Open Thread: Evil Empire strikes again

Crasnick: Yanks land Burnett
Friday evening notes: Bernie and Scott Proctor

Three days, two new starters. Well, technically CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett aren’t Yankees yet because they haven’t passed their physicals, but there’s no reason to suspect they won’t. $243.5M is all it took … well, that assumes Sabathia sticks around for more than three years, far from a given.

AJ Burnett’s a controversial figure here at RAB. I’ve made it well known that I prefer Derek Lowe, but it doesn’t matter. Burnett’s going to be a Yankee, so root for him to do well and support him like you do anyone that wears the pinstripes. He and Sabathia add two pitchers to the staff that miss bats regularly, and in fact CC and AJ are two of the most unhittable pitchers in baseball: last year batters made contact on just 72.0% of the swings they took against CC (best amongst starters in the bigs), while just 76.2% made contact against Burnett (sixth best). When’s the last time the Yanks had two arms like that?

And for those of you that have already declared that Burnett is the second coming of Carl Pavano, that’s patently wrong. I’ll let KLaw explain:

Matt (Yardley, PA): I’m with Bryan. Burnett to me is Pavano ver2.0.

Keith Law: Not even close. Pavano in the NL in his only two healthy years, right before signing with the Yanks: 423 IP, 272 K’s, 35 HR allowed. That’s in a big ballpark, facing opposing pitchers to boost his K total. Burnett, in the AL East, in a slight hitters’ park, last two years: 387 IP, 407 Ks, 42 HR. You can’t make a performance argument that he’s like Pavano. You can’t make a health argument that he’s like Pavano (who was hurt in some part of every year until his sixth season). You definitely can’t make a stuff argument that he’s like Pavano. That’s a completely unfair tag to place on Burnett.

So there you go, better than I ever could have put it in so few sentences. Like I said, whether you like the signing or not, root for the guy until your hands are so sore you can’t clap and your voice is so horse you can’t scream, then do it anyway. He’s a Yankee, love him like one.

One small roster note for the night: Chris Britton and Justin Christian were non-tendered, making them free agents. I hope they bring J-Chrizzle back on a minor league deal. The moves make room on the 40 man for CC & AJ. The Depth Chart is up-to-date.

Here’s your open thread of the evening. There’s lots to talk about tonight including the two new arms and Rangers-Devils. You know the deal, talk about whatever, just be nice.

Crasnick: Yanks land Burnett
Friday evening notes: Bernie and Scott Proctor
  • Chris A.

    I dont like the signing very much….BUT I root for the laundry. Go get em AJ.

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

      Well said and agreed. If Daniel Cabrera get non tend I want the Yanks to get him. I guess no Sheets for us unless Andy wants to play elsewhere (including his back yard)

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        Ew, why?

        Daniel Cabrera is AWFUL. His strike out rates have fallen, his walk rates are terrible, and he gives up way too many hits. The only positive thing is that he throws hard; but he can’t control it, it doesn’t strike guys out, it gets hit hard…yeah no thanks.

        • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

          I have watched Daniel pitch a whole lot over the years. I know it is a gamble that you most likely loose. But no way this guy gets non tendered by a better organization. He is worth a flier if let go.

          Guys who throw this hard and have the talent this kid do not go from one team and then never get another shot. He needs another shot, and is worth the risk.

          His upside is much higher than one Ian Kennedy, or Kei Igawa I know that much for damn sure.

          • Peter Lacock

            The thing with Daniel Cabrera more than anything else is we have no where to put him.

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

            He’s not worth a shot for the Yankees. Like Peter said, there’s no room and just because he throws hard doesn’t mean he’s any good. He’s arguably gotten worse each of the last three seasons and is an absolute model of inconsistency. His career OBPA is .361. .361. That’s not slugging against, that’s on base percentage against. That is awful. Terrible. Horrible. No good. Very bad.

            And he most definitely does not have more upside than Ian Kennedy, who’s three and a half years younger than Cabrera and has a grand total of 58.7 innings pitched in the Majors.

            • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

              Cabrera is still a very young man with tons of talent and a sick fastball. If somebody could help him with his mechanics he could be a beast.

              Ian Kennedy is a control pitcher with no control. Cabrera is a power pitcher with no control, at least Mr Cabrera can intimidate people if nothing else. I am not saying release Ian Kennedy, but I am saying see if there is a way to sign Cabrera, if he does not pan it, it will not cost you much.

              • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                I understand what you’re saying but there are definitely better options out there.

                Cabrera really has no true success at the major league level. He struck out a lot of guys in 06 but that’s it. His highest OPS+ is 96 in 5 major league seasons. He’s been healthy which is nice but…he’s just not very good.

                He’s “intimidating” until he lets a fastball over the middle of the plate and it gets smacked. Then he loses all control and walks a ton of guys. He’s not worth it. His career K/BB is 1.36.

                • Mike Pop

                  Only reason I sign Cabrera would be for the safety of Jeter and our other players

                • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

                  Matt I guess we agree to disagree then. I would sign him give him a new start and hope that he could learn something from a new coach and the two top talents we just signed.

                  Mike Pop, that is a very big side benefit of the deal. I once sat right behind the Yanks dougout in Camden Yards when he hit Jeter (i think twice) and Sori and I believe somebody else in a game. You should have heard the words coming out of that dougout and from me as well.

        • Peter Lacock

          AJ is a risk but so is anyone. There is a reason why Cashman picked him over Sheets and Lowe. It’s interesting that Atlanta also liked AJ most despite others analysis. Opinions are what they are and I’m OK with Atlanta and the Yanks opinions of AJ.
          It’s disturbing that people have to be told who or how to root for the home team. I blame the parents.
          It’s a relief to hear that Cash has no interest in Adam Dunn but Cameron isn’t much better. At least he can play defense.

  • Tom T

    Burnett and Sabathia are the perfect players for a team that is hoping to play in October especially with the Yanks’ questionable defense.

    I understand the argument for Lowe, but there are too many variables to guess about with him. He hasn’t pitched in a big boys division/league in 3 seasons and he’s not getting any younger. Besides, I’d rather roll the dice on excellence than settle for $15 mil for a league average/slightly above average starter like Lowe.

  • http://incumbentgm.wordpress.com The Third Yip-Yip, Formerly the Yankee Clipper

    You do have to like the fact that our rotation is full of strikeout machines, with the exception of Wang. That should change our luck in the postseason. Amongst the top three guys, they could get 600 innings for the first time in a while.

    • Steve H

      Absolutely. Power pitching wins in the playoffs historically, and now we have 3 big time power arms in the rotation.

      • Will

        Is everyone dismissing Joba? He is on the cusp of being an ace as well. He has exceeded expectations in every role he has asked to handle.

  • nyy27!

    Next: JAKE PEAVY!

  • Chris Britton

    Man, you guys suck ass!

    • 65hughes

      haha

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

      Chrissy next time when you get your third shot at the bigs maybe skip the daily cripsy creme box.

      • Steve H

        Daily? Try hourly.

        • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

          I was trying to be nice. Chris looks sorta like Pete Abe minus the facial hair. I like both Pete and Chris does something for a living that requires one to not eat through full all you can eat places by themselves.

          I think we really let him go because with CC now on board there is not room for Chris by the clubhouse pre and post game spreads.

  • Joe

    At least Pavano had actually managed back to back 200IP seasons before we signed him….

    • Steve H

      Sorry, but I’ll take Keith Law’s assessment and knowledge over yours. No offense.

      • Mike R.

        But he’s Joe!

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Dontrelle Willis threw three straight 200+ IP seasons before the Tigers got him.

      • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

        And I would be willing to be most people on here would have LOVED to have had him on our team, I know I would have. I was never geeked about the Pavano deal but I did not think it was a bad one at the time.

        I really think everything went bad for Pavano in NY when he took that shot off the dome during a game. I forgot who hit it off his gord but that ball went all the way out to Matsui before it came down.

        If anybody recalls on here he did not seem spooked or out of it before that in a Yanks uni.

        • steve (different one)

          it wsa the Orioles, maybe Tejada?

          • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

            Was it Baltimore?

            Bugging me out that I can not remember. Maybe I was the one stuck on the head?

            • Mike P

              Melvin Mora

              • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

                THERE IT IS! Yeah now I remember that. Thank you, mental block lifted.

                I seriously think that was the beginning of the end with Pavano in NY. Never looked the same after that.

  • Steve H

    When’s the last time the Yanks had two arms like that?

