Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Free Fallin
2006-10-30 10:23
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Who are the cherce free agents this winter? A quick look via the Associated Press.

Comments (72)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-10-30 12:21:47
1.   mehmattski
Matsui to first base, Soriano in Left Field?

Player: Zone Rating/Fielding Pct/Range Factor
Matsui: .834/.979/2.07
Soriano: .876/.969/2.28
Cabrera: .816/.996/2.06

Of course, the guy's 30 years old and will probably need a 4 to 5 year contract, but he's pretty durable. What would be better, though, is if Soriano could pitch...

2006-10-30 12:23:30
2.   Chyll Will
Wow-wow, this is like the leap year of free agency, when everything is thrown off by the extra years on the players available. Not one catcher under 30, and top-shelf talent with suspiciously flukey years (Gary Matthews Jr.), OPP (Jason Schmidt) or about to be Aamco'd and Midasized (Zito) but it seems like this year is dominated by also-rans.

What is behind this confluence of mediocrity? Smarter deals for teams with young players? Fall-out from the scrutiny of PEDs? The law of averages (or in this year's case, the Year of Averages)? Nutty Buddy's evil masterplan of parity? What?

Aside from that, this year's playofs just seemed to suck the life out of the whole year. Not just because the Yanks lost, but also because the worst team won. It makes it seem like the effort and pressure to win throughout the season was a complete waste. I begin to see Jeter's point when he says that it doersn't matter if you don't win at the end, especially if you have World Series with both teams backing into the playoffs after almost blowing the season. Is it worth sitting through an entire season of baseball when the teams virtually change completely afterwards.

Just ranting I guess from a casual point of view since I skipped out on the playoffs after the Yanks' loss, but there are a number of ponderables related to the setup that Selig and Co. have wrought that makes the whole enterprise seem profitable, but futile (which is sort of like dedicating this season to Jean-Michel Basquiat) to consider. No wonder I didn't feel the urge to spend my life savings at the Stadium this year. What capital gains? Phooey...

2006-10-30 12:30:36
3.   Chyll Will
1 ...better if Sori could play center and Damon at first to keep his infield arm out of harm's way. That I would watch with a cold root beer all day.
2006-10-30 12:33:28
4.   Simone
If Soriano doesn't sign with the Nationals, Bowden should be fired. He could have gotten a couple of good prospects for Soriano.
2006-10-30 12:37:06
5.   mehmattski
3 I would much rather see Matsui out of left field... it's less of an issue trying to throw runners out at second base if the balls land in gloves more consistently. Long term, though, I agree... Damon showed he wasn't completely lost for that one inning this year ;-) I say starting in 2008, Damon should play first and Gardner should be our CF. In fact, I'd be ecstatic if we had an outfield of Soriano, Gardner, and Tabata in 2009.
2006-10-30 12:52:42
6.   pistolpete
I woke up in a cold sweat last night. I dreamt we signed Schmidt, Buerhle and Soriano & traded Melky, Cano & Wang for Jeff Suppan and Adam Wainwright. ;-)
2006-10-30 12:59:40
7.   Shaun P
2 True superstar-talent just isn't available every year. That's why, when it becomes available on the FA market, cough CarlosBeltran cough, a team ought to go out of its way to get it.

Outside of pitching, IMO, the Yanks' big need is a good-hit/good-field first baseman. Even if Melky plays everyday in either LF or CF, and Matsui, Damon, and Abreu rotate at DH ('Zilla in RF if Bobby DHs?), what happens when Giambi isn't in the field? Who's on first?

Outside of Frank Thomas, who can't play first anymore, the currently available free agents are an uninspiring bunch. Maybe its worthwhile to take another flier on Craig Wilson? Anyone at Scranton/WB? Can Shelley Duncan play 1B?

2006-10-30 13:01:48
8.   jonnystrongleg
5 Damon will be 35 in 2009 and I would be surprised if he is hitting enough to be the 1B of a contending team.

