Open Thread: Distantly Yankees-related stuff


Lots went down in baseball today, with teams working out deals with arbitration-eligible players or otherwise exchanging figures. Mike rocked it at MLBTR today, so head over there and catch up on anything you’ve missed. For now, here are a few not-so-huge kinda, sorta Yankees related items from the day.

And with that, the open thread for the evening.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Thanks for the Sheets update, Joe. I was looking all over for that.

    At 8 mil+ I’ll say the Yanks made the right call going with Javier Vasquez at 12 mil. Much more certain, almost as much upside and the cost (Melky/Viz/Dunn) wasn’t prohibitive.

    • Reggie C. says:

      I agree. Vazquez isn’t expected to repeat his ’09 braves campaign, but we’ll need him to repeat a 200 inning effort. Vazquez has got to be pitching with a chip on his shoulder. Its his last chance at a 3 or 4 yr payday, so hopefully its motivation enough to keep his approach intact.

      • Maybe he doesn’t repeat last year, but he was almost as good in 07 with the ChiSox, which everyone seems to forget. I’ll take a repeat of 07.

        • Accent Shallow says:

          Even in his bad ’08, he had a K/BB rate of 3.26. Over the past four years, that stands at 3.96. That’s ex-freakin-ceptional.

          Unfortunately, his HR/9 over those years is 1.0, which is basically league average. Ehh, they don’t call him “Home Run Javy” for nothing.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        If he gives the Yanks 190 IP and a 4.10 ERA, he’s a massive upgrade.

  2. Every time I think Yale can’t get more pretentious, they do shit like this


    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

      The future of Glee? That was awesome.

    • JGS says:

      wow…just. wow

      /can’t believe I watched that whole thing’d

    • T-Dubs says:

      Yale rant really quick: I used to engineer in a recording studio in southern Connecticut and I had about a 7 day session with a Yale a cappella group called Magevet (link: http://www.yale.edu/magevet/). As they struggled through their Yiddish renditions of unknown songs, one of the kids came up to me to complain about the bill that was ever rising due to their poor singing skills. We had this exchange:

      Him: “Is there anything we can do to expedite this process?”

      Me: “I don’t know.”

      Him: “Expedite….it means to speed up…”

      I almost smacked the kid across the face in the middle of the control room.

      Ugh, Yale…

  3. JGS says:

    Giants resigned Bengie Molina for 1/4.5

    and the Mets sink lower still…

  4. Johnny Damon hasn’t ruled out a Yankees return, though he’d be foolish to do so. I’m not even sure what to think at this point.

    I decided a while back it wasn’t going to happen. But let me post this hypothetical. What if you could get Johnny for 5-6 mil? That would mean you could deal Chad Gaudin (3 mil) and use the remaining payroll room for Johnny, moving Gardner to 4th OF status. Would you do that?

    • The question becomes

      A)Damon in LF/Gardner 4th OF/Mitre 6th starter


      B)Gardner in LF/Jamie Hoffman/Reed Johnson 4th OF/Gaudin 6th starter

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

        I vote A.

      • For Lack of a More Creative Name... Alex says:

        If Damon were willing to return for just 5ish million, I personally think there is no way that the Yanks pass it up. Anything more than that is stretching the payroll. Also, I doubt Damon would swallow his pride so much. The Yanks will probably end up rolling with what they have rite now, maybe with the addition of a Reed Johnson/Baldelli/Nady, but we never know.

      • Tom Zig says:

        Well how much of a difference is there between mitre and gaudin?

        • Mike Axisa says:

          If you gave each 30 starts, I’m willing to bet a lot.

          • There’s that, and the fielding upgrades of the Gardner/Johnson platoon.

            To really do this right, someone should estimate the offensive production you’d get from a Gardner/Johnson platoon, compare that to a reasonable 2010 Damon projection (which would regress) and factor in the defensive +/- of both options. Then do the difference between those two 6th starters and add than into the equation.

            All things considered, it’s closer than people realize.

