Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Yankee Panky #34: The Winter Schmoozings
2007-12-03 08:15
by Will Weiss
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Representatives from all 30 teams are gathering in Nashville for this year’s Winter Meetings, and with a weak free agent class, there’s sure to be plenty of trade discussion.


Previewing storylines is always fun as the meetings get under way. The Yankees’ pursuit of Johan Santana will not only dominate the local coverage, it will be the hot-button issue from the mouths of Karl Ravech, Peter Gammons, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian, Ken Rosenthal, Jayson Stark and anyone else who claims to be an expert. The difficulty, as always, will be separating truth from rumor, as access to numerous sources provides an exponential increase for baseball gossip mongers.


I saw this first-hand when I covered the 2003 Meetings in New Orleans, a year when no Yankee representatives attended the extravaganza. (Had I had advance knowledge of this, I wouldn’t have gone. On the day I arrived, there was still talk that at least Brian Cashman would come, but he never did. It was like a journalistic version of “Waiting for Godot.”) The day before the meetings started, Andy Pettitte held his Houston Astros press conference and immediately rumors swirled regarding Roger Clemens’ fate. He came to New Orleans for an event, and reporters fled the Marriott to chase him down and initiate an impromptu press conference, but didn’t make his move until long after the meetings concluded.


How do the meetings work?


Reporters from thousands of outlets set up camp in the large conference/ballrooms at the designated hotel location. Team reps hole themselves up in their rooms and arrange meetings, phone calls, etc., away from the snoops. Reporters, if/when they stay in the conference room, are working the phones trying to get angles into what’s happening on the floors above. A lot of events happen on the fly. Cash might say to a reporter that he’s willing to talk to reporters at 3 p.m. He’ll tell one reporter and it’ll filter down to everyone else, and there will be an informal gathering at the designated time to briefly discuss what did or didn’t happen in his Johan Santana talks with the Twins.


The bulk of the action occurs in the lobby. That’s where you can scope the area and if you’re quick, catch a quick one-on-one interview and perhaps scrounge up some information that no one else has, and get it posted first. Many team reps will try to hide themselves within the throng of reporters, interns and prospective job applicants to discuss team business amid the chaos.


A fair amount of reporters interview each other, too. In some cases, writers from other markets are the “sources familiar with the situation.”   


One of the coolest and most educational elements of the Meetings is the manager conferences. Reporters get to speak with all 30 managers on an individual basis at times designated by MLB. Without having access to a Yankee rep, interviews with Bobby Cox and Jim Tracy enabled me to craft stories on Gary Sheffield, Kevin Brown and Paul Quantrill, who were entering their first seasons in New York.


The Meetings are also a key spot for college grads looking for jobs in baseball. Many will have interviews already set up before arriving, but those who don’t hang in the lobby and work the room.


More than anything, the Winter Meetings are a social gathering mixed with a business element. Four years ago, two major free agent signings were announced -- Miguel Tejada to the Orioles and Keith Foulke to the Red Sox – the Yankees issued a press release finalizing the Kevin Brown acquisition for Jeff Weaver, Brandon Weeden and Yhency Brazoban, and it was an opportunity for new managers like Lee Mazzilli to introduce themselves to the writers in a different setting. Those announcements seemed to be a break in the three-day schmoozefest.


Perhaps this week, the Yankees will engineer a blockbuster trade that will make the schmoozing worthwhile.


Comments (154)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-12-03 08:27:44
1.   Eirias
Why did the Yankees boycott the 2003 meetings?
2007-12-03 08:31:02
2.   mehmattski
Holy serifs, batman! The Bronx Banter, now coming to you with Times New Roman!

I wouldn't be surprised if the number of deals is down this year simply because people can't find each other in the monstrosity that is the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.

2007-12-03 11:35:57
3.   Count Zero
2 Will's an old school newspaper guy -- they like those traditional serif typefaces. ^_^
2007-12-03 12:04:28
4.   Shaun P
Pete Abe on the Yanks' payroll with Pettitte -

I really don't think this Santana deal is happening.

2007-12-03 12:21:58
5.   Simone
I can't believe that Bowie Kuhn got into the Hall and not Marvin Miller. The veteran's committee is full of dumbasses.
2007-12-03 12:23:29
6.   Simone
Good news about Andy, maybe this takes the pressure off and strengthens the Yankees' hand in negotiations.
2007-12-03 12:30:13
7.   seattleyank
It's quiet around here today. A little ... too quiet.
2007-12-03 12:39:34
8.   Yankee Fan In Boston
in what could be the steal of the meetings, the nationals get elijah dukes for a PTBNL.

2007-12-03 12:44:13
9.   Mattpat11
I don't think Elijah Dukes needs Washington DC. This could end poorly.
2007-12-03 12:52:11
10.   Yankee Fan In Boston
i guess dmitri young will be his mentor. dukes could turn things around. it isn't likely, but josh hamilton looked refocused last season. i don't think that washington will expect much. they have 4 outfielders. the lack of pressure could be good for him.

...or not...

odds are he'll revert back to the same ol' same ol', but there is a small chance he'll get his act together and rake.

