Jul
30

Another Adam Dunn Alternative

By

With the trade deadline looming we’re going to read plenty of reports about teams being interested in players who could help them down the stretch. These are, for the most part, non-starters. A few big names get dealt at almost every trade deadline, and we’ve already seen a few players on the move in the past week or so. I wager a few more will change teams between now and 4 p.m. tomorrow.

The Yankees, thankfully, have only wants and not needs. They lead the AL in runs per game despite rotating the DH and therefore playing Colin Curtis, Ramiro Pena, or Francisco Cervelli almost every day. They’re third in runs allowed. They have a solid rotation, the best closer in the biz, and a pretty set offense. In other words, they can tone down the big moves and add pieces here or there. Still, I’m sure they’ll consider moves for bigger names if the price is right.

On offense the Yanks need nothing beyond a DH, and even then they don’t really need anyone there, either. Marcus Thames can hold down the role vs. lefties — that’s why they signed him — and then against righties the team can rotate its regulars. Jorge Posada needs some time at DH, and Joe Girardi has used him there to get his bat in the lineup even when he’s a little banged up. A slugging DH, though, could add another dimension to this offense for the final two months and into the playoffs.

Of the available names Adam Dunn appears the most attractive, but the late word is that the Yanks have found the Nationals’ asking price too steep. Yesterday Mike presented an alternative in Luke Scott. Today I want to examine another DH alternative. Given his team’s moves yesterday he might have become available. The Yankees could certainly give Lance Berkman a look at DH.

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

We’re all aware of Berkman by reputation, and most of us are familiar with his struggles this year. He started the year on the DL after undergoing knee surgery in the spring, and he got off to a slow start. That’s not uncommon. What’s important is that he has gotten better from May through July. He posted a meager .332 wOBA in May, but that rose to .357 in June and .392 in July. In fact, he’s shown much improvement in July, hitting for much more power (.288 ISO) and walking a ton more (22.3 percent of his PA). His average is a bit down, but that’s because of a .229 BABIP. Everything else looks good, even great, for Berkman right now.

Another encouraging factor lies in his splits. Even with his poor performance early in the season he has crushed righties this season, to the tune of a .382 wOBA. Presumably this has gotten better lately, too. He’s spraying the ball to all fields as a lefty, hitting 56 to left field, 55 to center, and 65 to right. His opposite field power has not faded, as he has a .482 ISO when hitting the ball the other way. He does seem to have some trouble pulling the ball, as he has a 67.7 ground ball rate when going to right field, with only 13.8 percent fly balls (and 22.2 percent of those are infield flies, though another 22.2 percent left the park). I’m not sure if this is something he’s also improving on, but if it is he’d be the complete package in New York: a lefty who can spray the ball the other way but still take it over the short porch.

There are some concerns with Berkman, of course, not least of which is his knees. Time at DH will help mitigate that risk, but it will probably preclude the Yankees from playing him in the outfield, where he has played 7383.2 major league innings. He hasn’t roamed the outfield since 2007, and even then it was only 230 innings. It seems like he’s done out there, which would reduce his role with the Yankees. They could install him as full-time DH and relegate Thames to PH duty, but that would require Berkman to pick up the pace as a RHB, something that’s not guaranteed.

He also has poor numbers away from Minute Maid Park in Houston. It is a pitcher’s park that ranks above average in homer-friendliness and below average in other categories. Yet when Berkman is there he has a .390 wOBA, compared to a .317 mark on the road. I’m not sure how meaningful that is when considering a player, but it does seem suspect. His BABIP is much higher at home, if that helps quell the concern a bit.

Then, of course, there’s the matter of his contract. He is owed roughly $5 million for the rest of this season, plus has a $2 million buyout on a $15 million club option for 2011. There is almost no way the Yanks would pick up this option, so it would cost them roughly $7 million to bring aboard Berkman. This is also why Houston might like to deal him. Whether they’d kick in money remains to be seen, but it does seem that they’re in full strip-down mode. They traded Roy Oswalt yesterday for a relatively light package that included 1B Brett Wallace. That’s what makes Berkman available. Chances are Houston wouldn’t pick up his option at the end of the year, anyway.

At Pale Hose Pariah, Erik Manning used Sky Kalkman’s trade value calculator to assess the value of a Berkman addition. Given the optimistic rest-of-season projection of 1.2 WAR, Berkman would be worth slightly less than his contract (though Erik uses $5.5 million, while the actual number, I think, comes in just under $5 mil, but I could be wrong). Added with the buyout, you’d expect either a low exchange rage (a B and a C prospect) or Houston to kick in some cash for a better prospect. Given yesterday’s Oswalt deal, it doesn’t seem like the price in prospects, either way, would be too steep.

