The asking price for Zack Greinke


(Steve Ruark/AP)

Yesterday we were all a little shocked to see the Royals trade Zack Greinke to the Brewers. That led to two inevitable questions. First, could the Yankees have topped Milwaukee’s offer? Second, what players would it have involved? As normally happens with these situations, at least one of those questions got a bit clearer the day after. It started with SI’s Jon Heyman reporting that the Royals wanted Jesus Montero and Eduardo Nunez. But, while he reports that Greinke would be amicable to a New York move, the Yanks “weren’t convinced NY was right for the kid.”

Before we jump to conclusions about what this means, let’s make sure to note the caveats that go along with Heyman’s statement.

1) The Royals might have wanted Montero and Nunez, but they likely wanted more than just those two.

2) There’s no guarantee that the Royals would have even taken the Yankees package had they offered it.

3) We don’t know what he meant by the Yanks not thinking NY was right for Greinke. We also don’t know where that information originated.

Let’s start with the last point first. Might social anxiety disorder have affected Greinke to a greater degree in New York than elsewhere? Maybe. Maybe not. To make an assumption either way is a folly. For most of the off-season we’ve heard comments about how Greinke couldn’t handle the pressure of New York, with the only evidence being SAD. But SAD comes in many varieties, and literally no one making such a comment has any idea what Greinke has experienced. Any presumption of his reaction to New York, then, is further folly. The only things we know about Greinke involve his performance on the pitcher’s mound.

That works both ways. After reading Joe Posnanski’s brilliant profile of Greinke on Friday, I was even more convinced that Greinke would be a fit in New York. A guy who despises losing above all? That seems to fit right in with the New York mindset. Yet to think that his SAD wouldn’t affect him in New York is as great a folly as assuming that it would. We don’t know what it would do. Again, all we can do is judge him as a ballplayer. That moves us to the first point.

That goes back to the argument that Joe Sheehan made, and that I echoed, last week: only trade Montero for the very best. In many ways, Greinke ranks among the very best. But in other ways he might not. The biggest obstacle here is not Greinke’s performance or his health issues, but rather his time under team control. He becomes a free agent after the 2012 season, which means the Yankees would be giving up six-plus years of Montero for two of Greinke. During that time span Greinke will make $27 million. Montero likely won’t make $27 million total until, at the very earliest, his second year of arbitration. And if he made a cumulative $27 million after his second year of arbitration, he’ll have put up some absolutely insane numbers.

Then there are the other chips to consider. As Joel Sherman notes, the Yankees view Nunez as a starting shortstop. He might not be as good a prospect as Alcides Escobar, even in the Yankees’ lofty estimation, but if they view him as a starter they shouldn’t treat him as a throw-in for every potential trade. On top of that, the Royals probably wanted one of the Yankees’ many right-handed arms. At this point we’re at a pretty substantial package. I’d argue that Montero, Nunez, and a RHP — whether it be Betances, Warren, or whoever — can provide more value to the Yankees in the next six years than Greinke will. That might come through performance, or through inclusion in another trade. But when we add up the value these players will provide, I’m confident it will be more than Greinke’s value in the next two seasons.

The Yankees have a difficult balancing act right now. They have a small window for their current crop of superstars. But then they have to reload for the next window. If they trade Montero for Greinke they lengthen the current window, but they hamper their chances of re-opening one soon. That might be tough for many of us to reconcile. After all, we want them to have the best possible team in 2011. But holding onto Montero is the correct move here. His bat will help replace the production of their current aging superstars. That should help them maintain a top team for years to come.

Categories : Musings


  1. vin says:

    I’m probably in the minority, but… In Cashman I Trust.

    Zack is a great pitcher. He provides tremendous value. However, I believe Cashman knows the team better than I do.

  2. Hughesus Christo says:

    People need to come to grips with the diminishing FA market and the likelihood that ARod is deep into his decline phase and the rest of the lineup has little growth potential remaining. Montero isn’t just some trade chip–he’s the 3/4/5 hitter for the next 10 years.

    • RL says:

      Montero isn’t just some trade chip–he’s the 3/4/5 hitter for the next 10 years.

      Repeated for emphasis.

      • David says:

        Exactly right. Who would trade a 3-4-5 21 year old hitter except for a true #1 pitcher? The Yankees could be in awesome shape in the middle of next season, with millions of extra dollars and about ten extremely coveted prospects. Too much alarm. Relax and watch what happens.

  3. theyankeewarrior says:

    Similar to the rest of the available players in the FA/trade markets, the Yankees didn’t seem to be in on this kid at all.

    They need two more starting pitchers. Hopefully they find them before the season starts.

  4. A.D. says:

    Given the package the Brewers gave up, which is pretty good, I would imagine that it would have to be more than Montero and Nunez.

    With regard to the SAD, I can’t speak to knowing much about the disease and how it works, but I can understand the worry when other veteran and more established pitchers without any previous mental health issues have had problems with NY pressure, and given the lofty expectations that would be put on Grienke especially with a top prospects being traded for him.

    • Chris says:

      I can understand the worry when other veteran and more established pitchers without any previous mental health issues have had problems with NY pressure,


      • vin says:

        I believe Javy’s 88 mph fastball had problems dealing with the NY pressure.

      • A.D. says:

        Randy Johnson and Kenny Rogers are the two that come to mind, obviously there could have been other factors at play, but generally thought that neither of those two were comfortable in NYC, so if that’s pressure or just not liking the northeast, or something else, who knows.

