Evaluating the Likelihood of a Salary Dump Trade December 9, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Atlanta Braves, Bobby Abreu, Chicago Cubs, Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, Kansas City Royals, Mike Mussina, Phillies, San Diego Padres.
As we know, the Yankees aren’t fully out on a Johan Santana trade. However, to proceed, they need to rid themselves of their glute of outfielders and pitchers. The likely victims of any such trade would be one of Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, Bobby Abreu, and Mike Mussina. The probability of any such deal is evaluated below.
Hideki Matsui, DH/LF, $13M per year for 2008-9 Considering the current market, Matsui is signed reasonably, as he brings to the table good power and contact skills, but below-average defense. Also, waving his no-trade clause likely isn’t a problem. Matsui has been a slight disappointment in New York, as his “Godzilla” moniker hasn’t quite showed up. The Giants are in preliminary talks with the Yankees, and, per Kevin Davidoff of Newsday on November 8th, the Yankees prefer to deal him over Johnny Damon. The Giants are willing to give up Jonathan Sanchez or Noah Lowry, but the Yankees should be able to garner more from such a solid player. If the Yankees sweeten the deal with a prospect–say, Alan Horne or Humberto Sanchez–the Yankees could conceivably get Brian Wilson, the “closer of the future” for the Giants. Include both, and the Yankees have themselves Tim Lincecum. Something can get worked out. Odds: 50%
Johnny Damon, DH/LF/OF, $13M per year fr 2008-9 Damon is overpaid, considering his decline and now lack of impressive skillset. Damon’s range has declined, but he is an average left fielder now. His power isn’t what it was, particularly with his current behemoth of little, nagging injuries that have taken away some of his skills, and his 2006 season, in terms of power, was a fluke. What should be expected next season is a .285/.370/.410 line of some sort, a happy medium between 2006 and 2007. His speed, a large part of his game, also suffers with these injuries. The White Sox have been mentioned with Joe Crede, but Crede isn’t necessary for the Yankees anymore. He could conceivably join the Royals–Justin Huber, a 1B for the Royals, has no place to play, and the Royals have had on-and-off talks with the Braves about moving David DeJesus. Speaking of the Braves, they have also been mentioned in Damon rumors. Money would be somewhat of a concern for both of these teams, and the Yankees would likely have to eat 9 or 10 million of the remainder of the deal. I like the Royal matchup better, as it gives us a power-hitting 1B with 15-20 HR power and isn’t a platoon player. However, Huber’s glove might be a problem. The Braves could probably offer Joey Devine, and I would take that too. But my gut feeling is that, in accord with Davidoff, the Yankees like Damon more than Matsui. Odds: 35%
Bobby Abreu, RF/DH, $16M for 2008 Abreu is also overpaid, considering he is slipping defensively, isn’t a power hitter, and has lost some of his trademark plate discipline. We all knew that Abreu wasn’t going to be the Abreu we got just after the trade, but I would have expected something between 2006 and 2007–again, a happy medium. What makes Abreu attractive is that he has a good arm in right with decent defense, and is also a lefty bat with deceiving speed for his size. His game is more gap power and doubles now, and that’s fine–just not with $16M as he is now. Regardless, he could fetch something good on the market, except that expectations for Abreu in 2008 are that he improves over 2007. That gives him more value to the Yankees than it does to another team, making it a better idea for him to stay. If the Yankees somehow jump into the Kosuke Fukodome race, Abreu is expendable. The Cubs are seeking a lefty bat as well, and there is a very real chance that Fukodome, whom they love, will land with the Padres, a team who offered him a substantial amount of money along with being on the West Coast. That would make Abreu attractives to the Cubs, who could also afford him. Though Sean Gallagher might be a need for the Cubs, he is a potential reap for Abreu. In a dream world, the Yankees could get Jeff Samardzija (RHP) or Tony Thomas (2B), but I would be surprised if that could happen. The Padres could definitely use Abreu, but money might be a concern for them, and the Yankees would have to eat money. The Yankees could reasonably reap Kevin Kouzmanoff, a platoon-playing 3B who is a power bat and could be an improvement over Wilson Betemit, or maybe OF Cedric Hunter. The Yankees definitely don’t have to move him if it’s not a deal they like, especially considering that, if he has a fine season next year, he could be a Type A free agent and net two draft picks. The clear thing is that Abreu will not be back after 2008. Odds: 25%
