Rumor of the day: Who watches the Wanger?


When the Yankees nailed down Chien-Ming Wang‘s first win of 2009, the team breathed a collective sigh of relief. The psychological benefits alone for a pitcher who, two months ago, was 0-3 with a 34.50 ERA in six innings, are immense, and the Yankees need their cost-controlled sinker ball specialist, once among the game’s best pitchers to rediscover his form.

Since returning from the disabled list in late May, Wang has looked better than he did in April. Over eight games, five starts, he has thrown 30.2 innings and is 1-3 with a 5.28 ERA. As we’re used to seeing Wang twirling over six innings a start to the tune of a sub-4.00 ERA, that’s still not quite up to par for the Taiwanese hurler, but instead of looking epically bad, it resembles a rough patch. We generally wouldn’t worry about a rough patch.

When push comes to shove this season, Wang’s final numbers won’t look pretty. His ERA stands at 10.06 through the first three months of the season. If Wang makes his final 17 starts and averages six innings per start, he will have to pitch to an ERA of 2.38 just to get his season mark to 4.50. I don’t think anyone expects that.

Yet, despite these inflated numbers, Wang is still attracting interest from other teams. Today’s rumor du jour comes to us via the Daily Dish. Per the rumors site, Jim Salisbury of The Philadelphia Inquirer noted yesterday that the Phillies have been scouting Wang. The pitching-starved defending World Champs need some arms, and as Salisbury reasons, the Yanks, with Phil Hughes waiting in the wings, could opt to trade Wang.

While it’s awfully flattering of the Phillies to look, chances are close to nil that the Yanks would trade Wang this year. First, while the Yankees have long been reluctant to give Wang a long-term deal, his value is at an all-time low. He is coming off of a bad foot injury and a three-month winless bout of ineffectiveness. His sinker isn’t quite doing what it needs to be doing, and he’s still getting his legs under him. The Yanks could probably land something decent for Wang, but nothing the Phillies would be willing right now to offer could replace Wang’s potential.

Furthermore, Wang is still a big part of the Yanks’ plans. By most accounts, this will be Andy Pettitte‘s last year in pinstripes. The Yanks have the younger pieces waiting in the wings to supplant Pettitte, and to do that, they will rely on Wang to anchor the middle of the rotation. Right now, the Yanks view the 2010 rotation as featuring CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Wang, Joba Chamberlain and Hughes. They won’t give up on Wang, cost-controlled through the end of 2011 and with a good track record, so easily.

Of course, in the end, everyone has a price. If the Phillies make the right offer, they could probably land Wang. But I wouldn’t read much into this. Ruben Amaro, the Philadelphia GM, is simply doing his due diligence on a potential acquisition, but the Yanks won’t give up on this one so easily.


  1. Salty Buggah says:

    I think the Yanks want a Justin Smoak-type bat in return


  2. Gimme Kyle Drabek, Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson, Jason Donald, and Michael Taylor and you got a deal, Ruben.

  3. Bill says:

    Trading Wang is dumb and now all you’ve done is given these people an idea to complain about for the next month. “Why don’t we trade Wang?” will dominate every discussion now. Pettitte has looked less than stellar and Joba is on an innings limit. YOU DON’T TRADE AWAY STARTING PITCHING LIKE WANG! The Yankees don’t need another bat for God’s sake. I’m sure the “Cervelli and Pena should start!” “Posada can’t call a game!” and “Joba to the bullpen” people will argue it though.

    • Nah, the “Why don’t we trade Wang” group was already out there, screaming loudly.

      • younguns says:

        Hell Yeah, the “Why don’t we trade Wang” group made their presence well known.

        God, I hope they do trade Wang, just to screw the Yankee front office & those know-nothing fans.

        Over a 4-year span from 2005 to 2008, Wang quietly went 54-20 with a 3.79 ERA while pitching for the Yankees in the super tough AL East. This included back-to-back 19 wins seasons. If it wasn’t for Wang, Yankee fans would be looking at a 3-year playoff drought.

        Now, when he is hitting a rough patch, he’s treated like garbage?

        That’s right, Cashman, do the right thing & trade Wang, because I can’t wait until he regains his old form with another team & make the Yanks look ridiculous giving him away.

        Trade him to St. Louis. Cardinals & their pitching coach guru Duncan should have no problems turning Wang into Cy Wang.

    • Mister Delaware says:

      You don’t trade Wang for the sake of trading him. You certainly consider trading him if it upgrades the team.

    • Tampa Yankee says:


      this article


      your head

    • pat says:

      Why don’t we trade Wang?” will dominate every discussion now

      No it won’t, the people here aren’t idiots. Well, most of them anyway.

    • Salty Buggah says:

      then you don’t listen to them, they clearly do not know what they’re talking about. Most of the RAB world understands how a cost-controlled, effective (he will get there soon I think) is immensely valuable.

      • Salty Buggah says:

        cost-controlled, effective pitcher

      • JP says:

        Yeah, but it’s also been discussed, in level-headed, non-idiotic language that Wang might be a player to consider trading.

        Even if he’d never been injured, there have been voices since the beginning saying that the longterm prospects are not great for a pitcher who wins 19 games with 3.4 Ks/9.

