Link Dump: Cliff Lee, Mark DeRosa, Curtis Granderson


Nothing better than some linkage before the Christmas Eve drinkage.

Yanks made a push for Cliff Lee

Joel Sherman, who broke the Javy Vazquez story while on vacation, scribbles a few notes on the deal. In the first he says that the Yankees were in on Roy Halladay, and “made a hard, late push for Cliff Lee.” Vazquez isn’t a bad alternative, especially at that price, but Cliff Lee in the Bronx would be amazing. He’s a free agent after this season, and with the contracts of both Andy Pettitte and Vazquez expiring, the Yankees could have some cash and a free rotation spot. I expect Lee to be their No. 1 target, other than their in-house guys (Rivera and Jeter).

Uribe returning to San Francisco?

Why would Yankees fans care about an infielder returning to a team 3,000 miles away? Because the Giants had interested in Mark DeRosa as their third baseman, and reportedly had a two-year, $12 million offer on the table. Because of DeRosa’s versatility, and the Giants’ lack of an outfield, that offer might stand. But having Uribe penciled in at third has to make the Giants less attractive for DeRosa. Plus, if he wants to play for a winner, like he says, San Fran might not be the best choice.

Breaking News: Curtis Granderson is a good dude

No, there’s nothing breaking about that. Curtis Granderson is known around baseball as one of the good guys, and he fulfilled that reputation when he went straight from his introductory press conference to the Yankee Stadium food drive. Bryan Hoch also talked to Granderson about his holiday traditions and memories. His favorite present was a Walter Payton football, pads, and jersey. I remember getting a Joe Montana jersey and football back in the day. My little brother got a Rodney Hampton jersey that Christmas. I pretended Joe Montana was a linebacker.

Categories : Links


  1. I think a lot of the moves Cashman has made this winter have been with an eye toward the free agent class of 2010/2011. He’s not too keen to ink a left fielder because Carl Crawford will be on the market. He’s avoided signing a pitcher to a long-term deal because Cliff Lee will be out there. Keeping the long-term and the medium-term in perspective is definitely part of this GM’s job.

    • Jake says:

      If Cashman is also being cognizant of the fact that CC has that opt out clause it would make sense for the Yanks to add another ace to be prepared if CC chooses to get out early. It would make sense to go after Lee in that case.

      • Reggie C. says:

        Opting out a couple seasons from now and expecting a bump from $23MM would be the balls-iest move ever done. CC would have to go injury free the next couple seasons and maintain his ’09 pitching stats (aside from W/L of course).

        Adding a second ace makes sense as i know no one here is exactly enthralled by the prospect of having AJ lead this staff.

        • Zack says:

          The 23m isnt the number he would be looking at, if he opts out he is walking away from 4yr/92m he’s a FA at 31, could he land more than 92m if hes healthy?

          • Reggie C. says:

            Possibly. But if the Yankees aren’t involved, assuming we’ve landed Cliff Lee and developed Joba into a reliable #3, i think it gets near impossible. CC might still land another $100 MM contract, but it’d be for 5/6 years. Maybe CC is willing to take a hit in AAS to sign the contract that’d take him through to the end of his career.

            • Zack says:

              Yeah obviously the decision cant be made now, but he doesnt show any sign of decline I think he’ll opt out. Even if its just 100m instead of 92m, maybe he’ll get it from a WC team and if he gets more rings he’ll take it and pitch closer to home, who knows though.

          • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

            At 31, if healthy, I think he could probably get more, but not likely by much. Also, consider the other guys available out there at the same time. He’d be looking at a competitive market and not a lot of teams willing to dole out $100 million. Hard to say at this point.

            • Zack says:

              Yeah no telling how the market will change by then. What position other teams are financially, or what team loses out and other top guys and NEED that top of the rotation pitcher.

              • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

                Definitely. 2012 is building up to be one of the most interesting off seasons in quite some time. Any analysis right now is just careless speculation (though it’s fun!).

            • ecksodia says:

              Opting out of the richest contract in baseball has been done before (in this case, for a pitcher); maybe we can still resign him (a la A-Rod) if he opts out, haha.

              Let’s just hope he comes to love New York, and want to spend the rest of his life there.

      • Sleepy Carl says:

        Isn’t Felix free then? Seems if CC opts out his money can be moved right to Felix’s pocket.

