Cash: Yanks at payroll limit

Cashman: "We've won the winter ..."
Yanks trade Wright for minor leaguer

The Yanks may have won the winter, but it didn’t come cheap. Speaking at a charity event last night, Brian Cashman addressed the Yanks’ off-season spending and said that the team is done with the big contracts this year.

David Waldstein from The Times covered the Yankee GM’s appearance:

Cashman spoke for nearly two hours to a capacity audience of 164 people at the Jacob Burns Film Center on behalf of Ed Randall’s Bat for the Cure foundation to benefit prostate cancer research. He talked at length about George Steinbrenner, Manny Ramírez, the 2004 collapse against the Red Sox, the Yankees’ center-field situation and past failures regarding pitching and minor-league development…

Regarding the current Yankees, Cashman said he was looking only to sign some nonroster invitees to spring training, and did not expect any major moves between now and the beginning of camp. “I fully expect to go to spring training with what we’ve got,” he said. “And that’s a good thing.”

Cashman took a question about why he was not pursuing Ramírez, and he said that he simply could not afford it after spending so freely during the off-season. “People expect us to get in on Manny, but it’s not going to happen,” Cashman said. “We’re in the nonroster invitee mode…He’s a great player, but when you look at our payroll, we’re tapped.”

Considering how the Yanks’ payroll appears to be right around $192.5 million heading into Spring Training, Cash’s words ring true. This time, there will be no stealth, 11th-hour signing of Manny Ramirez, and as Scott Boras and the Dodgers square off, Manny is in danger of losing his negotiating leverage.

Meanwhile, with the Yanks committed to their current roster, that means the starting center fielder come Opening Day will be either Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner. Cashman expects the two to fight it out and egg each other on this season. I’d be more comfortable with a better player anchoring that spot.

But that’s that. Now bring on Spring Training.

Cashman: "We've won the winter ..."
Yanks trade Wright for minor leaguer
  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Hmm, no money at all left in the payroll – not even for a Ramon Castro, whom the Mets want to move? Castro’s making 2.5M, we could give them one non-essential pitcher (like, say, Giese or Jackson) and have a better two-headed insurance plan in Molina and Castro if Jorge has issues.

    We’d only be adding like 2M to the payroll; the Mets get one more arm for their ultra-thin pitching staff… win/win?

    • steve (different one)

      would they carry 3 catchers on the 25 man roster?

      i can see the argument for Castro, but i can also see why they wouldn’t want to dedicate half their bench to backup catchers.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Yeah, that’s the problem with it. Castro’s probably not being added unless we subtract an outfielder (either Melky or Nady).

  • steve (different one)

    the best bet to upgrade CF is probably to wait until mid-season and see who has fallen out of the race and make a trade.

    i still think Melky will make the team out of ST b/c Gardner has options.

    the only other possibilities could be NRIs to retreads like Andruw Jones or Jim Edmonds. we’ll see this week if any veterans are interested in coming to camp to compete for a job.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      i still think Melky will make the team out of ST b/c Gardner has options.

      I think they both probably make it.

      1- C Posada
      2- 1B Teixeira
      3- 2B Cano
      4- SS Jeter
      5- 3B ARod
      6- LF Damon
      _- CF _______
      7- RF Swisher
      8- DH Matsui
      9- 4th OF Nady
      10- Backup C Molina
      11- Utility IF Ransom OR Berroa

      12 and 13- Starting CF and backup CF/5th OF Gardner and Melky

      I’d say the only way it plays out any differently is if Melky has an awesome spring and looks like a surefire lock in center, Gardner has a horrible spring and looks lost, AND some other internal IF or C candidate looks amazing and just forces his way onto the roster, and the only potentials like that are Miranda and Cervelli/Pillitere (or both Ransom AND Berroa look amazing).

      Realistically, though, the odds are stacked against Miranda (because he only plays first, and Swisher/Posada can already spell Tex there) and stacked against the catchers since I’m sure Girardi won’t want to carry 3 unless he has to. So, while Girardi/Cashman may want to go with two backup infielders and only one backup outfielder, it’s probably not going to happen.

