The trade market that wasn’t


It all keeps coming back to Cliff Lee. A year ago, the Yankees were on the precipice of acquiring Lee from the Mariners, a feat which would have given them one of the best rotations in baseball. They failed, and a short time later were bounced from the playoffs by a team led by Cliff Lee. Soon after, they saw Cliff Lee spurn the them for the Phillies in free agency. By my count, that’s three separate instances of Cliff Lee-induced pain. When Andy Pettitte retired a few months after Lee went to Philadelphia, Cashman pivoted. In a manner reminiscent of the Red Sox in 2009, the Yankees decided to build the rotation on the cheap, allowing Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon and Ivan Nova to battle it out for the two remaining rotation slots (the other three being occupied by Sabathia, Burnett and Hughes). Once Hughes went down with an injury, Colon took his spot and performed admirably. Garcia has been fantastic too. Yet all along it’s seemed as if plan for the Yankees’ rotation was to run with these guys until a better option arose on the trade market. Freddy Garcia’s nice and all, but shouldn’t the Yankees go into battle in October with a serious complement to Sabathia? Yet here we stand a mere week or so away from the trade deadline and there seems to be no complement available? Where are the pitchers? Where are the targets? Where are the potential upgrades?

A few big names have arisen, to be sure. Ubaldo Jimenez was the target last week, but it doesn’t seem that Colorado is serious about trading him. Some have suggested that they were simply recognizing that the market was very weak and seeing if some team (like the Yankees) would be willing to panic and overpay for their lanky and affordable ace. In the absence of that a deal seems unlikely. James Shields has also been rumored to be available, but not to the Yankees. If Tampa decides to move the putative ace it won’t likely be an intra-divisional move. Hiroki Kuroda would be a potential option, one for whom I’ve long advocated, but his no-trade clause puts him in the driver’s seat and means that he’ll determine whether he gets traded and to where he gets traded. John Danks would be a nice upgrade, but there’s no indication that the White Sox are looking to move a starter and the teams don’t even match up particularly well for a trade anyway. Who’s left, Jason Marquis?

A year ago the Yankees came close to having a very good rotation and no Jesus Montero when they offered Seattle Montero for Lee. That deal fell through. A few months later, they came close to having a very good rotation and Jesus Montero when they tried to get Cliff Lee for nothing more than money. That deal fell through. The plus side is that the Yankees still have Montero, of course. Whether they really want him is another question. They don’t seem to have any interest in calling him up any time soon, and Cashman has gone out of his way to make it clear that Montero is available in trades. Yet there is no Cliff Lee on the market this year, no pitcher for whom Montero would be a suitable return. Right now the effort to swap Montero for a pitcher looks a day late and a buck short.

There is serious downside risk in relying on the trade market. Sometimes the targets don’t materialize and other times your assets don’t matchup with the best available targets. This shouldn’t be interpreted as a criticism of Cashman. No one that I’m aware of predicted that the Yankees would whiff on Lee twice, lose Pettitte to retirement, and then find themselves unable to upgrade the rotation via the trade market at all. It sounds like a worst-case scenario dreamt up on a Red Sox message board. Yet, as of July 23rd that’s exactly what’s happened. The best pitcher truly on the market seems to be Kuroda, a pitcher with a no-trade clause and a disinclination to leave Los Angeles.  It’s not the situation the Yankees hoped to be in at this point.

The old saying is that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. You can always hope that better opportunities arise later, but your risk goes up the further away you are from the acquisition target. This entire market could change very quickly, and that’s what makes the trade deadline so exciting. Yet, as of today it looks like the Yankees are dancing alone. The most realistic option at this point seems very unlikely, but I suppose there’s no harm in continuing to beat the drum once more, until the deadline passes. Help us, Hiroki. You’re our only hope!

Categories : Trade Deadline


  1. Frank says:

    I just don’t get everyone’s fascination with a 36 year old Kiroda. Maybe if he was a FA, but I certainly don’t understand giving up any quality prospect(s) for him.

    • nycsportzfan says:

      the reason would be that the yanks realize they got the team to get to the playoffs, but don’t want to really find out the hard way , what could happen after CC in the playoffs against really good hitting playoff teams like Boston, Texas,Detroit and Philly… Sure, for all we know, Freddie and Colon may pitch well, but its a risky move.. Kuroda feels like a safer bet to pitch well behind CC in a playoff series against good offense… Its not like the yanks don’t have the farm where they could get rid of a few guys and be solid still…

    • Bill says:

      Well its about building a playoff rotation. Right now assuming things stay the same you got CC then Colon. After Colon Hughes, Burnett, and Garcia all carry some question marks. And who knows if Colon will even hold up.

      Also since Kuroda is 36 and a FA after this year the Dodgers really can’t demand much in a trade. They can probably get some decent prospects out of us, but not any of our top guys.

      • ChrisS says:

        Hughes carries much more than some question marks. He’ll be lucky if he’s not in Scranton by the end of next week.

