With free agents looming, Swisher just the beginning

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Over the next few days and weeks, we’ll burn a lot of pixels talking about CC Sabathia, but that’s one free agent signing that will wrap itself up quickly. In reality, it boils down to Sabathia. Either he will play for the Yankees because they will out-bid everyone or he doesn’t want to play in New York. It’s that simple.

There’s another free agent — number one on Keith Law’s list — who probably won’t sign until the end of December. For a while, this player seemed destined to the Yankees, but with the acquisition today of Nick Swisher, many are assuming that the Yanks won’t be that interested in Mark Teixeira. In my opinion, that is simply not the case.

Swisher was the first salvo the Yanks fired off in the Hot Stove League, but he will be just the first piece in an off-season of moves. Now, there is no doubt that Nick Swisher fills a Yankee need. A one-time first-round draft pick, Swisher will be 28 come opening day, and while his numbers seemed down last year, he has the ability to hit 20-30 home runs a season. He’s also a master at getting on base.

Beyond that, Swisher is both an outfielder and a first baseman. The Yanks, looking to get younger and more athletic, could use Swisher at first and eschew signing Mark Teixeira or Adam Dunn. But perhaps, they’ll opt to use Swisher in the outfield, replacing the 35-year-old Bobby Abreu with Swisher.

In that regard, Mark Teixeira makes total sense, and a team in a position the Yanks are in would have a tough time turning down a player of Teixeira’s caliber. The switch-hitting first baseman will be 29 on Opening Day, making him two baseball seasons younger than Jason Giambi was when he signed with the Yanks in 2001. Meanwhile, Teixeira has a career line of .290/.378/.541, and he’s shown he can hit outside of Texas.

With his Gold Glove-caliber defense, Teixeira is, to borrow a phrase from Buster Olney, the perfect fit for a Yankee team looking to get younger and more athletic while keeping up a relentless pace of high-OBP players. A heart of the order with Teixiera, A-Rod, Posada and Swisher would be potent indeed.

Meanwhile, Keith Law brings up an interesting point in his ESPN free agent run down. Since Teixeira is so young, if he were to sign a six-year deal, when he next becomes a free agent after his age 34 season, he could then sign another substantial contract. It would be more beneficial for Scott Boras and Teixeira to take a six-year deal than it would be for them to push for an eight- or ten-year contract.

Even if the Yanks opt to let Teixeira go, they have another 1B/OF option to pursue as well. Adam Dunn, despite the deceptively low batting average, would fit right in as well. He’s not the defender Teixeira is, and he’s not quite as athletic as Swisher. But he is, however, a beast at the plate. His career OPS+ of 130 is just slightly lower than Teixeira’s 134 mark. He hasn’t hit fewer than 40 home runs since his injury-shortened 2003 campaign, and despite the low batting average and high strike-out numbers, he gets on base a whopping 38.1 percent of the time. For those keeping score at home, that’s actually slightly higher than Teixeira’s career OBP.

Clearly, the Yankees have options. At a time when the team has more holes to fill than they’ve had in recent years, the free agent crop is particularly lush this year. While Nick Swisher is a great start, he’s far from the final answer. While the Yanks may not seem like they need Mark Teixeira or even Adam Dunn now, we’ll see what happens when the dust settles. Meanwhile, forty-five minutes ago, as of this writing, the free agent gates were unleashed. The fun is just beginning.

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  • Jack

    Cubs say they don’t want Wood anymore.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....id=3700730

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Objectively, it’s impossible to write about Kerry Wood without it sounding semi-dirty or like some bad euphemism.

    • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

      Cubs say they don’t want Wood anymore.

      I wouldn’t either if I was married to this chic: http://tinyurl.com/6lnxkd

      • Bruno

        WOW

      • radnom

        I orgasmed just from reading that

    • Bruno

      That move(s) by the Cubs just boggles my mind!?! Trade Ceda for Gregg instead of keeping Wood AND Ceda? Something must be wrong with Wood’s arm/shoulder.

  • doty

    i can see the mets going after wood, not as a closer but 8th inning guy

  • doty

    the yankees need to get younger and much more versatile. that said, Adam Dunn is definitely not the answer for this team. We do not need hitter with low batting average, high strike out. We need good solid all around hitters, whom no how to put the ball in play.. Its called A B C baseball. Enough with the Dunns, Giambi’s,. get younger, quicker and all around better

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      You’re completely missing the point with Dunn. Who cares if he has a low batting average? Batting average is a useless analytical stat. He scores a lot of runs; he gets on base 38.1 percent of the time; and he hits for power. Any team can use that combination. What do the strike outs have to do with it anyway?

      • Spaceman.Spiff

        Batting average isn’t completely useless. A hit will score a runner on second whereas a walk or a strikeout (two of the three possible outcomes from Dunn seemingly) will not. We shouldn’t judge Dunn just by his batting average but a hit is more valuable than a walk in most cases. Obviously Dunn is not the worst option we could put out there but I’d have to say that Tex and Manny should be our primary targets and Dunn should be a backup plan for if those two options don’t work out.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          Oh, agreed. I’d rather see Tex and Manny, but Dunn is a perfectly viable backup plan.

        • whozat

          “We shouldn’t judge Dunn just by his batting average but a hit is more valuable than a walk in most cases.”

          Except when there’s no one on base, which is the majority of the time.