All considered, Luke Scott is the better option. He’s having a better overall season, is cheaper, and is under team control through the 2012 season. That means his price in prospects will be more expensive, and the Yanks might have to pay a premium on top of that because they’d be dealing within the division. In any case, the point might be moot because Peter Angelos doens’t like dealing with the Yankees. Maybe Andy MacPhail could talk some sense into him if the Yanks make a solid offer, but I doubt it would be enough to bowl over the brass in Baltimore.

If the Yanks want to add a solid bat, they won’t find many better than Berkman’s, especially if he has rounded into form. Given what we saw from the Oswalt deal it doesn’t appear he’ll be expensive. The Yanks will have to eat some salary, but it looks like they’re willing to do that. I can almost guarantee this won’t happen, but the idea of Berkman batting sixth or seventh in this lineup is quite a tantalizing one.

Categories : Trade Deadline
  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    Meh.

    • Meat Loaf

      Seconded.

  • Matty Ice

    What if we sent CHoP back their way? That essentially negates the $2 million owed to him next year for the buyout, no?

  • theyankeewarrior

    Berkman, Scott, LaRoche, anyone…

    I’m like that crack-addict Yankee fan, longing for a fresh new name to root for. I love me some trade deadline pick-ups.

    Is there a place I can go to for help?

    • Betty Lizard

      Hee. I can tell you what doesn’t work: green tea, Enya, relaxation techniques. Personally I’m playing Gimme Shelter at full volume and drinking as much coffee as I can. Might as well use my trade-rumors-speculation addiction to fuel as much work as possible.

  • TERPSandYANKSfan

    I think the option is for next year not 2012.

  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

    I still think I’d rather go Berkman over Scott; maybe it’s a little bit of Joe Torre syndrome in liking the bigger name/past performance, but I think Berkman’s more reliable and despite Scott’s team control, he’s going to get more expensive. He’s making $4.05M this year and he’s going to get even more expensive next year. I think I’d rather just eat $2M buying out Berkman at the end of the season.

    • http://theyanhkeeu.com Moshe Mandel

      Ditto.

    • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

      Not gonna get Scott anyway. Angelos is not gonna trade anybody to the Yanks.

      • http://www.yankeeist.com Joe Montesano

        THANK YOU. I have been looking for the article with that info since the posted the Scott article.Angelos and MacPhail want nothing to do with the Yankees, that news came out after the Wigginton rumors

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          “Angelos and MacPhail want nothing to do with the Yankees, that news came out after the Wigginton rumors in 1993 when Angelos first bought the Orioles“.

          Fixed.

          • http://www.yankeeist.com Joe Montesano

            Touche

      • http://jukeofurl.wordpress.com Juke Early

        @Zanath thanks for giving me an exact excuse to mention again what a load that creep Angelos is. Though I’m sure he’s not the reason the Orioles reek LLOL Not that I mind.

  • brewster’s millions

    I’m out on Berkman…Dunn sounds pretty exciting for the right price. Scott is okay. I feel like they should move Miranda as a chip.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Miranda as a chip would get you exactly none of those players.

  • Tom Zig

    I’m down for bringing on Big Puma, as long as we don’t have to pick up that awful option of his. You said in the article, he isn’t the best option, but in terms of prospect price, isn’t Big Puma actually the best trade option? Peter Angelos is a spiteful old man and would ask for the world for Luke Scott. The Nats are asking for the moon and the stars for Big Donkey, who happens to be anti-DH (srsly?) (not like he’d have a choice in the matter). I know Ed Wade/Drayton McLane aren’t easy to deal with but maybe, just maybe, they realized that if they actually want to unload these awful contracts and get better they have to be reasonable.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      The Nats are asking for the moon and the stars for Big Donkey, who happens to be anti-DH (srsly?) (not like he’d have a choice in the matter).

      He has a choice in the matter this winter, when he can leave whatever team wants to DH him and only sign with a team that won’t.

      • Chris

        If you trade for him, you only get three months. Whatever happens after that is irrelevant.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Eh, it’s less relevant, but it’s not irrelevant.

