Arms race doesn’t just mean starters for Yanks

Stadium hits: bowl games, lawsuits and bikes
Recent Yankee trends

When the trade deadline nears each year, there’s always a big name or two associated with the Yankees. This year is no exception, as the biggest name on the market, Roy Halladay, has been linked with the Bombers. That talk has since quieted. Toronto is asking a lot for their ace, as they should. The Yankees, already spending over $30 million on their top two pitchers this year (counting CC’s signing bonus), apparently don’t want to take on yet another hefty salary and surrender their top prospects. There’s still a chance they swoop in at the last minute, but it’s not at all likely.

This morning, Mike looked at other starting pitchers who could be on the market. With Sergio Mitre holding down the fifth spot in the rotation until further notice, the Yankees are right to keep their feelers out for any potential deals. But does it have to be for a starter? After all, they do have a perfectly good starter in the bullpen right now. They could always acquire a reliever and take the time to stretch out Hughes. What relievers could they acquire?

We’ve surely done this exercise before, but the landscape has changed in July. Some guys we’d thought were available are now not. Others who previously flew under the radar are now showing up. Here’s the most up-to-date list. I’m sure we’ll do this again next week.

Chad Qualls and Jon Rauch

At 21 games back in the NL West and 12 games back of the Wild Card, the Diamondbacks are essentially done. This puts them in the sellers’ column. The Yanks could be interested in two of their relief pitchers: Chad Qualls and Jon Rauch. Both are 30 years old, and both are posting solid seasons.

Qualls boasts a decent strikeout rate and a super-impressive walk rate (1.1 per nine). He could fit into the eighth inning role nicely. His Major League experience dates back to 2004, and he’s never posted an ERA above 3.76 in any season. He’s also kept his walk rate below 3 per nine in every season he’s pitched. The only problem is that he’s relatively cheap for a closer ($2.535 million this season), and still has one more arbitration year. The D’Backs might want to hold onto him for their 2010 campaign.

Rauch pitched horribly after the Nationals traded him to the Diamondbacks last season, and started off equally poorly this season. Since the 27th of May, though, the 6′ 11″ righty has been quite good, allowing just five runs over 22.2 innings, striking out 12 and walking five. He’s thrown strikes — 65 percent — and has kept the ball in the park, surrendering just one homer in that span. He’s another one the D’Backs might want to keep, though: he has an affordable $2.9 million club option for 2010.

Rafael Betancourt

After three and a half solid seasons at the big league level, Rafael Betancourt exploded in 2007, posting a 1.47 ERA and striking out 80 batters over 79.1 innings. More impressively, he walked just nine batters all season. After a clunker of a 2008 season, Betancourt has returned to his pre-2007 form this year. That is, a fairly capable bullpen arm. He’s striking out about a batter per inning, though his walk rate is way up (4.4 per nine). The last-place Indians could certainly deal him now rather than make a decision on his $5.4 million club option in the off-season.

Betancourt missed all of June with an injury. He’s appeared five times since returning, pitching an inning each time and allowing just two hits and one run, walking one. It’s nothing to make a trade on, but it could entice a team with a bullpen need to make a move.

John Grabow

Neal Huntington took over as Pirates GM in September 2007, and he’s absolutely cleaned house. Of the main eight starters that season, based on plate appearances, just two remain: Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez. And guess what? He’s making an effort to trade them now, though both could hit free agency after the season. He does have a few pitchers left over from before his time, and just about every one of them is available in some capacity.

The Yanks already snagged Damaso Marte from Huntington, and the hope is that he can contribute in August. Even so, the Yanks could add another arm. Seemingly atop Pittsburgh’s dish-list is free agent to be John Grabow. His ERA sits pretty at 3.07, but his walk rate, almost 5 per nine, is unacceptable. Looking at his hit and walk rate combined, it would seem that he’s due for an implosion. Let that happen on another team.

Michael Wuertz

The Oakland A’s are just no good this year. When they’re not competing, you know Billy Beane is working behind the scenes to pick up some young players. One interesting name is Michael Wuertz, a 30-year-old righty who quietly pitched well in the Cubs bullpen before this season. The A’s acquired him in a minor move, and it has paid off.

Wuertz currently boasts the lowest walk rate of his career, and is combining it with excellent strikeout numbers. His slider has been deemed the toughest pitch to hit in baseball. Problem is, the A’s have his rights through the 2011 season, so he won’t come cheap. Players rarely do when Billy Beane deals them.

This list doesn’t look too promising. Most of the players are either bad or under team control for a number of years. The Yankees won’t want any of the former — they have enough mediocre bullpen arms, thank you very much — and the latter might cost a bit much. Still, if they’re going to deal for an arm, these are basically the guys on the list. What’s the preference out in Yankeeland? I’m a Rauch guy myself, and think he could come at the best value, considering his contract, age, and team.