2007-12-03 12:56:18
11.   Alex Belth
Dukes and Lastings: The New Glimmer Twins.
2007-12-03 12:59:09
12.   Yankee Fan In Boston
11 if this can't get people to watch nats games, nothing will.
2007-12-03 12:59:31
13.   Shaun P
10 11 In other words, Bowden being Bowden. That man has never been afraid to take a chance, especially on talent.
2007-12-03 13:01:34
14.   Yankee Fan In Boston
13 and this chance cost him essentially nothing but a spot on the roster.
2007-12-03 13:03:28
15.   Sliced Bread
13 Bowden being Bowden will flip Dukes to the Mets for Wright, Reyes, and a PTBNL.
2007-12-03 13:07:46
16.   Shaun P
More hope: from BP:

"There is a growing sense around the various lobbies and atriums of the Opryland Hotel and Resort that Johan Santana may not be going to either the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox."


2007-12-03 13:11:39
17.   Yankee Fan In Boston
16 i am smiling.
2007-12-03 13:12:23
18.   Sliced Bread
16 what do the lobbies and atriums know? the bars are where the truth hides...

until it takes a cigarette break and talks to any reporter who will listen.

but I hope the lobbies and atriums are correct.

2007-12-03 13:15:30
19.   Yankee Fan In Boston
16 18 i've never been so torn over a potential trade or signing before.

i haven't stopped refreshing browsers since i came into work today.

2007-12-03 13:36:34
20.   pistolpete
>> i haven't stopped refreshing browsers since i came into work today. >>

You too, huh?

2007-12-03 13:37:17
21.   Yankee Fan In Boston
this is killing me.

i am dying a little with each passing minute.

will i be rooting for hughes when he pitches in the bronx this summer? (well, i'll root for the kid regardless, but will i want his team to win?)

will i be subjected to the crush of press here in boston if they "win" the santana sweepstakes?

i can't take it any more... i just can't take the waiting... the endless waiting...

2007-12-03 13:39:27
22.   seamus
hey all. been taking a hiatus from post-season hand-wringing but cannot avoid it with these santana talks. I really, really hope that we don't do it. I'm sure that the trade will make us better in 2008, but I am really looking forward to watching melky and hughes and it would make me happier to succeed with them than without them.
2007-12-03 13:40:39
23.   OldYanksFan
Does anyone else feel Andy has come to our rescue?
I mean, after his fathers statement, I thought he was cooked. I gave him 0% chance of coming back.
But here he is.
Just when we really needed him.
Was it a sense of duty and obligation to his teammates that made this decision?

Well it ain't my money, but according to Pete:
"I have their 2008 payroll at $200.6 million. That assumes Cano and Wang would receive $4 million each. That $200.6 million figure accounts for only 16 players.

If they retain Vizcaino for $3 million and sign the other eight players for around the minimum, the Yankees are looking at a $207 million payroll. Could they really add $20 million (at least) for Santana? That would involve increasing the payoll by nearly $50 million from last season."


2007-12-03 13:44:33
24.   Shaun P
19 20 Me too, though when I saw this byline on the blog, I gave up on it: "3:09 p.m., from Steve Phillips"
2007-12-03 13:45:29
25.   Yankee Fan In Boston
23 *"But here he is.
Just when we really needed him.
Was it a sense of duty and obligation to his teammates that made this decision?"*

i can't pretend to know what it was, i'm just glad he'll be back for the last go around at the stadium. a great start to the day.

the rest of the day, however, has been absolute torture.

(i came down with a cold or the flu today, too, so my take on this is likely colored by that as well.)

2007-12-03 13:47:32
26.   pistolpete
23 Yikes, indeed.

And to think we haven't even started on the bullpen!

2007-12-03 13:50:17
27.   Shaun P
26 Or, if the Santana deal goes down, finding a 4th OF who can play CF and hit a bit (I assume Damon will play CF for most of '08). There is no one in the system right now who fits that description.
2007-12-03 13:51:02
28.   OldYanksFan
However: Pavano, Farnsworth, Giambi, Mussina, Pettitte, and Abreu off the books after 2008, about $78m.

I assume the 4 pitchers above (or 3 at least) are replaced from the farm. I don't know if AJax or Tabata is ready for 2009, maybe 2010. So maybe the only thing we will really need to get after this year is 1 BP guy, a RF'er (Matsui?) and an impact 1Bman?

And maybe when the Santana deal dies down we can address something really important, like our BP. As is, even Santana can't get us to the WS with our current BP, unless Joba is there for one year.

2007-12-03 13:52:17
29.   Yankee Fan In Boston
27 austin "ajax" "action" jackson could be ready in '09.
2007-12-03 13:55:08
30.   Yankee Fan In Boston
meet mr. jackson:
2007-12-03 13:55:29
31.   mehmattski
Odd fact about Nashville: It's basically right on top of the East/Central timezone boundary. Many of the suburbs are in the Eastern Time Zone. I was very confused once when I had a connecting flight in Nashville that was supposed to take off just 10 minutes before it was due to land in Cincinnati...
2007-12-03 13:56:50
32.   Yankee Fan In Boston
31 i would've spent the entire flight with a calculator trying to wrap my head around that.
2007-12-03 13:59:20
33.   Yankee Fan In Boston

The feeling by many baseball insiders is that the Twins will indeed trade Santana. But even with the deadline supposedly set, the Twins don't appear to be feeling the pressure.

2007-12-03 14:08:34
34.   Shaun P
28 OYF - don't forget Giambi's $5M buyout and Pavano's $2M buyout.

Add in arbitration raises for Cano and Wang (say another $3M each), arbitration for Melky (+$2.5M), arbitration for Betemit (+$2M?), and that $78M is down to $60M.