    How about 3 arms like that? Joba was at 73.5%

  • Pete Law

    Now the next question is…Pettitte for 1 year or Sheets for 2?

    At this point, I’d take a gamble on Sheets being great when healthy rather than see Andy potentially struggle.

    • Steve H

      Sheets. Pettitte at absolute best will be a #3. Sheets has more upside, and despite Andy’s reputation as a great playoff pitcher, I’d take my chances on a healthy Sheets.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        I think signing Burnett over Lowe was their upside play, so they’ll balance it with the safe signing of Pettitte over Sheets. Just my $0.02.

        • Steve H

          I’d agree with that if we were looking to fill our #2 or #3 spot. We’re basically looking for our #5, and with Hughes/IPK/Aceves/Coke in the wings, I’d continue to look for upside, and plug in for injuries.

          • justin

            I’ll third that opinion…saw Cash on the Hot Stove Report saying he wants 550-600 guaranteed innings from free agency…I have to believe Pettitte and his 200 inning tag will be next if he comes down to earth and takes the money.

          • Ian Kennedy

            I want to be traded to the NL. Thank you

            • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

              I hope so too Ian, I would like to see you take your good buddy Kei with you as well.

        • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

          Mike A. I agree with your assessment, I just think that Andy is not much more stable right now than Sheets would be. But if the dollars is 10mill for one year or 32 for two I guess that kind of makes the call for the Yanks.

          I would expect Sheets to end up elsewhere and Andy to end up back with us.

        • Yankee1010

          Pettitte for 1 year also allows them to slot Hughes into the rotation as a low-cost option next year.

        • Steve

          Yes, but they won’t go above 10 mil for Andy. Cash paid him a visit and was looking for an answer, all indications are he didn’t get one.

          So its on to Sheets for Cash, and unless Andy calls them at the last minute ala Bernie Williams, it won’t happen. Andy left hurt and felt disrespected when he left in 04, I suspect he won’t take them up on their offer.

          • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

            “all indications are he didn’t get one.”

            where did you hear that? i have not heard anything on the subject and would kindly like to know where I can read on that subject
            thanks

  • pat

    I cant wait for the day they put up an open thread and forget to ask us to play nice. We’d get all romper room up in this beeyotch.

  • Mark Teixeira

    Where’s my offer?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      No money left for you, unless you’ll play for about $10M a year.

      • Mark Teixeira

        I think they’d have enough to sign Me and Sheets

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          Assuming conservative raises to Wang, Nady, Joba and the other arbitration guys, their payroll is about $175M right now, more likely $180M. They’re not signing another $20M+ a year player with three already on the roster, it’s just not happening.

          • Thomas

            They should offer Teixeira the richest and longest contract ever $350 million over 100 years. Think Boras would take it?

            • Steve

              That contract would actually be a steal for the Yankees.

              -Tex would be signing for 3.5 mil per year

              -After inflation that contract would be worth less than 35 mil in today’s dollars.

              -Tex would be dead before he collected most of it, which could terminate the deal.

          • Gsloot

            The Yanks could trade Matsui and sign Manny or Tex, it would keep the payroll under 200 million. Cash had stated that he wanted a payroll around 180 million, but saw an interview on YESnetwork.com where he said only “it will not be more than next year”, thats 209 million.

            • Steve H

              If they find a taker for Matsui, the Yankees will be footing most of the bill for his salary.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

                Plus, what they get back for Matsui will not equal the production he can potentially give your lineup in 2009.

                I’d take that gamble. Then again, I got killed in Vegas, so what do I know?

                • Steve

                  Yep.

                  Might as well keep him. No chance Damon gets hurt, right?

          • Steve S

            I had them at about $185 right now ($140 to start- $7M for Swisher (-around $1.5 for Betemit), $23 for CC, $16.5 for AJ), not including arb raises or the $10M a piece for Cameron and Pettitte. No shot at Texiera.

            • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

              I would prefer we try and move Matsui and say hell no on that Cameron deal unless they take Kei Igawa. That money would help towards Manny.

              I still think they way overpaid for CC and AJ. I understand the reasoning for both deals, but especially the CC deal I think they could have made the deal happen for less. Nobody was ever going to even come close to that 160, not within ten miles of that. So then we add a year , add money per year AND give him a way out? Still can not get over that.

        • Gsloot

          I thought that you could only sign up to three type A free agents, if they sign Sheets wouldn’t that mean that they are done?

          • http://realmofhob.com Adam

            You are allowed to replace your own type A free agents before additional ones are counted. The Yanks lost Abreu, Mussina (I think retirement counts as a loss) and Pettitte (if they don’t sign him, if they do then he doesn’t count as a new type A anyway).

            • Gsloot

              Mussina and Abreu are not Type A, the Yanks did not offer arbitration.

  • John

    I hope we don’t sign Sheets or Lowe now. Andy for one ok. But, I really do want to have the fifth slot open for Hughes. I know that didn’t work last year, but with a top four like we have going into next.. let’s roll the dice. If we lock up Lowe or Sheets for a few years the only way Hughes gets a shot is injury.

    • Frank

      Well with Sheets AND Burnett in the rotation… Hughes will definitely get a shot!

      • justin

        Why not just not sign anyone else and give him a shot instead of paying Sheets to be replaced?

  • That guy

    I hope Christian comes back. What speed do we have besides Gardner? Put Christian on the bench and let Gardner get his swings in at AAA.

    • Old Ranger

      In AAA Justin was not a better hitter then the other guy, and not as fast.
      Justin- Avg. .306/OBP.357/SLG. .444/OPS .801. with 6 HR/17 2b/1 3b hits.
      The other guy- .296/.414/.422/ .836 with 3 HR/12 2b/11 3b hits.
      I think it is Justin in AAA and the other guy in CF. Trying to say we don’t need Cameron. 27/09.

  • Frank

    Giving that amount of money/years to a pitcher who has averaged less than 150 innings per season over the last 9 years is absolutely ridiculous. To me, this contract is how the Yankees were run back in the day with wasteful, reckless spending.

    So how many times does Burnett land on the DL over the next 5 years? I’ll guess 4 times.

    • 65hughes

      agreed i thought cashman said when he took over this bs contracts werent going to happen anymore i say burnett will be in the dl 4 times this coming year

    • C.Panella

      Your really going to sit here and try to predict this lets be positive maybe AJ turned a corner last year and will be the pitcher everyone knows he can be…Al leiter says he looked AJ in his eyes last year and says that burnett is ready for greatness so LETS GO BURNETT!!!

      • 65hughes

        i wont believe it till i see it

      • Frank

        Pitchers don’t turn corners with their injuries at 33, 34, 35 years old.

        • pat

          but barry bonds hit 73 homeruns at age 36!!!!!!!!!!!

          • 65hughes

            using his l’oreal cream

            • pat

              just a little joint supplement, nothing illegal right?

              • 65hughes

                yeah right

      • Peedlum

        Is that like when Shrubby looked into Putin’s eyes and saw a man he could trust?

      • Will

        I agree! There is nothing to worry about till there is something to worry about. ALL You chicken littles out there need to relax and get excited that our management is going after the most dominate arms on the market. Shit everyone ends up on the dl it;s all a gamble. Jeter, Wang Posada have all lost time and have been relatively healthy in their careers. We are going to lose people from time to time deal with it. At least now we have reserves and don’t have to rely on Ponson. The young guys can develop naturally and maybe Hughes, Aceves and Kennedy can develop into there perceived potential.

  • http://6pound8ouncebabyjoba.blogspot.com Kevin

    I’ve definitely called Burnett Pavano 2.0 on numerous occasions. I actually think he might be worse. Don’t get me wrong I will root for him, but it is a terrible signing.

    Pavano had a 3.00 ERA, 2.83 K/BB, and a 1.17 WHIP in the season before he was signed.

    Burnett had a 4.07, 2.86 K/BB. and a 1.34 WHIP this year.

    Pavano’s contract started at age 29.
    Burnett’s will start at age 31.

    Pavano performed extremely well in the playoffs with Florida. He had 2 playoff wins, a 1.40 playoff ERA, and 15 K’s in 19.1 playoff innings.
    Burnett has no playoff experience.

    Pavano was coming off back to back seasons with 200+ innings.
    Burnett has never pitched 200+ innings in consecutive years.

    So Burnett IS like Pavano, only coming off a worse season in ERA, K/BB, and WHIP, without any playoff experience, and he’s signed for more years and more money.

