Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
The Yankees introduced Joe Girardi as the new Yankee manager at a press conference at the Stadium yesterday afternoon and, later that evening, the Dodgers announced that they had signed Joe Torre to a three-year deal worth $13 million. Between the Yankees' press conference, which provided opportunities the YES crew to interview Brian Cashman and Yankees COO Lonn Trost among others, and Mike and the Mad-Dog's 20th anniversary show, which featured interviews with Girardi, Torre, and Derek Jeter (as well as Bernie Williams, Darryl Strawberry, and many more of the biggest New Yorks sports stars from the past 20 years), we have plenty of information to put the Yankees' managerial saga to bed and shift our focus to the team's pending player transactions, which will begin today with the decision on Bobby Abreu's $16-million club option and continue with next week's general manager meetings in Orlando, Florida.
The most important information to come out of the day was the identity of Girardi's coaches. Pete Abraham, who's been doing incredible work on this story, be it by simply posting the audio of the team's various conference calls and press conferences over the past week, or by getting the tremendous Torre-to-L.A. story scoop, got the scoop on the coaching staff as well back on Tuesday. I updated the sidebar here accordingly, but have been reserving comment until the staff was officially announced. That didn't happen today because some of those coaches still have to sign their contracts, but Brian Cashman did confirm that the staff Abraham posted is indeed the one he's trying to assemble. Here's the breakdown.
Bench Coach: Rob Thomson
Not to be confused with former Giants second baseman Robby Thompson, Rob Thomson was a catcher/third baseman in the Tigers system from 1985-1988. After playing just two games in 1988, he became a minor league coach for the Tigers at the tender age of 24. The Ontario-born Thomson has been in the Yankee organization since 1990. From 1990 to 1997 he was a minor league coach and manager, his one season as a manager coming at the helm of the Oneonta Yankees in the short-season New York-Penn League in 1995. Since 1998 he's been a roving coach and instructor (officially a "Field Coordinator" or "Special Assignment Instructor"), which is technically a front-office position. Thomson was promoted to Director of Player Development in 2000 and again to Vice President of Minor League Development in 2003. He has been the hidden member of the major league coaching staff since 2004 as the Major League Field Instructor, most visibly filling in as a third base coach for Luis Sojo when Sojo was on bereavement leave in 2004.
Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi wanted Don Mattingly to stay on as the bench coach, but Mattingly, at least according to his public statements, didn't think it would be fair to Girardi to have another managerial candidate in the dugout with him as it would prompt "Fire Joe, Hire Donnie" articles at the first sign of trouble. Girardi didn't think that would be an issue. Mattingly, who is leaving the organization on good terms with both Cashman and Girardi, will most likely serve as Joe Torre's bench coach in L.A. Thomson is an excellent second choice given his 18 years in the organization and 20 years of coaching and front office experience.
Eiland was drafted out of college by the Yankees in the seventh-round in 1987. A righty starter, Eiland burned his way through the Yankees minor league system and made his major league debut in 1988. In 1990 he was the International League's pitcher of the year, but disappointing major league performances derailed what looked like a promising career and the Yankees released him after the 1991 season sending him on a nine-year journey through six organizations, including a return stint with the Yankees for four games in 1995 that went no better than the first. Eiland's best major league season was his second-to-last. In 1999, he set career highs in almost every category as a swing man for the Devil Rays, going 4-8 with a 4.97 ERA in 21 games (15 starts). Curiously, Eiland's playing career as a dominant right-handed minor league control pitcher who never made it in the majors is one of the data points that argues against Tyler Clippard's now-faded prospect status.
Eiland has been a pitching coach in the Yankees' system since 2003 working his way up through the organization, first with the Gulf-Coast Yankees in 2003, then low-A Staten Island in 2004, double-A Trenton in 2005 and 2006, and finally with triple-A Scranton this past season. The obvious advantage of having Eiland as the major league pitching coach is that he worked with many of the organization's young hurlers in the minors. Here's a quick breakdown of who he worked with, where, and for how long:
Eiland has not worked with last year's break-out double-A starters Allan Horne and Jeff Marquez, but did have Chien-Ming Wang for a single three-inning start in the Gulf Coast League in 2003.
Hitting Coach: Kevin Long
Long was the Yankees' hitting coach last year as the Bombers led the majors in runs scored by nearly a half-run over the Phillies. He was the Columbus Clippers' hitting coach for the three years prior to that, which encompassed all of Robinson Cano's and Melky Cabrera's time spent at the triple-A level, as well as two monster seasons by Andy Phillips.
An All-American at the University of Arizona, Long spent eight seasons as a minor league outfielder in the Royals' organization and hit .264/.343/.352 for his career. He began coaching in the Royals' system in 1997 at the age of 30 and was named co-Manager of the Year as the skipper of the Royals' low-A Northwest League club in 1999. He's been a hitting coach every year since, serving in that position for the Royals' double-A club in 2000 and 2001, their triple-A club in 2002 and 2003, and in the Yankees organization in the four years since.
First-base Coach: Tony Peña
Last year's coaching staff had 29 combined All-Star appearances as players and 37 seasons of major league managerial experience. This year's staff has six combined All-Star appearances as players and five seasons of major league managerial experience, all but one of each by Tony Peña. In addition to being the most accomplished member of the staff, Peña is also the senior member at age 50, and the only member not to have played college ball.
