Fan Confidence Poll: December 21st, 2009

Winter ball update
A (somewhat) informed look at Posada vs. Molina

2009 Season Record: 103-59 (915 RS, 753 RA), won AL East by 8 games, finished with the best record in MLB by 6 games, won 27th World Series

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Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.

Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
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Winter ball update
A (somewhat) informed look at Posada vs. Molina
  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    9 as usual. A depth starter would be nice and I’d like to see the Yanks take a long look at Kelvim Escobar.

  • Evil Empire

    Voted 10, and by 10, I mean 11. Or 28. Either works.

    I really hope we sign Sheets, he could make this team scary.

    Escobar would be cool too, like Matt says. Or Wang, as it happens.

  • Bo

    I wonder how all the people who feel that hughes n joba belong in the rotation feel about adding a depth starter like sheets. because if they sign one of those guys it means one of the two kids is going to the pen fulltime.

    • Stormrider6

      I wouldn’t mind it, as long as the pitcher replacing Hughes/Joba is actually better (Sheets) and not worse (Garland, Pinero, Marquis, etc.).

      Also, signing another starter does not make Hughes/Joba a reliever permanently. They would still, I hope, be #6 on the depth chart, just waiting for an opportunity.

    • the artist formerly known as (sic)

      because if they sign one of those guys it means one of the two kids is going to the pen fulltime.

      ya its a complicated situation for me. for one, i like jobber and hughes n da othr hand i dont think that kids should be playing professional sports its child labor and its abusive

    • Evil Empire

      Not necessarily. Both Hughes and Joba have options, and Hughes has an inning limit this year anyway. What would make the most sense is signing sheets, have Joba be your #5 since he’s good for a full workload, and have Hughes in the pen or in triple A as a starter.

      Hughes will either need to be convert from reliever to starter at the end of the season or vice versa, but the inning limit means that might work out for him anyway. Sheets would still work nicely, and Phil Hughes as your #6 provides a ton of depth.

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

        There’s that, too.

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

      I wouldn’t like bumping one of them from the rotation, but the only way I think it’s acceptable is for Ben Sheets.

      • Evil Empire

        Agreed, Ben Sheets is the only one worth it.

        J-Douche I wouldn’t mind throwing in as a 3rd competitor for those 2 spots, and if he EARNS it, that’d be cool.

        And Wang could make a lot of sense since Hughes can get in some innings as a starter then convert to a reliever if he’s healthy. I rather like that option, more than J-Douche but less than Ben Sheets.

        • MattG

          But how is he going to earn it? Off of 20 meaningless spring training innings?

          If you sign him, that creates one issue. If you sign him without knowing exactly how you intend to use him, that’s two issues.

          IMO, Duchsherer would come to NY as a swingman. He’ll end up with 20+ starts in that role.

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

            I don’t know about 20+ starts. But, I would love him as the swingman.

    • whozat

      Fine, mostly. Because Sheets, if healthy, has enormous upside AND will be on a one-year deal; Hughes still has an innings limit; and the combo of injury risk to Sheets-Burnett-Joba-Andy virtually guarantees that the #6 starter will receive significant starting time.

      • OldYanksFan

        I believe Phil is good for 160-170 IP. This is a ‘limit’ but not a difficult one to overcome as a #5.

      • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Co-sign on all of this.

    • OldYanksFan

      The 3 most important things to the Yankees future is Phil, Joba and Montero/Romine.

      If Phil/Joba can be the best #4/#5 tandum in baseball, or more hopefully, the best #3/#4, this is worth $20m/yr for many years. To be able to replace Posada with an inhouse option frees up a badly needed $13m and gives us a cheap Catcher for years to come.

      I assume the Yankees re-sign Jeter for 2 or more years, and if Mo has a decent year in 2010, he will get 1-2 years more. So the only real money coming off the books in 2011 is NJ (as DH) who can be replaced inhouse by Posada/the elderly/Miranda and Montero.

