Dec
15

Yanks backing away from Cameron for ‘baseball’ reasons

By

Perhaps Brian Cashman listened to Joe this morning. As per Tyler Kepner, the Yankees appear to be putting the potential Mike Cameron trade on hold for “baseball reasons.”

Kepner reports:

In talking to some people involved today, I get the feeling the Yankees are backing away from a potential Melky Cabrera-for-Mike Cameron trade with the Milwaukee Brewers, at least for now. There’s a deal the teams could make, and while I’m not sure of the particulars, at this point the Yankees’ main question is baseball-related, not financial.

We know they do not value Cameron at $10 million, which is why they wanted the Brewers to include some money — or take on Kei Igawa — to make the deal happen. Now that a fair deal seems to be in place, the question is whether it makes baseball sense…

Cameron turns 36 next month. Teams that win tend to have players in their primes, not in decline. In Game 4 of the World Series this season, neither lineup included any player born before 1975. The Yankees have four starters already in Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada.

There’s really no reason for the Yanks to acquire Cameron right now. They have bigger fish to fry, and while most reporters seem skeptical that the Yanks are going to be heavily involved with Mark Teixeira or Manny Ramirez, they’re not competing with anyone for Cameron. They can, in other words, afford to wait.

In the end, if Cameron doesn’t end up as the Yanks’ $10 million center fielder next season, no one will be too disappointed. While he brings a known quantity to the table and represents an upgrade over Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner, he’s not necessarily worth it right now. As Ed Price put it, give it a few weeks, and we’ll see where Cameron is then.

Categories : Hot Stove League

181 Comments»

  1. Ryan S. says:

    So there may be no $10,000,000 paycheck going to Andy Pettitte … and there may not be a $10,000,000 paycheck from us for Mike Cameron … and we’re still way below 2008′s payroll…

    Seems like there’s plenty of room for Mark Teixeira or Manny Ramirez to me. And shit, we could still get Andy if he comes to his senses … or just start Hughes. I bet Bill James would like that idea, no?

  2. radnom says:

    I’m in for Tex.

    Not so much Manny. Maybe some other CF trade options are being discussed internally?

    • Tommy says:

      Random and this aritcle are right, I say give the kids a chance in CF forget Cameron and Manny. Go atter Tex for two reasons.

      1. He is a superstar at first base with his bat and his GLOVE, how many runs do you think he’ll save a year scooping balls out of the dirt from AROD and Jeter. (nothing against AROD or Jeter but it Seems like they’re throwing it in the dirt a litlle more with age)

      2. If you can keep him away from the red sox, it will give the yankees that much more of an advantage in the AL East. The red sox have a scary enough lineup as it is without Tex.

      Don’t sign Manny because he is too old to get a three year deal with that kind of money, he has no place to play other than dh, he is a liability in the field and he would slow down the progress of up and comers like austin jackson who would be hard pressed to find a slot on the big leauge team because of an excess of geriatric outfielders. Not to mention he is a terminal cancer comparable to Terrell Owens.

      Also while I go on with this rant FUCK that guy from the Marlins and theyre ownership. The guy doesn’t even mention that the Marlins ownership pretty much pockets the money they get from revenue sharing. If I saw that guy at a game I would throw a battery at him. The only small market team i respect is the nationals at least they are willing to spend the money that teams like the yankees and mets are giving to them like welfare.

      • kunaldo says:

        totally agree about the marlins owner….if we didnt spend all this money, then he wouldnt have all that extra revenue sharing $$…hypocrite

    • JD says:

      Just as long we don’t acquire Mike Cameron!

      • Wait, because Cameron for Melky + Igawa is bad… how?

        If it’s “he’s overpriced”…

        Mike Cameron is owed 10M next year. Kei Igawa is owed 12M over the next 3 years. The fact that they may take Igawa makes this deal a slam-dunk.

        • Chris C. says:

          It’s a dumb deal, because giving Mike Cameron the spot in center over allowing Gardner to possibly develope into an offensive weapon is tremendously asinine.

          I mean geez, Gardner is a terrific defensive player, and can steal bases at the drop of a hat. If he can just improve his OBP, which he showed signs of doing as the season went on, he’d be great to have in front of the big hitters.

          Nevermind the trade value. That means shit. The real issue is, there’s NO WAY it’s worth an extra 10 mill to NOT find out what Brett Gardner can do for the Yankees.

          Thankfully, it appears that some intelligent people who exercise common baseball sense have finally gotten into Cashman’s ear.

          • Chris, look at it this way:

            Melky and Igawa have zero future value to this team. Zero. And, they are owed more money than Cameron is. So, we’re already improving our team both talentwise and financially.