The Yanks could get a RF and a RP from within (say Jackson out of position until Tabata is ready, and J Brent Cox), but the big bat for 1B/DH is going to have to be a free agent. That cuts the money down more . . . as would keeping Abreu and/or Pettitte for another year.

2007-12-03 14:09:39
35.   jeterian swing
33 Are we sticking to this deadline? Or is it meaningless bluster? Seems hard to believe the former would be the case, but at some point Hank is going to have to stand behind his threats lest they ALL be revealed as empty.
2007-12-03 14:11:35
36.   mehmattski
Warning: clicking on the following link may decrease productivity substantially, depending on how much you like sorting excel files...

According to this, Santana's changeup induced the second-least contact in all of baseball in 2007, behind A.J. Burnett's curveball. And Santana's changeup led the majors in percent swung-and-missed. Pretty crazy stuff (not only how filthy Santana is, but also that anyone has access to this data).

2007-12-03 14:12:59
37.   Raf
28 There are a slew of options for the pen. Courtesy of WW;

Brian Bruney, Chris Britton, Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, Sean Henn, Jeff Karstens and Darrell Rasner. There's Farns, Rivera & Igawa. Steven Jackson, Mark Melancon, J.B. Cox and Humberto Sanchez. TJ Beam too.

There's a potential swingman in Kennedy.

There's also those in other organizations who will be nontendered...

There's plenty of time to build a bullpen.

2007-12-03 14:13:15
38.   tommyl
35 They could pull an A-Rod negotiation thing. They pull the offer, if the Twins come crawling back they offer Kennedy in place of Hughes.
2007-12-03 14:13:23
39.   Raf
28 There are a slew of options for the pen. Courtesy of WW;

Brian Bruney, Chris Britton, Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, Sean Henn, Jeff Karstens and Darrell Rasner. There's Farns, Rivera & Igawa. Steven Jackson, Mark Melancon, J.B. Cox and Humberto Sanchez. TJ Beam too.

There's a potential swingman in Kennedy.

There's also those in other organizations who will be nontendered...

There's plenty of time to build a bullpen.

2007-12-03 14:16:45
40.   mehmattski
36 Also of note, to be fair-and-balanced... Hughes' fastball is listed, with only 57 pitches tracked, because Yankee Stadium doesn't have Pitch f/x installed.

Still, despite the fact that 39 of the 57 fastballs generated contact, Hughes did not give up a single hit on the fastballs that were tracked. I'm certain that was luck and small sample size, but still pretty cool.

2007-12-03 14:17:47
41.   jeterian swing
38 Yeah, that sounds like some sort of wonderful dream, but no way it happens. More likely we'll pull the offer, the Twins will come "crawling" back, and we'll end up handing them Jackson as the third prospect.
2007-12-03 14:18:29
42.   Shaun P
39 Note that Steven Jackson is no longer on the 40-man roster, so he could be grabbed in the Rule 5 draft. And adding him (or Melancon or Cox) would mean finding more space on the existing 40-man. That's not hard, but it is an issue.
2007-12-03 14:20:50
43.   OldYanksFan
41 Ouch!
2007-12-03 14:32:16
44.   OldYanksFan
34 Good catch. Let's call it $60m. If we put AJax in the OF, lets say $15m for 1B and maybe another $15m for RP/Extras. So we are $30m lighter then now. Unless Miranda pans out.

If said 1Bman is on for a few years, our entire INF is signed through 2011.

After 2009, JD and Mats are off the books for $27m. If AJax and Tabata are real, we have 1 OF position to fill. We will probably always go for a stud SP or RP if one come available, but it looks like we could maintain our pitching staff from the farm for a while.

However, even with all that money coming off the books, it looks like a payroll of $180m+/- plus Santana (if we get him).

Actually, AJax, Tabata and Miranda are looking pretty important. By then, hopefully Montero proves he is the real deal.

2007-12-03 14:40:36
45.   OldYanksFan
According to the NYT:
"In the last five years, the Twins have received an average of $20 million a year in revenue sharing, but their payroll has not increased proportionately. The aggregate increase in those five years has been $16 million."

Do I take this as in the last 5 years the Twins have received $100m and only raised payroll by $16? That is not revenue sharing, but theft.

It's hard to believe Bud Selig can do nothing about this. Maybe those monies have gone elsewhere into the system, but something still smells rotten in Denmark to me.

2007-12-03 14:45:05
46.   ms october
Haha - Shaun P - 24 - me too. I forgot Steve Phillips even existed for awhile there.
In fact the Lohud poster (that yankz alerted us to) that suggested Bill Murray should go to the meetings should have suggested he go in place of Steve Phillips.

41 don't give hank any ideas.

42 44 for both money and roster considerations it would help a lot of miranda pans out

2007-12-03 14:49:40
47.   randym77
42 It's too late. Nov. 20 was the deadline for adding minor leaguers to the roster. Jackson cannot be added now.

BA listed Steven Jackson and Brett Smith as players likely be to grabbed via Rule 5 this week.

FWIW, Eric Duncan wasn't on their list.

2007-12-03 15:23:00
48.   mehmattski
Newest news (PeteAbe): Yankees sign Molina, DFA Phillips to make room on the 40-man roster.

Seems a little extreme, they could have easily waited until after the Rule V draft to announce the deal, and then could outright one of the other kids in order to keep Phillips. Two ideas: either the Yankees are done with Phillips- too bad, he never got a real chance... or Molina's agent was grumbling about other potential offers.

