Vegas, baby!


We all know the Winter Meetings begin on Monday in Las Vegas. We know that there will be tons and tons of rumors floating about, as nearly every baseball executive and member of the media will be in attendance. We know that at least a few free agents will sign. We know that a trade or two will go down. We know that there will be a veritable smokescreen of false info spread around.

You know what else I know about the Winter Meetings?

RAB will be there, live, to bring you updates on the action.

As in everything we do, we’re doing it for you guys, the readers who pay attention to the stuff we write and engage in the discussions on our threads. Without you guys, there’s far less motivation to do this.

Yes, this is an open thread, so all topics are safe. However, if you want some direction, why not make some suggestions as to what you want to see from us. Most of you have seen Winter Meetings coverage from the past. What can we do to make it better? How can we approach it that would provide a better overall experience?

So have at it. I’d say play nice, but sometimes it’s more fun when you don’t.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. So, if I get you correctly, one or all of you are going to be in Las Vegas to cover the Meetings?

  2. Marty Puccio says:

    I think we need to really look at Peavy if the Yanks haven’t already. The Braves probably won’t trade for him now that they got Javy, and I don’t know if the Cubs are truly interested. Jump in now, Cash. Might be able to get him at bargain price.

    And whoever posted the pro-Dunn entry here the other day: You sold me! Let’s go get him for 3/36.

    • whozat says:

      You are going to be disappointed in Jake Peavy if the Yankees trade for him. It will certainly cost them Jackson and Kennedy, if not Hughes and something else interesting, he WILL require some monetary compensation for waiving his no-trade — thus making his contract less enticing — AND he will not be the sub-3 ERA guy he is in the NL West. Pitchers park in the weakest division in baseball -> neutral park in the most potent division in baseball = dropoff.

      Will he be good? Almost certainly. But I don’t think he will put up the cy-young caliber numbers people are thinking they’ll get. Which will lead to booing. Which could be an issue for someone who already doesn’t really want to come to the AL or to NY.

    • Matt says:

      Forget Dunn, He sucks. We could get giambi cheaper, Cano is on fire and so is Melky, I say forget about any bats. Only bat I would consider getting is Baldelli. Use him as a part time dh role behond matsui and platoon some outfield positions. He will be good for that. I agree with Peavy being not so great in the AL East, plus his pitching style is scary.

      • Mike P says:

        Melky’s on fire and Dunn sucks? What do you base that on, batting average? Probably not OPS, home runs or consistency, I’m guessing.

      • Eric says:

        At least 40 homers for the last 5 years definitely sucks.
        At least 100 batted in 4 of the last 5 years definitely sucks.
        100 walks in 6/8 seasons in his career definitely sucks.
        A career .381 OBP definitely sucks.
        A career .301 EQA definitely sucks.
        A career .383 wOBA definitely sucks.
        A career OPS+ of 130 definitely sucks.

        Yeah Adam Dunn is awful. Don’t want his patient power hitting anywhere near my Yankees, not to mention his relative cheapness and youth. God, why would anyone ever want him?

        • Bryan says:

          Dunn doesn’t suck, he just has certain drawbacks. Don’t get me wrong, he is amazing at getting on base and spraying the ball just about everywhere. But, he plays very sub-par defense and strikes out a bit too much for my taste. That said he does grind out at bats and makes pitchers work. I would totally take Dunn if the money and years were right, but the only problem is out glut of DH-types on the team, so where would you to put him?

          • Eric says:

            He was actually just about average in the field by PMR and Baseball Prospectus’ system this year.

          • Old Ranger says:

            Agree with what you write, conversely, I am more inclined to pass on him then you are. DH is where he belongs but, we have a very good DH (bad knees and all) in Matsui, what do we do with him? Matsui (when healthy) hits around .300 BA w/30HRs, 100 RBI…I am not an expert but, it seems to me it is much better to have him for DH this year (only) and then replace him with Posada (if needed) or someone else…there are always DHs’ out there.
            If they sign Dunn, so be it…they know more then I do, for sure. 27/09.

            • christopher says:

              but we have a DH with 2 reconstructed knees who cannt play the field.

              Dunn is not as bad a defender as people think and in a good lineup with guys in front of him who get on base and the best player in baseball behind him, I Really think the guy can break out into an all-star.

