2010 Season Preview: The Front Office

Could the Yankees call on Montero in 2010?
What's the backup plan at each position?

The front office has done its job. Over the past five months the group, led by GM Brian Cashman, has retooled a championship team. That is no small task, especially in New York. The fans here expect a championship every year. There’s no use making excuses, either. Save those for the small market teams. In New York, a front office is expected to not only anticipate every possible scenario, but have a plan to deal with it and still deliver that championship. In other words, the front office has to work in a volatile atmosphere where they can’t possibly succeed every year. That’s part of what makes this team interesting.

Photo credit: Mike Carlson/AP

As we’ve all come to learn during our years of fandom, the media environment in New York is unlike anywhere else in the country. Even as newspapers try to save costs by cutting sports coverage, nine beat reporters continue to travel with the team, including eight print journalists. Each newspaper features at least one columnist, and then there are the various TV and radio personalities. They’re all vying for attention, which oftentimes means riling up the fan base by any means possible. This only makes the front office’s job tougher.

The two aforementioned elements work together, creating a chemical reaction of sorts. If the team makes a mistake or goes on a losing streak the media outlets pounce. This riles up the fan base — the rabid fanatics who, again, expect a championship every season. The front office then has a choice. It can succumb to the pressure from all ends and make a move, or it can stand pat and explain, calmly and rationally, that to do something now could damage the future. Meaning, in other words, that a move now might not only fail for the current season, but could hurt the team’s chances of winning a championship in future seasons. Unfortunately, if either approach means losing now then the front office might not be around much longer.

This balancing act constitutes the toughest part of the front office’s job. The mandate to win now means bringing in solid veterans, which often means trading away prospects. Yet without an influx of young talent a team will also find a hard time winning. The front office has done what it can to walk that balance beam, but with such a small margin for error it’s inevitable that they’ll screw up. To what degree they screw up determines their futures with the organization. This current front office seems to have some semblance of balance, though a few unpopular moves this off-season could lead to agitated fans if the team gets off to a slow start.

What will Brian Cashman and company do if something goes awry? What’s the plan if Nick Johnson hits the disabled list? What’s the plan if Curtis Granderson continues to struggle against left-handed pitching? What’s the plan if Phil Hughes flops in the rotation? The other half of each question is of whether the plan is adequate compensation. Again, the front office can have a plan in mind, but if the plan doesn’t add up to at least a playoff appearance then the organization will face a deflated and angry fan base that doesn’t take well to explanations.

Over the past five days I’ve seen a lot of negativity toward the front office for the decision to start Joba Chamberlain in the bullpen. Yet this is just part of the aforementioned balancing act. Once the team acquired Javy Vazquez it was clear that only one of Joba or Hughes would make the rotation. The Yankees chose Hughes, moving Chamberlain to the bullpen. Could the team have optioned Chamberlain in order to keep him stretched out? Sure. But they also want the best seven arms in the bullpen. To option Joba would be to go north with a lesser reliever. It appears that the team just wasn’t prepared to do that this year. As Brian Cashman said on Michael Kay’s radio show, the decision fell on the win-now side of the ledger.

The front office will inevitably face many decisions that will cause a divide among the fan base. The Chamberlain incident presents a prime example. One side of the fan base, wanting to get the most value out of Joba while continuing his development, wants to see him in the rotation, whether in the bigs or in AAA. The other wants to win now, and views Chamberlain as an elite option out of the bullpen. The front office shouldn’t, and probably doesn’t, make its biggest decisions based on fan opinion. But it knows that fan opinion, if low enough, can cost its members their jobs. In other words, it’s all about winning now, which also means planning for the future. It’s a delicate balancing act, and this front office has shown that it won’t scrap one in favor of the other.

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Could the Yankees call on Montero in 2010?
What's the backup plan at each position?
  • pete

    as long as it’s not about developing young pitchers, I’m good.

    /bo’d

    • Bo

      Most kill you not to write a 10,000 word post.

      • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

        most (sic) kill you to look in the mirror

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

          Reading a 10,000 word post from pete that makes sense >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> reading a 20 word post from SBGL that makes no sense (and has no punctuation)

          • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

            You left out a few dozen <s.

            Pete’s one of RAB’s Finest™.

            • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

              Damn typos.

              > s.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ pete

        speaking of which, there’s a new, 1500+ word post on m&a

  • YankeesJunkie

    The Yankees had to make a tough choice this spring between Hughes and Joba in which in 80% of the teams both would be starting rather than vying for the #5 spot in the rotation. I am still a pretty big Hughes fan so hopefully he does great in the rotation this year because it would be fun see him baffle hitters like he did versus Texas in 2007. I am sad that Joba won’t start this year, but hopeful the Yankees in the end will make the right decision and but in him in the rotation 2011. However, the only way to look at it now is the Yankees have one of the most dynamic bullpens in baseball with Mo, Joba, D-Rob, Aceves, and Mitre which consists of God and four pitchers that can excel in the 8th inning.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

      However, the only way to look at it now is the Yankees have one of the most dynamic bullpens in baseball with Mo, Joba, D-Rob, Aceves, and Mitre which consists of God and four pitchers that can excel in the 8th inning.

      No, that’s not the only way to look at it now. It’s one way to look at it, but not the only way to look at it.

      • Beamish

        Maybe it is the only way to accept it and move on?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

          Perhaps. But what if you’re concerned that the error in judgment that lead to the poor decision that you’re forced to “accept and move on” is an endemic organizational problem, and this poor decisionmaking process is bound to be repeated again in the future with negative consequences?

          Should you simply accept it and move on, or should you advocate for an organizational philosophy reassessment?

          • Bob C

            you probably need to chill… they probably weighed the benefits of in sending him down to keep him stretched out where he would likely dominate weaker hitters and the opportunity to continue to learn to pitch in the majors and decided that the latter option was better. you really arent the person to be saying that they are wrong, no offense.

            • Big Juan

              And you aren’t necessarily the person that should be saying they’re right, no offense.

              I’m not trying to be a jerk, but none of us are necessarily qualified to quantify these decisions. That’s why we come here, because this is a proper sounding board for our opinions.

            • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

              Personally, I think Tommie’s being reasonable and calm in his comments.

              The problem here is that when it comes to a certain area (developing pitchers) the current FO has given us very little production to earn the benefit of the doubt. If in looking back to 2010 from a few years in the future we see that the Yankees made the best decisions–rather than just plain luck–in their handling of pitchers coming up through the system and breaking into the bigs as starters I’d be more than happy to give them the credit they deserve and trust in future decisions.

              But at this moment we don’t have anything to instill confidence in the choices they’ve made so far this season.

              • Chris

                While I certainly don’t think the Yankees have done a good job developing young starters, it’s not as clear cut as you make it sound.

                How many teams can claim to have developed multiple good starting pitchers over the last 10 years?

                How many of those teams can still make that claim if you remove all of pitchers that were selected in the first half of the first round?

                A lot of teams have developed a bunch of mediocre starters, but the Yankees have the resources to be able to trade those guys and fill their spots with better pitchers signed as FAs.

                • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

                  How many teams can claim to have developed multiple good starting pitchers over the last 10 years?

                  How many of those teams can still make that claim if you remove all of pitchers that were selected in the first half of the first round?

                  This is a good point.

                  It’s not really an answer to Riddering’s comment; but it is a really good point.

          • Chris

            So you basically lose faith in the entire decision making process of the FO because they made one questionable decision (and/or used a shoddy process)? One decision like this doesn’t define the entire organizational philosophy, particularly when it comes after moves that suggest the opposite – like refusing to trade the farm for Johan Santana. If we see a similar trend repeated in the future, then it’s time to worry. Right now, it’s just one decision about one player.

            • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

              But it’s not just one player. It’s a trend. Hughes was also jerked back & forth from the rotation to the pen, and Ian Kennedy was traded off.

