Kennedy for Taveras? Say it ain’t so

Open Thread: The Next Big Import
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I know a vocal contingency of Yankees fans don’t like Ian Kennedy. It’s easy to be down on the guy right now. He had a terrible year in the majors, and appalled fans with his post-game cockiness. Yet, this winter probably isn’t the best time to shop Kennedy. His value isn’t what it was last season, and what the Yankees could get in return likely won’t equal the production Kennedy can potentially give the Yankees rotation. Case in point, a nugget in the Denver Post, which says that Willy Taveras for Ian Kennedy is “not a longshot.”

Seriously, even the biggest Kennedy detractor can’t want this swap. Willy Taveras is clown shoes. He hit .251/.308/.296 this year. In other words, he’s Melky Cabrera with less power. That might have been the most absurd sentence I have ever written on RAB. He made $1.975 million last year, so he’s not only Melky with less power, he’s Melky with less power and more expensive.

There is no upside to bringing on Taveras. We already have two players who can top his production, and no one is sold on those guys. They’re both younger than Taveras, too. If you’re going to trade Kennedy for garbage, at least make it garbage that we don’t already have.

Open Thread: The Next Big Import
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  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Honestly, I would rather just give them Kennedy. That’s how terrible Taveras is. Melky’s better. Gardner’s better. Justin Christian’s better. Matt Carson’s better. Hell, I’d play Shelley in center before I ran this clown out there.

  • blee

    this cant… be serious.. right?.. Cashman has more sense than that..

  • Jacob

    I can’t see Cashman making this deal. If we’re going to move him it needs to be in a package for someone who can really help us, straight up he’ll get us…well…Willy Tavares. No reason to be impatient with him right now.

  • J.R.

    Mike, this looks like it falls under your hot stove warning from earlier.

    • radnom

      I was just going to say that.

      For shame.

  • Lanny

    If we’re going to comment on every absurd trade this off season and every free agent you are going to have a ton of blog posts.

    The yankees will be name dropped by every team, every available player and every FA

    answer me this

    who had nady and marte for 4 minor leaguers before it happened?

    cashman doesnt let anything leak!

    • J.R.

      Not always true, almost everyone knew the Yankees were getting Abreu, just not exactly what for.

      Granted alot of that was him.

      • Lanny

        If you recall people were saying trade Hughes for Bobby A. Did anyone have the 4 scrubs who actually went for him and Lidle? No one Lidle there.

        Let Cash work. Nothing leaks with this guy.

        • J.R.

          Philly was asking for Hughes. Abreu was saying Yankees.

          But Ill completely agree with you on Lidle, no one saw that.

  • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

    I really wish they’d give Gardner a legitamite shot. His speed and defense just make up for so much, and he was much improved in his second stint. Unfortunetlly, that’s not usually the Yankee way. I remember when Bubba Crosby was the plan, then suddenly Johnny Damon showed up…..

    -Scott

    • whozat

      There’s “a legitimate shot”, and there’s “getting handed the starting job with no backup plan”

      He hasn’t earned the latter, by ANY stretch. This kid isn’t Evan Longoria. He strikes out a LOT and doesn’t make up for it with power. Do you really think MLB pitchers are going to be afraid to throw him strikes? He’ll get walks off guys with poor control, but he won’t get walks off guys with good stuff. They’ll just pound the zone and he’ll whiff.

      If he was hitting .320 in the minors on bloops, grounders and bunts with a .400 OBP, I might think he could hit .260 with a .360 OBP, steal enough bases and stretch enough solid singles into doubles to be a league-average-ish starter.

      But he didn’t. He hit what, .280 at AAA? He’ll be hitting .240 or worse, most likely, and he just won’t get his walks off guys who can afford to challenge him. That’s not a good recipe.

