The Obligatory J.C. Romero Post

Gardner gets pie as Yankees finish sweep
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(Photo Credit: Flick user WEBN-TV via Creative Commons license)

The Yankees are in a perpetual search for left-handed bullpen help, so anytime someone with a smidgen of big league success to their credit hits the market, you can be sure Brian Cashman & Co. will show interest. The Phillies designated J.C. Romero for assignment yesterday, so he’s the next name to enter the LOOGY sweepstakes. I like the pros and cons breakdown we’ve been using in the Scouting The Trade Market series, so let’s roll with that…

The Pros

  • Being left-handed and breathing qualifies as a plus in this game all by itself, but believe it or not Romero has handled lefties very well this year. You figure he would have performed poorly since they cut him. Romero held same side batters to a .208/.321/.208 batting line in 29 plate appearances, striking out eight. Lefties also have an 81.3% ground ball rate against him this year, which is ridiculous. Since the start of last year, he’s held left-handers to a .215/.317/.262 line with as many strikeouts (28) as total bases in 126 plate appearances.
  • Romero’s contract will pay him just $1.35M this season, after which he’ll be a free agent. That’s nothing, the Yankees could pickup the pro-rated portion of that up and not blink an eye.
  • The Phillies have already devalued him with the DFA, so they’re forced to trade, release, or waive him within ten days. They essentially stuck an “O.B.O.” on the sticker price.
  • He’s got pennant race, playoff, and World Series experience with the Phillies … yadda yadda yadda.

The Cons

  • Romero’s fastball velocity is down noticeably, which may have something to do with the torn flexor tendon in his left elbow that required surgery and kept him on the shelf from late-July 2009 to late-April 2010. He also missed time with a calf issue this year and has a PED suspension in the not too distant past.
  • He’s completely unusably against right-handed pitchers. They’ve got a .297/.435/.432 batting line against Romero this year with six unintentional walks and two strikeouts in 46 plate appearances, and it’s .303/.446/.552 in 103 plate appearances since the start of last season. His career splits aren’t as drastic, but the point stands, can’t use him against righties.
  • Romero does not project as a Type-A or B free agent, so the Yankees wouldn’t get a draft pick if he were to leave after the season, assuming they offered arbitration.

They say you can’t predict baseball, but the Yankees interest in Romero is as predictable as it gets. There’s no chance he’d get to them off waivers since every team but the Red Sox would have a chance at him before they do, so forget that idea. It’s trade or bust. Some similar pitchers that have been traded recently include David Purcey (twice) and Will Ohman, both of whom returned fringy prospects a little on the older side. Think Lance Pendleton or Greg Golson. I’m not saying that’s who the Yankees should offer, it’s just an example of what it’s taken to acquire similar players in the recent past. I’m not the biggest Romero fan in the world, but there’s little reason for the Yankees not to pursue him.

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Gardner gets pie as Yankees finish sweep
Series Preview: Chicago Cubs
  • Slu

    I think this would be a good addition. Get him Cash.

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

    No way the Yankees would ever trade Golson for Romero, after all according to some of the astute readers on this site he should be starting in RF over Swisher because of his speed, defense, youthful vigor and ability to put the bat on the ball.

    • MikeD

      You mean, a single, sole, lonely reader.

    • Fairweather Freddy

      shows how much you read genius. Never said he should be starting over Swisher. Said he would be a better option as the backup outfielder over Andrew Jones, who by the way struck out 3 more times yesterday and had a smirk on his face each time.

      • V

        Andruw.

        U. Not E.

        Andruw.

        Let’s try that 10 more times just for good measure.

        Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw.

        Got that? Get that there’s a U, not an E in his name? No? How about 30 more times?

        Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw. Andruw.

        Now?

        • Fairweather Freddy

          Thats less times than “Andruw” has struck out lately

          • NC Saint

            Fewer.

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

        Why do you care about his facial expressions? They’re completely irrelevant to anything. Derek Jeter has a perpetual smirk and no one complains about him.

        • Fairweather Freddy

          cause it says ‘Eh, no big deal’. Amzing how one little opinon causes alot of you to get so twisted

          • http://twitter.com/astrophunq Dax J.

            Why is it so different from what Andruw Jones is thinking? Or do you think he’s doing it on purpose?

            • Fairweather Freddy

              Bottom line is he is totally useless. Better off just playing Gardner every day.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                Bottom line is, Jones not useless. Furthermore, he’s much more useful to this team than Justin Maxwell or Greg Golson are.

