Yanks inquired on Jenks

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Ed Price, in an article for the Staten Island Advance, notes that the Yankees have asked the White Sox about Bobby Jenks:

According to a Yankees official, who asked not to be identified because he is not directly involved in the decision, the Yankees have inquired about Chicago White Sox closer Bobby Jenks to set up Rivera.

Jenks had a strong season (2.77 ERA, 40 saves in 46 chances and a record-tying streak of 41 consecutive batters retired), but a deal is considered a long shot. The Yankees’ best hope is that the White Sox fail to sign free-agent centerfielder Torii Hunter and thus ask the Yankees for Melky Cabrera or Johnny Damon in a trade.

The good news is that you won’t hear Joba, IPK, or Hughes involved in these potential trade talks. It also appears unlikely that Chicago would trade their closer, since he’s their only good reliever. With the recent Orlando Cabrera trade, it would appear that the team is still looking to contend. However, their team is full of fragilities and mediocrities. I would be surprised to see them contend in ’08 unless they make some kind of huge splash, though that would be tough, considering they have little talent on the farm.

Still, it’s nice to envision a Jenks-Rivera tandem.

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

    Maybe we could ship them some mediocre middle infielder on the wrong side of 30. The White Sox seem to be collecting those right now.

    • Alex

      what would they want with jeter?

  • Tripp

    Maybe they would be interested in a Giambi/Thome platoon?

  • Keith

    the papers are saying the Sox are trying to clear payroll to sign Torri Hunter longterm. It find it peculiar that they think they area Hunter signing away from serious contention, but i guess you would think that if he signes elswhere (rumored to be talking a 5 year deal with Texas), Kenny Williams is another step closer to just blowing it up.

    But everyone has a price. If Cashman thinks Jenks could be the difference maker the Yanks need at the back end of the pen, and it costs him a couple of arms below the top 3 or 4 (including Horne), then you make the deal.

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

      Horne and Melky?

      • felixpanther

        how about trading Farnswoth? he’s useless anyway

  • Rob

    The worries about re-signing Mo is that he affects their ability to attract a top-flight closer and his performance may not warrant the closer role for him.

    For instance, Joe Nathan is a free agent next next year. But do the Yanks give big closer money (which they’ve just drastically increased) for a set-up guy? And does he take it to be a set-up guy for two years then maybe a closer for two or three years? He’s probably worth it, but he has to be amenable, and effective, with a different role.

    • steve (different one)

      i can’t find this anywhere, but isn’t Nathan a Yankee fan? i thought i read that somewhere.

      he might take closer money to set up for the great Rivera for 1 year, share the role in 2010, and own it in 2011.

      • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Nathan’s a semi-local boy; grew up just outside of Newburgh and was drafted out of Stony Brook.

        • http://sportsmusings.wordpress.com JCP

          he’s also 32

          • http://sportsmusings.wordpress.com JCP

            and turns 33 on Thanksgiving

    • Count Zero

      It’s a valid point.

      But on the other hand, with Torre out of the picture, a Mariano that doesn’t pitch like a closer would find himself being a setup man to someone like Jenks or Nathan if they are doing the job. I don’t get the feeling that people will be slotted into permanent roles under JG.

      • Rob

        Mariano? I suppose they could move him, but I can’t see it unless he’s worse than Todd Jones.

        Crazy how jarring those years could be. Jete probably needs to move to LF now, but won’t until Matsui and Damon are gone in 2010.

        Jorge is still an okay catcher, but it’s just going to take one down year offensively for the calls to move him will come.

        So, 2010 could find Mo in a setup role, Jeter in LF, and Jorge at 1B/DH/C.

        • Rob

          One interesting note on Jete: He’s signed through 2010 (21M for 08-09, 22M for 2010). But he has 2356 hits right now. He’s been averaging a little over hits a season, even the last few. So three years at that pace, and he’s at about 2970 at the end of his contract when he turns 36. Of course, you have to re-sign him, but by that point he could be a light-hitting LF with creaky knees. Of all qualifying LF’s this year, he’d rank 8th in OPS just behind Matsui and just ahead of Raul Ibanez.

