Jul
09

Thoughts about the Cliff Lee rumor

By

Like most of you, I woke up this morning and did a cursory check of my email on my phone before going about my routine. Most of the time there’s nothing to see and life goes on, but today was different. Word got out late last night that the Yankees were on the verge of acquiring Cliff Lee from the Mariners, and again, like most of you, I had mixed feelings when I saw this. The deal is not yet finalized, but that won’t prevent me from sharing my thoughts about the situation.

Photo Credit: Elaine Thompson, AP

First of all, I got the “holy f@#king s*%t” feeling when I saw the report, the reaction that I usually get when I see the Yanks are dangerously close to acquiring a premium player. That’s the excitement, all the anticipation of what’s to come and wondering what Lee will look like in pinstripes and what Red Sox Nation is thinking and what it’s going to be like sending CC Sabathia and Lee to the mound five times in a seven game series and all that jazz. Just overwhelmed with joy.

The second part was a little bit of sadness, because you know acquiring Lee, even three months of him, won’t be cheap. Sure enough, Jesus Montero headlines the package going to Seattle, which is a bummer. The Yankees haven’t had a hitting prospect like that in ages, realistically since Derek Jeter, and he was the team’s only internal hope for adding a premium bat to a lineup with an aging Jeter and Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada. You don’t want to see a prospect we’ve gotten so attached to go away, but there’s no way around it. Trading Montero for basically a rental is a bit of a downer.

If consummated, this trade tells me a few things. First, GM Brian Cashman is clearly going all in this year. Unless you live in a glorious world of naivety, you understand that the window of opportunity for this current Yanks’ team is closing. Andy Pettitte flirts with retirement on an annual basis, Mariano Rivera is 40-years-old, Jeter is looks more and more like an over-the-hill shortstop every day, ditto Posada and the catching position. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a solid core going forward, because they certainly do, but the window with those four dynasty guys is closing very soon.

Second, there has to be a another deal already in the works, presumably involving Javy Vazquez. I can’t imagine Cashman is going to swing a deal for another starting pitcher given the strength of his current rotation without having another move in the back of his mind. If the trade goes down, the Yanks will have four All Star starters plus A.J. Burnett plus Vazquez on their staff, which is an embarrassment of riches. Javy is the obvious candidate to go, perhaps in a Jayson Werth deal since the Yanks have expressed interest and the Phillies have scouted Vazquez recently, but either way the team will almost have to move someone.

The team doesn’t have to rush out to flip another starter either. The All Star break is coming up, which buys them time, and they could also choose to skip Phil Hughes once after the break (starting the spare starter in his place) to control his innings. They could also stick Hughes in the bullpen, which would be rather idiotic. Yes, you’d want to get a deal done as soon as possible, but there’s no urgency right now.

Third, I’d have to think the Yanks are also getting another piece in return, presumably a player with some team control left. Giving up what’s being reported – Montero, David Adams, plus a third player – is a whole lot to give up for three months of a player, even one of Lee’s caliber. Perhaps that second piece is a reliever, someone like Brandon League (under control through 2012). He’s really the only guy that makes sense with Mark Lowe and Shawn Kelley on the disabled list, but those two could be players to be named later. Lowe is out long-term, however. I can’t imagine it’s three prospects for three months of Lee, unless the lefty is willing to sign a well below market extension. Something like $15-16M per year, not a Roy Halladay $20M per year discount.

Fourth, the Yanks were down a bit on Montero. Not necessarily because they don’t think he’d hit, but because he doesn’t really have a position. Austin Romine is clearly a better long-term catching prospect, and Mark Teixeira isn’t going anywhere at first. The outfield could have been a possibility, but more than likely Montero would be nothing more than a glorified DH for the Yanks, filling in behind the plate or at first once or twice a week. Granted, there’s value in that, but that’s not optimal value.

And fifth, the move also keeps Lee away from the Yanks’ competitors. This is more of a fringe benefit than an actual motive to acquire him, but it’s a benefit nonetheless. The Yanks won’t have to worry about the Twins, a likely October opponent, acquiring him, ditto one of their AL East rivals.

Just to mention the draft pick thing, it’s pretty inconsequential. Yes, if the Yanks trade for Lee and then sign him to an extension they’ll avoid losing a first round pick in a monster 2011 draft, but picks are just lotto tickets. There’s nothing guaranteed about them. They’re real time value is pretty small, less than a guy with ten at-bats in rookie ball. They shouldn’t ever stand in the way of acquiring a premium talent, which the Yanks showed during the 2008-2009 offseason.

We’ll have more analysis if the trade is ever made official and we know all the details, but it’s tough to argue with it. I don’t like giving up prospects for a few months of Lee, but if the second move is to turn around and acquire someone like Werth, I mean holy cow, trading sessions don’t get any better.

Categories : Musings

282 Comments»

  1. Ross in Jersey says:

    Finally, a voice of reason.

  2. Stephen R. says:

    Very well-done piece, especially on such “short notice”. I find it hard to differ with any of it, really.

    /creates a poster of photoshopped images of self and Montero
    //softly sings “I will remember you…will you remember me?”
    ///jonathan from 30 rock’d

  3. Jose the Satirist says:

    Where does this put the Yankees three years from now? I’m a bit concerned about the aging of some players still under contract and the loss of some irreplaceable Yankees.

      • YanksFan in MA says:

        How would Montero replace these aging stars? Again, he is not likely to catch. Tex is at 1B and a premium player for at least another 4-5 years. Not athletic enough to play either of the corner outfield positions unless you want Abreu redux without speed. A DH can be had on the open market.

    • CountryClub says:

      Except this is exactly why you do the deal. the Yanks window with the current core (plus Arod) is closing. Win now. And let the younger talent in the system join Cano, Hughes, Gardner, and Joba in a few years.

    • The Evil Umpire says:

      Well, all the catching eggs are in Austin Romaine’s basket now, and if he doesn’t pan out then you find a stopgap and hope for Sanchez and Murphy to pan out in a few years. I love the Jesus as much as anyone, but he probably isn’t going to stick at catcher anyway. Anyhow compared to just a few years ago, I think the Yanks’ system is stacked right now, even sans Montero and Adams.

  4. jsbrendog (returns) says:

    maybe this is a video game….

  5. kenthadley says:

    I still dont like it, and it’s not like we are making a big splash in the IFA market to make up for moving a lot of our younger talent.

  6. eddieperez23 says:

    Bingo…Hit all the major points and captured what I think the majority of Yankees fans felt this morning. Excellent post.

  7. Could not have said it any better…this is prob why I read this blog.

    Well done, ::golf clap::

  8. gc says:

    Harumph!

    I know a lot of people are acting like Brian Cashman personally pissed in their Cheerios this morning, but Benjamin Kabak said it best the other day, “The Yankees, he says, are willing to go above and beyond for players they want because that’s how badly they want them.” These moves don’t just happen and then time stops, rosters are frozen, and that’s what the team is left with forever. There will be more moves made. There will be more prospects in the future. There will be other pieces moved around. He’s a smart guy and he’s earned the benefit of the doubt, in my opinion. He is not above criticism, and he does make mistakes, but the general hyperbolic nasty tone I’m reading from some are that they really know better than he does. It’s comical to me, but I guess that’s what passionate fans do sometimes.