                You simply could not be more wrong about this issue. You need to take a step back, release your irrational hatred of Jones for the way he smiles, and just think coldly and rationally about what Andruw Jones offers to the 2011 Yankees and compare/contrast that to all the available alternatives.

                Andruw Jones has a shit-ton of flaws, but so do Golson and Maxwell. Jones’s strengths over Golson and Maxwell are real, however, and are of great utility to this team.

                • Fairweather Freddy

                  Yeah, we see it every time he plays. LOL!

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            • Lazy Bones Andruw Jones

              Damn you Andruw Jones and your sunny disposition!

              • Fairweather Freddy

                Damm you Andruw Jones and your 3 strikeouts per game!!!!!!!!!!!

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  Damn you Greg Golson and Justin Maxwell for not earning a promotion so that Fairweather Freddy would instantly see that they’d strike out FOUR OR FIVE TIMES A GAME as opposed to Andruw Jones’s three strikeouts per game!!!!!!!

                  • Fairweather Freddy

                    Damm me for not having a crystal ball like tommiesmithjhncarlos so I can see into the future like tommiesmithjohncaros!!!!!!

                    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                      I don’t need a crystal ball, I have the historical record.

                      Andruw Jones is a good hitter who has a problem making consistent contact. Greg Golson and Justin Maxwell are poor hitters who have even larger and more pronounced problems making consistent contact. Maxwell and Golson strike out at a higher rate than Jones does. That’s not a prediction made with a crystal ball, that’s a fact of life recorded in meticulous detail in the historical record.

                      There is no evidence, NON WHATSOEVER, that would indicate that Maxwell and Golson would strike out less frequently than Andruw Jones would.

                    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                      NONE. My bad.

                    • jsbrendog

                      you’re off the team. it is disgusting to me how you sit there and smile as you type errors. who do you think you are, me?

                    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                      Sorry to horn in on your schtick, buddy.

                    • jsbrendog

                      nice crystal ball.

                    • Pants Lendleton

                      If anything from last season to this season still remains about Jones… Average defense , Power and a ton of K’s.

                      All of this with a reasonable contract to cut bait.

                      Problem is I doubt the Org can find that kind of overall package in terms of 1) Money 2) cost in Non prospects.

                      Jones as a 4th/5th outfielder won’t kill this team.

                      btw I thought this post was about JC Romero?!?!?
                      I wouldn’t cut bait on logan yet but would definitely be interested in bringing in Romero as the other lefty option.

          • MannyGeee

            the man is getting paid to play a game. part time…

            I would be grinning all day too.

      • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

        Wanting Golson to replace Andruw Jones is equally unwise and shortsighted. But you clearly just don’t like the guy because he smiles and has a bad attitude, so I don’t see any stat or logic-based argument of the idea being productive.

        • Fairweather Freddy

          I don’t like him cause he sucks and is washed up. Seems like all he does is strike out. Occasionally he’ll run into one, but very seldom. His bat is slow and he is helpless against breaking pitches. Justin Maxwell would have been my first choice but unfortunately he is done for the year. Golson was just another suggestion. If we could get Beltran or someone like that, great, but thats no guarrantee

        • CP

          Technically, Andruw has a good attitude (at least I assume that’s why he’s smiling).

          • MannyGeee

            smiling = bad attitude. defies logic

      • jsbrendog

        hmmm, you dont seem like monteroisdinero because he is the one who wont stop trumpeting golson.

        ps, your whole smiling thing is just the most batshit insane thing i have ever read (non bo division)

        • Fairweather Freddy

          Check on some of the other forums. Others have the same opinion. Guess they’re all batshit too heh?

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            The other forums are full of batshit insane people, so yes.

            NoMaas and LoHud’s comments sections are a wasteland of the ignorant, racist, homophobic, and inbred.

            • MikeD

              I think a couple of them might not be inbreeds. A couple.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                Seriously, though, “Other places on the internet agree with me” is a weak-ass argument. The internet is full of irredeemably stupid asshattery. Pick any argument and take the dumbest possible position you can take, and you’re guaranteed to find oodles of stupid schmucks who agree with your dumb position on numerous internet messageboards and blogs.