      • jsbrendog

        but wouldn’t you want mroe than one utility infielder, or at least one guy who can play 1b/3b, or up the middle instead of one guy who can play everywhere? lf can play rf and cf can play rf/lf and usually some lf/rf can play cf so its pretty interchangeable, but by limiting yourself to one guy who can play the infiled other than your 4 starters youre severely limiting your flexibility.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Yeah, we’d want one more UI and one less OF, but we’re not going to move Nady unless we’re blown away, and as it stands now, Gardner’s probably in front of Melky on the depth chart. So, since Melky’s out of options and Gardner’s not, Melky has to beat out Gardner convincingly in order to send Gardner down and keep someone else up.

          And nitpick, we don’t need “at least one guy who can play 1b/3b”, just one guy who can play 3B. I count 4 premeir guys who can play first (Tex, Posada, Swisher, Nady), we’re ultra-covered there. And, since ARod isn’t exactly A.J. Burnett at third, I’m not super worried there either. IF ARod goes down, we’re screwed bigtime regardless, so whether it’s Ransom or Aurilia or Eric Duncan who replaces him doesn’t really matter much…

          • jsbrendog

            yeah i guess swisher would be the 1b backup and ransom would be 2b/ss/3b. but even so it dbe nice cause we have 5 spots 6 spots tied up in our outsield, even tho matsui cant play.

            too bad we didnt get alex cora!

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              but even so it’d be nice cause we have 5 spots 6 spots tied up in our outsield

              I refuse to list Matsui as an outfielder. He’s not. We have FIVE outfielders, not six.

              • jsbrendog

                yeah i am just backspace bigot today apparently

        • Let’s Talk About TEX Baby

          Gardner actually has value off the bench though. In a close game he can pinch run and steal a base and he can also be a defensive replacement for Damon.

          A 2nd infielder would only play in case of multiple injuries. Ransom/Berroa can back up at 2nd, short, 3rd and Swisher can back up at 1b.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            I agree wholeheartedly. I have Gardner in my everyday lineup. I’m just trying to figure how best to assemble a bench, and Melky being out of options complicates that, because he’s clearly the best candidate to be sent down to Scranton with a “Break Glass in Case of Emergency” sign.

            • jsbrendog

              this is what im saying. gardner is my starting cf. if melky starts only because he is out of options i will be peeved

            • MattG

              I have Melky ahead of Gardner on my depth chart. I don’t understand the Gardner love. We know this player: its Jason Tyner, Joey Gathright redux. Their minor league numbers are all scary similar.

              And for those that point to Gardner’s 40 UZR/150, I point to Keith Law’s scouting report: he’s capable–at best.

              Melky had a year in 2006 that I do think he can repeat, but I do not think Gardner can equal.

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                If you’re going to say “we all know this player: it’s Jason Tyner, Joey Gathright redux” about Gardner, I’m going to respond with “we all know this player, it’s Roger Cedeno minus the stolen bases redux” about Melky.

                I understand someone being doubtful about Gardner’s ability to stick in the bigs. I don’t get how you can doubt Gardner and not have even greater doubt about Melky. He’s got a longer track record of failure.

                • MattG

                  I think the 460 at bats in 2006 have a lot to do with that.

                  I’m not a Melky fan, but we’ve got a low bar here. Right now, I have to put Melky ahead of Gardner.

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Even though Gardner:
                  A) is a better defender than Melky
                  B) was a better minor league hitter than Melky
                  C) draws more walks than Melky
                  D) adds the dimension of basestealing, allowing him to compensate for his lack of power better than Melky
                  E) showed a marked improvement in his second stint in the majors last year, putting up numbers worthy of a legit major leaguer (albeit in a small sample size)
                  F) improved in 2008, while Melky regressed mightily in 2008

                  Despite all that, you still put Melky ahead of Gardner? Why?

                • MattG

                  A) I’m not sure thats true. Keith Law doesn’t think its true. He can be wrong, but he’s very often right

                  B & C) Cabrera’s 2006 shouldn’t have been possible according to his minor league track record. It truly exceeded anything he had done on any level with any appreciable sample size. A lot like Robinson Cano’s 2006. Yet we have not given up on Cano. Conversely, Gardner has shown one very good skill of value–the ability to draw walks off of minor league pitchers. And, like so many batters that came before him, when that is your only batting skill, it is not going to translate favorably at the highest level.

