Friday Hot Stove Open Thread


Free agency official started today, but unsurprisingly no big names came off the board. The Yanks did make their presence known however, dropping a 6 year, $140M offer in the lap of CC Sabathia. Right in line with the megadeal the Mets gave Johan Santana despite bidding against no one, this is just the start of what figures to be a rather intense negotiation.The Yanks are expected to tender offers to AJ Burnett & Derek Lowe in the coming days, which is more due diligence than anything.

No free agents signed today, and none are expected too anytime soon. The first major free agent to sign last year was Torii Hunter, who didn’t give it to the Angels until late November. It’s a marathon, not a race sprint; there’s still more than three months until pitchers & catchers have to show up in Tampa.

Your New York sports docket is empty tonight, unless you count the Knicks taking on Seattle Oklahoma City at the Gardner. Here’s your open thread for the night. Talk whatever’s on your mind, but keep it civilized.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Murph1010 says:

    Guys, TommieSmith tried to explain this earlier to me but I don’t think he understood what I meant. Regarding save situations, he said the rule is that the tying run has to be in the on-deck circle. While I understood that particular rule was in effect for the original 7-3 angels came scenario, my question was then, how can a 3 run game be a save?

    For example, we bring Mo in a 3-0 game in the 9th inning. If he gets 3 up, 3 down, the tying run is never on deck. But he would get the save. Because according to the rules Ben and TommieSmith were giving, that technically would not be a save. Any clarification?

    • Mike A. says:

      The tying run doesn’t have to be in the on deck circle, but if you come into a game with a lead and the tying run on deck, it’s considered a save situation, regardless of inning.


      2005, LAA @ BAL. Angels are up 7-2 in the bottom of the ninth. Kevin Gregg loads the bases with 2 outs, then K-Rod comes in and allows a grand slam before retiring the next batter for a 7-6 win. Because the tying run was on deck when K-Rod came in, he got the save. He gave up a grand slam, and got the save. That’s why the save rule is dumb.

      Here’s the box score of that game:

    • Ivan says:

      I can’t wait when Hughes pitches great and guys like Lombardi will have to eat crow till they explode.

      • Mike A. says:

        They never will. Don’t you understand that? No matter how good Hughes becomes, there will always be something. They’ll say he’s just doing his job, they’ll say he should allow fewer fly balls, they’ll say he needs to throw fewer pitches per inning. It’ll never end.

  2. Brian says:

    Mike, not to nitpick, but, a marathon is a race. I think you mean, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Love your stuff! Thanks!

  3. Ivan says:

    Hey Mike, can David Price be what Brien Taylor suppose to be?

    I wasn’t young enough to remember Taylor but wasn’t he considered like the best HS pitching prospect of all time. Like a better prospect than Jeter.

    If he didn’t get into that accident, wouldn’t he be pitching for the yanks having a succesful career?

    • Mike A. says:

      He could be. Taylor was the best HS pitching prospect of the last 25 years at least. Top notch fastball with easy velocity, top notch breaking ball, good changeup, easy mechanics … he was perfect.

      Taylor is 37 now, so he’d be wrapping up a nice career right now if he didn’t get hurt.

    • Thomas says:

      Taylor or Prior who would have been better?

      • Mike A. says:

        Taylor. He was CC with more fastball, a better breaking ball and a better body.

      • Lanny says:

        Prior actually had a lot of success at the major league level.

        Taylor was all promise.

        Prior was an actual ace of a playoff team when he got hurt. Pitching in Game 6 of the LCS.

        • Mike A. says:

          Prior was amazing, his rise was on par with Lincecum’s. He was a legit Cy Young candidate his first full season in the league.

          All of Prior’s arm troubles started when he ran into Marcus Giles while running the bases and separated his shoulder. Shame.

          • Ivan says:

            And Dusty Baker didn’t help him either.

            Speaking of pitchers with a ton promise, how about Kerry Wood?
            That dude was SICK. He was like 20 years old when he had 20 K’s against houston.

