Mailbag: A-Rod, Rehab, Waiver Deals, Expansion


Four questions, four answers this week. Remember to use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar if you have any questions you want to send in.

(Photo Credit: Flickr user Keith Allison via Creative Commons license)

Kevin asks: Is it just me or is A-Rod quietly having his best defensive season at third base? His UZR is already 10.3, only the second time he has been above average.

Alex Rodriguez has looked much better this year defensively, no doubt about it. UZR doesn’t tell us much after half-a-season, but it’s cool to see his 10.3 UZR as the third best in baseball, regardless of position. Brett Gardner is first at 16.0, Gerardo Parraz second at 11.2. Denard Span and Dustin Pedroia are right behind Alex at 10.0 and 9.9, respectively. For what it’s worth, DRS has him at +8 runs saved, which is the 15th most in baseball. The Fans Scouting Report has him at four runs above average. So yeah, all the advanced metrics agree so far, and he certainly passes the eye test.

I think most of it has to do with the weight loss and what not this offseason. Remember he shed something like 15 lbs. and 4% body fat in the offseason, and he was noticeably slimmer and lighter on his feet in camp. It’s not as obvious now because he’s dealing with that knee issue and it has slowed him down a little bit, but he did make that great play to save Boone Logan‘s bacon Wednesday night, and we’ve seen him make plays like that all year.

Dan asks: What factors into decisions on rehab assignments for injured players? By this I mean what determines whether or not someone will even take rehab starts (e.g. Colon vs. Jeter), and why do others max out their rehab at AA instead of AAA (e.g. Hughes)? Wouldn’t it make more sense to test their performance against better competition?

The Double-A vs. Triple-A thing mostly has to do with travel. They’ll pick whatever team has the easier schedule (i.e. is closer to home in New York) and send them there. Trenton was home during Derek Jeter‘s rehab and their travel wasn’t bad when Phil Hughes was around. A lot of times you’ll see guys rehab with Short Season Staten Island and skip the upper levels entirely. It’s not so much about testing performance, because you know these guys can perform at the big league level, it’s just about staying sharp and getting back up to game speed.

The length of the rehab assignment depends on a lot of things, namely the type of injury and how much time the player misses. Bartolo Colon was shut down for about a week, then he started throwing bullpen sessions. They didn’t have to rebuild his pitch count like they did with Hughes. Jeter just needed a little tuneup (two rehab games, not even the full nine innings either) after missing two weeks, but remember he needed five full rehab games after separating his shoulder in 2003. A-Rod played in a week’s worth of Extended Spring Training games when he was coming back from his hip surgery. There’s a lot that goes into it, and every player is different.

A former waiver trade pickup. (Photo Credit: Flickr user Kimberly* via Creative Commons license)

Larry asks: I have a question about waiver trades in August and players to be named later. Can the Yankees trade “a player to be named later” for a player who cleared waivers? For example, lets say Carlos Beltran clears waivers and the Yankees and Mets agree on a player to be named later, lets say its one of the Killer Bs who obviously would not clear waivers. Are the rules regarding who the player to be named later has to be? When does the player have to be named? Otherwise couldn’t the Yankees and the Mets wait until After the World Series to name the player and complete the trade? It just seems to me like there is a lot room to manipulate the system.

The only players that have to clear waivers to be traded in August are players on the 40-man roster, and yes, they could agree to a player beforehand but not name him until after the season. Dellin Betances won’t clear waivers, but if the Yankees wanted to trade him for Carlos Beltran, he could be the player to be named later but not officially sent to the Mets until after the end of the World Series. PTBNLs have to be named within six months of the original trade, that’s really the only criteria. Teams do this all the time, every single year, and it’s a big fat loophole in the system.

Stephen asks: In a hypothetical two-team expansion draft after this season, who would be the 15 all-organization Yankees you would protect first?

The Platoon Advantage and a ton of other sites recently conducted a mock two-team expansion draft, and it was a lot of fun to read through and follow. The rules are explained via the link, but the general idea is that every player in the organization is eligible to be taken except amateur players acquired in 2010 and 2011 (that’s drafted players and international free agents). Teams can protect 15 players for the first round and then add three more players after every round thereafter. Here’s the 15 players I’d protect (alphabetically) …

  1. Manny Banuelos
  2. Dellin Betances
  3. Robinson Cano
  4. Joba Chamberlain
  5. Brett Gardner
  6. Curtis Granderson
  7. Phil Hughes
  8. Brandon Laird
  9. Jesus Montero
  10. Hector Noesi
  11. Ivan Nova
  12. Eduardo Nunez
  13. David Robertson
  14. Austin Romine
  15. Nick Swisher

It’s an expansion draft, and an expansion team is not going to take on the $100M+ contracts of CC Sabathia or A-Rod or Mark Teixeira. I feel pretty comfortable leaving those guys unprotected. It’s the young guys in their pre-arbitration years or guys signed to long-term, below-market extensions that are most in danger of being poached. And heck, if some expansion team wants to take A-Rod’s or Rafael Soriano‘s or A.J. Burnett‘s contract off the Yankees’ hands, let them.