          • MattG

            Well, if you are stupid enough to trade more because you expect to sign him, it becomes relevant. If you trade for 2 months + playoffs + draft pick compensation, it is completely irrelevant.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              “draft pick compensation” = something that happens after those three months

              • MattG

                In another way of thinking, this is inaccurate. The Yankees will decide now if they would offer Dunn arbitration or not, and what compensation is worth. While they don’t have to do it until after three months, the decision happens before they make the trade.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  Which means you’re agreeing with me. What happens with Dunn three months from now (resign him? offer him arb? recoup draft picks?) does factor into the decision to acquire him or not, and does factor into the price point.

                  It may be the smaller portion of the equation (the bigger portion being what Dunn does for you during the next three months), but it’s not irrelevant.

                  • MattG

                    I’m agreeing? Oh, good. I thought we were gonna go bare knuckles.

                    The point is what happens in Dunn’s career is relevant only if your stupid enough to value what you can’t control, i.e. an ‘extension window.’ This has been known to happen (my favorite example being the Juan Gone debacle in Detroit). This has not been known to happen from Brian Cashman.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    This is also why Houston might like to deal him. Whether they’d kick in money remains to be seen, but it does seem that they’re in full strip-down mode. They traded Roy Oswalt yesterday for a relatively light package that included 1B Brett Wallace. That’s what makes Berkman available. Chances are Houston wouldn’t pick up his option at the end of the year, anyway.

    Nitpick: While I’d posit that Berkman’s pricepoint is probably lower than Oswalt’s was, since Berkman’s not performing as well and not under team control as long, I don’t think the Oswalt package can be called “light”.

    JA Happ is a quality starter and whether you consider the package to be Anthony Gose or Brett Wallace, both of those players are elite prospects. Happ/Gose/Villar (or Happ/Wallace/Villar) is not what I’d call “light”.

    And the ‘Stros kicked in money on Oswalt in order to get the Happ/Gose premium prospect return on Oswalt. I bet they’d do the same on Berkman. McLane does’t like dealing his veterans, but he’s only moving them for prospects, not for salary relief. I don’t doubt Berkman’s available, but I doubt we could buy him for a nonprospect by taking on salary.

    JMHO.

  • ZZ

    The problem with Berkman last year and so far this year is his major platoon split where he is performing very poorly against LHP.

    As a team, the Yankees worst split offensively is vs LH starters.

    With a potential matchup/s vs the likes of Price, Lee, Buerhle, CJ Wilson, John Danks him and Granderson together in the lineup could be very troublesome.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      But, as Joe said, you could platoon him with Thames, who kills lefties.

      • ZZ

        The would be a very expensive move for a platoon player.

        I don’t think the Yankees would invest that much money for someone who could not DH full time.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Oh, I’m not saying I’m in favor of it or that we’d do it, just saying how we’d do it if we did.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          He wouldn’t be the true platoon player though, Thames would. If Berkman is starting against RHP, he’s going to be getting 75% of the starts.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            That too.

    • Tom Zig

      Eeeeek.

  • Grandy

    All I know is that it’s been a bit too quiet on the Cashman front. That could either be good or bad in terms of making a deal, but knowing how stealth he tends to be gets me a bit anxious and excited for something surprising. As for Berkman, to me, I will take any steady bat over the Thames/Miranda platoon.

  • Rose

    I’m almost certain that Berkman would force any team to pick up his option before he waived his no-trade clause to go anywhere. He probably would try and even have that team extend him as well if he could.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Oswalt tried to force that, and couldn’t. Berkman would have far less leverage.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        Agreed.

        Berkman’s options are to stay in Houston on a loser and not have his option picked up or go to a winner and not have his option picked up.

  • tc

    Dude, you spent that much time writing about a player you are nearly “100% sure” will NOT be playing for us? What is he, your brother-in-law? You get a cut of any potential deal? Or just slow day?

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Dude, you spent that much time writing reading about a player you are nearly “100% sure” will NOT be playing for us? What is he, your brother-in-law? You get a cut of any potential deal? Or just slow day?

      • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen R.

        Dude, you just spent that much time responding to a guy you are nearly 100% sure isn’t the least bit intelligent? What is he, your brother-in-law? You get a cut of any potential deal(?) Or just a slow day?

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          Heh. Well don’t we have a vicious circle going on now.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            BANGWAGON

        • V

          Dude, you just spent that much time responding to a guy you are nearly 100% sure responded to a guy that he is nearly 100% sure isn’t the least bit intelligent? What is he, your brother-in-law? You get a cut of any potential deal(?) Or just a slow day?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Damn straight, tc. You don’t have to stand for this shit, you should demand a refund of your RAB Insider subscription fees.