  9. lardin says:

    IF the Yankees make this deal for Lee, I would hold onto Vasquez and shift Hughes to the Bullpen. Mo has been pitching injured since may and the knee injury worries me. Outside of Mo, the Bullpen has been Average. Aceves is still hurt. Shifting Hughes to the bullpen, makes the bullpen stronger and gives the Yankees a good closing option if Mo has to go on the DL. Its not ideal for Hughes is development, but its a good idea for win now team…

    • boogie down says:

      “It’s not ideal for Hughes’ development.”

      Hence why it shouldn’t be done. This would be doubly favoring the short-term instead of the long-term. While Montero’s position is up in the air, Hughes should clearly be a starter going forward. He’s progressing well and to relegate him to the pen would be taking an unnecessary risk with his development.

  10. Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

    No one ever likes giving up great prospects that you’ve come to know. It sucks. But that love for the player leaving shouldn’t cause people to lose their minds- this deal makes the Yankees better for this year and the next few years. It gives us a better chance to win titles- and that’s what it’s really all about. There are some people on this site who would scoff at fans for their win-now mentality, but at the end of the day, a major league organization is working not to have the absolute ideal roster construction imaginable but to win. I love the fantasy of Brackman Noesi Betances Heathcoat and Montero leading the Yankees to glory in 6 years, but the fantasy of Cliff Lee helping Jeter Pettite Rivera and Rodriguez to victory the next two years is just a lot more tangible and likely.

    • Jose the Satirist says:

      Right, but you could argue they already have a chance to win this year and the next couple. By keeping some guys in the minors maybe that helps 3-4 years from now. If you make this trade to increase their already pretty good winning chances, doesn’t that drastically hurt roster construction 3-4 years from now?

      • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

        I think it hurts it slightly-not drastically. If you consider Montero basically a DH, as the Yankees seem to, he doesn’t really help roster construction since he can’t fill any positional holes. He’s a bat pure and simple, likely a great one, but the Yankees seem to moving away from offense-only players- just look at their roster changes in the past 3 years.

        • Then trade him for someone you have no chance of obtaining through unfettered free agency 4 months from now, sign Cliff Lee this winter, and have both Lee and whomever you traded Montero for.

          Don’t sell low on him. He’s 20 years old. He’s a top-5 prospect. He’s going to be a top-5 prospect next year as well. Wait for a better deal.

          • Am I the only Kevin? says:

            Exactamundo. Lee is ours in free agency if we want him. Why trade Montero for 3 months of him? Why not trade Montero, Betances, and B-level prospect for Johnson or some other arbitration eligible stud on a cheapskate team?

            Outright silly – our rotation is just fine without Lee now.

          • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

            Obviously I’d rather be getting a young stud pitcher. But I just don’t think they’re out there for us right now, or are likely to be soon.

            Sometimes, not often but sometimes, it has to be about this year. Cashman is making a decision above all for this year. It might damage our future, but I have to think he believes that damage will be minimal, that he can control that damage.

    • But that love for the player leaving shouldn’t cause people to lose their minds- this deal makes the Yankees better for this year and the next few years.

      Wrong. It makes us better for the next few months, and that’s it. It makes us worse for 2011 and beyond, because we’d have Lee and not Montero when we could have had Lee AND Montero.

      Given his desire to reach free agency and get one last big score, our openings in the rotation, our deep pockets, and the fact that we never get outbid for someone we want, our chances of signing Lee this winter were probably at somewhere around 95%. We’d be giving up the best hitting prospect in the past two decades of our existence to move that 95% to 100%.

      That’s dumb.

      • Jose the Satirist says:

        I’ve got your back. http://www.onthejobest.com/ima.....r-back.jpg (safe)

      • Not Tank the Frank says:

        I’m with you 100 percent.

      • Very dumb.

        It goes against Cashmans whole philosophy the past few years.

      • It’s dumb and I have no idea where the urgency is coming from. Why not make a serious run for him back when the Phillies were trading him?

        I am doubly bothered because it seems so George but it is not George, it is Cash :(

      • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

        I think a lot of this boils down to Cahman’s nervousness about the age of the team- that he’s making this move not in spite of that but because of it. He thinks Rivera and Posada in particular, and maybe Jeter, might only have a one or two good years left. He wants to capitalize on those years, especially this year, and win titles with that group, so that he doesn’t have any pangs of regret and hesitation when he has to start blowing up the roster a bit to reload for the next generation. He wants to usher one generation out with style and victory that will make the fans happy, and then move on, not get caught in between with a team of aging superstars and young talent that collectively is not good enough to win titles against a talented Rays team.
        Also, there’s just no doubt that Cashman learned a clear lesson from the team’s failures ’02-’08: pitching, pitching, pitching. He sees a lot of the league’s elite pitchers getting locked up by their teams, and he wants to make sure that the Yankees get their hands on the elite pitching talent available to them. It was the strategy last offseason-and it worked.

        • If what you just said is true, it’s still dumb. In fact, it’s dumber.

          Cashman’s not getting paid to win a ring, he’s getting paid to win EVERY ring. He has to balance the long term with the short term, and long term, this deal sucks balls.

          • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

            I’d put it this way: he’s getting paid to win rings. Not one ring(too few) and not every ring(unreasonable). He has to try to pick and choose when he has the best chances to grab those rings-when to fold and when to go all in. To jeopardize each individual ring on the premise that he has to try to ring every ring would be an extremely dangerous, irrational, and naive strategy.
            It comes down to you are expectations as a Yankee fan. I expect the team to have an excellent shot at winning a World Series about 2 out of 3 years. Not every single year. You have to know when it’s your time, and when it’s not, and act accordingly. Cashman thinks that right now is our time- and he’s acting accordingly.

        • Mike HC says:

          I’m with this as well.

      • Jorge says:

        Exactly. It completely goes back on the idea of not paying for the same player twice.

        Cliff Lee doesn’t guarantee anything. Having Dwayne Wade and Lebron James doesn’t guarantee a title. You still have to go out there and play the games. You aren’t guaranteed a damn thing.

        ….and if the team isn’t personally guaranteed hand-delivery of a World Series title to Yankee Stadium by the end of the day today, they shouldn’t trade Montero and Adams for anyone, especially someone who they’re going to throw the world at in the off-season.

        Hell, I’d rather have a better shot at a few titles in the next few years than an “all in” approach now.

        Resist the urge.

        • Hell, I’d rather have a better shot at a few titles in the next few years than an “all in” approach now.

          Exactly. We’re not the friggin Brewers, we’re the Yankees.

          • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

            But look at all the teams who have had great talent, been about one player away, refused to pull the trigger, and ended up with nothing. I think the LA teams of recent years are a great example. There were a couple years where the Angels needed to trade some of their stud prospects for a Santana or a Halladay to push them over the top. They didn’t do it, and ended up squandering the talent of those teams. As for the prospects, some panned out and some bombed, but the end result is that they ended up with no rings.

