Using your best trade chip for only the best

It's Official: Martin's a Yankee
Prospect Profile: Evan Rutckyj
(Kathy Willens/AP)

The focus has shifted. With Cliff Lee out of the picture, the Yankees must move on and start fortifying the rest of the team. In just the last day we saw them bring in a catcher and a longshot reliever. These types of moves might underwhelm, but they do bring improvement on the margins. The Yankees will likely continue maneuvering in this manner for the rest of the winter, since no readily available player presents an opportunity for the Yankees to immediately improve. But that doesn’t mean they’re not looking.

The trade market can help heal what free agency hath wrought, and the Yankees will certainly explore options on that front. That doesn’t mean they’ll find much worth taking. The players — in this case pitchers — who can provide the most significant value will come with a prohibitive price tag, if they’re available at all. For the Yankees that likely means parting with Jesus Montero. Mike and I discussed this at length on the Radio Show yesterday. While there will always be exceptions, we came to the basic conclusion that the Yankees probably should not include Montero in any deal that doesn’t return them a pitcher along the lines of Zack Greinke. Sounds pretty reasonable, right?

I thought so, too, until I read Joe Sheehan’s latest on SI.com. He feels that the Yankees should not use Montero to acquire Greinke, since Greinke’s deal last just two more seasons, after which he is eligible for free agency. Instead, the Yankees should only use their best trading chip for the best from another team. “If the Yankees are determined to trade Montero,” Sheehan writes, “they should target less-obvious candidates who can contribute for more than 70 starts — even if it seems like these pitchers will, or should, be untouchable.” Emphasis mine.

In the very next paragraph Sheehan discusses David Price, Matt Garza (for whom I would not trade Montero), Brett Anderson, Madison Bumgarner, and Clayton Kershaw. Those names might seem outlandish, given their age and abilities, but that’s the entire point. The Yankees have a premier talent in Montero. Why would they trade a potential middle-of-the-order bat for just another pitcher? Sheehan is right. If they are to trade Montero, they should make sure they receive premier talent in return. They might need to package another prospect along with him, but if we’re talking any of the above names it would be a worthy expenditure.

Refusing to include Montero in a deal for anything less than a young, elite pitcher might mean the Yankees stand relatively pat this winter. They’ll continue adding pieces, and perhaps they’ll add a lesser pitcher — someone who can pitch ahead of Ivan Nova in the rotation, but not much more. What they shouldn’t do is trade Montero for a pitcher whom they can’t control for a few years. The value his bat will likely provide more value in that case. It’s certainly tempting, especially with Russell Martin in the fold and a strong crop of catchers on the farm. But the Yankees have something special in Montero. If they trade him, they should receive something special in return.

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It's Official: Martin's a Yankee
Prospect Profile: Evan Rutckyj
  • http://www.itsaboutthemoney.net Jason @ IIATMS

    So does that rule out a Montero-for-Blanton deal?

    • http://www.twitter.com/ngoral Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

      *please be sarcasm*

      • Sayid J.

        *is sarcasm*

  • tomaconda

    I’ll take Price!!!

    • tomaconda

      or Kershaw!!!

  • Dick Whitman

    I agree with Sheehan. As much as the majority of people doubt Montero’s defensive ability and long term future at catcher, I’ve never heard of anyone doubting his offensive ability.

    It’s clear that his bat is something special, mentioned in the same ways that Jay Bruce, Jason Heyward & even Miguel Cabrera were. You don’t trade that type of bat for just anyone. It has to be for someone special as well that is going to immediately be part of your core going forward.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      Yes, people rave about his offensive ability. He’s the biggest, most hyped prospect to come out of the Yankee system in a long time. But we have to keep in mind that he’s still just that – a prospect. How he will handle major league pitching is still an unknown.

      I agree with you though. He’s not untouchable, but to trade him would require a special talent, not just anybody.

      • RL

        I’ve stated before in other posts, Montero should only be traded for a young, elite, cost-controlled pitcher. Definitely fully agree with Sheehan on this.

    • David

      The key to a new Yankees dynasty is Tex moving to 3B, which he can easily handle. That would leave 1B and DH for:

      Montero
      ARod
      Pujols?
      Jeter

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        Forgot the #sarcasm tag.

  • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

    Montero for Anderson would give me pause. I’d do Price and Bumgarner in a second. Kershaw is great too but I have an irrational dislike for him.

    • Slugger27

      I’d do Price and Bumgarner in a second.

      price is obviously a no-brainer, but im not quite ready to proclaim bumgarner as a cant-miss talent. he had a FIP over 4 in the nl west, and doesnt really miss bats. a high strand rate seemingly enabled him to a lower ERA. i think we need more than these 121 innings before we put him in the same class as the other names in the article

      • Section 203

        The kid is 20! He ripped off a 3.00 ERA, 7K/9 in his first full season. 6-4 LHP wiht those stats at 20 y/o — nobody is a can’t miss, but he’s no more of a risk than Montero.

        I’d take Bumgarner in a heartbeat, but hello, they have Buster Posey and can’t take on a DH.

        • Slugger27

          well, he’s 21, but yes, he’s young. i understand that. but you act like 7K/9 is some awesome number or something. he’s good and a valuable trade chip obviously, but i wouldn’t consider him for montero a no-brainer by any stretch, nor would i put him in the same class as the other pithers in the post

          • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

            He essentially put up the same numbers as Anderson, except he was a year younger and doesn’t have Anderson’s injury history. That’s enough for me.