              It is not as if he is stuck as a DH. He can play an adequate RF in Yankee Stadium and a bit below average at first.

              Most importantly, Matsui will not be a yankee in 2010 and it is doubtful that damon will be.

            • christopher says:

              unless you are ounting japan -matusi has hit 30 homers a grand total of once and it was 31.

              I loved the guy when healthy but have no faith he can play even 100 games at DH.

              Dont forget he has had a ton of mileage on those knees. he was japans iron man before he came here

              • Old Ranger says:

                All you say is true, what I was getting at (and doing a bad job of, as usual) is; Matsui is on the team for one more year right, yes…use him until next year. Next year we drop Johnny and him, to be replaced with people that can actually play the good OF and hit (how about Crawford etc.).
                Saving money now, gives us money to use next year on FA OFs’. Who would you rather see in LF, Crawford or Dunn/Nady or Swisher? I would rather have Crawford LF, Nady/A-Jax RF and the guy that played there in Sept. for CF.
                Next years DH will be open for anyone we wish to place there, Miranda, Posada, Swisher maybe even Montero (I know, that’s pushing it). 27/09.

          • Eric says:

            Dunn=Giambi without the injury concerns/steroid history

        • christopher says:

          but he doesn’t like the game

      • Steve H says:

        Here’s an idea. Instead of getting Dunn, let’s get a player who’s almost his extreme opposite (which all the Dunn haters should love). He can be had for low level prospects and the financial cost will be similar in terms of dollars and years. He’s much better runner and fielder, and hits for a much better average. In fact, he’s a career .300 hitter while Dunn, as has been pointed out, is a bad hitter because he has a career average of .247. So Dunn haters, who would you rather have, .300 hitting Juan Pierre, or .247 hitting Adam Dunn?

  3. Chris says:

    I have been twice and truly it is an experience. You guys are going to love it, just don’t forget about your loyal readers!!! Don’t sweat it Ben, I promise there will be others.

  4. Steve says:

    “Most of you have seen Winter Meetings coverage from the past. What can we do to make it better? How can we approach it that would provide a better overall experience?”

    Don’t tell us you’re going to be in Vegas.


  5. al says:

    “Most of you have seen Winter Meetings coverage from the past. What can we do to make it better? How can we approach it that would provide a better overall experience?”

    give us some reviews of the bunny ranch on the slow days..

  6. jobatheheat says:

    Do you guys think CC will get any other offers? From who? I think the Yankees pretty much trumphed every one with our starting bid. Good job Cashman

  7. Matt says:

    Forget Dunn, He sucks. We could get giambi cheaper, Cano is on fire and so is Melky, I say forget about any bats. Only bat I would consider getting is Baldelli. Use him as a part time dh role behond matsui and platoon some outfield positions. He will be good for that. I agree with Peavy being not so great in the AL East, plus his pitching style is scary..

  8. Eric says:

    Cashman is so money and he doesn’t even know it.

  9. Will you even be able to report on anything you see there? Or will you be on a gag order?
    After all, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, as they say.

  10. christopher says:

    what is plan B if they miss out on the three big pitchers? Personally, I think if CC walks they are screwed. Please keep us up to date on any team making him an offer

    and what exactly is the approach this team is taking this offseason. early on comments from hank and cash made it appear they would be super-aggressive. As i see it now it seems they are interested only in CC and burnett under the right circumstances.

    do they have any plans to upgrade the offense. I would make a three year offer to Dunn at about 13 million ( a somehat disounted rate) and i think he and his agent jump on it, if not they may be able to wait him out.

    do they get deeper into peavy discussions now that the braves seem out of it as do the cubs?

    finally, do they have any interest in Manny? Sure he is expensive but when you consider the loss of both the damon and matsui contract next year (replaced with AJAX and Gardner at MLB minimun) the deal makes sense if they are willing to tough it out for one year. works out even better if they get peavy as his salry this year is rather low.

    Any interest in Sheets Randy, Penny, or Freddie Garcia — the price of each dropping as you go down the list. Sheets like Dunn is another guy I think they can have quick at a discount if they pounce on him.

    Basically, I want to know the chances they walk away with 2 pitchers and 2 hitters, 3 pitchers and no hitters, 3 pitchers 1 hitter, or 2 pitchers and 1 hitter. Where are they drawing the line finacially.

