Identifying the greater need

Brewers exercise Cameron's option
Kay, YES finalize extension

In advance of this week’s GM Meetings, John Perrotto at Baseball Prospectus offered up some off-season preview capsules for all 30 teams. On the Yanks, Perrotto writes:

Despite Hank Steinbrenner’s yearning for Ramirez and an interest in Teixeira, they need starting pitching desperately, particularly with Mike Mussina leaning toward retirement. They’ll make big plays on the free-agent market for Sabathia, and also for right-hander A.J. Burnett if he fails to work out a deal to stay with the Blue Jays. There is some sentiment to acquire a center fielder, though many in the organization believe rookie Brett Gardner can ably fill that position. Right-hander Ian Kennedy is their top trade bait, and they are also more than willing to deal veteran outfielders Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui.

Perrotto is on the right track; the Yanks certainly will need some starting pitching help next year. They probably won’t have Mike Mussina and shouldn’t count on Andy Pettitte to deliver too much. But his either/or construct is a bit faulty.

The Yankees, as they sit right now, days after the World Series and months before Opening Day, need both pitching and hitting, and they need both equally. On the season, the Yanks scored just 789 runs, good for seventh in the AL and just seven runs more than the listless Orioles. All playoff teams but one — Tampa — far outscored the Yanks, and the Yanks themselves scored nearly 200 fewer runs this year than last.

On the one hand, we can easily point to a few key injuries — Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui — as well as the struggles of Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera as the root causes of this offensive slump. But on the other hand, this team isn’t getting younger. Bobby Abreu declined; Derek Jeter declined; A-Rod had a great season, but it didn’t measure up to his MVP campaign in 2007. For next year, Xavier Nady is an offensive enigma. His career .280/.335/.458 isn’t encouraging. So yes, the Yankees need offense, and Hank has that one right.

But the Yankees do need pitching too. Hopefully, they’ll have Joba and Chien-Ming Wang healthy and effective for a full year. Hopefully, Phil Hughes can put it all together. But that still leaves two or three holes in the rotation with or without Pettitte. The Yanks’ pitching was rather middle-of-the-pack last year, but that’s because their bullpen was one of the tops in the game. Their starters were only slightly better than the 75-87 Royals. Next year, we won’t sit through Sidney Ponson and Darrell Rasner, but someone has to take their places.

In the end, the Yankees clearly need both hitting and pitching, and it’s going to be a tough off-season. We all want them to sign everyone, and while some people think the team will do just that, it’s rather unlikely. The ride kicks off with the GM meetings today, and it should be a wild one.

Brewers exercise Cameron's option
Kay, YES finalize extension
  • radnom

    They are adding two big hitters already

    Posada and Matsui.

    Pitching needs to be the focus.

    Sign CC.

    • whozat

      I don’t understand this either-or thing. It’s not like negotiating with Tex would keep them from noticing that CC is signing somewhere else.

      If it keeps them from signing Burnett, I’ll be happy, though. He’s fool’s gold.

      • Mike Pop

        We coulda had Beltran if we didnt mess up with the Unit

        • Alan

          Or Vlad Guerrero if we didn’t choose Gary Sheffield.

          • Yank Crank 20

            Or Carl Pavano if we didn’t choose…wait, oh yeah.

            • Chip

              Or Navarro if we didn’t mess up with the Unit

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

                Hank coulda had Jennifer Love Hewitt if he’d have never married that shrew Joanie and had four kids with her…

              • christopher

                dont forget lilly instead of igawa

        • whozat

          They didn’t have 80 mil coming off payroll that year.

          Unit was a bad call that George made. We know that.

      • radnom

        Who said anything about “either/or”.

        You can still have on area be a priority without completely abandoning the other. I’m just throwing out there that they are not “equal” needs.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          Seriously, though, “They are adding two big hitters already: Posada and Matsui.”

          That was a joke, right?

          • radnom

            Not at all.

            Those are two people who didn’t contribute at all last year who are now going to members of the 2009 team.
            If you add in the almost assured improvement by Cano, that comes close to offsetting the loss of Abreu and Giambi.

            So in terms of hitting, sure we are loosing some, but we are starting out not that much worse off than we were last year. Any signings are now going towards improvement.

            In terms of pitching though, we need to make some signings to even be where we were last year.

