Trade rumors start early for the Yanks


Photo credit: Elaine Thompson/AP

We’re still 51 days away from the July 31 trade deadline, but that won’t stop the rumors from flowing. As we’ve grown used to during the past decade or so, the Yankees have already been connected to the top names on the trade market. Even in May, a time when almost no notable trades occur, reporters connected the Yankees to Roy Oswalt. Now that we’re past the draft, the trade deadline is the next big milestone. That means we’re about to see plenty of weak rumors.

Today George King of the Post provides Lesson No. 1: If the only source behind a rumor is an anonymous person “familiar with” a team’s thought process, it’ probably best to discard it. In this case, King connects the Yankees to Cliff Lee. The consensus around the industry is that the Yankees will make a strong run at Lee this off-season. But to acquire him in July? That seems like a stretch, given what we’ve learned from the Cashman front office in years past.

But, before we even touch on Cashman’s M.O., let’s evaluate the rumor on the level that King reports it. The opening sentence states that “the Mariners believe the defending World Champions will be in the hunt when they shop stud lefty Cliff Lee.” This does not come from anyone within the Yankees’ organization. In fact, given the “person familiar with Seattle’s thought process” line from the next sentence implies that the source didn’t even come from within Seattle. So there doesn’t appear to be a reason for taking this rumor seriously.

Then we get to the question of why the Yankees would show interest. They already have a strong starting five. Whom would Lee replace in the rotation. The only candidate is Javy Vazquez, and he has shown marked improvement in his last few starts. The Yankees also owe him $12 million this year, and it’s doubtful they’ll find a taker. Even then, would they trade away Vazquez only to trade for Lee? That sounds doubtful, and I agree with MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes that the move would be convoluted.

Beyond that, we have the Cashman front office M.O. The Yankees have shown an unwillingness to trade prospects for rentals. The rumor has the Mariners interested in Eduardo Nunez and one of the Yankees’ catchers. Would they really trade Nunez and Romine for two months of Lee? King implies that the Yankees would want an extension window, but by all indications Lee wants to test the free agent market. With an already solid pitching staff, it seems wasteful to use valuable resources to acquire two months of a pitcher, when that same pitcher will be available to the highest bidder this off-season.

The Yankees don’t seem to need many, if any, major pieces at the deadline. King notes possible interest in Lance Berkman to fill in for Nick Johnson at DH, but those rumors are even further fetched than the Lee ones, at least right now. At this point the Yankees are not only waiting for word on Johnson, but they’re also using Jorge Posada as the primary DH. Posada will likely move behind the plate sometime next week, but he’ll still get plenty of reps at DH. If Johnson can indeed return this season, trading for Berkman would seem superfluous.

Chances are, if we see the Yankees make a deal it will be more along the lines of last year’s deadline. Jerry Hariston was their only addition then, and they could make a similar move this year. Perhaps that will be for an upgrade over Ramiro Pena. Perhaps that will be another bullpen arm. Whatever the case, I wouldn’t expect a big name to head into New York this summer. The Yankees have a solid foundation. All they need are complementary pieces.


  1. As much as I like Cliff Lee, I don’t see what good it’d do the team this year, unless one of the starters was immediately planning to go down with a season ending injury, which we know is not the case.

    More likely, I see them doing something to perhaps help them on the bench. It’s too bad Hairston and Hinske aren’t available, huh?

    • CountryClub says:

      I preface by saying I dont want them to trade Romine or Jesus for a rental. But Lee on the Yankees would make a big difference in 2010. Imagine a 7 game series with CC, Lee, AJ and Andy. Hughes goes back to the pen for the playoffs. Is their pitching fine now? yes. Would it be much better with Lee? Yes.

      • We want Hughes in the playoffs though.

        • -Pak says:

          We WANT not NEED.

          • WTF? WE also don’t need Jeter to win, I’m still starting him over ramiro Pena, as it vastly increases the possibility of us winning.

            • CountryClub says:

              I don’t think this is happening this yr though. I believe he’ll pitch the reg season until he hits his innings limit and then he’s going back to the pen. I think the only way this doesnt happen is if Javy shits the bed late in the yr. If not, he’ll be the 4th starter in the playoffs.

              • I could have sworn the Yankees said the innings limits won’t matter come October.

                • CountryClub says:

                  That’s funny, I just commented on this in a post below. They have said that, and even if it’s true, the problem is that he very well might hit his limit before the playoffs start. I don’t see them shutting him down for a couple weeks just to stretch him back out for the post season.

                  Wouldnt be the first time I was wrong.

                • MikeD says:

                  I think that’s true. When the Yankees are calculate innings, they do it for the regular six-month season. October is the 7th month, so they believe a pitcher can go extra innings, and there is logic to that reasoning. They might have him capped at 155 for the first six months, but would would allow another 20 in October.

            • john quigley says:

              so u dont need jeter to win?jeter is the catalyst of this team without him you dont have the other five rings. WTF are you talking about? u must b one of those people that dont know the yankees had a team before 1995

        • Ted Nelson says:

          He won’t be starting anymore by that time… inngings limit

    • Kiko Jones says:

      Hairston and Hinske should still be here; what good were Winn and Johnson? Younger and more athletic, right? More like a non-hitting 36 year old and an injury prone DH. And that’s exactly what the Yankees got. Jeez…

      I think acquiring Lee depends on how much he wants and whether Pettite will stick around for 2011.

