What About C.C? June 11, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in C.C. Sabathia, Dellin Betances, Johan Santana, Jose Tabata, Robinson Cano.
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In a post on his blog today, Peter Abraham thought about the possibility of an acquisition of C.C. Sabathia for the Yankees. The logic is that the Cleveland Indians would rather trade him for prospects rather than get 2009 draft picks, which makes sense to me because the class is said to be even weaker than this year’s class. However, what caused a bit of a stir was this:
This would be my untouchable list: Austin Jackson, Jesus Montero, Phil Hughes, Andrew Brackman and Mark Melancon
Other than that, have at ‘em.
That includes Jose Tabata, Brett Gardner, Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, Ian Kennedy, Alan Horne, Dellin Betances, Jose Veras, etc.
They’ll want at least one pitcher. Kennedy, Tabata and Betances. Would that get it done?
Tabata, Betances and Cano. Would you do that? Or do you stay away entirely?
I agree with most of this list. However, there are some things I don’t agree with. First–how is Dellin Betances not untouchable? The dude has a mid-90s fastball with a sick knuckle-curve and a developing, if not plus, changeup. Yes, he has major control issues, but he is 20 years old in Class A, and has the potential to be an ace. If you put Brackman as an untouchable, why not put Betances?
Second, why would you trade Robinson Cano? Cano is a “rhythm and feel” hitter who starts slowly before completely raking to finish the year. Cano has the potential to be a central hitter in the Yankee lineup, particularly in future years, who can hit .300 and hit 25 HR. Last year he struggled before finishing strong to hit .302 with 19 HR and 97 RBI. The year before he started slowly (not as bad, admittedly), and finished third in the batting title race (.342). More than all that, who would you replace him with? Bernie Castro is not a legitimate Major League player, and no one in the lower minors is close to ready. As of now, there is no prospect who can capably replace him in the system in the future, either. Remember, the everyday player is always more valuable than the player who pitches only every five days.
Contrary to others, though, I have no problems trading Tabata. Yes, he is getting hot, but he is pretty fat and nonchalant. The pissy attitude he carries doesn’t help at all, either, and he’s fallen from grace among the Yankees and us Yankee fans. By no means have I given up on him, but I don’t think he’s indispensable as far as prospects are concerned.
Either way, I wouldn’t give up anything for Sabathia. I would rather trade for him than Johan Santana, as Sabathia is in his prime while Santana’s stuff is declining. Sabathia looks flat-out dominating when you take out his early-season struggles, while Santana has allowed 12 HR in the NL. Instead, I’d rather sign Sabathia in the offseason. At the right contract I wouldn’t have an issue giving up a first rounder for him, considering we could get other(s) with the contracts coming of the book after the year. I’d be concerned about his weight in the future and I’d include a related clause in his next contract, but otherwise I think the Yankees could definitely use him as he’d make a huge impact in the AL East.
Tomorrow I’ll detail who I may like Sabathia.
Santana dealt to Mets/Introduction of a new writer January 30, 2008Posted by spence47 in Boston Red Sox, Johan Santana, Mets, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets.
I will first take this time to introduce myself: I am Shane Spencer (alias). As said I am both a fan of the Yankees and the Twins (if thats possible). I look forward to writing with Pablo, whom I have known for about a year and a half now. To Baseball…
In the next 48 to 72 hours Johan Santana will be wearing a Mets uniform. The Mets traded 4 prospects to the Twins for the elite starter. But what does this mean to Yankees fans? The two obvious outcomes is that Santana will not pitch for the Yanks in the 2008 campaign. The other is that the Yankees will not lose the talents of Phil Hughes or “Melk Man” Cabrera or any top prospects. As well as avoiding the loss of Young talent, Santana will not go the the hated Sox, who already have a formidable rotation. Going back to the prospects acquired, as a fan of the Twins I must say I am disappointed with the talent acquired, as I belive what the Yankees offered was superior. A quick comparison:
Carlos Gomez = Jose Tabata lite
Kevin Mulvey = Alan Horne
Deolis Guerra = Dellin Betances
Philip Humber = Humberto Sanchez lite
Not so impressive. But again, what does this mean to a Yankees fan? It mostly means that in a few years when the twins have developed, (they do look good in a few years with names like Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer, Liriano, Young, as well as a host of other young players) they may not be good enough to stay even with the Yankees, who they will play in the regular and (hopefully) the post season.
