May
19

2008 is a big year for Melky Cabrera… and the Yankees.

By

This guest post is by Jim Johnson, formerly of Bronx Block.

Let’s look at the road Melky Cabrera has taken in his young career.

  • In 2005, he was brought up for a bit and embarrassed himself.
  • In 2006, he filled some holes when some injuries hit the team and out-performed expectations while playing most of the year.
  • In 2007, he became the starting center fielder early in the season. However, he did not take a major step forward in his development as one would have hoped.
  • As of 2008, Melky has made center field his own and his performance is fairly positive.

2007 was a troubling year for Melky. While playing in 20 more games and collecting 85 more at-bats than in 2006, his average dropped 7 points, his slugging remained the same, and his on-base percentage dropped a hefty 33 points. He stuck out more and walked less. This is not what anyone in the Yankee organization wanted to see. Melky has drawn comparisons to Bernie Williams and Carlos Beltran at the same point in their careers. Now, I don’t think that anyone truly believes that Melky can match Williams or Beltran in terms of talent, but the comparisons are there.

2008 is going to be a very important year for both Melky Cabrera and the Yankees. How Melky performs this year could set events in motion that could reverberate thought the entire Yankee organization. There are two possible scenarios. For the sake of discussion, let’s assume that the below come true.

  • Brett Gardner continues to develop as hoped and is ready to become the 4th outfielder on the Major League club in 2009.
  • Austin Jackson continues to develop as hoped and is ready to contribute to the Major League club mid-2009 and be the starting center fielder in 2010.
  • Jose Tabata continues to develop as hoped and is ready to contribute to the Major League club mid-2010 and be a starting corner outfielder in 2011.

If we assume that those 3 prospects work out as planned (which may or may not be a stretch), there are two ways this could all play out:

Scenario 1

Melky Cabrera improves on his plate discipline in 2008, increases his power numbers, and finishes with a batting average over .300. The Yankees decides that his potential is legit and decide that he has a long-term role with the team. With RF open due to the departing of Bobby Abreu, the Yankees decide to slide either Cabrera or Brett Garnder to RF until Austin Jackson is ready to make the jump to the majors. From then on, Gardner can slide into the role of 4th outfielder and pinch runner. The organization continues to develop Tabata and will decide which corner of the outfield to slot him into.

Backtrack to 2009. With Bobby Abreu departing and Melky moving to RF, there will be a heavy offensive drop-off. The Yankees will see an offensive reduction from C, SS, CF, RF, and potentially LF and DH. By losing their 3rd place hitter and replacing him with a bottom-of-the-order hitter, the Yankees will probably go out and sign Mark Teixeira to a hefty 7-year deal. Teixeira will be 29 at the start of the 2009 season and is a switch hitting first baseman with a .290 Avg / 30 HR / 100 RBI bat. He’s a two-time Gold Glove winner and two-time Silver Slugger winner.

With the need for offense, Teixeria will be able to name his price. By the end of the contract, much as we see with Jason Giambi, Yankee fans may be grumbling that they have better 1B options sitting on the bench because of the money the starting guy makes. Also, the deal with probably keep Jorge Posada behind the plate for an extra year than he would have otherwise. I see Posada as a C/1B/DH in year 3 of 4 and a DH in year 4 of 4. Teixeira’s signing will block 1B for Posada, possible Jesus Montero and, of course, Derek Jeter. With a full outfield and 1B tied up for the foreseeable future, Jeter may not have a place to move in 2011 when he signs his new deal. He’ll either have to remain at shortstop (yikes) or take up the very valuable DH position.

Montero might even be dangled as trade bait if one or more of the trio of young starts the Yankees have do not work out. With the signing of Teixeira, the Yankees may not be willing to shell out the kind of money that C.C. Sabathia will be commanding, no stadium or not.

Shelley Duncan will have no place on this team, either.

