Past Trade Review: Tyler Clippard

Poll: Greatest game at New Yankee Stadium
Comparing the Yankees to their peers: The starters
(From Flickr user MissChatter via Creative Commons license.)

Last year, as he continued his ascension as one of the league’s better setup men, Tyler Clippard earned a reputation. He cruised through the first half of the season with a remarkably low ERA, but he had a knack for allowing inherited runners to score. The Nationals’ offense also had a knack for scoring runs just after Clippard had blown a lead. That led to an 11-win season for a guy who pitched just 91 innings, all in relief and mostly in late relief. It begat the term, clipping a win, in which a reliever blows a lead but the offense gives him the win anyway. Last night he was at it again, facing one batter in the All-Star game and allowing a single, but benefitting when Hunter Pence gunned down Jose Bautista at the plate to end the inning. Prince Fielder homered in the bottom half of the inning, and so Clippard was awarded the W.

Only the youngest of fans doesn’t remember Clippard’s time with the Yankees. He was a 9th round draftee in 2003, and he quickly established himself by striking out a batter per inning or more through his first four seasons in the minors. His stuff wasn’t overpowering, but he mixed pitched and employed enough deception to fool minor league hitters. In 2006 he even tossed a no-hitter, which elicited this juvenile response from some amateur hack. Baseball America rated him the Yanks No. 7 prospect before 2007, right behind Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy. It was during the 2007 that he got his first taste of the show.

The Yankees had plenty of pitching problems that year, and by mid-May they absolutely needed a starter. Clippard was struggling in the upper minors — he had a 4.50 ERA between AA and AAA that year — but a need is a need. Clippard came up to start a Sunday night game against the Mets, and he got through it as well as anyone could have hoped: six innings of one-run ball, including six strikeouts. That earned him a longer look, though his next few starts didn’t go as well. After a failure in his repeat performance against the Mets — 3.1 IP, 5 R — the Yankees sent him back down to the minors. About six months later, he was no longer on the team.

That September the Nationals put on display one of their lesser regarded pitching prospects, Jonathan Albaladejo. He made a quick impression, striking out three in 1.2 innings in his debut appearance. He pitched very well that month, allowing just three runs while striking out 12 and walking just two in 14.1 innings. This came after he tore through AAA in a mid-season promotion. The Yankees, wanting to cash in while they could on Clippard, thought they could get a quality major league reliever in Albaladejo, and so made the swap that December.

Albaladejo definitely impressed the Yankees brass, as he broke camp with the team in both 2008 and 2009. There were circumstances involved in both instances, and he was soon after optioned to the minors. But they still liked his stuff, especially his sinking fastball. But with the results not coming, they had little choice but to stash him in the minors. Even in 2010, as he dominated as Scranton Wilkes-Barre’s closer, they hesitated to call him up. When they finally did they saw more of the same: not enough strikeouts, too many walks. After the season they released him and allowed him to sign with a Japanese team. His final tally as a Yankee: 59.1 IP, 4.70 ERA, 5.21 FIP, -0.2 WAR.

After the trade Clippard had his own set of struggles. He returned to AAA for the Nationals in 2008, and in 26 starts he produced a 4.66 ERA, which was in part because he walked far too many batters. This was a problem he faced in 2007 as well, making it seem like a longer-term issue. It didn’t help that he walked seven in 10.1 innings (two starts) during a brief call-up. He still had some promise, but things didn’t look optimistic. He was a guy with average, at best, stuff, and he couldn’t control it.

After the season the Nationals shifted him to the bullpen, and that’s where he began to shine. He pitched 39 innings in AAA in 2009, allowing just four earned runs while striking out 42 and walking 15. Something had apparently clicked. In late June they called him up to the big league club, and he never looked back. He continued to walk a ton of batters, but he compensated by striking out more than a batter per inning. A .197 BABIP helped get him through 2009, but in 2010 that went up to .284 and he was still reasonably effective: 3.07 ERA and 3.18 FIP in 91 innings. This year he’s been even better, lowering his walk rate by nearly a batter per nine while maintaining an 11 per nine strikeout rate. His 1.75 ERA is aided by his .184 BABIP and an astounding 99.4 percent strand rate, but by all means he has gotten the job done.