–Shane Spencer (alias)
This per Anthony McArron (NY Daily News) from Hank Steinbrenner. Hank believes that Andy Pettitte provides enough veteran leadership in the rotation. The steroids scandal must have something to do with it. The Yankees didn’t need him back, anyway.
In the same interview, Hank mentions that Santana talks are ongoing, but refused to give many details. He said that the same offer was on the table, and that he believes “the Twins know ours is the best offer”. In short, things have stagnated. We don’t need him, anyway, especially if he doesn’t go to the Red Sox. Think about it–he’s asking for huge years and a huge extension coming a down year, and he’s 29, so he won’t be a spring chicken by the end of a deal. We don’t need to have that payroll or luxury tax, either.
No real news, if you ask me.
Hank: No Mark Prior, “Outside Chance” at Santana December 21, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Hank Steinbrenner, Johan Santana, Mark Prior.
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Hank Steinbrenner revealed that the Yankees are currently not interested in non-tendered, oft-injured RHP Mark Prior. This is a dumb move. Prior has ace stuff and was just messed up because of the wrath of Dusty Baker. All of his injuries are a relation to that. There is a chance that his injury string is over, and he can start again. If not, he would certainly be an intriguing bullpen option.
Steinbrenner also said that the Yankees have an “outside chance” at acquiring Johan Santana. We’ve known that since, oh, about a month ago. Anything else?
Winter Meetings Recap: Yankees Abandon Santana, Haren Talks December 7, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Hideki Matsui, Johan Santana, Jose Molina, Jose Tabata, Melky Cabrera, Phil Hughes, Rule 5 Draft, Tyler Clippard, Winter Meetings 07.
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The Yankees’ self-imposed deadline came and went late Monday night, when the world woke up Tuesday morning, there was no Johan in pinstripes. Why? Well, according to the New York Daily News, the Twins backed off the Ian Kennedy demand late Monday night, and would have accepted a Phil Hughes-Melky Cabrera-Jeff Marquez-Mitch Hilligoss package, but Brian Cashman pulled the offer back. Per the News, Cashman convinced Hank Steinbrenner and the Yankees’ FO that, despite not wanting to deal Hughes in the first place, it was fiscally irresponsible to have two $25 million players, and the Yankees were simply not going to limit their fiscal flexibility and inflate their payroll while paying $40+ million in luxury taxes.
Good job, Brian. Santana is coming off a career-worst year of his recent years of dominance (that is, 2000 and 2001 notwithstanding). He gave up 33HRs, his walk rate rose, as did his wild pitches, and he also struggled against the AL East. Moreover, he has a great slider that he was hesitant to throw. This for a $25 million dollar pricetag and giving up the future ace, Phil Hughes, and Melky Cabrera, whom some compare to a Bernie Williams-lite. Though Cabrera is expendable, with Jose Tabata, Austin Jackson, and Brett Gardner almost at the bigs, and the current glute of outfielders, he still has value for 2008. Hughes, on the other hand, is not expendable. He is young gives the Yankees the ace of the future. His stuff is great, and he has great control, and is roughly seven years Santana’s junior. This was the right choice.
MATSUI BEING SHOPPED?Per Peter Abraham, the Yankees and Giants were in preliminary negotiations regarding a trade of Hideki Matsui. The Yankees, per Kevin Davidoff on the Nov. 8th edition of Newsday, prefer to trade Matsui over Johnny Damon for understandable reasons. Matsui has previously said that he would wave his no-trade clause, though it may be a little embarrassing for him to leave New York as a slight disappointment. Abraham sees the Yankees getting Noah Lowry in return, but I am not impressed with his 87:87 K-BB ratio in 156 IP. I would rather have Jon Sanchez, but I would definitely be impressed if we acquire Tim Lincecum or Henry Sosa. If getting Lincecum involves surrendering, say Tabata/Alan Horne, I would do it and run away, laughing.