        • UWS says:

          I think Randy Johnson’s failures had a lot more to do with him being an old pitcher with a balky back than any comfort issues.

          • king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

            didnt he go on to be average after he left us?

            i’d like to throw carl pavano in there…how did the dude have EVERY possible bit of bad luck come his way for 4 years (and a hundred bajillion dollars) with us, yet he was pretty good as soon as he left???

            • UWS says:

              Sure…in the NL West, so take that for what it’s worth.

              Pavano, yeah, I’ll give you that.

            • Chris says:

              Pavano’s problems were injuries – not performance. I doubt the stress of New York led to him needing TJS.

              • Mister Delaware says:

                For real? Whenever I get overwhelmed at work, it goes directly to my right elbow.

              • Ed says:

                Don’t forget that the Yankees didn’t believe that he really needed the surgery. His MRI supposedly showed the exact same ligament damage that Pettitte had around 2001. We’re almost a decade later and Pettitte’s ligament has probably been the healthiest part of his body since then.

                The Yankees also were convinced that his initial shoulder problem was fake, as they couldn’t find any medical evidence that something was wrong.

                There was also the issue of hiding the rib injury until the day he was supposed to be activated from the DL.

                • Mister Delaware says:

                  The Yankees were dead wrong that Pervano didn’t need the surgery. 4 doctors confirmed and James Andrews did the surgery; its not like he got it done on his own in some back alley.

                  • Ed says:

                    My recollection of it was that they asked a bunch of doctors and some said yes, some said no.

                    I know the surgery was legit, but I had gotten the impression that there was a little bit of “ask enough people and someone will tell you what you want to hear” going on.

            • Zack says:

              Randy Johnson had back surgery after he left too.

          • jim p says:

            Interesting how a guy who went 34-19 in two years is called a failure. I think because we had such high expectations for him expecting a completely dominant “Big Unit” instead of the 5.00 ERA guy we did see.

            • UWS says:

              At the risk of opening a gigantic can of worms, this is a clear instance of W-L record being rather worthless. Randy’s ERA+ was 90 in ’06.

            • Dave Mancuso says:

              Read the Torre book. Not that it’s the definitive end-all, be-all for how rattled he was as a Yankee.

              But Torre, Bowa and Borzello thought so.

              • Chris says:

                Correlation =/= Causation

                Perhaps he was rattled because he sucked, and not the other way around. He was used to being exceptional, but couldn’t do that in the AL East at that age.

        • Chris says:

          Both of them probably didn’t like New York, but I don’t think that’s why they struggled. They were both at points in their careers where they weren’t very good, and that had a much bigger impact than the pressure of New York.

        • dc1874 says:

          Ed Whitson another head case…

        • deadrody says:

          And Ed Whitson and Jeff Weaver. The point is the phenomenon DOES exist. Pretending it doesn’t is ridiculous.

          • BklynJT says:

            Some people just don’t believe things that they can’t quantify into numbers.

          • pete says:

            You’re talking about two mediocre pitchers who pitched right in line with their mediocre career numbers (up to their stints with the yanks; whitson went on to become randomly good towards the end of his career). I’ve asked it before, but nobody has ever been able to give an answer: can you name one, let alone the many it would take to indicate a real trend, example of a quality player becoming much worse upon coming to NY, wherein there were no other factors that could have singlehandedly caused that drop in quality? I honestly have found none. Zero.

      • jsbrendog (returns) says:

        jack mcdowell’s middle finger was uncomfortable in ny

  5. mikebk says:

    the only gripe I have with the idea of 6 years of Montero not being worth 2 of Greinke is they were willing to give up 6 years of Jesus for a couple months of Lee.

  6. Andrew says:

    This is also a point in time when the Yankees are perceived to be the most desperate, so KC has more leverage to potentially ask for Montero, plus a pitcher, plus Nunez, plus maybe even something else–because they think the Yankees are desperate to acquire a pitcher to “save face” after the Lee negotiation, and might cave at any price to get a big player. Midseason could be a different story, as the team could be performing at a high level, and a SP name might emerge on the trade market that rivals Greinke in ability and makes more sense for the Yankees in terms of cost in prospects and dollars. Obviously everyone is up in arms because it’s impossible to solidly identify what SP could actually be out there in July, but it’s a strong possibility there will be somebody good, I think.

  7. Bob says:

    The point about ‘the window(s)’ has occurred to me as well. The foundation of the past 15 years was the homegrown core, the familiar four plus Bernie. Of course, we want to maximize the value of that group. At the same time, it would be great to see another foundation develop. Maybe it starts with Cano, a middle infielder like DJ; and Phil H., the kind of pitcher who might be able to provide 15-20 Ws per year, like Andy. Jesus could be the second coming…of Jorge. That could be the start of something that’s still going strong come 2020 — no guarantees, but the long-term perspective can’t be overlooked.

    • RL says:

      Certainly hope this is the Yankee’s FO thinking. The pieces seem to be there in the minors. Just need some more seasoning and hope their current progression trends continue without major injury. And, they could potentially do this while reducing payroll. Wouldn’t that be a slap in the face to all the other big-market teams that can’t compete? I’d love to see that!

      However, there’s always the possibility that the current ownership is (and I hate to think this) preparing for a possible sale.

      • king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

        a)zip it with that talk.
        b)see a.

