Mailbag: Brown and Heyward


(Brown via Getty; Heyward via AP)

Poindexter asks: Cashman is looking for a young controlled bat via trade. Do we have the pieces to land Domonic Brown or Jason Heyward?

As they look to replace Jesus Montero‘s since traded bat, Brian Cashman said one of the options they’re exploring is a trade for a young bat using one of their young pitchers. Dealing A.J. Burnett for a DH-type or salary relief so they could sign a free agent is another option, but I think we can all agree that that’s a long shot. No one seems to want Burnett. Using the excess pitching to land a bat makes sense, and both Brown and Heyward are qualified targets.

The Yankees just used their top trade chip, so the farm system did take a significant hit. I do believe they still have the pieces to land a young hitter of that caliber, but they won’t come cheap. As we just saw with Montero, a highly touted young hitter will cost a ton in a trade. Brown’s and Heyward’s stock might be down at the moment, but I don’t think that means their clubs are ready to pull the plug yet. They’ll ask for a massive return and rightfully so. If the Yankees want to package Phil Hughes and Manny Banuelos and more, they can do that. But I don’t think it’s realistic.

I love the idea of trading for a young bat, even if it costs Banuelos and then some. The Yankees have a clear need for a young hitter — preferably an outfielder — and a surplus of pitching at the Triple-A level. Using the position of depth to shore up the position of weakness is like, Sports GM 101. The problem is that there aren’t many of these hitters available, at least not at this point of the offseason, when Spring Training is right around the corner and every team thinks they’re ready to contend. I expect the Yankees to sign a free agent DH for peanuts a few days before the start of camp, and that will be that. Also, I’m starting to think your name really isn’t Poindexter. *shifty eyes*

Categories : Mailbag


  1. KDB says:

    They already have Nunez as a possible DH. They should not trade Baneuelos, or Betances for a bat. A couple of the number fours, plus Hughes…yes. They won’t do that though.

    They have a plan in place. Under the 189 million dollar threshold for 2014. They should keep to the plan, and hope it bears fruit.

  2. Craig Maduro says:

    I have to read up a bit on Dom Brown, but I would be fully on board dealing a substantial package (i.e. Banuelos, Hughes and more) to the Braves for Heyward. I would venture to guess that a lot – maybe not necessarily most – feel the same way.

    Too bad they are pretty stocked in the same area that we are.

    • CJ says:

      Exactly my thought on heyward, Atlanta is stacked with young pitching no match there.

    • Gerald Williams says:

      I saw D. Brown golf two HR’s on 4th of July a few years ago for the Iron Pigs against the baby Red Sox. He has a beautiful HR swing, but it’s a little long for the pros.

  3. JobaWockeeZ says:

    Heyward is on Upton or Felix level of untouchable. So good luck with that without Montero.

    I am a fan of Dominic Brown though. I don’t think it’ll require a massive package but I laughed when we described a massive package starting with Phil Hughes.

  4. Plank says:

    I’m sure you know this, but Heyward is untouchable, and I would imagine the Phillies would be resistant to trade with the Yankees, especially since they would be giving up someone on their major league roster.

  5. Chris says:

    This makes me want the Yankees to sign Soler even more!

    • Craig Maduro says:

      Aside from the Yankees determining that he’s really just not that good, there is absolutely no reason not to make that happen.

      • MannyGeee says:

        that, and the Cespedes factor. Alot of people tend to agree that he of all spandex might be expensive for a guy who is an unknown and has more questions than answers right now. That makes Soler, with similar unproven-ness and more questions than answers, easier to swallow for the price.

        Supply and demand could actually make Cespedes the value buy here…

        jus sayin

  6. yoo-boo says:

    I don’t mind having either Brown or Heyward in long term because Swisher entering the final season this year and nobody in the organization is lined up as the next RF.

    However, I am not all in for parting with Banuelos. Yanks have dozens of right handers but not enough southpaws to make Banuelos expendable.

    I think I like the idea of trading for Chase Headley. He is a switch hitter with power who can play LF, 3B, RF and 1B. He is still young 25-27 years old.

    Losing prominent switch hitter in back to back years may haunt me since I am an avid switch hitter.

    Lets get Headley.

  7. Favrest says:

    Too bad Giambi isn’t available. He’d make a great platoon with Jones. Guy can still rake.

  8. Robert The Bruce says:

    Just some idle speculation… Do you suppose that A.J. Burnett can re-invent himself ala Dennis Eckersley? For some of you young whipper-snappers out there (and stay off my God-damn lawn btw) Eck was a top-of-the-rotation starter for the Indians and Red Sox in the 1970′s before his skills deteriorated. In the mid 1980′s, after learning a new pitch, he became extremely effective as a short reliever for Tony LaRussa’s A’s.

    To me, it seems that “good” A.J. Is fully capable of stringing together a few solid innings before “bad” A.J. emerges. Let’s say that through the magic of “Yankee Osmosis” (a term used for any so-so pitcher joining the Yankees who is supposed to learn the secrets of the cutter from Mariano’s Secret Laboratory in the bowels of the New Stadium and achieve new levels of greatness) A.J. Picks up that new pitch. Is it possible that A.J. Burnett can turn himself around and develop into an asset as a short man working out of the bullpen?