  2. Adam B says:

    I completely agree with you here Stephen… You cannot rely on the trade and free agent markets for starting pitching anymore… period. I really hope the yankees understand that and really start to commit to their farm system more.

  3. Betances-is-Outstanding says:

    Please trade for John Danks! The guy is young, a lefty, and would fit well in the Yankees rotation.

    • Slugger27 says:

      im sure if kenny makes him available, the yankees would be first in line to make an offer

    • Guns of the Navarone says:

      Samezees. John Danks is the guy to go for. Get him while his value isn’t at a peak. Cashman seems to be ummmm…. comfortable… dealing with Kenny Williams. He won’t cost as much as Jimenez but he’s one of the most underrated lefthanders in the game.

  4. duzzi23 says:

    Brian Cashman is a bad GM. The way he sets the organization to handle minor leaguers especially pitching is atrocious. The bone yard of pavano brown jaret wright kei igawa farnsworth rondell white tony womack vazquez twice all on him. The only good moves he made are swisher and granderson. Can’t forget the Joba rules. And really he let eduardo nunez stand in the way of getting Cliff Lee eduardo nunez!!

    • 28 this year says:

      First, it seems as though he has learned from all of those mistakes as he hasn’t really made the same sort of mistakes. Second, the Joba rules may or may not have played a factor in hurting Joba, we don’t know enough because nobody truly knows how to handle that. And finally, Nunez was probably not a sticking point but just something Jack Z made up in order to stall and get the Rangers to offer Smoak. Cashman knew something was wrong and clearly it was since Jack Z had every intention of taking his division rival’s best prospect. That wasn’t Cashman’s fault.

      • Guns of the Navarone says:

        Joba has always been injury prone. His health was the reason he dropped to the Yankees in the draft. It may have been his shoulder or triceps or whatever… but he’s had a shoulder injury as well. He’s not the only pitcher to have Tommy John surgery and I don’t think it had anything to do with the way the Yankees handled him. That’s an easy excuse to make. But the fact is that they gave up on him as a starter two years ago. He hurt his elbow coming out of the bullpen… it’s not as if he was throwing too many innings or had too much of a workload.

        • The Big City of Dreams says:

          The Yankees didn’t handle Joba well from the rules in 2009 to the constant back and forth. There were things he did that didn’t help his cause but the Yankees handled Chamberlain poorly.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        The Joba Rules also might have prevented TJS for the three years he was healthy.

    • CS Yankee says:

      Your either a Trool or a debbie-downer.

      Cashman just needs to bat .250 and we would be more than fine. Garcia, Colon, Millwood, etc had all chosen his low cost signings over anything else. The Mets & 20 other teams needed arms and they either passed altogether or didn’t have the Yankee lure.

      This year alone he has netted some big bargains and avoiding way over-paying for Werth, Crawford, etc. I think over stated his Lee approach but i’m glad we missed him.

      In hindsight, if the Hughes/Montero for Doc looks in five years like it does today, that would be good criticism for not doing that move. He must have felt AJ & Hughes would have a solid 2010 and he could get another decent starter (like Javy). It was a reasonable assumption and who would of guessed that they two were a liability and the kid was slightly above serviceable.

      Cashman to me gets a “B”.

    • If he only had a brain... says:


      Let’s not forget Haren and Oswalt. Including Hughes or Joba in either of those deals gets it done.

      • Slugger27 says:

        do we even know for sure the yankees didnt offer joba? not being snarky, genuinely curious.

        also important to remember, at the time of that trade, hughes had been dominant all season and 3 years of team control ahead of him. joba is one thing, but hughes (at the time of the trade) was a completely different animal

    • Kevin D. says:

      I am positive that if it were not for Cashman then we would not have this farm full of nice prospects at our disposal. He has emphasized having a strong farm system and I love it.

    • Roy says:

      Of course, Lee could have done to the Yankees what he did to Texas. How would you have felt if they gave up Montero and Nunez and then Lee went free agent to Philadelphia.

      Texas gave up a better package for a three-month rental of Lee and then got really burned losing him to Philadelphia. Texas knew that they would have to bid against the Yankees in last year’s offseason, but they gave up great prospects and did not win the ring.

  5. Pasqua says:

    “The plus side is that the Yankees still have Montero, of course. Whether they really want him is another question.”

    I just don’t get this line of thinking (and it’s not only in this sentence that I’ve seen the idea broached). Why would their willingness to trade Montero indicate their lack of interest in keeping him? That strikes me as flawed logic. They are making him available because they (and other teams) recognize his talent and extraordinary potential, hence the fact that his name arises in big-name trade talks. Furthermore, that they haven’t called Montero up should not be interpreted as a direct reflection of their feelings toward him, but instead their feelings on the Major Leage team as it’s currently constructed (whether we like the way it looks, or not).

    • Guns of the Navarone says:

      I agree with this. But at the same time, I think Montero could have forced his way onto the team by now with a continuation of his 2nd half last season. He just plain hasn’t done that. Whatever you think of Montero or his future, you have to admit his season has been very unspectacular.

