Foreshadowing a 2009 bidding war

Open Thread: TGIFR
Trio of homers propel Yanks to come from behind win

John Lackey, the 30-year-old Angels ace, is on the verge of free agency. While he and the Angels are currently attempting to negotiate an extension, the right-handers wants more money than A.J. Burnett because he, rightly so, considers himself to be better than Burnett. Says Lackey of the Angels’ efforts at retaining, “They’re not trying very hard.” Meanwhile, Theo Epstein, Brian Cashman and Steve Hilliard, Lackey’s agent are salivating at the thought of Lackey hitting the open market next year.

Open Thread: TGIFR
Trio of homers propel Yanks to come from behind win
  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

    What do we really think the chances of getting John Lackey are? For some reason, I think they’re pretty small.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Depends on how Hughes, Joba and, to a lesser extent, Ian Kennedy do this year. By all accounts 2009 will probably be Andy Pettitte’s last year. So going into 2010, they have Sabathia, Wang and Burnett as definites and Joba as a conditional definite. If Hughes matures as we believe he can and if Joba stays healthy and builds innings, then they have no need for Lackey. But if there’s a hole in the rotation, the Yanks will look at Lackey.

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        Yeah I was thinking that if Hughes completely flames out and falls apart, they’ll go for Lackey.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        I eagerly anticipate the 2009-2010 offseason where we allow Lackey to go to Boston (or, better yet, the Mets… seriously, WTF wouldn’t they be all over that) because we still have an embarrassment of pitching riches and can’t possibly squeeze him into the rotation.

        Sorry, fella, no room at the inn.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          Well, Boston sort of complicates the picture a bit, no?

          The Yanks will have to be strategic about it because, to borrow a phrase, Lackey and the Red Sox are a great fit.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            So, we drive up the price. But, you can’t win them all, nor should you. I’m not keen on Lackey ending up in Boston, but I also don’t want to commit to another hefty contract for a starting pitcher when we have CC/AJ/Wang/Joba + Hughes/Kennedy + about 6 other real good options in the pipeline.

            If Joba or Hughes gets injured again or struggle again, maybe. Otherwise, flirt aggressively but don’t give up the panties.

            • http://evilempire20.com Ryan S.

              Yeah, the least we could do is make sure Boston pays top dollar for the guy. After this past winter, they know we ain’t fucking around and will do what it takes to win.

      • Will

        I’d love to see Hughes in that 5th role for 2010. Especially over Lackey. CC and AJ are fine for players we bought. But I’d like to have 3/5 of the rotation home grown.

        • Will

          And that’s not a slight towards CC AJ or Lackey. I’d just prefer Hughes, assuming he puts up great numbers this year.

        • AndrewYF

          The average age of the rotation would be 30 and under through 2012.

  • carl

    Lets get doc instead.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Gooden? Isn’t he retired?

      • FL Yank

        Halladay.

  • steve (different one)

    i think if you are going to add another big contract, you have to go after Holliday before Lackey

    you still have CC, AJ, JC, and CMW.

    also, the next offseason there are much bigger fish: Halladay and Webb.

    • Mike Pop

      Agreed. Lackey is great but I doubt Boston gets him.

  • Rich

    I’m not sure why the Yankees need to allocate more big bucks to starting pitching when three of Hughes, Brackman, Betances, McAllister may be blocked, and they desperately need to replace several of their aging position players.

  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    When Hughes is pitching well, he reminds me a LOT of John Lackey.

  • rsam

    bucholz is pitching good so far for the sox i hope hughes knows it is time to put up or shut up

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Seriously? In Spring Training? You’re making a big deal of Clay Buchholz pitching in spring training. Ok.

    • Mike Pop
    • Rich

      Hughes’s ST ERA is 2.19, while working on a tighter curve and a split change. What are you talking about?

  • http://evilempire20.com Ryan S.

    The ideal outcome is that we trade a package that includes Joba, possibly Hughes, and a few other quality prospects to get HanRam and in order to make room for John Lackey. That would be too good to be true, though – and probably prohibitively expensive.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Your definition of ideal and mine are not aligned.

      • http://evilempire20.com Ryan S.

        With all due respect to Joba/Hughes and the farm in general, snagging one of the top 3 players in baseball with HanRam and getting John Lackey to fill in the void would make for one scary god damn team. I realize that its not gonna happen (most likely) since it’d be too much of a financial commitment, all other investments considered, but in a place where its all about championships, wouldn’t that route give you the best shot at winning?

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          But considering the state of the Marlins’ payroll if they were to trade Ramirez, the Yanks could easily get Hanley for less than two top-flight young pitchers. If Yankee fans have learned nothing else since 2003 it should be that pitching — good, young pitching — wins championships. I’d love Hanley Ramirez but not at your proposed cost.

          • http://evilempire20.com Ryan S.