            If you want to bring in Mike Cameron and make him the 4th OF behind a starting Brett Gardner, fine. I’ll trade for Mike Cameron and still give Gardner every opportunity to win the job in the spring, and every opportunity to unseat somebody during the year if he can’t win the job in the spring. Just know that the odds are long that Brett Gardner makes it into a quality starter. Cameron provides much needed insurance, and as I said, Cameron is not an extra 10M of Gardner insurance, he’s like an extra 5.5M. You have to discount him the value of the salary we’d be giving up to get him.

            BG and Cameron as our CF options >>>>>> BG and Melky as our CF options + Igawa’s future 12M salary obligations

            • Chris C. says:

              “Melky and Igawa have zero future value to this team.”

              Melky Cabrera does have a certain degree of trade value out there, believe it or not. Not a ton, but enough not to just toss him away.

              “And, they are owed more money than Cameron is.”

              I’m not arguing the value of the trade. Of course Cameron is better than Cabrera/Igawa. Nevermind the money though, because the Brewers aint making the trade without the Yanks paying for alot of Igawa.

              I’ll trade for Mike Cameron and still give Gardner every opportunity to win the job in the spring,

              This is fantasy, and you know it. You don’t bring over a 10 million dollar ballplayer and have him compete for a job with a rookie……..and then announce to the world that the rookie won the job……that would not happen. Gardner hit .400 for most of last spring, and was sent to the minors. But now he’d get a fair shot against Mike Cameron?

              “Just know that the odds are long that Brett Gardner makes it into a quality starter.”

              I don’t know that at all. What I do know is, he’s a terrific outfielder with tremendous speed who makes the pitcher throw alot of pitches. And I also know that his odds are ZERO if he never gets the chance.

              “Cameron is not an extra 10M of Gardner insurance, he’s like an extra 5.5M. You have to discount him the value of the salary we’d be giving up to get him.”

              Whatever. I’m sure your right about this, although none of us really know what the Brewers want the Yankees to eat from Igawa’s deal.

              “BG and Cameron as our CF options >>>>>> BG and Melky as our CF options + Igawa’s future 12M salary obligations”

              Unless Mike Cameron is PLATOONING with Brett Gardner, which he won’t be, it is stupid. It will be full time of watching Cameron strike out 150 times a year, hit less homers because he’s now in a bigger park for rightees, reach base about 32-33%, steal about 10 basses because his speed is diminishing, and NOT work the pitchers into high counts.

              If you want to NOT give your young guys a fair chance to earn a starting spot, you do that if you get a Carlos Beltran. Not a marginal starter like Mike Cameron.

  3. Manimal says:

    Am I the only one that is confident in Brett Gardner? His second time up was pretty good.

    • Brooklyn Ed says:

      I’m confident in him as well. all he needs is a chance.

    • radnom says:

      No, most people here are over confident in Gardner.
      “He just needs a chance.”

      Gardner is this year’s Shelly Duncan. Prepare to be disappointed.

      • radnom says:

        /\
        Look above and below me to see what I mean.
        Gardner supporters are the majority, not the minority.
        \/

        • Nady Nation says:

          I happen to be with you radnom. I want Gardner to succeed, but I don’t think he’ll get on base enough at the big league level to warrant his lack of power and strikeouts.

          • radnom says:

            Yes, I want him to succeed as well, of course. But we’re also realistic about his potential and don’t want to give him a chance over more able candidates.

          • Steve H says:

            He only strikes out a lot because he sees a ton of pitches and walks a lot. If the pitchers up here truly are good enough to not walk him, he won’t strike out as much either. I’d much rather see him walking and striking out a ton than doing neither. Because if he’s not walking much, his bat probably won’t get him on base enough.

          • Chris C. says:

            “I happen to be with you radnom. I want Gardner to succeed, but I don’t think he’ll get on base enough at the big league level to warrant his lack of power and strikeouts.”

            You’re just guessing right? Because there’s nothing in Gardner’s history to suggest that he’s not capable of getting on base very often. That is, unless you count the cup of coffee he had with the Yankees back in June by which he’d never had a major league at-bat in his life yet.

            And if he scores 120 runs, steal 60 bags, and saves countless runs on defense with his speed, do you really give a rat’s ass about his home run totals?

      • Old Ranger says:

        Sorry, the only way I’ll be disappointed in him is if he isn’t given a chance to earn the job, and I don’t mean coming in for defensive replacement.
        I’ve been watching this kid for two years, in live games, and he has what it takes to make a contribution to a winning team. He will not hit more then 3 HRs a year but, you can count on him to do anything and everything else to help the team win. I saw him score form 2nd base on a fly ball…nobody payed attention and just lobbed the ball in, he kept running. It’s called baseball instincts, some have it (Brett/Jeter/A-Rod), most don’t.

