Jul
26

A look at the Yankees’ trade deadline history, 2005-2007

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The 2010 non-waiver trade deadline is just six days away now, and the Yankees are sure to make a move or two (or more) before then to shore up the bench and bullpen, among other things. Because of who they are, the Yanks are always connected to the big names before the deadline, as we’ve already seen with Cliff Lee and Dan Haren this year. Their interest in Lee was sincere, but the vibe I got from the Haren situation was that they were willing to take him if he fell into their laps, but they weren’t married to the idea of acquiring him.

The Yanks have made several moves of varying significance at the deadline during the last five years, so let’s look back and see what moves they actually made. This post covers 2005, 2006, and 2007 while 2008 and 2009 will be a long a little later this afternoon.

2005
Eduardo Sierra & Ramon Ramirez for Shawn Chacon
Cash considerations for Joe Thurston

(AP Photo/John Dunn)

It’s hard to believe how little pitching depth the Yankees had in 2005, especially since they were two-and-a-half games up in the AL East a week before the deadline. Having already acquired Al Leiter (4.53 FIP in 62.1 IP after the trade) from the Marlins for cash considerations plus Darrell May (10.88 FIP in 7 IP) and Tim Redding (11.02 FIP in 1 IP) from the Padres for Paul Quantrill earlier in July, the Yanks grabbed Shawn Chacon from the Rockies for two relief prospects.

“Saturday we have a starter now. It’s as simple as that,” said GM Brian Cashman at the time of the deal, a terrifying reminder of how bad things got in the mid-aughts. Chacon pitched as well as you could have expected after the trade, posting a 4.53 FIP in 79 IP across 12 starts and two relief appearances. He also pitched well in his lone postseason appearance, limiting the Angels to two runs in 6.1 IP in Game Four of the ALDS. The good times ended there though, but we’ll cover that in a bit.

The prospects dealt for Chacon went different ways. Sierra has never appeared in the big leagues, and has posted a 4.84 ERA in 148.2 IP for three teams since the trade. He currently pitches for Reynosa in the Mexican League. Ramirez, on the other hand, contributed a 3.65 FIP in 85 IP to Rockies across the 2006 and 2007 seasons. They then dealt him to the Royals for Jorge DeLaRosa, and a year later Kansas City traded him to the Red Sox for Coco Crisp. Ramirez currently resides in Boston’s bullpen of doom, with a 4.77 FIP in 40.1 IP this season.

The Thurston move was simply a matter of minor league depth and needing a warm body in Triple-A. The utility infielder never played for the Yankees after being acquired from the Dodgers, instead hitting .238/.287/.374  a in 118 plate appearances for Triple-A Columbus. The Yanks also made a waiver trade in late August, grabbing Matt Lawton from the Indians for A-ball pitching prospect Justin Berg. Lawton was terrible in pinstripes (.249 wOBA in 57 plate appearances), and although Berg is nothing special, he gets credit for reaching the majors with the Cubs both this year and last (4.31 career FIP in 32.2 IP).

2006
Hector Made for Sal Fasano
C.J. Henry, Carlos Monasterios, Jesus Sanchez & Matt Smith for Bobby Abreu & Cory Lidle
Shawn Chacon for Craig Wilson

Unlike 2005, the Yankees’ pitching staff was relatively sound in 2006. Not great, but good enough. The lineup was the real weakness, with both Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield missing considerable time because of wrist injuries and Andy Phillips’ .289 wOBA masquerading as an everyday first baseman. Cashman made three moves in the days leading up to the deadline, the first of which brought the world’s greatest mustache to New York.

As likable as Sal Fasano was, he simply wasn’t very good. He put up a .228 wOBA in 57 plate appearances after the trade, which is somehow worse than what Kelly Stinnett (.258 wOBA in 87 PA) did as Jorge Posada‘s backup in the first half of the season. Made, the prospect sent to the Phillies for Fasano, was a toolsy middle infielder still in A-ball. He’s been out of baseball since the 2007 season, with just ten plate appearances above A-ball to his credit. That, of course, was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to Yanks-Phils trades that year.

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

With both Matsui and Sheffield out, the Yanks regularly employed a Melky Cabrera-Johnny Damon-Bernie Williams outfield alignment during the summer of 2006. Yes, it was almost as bad as it sounds. After weeks of rumors, Cashman finally went ahead and acquired Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle from Philadelphia once the price dropped sufficiently. The Phillies were also responsible for getting Abreu to waive his no-trade clause, eventually paying him $1.5M to both waive the NTC and agreeing to the condition that his $16M option for 2008 did not have to be picked up.

