Jul
19

The DH Dead Spot (Again)

By

Not many hip hips! these days. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

Last night’s win was a typical Yankees’ offense kind of win. They worked the count and put together prolonged at-bats against some young pitchers, eventually scoring the winning run on three straight walks (the first of which was intentional). Two of their nine walks on the night came from the DH spot, the first by Jorge Posada and the second by pinch-hitter Andruw Jones. Jones has been coming around of late, with three hits (two homers) and the walk in his last eight plate appearances. For Posada, the walk was a rare offensive contribution.

Less than a month ago, 22 days in fact, Joe wrote this post explaining how Jorge’s season had turned around starting with the west coast trip through Seattle, Oakland, and Anaheim. He had hit .312/.437/.613 in 119 PA from the start of the trip to the date of the post, bringing his season line up to .245/.366/.412. Posada was up to a 101 wRC+ at the time of the post, which in sabermetric jargon means he was one percent better than league average offensively. Considering where he’d come from (bottomed out at .147/.250/.393 on May 10th), that was a minor miracle.

Except it didn’t last. In the 22 days since that post, Posada has hit just .232/.290/.429 in the admittedly small sample of 62 PA. You can take it back further though, the slump began a little earlier in the month, with that 1-0 loss to the Indians and Carlos Carrasco in Yankee Stadium in early June. Since then, Jorge has hit just .225/.282/.408, which has dropped his season line to .224/.331/.384, an 88 wRC+. He’s once again well below the league average, and the Yankees are once again getting some of the worst production out of the DH spot (third worst, to be exact) in the AL.

As we saw last night, Posada is again starting lose playing time like he did back in May. Jones pinch-hit for him against the left-hander last night, and he made a DH appearance against a lefty in Toronto. He also played left one of those games while Curtis Granderson made his first ever appearance as a DH. With Alex Rodriguez on the shelf for another month or so, the Yankees can’t really afford to sacrifice offense from what should be a premium offensive spot any longer. So what happens now?

Flat out cutting Posada has been in the back of everyone’s mind seemingly all season, and it seemed like the Yankees came dangerously close to doing that during that little incident against the Red Sox. Jorge’s rebound saved his job for a bit, but he’s a limited defensive player that wouldn’t exactly be tough to replace as the backup first baseman, especially with Eric Chavez on the mend (yes, Chavez’s health is far from a sure thing). Jones could continue to get more playing time and Joe Girardi could shuffle players in and out of the DH spot for what he calls “half a day off,” but then you’re talking about more playing time for Chris Dickerson or Brandon Laird in the lineup. That’s not exactly ideal.

There’s always the trade market, and Buster Olney says that while the Yanks have talked with the Mets about Carlos Beltran, they’re only interested in a pure salary dump. Beltran is the best hitter available and the Amazin’s are sticking to their guns about wanting a top prospect in return, and they’re reportedly willing to eat most of the money left on his contract to secure that kind of return. There’s guys like Josh Willingham and Ryan Ludwick, who could probably be had for much cheaper and provide an upgrade over Posada. Beltran’s the sexy name, but I’m fairy certain the Yankees could find a competent DH on the trade market without giving up a top prospect, someone to hit sixth or seventh once everyone’s healthy. Jesus Montero is apparently considered a non-option at this point, so there’s no reason to talk about him again.

Between Mark Teixeira‘s current slump and Posada’s continued fall from grace, the Yankees are getting below-average production from two spots typically counted on for some thump. Logically, there isn’t much of a reason to expect Jorge to rebound even though he very well might, this is only 70-something plate appearances after all. The Yankees can’t really afford to wait around forever to find out though. The trade deadline is less than two weeks away but A-Rod doesn’t figure to come back until two weeks or so after that, so if the team wants to beef up the DH spot, now’s really the time to do it.

Categories : Offense

216 Comments»

  1. teddy says:

    adam warren for beltran is that too much.

    put swisher dh. new lineup

    gardner
    rf beltran
    cf granderson
    1st teix
    2nd cano
    dh swisher
    ss jeter
    c martin
    3rd nunez

    • “…the Amazin’s are sticking to their guns about wanting a top prospect in return, and they’re reportedly willing to eat most of the money left on his contract to secure that kind of return.”

      Sounds like it’s not enough.

      • Yeah, with the Mets willing to eat salary, it widens Beltran’s potential landing spot, and I’m sure some other team (The Pirates? Reds? Giants? Tigers? Rays?) would easily best an Adam Warren offer.

        Beltran’s not a good match. The Mets want to eat money and get a good prospect, we want to take on money and not give a good prospect.

    • ATTENTION YANKEES FANS:

      If you ever find yourself writing a lineup where neither the first nor the second name is “SS Jeter”, rip that lineup up and start over from scratch.

      I don’t care who we trade for or whom we call up, Derek Jeter is not hitting 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th. The brothers Stein could invent a time machine and go sign 1984 Rickey Henderson and 1998 Chuck Knoblauch, and all it means is that one of those fuckers is gonna have to hit at the bottom of the order with Brett Gardner, because Derek Jeter is either hitting leadoff or #2.

      Learn to let go.

      • Crime Dog says:

        What if they go back and get 2009 Jeter? Or 98 Jeter? Or BOTH?!?

        My head is spinning with the possibilities.

        • Guest says:

          1. 2009 Jeter
          2. 2011 Jeter
          3-8. Mere humans
          9. 1998 Jeter

          While 1998 Jeter is the best of the three, he loses out due to his lack of veteran presents.

      • Al says:

        Funniest post I’ve read in a long time…one of those fockers. Not so funny that it’s true.