    So if we thought Pavano was bad, I can’t even imagine what will happen with Burnett. But I really hope he actually has some of this “talent” we keep hearing about.

    • 65hughes

      i want to see what nomaas is going to come up with after this

      • Frank

        It will involve Burnett in either a wheel chair or an ambulence…

    • Steve H

      Burnett throws 98. Pavano does not. Pavano’s #’s were accumulated in the NL East, Burnett’s in the AL East.

      • http://6pound8ouncebabyjoba.blogspot.com Kevin

        Steve, you know who else doesn’t throw 98? Try Phil Niekro. Try Greg Maddux. Try Chien Ming Wang. Just throwing fast doesn’t make you good. Sure, the NL East was a weaker division than the AL East is, but not so much weaker so as to make a difference of over a whole run in a pitcher’s ERA? A players age is important when it comes to long term contracts. Playoff experience is a valuable thing when you are the NYY and we’re going to sign a guy for 82.5mm whos never pitched in the playoffs? Being able to pitch 200 innings isn’t a direct reflection of a division. Pavano at the time of his signing projected to be better than Burnett projects to be. I hope he does well though, I really do. But seriously? You acted like velocity is the end all be all. A pitchers ability to get players out and decieve is sooooo much more important.

      • Will

        Thank You!

  • mustang

    What’s funny is that last winter we got beaten over the head with the ” Youth movement” and how the Yankees should change the way they do business. One short year later they sign a 32 year-old pitcher to a 5 year contract, are about to trade for 36-37 year old center-fielder and some fans are calling for a 36 year old DH.
    Just can’t get away from that good old Yankees DNA.
    LOL

    • Gsloot

      They still did not sacrifice any youth, the fact of the matter is that none of the youth is ready, except maybe Hughes and it will be three years before the influx of youth begins. This certainly helps bridge the gap.

      • mustang

        ” the fact of the matter is that none of the youth is ready, ”

        That’s not what we were told last year.

        • Gsloot

          they also said last year that there will be growing pains, it was spin. This has been the plan all along to save money and spend on free agents in 09.

          • mustang

            Personally I don’t care one of the reason I’m a Yankees fan is because they are willing to spend in order to win. I just find it a little funny that the same people who pushed for fiscal responsibility and having two rookies in the rotation last year are the same people who are now ok with the money for CC and locking down the rotation for at least two years by signing someone like Sheets.
            It seems to me that instead of following an organization philosophy it’s more like just justifying everything that Cashman does.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          I’ll admit that I was wrong. Kennedy wasn’t ready, but I absolutely believe Hughes would have been fine if he didn’t get hurt.

          • The Scout

            Youth will get its turn, probably this year. Chamberlain is part of that; when he approaches his innings cap, there will be room for Hughes or Kennedy, too. And certainly someone will get hurt along the way, opening another space.

            If the young players show they can handle key roles this year and next, then the likely loser will be Wang when he approaches free agency.

          • mustang

            Thank you Mike that’s especially big of you knowing how much you like IPK.

        • Will

          Ahh live in the past instead of being excited for the future!

      • Frank

        Yeah, so far the only positive is that they haven’t given up any youth yet. If we do trade our young guys I would think it would be for other young talent.

      • Peedlum

        Joba seems ready

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Whatcha talkin’ ’bout Willis?

      They replaced 39yr old Mike Mussina with 31yr old AJ Burnett, 31yr old Sidney Ponson with 28yr old CC Sabathia, and 37yr old Jason Giambi with 27yr old Nick Swisher. The youth movement is still in full force!

      ;)

      • Frank

        Damnit I love when you make good points!!

      • pat

        plus the cameron move is to bide time until a 22 yr old can take over.

        • JD

          Screw Mike Cameron and forget him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Make the trade for Ankiel as the 1 year stop gap in center then mover him to a corner OF spot with Damon, Matsui, and Nady(assuming if the yanks decide not to resign him) come off the books.

          • steve (different one)

            what’s “the trade” for Ankiel? a rumor?

            • JD

              Yes saw it on MLBtraderumors a few times and on the radio as well. That the Yankees have an interest in acquiring via trade.

              • steve (different one)

                sure, but without knowing what the Cardinals want, how can we say “Make the trade”?

                also, Ankiel is a free agent next year.

                • JD

                  They have an interest in Kennedy.

      • mustang

        Funny, but Sidney Ponson come on. You got me on CC, but that’s it still very well done.

  • Elston32

    There’s sure to be even more shouts of moral outrage from the rest of MLB regarding the Yanks throwing $$$ around like this – but the Royals and Pirates don’t seem to mind receiving those revenue sharing checks (although their own teams never seem to improve at all from year to year). Since the rebuild from within plan hit a few potholes Cashman deserves credit for trying to assemble a pennant-winning rotation before the majority of the current starting lineup begins drawing their pensions.

    • Steve H

      Funny how those revenue checks go right to the owners pockets. They don’t even need to go into free agency, but if they spent over slot on the draft used $10 million to sign some picks, they’d get better a lot quicker.

      • Elston32

        Good point. It is actually like a sick joke the way some of those teams conduct their business (with Bud Selig tolerating it – or offering apologies). We won’t be seeing a re-match of the 1960 WS anytime soon.

  • Mark B

    I just cracked open a nice cold Budweiser to celebrate the signing…..way to go, Cash!

  • pat

    So random but i was lookin at barry bonds’ stats to make a stupid post further up and i just saw he OBP’d .609 in 2004… Wowsers.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      120 intentional walks will do that.

      • pat

        Thats like, unfathomable.

    • Thomas

      A way to put that in perspective is Willy Taveras OPS’d .604.
      Barry Bonds OBP > Taveras OPS. Sick.

      • DanElmaleh

        Tavares also stole a lot of bases. if you add those to his total bases (subtracting for CS) he would have opsed about .730. The stolen bases make him somewhat less crappy. I am a big fan of adding SBs to TB to get a better looks at OPS.

  • Gsloot

    Can anyone answer?

    I thought you could only sign 3 type A free agents, if the Yanks sign Sheets, they can’t sign Manny or Tex?

    • pat

      its the number of type A’s you lose plus 1, or some shyt like that

    • Evan

      I believe you get extra for the A’s you lose, so I don’t think they are limited as Andy and Abreau get factored in somewhere.

  • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

    I’m with you guys on this – I don’t like giving him all those years and I worry a lot about his health, but this, from (who else?) ESPN, is ridiculous:

    “The addition of Sabathia and Burnett as free agents — combined with Chien-Ming Wang’s expected return to full health from a foot injury — gives New York a top of the rotation that can stack up with Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Daisuke Matsuzaka in Boston.”

    Stack up with, eh? I suppose if you think that peripherals mean nothing, Dice-K just proved that he’s an ace, and if you further think that ‘number of career no-hitters’ is a great statistic with which to evaluate pitchers, then Lester is every bit as effective as Burnett.

    As for the rest of the rotation, who among Joba/Hughes/Pettitte(?)/Kennedy can hope to ‘stack up’ with Justin Masterson?

    • The Evil Empire

      In my opinion:
      CC
      Wang
      Burnett
      Joba
      *Andy, Lowe, or Sheets
      >
      Boston’s rotation. By a lot.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Again with the optimism.

        CC > Beckett
        Burnett = Dice-K
        Wang < Lester Pettitte (who’s not on the team yet) = Wakefield Joba = Buchholz

        • pat

          oh come on jobas much better than the hamburglar

        • Evan

          All matter how you want to stack it:

          CC > Dice K
          Burnett > Beckett (at least based on last years numbers)
          Joba = Lester (though projects much higher, saying equal with Bucholtz just doesn’t make sense)
          Wang > Wake
          the 5th spot we don’t know yet

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

            Well, I tried to stack them up best to worst. Looking back, it should be:

            CC > Beckett
            Burnett < Lester Wang > Dice-K
            Pettitte (who’s not on the team yet) = Wakefield
            Joba = Buchholz

        • Zack

          Mike, I think you are going pessimist there:

          CC > Beckett
          Burnett = Dice-K
          Wang = Lester (You can’t really say that Lester is greater after one season. And even if he is, I don’t think its by enough to make much difference)
          Pettitte (who’s not on the team yet) = Wakefield
          Joba > Buchholz (Oh come on, you Can’t say that Lester is better than Wang, but then say that Joba is only equal to Clay, coming off each of their last seasons. Small sample size applies in both cases.).