              Who have the Yankees successfully developed as a starting pitcher since Andy Pettitte? Ted Lilly? Traded young for a fraction of his worth. Anyone else?

              It’s a trend. No one here is saying the Front Office has given up on developing starters; we’re saying that we fear they have, because of the trend. Every one of us who is rational hopes to be proven wrong.

              • Thomas

                Ted Lilly? Traded young for a fraction of his worth.

                Ted Lilly was traded for Jeff Weaver. At that point, Weaver was slightly younger than Lilly, had pitched better than Lilly that season and every other season, had reached the majors at younger age, and was considered an equal or better prospect that Lilly.

                The trade may not have worked out and the Yankees may have sold low on Weaver, but Ted Lilly was certainly not sold of for a fraction of his worth. If anything Jeff Weaver was sold off for a fraction of his worth.

                Also, Ted Lilly was mainly developed by the Expos and trade to the Yankees for Irabu.

                • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

                  OK, perhaps I was a bit hyperbolic there. :-)

              • Chris

                I don’t exactly follow your logic. You want them to develop starters… so they moved Hughes to the rotation. Sure, he spent most of last season in the pen, but that hasn’t changed their view of him as a starter. They continued to develop IPK as a starter. Sure, they traded him, but that was a typical prospect-for-veteran trade. You don’t keep a guy around just to prove that you can develop pitchers.

                On the other side, who have the Yankees had that were highly regarded prospects with a reasonable chance of being developed into starting pitchers? It’s still the organizations responsibility to select that level of talent in the draft or in IFA, but that’s a different problem than developing pitchers.

                Also, develping a pitcher isn’t easy. Look at the Red Sox. Who have they developed in the past 10 years? Jon Lester. Before that? I think you have to go back to Casey Fossum.

                • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

                  Yes, they haven’t had too many high-ceiling prospects in the minors; although recently, there have been Brackman and Arodys Vizcaino, in addition to the “Big Three”. Neither of those two fills us with optimism.

                  But that’s beside the point. So is the statement that it’s hard to develop starting pitchers. What I’m saying is that, when the Yankees have had the prospects recently, their record isn’t good. And, yes, it’s a small sample size; but it’s all we have to work with.

                  We’re all Yankee fans here; none of us wants the F.O. to do the wrong thing. It’s just that we’re not sanguine, given recent developments with Joba. Quite a few of us have followed Joba for a long time, and badly want to see what he can do, unrestricted.

                  There is also the fact that this is a recent wound, still red and raw; you’re going to see a reaction, and you have, from both sides of the B-Jobbing debate.

                • Chris

                  What I’m saying is that, when the Yankees have had the prospects recently, their record isn’t good.

                  There have basically been five top starting pitching prospects that the Yankees have “failed” to develop: Hughes, Joba, IPK, Brackman, and Vizcaino.

                  Vizcaino was traded while in A ball. I don’t see that as a failure to develop him since he was so new to the system and still so far from the majors.

                  IPK was developed as a starter and then traded for a key part to the team this year. Could he have helped the Yankees? Sure, but probably not as much as Granderson since IPK would have likely been sent to AAA and been the 6th starter (at best). Assuming that he flourishes as a starter in Arizona, doesn’t that count as a pitcher they’ve developed?

                  Brackman was a high risk/high reward signing in the draft. He’s had one pro season after having TJS, so the jury is still out on him.

                  Hughes is now the 5th starter, so we’ll see what happens with him.

                  That leaves just one player: Joba.

                  That brings me back to my initial point:

                  So you basically lose faith in the entire decision making process of the FO because they made one questionable decision (and/or used a shoddy process)?

                • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

                  Sorry, I had to step out for a few minutes.

                  You’re obscuring the point. First, you say that the Yanks haven’t had many prospects they could develop. When I point out a few, you say that “he was traded early, so he doesn’t count” or “he was traded before we could tell if he was good”. These are classic examples of my bigger point– that the Yanks don’t develop pitchers and bring them into the rotation. If you trade away a pitcher before you know what you have–you have not developed that pitcher. You have given up on his, in a sense.

