Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Tuesday Tidbits: Act Like You Wanna
2007-07-31 05:37
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Nothing doing so far with the Yanks in the trade market. The deadline is today at 4 p.m, east coast time. The morning rumors have Eric Gagne as a longshot to come to the Bronx and the Proctor-for-Betemit a possibility once again--here is coverage in the Post, News, the Times, and Newsday. According to Buster Olney over at ESPN, the Yankees:

...Seem destined to make a move today. If they cannot trade Kyle Farnsworth for what they consider to be equal value, then they'll probably trade Scott Proctor to the Dodgers for Wilson Betemit. If they can find a deal for Farnsworth, then they'll keep Proctor. Either way, Joba Chamberlain is crucial to their thinking -- they hope the touted prospect can fill a role in middle relief.

They are sitting in the pole position, so to speak, on Gagne -- they have prospects to offer, and he cannot stop them from acquiring him. But the Yankees have stood their ground against the Rangers' trade demands, so far (which includes the team's top prospects).

The Red Sox are still looking to add Jermaine Dye. They are also in on Gagne, reports the Boston Herald.

Joe Torre spoke to reporters yesterday about Alex Rodriguez:

"I hope he does it at home, otherwise he's not going to start relaxing. Right now he's tighter than a drum," Torre said when asked about Rodriguez yesterday at a charity golf outing at Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor to benefit his Safe at Home Foundation. "I'm glad (we're) home. I didn't want to say this earlier, because we've certainly needed Alex before that. But I think it will be crazy.

"I think it's going to be pretty special, especially with Alex, with what he went through last year. It's nice when you hear people out of the stands say 'Get on (base) for Alex.' Last year was so opposite, and he had a tough time dealing with it. I know it was very uncomfortable for all of us."

..."His hitting zone's a little too large right now; he's not being very selective. ... You could throw the resin bag up there right now and I think he'd swing at it," Torre said.

Jose Contreras is pitching for the White Sox tonight. Mmmm, mmmm, good.

R.I.P. Bill Robinson, a good ballplayer who never made it as a Yankee.

Got any good Yankee Stadium stories? Send 'em over to our pal Steve Lombardi if ya do for a project he's working on.

Finally, for those Hip Hop heads out there (and yes, I was listening to Black Moon this morning on the way to work), do yourselves a favor and check out Stretch Armstrong's outstanding blog. And while you are at it, peep this and this too. Plenty of downloadable treats for those who don't sleep.

Comments (60)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-07-31 06:12:25
1.   monkeypants
Presumably all teams look to trade a plyer and get equal value (or more) in return. It does beg the question, what exactly is equal value for Farnsworth?
2007-07-31 06:13:10
2.   williamnyy23
I'd much prefer to see Farnsworth go, but I think the Betemit for Proctor deal works well for the Yankees. Betemit is relatively young and athletic and would offer some pop as a utility guy as well as off the bench. He'd be a nice upgrade for the team. The only drawback is Betemit hits righties much better than lefties, so he wouldn't help with one of this year's biggest problems.
2007-07-31 06:15:40
3.   rsmith51
So if Betemit is traded for, does that mean good-bye Cairo?
2007-07-31 06:19:27
4.   JohnnyC
Basak gets sent down.
2007-07-31 06:20:05
5.   monkeypants
3 Well, at first it would only mean goodbye Basak. You can't get rid of Cairo--he's the rock.

'Miguel, you are a rock, and this rock I will build my...'

2007-07-31 06:20:26
6.   williamnyy23
Very amusing passages from the NYTimes article below:

If that's not an indictment on Torre's use of the bullpen, then I don't what is. Also, somehow, the notion that Sturtze was at one time effective has now become an urban legend. Yes, Torre over used to Sturtze, but that didn't lead to his decline. Sturtze was never any good to begin with, which, I guess, really makes you wonder why he was used so much!


A National League scout, who did not want to comment publicly on a potential deal not involving his club, said Betemit, a .263 career hitter, was nothing special. But the scout said the deal still made sense for the Yankees because Proctor seemed exhausted despite throwing hard.

"Proctor may come back in a year or two, but at this point, he's Tanyon Sturtze Jr.," the scout said, referring to the former Yankees reliever who needed shoulder surgery after extensive use. "Use him up, throw him out."

