Could the Yanks afford both Crawford and Lee?

Sabathia doesn’t say much about his opt-out situation
Heyman: Yankees will make a 'very strong' offer to Lee today

Of course they can. But are they willing to take the payroll to that level? That remains to be seen. Buster Olney says Brian Cashman had a long meeting with Carl Crawford’s people last night, and that Crawford himself might have even been there. Jayson Stark adds that if Andy Pettitte does indeed retire, the team is hinting that they’ll have room for both Crawford and Cliff Lee. I suspect this is all posturing though, Darek Braunecker is playing games and Cashman wants to get the ball rolling with Lee. Showing interest in Crawford is likely nothing more than a decoy.

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Sabathia doesn’t say much about his opt-out situation
Heyman: Yankees will make a 'very strong' offer to Lee today
  • teddy

    i agree thats until and if a outfielder is traded

  • YankeesJunkie

    Well considering that Lee has 35 7 years offers and has not even allowed official bids it is time to Cashman to throw a few ninja stars back.

  • Ted Nelson

    If you wanted to play games with Lee, wouldn’t you hint that you don’t have room for both?

  • Dick Whitman

    Just say no to Carl Crawford.

  • FIPster Doofus

    Not gonna lie – the idea of Crawford in a Yankees uniform is intriguing.

    • pat

      I think it’s only intriguing if it results in an extra OF(likely Gardner) being packaged for a good pitcher.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        And if Martin signs they could be considering a Gardner/Montero package for a great pitcher.

        • Chris

          They shouldn’t give up Montero just because they sign Martin. He’s only a slight upgrade over Cervelli.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            If they don’t think Montero will stick at catcher (despite what they’ve said), they should trade him before he fails at the position.

            I’d also consider Martin a significant upgrade over Cervelli. He can play 130 games without being exposed as a part timer and is a better defender. He also has more upside, he’ll only be 28 this year and has three very high quality seasons.

            • Hughesus Christo

              He hasn’t been even passable since 2008.

              • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                Compared to Cervelli?

                • Chris

                  Yes.

                • Ted Nelson

                  You are comparing him to Jesus, not Franky…

                  • Chris

                    Even comparing him to Cervelli it’s not clear that Martin is an upgrade.

                  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                    But we don’t know what Jesus is yet.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      My point was that others were comparing Martin to Cervelli, and you were saying “no, just trade Jesus and let the great Russell Martin era begin!”

                      You don’t know what any prospect IS until they become it… Does that mean you should just give up on them and sign nothing but 40 year olds with their tickets to Cooperstown punched? We don’t know what 2011 Russell Martin is yet, either.

                      You have to go based on your expectations. This is what the Yankees are in the business of doing. They’ll be wrong sometimes, but based on their last 15+ years of success I trust them to be right more than wrong. If they think Jesus can catch I’m ok with it (because I don’t scout minor league baseball professionally), and if not I’m also ok with it. If they believe his bat is valuable enough to keep even as a DH, I’m ok with that risk too.

                    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                      “no, just trade Jesus and let the great Russell Martin era begin!”

                      I said nothing of the sort.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Ok… wording was a bit strong on my part… But others were discussing Martin as a Cervelli replacement (insurance behind/next to Jesus) and you suggested Martin as a Jesus replacement. You said trade Montero/Garnder for a pitcher. You said Martin can catch 130 games and cited his 3 strong years. So, I don’t really understand why you then doubled back and called someone else out for questioning Martin when you had just called him a starting C solution.

            • Reggie C.

              Am I the only one who sees the value in retaining the bat of a 22-year old failed catcher when the bat is described as “miggy cabrera-esqe”? Stick Montero at the DH slot. It doesnt matter imo if he ends up unable to field any position. He’s supposedly got the hitting talent to become our version of EDGAR MARTINEZ, who played much of his career at DH.

              • Bulldozer

                If you could 100% guarantee he would turn into all that, your argument holds water.

                • Ted Nelson

                  You can’t 100% guarantee anything in baseball, and you don’t have to. You have to make your decisions based on what you consider to be the most likely scenario, with a reasonable confidence interval around it.

                  • Bulldozer

                    And that’s the process that people make when they say trade Montero.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      You specifically said that Reggie C. had to “100% guarantee” Montero would be a great hitter in order to be right…

                    • Bulldozer

                      He said, “He’s supposedly got the hitting talent to become our version of EDGAR MARTINEZ…”

                      That sounds like he’s fairly certain to me. Maybe I am reading it wrong. Either way, trading Montero isn’t always the wrong thing to do.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      “Supposedly” and “talent” pretty clearly suggest possibility and not certainty to me…

                      I don’t think it’s always the wrong thing to trade a top prospect, either. However, you also can’t ignore Jesus massive upside just because he’s not certain to reach it. This guy is pretty well the consensus best hitting prospect in MiLB right now… The Yankees have a lot of other prospects they could use to get all but a few players who might be on the trade market, prospects without either the ceiling or probability of reaching that ceiling that Jesus has. If someone is legitimately on the trade market, the Yankees do not have to offer a top 1-5 prospect in all of baseball if no other team is offering close.