                  So you basically lose faith in the entire decision making process of the FO because they made one questionable decision (and/or used a shoddy process)?

                  I acknowledged the fact that we are dealing with a SSS here, but, as I said, it’s all we have to go by. I have repeatedly said that I hope events prove me wrong. But based on what we have seen, and what the brass have said lately, there is not much cause for optimism. I respect that you see the glass half-full. I don’t…

                  Whatever, we are not likely to change each other’s minds here. Thanks for the conversation, I have to get some work done.

                • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

                  * …have given up on him

                  Typo, sorry.

      • YankeesJunkie

        You are right I meant to say “one”. Sadly the downside of it is Joba will have to wait another year of jerking around where he could potentially have a #2 or #3 starter which shows the Yankees inability to produce good SP and will force them to buy another arm after the 2010 offseason.

      • Rogue Trader

        Dude relax, it’s baseball.

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

          This seems like a highly inappropriate comment, since it’s on a site that posts eight times a day about one baseball team.

          • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

            +1

        • http://twitter.com/tafkasic the artist formerly known as (sic)

          Ever since I can remember, and I mean that quite literally, I’ve been unable to to take that bit of shitty advice. And I hope I never do.

          • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

            When I am told, “relax”, “chill out”, etc., it makes me psychotically angry.

            Do not tell me how to feel.

            ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

    n other words, it’s all about winning now, which also means planning for the future. It’s a delicate balancing act, and this front office has shown that it won’t scrap one in favor of the other.

    … maybe.

    • Bo

      You would rather develop Joba into a competent #3 pitcher than win a title this yr.

      Thats the divide.

      • Big Juan

        He thinks they could do both this year. As do I.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

          That.

          SBGL loves false dichotomies, though. Loves ‘em.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ pete

        so if our #5 starter was a competent #3, we’d be LESS likely to win a title this year?

        just out of curiosity, how exactly do you expect Hughes to perform this year?

  • Beamish

    I wonder, if one of the rotation goes down in week 3 with a season-ending injury does Joba get stretched out or do they slot in Mitre as the 5th Starter for 30 starts?

    Which side of the “win-now” ledger does Joba in the bullpen fall on then?

    • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

      I believe thy’ve said that Joba is in the bullpen to stay, this year, and won’t be stretched out to start in case of an injury to any of the starting five.

      Short-sighted? I think so. We’ll have to see…perhaps it won’t be an issue this year.

      • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

        Typo.

        *they’ve

        • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

          Here I thought you were impersonating Thor. What a disappointment.

          • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

            Prithee forgiveth mee, milady?

    • Bo

      You can forget about the Joba the Starter in 2010.

      Read the quotes from the pitching coach again.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ pete

        In Cashman’s interview w/ Michael Kay he said that that’s a scenario they’re currently discussing. Eiland’s comments were more of the “we don’t have plans to move him out of the bullpen this year” mode. As in, this isn’t 2008, and Joba doesn’t have a set transition timeline. That doesn’t mean that an injury to CC Sabathia couldn’t change things. If CC’s out, we need somebody with more upside than Mitre/Aceves/Nova/McAllister/Hirsch in there.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    If the Yankees are prioritizing the “win now” strategy I wonder why they didn’t trade Joba + more for Halladay or anyone. Cashman said something around th elikes of not liking what they saw form Joba voer the season. If they didn’t like anyone why not trade him and Montero for Halladay?

    Granted Joba was doing good during the deadline but I doubt the Yankees would base the decision of converting him back to a reliever on the last 2 or 3 months of the season

    • Thomas

      The Yankees offered Montero for Halladay, most likely the Yankees didn’t want to give up anything more than that.

      In other words, the Yankees felt that:
      Montero = Halladay
      and
      Montero + Chamberlain > Halladay

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Meh if they view Chamberlain as a reliever then it would be easier to part with Montero for Halladay.