      • For Lack of a More Creative Name... Alex says:

        I’m still thinking as though Phil Hughes is the 6th starter, Gaudin and Mitre 7 and 8.

    • Pasqua says:

      I still believe that they would find an extra $2-3 mil to pay Damon for a year and keep a guy like Gaudin. If Damon’s price tag drops that low, it’s worth “splurging” a little bit to bring him back. It’s like an Amazon Gold Box deal…you had no intention of buying that flatscreen tv, but it was 70% off!

  5. Steve H says:

    Heh. Jim Edmonds last played in 2008.

    He ops’d .441 against LHP and .883 against RHP.

    I cannot think of a player who fits the Yankees current needs any less than that.

  6. Salty Buggah says:

    Earlier on Twitter today, some guy said Tino wasn’t a star player. Many Yankees fans jumped on him immediately and said Tino was, in fact, a star player. Some even went as far as saying that he was one of the best players in our generation.

    Personally, I think the guy could be right. He just made things worse for himself by being a Mets fan and being bitter about the Yanks and complaining about them.

    Anyway, Tino, while having a great defensive reputation, was a career 112 OPS+ player, which is solid but not star caliber, especially as a 1Bman.

    On the other hand, he was a fan-favorite, had a great peak with the Yanks (143 OPS+ in 1997, though overall he had a 113 OPS+ in Pinstripes) hit a lot of HRs (which everyone loves), played during the Yankees dynasty, and had a couple of big hits that really stand out.

    I think he was a solid player, maybe a star due to his popularity, but not one of the best players. I guess it all depends on one’s definition of star.

    What do you guys think?

  7. Verducci’s put out his annual payroll efficiency index


    Team Payroll* Wins CPW+
    Yankees $1,685.3 965 174.6
    Mets $1,086.5 815 133.3
    Red Sox $1,168.1 920 127.0
    Dodgers $1,002.0 862 116.2

    No surprises here. The Yanks and Red Sox are who everyone knows they are, and the Mets spent almost as much yet managed to win 100+ fewer games.

  8. Rey22 says:

    Please please sign Jim Edmonds. His pro-rated salary for just Spring Training would be worthit just to see Joe eat a shoe.

  9. http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com.....8;c_id=nyy

    Question-Is it likely that the Yankees are reluctant to make a long-term commitment to another outfielder because they eventually plan to move Derek Jeter to the outfield?
    – Woody B., Silver Spring, Md.

    Brian Hoch-I’m not sure that you can make decisions like that based upon what may or may not happen several years down the road. The Yankees have said that there are no plans to move Jeter, especially after he put in all that agility training to roll his odometer back. He’s better there now than he has been in years.

    This will be a topic when his contract expires after this year, but I think it’s fair to ask, “How are we sure if Jeter can play outfield, anyway?” We’ve never seen it. It’s probably not a good comparison, but I keep thinking about when the Mets tried Todd Hundley in left field in 1998, an experiment that was horrific to watch. He had no interest in being out there and played as such. Jeter would be more invested in the team, of course, but his heart is obviously into being the shortstop. The Yankees just won a World Series with him doing that, so now probably isn’t the time to tell him to stop

    That’s not a bad comparison, it’s a horrendous one. Hundley was a bulky, steroid-addled, slow moving Catcher and Jeter is a lanky Shortstop with good speed. If you want to do apples to apples, compare other SS or middle infielders who’ve moved to the OF as they aged. Robin Yount comes to mind.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Robin Yount was 29 when he made the move.

      • Fine, Hundley was still never Yount in terms of tools. The old line is that “Shortstops can play anywhere on the diamond defensively” and all the way back to JV teams put their best overall athlete at the SS position. I have a hard time believing Derek Jeter can’t play Left Field. Jeter’s always been known for his ability to go back on short pop flies.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          Here’s the thing, Jeter could be Carl Crawford in left for all he cares, he’s not moving. He’s got far too much pride for that, and he’ll be the Yanks’ shortstop until he says he’s not ready to anymore. The Yanks won’t even bother asking.