        • Jay CT says:

          Thats some statement to say that he has the same instincts as ARod/Jeter. AAA is a bit different then the majors, and as much as I like the kid and agree that I would like to see Tex or Manny- although I don’t think you are high on Manny- and Gardner, but I think its lunacy to even have those three names in the same breath

          • Old Ranger says:

            No, you have the wrong idea. That wasn’t trying to compare him to Jeter or A-Rod. Not even close.
            Baseball instincts are something you have or don’t, it is not a skill you can develop. Jeter and A-Rod have it, if you have ever seen A-Rod take the extra base…when nobody else would have seen the oppertunity, that’s instincts. How about the OF that always are there waiting for the ball or take off on the crack of the bat to a spot and turn around catching the ball and making it look esay…instincts. Not someting that can be taught. If you already knew this…sorry, some don’t know the differnce. 27/09.

          • Chris C. says:

            “Thats some statement to say that he has the same instincts as ARod/Jeter.”

            You just knew someone was gonna misquote the guy and turn it into some kind of productivity comparison.
            Congratulations, Jay.

            “but I think its lunacy to even have those three names in the same breath”

            Saying that Brett Gardner has good baseball instincts, then citing two other Yankees that also have good baseball instincts is lunacy? On what planet? You do understand that there’s a difference between instincts and production, don’t you? Please say yes.

        • radnom says:

          I think you really want him to be something that he just isn’t.
          Cherry picking 15 at bats to prove that he is clutch?
          Come on.

          • Steve H says:

            Remember that time he smashed the 18 hopper thru the Sox infield against Paps though??

          • Old Ranger says:

            Maybe, a little! I just think the kid can flat out play major league baseball, that’s all. Realistically, I do think he can give a lot to this team, will he be a star…I don’t think so. We have enough stars, we need the guy that make the STARS’ SHINE! He can help do that. 27/09.

          • Chris C. says:

            I think you really want him to be something that he just isn’t.
            Cherry picking 15 at bats to prove that he is clutch?
            Come on.

            “Right. Let’s judge him by what he did when he first arrived in the majors and was getting his feet wet.”

        • Chris C. says:

          “Sorry, the only way I’ll be disappointed in him is if he isn’t given a chance to earn the job, and I don’t mean coming in for defensive replacement.”

          EXACTLY! How can you not be? And when was the last time the Yankees had a guy who can run like Gardner? You’d be stupid not to give him a chance.

          The Yankees are treating this guy like he’s some shlub they used because there was a hole that needed some mid-season filling. And now they have to “bridge the gap” (hilarious, considering Austin Jackson was subpar this past season) until Jackson is ready.
          Gardner was a 3RD ROUND PICK, for cryin out loud!

          He will not hit more then 3 HRs a year

          Right, because he’ll never get any stronger to utilize the short porch. Remember when Bernie Williams came up and instantly smashed 30 per season? And there’s no way Chase Utley will ever hit any significant amount of homers in a season, since he only smashed 2 in his first 175 career at-bats. Good thing they wrote Utley off………..because once you hit the ripe old age of 24, you are what you are.

          • Ben K. says:

            Never compare Bernie Williams and Chase Utley to Brett Gardner if you want people to take your posts seriously.

            • Chris C. says:

              Boy, did you miss the point. Not even worth explaining.

              Have fun with Mike Cameron. He’s sure to solve the Yankees most pressing problem of 2008……….stranding runners in scoring position with less than two outs.

      • Chris C. says:

        “Gardner is this year’s Shelly Duncan. Prepare to be disappointed.”

        First of all champ, speed doesn’t slump. Do even if Gardner hits a rough patch, he’d still probably end up somewhat productive.

        Secondly, are you honestly advocating that we should just avoid giving young players a chance altogether, for fear they may turn into Shelly Duncan?
        That is a losers game plan.

        • First of all champ, speed doesn’t slump. Do even if Gardner hits a rough patch, he’d still probably end up somewhat productive.

          Nice baseball cliche. Here’s another: You can’t steal first base.

          • Chris C. says:

            “Nice baseball cliche. Here’s another: You can’t steal first base.”

            Yeah, but here’s what he know: BRETT GARDNER IS VERY FAST.
            Here’s the guesswork: BRETT GARDNER WON’T REACH BASE VERY OFTEN.

            I’d go with what we know, and give the kid a chance to prove the bullshitters wrong.

            • Yeah, but here’s what he know: BRETT GARDNER IS VERY FAST.
              Here’s the guesswork: BRETT GARDNER WON’T REACH BASE VERY OFTEN.

              But it’s not guesswork. Its realism. He has a chance to have a big league OBP north of .370 necessary to get on base enough to be an effective leadoff man, but it’s not a strong chance. The reason I want him to have a role on the 2009 team is because he does have that chance…

              … but he also has a very, very, very realistic chance of never OBPing north of .350. And a Brett Gardner who’s only getting on base 33-34% of the time just isn’t a super valuable player.

              I can see how you have optimism in him, because he has ability. I just can’t see how you’d be against adding Mike Cameron as useful insurance, especially if he doesn’t cost us jack squat.