In the excellent interview with NoMaas, Yankees VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman said of Clippard, “The mistake we made was not seeing what [he] looked like in the pen.” It’s an understandable mistake, but it’s one that the Yankees probably won’t make again. Even the Nationals continued to view him as a starter for another year following the trade. It wasn’t until he had completely disappointed everyone in that role that they tried him as a reliever. Sometimes, that type of move sticks. The Yankees absolutely lost out on this trade, even though it seemed like a minor one at the time.

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Poll: Greatest game at New Yankee Stadium
Comparing the Yankees to their peers: The starters
  • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

    “Clipping a win” huh? It’s about time they came up with a name for wins like that. Just a pointless stat for pitchers.

    Nice to see Tyler Clippard doing well though.

  • Anchen

    I haven’t really gotten to see Clippard at all as a reliever. Is his fastball playing up a lot more in the pen or is it just a combination of offspeed pitches? His numbers actually have some similarities to David Robertson’s, except Robertson thus far seems to mostly be preventing those inherited runners from scoring a lot better.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      Yep, it jumped up about 2 mph more out of the pen.

      • Anchen

        That’s cool, I know he had somewhat erratic velocity when he was in the Yankees system. I heard everything from 86-94 for Clippard. Maybe his motion combined with being a starter threw him off but being able to just let it fly in the bullpen made the motion less of an issue. In any case good for him, I never thought he was going to be a star but always kinda liked him as his Minor League stats were really quite good.

  • The Oberamtmann

    I still remember his first batter faced. Jose Reyes. Strike down and in, strike down and away, swinging strike three on a curveball. I was watching the game with my father, and I remember him going “whoaaaa” watching the curveball drop on the replay.

  • Jim S

    Inverted W! STAY AWAY!

    As an aside, why in the world does everyone call that particular pitching motion the inverted W? That would be M, no? Is it because inverted W sounds cooler?

    • Gonzo

      It makes it sound more scientific!

    • Ed

      Well, the sides of a W angle out, while the sides of an M are straight vertical. I guess an M motion would have your forearms parallel to your sides – think glove near the belt rather than ribcage.

  • The Golden Thong

    “It’s an understandable mistake, but it’s one that the Yankees probably won’t make again.”

    What makes you believe, given their current treatment of prospects, that they’re learning from their mistakes?

    • BaltimoreYankee

      Come on, Golden Shower. Didn’t we hear enough from you in the last thread?

    • Mike

      That’s why the Yankees only promote mediocre hitters, ’cause they don’t want to miss on the next big baseball player! even if that means that good players will be stuck in the minors and later released or traded by somebody “as good” as Javier Vázquez… hey! maybe they could get Thames again!

      • jsbrendog

        thames was great for the yankees last year. you have immediately lost any and all credibility

    • http://notanevilempire.com Steve O.

      The Yankees aren’t TB, where just about every prospect hits, but they can develop prospects.

      It’s hard to get worked up over a crappy starter traded, then turned into a successful middle reliever. It’s excusable. Now if they miss out on a front of the rotation starter or a star bat, then you can question whether they have been making massive mistakes with prospects.

      • The Golden Thong
        • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

          LOL. A 20 year old kid with 7 AA starts certainly doesn’t qualify as “front of the rotation” starter.

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

            And besides, he’s latino, the Yankees would never give him a chance!

            • The Golden Thong

              I’m still waiting for you, oh Wise One, to enlighten me on:

              1. Why Hughes has gotten so many shots where other prospects have not.

              2. The last Latino or Black starting pitcher the Yankees have developed.

              Those aren’t hard questions for you, are they!?

