Report: Yanks close with Loretta

Jorge, please shut up
Curry: Canó seemingly safe

Caught this one off a link from Buster Olney’s blog. Apparently, the Yanks are close to a deal with Mark Loretta. This comes in reference to the Rockies showing interest in the infielder:

However, the Rockies don’t like their chances, believing he will end up with the Yankees. While that deal is close, Loretta has made it known how much he likes the Rockies and would prefer to see how their second base situation plays out before signing with the Yankees.

According to Troy Renck, the Rockies have “as many as six internal candidates” for second base. They want to sign Loretta to add competition to the positional battle. This scares me.

Why? Because he’d have a far better shot at starting on the Rockies than he would the Yankees. Unless, of course, they planned to send Robinson Cano to the Twins in a Johan Santana deal. That would guarantee Loretta a starting job, or at least an unbiased competition with Wilson Betemit.

Of course, it could just be the money, and the Yankees are surely offering more. But with a full infield and Betemit as the backup, this report really makes one wonder if there’s something brewing at Yankees HQ.

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Jorge, please shut up
Curry: Canó seemingly safe
  • Tripp

    Firstbase candidate maybe?

    Yanks can’t be serious about trade Robbie Cano.

  • brxbmrs

    THe Yanks tried to get Loretta last year as well and there was some talk about having him play 1st.

    This is old school Yankee mentality where they try to acquire every role player that kicked their ass in the post season (like Womack – that worked out well) or regular season.

    Loretta has no power but he’s that “scrappy” type of player some in the Yanks org think they are missing.

    THe Yanks FO also falls in love with guys like Gabe White, Bet was another.

    Loretta isn’t a bad guy to pursue – good defensive second baseman as well – does make you wonder if they’d be crazy enough to trade Cano – hope not.

    Maybe it means Bet is going to play 3rd for the Twins ;-) – that is much more palatable although I’d like to see what he could do at 1st but if S. Duncan is healthy, he won’t get much of a chance.

  • brxbmrs

    I hate guys that beat me to the punch AND say what I want to say in 10% of the words – show off ;-)

  • http://www.mvn.com/mlb-yankees Jim Johnson

    If they’re considering him for first, that would mean they’re trading Shelley Duncan. And I’d say that Duncan is more valuable due to his power potential and his ability to spell corner outfielders.

    Nope, something is going down. This move wouldn’t be made unless there was going to be an opening that needed to be filled.

  • brxbmrs

    Doubt anyone wants Duncan with his recent shoulder op – most likely its Bet that other teams tried to get from Cash when he traded Proc.

  • http://YFvSF Nick-YF

    First and second reactions for me: bad news. He probably has negative value at first. And he’d be a drastic downgrade from Cano. I guess I could live with him being a super utility guy, but that’s it.

    Should we start printing those Save Robbi t-shirts?

  • Bill Porter

    I’ll REALLY be disappointed if Robbie is traded. I can’t see Loretta as a viable 1st base candidate. Hopefully it’s Betemit that they plan on moving and Loretta will play the super sub infielder role that Cairo performed to such modest distinction. I don’t like the sound of this.

  • Kanst

    My first thought on this was that they would be trading Cano but the more I thought about it the more it seems to me like Betemit may be going in any Santana trades. The twins need a third baseman on the cheap and betemit is just that. Maybe Betemit is the 4th player in the deal. If that is the case then I really like this signing, Loretta will be a solid utility guy

    • http://yanksfansoxfan.typepad.com/ysfs/ Nick-YF

      Yeah, the idea of this signing being designed as a contingency in case Betemit’s departs is ok with me. Then I like the signing as well.

  • Tripp

    It better be Betemit. Is Loretta a Left handed hitter?

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

      No. Right handed.

      • Tripp

        Well if Betemit is going then aren’t we going to need a left hander off the bench not another righty…I guess its all speculation anyways.