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Stadium hits: bowl games, lawsuits and bikes
Recent Yankee trends
  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    The D’Backs seem “unlikely” to move Qualls, but would ask for a strarting pitching prospect in potential trades.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....arget.html

    I may, MAY have given up Z-Mac for Huston Street. But not for Chad Qualls. There’s a big difference between 25 and 30.

    If they’ll take a below Z-Mac level prospect, sure. Otherwise, no.

    • Drew

      +30

  • kenthadley

    how about Ian Snell as a reliever….sort of the lefty version of Hughes……relieve now, start next year?

    • http://mvn.com/pendingpinstripes Greg F.

      Snell is a righty.

      • kenthadley

        I still like him as a reliever this year……

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

        Snell is a righty.

        As far as we know…

        Sincerely,
        Pat Venditte

      • AndrewYF

        He should consider throwing with his left arm. His right one clearly isn’t working out.

  • Moshe Mandel

    I would like to take a closer look at his peripherals, but I would consider putting together a package for Heath Bell. Then we can stop with the whole turning starters into 8th inning guys and back again once and for all.

    • Bo

      SD has stated repeatedly they arent dealing Bell. That means we can have him for Jackson or Montero.

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

        Exactly. Which means we pass.

        Brian Cashman: Hey, Kevin, I’m looking for bullpen help. You dealing Bell?
        Kevin Towers: Only for Joba, Hughes, Montero, or Jackson.
        Cashman: Fair enough, figured I’d give it a shot. Take it easy, okay? Say hello to your mother for me.

        • Chris

          I really wonder how many conversations like this go on. It seems like this would be a nearly every day occurrence as teams try to figure out what’s available.

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

            That’s why everyone has a restraining order against Omar Minaya.

            The restraining order against Tony Bernazard is for a different reason.

            • jsbrendog

              but wouldn’t they all WANT to talk to minaya? since he’ll give you bannister for burgos? or you know, someone good for nothing?

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

                Good point.

                • Tampa Yankee

                  THAT IS HOW YOU DEBATE!

                • jsbrendog

                  the restraining order should be on beane or williams.

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

                  Yeah, I could totally see Kenny Williams calling other GM’s literally hundreds of times every single day. Dead serious.

                • Mattingly’s Love Child

                  Kenny Williams gets a new cell every day so the other GMs can’t block his calls.

    • A.D.

      Then we can stop with the whole turning starters into 8th inning guys and back again once and for all.

      I’d like to think this is true, but it would probably still be done.

  • Dela G

    chad qualls is overrated

    i saw him pitch in houston for years, and his nickname was chad “gopherball” qualls, because he would seemingly give up the longball at the most inopportune time.

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

      Qualls in Houston: 1.0 HR/9
      Qualls in Arizona: 0.6 HR/9

      And interestingly, Chase Field is more homerprone than Minute Maid Park.

      • Rick in Boston

        Just adding on here: 37 career homers, 19 of them at Minute Maid. Since leaving Houston, he’s given up seven homers, most at bad moments (all in the 8th or 9th, four in tied games), but that’s probably more of a usage thing than anything else.

        • Ed

          Considering he was acquired to be a setup man and got promoted to closer, I’m going to go with “usage thing”.

        • A.D.

          Given he’s a closer, one would imagine that he’d be giving up HR when the game’s on the line.

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

    Melky for Wuertz?

    • ChrisS

      Wuertz is the closer in reserve for the As currently, since Bailey has a bum knee that could put him on the shelf.

      The As already have two Cfers that can’t hit, I’m not sure why they’d want Melky.

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

        Because those two CF’s they have that can’t hit are even worse at hitting than Melky is?

        What if I throw in Zack Kroenke? He’s young, he’s a lefty, he’s got no service time.

        • ChrisS

          That’s debateable. Hairston is better than Melky, IMO. And Sweeney isn’t far off.

      • A.D.

        I agree on probably no wanting Melky, but Beane would just package him if he was worth it in terms of value.

        Realistically the A’s don’t care about a back-up closer for the season, they’re so far out of it its just about next year.

    • Moshe Mandel

      I think Melky is more valuable to this team now than another reliever. I know it will not be a popular opinion, but I think he pro vides value by hovering around league average and allowing them to keep Gardner on the bench for lefties and Damon off the field late in games.

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

        I agree that Melky has value. I just think Wuertz probably has more. Both this year, and next.

        • Moshe Mandel

          Wuertz has never pitched this well in his career, and I’m not sure it is sustainable. That said, while he may have more value than Melky, I think the 2009 Yankees need Melky more’ unless AsJax is ready to fill that role.

          • ChrisS

            And trading for relievers currently pitching better than their historic norms is a recipe for disappointment.

            I see no reason for the Yankees to trade for anything unless it’s a zero consequence swap of talent for money.