Peña's 18-year career as one of the most highly regarded backstops in the game came to an end in 1997. In 1998 he was the White Sox coordinator of Dominican operations and led the Aguilas Dominican team to the Carribean Series championship. He managed in triple-A for the next three years and was Jimy Williams bench coach in Houston for a month and a half in 2002 before being named the Royals' manager. He was the 2003 AL Manager of the Year after leading the Royals to an improbable winning season, but resigned in 2005 after a dismal 8-25 start. He has been the Yankees' first-base coach and catching instructor since 2006.
Peña would have been a solid choice as manager, but it seems as though my fears about him being included only to satisfy baseball's minority hiring requirements were accurate. The Yankees are very fortunate that Peña, a jovial fellow who has done wonders for Jorge Posada's defense and has a great report with the team's young Latin American players, was willing to return as a coach.
Third-base Coach: Bobby Meacham
I have to say, having Meacham return to the Yankees as a coach is much stranger than having failed pitching prospect Eiland emerge as one of the organization's top pitching gurus. Meacham was drafted out of San Diego State (where he played with Tony Gwynn and Bud Black) by the Cardinals with the eighth-overall pick of the 1981 draft and came to the Yankees following the 1982 season in a surprisingly innocuous trade that brought Meacham and Stan Javier in exchange for three players who never reached the majors. Meacham was jumped straight from A-ball to triple-A and made his major league debut in his first season in the Yankee organization beginning a frustrating six-year career with the Yankees that saw him make countless trips between triple-A and the majors on what was then known as the Columbus Shuttle.
The most famous incident came after the fourth game of the 1984 season in which Meacham was inserted in the eight-inning of a tie-game as a defensive replacement and committed a two-out error that allowed the winning run to score. Following the game, George Steinbrenner ordered Meacham demoted all the way to double-A. The team fell out of the race quickly, even without Meacham, and thus Bobby was recalled to become the teams' starting shortstop in June and held the position in 1985 despite being flat out dreadful both in the field and at the plate (though a dislocated tendon in his left hand, which was never made public by the Yankees, was responsible for many of his struggles in the latter season). Bill Madden and Moss Klein sum up Meacham's Yankee career perfectly in their classic account of the dreadful 1980s Yankees, Damn Yankees:
While so many Columbus shuttlers have had experiences they'd never want to tell their grandchildren about, no "war story" is more rife with disappointments and setbacks than Bobby Meacham's. For six years, from 1983 until his trade to Texas in December 1988, Meacham was the embodiment of all the turmoil and torment that have befallen all those bright-eyed Yankee prospects. During those six seasons, Meacham did it all--or rather had it all done to him. He was a Columbus-New York frequent flyer in 1983, being called up four times, twice for a one-day stay; he was exiled in 1984, dropped all the way to AA ball for making an error in the fourth game of the season; he went from being the Yankees' regular shortstop in 1985 (playing the final two months with a hand injury at the Yankees' request) to a utility infielder at Columbus in less than a year.
Willie Randolph was outspoken about the way Meacham was treated: "What they're doing to Meacham is downright criminal," he said in late 1986. "Why don't they just trade him so he can have a chance."
When he didn't make the team out of camp in 1987, Meacham finally snapped:
Meacham sat in front of his locker in Fort Lauderdale, his eyes red and near tears. Pitcher Dennis Rasmussen, his closest friend on the team, sat next to him, consoling him while motioning the writers away.
Upon regaining his composure, Meacham said: "I'm shocked this time. I played well enough to make the team. It seems obvious they just don't want me around. They're messing with my mind now."
Meacham volleyed back and forth again in 1987. In 1988 he made the team as a backup only to suffer a pinched nerve in his neck. Meacham was ready to come off the DL in August of that year when he found out he'd been placed on the 60-day DL while watching a game on TV at home. "I was absolutely stunned. I was just about ready to come back. I had seen a chiropractor, and he gave me the go-ahead. The Yankees knew that. And then they knock me out for the whole season."
He was finally traded following the 1988 season, but failed to make the Rangers out of camp and spent two more disappointing seasons in triple-A with the Pirates and Royals organizations before retiring.
Meacham began his post-playing career in 1992 as a single-A manager in the Royals' system. He coached in triple-A for the Rockies in their debut season of 1993. Managed the Pirates' double-A team to a championship in 1994. He spent the next five years in the Pirates organization as a manager, base running coach, and infield instructor. He then spent 2002-2004 managing the Angels' single-A California League team in Rancho Cucamonga. In 2005 he became the Rockies' roving infield instructor. In 2006 he was Joe Girardi's third-base coach in Florida, and this past year he was the Padres first-base coach under his old SD State teammate Bud Black.
Bullpen Coach: Mike Harkey
The Cubs drafted Mike Harkey out of Cal State Fullerton with the fourth-overall pick in 1987. Like Eiland, he burned through the Cubs minor league system and made his major league debut in 1988. Harkey then missed most of the 1989 season due to shoulder and knee injuries. He had a strong rookie season for the Cubs in 1990 despite a low strikeout rate, but his shoulder blew out after four starts in 1991 costing him the rest of that season and most of 1992. He was never the same after that and drifted through five organizations over the next four seasons and retired after the 1997 season.
Harkey, who was a teammate of Girardi's with the cubs from 1990 to 1992 and in 1994 with the Rockies, was a pitching coach in the Padres' organization from 2001 to 2005, Girardi's bullpen coach in 2006, and the Cubs' triple-A pitching coach this past season.