          And, even when there’s a guy on first, a walk is almost as good as a hit. There’s not THAT much first-to-third.

          So…Dunn seems like he does a good job at the “get ‘em on, get ‘em over” part of things, and his 40HR and many RBIs each year imply that he’s pretty good at getting them in too.

          Matsui, Damon…these guys will be gone in a year. If they don’t get Tex, I’d rather sign Dunn for 4/60 than Manny for 4/100.

          • Steve

            There’s something else not to like about the Dunn/Cust/Swisher type players. Since they strike out a lot, they tend to be the types of hitters who feast on weak pitching and do nothing against the better pitchers, which is what you see the most of in the playoffs. If your building a playoff team, you’re acquiring an automatic out who due to his overall production will probably be batting in the middle of the lineup.

            • RollingWave

              i’m not sure if stats back up your statement there.

              a quick look .. let’s use the power pitcher / finess pitcher split and leverage splits

              Swisher:
              high leverage : 827 ops
              med leverage: .810 ops
              low leverage : .791 ops

              doesn’t seem to effect him. if the opposite isn’t true

              power pitcher: .761
              average : .825
              finess : .808

              doesn’t really seem to die when he faces power pitcher either. at least not by much

              Dunn
              high leverage : 916 ops
              med leverage: .881 ops
              low leverage : .908 ops

              doesn’t seem to effect him either, seems fairly close in all situation.

              power pitcher: .856
              average : .880
              finess : .988

              ok, Adam Dunn does get into more trouble against power pitcher and feast on finess guys, but interestingly his OBP is almost the same, surpisingly it’s the power that takes more of a hit. (and average)

              I think we must think of lineup construction as whole though, IF everyone 1-9 is good, then a guy walking instead of getting a hit in clutch situation isn’t really a issue at all, it’s much more of a issue when you have black holes in your lineup.

  • doty

    how many times have we seen the yankees fail to move a runner over or bring him in on a out… Its not all about hitting homeruns…

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      That doesn’t outweight the fact that Dunn is the third-best offensive player out there right now and an offensive force.

      And, again, if you’re replying to our comments, just the “Reply to this comment” function. It keeps the threads cleane.

  • yankeefan91 (sign c.c asap)

    ben can u put this pik up this is hot its cc rocking a yankee fitted

    http://img524.imageshack.us/im.....hiaiz9.jpg

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I don’t know if I want to tempt the Baseball Gods with that one quite yet…

    • ODannyBoy16

      That pic is INSANE. Poor Cleveland.

  • doty

    bringing dunn is like adding another dh to this lineup… I think we have enough already with Posada, Matsui, Damon.. Love to have nick Johnson, if he can ever stay healthy. Also if you are going based on on base then resigh abreu rather have him over dunn, better overall player can somewhat play the outfield, with a very solid arm, hits for much higher average and can run a bit

  • Bruno

    _____________________________ has CC signed yet?!?

  • ODannyBoy16

    I am a big fan of continuing to pursue Teixeira; I think his value will hold up incredibly well over the life of his contract.

    I am NOT a fan of handing over 6/150 to Sabathia. I want to be on record opposing megadeals for any pitcher you didn’t grow yourself, any pitcher whose workload you couldn’t control, whose body and makeup you know inside and out. I am ESPECIALLY against adding a 290 lb. power pitcher with 460 innings on his arm over the past two years.

    The reason I bring this up is because I believe we will not get both players. We’re expected to make a (foolishly) large bid for CC tomorrow, if we haven’t already. I honestly feel that if that happens, the Angels are not likely to let Teixeira up and leave – especially after what they paid for him in July. If the very unlikely happens and Teixeira were to sign with us very quickly, I tend to believe LA would concentrate on CC. I don’t think Arte leaves this offseason without one of the big three prizes, and LA has enough peripheral benefits to outweigh the difference in money offered.

    • Steve

      “I am a big fan of continuing to pursue Teixeira; I think his value will hold up incredibly well over the life of his contract.”

      Bingo. Its one thing to hand out a long term deal to Giambi, who’s steroid use was long rumored before the Yanks signed him and didn’t figure to age well. But Tex is the type of player who should age very well, you would feel comfortable signing him to anywhere between age 35-37.

      People talk about “maintaining flexibility” being important, but its not when you have someone like Tex. You want flexibility when you have someone like Giambi, or a 43 year old Randy Johnson or a washed up Kevin Brown in your rotation. You pine for flexibility when you have aging, overpriced players who no longer produce. You never hear the Yanks wanting to have flexibility at 3B, SS, C or closer. Why? Because they have great guys at each position who keep themselves in shape. Tex fits that profile.

  • Ricochet

    I have a hard time believing that Swisher would be there answer at 1st base, there is no doubt in my mind that Teixeira is the man they want at 1st base and that Swisher is more of bench player for the Yankees.

    I see Swisher as super-sub that will most likely platoon CF with Brett Gardner and get spot starts in LF, RF and at 1st base to keep everyone fresh and rested and that will give him plenty of AB more or less making him an everyday player.

    If I’m correct then I love this deal but if I’m wrong and Cashman thinks he found the answer to the starting 1st base job out of the bargain bin then it’s an awful, not so much the deal but the direction Cashman is taking the team.

    • RustyJohn

      A $5 million bench player? Next year a $6 3/4 million bench player? The year after that a $9 million bench player?