  2. Carcillo says:

    We’re still 41 days away from the July 31 trade deadline, but that won’t stop the rumors from flowing.

    I really hate to nitpick the first sentence of what I’m sure is a fine blog post, but there’s no way it’s only 41 days from today (June 9) until July 31. It’s 51 days, counting today.

  3. P says:

    Mostly agree re: Cliff Lee..I really hope the Yanks don’t start trading prospects (ie. Montero) for 33 yo pitchers.

    Definitely need an upgrade over Pena as a back-up SS/2B…
    Definitely need another Righty arm in the bullpen who we can rely on if Aceves is going to have issues all year

    • mike c says:

      just for reference he’ll be 32 in august

    • mike c says:

      also, i’m not sure there’s a lot of backup ss/2b that are going to be better than pena unless you’re trading a catcher.. and regarding aceves, i think mitre might be that guy– i actually think his stuff could very well be better than aceves’ now that he’s back in good health

    • tc says:

      Why’s everybody hating on Pena? I like him! So quit it.

  4. mike c says:

    only way the lee trade makes sense is if he’s willing to sign an extension with another team. if that’s what it takes, then absolutely make the trade

  5. vin says:

    As far as the trade deadline goes, the biggest questions that need to get answered for the Yanks are:

    Will Aceves return this season?
    Will Johnson be a DH caliber hitter if he returns this year?
    Can Posada’s foot hold up if he were to catch 4-5 games a week?

    I think Cash may look for a Hairston type guy. I don’t think there’s a need for a Hinske type guy, since they have Thames and Miranda (once Moeller gets axed) on the roster.

    • nick blasioli says:

      the lineup is vastly weak with thames, pena, moeller, cervelli, and posada mired in a long slump…they need a big bat..period…

  6. The only believable connection between the Yankees and Mariners King cites in the article is the Mariners scouting the Yankees farm system. All the stuff on Lee is purely his speculation and a ridiculous source.

  7. Gordonm says:

    I thought, if the Yankees made any big trades around the trade deadline, it would be for Roy Oswalt. They would then move Hughes to the bull-pen as a long reliever, spot starter. Rotation next year, Sabathia, Burnett, Oswalt, and Lee.

    • Templeton "Brendog" Peck says:

      terrible idea

      • Gordonm says:

        Hughes will be have an innings limit. That is why I thought the Yankees could stick him back in the bull-pen, to control his innings limit. Then next season we would have Oswalt, Lee as a free-agent signing, and Hughes as the fifth starter.

        • Now that you’ve given a resemblance of a logica comment, I’ll give you a logical reply.

          1)- Money. That’s an incredibly expensive rotation, like really expensive, even with Phil making the minimum. We don’t need 5 aces.

          2)- Pettie is pitching like a 27 year old ace rigth now, and assuming eh finshes off the season respectably, I think he’ll want to start, soemthing he won’t appreciate if he ahs no spot int eh rotation by years end

          3)- Cash has called Joba a starter in the bullpen, and assuming Joba rebounds, he’ll proably floursih. Cash ahs seen what the regain in confidence ahs done for Phil, and I think he’ll at least try Joba as a starter

          4)- We’re not trading big prospects for bis starters, just not happening

          5)- Cashman has siad the innings limit will not be dramatic, just a skipped start here or there. That means Phil will pitch the whole year, leaving no room for Oswalt/Lee

    • JGS says:

      They would then move Hughes to the bull-pen as a long reliever, spot starter

      Have you watched him this year? Like, at all?

      • The Three Amigos says:

        I dont think that is a question. It is a statement– He has obviously not watched Hughes pitch at all.

    • ultimate913 says:

      Stop right there. Turn the computer off. Go relax and think about what you just said. Come back when you are thinking rationally.

    • This is even worse than the first post of the thread. I might have to nominate this for worst post of the year.

    • NYY4ever says:

      The way Hughes is been pitching if there is any move is as a 2nd-3rd starter. Right now he is abetter pitcher than A.J.

    • nick blasioli says:

      if anyone is moved to the bullpen ,,,it would be vasquez…he is great for four or six innings…i know he pitched a few good games, but he is the weakest of the five…

  8. Templeton "Brendog" Peck says:

    and hinske

  9. jim p says:

    So when Posada goes back to catching most of the week, we have a platoon DH with Mirana/Thames, right? Assuming NJ is out for the season.

    Not really much of a need, unless we can get some fine hitter for practically nothing.

  10. PaulF says:

    Will the Mariners take Melky and IPK instead of Romine?

  11. Marc says:

    Ok just a thought, because of Hughes innings limit, consider bumping him in late July, back to the pen and having lee replace him in the rotation. Not to mention injuries between now and then. May need a starter

  12. Steve H says:

    If the only source behind a rumor is an anonymous person “familiar with” a team’s thought process, it’ probably best to discard it.

    I am an anonymous person and I am very familiar with the Yankees thought process. The Yankees thought process is that they want to win. Cliff Lee would help them win. Therefore, the Yankees must be interested in Lee.

    Am I doing that right?

  13. dan genovese says:


  14. The rumor has the Mariners interested in Eduardo Nunez and one of the Yankees’ catchers.


    The catcher is P.J. Pilitere, though. That’s my final offer.

  15. This thread is full of idiots. People who want Hughes to stop starting, people who think Javy, after 4 of 5 good starts, is horrible, and people who are just fucking insane!