            • Slugger27

              well, anderson had stronger peripherals in the american league. i guess agree to disagree.

              • http://bronxbombersreport.com Craig

                I would shoot myself if the Yankees traded Montero for Bumgarner.

                • Marty

                  What about Matt Cain??? Giants need a power hitter and they have a surplus of starting pitchers.

                • claudellwashington

                  I’d shoot Cashman.

      • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

        His xFIP was 4.03, to clarify your point. His FIP was actually only 3.66. Either way, I don’t see that as an argument against him. He’s a 21 year old who put up good numbers immediately upon reaching the majors and posted a 2.0 WAR in half a season. Unless you think he’s an injury risk or isn’t likely to improve, I’m not sure how he isn’t a can’t-miss.

        • Slugger27

          you’re right his xFIP was 4.03, my bad. but my point stands. he doesn’t have near the significant success or track record as anyone else in the post, and i don’t think him straight up for montero is something i would do in a heartbeat. joba chamberlain in 2008 posted more WAR in less innings with stronger peripherals, and completely fell off the wagon in 2009.

          obviously he’s good and valuable, all i was saying is that i don’t think he belongs in the same category as these other pitchers mentioned, nor do i think he’s someone we should definitely trade montero for.

          • Sayid J.

            Agree to disagree. Bumgarner is young and is only like to improve. Would I rather have Price? Yes. But i still thing Bumgarner is elite. He made the majors at 20 years old and pitched above average, it bodes well for future performance.

            • Mister Delaware

              He’s a young pitcher. If he’s “likely” to do anything, its get hurt, not improve.

              • http://bronxbombersreport.com Craig

                It’s definitely way too early to call Bumgarner “elite”. We at least need to see a full season and see how he adjusts to the league’s adjustments.

          • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

            There’s always a risk he falls off a wagon, just like there’s a risk that Montero never adjusts to MLB pitching or finds a position. As far as trading for unknowns go, give me the 21 year old lefty who put in a solid half-season at the MLB level.

            • kosmo

              Why talk of Bumgarner when NY has the likes of Warren,Betances and Banuelos around the bend.They´re all within 2 years away from the show.
              Anyway I heard today NY is showing some interest in Zambrano now that Rothchild is the new pitching coach .

              • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

                Warren and Betances have zero major league innings to their credit and are both older than Bumgarner, for starters. And, why talk about 2 years down the road when we’re talking about trading Montero to win now?

                Zambrano would be a disaster.

                • Mister Delaware

                  Zambrano would be perfect if we had a similar offensive contract we wanted to dump. Taking him onto the payroll, even for no real return, is just a bad idea.

  • Nickel

    I agree with this. However, are we really going to go into the 2011 season with a starting rotation of (if Pettitte retires)Sabathia, Hughes, Burnett, Nova, and…Mitre? If so, that would be about as least confident as I would be about a Yankee starting rotation in a long time. Please, someone tell me I’m overlooking something.

    • Chris

      You can get a reasonable middle of the rotation arm for less than Montero. They picked up Javy (coming off a 4th place Cy Young finish) for Vizcaino and Melky. They could do a similar deal to pick up someone to replace Pettitte’s production.

    • Clay Bellinger

      It’s safe to assume that even if Pettitte retires, Mitre will not be in the rotation. They’ll find someone somewhere that can eat some innings without giving up Montero. The rotation at the start of the season probrably won’t be the rotation that we see by August either. They just have to wait for a reasonable opportunity.

    • Dick Whitman

      No, the Yankees rotation on Opening Day 2011 will not be Sabathia, Burnett, Hughes, Nova, Mitre.

      You’re overlooking Brian Cashman. Since he’s been given autonomy (aside from A-Rod’s deal), he’s never put anything less than an incredible product out on the field. There’s no way the Yankees start the season with Nova AND Mitre in the rotation.

      • king of fruitless hypotheticals

        Nova and Mitre on the field is STILL an incredible product.

    • http://bronxbombersreport.com Craig

      I would be willing to bet a significant amount that Joba gets another shot before the Yanks let Mitre take the ball every fifth day.

  • Gerald Williams

    How about Cain or Wain?!? I like Josh Johnson too!

    • Joe R

      Cant we get them all?

    • http://www.twitter.com/ngoral Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

      The respective teams of Cain, Wain, and JJ have no reason to trade them. Especially Cain’s team who just won the world series.

      • Klemy

        And again, has Posey and no DH spot.

  • Franklin

    I know the mariners would probably say No to anything but would they at least think about something like Montero, Banuelos, Betances, Slade Heathcott, and Brandon Laird for Felix and Figgins?

    I know having a 9 million dollar utility guy is not ideal but maybe we can pawn him off if we pay part of his contract.

    • RobC

      Felix has a lot of innings on that young arm
      Big time risk for Verducci effect

      • Clay Bellinger

        They’ve built him up to that point though. He’s never had an increase of 40 innings or more from one year to another.

        I’d do that trade, doubt the M’s do though. I really do wonder what it would take to net Felix though. Seattle probrably doesn’t contend for the next few years and Felix’s contract starts to become expensive in 2012 I believe.

      • Slugger27

        he’s had very gradual increases in innings since 2005, plus he’s a big strong kid. he’s fine.