It's hard enough to project minor leaguers' stats year to year, let alone trying to do it for 2009. I'm sure there were people imagining Ruben Rivera and Rickey Ledee patroling the Yankee outfield for years to come in the late 90's. Hope the youth movement is as fruitful as you predict. I'd be glad if it is.

2006-10-30 13:07:53
9.   Simone
7 This is exactly why the Yankees should have Guerrero instead of Sheffield.
2006-10-30 13:10:46
10.   randym77
The World Series ratings this year were the lowest ever:

Fox Sports finished the '06 World Series with a 10.1/17 average Nielsen rating, the lowest-ever mark for the Fall Classic, and 9 percent behind last year's mark of 11.1/19.

Yikes. 9% below that exciting White Sox sweep of the Astros last year.

2006-10-30 13:18:53
11.   randym77
7 Eric Duncan, maybe? He's hitting well and playing 1B in the Arizona Fall League:

2006-10-30 13:22:47
12.   Peter
7 I was really impressed by Aaron Guiel last year. I wouldn't mind seeing him play 1B again. I'd also like it if Craig Wilson could work with Tony Pena over the winter and come back next year as the backup catcher. And then you'd add some versatility as he could play 1B and sit Guiel against lefty pitching.
2006-10-30 13:24:15
13.   joejoejoe
Damon or Matsui to 1B makes a lot of sense.

The best bargain bat available is Frank Catalanotto. He'd be perfect in Yankee Stadium but I don't know where he would play. Look for the Mets to make a run at him.

I think the most difficult long term need for the Yanks is getting a young catcher to spell Posada in the long term. You have to get that by trade - my favorite young catcher is the Pirates Ronny Paulino. I'd love to see the Yankees overwhelm Pittsburgh with some decent veteran talent and buyouts and grab Paulino. The Pirates have another prime catching prospect Ryan Doumit that was ahead of Paulino before an injury so maybe they make a deal.

The biggest offensive problem the Yanks have is they are getting old and they have a stagnant lineup. I think that is best addressed by dealing Giambi to the Angels who badly need offense and taking back some of the Angels big contracts (Garrett Anderson, Bartolo Colon). A deal can be made with LAA that benefits both NYY and the Angels and frees up critical DH ABs for the Thirtysomething Yankees.

2006-10-30 13:29:27
14.   Chyll Will
7 Yep. His freeze job in the last at-bat would have made what's-his-name-chatter this off-season less infinite if he had played for the Bronx.

9 The genius of ol' George was, is and forever will be his own best-kept secret.

There isn't anything out there that you can pinpoint and say that it's a good fit. You either take your chances with what you have or take a bigger chance with someone who may not fill your need to begin with. If you're going with the unknown, I'd rather go young and start some guys that can build equity (There's got to be another Melky down there; after all wasn't he somewhat of a Cano?)

2006-10-30 13:31:39
15.   Chyll Will
14 "There isn't anything out there that you can pinpoint and say that it's a good fit."

Free-agent wise, I mean.

2006-10-30 13:37:48
16.   randym77
13 The Pirates have so much catching talent they don't know what to do with it all. I would think the right deal could pry a young catcher from them. They were trying to convert Doumit to 1B or some such thing, because they have too many catchers.
2006-10-30 13:37:55
17.   weeping for brunnhilde
1 Absolutely no to Soriano. I'm absolutely convinced that the team needs to be built around solid pitching and contact hitting.

No way do I want Sori's strikeouts.

I fervently believe that a major achilles heel this team has had of late has been striking out (or popping up) in huge spots. IMO, the team's new philosophy should be, "Just put the ball in play and anything can happen."

Of course for this to be a winning strategy, you have to have a superb defense and good pitching.

I don't know how many players are out there who hit, say, .300 and don't strike out, but if they're out there, they'll probably be a lot cheaper than a Soriano. Sign those kind of people and use the savings to invest in pitching and defense.

