Fixing a 90-win team

Heyman: Yanks want answers on Cash's future
BA's Sally League Top 20 Prospects

It’s not unreasonable to expect a 90-win team from the third-place Yankees this year, but no matter how anyone tries to spin it, for a team expected to win the World Series each year, 90 wins is hardly a plateau to celebrate. To that end, everyone and their mothers will offer up their takes on fixing the Yankees. We start with Joe Sheehan’s free column on Baseball Prospectus.

Here’s what the Yankee fan suggests:

  • Sign Mark Teixeira
  • Bring back Bobby Abreu
  • Avoid the Pitchers (except for maybe Sabathia)
  • Put Joba in the rotation and leave him alone
  • Re-sign Mussina or Pettitte
  • Pick up Carl Pavano’s option
  • Don’t touch the bullpen

On the surface, Sheehan’s suggestions make sense, and we’ll spend some time over the next few weeks delving more in depth on these issues. But there are a few problems. Sheehan would again have the Yanks head into the season with Hughes and Kennedy expected to play a big role on the team. Since Joba won’t be able to make 34 starts next year, someone else will have to, and it would fall on the other two members of the erstwhile Big Three to pick up the slack.

The Carl Pavano move makes some financial sense. For $11 million ($13 million less than the $2 million buyout), the Yanks can have insurance better than Darrell Rasner and Sidney Ponson.

The rest of the argument rests on the realization that, this year, the Yanks’ problem was their offense and not their pitching. Considering that Ponson finished third in innings pitched on this team, it’s a hard idea to grasp, but he’s on the money. Had the Yanks come close to approaching their projected runs scored totals this year, the team would be playoff-bound. Instead, they’ve scored nearly 200 fewer runs this year than last, and they’ll be going home when the season ends this weekend. Convincing the pitching-obsessed team of this reality may be a bit tougher.

Heyman: Yanks want answers on Cash's future
BA's Sally League Top 20 Prospects
  • kevin

    the Yankees went the whole entire season with only one pitcher (mussina)…..look at the starters for the playoff contending teams, it’s like we aren’t in the same league

    Starting pitching is a MAJOR probelm on this team

    • Pete

      Not if you have a healthy Wang (stop snickering), Pettitte, Mussina, Joba and a CC Sabathia. I agree on the Pavano signing, but only as insurance for one of those middle three.

      Hughes should be brought along slowly again in 2009 — treat him as if he’d never been up here before, make him work. I don’t even want to see Kennedy up here again until someone gets hurt.

      Burnett sounds like a solid option on the surface, but our recent run of luck with FA pitchers suggests he’ll injure his shoulder holding up the jersey at the press conference.

    • Chris

      You’re looking at names, not performance. The Yankees were 7th in runs allowed this year in the AL. They’re on pace to allow about 50 fewer runs than last year. And their two best starters missed significant time this year.

  • jsbrendog

    seriously, I’ve been saying exercise pavano’s option for awhile now, just od it. you can NEVER have too much pitching and his option is for one year, reasonably priced for a 3-4 starter (see gil meche, carlos silva, et al) and that one year gives a young guy mroe time to develop but will not block them in the future. It makes sense.

    • TurnTwo

      yup, agreed. and you dont rehab a pitcher all the way back to health to just let him go.

      he pitches well in spring training, he’s valuable and you trade him.

      if you keep him around, let him pitch until you’re ready to get Joba in the rotation. then trade pavano.

      or if pavano is pitching well, just keep him in there until the deadline, or for the season.

      a 1 years/$10 million deal for Pavano is a lot better than locking in Ryan Dempster for 4 years at a more expensive AAV, for example.

      • Pete

        >> a 1 years/$10 million deal for Pavano is a lot better than locking in Ryan Dempster for 4 years at a more expensive AAV, for example. >>

        Right. Then we simply turn him loose and sign John Lackey in 2010. :-)

    • TurnTwo

      and, lets not forget, Pavano will be that many more months removed from surgery, so arguably he’ll be that much more ready to compete at a higher level.

      and, he’ll be pitching for his last real contract as a professional ballplayer, given his track record, age, and durability issues.

      cant hurt… its only money.

    • eVizions

      Pavano was the CC Sabathia of 4 years ago – the top free agent pitcher who was nearing the peak years of his career. He may not have had quite the upside or success of Sabathia, but he was the prize catch of that offseason. To me it only makes sense to exercise his option. Hell, if he pitches well and doesn’t get hurt, we may even want to consider re Nevermind… we’ll just wait and see.

  • Axl

    What’s going to suck is when the Red Sox win the World Series again as a mediocre team who was under .500 on the road and came in 2nd place with close to what we had for wins last season as a whole…when we went .500 through the first half.

    It’s aggrivating. Because our teams of the past were so good…and we couldn’t win in 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, etc…

    But the mediocrity of the Red Sox gets them buy everytime.

    I don’t want Sabathia. He has a lot of miles under his belt…and we all know what he’s like after that…just like he was in the 07 playoffs and the start of the 08 season. Terrible.

    This year was just a horrible year all around luck-wise. How is it possible for a man to hit .306, 37+ HR, over 100 RBI….but hit .205 with runners in scoring position?? He’s had success with it in the past…so it’s not like it’s new to him and he’s nervous…
    The whole team was pretty terrible with this…can’t just blame it all on Arod.
    The whole substituting the near .400 OBPs of Matsui and Posada with under .300 OBPs with guys like Melky and Molina, Chad Moeller, etc….that’s not going to work either…

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Calm down. The Sox will lose to either the Angels or Rays.

    • greg

      a-rod with RISP: .259/.396/.451 . He wasn’t the problem.

      • eVizions

        That line isn’t exactly stellar, but I agree he wasn’t the problem as much as everyone seems to think it was.

        • steve (different one)

          anytime you aren’t making an out 40% of the time, it’s good.

          could be better, but yeah, not as bad as people think.

          but the main problems of 2008 were replacing Posada with Molina and Cano with Andy Stenkiewicz.

          • eVizions

            I think that’s the problem – his OBP is good, but his BA isn’t. That’s probably him trying to do too much with RISP, while pitchers aren’t going to pitch to him. Put someone behind him that will force pitchers to pitch to him and he can be more selective. He could probably put up a .320/.480/.600 line.

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos

              Actually, I have more of a problem with the .451 slugging than I do with the .268 BA.

              ARod drives the ball hard for doubles and homers… but seemingly, not in this situation.

      • ceciguante

        absolutely wrong. a-rod hitting .259/.396/.451 with RISP is pathetic, and was a big part of this season’s problems.

        when you hit .300/.390/.575 overall, hitting .260/.400/.450 when it counts — from the 4 hole — is a tremendous dropoff.

        • eVizions

          Put someone behind him who can hit better than .250 and his production will go up tremendously. Opposing pitchers would rather pitch to Giambi 10 times out of 10.

    • Glen L

      the red sox have the best 3rd order win % in baseball .. mediocre? come on, you’re being ridiculously biased and its a drain on credibility .. the red sox are probably the best team in baseball

  • Cam

    About Joba in the rotation, doesn’t it make sense to start him off in spring training and at the beginning of the year as a starter, when his arm is all rested after the off season, then convert him to a reliever mid way, as opposed to the way they did it this year? This way, he’s starting on a fresh arm, then you dial it back a little at the end to limit his use. He’s still be very valuable down the stretch as the 8th inning guy, and this way you make sure you have a legit starter at the beginning of the year to help them get off to a fast start, as opposed to having them dig themselves out of a hole like the last couple of years. Just a thought.

    And for as much as we hate Pavano, having him as an option really wouldn’t hurt. If things don’t work out, maybe try to trade him mid season.

    • Axl

      The thing with Joba is…he’s a big guy. Usually the bigger guys are more durable (Sabathia, Joe Blantan, Clemens, etc).
      I know Joba throws differently so there’s a concern I guess…but you can still at least look at the ways they brought these other guys up…and tweak it or something.
      You bring him up to start as a reliever…you’re looking at the same kind of thing maybe. You start him as a starter…he’ll tank out by July. You start him as a reliever? You’re losing a dominant pitcher in your rotation.

      So what do you do? The Yankees are so unlucky they have this ridiculous question to adhere to as well…

    • Chris

      The issue with beginning the season with Joba in the rotation and then moving him to the bullpen is what happens if a couple other starters go down? If the Yankees are tied for the lead in the AL east at the start of September, Joba has reached his innings limit, and you’re short a starter what happens? Do you throw Kennedy or whoever the other AAA option is in his place, or do you risk his health and have Joba continue starting?

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        No, the bigger issue is this: We don’t want Joba to not be able to start at the end of the year. If you do put him in the pen (which I wouldn’t), you have to do it at the start of the year so that he can remain in the rotation for the stretch run in September and October.

        There’s no point in doing it the other way… the need for him in the rotation is greatest at the end of the year, not the beginning. It would be like signing Sabathia and then arbitrarily shutting him down for the year on August 31.

    • eVizions

      I agree with Chris… if he’s part of your success early in the season and, come August or September when we’re in a pennant race, now you have to put him back into the bullpen. Not gonna go over well with the media, fans or even the team. I would say keep him as the number 5 guy and skip his turn in the rotation as often as you can/need. But, then again, I also said we should be sending him to the AzFL…

      • Cam

        I think all points are valid, whether it be starting him at the beginning or at the end, but it’s still going to be at least until 2010 when we can finally see what a full year of an ace looks like. Basically, this situation sucks for anyone who has to make a final decision. Bottom line, keep the arm healthy.

  • stuart

    pavano at $11 mill as an option.. NO friggin way.. Acvees and others can replicate what Pavano will do…

    Tex is not my 1st move but adding him and CC and then trading pen arms for other pieces is OK.. They need to let abreu, giambi, Irod, Moose, Pettitte, and others go….

    with cc and Tex they still should have a reduction in the payroll of over $25 mill minimum and continue to get younger etc….

    think speed and youth….

    • TurnTwo

      that is exactly what everyone said about Kennedy, Hughes, and (name young pitcher) here.

      Aceves going into 2009 is just as unproven as any of them really were going into 2008. cant count on him, yet.

      • Chris

        When can you count on young pitchers? You can’t leave them in AAA until they’re 30.

        If you want these players to develop, then you have to give them a shot in the rotation. They’re going to struggle, but hopefully they will get through it and improve.

        • eVizions

          I still think Hughes AND Kennedy are ML caliber pitchers, so I want to see what they are capable of. As far as Aceves, I love what he’s done this year, but to think he’s any better than Rasner is assuming a lot. He might be, but you won’t know until the other teams get a few looks at him and, by that time, it’ll be too late to come up with a plan B if he sucks.

