Dec
10

Mailbag: Plan B, Damon, Cano

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Boy, lots of people are wondering what the Yankees will do if they don’t sign Cliff Lee for whatever reason. I’m curious too, but I’m also pretty optimistic about them signing the lefty. Anyway, this week’s mailbag offers a trio of Plan B questions, plus some stuff on Johnny Damon and Robbie Cano‘s career. If you ever want to send in a question, just use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar.

Ryan asks: If the Yanks miss out on Lee and/or Pettitte retires who do the Yanks target via trade? They don’t seem high on Greinke, Liriano and Carpenter moves don’t make sense for those clubs and Garza in-division would be a hard get. Is Nolasco, Wandy, Lowe, Zambrano or Carmona good enough?

Greinke would be the best of the bunch, by quite a margin, but like you said the team doesn’t seem too enthused about landing him. I agree with you on Liriano, Carpenter, and Garza as well. Nolasco’s a really good pitcher, with 8.6 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 (removing intentional walks) in his three full seasons. He’s never posted worse than a 3.86 FIP or 3.75 xFIP, or been worth less than 2.5 wins according to FanGraphs. He’s also pretty affordable as a Super Two, earning $3.8M in 2010 while still being under team control in 2011 and 2012. My biggest concern with Nolasco is that he’s really homer prone, about one every 7.1 innings pitched, and that’s in a big park in Florida. He won’t replace Lee, very few can, but Nolasco could certainly be a solid mid-rotation guy for the Yankees.

I really like Wandy Rodriguez, but I think the price would be a little too nuts even though he’ll be a free agent after the season. Derek Lowe‘s okay these days, he’s good for innings but not necessary good performance. If the Braves eat some of the $30M left on his contract and take some mid-level prospects in return, sure. I suspect they’ll opt to keep him under those conditions though. Zambrano’s a nutcase and isn’t as good as everyone thinks; A.J. Burnett has out fWAR’d Big Z 12.8 to 11.8 since 2006. Plus there’s a ton of money left on his deal. And he’s a nut case. Carmona’s way too risky. He’s generally good, but his consistency makes A.J. blush.

Of the guys you mentioned, Nolasco’s the best, though I’d try really really hard for Greinke or Carpenter before settling on him. Whichever way they go, the pitcher they get will not be as good as Cliff Lee, that much is a given.

Adam asks: If the Yanks lose out on Lee, do you think Josh Johnson is an obvious target? Would a package of Montero, Brackman/Betances, Noesi, plus one more lower level guy get it done? Or do you think the trade would be even more.

The Marlins have no reason to move Johnson. He signed a big contract that keeps him in Florida for the next three years at well below market rates (just $35.25M through 2013), and don’t forget that their new park opens next season. Not only will that rake in some extra cash, but the team will surely want its young, homegrown, superstar right-hander to throw the first pitch in the park’s history. The Fish don’t really have a use for Montero; they just gave John Buck that ridiculous contract and they’re set at first with Gaby Sanchez. Even if Sanchez falters, Logan Morrison will step back into his natural position. So that right there creates a problem, Montero has less value to them than most.

If I’m the Marlins, I want a monster return for Johnson, more than the Royals want for Greinke given his contract status. Montero, Gardner, and Banuelos wouldn’t get it done, not even with two other prospects (say Adam Warren and David Adams) thrown in. I would, theoretically, ask for a young pitcher with Josh Johnson upside and big league success to his name, a top third base prospect, a centerfielder, and then minor leaguers. I don’t know who can put that package together, maybe the Orioles with Brian Matusz, Josh Bell, and Adam Jones (plus others)? That doesn’t do it for me though, and I love Brian Matusz. Point being, it’ll be so tough to acquire JJ that I don’t think he’s a viable Plan B. He’d be great, no question, I just don’t know how the hell the Yankees would get him.

Anonymous asks: I guess I’m getting a little impatient waiting for the Yanks to make a move. Cash could look at the Braves with Jair Jurrjens a 24 yr old with a 37-27 record, maybe Swisher & Eduardo Nunez with a few pitching prospects throw-in. Or take Chris Carpenter for two yrs at 15m & Jon Jay a good young OFer a hell of a lot cheaper then Lee! And Ricky Nolasco could be had at around 6m. Look at Lee in five yrs 37 and getting paid 24-25m?

