Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Thanks for Giving
2007-11-12 05:51
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

"My first priority is the Yankees," Posada said. "I would like to stay with the Yankees."
(New York Times)

From what I've been reading, it seems as if the Yankees are moving quickly to re-sign Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera. The deals could happen as early as this week. Posada is looking for more than three years. That is crazy talk for a 36-year-old catcher, but with Jason Giambi in his final year with the Yankees in '08, Posada would ideally slide into the DH role. Slowly, he could give up catching entirely and be the full-time DH, don't you think?

Andy Pettitte, on the other hand, appears to be a longshot to play ball again. But if the Twins decide to move Johan Santana next month at the winter meetings, the Yankees will be involved...

Happy Monday, troops. Whatta ya hear, whatta ya say?

2007-11-12 06:33:58
1.   bp1
Happy Monday, AB.

Johan Santana. Man oh man.

I still think Andy has a ton left in the tank. Except for a few stinkers, he was a real stud last year. He could have won a ton of games early in the season that the bullpen gave away, or the Yankees just didn't score for him. He was nails in the ALDS. I hope he comes back.

But if he doesn't, I guess I can't complain if the Yankees spend his money on Johan.

My regret is that Batgirl won't be around (blog-wise) to comment on the move. That would have been fun reading.

2007-11-12 07:24:50
2.   pistolpete
Santana would be great, but I'd almost rather give up some young pitching to get him than put another huge hole in our infield and our lineup.

With A-Rod waving bye-bye, Cano's run production is essential...

2007-11-12 07:31:26
3.   OldYanksFan
To repeat: FWIW: I say Posada gets 4/$56m from the Yankees.

I love the idea of Santana, but I would NOT give up Cano. Weaver and Javy should have both been semi-studs, but they both ended up as duds. I'm a little head shy. I would like to see how our own kids develope.

Our dynasty was built on our kids. Mo, Po, Jetes, Andy and Bernie. Then, high priced talent was bought to fill in the holes. But the backbone of our team was, and still is, those 'kids'. I'd like to see how good we do in Round 2.

2007-11-12 07:38:30
4.   RichB
It's great to hear that things are close to completion with Posada and Rivera. If they are, then any animosity over Torre leaving is gone and they genuinely want to stay. I'm confident that the Yanks will back up the money truck to sign both, so it's just a matter of their preferences.

I'd say the Yanks should get Santana whether or not Andy comes back. He had an off year last year and still came out with a 3.33 ERA. Can't you see a rotation of Santana, Pettitte, Hughes, Jaba and anyone else winning the series next year? (I'm assuming we'd have to give up IAK for Santana)

I know A-Rod took a lot of production with him, but it was the pitching that killed us.

2007-11-12 07:41:05
5.   mehmattski
3 How many Cy Young awards have Jeff Weaver and Javy Vazquez won (neither has even made a ballot)? How many times have either of them struck out 230 batters in a season (Javy, once, in the year before he joined the Yanks. Santana's done it each of the last four seasons)? How many have had K/BB ratios on the order of 5 to 1?

I'm not sure I would give up Cano for Santana, and certainly not Cano AND Hughes- but your comparison is bordering on delusional.

And, if, as you've said over and over and over this offseason- pitching wins championships, and the offense doesn't matter... why wouldn't you make this trade?

2007-11-12 07:41:06
6.   RichB
3 I second that - no giving up Cano. However, Melky is definitely on the table, and for Santana, I'd give up IAK too. With Torii Hunter leaving, they have a hole in center that Melky can fill and IAK will fill the hole in their rotation. Throw in a couple minor leaguers and they might bite.
2007-11-12 07:46:50
7.   mehmattski
6 If, as we concluded last week, Melky+IPK+change wasn't enough to get perennial All Star and 24 year old slugger Miguel Caberra, why would that same package be enough to get a 28 year-old two-time Cy Young winner?
2007-11-12 08:01:22
8.   OldYanksFan
What I have said, is strength and balance wins the PS. We did not have the top O, D or pitching in 1996-2000, but we were very strong in each. Depending on how the kids perform, and assuming we get at least 1 good arm for the BP, I don't know what's stronger... our pitching or our offense. Without Andy however, we do need another SP. Whether it needs to be Santana or someone one rung down (for less), I'm not sure.
2007-11-12 08:09:06
9.   Count Zero
I confess that, loathe as I am to do it, I would probably give up Cano, Melky and IPK for Santana. BUT...only if it's a sign and trade. Giving all that up for a one year rental is unjustifiable, and there are no guarantees we could sign him at the end of '08.