              • Chris C. says:

                “But it’s not guesswork. Its realism. He has a chance to have a big league OBP north of .370 necessary to get on base enough to be an effective leadoff man, but it’s not a strong chance. The reason I want him to have a role on the 2009 team is because he does have that chance…”

                So there you have it. Instead of placing odds on something, how about giving the kid a chance? This is the way most successful teams operate.

                And a Brett Gardner who’s only getting on base 33-34% of the time just isn’t a super valuable player.

                Extremely subjective, but okay……he wouldn’t be as valuable as I’d like. Of course, we’re not given a look at what the rest of his numbers would be…….or his defense, for that matter.

                “I can see how you have optimism in him, because he has ability.”

                Yup……..I love ability. When given the choice of ability or an over-the-hill marginal strike-out king of a starter, I’ll roll the dice with ability. If I win, I’m a genius with a great table-setter. And if I lose, so what? Mike Cameron isn’t the answer to anyone’s prayers anyway.

                “I just can’t see how you’d be against adding Mike Cameron as useful insurance, especially if he doesn’t cost us jack squat.”

                Because Cameron will be force-fed to Girardi as the everyday starter, regardless. He STILL has a 10 million dollar price tag, and he’s CC’s best buddy. You are kidding yourself if you think it’s gonna be some kind of open competition.

                I don’t care what he costs……….the Yankees have pretty much priced me out anyway, so I no longer care what their payroll is. Roster spots carry way more value.

    • Old Ranger says:

      Hell, I’ve been shooting for him all the way back in ST. Every time I bring him up, people were knocking him. He should be given the same chance as Melky was given…or at the min. 400 ABs. He can make a big difference with all the hitters on this team and the great “D”.
      Just look at this projection; 2 outs RISP-BA .400/ OBP .438/ SLG. .533/ OPS .971 now that’s a clutch hitter. He showed that in the last few weeks of ’08. 27/09.

      • Ben K. says:

        In 15 ABs. That’s hardly a representative sample size.

        • Old Ranger says:

          True, but they looked too good to pass up!
          Really, this kid could be very good for this team in more ways then can be counted. Like I said before, I’ve been watching him for two years, he can flat out play the game. Nothing he does is great, you need the whole package to see it…he grows on you. He seems to do the right thing at the right time, be in the right place at the right time etc.,…like I said, baseball instincts. 27/09.

          • Miles Roche says:

            Oldie, i’m with you.

            I never actually saw Gardy play, but i did follow him the last 3 years, and he consistently started off slowly on each level before getting used to that level and becoming one of the most consistent producers on his team. He can make things happen in so many different ways, that he’s abso-freakin-lutely exciting to watch. Heck, I remember reading on one of Mike’s DotFs about Gardner scoring from 2nd on a routine groundout to short in a game this year. . .

      • Matt says:

        Easy now. Those stats are in 15 ABs. As a contrast, his numbers in “high leverage” situations: .292/.333/.292/.625 in 24 ABs.

        The lesson: don’t listen to small sample sizes.

    • Matt says:

      I am, too. He should be a good defensive CF with a great eye if nothing else. I think if all goes well for Brett Gardner, he’ll be a Willie Randolph type player: decent average, high OBP, low slg.

      • BigBlueAL says:

        You are really undervaluing how good a player Willie Randolph was. If Brett Gardner is Willie Randolph, Gardner will be an All-Star.

        • Matt says:

          When did I undervalue Randolph? I think Randolph was a good player–not great but good–and that’s Gardner’s ceiling, IMO. If Gardner turns into a Willie Randolph (like I said, decent average, good OBP, low slugging, but with great defense), I’d be tickled pink.

          • Ivan says:

            I think he can do that .

          • steve (different one) says:

            the problem with that comp is that Randolph made much more contact. Gardner’s ceiling isn’t as high as Randolph b/c Gardner strikes out like he’s a power hitter. with no power.

            that’s where Gardner is going to struggle to keep his average up and his OBP.

            he can go get it in CF, so IF the yankees were to add another big bat somewhere else, i wouldn’t mind seeing him get a lot of playing time.

            but unless he can cut down those strikeouts, i’d say it’s a longshot that he’ll be a starter in the majors.

        • Ivan says:

          Just looked at Randolph #’s and what jump out at me was the OBP% and the BB’s he compiled. Dude was terrific at gettin on base.

          Yo in 1980, he had a ridiculous 119/45 BB’s/K ratio.

          • Old Ranger says:

            Yes, he was a very good player, and very underrated also. Once he was gone he was appreciated more then when he played for us. He was one of those silent guys that did his job so well (but unspectacular) that he wasn’t noticed among all the stars. Hopefully Brett can approch him in ability. 27/09.

        • Chris C. says:

          “You are really undervaluing how good a player Willie Randolph was. If Brett Gardner is Willie Randolph, Gardner will be an All-Star.”