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

                This thread has nothing to do with Hughes. I asked you last time you started taking over thread over thread with the same shit to keep the discussion in one place.

                • The Golden Thong

                  What are you talking about? You brought up that thread.

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

                    Nope, just making an observation. It’s correct, right?

                    • The Golden Thong

                      What’s correct?

                    • jsbrendog

                      oh, so it is the same dude with a different handle. i feel the banhammer commin

              • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

                1.Because Hughes performed better in the minors than all the rest.

                2.Why does it matter what race the starting pitchers are that the Yankees develop?

                • The Golden Thong

                  Sssssshhhhhh. Must not speak of previous threads!

                  • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

                    Then don’t. You’re not just beating a dead horse, you’re grinding it to a pulp.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    Xstar7 answered your questions… rather than responding you just make a smart ass comment?

                • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

                  Come on Xstar7, YOU KNOW JOE TORRE HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH THIS WHOLE “BLACK / LATINO” THING…

                  /Sheffield’d

              • Mike HC

                In interest of not wasting too much time.

                CC, Garcia, Colon, Nova, the Yanks current two top pitching prospects (Banuelos and Betances) are all glaring examples of how the Yanks have no stereotypical notions that blacks and latinos can’t make effective major league starters. The assertion is ridiculous.

                • Mike HC

                  The Yanks have 5 starting pitching slots. 1 is black. 2 are Latino. And 2 are white. Our 6th starter, is Latino.

                  How, in any way you see discrimination there is beyond me.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    Because they love Asians and that’s why CMW succeeded and other prospects failed. Then they decided they hated Asians and CMW’s shoulder broke. How does that not make sense?

              • Ted Nelson

                “1. Why Hughes has gotten so many shots where other prospects have not.”

                Why didn’t McAllister get a single shot? Racism?

                Who are all these black and latino pitching prospects the Yankees had ready to go in MLB and didn’t use?

                “2. The last Latino or Black starting pitcher the Yankees have developed.”

                The last whitey the Yankees developed?

                How this in any way has to do with racism?

                Why a racist organization against blacks and latinos would have CC, Colon, Garcia, and Nova all in their rotation this season?

                Why they love Asians so much that they developed CMW and traded a good latino prospect for Irabu?

                But, if you must know my best answer to your nonsensical question… Jose Contreras was a black AND latino guy the Yankees spent millions to acquire with no MLB track record at all.

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

                  We have to stop this bullshit. Let’s talk about Tyler Clippard and leave it at that. I’m guilty of it, but let’s all knock it off and quit beating our heads against the wall.

          • The Golden Thong

            Oh no? He’s got this line as a mL pitcher:

            255.2 IP, 1.111 WHIP, 0.5 HR/9, 2.3 BB/9, 9.2 K/9

            He’s also going to reach the majors before Banuelos and Betances and be given a real shot once there.

            • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

              LOL once again. All but 43.2 innings of that are against A ball and rookie ball talent. Still not a front-line starter yet.

              The point stands. You replied to a comment that said it would be a massive mistake once they miss out on a front of the rotation starter or star bat and ridiculously posted the bref page of a stud prospect, not a front-line starter.

              See: Phil Hughes. Better in every single minor league stat you posted. Is he a front-line starter?

              • The Golden Thong

                He’s 20 years old in AA. He’d be the best in the Yankee system right now. That’s all I need (on top of them getting less than nothing back and devoting 175 innings to it).

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

                  Baseball America just ranked Banuelos (and Montero, but he’s not a pitcher so let’s leave him out) ahead of Vizcaino last week. So you seem to be in the minority that thinks he’d be their best right now.

                  http://www.baseballamerica.com.....ects-list/

                  • The Golden Thong

                    One prospect list = the minority?

                    Oh-kay.