      2012 Payroll
      Alex: $30m
      CC: $24m
      Jetes: $18m (?)
      Teix: $23m
      A.J.: $16.5m
      Cano: $14m
      Swish: $10m
      Grandy: $10m
      ——————————
      8 players: $146m +/- ! $54m left for the other 17 players

      And out of that $54m we will need a #3 and possibly another average or better LFer (maybe $20m+ for just 2 players?)

      I don’t know how they can have a Dominant lineuop going forward without developing some quality inhouse options.

      So…………
      I want both Joba and Phil in the SR NO MATTER WHAT!
      Developing them and knowing what we have is more important then the possible 1 year gain of Sheets vs Joba-or-Phil.

      Get some depth with a guy who can eat IP with a 5-ish ERA as a #6. Maybe in the BP as a Long Man until needed by the SR.

      OR leave things as they are and cross your fingers that Gaudin/Mitre can do the job.

      • pete

        agreed. TBH i don’t think we can even afford sheets. He’s likely to pull down close to $10 mil, and we have about $3 mil left in the budget (if it is indeed $200)

        • theyankeewarrior

          The Yanks have 10+ million in their budget, trust me.

      • Tom Zig

        I would say that Jeter will probably make closer to 25 than 18. But otherwise I completely agree.

    • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      You don’t have to wonder, you’re around here often and I’m sure you’ve seen this conversation more than once already. LIke the others responders, my response is that I’m ok with bumping one of them to the ‘pen if it’s for a top-end starter on a 1 or 2 year deal… Which is Ben Sheets. The one point I think other people are missing is that it’s not just that I want Sheets because he’s better than Hughes/Joba, the short-term contract is really the clincher. Lackey is likely to out-perform at least one of Hughes/Joba in 2010 and perhaps 2011, but I didn’t want the Yankees to give him a 5 year contract. If the Yankees can get a guy who is a potential ace-type of starter, or a 2 on this staff behind CC, for a 1 or 2 year commitment, I let Hughes/Joba battle it out for the 5th starter spot and then deal with putting the loser of that battle in the ‘pen or AAA.

  • YankFan

    How can it not be a 10. WS Champs, Jesus coming, Mo still here. I have no problems w/ Melky in LF. Bullpen has options to throw out there. It wouldn’t hurt for some depth in Sheets, Duke, Wang. 6 starting pitchers for whenever 1 has to skip a turn or two w/ tendinitis or whatever.

    • whozat

      Significant chunk of the offense is in/entering the decline phase, the only good offensive prospect may not be able to stick at his position and his fallback position is filled for 7 more years, all high-upside talent beyond Montero is in A-Ball or lower, there’s potential to play a good chunk of games with a useless 7-8-9 against lefties (Granderson, Melky, Cervelli), and very little offensive depth in case of injury.

      I’m not saying I’m not grasping at straws here a bit, but there are reasons not to vote 10.

      • YankFan

        Maybe in a vacuum but take a look at the rest of MLB & show me a team w/ a 7-9 that scares you. Then take a look at the NYY 1-6 vs. the others. I believe if the NYY score 100 runs less this year than last, that would still place them 7th in MLB. You can win w/ that w/ our starting staff & improved D.

        • whozat

          I didn’t say they couldn’t.

          I’m just saying that a “10” is a team that looks great now and is set up for a long time. The Yanks aren’t. They look great now if no one really gets hurt next year. They’re going to re-sign a 37 year old at big money to play SS next year, and a bunch of their core is old. And they don’t have much depth, as things stand right now.

          Definitely a 9, but a 10? Just because I don’t see any other team I think is in a better position doesn’t mean that I think the Yanks are a 10.

          • Bob Stone

            Second that.

    • MattG

      For 2012, even 2011–too much money invested in players fighting decline, coupled with a budget, could lead to weak rosters.

      Simple solution: expand the budget!