2006-10-30 13:54:17
18.   Shaun P
9 I agree entirely Simone, but if Vlad's back had gone south, how many of us would be saying, "The Yanks should have signed Sheff - he never gets hurt!" ;)

13 Giambi to the Angles for Anderson and Colon does nothing to solve the 1B problem - in fact, it makes it a huge gaping hole. Anderson is toast. He's 35 next year, can't play the OF well, has played 1B once (in 2000) - and his last productive season was 2003. Pass.

If the Pirates wouldn't give up Paulino, I'd gladly take Doumit instead.

2006-10-30 14:05:10
19.   Shaun P
17 I don't want Sori's Ks (and lack of OBP) back either. That said, I don't think striking out is the Yanks' problem, bad ABs in the ALDS aside. The Yanks finished 6th in the AL in Ks, and with 16 less Ks, would have been 10th.

Ditto putting the ball in play. The Yanks finished second in the AL in batting average, tied for the league lead in hits, and tied for second on batting average on balls in play - so it seems they were putting the ball in play quite a bit, too, with great results.

2006-10-30 14:08:14
20.   Peter
I'm not too bothered by going with Sheff over Vlad. Sheff hit well his first two years here, then he (sort of) turned into Abreu last year. Now he's probably going to turn into a pitcher this winter. All in all, the Yanks got some good use out of him.
2006-10-30 14:18:01
21.   randym77
19 I dunno...I think the regular season stats may be misleading. For one thing, at least this year, the guys who played in the regular season weren't the same guys who played in the postseason.

For another...I think it's different in the postseason, when the pitching tends to be better. Remember the beginning of the season, when the Yanks couldn't win a game unless they scored nine runs or more? You have to be able to win some low-scoring pitchers' duels in the postseason.

My feeling is that Yanks, in the postseason at least, had too many hitters who were too similar. It made them too one-dimensional. When the sluggers were shut down, they didn't have a plan B.

2006-10-30 14:22:45
22.   Comrade Al
21 Are you suggesting going with speed like 1982?
2006-10-30 14:31:00
23.   rbj
Completely off topic, but in the spirit of Halloween, I'd like to present a scary line:
Toledo Mudhen's thirdbaseman Mike Hessman
101 games (out of 144) 345 ABs, 57 hits,
avg: .169, obp: .269, slug .406 (24 HR), ops: .675
2006-10-30 14:37:20
24.   randym77
22 Not necessarily. Just more versatility. I think we have too many DH-type guys. When slugging isn't working, they just swing harder.

I recall two games this year where the Yanks faced the dreaded Zumaya. The guys who had success against him were Cairo, Crosby, and Cabrera. The ones who don't try to do too much.

You wouldn't want a whole lineup of guys like that, but having a mix - some sluggers, some contact hitters, some guys who can bunt and steal bases, etc. - would be a good thing.

And defense. I am still convinced that the old saw is correct. Defense wins championships. No more aging DHs who can't field their positions.

2006-10-30 14:46:58
25.   weeping for brunnhilde
19 I'm not talking about this year, per se, just over the last few seasons. I feel like a lot of big outs have come in the postseason on strikeouts and popouts.

It could be all in my head, I don't know. When 2007 comes around, I'll try to point out each time I see an avoidable strikeout. Giambi and Arod are the chief culprits--guys who never shorten their swing when it's appropriate to do so. It just pains me.

2006-10-30 14:47:42
26.   weeping for brunnhilde
24 "When slugging isn't working, they just swing harder."

Hear, hear.

2006-10-30 15:06:14
27.   joejoejoe
18 I think moving Giambi is critical to the development of new talent in the next 2 years. I'm not concerned if they get a fraction of the value back. I see Damon being happy to switch to 1B so it doesn't leave a hole.

The Yankees should NEVER have a player like Giambi on the roster that is best suited as an everyday DH. They will always have loads of veteran talent that can use 1/2 a day off in the DH spot. I want Melky to play every day and possibly develop a 2nd good young OF on the days that Matsui, Damon, and Abreu DH. That can never happen with Giambi on the roster.

