Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Business As Usual
2006-07-12 05:39
by Alex Belth

Rangers shortstop Michael Young remembers last year's All-Star Game in Detroit, when he was sitting in the dugout with Rivera next to him. A moment later, Gary Sheffield came up to Young.

"Sheff goes, 'That's a legend right there sitting next to you,'" Young said, "and Gary Sheffield is a potential Hall of Famer (yet) he's the one who singles out Mo. Those are the kinds of things that stick out in your mind. ... (Rivera) might be the most respected player in the league."
(Daily News, 7/11/06)

Mariano Rivera: A Name You Can Trust.

I didn't see much of the game, but I did see my boy Vlad's dinger. Is there anyone else in the big leagues who could hit a pitch that high and hard for a homer? Maybe Piazza in his prime. Regardless, it was a classic Vlad shot. Also saw Mo in the ninth, putting heads to bed, as is his wont.

Briefly, Jon Heman examines the Bombers' need for a starting pitcher, while Bill Madden talks about the Yankees' possible interest in Phillies rightfielder Bobby Abreu:

In the Yankees' only discussions with Gillick, the Phillies GM asked about top pitching prospect Philip Hughes, whom the Yankees will not include in any deal. But as the deadline draws closer and Gillick is unable to unload Burrell, the thinking is he'll come down on Abreu's price to at least get rid of his contract. In many ways, the lefthanded-hitting Abreu would be a perfect fit for the Yankees in that they could put him right into Gary Sheffield's salary slot for next year.

The Yankees have also gotten a strong recommendation on Abreu from his former manager Larry Bowa, who believes the 32-year-old right fielder would thrive in a situation where he doesn't have to be the top gun.

I've heard that fans in Philly think Abreu is a chump. I know the sabermetric crowd fawns over him. He's expensive, but without seeing him on a regular basis, there is a lot to admire about his game. If the Yanks get Abreu, it's curtains for Sheff. If Gillick steps off his asking price (Hughes), this is the kind of splashy move that might be hard for the Yanks to resist--George would be satisfied aquiring a big name, while Cashman and Stick get their kind of player (good defense, speed, high on-base percentage).

2006-07-12 06:05:26
1.   yankaholic
Alex.. good OBP is right.. but his defense is not good..

i dont see him regularly.. but Philly fans chief complaint... is he doesnt bring it defensively..

and a stat..

since last years ASG HR Derby.. he has a totalof 13 HRs.. ASG 05 to ASG 06 scary..

worth 25 mill over 1.5 seasons.. not sure?

2006-07-12 07:04:51
2.   baileywalk
Is there some sort of rule that GMs have to ask for your best prospect hoping the other GM is drunk and says, "Oh, sure, you can have Hughes"? I mean they asked for Hughes in Kansas City. Now they're asking for him for a player who's making fifteen million dollars a year and who they want off the team. It's ridiculous.

The Phillies aren't in a position of power here: they need to rebuild and get out from under some of their horrid contracts. Obviously you don't give up Hughes, but you also don't give up Clippard, the team's second-best pitching prospect. If they want pitching, it's going to have to be Steven White, Matt Smith, etc. If the Yankees are taking on all that money they shouldn't give anything up.

2006-07-12 07:14:25
3.   rsmith51
2 I guess you just try and see what you can get. Maybe that is what happened when Kazmir was traded to the Rays.
2006-07-12 07:17:48
4.   mikeplugh
Hey Banter-ers.

Just one note, slightly off topic for a second. I'm off to the States for my sister's wedding this weekend. Philly. I'm going to dip to NY for the Yanks/Mariners game on the 19th (weather permitting), so I get to take in the hometeam.

I wanted to plug my semi-new blog Matsuzaka Watch:

...and I wanted to announce a brand-spankin' new blog that will be fully operational in a few weeks....when I return to Japan. It's a look at a 19 year old kid that I think will be something special in a couple of years. He's kind of a Kazmir story, in that he was highly touted and rushed to the Japanese Pro game a bit too quickly to help a bad team.

