Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
What's Next?
2006-01-03 06:12
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Happy New Year, folks.

So, will the Yanks make any other significant moves before the '06 season begins? Will they trade Carl Pavano? It seems like they are pretty well set. What do you think they might do and what do you think they should do--if anything?

2006-01-03 06:22:05
1.   sabernar
I'm not sure how much they could do at this point. I would like to see a better bench - Cairo & Bernie & Crosby just don't get me very excited. We should have one pinch-hitter extrordinaire. I'd like to give Phillips a chance, but maybe Frank Thomas? Piazza? Would either of them settle for a part-time DH role? Get either one of them 250-300 ABs playing DH and pinch hitting. I'd like to see Pavano given a chance to pitch healthy, but if he really is bitching and moaning about playing in NY, then trade his ass for a bag of balls.
2006-01-03 06:22:42
2.   Ryan
I would be happy if they picked up a DH that could, you know, hit. I know he isn't a perfect fit, but I think Durazo would be a big help for the Yankees.
2006-01-03 06:25:09
3.   jedi
From now till the trading deadline, make sure boston does NOT get Tejada!
2006-01-03 06:45:06
4.   Sliced Bread
Happy New Year, toaster posters.

I agree that our bench looks like a Mount Rushmore of mediocrity -- but I don't think the Yanks need another hitter, I think they should stock up on a few more speedy and skilled defenders.

I think Torre should be flexible with the DH position and rotate Williams, Giambi, and all the outfielders as DH. Wouldn't DH Posada, just ask him for the occasional pinch hit/walk.

Pavano? Unless somebody's offering another frontline starter for him straight up, I wouldn't ship him just yet. He may never be worth all that money he's getting - but if Pavano can find his groove again, he could be a innings-eating horse for the Yanks.

2006-01-03 07:14:22
5.   celli23
remember the bench is THE BENCH, if players on the bench were good enought to start, they wouldnt be THE BENCH. I will take Bernie and the occasional rotation of Yankee starters over just about anything except for Big Fatti Papi. And Bubba is a fine defensive/pinch runner role player. He deserves a spot on this team.

As far as the pitching goes, RJ will be RJ, Chacon will be a workhorse. Mussina has shown a decline, but is still good enough with that offense. Give me 2 pitchers worth of quality starts out of Pavano, Wright and Wong and we will be just fine. That's what depth is all about.

2006-01-03 07:21:18
6.   jdsarduy
I love the Yanks to get a DH/1st baseman that can hit over 280. and 20Hrs.
But with Bernie, Bubba and Cairo I just don't know where this DH/1st baseman that I want would get his AB.
And the way I looked at it you can never have to much pitching but I rather have Checon in as a starter. Giving us Randy, Mussina, Pavano, Wang and Chacon. Which would leave Wright as the odd man out. After last season I just can't see Chacon in the bullpen. And I can't see Wright in the bullpen and or starting. But how would we get rid of Wright? To me it seems as if we have to many starters, maybe not quality but we do have quantity.
2006-01-03 07:29:58
7.   celli23
hmmmmmmmmm, seems to me that without the mental and physical stress of playing centerfield everyday, Bernie, if gotten the at bats should be able to give us 20HR and a 280 avg at DH. Maybe I am wrong, but I dont think so.
2006-01-03 08:02:40
8.   singledd
I have a nutty question.
Bear in mind, I'm aware that in a long extra inning game, you might use your entire bench but....
When someone gets a day off, they still come to the field (early), suit up, work out/practice B4 the game. Even if you don't play, you still are there and do some work. Not my idea of a real day off.

I wonder if you could give some of the older guys a real day off. DONT come to the park. Sleep late. Stay in your jammas all day. Have a beer. Watch the game on TV.

I know a day of total rest, both physical and mental is very healing (for me anyway). Might this work for the Shef, Giambi, Matsui, RJ, Posada? types? (Posada only if we get Piazza).

I still like Piazza as a last bench guy. It never hurts to have a 3rd catcher. The guy still looks in shape. I think the idea of staying in NY, being on a contender, and JUST HITTING might bring this guy back to some of his former numbers. In this role, I think he would be very effective... certainly better then Ruben was, and probably more dangerous then Bernie. I'd love to see him play ping-pong with the Green Monster on our trips to Boston.

Is anybody else interested in him? I'm surprised the Sox haven't thought about Ortiz at 1st and Piazza at DH. I would think we would get a BIG home town discount. I think Mike would like to pad his numbers (397 hrs now... I'm sure he would love some more for his HOF plaque), and if he had a good '06 on the bench, he would get a shot at '07.