    • Pete

      >> and then trading pen arms for other pieces is OK >>

      Nyuh-uh, no way. The BP should stay exactly ‘as is’. It scares the hell out of me when I think of Cashman giving someone like Veras to the Mets for prospects and then giving Joe Beimel $8 mil/year to blow up somewhere around June.

      OTOH, I know I’m talking crazy when I say I’d probably go out and get Farnsworth again for a reasonable price. I think he was enjoying his time here and flourishing under Girardi…

      • eVizions

        Please slap/shoot/kill yourself for even mentioning Farnsworth as a possibility.

        • Pete

          So I have to *kill* myself for suggesting we explore the possibility? Like I said, he was improving under Girardi.

        • eVizions

          You could’ve just slapped yourself. I left the choice up to you.

          I like what Farnsworth was developing into this year, but I think with the options we have in the bullpen and the pricetag that he would come with, it would be better to let him go somewhere else. We have a lot of options that are dirt cheap and would probably give us just as much – if not more – than Farnsworth would.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos

            I say we sign him and then deal him to the Tigers again at midseason, this time for Brandon Inge, Robert Fick, Matt Nokes, and Mickey Cochrane.

          • Pete

            The more I think about it — with a healthy Bruney we wouldn’t need someone of his makeup anymore anyway…

  • Steve S

    That is one of the the worst analysis of a baseball team I have ever seen. The strategy of expecting to build a team that will score 850-950 runs is an awful idea. Then to expect to succeed with rotation made up of Wang, Pavano, Kennedy and two guys that will probably not be able to pitch more than 160 innings (max_ next year is even more stupid. Im not even going to expound on the thought that Pavano can stay healthy for a full season and pitch 200 innings.

    The premise that Mark Texiera is some kind of grand solution for an offense is a complete myth that was dispelled by the Braves. He is a good/ arguably great player but he isnt worthy of $20M a year and would not mean the yankee would go back to 900 runs scored. He is in essence Bernie Williams at first base (which immediately reduces his value considering the defensive importance of CF over 1B) which is a complement but he is by no means a necessity, especially at his cost and the length of contract.

    He also says Nady is not an everyday player. Granted Nady is not an all star but he is a nice role player who can put up solid CONSISTENT numbers over 600 ABs. Not to mention the fact that he is affordable and is controlled for one more year in what would arguably be his peak year (age 29-30). Plus he is without a doubt the best defensive corner outfielder the Yankees have.

    The Yankee offense sputtered this year granted. But their pitching wasnt significantly better than what it was in 2007 (I understand that they have given up less runs). What really improved was their bullpen, which is a nice buidling block to have going into next year. But that doesn’t mean the starting rotation right now is not in disarray, especially with the failure to properly develop the young starters so that they can be big contributors next year. You have virtually wasted this entire year. And adding Texeira does nothing but put a band aid on an open wound, while keeping Pavano simply gashes that wound open a little more. And those seem to be his big moves for this team this offseason. Im sorry they need more than that.

    • Axl

      Giambi wasn’t worth any of the money we paid him…at least Texeira has the gold glove defense and switch hitting capabilities that could spell Giambi…

      That’s exactly what Boras will say about him too…there’s no chance of him making any less.

      • eVizions

        How much of an upgrade would Tex be over, say, Miranda? Tex would play a lot better defensively and would hit a little bit better than Miranda, but would it be $20M better? Isn’t 1B a position that we afford to give a guy like Miranda a shot at? 1B grow on trees. There’s no need to give a guy that much money to play there when we can always convert someone anyway if Miranda is a bust (Posada, Nady, etc).

        • Axl

          We’re losing a HUGE chunk of OBP with the losses of Giambi and Abreu. We’re going to plug these perennial .400+ OBP guys with 2nd tier minor leaguers like Miranda???
          It’s not our money…so the 20MM for Tex doesn’t hit me hard at all. We were paying Giambi for numerous years…and he probably produced as though he were getting paid less than half.

          Tex has a .447 OBP with the Angels this season. For the Braves it was .390. So he’s done pretty well with both a bad team and a good team. And he’s also batting .348 for the Angels…
          Miranda has a .384 OBP in the minors and batted .287.

          Far superior to Miranda. We can’t substitute Miranda and other cheaper mediocre players for Giambi and Abreu’s OBP…we’ll be in last place next year.

          • Axl

            Especially with Miranda’s whopping 2 major league at bats… LOL

            I mean cmon.

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos

              If Miranda and Al Aceves don’t win the batting and pitching triple crowns next year, I’m going to be shocked.

              SHOCKED, I TELLS YA!

        • Sam P.

          My goodness, you think that Tex will hit only a LITTLE bit better than Miranda?

        • eVizions

          I think Tex will hit a lot better than Miranda, but not $20M better. If you don’t think Miranda is the answer, then let’s trade for a 1B. I just don’t think giving a 1B $20M+ over 8-10 years is a good value at all. Especially since guys like Posada, Jeter and ARod will eventually need to be moved from their current positions. 1B is the most likely first destination for all 3 of those guys.

          • Axl

            I’ll agree with you on the amount of years and the moving people situation…

            Miranda could be a platooning option with somebody but he hasn’t had the major league experience to even make an assumption yet…

        • Slugger27

          dont event mention tex and miranda in the same breath… even ur own words state why … “he would play a lot better defense and hit better” EXACTLY… im not saying tex is the definite answer… but i do know miranda full time is not

        • eVizions

          How about a guy like Mientewicz? It would give ARod his buddy back and would give us a great glove at first. We could platoon him and Miranda and, if Miranda doesn’t perform, we still have a clutch team-leader type of guy.

          • steve (different one)


            • eVizions

              Why not? He’s a Gold Glove caliber defensive 1B who hits pretty well in the clutch. Plus, he’s ARod’s best friend. Look at the year ARod had when he was on the team last year. And, he hit .277 with us, albeit in a limited role, and has a career average over .270. And he’ll cost us next to nothing.

              • Glen L

                “hits well in the clutch”

                not a repeatable skill man, look at any of the bajillion analyses done on the topic

              • eVizions

                “Doesn’t hit well in the clutch” is definitely a repeatable skill. As long as you avoid those players, for the most part, you are okay. Mientkiewicz is not one of those players.

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos

                  And, Doug Mientkiewicz is also really scrappy and hardnozed. Plus, his name is hard to spell, that’s a bonus too.

                  2009 Yankees Lineup:

                  C – A.J. Pierzynski
                  1B – Doug Mientkiewicz
                  2B – Mark Grudzielanek
                  3B – Matt Tuiasosopo
                  SS – Yuniesky Betancourt
                  LF – Rob Mackowiak
                  CF – Ryan Langerhans
                  RF – Wladimir Balentien
                  DH – Scott Podsednik

                  SP- William Van Landingham

                  Bench: Micah Hoffpauir, Hernan Iribarren, Albert Poo-Holes

                • Mike A.

                  You forgot John Van Benschoten. Dumbass.

                • Stephen

                  that was great tommie, but balantien and betancourt aren’t white so they can’t possibly be scrappy enough to be on that team.

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos

                  Touche. Sadly, there’s just not enough long, uncommonly surnamed white guys anymore. We should start importing more Russian and Slovakian baseball players to fix this immediately.

                  We all long for the halcyon days of Billy Grabarkewitz

      • Chris

        Giambi was great for the Yankees. He had two bad years where he was dealing with injuries. In the other 5 years he was one of the 2-3 best first basemen/DH in the league.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      The premise that Mark Texiera is some kind of grand solution for an offense is a complete myth that was dispelled by the Braves.

      Mark Teixeira’s 54 games with Atlanta in ‘07 – .317/.404/.615, 27 XBH, 56 RBI.
      Braves pitching during that stretch: 4.11 ERA, .751 OPS allowed.

      You can’t blame any of the Braves struggles on Tex. Their pitching blows and Jeff Francouer, their planned #3 hitter, went into the witness protection program. Tex is still wicked good. And, he’s hit well in three radically different parks (Arlington, Turner, Edison). He’s legit.

      He is in essence Bernie Williams at first base… which is a complement but he is by no means a necessity, especially at his cost and the length of contract.

      Bernie, in his prime, was one of the best hitters in baseball. I doubt we would have won those rings if you take that bat out of the lineup and replace it with a league average one. Having his offensive production was a necessity, and having some offensive production is a necessity now.

      • eVizions

        Yeah, but not for $20M a year for 8-10 years. And let’s not forget that Bernie played CF, which is a bit more important of a position than 1B. If you have a guy like Bernie in CF (in his prime), it’s worth a lot more than a guy like Tex at 1B, even if Tex outhits him. You can always find a bat to play 1B, finding a guy like Bernie in CF is really very rare. I would have rather picked up Beltran a few years ago than Tex now.

      • Steve S

        The whole point is that one player wont make this offense score 150 more runs. And Mark Texeira is not the answer. My point about the Braves wasnt that their record stunk but it was more that he didn’t somehow improve their offense to a premium offense. And considering the cost and the need to keep first base open for Posada or Jeter, then its not a solution.

        I wasnt taking a shot at Bernie so Im not going to get into that. The point was that Bernie was a good hitter playing a premium defensive position which magnified his value. He was a good hitter, he was not one of the BEST hitters in baseball. He was the upper echelon as an overall player but there were plenty of better pure hitters (many of them on steroids).

        Getting more offense is necessity but Texeira at his position and his cost is a foolish move with no foresight and bad solution for a problem that can be resolved in other ways.

    • RobC

      The Yankees need to get younger and better.
      Tex is <30 y/o hits for avg and some pwer and plays great defense.
      I don’t see how you can pass on a guy like that.
      Also I would not down play the contribution of a player at a postion who touches the ball more than anyother fielder.

  • Pete

    >> He also says Nady is not an everyday player. Granted Nady is not an all star but he is a nice role player who can put up solid CONSISTENT numbers over 600 ABs. >>

    The more I watch Nady, the more I realize why a lot of Mets fans were sad to see him go.

    • eVizions

      He’s grown on me. Even if he regresses and only hits .280/20/80, with his defense that makes him a solid everyday player.

  • cult of basebaal

    sheehan’s article was hit and miss (like most of his stuff).

    wasting 10 million on pavano when there are cheap alternatives like aceves, giese, coke and others to patch the 5th rotation spot is just silly, let the American Idle walk …

    same with abreu. 1st off, sheehan’s wrong about nady. in RF, nady’s avg offense + avg defense makes him about even value with abreu’s + offense and — defense. at this point, abreu’s a DH candidate on a team with several already. keep nady for another year (if he’s just average, let *him* walk after 2009 and collect the 2 picks).

    sign CC. it’ll cost too much, but that won’t matter as much by the end of the contract since the yankees payroll is likely not to be as bloated (with jeter, mo + posada likely retired). having a legit #1 inning eating starter will make the rest of the rotation and the bullpen stronger.

    sign Tex. he replaces abreu’s OBP in the 3rd spot and adds legit power. he also gives us GG quality defense at 1st, something that will also make our pitching better.

    don’t sign burnett or sheets or any of the 2nd tier pitchers, they’re not worth the money they’ll cost.

    look into a CF solution like Dejesus in KC, but don’t panic, especially if it seems like jackson might be ready mid-season.

    not sure on mussina and pettite. you probably bring back 1. pettite is good because he’s only going to want 1 year, but his elbow is troubling. mussina will probably want 2 (or 1+1); he’s pitched better than pettite this year, but will it last for 2 more? both deserve (and probably want) to pitch in the new stadium, but is it best for the team if both return. hard question.