David Phelps and Adam Warren were the last two cuts. I gave some thought to protecting Russell Martin, but I figure he’s around for one more year (if that) and I’ve already protected two young catchers. Phelps and Warren are numbers crunch guys, but I can’t justify protecting them over Hughes or Nova or Noesi, who have at least shown something in the big leagues. Betances and Banuelos are too talented to leave unprotected, can’t let a top prospect like that go for nothing. Ditto Montero and Romine, and even Nunez, who’s proven useful.

I’d protect Phelps, Warren, and Corban Joseph after the second round, then J.R. Murphy, D.J. Mitchell, and Gary Sanchez third time around. That leaves Andrew Brackman, George Kontos, Ryan Pope, Graham Stoneburner, Shaeffer Hall, Josh Romanski, Frankie Cervelli, Ramiro Pena, Greg Golson, Chris Dickerson, Cory Wade, and Rob Lyerly among the notables left unprotected. I can live with that.

Categories : Mailbag


  1. Adam Parker says:

    Imagine the scandal if one of the new teams took Jeter. I know people are down on him recently, but how nuts would it be?

    • Cris Pengiuci says:

      From a team perspective, plenty of Yankee fans that understand his value vice contract would be happy, but the MSM would be going nuts, along with the more casual fan.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        I guess there are selling tickets and veteran leadership arguments, but it would seem asinine to me if an expansion team wasted a pick and $15 mill in payroll on a below average SS closing in on 40.

        • jsbrendog says:

          the sad thing is that the position is so barren that he is def still a top 10 shortstop overall when taking offense into account

  2. T-Dubs says:

    No protecting Heathcott?

    • I think Heathcott falls into the Mike Trout category of being too young to need to be protected… but if that’s true, it’s also true of J.R. Murphy and Gary Sanchez, no?

      • V says:

        Exactly: “A) Players who were drafted in the last two amateur drafts (2010 and 2011) were not eligible to be selected in the Expansion draft. Also, players selected in the 2009 amateur draft who were under the age of 19 at the time they were selected are also exempt. Teams do not have to protect these players. These same rules apply to amateur free agents who signed in the same timeframe. Therefore, neither expansion club could pick Mike Trout from the Angels.”

        • Heathcott, Murphy, Culver, Bichette, Mason Williams, Gumbs, Turley, Sanchez, Stoneburner, Flores, etc. are all thus ineligible to be picked and don’t need to be protected.

          Pretty much everyone younger/less experienced than Banuelos and Romine. They’re the (rough) cutoff line. (And Banuelos himself only becomes eligible at season’s end; as of today, he hasn’t accumulated the 4 years service time necessary.)

    • zs190 says:

      Too far away from the majors, I think. If you look at Mike’s protect list, there is not a single player below AA on the list and I guess the assumption is that an expansion team is not going to take somebody that’s probably 2-3 years away.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        The rules are explained above, but Mike does protect Sanchez and Murphy (who I don’t think have to be protected based on my reading of the rules).

        I’d definitely think about rolling the dice on some young prospects if I were an expansion team exec and it were allowed.

  3. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    I am probably wrong, but aren’t you forced to take players that have no trade clauses in their contracts as well? Also I think 10-5 players have to be added as well.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      If so, the Yankees would be fucked. That means they have to protect A-Rod, Jeter, Posada, CC, AJ, Tex, Mo. Half their spots right there.

      • Players Eligible to be Drafted:

        All Players in an organization are eligible to be drafted, except those with no prior major league experience who have less than three years service if signed at age 19 or older or have less than four years of service if signed at age 18 or younger.
        Protected Players:

        From the eligible list, major league teams may protect 15 players prior to the draft. Ten/five players (players with ten years of major league service, five consecutive with the same team) and players with no-trade clauses in their contracts for the 1998 season must be on the protected list unless they waive those rights.


        ARod, Jeets, Posada, CC, AJ, Tex, and Mo are all required to be protected. Sorry, Axisa.

        And sorry, Joba, Brandon, Hector, Ivan, Eduardo, Austin, and Nick; one of you is not going to be a Yankee anymore.

        1. Manny Banuelos
        2. Dellin Betances
        3. Robinson Cano
        4. Joba Chamberlain ARod
        5. Brett Gardner
        6. Curtis Granderson
        7. Phil Hughes
        8. Brandon Laird Jeter
        9. Jesus Montero
        10. Hector Noesi Posada
        11. Ivan Nova CC
        12. Eduardo Nunez AJ
        13. David Robertson
        14. Austin Romine Tex
        15. Nick Swisher Mo

  4. That leaves… Greg Golson… among the notables left unprotected. I can live with that.

    :: brain melts ::
    :: head explodes ::
    :: heart caves in chest ::

  5. I can’t believe Jason from IIATMS actually left Phil Hughes unprotected.

    Really, Jason?