2007-12-03 15:24:42
49.   ny2ca2dc
48 Door number 2, for sure. Phillips might still be useful to this team because of his D and positional flexibility. Becasue right now the starting 1B is Matsui or Gaimbi, and they might need a LIDR.
2007-12-03 15:30:05
50.   mehmattski
49 How soon you forget Shelley Duncan.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-12-03 15:40:26
51.   Schteeve
Andy got a chance, he just wasn't very good. And given the situation, what with our platoon of part time DHs (Damon, Matsui, Giambi, Posada) and 1B options (Duncan, Giambi, Matsui, Betemit) he never was going to get much more of a chance than he got last year.
2007-12-03 15:51:12
52.   ny2ca2dc
50 I'd rather he platoon with Abreu in right...

51 You're right, and Betemit is probably a better option for 1B LIDR anyway.

2007-12-03 16:28:57
53.   OldYanksFan
2007-12-03 16:47:34
54.   Mattpat11
I think the Yankees decided that Andy Phillips is never going to be much more than Andy Phillips.
2007-12-03 16:48:18
55.   Yankee Fan In Boston
54 i could've told them that.
2007-12-03 16:52:29
56.   Yankee Fan In Boston
i'm in class. i should not be checking this. somebody needs to make a decision. my grades hang in the balance.
2007-12-03 16:53:11
57.   Mattpat11
55 If they would have just listened to me, they wouldn't have gotten into half these messes.
2007-12-03 16:53:25
58.   Eirias
They will try to sign him to a minor league contract.
2007-12-03 17:04:38
59.   OldYanksFan
2007-12-03 17:16:05
60.   markp
The main thing Phillips had going for him was that he was a better choice at 1B than Cairo.
2007-12-03 17:16:45
61.   Mattpat11
I'd like to have Johan, but I still see a lot of potential in Hughes.

I do think that if Hughes doesn't show major improvement over 2007, fairly or otherwise, New York is going to be really hard on him.

2007-12-03 17:19:27
62.   Yankee Fan In Boston
peter abraham will be in cashman's room w/other reporters and says he'll post a summary of the discussion as soon as he gets a chance. (any minute now... i hope.)
2007-12-03 17:20:59
63.   Yankee Fan In Boston
61 i'd hope people will cut the kid some slack. he's still figuring this out. he isn't santana, nor should anyone expect him to be.
2007-12-03 17:27:02
64.   yankz
I think I'm one of the few Yankee fans in the universe who wants this trade to go down, but I am really fine either way.

Does anyone else get the feeling that the closer we get to midnight, the more likely the Twins reject the offer? Or that they think Hank is bluffing?

2007-12-03 17:30:39
65.   Yankee Fan In Boston
64 i'm guessing (desperately hoping) the cashman chat will shed some light on the situation one way or another.
2007-12-03 17:33:54
66.   yankz
I usually don't mock people for grammar/spelling, but this was just too funny. From a LoHud comment:

" listen.. yanks won with oneill's, giradi's hayes, williams

the team now is all big name stiffs..

and johan is a class act..
something the yanks should be desperate for.."

Joe "Giradi" apparently made Charlie Hayes his biatch. He owned him.

2007-12-03 17:34:08
67.   Mattpat11
61 I would hope so too, but I doubt it.

A lot of things went about as poorly as they could for a guy that was hyped as the next Roger Clemens.

The injuries didn't help matters. The so-so pitching when he was healthy was somewhat disappointing.

But more importantly, I think Chamberlain and Kennedy hitting the ground running is going to be held against Hughes if he struggles again next year and they do well again.

2007-12-03 17:36:51
68.   OldYanksFan
I wish all the Yankee haters who think we love spending money buying merchenaries, could watch us Banterers as we sit here, wringing our hands, hoping beyond hope that we can just say No to Johan Santana and...


2007-12-03 17:38:38
69.   Yankee Fan In Boston
66 a shameful period in the team's history.

67 i see what you're saying. i dread ever witnessing that though. ugh.

my battery is dying...

hurry, ca$hman! hurry!

2007-12-03 17:39:31
70.   Yankee Fan In Boston
68 i never thought i'd ever wince at the thought of having johan santana on the yankees. ever. amazing.
2007-12-03 17:40:18
71.   Yankee Fan In Boston
here's what mr. a. had to say:

As expected, Brian Cashman didn't have much to say.

He essentially refused to acknowledge the presence of Johan Santana on the face of the earth. He refused comment on Andy Pettitte, Alex Rodriguez or Mariano Rivera.

He did say that if Melky Cabrera were traded, Johnny Damon can play center and Hideki Matsui left. The Yankees have not talked to any free-agent CFs.

Get this: He loves Kyle Farnsworth and can't imagine trading him. Cashman claimed, "a lot of clubs are calling for him." Farnsworth, he said, would be the set-up man.

We asked him in assorted ways whether Hank Steinbrenner has usurped his power and Cashman talked around it. He never came right out and said no.

There are indications that the Yankees will meet with the Twins tonight and if a deal is going to get done, this is the time. But keep in mind that they made a big display of walking away from the Randy Johnson talks in 2004 only to trade for him a few weeks later.

Audio to come from Cashman.

2007-12-03 17:41:21
72.   Yankee Fan In Boston
nothing. we get nothing from cashman.

this is killing me.

