Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Couple Few Things
2006-10-25 09:41
by Alex Belth

I thought that we would all be spending a good deal of time during the Hot Stove season talking about Labor/ Management politcs. But it looks like that won't happen. Go figure. Talk about an unexpected, but happy surprise.

Here are two Yankee items of interest in today's Daily News:

1. Scott Boras says Alex Rodriguez will be a Yankee next year.

2. According to Bill Madden, the Yankees plan to pick-up Gary Sheffield's option only to trade him.

Elsewhere, Jack Curry has a piece on Joe Girardi today in the Times; Mike Plugh has a knucklehead idea; SG takes a closer look at Mr. Matsuzaka, and finally, Steve Goldman and I chatted about Curt Flood recently, and our conversation is part of the latest installment of "The Pinstriped Bible."

2006-10-25 10:19:33
1.   mehmattski
First of all, I have the first comment; ergo, I am awesome.

Second, I'm failing to understand the logic of picking up Sheff's option just to trade him. You're basically giving a discount to any team you trade him to (since the Yanks would almost certainly have to eat some of Sheff's salary), and why would the Yanks voluntarily save another team money? Besides, Sheff has said multiple times he doesn't want to be traded, and why would another team trade prospects (or whatever) for a malcontent. The only thing I can see is that it's a $17 million insurance that he won't be on the Red Sox next year. Which is ok, I guess.

Third, it's too bad that Wakefield probably isn't going to be available. Although he would probably come with his very own Doug Mirabelli, and I don't know if the NYPD can afford escorting him around.

Fourth, when is Matsuzaka's team supposed to post him? November 1? The tension is killing me!

2006-10-25 10:25:35
2.   Sliced Bread
Mid-February through late-October: baseball season.

November to mid-January: Boras season.

Mr. Monopoly now owns Boardwalk (Zito) & Park Place (Matsuzaka), with four hotels on each. This is going to get fugly.

1 Why would the Yanks have to eat any Sheff salary? Mets, Angels, White Sox would happily pay $13 mill. for his bat.

2006-10-25 10:27:05
3.   Yankee Fan In Boston
close your eyes. imagine sheffield's numbers if he played half of his games in fenway park.

send him anywhere else. would i pay to do so? i'm not sure, but it sounds as if ca$hman is already fielding calls about potential deals, so i'm sure he knows what he's doing.

and yes, matsuzaka and the lions are waiting until the japanese championship series is over before they post him, as not to distract.

in a way this is a good thing for me. i would be paying far less attention to the series (and midterms and papers) if they were in the thick of negotiations with this kid and boras.

2006-10-25 10:27:39
4.   Sliced Bread
Scott Boras insisting A-Rod is going to remain on the Yankees next year makes me believe A-Rod is going, going...
2006-10-25 10:34:47
5.   Sliced Bread
5 Great stuff in "The Bible," Alex. Also enjoyed your S.I. piece on the '68 Serious.

Check your links to Plugh and SG above. You were twice as nice to Mr. Canyon.

2006-10-25 10:53:01
6.   Shaun P
4 Nah, sometimes even Scott Boras speaks the truth.

And since columnists are paid to speculate, I feel its fair to speculate that Madden is, once again, wrong. In addition to mehmattski's arguments in 1, I'd be shocked if Ca$hmoney trades Sheff because there's no way he'd get equal value in return.

2006-10-25 10:54:24
7.   pistolpete
My only fear is that we'd get stuck with Sheff, and then he'd be twice as ornery knowing Cash tried to trade him all winter and couldn't.
2006-10-25 11:00:04
8.   Schteeve
You guys are making up stuff to hand wring about, it's ridiculous.

1) Sheff will be signed and traded. As to why? Um, so we can get some much needed help back for him. If we let him walk we get zippity doo dah.

2) A-Rod is going nowhere, because Cashman isn't an idiot. Simple as that. Take it to the bank.

2006-10-25 11:00:51
9.   NetShrine
AB- the link on the SG piece is wrong, FYI
2006-10-25 11:06:16
10.   rbj
I don't mind not getting equal value for Sheff, if it means he gets parked some place like Houston. They're in a 6 team division so it's harder for them to make the post season. If Sheff is with White Sox or Angels it means 6-7 games against him plus a possibility of facing him in the post season.
2006-10-25 11:27:08
11.   RZG
If you're going to play Sheffield then pick up his option. If the Yankees don't think his option is worth it then don't pick it up.