    • zs190 says:

      Judging from the tweets lately, there are a ton of people that are really really down on Phil Hughes.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        People were also down on Gardner, Swisher, and Posada for long periods early in the season.

      • Mike HC says:

        That makes little sense to me. Hughes is going to be a very good starting pitcher in the not too distant future. Thank god the Yanks are smart enough to keep him in the rotation and not mess around.

        • Frank is Tanked says:

          What evidence do you have for this opinion?

          • Mike HC says:

            There is no guarantee of anything. I have read your recent comments about Hughes, and I definitely agree with the RAB masses in this circumstance.

            You may be right though. Hughes might never develop any more than where he is right now. I disagree, and think he has excellent Major League starting stuff, and it is just a matter of time before he puts it all together to be an above average starter.

            • Frank is Tanked says:

              When do you pull the plug? He’s 61 starts and he’s about 20% worse than league average. Do you give him another 10 starts? 20? 40?

              Meanwhile, how do you cycle in the guys who are getting more outs at the major league level?

              • Mike Axisa says:

                We’ve had this discussion twice in the last two threads. Let’s end it now. Nothing more to be said on either side, and it has nothing to do with the topic of the post.

                • Frank is Tanked says:

                  I didn’t start the thread here. Why are you asking me to stop?

                • Frank is Tanked says:

                  Let me also request a post via two “mailbag” questions:

                  1. With the glut of pitching prospects in AAA and AA, how should the Yankees develop them in the majors? How else can they evaluate who to keep and who is trade bait?

                  2. What happens if one or both of Garcia and Colon start to disintegrate in August/September? Is that the time to test young pitchers or do you stand by what’s worked so far even if it means missing the playoffs?

            • Frank is Tanked says:

              Also, I wasn’t asking for a guarantee. You expressed an opinion. I’d like to know the basis for that opinion. Is it simply his minor league record from four and five years ago? Or his performance as a relief pitcher?

              I don’t see how you get to that opinion based on his record as a starter. IPK has developed. He’s had 62 career starts in the majors. Hughes has had 61. One has shown clear progress. The other clearly has not.

              • My Boy Blue says:

                I agree with you. I don’t see why there is this consensus in here to shout you down about Hughes.

                What we witnessed this week was that the Yankees deemed it more important to develop and devote to Hughes than Nova. It’s not a shock as they’ve done that before with Joba, Kennedy, etc.

                Hughes keeps being handed the baton and he hasn’t exactly ran with it. Just when he starts to sprint another excuse/injury pops up.

                Meanwhile, Nova pitches a gem in AAA and gets hit by a ball. If he got injured dicking around down there it would be horrible.

                I think Hughes has 3 starts to show he belongs in the rotation. The Yankees are slumping again and they are already in 2nd place.

                If Hughes can’t pitch deep into games with plus stuff and save the battered bullpen, he may end up in the bullpen again.

                • Pat D says:

                  What I actually don’t see is why all of a sudden there are a great cross-section of people who think Nova is better than Hughes.

                  What exactly did Nova show that makes you think that?

                  • Frank is Tanked says:

                    His MLB performance has been superior?

                    • Pat D says:

                      Eh……looking at their splits, it seems that Nova has a better ERA and has been less homer-prone. He’s also thrown less innings, has a worse WHIP and doesn’t strike out nearly as many hitters.

                      Call it a wash?

                    • Frank is Tanked says:

                      How can we call it a wash when one has gotten 1/3 as many chances? What if Nova continues to improve? If he doesn’t, and there are better options, I certainly won’t be wedded to him.

                    • Mike HC says:

                      I like Nova, and so do the Yanks. Both Hughes and Nova could be in the Yanks rotation for the next couple of years. I think putting Hughes in the rotation, and moving Nova down, had more to do with the relative points in their career. Hughes has been in the big leagues for a while now, and moving him to AAA would have been a larger impediment to his continued development than moving Nova down.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Nova’s development doesn’t suddenly stop when he’s back in AAA.

                    • Pat D says:

                      That’s apples to oranges, too.

                      They brought Hughes up in 2007 and he got hurt in a bit of a freak occurrence. In 2008 they gave him the job, he sucked and had something else wrong, if I recall, so they sent him down.

                      But mostly, now that I double-check, Hughes started pitching in the Yankees’ system in 2004, whereas Nova didn’t start until 2006.

                      So of course Hughes has had more “chances” because he’s got a two year head start.

                      I said call it a “wash” based on their results so far. And the results I referred to was just looking at their numbers as starters. It may not count, but Hughes’ contribution in 2009 as a reliever isn’t going to be forgotten. And if Nova continues to improve, of course he’ll be back in the rotation. You expect Colon and Garcia to be around next year?

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  It’s not just about Hughes… the guy is a troll who is negative about every single move the Yankees have made. He continues to compare Colon’s performance this season to Ponson’s in 2008. He insists the Yankees made a mistake in trading for Granderson. Any point he has about Hughes is lost in the rest of his incoherent rambling.

