Open Thread: Jake Westbrook & Ted Lilly


Photo Credits: Suzanne Plunkett (Westbrook) & John Froschauer (Lilly), AP

Whenever you make a trade for multiple minor league pitchers, you usually hope that at least one pans out. When two turn into bonafide big league starters, you’ve struck gold. That’s what happened in December of 1999, when the Yankees traded Hideki Irabu to the Expos for then-minor leaguers Jake Westbrook and Ted Lilly. Westbrook’s pinstriped career lasted all of six months and 6.2 innings (13.50 ERA); he was traded to the Indians that June for David Justice. Lilly stuck around a little longer, throwing a total of 205.1 IP (4.65 ERA) across parts of three seasons for the Yanks before being traded to Oakland in a three-team swap that brought (ugh) Jeff Weaver to New York. All told, these two have accounted for 2,991.1 IP with 37.9 bWAR in their careers (most of that is Lilly), and were involved in what are arguably Brian Cashman‘s two best trades and his single worst.

Anyway, there’s your nostalgic moment for the night. Here’s the open thread. The Devils and Knicks are both in action, plus the Sugar Bowl is on (Ohio St. vs. Arkansas). Talk about whatever your heart desires, so go have at it.

Weekend Writer Update: We’ve made our selections and will announce the three new weekend people in tomorrow night’s open thread. Yes, we ending up “hiring” three.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Josh says:

    Have you emailed these weekend writers already?

  2. I’ve been really stumped in this story I’m trying to write. It’s based on what I’ve done so far in high school but with (I think) realistic humor to it.

    • Watch a few episodes of Degrassi (*washes mouth out with soap*) and you could write a book)

    • Right a story from the point of view of a POW. You can write about your struggles to maintain your sanity and identity against the “brainwashing” techniques of your captors (teachers). How they’ve slowly changed you until you have succumb to your education.

    • Jose the Satirist says:

      Write a story about a protagonist named Carlos Marlow. You are a student in this new foreign place (High School). Surrounded by the evils of the World in 3 different forms. That of your fellow students, the teachers, and the school administrators. Each form of darkness having associated atrocities with it. Ex. students mocking other kids, teachers giving out failing grades, etc.

      You are given the daily attendance for your class to take down to the office. On this particular day, a fellow student is doing the morning announcements. You must bring him back to your fellow classmates before his insanity with the power of the administrators furthers. His voice over the PA is god-like. The mindless drones follow the orders. Do some symbolism here.

      The story is called “Apple of Darkness”. Add lots of symbolism about the evils and darkness of the previously identified groups and it will be a masterpiece.

  3. Andy says:

    What no love for Jeff Weaver? I loved that guy.

  4. Razz says:

    Jon Lieber cries because he wants his due respect too…

  5. Jose the Satirist says:

    I think the new writers should each do a “How I became interested in baseball” or something along those lines for their first weekend posts as an introduction of their style and personality.

  6. Xstar7 says:

    Anyone think the Knicks have a chance against the Spurs?

  7. Jerome S. says:

    Is this offseason really that bad?

    It’s not like we had to partially rebuild a team like some other clubs in this division (you know who you are!).

    I think that Yankees fans have come to expect a Teixeira or a Granderson every off-season. But not only is that infeasible, it’s bad business.

    To an extent this comment is unnecessary, but I just hear a lot rhetoric from fans that suggests that this off-season went from okay to complete failure solely because we didn’t get Cliff Lee (fun fact: 28 other teams didn’t get Lee either!). The Yankees will go into spring training as one of the top-five teams in baseball in terms of quality of both the roster and the overall organization. Cashman deserves just as much, if not more, credit for the continued competitiveness of this team as he does for not signing the most in-demand player on the market.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Well, it isn’t good. We as fans entered the offseason expecting to sign Lee, and hoping for Pettitte to come back, and here we are in January with Lee in Philly, Mitre and Nova in the Yankees’ rotation, and Pettitte likely to retire. That’s not to mention all of Boston’s acquisitions.

      Having said that, I don’t fault Cashman for this offseason. After Lee and Greinke, whom the Yankees didn’t want to trade for (understandably so, given his past hesitance toward pitching in New York, even though I wanted him), the pitching market has been barren.