                  D) meh. With the at bats coming up behind him, he might as well stay on first base.

                  E) SSS in September, no less. You are better than this

                  F) still, see b&c. Minor league improvement is not the goal here. He simply does not have the skills necessary to control a major league at bat consistently.

                  This is a lot like a pro-Kei Igawa argument. You know Igawa’s Japan stats were awesome? A lot like Matsuzaka–but Igawa doesn’t have the tools. He throws straight fastballs up in the zone, and while that worked on the other site of the world, it will not (and did not) translate to the major leagues.

                  Gardner, like Gathright and Tyner before him, doesn’t have the skills. It won’t translate to the next level. I wish I had more names to look up, but that’s all I can think of. See if you can find a .300/.380/.350 MiL hitter that had a successful major league career.

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  None of that answered my question: why Melky ahead of Gardner? I understand your anti-Gardner argument; he doesn’t do the important things well enough to translate minor league effectiveness into major league effectiveness. But Melky’s worse at those important things than Gardner is, and he’s already demonstrated his suckitude; Gardner merely has the probability of sucking (and, thus, the possibility of not sucking).

                • MattG

                  I have answered it–you’re just missing it. Melky had 460 at bats in 2006 that I think he can repeat, and which I don’t think Gardner can equal. That is all. Cabrera, somehow, someway, got a .360 OBP and .751 OPS on the back of his bubble gum card.

                  What’s more, his peripherals, LD, GB and LD%, plus HR/FB, have all improved since then. All that has happened to him is his walks have fallen off a cliff: 10.9 to 7.3 to 6.5%. That’s horrible, but not uncorrectable.

                  He has already shown the ability to control the strike zone at the major league level in a prolonged trial. This means he can do it again.

    • JeffG

      I agree Steve. I do not see us carrying 6 OFers and 1 UtilIFer.

      What I imagine will happen:
      a) Melky looks alright and stays up with Gardner going down to AAA. ***Most likely***
      b) Melky looks like shit and Gardner looks alringt and Melky gets released/traded.
      c) Or us moving one of Nady/Swisher and Melky and bringing in a legit CFer i.e. Cameron or Ankiel.

      Melky being out of options really complicates this because we have to either trade him out of ST or cut him or play him. I was expecting to see him in AAA and used for Cameron later in the year if Gardner couldn’t handle the role. Once I found out he was out of options it kind of makes me feel like we will be seeing more of D’ Melk Man.
      – He did play well in winter ball… maybe last year was a wake-up call. Can he deliver another 2006 with 95OPS+? If so, that would work for me.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


        Hideki Matsui is not an outfielder.

  • http://yahoo jad

    Matsui,Nady, Swisher = $25 Million Per Year. Cashman do some productive work and trade them for depth, cheap back ups, young position players (how about Shortstop and Cf just to name the obvious). Sign Manny now! He puts us in the WorldSeries! I often wonder how Brian the wonderbreadman would do if he was in Shapiro’s shoes or even Kenny William’s shoes. The single most overrated person in all of baseball, both playing and administrative!! No creativity whatsoever. Get to work!!!

    • The Fallen Phoenix

      Matsui, Nady and Swisher already represent depth, though. Considering Matsui is probably the best bet to go down with an injury, Nady and Swisher would both be necessary to fill a full lineup with above-replacement players as the Yankees are currently constituted.

      And if Matsui went down, it would open DH for Jorge if his shoulder doesn’t hold up during the season.

      In short, the Yankees have actually already assembled a good deal of depth, it’s just *mostly* tied up in the outfield/DH, which is where the Yankees’ largest positional injury risks (Damon, Matsui, Posada) happen to be.

    • steve (different one)

      Matsui is untradable.

      once you accept what everyone else in the world knows, you’ll realize the rest of your post is worthless.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        I don’t know how true this statement is. In the right situation, Matsui may be very tradeable. I will agree with you, though , that there’s not many realistic scenarios where that trade will result in us ultimately becoming a better team in the end, short of Cashman/Steinbrenners reversing course and being cool with adding on another 15-30M onto the payroll…

        • steve (different one)

          let me re-phrase, there is NO WAY Matsui is tradable and we still wind up with the $25M of salary relief the original poster suggested.

          there is simply no chance of anyone trading for his entire salary while Abreu and Dunn are unemployed.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Oh, okay. Agreed.