  11. christopher says:

    I cannot for the life of me understand why the people who love hughes, do not like peavy. Peavy is the best case scenario for what hughes could be. If the yankees can get him, why on earth would you not want him especially with the inflation of ACE salaries. look at the contracts and their progression from moose, to hampton, to zito, to santana and soon to be to CC.

    • whozat says:

      “I cannot for the life of me understand why the people who love hughes, do not like peavy. ”

      You see everything in black and white.

      I don’t “not like” Peavy. I think that he’s a very good pitcher, but that he won’t be Cy-Young caliber in the AL East. I don’t think Hughes will be in the near future either — if ever. However, I love Hughes because I think he can be very good too…and be a staple in the Yankee rotation for the next ten years, probably for less money than it will take to have Peavy for the next four years. The money it would take to pay Peavy could be spent on, say, Dunn or Tex.

      • christopher says:

        you say i see everything in black and white and here you saying Hughes can be a staple in the rotation for ten years with little to no evidence to support that.

        I am not saying he will not, but Peavy regardless of where he pitched has won a Cy Young, is in his prime, and has established himself as one of the games top pitchers. To assume his numbers may increase is a perfectly valid assuption, but to assume he will not be cy young caliber is a much larger assumption than “Hughes being very good and a staple for ten years”

        and in fact I believe that aquring peavy would make it more likely that the yankees would acquire a big bat because his salary next season is 8 million – much less than the cost of burnett, lowe oreven sheets.

        now i understand that his salary escalates, but as it does the team loses Damon’s 13 million and Matsui’s 13 million.

        Peavy allows them flexibility for 2009 while being better than any starter available not named Sabathia. The roster flexibility going further comes form the loss of the inflated contracts of Damon and Matsui.

        So, in essence, I am saying that aquiring peavy makes it more likely the team can get a slugger on a short term deal (like Dunn or Manny) than adding burnett would.

        and just so you know I would like to keep Hughes and I am in the minority because I do not want Tex. He is great, but there are many good young firstbasemen out there and I don’t want to be locked into a 8, 9, 0r 10 year deal again for a firstbaseman

    • Eric says:

      Because it would cost money and prospects, Peavy pitches in a pitcher’s park in a pitcher’s division in a pitcher’s league.

      He also has some injury history and his delivery is a time bomb.

      Phil Hughes is young, cost controlled, and has incredible upside. The practice of trading away great prospects for veterans is what got the Yankees into the precarious situation that they’re in now.

      • Eric says:

        What great prospects did the Yankees trade away? And no, I’m not arguing with myself.

      • christopher says:

        Again, I am not advocating trading Hughes and yes it will cost prospects, but with the current rate of inflation among Ace starters, Peavy would be a relative bargain. Something that would be nice to have on the team.

        I would love to get him and hold Hughes, but I will not refuse Peavy based on the 27th best prospect in baseball. that makes no sense to me

        • What if the 27th best prospect in baseball plays a position that you desperately need, and there are no other reasonable alternatives availiable in free agency or trade to replace him if you trade him away, while Peavy plays a position of relative strength, and there are several other alternatives at his position that you can acquire through free agency without having to give away any of your valuable prospects?

          What then?

          • christopher says:

            is there a garuntee that AJax will be great centerfielder?

            Peavy is a great pitcher and the last time I checked the 2009 yanks have only 2 starters and three guys who can play center.

            I am not advocating trading the farm and when peaby initially became available I wanted no part because of the pricetag, but Towers has now painted himself in a corner and I feel the Yankees can get an accptable deal for peavy.

            If you want to argue against peavy – argue that he will never ast beyond the sixth inning – dont argue that he will become a bad or even average pitcher in the AL East

            • is there a garuntee that AJax will be great centerfielder?

              Nope. Good likelihood he’ll be at least and acceptable ML centerfielder, though. We’ll likely need an acceptable CF more than we’ll need Peavy, especially if we have CC, Wang, and Joba at the top of our rotation. I’d rather have three good pitchers and one acceptable centerfielder than 4 good pitchers and no acceptable centerfielder.

              Peavy is a great pitcher and the last time I checked the 2009 yanks have only 2 starters and three guys who can play center.

