Doing the Sabathia dance in Vegas


John Harper is a bit wary of the CC Sabathia dance. The Yanks, he writes, seem to believe CC will be theirs before the Winter Meetings are out, and they just might be getting ahead of themselves.

Considering their blowaway offer has been dangling out there for three weeks, the Yankees privately seem pretty smug about landing CC Sabathia, laughing off the idea that the Giants are serious competitors or that the Angels, if and when they do make an offer, will go anywhere near $140 million.

“We’re confident it will happen,” was the way one Yankee person summed up the organization’s feeling one day last week.

Too confident? Is the Yankee brass reading the situation correctly, that Sabathia won’t walk away from an extra $30-$40 million even if it’s clear he’s not dying to be a Yankee? Or are they underestimating either Sabathia’s desire to play on the West Coast or some other organization’s willingness to make an offer well north of $100 million?

Harper’s basic premise is one worth considering. Maybe the Yanks are being too smug about Sabathia. But at the same time, if they lose out on Sabathia, they have a fall-back plan, and that fall-back plan, as I said yesterday, could lead to a more balanced team. If they lose out on Sabathia and pursue Teixeira, Sheets, Lowe or Burnett, they wouldn’t be landing that big ace they could use, but they would be shoring up both their offense and pitching.

I think Sabathia would be more important come the post-season, but you have to get to October before you can start worrying about October. I don’t think the Yanks or their fans should worry, per se, if they miss out on Sabathia. Plan B isn’t the worst thing in the world either.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. Brent says:

    Anyone here?

  2. Steve H says:

    I think Sabathia would be more important come the post-season, but you have to get to October before you can start worrying about October.

    Totally agree. If it does go to plan B and we do make the playoffs, we just have to hope that Joba develops into a true ace. He’s the only guy we have that has that potential for 2009. He doesn’t even have to win 20 games or be a regular season ace, just have that potential to go into an October game and match up with another teams #1.

    • Marcus says:

      Isn’t Joba already performing like an Ace?? He is the master of consistency. You never see his games go to 4 ER. An ERA in the 2-3 area every day. When you just state those 2 lines. Sounds just like Johan. Johan is so consistent you never see 4 ER games. It’s a rare and beautiful thing to be so consistent.

      I’ve been already announcing him as our Ace all of last season. He may be young, but he’s already an ace.

      You just don’t see him having off days and throwing 8 ER games, like Webb for example.

      • Ben K. says:

        Of course, Joba made 12 starts before getting injured last year so that’s a bit up in the air. His numbers are ace-like; his stuff is ace-like. But until he can go through 34 starts, you can’t rely on him as the number one starter.

  3. Florida says:

    Trade Idea:

    What do you think?

    To CUBS:

    To YANKS:

  4. Steve says:

    I wouldn’t worry about this. I’d be more worried if the Yanks were so confident of someone signing that they DIDN’T make the best offer, sort of like what happened with Pettitte a few years ago or #1 draft pick Gerrit Cole this year.

    They’ve made the best offer, they are recruiting him every way they know how to. They’re doing everything they can, you can’t worry at this point if he signs elsewhere.

    • Ben K. says:

      I think Cole is a different beast. He had no intention of signing anywhere and seemed to have misrepresented himself to the Yanks a bit prior to the draft. They made him a rather generous offer, and I don’t think any amount of money could have swayed him.

      The Pettitte analogy works better, and you’re dead on with that last point. They can’t really do anything more to sign him. It either works or it doesn’t.

      • Steve says:

        Yeah, knowing what we know I suspect Cole’s Mom jumped in at the last minute. Oppenhiemer said everything was a go up to the draft. Apparently they weren’t even willing to negotiate afterwards, and he was a Boras client.

    • Florida says:

      Is there any chance that they are working the FA syatem a little to get other teams to either ante up or bow out? I mean, if Boston truly wants Tex. then that will tighten their budget for 5 years min. They may not be able to retain those young guys that they are so proud of. Perhaps making FA easier for the Yanks in ’11? The Yanks are in a good position money wise, …even in a bad economy, they have solid resources and lots of $$ coming off the books. Maybe they are playing the game to lock down a couple of clubs, LAD, LAA, BOS. Then maybe before the trading deadline, when teams are having trouble paying their players ARI? HOU? CUBS? the Yanks can get some quality guys for B Prospects and salary relief? They kinda got Abreu that way, PHILA wanted out of that contract.

      • Steve says:

        I know BOS would like to regain some of the protection Ortiz lost when Manny left, but there’s simply too many other things working against it. Lowell isn’t tradeable coming off hip surgery, he’s owed 24 mil, and their #1 prospect is 1B Lars Anderson, who destroyed AA last year and could be ready mid 09. Plus, the stuff about moving Youkilis all over the field gets comical at some point.

        One other thing, if you know anything about Theo, he doesn’t believe in long term deals. The next contract he offers to someone that’s more than 4 years will be his first. He’s very big on roster flexibility.

  5. Mike Pop says:

    So Ben you would try to sign Tex, Burnett, and Lowe as plan B ?

    • Ben K. says:

      Probably Sheets instead of Burnett because I believe you could land him for fewer years and less dollars and thus avoid having someone like Burnett for way too long. And I’m not enamored with Lowe but believe he could be a serviceable 3/4 guy. But yes. That’s my plan B or rather Plan A1.

      • Mike Pop says:

        Bring back Pettite or no ?