        I’m a huge fan of cutting spending if they can, because if that money is still alloted long term for payroll, it becomes an even stronger tool in june and july.

        When you talk about long term cost control and homegrown talent (not necessarily in the same player), trading montero and nunez and who knows whom else for a few months of Lee or even a few years of Grienke seem very, very expensive.

        The glut of awesome catchers we’ll soon have (knock on wood) will also make for some great trade chips if we need them.

  8. Brian says:

    The difference between being a winning team and a loser is a lot more than one player. Fans are jumping off a bridge acting like the Yanks are doomed without another top flight SP. Fact of the matter is that if they can’t win with the group they have, adding one pitcher isn’t going to make that big of a difference.

  9. UWS says:

    Excellent post, Joe. I want the Yankees to win in 2011, but I also want them to win in 2013 and beyond. Part of that involves placing your trust in your prospects. If that costs the Yanks the WS in ’11 but helps them win in the subsequent 5+ years, the trade-off will be worth it. Yankee fans need to chill the f*** out.

  10. BklynJT says:

    Again, all we can do is judge him as a ballplayer.

    This may be all WE internet bloggers can do to judge him, but I would certainly hope that those who actually have the power to make these types of decisions, completely analyze the situation, players involved, and take everything into account when dealing your teams top prospects.

    You only trade away guys like Montero for the very best, you want to know what your getting and it better be awesome. Seems to me like the Yankees were too unsure about what to expect from Greinke to take that risk.

  11. Mark says:

    Do other GM’s really believe that Nunez is a starting SS? I kind of think that Cashman made it look like the Yankee FO believes that he is a starter and wouldn’t throw him in the Lee trade just to use as leverage for signing Jeter. “We’ve got this kid that we want starting at SS in a couple of years so we’ll offer you (Jeter) a two-year deal.”
    I don’t know.. I’m just rambling…

    • Andrew says:

      There is a dearth of quality starting SS’s across the league. Nunez probably is appealing to teams that have black holes at the position, like say the Royals who were trotting Betancourt out there every day, or the Mariners who had Josh and Jack Wilson playing short for lack of any better options.

      The Yankees and us fans have been spoiled by getting major production from short and now from 2nd base for a number of years in a row; other teams just have defensive specialists that don’t really hit at those positions. Nunez might have more value elsewhere, since he’ll never hit enough to justify a starting job on the Yankees, regardless of the conjecture of him being Jeter’s heir apparent.

      • Mike HC says:

        He is a very important insurance policy though for ss, 2b, and 3rd, plus, our utility infielder. And he is a very raw athletic player that has a ton of room to improve still and fill out his body. I definitely don’t think it is a good move to just throw him in a deal at this point. He can still be traded in a couple of years and his value will probably be even higher at that point.

      • Hughesus Christo says:

        Don’t forget catcher, where Jesus Montero has apparently become “just another prospect”

    • jsbrendog (returns) says:

      adam everett. david eckstein. these guys start at ss or 2b….

  12. Granderslam says:


    Via ESPN:
    “Having finished second, or maybe third, in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, the Yankees are prepared to go into the 2011 season with a pitching rotation of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes , with the remaining spots filled out by youngsters, many of whom have never pitched above the Triple-A level.”…

    I’m sorry…but this is a bit rough. I love that we have talent at the lower levels, but we need at least ONE more proven arm in the rotation. CC, Hughes, AJ, ____, ____. Two rookies going into the season is kind of a scary thought. It could work out great, but then again…it could be a complete and total failure. There has to be someone worth looking into via trade, even for a #4, #5 spot. Carmona? Dempster? Wandy? That’s why I voted 6. We need just a little more assurance going in.

    I have always been the biggest advocate for putting Joba in the ‘pen, but given our current situation, he is our best rotation option and I can’t believe that Yankees won’t even consider it.

    And as for Greinke, I agree that Montero would have been too much of a push. I actually would have given up Gardner as a headliner…if the Yankees had a viable LF replacement of course.

    • jsbrendog (returns) says:

      we seemed to do fine with aaron small and shawn chacon….made the playoffs. oh and we made the playoffs with sidney ponson. and we made the playoffs with 2007 moose who pithced like sidney ponson…hmmmmm

  13. yankthemike says:

    a well reasoned post, but not one that I can agree with. Nunez seems to fit the “throw-in” profile pretty well to me, especially since the Yankees have no plans whatsoever to use him as a SS since we have jeter well into the foreseeable future. But it seems that the Royals did value him highly enough to request him. It seems to me that having two years of a truly elite pitcher at age 27 -29 with an excellent chance at re-signing him when he was due to become a free agent would have been a no-brainer despite losing Montero-You guys always preach (wisely) that a trade should hurt both sides a bit. Despite possible concerns about Greinke’s SAD he is an established talent and Montero has proven nothing. He isn’t even projected by most to stick at Catcher.

    with the starting rotation as it stands now with no Andy Pettitte on the roster, i’m not only disappointed by this non-move, i’m also very worried about 2011.

  14. Chris says:

    I’m not sure how accurate Heyman’s report is given that it seems like the Yankees never engaged the Royals about Greinke. Montero’s the easy guess since he’s their best prospect, but it seems like KC was more interested in filling position holes on their roster than pure talent quality.

    A couple of notes:
    1. WTF is with Eduardo Nunez? Have the Yankees been brainwashed by their own prospect hype? I would be shocked if he’s ever an everyday MLer on any team, much less the Yankees.