      Yes, it is awful in that he replaced Giambi with a younger version of Giambi (both their seasons at age 26 are eerily similar, save Giambi’s higher BA) that can 1) field, 2) play the outfield, 3) is nearly 10 years younger and 4) costs $15 million a year less. How dare Cashman have the audacity to sign such a player.

      Nick Swisher should just take his 100 walks, 25-30 homers and 30 doubles and go home. Booooo, Cashman.

      • jsbrendog

        at this point, my post of the thread above. stay tuned folks, we’ll be right back

    • MasterShake

      Reading lohud it seems Cashman has made it as clear as possible without saying it outright that Swisher will be the starting 1B. Maybe its a leverage move for Texiera…but I don’t think so.

      Cash said, ‘“We acquired him for the purpose of plugging him into the lineup on an everyday basis.” And then went on to say that he would not be playing CF…only other place to put him in the everyday lineup is 1B.

      Swisher might not be the most offensively-productive 1B, but he’s be a huge upgrade defensively at 1B and will get on base quite often (more than Cano has for the past 4 years). Add the 30hr power potential and he’s a decent option for the next 3 years.

      As perfect as Teixeira would be for the Yanks, where exactly would Jeter play 3 years from now? Where would Posada play if he can’t throw for the remainder of his contract? This isn’t a typical Yankee move but they need the flexibility in the upcoming years.

      However, I would like this move a whole lot better if Cashman just said “we are not pursuing Tex” if they are indeed going to use Swisher at 1B…this would be a nice way to stick it to Boras.

      • RustyJohn

        Exactly- also, with Damon gone after 2009 and uncertainty in CF they have some pieces to move around in 2 years.

        Given what was given up, I don’t know how anyone can criticize this trade even with the down numbers last year for Swisher. Going to the ballpark to work for Ozzie Guillen everyday must feel like pouring pixie stick powder down your pee hole.

        • jsbrendog

          pixie stick powder down your peehole. you sir, are a poet. haha

      • DCR

        This is fine if you’re interested in not making the playoffs for the next year or so. After 2009, without Teixeira, the lineup reads:

        1B Swisher
        2B Cano
        SS Jeter
        3B Rodriguez
        C Posada
        LF ?
        CF ?
        RF ?
        DH ?

        I am pretty sure Nady is a free agent after 2009 as well. It sucks but I am pretty sure Jeter will play SS until he retires. He will not move and if he does it won’t be during this contract. Sorry if it seems like I am trying to be all doom and gloom in this post but the Yankee offense is in trouble if Teixeira isn’t signed. Posada has the potential to become a very expensive back up catcher, Jeter may already be in his decline, and A-Rod isn’t getting any younger. It is crucial that the Yankees bring in another offensive force. When you have that force available for only money then nothing should stop you from getting it.

        • MasterShake

          Your forgetting by not signing Tex the Yankees have essentially 160+ million to spend on other free agents. Possible OF free agents for 2010 (http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....ree-a.html) include Jason Bay(31yrs next year), Matt Holliday (29), Rick Ankiel(30), and Carl Crawford (28) if TB buys out his last year. All of these guys are right around Tex’s age and are all-star caliber (I wouldn’t put Ankiel in the same group as the rest of the guys but he certainly can be very good with more experience).

          We could try to sign two of those players and run out Gardner/Melky for another year, bring up Ajax, or complete a trade if need be. Dream scenario (this is getting way too ahead of ourselves but whatever):
          1B Swisher
          2B Cano
          SS Jeter
          3B Rodriguez
          C Posada
          LF Holliday/Crawford/Bay/Nady/Ankiel
          CF Ajax/Gardner/Melky
          RF Holliday/Crawford/Bay/Nady/Ankiel
          DH Free agent signing, trade, or cheap internal option for more flexibility

          Also keep in mind Yanks are not going to let Posada be a backup catcher…if he can’t throw hes going to be moved to first…which is exactly why Swishers flexibility is soo important. If in 2010 Posada can’t play catcher: move Posada to first…trade for catcher or use an internal option until montero/romine are ready…swisher to OF. So:
          1B Posada
          2B Cano
          SS Jeter
          3B Rodriguez
          C Molina/Trade/Internal
          LF Holliday/Crawford/Bay/Ankiel/Nady
          CF Ajax/Gardner/Melky
          RF Swisher
          DH Free agent signing, trade, or cheap internal option for more flexibility

          If Jeter can’t play SS:
          1B Jeter
          2B Cano
          SS Trade/Free agent
          3B Rodriguez
          C Posada
          LF Holliday/Crawford/Bay/Ankiel/Nady
          CF Ajax/Gardner/Melky…if gardner/melk don’t cut it and Ajax doesn’t pan out maybe just sign Crawford for CF
          RF Swisher
          DH Free agent signing, trade, or cheap internal option for more flexibility

          If Swisher turns out to be a .350+ OBP guy with 25+ homeruns thats a great option for 2 more years. If he’s still hitting .219 and has a .320 OBP then obviously other moves need to be made.

      • Bruno

        Jeter – LF
        Posada – DH

  • Batty

    I’m probably one of the only Yankee fans that dreads CC coming with a huge long term contract. He imploded twice in the postseason (I was at Fenway last year for that one, though this year he pitched an insane amount leading up to it so I can give him a pass) and I just feel like something will happen and we’ll be saddled with yet another huge contract.

    Can someone ease my worry here?

