Let’s play a game

Girardi following in the footsteps of Mel Hall
Quick hits from Cash-money

Let’s say you have two players at the same position, and they put up four-year splits that look like this:

Player A: .250/.323/.408 with 83 HR and 333 RBI.
Player B: .303/.403/.573 with 173 HR and 513 RBI.

Which one do you choose? Bonus points if you can identify “Player” A and Player B. That’s a hint.

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Girardi following in the footsteps of Mel Hall
Quick hits from Cash-money
  • Mike R.

    I choose player A because player B is clearly on the juice.

  • RJ-CT.

    You chose player B, which has to be A-Rod.
    Is “player” a Crede or Lowell.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Admittedly, it’s something of a false dichotomy. Player A is the production the Yanks got from 3B from 2000-2003. Player B is the production the Yanks got from A-Rod from 2004-2007.

  • NYFan50

    The second one has to be A-Rod. The first is thus another third baseman. My first guess would be Lowell, but that seems too low, even though he did have that one terrible year.

    Can rule out Wright, Chipper, Zimmerman, Miggy, Rolen, Aramis, Sanchez, whoever is playing 3rd for Houston nowadays, Encarnacion, Braun, Atkins, McPherson, Figgins, Beltre, Crede, Gordon, Iwamura, Glaus…

    Could be Inge, Blalock, Feliz, Mora, Blake…those guys all have to be around that general area. I’m not sure which it would be, though.

  • http://breakingballs.riveraveblues.com Caleb

    Are the Yankees really thinking of going after Joe Crede and his .305 career OBP?

  • brxbmrs

    Ben,

    I think the answer has to be, replace the gaping hole in offense that we created at 1st last year with Minky\Phillips\Cairo\Bet\Duncan.

    Crazy as it might be, I want to see Duncan get 400 AB’s.

    I think if the Yanks don’t go back on their bye bye A-rod stance, they will bring in a slugger at 1st – maybe even Miggy Cabrera who may not cut it at 3rd, and go with a guy like Crede\Bet.

    I think Bet can play + D at 3rd, but he’s not going to hit enough to play everyday – especially from the right side.

  • Jamal G.

    Damn, I was gonna say Eric Chavez.

    I know Cano says he doesn’t want to play 3B but I still think moving him to the hot corner with his power potential and signing Tadahito Iguchi to play 2B and have a guy who controls the bat well in the lineup is the best low-risk move right now. Trading for either Tejada or Carera will cost us us in the prospect bank (too much for Cabrera IMO) and offensively Joe Crede is not that huge of an upgrade over Betemit. Adrian Beltre is a nice thought and maybe the Yanks can pull a Boby Abreu and eat his contract as to not give up any high-ceiling guys but still he might be one to wilt under NY lights.

  • Travis

    I agree that the big hole is first base, not third base. By the way, how many times did we go to the World Series with Player A versus Player B?

    We have enough hitting without A-Sham. Pitching wins.

  • http://ibleedblueandwhite.blogspot.com Jamie

    I wore a blank Yankee Road Jersey last night for halloween and put, “A-Fraud” as the name and for the number I put a $. I thought it was creative

  • Jon

    If you want to be tricky, how about this one?

    Player C:
    .275/.369/.499 (OPS .868) with 32 HR and 91 RBI (for one season)

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      This one’s stumping me. Hints?

      • Jon

        Nah, not worth it because nobody would ever get it.

        That’s Betemit’s 3 year averages against RHP, prorated to 506 plate appearances (the amount ARod had against RHP this year), plus Morgan Ensberg’s 3 year averages against LHP, prorated to 172 plate appearances (the amount ARod had against LHP this year).

        That’s my solution for 3B. That .868 OPS should cost about $2-3M.

        For reference, Lowell’s 3 highest OPSs are .881, .879, and .870.

        • NYFan50

          Jon, I am also in favor of a platoon unless a great trade situation comes up for a young 3B. The Ensberg/Betemit one makes the most sense for the least amount of money.

    • Jamal G.

      Its stumping me too, because unless I missed something the only player with 32 HRs and 91 RBIs in the same season since 1995 was Ellis Burks of the 2002 Cleveland Indians.

      Help us out with a hint or two.

    • dan

      Those numbers look great, but see what happens when you do the same thing with the last two years instead. Betemit batted .305 in 2005, and ensberg hasn’t been the same since his career year. He’s been atrocious with the bat the last two seasons.

      • Jon

        Nope. Still good against lefties (Ensberg). I don’t think they’ll be that worse – if I think to come back tomorrow I’ll run the numbers.

