Saturday night open thread: Plans B, C and D

New York stadium updates
Moose and the Hall of Fame

Unless some big happens, use this as the thread to discuss whatever you want on Saturday. We’ll update with new content about Mike Mussina and the Hall of Fame at midnight tonight.

What if? That’s always the big question in sports. What if the Yanks had played the infield back in 2001? What if David Roberts is out at second base in 2004? What if the Yanks had traded for Johan Santana a year ago?

This offseason, as the Yanks look to retool via free agency, what if’s still hover over the team. Specifically, as Phil Rogers discussed today in the Chicago Tribune, the Yanks don’t sign CC Sabathia, Derek Lowe or A.J. Burnett? Do they even have a Plan B?

I’ll admit it; the thought has crossed my mind but in a slightly different vein. I’m not particularly enamored of the ideas of Derek Lowe or A.J. Burnett. But if the Yanks don’t sign Sabathia, I’m not really sure what happens.

They may feel increased pressure to trade for Jake Peavy. They may just stick it out with the young pitchers and go hard after Mark Teixeira. Had they scored a few more runs last year, they would have made the playoffs without top pitching. It’s not a recipe for post-season success, but at least, they’d get there.

So as Saturday night arrives and baseball is dormant, what do you think the Yanks’ back-up plans are? Do they take a mulligan on 2009 and look forward to 2010? Do they trade top prospects for pitching? The possibilities are both limitless and scary.

New York stadium updates
Moose and the Hall of Fame
  • MyNameIsNed

    Honestly, I have not even prepared myself for the Yankees not getting Sabathia. I sold myself on the thought that it was for the best to not get Santana with the belief that CC was a year away. I am not too crazy about the others Lowe, Burnett, etc but it seems to me that we are getting 1 or 2 of them. I DO NOT want Peavy in NY unless it is a Swisher type deal, just because he has made it clear he wouldnt prefer being in NY. That scares me, it makes me think he doesnt think that his stuff wouldnt translate in the AL East. What do I know though, I am just some fan with too much time on my hands.

  • Rick James

    Cash better have a back up plan!! If not…we’re right back where we were last year!

  • Infamous

    Who do you think will be our starting RF,Lf, and DH in 2010? Since Damon, Matsui, and Nady are probably all gone. Hopefully Ajax is ready to be the CF in 2010.

    • Mike Pop

      RF-Swisher
      LF-Gardner
      DH- Idk brother, Miranda ?

      • Mike Pop

        Correction

        DH-Vladimir

        • Mike Pop

          Vlad or Huff

          • Infamous

            Thats pretty scary. Maybe we should try and trade for Dejesus if its just someone like Kennedy and a releiver. Then Dejesus can play cf this year and then he could be our LF for the future.

            • inman

              holy shit ! where did they find my picture ? that’s me on the left and i never had any ugly belly fat

              • inman

                oh great. now bambi is there. she never had any ugly belly fat either

    • Matt

      Let’s not jump on the AJax train to hard for 2010. I’d love to see him here, but let’s not jump the gun…

      I don’t see why the Yanks wouldn’t keep Nady for RF, he’s solid, nothing super, but solid…both defensively and offensively.

      Holliday is a FA after ’09, and the only thing it will cost the Yanks is draft picks. He’s the only notable guy after ’09…so it’s a weak class.

      • Mike Pop

        What about Bay or Crawford assuming Crawfords option or no extension

      • Hitman

        Well how about the fact that he’ll be 31 years old and probably want a 4 or 5 year contract.

    • Old Ranger

      Crawford-LF, Brett-CF, Nady/Swish-RF, Matsui-DH if Tex is a Yankee…2009. 2010-Crawford-LF, Brett-CF, A-Jax-RF, Posada/Miranda…again, if Tex is with the team and A-Jax progresses at a good rate.
      Wouldn’t it be great to pick up Crawford next year…or someone like him? 27/09.

  • Matt

    I really don’t see them getting none of those guys, but of not, the def go after Tex hot and heavy.

    The rotation w/o any of the ‘Big 3 FA’ looks like:

    Wang/Pettitte/Joba/?/?

    I want Kennedy and Hughes in the minors for a full season, develop them fully, especially Hughes, give him a full healthy year in 3A and when 2010 rolls around, hopefully he’s ready. Kennedy just needs to develop period.

    Aceves I wouldn’t mind as a #5, so that leaves the 4th spot open.

    Lesser FAs:
    Ollie Perez – A guy the Yanks should look at seriously anyway. A young, hard throwing lefty, what’s not to like? Oh yeah, he takes mental health starts every so often, that can be corrected.

    Jon Garland – Always liked this guy. He’s sometimes dominant, and then sometimes it’s like BP, again, hone his skills.

    Ben Sheets – Injured much? I wonder what he’ll command. Probably dependent on what the ‘Big 3’ get…

    • Thomas

      Oliver Perez walked over 100 batter in the NL. He will get demolished in the AL East.

      Jon Garland had a WHIP of 1.5. He too will get hit hard.

      Neither one should be signed by the Yankees.

      Sheets I would love the Yankees to sign though.

