Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Yanks Fizzle, fer Schizzle
2006-07-05 05:28
by Alex Belth

The Yanks took last night off and enjoyed the finest fireworks Cleveland had to offer. 19-1 was the final. Gasp. Happy birthday, George.

Chacon and Wright have been brutal this year, but Joe Torre pines for another bat. At the midway point of the season, the Yanks are hanging-in, tied with the Blue Jays for second place in the AL East, four games behind the Red Sox. Let's hope they can finish this week on a high note.

2006-07-05 05:51:08
1.   jayd
my "pride power pinstripes" desktop background at work is looking somewhat tattered...
2006-07-05 05:59:44
2.   mikeplugh
I'm guessing that we'll see Ramiro Mendoza in short order. The pen can't take much more of the beating it's taking from the opposition bats and Torre's rotation.

Outside of that move it will be interesting to see what happens now. The papers are reporting that there will be "roster moves" coming shortly. What they are only the Boss knows for sure.

Let's hope they're smart. singledd posted some interesting comments over at Canyon of Heroes about the Yankees and Andruw Jones. If we could pull that off without giving up Hughes, Wang, or Cano I'd jump all over it.

Does anyone have any thoughts on whether that sounds realistic or not. I have a hard time buying that we'd be able to get a player of that caliber with our non-triumverate options.

2006-07-05 06:37:48
3.   singledd
I don't have an answer or a name, but some of the pieces of the puzzle are obvious. Remember, this is real life, so the pieces are SPECIFIC to our current situation, not necessarily 'moneyball' or 'smart' thinking:

We have money, many other teams don't. To get an impact player:

He will be paid a lot, and probably overpaid. We got Damon because we overpaid. But at least we have Damon. (Why we didn't apply this philosophy to Beltran, I don't know...our biggest blunder of the decade).

Non-contending teams dump salary especially of players in their contract year... or one year away. Look at players in or near their contract year.

We do have low-level talent in the farms, just not much for 2006 and 2007. A team looking at 2008 and beyond would be more likely to trade with us than a contender.

A. Huff may be on the block. He has been inconsistant, but is still talented. If he was a 'minor' player (for the Yankees) instead of the 'Big Guy' (which TB was hoping for), he may blossum in NY.

I always mention Sori because he fits all the above criteria. He will walk next year, and Wash. will get 2? draft picks. The odds of any one draft pick becoming a MLB impact player are very, very small. 2 minor leaguers, who have a short but proven record, who have not been injured, who are guys that improve, are a much better bet then a raw draft pick (unless it's a #1 type pick).

Please remember that an impact RF'er means we don't NOT sign Shef next year (13mil), so salary is not the issue. If we get a guy with 4+ years in him (Sori, A.Jones, Abreau, etc), it is NOT a panic, stop-gap move, but a rebuilding move. This move would probably cost less in the off-season, but it is worth some extra $mils to have him for this year.

There is an anti-veteran wave here. While I agree that all-overpaid-vets is a bad philosophy, some intelligent exceptions are a great idea.

Take our Bench.
Replace Bubba and Stinett with Thomas and Piazza... both of whom went for chump change.
Let's see. I'm down 2 runs, I need a pinch-hitter. Bubby or Frank (17 HRs this year)?. Stinett or Piazza?

I'm off topic, but I'm pissed we passed on these guys. Lots of guys complained about Piazza, his arm, his D. So instead, we get years of Flash Stinett.

2006-07-05 07:01:52
4.   bp1
Our resident Jedi took it on the chin last night. Obi Shawn had nothing at all. Is it mental? I know he has not been happy recently, what with being skipped in the rotation at all. Is he on one of those downward spirals where the frustration is affecting his game, which is affecting his position on the team, leading to more frustration, lather, rinse, repeat?

Are the Chacon and Small of '05 just mirages on the horizon behind us now, as the team heads off toward whatever destiny awaits?

I know bad games happen, but Chacon's game is not a one-off. It's the continuation of a scary trend. Randy Johnson is a who-knows from start to start. Wright had a setback, but even when good isn't much more than a six inning pitcher. Wang and Moose are feeling the pressure to hold back the rising flood waters. Geez.

Lots of red warning lights going off these days.

2006-07-05 07:16:17
5.   Dimelo
Anyone know anything about this trade rumor?

2006-07-05 07:50:46
6.   Max
Dimelo, that rumor has zero credibility. It's pretty funny, though...Aramis and Jacque for A-Rod? I think even the baseball video games have some sort of rudimentary controls in place to prevent trades like this one, or other equally entertaining scenarios like Mo for Arthur Rhodes. :-)
2006-07-05 08:05:22
7.   JL25and3
Mo for Arthur Rhodes? Ridiculous. I wouldn't trade Mo for anything less than Aramis Ramirez.
2006-07-05 08:21:39
8.   dianagramr
Bobby Abreu will be in pinstripes right after the ASB .... I can just smell it.