                      So, if Josh Johnson, Felix Hernandez, Hanley Ramirez, etc. can be had maybe you have to resort to using Jesus to get the deal done… For all but a top talent, though, I think the Yankees may be able to choose between quantity and quality (Jesus) in terms of the package they offer. I mean, how many blue chip players besides Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder, and Greinke might actually be dealt this offseason? Colby Rasmus? Maybe Sizemore, but probably mid-season. Upton is reportedly off the market. Cards probably don’t give up on Pujols (re-signing him) until midseason or next offseason and Marlins have less reason to deal Johnson after shipping out Uggla. For Wandy Rodriguez or especially Matt Garza I just don’t think I’d trade Jesus.

              • pat

                I’m with you dude. I’m only moving Jesus for Felix,JJ, Price, Latos etc. His bat will be valuable anywhere even with no positional flexibility.

              • Ted Nelson

                I think this is definitely a possibility, especially if one of Romine, Sanchez, Murphy, an outsider, etc. can be a top line C in a couple of years… Ideal situation you have a good/great young bat establish itself in your line-up for a couple years while his defense is somewhere between passable and bad, then either keep him at C or upgrade the whole team by moving him off C. That’s best case, though.

                It is also possible that his value is higher as trade bait… Would obviously depend on the trade, and it also depends on how Jesus’ bat develops.

            • Chris

              Martin is a significantly better defender than Cervelli showed this year, but I’m not convinced that this is Cervelli’s true defensive talent level since he was better last year and in the minors.

              Offensively, I don’t think he’s an upgrade at all. He’s put up wOBA of .306 and .307 in the last two years while playing in the NL west. Cervelli was at .315 this year. I guess there’s a chance that Martin rebounds to be the hitter he was 3+ years ago, but the possibility of that seems too unlikely to give up Montero.

            • Ted Nelson

              Or if they do think Montero can stick at C at least in the short-term they can acquire Martin as a good option 1.b./insurance.

              It may be in their best interest to move Montero if they get a great return, but even if he’s a DH and his bat comes through anywhere near expectations… having that cost controlled is still very valuable. Combine that with the fact that other teams are not going to be fooled into valuing Montero as a good defensive catcher and his value may be just as high in a Yankee uniform as trade bait.

              Betting the season on Russell Martin bouncing back after two straight off-years and Franky as option 1.b. is pretty risky…

          • Ted Nelson

            Yeah, I’m also thinking of Martin as a Cervelli upgrade/Montero insurance… Not that I’m the Yankees.

  • vin

    If Pettitte retires, not only will they have more money to spend on Crawford, but they’ll also need to acquire another starter. I have to think one of the 3 current OFers can interest another team.

  • Chris

    I am far more impressed that Olney managed a one tweet tweet than I am about the Yankees possibly signing both Lee and Crawford.

    • Thomas

      The only problem with Olney’s tweet is he says “CC might have been there.” This is slightly confusing since it could mean CC as in Carl Crawford, the player the Yankees are interested in, or it mean CC Sabathia, a present Yankee who may be used to help recruit Crawford. I assume it is the first one, but it is still poor tweeting.

      • Monteroisdinero

        little cc and BIG CC

  • John

    Gardner, Stoneburner & Venditte for Gavin Floyd

    • YankeesJunkie

      That seems like a steep price for Floyd because even though his peripherals are excellent his traditional numbers are not as strong and he only has two years left of team control with an option for a third year.

      • FIPster Doofus

        Floyd’s traditional numbers have been pretty good since he came into his own in 2008. Three consecutive seasons of 30-plus starts, IP totals ranging from 187 to 206, ERAs from 3.84 to 4.08, and he’s respectable in strikeouts per nine (around seven) and walks (under three).

        • Ed

          He’s had good numbers at the end of the year, but for at least the past two seasons he’s been a pitcher of extremes. He’s started the year off horrendously, then ended it amazingly. Kinda like good/bad AJ, but more predictable.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Without Jeter they could have.

    /ducks for cover

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

      give it TF up, dude.

  • jsbrendog (returns)

    dislike (carl crawford on the yankees)

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      In a vacuum I love the idea, but not when he comes attached with an 8 year contract.

  • teddy

    hey look heyman with another scoop from boras konerko returns to chi

    SI_JonHeyman

    Konerko, #chisox agree to deal

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Off topic, and Konerko’s not even a Boras client. Just stick it in the Off Topic Thread please, it’ll definitely be seen.