    • J

      To even get them to think about trading Felix we’d probably have to start with a major league talent like Hughes or Cano and add from there. Maybe Cano, Betances and Nunez? or Hughes, Montero and Brackman…

      • Franklin

        I was thinking about starting with hughes but I don’t think they would want him since he goes to arb this year. They won’t get a ton of use out of him before he becomes expensive.

      • J.R.

        Cano is one of the most expensive 2B in the game. Seattle would want young cost controlled guys.

    • LarryM.,Fl.

      Cut and Paste. Develope from within until opportunities present themselves. This team has about 90 wins in it as formulated. So Patience thats an awful lot of talent for Figgins and Hernandez especially Figgins. I hear alot about Banuelos and Laird along with Montero.

      Yankees are wonderful to their fans at many prices both in money spent and very good talent spent.

      • Franklin

        Yea I put figgins in the trade because he has an albatross of a contract for a financially responsible team. Bradley could be included but the mariners will more likely want to rid themselves of figgins and his 3 years left.

    • NJ Andy

      Doesn’t the M’s deception with Lee lead to trade sanctions or such from the Yanks? I get the impression that Cash is pretty unwilling to deal with teams that pull stunts like that.

      Of course, I realize that we’re all just wishlisting, so whatever.

      • Dave

        When a team gets ‘shafted’ in a deal (or if they think they do), GMs know they just have to move on. Trying to ‘punish’ other teams by refusing to deal with them only hurts/hinders your own product. Cashman could have come out with some scathing statement about the M’s in July after missing on Lee. But what purpose would that serve? What if the one in a million shot actually happened & King Felix became available? Gotta roll with the punches if you miss out; it’s business. Never burn bridges…..unless Carl Pavano is in the toll booth.

    • kosmo

      King Felix has veto power over a trade to NY .He apparently doesn´t want to pitch in NY.

      • Mister Delaware

        Not necessarily. A lot of players with decent money contracts will put the spenders on their no trade list because they know it can lead to more cash.

    • pete

      Probably not. I think the mariners would have to win – by a lot – any trade involving Felix. Hughes, Cano, Montero, and Banuelos might do it if we threw in some cash for Cano.

      • EVH 5150

        Why on earth would you people want to trade Cano?

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

    My personal hope is Chad Billingsley but I am very opposed to including Montero for him, which probably means a potential deal wouldn’t happen without him in it, or at all (which is obviously the most likely). He is way better than the other starters Uncle Ned has signed up out there recently, but he probably won’t be interested in moving him, or would ask for way too much for him. Anderson is a great pitcher but the arm injuries scare me. Price, Garza & Bumgarner are unattainable for various reasons.

    • BklynJT

      I would not trade Montero for Garza.

      /veto’d

      • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

        I agree, and I also think Tampa isn’t looking to trade him to the Yankees and would jack the price up accordingly. Or they’d have to get into 3-team trade territory, which can be dicey. In general I agree with the fact that Jesus is only on the table in extremely rare instances of player availability, not for people like Garza.

  • jay

    The yankees are not going to get an ace pitcher this winter. Cashman should try to get zambrano, buhlere, edwin jackson and even take millwood as our number 5. with the yankees hitting he can keep them in the game and give 6 innings. if he sucks we can bring up phelps, adam warren or even one of the killer b’s

  • bottom line

    Agree that Montero shouod be virtually ntouchable. I’d probably put Banuelos in same class. Lefties of greater import now as Red Sox have lineup that seems vulnerable to southpaws. And all our other top prospects are right-handers. The big question to me is whether Betances should also be untouchable. At the least, I see him as potential lights-out 8th inning flame thrower.

    • Clay Bellinger

      No one is “untouchable”. Every prospect has their price.

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ

        We’re not getting Josh Johnson for a Montero based package nor will they give him up straight up for Derek Lowe so realistically he’s untouchable.

        • Clay Bellinger

          Agreed, Montero’s highly unlikely to be traded, but he definitely isn’t “untouchable” considering they already almost traded him. The term “untouchable” implies that the team wouldn’t even consider including him in a deal.

          Calling Banuelos or Betances untouchable is crazy though. They’ve barely pitched in AA yet.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            Montero was almost traded once and has been offered up in at least another deal that we know of. That’s certainly not untouchable. As this post is all about, you only trade him for the cream of the crop (Lee/Halladay) but he’s certainly not untouchable.

            • Clay Bellinger

              Exactly!

            • Mister Delaware

              Not to mention, the guy he was almost traded for was under only 3 more months of control.

            • http://bronxbombersreport.com Craig

              That’s why he said “virtually” untouchable.

      • BklynJT

        Dude, we just call them “untouchable” to raise their trade value. *wink

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          /Casey Kelly’d

      • bottom line

        Yeah, Clay, so I guess you would have traded Mattingly, Jeter, Rivera, Bernie– all of whom, by the way, faced the threat of trades for inferior returns early in their career.

        • Clay Bellinger

          What?!! My point is that just about any prospect has their price. Almost no player would be worth trading Montero for, but if a Price or Felix became availble for all three of the “untouchable” players you named, I don’t think the Yanks hesitate to deal them – therefore they are not untouchable.

          Obviously, any such deal is extremely unlikely to present itself, so the Yanks probrably hold onto him. They won’t trade him for a Buehrle or Zambrano!!

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          Hmm. Not at all what he said.

        • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

          I guess you would have held on to Roberto Kelly and not traded for that bum, Paul O’neill.

          • Klemy

            We all know who the REAL warrior was!