Scenario 2

Melky Cabrera puts up another 2007 and looks more like a back-of-the-order bat instead of a front-of-the-order bat. The decision will be made to overpay Bobby Abreu to re-sign for 2 years instead of the 3 that he could get elsewhere. Melky will remain the starting CF in 2009 but will split a little time with new 4th outfielder Brett Garnder. There is little doubt that Melky is keeping the spot warm for Austin Jackon. Once Jackson gets called up later in the season, Melky will begin to get moved around the outfield a bit. In 2010, the Yankees decide to go with their center fielder of the future and Melky becomes expendable.

There are several ways the Yankees could go after this. With Bobby still with the team, the Yankees may not be so eager to sign Teixeira to big bucks. They may prefer to hand the role to Shelley Ducan and/or Juan Miranda with an occasional start by Posada or even Damon. The future of 1B could fall in the lap of Derek Jeter or Jesus Montero.

The success of Hughes/Joba/Kennedy coupled with Cashman’s salesmanship and the status of whatever Hank had for dinner last night will have a factor on whether or not the Yankees will make a play for C.C. Sabathia. Actually, I think the biggest factor in this decision may be how Joba the Starter looks in late 2008 vs. how Joba the Reliever looked in early 2008/late 2007. Everyone in their right mind wants him in the rotation, but the combination of him shortening games, Mariano’s aging, the availability of a big-time lefty starter the sudden abundance of available money may swing this decision in the other direction.

If Melky does not take a significant step forward in 2008, I see him being shipped off to another franchise within 2 years. The Yankees have 2 star-caliber outfield prospects coming up and another who is a perfect 4th outfielder or bottom-of-the-order hitter. Granted, these decisions could be affected by the 2008 performances of Tabata and Jackson nearly as much, but for the time being, Melky’s destiny rests in his own hands. A significant part of the Yankee roster going forward could be shaped by how much improvement the Yankees see in their 9th place hitter in 2008.

Melky image from flickr user phillenium1979 under a Creative Commons license.

Categories : Guest Columns

46 Comments»

  1. Joltin' Joe says:

    Teixiera is a waste of money. I’d rather take C.C. Sabathia because he would make an immediate impact to the rotation and the bullpen.

    And as far as CF goes, Melky has played well this year. If he finishes .280/15/80, don’t touch him until Jackson/Gardner is absolutely ready to take over the position full-time.

    Rather than sign Bobby to a stupid contract, wouldn’t it make more sense to throw some prospects at a younger corner OF, i.e. Jason Bay or Matt Holliday? Adam Dunn is an option as well, but not likely if we get C.C. or Tex first.

    I think it would make the most sense to focus on getting pitching/outfielders at this point. 1B is needed for Jeter/Montero/Posada etc. We haven’t had much from 1B in recent years and it clearly doesn’t hurt us.

    Could we possibly pick up Rafael Furcal, move Jeter to 1B and thus have more youth, speed, defense, etc.?

    • Phil McCracken says:

      Completely agree.

      Sabathia should be the first priority, not Teixeira. I’m not sure when the Yankees will learn that they need to fix the starting rotation. As of right now, Kennedy and Hughes are not ready and probably won’t be ready next season either. If they make the mistake of letting Chamberlain sit in the bullpen all season, he won’t be able to be a starter for all of next season either due to inning caps.

  2. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    I’m not sure what everyone’s infatuation with Brett Gardner is all about. He’s older than Melky Cabrera. Melky has proven that he can play at the major league level, Gardner obviously has not. Until Gardner proves himself, he is, in my eyes, another Joey Gathright, good defensively, speedy, and a small bat.
    As for Shelley Duncan, he is what he is, a career minor leaguer. I love Shelley’s enthusiam for the game and he seems to be a great teammate, but I just don’t see a lot of top talent there.
    Then again I’m not exactly a scout, I could be wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time.