  • Old Ranger

    Bobby, Jason, Pudge, Andy, Pounds, Wilson must go. If Moose doesn’t ret., resign one year (w/opt) and pick-up Carls’ opt. (did I just say that?). I would try and trade Johnny (good #s this year), Kei and Maybe, Matsui (good DH).
    Go out and get CC and/or one of Sheets, A.J. With the questions around Jorge arm, I would look at him as a DH/1st/part time C…bring up Cervelli, great D, arm, calling games and can hit.
    OF of X-man, Brett and Maybe Melky (or pick up a corner OF). Pitchers; CC?, Joba, Moose?, Phil, Carl, and Aceves et, el. Cody, and Justin as bench with Miranda (maybe).
    OK!, so I am stretching it a bit…but going with what we have is better then bringing in someone that has a great year and then tanks.
    I believe in; Adapt & Improvise, it has been good enough for me, it should fit with the Yankees. There are many AAA players that could play on another team but, they are blocked by a star…pick one up if possible, some of you have already come up with a few names.

    • Old Ranger

      Damm forgot CMW!

    • eVizions

      That outfield is a little scary. I like the idea of a Gardner/Melky platoon in CF better, then fill in RF/LF with a free agent or trade. This way, AJax gets another year to work his way up and we can find out if Nady is in our long term plans.

      Cervelli is a little raw to be playing next year, no less starting. Give him a year at AAA, especially with missing so much time this year.

      • Pete

        >> I like the idea of a Gardner/Melky platoon in CF better >>

        Yuk, you do?

        • eVizions

          Better than Gardner in CF and Melky in RF, yeah. I think Gardner can be a solid CF for us in 2009 and maybe beyond. Having Melky around as insurance would actually be a pretty good plan, in my opinion. It’ll definitely push Melky, so we’ll be able to see if he actually is anything more than a 5th OFer.

      • Old Ranger

        As to the OF…ok!
        As with Cervelli; he has shown he can play very well (NOW). If he hadn’t gotten hurt in ST, he would have been the guy in the show, not Moeller. Last time I checked; Cervelli is the highest rated catcher we have…not the highest potential.

        • eVizions

          Cervelli doesn’t even have 100AB above A-ball. Let’s give him a chance to work his way into the show instead of throwing him there. Catchers especially need time to develop.

          • Old Ranger

            Signed in 2005, and was going to AAA but was hurt.

    • Glen L

      Matsui and Damon both have NTCs

      • eVizions

        That just means they will be selective about who we trade them to. It doesn’t mean they won’t allow a trade.

  • gxpanos

    Tex is a MUST. Giambi is ridiculously productive. To let him go and not sign Tex is a recipe for offensive disaster.

    Sheehan downplayed pitching way too much. I would point to the fact that the Yankees gave up 50 fewer runs than last year because of Moose, Joba, and the bullpen. Moose went from horrid last year to unreal this year, we got 100 innings of Joba instead of 24, and the new homegrown bullpen was better than last year.

    We probably can’t count on an ERA below 4 for Moose next year, and getting CC (a must right below getting Tex) and Wang back would inoculate the Yankees against their crappy offense even more than more Joba and the great bullpen. More pitching is another way to make up for a lack of offense, but Sheehan seems to want them to get Tex (whose VORP probably isn’t that much higher than Giambi’s (can somebody check that?)) and then hope the other guys pick it up. Well, they might not pick it up; the next best thing would be to improve the pitching by getting CC, since, as Sheehan correctly points out, getting more offense besides Tex is nigh impossible. Now, I’m not giving up on Phil–but we learned this year not to RELY on him and pitchers like him. CC is safer (though of course not a sure thing, he does have a lot of innings; more on this later).

    Anyway, I happen to think the offense WILL pick it up. So CC AND a resurgent although largely static offense, plus some goddamn injury luck, could mean 100 wins easy for the Yanks next year.

    Although he didn’t quite follow through with it, Sheehan made another good point. The Yankees are opening a new stadium, and the ticket prices will price most of us out ANYWAY. So, paying a 35 year-old CC who’s totally broken down 23 mil won’t really have any practical consequences. What I’m saying is, who CARES how much they spend, as long as, as Sheehan said, they stay away from middle of the road FA’s that have inflated market value? Pavano’s lack of value in terms of the Yankees doesn’t really come from the fact that he’s tying up money, but that they relied on him, and he sucked and was injury-prone! In other words, he and Wright and others were high-risk, expensive, and without a lot of upside. CC is not that way. If he gives us three good years, and the only way to get him to NY is to offer him four more years in which he’ll be broken down, so be it! It doesn’t matter!

    Anyway, I’m not totally convinced that CC will totally break down at 35. The Brewers are taking advantage of him because they know he’s a rental. If the Yankees get him, I don’t think he’ll be throwing 250 innings every year.

  • Steve S

    I know Im going to get killed for this but I think I prefer Manny at 4 years splitting time in LF and at DH at $20M than Texeira at $20M for 8. I think Matsui is not an everyday player anymore or at least shouldnt be relied on. I think there is a hole at first base but I would rather just fill it with a Sean Casey/ fill in the blank platoon. I think if Montero is that good of a power hitter than we should be mapping him out for first base in order to provide the greater longevity of his career.

    • Pete

      Manny could be an option to replace Giambi as a DH, but I don’t know if you have anyone else on the roster that can play a halfway decent defensive 1B…

    • eVizions

      If we didn’t have Matsui, I would be all for Manny (3 years only), but that basically gives you 2 full-time DHs with another (Posada) who will need a lot of time there and yet another (Damon) who probably should be there as well.

      As for Montero, let’s see if he can play C first before casting him off to 1B or DH. If nothing else, playing C will give him a valuable perspective for hitting.

      • Steve S

        I think if Montero is simply a good hitter than yes keep him at catcher BUT if he is a prodigious power hitter than long term I would prefer to put him at first base in order to give him some longevity.

        I see the problems with Manny but with his production I wouldn’t mind seeing Matsui sit and Posada could spend time at catcher and first base rather than at DH.

        • eVizions

          If we can unload Matsui, I would be all for getting Manny (again, only for 3 years), but he has very little (if any) trade value at this point.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos

            But that’s a bit circular, no? After all, if the main reason we’re moving Matsui is to clear a spot for Manny, Matsui doesn’t really need to have any trade value, if any. We can sell him for pennies on the dollar, and it would still be worth it in swapping out his production for Manny’s.

            Flip him to the Mariners for a C level prospect, if you’d like. They need a bat in the worst way, they’ll have nobody locked into the DH spot after the departures of Sexson, Vidro, and Ibanez, and lord knows they love catering to the Japanese demographic…

            Doesn’t matter how lopsided the deal is, the point is to clear roster/lineup space, not acquire talent.

            • eVizions

              If I were Cashman (which I’m obviously not), I would use the Yankees deep pockets to acquire some more young talent at higher MnL levels. Maybe trade Matsui to Seattle and eat most of his contract (say, $8M) for a B level prospect in/around AA. That would get us rid of Matsui and acquire a decent high-level prospect at only the cost of money. Seattle would get Matsui at $5M. The problem is that Cashman and the organization don’t look at it that way and would be unlikely to make that trade.

              Your scenario is possible, but would Seattle be willing to take him on at $13M? He would immediately be their 3rd highest payed player. I doubt they would consider that for a guy coming off of surgery.

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos

                I’m fine with that scenario too.

          • Steve S

            See I just dont understand why we cant install Matsui as a pinch hitter and pure bench player, give him 200 ABs next year.

            Why does he have to be off the roster? If you lose Abreu next year, your current outfielders are Nady, Gardner or Melky Damon and Matsui. Gardner and Melky cant be a platoon they are the same exact player. You could realistically create a nice rotation between CF, LF and DH with Damon Gardner and Manny, while Matsui is a pure bench player.

            • eVizions

              You can’t have a pinch hitter that makes $13M. That is just crazy.

              • Steve S

                Why? You had a guy make $40M and pitch in less than 30 games over 4 years.

                You have a guy making $4M at AAA and spent $26M to negotiate with him.

                • eVizions

                  Those examples are guys that couldn’t play because of injury or just sucking. Matsui can still hit. He’s still an everyday player, it just happens that he’s no longer a viable LF. Putting him on the bench would be, well, crazy.

                • Pete

                  I don’t think you’d have a very happy Matsui on your hands if he goes from playing every day his entire career to coming off the bench in the 8th once or twice a week to bat for Brett Gardner.

                • Steve S

                  If he isnt the same player, he isnt the same player. I dont think Matsui can play every day in the field for 150 games and if you have to play Posada, Damon or Matsui at DH, Matsui would probably be third on that list of preferences. So if you add Manny Ramirez, you’re telling me you cant justify sitting Hideki Matsui who will now be coming back from his second consecutive year of knee surgery?

                  And granted Matsui wouldn’t be happy but this isnt Gary Sheffield. I doubt this guy and his Japanese fundamental belief in baseball would allow him to cause clubhouse problems.

                  You cant realistically go into next year expecting Matsui to stay healthy for 600 ABs, its not going to happen.

  • Bruno

    Don’t we need a Catcher?!?
    Relying on Posada to catch ever again (despite his preference) is as foolish, if not more so, as relying on Hughes and IPK to lead the rotation next year.

    • steve (different one)

      this has yet to be determined.

      it’s equally as foolish to say he definitely WON’T be able to catch next year.

      we don’t know yet.

    • eVizions

      You can’t give up on Posada yet. Even if we start him only half the time at catcher and the rest at 1B/DH, he still is one of the best catchers in the league.

