Should they stay or should they go?

A call to action: make these moves now
Down on the Farm

Earlier today, Joe wrote an excellent post summarizing what we think the Yanks should do in the short-term to shore up this bumbling team. I wanted to take a look at a more drastic question: Who on the Yankees should the team consider trading?

So here is my version of “Should I stay or should I go?” for the 2007 Yankees roster. Now, keep in mind, I’m not advocating outright dumping any of these guys; the list under the headings They Could Go are people I would consider trading if the price is right.

They Should Stay
Chris Britton
Brian Bruney
Roger Clemens – I don’t think he’ll be good, but he’s not going anywhere.
Phil Hughes
Andy Pettitte
Scott Proctor
Mariano Rivera
Chien-Ming Wang
Jorge Posada – He’ll get a bigger contract than he deserves this off-season
Robinson Cano
Derek Jeter
Alex Rodriguez – Throw the farm at him. The Yanks would be utterly lost without A-Rod.
Hideki Matsui

They Could Go
Tyler Clippard – Despite his Minor League success, Clippard has the lowest ceiling among the Yankee pitching prospects. If a team asks for him in the right deal, I say ship him out.
Kei Igawa – His contract will become a Carl Pavano-like albatross because he’s bad. That’s all.
Kyle Farnsworth – Any minute now…
Mike Mussina – The second year of his current contract extension just looks worse and worse after every passing start.
Mike Myers – Lefties are hitting .306 off of this so-called lefty specialist.
Ron Villone – Just DFA him already and bring up Britton. What a waste.
Luis Vizcaino – Nothing to see here.
Wil Nieves – The Yanks’ catchers at AAA Scranton are worse than Nieves. Hard to believe, right?
Miguel Cairo – $200 million buys them Cairo and Nieves on the bench. That’s terrible.
Doug Mientkiewicz – With a little creativity on the part of Brian Cashman, the Yanks would be better off with Dougie on the DL. But not with Cairo at first base.
Bobby Abreu – Now I understand why Phillies fans were sick of him. Just stop bunting. Stop it.
Johnny Damon – It’s like Bernie Williams all over again.
Jason Giambi
Joe Torre – Maybe he shouldn’t be fired mid-season, but the Yanks shouldn’t bring him back next year. This team needs some new leadership.

A call to action: make these moves now
Down on the Farm
  • NYFan

    The only problem with this question is really that the Yankees brass needs to recognize that they really need to clean house and play for next year, but the odds of that mentality pervading the front office have got to be pretty low. “Give up on the year” isn’t likely to be a popular thought.

  • Adam

    I think I agree with that list exactly.

    The only problem is that I don’t see much out that I’d really want that would improve the team. I think all of our relieving holes can easily be filled within. Britton and Edwar immediately, and I think Sean Henn will pull a Proctor next season. At least that is what I keep telling myself.

    Eventually we can fill the rotation holes from within, but what do we do until then?

    Position players? I just don’t like the options. Let Abreu walk next season, but replace him with who? I don’t like any of the upcoming free agent center or right fielders, nor the huge contracts they’ll require. I think we need to ask either Matsui or Damon to play first, throw Melky in center, but that still leaves a gapping hole in right.

    Maybe try to find some low risk/decent upside outfielders and see which sticks like the Red Sox did with first/DH back in ’03 when they found Ortiz…

  • Marsha

    Maybe some teams in their entirety should go. Contraction would make more players available to fewer teams so maybe the Yankees could find those relief pitchers they desperately need.

  • Stuart

    replace abreu with Ichiro next yr… he has his issues but fielding, hitting for avg., and stealing bases are not his problem….

    he changes games with his ability to make contact…

    do not sign hunter or andruw, those contracts will come back to haunt anyone who signs them..

    try to get Tex in a trade and sign him for 5 yrs…. DFA Giambi(1 yr left) and put Damon at DH…Play melky or Ichiro in CF the other plays rf and Matsui in LF. arod, jeter, cano, and tex with posada and damon or whomever at DH. t that team is very good, power not off the wall but a good team, good speed, good d, and good for avg hitters……..

    disagree??? there real rpoblem is the pen, mariano is a yr older and the set up situation needs to be fixed.