    • I have a feeling that Cash/the Yankees won’t just hand Crawford a deal. They’ll be players, but if the years aren’t right, I think they’ll pass on Crawford.

      • Reggie C. says:

        Crawford doesn’t have to improve his hitting next season. Another season of .360 OBP practically guarantees that the Yanks would be major players for Crawford, as he’d then be marketable as the ideal #2 guy. The prospect of adding Crawford, even at 5/75, allows me to live with a LF platoon for 2010.

        • Bill Style says:

          “The prospect of adding Crawford, even at 5/75, allows me to live with a LF platoon for 2010.”

          Agreed, even if it means gardner/hoffmann. It’s one yr, and the 9 spot in the order. Yankees don’t need an All-Star at every position

        • But can we count on those skills to continue? Though it’s been improving every year since ’07, his career high BB% is only 7.8 and his IsoP has been below average the last three years.

      • Rob says:

        Just say no to Crawford. He’s a 3 win guy. Go out for the same money and get Werth at 5 wins – he’s got the defense and OBP but power too. Slide Swisher into LF and that’s a damn fine OF.

        • ecksodia says:

          Won’t he be 34 then?

          • Mike bk says:

            werth was born in 79, so next year he will be 31.

            crawford is 21 months younger, but relies on speed to get his job done and speed erodes quicker.

            • Doug says:

              so, he’ll be 32 during the 1st year of his new contract.

              not sure i give a 32-year old more than a 3 year deal to cover ages 32, 33, 34.

              also, his K-rate is alarmingly high (23.1%), though his BB-rate is very good too (13.5%)

              • ecksodia says:

                My bad, my bad. I knew it was 32 or 34, but thought that 32 was wishful thinking.

                On that note, probably the most I’d give Werth is a 4 year deal; and that’s pushing it. Maybe an option for the fourth year, but I think some team will pay him for past performance, rather than future value, and guarantee him 4 years.

                He can hit it a LONG way though (that HR versus Andy… yeah.), so I don’t think Yankee Stadium will kill his power.

    • ecksodia says:

      Just thinking about what the rotation, not to mention the lineup would look like gives me the shivers.

    • Jeremy says:

      I don’t see why the Yankees would pass on giving a big contract to Holliday so they can wait a year to give a slightly smaller contract to Crawford.

  2. I have also thought about Cliff Lee in pinstripes after 2010. He would be a great arm to replace Andy, I just hope his contract demands are reasonable.

    (I have a feeling they won’t be.)

  3. Doug says:


    Might make sense to add the top two in here as they are (or at least have been) linked to the yanks

  4. Zack says:

    “Heard this: Mark DeRosa is leaning toward taking the two-year offer from the Giants. Not a done deal, though.”

  5. JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

    Another link to add, via Sherman:

    “An NL executive and an agent told me the Yankees were talking regularly to the representatives for Reed Johnson. I can see the Yankee reasoning. As currently constituted, the Yanks have lefty-swingers Brett Gardner in left field and Curtis Granderson in center. Johnson can play all three outfield positions, and has long been a strong hitter against lefties. In 2009 against lefties, Johnson hit .324 with a .403 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage; and for his career the numbers are .313/.378/.463.”

    How do you guys feel about Johnson?

    • Salty Buggah says:

      For a cheap price, I’m down with it

      • Salty Buggah says:

        And he has a 23.3 UZR/150 in 2666.2 innings in LF

        • ecksodia says:

          Pretty good numbers if you ask me. For the right price, why not?

          • Mac1 says:

            The why not would be b\c the Yanks have the $ to get an solid everyday left fielder for probably 7 mil a year (or even go with a Marlon Byrd type for less).

            RJ has been a platoon player for the last two years – the only thing about going with him that would make sense is if Cashman tried virtually every other option – i.e. De Rosa wants too long a deal, DeJesus isn’t available at a reasonable trade cost, Byrd signs for too much, etc.

            Lot of decent guys out there, Cash needs to remember he won by buying quality, not by trying to out Theo, Theo.


            • ecksodia says:

              Of course, it presumes that we have little to no other options, as you just explained. Plus, this could be more of a depth signing, to ensure that we get league average production (or at least close to it) if Gardner fails to hold up offensively.

        • Doug says:

          though it’s an extremely SSS, last year his UZR in LF was -38.3

          he can also play CF and RF, but not as well (-14.8 and -7.9 respectively)

    • Mac1 says:

      Scraping the bottom of the barrel to save a few million bucks – if Cash wants to go into the season patching together LF, I’m not going to get too worked up about it, but he’s playing with fire a bit.