  • Slugger27

    yes OBP up the middle is a major concern, but to say this team doesnt have HUGE rotation issues is ridiculous. theyre BOTH major problems. if they cant get back moose/pettitte, theyre essentially starting next season with a rotation of wang, 2/3 of a season of joba, hughes, ?, and ? as the 5 spots… yes they could sign CC ((i still dont think they will cuz he doesnt seem to wanna play here)) … but if the worst case scenario happens (pettitte/moose leave or retire and CC signs elsewhere) we’re stuck with IPK and a very risky sheets/burnett signing to fill out an already extremely question rotation ((hughes, limited joba))

    i think gardner can be an above avg defender and below avg hitter in CF next season, and considering the options, thats probably what theyre stuck with… ur stuck with damon in LF (unless u trade him) and while trading cano for kemp/ethier or something, signing o-dogg and moving nady to 1st is an option, tahts a lot of things to have to count on happening just right

    the key to realize here is that no problem is the KEY problem this offseason, theyre all major issues that need to be addressed…. theres not a clear answer, but i think yankees fans arent realizing just how hard this team is to fix in the short term, and if we want a championship caliber team, we may have to wait out another year or so

  • http://thebigmistake godfather

    Right now, Jorge is like a broken-down truck blocking traffic. His situation stops progress. I’d like Abreu back; how many times was he aboard and not cashed in by Arod? Bobby keys that offense, and having him in its middle is comforting. A deal involving Hideki might alleviate the traffic jam, too; it’s not like he can’t help an offense when healthy. I hope Cash stays, but I also hope Hankenstein shuts the fuck up…fat chance of the latter. Thirty years ago, I thought mush came out of George’s mouth; he was Einstein, compared to Hanken….

  • Pete Law

    C: Posada, Molina
    1B: Teixeira or two of Giambi/Posada/Nady/Miranda OR Howard/Fielder trade?
    2B: Cano or trade and sign Orlando Hudson
    SS: Jeter
    3B: Rodriguez, Betemit
    LF: Damon
    CF: Gardner/Cabrera
    RF: Nady or Aberu/Nady platoon
    DH: Matsui and Damon and Posada

    My first inclination is to let everyone thats eligble to walk with the exception of keeping either Moose or Pettitte (not both). Clear out some of our DH logjam, then sign CC and Tex. My wild card deal would be a Cano trade (maybe for a young outfielder or pitcher) and sign Orlando Hudson.

    Posada can’t catch more than half a season at best, which throws him into the 1B/DH mess. His bat may not be what it used to be when he gets back. Worst case, Jorge can be a utility backup C/1B/DH.

    Cano or Hudson? At this point I’d regret letting Cano go and watch him hit to his potential elsewhere. Hudson is upgrade defensively but will never win a batting title.

    Short and Third are clearly locked (for next year anyway), probably stuck with Betemit as the backup IF for at least another half year.

    Damon in Center or Left? His bat is great at the top of order but the defense scares me. Could We trade Matsui and have Damon be the primary DH in his last year under contract? The surgery leads me to say no. I say let Bobby go, stick X in right for a full year and platoon Melky and Gardner in a 4 man outfield rotation. I don’t want to waste $ on another aging OF (when few are available anyway) with AJax probably due in 2010.

    The rotation could be awesome if it looked like this:
    Pettitte (if Moose stays he will too, adds depth)
    Hughes/Aceves/IPK/Ras/eventually Joba

    Bringing back Moose and Andy and signing one FA pitcher saves us from relying too much on our young guns at the bottom of the rotation again. Hughes deserves a spot tho to show what he can do. Aceves can shift to long reliever/spot starter in a number crunch. Wang, Joba and Hopefully Hughes could be 3 aces under CC. Add Moose and thats a formidable 5. Let Pavano get hurt on someone else’s dollar and save $ by not signing Sheets or Burnett who I feel may be Pavano Jr.’s in Pinstripes.

    There is plenty of depth in the bullpen which pitched well this year, Melancon and Cox are also setup to make contributions next year along with more from Sanchez, Coke, etc. Pickup Marte’s option but signing a Latroy Hawkins type reliever would be a waste.

    27 in ’09. Let’s do it!

    • eVizions

      I agree with most of what you posted, with the exception of signing Tex and trading Cano. I also would roll the dice with Pavano’s option. I think 1 failed year at $11M is better than 4 failed years at a lot more for a Burnett-type. I also like the idea of picking up Marte’s option. I’ve been saying for awhile we should do that.

  • Z1m

    I would make a play for CC. If he signs then look at either Moose or Andy. If CC opts to play somewhere else then sign both Moose and Andy. I would also look into trying to make a trade for someone like John Lackey or Roy Oswalt. They would be the kind of pitcher that would be great for the Yanks. Joba and Wang will be a very good 1/2 and have Andy and Moose at the back end should help. The 5th spot is up in the air with a lot of possibilities coming from within the organization. I like the Yankees if they can run out Joba and Wang for 25-35 starts each. Keeping an eye on Joba. Right now I’ll take my chances with Aceves and Hughes for a whole season.

    Get Tex to play first base. He’s a plus on offense and defense. He would look great in the 3 spot of the order behind jeter and in front of arod. Look to trade either Damon or Matsui and keep Abreu. If you can’t trade one of them then I would part with Abreu. No more BIG G. Jorge can catch and DH. Molina will be big behind the plate again.

    The bullpen has a lot of quality options now and more in the system. You can mix and match with who is hot. This would be a solid 95 win team. Spend the money smart. Get the big name guy and don’t just settle for average players looking to cash in on a weak free agent class.

  • Chip

    We don’t need a catcher, Posada is and will continue to be a catcher. He might not be able to throw everybody out but his bat makes him a great catcher.

    Tex is an absolutely huge upgrade over Giambi all the while costing almost exactly the same, I think that’s a no-brainer.

    Nady is a solid outfielder, I don’t see why this is so difficult to see. You’re getting another 16 million a year to spend plus two draft picks by letting Bobby go. Its not like he’s going to get better after age 36 anyway. And if Nady sucks, go sign another outfielder next off-season.

    As far as pitching goes, extending Pavano might not be a completely horrible idea. I’d rather take my chances signing both CC and Burnett and re-signing Mussina

  • troy

    Here are some thoughts:

    Catcher – Posada/Molina – Trying to upgrade Molina sounds would be a good idea in light of the uncertainty around Posada. Not sure I want to see Molina playing over 50% for a good chunk of next year until Cervelli might be ready in case Posada is less than 100%.

    First base – TBA – Teixeira would be my first choice and I wouldn’t be scared off by salary and length of contract. He’s a position player at a good age and one that doesn’t need speed to be effective defensively. However he may not want to come here (Ca or Baltimore likely other dest.) If you wanted to roll the dice with Miranda he would require a platoon partner right now so you’d have to find him one. I would prefer a real first baseman, no Posada, Damon or Matsui!!!!

    Second base – Cano (see note below)

    SS – Jeter – For one more season before he takes Damon’s left field slot in 2010

    Third base – Arod – Even year, good things

    LF – Damon – see note below

    CF – Gardner/Cabrera – With Ajax on the horizon there is no need to not roll the dice for 1/2 season. While DeJesus and others might be better initially, later on you’d end up with 2 CF when Jackson arrives which may not optimize the offense.

    RF – Nady – Good placeholder for 1 season to evaluate him and what the team needs for 2010

    DH – Matsui – He’s got two “new” knees. What more could go wrong??? Signing Manny would require you to unload Matsui. He’s probably the only real upgrade that you could get. You’ve got better things to worry about.

    SP – Wang, Chamberlain, Petitte, TBA, Hughes/Pavano/Kennedy/Aceves – Getting one FA pitcher really lengthens your rotation which is one of thh big goals. Clearly CC is target #1 but once again he may not choose to come here. Once again price and length should be doable for Yankees. Chamberlain should start from the beginning and be slowed down as his innings build. Skip his spot every 3rd or 4th time through and fill in with the surplus of starters you have above. The thing you absolutely want him to do is max out his IPs next year. If he has a similar minor injury as this year in the middle of the season you want to be able to shut him down and still be able to hit his inning limits after he comes back. If he starts as RP you could end up in same situation as this year. He’s a starter!!! Petitte is younger than Moose and stands a better chance at a qualilty season next year, plus he only wants one year, plus he’s a real “Yankee”. If Moose doesn’t retire he’s going to want at least a 2 year deal and may block our young pitchers. Plus he nets you 2 draft picks if he signs with someone else (Phillies)

    Relief Pitching – Offer Marte arbitration but don’t pick up his option. While a 1 year deal is no big deal in reality, I don’t think he’s worth $6 mm from what I’ve seen. He doesn net you two draft picks if he signs somewhere else. If he agrees to arbitration and you sign him for $4.5mm then fine keep him. Don’t dare think about picking anyone else up. The Yankees have so much talent at RP they could fully stock the Mets bullpen right now with their castoffs and it would be better than the current Mets BP. In fact, they are going to have to trade quite a few of these assets to manage their 40 mm roster. Potential RPs to trade – Britton, Albaledejo, Veras, Cox, Ramirez, Strickland, Giese, Rasner. RPs next year should be – Rivera, Melancon, Bruney, Coke, Aceves, Veras/Ramirez, Robertson

    Extra Notes – If the Yankees decide to trade Cano then you shake things up a bit. It has been rumored that he could bring back a young OF (Kemp) or a young SP (Cain). A young OF probably means you will try to trade Damon who may still have some value. A young SP means the pressure might be off to sign a FA SP. Of course filling in the 2B hole also needs to be thought about. A FA roll player like Hudson (average hitter, above average fielder) or someone like K Johnson (above average hitter, average fielder) might work.

    Draft Picks – Currently the Yankees have 4 picks in the top 2(1st, 2nd plus supplemental between them) rounds (1st & 2nd this year, plus 1st and 2nd as compensation picks from not signing Cole & Biddle last year). Moose signs with Phillies nets you 2 more (1 & supp), Abreu signs with Indians (2nd (1st protected) and supp), Marte signs with Red sox (1 & supp) Irod signs with Reds (supp). Giambi is not offered arbitration and gets you nothing when he resigns with the A’s. So you now have 11 picks in the top 80 or so. You’ll lose your own 1 and 2 for signing two Type A FAs so you end with 9 draft picks. Better get Damon O and his staff some help for this next year as the Yankees could get a huge haul of talent ready to take over after the 3rd World Series victory in a row in 2013.

  • Axl

    Burnett is going to re-sign with the Blue Jays. I could see Sabathia on the Angels next year. Sheets with the Brewers or other NL team…

    That’s if the Yankeees don’t over spend. If they toss money and years around like wildfire…anything can happen.

    I like Tex at 1B. If not him, maybe a cheap low year Kevin Millar.

    Also heard rumors of a Cano for Kemp trade…or Cano and Hughes for Prince Fielder…which I absolutely hate.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Wow. Is any of that based on anything substantive, or are you just pulling everything straight out of your butt imagination?

    • steve (different one)

      Burnett is going to re-sign with the Blue Jays.

      and you are basing this on….?