  • NYFan

    I have my doubts that Ichiro would sign with NY. I don’t think he’d want to share the spotlight with Matsui. On the other hand, he might be willing to share that spotlight with DiceK, who he is good friends with…

    Tex isn’t going to sign a long-term deal. He is going to the open market. He has Boras as an agent.

  • Joseph P.

    Just say no to Ichiro. We do NOT need a 34-year-old slap-hitting outfielder — we already have Damon! Ichiro is going to take 4 or 5 years, and I do not want him around when he’s 38 or 39.

  • Stuart

    I love that guys tha post on websties know which players are friends with whom..I take that information with very little credence.

    your comment about Ichiro and 5 yrs is reasonable… I just think his high avg. will sustain longer then the other guys.. Hunter running into walls and andruws swinging from the heels creates feast and famine..

    at the end of the day excercising Abreu’s option is a no go so they need an outfileder.. anyone who thinks Damon can continue to play the OF with that arm is crazy teams would run on him as bad as they did yesterday on Moose.

    I am listening to mike nad the maddog destroy melky’s play in CF I do not see it.. he lost a ball in the sun, I think he can field well.

  • stepheneliot

    Top management rigidity has finally caught up with the Yankees plus some self-serving delusional behavior as well. It seems incredible to me to think that the Ynankees had adaequate pitching both from this year’s starters and releavers to serve them for this season. I agree with Ben’s list including Torre and” Moose”, but what about Cashman and what “evil” influence does Steinbrenner himself has on this team. I have no idea who really calls the shots for the tean and till their brain trust realizes that times must change this mess may contimue now and in the immediate future. There are no simple answers and time will tell how this all will play out. In the interim, let’s good good thoughts for our team and hope for the best.

  • NYFan

    “I love that guys tha post on websties know which players are friends with whom..I take that information with very little credence.”

    Well, that’s been well documented. I didn’t just make it up. I’ve read in multiple reliable news sources that they became good friends during the WBC, and so on.

    You don’t have to believe me. I don’t care. Go search for it yourself.

  • Mike A.

    As far as I’m concerned, Proctor and Matsui could go and I wouldn’t be upset. I’m not saying Cash should actively try to move these guys, but if the right deal comes along…

    If it was up to me, Mink would be a Yankee for life. I love watching the guy, especially when he hits a bomb off the facing of the upper deck off Cream Filling Curt Schilling.

  • Dan

    I`d trade Farnsworthless, Nieves, Vizcaino, Myers, and Villone for a backup catcher that can hit something like .230/.330/.400. Than call up Ramirez, Britton, Henn, and Kozlowski to fill their spots.

  • Rich

    I would trade anyone if it would improve the team while also making it younger. Obviously, the chances of trading Jeter or A-Rod and accomplishing those twin goals is incredibly remote, but I would, for example, would trade Matsui in a heartbeat.

  • Joseph M

    I’d like to focus my comments on a couple of listings.

    Matsui should be moved from stay to go. Matsui peaked in 2004 gradually declining over the last two and a half years. On the surface, 2005 looked as good as the first two seasons but it wasn’t, the injury last year covered up the continued skills erosion. This year his numbers are soft an all those ground balls… . With two years left on his contract this is the time to move him and get value in return. (I understand his promotional value to YES and the Yanks in Japan that’s why if Seattle does decide to move Ichiro the two clubs have a match.

    Joe Torre should have been fired after 2005. The sooner he goes at this point the better. If the job is going to Girardi then the Yanks should give him a chance to get a feel for the club in the second half.

  • Tano

    A few dissents.

    I am one of the few Igawa fans around (hey, there really should be one or two, no?). I think the guy has real talent which we have seen on display for short periods of time. I think he can raise his game, getting more consistency. I think he can be what we all hoped he would be, a very good #4 or 5.

    Myers has a 231 BAA. So what if he suddenly has been transformed into a “get out righties’ specialist for some odd reason? His overall numbers are second best on the team, and he is a flexible workhorse.

    Move Matsui? Insane! (not directed at you Ben, obviusly).

