If you are a reliever, the Yankees are interested in acquiring you


Late last night some schmuck at MLBTR mentioned that the Yankees were taking a look at Blue Jays closer Scott Downs, perhaps the most underappreciated reliever in the league. Downs is just the latest pitcher we’ve heard connected to the Bombers, joining the likes of Chad Qualls, Huston Street, and many others.  It seems like a foregone conclusion that the Yanks will acquire some sort of arm for the stretch run, we’re just not sure if it’ll be a starter or reliever.

Of the bullpeners we’ve seen connected to the Bombers, the lefty Downs is by far the best. Dude has a 2.08 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP over the last three years, pitching almost exclusively in high leverage spots, and he’s more than a LOOGY too, making him that much more valuable. Toronto’s not just going to give this guy away, but adding Scott Downs to any staff makes them better.

Categories : Asides


  1. Dela G says:

    what does loogy mean?

  2. Simon B. says:

    I’m curious to know what Toronto would expect for someone like Downs. If it’s anyone the least bit important, they should just abstain.

    The Yankees shouldn’t be under too much pressure to get a reliever. Melancon (if he ever gets another chance to pitch) could easily match the production of pretty much anybody they get. I also still love Edwar (assuming he’s regained his velocity/command after arm problems earlier this year), and they have other solid possibilities in the minors, as well as Marte coming back from the DL.

    • cookie monster says:

      Edwar sucks.

    • The Scout says:

      Marte, Ramirez, Melancon — at this point, none is a pitcher you would want to count on in a high-pressure situation. For that reason, the Yankees won’t entrust them with the 7th or 8th inning of a close game. The names mentioned in the trade rumors — Downs, Qualls, and others — are pitchers the team would trust with big games on the line.

    • Drew says:

      People assume we can just plug Melancon and D-Rob in and that we don’t need Huston Street, Chad Qualls, Scott Downs..{insert good MLB reliever here}. This idea is reckless. Melancon will hopefully be a great reliever one day, we can’t force it on him today.

  3. Mikebk says:

    i dont see the need for downs if marte is coming back unless it is a low prospect which with a lefty reliever and his numbers is probably wont be. the only other reason to do this would be to free hughes up to go to the rotation.

    • Steve in PDX says:

      yea because Marte has been lights out for the Yanks. Here’s a guy we know pitches well in the AL East, something very hard to find. As for Melancon, what has he does lately? He’s still an unproven prospect.

      • handtius says:

        Marte has pitched to a career era of under 3.5 If you have been paying any attention, he’s been injured this year and was injured last year as well. He pitched very well through september. I think he had an era under 3 for the month. If he comes back healthy, he will be a great addition to the pen. Plus, Melancon hasn’t done much cause he hasn’t pitched in a rather long time. When guys like D Rob and Mark M. start getting regular reps, you’ll see what they can do. Not every prospect comes up and just dominates. Sometimes it takes time.

        • Mike Pop says:

          No, no, no, remember he isn’t a guy who can pitch in the big stage. He had that bad outing in Texas and pitched like crap this year with an injury. He can’t hack it in the spotlight.

        • cookie monster says:

          IF he comes back healthy, that’s a big IF.

        • Steve in PDX says:

          exactly, you can’t expect them to do anything soon, hence we should look outside the organization.

        • DreDog says:

          Latroy Hawkins is pitching very well, why don’t we trade for him if the ‘Stros fall out of it. Oh wait……

          My point is there is no reason to rely on Marte if he hasn’t done it in NY.

    • Lanny says:

      Marte? You got to live in the now here. Marte has been brutal for us.

  4. jim p says:

    Joba’s got 6 more starts, or 4 if he moves to the bullpen for another 20 innings or so. (Assuming an innings cap is in place, which is a good assumption, imo.)

    But starters are very very expensive on the market. The logic says you get a proven reliever, and you start stretching out either Hughes or Aceves in the next 3 weeks to take over a starter role.

    • Mikebk says:

      nothing is more expensive for production in the market than left relievers.

      downs is also a type A so you are going to have to pay the premium for those future picks.

  5. Russell NY says:

    How about taking on Rios’ or Wells’ contract when acquiring Downs? We take Wells off their hands and pay a good portion of the contract, give them Melky Cabrera and Austin Romine, and get Downs. Throw in Phil Coke even.

