Assessing the Sheffield deal three years later


Over the weekend, the Yankees unceremoniously released Humberto Sanchez to clear some 40-man space on their roster. For Sanchez, just 25, it was quite the fall from grace. Just a few years ago, he was one of the Tigers’ top three prospects, and now he is unemployed and oft-injured, full of talent but unable to realize it.

For many Yankee writers and analysts, this move was a white flag from the Yankees. That the Yankees would just flat-out release Sanchez, acquired after the 2006 season from the Tigers in a package for Gary Sheffield, showed a bad return in that trade.

As Bryan Hoch wrote, “As a whole, the Gary Sheffield deal hasn’t worked out very well for the Yankees. Anthony Claggett got torched in his big league debut and Kevin Whelan hasn’t made it up to the big leagues yet.” I find myself disagreeing with Hoch.

The prospects the Yankees got back from the Tigers haven’t been as good as anyone hoped. Sanchez had Tommy John surgery and hasn’t really recovered. He could sign a Minor League deal with the Yanks and earn his way back into consideration. But when the Yanks brought him up for a cup of coffee last September, they expected him to be in contention for a bullpen spot this spring. Whispers of future closer potential swirled around him.

Meanwhile, Anthony Claggett and Kevin Whelan are what they are. They will both turn 25 this summer, and Claggett did indeed get shelled in his lone big league appearance. Whelan is still toiling down at AA. If the two of them ever reach the big leagues and stick around, it will be as replaceable middle reliever types. It would seem then that the Yanks didn’t get much in return for Sheffield.

At the same time though, they didn’t give up much either. Since leaving New York, Sheffield has been largely forgettable. After missing most of 2006 with a wrist injury, he had a good bounce-back year in 2007 but fell off the table in 2008. In 247 games for the Tigers — an average of 123 a season — he hit .247/.354/.433 with an OPS+ of 106. As New Yorkers now, Sheffield was released by the Tigers in Spring Training and hitched his wagon to the Mets’ ship. In 28 PAs prior to last night, he was hitting .136/.321/.318 with a 66 OPS+.

Now, with those numbers, it seems as though the Yankees gave up not much to get back nothing, but there’s a missing piece to this puzzle. The Tigers took on all of the $13 million owed to Sheffield in 2007. For the Yanks, it became a win as soon as the deal was completed. The team exercised Sheffield’s option with the idea of trading him and actually got back three pieces in return. They could have let him walk, paying him the buyout on the option but tried to turn him into something useful.

In the end, the trade didn’t really work out well, but Hoch has it wrong. It didn’t work out well for either side. Gary Sheffield didn’t really become the bat the Tigers needed, and the pitchers the Yankees received didn’t really become, well, anything. But the Yanks took a player who could have become a free agent and turned him into three Minor League pitchers. That is a successful trade.

Categories : Analysis


  1. Accent Shallow says:

    Well, would Sheff have been a Type A or B free agent? In that case, you have to measure Sanchez/Claggett/Whelan against a possible mid-late first round draft pick. I’d imagine that it’d be tough to match Sanchez’s potential there.

  2. A.D. says:

    Well the way to evaluate it is are the Yankees better off with Sanchez, Claggett & Whelan or would they have been better off with the draft pick compensation they would have received? Sheff probably should have been a type A if the Yankees let him walk, but he missed most of the previous year due to injury, so perhaps he would have fallen to B.

    I think the deal was fine, shame that Humberto hasn’t been able to come back from the TJ, but sometimes that happens.

  3. Moshe Mandel says:

    It was the right move that just did not work out. Unfortunately for Cash, his resume seems to be accumulating a lot of these (Weaver, Vazquez, Johnson, Brown, maybe Nady/Marte), which is just bad luck.

    • It was the right move that did work out.

      Sanchez, Claggett, and Whelan making it or not making it doesn’t change the fact that the deal was a success.

      • Bo says:

        So if they actually succeeded Cashman would be crowned God or something? No, really. What would have made it a failure in your eyes? If one of three guys got Joba drunk and he hurt his arm? What would it take for it to be called a failure???

        I hope you’re not a teacher because I guess every kid passes! Give all the kids playing sports trophys!

        • Joe says:

          So you’d rather be paying Sheff 13mil to be injured/suck?

        • Slugger27 says:

          bo, hes right…. NOTHING could make it a failure

          maybe if sheffield had hit 320 with 45 homers then we would look stupid for it… but sheffield had hit a major wall in productivity and durability. he wasnt worth 13 million, and the fact that we got somebody to trade for him without eating any of the salary, that was a major win for us

          tell me something, if we had signed manny (much similar to the trade for abreu) and taken away matsuis position on the team… wouldnt u consider it a successful trade if we had gotten somebody to take on his entire salary??? … even if the A ball player we got back never amounted to even a good AA player, that would be successful wouldnt it?

          sheffs productive days were behind him, and he didnt have a position… so YES, no matter how the players we got back produced, successfully giving away his contract would be a win under every circumstance

          • Not even that would have looked stupid. The Yankees had two choices: either pick up Sheff’s option and trade him, or let him become a free agent. Allowing him to become a FA might have gotten the team a sandwich pick (after missing most of 06 he wasn’t going to be a Type A). The Yanks took a sure thing with three prospects, one with a high ceiling. It didn’t pan out. Oh well. It’s still better than nothing.