      • Slugger27 says:

        his season has been unspectacular, no doubt about that. i still have full confidence in his bat at the ML level, and more importantly, i have full confidence in him being better than cervelli as the backup C or posada as a righty DH.

        i think 2-3 games a week at the ML level is more helpful in his development than 5 in scranton. its perfectly reasonable to disagree, and for those that do, montero staying in AAA is the right move. theres definitely logical reasons to be on either side of the debate, and i understand why theres some really frustrated and some (TSJC) comes to mind, who sees it as being no big deal. only the yankees know why theyre doing what theyre doing i guess

        • Slugger27 says:

          my parentheses placement in that comment doesnt make sense reading back over it… but u get the idea

        • David, Jr. says:

          If he isn’t traded, I say they bring him up. All he has to be is better than Cervelli, Jones and Posada to help the team.

          • Guns of the Navarone says:

            Believe it or not, that might be a tall order for him right now. He’s at 103 wRC+ in Triple-A right now. He’s barely above average for that level. It would be different if he could offer something defensively that Cervelli doesn’t, but he can’t. His value has always been his bat. And right now his offense is lacking.

            It’s not terrible for a catcher at his age at that level, but it’s not enough to supplant Posada or Cervelli right now.

            • Mike Axisa says:

              He also has three homers in his last eleven games, the same number Posada has in the last month and more than Cervelli has since 2009.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Come on Mike………… Did you really just say that the only stat we need to look at… the only consideration we even need to make in calling up a 21 year old C… is AAA HRs? Why weren’t Vazquez and Maxwell called up early in the season?

                You built a strawman about how people supposedly don’t want to call Montero up because of an arbitrary OPS number (which is not the argument at all)…… and now 3 HRs in 11 games at AAA is the thing we should look at in weighing in on whether a prospect is promoted?

              • Guns of the Navarone says:

                And Cervelli had three hits and two walks in his last game. That’s more than Montero’s had in his past five games.

                Seriously though, that’s all fine and dandy, but given his current season of 300 AB or so, I simply can’t feel confident that he can replicate that at the major league level right now.

        • CS Yankee says:

          I have always believed “If you can’t do it in practice, don’t try it in a game”

          Montero is not doing it in practice (AAA), so he doesn’t get the shot at the majors. Perhaps his best chance is to come into ST-2012 and earn the spot.

          To me, its not just an “Earned” above “Given” because I think either can work, but the “earned” will have lasting value as he will have proven that he did it all himself…this is the ultimate reward that unless you have done it, you just don’t get it (IMHO).

          Little dogs try, big ones know how.

          • Mike Axisa says:

            So what would he have to hit to earn the chance?

            • Guns of the Navarone says:


              That’s my answer.

            • CS Yankee says:

              This year…a good 75 basis points above what we currently have across the board (BA, OBP & SLG) would make a starting point for conversation.

              • Mike Axisa says:

                So ~.350/.410/.480? That seems extreme and also pretty arbitrary.

                • Guns of the Navarone says:

                  A better than average hitter at the Triple-A level. That seems fair enough. At least an ISO reflective of his career numbers and a BB% reflective of his improvement last season.

                  .315/.365/.520 if we want to throw out some arbitrary numbers.

                • CS Yankee says:

                  My thought process for where they stand now that a 10% regression (AAA numbers versus MLB) is likely and since he offers a negative net in catching (hasn’t worked with the pitchers).

                  Therefore, he needs to equate to another 10% (or more) than what we currently have to make a gamble that he’ll help them in 2011.

                  The bread is still baking.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    Agree with this line of reasoning.

                    His development also has to be considered, and I don’t know what the right answer is but there’s a question of whether that’s better served in AAA or MLB.

        • Guns of the Navarone says:

          I don’t think staying at Triple-A is necessarily the right move. I believe in Montero as well, but I wish he would force the Yankees’ hand. He hasn’t done that. Montero is an offensive prospect, and his offense hasn’t been there. The Yankees aren’t going to move Cervelli – who is comfortable with the pitching staff and there IS value in that – in favor of their top prospect while he’s currently under-performing in every way offensively.

          The Yankees know they have a potential All-Star bat waiting in Triple-A. But he’s struggling right now. His BB% is his lowest since 2008, his K% is at a career high, and his ISO is at a career low. I don’t think you, or anyone, can be totally confident that he would outperform Posada or Cervelli right now. You have no idea what you’d get.

          That’s why I think it’s all up to Montero. He could have forced his way onto the Yankees at any time this season with all the talent he has. But he hasn’t done it. That’s my opinion.

          • Slugger27 says:

            i agree with what youre saying, he HASNT earned it. and no, we WOULDNT know what were getting. but whats the harm in trying it? cervelli has options… you make the swap and see what happens. maybe its the challenge he needs, maybe he struggles and gets sent back down. whats the downside to it? we have a few weeks of cervelli type bat with slightly worse defense? the upside is we have a legit backup C, righty DH, and pinch hit option for the nunez’s of the world.