I wonder if the Pirates will part with some of their young catching talent? That is a commodity worth paying a premium to get to NY.

2006-10-30 15:16:22
28.   randym77
27 I agree. The Yankees cannot afford a full-time DH. We have too many aging veterans for that.

I don't see how we can develop two young outfielders with Matsui, Damon, and Abreu on the roster. Heck, I have my doubts about one.

Young players need to play every day if they're to develop to their full potential. And they generally don't hit well off the bench. From the little we saw of Melky as backup OFer, he's no exception.

Torre says he'd take turns DHing the OFers so Melky could play every day, but I have my doubts. He may intend to do this, but when push comes to shove, he'll go with the veterans, and Melky will end up riding pine.

2006-10-30 15:21:52
29.   Simone
18 Not me, but I guess, the "Sheffield is a warrior" people would feel that way. As far as I am concerned, if a team have the opportunity to get a great player while he is young, you have to gamble because it is worth the risk. I had my doubts about Beltran being worth all that money, but Vlad definitely was worth every penny of that more than reasonable contract. In fact, he was a steal that price. George made a huge mistake signing Sheffield over Vlad. The Yankees would have been sent in right for years instead of scrambling like they are now and will be as they decide about Abreu after next season.
2006-10-30 15:46:12
30.   Start Spreading the News
29 Of course if Abreu puts up the numbers he did for the Yanks this year, they won't need long to make up their mind about him.

28 I too am skeptical about Torre's willingness to develop young players. He seems to put young players in "sink or swim" scenarios. cf Melky in Game 4 against Tigers.
Melky rode the pine for 3 games and then was placed in an elimination game at Detroit. No pressure there...

Imagine how our outlook would be if we had Beltran in Center and Guerrero in right next year. It would cost us the same as Abreu and Damon will next year.

2006-10-30 16:11:09
31.   randym77
30 Well, according to the NY wasn't Torre's idea to put Melky in. The "Tampa Cabal" demanded it.
2006-10-30 16:30:34
32.   C2Coke
6 If I had a nightmare tonight, I already know why.

28 "Torre says he'd take turns DHing the OFers so Melky could play every day, but I have my doubts. He may intend to do this, but when push comes to shove, he'll go with the veterans, and Melky will end up riding pine."

Yes, I can easily see that happening this time of the year in my head already.

2006-10-30 18:24:38
33.   tommyl
28,30,31,32 It is for this reason that I was most hesistant about bringing Torre back. I think he's a great manager and should be in the HOF, but this Yankee team is moving into a different phase with the old core gone or aging and a host of new, young guys clipping at their heels. These guys need to play and be given honest shots. If not, we'll just keep ending up with slow, aging, expensive veterans who are injury prone.

I am dreading watching the likes of Melky on the bench next year as Joe insists he's going to try to get him some time soon, with other, even younger guys not even getting a shot. Its going to cost us in payroll and possibly prospects and level of play.

2006-10-30 18:58:23
34.   unpopster
The Padres have declined their option on Piazza, thus allowing him to test free agency again.

NOW can we sign him for an incentive-laden one year deal as Jorge's backup and DH. I still think it should have been done last year.

I wouldn't be so gung ho about bringing Pizza back to NY if we actually had an heir-apparent to Posada waiting and needing much needed playing time in the Bigs...but since there is no such player, I say let's have a go at Mikey Piazza.

2006-10-30 19:05:32
35.   randym77
I'd rather get an heir-apparent for Jorgie. He's 35. What are they waiting for?
2006-10-30 19:17:09
36.   weeping for brunnhilde
34 No Piazza.

I'm sick to death of aging all-stars.




The team is becoming a parody of itself.

Anyone ever see that great cover of the Onion a few years ago?

It featured all of major league baseball's all-stars (I only remember RJ's mug among the cast of characters) in pinstripes.

The joke's gone on long enough--it's time to bring up our own.

The problem is, that doesn't sell. Attendance is at an all time high and I have no doubt that in large part it's because we hire superstars who appeal to casual baseball fans.