        • So if they actually succeeded Cashman would be crowned God or something? No, really. What would have made it a failure in your eyes? If one of three guys got Joba drunk and he hurt his arm? What would it take for it to be called a failure???

          I hope you’re not a teacher because I guess every kid passes! Give all the kids playing sports trophys!

          Grantbo… all of this is batshit insane.

    • WCH8 says:

      “which is just bad luck.” ??? bad luck or how about bad gm moves? one or two fine but this is becoming a trend for cashman, cmon!

  4. A) We didn’t want Sheffield.
    B) We didn’t have anywhere to play Sheffield (since we had acquired Bobby Abreu and still had Damon and Matsui).
    C) We didn’t want to pay Sheffield.
    D) Sheffield wanted a contract extension that would have been a mammoth albatross.
    E) Thus, trading Gary Sheffield to somebody else who agreed to pay him and give him the extension he demanded would have been a good trade even if the only return we got back was 10 maple bats.
    F) Sanchez, Whelan, and Claggett may never amount to shit, but this is ancillary. They’re better than 10 maple bats. The trade remains a win.

    • Slugger27 says:

      100% agree…. its a foreign concept to us yankees fan, cuz the yankees are never “rebuilding” or “out of contention”… but the sheffield trade was a salary dump

      much like trading matsui this offseason would have been (had we signed manny… or perhaps even if we hadnt)… its not that we dont want to get a great return, its just that we dont need one to justify making the deal

      sheff wasnt worth his salary, and cashman got off the hook for said salary at just the right time… trade was a WIN

      • Ed says:

        It wasn’t a salary dump. If the Yankees were just trying to get rid of his salary, they would have simply declined his option. Picking up his option meant they thought they could get value for him.

        • Slugger27 says:

          correct, but they didnt NEED to get back good value for him to justify not keeping him or his salary… it would be an added bonus yes, but not necessary to make the break-up a success

          • Moshe Mandel says:

            Except that they chose not to just let him go, they chose to try to get value, and they did not. They also sacrificed draft picks. It is hard to say the choice not to just let him walk was a success.

            • cult of basebaal says:


              If he was a B (and I’d imagine he almost certainly was) you’re talking 1 sandwich pick.

              The return they got was far better (at the time) with far more certainty of panning out, than the alternative.

              • Moshe Mandel says:

                Not arguing that it wasnt a great move at the time. I’m just saying that it did not work out- they had a commodity of some value (other teams wanted Sheff as well) and ended up with little to no value for him in the long run. A great move that just didnt pan out.

        • RollingWave says:

          those 3 guys were better regarded than the stuff we traded for Bobby Abreu ( a lot better. ) it’s just the thing with prospects. a lot of time they simply don’t pan out. Both Whelan and Sanchez looked on the verge of being very good, (Sanchez actually staying healthy and good for a year while Whelan finally found some control.) but took major steps backward. while Clagrett was sort of a stretch throw in to begin with . but actually made it further than I would have suspected. (he was a old player in A ball with decent but not overwhemling results or stuff. )

          I would agree that this trade was good in concept and I think they picked the more reasonably good players prospect probably avalible at the time, it simply didn’t work out, just like trading for Vazquez was very good, the Yankees got a player that is very comparable with Josh Beckett at the same stage of his trade and didn’t give away a guy that looks like a ZOMG INNER CIRCLE HALL OF FAME! just 3 years later. (this actually isn’t a exaggeration, that’s how damn good Hanely is, if he doesn’t fall off a cliff or gets run over by a truck I could almost say right now he’s a HOFer. if not a inner circle one) it’s really a bit much for them to be expected to predict that Vazquez’s mental makeup can’t handle New York.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      I’m with you up until point E. They could have simply failed to exercise the option, and let him leave as a free agent. I’d say the trade is neutral unless Claggett/Whelan turn into a useful piece, either via contribution or trade.

      • Slugger27 says:

        this is a valid point… but by exercising the option and trading him, we assured he couldnt go to an al east opponent and end up hurting us (much like i expect the rays to do with crawford)

        but perhaps 2 draft picks would have worked out better than the return we got, so this is a fair point

        • jsbrendog says:

          unless someone can tell me what number pick we would ahve gotten and who was drafted at that spot, then i do not think this can be a factor based in reality.