        • RichYF

          This.

          Also, if Montero + Chamberlain > Halladay, then I would have to imagine that Chamberlain + someone = Halladay.

          I have no idea what discussions were had with Toronto for Halladay. At this point, it’s all speculation.

          I was always fine with trading one of Hughes/Joba for Doc. To me, it’s similar to trading AJax for Granderson. 4-5 years of production that is as “guaranteed” as it gets vs projection. I’ll take the proven talent every time.

        • Reggie C.

          I agree.

          I think its safe to say that the FO’s judgment on Chamberlain has changed since last season’s trading deadline.

          • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

            Considering all the evidence highlighting how foolish it is to judge Joba’s future based on the last three months of 2009’s regular season, I hope that isn’t true.

            • JobaWockeeZ

              That. Joba was tiring as he never piched that much in one season before, why would they base their 5th starter decision on those months?

    • Bo

      Maybe they thought they’d rather trade Melky n an A ball pitcher for a good starter.

      And also the fact that Tor may not have traded him to the Bronx.

  • mryankee

    They have more than few questionable decisions, signing Igawa and Pavano. Screwing up Joba’s development, passing on Chapman(if they did) and they did go 9 years between titles. Of course the Chapman complaint will only hold if he becomes a star.

    • http://twitter.com/tafkasic the artist formerly known as (sic)

      A lot of football fans hold to the 5 year rule, which means you don’t bitch about your team/the FO for five years after winning the title.

      We are, apparently, incapable of doing that. But it would be totally sweet if we could at least make it to Opening Day.

      • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

        I’m guessing few of those fans are online. Because not many Steelers fans I ran into last season held to the 5 year rule.

        • http://twitter.com/tafkasic the artist formerly known as (sic)

          Like I said, it would be totally sweet if we could make it to Opening Day.

          • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

            I’m not complaining about the team we have or the moves the FO made before Spring Training. I liked them all and defended them, especially the acquisition of Vazquez.

            But it seems silly to abide by some token rule when the purpose of this blog is to discuss and evaluate what the Yankees do on and off the field. If RAB posted on last week’s decisions and everyone commented in agreement or posted “I will not complain before Opening Day” that wouldn’t make for a compelling baseball site.

            • http://twitter.com/tafkasic the artist formerly known as (sic)

              OK, so, maybe you thought my original “lets make it to Opening Day” comment was directed at you, but it wasn’t. It was directed at mryankee, whom as you can see is currently bitching below about the fact that we drafted kennedy over bard.

              I dont want to preclude discussion of FO moves, to pretend like its impossible for Cashman to make bad moves in the months after winning the World Series, or to curtail criticism. I just want haters to STFU.

    • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

      OK, we’ve been over the Pavano thing. It’s only bad with the benefit of hindsight. Half the teams in baseball wanted Pavano; the Sox offered him more money than we did. It’s unfair to blame that one on Cashman.

      Igawa: agreed.

      “They did go 9 years between titles”:
      *see Red Sox, Boston; White Sox, Chicago; and Cubs, Chicago.

      The front office can only go so far. Do you really blame the front office for the loss in 2001? That’s on Torre for not bringing in his outfielders on the final play, and Mariano for throwing the bunt away. And 2003? Well, perhaps; but David Wells being out of shape and having to come out of Game 5 early didn’t help. 2004? Things might have been very different had Torre called for a pitchout in Game 4, when everyone and his mother knew Roberts was running.

      I’m the first one to sulk about 2001-2008, but you can’t blame it entirely on the front office. Several of those teams were good enough to win it all.

      • mryankee

        I just believe those are some issues and I forgot in my opinion it was a msitake to take Kennedy over Daniel Bard. They should have known his stuff would not translate well as a sp on the AL. I think it was a mistake not to try to get Chapman(assuming they did not, if he decided to go to the Reds instead then dismiss this argument). Pat of being in this organization is that they get paid more than anyone so the expectations are higher and maybe in Chicago and other cities nine years between titles is opk but not here. That is the way it will always be and I feel if your going to cash the paycheck you have to accept the baggage.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          What has Daniel Bard done in the AL?