(though I don't know what the Yanks would send back to Philly)

2006-07-05 08:37:03
9.   rsmith51
I saw the "Headed to Pittsburgh" title with Cano's picture and thought the Yanks were trading Cano to the Pirates. Then I realized that it was just talking about the all-star game, phew!
2006-07-05 08:45:04
10.   rsmith51
9 On the YES Network page...
2006-07-05 08:47:10
11.   mehmattski
3 You make a good point, from a position that I don't see a lot of around here. Too many fans are clamoring for a trade, but only one that hugely benefits us, and those kinds of trades don't happen too often. In the last 10-15 years, teams have traded with the Yankees for two reasons: 1) Dumping salary and 2) Building for the future. So frankly I think those who are demanding an Abreu without giving up a Hughes should be designated for assignment. Either we're going to pull a minor deal for a guy who will be only a marginal improvement (Sanders, Wilson) or we're going to pull a blockbuster that sends our hot prospects (Hughes, Duncan) to a team with an overpriced veteran (Abreu, etc). I have a feeling the trade is going to be of the David Justice variety.

5 6 I laughed when I read that trade too, but I don't think the video game engine would reject that trade:
Rodriguez ($16 million, age 30)
Ramirez ($11 million, age 28)
Jones ($4 million, age 31)
So the money is essentially a wash...

Plugging into the Yankees lineup, based on projected Equivalent Runs (Baseball Prospectus):
Rodriguez (113) + Cabrera (43) = 156
Ramirez (75) + Jones (80) = 155

So the production in 2006 is about the same. If I were playing a video game and the Cubs offered Felix Pie as well, I'd accept. But this is the real world and this trade would never happen...

2006-07-05 08:56:00
12.   jayd
About a month ago we had a little exchange on who would be the new outfielder out of the list we had at the time -- I was thinking torii hunter and we went through the list and I finally fired a question to cliff saying well, instead of shooting everyone down who would you like to see and he replied andruw jones -- who wasn't even on the list we had at the time.

Since then I have become convinced andruw is on his way. i even spell andrew andruw these days. it's like a tic or something.

I would love to get dontrelle for wang or hughes or anybody.

that would turn the season around big time.

i would drop dead if an arod deal ever materialized. package him up with jeter and mariano maybe?

2006-07-05 09:24:55
13.   monkeypants
12 >

I don't get the Dontrelle Willis love fest. His stats this year are not so good (4.00 ERA, 1: 2 BB/K ratio) and he plays in a pitchers park. He was great last year--but threw 240 innings. He was not so great the year before. And in 2003 he was fun and helped beat the Yankkes in the WS. He's like a cross between Pavano and Weaver.

Yeah, he's young, but he's not THAT good that you sacrifice about the best pitching prospect in baseball for him. No thanks.

2006-07-05 09:41:26
14.   Zack
Torre's comments are the type that scare me: saying that if we traded Hughes it should only be for someone who would not be rented, and longing for a bat. Both show his ongoing desire for "vets." However, I do think our pitching problems may be easier to solve than hitting, from within. The bullpen has more options in AAA (Mendoza, Bean (yeah right) etc), and trading two potential cures, beam and Smith, would not only really hurt our BP, but continue our recent trend of BP issues. Plus, why not bring up White from AAA and see what he can do? Rather than trade him for a crappy temp. outfielder or a crappy temp. pitcher, give him a chance. No crappy player we get (aka hollandsworth etc) will put us over the top this year, and if the player is good enough to put us over the top, the cost will be too much. So why not see what we have down below. It's too bad they haven't brought Cox up to AAA yet either, b/c he could be ready soon as well...

After yesterday's game, the pressure from the media and the Boss will be high and I am sure we will make a trade, but all of the "answers" out there are still only part of the problem: Jones, (either one), Sanders, Hunter, Lee, Abreu, Sori. None of them will ssolve the deeper issues of this team and will cost too much to warrent trading away some of our actual answers...

2006-07-05 10:08:54
15.   tommyl
Hughes pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings last night for Trenton. If he is traded for anyone but Liriano, I would support firing the entire front office and Torre.

Also, rumor has it a pitcher is being called up from Columbus today. Anyone know who and who will be sent down? Could it maybe, possibly be the end of Chacon?

2006-07-05 10:57:40
16.   Zack
15 It would be funny to call up a starter, as he won't be needed until after the break, and combined with the bullpen overusage, I would imagine KReese goes back down and Mendoza comes on up...
2006-07-05 11:10:08
17.   tommyl
17 We'll see. I have an hunch (nothing more than that) its Chacon. He's been bad, and consistently bad for a reasonable sample size. In addition, you can argue that when he was good, he was lucky, since his peripherals have been consistently bad the whole time. Cashman's no idiot, and Stick certainly realizes this.
2006-07-05 11:19:48
18.   rbj
From today's NYPost online:

Phillip Hughes drew the usual bevy of scouts Monday night in Portland, Maine, when he pitched for Trenton (Double-A). Among the teams scouting the Yankees' top prospect were the Rangers and Nationals.