      • pete

        how? the only way to expand a budget is to cut back on other parts of the budget – IFA, Draft, minors, coaching staff, etc. There is no need to expand a $200 million budget.

        • Slu

          Or bring in more revenue. Or take less profit. Or operate at a loss.

          There are lots of ways to expand the budget.

          • MattG

            Or take less profit.

            That’s all it amounts, to, I think.

  • http://Hank Hank

    I here Cash has looked into Zambrano. What would it take to land him?

    Would Melky or Gardner and Montero get it done?

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

      Montero? Really? You’d be willing to give up Montero for Carlos Zambrano? Really? Seriously?

      • http://Hank Hank

        Ok maybe not Montero. Zambrano’s numbers look good from the stat sheet. He does make a lot of $$ maybe they would take some of his salary.

        • BklynJT

          Hells to the no. Just wait until next year if your going to end up paying 18mil a year.

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

          No. No trading for Zambrano unless the price is incredibly low.

          • Reggie C.

            by “price” do you mean in terms of Yankees prospects or the Cubs taking on $20-30 mm of guaranteed money or both?

            Zambrano’s contract would be a massive commitment over the next four seasons. He’s good and sometimes dominant, but he’s not what he used to be, and everybody knows it. Zambrano is better than D. Lowe (another ‘bad’ contract, at least for the Braves), but he’s going nowhere unless the Cubs eat some of it.

    • whozat

      That’d be awful.

      Zambrano walks a lot of guys and is prone to letting the game get away from him.

      You don’t trade your only impact prospect above A ball for a guy who walks a lot of batters and has no composure on the mound.

      • V

        Zambrano walks a lot of guys and is prone to letting the game get away from him.

        Like Burnett?

        • whozat

          Burnett (a move I’m still concerned about long-term) but worse. Z has comparable walk and K rates to Burnett’s AL years, but he’s been pitching in the NL central.

          And the guy flips out and punches things and people. This doesn’t seem like a guy whose lengthy-big-money deal the Yanks should trade to acquire.

          • Tom Zig

            And the guy flips out and punches things and people. This doesn’t seem like a guy whose lengthy-big-money deal the Yanks should trade to acquire

            Exactly why the Yanks should stay far away.

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          And what prospect(s) did we give up for Burnett?

    • Reggie C.

      That has to be a joke. Montero in any package for Zambrano is ridiculous. Zambrano’s really overpaid. I’d want the Cubbies to eat $30 million before even considering a trade in which we gave up nothing more than Melky and Romulo Sanchez.

      • http://Hank Hank

        Yeah your package sounds better…Would you agree that z is a better option than Piniero, Duscherer, Garland, and Ecobar etc? Sheets i think is on the same level but Zambrano does eat innings.

        I do agree though it would only make sense if the Cubs were to eat a lot of his salary.

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

          Take Escobar out of the equation, because he’s no longer starting. As for those other guys, Zambrano’s a better pitcher than they are, but they might be better options because they cost nothing but money. There’s no sense in giving up players when it’s not necessary.

          • http://Hank Hank

            What do you think it would take to get Lilly?

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

              Why bother? I’d rather just sign Ben Sheets.

            • Andy in Sunny Daytona

              What do you think it would take to get Lilly?

              According to some jackass comment on MLBTraderumors, Gardner or Melky and Montero.

              • Tom Zig

                Brian Cashman is not Kenny Williams

    • theyankeewarrior

      Please stop saying things like that.

  • arosen15

    I think Melky/Gardner might get you Big Z.
    Not sure that we want him and his baggage.
    They would love to get out of the contract.

    Our World Series hitting pitchers would be formidable.

  • Reggie C.

    9.
    I’m hoping for one more good run at a high risk, high upside pitcher. Ben Sheets is high risk especially given the fact that he’d knock down Hughes to the ‘pen. If Sheets got hurt and was slated to miss significant time, the calls for Hughes to start would explode again. I still roll the dice and give Sheets the best offer possible. A rotation with sheets as the 4 guy for a year would be money.

