Youth vs. Bucks

Game 91 Spillover Thread
Open Thread: Thoughts on Old Timer's Day

The Yanks won a game this afternoon with a pair of 23-yr old righthanders doing pretty much all the heavy lifitng on the mound, just another example of how the Yanks are continuing to infuse youth into their roster. Ramiro Pena and Frankie Cervelli stepped up in a big way earlier in the year, and as Joel Sherman points out, having capable youngsters to fill in is part of the reason why the Yanks are climbing the standings while the Mets sink.

However, the Yanks still committed to over $400M in contracts over the winter, and Sherman wonders how they’ll react next winter, when the Matt Holliday and Jason Bay carrots (among others) are dangled in front of them. Me? I think Cashman has shown he’s committed to youth, but isn’t above opening the wallet for elite free agents. Holliday and Bay aren’t elite players to me. What about you?

Game 91 Spillover Thread
Open Thread: Thoughts on Old Timer's Day
  • Thomas A. Anderson

    Cashman won’t sign either of them. Both are north of 30 and probably won’t produce more than they do now. Particulary Jason Bay. His production is inflated because of the lineup. Combined with the fact that his defense isn’t that good, I am bummed out he rejected the Red Sox’s contract offers twice.

    Cash will probably take the payroll flexibility and sign some mid-level guy. Or, if TB has a brain cramp and doesn’t pick up Carl Crawford’s option, Cash will make a run at him. He is worth it.

    • Zach

      “I am bummed out he rejected the Red Sox’s contract offers twice.”
      Why?

      • Thomas A. Anderson

        Because for the money they are willing to pay him, he would be getting overpad by about 10-15% of what his producion would dictate.

        • Zach

          i dont get why that makes you bummed though that he didnt take the contract? he’d be stupid to sign now. This offseason he’s the best hitter on the market and Red Sox, Mets, Angels, Seattle (his home area) will all need a LF.

          Red Sox were using Dunn’s contract as a comparision, thats 10m per year. You’re saying Bay should only get 7.5-8m per year?

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    It’s honestly like the dynasty team–have as much home grown talent as you can, but don’t be afraid to trade or splurge to make the team that much stronger.

    I guess of course, a lot of it has to do with who you consider the core.

    Is the core A-Rod, Tex, CC and AJ?

    Is the core Jeter, JoPo, Mo, Joba and Phil?

    • Salty Buggah

      Can’t it be both groups? I certainly think so.

    • Chip

      Both!

  • http://www.yankees.com matt merc

    being a yankee fan in new england i get to check up on the red sox every day. This year ive been keeping a close eye on jason bay and have noticed aside from his early season success he’s a very average player. He strikes out a lot especially late in games and his defense is far from stellar especially his below average arm. I just cant see the yankees pursuing him this off season especially for the money he is going to demand.

    • Zach

      not fair to call him average. he was hot early, and cold recent. his average is 22 points lower than his career average (.280) and has an OBP of .378 with 30 hr power and hes running more now that hes another year away from knee surgery. his defense is bad yes, and the K’s are meaningless

      • JMK

        How are K’s meaningless?

        • Zach

          because they are?
          Tex averages 125 K’s a year, ARod 130, Hanley 120, Miguel Cabrera 130. Are they not good players because they strike out more than that freak pujols?

          • Tony

            Meaningless is a massive overstatement. You do no service to the cause of sabermetric analysis when you do that.

            • Tony

              Ks are the only outs that are completely unproductive EVERY time. That’s why they’re a problem.

              • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

                Unless you reach 1st base.

            • Zach

              you’re taking it out of context. the guy was using Bay’s Ks to justify why he is a very average player, and thats why i said thats meaningless to go by that

      • FL Yank

        K’s are never meaningless. Its an out and you only get 27 a game.

  • wilcymoore

    Cashman should stick with the youth program. Free agency should only be used selectively, and to fill obvious holes. The Yankees need to be cognizant that cherry-picking the best free agents each year might risk a backlash by MLB … there was already a lot of griping last winter when the Yanks got Sabathia, Teixeira, and Burnett. Let’s emphasize home-grown talent!

  • Zach

    Hopefully Cash looks past Bay/Holliday and gets Damon back on a 1 year deal. I’d rather trade for an under-30 OF rather than get Bay/Holliday for 4-6 year deals.

  • Matty Ice

    I agree….I don’t see Cashman going nuts on Holliday or Bay. I think this team circa 2002-2007 might have. But I think they’re smarter now.

    I think Crawford would be nice if he’s a FA, but I’d expect Cashman to try and lower the payroll, and maybe bring back Nady/Damon on a short term.

    • Reggie C.

      Swisher is bad enough as a starting corner OF. His OBP isn’t good enough to overlook his uninspired Platooning him with a recovering TJ patient doesn’t improve the situation. I would like to see Cash pursue a corner OF. Crawford would be ideal if available , and considering the money coming off the books Cashman would be wise to upgrade one of the corners.

      What i’m trying to say is ideally I’d want one different guy in the corner OF spot in 2010.

      • Salty Buggah

        Dude, Swish is NOT bad

        • Andrew

          False.

          • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

            False on your false.

          • handtius

            False is False.

        • dogface

          he sucks

          • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

            Great analysis there. What about his above league average offense and league average defense don’t you like?

            • handtius

              Don’t forget his above ave on base skills and above ave power.

              • Zach

                and his fan-friendly attitude and high praise from the clubhouse :)

            • dogface

              I don’t like his high strike out rate. He has decent power and sees a lot of pitches. Cash will definitely upgrade next year.

              • Zach

                so you dislike one aspect of his game so he sucks?
                but you like that he sees alot of pitches, thats what causes him to strike out alot because hes always in 2-2, 3-2 counts.

                • dogface

                  It’s a very important aspect of a hitting – to make contact.

                  “but you like that he sees alot of pitches, thats what causes him to strike out alot because hes always in 2-2, 3-2 counts.”

                  He strikes out a lot because he doesn’t make enough contact.