* * *
As for Girardi, who will wear number 27, the only substantial thing he said about the 2008 Yankees is that it's entirely possible that Hughes, Chamberlain, and Kennedy could all wind up in the starting rotation. Girardi said that in his interview with Francesa and Russo, but implied that that wouldn't happen if Pettitte returned (the assumption being that Mike Mussina will be given a chance to lose his rotation spot again and that with Wang and Pettitte as well that would only leave room for two of the three kids). It also appears that Girardi, Cashman, and Hank Steinbrenner would be inclined to make Joba Chamberlain the closer if Mariano Rivera doesn't return. All the more reason to hope Mo comes back.
Finally, Derek Jeter told Mike and Chris that he believes that Hank Steinbrenner is a man of his word and if he's said that the Yankees won't pursue Alex Rodriguez now that he's opted out, then Jeter doesn't expect Rodriguez to be back in the Bronx. Maybe he'll sign with the Mud Hens.
One thing I read about Girardi is that he's going to call every player personally. Don't know if that's standard protocol for a manager, but either way it seems pretty cool.
How great would it be if no team offered ARod the kind of money he expects, and he turned away the best offer he would have gotten by leaving the Yanks. Unlikely, I know, but it sure would be poetic.
I'm beginning to doubt that the Sox are going to go after him. After winning the Serious without him, and being pretty well stacked again for next year (assuming they keep fan-favorite Lowell), they seem to be more inclined than ever to continue their youth movement. They also have flexibility for First/Third with Youkilis and I believe they have at least one decent minor leaguer ready to take over at third. Muts don't seem too interested right now in moving Wright or Reyes. Dodgers seem ok at third as well (although they might be able to use Arod at short). That's got to be a real kick in the pants for Boras - if the big $$ teams don't jump into the fray,the price should be suppressed a bit.
I've seen links to stories where I think, "Hey, that guy is ripping me off" only to find out it's me.
Joba as anything but a starter is an egregious waste of what could (could, of course) be the best starter developed by the Yankees since, well, who knows. And the modified 6 man rotation make so much sense its almost certain to never even be a consideration...
The thought of Joba being put in the pen simply b/c Mo doesn't return keeps me up with my fingers crossed that the Yankees throw whatever it takes at Mo
OK, good night all.
As talented as Cabrera is, he is showing many negative signs. At 24, he is lazy (so say many articles), comes late to the park, is poor enough on D that he really can't play 3rd any more, and has gained SEVENTY or so lbs in 2 years. I have to think (purely guessing) that if someone this young has such poor habits and has let himself go to such an extent, that he must be very full of himself and feels he is SO good, he can make himself worse and get away with it.
Maybe if he comes to ST in better shape it's worth looking at, but as it stands now, he is not a franchise type of guy and will be a poor influence on our kids. I also hear that Girardi is not a big fan of his.
I think our coaching staff looks very good. We have really pulled a 180, going from name brand players without lesser qualifications (Guidry) to lesser known, but young and intelligent guys. I would love to trade Meacham for Bowa, but... oh well.
The ONLY thing I'm concerned about is 'panic' trades, and I think Cashman is too smart for that.
Even with a crowded DH spot, I think Bonds really solves issues. His bat means we can look at 3rd and 1st with both offense and defensive in mind (and NOT worry about replacing ARods bat), and don't have to get expensive, good hit/no glove alternatives.
Bonds may be 43, but look at his numbers and PAs when he was 42. As a DH, with less stress on his knees (his major health concern), I'm not sure why he can't get 500 PAs and be very effective. He might fall of a cliff, but he looked pretty damn good a 2 months ago.
If he's willing to go for 1 year, and maybe a 2nd year option based on performance, I think we have to consider it. I know it's UGLY, but makes sense in many ways. Pure money deal, short term, and is the closest thing to replacing ARods bat available.
"They're messing with my mind now."
Here's hoping Meacham isn't quietly vengeful, waiting now (precisely 20 years later) for just the right moment to exact his revenge upon the Yanks, say, windmilling Giambi to certain death at the plate - with the pennant on the line?
Oy, that would suck for us, but for him, my goodness, that would be some way to stick it to Steinbrenner after all these years.
My fanboy optimism seems to be at a peak this week, but I am really looking forward to next year. I see good things, and (silly as it may be), I was totally into Joe picking 27 for his uni number.
Bring back the free agents, and maybe one or two trades/signings, and I think the team is right on track.
Man - I hope he comes back and mashes this year. That head down, skip on the base home run trot of his is just fun to watch.
1) GARRETT ATKINS
Colorado has a stud third base prospect at Triple-A named Ian Stewart, who is ready to go, making Atkins expendable. The Philadelphia Phillies need help at the hot corner, as do the New York Yankees. Atkins is average defensively, but any lineup could fit in his 25 HR and 111 RBI from a year ago. Atkins will be a popular name at the general manager meetings next week in Orlando, and the Winter Meetings in early December in Tennessee. I wonder if he likes the Bronx?
2) MELKY CABRERA
Don't be surprised if a deal involving Atkins includes Yankees center fielder Melky Cabrera. Cabrera is one of the few chips the Yankees have that is not a pitcher. With a ton of free agent center fielders on the market, the Yankees could afford to part with Cabrera, who was a big part of their second half- resurgence this past season. If it is not for a 3B, the Yankees could ship him out for some help in the bullpen.
