Aug
03

Going After The King

By

Felix HernandezAs the trade deadline approached late last week, we heard that the Yankees were connected to the usual suspects: Jarrod Washburn, Bronson Arroyo, Brian Bannister, middling guys like that to fill out the back of the rotation. But then something crazy hit the blogosphere on deadline day … the Mariners were actually listening to offers for Felix Hernandez. The next day we learned that Brian Cashman and the Yankees were one of the teams to give Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik a call about his young ace, but ultimately no deal went down. Theo Epstein sure made a valiant effort, though.

It’s hard to think of many pitchers in baseball with more trade value than King Felix. There’s that kid in San Francisco doing amazing things, but he’s almost two full years older than Hernandez. Zach Greinke is two-and-a-half years older, but is locked up below market value for the next four years. Jon Lester? Two years older. Justin Verlander? Three years older. Heck, Joba Chamberlain? He’s eight months older. Phil Hughes is just two months younger than the King, but far less established.

We’re talking about the Justin Upton of pitchers here, a kid who’s already one of the best players in the game at his position but still has his best years ahead of him. He ranks in the top ten in innings pitched (152.1), FIP (3.11), strikeouts (141), and wins over replacement (4.3) this year, and is only going to get better as he enters his prime years. Scheduled to become a free agent after the 2011 season, when he’ll be just 25-yrs old, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that Hernandez will become the highest paid pitcher in history. If things go his way, he’s got a chance at being the first pitcher to crack that $200M plateau.

Since we’re talking about the best young pitcher to come along in years, possibly decades, it would have taken a tremendous package to acquire him before the deadline. We’re talking about a Herschel Walker type of trade for the Mariners, one that sets them up at multiple positions for years. What could the Yankees have offered?

Joba Chamberlain? he’s yours
Phil Hughes? sure thing
Jesus Montero? no problem
Austin Jackson? free shipping
High upside, low level prospect like Arodys Vizcaino? you can have two

That’s the kind of package we’re talking about; several young players in their pre-arbitration years, and I don’t mean the Brett Gardners and Ramiro Penas of the world. A package of Zach McAllister, Austin Romine, and Mark Melancon doesn’t even get you invited to the party. If a team like Texas wanted to get in on the action, they’d have to offer up guys like Derek Holland, Justin Smoak, Elvis Andrus, and more. It’s an extraordinary deal that would have made a Roy Halladay trade look like the Joe Blanton trade, given how young and dominant Felix is.

The real question is this: Are you willing to give all that up? Having to part with Joba and Hughes in the same package is really something you want to avoid at all costs, but if you’re going to do it, Felix Hernandez is the kind of guy you do it for. Considering his tremendous performance, about the only concern you can have about Felix is the workload he’s been run through. He’s thrown 1,056 innings since his 18th birthday, and is on pace to throw over 190 innings for the fourth straight year. He’s never been Verducci’d though, with his biggest increase in innings from year to the next coming in ’04-’05, when he went up just 23 IP.

For the sake of this post, I ran Felix Hernandez through Beyond the Box Score’s trade calculator, which says King Felix has a trade value of $38.1M based on my almost arbitrary WAR predictions. Victor Wang’s research says that Montero and Jackson combine for $59.9M in value (one top-10 hitting prospect, one 26-50 hitter), while a low level arm like Arodys adds another $1.9M. Joba’s trade value comes in at $50.6M while Phil Hughes’ registers at $46M.  However, those values represent best case scenarios based on my WAR assumptions, which are far from perfect. The total value of that package is $158.4M, but we have to factor in attrition rate. Felix’s value represents just under 25% of the package’s value, but I honestly have no idea if that is an appropriate flame out factor. This is all just food for thought, and for all I know I just wasted 15 minutes of my time calculating that stuff.

I know we have plenty of Felix fans out there, but would you be willing to give up the package of young players required to obtain him? It’s a lot of eggs to put in one basket, that’s for sure. Remember, Hernandez already turned the Yankees down for the Mariners as an amateur even though the Yanks (and Braves) offered more money, so it’s no slam dunk that he signs an extension to keep him in pinstripes past 2011.

Photo Credit: The Seattle Times

Categories : Players
  • A.D.

    An extension signing window would have to be part of any deal when you’re parting with that much.

    As the Yankees no way you empty the farm for one pitcher. Given how much they’d have to give up, only about 1-2 of the players being given up have to hit their potential for it to be a deal where they gave up too much.

    Perhaps in a situation where those prospects were blocked, or the team was already quite young, and thus needed to worry less on calling up new guys.

    • Chip

      This is exactly why big-time prospects just don’t get traded. There’s too much risk on both sides

  • Chip

    I wouldn’t go after him, let him hit free agency and sign him to a huge contract when CC opts out

    • anonymous

      This.

    • http://www.bronxbaseballdaily.com Bronx Baseball Daily

      This all seems like you are talking about video game trades. I don’t know how much the Mariners were willing to actually trade this guy as opposed to just seeing what their options are.

      Besides, if you are mortgaging the farm for this guy, why not just do it for Halladay. Halladay is less of a question mark. (Can he keep his health long term? and the King has already turned the Yankees money down once, will he do it again?).

      • Adam

        felix is 10 years younger… I would take an etra 10 years of vintage felix over vintage hallady

        • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          But you’d only be trading for the next 2.5 years of Felix. Does his being younger than Halladay really matter that much for the next couple of years?