2007-07-31 06:22:18
7.   williamnyy23
More on Joba from Newsday:

Yankees senior vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman, who got a report from pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras, said of Chamberlain's outing: "Great. His first fastball was 95. He hit 100. He got one strikeout with a fastball, one with a curveball and one with a slider."

2007-07-31 06:32:52
8.   unpopster
re: the Stretch Armstrong blog....

OMG, Alex. what a find! I just took a quick look through that blog and can already see that it promises hours and hours of great old school nostalgia. Nice.

Looking at this blog it makes me think about DJ Red Alert. He must have a closet full of tapes from his old shows on KissFM. I'd love for him to start posting some of those shows on the web.

ah, to be young again in 1989 and witnessing the true golden age of hip hop!

2007-07-31 06:34:53
9.   rbj
My only concern with trading Proctor is who will pick up all those innings.
2007-07-31 06:39:05
10.   williamnyy23
9 I am hoping Chamberlain and Britton or Edwar will fill the gap left by Proctor and/or Fransworth. The Yankees have better options.
2007-07-31 06:52:44
11.   Shaun P
3 4 5 If the Yanks were to get Betemit, I'd like to see Cairo go when Giambi comes back. Betemit (unlike Cairo) can actually play SS, is younger, faster, has more pop . . . and then the Yanks could keep Shelley Duncan up to help against LHP.

A bench with J. Molina, Duncan, Betemit, and whichever of the 4 OFs isn't playing is not bad at all.

2007-07-31 06:54:11
12.   JohnnyC
Good to see Duncan getting some ABs after his spectacular debut.
2007-07-31 06:57:09
13.   williamnyy23
MVN has a rumor that the Yankees will acquire Gagne for a package centered around Clippard. Here are his two versions:

Eric Gagne to the Yankees for Tyler Clippard, Jeff Karstens, and a C-level prospect.

Eric Gagne to the Yankees for Tyler Clippard, Jeff Marquez, and a C-level prospect.

This is an interesting deal. Coming into the season, I really liked Clippard, but have soured on him since. Karstens doesn't strike me as anything more than a long-man, spot starter, but that actually has some value. Marquez, on the other hand, might have a little more upside, mostly because he is younger.

If healthy, Gagne is a difference maker reliever. The drawback with him is he isn't likely to stick around for next season becaise Mo is likely to come back (I am not interested in the Gagne is leverage in the Mo negotiations argument because I would cringe and then vomit if they used it).

This is really a tough call. I think Clippard, at 22, still has potential, so I wouldn't be comfortable dealing him for a middle relief rental. I think I'd rather use him in another deal and give Joba/Britton/Edwar a crack at being MO's bridge.

2007-07-31 06:59:07
14.   williamnyy23
11 Not only isn't it bad, it's actually pretty good. Nieves to Molina; Cairo to Betemit; and revolving door to Duncan would represent a very nice in-season bench upgrade. It's just a shame that it took so long.
2007-07-31 07:00:57
15.   williamnyy23
13 One amendment...if Gagne would grade out as a type-A free agent, then that would make me more likely to pull the tigger.
2007-07-31 07:01:18
16.   Shaun P
14 "Master Architect" Billy Beane always said you spent the first two months figuring out what you had, the next two months getting what you needed, and then you go into battle for the last two months.

12 You're no more surprised by that than I am, JohnnyC.

2007-07-31 07:08:14
17.   JL25and3
1 I wouldn't settle for anything less than two bags of balls, and I'd really want them to throw in three fungo bats as well.
2007-07-31 07:11:30
18.   williamnyy23
16 I sincerely hope Cashman didn't need two months to figure out that Cairo, Nieves and "insert scrub here" would not be productive.
2007-07-31 07:12:04
19.   mehmattski
15 Hmm, aren't free agent grades based on three years of traditional stats? If so, the limited action (a whopping 15 innings) in 05 and 06 really hurts Gagne, and there aren't any Class C free agents anymore...
2007-07-31 07:12:08
20.   ChrisS
13 Mainly agree

I still like Clippard as a potential 5th/emergency starter next year behind Wang/Pettitte/Hughes/Joba/ and a cheap Moose.

11 I do like the Betemit trade if it means that bench.

I think that Edwar can be dominant in the set-up role only if Torre lets him. And I hope the Yankees don't fall in love with Joba as a reliever instead of a starter, I would prefer the 150+ IP from him rather than 70.