We already talked about Carpenter and Nolasco, so let’s focus on Jurrjens. He’s 24, yes, but he’s had some injury trouble in his young career, namely a shoulder issue in 2007 and a pair of leg related ailments in 2010. He’s also not a strikeout guy, posting a career best 6.65 K/9 this season. The walks aren’t much of an issue (2.98 BB/9 over the last three years, taking out intentionals) but his declining ground ball rate (51.5% grounders in 2008, 42.9% in 2009, 39.9% in 2010) and increasing homerun rate (0.53 HR/9 in 2009, 0.63 in 2009, 1.01 in 2010) are.

Jurrjens is under control for three more seasons as an arbitration eligible player, though his peripheral stats scare me a bit. Swisher for Jurrjens would be pretty fair in terms of value (the Yanks would probably have to kick in someone like Nunez, who you suggested), but I’d rather keep Swish than trade him for a guy that won’t be much more than a mid-rotation arm for the Yanks, assuming he stays healthy. With Crawford off the market (this question was sent in before Crawford signed), trading Swish (or any outfielder for that matter) opens a rather gaping hole.

Matt asks: Hey huge fan of the site read it everyday several times a day, you guys are great. I have an idea for a post. The case to bring back Damon?

I think everyone here knows we’ve moved on from Damon even though we full appreciate his service to the Yankee cause.  He followed up great 2009 season (.376 wOBA, 3.3 fWAR) with a decidedly average one in 2010 (.340 wOBA, 1.9 fWAR), and it wasn’t just Detroit’s ballpark either. His wOBA at Comerica (.350) far exceeded his wOBA on the road (.330). For argument’s sake, let’s make a case for a reunion with Johnny.

Although Damon’s offense dropped off this season, he still got on base at a .355 clip and stole double digit bases. Even though Comerica didn’t hurt him much, moving back into Yankee Stadium would probably help get him back into double digit homers as well. Given Brett Gardner‘s recent wrist surgery and the chance that it could negatively impact him at least at the outset of next season, Damon would give the team some leftfield insurance and overall depth in general. If he came back, Jorge Posada would have to be the everyday catcher because you want both in the lineup. Playing one or the other defeats the purpose. That would allow them to be a bit more patient with Montero should they need to be.

Johnny can’t be looking for much money after making $8M in 2010, so $4-5M should get it done. Basically Russell Martin money. There’s certainly a case for bringing Damon back, but given the team’s needs, I don’t see much of a fit going forward.

Kevin asks: If you had to guess right now, Robinson Cano will have how many hits when he retires?

He’s at 1,075 right now, less than two months after his 28th birthday. Derek Jeter, for comparison, was sitting on close to 1,400 hits when he was a same age. I don’t think Robbie will reach 3,000 hits simply because the odds are greatly stacked against him. He’s just too far away and middle infielders tend to breakdown rapidly and without warning in the mid-30′s.

I don’t see why Cano can’t maintain a 200 hits a year pace for the next three seasons before falling off to say, 180 for two years then 160 or so for three years. That would leave him right around 2,500, still a ridiculous total, more than Frank Thomas, Chipper Jones, and Mickey Mantle. Want an exact number? I’ll say … 2,517.

Categories : Mailbag

101 Comments»

  1. Fair Weather Freddy says:

    I wish people would suggesting Josh Johnson. The Marlins just signed him to an affordable below market contract last year and are NOT… REPEAT……….. NOT GONNA TRADE HIM!!!

    • Tampa Yankee says:

      I’m not sure why more people are not suggesting we go get King Felix:
      http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....nt-1397056

    • The Three Amigos says:

      I posed a question, simply because I was curious. I didn’t say “let’s get JJ for Andy Phillips, Melky, bubba crosby and Shelly Duncan. His name hasn’t been talked about at all and if the Yankees checked in on Liriano they are obviously going to do their due diligence on comparable players. I was simply wondering what kind of package Mike thought it would take. His name was brought up a ton last year, and you never really know what the Marlins are planning. I realize he signed an extension, but that makes him even more attractive to other teams, being under market value. Of course, easier for the Marlins to keep. However, even as Mike suggested every player has a price. However, in this case that price seems way too large.

      So, therefore for the sake of this being a relatively profane free website, shove it.