                    Let’s see next season. Viz will be in the majors. Banuelos will be in AAA with five rotation slots filled by mediocre pitchers in NY.

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

                      http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb.....id=6609563

                      Here’s another. Find me some that supports your opinion and we’ll talk again. You’ve provided zero evidence for what you’ve said, as usual.

                • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

                  “He’d be the best in the Yankee system right now.”

                  Ok, except for that he wouldn’t. Montero is better and Banuelos is just as good, if not better.

                  The point is this is still not a massive mistake unless Vizcaino turns into a front-line SP, which we all know, is no given whatsoever.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    And no matter how massive it is or isn’t… it’s still not the same mistake they made with Clippard anyway. Clippard was a bad starting pitcher in the minors they didn’t keep for another two years and throw in the pen, Arodys an excellent one they traded at a young age. The Yankees traded Clippard for a fringy reliever, they traded Arodys for a guy coming off a near-Cy Young season.

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

              That’s cute, we can play this game all day. Who’s this?

              237.1 IP, 0.86 WHIP, 0.2 HR/9, 2.65 BB/9, 10.2 K/9

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

          43.2 IP over Single-A. Let’s hold off on calling that a massive mistake.

          • The Golden Thong

            Based on what they got back (80 ERA+ in 175 IP), it was a massive mistake especially since it was a move they didn’t need to make and led to Joba in the pen. The only question left is whether it turns into a generational fuck up.

            Vizcaino is looking much better than Banuelos and Betances. He’d be the best pitching prospect in the Yankee org, for as little as that’s worth.

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

              So if he blows out his shoulder tomorrow, it’s still a massive mistake?

              • The Golden Thong

                And if he doesn’t?

                They literally got less than nothing back while sinking 175 innings into that opportunity. That is a massive mistake, especially since they got bounced from the playoffs because of superior pitching.

                Vizcaino is a better prospect right now than Banuelos or Betances or anything in the Yankee farm. You’d be drooling if he was doing that K:BB in Trenton. Now you’re assuming he’ll blow out his shoulder?

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

                  You have a problem with answering direct questions. Every response is another question.

                  • The Golden Thong

                    You do too! See above.

                    You’re claiming it depends on what happens with Viz. I’m claiming it was already a massive mistake.

                    The evidence is on my side.

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

                      Hindsight is 20/20. If Vizcaino flamed out and Javy was a league average 4th starter last year, you’d be singing a much different tune.

                    • http://notanevilempire.com Steve O.

                      Javier Vasquez posted a ridiculous 6.5 fWAR the year before the Yankees acquired him. I’d make that trade one hundred times out of one hundred.

                      His velocity loss was unexpected. It happens. Shit happens. Using hindsight to say that someone fucked up is not helping your argument.

                    • http://notanevilempire.com Steve O.

                      Damn you, Axisa.

                    • The Golden Thong

                      Nope and nope. You’re choosing a reality to support your opinion. I’m finding the evidence to support mine.

                      1. Vazquez is finished.
                      2. Vizcaino is looking like a stud of epic proportions

                      You can’t change those facts with some allusion to hindsight. That the move was ever made had everything to do with Cashman’s ego and little to do with evidence. The Yankees had the pieces to fill in a fifth starter. They chose not to trust those pieces.

                      Where ever was Bart Colon last year!?

                    • The Golden Thong

                      Steve 0. –

                      Oh really? You just forget how bad he was in 2004?

                      Cashman’s two worst trades have involved Vazquez both times.

                      It will be a fun exercise in 10 years to count up the WAR lost in both trades. Hell, Cashman passed up on Lily both times too. He alone has been worth 25 WAR.

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

                      1. Vazquez is finished.
                      2. Vizcaino is looking like a stud of epic proportions

                      You can’t change those facts with some allusion to hindsight.

                      Haha. There’s no allusion to hindsight, it is hindsight. Those two statements you made are the absolute definition of hindsight.

