While Matt Cerrone is keeping steady tabs on all the hub bub down in Big D, our pal Steve Lombardi is killin' it from the Yankees side of things. Head on over to Was Watching for the latest on Gary Matthews Jr (update: ESPN is reporting that Juan Pierre has been dealt to the Cubbies), Tony Womack, and players the Yanks could dangle as trade bait. Meanwhile, Brian MacMillian has a series of links detailing how the Bombers' blue-chip prospect Eric Duncan won the MVP of the Arizona Fall League.

A bunch of things are brewing in Dallas. I caught ESPN last night and Peter Gammons expected a flurry of activity later today into tomorrow (winds light to variable). The question for us in the Bronx is will any of it involve the Yanks?

Comments (65)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-12-07 06:53:16
1.   BobbyBaseBall
Now that Juan Pierre is a Cubbie, I think the Yankees should go after Corey Patterson. I mean, he's not a bona-fide stud, but he's become basically useless in Chicago, even before the Pierre trade. The asking price shouldn't be too high, and why not take a chance on a young, fast CF? Even just to platton with Bubba. What's the down-side here (other than the obvious lack of offensive production)
2005-12-07 07:25:09
2.   murphy
from the few things i have read, it looks like the cubs asking a bit much for patterson. it seems the rangers like him and he may be part of a deal for soriano or kevin mensch. hopefully they will realize that he is virtually useless in chicago at this point and will be forced to trade him for a little less.
i would love to give patterson a chance. he's still a kid with big potential and a change of scenery might just be enough to realize that. i don't see any downside to this.
2005-12-07 07:34:37
3.   wsporter
I've been thinking about Damon a little more. Based on a Win Share analysis he and Matsui are fairly close at least in terms of their 2005 performance. I know this doesn't allow us to predict the future or draw inferences about what Damon will do but he and Matsui are about the same age and Damon's defense win share was actually better than Matsui's. (actually it was almost equal to Andrew Jones's, ouch how the mighty have fallen) I realize part of the Matsui investment involves an expected return in the Asian market but would a Matsui like contract for Damon be so out of line? I know he can't throw like he used to and his jump and routes aren't always the best but he is a great leadoff man, maybe one of the two best. Might he not mean 2 or 3 more wins a year? At the top of the AL East that might be the difference between playing baseball or golf in October. If so how much is that worth to the Yankees? I'm not really advocating, I'm just asking if anyone has thought about it.
2005-12-07 07:51:08
4.   debris

Damon projects as a real good player for two years, a good player for the third, Darin Erstad in year 4. Considering the Yanks recent troubles with the back end of long term deals, they probably wisely don't want to pay for that fourth year.

As for the Sox, it's much more easy for them considering what he's meant to the franchise.

There is more value in Damon for both teams, however, not just in what he brings to the team with whom he signs, but also the simple fact that the other won't have him.

2005-12-07 07:56:50
5.   bp1
Re: Damon

All we need is a guy who will vaccuum up fly balls and hold runners trying to advance to 3rd on a fly ball. My God - how many runners took 2nd base on Bernie's weak arm last year on balls that were clearly singles? Damon will do nothing to prevent that.

We need a good defensive center fielder. Such a guy will make our pitchers better, shorten innings, lengthen outings, and reduce pitch counts. All good things.

We had the lead in every game in the Angels series last year. Every game. You cannot blame our loss on offense, or by not having a "true leadoff hitter" (as if Jeter was Womackian at hitting).

We need a guy who catches fly balls and throws out runners. If he gets on base, great. If not, let him hit ninth. We'll still score runs.


2005-12-07 08:50:38
6.   Dimelo
Here's what I think about Damon and a four year contract:
Year 1: F'em
Year 2: F'em
Year 3: F'em
Year 4: F'em some more

Leave the "idiot" alone.

Now, I was really happy to read this line in today's Post:
Cashman is talking to the Phillies about Jason Michaels and the Phillies are no longer demanding Wang.

To be honest, it gave me a hard-on. Then I go and look at Michaels' numbers again:

2005 289 54 88 4 31 0.3045 0.3988 0.4152
2004 299 44 82 10 40 0.2742 0.3642 0.4147
2003 109 20 36 5 17 0.3303 0.416 0.5688
2002 105 16 28 2 11 0.2667 0.3471 0.4762

I fall in love with his OBP and I practically giz all over myself. F- Damon, Get Michaels.