    2. I would like to add to the chorus of people sick of listening to people with no knowledge of psychological disorders in general, let alone Greinke specifically, saying it would have prevented him from pitching in NY. I personally don’t believe it, and isn’t pitching in the majors for any team a pressure situation?

    3. They’ve shown a willingness to deal Montero before, so I’m not so sure this would stop them now. They were going to trade him for a few months of Lee, and I think two years of Greinke is worth more (my opinion, obviously). Perhaps they’re slowly becoming more convinced he can stick at C in the majors?

    • BklynJT says:

      2. The argument goes both ways. Because we don’t know much about SAD or Greinke, we just can’t ignore the fact that he has SAD. It is up to Cashman and the FO to do their research (not reading wiki) and make an educated decision.

      3. Maybe he will be a viable catcher in the bigs. The kid is so young, and has improved defensively each year behind the plate. Is there reason to believe they his defensive abilities at C have already peaked?

      • Zack says:

        Because we don’t know much about SAD or Greinke, we just can’t ignore the fact that he has SAD.

        Agreed. Not to mention 18 months ago Greinke openly admitted that NY probably wouldn’t be right for him. I’m not going to ignore that when it’s going to take the best trade pieces to acquire him.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          A lot changes in 18 months, my friend.

        • pete says:

          To be fair, it’s not like he said “I can’t handle New York”. He said he didn’t know if he would be comfortable there; that he might have trouble. And then, most tellingly, he said “I think everybody does.” It sounded to me as if he were taking the media portrayal of NY as some gauntlet that very few players have the mental capacity to succeed in and applying it to himself. There’s absolutely no evidence that it’s harder to play in New York; it may suck living there for some people, but history gives us no evidence that New York is a more challenging environment to succeed in.

      • Luis Sojo the Pasta Eating Machine says:

        Agree with #3. The addition of Martin takes away the pressure of bringing up Montero. With some additional time in AAA the FO might think Montero can stick as a catcher.

        Personally, I’m glad they didn’t trade Jesus… I’m looking forward to seeing him as a Yankee!

      • Chris says:

        2. I’m not sure how much research Cashman and the FO can actually do on Greinke. They would have to ask people what they think, most of whom would be baseball people not qualified to comment on SAD or Greinke.

        3. My point was that they were twice willing to deal him for pitchers (Halladay and Lee) with less left on their contracts than Greinke, so why hold on to him now and use length of contract control as an excuse when you have Greinke under control longer than Lee or Halladay?

        Regarding Montero’s defensive abilities, I only really know what I’ve read which isn’t stellar. If they think he’s improved enough defensively, or has shown an improved learning curve, then his value to them would be much much higher than if they saw him as a non-catcher long term. The answer to that question I don’t know; only the FO knows their true opinion on his long term viability behind the plate.

        On a personal, and therefore irrelevant, note, I would love to see Montero stick at C and develop into the plus bat we’ve been hearing about.

        • deadrody says:

          I believe the Yankees are very likely to have the resources and ability to contact psychiatric professionals and get an actual expert opinion on the matter – and for that matter more than one.

    • Mister Delaware says:

      1. Aren’t you stating the oppposite of proper valuation? Seattle and now KC have both wanted to make Nunez a big part of a trade, the Yankees internally seem to really like him therefore Nunez has solid value. A GM listening to his biases and ignoring the market is how we got Swisher.

  15. Mike HC says:

    I was worried that Cashman was going to give up Montero for Grienke, but am really happy he didn’t. Montero really should not even be considered a prospect at this point. He should be a major contributor on the major league team this year.

    • yankthemike says:

      why shouldn’t Montero be considered a prospect when that is exactly what he is? He hasn’t had one major league AB.

      • Mike HC says:

        Because if he is going to contribute on the major league team this year, like I am expecting, trading him would be taking his production and value for the 2011 team, which I’m expecting to be rather substantial, away, while adding on whatever he is traded for. The beauty of trading “prospects,” is that your major league team only has value and production added, while taking nothing away.

        • yankthemike says:

          your expectations are just that. expectations based on his minor league numbers and scouting reports. I’d like to think he will make a tremendous contribution to the team, but I have no “expectations”

          • Mike HC says:

            Really? If Montero contributes nothing and is a huge bust on the major league level, that wouldn’t surprise you at all? This is one of the most talented 21-22 year olds in the world, and has proved it on every level he has played on so far. Expectations are rightfully pretty damn high, which is why every team the Yanks even think about trading with demands Montero in the deal.

            • yankthemike says:

              “Montero really should not even be considered a prospect at this point. He should be a major contributor on the major league team this year.”

              all i’m saying is that unlike you, i’m calling him a prospect because that’s exactly what he is. And yes, I have a lot of hope that he could be a major contributor in the future, but him having a major impact next year is not likely as a 21 year old.

            • pete says:

              If Montero bats .265/.315/.395 this year, I will neither consider him a bust nor will i be more than mildly surprised/disappointed. Some players take a really long time to adjust to the majors, no matter how talented they are. And some just never do.

  16. ledavidisrael says:

    There was no player of monteros talent level in the deal. The deal should have been made without him.

  17. Granderslam says:

    JackCurryYES: Yankee official said they weren’t “willing to take a chance” on Greinke. Royals targeted Montero, Nunez & 2 pitchers, as @SI JonHeyman noted

  18. A.D. says:

    Given that Grienke had the option to block trades I’d imagine if he felt he really wasn’t going to be comfortable in NYC/couldn’t handle it, then he’d just block a trade and have that be that.