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

            You may be right. But, if I can turn Melky into a good reliever, I’ll play Gardner 90% of the time in CF going forward and slide Nick Swisher over for the other 10% and play Damon and Hinske in the corners. It’s not what I wanted to do, but it’s probably worth it, IMO.

            Oh, and, come September, maybe Ramiro Peña can man some CF down the stretch.

            • Moshe Mandel

              I would never do that- it would be the worst defensive outfield ever. I honestly would be loathe to give up much to get a reliever pitching above career norms, considering the fact that I don’t think they desperately need a reliever as constituted.

            • Mattingly’s Love Child

              I’m all for adventure movies, but I’m not sure I want to see the adventure that is Nick Swisher in center.

              But like you said, if Melky can turn into someone like Wuertz, well then I might have to deal with it.

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

                I’m firmly against Swisher in center as well.

                I’m talking about, like, 4 or 5 games tops for the rest of the year.

                • Mattingly’s Love Child

                  Well then, a few shots of Jack before those games start, and I could deal with that.

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

                  Coke.

                • Mattingly’s Love Child

                  Yankees need a relief pitcher named Jack. That would be my favorite relief tandem ever, Jack and Coke. It would be WAY better than Kay’s garbage with the Philthys….

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

                  I want Melky to make an amazing catch at the wall to nail down a dramatic Phil Coke save, to see the Post headline:

                  “Melk and Cokies”

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

                  (BTW: That will be my last ever mention of the New York Post rag. First the monkey cartoon, now the paper running with the Erin Andrews peephole story in a very lewd and over the top way… they’ve crossed too many lines too many times.

                  I don’t often agree with ESPN, but they’ve announced they’re boycotting/banning the Post from all their coverage, and I agree. Murdoch’s rag needs to die.)

                • jsbrendog

                  did you see the political cartoon form yesterday? it was an espn set and erin andrews naked and her she parts blurred out and the guy behind the camera saying come on erin itll really boost the ratings.

                • Mattingly’s Love Child

                  That’s horrendous. I look forward to the day when the Post has to close their doors, and the no-talent ass clowns who worked there have to try to either get a real job or get a job at a real newspaper.

  • http://twitter.com/JamalG Jamal G.

    His slider has been deemed the toughest pitch to hit in baseball.

    You should’ve seen what that pitch did to Justin Morneau in that crazy 14-13 game on Monday that Oakland won.

  • JeffG

    Rafael Soriano – if or when the Braves fall out of it he could be a nice target.

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

      I’d love Soriano, but they’re too close to contention. I doubt they sell. His price is probably higher, too.

      • Doug

        agree that his price would be a lot higher. has some of the best stuff and best peripherals in baseball

      • JeffG

        If the Braves fall out… maybe that’s a month from now if he could clear waivers.

        Plus he is a short rental (FA 2010) so who knows what that woud require. You’d think it would be less than a guy with an extra season on his contract.

  • Joltin’ Joe

    I vote for Wuertz.

    Melky and AAA reliever junk, though Billy Beane could probably get more from someone else.

    • Bo

      I’m sure Beane would love that deal.

      Why not have them throw in their best prospect while you’re raping them??

      • Joltin’ Joe

        Believe it or not resident guru TJSC suggested Melky/Wuertz.

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

          Resident Guru?

          Well, genius is a pretty strong term, but if you insist on using it, I think I can handle it.

          • Joltin’ Joe

            I figured if I was going to get torn apart I might as well give you the credit. lol

  • Tank Foster

    I haven’t sat down and really tried to determine value for value, so I really am just shooting from the hip. It would have to be a very good relief pitcher with an expectation/track record of good health before I’d trade Melky. If I’m going to spend money and prospects on something for the team, I’d prefer it be a reliable back end starter, or more offensive (sorry for the Red Sox terminology) “redundancy.” If ARod’s hip goes kerfluey before the end of the season, the team has got a serious problem. I guess Hinske addressed that to some degree, but I’d rather have something better.

    Something better is probably not available, though.

    • Kiersten

      If any team loses its best player to injury, I would say that team has a serious problem.
      Maybe we should get Evan Longoria in case A-Rod gets hurt.

      • Tank Foster

        Why do so many people feel the need to be obnoxious on this site? Teams like the Yankees and Red Sox do things like prepare for losing their good players to injury.

    • A.D.

      1, as you say something better probably isn’t available, Hinske is a solid insurance policy, way better than the one we had at the beginning of the year.

      2, at this point A-Rod is stealing bases, running around he’s probably similar in likeliness of getting hurt as Jeter, or Tex or Cano…there’s no way they can insure to that, so better to secure the team where they can, i.e. rotation depth & pen

  • Adam

    just curious… what would zack duke cost? z-mack + another good prospect?

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

      Zach Duke would cost more than he is worth, if you want a guy from the rotation in Pittsburgh now for the Yankees Paul Maholm is a better choice. Neither of them are any kind of last puzzle piece if Mitre can be solid, though.