        • Kelvz says:

          If im not mistaken, he would be a type B, so that would be a sandwich pick.

          But to me, i look at this way, it’s like we drafted those three in exchange for Sheff. Like them (Humberto and the others), who ever we draft would most likely have the same chance, if not less, of being productive major league players.

    • Moshe Mandel says:

      I defend Cash more than anybody, but I totally disagree. The Yankees picked up option on Sheffield thinking they could get value for him, and they ended up getting nothing. Perhaps if they had chosen different prospects it may have worked out. This idea that someone taking the money makes it good is just false- they could have let him go and they would not have had to pay him, and would have gotten draft picks. I’m sorry, but I really do not see how this trade was a success.

      • No. They maybe would have gotten one draft pick. Sheff was out most of 06. Type A for him was not likely at all.

        • Moshe Mandel says:

          Ok, but that ignores my other points. I’m not saying the trade was a loss, but it certainly did not work out. The team could have let him go. They chose to pick up the option and try and get value. That choice, that decision, did not work out.

        • KW says:

          Again, the rankings make an adjustment factor for playing time and for injuries. Most likely, this adjustment would lead to him reaching Type A, as Sheffield has superlative years prior to this.

          • whozat says:

            They do make adjustments for playing time and injuries, but those adjustments do NOT include ignoring lost playing time. He would not have been a type A. He was in the corner OF/1B/DH bin and missed basically ALL of 06 and sucked when he played.

            The Yanks got off the hook for his buyout and, essentially drafted three players in AA without having to spend bonus money — which they could then spend elsewhere.

            How is this not a complete win?

            • Moshe Mandel says:

              It was a win at the time, but did not work out. It was not a loss, but they did not end up gettting value for a commodity that other teams wanted. How anyone can argue with that is beyond me.

              • Because the alternative was to get one player, a sandwich pick. The Yanks took the gamble on 3 players, ones who had already played pro ball, rather than one amateur. That’s why it’s a win. You can look back on it and say that the players didn’t work out, but from a strategic standpoint it was nothing but a win.

                • Moshe Mandel says:

                  I think we are talking past each other- I said various times that it was a win at the time. I’m just saying it did not work out. Furthermore, I think it is fair to say that these were not the only minor leaguers available for Sheff, so that it could have worked out had they selected different players or traded with a different club. The point is, it was a win at the time that didnt work out. I dont think you are saying anything different. I was just arguing with TSJC’s contention that it did work out.

                • I hope you don’t mind my butting-in here but I think this is really just an issue of semantics.

                  The trade was a win at the time it was made.

                  The trade worked out in the sense that the Yankees moved a piece with no home on their roster at the time, saved millions of dollars, and got 3 prospects for their troubles.

                  The only sense in which it “didn’t work out” is in that Sanchez, Whelan and Claggett haven’t turned into productive MLB players (they may or may not in the future).

                  Moshe – I think the reason why people are arguing with you here is that saying that those three guys haven’t worked out is different than saying the trade itself didn’t work out. The TRADE worked out because… well, because it did. To a lot of us, that opinion doesn’t change just because the guys we received didn’t reach their potential.

                  Or, on the other hand, maybe I’m wrong and this wasn’t helpful at all. Either way, I don’t think you guys are really disagreeing with each other about anything substantive.

                • Moshe Mandel says:

                  I agree with everything you said except this “saying that those three guys haven’t worked out is different than saying the trade itself didn’t work out.”

                  I do not you can separate the two. The Yankees could have been rid of Sheffield without the trade, so acheiving that goal through the trade really adds no value in terms of evaluating the trade. At that point, the return in players is how you evaluate the trade. Looking at the players, it was a coup for Cash that just has not worked out.

                • Whatever, it’s a matter of verbiage. The trade worked out, but the players the Yankees received haven’t reached their potential. Done.

              • Sam P. says:

                Well Moshe, I guess you’re just going to have a frustrating time in this posting thread.

                Not trying to be mean, but it’s pretty apparent that folks mostly agree w/ Ben that the trade wasn’t as bad as you make it out to be.

                What would you have preferred that the Yanks had done when Sheffield’s option came due?

                • Moshe Mandel says:

                  I’m not making out to be bad at all. How many times do I have to say this? It was a win. It was the right move. Cash did exactly what I would have done.

                  However, the trade did not work out. I said that above, someone (TSJC) responded that it did work out, and that is the only point of contention that I have had here- the trade did not work out because the players they got did not work out. They didnt lose the trade, it was an EXCELLENT TRADE, but it did not work out.

                • They didnt lose the trade, it was an EXCELLENT TRADE, but it did not work out.