3) COCO CRISP
In case you were one of the many that did not watch the World Series, Jacoby Ellsbury solidified his spot as the Boston Red Sox center fielder for probably the next 10 years or so. In other words, Coco Crisp is as good as gone.
4) AJ BURNETT
This may come as a bit of a surprise, but the Jays are getting tired of his constant injury problems. Plus the emergence last year of Shaun Marcum, as well as Jesse Litsch and Dustin McGowan, gives Toronto a solid group behind ace Roy Halladay. The Blue Jays still have a lot of holes to fill, and trading Burnett is a way to do that.
5) MIGUEL TEJADA
We have heard his name in trade talks the last couple of years. However, the door is closing on the Orioles if they plan on getting anything significant in return for him. Not to mention there is a chance that his name could be included in Mr. Mitchell's report. Unless there are some more B-12 shots in his future, his better days are behind him. Tejada, though, still has some trade value and the rebuilding O's could get a few chips in return for him.
I know people will puke at this but: If we trade Melky, Coco might be a good replacement. He has UNDERperformed on offense, but his D has been amazing (I watch a lot of Sox games). He WAS at one point, highly touted. Is there any reason he can't outhit Melky? Coco has great speed on the basepaths, and would cover an incredible amount of ground in Yankee CF. How much worse then Melky (on offense) can he be?
I just like the idea of getting someone who is undervalued (for a change), as opposed to a guy like Lowell, who is overvalued.
Whats money for: Do you take a chance on AJ?
Over on The Hardball Times, a great article today about a Yankees' off-season plan:
I don't agree with the lot of it (trading the farm- minus JobaHughesKennedy- for Johan Santana, Richie Sexon, and Jack Wilson), but there is a really interesting point I did not know:
"If 39-62 players qualify as Type A and B free agents, no team may sign more than three, with the limits increasing accordingly for higher totals."
So if the Yankees re-sign Posada and Rivera, they can only sign one more type A or type B free agent. That means if both come back, the Yanks can only sign ONE of A. Jones/Lowell/Bonds/Colon/Rowand/Hunter/etc.
And no, I don't go after Burnett. With the kids the Yankees have coming, I don't give up anything for starting pitching unless it's Santana.
23 Colon? I doubt he'll even qualify as an A or B, but why would the Yankees want him anyway?
I'm with you re: Giambi. I'd love to see him bounce back with a big year.
22 re: Coco. Puke. Melk's my boy, and I think a better player, especially for the money.
re: Bonds. Just say no.
I'm no Bonds hater. I flew to San Francisco in late-September 2001, specifically to see him hit his 69th home run. Sure enough, he delivered in a huge way, blasting it out of the park. It was a baseball thrill I will never forget.
I wasn't as naive as others are pretending to be. I suspected something was up with the game, not just Barry, but if MLB wasn't complaining, neither was I.
That said, I'd prefer he not come to the Yanks. I have no doubt, even at his age, he'd make good use of the short porch, and would earn his short-term parking space at Yankee Stadium. I'm just not up for the spectacle of hate that would be kicked up by the sight of him in Yankee pinstripes.
I'd prefer the Yanks close the old Stadium without the midge-fog of negativity that would follow Barry to the Bronx.
By the way, I support his "kiss my asterisk" stance re: the Hall of Fame.
But anyway, Posada and Rivera do put a crimp on the Yankees' splash potential in the free agent market. Also they would make a lot of agents sad if they signed their third man (Jones?) quickly and were off the market on all the other pricey FAs.
I would love to get Garrett Atkins. I'd trade Melky straight up. Would that get it done?
Matsui (I THINK) has better D numbers in CF then LF. If Melky goes, and we stick with what we got, might JD in LF and Mats in CF be worth considering?
I understand how you feel about Bonds. I just wonder if for a one year rental he might get a 'pass' in NY. We love HRs. I wonder if he performed if he would be booed or cheered?
Anyone got thoughts on GARRETT ATKINS?
Best free-agent pickup would be Kerry Wood. He showed that he can come in for at least an inning and get people out. Perhaps a surprise set-up guy for Mo.
IMO, it doesn't make a lot of sense to mortgage the future for a 30+ outfielder or third baseman. Cabrera would be an interesting 3b pickup, but only if there was a good chance that Pena or Girardi could get him to develop a work ethic and diet plan.
With just a bit of help from the farm (primarily for middle relief), we have a playoff team, perhaps even a championship team. It all depends on the pitching.
WHY? Then we need a 2nd baseman. Cano won't be as good at 3rd as he is at 2nd. I don't understand why this would even be considered. Is getting a good 2nd baseman easier the getting a good 3rd baseman??
FWIW: Garrett is 27. Career: .302 .371 .482 .853
Also - all this talk of replacing his 54/156. The Yankees waltzed into the playoffs in '06 with considerable less contribution on his part, especially in the late inning heroics category.
Just say No to Bonds. (flashback to the Damon signing)
Under "Limits on Free Agent Signings"
33 What do you think would get it done? Horne and Betemit?
34 I think I could join many Yankees fans in saying no to Japanese imports for a while...
38 Damon signed a contract that was two years too long, and he over-performed for a year, and is now under-performing, just as many expected. Bonds would be signing a one year contract and would not affect the long term plans at all. What's the comparison?