          • They don’t ask because they trust that he’ll do the right thing when the time comes that he’s hurting the team. If he doesn’t, they’ll ask. He has a contract expiring soon, so it has to be getting kicked around in private by the Yankee brass.

            • Mike Axisa says:

              Why didn’t he do the right thing 3-4 years ago?

              • He told an interesting story on Jeter’s defensive improvements. The defensive metrics had been saying for years that Derek was the worst Shortstop in Baseball in terms of range, and Brian had directed his infield coaches to work with him on it. The coaches kept reporting back to him that they addressed it with Derek, and he was taking steps to improve. But it wasn’t showing up in his play, the numbers kept coming back the same, if not worse. So Brian decided to sit down and have dinner with Derek, and he asked him what he was going on. To Brian’s surprise, Derek said this was the first time anyone had mentioned it to him. He added that ‘you’re my boss’ and if he wanted him to do something to improve, he would. Apparently, the infield coaches were too intimidated to confront Derek on such a touchy subject. And that dovetails into what Joe P. discussed in his piece about ‘changing the clubhouse culture’ with the additions of Swisher, Burnett, CC and the various pie throwing antics that ensued. Brian felt it was needed to change the old guard culture that surrounded the team, and the Jeter defense incident only cemented the idea in his mind.


            • Accent Shallow says:

              Well, it depends on who is available to replace him. There’s certainly no point in asking him to move off short for Ramiro Pena.

              • +1

                That’s a huge consideration, of course.

                • JAG says:

                  Agreed. It doesn’t do much good to replace Jeter with a below-average player. If the Yankees pick up a good SS prospect at some point, Jeter may have to make a call (or Cashman may), but until then there’s really no point in thinking about it. I have to think that Jeter at SS and Gardner/Damon/someone decent in LF is better than Jeter in LF and league average/below average SS.


      • Ivan says:

        I learn something new today.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      Well, the knock on Jeter at short is that he has a bad first step. While that can be masked in the OF since he does run well otherwise, that probably precludes him being a great outfielder.

      • The question implies LF, not CF. It’s the least demanding of the 3 OF positions.

        • Accent Shallow says:

          Of course. I guess the question is how good of an LF (defense-wise) to have equivalent value to an average-to below average SS (again, fielding-wise)?

          • Mike Axisa says:

            It’s not just the defense though. Moving Jeter to left means you’re turning a well-above avg offensive shortstop into an avg offensive LF.

            Jeter at SS + lg avg LF >>> Jeter in LF + lg avg SS

            Frankly, it’s not even close.

  10. Mo says:

    Anyone else think the Bengie Molina 1 year/4.5 m contract to return with the SF Giants bodes well for Johnny’s return to Yanks?

    • For Lack of a More Creative Name... Alex says:

      Meh, the Giants were pretty much out of play for Damon once they signed Aubrey Huff, as he moved Sandoval to third and DeRosa to left. They didn’t seem to consider putting Sandoval behind the plate, as some suggested.

      • JAG says:

        Probably they don’t want to risk having Panda injured or otherwise diminished by catching. It’s not like they’ve got a Joe Mauer athlete in Sandoval. They’re probably also looking for him to get some work in at the positions he’ll actually play once Posey comes up.


    • No. Not unless Bengie also plays left field.

    • Zack says:

      It’s still about Damon swallowing his pride and returning to the clubhouse at a 30-50% of his former salary.
      Dont know if he can do that.

  11. Accent Shallow says:

    Shameless stolen from RLYW (link here: http://www.replacementlevel.co.....spects_1_5)

    The park factors for Yankees MiL parks. Look how much someplace like Trenton suppresses homeruns, that’s positively Petco-esque.