                      This is so stupid, go argue elsewhere please. You’re ruining the quality of the site with off-topic comments and arguments with more holes in them than swiss cheese.

                    • http://notanevilempire.com Steve O.

                      Cashman was playing with house money in Nick Johnson. He already had Jason Giambi on board, and other older DH types. He wasn’t necessary. The rotation needed much more help than the lineup did.

                      Javier Vasquez proved to be serviceable. If the Yankees had given him more time, he probably would have turned into the stud he turned into later in his career.

                      If you can’t see how acquiring one of the best pitchers from 2005-2009 for a low-A pitcher, then I seriously question your knowledge in baseball. Every team makes that trade. Every single team. Vazquez could have been a dynamite pitcher for the Yankees. The risk was greater than the reward. It happens. Move on. You have a great propensity for telling how things went after it happened.

                      I’m on to you, golden thong.

                    • The Golden Thong

                      The Yankees of old gave up Low-A pitchers for marginal upgrades. Some things never change.

                      Dunn and Melky also had value. In fact, Melky would be their 4th OF right now.

                      Then there’s the problem with giving 175 innings to a guy with a 80 ERA+ when they had prospects that needed MLB experience.

                    • Rick in Boston

                      What prospects were waiting for a shot last year when Vazquez was in the rotation?

                • The Golden Thong

                  Wow, now I see why almost everyone here argues the way they do – with no evidence and all drama and name calling. Leadership by example.

                  The plain fact is, both of my statements are true today. No hindsight is needed thanks.

                  • jsbrendog

                    your. statements. are. hindsight.

                  • practoctix

                    “Hindsight”– I do not think that word means what you think it means, Thong.

                    “Hindsight” means you are ignoring the information that was available at the time the decision was made. The fact that you say “both of my statements are true today” implies you just don’t get this hindsight thang, Thong.

                    • practoctix

                      Let me illustrate this hindsight thing:

                      2010: I can’t believe Cashman swapped Austin Jackson for Granderson! Wot an idiot!!!

        • http://notanevilempire.com Steve O.

          It wasn’t about them missing on him. He was essentially the centerpiece of the trade.

          The Braves weren’t giving away Vasquez, the Yankees had to put him or some other quality prospect in the deal.

          • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

            And how the hell else could we have landed Boone Logan?!

            • http://notanevilempire.com Steve O.

              Boone Logan is the glue that holds the tape that holds the success of the Yankees grit and fortitude.

          • The Golden Thong

            That’s the problem right there. In what universe was it worth trading anything for Vazquez, given how he had previously done in pinstripes AND how much his stuff had declined.

            Cashman wanted an innings eater and he paid through the nose to get it? That makes no sense. That’s a massive mistake regardless of what happens with Viz.

            Still, Viz the best pitching prospect in the Yankee farm right now. In the Braves’, he’s barely top 5. And yet he’ll still debut before Banuelos or Betances.

            • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

              “That’s the problem right there. In what universe was it worth trading anything for Vazquez, given how he had previously done in pinstripes AND how much his stuff had declined.”

              What he had previously done in pinstripes was only marginally relevant, if at all. His stuff hadn’t declined until after the trade. In fact, he was coming off of his best season so how would they suspect that?

              “Cashman wanted an innings eater and he paid through the nose to get it? That makes no sense. That’s a massive mistake regardless of what happens with Viz.”

              Regardless of what happens with Viz? Isn’t losing him the entire point of your complaint. If he doesn’t pan out then there was nothing truly lost, therefore there’s no real mistake.

              “Still, Viz the best pitching prospect in the Yankee farm right now.”

              Once again, no he wouldn’t be. Manny Banuelos.

              • The Golden Thong

                Sorry, but I don’t see how it’s only marginally relevant. He was completely neutered during his one Yankee season.

                No, the first part of my complaint is the failure to trust their own prospects. That’s a complaint that carries over to this season.