    • Slugger27 says:

      i get others’ frustration with how theyve handled montero. the yankees have gaping holes at backup C and right handed DH, or honestly, both sides of DH. montero is a boost to both. The explanation that makes the most sense is theyre worried he will come up, completely suck, and it hurts his trade value.

      im of the opinion that more time in AAA doesn’t do much for montero. hes been there a year and a half, and i think the best thing for him to progress and get better, is to challenge him against big league pitching. as a bonus, it also just so happens that would boost the 2 holes in our lineup.

      now its possible the yankees feel montero can still greatly benefit from staying in AAA. the “promote montero” sees them keeping in AAA as a sign they dont think he’d be a boost to the major league club.

      we’re in a pennant race, and we have a player that could help us, is ML ready, and is not being called up. the frustration is understandable.

      • Hardy says:

        I don’t think that your explanation makes the most sense.

        Montero is widely viewed as a player who may be MLB-ready as a hitter, but needs to become (a lot) better defensively to be a MLB catcher. A call up would significantly reduce his ability to catch actual games and might be seen as impedient to his defensive development.
        Furthermore, he would replace a “great Yankee” in Jorge Posada who just last year had a similar OPS (.811) to Montero’s AAA numbers (.819).

        I think the explanation that they would like to play out this season with Jorge Posada at DH and plan to use Montero starting in 2012 is just as likely as the explanation that a few bad PAs at MLB would hurt his trade value more than a 2012 AAA line of .279/.336/.406.

        • Slugger27 says:

          but posadas role can remain unchanged. he doesnt catch. montero would be taking cervellis spot. posada gets benched when lefties start anyway. monteros playing time would be on martins rest days as the starting C, or DH occasionally when a lefty is starting. neither affects posada.

          • Hardy says:

            Yeah, but now Montero is sitting on the bench most days, and your best case scenario is like a five run upgrade between the ASG and the end of AAA.

          • Magrone says:

            Talk about needing a replacement….

            .218/.692 OPS with 10 hr and 38 rbi for the season
            .176/.528 OPS with 1 hr and 8 rbi in last 30 days
            .200/.566 OPS with 1 xbh in 30 ab over last 2 weeks

            Time to do something with our STARTING catcher hitting this poorly.

    • Thats probably a fair criticism. I think its pretty much a matter of opinion, its just my gut feeling.

      • Pasqua says:

        Which is totally fine. I understand the feeling, I just tend to believe that the Yanks know what they have in Montero. His progress at AAA has been a bit slower than what they probably imagined, but I’m confident that they’re confident.

        Thanks for the article!

  6. Pastadivingarod says:

    This seems like cashman just wants to get to the playoffs but not want to win it all
    In other words he wants to reload in the off season.
    Cj wilson may be in his sights if he is still the GM

    • Slugger27 says:

      its not cashmans fault that nobody is available

    • first time lawng time says:

      Is there any chance that CC opts out and signs with Boston? Some Sox fan said that they are unloading $53 million this off season and could use it to sign CC. Or something like that.

      • Hardy says:

        Yes, that is certainly possible if the Yankees act like last offseason with Cliff Lee and do not simply outbid every other team by a lot like they did in 2008 with CC himself.

  7. first time lawng time says:

    I feel that Yankees fans an the media are overly hard on this rotation. Besides Philadelphia, which team has a better rotation than the Yankees’? I don’t think Boston’s is that much better. I’m sure their fans aren’t comfortable with their rotation in the playoffs.

    Just remember: the Yankees aren’t the only team with question marks in the rotation. In fact, I’m sure each of the other 29 teams has a problem or two to address whether it’s offensive or defensive.

    • CS Yankee says:

      Playoff type teams with clearly better starters than the NYY’s…
      Phillies, Braves, Giants, Boston & Tampa

      Playoff type teams with about the same staters as the NYY’s…
      Rangers & Indians

      Playoff type teams with lessor starters than the NYY’s…
      Tigers, Brewers, Reds

      Odds are against our current starters, but our bats & pen could still make a favorable outcome.

      • first time lawng time says:

        I don’t see how Boston’s rotation is that much better than the Yankees’. They haven’t been able to beat Beckett this year, fine. Lester is good, by the Yankees can hit him. Lackey Sucks. DiceK is injured and his replacement is…? Whoever it is, I doubt he’s any good. Then there is Wakefield. Well, if the Yankees could get their shit vs knuckleballers together this year, he’s bearable. And Bucholz…he’s bearable, but isn’t he injured now? So his replacement is..,? How are the replacements, Aceves and Millwood? Yeah, they’re not so great, either.

        • first time lawng time says:

          Should be BEATABLE not bearable.

          And WHO are the replacements, not HOW (although that sorta works)

        • CMP says:

          Bucket, Lester, Buckholtz and Lackey>>>>>>>>CC,Colon( by the grace of god)and whatever 2 you pick from the Garcia, Hughes, AJ group.

          • Guns of the Navarone says:

            Actual statistics from this season disagree with you.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              Yeah, but the Red Sox starters have sexier names and Theo Epstein is a genius… so clearly they are way betterand people feel they can prove this by simply lining up the names of Red Sox and Yankees starters next to each other.