  2. CP says:

    Jesus Montero is apparently considered a non-option at this point, so there’s no reason to talk about him again.

    Is this just based on the fact that he hasn’t been called up yet, or were there ‘official’ reports of this?

    • Mike HC says:

      At this point, it is obvious Montero is being used as trade bait. So until the deadline passes, the Yanks are not going to expose him to Major League pitching.

      • That’s a good point. I don’t think they’re interested in calling him up anyway just because he’s not performing all that well in AAA this season, but the looming trade deadline probably makes it all a moot point. There’s no way they expose themselves to the risk that he loses value during an MLB call-up right before the trade deadline. At least until the deadline passes, we can probably completely forget about the notion of Montero getting a call-up to MLB.

        • MannyGeee says:

          counterpoint:

          doesn’t the mere fact of not calling up Montero when they need offense at DH AND Catcher show everyone (not just the fans but the other 29 GMs) that Cash does not have any intention of keeping Montero? Therefore decreasing Cashman’s leverage…

          just saying. Moose-Tacos? called up. Hosmer? called up. Freeman? called up. Last season: Posey, Santana, Boesh, Duda, Ike Davis, Strasburg, Mayberry, Tabata… the list goes on and on. all guys who their team had every intention of keeping. not all super-prospects, but all performing in the bigs.

          aJax: never got the call, when the Yankees were in need. traded and gone, started that season for Detroit.

          Not shitting on Cashman, and the sky is NOT falling. But if the team has a need, call him up and dont pretend that no one hasn’t noticed him not getting the call…

          • Nope, it doesn’t. Letting him play at AAA probably doesn’t decrease his value all that much, as Ted Nelson explained (I think quite well) below. He’s a 21 yr old catcher in AAA, he’s already way ahead of where he should be at this point in his development.

            And, frankly, even if someone out there does think his value takes a hit because he hasn’t been called up yet, what do you think would cause more of a devaluation: leaving him in AAA, or calling him up and having him look overmatched against MLB competition (both at the plate and in the field)?

            To sum up – I disagree with the notion that his value has currently taken much of a hit as a result of his continuing to play in AAA as opposed to MLB, and even if I stipulate that maybe his value takes a bit of a hit for that reason, I think the risk of seriously devaluing him right before the trade deadline by calling him up easily and definitively outweighs the slight devaluation he might experience by reason of not being called up.

            • And, just kind of thinking ahead to what your next response might be, if you want to keep pushing your argument… You might say ‘yeah, but if they call him up and he mashes, his value will go through the roof.’

              Are you confident that, if called up today, Montero would perform well at the MLB level? He really hasn’t hit very well this season (and I won’t bother with the defense discussion, because we all know that’s an issue).

              Could you catch lightning in a bottle? Sure, that could happen in any situation. I don’t know how confident I’d feel about my chances, though, with a kid who has underperformed (relative to his talent/past performance) all season and who has struck-out 13 times in his last 7 games.

              Point being, it’s a big risk to take, and chances are, you’re going to ding his value a bit. And that ding will probably be temporary, since once he starts hitting better he’ll regain that value, but why set yourself up for a temporary loss of value right before the trade deadline?

              Watch the Yanks go ahead and call him up tomorrow and make me look awful, but I really can’t see how this risk/reward scenario leads them to call him up, unless they disregard these concerns and just have to call him up for some reason.

              • MannyGeee says:

                Yeah, because Justin Smoak’s shitty 2010 start in texas really killed his value.

                Honestly, I do not completely disagree with you. and I think there is an arguement for both scenarios.

                However, perception is reality. All I am saying is that if Montero is treated like trade bait, his value ‘could’ be less than if he is treated like hes on a development plan of some sort to get to the big league club. And no, stewing in SWB when the club has an immediate need for a power bat is not a development plan.

                • “Yeah, because Justin Smoak’s shitty 2010 start in texas really killed his value.”

                  Not what I said, at all.

                  “Honestly, I do not completely disagree with you. and I think there is an arguement for both scenarios.”

                  Sure, there are arguments on both sides (there are always counter-arguments). One just happens to be much stronger than the other. Just because a counter-argument exists does not mean it has merit, there’s no need for false-equivalencies here.

                  “However, perception is reality. All I am saying is that if Montero is treated like trade bait, his value ‘could’ be less than if he is treated like hes on a development plan of some sort to get to the big league club.”

                  That’s not what we’ve been talking about, you’re moving the goalposts again. What we’ve been talking about is whether a risk/reward analysis would lead us to believe the Yanks would be better off, for purposes of Montero’s market-value, leaving him in AAA for now or bringing him up to MLB.

          • doesn’t the mere fact of not calling up Montero when they need offense at DH AND Catcher show everyone (not just the fans but the other 29 GMs) that Cash does not have any intention of keeping Montero?

            No. There’s plenty of other reasons why Montero wouldn’t have been called up other than “we don’t intend to keep him”. Such as not thinking he’s ready, not being happy with his attitude/effort, wanting him to have an everyday job with lots of playing time when he’s promoted, waiting until service-time deadlines have passed, not yet having a permanent 40-man spot earmarked for him, etc.

            Montero not being promoted does not mean that the team doesn’t intend on keeping him. Desmond Jennings and Matt Moore and Hak-Ju Lee and Devin Mesoraco and Brett Lawrie and Jacob Turner and Travis D’Arnaud and Casey Kelly and Jason Kipnis and Neil Ramirez and Jay Jackson not having been called up yet by their respective organizations does not mean those organizations intend to trade those players and don’t see them as part of their long-term future.