            -Half a season of Wang
            -Whatever improvement Hughes

            Losses: (as far as it looks right now)
            -Full season of 3.37 20 win Mike Mussina

            Couple that with the fact that I feel pitching is the more important aspect of the game, especially come playoff time, and I think pitching should have an edge in priority this offseason.

    • Ben K.

      But the point here is that you may be adding two big hitters by reputation but they’re old and coming off injuries. Neither is a sure thing, and neither will contribute at their peak levels. This is a team, generally, on the decline. That’s what happens when you stick a bunch of hitters over 32 in the same lineup.

      • radnom

        Granted. And i’m not advocating not signing any hitting this offseason, just the opposite.
        But at least we are getting people back on offense, there is no such comparison in the pitching staff. The addition of half a year of contribution from Wang does not come close to balancing out the loss of the season Mussina gave us last year.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          But radnom, even if Matsui and Posada do bounce back and have great 2009’s, what happens in 2010? 2011? 2012?

          If the bats are here on the market this offseason, we should sign them now. Because this offense has serious issues going forward. No matter what Damon and Matsui give us next ytear, they’ll both be gone next November.

          • radnom

            Dude, when did I assert something that disagreed with this?

            Texiera is a unique free agent case and I agree we should lock him up because there will not be someone like him most offseasons.

            The same is also true for CC though, and while I think they should go after both I also have no doubts that if I was given a choice of one that I would pick CC. Hopefully they get both.

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

              radnom says: November 3rd, 2008 at 3:13 pm

              “Dude, when did I assert something that disagreed with this?”

              radnom says:November 3rd, 2008 at 2:44 pm

              “Granted. And i’m not advocating not signing any hitting this offseason, just the opposite.”

              • radnom

                reading comprehension?
                Perhaps it was all the “nots”.

                Try reading it again.

                “I’m NOT advocating NOT signing hitters…just the opposite.”

                The opposite of that would be that we do need to sign some hitters

  • Mike Pop

    Does he know for a fact we are more than willing to deal Damon ?

    • whozat

      If so, I’m fine with that. He’s the most marketable veteran the team has.

      I dunno…I just don’t see this need for pitching that a lot of others do, beyond signing one big fish.

      some kind of filler signing, or Hughes/Kennedy/Aceves/Horne/Rasner/Whatever.

      I mean, look…if 5 of your top nine starters spend significant time on the DL, often at the same time, you’re screwed. It happens. Signing guys like Lowe or Burnett to multi-year deals to avoid having any uncertainty is kind of self-defeating. We KNOW that Lowe will not have the kind of year he had in LA, certainly not for all three years. We KNOW that Burnett will be on the DL and/or underperform.

      The only other starter I’d sign after CC is Sheets on a 2 year deal.

    • Ivan

      Well if they could get something good for Damon, they’ll do that trade. Nevertheless, Damon is quite valuable to the yanks with his bat at the Leadoff spot, defense at left and his toughness.

      • Mike Pop

        Ivan how u like the nba deal thats bout to go down

        • Ivan

          I knew Iverson was gonna get traded during the season but not this early, but it is smart move by the Nuggets. Get it out of the way, Nuggets are sorta rebuilding and Iverson is a FA after the 08-09 season. Chancey Billups is a good PG who fits more on that team because he’s more phisilator(I know I spelled that word wrong) than scorer and fit better with Carmelo.

          For Detroit, they needed a shake up. Iverson, gives them the best one-one player on offense but he’s older and not the same player but still dynamic. This trade for the pistons perspective is more freeing the PG spot/more playing time for Rodney Stuckey who has emerge as a young really good PG. He’s basically their future.

          Overall pretty solid deal by both teams and a smart trade by both.

          • Mike Pop

            plus the cap

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

              I was impressed. Hey Ivan, after this trade goes down, and having seen 3 Knick games so far, including us getting blasted by the Sixers and Bucks, do you still think we win 35+?

        • E-ROC

          Joe Dumars does it again. Not only does the trade free up minutes for Stuckey, but the trade could give the Pistons tons of cap space if they do not re-sign Iverson.

          For the Nuggets, heh. I don’t see the gain except that they get a bigger guard in Billups and depth in the frontcourt. I would’ve kept Iverson and the much needed cap space. If I was going to trade him, I would’ve gotten some young players instead of veterans. They aren’t going to win anything this year or the next. Might as well start rebuilding around Carmelo Anthony.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

            Eh, I guess the thinking was that Billups, being a better distributor, would mesh better with Melo. Lord knows, Melo and AI together, there’s not going to be a lot of passing. And, Billups is from Colorado. It wouldn’t be shocking to see the Billups/Melo Nuggets play better than the AI/Melo Nuggets. And they’re already in cap hell anyway.