  • http://www.mvn.com/mlb-yankees Jim Johnson

    On the other hand, maybe there are serious doubts about Duncan after his shoulder surgery… I hadn’t thought of that. I’m probably just grasping at straws, but it’s possible that they think his right-handed bat may need replacing, at least early in the year.

    To which your response should be, “Who are you trying to convince, me or yourself?”

  • E-ROC

    I would rather have Mike Lamb at first than Loretta, if that’s indeed the case. Alberto should play second if Cano is traded. I hope the Yankees don’t trade Cano.

  • Rob – Ct.

    Loretta has to be only for utility reasons, it’s the only thing that makes sense.
    I honestly get nauseous when I think about the possibiltity of ever trading Cano. He is under 25, hits for power and average, can pick it at 2nd, who would you rather have at that spot!? I read the latest Bill Simmon’s chat and he actually said this about 3-way trade with Yanks/Twins/A’s.
    Can you imagine if they ever did something this outrageous!!

    …it almost makes more sense for the Twins to do a 3-way where they give up Johan but get Haren as part of the haul back, then Oakland gets a piece of the prospects. For instance, let’s say they get Haren and Cano, the A’s get Kennedy, Hughes and Cabrera and the Yanks get Johan… wouldn’t that work for everybody?

    Yeah, let’s have the yanks give up their starting 2nd basemen, starting centerfielder, 2 starting pitchers all for Johan then pay him 150 mil!!!
    Simmon’s is officially a moron!!

    • brxbmrs

      Rob,

      I love when they talk about giving up Melky and Cano – b\c they are the only two plus defenders on the diamond. With pitchers like Wang & Moose (who don’t K alot of guys) and the kids – wonder if defense is important….hmmm….

  • MS

    If we sent Cano in a deal for Santana, who else would have to be in the deal. I’d rather have Santana, Wang, the big three (maybe Petitte) as our staff with Loretta in our lineup rather than giving up 1 or 2 of them and having Cano. At this point if we could keep Hughes and Kennedy by dealing Cano, I would do it. Pitching, Pitching, and more pitching.

    • steve (different one)

      if there is one thing i have learned over the past 2 weeks is that it is SHOCKING how much Yankee fans underrate Cano.

      is it b/c he doesn’t “get his uniform dirty”?

      seriously, what is it?

      the guy is better than Jeter was at age 24, factoring in defense. think about that. think about Jeter before his 1999 season, and then try to rationalize trading him.

  • steve (different one)

    …it almost makes more sense for the Twins to do a 3-way where they give up Johan but get Haren as part of the haul back, then Oakland gets a piece of the prospects. For instance, let’s say they get Haren and Cano, the A’s get Kennedy, Hughes and Cabrera and the Yanks get Johan… wouldn’t that work for everybody?

    yes, everyone except the Yankees.

    Cano, Hughes, Kennedy, and Melky for Johan?

    lay off the weed.

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

    I will quite literally cry if we send off Robinson Cano for one year of Johan Santana. Talk about trades that aren’t worth it.

  • Glen L

    MS – i’ve gotta say i completely disagree … cano is a proven commodity and surely projects to continue to get even better … i’ve got a giant non-sexual crush on him

    the young kids may (and i believe probably will) turn into what everyone is expecting .. but as with any young pitcher they are all big injury risks … positional players are simply more valuable than pitchers (its why a-rod gets 300 mil and santana will get 150 mil)

  • jsbrendog

    can loretta play third too? if so then he’s insurance for duncan, who not only had surgery but didnt really do much other than hit homeruns when he came up (cough cough shane spencer) and we all know how that can go.