            We’re not trading Matsui for salary relief, only to open his spot for a different team configuration (which involves eating salary.)

        • Let’s Talk About TEX Baby

          To trade Matsui the Yankees would have to eat enough of his salary to get his price below the remaining free agent outfielders… so at least 6 or 7 mil. On top of that they’d have to pay Matsui to waive his no trade clause. In the end they’d save maybe 3 or 4 mil. I think Matsui, even as a part-time DH has a lot more value than that to us.

          Having an extra player isn’t a bad thing. Let them fight it out. Whoever winds up sitting is going to get plenty of chances to play with injuries. Unless we’re packaging Nady or Swisher with prospects to get a better CF, there’s no point in trading one of them for B prospects who won’t help the major league team.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


            Now then, let’s talk about you and me, let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be, let’s talk about tex.

    • steve (different one)

      how about Shortstop and Cf just to name the obvious).

      if they are so “obvious”, why not provide some NAMES?

      provide real world examples of trades that actually make sense where the Yankees trade Matsui, Nady, or Swisher and get back a young shortstop.

      you sit here and act like the idea of trading a broken down Matsui for a “young CFer” never occurred to Cashman.

    • jsbrendog


      • pat

        I think that summed it up best.

    • pat

      Well we know how you’d do- Shitty. You think you can trade matsui damon or swisher for a good young position prospect? Not likely dude. Nady or swisher will easily be the best 4th OF in baseball, which if l’m correct counts as depth.

  • Mike W.

    I still can’t believe we are not going to sign Cruz. He is going to be such a bargain for someone.

    • jsbrendog

      no he is not because almost anyone other than us will have to give up their first round pick. unless its one of the shittier 15 teams who’s picks are protected. but then you get into the “why is [insert shitty team name] signing bullpen players for 3+ mill a year when they don’t have a shot at competing?

      • Clayton

        Well, said GM could think that by picking him up on a one year deal and then trading him before the deadline, he could pickup some talent that is better than the 2nd round pick he gave up and he ends up paying only have the salary. Especially if Cruz is the closer and has 20 saves in June. I mean the Rangers got three useful players for Gagne.

  • Rich

    They could trade Nady and/or Swisher and save up to $12 million, which would enable them to acquire a CFer and/or a UI and/or C. I really think that they need a fallback option in case Posada isn’t ready.

    • steve (different one)

      how does trading Nady AND Swisher to get, say Cameron, and some bench players make them a better team?

      it doesn’t.

      • Rich

        I don’t want Cameron for free.

        I was thinking a young ML ready catcher and perhaps DeJesus.

        Does that make them better depending on the price? Yes.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      The problem is, you’re asking Cashman acquire a “Posada’s still hurt” insurance policy backup catcher by trading away his “Matsui and /or Damon’s still hurt” insurance policy extra outfielder. Because, realistically, that’s what Nady/Swisher is: we have one extra, offensive plus outfielder capable of filling in if/when the elderly Matsui or Damon miss time or are ineffective in either LF or at DH.

      I’m not saying you’re wrong for wanting a better Jorge insurance policy or wrong for wanting to clear salary to do it, but Matsui kinda needs an insurance policy too. In any event, we’re probably better off standing pat until the season is underway so we can get a real sense of which position truly needs fixing.

      (and yes, I left out CF and UI intentionally. We’re not getting a better CF option via trade outside of Mike Cameron (which involves adding salary) for Nady or Swisher, and UI is not something we should be trading away valuable pieces for in any scenario.)

  • Craig

    Alright well if that’s all for the major signings let’s address the bench. Let’s get rich arillia over here he’s a new York guy and would be a great addition to our bench I think this is a no brainer no?…

    • jsbrendog

      guys like aurilia, grudzielanek, nomar, etc all come with pros and cons. but then they all also have to accept a non roster invite with a chance to win a job. which as time draws nigh for st might be mroe likely

      • Joseph P.