    • Slugger27

      ouch…

      he’s just proposing an interesting idea. when there’s articles on here i don’t care for, i just don’t comment.

      you should do the same.

    • I Voted for Kodos

      It is the responsibility of all Internet users to comment on and belittle any free article that they did not find worthy of their extremely valuable time. If they don’t, the terrorists win.

      • Tom Zig

        If they don’t, the terrorists terriosts win

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        What the f#$% is this shit, New York Times? What, you don’t have anything better to write about than some 1500 word screed about the Taliban exploiting the Karzai government’s inability to provide adequate social services in Baglan province by filling in the void with slush money to reinvigorate support for the insurgency? Who gives a crap about this boring shit? Are you the Taliban’s brother or something?

      • http://jukeofurl.wordpress.com Juke Early

        I hereby move that the catch phrase & gallows usage of “the terrorists win-” will now and forever more be amended to “the Red Sox win.” As in – ” Timmy, if you don’t eat your vegetables, do your homework, kiss Aunt Gert & get some good bully arms – the Red Sox[will]win.” Heaven forfend. Amen. . ..

    • http://www.thesubwayconnection.com/ Newbie

      Wow.. that is uncalled for. Why can’t he pose an interesting idea? Also, if you think it’s worthless, then why read and comment?

    • irony

      that one came back to get you, didn’t it tc?

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    Berkman>>>>>Scott

    And for the extra cost Angelos would demand from the Yankees’, that package required wouldn’t be too big I don’t think. I wouldn’t give up much for either of them, filling the DH hole is a luxury, not a necessity, and neither Berkman or Scott at this point are definitive major upgrades.

    • Tom Zig

      Also we can get rid of Berkman after this season and use the DH role next year for the aging veteran/days Montero isn’t catching (if he’s ready next year)/Someone not named Berkman.

      • Chris

        They could get rid of Scott after the season too. Not that they’d want to, but they certainly could.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Meh, I’d say it’s Berkman >> Scott, and no more than that. Berkman’s bat is much better, but Scott offers positional flexibility, team control, and health.

      However,

      Dunn >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Berkman >> Scott

      And my acceptable pricepoint for Dunn was two guys from the Nova/Noesi/Phelps/Warren/McAllister/Adams/Nuñez/Laird/CoJo/Miranda grab bag. For Berkman or Scott, they only get one of those guys plus a lower non-prospect (Venditte? Sanit? Vazquez?)

      • Chris

        Berkman offers positional flexibility too. I mean, if Thames can play 3B, then I’m sure Berman can too.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Touché.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        In the “Guide to Stats” we really need set definitions for “>>>>>>>”

        I actually could care less about team control when it comes to Scott as I don’t think he’s a long term piece, especially as a DH. The positional flexibilty holds some weight, though since we’re trying to upgrade the DH position, I’m solely focused on the bat, so while Scott can do more than Berkman in the field, I wouldn’t consider that when making trades.

        • Don W

          Each, “>”, is equal to .2 WAR. It’s a scientific fact.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            IT IS ANCHOR-MAN, NOT ANCHOR-LADY, AND THAT IS A SCIENTIFIC FACT!!!!!

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            Perfect.

  • daneptizl

    I like this idea over Dunn.

    • Tom Zig

      In a world where teams have reasonable prices on their players, I’d prefer Dunn. However, this world does not exist, so I’d prefer Berkman as well.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        In a world where teams have reasonable prices on their players, I’d prefer Dunn.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVDzuT0fXro

        • Tom Zig

          You didn’t label SFW or NSFW

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Safe.

  • Tampa Yankee

    I wonder if the swap of Gose for Wallace might aid in Houston wanting to move Berkman and thus picking up some of his salary since they could just bring Wallace up and play him at 1B.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Good point. It’s not like Wallace can DH in the NL and is a butcher anywhere else.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Yeah, but they could also just wait until September and bring Wallace up, or wait until Opening Day 2011 after Berkman walks. They’re not going to be more motivated to dump Berkman just to get a one-month (or two-month) jumpstart on Brett Wallace’s career.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          No, but the Wallace trade was the nail in Berkman’s coffin in Houston. Knowing that, they would be idiots (which they may be) not to trade him now and get something for it. I also think the Oswalt trade will make it easier for them to trade Puma. Beginning of a new era, and Oswalt has a lot more in the tank than Berkman.

  • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen R.

    Joe, Berkman’s BABIP is 0.279 this year, not 0.229. It’s still well under career norms, but given the decrease in his line drive percentage (3% of career average, not the end of the world but at least worth mentioning), I wouldn’t expect a giant bounceback in terms of batting average.