    I see similarities between A.J. And Eck, as they in their early 30′s (33-34) were considered as wash-outs as starting pitchers. Can any of the Stat-Geeks (and I use the term most sincerely, because I admit my complete ignorance re: sabremetrics) do a quick comparison between the two pitchers at this stage in their respective careers?

    This is not to say that A.J. + new pitch + bullpen = Ticket to Cooperstown, but maybe he can salvage a ballplaying career and turn into a valuable set-up guy / closer somewhere.

  9. CJ says:

    Pirates said they would have to listen on McCutchen if a team backed up the truck and offered an organization changing deal. I know RAB did a piece on him a while ago. Banuelos, Williams Campos?

    • Monster Mike says:

      I would back up the truck for McCutchen in a heartbeat. He is what we need, young and team controlled for a couple more years.

      Move Swish to DH and Gardner to one corner and Grandy to the other, with McCutchen to CF. Beautiful.

    • Monster Mike says:

      I would back up the truck for McCutchen in a heartbeat. He is what we need, young and team controlled for a couple more years.
      Move Swish to DH and Gardner to one corner and Grandy to the other, with McCutchen to CF. Beautiful.

      • CJ says:

        I was reading the prospect list plank posted above. Pirates have 2 pitching prospects in top 11 and a couple more on the list. It may be time to get a haul of prospects and rebuild.

    • Dave203 says:

      It would take more than Banuelos/Campos to get McCutchen. You can start with both Banuelos and Betances and then keep adding from there. McCutchen is pretty close to the equiv of Grandy, yet he isn’t even arb eligible until next year (FA 2016). Its a fun dream to have, but I see little chance of this happening anytime soon. Check back in 2015.

  10. Colin says:

    Thing is, the Braves already have a ton of young pitching, and its line up help they need. So that doesn’t seem like a good match, unless they got a 3rd team involved.

    I would definitely rather have him than Brown, though Brown would be cheaper.

    The real question is: How long til Mike Stanton starts getting expensive?

  11. TomB says:

    The yankees don’t really need bats and you can never have enough pitching. The system took a hit, but they have Romine, who has been scouted as a 10 year Major league catcher and Sanchez who is said to have a higher upside offensively than Montero. Free agent pitchers has been a crap-shoot and home grown pitchers is a much, much cheaper crap-shoot. No to trading for young, high trade value bat.

    Bring back Matsui so Kuroda will have someone to talk to.

    • Craig Maduro says:

      Maybe they don’t need bats at this very exact second, but they definitely need to get some new blood coming up through the system soon.

      I’m not excited at all about Romine and I always wanted the Yankees to trade him before they moved Montero. I’m excited about Sanchez, but he is at least two years away and that’s only if everything breaks right.

      If (x10) a bat on par with Jason Heyward becomes available, you open up your farm system and let the Braves treat it like a convenient store.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        The Yankees just traded a bat on par with Jason Heyward…

        • Craig Maduro says:

          Yea they did, but we know the circumstances. Everybody felt that he was going to be a DH and they acquired the type of young pitcher that they think can team up with CC atop the rotation at some point.

          Not only is a player like Jason Heyward also “established” (in the sense that he has at least one full season of MLB experience under his belt) but he can unquestionably play a position.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            I’m just saying that I don’t think they’ve desperate for a bat. I think that they should look at their projected values for the players and go from there with only marginal consideration for position, especially in terms of P/hitter. Their rotation looks a lot better entering 2012… but that doesn’t mean it’s suddenly solved and they don’t need pitching prospects. The might need a Banuelos as much as a stud young hitter of equal value in a couple of years.

            Basically… just as they don’t need bats at this exact second yet could down the line… same for pitchers. Banuelos’ value to the team is like 1-7 years out.

            Not sure how much Heyward has established his value relative to a prospect. Are you getting 2010 or 2011? Somewhere in between? Short-term I’d guess somewhere in between given his ridiculously good BABIP the 2nd half of 2010 and ridiculously bad BABIP in 2011. BABIP isn’t all luck as it reflects the quality of contact, but I’d still expect it to even out. Since he’s only 22 it’s reasonable to expect improvement over the next several years.

            • Craig Maduro says:

              Yea, you certainly have a point. At any point over the next season or two the Yanks could need someone like Betances or Banuelos for the rotation.

              Just as they traded a partial question mark for a pitcher with a more defined role though, they could trade pitching prospects (a.k.a. more question marks) for a young, talented hitter who’s role and production is a little bit more defined reliable at this point.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                I guess my thing is that I always think a team should look at the discounted future value they assign to a player when considering trades and free agency. They’re going to be wrong on that value a lot of the time, but I think they have to develop the strongest valuation system they can and rely on it being right more often than not and more often than other teams’ systems. Very similar or equivalent value you might start looking at fit, but otherwise I wouldn’t really look at fit until I had too many guys at a position to the point where playing time was being eaten into and moving position would seriously damage their value. (I have three guys who can only play 1B/DH… maybe I trade one to fill a hole at SS even if I’m getting what I consider to be a less valuable player.)

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  So, yeah… I think they can trade pitching for hitting. I’d just like to see them consider value more than need in doing so. If there’s no value out there just go the Damon or whoever route and keep assessing your options… sort of like they waited out the pitching market until what they considered the right value came along.