                  Meh, Moshe, I guess we just see it differently here. I object to the contention that the trade “didn’t work out” because the sole reason we were doing the trade was to get rid of Sheff. How that happens (whether letting him walk flat out, offering him arb and him declining it, or trading him for prospects) is fairly immaterial, so what we got back and what they accomplish to me is non-germane to the question of “Did the trade work out? Did it achieve a positive result?” because Gary Sheffield is currently not being paid any money to play baseball for the Yankees, which is a good thing and our only real objective. We chose the route of trading him rather than letting him walk or trying to get a sandwich pick because it gave us the opportunity to make a thing that is unquestionably good and by definition “worked out” into something even better if one of them turns out to be useful. But Sanchez/Claggett/Whelan are most definitely icing on the cake. We have the cake: Sheffield’s gone. If the icing turns out to be crappy is irrelevant. We have the cake.

                  Another note: Picking up his option and trading him is by far the best solution, irrespective of what we trade him for, because the other two options (releasing him for no compensation or offering him arb to get pick compensation) are much riskier propositions. If we offer him arb, there is a chance (albeit a small one) that he accepts arb and now, just like Abreu this offseason, we may be stuck with a player we don’t want at a big price tag we don’t want. And, whether we let him walk with an arb offer or not, if he hits free agency, we can’t control where he goes. He could sign in the division and pose a greater threat to us than being in Detroit.

                  Trade worked out perfectly. We got rid of Sheff, he went to a team that’s not a threat to us, we didn’t expose ourselves to any risk of being stuck with someone we didn’t want. Shit, it worked out even better because he signed a hefty extension that’s now making it harder for Detroit to compete.

            • KW says:

              No, it does adjust for lost playing time. Did you even look it up?

      • The Yankees picked up option on Sheffield thinking they could get value for him, and they ended up getting nothing.

        We did get value for him. That value proved to be minimal. The other option we had (let him walk and get a type B sandwich pick) would have also netted us minimal value.

        To be frank, one player drafted in the 30-50 range is probably worth less than Sanchez, Claggett, and Whelan. Finding Jobas in the sandwich round isn’t super common, you know. We’re tripling our odds of getting something useful by taking three actual minor league arms vs. one sandwich round pick, but again, getting a useful young player in return for Sheff was only 1% of the importance of the evaluation of the success of the deal. The other 99% of the importance was getting Sheff off our team and off our payroll.

        • Moshe Mandel says:

          “Getting a useful young player in return for Sheff was only 1% of the importance of the evaluation of the success of the deal. The other 99% of the importance was getting Sheff off our team and off our payroll.”

          This is not true. The Yankees could have just let him go and acheived those goals- they instead picked up the option. By doing so and trading him, the young players were 100% of of the evaluation.

          • No, the fact that they picked up the option and got back players doesn’t make them “100%” of the evaluation. Makes them like 1% of the evaluation.

            Deciding not to pick up the option is like refusing to bend over to pick up money off the street. Sure, the money may turn out to be a Canadian quarter instead of an American one, but why the hell would you refuse to pick up free money? That’s not smart.

            None of it is the crucial heart of the matter, though. It’s all super-ancillary.

            • Moshe Mandel says:

              This is where our disconnect is. Sheffield was gone, one way or another. How can you consider getting rid of him as a positive element of the trade? They picked up the option to get players in the process of losing Sheff rather than just losing him. Thus, the quality of those players is all that matters when considering the trade.

              But, as you say, it is ancillary, unless you need to find ways to rip Cash.

              • This is where our disconnect is.

                Okay. Follow me, then.

                Sheffield was gone, one way or another.


                How can you consider getting rid of him as a positive element of the trade?

                Because the trade itself is basically irrelevant. As you said, he was gone one way or the other. Either he leaves for nothing or he leaves for something. Since we want him gone, it’s a win-win. The trade is by definition a positive because there’s no possible negative for the trade. Either we get nothing or get something, but getting nothing is just as good as getting something since all we really wanted was nothing (i.e. no Sheff) anyway. Sanchez/Claggett/Whelan are the icing on the cake.

                They picked up the option to get players in the process of losing Sheff rather than just losing him.

                Yes, because it’s a no-risk/all-reward move.

                Thus, the quality of those players is all that matters when considering the trade.

                Here’s the rub, and here’s the disconnect. I say, no matter what happens with Sanchez/Whelan/Claggett, the trade is a win and worked perfectly because the fact that Sheff is gone is 100% of the rationale behind the deal and what we got back is 0% of the rationale behind the deal (yeah, I’m altering my above percentages because I gave it more thought).

                You say the fact that we picked up the option with the hopes of getting something of value means that what we got shifts the burden of the evaluation of the trade from what we gave to what we got. And that’s just still not right. We’re playing with house money here. We literally could not give a shit if we get anything of value back for Sheff, but we’re not going to ignorantly pass up the chance of maybe getting something of value for Sheff. So, “the quality of those players is all that matters when considering the trade” is true and false at the same time, because it’s true that the quality of the players is all that matters when considering the side of the trade that holds the 0% importance.