    • RustyJohn

      After last season, if we have the opportunity to watch Sabathia implode in the post-season in a Yankee uniform, it will be an improvement.

      Mind easer- he pitched just about the same number of innings last year as he did in 2007 (about 10 or 12 more, I believe) and five postseason games does not a career make.

      • Bruno

        The Yanks won’t abuse their “rental-pitcher” like the Brewers did.

  • DCR

    There is no doubt in my mind Cashman is serious about Swisher being the everyday first baseman. It would make too much sense for him to use an outfield of Damon, Swisher, Nady and then signing Tex to play first. Sadly it seems that Gardner is destined to patrol CF next season and the Yankees will have to look for someone at the deadline.

    • Bruno

      Didn’t he say he wanted a “real” 1B? I know Swish has played ALOT of 1B, but that seems like GM-talk for “WE WANT TEX” to me.

      • Steve

        I hope so. Swisher is an upgrade over Betemit, but he’s a step down from Giambi and a HUGE step down from Tex.

  • Steve S

    I have to say one thing. I think the Yankees will kick the tires on Tex but it does seem now that it makes sense to leave it alone unless Cash is able to move Nady or Damon and still be involved. And for those that say that Swisher cant be the Yankees everyday first baseman, stop you are being the classic spoiled Yankee fan. The guy had a down year last year but thats how you make trades. You evaluate the talent and determine if you are getting a bargain. Think of it like stocks. You dont profit by buying Google now, you profit by buying Google six years ago. You invest based on projections, yes there is a gamble but thats how good trades are made. If you try and trade for people who always have premium value then it makes it difficult to get the defining trades that everyone criticizes Cashman for never making.

    As for CC, can we stop with the playoffs. Its such a small sample size, its four starts and they all came off years where his team pushed him to the limit in the regular season. You would assume that the Yankees bullpen would shave off the necessity of him throwing 230 innings in the regular season. And that would allow him to be fresher come October.

  • nick blasioli

    the swisher trade makes me sick…i had my heart set on tex..we have to replace the power of giambi and abreu…what is all the hoopla about the yanks having so much money to spend on fa s and then do this….i just dont understand..it sure hit me hard….

    • Steve

      I cant see the Yanks . . THE YANKEES . . go into the season with a guy who put up a .750 OPS at a corner infield position next year.

      Swisher would be a super utility man, a big upgrade over Betemit.

      But as a starter replacing Giambi, then the team just got a little worse.

      • RollingWave

        the dude had two strait season of 120 OPS+ before last year in his mid 20s, he’s NOT a bench player unless the worest case situation happens, he is similar to Betemit in some sense, that they are both intriguging players when we got them, the probleem is that Betemit’s was a guy with interesting potential (power) but a serious weakness (can’t hit anything from the right side and strike out A LOT more than Swisher’s level .. espically a problem after he stopped walking after joining)

        Swisher has however, put up two strait all-star season after his first 3 pro season, that’s quiet a different case from betemit, who has never truely fufilled his potential in the bigs, Swisher has, and this year, by any logical statistcal analysis suggest that it was much more poor luck than actual loss of baseball skill that causehd his decline.

        so plz, stop, nick Swisher is the best OF on our team right now, ANYONE else should ride the bench before he does.

    • Steve S

      Because it doesnt preclude them from getting anybody but allows them to approach things in a reasonable way. Swisher is a great investment, they gave up nothing to get him and they bought low. The guy is entering into his prime and prior to last year, he demonstrated that he can be a very good offensive player, granted he isnt Tex but he is a very good offensive player. These are exactly th kind of trades they should be making. beyond next year they have literally no outfielders under contract aside from Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera. They cant go into every offseason expecting that there will be premium players (and I acknowledge Tex is a premium right now) available to fill a need. Otherwise they end up spending money out of necessity which often leads to bad investments.

      There is such a thing as a bad investment on a good player. Its not good when the Yankees enter into negotiations without any bargaining room. And when they make moves based on one year of necessity, it those situations that can create an albatross of a contract. And Im not arguing that the shouldnt sign TEx but Tex may represent the prototypical a bad investment for a good player. For example

      1. Jason Giambi: Giambi was a good player for the 6 years he was here and for the most part he did produce. But they made the move in 2002 because it became apparent that the offense was in a serious decline following the 2001 World Series. The problem with Giambi was he was a bad investment. He was a one dimensional player who got paid for being a premium player. They were also paying premium prices for a non-premium position. Now dont start with the TEx comparisons. I realize Tex is a better overall player. But it cant be argued that Giambi was the better offensive player (at the time) and the the team was arguably in more need of his bat in 2002 than it is now (there were no Arod’s on the team).

      2. Randy Johnson: we passed on Carlos Beltran because we thought we were one ace pitcher away from a championship. Plus we gave up Dioner. It was a decision based purely on necessity. And RJ while not great did manage to go 6-0 against the Red Sox in 2005 and he won 17 games in both years he was here. Bad investment.

      3. Johnny Damon: After passing on Beltran the following year it became apparent that we needed a CF. Cash did a good job with this contract (considering the circumstances and the alternative) but in the end it was bad investment. We got a good player but we paid for a guy who could play a premium position but in the end he couldn’t. You ended up with an aging LF who was a good offensive player. Thats a good player but a bad investment.

