Yanks turned down K-Rod, not in on Beltran

Comparing the Yankees to their peers: The starters
Modell's, Steiner, Miller help Lopez with taxes, loans

With the Yanks’ crosstown rivals looking to free up money to keep Jose Reyes while attempting to restock their financially depleted system, a few Mets have flitted across the Yanks’ radar. The Flushing Nine delivered an All Star surprise when they shipped K-Rod to the Brewers last night, but they didn’t send away their high-priced closer before checking in with the Yankees.

According to numerous sources (Olney, Klapisch), the Yankees could have gotten K-Rod for simply money as well but opted against the move. As we noted in last night’s post on the trade, I was nominally in support of a move to acquire K-Rod, but the Yanks’ rationale for turning down the Mets’ offer seemingly rests on two grounds, one sounder than the other.

The first, I have to assume, concerns the dollars. K-Rod is owed around $5 million this year and with a $3.5 million buyout. Even with the Mets’ picking up some salary, that’s a hefty amount to pay to a late-inning guy for two and a half months. The Yanks were willing to pick up Kerry Wood’s hefty salary last year because they needed set-up help. This year, their pitching dollars are likely allocated to any potential starter or lefty relievers who may become available. Plus, Brian Cashman should know by now that sinking dollars into replaceable late-inning set-up men isn’t a good use of resources.

The other reason seems to concern the bullpen composition itself. Joel Sherman reported that, had the Yanks acquired K-Rod, either he or Soriano would have manned the 7th while the other secured the 8th. The team, he said, thought that “would be a problem with [the] emotional duo.” Both are used to closing; both would be in reduced roles. It’s worth remembering too that K-Rod’s demotion to the 7th or 8th will likely cost him a hefty 2012 salary. Valid reason for giving up the chance to upgrade the bullpen for only dollars, albeit a lot of them? Perhaps so.

In other Yankee/Met news, Buster Olney says that the Yanks are not interested in Carlos Beltran. The Mets have more leverage with regards to Beltran than they did with K-Rod and will ask for a steep package for the outfielder who would make a fine AL DH. I believe he could have a role on the Yanks as a DH/OF, but that would involve marginalizing Jorge Posada. As Beltran is the best bat available, the Yanks are sending signals that want to spend on starting pitching.

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Comparing the Yankees to their peers: The starters
Modell's, Steiner, Miller help Lopez with taxes, loans
  • Mister Delaware

    What is Cashman doing???????

  • crawdaddie

    Trying to use his resources wisely.

  • bonestock94

    Hooray

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

    Hmm. I know he’s not the K-Rod of old, but it only would have cost cash and no prospects. The Yankees bullpen could use a little help, but it has to be that ugly contract that turned Cashman off.

    • Ted Nelson

      “Just cash” could actually be MSM speak for “two prospects to be named later who actually might have been decent prospects.” If it’s not a Montero or Banuelos level of hype prospect… the MSM usually lumps them all together into the “nothing” category. Might not be the case, but I would not take the MSM word that it was just cash at face value at all.

      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

        The Brewers’ farm system is barren. This was a cash-and-salary dump. No one is being shy admitting that. See Sherman.

        • Ted Nelson

          I agree that the Brewers don’t have much to offer… but not everyone who is not a top 100 prospect is the same. Someone who projects to be a “middle reliever,” for example, is not necessarily going to be a big deal prospect… but ultimately all you’re trading him for is a few months of a “middle reliever.”

          Might not be as big a deal as the $, but if the Mets were asking for, say, DJ Mitchell… Cashman might have (hypothetically) said, “I’d rather keep my $ and Mitchell than get K-Rod… but you can have my money and Lance Pendelton if you want that.” The Brewers came in with what added up to Mitchell (or more than Mitchell, but less $ since I think the Mets are picking up $5 mill) so the Mets took that. I’m not saying that’s what happened, just that it could be what happened and that would be reported the same way ultimately as Cashman simply hanging up the phone and saying “f-off Mets.”