            • None of those teams were as stacked as this team already was without Cliff Lee. None of those teams were the best team in baseball with or without making said move for said potential trade target.

              • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

                What if Andy regresses in the second half, or Phil, or one of those two or CC go down. We still the best team? Keeping in mind the bullpen struggles and Mariano potentially being hurt?

                • boogie down says:

                  Injuries are ALWAYS a part of the game. Getting Cliff Lee is far out of the realm of being insured in case someone currently on the roster goes down. If, as Olney has recently reported, we will not have a window through which to work an extension, why are we trading for him? No window means Lee wants to test the market. If he tests the market, we’ll be the team that signs him! Even if Montero and Adams and whichever other player are going to be traded, they should be traded for a player we won’t be able to sign a mere three months from now.

                  • boogie down says:

                    Sorry, don’t know if that second sentence is clear. I meant to say that Cliff Lee isn’t the type of stopgap pitcher you get to protect yourself against potential injuries. If this move were made in that vain, it would undoubtedly be a mistake being that we’d be filling a need that hasn’t presented itself.

                • If those things had already happened, the deal would be slightly more understandable.

                  None of those things have happened.

    • vasquez of jason worth would preclude hughes to the bull pen but what worth would add buy your ws ticket now

  11. steve s says:

    Mike, you really did a nice job of laying this out. Just a few reactions. I would say Nick Johnson was an excellent Yankee hitting prospect in his day (so Jeter wasn’t the last). I also think the Yanks are more than a bit down on Montero. Taking into consideration his coming into camp out of shape, having a pedestrian year in Triple A, having to miss some games due to hustle/discipline reasons the Yank’s FO must be thinking they are selling before Montero’s value starts to really slip.

  12. Ed says:

    If the trade goes down, the Yanks will have four All Star starters

    That’s the real motive here. The Yankees are determined to set the record with 9 players on the All Star team.

  13. If the Yankees could get Cliff Lee, there is a good chance that they would have the best record in baseball now……wait……what?

  14. Not Tank the Frank says:

    Bullshit. This is an aweful move by Cashman anc Co. should it go through. Absolutely horrible. A first place team, defending World Series champions, with a strong starting five, are going to trade their best prospects in order to sign Cliff Lee. This runs completely contrary to the way the Yankees organization under Cashman has been – and should be – run. We’ve all said as much in the past.

    Which brings me to another point. I’m sick of the way this site changes their tune each time the tide turns. I may get a lot of shit for this, but I’m not a fan of the move and I’m not a fan of people who state reasons why this move would be completely unnecessary and then completely change their stance once it looks like that’s the way the chips are going to fall.

    http://riveraveblues.com/categ.....mongering/
    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.
    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.

    Those would be my thoughts exactly. The only difference is that I still feel that way this morning.

    • Angelo says:

      I agree, but once a trade like this does happen, you have to try to view the positives.

      But I’m totally with you, I hate this trade as much as the next guy.

      • Not Tank the Frank says:

        I realize that’s what they’re trying to do. Bet let’s not sugar coat it. It’s a bad move.

        I don’t buy the “aging dynasty” line either. Should this move go down, the Yankees will have plenty other aging stars to worry about once Jeter, Pettitte, Mo, and Posada are gone. What you need during those times is a strong farm system to build around. You don’t trade LOW on your BEST prospect to fill a position of STRENGTH.

    • Chris says:

      That original piece talked about how it was unlikely that the Yankees would deal for Lee. They didn’t say that the deal would be a bad move for the Yankees.

      Dealing for Lee and then flipping Javy for something would still be convoluted, but it might be the best way to improve the team.

  15. Rose says:

    Buster Olney was just on ESPN saying that the package was Phil Hughes and Javier Vazquez for Cliff Lee?

    HUH?!?

  16. Mike HC says:

    This is basically like I wrote it myself.

    I agree completely with Axisa.

  17. BadaBling says:

    This trade seems very short sighted, in years past I woulda been giddy. Now the thought of seeing the Yankees lose their best prospect for a rental, I don’t like it. If the deal goes down I hope there is an extention signed, if not I do not understand such a move. Bye, bye Montero watch. ?

    With that outta the way, CC & Lee would make for a helluva 1-2 punch.

  18. 1) I think this is going a bit off the deep end (the trade, not the post).

    2) If they put Phil Hughes in the bullpen again I will be so angry.

  19. DSFC says:

    I don’t like this, not one bit. It smells of fear and desperation for a team that has nothing to be desperate about. And if they pulled the trigger on this and somehow DIDN’T re-sign Lee, then this becomes an unmitigated disaster.

  20. Juke Early says:

    Agree w/others – good job Mike. AND though I hate to face it, even the NYY need to occasionally rebuild. They will also be confronted with doing the impossible – replacing Mo.

  21. Ace says:

    Buster Olney just tweeted that an executive close to the deal said its almost done. Cliff Lee coming to the Yankees. Wow. Cashman is a gangster.

    http://twitter.com/Buster_ESPN

    • Jose the Satirist says:

      Wow.

    • Tampa Yankee says:

      Take a look at the 2 tweets prior about Javy?

      The Yankees will not have a hard time moving Javier Vazquez if they get Cliff Lee; he moves ahead of Roy Oswalt as the most attractive pitcher on the market, because he is pitching well, he is apparently healthy, and he is cheaper than Oswalt.

      He also listed Phillies and Padres as potential matches. It appears the Yanks will get so value for him.

  22. YanksFan in MA says:

    I might be reaching here as it seems crazy to put real stock in a few weeks of rookie ball, but I think the Yanks see Gary Sanchez coming up as perhaps a better prospect than Montero. He is outperforming Montero’s 2007 GCL season at basically the same age and by all reports he can stay at C. Cash probably figures he can move Romine up to the majors in the next year and have Sanchez waiting in the wings in 2013 or 2014.

  23. Arman Tamzarian says:

    So does this mean Cliff Lee will be pitching for the Yankees tonight instead?

  24. bakes says:

    Is this deal really cockblocking the rays? i still wouldn’t like it but i can understand it a little more.

  25. OH MY GOD I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO OR HOW TO ACT OR OMG

  26. AndrewYF says:

    I blame this all on the Montero Watch.

  27. Ben says:

    Anyone we get for trading Vazquez simply offsets what we gave up to get him. It will not offset Montero, nor will it be able to. Lee is better than Vazquez so no prospect you get for Vazquez will be close to as good as Montero.

    • Arman Tamzarian says:

      I thought about this, the only way it offsets, if you give up Montero for a prospect at a position of greater need

      • Gonzo says:

        You give up Melky, Arodys, Montero, Adams, plus 1 for Cliff Lee minus whatever you get back for Vasquez. Shouldn’t the FO just went all in on a Matt Cain, Josh Johnson, type pitcher?

  28. Mike44 says:

    Funny, the first time we would see Lee pitch in a Yankee uniform will probably be the all-star game

  29. I dont get it.

    Look @ all the prospects that were traded for Lee

    None of them were near the caliber of Montero and Lee is closer to FA

    Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, Lou Marson, and Jason Knapp

    tcher Phillippe Aumont, outfielder Tyson Gillies and pitcher J.C. Ramirez.