            • “Montero not being promoted does not mean that the team doesn’t intend on keeping him.”

              Nothing to add, just wanted to add that I agree with this point. I happen to be convinced (clearly, see above) that there’s no reason to call him up before the trade deadline because they’ll risk dinging his value, but at the same time, that doesn’t mean I think they’re dying to trade him.

            • MannyGeee says:

              how dare you sully Casey Kelly sacred name by lumping him together with those ‘other’ prospects…

              but in honesty, considering the offensive holes in DH and in Catcher, we dont think Montero will get playing time? and with the second 1/2 he put up last year, can we really say his bat is not ready? attitude/makeup/effort is a whole different thing, but regardless of age, he has shown flashes of greatness mixed in with ‘good’ to ‘very good’ in between at the dish…

              so my answer to:

              There’s no way they expose themselves to the risk that he loses value during an MLB call-up right before the trade deadline”

              is quite simply, if this is the case is then being treated like someone who they have no intention of keeping. Which in turn could hurt his value as well.

              ~~~~~

              all that said, if Jiminez is on the other side of the fence on all this, then its been nice knowing ya.

      • JU says:

        It’s been obvious for over a year that Cashman has just been itching to trade Montero. No one (fans of Montero, that is) wants to accept that reality, but what other explanation is there for them trying to justify not bringing him up, where most orgs would be trying to justify and figure out a way to promote him.

        You’re spot on about not wanting to devalue him by exposing him to ML pitching, but unfortunately they have now devalued him by keeping him in AAA, because every GM in the league is saying to themselves, “What’s so wrong with this guy that the Yankees view promoting him as tantamount to giving birth to a porcupine, feet-first?”

        I’ll admit that I’m biased because I have been waiting 3 yrs to see this kid be a part of this team, so I don’t want to see him traded even in a trade that would be objectively fair. But I can’t help but believe that Cashman is going to sell low on The Jesus, and if I have to watch Wandy Rodriguez every 5 days to remind of that mistake, I’m going to be pissed.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          A. Being offered for Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, and mentioned in rumors for Ubaldo Jimenez doesn’t = itching to trade him.

          B. Most other orgs might not be bringing him up. Tampa is considered an extremely well run organization and Desmond Jennings is still in AAA. Seattle is also lauded for player development, and they only now brought up 23 year old Dustin Ackley after 331 AAA PAs this season.
          Consider examples like those plus how long Cs usually take to develop.

          C. He is devaluing himself being exposed to AAA pitching, so I don’t think struggling in MLB would hurt his value. His value is probably more likely to rise than fall getting some MLB PAs.

          • MannyGeee says:

            I disagree with your last point.

            He is not struggling with AAA pitching, he ate AAA pitching alive 2nd half last season. i think its more the case of a 21 YO that is ‘bored’ and thinks he should be called up. this is one part character, one part motivation, and one part confusion based on mixed messages from the big club.

            it is what it is, shit or get off the pot.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              “He is not struggling with AAA pitching, he ate AAA pitching alive 2nd half last season.”

              Is = present tense. 2nd half of last season = past tense. He IS struggling this season = present tense.

              “i think its more the case of a 21 YO that is ‘bored’”

              Is every player who struggles bored? Maybe Posada, Martin, and Tex are all just bored. Colon was just bored his last start. “Bored” is in no way whatsoever an excuse for poor play. It’s the opposite of an excuse. If he’s bored before he even makes his MLB debut, why would you expect him to be any less bored in MLB?

              “one part confusion based on mixed messages from the big club.”

              How do you have any idea what messages Jesus Montero gets from the big club? Do you speak to him?

              “it is what it is, shit or get off the pot.”

              He’s 21 years old…

            • “He is not struggling with AAA pitching, he ate AAA pitching alive 2nd half last season. i think its more the case of a 21 YO that is ‘bored’ and thinks he should be called up.”

              You say he’s not struggling, then give a reason to explain why he’s struggling.

              He’s underperformed this season, relative to his talent and past performance. It may be because he’s bored or it may be for a million other reasons (or no reason at all), but it’s still true.

              • MannyGeee says:

                underperforming does not always equal struggling. he’s barely 21. he is lacking motivation, not talent.

                • Perhaps he is struggling not because of lack of talent but because of lack of motivation (or for some other reason or no reason at all).

                  GOING AROUND ON THIS ALL DAY IN CIRCLES IS FUN.

                  (I’m out. I hear you, you think there’s something implicit in the word “struggling” that you don’t like, because he’s talented enough to succeed so you don’t think he’s just not hacking it but think there’s some psychological/other reason he’s not performing well. So he’s underperforming but not struggling, per your take on those words.)

                  • Stan the Man says:

                    He is hitting .282 w/21 extra base hits and 35 RBI’s in 74 games. He isn’t crushing the ball and he has missed his share of games this year but his stat line doesn’t say he can’t handle AAA pitching. He is doing just fine down there.

                    The Yankees currently do not have a major league caliber player at catcher or DH. Montero might as well be brought up and allowed to struggle just like Martin has been allowed to do. Montero offers more power and his defense might be worse than Martin but Martin’s defense isn’t exactly great anyway so at least we can get some increased offense out of the position.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      His wOBA is .332 in AAA and very few journalist-analysts think he can catch long-term, while Martin’s wOBA is .322 in MLB and he’s playing strong defense at a premium defensive position… that’s not the same kind of struggling.

                      “Martin’s defense isn’t exactly great anyway so at least we can get some increased offense out of the position.”