    • Mike Pop

      Hughes has nothing left to prove in AAA he has to pitch in the majors. I understand not wanting him in the show to start but you dont want him in the minors the whole season. The same can be said to some extent with IPK.. Id rather trade him though if you can get a young outfielder with some potential.. Maybe a Steven Pearce type.. Im not saying it has any chance of happening but I would like a guy liek that.. I know it wouldnt be straight up

  • Jake K.

    If we don’t get CC, the front office can’t panic (as in, we didn’t Matsuzaka, so we need Igawa). You try to sign Tex, kick the tires on Sheets and fill the holes as best you can. Then you hope Hughes is ready for the rotation and Aceves can hold down the back end.

    • YankCrank20

      I think this is the best option. If we can’t find a way to get either CC, Lowe or Burnett you try to maximize your offense, see if you can land Sheets and patch with your kids. Is it ideal? No, but if you’re going to take chances you may as well do it with your own prospects and not another round of Jaret Wright/Carl Pavano-like deals.

  • This is the David

    Ok I m planning on starting my blog early next week and this is the first issue i will tackle. With multiple different scenarios,

    I think Tex will be handed a blank check.

    But on the pitching front. I think they will sign Sheets. Resign Andy Pettite. And possibly trade for an over paid innings eater to make sure Joba and Hughes are protected? Or there is always Randy Johnson on a one year deal. No loss of draft picks, prospects, and the only thing he did right in New York was toss Innings..

    • Matt

      No way I give him 200 for 10…

      • This is the David

        Any reason why?

        Is 20 million will be the new 12 million by the time the contract is up….

        lets not forget they can front load the contract and pay him 25 mill the next couple of years… and IF HE BOTTOMS OUT it make it easier to move him at the end of the contract

        Plus we are the Yankees we expect more from our players. they play in this animal of this city they should get paid more….

    • YankCrank20

      Tex will not be given a blank check. I think the Yanks will look at the offers he gets and if they feel he can be had for 7 years they’ll go after it. But a blank check is not in the picture. I believe they are fully capable and willing to go into 2009 with Nick “Dirty Thirty” Swisher as their 1b.

      • This is the David

        I agree with them willing to have Nick at first

        BUT

        IF

        AND only IF

        We land the big fish for the rotation.

        If we don’t have the stud rotation we need to smash other teams over the head with our bats….

    • This is the David

      and if not a blank check than the dude will get 24 mill a year for 6 or 7 years he will make BANK

  • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

    Why is everyone forgetting Sheets? He’s an ace (when healthy) and he can easily sign a 2-year deal or even just 1-yr to regain market value for 2010. Sheets > Burnett and Sheets > Lowe anyway

    Or Penny–he was an ace two years ago (and is generally a #2 guy), and if we give him 1 yr + option + a helluva lot of incentives, I think that could work. What’s more, he can be dealt with a hot start

    With one of these guys (+ CC obviously):

    CC
    Wang
    Sheets
    Joba
    Hughes

    Backups: Kennedy, Aceves, Coke, Garcia (and later in the year) McAllister

    • YankCrank20

      I’ll be honest. I wouldn’t be devastated if CC went elsewhere and the Yanks signed Sheets. This doesn’t look awful:

      Wang
      Sheets
      Pettitte
      Joba
      Hughes

      Obviously having CC is a much better option than Sheets, but i’d much rather plug Sheets in there over Burnett or Lowe

      • Infamous

        I would be extremely devastated. CC would be the only pitcher we would have without a question mark attached too him. Who knows if Wang will be 100 percent after his injury. Sheets is also an extremely high injury risk,compared to the average pitcher. Pettitte can hopefully give you 200 innings but hes getting older and seemed like he fizzled out towards the end of the season. Joba is on an innings limit. Hughes, im not sure if hes on a limit, but your not sure what your gonna get out of him.

        • This is the David

          NO SUCH THING AS not having a question mark attached on a pitchers arm

          Exp when you tack 750 innings in 3 years on a fat body

          this is a huge union we are talking about 6 or 7 years…

          TEX is more a sure thing.

      • This is the David

        Agreed

        Sheets is Burnett at a different point in their respected careers.

        And looks like he will sign on a 3 maybe 2 year deal with opinions..

        Type A though

      • Old Ranger

        Good thinking, we only need one of the four–CC, AJ, Lowe, Sheets–two is nicer but one will do just fine. I want CC/Sheets/AJ, CMW, Andy, Joba, and Phil. With Tex and CC/Sheets on the team I would feel much better of our chances to hit the Post Season running. How’s ‘dat? 27/09.

    • J.R.

      It looks like the yankees were more than happy to keep Coke in the pen. Granted Marte for 3 years does allow him to move back to a starter.

      • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

        Right, and I too think he’ll be in the pen. But it’s the Yankees’ call, not mine.

  • Matt G.

    If we don’t get any of the “big three” we will not be in the same position as we were last year. While we have traded a number of spot start candidates, the core of Kennedy, Hughes, (and Aceves) all have more experience, and will presumably produce better results than they have thus far. I would rather take a leap of faith with our talented young arms than with Derek Lowe at $16 million a year.

    • YankCrank20

      Amen.

      • This is the David

        huh?
        so our line up gets worse.. our defense slightly improves

        We lose the best pitcher in our rotation and we will be fine…..