    • Joseph P. says:

      Clearly, Gardner hasn’t proved that he can play at the major league level. It’s tough to do that when you’ve never cracked a roster. But he’s proven that he has a discerning eye at the plate, which to me places his value above Gathright right off the bat. That is, as long as he can maintain his discerning eye in the majors.

  3. ChrisS says:

    With the state of the team right now and none of the kids panning out thus far, I’m not real confident that any move that Cashman makes will pan out. None of the prospective FAs look real interesting. The Yankees are in a world of hurt if Hughes and Kennedy don’t shape up.

    I can’t even get excited for any of the prospects, save Montero perhaps. I think it’s sad that my hope for the future of the Yankees rests on a 19-year old kid in single A.

    • Geno says:

      I think it’s sad too. Maybe if you studied the farm a little better? Just a partial list of very promising young pitchers for the Yanks: Joba, Hughes, Kennedy, Horne, McCallister, Kontos, McCutchen, Garcia, Heredia, Betances, Brackman, Melancon, Edwar, Ohlendorf, Cox, Veras, Robertson, Sanchez, Bruney, Patterson… the list goes on. That’s not even mentioning very promising young position players like Jackson, Tabata, Montero, Cervilli, Gonzalez, Sublett, Snyder, Hilligoss.

      No offense man, but if you can’t find hope in our young players & prospects, you’re just not paying attention.

      • r.w.g. says:

        Can Brackman please throw a professional pitch first? First round pick, major league contract, etc. I get it. But the kid – literally.. literally – has not done anything in pro ball yet.

      • ChrisS says:

        No offense, but part of it is called hyperbole. Especially when the entire organization is sort of stumbling around.

        The other part is having spent twenty-odd years hearing about the next group of Yankee superstars in the minors, only to have them show up and underwhelm. There was a lot of chatter about how good the farm was for the Yankees this year and of the pitchers you named, 6 are on the ML roster already and, while they may still pan out, 4 of them aren’t inspiring a lot of confidence right now. And Bruney? C’mon.

        If the first wave of the youth movement doesn’t pick it up, confidence begins to wane in earnest for those still down on the farm. Especially when at least two on your list haven’t even thrown a competitive pitch this year. Tabata is either getting ready to break out or quit baseball because of his attitude. As for Ajax, I learned long ago not to get too interested in a tools-players.

        So in the same year as when the Sox have guys hyped – who then show up and succeed – while the Yankees don’t, it’s hard to get excited about potential after a while no matter how many names you recognize in box scores.

        • steve (different one) says:

          the Sox rookies have only succeeded in relation to their yankee counter parts.

          Lester has been OK in spite of pedestrian peripherals, but Buchholz is sitting on the DL with an ERA of 5.53.

          Ellsbury hasn’t been much better than Melky was his rookie year.

          overall, i don’t think they have been as good as you think.

          • ChrisS says:

            That’s kinda the point. It’s mostly perception, but it’s hard to get excited about any of the scenarios outlined above. Tex is almost Giambi Redux, and CC IS Bartolo Colon (who was a horse). Neither one of those signings excites me. Holliday is a good hitter made great in Colorado. The Yanks are hamstrung with bad contracts, a SS with feet of clay, a RFer afraid of the wall, a LFer who can’t hit much anymore, and CFer that may or may not be league average. There’s a lot that needs to be fixed.

            As for the Sox, Lester has always had bad peripherals. Yet he’s doing pretty well at the ML, or at least not embarrassing the team. Ellsbury is sporting a pretty nifty .375 OBP, which would put him 2nd on the Yankees. He’s doing an above average job of not making outs. Buchholz was still striking 9.0/9IP and walking less than half as many. He wasn’t throwing no hitters, but he was showing he has the stuff.