                      AAA pitching is not MLB pitching. There is no guarantee whatsoever that Montero would hit better than Martin in MLB right now.

                      Martin is also considered a very strong defensive C…

        • Tim says:

          They haven’t devalued him by leaving him in AAA. If they bring him up at the start of the year with no regard for service time, etc. because they need a backup catcher/part time DH then they start his arbitration clock. And while that isn’t an issue for NY it is is an issue for teams that would be trading for him. The farther along in service time he is the less valuable he is. So it’s smart to leave him in the minors until he is more valuable on the big club than at AAA.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        That his name has come up in rumors doesn’t = it’s obvious he’s trade bait…

        • Ted Nelson says:

          And he’s been mentioned in rumors for a guy who is very unlikely to be traded anyway, in a package that the Yankees are very unlikely to trade…

        • Ted Nelson says:

          And he’s been mentioned in rumors for a guy who is very unlikely to be traded anyway, in a package that the Yankees are very unlikely to trade…

        • Mike HC says:

          I should have said “obvious to me.”

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Based on what?

            • Mike HC says:

              Based on the fact the Yanks try to trade him straight up for every top level pitching talent that hits the market.

              • MannyGeee says:

                wouldn’t you? got to give something to get something. and you are not getting Cliff Lee for Hector Noesi and Kei Igawa…

                • Mike HC says:

                  Right. Hence, he is being used as trade bait to get a top starting pitcher. A large part of the decision making process regarding Montero, has to be with his trade value.

                  I’m with Mondesi in thinking keeping him in AAA is best to preserve his already high value.

                  • If every single luxury car I’m interested in buying costs me my extremely rare $100,000 bill, then does the fact that I keep contemplating using my $100,000 bill to buy luxury cars mean I don’t really want to keep my $100,000 bill?

                    Or does it simply mean that I’m eager to buy a luxury car?

                    • Mike HC says:

                      It means that before you use that $100,000 bill in another way, you will seriously consider how that will effect your prospective luxury car buy.

                    • Sure, but that’s not your central point. If I’m interested in buying a luxury car, I might keep my $100,000 bill in a safe to ensure I don’t accidentally wash in in my jeans or something.

                      Whether I keep the $100,000 bill in my jeans or in the safe is secondary. Your primary assertion that the fact that I keep shopping for luxury cars means I don’t intend to keep my $100,000 bill and I only view that $100,000 bill as “luxury car bait” is erroneous.

                      I’ll use my $100,000 bill to get me a luxury car if such a thing becomes available and is feasible and I deem it worth my money. But wanting to buy a car and considering using my money to buy a car does not mean I only view my money as “bait” with which to buy a car.

                      Tomorrow, I may decide to invest my money instead of buy a car at all.

                    • Mike HC says:

                      “Luxury car bait”

                      hahaha … you win.

                    • MannyGeee says:

                      George woulda used that $100,000 bill to buy a 6 year old Escalade and an orange moped by now.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    Entertaining the idea of trading a player for a huge return is not the same as that player being trade bait.

                    • Mike HC says:

                      Disagree. Everyone and their mother knows that Montero can be had for a legitimate ace. Why do you think that? Because Cashman has been dangling him out there for the past couple of years.

                      It is beyond inquiring. They were offers that were turned down.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Saying you’d trade a prospect for the top 3-6% of starting pitchers in MLB is a misuse of the term “trade bait” in my opinion.

                    • CP says:

                      Any player in the Yankees’ minor league system could be had for a legitimate ace. Does that make all of them trade bait?

                    • Mike HC says:

                      You guys are claiming that the entire term “trade bait” could never be used ever, because everybody could theoretically be traded, especially for an ace.

                      I can’t help it if people don’t understand the nuance between everyone can theoretically be traded, and a specific player is being shopped around the league for the right player. Just because nobody takes the bait, doesn’t mean it is not bait.

                      Just my opinion.

                    • What we’re saying is, Montero being rumored to be the centerpiece of potential deals for Halladay, Lee, and now Ubaldo is not the same as “Montero is being shopped around the league”.

                      Cashman is not “shopping” Montero. He’s not calling teams up and saying “What will you give me for Montero”. Montero is not on the market.

                      Other teams are shopping their aces, and they call the Yankees (because the Yankees are always interested in aces) and ask for Montero (because he’s a damn good player).

                      We’re objecting to your description of Montero as trade bait because he’s not “bait”. Cashman is not trying to entice anyone to make him an offer for Montero. That’s not an accurate reading of the information we have available to us.

                      You’re jumping to conclusions.

                    • Jim S says:

                      No, actually, you’re claiming that trade bait has no meaning. They limit their use of trade bait to people who you would trade for a lot more than the top 3-6% of MLB players.

                      According to you, everyone is trade bait, and that’s not how most of us have ever interpreted the term.

                • Now Batting says:

                  I believe the Yankees approached the Royals and suggested Montero for Soria, giving credence to the “trade bait” suggestion. Reading between the lines with how they’ve handled Montero, I truly believe Cashman sees Montero having more value as a trade piece than as a Yankee.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Inquiring about trading him for top level MLB performers is not just wanting to trade him.

                • Mike HC says:

                  At the very least, the Yanks have to take into account his trade value when deciding when and if to promote Montero, because they realize he is going to possibly be the key piece of a trade for the ace starter they have been looking for the past couple of years.

                  They also have to take into account what is best for his development and what is best for the Major League team. Obviously, taking all of those factors into account, the Yanks have decided keeping him down is the best.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    A. Outside of Ubaldo Jimenez, who have you heard him offered for this season? Saying you would trade him for a guy who is not all that available, and being told “offer him plus your other two top prospects if you’d like Ubaldo” is not the same as dangling a player as trade bait.