          And how do you know Kennedy’s stuff doesn’t translate in the AL?

          • mryankee

            Based on what we have seen to date which is what we can gone. Bard appears to have a better future as a possible closer than Kennedy as a starter. If they had Bard now then Joba could be a starter.

            Btw on the Joba debate when do we start blaming Joba himself. Joba had opportunities to prouduce and he did not as a starter. Joba went from a power pitcher to a nibbler and the results were not acceptable. The fault there is on Joba and Joba alone.

            • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

              Based on what we have seen to date which is what we can gone.

              FACT: In 2 of Ian Kennedy’s 3 seasons in the AL his ERA has been under 2. FACT.

              FACT: Daniel Bard’s ERA from August 14th on was 5.40. FACT.

              Both are ridiculously small sample sizes, skewed to make a point, but worthless. We have not seen enough of either Kennedy or Bard to know anything.

            • JobaWockeeZ

              Btw on the Joba debate when do we start blaming Joba himself. Joba had opportunities to prouduce and he did not as a starter. Joba went from a power pitcher to a nibbler and the results were not acceptable. The fault there is on Joba and Joba alone.

              Yeah it’s Joba’s fault he was called up in 2007 for the bullpen instead of building up innings in the minors which is probably the main reason why Joba struggled in 2009. Lack of stamina.

              • Chris

                Yet getting jerked back and forth from the pen to the rotation did not seem to have a similar negative impact on Johan Santana.

                • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                  Two minor nitpicks.

                  You’re comparing Joba to a future HOF, that’s kind of tough.

                  Santana had 342 minor league innings.
                  Joba has 88 minor league innings.

                  Santana had way more experience than Joba, and should have developed quicker. Santana also wasn’t a full time starter until 25. Joba was at 23.

                • pete

                  Santana’s ERAs in the first two seasons of his career: 6.49, 4.74

                • Chris

                  Right. So in 2011, when Joba moves back to the rotation there should be no ill effects.

                • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                  Right. So in 2011,when if Joba moves back to the rotation there should be no ill effects.

            • pete

              it really doesn’t matter who you blame though – that’s the point. Whether or not it was Joba’s fault that he stunk it up towards the end of last year doesn’t change the fact that we still don’t know what he’ll end up as as a starter, nor does it change the fact that most of the evidence (at least that which is available to us, i.e. his performance thus far) dictates that he could wind up a better-than-average starter. I’d take a home-grown, <$1 million better-than-average starter over any reliever in baseball, any day of the week.

            • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

              He twists! He turns! And every time someone points out a fallacy in his reasoning, mryankee brings up another set of unrelated points…which are then disproved…

              We have a Möbius-strip poster here!
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%B6bius_strip (safe)

          • Bo

            You’re embarrassing yourself comparing Kennedy to Bard.

            Kennedy could be out of baseball come June.

            • bexarama

              why? He’s currently Arizona’s #3 starter

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                BUT ZOMG HE DOESN’T THROW HARD!!!!1!!!!

        • http://twitter.com/tafkasic the artist formerly known as (sic)

          (sic)

        • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

          Dude, you’re just wrong when you say the Yanks didn’t try for Chapman. Don’t you remember the playoffs, when they had Chapman in the suite at Yankee Stadium?

          They didn’t “not try” for Chapman, they refused to over-pay for an unproven young starter. There is also the possibility that Chapman refused to come to the Yankees, knowing he’d be in the Minors for awhile and would have a hard time cracking the M.L. rotation.

          The Reds overpaid and are desperate enough to throw an undeveloped pitcher into their M.L rotation. Be glad we’re not that desperate.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            Be glad we’re not that desperate.

            Here here.

    • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

      and your pavano argument proves you dont read what anyone writes ever. and….you know what..it’s jut not worth it

      • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

        I know, right? Dag!!