                The quality of the players we got back is the only important part of evaluating the utterly non-important part of the trade.

  5. Bo says:

    If you’re definition of a successful trade is 3 crappy minor league pitchers who will never succeed in the majors then Cashman is Exec of the Yr.

    How can you keep giving passes to this guy?

    • Rick in Boston says:

      What would you have wanted him to get? Verlander for a guy in his late 30′s with a bad wrist?

      • andrew says:

        There’s a lot of open space between 3 crappy minor league pitchers and Verlander… Cash didn’t pick up one useful piece in the trade

        • Rick in Boston says:

          But at the time, those three were promising prospects. Sanchez WAS a top-3 Detroit prospect at a time when Detroit’s system was looking good. Whelan and Claggett were both seen as future setup guys. For a guy with a bad wrist who wanted a big contract extension, you can’t ask for much more.

          • Sam P. says:

            My thoughts exactly, Rick.

            Sheffield also didn’t exactly come back to haunt the Yanks, which certainly is something in and of itself.

        • RollingWave says:

          you do realize that the Tiger havn’t actually produced anyone useful in the last 3 years either right? I guess Matt Joyce was the only guy that might have been both useful and potentially avalible at the same time that would have made the trade look decent. it’s not like they passed on Verlander for Sanchez. or had Maybin / Miller avalible to them or something (and even if they were, you’d probably still consider this deal a bust considering how those two are doing so far)

          Again, the thought process was good, the pick of the prospects seems well justifiable at the time, that is the thing with prospects though , a lot of time they simply don’t turn out the way you’d expect. a guy hitting like crap in AA suddenly starts a inner circle HOF run right after he’s traded. while a guy who seem was destroying everything in sight might do nothing in his career.

          I highly suggest you to just take a look at John Sickle’s site’s prospect retro threads. many MANY players took odd paths to how they ended up, Curt Schilling looked like a meh middle reliever until he was 26 and in Philly, everyone was ready to give up on Cust before he finaly established himself etc..

          In the end, they traded a guy they didn’t have a spot for and was likely to decline, for a package that looked very reasonable at the time . that makes it a solid trade. the package not turning out results = tough luck and some doses of poor player development. In quantifiable value at the time of the trade, Cashman typically do a good job, it’s just that your going to end up with some tough luck and some good luck . like trading for Chacon = epic good luck (though it should be noted that Ramon Ramirez is probably the best youngester we traded in recent years. he’s been dominant whenever he’s healthy, but I kinda doubt anyone would trade for a good RP right now for the 05 playoff apearance) Trading for Abreu = very good luck that both Abreu didn’t seriously decline while the package we send back was utterly useless.

          In baseball trade and drafts. you need to accept the fact that there’s always a signifcant roll of the dice factor. you can trade for Albert Pujols for some random players and he might suddenly suffer some unfortunate accident / diease and retire, does that make it a horrible trade? was drafting Brien Taylor a mistake really? afterall, had he not injure himself in that stupid fight he probably ended up being a very good pitcher.

          • A.D. says:

            Tigers have produced:

            Jurrjens: Very intriguing
            Gorkys: In the GCL
            Joyce: OPS .753 in A Ball
            Maybin: Top draft pick #3 prospect, prob not available.
            Miller: Drafted in ’06 not available.
            Verlander: #1 prospect, likely untouchable.
            Zumaya: #2 Prospect, likely untouchable

            So when we break that down Humberto was rated ahead of Jurrjens in the system, obviously with hindsight would have been nicer to get Jurrjens.

    • Slugger27 says:

      he didnt have a spot on the team!!!!!

    • Kelvz says:

      It’s not like he traded a great-good young player, like say those Sizemore-type of players, or a really good highly regarded prospect, like a Joba or a Hughes, for those 3.

      As Ben said, they also didn’t gave up much. Many (I assume) thought that Sheff at that time was ‘untradeable’, and that it would be better if the Yanks just let him walk. To actually get something of value (at that moment, as the post said, Humberto is a Top three tigers prospect) for Sheff is a good move.

  6. Matt H says:

    If the sheff deal helps the Mets fail this year would we consider it a success?

  7. Ivan says:

    Well the trade didn’t work well for both sides sides but nevertheless, it was the right deal for the yanks to make. Besides, 3 minor leaguers failed, big deal, if Sheffield failed wih the yanks then it could of been potential disaster.

  8. Expired Milk says:

    I can only imagine the slurpin Theo would have gotten if he did this move.