  • ortforshort

    I know what my plans would be, but we’re all in the dark about what Cashman’s are. Here’s what we know: The team that would be fielded right now if no one else were signed would be battling Baltimore for the cellar. You have seven positions up in the air. Catcher, first base, two of the three outfield positions (Nady will be OK this year somewhere) and three starting rotation spots have no one of major league quality that you can rely on if you’re a contender (you can’t rely on Matsui, Damon and Posada because of their age and their physical problems – they’re all DH candidates, anything more is wishful thinking – I wouldn’t want any of them at first base either). I would sign Pettitte and spend whatever it takes to get Sabathia and Burnett. I’d spend whatever it takes to get Teixeira no matter how long the contract – if you sign him for ten years that doesn’t mean you have to keep him and play him for ten years. I’d sign I-Rod just in the likely case Posada can’t physically make it. I’m in the minority here, but I’d get Rowand of the Giants for centerfield. He’s got a big contract, but with the Yankees – its only money. The last outfield spot is a real problem now that Abreu will be gone. You can’t count on Matsui or Damon. You’ll have to try to work a trade and give up some young pitching. I wouldn’t include AJax or Montero in any deals because of the dearth of quality young position players in the farm system. That’s what I’d do, we’ll see what Cashman does.

    • Matt

      I-Rod? Please dear God no….

      From all reports, Posada is ahead of schedule and Girardi is looking to catch him something like 120 games next season.

      • This is the David

        When i first read that i thought it said girardi plans on catching 120 games ahahah

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    If it doesn’t happen, you bring back Andy for a year, look for a workhorse-type for the back of the rotation, see what magic Cash can weave, and continue looking to improve the team as the season wears on and into the 2009-10 off-season. it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

  • Matt

    Random though, why not Jim Edmonds for a 1 year deal in 2009?

    • This is the David

      Serious question, WHY?

      • Matt

        He’s better than melky/gardner….and would come cheap.

        • This is the David

          Over the past three years Jim has added 31 win shares to the teams he has played on. And melky has added 30 win shares to his team

          Now considering that melky threw up 5 win shares last season

          And the fact that Jimmy was playing in the nl I would have to say I disagree… and thats not even getting into the gardner convo.

          • This is the David

            and there is no way he is cheaper than both those cats together…

      • Matt

        I wouldn’t mind this for the lineup/rotation: (this is the plan w/o the Big 3)

        1. Damon, LF
        2. Jeter, SS
        3. Tex, 1B
        4. Arod, 3B
        5. Nady, RF
        6. Jorge, C
        7. Edmonds, CF
        8. Matsui, DH
        9. Cano, 2B

        1. Wang
        2. Pettitte
        3. Joba
        4. Sheets/Ollie
        5. Aceves

        Let Kennedy/Hughes truly prove themselves in 3A for a while till they are recalled.

        • Jack

          Neither Kennedy nor Hughes have anything to prove in the minors.

  • This is the David

    Anyone think it might be a blessing in disguise?

    We keep mad draft picks

    Wang returns to form

    Joba Hughes Kennedy step up
    and
    Pettite gives us a serviceable lefty

    It forces our hand on tex

    And we get a stud first basemen for the next 6 or 7 years.

  • Infamous

    This is what, IMO, what the yankees should try and do.

    Rotation

    SP: CC
    SP: Wang
    SP: Pettitte
    SP: Joba
    SP: Hughes/Aceves/Let someone win it out in ST

    Bullpen: Leave it alone. Maybe Melancon makes in St.

    C: Posada
    1B: Swisher
    2B: Cano
    SS: Jeter
    3B: Arod
    LF: Damon
    CF: Dejesus
    DH:Dunn

    Dejesus, theoretically, traded for IPK and a releiver
    Matsui maybe given up for some small sort of prospect package

    I beleive this helps us in 2009 and beyond. It gives you alot of flexibility, something the yankees have been lacking. You can move Dejesus to either corner outfield when Ajax is ready. Dunn can also be moved to first if Swisher needs to take a vacant corner outfield spot. You get the idea.

    What do you guys think?

    • Infamous

      Ooops left our RF: Nady

    • Jake K.

      I think I will be disappointed if Swish is our 1B. The outfield? Fine. Super utility guy? Great. But not 1B over a true star like Tex.

      • This is the David

        Agreed…

        This infield has no defense….. we need tex

        we are playing mind games with boras.

        Who are you gonna sign to play first next year?

        No one is out there.. and we got no one in the system

  • Thomas

    I understand Rogers point, but missing out on the all 3 free agents is like plan G with
    Plan A CC/Burnett
    Plan B CC/Lowe
    Plan C CC
    Plan D Burnett/Lowe
    Plan E Burnett
    Plan F Lowe

    You can realistically only have so many plans. Plus, you also have to include the fact the Yankees may/would want Pettitte and/or Sheets with or without the others.

  • bill

    As I stated before with Hal in charge I do not think they are going to spend alot of money I think the free agent offer to CC the 140 Million Dollars they knew that CC was not going to take that offer but to the Yankee fans it looks like they are willing to spend that money.

    In regards to Hank as always he states that in the free agent market the Yankees
    are going to be big spenders that was before free agency period starts. Know that the free agent time is here they are already have an excuse in regarding AJ Burnett (they knew before hand that it would take five years to get him sign) know they might not make an offer because they dont want to go five years.

    In regarding Lowe they will put the spin on it his heart was always with the Red Sox so that is why they did not bid to hard on him.