      I really wish Cashman would have gotten Haren in July, but who knows what the Diamondbacks were really asking? If they wanted the Joba/Nova package that was rumored and Cashman said no, then he deserves criticism for it. But, again, we’re not privy to how that trade went down.

      • Bryan L says:

        This. It’s not good, it’s not bad, its just average.

        What would a bad offseason be? Losing Jeter & Mo. That would be a bad offseason.

        • Jerome S. says:

          that. The Yankees already have the great players that Boston and other division rivals are trying to cultivate; they’re essentially just getting what we already have.

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

        We as fans entered the offseason expecting to sign Lee, and hoping for Pettitte to come back, and here we are in January with Lee in Philly, Mitre and Nova in the Yankees’ rotation, and Pettitte likely to retire.

        While some took this to the very extreme. It’s funny thinking about how many people took Cliff Lee as a Yankee as a fact. Maybe that’s why people are reacting to the offseason but make no mistake it’s pretty awful. Not holy shit they’re never competing again bad but just bad.

    • CS Yankee says:

      While I agree with your overall thought (that things aren’t that bad), the bar has been set high recently and the teams in the division have improoved which make it louder this year.

      Last year, we didn’t really give up much to get Grandy & Javy but that is where things this year don’t seem right.

      The Hughes/Joba debate heated up after we traded for a runner-up CY & had Pettitte returning AFTER just winning #27.

      Hughes went into the season as #5 and is now the #2 or 3 SP, but the kicker is that we have a #4 AND #5 SP that don’t look near as good as Hughes/Joba did in 2010. I don’t blame anyone on the Lee deal, but am concerned (but still trust) that we have a stronger divison in 2011 after falling short in 2010.

      I don’t like the burden placed on Hughes going into this season but do expect AJ to contribute this year. They are 1-2 years away from having another batch of pitchers reach this level but they all likely will not pan-out (IPK & Joba did not).

      Last year, the roster looked like a 9-plus, this year a sub-8.

      • bexarama says:

        the teams in the division have improoved

        Eh. Boston got way better, so did the Orioles, but the Orioles still aren’t gonna be relevant in the ALE race except maybe as a spoiler or what have you. Toronto and Tampa Bay took a step back.

        Last year, the roster looked like a 9-plus, this year a sub-8.

        After last year I was hearing the Yankees were gonna be a dynasty. Now I hear we’re rebuilding and it’s gonna be like 1964-1975 for years and years. Things always look better coming off a championship than they do when you get pretty soundly defeated in the ALCS, I guess.

        • The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

          Tampa didn’t take a step back.

          • Xstar7 says:

            They definitely didn’t take a step forward

          • bexarama says:

            They lost their whole damn bullpen and one of their best hitters. Yeah, they did.

            • Xstar7 says:

              You mean two of their best hitters. Carlos Pena couldn’t hit .300 for his life, or even .250 for that matter, but has major power.

            • The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

              Oh really? They got Soriano-lite and it’s not like they have the best closer prospect or anything.

              And I love how Crawford is being described as a good hitter now when previous posts on the topic make it seem like he’s only average with his mediocre on base skills. Whereas Jennings has a very similar skillset to Crawford except he can take a walk.

              Jeremy Hellickson will provide a boost over like Jeff freakin’ Niemann and will compensate for the whopping 1 WAR loss of Carlos Pena.

              And if we are going to view the Yankees in an optimistic light all the time and make fun of people who have doubts with “DOOOOOOOMMMMED” comments then you can’t forget James Shields who had an unlucky year. He’ll be closer to his 4.20 FIP than his 5.50 ERA.

              • Accent Shallow says:

                And I love how Crawford is being described as a good hitter now when previous posts on the topic make it seem like he’s only average with his mediocre on base skills. Whereas Jennings has a very similar skillset to Crawford except he can take a walk.

                Jennings has a great chance to be Crawford with the bat down the road, but expecting him to step right in and hit .280/.350/.450 is a bit much, IMHO.

                • The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

                  I’m not expecting it. He’ll be average with the bat but his defense will help compensate the loss. Instead of a 6 WAR gap from losing Crawford it’ll be a 2 or 3 WAR gap with Jennings.

                  They’ll be slightly worse but instead of being like a 99 game winner they’ll be like a 94 or a 95. What are people expecting? That they’re a 85 win team now?

