Pro-scouting meetings begin in the Bronx

Mustelier makes a brief return in the AzFL
Yankees ties to the World Series
(AP Photo/John Marshall Mantel)

The Cardinals and Rangers will kick off the 2011 World Series on Wednesday night, but the Yankees will have already started planning out their offseason by then. The team’s annual pro-scouting meetings began at the home base in the Bronx on Monday, after Billy Eppler’s scouting department was given a week off following the club’s elimination from the ALDS. Advance scouting in the playoffs can be pretty intense, I imagine.

Brian Cashman spoke to Chad Jennings about the meetings on Monday afternoon, but he didn’t say much of anything. Typical Cashman-speak. “We assess ourselves,” said the GM when asked about what happens this week. “We assess our system. We assess the market that’s available to us. It’s all of it.” Despite reports of an imminent meeting with Hal Steinbrenner, Cashman said talks about a new contract might happen in the near future and might not be anything more than a phone call. As we’ve heard a number of times already, the two sides are expected to reach a deal without much of a problem.

There was a “no comment” on CC Sabathia and the status of his opt-out clause, and any talks about the futures of Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones, and Freddy Garcia have yet to take place. Obviously Bartolo Colon and Luis Ayala will come up at some point as well, but I’m pretty sure a decision has already been made about the future of Jorge Posada. At least on the team’s end of things.

The offseason started a little earlier than we all would have liked this fall, but that’s going to happen most years. The baseball season is a year-round thing these days, and the Yankees have already starting preparations for the upcoming offseason. The World Series will end in about ten days, maybe less, and Sabathia’s opt-out decision will come no more than three days after that. The hot stove’s coming in a hurry, folks.

Mustelier makes a brief return in the AzFL
Yankees ties to the World Series
  • Eduardo (My Left Nunez)

    I wonder if Cashman is waiting for Epstein’s contract and title to be announced. He may be asking for more than whatever dollar amount Epstein gets.

    I also wonder if he’s looking for more control and a title change, if not now, then to have the discussion about it in the near future. Replacing Levine as president of the Yankees has to be on his agenda.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    My ideal offseason (in the order that I expect these events to happen)

    Cashman re-signs
    CC brought back
    Yu Darvish brought in
    Fix the 5-7 spots in the bullpen with some cheap signings and MiL deals
    Reconstruct the bench.

    Honestly, if Eric Chavez is considering retirement you have to wonder if he’ll hold up on the Bench for another year. Yeah he was a pretty good player in the Bronx during his time there, but I think it’s probably for the best that they find someone else. I’m unsure if the same can be said for Andruw Jones, TBH. He was good, he still has some baseball left in him, but it’s not like there isn’t warning signs…granted he’s just the 4th OF/DH so there’s no need to get too upset over it one way or the other, but I’m hesitant on him.

    Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia, honestly does the organization expect them to hold up? Look, there’s been the “when will the other shoe drop” cloud hanging over them ever since they were signed. Yes they had nice years, and yes they were extremely fun to watch succeed. Bartolo Colon had a very good year by any measurement you can possibly think of, but he’s up there in age, he’s probably pushing 350 and this was the first time he cracked 100 innings since 2005. Probably not the best idea to go into next year with on a prayer again. If they get outbid for Darvish’s posting fee and CJ Wilson wants over 100M and more importantly, can get over 100M it’s worth considering bringing him back as a last resort, but I hardly want that to be the game plan.

    Freddy Garcia is a right handed junkballer pitching in Yankee Stadium, yes it worked well in 2011, but hey 5/6 times Russin Roulette ends up pretty well, still doesn’t make trying it again the best idea. You can hardly expect Freddy to repeat his performance or provide a similar level of value. Best case scenario he’s a richman’s Tim Wakefield. Which, yeah, has value…if he’s signed cheap and doesn’t mind where he pitches or what level he pitches at. If he’s okay with being the 6th starter yeah, I say bring him back…however, he probably won’t be okay with that nor should he be okay with that. He can easily get a good deal from an NL team looking for depth in the rotation. Maybe Atlanta signs him to protect their young arms, maybe the Marlins sign him to give them innings, or maybe he ends up with one of many the NLC or NLW contenders. Either way, if someone’s offering him real money on a ML contract I say thank him for his time and wish him well.

    Ayala? If he’s going to be assuming the Sergio Mitre role, then yes, I say go for it…otherwise he had crappy peripherals and probably isn’t a good bet to repeat the results of his 2011 campaign. I’d like to have Wade back and a lefty that actually gets out left handed hitters. Either way the bullpen next year looks like:

    Logan (barf)

    Soriano won’t be as crappy as he was in 2011, and Joba should be back sometime next year. Maybe trying to get another lefty wouldn’t be such a bad idea. If Choate’s available then go for it. The 4th guy in the bullpen could be improved upon, I’d like to try something off the scrapheap. Obviously there’s no need to sign someone to a contract like Benoit or Downs got, the system has guys like Noesi, Warren, Kontos, and Phelps. Who knows, maybe Brackman will decide not to suck too and he might be an option.