    • whozat

      “calls for Hughes to start would explode again”

      Why would that be bad? That’s not a “risk”, it’s actually something that makes it LESS risky to get Sheets. We’d have a very good backup plan.

      • Reggie C.

        Reclaiming the endurance to start is a risky endeavor and its one that Hughes didn’t do last season.

        • whozat

          So? It’s been done before and it’ll be done again.

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    I’m down to a 5. With Chris Smith out of the system, I see no hope for the future…

    • BklynJT

      Compton Chris is no longer in the system? Holy smokes batman, what happened?

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        His insistance on having cupcakes for every meal may have had something to do with his release.

  • Jake H

    9. No reason to be concerned.

  • Grover

    I think people are writing off a return of Johnny Damon prematurely. If he becomes last year’s Bobby Abreu and can be had on a one year deal I think he slides back in to the two hole and plays left. What other teams will potentially go two years with him?

    • whozat

      Giants, Mets, Cards. Besides, now that he can’t DH, I don’t know that I actually WANT him. He was really bad in the field last year and gave back a lot of his value that way. The only way I’d take him back is on a contract that he’d think was offensive, and that’s not a good recipe for a guy who came to spring training out of shape a few years ago and considered quitting baseball.

      • BklynJT

        He did get better around the end of the year. I think it took him some time to learn the trajectory of balls hit to LF plus he also had some eye issues early to mid season. And when i say better, i mean he didn’t drop any pop flys. Not sure about his range.

      • Grover

        You mentioned all NL teams and he is not a very good outfielder and probably seen as a weak option at dh by most AL teams but with Johnson’s injury riddled career he could easily slide in to the dh role with Gardner/Cabrerra filling the hole in left. They could also be defensive replacements but he is perfect for the two hole in Yankee Stadium and is Mr. Clutch. Johnson bats fifth and Granderson bats eight or preferably nine in front of Jeter.

        • whozat

          Brian Sabean and Omar Minaya are not savvy to defensive metrics. They go for Big Names, guys who are “Mr. Clutch,” even though that doesn’t really mean anything. If Holliday and Bay continue to stay aloof, some team will move on to Johnny and give him 2 years.

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

      I wouldn’t want him in the two hole at this point. If Damon came back, I’d like the order to look like this:

      1. Jeter
      2. Johnson
      3. Tex
      4. Rodriguez
      5. Damon
      6. Posada
      7. Cano
      8. Swisher
      9. Granderson

      • http://thebronxbloggers.wordpress.com Bronx Blogger

        You’d have Damon protecting A-Rod in the lineup? I don’t know about that.

  • aj

    Yanks couldn’t give 3.6 million to Darren Oliver on a one-year deal?

    • whozat

      why the hell would they?

    • pete

      considering that’s about as much cash as they have remaining on the budget, and they have a solid bullpen already, and darren oliver is old and a relief pitcher (meaning 3.6 million is simply too much to spend on him), no.

    • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      If you’d just compare Oliver to David DeJesus you’d see he’s not as good as you think he is.

  • http://Youcan'tincreaseyourrange TLVP

    I’m at 10 up from 9 – no stupid contracts for Lackey, Bay or Holliday, no trade for Halladay that destroyed the farm.

    I think the front offie has had a great off season. Pettitte had to come back and he is back, Matsui and Damon are getting old, and NJ and Granderson are great replaciments for a team that needs to get younger and cheaper ahead of next off season.

    I think the final moves are for relief unless we get Sheets. Getting Sheets would be really nice but I doubt he’ll want to have his re-hab year in AL East.

    • http://Youcan'tincreaseyourrange TLVP

      PS i’d really like them to bring back Wang if it’s not too expensive – a proper rehab could slot him into the 5th slot when Hughes reaches his innings limit which will happen.