                • Fairweather Freddy

                  You seem to think the reason I don’t like him is becuase I say he smiles whenever he strikes out. Thats not the reason. Thats just a side comment. My main problem with him is he adds nothing to this team. His bat is slow, he cant’ hit a breaking pitch, and he is slow in the outfield as well. What possible value does he bring to this team?

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    What possible value does he bring to this team?

                    He hit .256/.373/.558 against lefties last year. He’s hitting .241/.317/.500 against lefties this year. (A .817 OPS v LHP may not impress you, but it’s much better than other guys are capable of; see below).

                    Two of our outfielders from last year (Gardner and Granderson) struggled against lefties; Granderson has largely corrected his problem and Gardner has improved, but Posada has regressed against lefties. Having a good option versus LHP is a valuable skill to have on the bench to compensate for everyday regulars who may lack that skill.

                    Furthermore, none of the rest of our bench options (Cervelli, Peña, Nuñez, Dickerson, Golson, Maxwell, Chavez, Molina, Laird, etc.) has a history of hitting lefties well. A good bench should have defensive options, offensive options, righty power, lefty power, etc. A good mix of different skill sets to allow maximum flexibility.

                    • jsbrendog

                      when another team brings in a lefty to face a lefty, it gives joe the option f having a righty power bat to ph. granted it isnt as big of a need this yr because of granderson’s monster year and gardner’s improvement but as stated above with posadas splits (zee awfule) against lefties a dh split of him and jones is not the worst thing until chavez comes back or montero comes up or a trade can be made. a righty power bat is way better for overall team construction than a speed/defense guy.

                    • jsbrendog

                      sorry, just echoing and reiterating haha

                • MikeD

                  Oh, I agree. Even boards that are a bit more sane the others are filled with the crazies. LowHud and NoMaas are right up there. I still pass through LoHud for the news, but rarely ever go into the comment section. Sadly, I’ve seen more of them infiltrating RAB. Sometimes I ignore, but overall I figure it’s better to call them out so they don’t feel too comfortable making RAB their home.

                  • Fairweather Freddy

                    I don’t feel uncomfrotable at all. We just agree to disagree on this topic and thats fine. Doesn’t bother me at all. I’ll continue to post here and express my opinions like everyone else

                    • Cris Pengiuci

                      BTW, I can’t recall ever seeing a picture of Andruw Jones without that “smirk” on his face, going back to the ’96 WS. I think it’s more of a facial structure issue (lips slightly turned up at the outside of his mouth) than any idication of his emotion.

                    • jsbrendog

                      which is fine because you can have a discussion and not make blanket ignorant or generalized statements, which is pretty much all that is asked (imo)

                      the smile thing’s irrationality hurts your case but it is what it is.

                    • MannyGeee

                      BTW, I can’t recall ever seeing a picture of Andruw Jones without that “smirk” on his face…

                      photogenic! cannot fault him for that!

          • MannyGeee

            Check on some of the other forums. Others have the same opinion

            wow. this tells a story.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          ps, your whole smiling thing is just the most batshit insane thing i have ever read (non bo division)

          Including “Soldier v. Tank”?

          • Yank The Frank

            Andruw Jones has had that expression on his face his whole career in goods times and bad. It’s his face. It cannot be changed.

          • jsbrendog

            sharktopus.

  • V

    Just an FYI (as I’m sure you know already), but the PED suspension was bizarre. The banned substance was in an over-the-counter supplement, he called someone (I think it was the Player’s Association?) to get the OK to take the substance, but whoever gave the OK did not actually have the official authority to do so.

    He didn’t take steroids or anything.

  • zs190

    When the competition is Randy Flores and Boone Logan, he looks much better in comparison. We have enough RH options that we don’t need him to face righties. He’s shown an aptitude to get LH hitters out consistently both now and in the past, I think it would be a marginal upgrade but probably worthwhile to pursue.

  • http://riveraveblues.com Rich

    I’ll take Romero any day day over that piece of crap LOOGY Logan.
    Even Giradi was afraid to bring him in yesterday to face a lefty
    with the game on the line. Go get him!

    • CP

      Logan on the season: 3.38ERA, 3.89FIP, 4.43xFIP

      That’s not bad.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        It’s not “good” either. It just is.

      • jsbrendog

        go check his splits against lefties, the guys he is supposed to ge tout…didnt it take him 2+ weeks to even get one of them out?

  • Jorge

    Thinking aloud, I’m guessing he would take Marquez’s spot on the roster, leaving Noesi as the fireman/long reliever/Mendoza/Aceves type.