  • Dillon

    Talk of a Texiera deal is crazy, and won’t happen. We have three guys ready to play first over the next 7 years….Posada, Jeter, ARod. All will be sub-par at there positions by then and at least one will have to shift to first. Cash is right not signing Tex and going for a versitle guy for a few years.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      I will personally bet you $100 right now that, regardless of what happens with Mark Teixeira, neither Jeter nor ARod play more than 5 games at first base in the next 7 years.

  • Steve

    I think NoMass summed it up perfectly

    “There is, however, one caveat to all of this wonderment and excititude. Swisher does not solve the lineup problems by his little lonesome. If the Yankees continue to pursue superpimp Mark Teixeira, this could make for a very formidable offense next year. Given that Damon can play an adequate CF, and Swisher and Nady are both very good defensive corner outfielders, this would be the ideal situation. If the Yankees acquired a quality CFer like Mike Cameron, that would also make this an excellent move. If they end up trading Hideki Matsui and add two more players, even better. However, if the Yankees go into 2009 with Swisher at first base and a Melky/Gardner platoon in center field, I will be a grumpy cowboy.”

    http://www.nomaas.org/swish.html

    My feelings exactly. If Cashman is serious about Swisher starting at 1B then I don’t get this at all, but I think Cash is just playing possum in the Tex sweepstakes. If he was brought in for depth as a super utility man, then I love it. He’s an upgrade over Wilson Betemit, a step down from Giambi and a HUGE step down from Tex.

    • Reggie C.

      I think we have to really prepare ourselves for the likelihood that the LAA will retain Teixiera. Their selling point is that they’re alot better bet to win the division year in & year out, and therefore, better positioned to win it all. Oh yeah, Arte Moreno is going to break the 20M AAS to get it done.

      The Yanks can live with Swisher at 1B and as a lineup regular, but simply put: Swisher has got to rebound, Cano must rebound, and we need to add another elite bat someplace else. Maybe we go the Manny / Dunn route, but either way this deal isn’t be the end-move.

      • Reggie C.

        I’ll make this honest side prediction:

        Xavier Nady will not have a higher slugging percentage than Jorge Posada in 2009. I’m not convinced that Nady’s 2008 season wasn’t anything more than a spike year. Nady isn’t an impact bat in the AL. The need to add an all-star offensive bat is very real, but the Yanks can get creative here and opt to not dole out another 20M AAS contract.

        • RollingWave

          +1 on this thought, I can’t belive how anyone realistically think Swisher should ride bench instead of Nady.

  • Steve

    Here’s SR on the pitcher they acquired

    “Kanekoa Texeira, RHP
    It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes hidden gems can be found in a Draft. Texeira might be one of them.

    The native Hawaiian was at Saddleback Junior College in California, but he wasn’t pitching much. But then-White Sox scout Danny Ontiveros saw something in him and invited him to a workout at Santa Ana College. He opened up many eyes then, throwing 88-92 mph with some serious life. The White Sox took him the 22nd round, and he’s been moving up the ranks since.

    Using a three-quarter delivery, Texeira uses a fastball that explodes at the plate. Add that to a nasty slider, and it’s clear to see why he’s saved 37 games over his two full seasons of pro ball and has struck out more than a batter per inning in his career to go along with a 2.25 ERA. He’s allowed just 118 hits in 144 1/3 career innings, holding hitters to a .205 batting average combined in 2008, to go along with a 1.33 ERA. He had a 0.93 ERA in 36 outings with Winston-Salem in the Class A Advanced Carolina League before moving up to Double-A Birmingham and posting a 2.01 ERA in 15 games there.”

    Anytime we get a Hawaiian, I’m a happy guy.

    • A.D.

      Not bad… seems similar to Jhonny Nunez

  • waswhining

    Man these hot stove comments are nutz. I guess this is why we play the season.

    I, for one, am delighted Wilson Betemit is gone and will wait to see what happens next. This is all so unpredictable, gotta love it though. And I place my faith in Cash. For one more year.

  • A.D.

    I think the Yankees are still very much going after Tex, if they do sign him, and Matsui comes back as a healthy everyday player, then the Yankees can always make a move, Trading Swish, Matsui, or Nady in season to either pick up some unknown missing piece for a playoff run (veteran starting pitcher?), or to try and pick up prospect(s) for a team desperate for a bat down the stretch, either plan isn’t bad at all.

    Swisher likely doesn’t signal the end to anyting, but Swisher on the trade market is more valuable than Marquez + Betemit + Nunez on the open market.

    By getting Swish Cash just made sure that when the dust settles we don’t have Miranda & Malec as the only 1B in the org

    • Larry

      Just because Cash says they are only focusing on pitching, does that mean he really is? It doesn’t make sense to lay out all your plans in public. I think what is more telling is that Hal (this time and not Hank) says they will spend whatever is necessary to improve the team.

      • RollingWave

        Bubba Crosby was suppose to be our starting CF in 06, if everything Cash says in the off=season was to be believed.

  • dan

    Swisher will primarily play 1st. Nady plays right. Melky/Gardner in center, Damon’s in left (never center). Texiera won’t come here. Posada may not be able to handle the primary catching duties. He may not even be able to catch. Use your head. That fact plus A-Rod and Jeter not really projecting to play their positions much longer mean that 1B needs to be an available destination for players already under contract. It’s not the spot for a long term option like Texiera.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      At least 50% of this is wrong.