    Cashman’s had pretty good luck with the scrap heap in the bullpen and the bench, anytime the team signs an outside reliever to a multiyear deal that typically ends up blowing up in their face, but their depth signings tend to work out pretty well. I have faith that if he’s brought back that he’ll put together a legit bench and get some good relievers to fill that back end of the bullpen.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      good post, I think exactly the same way.

    • CP

      Boone Logan with the Yankees: 3.20 ERA, 3.50 FIP, 3.70 xFIP

      He’s been a rock solid part of the bullpen for the past two seasons, and I can’t understand why people hate him.

      • Mike Axisa

        He’s a lefty specialist that didn’t do all that well against lefties this season.

        • CP

          So 118 PA against lefties is the key?

          His problem with lefties this year was basically that he gave up 4 HR against them. Other than that he was fine. He struck out 29% of the lefties and walked 6% of them. And his BABIP against lefties was .343.

          I think the correct statement is that he didn’t do that well against lefties early this season. And it seems silly to judge a reliever on a platoon split over less than half the season.

          • Jimmy McNulty

            Yes, 118 PAs against lefties is the key. He’s had a 1.35 WHIP throughout his Yankee career and for a pitcher that’s usually brought in to face a batter or two that’s pretty fucking awful.

        • Dave M

          Your right. He’s miscast as a lefty specialist. If he were just a set up guy, 7th inning, or whatever, he’s not that bad.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Posada will not be back but I could see the Rays signing him as a DH/bench guy if he still wants to play. Depends on Damon I guess.

  • Juke Early

    Get creative Cashman. No more “we’re satisfied with what we have” bs. Happy you’re out in the first round huh? Really. How about a GM who isn’t satisfied with that then. Yeah yeah that’s his poker face. Then get in the game for real. Don’t back down from those low bid/low end GMs. They’re the equivalent of the punk looking to take on the fastest gun & make a name. Better get a front line starter. AND a hitting coach who works on the prima donna chokees.

    • MannyGeee

      “Get Creative Cashman”

      This sounds like a simplistic answer. “We’re satisfied with what we have” is a little different than “There are very few pieces we can currently address based on our contractual situation”

      (infield is as static as it comes, and unless you want to get rid of 2 of the best 3 players in 2011 you are pretty much static in the OF as well, and this team has more DH types than they can handle right now…)

      The 4 most movable pieces of this team (Montero, Cano, Granderson, Gardner) are arguably the 4 most productive players in 2011. And no matter how creative you get, the only way you can trade A-Rod, Jeter, Tex, AJ or Soriano is to turn on your PS3 and pop in that MLB ’12 disc.

      • Dave B


      • Ted Nelson

        “this team has more DH types than they can handle right now…”

        They have a lot of good hitters who could produce at DH… but outside of Montero (who may be able to play a very valuable defensive position himself) who is a DH on the roster right now? Posada, Jones, and Chavez are all free agents. Yankees have a strong defensive team.

    • MannyB ace2be

      Are you serious a new hitting coach?!? Kevin long is one of if not the best there is

    • Ted Nelson

      It is a poker face. He has nothing to gain by saying “I am desperate to change my roster.” He isn’t desperate because he has a very good team that lost the ALDS by a hair (the three losses were two 1 run losses and a 2 run loss). Acting desperate only hurts his negotiating position.

      What are you unsatisfied with about Cashman? He’s done a great job from where I’m sitting.

  • Doc Holliday

    Jorgie was one of our best hitters in the playoffs proving that he still has a little magic left in that bat. With Chavez retiring Jorgie can be backup 1B, DH when Montero is catching, and a veteran presence on the bench. They can’t let Jorgie go out the way they did if he still wants to play. He deserves better.

    • gc

      They don’t *need* Posada anymore, and whatever value he may have left can be easily (and more affordably) be replaced. Better to end it now, since his contract is over, than to make the ending down the line worse. At this point, they can each walk away and hold no grudges. Despite his post-season hits, Jorge doesn’t have much (if any) leverage to squeeze the team to give him anything. His usefulness to the team has come and gone. I love the guy, but it’s time to move on and if they don’t do it now, it will only get worse.

      • Monteroisdinero

        This. Suppose he starts to do left handed what he did this year right handed? Then we have to deal with his infantile ego and temper tantrum if he is benched/demoted etc.

        Thanks for the great career Jorge and we will see you at Old Timer’s Day where you will probably hit one out like Tino.

        • Dave B

          Agree with this 100%. We let a Series MVP (Matsui) walk and we were fine (although I still miss the hell out of him). Jorge was great and one of my favorites, but no sense in paying him a pile of cash to DH/PH.

          • Ted Nelson

            Why do you assume they’d pay him a pile of cash? That’s a faulty premise IMO. If he’s playing for the league minimum or close (plus incentives maybe) he just might be the best option as a lefty bat off the bench/ back-up 1B and DH… plus he can even be your emergency C days Montero is DHing if you find Cervelli a new home and go with Montero as back-up C.