    • H.W. Plainview

      Chapman will not become a star. It is written that he will have early success, seem like the next big time lefty and then blow out his arm thanks to the managerial skills of one Dusty Baker.

  • V

    I suggest the team just trade Joba and get whatever they can for him.

    • pat

      Sounds like a complete waste.

      Thanks for playing.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      They wouldn’t get as much as they would when he was a starter. IMO I really think they screwed up Joba’s development with the win now strategy being more important that long term goals.

      • Chris

        If the Yankees had not won the WS last year, would you be happy that they preserved Joba’s future?

        • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

          It doesn’t have to be either/or. In fact, it shouldn’t be.

          I don’t think Joba’s role this year greatly aids winning now or working towards a long term goal.

          • Chris

            I don’t think Joba’s role this year greatly aids winning now or working towards a long term goal.

            So you don’t think that he will help the team more in the bullpen than he would in AAA? While it’s true that starters are more valuable than relievers, a top reliever is still worth 2-3 wins (plus I would add another 1 because of leverage) over the course of a full season. That extra couple of wins could be the difference between making the playoffs and not.

            • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

              The Yanks have indicated that Joba will not be stretched out mid-season to fill in for a potentially injured member of the rotation.

              If he was in AAA, starting, he could come up and fill in. Instead, when one of the top 5 goes down for a period of time, we’re gonna have…Sergio Mitre starting. For each one of those starts, the minimal advantage of Joba in the bullpen will shrink.

              Think about what it will mean if Mitre makes 5-10 starts…and how many wins that might cost the Yanks. And compare it to a measly 2-3 wins. And think about whether that might cost us the division.

            • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

              Mo was worth 2 wins last year. The most valuable reliever in all of baseball was worth 2.9. I don’t expect Joba to reach or top those numbers.

              However, even if it’s assumed that Joba puts up 2009 Hughes numbers (2.2 WAR)–I don’t think it’s because Joba is the only one who can fill whatever role is placed upon him as a reliever this season. It’ll be because he was there. But, to me, that is at the expense of David Robertson and Mark Melancon.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                Fun Fact: Phil Hughes began the 2009 season as the 6th starter in Scranton. He joined the major league club a month later and stayed there all year, contributing value.

              • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

                I was in the process of making a similar statement. So those 2-3 wins Chris is crediting Joba with are way overblown.

                Which makes my point stronger.

                • Chris

                  Ok, so 2 wins is too high. Make it 1 win. Joba was worth 1.5 wins last year when he was in the rotation for the full season. Will he do better than last year? Probably, but it’s no guarantee. There’s also no guarantee that there would be an opening in the rotation for him to make more than a handful of starts, and so he would have to go to the pen and only get a partial season to contribute there.

                  If I were calling the shots, I would have sent him to AAA for April and May as a starter and then called him up – moving him to the pen if there weren’t an opening in the rotation. That being said, I don’t think there is that big a difference between the two plans. In terms of wins added from Joba, the path the Yankees took increases the floor of his contribution but reduces the ceiling. I can’t really blame them for taking the higher certainty path than the potentially higher upside path – particularly when the overall difference is only a win or so.

                • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

                  OK, so we basically agree. We were saying that we would have preferred Joba in AAA, strectched out, ready in case of injury–and you agree.

                  We’re arguing over minutiae here– the added value of Joba in the 8th over, say, Robertson, et al. seems to be where we differ. I just don’t feel that the minimal upgrade from Robertson or whoever, to Joba, outweighs his value as a replacement-break-glass-in-case-of-injury starter.

                  I, at least, feel that the added bonus–which would make me happier about the F.O.’s approach–of Joba starting in AAA is that it keeps him lined up to go full-time-starter, sans inning restrictions, next year. It also gives me confidence that they see him as a starter long-term.

                  I think we’ve beaten this to death. Shall we stop now? :-)

      • whozat

        I agree that the notion of trading Joba NOW would be mostly worthless. They won’t get anything better than what they (seem to) have consigned themselves to getting out of him.