    Then Marte comes back and is the LOOGY, Downs is the 8th inning guy, Hughes to the rotation, Wells is our center fielder, Gardner to back up and late inning defense/pinch running. Bam, instant upgrade to the rotation, bullpen, and offense.

    • Russell NY says:

      Not to mention Hughes would be taking Joba’s spot in the rotation and would have enough to go for the rest of the season. Joba goes to the bullpen. You still need a #5 guy but look at that lineup:

      Jeter, Damon, Tex, ARod, Matsui, Posada, Cano, Wells, Swisher

      CC, AJ, Pettitte, Hughes, Mitre

      Marte, Downs, Joba, Mo

      Jesus, even better if you pick up Rios except then you would have to put Gardner in center (don’t think Rios can play center)

    • Zach says:

      god i hope thats sarcasm

    • Mike Pop says:

      No to this idea of taking on Wells. I don’t care if the Yankees got Halladay, Downs, and Snider in the deal. We don’t want the Yankees to have that contract.

      Rios, maybe, if it is under the right circumstances.

    • Jamal G. says:

      http://bit.ly/14WLWx (NSFW)

      I figured we all needed a reward for reading through this post in its entirety. ;)

      On an honest note, Russell, that would not work. Why would you take on a contract like Wells’ for a relief pitcher?

      • Zach says:

        If they offered Wells and Downs straight up for Kevin Cash I wouldnt do it

        • Drew says:

          +1. That albatross of a contract is scary. We are finally getting out from under older players earning too much money. Now people want to slap on another 100+ mil to a guy who has been awful and injured.

      • Russell NY says:

        So you don’t give up anything of importance. Plus Wells is still a good player.

        • Jamal G. says:

          No, he is not. Whether it’s with the bat or the glove, he’s atrocious.

        • Mike Pop says:

          .257/.305/.409 this year and he won’t get better with age. Not to mention all the money he makes, goes to like 20 million or something. Wells is okay, but way too much money to take on for this kind of production.

          • Lanny says:

            Even the Yankees won’t touch Wells’ contract. Rios’ contract is almost as bad. I’m sure they wouldnt take Wells contract if they got Halladay let alone Downs.

            • Zach says:

              Rios has half the contract for a better player; atleast he can play above average defense in RF/CF with a great arm, 3 years younger, his average just dipped this year (although his BABIP is 30 points lower than his career average babip, and his LD is at 18% from his career average of 20%)

        • Vernon Wells can’t play center (-30.1 UZR/150) and he doesn’t hit (88 OPS+) and his contract is an ALBATROSS (see below). Stop. He is not a good player, and you’d be paying him superstar money.


          2010: $12.5M (Age 31)
          2011: $23M (Age 32)
          2012: $21M (Age 33)
          2013: $21M (Age 34)
          2014: $21M (Age 35)
          TOTAL 2010-2014 COMMITMENT: $98.5M (Ages 31-35)

    • handtius says:

      So, you want to take on a atrocious contract in Wells, for a reliever? No. Not to mention he is hitting like Melky and defending like Giambi.

      • Russell NY says:

        Didnt realize he was that bad of a hitter… career 330 obp ouch

        • I apologize in advance for the harshness of this comment…

          You should probably look up a guy’s stats and contract situation before arguing that the Yankees should acquire him. If you don’t even bother to look at a guy’s numbers and try to understand who and what you’re talking about, then you’re just kind of pulling stuff out of your ass.

          Just sayin’.

    • Mikebk says:

      NO ONE IS EVER TAKING WELLS DEAL. 25 mil a year for a guy who cant play center and his offensive numbers are worse than Melky this year

  6. bonestock94 says:

    Is the main motivation in acquiring a big time reliever/closer type to allow Hughes to become a starter again?

    • Mike Pop says:

      Hopefully, would allow time for Hughes to be stretched out and moved to the rotation after Joba hits his cap. Then Joba, reliever to be acquired, Bruney, Marte, etc… can be the long bridge to Mo!

    • Russell NY says:

      Yes, because obtaining a quality starter is too expensive so why not obtain a quality reliever, give up less, and move Hughes to the rotation.