Mike Piazza would surely put butts in the seats and of course he'll contribute, but that's not the kind of contribution I, personally, would like to see.

Ah, found it!

Piazza's among the cast of characters, as is Bonds.


2006-10-30 19:19:19
37.   weeping for brunnhilde
Here's an excerpt, it's just so damned hilarious:

""It's an honor to be part of this team," said catcher Benito Santiago, picked up from the San Francisco Giants as insurance in case catchers Jorge Posada, Ivan Rodriguez, and Mike Piazza all go down with injuries. "It's a surprise, certainly, but I'd be crazy to turn down the opportunity to play on what is, by default, the greatest team in baseball."

Yankees manager Joe Torre, whose pitching rotation, prior to the mass signing, lacked a clear seventh ace, now has the luxury of starting each of his hurlers twice a season.

"As they say, you can never have enough pitching in this league," Torre said. "Especially come playoff time. Now, if we make it to the World Series, we'll be able to start Pedro Martinez in Game 1 and still have him fresh and ready to go for a Game 287, should it be necessary."

With so many egos to juggle and so many personnel decisions to make, Torre said his job will actually be harder this season, the lack of opposing players notwithstanding. "

2006-10-30 19:20:38
38.   randym77
36 I sent that link to a lot of my friends when we signed A-Rod. They thought it was hilarious. Especially the Yankee-haters.
2006-10-30 19:43:45
39.   weeping for brunnhilde
It is hilarious. And that's one reason (though not the only reason) that I never took to Arod or Giambi.

Quite simply, there's something unseemly about it.

If that's what Yankee-haters object to, I see their point.

It's why I had no interest in the old Mets, with Roberto Alomar and Mo Vaughan and Mike Piazza and whoever else they had whereas this current Mets team is easier to like.

Just think how gratifying a championship would be if we have done it while developing people like Nick Johnson and Juan Rivera and whoever the hell else we've cast away.

I have no objection to free agents, even good ones, but when that's your only gameplan, it gets tedious, imo, especially when they don't win. If they're not going to win, I'd rather not win while developing players.

2006-10-30 19:49:53
40.   Yu-Hsing Chen
36 ROFL that's just hilarious.

I agree that Giambi has become an albatross for this team a lot more than A-rod, but the chances of moving him are slim to none at this point. at best we can simply hope for his health to improve .

As for putting butts in seats. that's something the Yankees have no worry for really.

I would do Sheff for Bonderman in a heartbeat and throw in any prospect not named Hughes or Tabata really.

But i think realistically Sheff for Prior or Lidge would be for more realistic.

As for catching prospects. I think Pirates / Cubs / Angels/ Braves have some good once, but that doesn't mean we can get them.... espically with only Sheff.... I think you might land a Jeff Mathis or Mike Napoli I suppose though.

2006-10-30 20:26:35
41.   weeping for brunnhilde
40 My point being, all things being equal, I think there's greater entertainment value from a team comprised of known superstars than unknown very good players.

Meaning, I'd guess that a Yankee team that won 100 games with the likes of Arod and Randy Johnson, etc. would draw more fans than a team that won the same number of games with lesser-known personnel.

I don't know if that's true, but I'd suspect it is.

I sometimes wonder, in other words, if bringing in superstars has as much to do with entertainment value as it does with good baseball sense. Obviously the two can overlap, because superstars also tend to win, but when push comes to shove, if the team can hire Johnny Damon (hypothetically) or a younger, unknown version of Johnny Damon, they'll hire the former.

You hire the old Damon, you take a chance that he'll continue to perform; you hire the young Johnny Damon, you take the chance that he'll one day in the not-so-distant future perform.

The fans will pay to see the Damon they know rather than the Damon they don't, is all I'm saying.

Personally, I prefer the promise of youth to the predictability of age, but I'm a romantic.