MOLINA RE-SIGNED, PHILLIPS DFA’D, ELECTS FREE AGENCYAgain per PeteAbe, Jose Molina’s 2yr/$4M deal was announced on Tuesday, and to make room on the 40-man, Andy Phillips was DFA’d. Not a bad decision–first base is a clogged-up position, and Phillips hasn’t shown the power that he did in the minors. He was replacement-level, batting .292, with 2 HRs and 25 RBIs. He cleared wavers, but after getting DFA’d twice in the same season, he opted to become a free agent instead of accepting an outright to AAA Scranton/W-B.
CLIPPARD DEALT In a deal announced Wednesday, Tyler Clippard was dealt to the Washington Nationals for 25-year-old right-handed reliever Johnathan Albaladejo. Albadejo went 1-1 with a 1.88 ERA in 14 games and 14 1/3 innings with the Nats this past season in the majors. He has only recently found success since being converted to the bullpen. Clippard struggled in New York, both in the minors and majors, going 3-1 with a 6.33 ERA in 27 IP and 6 games and starts. This is a good trade for both sides, as we can see Nats GM likes to add pieces at their lowest value who have high ceilings (though Clippard isn’t high ceiling). The Nats should be contenders in 2009, with Ryan Zimmerman, Lastings Milledge, Jesus Flores, Chris Marrero, and Ross Detweiler potentially established by then. For the Yankees, this gives another bullpen option who can actually throw strikes. Nice job.
GARDNER LOST IN RULE 5Mike Gardner, a 26-year-old swingman in AA Trenton, was picked by the San Diego Padres with the 18th pick of the Rule 5 draft. Gardner posted a 2.88 GO/AO ratio, and could help the Padres in the bullpen. The Yankees could not select anyone in the MLB portion, as they had a full 40-man, but they selected 27-year-old Bo Hall, a righty reliever from the Milwaukee Brewers, in the AAA portion. In his first season above HiA, he went 5-2 with a 3.46 ERA and struck out 56 in 54.1 IP, while allowing 41 H but 36 BB.
DAN HAREN TRADE TALKS WITH YANKEES DEADHank Steinbrenner publicly griped about the price for Dan Haren. A’s GM Billy Beane asked for Phil Hughes and Alan Horne, as Melky Cabrera had no value to him. The Yankees continued on shopping.
HAWKINS INTERESTS YANKEESPer the Daily News, the Yankees are interested in RH-reliever LaTroy Hawkins for a 1yr-3.25M contract. Bad idea. Hawkins has been bad since his 2003 season with the Cubs, but somehow makes clubs believe he’s good and worth trading for. His K rate is low and declining, but still induces ground balls. He isn’t effective and often chokes in the clutch. Why waste money when there are better internal options?
MARTE, GRABOW INTEREST YANKEESLefties Damaso Marte and John Grabow of the Pittsburgh Pirates interest the Yankees. Jose Tabata is the start of talks for those, but the rumor says that the deal could expand to include Ian Snell and/or Jason Bay. That would be a good deal for the Yankees, as they would like have to give up one of Matsui or Damon, one of the Big 3, and then Tabata/Horne in that scenario. They get youth and power production in left, a young and effective starter, as well as a solid lefty specialist.
MAJOR FREE AGENT SIGNINGS AND TRADES OF THE WINTER MEETINGS Below I will list the major signings and trades of the meetings, along with a brief comment next to them.
1. Detroit Tigers acquire 3B Miguel Cabrera and LHP Dontrelle Willis for LHP Andrew Miller, OF Cameron Maybin, C Mike Rabole, and three prospects–This deal empties the Tigers’ farm system, but makes them a powerhouse in the MLB to compete with the Red Sox and Yankees. This leapfrogs them to among the best MLB teams. However Willis or C Ivan Rodriguez will likely have to be flipped to another team due to salary concerns.
2. LA Dodgers Sign CF Andruw Jones to a 2yr/$36.2M contract–Good signing. The Dodgers get Jones for a short-term, re-establishing his value during his peak years as well as not having to commit the big bucks over big years for him.
3. KC Royals Sign OF Jose Guillen to a 3yr/$36M contract–OK deal. Guillen will miss the first 15 games due to an HGH suspension, but he offers a solid, middle-of-the-order power bat with a decent glove and an arm that was once stronger. The Royals will see the beginning of his decline at the latest by the last year of his contract. Considering this, his only average defense, and his bad clubhouse reputation, he is somewhat overpaid. This does show, along with the Gil Meche signing last year, that the Royals are willing to spend to compete.