                    • Mike HC says:

                      Is this a different person than the other “Frank the Tank” commenter? Or just the same guy who who went on a 3 day drinking binge leading to internet comment fights.

                  • Frank is Tanked says:

                    Mike -

                    Again, why are you allowing folks to call me names? Have I resorted to that?

                    As to a point of fact, I have never compared the performances of Colon and Ponson. I have compared the similarity in the Yankee processes for how they don’t properly evaluate young pitching talent when they have a chance.

                    I also have never said anything about Granderson being a mistake. The mistake was deeming Kennedy as the one to go when he pitched all of 58 MLB innings for them (or less than Ponson in 2008). That’s a terrible precedent. Then again, they traded Vizcaino for Vazquez.

                    • Pat D says:

                      Well, Vizcaino for Vazquez was a calculated risk. It didn’t work. These things happen.

                    • Frank is Tanked says:

                      You forget why they felt the need to acquire Vazquez. It’s because they didn’t trust Hughes AND Joba in the rotation.

                      See, their processes don’t just screw up the pitchers they do have. They get rid of pitchers too early as well.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      You have continually compared Colon and Ponson. It’s as valid a comparison as me saying CC is the new Pavano because both were big-ticket free agents… the results have been totally different, though. You are choosing to ignore that. Again, for your point to be mean anything you would have to accepts my comparison of CC Sabathia and Carl Pavano.

                      Just about every contending team trades prospects with few or no MLB innings. You are in favor of trading Jesus before he gets an MLB PA… but not IPK because he only had 58 innings? And what if IPK was crucial to the deal? If Arizona pulls out without IPK? In reality, the Yankees did trade IPK for Granderson and it’s worked out splendidly so far. You keep whining about IPK and ignoring Granderson. Granderson is the new Javy Vazquez like CC is the new Pavano.

                      I never called you names. Your ramblings are incoherent.

                    • Pat D says:

                      No, they acquired Vazquez because they knew they were sticking Joba in the bullpen (wrong move, IMO), knew they were putting Hughes in the rotation, and saw the chance to have a very strong top 4 since Vazquez had a great year in ’09.

                      Clearly Vizcaino was the best chip they dealt in that trade, but that doesn’t mean it was a bad move at the time or that it was because of what you’re calling a bad process. As I said, it was a calculated risk that unfortunately failed.

                      Also, remember, TNSTAAPP.

                    • Frank is Tanked says:

                      You’re really not following along. The processes that allowed Ponson to get more innings with the Yankees than Kennedy are the exact same processes allowing Colon and Garcia to get more innings than Nova and Noesi, to say nothing of Wade, Gordon, Ayala.

                      In order to properly evaluate young pitchers with any semblance of quality, you need to see how they fare in MLB. Kennedy was never given that chance. Nor was Clippard. Or Melancon. Or Dunn. Or Vizcaino. Hell, Joba didn’t even get a decent chance as a starter.

                      Without properly evaluating pitchers, you run the real risk of making big mistakes. There are only so many outstanding pitching prospects. There is no way to know who will be outstanding until you’ve watched them face, for a decent sample, MLB hitters.

                      Position players are very different. They need to have a position and you have much better record to judge how they’ll perform. Montero has no place on this team. They’re showing that this year. Better to get good value for him. Haren or Oswalt would have been great when Lee fell through. Now he rots in AAA. Next year he’ll be given DH time, but it’s not a full-time position on the Yankees. And he’s not a catcher.

                    • Frank is Tanked says:

                      Pat D -

                      Well they did run that lame competition. They might have known that about Joba, but then as you note that was a poor choice. He’s been a better starter than Hughes.

                      As for Vazquez, we had seen that story in NY and he had declining velo. To assume different results is the height of arrogance. They traded at least eight years of team control for one year of terrible performance. That also leaves aside Dunn.

                      Terrible processes lead to terrible results.

                    • Pat D says:

                      To assume Vazquez would perform in 2010 as he had in 2004 would have been dumb. I also don’t believe he showed any signs of decreasing velocity in 2009.

                      Also there’s nothing special about Mike Dunn. Maybe he’d be performing better than Boone Logan right now, maybe not. He pitches in a division that doesn’t have a lot of standout offenses.

                      I will agree with you that giving as many innings to Ponson as they did in 2008 was a mistake. But let’s remember that this is the Yankees we’re talking about, and their primary goal is always to win now. This year they’re winning with Garcia and Colon. Who knows if it will last? But I wouldn’t go replacing them with Nova or Noesi just yet, unless they become completely ineffective, which hasn’t happened yet.

                    • Frank is Tanked says:

                      Wait, why would that have been “dumb”? Vazquez spent years in less competitive divisions. His stuff wasn’t any better.