His name is Yu Darvish and he's half-Iranian and half-Japanese. Very tall, powerful, and talented. Check it out at:

I'll be back to my blogging on the 25th or so. Until then, maybe see you at the game on the 19th. (1st baseline 5 rows back...)

2006-07-12 07:26:56
5.   Murray
Yu Darvish might be the best baseball player name since Mickey Mantle. Outstanding.

I guess it's because it always lost when we were kids, but I'm always delighted to see the the AL win the All-Star Game. I love that Ozzie Guillen said he intended to manage it like a real game. And I'm pleased to see that the Great Rivera is as respected around the league as he is in these pages and the Yankee Stadium grandstand.

2006-07-12 07:53:34
6.   Upperdeck
Hey Guys,

I have one extra ticket for friday's game vs. the White Sox. (Moose vs. Contreras) It's a good seat in tier MVP and is free if any Bronx Banter-ers care to join me. Email if you want it. bripop at yahoo (dot) com

2006-07-12 08:25:27
7.   unpopster
yo, the 'Stros just pried Aubrey Huff from the DRays for 2 minor leaguers.

The Yanks can now take his name of of their "wanted" list.

2006-07-12 08:34:10
8.   KJC
2 "If the Yankees are taking on all that money they shouldn't give anything up."

You're assuming that NY is taking on Abreu's full contract. There's always the chance that the Phils pick up part of it (see: A-Rod).

2006-07-12 08:47:07
9.   unpopster
Alex, my in-laws live in Philly and are huge hometown sports fans. I always get an earfull from them about how overrated Abreu is -- they claim he is:

1. prone to falling asleep in the field and thus making stupid gaffs
2. is a liability on the basepaths and,
3. most troubling, would rather take a BB and pass the buck then get the BIG hit when necessary.

I like Abreu and I too think that he could fit in with the pinstripers at this moment, but my impression of him is that he is the anti-Jeter, by which I mean that you have to watch Jeter everyday to truly appreciate how his day-in-day-out play transcends stats, where as Abreu's daily play doesn't support the numbers he eventually puts up.

Abreu is 'Arod Lite' – he'll provide fans with their share of frustrating moments but his numbers will look gawdy at the end.

So, would I like Abreu in pinstripes? Sure, provided that the Yanks make it a Philly salary dump and not give up too much talent in return. He woulod lengthen out the lineup as a bonafide impact corner OF, his lefty bat would provide more power into the short RF porch, his great eye would fit right in with the high-OBP Yanks, and he could take Shef's place in RF next year.

But if Yankee fans are expecting Bobby to be the savior, then we're in for a very long second half.

2006-07-12 09:02:11
10.   pistolpete
9 I've always heard the same stuff about Abreu, but I've always believed in the 'change of scenery' theory as it applies to baseball.

At least for 1.5 years, we might get a re-energized version of his former self...I would imagine not playing in front of the brutal Philly fanbase for 81 games would be enough of a change for most guys...

2006-07-12 09:13:04
11.   Shaun P
10 "I would imagine not playing in front of the brutal Philly fanbase for 81 games would be enough of a change for most guys... "

I would also imagine that playing for a team that annually makes the playoffs, and has another shot this year, would help. As opposed to playing for a team expected to make the playoffs every year for the last 6 years (including this one) that has zero appearances in that time - and isn't making it this year either.

2006-07-12 09:16:13
12.   Sliced Bread
I have no problem with Abreu's somewhat pedestrian (for a corner outfielder) home run production. He hits doubles. We love doubles.

No drawback to his lefty bat either.
Abreu's just been mashing lefty pitching this season:
.333 AVG, .453 OBP, .527 SLG, .980 OPS.

He has a cannon arm.

The biggest knock I've heard against him defensively is that he's not a wall crasher. Philly fans worship the Dykstra, Rowand types who will eat the fence for the team. Abreu is very much not that guy. He's perceived to play like a bit of a pretty boy, which, I'm told, is why Philly hates him.