  2. OXXBOW says:

    There was a rumor floating around yesterday that the Yankees could go as high as 180 million for Lee with some sort of 8th year option? Anything solid behind that?

  3. Thomas says:

    I’ll go against you, Mike. I bet Cano does not end up with 2,517 hits.

  4. Do you trade Cano with his value high and upcoming big contract?

    You can get alot for him.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      No.

    • Clay Bellinger says:

      No. What player, that another club would be willing to trade, would be worth trading him for?

    • Thomas says:

      You wouldn’t get a ton for him, because of his large contract. If the Yankees were to go after Greinke or Johnson, the Marlins or the Royals wouldn’t want Cano at $10M.

      They may be able to get something for him if they traded him to a contender for prospects (and then they could flip the prospects), but Cano’s cost is too high for a rebuilding team.

    • Steve H says:

      I’d say no, but if you think Adams is a legit everyday 2nd baseman I can see considering it. Hypothetically if you could get a Josh Johnson type, are you better off with Johnson and Adams (with a short-term veteran FA in the meantime) or Cano+Nova (or another guy you’d have to trade for)? I likely wouldn’t do it, but I think a case can be made if you believe in Adams.

    • Ellis says:

      Cano has a very good chance of being the best second baseman in Yankees history. From a purely sentimental perspective, don’t trade him!

    • Mike HC says:

      That is insane.

  5. pat says:

    If Jair Jurrjens didn’t have a funny name people wouldn’t think twice of him.

  6. TopChuckie says:

    I have more confidence in Nolasco as a Yankee than Greinke, and the price is way, way, waaaaaaaaayyyyyy cheaper. Montero & Nolasco>>>>>>>>>>SAD Greinke.

    Nolasco is a realistic option, most of the other rumors/ideas are fantasy baseball trades.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Greinke is just as realistic an option as Nolasco in terms of being available. Will he cost more to acquire? Yes. But he’s also a far better pitcher, and it’s not even close.

    • Clay Bellinger says:

      Yes, the price would be less…but how do you have more confidence in Nolasco than Greinke? Greinke is significantly better.

      • A.D. says:

        My guess with the SAD comment is that the poster assumes Grienke will not handle NYC and thus suck.

        I’d have more confidence in the Nolasco deal over Grieke in terms of bang for your prospect dollar. Less downside if Nolasco does suck, and lower expectations of his performance.

      • TopChuckie says:

        Because Greinke is a proven mental risk, the Yankees are the one team that most has to take that into consideration, and I believe the Yankees have zero interest in trading a player they wouldn’t trade for Roy Halladay for Greinke.

        The Greinke conversation should be moot. It’s a non-issue, it ain’t gonna happen. There are no guarantees in sports, but the Yanks never trading for Greinke is about as close as it gets.

        It simply is not a smart move, trading much less for Nolasco makes far more sense. It’s all about risk/reward and allocation of resources.

        • Thomas says:

          The Yankees were willing to trade Montero for Halladay straight up, the Blue Jays chose the Phillies package over Montero though.

        • Rick in Boston says:

          Can we stop it with “proven mental risk” thing? Is anyone here a doctor or mental health professional who has sat down and worked with Grienke? If the answer is no, then get off it. We don’t know exactly what happened, nor how it affects him today.

          • Steve H says:

            This. Over and over this.

          • TopChuckie says:

            The dude had to leave the game and go home. He said he was bummed he won the Cy Young because of the attention it brought him. He’s been diagnosed with a disorder. This is not just saying someone is not clutch because they have a low BA with RISP.

            New York is clearly a risky place for him, the riskiest, not only for the Yankees own good, but for his. It is not worth the risk and that’s why it’s not going to happen. No, I don’t KNOW he wouldn’t be able to handle it, but you don’t KNOW he could, do you want to risk Jesus Montero+ to find out? No way, never.

            • Steve H says:

              New York is clearly a risky place for him, the riskiest, not only for the Yankees own good, but for his.

              If he had another issue, New York could be considered the best place for him as he would have the best medical providers possible helping him you.

              Give it up, you do not know anything about Greinke’s prior condition and have no proof that he couldn’t handle NY. If he had previously had TJS, would you be against trading for him?

          • JGS says:

            Is anyone here a doctor or mental health professional who has sat down and worked with Grienke? If the answer is no, then get off it.