      • Slugger27 says:

        isnt easy not to be “enamored” with lowe… hes a little older, and doesnt throw 98… but as i keep saying on every thread this comes up, the yankees need DURABILITY and INNINGS in their rotation

        if opening day was tomorrow, their staff is as follows:
        1. wang
        2. joba (150 innings limit)
        3. hughes (175 innings limit)
        4. aceves
        5. IPK

        to me, with that rotation, sheets to be your top priority isnt the answer, cuz he doesnt give u near the confidence of innings that lowe would

        of course, if healthy, sheets is far superior to lowe, but again, with a rotation like that, which is what we currently have, i gotta believe we should sacrifice a little quality ((again, its not as if lowe is some scrub)) if it means a much better chance of getting 200 innings

        sheets should be someone we sign on top of a durable workhorse type ((sabathia, lowe, pettitte)) … not someone who we sign alone and hope to shore up our rotation

        i know u never said u wanted to make him your only sign, im just making a point

      • Steve says:


        People should remember there isn’t a decent lineup in the NL West and Lowe’s last 2 seasons in the AL East.

        When healthy, Sheets has the kind of stuff (and control) that plays anywhere.

    • SDYankee says:

      Do you think the Yanks are signing Tex + 2 pitchers??
      Tex = $18M
      AJ = $16M
      Lowe = $18M unless you give him 5 yrs
      Sheets = $15M

      Tex + 2 pitchers = $50+M and a payroll north of $200M. From what I have read (T. Dierkes & ESPN) the Yanks were looking at sub $200M

      • Mike Pop says:

        They had 88 million coming off I believe. They had a 209 million dollar payroll last year so after arbitration raises we would not be over 200 I think.


        • SDYankee says:

          They’re estimated at $155 with arbitration (key word estimated). So with your scenario they’re around $200M

          but…I think Lowe is the primary plan B target. with Pettitte and Sheets you have two suspect arms.

        • Slugger27 says:

          ppl forget its not all about arb raises… arod gets a big raise cuz his contract is frontloaded, and cano gets a raise…. just cuz they had 88M comin off the books, doesnt mean they can spend 88M this offseason and be at the exact same number, they will be well above it

      • Steve says:

        I absolutely think they could if they want to. Don’t forget you have 88 mil coming off the books, plus even in a bad economy revenues will explode in their new ballpark.

  6. SDYankee says:

    If I am CC I just wait it out. If the Yanks go to plan B and sign Tex it frees up money for the Angels plan B which is sign CC…..the big man get his way, the cash and to play in Anaheim.

  7. Rob says:

    To continue the argument from yesterday, there are many other ways to shore up the offense than by signing Teixeira. And to shore up an offense by signing a 1B for six or eight or ten years is short-sighted and leads to roster inflexibility. Besides, Teixeira isn’t the kind of hitter that will age well to justify his contract past four years. He’s Helton without Coors.

    Let’s look at his top comps at age 28:

    1. Carlos Delgado (935)
    2. Kent Hrbek (925)
    3. Fred McGriff (913)
    4. Jim Thome (911)
    5. Will Clark (910)
    6. Jeff Bagwell (909)
    7. Willie McCovey (906) *
    8. Richie Sexson (904)
    9. Shawn Green (901)
    10. Paul Konerko (899)

    Of those, a very relevant question is how many were still good enough hitters at age 33 to 37 to justify $20 million a year today?

    I count two or three (Delgado, Thome, and McCovey) but even then there’s the spare 100 OPS+ year, like Giambi. McCovey at least started his career as an OF. A few more are debatable as to whether a 110 OPS+ would justify $20 million if balanced by a season of 125-140 OPS+ (McGriff, Clark, Bagwell).

    The rest (40%) were out of baseball, or should be, by age 32 to 34.

    So just based on his top comps, we’re looking at a 20-30% chance of Teixeira actually being able to justify his contract. If that point is debateable with Giambi, who was a MUCH better hitter to begin with in a pitcher’s park, then it’s even more iffy about Teixeira.

    Finally, at least you’ve dropped defense from the discussion. It means just a little bit more at 1B than it does at DH. It’s certainly not a reason to sign a good, but not HOF great, bat not when that offense can be easily approximated elsewhere for half the commitment.

    • Steve says:

      “Besides, Teixeira isn’t the kind of hitter that will age well to justify his contract past four years. He’s Helton without Coors.”;year=00

      His career home/road splits are somewhat troubling, but playing in the Bronx he should maintain his healthy Home stats, especially with the short porch and his extra pop from the lefty side of the plate.

  8. CB says:

    I think Sabathia would be more important come the post-season, but you have to get to October before you can start worrying about October. I don’t think the Yanks or their fans should worry, per se, if they miss out on Sabathia.

    If the yankees don’t sign Sabbathia there’s a significant possibility that they will need to have at least one untested starter in the rotation who could winding up performing close to replacement. That could be an overwhelmed Aceves, an unready Hughes, or an injured Sheets who is then replaced on the fly by someone who isn’t ready.

    CC next year projects to be worth 5.5 wins above replacement. The only other pitcher in baseball who projects better is Halladay. A 5.5 win player is enormous and that’s not simply during the post season – that’s to make the post season.

    Tex next year projects to be a 4 wins above replacement player. But Tex will be replacing Swisher who is likely to be around one win better than replacement.

    So CC has a strong chance of winning the yankees 5-6 games next year compared to the alternative. Tex around 3 games compared to his alternative.