    Year Team Lg Lev R H 2B HR BB SO
    2000 Yankees GULF Rook 1.03 1.02 1.04 0.80 0.98 1.03
    2001 Yankees GULF Rook 0.95 0.97 0.94 1.11 0.95 1.05
    2002 Yankees GULF Rook 0.95 0.99 0.97 1.08 1.00 1.06
    2003 Yankees GULF Rook 0.93 0.93 1.00 0.94 1.00 1.06
    2004 Yankees GULF Rook 1.00 0.99 1.12 0.96 0.99 1.02
    2004 Charleston SALL A 0.96 0.93 1.03 0.79 0.99 1.02
    2005 Charleston SALL A 0.98 1.03 1.11 0.79 1.00 1.02
    2006 Charleston SALL A 1.05 1.02 1.05 1.00 1.06 0.99
    2007 Charleston SALL A 0.91 0.97 0.93 0.81 0.96 1.04
    2008 Charleston SALL A 0.97 0.97 0.98 0.87 1.06 1.01
    2009 Charleston SALL A 0.95 0.97 0.89 0.86 0.98 1.00
    2004 Tampa FLOR A_adv 1.02 0.98 0.95 1.11 1.01 0.96
    2005 Tampa FLOR A_adv 0.99 0.98 0.95 0.99 1.00 0.97
    2006 Tampa FLOR A_adv 0.97 0.99 1.00 1.01 0.93 0.97
    2007 Tampa FLOR A_adv 1.01 1.01 0.99 0.96 0.99 0.91
    2008 Tampa FLOR A_adv 1.04 1.01 0.97 0.96 0.97 1.02
    2009 Tampa FLOR A_adv 0.98 0.99 0.96 0.83 1.07 0.98
    2004 Trenton EL AA 0.94 0.95 0.98 0.83 0.93 1.06
    2005 Trenton EL AA 0.98 1.00 1.09 0.86 0.99 1.00
    2006 Trenton EL AA 0.95 0.99 0.96 0.90 0.96 0.98
    2007 Trenton EL AA 0.94 0.98 0.96 0.81 0.99 1.07
    2008 Trenton EL AA 0.90 0.97 0.96 0.89 0.98 1.05
    2009 Trenton EL AA 0.90 0.95 0.94 0.80 1.00 1.05
    2004 Scranton IL AAA 0.99 0.99 1.02 0.82 1.10 1.08
    2005 Scranton IL AAA 1.01 1.01 1.01 0.89 1.06 1.01
    2006 Scranton IL AAA 0.96 0.98 1.05 0.90 0.98 1.06
    2007 Scranton IL AAA 1.01 0.99 1.02 1.03 1.04 0.97
    2008 Scranton IL AAA 0.95 0.98 0.98 0.91 0.95 1.04
    2009 Scranton IL AAA 0.93 0.98 0.94 0.91 0.95 1.00

  12. If the Mets sign Sheets, does that help them get into position to compete for the WC?

  13. How about Gary Sheffield for LF as a part time player?


    OK, I know what you’re thinking. But think about it for a minute. He’s not a bad option as a platoon partner for Gardner. He has power, hits Lefties, you could use Gardner as a late inning defensive replacement for him and Gary as a bat off the bench as a PH late in games. If he’s ready to accept a limited role (and I think he is) it could work.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      I think I’d pass — he’s had a .180 ISO or so from 2006-2009, which isn’t exactly stellar power, and he’s 41.

      Not to mention the defense.

      • I know, but it’s just as a platoon/bench player that I’m talking about. I’d need to see his splits over the past few seasons.

        Also, he still thought he could play every day and was always banged up in recent years and tried to play through it. I seem to remember him saying as a Met last year that he knows he’s not an everyday player anymore. For a few mil?

        • Accent Shallow says:

          Maybe. I’m not sure how sanguine I am on giving Gary Sheffield any money on the premise that he’s not crazy.

          • The idea would be he adds some pop to Gardner’s speed and defense, adding up to good overall production out of LF for 2010. Plus, if I’m an opposing manager he would still scare me coming off the bench.

            • Accent Shallow says:

              I like the idea of adding a power hitting caddy for Gardner, but I’m not sure how I feel about Sheff, given his lack of defensive ability and overall craziness.