Even in his current 'diminished' state, he has averaged over .800 OPS and 20 HRs in the last 3 years. And that's with catching everyday. As a regular DH, I think he's good for .270, .850 OPS and 25 HRs.

And celli23.... I'd love to see Bernie do that... but I think it is wishful thinking.

2006-01-03 08:03:45
9.   JVarghese81
For Bernie to have 20HRs would probably be stretch, he would need at least 550 ABs and start reverting back a couple years. Honestly, if Bernie's getting that much playing time, something's not right on the team...and Bernie went and found the fountain of youth. I would love to see Bernie put up serious numbers (compared to 2005) in his last year but it would def. take something close to a miracle.
2006-01-03 08:03:46
10.   NetShrine
Bernie Mental-Stress
is an oxymoron
2006-01-03 08:10:26
11.   singledd
P.S. Burnitz is NOT on the O's. Makes the Manny/Tejada thing more possible. However, as good a player and teammate Tejada is, and as much as a pain Manny is, no everyday player can replace Manny's production.

I mean, last year some people thought Manny had an off year: 45hrs, 144rbi, .292ba, .982OPS.
The guy may be a ditz, but he is still a monster. And if they swap Tejada for Manny, the Sox are missing 2 OF'ers. I'm not to worried unless they get Tejada and also KEEP Manny.

2006-01-03 08:36:30
12.   pistolpete
"I'm not to worried unless they get Tejada and also KEEP Manny."

Exactly - I put Manny above Tejada as far as the 'holy sh*t this guy is on deck' factor, so I'd actually root for that trade - makes Boston weaker and Baltimore slightly stronger.

Although I actually fear Jay Gibbons vs. the Yankees than anyone else the Orioles have or could bring in...

2006-01-03 08:52:21
13.   markp
Durazo would be fine. Piazza even better. We need a stick for DH/PH and having another Ca would be great. We have enough good field/no hit guys already with Cairo and Bubba.
2006-01-03 08:55:00
14.   David
There is uncertainty in too many positions.

Most optimistic: Bernie bounces back to a .370 OBP. Damon hits in NY like he hit in Boston last year. Posada, Giambi and Sheffield don't deteriorate with age. Cano does well without Ruben Sierra's coaching. At least 5 starting pitchers match their best previous years.

Most pessimistic: Posada continues the decline of the last 2 years. Age catches up with Sheffield. Giambi's steroids wear off. Cano has sophomore jinx. Combination of age and injuries wrecks the starting rotation. Mariano Rivera has age problems.

My point is that the Yankees likely will turn out to have significant holes, but we don't know where they are yet. So, the best bet is to stand pat for now, then try to make deals duing the season when the problems come out.

2006-01-03 08:58:30
15.   Mike K
Manny is better offensively than Miggy, but there are so many other factors to take into account.

Manny's Career averages: 42 Hrs, 136 RBI, 1.008 OPS
Miggy's Carrer averages: 28, 110, 0.815

Manny is significantly better, but consider:

Manny will be 34 next year
Tejada will be 30 next year

Manny: 06:$19M, 07:$18M, 08:$20M, 09:$20M club option, 10:$20M club option
Tejada: 06:$10M, 07:$12M, 08:$13M, 09:$13M

Manny - Below Average Outfielder
Tejada - Abover average shortstop

So, by trading Manny for Tejada the Sox get a younger player who plays a more difficult position for less money.

Not only that, but how easy is it to replace a power hitting outfielder? They are a lot easier to come by than a power hitting shortstop. So they get Tajada, and they can spend the money they saved on to fill the offensive void between Manny and Tejada.

2006-01-03 08:58:31
16.   pistolpete
'May have significant holes'...

That's not really going out on a limb - I could say that about any team going into the next season. ;-)

2006-01-03 09:18:32
17.   Daniel Zappala
Why aren't Yankee fans more worried about the starting rotation? Randy Johnson is 41 -- he could be amazing like most his career, or just above average like 2 of the last 3 years, or lose it due to age. Mussina has regressed to league average the last couple years. Pavano has had a few good years, but mostly way below average. Chacon was fantastic and should be above average this year. Wang is too new to tell whether he can continue to be good. This is not a rotation that scares me. Perhaps you figure the offense will be so good you don't have to worry about the pitching? I'm not sure that's the case.
2006-01-03 09:23:03
18.   Mike K
Aside from the Whitesox, which team has a truely terrifying rotation?
2006-01-03 09:34:15
19.   singledd
Mike K -
I agree that as a GM looking to the future, that having Miggy may be be better then having Manny. (Welcome to LoonyTunes with Miggy and Manny). However, the 'salary savings' will not be as posted because if the Soz trdae Manny, they will most likely pick up 4+ mil... so Manny will cost the O's maybe 15-16, Miggy will cost the Sox 14-15. And while typically, it is easier to replace an hard hitting outfielder... we had a touch time finding one, and the Sox are having trouble replacing Damon, no less Manny.