2007-07-31 07:16:27
21.   JL25and3
0 I remember when Bill Robinson was with the Yankees - couldn't hit a lick. He was the rare case of a ballplayer who became a good hitter in his 30s.

Ironically (as Michael Kay would say), the Yankees got Robinson from Atlanta in exchange for the late Clete Boyer.

2007-07-31 07:17:57
22.   williamnyy23
19 I found the following explanation on ESPN.

This season, the criteria is based on the top-30, instead of top-20 referenced below. So, maybe, Gagne might have an outside chance at being a Type A if the formula is weighted toward the most recent season.

The two compensation classes will shrink beginning in the winter after the 2007 season; the Type A pool will only comprise players in the top 20 percent of their positions, and the Type B pool will only comprise players in the second quintile (21-40 percent). The rankings come from a formula that MLB and the players' union agreed on in the early 1990s, entrusting Elias with the task of generating the statistical rating for each player. The formula -- the specific components of which no one seems to know -- looks at player statistics from the preceding two seasons, combining both bulk statistics (that is, ones that increase with playing time) and simple rate statistics (such as batting average). It then ranks players in each of those categories and then assigns each player a points value inversely related to his ranking. In this respect, the formula is based on where a player ranks in relation to his peers in each category -- not how the player actually performed. If you led all players at your position in home runs over the past two years, it wouldn't matter if you hit 40 or 80 -- you'd get the same number of points.

2007-07-31 07:19:20
23.   Schteeve
9 Exactly right. It just means more Farnsworth. No thank you. And I"m not really sure what Betemit will provide.

By the way, what the f is Torre talking about with the resin bag thing? Alex walked 3 times on Sunday.

2007-07-31 07:19:50
24.   JL25and3
19 They're based on two years of stats, which will still hurt Gagne. There's no way to know just how much it will hurt, because the calculations are based on a secret formula.

Aslo, type A free agents used to be the top 20% according to the rankings, but now it's shrunk to the top 20%. Type B is now 20%-40% instead of 30%-50%.

2007-07-31 07:22:00
25.   JL25and3
22 That quote says it's 20% this offseason.
2007-07-31 07:35:05
26.   mehmattski
22 So what's the pool for relief pitchers? Assuming a 6 man bullpen, is it 180? Do they separate closers from this, and so there's only 30?

If it's the former, then based on two seasons of work, I can see that Gagne gets top 40% (top 72 relief pitchers, which is how Villone qualified). But if Gagne has to compete against a pool of "closers," then there's no way he's one of the 12 best closers of 2006 and 2007.

2007-07-31 07:35:43
27.   rconn23
I like the Betemit deal because of his versatility and his pretty good .OBP.

But I really think instead of possibly giving up Horne or even worse, Kennedy for Gagne, the Yanks should look at a less costly, albeit older option - Troy Percival.

Apparently, the Cards have made him available and I doubt that they would ask high-level guys. His numbers:

14.2 IP 15Ks 3.07 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.

He's 38, but we're obviously not thinking about the long term here. A bullpen of Percvial, Joba and Mo would be pretty good I think.

2007-07-31 07:37:46
28.   williamnyy23
25 You're correct. I had it read it to mean after the winter of 2007, not beginning in, which it clearly states.

I wonder if Cashman has the means to know what the ranking will be?

2007-07-31 07:40:37
29.   williamnyy23
27 Not a bad idea...I wonder what the Cardinals would want. I also wonder if Cashman had any interested before he signed with St. Louis. I can't really criticize him if he didn't because I never once thought the Yankees should pursue him.
2007-07-31 07:50:09
30.   ChrisS
23 Well, Betemit is 25 yo switch hitter that can play third, second, or SS, and slugs around .440.

Cairo is 33, slugs around .350, with a BFOG+ of 220, which is enough for Torre to overlook his mediocre play.

I don't think it would make or break the Yankees' season at this point, but if upgrading the BUIF is worth even a single win over the last 2 and a half months of the season, then they need it.

Or at least it will keep Cairo from starting at first ever again. Then we would just need to find a new home for Minky.

2007-07-31 07:50:54
31.   Jen
Completely off-topic (as usual): I have an extra in the bleachers for tonight. $12.