          (I’m not advocating trading for Halladay… I don’t think you give up your entire farm system for either one of them.)

        • A.D.

          And if he was signed for the next 10 years, then that would be more a part of the equation.

  • V

    No, I do not trade Joba+Hughes+Montero+AJax+ for anyone in baseball. Period, end of story.

    He’s young, and awesome, but he’s only under team control for a couple of years. For pitchers, team control is more important than age. We’ll have Joba for his peak season (27) before he’s a free agent, for example.

    Felix, while better now, will give his best seasons to the team that signs him as a free agent (hopefully the Yankees!).

  • Glen L

    I’ll drive Joba/Hughes/Montero/A-Jax and whomever to Seattle personally … I’ll even spring for the minivan rental

    There’s no guarantee the yankees sign him in 2011 with the Red Sox and every other team with money in baseball in on him … plus we have him for 2 years prior to when he would hit FA anyway

    • anonymous

      Ill drive you to Seattle…yegh

      • Glen L

        No thanks .. you don’t exactly sound like you’d be a great conversationalist during a cross-country drive. Unless you really like the Clash .. we could just listen to Clash records the whole way

  • Max

    Not only do I make that deal, but I offer to pick up Felix from the airport.

    I’m a Sox fan who checks out this blog and I wanted to come over as soon as a read the MLBTR post to see if you guys would have anything on it. I can’t imagine why any team wouldn’t clear out the farm for this guy. If I were the Yankees, I’d make the deal you proposed.

    • anonymous

      Ill pick you up at the airp9r…..

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      I heard the Mariners countered with a Hernandez for Casey Kelly straight up trade, and the Red Sox turned it down.

      THAT’S HOW YOU HYPE A PROSPECT!!

    • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “Not only do I make that deal, but I offer to pick up Felix from the airport.”

      I think this is a little tougher a call than you’re allowing for. Would you have given up a similar but slightly watered-down version of that package (or a similar but slightly watered-down version of the package the Sox are rumored to have offered to Seattle) for Roy Halladay? Unless you’re getting some sort of window to negotiate a contract extension with Felix, I don’t think you can make that deal. You’re trading your farm for less than 2.5 years of pitching. With Halladay, you’d have been trading for less than 1.5 years. Without negotiating a contract extension with Felix and getting him under contract for a bunch of years, are you so sure that you’d clear out the farm for 2.5 years of Felix when (I assume) you wouldn’t do the same for 1.5 years of Halladay?

      • A.D.

        On top of that Felix will likely set some arb records.

        • DreDog

          Lincecum says me first!

  • DreDog

    I know fans ovrvalue prospects nowadays, but I think it’s because we are more cognizant of budgetary constraints placed on every team.

    I agree with everyone else. The “value” of having Phil, Joba, A-Jax, and Montero cost controlled is key to Yankee success in the future. We were able to go get CC & AJ because Joba & Wang were controlled cheaply. So Wang didn’t work out, but Joba did. We can now look forward to Hughes controlled cheaply in that rotation next year.

    That extra money went to CC, AJ, & Tex. And when Joba gets expensive or King Felix needs a big payday, we can hopefully have Z-Mac, I-Nova, A-Jax, Montero, etc…, contributing cheaply. I think this is exactly what Cash has been looking for all along, going after the “big game” in the FA market and having cheap contributions. I didn’t even get into the cheap contributions he gets from his middle relief, which is expensive on the FA market.

  • E-ROC

    I wouldn’t trade for King Felix. The Yanks wouldn’t have any depth to fill the holes left by that trade, and Felix wasn’t willing to sign with the Yanks when he had the chance.

  • YankFan

    I wouldn’t make that trade either. I take my chances that the kids develop into something special & then throw the bank at Felix.

    BTW, why no mention that the package the Bosox offered was BAD!!! They didn’t offer anything of HUGE value besides Clay, who got rocked again yesterday.

  • Ivan

    I might do it or I might not

    It’s really quite hard.

    It’s like does the Pro’s out weight the Cons and etc.

    If you give Seattle Hughes, Joba, Montero, A-Jax and heck even Melancon, you basically set up their franchise for a decade.

    But then again, you have the best pitcher for a decade.

    Like I said before it’s really hard being a baseball GM.

    • Chip

      I don’t think it’s too hard. I would give up Joba/Hughes and Montero plus a throw-in but that’s about it. For one, Montero might not be a catcher long-term. We all hope he is but there’s considerable doubt. If not for that, nobody would be talking about not doing it.

      There’s no way I give up Joba and Hughes for anybody outside of maybe Lincecum. You have two guys who are cost controlled and look like they can be dominant.

      There’s just too much risk of Felix blowing out his arm and never being the same pitcher again to risk throwing the entire farm at Seattle for him.

      Essentially, Theo made an equivalent offer of picking 5 of

      Hughes
      Melancon
      Robertson
      Nova
      IPK
      A-Jax
      and two guys I’ve never heard of

      So let’s just say that they took Hughes, Melancon, Robertson, IPK and A-Jax for Felix. I’d ask if the Mariners were joking if they took that which is exactly why they turned Theo down.