4. Toronto Blue Jays Agree to 1yr, $3-$4M contract with C Paul LoDuca–LoDuca is a below-average receiver and a below-average bat. Wasted money.
Random Ramblings: Peavy, Wang, Santana December 2, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Chien-Ming Wang, Jake Peavy, Johan Santana.
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Here’s an idea for you: acquiring Jake Peavy. Now that’s a pitcher I would give up Phil Hughes for. Peavy, the hard-throwing Padres ace, is under contract at a bargain $6M for this year and has a team option for $8M, but with escalator clauses, those may increase to $6.5M and $11M, respectively. (Source)
Peavy is looking for roughly $18M-$20M in a contract after the the end of the 2009 season, but the Padres are willing offer a lesser contract if Peavy wants to give a “hometown discount”. Peavy’s extension demands, as is, exceed the Padres budget, and will likely be traded or not come back if there is no agreement on an extension. By all likelihood, if Peavy maintains his performance, he will be designated a Type A, and although he is a great pitcher, it is always even a little difficult to swallow surrendering a 1st rounder.
Back around November 11th, there was a rumor posted on MLB Trade Rumors (taken in turn from Buster Olney’s ESPN Insider Blog) that the Padres and Yankees were in very, very early negotiations about a potential Melky Cabrera and Phil Hughes deal for Jake Peavy. It would have been nice to see that deal develop more, as I am really high on Peavy.
UPDATE 8:34–Peavy and the Padres are near an extension worth an estimated $17-$17.5M annually from 2010-2012. Good deal by the Padres, and it speaks highly of Peavy taking the home-town discount. Too bad he won’t be a Yankee, though.
In the mean time, we can ponder some more Johan Santana trade ideas. In the preliminary trade talks, the Yankees were negotiating about dealing Chien-Ming Wang. However, being a groundball pitcher, his struggles on turf fields, which is where Minnesota will play their home games until 2009. Regardless, Wang’s upside is limited by his low strike-out rates, and he always seems to have a mental or control lapse at least once per game. Thus, although he has been successful thus far for three years, he is not a true ace. It would be interesting to see Wang in a trade, to replace the higher-potential and higher-upside Phil Hughes.
Also on Santana, the Twins (and GM Bill Smith) don’t feel the necessity to trade him. They feel that, if Francisco Liriano comes back at full strength from Tommy John surgery, they can win a world championship with the duo anchoring the rotation and Delmon Young, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Michael Cuddyer leading the offense. That idea isn’t misguided, but they would only joy that potential nirvana for one year as Santana, in all likelihood, won’t be back. In that case, Santana will, in all certainty, earn Type A status, and the Twins will net two draft picks from that.
Yankees Take Step Forward, Then Back, With Santana Deal December 2, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Alan Horne, Austin Jackson, Dellin Betances, Jeff Marquez, Johan Santana, Jorge Posada, Mark Loretta, Phil Hughes.
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This past week, I have been very busy, but I still have been following the progression in the talks between the Yankees and Twins.
The Twins, as we know, have told the Yankees that Ian Kennedy cannot be the center of any Santana deal. This is largely based on a rumored B.S. offer by the Red Sox to drive up the price for the Yankees (Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie, and a third prospect) that, as it stands, is superior to that of the Yankees. The Yankees didn’t see that, however, so Hank Steinbrenner and Gene Michael convinced Brian Cashman put Phil Hughes in the deal. So as it stands, the Yankees have an offer of Hughes, Melky Cabrera (who has one foot out the door), and a third prospects. Per Jon Heyman of S.I. via MLB Trade Rumors, the Twins are asking for Austin Jackson or Alan Horne. The Yankees are laughing at them and offering only a second- or third-tier prospects, someone along the lines of a Jeff Marquez and even maybe an Alberto Gonzalez.