          • Keith

            How about Jeter moving to 2B, and Cano to LF?

            • http://sportsmusings.wordpress.com JCP

              2B, IMO, while not as demanding as SS, is still pretty darn demanding

  • Alex

    allow me to dream of a jenks-britton-bean 800 pound relief corps.

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

      Allow me to dream of never seeing Bean is a Yankee uniform again.

      • http://sportsmusings.wordpress.com JCP

        Bean obviously walked a fine line in the minors – by the time the Yankees were willing to give him any real shot, he was on the wrong side of it….

        ….wait for it….wait for it……here come the cries of “Colter Bean sucks”

        I know he sucks… but I still believe he could’ve been at least a league average reliever were he given a shot in 2004

        btw… AJax named HWB’s #1 Prospect by Baseball Prospectus… more fodder for the prospect hype machine, but also just plainly encouraging

        http://baseballprospectus.com/.....cleid=6945

        (subscription required)

  • Rob

    The W.Sox won’t trade Jenks this off-season. Maybe at the trade deadline, but Nathan could be available then too.

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Now here’s a crazy idea: what about trading for Jenks, then letting him close while using Mo as a 1996-esque set-up man?

    • Alex

      no way rivera has 107 innings in him anymore.

    • Rob

      I honestly think they should use Joba in that role this year, because he should have an innings cap at about 130-140 this year. 2 inning stints – 2 or 3 times a week would get him those innings and save his arm. Further, he could be used to help keep Hughes and Kennedy’s innings under control, cause both will be on limits as well, but not as severe.

      Imagine, space out Hughes and Kennedy, they throw six inning stints, then go to Joba for two in each game. He pitches another game if he’s needed.

      It’s the old Earl Weaver strategy with a sabermetric twist.

      • http://sportsmusings.wordpress.com JCP

        relievers don’t pitch 130-140 innings anymore because it has disastrous consequences for their arms – at least, that’s the current thinking in MLB – having to pitch 5-6 innings a week spread out over 3 games is much worse than doing so in 1 game

        • http://sportinggurus.com adkwriter

          It’s fine on you’re arm…modern baseball is ignorant.

  • E-ROC

    I wonder what it would take to ge Jenks. I doubt it would happen though. He’s one of the few players who is productive. Maybe Jeff Marquez, Cabrera, and relief pitcher. I just wouldn’t trade Horne though.

    • Keith

      agreed. any pitcher other than the top 4, plus melky, and if they want a lower level player, id give them a throw in prospect… i’d pull that trigger in a heartbeat.

    • http://sportsmusings.wordpress.com JCP

      I agree about Horne…. I really think that the Yankees have some good young pitchers (Cox, Sanchez, perhaps Melancon) on the way to the bullpen, as well as a bunch of other people who could do well in ’08 (Ohlendorf, Patterson, Edwar, Britton, T.J. Beam)

      I wouldn’t be shy about betting that one of those seven has a better year next year than Jenks given a couple of things:

      – Jenks had a 4.00 ERA in ’06
      – he’s a reliever, almost assuredly making his performance subject to large scale fluctuation
      – only 3.9% of the flyballs he allowed last year went out of the park, as compared with ~11% for the rest of his career
      – his BABIP last year was .254 – you don’t retire 46 straight batters without a hefty dose of luck

      Frankly I think the Yankees probably know all these things and I’m somewhat surprised they’d be willing to talk about someone with so much marquee name value because of the exorbitant price such a pitcher would inherently demand

  • Stephen

    I can’ see this happening unless the White Sox are going into a complete rebuild mode. Wait for him to become available over the summer if they fall out of the race.

  • barry

    Jenks would be a great pickup, especially if Mariano gets more arm problems this year.