      • Chip

        And by my confusing first paragraph I meant that nobody would consider trading Jesus if he was a sure-fire adequate defensive catcher going forward

  • http://leegrantphotography.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/madmax.jpg gxpanos

    It’d be dumb to trade for him, frankly. Is he worth that package? Yep. But are the two years between now and free agency worth that package? Nope. The Yanks can back up the truck and offer 10 years, over 200 mil, and keep the rest of ‘em. There’s greater risk in that (he might resign, Red Sox), but the risk is worth Joba/Hughes/Montero.

  • mko

    Hernandez already turned the Yankees down for the Mariners as an amateur even though the Yanks (and Braves) offered more money

    Oh man, so he could have been a Yankee? And could have been in the rotation for us right now? Damn…

    The Mariners must be a nice organization. Ichiro decided to re-sign there as well instead of coming to the Yankees through free agency, even though he said he’d like to play for the Yankees.

    • DreDog

      Ichiro got a pretty good deal. It’s not like he took less money or that much money less.

  • Jake K.

    No way in hell. You can’t leverage the team’s future on the arm of one pitcher. If Felix got hurt, or turned out to be anything less than ridiculously dominant, than you’ve totally screwed yourself. You can’t just look at the upgrade in the rotation from Joba to Felix. You also have to look at the downgrade from Hughes to whomever replaces him, Montero to his replacement, Ajax to his replacement and so on.

    And since you would have nothing left in the farm system, that means you’d have to restock through free agency. Because you can’t give up that much for one guy and then surround him with replacement level players. Imagine what that (plus the insane contract we would have to give Felix) would do to the payroll. Hello $300 million!

    • Stryker

      You can’t leverage the team’s future on the arm of one pitcher.

      omar minaya should have gone to your school of baseball operations…

      • A.D.

        Eh, so far everyone in the Santana deal has pretty much blown. Right now Sanata is worth more than the lot of prospects they gave up

        • YankFan

          But the package the Mets gave up was no where near the level of package we would have to give up for Felix. The players were among the Mets best prospects, but they weren’t great prospects. Minny knew this after Theo & Cash said no for what it would take them to give up.

          Felix should have half of baseball coming after him based on his upward tract & age. Santana had been falling downward ever so slightly. I would not like him in the AL East right now.

          • A.D.

            Agreed, I was merely saying that Stryker’s comment on Minaya would be a bit harsh.

            • jsbrendog

              meh, while the santana trade worked out well for him he is still one of the absolute worst gms and its not harsh at all to say he sucks.

              cause omar minaya sucks.

        • DreDog

          I think I saw Omar Minaya trying to sell his watch to get in a craps game earlier.

      • Mike bk

        at best you could classify what minaya gave up as A-Jax, Viz and 2 others so so prospects.

  • Bo

    Fans over value every prospect. Just a fact. You had people here saying JB Cox would take over for Mo. Kennedy would be an ace. And Eric Duncan was the future 1b.

    • mko

      True, but with guys like Hughes and Joba, you can already see what they can do at the Major League level. And Montero was mashing in AAA…

      • jsbrendog

        aa

        • mko

          Oops…

    • YankFan

      I’ve only been reading for the last 2 seaons but I can’t believe that was the dominant feeling. Some nut jobs, maybe.

    • Jake K.

      And at one point in time Felix was…gasp…a prospect.

    • TheLastClown

      Sucks to this trade.

      Obviously would have to be heavier than the Santana deal, and the mood around here was pretty positively against that, Save the Big Three & all. Well, all we had to stomach was one year sans playoffs, & two out of those big three are turning out to be pretty, well, big.

      Further, I think we’ll really see what Joba & Hughes the starters with stamina can do in the rotation for a full year in 2010.

      AJax & Montero haven’t contributed anything on the MLB level yet, but I’d like to see them get that chance in pinstripes.

      But a rotation next year of:

      CC
      AJ
      Joba
      Hughes
      ??(IPK perhaps, or someone else until/if Wang is able to return)

      Really puts the team in good position to win.

      And if this team wins, I mean wins it all, one out of 09, 10, or 11, then I think we provide strong incentive for not only Felix to take Yankee dollars, but for CC also not to opt out. His remaining deal may be worth more to him on a champion club than the possibility of commanding another monster deal on the FA market. Not to mention the question marks regarding the volatility of the economic climate.

      SOOOOOOOO. 2011 ends, the Yanks win, retain CC & attract Felix:

      2012 rotation:
      F-Her *had to*
      CC
      AJ
      Joba
      Hughes

      And THAT, my friends, is what those clairvoyant Mayans saw when designing their clock-ander.

      • TheLastClown

        Damn, I don’t know how that got attached to someone else’s comment. Would you mind correcting this for me Mike?

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    King Felix has been putting it together rather nicely this year. But is the difference between Joba and Felix from now and into the future, worth Ajax, Hughes and Montero? I don’t think so.

    But then again, what do I know?

    • jsbrendog

      you know what melvin tells you you know.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Melvin says one strand of his hair is more than enough to land the Yankees King Felix.

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona

          You know, despite being 3 years younger, Melvin is actually Felix’s Father. His sperm is that powerful.

      • Salty Buggah

        and Ganesh

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona

          Ganesh is not a fan of anyone who calls himself “King”.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        That’s true.

    • Zack

      I agree.
      How much better is CC, Felix, AJ, FA than CC, AJ, Joba, Hughes? [Plus Jesus and Jackson and more.]