That said, he's exactly what the Yankees need offensively at this moment: a bonafide RBI guy who also gets on base, steals bases, and scores a lot. Yes.

Problem is the Red Sox are drooling over him, too, which means the Yanks will have to pay top dollar to keep him out of Boston's lineup.

Another obtainable Phillie who fits the Yankees realistic needs is Leiber. I think he'd be a solid number 4 starter for the Yanks in the 2nd half.

A Phillies phire sale could seriously impact the AL East.

Lock up the kid (Hughes), and break out the checkbook, Cash, and both Abreu and Leiber might be yours.

2006-07-12 09:25:15
13.   Max
After the ASG, the local news station's breathless lead-in to the sports portion of the newscast went like this:

"The Red Sox's David Ortiz didn't come through in the clutch in this year's All-Star Game....BUT HE PASSED ON HIS CLUTCHNESS TO HIS TEAMMATES!!!" (followed by clip of Michael Young hitting the triple)

I guess you had to be there. High comedy, really.

2006-07-12 09:28:13
14.   Sliced Bread
7 Good riddance re: Huff. I'm happy to see that Yankee-killer out of the AL East.
2006-07-12 09:33:11
15.   C2Coke
6 That's gonna be an awesome game with those two pitchers!

12 With all due respect, I don't recall Sheff as a wall crasher too. So perhaps Abreu can fit into the shoes just fine. And let's face it, with Bernie there we don't won't have a better luck.

13 Must be some true comedy.

2006-07-12 09:52:40
16.   JL25and3
6, 15 Johnson's scheduled to start Friday, not Moose. It's still a good game.
2006-07-12 10:10:28
17.   Shaun P
13 No surprise there. Comedy, but no surprise.

Anyone else notice how quickly the FOX cameras cut away from Ortiz as he was greeting Jeter during the starters' introductions last night? Can't let people think the Red Sox and Yankee players are friendly with each other, now can we FOX?

I can't believe we have to put up with those hype-mongering, baseball-killing morons for another seven years.

One thing Yankee fans and Sox fans will always agree on - FOX is awful.

2006-07-12 10:12:25
18.   monkeypants
If the Yankees can get Abreu without giving up Hughes, Cano, or Wang, then it wll almost certainly be a great deal for this year AND a decent deal over the next couple. His cost will be off-set by letting Sheffield go--unless they want to take on Sheff as a DH only (which could make for a potent line-up). He would also dramatically improve the team this year. I would, shudder, even throw in Melky in this deal, because Abreu/Bernie (or Thompson)/Damon is a heckuvalot better than Melky (or Bubba or Thompson or Reese)/Bernie/Damon.

But you can't give up Hughes for a 32 y.o., and the Yanks have no one at the major league level to replace Cano at 2B or Wang at P.

2006-07-12 10:13:03
19.   YankeeInMichigan
With not much going on, I just got my baseball fix by looking up the best game that I had ever attended (June 27, 1978 vs. Red Sox -- I mentioned it on this forum a couple of weeks ago) on Retrosheet.

Plenty of childhood memories were reawakened, but the pitcher summaries were really a shock. Goose went 5 innings in relief (7th through 11th) and Lyle then pitched 3 (12th through 14th) for the win. How the times have changed!

2006-07-12 10:19:48
20.   tommyl
9 I seem to recall similar things being said of a certain Paul O'Neill in terms of attitude and defense before coming here. I'm not saying Abreu is Paulie (or even that we should trade for him), but I do trust people like Stick and Cash to judge the guys attitude. Just because he has a bad rap in Philly doesn't mean anything.
2006-07-12 10:23:57
21.   mickey1956
For anyone who follows the Yanks minors -- Christian Garcia pitched an inning in the GCL last night. 3 batters 3 strikeouts. If he's healthy he will probably be the Yankees #2 pitching prospect by the end of the year.
2006-07-12 10:24:46
22.   unpopster
18 If Hughes is untouchable then I think that Wang's recent success has made him just as, if not more, untouchable.