  • Glen L

    Damon has a partial NTC and Matsui has a full NTC .. they’d have to approve trades … it will NOT be easy to trade either, especially Matsui, WITHOUT no-trades .. given that both have them, they’ll be yankees next year

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Very true. And yet, if the team spent big money to bring in a big OF/DH bat (Manny, Dunn, Burrell, etc.) and told either Johnny or Hideki that they were moving to the bench full-time for 2009, they may be inclined to waive those no-trades and have their agents look for trading partners so that they could continue their careers playing every day.

      The list of players with no-trade clauses that have been traded is long. It prevents the club from trading you without your involvement/consent, that’s all.

  • Steve S

    I think you have to make a play for CC and probably one other starter. I wouldnt mind taking a look at Oliver Perez depending on his asking price as compared to the other available guys. If he has the same price tag as say Burnett or Sheets (pending the severity of his injury) then I say Ollie may be the best buy of the rest. he is the youngest, he is left handed and has never had any significant health problems. I kind of like him better than Burnett.

    I also think it should be one or the other Pettitte or Mussina.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      “If he has the same price tag as say Burnett or Sheets (pending the severity of his injury) then I say Ollie may be the best buy of the rest. he is the youngest, he is left handed and has never had any significant health problems. I kind of like him better than Burnett.”

      This is all pure insanity. Oliver Perez has a career ERA of 4.37.


      Oliver Perez blows chunks. If he was a right handed pitcher, he’d be finishing up his third season in indy ball for the Newark Bears as we speak.

      • Steve S

        Pure insanity? Thats extreme.

        Burnett in three years in Toronto has only once made it past 160 innings. And this year his first over 200 innings he has an ERA+ 103, League average. And the guy is 31 years old. And has always been injury prone.

        Sheets, he has tightness in his forearm, any team that offers him something significant is going to have a big set.

        Oliver Perez managed to pitch to a 120 ERA+ last year- a 3.56 ERA and fifteen wins. he also has pitched to 3.67 ERA in the second half of this year Plus the guy is 4 years younger. If there is room for improvement this is the guy. If he wants $100M then say no by lets say 4 years at $16M, is not the worst thing in the world for a lefty with a plus fastball entering his prime.

        Yeah Im sure he would be pitching for an independent league team, thats a sane response. Is he a slam dunk? NO. Is there an argument to be made that to gamble on him would the same or less than on Burnett or Sheets who are four years older and have demonstrated being probe to injury and worse of all ARM injuries.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          See, again, all these arguments for Perez are predicated on something that’s probably just not true.

          4 years at 16M? FOUR MILLON PER? Sure, if I thought I could get him at those bargain basement prices, I’d be pushing for him like you are… there’s virtually no risk there. But then he’d be making less than Randy Wolf, for marianojuniorsakes. You think Perez can be had for less than what garbage ass Randy Wolf is making, one year after Carlos Silva got 50M from the Mariners?

          And yes, Sheets and Burnett are injury prone (for the record, I’ve never advocated signing either of them.) They’re both also MUCH better pitchers than Oliver Perez is. Those brief moments of success you mentioned are sandwiched around multiple periods of prolonged severe suckitude.

          You originally said that if the price tag was the same, you’d pick Perez. That’s lunacy. The only way Perez is the best buy is if he’s cheaper, like ridiculously cheap, which is A) not what you said and B) not likely to happen.

          • Steve S

            Alright genius. Silva got his deal because of the market. There was no other free agent pitcher last year. Same concept with Meche. This year you have a bunch of premium guys coming on the market. Its called supply and demand. Sabathia will get lets say 7 years at $23M. Does any team realistically spend $20M per year on either Burnett or Sheets who are definitely better pitchers right now?

            So if thats the case who does Oliver Perez market himself to? Every team out there wants guys at limited years. They all know the same thing, avoid more than 4 years. Silva got 4 years at $11 or $12 and Santana got $6 years at $23. Do the Math, economically and skills wise he fits right in the middle. Maybe your right he gets more years but he has had an off year this year and would expect that people will not go past four with maybe an option on the fifth. Your telling me that Ollie Perez on the open market with three pitchers better than him is going to get more than $16M? Then that means some team well over spent and if they are willing to overspend why wouldn’t they do it for Burnett or Sheets or Dempster?

            • Steve S

              And I meant Burnett and Sheets are better than Perez not Sabathia.

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos

              “Your telling me that Ollie Perez on the open market with three pitchers better than him is going to get more than $16M?”

              Yes. I think that Sabathia, Burnett, and Sheets all get big money, and Perez STILL gets his money after that. Not money on their scale, no, but not on the 4yr/16M peanuts scale as well.

              But again, I called your claim that you’d pick Perez over Burnett and Sheets, all at the same money, insane.

              You seem to be running from that statement pretty fast…

              • Steve S

                Im not running from anything. I think the finances and length of contract being equal, I think there is an argument to be made for Ollie Perez over Sheets and Burnett. Sheets and Burnett seem like black holes while Perez has really shown glimpses of brilliance (evidenced by his below 2.00 ERA in games he has won). When you are investing in free agent pitching you should take into consideration all the factors and one of the primary ones should be will their performance improve? Of the three we keep discussing who has the greatest potential to improve?

                You offer no proof of the money thats out there for Perez or have no response for the fact that the market is dramatically different this year as opposed to the last three years. There hasnt been a guy like Sabathia (a proven ace under 30) on the open market since probably Mike Mussina. Anyone who gives Burnett or Sheets an $80M is insane. And if that happens then I agree they probably have priced Perez out of any reasonable deal. But he is probably on the same tier as those two because has demonstrated results and some inconsistency but has an impeccable health record and is significantly younger. While Sheets has been the most dominant but the most injury prone with arm injuries and Burnett has been both inconsistent and injury prone but perhaps has the best stuff of the three. But guess what the later two are both north of thirty and therefore are less likely to improve AS EVERYONE said when the Santana deal was being discussed.

                Whats insane is that you somehow seem to have an expertise about the baseball economy but cant actually substantiate anything that you are saying. I ackowledge I have no idea but taking into consideration what is out there and what happened in the past I can make an educated guess while you just offer conjecture and your smart ass comments.

  • Old Ranger

    Those that say;”It’s not my money,” are missing a salient point. When the payroll gets to the point of paying other teams (as in the past) players to play for our competition…it doesn’t make sense! Look at Tampa Bay, they are paying some of their players with Yankee money, same with a few others. Do we need a 240mmmmmm, payroll?…no way!
    Joba, CMW, Carl, Phil, Giese/Aceves/CC/Moose/IPK, et. el., makes a good stating point. With those guys we could keep the ERA down and not have to score a ton of runs to win. With very good pitching and defence and avg. to good hitting (not power) we can win it all. We don’t need 30 to 40 HRs out of 4-5 players, we have A-Rod, Posada, Matsui, Cano and (maybe) Miranda to hit 20-40 HRs…let’s get some guys that know how to move players over or in from 3rd.

    • Axl

      The thing with Tampa Bay is their whole squad will soon need raises…and they won’t have the money to pay for them…meanwhile…they’ll have been winning more and not getting the great draft pick selection positions they’ve gotten in the past…and sink back down into inevitability…

      • eVizions

        Not if they keep making brilliant trades like Young for Garza/Bartlett. It’s not only that they have been getting top talent in the first round, it’s what they’ve been doing with them.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          Agreed. That was a steal.

          And that reminds me… in addition to all the talent they have now, they also had Delmon Young AND Elijah Dukes in that organization too…


          • Mike A.

            And Julio Lugo.

    • troy

      With significant dollars coming off this year it will be hard to get close to $200mm next year, let alone $240mm. It is not our money that is the reason the Rays have gotten better. It was 10 years of craptastic baseball which netted them a slew of high picks. Now in the future our money may allow them to sign their younger players…. but then that is probably one of the reasons Cash is trying to get our payroll under control so we’re not doing that to such a great extent

    • eVizions

      I agree with your general point, but we are shedding about $80M this year, so signing ONE big FA will still keep us with a solid strategy moving forward. Plus, you lose guys like Matsui and Damon after this year, which will free up another $30M or so. That’s over $100M in 2 years, so adding $30-$50M on a few players during that time still leaves us in a good position (1 or 2 FAs and new contracts for our current guys). Anyone who wants us to get CC, Tex and Manny is obviously crazy, but we do have the money to take a chance on a free agent every once-in-a-while.

      • Old Ranger

        Yes, you are right.
        The thing I was getting at is, we sign 2-3 big money players now (for to long), then we are back to the point we can’t move anyone…and to many old underachievers. Every year we keep adding big money to the payroll…soon, we are back to paying other teams.
        20mm 7 yrs-CC, 20mm 7 yrs-Tex, 15mm 3-5 yrs-AJ, 15mm 3-5 yrs-Sheets…etc. What next? A high priced SS, RF another pitcher? Don’t forget; guys like Joba, Phil, Miranda will need more money shortly. We also have a few guys in AAA, AA, that may need to be added to the Major league roster…or lose them.
        Basically, there is a lot of money coming off and will be going back on soon.

  • Frank

    1. Teixeira is overrated, although a great player. He’s going to command too mcuh money/years. If he can be had in a 4-5 year deal, then fine. Otherwise, pass.

    2. Abolutely must sign CC. And it’s not crazy. He can and will be a # 1 for years to come, and perhaps more importantly, a BIG innings eater in our young starting rotation for the future. CC / Wang / Joba / Moose / Hughes. Yessir.

    3. Absolutely CANNOT re-sign Abreu. Although he’s had a good year relative to other Yankees in this lineup, he’s a prime example of yet another player into their decline that the Yankees should avoid. His AVG is down, walks are down (important) and his defense doesn’t even need to be mentioned. I believe a trade could/should be made for an OF. But that’s another discussion.

    4. Right now Carl Pavano is an average pitcher at best with as close to a zero percent chance to stay healthy as you can get. $11 million ?? I understand Sherman’s point, but this is laughable to me.

    5. Agreed about the bullpen. Leave it alone. Should be one of the strongest in the AL , with or without Joba. But especially with him in the first 40 games or so.

    • eVizions

      1. Agree completely

      2. Not an absolute, but CC would be a nice pickup. There are some questions, including his willingness to play in NY, but he is a true #1 guy.

      3. Again, I agree completely.

      4. Pavano is actually a good pitcher. What makes you think that he’s that much worse than 4 years ago when he was the Sabathia of that free agent class? And a 1 year deal at $11M (net)? You’d have to be crazy to not roll the dice. Would you take Burnett at 1/$11M? It’s essentially the same thing.

      5. Bullpen is fine, but Marte should be retained.

      • Frank

        Pavano is worse than he was 4 years ago. All pitchers his age are worse than they were four years ago. Throw in his injury history. Throw in the fact that he’s not setting the world on fire either, pitching to a 5 ERA, recovering from injury or not.