                • Zach

                  so you’re saying a RF who hits .300 with a .320 OBP and 10 hr is more valuable than Swisher because he makes more contact?

                • dogface

                  In my opinion, yes.

                • V

                  Batshit insane.

              • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

                So Cash is going to bring in two new corner outfielders when he already has one who is above average? I doubt it. No reason to create holes where there are none.

                • dogface

                  How is acquiring a better player going to create new holes?

                • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

                  Because he is a perfectly good player. Deciding to replace him means you need two outfielders rather than one, thus creating a hole.

  • JRVJ

    I think Sherman’s article is specious, because it creates a false dilemma: that the Yankees cannot go young while also spending big bucks.

    The reality, however, is that the Yankees are doing the most dangerous thing (to the rest of the league) that they could be doing; improving their farm system, so as to have cheap, flexible talent coming up (or ready for trade), while also judiciously filling their holes with FAs.

    Yes, the Yanks spent a lot during the 2008-2009 off-season, but look at what they got: a clear-cut No. 1(Sabathia), a potential No. 1 (Burnett), who is at least a No. 2 level pitcher and an elite (all-star) 1B (who was arguably the best offensive talent in the free agent market).

    Look at what they didn’t get: they didn’t get Rondell White’s or Steve Karsay’s or Paul Quantrill’s or Carl Pavano’s or Kyle Farnworth’s or J. Wright’s or LaTroy Hawkins or Kei Igawa’s.

    Holes that would have been filled from the outside in the past (OF, relievers, utility man) have been filled from inside the organization with cheap players.

    This off-season, the Yanks have a lot of money coming off the books (not just Damon and Matsui, but also Nady, Pettitte and Molina – if they don’t keep him one more year – and also, the buyouts for Giambi and Pavano). Personally, I support the idea of keeing Damon and (maybe) Molina, but any way you cut it, dice it or slice it, the Yanks look to decrease their payroll this off-season while also increasing their flexibility going forward.

    • pat

      I think it’s a virtual lock that Cervelli is our backup catcher next season.

  • Mike HC

    A big factor in the Yankee decision making will be how the rest of the year plays out. The off season will look quite different if we win the world series, as opposed to finishing third in the AL East behind Tampa and Boston. If Damon plays a large role in a championship run, it will be tough to let him go. If the entire team goes out with a whimper in the first round, there might be some more changes.

    • AndrewYF

      “If Damon plays a large role in a championship run, it will be tough to let him go.”

      No, it won’t be. He apparently can’t play defense anymore, and he’ll be 36. If he has a big rest of the season (including playoffs), he won’t accept anything less than a 3 year contract, which some team will give him, and it won’t work out. Remember, Boras is his agent.

      • Zach

        “won’t accept anything less than a 3 year contract”
        no one is giving a 3 year contract to a 36 year old DH/OF. its just like last year, the top FAs will get paid, the 2nd tier guys wont

      • Mike HC

        I don’t pretend to know exactly how the negotiating process will go, but if Damon is part of a championship team, there may be no need to rock the boat. Our current DH, Matsui probably will be gone, so Damon could be very valuable as a DH and fourth outfielder. His offensive production will be tough replicate by another player we bring in, unless we give someone a monster contract. It is possible is all I’m saying. If the Yanks don’t do shit this year, Damon has little chance of being brought back in my opinion, unless it is a one year deal.

  • Chip

    Honestly, I’d rather just sign Damon for a year or two. Keep in mind, we also haven’t had much for draft picks in two years and it’d be nice to not have to sign a type-A this year.

    I’d rather see if we can cut a trade for a Crawford or Dunn. Maybe sign somebody like Ankiel or Nady if that doesn’t work out.

    • Thomas A. Anderson

      Tampa is not trading Carl Crawford to the Yankees.

      Yankees may offer Damon arbitration, tho. Even that is a dicey proposition because he can’t play everyday and his defense has fallen off a cliff this year.

      • Chip

        So he’s basically Jason Bay who would only command a one year deal.

        2009 WAR
        Damon – 1.6
        Gardner – 2.0
        Bay – 1.9

        • dogface

          gardner gets platooned heavily. play him everyday and see his #s dip.

        • KG Sturnz0r

          CFers get some help when they take some of the the corner man’s Zone

      • wilcymoore

        Damon should definitely be offered arbitration. If he accepts, he comes back for one year. I agree his defense has become a real liability, but the man can still hit. If he doesn’t take arbitration, we get a top-tier draft selection for him.

        • Zach

          why offer him arb and gurantee him 13+m when hes not going to get that on the open market? I hope Cashman takes the same route he took with Andy and give him 8m gurantee with incentives

  • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

    I think Cash will talk all winter about playing great defense in the OF by playing both Brett and Melky everyday roles, about giving A-Jax a chance, and then trade for someone out of the blue (Hawpe? Rios?). I don’t see him going for any of the FA’s unless he wants to gamble on Guerrero for a year.

    • Mike HC

      There is no way Cashman is going to plan both Melky and Gardner in the outfield together, while also seeing what A-Jax can do. That is basically asking to be fired. We will have a couple big money players in the outfield next year. I don’t who it will be (Damon, Rios, Holliday, Abreu) but it will be somebody.

      • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

        I didn’t say he is going to do that. I said he will claim that he will do that, like he did with Bubba Crosby in CF and Swisher at 1B, and then make an unexpected trade.

        • Mike HC

          ah, got ya, I see that now. I responded too quickly. I agree that Cashman may lie in the weeds for a while before pulling the trigger.

      • Bob RVA

        I really have nothing to add here – just wanted to point out the absurd notion that Cashman would want Abreu for the OF next year. hahahaha.

        • Mike HC

          I don’t think it is that far off that Abreu could be back on the team next year, depending on how everything plays out. I don’t think the odds are good, but with Matsui gone, Abreu can will the role of DH and a 4th outfielder. I would not rule it out.

  • Kiersten

    Carl Crawford.
    He’s the kind of guy you want on your team. Quick, great defense, plays hard. I’ve loved him since he came up and would love to see him in pinstripes next year.