  30. Nathan says:

    Our rotation as-is can get us to the promised land, I donno if we need this vs want this. We can only speculate what Montero can become, it will take years to evaluate the trade if it indeed goes down. Why the change of heart as far as not doing this for Santana or CC?

    Maybe Mo called Cash and said “I am done, retiring end of the year”

    Lets hope for the best, it will suck to see Montero go. Not real excited about this. Another 30 something pitcher who will be given a 5-7 year extension, at this rate I am praying for CC to opt out.

  31. The209 says:

    If this happens, I’ll be unhappy — and not because of the merits of this trade.

    While I agree with “the window with those four dynasty guys is closing very soon” — it’s probably not closing during this season.

    At some point — defending world champs, best record in baseball, core of HOFers/borderline HOFers still playing decent-to-great, young players picking up the slack & still the front-runners to get Lee in the offseason — isn’t enough, enough?

    This team as-is can take any team in a short series…this just comes off as gluttony to me. I’m sure I’m in the minority here.

  32. Ace says:

    Being born a Yankee fan is like winning the lottery. I am going to thank my parents for settling in NY the next time I go home.

    Tough to lose Montero but I think the Yankees will make sure they resign Cliff Lee in the off-season. The only uncomfortable thing is that now Lee has the leverage knowing that the Yankees gave up a top prospect for him. Hopefully this doesn’t mean we have to overpay.

  33. theyankeewarrior says:

    If Montero is a goner… Lets hope

    1) The Yanks win the WS this year
    2) Cliff signs a team-friendly extension (4/75 or 5/90)
    3) Adams is the only other impact prospect
    4) Romine is the real deal
    5) Vazquez gets them something useful back
    6) They benefit, somehow, in terms of draft pick compensation

    If #1 and three or so of #’s 2-6 work out, then I’m all in.

  34. Apollo22237 says:

    Recently, everytime I buy an autographed baseball of a Yankee prospect, they have been traded away, Jackson, Montero… Maybe if I buy a Kei Igawa baseball, I can fix that problem.

    • Apollo22237 says:

      At this point, even if I don’t completely agree with the trade, we just gotta look at it in a good way. There is nothing we can do at this point anyway. Sure we can debate it for the fun, but I just look at these types of trades and take some of the negative out of it.

    • Jose the Satirist says:

      Try buying prospect autographs from another team. Maybe they will come here.

    • Am I the only Kevin? says:

      Heh.

  35. AndrewYF says:

    Unless the Yankees do something crazy like trade Vazquez for Dom Brown, I just feel horrible about this whole thing.

    Montero is such a great prospect. To just…give him away. I am in mourning.

    It’s not quite as bad as giving up Carlos Santana for Casey Blake, but now every time I see Cliff Lee start a game for the Yankees, I will think about Montero and how he could be mashing for them instead of the Mariners. It will be hard for my enjoyment of Cliff Lee to not be reduced, and what makes it worse is that it didn’t have to be like this.

  36. Mike Axisa says:

    I love Montero as much as the next guy, but it’s CLIFF LEE. Based on some of the comments here, you’d think they just swapped him for Victor Zambrano. Sheesh.

    • AndrewYF says:

      Yes, but they would get CLIFF LEE next season, and still have Montero.

      Why don’t we try it like this. I know it’s great to get Cliff Lee, but it’s JESUS MONTERO. Possibly the best hitting prospect in the minor leagues. You’d think the Yankees traded away the uninspiring Austin Jackson with some of the comments here.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        I’m not saying I love the deal, but it’s not the end of the world. The Yankees will be a better team after the trade than before it, it’s hard to argue that.

        • AndrewYF says:

          I’m going to take what TSJC said, and say that it makes the Yankees a better team for this year only. They’re potentially a much, much worse team for the next 6(+) years.

          It’s a horrible trade, made for no reason. The Yankees have no need for a starting pitcher. I would understand it completely if the Yankees had a starting staff like in 2005, but this is their best group of pitchers since 2003.

          Sometimes, it’s okay to disagree with the front office.

        • Jose the Satirist says:

          I don’t think it is the end of the world either. The major league team will be improved with the trade. But it is hard to argue the team will be better 3 years from now if this trade happens than if it doesn’t.

    • But its Jesus fukkin Montero

    • Greg G. says:

      Isn’t it possible we’d also be able to negotiate an extension with Lee as a part of the deal (i.e., it’s not a 3-month rental)?

      • K.B.D. says:

        The extension is identical to signing him as a free agent. The prospects you’re surrendering are for the three month rental.

        • Ed says:

          It’s not that simple.

          There’s no guarantee he will sign with the Yankees if he reaches free agency.

          If he was talking Andy Pettitte style “I’m signing with the Yankees or retiring” then I’d agree with you, but that’s not the case.

          The extension is at market value, so it doesn’t have a ton of trade value, but it does hold some.

    • Jose the Satirist says:

      Mike come on now. You have to understand some of the arguments coming from people. I’ll live with it if it happens and I’ll root for Cliff Lee. I just don’t think it is the most optimal outcome. Surely you were high on Montero as well and understand how fans get an attachment to prospects. Remember how much you liked Jeff Marquez?

    • K.B.D. says:

      I’m always scared that Lee is going to go back to his pre-2008 form. It hasn’t been very long that he’s been considered a top tier pitcher.

      • Mike HC says:

        If you are worried about a Cy Young type of pitcher for the past 2 and half years starting to suck all of sudden, I would think you would be more worried about a 20 year old DH, not hitting in AAA very well, never panning out.

        • K.B.D. says:

          Didn’t say my fear was rooted in logical thinking. It’s a guttural sense that the worst thing that can happen will when we trade away our #1 prospect for him.

          • Mike HC says:

            ha, fair enough. It is not easy being a fan of any team, ha.

            But the Yanks make it as easy at possible.

    • Mike HC says:

      Yup. I am upset about losing Jesus, but overwhelmingly happy about adding Cliff Lee.

    • Not Tank the Frank says:

      Or they traded their best – and potentially a very special – prospect and sold him low to fill a position of strength.

      I think the point is that we would all rather be celebrating Lee once he inevitably signed with the Yankees in the offseason.

    • B-Rando says:

      Bingo.

    • “I love Montero as much as the next guy, but it’s FOUR MONTHS OF CLIFF LEE.”

      Fixed.

  37. nsalem says:

    I believe this is all about blocking Minnesota and most importantly
    Tampa Bay from obtaining Lee. Plain and simple. Montero has been advertised being a sure thing with a Cabrera type bat. He maybe
    immature but he’s 20 years old (not uncommon). If we are gettimg him
    in November anyway what else can the motivation be?

  38. rek4gehrig says:

    I might be in the minority here…but I am totally digging this trade (if it happens). I certainly have not forgotten Lee’s total domination in game 1 of the WS.

    • Mike HC says:

      I am in the minority with you.