        Thank you for again mentioning Grudzielanek. He looks like by far the best utility infielder option out there.

        • steve (different one)

          i’d love to get Grudzielanek on a minor league deal, but i don’t know if that is possible.

          • jsbrendog

            he’s not signed yet/ the longer it goes the less chance of someone giving him a strarting job. I think all we’d have to do is call his agent and be like, so you had fun losing in kc? wanna chance to actually win?

        • Don

          I forgot about Ray Durham still being out there. He can only play 2B, but can still hit, as he put up a 112 OPS+ last year. Problem is he only plays 2B and he had a poor year vs. lefties last year.

          • steve (different one)

            Durham would be a decent pickup, but i HAVE to think he’d have better offers.

            then again, who knows?

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Ray Durham, what’s he, like 45? I could hit him…

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Rich Aurilia is basically a 1B/3B at this point. He doesn’t do much that Ransom can’t do, but Ransom can at least line up at 2B and SS.

  • Don

    Would love to get Grudzie for the bench, always been a fan of how he plays the game…and the numbers he quietly puts up. Id be remiss if I didnt mention that part.

  • Bill from NJ

    The New York Yankees today acquired outfielder/catcher Eric Fryer from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for left-handed pitcher Chase Wright.

    • steve (different one)

      in response to hearing that the Brewers traded their fryer, Prince Fielder smashed a water cooler in the clubhouse.

      he was later sedated when he was informed it was actually ERIC Fryer.

      • pat

        Heh. Me gusta que hiciste aqui.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Baxter, you know I don’t speak Spanish. In English, please.

          • steve (different one)

            anyone know anything about this guy?

            he’s not that young, but he raked last year in A ball.


      • jsbrendog

        coment of the day so far

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Then there’s also this option:

    Reopen the Melky + Igawa for Cameron swap. Maybe throw in a Geise/Hacker/Jackson quasi-prospect to make it more worth their while.

    We’d be adding about 4M to the payroll, but Cameron allows us to move Brett back to the minors and still get good production from CF; clears our outfield logjam (just 4 OF’s in Damon-Cameron-Swisher-Nady); and the spot cleared on the 25-man by only carrying 1 centerfielder allows us to add another utility infielder like a Grudzielanek or a Nomar.

    Gardner is easily recalled if someone slumps (or if we trade Nady or Cameron away midseason if everyone’s healthy and Gardner looks amazing in Scranton).

    It all comes down to whether or not the Yanks are ready to give up on Melky.

    • steve (different one)

      if i recall, i think the deal mostly fell apart when the Yankees tried to force Igawa into it.

      i don’t think there was ever a “Melky + Igawa” deal to re-visit.

      maybe if the Yankees were taking Hall or something, but that again involves taking significant payroll.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        I thought it was Melky + Igawa but the Brewers wanted more salary relief (i.e. we pay part of Igawa’s contract) and that was the sticking point.

        You have to admit though, flipping Melky for Cameron and sending Gardner to Scranton would solve a lot of our bench “problems”.

        • MattG

          Except that according to projections, Gelky and Cameron are about the same player in 2009.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            And yet, Gelky is two men and Cameron is but one.

            That’s the heart of the matter.

            • MattG

              Two guys that already have contracts with the Yankees, and one guy with options. If you were to replace Melky’s contract with Cameron, it would still be 2 guys.

              At the heart of the matter is this: carry both players in the majors, or demote Gardner? If you were to demote Gardner, who plays CF–Cameron or Melky? Here are their projections for 2009:

              James: .325 .434 .759
              CHONE: .331 .436 .767
              Marcel: .328 .436 .765
              Oliver: .332 .456 .788

              James: .337 .393 .730
              CHONE: .345 .402 .747
              Marcel: .333 .383 .716
              Oliver: .321 .383 .704

              The OBPs are a relative wash, and before you give Cameron the nod for slugging, consider park effects: Cameron is a fly ball guy. Yankee Stadium will kill him.

              Then there is defense to consider. Only one thing is clear from looking at Cameron’s UZR–he is erratic. He’s been plus in 2006 and 2008, but minus in 2005 and 2007. He’ll probably be better than Melky, but its not guaranteed, or it may not be by much.

