Open Thread: Rasner hits the Pacific League


As Saturday night dawns on the East Coast, the Yankees have made a minor move this evening. Not quite content with Darrell Rasner’s performance last season, the Bombers have, at the right-hander’s request, sold him to Japan.

The Yanks are getting $1 million, and in return, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League will sign the former Major Leaguer to a two-year deal. In 2008, Rasner made 24 painful appearances — 20 of which were starts — filling in for various injured and demoted members of the Yankee rotation. He went 5-10 with a 1.54 WHIP and a 5.40 ERA. Opponents hit .293/.354/.454 against him.

Fun trivia fact about Rasner: His last Major League win came on July 12. Ouch.

For Yankee fans, this ensures us no Darrell Rasner appearances next year. I’ll feel a lot better when Sidney Ponson is shipped to Japan too.

Meanwhile, use this as your open thread. Discuss the Hot Stove League, the college football games or whatever else comes to mind. Just play nice.


  1. steve (different one) says:


    they didn’t want Igawa?

  2. zzzzz says:

    this is allowed? not some kinda prank or something this time? haha.

    • JeffG says:

      Players can’t be traded to Japan but if they ask to go a MLB team can strike a deal. Too bad we didn’t get a 51 mil posting fee. Although a million for Rasner might just be the equivalent.

  3. Manimal says:

    hahahahahahaha 1 million? Its just one more million for CC.

  4. Mike A. says:

    Good luck Ras. Show them your tiger style.

  5. Ivan says:

    Peace out Rass and good luck for ya in the future.

  6. Ed - sign CC immediately. says:

    –long time reader, first time poster–

    how about trading for Nick Johnson for bench? clearly, Bowden wants to dump him and most likely going with Willingham as his 1B due to his surplus of OFers. I believe if Nick is a bench player, he might actually stay healthy. if Matsui decided to call it quits next offseason and go back to Japan, Johnson could be the new DH.

    • Manimal says:

      welcome! Why not throw a couple million at him, he could come back, but we just got rid of a 1b/DH and quite frankly we need some production AND defense there. He just doesnt fit Cashman’s youth movement.

      • Ed - sign CC immediately. says:

        thanks for the welcoming.

        I see what you mean. He’s turned 30 in September, he could be a low risk-high reward factor but with his plate knowledge, you could easily replace Abreu’s bat on and off the bench. if he could be have for cheap, Cashman should pull the trigger just like the Swisher deal.

        • whozat says:

          “if he could be have for cheap, Cashman should pull the trigger just like the Swisher deal.”

          How does adding a positionally limited injury risk help the Yankees?

          I’d rather give those ABs to Miranda. He costs nothing and has shown great pop and plate discipline against righties. I don’t think that the difference between his potential numbers and Johnson’s potentially superior numbers against lefties justifies using a 40/25-man roster spot.

          I mean, if he’ll take a minor-league deal…sure. But I don’t see the purpose of using a roster slot on NJ.

  7. steve says:

    he had a few good starts, but im not sad to see him leave.

    surely we could have gotten something in a trade for him.

  8. Mike Pop says:

    Thats kinda funny

  9. Baseballnation says:

    If nothing else Ras was a guy who has mlb experience, nothing great by no means but he has a good mentality. Good luck Ras

  10. shame what happened to a former 1st rounder (supp.) after his shoulder injury

  11. Eric says:

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Darrell.

    • Steve says:

      That’s uncalled for. Rasner was by all accounts one of the real good guys in the clubhouse and he worked his tail off to get better. He just doesn’t have a ton of talent. You can’t find a single beat writer who doesn’t speak highly of him and wish him well.

    • Chris C. says:

      “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Darrell.”

      Yeah, nice guy you are. Typical spoiled Yaaankee fan.
      Rasner, a guy who was not factored into the rotation last season, gave the Yankees a shot in the arm in May, where he was their best starter over the course of that month.

      Overall, he gave the Yankees more quality starts than they could have imagined, and probably should have had about 10 wins if he got better run support. Was a tremendous clubhouse guy, gracious to reporters, and tremendously gracious to the Yankees on his way out the door.