                      The problem the Yankees run into – like 2008 – is if the tides turn on the scraps, how do they trust the kids down the stretch? They’re stuck. You have to commit to the kids if you’re serious about their development. If like Hughes they show nothing, then you try them in the bullpen or ship them out.

                      Vizcaino is a huge loss. And they literally got nothing in return. I blame the processes, not the decisions, because they keep repeating the same mistakes.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      “You’re really not following along. The processes that allowed Ponson to get more innings with the Yankees than Kennedy are the exact same processes allowing Colon and Garcia to get more innings than Nova and Noesi, to say nothing of Wade, Gordon, Ayala.”

                      You are not following along with reality at all.

                      The process that allowed Jaret Wright and Carl Pavano to join the Yankees rotation is the same process that allowed CC to. Colon and Ponson are not comparable. Stop doing it. You look really stupid doing it. Dozens of people are commenting that you look stupid doing it, yet you keep insisting you don’t look stupid doing it. You do. Move on.

                      You are parading your opinions on player development around like they mean something. You are acting like the Yankees are the only team ever to trade pitching prospects. You love the Braves, but chose to ignore that they traded guys like Adam Wainwright away before they had their shot in MLB. Every team does it. Whining that the Yankees traded away a few middle relievers for proven MLB players is just silly.

                    • Pat D says:

                      I’m done.

                • What we witnessed this week was that the Yankees deemed it more important to develop and devote to Hughes than Nova.

                  As they should, since Hughes’s floor and Nova’s floor are roughly equivalent, but Hughes’s ceiling is far higher than Nova’s ceiling.

                  They don’t get treated equally because they shouldn’t get treated equally. The fact that Nova is pitching better than Hughes at the moment should not supersede the fact that Hughes is a better pitching prospect with more upside, raw talent, poise, composure, and all the other good things you want in a true frontline pitching prospect.

                  Nova’s good, Phil is better. That Phil is currently hurt/scuffling/going backwards shouldn’t make us lose sight of that.

                • Frank is Tanked says:

                  Next year I expect the Yankees to find more scrap heap pickups. That’s what they do every year. They didn’t start 2008 that way but they sure as heck ended it that way.

                  I assume that pitchers need to face MLB hitters to find out who they really are. Getting out AAA hitters is a poor substitute once they pass a certain threshold. The Braves seem to think so as well. If there’s one organization I trust to develop pitchers, it’s them. Vizcaino is showing that. Baseball Prospectus seems to agree with this approach as well.

                  • Mike HC says:

                    People like Hughes here. He was basically the first prospect they watched from the get go. He is a fan favorite. You are picking up on that emotional part. But there is also a long list of comparably talented pitchers who have developed beyond their 25 year old seasons. And I believe Hughes stuff puts him in that category of pitcher where it is a smart bet to continue through his struggles for the possible pay off.

                    If you think it is time to jump ship based strictly on the numbers he put up before he turned 25, in the toughest pitching division in baseball (all star lineups, DH’s, short porches, fenway etc …), that is ok. But the Yanks have put too much into his development, as have the RAB fans here, to give up so soon.

                    • Mike HC says:

                      What the Yanks really need is a team in the NL West to send our top pitching prospects so they can further develop in AAAA, before they are ready for the real big leagues.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    When the Braves bring up young pitchers it’s good. When they demote young pitchers who struggle it’s good. When the Yankees do the same thing it’s bad.

                    Again, your ramblings are hogwash.

                    • Frank is Tanked says:

                      Except Nova hasn’t struggled. And Hughes has never been sent down. Nor has Joba. Kennedy was sent down for a pitcher with exactly no upside. Garcia has no upside. Why was Nova sent out rather than sending Garcia to the pen? Mitre is another dead body clogging up the roster.

                      Mike -

                      Again, why allow the ad hominem?

                    • Pat D says:

                      Hughes was sent down in 2008 because he was terrible. Kennedy was sent down then because he pitched badly, but acted like he didn’t pitch badly. That was the issue there.

                    • Frank is Tanked says:

                      Hughes was never sent down b/c of performance. He hurt his side in 2008.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Again… it’s not ad hominem. I cannot follow your comments because you constantly contradict yourself and make points that fly in the face of all factual evidence.

                      Take this passage as an example:

                      “Except Nova hasn’t struggled. And Hughes has never been sent down.”

                      Hughes was sent down in 2008. That point is factually incorrect.

                      Nova has struggled this season… Struggled is open to interpretation, but his results in 2011 have been no better than Hughes’ in 2010.

                      “Garcia has no upside.”

                      His upside is helping the Yankees win baseball games in 2011. Maybe 2012 if they bring him back. You want the Yankees to rush every prospect with 10 AAA innings starts under his belt… you complain IPK got only 3 MLB starts in 2007 after being drafted in 2006… and the Yankees are the ones who don’t know anything about developing pitchers? Just throw them all in MLB and screw the minors is your philosophy?