2005-12-07 08:58:49
7.   Dimelo
Here are Michaels splits when facing a lefty or a righty, still impressive:
VS. LEFTY 64 130 42 10 1 0 10 0.438 0.415 0.323
VS. RIGHTY 81 159 46 6 1 4 21 0.363 0.415 0.289

BTW, this website should allow you to show stats exactly like you pasted them in. The columns don't align like I thought they should.

2005-12-07 09:26:59
8.   Schteeve
Knock Knock: Who's there?

Corey Patterson sucks.

2005-12-07 09:44:28
9.   Zack
Dimelo, that was, erm, lovely analysis. I don't know that much about Michaels, anyone have some prospectus info on him?

Matthews seems like a decent one year kinda guy, but I mean, can you imagine the kind of star power Willis would have in the Bronx? THe kid is infectious...

2005-12-07 09:47:44
10.   Zack
Also, anyone see the Renteria to Atlanta, prospect to TB, and Lugo to Boston rumors? I would take that, though I think the Sox overpaid for Renteria, if he could get comfy, hes a better player than Lugo. Lugo is, of course, cheaper, but since when should the Sox really care about that?
2005-12-07 09:56:47
11.   Dimelo
Yeah, I saw that Zack. Makes sense for the Sawx, especially if they want to clear payroll for Damon.
2005-12-07 10:12:03
12.   debris
Renteria is not a better player than Lugo. They are basically the same offensive player except Renteria has a bit more power, Lugo gets on base slightly more often, their ops pretty much match. Renteria does have his big 2003 that skews things, but even with that the ops match. Their strikeout rate is a dead match.

There are only three real differences between them:
1 - Lugo is a much better fielder.
2 - Lugo steals bases.
3 - Lugo is much cheaper.

I don't understand this deal. Why doesn't Atlanta just trade for and keep Lugo. Their scouting on Rentawreck must be screwy.

2005-12-07 10:54:52
13.   wsporter

When others encounter that problem, when analyzing baseball that is, it is my understanding that many therapists recommend they think about sex while doing their analysis. Hope it all works out for you. Thanks for sharing, I guess. Good luck.

2005-12-07 11:12:00
14.   standuptriple
I'm starting to get excited about Michaels as well. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I cannot claim nearly as much excitement as others.
Matthews wouldn't be a bad stop-gap. I won't research the #'s but my eyes tell me he looks like a fairly good risk.

I have no idea why ATL would want Rent over Lugo. And Lugo won't (be allowed to) steal bases in Boston anyways, so that shouldn't even be part of his evaluation.

2005-12-07 11:25:45
15.   Nick from Washington Heights
Renteria has a longer history of being a solid player. Last year was Lugo's best year. Before it, most people viewed Renteria as in another class.

Irregardless (Bronx banter!), this would be a good trade for the Sox.

2005-12-07 11:34:09
16.   Oscar Azocar
Dimelo: Please make sure to clean your keyboard/mouse before anybody else touches it :)

If not Wang, who else do they want? As with any deal, if its reasonable, then do it.

2005-12-07 11:46:34
17.   Shawn Clap
If Manny really is going to the Angels, won't they be looking to move either Chone Figgins or Garret Anderson?

I think a strong case could be made for either of them as a Yankee CF. But if Torre is serious about moving towards a 1980s Whitey Herzog style baseball, I guess Figgins would be the man.

2005-12-07 12:06:16
18.   ChuckM
Last I heard was that the Angels are talking to Rich Aurilia as a backup to for Figgins at SS since they would move Cabrera back to Boston in a Manny trade...
2005-12-07 12:22:47
19.   ChuckM
And as far as Michaels, he may be the best out there, but I don't think he's anything to write home about. That ballpark in Philly is SMALL, which should be considered when looking at his offensive #'s and defensive rating (which are imperfect anyway). It's a long way from running into the left-center gap at the Stadium to shagging flies on the softball field they're trying to pass off as MLB caliber in Philly...
2005-12-07 12:44:25
20.   Dimelo
Valid point, ChuckM. So a better indicator of looking at Michaels numbers would be to look at his away numbers for 2005. That's a better indicator as to how a player might do away from the "softball field" in Philly. Here you go:
AWAY #'s
49 158 0.374 0.411 0.285
2005-12-07 12:46:40
21.   ChuckM
I never said he was bad, just said he's nothing to get excited about. The offense is fine, but my main point was the need for defense in CF. By the way, looks like the Sox got Loretta for Mirabelli...
2005-12-07 13:13:02
22.   debris

Lugo has been basically the same player since 2000 and has played in 800 games in those six years. Only in 2002 did he play less than 140 games.