If he insists on going FA at the end of the season, then I doubt there's a trade that Minn would take and that I would give.

1 Agree about BatGirl -- she was da' bomb. I can imagine what she would have said...

2007-11-12 08:14:14
10.   RichB
7 Well, you also have to factor in that the Twins are going to lose Santana. Santana has expressed his distaste for the Twins organization and the Twins have tried to re-sign him, but can't. The only reason why anyone might overpay for him now is because someone else might get him. But, if the Twins ask for the moon, they may have to hold onto him until July. Melky and IPK fill holes for the Twins that they're not prepared to fill any other way right now. Still, the "+change" may have to be more enticing. Say, Ohlendorf or Humberto.
2007-11-12 08:16:20
11.   OldYanksFan
When we got Weaver, he had posted a 3.92 average ERA over his last 3 years. His previous year, he was at 3.18. He was 26 at the time. I seemed to remember we were pretty excited to have him. Sandy Koufax? No. But a young and talented guy.

When we got Vazquez, he had posted a 3.52 (NL) average ERA over his last 3 years. His previous year, he was at 3.24. He was 28 at the time. I seemed to remember we were pretty excited to have him. Sandy Koufax? No. But a young and talented guy.

Would you like to add a pitcher that was 26-28 with those kind of numbers to the Yankees right now?

While ERA is not the only/ultimate stat, both of those 3 year were performances were better then Pettitte's the same 3 years.

2007-11-12 08:20:18
12.   mehmattski
I just can't imagine why, like Cabrera, anyone would be opposed to trading for the player. I can accept that some of the packages are not appealing. But consider the following, similar trades:

FLA Dan Uggla and Scott Olsen
BOS Dustin Pedroia and Clay Buchholz
PHI Chase Utley and Kyle Kendrick
BAL Brian Roberts and Adam Loewen
CIN Brandon Phillips and Homer Bailey
LAA Howie Kendrick and Jered Weaver

Are any of those packages better than Cano and Hughes? Would you be shocked if any of those trades went down? Cano and Hughes are both good young players, but I think we may be inflating them too much since they're our good young players.

The trade, as proposed by the Twins, does create considerable holes for the 2008 Yankees. But Hughes may never get to the level Santana is at, and short term... Tad Iguchi will be a free agent this year. It wouldn't be the end of the world, and the Yankees get the best pitcher in baseball.

2007-11-12 08:23:14
13.   RIYank
7 As 10 says, the Twins aren't exactly trading Santana. They're trading one year of him, plus the opportunity to sign-and-trade.
There are two questions we don't know the answer to, which together determine how much the Yanks' would have to give up. First, is Santana really willing to sign a long term contract without hitting the free agent market? And second, assuming that he is, what are other teams going to be willing to part with to get him?
The 'other teams' will presumably include the rich teams, since that long contract would have to be absolutely top dollar (well, not A-Rod money but probably record-breaking for a pitcher). Would the Sox offer Ellsbury plus Lester?
2007-11-12 08:23:25
14.   JL25and3
11 Neither Weaver nor Vazquez were remotely comparable to Santana. I'd agree that both were expected to be far better than they were, but Santana is in a whole other league.

If they can get Santana without giving up Hughes, Chamberlain or Cano, do it instantly. Anything more - assuming they negotiate an extension - you still have to consider it.

2007-11-12 08:25:21
15.   OldYanksFan
9 Wow... we gain one player for $20m and lose 3 players making less then $1.5m between them. What will replacing (in like quality) those 3 take? $20m/yr or more?
That's a $40m jump in payroll.

We can afford it, but is it the best way to spend our money?

2007-11-12 08:27:13
16.   mehmattski
9 I agree with you, I would probably make that trade if I knew that I'd have Santana for the next seven or eight years.

Cano, Melky, IPK for Santana.

Sign Tad Iguchi
Sign Andruw Jones
Sign Livan Hernandez (dude can still throw 200 innings)
Betemit at 3B, Duncan/Giambi at 1B.