              That’s half true. Peavy is good, yes, and we only have two starters, yes, but we have lots of decent options in free agency that cost nothing but money, and lots of young arms with tons of upside. We have three guys who can play center, but none of them are that great. Jackson has a damn good chance to be better than all of them.

              • christopher says:

                if you think peavy is “good” not “great” than there is no point in us arguing the point. we’ll have to agree to disagree

          • christopher says:

            also remember that the yankees are dealing with a budget this season and his 2009 salary makes him extremely attractive and worth giving up some prospects

    • A.D. says:

      People don’t like what the Yanks will have to give up to get Peavy, not the physical player

    • I cannot for the life of me understand why the people who love hughes, do not like peavy.

      We already have Hughes. We don’t need to give up anything to get him.
      We don’t currently have Peavy. We’d have to give up prospects, and money, to get him.

    • steve (different one) says:

      because for every Hughes you develop and keep, you get to sign a CC Sabathia.

      simple as that.

      star FA players make $15-20M these days. if your payroll is between 150-200M, you can only sign 10-12 star free agents.

      the other half of your roster has to be young, internally developed cost controlled talent.

      you NEED Hughes, Cano, Joba, Kennedy, etc. to allow you to have A-Rod, Sabathia, Jeter, etc.

      that doesn’t mean you should never trade prospects for veterans, when the right deal comes, you pull the trigger. but in general, the closer those prospects are to the majors, the harder you need to think about trading those guys.

      • christopher says:

        you are absolutly correct, but a major point I am making is that it is rare to be able to trade for a relatively young proven major league Ace who is below his market value.

        prospects are absolutly needed to allow for the signing of a CC. My major point is I would rather give up 75 cents on the dollar for peavy and pay him 16 million AAV than to sign AJ Burnett for 16 million or Lowe for 14 million.

        and again he offers roster flexibility for this season when we need it because we have two overpaid outfielders/DHs in Matsui and Damon.

  12. pat says:

    They pretty much hand out press passes willy nilly nowadays eh?

  13. jobatheheat says:

    Do you guys see any upside in aquiring Baldelli. What are the yankees even talking to him for?

  14. Mike Pop says:

    I want to see pictures !!! Get those pics of Theo “Einstein” Epstein in compromising positions… You can be that guy !

  15. A.D. says:

    Does anyone know what a subscription to baseball-reference gets the subscriber?

  16. A.D. says:

    With the Giants apparently willing to part with Sanchez (for Jorge Cantu none the less), is there anyway the Yankees can match-up with them

  17. Bonos says:

    Re Dunn, I’m puzzled, where is it that he is going to play? Nady, Damon and Dunn. Boy, that’s an OF for the ages, who catches the ball. 150 to 200 SO’s, 236 avg to go with Swisher. What, we pine for another Giambi? With 40 HRs he barely squeaks into 100 RBI in the bandbox of Cincinnati. Think he’l do as well in the AL east? Isn’t it the idea to get better?

  18. huuz says:

    Mike, Joe:

    if you talk to any Yankee’s brass, ask them if the team uses any of the services from ASMI biometrics.

    I read about this in this article regarding Tim Lincecum:


    here is quote about what they do:

    “ASMI generates a report with 42 precise measurements, such as elbow, hip and torso rotational speeds, shoulder abduction (how many degrees the shoulder pulls away from its axis) and stride length. ASMI can find possible injury risks by comparing those numbers with the normative range for pitchers”

    it also mentions that ” About eight to 10 major league teams, including the Red Sox, Indians and A’s”

    but nothing about the Yanks.

    essentially this is quantitative scouting…something that is long overdue for a $6.5B industry.

  19. Brooklyn Ed says:

    Add the Yankees to the list of teams interested in free-agent outfielder Rocco Baldelli. The Rays, Red Sox and Phillies also are pursuing Baldelli, who came back from a rare neuromuscular disease with the Rays last season. Baldelli, 26, could serve the Yankees as a right-handed hitting alternative to Hideki Matsui in the DH spot, and also play outfield against certain left-handed pitchers



    Baldelli platooning with Matsui and possibly Gardner? At least some people’s wishes have been answered. Cashman sure have some interesting plans. I hope Baldelli does sign with the Yanks.

  20. Manimal says:

    Come on Joe, Your in Vegas because you want to be there and The meetings is just your reason :D

    • Manimal says:

      didnt finish… lets try that again.