    And Cairo? I think he is an excellent utility guy. What kind of a bat do you expect from a bench player? His defense has been excellent – as good as Minky. And, while we are at it, his bat is no worse than Minky. What can you ask of a utility guy other than to take over for a starter and give you same level of performance? Plus play 3 other positions if needed. Keep Miggy!

    Damon needs to get healthy before I get on the dump Johnny boat. If he can get and stay healthy, then keep him – even if only as a DH.

    Not much argument with the rest though.

  • barry

    I think you’re going a little crazy. A cairo does a fine job for what he is. B Moose, and all of the yankee starters, are made to look worse than they are by the yankee line-up, is he loosing something, yes, but Moose will finish the year still being Moose. and C i’d pay Posada the sum of everyone one of the could go list’s salaries just to continue doing what he’s doing. bottom line we need to dump some guys at the end of they year, problem is no one is going to want what we have at this point. We might have to trade some big name prospects if we’re even going to consider help like teixeira or anyone else. The only way we’re going to get any type of bolstering of this lineup is by giving up hughes, at the least.

  • Ben

    The only way we’re going to get any type of bolstering of this lineup is by giving up hughes, at the least.

    That’s simply wrong and misguided, Barry. No offense. Would you trade arguably the best pitcher prospect in the Majors for anything? No. No. No. No one is trading a 21-year-old pitcher with a VERY high ceiling. Not for Mark Teixeira, not for anything. I would trade Hughes for Albert Pujols or Johan Santana, and that’s it. That, by the way, ain’t happening.

    The Yanks can get better without trading Hughes, and they will get better without trading Hughes.

    As for Cairo, his VORP is -2.1. That means his actually worse that the next best option as a backup infielder/starting first baseman. He’s not doing his job; he’s doing a terrible job.

    I will argue Mussina to the death. He’s not what anyone expects. In fact, Moose has shown me nothing this year. He’s grown more cantankerous in his older age; he’s shown less of a willingness to finesse his starts. He hasn’t come to grips with the fact that he just isn’t the same pitcher he was. The first half of last year was a fluke. Since June 26, 2006, Moose is 9-9 with a pedestrian 4.32 ERA and an average of 5.5 IP per start. That’s what you’re going to get from Mussina from here on in if you’re lucky.

    Posada will be a catcher on the wrong end of 35. History is not on his side. I think the Yanks should and will sign him, but like most of the members of this team, he’ll be overpaid.

  • Rich

    Yeah, trading Matsui, a league average offensive LFer and a below average defender, is insane.

    Make your case instead of just posting baseless insults.

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  • Joseph P.

    “Myers has a 231 BAA. So what if he suddenly has been transformed into a “get out righties’ specialist for some odd reason? His overall numbers are second best on the team, and he is a flexible workhorse.”

    The question about that, though, is if the trend will hold up. Myers’s career numbers says it won’t (and then again, his career numbers say his failure against lefties won’t keep up, either).

  • mickey07

    Its not the Yankee way to blow up the team and look for trades. I don’t think that helps what is already bad karma on the team. We are getting zero leadership from coaches and Joe. Lets face it – this season is toast. Bring up farm system kids and give them a real chance. Some will stick, some will fade and it sends a real message to some of the hangers – on that their job is in jeopardy. Maybe we will even see some enthusiasm. I watched the SF games and no one was even talking to each other on the bench when we got behind. Putting some of the farm system pitchers in relief roles will help them get their heads together. Its a lot different telling a 20 year old kid to get three guys, in a middle inning as opposed to having him start and figure out a whole lineup several times over.

  • Barry

    if not hughes than who do you expect to trade. NO ONE is going to want what we’ve got.

  • Ben

    Why would you trade Hughes for some expendable part that sucks? Newsflash: Jermaine Dye would not make the Yankees better. Neither would Mark Buehrle. It just isn’t worth trading Hughes for a piece of junk.

    Tell me a trade that justifies including Hughes. That’s my challenge to you.

  • barry

    that doesnt change the fact that the only way the yankees get anyone is by giving up Hughes or at the very least joba and another top prospect. its not that i disagree with you that something has to be done but the cold fact is that it will be hard for the yankees to do anything this year without giving up hughes. Good news isthe free agent market is floodedthis year i say rebuild the team bottom up. We should see if guidry wants to start pitching again.