Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2007-12-17 05:54
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

It's brick in New York today. The Mets and the Yankees are looking into the possibility of picking up Mark Prior reports Anthony McCarron. Johan Santana is still a Twin. Otherwise, there ain't much popping round these parts. Alex Rodriguez was on 60 Minutes last night (zzzzz). But here are a couple of Prospect Listings, ranking the Yankee's young guns, to keep you chattering: one, from John Sickels, and another from J.P. Schwartz.

2007-12-17 06:10:05
1.   AbbyNormal821
I'm with ya on the Brrr part, Alex - a mere 1 block I have to walk from the 34th St. F train to my office and it was painful! (kind of like the A-Rod interview last night...DOH! Did I just say that out loud??) ;-P
I will say this...he sure did seem like he was hurt by his agent, I kind of felt bad for him on that one.
2007-12-17 06:32:48
2.   weeping for brunnhilde
I had a crazy dream.

The Yanks were playing Detroit in Detroit, Verlander was pitching and Giambi hit a blast.

I stood up with the few other people in the bar and started clapping.

As Jason was rounding the bags, though, I noticed his jersey was black.

"What's with the black jersey?" I asked no one in particular.

"What do you mean?" replied one, "These are the Mets!"

I was disoriented to think of Jason on the Mets (how could I not know? when did this happen?) and then started to laugh when I remembered there's no DH in the NL and this meant he was their first-baseman.

"You mean he's the Mets' first baseman? Of course he his! That's just like the Mets!" I laughed.

And that was that. It would be just like the Mets to make Jason their full-time first baseman.

2007-12-17 06:45:29
3.   ny2ca2dc
2 How can the Mets think about first base when they still need to acquire a catcher?!!
2007-12-17 06:51:59
4.   bp1
1 It was a pretty thin interview, even with Katie trying go all journalistic on him. (can't stand her). I did like the clips of him as a kid. He had a New Kids on the Block thing going on for awhile, didn't he? Probably everyone did back then.


I wanted to see more of the house. Shoulda replaced Katie with Robin Leach and given us the full tour.

2007-12-17 07:33:06
5.   ChrisS
I like the Mark Prior idea, I think he's an awfully talented pitcher and worth a flier. Especially since he could fill a closer/relief role if starting isn't an option.
2007-12-17 07:45:30
6.   Yankee Fan In Boston
4 he was listening to "hip hop hooray" while he was taking cuts in his batting cage. i liked that.

5 indeed.

2007-12-17 07:52:38
7.   ny2ca2dc
5 I'd agree if not for the 40-man crunch... There's not a lot of obvious filler now - who would you cut? Karstens? Alberto Gonzalez? If Prior would take a MiL contract & NRI with a guarantee to be added to the 25 man by some date or else he gets his release, a la Carlos Pena 06, I'd go for it. But he's sure to get better.

Anyone think the moves the Twins have made recently, I especially like picking up Mike Lamb, could make them a contender enough to hold onto Santana?

2007-12-17 08:20:47
8.   claybeez
Pending Pinstripes has put up its first of what will be two lists. This one is by EJ Fagan. Eric Schultz will be posting one as well.

I also found one on a site I'd never heard of prior to last night. The list is here:

BP's list also went up a week or so ago. Subscription required.

2007-12-17 08:21:26
9.   ChrisS
7 Understandable, but there is some dead weight there. I'd rather have Mark Prior than Chase Wright, lefty be damned. With A-Rod back, and Alberto on the roster, Wilson Betemit isn't real necessary. There's some

Related and I'm likely missing something, but is there some reason why Brackman (since he hasn't pitched and has accrued no minor league service time) has to be protected on 40-man?

There's some pieces that can be pushed around and minor leaguers that can be traded still. As soon as Prior was released, I thought Cashman would jump at the opportunity to throw a little money around.

2007-12-17 08:25:51
10.   rbj
Does Prior have to be on the 40 man, or could he be a non-roster invitee? Given his recent history he really shouldn't be picky.
2007-12-17 08:26:37
11.   ny2ca2dc
9 I think Betemit is a huge asset, and necessary cover for all the old guys. Don't want to go back to Miguel Cairo! I'm not convinced Prior is really that much more valuable than Chase Wright. Maybe Wright is a serviceable lefty reliever and Prior is a doorstop. I'll keep saying this, and I'm sure everyone will agree: I hope Cashman can spin some of this quantity for some quality. Where's the next Tejada-type dealt to be made?!

Brackman is on the 40man as part of his deal signed after being drafted.

2007-12-17 08:39:28
12.   ms october
1 it's brick up in boston too - yeah for going to bama at the end of the week.

2 3 how do you know he wasn't their catcher?

11 agree fully - betemit is necessary and would love to see a quantity for quaility move.

are the yanks going to be stuck putting "high end" draftees on the 40 man every year?

the more i look at the roster, the more i hope miranda can come through at 1b some time this season.