            • Bruno says:

              He still is sick. Just for one inning at a time now…which is one more than Prior.

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

              I’m going solely off of memory here, but I don’t remember being nearly as impressed with Wood as I was with Prior. Wood was definitely awesome, but I thought his pitching style was more brute force whereas Prior also threw heat but with much more polish. I’ve chimed into these Prior discussions before… I just thought he was amazing and the way his career went is just a shame.

              • Ivan says:

                True, Wood mechanics were ugly and his control at times was bad. Nevertheless he did had a better pure arm than Prior. I too liked Prior more than Wood.

  4. Lanny says:

    Why don’t we hear David Price in the 8th inning talk?? I guess that’s only Joba.

  5. Matt G. says:

    Mike what would you put on the table for Peavy (assuming that the Braves’ offer is kaput)?

    • Mike A. says:

      I’d offer Kennedy, Melky and another mid-level prospect. That’s it. I’m not a big fan of trading for Peavy, and if I’m going to be taking on that entire deal, you’re not getting my best young players. Sorry.

      • Steve says:

        Considering that the next alternatives are AJ Burnett and Derek Lowe, I’d be willing to offer a decent package for Peavy.

        IPK, A-Jax, Cervelli and any reliever not named Melancon.

        Since the market seems to have collapsed on Towers, I’m not going any further that A-Jax plus B-list prospects. I’ll do quantity over quality. I’ve never been sold on A-Jax, so I’ll build a deal around him.

    • DCR says:

      Replacement Level Yankees has Peavy at an ERA+ of 109 after switching leagues and leaving PETCO. Definitely not worth the money and prospectus he will command. If Towers is turning down Atlanta’s ridiculous package then I don’t want to think about what we would have to give.

      • Steve says:

        In any trade, its tough to know which proposal came from which side. But if it sounds expensive, it probably came from Towers. Which is to say it was never offered, much less turned down.

  6. Ivan says:

    I said this yesterday but you know a guy like Swisher is a terrific addition with persoanlity and his presence in the clubhouse. Type of guy the yanks have kinda lacked no?

  7. Joey H says:

    What do you feel more comfortable with and Why? AJ for 5 years or Ben Sheets at 3 years both at their respective market values.

    • Infamous says:

      I really think the yankees should stay away from both of them. Id go with Sheet for 2 years and an option on the third. I just think Burnett is too risky to offer 5 years with his track record.

    • Joey H says:

      If you had to get 1 or the other. Neither isn’t an answer.

    • whozat says:

      If I HAVE to pick, I pick Sheets. 3 years is better than 5 years for an injury risk. Sheets is younger, stuff as good or better, and isn’t widely known to be a douchenozzle and a whiner.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

        Totally entitled to your opinion of course, but I disagree with some of your assumptions. First of all, Sheets is 1 year younger. So yeah, he’s younger, but it’s not like you’re comparing a 35 yr old and a 25 yr old here. I also think it’s arguable whether Sheets or Burnett has better stuff. Didn’t K. Law seem to say AJ has better stuff in his run-down of the available FAs? The douchenozzle/whiner stuff I have no response to, if that’s important to you, so be it.

        • Thomas says:

          Actually Sheets is 2 years younger, but that not really a big deal. However, Burnett will start his contract at age 32 and end at 36. Sheets will start at 30 and end at 32. So the length combined with the age is important since Burnett will be leaving his prime while Sheets is still in his.

        • whozat says:

          “Douchenozzle and whiner” are a proxy for “doesn’t give it his all when he doesn’t feel like it.”

          I mean, looking at his splits against teams, it seems like he cranked it up for the Yanks and Sox, and kinda half-assed games against the rest of the league.

          This is secondary to the big issue, which is giving 5 years to a guy who will probably throw 25 games a season on average. And is going from 32-25, as opposed to 30-32.