                  • Craig Maduro says:

                    Yea, I don’t necessarily want them to trade a big package because they want to address the DH role. We all throw out trade speculation and hypothetical proposals, but at the end of the day we still want the Yankees to make a good deal. If a good deal isn’t out there then there is no need to force anything. A bat like Heyward (maybe not necessarily him specifically) is the type of talent that makes almost any package a good deal though. That’s how I feel right now at least.

    • MannyGeee says:

      ‘and Sanchez who is said to have a higher upside offensively than Montero’

      The only thing more offensive about Snachez is that tattoo on his arm of his name… AMIRITE???


  12. Rich in NJ says:

    Is Choo a realistic target? Is so, what would it cost to get him?

  13. Jakester says:

    How about trading one bad contract for another: A.J. Burnett for Vernon Wells. And, he can also play some outfield. Before giving up Benuelos or any other prospect in a trade, I would sign Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui or another free agent before trading anyone. How about firing Girardi, making Tony Pena manager and asking Posada to come back for one more year?

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      No, no and no.

    • Dave203 says:

      Wells is signed into 2014 with his ridiculous contract so that’s not happening. If there is any hope of Hammels, that would be his money going to Vernon Wells. Big time PASS…

      • Jakester says:

        That would only be one more year than Burnett’s contract. He is a major league hitter and can play the outfield as he was a center fielder. And, I’m sure, he can also play some first base to give Tex a break. I was hoping to get Hammels in free agency, but he signed for another year with Philadelphia.

  14. Chrisis says:

    How about turning Burnett into a DH?

    Wait, who said that!? *looks around*

    • MannyGeee says:

      Stretch Swisher out for the 7th inning guy in the spring and bring Joba in as the DH when he comes back from TJS.


  15. gargoyle says:

    They had a young, cost controlled bat who was better than Heywartd or Brown. They traded him for a giant question mark who will be Public Enemy #1 by June.

  16. Rory says:

    There is no match with Atlanta because of the surplus of young pitching they have. There is a reason they traded Lowe and have spent all winter trying to trade Jurrjens.

    Heyward, however, has fallen out of favor with Atlanta. To call him untouchable at this point is incorrect. There is alot of grumbling about Heyward coming out of the Ted. Whether it is being benched in favor of a scrub, or being called out by Chipper for not being tough enough to play through injuries. Don’t get me started on the hypocrisy of Chipper Jones calling out someone else for not playing through injuries.

    But you’ve also heard it leaked out this winter that there are folks in the franchise who question Heyward’s love and commitment to baseball. A little bit of a Marinovich thing there in that he did not play basketball or football as a kid, played 100+ baseball games a year from the age of 10 on, had to endure long daily drives as a kid to baseball practice, etc. Some are questioning whether he is burnt out on baseball already. There are also questions on how coachable he is. Doesn’t seem receptive to advice on adjustments. Who knows?

    It’s not a good sign that the media has been firing away at him. The media is so damn spineless in Atlanta. They never criticize anyone. But when they do, you know they feel free to do so because a clubhouse leader or the manager or GM that the media likes to kiss up to has sanctioned the hit and basically ordered it.

    • Craig Maduro says:

      Eh, I’m not buying it. Of course I’m just an outsider looking in, but how do you go from rookie sensation to out of favor in a year? Maybe people are frustrated by his injury and disappointing sophomore season, but I would doubt that there were issues with his attitude or makeup.

      The only concern I would have about him is the nagging injuries. Oblique, hamstring, back inflammation (minors) and of course the shoulder injury this past season. With that said, I’d be on board with the Yankees going all out for him. As we mentioned above though, the Braves already have a ton of pitching.

  17. Mike HC says:

    I don’t see this great need for a young outfield bat, especially at the cost of our top pitching prospects. There are always some corner outfield/DH bats to grab in free agency, a few of them dirt cheap even. Or trades for veteran outfielders that only cost some B level prospects and not our top guys.

  18. Jon Targaryen says:

    Nova+Romine+Warren/Phelps for Brown

    • Thomas Cassidy says:

      No way. Nova will be a great number two. Brown will never be anything in the ML. I’m calling it here. He will be a full bust.

      • Craig Maduro says:

        Going to disagree on both counts.

        First of all, nobody here really knows enough about Brown’s game and make-up to make a legitimate guess at what type of career he’ll have. So “calling” a bust is just a shot in the dark.

        Secondly, people need to chill out with Ivan Nova and stop projecting him as a No. 2 starter – at least until he proves that his 2nd half improvements were real and sustainable.

        • Jon Targaryen says:

          Exactly. I say we sell high on Nova now rather than selling low on Hughes or running the risk that Nova gets exposed as a 3/4 in the spring.

          • Mike HC says:

            I would stick with both Nova and Hughes. I think Nova is legit. I think he can be a consistent 3.6 – 4.0 ERA in the AL East guy. That is about a 2 right? Maybe 3? And no reason to trade Hughes when his value is so low. His potential as a pitcher for us is greater than any trade value he has I would think.

            • Craig Maduro says:

              I would say absolutely not a No. 2, but certainly a rock solid No. 3 and a great No. 4 if you have the luxury of slotting him there – which the Yankees could manage to do eventually.