        The idea being, you sell high on a guy who might have peaked in his first 2 seasons.

        Probably none of this applies anymore. It’d be selling low now, and he seems to be trying to change his method of pitching to get more Ks, and his K rate is increasing…

        • Bill says:

          You’re talking like he had 1 good year and has already peaked. He’s 29 years old for God’s sake. Before this season he had pitched 600 innings with an ERA below 4. This is in the AL East he did this. K/9 have gone up every year as you said. Wang never walked a lot of batters and he has an extremely low HR/9. Not to mention a sick GB/FB ratio which probably makes up for his lack of strikeouts. This isn’t a guy you trade for a 5th outfielder.

          • JP says:

            You’re talking like he had 1 good year and has already peaked.

            No, I am relating what others have said and written about them, and yes, some people believe there is a chance he already peaked. That’s exactly what some people think.

            I’m not arguing with you Bill, I’m just telling you what I’ve read. But it’s not like it’s idiotic rantings; there is research behind this. There was a great article in the most recent Historical Baseball Abstract on Mark Fidrych. In the article, Bill James says that Fidrych, even if he hadn’t injured his arm in his second season, probably would have had a relatively short career, and that he probably had peaked very early. The reason? Throughout baseball history, it is extremely rare to have a pitcher have a long career if they have a strikeout rate less than the league average.

            There are some very rare exceptions, but in general, a pitcher who doesn’t strikeout at least a league average number of hitters usually doesn’t last long.

            And as I said, it probably doesn’t apply to Wang anymore, because he’s increased his K rate some. Whether he’s been consistently at or above the league average for any length of time I don’t know.

          • whozat says:

            I don’t think that any rational person would advocate trading Wang now, for a fifth OFer.


            I do think it’s rational to consider trading Wang once he has returned to form. Why? Because he’s been good, he’s youngish, and still cost-controlled, the Yanks potentially have the depth to absorb the loss, and making a trade is the only way for the Yanks to get young, high-end position players.

          • Ed says:

            You’re talking like he had 1 good year and has already peaked.

            That’s not what people are saying. If you look at Wang’s stats and compare them to historical trends, you see that pitchers with strikeout rates as low as Wang’s have not have sustained success. This says nothing about Wang himself, but suggests that there is a high chance he will not be able to sustain this success over a long period of time without changing his pitching style.

            Not to mention a sick GB/FB ratio which probably makes up for his lack of strikeouts.

            His GB/FB ratio has gone down every year. His yearly rates: 1.81 (’05), 1.72, 1.39, 1.21, 1.18 (’09). That’s a huge decline.

            This isn’t a guy you trade for a 5th outfielder.

            Of course not! The most common idea is to trade him for a starting outfielder!

            Remember, this logic is all based on the ways things were before this season, when everyone assumed Wang would be his old self.

            Wang is 29. He’ll be a free agent at 31. The Yankees have 3 options – sign him to an extension that would likely cover him through age 35 give or take, let him go as a free agent and get nothing, or trade him while he’s still under team control and relatively cheap.

            Signing him to an extension is a valid approach. He has a great track record, but historical trends suggest he’ll have a hard time sustaining it. Also keep in mind that he has shoulder problems both at the minor and major league level, making him an increased injury risk.

            Before this season, Wang would have been very easy to trade and would provide a good return. Considering the Yankees will need at least one outfielder after this season, trading for one is an option on filling that hole.

            Remember, the team is stacked with young pitching prospects and does not have much in the way of young position players. Some you keep, some you trade. Before this season, Wang was very desirable, but he’s an above average risk, and he has less upside than guys like Joba and Hughes.

            The entire reason people talk about trading Wang is that as good as he is, until this season he had high trade value.

  4. Manimal says:

    Wang and Swisher for Victorino

  5. IE says:

    How about the Yanks entire 25 man roster for Victorino, who can play all nine positions at once a la Bugs Bunny?

  6. Mattingly's Love Child says:

    I’m not sure you can trade Wang until you get to next spring (at the earliest). With Hughes and Chamberlain hopefully getting the innings limits out of the way for 2010, the Yankees could look to start breaking in another prospect. But it seems too much at once to me.

    If Pettite pitches effectively in the 2nd half and wants to come back on a similar deal as this one for next year, well then yeah, you can deal Wang. Hughes takes his spot in the rotation, and prospects like IPK and Z-Mac can get spot starts or fill in if there is an injury.

    But this would be the offseason/spring training. Definitely not now. That would most likely leave the Yankees short-handed on starters.

    • Bill says:

      No way they bring Pettitte back for another year. He’s on the decline and you can’t go through this Hughes in the bullpen nonsense for another year. CC, AJ, Joba, Wang, and Hughes will be the starting rotation next year. Wang will NOT be traded. You don’t give up on a guy like him after botching his injury recovery.

      • jsbrendog says:

        but who takes hughes innings once he is shut down cause he is on an innings limit next year? you won’t have 5 starters, you will have 4 and a half.

        • Which is why Hughes should be starting in Scranton, like, yesterday.

          • jsbrendog says:

            ive been beating this drum as long as you have.

            we need to get the bandwagon rolling on this one all the way to cashman.