    • Am I the only Kevin? says:

      What about ARod’s total domination throughout the entire playoffs? Or Utley’s five homers in the Series? Beastly hitters help just as much as beastly pitchers, especially when they can play an up the middle position.

      • Mike HC says:

        But the assumption is that he can’t play an up the middle position, or any position at all really. He is a DH, like the Yanks saw Abreu, Daman and Matsui. And there is always a plethora of big hitting DH’s on the market. They are not an unique commodity.

        Cy Youngs are an unique commodity.

        • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

          +1

          In baseball, you spend your big money and resources on ace pitchers, and 5-tool positional studs. Everyone else is expendable and replaceable. If Montero was considered a long-term catching prospect, I have no doubt this trade would not be happening. But clearlty he’s not.

        • Cy Youngs are an unique commodity.

          They are.

          And that’s why we went out and signed one, on the open market, for nothing but gobs of money. His name was CC Sabathia, and his presence on the 2009 Yankees roster — along with the presence of the young players we DIDN’T trade away to obtain him a few months earlier in 2008, mind you) — is why we won the World Series last year.

          Cy Youngs are a unique commodity. Which is why you should obtain them in the smartest way possible: at the cost of only money.

      • rek4gehrig says:

        Good pitching……(you finish off that statement)

        ps. How exactly did Utley’s 5 homeruns help the Phillies in the WS?

    • Kit says:

      Same here.

  39. I Voted for Kodos says:

    This one is tough. It’s hard to not be excited about acquiring Lee, but I hate giving up a young, impact bat for a short rental. And this may be a small concern, but I find it much more fun to root for homegrown players. Granted, I’d much rather have a winning team, but it still stings to give up a guy that I thought was going to be a huge part of their future.

    The only thing I can do is tell myself repeatedly that the Yankees have knowledge about the situation that the rest of us don’t and hope Montero doesn’t become the second coming of Miguel Cabrera.

  40. Mike Nitabach says:

    I like this trade a lot, but only if it is in conjunction with also trading Vasquez for an awesome bat.

  41. Hello9 says:

    So why can’t the Yanks get somebody who’s a marginal improvement on Vasquez and still do the Werth trade?

  42. Apollo22237 says:

    Just throwing something out there. If we “assume” that there is a chance Yanks would do something like Werth/Vazquez, I wonder if there is any chance that a 3-way trade could be possible where maybe we can use a prospect from Philly. Sure maybe we trade basically what we would have anyway, but even if it somehow saves a prospect or reduces the quality one has to be, it is something to look at.

    That being said, if it is worth looking at, I am sure they already would have.

  43. Beamish says:

    Absent a window and successful extension I have a lot of trouble liking this deal. I understand the arguments but for a 3 month rental it just strikes me as classic wrong-headed win-now thinking.

  44. Apollo22237 says:

    Also, Ken Davidoff just said this, “Hearing there’s a “snag” in the #Yankees-#Mariners talks for Lee, but could just be hiccup. #Yankees are still hopeful they can finish it.”

    Take that for what it is worth.

  45. Rose says:

    OK, say the deal goes through. Posada is a (very old) free agent after next season? Is Romine even ready by then?

    Not to mention, we’ll have to pay for a Cliff Lee extension, Derek Jeter deal, Mariano Rivera deal, and possibly a Jayson Werth deal?

    How?

    • Jose the Satirist says:

      That is a lot of money. Could they approach $220 million?

      • Rose says:

        I mean the Cliff Lee deal will directly affect both Derek Jeter’s and Mariano Rivera’s re-signing without certain. Then you add Werth to the mix (which is a major rumor but still)?

        Just doesn’t make sense. There has to be some major concerns with the pitching staff or their ability to get him in the offseason or something.

        I’m just confused.

        • Ed says:

          Just doesn’t make sense. There has to be some major concerns with the pitching staff or their ability to get him in the offseason or something.

          Was just thinking that myself. Just doesn’t fit otherwise.

    • rek4gehrig says:

      Cashman knows how..

    • YanksFan in MA says:

      Romine ready by 2012? I’d say so.

  46. Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

    I think Cashman views the present rotation as a lot less stable than most fans do right now. He sees us relying on a very young pitcher with an innings limit, an ageless wonder pitching above even his prime numbers, and a headcase who is about 50/50 to get shelled any time out. One injury, plus one of those guys taking a downturn (AJ’s already done it) could spell big trouble, especially when you consider how shaky the bullpen’s been and how much we’re relying on the starters.

    • Will says:

      The memory of the Yanks creaking by on a 3-man rotation last postseason is fairly fresh, too. (Yes, yes, they did still win the World Series.) Having a 4-man rotation of CC, Lee, AJ, and Pettitte, followed by Joba, Hughes, and Mo in the bullpen would be… I don’t even think an adjective for that exists.

      • AndrewYF says:

        Creaking? They won both series in convincing fashion, and only Sabathia had to make more than one start on 3 days rest.

        • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

          Imagine that instead of pitching a bad start in game 5, AJ had pitched one in Game 2. The Yankees would’ve gone back to Philly down 2-0: you think they win that series? Especially if Burnett gets bombed again in Game 5?

  47. Will says:

    Though it stings to lose an important piece of the farm system, I support this. I’m rooting for the Yankees as they exist NOW, not a few years from now. Yes, I’m being short-sighted, but prospects aren’t players who make a current impact on your team, particularly not ones who don’t have an obvious position to play in the coming years. Granted, I’d be much happier if they can sign him to an extension, but I’m all for this. And these are the YANKEES we’re talking about, ferchrissakes. It’s not like they’re dependent on prospects and can’t just a buy a bat in a few years.

    • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

      Exactly.
      Are we really this upset that we’ve lost a potential elite DH? We can’t make up that production anywhere?

      And if the concern is the money, that’s fine, but I have to believe that Cashman and the Steinbrenners are better aware of the team;s financial situation than we are. If they think they can afford it, then they can. That the Yankees might be able to increase payroll with their recent on-field and financial successes shouldn’t surprise anyone.

      • We’re not upset that we’ve lost a potential elite DH, we’re upset that we lost a potential elite DH for a guy that we were a mortal lock to sign this winter anyway.

        • I Voted for Kodos says:

          This is why I have a hard time understanding this trade. It’s so different from how they’ve been operating lately. I feel like there MUST be some mitigating factor we’re not aware of.

        • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

          You really don’t know that Tommie. And again: you keep throwing out 4 months like it’s nothing, but it’s not nothing: it’s a time period in which the Yankees are going to try to win another title. For someone like me, who was only really old enough to start watching the team in 01, missing out on an era of titles, last year was incredible, and I want us to capitalize on our clear opportunities to win more. This year’s team is good enough to win, and making it that much better, even if only for 4 months, is important to me, and I think a lot of other fans.

          • For someone like me, who was only really old enough to start watching the team in 01, missing out on an era of titles, last year was incredible, and I want us to capitalize on our clear opportunities to win more. This year’s team is good enough to win, and making it that much better, even if only for 4 months, is important to me, and I think a lot of other fans.

            This is going to sound harsh and probably needlessly mean, but:

            I don’t give a shit. I’m not interested in one title, I’m interested in multiple titles.

            • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

              It’s not mean. It’s stupid.

              You’re counting your eggs before they hatch. You epitomize the worst of what Yankee fans can be right now: unbelievably greedy, never satisfied, not content to enjoy the team you have on the field this year and their chances to win. Before you can win 5 titles, you need to win one. Then two. Each of those titles is difficult to win in its own right. To build a team to win 5 and ignore the difficulty of winning one is moronically insane and an insult to the other smart teams and front offices trying to beat you.

              From you Tommie, I expected better.

              • You epitomize the worst of what Yankee fans can be right now: unbelievably greedy, never satisfied, not content to enjoy the team you have on the field this year and their chances to win.

                Lemme get this straight:

                I don’t want to trade our cheap young prospect for Cliff Lee, and *I’m* the one who’s unbelievably greedy?

                Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

                • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

                  Tommie-read what you wrote above, to a fellow Yankee fan, again.

                  “I don’t give a shit. I’m not interested in one title, I’m interested in multiple titles.”

                  That doesn’t sound greedy to you?

                  Your greed is the worst kind-it’s not greed for something you can actually obtain, but for an almost impossible fantasy world where the Yankees combine the best of all possible worlds into a juggernaut that wins every single year without ever having to surrender anything of value to get anything of value, and where the rest of the league just watches helplessly.

                  The Yankees might have won last year, but I’m not going to let that blind me to a recent past when World Series titles were anything but assured. The fact that you seem to have forgotten the difficulty of winning a title and the joy that comes with it in your thirst for 5 or 10 is just staggering.

                  • Nothing at all of what you’re saying is rooted in any sort of rational analysis.

                    I’m sorry, but asking us to consider the long term and be patient is not being “unbelievably greedy”. Wanting to trade for Cliff Lee when you already have CC, AJ, Andy, Hughes, Vazquez, and the best record in baseball as the defending champion, that’s greedy.

                    • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

                      How’s this for rational analysis.

                      Current Yankees chances of winning a World Series: High

                      Current Yankees + Cliff Lee +return in probable second trade chances of winning a World Series: higher.

                      Future Yankees chances of winning a World Series: No idea, because we have absolutely no idea what other trades, signings, injuries, and developing prospects will cause our team and other teams to look like.

                      1 Actual World Series title (second in a row)>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>1 hypothetical down the line World Series title with chance for more

                    • Ed says:

                      Current Yankees + Cliff Lee +return in probable second trade chances of winning a World Series: higher.

                      But how much higher? Most of us don’t seem to think it’s a big amount.

                      Future Yankees chances of winning a World Series: No idea, because we have absolutely no idea what other trades, signings, injuries, and developing prospects will cause our team and other teams to look like.

                      We can’t know, but we can project a little. If Montero pans out, 6 years of him is worth a ton. If we decide to trade him, he’s probably worth a lot more than just a 3 month rental player.

                      It’s not that trading Montero is bad, or that trading Lee is bad. It’s that the proposed trade sounds like a huge overpayment.

                      1 Actual World Series title (second in a row)>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>1 hypothetical down the line World Series title with chance for more

                      No. The odds favor the Yankees this year already. And we’re not talking about just 1 title down the line, we’re talking about putting the team in a better position for many years.

              • boogie down says:

                By advocating not trading for Lee, I believe he IS content to enjoy the team we have on the field this year and their chances to win.

                Also, building a team to win 5 not only acknowledges the difficulty of winning one, but the difficulty of winning two, three, four, and five.

                Team that can win 5>>>>>>Team that can win one.

                We are in a better position to be both of those things without the trade. I’m not saying we wouldn’t be better this year with Lee, but it’s not like we aren’t already the best team out there. We’d be unnecessarily sacrificing the future for the present since the trade wouldn’t vault us past anybody this year — there’s nobody ahead of us!

  48. Rose says:

    Think this move has at least a little something to do with enticing CC Sabathia so he doesn’t opt out of his contract next year?

    While the money they give Lee could actually, also, cause CC to opt out to get something similar or more?

    Or maybe they are planning on CC opting out and they’re trying to grab Cliff Lee to take his place?

    I mean there are a few things I’m trying to think of here…

      • Rose says:

        What the hell else could it be?

        Cashman just throwing darts at the dartboard filled with random unnecessary options?

        • boogie down says:

          If we sign him in November/December, there’s still a full year of the Sabathia/Lee duo for Sabathia to experience. Also, with Sabathia’s workload and age (he’ll be 31 after the 2011 season), it’d be wishful thinking on his part to believe that a team would pay him MORE than $23M/yr, unless he really wants to go home to CA and is willing to take a pay cut. I’m confident that we wouldn’t give him a raise for his decline years when he’s already the highest-paid pitcher in all of baseball. Plus, he seems to legitimately enjoy being here, what with the winning and “loose clubhouse” atmosphere, his friendly predisposition notwithstanding.

          Additionally, and most importantly, Cliff Lee could’ve been had, assuming this trade goes through, in November at a greatly reduced cost (no prospects). Everyone and their mother pointed to us being the outright favorites to sign Lee in the offseason. With a great opportunity to win and, most importantly to him, the largest contract offer likely being provided by us, it’s hard to imagine that Lee would hesitate to sign here. In fact, keeping Montero increases our chances of winning in the future, so it behooves us to not trade him. Simply put, it doesn’t make any sense. Why pay twice for a guy when you’re the clear favorite to land his services anyway?

          BTW, I’m not saying that Montero’s presence in the Yankee farm system will have any sort of sway in the decision that Lee makes, but Montero certainly looks like he’ll provide significant help going forward.

  49. AndrewYF says:

    Why the hell would the Yankees do this without getting an exclusive negotiating window?

    I hope the ‘snag’ is that the Yankees never intended the trade talks to go this far, or that Good Cashman is have an epic internal struggle with Bad Cashman.

  50. Guest says:

    Again, the main issue here, as Mike points out above, is their view on Montero. If they thought he would be the catcher of the future, I don’t think they do this trade. I think they felt that Montero couldn’t stick behind the plate. And, again as Mike noted, he is blocked everywhere else.

    So he is a valuable trade chip. Cliff Lee is the most valuable available commodity in the MLB. And it will probably be a while before another commodity as valuable as Lee becomes available. If not Lee, who are we saving Montero for?

    Now, I am concerned with them giving up too much in addition to Montero. As valuable as Lee is, he is a three month + (hopefully)playoffs rental. Losing Montero AND two solid prospects for Lee would be painful. If that’s the case, my hope is that another useful piece comes back (bullpen arm, versatile bench guy, prospect whose close to being a ML contributor, etc.).

    And while I hear the concerns, if this all ends with Lee, Werth, and League/solid versatile bench guy/almost ready minor leaguer for Montero, Javy, and two solid prospects…I will be ecstatic.

  51. mustang says:

    I truly don’t think I have ever agreed more with a thread then this one. Mike you hit very point, just a great insightful piece really explaining the situation I’m impressed.