    • pat

      Word, I’d LOVE to have Carl in left or maybe CF next year. Tampa would be idiots to not pick up his option though.

      • Kiersten

        Ah, didn’t know he had an option. 2011 then?

        • pat

          Word. That’s if the team who trades for him doesn’t extend him. You never know though.

          • TheLastClown

            If he continues to produce at his career mean, I think he’d opt to hit the market rather than lock himself up prematurely.

            • Zach

              no one is going to trade for him without having him agree to a contract

  • handtius

    I don’t think either will be playing or the Yanks. It’s possible that Cash makes a trade over the winter to get a young outfielder or hopefully, Crawford is available. I don’t think either is defensively stong and Holliday has shown to be a coors field product and Bay a good player, but also a fenway product.

  • TheLastClown

    Bay over Holliday IMO. Just say no to Holliday. The amount of Coors’ real estate where they ain’t gave him a .353 career mark in BABIP, which has dropped to to .312, & Oakland is pretty big too.

    Bay isn’t fazed by NorthEast pressure, etc etc….

    No to both though, really. I think due can be made with Melky/Gardner/AJax/Swisher, maybe a stopgap.

    I would like to see Cashmoney go after Crawford for 2011 though.

    Also, speaking of Cashman, any chance he goes after Sheets this off-season? He probably can be had for cheap, a one-year “prove himself” contract. AND, if he doesn’t seem to be able to stay healthy, he’d probably be a dynamite reliever for teh all important 8th.

    Seriously though, has me maybe reached that point in his career where everyone knows he’s a great started when healthy, but he’s so injury prone that you’ll get more value for less innings in the pen?

    Plus, if he’s healthy enough to start, and *BIG IF* Chien-Ming Wang doesn’t Chien-Ming-Win, CC-AJ-Joba-Hughes-Sheets? ’nuff said

    • thebusiness

      you dont think all the foul territory kills his babip?

    • RollingWave

      2009 WAR

      Matt Holliday 2.3
      Jason Bay: 1.9

  • Steve S

    I think hell try and fill the corner outfield positions if he thinks he can get a bargain. I think Bay and Holliday could hit a very barren market. If the Yankees play it cool they could get those kind of guys on a bargain. If there is anything you really dont want to pay a premium for is corner outfielders.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    So I was on the phone with a friend–what did Girardi say in the postgame?

  • AndrewYF

    This past offseason featured the best FA hitter and best FA pitcher since who knows when (if you don’t count A-Rod in ’07), and projecting into the future as well (the only elite guy who’s a guarantee to be available in the near future is Halladay in 2010/2011, and I don’t know that he’s a better buy than Sabathia this past season).

    The Yankees signed both of them. And that’s exactly what they should do, pay big bucks for the big talent. What kills teams is paying semi-big bucks for the mediocre talent. Oliver Perez, for example, or Carlos Silva. Or Carl Pavano.

    • Zach

      Carlos Silva $48m, damn.

    • CB

      Agreed. The upcoming FA class isn’t very strong. Just re-sign Damon for one year and make some other minor moves. There isn’t anything out there to be excited about, unlike last offseason.

      • AndrewYF

        I mean, if Lackey would sign for 4 years, $40 million, that would be fine. Or Holliday for 5 years, $48 million.

        But that will never happen. Ever.

        • Reggie C.

          sure it could.

          who thought Abreu and especially Dunn would sign for so few years and dollars. however, the chances Lackey signs for 4/40 is pretty much nill as a team like the Mets would pony up a greater AAS.

          • AndrewYF

            Not if they finish the season under .500 and the team decides to scrap their core and start over. New GM, new manager, rebuilding. Their payroll is already extremely inflated.

            • Zach

              they’re not rebuilding. they lost Delgado, Reyes, Beltran, Perez, and Maine for major parts of the season. and they have 40m coming off the payroll

      • CB (Regular)

        I’ve posted here at RAB on an ongoing basis as CB, particularly on DOTF.

        I did not make the comment above at 5:34

        • CB (non-regular)

          Oops, sorry about that. I rarely post. Next time, I’ll use something other than my initials.

  • E-ROC

    The free agent market for outfielders isn’t great. I doubt Crawford hits the market this winter. I think a talent for talent swap could be in the works as alternative to signing Damon for one year. Maybe the Yanks could trade one of their minor league pitchers for a young position player.

  • Salty Buggah

    Kei Igawa/IPK for Justin Upton

    • Randy A.

      Lets even throw in a little JB Cox to boot!

    • daneptizl

      Only if we don’t have to pick up any of Igawa’s contract.

  • Ivan

    I think the yanks did all there spending the last offseason with CC, Teix and AJ. That FA class was one of the better ones in a while and all 3 fit perfectly with Cashman wanted to do. This coming FA class is hardly glamorous and you would be over paying for guys like Bay and Holliday.

    At the same time the yanks have produce alot young talent with Hughes, Joba, Coke, Cano, Montero and even the utility guys of Pena and Cervelli.

    I think Cashman has done a good job having that balance of developing players and trading/signing big time players.

  • Scooter

    Watching Nova go for Scranton right now – the stuff is great. He needs a little more consistency, but 95 on his sinking FB and a nasty hook look great.

  • Johan Iz My Brohan

    I don’t think the Yankees have to do much of anything next season. CC, AJ and Tex are the biggest prize you could get in one offseason. I’ll take the draft picks instead of losing them to more FAs.

    Rotation: I do think that the Yankees should look for rotational depth however, injury may still be a concern with Burnett, Wang needs to come back solid, we don’t know just how Joba and Hughes will perform yet. Sure, we have Nova and possibly McAllister who could help us out by then. I don’t know if I would bring back Pettitte, or sign another cheap FA pitcher to a minor league contract.

    Bullpen: Set, (could change).