Slotted right into the three-spot of the lineup upon his arrival, Abreu was pretty damn awesome after the trade. He put up a .405 wOBA in 248 plate appearances after the deal, though his defense was suspect as usual. Lidle solidified the back of the rotation, posting a 6.35 FIP in 45.1 IP, though he had some awful homerun luck (21.6% HR/FB compared to 12.8% career). Neither player did anything noteworthy in the ALDS, just like the rest of the team.

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Sadly, Lidle was killed that October when a single-engine aircraft he was piloting crashed into an Upper East Side high-rise. Even though he was a free agent and unlikely to re-sign with the Yanks, the team wore black armbands in his honor during the 2007 season, and his wife Melanie and young son Christopher were invited to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day 2007 (left).

Abreu spent two more years in pinstripes, posting a .364 wOBA during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, though his atrocious defense limited his overall value. The Yanks did end up exercising that 2008 option before letting him walk as a free agent after the season. As expected, the prospects surrendered in the deal have on to achieve different things. The centerpiece, 2005 first rounder C.J. Henry, never got on track in A-ball for Philadelphia before asking for release during the 2007-2008 offseason. He then re-signed with the Yanks, spent another year giving the baseball thing a try before giving the sport up and joining his brother Xavier on the University of Kansas basketball team.

Smith posted a 4.70 FIP in 12.2 IP for Philadelphia, but his career has been derailed by a series of injuries, including Tommy John surgery. The Cubs released him after Spring Training last season, and he’s been out of baseball since. Sanchez, a catcher at the time of the trade, has since converted to pitching and developed into a decent pitching prospect. He’s still in A-ball, though the Phillies added him to the 40-man roster this past offseason to avoid losing him in the Rule 5 Draft, which is what happened with Monasterios. Monasterios is currently with the Dodgers, and has pitched to a 5.41 FIP in 57.1 IP this season.

The last trade the Yanks made at the 2006 deadline involved their 2005 deadline pickup: Shawn Chacon. After a strong second half in 2005, Chacon bombed (6.26 FIP in 63 IP) during the first half of the 2006 season, and was then flipped to the Pirates for Craig Wilson. Wilson wasn’t any good in New York (.264 wOBA in 109 plate appearances), but he was more productive than Phillips at first. Both he and Chacon bounced around after the 2006 season and are now out of baseball.

2007
Jeff Kennard for Jose Molina
Scott Proctor for Wilson Betemit

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The Yanks marched into the 2007 deadline seven games back in the division, but instead went with a few tweaks rather than a major upgrade. Molina was acquired from the Angels to replace the completely overmatched Wil Nieves (.187 wOBA in 66 PA), and almost instantly became the best backup catcher of the Jorge Posada era. He posted a .334 wOBA in 71 plate appearances after the trade, then re-signed with the Yanks after the season and spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons as their rock solid, defensive specialist backup backstop. Kennard was in Double-A at the time of the trade and has never pitched in the big leagues, bouncing between affiliated ball and independent leagues over the last season or two.

Cashman’s other deadline move sent the burnt out Proctor to the Dodgers for Betemit, who provided some pop off the bench (.301 wOBA in 92 PA, but a .190 ISO) while playing all over the infield. He returned the next year and posted a .308 wOBA in 198 plate appearances before being dealt in a five player trade that brought Nick Swisher and Kanekoa Texeira to the Yanks. Proctor pitched to a 4.90 FIP with the Dodgers in 70.2 IP during the second half of 2007 and the first half of 2008 before injuries, including Tommy John surgery. He’s bounced around since then, and is currently pitching with the Braves Triple-A affiliate.

* * *

Check back later today for the second half of this review, when we relive the 2008 and 2009 deadlines and offer up some thoughts about what could happen this year.

Categories : Analysis

112 Comments»

  1. Having already acquired… Darrell May (10.88 FIP in 7 IP) and Tim Redding (11.02 FIP in 1 IP)

    Quadruple digit FIPs? I’m not even mad, that’s amazing.

  2. Zanath says:

    For the most part, these just bring up terrible memories.

  3. Carlosologist says:

    I picked a good time to start understanding baseball then.