  16. ADam says:

    Also, where would he pitch, not like there’s a rotation spot for him at the moment…

  17. theyankeewarrior says:

    If Vazquez shows that he can be an above average starter in the second half, and Hughes hits his innings limit in September, I would be for shutting him down and moving him to the pen for the playoffs.

    Like TSJC said above, his innings limit is there for a reason. He’s 23, and just one shoulder injury away from jeopardizing his career.

    We also have to understand that Hughes may not pitch like a Cy Young winner the entire season. I want him to continue like this just as bad as everyone else, but right now, if he pitched 209 innings, he’d be on pace to go 24-3 with a sub 3 ERA in one of the best hitting divisions in modern MLB history.

    Although his move to the pen would be a downgrade the rotation, it would also be an upgrade to the spotty late-inning crew the Yanks have right now.

    In a perfect world, he’s our #2 behind CC in October. In reality, hes a 23 yr old kid with a very valuable shoulder and an innings limitation.

    • I agree with everything you said.

      Just to be clear, though, it doesn’t mean we need to trade for another starting pitcher. We don’t.

      Hughes pitches in the rotation until rosters expand in September. Whenever during that month he needs to move to the pen, his starts are covered by some amalgam of Nova/McAllister/Romulo/off days.

      • theyankeewarrior says:

        Right. No need for a trade for a pitcher of any kind, unless there’s a major injury.

        When it comes to deadline moves, I’m hoping Cashman can find a way to pull off another ninja deal for a power bat. Only because I still believe Jorge can catch every game in the playoffs and I would like the DH spot to be a quality guy.

        Whether or not that’s possible is up to Cashmoney. Maybe Konerko for a pitcher?

    • mike c says:

      nolan ryan is rolling around in his grave. take off the kid gloves, we aren’t asking hughes to go crazy here. pitching 3-4 games in the postseason isn’t going to break the kid

  18. I can’t see trading for Lee, I can see trading for Berkman if the price is right (no Jesus or Romine) and Johnson is certainly out for the year.

  19. Jose the Satirist says:

    I still see some type of bullpen move happening. My pipe dream of Michael Wuertz coming here cheaply and rebounding is highly unlikely, but I see them acquiring someone.

  20. A.D. says:

    Gotta love the Mariners trying to get the Yanks into it. Their main leverage at this point is saying that they’ll give teams a window and thus the Yanks won’t have a chance to sign him.

    Otherwise teams that could use Lee aren’t from the AL east

  21. Mike HC says:

    This has little chance of happening, but it is possible the Yanks look to trade for Lee and also trade Javy away, maybe in the same deal (three way trade), maybe in a different deal. If Javy is not in the Yanks future beyond this year, and Lee really is the target for a long term deal, it could make sense to make those deals, depending on the price of course.

    The difference in prospects we have to give up for Lee and get back for Javy might be worth the upgrade of Lee over Javy for the stretch and playoffs, plus the added assurance of being able to sign him up long term. Just something to think about.

    • If Javy is not in the Yanks future beyond this year, and Lee really is the target for a long term deal, it could make sense to make those deals, depending on the price of course.

      Only if that price is fairly dirt cheap, which likely it won’t be. Why would Seattle deal Lee (inside the AL, mind you) unless the return was better than the two draft picks they’d get when he leaves?

      • Mike HC says:

        Well, the Yanks would have to give up some value, but it could be offset by who they get back in return for Javy.

        Again, it is all conjecture, and depends on the actual players involved. I’m just saying it could be something to look into.

      • mike c says:

        the difference between AJ + CC is $6MM a year. I haven’t crunched the numbers but that’s real money

  22. Pete says:

    This makes sense. Not the whole Yankees-might-trade-for-Cliff-Lee stuff, but the fact that George King wrote an article suggesting something to that effect. That makes sense.

  23. MikeD says:

    Joe, excellent analysis.

    Lee has made it stunningly clear that he’s becoming a free agent no matter what, so there is no reason for the Yankees to part with a Montero or Romine-level prospect for a few months of Lee, especially when we probably already have the best rotation in the league.

    Now I suppose if the Mariners were willing to take B-level prospects so they get something for Lee as opposed to nothing, then the Yankees should take a look. Lee would allow the Yanks to limit Hughes’ innings down the stretch by moving him to the pen, which will make the bullpen stronger as Hughes would replace the weakest reliever in the pen. The problem with that approach is Hughes wouldn’t be stretched out enough for the playoffs if the Yankees wanted him back in the rotation. Then again, with CC, Lee, Pettitte, Burnett and Javy, his best role might be the pen for the post season.

    So I don’t see it happening either, yet I wouldn’t shut the door entirely if he could be had for the right price that will help bring #28 to the Bronx.

  24. mike c says:

    if the yankees do indeed get homefield for october, then they could use a #4 starter twice all postseason. if he keeps up the good pitching, then you’re crazy not to give the spot to him. two starts is not going to break the kid, and we’re talking a championship here– if you lose, you better damn well lose with your best on the field

    • bonestock94 says:

      You just reminded me that homefield gets determined by the all-star game, how annoying.

    • if the yankees do indeed get homefield for october, then they could use a #4 starter twice all postseason.

      If that’s true, than whether that 4th starter is Javy or Hughes doesn’t really matter all that much, does it?

      So since Javy doesn’t have an innings limit and isn’t an arm you value in the organization, it makes more sense to give him the start rather than risk excess innings with Hughes when there’s significant statistical evidence that those innings are risky for young pitchers.