    Loretta as an option at first second and third with betemit an option pretty much everywhere except catcher and rf, cf, P (and he might even be able to pitch better than farnsworth) makes the utility sitch locked up in two guys instead of needing to go all crazy like. Plus betemit would be a serviceable starter at some positions on other clubs, and so would loretta so let’s say if cano stays, i could see this looking bad for duncan and possibly andy phillips. Phillips only plays 1 position and with loretta and betemit and giambi how many 1B do you need? two who can play other positions are beter than 1…esp since even though I LOVE (no homo) andy phillips he seems like a pat kelly type, good potential, could be great but can’t for any number of reasons string together a full season

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

      Andy Phillips? Dude will be 31 next year.

  • MS

    I don’t underrate Cano, I think too many people overrate offense. I’m sick of watching the Yanks bats struggle in the post season. The reason is because other teams have shutdown pitchers. We don’t and we need one. Defense and pitching wins in October. DOes anybody think we don’t make the playoffs because we trade Cano? Who would you rather have in a short series, Cano or Santana? It’s a no-brainer for me. Pitching!!!

    • steve (different one)

      Cano is the Yankees’ best defensive player.

    • Glen L

      Based on what Boston is reportedly offering though, the yanks would be insane to trade Cano … there simply isn’t a need .. various reports say the yanks current offer is kennedy, melky, tabata … which in my mind is superior to lester, coco, lowrie/masterson … why up the ante a billion percent and add in cano?

      in a short series .. sure johan is probably the person people would pick over cano .. but if we are talking about over the course of the next 7 years .. give me the positional guy with solid D that will hit .320/.360/.600 who is still very very cheap over a pitcher who very well may get hurt, who’s numbers have gone down every year for the past 4 years and who costs 150mm

  • jason

    Just a slightly different perspective on Cano being included in the trade.
    First, I agree he is tremendous, has huge upside potential, and will probably be (if not already) the best hitting 2nd baseman in baseball.
    However, if being included in the Santana deal, he can spare Hughes from being traded I would consider it. His defense can be replaced, or nearly replaced by someone like Loretta, and his offense from the 7 hole in the lineup is frankly overkill. I know position players are more valuable in general, but given the Yankes lineup, saving Hughes is probably more important than keeping Cano.
    Taking away Cano removes runs from a line-up that will still be in the top two of all of baseball, will add Santana to the rotation, and allow Hughes and Chamberlain to be retained. Remember that first base and ultimately the corner outfield spots have potential to add offense within a year as Abreu and Matsui and damon are replaced.
    This year Santana, Wang, Pettite (might be convinced to come back for a world series), Chamberlain, Hughes – with Mussina as insurance. We have two lefties, three veterans, two kids with huge upside, strikeout pitchers, and balance.
    Assuming Kennedy is in the trade, they then bring in Horne next year or as a call up. As Pettite declines or really retires you have the next group of top of the rotation prospects in Betances, Herdedia, Brackman, And some other high level prospects in Kontos, Marquez etc.
    Living in Boston, but being a diehard Yankee fan, it is clear that pitching is necessary to win it all. Giving up a homegrown, perennial all star is very tough, but getting a perennial Cy Young candidate, while preserving two potential Cyy Young candidates (Hughes and Chamberlain) is fantastic.

  • brxbmrs

    All the Yanks offense is old and getting older – Cano is a + player on both sides of the ball – and not yet in his prime.

    Every other Yanks position player is either in his prime (probably only A-Rod) or past it – Jeter, Posada, Damon, Sui, Abreu, Giambi.

    We’ll leave Melk out of this for now.

    Gotta look at it that way inre Cano – plus he gives you tremendous O for a 2nd baseman.

    Straight up Cano is worth much more than Santana. Santana will require a 140+ mil committment – he’s not worth everything he and the Twins want – let them choke on him.