This trade is bad and getting worse for the Yankees. The Yankees, under Hank Steinbrenner, are a mess as there is no definition of who is in charge of the front office. Despite the championships under George, they were always followed by a period of turmoil due to the nature of acquiring aging stars and signing them to mega-years and mega-money. The farm system-less Yankees of 2002-2005 are largely responsible for the World Series Drought and the end of the 1996-2001 dynasty. Of the few prospects the Yankees have had since that time–Eric Duncan, Dioner Navarro, Phil Hughes, C.J. Henry, Drew Henson, and even Jose Contreras–only Hughes is on the fast track to pan-out to his potential. Now that the system has some depth, the new Steinbrenner in charge is willing to trade the face of hope when there was none (that is, Hughes) for a slowly declining pitcher who hasn’t succeeded against the AL East, gave up 33 HRs, and refuses to throw his good slider. Agreed, there is depth behind Hughes in the system (Alan Horne, Dellin Betances, Humerto Sanchez, Dan McCutchen, etc.) only Horne is close to MLB-ready–and he there’s a chance may be traded anyway. Also agreed, the last time the Yankees traded their top prospect (Dioner Navarro) for a left-handed ace (Randy Johnson), they gave up an equal amount in terms of value, but the Yankees, for all of Johnson’s moaning, groaning, and back problems, clearly got the better of the trade.
I am not opposed to trading Kennedy–he has 3rd starter potential, has average stuff, doesn’t throw hard, and there are arms with more potential in the system–but the Twins, as we know, won’t take that. But the Yankees shouldn’t trade the face of the system and the future, who has great make-up, stuff, control, and mind away to another team.
POSADA’S DEAL FINALIZED This was expected. Jorge Posada officially signed his 4yr/$52.4 M contract. However, at the press conference, he made two somewhat telling statements.
The first is that he has talked to Andy Pettitte weekly, and Pettitte is seriously considering retirement. This heightens the Yankees’ need for a left-handed starter, preferably Santana, because it isn’t wise to go with a rotation of three kids, Wang, and Mussina, regardless of a near-1000 run offense.
The second is that, speaking of Santana, Posada essentially pleaded for the Yankees to acquire him. While touting Hughes as the best arm the Yankees have got a couple of years ago, he indicated that he would trade Hughes for Santana if necessary. Go back to catching and stop complaining, Jorge.
YANKEES CLOSE WITH LORETTA This is per MLB Trade Rumors. Initially believed to have punched Robinson Cano’s ticket to Minnesota, per what we are hearing, that isn’t quite the case. It is believed that the Yankees could add Wilson Betemit as a deal-sweetner for the Twins, thereby giving the Twins their de facto starting 3rd baseman. In any case, Loretta, once a pesky, high average shortstop with the Padres, is in his decline years but is still a solid “super-utility” middle infielder who represents an upgrade, offensively, over Wilson Betemit or Alberto Gonzalez. However, his range and defensive are notoriously below-average.
Will Johan Santana be traded? November 24, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Boston Red Sox, Johan Santana, LA Dodgers, Yankees.
The third segment:
Will Johan Santana be traded?
It seems that there are more rumors about a possible Johan trade once the Twins offered him 5yrs/$93 M, and Johan asked for 6yrs/$126 M (Barry Zito money) to start. The usual candidates are the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers, who have some of the deepest farm systems in baseball. Now, time to analyze each team’s chances:
Yankees: The Yankees have seven premier prospects/young players that a team would gladly take in a trade–Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Alan Horne, Ian Kennedy, Jose Tabata, Melky Cabrera, and Robinson Cano. Cano doesn’t make sense for the Twins only in that they have a young second-base prospect, Alexi Casilla. However, Cano gives them pop that is expanded in the “homerdome”. He isn’t a CF, though, and that also limits his value with the Twins, and, besides, it creates a gaping hole at 2B for the Yankees. Cabrera is a young, energetic CF who plays well in a turf park that plays his speed, and the “homerdome” also increases his home run value. His defense in arm will remind people of Hunter’s, though it is not nearly as polished. Moreover, Brett Gardner does many of the same things Cabrera does, except he has no power. Thus, with that and the fact that Austin Jackson is moving through the system, Cabrera is expendable. Tabata is a toolsy young outfielder who has suspect power but a great eye and great contact skills. His hamate bone injury should help his power development, and it would be a shame to let him get away if he actually does turn out to be Manny Ramirez lite. Kennedy is a young pitcher with average stuff, but a great mind and great control that helps him pitch. The Yankees have other prospects with better stuff and good enough control, so he could be expendable. Horne has seemingly been around the prospect world forever, but is finally honing his stuff and is a half-season or a little more away from being able to contribute to the Yankees. He has amazing, live stuff, with developing control, and that, combined with experience pitching in the system, makes him valuable to both the Twins and the Yankees. Joba isn’t going anywhere, so no need to discuss him. Phil Hughes, once the best prospect in the system (he is no longer rookie-eligible), now has a rotation spot entrenched for him, and he looks to have a rebound season after battling hamstring and ankle, as well as adjustment, problems, in the majors. His value has seemingly decreased slightly, but the Yankees should hold on to him.