            But I agree, I’d give this one to Detroit.

      • Bo

        This team is begging for offensive production and they are going to trade their leadoff hitter coming off a good year and in a contract year?

        And replace him how?

  • Miles Roche

    Spot on, Ben.

    Between the Hot Stove season officially kicking off and the Baseball America Yankees System Review due out shortly (sometime this weekend), i’m PUMPED!!!

    • Miles Roche

      Baseball America Yankees System Review:

      Top 10 Yankees Prospects,
      Best Tools,
      Projected 2012 Lineup, etc.

      Great stuff! I’m looking forward to it all year. . .

  • Murph1010

    Tex over CC. They have no positional players good in the system all their good ones are pitchers. It would make more sense to let pitching develop and trade for or sign big hitters.

  • Ivan

    I don’t believe the yanks are gonna sign two pitchers. They’ll sign one but not two considering that they could fill that last spot with a young arm with potential (alla Hughes).

    I think if the Yanks sign CC, I think they will go after lesser guys on offense or focus more on the defense.


    Your rotation is pretty good shape short and long term no?

    As for the offense, well you have to hope that Cano bounce back, Jeter is not declining fast and is still an elite hitter at the SS position, Posada is healthy and play at a high level, Matsui being healthy, X-Man being a productive hitter and not just a fluke.

    If those things pan out, then you can live with CF and maybe 1st Base if they go more defense.

    • Alan

      I see no reason for us to sign two big-name pitchers either. We have enough depth in the system that surely one of them can give us serviceable innings at the back end of the rotation. If both Pettitte and Mussina retire, however, this becomes a much bigger issue as the only established starter we’d have is Wang.

      • Bo

        Enough depth?


        We used scrubs like Rasner and Ponson last yr. I wouldnt count on depth. We dont need 4-5 starters. We need front line pitchers.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          We have frontline pitchers. If we add CC to Wang and Joba, that’s three right there. Pettitte, Hughes, Aceves, possibly Coke or Sanchez, that’s plenty.

          Get CC, and then go hard after offense.

          • Mike Pop

            CC and Tex all we should focus on.. We have more than enough payroll flexibility for JUST those two

  • C.Panella

    Well the Yankees really need that beast at the top of the rotation which all signs are pointing to cc … I would also like them to take a shot at sheet much cheaper then aj with very similar stuff and injury history then you now have more money to make a splash at tex or manny

  • Bo

    Why wouldn’t they sign two in their prime free agents?

    They both fit their needs perfectly and you can’t get these kinds of players anymore on the market and the trades for either would cost way too much.

  • Erik

    I agree with Bo.

    An all out effort for Tex and CC has to be made. Elite players don’t hit free agency in their prime anymore.

    CC = 7 years, $175
    Tex = 7 years, $140

    Both will be 35 coming off those deals, much better than 39 or 40.

    They also need to trade Phil, Ian Kennedy and Melky Cabrera for Josh Hamilton for CF.

    Sign AJ Burnett as well, as Jon Heyman said today, 5 years at $80 mil ought to get it done.

    And resign Marte.



    Damon LF
    Jeter SS
    Hamilton CF
    Arod 3B
    Tex 1B
    Posada C
    Cano 2B
    Matsui DH
    Nady RF

    Boom, outta here…

    • Erik

      Just look at that goddam team!

      Anyone think Texas would give up Hamilton for Hughes, Kennedy and Melky. Maybe add Veras to the deal and some cash?

      • Mike Pop

        Lol this is why people hate us

        • radnom

          Yeah, because all baseball fans regardless of team don’t do the exact same thing.

          • Mike Pop

            I know but we get hated on worse than anyone

            • radnom

              Because people hate the Yankees for other reasons.

    • Ivan

      The Team won 89 Games, it’s not like they need a complete makeover and etc.

    • nick blasioli

      i really like your comment…it makes alot of sense to me…sure wish you were cashman and went forward with this dealing…goood luck…..

  • Joseph P.