          Let’s see………decent avg., high OBP, low slg%. That is EXACTLY Randolph. So how is that undervaluing him offensively?

    • Ryan S. says:

      I think I remember reading that he’s a slow starter each time he gets bumped up to a higher level, but he eventually gets his rhythm, which makes you want to at least give the kid a shot to show if he can handle the bigs or not. He is also FAST, and I’m sure he can lay down a bunt when he needs to. Not only does he have good potential and a guaranteed quality CF, he’s the type of player we’re lacking and could really take advantage of.

      • Matt says:

        His speed is good, and I like that he only had one CS last year. The Phillies are the model a team should strive for when looking at base stealing: not a lot of steals, but timely steals.

        Gardner’s projected to be a good defender in CF this year, too, which is something the Yankees really haven’t had lately. Melky’s defense was overrated because of a strong arm, which people highlighted while ignoring his weak range. Gardner doesn’t have a strong arm, but he’s got great range, which is much more important in CF, IMO.

      • A.D. says:

        He is, struggled at the beginning of each level:

        First year, hit A- at 284/377/376

        Next year bumped to A+ goes 323/433/418, mid season bumped to AA goes 272/352/318

        Comes back in 07 to AA goes 300/392/419, clearly made an adjustment (or the league got a lot worse) gets moved up to AAA mid season goes 260/343/331

        Then 08 goes to AAA goes 296/414/422, another nice adjustment

        So there are signs that he can struggle & adjust…obv the jump to the majors is much different, but he could be a solid of/leadoff hitter if he keeps with his minor league numbers, he could also blow.

    • Chris says:

      If you want an upside comp for Gardner, just look at Brett Butler.

      http://www.baseball-reference......br01.shtml

  4. Greg G. says:

    In Game 4 of the World Series this season, neither lineup included any player born before 1975.

    Nice of Kepner to cherry-pick his data. (Even if I do agree with his overall point)

  5. cream says:

    hopefully they will revisit acquiring ankiel

        • Thirded. Ankiel is a glorified slightly-above-average corner outfielder. He’s more Xavier Nady than Grady Sizemore. We should not be giving up anything of good value for him.

          If he puts up another good year next year, when he hits the market he can become a reasonable fallback option in case Matt Holliday overprices himself.

          • Ivan says:

            Who said he was Grady Sizemore?

            • Steve H says:

              If Nady is one extreme and Sizemore is the other, Ankiel falls closer to Nady. So he’s not enough of an upgrade to give up anything useful for. And I don’t know how well he’d handle NY, don’t want to see him try.

              • That’s exactly what I was saying. There’s this myth that because Ankiel played CF that he was a good defensive outfielder. He’s not. He’s actually pretty mediocre.

                As is David DeJesus, for that matter.

                • Steve H says:

                  David Dejesus is mediocre on his best days.

                  Ok, a little extreme. But the guy just isn’t that good, I don’t get the love for him.

                • A.D. says:

                  The “love” is he’s a solid defensive outfielder coming off a 119 OPS + year, and hitting his prime

                • Steve H says:

                  So you ignore the 89 ops+ the year before? Ignore the .372 slugging % the year before? Of the 5 tools, Dejesus excels in 0. He’s a slightly above average hitter with no power or speed. And he’s probably average in CF, and slightly above average in LF. Would I take him on my team? Sure. What would I trade to get him? Not a whole lot.

                • The “love” is he’s a solid defensive outfielder coming off a 119 OPS + year, and hitting his prime

                  But he’s NOT A SOLID DEFENSIVE OUTFIELDER. That’s what we’re saying. He’s quite subpar. Defensively, he’s very akin to 2008 Johnny Damon – he’s okay in a corner, but brutal in CF. And, he doesn’t have Johnny’s bat… hence, if he can only play the corner, he’s just not a special ballplayer anymore.

                  DeJesus and Ankiel only have value if they’re given away Mike Cameron-style (like, as in Melky and Igawa.)

                  If the Royals and Cardinals want anything of value for either of them, it’s not a trade we should contemplate, because they’re both merely average ballplayers.

                • A.D. says:

                  I’m not ignoring them, i’m saying thats where the love comes from, obvious the love doesn’t come from his shit 2007

                  Otherwise yeah he had a shitty ’07, but he had a good ’05, ’06, and ’08, so chances are he’ll OPS+ 110 and play good defense, no thats not amazing, but it would be worth it if the Royals had been looking to move someone given their stockpile of OFs… especially for relievers, which is what the speculation was on.

                • A.D. says:

                  He put up a UZR/150 of 7.5 in CF in 2007, and 28.3 in LF in 2008

                  so I don’t see the hate on his fielding

                • He put up a UZR/150 of 7.5 in CF in 2007, and 28.3 in LF in 2008…so I don’t see the hate on his fielding

                  Maybe because you only listed his CF numbers for 2007 and not 2008, where he regressed from that 7.5 to a -7.4…

                • A.D. says:

                  actually I didn’t check it, I figured since he played a bunch of LF he would have a robust enough sample for CF, but at 500 innings, that a step in the wrong direction, good call.