      Certainly doesn’t deserve that comment, but what do you expect from the armpit section of the the Yankee fan base.

  12. andrew says:

    rasner was definitely not the best pitcher on the yankees by any stretch of the imagination… but he gave up 3 earned runs or less in 12 of his 20 starts, he wasn’t terrible. he was a useful guy to have around and did better than our other options (kennedy, ponson to name two).

    • Slugger27 says:

      while his 5.40 era was expected, and nobody should have had any expectations of him, he still gave yankee fans headaches every time he was seen on the lineup card

      yes he could have been worse, but at the end of the day, u never want to see the team u love have raz as their starting pitcher

      • Mike Pop says:

        or you dont want to see him start for the opponent in the game you lose

      • andrew says:

        i agree that id rather see other people pitching for the yankees, but when he was brought to the team he was expected to fill a certain role – AAA starter, potential long man out of the pen – and he filled those roles very well. we got what we expected and we cant ask for much more than that.

  13. steve says:

    ahhhh! we could’ve gotten betemit back.

  14. Manimal says:

    After his homecoming in Oakland it just wasn’t the same.

  15. Brett says:

    so clearly its just retribution for kei

    also how bout them Terps
    huge win of unc

  16. Mike Pop says:

    shoulda used him in the Peavy deal……joke

  17. Mike Pop says:

    So with a rotation of CC Burnett/Lowe Wang Joba Pettite.. How many wins you think we gett from them ?

  18. steve says:

    would the yanks sign sabathia and lowe or burnette and still get mussina back or will they not want to seem like jerks to pettitte because he clearly wants to come back

    • Slugger27 says:

      i doubt they place any stock on looking like a jerk

      • steve says:

        alright not jerks, but a bad organization by leaving one of their premier pithchers from their world series teams out on the free agent market.

        • Slugger27 says:

          i still just dont see them placing any significance on the fact that he was on the dynasty team… they already gave him an above market deal in 07 with a player option… i think that was all the loyalty that they owed him

          all that said, id love to see him back for 10-12 mill

        • Chris C. says:

          Oh, c’mon already!

          You want them to bring Wells and El Duque back too? They’re both looking for jobs.

  19. Manimal says:

    the next open thread should be a burnett vs Lowe debate.
    I’ve been thinking about it in my mind and I really can’t think of which would be more valuable.

    • Mike Pop says:

      Burnett — more potential and you dont know what your gonna get.. Real injury risk but better potential than Lowe

      Lowe–Know what your getting, gives ya 200 or so innings.. not a huge risk to get hurt.

      I take AJ because I have what is known as a “man crush” on him and his style of pitching.. I think he fits the Yanks better and I would really enjoy watching him start every 5th day.. I do think he is a huge risk but I think he could and should give us sub 4 ERA’s

      • Ivan says:

        Keith Law said that Burnett is the type of guy who performes well in less pressurized situations/environments and there been people in baseball who have called burnett the “S” word. I wonder would he ever come to place like NY if the money was equal?

        • Mike Pop says:

          I dont agree with that.. He said he would of loved to been traded to the Cubs and be somewhere where baseball is loved and focused on around the trade deadline… I see him taking the money with a team that are true contenders though because thats what he believed Toronto to be

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

          IF the Yanks sign CC and Pettitte, then you’ve got CC, Wang, Pettitte, Joba, _________. I see AJ as a higher-upside play than Lowe. With CC, Wang and Pettitte already in the fold, to me that breaks for the higher-upside play.

          • Ivan says:

            So you rather AJ?

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

              Lol yeah. I’ve been beating that drum for a while. Sorry if my comment was vague.

              • Mike Pop says:

                Wouldnt you love to see AJ dominate the Sox for 8 innings ? Just pure dominant pitching like 10 ks 3 hits Id rahter see that than an outing of 5 innings 3 run ball from Lowe

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  I’ll take wins no matter who they sign, of course. I just think AJ would contribute more than Lowe would.