            Hughes’s and Kennedy’s mL stats were incredible, especially for their ages, but they’ve been lit up at the ML level. Hughes is injured again and I’m starting to wonder if he’s going to be the guy that only puts it all together when he’s 26 and pitching for some other team after the Yankees release him. The Sox get Daisuke and we get Quest. Our two best position prospects are in AA and not quite making a splash big enough to see the light at the end of 08. Last place ain’t much fun and now the guy with the best stuff in the organization is likely going to be relegated to a frickin’ set-up role.

            I just want something to be optimistic about Have Kennedy go six or seven strong. Anything.

          • ChrisS says:

            Probably could have picked a better day to talk about Lester’s bad peripherals.

            Sox young starters: 2 no-hitters

            Yankee young starters: 0 no-hitters

            • Steve says:

              With all due respect Chris, you’re the typical spoiled brat Yankee fan. Winning every year has made you an impatient little brat. Young players like Hughes and Kennedy struggle. You want everyone of them to start off like Joba? History tells us they don’t.

              Hughes and Kennedy will be fine. And when Joba goes into the rotation he will struggle too. That’s baseball. If you don’t like it then tough. Ryan struggled. Maddux struggled. Glavine struggled. Santana struggled. Johnson struggled. Felix Hernandez is struggling now. Most young pitchers struggle. And a lot of the guys who started out quick flamed out like Gooden, Prior, and Wood.

              No hitters mean nothing. A washed up Doc Gooden pitched a no hitter. If that’s how you define success than you are an idiot. Apparently all young Yankee pitchers must throw no hitters to be worth anything in young Chris’s eyes. You really are a spoiled little brat. The Yankees don’t need fans like you. Go root for the Mets.

              • ChrisS says:

                With all due respect, go fuck yourself Steve.

              • ChrisS says:

                With all due respect, you’re an idiot.

                You should also really work on your ability to discern sarcasm and other nuances in the english language. Not everything in the internets is meant to be taken literal.

                Feel better now? Huh, internet tough guy?

      • BxScion says:

        Geno. Take a sec and look at your list AGAIN. The only guys relevant to the above article are position players. Outside of A-Jax, Tabata, and Montero, all those other guys wouldn’t sniff a top 10 prospects lists on ANY other squad. And of those 3 hitters, we’re assuming aggressively that Ajax would be ready by mid-point 2009.

        There’s a serious imbalance in the farm. And we’re paying for it right now. It doesn’t matter how many promising RHP we got in the farm, if there’s no hitting backing it up.

        • Steve says:

          Where are these hitters going to play? I’d rather have pitching. The Yankees system is top 5 according to Baseball America.

  4. Brandon says:

    we were speaking about this in another forum Teixeira his BABIP is .262 and a wOBA of .319, what is so special about him other than his ocassional HR, he was better last season, this season is his contract year and from the looks of that and the .411 SLG is this guy really worth 22 million next season ?

    Coors: 22% LD factor, Away: 15% LD factor, Coors: .671 SLG,Away: .400 SLG,Coors: .356 AVG,Away: .278 AVG ,Coors: .453 wOBA, Away: .333 wOBA
    ——————————————————————–
    WHY ?

    you want a better OF RHB option how about a guy floating way under the radar Xavier Nady

    BABIP .339 at home, .377 on the road, SLG .500 at home, SLG .472 on the road, wOBA .323 at home, wOBA .401 on the road

    what’s clear about Nady’s stats he hits better away from Pittsburgh. What’s clear about Holliday he stinks away, what’s clear about Teixeira he has regressed big time.

    • keith says:

      Uhh, why are you citing their BABIP as if it’s something they control or a stat that shows how good they are. You’ve only shown LD% for one player.

      • Brandon says:

        LD % for Matt Holliday I cited because for him it shows how different a hitter he is outside of Coors Field. BABIP is something that is an underrated stat IMO, just check people that perform in the clutch or have good postseasons the BABIP is always high, check Manny Ramirez in 2007 his BABIP was .364… again you might not like it but alot of people use it to measure a players true ability of getting on base that and wOBA and SLG, David Ortiz BABIP in 04′ was .425. Jetes is a notorious BABIP guy so was Bernie for a bit , mix that and a high SLG % you got a pretty solid dangerous player. That’s my thoughts on this.