2007-07-31 07:56:40
32.   Yu-Hsing Chen
30 new home for Minky? nah, just send him home literally via DFA.
2007-07-31 07:59:21
33.   JL25and3
28 Good question. According to the CBA, the determination is made "under the statistical system of ranking Players set forth in the document entitled 'A Statistical System for the Ranking of Players.'" (I love the wording, courtesy of the Department of Redundancy Department.) We may not have access to the document, but I would think the teams would have it.
2007-07-31 07:59:40
34.   Mattpat11
Jesus Christ. Its this "equal value" bullshit that got us stuck with Carl Pavano.

Cashman sets some absurd standard that he considers "equal value" for a bad player so he can keep him and doesn't have to admit a mistake.

I really hope the next six hours prove me wrong and Farnsworth is gone.

2007-07-31 08:02:55
35.   williamnyy23
30 32 Speaking of Minky, the Yankees have gone 33-19 since his injury (for the best record in the AL during that span). Now, perhaps that's a coincidence or "ironic" as Mr. Kay might say, but then again, maybe it isn't. If the Yankees make it all the way back, Minky's injury might be a legitimate turning point.
2007-07-31 08:04:40
36.   JL25and3
30 Aside from one inning after coming in as a pinch-runner, Cairo hasn't played 1b in over three weeks. Phillips may not be great, but he's better than Cairo, and Torre knows it.
2007-07-31 08:07:59
37.   williamnyy23
Based on a few sources, it now seems as if Alan Horne is also on the list of Cahsman's untouchables. I agree with that decision in the Gagne deal, but I have to believe Horne would be available for a long-term, impact position player.
2007-07-31 08:16:34
38.   mehmattski
37 The Untouchables, starring:

Kevin Costner as Phil "The Phranchise" Hughes
Sean Connery as Joba Chamberlain
Charles Martin Smith as Ian Patrick Kennedy
Andy Garcia as Alan Horne

2007-07-31 08:22:17
39.   monkeypants
34 If Farnsworth is bad as we all think he is, the next six hours should not be relevant, really. He will either be traded for anything AND the Yankees will assume the bulk of his salary, or he will be released, and the Yankees will assume the bulk of the salary.

But unless you think that he is so bad that he should be DFA'd regardless of cost (and he may be--I'm not arguing the point), Cashman can't necessarily be faulted for not pulling the trigger too quickly on a lopsided trade. It all depends on what is being offered, and more importantly, how much salary is swapped.

FWIW, Farnsowrth's ERA+ is only 94--or just a little worse than average (though his WHIP is scary bad). Despite our bitching, there are actually worse options in the league, and I assume no one wants Cashman to trade for one of them.

2007-07-31 08:23:12
40.   Bama Yankee
38 LOL. Very nice.
2007-07-31 08:36:02
41.   Shaun P
33 I believe Keith Law said in his last chat that the document isn't compiled until after the season is over (IIRC, STATS Inc does it), so there's no way of knowing for sure in advance. (IIRC again, the question came up regarding Scott Linebrink, who may end being a Type B free agent, and not a Type A, because of his high ERA this year.)

As for figuring out if injury time hurts a guy's ranking, try to find the listings of free agents for the 2000 offseason (ie, after 2000), and look up old friend Tom Gordon. He pitched only 17.7 innings in 1999, and then missed all of 2000 before signing with the Cubs. That might give a clue as to how missing significant time affects rankings, even with the changes.

2007-07-31 08:36:52
42.   williamnyy23
38 Would that make Cashman J.Edgar Hoover, and if so, what dress should he wear to the next press conference?
2007-07-31 08:37:24
43.   ChrisS
39 But the options in the Yankees' system are likely as good or better than Farnsy.

Despite the bitching about the bitching, I don't care if there are worse options in the league besides Farnsy, I'm not advocating for the them to be made Yankees.

I care little about, say, the Pirates' bullpen, I want the Yankees to have better relievers.

36 Sorry, [sarcasm] Or at least it will keep Cairo from starting at first ever again. [/sarcasm]

2007-07-31 08:38:23
44.   Alex Belth
I've heard it through the grapevine that Proctor-Betemit looks like it is going to happen...but don't quote me on that...
2007-07-31 08:39:05
45.   Max
39 This is the most rational thing I've seen posted about Farnsworth. I hate him as much as anyone and want him to DIAF, but the reality is that there are worse options. I'm not so blinded with hatred for him that I'd want Shawn Camp or Jimmy Gobble to take his place all of a sudden.
2007-07-31 08:41:49
46.   Mattpat11
39 Getting rid of Farnsworth is addition by subtraction. He's a bad pitcher with a miserable attitude thats doing nothing but hurting this team.