Also, John Heyman was the first to break through on the coaching staff, stating that Harkey and Mecham would be likely additions to the staff.
Last year, this OLD man had an OBP of .480. Think about that. He's on base basically HALF the time. So, with pretty hot OBP guys like Jetes and Abreu in front of him, and Giambi, Posada and Matsui behind him, just how much can you pitch around him? Imagine a 3-4-5 of Abreu-Bonds-Giambi. Those 3 guys might AVERAGE better then a .400 OBP. So maybe Matsui and Posada each have 140 RBIs?
"Irrespective of the provisions of subparagraph (a) above, a Club shall be eligible to sign at least as many Type A and B Players as it may have lost through Players having become free agents under this Section at the close of the season just concluded"
Worst case, the Yankees lose: A-Rod (A), Posada (A), Rivera (A), Vizcaino (B), and possibly Abreu (A). That means they could sign five if they wanted to. But if they re-sign Posada and Rivera and pick up Abreu's option, then they can sign only one more A or B free agent. If only one of Posada and Rivera, then the Yanks could sign 2 A or B free agents.
So, IF IF IF they do trade Melky, what is the 2008 Yankee OF?
That'll get some guys here all excited for a number of different reasons, lol.
LF Johnny Damon
CF Andruw Jones
RF Bobby Abreu
I wouldn't make him a plan A, but he'd probably be a solid plan B and much better than a shaky platoon. Either way, I wouldn't give up too much for him...maybe Melky straight up, but no pitching prospects.
No IF, IF, IFs...
I love this kid. Leave the outfield alone, and let Betemit play I say!
As much as I hope it isn't the case, I think that what we're seeing from Melky is going to be what we get. So, I'm all for trading him for help, but it should be for something long term, not a bullpen arm or stop gap.
QUESTION: Are we playing in 2008 to beat the Sox? We can 'rebuild' and try... but on paper, it will be hard to match the Sox unless we get 2 real impact guys.
If you guys are OK with losing the division (again) to the Sox, and possibly missing the PS, then we have flexibiliy on how we build the team. However, if you REALLY want to win next year, I think we NEED a bat like Barry's.
Again, we might get lucky and fill 1st and 3rd with 2 guys who almost equal ARod's production. We should have better pitching (although it's that counting chickens thing), but I don't see us as is (even with Mo, Po and Andy) as competing with the Sox.
When I talk about Barry, I am talking about trading 1 year of a very bad smell for an enhanced change for the PS.
Am I wrong?
Sorry guy. Don't kill the messenger.
IF IF IF is really probably probably probably.
"Don Mattingly wasn't just a great first-baseman, he was one of the three or four guys who are in the argument for greatest defensive first baseman ever"
Based on what Cashman and Hank have said - they will not mortgage the future for next year - what exactly that translates to is what we shall see in the nex few months.
On the 3B note - in all of the trade/acquisition scenarios there is almost never any mention of Beltre. It is unclear whether he is available, but I doubt the Mariners are enjoying paying his salary. He is obviuosly not the hitter that Cabrera is - but we know he won't have to be moved from 3rd anytime soon. There is often talk of improving the D and this would help. His numbers are not great - but I think they are more than adequate - and we can certainly expect more from him than Crede.
Things could easily go either way. The teams have played even steven for years, and I don't see that changing much anytime soon. If the Yankees didn't fall out of the box last year, the division ending could have been very different.
We'll see, but I think Cashman very much values Melky as the best outfielder on the team, and as a tremendous bargain.
If Posada goes, all bets are off. Cashman will be forced to consider deals he never would have before. Ya think Jorge's agent will use this to the catcher's advantage?
Here's a contract, Jorge, fill in the blanks.
I have no idea what it would take. I suppose it depends on the market for 3Bs, which is very hard to predict because there will be both significant demand and significant supply. My feeling is that from a pure baseball perspective, Atkins is worth more to us than Melky (get a short contract for Andruw and pray that Jackson or Tabata pans out), but I do agree that it would be more fun to keep Melky and there could be clubhouse effects.
I am right now inclined to be VERY wary of pitchers. But I think we've done well so far with Matsui and I think Fukudome might be a steal. And the Yankee bank account is bulging. Let's find a way to spend the money and get somebody good.
3 years, $60 million should do it. Something like that is what I'd offer.
Problem is, the Mets will probably offer more. I won't be surprised if he lands there.
Cashman would be forced to scramble like he never has before.
Like many guys who fit the "classic leadoff" description, if he hits over .300 hes doing well, but under .300 and the obp % isn't going to be too high either. Sure, he's fast, but so is Coco Crisp. In fact, two seasons ago, Crisp looked like he was going to be a much better version of Ellsbury.
So just don't be so set on calling him a stud yet. Me, I hope for a little more out of my CF, but I was spoiled by Bernie I suppose. I've got my fingers crossed for A-Jax (I know, early) who continues to rake in Hawaii...
As for Bonds, all I have to say is, if a place for him in the lineup can be made, do it. The circus idea is a bit overrated and what he brings to the table can easily outweigh that.
And on the opposite end, people need to stop overrating Melky and Kennedy. I know its great to have homegrown kids playing, but don't worry, there will be lots more on the way. But just b/c they are homegrown or are fun guys doesn't mean they must stay or wouldn't be great bait for an improvement somewhere else on the team. Don't you think the team would be a lot better with Damon in center and no Kennedy but with Cabrera at 3b/1b or Santana pitching? If the yanks can geet either of those guys without Joba/Hughes, you do it. Period.