      Of course any such talk assumes that CC, AJ, Andy , Joba and Hughes all stay healthy which is a pretty big bet for any starting rotation and only CC and Andy have a history of staying healthy for seasons in a row.

      • OldYanksFan

        Wang fits. Hope it is done.

    • Slu

      This is a pretty good point re: Sheets in the AL East.

      If I am Sheets and I am going to sign a 1 year deal in hopes of staying healthy and cashing in next off-season, I am not sure I want to do that in the AL East, especially after not pitching at all last year.

      If it were me, I’d go with Duchsherer if he would accept the a role like Gaudin played at the end of last year: starter/long man with a promise that he gets the first shot in case of injury/once Hughes hits his innings limit.

      I just think the time is now to roll with Joba and Phil and try to see what they can do.

      • MattG

        But if you are successful, you’ve removed the key impediment in a Boston-New York bidding war: doubts about succeeding in the AL East.

        • Slu

          True but is that worth the risk to find out? Maybe to Sheets, but if I were him, I’d rather take a 1 year deal anywhere in the NL, if I could get it. before I took one in the AL East for similar money. If he dominates in the NL, the Yankees/Sox money will still be there next year.

          Now obviously the Yankees could make him an offer he couldn’t refuse and maybe he gets no real offers from NL teams. I have no idea.

          I’d still rather roll with Joba and Phil and see what they got. Someone will be available at the deadline, if needed.

      • cheddar

        Agree on all points.

      • NDR

        On the other hand, if he signs with the Yankees he will be playing for the best offensive team in the AL East. If he pitches well he can gain the seemingly all important label of being able to pitch in the AL East without facing its best offense.

  • larryf

    Damon has other important things to do like hosting Monday night RAW tonight in Tampa. Johnny D flying off the top rope! Cash in on celebrity while you can Johnny D-don’t blame you….

  • MattG

    I feel like the budget constraints are an artificial management tactic designed to force the FO into making really difficult choices. In year’s past, Damon would’ve been resigned for 2/26, and the FO would received universal approval for it. With the budget firmly established, and craftily leaked to the public, the FO is now free to make small-market moves in the best interest of the team, while receiving no bad publicity.

    What’s more, without actually coming out and declaring the budget, the FO is free to ignore it if they want to, as they did with Mark Teixeira.

    It is brilliant, is what it is, and if true my confidence level would be a 10.

    But, for now, its a 9, because maybe the budget is real, and that the Yankees might have a hard time adding Joe Mauer to it next off-season. There’s a lot of money owed to just a few players in coming years, players that collectively will be very old.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Joe Mauer is a pipe dream. He will not be a free agent next year. He will sign an extension with the Twins. He will retire a Twin, just like Pujols will retire a Cardinal.
      But then again, I drink a lot of gin. I may be drunk.

      • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

        An unnamed source has told me the Cards plan to let Pujols walk in favor of Holliday and the Twins might do the same with Pavano and Mauer.

        Of course, this source had been plied with even more gin so…

    • Ed

      Agreed. Everyone loves to tie the Yankees to every free agent, and just assume they’ll pay tons of money. The only way Cashman has any leverage against that is to try to get people to believe he has a tight budget.

  • Tseng

    What about Kate Hudson? Voted 1 because of it.

    • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif Omg!Zombies!

      We lost the MVP of last year.

  • Grover

    Don’t misunderstand my man love for Damon. I cheered the Granderson and Johnson moves but we will miss the clutch hitting and Johnson will clog the bases in the two hole. I think they will try Granderson there to take advantage of his speed and slide Johnson behind Arod intially and hope Kevin Long can work miracles.

    • Slu

      Heh, “clog the bases”…

    • pete

      scenario 1:
      Granderson gets on base, gets thrown out stealing 2nd.
      Tex Walks
      A-Rod homers
      yanks lose the game by one run.

      scenario 2:
      Johnson walks, stays put at 1st
      tex walks
      A-rod homers

      I’ll take scenario 2. Translation: there is no such thing as “clogging up the bases,” especially when you’re batting in front of two power hitters who aren’t going to be stealing many bases anyway.