      • bonestock94 says:

        Well, if Hughes would come in to replace Joba regardless, and Joba would presumably go back to the pen, wouldn’t it make more sense to just get a 5th starter?

  7. Lanny says:

    Need both a starter and a reliever. Need depth in the rotation. That is a must. And another arm in the pen would ease the burden on the 4 man pen because Robertson, Melancon and Bruney certainly have zero trust.

    • Charlie says:

      robertson and melancon have zero trust because they never pitch, especially melancon. And the main reason they would acquire a reliever is to allow hughes to move into the rotation. then they wouldn’t really need a starter.

      • Zach says:

        robertson was in the regular rotation prior to the AS break. unfortunately he walked 16 guys in 22 IP, the trust isnt because he doesnt pitch its because of his performance

        • Charlie says:

          he’s also struck out 35 guys, and has a 3.80 ERA. His main struggles have been when he comes in with guys on base. Other than that, he’s been decent. I can see why he isn’t totally trusted, but he hasn’t gotten too much of a chance.

  8. AlexNYC says:

    I don’t want Hughes in the rotation, for this season. Enough with the jerking pitchers from the rotation to the pen and back to the rotation. Look what happened to Joba last year. Look what happened to Wang a few weeks ago. I’m sorry to say this but Hughes has to stay in the pen. Next year he can start and start full time. As for Joba, I don’t want him in the pen, when he hits his cap. Shut hiim down and acquire another starter for depth.

  9. Lanny says:

    The Hughes to the rotation people should really know when to fold their cards. It ain’t gonna happen. Be happy that the pen has been much better since he got there.

    • Charlie says:

      Not really. Cashman has said that if the yankees need another starter for whatever reason (injury, joba’s innings cap, etc.), then hughes will be it. And he also hinted that if bruney, melancon, or another reliever show they can be the “bridge to Mo” or the eighth inning guy, then hughes could move into the rotation. It may be a bit unlikely, but there’s definitely a chance that hughes starts again this year.

  10. Mikebk says:

    time to call up the AAAA club in Pitt.

    Duke and Grabow give us a starter and a lefty reliever and dealing with Pitt they never cost that much.

  11. Mikebk says:

    Stark says phils dont want to pay what toronto wants in Drabek, Happ and Brown…says they want to swap Carrasco in for Drabek or Happ.

    I dont see the fascination with Happ personally. Toronto should ask for Drabek, Brown, Knapp and Marson if philly wants to keep happ.

    • bonestock94 says:

      Happ has been good for them this year, minus his last start, and losing him for another starter would somewhat defeat the purpose of strengthening the rotation. Halladay is obviously light years beyond Happ but I think the Phillies would rather demote one of their crappier starters to make room for Halladay.

      • Mikebk says:

        which is why i said they should ask for Drabek, Brown, Knapp and Marson…philly can keep happ. pedro is also making a minor league start tomorrow and not sure when or if myers is coming back. i think the stl deal for holliday is what really got the fire under philly to push this deal more than they were.

  12. Charlie says:

    i like duscherer, seems like a low risk high reward since he should be cheap(due to his injury)

    • Mikebk says:

      he is still hurt. only pitched a 20 pitch simulated game this week. he is a month away.

      • Charlie says:

        he’s starting a rehab assignment tommorow, probably a bit less than a month away

        • Mikebk says:

          when ur simulated game is 20 pitches you are not going out to start and throw 60, so if you are thinking about him as a starter he is further away. pedro threw 64 pitches in his simulated game and is starting tomorrow, so maybe his rehab is just as a reliever.

  13. Peedlum says:

    Downs hasn’t pitched very well since coming back from his toe injury.

  14. Mason says:

    The chance of the Yankees getting Halladay was always pretty slim, but now the Jays have supposedly told the Yankees the asking price is both Hughes and Chamberlain… and then some. I’m not saying it isnt a fair asking price but it isnt one the Yanks will bite on. There is definitely a better chance that the Yankees will aquire a releiver as opposed to a starter.

  15. [...] leagues, though that would appear to be in preparation to trade a reliever, not Halladay. Mike talked about Scott Downs over the [...]

  16. [...] River Ave. Blues brings word on “perhaps the most under appreciated reliever in the league.” [...]

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