  • teddy

    i am sorry, can i delete my konerko post

  • Monteroisdinero

    A big issue to consider is whether Posada will be on the Yankees after next year and whether he can DH into his 40’s. I think not. Crawford gives us long term roster flexibility and more DH options since he is an everyday superb defender.

    • Ed

      Posada’s contract is up after the season, and he’s getting really up there in age. I think at this point you just have to assume that he won’t be back and only worry about it if he has a good enough season to warrant keeping him.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      Crawford gives us long term roster flexibility

      Surely you jest.

      Roster flexibility is the primary argument against acquiring Crawford and the 8 year $20M contract he will command.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

      A big issue to consider is whether Posada will be on the Yankees after next year

      I seriously doubt he is

      and whether he can DH into his 40?s. I think not.

      You don’t like Posada? Huh this is new

      Crawford gives us long term roster flexibility and more DH options since he is an everyday superb defender

      Signing a guy to a six to eight year deal is not in any way giving long term roster flexibility. And what is with people’s fascination with the rotating DH?

  • Fair Weather Freddy

    I agree about Crawford. WOuld love to have him, but not at an 8 year deal.

  • Dick Whitman

    Why the Yankees should not sign Carl Crawford.

    Curtis Granderson v. LHP
    2010: .289 wOBA / 76 wRC+
    Career: .275 wOBA / 64 wRC+

    Carl Crawford v. LHP
    2010: .306 wOBA / 92 wRC+
    Career: .307 wOBA / 88 wRC+

    • FIPster Doofus

      Unless the plan is to sign Crawford and deal Granderson for pitching. I’m not advocating it, but it’s possible.

  • javysagoner

    No way the yanks should go after crawford, to many long term contracts to guys getting old. Our outfield is good the way it is, decent cost effective players. The yanks should only get involved to drive up the price make boston or the angels pay dearly for carl, somewhere in excess of 200mil if at all possible.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Gardner and Crawford 1,2 in the order. Lots of pressure on the other team. Very few dp’s.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Jeter and his agent are baffled by this post.

      • Monteroisdinero

        we have to figure out a way to rid our lineup of 25-30 gidp’s a year from #2

        ideas?

        • FIPster Doofus

          I was making a joke. Jeter is a lock to bat in the top two of the order.

      • RL

        Jeter and his agent are baffled by this post

        IETC

  • Mike HC

    If Pettitte retires, I hope we do get both, then deal an outfielder for a starter.

    • Klemy

      I would guess that has to be the plan if they are remotely considering obtaining them both. Right? Otherwise, I would have to guess they are posturing to raise his value. Would be a lot of upset fans outside of NY if they do pull this off.

  • SNS

    I would think if they were to get Crawford they would need to move Granderson. He is owed $8.25M next year and if you combine that with Pettitte’s salary from last year, you get around $19M, so it would make sense to a certain extent. The only problem is that Granderson has the lowest trade value right now amongst the existing outfielders. I don’t know what kind of starting pitcher he could bring back. But the reality could be that if they do have a starting rotation of Lee, Sabathia, Hughes, Burnett and Nova (saving money on using Nova) and addressing the back end of the rotation if it becomes an issue.

    All that being said, if Crawford requires eight years, that is an absolute NO. Its as bad as a six-seven year commitment to Lee.

    • John

      “The only problem is that Granderson has the lowest trade value right now amongst the existing outfielders.”

      That’s why I would trade Swisher for Pettitte’s replacement before Granderson.

      • SNS

        The only problem is that Swisher is the kind of short term financial commitment they probably want to keep. He makes $9M next year and either has a $1M buyout or a $10M option. His ability to switch hit fits this lineup much better, especially if the alternative is having an outfield compromised of all lefties. Granderson is guaranteed $20M, with a $13M option in 2013. Some middle market team may be interested considering the financial certainty of having Granderson. I don’t think either can bring a starter that is considerably better than Nova (considering both cost and effectiveness), first because I don’t think any “good starters” are available and two because I don’t know if either Swisher or Granderson merit even giving up even a middle of the rotation arm. I would rather keep Swisher, slide Gardner over to center and try and get some farm depth and/or prospects for Granderson and roll the dice on Nova.

  • Johnny

    What happens when Crawford loses a step? Speed is his game.

    • theyankeewarrior

      When he loses a step, he will still be fast as shit.

    • Eirias

      Well, the typical trope is that speedy players age well. He’ll end up with only normal speed, but his walk rate will increase.

    • Monteroisdinero

      What happens when he is not surrounded by a bunch of .240 hitters and not batting 3rd and expected to be a power hitter?

      He can lose a step and steal 40!

    • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig

      When he loses 15-25 stolen bases, he adds 5-10 HR. The guy’s athleticism is off the charts (as we already know). I think the “lose the legs” argument is a tad overblown. Crawford – even missing a step or two – is plenty fast enough for the Yankees because they don’t run like the Rays or the Angels. And, again, I would go as far to say Crawford is a more attractive asset if he traded a tick of speed for a bump in power.

      And you guys just got caught with the misdirection because, despite everything I just said in favor of Crawford, I’m not in the “get Carl” camp. There are only two things I’m worried about right now: getting Cliff Lee in pinstripes and keeping Jesus Montero in pinstripes.

  • John

    Crawford
    Jeter
    Tex
    A-Rod
    Cano
    Posada
    Granderson
    Montero
    Gardner

    Sabathia
    Lee
    Hughes
    Burnett
    Pitcher acquired through trade for Swisher

    Sounds good to me.

    • Mike HC

      Me as well.

      • Tampa Yankee

        Crawford hates leading off (or so the media down here in Tampa claim) so It’d still probably be Jeter then Crawford.

        • Mike HC

          You could put those guys in any order and I’m not sure it would make a difference.

    • Dick Whitman

      Jeter
      Swisher
      Teixeira
      Rodriguez
      Cano
      Posada
      Granderson
      Montero/Martin
      Gardner

      Sabathia
      Lee
      Burnett
      Pettitte
      Hughes

      Sounds better to me.

      • John

        My lineup was assuming pettitte retires and we need a 5th starter, likely through trade since the FA market is thin.

        • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig

          Please get Burnett out of the No. 3 slot. I realize the alternatives (three straight LHP or Phil Hughes in the 3-slot) aren’t great. After his 2010, though, I don’t want Burnett anywhere close to a mid-rotation spot before the season starts.

    • j

      Should be
      Gardner-Crawford-Tex-Cano-ARod-Posada-Granderson-Jeter-Montero

      • John

        Should be. Won’t be.

      • Monteroisdinero

        in a few years folks will be laughing at Montero 9th

  • Andrew

    I can see Crawford developing some sneaky Damon-esque power. He is a tremendous athlete.

    • John

      Damon’s Career ISO: .149
      Crawford’s Career ISO: .148

    • Monteroisdinero

      19 HR’s last year = 24-26 at YS

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

    We don’t need Crawford. We have Golson. Golson’s stats are on the uprise and he never hits into double plays. I can see him stealing fifty bases very easily. He’s also an excellent defensive player and we’ve all seen what his arm can do.

    #notserious

    • Monteroisdinero

      Not nice again Bex. The last sentence is very true however and I did prefer him to Austin Kearns who sucked despite the stat lovers embrace of his big league bat.

      Crawford would be a great addition despite your silly comments.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

        Yes, I am the one with the silly comments.

  • bonestock94

    Eh, I’m not too crazy about this. I’m really content with their OF as it sits. Hope it’s just Cashman bluffing.

  • Johnny

    If Pettitte does retire, the Yanks need to replace his spot in the rotation. Cashman signs Crawford and trades Swisher or Granderson for SP.

  • pete

    If we do sign crawford (and I’m not advocating it), which OF gets traded? My guess is that Gardner and Swisher are the most tradable of the three, and could get the biggest returns, Gardner because of his age and defense and general good-player-iness, and Swisher because he is good, fits as a middle-of-the-order bat, plays solid OF defense, and represents a very reasonable, short-term commitment.

    I would probably trade Swisher. I love the guy, but an outfield defense of Crawford-Gardner-Granderson (or Crawford-Granderson-Gardner) would be utterly spectacular to watch. There could be 4 wins on defense alone from those three, and all are capable of being well-above-average offensive players as well. The upside in that outfield (especially with Crawford getting the lefty boost of YSIII) is probably close to 15 WAR.

    Ultimately, though, if the yanks do sign crawford (and I don’t think they will), they should shop all three of their outfielders, as they’ll likely get the highest return if all options are explored.

  • Yanko

    Crawford
    Jeter
    Tex
    Arod
    Cano
    Swish
    Posada
    Grandy
    Montero

    How sexy is that?

    • Monteroisdinero

      Still have Tex coming up with nobody on after the Jeter gidp’s.

      • Just Win

        But Crawford stole second and jeter advanced him to third with his weak grounder to short. Now tex is on with a man on third.

        • Monteroisdinero

          He is, at this point, a better base stealer than Gardy. Don’t know who is actually faster in a foot race but I would say Gardner.

          Stealing on the first pitch is imperative with Jeter batting or the guy has to take a strike which he wasn’t too good at in 2010.

  • Avi

    How many infield hits did Crawford have in 2010?
    I suspect it was a lot. People need to realize that those are likely to decline and take his already low OBP even lower.
    I have no problem giving out another $20+M contract to someone who’s worth it.
    Crawford is just not that good.