That's not a terrible team.

2007-11-12 08:31:33
17.   OldYanksFan
I'm not against getting Santana... I just want to be careful what we give away.

Santana has a 3.22 career ERA. I wonder how close to that Phil and Joba will be over there first 4 years. And IPK? As I've said, we have had really bad luck aquiring pitchers. Kazmir and Bedard might be cheaper, and while maybe not as good, might be a better overall deal.

2007-11-12 08:36:46
18.   RIYank
15 What else would we spend the money on??

Trading Hughes for Santana gives me pause if there's anything else significant that we give up in the deal. It makes the rotation better (Santana > Hughes), but still leaves a hole and losing, say, Cano's production would cause further problems. I dunno...

2007-11-12 08:40:11
19.   OldYanksFan
Santana > Hughes
$20,000,000 > $500,000

Again, just sayin'. (Not to mention Cano).

2007-11-12 08:42:57
20.   OldYanksFan
18 "What else would we spend the money on"
The 2008 FA market is MUCH better then the 2007, no?

I think it also depends on if the Yankees are happy with a $200m payroll, or if they want to get it into the $150m range.

Actually, money, for the Yankees, is probably best spent in player development/the Farm.

2007-11-12 08:48:30
21.   RIYank
20 Yes, the 2008 FA market will be awesome. Especially if Santana is on it! But even if he isn't.
Still, partaking of its fruits will mean spending a fortune, so the $ cost of Santana doesn't seem to me to be an issue. It's a matter of what players we'd have to give up.
I'm torn.
2007-11-12 08:48:38
22.   Cliff Corcoran
You guys are crazy. I wouldn't trade Cano straight up for Santana, let alone include him in a package like that. His name shouldn't even be a part of this conversation. If I were to list the untouchable Yankees under the age of 27, I'd list him in the top three with Chamberlain and Hughes. No way you trade any of those guys. Period.
2007-11-12 08:53:20
23.   monkeypants
8 "We did not have the top O, D or pitching in 1996-2000,"

Except when they were #1 in offense in the AL in 1998 (and #2 in '97) and #1 in pitching in 1997 and 1998 (#2 in 1999)

"but we were very strong in each"

Except in 2000, when they were #6 in the AL in both offense and pitching.

I'm not sure anyone doubts that it is good to be strong in both hitting and pitching. Those who argue that the 1996-2000 teams were built around pitching (and I am not saying that YOU are arguing this) tend to ignore that offense averaged over 900 RS/easons 1996-2000.

2007-11-12 08:53:35
24.   mehmattski
22 No one is untouchable. For example, I'd trade Joba for Pujols. I'd trade Hughes for David Wright or Carl Crawford. And I'd trade Cano for Santana.

Then again, the Twins are just starting at Cano and Hughes. They won't end there... but they won't end on a package of B prospects either.

2007-11-12 09:35:40
25.   ny2ca2dc
22 Thank you - Cano is already a star, and could be a superstar. Trade him for one freakin year of Santana, no way!

It's crazy that some people so overvalue Melky & Kennedy, but under rate Robinson Cano. Next year Cano could be one of our 3 or 4 best hitters!

Related, if we can trade Damon, how about this lineup:
Rollen (acquired in a salary dump)

2007-11-12 09:40:03
26.   51cq24
24 i wouldn't trade joba for anyone, and you'd be crazy to.

right now we have 3 pitching prospects who are studs, who any team would want to have. and people are thinking about trading one of them along with our only young hitting star for the best pitcher in baseball who will be 29 next year and a free agent at the end of the year? apart from my own personal feeling that cano should not be traded, the yankees just cannot afford to trade him. there's no way. tad iguchi??? are you serious?

2007-11-12 09:46:55
27.   ms october
This is a weird market both for FAs and trading soon to be FAs. So, it is hard to say whether the Yanks should go strong after these soon to be FAs in trades or wait out their free agency. After so much money was thrown at mediocre to good players last off season there may be market correction the next few years. And Texas was the only team that really dealt soon to be FAs with Texeria and Gagne. Otherwise the trend has sort of been to hold the FA and get the draft pick(s) as was done with Zito and Soriano. Since the Twins GM is new, he's probably going to keep holding out for more. Cano is the only very good position player (much less infielder) the Yanks have - I wouldn't say he is untouchable, but he is the only position player that is basically untouchable.
Sounds like Oakland is thinking of a fire sale - wonder what would it would take to get Haren or Blanton (who I think would fit well since he can throw so many innings)?
2007-11-12 09:48:25
28.   Count Zero
22 I think that's a valid sentiment -- it depends how high you are on Cano.