2006-10-30 20:35:51
42.   Yu-Hsing Chen
41 a mix of both is what they really need, the Giants this year were far from entertaining. if you want "old"

For the yankees they have the reputation already, if someone performs on this team it will be known very fast. Robbie Cano and CM Wang is already far more famous than say.... Dan Uggla and Aaron Cook (two fairly similar players)

2006-10-30 20:41:21
43.   weeping for brunnhilde
42 Absolutely. A mix, absolutely. And yes, you're right that if someone performs word will get out fast.

The more I think about it, the more fervently I believe we should declare Melky the everyday left-fielder and work everyone around him.

He's the future and I have every confidence he'll get better and better and better.

He could easily hit .300 and more if given a chance to play everyday. Young talent like his should be given every encouragement, he's a special kind of player.

I knew he was special that first game, when he drew a critical walk off Schilling in the late innings. He's going to be a monster one day.

2006-10-30 20:49:34
44.   randym77
The Yankees are too impatient. They want the butter, but they don't want to churn the cream. No rebuilding years for the Yanks. No giving kids the 500-1,500 at-bats they need to learn to hit big league pitching...unless sheer desperation forces it.

Paul O'Neill said being a young player on the Yankees is like being a contestant on American Idol, and I think he's right. One bad night, and you're gone. Every player goes into slumps. If you're a veteran, then Joe will keep putting you in the lineup, even if the slump goes on for weeks. For a young, unknown player, a few days' slump will get you benched. The pressure must be insane.

2006-10-30 21:03:18
45.   weeping for brunnhilde
44 The pressure must be, indeed.

Especially for pitchers.

Or maybe they're just its most prominent victims.

Nearly every single pitcher the Yankees have brought in over the last five years has failed, many of whom came with big expectations.

Weaver; Vazquez; the lefty from Colorado whose name I always forget; Contreras; that reliever from Cleveland, forget his name too;
and so many others.

Here's the problem: these people all have insane expectations placed on them. Contreras, for instance. He wasn't given enough time to perform. The organization needs to sign people like that not expecting them to beat the Red Sox, but expecting to simply slip them into the number five slot and give them a couple of years to get their act together.

But they don't perform and panic ensues.

Even Andy fucking Pettitte had Steinbrenner's axe looming over his head for awhile there.

The team has no plan for the future.


Instead of throwing money at people like Arod, they should give it to people like Pettitte instead and just chill the fuck out.

Instead of signing RJ, why not buy a couple of promising prospects and hope for the best?

It would be nice for the organization to adopt a plan and stick to it, within reason ,
of course, but basically commit to players in a way that makes them feel relaxed enough to find their game.

2006-10-31 01:09:25
46.   manila boy
45 Agreed with everything you said, except that there's no plan. Last year's offseason was pretty quiet because Cashman, finally in control, held on to all the young guys despite the pressure to deal them for veterans. I expect more of the same this offseason.

This is just the first year into the NCE (New Cashman Era) after all. The current team is holding the fort until the farm starts to blossom.

I just hope management doesn't take Steinbrenner's "it's about time we won again" statement too seriously.

2006-10-31 01:14:06
47.   manila boy
Sure enough, Aramis Ramirez is now a free agent. So much for trading Arod to the Cubs.

Any thoughts on acquiring Vicente Padilla and/or Miguel Batista?

2006-10-31 04:25:56
48.   randym77
George King of the Post is reporting that the Yanks are interested in Suppan.

He also thinks they will keep Moose:

Although the Yankees aren't going to pick up Mike Mussina's $17 million option for next season, it's believed they will retain Mussina with a two-year deal that likely will be in the $10 million a year range. It could be a little higher because Mussina, rightfully so, wants to be paid more than Carl "American Idle" Pavano, who makes $10 million a year to do nothing.

2006-10-31 05:14:53
49.   unpopster
47 true, but it does now leave a gaping hole at 3B for the Cubs, one that could be filled by a certain Alex Rodriguez.