  • Z1m

    I like the flexibility this gives them not only for first but other positions. Thinking ahead I believe Victor Martinez is a free agent next year. This could be part of the mind set since they’re unsure about Jorge’s shoulder. With Matsui and Damon both gone I could def see the Yankees trying to get either Manny or Tex this year after they figure out the pitching. If not with all the free agent OF’s next year, stand pat with position players this year and take a look at all the free agents OFs. Posoda possibly playing first base Swisher could take a cornor OF spot and look to add Holiday/Crawford along with Martinez. There would be room for all 3 of them. I know I’m getting a head of my self but it’s worth thinking about. Personally I would not look at Tex. I would look to Manny for 3 years and Crawford and Martinez if they make it to Free Agency next year.

    Martinez C-1B-DH
    Swisher 1B-OF
    Jorge C-1B-DH

  • LeftyLarry

    This trade is indicative of Cashman’s lack of understanding.
    Just what we needed.Another player with some power, who will hit 3 run HR’s in the 11-2 games and strike out in the 2-1 games with 2 men on base.
    I’d much rather have gone with the Cuban defector if money was the issue and Texiera not in the cards.
    The good news is the throw in from Hawaii actually looks like a reasonable prospect.

    • steve (different one)

      I’d much rather have gone with the Cuban defector if money was the issue and Texiera not in the cards.

      give me a break.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      This trade is indicative of Cashman’s lack of understanding.

      Cue the CHT (Cashman Hate Template), v.1.0:

      “When Cashman had the chance to trade [insert inconsequential non-factor player here] to [insert NL West team here] he should have done so. He’s an idiot who clearly sucks at his job, he’s never made a good trade since [insert David Justice trade here] .

      I mean how do you give away [insert Mike Lowell and various other Yankee prospects here, hopefully mentioning Jake Westbrook just to make your logic more circular and less comprehensible] ?!?!?!?! For what, to lose in the playoffs again?!?!??!

      We always suck at the draft, look at [insert unheralded low round pick passed on by all 30 teams who eventually became a good player here] Why do you Cashman [insert lovers/apologists/trolls/cockmonkeys here] fail to see that? Cashman keeps [insert lengthy rant about signing overpriced free agents or trading for/resigning ARod here] and we keep falling further behind the [insert Sox/Rays/Jays/Angels/Mets/Billy Beans here] .

      What this team needs is [insert lengthy false, historically inaccurate platitudes about the 1996-2000 Yankees being scrappy, talentless underachieving team-firsters who were us-against-the-world underdogs here] . I can’t understand why you people tolerate us not having a championship strategy anymore. Cashman is clueless.

      Next, you’ll probably say we should bring in [insert various great player who would drastically improve our team but has somehow personally offended you here] . If that ever happened, I’d [insert petty, juvenile threat about you revoking your precious fanhood here] .

  • Pete Law

    Who bats third with Swisher as the everyday 1st baseman?

    Swish seems more like a #6-8 guy then a 3 or 5 bat.
    At this point I can only see them putting Robbie at 3, like they’ve been waiting to do, but will he be ready to hit there comign off a down year?

    I don’t see Tex, but now I can grudgingly picture a Matsui (to Seattle?) trade and signing Mannny to DH for 3 or 4.

    Then we’d have
    Damon Jeter ManRam A-Rod Posada Swisher Cano Nady Gardner
    instead of
    Damon Jeter Cano A-Rod Matsui Swisher Posada Nady Gardner

    Go get Tex or Manny or Dunn to protect A-Rod’s bat. We can’t just expect rebounds from Robbie, Jorge and Matsui and also fail to account for potential declines from Damon, Jeter and even A-Rod

    • Count Zero

      Not unless Cano can raise his OBP. You can’t have a guy with a career .335 OBP in the 3 slot — it defeats the purpose of a cleanup hitter.

  • Chip

    Wow you guys really take Cashman at his word don’t you? He’s saying all of this stuff about Tex to gain leverage in negotiations. Now if he signs Dunn, we really know we’re out of the Tex race.

    Also, don’t complain about needing to keep 1B open because Jeter or Posada or A-Rod has to move there. Jeter will be at SS until we have somebody internal to replace him with. Either that or he has to start playing HORRIBLE over there. Same deal with A-Rod who is already at third which he should be able to play for the rest of his career. Posada was signed as a catcher and loses most of his value if you have to move him off catcher. You don’t base who you sign right now on where you need to put your aging players in a few years.

    My prediction is that we sign Tex, CC, Pettite and Burnett

    C-Posada
    1B-Tex
    2B-Cano
    SS-Jeter
    3B-A-Rod
    LF-Nady
    CF-Damon
    RF-Swisher
    DH-Matsui

    Bench
    Gardner
    Ransom
    Molina
    Miranda

    CC-SP
    Burnett-SP
    Joba-SP
    Pettite-SP
    Wang-SP

    Bullpen
    Rivera-CP
    Marte-SU
    Veras-SU
    Ramirez-RP
    Melancon-RP
    Robertson-RP
    Giese-LP

    If they miss out on Tex, sub in Dunn at first and I’m still incredibly happy with that. They’re still at about the same payroll as last year. Don’t people complain about having Damon in center either as Girardi will probably be platooning like crazy, using Gardner in center while giving guys like Tex (replace with Swisher, Nady to right, Damon to left), Nady (replace with Damon) and Swisher (replace with Nady, Damon to left) so that Damon or Swisher really only start in center maybe once or twice a week. You can’t not sign Tex just because it forces you to put Damon in center more, the difference between the extra runs Tex drives in and the runs Damon’s glove loses us is HUGE. Besides, you’re still upgrading the defense from last year by putting Swisher in for Abreu and Tex in for Giambi

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      My prediction is that we sign Tex, CC, Pettite and Burnett

      I’d still prefer Sheets over Burnett. Less years, less money, and (when healthy), a better pitcher.