    Now in regarding Tex they will wait to long to make an offer and there excuse is going to be they were going after pitching first.

    In regarding Manny they will try to state that he is to old and does not fit in there plans to get younger.

    I think that when the free agent periods end the Yankee payroll will be about 60 Millions dollars less than last year and the Mets and Red Sox payroll will be higher than there’s.

    I hope that I am wrong but the way it looks to me I might be right dont forget with the new Yankee Stadium opening the next year or two the games will be sold out so why should they spend the money when the Yankee fans will come out to see the new Staduim,

    • Steve

      “I think that when the free agent periods end the Yankee payroll will be about 60 Millions dollars less than last year and the Mets and Red Sox payroll will be higher than there’s.”

      Whatever it is that you’re smoking, I want some.

  • Steve

    I’m a bit excited by the idea that the Yanks would miss out on Burnett and Lowe. They would make the right choice despite their best efforts.

    -I think Lowe will pitch poorly in the AL East, as he did the last 2 season he was here.
    -Burnett has the same injury questions as Sheets, and Sheets is a better pitcher

    It would force them to go after Peavy and Sheets (I prefer both over Burnett and Lowe) and in either case I think they would feel it necessary to go after Tex as well. If you sign Sheets, you might want to upgrade your run scoring fearing his injury history. If you land Peavy, I can see a 3 way scenario where Swisher gets traded to ATL.

    If the Yankee off season is CC, Sheets/Peavy and Tex then its exactly what I hoped for.

    • Conan the Barack O’Brian

      I still will be uber-surprised if we got CC and Tex both. That just doesn’t happen. I’d obligingly wet myself, but I don’t plan to.

      • Steve

        Why? Right now, were down 88 mil off the 208 mil we spent last year.

        Sign CC-25 mil/6-7 years
        Sign Tex-21 mil/7-8 years

        Bring back Pettitte 10 mil/1 year

        Swisher-6 mil for 2009

        Total payroll-182 mil

        Why is this not doable?

        • Larry

          Agreed.

          I am troubled by this pattern….
          Can’t pull the trigger on Santana
          CC doesn’t want to pitch here
          Peavy doesn’t want to pitch here.

          What happened to Aura and Mystique?

          If no CC, sign Tex, consider Manny (Matsui out in ’10), and then Sheets. I’d like to know what Cash is thinking for Plan B.

        • Old Ranger

          You forgot the guys up for arbitration…they will command a raise, so it will be more like 195+ or more. 27/09.

          • Steve

            15 mil for Arby guys? Cano is signed. There’s Wang and . . . . Wang . . . ? Who else, Bruney?

        • Matt

          plus like 7 mill for the option of giambi/pavano

        • Conan the Barack O’Brian

          Not saying it’s not doable. Factor in the arb, etc., it’s still relatively doable. You may be mortgaging too much when future salaries for Joba/Wang/Jeter need to play, but f$@% it, right?

          Mainly what I’m saying is that to get CC and to get Tex is very difficult to do, due to the high nature of the bidding and oh, say, small matters like what team they want to play on.

          • Conan the Barack O’Brian

            Not to mention you brought in Sheets into the equation. Your suggestion is pretty costly, no?

  • nolan

    I think the yanks need to keep upping their offer to CC until he accepts. Forget Lowe and forget AJ Burnett. Both pitchers want too many years. Target Sheets for a 3 year deal. Trade Kennedy and Veras to the Royals for Dejesus. Then go sign Texiera.
    CC, Wang, Sheets, Pettitte, Joba
    Damon, Jeter, Texiera, Arod, Matsui, Posada, Dejesus, Swisher, Cano

    • Conan the Barack O’Brian

      good plan and all, but it’s easy to say when it costs nothing, right? ;)

    • Jake K.

      Wither Nady?

      • http://justinyates.wordpress.com justin

        So casually you say trade this guy and sign this guy. Its very amusing.

        • Conan the Barack O’Brian

          I don’t think he’s saying to sign Nady. He’s wondering where Nady is in Nolan’s plan.

          • Conan the Barack O’Brian

            unless you’re replying to nolan’s overall plan, which yes, I agree is amusing. again, wouldn’t it be great if the Yanks just played in a league by themselves and the eventual World Champion was one of our split squads?

  • Steve

    Lets say we only get CC and Tex, and bring back Pettitte.

    Our Rotation would be
    CC
    Wang
    Pettitte
    Joba
    Aceves/Hughes

    Our Lineup will be
    Damon-LF
    Jeter-SS
    Tex-1B
    A-Rod-3B
    Matsui-DH
    Nady-RF
    Cano-2B
    Posada-C
    Gardner-CF

    Looks pretty good to me. I don’t care about the 5th starter, though I will admit we are a bit light if we have an injury or two. Sheets will be out there for the taking at reasonable years/AAV to address that.

    • Old Ranger

      Lets say we only get CC and Tex, and bring back Pettitte.

      Our Rotation would be
      CC
      Wang
      Pettitte
      Joba
      Phil/Aceves

      Our Lineup will be
      Gardner-CF
      Jeter-SS
      Tex-1B
      A-Rod-3B
      Matsui-DH
      Posada-C
      Cano-2B
      Swish-LF
      Nady-RF
      Or there about! But again, let me reiterate…we (as fans) have no idea what Cash has in mind. I have a feeling (instinct) that Cash is going to come up with something…we will not agree with at first. 27/09.