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

      .229 in July. That sentence came after a load of stats about July.

      • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen R.

        Thanks for the clarification. Do you make anything of his decreased HR/FB ratio, or is it just a product of him getting old and losing power?

  • http://twitter.com/j_yankees2213 j_Yankees

    i’ll piggy back on what folks are already saying in here.

    Like Dunn the most…then Berkman…then Scott.

    and even if i did like scott over berkman its a bit of a pipe dream with Angelos wish death upon anything Yankee related.

  • Fair Weather Freddy

    Any team the Yanks talk trade with asks for Montero or Romine. Forget it. Its just not gonna happen. Better chance they make a waiver deal sometime in August.

  • Gonzo

    What would Cash have to give up? I know it’s relative to the amount the ‘Stros would pick up in salary. What do you guys think?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Anything more than one of Nova/Noesi/Phelps/Warren/McAllister/Adams/Nuñez/Laird/CoJo/Miranda, and I’m hanging up.

      • http://twitter.com/j_yankees2213 j_Yankees

        meh…if the Wade said i’ll do it for Z-mac and Nunez i’ll drive those 2 to the airport.

        • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen R.

          seconded. guys like mcallister, nunez, laird and miranda aren’t anything special.

          • Jorge

            They aren’t anything special, but they’re still chips the team can play. They aren’t completely disposable either. You want them to play those chips on the right player. I’m not sure Lance Berkman (or Luke Scott) is that player.

    • http://www.thesubwayconnection.com/ Newbie

      If the Yanks pay a significant chunk of his salary, I doubt it would cost too much. If it does take one of Romine/Montero, then it is completely not worth it. I think it’s possible to put together a deal with the McCallisters, Novas and David Adamses of the world.

    • Jorge

      Lance Berkman is not a needed piece, so I would say prospects that would be worth more to other teams than they’d be worth to us, which brings us back to the Z-Mac/Phelps/Adams grab-bag. It may not be enough, and I’m not even sure I’d want to blow that wad on Berkman either.

  • vin

    Eh… I’d take my chances with Miranda/Thames/Posada. Would love to see them pick up a quality catcher and move Jorge to DH, but decent, quality, catchers are obviously hard to come by.

    • Grandy

      I would deal with this for the season, but it’s not an ideal scenario for the playoffs.

  • Roberto Santiago

    Why can’t the Yankees try their luck with Jesus Montero at DH. What’s the worse that can happen, he hits like Nick Johnson??? We can just send him back to the minors.

    • Jorge

      Rushed rookies brought on for late-season spark tend to attract midges come playoff time.

      • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

        Good thing the Indians aren’t making the playoffs.

      • Guy

        Kinda like the 18 year old Andruw Jones in the 1996 World Series… oh wait.

    • Chris

      Nick Johnson had a .388 OBP for the Yankees. Montero has a .346 OBP in AAA. The worst that could happen is significantly worse than Johnson. Sure, Montero is going to be a great hitter, but he’s still only 20.

  • OXXBOW

    Berkman would add nothing to the Yankees.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Well he would add salary. And a great nickname. And a good bat.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        He’d join CC in the “lovably pudgy Yankee” category.

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

      Me: 600 words on what Berkman would bring to the table.

      You: One sentence rebuttal completely devoid of anything resembling a reason.

      I’m sick of these types of comments.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        What are you, Lance Berkman’s brother-in-law or something?!??!??!?!?

        /tc’d

  • MattG

    Love the idea of Berkman. I’ll go through this thread and find why some aren’t excited.

    “and then against righties the team can rotate its regulars”

    I dislike this concept. I’d rather give guys whole days off, and have a potent bat on the bench to hit for Pena/Cervelli/Curtis, then use the DH to rest regulars. 1: DHing isn’t a day off 2: Regulars are often lousy DHs 3: keeping the bat in the line-up, as a benefit, is a myth–35 year old guys can do a day without swinging and maintain their ability to hit. In fact, I would argue the full day off would do wonders for many players’ swings.

  • http://twitter.com/j_yankees2213 j_Yankees

    Nightengale hot off the presses:

    “#mlb #astros The Astros are very much willing to move Berkman, but there is no urgency, knowing he will clear waivers and be traded in Aug.”

    /this is true.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      The Boston Red Sox would be all over Lance Berkman like white (people) on rice.

      • Tom Zig

        If for no reason other than to keep him from going to us or the Rays. They have no position for him, but they don’t care.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Move Youkilis back into LF for the next two months.

