The Robbie Cano option

RAB Live Chat
Open Thread: Friday Randomness

Yesterday, we discussed who could replace A-Rod if the Yanks’ slugger needs surgery. Buster Olney — in a piece discussing Mark Teixeira‘s new role on the Yanks — has another internal option for the Yanks to consider.

The Yankees have talked internally in the past about how Robinson Cano‘s best position might be third base in the long term. And it might be that if they determine A-Rod will be out for a long period of time, they could shift Cano from second to third and create another set of options for themselves as they try to replace A-Rod’s offense.

Olney also notes that the Yanks have some insurance on A-Rod’s contract if Rodriguez is out for an extended period of time.

Anyway, that Cano option is intriguing. The Yanks could shift Robbie to a new position and opt for the slightly easier route of filling the second base hole. Mark Grudzielanek, my choice, and Ray Durham are both still free agents. Tim Dierkes feels that the Yanks could inquire on Dan Uggla too.

Right now, A-Rod will play on — and no, he’s not getting traded to the Mariners as Impacto Deportivo is reporting. The Yanks will hope that judicious rest and proper rehab can lead A-Rod to a productive 2009, but if it can’t, they have a bunch of options both internally and externally.

RAB Live Chat
Open Thread: Friday Randomness
  • Nate

    As soon as I read this post I had to check impacto deportivo. That story about A-Rod sounds absolutely ridiculous! A-Rod to Seattle for Beltre + ???

    That trade makes no sense!

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      What if it was ARod to Seattle for Beltre and the rights to Jay Buhner into perpetuity? You know, to make up for the Ken Phelps trade.

      Are you warming up to it yet? Did I just sweeten the pot? I think i just sweetened the pot.

      • jsbrendog

        youre gonna need another kinda pot to make that look sweet.

        • whozat

          *golf clap*

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi aka The Morals Police

            *golf clap*

            /joseph p’d

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Nice new name, Mondesi.

              … FOR ME TO POOP ON!!!!!!

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                Ugh, forgot about that. Who’s the dumbf*ck now.

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


                  (You asked.)

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi
    • Kiko Jones

      Stay away from it, Nate. Impacto Deportivo is the National Enquirer/Weekly World News of sports.

  • Peedlum

    Any possibility of a more permanent realignment of Cano-3B, A-Rod–SS and Jeter-2B? I have no idea if A-Rod can still play SS, but as I recall he was pretty good there and Jeter does need to come off of SS. I’ve heard Jeter doesn’t want to move positions, but I can imagine a scenario where he agrees because he has to do it for the sake of the team.

    • jsbrendog

      eh, arod has bulked up tremendously and i dont see that working out…for anyone other than maybe cano

      • Chris

        Steroids will do that to you…

        • jsbrendog


    • Ben K.

      I understand the reason behind wishing A-Rod back to short, but in reality, A-Rod’s in the same boat at Jeter. He’s not young anymore, and he hasn’t played short stop since 2003. There’s no guarantee that he can play short at all.

      • Frank

        Jeter hasn’t played SS since 2003 either. ZING!

        • jsbrendog


  • jsbrendog

    why not try to work something out for adrian beltre’s expiring contract though?

    have arod have the surgery now, he’s back in the beginning of july and has 30 days to get back to form and if he does you can flip adrian beltre’s expiring contract to a contender in need of pop at 3rd or dh and it works for everyone involved. and if arod doesnt return to form hold onto adrian beltre’s expiring contract why the hell not

    • Infamous

      I would be curious what it would take for that. What’s Seattle’s needs?

      • Arreneheus


        Since Washburn, Bedard, and Batista are FAs after ’09 and Silva just sucks, I’d think starting pitching. Their rotation for 2010 looks like Felix,Morrow,Rowland-Smith,Silva,????.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      you can flip adrian beltre’s expiring contract to a contender in need of pop at 3rd or dh

      I’ve got a feeling that’s going to be a lot harder than you make it out to be.

      If we can get Beltre on the cheap by eating his contract, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but I think we probably end up stuck with him for the duration.