    “They also need to trade Phil, Ian Kennedy and Melky Cabrera for Josh Hamilton for CF. ”

    Rangers wouldn’t do that. No way.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      Josh Hamilton’s home/road splits, 2008:

      Home: .345/.408/.611 (1.019 OPS), .357 BABIP
      Road: .263/.331/.448 (.779 OPS), .305 BABIP

      All offensive players in Colorado or Texas: caveat emptor

      • zzzzz

        thank you.

  • dave

    has anyone suggested dempster as a possible starter for us next year?

    • Mike Pop

      He will either be a cub or a blue jay im thinking.. He is canadian.. I hope we dont sign him

    • bkight13

      I would take Dempster over Pettitte.

  • http://Melancon Andy

    People forget that the offense was a big a problem as the pitching last year, and I would argue more so in August when they tanked. And the September charge was keyed by the pitching, not the offense.

    Also, pitching is far harder to predict, and far more prone to injury – see Carl Pavano, who was the top free agent pitcher when he signed with the Yanks, similar to a Burnett, the consensus #2 guy. If they only sign one pitcher, and bring back Pettitte (who was still good enough last year to qualify as a type A free agent), they have a solid rotation, with depth. If you try to fill your rotation with veterans to avoid having to use Ponsons when your whole rotation is injured, you’re just going to be wasting payroll, and more importantly, blocking young talent. You can’t go through an off-season based on the assumption that half your rotation will get injured like they did last year. And don’t forget, Hughes, Kennedy, Etc. are a year older, and hence much more likely to have a better year than last year.

    On the other hand, the offense needs a serious upgrade, and the only available guys to do it are Texiera and Manny (who I think they should not sign for a variety of reasons). Signing Tex is the key to this off-season. I have heard people talk about Blake, and he is a bum. He’s old, and has always been average at best. He had a career year this year at age 35, and still was FAR less productive at the plate than Giambi. Who else are they going to get to make up for Giambi’s .373 OBP and .501 SLG? Who else are they going to get to replace Abreu’s .296 AVE and high OBP? Assuming, as everyone is, that Abreu and Giambi are gone, the bad offense just got worse, even assuming Posada comes back as normal and Matsui gets another 150 ABs. The offense NEEDS Tex, much more than the pitching needs TWO new starters…

    • Mike Pop

      You can never have too much pitching thoo.. I do agree Tex should be right up there with CC tho

  • Baseballnation

    Why would texas deal Hamilton? And if they did do that, the yankees would have to offer Hughes/Jackson, ect…

  • Reacher

    If both Giambi and Areu are indeed gone, there “must” be a committment to sign one of the two big FA bats…Tex or Manny. …or do a deal with the Rockies for Holliday (which is dubious at best in his walk year). Otherwise, it doesn’t make much sense. Manny should be there for the taking if the Yankees want him, but not necessarily Tex since both the Red Sox and the Angels will pay the $$$$$. Contrary to popular belief, the Dodgers simply will not pay for more than 2 years for Manny, if that at all. The jumbled noise from LA certainly does not suggest a “we want Manny” mindset. The question will be “do we want Manny?”

    Given the situation, I believe that the Yankees have a clear plan as to what they want and how to go about it. All out for CC, and also either AJ or Lowe; make the move for Tex and if the term is too long, then it’s Manny for 3 to 4.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      Matt Holliday’s home/road splits, career:

      Home: .357/.423/.645 (1.068 OPS), .382 BABIP
      Road: .280/.348/.455 (.803 OPS), .324

      All offensive players in Colorado or Texas: caveat emptor

    • ceciguante

      i kinda agree, but the fact that the angels and red sox may want tex is all the more reason to sign him…if he goes to either of these teams, it’s that much farther we have to climb to top them.

      manny for 4 years is lunacy. manny for 3 years is ill advised, imo. manny for 2 years would have to be considered. but this only comes into play if tex doesn’t pan out. while it’s easy to get seduced by the amazing offense manny brings, he also brings more of our weaknesses: old, slow, awful defense. tex only brings positives.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

        while it’s easy to get seduced by the amazing offense manny brings, he also brings more of our weaknesses: old, slow, awful defense.

        All of the players, save for Jorge Posada, who fit into the “old, slow, awful defense” box on our team are either leaving this year or will leave next year. (And none of them had/have Manny’s bat, btw, which, unlike Abreu/Giambi/Matsui et. al. cancels out his defensive shortcomings). Ergo, our “weakness” won’t be a weakness for long, so adding Manny doesn’t further compound any problem we have, although he does solve one huge one (namely, protecting ARod in the lineup.)