          You’re welcome.

  • TheMick7

    Brandon Tierney,yesterday on Wheelhouse, brought up an interesting alternative to all that have been mentioned. He says the Angels are now looking to be sellers not buyers & Matsui would be available to the Yankees at a relatively inexpensive cost. If that is the case,run,don’t walk Cash & bring back a guy we never should have let go in he first place. Heck,he’s already hit 3 HRs at the Stadium this year!

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      It’s a great idea except for the fact that he’s not having a good season.

      • Tampa Yankee

        But he is a True Yankee and the clutchness!!1!11!1

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      No, he’s having a totally meh year. If we could get him for a total nonprospect, I guess, but I wouldn’t even give up, say, Nova/Phelps/MacAllister for him. Like Ben said yesterday, if there was some 36-YO DH-only with his numbers named Jack Sprat, no one would really want to go after him.

      And before you say “but he’d hit better hitting in YS!” his numbers on the road last year were better than his numbers in YS, try again.

  • TheMick7

    Steve, Put him back in Pinstripes,swinging for RF & I think his season will vastly improve!

    • Chris

      Here are Matsui’s wRC+ over the last few seasons:

      2006: 133
      2007: 125
      2008: 114
      2009: 133
      2010: 105

      Which one do you think is the outlier, 2010 or 2009?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Furthermore:

        Hideki Matsui, month by month:
        April: 100 PA, .273/.350/.477 (.299 BABIP)
        May: 97 PA, .184/.258/.299 (.203 BABIP)
        June: 100 PA, .318/.400/.489 (.403 BABIP)
        July: 82 PA, .225/.317/.423 (.207 BABIP)

        Matsui: not a great hitter anymore

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Welcome to the site!

      Please use the reply button. Thanks in advance.

  • CTYANKS

    How about instead of going after someone in a trade, we go after Jermaine Dye who is still a Free Agent. Thoughts?

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      I’d prefer Delgado. Best case scenario Dye replicates Thames (who is crushing LHP). Delgado if healthy could be the DH against RHP, Thames against LHP.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        That.

        • RL

          Except that either Dye or Delgado would need time to get up to speed against MLB pitching. Not interested in either.

    • Tom Zig

      He hasn’t played baseball since last year and likely isn’t in game shape. Also his slg% dropped about 90 pts from 2008 to 2009. smeh.

    • vin

      I don’t think we can expect Dye to roll off the couch and step into the batter’s box. I think for this to happen, he would’ve had to have been signed a month ago.

    • MattG

      No, thanks. This is not the Minnesota Twins looking for lightning in a bottle. If the Yankees are giving someone a major league contract and a roster spot, its going to be someone that’s faced major league pitching in the last 10 months.

  • rob

    joba straight up for berkman? then they could deal lidstrom, lyon

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      This has to be satire. Has to be.

  • TheMick7

    Matsui was never a great hitter! A very good hitter & clutch hitter yes! You stat guys kill me….4 months into a season & Matsui can’t hit anymore. Haven’t the last few years shown you anything about Hideki????

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      A.) Again, please use the reply button.
      B.) It’s not simply stats. Use your eyes. Matsui’s bat is markedly worse now than it’s ever been before. We passed on him altogether in the winter because we figured he was toast, and we’ve been proven right. Matsui’s a league average bat at best. He’s not an upgrade.

      Haven’t the last few years shown you anything about Hideki????

      Yes, they have. The last few years have shown us he’s declining fast.

    • MattG

      It’s in the bottom right of each post. Blue button, white text. I just clicked it, see?

      • JLew

        Sometimes you have to click it a few times to respond.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9370232 Mike HC

      I agree with you (not about the stat guy thing), but about Matsui still being able to hit. I think he has a couple more good seasons in him if he wants to keep playing.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Fun player comparison time:

        Player A: 382 PA, .251/.332/.422 (.279 BABIP), .331 wOBA, 105 wRC+, -2.8 UZR (122 LF inn), 0.3 WAR
        Player B: 414 PA, .269/.329/.452 (.299 BABIP), .341 wOBA, 110 wRC+, +2.6 UZR (161 RF inn), 1.2 WAR

        Players A and B are both AL DHs on the market, and both could probably be acquired for nothing but salary relief (although player B is probably MORE acquirable for nothing but salary relief). Which one would you prefer?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9370232 Mike HC

          haha, based on those numbers alone, I go B.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Would you like to know who they are, or have you already figured it out?