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

    I’m sad that Arthur Rhodes and David Weathers were left off the list…

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

      Residual trauma from the first time David Weathers was in New York, maybe? ;)

      • Mattingly’s Love Child

        He was $$ in the postseason though. One of the miracles of 1996….

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      Do you really want any pitcher that Dusty Baker has had his slimy hands on?

      I’m not sure what smoke and mirrors Weathers has been using to survive in Cincy’s bandbox, but his K/BB of 1.47 is worrying.

      Arthur’s a little better in that regard, but didn’t he used to close out games for Satchel Paige?

      • Bo

        Arthur Rhodes? People got short memories in NY. Have you seen him in any game against the Yankees????

        • V

          You mean, the Yankees, one of the BEST OFFENSIVE TEAMS IN BASEBALL over the last decade, has hit the d00d hard? You don’t say…

          Career 3.34 ERA vs. the Red Sox, btw. 67.1 IP.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          Yes, Bo, we’ve all seen him in games against the Yankees. But if he were pitching FOR the Yankees, well, then he wouldn’t be pitching AGAINST the Yankees.

          That said, no on Rhodes.

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

            Fun Fact of the Day:

            Arthur Rhodes’s 2009 OPSA against lefties of .330 (.118/.193/.137) is the fifth best in all of baseball, behind only Marc Rzepczynski, Casey Fossum, Randy Wolf, and Michael Hinckley.

            • jsbrendog

              and we had casey fossum and we let him get away.

              tear

              • jsbrendog

                is he even on a team? didn’t he get his release from us? did he sign? if not bring his ass back and throw him against the wall see what we got!

                • jsbrendog

                  dude what’re you a lazy idiot? look it up yourself! i’m not doing you work for you! and seriously, he sucks! garbage! his era is 6 in the cubs aaa affiliate. what a dumb idea.

                  /(self) RAB’d

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

                  jsbrendog, are you wearing pants?

        • Mattingly’s Love Child

          What, when he used to face off against Mickey Mantle? That was 50 years ago! He’s gotta be better now!

          He has pretty horrendous stats vs the Yankees, no wonder you think he stinks, only the Cubs and Cardinals have hit him better. But the Cubs and Cardinals are in the National League.

          I’m definitely not advocating Arthur Rhodes, but as a flier, for minor league filler, I’d give him a shot.

  • Joe LA

    It might be impossible, but what about Nick Masset from the Reds? Still pretty young (26), quietly having a solid year: 24 hits in 39 and 2/3 innings, only 13 walks, some starting experience, 2.50 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP.

    The Reds are on a bit of a slide, losing 3 in a row and sitting in 5th place. Any chance that they drop to 9 games back at the deadline and deal a little bit?

    Here’s his page:
    http://www.baseball-reference......ni01.shtml

  • ChrisS

    As the trade deadline approaches, the frequency of Melky+ trade proposals by internet blog commentators increases.

    I don’t doubt that the Yankees could trade Melky, but he’s not so young anymore, he’s getting to be expensive for a less-than-league average player, his defense is average, and he doesn’t provide any speed or pop from the bench. Every team has players like him, or close enough, that he doesn’t represent any kind of significant improvement. Scott Hairston, a better, albeit older, version of Melky, was traded for minor league roster filler and a PTBNL.

    • Tank Foster

      I guess I’ll always be a “fool” for Melky. I see him as more valuable than most people do. I still believe he has decent upside potential. He’s not a burner, but he runs pretty well. He has an excellent throwing arm and although his various zone ratings have fluctuated through the years, I think he’s an average CF and a good LF/RF at the very least. He’s a switch hitter, and will probably hit 12-13 homers this year in less than a full season. He’s 25?

      I like him. You look at OF lists on fangraphs and BR and there are quite a few outfielders who make a hell of alot more $$ who aren’t much, if any, better than Melky.

      • ChrisS

        Don’t get me wrong, I like Melky as a 4th OFer on the Yankees. I just don’t think he’s that attractive to other teams because he’s similar enough to their own 3rd/4th OFers.

        I think he’s more valuable to the Yankees than anything he would likely bring in return.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          I’m Joe Pawlikowski, and I approve this comment.

        • Tank Foster

          Makes sense. I never thought of it that way, but definitely, he’s more valuable to the Yankees to keep than he is as trade bait.

        • Joltin’ Joe

          Excellent point, and he’s also going to be costing a few mil b/c of arbitration, which is going to be a turn off to some teams at least.

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

            You’d think so, but the Reds made Wily Taveras one of their offseason priority targets, didn’t they?

            • ChrisS

              Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker.

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

                It only takes one. (Or, in this case, two.)

  • pollo

    After reading that article on Fangraphs that ZMac is leading the EL in FIP I’m not getting rid of him.