                  Given that hes 28, you wouldn’t expect that drop (could be like Cano this year vs last), but we won’t know if it gets better as Coco should take the bulk of CF

                • kimonizer says:

                  NO to Ankiel
                  NO to DeJesus

                  There is almost no need for discussion any more as these points have been made on RAB over and over again. Neither is a bona fide CFer and are best suited to the corner OF positions which are already clogged. If Ankiel hadn’t almost beaned twenty batters in the head a few years back we would all be letting out a great big MEH based on his actual performance and stats relative to other options.

    • radnom says:

      “revisit” implies that they already considered it, and not just people on message boards.

  6. Ryan S. says:

    After actually reading the article, Kepner seems pretty incredulous about our chances of getting either Teixeira or Manny. And it appears that Brian Cashman doesn’t even know that a baseball player named Adam Dunn exists. Is he someone we’re going to only think about after Tex is off the market?

    • Greg G. says:

      C’mon, Ryan. Just cause you’re not reading about it, doesn’t mean that Cashman isn’t thinking about it.

    • kimonizer says:

      Is it me or do the Yankee beat writers at the Times all end up jaded and anti-Yankee a few years into the job. I seem to remember Olney being a pleasure to read then he went to ESPN and started taking pot shots at the “dead dynasty.” Kepner seems to be doing the same and at the end of the season enjoyed calling the Yankees mediocre, bad planners, wasteful spenders, etc., etc while glorifying the Rays and Red Sox often. He didn’t seem to want to take into consideration the circumstances surrounding last year and the ability of the Yankees to bounce back.

      Could just be a whole selling papers and working for the company that owns the Red Sox thing happening.

      • Ben K. says:

        I think it’s you. I find Kepner to be a pretty fair reporter on the Yanks.

        And the New York Times Corp. owns the Red Sox. No one on the sports staff of the New York paper is influenced by that part-ownership situation. Don’t look for conspiracy theories where there are none!

  7. Ryan says:

    I think ankiel was more just speculation from fans. No one has a reliable source saying that the Yankees were interested or that the Cards were willing to deal him. But honestly, I woulnt mind sticking Manny in the relatively small right field in the stadium, and I would love Tex at first and either Swish in right, or a Nady/Swish platoon. Also, with teams looking for cheap players, Nady is probably a valuable trade chip.

  8. A.D. says:

    Basball reasons = yankees can still get Tex

    If you’re going to make a case they want a young position player hitting his prime, then the only options are Tex & Dunn, which one would assume the Yanks favor Tex given the position he plays, and his all around package.

    Either one would provide enough offense to let BG go out play a great CF and see if he can adjust to the ML level. If he can get on base at a .389 clip & steal 40 bags a year, he’ll be very productive… and thats what hes done in the minors

    • radnom says:

      If we sign Dunn, BG goes to center where does Damon play? Or Dunn? or Matsui?

      Please don’t respond with “just trade Matsui for nothing”

      • Ben K. says:

        Dunn=LF, Damon=CF, Nady=RF with BG as the fourth outfielder. Damon’s got decent CF range even without the arm, and that is a far superior offensive outfield to anything involving Brett Gardner.

        • Ivan says:

          defensively that’s a piss poor outfield.

        • But since Dunn is a rightfielder throughout his career, and Nady is fungible, wouldn’t it be Nady-LF, Damon-CF, Dunn-RF?

          And I still say the team would move Damon to DH and leave Gardner in CF, even at the expense of dumping Matsui, rather than actually give Damon 150 games in centerfield. I know that we’re going to get horrible return on Matsui, but I don’t think Cashman is willing to subject his pitchers to a full season of Damon’s horrid defense. Remember that, according to 2008, Damon DOESN’T have decent CF range anymore, he’s got bad range. When he was in center he was bad, and it had nothing to do with his poor arm, it had to do with the fact that he couldn’t range all over to make the plays. CF is responsible for more ground than LF… Johnny’s got good speed, but his range is diminished; not so diminished that he’s a bad corner outfielder, but bad enough that he’s well, well below average for centerfielders.

        • Reggie C. says:

          Substitute Manny for Dunn in LF, and that OF lineup works for me.

          Just kidding … Dunn is a reliable power/OBP option, and he would help boost the offense. I think Damon is a good bet to give us 130-40 starts. BG can fill in the rest.

          So Ben, what do you think happens to Melky if there’s no Cameron deal and if the Yanks pick up Dunn or Manny ??

        • Ryan S. says:

          As disgusting as that is defensively, we DO have quite a few strikeout pitchers this year, and the infield is going to be in play most of the time when Wanger is on the mound. Still, that defense would kill us a few times this year and I would punch holes in the wall because of it.