              Lackey is a pitbull/jaguar hybrid who is just lulling the league to sleep and doesn’t actually have an injury that he admits will only get worse with wear.

        • CS Yankee says:

          1) CC v. Lester…push

          2) Colon v. Beckett…slight BoSox advantage if healthy Colon (lol)

          3) Lackey v. AJ…push, they either are “on” of way off. Lackey will own a game or totally blow, AJ is batter-to-batter.

          4) Bucholz v. Hughes…laptop is better

          5) doesn’t matter come playoff time.

          The bats favor them today, but hopefully we get that corrected to the historical advantage. The pen clearly favors the good guys.

          Miller & Wakefield are doing decent/good but won’t equate come October. It’ll be a battle of the four with an emphasis on the top three (see them twice each in a seven series).

          They are better today and will project better as we have the added weight of father time.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Lining up starters doesn’t tell us much… who would you take? David Price or Freddy Garcia? Yankees still beat Price’s Rays with Garcia on the mound.

            Hughes making the playoff rotation is by no means assured at this point. If the playoffs started tomorrow Garcia and Nova would both have much better chases than Hughes and probably AJ.

            • CS Yankee says:

              Price pitching to the Rays versus our batters hitting on Garcia…hmmm?

              sign me up (& and I like Freddy).

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Hmm? I’m saying that simply lining up pitchers and saying that one is more likely to give you a good start doesn’t have much value. Especially just saying that the pitcher is more likely in your opinion without backing it up statistically.

      • Guns of the Navarone says:

        I’m not sure what you see in Boston that I don’t…

        I’d take CC over Beckett OR Lester. Colon has been just as good as Lester when healthy. After that their entire rotation has been inconsistent and/or on the DL. I’ll leave Lester out of that equation because he has the track record of staying healthy and eating innings.

        • CS Yankee says:

          I wouldn’t trade our top 7 SP’ers for theirs due to flexibility & dollars going forward (2012 & beyond).

          However, I do feel they have an advantage in the second and fourth starter spots (see above) come October.

          • Guns of the Navarone says:

            You’re matching up Colon vs Beckett. Right now I would think Beckett would be their # 1. Either way, I would take CC over Beckett OR Lester. It’s not a push IMO. And right now I think it’s silly to assume Hughes as the # 4 starter in the playoffs. I don’t think you can assume Lackey as their # 3 either.

            CC > Beckett – almost a push
            Colon = Lester – subject to change of course
            Burnett Lackey

            Looks like the Yankees have the advantage to me.

            • Guns of the Navarone says:

              Weird?? That should read:

              CC > Beckett – almost a push

              Colon = Lester – subject to change of course

              Buchholz > Burnett

              Garcia > Lackey

      • I’d move Boston down a peg and Milwaukee up a peg.

  8. Ro says:

    Patience will benefit the Yankees most in this situation. Yes, I nominate myself to be the troll and reinstate the Felix Hernandez possibility, but he is fated to be traded. There is no other way around it for the M’s. I could go on and on for the reasons why and not just the reasons for the Yankees. The rumblings are growing louder and after another poor outing last night, he is just wasting away on that roster. I don’t know why anyone else doesn’t see it. If anyone thinks the M’s will contend in the next 2-3 while Felix is under contract is absolutely delusional. The M’s need to look at their roster and weed out all the rot and rebuild the entire thing. Sure they have talent as well in the minors, but much of it is still far off.

    Montero/Banuelos/Nova/Corban/J.R Murphy and a pick of of 6th whoever on the lower depth charts. We Keep Betances.

    And to the nut that thinks Brian Cashman is a bad GM, you’re wrong. We’re very lucky to have him running this team.

    • Slugger27 says:

      heres the thing. your reasons make sense, but they just dont matter. if i were running the Ms, id put felix on the market and see what i could get. jackZ has made it clear felix is not on the market. he has his reasons, whatever they are.

      hes signed for 3 years after this season at an expensive (yet still under market value) salary. if jackZ legitimately believes theyll be contenders in 2012, then it makes sense to keep him unavailable. it may be frustrating to us, but the reality is that regardless of all the reasons why trading him would make sense for the Ms, jackZ runs the show, and thats that. theres nothing cashman can do about it.

      also, felix has a 10-team NTC, and im assuming all big market teams are on it. therefore, that probably means signing him to a 5/100 extension after the trade may be required.

  9. John Cerra says:

    I have come to the conclusion that Cashman is hoping to package Cervelli in a trade before the deadline, maybe one that brings back a pitcher. I think Danks or Edwin Jackson are the only viable targets. If that occurs, Montero comes up, catches 2 days a week, Dh’s one day, pinch hits occasionally. Until Arod returns, we need more bats.

    Since I think Cervelli is no longer a strong defensive catcher, this is a plus to the team.