    The Yankees got rid of a $13 million contract for nothing.Thats the most important part

  9. jsbrendog says:

    cashman is an amazing trader. AT THE TIMES of his deals he seems to get great percieved value for not much in return. AND for all those haters out there, even when trades THAT LOOKED GOOD AT THE TIME failed, he ALMOST ALWAYS seems to turn them into a net gain.

    i have done the analysis many times here base don his gmt ade hsitory at mlbtraderumors.com. even when a deal doesnt work out cash turns it into something worthwhile. AND trades like the abreu/lidle trade sweeten the pot immensely. (imagine if lidle didnt die…the dynamic and possibilities of the scenarios are endless)

  10. thisisthedavid says:

    Wasn’t this deal done the day before the option deadline?

    “The Tigers took on all of the $13 million owed to Sheffield in 2007.”

    The Yankees could have simply cut him.
    But its still a Yankee W, they got to roll the dice on a top prospect and some decent arms.

  11. rafael says:

    I don’t know if I’m late to the congratulating party, but…

    Congratulations on the nice addition to your header image! Must feel pretty good to see your work payoff as it becomes a “YES Network Official blog.” Has quite a nice ring to it.

  12. A.D. says:

    It really can’t be a failure since Sheff has pretty much sucked it up since the trade, and any draft pick compensation would have been a bigger crap shoot than guys who had already pitched in the minors.

    Humberto had as much upside as anyone they could have gotten in the draft coming off a season where he blew away AA and pitched well in AAA, but he has yet to really recover from TJ.

  13. Confused Axl says:

    When was the last time one of the prospects we got back in return in a trade actually worked out extremely well for us? It’s been a very very long time…

    • Confused Axl says:

      Meanwhile, Navarro has been doing good. Ohlendorff has been good this year while Karstens has shown a good game or 2 for them and of course Jose Tabata was hitting the crap out of the ball immediately after he left our minor league system. There are more but I think I got the point across with the recent ones

      • Ed says:

        Karstens has a 5.40 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. He had 2 really bad games with a good one in between.

        Tabata is repeating AA this year and is off to a bad start.

        Ohlendorf has been successful, but he has a very low BABIP against, which suggests the success won’t last.

        Navarro had a good season last year. He’s started this year terribly, and wasn’t anything interesting before last year.

        • Confused Axl says:

          Yeah, but the entire Yankees team all together looks the same as these guys and we’re saying the opposite. “Oh they’re great don’t worry about it”. We can’t have our cake and eat it too. Or can we??

        • KW says:

          Navarro was always a highly touted prospect. I’m sure he’ll be able to continue a decent modicum of success.

          • Ed says:

            I certainly expect him to have some success. I’m just saying that so far, he hasn’t been amazing. The only reason we care at all about trading him away is because his best season happened to coincide with the season Posada was hurt.

      • AndrewYF says:

        Are people ignoring that Ohlendorf was acquired through trade? He’s certainly provided value to the Yankees.

    • A.D. says:

      Well the one issue is the Yankees are rarely/never in sell mode. So they’re never doing these dumps where they are trading a very good player making too much for key prospects.

      • Exactly. We don’t get back good prospects in trades, because you only get back good prospects when you trade young stars in their primes, not superfluous vets who are overpaid and on the tail ends of their careers.

        We only trade players when they’re no longer useful to us in our pursuit of championships. So, expecting to get blue-chip prospects is foolish. We’re only getting those from the draft or the IFA market.

  14. Joe says:

    I thought I read somewhere that they released Sanchez so they could re-sign him to a minor league deal? That seems to make sense since straight up releasing him is a bit odd.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Yeah, that’s probably what will happen. These release and resign deals happen all the time. Teams do this when they want to remove a player from the 40-man roster, but they don’t want to risk losing him to waivers because he’s still a desirable piece.

      • Confused Axl says:

        Why didn’t we take a shot with Juan Cruz by the way? The bullpen performed well last year…but common sense tells us that they are inexperienced…and they never really “dominated”. The numbers seemed to have been better looking than watching them pitch last year is what I mean. Boston seems to grab random bullpen guys each year that work out nicely…yet we do it once in a while and it always fails. Vizcaino was ok but again, the numbers were decent…he didn’t look too swift when I used to watch him. Marte is a disaster. And we just keep bringing arms up from below that should be nothing more than inning fillers when we’re down 22-4 in a game.

        • Rick in Boston says:

          Axl…grab a Prozac and relax. Step off the edge. Here’s the little secret: BULLPENS ARE VOLATILE FROM YEAR TO YEAR. Yankee fans were spoiled by the Stanton/Nelson bridge to Mo in the late-90′s and have therefore have this idea that every bullpen every year should be lights out. There is no guarantee that any bullpen, any year, will work out. Go look at the Braves ‘pens in the 90′s – they almost never had the same guys, they went through closers like Jeter goes through girlfriends. But they were successful because they found guys who would stick, and then used them until they were done with. There’s no point in wasting picks or lot’s of money on a bullpen because of the natural volatility of the role.

        • A.D. says:

          Didn’t want to blow another draft pick and ~3M a year for a guy who has been volatile in his own right over his career.