        • radnom says:

          Yes, that is what I would do as well.

          I was just pointing out that there isn’t really a good scenario involving signing Dunn and playing BG in center, as the origin of this thread suggested they do.

      • Ben K. says:

        But we don’t talk about Dunn because the Yanks have been fairly unequivocal in their dislike for Dunn. They’re not going to get home. They’re just interested and they said so.

      • Please don’t respond with “just trade Matsui for nothing”

        Sorry to say it, but if we get Dunn or Manny, we’d be “just trading Matsui for nothing”.

        • Reggie C. says:

          If we traded Matsui, we likely would have to eat some salary too. B/c Mats has little positional value , no team is going to take on 13 Million. Best bet is to dump Mats to a team like the Athletics where he can split time in the OF and DH.

        • radnom says:

          Which is why they would be stupid, short sighted signings.

          Unless the plan is to go with Damon in center, Nady in right, Dunn/Manny in left, Matsui at DH and Gardner waiting for someone to break down.
          That would be ok.

          But you don’t “trade Matsui for nothing” so Brett Gardner gets playing time, that is absolutely insane.

          • A.D. says:

            well it would be about getting BG time, its that the org would want the other options in CF

          • But you don’t “trade Matsui for nothing” so Brett Gardner gets playing time, that is absolutely insane.

            But we wouldn’t be trading Matsui for nothing to get BG playing time, we’d be trading Matsui to avoid having to play Damon in CF and having horrible OF defense. Gardner is merely the beneficiary of the move, he’s not the thrust of the move. We’re dumping Matsui because if we add Manny or Dunn, we’d have 3 corner OF’s (Manny/Dunn, Nady, Damon) for 2 corner OF spots, so we’d want to move one of them to DH, and hence we need to move Matsui.

            And between the corner OF/DH spots we have, Matsui makes the most sense to move because he has zero defensive value and presents the biggest injury risk.

            It’s not about BG, it’s about keeping Damon, Nady, and the OF acquisition (Dunn or Manny) in the lineup together without destroying the defense.

            I could also easily see us dump Matsui for nothing and then re-ignite the Cameron-for-nothing swap. Which is basically like trading Matsui for Cameron, which you must admit makes a TON of sense.

            • Sweet Dick Willie says:

              I could also easily see us dump Matsui for nothing and then re-ignite the Cameron-for-nothing swap. Which is basically like trading Matsui for Cameron, which you must admit makes a TON of sense.

              Um, wouldn’t that be like paying (a 36 year old) Cameron $23 mil to play CF?

              • Matsui’s making 13M for one year. Say we eat half of that (6.5M) to make him disappear, we’d then be on the hook for 6.5M of Matsui’s money.

                Cameron’s making 10M; Igawa and Melky together are making 4.5M. So, if we flip them, we’re on the hook for an extra 5.5M of Cameron’s salary.

                13M – 6.5M + 5.5M = 12M for one year Mike Cameron.

                Mike Cameron on a 1/12 >>>>>>>>> Hideki Matsui on a 1/13

                • Sweet Dick Willie says:

                  Mike Cameron on a 1/12 >>>>>>>>> Hideki Matsui on a 1/13

                  Maybe, but that’s far from a given. Everybody wants to dump Matsui (and trade Nady, but that’s another comment), but let’s not forget his Yankee career is 295/371/478. That’s not exactly chopped liver. And I know he’s coming off surgery, but he was last year also and he put up similar #’s – 294/370/424 – in 337 ABs.

                  So maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think we should be giving that production away for a bag of balls.

                • So maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think we should be giving that production away for a bag of balls.

                  Perhaps, but at this point, for the good of the 2009 team, I’d trade Hideki’s lifetime .295/.371/.478 123+ for Mike Cameron’s lifetime .250/.340/.448 106+, because Cameron can play a good CF. In order for 2009 Hideki to surpass 2009 Cameron in value, he has to A) remain healthy and B) remain offensively productive enough to compensate for the fact that we can only play his 123 OPS+ at DH, a defense-negative position, versus having Cameron’s 106+ bat at CF, a defense-positive position.

                  I think that’s a tall order, and it would be easier to reproduce Matsui’s offense at DH (say with Johnny Damon) than it would to approximate Cameron’s offense at CF (where all we have are the 127 AB’s of Brett Gardner)…

            • radnom says:


              But we wouldn’t be trading Matsui for nothing to get BG playing time, we’d be trading Matsui to avoid having to play Damon in CF and having horrible OF defense. Gardner is merely the beneficiary of the move, he’s not the thrust of the move. We’re dumping Matsui because if we add Manny or Dunn, we’d have 3 corner OF’s (Manny/Dunn, Nady, Damon) for 2 corner OF spots, so we’d want to move one of them to DH, and hence we need to move Matsui.