            • Agreed. Let’s get pat on board, he’s good at beating drums for a long time.

              • Drums = hookers now?

                But, seriously, put me on this bangdwagon, too.

              • JP says:

                What is his limit this year, 180 IP? Wasn’t his previous high 150 or so?

                • Yes. His target should be 180 in order to be cap-free next year.

                  His two months starting, he threw 25 and 28 innings. His month in the pen, he threw 12 innings.

                  If he’s in the pen for the entire second half, he throws 40 more innings tops, best case scenario. That’s 105 innings on the year. That’s not enough. If he stays in the pen for just July and August but starts in September, that’s 120 innings. Still not enough.

                  He needs to be starting in Scranton right now. Once Joba hits his cap, or if someone gets injured, Phil comes back. But he should be starting and not relieving for the rest of 2009.

                • JP says:

                  Yes. His target should be 180 in order to be cap-free next year.

                  So, no matter what he does this year, his cap next season would not be less than 180, right?

                  If so…look at the B-R team pages and count how many teams have a 3rd starter with more than 180 IP in a season.

                  If he averaged 6 IP per start, he could start 30 games next season with a 180 IP limit.

                • Yes, JP. If Hughes was the ONLY young pitcher slotted for our 2010 rotation, it wouldn’t be an issue.

                  But with Joba capped at about 180 next year, if they miss out on the opportunity to move Hughes’s innings cap up from 180 to 210, we’ll regret it.

                  Having only one capped starter is way better than having two capped starters.

                  I know you really want Hughes up here and not down in Scranton, JP, but the preponderance of logic is on the side of Hughes starting somewhere. If that’s Scranton, that’s Scranton.

                  And your theory that Hughes in the big league bullpen makes him a better pitcher but Hughes in the Scranton rotation doesn’t is a red herring. Both scenarios offer him plenty of opportunity to improve his pitching repertoire, just in different ways.

                • JP says:

                  Seriously, someone needs to do a serious examination of the Verducci rule. My gripes:

                  1. Why are baseball people ascribing to a “rule” invented or at least named after a baseball writer??? Nothing against TV, but wouldn’t the rule be more believable if it were named after some sports medicine or training Guru? (More “pet peeve” there, but I still wonder…).

                  2. We talk alot about correlation not equalling causation. Any chance there’s a little of that problem in this alleged golden rule? How many pitchers have been shown to get injured by breaking Verducci limits? Maybe other things co-vary with innings…maybe it’s the increased number of appearances, or pitches. In those seasons where the pitchers got injured when they increased their workload, did anyone look at their pitch counts? How do we know they weren’t just guys destined for injury anyway?

                  3. The rule just seems too one-size-fits-all. Not every inning pitched is the same level of effort, so how can you say it’s safe to allow every pitcher to increase their workload by the same amount?

                  Not saying I’d flout the rule with Hughes or anyone else. Until someone comes up with something better, you exercise caution. But I’ll be very interested to see what happens in Texas with Ryans Rules. I’m also waiting for someone to refine the Verducci rules with something along the lines of the “pitchers abuse points” idea.

                • K.B.D. says:

                  Well, it’s not certain that the Yankees or any other club are just listening to Verducci’s rule without any other input. I’m sure they’ve done their homework and have had innings plans for their starters long before the Verducci rule “got popular”.

                • Whether it’s the Verducci rule or some other formula, whether it’s innings or pitches or abuse points or whatever, the fact remains Phil Hughes needs to pitch a lot this year so he can pitch next year with no restrictions or limits.

                  Phil Hughes in the bullpen this year limits his progress and development more than it helps it.

                • JP says:


                  /agree to disagree

                  No hard feelings, sir. But to you or anyone else interested, I’ll ask you to consider the following:

                  From 2008 and 2007 AL stats, we have 15 teams, times 2 seasons, times 5 pitching slots per team, equals 300 starting pitcher years.

                  Of those 300 pitcher years:

                  Number of starters pitching over 180 innings: 56 (19%)
                  Number of 3rd starters pitching over 180 innings: 9 (3%)
                  Number of actual innings pitched by these 9 guys: 184, 206, 182, 196, 189, 192, 201, 190, 199
                  Number of 4th starters pitching over 180 innings: 3 (1%)
                  Number of actual innings pitched by these 3 guys: 183, 195, 189

                  Hughes will be the 4th or 5th starter for the Yankees next year. The chances we’re losing anything by having him capped at 180 next year is very, very small. You can dream up all sorts of scenarios, like Burnett or Sabathia getting injured, or Wang having problems, I suppose. Even in those instances, I can’t see the team “needing” Hughes for more than 200-210 innings next season, at most. Pitchers simply don’t log that many innings, unless they are dominant and having a fantastic season.

                  Basically what your argument boils down to, best I can tell, is that it’s better to send him down now to buy 20-30 innings next year, even if he is a highly effective part of your MLB team right now. I just can’t see it.

                • JP says:

                  Sorry math failure…150 pitchers…double all percentages…still comes out to 6%/2% chance of needing more than 180 innings out of your 3rd/4th starter.

                • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

                  i don’t know that its only the innings…its the ‘see the batter for the second (third!) time in one game and have to use pitches other than my lights out fastball which isnt lights out cause i’ve thrown 98 pitches so far today and i have a runner on second who was on first last pitch and the pen was really taxed yesterday and speaking of taxes do i have to pay taxes to canadia since i’m toronto and…’

                • Chip says:

                  You’re assuming that CC, Wang and AJ all pitch 180+ innings which then you would define Hughes as the 4th pitcher. That’s a pretty optimistic picture to be painting.

                  Basically, you want Hughes to be able to go 32 starts and average 6 innings per start. That comes out to 190ish innings. You can probably add in a couple of innings that we might want him to start a 7 game playoff series and you’re over 200 IP.

                • JP says:

                  And by the same logic, it is also optimistic to assume Hughes would pitch over 180 next season even if he were without a cap.

                  Less than half of #1 starters pitch over 180. Les than 1/4 of #2 starters do.

                  I’m not saying it isn’t better if he is “uncapped” next year. I’m saying it isn’t worth losing him from the MLB roster this year to buy 20-30 innings next season, which you’re unlikely to need from him anyway. Our memory fades quickly–when the bullpen was in the tank early in the year, we were pretty ticked off about having had only 1-2 effective relievers. I’d rather have Phil pitching these innings than Edwar. And if Phil stays under his cap, he’s available to be a secret weapon in the playoffs. Win win.

                • ArodMVP217 Retire 51 says:

                  Win win, but that doesn’t change the fact that he still has to go to SWB SOON.

                  Put it this way, we want Phil to make 33 starts next year with little to no constraint on how deep he can go into the game.

                  PHIL YOUUZ is a STARTIN PITCHA

              • Observer283 says:

                I hope they have a plan for Hughes innings limit. I’ve seen that he is supposed to get to 180 this year. If he does, there is no meaningful limit for him next year. Joba will have a limit of 180 next year. So, they will have to find some way to replace Joba at the end of next season. But that should be it. If they don’t get Phil to 180, then 40% of the rotation next year will have innings limits. I really don’t want to go down that road again, if possible.

                • jsbrendog says:

                  which is exactly why phil hughes should go down to scranton after wangs atlanta start. but he didnt. so he should go down today.

                • If they can get Hughes cap-free, then we could have a 1-4 of CC, AJ, Wang, and Hughes, leaving only Joba with a cap of 180.

                  If we have only one pitcher with a cap and that cap is 180, we can have that pitcher, Joba, in the 5 spot and skip him 2-3 times tops during the season and have him at his cap. We could make it through a whole season with that fivesome and not need any designated 6th starters to fill in.

                • Mattingly's Love Child says:

                  Hey, why don’t you stop thinking logically, and start thinking about how effective Hughes has been in the 7th and 8th.

                  THEY NEED A BRIDGE!11!!!11!!!!!!

                • jsbrendog says:

                  and his confidence!!1!!11! wont some one please think of the confidence!!

                • BklynJT says:

                  I think they may be relying on the winter leagues to build Hughes limits if necessary.

            • Mattingly's Love Child says:

              I won’t get on any bandwagon. But if you have a bangwagon, sign me up!

  7. Jake H says:

    No way this happens. While Wang has sucked for most of the year he has pitched better as of late. Also he is a season and a half removed from a 19 win year.

  8. jsbrendog says:

    i hope that is next years rotation. but there are some ifs that need tohappen. everyone needs to stay healthy, wang needs to continue to improve and become a beast in the offseaso again and hughes needs to get his innings. I will leave it at that so this doesnt devolve into another debate on said innings.

  9. jsbrendog says:

    if the phils are willing to pay the price for a 20 game winning top of the rotation starter then why not? i mean, that would mean his “value” isn’t low since they are willing to pay it right? it is only as low as what you expect to get back in comparison to what they will give you..

    i know they won’t but i’m just saying if they would….you’d have to consider….

    • I would think the Phils are interested in Wang only under the condition that his price is cheap. Once we price him like a true frontline starter (like we should), then they’ll turn their attention back to other true frontline starters like Cliff Lee and Erik Bedard (as they should).

      • jsbrendog says:

        oh of course, i know, i was just saying that his value is only low based on what others are willing to give up…and maybe their pitching coach has a peterson moment and can fix victor zambrano in 5 minutes so the dumb gm goes out and trades a young stud for him and then the rest is history.

  10. Manimal says:

    Wang + Edwar for Werth? Werth has a career OPS+ of 111, better than “Ochoa-rino”

    • Observer283 says:

      I could be wrong here, but I think you should only trade very good established talent for great young talent (unless you have some pressing need for very good established talent at another position).

      I have been thinking about this Wang trade situation for a while, and I have always hoped that we would trade him at a time where his value was high and we could get back a big time young prospect with a high chance of success. Obviously Wang’s injury/innefectiveness has made it highly unlikely that the Yanks could make such a deal at present.

      But, a good second half, a very good 2010, and we might be able to get back something big time for him. Something way more valuable than Jason Werth.

      Of course, such a trade would only make sense if the Yankees have five good options for the starting rotation outside of CMW for 2011. That’s a very big “if.”