                It’s close, but Viz’s numbers are better than Manny’s, better walk rate, especially in AA.

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

                  No, the first part of my complaint is the failure to trust their own prospects. That’s a complaint that carries over to this season.

                  And from thread to thread, handle to handle, apparently.

                  • jsbrendog

                    please, can we get rid of this C-L-O-W-N?

                • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

                  He had a nice first half and went to the All-Star game in ’04, finished with a bad 2nd half. That was much less relevant than the fact that he was coming off of his best year. I take it your one of those guys that buys into the whole NYC pressure thing?

                  “It’s close, but Viz’s numbers are better than Manny’s, better walk rate, especially in AA.”

                  As Mike has shown you multiple times, BA considers Manny to be the better prospect. This may come as a surprise to you, but I, as well as everyone else here, put more belief in Baseball America’s assessment than “The Golden Thong’s”.

            • http://notanevilempire.com Steve O.

              See, that’s the thing. It’s hard(impossible) to foresee the future. We can’t do it. You can’t do it.

              Vasquez was an innings eating workhorse, gas pumping, K machine before he came to the Yankees. His previous run with the Yankees over half a decade ago have no bearing.

              If you look at the stats, this is a no-brainer trade. Look at the trade at the time it happened, rather than how it looks now.

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

              Still, Viz the best pitching prospect in the Yankee farm right now.

              You keep saying that but it’s not true, at least according to people much smarter than you or I don’t agree: http://www.baseballamerica.com.....ects-list/

    • Mike HC

      Since Clippard, just about every Yankee pitching prospect has seen time in the bullpen. Joba, Hughes, Nova, Noesi, Brackman, Aceves (while he was still a starter, since transitioned to the bullpen) and maybe more I can’t think of. Seems like they have not made that specific mistake again.

      • Mike HC

        “(while he was still a starter, since transitioned to the bullpen)”

        — That was meant to be for Brackman, not Aceves.

      • The Golden Thong

        McAllister? McCutchen?

        Vizcaino obviously not, but he’s going to hurt in other ways. In fact, given his organization, he’s going to reach the majors before Betances and Banuelos.

        • Mike HC

          Clippard was traded because the Yanks didn’t think he was all that good. With Vizcaino, they though they were getting something good in return, Javy. Obviously, that didn’t work out, but not because they misjudged Viz, but because they misjudged Javy.

          And obviously, every pitching prospect won’t see the pen before the Yanks possibly trade them. That is not realistic. Just that I see the general trend.

          • Ted Nelson

            Yeah, agreed… but I somehow doubt The Golden Thong will.

            The Golden Thong looks at every mistake the Yankees make as perilous… as if based on his 1903 career Ks I decided A-Rod were an awful player. He strikes out thousands of times… he must be awful.

          • The Golden Thong

            Clearly they did not get anything good in return. Seeing Vazquez as worth that package took either a tremendous amount of narcissism or the world through pinstriped glasses.

            Vazquez was awful in his first go around in pinstripes. Why should the second time have been any different?

            • Mike HC

              I didn’t want him either. But they Yanks thought they were getting a good pitcher and giving up a good prospect. As it turned out, they gave up a good prospect, but got an awful pitcher.

            • Ted Nelson

              “Vazquez was awful in his first go around in pinstripes. Why should the second time have been any different?”

              Does the uniform really have that much impact on pitching performance? I had no idea… some guys pitch better in stripes and some in solids… who knew?

              • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

                Exactly.

              • Avi

                Right, cuz pitching for the Yankees only entails wearing stripes instead of solids.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Right, cuz Javy is pitching so well for the Marlins this season…

                • practoctix

                  Perhaps we will see Clemens in stripes again soon.

              • Oscar Gamble’s ‘Fro

                There were a ton of people who were unhappy with the trade at the time based on their opinion that Javy Vazquez did not have the make up to pitch in New York. It is/was a legitimate factor. Deal with it, son.