  4. BklynJT says:

    Just saw a post on MLB Trade Rumors that stated the Yankees dangled Montero for Soria….

    Seriously, for a reliever… Anyone else starting to worry about the recent trade happy “trend” by Cashman?

    • pat says:

      It’s not really a trend if there’s nothing to show for it.

    • nathan says:

      Dont believe everything that MLBTR reports.

      Most likely he could have asked for Soria and they would have asked for Montero and you know what Cash$$ would have said before hanging up.

    • That MLBTR post is all Jon Heyman and Jayson Stark based.

      I trust the two of those hacks as far as I can throw them. They’re both notorious for subtly changing “I think this could happen” into “I heard this might be happening”.

      • For more exposition, here’s Stark himself at greater length. He repeats the claim that we offered Montero for Soria, but then immediately pooh-poohs the idea of Soria (or Greinke) going anywhere, because the Royals are insane and have an astronomical price point for both of them (emphasis mine):


        Lots of Zack Greinke and Joakim Soria rumors flying in Kansas City. But teams we’ve surveyed say they see no sign either is going anywhere. The Yankees just made another run at Soria, as first reported by SI.com — even dangling Jesus Montero. But the Royals weren’t interested. And they’ve shown no serious inclination to deal Greinke, either. An official of one club that called said it was told: “We’ll always listen. So if you want to throw enough names at us, feel free.” But what the Royals actually want is a package led by multiple future ace-type starters. And that’s a price no team would pay in this prospects-are-gold era we live in.

        http://espn.go.com/mlb/noteboo.....e-deadline

        • Ed says:

          If the Royals actually said that, then I think the real story is they don’t want to trade Soria. They’re listening to see if someone will make an absurd offer, and maybe trade him if that happens. I don’t think even the Royals think he’s worth that.

          • That.

            If the Yankees really offered Jesus Montero for Joakim Soria, the Royals would be fools to say no. And if the Yankees said “We’ll give you Montero for Soria, but you have to throw in a position player from your major league roster to serve as our bench upgrade”, the Royals should do that as well (although they should ask for a fringy pitcher as well to even things out).

            For the Royals, Montero is worth Soria and any single other member of their 25 man team not named Zack Grienke. His bat is legit, they need the young position player talent, and they’re not going to contend until Hosmer/Moustakas/Montgomery/Colon all come up anyway, so make the trade.

            If I’m Dayton Moore, I’d trade Soria and Billy Butler (or Alex Gordon, or Jose Guillen, or whomever else the hell Cashman wants) for Jesus Montero and Ivan Nova. In a heartbeat. Shit, I’d throw in money.

        • Sweet Dick Willie says:

          If the Royals turned down Jesus for Soria, Dayton Moore should be fitted for a straight-jacket.

          WHAT THE EFF DO THE ROYALS NEED A CLOSER FOR?

          They’re on pace to winn 69 friggin games. So if they don’t have a closer they only win 65?

          Stupidity is why there isn’t more balance in MLB.

      • (digs deeper)

        That MLBTR post is all Jon Heyman and Jayson Stark based.

        Actually, I’m wrong. It’s all Heyman based, Stark had nothing to do with it. The update at 11:23 cites Jayson Stark, but Stark’s just citing the same original Heyman article from SI.com, he’s not adding anything of his own.

      • Evan3457 says:

        In the ESPN trade deadline blog right below the column in which Stark reports the Montero offer rumor, he responds to a fan question about whether the Yanks “know something we (don’t) know” about Montero:

        “I think you’re misreading the Yankees on Montero, Anton. They’re not hell-bent to move him. They’re just deeper in catchers than at any other position. They can’t move him to first base because Mark Teixeira has that covered. They don’t want to clog up their DH position long-term because they need to use it for their aging players. But they’re only going to trade him for a star type player. They offered him for Cliff Lee but nor for Haren. And it sounds as if they told the Royals they’d talk about him for Soria. But that’s it — so far.”

        I don’t know about you, but I interpret the phrase “it sounds as if” to mean “Someone told me this; it’s likely bullpsit, but I’m going to report it as fact, because that’s how I make the big bucks.”

        I could be wrong. No other reporter has backed up Stark’s report; everyone talking about this is citing Stark. Yanks havn’t denied it; not sure they would, either way.

        • Evan3457 says:

          OK, so now that TSJ traced the Montero/Soria report back to Heyman, now I know why Stark said “it sounds as if”, because Heyman’s report said “big proposal”.