    • Thomas says:

      Definitely Sheets. Lower annual cost and fewer years for similar stuff with better control and results. Both are equal injury risks. The only thing Burnett has on Sheets is he has pitched in the AL East (though not that successfully).

      • Ivan says:

        and Sheets is younger.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

          Only a year though. Clearly I’ll agree that Ben Sheets is younger than AJ Burnett, but don’t you think one year is a might small age-difference?

          • Ivan says:

            Yeah but also Sheets despite the injuries has pitch more total innings than AJ Burnett.

            • Mike A. says:

              More innings in fewer seasons.

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                That’s fair enough… But Sheets was a full-time pitcher in MLB earlier in his career than was Burnett, and Burnett lost basically a whole season due to injury (2003), while Sheets has just missed parts of seasons. That would explain Sheets throwing more innings in fewer seasons. It’s a fact, but I think it’s a pretty weak argument for one guy over the other.

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

              That’s a fair point. Has nothing to do with the age difference, but a fair point nonetheless.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

      What are we talking, money-wise? I don’t have a good feel for what the market is for Sheets. For Burnett I’m assuming you mean something around $15 million/year?

      • whozat says:

        He’ll get more than that. People are thinking Lowe gets 15 per. That probably puts AJ above that, at 17 or 18.

      • Joey H says:

        Burnett between 14 and 15ish and Sheets I suppose around 13 or so mill

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

          I don’t know that it’ll take 5 years to get a Burnett deal done, but I like Burnett for the Yanks more than Sheets. I know that’s going to be an unpopular opinion around here, and I respect the opinions of those who disagree with me. I think AJ Burnett has been improving, is already an AL East pitcher (Sheets is more a question-mark in that regard), has nasty stuff, and is less of an injury risk than Ben Sheets. Ben Sheets really can’t stay healthy.

          Keith Law on AJ Burnett: “Burnett might have the best raw stuff of any starter in baseball.”

          Keith Law on Ben Sheets: “Caveat emptor. Sheets’ natural habitat is the disabled list, and he was pitching hurt when he was pitching at all by year’s end… Even if his most recent injury is just a forearm strain, you can add it to all of the other body parts he’s injured over his career, including the back problem that will probably never truly go away. With apologies to Luke Appling, Sheets should inherit the nickname ‘Old Aches and Pains.’”

          Obviously Law’s opinion isn’t the word of Mo, but I respect his opinion and agree with him here.

          • whozat says:

            “I think AJ Burnett has been improving”

            His “great year” still wasn’t that great. And he’s 32. He’s unlikely to be improving at this age. It’s not like he’s 25 and still figuring it out. He is who he is, and that’s an injury-prone guy with spotty control of great stuff.

            When you dream of his numbers in the rotation, don’t forget to mix in an average of 10 Rasner-caliber starts a season.

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

              That’s fine, but I don’t think my arguments are unreasonable.

              “When you dream of his numbers in the rotation, don’t forget to mix in an average of 10 Rasner-caliber starts a season.”

              …And when you dream of Sheets’ numbers, don’t forget to mix in the extremely high risk of injury that will more likely than not force him to miss many starts.

              • Ivan says:

                The problem I have with Burnett he was great against the yanks and was average against everybody else.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  Is that the main reason you prefer Sheets over Burnett? Just wondering, you’re entitled to your opinion. If that’s really the main reason I think it’s a little weak though.

                • Joey H says:

                  That’s not a weak point, it is because its against YOU. That is perfectly valid. he sucks against everyone else, lets just admit it. He has a mid 4 ERA.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  I said I think that’s a weak main argument. It’s a point and it’s perfectly valid, to be sure, I just don’t think it should be the main/most persuasive part of someone’s argument. Are we not allowed to evaluate each other’s arguments here? If I found that point to be very persuasive, I’d be glad to say so.

                • Joey H says:

                  You said you thought it was weak, No if, ands or buts. His point couldn’t of been anymore true. However I would give AJ a contract. just not 5 years. Maybe 4.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  Again… I asked if that was his “main reason”, and said that if indeed that was his “main reason,” then I think that’s “a little weak.” The words are a couple of inches up the page and they haven’t changed since I wrote them. No if, ands or buts.