            I think we could get away with just trading away Joba and not Hughes. Let’s say it took a package of Joba/ZMac/Jesus Montero and 1 other good prospect – would you go for it?

            • Mike Pop

              Yes, no question. Hanley is a top 3 player in the game right now, hands down. I would give up that package for Hanley, Grady, or Lincecum.

            • Rich

              If Joba is the same guy who outpitched Beckett last July, then no.

              • Hawkins44

                Ramirez isn’t going anywhere, they’re trying to finalize their new stadium and have to show that they are at least trying to compete…. if you trade Ramirez you got yourself a AAA team.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Ramirez isn’t going anywhere, they’re trying to finalize their new stadium and have to show that they are at least trying to compete…. if you trade Ramirez you got yourself a AAA team.

                  Charles Johnson, Edgar Renteria, Gary Sheffield, Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Livan Hernandez, Robb Nen, Ivan Rodriguez, Derrek Lee, Mike Lowell, Juan Pierre, Miguel Cabrera, Carl Pavano, Brad Penny, Josh Beckett, Dontrelle Willis, A.J. Burnett, and Luis Castillo all say hello.

                  The Marlins have been “trying to finalize” their new stadum for the past 15 years. Pardon me if I don’t hold my breath.

                • Matt the Marlins Fan

                  Well we’ve finalized it. So you can’t have him :P

      • Rich

        I think ideal also means sucky.

  • John

    How much money (and years) would he want?

    • Mike Pop

      70-80 million.

  • JJ

    Roy Halladay is a free agent in 2010 – can’t we just wait for him? I think CC, AJ, Wang, Joba and Pettite/Hughes can get us through 2 nice years, and we can add Doc if we really need another top-flight starter at that point

    • Mike Pop

      Halladay might get traded with a window to sign an extension. So in order to get him, I think you would be looking at giving up Joba and A-Jax plus some to get him. Which I would probably do because with CC and Doc at the top of the rotation, would be just ridiculous.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        I don’t really understand this willingness to give up Joba Chamberlain to get a Roy Halladay who is going to be 33 in 2010. Why? Joba can be just as good.

        • Tom Zig

          Is there any player you would be willing to give Joba up for?

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

            I’d probably consider a one-for-one for Hanley Ramirez. Not Halladay though.

            • Mike Pop

              I’m sorry Ben, but this is crazy. Saying you would consider Joba for Hanley? You jump on that all day, especially right now.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

                I’m not saying otherwise. How is that crazy? I’m agreeing with you.

                • Mike Pop

                  Oops, my bad. Read your statement wrong I guess.

        • http://evilempire20.com Ryan S.

          I have a willingness to give up Joba for Hanley Ramirez, because he’s a beast and our shortstop position is going to be a big weakness in 1 or 2 years.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

            I love Derek as a Yankee, but I’m pretty sure our shortstop position is already a big weakness.

            • http://evilempire20.com Ryan S.

              Jeter still puts up quality offensive numbers for his position. Defensively, yes, he sucks (obviously), but he’s not killing us quite yet.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

                Jeter’s last three seasons by OPS+: 132, 121, 102. He’s also going to turn 35 in June. He’s still above average for his position, but he’s heading in the wrong way production- and age-wise.

                • http://evilempire20.com Ryan S.

                  Hence my rallying for Hanley Ramirez. In fairness to Jeter’s 2008 season though, he played hurt for most of the season and he got back to form as his wrist healed up. He should have a better 2009 than he did in 2008 despite being a year older.

                • Tom Zig

                  Daniel Cabrera also isn’t playing for the Orioles any more.

              • pounder

                Jeter will soon be in need of another position.Where though does he fit???

                • http://evilempire20.com Ryan S.

                  Left field and/or utility role seem to be the common consensus.

        • Mike Pop

          Isn’t can the most important word there. Joba is still technically an unknown, I love him just as much as anybody else but all we know as of right now is he could make one hell of a reliever. The Yankees have alot invested over the next 5-9 years and really need to win some championships. I’m not saying it is the best idea in the world but I don’t think Joba will ever be as good as a Roy Halladay.

          I’m not a B-Jobber, I’m just saying, it could turn out that Joba can’t handle the innings a starter needs to.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

            At similar points in their respective careers, Joba has put up better numbers and better peripherals than Halladay did. That’s all we have to go now. Sure, Joba may never be as good as Halladay, but he has the potential to be better. You can’t say that about many players.

            • Mike Pop

              Ok, fair enough. I agree that if Hallady was 28 or so, this would be a much better decision. But remember, it’s all ifs and potential.

  • Tom Zig

    Lackey has been a horse for the Angels, pitching 200+ innings almost every year except last year (163) and his rookie year.

    Sure I’d rather have Webb or Halladay, but it is unknown at this time whether either will make it free agency. I am not sure who out of those two I’d rather have.

    • Tom Zig

      Probably should have hit refresh before posting that.

  • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

    Joba’s awesome. You don’t just trade away talent like that unless it’s for a game changing up the middle player. I would only give up Joba for Hanley or Sizemore. Maybe Justin Upton if he has a big 2009.

    • Reggie C.

      What about Jose reyes ?

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

    Lackey the last three years (’06, ’07, ’08):

    Fastball velo: 91.4, 90.9, 90.7
    K/9: 7.86, 7.19, 7.16
    AVG Against: .249, .257, .259
    BABIP: .308, .307, .290
    LD%: 18.1, 19.2, 20.2
    Contact%: 79.4, 80.3, 81.5

    All signs point to no.

    • Joe B.

      A 0.2 mph “drop” in FB velocity, a “drop” in K/9 of 0.03, and a “rise” in BAA of 0.002 point to no in your book? Just because numbers appear to move in the same direction doesn’t mean they’re pointing to decline. Looks a lot like random variations to me, especially the last two years.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Looks a lot like random variations to me, especially the last two years.

        Really? Allow me to restate them, then.

        Lackey the last three years (’06, ‘07, ‘08):

        Fastball velo: 91.4, got slightly slower, got slightly slower again
        K/9: 7.86, got slightly less frequent, got slightly less frequent again
        AVG Against: .249, got slightly higher, got slightly higher again
        BABIP: .308, got slightly luckier, got slightly luckier again
        LD%: 18.1, slightly more frequent, got slightly more frequent again
        Contact%: 79.4, got slightly higher, got slightly higher again

        What part of that was “random variations”? All of them establish trendlines with no variation at all.

  • Mike Pop

    Isn’t this Lackey to Boston stuff a little premature? They have Lester, Dice-K, Beckett, Buchholz, Bowden, Wakefield is pretty much their staff after this year (assuming Beckett’s option is picked up). They also have more kids in the minors, if I am not mistaken. Maybe Nick Hagadone, I think I’ve read he is not too far away. Doesn’t Lackey to Boston depend on Beckett’s 09 season? If he gets injured, sucks, or dominates, that could be the key to Boston’s interest in Lackey? Do they decline his option and try to re-sign him if he gets injured during the season? Do they decline it and go after Lackey, do they pick it up and try to work out a long term deal with Beckett? Honestly, I definitely see Rich Harden ahead of John Lackey in their organizational eyes. Assuming he makes it to FA, short term deal most likely with the ability to pay off huge. I would also much rather go after Harden then Lackey, with CC and A.J. under long term deals, Harden seems a better fit for a 1 or 2 year deal rather than Lackey on a 4-6. I could also see NL teams jumping at LAckey, like Tsjc said, the Mets and possibly the Nats.

    • Reggie C.

      Like you said …. Theo’s decision to pursue Lackey likely hinges on Josh Beckett’s ’09 performance. Beckett is something like 2 years younger than Lackey , and i hate to say it …. but he’s shown he could take the RS to a world series. If Beckett approximates his ’07 success, then Theo likely stays in-house and goes with Buchholz.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I could also see NL teams jumping at LAckey, like TSJC said, the Mets and possibly the Nats.

      Nats 2010 rotation:
      1-Lannan
      2-Olsen
      3-Zimmerman
      4-Strasburg?
      5-__________

      Yeah, I could see them going all-in for Lackey as well.

  • Expired Milk

    Yea awesome idea to trade away one of the best pitching prospects to come along in the Yankee farm system in recent years. SMFH @ Hallady, he will be 32 this may. The idea of trading someone who can might possibly be better than him in a year or two is silly.

  • cult of basebaal

    Yea awesome idea to trade away one of the best pitching prospects to come along in the Yankee farm system in recent years.

    Guidry

    Chamberlain

    Joba is the best pitching prospect we’ve had since the guy who had the best Yankees’ season (as a starter) since WWII.

    i wanna see what *that* guy does in pinstripes, trade logic be damned.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      What about Marty Janzen?

  • Mark B

    If I want to acquire a shortstop to replace Jeter, I would long look at JJ Hardy of the Brewers who will be in the last year of arbitration next year.

    While he doesn’t have the range of Jose Reyes or Hanley Ramirez, he is an above average fielder and has an arm that is as strong as any other infielder in the game.

    With Hardy’s insisting that he will never move from SS (thereby preventing the Brewers from moving him to third this year and bring up touted rookie SS Alcides Escobar, he would be someone I would be keeping tabs on if I were Cashman.

    • http://evilempire20.com Ryan S.

      I agree in that Hardy is the #1 FA candidate to replace Jeter, and getting him is also a more realistic scenario than trading for HanRam. He’s definitely someone I would not have a problem seeing in pinstripes, and I would bet his name has already been said by Cashman and Co. in private long term outlook meetings.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Cosign.

        Just, please, no Stephen Drew. He’s craptacular defensively, and, unlike Jeter or HanRam in their primes, he doesn’t hit enough to make up for it, IMO.