          On top of that Cruz may have wanted to go to a team where he’d be a main fixture instead of fighting for a bullpen job.

      • Yeah, that’s probably what will happen. These release and resign deals happen all the time. Teams do this when they want to remove a player from the 40-man roster, but they don’t want to risk losing him to waivers because he’s still a desirable piece.

        So, what you’re saying, Mike, is that we shouldn’t look at this as the obituary for Humberto Sanchez’s career? That he’s still a talented arm who just struggles to stay healthy, but he’ll probably still be in someone’s big league bullpen in the next few years, possibly ours after we shuffle off some of our excessive reliever logjam?

  15. Ed says:

    Minor nitpick on the article Ben – there was no buyout on Sheffield’s option.

    The trade was worth doing and looked great at the time, as nothing got turned into something. But so far, that something has amounted to just 3.2 innings of bad relief pitching, so I don’t think I’d call it any better than a wash at this point.

  16. Anthony says:

    Sheffield was a problem player, they got rid of him, and got $13 million back and got 3 minor leaguers. It was an ok trade for the yankees and a bad trade for the tigers because the yankees couldnt expect anything out of the prospects but the tigers expected sheffield to product at the rate he normally did and he did not live upto expectations.

  17. vincent says:

    cashman’s time is up. i was always a supporter, but this team has no depth and looks like a weekend softball team.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Okay? That deal was three years ago. You are not going to fire a GM because injuries took over your depth. A-Rod isn’t even back yet…
      But actually Mike Cameron is looking pretty good now. .328/.429/.672

  18. GG says:

    whats up with the Yes thing at the top??

  19. Confused Axl says:

    This doesn’t really have much to do with this topic at all (other than steroids) but I found it on P. Alley and can’t watch it at work. Seeing if you guys could take a look and explain what this guy is actually talking about. He makes it sound like it’s something significant…but doesn’t explain. But clearly that’s what the video is for.

    “I found this very interesting to say the least. Released earlier today was the extra footage not shown by ESPN during the original interview with A-Rod. It sheds more light on why he did what he did and confirms most of our speculations. I cannot say I am too surprised by all of this and wonder how many other players did it for the same reason.”


    • Moshe Mandel says:

      Are you serious? That was the stupidest thing ever. Don’t waste your time.

      • Confused Axl says:

        Haha I’m sorry for wasting everybody’s time then. Forget about viewing it…I couldn’t look at it. Sorry again.

        • jsbrendog says:

          axl’s time is obviously up. i mean one post of a stupid video cause he cant see it? stop wasting everyones time and get a new commentor


          • Confused Axl says:

            Who are you? My time is up? I’ve been talking about relevant material for a long while now…then you pop up out of no where and complain about other peoples posts. Who are you? The blog nazi? Don’t click on it if you don’t want to! You don’t have to mess up your diapers because of it. Put your pacifier back in. The irony of some of these responses from you guys is incredible. You call me a “whiner” yet WHILE you’re doing that…you’re whining and crying your eyes out! It’s unbelievable…

            And by the way, when I bring up rational “normal” posts as you guys would suggest? Nobody answers them. So it’s essentially your fault…

            • jsbrendog says:

              the joke


              your head

              • jsbrendog says:

                someone get this man some muscle relaxers

                • “And by the way, when I bring up rational ‘normal’ posts as you guys would suggest? Nobody answers them. So it’s essentially your fault…”

                  This is my new favorite meme, by the way. I’ve seen this one a few times recently. “But when I make (what I consider to be) a rational post, nobody responds. The lack of response can only mean people only respond to crazy comments. So it’s your fault I’m insane!” Awesomeness in so many ways.

                • Confused Axl says:

                  While I appreciate the facetious tone…
                  If you didn’t know yet, I won “Poster of the Week” honors yesterday during the weekly “Confidence (or lack thereof)” post.

                  I’m already angry…and morons on the board make me more angry. It’s a simple concept…but you’re right about one thing.

                  It sure is awesome…

                • “While I appreciate the facetious tone… If you didn’t know yet, I won ‘Poster of the Week’ honors yesterday during the weekly ‘Confidence (or lack thereof)’ post.”

                  Sincere congratulations, Confused Axl.

                • Confused Axl says:

                  All rise for the Honorable Judge Reinhold…

                • Ah, you awarded yourself the “Poster of the Week” award! Axl, you are magnificent. Keep fighting the good fight.

                • Confused Axl says:

                  Hey, I couldn’t have done it without you guys…so technically, you can tell your friends that you once contributed to helping out the “Poster of the Week” once or twice. Just don’t do it around women unless you’re ready to be at the bottom of a pig pile…

  20. bebop says:

    And wheras we gave up Navarro to get R Johnson we didn’t get much when we traded him. So for Shef and RJ we got bupkus.