          I would hardly say that the Yanks rotation is better per se, but I think you are being quite generous to the Sox Mike…

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

            Joba and Buchholz have stuff and command on par with each other. Joba has more fb, Clay a better change. They have the same amount of potential to turn into stars as they do flame out.

            Jon Lester last year was better than any of CMW’s seasons.

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

              As I understand it, Buchholz has stuff comparable to Hughes, which is a notch below Joba’s, correct?

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                Hughes is a notch below those two.

            • http://realmofhob.com Adam

              I don’t know about that. If I was to pick any pitcher on the Yanks to compare Buchholz with, doesn’t it have to be Hughes? Big time prospects who didn’t exactly deliver anywhere close to expectations last year… Neither of whom are actually guaranteed roster spots either.

              I’d also give CMW a slight edge over Lester. Yeah, Lester was far better last year, but that was only one year. CMW doesn’t have the upside, but he’s pretty damn consistent. You know — baring anything that happens while base running — that CMW is good for an ERA in the 3.50-4.00 range and about 200 innings pitched. Yeah Lester could repeat his low 3.21 ERA from last year, but considering his WHIP was 1.27 and his past performance, I think there’s just as good a chance he puts up a 4.50.

              On the other hand, I’m not willing to say that Burnett is equal to or better than either Beckett or Dice-K.

            • Yankee1010

              You don’t really think Clay is equal to Joba, do you? I don’t think there’s anyone in baseball who would rather have Clay than Joba.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                They’re absolutely on par with it each. What they did last year, in the first season they starting in the big leagues in their career, tells you absolutely nothing about how they will do the rest of their career.

                Like I said, stuff and command is similar. Joba’s about a year younger, big whoop.

                • Yankee1010

                  Bucholz does not have the fastball or breaking ball that Joba does. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

                  Joba being a year younger didn’t even matter to me at this point. It’s a pure stuff and results issue right now. It’s not like I’m the only one who believes this either. Plenty of scouts would say that Joba’s got better stuff.

        • Ivan

          CC>Beckett
          Burnett=Dice-K
          Wang=Lester
          Joba>Buchholz
          Anybody at the 5th spot>Wakefield.

        • Tom Zig

          Joba is better than Buchholz, are you kidding me?

          Wang is better than Lester as well

      • Frank

        “Only one more pitcher to sign and we can FINALLY put Joba back in the bullpen where he rightfully belongs!!”

        If I have to hear shit like this for the rest of the offseason I’m going to set myself on fire.

        BTW, I love that I can say “shit” on this board.

        • Will

          Need a match?

    • Evan

      Joba is far better than Masterson.

    • steve (different one)

      As for the rest of the rotation, who among Joba/Hughes/Pettitte(?)/Kennedy can hope to ’stack up’ with Justin Masterson?

      is this a joke?

      • steve (different one)

        yes, it was. my bad. i misread.

  • justin

    If only I had my Flux Capicitor I could hook it up to my Delorean and see five years into the future and tell everyone how this deal would pan out…it’s a gamble for sure but for me his injury history is just as bad as his stuff is good. It could turn out to be a really good deal, or it could turn in to another Carl Pavano. No one here knows, let’s wait until the season is over to start judging Cashman. Burnett had the highest VORP last year of any pitcher not named Sabathia according to Replacement Level and last time I checked we signed that guy too. Seems to me we’re in pretty good shape heading in to next season.

    • Steve H

      You couldn’t have at least changed your name to Marty or Doc for that post?

  • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    Ah… Always nice to get home from work just in time to watch highlights of Mike Rupp beating on Colton Orr and David Clarkson beating on Aaron Voros.

  • Jonny not the Damon

    Avid reader, first time commenter:

    All things being equal, I liked Sheets for the 2-3 spot rather than Burnett. After letting it sink in that Burnett’s a Yankee now, I can’t help wondering if this deal was less about each pitcher’s past performance and injury risk and future ceiling, and more about reassuring the (wealthy) Yankee faithful that it was safe to snatch up the rest of those expensive seats in the new Yankee Stadium.

    Signing the two most-hyped FA pitchers on the market makes a statement. Don’t get me wrong, I think Sabathia is the real deal. But the Burnett signing seems more like a marketing ploy than what’s best for the Yankees roster this year, the following year, and years 3-5. If Sheets doesn’t work out, he’s off the roster in what: two, three years tops? By then we’ll know if young guns are the real deal. If A.J. doesn’t work out…ouch.

    Thoughts? Am I reading into this too much? Is Burnett TEH AWESOMMMMME? Is Sheets an NL wimp who could never make it in the AL East? Or is this deal more about selling seats in a recession? (Payroll/roster flexibility and future rings be damned.) From an ownership perspective, what makes more sense? Reassuring fans that the Yankees organization is strong and “willing to win no matter what”? Or making the smartest signings for the roster regardless of how unsexy they appear? Or does Burnett accomplish both?

    • justin

      It’s not the smartest signing because its expensive and the length is not ideal by anyone’s imagination (that’s what she said) but I’m not sure its a marketing boost as much as the A-Rod signing was or the Sabathia signing is now. I think it’s a gamble on a guy with a decent track record and ridiculously good stuff…that’s all I can see in it for now.

    • Frank

      I think the Yankees know they will make the most money and sell the most seats by winning a championship.

      That’s the goal every year.

      • Will

        Joba has dominated every role he has played. He is fuckin ready!!

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      I think you have a point but I don’t think it applies to the AJ Burnett signing. AJ Burnett isn’t exactly the type of household name that’s going to motivate the very casual fan to buy tickets. CC Sabathia certainly serves that pupose, but I don’t think they signed him just to put fannies in the seats.

      • Jonny not the Damon

        I get what you mean; I guess it’s less about the AJ Burnett “name” and more about “we just signed the two biggest pitchers on the market for $240 million.” (Is that right…because that felt strange even typing those numbers.) It’s a statement all right….I just wonder if it’s the right statement for the future.

        • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees Eric

          There must be something scary about Sheets’ medicals, because a pitcher with his talent and good track record should have many multi-year offers.

    • pat

      I don’t think that cashman is in the business to really care what the fans think. You have to think that the yanks have all available information at their fingertips when evaluating each player. Supposedly sheets injury report is chock full of red flags. Supposedly burnett received some tips from halladay on how to refine his mechanics. They probably had video of every start this season and saw things that made burnett the better choice. I think burnett has a proven track record of being good in the al east as well as better pure stuff to boot. i think the last line of your post sums it up- Does Burnett accomplish both? I’d say yes He is the best available talent and assures the fansbase they are committed to putting the best talent on the field.

      • Jobathe heat

        For starters Im better than Clay. But where have you seen or heard info that Sheets has red flags in injury report. Thats what i fgured but cant find any info.

      • Old Ranger

        You are right, I wrote about AJ and his injuries about two three weeks ago. Speculating as to his troubles staying healthy, (simplified) it mainly boiled down to effort he put into his pitches…more effort then was necessary was being expended, therefore—injury. With help from some friends, he pitched more innings last year. 27/09.

  • Jake H

    If they win fans will love him.

  • Ivan

    Well, while Im not thrilled he’s a yankee, im gonna root hard for him.

    I’ll gotta be fair, Burnett has one of the best pure arms in baseball and can miss bats which can cover up the yankee average D.

    Look I don’t trust AJ Burnett but, if he can be healthy, I think he could have a big year for us.

    • Steve H

      Well put on all 3 points. Couldn’t agree more.

  • Ivan

    Pettitte signs Yes or No?

    • JD

      Not for $16 million

    • Steve

      Looks like ‘No’ at this point. Cash went to his house looking for an answer and didn’t get one.

  • BigBlueAL

    I hope Andy does re-sign so Joba could be the 5th starter the entire season and the Yankees would be able to more easily monitor his innings. With CC/Wang/Burnett/Andy the only real injury risk is Burnett, and considering what he did last year all 4 should pitch over 200 innings making the full-time transition to starter for Joba that much easier.

    If all are healthy, and with Joba assuming pitching like Joba all year long as a starter, the rotation for the playoffs would be the best the Yankees have had by far since the Top 4 in 2003 in which all of them won at least 14 games. In all honesty, this would be the nastiest/toughest to hit playoff rotation they have had considering the power arms and relative youth in the rotation besides Andy.

    Im lovin this!!!!

    • Ivan

      Imagine if Hughes harness that potential at the 5th spot if Pettitte is gone, talk about devastating.

      • Steve

        If you get 12 wins and a 4.50 ERA out of whoever is the 5th starter, this team will win 100+ games.