      Yes, Sheets is a big injury risk. But so is Burnett.

      • Chip

        I’d also rather have Sheets for two or three years than Burnett for four but my prediction is that Cashman doesn’t think like me

        Also, take our Robertson and put Bruney in the pen

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          Don’t forget Albaladejo

  • Rob

    I hope even more so this portends Manny now. Better hitter on a much shorter contract. Sold!

    Better a RF/LF/DH for three or four years than a 1B for 6 or 7 years.

    • Chip

      Manny in LF for the Yankees would be akin to putting Matsui in CF. He’s a DH in the American League and is going to be a real headache for some National League team if that’s where he ends up. Just think, Manny is just about the age where he should start to decline in the field and he’s already arguably the worst left fielder in the game. That’s why I don’t think he makes any sense for the Yankees

      • Rob

        That’s not true. His probabilistic range was average in LF last year. And his range factor at Chavez Ravine was also average. In RF, especially at Yankee Stadium, he’d be as good as Abreu or better especially with his arm. Big difference – his bat.

        In bigger parks DH him.

      • steve (different one)

        but he could be the full-time DH as soon as 2010.

        just saying.

        Matsui won’t be here forever.

        • Rob

          Exactly.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

        Manny in LF for the Yankees would be akin to putting Matsui in CF.

        Except that Matsui wasn’t hitting .332/.430/.601 in centerfield. If he was, you may be tempted to live with his horrid fielding.

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

    …but with the acquisition today of Nick Swisher, many are assuming that the Yanks won’t be that interested in Mark Teixeira. In my opinion, that is simply not the case.

    Absolutely correct, Ben. I mentioned this a few posts ago, but we as Yankee fans need to remember the difference between strategies and tactics.

    Our strategy as an organization is to build an elite starting pitching staff, maintain a young, cost-effective crop of power arms for the bullpen, and to maintain an offensively effective, athletic, young lineup of everyday players who can field their position well and get on base and drive in runs. Our strategy is designed to draft, trade for, or sign a core group of players who are among the best at their positions, and supplement that core with quality guys who offer us roster flexibility and cost effectiveness, so that we can have a team that will compete for the title every year and experience minimal turnover.

    That’s our strategy. Our strategy tells us to draft/sign guys like Wang, Cano, Jackson, Hughes, Brackman, Joba, Montero, Romine, Cole, etc. – to seek out high-ceiling guys who, if they make it, can be homegrown stars. Our strategy tells us to acquire free agents like Teixeira, CC, Manny, Dunn, Sheets, Burnett, etc. – guys who are elite players that can provide well-above average production for 3-7 year windows. That’s our strategy, and it’s a good one, IMO.

    Tactics are actual things that you do, not simply goals that you have. Tactics are what you execute in order to fulfill your strategy. But here’s the rub: Oftentimes, a specific tactic may not dovetail perfectly with your larger strategy, philosophically speaking, but it’s still the best tactic to take and may help you achieve the goal your strategy seeks to fulfill.

    Trading Betemit, Marquez, and Nunez for Swisher doesn’t fit our strategy, per se, because Swisher isn’t an elite player that allows us to count on elite production, nor is he an extremely high-upside player who looks to be a future star. But, tactically speaking, it was a great addition, as he makes our team better without us losing anything that likely would have helped us any more than Swisher does.

    But remember, Swisher is a tactic, nothing more. He’s low-hanging fruit. We can acquire Swisher, or Nady and Marte, or any other number of non-stars and still pursue the same stars (CC, Manny, Tex, etc.) as part of our larger and still intact organizational strategy. Remember, we have $135M in aggregate AAV coming off the books in the next 24 months. Adding in Swisher doesn’t preclude us from anything, it’s simply like buying insurance while playing blackjack.

    We still want Manny, Tex, Dunn, etc, but now, if Tex decides that he wants to go home and play for Baltimore (who could match us dollar for dollar) or Manny decides that he loves the laid-back LA scene, or whatever, we’re not left empty handed and have to panic and lean on a flawed Jason Giambi tactic, for example.

    Many moves we make or don’t make are case-by-case decisions (will doing this/not doing this help our team?) and not indicators of any larger organizational philosophical shift or change in decision making.

    • gxpanos

      Great post.

      • Steve

        Yeah, every once in a while he pulls one out of his ass. *wink*

  • gxpanos

    I truly believe the Yankees need Tex even more than CC. The best thing Cash could do, in my opinion, is sign CC and Tex, and then trade the fuck out of Matsui for literally anything he can get. DH Damon, Nady and Swisher at the corners, Gardner (oh well) in center. This makes our team the best next year, as well as fits an overall philosophy I think the Yankees should follow.

    Another quick point: I still think we have a better shot at Tex than CC. CC is rumored to be sentimental-ish, not only about the money, etc. etc. West coast, hitting, NL, yadda yadda yadda. But tex is Boras client: the Yankees should just blow him away, even if the Angles and Sox jump in and inflate the price. He’s worth it. He’ll hold up better than CC, great defensively, all that. I love Tex for the Yanks as 1b, and I love Swisher as a corner OF. Those too things CANNOT be mutually exclusive, no matter what fucking Heyman or other morons say(Actually, I guess this point wasn’t that quick).