                    B. How is struggling in AAA any better for his value than possibly struggling in MLB? At least in MLB you could attribute any struggles to SSS and adjusting, while all the good PAs he had would look that much better.

                    “They also have to take into account what is best for his development and what is best for the Major League team.”

                    I think those are 99% of the reason he’s down there, and the intangible potential impact on trade value is a REALLY marginal concern if it’s being considered at all.

                    He rips 10 hits and draws 2 BBs in his first 32 MLB PAs, and his trade value could sky-rocket if trade value were actually as impacted by short-term fluctuations and SSS as you imply… which I don’t think it is.

                    • Mike HC says:

                      Got ya. I think the trade value is a larger factor than you think.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Why do you think being in AAA is good for his trade value?

                    • Tim says:

                      Being in AAA is good for his trade value because it doesn’t start his arbitration clock. Which is something other cost conscious teams are concerned with.

                    • MannyGeee says:

                      so if he does not get traded in the next two weeks, does he not get called up at all this season? the only way to preserve his arbitration at this point is to not call him up in 2011 at all…

                      His clock is going to start at some point, we assume this season, and the Super Two clock is well past us. why not use his bat now, give him time to adjust before September comes around, and if he gets traded in the mean time then so be it.

                      lets face it, he will start for his new team in the big club. his arb clock is not a big thing.

              • Guys, guys… Mike HC probably overstated it a bit – it’s not like they’re dying to trade Montero and don’t want him anymore*. At the same time, he’s clearly available for the right price.

                Just like just about every other player in MLB or MiLB.

                I feel like this conversation fell into a bit of a semantic sink-hole but nobody’s really disagreeing with each other all that much.

                *Also untrue that they “try to trade him straight up for every top level pitching talent that hits the market”, no? Think you just went a little too far there, and that’s what invited the reactions.

                • Yeah, MikeHC’s point was a tautology.

                  Jesus Montero is “trade bait” in the way that every player in the history of baseball is trade bait.

                  IN a potential trade for one of the best players in baseball (which is what Montero has reportedly been offered for a few times), every player is trade bait.

                • Mike HC says:

                  It is just a quick and dirty way to get a point across rather than writing paragraph after paragraph with cited newspaper article links.

                  Agreed that the conversation descended into semantics because we all generally agree that many factors go into any decision.

                  • Oh come on, now. Nobody’s saying the alternative was to ‘write paragraph after paragraph with cited newspaper article links,’ I’m just pointing out one thing you misstated as a cause for some of this unnecessary arguing. You can’t look at this statement:

                    “…the Yanks try to trade him straight up for every top level pitching talent that hits the market…”

                    … and just say ‘yeah my bad, that was a bit off, I didn’t mean that?’ The RAB world would be a better place if we could all just say that once in a while.

                    • Mike HC says:

                      Except I did mean it. Every top starting pitcher (what the Yankees consider to be a top starting pitcher) to hit the market, the Yanks have offered up Montero. Cliff Lee. Roy Halladay. And now Ubaldo Jiminez.

                      Those have been the top guys in the past 2 years that the Yanks have, by all circumstantial evidence, offered Montero for as the top prospect in the deal.

                    • Every top starting pitcher (what the Yankees consider to be a top starting pitcher) to hit the market, the Yanks have offered up Montero. Cliff Lee. Roy Halladay. And now Ubaldo Jiminez.

                      Not true.

                      Every top starting pitcher to hit the market has been rumored to be a target of the Yankees, and the Yankees have been rumored to have been interested, and the other team has been rumored to have asked for Montero, and the Yankees have been rumored to have considered agreeing to that request.

                      That’s a shitload of rumors and little to no hard information. You can’t say that every time an elite SP hits the market that Cashman OFFERS Montero, because you don’t know if the rumor is an offer from Cash or simply an ask from Riccardi/Zdurenick/O’Dowd or none of the above.

                      What’s exceedingly more likely is that when Halladay/Lee/Ubaldo came available, people (bloggers/journalists/pundits) SPECULATED that the other teams would ASK for Montero and Cashman would be forced to SURRENDER Montero if the deal was to ever be consummated.

                      “Offer” and “Bait” are very loaded words that imply actions taken that you’re then extrapolating to make guesses about the Yankee front office’s emotional feelings about Montero.

                      You’re jumping to conclusions on incomplete information.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Again, that is not the same as “shopping him around the league” or using him as “trade bait.”

                    • Mike HC says:

                      He has been offered up in multiple trades, and the Yanks have been turned down. The Cliff Lee deal being the most prominent and public in that Seattle backed out of the deal at the last minute of an almost done deal.

                      What term would you put on that if not trade bait?

                    • Q: What term would you put on that if not trade bait?

                      A: Blue-chip prospect.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Mike HC,

                      The implication of “shopping him” or “using him as trade bait” is that the Yankees are actively looking to move him. This is something you are reading into rumors you’ve heard. Being willing to part with him for an amazing baseball player does not mean you are necessarily “shopping him” or “dangling him.” They absolutely could be looking to get rid of him, but they also could really want him but just also be considering him in the right trade. “Considering him in the right trade” is not necessarily “shopping him” or “dangling him.”

      • Mike HC says:

        I really regret using the term “trade bait.”

    • Sayid J. says:

      I don’t think there have been any official reports. Just the fact that he isn’t up and isn’t forcing the issue with his hitting.

      • Mike HC says:

        He will be up in September anyway. So he will see the Major League team before the season is over one way or another.