        • Ted Nelson

          Sherman: “Mets did not get good prospects because #Brewers don’t have any good prospects left. This was a money deal (cont)”

          Again… “not good prospects” does not even attempt to categorize or quantify how good they might be. Simply “good prospects” and “bad prospects”… where’s the line?

          If the Yankees had sent, say, DJ Mitchell and Bradley Suttle… that would be reported as “not good” prospects, yet with some luck they might both out-WAR K-Rod in a year or two. Corban Joseph/David Adams and Adam Warren/DJ Mitchell/Jose Ramirez/Stoneburner/Marshall/Bryan Mitchell could even be a better package than that… but again might be reported as “not good” prospects. Mets might have a starting 2B and #4/5 starter for the next decade even though it was “not good” prospects. Of course odds are stacked against that and that’s why those are “not good” prospects… but most guys traded have ceilings that would make them MLB contributors if they reach them.

          My point is just that not all “not good” prospects are equally “not good.” Losing Melancon for Berkman or McAllister for Kearns or Clippard for Albie or prospect X for K-Rod seems like small fries, but there is a real opportunity cost there.

          • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

            Bradley Suttle sucks. I’d happily trade him for a late-inning Major League reliever with ten years of success under his belt.

            • Ted Nelson

              My point wasn’t Bradley Suttle… He was one example and it was a Suttle/Mithcell package I mentioned in that example.

              I’ll hold your hand through this:

              Part of my point is that even though someone like Suttle “sucks” he is a LH 3B who could find an MLB home as a platoon player and wind up being just as valuable as K-Rod shortly. The Brewers don’t have any Jesus Montero’s in their system… they don’t even have any real JR Murphy’s in their system… but they have plenty of Suttle’s and better.

              It’s not that the Brewers called and asked for Suttle specifically and Cashman said “no, I love me some Suttle.” It’s that along with the price, there could have been some disagreement on what the prospects should be included. This would not be reported by the MSM. That’s my point.

          • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

            Also, the Brewers have literally the worst farm system in the Majors. Ranked 30 out of 30. They have nothing to trade in the literal sense. It’s a salary dump. The Mets just wanted the money.

            • Ted Nelson

              Damn you are dense… They are trading two PTBN… they are trading something. It’s a matter of exactly what. Not all “not good” prospects are equally awful.

              The Brewers don’t have a good system, but that doesn’t mean they have literally no prospects who will contribute more in the majors than K-Rod will for the next few months. Maybe none of them will… but certainly some of them might.

              • V

                You. Are. Batshit. Fucking. Insane. Please get help.

                • CMP

                  Ted’s not crazy. I can see the point he’s been trying to make.

                  The Brewers traded 2 live human beings for K-rod. Though neither is a legitimate baseball prospect, either one could get bit by a radioactive spider, get exposed to gamma radiation or stumble across a power ring thereby developing superhuman powers which would elevate their prospect status dramatically. It’s highly unlikely but not impossibe.

          • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

            Look, I like you. But I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here. We shouldn’t trade anyone because non-great prospects like Bradley Suttle might be better than K-Rod some day? Yeah, some prospects do better than the experts say. But many many prospects never turn out to be anything. Suttle is 25 years old, in AA, and hitting .215/.313/.393. He’s never really been any sort of prospect.

            I wasn’t particularly interested in K-Rod, but if it was for Suttle and there was a guarantee that option wouldn’t vest, yeah I do that. Easily.

            Trading prospects is a risk you have to take sometimes to compete, I think. Sometimes you end up with the Javy Vazquez deal, and sometimes you end up with the A-Rod deal. I’m pretty sure this is the case with every team.

            • Ted Nelson

              “We shouldn’t trade anyone because non-great prospects like Bradley Suttle might be better than K-Rod some day?”

              That’s not at all what I’m saying. A. I should have never said Suttle… he was an example… I followed that up with Corban Joseph and a whole host of other examples and B. he was included in a package with DJ Mitchell when I did bring him up, and I meant for him to be the lesser of the two pieces. My original point about that was that hypothetically it’s possible the Mets wanted a DJ Mitchell (for example) and the Yankees only wanted to give a Lance Pendelton (for example). Though both are “not good prospects” their values might differ in an organization’s mind.