      Now, if they want to sign a stopgap and, mid-season, Brett’s hitting .280/.360/.420 in part-time duty and stealing bases at will with plus-defense…and the stopgap CF is performing at a lesser level…ok, he earned that “legit shot”. Swap them around, and let Brett start.

      Fact is…you say you’d like to “see him get a shot”, but if they did that and he tanked by May — and their only backup plans are Melky and Jackson (who IS NOT READY), or Damon in CF and Matsui in LF — you’d lambaste Cashman for not having a fallback plan.

      • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

        I didn’t say they should hand him the job, but his numbers after his second call up in Aug -Sept should make him the frontrunner at this point, and as good as any stopgap they’re going to get when you take into account his speed and defense.

        Look at the potential…

        In Aug for the Yankees:
        .333 /.375 /.533

        Sept:
        .283 /.316 /.377

        On a side note….
        Similarities?

        *Jacoby Ellsbury, age 23, triple-A (in 2007): .298/.360/.380 with 33 steals (39 attempts) in 87 games. 47/32 K/BB ratio, 21 extra base hits

        *Brett Gardner, age 24, triple-A (in 2008): .287/.412/.429 with 34 steals (42 attempts) in 80 games. 68/61 K/BB ratio, 24 extra base hits.

        *Ellsbury minor league career (250 games): .313/.389/.425 with 105 steals (132 attempts), 127/111 K/BB

        *Gardner minor league career (349 games): .289/.386/.385 with 139 steals (169 attempts), 260/207 K/BB

        *Ellsbury per 162 minor league games: 68 steals (86 attempts)

        *Gardner per 162 minor league games: 64 steals (79 attempts)

        • Chris

          Ellsbury sucks, so comparing him to Gardner maybe isn’t the comparison you want to make…

        • steve (different one)

          In Aug for the Yankees:
          .333 /.375 /.533

          dude, this is 16 plate appearances. it couldn’t be any less meaningful.

          Sept:
          .283 /.316 /.377

          is this supposed to be an argument in FAVOR of a player?

          i like Gardner. i think he showed some awesome range in CF. if the Yankees can build up enough offense around him, they might even be able to get away with Gardner in CF for the short term. but that doesn’t mean whozat doesn’t have a point. for a player who relies on his speed and has no power, he strikes out WAY too much.

          all of that said, there is no way in hell Cashman is trading Kennedy for Taveras.

  • Lanny

    If they’re talking let’s be real. They are having prelim discussions about Atkins and Holliday. They aren’t talking Tav for IPK.

    I’m pretty sure Col would kill for a player like IPK.

    Value super low. Under control for years. Throws strikes (well in the minors). Great minor league stats.

    They should ask about him.

  • E-ROC

    This cannot be true. Kennedy’s value is low, but it ain’ts that low. Kennedy for Matt Holliday is more like it. Throw in Troy Tulowitzki, then I might agree to a trade.

  • brockdc

    Yeah, I’m sure Cash would move Kennedy for a guy whose ceiling is replacement level.

    Nothing to see here…

  • Ivan

    Wow, Im gonna trade a potential solid mid-rotation starter who can eat innings for an utility player. Really?

    They just get this stuff right out of their asses uh. What a sucky trade.

    Oh By the Way, I just saw that movie Michael Clayton, it was very good and the drama was so cool in that movie.

  • Jbonez

    You guys should rethink this. He is melky but had 67 steals last years he would be money in the bank before jeter

    • Tim

      So you are saying he is worth Chris Britton?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Not with that .308 OBP.

    • aaron empty

      yes, he has speed, but i doubt hell hit any better then gardi, and gardi has speed too…there is no way this trade goes down regardless, so dont sweat over it

      • steve (different one)

        this statement works just as well if “Gardi” is short for “Girardi”.

    • E-ROC

      The Yankees already have Gardner on the cheap. He’ll get you 67 steals. Taveras is terrible and ain’t worth Kennedy even at his current value.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    No “Irresponsible Rumormongering” tag?