  • http://mrsteinbrenner.blogspot.com BillyBalla

    I am one of the few that is not against trading a Cano even though my heart would rather not see him on another team. I would not make Cano an untouchable though, I would consider trading him and Melky with a 3rd prospect for Santana. My feeling on Cano is that he is not a 5 tool prospect with speed that can steal you 30+ bases, if he were I would than say make him untouchable, but he is not. Cano, believe it or not is replaceable. If you feel he is the next Rod Carew or Don Mattingly well than maybe it would be hard to replace his 30+ HR’s, 100 RBI’s and 300 Avg. But he has not shown that consistent ability to hit in the clutch during the regular season as of yet. Remember though that he is still young at 24 and he has shown an ability to hit in the clutch in his last post season as he along with Melky were the few that did hit in the 2007 post season. The other concern now that Larry Bowa is gone is his lapse of concentration and his work ethic. You have to remember that Melky did motivate him during the regular season to take the extra batting practice and get to the park early to work out like there Idol A-Rodiculous does. Bowa had him doing extra infield work as well. With Melky and Bowa gone how will this effect Cano?

    Some big news that I am getting from the Twins rumor mill is that the Twins would consider moving there 2nd baseman Alexi Casilla who is a natural SS to short which would make sense that Cano would be dealt there. I know many in this forum feel Cano is untouchable but I feel that Jeter cannot stay on SS for too many more years and 1st isn’t an option either. Cano’s defense is replaceable and while he projects as a number 3 hitter in many lineups, I feel having a 2nd baseman that can steal 20+ bases and move runners over while playing a solid 2nd base is more important. Getting a SS that can play gold glove defense is just as important as pitching and defense wins in the playoffs. Jeter alone gives up 20+ hits a season according to those quacky stat nuts who have the time to crunch these numbers for us. He is weak to his left (up the middle) but still strong to his right. Moving him to 2nd base would be his only option as he declines. If we are to keep Cano where we would we eventually put Jeter in 2 years when we face this crisis. You know Jeter is retiring a Yankee. Cano can be replaced, but these pitchers like the big 3 and Horne, Betances, and the others following cannot. If Cano is not the trade bait and Kanst is right that perhaps Wilson Betemit is the 4th player in the trade, well I say great. But now we are once again faced with having to trade one of the big 3. Which option is better? We can keep Cano and instead of Cano, Melky, and a 3rd prospect we trade IP Kennedy, Melky, Betimit, and Alan Horne. I am starting to feel that we should be careful giving up a Horne, Jackson, or Tabata as the 4th prospect as we have seen what Boston is offering and based on that we shouldn’t be overpricing.

    The other big rumor I heard is the Twins are very interested in Mark Melancon. He is a closer with electric stuff that just came off Tommy John Surgery. He is a pitcher that the Yankees may seriously need being that we are not going after any relief free agents. The only problem is the Twins may trade Nathan and feel Melacon is the replacement. He has nasty stuff and the only reason the Yankees were able to grab him in the 4th round of the 2006 draft was because of injury concerns. Prior to going on the disabled list with the surgery he was lighting it up. If he is back healthy we shouldn’t be surprised if some time during the2008 season he is on the roster as the set up man for Mariano.

    The reason I would consider trading Cano would be 1- to keep the big 3 of course and 2- to eventually allow Jeter to move to 2nd base and sure up our defense. That move is inevitable if Jeter is going to retire a Yankee. Keep the big 3 and trade Cano and Melk with a J.B. Cox! I am all about keeping the youth and infusing youth with the veterans, but in this case we get to keep our young positional prospects such as a Tabata, Jackson, Montero, etc. as well as our young top gun pitchers. In 2 years we see if this kid Carmine Agnello who would have been an early 2007 draft pick and the best HS SS prospect available if teams would have known he was going to accept a contract and forego is full scholarship to I believe it was Rice (one of the major college baseball teams).

    I have faith in Cashman and his scouting staff to make the right decision and not sell the farm. Hopefully Hank is reading this!

    • steve (different one)

      I feel having a 2nd baseman that can steal 20+ bases and move runners over while playing a solid 2nd base is more important.

      this is retarded. sorry.