        • keith says:

          uhm, BABIP is not a stat you use when comparing how “good” a player is. It’s used to show how lucky/unlucky someone is getting. Players with higher LD% will generally have a higher BABIP but that’s about it.

  5. Brandon says:

    we were speaking about this in another forum Teixeira his BABIP is .262 and a wOBA of .319, what is so special about him other than his ocassional HR, he was better last season, this season is his contract year and from the looks of that and the .411 SLG is this guy really worth 22 million next season ?
    ——————————————————————–
    Matt Holliday

    Coors: 22% LD factor, Away: 15% LD factor, Coors: .671 SLG,Away: .400 SLG,Coors: .356 AVG,Away: .278 AVG ,Coors: .453 wOBA, Away: .333 wOBA
    ———————————————————————
    WHY ?

    you want a better OF RHB option how about a guy floating way under the radar Xavier Nady

    BABIP .339 at home, .377 on the road, SLG .500 at home, SLG .472 on the road, wOBA .323 at home, wOBA .401 on the road
    ———————————————————————
    what’s clear about Nady’s stats he hits better away from Pittsburgh. What’s clear about Holliday he stinks away, what’s clear about Teixeira he has regressed big time.

  6. r.w.g. says:

    The more I think about the Teixeira deal, the less I want to do it.

    I don’t like the idea of giving Sabathia a 6 or 7 year deal either. I don’t like how A-Rod is signed for the next 9 seasons either.

    It’s like in their never-ending quest to shore up every little thing that went wrong in the previous year, the combo of NYY Front Office and ownership continually miss the boat on the real Achilles’ heel: roster inflexibility.

    There’s a lot of money coming off the books this off-season. Let’s all hope they don’t spend it in one place.

    • JeterMack Clutch says:

      besides money, having teixeira would free up our roster big time; no need for ensberg&/||duncan.

      and CC gave the most qs’s last year with a great k/BB ratio. why do you think the two rafaels were so good for the tribe last year? cc would do wonders for a bullpen going 6-9 innings

      • r.w.g. says:

        I don’t know if Mark Teixiera would solve those types of problems for the duration of his contract.

        I’d love to have him for the next 3 or 4 years. Not the next 7. We’re getting a little removed from his truly monster years (which occurred in a joke park)

        And CC worries me too with his weight and body.

        They used to say the same things about Bartolo Colon.. how he was a horse and he broke the mold and he had a rubber arm, etc etc. He had like one good year for the Angels and then he broke down.

        • A.D. says:

          I don’t remeber anyone calling Colon a horse, he was generally up and down, in and out of shape, and basically brought it togther one year and won a Cy young. Colon always had the “great stuff” but didn’t always put it together

  7. JeterMack Clutch says:

    I’d be very content with tex, cc. rivera? and letting abreu, pettitte and the obviouses go. and try to dump damon for the best you can get (add a few mil for a top prospect); have melky lead off although he is not the best at it, with bg ninth unless performance merits the leadoff role over melky.

    maybe make a play for holliday if posada/sui’s numbers fall off drastically

  8. YES says:

    I tell you one thing I wouldn’t do: re-sign Abreu. Not when you have 3 outfield prospects who are at the most 2 years away. Sign a FA outfielder to a 1 year deal just to keep the seat warm until 1 of those guys (Jackson/Tabata) is ready.
    Plus I would like them to stop handing out multi year contracts to players on the wrong side of 30.

    Texeira is not a 25 million a year player. Very good player but that is just ridiculous. God bless what ever team pays him that. because you certainly won’t be getting your money’s worth. In years 5 6 7 there will be a whole lot of regret to which ever teams gives him that contract.