                I openly admit that while I personally had that concern, I was a big fan of the trade based on the fact that Javy had such a good year in Atlanta and it seemed like the Yanks were getting him on the relative cheap.

                And, yes, I’m aware he unexpectedly lost veolcity from Atlanta to NY, but that does nothing to change the fact that those that were saying Javy would fail in NY because Javy can’t take the pressure of NY had nothing happen to prove their opinion wrong.

        • Rick in Boston

          McCutchen is not a great pitcher. Low K/IP, high BB’s to those few K’s. He’s effective right now, but he’s going to regress.

          • The Golden Thong

            Sure, but he’s a good enough bullpen arm.

            • Rick in Boston

              Good enough for a low-leverage spot, maybe. But if you’re going to have sustained success in the bullpen, having better K/IP and K/BB ratios is key.

              At best, McCutchen would have proven to be Ayala. While a decent piece, not someone you want to give high-leverage innings to in the middle of a playoff race.

            • Ted Nelson

              So is Marte when he’s healthy. Nady can also hit the ball when he’s healthy.

              Again… every trade has a downside. You accuse them of seeing the world through pinstripe glasses, but seem to fail to realize that the other team has a motivation for making the trade too. They aren’t just giving players away. They believe their team is getting better… so do the Yankees. Sometimes one is right, sometimes the other, sometimes both. The Yankees can’t win every trade just like A-Rod can’t hit a HR every PA.

              • Avi

                I totally agree with Golden Thong on Vazquez. It was a horribly bad trade THE DAY IT WAS MADE. How Cashman can get burned by the guy in ’04 and then come back for more is mind boggling.
                You’re race issue is just silly though.

                • Ted Nelson

                  “How Cashman can get burned by the guy in ’04 and then come back for more is mind boggling.”

                  His inability to pitch only in NY (but not Montreal, Arizona, Chicago, or Atlanta) is also the reason he can’t pitch in south Florida this season? Not decline?

                  “You’re race issue is just silly though.”

                  English?

    • Ted Nelson

      There’s a downside to every trade. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opportunity_cost

      They absolutely will blow it in the future with a prospect. They’ll also probably pull off another Swisher trade at some point. It’s not possible bat 1.000 in trades, it’s important that they get enough right to field a contending team every season.

      You don’t jump on an MVP for not hitting 1.000… and likewise you should not jump on a GM/front office for not hitting 1.000.

  • http://notanevilempire.com Steve O.

    I’m just glad the Yankees missed on a middle reliever, and not someone like Brett Gardner.

    • Jorge

      +1,000

  • Mike

    “It’s an understandable mistake, but it’s one that the Yankees probably won’t make again.”

    They said the same thing a number of years ago when they let go Fred McGriff, then a few years later, they let go JT Snow.

    More recently: they traded Nick Johnson in his prime, Choate whom they might acquire this year, and Juan Rivera in exchange of a mediocre pitcher (4.16 ERA, 64-68 lifetime in a weak National League), then 6 years later they acquire him again this time for Dunn who is pitching relatively well in Florida and last year had a good year with Atlanta, and Arodys Vizcaino who for a second straight season is having good numbers overall in the minors for Atlanta.

    • Mike HC

      The “mistake” in the quote you mentioned up above, specifically was in relation to not seeing how a starter’s stuff plays in the bullpen before trading them or deciding their fate/ceiling.

      The Yanks will always have to make tough choices between winning now by trading prospects and letting prospects develop.

    • Rick in Boston

      When the Yankees first acquired Javy Vazquez prior to the 2004 season, he was coming off of four years of above average pitching for a bad team. B-Ref has him putting up bWAR’s of 4.7, 2.8, 5.4 and 5.0 during those years; in other words, they gave up good talent to get good talent.

    • Ted Nelson

      If you look at any organization over a 30 year period (McGriff was literally traded in 1982…) you’re going to see some mistakes.