                • Spaceman.Spiff says:

                  Why not Sheets? I feel like the question should be Sheets or Burnett. Lowe shouldn’t even be in the question, you don’t know when his numbers will completely fall off, he pitched in the NL West, and he doesn’t even really want to be in NY apparently.

                • Joey H says:

                  Um maybe because he is a TJ surgery candidate.. but that’s just me………….

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  Because Ben Sheets can’t stay off the DL. He’s really less an “injury risk” than he is an “injury certainty.”

        • Chris C. says:

          From an attitude standpoint, he’s been compared to Kevin Brown.

      • Chris C. says:

        “I take AJ because I have what is known as a “man crush” on him and his style of pitching..”

        The guy just posted a 1.42 ERA against the Yankees this past season, but his overall ERA was 4.07. Imagine what his ERA will be if he DOESN’T get to face the Yankees?
        Around what Pettitte’s was.

        Also, go look at what Burnett does when it’s NOT a walk year!
        Yeah, he’s a MONEY pitcher, alright. He pitches well when there’s the threat of losing it.

        • Ben K. says:

          You do realize, Chris, that the only people still checking two-day-old threads are you and the owners of this site? Your outrage will go unappreciated if you continue to post in threads from Saturday night that have since fallen silent.

          • Chris C. says:

            I know.

            I still like getting my 2 cents in.
            And it’s not all outrage. I had to defend Daryl Rasner from those who didn’t appreciate that the guy gave the Yankees more then they anticipated.

    • steve says:

      just use this one.

  20. E-ROC says:

    Maybe Darrell Rasner can give the Yanks a scouting report on Yu Darvish.

  21. Joey H says:

    Darrel Rasner was a real competitor. I liked his grit. Very nice hard working man.

  22. Jack says:

    Guess which blog got linked to in Law’s chat yesterday.

  23. Mike Pop says:

    What bout bringing Cairo back for a utility role ?

  24. Ivan says:

    Hey Blyleven has a liking to Hughes.

    • steve says:

      he also likes a AAA 31 year old reliever who was drafted in 1998 and is now on his 5th team.

    • Eric says:

      If Blyleven isn’t voted into the HOF this year, I will go all Achilles on everyone and slaughter 3,701 people in honor of Blyleven’s strikeout total.

      • christopher says:

        how can he even intimate that Hughe’s injuries were a result of having a low pain threshold. A mlb team doesnt put you on the DL for 3 months unless they see something structurally wrong on tests, Also there was never one report about him exageratting his injuries in a pavano like manner

  25. Mike Pop says:

    Hey anyone have a logical opinion on why the MLB should or shouldnt have a salary cap ? Why does it make sense for the NFL and NBA to have salary caps but MLB does not ?

    • Eric says:

      I don’t think there should be a salary cap in any league for this reason/question/statement:

      Why should the owner be allowed to make as much money as possible, but not the player?

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

      As for the first question… It’s clearly a very complicated issue, but I’m anti salary-cap because I don’t believe it’s necessary and I think the real, meaningful consequence of salary cap is that owners make more money and players make less. I think it’s strange that some (I think many) people identify with owners over players and for some reason are more bothered by players being paid their market value than they are with owners making tons of money, failing to invest in their teams, raising prices on fans, yadda yadda. There is not one organization in sports that cannot put a competitive product on the field. There will always be some teams that make more money than others, but there is no team that cannot compete.

      The second question I think is a little misguided. You’re making an assumption that it “makes sense” for the NFL and NBA to have salary caps but that it does not make sense for MLB to have one, or that that is the general consensus.. I don’t see it that way. I think if you’re pro salary-cap in one sport, you’re probably pro salary-cap in all sports.

    • freepass says:

      Not to be snarky, but because baseball has a much better players unions than the NFL of the NBA and has for a long time

    • steve says:

      maybe because there is such a wide range of player salaries, and draftees take such a long time to make an impact. And there is 50 rounds.