            /Sarcasm

        • tomaconda

          Mattingly was almost traded to the Cubs for Sandberg, Palmiero and Greg Maddux if I remember correctly. The Yankees wanted them to include Dunston and the deal went south. That would have been the most lopsided trade in MLB history. Three HOF type players for Donnie Baseball.

        • Mister Delaware

          I’m still glad we held onto Marty Janzen.

  • Elliot F

    If only King Felix, If only …
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....of_ya.html

  • OMG Bagels!

    What will it mean if the Yankees sit pat and they don’t break a 200 M payroll? Meaning: what will it mean to other teams/luxury tax/revenue sharing?

    • Slugger27

      they’re already over it anyway.

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ

        No not really.

        • Slugger27

          well,theyre over 170M right now, and that’s not counting the 10M in arb raises. so unless they cut all their arb players or make some sort of trade, they’re over the luxury tax limit. i believe its $177M

          • Slugger27

            also, that doesn’t count russell martin i don’t think.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ngoral Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

      It will mean, that they don’t need to spend wildly to win like so many people believe.

      It will hurt other teams a bit, but then again, you have the Red Sox and Phillies, and maybe Tigers all up there in the revenue sharing threshold.

      It will allow the Yankees to use it when they need it most. Lee was not a necessity, he was simply a luxury.

    • J

      It will mean they will spend a ton next offseason. Darvish and Prince Fielder for DH.

      • king of fruitless hypotheticals

        Fielder–Arod already called ‘dibs’

      • http://bronxbombersreport.com Craig

        So are you saying that Jesus Montero gets to catch full-time in this scenario?

        • http://bronxbombersreport.com Craig

          I don’t wanna pull a hammy reaching that far ahead, but that would be a pretty filthy lineup. Unlikely, but filthy.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      It will mean the Jeffery Loria might have to cut back to eating steak and lobster only 5 days a week.

  • Jorge

    Stop. I can’t handle this sort of actual common sense.

  • Franklin

    We should just decimate the farm system and trade for Felix and Justin Upton.

    /Steinbrenner’d

    • Jorge

      more like /latenightposter’d

    • Henry

      Honestly speaking though, HONESTLY, it may not be SUCH a bad idea, it’s not as if they are old and past their primes, they are either just hitting their primes or haven’t enntered it yet. And the odds of anybody in our farm amounting up to both of those I’d say less than 5%

      • Big Juan

        That’s not the issue. It’s that if you trade the farm for those guys you have nothing left to get the pieces you need at the trading deadline.

  • Reggie C.

    I agree with Joel Sherman’s principle point so succintly stated in this thread’s title. Its a nice read, perhaps a little crazy, but it certainly was complementary of Jesus Montero’s trade value. Sherman recognizes Montero as the yankees’s best hitting prospect in a couple generations.

    Still would like Cashman to kick the tires and see if a Billingsley or Floyd is available at a far lower cost.

  • Henry

    I don’t know why, but I’ve always had an irrational love for Edwin Jackson, maybe it’s his potential (that yes, he’s yet to reach) or just the fact that as a rookie he outdueled Pero (whom I’ve always loved, even when he was punishing the Yanks)

    • Henry

      Onviously not for Montero, but maybe as a cheap #5? since we (imo) won’t have to give up too much.

      • Accent Shallow

        Maybe.

        The White Sox did seem to overpay to get him, but if he’s available for cheap. . . maybe. I don’t hate the idea. Unless it involves trading Hughes, like that one guy.

  • bonestock94

    I don’t think I’d be happy trading Montero for any pitchers but Felix, Johnson, or other legit aces not named Greinke. There seems to be a lot of doubt surrounding Greinke in the NYY org according to some writers, and while there may be exaggeration going on I believe where theres smoke theres fire.

  • http://twitter.com/tjamato T.J.

    Montero for Johnson/Felix-level aces only.

  • Johnny O

    It’s almost as though Montero’s value is TOO high for a trade because the only people worth trading him for are also untouchable. Why would the Rays trade Price? Why would the Dodgers trade Kershaw? And yet, those are the only kinds of guys the Yanks would trade Montero for.

    When he’s this close to the majors, let’s just stick with him and enjoy the ride. (or trade him for Kershaw)

  • Monteroisdinero

    I wouldn’t trade Montero for anyone other than Felix or Johnson so I am happy to say he better be a Yankee and become a future face of the franchise. Can’t wait to see him in ST. Got tix for the Phillies and Nats in early March.

    I still worry about Mo and his age/inability to pitch back to back etc. I would give it up for Soriano with the cash burning a hole in Cash’s pocket.

  • ChesterRipley1

    Why isn’t Romine being thrown out as a more likely trade chip for a #2 or #3 type?

    And is Montero that bad of an athlete where he can’t be considered for a RF spot? Pat Burrell played LF for the Giants for God’s sake

    • bonestock94

      It wouldn’t be smart to try him out in the OF quite yet. It would send the signal that the Yankees have given up on him catching and hurt his value significantly. Also he’s really young, no need to throw in the towel on him catching yet anyways.

    • Bulldozer

      Romine’s stock took a hit this year. Think of Wilson Ramos. He netted the Twins Matt Capps. Romine ain’t snagging a #2 or #3 type.

  • UncleArgyle

    What about trading Austine Romine? He’s obviously the odd man out with Martin in the fold and Montero on the cusp of being in the big leagues. Not to mention Gary Sanchez a few years behind him. I wonder what kind of pitcher he could get in a swap….