      As Mike HC says below, this specific mistake related to not trying a failing starter in the bullpen. It also might be related to overestimating Albie’s usefulness as an MLB reliever.

    • steve (different one)

      Dunn is not pitching well. According to Fangraphs, he is the 4th worst reliever in the NL

  • Mike HC

    “The mistake we made was not seeing what [he] looked like in the pen.”

    Of course, the other side to that coin is moving a pitcher into the pen prematurely (Joba) just because his stuff plays better there right off the bat.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      Joba wasn’t moved there for that reason. He was nearing his inning limit for the year and the big league club had a need for late inning relief. It made perfect sense at the time.

      • Mike HC

        The overall point is that the Yanks were going to be far more in tune with the fact that a starter’s stuff can be faster and generally more effective if they are moved to the pen and one inning outings. That is exactly what ended up happening with Joba.

    • Ted Nelson

      The Yankees decided that Joba was not a good starting pitcher long-term. You might disagree with them, but a bunch of guys with a lot of baseball experience made that decision. It’s time to stop acting like they just ignorantly decided his stuff played up in the pen. Newman and others are on record explaining the move in rational ways. Maybe they are wrong, maybe they are right. It wasn’t a blind decision, though.

      • Mike HC

        Didn’t mean to imply it was a blind decision.

        Did mean to imply it was a wrong one.

        • Ted Nelson

          “moving a pitcher into the pen prematurely (Joba) just because his stuff plays better there right off the bat.”

          This isn’t what happened.

          • Mike HC

            I was generalizing in the interest of entertainment, time and space. I didn’t mean to start a whole Joba debate with my comment. Lets just move on, ha.

          • http://notanevilempire.com Steve O.

            This.

            The Yankees rotation could have been five Sidney Ponson’s and Joba Chamberlain would be in the bullpen. His fate was made regardless of what the rotation was.

  • Gonzo

    On a side note, there were a few times when the Nats were using him like a rented mule.

  • YankeesJunkie

    Successful troll is successful. I have not seen a trolling of this magnitude on RAB for quite awhile.

    BTW while the Clippard trade was an obvious loss he did really develop quite well after the trade. I remember that he fell of the mound in different directions depending on the pitch. And of course I believe he had a double off the Mets.

    • Gonzo

      Yeah, I am not messing with these guys. This is nuts.

      • YankeesJunkie

        Same here. Somewhere the Golden Throng is laughing his ass off.

        • Jorge

          Have you ever seen The Golden Throng and The Big Three in the same place at the same time?

          • YankeesJunkie

            No I have not please explain.

            • Rick in Boston

              Mike’s implied that the two are the same person.

              • jsbrendog

                his syntax and the way he words things make it evident to me it is the same guy.

  • Jorge

    Tyler Clippard is not worth crying about in the least. I will never cry over a guy who turned into a good middle reliever. Ever.

    I also was convinced we traded him for Alberto Gonzalez. I wonder how Albie would perform in the same situation Clippard was in right now.

    I did like him, though. Always liked “The Yankee Clippard” as a nickname, which is really going to suck when Pants Lendleton is the winning pitcher in the All-Star Game for the NL next year.

    • Rick in Boston

      The Yanks swapped the Attorney General for Jhonny Nunez.

      • Jorge

        Wow. Forgot that completely. Thanks.

        • Rick in Boston

          Don’t worry about it, I had to look it up. My first thought reading the article was the same as your’s.

  • CapitalT

    Anybody know what Albaladejo’s stats look like in Japan. I thought he got the shaft last year when he was brought up. They sat him for a duration and then he couldn’t throw strikes right away. Surprise! His AAA numbers deserved a legit shot.

    • Rick in Boston

      Very good, actually: 25 games, 30 IP, 35 K’s, 10 BB’s, pitching to a 1.80 ERA. He’s a AAAA pitcher. It is what he is.

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