    • E-ROC says:

      The NFL’s collective bargaining agreement ends in a two years I think. The league might not have a salary cap after that. I like salary cap, though I don’t think it’s necessary. There is parity in both leagues, though I get tired of watching the Royals and Pirates lose early and often.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

        The Royals and Pirates are bad because they’ve been two of the most poorly-run organizations in MLB for the last 20 years or so, not because of money.

      • Manimal says:

        they get good draft position but make bad picks. Rays on the other hand, did a good job of drafting.

    • Manimal says:

      As far as I’m concerned, the only league rising in fans and moolah is MLB. Even NFL has been effected by the economy.

      And I agree with Eric, give money where money is earned.

    • Count Zero says:

      Never happen — the Players’ union is too strong.

      In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that the MLBPA is the strongest labor union (funny as that sounds given their income) left in the US. They have never had a player cross a picket line. That’s why there’s no salary cap in baseball, and all contracts are fully guaranteed.

      But hypothetically speaking…I think salary caps are overrated. Say what you will, but MLB has actually shown greater parity (in terms of its championship) than either the NFL or the NBA over the past decade.

      Does the “soft” cap in the NBA really achieve parity at all? If you look at the list of teams to win the championship since the cap came into effect, it looks very short to me. All it really seems to do is encourage you to build a team of low salary guys around one MVP caliber player who you likely got in the draft.

      • Ivan says:

        The cap in the NBA really is to help teams keep their Superstar player in one city. Can you imagine if the NBA use the system like the MLB use, guys like Duncan, Garnett and Kobe, as soon as they hit the market teams like SA and Minnesota wouldn’t have a chance to afford them.

        • christopher says:

          what the soft cap does well in the NBA because it realy seperates those teams who have good managment from those who have bad. As long as there are teams willing to take on bad contracts – Knick – than other well run teams can thrive. Does it really create competitive balance? it doesnt once you put together a great team, but the problem is it is very hard to put together a great team with salry caps looming because the purpose of the soft cap is to keep stars from leaving teams by making the playing ground unequal. it also penalizes teams for stupid decisions for years after those decisions were made. the knivks are still paying for trading eweing that last year becasuse he turned into expensive players who turned into more expensive players.

          Having a cap in a league with garunteed contracts does not work because a team can get buried for 5-10 yearsunder bad contracts.

          it only works well in the NFL becasue they can cut player

  26. shortstop says:

    how about signing furcal and jeter to cf

  27. steve says:

    if the yanks traded johnny damon, who would lead off?

    • Ivan says:

      Gardner? Maybe Jeter.

      • Eric says:

        Jeter, he has great splits leading off I believe…

        As first batter of the game:


        Leading off an inning:


        Batting in 1 Hole:


        • Ed - sign CC immediately says:

          if Jeter leads off then whose going to bat 2nd?

          • Eric says:

            That…I do not know, haha. Maybe Gardner if he can drive the ball a little better and keep up his good eye at the plate.

            • Eric says:

              You could make an argument for Swisher as well. The speed isn’t there but if you can walk 90+ times, you’ll be valuable at the top of the order. Men on base are men on base. I could see something like this:

              Tex (hopefully?)

              With Jeter (decent on base skills) and Swisher (great on base skills) at the top of the lineup, the 3/4 hitters would have ample opportunities to drive in runs. Speed at the top of the lineup is overrated, IMO. It’s more important to simply put guys on base. Swisher at the top of the lineup makes sense to me.

              • Slugger27 says:

                i think ppl are sleeping on matsui in the lineup… if we dont sign tex, i like him as a 3 hole hitter… left handed, good obp, track record of being a solid run producer… hits for average… not a lot of Ks, still got some pop…

                of course, this is predicated on him being healthy

              • Eric says:

                Of course, none of this happens if Damon isn’t traded, and I’m sure he won’t be. In that case, I would like this lineup

                Jeter SS
                Damon LF
                Swisher CF (i’ll take it….i guess)
                Tex (again, hopefully)
                Matsui DH
                Nady RF

              • Ed - sign CC immediately says:

                Swisher isn’t a #2 hitter or a leadoffhitter, which Ozzie seriously misused him and by doing so, messed up his numbers.