As for defense, Crisp was very good last year, but he was actually only average in 2006. Crips does not have an established reputation as a great defensive outfielder, but even if he did, he still isn't as good as Melky. Then, add in that Crisp makes $5mn and Melky 350K.
I understand your point about "if Melky is traded", but I think Crisp is just a bad baseball player...period. At most, he's a 4th OF'er who can run.
Now, consider what they'd be losing: Schilling's ERA+ of 120 and Wakefield's miraculous 17 wins (whether he is back or not, he wont repeat that effort). What's more, Beckett could always come back to earth a little. Also, will Okajima turn in another monster season in the pen? His last two months suggest otherwise.
The 2008 Red Sox have the potential to be very good, but they also have a lot of questions.
But no Crisp, for sure. And only trade Melky to get someone we need, as you say -- but not for an OF, I think.
I don't think I'd say no to Andruw on a 1 or 2-year deal if Melky could fetch us Santana or Cabrera. They were about equal offensively last year, and both play great D. But I doubt Boras would settle for that.
Look I love Posada, and yes, he's irreplaceable. But $20 million a year? Never that.
What we need is the biggest bat available.
So is Gagne. Interesting.
76 Schteeve: I agree that Torii and Andruw aren't that much better than Melky. But the point is, you could trade Melky to get somebody else you need, and fill in with one of those FAs.
Hunter isn't much better than Melky, but Andruw is. Still, he isn't that much better to warrant a huge contract.
The Yanks have squandered as much for far less than what Posada will bring the next two years. (see Pavano & Igawa)
In other words, if he gets a 5 year/60 million contract, you have to imaging it as a 3 year/60 million dollar contract. Is Jorge worth 20 million/year? I don't think so.
I do think that he's worth (probably) up to 15/year--so 3 or 4 years/ 40 0r 45 million should do it.
Bonds in the Yankee lineup would be a sight to see. Even a team option 2nd year, a-la Andy Pettitte $ range, might be worth it's weight in gold. I've watched a ton of Giants games in the Bay Area. He gets one pitch to hit per AB and usually puts good wood on it. With the rest of the SF lineup there was no reason to pitch to him (last in baseball until they put up 9 in the final game) and he still put up pretty ridiculous numbers.
Then again, I'm sure that's the thought process for every team even considering Bonds.
I don't see even. Not even close. You really do?
60 Rumor has the Yankees and Posada at 3/$40. He IS 35 years old. Maybe he will want 4 yrs, but I can't see 5. I can't imagine anyone going better then 3/$42 or 4/$50.
63 You would offer Posada $20 million for 3 years????????????
64 What you described sounded pretty damn good for a kid. Better then Melky in every way except for the arm.
65 Clear thinking. It's hard to eliminate emotions and our love of our own kids, but ya gotta be real. If we can nix Torre and Donnie, I guess anything is possible.
78 Because the defense of our 'big 3' OFers is terrible. Melky showed us the impact that just ONE good defensive/arm has. JD was a bad deal. If Matsui doesn't improve, he's a bad deal. I don't think we should stick with them just because we have them. JD will take a trade if he thinks he's gonna sit.
Is VORP the best (offense and defense) player comparison stat?
He has a very big salary. Any team willing to take on a salary that big will go hard after Andruw or Torii, or take a gamble on Fukudome. There aren't all that many big-spending clubs in need of an OF.
However, it won't work like that. I'm pretty sure I remember reading that the teams on Damon's no-trade list are the teams that could afford him, and he'd have to have an extension guaranteed before waiving it.
I find myself relieved, which I guess means that deep down I wasn't happy with the Fukudome idea.
Hideki's VORPs have been
(VORP is a counting stat, so the injury was huge.)
BP doesn't have the 2007 VORP yet. Or maybe it's behind the pay wall. But his averages were close to his career average this past year.
95 damn you are fast
Also- he put the low spending teams on the list he CAN be traded to, right? I think we said the same thing.
It is time for the Yankees (and us) to start looking at the whole player... speed and defense included. We know that this is also part of a more potent PS team.
The other problem is, who fills Damon's role on the Yankee roster? The Yanks have 5 OFs on the 40-man (6 counting Abreu) - 1 is Sardinha, and 1 is Shelley Duncan. Which means without Damon, the Yanks have 3 OF. Why trade a guy, just to have to turn around and sign someone? Unless its a big upgrade - and it wouldn't be unless the Yanks signed Rowand or Andruw - it seems like a waste to me.
Damon is the one rare big-name Yankee without the lock and key of a full no-trade clause.
Damon instead has a limited no-trade that includes a strategic, hand-picked list of 12 teams that the Yankees can deal him to without his consent. He has the option of changing any or all of those teams before every season.
On the current list, Damon divulged for the first time, are teams such as the Royals, Devil Rays, Marlins, Mariners and Twins.
No Red Sox or Angels.
"The reason why I picked the small-market teams," he said, "is because, for the most part, they can't afford to pick up my salary."
In other words, it gives him something of a defacto no-trade.
"Of course, if a big-market team like the Mets or Dodgers were interested, the Yankees could come to me and ask for my consent. And I wouldn't say 'yes' unless my deal was extended," he said.