              • jsbrendog says:

                plus if pineda develops as he seems like he should nova would be a number 2 but in the number three slot cause we’d have 2 number ones!!!

                today’s show is brought to you by fun with numbers!!
                VON, TWOOO, TREEEEE!!!

            • Jon Targaryen says:

              Yeah, I’m lower on Nova than most people. I just don’t see anything that he’s done in the minors that points to him being this good going forward.

              • MannyGeee says:

                Cano and Gardner didnt ‘do much in the minors’ either comparatively, while Kei Igawa still owns the SWB all time wins record…

                Past performance is not indicitive of future results.

          • Steve (different one) says:

            “exposed” as a 3/4? Huh? If Nova is a legit 3, that is a fantastic outcome for the yankees. I also disagree with this idea that there are arbitrage opportunities that we, on the Internet, can see, but baseball execs and scouts haven’t picked up on. There is nothing we know about Nova that everyone else doesn’t know. Like the Phillies aren’t aware of his low K rates and FIP….

            • thenamestsam says:

              People just can’t get the idea that “selling high” doesn’t really work through their heads.

              • Jon Targaryen says:

                Maybe they think he can defy his FIP like sinkerballers are prone to do. These are the guys who gave Raul Ibanez regular playing time last year at Brown’s expense.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                I don’t think it’s nearly as easy as some people seem to… but I think it works when the opportunity arises. Look at the Indians dealing Colon. Or look at the Yankees buying low on Swisher. Or look at all the teams that run out to throw their money at free agents who have a career year entering free agency that seems pretty likely to be an outlier. There are market inefficiencies in baseball.

                • Steve (different one) says:

                  I agree when there is money involved, things are different. The ChiSox may have known there was a good chance that Swisher bounces back, but they weren’t willing to bet $30m on it, plus the manager hated him.

                  I just think the concepts of FIP, DIPs, BABIP are completely mainstream at this point. Scouts might differ on their view of Nova’s ability to ADD strikeouts in the future. But that’s not what people here doing, IMO. They are saying era < FIP, sell!

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    Yeah, I agree that a fan looking at fangraphs isn’t going to be useful in most cases. I doubt every team is using the same metrics, though, so for teams I think there might be opportunities.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      And the money does complicate things, but at the same time one could say that the Yankees weren’t willing to bet Pineda + Campos that Montero + Noesi would develop.

                • thenamestsam says:

                  What you described is not necessarily a market inefficiency. The fact that sometimes people get good deals is not the same as “buying low”. The price the Yankees paid for Swisher was considered fair at the time. Yes, he bounced back and it turned out to be a tremendous deal for the Yankees, but if he hadn’t, they would have been stuck with an outlandish contract for a backup 1B/4th OF. It’s only “selling high” or “buying low” in the way people usually mean it if you get a price that fails to reflect an expected regression to the mean in performance. I don’t think that really happens.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    No. The price was considered fair to Kenny Williams and whoever else in the White Sox org had a say in the decision. Doesn’t mean every other GM in baseball thought it was fair. To a point another team could have stepped in, but baseball isn’t a totally liquid market. If you don’t have that money and/or don’t need a RF… you’re not bidding on Swisher. Guys like Beane and Friedman (think he was around at that time) might have laughed at the White Sox, but been unable to get in on the deal.

                    Arbitrage is getting a lower price in one market for a good with a higher value in another market… so you can turn around and sell the good at the higher price. Chicago sold a guy who had one bad year and a history of performing before that at a lower price than he was worth in the larger baseball market. Maybe in part because they placed a greater value on Betemit and the Ps than the rest of the market or they thought the money could be better used elsewhere… but one way or another Chicago gave him up below his value.

                    Baseball is not a liquid market. There are 29 other potential buyers. Perfect information isn’t always available. A motivated seller might not get fair value.

                    Are you really arguing Swisher wasn’t likely to bounce back? You say below that Heyward is a lock for greatness. If Atlanta traded him based on his 2011 stats… would you not call that an arbitrage opportunity? Swisher had OPS+ of 125, 126, 92… did you really not see the bounce back coming? But Heyward is guaranteed to bounce back? How does that work?

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      If you don’t like Swisher… how about dumping Vernon Wells? How many other teams in MLB outside of LA were willing to take on Wells contract period… let alone give up Napoli for the privilege?

                    • thenamestsam says:

                      Not arguing that bad trades don’t happen, because you’re right that it’s not a perfectly liquid market, but I think it’s pretty close. I’m not much convinced by your argument, with regards to Swisher. Here’s the first article I found on the Swisher trade from the time:
                      Not exactly a brilliant analysis, but he calls it a win for the White Sox. Pretending that everyone saw this as a slam dunk for the Yankees at the time is just false.

                      The Vernon Wells trade was awful. No counter to that. Not sure that had anything to do with “buying low” though. That was just one GM being a moron. I’m not sure why your brought Heyward into this, but suffice it to say that I don’t find your hypothetical trade of him convincing evidence of much of anything.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      I don’t think “everyone” saw the Swisher deal as anything. Here’s the simplest way I can put it. One year earlier the White Sox got Swisher for Gio Gonzalez (BA’s #26 prospect in baseball), Fautino De Los Santos (BA #60), and Ryan Sweeney (had been BA #55 before 2007 and ranked the two seasons before that… then had a bad 2007).