    Infield: Set

    Outfield: I would like Damon back, but I’m not sure if he should be yet. None of the outfield FAs impress me enough (excluding the big names which I don’t really want). I would take Nady back assuming he can be healthy enough to play. Holliday I am not sure about; I would like to get him because I know he would get his power in YS, but I wouldn’t be willing to give up the pick.

    Catching: Set, I would rather have Cervelli and let Molina go.

    Bench: May need some work in the infield positions. I’d like a better bat than Ransom.

    • Reggie C.

      The OF doesn’t impress me either. That’s why i hope Cashman pushes the situation and pries loose a better corner OF. I’m not a fan of Swish’s plate abilities, and to date he hasn’t drawn enough walks to merit a starting job. I dont want to see Nady come back either.

      Since Melky and Gardner are never going to play side-by-side as starters, I’d like the Yanks to give the lineup a boost by trading for an athletic corner OF.

      • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

        Swisher leads the team in walks and sees a ton of pitches. What do you mean by plate abilities?

        • Zach

          he’s 8 behind the LEAGUE leader in walks

          • handtius

            Well, there you go. He’s not in leading the league in walks. he is not good enough. He needs to improve.

        • Reggie C.

          Swish draws walks, yet his effectiveness is cut short by the fact that he doesn’t run well. He can’t hit well (low BaBIP) and strikes out too much. I’d simply want Cash to find a better corner OF’er on the trade market if he chooses to avoid FA corners.

          • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

            He runs fine. He isn’t a great baserunner, but he is not slow either. He does strike out a lot, but most guys who walk a lot and hit for power strike out plenty. He is not an All-Star, but he is an above average MLB hitter who, a few obvious misplays not withstanding, is solid defensively as well.

            • pat

              Yeah, when swish makes a misplay it’s usually pretty epic which skews people’s perception of him.

  • Randy A.

    I don’t see them signing either Bay or Holliday. I think that would be an instance of making a move for the sake of making a move rather than bringing Jackson up and continuing the youth movement while deciding whether or not to bring Damon on Nady back on a 1-year deal. (Assuming that Nady can be back by the beginning of the season or that Damon can be had for cheap)

  • scott l

    The Yankees need to make a deal for a big left handed bat. The best young guy to go after is Joey Votto who many believe can play a solid left field. The Yankees have the trade chips to make a 6 for 1 or a 7 for 2 type trade starting with Austin Jackson plus…

    • Ivan

      Why would the Reds trade Votto?

      And even if they did, they would need a top pitcher alla Joba or Hughes.

      • Zach

        Exactly. Why dont we trade for Ryan Braun or Evan Longoria too?

        • handtius

          Because we have a 3rd baseman. Duh!

          • Zach

            but Olney told me he looks 40 and belongs at 1B/DH?!

        • dogface

          lets trade your mom. just kidding, sorry.

      • Zach

        Exactly. Why dont we trade for Ryan Braun too?

      • scott l

        Why because the Yankees can help make the Reds contenders in the NL. The Reds have Alonso coming up likely by the middle of next season so Votto would go to left field anyway. I don’t believe the Yankees would have to give up Hughes or Chamberlain. I think something along the lines of Jackson, Cervelli, Pena, Miranda, Aceves and McAllister/Nova and maybe another pitcher might due it with the Yankees getting both Votto and Willy Taveras. If the Yankees take Taveras back they give the Reds 4 million in salary relief.

        • Zach

          You’re not getting a team’s best position player without giving up Joba or Hughes. and stop adding “Cervelli, Pena, Miranda” to trade proposals, just adding names doesnt make it better

          • scott l

            Your arrogance aside the Reds will not win if they keep Votto. They need a lot more pieces to contend. The Yankees match up well. The Reds need a SS as Gonzalez isn’t hitting and has a 6 million option for next year. Pena can do just as well. Cervelli would make for a great back up catcher behind Hanigan who turns a not so young 29 next month. Austin Jackson would be the center piece and he has a very bright future. Miranda is better then most think and could fill in until Alonso is ready. Add in a few pitchers like Aceves who I believe could be a 3/4 NL starter plus a solid young arm or two and a deal that could help BOTH teams might be possible. The Yankee could even take back Taveras poor contract which is 4 million for next year as well.

            • Zach

              My arrogance? You’re trading a backup SS, a back up C, a 1B who cant hit lefties, Aceves, a pitching prospect and AJax for one of the best young players in the game.

              Reds are shedding 10m from their payroll next year, Gonzalez’s option is mutual and they’re not going to pick that up, and Weather’s 4m is coming off too. Moving 4m from Tavaras will not make them trade Votto

              • Zach

                actually Miranda is hitting lefties this year. but hes not a missing piece to Cincy’s puzzle

                • scott l

                  whatever…

                • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

                  SONNED.

  • Johan Iz My Brohan

    Wow, the A’s / Angels game is intense, both pitchers could very well pitch complete game shutouts. They also have almost identical pitching lines. Brett Anderson had a PG going into the 7th

  • Ivan

    I think if the yanks get another OFer, it would be by trade rather than sign Holliday or Bay to ridiculous contracts.

  • zs190

    Am I crazy to think Matt Holliday could possibly be available for a 1-2 year type Andruw Jones deal this offseason? He’s young enough that waiting another year for a long term deal is not necessarily bad. Economy is fairly bad still, he’s had a down year and would want a good hitter’s park to rebuild his value and we are one of the few teams that have the money, the need, and a good ballpark for hitting as well.

    • Zach

      that may be possible. but if he denies arbitration i dont want to give up a 1st round pick for 1-2 years of Matt Holliday

      • zs190

        Would the A’s offer arbitration? He’s making 13.5 million, that is a ton for the A’s, there is a good chance he would make more money taking arbitration.

        • Zach

          Yes they would offer it because Boras is his agent and Boras is notorious for not accepting arbitration. And if he accepts Beane would trade him that offseason, or hold on to him again because he has Giambi, Crosby, Duchserer, Springer, and Cabrera coming off the books and thats 17m right there

  • Billy

    get younger and more athletic. thats how teams win nowadays. plug in jackson in the outfield next year and the defense will improve, he may not give you what damon does offensively but we have enough offense. we dont need to lead the league in runs every year. next year, put nova in the rotation and he’ll probably be better than what pettitte is now.

    • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

      You thinking CC, AJ, Joba, Hughes, and Nova?

      • Billy

        yeah sure, depending on how wang rebounds. if wang shows much more of this year’s self, then nova would be good in the rotation

    • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

      Or CC, AJ, Wang, Nova, and one of Joba or Phil (the other going to the bullpen)?

      • thebusiness

        No and no.

        Nova will be at best the 6th starter next year but probably 7th behind Kennedy if he rebounds.

        No need to jump the gun.

        CC
        AJ
        Wang
        Joba
        Hughes
        Kennedy
        Nova/McAllister

  • Januz

    I actually think the Yankees will be quiet in the offseason, because none of the players who are free agents can be considered elite. They need to make room for Montero and some of the free agents that will be available for the 2011 season. Here are a few: JJ Hardy, Joe Mauer, Victor Martinez, Roy Halliday, Josh Beckett, Cliff Lee and Brandon Webb. By signing no one (Except MAYBE Damon for one more year, as a stop-gap for around $5m), and getting other ugly contracts off the books (Like Matsui’s), they can plow some of the savings into this year’s unsigned draft picks. From everything I read there is a good chance that Heatchcott, Murphy, Stoneburner, Mitchell & Thompson will be signed, but adding Cotham, Lyons, Meade, Aplin & maybe even McKenzie to the farm system, seems like a far better investment than spending $10 million and up for the likes of Lackey, Holliday or Bay.

    • Billy

      i think damon walks and jackson’s in, i dont think they will sign another monumental deal this offseason. bay will probably sign with the sox and some idiot gm will give holliday a long term deal.

    • Ivan

      I don’t see Joe Mauer going to FA. Considering what he means to that franchise and considering the Twins have some money saved, they’ll try there best to resign him.

      Victor Martinez might not be a catcher anymore by 2011,

      And Lee is a very good pitcher not an elite pitcher.

      So that leaves Halladay, Beckett and Hardy. Personally I would love to see the yanks go after Hardy, he really makes the sense out of all those guys. Beckett is very good but somewhat overrated, and Halladay by 2011 would 34 years old.

      • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

        I’d like to get Hardy to play SS once Jeter’s done too.

        • Billy

          hardy is a little overrated

          • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

            Really? By who?

            Nobody is calling him a future HOFer or something. He has a really good glove, and a good amount of power.

            His batting average is a bit low, but at 26 years old (27 in August) I think he’d make a fine pickup (even at 28 when he’s a FA).

      • Januz

        I agree with you that Hardy makes the most amount of sense (Jeter’s eventual replacement?). The key is loading up on the young pitching (Similiar to what they are doing at catcher). Zach McAllister might be the replacement for Andy Pettitte, and some of the picks from 2008 like Richardson and Turley look promising.

  • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

    No to Bay, and no to Holliday.

    I say look to trade Melky for a hard-hitting OF bat (don’t ask me who…don’t know right now). Just like NoMaas.org said in an earlier post there.

    • Zach

      whos giving you a “hard-hitting OF bat” for Melky? that GM would get fired

      • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

        Obviously it wouldn’t be a straight one for one. I didn’t think I had to say that though.

        Figure Melky, ZMac, and another minor leaguer.

        • Zach

          unless that other minor league is Montero that deal isnt getting you a hard hitting OF bat (i assume we’re talking under 30year olds too).

          • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

            Do you think I’m talking about Matt Kemp or Ryan Braun?

            Geez. When I said “hard hitting”, I’m talking about a guy that has some “pop” in his bat. That’s all.

            • Zach

              ok well the description you gave was: “(don’t ask me who…don’t know right now)”

    • Billy

      maybe jermaine dye. he’s a good outfielder and has 21 homeruns this year. he would be a VERY good 5 hitter in our lineup. i also dont think it will take a huge amount to get him. i would give up romine, melky, and maybe mcallister

      • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

        I don’t like the idea of acquiring a 35 year old, one year rental. But if the price were low enough…sure. But I don’t see Kenny Williams selling Dye for that low.

        • Billy

          if he’s not traded at the deadline, i would make that move in the offseason in a heartbeat. he’s still productive and good defensively with a rocket arm.

          • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

            Good defensively. You have pretty low standards then.

            • Billy

              he is good defensively. maybe u dont think so, but hes better than what we have had the last couple of years

              • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

                Sorry. I look at numbers and such, and they very much disagree with the idea he’s a good defender.

                Perhaps if his UZR wasn’t at -21 for 2006-2008, and now a bit under -13 I’d be with you. But that low a number is hard to argue against.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                Dye is a freaking statue in the outfield. The White Sox could plant a sunflower in right field and it would have more range blowing in the wind.

          • pat
            • Billy

              he’s better than swisher

              • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

                The numbers don’t agree with you on that either.

              • pat

                Sorry, but that is false.

                Dye= -13 UZR
                Swisher- 1.2 UZR

                • Billy

                  i will say it again, some things you can just see. ask any gm, any gm, and they’ll say dye is a better defender. ill bet my balls on that one.

                • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

                  Okay. I love it when people say things like this, that can’t be proven or backed up in any way at all. *rolls eyes*

                • Billy

                  since everyone sucks klaw, ask him. he does chats all the time with the espn.com readers

                • Mr.Jigginz

                  TEH EYZ!!!TEH EYEZ WIL TEL UUUUUU!!1!!!!1!

              • http://and-that-happened.blogspot.com Evan

                If you don’t trust UZR, Tango’s Fan Scouting Reports have had Dye rating at a 55, 52, 39, 48 on a positional neutral rate. I have my doubts he’ll do better.

                see: http://www.tangotiger.net/scouting/

                • http://and-that-happened.blogspot.com Evan

                  That’s out of 100.

      • http://and-that-happened.blogspot.com Evan

        Dye hasn’t been a good defensive outfielder in a while.