    • JAG says:

      Not that it should be an end-all, be-all, but I have to think clubhouse chemistry might suffer, especially if/when Sheff starts hitting well and demands to be played more, and Girardi refuses. However, if he does indeed produce decently well against LHP, it might not be a terrible signing. Certainly nicer on the platoon splits than Damon would be (not sure about the defense, but that’s just saying that bad is better than terrible).


      • Most of his problems are usually with the front office(s) of his various teams, generally over contract disputes. In the clubhouse, he’s generally well-liked. Jeter was good friends with him, IIRC.

        • Evilest Empire says:

          He also called Joe Torre a racist and didn’t he say Jeter didn’t count as a black person? Something like that – he talked some shit. I think the Yanks organization will hold that against him, and he’s not a good enough hitter at this stage of his career to overcome that.

          Shef does have my favorite swing of all time though. He used to be the man.

        • JAG says:

          Fair enough. I had heard that he was a jerk, but that’s probably just the media perception of him (if he’s really focusing his vitriol on the front offices, that’s probably also the worst possible target in terms of his image. The only thing worse would be to actively antagonize the media). I do have to wonder how he’d respond to being brought in as a platoon player when he ended up playing nearly full-time with the Mets last year. Coupled with the fact that it was Cashman who sent him packing last time around, he might not be overly thrilled about playing in NY again.


  14. “Metsblog’s Matthew Cerrone reports that the Mets are interested in signing John Smoltz and one of either Joel Pineiro or Ben Sheets. Cerrone notes that “all three have legit interest in pitching for the Mets on short-term deals,” and that signing Pineiro or Sheets would indicate that Smoltz’s role in New York would be as a reliever.”


    I thought the Red Sox felt last year that he was of no use out of the bullpen, coming off shoulder surgery he couldn’t loosen up fast enough. That’s why they cut him.

  15. pete luciano says:

    Montero will be trade bait late in the season if we need pitching which always happens. Forget Crawford in lf next yr, he’s not worth a huge contract, has a lousy obp, and minimal power. I think the Yankees will spend all their money in next yrs free agent market for Joe Mauer. Boston has locked up their catcher for years and nobody will pay more for Mauer than the Yankees. Posada will move to DH and back up catcher actually saving a roster spot. I think that’s why Cashman was so eager to get Nick Johnson for just 1 yr instead of Damon who was asking for 2 yrs. It also opens up left field if Jeter needs to be moved after next year. Then we can trade Joba or Hughes to Florida for Henly Rameriz. How does that sound.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      How does that sound.

      Uhh tbh not really good for a long term plan.

      Forget Crawford in lf next yr, he’s not worth a huge contract, has a lousy obp, and minimal power.

      He’s not getting a Holliday contract and if he could replicate his 2009 numbers then I don’t see why not.

      I think the Yankees will spend all their money in next yrs free agent market for Joe Mauer. Boston has locked up their catcher for years and nobody will pay more for Mauer than the Yankees.

      He’s not likely being a FA and if he is I doubts the Yanks will push hard to acquire him. They’ll bid sure but I don’t know how involved they’ll be. And banking on Mauer to hit free agency isn’t a smart plan.

      Montero will be trade bait late in the season if we need pitching which always happens.
      Not happening. Unelss it’s straight up. Which again isn’t happening.

      I think that’s why Cashman was so eager to get Nick Johnson for just 1 yr instead of Damon who was asking for 2 yrs.
      Because Damon had a career year and it’s a good chance as he gets older he won’t be as good. His defense sucks too. It might improve since it may be an outlier but unlikely as he gets older. Nick Johnson while injury prone had some wild cases so him as the DH might help him out a bit and who doens’t love a .400 OBP?

      It also opens up left field if Jeter needs to be moved after next year.

      We have a better shot of trading for Pujols, Mauer, and Felix Hernandez then trading all 3 plus one billion dollars for Casey Kelly’s strand of hair while we beg Boston to have the superhuman God of Gods strand of hair than moving Jeter to LF.