While that may be four years less than Renteria, it is certainly more than enough time for him to have established his playing level.

If Renteria has a the reputation for being a more solid player, it is only because he has played for better teams, the Marlins in their 1997 championship season and the Cardinals and Red Sox for the last seven years.

Their career are mirror images, with the exception of Renteria's career year in 2003.

2005-12-07 13:39:54
23.   Nick from Washington Heights
are teams colluding with the sox this off-season. How is Mirabelli for Loretta a fair trade? Debris, you must be psyched.

also, good point about Lugo and Renteria being similar players. I was merely pointing out that Edgar's done it for longer and a greater number of at bats per season. But at this point Lugo's pretty well established.

2005-12-07 13:50:42
24.   Zack
So, as of now, the Sox starting lineup looks to be, in my view:

Damon cf
Lugo ss
Ortiz dh
Manny lf
Veritek c
Lowell 3B
Nixon rf
someone at 1b
Loretta 2B

And the Yanks:
Jeter ss
Cano 2b
Arod 3b
Sheff rf
Giambi 1b
Matsui lf
Posada c

Both lineups appear to be about the same: relatively old, powerful, and slow. The speed is pretty much a draw, neither team runs all that much. The Sox will most likely put up better overall #s because of playing Fenway, just look at those splits these past years, but I would call the lineups a push I suppose. HOWEVER, if the Sox do trade Manny, which I don't see happening, I can't fathom them finding anyone who can protect Ortiz the way Manny can. I just can't imagine people fearing Varitek, Lowell, or whoever they trade for as much as they do Manny, and that could hugely impact that lineup. If you don't have to pitch to Ortiz, why bother?

2005-12-07 13:52:03
25.   Zack
Well Nick, look at the teams they have traded with: the Marlins and Padres both have very very strong ties to the current men in charge of the Sox, hrrrm, makes you wonder...
2005-12-07 14:13:50
26.   debris
Nick, Mirabelli for Loretta isn't a fair trade. It's an old fashioned salary dump. The odd thing is that Mirabelli at 1.5 M is high for a backup catcher while Loretta at 3.5 M is cheap for a starting middle infielder with offensive ability.
2005-12-07 14:16:52
27.   debris

The big winner at the winter meeting appears to be the Sox. Gammons is reporting that there is absolutely no market for Manny. There is no way they deal him without hurting the team. They tried, they failed. Sell the condo, Manny; move to Sudbury. Buy the Babe's old house.

BTW, are people on this blog aware that Manny's condo is readily viewable online and can be had for a mere 6.9 M?

2005-12-07 15:05:03
28.   Schteeve
it's kinda funny that a team without a GM is "the big winner" at the winter meetings. As a matter of fact, it's downright, hill-larry-us.
2005-12-07 15:05:18
29.   Marcus
Gammons is reporting that Tampa Bay pulled out of talks of the three way with Atlanta and Boston, so it doesn't look like Lugo is going to Boston.

When are these meetings over? All these rumors are making me dizzy.

2005-12-07 15:07:58
30.   nycfan
If Cano bats second this year i will be very upset. It makes no sense to bat a guy who will have, at the very best, a obp of .335 in front of guys who consistently post ones around .400.
2005-12-07 15:23:34
31.   debris
Schteeve, The Boston Globe reported that the Sox had a contingent of 26 in Dallas this week.
2005-12-07 16:01:17
32.   Zack
I'm not so sure they can be considered a big winner for not doing something they set out to do. Perhaps they are the big beneficiaries, but technically they lost on what they set out to do. I highly doubt Manny will not show up as promised, but if he decides he will forced the Sox to trade him, he can be a-nnoy-ing...

As for the Loretta/Mirabelli rumors, here in SD, Alderson is saying that the deal is not a sure thing, and they have gone ahead and resigned Trevor...

2005-12-07 16:04:39
33.   brockdc
According to Metsblog, the Astros will not be offering Clemens arbitration.

I'm just sayin'.