      Come on Joe, Your in Vegas because you want to be there and the meetings is just the reason your telling us. :D

  21. Mike A. says:

    Good for Petr Prucha. About time he found the back of the net.

  22. Dave says:

    Wow – the teams are fronting like they have no money to spend even on arbitration for quality players and they are staying in vegas for the meetings. I guess they have some money hidden away after all. Time to break the piggy bank and make an offer this off season is getting mind numbingly boring.

  23. Charlie says:

    You guys are a great site. Coming from a fellow blogger, I am glad you are expanding and covering the winter meetings. I am so tired of Pete Abe and I hope you become the #1 online reader in Yankee up to date news.


  24. Bonos says:

    Giambi didn’t get to 100 RBI and the Yankee front four all had high OBP. As I said Dunn is paper power. In a tight game, man on second, no outs, a walk pads the OBP and sets up a DP. Giambi anyone? Personally, I want the runner moved over. Hitting should be situational not stat padding or averaging 175 SOs a year. As Billy Martin said, score one, you need two to beat me. Three teams above us – Angels, Sox, Rays – no Dunns or Giambis in the field.

  25. Conor says:

    Hey Everybody,
    My friend and I have started a new Yankees blog called 6 pound 8 ounce Baby Joba. We were wondering if you all could take a look, respond to some posts, and just check it out! Its our first attempt at a blog, so we would love some input and some hits!
    There is the link-

  26. Conor says:

    what would be better?

  27. nick blasioli says:

    river ave blues is the best web site for baseball news…when i read it here,,,i believe guys are up to date and very informative…..i say keep up the good work as i for one will be reading the blogs…

  28. Bonos says:

    People, I seem to have hit a sore spot, re Dunn. Here I’m questioning and I get this piling on. The guy is an oxymoron, a pylon OF. Where is this younger more athletic player. I say again 175 SO – sounds like a rally killer to me. By the way how was Giambi with men on base, I wonder what Dunn’s was. If Dunn is that valuable how come no interest last year and this year, management can’t all be dumb.

    • Steve H says:

      Ok, earlier you mentioned Giambi’s RBI’s. Ryan Howard has ranked 1st, 2nd, and 1st in the NL in RBi’s the last 3 years. He has also ranked 2nd, 1st, and 2nd in strikeouts. The correlation you are pointing to is simply not there.

      • Steve H says:

        That and, the 2 most certain ways of scoring runs are #1 Hitting home runs, and #2 getting on base. Adam Dunn is great at these two things. Do you know what’s really rally killing? Robinson Cano’s .305 OBP, regardless of his 65 strikeouts.

    • steve (different one) says:

      Dunn hit .241/.418/.511 with RISP.

    • christopher says:

      there is interest, but team’s are going to wait out the 2nd tier players believing they will get a discount later in the off-season. If the winter meetings are as slow as i thik they will be – i garuntee unmaed reps from the players union will cry collusion. It is for this reason that I think throwing an offer at him right away could work in their benefit as he may fear not finding the money later.

      not many teams have expressed interest in manny , sheets, or sabthia. odes that make them less thanndesireable.

      I am going to continue my dunn crusade as i think in the right line-up he is a perenial all star

    • steve (different one) says:

      nah, this is a pretty mild “piling on” by RAB standards.

      you make some good points:
      1. where would he play
      2. what about his defense
      3. if he is so good, how come there was so little interest in him?

      but you also make some not so good points
      1. you imply that it is BAD to walk with a man on 2B. it isn’t.
      2. “paper power”? no, he has REAL LIFE power. tons of it.
      3. the RBI argument. that’s more a function of having crappy teammates

      here is the deal with Dunn: yes, there are better players who are more “well rounded”. Teixeira is better. but we don’t know if we can sign CC and Teixeira. it seems unlikely. but PERHAPS, they can get Dunn as a cheaper alternative. that’s all.

  29. jobatheheat says:

    Dunn= dh for when Matsui leaves. Also a decent fill in of

  30. Bonos says:

    Look I hate players that play bat. The Yankees were crappy in the field last year and Dunn is more of the same. The team has to compete with Boston and Tampa. You guys all in the same choir? Why does a different point of view bother everyone that much. Now if someone said go for Hermida I’d be on board. Players like that should be a target.