I think Aramis Ramirez's decision to enter the FA market just upped the chances of a Yanks-Cubs deal w/Arod, maybe followed by the Yanks signing Aramis as their new starting 3B, though I think the Yanks would be better served to pick up a slick-fielding, Brosius-type 3B and utilize the saved money on pitching.

2006-10-31 05:19:38
50.   dianagramr

... careful .... I mentioned Adrian Beltre as a possible A-Rod replacement, and I was sent to the corner for a time-out. :-)

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-10-31 05:23:56
51.   dianagramr

when you average 50,000 per game, there aren't too many extra seats you need to fill by way of adding piazza ...

2006-10-31 08:06:40
52.   weeping for brunnhilde
51 First off, let me say that I've done no research in this, so perhaps my observation will seem somewhat crude.

But my point is, is it possible that one of the factors in this team's outdrawing the '98 team is superstar power?

I know, '98 had Straw and Raines and Cone, but I think still it was less of an all-star team than today's team is. I could be making things up, I don't know, but I'm just wondering if star power is ever a factor in the Yankees decisions to hire people.

2006-10-31 08:58:38
53.   jakewoods
Oh yea. I'm sure all of us Yankee fans would love a rebuilding era. Giving not ready to play guys 500 at bats. Not having stars. Not winning 90+ a year.

For what?

Think back to the 96-2001 teams. Who were the "young guys"? Jeter, Jorgie, Bernie and who else?

You dont over react and tear down a dynasty because you played 2 terrible games in Detroit.

You go out and add pitching which is what wins. You dont trade a sure Hall of Famer who plays hard everyday for 40 cents on the dollar.

You dont move a good CF to firstbase.

You sign a good glove decent right hand bat for 1b.

You add power arms for the pen.

You continue to nurture the farm system.

2006-10-31 09:02:00
54.   jakewoods
Padilla has a good arm but is a total head case.

I'd rather have the Japanese pitcher.

Sign Moose.

Get Andy Pettite back.

Trade Wright to a NL team where he becomes real valuable.

Take a chance on Mulder like you did with Lieber.

Wang, Matusaka, Pettite, Moose, RJ

with Pavano, Hughes, Karstens ready to go

2006-10-31 09:03:34
55.   jakewoods
What kind of player do you think we'll get for Sheffield?

I'm thinking the market might be so good we may get a Brad Lidge. Or am I dreaming?

2006-10-31 09:03:37
56.   JL25and3
17"I'm absolutely convinced that the team needs to be built around solid pitching and contact hitting...
I don't know how many players are out there who hit, say, .300 and don't strike out, but if they're out there...Sign those kind of people and use the savings to invest in pitching and defense."

You posed a similar question the other day - whether it would be more productive to go after high average, low strikeout hitters rather than looking at OPS. So I decided to see.

I looked at batters from 1969-2004 (that's as far as my Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia goes). I narrowed it down to players with at least 5000 PA - I wanted guys with real careers. I made 3 lists: (1) fewest Ks for career .300 hitters, (2) highest OPS, and (3) highest secondary average - that is, the most value from walks and power separate from BA.

All of them are good hitters - they'd have to be, given the restrictions. I'll post the lists in separate posts for easier reading.

2006-10-31 09:08:56
57.   standuptriple
I actually like the idea of having Padilla over some of the alternatives. He can be had for relatively cheap, but (and more importantly) I think he's the type of guy who would thrive in a structured and professional clubhouse such as the Yanks. Plus, he's show ability in the AL, pitched in a hitters park and isn't that old.
2006-10-31 09:13:02
58.   JL25and3
Oh, great, now I feel like a complete idiot. I was sure I had the lists at work, but apparently I forgot to mail them to myselves. I'll post them later...the upshot is that the OPS list would whale the tar out of the low K list, but I'll put up the specifics later.
2006-10-31 09:14:32
59.   JL25and3
*myself. Last time I looked there was only one of me. The world is thankful for that.
2006-10-31 09:32:17
60.   Start Spreading the News
59 As long as you don't go Sybil on us...
2006-10-31 10:20:35
61.   jakewoods
The thing is Padilla will not be cheap. He's going to get 9 mill a year for 4-5 years.