                  Isn’t the point of these threads to have these discussions and arguments? Am I not allowed to think an argument is weak? I don’t take issue with you disagreeing with me, I take issue with your accusation that I only think it’s weak since I don’t agree with it. And Ivan’s plenty sharp, he certainly doesn’t need you to swoop in whenever you think he needs defending.

              • whozat says:

                I don’t dream of Sheets’ numbers. I’m not that psyched on either guy. But I had to choose, so I chose the shorter commitment.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  Fair enough, but I think your argument is crap since you disagree with me and I am not to be trifled with. (Kidding, see above.)

    • Chris says:

      I say Sheets all the way. Burnett can be mediocre when he pitches (mostly too many walks). At least Sheets is lights out when healthy. If we throw away $40M on a pitcher that’s injured all the time, that’s much better than wasting it on 3 years of league average or worse performance.

  8. Ivan says:

    While I am oppose of signing pitchers like Burnett or Lowe, if they are gonna sign another pitcher it might as well be Lowe I guess considering he is the safest bet. Nevertheless, if I am the yanks, im giving him 3 years that’s. Nothing more or less.

    • Brian says:

      Lowe, your base are belong to oppose of us.


      Sorry, Ivan, I just love the idea of imagining you type so fast. Not trying to be a dick, just am. But I completely agree with your point, if that counts!

    • Steve says:

      Not if you look at what he did his last 2 seasons in the AL East. The Sox were so fed up with him he lost his spot in the rotation toward the end of 04 and were all too happy to let him walk, even after having a big post season.

      Pitching in the NL West, he plays 19 games a piece against the Giants, Padres D-Backs and Rockies. There’s a not a decent lineup in the lot. That means he plays close to HALF his season pitching to weak sisters of Baseball. Plus, he’s 4 years older than he was with the BoSox. .

      BTW-We all know about league/ballpark adjusted stats, but I’ve yet to see one that corrects for division. If anyone knows one that exists, please post a link. I’d love to check it out.

      • Steve H says:

        So I’m guessing you’re in the Anti-Peavy camp as well? Your reasons above regarding Lowe and the NL West are exactly why I don’t want to give up the farm for Peavy. If we can do it for IPK/Melky/someone else not top notch, sure. Is that going to happen? Highly unlikely.

        • Mike Pop says:


        • Steve says:

          No, I’m in the pro-Peavy camp, but I dont give up any of our top 5 prospects with the exception of A-Jax, who I’ve never loved. AJax and another 3 guys off the B-list.

          And don’t be so sure my package doesn’t get it done. The Braves are out, its not certain that the Cubs were ever in and they have a garbage farm system.

          Peavy wont be nearly as good in the AL East, but he was SO good in the NL West that I think he’ll be fine. ERA around 4, win 16-18 games a year with our lineup and bullpen.

  9. Steve says:

    Keith Law on the Swisher deal

    “Acquiring Swisher worth the gamble for Yankees

    The Yankees may not get much of a return out of Nick Swisher, but there’s a chance that they got a good offensive player, while the White Sox get rid of Swisher but don’t get anything valuable in return for their trouble.

    Swisher is coming off of a horrific year, looking slow and even apathetic, almost as if his patience at the plate was the result of indifference rather than a desire to work the count. He can still run into a ball if a pitcher makes a mistake, but his bat was slow and he would foul off average fastballs and miss plus heat entirely. Mike Lowell had a year like that (without the apathy) before coming to the Red Sox and rebounded completely; Andruw Jones had a year like that (with the apathy and some extra pounds) and slid further into the abyss. It’s a gamble for the Yankees, but with the upside that they get an average to above-average bat at first base or in left field if it works out, and the cost in players and money (Swisher is owed $26 million through 2011) is not that great to them.