                      There is a downside (an opportunity cost) to every decision in life. If you focus so incessantly on the downside, you will miss the upside. In some cases you are missing upsides that far outweigh the downsides you’re obsessing about. Colon has been huge for the Yankees, yet you’re unhappy they signed him.

                    • Frank is Tanked says:

                      Those were rehab starts for Hughes.

                      Nova has been much better in 2011 than Hughes. It’s really as simple as that.

                      Garcia is an ideal spot starter. If you don’t develop young pitchers in May through August then you have no hope to rely on them when it counts.

                      Colon hasn’t been healthy in 6 years. And you expect him to throw 200 innings and contribute in the post-season? In his next two starts he’ll pass his high water mark. And if he breaks down in the next two months, Phil Hughes and his 10 ERA are your fourth starter in the playoffs. Garcia is the third starter. And Burnett, and his suckfest, pitch twice in every series.

                      You have shown no ability to understand opportunity costs.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Hughes wasn’t good the first half of last season?

                Pitchers don’t get injured regularly?

        • Ted Nelson says:

          But what has he done for me lately? Clearly all 25 year old pitchers are finished products and every single time a player struggles they are finished for the rest of their careers and can never, ever, ever be good again. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, clearly fans know everything and have every right to be totally reactionary and listen to the journalists that write for ESPN.com and other “awesome” MSM publications instead of reason.

          But if he’s gone 7 scoreless innings in that first start back… clearly Hughes would have been an All-Star snub. Always have to take small samples are being totally accurate.

          • Frank is Tanked says:

            61 starts with no progress isn’t a small sample. And now I am repeating myself.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              Again you contradict yourself and ignore reality.

              There was lots of progress in early 2010. You keep saying the Yankees have to trust their young starters. Young starters will go through fits and starts. It’s not just a straight shot from the minors to the HOF. Yet you are unwilling to give Hughes a chance. Trust the young starters, or don’t? You can’t slam the Yankees for having a process that “doesn’t involve trusting young starters” and then slam them for trusting a young starter. It’s a huge contradiction. An incoherent rambling. The guy hurt his shoulder. It happens. If Nova needs TJS in a week or something, should the Yankees give up on him too? Trust your young starters until anything goes wrong, then give up on them? Great philosophy.

              • Frank is Tanked says:

                61 starts is much more than a chance. For all the “progress” in the first six weeks of 2010, he’s given that back and then some. He hasn’t developed. He’s regressed.

      • Frank is Tanked says:

        Because he’s a relief pitcher being shoehorned into a starting role.

          • Frank is Tanked says:

            Sorry, I don’t click on photos on the internet. I suspect you have nothing meaningful to add and think there’s some lame humor in this device.

            • I can say it to your face, if you like:

              You’re not worth talking to, because you aren’t an adult. Nobody cares what you think. You make morons feel better about their mental acuity.

              • Frank is Tanked says:

                Mike –

                Doesn’t this comment violate your Commenting Guidelines? What have I said that deserves this horribly mean response?

                • Do not post the same comment in multiple threads. If you post something just before a game thread is closed, feel free to repeat it in the spillover thread, but do not abuse the privilege. Any repeat comments will be deleted, and if you continue to repost comments you’ll be banned.

                  So we’re both in the wrong. I apologize to you. Please apologize to me.

                  Thanks in advance.

                  • Frank is Tanked says:

                    Show me where I posted the same comment.

                    An argument is very different from a comment. My arguments, filled with as many facts as I can muster, are met with rampant opinion and speculation. If arguments can’t be repeated in the context of threads that reference them, this whole site is finished. I’m reading a lot of people saying that Hughes is a starter, Colon deserves a ton of rope, and that all we need is “patience” for “development”. I’ve seen few facts to support those suppositions.

                    Then you countered my valid and reasoned arguments with disgusting ad hominem. I owe you no apology. But I accept yours so long as it never happens again.

                    • Changing a few words doesn’t make it a different comment.

                      If you keep saying the same shit over and over again, particularly when you bring up shit nobody else was talking about but you and beat the same tired drum ad nauseam, it becomes pointless to speak about anything intelligently with you.

                      And this notion that you’re presenting facts and everyone else is only countering with opinion and speculation is laughable. Your persecution complex is splendid. Nobody sees the truth but you.

                    • Frank is Tanked says:

                      There you go again. Why be mean? Because you have nothing better to add?

                      I have yet to see one statistic to back up the claims that Hughes will be a starter long-term. The only number I’ve seen is age and vague allusions to “patience” and “development”. Kennedy has developed. Hughes has shown nothing to suggest he has or will.

                      On Colon and Ponson and how the Yankees develop pitchers, I have yet to see one counter example of why I should trust their processes and decisions. The performance of Colon (and Garcia) are very thin lines of evidence when they could easily disintegrate at any moment and no one would be shocked.

                      See, I keep repeating myself because people aren’t engaging on the arguments. The responses are knee-jerk opinions based on anecdotes.