      • MattG

        Or the Torre way:

        Granderson gets on base
        Teixeira gets hit & run sign on 3-1, grounds out weakly
        Rodriguez walks
        Posada GIDP

        • Jordan – Undecided 2010

          IETC.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        there is no such thing as “clogging up the bases,”

        Tell that to Joe Morgan.

        • OldYanksFan

          There is no such thing as dinosaurs.

    • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Please explain, in detail, exactly how Nick Johnson will “clog the bases.”

      Is he going to get stuck between first and second and not allow a trailing baserunner to advance? Is Mark Teixeira (or whoever else is hitting behind him) going to have to hold up and not advance a base because of Nick Johnson?

      • ROBTEN

        It’s science, really.

        You see, like the internet, the bases are a series of tubes…

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Clog the bases. Right. I too hate guys who get on base more than 40 percent of the time. I wish he just made more outs.

      • V

        Agreed! You can’t “clog” the bases if you don’t get on base. Johnson is a OBP beast.

  • Jobamania

    this zambrano talk has got me giggly

    • whozat

      …because it’s such a hilariously terrible idea, unless the cubs pay about 30mil and it only costs melky?

  • http://www.livingwithballs.com Living with Balls

    I really wish they would have brought back Damon. He was as valuable as any position player not named Teixeira and A-Rod.

    • Jobamania

      no thanks

      paying him 10+ million just isn’t worth it.

    • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

      He was as valuable as any position player not named Teixeira and A-Rod, Jeter, Cano, Posada, or Swisher.

      Fixed!

      http://tinyurl.com/yhs7skd

  • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

    Confidence = 10.

    Cashman always delivers shiny refurbished new toys to play with before Christmas.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      I just hope he brings clean “Sheets”.

      DUCWIDT? BAHHAHAHAHAHAHA. I slay me.

      • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

        You’re on fire this morning, Andy.

    • http://thebronxbloggers.wordpress.com Bronx Blogger

      I understand the potential Sheets has if he’s healthy, but no one here wants to think of what will happen if he isn’t healthy.

      We’re all just saying “and then we sign sheets, low contract plus insentives, high risk high upside, bam best rotation in baseball.”

      But what if he can’t stay healthy, or doesn’t rebound from a year off. Then what? We wasted a few million dollars on a guy who is providng us with nothing…

      Can we have Sheets pitch for us before we sign him? Sort of an audition?

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        Money is the Yankees one big advantage, they should use it. Right now, Sheets would be icing on the cake. How often do you get to sign a pitcher with his ability, with no strings attached? He doesn’t cost a draft pick, all he costs is money. They will still make him take a physical before he signs. If they sign him, and he doesn’t work out, oh well.

      • Ed

        But what if he can’t stay healthy, or doesn’t rebound from a year off. Then what? We wasted a few million dollars on a guy who is providng us with nothing…

        Right, everyone’s acknowledging that. That’s the high-risk part of the high-risk, high-reward signing being talked about. The idea of an incentive based contract is supposed to counter that a little.

        If he’s not healthy, Hughes or Joba slides into the rotation (whichever one got displaced by Sheets).

        Can we have Sheets pitch for us before we sign him? Sort of an audition?

        I don’t know, that’s up to him and his agent. The less comfortable teams are with him, the more likely that is to happen. No team will sign him unless they feel comfortable that he’s likely to be healthy.

        Anyway, people are expecting something to go wrong somewhere. That’s the reason people want Sheets. It works as a limit on Hughes’s innings for the year. Bump him out of the rotation at the start, and slide him back in once something goes wrong.

      • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        I believe there are already plans for Sheets to pitch for interested teams sometime in January.

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