    Tex is the safer risk on a long term contract. But in terms of value, given the context of the team’s current roster, CC is significantly more valuable. Not only would he help them win in the post season, he’s much more likely to help them make the post-season.

    • Ben K. says:

      So they have one “untested” starter around. There’s no other way to develop your own pitching. Once upon a time, every starter was untested. You sometimes have to take that gamble.

      • CB says:

        It’s not simply an issue of player development or taking a risk on young talent.

        That has a limited amount to do with it. It’s simply an issue of which player will be more likely to provide more marginal wins during the regular season.

        CC projects to add more marginal wins next year to the yankees than Tex does. And its not that close between them. CC will be more likely to help the yankees make the playoffs next year than Tex will.

        Now you could say as a pitcher CC is more likely to get hurt next year than Tex and that’s true.

        But as it stands CC projects to be considerably more valuable during the regular season than Tex. That’s particularly true given the Yankee’s needs.

      • Steve says:

        Exactly. You can leave the 5th spot in the rotation open for whoever is ready in the minors and still compete for championships. Its like complaining about the #9 hitter in the lineup, if that’s you’re biggest problem then you have a terrific team.

    • Rob says:

      Tex is the safer risk on a long term contract.

      See above. The chance Tex is able to justify a contract greater than 5 years is increasingly small. 1Bs just don’t tend to age well. It’s much hard to predict pitchers, this is true, but Sabathia has never been hurt and has been a workhorse.

      Otherwise, I don’t disagree with your analysis.

      • Slugger27 says:

        i still think tex has a better shot of justifying the contract and indeed is the “safe” play… CC probably is more important to the yanks cuz of their current staff, and i think both will have good contracts, but tex has the higher chance of working out well

        • Rob says:

          Sorry, but history doesn’t support this prediction. Very few 1B’s continue to be great hitters past 33-34. And Teixeira doesn’t have that much cushion to fall back on. It’s different like with a 170 to 190 OPS+ guys aging. When you’re starting at a peak of 150 OPS+ going into your 30′s means you’re falling back to 120-130 OPS+ and likely 100 OPS+ to 110 OPS+ by age 34-35. That’s not worth $20 million and especially not at 1B where those sort of hitters are the most abundant in the game.

          Sabathia, as a workhorse southpaw with excellent strikeout numbers, is a once every 10 years type pitcher. Besides Sanatana, the last was Randy Johnson.

      • Kay Sturns says:

        fact: Tex is not most 1B.

    • Old Ranger says:

      One thing to be added to that scenario is; Tex would help the rest of the line-up produce better win numbers. The same way as Matsui and Posada will this coming year. Look what happened last year without those two guys…it cost us more then one would think. Not being a stat guy, I’ll leave it to others to find out (actually, I don’t even know where to look). So, my thinking is; Tex would more likely add about 6 to 7 wins on the conservative side. Isn’t that a trickle down action started by adding one to make the whole much better? 27/09.

      • Mike Pop says:

        Ya look what Tex did in that small amount of time with the Angels.. The hitting coach said that the young guys like Kendrick and Aybar were being more patient and taking more pitches… Maybe he can have that effect on Cano, Gardner, Melky.

      • Rob says:

        What’s with the fanboys taking over? This used to be a place of good skeptical analysis.

        27/09 ain’t it.

        Not when the OF, even with Teixeira, is Damon – Gardner – Nady. That’s a recipe for throwing away outs by the bucketfull, especially when the only “help” is a gimpy Matsui.

        ANd when you say something like:

        So, my thinking is; Tex would more likely add about 6 to 7 wins on the conservative side.

        We know not to trust your “thinking”.

    • YankeeJosh says:

      Tex next year projects to be a 4 wins above replacement player. But Tex will be replacing Swisher who is likely to be around one win better than replacement.

      So CC has a strong chance of winning the yankees 5-6 games next year compared to the alternative. Tex around 3 games compared to his alternative.

      You compare Teix to his replacement Swisher but not CC to his possible replacement. You seem to assume that with CC the Yankees won’t need to have an untested 5th starter and we don’t know that. All indications are that the Yankees want about a $180 million payroll, and CC takes up a huge chunk of that. If the Yankees do sign CC, the rotation is CC, Wang, Pettitte or equivalent, Joba, untested #5 unless they sign someone else too.

      The Yankees would still have that fifth starter issue if the they sign Lowe, Pettitte and Teixeira instead of CC.

      So, I think a fairer way to meassure importance is to compare CC to his potential replacement as well. Suppose Lowe gives the Yankees 2 wins (I’m not a stats expert and am just assuming bthat number, I well could be wrong) that makes CC’s net impact 5.5-2 or 3-4 games, whereas Teix is 3 games, and they aren’t so different.

      Of course that asumes the Yankees sign Lowe and that he is 2 wins above replacement. I think though it’s a fair assumption to make as Teixiera will cost less than CC, so for the money the Yankees should be able to sign Teixeira plus something. Basically, I think there needs to be a way to compare CC’s net wins provided vs cost/salary as opposed to Teix’s net wins vs cost/salary.

  9. Florida says:

    Perhaps Plan B is to let the other teams keep raising the bid, then let them get stuck with their own greed?

    Then swoop in and get quality guys at the deadline?

    In the AL East, with their current roster, I believe they can stay competitive. At least in Wild Card contention throughout.

    The team is not that pathetic? are they?

