Open Thread: Hello From Dallas


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.

* * *

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.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Granderslam says:

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

  2. Sarah says:

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

  3. Mickey S says:

    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.

  4. Mickey S says:

    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 says:

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

  5. Manny Ramirez's Steroids says:

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

  6. Avi says:

    “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 .

  7. RetroRob says:

    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.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

        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 says:

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

          • Plank says:

            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 says:

          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 says:

            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?

    • candyforstalin says:

      kuroda or/and darvish more likely. fine.

    • Steve S. says:

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

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

  8. Granderslam says:

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

  9. Jesse says:

    Here’s my Winter Meetings prediction:

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

    • mbonzo says:

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

    • Ted Nelson says:

      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 says:

        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.

    • Steve S. says:

      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.

  10. mbonzo says:

    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 says:

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

    • Brian S. says:

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

      • mbonzo says:

        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. says:

          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 says:

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

          • mbonzo says:

            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 says:

              Sorry, the 2011 ranking was all starting short stops.

            • Brian S. says:

              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.

      • 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.

    • mustang says:

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

  11. NFLrefs hateGiants says:

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

    • Carl says:

      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.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

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

  12. Jimmy McNulty says:

    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.

  13. cranky says:

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

    • Avi says:

      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 says:

        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?

  14. candyforstalin says:

    my trade proposal doesn’t suck.

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

  15. Avi says:

    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 says:

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

      • mbonzo says:

        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.

  16. Hall and Nokes says:

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

  17. Mike Myers says:

    Jose Reyes signed with Miami

  18. mbonzo says:

    The Marlins are bad for baseball.

  19. Avi says:

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

  20. Hall and Nokes says:

    The Lions are kind of an embarrassment, huh?

  21. mbonzo says:

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

    • Sarah says:

      Especially when they overpay for CJ Wilson.

      • Avi says:

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

        • mbonzo says:

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

          • Plank says:

            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.

  22. Avi says:

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

  23. Plank says:

    Harold Reynolds’ Trade Proposal:

    Felix Hernandez for Nunez, Montero, Betances, and Hughes

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