                      Swisher’s value in 2007-08 offseason was three top 100 type talents, including a top MLB ready LHSP. In 2008-09 after one bad year it was a back-to-mid-rotation prospect, a UTL, and a young arm with a good season and a few bad ones. If you still believe Jason Heyward is destined for greatness after a bad year (and I think there’s a good chance he is), I’m not sure how you can feel Swisher’s value dropping that much in one year isn’t an arbitrage opportunity.

                      Vernon Wells was selling high… as high as you could sell that contract. His value on the market was basically negative, yet the Blue Jays were able to sell him for a gain (which they proceeded to squander by trading Napoli).

                    • thenamestsam says:

                      That is not what people mean when they say “sell high”. What they mean is selling a guy when he is at the peak of his value since he will inevitably perform worse the next year and lower his value.Say what you want about Vernon Wells, but that certainly isn’t what happened. it’s not like his value was high because of some fluke outlier year.

                    • thenamestsam says:

                      As for your Swisher point. Again, leave the Heyward thing out of it. It’s unrelated and it’s merely complicating things. Swisher and Heyward are different players. Swisher’s value may have dropped too much in one year and it may have been too low. But that is NOT arbitrage. You’re calling a trade riskless profit for the Yankees, again for emphasis, you’re saying there is zero chance that this move will not end up being beneficial for them. I’ve pointed to evidence showing that at the time some people didn’t even think it was LIKELY to be beneficial to them. Some people thought they lost the trade. If you don’t see the discrepancy there, I don’t know what to tell you.

                      The Swisher trade was a good one. I’d say on average it was certainly likely to work out for the Yankees. Maybe even as high as a 60% chance. That is not close to riskless.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Uhhh… yeah, he was coming off an “All-Star” season in which his bWAR and fWAR were double what they had been in 4 years… They sold high on that contract.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      I will not leave Heyward out of it. He’s an example of a guy who had one bad year. Why would Swisher’s value drop exponentially (three top 100 prospects to a back-end prospect, a UTL, and an OK young arm) in one year… but Heyward’s bad year in no way changes his chances for greatness because he OPSed .850 at 20 and Ted Williams OPSed over 1.000?

                      In terms of baseball… that’s relatively riskless. There are risks in financial markets too. Let’s say you trade dollars for euros and before you can convert those euros for yen… Japan is hit with an earthquake or some news is released that send the yen tumbling or rising. Today we have computers that can trade in milliseconds, but arbitrage has existed far longer than computers. Risk-free is a relative thing. US bonds are considered risk-free… but guess what? They’re not risk free. Iran could nuke the US tomorrow and bond-holders could not get paid… it’s marginal enough that it doesn’t matter. In baseball terms Nick Swisher was as close to a lock to be better than Betemit, Marquez, and Nunez as you can hope for. It was the US bond of baseball trades. One guy who uses counting stats and personality to assess a trade doesn’t change that.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      And Swisher is the first of four or five examples I’ve given… it’s one example of my larger point that arbitrage opportunities do exist in as distorted a market as baseball. It’s not a liquid stock market… it’s more like a black market in a communist country where there isn’t perfect information on pricing.

                    • thenamestsam says:

                      I think I’m just going to stop replying. There can’t really be an end to this discussion since you take it in fifteen new directions in every post. Now we’re not only talking about Heyward as well (although he has never been traded), we’re also discussing whether treasury bills are a good proxy for the risk free interest rate and whether you can ever achieve true arbitrage in the financial market apparently. I’m going to leave it with this: You’re right, there is risk in everything. If you think that the risk that Iran nukes the U.S. or the risk that Japan is hit by an earthquake sending the yen tumbling is equivalent to the chance that Betemit, Marquez and Nunez would be more valuable than Swisher over the years 2009-2012, I disagree. To me, they’re not in anywhere near the same probability range. I’m going to leave it at that.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      I am introducing new information to try to explain my position. Sorry if you can’t handle an in-depth conversation that questions your beliefs. Heyward is totally relevant to a discussion of depreciation from one bad year and T-Bills are totally relevant to a discussion on risk-free rates. I don’t know why you are painting it as though I am bringing these concepts out of left field. They are totally relevant. I didn’t say Heyward was traded. You are making things up to suite your argument (strawmaning my argument). I said that ****IF**** the Atlanta Braves called Brian Cashman tomorrow and said “you know Heyward stunk in 2011… how about trading him straight-up for, say, Nunez and Adam Warren?” would you call that an arbitrage opportunity for Cashman? Some people see Nunez as a starting SS and Warren as a solid starter… and some people see Heyward as a question mark after 2011. There is some degree of risk involved. Would you call that an arbitrage opportunity?

                      From wikipedia:
                      “in practice, there are always risks in arbitrage, some minor (such as fluctuation of prices decreasing profit margins), some major (such as devaluation of a currency or derivative). In academic use, an arbitrage involves taking advantage of differences in price of a single asset or identical cash-flows; in common use, it is also used to refer to differences between similar assets (relative value or convergence trades), as in merger arbitrage.”

                      Again… baseball is not even a competitive let alone a perfect market. Therefore, I see no use in you comparing it to liquid markets. Risk is a relative concept. The risk-free rate is not the same in every market across every period of time.