Verdict: It will be hard to get him without giving up prized blue-chippers, although the Yankees are willing to surrender Cabrera and increasingly willing to part with Hughes. After that, it seems easy to choose a third and, if necessary, fourth prospect. I would be hard-pressed to give up Tabata, but his youth and injury makes his projectability difficult. If those three and Jeff Marquez, say, are dealt, I would give the Yankees a leg-up on the deal. The only question is are they willing. My guess is that they make the trade.
Red Sox: The Red Sox have a great group of prospects of their own: Clay Bucholz (he of no-hitter fame), CF Jacoby Ellisbury, 1B slugger Lars Anderson, and cancer-survivor Jon Lester. Moreover, they have a nice assortment of B-prospects, namely Michael Bowden, Jed Lowrie, and Brandon Moss. This is a nice assortment of prospects, but the Sox’s system isn’t really as the Yankees or the Dodgers and, if one of the top prospects is dealt, there aren’t really any great B-level guys to take over. Now, Bucholz compares to Hughes, but his value is higher because of his immediate and resounding big league success. Ellisbury has Johnny Damon (in his prime) potential, but incumbent Coco Crisp is the one Boston prefers to deal. Anderson is untouchable, and he is the next big masher in the Boston lineup. Lester has Mark Mulder (in Oakland) potential, Bowden should be a Jake Peavy-lite, Lowrie is a Carlos Guillen-lite, and Moss has Bernie Williams potential. Not a bad group of prospects, but, again, it will be hard for the system and the aging big club to part with one of these guys.
Verdict: Coming of a World Series, the team will soon enter an area of decline due to the aging veterans (Ramirez, Lugo, Drew, Varitek, Lowell, Crisp, Schilling, Timlin, Wakefield, and even Ortiz). There aren’t enough prospects to fill up some of these holes if a package of prospects are traded, and although they can go back-to-back if they get Santana, the question is: struggle now or later? They already dealt some B prospects for Gagne, and there are only so many to go around. My guess is the Sox won’t get him.
Dodgers: The Dodgers have a strong, deep system, and have several young and key major leaguers. These guys include LHP Clayton Kershaw (the grand prize), C Russell Martin, OF Matt Kemp, 1B-OF James Loney, OF Delwyn Young, OF Andre Eithier RHP Chad Billingsley, RHP Jonathan Broxton, RHP Jonathan Meloan, SS Chin Lung Hu, INF Tony Abreu, and 3B Andy LaRoche. The Dodgers are an aging team on some ends, with unproductive veterans Juan Pierre, Nomar Garciappara, Rafael Furcal, and, for 2007, Luis Gonzalez contributing to one of the NL’s worst offenses. These guys are the core of the team and the foundation for future championship runs, and the long, hard, work of the scouts and head of minor league development. The Dodgers are at a crossroads now–they don’t have enough starting pitching yet to be a pitching-first team, but don’t even have enough hitting to sustain even that. Now, they could also go out and seek to become a hitting-first team by dealing Kershaw, Kemp, and, say, Meloan for Miguel Cabrera. The Dodgers can’t go both ways, and when Santana and Cabrera are being shopped around, this is the time to decide.
Verdict: As is, the Dodger’s biggest problem is hitting, and although hiring (and subsequently firing) Eddie Murray didn’t solve that, something’s gotta give. They are going to have to go after someone to help that, be it Aaron Rowand to actually play offense and defense in centerfield, or trade for Miguel Cabrera. They have enough pitching to stay alive, though. Thus, the verdict is no, they get Cabrera instead.