  • Dela G

    No way in fucking hell i make that deal

    No way for a pitcher

    sorry to be so harsh, but no way

  • Stephen

    As suggested by several people — if you make that trade, there are a lot of incidental costs. You have to fill multiple positions at the major league level, and probably at close to replacement level. Consider the starting rotation for 2010:

    CC: 23M
    AJ: 16.5M
    Felix: ~8m (arb decision)
    ???
    ???

    Who do you slot in those positions? IPK? Mitre? Andy again for ~$9m? That forces you to either buy people in free agency, or run Sidney Ponson out there some more. It just cannot and will not work.

    • jsbrendog

      snacks is a free agent now…who’s to say sir sid isn’t suited up by mid august?

      ::shivers::

      • DreDog

        I read that and shivered myself. Will never happen again…..right?

        • jsbrendog

          ……..

    • DreDog

      Exactly, GM’ing is a lot like poker. People think it’s about the cards, but it’s about chip management. This move would be bad chip management as it forces you to spend way too much for the lost depth.

      Sorry about the poker reference. I have been watching too much TV poker recently.

      • JMK

        Well said.

    • Chip

      Exactly, you just can’t survive in the game today without young, cost-controlled pitching. If you sign Felix to a long-term contract and CC doesn’t opt out you’re going to end up with

      CC: 23M
      AJ: 16.5M
      Felix: 27M?
      ???
      ???

      So you’re paying like 65-70M for your top three starters. You just can’t afford to pay anybody else in that rotation all that much so it’d be very nice to have Joba and Hughes filling out the other two spots at relatively low prices. You could probably get by with trading one of them and hoping you can get something off the scrap heap or through the farm to hold the fifth starter down if you had that rotation which is why I’d only trade one of them.

    • toad

      Exactly. The question is not whether you want Hernandez in the rotation. The question is whether you’d rather have Hernandez + whoever in place of Chamberlain and Hughes. I don’t think you do.

      • Max

        “You just can’t afford to pay anybody else in that rotation all that much”

        Since when does that apply to the Yankees? I think they could find the $$ to get a 4th and 5th starter. Plus, CC/Felix/AJ would immediately be the best 1-2-3 in baseball.

        It really looks like not many on this board would make the deal? Gotta say I’m shocked.

        • DreDog

          If some reports are correct, Cashman couldn’t take on much money this trading deadline. What makes you think he would be able to find suitable 4th, 5th starters that aren’t named Sergio Mitre or Paul Byrd for the money they have?

          • Max

            Because Damon/Matsui are coming off the books, and Pettite will be much cheaper for ’10 if you want him. I know you need to shell out some money for a corner OF next year (Bay, Holliday, etc.) but I’m assuming they could figure it out.

            • DreDog

              I don’t think Holliday is coming cheap anymore. I know it’s early, but he has a new lease on life and might make $20-$30 million more in the next few months. Jason Bay is another guy that might cost more than it’s worth (the Braves and someon other teams need OF’s). And on top of that you will need another OF’er to replace A-Jax too.

              The costs mount up over the years for this deal.

              • Mike Pop

                Cashman’s got another Swisher like deal in the works. You will all see!!!

              • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

                …why would we go out to get another OF to replace Ajax?

                • DreDog

                  Most people are counting on A-Jax to be at least a 4th OF’er for the next few years.

        • toad

          Where are you if Hernandez gets hurt?

          When you have a strong team, very likely to make the post-season, a risky trade like this makes no sense. How much will it help you if it works? That is, how much does it increase your chance of, say, winning the WS? How much does it cost you if it fails? How much does it rediuce your chances?

          I think you’re giving bad odds. It’s the marginal team that might make a trade like this. Increasing the number of games they win helps them more than decreasing it hurts.

  • toad

    This would be a ridiculous trade. Ever heard of risk? It cuts against the trade both ways. You’re betting on one guy continuing to be great, unijured, etc. And even if that happens, you’re assuming that none of the guys you trade are going to be great themselves.

    Suppose you get one great player out of the four you list, two decent performers, and one bust. How would you feel about having made this deal? Or suppose you get two well-above-average guys, one good player, and a bust?

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      Quite frankly, I think Ax is full of Pujols with that list…nobody NOBODY offers free shipping for that much weight anymore.

      goes to show what he knows…

      Realistically, how would we feel about that list if it were “I still got a ” Joba Chamberlain OR Phreakin’ Phil Phughes?

      Jesus may not make it to catch for us…can he play left? Can Jeter play left? Will Damon/Jeter/Arod/Tex be a sufficient DH next year AND the year after? Do WANG! along with Zmac, Ivan, IPK, (insert random dotf grad here) have what it takes to fill in that number5 slot? (CC, AJ, Felix, Joba/Hughes)

      too many questions for my little brain…

  • Thomas A. Anderson

    If Phil, Joba, Montero and Ajax are good, let’s say that they don’t necessarily become stars but are good, solid players.

    Is one pitcher, going every 5 days, worth giving up all of their production?

    I really don’t think so. If you did get Felix via that trade, you would have to pray that he doesn’t get hurt, is ridiculiously dominant, and you have to replace the production of all of the aforementioned players.

    Unless you can somehow encase Felix in bubble wrap and unleash him in the postseason, that is too big of a gamble to make on one player–nevermind a pitcher.