            • Dave B

              Don’t get me wrong, I love Jorge and don’t mix me up with anyone who thinks he is a “disaster”. You’re right that his salary wouldn’t be a “pile of cash” in the Yankee scheme of things, but I think they could spend the money they have allocated for bench players with more versatility than having essentially a DH/PH. Your last posting below is my perspective, so at the end of the day I don’t think we disagree. I don’t think he’ll be back, but if they bring him back I’ll admit part of me will be happy about it.

              • Dave B

                …and if they could sign him for the league minimum as you indicate I would be all for it. As proud as he is, I doubt that would happen in a million years.

        • Ted Nelson

          You have bashed Jorge every chance you’ve had since I have been coming to this cite.

          Jorge’s actions were unacceptable when moved to 9th in the line-up, but it was a minor hiccup. Let’s not blow it out of proportion. If the Yankees were as upset by it as you, clearly they aren’t going to re-sign him. Otherwise let’s move on and hope he learned from it.

          What happens if he keeps hitting righties (the majority of pitchers and a good compliment to Montero and Tex)? He could be a valuable bench piece. What happens if he busts his butt this off-season and not only hits righties next season, but righties?

          If he doesn’t hit righties, cut ties mid-season and make a minor trade for a veteran left-handed bat or just replace him from AAA.

          • Ted Nelson

            I’m not saying they definitely should re-sign him, by the way, just if he’s the best value for a bench spot as a LHH DH/1B/C. If he’s taking a tiny salary, I think that might be the case.

      • Ted Nelson

        If he’s talking a minimum or even minor league deal, I don’t think his usefulness has necessarily come and gone. He still had a .353 wOBA against righties (and most pitchers are righties).

        Granted his defense and running take away value, but it’s not necessarily the case that you can find a replacement back-up 1B/DH on a minimum deal who w=can be expected to wOBA .353 off righties (which happens to complement Montero and Teixiera since both figure to have the opposite platoon slit as Posada).

        That’s a role the Yankees certainly may be looking to fill this off-season, and they might not find a better candidate than Jorge if he’s willing to take that limited role at a dirt cheap price.

        • Thenamestsam

          The problem is you’re acting like back-up 1st base/dh is a legitimate role when it’s really not. Literally any other bench player you bring in is going to be capable of backing up 1st base and dh while also playing other positions. Having such a positionally limited bench player is pretty useless in the AL, and becomes a liability if you carry 12 pitchers.
          Could Jorge hit enough to justify the loss in flexibility? Maybe, but given how steep his decline has been it makes a lot more sense to find someone who can also back up third (ala Chavez) who should be able to replicate jorge’s production while also being capable of playing defense.

          • Ted Nelson

            “The problem is you’re acting like back-up 1st base/dh is a legitimate role when it’s really not.”

            Plenty of big league teams would disagree with you. If they plan to play Montero at C, the Yankees might disagree with you.

            4th OF

            You’ve still got Romine, Laird, Corban Joseph, JoVa, Pena, etc. in AAA.

            “Literally any other bench player you bring in is going to be capable of backing up 1st base and dh while also playing other positions.”

            And how will they hit RHP?

            There are several bench spots, and the Yankees would be wiser to fill them all than to go into the season with less than 25 men on their 25 man roster. Instead of having 3 or 4 back-up SS, they’re likely to bring in a variety of players.

            “given how steep his decline has been”

            Have you looked at his splits? He had a wOBA of .353 against RHP last season. It’s a steep decline overall, but less so as a LHH.

            “it makes a lot more sense to find someone who can also back up third (ala Chavez)”

            They’ve already indicated that they plan to give Eduardo Nunez more PAs next season. He’s their back-up 3B.

            “(ala Chavez) who should be able to replicate jorge’s production”

            Chavez has a wOBA of .298 against RHP last season, Jorge’s was .353. Chavez didn’t come even close to replicating Jorge’s production. Not even in the same ball-park. It’s about the same as saying that Jorge replicated Joey Votto’s production last season in terms of hitting RHP.

            If there is a LHH free agent 3B with a solid bat who is willing to sign a tiny one-year contract to hardly play… by all means get him. They don’t really grow on trees, though.

        • gc

          What makes you think a player like Posada would take league minimum or a minor league deal? And even if he would (which I don’t think in a million years he will), is that really what you want to see as a fan from one of your “core four” players? Or to see them “cut ties” with him unceremoniously mid-season if things don’t work out?? There is no better opportunity, in my opinion, than RIGHT NOW to just walk away. For both parties. And for the fans, so they can still remember the guy the way he was and not have to see him struggle even worse in the future, which the odds say are more likely than some sort of miraculous (or even league-average) turn-around. Whatever value he may have left is replaceable.

          • Ted Nelson

            What makes me think he might take that is that he won’t get a better offer. Who is giving him a better deal than that?

            He’s already got plenty of money. If he can make half a mill more elsewhere to uproot his life… might just take a bit less to stay a Yankee.

            I don’t really care about the sentimental aspect. If Jorge can help them win games at a better value than another LHB off the bench… I want him in penstripes. If not, I want the other guy.

    • JohnnyC

      Posada’s not your huckleberry anymore, Doc.