        There’s plenty of opportunity to add Manny’s bat and still improve our youth, speed, and defense this coming year and into the future. He’s only one aging poor defender, not five or six.

        • Chip

          And the fact we’re getting rid of all those old, slow guys is good. We want to get out of the hole not sign another guy who’s going to pull us back in it. Let LA keep him

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

            Didn’t I just illustrate with perfect clarity that adding Manny will not “pull us back into” any “hole”?

            Thanks for totally ignoring what I said and sticking to your talking point. That was Palinesque.

            • Chip

              I disagree that Manny will not “pull us back into” any “hole”. I think he will

              Also, I can see Canada from my house!

            • Old Ranger

              Don’t you mean “the gift that keeps on giving”?

      • Chris C.

        “i kinda agree, but the fact that the angels and red sox may want tex is all the more reason to sign him…”

        It’s also all the more reason it’s going to cost a kings ransom to do it!
        The Red Sox don’t NEED him like the Yankees do…….they’ll just be more interested in driving his price up.

        “if he goes to either of these teams, it’s that much farther we have to climb to top them.”

        Well, he’s already on the Angels, and the Red Sox disposed of them in the playofs rather easily…..and they’re not in the Yankees division. So what’s the big deal if he stays there? He’ll just basically be taking the place of Vlade Guerrerro, who is in decline.

        “manny for 4 years is lunacy. manny for 3 years is ill advised, imo. manny for 2 years would have to be considered. but this only comes into play if tex doesn’t pan out. while it’s easy to get seduced by the amazing offense manny brings, he also brings more of our weaknesses: old, slow, awful defense. tex only brings positives.”

        I agree with this 100%. Although I would rather not have to root for Manny Ramirez at all.

  • Mike Pop

    the “some people” link.. Its pretty funny how Heyman is a top writer and gets paid so well but all he’s been doing is writing the same column over and over again

  • Januz

    This is an awesome trade for Detroit, getting Iverson for this year (And motivated for a chance for a ring and a big contract), and clearing out cap space for next year.
    As for the Yankees, it very much reminds me of the election. As a conservative, I would rather see Obama win, and then the time, money, and effort, can be spent, rebuilding the Republican Party, and turning them into winners. Starting at the grass roots level, and finding decent politicians, and trying to intergrate people of color into the party), rather than electing a loser like McCain. The same principle applies to the Yankees. I would really like to see them rebuild, take as many draft picks as possible (Starting with four first rounders in 2009), not be outspent by the likes of Cincinatti on IFA’s, not bother going after Sabathia, AJ, Texeira etc, clearing out the $80m in contracts this year, and then letting guys like Damon, Matsui, and yes, after 2010, Jeter go. I know, it means waiting until 2011 to contend (When Jackson, Romine, Montero, Brackman, McAllister, and Pope are ready), but it means the opportunity could be there (If they draft well), to create another dynasty.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      Januz, I love ya dude, but you should just stop making analogies. Every one of you analogies I’ve ever read, from comparing the Yankees to a stock portfolio or the election or to a wall street firm, they’re all just horrible.

      A professional baseball team is a professional baseball team. Evaluate it and comment on it at face value. When you ramble with hackneyed analogies like this, you sound like you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      There’s a reason they took analogies off the SAT.

      (fun fact trivia question of the day: What do the letters in SAT stand for?)

      • Ben K.

        Scholastic Aptitude Test. Although I think now it doesn’t stand for anything.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          You win the cigar. SAT has previously been an acronym for Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, but due to arguments about its ability to measure aptitude or its effectiveness as an assessment, SAT now officially does not stand for anything, just like NASDAQ.

      • Joseph P.

        Stanley Allen Taylor.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          I would have also accepted “Sad Ass Truth”, as in “I’m not smart enough to get into college and that’s the Sad Ass Truth.”

      • Chris C.

        I actually liked his last analogy.

        He wouldn’t mind taking one step back, to take two steps forward.
        I mean, it was a bit strange, but I got his point.

        Although I still wouldn’t vote for Obama if I’m a conservative.

    • Old Ranger

      You may want to stick to baseball, you’ve been smoking to much pot to be talking politics. Did you forget the JUDGES that will be apointed by this guy? I don’t care for Mac eather, but the judges man, the judges!