              In short, swapping Cameron for Melky really doesn’t change anything. You still demote Gardner, and play the other guy. All three of them look largely interchangeable.

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                and before you give Cameron the nod for slugging, consider park effects: Cameron is a fly ball guy. Yankee Stadium will kill him.

                Miller Park:

                Left Field: 344 ft / 105 m
                Left-Center: 371 ft / 113 m
                Center Field: 400 ft / 122 m
                Right-Center: 374 ft / 114 m
                Right Field: 337 ft / 102.72 m

                Park Factors
                (multi-year): Batting – 100, Pitching – 100
                (one-year): Batting – 98, Pitching – 97

                Yankee Stadium

                Left Field – 318 ft (96.9 m)
                Left-Center – 399 ft (121.6 m)
                Center Field – 408 ft (124.3 m)
                Right-Center – 385 ft (117.3 m)
                Right Field – 314 ft (95.7 m)

                Park Factors
                (multi-year): Batting – 103, Pitching – 102
                (one-year): Batting – 103, Pitching – 103

                He probably benefits from moving to Yankee Stadium, thus magnifying his slugging advantage. So I disagree there.

                Then there is defense to consider. Only one thing is clear from looking at Cameron’s UZR–he is erratic. He’s been plus in 2006 and 2008, but minus in 2005 and 2007. He’ll probably be better than Melky, but its not guaranteed, or it may not be by much.

                CF UZR/150, past three years:
                Cameron: +5.4, -7.2, +13.3
                Melky: N/A, -14.8, 0.0

                I’ll take that gamble.

                Oh, and the projections may say they’re similar… here’s the results:

                wOBA, past three years:
                Cameron: .333, .318, .275
                Melky: .360, .334, .353

                That’s not a “wash”. Not by a longshot. Cameron is definitively an upgrade over Melky.

                • MattG

                  I don’t understand your park effects figures. They seem to be generalizations that do not take into account the specifics of a right handed fly ball hitter in Yankee Stadium.

                  I see why you would take the gamble on defense. I am inclined to agree. But I believe in the power of players to both improve and decline, and would not be surprised if Cabrera outplayed Cameron in 2009.

                  BTW, I am not a Cabrera fan or detractor, but I am a huge Cameron fan. I would’ve loved him on the Yankees 6 years ago. He was always under-appreciated, and as so often happens, his accolades have trailed a little too far behind him.

        • steve (different one)

          it would. totally agree.

          just not sure if that trade was ever really as “close” as the media made it out to be…

          other problem is that Melky now carries a $1.4M salary, and we were kindof ignoring his salary in the equation.

      • pat

        IMO the whole melky /cameron thing was cashman just trying to nail down a price for cameron incase we didn’t sign tex. If you look at the timeline of the “negotiations” it seems they settled on melk+kei for cameron then talks were dormant for a day then news broke that we snuck in and signed tex. I think cash’s backup plan incase of no tex was to upgrade cf offensively and make a run at manuel ramirez. If we missed out on text before setting a price on cameron the brewcrew would probably have tried to hold cashman over a barrel (get it because they’re brewers!!! hahahalolzzz) because they knew we would be looking for some offense. Thankfully though, we’ll never know what his backup plan was.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        I think that you will see a new Melky come spring training. It seems he took the Yankees advice this winter (FINALLY), and actually showed some patience at the plate. He is the only viable option, in-house, to backup all 3 outfield positions.

        • Old Ranger

          That is true.
          Brett plays much better in CF, RF/LF…not so much, of course, he never played much of the other spots except in Minors (a bit).

  • Craig

    Yankees trade for brewers outfielder and it’s not cameron LOL Yankees traded wright for some kid fryer played well in single a last year

    • jsbrendog

      at least they got something for him and didnt just have to ut him loose.

    • JeffG

      How on earth did we take Eric Fryer 23, hit .335/.407/.506 in 104 games at Low A. …for someone who was soon to be released? – That’s good stuff.
      Go Brew-crew with Mendoza too!

      My favorite ESPN quote of all time: “The is a secret rumor out there that Ramiro Mendoza is still pitching for the Yankkes – just wearing a Red Sox uniform.” – 2003

  • Yankees07

    I can’t believe so many people think Brett Gardner is such a lousy player.