      Especially since Javy’s, you know… good and shit.

      if he keeps up the good pitching, then you’re crazy not to give the spot to him

      And if Javy keeps up the good pitching, you’re equally crazy not to give the spot to him. In fact, you’re even more crazy, since Hughes has a limit and Javy doesn’t, and since Hughes’s power stuff plays up in the bullpen more while Javy’s more of a command/pitchability guy who wouldn’t get a performance spike in the bullpen. Keeping Hughes in the rotation and demoting Javy to the pen smacks of hardheadedness.

      Look, if the choice was “Do we stretch Hughes back out to pitch this important Game 4, or do we give it to the perpetually shitty Chad Gaudin?” then it’s Hughes.

      If the choice is Hughes past his innings limits, probably gassed, pitching in uncharted territory for him, or Javy Vazquez, a 10+ year vet with a long track record of good pitching who was 4th in the NL Cy Young Voting last year, it’s Vazquez every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

      You don’t really have a very good argument here.

      • mike c says:

        If that’s true, than whether that 4th starter is Javy or Hughes doesn’t really matter all that much, does it?

        what? every playoff start matters. you put your best team on the field every night, no matter what.

        And if Javy keeps up the good pitching, you’re equally crazy not to give the spot to him.

        exactly what i said. the best man gets the job– just don’t believe that innings limits will be the determining factor in who gets the ball in this case. 2 starts is not going to kill the kid, and the potential upside of playoff success could actually make hughes a better pitcher vs. the downside of going over an arbitrary innings limit

      • Captain Jack says:

        If that’s true, than whether that 4th starter is Javy or Hughes doesn’t really matter all that much, does it?

        False, when you need eleven wins in the post season, two starts are a pretty big deal.

        So since Javy doesn’t have an innings limit and isn’t an arm you value in the organization, it makes more sense to give him the start rather than risk excess innings with Hughes when there’s significant statistical evidence that those innings are risky for young pitchers.

        Especially since Javy’s, you know… good and shit.

        Javy also is extremely FB and HR (1.17 career HR/9) prone through out his career. I mean, since Javier Vazquez will likely be facing a good hitting team in the playoffs like the Twins, Red Sox, and Rays…perhaps it’s best to put a pitcher that can keep the ball in the park. While the innings thing is a big issue…I think the solution is to skip Hughes’ starts more often down the stretch…not just give the 4th starter role to Vazquez.

        And if Javy keeps up the good pitching, you’re equally crazy not to give the spot to him. In fact, you’re even more crazy, since Hughes has a limit and Javy doesn’t, and since Hughes’s power stuff plays up in the bullpen more while Javy’s more of a command/pitchability guy who wouldn’t get a performance spike in the bullpen. Keeping Hughes in the rotation and demoting Javy to the pen smacks of hardheadedness.

        If the choice is Hughes past his innings limits, probably gassed, pitching in uncharted territory for him, or Javy Vazquez, a 10+ year vet with a long track record of good pitching who was 4th in the NL Cy Young Voting last year, it’s Vazquez every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

        A few things here, Javier Vazquez has had success against the Orioles, Tigers, Mets, and Blue Jays. If they set up his starts correctly, he can face Houston, Seattle, Zona, Seattle, and Cleveland for his next five starts…that level of success against poor hitting teams isn’t really what I’d consider “pitching well” against teams that have a realistic shot at the playoffs (Minnesota, Oakland, LA, and Tampa) he’s blown asshole galore…these are the types of teams that he’d be facing in the playoffs so the whole “if he continues to pitch well” argument is flawed…unless he shows marked improvement against teams that are playoff contenders…however, I would doubt that that happens.

        Also when you say: “Javy Vazquez, a 10+ year vet with a long track record of good pitching who was 4th in the NL Cy Young Voting last year” He has a long track record of underperforming his peripherals, allowing home runs, and mediocre pitching in the AL (4.54 ERA in 891.5 innings, over that long of a sample I don’t think it’s a fluke or anything) I don’t think it’s as black and white as you seem to think it is regarding who to give the 4th starter to in the playoffs.

        • bexarama says:

          Part of me agrees with this, and part of me wants to point out a few things:

          - Javy might have dominated the not-great-hitting Mets, but they beat up Hughes and CC. Does that mean anything about Hughes and CC? Obviously CC’s got the track record but Hughes doesn’t. Similarly, Javy did much better against the Blue Jays than AJ did.

          - Pettitte blew against the Rays in his one start against them this year and IIRC hasn’t been great against them period since they turned from a joke to legit. I still trust him against them in the postseason, if we’re both there and facing off.

          • Captain Jack says:

            I’ll address those in order, not that you don’t have valid points:

            Hughes went 5.2 walked three and whiffed seven. Part of getting “roughed up” was just the other shoe dropping…he was due for a bad start, IIRC he had a sub 2 ERA at that point. As to CC, well he has a 99 ERA+ right now so he has been pretty bad lately…however he has a sustained track record of excellence, and usually starts slapping around opponents in the second half.

            Pettitte, has a 117 ERA+ over 3000 career innings, whereas over 2500 Javy has a 106…over that large of a sample size I feel confident that Pettitte is a much much much better pitcher than Vazquez (I’m not sure you were insinuating that he wasn’t) and his stellar trackrecord over his career and the fact that he doesn’t have that huge weakness of HR issues like Vazquez has.