    • E-ROC

      His eyelids got in the way.

      • eli

        You are a dope.Ian kennedy is not good.First of all, Yankees hold him more valuable then anyone else and thats only because he came up hughes and joba. Secondly, If you think all three of these guys are gonna end up being the yankees staff 1,2,3, you are nuts.

        Gardner get 67 steals? please. This guy is not on base enough for that.He cant hit and dont throw out his september numbers. It was like 16 ab’s.

  • JayJay

    I don’t want the Yanks to make this trade at all, but at least report everything. Taveras had a terrible year(besides steals), but he has a career .283 avg with a .331 obp. He’s proven in his career to be better then Melky or Christian based on these numbers and his steals. He’s also a year removed from a .320 and .367. If he was put in front of Jeter then he’d def be better then Melky, Christian, and most likely Gardner.

    I still believe Kennedy can be a productive member of the team or at least bring us something better. I’m just saying you ripped on Taveras without at least pointing out that he’d most likely hit .270 in front of Jete.

    • whozat

      Most likely? Based on what? If you want to talk career, Melky’s career numbers are very comparable, without playing half his games in a spacious park. Besides…who cares if he hits .270? With his inability to drive the ball, if his OBP isn’t .380 or better, he’s worthless.

      If he’s getting on base at a .330 clip, his speed really isn’t helping much. At all.

      Besides…with the GIDP rate of Jeter these days, maybe you don’t want him hitting 2nd anymore.

    • Patrick T

      How does hitting in front of Jeter raise his batting average? Does Jeter cast a spell on those surrounding him in the batting order? Are pitchers gonna give him better pitches to hit based on 1. His proven inability to hit them or 2. Fear of Jeters 10 HR power?

      Lineup construction has no bearing on an individual player’s rate stats.

      • JayJay

        Say all you want about a lineup not having a bearing on what Taveras will hit, but its obvious that he’s going to see better pitches hitting at the top of the Yankees lineup. Jeter hitting home runs is not what the point is. The point is do you want to have 1 or 2 guys potentially on base with the middle of the order coming up? Jeter hits into way too many dp’s, but one of Taveras main strengths is stealing bases . I wouldn’t exactly expect him to sit still and wait for Jete to ground into a dp.

        @whozat
        “based on what?”

        Based on the fact he’s a career .283 hitter. I’m not arguing by any means that we should pick him up, but rather that saying he’s less the Melky is shortsighted(i know you didn’t say this). Sure Melky hits for a little more power, but Taveras makes up for a lot more in speed. For others to say Christian is better is also ignorant as he’s about the same age as Taveras and barely has MLB experience.

        Let me just state again. I don’t want Taveras or our leadoff hitter batting.270 with a .330 obp. All i’m saying is the stats were misleading of what he’s done, impressive or not.

        • steve (different one)

          Say all you want about a lineup not having a bearing on what Taveras will hit, but its obvious that he’s going to see better pitches hitting at the top of the Yankees lineup.

          but he currently hits in front of guys like Tulowitzki, Holliday, Spilborghs, and Helton.

          how does Jeter change anything?

          • steve (different one)

            nice tagging by me.

      • radnom

        “Lineup construction has no bearing on an individual player’s rate stats.”

        This is definitely not true. Although I don’t think hitting in front of Babe Ruth would help Taveras that much. Besides, what makes you think he would be batting lead off anyway? Forget about this Damon character?

        • radnom

          The leadoff remark was directed at JayJay and not Patrick

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  • Rob D.

    From here on out, I’m referring to anyone I don’t like as clown shoes.

    I can’t imagine this trade going down as a straight Kennedy for Taveras trade, but I could see them discussed as part of a larger, more interesting trade.

    • http://barackobama.com TurnTwo

      agreed. to me, its just interesting to see IPK’s name mentioned at all going somewhere with a team interested.