  10. duzzi23 says:

    Cashmans track record speaks for himself. Colon and Garcia was hope and a prayer. Plus pena basically begged cashman to give colon a shot cuz he managed him in DR. I feel like the last 2 years the Yankees are just content with the wild card and making the playoffs. Montero or Betances should be up here. Angels brought up Trout and he’s only 19.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      “Cashmans track record speaks for himself.”

      Making the playoffs 12 out of 13 seasons as GM?

      Your logic is full of holes. They need to win now by rushing teenage prospects who are not ready to perform in MLB to MLB? The Angels did it so the Yankees should do it?

      And how does taking a tip from your bench coach on a player he managed over the winter make you a bad GM?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Mike Trout also has a .479 OPS. The Braves brought up top prospects Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado to make spot starts and lost all three games.

      • In all likelihood, Mike Trout, Randall Delgado, Julio Teheran and Jesus Montero will all develop into good/great major leaguers who become permanent, fixture, marquee players in their organizations around the same time (say, sometime between mid 2012 and early 2013).

        But the Angels and Braves would have used up ML service time and options on Trout/Delgado/Teheran that the Yankees didn’t use on Montero.

        • Slugger27 says:

          while thats true, i just dont think it should stand in the way of helping the yankees in the pennant race theyre in. if montero is still needing options in 2014, then hes probably not the player we’re hoping he’ll be anyway.

          • CS Yankee says:

            Service time means coin…starting the clock earlier just to start it, will costs millions in arb for a stud that didn’t act studly because he was called up too early.

            • Slugger27 says:

              its not “just to start it”… its starting it to boost 2 holes we have on our team and improve our chances of making the playoffs/securing HFA. i also am of the opinion it would be more beneficial to montero to get some ML experience than playing 5 days a week in scranton.

              theres certainly logical reasons that make sense to bring him up, whether you agree with them or not.

              • its not “just to start it”… its starting it to boost 2 holes we have on our team and improve our chances of making the playoffs/securing HFA.

                Those two holes we have (backup C and half of a DH platoon) are pretty small and insignificant holes, as evidenced by the fact that we’ve had holes like that for years and keep winning 90+ games and making the playoffs and winning World Series titles despite having shitty backup catchers and pedestrian production from the DH slot.

                So, forgive me if I’m not up in arms that we don’t have top-notch production from our backup catcher or part of our DH. The fact that Jesus Montero could be an upgrade in various ways does not mean those potential upgrades are important enough to justify altering his development curve and our organizational prospect promotion philosophy.

                • CS Yankee says:

                  Planning for the future while playing well today (and not getting caught up in the little shit that doesn’t add up to much) for the win.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                You are assuming he would be an upgrade, which is a big assumption for a 21 year old not hitting all that well in AAA most analysts are adamant cannot field his position adequately.

      • Zack D says:

        But their GMs called those up, that instantly makes them better GMs than Cashman.

        Or something like that.

    • Zack D says:

      “Angels brought up Trout and he’s only 19.”

      Counter: Angels traded for Vernon Wells.

  11. Ted Nelson says:

    I’m sure that the Yankees would like to find a great pitcher at a great value… but I think you are overselling your speculation on Montero.

    • I dont think Im really overselling it when it was a throwaway line. If you disagree thats fine, its really just my gut feeling.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        “Whether they really want him is another question.”

        That I agree with.

        “They don’t seem to have any interest in calling him up any time soon, and Cashman has gone out of his way to make it clear that Montero is available in trades.”

        This I feel is overselling it. You are only presenting 1/2 the story. No mention of him being a 21 year old C. No mention that he hasn’t played his way into a promotion. That he may need more time to develop his defense.

        Also, I think you’re overselling the half of the story you do tell.
        How do you know when they intend to call him up?
        Saying he’s available for a top 10 pitcher is not really going out of his way to make anything clear. When you get a player who is already as good as you can realistically expect a prospect to be still entering his prime and on a cheap contract… that’s basically a no-brainer. Even if Cashman feels good about Montero’s ability to be a 6 fWAR player, Ubaldo is already a 6 fWAR player.

        For those of us outside the organization, it’s basically a 50/50… so I agree with the first part. Again, I feel like you also present on of the 50s in the second part.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          A Jorge/Jones platoon is also likely to out-produce Montero at DH, while Martin is a superior defensive C who knows the staff better and should snap out of this slump at some point. Montero significantly improving the MLB team is far from assured. Even out-producing Cervelli or slump-Martin is not assured, as laughable as that sounds.

        • I dont know when they intend to call him up. I do know that they havent called him up, and there hasn’t been any rumbling whatsoever about calling him up. If you think they might call him up, godspeed. Im just going off what I’ve heard and read. As far as discussing him being a 21 year old catcher or not playing himself into a promotion, no I didn’t mention that. But this article really isn’t about Montero and I was trying to keep it on track.

          Like I said, I get why this would be a controversial thing to say, and Im more than willing to understand that people think the opposite. Really just a gut feeling on my part.

  12. nsalem says:

    It’s quite amusing how people don’t consider Freddy Garcia a “serious” pitcher. It’s as if no one has ever won in the MLB without a fastball over 88 MPH.