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Sanchez is so far away, you wouldn’t trade Romine knowing that you have Sanchez. Sanchez has a ton of (ridiculous) upside, but that’s it. He’s an afterthought at this point when considering the future of the big league team.

      • UncleArgyle

        The Yankees have tremendous catching depth, and the fact that Romine is now behind Montero, Martin (perhaps Cervelli) in the pecking order, coupled with the fact that he’s semi-close to the Big Leagues, makes him a very attractive trade chip IMO.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          I agree with considering trading Romine, but just not with the expectation that Sanchez will fill in behind him. He’s got a chance to be special, but is still so young.

          • Bulldozer

            I said this above, but Wilson Ramos netted Matt Capps. Romine Might net a little more, but I can’t see him netting a ton more.

            • kosmo

              J.R. Murphy anyone ?

    • Chris

      He isn’t odd man out by any means. Martin signed a 1 year deal and is under team controll for 2012. Romine is 2 years away from reaching the majors and causing a catching controversy.

      • kosmo

        Romine is not 2 years away .More like start of ST 2012.

        • Chris

          Thats 2 years away.

  • Mykey

    For Christ sake don’t trade Jesus!

    • Monteroisdinero

      A NY Post headline I do not want to see.

      • Mykey

        Waka waka.

  • bonestock94

    Ned Colletti is clearly deficient, we can probably get Kershaw for a shiny coin.

  • Bulldozer

    Montero to the rotation! Joba for DH!

    Seriously, Montero has to maul in the bigs before he can be traded for some of the elite pitchers mentioned.

    • Mister Delaware

      Like Matt LaPorta did.

      • Bulldozer

        For a half year rental.

    • Mister Delaware

      And Justin Smoak did.

      • Bulldozer

        So your ok with trading Montero for a half year rental?

    • Mister Delaware

      And Michael Taylor did.

      • Bulldozer

        For one year of Halladay. However, Drabek, d’Arnaud, and Wallace was the real haul for Halladay.

        I assumed everyone didn’t want to trade Montero for anything less than 2 years of pitcher control. You obviously missed the point though.

  • JeffG

    I say we keep Montero… that is why I’d be for picking up Zambrano. His contract is so big it would be more of a salary dump for the Cubs.

    • J

      We’d have to offer him an extension to entice him to waive his no trade clause.

      • JeffG

        That’s not always the case (i.e. Berkman). Maybe Z would want to play for a contender.

  • http://riveraveblues.com poppop

    I just did some time browsing another teams blogs and news articles and found something interesting. Maybe that certain team would entertain listening to offers for KF. One article I read the author went into detail why they should trade him now, while his value is highest coming off a CYA and when we are ‘desperate’
    His poll results as of the time of my reading that approx 62% are in favor of listening and engaging the Yankees. Consensus is they would want 2 mlb ready players and 2 of our highest prospects or more depending on players involved. And if our offer weren’t sweet enough they may more consider it if we added a straight up Swish for Bradley swap to make the deal where we would take the good with the bad and take a headache and his salary off their books. So I guess anythings possible if we explore.

    • Bulldozer

      They’d probably want Gardner, Hughes, Montero (even though they have Smoak), ManBan, and another good piece.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      1) King Felix is there entire franchise at this point, signed to a reasonable contract

      2) He’s arguably the best pitcher in baseball, doubt if 2 MLB and 2 high prospects get it done.

      3) Heyman, Sherman, etc have repeatedly said he’s not on the block

      4) After the whole Lee non-trade, I doubt Cashman and Jack Z are on the friendliest of terms. It shouldn’t matter, but GM relationships are important (That 3 way deal with Granderson doesn’t get done if those GMs weren’t close) nonetheless.

      • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

        Ugh, wow, I did a “there” instead of “their”. Bad job, me.

  • http://riveraveblues.com poppop

    What about a one year incentive deal for Pedro? No prospects, only dinero.

  • cranky

    Pretty silly stuff, frankly. Price, Kershaw, etc. aren’t available. Their teams have absolutely no reason to trade them, so why even bother with this speculation?
    As for Montero, yes, it would be dumb to trade him for anything less than a Kershaw or a Price, so why even talk about it? He’s not getting traded.
    The acquisition of Russell Martin does not put Jesus Montero on the trading block. It puts Austin Romine on the trading block. And Romine has got really good trade value. Montero/Martin could give the Yanks a solid catching duo for years. And I think that Gary Sanchez, given that he’s got great offensive AND defensive potential, will look like an even better overall prospect than Montero a year from now. In other words, Romine is expendable now.

    • Mister Delaware

      “And Romine has got really good trade value.”

      If you know this, define his value.

      • Reggie C.

        Ignoring Romine’s second half of 2010, i’d say Romine projects to be an offensive-first catcher who could hack it in the Majors at the plate, though the defense is a work-in-development-but-developing-for-sure.

        Factoring in Romine’s second half of 2010, i’d say Romine needs to show consistency. I’m not convinced he could actually sustain hitting success at the Major league level, in which case, he’s not ML ready. Still at least 1.5 seasons away from a call-up. The kid’s 2nd half struggles are that epic.