    Let’s just throw shit on the wall and see what sticks. Dunn is up as well as Whelan: it’s time for these kids to put up.

    Coke and Aceves were both in AA a little before this time last year and the AA bullpen has been lights out, (no hitter today through 7). It’s time to see if we can find someone else to approximate the production of these two.

    • V

      Well, Coke was also a starter in AA, and Aceves was not your typical prospect, having been signed out of Mexico basically already a finished product.

  • Bo

    Cashman isn’t trading his starting CF for a 4th option in the bullpen or back end starter.

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

      Agreed. He’s not trading Brett Gardner for a bullpen pitcher or back end starter.

      Glad we’re in agreement.

      • Joltin’ Joe

        But we could always put Swisher there. And sign Ted Williams’ head to play RF.

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

          Heh.

          Are you sitting down? Good.

          Let’s bring Bernie Williams out of retirement.

          BOOOOM, THAT JUST HAPPENED. IS YOUR MIND BLOWN?

          • Joltin’ Joe

            But how will he juggle CF with such a prestigious musical career!?!?

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

              It’s possible to balance playing and being an awesome and mind-blowing artist. Just ask Brett Tomko.

  • Tony

    Incredible how many people seem to think contending teams are just dying to hand over key players down the stretch.

    MIKE FRANCESA, JUST NOW:

    “Oh, they need another starter. I mean, I would put Joba in the bullpen, but they need another starter.”

    In essence, he just requested this:

    CC, AJ, Andy, Mitre, TBD

    • Mike bk

      so what he really means is he wants two starters if he is saying they need one with Joba.

      Well with Joba, Ace, Hughes, Coke, Mo…we only need starters to go 4. it can be like an all-star game.

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

        And if we trade for three starters, we can have Hughes, Joba, and A.J. Burnett in the bullpen all at the same time.

        That bullpen, with a rotation of CC-Pettitte-Mitre-Arroyo-Garland… that’s what championships are made of.

        • Mike bk

          scratch that we can just throw them all everyday. cc 1st, aj 2nd, andy 3, joba 4, mitre 5, ace 6, coke 7, hughes 8, mo 9.

          so ridiculous.

        • Doug

          and how about pitching cc out of the pen during his off days….that would definitely sure things up down there

    • ChrisS

      CC, AJ, Andy, Mitre, TBD

      Man, if TBD=Jarrod Washburn, I’m buying World Series tickets for game four so I can be there for the sweep.

      • Chris

        Not to burst your bubble, but Game 4 will be at the NL teams stadium.

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

          This time, it counted.

        • ChrisS

          I didn’t say that I was buying tickets at Yankee Stadium.

          • jsbrendog

            snap! your move holyman.

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

            Oh, so you’re buying tickets to CitiField, then, huh? Makes sense, since the Mets will win the World Series this year.

            Sincerely,
            Sports Illustrated

            • Tampa Yankee

              Does this go down as one of the worst projections ever?

              • Mattingly’s Love Child

                If they can fully crash and burn and challenge the Natinals for last place, damn skippy.

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

                “We’ll be greeted as liberators.”
                “The war will pay for itself.”
                “We will find WMD’s.”

                I got pages of these, I could go on.

            • JGS

              When I saw that, I emailed my Mets fan friend with the info and simply said “you’re screwed.” His response was a string of expletives.

            • Tampa Yankee

              Wow some of these NL picks are awful (yes, I’m looking at you Jon Heyman, Gennaro Filice, Cliff Corcoran and Albert Chen):

              http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....index.html

  • Frank

    I wouldn’t mind Baez although he’s rumored to be going to the Rox. Jason Frasor is also rumored to be on the block- don’t think Jays would deal him to Yanks though.

  • josh

    i realize that most people on this site dont like melky and have wanted him gone for awhile now. i supported him last year and he made me look like a moron, but here we go again: he is young, he is homegrown, he plays very solid defense with a real good arm (good enough for all 3 positions), he has improved at the plate (a lot), and our outfield is not all that great to begin with (its good but lets be realistic, the infield is whats dominant), if jackson falters next season we will need him (even if jackson is good and we resign damon or another outfielder the combo of gardner and cabrera makes for a great 3/4th outfielder.) He also has many game winning hits this season and deserves to win a world series with this team this year. IMHO. i really dont understand the hatred of this guy. in that playoff game at cleveland he hit a hr and threw out a runner (at home, if i remember correctly) – joba gets the outs and he and pettitte are the heroes of the game and maybe the series. i know it seems like i love the guy, i dont, but he is a good role player and i like him on this team

    • Tony

      My “hatred” of Melky is related to him being fool’s gold and his general suckiness.

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

      I never said I hated him.

      I said he’s worth trading in the right deal. That’s not hate. If I hated him, I wouldn’t have tried to trade him because I’d think he has no value whatsoever because he’d be crappy.