2005-12-07 16:22:34
34.   Rob Gee
Gammons just made a good point about Clemens. Just because the 'stros don't offer arbitration, doesn't mean he doesn't return there. Shoot, based on last year's salary, they save 3mil in signing him May 1st.
2005-12-07 17:39:52
35.   unpopster
The Angels have just designated Jeff DeVanon for assignment. Unless Cashman finally picks up a legit CF (i.e. Michaels, Bradley, Damon, etc.) I can see Cashman picking deVanon up, along with some other OFers over the next few months, and letting them fight it out with Bubba for the starting j-o-b.
2005-12-07 18:24:27
36.   JeremyM
Any chance we can get Pettite again? I can't believe Houston would just cut the Rocket loose like this unless there's stuff we don't know about.
2005-12-07 18:29:53
37.   Marcus
JeremyM, it actually makes sense, because if they offered Clemens arbitration, they'd owe him something over $18M a year in arbitration. They didn't want to commit to that much, and he wasn't ready to negotiate a contract, not knowing whether he would return or retire. If anything, it means the Astros will have more money to spend on free agents now that they've moved on from Clemens. I doubt they will look to trade Pettitte, although it would be nice to have him back on the Yankees.

Has anyone heard if the Yankees offered arbitration to Bernie or not?

2005-12-07 18:54:58
38.   walein
Supposedly the Yanks wanted Bernie to say ok to them offering arbitration and then decline it himself. That didn't go over to well. I'd like to see Bernie finish his year/s with the Yanks; hopefully, he'll see the light that playing part-time for a contending team for little money is better than playing full time in KC for little money.
2005-12-07 18:58:15
39.   Rich
Most newspaper columnists like Klapisch and Harper are idiots, who are more concerned with constructing a fictional storyline that fits a pre-conceived mindset that the Yankees are in decline than rationally examining the facts.
2005-12-07 19:33:17
40.   brockdc
Apart from being comletely unoriginal, the whole "Yankees are in decline" tack is dubious, to say the least. Every team in sports should have a .600 winning percentage over a 10-year span.
2005-12-07 19:35:41
41.   brockdc
Just wondering - would Florida take Wang and Cano for D-Train. If so, this would be one of the rare scenarios in which the Yanks should trade off young talent.
2005-12-07 19:57:17
42.   wsporter
Apparently the Marlins already said no to that deal. If Wang's health he could be a horse, not a d-Train horse but a horse none-the-less. (alright maybe a pony)
Any chance we take a look at Looper as a setup man now that the Mets have declined to offer him arbitration? He's a little cheaper now in that there are no draft choices involved.
2005-12-07 20:02:12
43.   jonm
What's your source on the Marlins' denying that deal? I haven't heard anything about potential Willis deals.
2005-12-07 20:18:01
44.   wsporter

It was in yesterday's Newsday. Here's the link. About half way through the story. King expands on it a little in today's Post. Willis is a lot of fun I keep expecting him to go Mark Fydrich but he keeps on winning. I don't know, he just scares me a little.,0,1675289.story?coll=ny-yankees-print

2005-12-07 20:27:28
45.   debris

How are the Sox big winners? Easy.

1. They turn a back up catcher into a solid second baseman. Loretta is a +20 RAA over the last three years. He's a career .300 hitter, .365 obp. He never strikes out. Perfect number two hitter.

2. They made an honest effort to trade a franchise player who wanted to be traded. They couldn't pull it off. Manny most likely returns to Fenway.

3. Looks now like they'll be able to dump Rentaria for a super prospect.

They didn't set out to do everything they wanted to do: trade Wells and Clement, acquire Lugo, but they're an awful lot closer to where they want to be then they were Monday.

2005-12-07 20:32:03
46.   wsporter
Hey Alex Happy days. Bernie gets Arbed. That's great news. He drives me crazy but I love that guy.,0,4710847.story?coll=ny-sports-headlines

2005-12-07 20:33:44
47.   BklynBomber
ESPN is reporting Sori to the 'Nats is a done deal.


2005-12-07 20:33:56
48.   brockdc
I think Willis would thrive in NY. Do I have any evidence whatsoever to back this claim? Nope, probably just wishful thinking on my part, along with the hunch that D-Train's swashbuckling persona could be an ideal fit in the Big City. Also, how often are the Yanks presented with the opportunity to acquire a bona fide stud lefty - entering his prime - for less than market value?

With that said, having never pitched in the AL, I wouldn't give up the ENTIRE farm for Dontrelle.