        CC-18
        Wang-20
        Burnett-16
        Joba-14
        Hughes/Pettitte-12

        Thats 80 wins, plus you get at least 20-25 wins spread out throughout the bullpen (last year the bullpen had 28)

        I also think Wang could easily get 22 wins this year if he stays healthy. He keeps his pitch count down, so he tends to go deep in game and get lots of decisions. Plus, the last time he won 19 (2007) He missed the entire month of April due to a hammy.

  • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    You can’t stop Travis Zajac, you can only hope to contain him.

    Mike, I know you’re loving this.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      I am. Entertaining game. Would be better if the Rangers were winning, but I’ll take an exciting loss over a dull win every day of the week at this point in the season.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        I won’t be comfortable until the Devs have a 3 goal lead.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          Nice timing. Jerk.

          The dreaded three goal lead.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            You can’t stop Travis Zajac Johnny Oduya, you can only hope to contain him.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

              The Rangers need to sign Shelley Duncan for this spark and grit. They look kinda dejected on offense.

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                But Shelley Duncan doesn’t play for the Devils, the Rangers wouldn’t be interested in him.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Ah, Zubbie, I take it all back. You’re ok in my book. Tonight.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                  That joke is so old the last time I heard it I fell off my dinosaur.

                  Fuck the heck is wrong with Lundqvist? The last two or three weeks he’s been pretty shitty.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  I thought King Henry was the new Brodeur.

                  (Sorry… I’m being insufferable. Been a while since Devils fans got to enjoy a nice beating of the Rangers, plenty of pent-up hockey anger over here.)

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Oh btw… I don’t want to turn this into a video game conversation, but I think I’m getting the PS3 (for the BluRay and because I’m pretty sure I’ll have a lot more free-time on my hands in 2009, the way business has been lately). What’s that hockey game you love?

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                  NHL 09. It’s the shizz. BluRay is sweet too. I can’t go back to DVD, I just can’t.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Ha. Now I’m more comfortable.

  • Brooklyn Ed

    LOL, the Mets are trying to be like the Yanks. How? they have their own Robertson in the bullpen. Minya traded Schoeneweis for Connor Robertson, Dave’s older brother.

    • Ivan

      You got some Met fans who think Kunz is just as good or better than Melancon.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Kunz isn’t as good as Joe Smith.

      • Brooklyn Ed

        never heard about that before.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t10twK4BZoc&feature=channel_page Kevin G.

    How would you guys rank the rotations in the AL East now?

    • Ivan

      1.Rays
      2.Yanks
      3.Boston
      4.Toronto
      5.Orioles

    • pat

      1. Yankees
      2. Everybody else

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      That’s tough.

      1. Rays
      2. Sox
      3. Yanks
      4. Jays
      5. O’s

      The difference between 1 & 2 is pretty small, and the diff between 2 & 3 is small as well. Toronto could have four Sidney Ponson’s in the rotation and I’d still take them over the O’s rotation because of the big guy.

      • Ivan

        Jays is not the same though.

        Remember no Burnett and Dustin McGowan or Shawn Marcum.

        I put the yanks over the Sox cuz the yanks back end is potentially better than the sox.

      • Reggie C.

        You must like Jon Lester alot. I think the Yankee 1-2 punch is better.

        Beckett-Dicek-Lester-Wakefield-Buchholz / Masterson
        vs.
        CC – Wang – Burnett – Joba – Pettitte (he signs for 12M)

        • Ivan

          I think Dice-K is the 3rd best pitcher on the sox. Wang is better than Dice-K and Burnett might be as well but I call that even for now.

  • Joseph M

    The Evil Empire ain’t what it use to be. This could really backfire in a big way. He’s missed a load of starts in his career winning more than 12 games only once in his career (2008).

    Let’s hope it works out but this is one big expensive risk………..

    • Reggie C.

      I don’t care about the W-L aspect of Burnett’s career. he’s been on some weak teams.

      • Steve H

        He’s been average teams. In the seasons that he’s made 20+ starts, his teams are above .500, and were over .500 in 4 of the 6 seasons.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “This could really backfire in a big way. He’s missed a load of starts in his career winning more than 12 games only once in his career (2008).”

      Hopefully he’ll be healthy, but I think the Yankees are going to surround him with guys who should be able to give them innings (CC, Wang, probably Pettitte). I think Cashman learned a lesson last season and will try to build a deeper rotation, which will help soften the blow if you lose a Burnett or anyone else to injury (and will hopefully keep the likes of Sir Sidney out of the new Stadium). He’s taking a shot with the guy with the high ceiling in Burnett, and hopefully he’ll protect against any injury problems killing the rotation.

  • ortforshort

    After spending $243 million, why nickle and dime Pettitte? He’s about the same age as Lowe and when factors like league, ballpark and injuries last year, plus the fact that he’s a lefty in Yankee Stadium are taken into account (are the dimension still about the same?), Pettitte figures to be a better pitcher than Lowe for New York next year. Lowe is going to get a multi-year deal at lots of bucks. I’d go with Pettitte, sweetening the pot, in a heartbeat.

    • Ivan

      I agree with alot with what ya say.

      Besides, it’s only for one year.

      Nevertheless, if Pettitte does leave, you got plenty of options from within to replace him with.

    • Reggie C.

      Agree. Offer Pettitte 12 Million so he saves some face. He’s fine as a #5 starter.

      • Ivan

        You think Pettitte accepts the 10M offer?

        • Reggie C.

          I don’t think so. If Cash delivered an ultimatum then definitely no. Its a negotiation right? So lets assume the Yanks are likely willing to offer $12 M, and everybody’s “happy.”

          • JD

            I say take the 10 mil or fine someone who will pay you more(no team will give pettitte more than 10 mil)!

    • steve (different one)

      but you insisted the Yankees weren’t going to spend this winter.

  • 65hughes

    i got a question lets say the yanks get whoever for 5th spot ap/bs or jp burnett goes down and the yanks replace him with hughes and pitches dynamite would you take out phil out of the rotation when his is starting to establish himself as a good pitcher to reinsert burnett?

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      Every manager would love to have that problem. What’s that old maxim about never having enough pitching?

      • 65hughes

        yes would you send hughes back to triple a for burnett or i dont know put burnett as the setup or trade him

  • AndrewYF

    The Yankees are going to be relying on Burnett to be a #3 guy, not the #1 guy they needed Pavano to be.

    Besides, what’s the downside – that they have last year’s rotation?

    To me, this is an all-upside deal, as hard as it is to call a 5-year, $82.5 million deal ‘upside’. If Burnett gets injured – well, we all expected that to happen. But if he performs, you could have the makings of a historic rotation. And I’ll take the possibility of that over pinching pennies any day.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Besides, what’s the downside – that they have last year’s rotation?

      The downside is that they have last year’s rotation at a much more prohibitive cost.

      • AndrewYF

        $5 million isn’t that prohibitive.

        • AndrewYF

          This was a dumb reply.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          I was thinking long term.

          • Steve

            One thing I like about Burnett/Sheets is it will give Hughes/Aceves/IPK a chance to get some some no pressure starts in here and there and get their feet wet in the bigs.

            Signing both Burnett and Sheets however, might really be pushing it. But that will depend on what Andy does.

      • http://realmofhob.com Adam

        The downside is that they have last year’s rotation BUT with Nich Swisher in the lineup in place of Giambi and Abreu AND Jeter, A-Rod, Matsui, Damon and Posada will all be a year older.

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

    Charlier Haeger, knuckleballer of the ChiSox, got nontendered today. Offer him a Spring Invite/milb deal? I say–why not?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Actually, the Padres nontendered him. They claimed him off waivers last year after the Sox DFA’ed him. He sucks, not worth a spot. Just don’t tell Rob Neyer I said that.

      • Rob Neyer

        Screw you Mike A.!!!!

  • pat

    Of course fucking jacobs is not playing this week just in time for fantasy playoffs.

  • http://realmofhob.com Adam

    Why do the Yanks hate Chris Britton so much? Is there any way that this guy doesn’t now go to the Padres and become their next out of nowhere reliever find?

    Second, have the Yanks brass commissioned any wind tests on the new Yankee stadium to compare it to how it might play vs the old Yankee stadium? I ask this in regard to how the Yankees seem to like every RHP like Sheets, Burnett and Lowe more than the Left handedness of Andy Pettitte? I know that CC is a lefty, but if the new Stadium plays anywhere like the old, the more lefties that are in the rotation the better. One just doesn’t seem to be enough.