      • cranky

        He’s rated as a good prospect. He’s a catcher. He’s still developing, but scouts say he’s going to make it in the majors. He struggled late in 2010, but most observers attribute that to nothing other than his wearing down during his first real F/T year as catcher.
        As for having “good trade value,” yes. A young, near ML catcher always has good trade value as catching is always a valuable commodity due to its relative scarcity. I’m not suggesting that he, alone, would bring back a good ML pitcher in exchange, but that he’d be an attractive piece in a package for a pitcher.
        I assume that Cashman is working on a deal for a pitcher at this very moment. If that deal is with a team that needs a catcher. . .

        • Bulldozer

          Like Wilson Ramos?

    • Jorge

      The reason to trade them wuld be that their teams will not want to pay their rapidly increasing arbitration-year salaries and figure they will lose them in 2-3 years. It’s not that crazy an assertion.

      Part of the point of the piece is that those pitchers may be looked at as absolutely untouchable, but if Cashman knows something we don’t?

      I’m liking the potential of this front office having to potentailly get very creative. It may make for more grey hairs on both their and our part, but it will sure be interesting. I am very over Cliff Lee at this point.

  • Dan

    i would definately target gavin floyd

  • jayd808

    If Pettite comes back, then the only SP we’re looking to replace is Vasquez — someone to fulfill the “innings eater” role. Even while experiencing dead arm, Javy went out and pitched five innings last year. It wasn’t pretty but seemed to work. We didn’t lose ALL those games.

    The team really needs Aceves back. Without Pettite we have to replace two pitchers. I know Nova seems in low regard, but all he needed was another pitch. Gavin Floyd or Zambrano look like a good replacements for Javy. I prefer Floyd. I thinking giving Jesus at bats this year will only increase his tradeability.

    We only have to beat Boston and they have done nothing to address last year’s issues. That was a team that lost 30 games after leading in the 7th inning. Last time I checked Carl Crawford doesn’t pitch.

    dj

    • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

      We only have to beat Boston and they have done nothing to address last year’s issues. That was a team that lost 30 games after leading in the 7th inning. Last time I checked Carl Crawford doesn’t pitch.
      Last time I checked, Boston also has a questionable lineup outside of Crawford/Gonzalez/Youkilis (maybe Pedroia.) Ortiz put up a lot of empty numbers the last two years, Ellsbury is overrated, Drew is so-so, then you have Scutaro who is pesky as best and Saltalamacchia. Not to mention they’ve downgraded their defense by moving the highly overrated Youkilis to third and Saltalamacchia behind the plate. Oh, and they still have Scutaro at short.

      A lot of sound and fury, signifying…little in my opinion.

      • http://bronxbombersreport.com Craig

        Eh, as much as I love to read that…I can’t say that I’m ready to buy into it.

  • Chris

    The wild card in this could be Martin. If he returns to his original form the Yanks could consider moving him and having Montero/Posada run the show behind the plate. There are a LOT of teams that would take Martin if he is hitting .280-.290 with 10HR and 40-50 RBI at the break. It would be tough for the Yankees to give that production up but it would be a great chip to trade for a guy who becomes available at the deadline that isn’t now.

  • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

    I’m sorry, but I believe the Yankees can land a solid starter AND keep Montero. The Red Sox just got Adrian Gonzalez with a package of prospects and held onto their top prospect. Didn’t the Phillies do the same last year with Halladay? (Drabek was their top pitching prospect, but Domonic Brown was their top overall.) Cliff Lee himself was had by Texas without giving up their top prospect (unless you believe Smoak was their top prospect.)

    The Yankees, for a change, have some depth in their farm system and there’s no reason they can’t put together a package as well…without Montero. If the other team insists, the Yankees should tell them to take a powder. Cutting off their nose to spite their face? Maybe. But I for one am sick of seeing the Yankees get hosed while other teams get away with “bargain” deals. You also can’t use the “Yankees get asked for more because of their wealth” argument. No more. Not after this off-season and Boston and Philadelphia’s moves. It’s officially been put to rest.

    • Chris

      YES!

    • Bulldozer

      Yeah, but most posters want a pitcher with more than one year of control. Halladay, Lee, CC, AGon, etc…, all had 1 year or less of control.

      Also, I think the consensus is that Kelly was the top prospect of the Sox. BA had his at #1.

  • slim

    I agree with the poster above that said Yankees should sign Soriano to backup Mo with their unspent money.
    Might as well strengthen an important area of your team as a plan B.
    Would give them an insane back of the bullpen and I would rather them have that and take a chance on developng pitchers than sign veteran SP’s. Borderline talent relievers are getting big bucks this year anyway so you are only talking another $3 mil per year for the top guy.

    Don’t see any great trades coming but we will see, the trades that happen nowdays are usually the ones you don’t hear about.
    Montero can obviously net something good but not to all teams, as he does have that position issue or lack there of that lessens his trade value compared to other prospects of his talent level.
    Most other Yankee prospects are way over-valued by Yankees fans IMO.

    • Dave Mancuso

      Ick. I don’t like it. Soriano is gonna command 3 years at $11-12M per/year. And at that point, you’d be guaranteeing him more money that you guaranteed Mo.

      Soriano has to be looking for a closer role somewhere (not the “promise” of a closer’s role once Mo is gone).

      Plus, Soriano is ALWAYS hurt. Last year was the first year he didn’t miss significant time.

      If you’re gonna go that injury-prone route, better off just re-signing Wood. It’ll be for less money and he’s already shown he can do it in NY.