          Stark is assuming the “big proposal” includes Montero, who’s never explicitly mentioned by Heyman in that offer.

    • Ed says:

      I have trouble believing that one. I know this is the Royals and they’ve made some really bad moves in the past, but, I don’t think any GM would pass on trading a reliever for Montero. And these sort of deals are rarely just for one prospect, making it sound siller.

  5. Thomas says:

    I am highly disappointed that Mike did not write, “during his time in pinstripes Betemit was one of the three best utility infielders in baseball.”

    Very disillusioning.

  6. JDDZip says:

    I saw that too. Honestly. I was fine with trading him for Cliff Lee. Just because I was so unbelievably shocked when he made us look like idiots in the World Series.

    But for a reliever? Really? I understand that our bullpen has been sucking but its not hard to bring up a few more guys from AAA or get someone like Scott Downs.

    Does anybody here actually think that Jesus Montero is going to make it to be a Yankee anymore? Beside just a september callup?

    • Please use the reply button. Thanks in advance.

    • Carlosologist says:

      1) The reply button exists for a reason.
      2) Your post is off-topic and should go http://riveraveblues.com/off-topic-6/ <– in that thread.

      • TheLastClown says:

        I don’t know. The topic is Yanks’ trade deadline history. Next week, the happenings of this week will be trade deadline history. It seems on-topic to me.

    • TheLastClown says:

      ZZ made a good point in some bygone thread about Soria’s value to the Yankees, in the postseason, transcending the usual ‘starter >>>>> reliever’ paradigm.

      Shutdown high-leverage innings in the playoffs have been/are/will be very important to the Yankees.

      That said, I don’t agree with the prospect of giving up a comparable or better package for Soria than Lee or Haren.

      I do think Montero has a future with the Yankees, but his trade availability does make me tend to think Cash & the FO have serious doubts about his being any kind of regular catcher.

      If he’s a big-time slugger at a less-than-premium position, his value obviously drops significantly, but I’d really like to see them allow him his chance to impress or fail.

      Also, I’ve been surprised at the general anti-Joba vibe around these parts. The proposals for Haren really seemed out of character. Cough…JMK…cough

      Oh and also, please use the reply button. It streamlines conversations. Thanks in advance for using it.

      • I do think Montero has a future with the Yankees, but his trade availability does make me tend to think Cash & the FO have serious doubts about his being any kind of regular catcher.

        These rumored packages are beginning to worry me, though. Because even though they never come to fruition and a lot of it is baseless pseudojournalistic bullshit, where there’s smoke, there’s fire: we are considering moving Montero. And not in smart ways, IMO.

        One of my favorite parts of the new Cashman regime (post-Tampa power struggle) was refreshing breath of perspective, long-term planning, and patience.

        Now, though, with the way we’ve mishandled Joba’s development in an effort to extract instant benefit from a guy who needs to be in the minors working on his craft, and the way we’ve contemplated dealing Montero for marginal short-term upgrades (like for only 4 months of a pitcher we’re going to sign this winter or for a reliever who we’d use merely as a setup man pitching less than 5% of the total innings during the regular season and no more than 10% of the total playoff innings)… I’m questioning that patience.

        It seems as if Cashman is becoming more willing to sacrifice key pieces of the future for the upgrade now from an excellent team to a ridiculously unstoppable team, perhaps because he desperately fears the window is closing and wants to hedge all bets.

        I think that’s a poor strategy. It’s overkill; the risk doesn’t justify the reward. We’re already the favorites; no need to make it much harder for us to be the favorites 5 years from now in order to make us some sort of super-favorite for this one year.

        • CountryClub says:

          What if the Yanks have decided that he won’t ever be their catcher? He’s not playing 1st for 6 years. He’s not going to be a FT DH because they need that spot for Posada, Arod and eventually Jeter (we don’t like this, but it’s the way the Yanks think).

          People say he has no chance of playing the OF. So what do they do with him? Maybe his greatest value for the Yanks is as a trade chip. It’s possible.

          • TheLastClown says:

            He could be the backup C while DHing most of the time.

            If that’s not feasible, then sure, I guess his value is highest as a trade chip.

            With the way he’s been raking, I just want to see him get a chance to prove he can’t catch.

          • Evan3457 says:

            That’s possible. But if that’s the case, then you trade him for something of comparable long-term value. Like a good starting pitcher at a reasonable price, or a viable mid-term replacement for Jeter at shortstop.