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      CC is rumored to be sentimental-ish, not only about the money, etc. etc. West coast, hitting, NL, yadda yadda yadda.

      Problem is, the West Coast NL teams are:

      1) The Giants, who are shitty and who can’t afford him with the Barry Zito albatross around their neck
      2) The Padres, who are rebuilding and can’t afford him at all
      3) The Dodgers, who (maybe) could afford him but will likely blow their wad on Manny, and in any event, need to spend what little money they do have on offense.

      To paraphrase Buster Olney, I don’t see a good fit there.

      • Steve

        Bingo. I love how everyone throws out “NL/West Coast” but nobody has a team that realistic.

  • Erik

    I have no doubt that Swisher is now the starting 1B for the Yankees in 2009.

    Bye, bye Tex.

    Here’s the thing…. The Yankees need more offense. A lineup without Giambi and Abreu needs more pop and protection, and as much as I like the (wait for it… wait for it!) GRITTY players like Nady and Swisher, they do not have the pop needed.

    Manny possibly, to DH? Then move Matsui or Nady in a deal?

    What is Man Ram worth? Three years, $66 million? Would he sign that deal?

    How about this idea……

    Trade Kennedy, Sanchez and Melky to the Cubs for Alfonso Soriano.

    The Cubs are already reported to be shopping him. They hate the contract. It would effectively be a salry dump. The guy would give ANYTHING to be back in NYC. Loves it here.

    Why not start filling this team with people that want to play here, not just want a check from here.

    Imagine this:

    Damon LF
    Jeter SS
    Soriano RF
    ARod 3B
    Posada C
    Matsui DH
    Swisher 1B
    Cano 2B
    Gardner CF

    Whaddya think?

    I know Soriano strikes out a lot, but at $18M for the next 5 years? Still a producer with the bat and has a gun for an arm. (Albeit a small caliber, but I’d rather have him out there than Abreu or Nady)

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      Trade Kennedy, Sanchez and Melky to the Cubs for Alfonso Soriano.

      [facepalm]

  • Switchboss

    Apparently posters who think that the yankees should sign Tex, Manny, CC and either Lowe or Burnett can’t do arithmetic. The ones who think the Yanks should sign Tex long term must have a secret plan for where the already signed, long term, high dollar players will be playing in 2010, 11 & 12. Ist base must remain a viable option for Posada, Jeter,and/or perhaps even ARod down the road. God, I’d love to play poker with these guys.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      That’s dumb. You don’t not sign the 29 year old Gold Glove first baseman so that, maybe, in a few years, you can move your over-the-hill, overpaid players to a position they’ve never played before. That sure isn’t the combination for a winning team.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

        Considering that

        A) Posada is only signed for three more years, and during the last two of those, we won’t have anybody else under contract who is a potentially larger defensive liability than he would be, so he’s a natural fit for DH in 2010 and 2011,

        B) Jeter, while not a good fielder, did fielded his position fairly well in 2008 and can likely continue to do so in 2009 and 2010, at which point Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner, and Austin Jackson are the only three people in our organization likely to still be in the mix for our outfield, making Jeter a natural fit for the outfield (where his athletic talents better match up with the skillsets needed for the position anyway),

        C) ARod, while 33, is one of the most in-shape athletes in the game today and trains manaically to stay in top form, currently plays an average defense at 3B at worst, and can likely remain at 3B at least until the DH spot opens up from Jorge’s imminent departure in 2012, and probably even further.

        Your Chicken Little “The sky is falling” argument holds little water.

      • Switchboss

        Ben,
        What is your secret plan for Posoda, et all?
        The idea that the Yankee team that is on the field for 2009 won’t be able
        to win without Tex is silly. You can’t possibly think that can you?

  • ko

    If you want to build a championship club, you don’t do it by saying I’ve got to build around players that I’m keeping around past their use because I paid them a lot of money. Posada has been an outstanding Yankee for a long time, but if he can’t catch, he’s not much use to the club. You certainly don’t forego signing Teixeira because you need a spot for Posada, or Matsui or Damon or Swisher or whoever. My feeling, altho’ I’m in the minority here, is that of all the free agents, Teixeira is the key one for the Yankees to sign. They desperately need a big bat in the middle of the lineup. He’s also a switch hitter, young, excellent in the clubhouse and a great fielder. With him, first base becomes a major strength. Without him, a weakness. The Yankees don’t have a whole lot of positions of strength on the club right now and you need several to be championship callibre. Without Teixeira, the Yankees are going to be throwing a pretty ordinary lineup out there without a lot of help coming their way over the next couple of years.

  • Mason

    Now I have done some thinking on this situation and have concluded that it is possible for the Yankees to sign Sabathia, Tex and Burnett and still come out with a payroll lower than last year. Heres how:
    The Yankees have about 88 million freed up this off season
    A deal for Sabathia would likely need around $25 million a year this would bring the spending money down to a total of around $63 million.
    Lets say that the Yankees sign Tex for $22 million at most. The spending money would now be down to $41 million. After this the Yankees have plenty of money to sign Burnett for around $18 million or maybe Lowe for $16 million. Either way the Yankees would still have a payroll under $200 million and a much better team with fewer holes.

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