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9370232 Mike HC

              Yes, definitely. Waiting for the answer. I have no clue

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                Player B: This guy.

                Your mind: Blown. If I would have called into the Brandon Tierney show and said we should trade for that guy, he would have gone ballistic. But he’s all for bringing back Hideki.

                Ignore the name, and he becomes far, far, far less desirable.

                • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9370232 Mike HC

                  You jacked the image, haha.

                  Still waiting.

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    That link didn’t work?

                    Here, try this one.

                    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9370232 Mike HC

                      I mean, I like Guillen as a hitter too. He is just a head case. Maybe on the Yanks, he would get it together. Or it would fall apart completely.

                • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

                  Holy crap. That’s a bit terrifying. And by “a bit” I mean “totally.”

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    Proving Ben’s point that if Hideki Matsui was some other DH who had never played for us and had no name recognition or fan attachment, none of us would touch him with a 10-foot pole.

                    He’s an average player now. The salad days are over.

                    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

                      Yep. Hence why I said it.

                      I’ve also seen a bunch of “Well with hindsight, Cashman would sign Matsui over Nick Johnson in the offseason!!!” Hello irrelevant point because with hindsight, he’d also sign Vlad over both of those two.

        • MattG

          Is B rhyme with Obby Barayeu?

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Nope. A hint: Player B plays in the AL Central.

            • MattG

              Say it ain’t so, Jose…

            • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

              Ugh.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                The sickening reality dawns on you.

    • http://twitter.com/astrophunq Dax J.

      I’ll repeat what TSCJ posted above:

      Hideki Matsui, month by month:
      April: 100 PA, .273/.350/.477 (.299 BABIP)
      May: 97 PA, .184/.258/.299 (.203 BABIP)
      June: 100 PA, .318/.400/.489 (.403 BABIP)
      July: 82 PA, .225/.317/.423 (.207 BABIP)

      Matsui: not a great hitter anymore.

      In other words, that ship has sailed.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9370232 Mike HC

        He is not what he used to be. But i think he is better than the numbers he is currently putting up on the season. And considering DH’s for the most part are over the hill hitters, as a DH, he has the potential to be in the top half for the next couple of years. I get you thinking he is done though. He is old. Just the same I get people who think Jeter is done. I just disagree.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9370232 Mike HC

    I like Thames as DH against Lefties. I highly doubt the Yanks could bring in any other DH at a reasonable price that would warrant replacing Thames against lefties. So really, the only hole is a righty DH, and I think Miranda is just fine. I don’t see a real need to trade for a DH. I see a need for a utility infielder though. Now that I think about it, I guess another bat couldn’t hurt if we give up nothing, Hinske style.

    • Mrs. Peterson-Kekich

      Agree 100%. I really don’t get the man-lust for DH’s here. The biggest change the Yankees have made in the last couple years is recognizing the need for roster flexibility as opposed to one-dimensional sluggers.

      Probably, between giving Jorge, A-Rod, Jeter, etc. some breaks by DH’ing them, that’s 2-3 a week right there. Thames is fine vs. lefties. So what’s the big advantage of a Dunn if we have to bat Pena anyway?

      How about Figgins? He’s not as bad as he’s been this year and the M’s aren’t going anywhere.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        How about Figgins? He’s not as bad as he’s been this year and the M’s aren’t going anywhere.

        Terrible contract.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          I wouldn’t hit Chone Figgins with Bea Arthur’s dick.

          • RL

            Every day, I f1nd at least one commnet on here that makes laugh out loud. This is today’s first.

    • MattG

      except that’s two roster spots, with no position flexibility. Down the stretch, it would be really nice to give the 35+ crowd some full days off, and in the playoffs, it would be really nice to have a bat on the bench. If you can replace Thames/Miranda with one player, you should.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9370232 Mike HC

        That is a very good point. When one is DH’ing, the other is our main pinch hitter though, which the Yanks do like to carry a big hitter on the bench.

        Still, I didn’t think about that. Good point.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Yeah, even if we brought in Hideki or some other DH, Marcus Thames is still going to be on this roster. All you’re doing is swapping Juan Miranda’s DH bat for Imported Player X’s DH bat, neither of which offer any defensive value.

  • TheMick7

    But you’d bring in Delgado who’s best suited at hitting in Old Timers Day games. I forgot 4 months is a lifetime for some fans and October 2009 is light years passed! Wow just wow!

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Please, please, use the reply button, or you’re going to get ignored.