    • jsbrendog says:

      right except for randy johnson we got ohlendorf and gonzalez. gonzalez was traded for albaladejo right? and ohlendorf helped bring back nady and marte.

    • steve (different one) says:

      we got:

      1 season of Vizcaino who pitched 75 innings of 104 ERA+
      a sandwich pick for Viz –> Bleich
      Ohlendorf —> Nady/Marte
      AGon —> Nunez —-> Swisher
      Steven Jackson

      give me a f’ing break. Johnson was slated to make $16M, coming off a bad season and offseason back surgery.

      what did you think he should have gotten in return? RJ pitched 56 innings in 2007 before getting hurt again.

      • jsbrendog says:

        ah nunez right, i knew the attorney general got us something that became something but i forgot…so thanks to randy johnson (or javier vasquez depending on how youl ook at it) we have swisher, nady, marte, steven jackson, and jeremy bleich. works for me


  21. Confused Axl says:

    “Perceived value” is all that mattered. Nobody knows how anybody is going to perform. So for Bryan Hoch to single out this one time and beat it into the ground is actually pointless. But writing bad things about the Yankees has always been the “cool” thing to do…so I guess he jumped on the bandwagon.

    But something is worth only what somebody else is willing to pay for it in the long run.

    Were our perceptions fulfilled? No. But they haven’t been in quite some time.

    • Moshe Mandel says:

      This is probably the most lucid, well adjusted thing you have ever written on this blog. Kudos.

      • Confused Axl says:

        Haha thanks. I am useful believe it or not. And if it’s any consolation, I don’t enjoy being angry…I’m just upset. I’m not really taking it out on you people either…I’m searching for answers in a way…although perhaps the anger and confusion isn’t allowing it to be…

        I actually love baseball and of course the Yankees…I’ve just been overwhelmed with what’s been going on I haven’t had a chance to write more like I should.

        And for that I apologize.

        • Thank you.

          Going forward, try to be less upset. It will be fine, trust me. It will be fine. We’re not as bad as you think.

          Bonus point: If you calm down and stay positive and have some faith in the team, and I’m wrong and we really are as bad as you think, you won’t look back on the season from September and be angry that you didn’t start getting angry soon enough.

          • Confused Axl says:

            Good point. I will try to keep calm and upbeat as much as possible from now on. I can’t promise anything…but I will try. I think it’s only fitting we have a (seemingly) new pitcher on the mound tonight to help represent Axl’s “new” beginnings…don’t you??

            • I think it’s only fitting we have a (seemingly) new pitcher on the mound tonight to help represent Axl’s “new” beginnings…don’t you??

              No, I don’t. Because I don’t try to turn everything into a microcosm of the season or a symbolic referendum on the state of the team, and I’m not going to serve as your enabler by allowing you to do it here.

              If Hughes stinks up the joint, it’s just one game. Not a harbinger of doom, like your paranoid half will want to make it out to be.

  22. james says:

    Montero hit 2 HR’s today

  23. JohnC says:


    Tampa won today 3-1 Montero 2-4 2HRs Wilkins DeLaRosa 5IP, 1R, 1BB, 7Ks

  24. Accent Shallow says:

    I’m curious what other packages Cashman had on the table for Sheffield. Ref: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....id=2656847

    Unfortunately, that’s likely information no one here is privy to.

    • When Cashman called the Tigers, Dombrowski originally offered Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, Brandon Inge, and Curtis Granderson.

      Brian said “Fuck that shizz, Davie, you’re not going to dump your garbage on me. I want Sanchez, Claggett, and Whelan and nobody else or there’s no deal.”

      • Confused Axl says:

        Who has(had) a higher ceiling:

        Adam jones, Cameron Maybin, or Lastings Milledge (at first before he struggled in the majors)

        • Highest Ceiling:
          Maybin (little gap) Jones (big gap) Milledge

          Lowest Floor:
          Milledge (little gap) Maybin (big gap) Jones

          I’d say both Maybin and Jones were potential 3-4 heart of the order bats with plus CF defense. Maybin had a tick more power potential as a prospect but Jones had better strike-zone judgement. Maybin had a bigger boom potential but Jones was (and still is) less likely to be utterly worthless.

          I’d say Milledge was never really in their stratosphere, even from the beginning. He was always a leadoff hitter at best (which is good, mind you, just not a heart-of-the-order 35 HR guy). Better than some of our CF prospects, but not a super-blue-chipper like Maybin and Eric Davis II.


  25. leokitty says:

    I really wish Humberto Sanchez had been able to stay even moderately healthy, his stuff is so great. :(

  26. Edge says:

    I’m a Tiger fan. Never wanted Sheffield. At the time was too old, wasn’t taking anymore roids, too expensive, left NY with an attitude problem and only a DH. Our only consolation is that Sanchez, Whelan and Claggett haven’t amounted to anything

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