"According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Yankees are going to pursue Mike Lowell now that they have lost Alex Rodriguez.
They are likely to offer Lowell a four-year deal and look to outbid Boston."
However, the link doesn't work. If that's true, I hope Cash is just driving Boston's price up more.
I bet Boras will deny that.
Check out the last sentence:
"Sources say it is highly unlikely that the Dodgers will seriously entertain the possibility."
I.e., pursuing A-Rod.
I was betting on the Dodgers, too. Hmmmmmm.
WARP includes offense and defense - but the defense numbers may be suspect, as its not a play-by-play system.
118 This is going to be fun to watch.
Watch the Astros or the Nationals sign him. I'd laugh.
Beckett: Will he better or worse in 2008? Last year was his best season by far.
Wakefield: Do you expect another 17 wins with a league average ERA?
Dice-K: History says that Japanese pitchers regress as the league gets familiar with them.
Buchholz: Wasn't considered on the same level of Hughes coming up, but has thrust himself onto the scene. If he takes Schilling's spot, he'll need to post an ERA+ of 120. That might be a tall order.
Lester: Has been league average over parts of two years, so why expect a huge spike?
Bullpen: Papelbon should be great again, baring injury, which is a heightened risk with him. Their other main cog was Okajima, who really was awful over the last two months and in the post season. If he doesn't revert to form, that's a lot of huge innings the Red Sox need to get.
Offense: Aside from Elsbury for Crisp, I don't see a compelling case for an improvement. Manny should probably be better, but Ortiz may slip a little on his surgically repaired knee. Also, will Lowell be back, and if so, will he have a 124 OPS+?
As I mentioned, the Red Sox could be very good next season, but they are far from a lock. This isn't the 1998 Yankees.
I wonder why this news wasn't published with the earlier articles. So ARod didn't quite snub the Yankees, he just said it would cost $350 to talk. WOW!~
C - Posada > Varitek
1B - Youk > whoever
2B - Cano > Pedrioa
SS - Jeter >>> Lugo
3B - Lowell >> ???
LF - Dreds >> Matsui
CF - Melky ~ Crisp (Yankee fan in me wants to say Melky > Crisp)
RF - Advantage Yankees (Abreu >> Nancy)
DH - Papi > Giambi/Duncan (Giambi - oh whatever happened to you?)
#1 Beckett > Wanger (I still think Beckett regresses this year)
#2 Andy > ?? (Schilling is gone?)
#3 Joba > Dice K (at least I hope so)
#4 Phil ~ Lester (hard to call)
#5 Moose ~ Clay (maybe not anymore)
This is a rumor I really hope isn't true.
Wakefield: Pretty easy to replace a league average ERA. Buckholz should be better. And is Wake done? If not, should be about the same.
Dice-K: I think next year he is better. His main problem was walks. Not because he lacks control, but because he nibbles. He's good enough to go after guys.
Buchholz: Should be a decent #4, very good $5.
Lester: He got Cancer between years 1 and 2, remember. He's only back 1 year. He should be smarter and stronger. I expect he will be better.
Bullpen: Papelbon: same, Okajima: regress
I assume, like us, they will seek help for the BP.
Offense: Ellsbury is MUCH better then 2007 Crisp. Big Upgrade. Ortiz had close to a career year WITH the bad knees. He's still a stud. Lowell will regress some.
JD can't get worse. He can get a LOT better.
Lugo's 2007 OPS was 80 pts below his career numbers. He should get a fair amount better.
Tek: So-so in 2007. Should regress a bit.
Manny: walk year and was 'off' a bit in 2007. I think he's good for similar, maybe a little better numbers.
No one for sure. Giambi if he's healthy. Cano probably has the best chance. Melky? JD? Jeter (whos D gets worse every day and power is way down)
Posada has to regress. Jetes could. Aside from Giambi, I don't see anyone who will be significantly better.
"As I mentioned, the Red Sox could be very good next season, but they are far from a lock. This isn't the 1998 Yankees."
True... but would you be surprised if Melky 2008=2007? If Mats or JD never gets better then 2007? do you expect Jeter to get better?
Abreu maybe a little better.
I agree. Before we lost ARod, it was close. But we DID lose ARod.
Holy- good lord- his Rate was 78 last year at 3rd. For reference, Derek Jeter was 96. OK, so not a solution at 3rd.
The Yankee starting rotation is very likely to be better.
Lester should improve. Wakefield will have ERA+ about the same as this year, but I agree with william that he'll contribute fewer wins. Drew almost certainly hits better -- but there's also a fair chance that he'll be on the DL for a substantial period.
Manny is in a walk year, true. But I believe he is now in decline, so he'll be worse at the plate.
I still see the two teams as pretty evenly matched. Some see-saw in the position players, the pitching staff depends on how the youngsters perform next year, the middle relief is a crap shoot (as it always is), and the closers are both superstars.
Beckett could be stud ('07) or dud ('06). He has stud stuff, no doubt. Then again, Andy was pretty studly for a long strech in '07 as well. I have not seen Joba as a starter, but does anyone doubt he has the stuff to be a total dominating stud? I don't.
I'm not ready to shortchange the '08 Yankees. They are still a very good team, even with The Third Baseman.
Even if I'm wrong, the Marlins like name power arms and name toolsy hitters; they'd probably want one of each, or two of one kind. But the only Yankee "prospects" to fit one of those criterion are Hughes, Joba, and Tabata. And the Yanks can't afford to give up two of those three.