Andy Pettitte Declines Option; Tejada to Yankees? November 11, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Andy Pettitte, Chicago White Sox, Joe Crede, Johan Santana, Johnny Damon, Kyle Farnsworth, Melky Cabrera, Miguel Tejada, Mike Mussina.
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On Wednesday, Andy Pettitte declined his $16M player option for 2008. This was a move purely to allow him time to decide whether to retire or not. With this, we see that the drama last winter was not all posturing and fake, but real deliberation. The Yankees, in short, would be screwed without having Pettitte on their team, as he provides a healthy lefty who always competes, especially in big games. He is a stopper, but no ace. Now, the Yankees would have Ian Kennedy to take his place in the rotation, but that would force Mike Mussina to start (ugh).
On Thursday, a rumor surfaced: Miguel Tejada to the Yankees. I am not enamored with that deal. In Tejada we have a declining, now league average shortstop that would only be average at third at best, who would not excel in a left-handed hitters’ park, and makes $13 M over the next two years. Even if it takes Kyle Farnsworth off our backs, I’d rather get rid of him for something else than Tejada, considering that it would also take Melky Cabrera in that deal. We can see that Cabrera is increasingly available, but I like what he offers and would only trade him in a Miguel Cabrera situation–Yes, I would rather see him in New York if it were for Johan Santana, because I am not enamored with Santana for reasons I will explain in another post.
Crede-for-Damon dead? It looks like Joe Crede for Johnny Damon talk is dying. Good. This would have been a mismatched trade, and the Yankees certainly would have been on the losing end. Besides, the White Sox have to decide what to do with the man–offer him arbitration (in which he would likely make the roughly $4M he did last year if he accepts), non-tender him, or re-sign him long term and move Josh Fields to LF. No matter what they do, the White Sox aren’t going anywhere next year, either.
Yankees Eliminated, Torre’s Future in Doubt October 14, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Austin Jackson, Brett Gardner, Chien-Ming Wang, Eric Duncan, Humberto Sanchez, Ian Kennedy, J. Brent Cox, Joba Chamberlain, Joe Torre, Johan Santana, Jose Tabata, Postseason, Ross Ohlendorf.
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Due to the lack of updating, again, I haven’t mentioned a key event–the Yankees were eliminated. Now, this team had a couple of questions with them–Chien-Ming Wang (after the first game and based on his only other performance against Cleveland), the potential need to overuse Joba with a badly-timed slump by the Viz and the constant ineffectiveness of Farnsworth, and the revitalization of the offense after facing two Cy Young candidates. I felt that if the Yankees would have found a way to win this series, they were going all the way. Of course, they didn’t, and they are now stuck looking forward to Spring Training.
This loss doesn’t hurt as much as others, a point on which I agree on with the folks at the Bronx Block. Yes, what could have been is intriguing, but in a way, I was looking forward to see the likes of Marcos V. (can’t spell his last name), Eric Duncan, Juan Miranda, Ross Ohlendorf, and Alan Horne get their appropriate roles assigned, as well as seing Humberto Sanchez and J. Brent Cox come back from elbow surgery and win bullpen spots. There’s also David Robertson seemingly coming out of nowhere. Then there’s Jose Tabata, AJax, and Brett Gardner getting to big league camp and going off to their appropriate levels (that is, Tabata-AA, AJax–AA, Gardner–AAA/MLB). And, most obviously, I look forward to Mike Mussina being gone, Chien-Ming Wang packaged with Jeff Marquez or someone else for Johan Santan (just dreaming…), and Phil Hughes, Joba, and IPK winning rotation spots. Yankee fans, whether this loss is disheartening or not, there is a very bright future ahead of us.
Joe Torre’s future is also in doubt. If he leaves, I am ambivalent, because as nice a guy he is with great people skills, he’s 67 and won’t manage forever. That said, I am not thrilled with the Phil Garners or, until yesterday, Dusty Bakers of the world. Tony LaRussa, as a scout told the Daily News the other day, is not a long-term solution with horrible people skills. Don Mattingly probably needs another year or two as bench coach to be ready to manage, and Joe Girardi’s problems with Florida ownership scare me. The best bet is Torre for two years.