      • pat

        No freaking way man, thats insane.Romine Melky and McAllister for a 35 year old RF with a -20 uzr?

        HELL’S NO, BRO.

        • Billy

          well at least melky and romine. dude has 21 homers. much better player than nick swisher. much, much better

          • Ivan

            Better player yes. Much Much better player no.

            • Billy

              much better hitter, much better defender, much better player. even if you wanna say they have equal range, dye gets much better reads and has a much better arm. thats a lot of much betters.

              • pat

                You have no idea what you’re talking about. Sorry to break it to you. Try looking at some stats or something, that might help.

                • Billy

                  no, buddy, i do have an idea what im talking about. stats isnt the only thing that matters, especially with defense. anyone who bases everything on stats is an idiot. if you truly think swisher is a better ofer than dye, you are the one who knows not of which he speaks.

                • Ivan

                  Swisher D isn’t great but far from bad either. Again, just because Swisher does some corky and goofy stuff on the field doesn’t mean he’s a piss poor OF’er.

                  Again he’s alot better than your giving him credit for.

                • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

                  How often do you see Dye? Do you know how UZR is computed? By people watching every play and then giving a grade. That way, even though you cannot see every play, you get a rough idea of how good a defensive player a guy is. Everyone here watches the games just as much as you do. This idea that people who use stats do not watch games is ridiculous.

                • Billy

                  he gets terrible jumps. just look at the play today, and that one in boston where he completely misjudged a routine fly

                • handtius

                  I think you are on the wrong blog. Does WFAN have one? You belong of there or maybe with Lohudians. Over on this side of the pond we like baseball view mixed in with stats. Do you watch Dye everyday? I watch swish almost everyday and he makes a few blunders, but he has ave range or is “quick to the ball” and the stats support that. Dye does not make it to as many balls, therefore, his range is not good, supported by stat.

                • pat

                  Selective memory. You only remember the goofs not the plays when he tracks down a flyball or line drive on the run.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                  “that one in boston where he completely misjudged a routine fly”

                  You mean that ball down the line that Dye wouldn’t have been within 15-ft of? Yeah, I remember it.

                  Remember that great diving catch he made in the gap later that game? Of course not.

              • handtius

                Nope. Dye -20, Swish +1. math says that’s a difference of 21. so, not equal defensively.

              • Ivan

                Dye WAR: 1.8
                Swisher: 1.4

                .04 is the difference between the 2 players. So the arguement that Dye is a much, much better player is false.

        • Ivan

          And People bitch about Swisher D despite the fact that UZR is +1 this season.

          • Billy

            swisher is an awful outfielder despite what those stats say. somethings you can just see. swisher is a firstbaseman, not an outfielder

            • handtius

              nope. Dye has no range. Swish, has average range.

              • pat

                Billy uses his EYES to judge ballplayers. Facts be damned!

                • Billy

                  and you are blind. you just use stats

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                  Judging defense isn’t just about watch a guy misplay a liner or a foul ball. Swisher runs downs balls Jermaine Dye wouldn’t come close to.

                  Forget the stats, watch some White Sox games. Dye is Matsui-esque in the outfield. Has been ever since he broke his leg in Oakland.

            • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

              Last 5 years, value in WAR:

              Dye: 8.6
              Swisher: 11.4

              • Billy

                swisher has also played alot of games at first during that time. he is alot better at first

                • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

                  Just because the guy is a better 1B, does not mean he’s not also good in the OF.

                  Hell, I’m not going to say either way this time. But to imply that Swisher can’t play the OF simply because he’s a better 1B is stupid.

                • pat

                  Career UZR @1b= -4.2
                  Career UZR @ RF= 8.1

                  Again, you are wrong.

                • Billy

                  u misunderstand. im sayin that those numbers also include 1st base, which skews them if only talking about outfield

  • Joba-To-the-pen

    Cervalli and Pena are good but don’t jump on the bandwagons too early on utility players like Gardner and Melky.HUghes and Joba only good moments have come on being relievers.Jackson and Montero are the only true big prospects the Yankees can see as the real thing.

    Ian Kenndy,Hughes,Joba,Ramirez,Bruney,Gardner,Melky,Clippard,Proctor were all considered the future and have done horrible jobs.Even Aaron Small had a good run.These all are journey men.

    Pena is a ultility guy and Cervalli is a back up catcher.You know why?They can’t hit.

    • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

      I have a real problem with somebody saying a 23 year old pitcher is a journey man, simply because said 23 year old hasn’t done a whole lot as a starter.

    • pat

      This makes no sense. Try again.

    • handtius

      Guess you didn’t watch the game today.

  • andrew

    holliday = coors factor

    bay = fenway factor

    both players suffer outside of them. sorry no thanks. granted we need power at the corners but still. these two players will command years i wouldnt want to commit to these two players.

    • Zach

      “bay = fenway factor”

      did you even look at the numbers? he has the same exact numbers at Home and the Road this year. OBP is higher at home due to 6 more walks, and he has 4 more HRs on the road

  • dogface

    Who’s better Abreu or Swisher?

    • Jack

      Swisher

  • KJ

    I just heard today that the A’s are going to keep Holliday. Not just for the rest of this year but also next year.

    • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

      The As are not going to sign Holliday. They don’t have nearly the money to pull that off. Unless you think they will offer Matt arbitration, and he will take it.

  • Jake H

    Just say no to either but try to drive up the price for the Sox on Bay. I mean Bay is hitting .260. Yes he has a ton of RBI’s but it seems that most of that was done early. Plus Fenway is a bandbox.

    • Zach

      hitting 20 points below his average, and still has an OBP of .375

    • Zach

      his stats at Home are the same as they are on the Road.

  • KJ

    andrew – If not Bay and Holliday then who? The Yanks are going to need a big time OF next season.

    • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

      We could sit here all day and go back and forth on possible trade options. But what’s the point? Nobody knows for sure what other GMs are thinking, or may want in return.

      But to say that there will be no OF, who has “pop” in his bat, will be available through trade either before the deadline or this off-season is ridiculous.