  52. Carlosologist says:

    At first I was really excited about the deal possibly going down, but then I saw Jesus was involved. I became sad after that. For all we know, he’ll be the next Edgar Martinez and kill our asses for the next 10-15 years. (Martinez vs the Yankees: .317/.423/.542)

  53. Since when did Cashman go from ninja to Kool aid man

  54. Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

    People: a porspect is not the same thing as a known commodity. It just isn’t. It’s fine to be pissed about the trade for various reasons, but we have to recognize that we are trading not a great player for a great player, but someone with only a chance of becoming a great player for a great player. The Majors are littered with unfulfilled elite prospects.

    • AndrewYF says:

      Cool, so the Braves should have traded Jason Heyward Jarrod Washburn in 2008? After all, Washburn is a known commodity, and Heyward is just a prospect, so he’s basically valueless.

      The ‘a prospect is not a known commodity’ line is retarded, pure and simple.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        Obviously yes, because Washburn and Cliff Lee are comparable pitchers.

      • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

        That’s not what I’m saying and you know it.

        You said valueless-not me.

        You picked a clearly average pitcher and a clearly exceptional prospect-not me.

        Each situation is different. But on general principal, fans need to recognize that their hopes for a player might not equal his eventual reality.

        Using cheap and misleading tactics to debase my argument and call it “retarded” is not becoming of this forum.

        • boogie down says:

          Agreed, but we could get a glimpse into Montero’s eventual reality while still having Lee. I don’t think we have a need for Lee now, so why give up a guy who could turn out be great, if you’re most likely going to get Lee in a few months anyway?

          Then again, I’m certainly not privy to the information that Cashman and other Yankee execs are, so I hope that my ranting is a byproduct of being seriously uninformed.

      • Jose the Satirist says:

        Went a little too far with your analogy here.

      • I Voted for Kodos says:

        That’s not at all what he said. Jarrod Washburn is not and was not a great player and he never said prospects are valueless.

        I don’t love the trade either, for a number of reasons, but Cliff Lee is not Jarrod Washburn. He’s probably a top 3 pitcher in all of baseball at the moment.

  55. theyankeewarrior says:

    That the Yankees are offering Montero for Lee (and for Halladay in the off-season) points to them raising payroll over the next 5 years.

    There’s no way they can continue to compete at the highest of levels without promoting cheap, young talent into starting positions like Montero.

  56. Arman Tamzarian says:

    My dream is that both teams have gotten caught up in the Lebron media drama, and will consumate the trade in the 3rd inning when Lee is dealing. After the third out of the inning as Lee is about to walk into the dugout he spots his agent pointing towards the Yankees dugout. Lee then throws his Mariners shit down and walks into the waiting arms of the Yankees.

  57. Gonzo says:

    The two camps are (or should be):
    A) Tough to give up Montero, but to maul teams in the playoffs with CC, Lee, Andy, and whover else in the playoffs is priceless.
    B) Shouldn’t give up Arodys, Montero, Adams minus whatever you can get back for Vasquez for three months of Lee (or if you like 5 years of Lee at the cost of a boatload of cash).

    Both are enticing. I am confused. I like having Lee, but it might have made more sense to trade all the prospects for a Josh Johnson/Matt Cain/More years of cost controlled pitcher instead of the square dance to get to Lee. It looks foolish if Lee signs for more than Halladay (he has proven mastery of the AL East)and costs more in prospects (including the net +/- on Vasquez) to get. Someone sort this out for me!

    • Will says:

      When in doubt, I fall back on three words: Pitching Wins Championships.

      • Without making this trade, the Yankees already have the best pitching in all of baseball.

        If Cliff Lee got traded from the Mariners to any of the 28 other teams not named the Yankees, the Yankees would still have the best pitching in all of baseball.

        • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

          Yeah. Until someone gets hurt. And then it’s “oh fuck! we could’ve had an elite ace who we are planning on acquiring anyway, and now are pitching isn’t good enough to win a playoff series against the Rays or Red Sox or Twins!”

          • You don’t trade away top-5 prospects out of fear of potential doomsday scenarios that haven’t happened yet.

            You just don’t. This smacks of hastiness.

            • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

              I think you make trades based on value for value. Period. If the Yankees, as I do, value Cliff Lee a great deal more than they do Jesus Montero, they make the trade. Period.

              I think what it comes down to is that you value Montero higher than the Yankees do, and Lee lower than the Yankees do. And that’s fine. But they have to make decisions based on their own assesments.

              • If the Yankees, as I do, value Cliff Lee a great deal more than they do Jesus Montero, they make the trade. Period.

                That’s incredibly shortsighted and I’d hoped the franchise I root for had become smarter than that over the past half decade.

                • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

                  Having one strategy and applying it to every single situation is never the way to go. Like you, I’ve been very happy with the Yankees patience and cool-headedness in trade talks the past few years, and they’re policy of valuing and protecting their prospects where possible. But to simply take that philosophy and apply it to every scenario and situation is not an effective way to run a team. I don’t think this represents an ideological shift-just an individual case where Cashman felt he had to make this decision for the good of the team now and in the future. If the Yankees start trading off all their prospects for shots at potential all-stars, I won’t be happy. But I don’t think this one trade means the organization hasn’t learned anything.

        • rek4gehrig says:

          Yeah, until AJ has another mental breakdown.

      • Gonzo says:

        Don’t get me wrong, I am okay with dealing Montero and prospects. It’s just couldn’t the FO traded for a more controllable, younger pitcher or Halladay (might have been cheaper to sign and has proven AL East mastery)?

        That’s what I think the real gripe should be at least. Not giving up prospects. It’s the mannaer in which prospects were given up in the past 6+ months.

        • boogie down says:

          Agreed. It’s the potential double-cost that bothers me most, especially when we have the best rotation in baseball without Lee.

  58. Apollo22237 says:

    “Wow! Yanks move fast. If this deal goes through Cashman may have pulled off his best deal ever. Shock considering Yanks recent style.”

    That is Sweeney Murti’s take, after reading this thread for a while, this gave me a chuckle for just how different his take on the deal is.

  59. BadaBling says:

    Say it ain’t so! I hope the Twins swoop in with an offer the M’s can’t refuse.

  60. BxBomber says:

    Jesus, you guys just fall in love with the whole notion of developing our own players don’t you? This is the same stuff that led to the kneepads being out for Joba. What could we get for him in a trade now?

    Montero could be the next Pujols(extremely unlikely). Or he could be the next Bam Bam Meulens. You give up potential for a sure thing.

    Stop acting like 8th grade girls in love with Justin Bieber and use your heads here. CC and Lee for the next 4-5 years leading our rotation? And you’d pass that up for the fact that this dude who is hitting .253/.331/.408 may one day become a Cabrera/Pujols and probably won’t even be a catcher down the line?

    Amazing.

    • You give up potential for a sure thing.

      Not for a sure thing that you’re the prohibitive favorite to sign this winter for nothing but cash anyway.

      • kunaldo says:

        Tommie, surely you realize that of all years, this is the most telling that our aging players are showing at least a start of a decline? Cashman could realize this and could just being going for it all.