    • steve (different one)

      i’m pretty sure it was more than the hand Burnett throws with that puts him ahead of Pettitte.

    • pat

      Dude it is not even close to a big enough factor to dictate what free agents they sign.

      • 65hughes

        do yo7u think thier is anyway that the braves can comeback and take him to atl

        • pat

          haha i dont think so dude, might be a little too late for atl.

  • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

    Mike, why so high on Dice-K? He went from a very average year to a dominant looking year by walking even more batters, striking out fewer, and inducing fewer ground balls. Maybe he’s carrying the torch for the ‘effectively wild’, but doesn’t it seem a lot more likely that he’s a slightly better than league average pitcher who had a lucky year?

    CC > Beckett
    Burnett = Lester (you say Dice-K

    I would much rather have our top 3 than theirs. It’s hard to compare the bottom of the rotations when we don’t know who will be on the team, but I don’t see any likely outcome where our rotation isn’t better.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      You have the guy credit for missing as many bats as he does. Despite all those walks he kept his WHIP reasonable because he allowed more than 40 fewer hits than IP.

      • Thomas

        Matsuzaka did have a BABIP of .260 last year, compared to .300 of the year before, so he may have gotten lucky with lowering the base hits.

        • Steve

          I think hitters simply waited for the walks, since he was issuing so many.

      • Rob Neyer

        Similar to AJ when pitching well, Dice-K has the stuff to get people out when necessary. He may just be the exception to the rule and succeed despite some ugly peripherals. He’s never given up a hit with the bases loaded.

        • Steve

          “He’s never given up a hit with the bases loaded.”

          Nah, that’s just dumb luck and a small sample size. You’ll let up a few hits on broken bats and check swings. All that tells me is he has a bunch of bases loaded hits coming when things average out. I think the league is slowly catching up with him.

          • Steve H

            But he’s also great in several other high leverage situations. He just gets better the tougher it gets. After a 1-0 count batters hit .167 off him. After 2-0 it’s .125. With runners on batters go .193/.302/.324. With RISP it’s .164/.288/.288. In “high leverage” situations it’s .184/.291/.276. I could go on and on, his splits in tight situations are unbelievable.

            http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/psplit.cgi?n1=matsuda01&year=2008

            • Steve

              Not really, pick any solid MLB pitcher with decent SO rates and you’ll find similar numbers. Many MLB pitchers get better in high leverage situations. That’s why clutch hitters like Manny are so special, and so rare.

              • Steve H

                I don’t think you’ll find many, if any guys with #’s that compare to Dice-K in those situations. Hell, with RISP batters hit .251/.298/.353 off CC. Off Johan it’s .230/.307/.343 (in the NL) which is almost exactly his normal #’s. They do not get better in those situations like Dice-K does.

                • Steve

                  To be clear, I meant you’ll find most pitchers with good SO rates see their numbers get better in high leverage situations. Not that they would all be .184 or thereabouts.

        • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

          “He may just be the exception to the rule and succeed despite some ugly peripherals.”

          Sure, that’s perfectly fair. As a possibility. But based on the evidence we have so far, that seems a bit premature. If he keeps having seasons like 2008, I’ll be right there with you. But far more pitchers have had fluke years than have been dominant while putting up peripherals that ugly.

          It’s just like with CMW. When he first started turning in amazing results without striking anyone out, sensible people pointed out that either he’d almost certainly start striking more batters out or have uglier outings. To do that well without any Ks would be unprecedented. At this point, I think anyone would agree that while he is nowhere near as dominant as some people made out (and still do!), he’s much better than one would have thought possible given his K numbers. But that doesn’t change the fact that the people saying he probably wasn’t that good were right: based on the evidence we had, there was no reason to think he could be this effective.

          Similarly, Dice-K might be an ace pitcher, but the smart money says he doesn’t like to throw strikes, and he’s likely to pay for it a lot more than he did in 2008.

          • Steve H

            Dice-K, unlike CMW does get K’s though, almost 1 an inning.

      • Steve

        MLB hitters aren’t stupid, they know there’s no point in swinging if they have a better than average chance of drawing a walk. Hideo Nomo never allowed many hits, but wasn’t very effective after a few years in the bigs. He became bat shy, and it seems Dice-K is headed down that same road. You can’t pitch that way in the majors and be successful.

        I’ll never forget what Bobby Valentine said about Dice-K when he came here. He said one of the biggest hurdles he will have to overcome here is the “crack of the bat” and not letting that change the way he pitches. Meaning that hitters are bigger and stronger in the states, and a mistake travels a long way here.

  • VO

    are the yankees honestly planning on going into the season with nady in right, and swisher at first

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Were you complaining when they went into 1996 with O’Neill and Tino? Cause that situation didn’t look much rosier.

      • VO

        good point

      • steve (different one)

        the yankees are going to have an awesome rotation, a good bullpen, and improved defense.

        if they get Cameron, they will have 9 above average hitters in their lineup.

        they won’t score 900 runs, but they might score 825-850 with much better pitching and defense.

        this is a solid team, it’s just a little different than we’ve gotten used to.

        • Ivan

          Yea this team potentially is gonna be different than past years where the yanks would just bash the shit out of opponets with their bats. They gonna outpitch teams rather than just bash em with bats. No question this team could potentially be different in 09. Plus, the games might take less than 3 hr’s and we might enjoy alot of 3-2 or 2-1 games.

      • Reggie C.

        Uuumm..

        O’Neil and Tino were both very good players and far superior to their modern counterparts.

        • VO

          i thought the same but look into it a bit and oneil and nady as well as tino and swisher stats the past 3 years have been quite similar

      • http://realmofhob.com Adam

        I’ll give you that coming into 1996, Tino and Swisher are probably comparable hitters, despite extremely different approaches. However, despite his athleticism, Swisher is an average field at best at first, perhaps even worst, while Tino was just less than a gold glover at first. But first base is first base, and Swisher is surely an improvement over Giambi.

        Now on the other hand Paul O’Neil was coming off of three straight seasons of at least .300/.367/.504 in right, including his 2004 line of .359/.460/.603. Nady can’t touch the pre-’96 O’Neil.

  • TurnTwo

    so if they sit at about $185ish million with only Pettitte left to sign, why not give the last rotation spot to the free for all in spring training between Aceves, Hughes, Kennedy, and whoever else, and couple Andy’s $10 million with another $10 million, and get Tex.

    Then trade Matsui away, and eat half his salary and you are back under, or right at, $200 million.

    do i have that right with those quick calculations?

    either Nady or Damon in LF, Swisher to RF, Cameron in CF, Tex at 1B, and then DH either Nady or Damon, whoever isnt playing the field.

    • Ivan

      Well that’s not easy.

      You might as well keep Matsui cuz your not gonna get shit for him and the yanks might pay majority of his salary if he’s traded and Matsui has a NTC.

      Second, While I would love the yanks to get Tex, lets be real, the yanks are not gonna do it. Cash and Co. have said hey were either gonna sign Tex or CC not both.

      • TurnTwo

        well, it can be that easy.

        you dont need to get anything for Matsui, because in essence what you are doing is trading Matsui for Teixeira. you moving him simply for the small bit of salary relief to give yourself some extra breathing room to make it fit at around $200 million.

        and i never said they were going to do it… i understand the difference between reality and fantasy, and this is certainly fantasy.

        but, you cant sit there and say there is no way they can afford Tex, too, because they can if they want to.

        • Ivan

          I didn’t say they couldn’t afford Tex, of course they could. Nevertheless, Casman and Co. had a plan to lower the payroll at a certain amount and paying for Tex would of sorta messes up that plan. Again they were gonna target one of Tex or CC not both.

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          but, you cant sit there and say there is no way they can afford Tex, too, because they can if they want to.

          This guy seems to think not, at least not realistically.

          http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2008/12/12/theres-only-so-much-space-left-now/

      • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees Eric

        I’d rather trade Nady, because he’s cheap enough to have some trade value, and I think Matsui will be more productive. Assuming they can sign Tex (which likely doesn’t happen, but just for the sake of imagining) I would deal Nady for a position prospect, move Swisher to right, and have Matsui DH.

        • TurnTwo

          well, yeah this is fine, too.