  • stuart

    amen.. bay and holliday are not texiera elite.

    pass on both of them.. neither can field and holliday lloks like he has lost power…

    pass on them also they are very unathletic…..

  • stuart

    holliday is a FA end of the year, he also will be making a lot less then he thought he would….

  • stuart

    abreu is so much better then swisher how could you even ask that question???

    swisher is better in no area; not base running, not hitting, and fielding they both stink, also abreu has a better arm…..

    swisher hits more homers, so what… swisher is a 230 hitter…

    • dogface

      i agree with you.

      swisher is also making more money than abreu (not counting incentives)??? what a joke.

    • RollingWave

      Abreu’s better this year. thanks to having probably his best defensive season by a mile in 3 + years.

      But.

      Abreu 2008 : 1.2 WAR
      Swisher 2009 : 1.4 WAR (so far)

      Swisher is a guy that would look a lot worse than he actually plays. UZR have him basically as average defensively right now. where as Abreu was by far the worest RF defensively last year

  • billy

    ok first of all if damon will sign a one year cheap deal spliting him between left field and dh is a good deal he is a good hitter melky i love the guy but hes a fourth outfielder a trade for dunn would be sick but he would split LF/DH hes not playing right but him and swisher and tex the walks/ power is rediculous. and molina is gone after the year and the bench will look better with pena learning the outfield yankees are going to have thier own YOUNG derosa who can play anywhere and hit off the bench. i think if they shut wang down for the year and focus on him for next year will return to form pettite is gone matsui is gone the only thing id like them to do is go after some bull pen help

  • Mattchu12

    Unless Carl Crawford hits the market and/or Matt Holliday decides to take a low end deal to rebuild his status as a power hitter, I think the Yankees either resign Johnny Damon to a DH/4th outfielder role or they make a trade for a young corner outfielder.

    Let’s face it, the Melky Gardner tandem works in center field. They push each other, and they’ve been great this season both offensively and defensively. Full time for either would be a mistake, but taking their turns has proven to be a weapon thus far in the season.

    I can’t stand Nick Swisher in right field though. I understand that he’s statistically pretty good in right field, but every catch is one that I hold my breath on. He looks like a disaster waiting to happen, and we had a mini-disaster when he let that ball fly between his legs tonight. I can just seem him doing that when it’s actually going to matter, he acts like a clown out there and he’s lucky he hasn’t screwed up more often.

    I’d like to see Swisher package in a deal that brings in a young corner outfielder, probably from a team that needs a first baseman for Swisher to fit in. We’d slot that guy into left or right field with a trio of Jackson(assuming he isn’t required to get the corner outfielder)/Melky/Gardner in the other two positions.

    C – Posada
    1B – Teixeira
    2B – Cano
    3B – Rodriguez
    SS – Jeter
    LF – Mystery Player/Crawford?/Holliday?
    CF – Gardner/Jackson/Melky
    RF – Jackson/Melky/Holliday?

    • dogface

      My bet is Holliday.

  • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

    But Abreu can’t be a solid backup at 1B like Swisher can. And using their salaries this season is not that great an argument either, seeing as how if it weren’t for a horrible economy Bobby would have a multi-year deal for than $3m per (is that what it is?).

    • http://and-that-happened.blogspot.com Evan

      $5 mil before incentives.

  • MikeD

    It don’t see it as an either/or scenario. The Yankees can bring in youth when it fits, and they can go out and get free-agents when it fits. The farm system, trades and free agency are the three avenues to build a championship-calibre team. The Yankees used all three back in the 90s, although the foundation came from the farm. It’s more the blend that’s the issue, not becoming so reliant on free agents at the expense of the farm.

    My guess is the Yankees would like Holliday since they’re about to lose two left-handed bats in Damon and Matsui, niether of which are good fielders. Holliday would be an improvement if they can get him at the right price. I just don’t see Oakland risking offering arbitration, which makes a Holliday free-agent signing more acceptable.

  • Billy

    since everyone is saying that swisher is a better defensive player, ill give them that. but no one can argue that swisher is as good offensively as dye. dye is a much better offensive player

    • handtius

      yeah, but overall defensive/offensive #s shows that swisher is more valuable.

  • paulc

    Bay could be a yank…holliday no way. Damon for a year yes, more than that-NO……I would rather go youth…or a trade..for who is the question I am researching.//would love crawford to no get picked up on option by rays…but Cash will do right…This past offseason: no brainer to get cc, aj, tex…DUH for those who wouldnt want them…great moves…

  • Thomas A. Anderson

    “People think it’s easy,” Phil Hughes said. “It’s not. We’re 23, we’re still learning. But I bet Joba remembers this game.” – Phil Hughes

    Truer words have never been spoken. Let’s all make a pact to remember this, shall we?

  • Ivan

    I do people hate Nick Swisher?

    Seriously, you guys all you bitch about is the negatives of Swisher and yes he has his share of negatives, but he has alot of positives as well like hitting for power, good OBP guy, switch hits and is pretty young and is a better fielder than given credit for.

    • handtius

      well, we’re all actually fighting one or 2 guys on this. we like swish.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Jason Bay since June 1st: .220-.329-.390

      Nick Swisher since June 1st: .244-.347-.423

      (doesn’t include today’s games, too lazy to add them in)

      • handtius

        Wowzers. didn’t realize Bay had fallen so far. SIGN HIM REDSOX!!! SIGN HIM!!!

      • pat

        Hmm, I didn’t know Axisa was a Dominican name.

        • handtius

          +…nevermind, I’m too lazy.

      • Ivan

        And considering he’s a much better fielder, this idea Swisher is a just 4th outfielder is really ridiculous.

  • thebusiness

    No Bay, Jose.

  • JamesK

    Holliday hasn’t been impressive in the AL, and it’s the west… Bay is batting .258 at the moment and will probably want $14 million. If Damon will resign for around 8 million, he’s worth keeping around.

    If the yankees can save 5+ million from the outfield, you could spend that money on someone like Rafael Soriano or Mike Gonzalez.