Mike Mussina, RHP, $11M for 2008 Any deal involving Mussina would have to involve eating money. He simply isn’t worth $11M, especially that Greg Maddux makes 10. Mussina’s stuff really showed a decline–his fastball is around 85 MPH, his changeup wasn’t as good a setup pitch that it was in 2006, and he didn’t have a lot of confidence in all of his pitches, even in his best pitch, his knucklecurve. This deal, however, is one the Yankees should wait to make until Spring Training. The likely event is that Ian Kennedy will beat out Mussina for the 5th starter spot, and, if Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte, Chien-Ming Wang, and Kennedy come out of Spring Training healthy, there will be no place for Mussina. He doesn’t like to relieve, being
soft a creature of habit, so he will have to be dealt. The only obstacle is his no-trade clause now that he is 10-5 player. He has specifically said that he doesn’t want to pitch in Philadelphia, where, even in the National League, his stuff won’t stand a chance in that bandbox. If he would wave it to go to Philly, though, the Yankees could conceivably re-acquire C Jesus Sanchez and add catching depth to the system. The Yankees could conceivably get Wes Helms, a utility player, or 1B/OF Greg Dobbs. The Padres could also seek an upgrade over de facto 5th starter Justin Germano, and well-traveled former Rule 5 draft pick Wil Ledezma could be a return. Potential fifth OF Jason Lane could also be a reaped return. A little out there would be righty reliever Cla Meredith, but that might involve a package with Kei Igawa, and thus a lot of money-eating. The Yankees have other, better, higher-ceiling arms that can fill in for injured or innings-capped starter. However, manager Joe Girardi might be hesitant in having a rotation with three kids and two veterans. Odds: 25-35%.
Anemic Yankees Offense, Leaky Bullpen, Midges Lead to 0-2 Hole October 7, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Alex Rodriguez, Boston Red Sox, C.C. Sabathia, Chicago Cubs, Chien-Ming Wang, Cleveland Indians, D-Backs, Fausto Carmona, LA Angels, Midges, Phillies, Postseason, Rockies.
add a comment
So far this series has been unbelievable. The heavily-favored Yankees are supposed to beat up on Cleveland, make C.C. throw a lot of pitches and actually get to him, and then beat Fausto like they did in August. Apparently that’s not happening. However, all the crap that happened in Cleveland (the anemic offense, A-Rod in particular; the midges; and no sinker from Wang) has to change at the stadium.
I will tell you my picks for the playoff picture, before Game 1 of the NLDS that started on Wednesday.
Rockies v. Phillies
Rockies v. Cubs
D-Backs v. Cubs
Yankees v. Cubs (Yankees win)
Yankees v. Indians
Yankees v. Red Sox
Red Sox v. Angels
I’m afraid that might happen, and I wouldn’t be happy if almost all of my picks are wrong. Besides that, the Yankees are the best and deepest team in the American League, and they should be able to win any series against any current playoff team, except the Angels.
Get focused, and start dropping bombs.
Yankees Eliminated from East, ALPicture Set September 29, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Alex Rodriguez, Baltimore Orioles, Edwar Ramirez, Jay Payton, Johnny Damon, Jose Veras, Mariano Rivera, Mets, Phillies, Ron Villone, Ross Ohlendorf, Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
add a comment
The Yankees won 2 of 3 from Tampa Bay, but lost a very winnable game yesterday to the Baltimore Orioles. Mo Rivera (him?) allowed a triple to Jay Payton (his second of the night) to tie what was once a 9-6 lead. Then Edwar Ramirez all but completed his pitching himself off a playoff roster, as Ross Ohlendorf is picking up on him and Jose Veras, despite Veras getting the save on Wednesday (I called it first, here at YLF!). His spot on the 40-man eligibility for the postseason will substitute Carl Pavano, although Pavano would still get a ring if the Yankees get so far.
In other news:
- Ron Villone has all but made the postseason roster.
- A-Rod homered #54, and Johnny Damon was the first player this season to hit a ball out to Utah Street. Not a bad season for him, eh?
- The Mets lost last night but won today, and, looking at the Phillies right now, probably will tie it again.
- The Yankees are debating whether to take 5 bench players or 7 relievers. The seven would probably include various options of Britton, Veras, and Igawa, while the fifth bench player would likely be Alberto Gonzales (at least this one doesn’t lie!)
To let you faithful readers know in advance, on October 8th (my next off day) I will start a segment of top 10 Yankees prospects.