Open Thread: Hello From Dallas

Mailbag: Joel Zumaya
Manny in pinstripes? "I don't think so"

Forgive the crappy cell phone camerawork, but that’s the official “Welcome to the Winter Meetings” sign in one of the lobbies here at the Hilton Anatole in rainy Dallas. That guy on his phone in the background is actually Mitch Williams, the MLB Network analyst and the pitcher that gave up Joe Carter’s World Series clinching walk-off homer in 1993. You have to figure that’s something he thinks about at least once a day, right?

Anyway, the Yankees made a handful of transactions at last year’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, most notably re-signing both Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. They also made a pair of Rule 5 Draft picks, but most of their time was spent wooing Cliff Lee and feigning interest in Carl Crawford. It certainly feels like we could be in for a slow week this year, but you never really know. The first official order of business comes tomorrow afternoon, when teams have to set their 40-man rosters for Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft by 5pm ET. The Yankees do have one open spot on their 40-man at the moment, so if they clear another spot(s) tomorrow, we’ll know they have their eye on a player or two come Thursday.

Pitching figures to be the popular topic for the next four days, in terms of both free agency and trades. Bench help and general depth is also on the agenda. The Yankees do appear content to wait the market out though, and in fact Brian Cashman won’t even get here until tomorrow afternoon. Unlike last year — when they had an obvious target — we’re in the dark as far as their plans go. I don’t know about you, but I think that makes things more exciting.

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Here is tonight’s open thread. The Lions and Saints are your late football game (8:20pm ET on NBC), but feel free to talk about anything you want here. It’s all fair game, have at it.

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Mailbag: Joel Zumaya
Manny in pinstripes? "I don't think so"
  • Granderslam

    Jayson Nix to the Phillies. Dom Brown please?! And thank you.

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

      The Phillies seem intent on doing whatever they can to bury Brown.

      • Granderslam

        Seriously. Shame. He would do quite well on the Yankees roster ;)

      • Ted Nelson

        Unless they add a FA it’s pretty much Mayberry or him for a starting OF spot. Why would you say that they’re any more intent on burying him than the Rays are Jennings or the Yankees are Montero?

      • http://twitter.com/#!/czm93 Craig

        I don’t understand why the Phillies banish Brown to Triple A seemingly forever citing “he’s not ready”, but Freddy Galvis, he of the 126 PAs at Triple A, is.

    • JohnnyC

      Wrong Nix.

  • Sarah

    Welcome to the Big D, Mike. Sorry for the horrible weather. It has been pretty nice until recently.

  • Mickey S

    I’m pretty sure the officials have some kinda vested interest to ensure The Packers win this game, both challenges could have gone either way, the bobbled TD reviewed still counted and after the 3rd and 10 sack on Rodgers a phantom flag gives GB a 1st down. Full disclosure, I’m not a Giants fan.

  • Mickey S

    On the baseball side of things, you Mr. Axisa have a dream job. Enjoy the winter meetings, we here at the RAB comment section are looking forward to the glorious coverage you’ll be bringing.

    • MannyGeee

      Yeah, like I HAVE to know what Kruky is eating… I am not buying that Weight Watchers for Men shit for a minute…

  • Manny Ramirez’s Steroids

    By Thursday Gio Gonzalez will be a Yankee. Betances, Romine, Warren and Nunez to Oakland!!!

    • Mickey S

      I love your trade proposal. But Gio is under team control until 2015, I’m pretty sure they’d want Montero and/or ManBan.

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

        Apparently they asked the Marlins for Mike Stanton.

        • candyforstalin

          hahahaha.

        • MannyGeee

          Oh Billy Beane… He thinks Kenny Williams runs the Fish, bless his heart!

          • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

            Haha.

      • Manny Ramirez’s Steroids

        Maybe we can throw Ramiro Rakin Pena and Adamns in there too.

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

      They need outfielders, they’ve lost all 3 of their starters plus Matsui to free agency this year, and don’t plan on bringing any back.

      They don’t need starters. They’re 7-8 deep as it is, which is why they’re dangling Gio to begin with.

      Unless you can bring in a 3rd team, the Yanks really don’t match up.

  • Avi

    “That guy on his phone in the background is actually Mitch Williams, the MLB Network analyst”

    We’re being very generous with the word analyst tonight .

    • MannyGeee

      However at his size, the word ‘background’ seems pretty fitting…

      Dog, try a salad…..