        And don’t compare Pavano to Burnett. Burnett throws 95mph and has the ABILITY to dominate a lineup and could be an ace at his ceiling if healthy. Pavano does not.
        Again, Pavano has BURNED the Yankees. He’s a disaster. And now he’s come back for 3 – 4 weeks, actually stayed healthy, and people want him back next year? Maybe it’s just my opinion but I can’t comprehend that.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          Again, it’s all about context and actualities. Yes, Burnett is better than Pavano, and yes, Pavano has some concerns. But Burnett is not coming to NY for a 1 year, 11M deal… no pitcher of any substance is coming here for a 1 year, 11M deal.

          Pavano is a bird in the hand. Burnett is two in the bush.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos

            And yes, I’m fighting the urge to make a “two in the bush” joke.

          • eVizions

            “Pavano is a bird in the hand. Burnett is two in the bush.”

            Perfect analogy. Plus, you get bonus points for being the first person, other than my elementary school teachers, to actually use that expression effectively.

        • eVizions

          He’s had 6 starts, most of which he pitched really well. He’s been a bust – I’ll concede that, but if you want to get ANYTHING out of that contract, you pick up the option for next year. He’ll have something to prove and $11M is pocket change.

          Burnett, who is injury prone, has thrown more pitches this year than any other pitcher in the game. That’s a red flag. Plus, he’s 31 and will require at least a 3 year contract, probably more. You said it yourself: All pitchers his age are worse than they were 4 years ago. So why would you bring in a 31 year old for 3 or 4 seasons at around $15M/year when you could bring back a 32 year old for 1 year at $11M?

  • Mike Pop

    Bring back Bobby Sign Manny and Tex.. You should maybe get Garland as a stopgap for 1 year if u pick up mnny and tex.. manny and tex would be monstrous tho id rather have burnett or cc in there somewhere // the real thing i want is tex and CC or Tex and Burnett… Those two put this team in a whole new direction

    • Yank Crank 20

      Actually, adding CC, Manny and/or Tex puts us on the same line in the exact same direction we have been in…which is signing aged veterans or solid players to long contracts which kill us in the end and deprive us of 1st and 2nd round draft picks that could help replenish our franchise with young/cheap/serviceable talent. You say sign Tex and Manny, well, i’ve seen that before with Giambi and Sheff…and how did all of that turn out? 0 rings, lots of head aches and lots of wasted money.

    • eVizions

      Tex AND Manny AND bring back Abreu? Wow, not a great idea. Crank said it well – you would be putting us right back into the shit we are finally starting to come out of.

      • Old Ranger

        You and Yank got the idea.
        Back to square one…not good!

  • Yank Crank 20

    It amazes me how impatient Yankee fans are. We all knew Hughes and Kennedy would be a risk, and pre-season everybody was saying that Yankee fans should be prepared for a year of transition. All the experts said 85 wins and missed playoffs. So why are we so surprised? Why do we have to go sign more Giambis, Sheffields and Pavanos? All it does is put us further behind the Sox/Rays/Angels/Twins in player development and passes out problems on to the future.

    • eVizions

      Well stated. Let’s build with the kids. I still think Hughes is a long-term ace and Kennedy could be a good #4, but we’ll never know if we discard them as soon as they fail in their rookie year. It’s self-destructive. That being said, since Yankee fans (and owners) are so impatient, we (and by we I mean Brian Cashman) need to find a way to win AND implement the youngsters. If we can make the playoffs next year while leaving Hughes and Kennedy in the whole year and let them go through their growing pains, it would take a lot of the pressure off to move them. Hopefully, we can win AND allow the kids to grow up at their own pace. Moving Hughes would be a mistake.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Good point, Yank Crack, but I think you’re painting this with too broad a brush.

      I’m all for signing both CC and bringing a bat on board (be it Tex, Manny, Dunn, or the like), but not because it helps us win NOW; rather, I feel it helps us win for the next half decade. Adding good players, even to long term, high salary deals, does not necessarily “put us further behind the Sox/Rays/Angels/Twins in player development and pass out problems on to the future”… it just depends on who the player is and how your luck turns out. For every Giambi, Sheffield and Pavano there’s a Manny, Vlad, and Javier Vazquez. But signing them doesn’t mean we’re giving up on the kids, abandoning the organizational strategy, or being impatient. We’re just seizing an opportunity to make the team better without sacrificing anything more than some money and two draft picks… last I counted, we’ll still have about 50 more next June.

      Signs of impatience are the people who want to trade Hughes, Cano, etc. Several of us want to add CC and/or Tex without giving those prospects away. That’s reasonable, no?

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Sorry, Yank Crank, didn’t mean to misspell your name. Slip of the finger, no offense.

  • Mike Pop

    Turnede out well Giambi was solid for 5 years and Sheff got us Humberto.. If you act like Giambi was such a bad sgigning your wrong the guy was the best hitter on our team prior to Arod … also Sheff was solid for us till he got hurt.. Those were the lineup days problem is we didnt have great pitching… A great lineup is vital for us in new york with the young pitching and all… Don not even act like Tex and CC wont be good sigingis ur lookin at 6 or 7 yeaars but what bout 3 or 4 yrs of absolute dominance with those type of guys on our team.. plus takin tex makes angels worse so less competition smae goes for burnett…. u sign tex plus one of the SPS you have the squad in the AL and favorites in the AL East.. come on now guys gimme a break every team has to throw out some big contracts every now and then…tori hunter-18 a year is he overpaid hell yea but look what he has done for the angles this year.. made them better and improved their defense.. Id rather give Tex the money than CC less risk and probly get better years for the long term even tho CC is better for us… 1b is huge for us tooo we dont have a real 1b for next year.. dont even say miranda and menky..thats disgusting

    • eVizions

      Giambi had one year that he hit over .271 and only 2 years that he hit 40HR. Add in to that the fact that he is one of the worst fielding 1B in the league and was involved in the steroid controversy. Was that worth $120M?

      1B are a dime a dozen. Hell, we had Carlos Pena at AAA and let him go (maybe he would have gotten a shot if Giambi wasn’t there). Tex may be a really good 1B, but he doesn’t deserve the type of contract that he will be asking for. If he was a SS or CF, I would give it to him, but not at 1B.

      • Frank

        Well said. Tex is a great player but the Yankees have to draw the line. He’s asking for too much.

      • Mike Pop

        your acting a fool as luda would say.. ya 1st baseman are a dime a dozen i dont agree with that shit.. We dont have 1 good first baseman anywhere near the majors… But your prob right Id rather give up 3 or 4 top prospects for a guy like howard or fielder and throw away great prospects than jus have hank sign a check every month… 22 mill a year for tex?? in 5 years 18 million is probly gonna be the going rate for a player not even close to tex’s caliber…

        • eVizions

          Is $22M the going rate for a guy you signed 7 years ago? If it is, Giambi was a steal this year.

  • LC

    Hey, Ben, not to nitpick, but Ponson didn’t finish third in innings pitched for the Yankees. Perhaps he threw the third most innings this year when you factor in his innings with Texas, but Moose, Pettitte, Joba, Wang and Rasner have all thrown more innings this year for the Yankees. Not that this takes away from your point about the disappointing offense.

    • Frank

      Has anyone mentioned that he’s also an atrocious pitcher?

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        And fat? Don’t forget fat.

  • Mike Pop

    Signing Teixeira should be a top 2 decision on the list for the yanks they have noone ready to play 1st.. unfortunately its gonna have to top the 140 mill texas offered him last year.. i say 7 years 154 mill.. 22 a year he has to accept

  • ceciguante

    resigning carl pavano is simply an awful idea, i can’t believe it’s being suggested by so many here. he’s either a quitter, or horribly injury prone. he’s not young anymore, either. signing him makes *zero* financial sense.

    “fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice…”

    • eVizions

      Teams are always willing to take a chance on a guy in his walk year. It’s a low risk/high reward scenario, so how does 1 year at $11M not make financial sense?

      • Mike Pop

        cuz that money should go to a name that will help us over the next 5 years

        • Pete

          Keep in mind the guy JUST came back from TJ surgery.

    • Frank

      It’s b/c the Yankees have won games since he’s been back. So it seems like he’s been doing better than he really is. That’s all. He happened to come back when the Yankees started playing better baseball recently.

      People need to look at his numbers since he’s been back. Or look at his career numbers w/ the Yankees for God’s sake.

      The only reason I could see retaining him would be to trade him later. But even then you’re taking a huge risk that he’ll get injured.

      Awful idea. Agreed.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      And yet, past failures are not a guarantee of future failures. Predictor, perhaps, but not a guarantee. Not even really a statistically verifiable correlation. Plenty of guys have suffered through two, three, four years of injury and then been fine the rest of their careers. (A certain blowhard assbag from Boston with a blog comes to mind, as does Al Leiter up in the YES booth…)

      If you flip a coin 9 times and it comes up heads 9 times, it’s still a 50-50 shot that it comes up tails the 10th time. Pavano could be injured next year, or he could be healthy. He could pitch poorly, he could pitch well. All options are on the table. No real way of knowing.

      Saying that signing him makes *zero* financial sense is a bit silly, when you consider that, especially for the Yankees, money is just about no object. Our payroll hasn’t been under $150M since before the Iraq War began. We’re about to have so much money drop off the books that we can sign two big ticket free agents to two deals worth $25M each and still have savings left over. We’re facing potentially 4 huge holes in our pitching rotation, with only Wang written in ink to make 33 starts for us in 2009. Pavano can be had on a virtually strings-free, zero long-term risk 1 year deal for 11M, which is “walking around money” to the Steins, especially after we start playing games in that U.S. Mint building on the north side of 161st Street.

      And, if it blows up in our face, oh well… no harm, no foul.

      • Frank

        If it blows up, there is a foul. You’ve committed yet even more millions to a pitcher who again can’t contribute. A pitcher to whom you gave a tremendous contract to in the past… and didn’t contribute.

        I know there is no guarantee Pavano will get hurt. But if he does (which is not only possible, but probable), or if he pitches to his avgs w/ the Yankees…. say a 4.50 to 4.85 ERA…. with missed starts due to injury thrown in here and there, you have to admit there will be a lot of photos out there showing Cashman with a dunce cap on.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          If it blows up, there is a foul. You’ve committed yet even more millions to a pitcher who again can’t contribute.

          But, you’ve only committed it for one year. Six months. That’s nothing, that’s less than what Dawson and Downey would have gotten from the plea deal Kaffee got ’em. In the sports world, a one year committment is a non-committment. He’s still playing for his future.

          A pitcher to whom you gave a tremendous contract to in the past… and didn’t contribute.

          …And, that’s totally irrelevant and inconsequential to the decision at hand. ’05-’08 is a sunk cost. Write it off and move on with how best to assemble the 2009 Yankees, free from bias or remorse.