    • whozat

      Well, if you’re assuming that one of Aceves, Hughes and Kennedy starts the year in the rotation, and that they’re not going to have Joba throw 200 IP, your plan creates a nontrivial risk of winding up with a rotation of

      CC
      Wang
      Hughes
      Kennedy
      Aceves

      for some part of the season. If AJ is hurt at the same time that Joba has to take a break/shut it down/whatever, that’s what you’re looking at.

      I think that they HAVE to lessen the risk of that. Would adding Andy make it certain that they wouldn’t wind up in that situation? No. But it would significantly lessen the possibility that it’ll happen.

      • TurnTwo

        i’m ok with that.

        thats why you buffer this potential with a little extra offense Tex brings.

        • whozat

          So…you’re ok with winding up in the same pitching situation that we had this year?

          I understand that the kids are a year older, and would have a few more months of development time in July or whenever, but still…what if Aceves turns out to have been in indy ball for a reason? What if Kennedy’s other offspeed offerings didn’t mature as fast as we hoped? What if Hughes suffers another freak injury? Now you’re hoping that Horne’s shoulder problem hasn’t recurred or that Kei Igawa is keeping the ball down for the first time ever.

          Signing AJ has put us in a position where we NEED someone who’s likely to pitch 200 innings. If they’d signed Pettitte or Lowe instead, I’d be more sanguine about this. But…they’ve taken on significant injury risk now, and they need to hedge against it. Signing Tex isn’t the appropriate hedge.

  • steve (different one)

    FWIW, the smart people at fangraphs seems to like it:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/aj-burnett-to-the-yankees

    • Steve H

      They like it much better than the Ibanez signing, and I couldn’t agree more.

      • E-ROC

        The Phillies would’ve been better signing Abreu or the oft-injured Milton Bradley than Raul Ibanez, who is older than Abreu, Burrell, and Bradley.

        • Steve H

          Or Dunn. Or keeping Burrell on a 1 year deal thru arbitration.

  • Ben B.

    It’s going to be a GREAT April and May, and if we can keep 3/5-th’s of our rotation off the DL for the bulk of the year, I’ll be thrilled.

  • LA

    Burnett w/ his best stuff > Dice-K

    • Will

      His best stuff equals a cy young. It isn’t his stuff in question it is his health.

  • UWS

    WTF is going on at the Meadowlands Rock? Looks like I’m missing a mighty fine game (TV dead) :(

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

    Hey hey. Scotty Proctor non-tendered.

    • Reggie C.

      I wonder how Scott Proctor’s Right Arm will take this news….

    • Steve

      Saint Joe never seems to get blamed for all the relievers careers he ruined, huh?

      Seems kinda cruel to me.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Like who? There’s Proctor and … Proctor. Everyone else he “ruined” was well into their 30s.

        • Steve
          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

            32 years old, and he had a 7.44 ERA on May 24th in 2007, so he sucked long before Torre got a chance to overwork him as one of his Trusted Veterans.

            • Steve

              Oh, so up to May 24th counts, and the rest of the season doesn’t count. Or at least not as much. Gotcha.

              2007 April 5.79 /May 9.00
              2005 April 7.42 /May 5.23
              2003 April 11.01 /May 8.64
              2001 April 6.00 /May 4.32

              Guess what, he’s a slow starter most seasons. But he didn’t miss a month due to a bad shoulder before he met Joe, and he hasn’t been the same since.

        • Steve
          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

            35 yrs old when he signed. And he had thrown 436 innings combined as a reliever in the five years before coming to the Yanks.

            • Steve

              and pitched 95.1 innings in his first year with Joe, a jump of almost 20 innings over the prior 2 seasons. His career was basically over after that.

              • Steve H

                Why didn’t the 69 inning jump from 1994 to 1995 ruin his career? Or the jump from 48 to 83?

                A 20 inning jump is less than 1 inning per every 7 days.

                • Steve

                  He went from being a starter to reliever. Completely different way of pitching and preparation on a daily basis.

          • Thomas

            Quantrill stated multiple times he like being pitched that often and judging by his past performance he was very successful at pitching everyday.

        • Thomas

          Why doesn’t Torre ever get credit for his use of Rivera, Stanton, Nelson, and Mendoza? They were all used well and were very successful. Especially Mendoza, since if he was use on consecutive night he would break down quickly.

          • Steve

            He always babied Mo, so he doesn’t count.

      • Will

        Are we really bashing Joe and his four titles in twelve years?

  • LeftyLarry

    Actually, YAnkees signed a 31 year old pitcher, he won’t be 32 until next month.
    These are the moves George used ot make that brought YAnkees great teams.
    Starting pitching and clutch hitting.
    Which begs the question, why would Cashman spend 15.5 million on 2 bums who strike out like crazy in Nick Swisher and Cameron when that’s more than 2/3’s the way to landing a difference maker in Texiera?

    I mean with Gardner and melky backing him up in CF how bad could we be there?
    Why no courage and faith in GArdner who showed plenty?
    I’d much rather GArdner and TEx in my lineup for a few more bucks than Swisher and Cameron who is a 1 year player.Makes no sense to me and typical to me as to why I’m always down on Cashman..
    He brings in 2 players who will strike out 250 times combined if they are starters and passes on a total “can’t miss” difference maker like TEX that only comes around every few years in Free agency, while dooming GArdner to pretty much be a utility player and pinch runner when he might have the ability to be a sparkplug and 50 base stealer.

    • Steve

      “Actually, Yankees signed a 31 year old pitcher, he won’t be 32 until next month.”

      Opening day age is what most people use.

    • Steve H

      They got David Cone when he was 32, he won 20 games at 35 and isn’t a suspected juicer. They got Jimmy Key at 32. David Wells at 34. Clemens (juicer I know) became a Yankee at 36. El Duque 32 (probably 36). For all of the complaints about AJ, based on recent history, him being 32 on opening day shouldn’t be one of them.

      • whozat

        Signing a pitcher with his injury history til he’s 37 should be.

        • Steve H

          He’ll be 36. And while he’s not Cal Ripken, he’s only had one major injury. He misses some time during the season generally, but that can be a blessing in disguise for a playoff team. I’d rather him go into October with 175 innings than with 225.

          • whozat

            And the 5-10 starts tossed by the number 7 starter every year will really help the team too, huh?

            Guys…they just signed a power pitcher with injury problems for the tail of his prime and the beginning of his decline phase.

            I have a real hard time thinking this will be a good deal. The best thing that can happen is that, as young guys step into the rotation, there will still be someone young and promising at AAA ready to take AJ’s starts. Like, once Hughes graduates to the rotation in 2010, hopefully ZMac or someone else will be ready to come up for some injury starts when AJ spends his month or two on the DL.

            • Steve H

              “they just signed a power pitcher with injury problems for the tail of his prime and the beginning of his decline phase”

              That pretty much describes Curt Schilling when he went to the Diamondbacks at 33 years old. Or Dave Stewart when he went to the A’s.

              I don’t love the move, but I can talk myself into it. The guy is a power pitcher, power pitching wins in the playoffs. As far the #7 starter starting 5-10 games. Well the 2007 Sox had 7 starter make at least 7 starts including 23 from Julian Tavarez. Their starters were not overworked when they got to the playoffs, and they dominated. The 2008 Sox had 7 starters make at least 7 starts and were 1 game away from the Series. Getting these guys rest throughout the year is not a bad thing.

              • whozat

                AJ Burnett is no Curt Schilling circa 2000. His command is worse, he’s never been as dominant, and his health track record is worse. Do you really look at Burnett and think “hey, there’s a smart pitcher who’s going to be able to adjust well to diminishing stuff”?

                • Steve H

                  Do you really look at Burnett and think “hey, there’s a smart pitcher who’s going to be able to adjust well to diminishing stuff”?

                  No but I also don’t see why his stuff will diminish that much that he won’t be able to succeed. He’ll be 32,33,34 in the next three years. I’m sure he’ll still be bringing it.

                  And Schilling wasn’t a smart pitcher who adjusted to diminishing stuff, he had Varitek calling his games. That’s a bigger advantage than steroids. That man can call a game. If we sign Tek, Aj will win 25 games a year thru the end of this contract.

                • pat

                  Do you really look at Burnett and think “hey, there’s a smart pitcher who’s going to be able to adjust well to diminishing stuff”?

                  Like everyone says ALWAYS judge books by their covers.

      • Steve H

        Oops, let me add signing a 32 year old Mike Mussina to the list.

      • JD

        You forgot to mention that we signed Mussina to a 7 year deal when he was 32.