            And if the answer is yes, then there are all sorts of ethical violations going on.

          • TopChuckie says:

            And yes, he is a proven mental RISK. He has been diagnosed with a disorder that is exacerbated by attention. Is there much attention in New York? Is he guaranteed to fail? No. Is he most definitely a greater RISK? Yes.

            If you HAD to bet on Greinke or Lee not pulling an Ed Whitson who would you put your money on? Grenike is the greater RISK.

            • Steve H says:

              Cliff Lee has been diagnosed with a disorder that is exacerbated by pitching. That’s a risk.

              • TopChuckie says:

                There is risk in every investment, they are not all viewed as prohibitive. I’m sure the Yankees are taking that risk under consideration as well. That risk also requires sacrificing a far deeper resource than the #1 offensive prospect in baseball.

        • Clay Bellinger says:

          I like how people make like they have any idea what’s going on in Greinke’s head. We have no idea whatsoever how his anxiety issues would effect him in NY. Ty Cobb supposedly had bipolar depression – things worked out ok for him on the baseball diamond. As much as he’s a “proven mental risk” he’s a “proven AL Cy Young award winner” who’s only a year removed from a 9.4 WAR season. I’d be more confident in him than with someone like Nolasco.

          That being said, I agree and I don’t think the Yanks trade for him anyway as the cost would be enormous, but I doubt it would be based on his anxiety issues.

          Let’s just hope they lock Lee up this weekend so we don’t have to worry about it!

          • JGS says:

            100 times this.

            Please stop speculating on what’s going on in Greinke’s head.

            • Clay Bellinger says:

              My point exactly.

            • FIPster Doofus says:

              It happens every day here, and gets more and more annoying every damn time.

              • TopChuckie says:

                People with social anxiety disorder (SAD) have an irrational fear of being watched, judged or evaluated, or of embarrassing or humiliating themselves.

                No, I’m not a doctor, but A DOCTOR diagnosed him with what is defined above.

                In New York fans and media watch you more than anywhere else. In New York fans and media judge and evaluate you more than anywhere else. In New York fans and media let you know when you’ve embarrassed or humiliated yourself more than anywhere else, except maybe Philly.

                SAD + New York = Risk.

                There’s really no argument. I’m not saying he’ll implode, I’m saying he is a risk to implode, a greater risk than someone who hasn’t been diagnosed and who has never had to leave the game because of his disorder, and that greater risk makes him not worth Montero+. Not to me, and I’d bet not the to the Yankees.

                • FIPster Doofus says:

                  Signing a 32-year-old pitcher to a seven-year contract worth a zillion dollars is also a huge risk.

                  • TopChuckie says:

                    See above. The Yanks have a constant influx of money, they don’t have a constant influx of the best offensive prospect in baseball.

                    • Steve H says:

                      But if they don’t get Lee, what do they do? I’d definitely rather have Lee at the cost of only money, but that’s not he Yankees choice, that’s Lee’s choice.

                    • FIPster Doofus says:

                      True. I’d still trade Montero for Greinke if Lee stays in Texas, though. If we disagree, that’s fine. I’m just not worried about Greinke’s condition; he’s a top-of-the-rotation starter, which is what the Yankees need. Unlike the rotation, the Yankees have found ways to field a great offense over the last however many years, so I doubt that would change without Montero in the organization.

                      Best-case scenario: Lee and Montero both don pinstripes next season and beyond.

                    • TopChuckie says:

                      For what it’s worth, if Greinke were a free agent I would be far more inclined to take a chance if the risk were only money and it didn’t cripple the Yanks ability to spend elsewhere. I still suspect it would not go well, but it would have only cost a far more replaceable commodity

                  • slim says:

                    belive or dismiss the mental issue
                    none of us knows

                    however the possibility of it brings with it risk and that is all people are saying.
                    That is a negative, if true or untrue who knows but there is a greater possibility than with other players.

                    I would not overpay for him personally, seen too many starters implode on NYY.
                    Whitson, Pavano, Vaszquez ; those guys all had great years before coming to NYY and ended up bums for this team that were overpayed.
                    I don’t want to take any similar chances, get proven guys that handle pressure like Lee.