          I know there is no guarantee Pavano will get hurt. But if he does (which is not only possible, but probable), or if he pitches to his avgs w/ the Yankees…. say a 4.50 to 4.85 ERA…. with missed starts due to injury thrown in here and there, you have to admit there will be a lot of photos out there showing Cashman with a dunce cap on.

          And those photos will be drawn by knee-jerking idiots with an anti-Cashman agenda who don’t see the bigger picture: it’s a low-risk, high-reward gamble. It’s easy to criticize bad results, but that doesn’t mean the decisionmaking process was bad. Neither Cashman, nor you or I, should fear the wrath of the small-minded when charting the course of the 2009 Yankees.

  • David Brown

    I cannot believe ANYONE in their right mind wants to give Pavano $11,000,000 (Well maybe the KNICKS?) I prefer taking a chance on Acevedo. This needs NO further explaination. Keeping Andy Petitte or Bobby Abreu at $15,000,000 is not a good investment either This is $41,000,000 worth of salaries than can be saved. I was toasted for suggesting Oliver Perez for the Yankees. I want him at $5-7 MILLION a year for 3 years (I am not giving him a bigger contract, Boras or not). As for Marte, the Yankees let Tom Gordon go (Another thirty something pitcher (Albeit righthanded)), and we got Joba for compensation. I am willing to roll the dice with Coke and Sanchez, and get the pick. Taking $21,000,000 the board for Giambi works for me also.
    Building towards 2010, when we have more kid pitchers (Like Brackman) and a chance at Matt Holliday is the way to go.

    • Pete

      >> I cannot believe ANYONE in their right mind wants to give Pavano $11,000,000 (Well maybe the KNICKS?) I prefer taking a chance on Acevedo. This needs NO further explaination. >>

      I think you mean Aceves, but I get your point.

      Fluky injuries aside, Pavano has enough ML experience to warrant taking a chance, no? It’s only one more year… The Yanks have spent money on far nuttier things…

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        No, I think he means Juan Acevedo, the former Rockies, Mets, Cardinals, Brewers, Marlins, Tigers, Yankees, and Blue Jays righthander.

        It’s a daring plan… I mean, sure, Acevedo stunk during his brief stint in pinstripes (7.71 ERA in 25 appearances in 2003), and he hasn’t started a game since 1999 with the Cardinals, but crazier shit has happened…

        And David Brown is clearly on to something. After all, he’s going to personally outnegotiate Scott Boras into convincing his client, Oliver Perez, to take a ridiculously below-market deal of 3 years at 6M per. (Although, I hope he doesn’t accidentally call call him Oliver Perezevedo or something during the talks, that might put the kibosh on the deal…)

        And, he’s clearly right on not exercising Marte’s option as well, since we’re GUARAN-FUCKING-TEED to get another Joba with the sandwich pick that we’ll get when he leaves this winter. No point bringing Marte back to have a reliable lefty in the pen at the low price of 1yr/6M, especially when we get the same pick next winter when he leaves then… we’re getting another Joba! This June! GUARAN-FUCKIN-A-TEED, bro.

        You know what? I’m convinced. Fire Brian Cashman and hire this guy David Brown. He knows what he’s doing.

        • Pete

          Eeeeeasy tommie, go get a drink or something. ;-)

    • eVizions

      We can pick up Marte’s option and he will most likely be a Type-A again next year, especially considering he would be the guy in save situations when Mo is not available. While I love our bullpen, once Hawkins and Farnsworth left there was really no one with a lot of ML experience. Mo and Marte are the vets of the group.

      As for Pavano, it appears that I’m in the minority with this guy. If you can get Perez for 3/$15, then do it, but if he’s gonna come that cheap, the Mets will retain him before we get a chance.

  • Rob

    Couldn’t you retain Pavano for less than that? I’d imagine he’d take 2 years $10 million no?

    • Pete

      See that’s where I draw the line — anything more than a year, that is.

  • eVizions

    My philosophy for how I hope the organization proceeds is:

    1. Don’t sell the farm for anyone. This includes young MLs as well, like Hughes and Cano. So they had a bad year. Watching Cano win a batting title in LA or Hughes win 20 games somewhere else will definitely be worth that #3 starting pitcher that went 12-14 for us, right?

    2. Be wary of the length/value of new contracts you hand out. Nobody over 29 gets more than 4 years and nobody that hasn’t won a Cy Young/MVP gets more than 6.

    • Frank

      Free agents are going to cost what they cost. The Yankees can’t control that. The point is, there’s going to be a risk. Will the Yankees again take the risk of signing a pitcher long term with a lot of miles on his arm of late? Will they take the risk of overpaying for a position of little value, again being contractually obligated to that player well into his late 30’s?

      If they do , it’s b/c of what the fans demand.

      Personally, I’d like to see the whole thing torn down and start from scratch in the new stadium. With the resources the Yankees have, it wouldn’t take more than 3-4 years of building from the draft, smart trades and FA signings to plug holes to turn the Yankees into a serious contender.

      That being said, you could argue that if the Yankees sign Tex and CC, they’ll be a serious contender next season.

  • David Brown

    Tommysmithjohncarols, I am not claiming to be an expert on running the Yankees, but not having the likes of Pavano on the team should be a no brainer. The goal should be building a championship team, and this guy is not going to get them there. It is not my money, but teams like the Royals who had a superior draft, spent the same amount of money on their draft picks (Hosmer and Melville to name a couple), as Pavano will cost. I am not naive enough to think that the draft alone is the answer, but I would take a chance on a Melville before a Pavano.
    As for Marte, if I can get a first round pick for him, I do it in a heartbeat. There is NO guarantee you are getting Joba, that is true. But I believe in Damon Oppenheimer’s ability to find talent (The Cole issue aside), so I give him as many opportunities as possible to do so. On Perez, he may be cheaper than people think, because Boras may misread the market (Look at Lohse’s contract THIS year, compared to what he wanted).

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      The goal should be building a championship team, and this guy is not going to get them there.

      The 2003 Florida Marlins say hello.

      In any event, he doesn’t have to “get them there”. CC, Wang, Joba, will get us there, he just needs to be a non-Ponsonian bridge to the future until he youngsters (Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves, etc.) are ready.

      It is not my money, but teams like the Royals who had a superior draft, spent the same amount of money on their draft picks (Hosmer and Melville to name a couple), as Pavano will cost.

      Apples and oranges. If we don’t pick up the option, Bud Selig is not going to come hand us two draft picks. And we can’t spend money like that on young talent because we’re not crappy enough to pick high enough to take that young talent in the first place.

      I am not naive enough to think that the draft alone is the answer, but I would take a chance on a Melville before a Pavano.

      Me too. I’d also like to give Selita Ebanks and Jessica White some sweet three-way loving, but I’ll likely never have the chance, just like we’ll never have the chance to draft Tim Melville. This non-sequitur doesn’t really help your anti-Pavano crusade. Retaining Pavano does not in any way preclude us from adding any young talent.

      As for Marte, if I can get a first round pick for him, I do it in a heartbeat. There is NO guarantee you are getting Joba, that is true. But I believe in Damon Oppenheimer’s ability to find talent (The Cole issue aside), so I give him as many opportunities as possible to do so.

      And we can get a pick, in 2010. All I’m saying is, keep Marte while he’s cheap and valuable, and then you get the same picks the following year. It’s not like they’re going to stop having the June Draft after this season…

      On Perez, he may be cheaper than people think, because Boras may misread the market (Look at Lohse’s contract THIS year, compared to what he wanted).

      Perhaps. But he’s a way bigger gamble than Pavano, no matter what his contact demands look like. And if his demands are reasonable, the Mets probably keep him. And for every Lohse, there’s a Silva.

      Most of this is predicated on your personal distaste for Carl Pavano from the past 4 years… but that’s over. Move on and only concern yourself with what’s best for the team going forward.

  • Chip

    Why does everybody suddenly want Coke in the bullpen next season? Just think if he could be somewhat near this good as a starter? He’s already got 150 IP this season so he is fully stretched out. He could push his way into the rotation by the middle of next season. If we’re fully stocked, he’d be a GREAT trade chip (young, cheap, effective, LEFT-HANDED)

    • Ben K.

      An effective, young left-handed starter shouldn’t be a trade chip. He should be a starter. If Coke can be good, why on Earth would you trade a cost-controlled lefty unless you’re getting something incredible back in return?

      • Steve S

        Agreed i think they should look to see what they can get for Veras Bruney or Ramirez. hang on to Coke.

      • eVizions

        “If Coke can be good, why on Earth would you trade a cost-controlled lefty unless you’re getting something incredible back in return?”

        Because if you can sell high, you might want to consider it. There’s a reason New York traded him to Pittsburgh initially and there’s a reason that Pittsburgh took McCutchen and Karstens instead. His upside is limited and he’s had a phenomenal year, especially at the ML level. He’s probably never going to be part of the rotation and, if he is, it will most likely be as a spot-starter.

        If the Yankee brass think he’s a legitimate ML starter, then you keep him. If not, then you consider trading him to someone else who currently thinks he is.

  • David Brown

    I really like the job Coke did, and keeping him in the pen makes a ton of sense (I think the fact they pitched HIM instead of MARTE in the FINAL GAME at the stadium may offer a clue to the Yankees thinking as well). Developing the pen is a cost effective alternative to not so good starting pitching. I think about the Twins who got rid of their THREE top starters (Santana, Garza, and Silva) where are they now? And who did they keep? Joe Nathan. Guess why? The pen is that vital.

    • eVizions

      I like the job Coke did too, but I’m not ready to hand him a vital spot for ’09. Marte is an established veteran and one of the best LRP in baseball. Phil Coke is a guy who started the year never having played about A-ball. Bring him along slowly, either as a starter or reliever, and see what he’s made of before you go handing him a roster spot. If you retain Marte and Coke proves himself, great, you now have 2 good lefties. If you let Marte go and Coke implodes, you’re screwed.

  • David Brown

    tommiesmithjohncarlos, Melville was a FOURTH round pick by the Royals. He fell low because everyone ASSUMED he was unsignable. Royals cultivated a relationship with him, and got him signed. The best Yankee picks (Marshall and lassiter) were 6th and 27th rounders, so they can get talent. On Pavano, I do not dislike him personally . I simply do not want him on the team, because of his lack of productivity, and limited future expectations.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Okay, my bad. I didn’t stop to think and mistakenly lumped Melville in with Hosmer and any other number of high-quality youngsters that several Yankee fans lament us not having while ignoring that several of those youngsters we never had a chance to draft, due to our sustained success. Sorry. I concede your point, we had a chance to draft Tim Melville and didn’t.