    • Rob says:

      The offense borders on pathetic. The OF right now is Damon, Gardner/Melky, Nady. That’s easily below average with average defense. Swisher, at best, may be an average 1B. Add in the uncertainty of Jeter and Cano and Jorge, and they have exactly one bat they can count on to produce offense well above the average for his position with passable defense.

      • Slugger27 says:

        “pathetic” is ridiculous… their worst case scenario came offensively last year ((melky bottomed out, cano was awful, posada/matsui missed most of the year, jeter declined)) and they STILL won 89 games with posnerian and pavano making 60% of their rotation at the end of the year

        i think their offense needs tex or dunn ((i do not advocate manny at all)) to be really explosive, but their 1-9 right now certainly is not pathetic

        • Marcus says:

          Actually Cano had a good year. But way to be biased and not look at month-by-month statistics.

          • Steve H says:

            Cano did not have a good year. He had as many below league average months as he did above. And for the expectations, I don’t think league average is a good barometer for Cano. Again, he was not good. He was very good in July and good in August. It’s a 6 month season, he put up 2 months that were what was expected of him.

        • Rob says:

          Let’s see. You’re expecting all of the hitters to rebound even as all, except Cano, are on the wrong side of 30?

          The pitching was actually decent last year. The problem was the offense. And that team lost it’s second and third best hitters. Pathetic describes it perfectly right now. With Teixeira AND Dunn MAYBE they gain a bit on 2008. With only one, it’s just as likely they replicate the offense of 2008 or fall further still.

          • Slugger27 says:

            if u read my post a little below this, i actually strongly disagree with the fact i think everyone will rebound and all is merry… but calling it “pathetic” is pretty harsh

            “the pitching was decent last year”

            yes it was… but we dont have the same staff we did, moose/pettitte are gone

            “pathetic describes it perfectly right now”

            no, it doesnt… maybe not ideal… and certainly not a huge strength, but pathetic is way too harsh

            what i expect from the lineup:
            damon to come down a little bit from last year but overall have a decent year
            jeter to be about what he was last year maybe with a slight upgrade cuz i think his hand injury hampered him
            arod to be arod
            posada clearly to give more production
            matsui = see above
            cano to bounce back cuz he really cant do any worse
            gardner = slightly better than what melky gave but with lots of stolen bases
            nady basically to stay the same
            swisher to perform at around giambis levels with a few less homers

            even if the offense puts up the SAME numbers it did last year, pathetic still isnt the right word for it

            • Rob says:

              Hmmm, except you’re missing their second and third best hitters in 2008. You know, the ones that will sign with other teams.

              Assuming Swisher to perform at Giambi’s levels is a HUGE if.

              Nady is more likely to be at 100 OPS+ than what Abreu gave.

              Matsui and Posada have to stay healthy. Damon is likely to regress. Gardner has to get on base. Jeter may be what he is at this point – a singles hitter.

              Those are alot of if’s.

              Pathetic refers to the notion that this is the offense of a championship team. It isn’t even close. Not with that OF. ANd not with the questions elsewhere.

        • YankeeJosh says:

          That 89 win total is a bit misleading. The Yankees played their best baseball of the season in September to get to 89 wins after they were well out of contention for a playoff spot. I prefer to judge conservatively based on how the Yankees played in meaningfull games when the pressure was on, which puts them as an 84/85 win team.

          Additionally, the Yankees have now lost Mussina (20 wins, sub 4 era), Giambi and Abreu. They’ve added Swisher who is at best a .250 average guy with some pop. So the offense as it stands right now is significantly worse than last year. I’d agree it’s not pathetic but I’d have a hard time believing the Yankees can compete for a championship with it.

          Expecting huge bounceback years from aging stars like Matsui and Posada is fools gold imo. Matsui has two bad knees and Posada is an aging catcher who had a career year in 2007. Cano is the best bet to rebound, but even so, his low OBP and lack of quality at bats doesn’t make him an ideal offensive player. Teixeira is a high on base guy who plays great defense and is athletic. Worth the risk imo.

          • Steve H says:

            Ok, first of all, 89 wins is 89 wins. You point out that we lost Giambi, and then complain that Swisher is a .250 batting average guy with pop. Giambi’s batting average the last 6 seasons are: .250/.208/.271/.253/.236/.247.

            So based on the ever useless batting average stat, is losing Giambi a big deal or not? You contradict your own argument by discussing Swishers batting average while pining the loss of Giambi’s offense.

            • YankeeJosh says:

              89 wins is not 89 wins. The Yankees did the equivalent of adding points to make the score closer in garbage time of an NBA game. When the games actually mattered, they played at an 84/85 win clip. It’s nice that they finished with 89 wins, but it’s a big mistake to evaluate the team as an 89 win team in preparing for next year. In 2007 the Yankees only finished 2 games behind the Red Sox, but in reality were further back because the Sox were on cruise control at seasons end. If the Yankees had ben closer, the Sox wouldn’t have been on cruise control and the final results might have been different. My point is that the final numbers of a game or season can be misleading, and I think that’s the case with the Yankees the past two years.

              Swisher is in all liklihood an adequate replacement to the inadequate Giambi. I’d prefer an upgrade at first base, but grant that it could be a wash if Swisher rebounds. If you want to judge on OBP, Swisher is likely around .350 there. His offensive stats are slightly worse than Giambi but his defense will be better, so we’ll call it about a wash. However, the Yankees overall offense last year was inadequate. And there’s still the loss of Abreu to deal with, and that is where Teixeira comes in.