          • He’s not going to be a FT DH because they need that spot for Posada, Arod and eventually Jeter (we don’t like this, but it’s the way the Yanks think).

            Play him at DH until those possibilities become actualities. People act like the fact that Derek Jeter and ARod take occasional games at DH means we must keep the DH position free. That’s not the case.

            What we need to do is NOT sign a veteran to a fat contract to be the DH, because that would create a logjam at DH. But having Jesus Montero making less than a million dollars under the age of 25 as part of a DH/C/1B timeshare is far from the worst thing in the world. We don’t have to hand him a starting job instantly, we can work him in.

            Everyone’s jumping the gun on Montero. We don’t know that he can’t catch and we don’t know that ARod and Jeter will need to become the DH. There’s so many potential moving parts in the future that the idea that we should trade a stud 20 year old hitting machine not because he’s blocked but merely because there’s a POSSIBILITY that he MIGHT be blocked IN THE FUTURE… that’s fuckin’ stupid.

            • CountryClub says:

              Obviously my post was hypothetical, because I have no idea what the Yanks think of his catching future. And really, I was just playing Devil’s Advocate because I don’t want to see him get traded either.

              But if we go with your DH scenario above, maybe the Yanks don’t think that maximizes his value. Again, they may think trading him for Lee or Soria is more valuable than him DHing 125 games a year.

            • Ed says:

              As an example of that, look at how we handled Nick Johnson. He was blocked at first by Giambi, but we kept him around and found a lot of at bats for him. He split time at DH & 1B with Giambi. He ended up being limited more by his own injuries than by Giambi’s presence.

              We hung on to him for a few years, got decent value out of him, and then eventually traded him for someone we thought would be a front of the rotation pitcher.

              Unless the team discovers that A-Rod won’t be able to play the field any longer, they can keep Montero around for a while. He can split time at DH & catcher with Posada. Reevaluate the situation after Posada’s contract runs out.

              Also, when Montero is only making $400k a year, it doesn’t matter so much if he can’t fit in the lineup every day, you’re still getting insane value if he plays say 120 games a year.

              • CountryClub says:

                Yes, but NJ was a premium defender. He had value on both sides of the ball and the Yanks probably saw a scenario where Giambi would become their DH in a couple of years.

                • RAB’s recent post on catcher defense contained one important nugget: All catchers are bad defensively. The average catcher is worth negative 2 runs per year defensively. Good defensive catchers are the ones who break even. Bad defensive catchers are par for the course.

                  The thought of having a poor defensive catcher doesn’t really scare me that much. We’ve had a poor defensive catcher for the past decade and a half, and it worked out well. And Montero’s bat profiles to be even BETTER than Posada’s.

          • Ed says:

            If you’re going to trade Montero, you trade him for a player that will be in your starting lineup/rotation for years. Not a rental player or a reliever.

            • JobaWockeeZ says:

              Right. Even if that reliever is beastly it’s still not worth it. Yes there is a bullpen hole but with relievers you never know what you will get. Top tiered closers falter from year to year with injuries and inconsistency. This is what makes Mo the best reliever in history. He doesn’t get hurt and he’ll give you godly numbers every year. Last year Joe Nathan was said by some to be the best reliever in 2009. Now he’s out for the entire year. Brad Lidge didn’t blow a save in 2008 and his 2009 was riddled with stinkers and an injury I believe.

          • JobaWockeeZ says:

            DH some games. Catch others. He’s probably not the solution at catcher long term but that doesn’t mean he can never catch. He’ll be Jorge or possibly worse defensively for a couple days while his bat makes up for it. Then on other days he can DH.

            When Romine is a ML caliber player then they both can catch with Romine catching the majority.

          • Steve O. says:

            Montero’s value as a blue chip prospect is not his value ceiling, if that makes sense. If he rakes as a rookie and is a part time C-1B-DH, there is immense value in that. If he doesn’t have a long-term future with the Yankees, it doesn’t mean he can’t produce for them in the short term.

          • Sweet Dick Willie says:

            What if the Yanks have decided that he won’t ever be their catcher?

            Then they should trade him for someone of equal value, not a friggin reflief pitcher.

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          I too have concerns with trading Montero. I know that Cash only offered him for top tiered players but as you said it seems with the surplus at catcher, Cash seems willing to part with him. But at this point there is no one worth trading Montero for. Well no one on the block of course. If the Mariner’s feel bad for screwing with the Yanks and offer Felix for Montero straight up, that is a different story.