            (also, FWIW, he had a 4.13 ERA against them in 2008 and didn’t face them in 2009…)

            With Vazquez it isn’t one particular team, it’s types of teams that I’m concerned with. Since he’s a right handed pitcher that succeeds on command and pitchability, that also struggles with fly balls and the long ball against teams with a lot of left handed power hitters like the Twins (Mauer, Morneau, Kubel, and Thome), the Red Sox (Roidi, Drew, Martinez, and others that can give him issues), or even teams like the Rays who don’t have the best lefties but have a few guys who can definitely run into a ball like Upton, Crawford, and Pena. The other pitchers on the staff don’t quite have the HR afflictions that Vazquez has. The issue tends to get exacerbated in small sample sizes and against good hitting teams.

            • bexarama says:

              Aha. Totally agreed with everything you said here, actually, especially that it is not specific teams that would worry me with Javy as the TYPES of teams. If Javy continues to pitch really well though and CC pitches like we all know he’s capable of doing, especially in the second half – well, I think we can agree having five awesome SPs and deciding which one is the odd man out is a nice problem to have ;)

              And Pettitte faced the Rays a few times in 2009, I just checked. He had some good starts and some meh starts. He started the game where Mo gave up back-to-back home runs and gave up four home runs himself. Again, though, I still trust him. Easily. Because he has a track record of being a very good pitcher. So does Javy – even if he’s not quite the pitcher Andy is.

              • Captain Jack says:

                “And Pettitte faced the Rays a few times in 2009, I just checked. He had some good starts and some meh starts.”

                I used to think that I was able to read.

              • Captain Jack says:

                Also, to that point I have a feeling that the TYPES of teams that Vazquez has issues with are the types of teams that he’ll be facing in the post season.

  25. Captain Jack says:

    If Johnson can indeed return this season, trading for Berkman would seem superfluous.

    That kinda falls under the whole “if my Grandmother had wheels…” line of thinking. Johnson’s had wrist and injury problems throughout his career. However, I don’t think Berkman is the answer, one I think Houston would ask too much, two his bat is really too good to split time…the Yankees are probably going to need to DH Posada more next year and I doubt they can rotate Posada/Berkman/Teixeira/Swisher in between the DH, first base, catcher, and RF very well, and three the Yankees get no compensation if he walks next year…I’m sure it will take at least like someone above a Jose Ramirez level to acquire him, and I’m not sure if I’d be happy with dealing Jose Ramirez for three months of Lance Berkman.

    However, points of contention: Berkman’s currently slumping and he will be 35 next year. With those things in mind maybe they can justify giving him a few days of, and maybe he’d be okay with not playing every day if it meant he’d have a shot at contributing to a championship team. If the Astros would take David Adams, Colin Curtis, and someone like a Zack MacAllister for Berkman…then I’d probably do that.

    I do definitely feel that the Yankees need another bat. Frankie Cervelli is not an everyday player, he got off to an incredibly hot start with his batting average, but unless you’re Ichiro or have at least some power you won’t maintain a .330+ batting average. He’s a back up catcher and is already getting exposed in just the time that Posada went out. So I definitely am not comfortable with Posada being the everyday DH. I kinda wish the Angels were out of it and see if they’d be willing to deal Mike Napoli…but that ship has sailed long ago.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Cervelli is not he Yankees long-term starter, but he’s a good defensive catcher (besides his inability to throw anyone out this season) with a decent enough bat to hide at the bottom of the line-up. He’s better than some of the starters out there. I’m really not so concerned about Frankie that I’d rush to trade for someone. Posada will be back catching, and Cervelli will be a platoon player.

      Berkman’s old, expensive, a free agent if his option’s not picked up, a defensive liability/DH, plays in a band box stadium, got off to a bad start… Not sure what his trade value will be.

      • Captain Jack says:

        If Posada gets back to catching I’m not sure I’d call what Cervelli and Posada do a “platoon” Nor am I in a “rush” to go out and acquire someone…though the more PT Cervelli gets the lower that BABIP is going to drop…the worse the numbers get. I’m just saying that they need another bat because Johnson is likely done for the year.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          His BABIP is not going to continue to drop to 0. At some point it’s likely to level out. Last season was only 101 PAs, but he also hit .298 and had a OPS close to .700. His minor league career OPS was .747, so it’s not like he’s an absolute zero with the bat. He makes contact. If he leaves the Yankees org one way or another, I think he’ll be a career starter… or at least back and forth between starting/back-up year to year, team to team.

          If you wouldn’t call it a platoon, what would you call it? One guy plays some days and the other some days… that’s a platoon to me. I think the conventional wisdom is that the Yankees should split Posada’s time a little more between C/DH, to keep him healthy/fresh.

          I have no idea about Johnson’s health, so I don’t know if he’s done for the year.

          • Captain Jack says:

            Never said he was a zero, he’s better than the worst hitter in the line up for several teams, but his power is quite anemic, seeing as how he has less power than Brett Gardner. Because if this, I don’t think he’s good enough to be an everyday player for the Yankees. However, I think he’s an outstanding back up catcher…which has quite a bit of value.

            When I think Platoon I think of two guys, one who can’t hit lefties and the other who can’t hit righties…and they start depending on the handedness of the starter on the mound. I consider Posada/Cervelli the typical starting catcher/back up catcher situation.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              A lot of teams have guys in their line-ups who are worse, a whole lot of them. I agree he’s not an ideal starter, but you don’t need great power at every spot to be a great mine-up. Cervelli brings plus defense and is a good contact hitter.