  13. Slugger27 says:

    are we 100% sure billingsley wouldnt be available? i know they signed him to the extension, but theyre way out of the race, and i dont think many expect them to contend in the next year or 2. they have financial issues. theres logical reasons for him to be available, so it may not be the long shot many assume it would be.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I believe MLB is running the Dodgers, not McCourt… They’re very unlikely to allow the Dodgers to make financially motivated moves with their core players. Billingsly is just shy of 27 years old, so he’s not necessarily a short-term guy they have to be contending now to keep around. Maybe they’ll trade him, but I do think it’s a long-shot and that it would take an over-pay offer to get him.

      • nsalem says:

        Anybody we trade for at this point will be overpaying which is reason enough not to make a trade. As of now we are a team on pace to win 96 or 97 games. We will be improving our team over the next month with the additions of Soriano, A-Rod and Chavez. The tinkering should be of the minor kind (unless something falls into our lap). I like this team as is.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Yeah, I agree. People fixate on improving the team this season, ignoring the opportunity cost. Certainly there is an argument that in some cases improving the team this season is worth giving up certain prospects who may or may not do something down the line… but people largely don’t even attempt to make that argument. They largely just ignore the opportunity cost.

          • Slugger27 says:

            i think overpaying to acquire a top quality SP may be the right move, as long as its not a MAJOR overpay. we have a championship calibur team right now, and a dynamic SP would make us the WS favorites. im not suggesting the montero/betances/manban/nova for ubaldo trade, but i dont mind giving up major pieces if it nets us a great SP for the stretch run and all of 2012.

            of course, its on a case by case basis.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              “of course, its on a case by case basis.”

              Yeah… that’s what I’m saying. People tend to just say that the Yankees “need to” get another ace, but they don’t even know what that would cost them.

              There is an opportunity cost to every trade, and giving up top, top, top prospects especially in the high minors is a risky move. The Yankees are WS contenders this season, but if they get strong results from their prospects (not perfect results, just average or above average… they have a top 5-10 farm after all) they can be contenders for the next decade.

              I absolutely think a top starter would be a great upgrade and there is a high prospect cost I’d be willing to pay, but some fans impatience with Cashman not making a deal when they don’t even know what is on the table is a bit much.

              Often it’s the same people preaching patience with prospects and building from within who are also whining about not trading the farm for a top starter… a lot of people seem to want their cake and eat it too.

              • David, Jr. says:


                “don’t even know what is on the table”. Exactly. What we need is somebody really drooling over our prospects. Then we are in business.

          • nsalem says:

            Just not sure that a Kuroda or a Dempster can come here and improve on what we have now. An argument can be made that they are better on paper than what we have now.
            This is true, but will they pitch better (in NY and the AL East) than what we have now?
            That is far from a given. Though it is true that Garcia and/or Colon could get hurt (as many people believe is a certainty) it is also true that it can happen to any pitcher at any time. I wouldn’t operate for the rest of the season on the assumption that one or two of these guys may go down. If we can get a fair deal on a 2 or 3 type pitcher but it amy not be the end all or be all that people think.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              Other than cost the issue with a Dempster or Kuroda is who you bump from the rotation. If they play it right I would see either one being a good acquisition, but it’s not a slam dunk between the cost and integrating them.

    • With the logical endgame of the Dodgers fiasco resulting in the team being placed up for sale, there’s little chance of any asset of value beyond 2011 ending up on the trade market.

      Kuroda, Blake, Furcal et. al. are available, because they’re not long-term assets that would make the club more valuable to a prospective buyer.

      Kershaw, Billingsley, Kemp, Ethier et. al. will be kept in Dodger Blue to drive the purchase price up.

  14. duzzi23 says:

    Yea why couldn’t the Yankees atleast try to overwhelm the dodgers for kershaw or ethier/kemp with our finances and prospects. And his track record in that the core 4 were all gene michaels guys and he’s had 200 mill plus to put teams together. Anyone can sign FAs. That thread a few days ago examined the ideal way Tampas front office runs a team and has the payroll of Arod

    • Guns of the Navarone says:

      We don’t have any pitcher, major league or minor league, other than CC Sabathia, that is on Kershaw’s level. I hope you understand why that’s not happening.

      As far as Kemp, why trade for him when you have the outfield the Yankees have?

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Again, you contradict yourself… should they trade away prospects for high prices veterans no matter the cost to “overwhelm” the Dodgers, or should they be run more like the Rays? Those two things are basically polar opposites.

    • Slugger27 says:

      kershaw isnt happening, end of story. i took a long shot suggesting billingsley, but even i knew that it was mostly wishful thinking. the incentive on the other side just isnt there.

  15. Cashman’s record:

    ~ 12 seasons making the playoffs – That’s because of the payroll and ownership, not him.

    ~ 1 season missing the playoffs – Cashman sucks

    ~ Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner, Phil Hughes, David Robertson, Montero, etc. – Damon Oppenheimer is great

    ~ Every draft pick that failed – Cashman doesn’t spend enough on the draft/ IFA

    ~ 5 World Series titles – Sure, but we haven’t won 8 times. Fire Cashman already!!!!!!!!!