Hes got a great arm and proved he can pitch in the AL. In a great hitters park no less. He wont come cheap.

Even Ted Lilly is going to make 8 mill a yr.

Another lefty wouldnt be a bad idea especially one who has proved he can pitch in the AL East.

But I'd prefer Andy P.

2006-10-31 10:23:42
62.   jakewoods
The Yankees do not have to worry about offense. They don't need to add contact hitters. You know contact hitters go cold sometimes too.

And if you look at the team right now, who isn't a contact hitter? Giambi?

A Rod is a power hitter who also hits 300. Same with Matsui. Same with Bobby A.

Damon, Jeter and Cano. All contact.

They need pitching. Pitching. And pitching.

2006-10-31 10:24:14
63.   standuptriple
61 I see what you're saying, but Andy's age and the cyclical resurgence of AL pitchers going into the NL and being dominant (and the opposite with guys going from NL to AL), even guys like Suppan, has me a little gun-shy. Plus, the Yanks have enough aging SP.
2006-10-31 10:33:04
64.   jakewoods
If you think about it, Andy is only 34. And hes proven he can pitch in the AL.

He would be a solid 4th starter especially with how he finished the year. Obviously you cant build your staff around him but as a back of the rotation guy and someone to help school the young guys ala Jimmy Key, Cone, Clemens. He's worth a shot.

2006-10-31 10:34:58
65.   weeping for brunnhilde
58 Thanks for doing the research! I'd be intrested in having you break down the results for those of us who are statistically challenged.
2006-10-31 10:35:35
66.   JL25and3
62 The question didn't have so much to do with batting average as with strikeouts. Me, I don't see strikeouts as that big a problem. But others are eager not just for contact hitters, but specifically ones that don't strike out.

I guess contact out-makers would be a more appropriate term.

2006-10-31 11:05:50
67.   standuptriple
I know the Yanks had a reason for balking on Andy (impending arm injury due to mechanical flaw) and I haven't seen him close enough to see if he's fixed it. I just don't expect him to leave HOU.
2006-10-31 11:07:49
68.   jakewoods
Id rather have the 3b who's OPS is 1000 than a contact hitting 3b who's OPS is 700.

Theres contact hitting and theres productive hitting.

I think we can all agree on the fact that the Yankees have productive hitters. Adding Bobby A to the lineup only added to this. The team wasnt that reliant on the long ball this year which was nice.

But the long ball is always good to have in your lineup and we have 9 guys who can go deep at any time.

Offensively I'd like to see them add a right handed hitting 1b who has a good glove and who's a decent hitter.

And find a backup catcher who can hit and play more than once a week if need be.

2006-10-31 11:17:23
69.   weeping for brunnhilde
66 That's right.

The thing is, when you get to the postseason, it often seems as if games are decided by errors, all things being equal. From my observations, it seems as if putting the ball in play can make all the difference because against tough pitchers, you can't expect rallies, but if you just keep putting the ball in play while keeping the game close, anything can happen.

I'm not articulating this well.

Watching Eckstein, for instance. One of those games he had an infield hit and also (iirc) reached on an error. So yes, contact hitters can go cold, as in not hitting the ball quite so hard, but they can still be useful in a slump because of errors and infield hits. In tight games, those can make all the difference.

2006-10-31 14:02:37
70.   randym77
53 I'd add Mo and Andy Pettite to the list.

69 Or maybe it would make more sense to just get better defenders? They can go cold in the postseason, too (see Boone, Aaron), but in general, defense seems more reliable than hitting.

2006-10-31 16:42:39
71.   weeping for brunnhilde
70 Of course, those two as well. And where did Mendoza come from? He was one of ours, wasn't he?
2006-10-31 16:44:00
72.   weeping for brunnhilde
70 Oh, and yes, better defenders. I don't know, I'd really like to see what a team that's fundamentally sound from top to bottom could do.

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