Let me ask you this:

Cano posted an 11.8 WARP3 in 2007 -- would you bat him 3rd in the Yankee lineup in '08? 5th? Because really, an 11.8 WARP3 indicates a 3-4-5 hitter. But if you would keep batting him 7th or 8th (especially after losing A-Rod), it indicates that you too see something that indicates those numbers are inflated. I mean -- he should definitely be hitting in front of Matsui at the very least, correct?

If you believe Cano is a 5 hitter in the Yankee lineup in '08 (as the roster currently stands), then I'll agree with you about his value. :-)

2007-11-12 09:58:29
29.   Shaun P
22 Exactly. Whatever hope anyone has for the Yanks' offense not tanking next year (without A-Rod) starts in a big way with Cano. You don't move him for anything AFAIC (because we know the Cano for Pujols straight up trades aren't happening).

1 I miss Batgirl too. Sigh.

Here's my biggest problem with Kepner's article. It all depends on this clause: "[Santana] is signed for one more year and the Twins cannot possibly afford him beyond that"

All due respect to Mr. Kepner, but he doesn't know what he's talking about. I asked Twins' blogger extraordinaire Aaron Gleeman this a few weeks ago:

"Looking at the Twins' payroll going ahead, why does everyone assume that they have to trade Santana?"

His response:
"Because, rightly or wrongly, many people assume that every star player on a small-payroll team will eventually leave for a big-payroll team due to money. Given the money that they've paid to players like Hunter and Brad Radke in the past, and the fact that the payroll increases on an annual basis, paying Santana in excess of $20 million per season is certainly feasible for the Twins."

No disrespect to Tyler Kepner, but when it comes to knowing the Twins, who would you trust more: the Yanks' beat writer, or Aaron Gleeman?

2007-11-12 10:15:33
30.   The Monk
Two things: (1) the Twins could afford Santana because they get revenue sharing money and they'll get the same $30M revenue boost next year that every team will receive from operations. If Carl Pohlad (the richest of the baseball owners) wasn't such a cheap stiff, the Twins could afford just about anyone.

(2) I prefer going for Dan Haren, if possible. The Yanks would not have to cough up one of their top 3 pitching prospects to obtain him, he's only in his mid-20s and he's proven over the past three years that he can pitch in the AL (contrary to Jake Peavy, who also benefits from Petco Park). This means a 2009 rotation of Haren, Wang, Hughes, Joba and Kennedy, with Brackman coming up through the system. Yeah, Tabata, Humberto and another solid prospect will be necessary, but you need to give a bit to get help. The Yanks could even take on Chavez and his injury issues as part of the deal.

The Yankees teams that won in 1996, 1998 and 1999 had balanced pitching staffs with four guys who could shut down the opponent but no one who put together Beckett-type dominance (Clemens had his worst year in '99), therefore the uber-ace is unnecessary (see also, White Sax 2005, Cardinals 2006). So what if the Yanks' starters are all righties -- it's not like the RedSawx (Youk, Manny, Lowell), Angels (Vlady, possible Arod/Cabrera), or Tigers live off lefty power; although the Indians do to some extent, they were throttled by Hughes in the ALDS. And at last check, the RedSax won exactly 0 games in the 2004 and 2007 ALCS started by their own lefties.

2007-11-12 10:43:47
31.   The Mick 536
How about trading Damon and staying pat. Bring the kids along slowly. Spend the one or two picks that A-Rod's leaving brings wisely. Wait for 2009. And have some fun.
2007-11-12 12:59:55
32.   yankster
31 I know we're supposed to win every year, but I have to agree that as a fan, that I'd rather see next year be a longer shot with Girardi moving into the job and have years 2 3 and 4 look very good starting in the new stadium. That might still allow taking short big money FA contracts (like Bonds), or moving the smaller pieces (like Melky). But it would really hurt to see IPK blossom somewhere else.

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