    What I would do if I was Cashman is try to trade for a 1B. Perferrably a younger one who you won’t have to pay outlandish money to. They have the prospects to get it done. Put a package together of some of the pitching prospects and see what you can get.

  9. bill73083 says:

    This is a very interesting article. I’ve thought about the same scenario myself a number of times. I disagree with you on a few issues, however. There are a few assumptions that I don’t think that you can make. First of all, you assume that Shelley Duncan will be a good hitter and be able to man first base or a corner outfield position. Outside of 2 weeks in 2007, Shelley has proven time and again that he cannot hit major league pitching. I agree with Andy, Shelley seems like a great teammate and has a ton of enthusiasm, but he isn’t really good at hitting major league pitching. You also suggest that the Yankees could sign Bobby Abreu to a 2 year deal. Abreu may not want a 2 year deal. He’s still only 33. Considering what others have been getting, there’s no reason someone like Bobby Abreu couldn’t expect to get at least 4 years. You also assume that Jeter would be WILLING to move to first. He wasn’t willing to move when the Yankees acquired one of the best defensive shortstops in the game in 2004. Why would he move now?

    I’ll suggest a 3rd scenario. Melky continues to improve, finishing out 2008 with a .290/.360/.420/.780 or so line. The Yanks move him to RF, Damon to CF, and sign Adam Dunn (who’s hit 40 HRs in the past 3 seasons) to play LF. Arod plays 3rd, Jeter SS, Cano 2nd, Matsui DH, and Posada plays C. That leaves 1st open for next year. However, it also allows Posada, Dunn, or Jeter to take over the position as needed. If Dunn moves there Jeter could play LF, where his lack of reflexes won’t hurt him as much. Posada could DH after Matsui is a FA. This will allow AJax, Tabata, and Montero to develop at a slower pace without feeling rushed. AJax and Tabata aren’t exactly tearing up AA and Montero is still only in A, so there’s no reason to rush them. As more people become FA’s, like Damon and Matsui, spots will open up for the new guys.

    If Melky doesn’t continue to develop, then the Yanks might need to bite the bullet and sign Abreu. Or they could just deal with Melky’s poor bat until one of the new guys is ready.

    Anyway, the idea is to make the Yankees’s winning sustainable with a mixture of FA signing and player development. Doing one without the other is usually a cause for trouble.

    • A.D. says:

      I’ve you’ve watched Dunn play you wouldn’t want him, yes he has the HR, but he strikes out a ton, looks un-inspired at times, and plays like Manny Ramirez in the field

  10. Jamal G. says:

    I have a question, why are most people under the assumption that Jesus Montero is a future 1B? One Baseball America report and now all of you are sour on his ability to stick at Catcher? Remember, he does not need to be Yadier Molina behind the plate to be valuable at the position, all he needs to be is below average. Look at Victor Martinez, he’s a below average defender at Catcher but his bat makes up for it making him one of the most valuable players in the AL. Look at Joe Mauer’s size, he has been able to stick at Catcher thus far (yes, I know some forsee a future shift to Third Base) so I don’t get this assumption that Montero will be a First Baseman.

    • A.D. says:

      speed to the majors & need would be the bigger factor to moving him to 1B, essentially the same reason Joba is in the pen right now

    • BxScion says:

      In all likelihood, i think its a fair projection that Montero becomes a 1B down the line. Mauer was a better athlete and could always move well for a kid his size. Montero has slimmed significantly from last year, and he’s gotta be mindful not to add any more weight. Its just a matter of body type imo. Mauer is a slim guy for 6’4″.

      Besides the Yanks have got Cervelli and Romine in the system.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

      I agree with Jamal, Lance Parrish was a big catcher and he had no problem playing the position. Even Jorge is 6’2″.
      Jesus will be in the minors for at least 2 more years after this, so the Yanks will have plenty of time to sort his final position out. I hope that he stays at catcher. As Yankee fans, we have been spoiled throughout history in the catching department, lets hope that this tradition (along with World Series titles) continues.