              Ok, I didn’t not see that, but in your scenario we are spending on Manny/Dunn to replace Matsui in the lineup and then putting Gardner in CF. Lets assume that spending this money precludes getting Cameron (the premise of this article). So is the increase from Matsui -> Dunn/Manny outwieghed by the decrease of Cameron -> Gardner.
              I say barely in Dunn’s case, maybe a little more in Manny’s but still not worth the money, years and off the feild shit that comes along with it.

      • Greg G. says:

        Can Dunn play 1st? Then you can have Swisher as you’re 4th OF/backup 1B.

      • Ryan S. says:

        Its not like Damon was ever going to be our starting day center fielder…

        If it were up to me and we got Dunn, I’d trade away Nady (who has trade value and would become a spare part) and have either Dunn at 1B and Swisher in RF or the other way around, whichever gives us the better overall defense (both guys can play both positions). Damon still is in left, as he always should be, and Matsui is your DH while Cameron or BG mans center.

      • A.D. says:

        I’d guess that the Yanks would probably look to move Nady… just because he’ll probably be pretty moveable.

        I could also see them juggling around the lineup looking to start Damon in CF some, moving Swish, Nady etc around.

        Its really the same issue if they sign Tex… then where does Swisher go?

        • Reggie C. says:

          Nah .. i’m going to change my earlier stated position and say that the best move would be to move Damon to DH and start an OF of: Manny, Gardner, and Nady. I think Manny’s presence in the lineup affords the Yanks enough rope to start Gardner. Mats would get traded. Swisher is the 1B.

          If the Yanks pulled off a miracle and plucked Tex from the clawed fingers of our rivals, then Mats should get traded, and Damon moved to DH. The OF would now be Swisher, Gardner, and Nady.

          • A.D. says:

            You might be able to fetch someone like Homer Bailey (just going off the older Dye rumor) for Nady, vs nothing and eating money on Matsui.

            May not be better for the ’09 club, but it could be intriguing

            • Reggie C. says:

              Maybe… that’d be selling low on Bailey who was once a top-3 pitching prospect in baseball .. .and that wasnt too long ago. Reds shouldn’t be selling low on their guys, as they’re not a win-now team.

              Ultimately, I think we need to know what condition Mats’ knee is in. Is his knee really jacked up, or can he take the OF for 100 games ?? If he can play the OF for 100 games, then maybe BG subs in for the remainder of those games with Mats going to the DH spot.

              Truth is … Mats is probably a disaster in the field and his range has deteriorated rapidly.

      • nmc says:

        I think if we get it Dunn, then Nady is traded. Dunn/Gardner (or Cameron)/Damon with Godzilla DH.

  9. Tony S says:

    Matsui & damon are not playing everyday. You rotate BG, Damon & matsui between dh, lf & cf.

    This way they all stay fresh & we get max production while minamizing the risk of injury. It reall only becomes a logjam in the playoffs & by that time they need to check their egos at the door.

    Tony

  10. Chris V. says:

    If the Yankees keep both Cabrera and Gardner, Melky Cabrera will start more games thank Gardner.

  11. VO says:

    wow i didnt even see this article come up

  12. VO says:

    10:14pm: Wolf told MLB.com’s Marty Noble tonight that the Mets have shown “some interest.” Noble says the Yankees, Orioles, Dodgers, Braves, and Giants are also “thought to have interest.”

    I hope not i would much rather go with the young guys

  13. Steve H says:

    So who is going to talk 65hughes off the ledge now that Peavy might not be going anywhere?

  14. Yankees_Universe says:

    I think Yankees need to offer 8/200 to Tex and back out from Pettite/Cameron mess. Money will be even in this scenario. If you can’t challenge your farm kids for 5th spot than who is ever going to respect your system and give you anything decent in trade for these kids? Hughes was supposed to be an ace about year ago so why can’t he be a good 5th starter?

    • Mike Pop says:

      I agree they should offer Tex a huge deal but the money is not even…Its a big difference from 1 year and 8 years..

      Ill be happy if Tex going to Boston means we get Manny for 3 years

  15. Mike says:

    If we’re resigned to the fact of deploying a platoon of Cabrera and Gardner out there, why don’t we just make an offer for Baldelli. Obviously, with his condition, he can’t play everyday – but we wouldn’t be asking for that. I don’t know, maybe its just my line of thinking, but if we can bear to platoon Cabrera and Gardner, why not platoon Baldelli/Gardner – Baldelli/Cabrera? You know you have a guy who can deliver both offensively and defensively, albeit part time, and then decide who is better/more versatile in there with him.

    What do you guys think?

  16. [...] talk that the terms of the Mike Cameron deal have been agreed upon, but the Yanks are going to hold off on giving it green light for now. Manny Ramirez isn’t signing anytime soon, and Mark Teixeira [...]

  17. [...] flirting with various trade scenarios in the offseason, the Yankees came into Spring Training this past February with the same cast of [...]

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