    I also agree with Joe, that the Joe Posnanski profile does make Grienke seem like a great piece for the Yanks, though I find it a bit odd that Posnanski starts out with how everyone thinks they have Grienke figured out but don’t, and that he doesn’t know what’s going on in his head, but then he discusses what’s going on in his head.

    • deadrody says:

      Wrong. We are discussing what is potentially going on in his head while the original post basically concludes>/u> it is no problem.

      Vastly different.

  19. Bob says:

    Perhaps they’re slowly becoming more convinced he can stick at C in the majors?

    Another possibility w/Montero — he could develop into a C/DH, where he catches 50-100 Gs a year, and is in the lineup otherwise as a DH. Then, maybe Romine becomes a semi-regular at Catcher. This is a potential scenario after next year, with Martin & Cervelli in the mix as well. This way, Montero isn’t expected to catch 125 Gs or more (nor is Romine), but he can be a regular in the lineup..all of which says the NYY don’t necessarily have an abundance of catchers, they simply have some good prospects with a little flexibility.

  20. theyankeewarrior says:

    Yankee official stated that the Yankees “weren’t willing to take a chance” on Zach. That makes sense, because they were willing to deal the wonder boy to Seattle for 2 months of Cliff Lee when they didn’t necessarily need him.

    Now, they have a rotation of 3 starting pitchers. One of them is named AJ Burnett. They obviously decided he wouldn’t be a fit in NY. That was the decision. Maybe it was a good one. Maybe it wasn’t.

    So we wait…

    • theyankeewarrior says:

      … patiently

    • Granderslam says:

      Wait for what? That’s the question. Wait til July as per Cashman? The team with the highest Payroll in baseball has two vacant rotation spots and wants to fill them with unproven rookies. I can understand the #5 hole, but we need a viable, consistent arm. I’m not in full panic mode, but it is kind of ridiculous that there is not one option out there via trade? There has to be. Even just for the back of the rotation.

      • BklynJT says:

        I seriously doubt the Yankees go into the season with 2 rookies in the rotation. They already made that mistake in 08, and we missed the playoffs. Let’s just hope Pettitte resigns with the Yankees. Then who knows, Nova could surpass our expectations in the rotation and eventually be used as a good trade chip or cheap backend of rotation innings eater.

        • Tim says:

          The Yankees didn’t miss the playoffs in 2008 because they had two rookies in the rotation. They missed the playoffs because their ace broke his foot running the bases and missed over half the season. You can easily find league average production for the back of the rotation to get you through a season (see 2009, when the Yankees won the WS with only three starters). You can’t make up for the loss of the ace, though, without filling in another ace.

          Now, if Sabathia gets hurt, the Yankees are in trouble. The same could be said about Lester or Price and their respective teams, as neither the Red Sox nor the Rays (contrary to popular opinion at ESPN) have an ace on their staff that can fill that void.

      • Clay Bellinger says:

        You gonna chill out if Pettitte comes back?

        • Granderslam says:

          JackCurryYES: Brian Cashman said Andy Pettitte is still leaning toward retirement. “In a month, maybe that changes,” Cashman said.

      • Mike HC says:

        Trading valuable prospects, and forget about Montero, for some guy that is likely to put up a 4.5 era at best in the AL East is not smart (I’m not talking about Grienke here). Our AAA pitchers and other youngsters could be just as a effective for decent stretches and keep our offense in the ball game. Or we can trade non valuable prospects at some point during the season for just a just another fungible arm. Missing out on Lee hurt, but that is done already. Making another mistake to cover that one up is not the right move.

  21. Slade says:

    I’m not sure how much Nunez or Montero help the club this year. To me it makes more since to deal them and make one or two more runs at a title with the aging stars plus Greinke than to keep them and have an incomplete pitching staff. If someone is wanting to make a move at the trading deadline fine, but you can bet any team with a decent SP on the block will start all trade conversations asking for Montero.

    • Mike HC says:

      Adding a middle of the order hitter like Montero to your lineup will only help that one or two more runs. The Yanks need to find a way to get pitching without giving him up. Our system in supposedly stacked, we should be able to put a deal together for a pitcher that does not involve him. Or, that stacked system is going to have to produce some decent major league innings.

    • Kiersten says:

      CC + Hughes + Pettitte + AJ + Nova =/= incompetent.

  22. Granderslam says:

    RT @ESPNNewYork: #Cashman says the #Yankees are likely going to start the season with their current pitching staff #NYY

    • theyankeewarrior says:

      Haha, this is one of those “I wonder if he’s serious” quotes.

      There really has never been a plan B. The Yankees must have assumed all along that Lee would sign.

      They passed up on Haren. They completely ruled out Grienke. They don’t seem to be pursuing Andy at all.

      Nova, Mitre, Garcia, Brackman?

      The thing we all have to remember here is that even if Pettitte comes back, we will still have Nova as the 5th starter, and will use at least 2 or 3 more starters to get through the season.

      You don’t need 5 starters. You need 6 or 7. We have 3. These numbers don’t match up.

      Either Cashman is lying, or he’s bad at math.

      • Granderslam says:

        This. And Jack Curry mentioned that the Yankees have “low interest in Garcia and Millwood”. Inspiring…

      • UWS says:

        “Bubba Crosby is our starting centerfielder.” That is all.