              I thought I was pretty clear with what I was saying:
              A. that the MSM will not report all the intricucies of which “not good” prospects are traded… Arodys was a throw-in to the great Melky deal as the MSM reported it. And I’m sure neither prospect the Brewers send will be nearly as good.
              B. That not all “not good” prospects are the same. If you don’t like the Suttle comparison… someone like Corban Joseph or Brandon Laird or whoever would probably be reported on as “not good” prospects if the Yankees sent them somewhere.

              I have no idea what the list the Mets will be picking from to get their two PTBN will be. Maybe it’s all 100% org guys with zero upside. My original point was just that the MSM will not report every detail of a trade. They rely on rumors and tid-bits in the first place… probably not even right from the source, second-hand. Sherman, for example, just says that an exec said the Brewers have no prospects basically… that tells us nothing. I highly doubt he’s included in the deal, but if the Mets got Wily Peralta out of this… that wouldn’t be a bad haul.

              Suttle was a poor example obviously… but as a guy with a major platoon split that favors him hitting RHP and being able to play 3B… he’s not worthless. I would trade him for K-Rod in a heartbeat… but he was just as example that along with the money, the Mets could have asked for slightly too steep a prospect price (given that the money would be absorbed). Mets might have asked, for example, the Yankees to pay all $8.5 and give up roughly the prospect price the Brewers paid… while only asking Brewers for the prospects and $3.5 mill (which is reportedly what they’re paying).

            • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

              Or to give a more pertinent example, the CC deal. Back then, the Brewers DID have a farm system, and LaPorta and Brantley were both supposed to be big deals. The Brewers knew they really likely would not be able to retain Sabathia, too. Now they’re both still pretty young but neither of those guys has been great. And even if they had, unless LaPorta turned into Pujols or something, I’m pretty sure Milwaukee’s just fine with that.

              • Ted Nelson

                I think I must be banned, because I’ve tried to reply twice and failed.

                • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

                  Not banned, just got caught in our spam filter. I pushed it through. It’s there now. Sorry about that.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    No worries, thanks.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Well… guess not.

                  I really have to run, but basically: that’s not what I’m saying. A. MSM is notorious for going on 2nd hand rumors and discounting non-elite prospects as all being the same (Arodys for example was a “throw-in” to the great “Melky led” package)… Sherman literally just says that the Brewers have “no good prospects”… they have few good prospects, but that doesn’t mean everyone in their system is equally awful…
                  B. Just that: not all “not good” prospects are the same. Suttle was a bad example, but let’s use him again: Suttle vs. Corban Joseph or David Adams or Claudio Custodio or Brandon Laird or Jorge Vazquez… all would likely be described as “not good prospects” but do you feel they all have the exact same value? It’s not that they shouldn’t trade any prospects, but that there are some prospects they might trade for a 2 month reliever and some they might not… after considering all the $ they’d be laying out.

  • David, Jr.

    Hopefully, not going after K-Rod is an indication that they are quite certain that Soriano will return. If he comes back and pitches like he did for Tampa last year, he can make a major difference.

    I don’t see a huge need for Beltran.

    As you say, it all points toward going after a starting pitching upgrade, and as well as the current staff has pitched, that would be of the blockbuster variety if it is going to be a significant improvement.

    • Ted Nelson

      Yeah, agreed.

  • Ed

    Plus, Brian Cashman should know by now that sinking dollars into replaceable late-inning set-up men isn’t a good use of resources.

    I agree with that in general, but I’m not sure that applies at this moment. I don’t see an obvious way to better spend the money at this point.

    There isn’t an obvious way to significantly improve the starting lineup. Jeter and Posada aren’t going anywhere. The team seems to like Russel Martin’s defense enough to compensate for his offense. Anyone else isn’t going to be easy to improve on.

    The starting rotation has been better than we expected. So far it doesn’t look like there’s anyone available that’s clearly a significant improvement.

    Overpaying for a reliever or a bench player seems like the best way to improve the team at the moment.