  • Adam

    I would want to hold on to joba and hughes but montero/jackson/z-mac/betances/brackman/arodys/ANYONE

    I would have a hard time giving up joba and hughes cuz they have loads of potential… both former #3 prospects and we’ve seen what they can do when they are on.

    • DreDog

      Did you see what the Sox were offering? They told the Mariners to pick 5 and it’s done.

      If I were the Mariners, I would have added Lars Anderson and Casey Kelly to Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard, and Michael Bowden and said deal.

      •Clay Buchholz
      •Daniel Bard
      •Justin Masterson
      •Nick Hagadone
      •Michael Bowden
      •Felix Doubront
      •Josh Reddick
      •Yamaico Navarro

      • JohnnyC

        The point is they didn’t include Anderson and Kelly in that list.

        • YankFan

          Or Westmoreland or Tawaza.

        • DreDog

          Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to trade for King Felix. I was just wondering if he saw the deal to see what the M’s turned down. Not that I blame them in turning it down.

        • DreDog

          The Red Sox turned down a three way deal that would have sent Casey Kelly, Lars Anderson, and Westmoreland for Adrian Gonzalez, and King Felix to Boston.

          I’m Peter Gammons for Diamond Cutters.

      • Chip

        And the Red Sox would have said no thank you as they should have.

        • DreDog

          Casey Kelly makes me a little peeved. Probably because we drafted Gerrit Cole at #28 and Kelly went #30 to the Sox. Yes, I know he is very, very far away from the majors. It just gets me.

          • JohnnyC

            Don’t worry, the Sox will put Kelly on the same throwing regimen as Dice-K. Then, they’ll convert him back to shortstop, discover he’s out-grown the position, move him to third base, discover he can’t hit, and re-convert him to pitcher, using Tim Wakefield as his personal coach to teach him to throw knuckleballs. Voila! Kelly pitches into his mid-forties…for the Washington Natinals.

            • DreDog

              Please let this happen.

            • DreDog

              Do you think it peeves Sox fans that we drafted Joba at #41 and they drafted Kris Johnson at #40?

              • K.B.D.

                I think teams with picks 1-40 are peeved they didn’t pick Joba, save for the Giants (Lincecum), Dodgers (Kershaw) and Rays (Longoria).

            • ev

              ietc. especially because you spelled it “natinals”

  • Reggie C.

    Joba, Montero, Ajax, Romine, and Arodys.

    - Enough? I think so..
    - Imo, this package represents the kind of return that could revitalize the Mariners’s farm in certain key areas.

    • DreDog

      But what kind of mesage are you sending to Kenji Johjima?

      • K.B.D.

        “We never should have given you that extension. And we gave up on our number 3 overall pick, Jeff Clement because of that stupid contract. And now we have to trade Felix to cover up all of your shortcomings, which are numerous. God, you’re a bastard, Kenji.”

        • jsbrendog

          tmmlamdsmclamf

          (this made me laugh at my desk so my coworkers looked at me funny)

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    I probably don’t do that deal. It’s an awful lot to give up for just 2.5 years of Felix. And, as someone above noted, it’s doubtful that Felix will be worth more alone than Hughes/Chamberlain/Jackson/Montero/plus combined.

    • Mike Pop

      This.

      Felix has so much trade value, but alot of teams won’t give up as much value as he would command in a trade.

      That is the problem with that kind of trade looking at the M’s point of view. I could see a team do that where it’s a Adam Jones plus for Felix. Justin Upton + for Felix. But, many teams can’t give up their best 5 prospects or 2 or 3 young players contributing at the mlb level for one player no matter how good he may be.

  • jon

    last year CC was worth 35m according to fangraphs which was the highest ive ever seen from a pitcher

    so lets say felix can do better and be worth 40m

    if ajax can play as well as gardner this year thats 10m
    which means joba and hughes together would have to put up a value of 15m each next year

    which means they have to pitch as well as someone like Jered Weaver last year

    and you still have jesus in the minors

    • DreDog

      Yeah but you have to minus their salaries too. King Felix will probably make close to $8 next year. A-Jax, Joba, and Hughes won’t make over $1.5 combined (I think). That means even if King Felix out performs them he would have to do so by $6.5 million next year. Not to mention he will probably make $12 million the year after that, and then CC money after that.

  • Simon B.

    I think age is an overrated factor in a deal like this. Is it really that important at this stage that he’s two years younger than Lincecum? Lincecum is still a significantly more valuable pitcher, IMO. (Though Felix has caught up a bit with an excellent year so far.

    I don’t think I’d put all my eggs in one basket for Felix. It’s not unlikely that Joba passes him very soon.

    • DreDog

      Is King Felix an eater? If that’s the case no way. He may go the way of Fernando.

      • Simon B.

        I don’t think Fernando ever threw that hard. He just had a gimmick pitch and a deceptive delivery, from what I heard anyway.

        But I don’t put Felix that far ahead of Joba. Once Joba gets a bit more experience and is conditioned for 200 IP, he might catch up quite quickly.

        • DreDog

          I would take Joba in an eating contest over King Felix.

  • Tank Foster

    I wouldn’t trade a huge package of high level prospects and budding MLB’ers for Hernandez. Too much risk. Yes, if Felix improved, and proved durable, with a good long term work ethic, etc., he WOULD be worth the package. But we don’t know what the future holds for him, and trading away multiple players, some of whom may be stars, most of whom will be decent MLB’ers, is too much risk for me.