2007-12-17 08:40:25
13.   JL25and3
11 "Brackman is on the 40man as part of his deal signed after being drafted."

Great. That means they have two option years left. After that he has to be in the majors to stay, ready or not.

As Rocket J. Squirrel said: "But that trick NEVER works."

2007-12-17 08:54:03
14.   ny2ca2dc
13 Also part of his deal are additional options. worry not.
2007-12-17 09:02:10
15.   Shaun P
9 As soon as the 60-day DL becomes available (when pitchers and catchers report?), Brackman will go there, opening a spot on the 40-man. If Pavano isn't disposed of by then, he'll be put on the 60-day too, so that's 2 spots at least. Don't know if Prior will wait that long.
2007-12-17 09:14:19
16.   rbj
15 Which begs the question, why the ^&#@^!%@$# is Pavano still on the 40 man roster. He's robbed the Yankees of enough already, he should be a man and accept a minor league assignment or get released. If he's any good, he'd get picked up by another team & get those last few days for a full ML pension.

What a jerk.

2007-12-17 09:16:22
17.   bob34957
What would be the difference between Carl Pavano and Prior? 15 relax, handnail will be gone before spring training. He should manup and take the minor league assignment.
2007-12-17 09:28:32
18.   weeping for brunnhilde
12 I think he may have been--there was certainly some sort of Piazza vibe about him. Some kind of Mo Vaughan/Mike Piazza figure.
2007-12-17 09:41:24
19.   Murray
17 The price, I hope.
2007-12-17 09:44:40
20.   Mike in DC
Pavano is still on the 40 man because if they release him the Yankees lose whatever insurance they are getting to cover his salary.
2007-12-17 09:47:20
21.   OldYanksFan
Can anyone guess what kind of contract it would take to get Prior? He made $3.5m in 2007. I do believe a lot of teams would take a chance on him. 2/$8 with LOTS of incentives? Since we loose Moose next year and maybe Andy, if he can pitch at all, he will be an asset. This seems like just the type of chance the Yankees are good at. No risk, high reward, only relatively minor dollars to lose.

ARod always seems VERY guarded when on camera, but I can understand that. He's well aware that the slightest 'mistake' on his part becomes the headline for 1,264,256,247 magazines and newspapers. I kind of feel sorry for him. It seems no matter what he says or does, the absolute best outcome is 'no damage'.

However, it seemed like the real ARod came out when taking about his mother when he was a kid. He was quite animated (as animated as ARod can get) when talking about 'counting his mother's waitressing money'. I think it was a very telling statement about ARods need to be 'well paid'.

In terms of Boras, he seems to be done with the guy, but didn't throw him under the bus, which was pretty cool.

In some ways I would like Santana, but I get this HUGE 'upsetting the applecart' feeling when thinking about losing Phil and 2 other kids. I think some here agree that 'staying on plan' and thinking about the future may take presidence over next year.

I also think that Cashman wants to win, but NOT because we spend 50% more then the Sox. Our payroll is based not so much what the Yankees can afford, but how much we are willing to 'buy penants' versus developing our own. I think it's realistic. Cashman and the Yankee's will never get any real credit for winning as long as we spend onscenely.

It's really kind of cool that many people would rather have 'our Phil' then 'somebody else's Santana'.

2007-12-17 09:57:43
22.   Bama Yankee
12 So much for those mid 70's temps we had down here last week... it was 26 this morning (not quite as brick-ish as what you guys have, but pretty cold for us). It is supposed to be back up to the 60's by the end of the week, so maybe you'll have good weather for your visit to Bama.
2007-12-17 10:06:28
23.   JL25and3
14 I don't see how that's possible. They can't negotiate a contract that supersedes the CBA. For that matter, neither Brackman nor the Yankees have standing to negotiate away the waiver process.
2007-12-17 10:09:56
24.   JL25and3
21 Re: your next-to-last paragraph. If that's the way Cashman is thinking, he should be fired. His job is to win, not to win in a morally superior way.
2007-12-17 10:29:08
25.   RichB
21 Mark Prior = huge risk. The guy has completed exactly 1 healthy season. Yeah, his upside is amazing, but that only happened in 2003. His ERA since then is 4.27 - in the NL central, the weakest division in baseball. Can anyone say Kevin Brown? Prior isn't old, but his body acts like it. The risk is that he'll take up a rotation spot, invite Cashman to trade one of their young arms for someone else, and end up starting only 20 games - meaning that the other starts will be handled by someone like Karstens. 2/3 Prior and 1/3 Karstens... would you take that in your rotation?

If he'd take a one-year with incentives and a club option for a second, a la Octavtio Dotel, I'd be okay with taking the flier. But you better not pencil him into the rotation until he actually proves that he's better and more durable that the other pitchers on the roster.

2007-12-17 10:32:52
26.   ny2ca2dc
23 You're right, in the time that's passed I've gotten minor league options & contract options mixed up in my little brain.