      • Steve

        What happened to Damon in your scenario?

        • Old Ranger

          Traded! 27/09.

    • Kyle

      Steve, I think this is my favorite scenario except for one minor thing….I think we need to leave the 5th spot in the rotation open for Joba if only for the innings limit, that scares me near the end of the season. I know its not the best option, but I think this means you have to bring in Sheets only because I don’t like Burnett and/or Lowe as options. Ideally, though Aceves wins a job out of ST because of how well he pitches and he can eat some innings hopefully.

  • kenthadley

    Christ almighty, Ben K……two threads ago you crapped all over anyone who suggested that CC might not come here…..now you start a thread on the possibility……..you are either a true media mogul, or a politician in the making……nice work…..

  • Dillon

    With Posada and matsui back our offense will be fine. With Melancon, Sanchez, and other youngsters coming up our pen will be great. It’s all about starting pitching. The order should be CC, Sheets,

    Plan A should be: CC, Sheets(1-2 year deal with incentives), Pettitte, Tex, and exploring a trade for Dejesus, but only if we don’t give up a prospect higher than kennedy.

    Plan B: Assuming no CC or sheets, sign Burnett, Pettitte, Tex.

    Plan C: pettitte, trade for Peavy and try to hold the farm. No more than Hughes and Jackson, and filler.

    Plan D: pettitte and don’t do a thing. Rather than sign average players to 4 year deals let the kids play. Aceves, Hughes, Coke, Kennedy can all battle for starting spots. Yankee fans forget that we are DEEP in the minors. There’s a possibility someone from the group of McAllister, Garcia, Betances, Brackman,
    Dunn, Kontos could make a quick rise through the system and help out as a starter when one of the others goes down or pitches poorly. In this case we still wouldn’t only be filling in the 4th and 5th slots. Not the end of the world and with our youngsters now they’re actually ready to handle that for once. We won’t make playoffs, but it’ll pay off the next year.

    • Dillon

      i meant to say:

      CC, Sheets, Burnett, Peavy is the order. Must sign Pettitte.

      and if none of this hapened we still “would” have to only fill our #4,#5 with the youngsters, and we have plenty.

  • http://justinyates.wordpress.com justin

    The fun thing about the Hot Stove is that no one, neither Cashman nor the media nor any of us has any idea what could happen. For example, that Swisher trade happened rather randomly in the blink of an eye. The only forcasting I saw was the fine writers of this blog saying that it might make sense to do. The fact is, no one knows what C.C. actually wants or who will be willing to pay what for who. C.C. and his agents have done a very good job not tipping their hands to anyone. Any rumor about the west coast or being in the N.L. is coming from heresay and statements in passing. Well let’s see here, C.C. is from California and everyone likes a shorter commute to work, therefore, he would prefer to pitch in California! Hooray, logic! Hitting is fun, and he seems to be good at it, therefore, he wants to play in the N.L. Hooray! Observation! Personally, I expect him to go where the money is, and I think the money will be in N.Y. I have a 2009 fantasy lineup in MLB 2k8 right now that looks like this.

    Rotation:
    1) CC
    2) Wang
    3) Burnett
    4) Pettitte
    5) Chamberlain

    Lineup:
    1) Damon
    2) Jeter
    3) Tex
    4) Arod
    5) Matsui
    6) Posada
    7) Cano
    8) Nady
    9) Swisher

    That seems like a really good team to me. Solid depth in the rotation, with opportunities for the youngins to come up and perform should anyone in the rotation not be able to make every start this season. I’d rather see Hughes be given another shot and I think Aceves could pitch capably over the course of the year but no one can argue that the Yankees would be a stronger team with backup starters of their ilk. Will it happen? Who knows? Maybe they sign Sheets instead of Burnett (really, when you get down to it what’s the difference?). Maybe they sign Lowe. Maybe they don’t sign Pettitte (I would be shocked). There are a lot of maybes. I think the Yankees should exhaust themselves to sign Sabathia and Texeira if they can. I don’t think they need two or three expensive vets and I think in a year or two when more homegrown pitchers are ready for the call they will need them even less. But I think they should do whatever it takes to get those two specifically, I think there are many who agree with me. Tex gives the Yankees All-Star caliber offense and defense at first, the ability to move Swisher to a corner outfield spot where I think an outfield of RF Swisher, LF Nady and CF Gardener would be a lot better than some others seem to. As for plan B, I would be really happy to see this rotation succeed: CC, Wang, Pettitte, Chamberlain, Hughes/Aceves. It gives IPK the chance to be a long reliever if he can hack it, to teach him how to pitch in the Majors. I think this should be plan B. I don’t think it would be as bad as people think, and I’d rather watch the kids try and figure it out than watch another group of overblown free-agents eat space in the payroll and the roster. Bottom line, fight really, really hard to sign C.C. and Tex and let the rest of the pieces fall where they may. Either way it should be a fun Hot Stove to watch.

    • http://justinyates.wordpress.com justin

      someone should stop the type engine from turning an eight and a parenthesis into a smiley face with sunglasses…that’s uncalled for and really uncool despite what the face seems to indicate haha.

    • Dillon

      I totally agree. I gave my other fallbacks, but really it’s all about CC and Tex.