                      In the future, if you wish to engage me, present facts. You’ve shown yourself now twice to be too emotional to reason with if your opinions aren’t grounded in statistics.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      “I have yet to see one statistic to back up the claims that Hughes will be a starter long-term.”

                      A. There is no statistic that predicts the future accurately. Your understanding of statistics as a science appears to be seriously lacking. You could acknowledge this ignorance, but instead choose to argue with people who have a better education in statistics than you appear to.

                      B. You are ignoring the evidence presented to you. Ignoring that he was hurt this season. That he’s only just turned 25. You have decided he has no chance to develop. That’s not a fact, it’s your personal opinion.

                      “Colon deserves a ton of rope”

                      NO!!!!! He’s not gotten a lot of rope. He’s been excellent as a starter. Allowing 2 or 3 bad starts in 1/2 a season is not a lot of rope. You continue to undervalue Colon’s performance to a laughable extent. Next time CC has one bad start, should the Yankees cut his ass immediately? Why give so much rope to a fat veteran? Colon has been just about as good as CC per inning this season.

                      “I owe you no apology. But I accept yours so long as it never happens again.”

                      You’re a real dipshit.

                    • Frank is Tanked says:

                      Hughes has shown no development in 61 starts. The injuries argue more against his continuing ability to develop. I’m not ignoring that. That’s a major pillar of my argument. Contrast him with Kennedy in 63 career starts.

                      As for Colon, he should be a spot starter and long-man. You can place no hope that he’ll be there in September and October. To do so is folly especially when the alternative is throwing a kid into that environment with little preparation. Colon hasn’t been healthy for a full season since 2005. You want him to throw 200 innings this year AND be relied on in the post-season if they make it that far?

                      I have a Ph.D. that required advanced statistics, thanks. What’s your education?

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Again with the major contradictions and illogical arguments.

                      The Yankees should have known Javy was garbage even though he did well in the AL Central… but we should take IPK’s stats in the NL West without qualification?

                      “I have a Ph.D. that required advanced statistics, thanks. ”

                      No you don’t. You literally asked for a statistic that proved Hughes was going to be a good starter long-term just a few minutes ago.

                      “As for Colon, he should be a spot starter and long-man. You can place no hope that he’ll be there in September and October.”

                      Where’s your stat to prove definitively that Colon will not pitch in Spetember and October Dr. Tanked?

                      Seriously, though, if you don’t get to the playoffs you don’t get the chance to have a playoff rotation.

                      You realize Nova’s ERA this season is almost a run higher than Colon’s right? That it was well over a run higher going into last night’s start, right Doc?

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      Can we stop with the name-calling please? Everyone grow up.

                      This is the third time we’ve had this conversation in three threads, I’m closing them all. Barring any breaking news, there is no reason to discuss Phil Hughes today, so I expect there to be no more talk of him and how he defines the Yankees incompetence with regards to developing pitching or whatever it may be. Period, end of story. The horse has been beaten to a bloody stump. Well done.

                  • Jared says:

                    Relax fellas. We’re talking about baseball here. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion.

                    • V says:

                      And my opinion is that Frank is batshit insane.

                    • Frank is Tanked says:

                      Mike -

                      Again, why is this allowed here? You’re quick to jump on me for a violation, but this ad hominem is running rampant and adds nothing to the site.

                    • V says:

                      Please find another site to troll.

                    • Frank is Tanked says:

                      Can you point one comment you’ve made that has added any value to this discussion? The hyperlinks make that easy.

                    • V says:

                      No. I refuse to engage in arguments with lunatics, as a matter of choice. And with that, I’m out.

          • jsbrendog says:

            dude, it’s time we reinstate O:S

            i just can’t take it anymore

  6. China Joe says:

    I bet Eduardo Nunez read that last mailbag answer with a tear in his eye:

    “-sniff- he thinks I’m useful.”

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Yeah, that’s a bit of a shock. From “non-top 30 prospect” to top 15 most protectable guys in the org…

      • Pat D says:

        I’m not a big Nunez fan yet, but I’d still probably have to protect him.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          I don’t think too many people are or were “big Nunez fans”… Just recognized that he was better than Pena and valuable as a SS who was not useless with the bat. That he was a contact hitter with a bit of doubles power who might not lose as much coming to the majors as lower contact/high power guys. That he’d improved significantly from his early minors days as a switch hitter. Basically, that he was a more valuable prospect than others let on.

          I never thought (and still don’t think) Nunez was (or is) good. Just a guy who can be a passable MLB SS and maybe even an average starter if he cuts the errors and continues to develop.

  7. It’s an expansion draft, and an expansion team is not going to take on the $100M+ contracts of CC Sabathia or A-Rod or Mark Teixeira. I feel pretty comfortable leaving those guys unprotected.