  • http://mybaseballbias.com JMM

    Examining the third-base dilemma over at my blog, I’ve realized that there is no one within the organization or on the FA market this winter that could remotely help the Yankees at that position (Lowell, yes, but it’s a long-shot).

    Cashman and Co. are going to have to get creative through a trade. I would go after Crede. He’s solid defensively and should be healed from back surgery (he’s actually been cleared to start baseball related activities). The guy is only a year removed from 30 HR and 94 RBI. Plus, you won’t have to give up as much as you would for Miguel Cabrera.

    If you can dump Damon and save your resources for 2009, maybe Teixeira could be our answer at first-base. Crede, Jeter, Cano and Tex would be a hell of an infield in 2009.

  • Chris

    I would trade Hughes and some mid-level prospects for Cabrera in an instant if the Marlins would take it.

    • Relaunch

      Why, pitching is what wins. Yanks had a non existent 1st baseman this year. If they get an average 1st and 3rd baseman, the pithing improves, the loss AssRod wouldn’t hurt that much

      • Chris

        In fact, offense tends to win, at least over the course of the regular season.

        Cabrera is only 24; he hasn’t even hit his prime yet. As for Hughes, I think he’ll be a solid pitcher, but he doesn’t have Cabrera-level talent or upside in my view.

        • Ron

          I wouldn’t trade Hughes even up for that fat malcontent, and I doubt Cashman would either.

      • Steve

        I think some people fell in love with Joba and his dominance and lost sight of what Hughes can be. I think game 3 demonstrated that this guy was still getting his legs underneath him in August, which for a young pitcher like him was big. I know I may be going out on a limb but I really do think Hughes may be a better pitcher than Joba long term. A guy like him is special when he has this kind of poise and pitching IQ at such a young age. And thats not a knock on Joba, but I would not include Hughes or Joba in any deal, they should be untouchable. I would much rather see Wang, Cabrera or Kennedy get included in a deal. And I wouldnt get involved in Cabrera. The price is going to be ridiculous and Beinfest and Loria have a habit of holding the Yankees hostage. I think the best and only way to compensate for the loss of Arod is to go pitching and defense, which starts with Santana. And I think his trade value would be a lot more reasonable as the market wont be as big because of his impending free agency and resulting cost. And the Yankees do have some expendable pieces in order to get him.

  • http://mybaseballbias.com JMM

    I forgot to mention, the only problem with bringing in Crede and Teixeira is they are both represented by Scott Boras. Not good.

    • Chris

      That is a problem. I would be fantastic to have Teixeira, but with Boras in the mix, that seems less likely. Oddly enough, if Boras has managed to alienate the Yanks enough, it could literally change baseball.

  • Bill Porter

    2000 – 2003 World series appearances – 3. 2004 – 2007 World Series appearances – 0. Is the point that we would be better off with a replacement level third baseman? If so, I’m in. :-)

    • Travis

      Yes, Bill, yes! Sounds like a great plan to me.

  • Stylez

    Crede would be an abysmal mistake to sign and everyone on here thats lobbying for it will flip flop after the first 2 months when hes hitting to .250 with an OBP south of .300

    Garret Atking from Colorado has been rumored to be on the block and despite below mediocre defense, this guy is hands down the best reasonably attainable guy behind Lowell.

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    if Miggy can be acquired without giving up Joba, Phil or Cano, i’d do it. since he’s fat and cant play 3b, move him to 1b.

    trade for Ensberg (shouldn’t take too much) to platoon at 3b with Betemit. Beautiful!

    btw, y’all think Kennedy, Melky, Betances and Horne would be enough to get Miggy?

    • Chris

      I actually think that’s too much, and I’d rather trade Hughes and Melky straight up.

      • zack

        Too much but Hughes and Melky isn’t? I would make that trade, but I doubt the Marlins would. Look, Kennedy’s ceiling really isn’t that high. Betences is a long way off. Horne is still a year away without a spot.

        Hughes, on the other hand, has a very high ceiling and is ML ready. If the Yanks could get Cabrera without giving up Hughes/Joba, you pretty much have to make the trade. That leaves you still stacked in the rotation AND gives you a young stud in the lineup. Fat, yes, but if there is anyone who can get him into shape, its Joltin Joe Girardi-o

        • Relaunch

          Apparently then you don’t remember that Girardi was his manager already and all he did was get fatter

  • Travis

    I’d love to see the Yankees employ some platoons. Some very successful teams have used them to great advantage.

    • http://ibleedblueandwhite.blogspot.com Jamie

      charlie hayes and wade boggs?

    • Jon

      Yeah, teams rarely look at platoons, and I don’t know why. I’m shocked that Oakland doesn’t – I think platoons really are this year’s moneyball (i.e. undervalued) idea.

