Yanks want a lefty but why?

A win a day chips the deficit away
How much is that starter in the window?

Dan Graziano, reporting on the latest trade deadline rumors, reports that the Yankees are interested in a left-handed reliever, and I have to ask why? The bullpen has been spectacular lately, and with Brian Bruney on the mend, the one remaining spare part — LaTroy Hawkins — should see his time in pinstripes expire. Meanwhile, lefties are hitting .243/.328/.374 against all Yankee pitchers. If a team has relievers who just get outs, a lefty specialist is a waste of a roster spot, and if ain’t broke, there’s no reason to fix it.

A win a day chips the deficit away
How much is that starter in the window?
  • pat

    hopefully it is all just fluff to try and drive up the price for someone like boston who definately could use bullpen help for the stretch.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      The Yankees: We’re Fluffers.

  • ChrisS

    This year Dandy Andy is holding LHers to a .443 OPS. Obviously, the Yankees should remove Pettitte from the starting rotation and make him the lefty specialist. He’d be much more valuable there.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      That’s the smartest thing I’ve ever heard.

      Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

    • goose

      nolw you thinking smart

      • whozat

        Yeah, I mean anyone can start these days. They only go, what five innings these days, right Goose? Relievers are far more valuable.

        • goose

          ABSOLUTLY

          andy moose and joba should all be moved to the pen – replace them with hawkins karstens and milton – any of them could go 5 innings

          thinks of how good the 6-8 innings could be with those three. we would never lose

          didnt you pay attention to 1996

  • Ivan

    Well if they can get a good lefty for not trading for alot.

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

    I got a lefty reliever for you. His name is Pat Venditte.

  • steve (different one)

    rumors rumors rumors.

    i am sure they have talked with teams about all sorts of players.

  • jsbrendog

    bonds is gonna pitch outta the pen

  • A.D.

    Trading to bring a reliever in, regardless of handedness would be an unnecessary & seemingly mis-placed move. The pen is doing fine right now, and there are some reserves that are performing well in Strickland, Bruney, Britton, Cox, Melancon.

    If your going to give up prospects, trade for a bat that can play a few seasons for us.

    • Ivan

      I understand what ya saying but if the yanks don’t have to give up much, adding a lefty who’s pretty good would help our bullpen. Yanks haven’t had a good lefty since Mike Stanton when they were winning championships.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        When we were winning championships, we also didn’t have two or three regulars in our lineup with sub .650 OPS’s, or two journeymen at the back of our rotation.

        Adding a lefty in the pen is nice, but it’s far down on the list of priorities right now. Our trade chips, even small ones, should probably be used elsewhere.

        • Ivan

          Well of course improving the back end of the rotation and lineup would help and are more significant. But if you can’t find a viable bat or starter then adding a good lefty wouldn’t hurt if we don’t have to trade much.

  • MD

    how about Jarod Washburn….starter, but could do both for a contender at this stage….owed 9 mil next year, so shouldn’t cost that much in talent

    • mike

      i agree – he is a nice back-end guy who will cost nothing, and someone the Yanks could “flip” over the winter to Philly/Cardinals/Brewers etc after the Yanks sign Sheets/Sabathia etc. as theyre always searching for pitching as well.

      He could also go for more than a few innings out of the pen at a time, so that might allow Girardi to both dump Hawkins and send someone else down to clear an offensive bench spot as well for when Damon returns.

      No lose situation bringing him in

  • r.w.g.

    I think it is EXTREMELY wishful thinking just assuming Brian Bruney is going to be good to go. His injury just knocked Wang out for the season.

    He’s rehabbing now.. I don’t know if he’s gotten into actual rehab games yet (I believe he has, but i’m not positive), but this guy could rip his foot apart in one pitch. And yeah, any pitcher could get hurt on one pitch, but he is definitely at a higher risk.

    So I don’t think it’s bad idea at all to further strengthen a good aspect of your team. It’s also much cheaper, talent-wise, to acquire an impact reliever than an impact starter, or OF bat.

    Yeah the Yankees need a starter, and yeah they need a big bat. But I don’t know if you guys have been watching the last 3 years, but Cash is not going to trade the farm. Gotta be realistic about the types of players you’re going to get back with that attitude. It took Adrian Cardenas +2 to get Joe Blanton.

    • Chris

      Just because they are nominally the same injury does not mean that they are the same severity or require the same healing time.

      Also, Wang was injured on June 15, with a possible return in September – meaning he will be out 2-3 months. Bruney was injured April 22, so he’s already been out 3 months.

      • r.w.g.

        Serious injury is a serious injury. Mark Mulder was supposed to come back this season, too.

        I want Bruney back. I don’t want to bank on him.

        • steve (different one)

          Bruney has been pitching for weeks.

          he’s already had 7 appearances and thrown 9+ innings.

          this isn’t like counting on Pavano.