      Here’s a corollary, though: I would entertain trading for Beltre if we also trade away Nady. We get some prospects of some value for Nady and give up prospects of lower value for Beltre. Basically, in exchange for adding about 6M to the payroll, we’re making a slight upgrade to the farm system and moving our surplus bat from an area of strength (corner outfielders) to an area of need (corner infielders).

      It accomplishes for us the most natural in-house solution we have (playing Nady at third) by making the fictional “Nady the third baseman” the actual “Beltre the third baseman”

      Of course, all of this is contingent on what the Mariners actually WANT for Beltre. Based on the Jarrod Washburn fiasco, they’re not generally motivated sellers…

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        With those two trades, we could run out this arrangement now:


        And then, when ARod comes back, Beltre either goes to DH if Matsui isn’t 100%, goes to one of the corner OF spots if Swisher or Damon struggle or get injured, or goes back to the bench if everyone’s firing on all cylinders.

        Seriously, the more I think about this, the more I like it. Beltre’s on a 1/12M. Nady’s on a 1/6.5M. Both of them would be gone for us in a year, both of them are likely to be Type A’s and decline arb, both of them would net us picks, both of them are righty bats with average OBP’s and decent pop who hit lefties well, but Nady plays a position where he won’t start (RF) and Beltre plays one where he would start (3B).

        • jsbrendog

          sometimes you gotta overpay.

          but seriously you dont think we can flip beltre? i dont see us getting too much for him but something decent will def be brought back at the deadline by someone in need of pop and a 3b/dh unless he has a varitekian yr. plus the prorated portion of his 12.5 is very stomachable esp for a team that is on the cusp of the plyoffs and could use the revenue. what about billy beane? chavez goes down and the a’s are 2 games behind the angels in late july. beltre will be a type a, the kind billy loves, i see it.

          • mtt

            Moving Adrian Beltre off of third base really reduces his contribution to the team, since he is one of the top-fielding 3B in the game. Maybe it’s silly to speculate on this since there are so many contingencies involved (first and foremost acquiring Beltre), but wouldn’t the team be best served by moving A-rod to DH when he returned? They could always say they were “easing him into things.”
            It also seems that acquiring Beltre would result in the Yankees paying someone $13 million to sit on the bench when A-rod returns, be it Beltre or Matsui, since I don’t think Beltre is a viable OF option.
            Flipping Beltre might solve the money problem, but I don’t think we could count on it to bring back a better than compensation picks would.

    • Infamous

      I know its easy to say Melky, but what about Melky and a reliever like Veras or something. They seem to need to rebuild and Melky’s a cheap option with Veras also be a cheap and very good reliever.

      Also, I think if we got Beltre that we could still find him playing time. Im sure that they wouldnt want Arod playing everyday at 3b when he comes back so you DH Arod on certain days and play Beltre.

      If you can’t flip Beltre to a contender he will also be a type a free agent so two draft picks are not so bad.

      • jsbrendog

        and you KNOW beltre will nto accept arb with arod on the team cause he wont play. but i feel with nady depending on his yr he might because he sees the yanks with outfield openings….just me thinkin out loud

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    While the “we as an organization think Cano is better suited to the 3B defensive position rather than the 2B defensive position” idea has merit and may be right, here’s my problem with this now:

    Cano just had his worst season as a pro, on both sides of the equation (offensively and defensively). He’s been busting his ass all winter to come back strong for ’09 with renewed confidence.

    Do we really want to mess around with him by asking him to learn a new position on the fly? Is it a good idea to have him carrying the error he just made at third in the top half of the inning to the plate in the bottom half of the inning?

    Because, with Tex and first and Matsui/Nady/Posada at DH, when ARod comes back this year, he’s coming back to play 3B. Not anywhere else. I could see this move a few years from now, when ARod has declined and aged further and he’s not a good fit anymore at 3B AND we have a natural opening for him at DH, but until then, it’s probably more shuffling than it’s worth.

    If we need a third baseman and the only good replacement options are all second basemen and shortstops (like Grudz, Durham, etc.), I’d rather ask the new replacement player to play out of position instead of move Cano out of position. If he was coming off a season where he raked and was lauded as the future of the franchise and had a great season in the field, maybe. But not after a bad slump, and a season full of trade rumors, and fans doubting him and saying he’s washed up already.

