Jun
01

Five players that could help the Yanks (with no commitment for ’08)

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As the calendar turns to June, the Yanks are close to being dead in the water.

In April, they went 9-14, scoring 131 runs while allowing their opponents 125. Poor starting pitching performances spearheaded the loss column, though a potent offense mitigated some of the damage — which says a lot, considering the results.

In May, they went 13-15, scoring 137 runs while allowing their opponents 143. This was due to hitters not hitting for games at a time. However, the team line of .276/.351/.431 is comparable with the team April batting line of .268/.347/.421.

The pain of this season is simple: the highs are too high and the lows are too low. And, in the end, the stats balance themselves out. However, because their standing is based on the results of games, rather than an amalgamation of the entire season, they’re sitting in last place in the AL East. Only Kansas City, Texas, and Cincinnati have won fewer games than the Yanks (they share a win total with Tampa Bay, Washington, Chicago, St. Louis, and Houston).

Now Jason Giambi is out, leaving a hole at DH. There are a number of things the Yankees can do to fill that gap. The most likely is to rotate it among Matsui, Abreu, and Damon, leaving Melky in the outfield full time. Another is to add Josh Phelps to that rotation.

But the Yanks have other glaring problems that need to be addressed. Brian Cashman needs to work the phones to see if he can salvage this season with a few replacements. Because we could get them for less value than, say, Mark Teixeira, here are a list of five players I wouldn’t mind seeing Cashman trade for. Suggestions? Leave ‘em in the comments or hit me with an e-mai: rabjosephp at gmail dot com.

1. Scott Hatteberg. As mentioned, the Reds one of the few teams to have a worse record than the Yanks. Things look sort of brighter with Josh Hamilton set to return, but this team doesn’t look to be going anywhere fast. Would they really miss Hatteberg? I don’t think so. Could we use Hatteberg? Absofreakinlutely. Dougie Do Nothing has done just enough to stick around, and his 79 OPS+ is burdening the team. People may rave about his defense, but Hatteberg is no slouch patrolling first base (.821 Zone Rating for Mink, .854 for Hatteberg). He has a deal for this year ($1.65 million) plus a club option ($1.85 million) for next year.

2. Jon Rauch. The last thing Washington needs right now is a strong bullpen. They’re so deficient in every area that having a reliever like Rauch is almost a waste (like the Pirates and Mike Gonzalez). Getting young value for him would be a rare astute move by GM Jim Bowden. However, there are a few factors to consider in a trade for Rauch. First, at 28 he’s relatively young. He’ll just hit his three years of service time this winter, so he’s under his team’s control (via arbitration) for three more years. So he might cost a young arm. Second is that he’s not performing particularly well this season: 5.27 ERA. However, his WHIP is 1.21, so this could be a product of luck. Still, he could be a solid addition to the bullpen.

3. Reggie Sanders. Please, don’t kill me. We’re looking for guys that are attainable and likely available. At 39 years old, Sanders is just that. With David DeJesus and Mark Teahen already in the outfield and Billy Butler available, there is no reason to keep Sanders around for another losing season. Might as well get the youngsters some playing time. He’s making $5 mil this season, and was hitting .367/.446/.612 before hitting the 15-day DL on May 3. It was a hamstring strain, so he’d fit right in with our crew!

4. Akinori Otsuka. Another guy who might come with a bit of a price tag because he’s under his team’s control for three more years (though he made $3 mil in arbitration this year, and he was posted, so I don’t know how that affects his free agency clock). However, he’s a useless part for a shitty team like the Rangers. He’s started off strong, posting a 2.75 ERA in nearly 20 innings so far. Unfortunately, the Yanks won’t be the only team pursuing him.

5. Bob Howry. Okay, so he’s not doing so hot this year (5.11 ERA). However, the guy has had a total of one and a half bum years in his career, and they were with Boston. The guy isn’t going to have a 1.54 WHIP all year, so you might as well see if Hendry is willing to sell low on him.

Categories : Rants
  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben

    That is one depressing list of players right there.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

    Depressing because they’re actually upgrades?

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben

    Yup.

    If I were putting a team together, the only one I would want right now would be Otsuka. But they’re all playing better than more than a few players on this $200 million team Cashman’s assembled.

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Why make a move for Scott Hatteberg when Shell-Eric Duncan would probably give you the same production?

    Rauch is a stud, he’d be the team’s best reliever that doesn’t have a 1-way ticket to Cooperstown. I’d move Clippard for him in a heartbeat.

    Otsuka and Howry would be moot points if frickin’ JB Cox didn’t get hurt.

    Sanders? Eh, just another injury riddled old guy, so yeah, he’d fit right in.

    I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but it’s sad that we are talking about these guys as upgrades (save Rauch).

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

    Not that there’s any guarantee that he’ll keep up this pace, but do you really think either of the Duncans could hit .310 .390 .488 right now? I mean, I’m hopeful for Eric, but in an overly optimistic/delusional kinda way.

  • John

    Washington is in need of starting pitching (they’ve only got three starters listed on their depth charts at http://www.mlb.com).
    Jesus Flores ain’t swinging much, but he’s looked ok overall (.244/.380/.341). Trouble is he’s a Rule 5 guy (from the Mets). Does he have to stay on the _National’s_ 25 man roster or _a_ 25 man roster?

  • John

    Also, what do you guys think the price would be for a guy like Ryan Klesko (SF) who can play 1B and the corner outfield?

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

    Rule 5 question: as I’ve come to understand it, you have to offer a Rule 5 pick back to the original club before trading him.

    Not sure about Klesko. He’s hitting well in 100 AB, but I don’t think the Giants are now or will be in a mode to ditch him. They’re not going to give up in the NL West.

  • Stylez

    Reggie Sanders??? Why stop thery’re, why not crawl to flushing and beg them cross town guys for Julio??? Seriously though Mike, Why trade Clippard who can be a big Innings eater and post a couple a pretty nifty seasons? Back of the rotation uh huh but Rauch is having an off year and until we get rid of Farnsworth and Vizcaino he really would be just a luxury…….Ala Britton all year!

  • Amol

    You’ve got the needs right, but I don’t think you need to trade for the solutions. There are players who can fill those needs in the organization, the problem is that we’ve got guys taking up roster space that we’ll be stuck with unless Cashman’s willing to cut them outright. Replacing Mientkiewicz with either Andy Phillips or Shelly Duncan would be a great start, and you’d probably do nearly as well as you’d do with Hatteberg. In the bullpen, you’ve got Vizcaino taking up space while being pretty ineffective, and cutting him in favor of Britton would be just as good as getting Rauch or Howry. Also you’ve got Mike Myers, who has pitched pretty well, but when you’re bullpen is being hugely overworked you really can’t afford the luxury of a guy for whom an inning’s worth of work is a stretch. The team needs to give DeSalvo or Henn a chance to be the guy you can use regularly for two or three innings at a time.

  • Amol

    Oh, on a side note, how about starting another MOD over at minor league ball. The first one is too old for comments, and I’d like to offer some suggestions.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Amol – consider it done. I’ll post the link in a few…