                  It’s not like the current Yankees are anything to brag about in comparison to the Rays.

                  • Tank the Frank says:

                    Where’s the power going to come from besides Longoria? I personally think the Rays offense is due for a big regression. Is Zobrist really an 8 WAR player or more like a 3 WAR player? Upton has regressed somewhat over the past two seasons and I personally don’t expect anything great from him anymore. Who else is going to hit on that team? Jaso, Brignac, Rodriguez? These are guys with little to zero power.

                    I agree with you about Jennings. IF he can play defense the way he is capable of and take a walk he COULD clock in at 2.5 to 3 WAR. But he’ll be nowhere near Crawford’s 2010 season.

                    The Yankees lineup destroys that lineup. To me, that’s the kind of offense CC, Phil, AJ, Nova can pitch to.

              • bexarama says:

                And I love how Crawford is being described as a good hitter now when previous posts on the topic make it seem like he’s only average with his mediocre on base skills. Whereas Jennings has a very similar skillset to Crawford except he can take a walk.

                Crawford’s not an elite bat but he had an excellent year last year. Excellent. Do I think Jennings can probably replicate his production eventually? Yes. But I’m not expecting him to replicate Crawford’s 2010 production in 2011. (And I don’t think Montero will do much at first, so don’t call me a homer on that, plz.)

                I do expect a bounceback for Shields. I think he can be a legit #2 and if they wanted to trade him for anything short of Montero/the entire minors I think I might be on that. (I don’t think they’d want to trade him.)

                I think it’s seriously difficult to argue they didn’t take a step back. Might not be as big as others are saying – Pena was like a 1, 1.5 WAR guy last year, etc. – but yeah, they did.

              • Accent Shallow says:

                The other point is that they’re losing something like 260 innings of ~2.70 ERA. Sure, if they’d re-signed their entire bullpen, those guys probably wouldn’t duplicate that, but that’s still a big hole.

          • They’ve lost Carlos Pena as well as a good deal of their bullpen. Maybe they haven’t taken a step back, but they’ve been, at least, nudged backwards.

        • Jose the Satirist says:

          I wish I could see the face of some fans today if the team had guys like Geren, Azocar, and Espinoza in the lineup consistently. People forget what bad situations actually are.

    • Kiersten says:

      Not doing anything > giving Werth/Crawford/Beltre batshit insane contracts.

      So just an average offseason.

  8. Xstar7 says:

    Holy Shite the Knicks are playing really well against the Spurs.

  9. JM says:

    Human Centipede.

  10. Tank the Frank says:

    Damn this Sugar Bowl is already a wild one.

  11. FIPster Doofus says:

    Yankees are interested in Jeremy Bonderman.


  12. Reggie C. says:

    I’m listening to today’s RAB radio show now. What would guys around here be willing to give up for ERVIN SANTANA? He’s not a top-of-the-line guy, but he’ll slide right into the 2-spot. Santana’s signed for the next 3 years.

    I can see the Angels demanding Montero to begin with, thus making it a very short convo. As solid a career as Santana has had, I would loath to give up Montero for E. Santana.

    • mbonzo says:

      Angels are still crazy enough to think they can compete. They just signed Shields so there is no way they will part with players they need in order to win. Santana was their number 1 guy for some time, I don’t think they’ll be dumping him for prospects.

      So to answer your question, the price for Santana would be higher than his true value. I don’t think they’re crazy enough to ask for Montero though. My guess is it takes at least a killer b and 2 other top 10 prospects. Maybe Betances, Romine, and Laird gets it done. Thats way too much in my eyes.

    • YankeesJunkie says:

      Yeah, the Angels demands would pretty high for their #2 if they think they can compete so I will pass on that overpay. Also, Santana is homer prone to LH which is not good at Yankee Stadium so that is another negative. I’m still pulling out hope that the Yankees can make a deal for Wandy or Carmona who I think would be better fits at a better price.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      I don’t know the odds that Santana gets back to the guy he was in 2008, but it’s worth kicking the tires.

      That said, the Angels are (allegedly) a contender, why would they give him up for a reasonable (read: cheap) price?

  13. AJ says:

    Beltre robbed Nolan Ryan tonight, and I don’t care.

  14. steven says:


  15. Matt says:

    I always hated that Lilly trade, even from day 1.

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