          • r.w.g.

            Awesome. Sounds great.

            We should still get a lefty.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      And then, a week later, it took two bags of baseballs to get Ray Durham.

      You only have to trade the farm if you want a stud. If all you want is an outfielder who gets on base more often than 3 times every 10 at bats, or a pitcher who allows less than 9 baserunners every 6 innings, that shouldn’t cost more than two or three mid-level to low level prospects… especially if we’re taking on salary.

      • r.w.g.

        I wouldn’t call Darren Ford a bag of baseballs. You have to look at the teams making the trade. Ford is burner, he’s 60-70 stolen bases a season, and that style will play in SF. Besides, Ray Durham is as old as dirt.

        Joe Blanton isn’t even remotely close to a stud and it took the best player in the Phillies system.

        And to be honest man, with Melky and Molina in that line-up (and in a couple weeks maybe we’re adding Richie Sexson to this group), we probably do need a bat that’s at least trending a little toward stud.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

          This is Ray Durahm’s age 36 season, I think “old as dirt” is a bit much.

          • r.w.g.

            He’s really 36?

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

              Yeah, I know. He looks like he’s pushing 40. He, Jason Bay, and Victor Martinez all screwe me up with their ages. Bay (29) and Martinez (29), I thought were a bit younger than they are.

              • whozat

                Ryan Howard will be 29 this year too, in November.

                • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

                  I don’t know what took them so long to deal Jim Thome.

              • r.w.g.

                Plus Durham has been around forever. He must have gotten called up when he was pretty young.

      • mike

        On that note – I would love to get Bay & Marte in a big package.

        With Matsui and Posada both fielding question marks for next year, we would have to assume Giambi will be let go to allow for one of those guys to play 1B

        Although everyone will be out of position, we could stick Bay in RF with Damon in LF. Posada or Matsui could alternate DH/ 1B, and Jax/Gardiner could spell the guys in the outfield.

        At that point, we could free ourselves of Abreu, Giambi and Farnsworth, and allow Jackson etc. to make their way thru to the pros as Matsui and Damon come off after 2009.

        What kind of package do you think it would take, and does it make sense to do? It would have to start with ( I assume ) IPK and Melancon……

        • MD

          just a note Mike….Pirates like Ohlendorff

          • r.w.g.

            And that’s why they’ll never be good again.

            • steve (different one)

              i enjoyed this comment.

  • Manimal

    Edwar is pretty nasty against lefties, I dont know his stats though Ill find them.

    • Manimal

      Never mind, .238 vs his .180 vs righties. Once Latroy Hawkins is gone the yankese have a complete and definately Playoff Caliber Bullpen

      • Ivan

        Well currently, LHB are hitting .179 and RHB .153 and overall .166 Bating AVG. That is dealing right there.

  • Geno

    Why not bring up Coke and see what he can do out of the pen? I’d much rather give the experience to one of our prospects first.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

      I’m not worried. Brian Cashman has repeatedly said over the years that he would rather have seven right-handed relievers in his bullpen if those were his seven best guys. He is not of the belief that you should have a LHP in the ‘pen just for the sake of it. I love Ca$hmoney.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        But Jamal, how can you love CashMoney when every one of his moves have been wrong!?!?!?!

        • Ivan

          Steve Lombardi would agree with that.

        • Alan

          Mike Lupica? Is that you?

        • Old Ranger

          You seem to forget a lot of the right moves and non moves made by Cash. No one is 100%, but he has been very right on many moves, and some have not worked out as well…but, hay, that’s why they make the big $$$$.
          Cash is good at his job, let him do it. Then we can tar and feather him. 27/08??

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

            I thought the “?!?!?!?!?” was enough of a clue that I wasn’t serious.

            Apparently it wasn’t.

            • Old Ranger

              Sorry ’bout that. 27/08??

    • whozat

      Hawkins roster spot will go to someone a lot more likely to be useful right now than a AA lefty starter.

  • whozat

    I asked a question in one of those newspaper chats today about the Yankees’ problems with young junkballers they’ve never seen before and got a useless stock answer.

    I’m wondering if this is all just perception. Do the Yankees ACTUALLY struggle more than other teams against these kinds of starters, or is it just that I forget all the times they wreck guys I expect them to wreck and so the times when they get shut down by Daryl Thompson (who went on to have a 6 ERA and get demoted) types stick out in my head?

    I really don’t have time to figure it out…but what about other statheads? Over the last four years, look at righty pitchers with middling stuff and small amounts of service time and see how the Yanks fared against them? And how the rest of the league fared?

    • goose

      i have noticed that they always struggle against pitchers they havent seen before – this going back to the late 90s

  • Ivan
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

      Where was that article when the Mets had the majority of their wins during that 10-game streak against the San Francisco Giants (They did beat Tim Lincecum though, so kudos) and the Colorado Rockies. Or how about the fact that they were a Francisco Cordero blowup on Friday and a Edwin Encarnacion Error on Sunday away from being swept by the Reds.