  • TheLastClown

    Sucks to this trade.

    Obviously would have to be heavier than the Santana deal, and the mood around here was pretty positively against that, Save the Big Three & all. Well, all we had to stomach was one year sans playoffs, & two out of those big three are turning out to be pretty, well, big.

    Further, I think we’ll really see what Joba & Hughes the starters with stamina can do in the rotation for a full year in 2010.

    AJax & Montero haven’t contributed anything on the MLB level yet, but I’d like to see them get that chance in pinstripes.

    But a rotation next year of:

    CC
    AJ
    Joba
    Hughes
    ??(IPK perhaps, or someone else until/if Wang is able to return)

    Really puts the team in good position to win.

    And if this team wins, I mean wins it all, one out of 09, 10, or 11, then I think we provide strong incentive for not only Felix to take Yankee dollars, but for CC also not to opt out. His remaining deal may be worth more to him on a champion club than the possibility of commanding another monster deal on the FA market. Not to mention the question marks regarding the volatility of the economic climate.

    SOOOOOOOO. 2011 ends, the Yanks win, retain CC & attract Felix:

    2012 rotation:
    F-Her *had to*
    CC
    AJ
    Joba
    Hughes

    And THAT, my friends, is what those clairvoyant Mayans saw when designing their clock-ander.

    • A.D.

      That rotation would be obscene

    • K.B.D.

      The quesiton is, if CC decided to stay, would the Yankees really want to dish out another mega-deal to a pitcher? They’d probably be committing over $50 million to CC/Felix alone, not to mention arbitration raises to Joba and Hughes.

      That’s a ton of money to commit to a guy you don’t really need, seeing as how you already have 4 very capable starters. I feel that money might be better spent elsewhere on the team.

      Now, if CC opts out, I say full steam ahead on the “Let’s Make Felix Hernandez Filthy Rich” Express.

      • TheLastClown

        Good point. That’s the FO’s decision to make. Hopefully one of our high-ceiling prospects is coming on up around then, and still fill out a peerlessly dominant rotation.

        I wonder if Brackman will pan out, develop consistent mechanics etc.

        In any case, opting to wait on Felix is the move to make. I’m glad so many people on here are on the same page with that.

        • Chip

          Well in 2012, our team will probably be

          1B – Tex – 22.5M
          2B – Cano – 14M
          SS – Jeter? – 15M?
          3B – A-Rod – 29M
          LF – ??? – 10M?
          CF – A-Jax? – 1M
          RF – Swisher 10M
          C – MONTERO!! – 1M

          CC – 23M
          AJ-16.5M
          Hughes – 7M?
          Joba – 7M?

          Rivera – 13M (yeah I think they keep him around forever)

          Those payrolls amazingly only come to 169 million. Figure another 10 million for the pen and bench and you’re at 179 million. Of course I have no idea who is in left, if they actually pick up Swisher’s option or if Jeter is still around. I just took my best guesstimate

          Anyhow, it looks like they could probably squeeze Felix in but they’d probably back load his contract a bit so figure he costs them 20M that season bringing the payroll in just under 200M. That team would be dynamite! (And yes I’m sure A-Rod/Jeter will suck by then and Mo will merely hobble around but TEH RINGS!!

    • Nate

      Obscene? How about ludicrous? As in plaid-ludicrous.

      King – Age 26 – 20+ wins
      CC – Age 32 – 15-20 wins
      AJ – Age 35 – 10-15 wins
      Joba – Age 26 – 15-20 wins
      Hughes – Age 26 – 15-20 wins

      (Assuming Joba keeps up what he’s been doing and Hughes takes his confidence from the bullpen to the rotation)

      For comparison:
      1998 Braves:
      Glavine – Age 32 – 20 wins
      Millwood – Age 23 – 17 wins
      Maddux – Age 32 – 18 wins
      Neagle – Age 29 – 16 wins
      Smoltz – Age 31 – 17 wins

      • Chip

        All of those guys throw in the mid 90′s and you’re expecting all of them to be healthy? Good luck

  • PK

    Felix is one of the best pitchers in the game. However, over the past 2 years his ERA is 3.16 and Joba’s is 3.27 (as a starter). Pretty close.

    They are the same age but Fleix has more experience. As Joba has shown in the past 3 games he can dominate in spurts. I think soon those spurts will turn into dominate seasons. Not to mention that Hughes has shown he can pitch now that he’s in the pen. Can that translate as a starter next year…I think so.

    As for Montero, even if he doesn’t catch I think they can turn him into a corner OF, or at the very least a DH. The kid can hit and will be a top offensive contributor for years to come when he gets here.

    Jackson…I’d be willing to depart with. I think he’ll be a good ML, but not gresat.

    • K.B.D.

      I don’t know where your enthusiasm for Montero switching to a corner OF position comes from. There’s nothing in reports that I’ve read that paint him as an athletic person, so I’m somewhat skeptical of him being able to play out there.

      I understand scouting reports aren’t the be all end all, but I haven’t seen him in person extensively, so they are what I go by. Now, if you’ve seen him and think he can play the OF, that’s one thing. If you haven’t, I’d love to see from what sources you determined he could be a corner OFer.