      • Kiersten says:

        People who have made considerable amounts of starts for the 2009 World Champion New York Yankees and the 2010 AL runner-up New York Yankees:

        Chien-Ming Wang
        Sergio Mitre
        2009 Phil Hughes
        Chad Gaudin
        Dustin Moseley
        Ivan Nova
        2010 AJ Burnett
        2010 Javy Vazquez

        I think it will be ok.

        • theyankeewarrior says:

          And my point is that the same amount of shitty pitchers would be making considerable starts for the 2011 Yankees EVEN IF their rotation included Cliff Lee and Andy Pettitte.

          But it doesn’t. So, in this scenario, shitty pitchers like those listed above will be taking the place of Cliff and Andy while ALSO taking the place of the injured/inneffective pitchers who go down.

          This is why I said that Cashman is either lying or is bad at math.

        • jsbrendog (returns) says:

          pitchers who made many starts for the yankees during years they made the playoffs (minimum 5 starts):

          aaron small
          shawn chacon
          jeff weaver
          jose contreras
          javy vazquez
          jon leiber
          kevin brown
          esteban loaiza
          brad halsey
          jaret wright
          al leiter
          corey lidle
          jeff karstens
          KEI IGAWA (started 12 games in 2007. too bad the yankees didn’t make the playoffs that…wait…what?)
          matt desalvo
          tyler clippard
          darrell rasner (igawa/rasner/clip/desalvo combined for 30 games started in 07)
          sergio mitre
          chad gaudin
          oh and 2007 moose with his 88 era+

          yeah, i think it’ll be fine

          • Kiersten says:

            He came up here once before, but I really have no memory of a guy named Matt DeSalvo.

            • theyankeewarrior says:

              If I remember correctly, DeSalvo got us a couple wins back in ’05. Then he was sent back down to AAA after someone came back from an injury and never made it back to the majors again.

              • jsbrendog (returns) says:

                1-3 6.18 ERA in 6 starts and 1 relief appearance in 2007. era + of 74 and a whip of 1.888.

                pithced in 2 games for ATL in 08 to an era of over 30. never heard from again

          • theyankeewarrior says:

            Again, not the point. See my above comment.

            These guys were filling in for injured/ineffective starters. The Yankees went into those season with 5 starters and then scrapped around for help bc 2 or 3 of their original 5 sucked.

            Most of those seasons ended in playoff losses because the rotation was garbage compared to their opponents.

            My point here is that Cashman said the rotation is set. It clearly isn’t, because they don’t even have 5 starters. He would have to include at least 2 names of pitchers similar to the ones on your list to BEGIN the season with.

            That has never happened.

            So again, he’s either lying, or bad at math.

            • jsbrendog (returns) says:

              false, jeff weaver, jaret wright, kei igawa, shawn chacon were all members of the opening day rotation. as was kevin brown. twice for weaver, brown and wright and once each for igawa anc chacon. lidle would have been the following yr if he didnt die. leiber was also a member of the opening day rotation. soooo, yeah. no.

            • king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

              you keep using those words.

              i don’t think they mean what you think they mean.

            • jsbrendog (returns) says:

              2007 opening day starters:
              igawa era+ 73 (14 starts)
              mussina era + 88 (28 starts)

              randy johnson era+ 90 (33 starts)
              Chacon: 65 (17 starts)

              mussina 30 games 96 era+
              pavano 17 games 89 era+
              brown 13 games 65 era+
              wright 13 games 70 era+

              contreras 18 games 80 era+
              vazquez 32 games 92 era+

              weaver 24 games 74 era+

              ted lilly 21 games started 84 era+

              you’re telling me you don;t think these kids can at least equal what these fools did going into the season as starters?

              • Tim says:

                NO!!! We need five aces or else we’re DOOMED!!! This team is TERRIBLE!!! We were a failure last year, and look what the Red Sox have done so far. How can we compete without 5 aces!!!

                Maybe we can trade Montero and Nunez to Philly for Halladay AND Lee. Only then do we have a chance!

                P.S. – I also seem to recall a season in the early 2000′s when a turd named Christian Parker was in the starting rotation to start the season.

                • theyankeewarrior says:

                  No one is saying they’re doomed.

                  All I’m saying is that they don’t have enough pitching.

                  That’s it. They will get more. I’m sure of it.

                  Why is it so hard to make a simple point here without people trying to push the !!DOOM!! card out there?

                  • jsbrendog (returns) says:

                    dude cause i proved you wrong a million times over. they have more pitching than some other teams that made the playoffs. and once youre in there it is a crapshoot even if you win all 162 games.

              • theyankeewarrior says:

                Dude, the Yankees didn’t win in any of those seasons. They go to the playoffs just about every season. The point is to win the WS.

                The common thread throughout the 00′s was that they didn’t have the pitching to win the series.

                If they go into the season with Nova and Mitre in the rotation, it will not be nearly enough to win the WS. Can they add more? Sure. I fully expect them to.

                But that was my point. They don’t have nearly enough right now.

                Forget making the playoffs. The goal is to win the World Series.

      • FIPster Doofus says:

        Not getting Haren is the thing that annoyed me in July and has continued to annoy me through this entire process. He’s a legit No. 2 starter.