2005-12-07 20:38:38
49.   brockdc
Dammit, I love Bernie; but he is exactly what the Yankees don't need at this point (a league average DH who can't play the field). What happened to getting more athletic and versatile players? They could probably sign Jacques Vaughn (younger, more athletic, more versatile) for slightly more than signing Bernie. We're not getting better by doing this.
2005-12-07 20:39:34
50.   debris
Bernie's been offered arbitration. My guess is that they've agreed that he'll turn it down and try to negotiate a deal between now and the January deadline. Why Bernie can't fill Sierra's roster spot at $3-4 M is beyond me. He's still a useful offensive player if not a star. He could give the Yankees 350-450 quality abs as a DH.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-12-07 20:41:03
51.   BklynBomber
#46 — wsporter: thank you, didn't see the link before I posted... Agreed, this is good news. If Bernie, in a support role no less, can't help this team — we are in more trouble than we think. The 2006 25th Man of The Year Award is already sewn up.
2005-12-07 20:47:19
52.   Rich
Bernie is worth about $1 million at most. The problem is that Torre will play him too much. He is coming off a bad year.
2005-12-07 20:47:52
53.   Rich
450 ABs for Bernie? Are you joking?
2005-12-07 20:57:43
54.   wsporter
To be of any real use and no real harm he needs to be in the 200 - 250 range. That's maybe 10 ab's a week or 2.5 games worth per week. Maybe that's too much? Although its not like the guy is out there puking on himself, he's not totally devoid of skills.
2005-12-07 21:13:26
55.   Rich
Bernie had an OPS+ of 81 last year. For a DH or a bad defensive player, that is awful (actually, it's awful for anyone).

WasWatching had a good post recently on the Yankees' need for another bat:

2005-12-07 21:20:49
56.   sabernar
Wilkerson was traded to Texas for Soriano. That means Gary Matthews Jr. may be available. The Yanks scouted him extensively last year (according to reports). I wouldn't trade too much for him: he's 31 next year, his best year was last year and he went .255/.320/.436, and while he seems to be a pretty good OF, he's average at best in CF (Rate2 of 99). Personally, I'd rather have Michaels from Philly, but I'm sure the Yanks are going to look at Matthews Jr.
2005-12-07 21:43:53
57.   brockdc
"I wouldn't trade too much for him: he's 31 next year, his best year was last year and he went .255/.320/.436"

In what way is this a better option than Crosby? And with Bubba, NY wouldn't have to give anything up.

The point is, why should we even have a Sierra-type on this team? Sierra-types saddle a team with dead roster space that could otherwise be used for a more versatile player.

Rich is right. The moment a Sheff goes down, Bubba slides over to RF and enter Bernie in center. I know a lot of guys are probably saying, "You could do worse than Bernie subbing in CF," but, other than inserting Womack, how?

2005-12-07 21:53:53
58.   brockdc
I get the feeling that, for some at least, being told that Bernie is washed-up is tantamount to being told as a kid that there was no Santa Clause (and no Channukah Harry).
2005-12-07 21:56:19
59.   brockdc
Watching Bernie trying to play defense last year, as well as seeing him overmatched by mediocre pitching, was flat-out depressing.
2005-12-08 00:24:34
60.   das411
What's up guys?

Not trying to start any fights or anything, I just am looking for some perspective from the NYY side: How highly do you value Eric Duncan in relation to Jason Michaels? In other words, what other parts would have to be added to a deal built around those two to get something done that helps both teams?

Perhaps along the lines of: Jason Michaels, David Bell, and Gavin Floyd for Duncan and Wang? Would you guys think this is fair?

Again, not trying to start anything, just looking to work out a deal that helps fix holes for both of our teams. Thanks!

2005-12-08 02:10:59
61.   Rich
Your proposal is ridiculous.

Jason Michaels is a platoon player; Eric Duncan will be likely be a star. I wouldn't trade him for Abreu, let alone Michaels.

btw, Why do the Yankees need David Bell? That's right, they don't, and he isn't any good.

Floyd has never fufilled his potential; Wang is nearly untouchable.

2005-12-08 03:11:56
62.   debris
Not a Yankee fan either. That proposal is absurd. I wouldn't trade either Duncan or Wang for Michaels. Then you're asking them to take on the worthless Bell and his heavy contract? Not bloody likely.
2005-12-08 08:57:05
63.   das411
Another Yankee star huh? Like, let's see: Ricky Ledee, Shane Spencer, Nick Johnson, Dioner Navarro, Brad Halsey, Randy Keisler, Jorge DePaula, Drew Henson, Erick Almonte, Marcus Thames, Andy Phillips, Juan Rivera, and Melky Cabrera?

Some track record there. How many of these "future stars" have even made an All-Star team since leaving the NYY Hype Machine?

Have it your way guys...

2005-12-08 16:55:13
64.   Rich
Oh, I see we have another disciple of the "all prospects are fungible" school thought.


2005-12-08 16:56:52
65.   Rich
btw, Nick Johnson is an incredible player when healthy; Halsey had a very good season for AZ, and it's a little to early to write off Navarro and Cabrera considering they are only 21 years old.

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