                      I believe the discussion will never end because you are defining arbitrage in a narrow, theoretical sense… while I am defining it in a broader, practical sense.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      And in this case I think a practical definition is far more useful.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              I agree that all of us cyber-GMs are in a terrible position to assess arbitrage opportunities, but I do think they exist. You’re looking for a market inefficiency where the value of an asset isn’t properly reflected. Baseball players are harder to value than a lot of assets… so usually it comes down to the value one GM has assigned a player vs. another. At times you get a Nick Swisher deal, though, where a team is practically giving away a player they’ve given up on.

              • thenamestsam says:

                I think you’re misusing the word arbitrage. Arbitrage means risk-free profit, generally from buying and selling equivalent assets at different prices. Since there are no equivalent assets in baseball, there isn’t really any such thing as arbitrage. You may be able to make trades where you think you’ll come out ahead (in fact I’m pretty sure those are the main kind of trade you enter into), but none of those are without risk. Hence, not arbitrage.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  I understand the concept of arbitrage, thanks.

                  Think outside the box for two seconds and don’t assume you’re right.

                  Obviously we are talking in baseball terms. In terms of the baseball market. Players are assets and their value is determined by a combination of production and salary commitment. If someone like Nick Swisher is, just to quantify it, a 75 player offered at a 60 player price… it’s as risk free as you’re going to get in baseball to pull that deal off. He might get struck by lightning before next season… but otherwise you just paid less than you got. If someone like Vernon Wells has a -20 value and you’re able to get a +10 value for him… again, you’ve just made a risk free profit.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    Or how about Edwin Jackson-Colby Rasmus. The Blue Jays paid two ok relievers for Edwin… then turned around and almost immediately for Colby Rasmus for him. Risk free they bought Edwin cheaper than the sold him. (Not surprising Kenny Williams comes up multiple times… Swisher, Rios, Edwin… in the baseball market arbitrage opportunities are going to come from a seller who doesn’t know the value of the asset they’re holding or acquiring… real arbitrage in the baseball market and not just a difference of opinions on value is going to come from incompetence more often than not. )

                  • thenamestsam says:

                    You may, but it’s certainly not obvious from your comments. You’re acting like players have one certain value. In fact, they have a range of possible outcomes. Sure if you could get a 75 player who was 100% certain to be a 75 player at a 60 price you’ve made a risk-free profit. But in reality what you got is a 75 player who could easily perform like a 50 player or a 100 player at a 60 price. If he performs above a 60, you’ve made a profit. But if not, you haven’t. It may be “as risk free as you’re going to get in baseball”, but it’s not arbitrage, which is exactly why I said there isn’t arbitrage in baseball.

                    If you buy a stock below its “true” value then yes, on average you will make a profit on that. That is not arbitrage, because it is not risk free. That is just a good trade. A good trade is not the same as arbitrage.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Again… that’s not what I’m saying. I am not saying making a good trade. I am saying buying a player below his true market value or selling him higher than his value.

                      You can then turn around and find a willing buyer at the true market value in a liquid market… but baseball is not one. It is very rare for a team to trade for a guy then immediately turn around and sell him.

                      I have offered two examples of this exact thing happening, though. Both involving Toronto. They bought Napoli for Wells, then turned around and actually got something for him… that’s arbitrage. A risk free profit. Same with Edwin Jackson

                      I think that based on his history… Swisher also fits the bill. He was traded for MUCH, MUCH more one year earlier. He had one bad year. You acknowledge one bad year isn’t a big deal with Heyward. The Yankees didn’t turn around and trade Swisher… but I think they could have gotten more had they immediately dealt him once they signed Tex.

                      Baseball isn’t a competitive market by any stretch, so your insistence on comparing it to competitive markets makes no sense to me. Monopolies rule and there are more market distortions than I can count.

                    • thenamestsam says:

                      Dude, that is still not arbitrage, because it is not risk-free unless you can show with certainty that what they got for Napoli is better than what they gave up with a 100% certainty. You can’t because they aren’t equivalent assets. That’s why it’s not arbitrage in any sense of the word. Arbitrage would only be if they then took what they got for Napoli, and traded that back for Wells and something else of value. Then they would indisputably have more than what they started with. But that has never and will never happen. Hence, no freaking arbitrage as much as you want to call other things that are not arbitrage by that name.

                      It seems like your point might be that we should call something that is not arbitrage arbitrage because it is as close as we are going to get in baseball since baseball isn’t a perfect market. I’m not and have never claimed baseball is a perfectly competitive market, but I don’t see how calling something by an incorrect name is helpful in any case ever.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      You don’t seem to understand arbitrage yourself.

                      Your worldview seems extremely limited to liquid western financial markets with computer trading. Arbitrage exists is far less perfect markets, whether you think so or not. “Risk-free” is a relative thing. You can’t prove with 100% certainty that you’ll get paid back on a US bond… but that’s considered risk-free because as far as financial instruments go it’s as close to a lock as you’re going to get.

                      In fact, less perfect markets tend to have far more arbitrage opportunities. You can buy Manhattan for a trunk of beads if someone has little information about the relative value of Manhattan and a trunk of beads, then turn around and sell it to someone else for, say, a dozen trunks of beads… that’s arbitrage. You took almost no risk and got 12x more beads than you started with. Of course… at that time you couldn’t find a buyer on the internet… so you took some risk between buying and selling the asset.