2007-12-03 17:43:43
73.   Mattpat11
"Get this: He loves Kyle Farnsworth and can't imagine trading him. Cashman claimed, "a lot of clubs are calling for him." Farnsworth, he said, would be the set-up man."

Brian Cashman must be killed. I'm sorry its come to this, but I see no other options.

2007-12-03 17:45:04
74.   Yankee Fan In Boston
73 spin spin spin... he's building market value... isn't he? he is, right? please?
2007-12-03 17:48:23
75.   Mattpat11
74 I pray.
2007-12-03 17:54:05
76.   ms october
73 i want to know who is calling for him. i will personally return all of their phone calls and see what they are interested in trading for him.

i'm not putting much value in the "deadline"

2007-12-03 17:56:12
77.   RIYank
We haven't seen Mattpat's head turn seven color in a while, so I thought I'd cut-and-paste this from Pete Abe:

[Cashman] loves Kyle Farnsworth and can't imagine trading him. Cashman claimed, "a lot of clubs are calling for him." Farnsworth, he said, would be the set-up man.

2007-12-03 17:56:51
78.   RIYank
Damn, should have refreshed before posting!
2007-12-03 17:58:38
79.   OldYanksFan
66 I am not sure, but I think one "giradi's hayes" might belong to Mr. oneill.
2007-12-03 18:01:21
80.   OldYanksFan
Anybody smell trouble?
2007-12-03 18:01:44
81.   Mattpat11
76 I think Cashman should have answered on the first ring.
2007-12-03 18:16:21
82.   JL25and3
79 The way I read it, oneill and giradi each had both a haye and a william.
2007-12-03 18:20:37
83.   ms october
81 true- well, i will return the calls of the people that called while cashman was on the other line just to help out the process.

fwiw, keith law is saying that in addition to joba obviously being untouchable, that ipk; austin jackson; jose tabata; and alan horne are also supposedly off limits.
he also said that since there seems to be a shift in teams willing to aquire players who have only played in short season or rookie leagues, there is a chance that jesus montero (a catcher who he thinks will be moved but is already showing strong signs at the plate) could be in yankees trade offers

2007-12-03 18:34:46
84.   OldYanksFan
Montero? Our only decent C prospect? We were very high on him. Wasn't he like the best prospect in the southern hemisphere? Geez!
2007-12-03 19:03:04
85.   OldYanksFan
You just gotta love how 'Sports Reporters' can make something out of nothing. Yesterday, ESPN has the relevent headline: "Yankees give Deadline for Santana Talks.".
Well... there's no additonal news today, so the ESPN headline?:
"Red Sox don't have deadline for Santana talks"
Is that News, or WHAT!
2007-12-03 19:03:57
86.   OldYanksFan
(everyone gone to bed? Chyll.... you there?)
2007-12-03 19:18:03
87.   Max
Well, the latest from PeteAbe is....that they're talking tonight. So some sort of resolution will be reached, even if temporary by the end of the evening/wee hours of the morning.

I just hate the pressure this puts on Hughes if the deal falls through. Then again, we've been told repeatedly that he has the makeup to get through it all, so either way, I'm anxiously awaiting the outcome.

2007-12-03 19:22:24
88.   randym77
48 I've been wondering if teams could do that, and if it would be to their benefit if they did.

Could they hold off announcing free agent signings until after the Rule 5 draft, so they could use the roster spots to protect their prospects?

Of course, they'd have to pass them through waivers eventually, but maybe they'd have a better chance after the Rule 5 draft? That's the impression I got after that incident with the Pirates a few years ago.

2007-12-03 19:27:10
89.   Bruce Markusen
Regarding Cashman and his comments about Farnsworth, I wouldn't put a lock of stock in them. Didn't he say a couple of winters ago that he was prepared to make Bubba Crosby the center fielder--about a month before signing Damon? If anything, he's trying to create the illusion that there's interest in Farnsworth. Farnsworth might be back in '08, but I have doubts as to whether he'll be the primary set-up man.

The Phillips move probably signals the end of his days in the organization; I can't see him accepting a minor league contract if he's not dealt/claimed. I always thought he would hit more, given his minor league numbers. I think that if he's going to stick with someone, he needs to show a team that he can really play second base, third base, maybe even the outfield. Otherwise, he just doesn't hit enough to stay in the majors.

2007-12-03 19:31:58
90.   Mattpat11
89 He's also repeatedly publically backed Farnsworth. And for reasons unknown, held on to him like a security blanket.
2007-12-03 19:33:27
91.   Levy2020
89 90 People get mad when coaches praise less-than-good players like Terence Long and Kyle Farnsworth. These guys have no choice but to praise them.

If Cashman said, "Signing Farnsworth was a mistake. He's a bad pitcher. Does anyone want him" he would be in a terrible position.

2007-12-03 19:40:32
92.   randym77
89 I think you're right. I really liked Andy Phillips, but obviously, the Yanks have more first basemen than they know what to do with. I'm really surprised they carried him on the roster as long as they did. He can only play 1B. IMO, he doesn't have the versatility to be a utility guy. At least Cairo could play all infield positions, Crosby had the wheels to be a pinch runner, etc. Andy started out at SS, and moved down the defensive spectrum until he landed at 1B. He's not very fast, so not much use as a pinch runner. I kind of doubt he'd make a good outfielder for that reason. Maybe another team will give him a chance to start. He might be a better fit for the NL.
2007-12-03 19:53:31
93.   Mattpat11
91 JUST TRADE HIM. It was a stupid signing right from the very beginning, and the league knows it. Standing around and waiting for someone to buy your line of bullshit that he's worth a damn is just going to leave us with him for another year. We've tried that for a year and a half now. Its not working

Trade him. Eat the contract. If you get anything of value, good. If not, so be it. Its addition by subtraction. I'd rather pay him to hurt some other team than pay him to hurt our team.