  • Mike Pop

    Not only are we gonna sign CC tsjc we are gonna sign Tex, Manny and Burnett. Then we are gonna be playing in october and take back what is ours which is the championship ! BYA !

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      I draw the line at Burnett. CC, Manny, and Tex are all unquestionably great, so I have no problem paying for them.

      Burnett is an enigma, and an oft injured one at that.

      Screw Burnett. BYAAAAAAAAAH!!!

  • christopher

    Signing 2 pitchers frees them up to make a trade for a big bat with Hughes as the possible centerpiece. Add 1 big bat through FA Manny or Tex and add another through trade, even if it means giving up Hughes

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      Such as? What bat would you like to give up a potential future ace for? And PLEASE don’t say Holliday, Hamilton, or Ankiel, because none of them are worth what Hughes will eventually become.

      • Chip

        Longoria :)

        Jimmy Rollins, Lincecum (don’t bother mentioning injury, Hughes has just as much risk), Mauer, Hanley Ramirez, Santana (straight up we’re talking), Kazmir, Morneau, Halladay, Sizemore, Pedroia (admit it, he’s good), David Price

        I’d have to take a long look at all of those guys if it were straight up and guys like Rollins/Price/Longoria and Mauer would be no-doubters.

      • Reggie C.

        Would you move Hughes for Joey Votto?

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          All things being equal, no, I’d rather have the ace. But fixing our 1B hole for the future is an intriguing push. I’d do it only if we miss out of Tex AND Manny AND Dunn. (although it would necessitate signing another pitcher in addition to CC.)

          I’d much rather overpay Tex to get him here than have to use Hughes to get Votto.

          Tex/Manny/Dunn + Hughes >>>>>>> Votto + no Hughes

          • Chris C.

            “I’d much rather overpay Tex to get him here than have to use Hughes to get Votto.”

            Without a doubt.

  • Januz

    TSJC, Here is something at face value. This team as currently constituted, cannot compete with Boston or Tampa. When you look at the young talent at those two teams, they will be good for a long, long time. Change is needed. Here is a very interesting name to keep an eye on :Donovan Tate- OF, Cartersville HS (GA):

    Scouting The Sports Top Prospect #64

    Beyond being a great baseball player, Tate is one of the best athletes in the nation hands down. A top 100 recruit in football, has ranked him as the 17th best safety in the nation, and schools such as Michigan have recruited him to play quarterback. The son of former NFL running back Lars Tate, Donovan has yet to make a decision on what sport to take up. This leads many to believe that Tate will most likely go to college, where he can continue playing both sports. Either way, Jim Callis of Baseball America believes that Tate is a top ten pick in the draft. And it is simply because of his potential.

    The Scouting Report:

    Five-tool is the definition of Donovan Tate. The youngster has blazing speed (check out a highlight video on shows tremendous power, and has an absolute cannon in center. He has been gunned in at 95 MPH from the outfield to home. That is something that has scouts smiling in their sleep. But with all of this upside does come some downside. Though he is a marveled talent, Tate isn’t fully developed as of yet. Like many youngsters his at plate presence needs to improve, but with more experience will come the consistency. One of the worries is that Tate will develop into more of a Michael Bourn type player, rather than a B.J. Upton type. One thing is certain though. This Georgia product sure does have the products to be a special player. Source:
    The fact that he can play both sports, makes him a harder sign, but the idea of having a centerfielder in the organization with a 95 mph arm, is really appealing.

    • Reggie C.

      Donovan Tate won’t make it past the 10th pick. What on God’s sick earth makes you think that the Yanks have a shot at this kid when we’re picking near the bottom.

      The kid we select we haven’t even heard about.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      TSJC, Here is something at face value. This team as currently constituted, cannot compete with Boston or Tampa.

      Thanks for starting with this inflammatory comment and then never mentioning or explaining it again. I disagree, for the record. I know that we have a great farm system, just like Tampa and Boston do, and we also have several quality young players and enormous financial resources to continue to add good players and compete.

      The sky is not falling, and we’re not going to suck for the foreseeable future because of a marked weakness in the farm, because A) we don’t have a marked weakness in the farm, relatively speaking, and B) farm systems are not inexorable correlations to big league success.

      There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

      (see, a cliched analogy that works!)