It's his hitting that worries me. Aberration, or beginning of the end?
2B - Cano > Pedrioa (close-.018 OPS better for Cano). I like Cano, but Dustpin was surprising.
CF - Ellsbury >> Melky. Ellsbury is maturing nicely. Like Cano, his MLB numbers may be better then his MiLB numbers,
RF - Abreu >> Nancy. Probably... but could be closer then we think. Their Career #s are similar.
One more point on Elsbury. While he should be much better than Crisp, I think way too many people are annointing him as a future star. As early as August, scouts were less than impressed with his development. Sure, he came up and made an impact, but the jury is still out on him. It is a stretch to pencil him in as a big performer.
As for the pitching side, I think you are discounting losing Okajima's ridiculous 214 ERA+ over 69 innings. If Okajima struggles like the second half, that creates a huge hole. In fact, the entire Boston bullpen was so good, I think you could see a lot of regression. As for Wakefield, sure, anyone can replace his league average performance, but will they win 17 games? Somehow, he was able to do that. Luck may have been a factor, but that's still something Boston needs to replicate. Finally, if Schilling leaves, you have to replace 120+ ERA...I don't think you can simply pencil in Lester and Buccholz in for that. If so, then what do you allow for Hughes and Chamberlain, both of whom are better prospects?
Hughes + Joba >>>>> Lester + Buckholz but
Beckett + Dice-K > Wang + Andy
Moose/IPK ??? Schrill/Wake
"Clubs shall be limited in the number of Type A and B players...they may subesequently sign to contracts. The number of signings permitted shall be related to the number of Players electing free agency under this Section B. If there are 14 or less such players..." etc.
So the limits aren't determined by the number of Type A and B free agents but the total number of free agents on the market.
There are also two loopholes. One is the one you mention - if they let Rodriguez, Minky, Molina and Villone walk, they can sign a fourth. Also, if they offer arbitration and the player accepts, that doesn't count against the limit. So, theoretically, they could work out a deal whereby they offer Posada arbitration and he accepts; then, before the hearing, they miraculously reach agreement on a deal to avoid the hearing.
1. Cabrera -28
2. Atkins -23
I could not find numbers for Andruw. He wasn't among the 3 best, or the 3 worst.
I think Giambi is a key. There is so much potential there - for greatness and for bitter disappointment. Does he have anything left, or is he just content to party like a rock star from here on out? He could be better than Papi, and has been in the past. He could also be the most expensive pinch hitter in the history of the game.
Put Bonds at DH 75% games.
Giambi at 1st 33% and DH 25%
Any help at 3rd is a bonus.
Now compare the 2.
Papi-Manny-JD vs. Bobby-Barry-Jason
And we are much better in the other 6.
BIG difference to me.
So Cabrera should be a FA after 2008, no?
So. Wilson Betemit. Huh.
I count at least 4.5 (full seasons in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, half a year in 2003) . . . which sadly means he's not "free" until after 2009.
Even still, I say wait until then to get him.
In that case, I wouldn't give up much for him. If the Marlins ask for a huge return, nobody will trade and Cabrera walks next year.
Actually, that would be a good job for Clemens (if anyone would/could follow his regimen).
I really, really think whoever trades for Cabrera would try to lock him up for the next 7 years. Doesn't make sense otherwise.
Before people get too interested in Garrett Atkins:
Career, home: .336/.399/.528
Career, road: .269/.344/.437
2007, home: .349/.409/.527
2007, road: .254/.327/.446
I'll pass, thanks.
I'm too young to remember anything of '77, '78, and '81, but my understanding is that there is no rivalry between the Yanks and the Dodgers anymore. And I don't think Torre managing the Dodgers brings it back.
Best CF - Andruw Jones
Now I don't know what to think.
New thread, folks.
But that means that Wang and Cano - who will presumably be "Super 2s" and arb-eligible, still won't become free agents for 4 more years.
I've never lost that entirely. I wouldn't call it a rivalry, no, but I still hate the Dodgers.
Trade Melky + IPK + some other pitching prospect to Twins for Santana and hope that gets it done.
Keep an outfield of Damon, Mats, Abreu with some minor leaguer or Barry as 4th OF. Surely we can find a serviceable 4th OF. We made it to the postseason with Bubba in CF so surely we can get by with these old guys plus 1 avg to slightly less than avg alternate.
Alternate Giambi with Betemit at 1st.
Go find a 3rd baseman or alternate Betemit with Andy Phillips at 3rd.
Sub Duncan at 1st, 3rd, DH as needed.
With Barry's bat in place of ARod, and everyone else staying basically the same (Mats/Damon/Betemit/Duncan/Giambi all alternate to take Melky's at bats) we really don't lose much offense, but we really upgrade pitching by getting Santana.
We need more roster flexibility. We won't get that by signing long term CF's who may or may not be washed up, and we don't get that by signing Lowell. We were already head and shoulders above everyone on offense. Take a huge upgrade on pitching and a slight downgrade on offense and we should be in pretty good shape. plugging in another veteran OF is not the answer. We have to bide our time until we can be rid of the likes of Damon, Mats, Giambi and replace them with much younger versions of themselves, none of whom seem to be available right now. Melky may be, but I think we need a pitching upgrade more than we need a young stud CF.
seems pretty good when paired with:
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