              Building the Yankee line-up, they are fine with Damon 1, Jeter 2, A-Rod 4, Matsui, Nady, Cano, Posada 5-8 and Garner/Swisher 9. There are a few possible combinations there.

              The team lacks a good #3 hitter and Teixeira fits in there perfectly and the overall line-up is deep and solid enogh to compete imo.

      • Old Ranger says:

        Wrong but, that is the best defencive OF we have had in a couple years. As for the rest of the team, excuses are for losers, so on with it. Yes last year almost all were underachievers…we had Jeter playing with a bum wrist, almost no production from our catchers, almost no defence in the OF (this hurts the pitching #s) until Sept., Cano had a forgettable year, and last but not least was the great big three disaster. This year (2009) things are different, everyone starts new and fresh, before we knock them, let’s see what they do…along with the infusion of people Cash brings in. Ya think? 27/09.

        • Rob says:

          Nady is average, at best, defensively. Gardner is above average. Damon has decent range but can’t prevent a runner going first to third. That’s an average defensive OF.

          Seems like you expect all those underachievers to turn it around while everyone else stays constant. Given their ages, from all except Cano, that’s a BIG if.

          Right now, the offense is pathetic. Adding Teixeira MAYBE prevents it sliding backward from 2008. But it’s not a step forward.

        • Steve says:

          Run suppression counts every bit as much as run scoring, last time I checked. And having the flexibility to scratch out a 1-0 or 2-1 win is something we haven’t done very well in recent years, especially last year.

          We’ve had these bully hitting teams for the past 5 years and gone nowhere with them. It was often said about the 98 team that “they could beat you 1-0 or 8-7″ Last year’s team was horrendous in low scoring games, and guys like Gardner will go a long way remedying that with his speed in CF and on the basepaths.

          • Old Ranger says:

            Reason at last. Agreed, we haven’t and won’t win with power anymore, although we would have power but we don’t depend on it.
            Call it anything you want but, playing the game smart is better then trying to hit 5 run HRs; get’um on move ‘um over bring ‘um home is the name of the game. With very good pitching (as you stated) this is a good way to win your game but, one also needs good defence…one with out the other dosen’t work out to well.
            This team as consituted right now, is bothersome but, I don’t see a pressing need for 3 or 4 FA pitchers…give me one and a 1st baseman (tex) with good hitting and “D”. Tex at 7 years is ok, he is athletic and Tino/Edger played well into their later years (Tex is better then they were). 27/09.

    • SDYankee says:

      Ff the season started today the rotation is

      Who knows, maybe all the kids come through and live up to the hype or you could be looking at 2 failures, and pluggin in Sid Ponson and ?? by July and 4th place.

      • Brent says:

        Look at Baltimore and Toronto – We are better than them. As far as TB and BOS, ….assuming that each Yankee plays up to their Average year, ….we are competitive. Look at what we did last year. We almost made it and the only player that played above his Average was Mussina. Everyone else, aside from the relief corp., played below average.

        • Mike Pop says:

          Great way to explain that Brent

        • SDYankee says:

          Points well taken but…

          Boston had a sub-par year from Beckett and injuries to Ortiz and Lowell plus A LOT of payroll flexibility. They’re working to sure up their bullpen…they will only get better.

          Tampa- who knows if they can repeat but they get David Price to join a deep rotation.

          Toronto came on strong in the latter half of the season (i think they had one of the best rescords in the 2nd half) when they got their offense back but they do lose their #2 pitcher.

          Do you want to go into next year with a $155M payroll and the possibility of competing for 4th?

          • Steve H says:

            They also got MVP caliber years from 2 players, which is doubtful to happen again with Youk and Pedroia. And Beckett sucked sure, but Dice-K and Lester more than made up for that, and certainly are candidates to fall back a little. In fact, if Dice-k pitches the same way next year he could be a 14-12 pitcher. They got very strong production from LF, but that will certainly slip this year without 4 months of Manny. Papi will never be the same player. Players of his body type do not age well. Lowell is old and coming off a pretty serious injury, he will not repeat his 2007 performance. Also, while they both had injuries, it’s not like they missed most of the season, they both played >100 games. By comparison, Posada played 51 and Wang was hurt in June.

        • Slugger27 says:

          damon, giambi, nady, joba all had GREAT years… they certainly played above their projections, and u could argue bobby did too… and if u look at arods career totals he had a very solid year too, and if he hadnt missed time for injury, u could say he had a really great year, and the entire bullpen played above projections and thats pretty significant too…

          my point is, u cant pencil us in for more wins next year by assuming everyone that had a down year last year wont have a down year again… those players i listed above could possibly have down years, just like posada/jeter/cano

          • Ben K. says:

            Nady didn’t have a great year. In 59 games with the Yanks, he had an OPS+ of 105 and a .320 OBP. If you spread that out over a year, he sucks basically. Bobby Abreu he ain’t.

            • Slugger27 says:

              2006 – 280/337/453
              2007 – 278/330/476
              2008 – 305/357/510

              yes, in the small sample size with the yanks, he wasnt too impressive, but i think u missed my overall point… what i was trying to get across is, although nady seems to have turned the corner in his carer and appears to be doing nothing but improving, he is certainly capable of falling back just like cano/melky did… and while he didnt put up monster numbers with the yanks, its hard to argue he didnt have overall a great year

              and again, my point is that ppl continue to say “posada and matsui will have more production and cano can only go up from here” but forget that while all that may be true, theres certainly a possibility that nady/damon/arod and even jeter come down from their 2008 seasons, thus canceling out the expected inclines in the others’ performances

            • steve (different one) says:

              If you spread that out over a year

              and why on earth would we do that?

              we have his entire 2008 season worth of data.

              we also have his entire career before that and all of his 2009 projections.

              you are starting to develop a Melky-esque blindspot for Nady.