  7. So Mike,

    You want Cano to come in just one hit shy of Babe Ruth, who got 2518? Robbie then would only trail Jeter, Gehrig, and The Babe.

    I assume he’s a lifelong Yankee.

  8. A.D. says:

    Garza in-division would be a hard get.

    Maybe, but they just did trade Bartlett in division, though the bar for the 0′s and Jays might be lower for the Rays then that of the Sox & Yanks.

  9. MA_Yankee_Fan says:

    Who Hits 3rd

    Your best hitter should hit 3rd, since Cano is the Yankees best hitter he should it 3rd not Teriera who is just too inconsistent and disappers in the playoffs. Jeter is not a leadoff hitter. I think the first 5 hitters should be 1. Gardner 2. Jeter 3. Cano 4. ARod 5. Texeria, that gives yoy L,R,L,R,S In spring training I would spend a great deal of time on Garders bunting, he needs to make more use of his speed. Thoughts?

  10. Hughesus Christo says:

    Nolasco would get absolutely bombed in the AL. That HR rate is terrible, in the NL, in Florida.

  11. djh says:

    If Lee goes back to TX I hope NY doesn’t trade good prospects for solid/good players and only targets great/elite players. I just don’t see someone like Nolasco being the difference between winning the WS or not, I would only consider going for pitchers that are clearly better then Hughes, who is our No.2 and could rival CC for best pitcher on the team.

    If Cshman can’t find a true ace on the market I would just hold pat and use this as a bridge year, and go after Darvish hard next offseason.

    I am still holding out hope though that if Lee does go to TX that NY get’s more involved with Greinke. I am also curious as to why people think there is a decent chance Montero wll be traded if we don’t get Cliff, if the only realistic options are guys like Nolasco then there is no way NY moves him.

  12. vin says:

    I somehow missed this the first time I read it…
    “Or take Chris Carpenter for two yrs at 15m & Jon Jay a good young OFer a hell of a lot cheaper then Lee! ”

    I can’t imagine how much the Yanks would have to give up to make Jon Jay a throw-in.

    Also, I know he was Joe’s mystery pitcher, and it was purely speculative, but I can’t really see the Cards trading Carpenter this year. He has a 15 mil club option for 2012 (with a 1 mil buyout). They don’t need to save money this year (at least they haven’t indicated it). It’s next year and beyond where they’ll need to save money to be able to re-sign Pujols.

    My guess is the Cards keep Carpenter this year because they’ll be very competitive – and trading away the team’s second best starter to save some money will not make Albert happy. They’ll probably either re-sign him to a team friendly deal next year or let him walk.

  13. Andrew says:

    What about Chad Billingsley as a potential other option to target via trade as Plan B? He would potentially be expensive prospect-wise but he’s approaching free agency and is a step below Kershaw so therefore might be more attainable in a trade. And Coletti has 6 starters currently, so maybe they can find a way to match up, if not head-to-head then by taking the Granderson 3-team trade route.

    • vin says:

      I was going to dismiss that idea out of hand… but it does make some sense. Especially since they just re-signed Padilla (I didn’t realize that gave them 6 starters).

      • Thomas says:

        It sounds like Padilla is going to be in the pen/spot starting.

      • Andrew says:

        I think it’s a pretty long shot but I would like him in pinstripes more than a lot of the other fallbacks (Carmona, Wandy, etc). Kershaw would be the dream scenario, at the King Felix/Josh Johnson level but that’s probably not happening. But if attainable Billingsley would be a nice addition. Best-case scenario is still signing Lee, though.

  14. TLVP says:

    Somehow I think that Greinke could be more interesting to trade for IF the Yankees land Lee. If Greinke is the no 3 starter on the Yankees he’s a lot likelier to perform well than if he’s the big offseason saviour.

  15. Steve H says:

    The more some people are against getting Greinke because of “his mental state” the more I want the Yankees to get him, have him dominate, and prove all of these moronic Web MD’s wrong.

    • JGS says:

      Me too, but if Javy has taught us anything, it’s that the preformed narrative can never be debunked. Every single bad start Greinke has will be because he can’t handle it, and every good start would be seen as the Yankees getting lucky that he didn’t blow up.

    • Hughesus Christo says:

      Worked with Javy

      • FIPster Doofus says:

        Javy’s dead arm says hello.