    • Tony

      Signing middling, aged MRs for big money is not a good idea.

      • JamesK

        No one said spend the whole $5 million…

  • Januz

    The Yankees are not trading Nick Swisher because of his contract (Unless of course, they eat some of his contract $6.75m (2010), $9.0m (2011), amd a $10.25m contract with a $1m club buyout (2012)). They actually have three ugly contracts that can be taken off the books in 2011: Posada ($13.1m), Igawa ($4m) & Swisher, which will should help the organization.
    There is no question in my mind that as long as HAL Steinbrenner and Cashman are running this team, they will be younger, more athletic & of course cheaper. The days of Jason Giambi type contracts for one dimensional players is over.

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      Swisher’s is not a bad contract. He’s already been worth 6.5 million this year.

  • KG Sturnz0r

    This offseason may be a good opportunity for $man to show his magic/gangster/shogun ninja assassin qualities of a GM. maybe he can get Hermida; how many years of arbitration left?

    After Halladay is dealt, we can give Jays some more relief if they want it and take a chance with Rios; I luv his power… D.Young anyone?

  • DCR

    Holliday definitely looks like a different player this year but thats not saying he wouldn’t be useful. With that being said, I would want Bay over Holliday (just like I wanted Bay over Nady). Bay’s defense is a little shaky but I don’t think its fair to not call him an elite player. He has a career OPS+ of 130.

    • mattb

      Here’s the thing with Holliday–obviously if he’s asking for 5/65 or even 5/50, you say forget it. But I do wonder if he’s beginning to become undervalued at this point.

      AL League Average LF: .267/.342/.433/.775
      Matt Holliday: .276/.371/.424/.795

      and just for fun:

      Bay: .255/.374/516/.889
      Crawford: .311/.371/437/.808
      Damon .278/.364//513/887

      So clearly on the raw numbers, Holliday lags behind the other trio.

      In terms of OPS+, it’s a little better for Matt: Holliday’s OPS+ ranks third of the four: He’s got an 118 OPS +. Bay 127, Damon 128, Crawford 110

      VORP: Crawford 30.2 (ranks 3rd MLB for LF), Bay 28.1 (5th), Damon 24.2 (7th), Holliday 20.8 (11th)

      *I believe, though could be mistaken, that VORP has no defensive component other than it compares you to other guys playing your position.

      WAR: Crawford 3.2 (2nd MLB for LF), Holliday 2.3 (7th MLB), Bay 1.9 (8th MLB), Damon 1.6 Ranks 12th MLB)

      Defensive value component of WAR: Crawford 6.1 (5th MLB for LF), Holliday 3.9 (6th MLB), Bay -8.1 (21st MLB, Damon -9.6 (23rd MLB)

      Now I don’t love defensive metrics, especially over half a season. But Holliday’s UZR/150 over the past 3 years is 14.7, 10.9, 7.4–I do not the slight yearly decrease, but still he’s a career UZR/150 7.1, which is darn solid if not excellent.

      What this says to me:
      1. If Johnny Damon can find some semblance of remembering how to play even a not great left field but better than mind-boggingly, unwatchable awful, bringing him back on a one and one is probably the best idea.

      2. Of the group hitting the market (this is assuming Crawford won’t, and would only be available by trade), I think Bay will be the most overvalued–I mean just look at the comps between Bay and Damon–how many folks know that Damon has a higher OPS+ and a virtually identical raw OPS. Damon would be the vastly superior value if he was even playing close to ’08 level defensively–and Bay has never been a good defender.

      3. Even if you can get Crawford, and I hate to channel Steven Goldman, beware products of turf. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling him Vince Coleman. To paraphrase Steve: Crawford for his career is a .295/.333/.435/.768/102 OPS+ 102 player. So his offensive value is highly average dependent–he gains value from the steals, but he’s got to get on base to steal. And Crawford’s average has at least a significant amount to do with his speed–so you get this guy for 5 years and he loses a step, his value decreases drastically. Hat tip to Steve Goldman again, but approximately 10% of Crawford’s hits are infield singles. That number comes down, it’s problematic. Additonally, his career line on grass is even worse–Goldman has it at .285/.323/.423. That .746 OPS is fine most years for a CF–it’ll kill you in a corner. I’m not saying I’m not interested in Carl Crawford. It’s certainly possible his power numbers would ramp hitting in NYS. 3/36-39, heck yes, please. But you don’t want this guy in his decline years.

      4. Back to Holliday–clearly, he doesn’t appear to be the same kind of stud he was in Coors, and that’s no surprise. However, that doesn’t mean his line isn’t still pretty respectable, he plays in a cavern, he’s on a bad team and he’s learning a new league and he’s only 29. And while I think Beane may offer him arb, I just can’t imagine he’s staying in Oakland, even if for a single year, it’s the largest salary he can make. So maybe, just maybe, you get a crack at a guy like Matt Holiday for Adam Dunn type money (not quite the low, given that Holliday plays good defense)–but he’s got to be at least pondering whether taking a short term deal in a hitter friendly park is the best way for him to end up cashing in–and if I can get him for 2/28, I think awfully hard and I probably do it. And if he’d take just a year, I’d probably give him 16/17 and take my chances. Just because he may not be a top 10 player like he once appeared to be doesn’t mean he’s not an awfully good player and he’s also a pretty complete player. He could also stand to benefit from some semblance of protection in the lineup (not trying to start the debate about whether the concept of “protection” is real.

      • thebusiness

        well reasoned, get holliday.

  • CG

    I say bring back Nady. Given his injury he’d probably be a lot cheaper than any FA OF out there, and he’d probably be willing to take a one year deal. And hes better than most of the FA options out there. Unless Crawford becomes a FA, of course.

  • RollingWave

    looking at WAR. you can basically sum up the Yankees so far like this

    MVP season : Jeter

    Star level season : Teixiera / A-rod / Cano / Gardner

    above average starting players : Damon / Swisher / Melky / Matsui