    • Brian

      I just have to remind BillyBalla that in his exuberance he can’t get the name of Carmen Angelini right. For the love of Carmine Agnello, whoever that guy is, you need to let him go. These aren’t bad suggestions necessarily, BillyBalla; I think we are all a little apprehensive about where Jeter fits in three years. Right now I just think that our prospect strength in pitching far outweighs our position guys (Angelini and others are at least three years out), so when you work on trades, it isn’t too palatable to talk about Cano as the centerpiece. But if he can land you the best pitcher in the game, you’re right, it’s not outrageous.

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

    But he has not shown that consistent ability to hit in the clutch during the regular season as of yet.

    Let’s pretend for a moment that “clutch hitting” actually, which it doesn’t. But so what? Robinson Cano, a second baseman, hit .300/.350/.490 last year. More than a few of those base hits came with runners on base, and you need that sort of production anyway to win games. The fact that he doesn’t hit .500 in the 9th inning like A-Rod did doesn’t mean he isn’t valuable.

    In fact, I’d say that Cano, based on his age and career trajectory, is more valuable to the Yanks than Santana would be.

    • steve (different one)

      In fact, I’d say that Cano, based on his age and career trajectory, is more valuable to the Yanks than Santana would be.

      amen.

      factoring in $$ and i’m not sure it is even close either.

      yankee fans have officially become OBSESSED with Johan Santana. past the point of rationality.

  • E-ROC

    I have faith in Cashman. I just don’t trust Hank. He might fall off the deep end and overpay for Santana.

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

      that’s what i’m afraid of.

  • http://mrsteinbrenner.blogspot.com BillyBalla

    Ben K.– In 2 years where does Jeter play? Is he going to be the SS when he is 37 years old? I’m not sure I want him playing one of the most critical defensive positions at that age with his decline in range. Cano’s defense is replaceable. It’s his offense that is huge, but that can be replaced easier than pitching.

  • Zack

    What if they were moving Cano to get Haren, AND moving Hughes to get Santana? I know its far fetched, but would you give up Melky, Cano, Hughes, Horne, Tabata, and Melencon for Haren AND Santana? That would give you a rotation of Santana, Haren, Wang, Joba, Kennedy/Pettitte?/Moose…

    I’m just saying. It won’t happen and its a ton to give up (probably would be even more) but you never know…I think I’d do it…

    On another note, just remember when Cano is starting off super slow again next year and everyone is calling for his head how much of a 2nd half player he has turned out to be

    • Jeterismyhomeboy

      You’d have a kickass rotation with two mediocre position players under 32 (Duncan–28; Betemit–24). Hughes is a two-time best pitching prospect in baseball. Cano is not a trade chip; he is a bonafide, established ML player. Plus, he’ll be getting expensive in a year because he’s a Super 2, and will be eligible for arbitration. Shopping off Melancon without getting bullpen relief in return is moronic (unless he’s just part of the deal to tip the balance to NYY if BOS adds Ellsbury). Horne has limited value to the Yanks until we see how the Big Three shake out, but Tabata is an enormous piece of the Yanks future. You’d be giving up about twenty+ years of cost-controlled talent and 140 million dollars for 7 years of Johan Santana and 3 years of Dan Haren. Not to mention whatever obscene price you’d have to pay to get Rowand or Jones in CF to replace Melky.

      Drugs are bad. Just say no.

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  • jason

    Billyballa – I agree with you.
    I want to keep all of our youngsters and pass on Santana, particulalry with an alarming fall off in the the second half of the year.
    I just feel if you way giving up the entire farm, vs cano, I would go with Cano. He is great and wil probably improve.
    But again, we do not need the best hitter at every position.
    His offense can be replaced in other positions in the coming years and his defense can be replaced now.
    The Yankee lineup can overcome a week hitting second baseman.
    Other teams will not be able to overcome a rotation of Santana, Wang, Pettite, Chamberlain, Hughes (followed by Horne, Kontos, Marques, Brackman, Heredia, Garcia) and a bullpen of Melancon, Sanchez, Vizcaino, Rivera, a converted starting minor league pitcher or two).
    Pitching wins world championships. Look at 2007, the Yankees scored more runs then everyone and were still not even IN the World Series.