      • Steve H says:

        Javy threw 88 MPH this year. Javy’s failure in 2010 had nothing to do with his mental state.

        And Javy was fine his first time around until he got hurt. He was an All-Star in 2004.

      • Hughesus Christo says:

        “Worked with Javy” has nothing to do with why it was or wasn’t a good idea to bring him back or why he did or didn’t fail. It has to do with the irrelevance of this “eff conventional wisdom” thing. They don’t get bonus points for contradicting nypost columnists.

    • Hughesus Christo says:

      I actually responded to this line of thinking recently in another thread.

      Whether you think SAD is a problem or not, it’s not an *asset* for the decision. Screwing with narratives/memes/conventional wisdow isn’t a reason FOR doing something.

    • Mike HC says:

      If anything, Grienke will be one of the most prepared players for New York and all the pressure. The guy has had professional help in dealing with stress and anxiety for years now. That is more than probably 99% of professional ballplayers can say.

      Or, he might go into a shell, like anybody else might.

    • Zack says:

      I agree that a lot of fans don’t understand SAD – but how many fans understand how elbows/shoulders work? I remeber a thread a while back talking about Brett Anderson and people said “Ehhh, two DL stints this year with elbow issue? No thanks” and they weren’t called out for playing internet-doctor or anything.

      Just saying, bit of a double standard for people acting like they know elbow/shoulder/knees/etc but the minute people question SAD they get called out.

      • Zack says:

        http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....ade-38182/

        Not calling anyone out so if your name is mentioned this is not a shot at you but- Reggie C, Johnny O, Andrew, JobaWockeeZ, Mike Axisa, and Kevin in Ocala all mentioned Anderson’s elbow as either a risk or too risky to trade for – and there was no outrage that they don’t have an degree in orthopedics or never saw his MRI or anything else.

        Yet they all made the same basic conclusion, DL stint with elbow = future TJS. Which is no different from SAD in KC and openly said he didnt want to pitch in a big market = Not being able to handle NY.

      • Steve H says:

        At least there is a track record we can point to on shoulder and elbow injuries. Shoulder injuries have proven to be a disaster for pitchers, there is enough evidence to support many arguments relating to physical injuries. With SAD and a top talent MLB player, we don’t know.

        • Zack says:

          There’s also a track record of guys hitting the DL for elbow issues and not needing TJS. There’s also a track record of guys having no history of arm issues and then pop, needs TJS.

          Now that doesn’t defend stupid comments that people make; but people who say “I don’t know anything about SAD, so no I’m not worried about it” is really just a PC answer.

  16. Reggie C. says:

    If the Cliff Lee sweepstakes ends badly, could the Yanks possibly pry YOVANI GALLARDO loose from the Brewers?

    Would a package of Montero, Banuelos, and Betances could intrigue the Brewers. Montero could slide in to 1B to replace Prince Fielder. Gallardo is signed to a team friendly contract through 2015, hence the high cost in prospects.

    p.s., i dont think Betances is quite an elite prospect as many on this board believe him to be. The injury issue is a big deal.

    • Steve H says:

      I see Betances as very high risk, very high reward. If he has a good amount of trade value I would trade him in a heartbeat for the right player, but could end up regretting it down the road.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Doubtful. The Brewers just added Marcum and are very much in on Pavano; they’re trying to bolster their rotation, not weaken it.

  17. slim says:

    Rather annoying to see fans just pick a stud off another teams roster and say trade for that guy.
    Young, cheap stud strating pitchers are not going to come cheap and the Yankees don’t have those teams would want in return which would be young starting pitching top 25 talents.
    Phil Hughes who the Yankees have no interest in trading is what would need to headline a trade for such a player.
    Some teams will want Montero others will not due to question marks about him, but he is not a pitcher and the Yankees do not have another top 50 prospect that is a pitcher.
    the triple B’s hopefully will amount to something but none of them will fall into the top 50, so stop over-rating those guys.
    Especially Brackman who was a piss poor draft pick and bad contract to begin with!

    Not saying they don’t have enough in the minors to land Greinke, but they don’t have enough to go get a guy not being currently shopped like Felix, J.Johnson, Wainwright, etc… so stop dreaming.

  18. slim says:

    If the Yankees could pull off a 3 way without the Rays knowing the final destination, I think Garza is the best guy at a reasonable price tag in terms of prospects being shopped this winter.