                      If you’re not willing to agree that baseball players have a value… why are you wasting your time on this blog? I didn’t say that everyone agrees on the value… just like not everyone agreed on the value of beads and Manhattan… I said that the value is in fact real in terms of helping a team win and helping a team drive revenue. That we don’t have a perfect measure of that value doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. In some cases–Swisher, Wells, Jackson/Rasmus–it’s obvious enough that I’m comfortable using it as an example. Let’s go back to Billy Beane’s heyday, though… If he understood the value of OBP and some other GM didn’t thereby allowing him to buy a player and get instantly more value than he gave up… that’s still arbitrage. No… it’s not totally risk free. That guy might suddenly break his femur and die from the poison leaking out of his bone… but like Al-Queda might nuke the US and you might not get paid back for your T-Bill.

                    • thenamestsam says:

                      In the Red Corner we have Ted Nelson. And in the Blue Corner we have the strawman. In my last comment apparently I was insisting on comparing baseball to a competitive market (something I never said). Now apparently, I’m insisting that you can only find arbitrage in perfect markets (another thing I never said), which I supposedly think baseball is, and yet I don’t think arbitrage exists there. Weird.

                      Apparently I’ve also said that baseball players don’t have value. Funny, I must have blacked out for that. It doesn’t really seem to be necessary for me to say much of anything for you to continue arguing whatever it is you think you’re arguing about with whoever it is you think is saying these things you’re disputing. So feel free to continue after I leave.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      I am not strawmaning you. You must be forgetting the points you’ve made.

                      You have said that arbitrage necessarily requires zero risk. I have said this is false. You have insisted it is true. The only way to take zero risk is to simultaneously pull off both trades. The only way that this can happen is in a perfect market. Therefore… you are necessarily referring to perfect markets.

                      You have also insisted that player value is subjective and there is no such thing as true value. How can you even deny that? You really need me to quote you there?

                      You are skirting the actual issues with this strawman stuff. Do you deny that arbitrage opportunities exist in totally fucked markets? (Like baseball… like Europeans first coming to America… like North Korea and Cuba…) Do you deny that if GM X buys an OBP machine from Kenny Williams at $1 and sells him to Billy Beane for $100 it’s arbitrage?

  19. Monterowasdinero says:

    Don’t overspend for a DH. We had a great one for 500K that we traded (he could catch a bit too).

    What types of production are we looking to get out of this DH?

    Damon could possibly match/exceed Posada’s #’s last year if you factor in YS. He’s the guy.

    Keep all the pitching for now.

    • Craig Maduro says:

      Posada’s numbers were terrible last year and Damon is not the answer.

      If the Yankees can acquire the offensive version of Pineda, they should absolutely offer up the pitching version of Montero.

      • Mike HC says:

        Yanks need SS/3B/2B big time prospects at this point. I don’t think we trade Banuelos for a DH/1B/corner outfield type prospect.

        • Craig Maduro says:

          Well I think the order of priority is 3B, SS and then 2B among those three positions. Jeter isn’t going/moving anywhere until his contract is up and there is zero reason to worry about Cano at 2B for the next few seasons. Acquiring a young 3B would be nice though.

          In terms of Heyward/Brown though, I hate how people scoff at elite offensive talents just because they don’t play an up-the-middle position. “Oh, he’s only a corner outfielder”, etc. If we’re talking about someone in Heyward’s class (maybe not necessarily Brown’s) I don’t think it matters that he’s a RF – you easily move Banuelos.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          I think you’re getting ahead of yourself. They don’t need an upper-level top prospect at those positions short-term.

          They have Nunez, Mustelier, CoJo, David Adams, Laird, and Pena as depth in the short-term with Bichette, Austin, Culver, Gumbs, Custodio, etc. a few years away when Jeter, A-Rod, and probably Cano if re-signed start to come off the payroll.

      • Monterowasdinero says:

        Posada’s #’s against righties were not terrible and even with that, we had the best offense in baseball. I like Damon’s durability. I think he is young for his age having DH’ed a lot. He makes good contact and can hit lefties if needed.

        We don’t have the pitching version of Montero.


      • Ted Nelson says:

        Damon hit on the road last season and he hit in Detroit in 2010. I would not write him off as a one year solution. Sure I’d like to get a sweatheart deal on the RF of the future… given the chances the Yankees get a young slugger at a half reasonable price, though, I think Damon is a real possibility.

  20. Jd says:

    Sign cespedes keep the arms.

    • Craig Maduro says:

      Too much money. And does anyone here know if the guy can actually play? We know he’s a physical specimen and Craftsman tool box, but even Cody Ransom can do some impressive box jumps. Let the Marlins make another bonehead signing this offseason.

  21. JU says:

    Didn’t they just trade away a young, cost-controlled, middle of the order bat? Now they are going to trade their pitching prospects for a hitter? Why not just keep Montero, who could easily provide more production than Brown or Heyward, and either pitch Banuelos, etc. or use them in a trade?

    • jsbrendog says:

      because pineda has done it in the major leagues. montero and the yanks prospects have not. pineda is no longer a prospect really.

    • Steve (different one) says:

      Because the Yankees feel Pineda is much better than their other pitching prospects. Agree or disagree, but the logic is there.