              That’s one type of platoon. They have historically been a typical starting/back-up situation. The thinking among a lot of people (don’t know where Girardi and Cashman fall on this… though Posada is against it) is that Posada should spend less time behind the plate. There was a good article right here on RAB on the topic recently. Some people are wondering whether Posada can stay healthy as a full-time C.

  26. I would like to apologize. I was very determined that Hughes should start in the postseason, but Mice C’s arguing has convinced me that I’m wrong. That’s how poorly he’s arguing.

    • On second thought, no, I think you give Hughes the extra 14-20 innings in the playoffs if he continues to dominate. But damn, it’s really annoying when Mike C agrees with you.

      • bexarama says:


        Wasn’t the plan last year to give Joba postseason starts, though? Even after all the stuff with the innings limits? It was only because he had been so generally bad for such a large chunk of time that they decided to put him in the bullpen. If I’m wrong, please correct me.

        But I can’t imagine them not giving Hughes postseason starts if he continues to be this dominant. They’re not going to shut him down entirely once he reaches his innings limit, right?

        • That’s what I’ve been saying the whole thread, but tsjc is vehemently arguing against it.

          • bexarama says:

            Yeah, I can see what he’s arguing for… but I think he’s a bit off on this one too, just because of what they planned to do with Joba last year IIRC but couldn’t do, due to poor performance.

            On the other hand, if Javy continues to pitch well, especially if he has strong starts against teams that might contend, I think Hughes is the natural odd man out because of the innings limit and goes to the bullpen for the postseason. But, you never know.

      • Captain Jack says:

        Way too early to worry about the playoff rotation.

    • mike c says:

      damn, i got nothing on that. a dry cool wit like that, combined with such stinging delivery and impeccable timing… your mind is like a steel trap, please have mercy on me! i’ll agree with any point you make from now on. can i be your friend in real life?

  27. jspec says:

    Welcome to the made up world of NY Sportswriter. That King article is like the ones you read every year about the Yanks. He probably wrote it back in Spring training.

  28. Ted Nelson says:

    A. By July 31 Lee might be replacing Hughes in the rotation (innings limit) or anyone who gets hurt/ineffective between now and then. I was actually thinking picking up another starter at the deadline MIGHT be wise, IF the price is right. If the price is reasonable and the Yankees work out the extension they were going to pay him this winter anyway… maybe Lee’s the guy.

    B. Lee wants to test free agency to get tons of money from an organization he wants to play for. I doubt he has some LeBron James style summer tour complete with commemorative shoes for each stop planned out in his head. If the Yankees are an org he wants to play for and they give him a great deal… why wait until winter and risk injury/ineffectiveness/anything unexpected costing you 10s of millions?

    C. The rumor is that the Mariners want Nunez and a C, not that they’re going to get that. What they actually get will depend on who wants Lee and how badly. If Lee is unwilling to sign an extension upfront, is any team going to give up a top prospect only to lose Lee to the Yankees in the offseason? Doubt it. The price will come down. On the other hand, if Lee IS willing to sign an extension and IS the Yankees’ big offseason FA target… they have to at least look into getting in on the bidding… Lee has a defacto no-trade clause in that he can publically state he will only sign an extension with team x. Theoretically team x will be willing to give up more than most other teams in that case (besides maybe some team with a plethora of prospects who really wants to win this season). I’m sure he wants to kick the Phillies’ ass, so the NL East or an AL team that just beat them in the WS could attract him.

    • First of all, Hughes, if he kep on his pace, wouldn’t reach 170 innins ’til the start of September. Second, Girardi has said he won’t shut Phil down, but instead will give him a few extra days off here or there. Third, Lee ahs made it clear he wants free agency, it’s why the Phillies dealt him. They have hte money, but new he wouldn’t take it. I also don’t think he has any partiucalr dislike towards the Phillies.

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        Plus I still don’t think giving up the price Lee will take when he will likely go into free agency. If it’s Nunez + Romine for 4 or 5 months of Lee then I wouldn’t do it.

        • Ted Nelson says:


          Yeah, I’m saying if he agrees to an extension. Even then I might not give up Romine. Depends who else is bidding. I rambled on, but my point was that if (theoretically) Lee is only willing to sign an extension with the Yankees (because they make the best offer, blow him away) and he makes that fact known… other teams might back off a little (lower Lee’s trade value) knowing the Yankees are just going to steal him in the offseason.

          • But the Yankees offer won’t get any lower in the offseason, and Lee might as well look at what other teams have to offer.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              Or maybe he gets hit by a bus before the offseason and his throwing arm is amputated. He just lost tens of millions of dollars… Or maybe he has an injury down the stretch and pitches ineffectively. He just lost tens of millions of dollars… If a deal is on the table that he likes ($ & team) and he gets over the no negotiating during the season thing because he’s being traded anyway, then I think he’d sign.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Thanks Joe Girardi…

        Or… the Yankees can move Hughes to the pen before he reaches his innings limit to sure up the back end of the pen. (Then Hughes will have taken Joba’s job twice in one season…) It’s contingent on the Yankees loving Lee as a long-term piece and possibly on the league adjusting to Hughes. I doubt they’ll trade for Lee, but I don’t think it’s totally out of the rhealm of possibility if things break a certain way.