    Not sure how they could do it cuase the Rays won’t want to trade him to the Yanks but he makes more sense to me than overpaying for question mark Greinke or taking a chance on the other marginal talents available.

    That all said, I think Lee signs with the Yankees and we can move on.
    Lee will go for the most dollars, he treats the game very business like and wants to be paid. I don’t see the Rangers matching and don’t see him taking the “home team discount” but it does scare me that they will sell their lesser dollar contract as worth the same or more in TAX FREE TX. That is what worries me.

    • Steve H says:

      I think the tax free thing is completely overblown. Lee isn’t going to spend the tax savings on this contract, he’s not going to spend even a small fraction of the total contract. Even if 7/$150 in Tex produces more net income than 7/$161, he’s taking the $161 (all other things being equal). Not to mention that Lee would make more in endorsements in NY if he wants to. Athletes have huge egos, and 99/100 they will take the bigger deal on paper.

  19. JobaWockeeZ says:

    Sad face. No Floyd mention.

  20. Joe says:

    Billingsley is an interesting idea. Any thoughts on what it would take to get him?

  21. Mike HC says:

    How about Yovani Gallardo?

  22. ultimate913 says:

    How do you guys feel about signing Downs if/when Lee signs with the Yankees too? The Rangers would get the 1st round pick for Lee so might as well get the 2nd LOOGY/setup man and give up the 2nd rounder to the Jays for Downs.

    Not only would that help the Yankees bullpen, but it would also hurt the Sox bullpen by NOT having him.

    But if Lee goes elsewhere, no Downs. Might as well hold on to that draft pick.

    • vin says:

      Maybe if Downs were younger. I’m not too crazy about giving a multi-year deal to any reliever, especially one who’s going to be 35 next year. I wouldn’t sign him, and more importantly, I can’t see Cashman signing him. That just doesn’t appear to be his M.O. regarding relievers anymore.

      “Not only would that help the Yankees bullpen, but it would also hurt the Sox bullpen by NOT having him.”

      True, but you can’t run a team in that manner. It’ll give you nothing but problems. The Yanks compete with every team in the AL for one of the 4 playoff spots. Can’t worry too much about what the Sox or Rays are doing.

  23. bottom line says:

    If Yanks fail to sign Lee, I would NOT surrender farm to find replacement. Specifically, I would not trade Montero, Banuelos or Betances. (I might trade Brackman but his value is lower, in part becuase of his contract).

    Here’s why I would not rush to trade:

    1- Cash, for all his virtues, has poor history in trades for pitching. I suspect this is because pitchers don’t become available unless their team knows something — that would be something Cash likely does not know, Some arm soreness that begins to crop up, for example, even though it does not result in missed starts.

    2- If MLB expands to two wild cards, Yanks can lay back first half of season. They have enough young mound talen that they can pretty much count on some help (Brack, Warren, Noesi, Nova, Phelps) by the middle of the year. So while they might struggle early, they have the farm talent and lineup to still get in an expanded playoff format.

    3- The Red Sox now lean heavily lefty. Under no circumstances, should NY trade a talented lefty starter prospect like Banuelos. In fact, I really like the idea of three lefties in the rotation to counter Boston’s new lineup.

    4- With all due trespectz to Jay Buhner, Montero is simply the best slugging prpsect the Yankees have had since — sorry, but I have to say it — the Mick himself. That’s 60 years. Why would you trade a guy like that? It might cost $20 million a year to find that sort of power on the open market.

    5– Though I realize, the odds are against pitching prospects, I think there’s a pretty good chance the Killer B’s could wind up yielding one very good starter and one good late inning reiever. I like Banuelos as a starter and like chances of Brack or Betances in pen.

    Having said all that, I would not object to trading some of lesser — but still very good — young mound talent. Nova, Noesi,Warren, even Stoneburner could be made available. But I simply don’t think we should make a panicky deal, especially when other teams would be lying in wait to fleece a desperate NY team.

    Of course, the best thing would be to sign Lee.

  24. Cito Wordekemper says:

    This guarantee just in from Michael Kay-

    Shelley Duncan, Zach McCallister and Tony Sipp traded to KC for Grienke.

    PS- Please watch for the 108th replay of the Bernie Williams Centerstage on YES

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