      Then we can trade Joba or Hughes to Florida for Henly Rameriz. How does that sound.
      Yeah uhmm no…

    • sparky says:

      terrible. would never happen.

    • ultimate913 says:

      You are one of those fans that give the Yanks fan base a bad rep. This website is for Yankee fans(well any fans) that aren’t homers and have rational arguments.

    • Steve H says:

      Who is Henly Rameriz? Not quite sure, but the rest of your plan is spot on…..

      /rolls eyes

    • WIlliam says:

      First of all, why do we need pitching. We have a solid 1-4 and twi pretty good 5 and 6 starters. Second, relying on Maur hitting FA is bad, since he’s a homegrown player. I’ll get back to your third point, but who in hell is gonna trade Hanley for Hughes/Joba. I wouldn’t. Now back to your third point, ARE YOU TELLING MR.YANKEES, 5 RINGED, LONGTIME CAPTAIN JETER THAT HE’S LEAVING SHORTSTOP, RIGHT AFTER HE ACTUALLY IMPROVED DEFENSIVELY?????? I’de be surprised if Cashman even attempts to set a limit on Jeter’s contract, let alone tell him where he can play.

  16. Reggie C. says:

    The Huston Street extension with the Rockies felt like a punch in my gut for a good minute. I really hoped the Yankees would anoint Street as Mo’s successor.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      But that’s for teh Joberrrr!!!

    • Evilest Empire says:

      Its only a 3 year deal. He’ll still have his opportunity, with a chance to be his 8th inning understudy for a year or two to boot.

      • Reggie C. says:

        Meh. Best case scenario at this point would be one of Robertson, Melancon, or BRACKMAN turning out as fantastic closer successors.

        Mo’s not going to mow ‘em all down for much longer. Dammit though…i really wanted Street. He’s so young that he’d still be a great pickup in 3 yrs, but since Mo is so aged and with an expiring contract in sight, we’re really talking about year-to-year with the closer option.

        • WIlliam says:

          Mo will never die!!!!!! 5 More Rings! 5 More Rings! 5 More Rings! 5 More Rings! 5 More Rings! 5 More Rings! 5 More Rings! 5 More Rings! 5 More Rings! 5 More Rings! 5 More Rings! 5 More Rings! 5 More Rings!

        • Evilest Empire says:

          Mo said he wanted to pitch for 5 more years, but realistically that is a bit of a dream.

          I really like Street too though, and it isn’t impossible to see Mo going exactly 3 more years and then the Yanks signing him.

          In all likelihood, its none of the names we’ve just listed. It’ll be someone totally random.

        • I’m (possibly) way too high on D-Rob, but I really think he could be a closer in the future.

          • Steve H says:

            I still think Melancon>>>D-Rob for the future. But in any universe where Manny Delcarmen could be an NL closer, D-Rob has a chance. I think D-Rob will never be the Yankees closer though.

          • Reggie C. says:

            I’m possibly way too low on D-Rob. I just gotta see him higher leverage situations. That’s the downside of having Hughes or Joba in the ‘pen to start the season. D-Rob has earned the call in the 8ht!!l

            I’m also possibly too high on Street’s pedigree. Its going to take big shoes to fill Mo’s departure or imminent decline.

  17. Evilest Empire says:

    A random bonus of the 2009 Yankees is that their World Series victory makes me feel like its ok to enjoy the Mariners’ walk off call when Ichiro took Mo deep.


  18. Manimal says:

    Another one to add to the “Distantly Yankees related” would be Steven Jackson getting cut from the pirates even though he had a 3.14 ERA in 40 appearences. Yanks DFA’d Jackson last year to make room for Arod. I always liked Steven Jackson…

  19. Ken says:

    The Yankees need to resign Johnny Damon. He has been good for the team over the last 4 years.

    • Zack says:

      You build your team with what you think your players will do THIS year, not what he’s done in the past. Especially when you talk about a 35 year old who was not willing to take a market-value contract

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