1. Don't pick up his option just because you're afraid he'll go to Boston.

2. Don't pick up his option with the intent of trading him.

I say let him go and move on.

2006-10-25 11:38:05
12.   RIYank
Yo, RZG, give some kind of reason! What Schteve 8 said is pretty convincing. Sign-and-trade means you get something, even if (as rbj notes) Ca$hman doesn't get 'equal value'. Let him walk and you get nothing. Uh. That's a no-brainer.

The Yanks obviously do think Sheff is worth the option price, but he's not worth a lot to them. The outfield at the Stadium is too dang crowded. And what do you do when you have too many good players in a position? Duh.

I'm with Schteve. Relax, old number $$ is on the job.

2006-10-25 11:45:39
13.   wsporter
11 1 & 2 Why not?

Is he done? I don't think so. Why let him go to Boston if he will bat behind or before the O and M boys and kill us and everyone else in the AL?

Why get nothing for him (other than a draft choice if he qualifies as an A or B free agent) when they can get something of immediate value and steer him to a safe place. Seems like a win/win and a no-brainer to me. Getting something they value for someone they don't seems like a reasonable move to me.

2006-10-25 11:52:29
14.   Yankee Fan In Boston
13 if sheffield were to hypothetically bat between the o and M boys, it would make that lineup OSM*.

* = pronounced "oh-some"

2006-10-25 12:07:41
15.   Simone
Picking up Sheffield's option to trade him will turn out a HUGE mistake. Sheffield is old, injury prone and overpaid. The Yankees will get nothing of real value for him. He can also make it extremely difficult for the Yankees to trade him to a team that may offer the best dealif he doesn't want to go to that particular team. It promises to be ugly and will end up beign worth the trouble. I'm ready to say "I told you so." Hell, I can say it now.
2006-10-25 12:09:13
16.   Simone
15 I meant to say, "It promises to be ugly and will end up not being worth the trouble."
2006-10-25 12:10:34
17.   Comrade Al
Any chance to get Lidge in the deal?
2006-10-25 12:13:15
18.   wsporter
15 & 16 I think the point is they pick the option up if the trade is in place. Hence the news about current conversations.

But beyond that exactly what is it you're trying to say? ;-)

2006-10-25 12:19:43
19.   Simone
18 Okay, if. LOL! I have my fingers crossed that the Yankees won't do anything that stupid.

Alex, I just read your interview with Goldman. It was very interesting. Do you think that Marvin Miller will get into the Hall of Fame? I think that it is embarassing that he isn't there already.

2006-10-25 12:23:42
20.   Alex Belth
I seriously doubt that Miller will make it into the Hall. Too many of the former players who vote are just too self-absorbed. I've heard that there are players who were directly effected by Miller's efforts who won't vote him in. It is indeed a sad statement but the HoF members are very stingy about who they let into their club. Jagoffs.
2006-10-25 12:32:56
21.   Simone
Alex, that isn't what I wanted to read at all. I read Miller's biography. He really worked his butt off for these ungrateful players against those greedy owners. Typical.

I also read an article about a "screening committee" full of anonymous members that bring nominees in front of the veterans committee constantly overlooking Miller. Do you know anything about this part of the process?

2006-10-25 12:35:14
22.   Chyll Will
20 Isn't there a People's Choice Hall of Fame somewhere that's not simply in cyberspace? You'd think with the global communications available that enough people would get pissed off about certain injustices and close-minded idiocy that they would sponsor their own award and elevate it to the mainstream. Complacency doesn't work.
2006-10-25 12:44:00
23.   rbj
Here's Cashman's conversation with Sheff:
We like you, you've been a valuable part of this team, we appreciate your tryin 1B. This is a business however, and our outfield is too crowded. This is what we'd like to do: pick up your option and then trade you to someplace you won't hurt us except in the World Series -we won't trade you to KC or Tampa. If you don't agree, we won't pick up the option. Given your age and recent injury, do you think you'll get $13 million on the open market?
2006-10-25 12:44:26
24.   Chyll Will
... I did it again, didn't I? (cricket, cricket...)
2006-10-25 12:48:19
25.   JL25and3
I don't understand the fear of Sheffield batting against the Yankees. He's a good hitter but not a god; there are lots of good hitters out there, and somehow the Yankees manage to survive them. I don't see why it's that different.