    We have a hole to patch. The fewer moving parts used to patch the hole, the better.

    • jsbrendog

      agreed. now go get beltre cashman you piece of shit. youre the worst gm ever for nto alreayd having gotten him

      • Stanton Social

        Yea because you know what Seattle is asking for him. Remember what they tried to get for Jarrod Washburn… Asinine comment.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Good grief, it was clearly a joke.

      • Drew

        Dude, Cash is a yankee, take it easy.

        • whozat

          A) you missed the sarcasm.

          B) In the general case, being a Yankee should not make people immune from criticism.

  • Pablo Zevallos

    Kennedy for Atkins to fill the void if A-Rod is out for months, anyone?

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


    • Matt

      Eh. He’s been in a decline snce ’06 and he is not good outside of Coors. He’s not worth Kennedy.

  • nolan

    Man I would love for the yankees to trade Arod. I know he’s amazing. I know he puts up great numbers…but I just hate having him on the team. Go ahead and crucify me for it… I just think he’s such a distraction that he brings the whole team down. Trade him for a bunch of prospects from the mariners and move them all to the marlins for Hanley Ramirez…Jeter moves to 3b where he can play for the rest of his career. Ok..go away

    • Drew

      LOL keep dreamin brother

    • jsbrendog

      i agree with the trade arod part of this but after that i got nothing for ya. for me its just a personal vendetta thats completely unjustifiable lol

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Ok..go away.

      Fair enough, I will.

      I just think he’s such a distraction that he brings the whole team down.

      Is this based on anything tangible? I know, you can say “Oh, Jeter and Posada and Pettitte and the rest of the guys get tired of answering questions about ARod and Madonna or ARod and steroids or ARod and Jeter,” but being tired of asking questions about ARod doesn’t make Jeter go 1 for 5 with a single and 2 K’s instead of 2 for 4 with two doubles and a walk.

      ARod might be “distracting” to the team. But not as “distracting” as having to play Molina and Sexson because the real starters are out with an injury, or as “distracting” as watching the other team hit homers off of Ponson, Rasner, Igawa, Pavano, Chacon, Small, Wright (Chase), Wright (Jaret), Brown, Weaver, etc. etc.

      The link between “ARod’s a media circus” and “we aren’t winning as many ballgames as we should be winning” is tenuous, my friend. Very tenuous. And that itself may be an exaggeration on my part. It may be nonexistent.

      • Jeremy

        I hit upon the ideal trade that would solve our 3B problems AND take care of the ARod distraction issue forever!

        Yankees get:

        3B Adrian Beltre

        Mariners get:

        Every baseball writer currently working for the Post and News, plus Peter Abraham.

        Problems solved!

    • flashing007

      I’m starting to feel that way too about A-ROD, but the problem is A-ROD’s not going anywhere and I doubt Hanley is either. Alex is one of the best baseball players, with or without the juice. Alex the person is beyond messed up and it’s not all his fault. You can do a lot with 10 years and 300 million and it’s going to be a long 9 years if this is how things start, but hopefully the get better.

    • Memo

      Distraction? I’m always annoyed by the idea that millionaires can’t play a game because they are “distracted” or because they don’t have chemistry. Firefighters, cops, and my fellow soldiers and I all manage to do our jobs despite distractions and being forced to work with people we wouldn’t ordinarily interact with.

      If we can do it so can they. I find most “distractions” are excuses for teams who couldn’t get it done. I just can’t get behind the notion they can’t do their jobs on the field because they are being asked questions off the field. As if talking about A-Rod instead of the opposing pitcher with (more times than not) clueless reporters is hurting their preparation.

      • jsbrendog

        nothing is ocmparable to real life heroes. you and your fellow soldiers are above and beyond what these overpaid toys r us never wanna grow up kids. i agree with you but at the sametime you have to take into account arod beig a pampered kid his whole life being told he was so good and prob given what he wanted. so being built up that way from childhood it stunts your growth and personality development and its obv with him in my opinion. usually those who joine the armed forces/police/fire departmentrs do it because they WANT to help people and very few disytractions can prevent them from doing it because they know the implications of what they do and what a mistake will do…..

        just my 2 cents..possibly 3

        • Memo

          He may be pampered (they all are) but he does goes to work every day. Its just funny to me that the distractions are always are concern for everyone BUT A-Rod.