    • Steve H says:

      Ok. You make a point, we reply. We make a counter point and you ignore. Please, try to bat down the RBI argument. RBI’s are a useless stat. Your rally killing argument was completely wrong as Dunn get’s on base 38% of the time. Dunn was average in the field last year.

      A different point of view is great, and can lead to constructive arguments, the problem is you don’t back up anything you write, so the conversation can’t carry on.

    • Mike Pop says:

      Correct me if Im wrong but I dont think Hermida was exactly top notch in the outfield either.. Dunn>Hermida because its only money and we dont lose anything.. plus it looks like it will cost less than 60 mill which is a giant plus

      • Steve H says:

        That and Dunn’s a better player. I like Hermida, but considering Bonos anti-strikeout stance, I want to see how he justifies Hermida

        Hermida had 138k’s last year vs 48 bb’s. So he clearly doesn’t work the count like Dunn, which is partly what lead’s to Dunn’s strikeouts. The more pitches you see, the more likely you are to strike out. Hermida’s strikeouts can not be justified.

        • Here’s the likely thought process:

          Hermida’s name was mentioned in the Manny trade derby, meaning that Theo was targeting him as a potential acqusition. If Theo likes a player, it means he’s an awesomely awesome superstud destined for greatness, and we should want him too.

          Meanwhile, pie-chart stathead sabermatricians like Adam Dunn (because he’s a good player), and pie-chart stathead sabermatricians are always wrong (and dorks), because the game isn’t played on paper (although, it is analyzed on paper, but whatever), therefore, since he has good stats and statheads like him, he must suck and we shouldn’t want him, because great players don’t have good stats, and players with good stats are just “compilers” (unless they play for the Red Sox, in which case they’re awesome selfless scrappy team-firsters.)

      • Bonos says:

        No arb, it’s about the money. The New Yankees – and it’s about time.

  31. Bonos says:

    Defensive stats, gotta love em. Dunn all of sudden became League average. Where was he before? I’m not a big fan of RBI myself, some RBI are more equal than others and stats are still developing. But I question the downer on stolen bases, an extreme example, Gardner on base. I’m not going to suggest LOHB to anyone. My point is that the Yankeees did not compete last year. This is the team that signed the Fat guy with Johnson on board and Dunn strikes me as more of the same or worse, all those SO.

    • Mike Pop says:

      This post does not make too much sense

    • Steve H says:

      So would you be against strikeout king Ryan Howard? You like strikeout king Jeremy Hermida, who doesn’t bring the obp and power to the table.

      Take a look at the top 10 batters in strikeouts year after year and you will see a ton of good and great players. Look at A-Rod. He struck out 120 times in his 2007 MVP season. He struck out 139 times during his 2005 MVP season. He struck out 126 times during his 2003 MVP season. These are big time strikeout totals.

    • some RBI are more equal than others

      this is the textbook definition of nonsense.

      My point is that the Yankeees did not compete last year.

      Yes we did. We were racked by injuries and in the toughest division in baseball, with 4 outstanding teams, and we were in it until the last two weeks.

      • Bonos says:

        “this is the textbook definition of nonsense” A little over the top snark, no?

        Yep a blowout RBI and a go ahead are the same.

        Last year 30% of the games 3 runs or less. They wouldn’t adjust and continued to swing from the heels, runners left on third with less then two out. When the going gets tough, etc

  32. Bonos says:

    Hermida SO 105 in 2007, 2008 down year, age 25

    2007 23 FLA NL 123 429 54 127 32 1 18 63 3 4 47 105 .296 .369 .501 125 215 1 3 2 4 10

    Comparing Dunn to A Rod – come on

    Howard – not a player, position bat.

  33. Patrick says:

    Congrats guys. Have fun.

  34. Mike Pop says:

    dude you need to chill.. Stop posting your shit all over

  35. UWS says:

    OK, kiddo. We saw that you have a blog and that you posted on it regarding Adam Dunn. Three times. No need to spam *this* blog, Seriously.

  36. Conor says:

    sorry just enthusiastic

  37. Mike Pop says:

    Sorry if I came off as a dick its just that we know lol

  38. sorry just enthusiastic

    “Jimmy Key, what’s he, like 45?… I could hit him…

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