      The Yankees already have the tougher to find part – the LH hitter who can be successful in 400 AB against RHP. And to top it off, he’s awful against LHP. This is so obvious I’m really shocked more people are not suggesting it.

  • Mac

    Just throwing this out there…but boy would this be a good time for eric duncan to figure his shit out…

  • Brian

    I was just thinking about ericDunculous; with Shelley mentioned today as the platoon with Giambi and Phillips, I have to think that Eric Duncan has the ability to make the switch back. That said, he’s not ready next year. No way.

  • Ron

    I can’t claim this as an original idea, as I read it somewhere (here?), but how about moving The Captain to 3rd and putting the former Attorney General at SS? While I think this would have zero chance if Torre was still managing, it at least has a chance, however slim, of happening now. As long as we’re changing things…

  • bill73083

    A lot of yankee fans seem down on Phil Hughes. I’d really like someone to explain to me why they think he wouldn’t be a good pitcher. I know he had a rough August. However, in Sept. he had a 2.73 ERA with 18 Ks, 10 BBs, and 2 HRs in 29 2/3 IP. Even with his problems he posted a league avg ERA, and that’s while making the transition to the majors and battling a series of injuries. There have been plenty of pitchers who started out worse than Phil and ended up ok. Roger Clemens had an ERA+ of 97 in his 1st year. Greg Maddux had an ERA+ of 73. John Smoltz had an ERA+ of 67! Those guys turned out okay in the end. I’m not saying that Phil will be one of the all-time greats. But a single bad year doesn’t prove that he’s only a middle of the rotation guy.

    The Yankees single biggest problem since the end of 2003 has been the lack of pitching. Its amazing that as soon as we have an opportunity to have a few good pitchers people are looking to trade them away for more hitting. Even without ARod, the Yankees have one of the better lineups in baseball. They’ll probably still score nearly 900 runs in a season without him, especially if they can pick up an avg first baseman and figure out some solution for 3rd. What we NEED is pitching. Phil, Joba, and IPK provide that. Don’t get rid of them now after spending so much time developing them!

    • Jon

      Who’s down on Hughes? I think if anything, game 3 of the playoffs cemented him in after a somewhat disappointing 2nd half. He lost a few mph off his fastball which he should get back next season, and thus will nibble a little less.

      I’m expecting a lot from him next year. I don’t think you can even trade him straight up for Cabrera. there aren’t many players I’d trade him for – it would have to be someone who has more than 2 years before free agency…

      • Travis

        A lot of Yankees’ fans are down on Hughes and are happy to include him in theoretical trade proposals thsi winter. Not me.

    • Chris

      I would argue that the Yanks’ single biggest problem since the end of 2003 has been hitting in the playoffs, with the possible exception of the 2005 ALDS.

  • Jamal G.

    A lot of those Yankees’ fans are neither just bandwagoners or just casual baseball fans. If you want to trade Phil Hughes you just make no sense. When was the last time you saw a World Series team be led by their hitting? The 2007 Red Sox dominated the Rockies this year on the mound and in case you make the argument of the 2004 Sawkz, they had two #1 pitchers in Pedrom Martinez and Curt Schilling. Pitching wins Championships, that’s the bottom line and we have three #1 picks in our rotation (actually Joba is a sandwich pick) right now, why would you want to mess that up?

    • Chris

      You have to make the playoffs before you can win the World Series, and over the course of a 162-game season, a dominant position player is almost always more valuable than a starting pitcher. I don’t think that’s a very controversial statement; a position player, after all, gets to play and contribute every day.

      Check baseball reference’s most similar players on Cabrera through age 24. Number 1 on that list is Hank Aaron. Simply put, if Cabrera continues to play the way he has over the course of his career — and I admit that the weight is an issue, but could possibly be remedied by contract — he’ll be a lock HOF. As it is, he has finished in the top five of the NL MVP voting for the past few years. I’ll take a perennial– and it bears repeating — 24-year old MVP candidate that is a HOF front-runner over a single 20 year-old starting pitcher every time.

  • Art Vandelay

    I agree with Chris. I think if you could trade Hughes for Cabrera, you have to take it. It has nothing to do with being down on Hughes and everything to do with Cabrera being awesome. At the end of the day (assuming you think the weight problems aren’t an issue), Cabrera is a better player than Hughes. Plus, the Yanks have so much pitching in the pipeline and relatively fewer young position players that I think you have to start moving some pitching now and get value for it, since obviously not all of it will pan out in the majors. I would like to keep Hughes around as much as the next guy, but I would also like to fill a gaping hole at 3B with a HOF caliber player.