        The without-Pettitte rotation of Sabathia-Haren-Hughes-Burnett-Nova would have been fine. And the with-Pettitte group of Sabathia-Haren-Pettitte-Hughes-Burnett would have been outstanding.

  23. Brian Cashman is Watching says:

    How come no one mentions the no trade clause? If you’re cynical, you believe that the NTC was meant to force acquiring clubs to pay more to the acquired players through extensions and what not. Could it be possible New York didn’t want to have to negotiate an extension that could have been upwards of $20 million on top of the prospects he would have to send?

    Also, Montero at the trade deadline was slumping, so his trade value was lower. Maybe at the time Montero’s trade value was low and there were some uncertainties about what to do with him. Complete speculation, maybe just proof not to give up on prospects too soon or that views of prospects change.

    • Mike HC says:

      I think you could be on to something. Montero’s value has definitely increased since the Lee non trade. Even if there was a pitcher similar to Lee on the trade market, the Yanks might be more reluctant to pull the trigger this time. Felix Hernandez or bust. Who knows though, Cashman can be unpredictable at times.

      • Slade says:

        once the season starts Montero’s value is directly tied to his performance and what’s available on the market. If there isn’t jack available then Montero isn’t worth much, unless of course Cash takes a lesser pitcher.

    • Slade says:

      Greinke accepted the trade to the Brewers without an extension. I would assume he wouldn’t want to lock himself down to NY if he was unsure if he would like it.

      • Brian Cashman is Watching says:

        But the Brewers were not one of the 15 he could block a trade to. Keith Law said it best, the Royals should have forced Greinke to open up his list before trading him. They rushed the trade to the Brewers because Greinke could not block the trade.

    • EJ says:

      Montero was certainly NOT slumping @ the trade deadline. He had picked it up big time before that.

      • Ed says:

        He wasn’t slumping at the trade deadline, but his overall season stat line wasn’t impressive yet. He was still digging out of the hole from his slow start.

  24. Granderslam says:

    I wonder if there was any way the Yankees could have acquired Greinke without Montero. Doubt it, but we’ll never know I guess. Also, let’s say the Pettitte retires and the rotation is CC, Hughes, Burnett, Nova….what other Yankee rookie would most likely fill out the rotation? Noesi, Phelps…?

    • theyankeewarrior says:

      You know you have a problem when your GM says your rotation is set, and the fan base still doesn’t know who the 5th starter is.

      • UWS says:

        What the fan base knows =/= what the FO knows. Just sayin’.

      • Kiersten says:

        What’s Cashman supposed to say, “Hey everyone, the Yankees are desperate for a starting pitcher!”

        Of course he’s gonna say the rotation is set.

        • theyankeewarrior says:

          Again, I think he’s lying. Through his elf teeth. But you have to admit that it’s funny that he said the rotation is set, and we still don’t know who is in it, or who is even fighting to be in it.

      • Hughesus Christo says:

        Welcome to every year for 28 other teams.

        • Poopy Pants says:

          But they aren’t spending $200 million.

          • king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

            i don’t think we are either (yet).

          • pete says:

            If the Yankees spend $200m this year, they will not only be making the playoffs (which I think they will do regardless), but they will be one of the two best teams in the AL. I would bet money on that. They’ve got like $170m locked into this team. Considering how Cashman has refused to spend irresponsibly this offseason, I would be willing to bet that adding $30m worth of players would mean adding about 3-4 more wins.

    • kosmo says:

      It´s possible Pettitte returns .Yanks should if they don´t already ,place some faith in Nova,Phelps and Noesi.One of them or as a combined group could very well give NY 10-13 wins over let´s say 28 starts.Some scouts have suggested quite optimistically that even Banuelos might be pitching for NY in 2011.
      Outside of strengthening the bench and maybe another reliever the Yanks are good to go .

  25. Slade says:

    I heard Bubby Crosby is starting in CF too…

  26. Avi says:

    I guess this mean the Yanks aren’t gonna pursue Greinke at all when he becomes a free agent in two years, even if he’s coming off of two NL CY Youngs. I think it’s pretty clear they had serious concerns about him in NY. Without that I don’t think there’s any question they’re extremely aggressive in going after him.
    BTW I don’t see why the Yanks would have to give more than Montero. Montero alone is better than what Milwaukee gave. You think the Yanks would ever trade Jesus for Escobar, Odorizzi, Jeffress and Cain?

  27. deadrody says:

    Unbelievable. Folly ?

    BS. His anxiety disorder IS.A.RISK. Period. IT IS A RISK. The only thing that is “folly” is pretending this risk is not greater in NY pitching for the Yankees.

    Wait, I take that back. What ELSE is “folly” is pretending that your opinion is actually AS valuable, let alone moreso than that of the NY Yankees and their paid professional staff.

    Please, please stop insisting you know more than the Yankees on this.

  28. James says:

    Montero is not likely a full time solution behind the plate which makes him limited to 1B and DH. His reputation as a hitter sounds like he should hit enough to plenty justify time at either spot but lowers his overall value trade or otherwise. We won’t get into his reputation as a worker. The Mariners already turned down a Montero package which for 1/2 season of Cliff Lee. Why would a team looking to trade a former Cy Young who is locked up for the next couple of years at a reasonable rate for a package slightly better than the Lee package? Make ZERO sense. Is Nunez a starting SS or a SS with an all-star ceiling? I really don’t think the Yanks have the caliber of prospects to make this deal in the first place. It would be Montero and a lot more than a Nunez.