      • rob

        i wanna know who player a and player b are

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Answered above.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          No you don’t. Once you know the answer you can’t unknow it.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            I laughed.

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

      October 2009 ? August 2010.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Furthermore:

        Hideki Matsui, October 2009 against a shitty Phillies pitching staff: .615/.643/1.385 (!) in 14 PA
        Hideki Matsui, October 2009 against a fairly good Twins and Angels pitching staffs: .233/.395/.367 in 38 PA

        Hideki didn’t have a good postseason. He had a good World Series, which pretty much consisted of little more than 3 homers, two of which were off the desiccating corpse of Pedro Martinez.

        That WS MVP is drastically overinflated in the minds of Yankees fans. HazMat was just in the right place at the right time.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9370232 Mike HC

          I get the hole small sample size thing. But I honestly find it a little odd how you so easily dismiss something as huge as winning a WS MVP. It is not like it is something easy to do. Or he got lucky or something. Coming through on the biggest stage has to count for something more and should not be dismissed only because it is a small sample size.

          I have to go, so if you want to reply, I will come back and look later today.

          • rob

            Agreed…if we wanted someone who just put up stats in the regular season and SUCKED in the playoffs we would still have soriano…clutch hitting is so ridiculously important..small sample size or not…how many times did hideki come through?

            • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

              how many times did hideki come through?

              It was awesome when we won the WS every year he was here purely because of him OH WAIT

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            But I honestly find it a little odd how you so easily dismiss something as huge as winning a WS MVP. It is not like it is something easy to do. Or he got lucky or something.

            2002 WS MVP: David Eckstein.

            The prosecution rests.

            • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

              Actually, he was the 2006 WS MVP.

              The 2002 WS MVP? Troy Glaus.

              Which really only helps prove your point more, so yeah.

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

            Oh, Mike. You’re smarter than this. I do agree tsjc was a bit too dismissive of Matsui’s 2009 WS, but… you’re smarter than this.

            But I honestly find it a little odd how you so easily dismiss something as huge as winning a WS MVP. It is not like it is something easy to do. Or he got lucky or something

            Yeah, really good players have won WS MVPs before. But so have Livan Hernandez (despite allowing 8 ER in his 13.2 IP…), Scott Brosius, Troy Glaus, and David Eckstein.

            Coming through on the biggest stage has to count for something more and should not be dismissed only because it is a small sample size.

            That’s not the point. The point is that it doesn’t guarantee future success. Cole Hamels won NLCS and WS MVP in 2008 and completely blew in the postseason the next year. Now people think of him as a choker.

            It’s not like a WS MVP is a guarantee of excellent performance the next year. The last time before Matsui that the Yankees didn’t resign their WS MVP who entered free agency after the series, it turned out okay. You can whine about Nick Johnson all you like but I think the Yankees’ 2010 is going just fine without Matsui.

            • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

              It’s not like a WS MVP is a guarantee of excellent performance the next year.

              Are you dismissing the value of “clutch”?

              • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

                I think this comment is mostly tongue in cheek, but let me answer it anyway. ;P

                Nah, not really. I do think there’s such a thing as a “clutch” situation or whatever. I also think that you’re not a clutch player until you are, and vice-versa. See: Alex Rodriguez, Josh Beckett, Andy Pettitte, Barry Bonds, etc. etc. etc.

                • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                  Heh. It was tongue in cheek. Your comment was very well stated. There is nothing that says a World Series MVP is going to be good in the WS next year.

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    YOU’RE MY BOY, SCOTTY BRO!!!!!!!!!

        • FIPster Doofus

          I don’t want Matsui back either, but he did a lot of good things for the Yankees over the years. Bashing him and his accomplishments seems unnecessary.

  • rob

    i guess im in the minority..but i like guillen, reminds me of danny tartabull (Maybe the KC Yankees Link)

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      A designated hitter who only gets on base 33% of the time isn’t a good designated hitter.

    • Guy

      In this case, you aren’t in the minority, you ARE the minority.

  • Guy

    Adam Dunn Alternative Part 3: Jack Cust

    Yet another designated hitter on a bad team with good power, tons of strikeouts and a great batter’s eye. Discuss…

  • Dante

    If you’re open to a DH “type” with questionable knees…consider Matsui over Berkman. After being swept by the Suxsox this week maybe the Angels will turn seller.
    Matsui’s return would trump a Berkman or a Dunn in my opinion. There’s a guy who knows the team and the pitchers in the league.
    How about a Hideki homecoming….Mr. Cashman????

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      Someone didn’t read the rest of the comments in this thread