In general, I agree with you, but not quite to the degree your post insinuates. And on a year by year basis of us vs. them, I'd rather play against Miggy than Manny.

I don't know Manny's physical condition, but on any team that doesn't have Ortiz, Manny may still be a very effective DH in 5 years.

2006-01-03 10:00:15
20.   Mike K
singledd -

Fair enough. Money would most likely change hands in a Manny/Miggy deal. And without a doubt the Red Sox are hurting right now, as CF/SS are not easy positions to fill.
And I agree with you to a degree - I think for the year 2006, I would rather have Manny over Tejada based upon the current state of the FA market. I dont think they'd be able to find the outfielder that I'm talking about unless they start trading away other parts of their team.

Beyond '06 though, even if money ended up being even, I still have to think the Sox are better off with Tejada on it.

Everyone, myself included, fear when Manny comes to the plate. However, I can remember multiple instances where I have burst out laughing while watching him play defense against the Yanks as well. Tejada doesnt strike the same amount of fear in my mind when I see him at the plate, but I know nearly anything hit to his side of the infield is going to have a glove put on it, which garners its own level of respect.

This argument can really go either way. Pistolpete believed it made Boston weaker and Baltimore slightly stronger. I think its the other way around.

2006-01-03 10:11:08
21.   singledd
It's kinda amazing.....
Imagine if the Sox didn't blow the ARod deal, and ARod played at Fenway for the Sox and we still had Sori. Tips the scales a bit.
(I think ARod's numbers would be immense!)

I THINK the Sox lost some money in trading Rent-a-wreck. So, if the Sox trade Manny for Miggy, their SS will cost them:
10 mil - Miggy
4-5 mil - Manny
?? mil - Rent-a-wreck.

I don't have the exact numbers, but Miggy (the Sox SS) would ultimately be costing them more then we pay ARod (18mil?).

The 2 offseason moves that will put us in the WS were.

1) NY getting Man-of-Cash back in charge.
2) Boston losing Theo. Their worst loss since the Babe!

Hey Alex/Cliff.... help me with the numbers here.

2006-01-03 10:16:06
22.   Mike K
According to Cot's Baseball contracts (

Boston paying up to $11M of $29M remaining on Renteria's contract ($8M in salary 2006-08, plus $3M buyout if 2009 option is declined)

So 2.67 million a year.

In all fairness you'd have to quantify Marte's value, but that would be 16.67 - 17.67 million for Tejada.

2006-01-03 10:55:58
23.   scottys boy
in all fairness, the loading of dead money on any single player's salary is a rather flawed analysis...where do you want the Contreras, Vazquez, Weaver $ to be allocted? Let's give it to Aaron Small who no longer looks like a bargain at say $6M per year
2006-01-03 11:11:58
24.   wsporter

Anyone who thinks Boston is going to take it in the shorts on a Tejada deal might want to check out this link. The deals as described would be a great move for Boston. Tejada is a horse. I don't think bringing him in would or should be considered a backward step in any way.

2006-01-03 12:04:03
25.   joejoejoe
Pavano's value is low right now - as low as it would likely get. If he has a good start to the season the Yankees would likely get far better value. So I'd wait - I'd like to see the Yankees stand pat until the summer and see what shakes loose in the trade market. There are always teams out of contention trying to cut salary - I have my eye on Kerry Wood. His streaky goodness is useless to a sub .500 Cub team but could be very useful to a playoff Yankee team.
2006-01-03 12:05:54
26.   pistolpete
[i]Tejada is a horse. I don't think bringing him in would or should be considered a backward step in any way. [/i]

IMO, breaking up Ortiz/Manny is always a step backward for Boston.

2006-01-03 12:12:27
27.   Mike K
Looking at the other deals for starters this winter:

Burnett 11/yr
Morris 9/yr
Washburn 9.25/yr
Rogers 8/yr

Pavano's contract is still bad, but not horrible if hes healthy.

2006-01-03 13:31:45
28.   TheOneTrueGod
Actually you can expand the question to other large markets like LA and Boston. This is the offseason where big markets seem to be trying to slow the ascent of their payrolls instead of adding. The Yankees grabbed Damon only because it weakened Boston and filled a hole. Otherwise they wouldn't have opened the wallet up at all. My bet here is they don't make big moves until the All-Star break. They could use a transition starter that could develop into an ace. There is nobody in the system right now to step in, in another year or two to replace Randy or Moose.