  29. Nick! says:

    There is such an enormous, annoying double standard with the Yankees and it drives me insane.

    Team A: “Player X is on the trading block!”
    NYY: “I’m interested.”
    Team A: “Give me your top players A, B, C, and lesser players D, and E.”
    NYY: “Uhhh that’s a bit much…”
    Team A: It’s what we’ll ask for from everyone.
    Team B: “We’ll give you midrange players A, B, & C.”
    Team A: “SOLD!!!!!!!! WHAT A DEAL!!!!!”
    NYY: “Uh…what?”

    The Lee debacle shows it happens in FA too. Players will give other teams discounts for no reason, so NYY has to overpay and of course the reaction is OMG THE YANKEES ARE BREAKING BASEBALL! BREAKING BASEBALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SALARY CAP NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Poopy Pants says:

      That one of the ways other teams ‘make it right’ when the Yankees outrageously outspend them. It evens the playing field a bit. You shouldn’t be angry about it.
      Anyone who WOULDN’T change the spoiled rich kid a little (or a bunch) more would be an idiot. If you want to be a big shot and throw money around, deal with the consequences.

    • Camilo says:

      i am sure bCash has had this convo with his baseball people at least a couple times

    • James says:


      Please provide a list of Yankee prospects or players that were traded and ended up being usefull major leaguers?

      The Melk-Man? Ruben Rivera? D’angelo Jiminez? Ricky Ledee? Jeff Marquez?

      Yeah, we been had… Like most fanbases we value our own prospects WAY more than their actual value.

      • pete says:

        Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Robinson Cano, Alfonso Soriano, Chien-Ming Wang, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain

        • James says:

          Other than Soriano which of these guys were traded?

          • pete says:

            Oh I see what you’re saying. Yeah, it’s been a long time since we’ve traded away a great prospect for a mediocre return. Some people think that’s what happened in the A-Jax + IPK for Grandy deal, but I don’t think so.

  30. Hughesus Christo says:

    J-Sherms tweeted that the Royals wanted Banuelos or Betances IN ADDITION TO Montero and Nunez. That’s a dealbreaker, ladies.

    • A.D. says:

      Yeah but no one would be interested in Heyman tweets that were: Royals wanted a ton from Yanks, they declined.

    • king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

      until one of you smart guys can show me how the other deal was as good as this, i’m going to say
      a) the brewers got a discount
      b) we were smart to say no

      • A.D. says:

        Sometimes this plays back into something like the Santana trade. Mets provided the best prospects they had, just those said prospects weren’t very good.

    • BklynJT says:


      Montero tops any player in the Brewers package by a LONG shot.
      On top of that, Betances/Manny is probably better than any pitcher in the Brewers package.

      Let’s not forget that the Brewers pitchers are still in the low minors, where as Betances and Manny have success in Double A.

      Let’s also not forget how the can’t miss Casey Kelly struggled in Double A.

  31. DanMizer says:

    Anyone have Grienke’s numbers in Yankee Stadium??

    it is probably a small sample size and the pressure of course wouldnt be in a post-season game but I wouldnt mind seeing this stat.

    • Tim says:

      Oops. Reply Fail. See comment below.

    • bexarama says:

      They’re terrible – I think he has a near-9 ERA. But like someone said, CC also had really bad numbers in YS before signing with the Yankees.

      The numbers are also skewed by Greinke giving up FIVE EARNED RUNS in ZERO INNINGS PITCHED in one relief appearance in 2007 (in the game where A-Rod hit #500, actually).

  32. Tim says:

    Does it matter? If he had been traded to the Yankees, he would have had the benefit of pitching in Yankee stadium to teams that AREN’T the Yankees.

    For the record, CC Sabathia’s Yankee Stadium numbers prior to his signing in 2009:

    1-4, 8.61 ERA, 15BB, 16K.

    His numbers since becoming a Yankee (and in a better hitters ballpark):

    18-4, 3.08 ERA, 68BB, 180K.

  33. Bryan G says:

    Heyman’s reports are often slightly inaccurate, no?

  34. Bob says:

    Doug Drabek & the Crime Dog were a couple that got away. Austin Jackson hit .300 last yr. as a rookie. The Boss wanted to trade Bernie, but Stick told him there was no interest. There’s the saying about the best trades being the ones you don’t make — weren’t the Yanks offered Felix Fermin or something for Rivera? Instead, they kept him and played the rookie at SS in ’96. Hanging on to Bernie, Derek, Mariano, Jorge and Andy is how the Yanks built the team in the ’90′s. It’s a judgment call, but sometimes, the best thing you can do is build from within.

  35. Preston says:

    I would not have traded Monterro for Grienke. The list of starters I would trade Monterro for is Felix Hernandez and that’s it. He’s compared by scouts to Miguel Cabrera and Manny Ramirez and he’s a catcher. Imagine if we’d traded him for Cliff Lee gotten beaten in the series by a red hot Giants team and then watched Lee leave for the Phillies. That would have been a pie in the face moment. Keep him.

    Ivan Nova is a perfectly solid fifth starter and at least one of Hector Noesi, Andrew Brackman and Adam Warren will probably pitch well enough in the minors to earn a shot in the bigs at some point next season. If we bring back Andy then I think we’re set. If not Sergio Mitre, Kevin Millwood or Freddy Garcia will give us sub-par five inning starts for the first month of the season until we can find something better, either internally or through trade.

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