I also think Cano is untouchable unless, and only if, the Yanks can trade for Soriano with a long-term contract guarantee. Then, Cano becomes expendable because Soriano moves back to 2B. But that wouldn't quite fix our OF problems, would it? hmmm.

2006-07-12 10:32:26
23.   Zack
18 22 I would say if they want Melky, heck yeah offer him. If we could get Abreu for, say, Melky, Smith, and a lower level quasi-prospect, or something along those lines, then great trade for us. I love Melky, but I think its mostly because he is one of "our kids." That being said, he is never going to be an Abreu, or even a Matsui, or even a Nixon. I just don't see it. Good 4th outfielder type, if used correctly. So if we could spin him and some other mid level prospects (read, not, of course, Hughes, but also not Clippard, any of the low A hyped guys etc) then I think its a great trade...
2006-07-12 10:38:17
24.   Nick from Washington Heights
21 Who is Christian Garcia?
2006-07-12 10:47:32
25.   YankeeInMichigan
16 Both and the BronxBanter sidebar list Moose on Friday and Unit on Saturday.
2006-07-12 10:47:43
26.   Shaun P
I've said it before and I'll say it again: offer Sean Henn, Eric Duncan (look how he's hitting back at AA!), and one of the lesser arms in the minors for Abreu. And cash, of course, if need be.

The Phils get a lefty starter (and yes I know Henn has been moved to the pen in Columbus, not like Philly couldn't undo that), a future bat who could move back to his natural 3B position, and another live arm for their otherwise so-so farm system.

I'm not saying the Phils would do it, but that's where I'd start negotiating, especially if Yanks are picking up Abreu's salary.

2006-07-12 10:53:06
27.   singledd
7 SHIT! Huff would have excelled with the Yanks, as he would be like their 5th or 6th most dangerous batter (meaning not too much pressure). Sounds like he went pretty cheap too.

12 Matsui is not much of a wall-crasher either, and when he is, the ball is rarely in his glove.

I don't believe Cash will consider trading Hughes for anyone EXCEPT for an established, quality pitcher. (Bird in the hand...)

Madden echoed my sentiments that it will be a near miracle if the Yanks can get an impact pitcher. If we can simply replace Chacon with a league-average guy, that will be worth a few Wins right there.

If you have NOT seen SG's post on RLYW called:
"Run Values of the 2006 Yankees"
please take a look... it is must read.
In black and white the story of GOB and Melkdud is told... to the cost of 3 Wins so far, if will simply had a league average RF and LF (Score 0):
(4 Mike... it's possible that post is dedicated to you.)

Cashman stated in a news article that "the Yanks are NOT a Post season team"... so something will happen. Abreu is the real deal. Also, bet the Sox will improve their team more with trades/aquisitions... so an upgrade is really mandatory for us.

A question I would like answered if anyone knows (Cliff... are you there?).

Obviously, the Post Season generates revenues/profits for the participating teams. So roughly, how much do the Yanks LOSE if the don't get to at least the ALDS? How much do the Yanks LOSE if the don't get to the ALCS? how much do the Yanks LOSE if the don't get to the WS?

The real question may be NOT if we can afford Abreu or Sori, but if we can afford NOT to have (one of) them. As Alex pointed out, if we don't need to resign Shef next year ($13 mil), why is anyone the least bit concerned with what we can afford? We will also be saving $10mil (+/-) on Moose next year.

The Yanks have a lot of $$ coming off the books in the next 3 or 4 years. By that time, we should have legitimate talent from the Farm on the field. So hopefully, our post 2009 teams should have a reasonable payrole by dint of minor league talent. However, talent over the next 3 years or so is gonna cost us cash. Well... not us... but Steinbrenner. Hey, let's spend it before it ties. It might not be so good moneywise after he is gone.

2006-07-12 10:55:12
28.   mickey1956

He is a prospect many pegged at the beginning of the year as a sleeper. I know they did a write up on him at Baseball Analysts. I'll try to find it. I saw him at Charleston a bunch last year, and he gets lots of strikeouts and groundballs. Brandon Webb type pitcher. He's been out the year with an oblique injury.