    The throw-in coming to the Yanks, Kanekoa Texeira, is a classic sinker/slider reliever, with his slider being a potential out pitch, but with below-average command. Even if the command doesn’t improve, he’ll pitch in the big leagues, and has a chance to be a late-innings guy if it does improve because he already misses bats and keeps the ball in the park.

    Of course, the ultimate question here for the Yankees is whether it pushes them out of the Mark Teixeira market, or is simply a backup plan/leverage play to keep the price down on Teixeira by removing their own incentive to overpay for him. The Yanks could still sign Teixeira and play Swisher in left, benching Hideki Matsui (often hurt and not very good when he plays) or just give him away to anyone willing to pay the postage, and it seems a lot more likely that they’d do that than stand pat with Swisher at first and Matsui in left, a combination that could easily leave the Yanks with below-average bats at three or four positions if they don’t also upgrade in center field.

    The White Sox get … well, it’s hard to see what they saw in this package of players. Wilson Betemit can fill in at several positions, but his plate discipline is poor and he can’t hit left-handers at all; he’s a fair utility player, but barring an age-27 power surge or a sudden interest in playing defense, that’s all. Right-hander Jeff Marquez has to be one of the most overhyped Yankee prospects in recent memory; he’s ordinary, with an average fastball that has some sink and an inconsistent but occasionally above-average split-change, but limited feel for pitching. He could be a middle reliever, especially if he stops throwing his mediocre curve, but that’s probably it, and he doesn’t have anything to miss bats. (Of course, the White Sox will immediately teach him a cutter, so stay tuned.) Right-hander Jhonny Nunez also profiles as a middle reliever, with a little more fastball than Marquez has and a tighter slider, but below average command and control and a longish arm action that may make command difficult for him.

    The White Sox gave up Gio Gonzalez, Faustino de los Santos, Ryan Sweeney and $3.5 million, and their return is one year of Swisher plus Betemit, Marquez and Nunez. That’s an impressive run of trading down in value.”

    I agree, I think were still in on Tex. Swisher’s best case scenario is average production at 1B, and the Yanks will look to do better. I see him as a depth move, not as a starter.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

      Probably not necessary to copy and paste an entire article into a comment.

    • whozat says:

      “benching Hideki Matsui (often hurt and not very good when he plays) or just give him away to anyone willing to pay the postage, and it seems a lot more likely that they’d do that than stand pat with Swisher at first and Matsui in left, a combination that could easily leave the Yanks with below-average bats at three or four positions if they don’t also upgrade in center field.”

      Did Law forget that the Yankees play in the AL? Did he think that when Cashman said “I envision Damon in LF every day” that he meant “Matsui in LF, Damon in CF and Cody Ransom at DH?”

  10. Ivan says:

    Oklahoma City Thunder suck this bad. They makin my beloved knicks look like the Lakers.

  11. TJ says:

    I see no reason why the Yanks should not spend all the money they have coming off the books this year plus some. Why not spend as much as they did last year or even more to win?

    $23-$25 mil on CC
    $20 Mil on TEX

    Trade for Peavy (Give up Hughes and Ian and Cano)

    Sign Hudson at 2b

    Sign Manny $25 Mil

    • steve says:

      snoooze ….

      tired of this trade scenario for peavy. the yanks aren’t trading cano and doubtful they’d give up hughes unless it was for a big time player (i dont’ see peavy as a big time player)

    • Ivan says:

      I love when people say hey sign Hudson. Think about this, Cano despite the off year is better Hudson.

    • DP says:

      You must be new here

      • Mike Pop says:

        The only way I signed Hudson and traded Cano is if something absolutely unrealistic could happen.. That means a trade for Lincecum, Halladay, Cain… They’d all have to be straight up.. So there is no way I trade Cano.. You cant hes from the farm and hes the man

  12. B.George says:

    Swisher doesnt like Beckett!!!! Officially earned the pinstripes

  13. Mike Pop says:

    When he hits a HR is everyone gonna say.. Swish !!

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