        • JD

          never mind just saw you did

    • steve (different one)

      Which begs the question, why would Cashman spend 15.5 million on 2 bums who strike out like crazy in Nick Swisher and Cameron when that’s more than 2/3’s the way to landing a difference maker in Texiera?

      how is $10M + $22M “2/3’s the way” to $200M?

      can everyone please stop acting like these are 1 year contracts?

      • Steve H

        And also, many great players strike out a lot. It doesn’t make them bad players. At all.

      • JeffG

        I understand the consideration for a longer contract but teams don’t cap their spending based on projections for ten years so I wouldn’t dismiss Larry’s statement as a whole.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      why I’m always down on Cashman..

      Yeah, he had a real crappy week, huh?

      Why no courage and faith in GArdner who showed plenty?

      .228/.283/.299 Granted, it was a small sample size, but in what world can you look at those figures and say he has shown plenty. While I’m not saying he shouldn’t get another shot, all he has shown so far is that he sucks at getting on base.

      He brings in 2 players who will strike out 250 times

      Most times, a strike out is no worse than any other type of out, and it is obviously preferable to hitting into a double play.

      Cashman had a plan going into this off season, and he appears to have executed it just as he hoped.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.
    • Steve

      In my defense, I would like to point out that I responded to the least crazy thing Bill said.

    • Steve H

      Thank you for that. Thank you very much. It would take weeks, but someone should put together all of the “CC will never come to NY” crap posts.

    • Thomas

      Those are great. I personally enjoyed Mike A. response of “Yes, because winning with a sub-$150M payroll is impossible. It’s science.” to comment 3, and comment 4, which says that Ned Colletti could actually screw someone in a deal.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      That last one is priceless.

    • pat

      lohud leftovers YEEEEEEESH

    • daneptizl

      Are you saying Tex is coming?

  • ODannyBoy16

    I know I’m joining the argument late on this one, but I think we’re all a little ruddy cheeked about the AJ signing and really giving Boston the short end of the stick here on the rotation question.

    CC > Beckett
    AJ ? Lester
    Wang ? Dice-K
    Andy = Wake
    Joba > Bucholz

    Lester’s best season was just as good as AJ’s, and Lester is entering the prime of his career, where AJ’s leaving his.

    And sure, we all rightfully mock Dice-K’s peripherals last year, but he DID go 18-3/2.90 and was excellent the year before as well. Wang essentially is a very similar pitcher to Dice-K in terms of last year’s statistical accomplishments – great record, great ERA, but he does not miss bats, in fact, as Rob Neyer’s pointed out, no one has ever been so successful while missing SO MANY bats. I know they are very different pitchers, but I don’t see how anyone on this board says Wang is definitively better than either Lester or Dice-K.

    And while Mike’s right in terms of Bucholz’s stuff, Joba has had actual big league success – something that Bucholz has yet to duplicate. These rotations are reeeeeally close to each other.

    • whozat

      “Wang essentially is a very similar pitcher to Dice-K in terms of last year’s statistical accomplishments – great record, great ERA, but he does not miss bats”

      This is fundamentally false. All Matsuzaka DOES is miss bats. He Ks a LOT of guys and walks more than half that number. The only reason he was successful last year was because he was able to keep his BABiP 40 points below league average, and by not giving guys much to hit.

      Wang is completely different. He doesn’t miss near as many bats, but he also walks WAAAAAAY fewer guys and generally succeeds at keeping them from putting the ball in play with authority.

      Also…Matsuzaka was essentially the definition of “league average” in 2007.

    • Steve H

      Dice-K misses tons of bats, especially compared to Wang.

    • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

      The only similarity between Wang and Dice-K is that they both have a hole in their peripherals that would generally preclude any chance of dominance. But, despite his lack of Ks, Wang now has enough of a track record to demonstrate that – while not the ace people pretend – he’s much better than one would think possible. Dice-K, on the other hand, has had one great year, following one average year. And his peripherals were worse in the great year. He could be good, but, as was true with Wang, the smart money says he’s not that great, until he proves otherwise. It’s still far more likely that he was lucky than that he has discovered a way to dominate with godawful walk numbers.

      • ODannyBoy16

        I clearly was misunderstood here.

        Wang statistically is very similar to Dice-K, EXCEPT for the fact that Matsuzaka misses bats. I guess you guys were reading that incorrectly.

        And anyone who thinks that Dice-K’s 2007 season was ‘league average’ is missing a lot – since when is 200 strikeouts league average? Top ten in hits/9? His RECORD might have been average, his ERA might have been a little above average, but certainly he was better than just any old replacement pitcher.

  • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

    “the Orioles signed veteran catcher Chad Moeller to a minor-league deal with a spring training invitation. Moeller, 33, hit .231 with one homer in 91 at-bats for the New York Yankees in 2008.”

    found this on another site in case anybody cares..

    • pat

      damn was hoping moello would be our veteran SWB catcher, oh well good for him

  • Greg G.

    Sorry to jump in so late to the party. Needed a break from the baseball blogs for a while.

    I just surveyed the Yankee blogosphere, and, man, there’s a lot of Cashman-hate out there for this Burnett signing. I don’t know honestly if it’s a great pickup or not, but, wow, people need to chill out.

    I’m with KLaw, I don’t think the Pavano comparisons are all that fair.

    (and one more thing, I thought it was seriously cool at Mike and Joe were at Vegas for the Winter Meetings…well done, guys!)

  • ortforshort

    The Yankees just got themselves back into the mix, but there’s lots of work to be done if they want to move to the head of the class in the AL East. The lineup is pretty mediocre as it stands right now and there are lots of old recently injured guys there. They first need to sign Pettitte to finish up the pitching and then get I-Rod for insurance against Posada’s injury. They desperately need to get Teixeira if they want a championship callibre lineup. I’d re-sign Abreu and I’d get Cameron, because Cabrera, Damon and Gardner are not answers for center field. Ajax is probably a couple of years away. With that lineup and pitching, the Yankees should be able to go toe to toe with the Red Sox and Rays next year.

    • Old Ranger

      I-Rod is not even a match for Molina, he can’t hit anymore. Molina, as it stands right now is a superior catcher. The best friend the pitchers have is a great defensive CF, which we just happen to have…he played the last few games of the season. In those games he did good, for a guy that can’t hit.
      As for pitching; CC, CMW, AJ, Joba, Andy/Phil looks good to me. We don’t need Abreu, Cameron or I-Rod, with our pitching as it is, we need defence…Johnny, Sept. call -up, and X-man as the OF and Swisher at 1st will help with the defence more than a 36 year old CF who puts up just a bit better numbers, not by a lot. 27/09.

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    They desperately need to get Teixeira

    Man, when are people gonna give that up? They are NOT GETTING TEIXEIRA! I thought they should have pursued him, but it’s just not happening. Move on people.

    http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2008/12/12/theres-only-so-much-space-left-now/

  • LiveFromNY

    I’m glad the Yankees decided to throw Yankee weight around again. Even if it all falls down, it feels good to not get beat. It feels like Yankeeland again.

  • Steve H

    Any new news on Dunn? I’m sure his price is dropping. Tex is not going to happen, but we should jump on Dunn.

    • Eric

      High five.

  • Marcus

    I am so glad the Yankee killer is on our side now.

    Every team we faced the Blue Jays and Halladay/Burnett popped up I notched them both as losses. Now Toronto isn’t so scary anymore.

    If AJ stays healthy….big if…we have a freak of nature.

    We potentially have 4 aces on our roster. This is beautiful.

    Thank you ‘Free Agency’.

  • Chuck

    Which would you guys want to fill out the last spot…. Lowe, Petitte, Sheets, give HUghes or IPK shots oor …… GARLAND

    • JD

      Lowe=No Thanks, I’ll pass.
      Pettitte=Take the 10 mil or take a walk.
      Sheets=If Pettitte doesn’t take the 10 mil.
      Hughes=Great to mix up with a Pettitte or Sheets to keep IP down especially for Joba as well.
      IPK=You will be banished to AAA until a suitable trade can be found. Your ticket to NY is gone.
      Garland=NY doesn’t need you.

  • DEN

    sheetz. hughes is there to fill his spot when he or burnett is hurt. still need tex, manny or someone to protect arod. cash has done very good so far though.

  • LeftyLarry

    You can look at the AJ Burrnett this way.

    He beat us 4 times last year and kills the Red Sox also.
    Say Yankees beat Toronto 3 of those 4 times now with him instead of against him and say he beats Red Sox 2-3 games also.
    Bingo.
    You’re in the playoffs.