2007-12-03 19:54:48
94.   Mattpat11
92 "Not very fast" is being generous.
2007-12-03 20:09:33
95.   mehmattski
88 I'm pretty sure it's a common practice, to hold off on your signings until after the Rule V draft- that's why A-Rod, Pettitte, and Rivera haven't been "officially" announced yet, and when they are, TyClip, Wright and Marquez will likely be outrighted to the minors.
2007-12-03 20:12:19
96.   Adrian
83 74 Ack! New thread. Anyway, to you Boston Banterers, I live in Back Bay. If you guys pick a place, I'll totally drop in. It'd be nice to wear my cap and not feel alone and persecuted.
2007-12-03 20:14:12
97.   JeremyM
94 Matt, your Farnsworth posts crack me up.
2007-12-03 20:19:07
98.   Mattpat11
97 Well, its true. If the choices are pay him way too much to pitch poorly for us or pay way too much to pitch poorly for Texas, I pick door two.
2007-12-03 20:43:49
99.   RIYank
Anybody watching MNFootball?
2007-12-03 20:49:12
100.   mehmattski
99 Sadly, yes. Stupid Patriots. Mark it down, the Jets will pull the upset of the century on December 16 :-) Who's with me!

Chyll Will, I know you're with me, but who else! The line must be drawn he-ah!

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-12-03 20:55:18
101.   RIYank
I admire the Patriots. Not exactly a fan, but I really enjoy watching them, even though living in the heart of Patriots Nation makes this season rather irritating in some ways.

Amazing finish. When the Patriots don't dominate, they manage to poison the opposition and induce them to implode. What a meltdown by the Ravens.

But these past two weeks, they've sure looked beatable.

2007-12-03 21:03:42
102.   cult of basebaal
someone posted this on BTF:

Washington Post reports the Yankees traded Tyler Clippard to the Nats for Jonathon Albaladejo (a RH reliever)

2007-12-03 21:13:44
103.   tommyl
Oh christ, via MLB trade rumors:

UPDATE, 12-3-07 at 11:09pm: Yahoo's Tim Brown talked to a Boston official who believes the Yankees are "very close" to completing a Santana trade. However a source of mine just indicated that the meeting ended in a standoff because the Twins continue to demand Ian Kennedy in the deal.

Dear lord. Soooo....either the deal is almost done, or its totally off. Please, I want to go to bed. Just hang on to Hughes, please, please, please.

2007-12-03 21:16:55
104.   randym77
102 Here it is:

"A source with knowledge of the situation said the Nationals traded reliever Jonathan Albaladejo to the New York Yankees in exchange for right-hander Tyler Clippard, pending physical examinations of both players. The 22-year-old, who went 3-1 with a 6.33 ERA filling in for the Yankees this year, has a 3.52 ERA over five minor league seasons. He should immediately be a contender for Washington's rotation. Bowden did not return messages seeking comment on the deal."

2007-12-03 21:27:48
105.   OldYanksFan
ESPN - 11:39 EST
According to baseball officials who were aware of the talks, the Twins again asked the Yankees on Monday night for pitcher Ian Kennedy -- a pitcher the Yankees have insisted for several days that they wouldn't trade -- as the third player in their proposed deal. The Yankees apparently turned down that proposal immediately.
2007-12-03 21:29:42
106.   OldYanksFan
The two teams still hadn't even met in person as of late Monday night, even though both clubs' delegations had arrived in full at the winter meetings. It's believed they simply exchanged proposals by phone, in what could be another indication that this trade is now on life support.

Meanwhile, officials from other clubs said some Yankees baseball personnel at the meetings have continued to agonize over the inclusion of Hughes in their offer, out of fear Hughes could come back to haunt them for years. So clearly, the decision to include Hughes in the first place was far from unanimous.

Cashman admitted there's a fear that players he might trade could win Cy Young Awards for another team. "I'm definitely fully vested in a lot of the young talent. You get attached to it," Cashman said, according to the AP.

2007-12-03 21:31:09
107.   mehmattski
104 Albaladejo, 24 y/o RHP from San Juan career ML numbers:

1-1, 14.3 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 12 K

In 536 minor league innings spanning 7 seasons, Albaladejo had 438 strikeout and 103 walks, only surrendering 19 homers. Last year between AA and AAA he threw 60 innings with 56 strikeouts and 22 walks, and a 2.97 ERA (he was better at AAA than AA).

John Sickels ranked him the 15th best Nationals prospect in 2007 with a C+ grade (same as Clippard's grade, fwiw). He was originally part of the Pirates system but was let go as a six-year minor league free agent in 2004, after a subpar season which saw his fastball drop to the high-80s. He seems to have bounced back with good results in the high minors in 2007. I don't know what he offers over Ross Ohlendorf, but it was clear that Clippard wasn't going to get a shot with the Yanks going forward.

2007-12-03 21:43:07
108.   randym77
All the rumors can't be true. They still haven't met in person...and the meeting that didn't happen ended in a standoff. The deal is as good as dead...and it's on the verge of happening. The Twins don't want to trade Santana...but they're calling other teams trying to made a trade.
2007-12-03 21:47:30
109.   mehmattski
108 If it were your job to report, 24/7, on the biggest trade of the offseason, you, too, would come up with something to say just to say something.