              Nady is a good, but not great player. offense+defense he projects to be almost exactly as valuable as Abreu next year for 1/3 the price.

              he DID have an excellent year last year: ignoring 85% of it to make an argument is just bad analysis. sorry, Ben. you are WAAAAY better than that.

              Nady hit .305/.357/.510 last year. that’s very good any way you cut it. using a slow September to extrapolate his entire season is just nonsense.

              he struggled for THREE WEEKS at the end of the season.

              Nady was a Yankee for 59 games.

              in his first 43 games he hit .291/.344/.527
              in the last 16 games he hit .206/.254/.333

              Nady’s projection for next year is: .283/.341/.467
              Abreu’s projection for next year is: .280/.370/.440

              throw in defense and Nady projects as the better player.

              • Ben K. says:

                You’re right, steve. Nady will probably be about as valuable overall as Abreu.

                My point — which I didn’t really make clear — is that everyone expecting Nady to be some offensive superstar is probably going to be a bit disappointed. He’ll be a fine if boring player in the Bronx next year, and I’m not that afraid of a Nady-Damon-Gardner outfield.

                • Steve says:

                  God forbid we catch a ball once in a while.

                  Abreu was the worst RF in the AL (-24) last year, and league average at the plate. Melky was a disaster at the plate and average in CF. Even if Gardner is as bad at the plate (and I don’t think he will, hit .294 last 6 weeks of the season) he’d be a huge upgrade defensively.

                  That’s a much better outfield than we had last year, if you look at both sides of the game.

                • Slugger27 says:

                  ben, with all due respect, u kinda nitpicked over one small thing in my post and totally ignored the rest of it and the overall point

                  nady had a great 2008, and has gradually improved recently in his career

                  actually, though possibly inadvertently, u may be agreeing with me

                  my point was that ppl cant just say “we will win more than 89 games cuz cano/posada/matsui will all give much more production than last year” cuz that implies that guys like damon, arod, and yes nady ((aka the guys that had good years)) will put up identical numbers and have good years again, and that simply cant be assumed

                  nady, like u said, cant just be chalked up 300/360/500 and damon certainly cant be chalked up for 305/375/460

                  and if guys that had good years come back, which is certainly possible, it would cancel out the increase in production from a guy like cano or matsui

                • steve (different one) says:

                  this is fair. agreed.

                  i just think if he struggled for his first 3 weeks instead of his last weeks, or in 3 random weeks spread throughout his time in NY, ther perception of him would be different.

                  he slumped at the end of the year and now people think he sucks. he doesn’t. he’ll play average defense and put up an OPS+ around 110. for what, $6M?

                  i do think they need another bat. but i’m not convinced they won’t get one.

                • Rob says:

                  I’m not that afraid of a Nady-Damon-Gardner outfield.

                  I hope that’s sarcasm.

                • Slugger27 says:

                  agreed on all accounts steve different one… he is a good player, and he had a great year… my point was its not fair to project all the players that had great years to to have another great year, while projecting all the players that didnt have good years to have good ones

                  but on nady we totally agree, i will argue forever with ben or whoever else that nady is a good player and an upgrade from abreu in 2009… and if u consider their salaries, its a landslide

                • Ben K. says:

                  The thing that concerns me most about Nady’s struggles is that they came after he switched leagues. If he has a hot start, I’ll feel a lot better about Nady.

                • Slugger27 says:

                  ben, im too lazy to look it up, but i remember him having a hot start with the yanks… his slumping with the yanks as i recall came at the end of the season

                  he certainly had a power surge his first few weeks here… doesnt it make u less worrisome knowing his first 4-5 weeks here he did just fine??

                  i think his slumping in late september was more of a random slump that all hitters go thru as opposed to him struggling vs american league pitching

                • Rob says:

                  To put it into even more perspective, he went from the worst division to the best.

                • steve (different one) says:


                  Nady was a Yankee for 59 games.

                  in his first 43 games he hit .291/.344/.527
                  in the last 16 games he hit .206/.254/.333

            • Steve says:

              Its also not fair to cherry pick the bad half and ignore the good one. He’s always been something of a first half player, losing .50 of OPS in the second half throughout his career. He also lost 120 points in the second half of 2007.


              • Rob says:

                Except the first half numbers were accumulated in the worst division in baseball.

                • Slugger27 says:

                  he did just fine for the first month or so he was here, and actually pleasantly surprised me with his production… one random slump at the end of the season cant be equated to “he cant handle the al east”

                • Steve says:

                  “Except the first half numbers were accumulated in the worst division in baseball.”

                  Then how do you explain that the exact same thing happened in 07?

                • steve (different one) says:

                  Nady was a Yankee for 59 games.

                  in his first 43 games he hit .291/.344/.527
                  in the last 16 games he hit .206/.254/.333

                • Rob says:

                  he did just fine for the first month or so he was here

                  That tells me that pitchers learned his holes and the scouting went around. And he never made the adjustment.

                • Rob says:

                  More to the point, what are the chances that a guy learns to SLG .510 with an OBP of .357 for the first time at age 29?

                  Sorry, but we’ll be lucky if Nady gives an .800 OPS in 2009.