  28. Manimal says:

    Noted Yankees fan LeBron James was asked tonight if he thought the Yankees would sign CC Sabathia, who is a friend of his.

    “We’re gonna get him,” James said. “Absolutely.”

  29. Joseph M says:

    The amazing thing about this story is the fact that the trade took place at Rasner’s request. What put this idea in his head? Rasner might have been able to hang around in the majors a few more years (Pirates maybe Washington again), and become eligible for a major league pension. I wonder if he got the idea from talking with Igawa or Matsui.

    Rasner is suppose to be a real good team guy, I wish him nothing but the best.

    • Slugger27 says:

      requesting being sold to japan says a lot about how he liked his time here

      • ikl says:

        No, not really.

        The Yankees had 37 men on the 40 man roster. They probably will add Horn, Cox and Garcia to protect them from Rule 5. That puts them at 40. But they want to sign at least two or three free agents (they need at least two starting pitchers and might want another bat). Unless they make a 3 for 1 trade, that means cuts. Rasner would probably be the first pitcher to be cut. This happened to him last winter, so I’m sure that he and his agent could do the math. Of course, he could have signed a minor league deal again. But really there is no assurance that he would ever make it back to the majors. He is not cut out to be a regular starter and the bullpen looks pretty full now. He could probably help the team as a spot starter / long man at some point during the season. But realistically, he is not going to be one of the best 12 pitchers in the organization for much of the year unless there are a lot of injuries. So Japan makes some sense for him.

  30. Eric says:

    I’m probably late on this but the Bill James projections are up on FanGraphs.

  31. Greg says:

    As far as I’m concerned, I wouldn’t go near A.J. He profiles too closely to past free agent busts (Wright, Pavano, etc). He thrown 200 innings 3 times, two of which were in walk years. A little worrisome. no? Yes, his stuff is absolutely filthy, but is hasn’t translated consistently. Prior to last season, you would have been aghast at the idea of throwing huge money at him. Does one year really sell you? If I were to roll the dice on an injury-prone pitcher, I’d do Sheets or Penny (or both) first.

  32. Manimal says:

    This is how I see it.

    Burnett is a pitcher with filthy stuff but somehow has a 4 ERA in a very tough division. He is prone to injury and can be a bit streaky. Some success against the Sox.

    Lowe is a work horse pitcher who had a good ERA in a bad division. 200 IP is guaranteed. I think he would equate to Burnett kind of numbers minus strikeouts.

  33. Bill N. says:

    Anybody get the T-Mobile G1. I did I’m looking for someone to get me started on this whole smartphone thing. I don’t really know much esp with unlocking its potential. If anyone is tech savy please let me know.

  34. Lanny says:

    Burnett has filthy stuff and is a proven AL East pitcher who is also younger than Lowe.

    Lowe last pitched in the AL 4 yrs ago and is a groundball pitcher.

    4 years deals for both of them make AJ 36 and Lowe 40. Who thinks Lowe will be a #3 type at 40?

    You sign AJ for 4 and Pettitte for a yr.

    That’s a nasty rotation with guys like Hughes waiting in the wings for the inevitable injury.

    • Steve says:

      Keith Law says he hasn’t heard Lowe from the Yanks, so that is probably coming from the Lowe camp.

      I must admit that surprised me, because we’ve been hearing Lowe from day 1 here in NY.

  35. Steve says:

    We have way too many “Steve”s around here.

    Steve, steve, Steve H. Its confusing.

  36. Vincent says:

    Does anyone think that Wang should pitch opening day despite most likely signing CC?

  37. [...] sought employment in Japan after that season, so the Yankees helped him out by selling his rights to Rakuten Golden Eagles for a cool million bucks. The move across the Pacific allowed Rasner to [...]

  38. [...] sold Rasner to the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League at his request. They received a million bucks in return, and Rasner received a new two-year contract and some financial security for his family. [...]

  39. Ben K. says:

    If you actually knew his name I might be inclined to listen to you.

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