      • steve (different one)

        is Donovan Tate the boxer from the Simpsons?

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          Dredrick Tatum.

  • nick blasioli

    hey guys….remember the yankees were over 200runs less this year and then you take away giami and abreau….we need at least two players to produce, even if posada an matsui are healthy….i wouldnt count on them and i dont think cashman is either…the thing is…you have to improve your team year to year…thats something that was not done last year….we really neeeeeed tex and cc…aj….period…….

  • Januz

    The reason why the Yankees have a shot at Tate, is because of the college options he has, could cause him to drop like a rock. It would cost a tremendous amount of money to sign him, no question about it. But they did it before (Austin Jackson), why not again?

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      Perhaps. None of this will be relevant until June 2009, and then not again until sometime in 2013 or so when young Mr. Tate will or won’t have turned into a competent major leaguer for somebody, but far be it from me to dissuade you from your laser-like focus on what we do with the #28A pick in the 2009 June Draft as being the linchpin of whether we will or won’t win a world series sometime in the next decade.

      [rolls eyes]

  • Januz

    TSJC, I did not go in to explainations about how good the Sox and the Rays are, because I thought it was obvious (One team won the 2007 WS, and the other team, made the 2008 WS, PLUS are adding David Price).
    There is no question that this team is lacking in outfield depth in the organization (Except Austin Jackson, and maybe Laird), and there is a need to add some hitters to this organization. That is why I singled out Donavan Tate as a draft possibility.

    • Chip

      I don’t agree that just because the Rays went to the WS this year that they’re going to be better than us. The Rays had all five of their starters healthy from mid-May until the end of the WS, that’s just not going to happen again. I mean what if the Rays lose both Kazmir and Price for a large part of the season of Price doesn’t live up to the hype? For those of you who think that’s crazy, there’s a center fielder in St. Louis I’d like you to meet.

      For all we know, Wang/Joba/Hughes/CC could be healthy and in that rotation all year. All four of those guys could be north of 15 wins next season for all we know. On top of that, we should score more runs than they do. The bullpen is another problem for them as Dan Wheeler, JP Howell and Grant Balfour had amazing (once in a career?) seasons.

      Same thing for the Red Sox. If Lester goes down for the season (kind of like we lost Wang last year), their rotation looks like

      Beckett/Matsuzaka(the guy who is sure to regress)/Wakefield/Buckholtz??/Masterson??/somebody??

      That rotation doesn’t scare me a bit. Plus with no Manny, their offense is a black hole outside of Pedroia/Ortiz/Youk/Drew/Bay and all of those outside of Ortiz are setup to regress while Ortiz has already regressed. Add on top of that, they really don’t have much outside of Papelbon in the pen.

      I’m just saying that there’s no way you can say they’re better than us. Healthier maybe, but not better

  • Januz

    TSJC, no one in their right mind thinks that Tate will be the linchpin, towards them winning a title. However, there is little doubt, they are further away than before. The Cole, Bittle, and Inoa debacles. the regression of Cano, Melky, and IPK, injuries to Posada and Hughes, the rise of the Rays, and most of all, the decline in runs scored, are reasons for this. Until we get some of those issures corrected (Cano ,Posada and the decline in runs scored, perhaps most of all). We will not be touching Boston or Tampa (Even with BOTH Tex & CC).

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      Ugh, no, wrong, wrong, wrong.

      1.) Tampa Bay and Boston are not demonstrably better than us. They were slightly better than us. We were plagued by injuries last year and still finished only 8 games behind the Rays and 6 games behind the Sox. WE WON 89 GAMES LAST YEAR. Furthermore, our team can easily get better as we get more in the future from Wang, Joba, and Hughes, among others, and add in new pieces like CC, Manny, Tex, and whomever else. There is NOT little doubt that we were further away than before. The players who are declining and whose diminished production was problematic for us are all leaving our team. This gives us opportunity to replace them with good players. STOP BEING SO FATALISTIC.

      2.) Our farm system are not light-years behind Boston’s and Tampa’s as you repeat ad nauseam. We have tons of high-quality prospects. More than both Boston AND Tampa. The Rays has had a good farm for a while, but most of those players (Upton, Longoria, Price, Shields, etc.) have graduated to the pros, and we probably have a better collection of young talent now (Melancon, Montero, Jackson, Romine, Brackman, Betances, McAllister, Marshall, etc. etc.) than they have left unpromoted. Over the next few years, we’ll likely graduate more quality major leaguers than either the Sox or Rays will, meaning that we’re actively closing whatever talent gap you feel there is between our team and theirs, and not falling further behind.