  • matt

    Here’s a couple issues I have:

    1. Boston’s going to have a heck of an offensive club, even though the jump from VMart/Beltre to Crawford/A-Gon isn’t as great as if Carl and Adrian were coming in take over spots that got replacement level production. For me, it’s tough to trade Montero from a Yankee standpoint until we see him in the Bronx. Because if he’s passable behind the dish and the bat really turns out to be special, he’s the absolute wild card in terms of the Yanks potentially remaining the superior offensive club to Boston.

    2. Folks need to realize that given other clubs’ concerns as to whether Montero can stick behind the dish ans given that he’s taken no reps at 1B or in the outfield, his value to an AL club is going to be significantly higher than to an NL club, which may love the bat but just not be certain enough that he’ll ever have a position to give up a true young stud starter.

    3. One would like to think that the ChiSox would be great trading partners. I assume for now that Danks is untouchable, but I suspect anyone else in that rotation can be had for the right price. I too love the idea of Edwin Jackson as a middle of the rotation guy with upside, but he’s not worth Montero. One scenario I’d thought about was the possibility of actually trying to nab two starters from the ChiSox, Jackson and either Floyd/Buerhle. For two quality MLB starting pitchers, I’d move Montero, then problem is, Chi has its own young stud catching prospect in Flowers. Now I do think there are ways to get really creative with the ChiSox. Point one is that if anyone actually took the time to revisit Alex Rios and what’s left on his deal, it’s not nearly the monstrosity it was when Toronto did it and it’s actually pretty close to reasonable. Rios is a nice player – probably slightly inferior to Granderson and more expensive, but in other ways similar, he plays great outfield defense and he slugs. It was really the fact of his one atrocious year that he fell off everyone’s radar. You look at every other year surrounding that one, including last year and you’ve got a good player. So I do wonder whether Williams would add pitching if the Yanks were willing to swap the younger and cheaper Granderson and take on Rios. Finally, Peavy is a true wild card – not sure I’d even want him, at least not if I have to move a ton. But that rotation is awfully deep and Peavy is expensive and won’t even be ready to start the year. I’d see no reason at all why he wouldn’t be very much available.

    4. It’s tough cause of the in-division thing, but I really think the Yanks best naturally line up with Tampa. Thst’s a club that has a ton of pitching and a decimated lineup. They need power. It’d be a true role of the dice, as who knows if Bossman ever begins to even realize the potential he once flashed, but Montero/Granderson/Joba (the TB pen is pretty decimated too) for Garza/Davis/Upton/Jaso would certainly be one hell of a roll of the dice. You’d get back Garza, who’s probably a legit #2 most of the time, Davis, who’s got a high ceiling, Bossman, who’s vastly inferior to Granderson, but younger, so athletic and maybe, maybe he figures it out and getting back Jaso, another young catcher with a good bat, albeit one that’s not nearly on the Jesus level, helps mitigate the sting of trading Jesus. For me, this is in some ways a video game trade, just two many pieces involved, but I legitimately think it exchanges approx. equal value. I’m curious to hear thoughts as to which GM, if either, folks think would hang up the phone on that proposal.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    I agree completely, Greinke is a great pitcher. He had an inhuman 2009, but a league average 2010. I’d say he’s in between the two, probably a 130ish ERA+ pitcher. A great talent for sure, but I wouldn’t trade Montero for him. It’d take like a Felix type talent for me to move Montero.

    • ROBTEN

      He had an inhuman 2009, but a league average 2010.

      Last year Greinke put up a fWAR of 5.2, and a FIP/xFIP of 3.34/3.76, all of which would have put ahead of every single Yankee starter. Of ALL starters, Greinke was ranked 11th in fWAR.

      He may not have been inhuman, but there’s nothing “league average” about Greinke last year.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        fWAR uses non park adjusted FIP. Hardly a definitive take on a pitcher’s abilities.

  • Ben

    I’d go with signing Soriano AND Wood. The bullpen would be ridiculous if you could have these guys in setup roles. I think the Yankees should not move Montero at all. See what he does for them at AAA for the first half of the season and then evaluate the situation. Yanks right now are probably the 2nd best team in the AL and the 3rd or 4th best team in baseball. They’ll make the playoffs and probably the ALCS. I just see them having trouble getting to the WS unless Hughes or Burnett pitches out of their minds this year and Pettitte comes back.

  • http://yesnetwork muhammad

    the yankes should bring back andy and burnett will be fine .cc is the ace phil huges is good they should trade for two picthers give up prospects trade for chain and felix herandez with the rotaion of thta then trade burnett and you will defintly be in the worlseries and win it.the yankees should have traded for lee in july have a better package.then deflintly won the worlseries .look right now they would win like 93 games so imagine if thy tradefor a cy picther it makes sense to trade with gaints .all these years the yankess wasted chances forthe ring.or wait for 2011 ofseason and sign some pichers fix up the bullpen and sign some people for the bench.thae promblem is that the yankees wouldnot do any thing about cliff lee siging and stuff.look cliff lee dint want the money.he did it for the ring and it made sense t go the philies the season dint staart. it gives youa big clue when crahmen said were waiting and why would they sign rusell marin they setting up for atrade crahmen and the yankee brash hank hal stienger
    arenot used to throwing the big check and not getiinthe prize 20011 yankess will probaly go to alcs if trade for a innings eater burneet fixes his act world series yankees and phllies the yankees can handle roy hallday osllatand coal hamles look the phillies have really hitting promblems the yankees dont cliif doent todo in the worldsreis

  • http://yesnetwork muhammad

    YANKEES FANS CDONT GIVE UP HOPE WE HAHVE27 TILTES LETS SEE IF THE PHLLIES CACTH UP IF WE FIX THE BULLPEN TRADE FORELITE PICHTER RESIGN PETTITE.THEN WE AHVEA SHOT FOR 28.THE YANKE GM WILL FIX UP THE ROTAION THIS OFF SEASON ITS ONLY MID DECEMBER.WE AHVE LIKE 3 AND AHLF MONTHS UNTIL APRIL

  • Kevin Ocala, Fl

    Let’s see, a 20 year old that could be hitting in the middle of the order for 15 or so years, maybe HOFer (whoa I’m getting giddy), for any,even great pitcher who could sneeze and never pitch again. Trading Montero’s potential away for ANYONE, right now, is CRAZY!