    • Rainbow Connection says:

      It’s based on snarkiness.

  3. steve s says:

    Also with Martin and Cervelli not producing much offense from the catcher’s position and the continuing Jeter lack of pop saga the need to add a professional bat somewhere in the lineup seems to me to be of more critical importance than adding another starter. It also makes you appreciate what Posada brought to the table with the numbers he put up from the catcher’s position in his prime and highlights the disappointment that Montero has not yet met (what seem to be now misplaced) expectations by stepping right in to pick-up where Posada left off.

    • “…the need to add a professional bat somewhere in the lineup seems to me to be of more critical importance than adding another starter.”

      Not whatsoever. They’ve scored the 2nd most runs in baseball.

      • Furthermore, we’re adding a professional bat this week. His name is Eric Chavez.

        Chavez and Andruw seems like a very effective DH platoon.

      • MannyGeee says:

        at the very most… you could use another bat if you are not going to be able to swing it with your rotation…

        but nah, give me the arm instead.

      • steve s says:

        Have you noticed who is first and how they’ve zoomed by the Yanks in runs scored and how the homeruns have stopped? Have you noticed that the guy who helped them score the 2nd most runs will not be in the lineup for the next 40 games or so? Have you noticed that the pitching has been pretty good all year with Hughes now added back in?

        • MannyGeee says:

          ouch… a piece of sky just hit me.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          They’re unlikely to win anything with this pitching staff. The goal isn’t to have the number one offense, a number two offense plus improved pitching is a much better recipe for winning.

          • Michael Mirabella says:

            So who are the Yankees going to get pitching wise if apparently the Rockies and Yankees aren’t on the same page?

        • Have you noticed who is first

          No, because it’s July, and who’s in first in July doesn’t matter.

          Ask me again in August.

          (SPOILER ALERT: It still won’t matter.)

        • I’ve noticed all of the above and would still make the obvious decision to take a SP over a bat. Not saying a bat won’t help, but to say that it’s a larger need than a SP is absurd. Come playoff time, who’s gonna help more? A bat that makes an already very good lineup a little better, or a SP that matches up with a club like the Phils, Sox, or Giants? A SP is the number one need/want and it’s not close.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Scoring more runs is as good as giving up fewer runs, so I don’t think it’s nearly so clear. I’m not saying one or the other is more important, I’m saying that there’s no reason to decide outright that adding any starting pitcher is more important than any hitter or vice versa.

            You don’t just put starter’s season FIPs up against each other to determine who will win a playoff series.

            • You also don’t just put hitter’s wOBAs against each other to decide who wins a playoff series. I think it’s quite clear that adding a quality starting pitcher would have a larger impact during the postseason. Look at the Giants last year. Quality SP’s on their game in October have the ability to take over a series. I feel confident that the current lineup (+A-Rod) will score runs. The current rotation? Maybe, maybe not.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Have you noticed that they’re averaging 4.8 runs/game since the break?

          Every time you have a little mini-slump or a short-term injury to a key player it doesn’t mean you have to give up on your players and make a trade.

        • CP says:

          Have you seen the joke of a stadium the Red Sox play in?

          For comparison:

          Red Sox: 5.7 R/G at home
          Yankees: 5.2 R/G at home

          Red Sox: 5.2 R/G on the road
          Yankees: 5.1 R/G on the road

          • steve s says:

            FWIW this Yankee team is on a pace to give up 633 runs. Do you know when the last time a Yankee team gave up less than 633 runs in a non-strike season? Try 35 years ago (1976). On the flip side Yanks are on a pace to score 834 runs (but that is skewed due to Arod not being around for the next month). The Yanks have scored less than that total exactly one time since 1996 (that being 2008). Yet it seems like a no-brainer to you guys that pitching (rather than another stick) is the way to go at the trading deadline. I’m not buying it.

            • steve s says:

              One minor correction. It was 1978 (33 years ago).

              • You’re totally ignoring the context. It’s a different run environment. Most teams across baseball are scoring fewer runs than they have in decades while also allowing fewer runs than they have in decades. The Yankees are not the only team with “better” pitching and “worse” offense than they are recently accustomed to.

                • steve s says:

                  I still don’t get why that translates into a “no-brainer” trading for pitching over hitting at the 2011 trade deadline which is where this conversation went. If my pitching is performing better than it has in years and my hitting is down from where its been sounds like improving the hitting should be the direction at the deadline.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    You seem to be willfully ignoring his point. Offense is down across baseball, so one would expect both the Yankees’ pitchers to be better than they’ve been other years and the offense to be worse than it’s been other years.

                  • JAG says:

                    I think the part you’re not getting is that it’s not just the Yankees that are experiencing that. It’s not “my” pitching that is performing better, it’s the league’s pitching. That means our pitching strength needs to be compared to the league, not to our past. Sure, we would have loved if the pitching staff in, say, 2010 had given up as few runs as this staff. But that’s not what matters. What matters is, how does this pitching staff compare to the rest of the 2011 league’s staff? That is why, if an improvement is needed on this team, it’s in the pitching.

                    The Yankees are above average, but only just, in pitching vs. the 2011 League. The Yankees are way above average in hitting. Seems obvious that you should improve the place where you are weaker, compared to your peers.

  4. MannyGeee says:

    The Melk Man.

    He Cometh

    take notice

  5. Reggie C. says:

    Mark Reynolds for Dh?