      • Ivan

        The Post isn’t great by any stretch but at least they don’t have writers who are terribly anti yankee alla The Daily News with Madden and Mike “Met Whore” Lupica who’s the worst.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      I swear, I want to take a hammer to the fingers of some of these slack-jawed troglodytes to keep them from ever writing anything again…

      Oh, don’t be impressed that we just beat Justin Duchsherer, he’s only a fucking AL All-Star… wins like that shouldn’t even count in the standings! After all, he plays for the Oakland Triple A’s, a clever witticism I came up with all by myself! Nevermind the fact that a week from now, I’ll be writing a piece about how Cashman is an idiot and Billy Beane is a supergenius… clearly, when the Triple A’s lose, it’s because they’re horrible, but when the Yankees win, it’s because they’re a backwards organization full of pampered, lucky idiots and the whole team should be euthanized just for competitive balance purposes.

      We won a game where the opposing pitcher forced in a run my making a bad pitch with the bases loaded… That’s a “fluke” win, gosh darnit! And no team that ever won a World Series ever won a single game by a “fluke”, they all won all their games via 13-0 shutout. We should trade for Brian Fuentes, too, did I mention that?

      The A’s struck out 24 times in two games, against our two best strikeout pitchers. Clearly, this means that Pettitte and Joba both suck and they’re both lucky to be facing teams that are full of shitty hitters… those high strikeout totals have nothing to do with any level of aptitude on our part.

      After all, the A’s had a record of 0-97 coming into this series, right? Can’t count any of these wins at all. Let’s call up Commissioner Ban Johnson and volunteer to change our record to Yanks have a seven-game home win streak? Doesn’t mean shit, none of those wins came against the 1976 Reds, so they’re all bullshit luck wins. And we don’t have any good players out with injuries who’ll be returning soon, so we’re probably going to lose our next 28 games in a row, right, Billy?

      STFU.

      • http://derekjetersbat.blogspot.com/ Joey H

        a win is a win tommy, if ur in the majors, we have to beat you, its just likee the mets beating up on cincy or the nationals or the pirates. they’re on the schedule, we must take advantage of that becasue in the event that we dump a series to boston we need this sweep./

        • yankeemonkey

          Dude, you know he was being sarcastic, right?

          Unless you were too, in which case nevermind :)

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

            Sarcastic? I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE WORD SARCASTIC MEANS!!!!!!!

            btw, in a totally different story, over on the Post (which still is astonishing that a rag that awful can have a sports section that’s so good in comparison, but I digress) Kevin Kernan actually did make a halfway-intelligent point: Is it time to move Cano up in the order?

            Cano is red hot, and historically has been a much better second half player. Over his last 21 games, he’s .361/.379/.566 with 10 KBH in 83 AB’s (and only 5 K’s). Perhaps he can move up to Bobby’s spot and we can let Bobby straighten himself out hitting down at the bottom…

      • Ivan

        Another thing, is it me or SNY are a little anti Yankees.

        • Alan

          SNY is the Mets channel, of course they’re going to be anti-Yankees.

  • Alan

    Why do we need to trade for something that 1: Isn’t a priority and 2: Isn’t even needed. The bullpen, outside of Hawkins, has been phenomenal so far. I would trust any of those guys, even Krazy Kyle, to go out and keep us in the game.

    If you have a righty who gets lefties out consistently (lefties are hitting .163/.268/.265 against Giese, .187/.274/.338 against Edwar) then there’s no reason to trade valuable prospects for something unnecessary.

    I’d much rather see us pick up an outfielder that can get on base (Sorry Gardner, you’re just not ready yet.) or a back of the rotation starter that can eat some innings (Jarrod Washburn? Freddy Garcia?)

    Brian Bruney should be back in the bullpen shortly, and allowing us to say goodbye to Paul O’Ne—err, I mean LaTroy Hawkins. I’m not pushing the panic button yet, and we certainly don’t need to waste a roster spot and prospects on a lefty reliever just for the sake of having a lefty reliever.

  • E-ROC

    The Yanks scouted AJ Burnett when he pitched against them in New York.

    http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/10904067/2

    • steve (different one)

      right, and since acquiring Burnett would be a pretty great move, we should all get ourselves into a tizzy as big as the one about trading for a lefty reliever.

      both rumors probably have equal amounts of truth behind them.

    • Alan

      Don’t we have enough injury-prone pitchers?

    • yankeemonkey

      Yeah, they were definitely scouting Burnett in advance of a trade, and not because he was pitching against them.