  11. Charlie says:

    i wouldn’t mind trading the wangster. If we did, we have plenty of options in the minors to replace him next year. Nova, McAllister, etc. Though i wouldn’t mind keeping him around either, as long as he’s effective the rest of the way.

    • Anyone says:

      not yet, though I believe they will be good options soon. But theu just are not at AAA yet (or at leat haven’t pitched there for a while)

    • K.B.D. says:

      The problem is those guys project as mid-to-back of the rotation starters. Wang, at his best, is a number 2 and you’re not just going to plug Z-Mac or Nova in and replace his potential production.

      • Chip says:

        Wang never projected to a number 2 starter either. Honestly, we don’t know what we have in Z-Mac or Nova yet. All of this argument depends on what you think Wang is. If he can regain his former glory, you don’t trade him for anything less than a can’t-miss prospect. Otherwise, you try to get as much as you can for him at his highest point (which isn’t now).

        • K.B.D. says:

          I agree. Wang was never expected to pan out like he did, but that doesn’t mean Nova or McAllister will do so in the same fashion. I just don’t think we’ve seen enough of the healthy, confident Chien-Ming Wang to make a decision whether he’s finished or not. Toting around that 30.00+ ERA had to do a job on his head, maybe this last win turns him around. Maybe not. But I’d rather wait and see than jump on a deal prematurely.

        • Reggie C. says:

          Here’s the thing though .. the shine is off Wang. Permanently.

          Wang’s struggles this first half are known in each GM office. You just dont go from being one of the winningest pitchers in the past 3 years to its worst and recover completely. Wang could’ve landed a top notch prospect last year as all GMs considered was a busted foot. Now Wang’s faced accusations of “head issues”, “leg problems”, “inconsistent release point”, “malcontent”, etc. Yanks are not getting much back.

          • whozat says:

            If Wang never returns to his previous success, yeah.

            I’m pretty sure no one rational is advocating dumping him now. We’re saying keep him until he recovers…and if he doesn’t, I guess you could argue they should have traded him before 2008, but I don’t know that anyone without the benefit of hindsight would agree.

            • Reggie C. says:

              I agree. I wasn’t saying that the organization shouldve moved Wang before ’09. Let alone for weakening peripherals in the past couple seasons, Wang was universally thought-of as a reliable 2/3 type around baseball.

              All i’m getting to is that I don’t expect Wang to ever re-capture his value. Its lost. Too many bad things have happened and been said about the man , that his value is effectively scarred.

              I just want him to get back to at least ML average. We need a decent 4th starter for 2010.

              • whozat says:

                What you SAY you’re saying and what you’re actually saying are different.

                “All i’m getting to is that I don’t expect Wang to ever re-capture his value. Its lost. Too many bad things have happened and been said about the man , that his value is effectively scarred.”

                “I just want him to get back to at least ML average. We need a decent 4th starter for 2010.”

                So…you think that we’ll be lucky if he gets back to being a 4th starter. That doesn’t mean you think his value is shot…it means you think HE is shot. You can think that, but don’t try to sell it as anything else.

      • whozat says:

        Also, I don’t think anyone thinks that ZMac could walk in and replace Wang the 19-game winner. However, I think the argument is that Joba and Hughes as rotation full-timers mean that Wang is expendable in the right deal, because you can fill in back of the 2nd-half of 2010 rotation with Kennedy, ZMac or some injury-flier free agent.

  12. Chip says:

    I agree with most of you. It’d take something like Carlos, Carrasco, Michael Taylor, and Kyle Drabek before I’d consider it. And that’s only because I think Michael Taylor is going to be pretty damn good (even if he is a long way out).

    Of course they’d also have to throw in Bastardo just for the name

  13. King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

    ok, a string of patently stupid questions:

    Andy back next year, exact same contract, and we assume (how about ‘predict’?) we’ll get less out of him cause he’s a year older, and he eats innings as our fifth starter?

    If we trade Wang, then what(next year)? CC-AJ-Joba-Hughes-????

    If the Indians start sucking even more (ok, just go with me here, technically anything is possible…), what would we give up to get Cliff Lee?

    and lastly, predicting Matsui is playing for the Japanese Giants (i’d say oxymoron but i’ve stood next to Matsui! he’s big!), Nady isn’t offered arb and we choose not to pursue, what are our two best options for left field, from trade or signing and from inside (not named Jeter)?

    • Charlie says:

      First of all, there is absolutely now way that we should bring back Andy. Trust me, he’ll get harder to watch as this season progresses. We’re not getting Cliff Lee, we won’t trade wang most likely, and our outfield should be Ankiel/Holliday/Damon in left, Ajax in center, Swish in right, and either melky/gardner as our 4th outfielder (preferably melky).

      • Anyone says:

        NO way on Ankiel and Holliday, they are not so good. Damon would alright if he came back on a cheap 1+1 deal.

      • K.B.D. says:

        Are you serious? We’re going to resign Damon and then sign Holliday AND Ankiel? You must be joking.

      • Chip says:

        I was one of the world’s biggest Ankiel fans until he just stopped hitting this year. I realize he’s been hurt but I’d like to see a bit of life before a long-term signing.