      • PK

        I mentioned RF/LF because that is the only other option for Montero if he doesn’t pan out as a catcher. 1B is taken for years to come. As you can see in my post I am not ‘enthusiastic’ about him in RF/LF, that is why I mentioned him at DH.

  • A.D.

    The Yankees strength is money, they need to worry less about paying in players for guys already signed to below market rate contracts and/or under team control. Therefore they should be in no business of selling of there farm for a guy they just have to outbid everyone for in 2 years to hold onto.

    A slightly smaller market team, such as the Cardinals, Brewers, or Blue Jays, would be more interested in do this deal, as they can’t necessarily bid the moon for his services, and thus would have to pay in players for discounted Felix, and hope to build goodwill where he wants to stay in that city.

  • http://www.geeks2you.net Marc

    Think about the marketing potential impact the trade could have though. Hughes/Chamberlain/Montero/Ajax are 4 different jerseys they can sell. King is just one jersey they can sell. On those terms, 4 > 1

    Keep the Fantastic Four!

  • K.B.D.

    Trade whoever is necessary. Felix would immediately shore up our bullpen in his move to the 8th inning role. That’d free Hughes up to start again.

    • TheLastClown

      And weaken the strongest postseason bullpen in history? How could you look Mariano in the eye & tell him that Joba, Hughes, AND Felix are not all ready to take the 6th, 7th, & 8th!

      • http://Youcan'tincreaseyourrange TLVP

        CC should pitch 1st and second,AJ 3rd and 4th Felix 5th and 6th Joba 7th Hughes 8th and Mo 9th…

        This would be your plan every second day on the other days throw out Mitre and Igawa for complete games… and rest A-Rod…

    • http://www.geeks2you.net Marc

      Bridge to MoWhere! IETC

  • wilcymoore

    Hmmm … Joba, Hughes, Jesus Montero, and Austin Jackson for Felix Hernandez? It’s always fun to hypothesize about trades like this. It’s just really stupid to actually make them …

    First of all, I believe that prospects who make their way to the top through the organization that drafted them are preferable to prospects/players obtained from afar. That’s especially true because of the pressures that come with being a “big acquisition” with the Yankees. We’ve seen that over the years with a number of Yankee acquisitions, especially FA’s. They rarely prove out quite as well as expected.

    Secondly, great as King Felix is (and young, to boot), he’s still a PITCHER. And, pitcher’s arms and makeup being what they are, you never know what you’re getting over the long haul. It wouldn’t be smart to give up two other pitchers who’ve already proven themselves at the major league level (Hughes & Chamberlain), plus a virtually-sure-thing hitter in Montero, and a high-quality prospect like AJax. So, no, a deal like this for Felix Hernandez does NOT make sense.

    “King Felix” is simply too good, too young, and too well-regarded – as his moniker suggests. Consequently, his asking price is way too high (much like that for Roy Halladay). It’s a muc better strategy when trading to look for less-established players with good upside potential. Sure they won’t pan out as often as getting an established star. But you pay a LOT less – and it’s up to your own organization to pick ‘em carefully with that in mind. It’s sort of like what the Pirates did last year with the Yankees. The Yanks got Nady and Marte; the Pirates got Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf, minor league P Dan McCutcheon, and highly-regarded minor league OF Jose Tabata.

    Most Yankee fans probably thought that was a good trade for the Yanks. But …

    1. Nady and Marte did NOT take the Yanks to the post-season. In fact, they never got there at all.
    2. Nady and Marte both got injured (yeah, and Nady’s not even a pitcher), and we’ll probably get next to nothing out of them (not even a draft pick for Nady).
    3. Ohlendorf and Karstens are both 26 and have been better than serviceable for the Pirates. (Hey, who would you rather have in your rotation right now, Ohlendorf or Sergio Mitre?)
    4. Tabata is slowly developing like he might actually be the prospect the Yanks thought he was.

    Bottom line, the Yanks traded four “prospects” for two “established pros.” Check back in 2 or 3 years … my prediction is the Yankees will come out the big losers on that one.

    • TheLastClown

      Ross Ohlendorf of the 4.43 ERA? Who’s given up more hits than innings pitched the NL Central? The Ross Ohlendorf of the career 1.487 WHIP? That’s not “better than serviceable.”

      Karstens is trash. Period.

      Come on, the trade was excellent when it was made. It’s not constructive to thumb your nose at a deal in retrospect because injuries happened to plague both players we acquired, just to say that we should hold on to prospects. I think we should make trades when they are substantial upgrades, and I think this one was. Obviously Felix wouldn’t be, but I don’t think this is a good corollary.

      Marte, hopefully, will contribute something this year, and is under contract until 2011. Nady may be a cost-efficient alternative to big name OF FA signings like Holliday & Bay.

      So, with so many question marks, and Tabata being the only player of those four that I’d still like in the Yanks’ system, with no guarantees on how he will perform in MLB competition, I don’t think the Yanks will come out losers in that one, or at least the jury’s still way out.

      • Chip

        It would have been much more wise to decline to take Marte’s option and instead offer him arbitration. Then, we could have netted two additional draft picks and maybe taken a flier on Scheppers

      • Zack

        Exactly, it was a great trade at the time. Everyone would be bitching if not sending Olendorf held up the entire trade.
        Like you said, Marte’s time in NY isnt done yet. Although I dont agree with Nady, I keep seeing that a 2nd TJS only has a 20% success rate.