Since the Yankees are wary of burning his arm out, Hughes is being limited to about 80 pitches or five innings per game. Monday night he left after 42/3 innings with a 10-0 lead.

"If he could get his curveball over consistently he could pitch in the big leagues right now," a scout said of the 20-year-old right-hander, who is as close to untouchable as any Yankee prospect has been in a long time.

Good that they are being careful with Hughes' arm. Bad that he's being scouted so much (Unless the Twins want to trade Liriano for him.)

2006-07-05 11:31:46
19.   pistolpete
15 I believe Beam is going down - saw it in one of the NY paper's online articles.. can't recall which, however.

Although after last night, I don't know if it's the wisest move to demote someone immediately after a blowout - could destroy one's confidence...

2006-07-05 11:53:43
20.   JL25and3
14 I agree completely. They could make a deal that would improve the team a little. Abreu or Andruw Jones or Carlos Lee might give them an adequate lineup, but they'd still have serious problems in the starting rotation and the bullpen. I don't see any deals they could make that would make a championship team out of this particular sow's ear.

By the way, 14, you wouldn't happen to be my nephew Zack, would you?

2006-07-05 12:29:51
21.   jayd
" a sows ear"...whoa I think the towel, not to mention the laundry is being thrown in. I thought we were talking about getting to the playoffs (beating the rsox) and having a good 3 man rotation (mussina, rj, wang could pass muster) but with a dontrelle or a zito the percentages fly.

the yankees don't have building years. with the amount of money sunk into veteran all stars you make the moves to win it all every year "this" year. that's why they are the yankees.

great if you can hang on to hughes but if the difference maker appears, he (hughes) goes. you can fire torre cashman etc if they are not covered with bubbly in october. and who really KNOWS how good hughes is -- how much of this is pre-trade hype, hmm? you really trust kepner and others that much?

andruw is a cut above abreu and lee -- he would be a difference maker this year.

2006-07-05 12:45:43
22.   jkay
Pete Abraham reports Kris Wilson is called up for tonight's game. No word on who is cut.
2006-07-05 12:53:37
23.   rbj

Looks like Kevin Reese got sent down. But why not send down a guy who obviously needs to get straighened Shawn out Chacon. DFA him if need be.

2006-07-05 12:56:38
24.   Shaun P
I think signing available veteran talent on the cheap - like Piazza and the Big Hurt - is a great idea, especially when you're essentially making them bench players/part-time guys, and all they cost is $$$. Its the trading for veterans in season that I don't like, especially when its a crappy veteran and the cost is a good prospect. The last thing the Yanks need is an over 32 OF with time and $$ left on his contract.

I do think the Yanks need a bat. But there's no point in giving up Hughes to get one. Why sacrifice the future just to win now? I'd much rather not win the Serious this season to keep competitive over the next few.

21 I trust Hughes' stats in the minors, and talent evaluators like Jim Callis, John Sickels, etc. They all say the same thing - the kid is gold, an excellent chance to be an uber-star. You don't trade that unless you get another uber-star in return. And those kinds of trades never happen.

The truth of the matter is, there are scads of AAA-players who, if given the chance, would probably outhit Bernie/Melky right now. The 'cheap' solutions worked for the pitching last year. I see no reason to not try a cheap solution for a bat now. Especially since it just costs $$$.

2006-07-05 13:11:04
25.   brockdc
23 If that's the case, I just don't get it. I would've thought they'd exchange a pitcher for a pitcher, but now they're essentially carrying a pitcher whom they may or may not use until Sunday at the expense of a crucial bench spot.
2006-07-05 13:38:56
26.   randym77
Wilson! Wow, I wasn't expecting that. But I'm happy about it. He's been hot:

Here's hoping he's this year's Wang!

2006-07-05 13:41:21
27.   randym77
25 I've been expecting them to send Reese down and bring Thompson up.
2006-07-05 14:07:18
28.   tommyl
21 jayd, as stated in 24 we are not basing our assesment on Hughes on Kepner's article. If I told you there was a potential 20 game winner, strikeout pitcher, postseason ace about a year away, shouldn't we hang on to him instead of trading him for Reggie Sanders?!

Its thinking like this, and some fans pressure that bloats the Yanks payroll with the wrong players. And on the contrary to your statement, if the Yankees don't make the playoffs this year I would not advocate firing Cashman (I might for other reasons). You can't blame him for both Sheffield and Matsui going down for almost the entire season. Yes, he could have built a better bench (I in particular advocated Piazza and Thomas in the OS) but you aren't going to find a bench player to replace those two.

2006-07-05 14:08:30
29.   tommyl
24 Good point about the cheap solutions. As the trade deadline approaches the asking prices for many of these players will start to go down. In the meantime, why not try some cheaper/quicker fixes. If they don't work out, the worst that happens is that we give Bernie some days off, which he needs anyways.
2006-07-05 14:12:57
30.   randym77
I think a pitcher will be sent down tomorrow, when Aaron Guiel joins the team. Probably Beam.

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