  6. Dan says:

    One issue that I am sure has been written about, but cannot remember when or what was said: what happened to Tex’s batting average? Did teams not use a shift against him until after 2009? I thought teams were using the shift in 2009 too, so its hard to see what happened that caused the drop. His average went from consistently being around .300 to struggling to get over .250. It’s not like he is hitting more homeruns because he is still about a 30 homerun player. I just figured last year was a fluke because of a prolonged slump at the beginning of the season, but it seems like he could really use a 2010 Granderson-like session with KLong.

    • Andrew says:

      I agree that Tex is the bigger issue, especially since we have him for 5 more years. Posada can be replaced after this year.

    • It’s not really the shift, I don’t think. I ran the numbers yesterday and he’s been hitting more fly balls since joining the Yankees. If he was rocking a super high ground ball rate and a low BABIP, then I’d be inclined to blame it on the shift.

      • Dan says:

        Yeah, I have seen that he has had a higher flyball rate as well. It seems like he might feel the need to try to hit more fly balls when hitting from the left side to avoid the shift. His average from both sides of the plate has gone down about 20-30 points on each side since 2009. This year it has gone down even further, and its becoming a huge problem that was masked early in the year by the power he was providing, but if the power slows down as it has recently it really weakens the lineup.

  7. Gonzo says:

    Give me Billy Butler!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vc7RYJ4sPgs

    I know he just signed an extension, and is highly improbable, but I want a buy low Cash steal! BTW, I know it’s improbable because they wanted an impact player for Frenchie.

    • Reggie C. says:

      Cashman would have to cough up a good pitching prospect or two to interest the Royals. Butler is the kind of cost control player the Royals would want to keep anyway.

      • Gonzo says:

        Totally, just pure greed on my end. The only thing going in his direction is that his salary jumps next year (not enough though), he got squeezed out of 1st, and his power is down for a 2nd year. The Royals would still ask for a ton though.

  8. MannyGeee says:

    any chance on getting Carlos Lee on the cheap? El Caballo would be a textbook salary dump (and what a dump it is! 18.5M for this season and next), and his home/away splits are not obscene….

    meanwhile his platoon splits are Marcus Thames-esque, but he is an answer…

  9. Hester Prynne says:

    You monsters are so quick to throw our heroes on the scrap heap. Jorge and Jeter have been mainstays in our lineup for 15 years. Last time you wanted to dump him he went on a hot streak. Why not call Texiera a dead spot? Why not call Martin a dead spot? Jorge will come up big when it counts as he has always done.

    • B&#$%, I’m a monster, no-good bloodsucker
      Fat mother#$@%&#, now look who’s in trouble
      As you run through my jungles, all you hear is rumbles
      Kanye West samples, here’s one for example

    • Dan says:

      You easily could call Martin and Tex dead spots, the only difference is they supply value with their defense. When Martin came up with the bases looaded I was just hoping he worked a walk or a wild pitch got far enough away for the runner to score from third because I had zero confidence in him to get a hit there.

    • Anchen says:

      Think some people have already been jumping on the Tex is a dead spot recently. I dunno if it is fair or not but it would be nice if these guys weren’t all in slumps right now. Even Granderson and Cano have been slow out of the break I think (I haven’t checked the stats but it feels that way at least). Really, I think right now the only one performing right now on offense consistently is Gardner, who has his own ups and downs this season.

    • Jerome S. says:

      I agree with some of this. I don’t think it’s necessarily right to just “dump” Posada, considering that he’s done this already this season. It’s the new reality; in his slumps, he is literally nothing, but when he’s got it, he’s got something.

      • Sayid J. says:

        Yea, but if he ‘slumps’ 75% of the time, at what point do we accept that as the new reality rather than just a ‘slump.’

      • MannyGeee says:

        ‘slump’ indicates that its a blip on the radar… one hot strecth in an overall shitty campaign qualifies more as the mean, not a slump.

    • ItsATarp says:

      Martin is a Dead Spot for the past 2 months. Tex can still draw a walk and hit for monster power. Jeter has been in decline for over 1.5 years and showed no since of change outside of two very good games (one in texas, then the 3000 game). Jorge has been bad all year and really no positives outside of a hot stretch. He’s getting on base at a near .300 clip right now, and has provided negative value. The Yankees are trying to win games, not stroke the egos of aging stars…as much as we loved them.

    • teddy says:

      jeter and posada are toast.
      they got old, it happens.
      what they done 5 years ago is inrelvant

    • Theo the Boy Genius says:

      Really?? Jeter has had what…two great games at the plate this year? His two hr game in Texas and his 3000th day. He will never finish a season above .270 for the balance of this contract.

      Yes, Jorge was on a nice run for a while, but the key word here is “was”.

  10. Anchen says:

    Wanted to post this in the last thread on the game review but looks like it is closed. Sorry for going off topic a bit, but wanted to ask, is David Robertson really throwing a change now too? And it’s a good one? ESPN (only thing I got during traveling, internet is pretty bad here and no YES) says he was also throwing a cutter recently. His fastball appears to be a + pitch, at least as a reliever, that batters really have trouble squaring up, and he gets swings and misses too. And his curve is definitely a + or ++ type pitch. He walks a lot of people, at least as a reliever, but if Robertson really had 3 or 4 average or better pitches, is he worth looking at possibly as a starter, say next spring? Or is it best not to mess with a good thing?

    • Ted Nelson says:

      He’s thrown a change at least since he came up and does throw a cutter too (got at least one K on it last night).

      I was sort of thinking the same thing in terms of trying to convert him to a starter… seems like at least an interesting thought.

  11. Ted Nelson says:

    How many times is this that RAB posts an article about Posada without mentioning his split? He’s at a 116 wRC+ from the left side, and -6 from the right side. The Yankees can get a righty platoon bat without needing to get a whole new DH.