        First, Lee came out and said he’s pissed at the Phillies for trading him. Second, the Phillies dealt him to get Roy Halladay. If you’re going to be condescending know what the hell you’re talking about. Third, if the Yankees are willing to break the bank for him and he wants to play in the Bronx… he might sign. (Big ifs, but if the Yankees were to offer him CC money I don’t see how he’d turn it down… Probably Burnett money, too, or at least anything over that.)

        • bexarama says:

          I don’t think Lee’s comments about leaving the Phillies were “I’m pissed” so much as he was shocked and sad because it was unexpected and he really liked it there (who wouldn’t? You’ve got as good a chance as any at making it to the World Series and he can still go fishin’ as much as he likes, probably.).

          • Ted Nelson says:

            I doubt it’ll be a big factor in his decision, but the chance to beat the Phillies in the WS mght be attractive to Lee. I’m sure, like most FAs, the #1 factor will be $… and then if the money’s close there might be lifestyle/organizational considerations.

            Here’s the first link I found: http://blog.seattlepi.com/base.....188602.asp

            “That’s how Lee, who said he was at the beginning stages of negotiating a new contract with the Phillies, found out he would be a Mariner in 2010.”
            “”At first I didn’t believe it because I thought we were working out an extension with the Phillies,” Lee said.”
            Lee proclaimed to be negotiating an extension, but “he’s absolutely unwilling to sign an extension?”

            ” Lee said he has a general preference of not negotiating during the season, something he didn’t do in Cleveland, because he feels the news becomes about his contract and not winning games.”
            If he’s about to be traded, the news is going to be about him either way.

            He also talks about a no-trade clause several times… so a full no-trade clause would probably go a long way towards getting an extension signed.

        • CC ain’t getting CC money, and he’s not taking Burnett money. The reason the Phillies preffered Halladay over Lee so much and did the trade was because they couldn’t lock Lee up. Hughes will pitch as a starter to his innigns limit. July 31′st would be super early, like 2 full months early. You don’t need to be Joe GIrardi to use logic.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Says who? Halladay is a better pitcher.

            Here is a direct quote from Clifton Phifer Lee himself on wanting the Phillies to lock him up: ”At first I didn’t believe it because I thought we were working out an extension with the Phillies”

            How can you say he didn’t want to sign an extension with the Phillies and that’s why they traded him?

            • Ted Nelson says:

              “It was one of those things that seemed like it happened overnight. I don’t really know what happened. I was under the impression they wanted to keep me there for a long time and I thought we were in the process of making that happen. Next thing I know, I was traded.”

          • Ted Nelson says:

            If he reaches his innings limit, then he can’t pitch in relief. You have to move him to the pen BEFORE he reaches the limit, or he can’t pitch in relief down the stretch and into the playoffs.

  29. Mark says:

    Target Ryan Doumit – switch-hitter – C/1B/OF, power and patience

    The Pirates love doing business with us and this would be a big depth signing to take pressure off of the Cervelli-Posada tandem

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Definitely an interesting idea.

      Not that the Yanks are throwing out many runners, but Doumit is 4-47 this season… Good bat, though. Doesn’t seem to be able to stay healthy. Wonder what his trade value is… I won’t be thrilled about overpaying, since the Yankees line-up is already stacked.

  30. matt montero says:

    But the problem is, any team that is interested in Lee will have to give up at least what the Mariners would get for offering arbitration. That means a first round talent plus more (since there’s the compensation round too). I’m not sure about how the Mariners view the Yankees system, but besides Romine and Montero, are there realy that many first-round prospects in the Yankees system? I would say there is Slade and possibly Banuelos. Since Slade was pretty much just draft (last year), I’m assuming the Yankees wouldn’t want to trade him. I’m not really sure Manny’s cieling, but I haven’t heard he is a potential ace, but still a very good pitcher. Perhaps a package of Romine, McAllister, Nunez would be what they’re really looking for, but I would think it’s more. At least, other teams will likely offer more. I’m not willing to part with that much for a few months of a player. Especially since Romine has been great and possibly the Yankees catcher of the Future.

    • There giving a half-season rental, I doubt they get that much from anyone, though either way the Yankees don’t need to trade for him.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Prospects are surer bets than draft picks, though, in that you’ve already seen what they can do in the minors… (Terrible start aside) Montero is a first round talent who has already been delivering on that talent throughout the system… up to AAA at age 20. Some 20 year old you took late in the 1st round, you don’t know how he’ll turn out as much. Of course Montero may never amount to anything, but he’s got a better chance than the #32 pick in next season’s draft…

      • Actually, at this point, it’s a very sure bet that Jesus evolves into something.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          That was my whole point.

          It’s still not 100%, though, and Jesus was just an example. The same logic applies to draft picks v. solid upper level prospects when you’re not talking about an extreme example of a guy who started the season as a consensus top 5 prospect in baseball.

  31. Pete says:

    Wow there’s an enormous amount of undersimplification going on up there. This is pretty much how it will go:

    The yankees have some kind of number in mind, whether innings/pitches/whatever. Phil Hughes will not exceed that number this season, including postseason. Period. Whether that means he starts or relieves (or doesn’t pitch at all) during the playoffs is yet to be determined (by us – I’m sure the Yanks have a couple of different plans, depending on how things shake out for the rest of the season).

    PS: I have a distinct feeling that come August/September, y’aint gonna be wanting Hughes in the playoff rotation. What happened to Joba at the end of last year wasn’t even a little bit out of the norm for pitchers far exceeding previous workload thresholds. Hughes’s fall may not be as precipitous as Joba’s was last year, but I’d put it at VERY unlikely that he outpitches any of CC/AJ/Andy/Javy for the last month/month and a half of the season.