  • http://derekjetersbat.blogspot.com/ Joey H

    ben i totally get ur point and ur right except for one thing, we have a surplus of pitching, that robertson guy veras and farnsworth soon to be bruney , 4 guys worthy of pitching the 8th inning, BUT why have so many? we can spare one, not to mention edwar has been unhittable, you cant go wrong. add that lefty, its called being better safe than sorry, besides we all know cash loves going out of his way to get things we dont need like betemit which at this point a cant complain about lol. oh and something interesting to look at is MLBTR says yankees are looking at burnett

  • Manimal

    Marte/fuentes would be great additions since they are lefty AND are highly effective. Rasner/ Giese should be on the trading block. I know Giese hasn’t done anything wrong but hes an extra piece right now.

    • Alan

      But why, what do they bring to the Yankees besides throwing with a different arm? Our bullpen is effective as it is, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  • andrew

    i think we all can agree that burnett would be infinitely more valuable to the team at this point than a left handed reliever. that being said, the blue jays are not going to give up burnett to a division rival without getting a ton in return, while it could be relatively easy to add a guy like marte or grabow. both will upgrade the team, but burnett is very unlikely to happen in my eyes.
    and boy, that posada contract looks great right now…

    • Setty

      Just out of curiousity, which FA catcher were you eyeing over Jorge? Does Paul Lo Duca float your boat? Maybe Yorvit Torrealba?

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Jorge probably does offseason surgery to try and get stronger, and he’ll be our catcher for next year… along with a Molina for insurance.

        In any event, I’d assume (since my name isn’t Mike Lupica) that Cashman had the foresight to realize that Jorge won’t be catching in 2010 or 2011, he’ll either be our everyday 1B or DH (since we won’t have Giambi, Damon, or Matsui around anymore blocking him), so his bad arm won’t be a long term concern. That’s why (since I’m not Mike Lupica), I’ve got no problem with the Posada 4 year contract.

        Best case, one of our youngsters (Pilittere, Gil, Cervelli, Montero, Romine) puts together a good 2009 and earns the right to open the 2010 season as the starter. Otherwise, we go sign someone in the Molina/Torrealba stratosphere to hold the fort for an extra year or two. Not that big of a deal.

        If we didn’t have glaring offensive holes in the outfield, we could get away with subpar offensive production from our catcher.

        • mike

          If there is no deal to be made for a starter, i think we should use some chips to get a younger catcher. Despite our guys in the minors ( and Montero may likely not be a catcher anyway??), we have seen what a benefit having a monster offensive guy can bring to the lineup.

          Do we want to look at Salty? I cant think Jorge’s shoulder surgery will make his arm 29years old again, even if its successful….and if its not we have a really tough 2-3 years waiting for the kids if we are lucky!

          • andrew

            setty-
            i was saying “right now,” because as you say, in the offseason, there were no better options. but with the recent developments and injuries with his arm, it looks like a very poor contract for the next few years

            tommiesmithjohncarlos-
            cashman may have had that foresight and plan, but is it a good one? posada as a 1b/dh will have below avg power stats, as we have been able to expect 20-22 hr as a catcher, we will probably see similar numbers if not slightly lower due to age. he’s also a career .277 hitter. in the last two years of the deal when he is expected to be the 1b/dh, we can probably expect an avg of around .265-.270 with 15 hr’s and 75 rbi’s. sounds like kevin millar.

            unfortunately, with the rest of the market last year at catcher, we had no choice but to overpay in $ and length for posada.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

              … or, Jorge, freed from the grind of catching every day, may just be healthier and stronger than he ever was. A switch-hitting .265 guy who gives you 50 XBH and gets on at a .375 clip is just fine from a 1B/DH, especially if we’re getting ARod’s numbers at third.

              • andrew

                i like the optimism, but i personally think his age will hurt more than the position switch will help, but i guess we won’t know for a few years.
                either way, you have to hope montero is ready by 2010 unless you can find a stopgap for a year or two

    • goose

      they gave us cone for nothing once

    • http://derekjetersbat.blogspot.com/ Joey H

      lol you are the man, on the posada point, and on the first one we need a starter desperately we cant have a mindset that wang will be back

  • bkight13

    Not having a lefty cost us Saturday. We had to pitch around the scary Jack Cust and stick with a shaky Veras, who turned a bad situation into a potentially terrible one. Get a lefty like Marte or Fuentes that can get both sides out, but can shut down lefties.

  • Bill

    The bullpen is the least of our concerns. Especially with Bruney, Strickland, and Cox in the minors and ready to get the call soon. If Bruney pitches the way he did earlier in the year that gives us another back of the bullpen guy who can give guys like Farns, Veras, and Edwar some more rest and provide a great option for the middle innings.

    We need another bat and another starter.

  • Harry

    Marte would be perfect for this team. We have 2 pitchers who go 5 innings tops. Why not have a complete shutdown bullpen?