    • Anchen says:

      Girardi could be in the process of starting that righty platoon already with Jones. That is an option I guess.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Jorge’s wOBA against righties is .344 while Jones’ against lefties is .375…

        If that averaged out to a .350 wOBA for Yankee DHs using the platoon, combined they would be the 4th best hitting DH in the league. Just behind Victor Martinez who is at .354. Chavez could also take part as a lefty bat, and maybe by September Montero would be an option as a back-up C who also gets some DH and PH chances.

    • David, Jr. says:

      Agree, although his baserunning is borderline bizarre, like he is listening to an IPod at the same time. Never seen one as bad.

      • Theo the Boy Genius says:

        I really believe all of the concussions have something to do with this. I have never seen anything quite like it either.

  12. V says:

    Jason Giambi – BOOM JUST BLEW YOUR MIND!!

  13. gc says:

    They’re not going to cut Posada, so you can just eliminate that from your thinking. He may be platooned, he may be sitting more against certain pitchers, but they will not just unceremoniously cut him loose. They just won’t, and I think we all know that.

  14. Ken Clay says:

    I saw all 4 games in Toronto this past weekend and unless they get another arm and make changes in the lineup, this team is 1 and done in the playoffs. Tex looks terrible, Posada is useless and Jeter needs to move to #2 at a minimum.

  15. Adam says:

    Manny Ramirez

    The world’s collective mind has now been blown…

  16. Jorge says:

    I’m done worrying about any of this. In the hunt for first place. Just get out there and win, dead spot at DH or not dead spot at DH. Just not really worth talking about.

    • nycsportzfan says:

      I think were talking about it, because were gonna have to get more consistent hitting eventually, like if we get to the playoffs mainly.. I mean, teams like the Red Sox and what not are gonna pound the ball, and were gonna have to be able to pick it up offensivley, and any upgrade to our offense from a “hitting” aspect would be helpful for the stretch run.. I think its safe to say as good as this yank team is, its more of a Regular Season good, then a Through the Playoffs and into the WS good… Of course maybe u get to the WS if u make the playoffs, but highly unlikely if we keep hitting hte way we have and pitching the way we have.. So, chating about a upgrade to teh every day lineup is not something that shoulden’t be discussed…

  17. ADam says:

    The Yankees will spend any resource to win… but they won’t “disrespect, or hurt feelings” in order to win?? Is it just me or has this season been a complete contradiction…

    Not saying they have not played well, and i think they are the 2nd best team in baseball, but it is completely frustrating to see GGBG’s talent go to waste, because the front office has decided to make the “legacy” players bigger than the team.

  18. David, Jr. says:

    A guy that I think would fit in a lot of ways would be Michael Cuddyer. Free agent at the end of the year. Twins entering toilet territory. Good right handed bat. Plays multiple positions. I know, not extremely well, but passably. Also tough and durable. For example, played the entire year last year with a knee that ended up being operated on, and nobody even knew it. The guy is a throwback type of player that could be very useful.

  19. David, Jr. says:

    I did too, and I regret it. It was stupid. Too early in the morning.

  20. first time lawng time says:

    Hideki Matsui.

  21. smurfy says:

    San Francisco needs a catcher, as well as offense. Maybe they could be tempted to find Jorge’s last hurrah, and give us a pitching prospect for him.

    That wouldn’t be disrespectful, it would be a relief.

    • MannyGeee says:

      yeah. not likely. I think Posada is still a catcher like Jim Thome is still a 1B or Nolan Ryan is still a pitcher.

  22. Guest says:

    Obviously it would be great to upgrade Posada with a more consistent DH bat, but just as I don’t see them calling up Montero, I don’t see them trading for someone to be a DH. I would guess in the front office’s mind, the marginal improvement over a Posada/Jones platoon is not likely to be worth taking on extra salary, giving up a prospect of some form, and dealing with the headaches unceremoniously dumping Jorge a couple of months before the end of his contract.

    With the realistic names bandied about, (Ludwick, Willingham etc.), I can’t say I disagree.

  23. Monteroisdinero says:

    13M will be paid. Posada will play.

    end of story.

  24. Dick M says:

    The hole at DH doesn’t bother as much as the offensive holes at SS and 1B.

    And then there’s Burnett. He’s getting to be the one guy who can make me turn off my TV.

    • Stan the Man says:

      I had to turn the game off last night as well because Burnett is just dreadful.

      Tex has got to be benched as well since he is a completley lost at the plate. I wonder if Kevin Long actually does anything at all to earn his paycheck sometimes.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        A. If you turned off your V you missed him pull it together in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

        B. You don’t have to bench every player who goes into a slump.

        C. Long is really, really well respected as a hitting coach.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      “the offensive holes at SS and 1B.”

      Teixiera has the 11th best wOBA among qualifying 1B, even though he’s been slumping. Calling him a hole in the line-up is laughable. Slumps happen.

      Even Jeter is 15th in wOBA among SS. Middle of the pack.

    • David, Jr. says:

      1B – Just be patient. He is right in his prime.

      SS – It is like the mother-in-law that lives in the basement of your house because your wife wants it that way, or the aging family dog that pees on the carpet. Just part of the reality of the landscape.

      • Jim S says:

        Except it’s like the mother-in-law that’s only annoying half of the time. Jeter is right the halfway point in the SS leaderboard this year.

        • David, Jr. says:

          Doesn’t say much for the shortstops.

          3HR, 25 RBI, .326 OBP, .672 OPS

          I believe you, but that is in the middle?

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