  • RetroRob

    Based on this report from Joel Sherman, don’t expect much from the Yankees in signing free agents. With specifics of the now CBA known, the Yankees plan to reduce their payroll to $189 million or less by 2014 to eliminate paying the luxury tax.

    Sherman goes through the numbers on how much money the Yankees can save, and it’s substantial.

    This could be just another way for the Yankees to mislead the market to talk down prices, but I’m not so sure. Hal Steinbrenner has seemed intent on eventually getting the Yankees payroll below the threshold.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports.....D2c6NKXCRM

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

      Ben is going to have something on this later, but yeah, Sherman did a good job of breaking it down. If they cut the MLB payroll by just $12M or so, they can save over $50M in luxury tax and revenue sharing payments per year.

      • Granderslam

        So, I am guessing that is a strong indication that the Yankees will be active in the trade market as the cheaper alternative. I mean, they almost have to, right?

        • Ted Nelson

          I don’t know… getting a cheap, good alternative in a trade means giving up prospects who can be cheap good alternatives shortly themselves. They can also just be patient.

          Most guys who get traded at reasonable prices are going to start getting paid pretty soon anyway.

      • Plank

        In terms of a strategy to make the Yankees a better baseball team, how would this help? It’s certainly better for the Steinbrenners since they get to keep a bunch of extra money and there is absolutely no way to improve the club with it (Free agents, IFAs, Draft.)

        I don’t like the idea of it. If they are doing it to just dip below for a year, that’s better, but if that is the strategy going forward, that sucks.

        • Need Pitching

          they could spend more in IFA or draft if they chose to. There are no hard caps for either.

          • Plank

            Yeah, but then the pipeline dries up for the following year or two.

            No matter where they spend the money, there are penalties. There are enough soft caps that it’s like they combine to form a hard cap by committee.

        • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

          Because you can improve the long-term future of the franchise, without mortgaging the short-term, in ways other than trading for/signing the same four or five guys everyone speaks of in “acquire of bust” terms.

          • Plank

            If they get to 189MM by 2014, they aren’t going be signing much of anyone. Free agency is a very real part of building a winning club.

            In two offseasons (including next year), the players coming off the books are Granderson (15MM), Swisher(10.25MM), Cano (15MM), Martin (TBD), Rivera (15MM), Soriano (14MM), Garcia (5MM?), Chamberlain (TBD), Hughes (TBD), Feliciano (4MM), Burnett (16.5MM), Logan (TBD)

            Is that all?

            They would have to let most of those people go in order to get below 189MM. They could probably re-sign one of Granderson or Cano, maybe both if they make no other moves or just a small one. It doesn’t seem worth it just to get under that line.

            The only glaring hole that will open up is in LF. The other positions could be filled from within. The rotation would be CC and a bunch of prospects. That could be a good thing, but chances are, it’s a recipe for a 90 win team if they’re lucky.

            Teix, Cano, Zombie Jeter, Zombie Arod, Romine, Montero, Gardner, Granderson, and who knows doesn’t seem like a winning lineup in 2 years. One or both of Arod and Jeter might not be able to field at that point, too.

            It could work out, but I doubt it. The idea of trying to not sign overpriced older free agents is fine, but for the Yankees, they have a distinct advantage in being able to do that. Why take that advantage away from themselves?

            • Plank

              The only glaring hole that will open up is in LF RF

    • candyforstalin

      kuroda or/and darvish more likely. fine.

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

      Another offseason, another pledge by the Yanks to lower payroll.

      ..and once again Joel buys it hook, line and sinker.

  • Granderslam

    How about that Marlins offer to Reyes? Whoa, pretty much a done deal there. What happens to Hanley?

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

      Yeah, no one is going to top that. I guess Hanley moves to third. If they were smart, they’d stick him in center field.

      • Avi

        I actually thought Reyes would get seven years and $142MM like Crawford or better.

  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

    Here’s my Winter Meetings prediction:

    Yankees acquire John Danks and Matt Thornton for Betances, Romine, Warren, Sanchez, and fillers.

    • mbonzo

      Please no.
      If Matt Thornton is in the deal, he will take away a prospect from the Yankees’ package.

      • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

        Well, remember, my trade proposal sucks just like 99.999999999% of the other trade proposals out there by fans.

        • mbonzo

          My sucky trade proposal.
          Williams, Noesi, Murphy for Danks.

    • Ted Nelson

      Could be reasonable if they’re high on Sanchez and Betances… with the seasons those two guys had it’s a bit questionable, but maybe Kenny Williams looks to buy low.