    • JFish

      Assuming Bedard could magically stay healthy he could potentially be a rotation upgrade that wouldn’t cost too much in players or dollars.

    • David, Jr.

      It is a good position to be in. Assuming Soriano comes back strong, how many ways can the team be improved by much?

      A good bench player.
      A superstar catcher.
      A #1/2 starting pitcher.

      That isn’t much, which is why they are overwhelmingly likely to make the playoffs.

      • Mickey Scheister

        Or…

        1. If Jones played to his potential/Chavez gets better
        2. Jesus gets called up sooner than later.
        3. Hughes finds his first half 2007/2010

        Or they could always dump Jones for Thames!

        • David, Jr.

          Not sure that Jones isn’t playing to his potential. Looks done to me.

          Chavez would certainly help. I can see that one if he gets healthy.

          Montero is not going to get called up. He simply hasn’t shown that he is ready.

          I believe that what Hughes does in his next couple of starts will be instrumental in how Cash looks at their needs.

  • Rainbow Connection

    Meh.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

      My reaction too. This is a slow news day (no offense to our wonderful writers); I just feel like this doesn’t really mean anything truly significant in any direction.

  • steve (different one)

    Was Wood’s contract “hefty”? I thought Cashman arranged a sliding scale where the Yanks would pay more depending on how he did. Am I misremembering? I thought it was something like $1M-2.5M…

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

    With D-Rob, Cervelli, and Joba on the 40-man, acquiring K-Rod would have exceeded our three fistpumping player allotment.

    No dice.

  • Jorge

    Mama always said just say no to K-Rod.

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

    Clearly, the Yankees are racist against blacks and Latinos.

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

      Who brought George Weiss back from the dead?

    • SDM

      except if your name is Jeter, A-rod, Rivera, Cano, Pena, Posada, Granderson, Jones, Colon, Garcia, Nunez, Nova, Noesi, Ayala, Soriano, or Mitre

      (I saw the Hughes thread so I know what your comment was referencing just putting my two cents so its even more obvious what a pile of crap that persons comment was.)

      • Guest

        You forgot to include the Yankees best black player:

        CC “I love it when you call me Big Poppa” Sabathia.

        Never before has there been such a perfect connection between player and intro music in professional sports.

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

          That’s his intro music? Now I respect him even more.

          • Guest

            Yup. All the more interesting since he grew up on the West Coast during the height of the east coast/west coast “beef.”

            Then again, CC seems like the kind of guy who could have made peace if he got be in the same room with Biggie and Tupac.

        • SDM

          CC is a Beast-Mode Megatron

      • Rainbow Connection
      • Oscar Gamble’s ‘Fro

        Jeter isn’t black. Just ask Eldrick Woods.

    • Gonzo

      I avoided most of that debacle of a thread. I just assumed Gary Sheffield was trolling.

      • Mickey Scheister

        Or the person could’ve been from GA. You know, below the ole Mason-Dixon line.

  • Good Wood

    I’m all for upper management doing anything and everything to improve the team. However, there are a handful of players that I would prefer not to have to root for. K-rod is one of them. Seeing him in pinstripes just wouldn’t feel right. Sorta like when we got Benitez.

  • Rainbow Connection

    I assumed the Yanks would not get either player. It would have been too obvious. Cash is a ninja and does ninja things.

  • Jonathan Harker

    We didn’t want him anyway. Good riddance.

  • David, Jr.

    Watch for a major Cash ninja deal. I can feel it coming. The assets to trade are there, stacked in two places, pitcher and catcher.

    • Greg

      I think Kershaw will be too much, but I would look out for him or Garza.

      • David, Jr.

        We are sitting pretty. We could trade Nova, Noesi, and Murphy, Sanchez or Romine, a package that would have a lot of value, and still have young pitching and catching coming out of our ass. Something is going to happen.

  • Jake

    It stings a little that we could’ve gotten K-Rod for essentially just money a few months after giving Soriano a huge deal, which also cost us our first round pick.

    • steve (different one)

      yeah, but then we would have missed out on all the innings Soriano pitched up to this point….wait