      • wilcymoore

        Ohlendorf’s season ERA is only partly relevant here. He has been improving as the season progresses, and he has potential to be much better. Ohlendorf was obviously the best of the three pitchers the Yanks gave up. As for Tabata, there were reasons last year to doubt he would ever fulfill his potential … and you are right, we still don’t know if he ever will.

        But that’s not my point. The downside risk when you trade young players – especially a high-grade prospect like Tabata – is high. If Tabata pans out, the Yankees will really regret it.

        In return they received two players who, in my opinion, would rank only slightly above journeyman status, even if they didn’t get hurt.

        • jsbrendog

          damaso marte is a great relief pitcher. for god sakes.

    • Chip

      Hey, who would you rather have in your rotation right now, Ohlendorf or Sergio Mitre?

      Mitre, and I don’t even have to look the numbers up

      • wilcymoore

        And here are those numbers, so you don’t have to look ‘em up:

        Ohlendorf 2009 -
        124 IP – 127 H – 36 BB – 68 K – 16 HR – 1.31 WHIP – .276 BAA – 4.43 ERA

        Mitre 2009 -
        13.2 IP – 24 H – 3 BB – 6 K – 1 HRR – 1.98 WHIP – .400 BAA – 7.90 ERA

        Granted, it’s a small sample size for Mitre (only 3 games this year). But his stats over parts of 6 seasons, mostly in the NL, don’t hold much hope. Ohlendorf’s not too much better, much he’s younger in both years and ML experience. Glad you have faith in Sergio; I don’t.

        Ohlendorf CAREER – 1.49 WHIP – .291 BAA – 5.04 ERA

        Mitre CAREER – 1.56 WHIP – .303 BAA – 5.47 ERA

  • cuponoodles

    Doesn’t anyone think ‘King Felix’ is just a really great nickname? It’s so simple, yet I find myself loving it…

    The original post was right, however. Felix is worth half a team of prospects, although I would also not make that deal, as I enjoy watching our very own Yankee prospects come through the system and turn into productive major leaguers.

  • Bob Michaels

    A Totally absurd trade proposal.Quality and quantity for a potential Tommy John Candidate.

  • Yards

    The issue with the Yankees is that their farm system basically stinks. They got 2 legit players in the system right now. Montero and Jackson. All their pitchers are hurt. The list is too long to go through. They don’t even got a good major league prospect in the AAA rotation right now. Great calls taking Brackman and his injuries and Cole in rounds 1 the past 2 years.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Oaktag?

      • jsbrendog

        indeed.

    • wilcymoore

      I agree.

      Hindsight is always 20-20. But Brackman was a big risk in ’07. I suppose the Yanks felt his potential was much better than anyone else available at that slot (30th overall pick). But he had a short track record to that point and, jeez, he was picked knowing he’d need arm surgery and miss his first year!

      As for Cole in ’08, the Yankees must have known he’d be hard to sign. It hurts all the more that, with the very next pick, the Red Sox selected Casey Kelly, who’s now probably their top minor league P prospect.

      • DreDog

        Peter Gammons agrees. I don’t. Dominating Low-A is impressive at 18, but he’s got a long way before he is the top minor league P prospect.

    • Yages

      Looks like someone’s got a case of the Mondays!

  • yanquis

    bar none one of the most idiotic trade posts i have ever read on an established blog. nix joba & montero & you’ve got something. otherwise that trade offer is just stupid.

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

      Reading comprehension would do you wonders.

    • Glen L

      Really one of the more nuanced and sophisticated analyses I’ve read … kudos

  • http://deleted RollingWave

    Mike, Victor Wang’s reasearch basically factored in bust rate already. so the # on Montero / Jackson / Vizcaino etc are all already bust rate factored. Joba and Hughes aren’t, but then again, neither is Felix’s

    I doubt Seattle will trade him now. they have a fairly reasonable chance to contend next year if they just open their wallet a little more (something they are actually capable of. just havn’t been very willing lately) so the value probably isn’t quiet that high.

    In the end , my personal feeling is that I hate to do trade with the assumption of the “ZOMG extention!” logic factored in, because it just doesn’t work like that. when you extend a guy you will pay him at what he’s worth. which you know. makes him just another FA.

    Hell, let’s look back to Johan Santana, do you realize that if he finish at his current rate this year… he WON’T be worth his salary ? in year 2 of a 6-7 year deal?? or that Hughes + Cabrera is already pretty close to the WAR of Johan this year ? it’s a good thing that the Mets gave up garbage for him (then again, Guerra is ripping up AA ) or this might turn out epically bad.

  • Phil McCracken

    I suggested that Cashman look into Felix before the deadline and everyone laughed at me.

    At least Cashman made the call. I give him credit for trying.

  • RustyJohn

    As good as Felix is, what is crazy is the Mariners could have had Felix and Lincecum in the rotation right now but for Bill Bavasi being the worst GM in baseball and selecting Morrow in the draft.

    Felix is in another realm this year- he is an Ace- just totally took his game up to another notch, going deep in games and being a friggin stud of a stopper. About the only way the M’s are going to keep him is by having Carlos Silva and Johjima get hit by a bus so they can save about 20 million in 2010 and 2011.