    • kenthadley

      Justin….you are right about the winter hot stove, but IMO there is no way we get CC, AJ and Tex……maybe one of them…..and again, IMO, CC is begging LA or SF to come up to 120….he will be just fine struggling along on 20 mil per year on the San Andreas Fault……our best shot is Tex, then maybe Sheets/ Perez…..but that’s what these blogs are all about…..opinions….

      • http://justinyates.wordpress.com justin

        I believe I’ve had nightmares that consisted of watching Oliver Perez pitch in a Yankees uniform…not really, but…scary thought.

  • Brian

    Does anyone think that Andy Pettitte slowed down in the 2nd half last year because he wasn’t able to prepare properly for the season? He didn’t announce that he was coming back until later in the winter and then had to deal with all of his legal problems. If he has an entire off season to prepare for the year, he might be prepared for an entire season. No?

  • Dillon

    no. he slowed cause he was hurt and pitching thru it.

  • http://justinyates.wordpress.com justin

    also check this out for projections on free agents…thank you, replacement level yankees blog
    http://www.replacementlevel.com/index.php/RLYW/comments/free_agents_ranked_by_cairo_wins_above_replacement

  • http://justinyates.wordpress.com justin

    Pettitte should be fine health-wise this year…I think he’s still got plenty of juice left in him

    • Matt

      No no, he has cut all ties with Roger Clemens…

      • http://justinyates.wordpress.com justin

        HAHAHAHAHA…good one!

    • Steve

      Hey!

      He’s off the juice now!

  • J-Gao

    How about Erik Bedard? The Mariners SHOULD be looking to sell, and restart, and Bedard’s got one year left. Given his troubles last year, higher price, injury concerns, and less time with team, he shouldn’t be as expensive as before.

    Would a deal centered around Kennedy (our best prospect that Cash is willing to trade) and Matsui (Japan connection with Mariners owners?) plus some other mid-level prospects be enough?

    Then, we’d have a spot to sign Manny as DH!

    Also, if all that works out, and we get CC and Tex:

    1. Damon LF
    2. Jeter
    3-4-5. A-Rod, Manny DH, Teixeira 1B (I have no idea what order)
    6. Nady RF
    7. Cano 2B
    8. Posada C
    9. CF (I’m hoping we get a decent Offense/Defense veteran)

    1. CC
    2. CMW
    3. Bedard
    4. Pettitte
    5. Joba

    • Reggie C.

      It could be that the Mariners are going to shop Bedard once names like CC, AJ, and Peavy sign/get moved. The thinking could be to shop Bedard to the losers.

      The M’s are going to want a better arm than IPK. The package they gave up to acquire Bedard in the first place has turned out shockingly bad. They are likely to demand Hughes in return.

      I think they’re rebuilding so the Ms might take a developing, high-ceiling arm like Delin Betances. As for Matsui … i’d rather just keep him b/c he’s not a bad hitter out of the DH spot and he’s an expiring contract.

    • Steve

      Bedard just had surgery on his left shoulder.

      http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/news?playerId=5099

      Thaaaaats a “No”.

      • Chris

        I think it all depends on the package you’d have to give up for him. Even with the surgery, this would clearly be a ‘buy low’ situation on Bedard. He’s still in arbitration years, so it’s not a huge risk to take.

        Obviously, you wouldn’t give up anything near what Seattle gave up to get him…

  • wiljaq

    Yanks should try to trade for a top-notch SS and open the new stadium with Jeter in CF (his range is shot).

    Trying to sign CC is plan A (of course), but this looks less to hapeen with each passing day.

    Plan B should be Jake Peavy.

    Plan C Ben Sheets

    Whatever the Plans shake out Teixeira’s bat & glove work sholld be the no. 1 goal for the lineup.

    • Matt

      Yeah, the day the new stadium opens with anyone but Derek Jeter is the day I root for the Sawk…

    • Manimal

      His range in Center will be better?

      • Chris

        It could be. They’re very different skills. SS is all about the first step, and CF is more about speed.

    • Steve

      Yeah, and while we at moving Jeter why don’t we have Mo pitch some middle relief. He’s getting old, the less pressure he has the better. Poor bastard is losing his hair. Plus, we’ve all heard that theory that says you use your best pitcher in the most highly leveraged situations. He’s wasted in the 9th.

      Then we could put Posada back on 2B, since he played there when he was 19 and we could make Andy Pettitte our lefty specialist. You should see his splits against lefties last year.

      THAT WILL SOLVE EVERYTHING!!@!!!!!!

  • wiljaq

    Hey, I didn’t say “no Derek Jeter”, I love Jeter.

    I just think that at his age Jeet should be moved to the outfield.

    And I think Derek Jeter would be a GREAT centerfielder!

  • RustyJohn

    Plan B-

    Since the Yankees dynasty ended in 2001, according to Buster Olney, the Yankees should recreate the 2001 Diamondbacks pitching staff-

    Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Russ Springer and Byung-Hyun Kim are free agents. I’m sure Brian Anderson could be found in the Mexican League or selling used cars somewhere. Miguel Batista could be obtained for Joba straight up.

    We could bring back El Duque as a fifth starter.

    • Steve

      Now we just need a time machine.