    I’m dying to see what this guy can do with a full season, if he gets the chance of course.
    After watching both stints he had with the Yanks last year, I think he could be a very solid contributer. Both times he was called up, he started off cold and then got hot after gaining a little confidence/experience.
    I really think he could hit around .280, get on base around .350 and he’ll easily steal 50-70 bags. When’s the last time the Yankees had a weapon like that??

    At least Girardi seems to really like Gardner. Hopefully that means he’ll play a lot!

    Go Brett!

    • Old Ranger

      Thank you very much for that! There a few who think he is the better guy but, are taking the ability of sending him down into consideration.
      Please, feel free to join the club, as you pointed out; he has always shown a proclivity of starting slow (at another level) then heats up. he could be somewhere around; BA-.281/OBP-.375/SLG-.390/OPS-795 is my projection (+/-).
      A little optimistic I realize but, he is a good player…not a star, just good. If he can come close to those numbers, he’ll be there for a while…if not, send him down.

      • Ben K.

        Projecting a .375 OBP for Melky is widely optimistic. It’s not impossible, but don’t bet whatever’s left of your life savings on it.

  • vinny-b

    what a suprise.

    this is what happens, when you sign a first-baseman to a $180 million dollar contract.

    they NYY payroll will be flexible, in years to come.

    Yeah right.

    • Ben K.

      Are you serious? You’re seriously bashing the Yanks for signing two top pitchers and the premiere free agent first baseman this year and then having the audacity to say that, right now this year, they’re done spending?

      That’s irrational and illogical.

  • mustang

    I’m happy that Cashman has put an end to all the Manny talk. No matter what his stats are there is a reason why this guy can’t find a club. And even if that reason escapes some people here it hasn’t escape most team’s baseball.

    • Ben K.

      I sincerely hope you’re referencing his ridiculous contract demands and not some baloney about one of the best hitters of all time being a clubhouse cancer. Manny doesn’t have a contract because he’s turned down two exceptional offers.

      • mustang

        The Mets and Angles( to name just two) can afford him and can use him and don’t want him. What he pulled last year may escape the Stat. Apostles, but baseball GMs and owners seem to have taken notices.

        THe numbers can’t hind a jerk.

        • Ben K.

          What are you basing it on? The Mets came out and pretty much said this week that, based on where their payroll is right now and what their ’09 targets are, they cannot afford him.

          I don’t know about the Angels because I haven’t been watching Tony Reagins’ every move.

          The numbers also can’t hide a guy who’s won two more World Series (and a WS MVP) since the last time the Yanks’ won a title.

          • mustang

            Ben, with Manny’s numbers 28 out of 30 teams in baseball don’t even want to bother. I don’t even have to make an argument here most people in MLB see what I see a jerk and cancer who is not even worth the effort of an offer.

            • Ben K.

              You’re ignoring the fact that nearly all of those teams can’t afford Manny. You can’t make the argument without acknowledging that 26 of those teams can’t afford Manny — 27 if you count the Yankees — and the 28th plays in Boston. You’re making a tautological argument and stating it as though you’ve proven something. It doesn’t work that way.

            • Ben K.

              I’m also not saying you’re wrong necessarily, but your argument isn’t based on anything beyond your intuition. Most baseball teams can’t afford to sign a 37-year-old outfielder to a four-year deal at an AAV of $25 million or higher. That’s what Boras wants; he’s made it very clear; and that’s why few are biting.

          • mustang

            And if you believe that the Mets can’t afford him I guess you also believed Cashman when he said that the Yankees couldn’t sign the 3 top free agents this winter.
            The Mets can afford him ownership doesn’t want him.

            • Ben K.

              If you’re content to read conspiracy theories into every statement made by a GM about payroll and ignore the fact that the Mets’ owners lost $300 million with Bernie Madoff, then there’s really no point in my arguing with you. It’s like talking to a brick wall.

              I’m off to the Knicks game. Feel free to take the last (pointless) word.

              • mustang

                Talk about talking to a brick wall. Your blinded by the numbers. Have fun at the Knicks game make sure to bring your stats break down of on both teams.

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