        Also, I think Gardelky will be starting in center field unless A-Jax cuts down on his strikeouts and/or shows some serious pop. That’s not a hit against A-Jax it’s just that both Gardner and Melky have been better than we expected this year and I really think Gardner is legit.

        I wouldn’t mind a combination of any of Bay/Damon/Swisher/Ankiel/Crawford/Dunn in left/right. Ideally (in my mind) we’d trade for Dunn to be a DH/LF/RF who can also give Tex the occasional rest at first. Keep Swisher in right and resign Damon for left. That gives you an everyday lineup of


        I realize this might not mesh with the Posada DHing idea but Dunn only has a year left on his contract so it wouldn’t be a horrible pickup. Also, you’d probably sit him against tough lefties and DH Posada with Cervelli catching (who is better against lefties. And no, I don’t know what the Nationals would want for Dunn but it’s not like they’re going to compete anytime soon.

        • Charlie says:

          where’s ajax?? And i just don’t think dunn fits real well.

          • I liked Adam Dunn a lot when all he cost was money.

            I’m not trading anything of value for Adam Dunn, sorry.

            • K.B.D. says:


            • Chip says:

              Agreed, I’d all for trading him if it’s a salary dump situation. He’ll be making 12 million next season for a team going nowhere. If he costs us George Kontos, I’d do it in a heartbeat. He could hit 60 homeruns in YSIII

            • I really, really wish we could’ve dumped Matsui and picked up Dunn this year. I love Dunn so much but I don’t think he’s going to be on the Yankees any time soon. Unless Posada proves he can catch over 100 games (yeah, okay), Dunn can’t DH for the Yankees.


          • Chip says:

            AJax is in AAA. You don’t replace a guy that’s OPSing .800 that can steal bases at will and has a UZR/150 of 19.3

            I fully admit that Gardner may not keep these numbers up all season but if he can end up with a .350 OBP and .420 SLG and 40 some steals, how do you replace him? He’s by far and away the best defensive player on the team and is just now coming on with the bat (per the adjustment period he goes through with every promotion).

            • You don’t replace a guy that’s OPSing .800 that can steal bases at will and has a UZR/150 of 19.3

              You do if you think the guy in AAA is better than the guy OPSing .800 and stealing bases at will with a UZR of 19.3.

              • K.B.D. says:

                Especially when Brett’s SLG% is going to come back down to Earth since he’s hit 3 out of his career 7 HRs this year. Not going to last.

                • Chip says:

                  Why? He slugged .422 in AAA last year. He doesn’t have to hit homers to keep his slugging there. I think he’ll leg out enough doubles and triples to maintain it.

                • K.B.D. says:

                  Because his career IsoP is .105 and he’s at .132. Not a huge difference, but 20 points off his slugging here, 20 points off his OBP there as his K-rate and BABIP normalize and we’re looking at a different guy.

                • Chip says:

                  His BABIP is .319, how is that high? It’s actually significantly lower than his BABIP in any of his minor league seasons so theoretically, he’s been unlucky thus far. I do however worry that he’ll start striking out more. But through 160 at-bats, he’s more than holding his own and I think he’ll continue to prove he can be a starting major league centerfielder

              • Chip says:

                Do you think AJax is capable of that next year? I think next year Gardner will still be a better player than AJax. After next year, I’m not sure. Basically, he’s putting up the same line Gardner is but doing it in AAA.

                My point is that I don’t think AJax will be ready by spring training of next year but I’d imagine he’ll force a callup by midseason

    • Chip says:

      Cliff Lee isn’t that good. He had an amazing year last year and if I were the Indians, I’d trade him at the deadline.

      I’m convinced that he’ll never replicate the season he had last year. I mean the guy cut his homerun rate in half and drastically reduced his walk totals last year. I just don’t understand how he could possibly have this sudden change when he doesn’t have great stuff. It’s one thing for somebody like Verlander or King Felix to put it together because everybody knows the stuff is there. Lee seems a bit too much smoke and mirrors for me.

    • Bill says:

      Andy will NOT be back next year. He appears to be done and he hates pitching in the new stadium. Andy Pettitte is washed up.

      We will not trade Wang. Rotation will be CC-AJ-Joba-Wang-Hughes next season.

      I don’t think they give up Cliff Lee. If they do, it would take way too much than we should give up. I really think Shapiro wants to hang on to his great players and go after it next year in a weak division.

      Best FA options are Matt Holliday and Jason Bay. Damon is also a FA and I’m not sure if they’ll want him back. Damon will probably want a 3 year deal which we better not give him.

    • radnom says:

      Rotation next year


      Give Wang 1 full year to rebuild his trade value and then he gets dished that offseason.

      If the Indians start sucking even more (ok, just go with me here, technically anything is possible…), what would we give up to get Cliff Lee?

      No thanks.

      and lastly, predicting Matsui is playing for the Japanese Giants (i’d say oxymoron but i’ve stood next to Matsui! he’s big!), Nady isn’t offered arb and we choose not to pursue, what are our two best options for left field, from trade or signing and from inside (not named Jeter)?