Also, Jonathan Albaladejo's middle name:


2007-12-03 21:51:17
110.   tommyl
108 Up is down, down is up, its Bizzaro World!
2007-12-03 21:51:45
111.   tommyl
109 Oh no no no, I can just see Alex or Cliff messing with us tomorrow morning by using that fact.
2007-12-03 21:54:56
112.   OldYanksFan
ESPN - 12:29
Shortly before midnight, a Yankees official told AP that no deal was imminent and New York thought Minnesota would hold onto Santana for now. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the Yankees didn't make any public statements.

The Twins also continued to talk with the Red Sox. But despite Boston's decision to include center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, there was no indication those two teams were getting any closer to a deal, either.

2007-12-03 21:56:26
113.   OldYanksFan
Pete Abe says:
He's a big (6-5, 250) guy who made his debut in September and had a 1.88 ERA in 14.1 innings. Albaladejo is 25.

I called the Yankees to try and confirm this and have yet to receive an answer.

UPDATE, 12:50 p.m.: Pending physicals, a done deal. Seems like a good move for the Yankees. Clippard had fallen off their radar.

2007-12-03 21:57:56
114.   Chyll Will
100 Eh, why not >;)
2007-12-03 21:58:03
115.   tommyl
112 Where are you seeing that? I can't find it.
2007-12-03 21:58:46
116.   OldYanksFan
More on Albaladejo:
(He ain't pretty)
2007-12-03 21:59:38
117.   OldYanksFan
115 ESPN - same article - updated.
2007-12-03 21:59:43
118.   tommyl
113 That move is fine with me I guess. Clippard had almost no shot, being behind the Big Three, Pettite, Moose, Wang and now probably Horne+others. If they can flip him for a potentially useful middle relief guy that's fine. Win for the Nats too. They get a possible middle or back end starter who should do well in the NL.
2007-12-03 22:00:17
119.   mehmattski
It's a shame about Clippard... had things gone differently, and the Yankees' rotation hadn't imploded in April and May, the rest of 2007 could have been at SWB for Clippard, followed by a callup in August/September and an inclusion in whatever 2008 plans/trade talks right along with Ian Kennedy.

Instead, Clippard got knocked around in MLB before he was ready and got batted all the way to AA, in the meantime being surpassed on the prospect charts by Kennedy, Horne, Marquez, and Betances.

He seems like he has the stuff, if he gets his head on straight he can put together a nice career in the weaker league, in a division of mostly pitchers-parks. Good luck, TyClip!

2007-12-03 22:00:42
120.   tommyl
Tyler better be ready for the fact that the next time he starts against the Mets, there will be less than 50,000 people watching him though.
2007-12-03 22:01:41
121.   mehmattski
114 I have my college roommate, a rabid Dolphins fan, who secretly will actually be rooting for the Jets if the Steelers fail to take the Pats out next week. It takes a lot for a Dolphins fan to admit to hoping the Jets win.
2007-12-03 22:05:26
122.   Chyll Will
114 For what it's worth, my big brother bought me a Jets jersey to wear on Thanksgiving (Namath). Then he put on his Michael Irvin jersey and made fun of me the whole day. Still, I'm glad we bounced back big time, even if it was the 0-awdahellwiddit Fish...
2007-12-03 22:05:53
123.   mehmattski
I'm guessing that most everybody else is waiting for Pete Abraham to let us know when it's okay to go to bed, right? ;-)
2007-12-03 22:07:51
124.   yankz
123 Yeah. Though this is early for me.

I don't know, am I the only one who thought they could get more than another huge righty for the pen?

2007-12-03 22:09:23
125.   Chyll Will
121 A Dolphins fan, you say? And rabid at that? Was that before or after 0-jusfahgeddabouddit?
2007-12-03 22:10:30
126.   tommyl
123 Pretty much. And I have a collaborator in from the Netherlands tomorrow, sigh.
2007-12-03 22:13:28
127.   mehmattski
125 He's from Ft. Lauderdale, and really really hates the Jets, since he and his friend used to go to Dolphins-Jets games in Miami where most of the crowd was displaced New Yorkers.

I know the friend too, and he wants to be a City Manager, and told me once "I want a city with a sewer system, so I can re-name it... THE JETS."

126 Luckily, my advisor is in a conference in Tazmania right now, so who cares if I don't show up until lunch...

2007-12-03 22:13:43
128.   yankz
Say what you want about the LoHud commenters, but they are absolutely rabid when it comes to posting the most updated links.
2007-12-03 22:13:45
129.   Chyll Will
I'm going to bed regardless. I've got a later-than-usual crew call and I means ta' take full advantage of it. SAVE PHIL HUGHES! and rest zzzzz...
2007-12-03 22:15:35
130.   yankz
Pete nailed it. This is like election night all over again.
2007-12-03 22:16:17
131.   mehmattski
128 It's all about

Latest tidbit is that the Tigers may offer a package including Andrew Miller to the A's for Dan Haren. If that's true, it's probably over for the Yanks on that front unless they include Hughes. Miller's a stud, as much as it hurts me to say that about a damn tarheel.