      I think that’s more what it would take to get Danks alone at the winter meetings, without Thornton. Perhaps later in the off-season if the White Sox are resigned to trading Danks.

      Also wonder if they’re looking to replace Tyler Flowers. I don’t think position should matter too much as players are fungible, but the more reshuffling needed the less I’d expect a deal to happen.

      • Ted Nelson

        I do like that it’s headlined by the sort of high volatility prospects that it’s possible the Yankees are willing to sell and the White Sox are willing to buy (though the opposite is equally likely), with a couple of more stable but lower upside guys mixed in to contribute soon.

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

      Wow, that’s very generous of you. Way, way too much. Thorton is barely worth the money he earns, so why are you paying for him twice with talent? Danks is a slightly above average pitcher who has 1 year left until free agency, and you’re basically emptying out the farm system for him as if he’s King Felix.

  • mbonzo

    Jeter for the next 3 years at $41m or Reyes for the next 6 years at $111m?

    Cashmand didn’t do so bad afterall. Not that I wouldn’t love Reyes, but I bet Jeter plays more games over the next 3 years.

    • MannyGeee

      I give Jeter more games in 3 years than Reyes in those 6…, just sayin

    • Brian S.

      You forget that Reyes is a way way way better player than Jeter.

      • mbonzo

        Over the last 3 years Jeter has accumulated 12.1 WAR while Reyes has accumulated 9.9.

        Yea I’d rather have Reyes at this point in their careers, but I’d rather have Jeter’s contract.

        • Brian S.

          What Jeter did in 2009 has nothing to do with what kind of player he is now, so using the last three years WAR makes absolutely no sense.. Jeter’s contract is terrible considering the last two years he’s a light hitting no defense shortstop making huge money. He’s an albatross.

          • Ted Nelson

            It’s possible for Jeter to be an albatross and still a better value than Reyes if Reyes is hurt every year.

          • mbonzo

            In 2011 he ranked 4th in AVG and 5th in OBP.

            In the 69 games after the DL he hit .331/.384/.447.
            Reyes from that point hit .305/.356/.428.

            As for defense, Reyes isn’t known for great D. He had a negative UZR last year.

            What you’ll get from either one is a mystery, but I’d much rather bet on Jeter’s health and consistency than Reyes when you factor in age and contract.

            • mbonzo

              Sorry, the 2011 ranking was all starting short stops.

            • Brian S.

              Convenient of you to leave out the three months that he was dreadful and not mention the >.400 BABIP that sustained his second half. And Reyes is still a much better defender, even if he is below average compared so some of his peers.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

        Reyes’s best-case might be better than Jeter’s best-case right now, but I have far more faith in Jeter reaching his than Reyes reaching his. Give me Jeter’s deal over Reyes every time.

        • Brian S.

          Give me Hardy or Peralta over Jeter, which is what we should have done last winter. Half the price for over twice the value. Also, defense!

          • Ted Nelson

            Way to play Monday morning QB and entirely ignore that baseball is a business!

            • Jimmy McNulty

              NO TED, he has a point!!!!! Just like we should have had Evan Longoria or Ryan Zimmerman over A-Rod!!!!!!!

              • candyforstalin

                also, youth!

              • Brian S.

                This doesn’t make any sense. Zimmerman and Longoria have never been available at the same time as A-Rod, but keep trying douchebag.

                • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

                  Uhhhhhhhhhhh, they could have tanked the 2004 season and draft Ryan Zimmerman, and tank the 2005 season and draft Evan Longoria. Duuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhh.

            • Brian S.

              I was for getting JJ Hardy last year in December. Nomaas brought up the idea and I ran with it. But nice try.

              • mbonzo

                In this case I’d rather have Longoria over Arod… Am I doing it right?

                My point was that the Jeter deal doesn’t seem so bad now that he’s actually hitting and an inconsistent SS like Reyes is getting a 9 figure deal.

                • Brian S.

                  No you aren’t doing it right because Longoria was never available.

                  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

                    The fuck he wasn’t. Just tank the 2005 season.

                    Problem solved.

              • Ted Nelson

                It’s very possible the Yankees kept Jeter and certainly that they gave him that enormous deal not for baseball reasons, but for business reasons. This is a business.

                And JJ Hardy had his first good season in three years last year. What are the chances he repeats it next season? It’s very difficult to pick the JJ Hardy from the crap every season, which is why teams just lock up a consistent performer.