      Notice that I’ve never suggested trading Shelley Duncan for something.

      • Mattingly’s Love Child

        Hey, if the Cardinals can get Julio Lugo for their Duncan……

        Oh yeah I guess that is getting nothing for a Duncan.

      • josh

        i was exaggerating using the word hate, but the point is that i like him on the team. he is valuable. he is by far the most complete fielder in the outfield and has shown signs of improvement. the bullpen is GREAT right now, and as it has been pointed out hughes is staying there for the year. i love the idea of getting a top notch reliever and putting hughes in the rotation but we have to realize that is not happening. unless melky is a must in a package for a halladay/haren type pitcher i say we keep him

        • jsbrendog

          ” and as it has been pointed out by bloggers, reporters, and speculatively by the Yankees (the same front office who said bubba crosby was the starting cf and nick swisher was the starting 1b) hughes is staying there for the year”

          fixed.

          FIRST FORMAT FTW!

          • Mattingly’s Love Child

            Do you want a medal? ;)

            • jsbrendog

              well hey, it only took me 2 or 3 yrs commenting here to do it.

              LAY OFF I’M STARVING!

    • Joltin’ Joe

      I think Melky is definitely worthy of a 25-man roster spot, but seeing as how he will be one of the first guys on the chopping block when Montero/AJax/etc. are ready, swapping him for a decent, under-30 reliever is worth trying. Even if it is only trying.

  • Stephen

    I don’t know where else to post this, so I’ll do it here. From Jason Stark’s most recent column:

    On Joba Chamberlain: “They’re waiting for him to become the next Josh Beckett, and it ain’t gonna happen. He just doesn’t have the power stuff Beckett has. He doesn’t have the delivery. He’s not the athlete Beckett is. And he doesn’t have the breaking stuff. If they ever get smart, they’ll put him back in the bullpen and let [Alfredo] Aceves be the [No.] 3-4 starter he ought to be.”

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

      Jayson Stark has murdered baseball writing history.

    • Joltin’ Joe

      I’m warning you ESPN. I live five minutes from your headquarters. I’ll bring down your IT infrastructure if this BS continues.

      • Mattingly’s Love Child

        Prove it. ;)

    • Tony

      ESPN put it into overdrive today, between this and the AJ Mass piece. They know what they’re doing.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      WHAT. THE. FUCK.
      I thought Fox had the worst people working for them because they knew nothing while praising the Red Sox every second.
      But ESPN thinks they know something while praising the Red Sox every goddamn second.

      I love how he fucking portrays the Yankee brass as idiots but this moron hasn’t a single clue!

      Josh Beckett of 2002 (22 years old) – 107.2 IP, 93 H, 49 ER, 44 walks 4.10 ERA
      Joba Chamberlain of 2009 (23 years old)- 95.2 IP , 100 H, 43 ER, 45 walks 4.05 ERA

      The reason I chose Beckett’s 2002 season is because it was the closest amount of innings that can be compared to Joba.

      JOba has been worse but not incredibly bad that he can’t be considered a starter and must go back to the bullpen.
      Shut up Jason Stark.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Oh never mind about Jayson Stark. Apparently he got a quote from informative “scouts.” Pathetic.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        BARELY worse.

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      This is why I stopped reading Stark completely. Boycott. No page hits from my computer. Ever. Again.

    • Kilgore Trout

      You need to practice avoiding anything Stark.

    • ChrisS

      Josh Beckett has never lost a postseason game because of f’in insects.

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

        Maybe Beckett has citronella insect repellent in that douchey quasi-surfer necklace of his.

        • Mattingly’s Love Child

          Beckett eats citronella like pound cake, just in case a swarm of bugs attack during a game. He’s got the mentality of a big game pitcher, unlike Joba who is a bull that belongs in a china shop!

        • K.B.D.

          Josh Beckett’s blisters leak insect repellent. Hence, he never has a problem with them.

    • V

      Let me guess. Much like Mr. Olney re: ARod = finished, first baseman, etc., when proven wrong (http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/g.....19_DET@NYY), he won’t admit it.

    • jsbrendog

      if you read the article stark doesn’t say that. he is quoting (therefore the quotations) under this section:

      The Rumblings Scouting Bureau
      Once again this week, we check in with some of America’s sharpest scouting minds.

      On Joba Chamberlain: “They’re waiting for him to become the next Josh Beckett, and it ain’t gonna happen. He just doesn’t have the power stuff Beckett has. He doesn’t have the delivery. He’s not the athlete Beckett is. And he doesn’t have the breaking stuff. If they ever get smart, they’ll put him back in the bullpen and let [Alfredo] Aceves be the [No.] 3-4 starter he ought to be.”

      • A.D.

        He still chose to print it

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        They didn’t say that when he was in the minors and last year, they’re only saying that because he’s starting to struggle a bit and they’re drinking the kool aid.