          Oswalt now probably is worth it but he is very expensive and getting older. Dunn also has concerns about not being a DH making him more likely to leave via free agency.

          Unless some big name comes up in the next few days or in the offseason then it’s best to keep Montero IMO. This team is the balls and will continue to rake. Soria would be awesome to have but I really hope Montero is not included.

        • phughesisgod says:

          It worries me too, but I really hope that Cashman never kicked the tires on dealing Montero in a Soria trade. That would just be down right idiotic on Cashman’s part. And in all honesty, I could care less if the Yankees “need to find spots for their aging players”. Theres no way that if Montero’s defense was half as ready as his bat he wouldnt be with the big league club serving as the DH. The reason he is with SWB is because the Yankees want his defense to get better. I hate how people are talking about how poor his defense is and that it probably wont get better. For god sake, the kid is 20 years old! There is no way his defense wont get better. He is still developing and luckily for him, he is with an organization that really doesn’t need him to contribute with the big league club yet and is letting him continue to develop in the farm system. This is definately helping him develop his bat further and his defense. The Yankees would be foolish to even consider trading Montero for Soria, unless Zack Grienke would be coming to NY with him, then I’d consider it.

        • nsalem says:

          I think the mindset for acquiring Soria is to have a 1996 type
          bullpen for the remainder of Mariano’s career and then a qaulity closer 2014-2020 (health permitting). Brian probably
          looks at Soria as an extremely special commodity that is very hard to obtain both through free agency and player development.
          It just takes a glance over to our friends in Queens to see how hard it is to find a satisfactory closer. We have something extremely special which we lose on the day of Mariano’s retirement. In this case maybe solving a problem several years in advance is a good idea. For Montero I would not judge or be the one to make that kind of decision.

        • GG2010 says:

          I agree with that the long-term planning approach to be most prudent though perhaps in Cashman’s mind, the window really does seem to be closing? Consider the aging of the Core Four and perhaps he feels he needs to win now while the Core Four is still intact and productive, Montero/long-term plans be damned? It’s short-sighted though I can see where his mentality could have shifted towards more of a Win-Now mode when he’s considering how he’s going to win with their replacements five years down the road.

          • nsalem says:

            Getting Soria now is both a positive short term play and long term play. So much easier to speculate than to make these kind of decisions(trading Montero).

            • I totally see the wisdom of acquiring Joakim Soria. But he’s just not worth Montero.

              Romine, perhaps. Not Montero.

              • ZZ says:

                Romine is more valuable to the Yankees if Montero is not a DH.

                • ZZ says:

                  is a DH.

                  • Montero’s bat >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Austin Romine’s bat + defense + position

                    Jesus Montero is just a special, special hitter. Whether he’s a catcher, a first baseman, or a DH, he’s going to be one of the best hitters in the league.

                    • ZZ says:

                      I don’t think we should be projecting Montero to the one of the best hitters in the league. He is still just a 20 year old in AAA and has a lot ahead of him to become that.

                      The Yankees build their dynasty teams up the middle trying to build large relative advantages.

                      Catcher, SS, 2B, CF are all immensely important positions to the Yankees because of the relative talent there.

                      Just look back at all the dynasty teams and see the players at those positions.

                    • Steve H says:

                      But we’re projecting both Montero and Romine. Montero’s bat is the most sure thing of all of the qualities between the two, and has the most upside.

                    • I don’t think we should be projecting Montero to the one of the best hitters in the league. He is still just a 20 year old in AAA and has a lot ahead of him to become that.

                      But the best hitters in the league, to a man, all did exactly what Jesus Montero is doing right now: tear through the minors like a wildman and rip up AAA pitching at age 20.

                      His production, age-to-level ratio, and raw skills all scream “MVP-caliber bat”. If he was a passable catcher, he’d be the #1 prospect in all of baseball and would have been for a year or two already; even without that position, he’s still a top 5 prospect. His bat is so good that despite having serious defensive questions, prospect evaluators rate him far, far above hundreds and hundreds of better polished and more well rounded players.

                      The gap between his bad defense and Romine’s good defense is more than made up by the difference between his awesome bat and Romine’s merely good bat. If we traded one of them for Soria, I’d much rather move Romine and live with his multiple passed balls and poor CS rate. His bat is worth the defensive headaches.