  11. A.D. says:

    I’ve thought/debated this same point many a time in my mind, and my thoughts to add are:

    You’re forgetting the external shock of trading pitching, the yanks have a ton of quality arms in the minor leagues right now and there’s no way they’ll all pitch for the yanks, sooner or later they’re going to go shopping with some of the kids and come back with some bats. Right now if you look through BA top prospects there is a general lack of 1b (not including the upcoming draft) basically Barton, Lars Anderson, Kendry Morales, and a few 1b/3b or of/1b prospects, Barton won’t be available, the sox aren’t going to trade anderson to the yanks, so that means they could make a trade for Morales.

    The great CC Tex debate, CC is probably the better player for the money, but Tex is more of a need, if they can overpay for a 4-5 year contract vs the rumored 10 there might be something there.

    Abreu will put up solid numbers this year, and make a team happy next year, but paying some 18 million for him isn’t worth it, Yanks take the picks and let him walk, if anything with the way things are going they’d rather bring in a new face like Adam Dunn.

    Shelly Duncan, Juan Miranda, and Eric Ducan won’t be the answer at 1B. Its either move Posada, or move Jeter. The issue with jeter, range factor aside, is who to play as SS, furcal is somewhat injury prone, maybe they trade pitching to the braves (who need it) for blocked prostpect Lillibridge (who has a great glove and speed), else AG but he’s not much offensively. If you move Posada it probably won’t be too hard to find a serviceable veteran catcher, or to give Pillitare/Cervelli a shot

    Net in net I expect some pitching prostpects moved for a younger bat, may not be until the offseason, but we will see it, and the Yanks could sign no one of importance and hope the offense can’t be as dreadful

  12. Joltin' Joe says:

    The Dunn scenario is cool, but you’d have to put him in right b/c of his horrible range. And I don’t see why you’d put Damon in center and Melky in left/right instead of the opposite.

    And whoever said Dunn strikes out too much and is uninspired, that’s bullcrap. He gets on base more than only a few select players in the entire game, and he gets a ton of big-time, clutch home runs. He’s a lefty. Oh yeah, and he’s always healthy and still fairly young.

    • bill73083 says:

      I’m glad you agree on Dunn. I just thought off of hte top of my head that I would put Melky in RF b/c of his arm. But I guess pretty much any combination of Damon, Melky, Dunn in the outfield that gives the yanks the best defensive combination works.

  13. Steve says:

    Excellent post, Jim. Well thought out and interesting. Had no idea a Tiexera signing would have so many ramifications. You have just got your site a bookmark and I will be linking this piece on a few of the message boards I visit daily.

  14. Rich says:

    The Yankees aren’t trading Montero no matter what.

    Rather than the extreme outcomes that are proposed, I think it’s more likely that the Yankees will trade some of their surplus pitching talent for one or two young hitters.

  15. Travis G. says:

    i’ve come off of Tex and Holliday. Tex is already 29, and about to, if not already, entering the decline phase of his career. Holliday I WAS high on until i saw his extreme home/road splits.

    CC i still wanna see in pinstripes. a tall, hard throwing southpaw should still have a very good career into his mid-30s.

  16. Joseph M says:

    A couple of quick points, Melky is part of the solution, the Yankees can win with Melky doing just what he did last year. The Yankees need to focus on getting their swagger back. Spend big time, clean out the very dead wood, Giambi should be the first to go, further I wouldn’t resign Abreu and I would try to move Damon. I would try in the next couple of months to get a clear read on Duncan. I really don’t think he’s much more than an extra hand and he doesn’t do enough to be carried on the modern pitcher heavy rosters. I would sign Sabathia and make a play for Matt Holliday of the Rockies. I am not wedded to the notion that Kennedy will be much more than another pitcher, I’d be more than willing to deal him to start making things happen.