      RF- Swisher
      CF- Melky/Gardner/Cameron/Ajax
      LF- Damon/Crawford
      DH- Bay/Guerrero/Damon(if Crawford in LF)

      • Charlie says:

        unless Cameron can play left field, i’m not seeing him in NY next year.Forget Crawford, thats pretty unlikely. If we could get him for a reasonable deal, i like holliday, ajax, and swish, from left to right.

        • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

          i thought the knock on holliday is he’s a lesser player away from the colorado thin air? are you thinking our bandbox will bring him back up to snuff?

        • radnom says:

          unless Cameron can play left field, i’m not seeing him in NY next year.

          Why? If there is one position the Yankees could use an upgrade in, it is CF.

          Forget Crawford, thats pretty unlikely.

          Again, why?
          Do you think the Ray’s are going to pick up his option, or is it something else?

          If we could get him for a reasonable deal, i like holliday,

          Now that is not going to happen, at least according to my definition of “reasonable”.


          not going to be ready to start the year

          and swish, from left to right.

          I’ll give you Swish.

          • K.B.D. says:

            Who says A-Jax won’t be ready? He’ll have had a full year at AA and AAA. While he’s been the beneficiary of a good deal of luck, he could make an impression in ST and force the Yankees’ hand.

            • radnom says:

              He could be, but I guarantee you the Yankees are not counting on him to win the job out of spring training. I’m not saying there isn’t a chance, but right now it is <50%.

          • Again, why?
            Do you think the Ray’s are going to pick up his option, or is it something else?

            I’d say so. They’ll probably pick up the option and then trade him like the Yankees did with Sheffield.

            • radnom says:

              I think there is a good chance this happens as well, but we’ll see.

              • If the Rays don’t pick up his option, I hope the Yankees are all over him.

                • radnom says:

                  Honestly – for 1 year at 10+ mil, how much can they really get back for that?

                  More value than a first round pick + a supplemental pick?

                  Maybe, but then again can they even offer him arbitration if they don’t pick up his option?
                  That I don’t know….

                • Honestly – for 1 year at 10+ mil, how much can they really get back for that?

                  Probably a lot. The larger point in his favor is his youth and production.

                • K.B.D. says:

                  Is he a Type A? Last year he missed a bunch of games and it hurt his stats.

                • Chip says:

                  The Rays would be insane to not pick up that option. I’m sure the Yankees would give up McAllister at the very least for him and probably more. The Red Sox would also be all over that if they don’t resign Bay

                • radnom says:

                  Probably a lot. The larger point in his favor is his youth and production.

                  His youth is only a factor if he is willing to sign an extension, which none of us have any clue about.

                  If you could sign Crawford this offseason, but were limited in that you could could only sign him to a one year deal, how much more than 10.5 million would you really spend? 15, 16? Not if the market is like last offseason, and definitely not much more than that regardless.
                  Essentially they are looking at prospects equivalent in value to ~5mil at best.

                  Of course, Rays wouldn’t have to deal with signing anyone they received in a trade, unlike with potential draft picks.

                • Chip says:

                  But he wouldn’t sign for a one year contract so that situation is moot. He’ll be 28 next year, right in his prime and wouldn’t cost that much (for his production anyhow). Also, look at the other guys that will be available. Holliday and Bay are better hitters (well maybe) but they’re going to require huge contracts. There isn’t really anyone else out there and you would probably assume he’ll be a Type-A free agent after a year so you’d get those draft picks back. Plus, you’d get first crack at extending him.

                • JP says:

                  I like Carl Crawford in Yankee pinstripes. ‘Twould be very nice.

        • Chip says:

          Holliday is a product of Coors Field, no way he ever is the hitter again what he was there. I feel that Bay is legit but I think the Sox will break the bank to keep him because the fans love him. And that’s great because he’ll soon be in his decline years.

          • I know he’s not as good away from Coors, but in ’06 (.819), ’07 (.860), and ’08 (.892), Holliday put up good OPS numbers on the road.

            • Chip says:

              Those are good numbers but not holy shit good numbers. And he’ll probably demand a holy shit type of contract. If the price starts falling on him, I’d take him but I think somebody will be stupid enough to pay it.

      • VLAD GUERRERO??!?!?!??!?!??!

        MULTIPLE INTERROBANGS?!?!??!??!?!?!??!?!?

        • radnom says:

          No, no no….this guy…


          he looks like he could hit.

          • K.B.D. says:

            When I think about it, the Yankees’ haven’t had a guy who could land a perfect Frog Splash in years. Too bad Eddie isn’t with us anymore.

        • radnom says:

          Full disclosure:

          Holy crap I can’t believe how far he fell off the table. I had thought he was just injured to start the season, but I wasn’t really paying attention to the Angels.

        • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

          hey tommie…what’s wrong with Melky/Gardener/Swisher with Damon as #4 splitting DH time with Jorge who is splitting time behind the plate with Cervelli/Molina second coming of Heysoos?

          Isn’t that nearly what we have now, without Godzilla and X?

          Without Andy (who really doesnt seem that expensive for what he’s done), X and Godzilla’s salaries, certainly we can pick up a fine arm to bolster either the rotation (a solid five from somewhere) or the pen (not a Street guy, but not a Tomko either), and then we’ll even have another spot for a position player, hopefully a power hitter who can either play any two corners of the field.

          is my math wrong, or could we come back next year with a lower salary than we have this year, and a better team??? Especially if we can bring up a guy like IPK or Ajax.