However, the general managers in baseball are a bunch of trained chimps that tend to ignore history and become infatuated with a fastball (Exactly how we wound up with him in the first place, now that we think about it)

So, in my opinion, the only way that Kyle Farnsworth is untradeable is if we decide we're going to set standards that make him untradeable.

This team is better off without Farnsworth, and if Cashman is too stubborn to do that, thats very disappointing.

2007-07-31 08:43:36
47.   williamnyy23
44 "I've heard it through the grapevine that Proctor-Betemit looks like it is going to happen...but don't quote me on that...", Alex Belth, Bronx Banter 7/31/07.

Sorry Alex...too late.

2007-07-31 08:47:25
48.   williamnyy23
3946 Think of it this way though. If we just give Kyle away to the Tigers, for example, perhaps he might be better than what they currently have (I am talking to you Jason Grilli). So, in a very perverse way, Farnsworth could actually make a competitor better. Also, with 10 games between the two teams, it would really suck if a motivated Farnsworth pitched well against the Yankees (or instigated an injury causing brawl :). Between Sheffield's and Farnsworth's cumulative anger, I have a feeling something extra curricular might happen.
2007-07-31 08:50:13
49.   Zack
38 Geez, poor Prince Phil, he gets stuck with Kostner. Not the actor I would want portraying me in my life story...

Didn't Proctor come from the Dodgers in the first place? I say do the deal, mostly because guys like Proctor are fairly replaceable. Not that bench guys aren't, but Britton/Edwar can certainly do what Proctor is doing...That is, provide slightly better than league average work out of the BP, strike some guys out, and be maddeningly inconsistent. Joe tends to think of Proctor as better and more consistent than he is, and then is shocked when he can't get guys out every time out...

Mostly, I say do the trade just to shake up the BP. If they can possibly get rid of Farns and trade Proctor, that opens the door for Joba (sigh, don't overthrow big guy, if you get hurt I will give up on baseball), and Edwar/Britton, who are both better than what we have, or at least as good and younger

2007-07-31 09:09:03
50.   yankz
I asked this a couple days ago, but didn't get a reply (er, if I did, sorry, I didn't see it): anyone know Britton's injury status? A lot depends on how healthy he is.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-07-31 09:09:46
51.   Shaun P
47 Thanks for the laugh. =)

50 I think Pete Abe said he was on the 7 day DL (they sure do things differently in the minors) with something that wasn't major.

2007-07-31 09:17:42
52.   Jeteupthemiddle
ESPN is reporting that Proctor to the Dodgers is a done deal.
2007-07-31 09:22:05
53.   Bama Yankee
38 Here's the movie poster for you:

2007-07-31 09:28:49
54.   Mattpat11
52 Any news on Worthless?
2007-07-31 09:29:34
55.   Mattpat11
53 I still think they should just give Hughes number 45.
2007-07-31 09:38:28
56.   yankz
Here's the link Jeteupthemiddle was talking about:
2007-07-31 09:40:39
57.   yankz
As much as I hate Farnsworth, and I really hate him, as monkeypants said, he is almost average. Proctor leaving creates a huge innings hole in the bullpen, one that, given the injury, I'm not sure Chris Britton could fill. I'd only trade more relievers if they got Gagne.

Also, what the hell is Torre going to do now, without Proctor's arm to destroy?!

2007-07-31 09:44:45
58.   Mattpat11
57 We can find any number of me to fill Worthless' below average innings. An added bonus is that these men might be able to a) pitch on back to back days if needed. b) Pitch more than one inning if needed c)come in in the middle of an inning if needed and d)not pitch the 8th fucking inning.


What do we gain by keeping Worthless?

2007-07-31 09:47:07
59.   yankz
58 new thread up.
2007-07-31 10:24:42
60.   monkeypants
58 Right, we get the point--DUMP HIM. But I love how Farnswothr is considered the worthless by Yankees fans--a sign to some of Cashman's stubborness-- who then expect Cashman to turn around and trade him for something of value.

It's not an issue of what is 'gained' by not DUMPING HIM--the question is what can be gotten in return. It is quite possibvle that no one will take him, which makes DUMPING HIM rather difficult, no?

If he really is so bad that they should DUMP HIM, then he should simply be DFA'd, since anyone should be able to do a better job. But if that's the case, fault Cashman for not DUMPING HIM via DFA, rather than failing to trade him.

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