  • jason

    Sorry – weigh not way in the above

  • Glen L

    Let’s worry about what position Jeter will be playing when he’s 37 when he’s 35-36 … not right now :)

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

      Seriously. We’ll deal with Jeter at 37 when he gets to 37. But hopefully not short stop. We’ve got a long way to go though and Jeter’s not even under contract for his age 37 season yet.

      • steve (different one)

        yes, let’s trade Cano so that we have a parking space for a 37 year old Jeter. that makes sense.

        nevermind that Cano is better than Jeter right now.

        that is one of the craziest reasons for trading someone i have ever heard.

  • Eric

    Can we all take a deep breath?

    Isn’t having a top notch bench something we all desire and need? The more talent the better. Just because they bring a guy in doesnt mean they are trading anyone

  • http://nyyu.blogspot.com Mike

    Don’t believe Olney!

  • Pete

    Please God let it be Ian/Melky/Betemit/Tabata for Santana. That’s 3 MLBers and a 4-star (according to BP) prospect.

  • Jon

    Is it possible the Yanks could use Betemit in a platoon with Duncan at first? I think there’s room for both Loretta and Betemit if the Yanks decide to keep Giambi on the bench most of the time.

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

      i’ve been pimping that idea all offseason.

  • barry

    If the Yankees trade Cano I’ll be disgusted

  • ceciguante

    to all those who say pass on santana, don’t forget that his effective value doubles in the short term (i.e., 2008) if he goes to boston. safe to say that boston is an enormous WS favorite if they land santana, and while i can’t speak for anyone else, i know i’d be mighty displeased if boston just dominated the decade by building a dynasty in the last 2 years of the old yankee stadium.

    building for the future is vital and must not be derailed, but the yanks must be concerned with winning in the present as well. santana won’t come without giving up major value. i love cano, but his bat has never been the difference maker in the playoffs. the lack of elite picthing has been the difference maker. here’s to hoping it’s ian/melky/betemit/tabata or like deal, so we save hughes/joba/cano. but we’ve gotta do what we’ve gotta do to be WS winners in 2008 and 2009, not 2011 after boston is hanging their 4th banner in a decade and the yanks are a disgraced also-ran.

  • Brian

    (I meant to post this one down here)
    I just have to remind BillyBalla that in his exuberance he can’t get the name of Carmen Angelini right. For the love of Carmine Agnello, whoever that guy is, you need to let him go. These aren’t bad suggestions necessarily, BillyBalla; I think we are all a little apprehensive about where Jeter fits in three years. Right now I just think that our prospect strength in pitching far outweighs our position guys (Angelini and others are at least three years out), so when you work on trades, it isn’t too palatable to talk about Cano as the centerpiece. But if he can land you the best pitcher in the game, you’re right, it’s not outrageous.

    • ceciguante

      NB: carmine agnello (surname = lamb, in italian) must be the cousin of sal agnello, the “mayor” from my old bklyn neighborhood. didn’t know he could play ball, carmine. nice kid.

  • LouG

    What would y’all think if they traded Robbie, and one of the trinity, for Santana AND Nathan?

  • Spike

    Don’t we have enough righty, so-so, first base candidates? And its not like Cano needs to be rested. Doesn’t make sense to me.

  • Donnie Baseball deserves to be in the Hall

    Who knows if Duncan is healthy? Loretta is an odd move any way you slice it. I for one am sick and tired of having shlock at 1st base yet still having a $200 million plus payroll.

    Go get somebody worth a damn if your going to get somebody.

    Man I would love to see Giambi off of this team, and stop clogging up a roster spot. We would have been able to have Pena at 1st two years ago if they had, had the balls to release Giambi.