    • For a team with a W/L record 19 games above .500, a +127 in aggregate runs, and a playoff odds number higher than 90% with multiple perennial MVP candidates and a Cy Young frontrunner and the greatest reliever in the history of the game—in a franchise less than two calendar years removed from a WS title that hasn’t had a September without meaningful baseball games since the George H.W. Bush administration…

      … we sure have a shitload of whiny, bitchy, panicking, sky-is-falling “this team sucks” fans, don’t we?

      (shakes head)

      • I think it’s a matter of a group of fans who have been spoiled. If you were a fan of the Yankees in the 80′s (like me) you know what a drought feels like, but there is a small yet vocal group of fans that grew up during the dynasty and feel like that’s the way it should always be. In their minds anything less than 5 titles in a decade is a failure.

        • CS Yankee says:

          Well 50% grade is failing in school.

          My fanhood starts in mid-70′s (around ’74) which was lean as well before Reg’, but yes those mid-80′s to early 90′s were brutal.

          Going from Nettles to Pags’ didn’t raise eyebrows as they had gapping holes elsewhere. Now a “Jeter to ninth” or “Jesus be the 24th man” or “Freddy can’t hit 90″ crap is stated 20 times a day. We would of killed for 2011 Freddy in ’82,or most of those years for that matter.

  16. Pastadivingarod says:

    If i am cashman
    I ask CWS what they want for burley or danks
    I offer seattle cano for felix stait up if seattle really wantsbto win they will jump on it
    I also look into dempster chicago and woods thrown in

    I have to land a 1/2 or in the off season CC will end up owning the new stadium.
    In the offseason i get CJ Wilson and reyes whomi stick at 2nd for now.
    I also try to get kemp from dodgers

  17. Pastadivingarod says:

    Line up
    Cano dh
    Nunez 2b
    Laird 3b
    Burnett p lok for AJ to give up at least 5 runs today in this heat.

  18. smurfy says:

    “Help us, Hiroki. You’re our only hope!”

    Thanks for the giggle, Stephen!

  19. John Cerra says:


    I am hardly trolling. I see a team that except for last night, hasn’t hit since Arod went out. This part of the season can be a slippery slope, if we keep on letting CC lose 2-1…we are going to give up ground to the Sox.

    When asked, (OK, it was on the Sterling and Waldyn) the AAA pitchers that have been up and down say Montero is more than adequate behind the plate. His bat is and will be much better than Cervelli.

    I like the job Martin has done, be he is giving away bats also. It’s hard to be tough on Jorge, but he is clearly going the wrong way.

    So in the American League East, we have a substandard offensive production from Catcher, DH, shortstop, and the bench. For a few weeks, third base is a problem, unless Chavez convinces his body he is 25 again.

    So one easy improvement here is replace Cervelli with Montero.

    In the last few weeks of the trade deadline, Cashman looking for someone who suddenly needs a catcher or backup due to injury…? It’s not like we need all the catchers. Even if you don’t like Montero, Romine is right around the corner.

  20. Grover says:

    I’m hard pressed to find an improvement over Colon and Garcia among the starters mentioned that might be available. That tells me this is the year to overwhelm for a 1 or 1A starter and I would target Felix and Gio from the teams who believe they are out of the race. A five or six for one would be unpopular on these boards until the playoffs started but not out of character for the Yanks.

  21. gcx302 says:

    As a GM, if you really want to make a trade – “you can find a good dance partner”.

    For weeks now I keep reading the same crap “Jiminez, but…” “Kuroda, wants to stay West coast…” Unless you are really on the inside – no way to know for certain if this is true or mostly hype and posturing, or (likely) a bit of both.

    But there are teams with GM’s who are almost always willing to make a deal – as long as you are not trying to pull a “something for nothing” from them…

    1. White Sox – Ken Williams. ALWAYS a chance with him. Cashman – keep plugging for John Danks until Mr. Williams says yes.

    2. Mariners – Zdrudniek. Tough GM, but the Mariner’s are really in a tough position. What tough position: The realization that no matter what decent pitching this team puts out – they are NEVER going to make a run in their division until they get some real hitting.

    Pitcher to pursue: J. Vargas (there are others, but he is a lefty…).

    Go for it Mr. Cashman. MAYBE you can’t get a true #2 starter in this year’s market – granted. But at least have some guts and try for a decent “2a” or # 3 starter to see what the Yankees can accomplish THIS season…

    Why I am saying the above: Posted this before and will keep saying it: Until the Yankees prove to me that they can scout, sign, and develop a TRUE #1 or #2 young starter (ala, Lincecum, Hamels, etc.) from their system – I am not going to trust their prospects.

    They have not done this (Kennedy, Hughes, Brackman, (I like Nova, but he is not going to be a #1] etc.) in the past 8 years or more. Who is to say that Banuelos and/or Betances are going to be any different.

    What it means: If you have the chance to get a proven #2 AT ALL (we have our #1, course) – GO FOR IT.

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