        BUT

        if it’s true that they’ve been essentially planning to hand the starter’s job to Hughes for months now, trading Joba this offseason when they could sell him as a young, cost-controlled starter that has pitched acceptably in the toughest offensive division in the league would have been WAY smarter than doing what they’ve done since — which is turn him into David Robertson.

        • Chris

          They’ve turned him into David Robertson for 2010. That’s not necessarily the view of him in 2011 and beyond.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          if it’s true that they’ve been essentially planning to hand the starter’s job to Hughes for months now, trading Joba this offseason when they could sell him as a young, cost-controlled starter that has pitched acceptably in the toughest offensive division in the league would have been WAY smarter than doing what they’ve done since — which is turn him into David Robertson.

          Well said. They obviously decided at some point before Spring Training that they wanted Hughes in the rotation. Knowing that, why not explore the trade market for Joba while he had a lot more value than he does today.

          • Bo

            And how do u know they didnt explore trade option for him all winter???

            Were u in the meetings?

            Do u really think the Yankee FO wouldnt turn over every stone?

            This isnt the Mets

            • V

              Do you speak English?

              • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

                The weird thing is that some of his other aliases actually use apostrophes correctly, and are more legible.

                It’s like he really has split personalities!

                • bexarama

                  I think Bo is just a bot designed to disagree with anything anyone says here

                • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

                  I think Bo and mryankee are just bots designed to disagree with anything anyone says here

                  FTFY!
                  :-)

                • bexarama

                  heh. mryankee doesn’t seem as antagonistic as Bo, though, just genuinely confused and set in his opinions

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  just genuinely confused and set in his opinions

                  Talk about an odd couple. He’s 100% confused about… pretty much everything, but refuses to change any of the beliefs he holds and refuses to listen or learn from others.

                • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy (different one) in chilly NYC

                  True…Bo’s refusal to use full words is annoying.

                  myyankee, on the other hand…well,
                  http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....ent-817495

      • Bo

        U realize u root for the NY Yankees right?

        Its that ‘win now’ strategy that has made them the best franchise in sports.

    • Bo

      Maybe they value him as an elite reliever and cant get the value on the trade market for him

      why give him away?

  • bexarama

    For the record, I think the Joba thing was a bad decision that I refuse to comment on any more because it’s very frustrating; what’s the point of making the same comments over and over, when there’s no way I can relay said comments to anyone who matters?

    It doesn’t change my impression of the FO as a generally very good FO.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

      That.

      The notion that I somehow now think the Yankee FO is a bunch of idiots is false. I still think they’re a very smart FO that makes more good decisions than bad.

      I just lowered my confidence in them a little, but it’s still high. That’s all.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ pete

      i dunno – eventually we’ll reach a point where we can go no further, but as long as people aren’t just whining about it, but are legitimately looking for possible rationales (good ones, that is) from the FO’s perspective, discussion is a good thing. Because if this was the right move by the FO, then we may eventually realize why, but we won’t if we just don’t talk about it.

      Look at the CHP/RW/MT signings – all make a little more sense upfront than the 5th starter decision, but many of us still somewhat disagreed with them at the time, but as the discussions reared on, many of us came to realize that the FO had made the right calls.

      I have enough faith in the FO to think it’s very possible that they made the right decision. And I have enough faith in RAB and its commenters to think that if it was the right decision, we’ll figure out why soon enough.

      • bexarama

        I mean personally. I appreciate the conversation and reading it, and a bunch of good points have been raised, but participating in it just makes me frustrated because frankly I don’t see how it was the right decision, unless the FO knows something about Joba that we don’t (or they really do have every intention to start him in 2011), which, granted, is a possibility. Doesn’t have anything to do with anyone else.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ pete

          yeah I can see that. I find that I see new perspectives every time I talk about it though, to the point where I initially thought the move was about 10% right and now I think it was more like 35%. Who knows, that number could go up again.