          • Jeremy

            But of course. ARod distracts the other players because they are only concerned about winning. ARod is never distracted because he only cares about his stats, getting paid, making funny faces, and pursuing Madonna.

      • Jeremy

        The “distraction” theme is just a crutch for lazy writers who have no facts to work with but want to write a negative column about ARod.

        Not once has a player said that he can’t play as well because of ARod. Not once has Girardi said he can’t manage his team effectively because of ARod. All the supposed “evidence” for ARod being a distraction is in writers’ and fans’ heads.

        If sportswriters didn’t have an incentive to write daily columns dissecting everything ARod said and did, no one would think ARod was a distraction. It’s this overload of meaningless ARod stories that is a distraction TO FANS. The players have better things to do than care about any of it.

  • Drew

    Do you really believe Cano will play 3rd? Lets be realistic. As long as A rod is a yankee Cano will play 2nd. I see Cano to thrid on the same level as Jeter to center. Can they play these positions? yea sure, will they? NO.

  • Pablo Zevallos

    Very intriguing report here.

    • Jeremy

      I do not understand how the team could have given ARod 10 years and $270-300 million over Cashman’s objection. It would be like a parody of the so-called old days of George going behind Cashman’s back to make some stupid signing.

      • jsbrendog

        coughcough hank cough cough

        there’s a reason hank had the muzzle put back on and the leash tightened. hal went, dubya tee eff! cashman was right….

        • Jeremy

          I thought two things were true:

          1. Cashman, as part of his new “increased control” contract, actually got to call the shots on deals as long as the Steinbrenners would pay up, and

          2. Out of the two Steinbrenner Bros., Hal actually controls the purse strings, and Hank just runs his mouth.

          I would love to know how the new ARod deal really went down. It just seems to contradict everything we think is true about how the Yankees do business.

          • Memo

            Agreed. Basically they lied before about how the team is run, they are lying now or they were lying both times.

            • Jeremy

              Or Boras conned the Steinbrenners into making an extra-special exception to the Yankees’ business model for ARod.

              • Memo

                I definitely believe that, its a given. But either way the Yanks try to talk out of both sides of their mouth about the Front Office structure.

  • Joseph M

    The Yanks, like I said all winter, should have sign ed Ramirez to DH. It’s too late now.

    Forget about Cano at third, there’s already enough pressure on him after last year’s disappointing season to now add a new position to his resume.

    I would have Alex operated on immediately and try to swing a deal (I can’t believe I’m suggesting this) for Aaron Boone.

    Alex back at mid season is better than getting a month into the campaign only to find out he can’t make and now has to miss the rest of the season.

    • Pablo Zevallos

      This had nothing to do with a Manny signing. When you (or anyone) argued for a Manny signing, this event had nothing to do with it. Besides, how much worse would it be right now with Manny here?

      • jsbrendog


      • Joseph M

        Manny is the preverbial rising tide he lifts all boats. The line-up is somewhat overrated as it was now without AROD…
        They needed Manny, I wouldn’t be suprised to see Matsui hit less than 15 homers this year drive in 70 and hit into two dozen plus double plays. Is that what you want out of a DH. The Yanks would have been better off making their deal with the devil and taking a pass on injury prone AJ.

    • jsbrendog

      youre better off signing a free agent (grudz/durham) who doesnt have experience at 3rd than trading for boone. unless they’ll take igawa

    • Jeremy

      Manny got 2 years, $45 million with an opt out even though only one team wanted him. Can you imagine how much he would have commanded if the Yankees had joined the bidding?

      On top of that, we would have had to get rid of Matsui somehow, which would have required eating salary.

      In the end we would have ended up paying something like $70 million or more over 3 years to have Manny as our DH. All because of the possibility that ARod would suffer a serious injury. Not realistic.

