This morning marks the official opening of Hot Stove Season. You’re going to see a ton of rumors flying over the next few weeks and months. All we ask is that you keep things in perspective.
Writers have a job to do. They need to fill column inches of a newspaper with material which will garner eyeballs. This can bring about legitimate rumors for sure. However, it can also bring idle speculation. Case in point: Ken Davidoff this morning. I know he doesn’t write the headlines, but this one is particularly misleading: “Don’t expect Yankees to meet Teixeira’s price.” I read through it, hoping to find some kind of indication of the Yankees’ thinking. Instead, I got this disappointing payoff: “It would be a shocker if the Yankees paid Teixeira the 10 years and $200 million that Boras will request.”
Gee, thanks for that. I won’t rip the rest of the article — I’m trying to cut down on that — but I think I’ve made my point. There’s a lot of rewriting going on which can be masked with a spiffy new headline. Most of the time, you can take a lesson from Public Enemy: Don’t believe the hype.
Then we have Frank Della Femina from the Star Ledger. His blog post this morning quotes the Paper Which Shall Not Be Named, saying that the Yankees “did not rule out interest” in Manny Ramirez. The headline: “Yankees may be in market for Manny Ramirez.”. Once again, this is taking a small quip — or non-quip, if you will — and turning it into an attention-seeking headline. yet, after reading the article we have no greater understanding than before.
We’re going to see a lot of this. We’re going to get a lot of comments saying “I read so and so, and he said the Yankees might be interested in [blank].” Yes, the Yankees might be interested, just as they might be interested in every player on all 30 rosters, including their own. This does not, however, mean that they’re going to do something about it. Chances are, it’s just idle speculation based on some over-interpreted quote or non-comment.
Taking all this into consideration, I’m going to lay out a few things we need to keep in mind as winter rolls in and the Hot Stove gets warmer. It’ll help keep things in perspective, and keep some sanity amongst us.
1) The Yankees could potentially have interest in any free agent. You’re going to see reports connecting the Yanks to many players, most of which are a ploy to bump up the player’s price tag. Sometimes they’ll be interested, sometimes they won’t be. Until there’s an agreement in principle, though, it’s all just noise.
2) Brian Cashman does not have mind control capabilities. I remember back in June or so, someone I know went on a tirade about how the Yankees have to get Matt LaPorta. The Brewers need pitching, and supposedly we have a lot in our farm system. If Cashman doesn’t get him, either we don’t have a good system, or he’s not doing his job. Sorry. This is poor, poor logic. You can’t just force another team to trade you a player. If you’re getting someone established, or someone with a perceived high ceiling, you’re going to pay the price. Many times, the price tag on a player is more than a team is willing to pay. Yeah, having these players is nice, but sometimes the cost doesn’t justify the move. Cashman can’t make someone trade us a valuable player for Melky, IPK, and Shelley Duncan.
3) IPK and Melky will get us no one good. Dems the breaks. They both have low perceived value, and the Yanks are better off holding onto them at this point. You can argue that the Yankees should have traded Kennedy last winter, but first you have to ask yourself 1) who was interested? and 2) what would we have gotten back? None of you can answer those questions. The only Kennedy deal we ever heard of was Santana, and clearly he was not the centerpiece of that one.
4) The Yankees have a plan. You don’t go into the off-season without having a few plans, really. Your primary plan, then a few backups in case one signing or other doesn’t work out. They’re going to act according to this plan, not according to what we yell on the boards. We aren’t aware of all the parameters they work under, just as we aren’t aware of all the information they have.