"It is expected to be a major-league deal for four years and about $4.5 million. Some of the money will be paid out over several years, with the present-day value believed to be worth about $3.7 million. The contract has an unusual structure because Brackman may have to undergo Tommy John surgery on his elbow -- the Yankees also will get three club options at the end of the four years. If they exercise all three, Brackman stands to make about $13 million."

2007-12-17 10:38:06
27.   ny2ca2dc
On a different note, is ESPN seriously employing columnists that are using the 'word' "Riiiiiiiiiiight"?

I really think what Andy did is a lot closer to what Maglio did than Bonds/Giambi. But I don't mean to drag that horse from the grave, but to point out some crappy ESPN writing.

2007-12-17 10:44:06
28.   JL25and3
25 Yeah, but I hear that Prior's actually smiled, more than once. That already makes him better than Kevin Brown.
2007-12-17 10:57:46
29.   The Mick 536
Journalistic faux pas by Katie. She asked him why he fails in the post-season. He answers that he stunk. Like we didn't know.

Laud him for taking the hit on the WS gaffe, too, if it be the truth. Just cannot believe that a control freak like him didn't go over the game plan with Borat.

Also a little hard to believe that he didn't think the Yankees had any interest in him. He loses cred when he says that he didn't want to be his own lawyer. Supposedly, he negotiated against the house in his first re-up at Seattle.

2007-12-17 11:34:30
30.   Schteeve
I will never be so glad to see an off season end.
2007-12-17 11:36:25
31.   ChrisS
Prior with a bum arm is as good or better than Chase Wright. A healthy Prior is a goldmine.

I'm not saying I would support breaking the bank for him and slotting him into the starting rotation expecting 2003 numbers. However, if he's willing to take a short deal with options, then the Yankees can outbid any other team. Have him return in the spring, compete for a bullpen position/spot starter. If it works out, great, and if not, all the Yankees are out is Chase Wright and some money. Problem is, that I'm sure he's got suitors and he's still going to get a high-end deal from someone.

If they got him for 2 years/$10 mill, I wouldn't be upset.

2007-12-17 11:57:32
32.   monkeypants
31 If they could get him for 2/10, they would basically be turning Luis Vizcaino's asking price into Mark Prior, without losing a draft pick. That's not too bad of a gamble.
2007-12-17 12:09:42
33.   ChuckM
25 Part of the reason that Prior has only had one healthy season is because the Cubbies suck at handling injuries. He's been trying to pitch without being completely healthy for quite some time now. It wasn't until last year that they were able to get the correct diagnosis, and yet he was trying to pitch the whole time. He's the anti-Pavano as far as I'm concerned...
2007-12-17 12:12:08
34.   RichB
31 Agreed, I wouldn't be upset with 2 years/$10 mil. Still, the risk is that he just doesn't come back in any effective capacity and he won't get off the damn 40-man, a la bruised buttocks boy (he likes to be called BBB, thanks).

And if he is tantalizingly ineffective - if he posts a 4.75 ERA and everyone thinks the breakthrough is around the corner - then it's not Chase Wright I'm worried about, it's Alan Horne. Does getting Prior keep Horne in the minors? Or stick him in the bullpen for sub-optimal use? It's not an easy call, and 2 years isn't bad when you consider that Moose is done after this year. Be nice if you could have the second year as a club option, but it's not likely - someone will be willing to give him two years straight-up.

2007-12-17 12:29:32
35.   rbj
My version of Prior's contract:

Base pay = major league minimum.
Incentive* of $6k per inning pitched.

If 2008 IP >= 135,
then 2009 = guaranteed $4 million.

*(which the Yankees don't due, but I'd make an exception here)

2007-12-17 13:24:39
36.   JL25and3
The Orioles are criticizing the Mitchell report:

They have a point.

2007-12-17 13:32:53
37.   Shaun P
36 This is not relevant to Senator Mitchell, but then again, neither was Brian Roberts to his report:

"Mitchell, 74, was fresh and talkative and even joked about how his six-year old daughter had jumped into bed to wake him up the morning he released the voluminous report of his 20-plus month investigation." (From the Times' Bats blog)

Mitchell, at age 74, has a 6 year old daughter?!

2007-12-17 13:51:10
38.   Yankee Fan In Boston
37 quick! somebody test mitchell for performance enhancers!
2007-12-17 19:04:48
39.   JL25and3
37 George, you old dog:
2007-12-17 19:14:47
40.   JeremyM
38 ZING!!

Great line!

2007-12-18 05:07:05
41.   Chyll Will
(I'm not really here right now since I'm still stuck on my latest gig, but the title of this particular thread was ironic enough to spare a moment of Chyll as opposed to clarity >;)

I've been reading Gore Vidal to pass the time on this gig (I've read "Lincoln" seven or eight times and I'm still crazy about it) and picked up a couple more from Strand. When I was asked by a few of my amused cohorts what I was reading, my response was, "Something rather weather-appropriate under the circumstances," and then showed them the cover:

"Burr" by Gore Vidal.

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