    • http://yesnetwork muhammad

      dude they should trade for someone and not give up monerno and try to win a ring .they will probly tradefor someone

  • Jayrock1480

    I still say, to trade Montero, you need to package him with Nova, Nunez, and AJ Burnett and cash and get KIng Felix. The Mariners need a catcher, they need a shortstop of the future (Jack Wilson is getting old too), Burnett would give them front end stuff and he would turn back to form like he was in Toronto with no pressure of winning and Nova for the future. I truly think anything less than Montero should not be in the mix.

  • http://franklance godfather

    if russell martin comforts cashman enough to consider pushing a montero deal, he’s already made one too many; things should shake out a bit in the first 6-8 weeks, i’d think

  • Johnny

    Look we need to see what Montero can do. Before we trade him, at least see what we might lose. Trade Austin Romnie, he’s much better defensively then Montero and would appeal to teams like Seattle for King Felix

  • Dave

    Hey, do we still have Austin Jackson?

    (just kidding)

  • awy

    garza bumgardner definite no

    others sure

  • Wayne

    My big concern concerning Montero is whether we can trust our talent evaluators, whether they be our scouts or our front office people.

    Last year the rumor was that the Yankees felt Austin Jackson was a year away from being major league ready, so we swapped the him and others for Granderson. Well, our scouts and/or front office people were absolutely wrong. AJ was ready to perform extremely well at the MLB level, well enough, in fact, to finish second in the rookie of the year voting.

    Somebody (or multiple people) screwed up in their evaluation of Jackson’s readiness. And please don’t tell me how awful his 170 strikeouts were because his 48 extra base hits would have put him fifth on the Yankees, and his defense appears to be as good, if not better than Granderson’s. And AJ will turn 24 soon, while Granderson will turn 30 in March.

    I like Granderson as a ballplayer and especially as a person, but I’d certainly rather have an inexpensive CF with star potential who is just approaching his mid-20s.

    I bring this up here because I’m worried that we’re about to make another mistake in possibly trading Montero. It seems like an awful lot of baseball people think Montero is going to be a solid-to-monster power hitter in the big leagues. I’d hate to loose that for anything but an ELITE pitcher who we can hold on to for at least 4-5 years . . . and even then, I think I’d rather hold on to Montero.

  • Wayne

    A lot of people question Montero’s ability to play catcher at the MLB level. Four points on this issue:

    1. Posada and Piazza were average to mediocre catchers most of their careers, but they made up for it with their bats. Piazza will almost certainly go into the HOF, and Posada will at least get consideration for the HOF.

    2. Montero is young enough that he could, in time, develop into a league average or better catcher.

    3. If Montero turns into a 40-HR, .300-BA, and 100-RBI guy, odds are the Yankees would want to move him out of the catcher’s position eventually to save his legs. (Bench was the best catcher I ever saw, and look how quickly his career went downhill because he stayed behind the plate too long.)

    4. If Montero is indeed a 40/.300/100 guy (or thereabouts), move him to right field. If he’s athletic enough to hit .300 and club 40 HRs, he can probably mange to play right field around league average. Hell, Reggie was never a thing of beauty in RF, but he was still a HOF player. (Reggie had a really good throwing arm, but he scared the hell out of you under every pop fly; I loved watching him play, though: even his strikeouts were exciting.)

  • http://yesnetwork.com solamon

    we all know that feliz hernades has the lowish era but if the mariners trade him for four young guys then they would be a better team just like they traded for cliff lee and they traded him to texas

  • Tank Foster

    Stand pat, don’t trade Montero.

    There is risk in everything. Montero might not pan out. Greinke could come to the Yankees and deteriorate faster than expected, or even totally flame out.

    Or Montero does well, and Greinke fades, or Greinke does well, and Montero sucks…..or both suck….

    In my mind, there are 3 good reasons to keep Montero and not trade him for a pitcher:

    1. The Yankee minor league system has more good pitching prospects than hitting prospects, so our intermediate and long term needs are better served by holding onto the one really good hitting prospect we have.

    2. Baseball’s offense/defense pendulum is swinging back from the hitting/homer dominance of the ’90s and the ‘aughts toward more pitching dominance. As such, finding good pitchers is probably going to become easier in the next decade than it has been in the previous two…the corollary to that is that it will become harder to find good hitters in the next decade than it has been in the previous two.

    3. Montero has very high upside, and the Yankees’ active roster’s offensive strength is almost exclusively held by players in the decline phase of their careers.

    The caveat is that we might have to stomach some mediocre seasons, by Yankee standards, anyway, waiting for the killer B’s and Montero to be contributing significantly at the MLB level.