  • Mike HC

    Unless the Yanks give up basically nothing for these relievers, I don’t like it. These guys are not even that good. They are ok. If we are going to add anything, it should be a starter. If most of us agree that a starter is more valuable than a reliever anyway, and a good starter can make a pretty good reliever as well, I would rather go for the more valuable pitcher.

    • jsbrendog

      but by adding a reliver you are adding a starter. by adding a reliever you are adding phil hughes the starter.

      • Mike HC

        I don’t think these relievers are good enough to replace Hughes, if the guys we currently have are not good enough to replace. Adding one more mediocre bullpen arm is no the thing the Yankees are looking for to move Hughes. Having another starter go down is what they are waiting for, and even then, they may go to Aceves. While you are looking for ways to get Hughes into the rotation, the Yanks are not doing that.

  • Joe LA

    Would it be possible to get a hold of Nick Masset from the Reds? Has a bit of starting experience, still young at 26, 2.50 ERA, 2.9 BB/9, 8.2 K/9, 177 ERA+ and less than a hit per inning. The Reds are painfully weak on the field and are sitting in 5th place after losing 3 in a row. Any chance that they might deal Masset for a triple-A outfielder and some salary relief?

    Here’s his B-Ref page:
    http://tinyurl.com/lljar3

    • Tony

      And he is a badass in my OOTP franchises.

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      My thought is that the youngness means that they won’t deal him. He could still be good by the time they get all of their young pieces together.

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

        Exactly. IMO, people need to stop suggesting we trade for Young Player X or Young Player Y.

        All the guys in both the starter and reliever markets we’ve discussed fit the same profile: Older veteran, higher salary, team not in contention.

        Rebuilding teams don’t sell off their young and cost-controlled pieces when they fall out of the race, they sell their older and more expensive pieces nearing the end of their contracts to recoup some value to build around their young core.

        Rhodes and Weathers are available from the Reds. Asking for Nick Masset is pie in the sky.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          Dan Haren! Dan Haren! 1.97 ERA!

          • JGS

            don’t forget the otherworldly 0.804 WHIP

            • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

              How did Haren NOT start the ASG?

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

                Because Tim Lincecum has cooler hair.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  You got me there.

        • Joe LA

          I have to completely disagree with you on this one for several reasons.

          1) The Cincinnati Reds aren’t a rebuilding team. They’re just bad. Wrong players, wrong manager in Dusty “Clogging up the bases” Baker, wrong GM in Jocketty. Their farm system is ranked 23rd (!!!) out of 30 by the hardball times. http://tinyurl.com/bsnjhx. This says to me that they aren’t competing now, and they won’t (most likely) be competing at any high level in the near future.

          2) Asking for a 26 year old Nick Massett isn’t nearly as crazy as asking for a 23 year old Joba. He’s closer to 30 than 20 and is having a good year (104 career ERA+). If you were the GM of a straight-up BAD team, wouldn’t you accept 2 B+ potential everyday players in their early 20s for someone who most likely will be on the wrong side of 30 by the time your team is a contender?

  • Joltin’ Joe

    I really hope that this whole “Phil Hughes is in the BP” is just PR speak for “We will stretch him out once we acquire a veteran reliever”.

  • pollo

    Grand Slam Josh Fields. Scott Kazmir is still broken.

    • jsbrendog

      jim/dan (i forget) duquette right now is smiling somewhere. granted it is because he is drunk and probably crying at the same time, but still.

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

        You wanna know how Dan Duquette feels about it? Hold on, I’ll go ask him, he’s cleaning my neighbor’s pool.

        • jsbrendog

          is he drunk, crying, and smiling?

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

            How did he NOT start the ASG?

            • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

              Disregard above. Wrong reply screen.

    • Tampa Yankee

      The word in Tampa is that the TB front office wants to move him and his contract. I think that they babied the shit out of him and with the right pitching coach, he could turn it around and be dominate again.

      Melky for Kaz – It’ll allow them to stop trotting out the Gabe’s in RF every other day and Zobrist can stay at 2b.

      DO IT CASH!

      • Mattingly’s Love Child

        Yeah I’d love that trade….but then I wake up and realize it’s crazy one-sided.

        • Tampa Yankee

          Yeah I’ve been patiently waiting for the day Kaz was in pinstripes hence the crazy trade talk.

          Its just funny to be that people want to write him off after a bad season. He’s still only 25 and I think it’s all mental right now. I see this as a Verlander 2008 season for him, not a Willis 2007 season.

          • Mattingly’s Love Child

            The Rays would be crazy to part with him unless they are sure that he is Willis 2.0. Then they should get whatever value they can for him. But if they are’t sure, the Rays should do everything in their power to fix him, including firing their pitching coach. Skills like his don’t grow on trees.