      I still don’t see what that has to do with whether or not to retain Carl Pavano. As you yourself just stated, we can get talent in the draft, our low slot notwithstanding… in fact, we’ve done a damn good job of it recently, even while doing things like picking up the contract options on our high-priced veterans. Picking up Pavano’s option doesn’t derail, slow, hamper, counteract, or interfere with our ability to do what we do in the draft at all.

      On Pavano, I do not dislike him personally . I simply do not want him on the team, because of his lack of productivity, and limited future expectations.

      But his lack of productivity is in the past… you can’t change anything about that, and it’s highly irrelevant to the issue in question, which is 2009. And yes, he’s got limited future expectations… so do Sheets, Burnett, Perez, and any other number of 2009 options, in their own way. He’s the one that requires the least amount of commitment going forward, both in dollars and years.

      And interestingly, since you value draft picks so much (as you should), think about this: If we let Pavano go, we don’t gain any picks; he’s neither Type A or B… If we bring him back and he has an good/great year, maybe we can (far, far outside shot) parlay him into a sandwich pick, or even deal him for a young prospect that would be the equivalent of a pick. And all it costs us is 1 year and 11M.

      If we sign any other alternative to Pavano in free agency, we’re going to have to give up a pick to do it. And that alternative gamble will cost us more than 1 year and 11M, way more.

      So, bringing back Carl Pavano has lots of possibly good outcomes and really only one bad one (11M in the hole for one year). Turning to Burnett, Sheets, Perez, Dempster, etc. etc. etc. involves more risk and actually does hamper our ability to acquire and develop quality young talent by costing us picks (and giving them to our competitors…

  • AndrewYF

    0% chance the Yankees pick up Pavano’s option. Zero. Percent. Even when he’s healthy, he’s a mediocre pitcher AT BEST (remember, he was only pretty good in his best year in pressure-free 2004 Florida team, which resides in the NL), and I can’t believe people are assuming any amount of health for him. What is wrong with everybody?

  • Rory

    The Yankees don’t need to become miserly, they just need to avoid overspending on the midlevel FA’s that soak up their funds. They have Austin Jackson coming up the pipeline, but he’s only 21 and just made it to AA this season. I would expect him to be a mid season call up at earliest. My fix for the Yankees would be as follows:

    -Put Chamberlain in the rotation for good at the start of the season, and skip his turn a few times to limit his innings.

    -Go VERY hard after Sabathia. It’s a rare occurrence that 28 year old lefty aces with great track records are on the market. A seven year deal would end with him being 35 years old. That does have risk, but not too much.

    -Resign Mussina to a two year deal. He was healthy all year, and showed that he has plenty left. A two year deal should be enough for him to stay without taking on too much risk.

    -Resign Pettitte for one season. He had an off year, but still gave us a lot of innings at a little league average. He also seems to like one year deals at this point, and that works great for the Yankees.

    -Pick up Pavano’s option. He’s pitched decently this last month since he returned, and he finally has a clean bill of health. He should have decent trade value, especially on a one year deal that the Yankees subsidize. You can also never have too much pitching depth.

    -In the wings are Hughes, Aceves, and Kennedy. Hughes showed today that he is still very capable at only 22, Aceves has looked good so far, and scouts still think that Kennedy can reach his potential. These three would be in the bullpen or AAA, and be fill ins, along with Pavano, for injuries and resting Joba.

    -I would leave the pen alone. Pick up Marte’s one year option. Otherwise, all internal options. We have a ton of them.

    -I would go hard after Teixeira. He has Giambi’s HR power, but hits for a significantly better average, plays better defense, and is a switch hitter, so no platoon. And he’s 28.

    -I would offer Abreu arbitration and nothing more. I expect that he has earned himself a two or three year contract with somebody else, in which case we would take the draft picks and run. If he accepts, then we could find a spot for him.

    -Damon would stay in LF no matter what. He can’t play CF.

    -I would let Gardner and Cabrera battle for CF in spring training, leaning toward Melky because of the better bat.

    -Matsui would be the full time DH.

    -Posada would go back to catching. I don’t buy into all of this concern about him not being able to back to catching. He had this same problem several years ago, had surgery, and was fine for quite a while. Shoulder injuries are not typical signs of a catcher wearing down.

    -I would plan on having Nady play RF. However, I would look hard into using his career season to up his trade value, hopefully packaging him, along with some pitching, like Pavano, Kennedy, and some minor leaguers for a young SS. Hardy is only 26 and hits the hell out of the ball, and should be available. Though he wouldn’t be the only option. Jeter would move to RF in this scenario, as his defense at short has gotten too poor.

    -I firmly believe that with Kevin Long’s help this offseason, Cano will rebound. Long has said that he will be traveling to the Dominican Republic and work with Cano and Cabrera on their hitting. This should help.

    So, I would have them signing only Sabathia and Teixeira(probably a long shot unfortunately). For this season, I would have only Abreu and Giambi walking. And I would have Nady, along with pitching prospects traded for JJ Hardy, or some other young SS.

    My eye would be toward the following offseason, when I would let Matsui, Damon, Pettitte, and Pavano walk, with Hughes taking a full role, and Austin Jackson taking over in CF. My 2009 Yankees:

    Starters: Sabathia, Wang, Chamberlain, Pettitte, Mussina, Hughes, Pavano, Aceves, Kennedy

    Bullpen: Rivera, Veras, Ramirez, Marte, Coke, Giese, Robertson, Melancon, Sanchez, Bruney.

    LF Damon
    RF Jeter
    1B Teixeira
    3B Rodriguez
    DH Matsui
    SS Hardy
    2B Cano
    C Posada
    CF Cabrera

    • Pete Law

      You’re almost better off having Damon in Center and Matsui in left with this scenario, with Jeter at DH. I agree that Jeter moves to the outfield in the future but not to RF and not next year. You also have Nady wasting on the bench. Save $ from Tex and play Nady/Miranda in a 1st platoon.

      Disclaimer: In no way do I want to see this lineup on the field next year.

      A young shortstop should be a priority for the 2010 season. Will Hanley Ramirez be a FA or in arbitration, or did he sign long term?

      • Rory

        First, Hanley signed along term deal. no luck there for quite a while.

        Second, if you have Damon in CF, Nady in LF, and Abreu in RF, then you have the worst defensive outfield in baseball. According to the FRAA stat from baseball prospectus, the difference between an outfield with Cabrera in CF, Damon in LF,and Nady in RF, versus Damon in CF, Nady in LF, and Abreu in RF is nearly 40 runs. Damon can’t play center any more, but is well suited to play LF. Nady is better in RF than in LF, and Abreu should be a DH.

        Third, I think it would be reasonable to assume that Jeter could play a strong RF. He has a plenty strong arm, and he wouldn’t be afraid of crashing into the short porch to try and rob a hit like Abreu is. Jeter could play any outfield position, but we have Damon in LF next year, and Austin Jackson in the pipeline to play center by 2010. I also had Cabrera playing CF next season, because he would be a better defensive option in center than Jeter.
        Lastly, I had Nady(along with a pitching prospect or two) being traded for a SS so that Jeter could move to the outfield. However, if Nady isn’t involved in a deal, and we don’t sign Teixeira, then I like the idea of platooning Miranda and Nady at first base.
        As far as a young SS for 2010, well, the sooner the better in my opinion, as Jeter’s defense is already very poor there.

  • Patrick

    Hell, since everyone else is doing it, here is my New York Yankees “T.BoonePickens” Plan for 2009. By the way, none of this takes into account the limitations of the 25-man roster, especially down under the bullpen section.

    C – Posada (37). Not moving that contract plus I think he’ll be healthy.
    1B – Tex(29). If we don’t sign him, then possibly move Nady to 1B. Another option, which is probably pretty cheap is Hank Blaylock. Just sayin’. I know there is talk about one of them being willing to play 1B, but if we want to forego defense at 1B, we might as well keep the ‘Stache.
    2B – Cano(25). Give Cano another year. I think he’ll be fine.
    SS – Jeter (34). Unless they get crazy and finally move him to CF. If so, maybe a Furcal or cheaper option like Felipe Lopez.
    3B – A-Rod (33) Not going anywhere.
    RF – Nady (29). If we miss out on Tex, we could bring back Bobby (34) to play RF.
    CF – Melky (24)/Gardner (25). We could also try a “Convert-A-SS” with Furcal or try to sign Rocco Baldelli. Maybe the Brewers won’t exercise Cameron’s option and we can sign him to a short 2-year deal.
    LF/DH – Damon (34)/Matsui (34). Stuck. If we were able to trade one of these guys, then I might get a little crazy and make a move for a guy like Dunn or Manny. Yes, Manny. Of course, if we signed Tex, we could also keep X-Man in LF and resign Bobby for RF.

    Bench: Molina (33), Gardner (25), Betemit(26). Shelly Duncan will need to work his way back up. Felipe Lopez would be great here but he wants to start.

    Moving on to starters, it’s a tough choice. The Pavano option is nice, but I am worried about starting the season with a 3-man rotation because the other 2 are question marks. I’d rather have a 4-man rotation with a question at number 5, then a 3-man with questions at 4 and 5. A fifth starter is just that, a fifth starter. We were hard on Sir Sidney this year, but as a 5th starter, he did his job.

    SP – Wang (28). No-brainer.
    SP – Moose (39). Earned himself a 2-year deal.
    SP – Free Agent #1: C.C. (28) or Burnett (32). You have to sign one of the studs. I would say Sheets, but he scares me. I think AJ might stay in Toronto and just get a fatter contract. Hopefully CC is the one, but I worry about him coming back to the AL. This guy may be the ace, but since we don’t even know who he is yet, we’ll leave him in the middle.
    SP – Pettitte(36) or Free Agent #2. If he resigns, he is here. If not, then I think that we could look for a guy like Randy Wolf (only 32), Oliver Perez (27). I also look at this spot as the “If we don’t get Teixeira, Let’s go after two aces” spot. If Tex is out of the picture, but we can land two out of the C.C. and Burnett/Sheets group, why not go for it?
    SP –Aceves(25)/ Hughes(22) /Ponson-er(32)/ MyGrandmother/ Pavano(32)/ . Sure, this is the mixed bag, but I’d rather talk about Pavano or Pettitte in this sense than thinking either are going to be number 4 or the only number 5. Most of these guys can be put in the bullpen. Funny that IPK isn’t even a thought. Man that burns.

    Bullpen: Rivera (38), Bruney(26), Marte (33), Joba (23), Coke (26), Geise (31), Edwar (27), Veras (27), Sanchez(25)/ Rasner (27)/Robertson(23)

    Final Signing for 2009: Give Mark Prior a 3-year, $6MM deal and incentivize the hell out of it. Sure, he’s probably not coming back, but I have a soft spot for the guy. It’s like giving someone a lot of money to rehab for one year, have him pitch the next, and then fail to exercise the option for the third year. Ok, maybe not, but when I think Prior, it makes me think about Lieber.