      3.) There is no such thing as the “Cole, Bittle, and Inoa debacles.” None of us have any idea who those players are and what they will become. They’re good prospects. That’s all. All three of them can be great, all three of them can be nothing, shit, we may already have three guys better than them in-house. Calm the hell down already. We take calculated gambles to improve our young talent base, and it’s worked for us for the past three years like gangbusters. Not all calculated gambles work out, including the calculated gambles of the Rays taking Wade Townsend instead of Cameron Maybin or the Sox taking Craig Hansen instead of Colby Rasmus. Stop acting like not signing three guys who are total wildcards is the deathknell of our future hopes to succeed. EVERY TEAM MISSES ON PROSPECTS. Five years from now, the Rays taking Tim Beckham, Kyle Lobstein, and Jacob Jeffries instead of the three guys taken immediately behind them (Pedro Alvarez, Tanner Scheppers, and Jordy Mercer) could easily be just as “bad” as us not getting Cole, Bittle, and Inoa, and I can make the same statement about Red Sox drafts, or anybody else.

      God, you are such a Chicken Little.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

        Sorry, “Our farm system are is not light-years behind Boston’s and Tampa’s as you repeat ad nauseam.”

        • steve (different one)

          what are the ods that Inoa, who is 16 years old, winds up being a good investment of $5M? 1 in 100? 1 in 1000?

          give me a break.

          • Chip

            But you guyz!!!11!!1! He’s a one in generation telent!!!11!11!

  • ko

    Couldn’t disagree with tommiesmith—- more. The farm system looked promising last year and then fell flat on its face. There were injuries and a lot of overhyped prospects. The farm system now looks mediocre at best. Unclear where all of these great prospects are. I see the list given – all of them are a long way from being at all useful on a major league level. They may pan out – but to rely on any of those names is lunacy. For a team that needs all the prospects it can get, 2008 was a major washout year. The draft was a disaster. Cashman got snookered on the big international signing and the Yankees got outbid by the Reds and Padres, unbelievably enough, for the other big ones. And yes, the Yankees are way behind the Rays, the Red Sox and the Jays. The Yankees were comparable talentwise to those teams last year only much, much older. Now that they’re starting to shed old guys, they’re way behind. I see a lot of Cashman-think in your analysis. Cashman is obsessed with fiddling with the budget while the Yankees burn.

    • steve (different one)

      hey, maybe you could post the exact same comment for the 151st time. the first 150 times weren’t enough.

      i love how the Yankees are “behind the Jays” despite finishing ahead of them every year for the last 15 years.

      especially when the Jay are in for a similar year in 2009 that the Yankees had in 2008 in terms of their farm system. 2 of their best pitching prospects just had surgery.

      if Burnett leaves, i guarantee you the Yankees will finish 10 games ahead of the Jays. guarantee it.

      seriously, where is this notion that the Yankees are “way behind” the Jays coming from?

    • steve (different one)

      I see a lot of Cashman-think in your analysis.

      i see a lot of Bavasi-think in your analysis.

    • Kay Sturns

      excuse me, no.

  • Januz

    TSJC, talks about our farm system, and there is no question we have some good prospects, but how many will be ready in 2009? ONE Melancon. Here is another pair of problems. 1: Replacing 20 wins from Moose. 2: Replacing the RBI’s from Giambi and Abreu (That is why they need Posada & Cano to rebound (Unless of course, Teixeira is signed)).
    I never claimed they are light years behind Boston or Tampa (That is the Mariners and Nationals). But we are behind them, and the draft was inferior to Boston’s. As for Toronto, I do not worry about the Jays, they are not blessed with tons of prospects.

  • ortforshort

    Maybe it takes 152 times for some people to get it. The Yankees finished ahead of the Rays the previous eleven years, that means they must be ahead of them, as well. If Burnett leaves the Jays will be hurt, but not killed. If he doesn’t, the Jays will have a second guaranteed W (behind Halladay) every time they play the Yankees and, of course, Litsch, McGowan and Marcum (the oldest of whom is 26) must be total schlocks because they’re Blue Jays altho’ you folks would be drooling all over yourselves about if they were Yankee prospects.