        Not to mention, if he valued Montero as much as you or many others do, he wouldnt stray from his usual stance and would wait until the offseason. Cashman and Co. know more about montero than we do, and I’m putting faith in the ninja that he’s knows what he’s doing and what’s best for the team, today and tomorrow.

        Oh and btw, we have a small lead in the division, and our pitching has been RIDICULOUSLY healthy. So…I dunno.

        • kunaldo says:

          aging players was a bad phrase. older. only rivera isnt aging.

        • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

          Very well put. I love this team but it’s amazing how high the confidence level is right now after a couple of good Burnett starts compared to where it was a couple weeks ago. This is a great team but by no means invincible, and their are definitely several things that could bring us down.

    • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

      +1

      I’ve been trying to say this all day but you summed it up well.

      • Gonzo says:

        I said it earlier. I think the source of the issue is how the FO has handled the trading of prospects in the past 6+ months. You gather all the prospects traded in the past 6+ months for pitching, and a lot of people would have expected Halladay (signing window with a somewhat decent contract) plus some other goodies. I am not trying to bring up Grandy. I don’t want to change the subject here.

  61. Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

    I think that our great first half has lulled people into thinking that a Yankee title this year was already close to a lock-it wasn’t. Not with very talented Red Sox and Rays teams lurking out there. Cashman sees a very good team with an excellent chance of winning, and he sees one very big chip that could swing the balance between us and our also very talented competitors- Cliff Lee. He decides to make the agressive move of acquiring a player now who he already was planning on acquiring in the offseason. To do so, he decides to play his trump card: using a prospect who is very highly valued by other organizations but who the Yankees don’t believe they have a place for. Now many fans are upset because they were led to believe that they should value Montero very highly. But the organization had to cause us to believe that, because they would never publically ascknowledge what they might believe internally, that Montero is not a good fit for the Yankees.

  62. Will says:

    Anybody remember Brandon Claussen? My memory’s a bit fuzzy, but I seem to remember people being upset about trading him, a top pitching prospect, to the Reds for Aaron Boone in 2003.

  63. Johnny says:

    Its possible that GMs around the league don’t think Montero is as good as the press and we all seem to think.

    Maybe lots of GMs think he’s Mike Napoli redux.

    Just a thought…

    • Tank Foster says:

      Certainly he’s not the masher at AAA that he was at lower levels. Maybe he’s still recovering from his injury last season.

      • Ed says:

        Spending only about 4 months combined in High A and AA before getting put in AAA probably didn’t help either, especially with the injury thrown in.

    • Pasqua says:

      I’m guessing that the Yanks don’t project Jesus as a long term catcher and don’t necessarily want to fight the battle of finding him a position.

  64. Binoy Patel says:

    Should they have rather traded Jesus for the full season of Doc Halladay or half-season of Cliff Lee?! (Assuming both extensions are going to end up in the same monetary range..)

  65. Tank Foster says:

    I don’t like it. To me, this smacks of a Steinbrenner-instigated deal. Maybe Cashman is doing the deal, but Hank or Hal is forcing him to get it done.

    Maybe?

    Just seems like too much of a switch in strategy for Cashman.

    TSJC – you are right about a “mortal lock to sign him,” unless whomever else trades for him does a contract extension as part of the deal.

    Which brings me to the only reason I could see why this would be a good “long term” strategy: The prospect of either Boston or Tampa having Lee on a multi-year deal, given those teams’ already good pitching staffs, isn’t good for the Yankees. Having to face a postseason series against Lee/Price/Niemann/Garza, or Lee/Beckett/Lester/Lackey?

    Maybe?

    • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

      Bingo.

      TSJC is assuming the Rays wouldn’t extend Lee. But who’s to say he doesn’t go there, like it a lot, maybe win a title, get tired of bouncing around so much, and sign an extension? After all, we know they’re not paying Crawford-maybe they can find the money for Lee? They don’t have a ton of money committed elsewhere, mainly in Longoria and that’s about it.

      So if that happens, we’re looking at a rotation for the next few years of Lee/Price/Niemann/Garza/Davis/Hellickson/Shields, against what? Hughes, headcase Burnett, and a CC Sabathia with a rapidly approaching opt-out clause? Doesn’t sound so good.

      But wait-Jesus Montero would hit 70 home runs and save us. So it’d be fine.

  66. celerinosanchez says:

    did anyone watch game 1 of the Series last year? I spent many clams to sit with my son in the upper deck on a rainy night and watch this guy dominate the Good Guys. This is absolute money. They will sign him. hitting prospects(rememeber Hensley Meulens) for shut down major league left handed stopper anyday .pitching pitching pitching pitching pitching!

  67. The209 says:

    Stupid question — why not just sign him to a long-term deal in the offseason and not give up anyone?

    • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

      Because there is no guarantee he will be there, and because getting him now gives us a better chance to win a World Series this year.

      • The209 says:

        he won’t sign with anyone during this yr, knowing the yanks’ $ is out there for him/at least drive up his asking price @ the tnd of the season..wouldn’t you think?

        • That.

          There was no guarantee that CC Sabathia wouldn’t sign an extension with the Brewers, but it was 99.9999999% likely that he wouldn’t sign an extension with the Brewers.

          You have to look at things with perspective, not simply live in fear of worst case scenarios.

          • The209 says:

            amen

            and really, (for me) it’s just nice to root for the f*cking team you start the year with, win or lose..

        • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

          Again, everyone continues to ignore the small factor that HE HELPS US WIN A WORLD SERIES THIS YEAR.

          • Nobody’s ignoring that. They simply don’t feel that he improves our chances enough to be worth the loss of Montero, when we can sign Lee in the offseason and have BOTH players.

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

              I also don’t consider higher probability for one POTENTIAL World Series this year worth the higher probability of several World Series in later years.

  68. Patrick says:

    If this deal happens, do you think Montero will start right away as a DH and part-time catcher? Trying to figure out whether he may be worth a shot in my fantasy baseball league.

  69. Tank Foster says:

    I think the Prospectus had Matt Wieters as by far the number one prospect in MLB before last season, and he’s got a career OPS less than 800, and an OPS+ of about 90 so far.

    He probably will get better. But we gotta realize that Montero may turn out to be Wieters, only without equal defensive chops.

  70. Apollo22237 says:

    “To repeat the #Yankees aren’t getting Cliff Lee, #Mariners concerned about David Adams ankle plus apparently another team has jumped in hard”

    All day we’ve been arguing for nothing haha.

  71. John McKibbin says:

    The team now finds itself in the unfortunate position of having to dramatically increase its payroll. I suggested an increase to $300-$350 million over a year ago.

    Entirely within the rules, this move would go a long way toward attempting to have an all-star caliber player at every position. That is, all 25 roster spots. This is the only sure way to guarantee prolonging the inherent greatness of this fabulous organization.

    Oh, yes, there will be a cacophany of sobbing, wailing and whining from fans of the other 29 teams. But who cares? These people, like the teams they support, are completely irrelevant.

    These “haters” could be supporting the Yankees. There is nothing stopping them. If they instead choose to back a loser, that is entirely their own business.

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

      What’s your point? Everything you said is true and if the Yankees would actually consider doing that, well, by all means.

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