      • steve (different one)

        one thing to *possibly* take from this silly rumor is that this is the SECOND time we have heard Kennedy linked to the Rockies.

        at the trade deadline last year, it was rumored they were interested in Kennedy for Fuentes.

        now, this is probably nothing. but it could also mean that the Rockies seem to like Kennedy.

        if so, perhaps it can blossom into something bigger.

        remember, we heard several weeks before the Nady trade that Pirates really liked Ohlendorf.

        • http://barackobama.com TurnTwo

          good call. so the names on the Rockies’ side change, but the IPK interest remains the same.

          could be something to keep on the radar.

  • http://barackobama.com TurnTwo

    maybe Tavares is an extra player coming back to the yankees as an add-in WITH Matt Holliday in front of him?

    • Kay Sturns

      maybe there is no tavarez

      • steve (different one)

        i laughed.

      • http://barackobama.com TurnTwo

        it must be cool to never mistype anything, ever.

        • steve (different one)

          i don’t think the joke was at your expense.

  • Geno

    This article is pure wishful thinking on the part of the writer.

    I heard the TRUE trade being considered is Melky for Jimenez & Francis.

  • AndrewYF

    I wouldn’t trade Victor Zambrano for Taveras.

    • Troy

      I’d trade Scott Kazmir for Zambrano though

  • Relaunch

    As you know I am no fan of IPSuk and I wouldn’t even entertain this trade. I hope this is a joke.

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

      I had you in mind as I wrote the first sentence.

  • Matt

    Wow, I’m not even a huge supporter of Kennedy, although I thinks he has potential, but not for Taveras…

  • James (let’s play 2!)

    Ian Kennedy has ZERO trade value…this thought that we can throw him into a major deal as a center peice or 2nd level guy is crazy…We’re lucky if we get Taveras!

    Now on to Will T….i would trust Taveras over Gardner b/c of experience…Taveras is 26 or 27 and stole 68 bases..let me repeat that 68!! Gardner hasn’t looked so good in the majors…that goes without saying but if you want to platoon Gardner vs Right handers and Taveras vs Left handers i don’t see the harm in that..do you?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Ian Kennedy has ZERO trade value…this thought that we can throw him into a major deal as a center peice or 2nd level guy is crazy…We’re lucky if we get Taveras!

      This is just stupid. You’re over-reacting to a terrible April and a bunch of stupid comments by a 23 yr old kid. The kid still has a ton of trade value because he’s young, cheap, cost controlled for a long time, and has as good a track record as an amateur can have.

    • steve (different one)

      the only way this post could have been worse would be if you accidently sent it twice.

      short of that, you managed to get just about every single part of the argument wrong. well done.

    • steve (different one)

      that goes without saying but if you want to platoon Gardner vs Right handers and Taveras vs Left handers i don’t see the harm in that..do you?

      the Yankees already have both halves of a terrible CF platoon.

      his name is Melky Cabrera.

  • steve (different one)

    we’d have to call Taveras “WT” to maintain our quota of initials based nicknames.

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  • Curramba

    I seriously doubt this will happen.

  • Mike Pop

    Now if we could get Brad Hawpe for him, Id probably be okay with thast

  • Craig

    The Yankees need pitching depth…..I don’t care if they sign CC & AJ this offseason, they need at least 2 guys in AAA ready to contribute for extended periods in the Bronx.

    Ian Kennedy flew hrough the minors and is still learning to pitch on the ML level. He just needs time, and having him at AAA (And maybe Hughes) is a lot better option than brining in Fat Sid or Carly Pavano.

    The Yankees are close to having some pitching depth…..which they’ll need given the past few years.

  • James

    The fact that we’re even talking about a Taveras for IPK should tell you everything that you need to know about Kennedy’s trade value!

  • http://yankeesmtom.blogspot.com steve

    Why did this even respond a post? It was some rumor that a guy with no sense of trade value made up. This is the equivalent of saying that someone from a message board said this.