                    • Sorry:

                      I’d much rather move Romine and live with Montero’s multiple passed balls and poor CS rate. His bat is worth the defensive headaches.

                    • ZZ says:

                      I don’t really disagree about Montero’s bat. The point was mainly that the catcher position is immensely valuable to the Yankees.

                      It also seems to be that you are still factoring in Montero as a catcher.

                      I have seen tons of times from Yankee fans, things like how bad can Montero really be. Or his bat definitely will make up for his glove.

                      There is definitely a tipping point where your defense is simply so bad that you cannot be a catcher at the major league level. There is a point where you will get run on so much and you will be so bad at keeping the ball in front of you that your bat just cannot make up for that.

                      I think people see Posada and say how much worse can Montero be?

                      He can be a lot worse and there are “catchers” you absolutely need to move off the position.

                      Montero could very likely be one of those players and it seems that he is.

                    • poster on another computer who happens to be a deuce bag says:

                      I just bought a Jesus Montero minor league card for five bucks. With some luck that shit’s earning me a lot of money.

  7. JohnC says:

    Anyone remember the 1983 deal of Jerry Mumphrey for Omar Moreno? Always wonder what George’s fascination was with Moreno back then, and how he thought he was any better than Mumphrey.

  8. #51 says:

    A note about the supposed “negotiations” for Soria. A lohud poster, sj44 seems to believe the yankees should trade Montero and Joba (a package better than the one to get cliff lee) for Soria. His reasoning is that Mo will retire at the end of his contract. Why are some Yankee fans so dumb.

    • Rose says:

      [Simpsons Comic Book Guy Voice]

      Worst…trade proposal…ever…

    • billbybob says:

      He’s a god over there too, and don’t ask how I know. Claims to be related to Pirates catching prospect Tony Sanchez, though I’ve claimed numerous times on the internet that Halle Berry is my girlfriend.

      • ZZ says:

        He is related to Tony Sanchez. I know this for a fact and if you don’t believe me email Pete Abraham.

      • rbizzler says:

        Yeah, I think that Sanchez is his nephew.

        No worries on being a LoHuddite, as I quit commenting over there a couple of years back when the fanboys/girls and chicken littles starting showing up in droves. I still wish that CB would comment over here as he is levelheaded and has good insight on the farm system.

    • rbizzler says:

      That guy is a big time blowhard who always sours on young players too soon. A few years back he was adamant that the Yanks should deal Cano ASAP after calling him ‘a dog with fleas.’ He also claims to have some inside connection to Scott Boras and some of the Tampa-based player development people.

    • ZZ says:

      You may have to eventually rephrase that with Cashman is so dumb eventually, because I think he would offer that as well.

      Unfortunately or fortunately, depending what side you are on with Montero that package is not likely enough to pry Soria away because of his contract is so team friendly.

      If Montero is indeed not a catcher as it seems to be his value in a trade is not nearly as high as people on here think it is.

      And then you have Joba, a frankly bad middle reliever who is arbitration eligible.

      Montero+Joba is probably not enough for Soria to get him on the Yankees.

      • If Montero is indeed not a catcher as it seems to be his value in a trade is not nearly as high as people on here think it is.

        True. But if Montero is indeed not a catcher, his value in a trade is also not nearly as LOW as other people on here think it is.

        Matt LaPorta’s all-hit/no-glove bat netted CC Sabathia. Brett Wallace’s all-hit/no-glove bat was the centerpiece of the Matt Holliday acquisition. Justin Smoak and Jesus himself were both the centerpieces of the top two bids for Cliff Lee. Yonder Alonso was also in a prominent Lee rumor.

        Young, elite power hitting catchers have tremendous value, but young, elite power hitting first basemen also have tremendous value. If Jesus is moved off of 1B, he’s still going to be a super-premium trade chip as long as he hits.

        • ZZ says:

          Of course. Montero is still brings a ton of value in a trade package because of his bat.

          But, I think because of Soria’s contract he is very valuable.

          Let me put it this way.

          IMO, if Montero was the next Yankee catcher there is no way you trade him for Soria and I don’t think there is anyway Cashman does either.

          As a 1B/DH that changes the equation a lot.

          • IMO, if Montero was the next Yankee catcher there is no way you trade him for Soria and I don’t think there is anyway Cashman does either.

            As a 1B/DH that changes the equation a lot.