  14. Charlie says:

    Joba’s innings limit this year is supposed to be 150 and he’s at 75 now. Hughes is supposed to get to 180 and he’s at 46. That sounds like a problem to me.

    • jsbrendog says:

      joba is half way there with over half the season remaining. barring injury he is fine.

      hughes needs to go down to start and learn to be a starter, learn to mix his pitches, go through a lineup, build up his stamina and not be a pump fastballs out of the bullpen guy.

      then, when joba htis his limit phil comes up and boo yah fo sho

      you listening cashman?

    • (hands Charlie a victory cigar for a correct answer)

    • Observer283 says:

      This does seem really simple. But the problem is for the Yankees, every year is the year they are “going for it.” If we weren’t “going for it” this year, he would’ve been back in Scranton weeks ago. But Phil Hughes is undoubtedbly one of the 12 best pitchers in the organization, so the 2009 Yankees are better of having him on the big league roster.

      Personally, I think the Yankees can succeed in 2009 with Hughes back in Scranton where he belongs, but I can understand why an organization under pressure to win now would keep him in the bullpen.

      Really, this is one of the reasons why we used to give up on young talent so quickly. The “win now” mentality lies in direct contradiction with developing players. I think the current management is doing an admirable job of trying to strike a balance, but this Phil situation shows that the “win now” mentality will likely win out if the question between whats best for the present and whats best for the future is close.

    • Jake H says:

      Hughes is at 66 right now. 19.1 minor league innings. 46.2 at the major league level. So they need to get him 100 to 114 more innings in 87 more games. That doesn’t take into account any post game innings.

      • jim p says:

        Hmmm. That would be about 16 6-inning starts. There’s 17 left for each guy in a 5 man rotation. Figure there’s 10-18 innings in post-season play, if you have that confidence, so he’d have to make 14 starts this season.

  15. Reggie C. says:

    Wang is necessary for 2010 even if his regression plateaus to a point where he’s nothing more than a back of the rotation starter. We’ve seen enough progression from Joba and Hughes at this point to look forward to their 2010 respective campaigns.

    IF the Yanks are upgrading the ‘pen, then one of McAllister or Nova is likely a goner. You can’t trade Wang if you’re likely to your best performing MiL starter.

  16. Mattingly's Love Child says:

    The only good I can see for trading Wang now would be that it would assure that Hughes takes his spot in the rotation and gets the innings he needs to be basically cap-free next year. That is definitely a positive. But the negative that goes with that is who the frig is gonna be the 5th starter?

    Either a less effective Andy Pettite or another prospect with an innings cap…..

  17. [...] Phillies reportedly interested in Chien-Ming Wang. (River Ave Blues) [...]

  18. Charlie says:

    Could we get a post about what to do when molina comes back?? I would send Pena down, he’s hitting 268 and playing great defense, with some development and some added strength, i don’t see why he doesn’t have a shot at being a starting SS.

    • i don’t see why he doesn’t have a shot at being a starting SS.

      Because while it’s possible it’s highly improbable.

      He’s currently hitting only .267/.308/.349 (73+), and that’s actually exceeding expectations.

      The 2009 ML season is easily the best Ramiro Peña has ever hit in his life. It’s a total outlier. He’s a career .258/.316/.319 minor league hitter. He’s bound to return to earth at some point.

    • Chip says:

      Because he doesn’t hit well. He might be able to be a replacement level shortstop if you factor in his defense but the Yankees don’t do replacement level shortstops.

    • For Ramiro Pena to be a starting shortstop, he will have to field like Ozzie Smith and Omar Vizquel combined, with the arm strength of Ichiro. Seriously, he’d have to be like +20 with the glove every year to be a starter. If Pena is ever a starting SS for any team for more than a month because of an injury, that team is in some serious trouble.

      • A.D. says:

        Basically best case, Pena is an Adam Everett/Nick Punto type that can start for teams that aren’t that good, or just enjoy cheap glove guys, but isn’t going to be good enough for the type of production the Yanks want, and pretty much expect from the SS position at this point.

  19. Manimal says:

    Wang’s arbitration hearing this year should be interesting…

  20. /guest'd says:

    Arent the Angels looking to dump one of their OFs?? So how about:

    Wang + Melky + reliever to the LAA for Torii Hunter.

  21. AsianShuutoHeat says:

    Give them Igawa!

  22. Moshe Mandel says:

    +1 on Watchmen reference.

    (That was the reference, right?)

  23. thebusiness says:

    CC AJ Wang Joba Hughes with Kennedy playing the role Hughes did this year, 6th starter.

  24. emac2 says:

    If we trade Wang now we might get a return based on the fact that most teams (at least one anyway) will understand that he is just having difficulty getting back in the groove after injury.

    Even if we don’t trade him now we probably don’t keep him after next year so as soon as we can get a reasonable return I think we take it.

    I’m as or more confient in Aceves or Hughes as I am in Wang going forward.

    Finally, he is getting expensive enough that we can probably not only get a return for Wang but also use the money we save to increase the “return”

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.