  17. The Wolf says:

    Signing Furcal to a reasonable length contract and moving Jeter to either 1st or the OF could end up being a great move by the Yankees. The way the game is moving teams will have to play more of a ‘small ball’ and defense oriented game in order to win. Furcal is a very leadoff bat who would be a signifigant upgrade defensivly and is still relativly young.

    Jeter is still a good runner and has always been good at getting to balls in the air and would seemingly be in the same ballpark as Abreu defensivly. To me an OF of Jeter/Cabrera/Matsui/Damon is pretty good in 2009 and it would still give the team the opportunity to give Gardner some time in the OF. By 2010 the team will be transitioning in AJax followed by Tabata and honest Abe (who I think could end up being the best of the group).

    Jeter to the OF would free up first base to either be filed by Tex or some sort of timeshare between Jeter/Jorge/Duncan. It would also keep the DH spot open as a rest area for rotation of Jeter/Jorge/Damon/Matsui.

    I love Tex but with his slow starts and the recent history of long term FA contracts, the possibility of signing him has me a little worried. After watching Giambi clog up the basepath I just don’t think I could take the possibility of Tex doing the same thing

    I’m not saying this is the end all solution, but I think the domino effect it creates would make the Yankees a better team over the long haul.

    For pitching I think their is a better chance that CC becomes more like Colon than Roger in the second half of his career. Think about the track record of pitchers his size…. El Sid?…. Colon?…. David Wells?… and a graveyard of dead arms. Maybe CC is the Superfreak and can get better with age, but is it worth it to wager $100+/7 years on him?

    • bill73083 says:

      How do you figure that Texiera will “clog the basepaths.” There’s no such thing as clogging the basepaths. Getting on base is the primary way teams win, whether your playing “big ball” or “small ball.” You can’t bunt guys over without people first getting on base. I’m not advocating signing Texiera, because I agree with you that he’s asking for too long of a contract, and will most likely be dead weight by the end of it. I’m just saying that getting on base has been proven to be the best method of winning, whether a player is fast or slow.

      Secondly, how do you say that Wells did not age well? Between his age 30 season and age 41 Wells pitched 2,335 innings. In that time he was 165-99, had a 4.11 ERA, 1,525 Ks and 443 BBs (a 3.44 K/BB rate) and a 1.24 WHIP. Those are pretty impressive numbers. He went down hill pretty quickly after age 41, but that’s fairly common for many pitchers, skinny or fat. CC Sabathia is a much better pitcher than David Wells. There’s no reason to believe that he’ll go downhill just because he’s a big man.

      Once again, I’m not saying that I think the Yankees should necessarily go out and sign these guys to big, long contracts. I’m just saying that signing a 29 year old 1st baseman and 29 year old ace pitcher isn’t necessarily worse than signing a 31 year old short stop.

  18. Doug says:

    How exactly did Joseph pitch this article? He’s not just counting chickens before they hatch, he’s assuming they’ll all be born twins and is worrying whether or not the hen house will have enough space for them.

    The only thing more ridiculous is how many people are taking it seriously.

  19. nuts_to_that says:

    Scenario 1 makes no sense. If Melky hits .300 and increases his power numbers you won’t need to replace Abreu’s bat with Texieria as Melky will effectively be Abreu. That coupled with the progression of Cano will be enough offense to get by. Power numbers are overrated and almost meaningless in the post-steroid era. Good defense, baserunning, and fundamentals will be what get teams over the hump in the next few years.

    Why must the Yankees be continuously forced to sign more bad contracts with questionable players to get out of holes? Why can’t more Yankee fans imagine solutions outside of Texieria and Sabbathia? Watching guys like Damon, Abreu, and Giambi leave plays out in the field on a daily basis will, hopefully, force the braintrust to reassess what wins games and those things are what a Melky Cabrerra brings to the table.

  20. cake says:

    Oh please melky is getting so bad that he even lost his trade values now

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.