2007-12-03 22:18:10
132.   yankz
At the very least, Albaladejo is a badass name. Especially the first 4 letters.
2007-12-03 22:19:04
133.   yankz
131 I would love* to see a debate between the LoHud crew and the MLBTR fellows.

*read: hate

2007-12-03 22:21:14
134.   Chyll Will
127 ...zzzzz who in the world goes out of their way to hate the Jets? I know, 5-0 in their last meetings (or is that 10-0?) but c'mon, man... Hate The Jets? That's like hating vulcanized rubber zzzzz...
2007-12-03 22:21:46
135.   OldYanksFan
EPSN - 12:53: Nothing new. The TClip deal looks decent.
2007-12-03 22:22:28
136.   mehmattski
133 It can be a tag-team, with LoHud commenters getting Deadspin commenters, and MLBTR commenters getting AOL Fanhouse commenters.

I'd hope for a meteor.

2007-12-03 22:27:02
137.   yankz
Heyman: "The Twins told the Yankees they would accept a deal without pitching prospect Ian Kennedy but want both pitching prospect Alan Horne and outfield prospect Austin Jackson in addition to top young pitcher Phil Hughes and outfielder Melky Cabrera."

Yeah, good one.

2007-12-03 22:34:00
138.   JeremyM
137 Yeah, let's get right on that. I don't blame the Twins for shooting for the moon because I think they should hang on to him and try to make a run this year, but their demands are getting ridiculous.
2007-12-03 22:40:30
139.   mehmattski
137 I think the Twins' strategy is to keep making demands so outrageous to tempt Cashman to blurt out:

"HA! Well, why don't you just take Jeter and A-Rod too! And we'll even pay for all of their salaries!"

And then the Twins go "DEAL!" and run out of the room.

2007-12-03 22:50:15
140.   OldYanksFan
ESPN - 1:26 update:
After being told Kennedy was off the board, the Twins apparently proposed expanding the trade into a 4-for-1 swap, with players they considered to be lesser prospects than Kennedy. But the Yankees quickly rejected that pitch, too.

So while Yankees officials had told other clubs they might be willing to extend their Monday deadline if they were "really close," there was no evidence they were building momentum toward getting this much-ballyhooed trade done.

In fact, if anything, the momentum seemed to be going in the opposite direction.

Officials from other clubs said several of the Yankees' baseball personnel at the meetings had begun openly questioning whether they even wanted to make this trade if the Twins said yes.

"The more this goes on," said one AL executive, "the less they want to do it."

Earlier Monday, the Yankees made it clear they didn't want the talks to linger.

2007-12-03 22:51:56
141.   OldYanksFan
137 Were Alan Horne and Austin Jackson the 'lesser prospects'? Ha! I guess the Twins are not that anxious to get it done. Let's hope they don't let the Sox abuse them.
2007-12-03 22:55:26
142.   mehmattski
140 Do they have to let it linger? Do they have to? Do they have to?

Ok, on that note I'm going to bed. No more cranberries for me.

2007-12-03 22:55:46
143.   yankz
I think it's slowly dying. But some fucking closure at 2 AM would be nice.
2007-12-03 23:02:12
144.   OldYanksFan
ESPN - 1:54 update: No new news. Everyone is getting tired. Except Chyll.
2007-12-03 23:03:52
145.   yankz
I wonder if Cano and Melky are in some club, trying to get as far away from Heyman and Stark as possible...

Either that, or they're holding hands huddled around a TV.

2007-12-03 23:04:06
146.   yankz
144 Hey man, I'm going strong.
2007-12-03 23:12:07
147.   yankz
Davidoff: "I spoke to Hank Steinbrenner at 12:45 Eastern Standard Time this morning, and while he was pessimistic about the Yankees' chances to get Santana, he said that talks with Minnesota were ongoing.

"Brian (Cashman) was giving them one more shot, and we'll see what happens, " Steinbrenner said. "It doesn't look good to me."

Steinbrenner later added: "We'll sleep on it. Whatever it is, we'll discuss it one final time. But I'm beginning to think they just don't want to trade him.""

2007-12-03 23:14:42
148.   SF Yanks
146 Yeah me too. I've been glued to the interweb all night waiting for the final word. What scares me is that so far this offseason just when we think something is about to happen a certain way, BAM! the opposite happens. Lets hope that trend doesn't continue.

Hang in there Hughes!

2007-12-03 23:23:13
149.   OldYanksFan
Ahhhhhhhh... I have found a professional negotiator on Lohud:
"if I were w/ Cash & Hank I'd jump over that table a KO Smith for that [Horne and Jackson] stupid suggestion"
2007-12-03 23:26:08
150.   yankz
149 I can see it now:

Hank: Ka-pow!
Smith clutches his eye. His voice wavers as he squeaks, "Ok- we'll take Melky and the Attorney General- just don't hit me again!"

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-12-03 23:29:28
151.   yankz
Pete has an update. Nothing at all new.
2007-12-03 23:30:38
152.   yankz
The Globe: "The Red Sox have traded medical information with the Minnesota Twins on Jon Lester, which means that talks between the two teams have progressed, with the Twins taking a serious look at the Sox offer.

While it looked like things between the Yankees and Twins might be breaking down tonight, that might have left the door open for the Red Sox to slip in and grab Johan Santana. "


2007-12-03 23:38:10
153.   SF Yanks
152 That's not something I want to hear either. Why can't the Twins just KEEP SANTANA? The Twinkies are really starting to bother me.
2007-12-03 23:48:38
154.   SF Yanks
New thread.

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