    • Pete says:

      In other words, the yanks aren’t going to hit October and say “fuck it, it’s the postseason.” I’m quite certain that they’ve factored the postseason into their plans already. The playoffs aren’t the start of some whole new ballgame (pun intended). For the fans they are, but for the front office they are the conclusion of a very, very long season. They will do whatever they can to win, but one of the reasons they are paying Javy Vazquez and Andy Pettitte so much money is so that they don’t need to squeeze an extra 14-20 innings out of Hughes at the end of the year.

      Now, they may have a plan to have Hughes start in the postseason if come september he is still dominating. But such a plan would almost certainly involve further reducing his regular season workload to accommodate the extra starts at the end of the year.

  32. NC Yankee Fan says:

    What about if the Yankees traded for a good DH for the next few years that could play defense? Then in 2011, Posada and Cervelli split catching duties until one of either Romine or Montero comes up to the majors, then Posada becomes the catching coach, once a week catcher to mentor the young catcher.
    I was thinking a Prince Fielder type guy.

  33. gargoyle says:

    I don’t agree that they need only complimetary pieces. They need a starting OFer.

    • NC Yankee Fan says:

      I believe the Yankees would get that by signing either Crawford or Werth in the off season. Imagine Crawford, Granderson,and Gardner in the same outfield with Swisher dhing 5 days out of and playing the outfield once or twice a week.

      • Pete says:

        I doubt we get Crawford. It’d be stupid to go over 4 years on him, and someone almost certainly will. I sure hope it won’t be us.

    • Pete says:

      for this season? You do realize that theirs is arguably the best starting OF in terms of overall production in the majors right now, don’t you?

    • Ted Nelson says:

      To replace who?

  34. Bondarri says:

    I don’t know how they could make the C. Lee trade but if they could without hurting the team I would do it. Joba, Johnson, and Thames should be dumped asap. Joba is never going to amount to anything and he was likely a flash in the pan. Don’t know who they have in the minors that could be thrown in? I still think C.C. is a lower back problem just waiting to happen. He’s way over weight and his back has got to become a problem sooner rather than later. I suspect his abs are not his strong suite. Also, Andy is still pitching well but his days are numbers. Putting C. Lee into on the roster would be a huge plus but I seriously doubt the Yanks could make it happen.

  35. St. Pete says:

    Brandon Inge, great glove with some decent pop who can play third, left and be the third catcher, seems like a perfect fit to me….what would it take to get him i wonder?

  36. moonch says:

    I just don’t think we need Lee this year, unless an injury comes. Starting pitching isn’t the problem. What we need is a Matt Guerrier/Luke Gregerson-level-reliever and a productive DH bat. I don’t trust Gaudin or Chamberlain or Park out there. Marte isn’t good for more than one out.

    If the Red Sox keep on as they have, I honestly don’t see the Yanks making the playoffs this year. We keep waiting for Tex and A-Rod to wake up, but over a third of the way through I’m starting to think it ain’t gonna happen. The Rays pitching might fall apart but I don’t think you can count on that. The Sox are only poised to improve when Ellsbury and Beckett return. And the Jays are being aided by their mysterious power surge (hmmm… I wonder what’s going on there) and don’t seem to be slowing down. They made us look sick last weekend. The Yanks need to get there groove back and quick. They might be in 4th place before they know it.

  37. Mattchu12 says:

    I like the following options for the offense:

    1. Trade for David DeJesus, play him in right field with Nick Swisher as the DH assuming that Posada is healthy enough to be behind the plate full time. Upgrades the outfield (not that Swisher has been so bad this season, I’ve actually been impressed) and gives us a really nice number two starter so that Swisher can move back to a spot in the lineup where he can continue to mash and drive in runs.

    2. Promote Jesus Montero and work him with Posada as the full-time catchers and designated hitters, and this only is an option if Montero starts ripping the cover off the baseball sometime soon. I know he needs to work on his defense, but I see Triple-A and I see Tony Pena in New York, and I’m thinking I’d rather see him working with Pena at the major league level. Maybe that’s just me.

    Options for the pitching:

    1. Do. Not. Trade. For. Cliff. Lee. Holy Johan Santana all over again Batman. Why trade one of two tremendous catching prospects (and lets face it, I’d ask for both. Lee is a sure-thing) for someone that we can get in the offseason? Especially when 1-5 of our rotation is better than most teams 1-3, and a lot of teams 1-2 arms.

    2. I’d love a high-end lefty reliever of the Matt Thornton, Billy Wagner, or Arthur Rhodes cloth. Has any one seen Rhodes’ numbers? The guy has a .033 ERA through almost thirty innings and has only given up nine hits and nine walks? Damn. I am in love with the idea of a lefty set-up man that can get both righties and lefties out, but is especially good against lefties when we play in a division with guys like David Ortiz, Evan Longoria, and Nick Markakis.

  38. clyne says:

    What if we were making a trade with Seattle and it was not for Lee, but rather Ichrio? The cost would not be that high. You could turn Swish into the ultimate platoon guy (RF, LF, 1B, DH) and it probably does not cost you a high level prospect at this point. Maybe even for just Nunez for Ichrio…it gives us the best 1-2 in baseball and then Grandy can go back to 7th or 8th…

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