            • Jimmy McNulty

              NO TED, he has a point!!!!! Just like we should have had Evan Longoria or Ryan Zimmerman over A-Rod!!!!!!! We shuld totally have Felix, Doc, and Cliff Lee instead of AJ….can u imagine that?

            • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

              I laughed.

          • candyforstalin

            hahahahaha.

            • Brian S.

              If I didn’t have a cogent argument I would just laugh too.

          • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

            No one seemed to care when I got rid of Jeter on my PS3 last year!

            • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

              When I get MLB 12 the show, I’m dumping A-Rod AND Burnett!!!!

        • MannyGeee

          This…. The Fish are gonna hate that contract come 2014…

    • mustang

      Wow! What difference a year makes MANY people here had Jeter on this death bed this time last year.

      • William

        So……Betances and sancheZ for danks.

  • NFLrefs hateGiants

    Prince Amukamara’s “pass interference” and Aaron Rodsucker’s “TD pass”

    • http://abovetheyankeedugout.com/ Carl

      Dude, game’s over. Nothing to do about it, nothing to save them from dropping to .500 and their season from going down the drain in the 2nd half yet again. I’d rather the whole NFL season just end already. I’m sick of it.

      • Ted Nelson

        Four winnable games left. Season’s in their hands if they can take both over Cowboys.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      And Jacquian Williams’ “illegal contact.” Fucking bullshit.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    My Iowa State Cyclones are playing in the Pinstripe Bowl…I may consider making it up to The Bronx again for the game. It’d be my second time at The Stadium (new one) but neither one was to see the Yankees.

  • cranky

    Betances, Romine, Laird, and Warren for Danks and Thornton.

    • Avi

      I think just Betances is too much for Danks. Something like Noesi and Romine is more than fair. Many players of Danks ilk have been traded for similar returns.

      • Ted Nelson

        How many 26 year old LHSP with a 5, a 4, and two 3 fWAR seasons already under their belt have ever been traded? I have to imagine it’s a pretty small group, and that the ones who have were not given away.

        If they hit their best case scenarios Noesi and Romine would be fair… except that most prospects do not hit their best case scenarios. Romine is as likely to be a back-up C as anything, and Noesi is as likely to be a back-end starter or reliever as anything. If you’re Kenny Williams and you have a young stud, are you trading him for that likely return?

  • candyforstalin

    my trade proposal doesn’t suck.

    yankees give 12,5 million american dollars.
    yankees get one year of hiroki kuroda.

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

      Nicely done. Sure, why not?

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      This is part of the 0.000000000000000001% of trade proposals that don’t suck.

  • Avi

    Reyes signing with the Marlins is good for the Mets. Better not to have him than give him $108MM over the next 6 years.

    • Avi

      Of course they should have traded him at the deadline just like Beltran.

      • mbonzo

        Thats more evident than ever now that all they’ll receive in compensation is a 1st round comp and 3rd round pick. What are the chances of that though? Thank god the Elias system is done because Bell beating Reyes makes me want to kick babies.

  • Hall and Nokes

    I guess when you have unlimited funds like the Marlins, it’s just a different sport from what everyone else is playing.

  • Mike Myers

    Jose Reyes signed with Miami

  • mbonzo

    The Marlins are bad for baseball.

  • Avi

    The Mets are now another team that will probably have a staring SS worse than Eduardo Nunez in 2012.

  • Hall and Nokes

    The Lions are kind of an embarrassment, huh?

  • mbonzo

    The MIAMI Marlins will probably have a higher opening day payroll than the NEW YORK Mets now.

    • Sarah

      Especially when they overpay for CJ Wilson.

      • Avi

        I’m hoping the Red Sox get stuck with CJ Wilson and the bad contract he’s about to get.

        • mbonzo

          Assuming they non-tender Leo Nunez, they’re payroll is now at $94m.
          The Mets are looking at $78m.

          • Plank

            I would imagine the Mets/ownership are in violation of the debt limit rules. Why doesn’t Selig do anything? Didn’t he learn anything from LA or Texas? Seriously? 78MM? Even if they are “rebuilding” that’s pathetic for a NY team. I’m sure the MLBPA isn’t happy about it either.

  • Avi

    $17.6mm to Reyes or $22mm to Prince Fielder? (assuming they both get six years)

    • mbonzo

      Fielder. No question.

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      Fielder, easy.

  • Plank

    Harold Reynolds’ Trade Proposal:

    Felix Hernandez for Nunez, Montero, Betances, and Hughes

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      Please tell me he didn’t suggest that…