  • nick blasioli

    if they cant sign cc or aj,,,then its pettite,wang,joba,hughes and aceves…ugh..then they go hard after tex and manny…..

    • Steve

      Then you sign Sheets and go after Tex.

      Then its Sheets, Pettite, Wang, Joba and Hughes/Aceves.

      Not bad, but not great either. Also, a little too thin. You’re going to be watching Z-Mac’s and Betances’ box scores every day with that rotation.

  • Manimal

    -Sign CC sabathia
    -If he does not sign, Go for Lowe and Texiera.
    -If lowe doesn’t sign, go for Burnett
    -If Burnett doesnt sign, trade for Peavy
    -If Texiera doesn’t sign, Go for manny.

    You could switch Lowe and Burnett depending on your standpoint on that issue but that looks like what it comes down too. Its hard to see the yankees not signing atleast 1 pitcher(preferably 2) and some power in the line up. As you can see in the Organization depth chart, things don’t look to pretty.

    • Conan the Barack O’Brian

      I don’t know if I prefer Lowe to Burnett, but I otherwise agree with you. Getting Lowe and Tex would mean two Boras negotiations. Dunno how I feel about that.

  • Matt C

    Lets start off by saying Lowe and Burnett are junk. Lets look at Burnett first. 32 year old injury plagued pitcher who had great stuff against the YANKS. Every other team he had an era over 5. Then he wants 5 years on top of that. Leave Burnett alone. With Lowe you get good stuff but he is a sinker baller and with the defense we have, I dont think we can afford to have two sinker ball pitchers. Plus he will be 36 years old by opening day and again he wants a 4-5 year deal. We need to get CC and thats obvious. We do not have a legitimate #1 pitcher. Wang is a great 2 guy but a #1 pitcher is a guy who can blow the ball by you and pitch for 8 innings. We can sign Ben Sheets to a 2 year deal and let the other pitchers develop(Hughes, Aceves and the rest of them) whether it be in the minors or in long relief. Heres my projection of pitching come spring trainin.
    1)Sabathia
    2)Wang
    3)Pettitte
    4)Sheets
    5)Joba

    In the line-up and on the field you can make a few changes. Trade Kennedy and another minor leauge prospect for David Dejesus. Dejesus is a new yorker, young, athletic and can play the outfield with great speed. Allow Gardner to come into his own with the bat but keep him in majors for speed on the basepaths. Sign Tex. Projected Line-up and positions come spring training.
    1)Damon-Left Field
    2)Jeter-Short Stop
    3)Texiera-First Base
    4)A-Rod-Third Base
    5)Matsui-DH
    6)Nady-Right Field
    7)Posada-Catcher
    8)Cano-Second Base
    9)Dejesus-Center Field

    • Steve H

      Dejesus, great speed? Please explain. He’s an average fielder and steals no bases, he only gets caught.

      • steve

        upgade over Damon in the field though

        • Steve H

          But at what cost? Both Gardner and Melky are also upgrades over Damon in the field. So is Swish. Dejesus has no 1 skill that separates him from anyone. He’s either average, slightly above or below average in everything he does. Not one skill sticks out. Would I take him on my team, sure. Would I give up much for him, no I wouldn’t.

        • Matt C

          Swisher is a utility tool in case anyone gets hurt. I dont beleive for a sec there not going after tex. I think there waiting to see how much they need to spend on cc and then go get tex. Cashman has said it all along that he wants a first baseman to play first base, not a utility guy. Otherwise they could have kept Betemit at first. There going after Tex.

  • Brian

    “Had they scored a few more runs last year, they would have made the playoffs without top pitching. It’s not a recipe for post-season success, but at least, they’d get there.”

    It’s not? Have you noticed the Phillies’ rotation? Hamels is the only real stud pitcher they have. Moyer is an old smoke-and-mirrors guy. Myers is inconsistent. etc.

    • Conan the Barack O’Brian

      What you’re saying is true but hardly a recipe for postseason success. The Phillies had pretty good balance all-around. But in the postseason, pitching gets it done, and Moyer/Myers/Blanton did pitch really well. Can you win the Series with a halfway-good rotation? Sure. But they have to pitch really well.

      The Rays had a better staff, but they didn’t perform. You can say that the Phil’s bats performed and the Rays’ bats didn’t, but when NL meets AL, edge goes to the pitchers. So I’ll always take my chances on the better staff.

      and by the way….that’s my handle, dude! You can’t just go by Brian. Someone’ll steal it, spout off some ridiculous shite, and make you look real-bad. I have learned. I am now the fusion of Arnold, the president-elect, and towering late night genius. It’s liberating, Brian. If that’s your real name….

    • AndrewYF

      All you need is one great pitcher who pitches great in the postseason. Hamels in 2008, Beckett in 2007, (*grumble grumble 2006*), Schilling in 2004, Beckett in 2003…

      Of course the late-90s Yankees didn’t fit this mold…they had very good pitchers who all pitched fairly well in the postseason from time to time.