                • Slugger27 says:

                  rob, give me a break

                • steve (different one) says:

                  you’re right, he won’t repeat his 2008 season.

                  his batting average will probably drop.

                  but a projection of .280/.340/.470 is completely reasonable.

                  Nady is a PLACE HOLDER. he was acquired to replace Abreu and give them an extra $10M to spend on pitching.

                  hopefully next year, he is replaced with Matt Holliday.

                  but there is nothing wrong with a having him as a stop gap.

                  the problem is NOT Nady, it’s CF. they need another bat somewhere, and that probably means Damon or Swisher would have to play CF for a year.

                • steve (different one) says:

                  That tells me that pitchers learned his holes and the scouting went around. And he never made the adjustment.

                  or he just slumped for 16 games.

                  your overall point is solid: he’s not as good as his overall 2008 season.

                  but the point that started this wasn’t that solid. he’s better than his Yankee-only numbers.

                  in absence of any hard evidence either way, why not defer to his Marcel projection??

                  that seems the least biased way to set expectations.

  10. Old Ranger says:

    Honestly like plan “B” better then “A”. Sure CC is worth the money and would be outstanding for the team but, I like the idea of Tex and one of the other three guys. Tex batting 3rd followed by A-rod with Matsui/Posada to back him up is a stellar middle of the order. Having a rotation of; CMW, Joba, FA, Andy, and Phil with Aceves, Giese, IPK, etc. as back-ups looks good to me.
    Granted; CC, CMW, Joba, Andy, Phil is a better rotation but, we most likely wouldn’t sign Tex. Realistically, I think signing Tex for 6 to 8 years and one of the other pitchers to a 3 to 4 year (max) deal give us a bit more room. Thus, our home grown pitchers have a chance to infiltrate the major league roster better. Locking up 2 or three starter spots for years blocking our future home grown starters…not a good idea. 27/09.

  11. Jake H says:

    C.C has ever right to wait to sign. You never take the first offer. His agent is hoping that someone else will get involved to up the offer from the Yanks and possible another team that would make an offer.

    In the end it seems that no one else is going to come close. If he has no problem pitching in Cleveland or for the brewers he shouldn’t have a problem pitching in NY. You don’t have to live in the city. Yanks would be smart to have Mussina reach out to C.C. Guy can talk about coming to the Yanks and how to play there without having his family in the city if that is a concern.

  12. Mike Pop says:

    Cashman is going to meet with him and see if he has any interest in playing for the Yankees. He has to give us some kind of insight ya know. So if Cash does not feel like CC has any interest and is just playing us we will take our offer off the table and you will probably hear many rumors about Tex, Manny, Sheets, Burnett, and Lowe for us. We will probably put alot more offers on the table I would think

  13. Florida says:

    Would it be better to spend $40mill on CC and Lowe.


    Would it be better to spend $40mill on Sheets, Penny, AJ, Wood?

  14. steve (different one) says:

    i love how you can get an unnamed “Yankee person” to say anything you need to fit your story.

    i really doubt the yankees are “smug”. it is more likely that they are a little anxious that Sabathia is holding up all of their plans as i am sure they have back up plans ready in case he spurns them.

    assigning a “tone” to an organization seems silly.

    “cautiously optimistic” is not the same as “smug”.

  15. Kay Sturns says:

    he must be confusing our smugness for Boston’s or the general population of San Fran

  16. ortforshort says:

    In case everyone forgot, the Yankees missed the playoffs last year for the first time in fourteen years. Have no one in the minors that will be of help for the next couple of years. Have lost their two most productive starters (34 wins) since the end of the season and have lost their second best hitter and second best power hitter since the end of last season. With all of that, why is cutting payroll such a priority? How about getting a championship callibre team on the field as a priority? What is this Plan A / Plan B crap? Its time that Cashman finally mans up, gets it done and signs both Sabathia and Teixeira. They’re both young studs that you build a franchise around. Since when is it good strategy to cut payroll just at the time when your team is in serious trouble? Why does this absurd strategy go down so easy with you folks?

    • Mike Pop says:

      Those 2, A-Rod, Cano, Jeterr, Joba, Phil… Oh man would be a squad for years

    • steve (different one) says:

      Why does this absurd strategy go down so easy with you folks?

      maybe because nothing has happened yet? maybe b/c spring training doesn’t start for 3 months?

      maybe b/c he may still trade for a bat after shoring up the rotation? or sign someone like Dunn? or hell, maybe he’ll sign Teixeira after all?

      you are making a post like it is April and he did nothing to improve the team.

      it’s obnoxious. and trust me, i know obnoxious.

    • Ron says:

      “Its time that Cashman finally mans up, gets it done and signs both Sabathia and Teixeira.”

      The Steinbrenners set the payroll, not Cashman. It’s Brian’s job to work within the parameters given him, and, apparently, those parameters don’t allow for both CC and Tex.

  17. dan says:

    If Teixeira signs to play first, then Damon is the every CF. Just wondering… you’re ok with that happening?

  18. nick blasioli says:

    heres hoping for plan b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b…..a much better team….

  19. Dillon says:

    No player can justify a 6+ year deal, so everyone needs to chill on that. This is what we’re paying for with CC: 2 years of ace like stuff, 2 years of good stuff, and 2+ years of average/bad mixed with injuries. Is that worth $140mill, no. but, it is when you have no one in your farm system to put your team over the top, and in the playoffs CC is that guy. If a $140mill contract brings a guy that is the key part of 1 championship team, everyone should be happy. CC will do that.