And if he goes to the Red Sox? I say, go right ahead. Yeah, he'll make their offense better, as if offense were their problem. In fact, though, he might not benefit as much from hitting in Fenway as you'd think. Sheffield doesn't hit fly balls, he hits line drives - the hardest line drives I've ever seen, to be sure. But Fenway won't help him there; the line drive home runs and doubles he hits in Yankee Stadium may end up as singles off the Wall.

Even more: he'd also be playing right field at Fenway. That's a lot of ground, and one of the trickiest OF positions around. With Manny and Sheff in the corners, well, Coco Crisp is going to have one hell of a lot of running to do.

And finally, if the Red Sox signed Sheffield, that's money they wouldn't have available for pitching.

All in all, I like that deal just fine.

2006-10-25 12:52:27
26.   smingers
Does anyone know anything about Seung-Yeop Lee who was mentioned yesterday on Was Watching? Intruiging? Redundant?
2006-10-25 13:23:47
27.   Schteeve
15 Simone, how in the hell can you say, "I told you so" now? Nothing has happened yet. Get off your high horse already.
2006-10-25 13:27:57
28.   Eirias
Does anyone have the proper link to the piece on Matsuzaka?
2006-10-25 13:33:05
29.   NetShrine
Eirias - here it is

2006-10-25 13:37:53
30.   weeping for brunnhilde
So speaking of junkball, I have a general question: where have all the junkballers gone?

Who's the next Jaimie Moyers?

Tim Wakefield?

And more broadly still, is the waning of junkballing pitchers in this new age connected to the waning of slap-hitting, fundamentally solid batters?

Is the game, in general, more homogenized than maybe it used to be?

2006-10-25 13:41:41
31.   wsporter
25 Shef. has had two very different regular seasons hitting at Fenway. 2005 was pretty good: in 37 at bats .432 ave. .488 obp. .811 slg. and 1.299. ops. 2004 was not so good (same stats): in 39 in ab's .231 .318 .410 0.728. I'd say by 2005 he got used to the place. Works out to about .315 .403 .610 1.013 over two very different years in 76 ab's. I think they'd take those numbers over 81 games at Fenway and feel pretty good about the investment they make. Shef in and amongst the guys they have in that park scares the hell out of me.

I think you're right though in saying that Manny and Shef in the corners leaves a lot of room for CoCo Puff to roam. My bet is though that his Win Shares, VORP or other metrics will be consistently scary and our lying eyes will confirm that as well. If we have a way of shipping him elsewhere that derives us additional benefit I say do it. I call it a no brainer. In fact I'd say it would be negligent not to do it.

2006-10-25 13:42:24
32.   weeping for brunnhilde
25 Agreed. I don't really like the idea of not trading someone to your rival just because they're your rival.

If it's a good trade, presumably it's supposed to make your team stronger. If it makes your team stronger, have faith that Sheffield can't single-handedly thwart your plans.

If he does damage to you, tip your hat, only let the chips fall where they may.

2006-10-26 08:34:44
33.   Count Zero
31 Agreed. Making a roster move/trade to block a division opponent is part of the game and prudent.

The Yankees have done this to Boston many times so acting like this is a new strategy ignores numerous precedents. One might argue that A-Rod in NY is the result of such a move. Whether you think it's stupid or not, every GM who has funds available does it, so they obviously disagree.

More importantly, (as has already been pointed out) it would appear that Sheffield has a high value to several teams. Whether or not this is true is not something I know, but I trust Cashman to make that determination. If he has two or more GMs salivating over Sheff, and he thinks he can trade him for something valuable, why shouldn't he do it?

Since no one here is in a position to contradict that theory categorically, I think questioning Cashman's strategy at this point is silly. You don't know what conditions he may be exercising/not exercising Sheffield's option under so how can you evaluate the quality of the move? If he gets a backup catcher and a nice pitching prospect out of it, will you still think it's stupid? :-)

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.