  • http://jobatheheat Derek

    The best coment i have read is trade for Dejsus from royals. Every one needs to remember CMW is an ace starter. Luckily in a off season where we need 1-2 starting pitchers this years free agents are stacked cc,burnett,lowe,sheets,perez,garland etc. We also need a bat To boost our offense Tex, dunn,edmunds,thomas,ramirez,anderson etc. Even if we dont get the top two cc and tex. there is still plenty options available to help field a contending team. Not to mention a healthy matsui just dhing. A healthy Posada. Then you have hughes who will be a great #4-5 Starter this year instead of having to be a savior. Moose thx for everything . Way to go out on top. And if cc actualy takes less money to play where he can hit or where he actualy prefers to play then he would be the only person i have listed who i would put in the same category as Moose.

    • Matt C

      Wang is not an ace. He is a great number 2 guy. Just because you win back to back 19 games doesnt classify you as an ace. An ace is someone who can get strikeouts and go 7-8 innings on any given night. Wang has to many balls that make contact and while its great that the balls that are hit are on the ground, we need to have a defense that can get thos balls to be outs. Thats why I think Lowe would be a poor choice. As for the bats you mentioned Tex is the only legitimate hitter in that group. Dunn strikes out to much, edmunds is to old, same with thomas. Manny is a great hitter and clutch hitter but he is just a piece of trash with a bad attitude. Forget about perez and garland, I would rather put 2 minor leagers in there spot.
      With Tex you have that hitter that gives you so many things you need.
      1)Great defensive firstbaseman
      2)Power hitting Lefty for the short porch in right field.
      3)A great #3 hitter to hit in front of A-rod.
      He pretty much takes Abreus spot and gives you a better bat and an upgrade at 1st

    • Steve H

      Dejesus is an average player. Doesn’t do anything special. Maybe it’s because I’m not from New York, and don’t have a special place in my heart for him, but I just don’t get it with Dejesus. It’s just like people in Boston and Delcarmen, he’s local, so they overrate him. If we can get Dejesus cheap, sure I’ll take him, but we can’t. He does nothing, not one thing that is above average.

      • Matt C

        Kennedy is cheap enough. We ad depth in the field with someone who can hit. He hit .307 last year in a lineup in KC. I beleive he will be bettr knowing he’s not the main guy.

        • Steve H

          He hit .260 the year before, with an 89 ops+. No power or speed. Awful in 2007.

          • B.George

            Hes a much better player then Gardner and Melky will ever be….he is a patient hitter and people improve after they come in the league…he fits good in our lineup and we do not have to get people who hit 40 homers dare I say.

  • tony guns

    the yankees biggest problem last year was hitting with runnners in scoring postition. That being said why not dump matsui for some B level prospects and open the DH spot for Manny Ramirez, since he is arguably the best clutch hitter in the majors.

    • Steve H

      I’ll take C level prospects. If we can find a spot for Manny to be our DH, I’m all for it.

  • http://jobatheheat Derek

    matsui is freed up money after one year then we get holliday

    • tony guns

      I already know what Manny can do in the AL east. I wnat to see how Holliday does with the A’s before commiting to him.

  • buddy the elf

    One question:

    Can Milton Bradley play 1B?

    • C.Panella

      Joke right your not seriously debating weather the yankees should sign him to play 1b?

      • buddy the elf

        Im serious…He’s a great OBP guy and is cheaper and less of a commitment than Teixera. I know he gets injured, but its not like 1st base is the most strenuous position.

        • Steve H

          Mike Piazza’s first base career says hello.

          Oh yeah, and milton bradley in NY is the worst idea ever.

          • B.George

            Milton Bradley will be in jail by the end of April if he plays in New York

  • buddy the elf

    If we’re willing to sign AJ Burnett why not Bradley?

    • B.George

      1) Burnett is a pitcher
      2) Burnett doesnt beat the shit out of fans in the stands
      3) Bradley is the future OJ Simpson

      • Steve

        I hear Osama Bin Laden has a nasty spike curveball.

        Why don’t we sign him?

      • Mike Pop

        Ya well he was provoked.. If a guy throws a bottle of beer at you its just inexcusable..

  • cozimoto

    I wonder what it would take for the yanks to land Ichiro?

    • B.George

      It will take everyone of our prospects……whats with all you guys and wanting to get every single all star out there?????

  • cozimoto

    If at all that were even possible.

  • Brandon

    CC is in Cleveland right now.

    CC at Cavs game

  • Hitman

    The yankees shouldn’t pursue Lowe, Burnett, CC anyway. I’d rather they go after one of the two of the japanese free agents coming the majors. Neither is particularly young but they would make good stop gaps for 2 or perhaps 3 years. Perhaps one or both could become the next Kuroda. The FO should also consider offering a small contract to Bartolo Colon. He’s probably good for 15-20 starts.

    • Mike Pop

      Ya not getting any of the top pitchers available when we have 2 or 3 spots to fill in the rotation is probably a real good idea..

  • ortforshort

    I see a comment above about Wang is not an ace. The guy is 54-20 lifetime. That’s an ace. He doesn’t have classic ace stuff because he doesn’t have a stikeout pitch, but the results speak for themselves. He does throw mid nineties consistently and effortlessly and when his sinker is working, which it usually is, he throws one ground ball after another. The Yankees have an excellent infield defense at second, short and third so the ground balls are not a problem. Interestingly, when you watch AJ Burnett pitch, he has ace stuff. He can blow people away. He looks much more impressive than Wang. However, his results so far speak for themselves as well. He’s been far from an ace.

  • Larry

    There is your regular season ace and your post season ace. CMW has not yet earned that title for the latter.