    I still think we can afford to sign him, Sheets, and Tex…..why is no one mentioning that? Do that cashman, fill in a nice bench with Balldeli, and call it a day.

    CC is #1 priority. Tex will be nice, but ARod shows us every year how important having the greatest hitter in the playoffs is.

    • steve (different one) says:

      I still think we can afford to sign him, Sheets, and Tex…..why is no one mentioning that?

      uhh, this sentence has been in like 40% of all posts on RAB since like July.

      • Un-Named Yankee Source says:

        The Yanks can afford Tex, CC, Sheets, and then some!

        Next year Nady, Damon, Matsui come off the books too!

  20. Un-Named Yankee Source says:

    With the Reds needing offense, …any chance Nady or Damon could net Harang?

    With the Cubs looking for a leadoff and a 2B, …any chance Damon/Cano could net Big Z? ….then the Cubs have the payroll flexibility to get Peavy?

    Then we sign CC and have 600 lbs commited to 2 pitchers!

  21. Ron says:

    The scenario I fear most is the Sux sign Tex, then the Angels swoop in and sign CC. Cash will then have his work cut out for him to try to construct a pitching staff without overpaying.

    • dkidd says:

      isn’t theo on record as saying no more long term deals for the sox?

      • Ron says:

        I didn’t see that. Do you have a link?

        • dkidd says:

          no link. maybe i’m misremembering?

          • Steve says:

            No, you’re right. He hated the Manny contract from the day he took over, and has always been very big on roster flexibility. He even only went 4 years on Dice-K, despite the huge posting fee. At the time there was some thought he would go for more years to spread it out.

            Again, the next contract Theo offers that is longer than 4 years will be his first.

            • Ron says:

              Well, they’re supposedly interested in Tex, and there’s no way they’ll get him for 4 years, so something’s gotta give.

  22. dkidd says:

    also, don’t they have a total stud 1B in their system?

    • Steve H says:

      Yes, they have a prospect, who if he reaches his absolute peak will be Tex offensively. So from the Sox perspective you take the sure thing and if need be trade Lars Anderson to fill another need.

  23. dkidd says:

    in any case, tex to the red sox scares me too. yanks might be locked in 3rd place for awhile…

  24. dkidd says:

    wish the yanks had the option to rebuild for a bit. in retrospect, ponson and rasner starting 35 games is such a waste!

  25. Dave says:

    i want to shore up the offense but not at the expense of missing out on CC. This is our most important signing – the ace we desperately need in the short playoff series. The guy who can be that stopgap when we are in a losing streak and strike out the side to start the inning. Tex nor will any bat get us in and through the playoffs – an ace starting pitcher is really the only one that has that kind of impact. And AJ burnett and derek lowe for 5 years and something around 100 million. Id rather sign no one than those two for that money. They must be kidding me? Lowe is barely a third starter in the NL and he will put up pettitte like numbers and he is 36. AJ has had two healthy seasons in five years – his first walk year and his second walk year. I would rather start Wang, Joba, Pettitte, Hughes, Aceves/Coke/Geise than pay 100 million for other of those giant blunders.I would sign sheets but no more than 2 years with maybe a team option for a third. That would actually be reasonable for any of the three of them because sheet is comparable if not better than AJ and far, far better than the 36 year old lowe. Geez. Those two are going to cost teams a lot of heartbreak. Good luck Braves and Redsox.

    • mustang says:

      I agree with what your saying except the ” I would rather start Wang, Joba, Pettitte, Hughes, Aceves/Coke/Geise ” part. I would rather them get Sheets and have Hughes or whoever as the 5th starter.

  26. mustang says:

    Just asking, but at what point do the Yankees take the CC offer off the table and move on?

    • Ben K. says:

      When it becomes clear that CC isn’t going to sign with the Yankees and they have to move on to sign other players before other teams do. But since no one is in much of a hurry to sign with anyone right now, it doesn’t matter. What’s the rush anyway? Why are people so concerned that it’s taking “so long” to sign CC?

      Just as a basis for comparison, Jason Giambi signed with the Yankees on Dec. 13, 2001; A-Rod signed with the Rangers at the end of January in 2001; Manny signed with the Red Sox on Dec. 19, 2000; and Carlos Beltran signed with the Mets in January of 2005. This need for speed is just a creation of irrationally impatient fans.

      • Steve H says:

        Giambi was destined to be a Yankee, there really was no one else. And yet, he still didn’t sign by now. Yet there are so many people on here who are ready to pull the CC offer and move on because “he wants to play on the West coast”, “He doesn’t want to play in NY”, “He wants to play in the NL”, etc, etc, etc.

        Except CC himself has never said any of this. When CC was negotiating to sign long term with Cleveland (not West Coast for the non-geography majors, nor the NL), where were these “facts” about CC’s desires? It’s called negotiating. The best way to drive up the price of a suitor with the big bucks is to leak stories that make it sound like that’s the one place you don’t want to go. If he truly had no intentions of even considering the Yankees, he’d leak it out there that he loves New York, to drive up the price for where he actually wants to go.

      • mustang says:

        Easy on the coffee Ben I just wanted an idea of a timetable.

  27. [...] stories down. In fact, the Yankees were rumored to be confident that neither the Angels nor Giants would approach $140 million. They wanted to blow away Sabathia, and more than a few fans thought they were overpaying and [...]

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