      I’m not even going to bother looking up Aaron Boone’s numbers. I know dealing for him would be stupid.

      • Jeremy

        Ok I couldn’t help myself.

        Aaron Boone played 16 games at 3B last season.

        He hit .241/.299/.384, good for a 77 OPS+

        Why do you want this person on your team?

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          To piss off Boston again?

          That’s all I got.

        • Joseph M

          I don’t want Aaron Boone, but I don’t want another Posada situation on our hands. AROD struggles for a month and a half goes to several MD’s and low and behold in a tearful press conference tells us he’ll try to get back for the post season. Aaron Boone buys us time nothing more. I know he’s bad news, and if they can get anyone else fine, but if not we might be able to get him cheap and maybe AROD can get back for the second half.

          As far as Manny is concerned, I think the Yanks could have made a deal with Manny. Manny grew up in New York, has a huge fan base in New York, and wanted to play for the Yankees. The Yankee line up minus AROD is full of question marks. Worst case, the Yanks might find themselves in May getting no offense out of third base, center field, reduced offense in right and possibly behind the plate depending on Posada. DH with Matsui could turn ugly, real quick.

          As Yogi once said, it’s getting late early.

  • Cor Shep

    How about in the future – Arod DH – Jeter 2B – Cano 3B – Hardy SS?

    • whozat

      Jeter’s problem is not his arm. It is his range. 2B is not really easier in terms of range than SS.

  • Drew

    Lets be reasonable guys. TO is available, he could pick it.

    • Jeremy

      Don’t be silly. TO is bad for team chemistry.

    • anonymous

      Or we could trade for Manny.

  • sabernar

    Tex came up as a 3B. It’s been a while since he’s played it, but stick him there and put Swish at 1B. Problem solved.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      A) You’re like the 30th person to suggest this. It’s not going to happen.

      B) You’re also the 30th person to suggest this WRONGLY. If we move Tex to 3B (which we wouldn’t), it would be Nady who plays 1B, not Swish. Swish stays in RF.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    NO GUYZ WE NEED DAVID WRIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111oneoneoneone

  • YankFanDave

    Even baseball is in sync with the notion the fewest moving parts the better. Shifting people around due to ARods injury would be disruptive and full of question marks at a time when the team needs stability and known quantities. Tex plays 1B, Cano plays 2B and Jeter plays SS — that is stable and you know what you get (with a bit of a question regarding Cano.) Does it make any sense to move a young but talented player (Cano) who is trying hard to settle in? or, to have a player (ARod) with a/coming back from hip injury play SS (just the most demanding infield position? With all the proposed moves you open more questions and potential problems than holes plugged and issues answered. So, with a sound team elsewhere, replace the injuried player until he returns. Simple but effective.

  • Bruno

    My vote’s for Grudz.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Me too.

      (although the “Let’s get Beltre” idea is growing on me.)

  • YankFanDave

    Slim pickins’:
    MLB Experience at 3B:
    Cody Ransom played 7 games at 3B in the majors.
    Justin Leone played 28 games at 3B in the majors.
    Angel Berroa played 1 game at 3B in the majors.

    Minor League Experience at 3B:
    Eric Duncan (AAA)
    Marcos Vechionacci (AA)
    Kevin Russo (AA)
    Carlos Mendoza (AA)
    Walter Ibarra (AA)

    Doug Bernier is a non-roster signee that has minor league experience at 3B and MLB experience at 2B.

    Then there are the available FAs (with games @ 3B): Grudzielanek (31), Easley (199), and Ray Durham (0).

  • YankFanDave

    My apologies to Chris Malec, left you out as a possibility.

  • the curse of …..

    melky has the arm to play third

  • the curse of …..

    melky has the arm to play third or maybe shelly duncan

  • Joseph M

    Melky took a giant step backwards last year finding himself back in the minors as the dog days of August came around. The last thing ou want to do now is ask him to learn a new position. Melky has to establish that he is a major league player all over again.

    Shelly Duncan works hard but I don’t know that he has the skills to play third, and at this point he’s not really a major league prospect.

    I think they can probally get Boone cheap and unless someone better becomes available that would seem the best solution.

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