      If NJ breaks down early and LF becomes a cluster fuck, Cash may rue that he tried to do what Theo did last year with Baldelli/Smoltz and Penny.

      • Zack says:

        Even if those 2 things happen they will still have a top 5 offense, and Cashman also improved the rotation.

        • Mac1 says:

          Very true, but the other mild concern is what Grandy will be – will he bounce back a little and give .800 or + ops or is his 3 year decline and his defensive yips at the end of last year something that we will see continue?

          Me, I think Granderson will be great or at least very good.

          Only caveat is Cashman being a bit too cute – the Yanks won b\c he got the three best fa’s available – Johnson over Damon could be a big mistake thanks to the fragility of NJ.

          Now patching together LF…I guess what I’m trying to say is I understand the Yanks want to stick within a certain budget and don’t want to overpay for certain guys and potentially clog the roster with the 2010 fa class coming up, but the risk is by trying to save 10-15 mil this year do you end up fielding a team that allows an improved SOx or Mariners team to slip by you.

          If Cash goes with a Reed Johnson, my opinion is he’s being penny wise and pound foolish – the Yanks won b\c he got the three best guys available in the FA class and a nice deal with Swisher – they don’t have to spend huge $ on Bay or Holliday, they should get an everyday LFer and use Gardy and possibly Hoffman as depth.

          Again, NJ gets hurt, you’ve got two weak spots already – where as last year, Melk at worst, was league avg in the only weak spot in the lineup.

          • Zack says:

            “the Yanks won b\c he got the three best fa’s available”

            They won because they got the 2 best SP avalable because thats what they needed. Do we all want a better LF? Yes; but giving 2yrs to DeRosa, or $s to Byrd who isnt good outside arlington, or signing Holliday long term isnt a necessity.
            Yes Tex was important too because if he signed with Boston things would have been different, but Bay or Holliday or whoever signing with Boston doesnt have that affect this year.

            “Johnson over Damon could be a big mistake thanks to the fragility of NJ.”
            I prefer Johnson 1 year deal than Damon with his 3/39m or 2/26 or whatever nonsense.

            I’m not really concerned about it, remember they had the #1 offense last year while Alex missed 6 weeks, Tex didnt hit for the first month or so, and Posada missed about a month, not to mention losing Nady for the season. And when you factor in that the rotation is better this season I’m not really worried.

    • Mike bk says:

      great splits vs lefties.



      with Grandy’s struggles vs lefties this would be a great platoon option for lf.

      • Jobamania says:

        problem is we didn’t trade for granderson to become a platoon player

        • Then you could use Johnson to caddy Gardner.

          • Mac1 says:

            You could, but it should be b\c no other viable everyday left fielder was available for less than 10 mil.

            No need to try to save a couple of mil just to save the money, a budget for a team like the Yanks isn’t a life or death situation – its a goal, one that should be flexible.

            • You could, but it should be b\c no other viable everyday left fielder was available for less than 10 mil.

              And unless Damon takes a pay cut, that’s not gonna happen. Nady’s a big health risk and Byrd, as we discussed, does not hit well outside of Arlington and doesn’t offer a big enough upside to be a true LF option.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      I dunno, he’s 33. On a short deal for a cheap price, it couldn’t hurt.

      • Doug says:

        he made $3M last year. would probably take about the same (give or take) to ink him

        • Mike bk says:

          think of it as hinskie replacement.

        • Mac1 says:

          He’s been a part time player the last two years – he made a little over a mil in 08.

          Byrd isn’t going to get much more than 3 mil – although it might be 2 years at 6/7.

          If Cash goes the Johnson route, he’ll get him at alot less than 3 mil and that’s why he’ll get him, b\c he probably views him as a similar offensive player albiet not as good defensively.

          Coco Crisp got 5.25 mil from Billy Beane though, so I guess anything is possible – that, to me is ridiculous but Micheal Lewis hasn’t wrote a book about me (yet).

  6. Jobamania says:

    thats funny because our package for vazquez was better than seattles package for lee according to fangraphs

  7. [...] it seems that this was the least they could give up for a player of Vazquez’s ability. They pushed for Cliff Lee, but found the price too high. So they acquired a comparable pitcher for what we can presume a [...]

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