Boston is really reshaping the team but not doing anything special. At the end of the day they are cutting payroll and trying to get flexibility. Their goal will be to bring up young players and sign smart free agents and avoiding the Manny and A-Rod contracts in the future. They are basically tying one hand behind their back this year for the long run.

The Dodgers haven't spent any big bucks or traded for any really big time players, beyond Furcal. That is a team that could have really used Burnett and Damon. Imagine a 1 - 2 punch of Damon and Furcal at the top. Hell of a lot of speed and headaches.

The 80's Yanks will be coming back soon if you don't look out. Look at all of the guys 30+ and the farm system right now. A lot of grey beards to replace in the next two seasons.

2006-01-03 15:19:22
29.   sam2175
Ok, how about this?

Yankees need to bolster the bench, and also provide depth at the OF and DH spots.

My answer would be to try and sign Richard Hidalgo to a type of a 1-year inexpensive deal that the Yankees originally thought for Nomar, but leaving out the IF supersub role.

He can play very good corner OF defensively, and passable defense at CF. Additionally, he has very good power, only 30, had a down year last year, and should come cheap. This signing in fact allows Sheff to DH more, improves OF defense, and improves the offense. If Sheffield is playing the field, Yankees have a better bench.

Question is, how much would it take to sign him? If it is 3 million base salary plus incentives, I say go for it. If more, pass.

2006-01-03 16:36:34
30.   just todd
i'd like to see something more bold...use combo of sheffield and pavano (probably need a third team) to get ichiro from seattle.
2006-01-03 19:21:48
31.   tom yf
I think the ideal Yankees bench would have looked like this: Piazza, Menechino, Williams, Crosby, and Phillips. Durazo would fit nicely as the DH.
2006-01-03 20:19:21
32.   Simone
I don't expect the Yankees to trade Pavano because at this point they simply don't have any pressing needs and they have two old pitchers (Johnson and Mussina) who can break down at any time. If Pavano can stay healthy, make 25 to 30 starts, pitching mostly solid games, the Yankees will be in good shape.

Re: Tejada, stop drinking the ESPN/Boston media kool aid. The Os aren't going to trade Tejada to Boston. I would love if the Red Sox traded Manny to anyone, but no one is taking on that contract until the Red Sox swallow a chunk of it and I can't see them forking over the cash.

2006-01-03 20:24:17
33.   gattling
I doubt there are any more big moves that are going to be made. (Could be wrong though...after winning 114 games in '98 we traded for Clemens right before Spring Training...) For a 1B/DH alternative to Philips, what about someone like Eduardo Perez? At the very least, we know he won't hit about 15 HRs off the Big Unit next year.
2006-01-03 20:45:50
34.   wsporter
Simone, I believe the basis of the conversation on the Manny/Tejada rumor has been a discussion about the merits of the proposed deals. Most people agree that its unlikely that Angelos will trade Tejada within the AL East. I don't think any one has been sipping the Jim Jones Juice on that one. Its just a fun one to talk about during a slow couple of weeks. Happy New Year by the way.
2006-01-03 20:50:54
35.   tommyl
Ugh, another annoying Chass article just went up on the Times website. This time, he's lambasting the Yankees for various people not agreeing to play in the WBC. Man, Chass really hates us.
2006-01-04 04:36:40
36.   The Mick 536
Too early for conjuring. Need to see how the pitching staff comes together. If the starters don't let opposing teams hit, no need to worry about a sub-par defense, notwithstanding A-Rod and Jete's surprising gold glove. Who comes off the pines to start the late inning rally when they are down a run?

Still struggling to understand how the team came together after last season's dreadful start. They tired at the finish. Matsui, Sheff, A-Rod looked and got beat in October.

2006-01-04 06:26:06
37.   sam2175

I think Perez has been signed by Cleveland already.

2006-01-04 16:44:20
38.   gattling
I hadn't seen that. It's not listed on's free agent tracker. Perhaps it's one of those signings that's not official yet?
2006-01-05 13:52:03
39.   Daniel Zappala
18 Late response, but look at this:

The Yankees were 21st in ERA last year, and have mostly the same rotation this year. I'd prefer a more relevant stat but I couldn't find anywhere else to sort the pitching stats for just the starters for all teams.

Looking just at the AL, I count 6 AL teams that had significantly better staffs than the Yankees last year -- Angels, White Sox, A's, Twins, Indians, and Blue Jays. Lots more in the NL. As I said, the Yankees have a below-average staff and haven't done much to improve it. I see this as their major weakness this year.

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