    Two things:

    1.) You didn’t protect Mariano Rivera either. His contract is large, but short, and his continued status as an end-of-game assassin and baseball demigod makes it a virtual lock that if you don’t protect him, an expansion team is picking him. Mo Rivera will put butts in seats and be a goodwill ambassador. He’ll be the team’s first real superstar. You have to protect Mo.
    2.) Expansion teams are not prevented from drafting players and then trading them, i.e. Bobby Abreu for Kevin Stocker. If I’m the GM of the Brooklyn Hipsters, I’m picking CC Sabathia and then auctioning him off to your competitors for a package of primo prospects.

    • CP says:

      I don’t really think there would be a benefit to selecting Mo for an expansion team since they’d only have him for one year – and no matter what you do they’ll still be a crappy team. And Mo won’t have a ton of trade value if you wanted to go that route.

      CC, on the other hand, would be more likely to be selected. He’s still a great pitcher and they could either keep him to build around or trade him.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I wouldn’t call it a lock at all for Mo to get picked. If I’m working for an expansion team I pony up $25 mill per for a front-line lefty starter like CC or front-line 1B like Tex both of whom are right around 30 long, long before I pony up $15 mill for a 41 year old closer. Both because of positional value and their expected future values.

      Good point about trading the stars.

    • Mike HC says:

      You have to take into account the possibility that Mo will retire before pitching for an expansion team. Unless the expansion team is able to talk to Mo and get assurance that he is all in, I don’t think it is worth the risk.

    • Johnny Nitro says:

      Lol at Brooklyn Hipsters. How about a third team in the Bay Area called San Fransisco Sailors/Seamen?

      • Pat D says:

        I find this very offensive.

        It’s pretty obvious that the Bay Area can’t support two teams, let alone three.

        Time to give Vegas or Portland or Oklahoma City or San Antonio or Charlotte or Orlando a chance.

  8. Mike c says:

    There’s also a chance the yankees don’t pick up swisher’s option for next year

    • Mike HC says:

      Unless they had a deal in place for an extension, there would be no reason not to pick up his option. At least to trade him for some young players. Just giving him up for nothing would be terrible.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Pretty much… especially since in extending him arb to try to get the comp picks he could accept, probably getting a better settlement out of arb than the extension.

        • Mike HC says:

          Swisher can be offered arbitration at this point in his career? I have no idea how these MLB rules work. They have some system there.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            For a player to be a “protected” (i.e. Type A or B) free agent his old team receives compensatory picks for, the old team must offer him arb. Last offseason of the guys they lost as free agents the Yankees only offered Javy arb (knowing he’d decline), so they only got comp picks for him. Not Lance Berkman and maybe Wood or whoever else.

  9. Mike HC says:

    Maybe third base defense is down around the league, as well as ARod playing well. It does seem like a lot of the better 3rd baseman have been injured for good chunks of the season. Just bullshitting.

  10. BTW, I’m totally in favor of expanding to two additional teams and moving to four divisions in each league rather than the other realignment proposals being floated. I like interleague play, but two 15-team leagues with interleague every day seems a bit much.

    Yes, the A’s and Rays are locked into shitty markets, but that doesn’t mean there’s not other areas that could support a baseball franchise; it just means they locked themselves into horrible stadium deals that should be used as a cautionary tale.

    Portland would be a great baseball town. So would Charlotte, NC. Those are my two recommendations. Let the A’s and Rays find alternative fixes/markets. (Tampa? Vegas? Sacramento? Salt Lake City? New Orleans?)

    • Pat D says:

      I’m perfectly in favor of no divisions, particularly if they add another wild card.

    • Tom Swift says:

      I look forward to the dsy when Havana has a team in MLB. Viva Cuba Libre!

    • Ted Nelson says:

      “Yes, the A’s and Rays are locked into shitty markets,”

      I disagree. It’s not the markets so much as the stadiums and the way they run their businesses. The Bay Area is a great market, even the East Bay. If you’re even been the the As’ stadium… it’s just awful. Tampa less so, but they still locked themselves into a contract with a shit stadium in the wrong part of town.

      “I’m totally in favor of expanding to two additional teams and moving to four divisions in each league rather than the other realignment proposals being floated.”

      You’d be ok with the possibility of the 2nd best team in all of MLB missing the playoffs?

      “two 15-team leagues with interleague every day seems a bit much”

      How so? NBA and NFL are both 30+ team leagues.

      They would be 16 team leagues, also, with 2 expansion franchises. There are already 30 teams.

    • YankeesJunkie says:

      While I agree that there are other markets for baseball that can be successful I feel will that it would be bad to expand baseball at this point. Personally I would be in favor of extraction over expansion, but I think there are a couple minor relocation that need to take place.

      1. Oakland needs a new stadium passed so they can finally play somewhere that does not suck and bring in larger crowds.

      2. Tampa needs to get out of that dump also known at Tropicana, they are too good of a team to only have 20 K a night for a first place team. They need to do whatever because if they don’t there run of success can only go so long.

      • Pat D says:

        Do you mean contraction?

        That will never happen. Remember when Bud floated that idea before?

    • Steve O. says:

      Charlotte, NC, would be a great destination for an expansion baseball team.