            • Zach

              it’s not crazy to part with a starting pitcher who still cant finish 6IP/S thats owed 6m, 8m, 11m, 13m (team option) with history of elbow soreness and decreased velocity of the last 3 years

    • 27 this year

      I hope today’s game doesn’t get rained out because I would love the Yanks to go up 6.5 on Tampa and 2.5 on Bonertown.

      • JGS

        I hope the game doesn’t get rained out because I’m planning on going…that being said, the weather doesn’t look promising

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          Don’t get your hopes up. It looks bad. Rainout of a rainout.
          Chance of a doubleheader soon?

          • JGS

            It looks like I’m not even going to bother heading in. Doubleheader I would assume tomorrow or sometime over the weekend–Oakland doesn’t come back to New York this season

            • jsbrendog

              not raining in midtown…

              • jsbrendog

                just started to drizzle

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  Don’t talk about the ChiSox pitcher, you’ll jinx him too.

  • Tampa Yankee

    Apparently the Rays are interested in Qualls as well as V-Mart and Lee.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....tinez.html

    • Ivan

      What would the rays trade for V-Mart or Lee?

      • Tampa Yankee

        A package would start with Wade Davis and probably Brignac but not sure who else since they are not trading Jennings, Beckham, Niemann or Price.

        • Ivan

          I think Niemann is more tradable than Wade Davis. Same with Jennings. Beckham and Price are definitely untouchable.

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

            Jennings is probably untouchable. He’s their Carl Crawford replacement.

            • Ivan

              But wouldn’t they pick up Crawford option.

              • whozat

                To trade him, yeah

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

                  If they don’t pick up the option, he replaces Crawford in 2010. If they do, he replaces Crawford in 2011.

              • Tampa Yankee

                Yes and either trade him for prospects and bring him up or after the year when they can not afford to resign him and he rejects arb for big $, they get draft picks and Jennings takes over. IHMO

                • Tampa Yankee

                  “by bring him up” I mean Jennings

              • Zach

                The option is only for one year and they cant afford to re-sign him

        • A.D.

          Hellickson, I’m pretty sure they’d trade Niemann, he shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

  • Jersey

    You guys seeing Buerhle here? Perfect through six, 74 pitches?

    • Jersey

      Perfect through seven.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        What is your PROBLEM!?!?

        • Jersey

          I am EVIL

          • Drew

            I’m watching the chicago broadcast. Hawk is pretty funny.

          • Jersey

            Not evil enough.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

    Well, one option is off the table. Betancourt to Colorado.

    • A.D.

      Potentially one less bidder for everyone else.

    • Zach

      Good, now we can trade for Street-
      kidding

  • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

    21 up 21 down for Buehrle.

    Nobody write the words perf…ga… or n…hitte…, don’t want to jinx it since it’s vs. the Rays.

    • Jersey

      Heh, scroll up…blame me if it goes south.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      24 up! 24 down!

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        HE DID IT!!! HE DID IT!!!

  • Russell NY

    You can take Betancourt off this list… traded to Colorado.

    • J.R.

      No!!! you beat me by a minute.

      • Tampa Yankee

        Joe beat you both by about 20 minutes:

        http://riveraveblues.com/2009/.....ent-491607

        • Russell NY

          Darn you Joe!

        • J.R.

          Yeah I searched for “rockies” and didn’t find it. Bronze is ok, if not repetitive.

      • Russell NY

        And I was late :)

      • Drew

        Funny thing is you both are 19 minutes late.

  • J.R.

    Word is the rockies just snagged Betancourt.

  • Russell NY

    Buehrle is reaching the 100 pitch mark. Anyone think they’ll swap him out for a relief pitcher in the 9th?

    • Clayton

      Its the right call, you don’t want to risk his arm in a 5-0 game

    • Drew

      Is this a serious question?

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

      With Ozzie Guillen as manager? Not in a bajillion years.

  • Drew

    looks like espn will have the 9th live for anyone without the mlb package

    • Drew

      HOLYYYYYYYY!!

      • Zach

        robbed a frekain HR

        • Drew

          shades of aaron rowand

          • Zach

            its funny cause he went in for defense purposes in the 9th- guess ozzie isnt superstitious, cause you know he would have been blamed

            • Drew

              Pretty cool seeing 0-3 all the way down the lineup.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          That was the single best catch I’ve ever seen!

          I’m shaking right now!

  • Joe B.

    So, this Buehrle guy… available? :D

    • Zach

      buehrle has a no hitter and perfect game. joba has neight. trade joba for buhrle!

    • Mike bk

      sadly enough he was a couple of years ago. i believe in 06 when he had his worst year they talked about moving him at the deadline, kind of like those andy to philly rumors the one year.

  • Kingjoe793

    would it be crazy if i said to look at someone like bedard and even try to get a cheap righty for end of the rotation stuff or another bullpen arm ?