    Despite Logan’s ineffectiveness, I can’t see the team cutting bait on him yet. Too closely removed from success last year, and too young to not inspire some belief he could turn it around. I *think* he has options, though. Am I wrong?

    At this point, I’m guessing Cory Wade FTW until the wheels come off, if they ever do. If Gordon succeeds, I’d guess he’d wind up in the bullpen as well if everyone else returns as we’d expect.

    Romero and low expectations for a warm body would be fine with me.

    Health is going to be this team’s best friend in the next few months.

    • jsbrendog

      boone doe snot have options

  • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Mattpat11

    Would it *really* be such a bad idea to have seven or eight competent right handed relievers?

    Is it really that much fun to watch Joe run through relievers at a frenetic pace for the sake of “matchups?” I still have nightmares about that playoff game where we did something like seven relievers in four innings with lefties relieving lefties and four men pitching less than an inning.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      The plethora of lefty power hitters who struggle mightily against lefty pitchers (good or bad lefty pitchers, mind you) means that carrying at least one lefty is a good idea.

      There’s a reason most every manager in baseball utilizes matchups: they tend to work.

    • MannyGeee

      Would it *really* be such a bad idea to have seven or eight competent right handed relievers?

      would you let me know when the other 5 show up?

  • Dan Novick

    So why exactly did the Phillies DFA him?

    • Dan Novick

      Oh, I see now. It’s because Charlie Manuel was using him against righties more than he was against lefties. So they DFA’d him, essentially, because he couldn’t…get…righties…out…?

      Makes perfect sense now.

    • zs190

      It’s because they already have a really good left handed setup man, Antonio Bastardo. 2nd LOOGY’s are kind of useless

      • jsbrendog

        It’s because they already have a really good left handed setup man, Antonio Bastardo. 2nd LOOGY’s are kind of useless to a team that has 2 of them but carry great value to a team that doesnt have one or has one that is ineffective. therefore they should have no problem trading himf or something instead of outright dumping him, which makes this move…mind bottling

        ftfy

    • Kosmo

      Because Romero´s propensity for walking batters far exceed his ability to strike them out. His walk totals the last 3-4 years are enough to give a manager a heart attack.

  • mt

    These splits depends on the lefty batter.

    Believe it or not, certain key lefties like 2011 Adrian Gonzalez (even in this MVP caliber year) and Adam Lind still do have negative lefty splits; while leftlies like David Ortiz and our own Curtis Granderson (2011 version) are either neutral or (shocklingly in Curtis case) do better against lefties (on an OPs basis).

    I still think Yanks should have a lefty reliever that murders lefty hitters (even if they suck against righties) Boone Logan has struggled so far against lefties.

    For example, Randy Choate has a .149 OPS against lefties this year (1.2 against righties in extremely limited action). sigh – I always thought we should have gone for him and not Feliciano.

    In any case, i would take a flyer on Romero.

    • mt

      I might add that it is particularly in the SLG that lefty batters can do relatively poorly against LOOGYs.

      JC Romero might be helpful against the Adrian Gonzalez of the world even if he might walk him or signgle from time to time – AG probably not going to get a home run (which is more than I can say for other yankee pitchers).

      AG sluuging is .371 vs lefties and .702 vs righties for a 596 total (88 ABs versus lefties and 188 against righties).

      JC helps in the incremental approach Cashman has – is he slightly better at doing something tahn someone I have on my roster now – and JC would do better in LOOGY role.

  • infernoscurse

    “He’s completely unusably against right-handed pitchers.”

    :)

  • MannyGeee

    considering the state of the bullpen, I think you HAVE to kick the tires on JC. you got to have a LOOGY in the AL East, and Boone has become more of a low leverage MR this season. until Feliciano/Soriano/Jesus (christ, not Montero) walk through that door, every low risk option has to be considered.

    especially when you only have to deal with him for 1/2 a season. but for the love of christ, please do not offer to resign him. that is like kryptonite for Yankee Relievers…

  • Cuso

    If there’s any way to get Romero, Cash has to do it.

    There is a huge gaping hole in our bullpen where a LOOGY should be.

    Thing is, I’m certain that the Yankees are one of at least 10 teams that would have interest in Romero.

    I vote ‘hell yes.’

  • the tenth inning stretch

    Igawa for Romero. Get it done, Cash-Ninja.

    /#yourtradeproposalsucks