            It doesn’t change it enough, IMO. Montero’s bat is special enough that you keep it and find a way to shoehorn it into the lineup. Even if that means playing ARod more at 3B than you want, or putting a leftfielder’s mitt on him and reenacting the worst of the Sheffield/Abreu era.

            The bat plays, so the bat stays™.

        • Jose the Satirist says:

          “If Jesus is moved off of 1B”

          Freudian slip?

        • Marcus says:

          Great point. The fact remains that Jesus projects to be offensively a top flight hitter at two positions that demand it. His offensive production is highly valuable as corner infielder or a even as a bad defensive catcher. I’d rather a catcher that is adequate but can deliver results over a good defensive that can’t hit (see Jose Molina).

    • poster on another computer who happens to be a deuce bag says:

      SJ might have been my least favorite lohud poster. He was an arrogant asshole who shouted down everybody who disagreed with him and somehow had the support of the general mass of posters. Glad I’m not at lohud.

  9. billbybob says:

    Shawn Chacon and Aaron Small…that was one helluva year even though it ended in serious dissapointment at the hands of the Angels.

  10. Rose says:

    What sucks about all these Montero rumors…is that other teams are going to see that we’re agressively offering him in certain trade negotiations. So from now on other teams aren’t going to ask for anything less…knowing that he’s been shopped for similar or (in some cases) worse additions than what they’re offering.

  11. Jose the Satirist says:

    How is everything above about Montero and Soria?

    I had no idea the Yankees once had Carlos Monasterios. He was just a rookie leaguer at the time of the Abreu trade. He was then selected by the Mets in the Rule 5 draft. Now we’ll see if he can stick with the Dodgers.

  12. ZZ says:

    The problem people are having with the valuation of Soria is that they are grouping him in with the stigma of other relievers. And also the degree to which the Yankees value relievers relative to the general perception, but I touched on this yesterday.

    The non-reliable, unpredictable, volatile, etc.

    But, that stigma is precisely why Soria IS in fact so valuable to the Yankees.

    He has shown he is not one of those unreliable or unpredictable relievers. His stuff and control bears this out and tells you he is a reliever you can really count on going forward.

    In terms of non-Mariano relievers, Soria is probably the most reliable and most easily projectable to continue to be reliable.

    Mariano has been dealing with minor injuries since the World Series last year and has said he does not want to be on a multi-year contract which tells you he doesn’t really know how much longer he wants to pitch.

    The Yankees are not going to let themselves be in a position where Mariano retires and they have to desperately search for a closer.

    Behind Mariano, I believe the Yankees value Soria more than any other reliever in baseball and his contract is a major plus.

    Don’t be shocked if Montero is dealt for Soria.

    • I won’t be shocked, but I’ll be pissed.

      I get your point that while relievers don’t have much value, elite ones have more value to us as a perennial title contender. I agree with that. As such, I’m more willing to make a trade for an elite reliever.

      Just not for Montero. If the price for Soria didn’t include Montero, I’d listen.

    • Rose says:

      Makes sense. If only Joba were as reliable as his hype…this wouldn’t be an issue right now. Then again, maybe it would have because he’d be starting if he were as reliable as the hype afterall…

      • RL says:

        Or maybe if he were starting, he’d be as reliable as his hype. He did have a strong first half last year, then seemed to hit a wall.

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      The problem people are having with the valuation of Soria is that they are grouping him in with the stigma of other relievers.

      There are two groupings of relievers:

      1) Mo

      2) Everybody else

  13. jddzip says:

    I apologize for not using the reply button. But damn all those comments just brightened my day =p

    I haven’t seen Soria pitch that much. Is he the real deal? Who would you compare him to value with? Is he better then K-Rod?

    • I haven’t seen Soria pitch that much. Is he the real deal? Who would you compare him to value with? Is he better then K-Rod?

      I’d say “Yes, Soria’s better than K-Rod”, but that statement isn’t remotely strong enough.

      Mariano >>>>> Soria >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> K-Rod

  14. mustang says:

    Reading these comments I think ZZ has made some real great points about Montero. One can love Montero’s bat all day long if he can’t be defensively at least as good as Posada is now then there is just no spot for him on the Yankees.
    All I can think of is Mike Piazza (one of the best hitting catchers I seen) but watching him behind the plate sometimes especially towards the end of his career was like watching a train wreck.

  15. ace says:

    is the abreau deal the last time the yanks and phils traded with each other?

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