2006-07-12 10:55:18
29.   rabid stan
10 Philly fans aren't that bad if your name is Utley or Dawkins.

17 I remember seeing a pregame on ESPN awhile back with Ortiz and A-Rod chatting it up and laughing just before the game. It's amazing that FOX can make ESPN look so good.

2006-07-12 10:55:45
30.   singledd
I meant (crude as it sounds) "Hey, let's spend it before he dies"
2006-07-12 11:17:59
31.   JL25and3
23 I agree. Melky's a nice little player but no more than that - a starting outfielder on a bad team or a role player on a contender. His perceived value is higher for Yankee fans because he's Our Boy, but his actual trade value might also be about as high as it'll ever be. If you can get something for him, do it.

22 Wang won't be traded - his value to the team and his trade value are both so high that I can't imagine what they'd trade him for. As for your other scenario - picking up Soriano and signing him long-term to play second - Nonononono please God no. I couldn't stand to watch that again.

2006-07-12 11:29:08
32.   JL25and3
25 Torre said the other day that he was starting Johnson first, and CBS Sportsline says the same. I guess we'll have to wait and see. I'm going Saturday, and I'd almost rather see Johnson - Moose might be better but RJ might be more fun. Plus, I've seen Moose pitch soooooo many times over the last few years.
2006-07-12 13:05:29
33.   Jeteupthemiddle
32 Ha. I am going on Saturday and I would MUCH rather see Moose.

It isn't even close. lol.

2006-07-12 13:45:26
34.   Bama Yankee
24 Nick, was that a Pedro/Karim Garcia reference (if so, pretty funny) or were you really looking for more info on Christian Garcia?
2006-07-12 15:36:02
35.   Nick from Washington Heights
34 I wish I were that clever, but I was asking sincerely.
2006-07-12 18:04:04
36.   Stormer Sports
Interesting take on Abreu guys.

If I could throw in my two cents, I would put any Abreu trade talks on hold. I don't see the Phillies trading him to the Yankees given what we have to offer compared with other teams competing within their divisions.

Also, we would have an utterly cranky unproductive Sheffield down the stretch should he come back and DH the late part of the season. I know Sheffield can be a pain in the ass but I would prefer we don't make the same mistake that the Braves did. The guy is as solid a hitter as there is. He is consistent year to year, he hits for average and power, he drives runs in. Simply, Gary Sheffield is a god damn good player. It doesn't matter how you measure it, sabermetrics or traditional AVG/HR/OBP/RBI statistics, he's a stud. We will alienate Sheffield and as far as I am concerned, Sheffield at DH or Right Field next year is a better choice than anyone else we might aquire. Further, the moves we have made these past few years have left us with nothing to trade, most of our guys are green and I would rather see how some of them pan out before dealing them.

If we could get Lieber cheap, I'm all for it. Well, he'd be a Yankee right now if we hadn't dumped every player that didn't perform over the short term like some tweaker Meth-head the past few years.

I think we just have to hold serve until Sheffield and Mats get back. Whoever might be available isn't likely to be as helpful to the club long term as the players we trade away.

2006-07-12 18:20:46
37.   Stormer Sports
That being said. I think the Sox end up with Abreu--Sorry Mr. Nixon, I know the fans love your filthy hat--and the Yankees aquire Soriano.

Wang, gulp, are you kidding? We cannot trade Wang! We only have 4 starters and even that is hanging by a thread.

Also, trusting Philly fans' analysis of Abreu would be downright silly.

2006-07-13 06:21:46
38.   KJC
37 "That being said. I think the Sox end up with Abreu--Sorry Mr. Nixon"

Isn't that what Wily Mo Pena is for? Why would the Sox want Abreu when they already have a young Nixon replacement signed? The Sox (and everyone, really) need another starting pitcher and some middle relief, not another OF.

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