  22. Eric says:

    What would it take to get Wil Meyers from KC – possible Hughes and something else for Meyers. Meyers is just a step away from the bigs and would be a cost controlled replacement for Swish.

  23. TrollHunter says:

    I know it has nothing to do with this topic but I’m so sick of A-Rod! Just Sayin.

  24. JohnC says:

    I think alot of people are selling Hughes short. The guy did win 18 games 2 years ago. He made a big mistake coming to camp out of shape last year and never recovered. This year, he is on a very rigid training program and more determined than ever to prove doubters wrong. I would not be so quick to trade him or write him off. DUmp Burnett and get what you can for him, or trade Garcia, though I hear they need his permission

    • Craig Maduro says:

      Before three or four guys race to jump down your throat, let me just say that individual wins for a pitcher is not the preferred way to evaluate a pitcher’s performance for a season.

      I do agree that Hughes should be the fifth starter this season.

  25. Alfredo says:

    Hughes is the fifth starter on my team no matter what.
    I like this kid to much to give up on him.

  26. MelHallsBattingGlove says:

    I just cant see cashman trading away any of the big chips it would take to get brown or heyward. He just traded away a big bat in order to make his young pitching elite to now trade manban or dellin would be insane unless he really values the cobination of pineada and (insert bat) alot more over montero &(insert yankee prospect) in other words he gets a major steal.

    I have a feeling that he is either looking to dump AJ for a bad contract (not likely but best case scenario) or he is looking for a much smaller deal involving warren/phelps or maybe hughes. One that would bring back a good but not great bat

  27. kenthadley says:

    The only way we have excess pitching is if Warren, Phelps, and Mitchell are considered bona fide MLB starters, and not just 5′s. Everyone has 5′s. Some of these guys (7mlb, 5minors) will get injured, or go backward. And a DH is the most available commodity during the season…guys like Hafner recharge themselves for a season and suddenly look appealing and easily affordable by July. I don’t move any pitching unless it’s a grand offer.

  28. Jakester says:

    Kuroda and Garcia are only signed for one year. Burnett for two years. That leaves us with Sabathia, Pineda, Nova, Hughes.
    If Cash-man trades any of the pitching prospects for a hitter, he’s essentially expanding on the Pineda/Montero trade and it would probably take two or more to get one of the young hitters out there. If that’s the case, then I wouldn’t have made the trade for Pineda and gone into this season with Sabathia, Nova, Garcia, Hughes, Burnett, Noesi

    • Jakester says:

      With A-Rod, Jeter, Tex, Cano, Swisher, etc., needing a break from fielding, they would make very suitable DH-per-day. They would be better than what’s available. I say let’s go into the year as is and wait till someone gets cut or available either during spring training or trading deadline. I’m sure some good hitters will be available without trading away prospects.

      • MannyGeee says:

        This. Ride the wave using what you have and hope & pray that the Cards fall heavy without Pujols so we can grab the Puma again for Warren or Phelps.

        Berkman is the answer!

  29. Kiss the rings says:

    Its killing me that people could think dom brown is not. A bust when he looks lost and. The mlb level. But you can say that nova is not going to be an better than a number 3 or 4. Stike out are not everything and I’m tired of all theese saber stats. Watch the dam player and see if he’s any good. By watchin Dom brown inthe short time I’ve seen him looks like a good athlete in athe wrong sport.

    • Craig Maduro says:

      Had to read a couple of times to follow some of the sentences, but sabermetric stats need to be examined in addition to traditional evaluation.

      Brown has a minor league track record that suggests his struggles at the MLB level could turn around while Nova’s stats actually suggest that he’s due for a regression. Sure, sometimes stats can deceive, but you gotta take them into consideration. As far as Brown looking lost, I’m not sure its fair to evaluate him based on whatever handful of Phillies games you caught on TV.

    • MannyGeee says:

      I love everything I am reading right now….

      (srsly, what the fck did he say?)

  30. Kiss the rings says:

    Lost at the *

  31. thenamestsam says:

    The two guys aren’t really that similar in my mind. Brown is a reasonable target as I think you might be able to get something of a discount there. He really has nothing left to prove in the minors, yet for the 2nd straight year it looks like they’re not going to give him a shot. I’d offer them any non-Banuelos prospect, and maybe even sweeten it with a lower level guy. Betances+a sweetener would make a bit of sense for both teams if the Phillies like Betances and are down a bit on Brown.

    Heyward, on the other hand, has to be basically unattainable. Guys don’t put up the numbers he did in the majors at that age and not go on to greatness. Here’s a fangraphs article detailing essentially that:
    He slumped a bit after the article was written, so he didn’t meet that standard, but his numbers at his age puts him in a truly historic group. I’d back up the truck for him, but I don’t think they can get him, especially given that most of what we have to offer in that neighborhood of value (and I think it would take Pineda+Banuelos or something like that) is pitching, and the Braves have plenty of that. Let’s file that one in the not going to happen category.

  32. KG says:

    A little more “out of the box” perhaps, but given that Kansas City seems to have a surplus of hitters at the big league level (to the extent that a guy like Clint Robinson, with no major red flags, is perpetually blocked) and a lack of arms right now (to the extent that Bruce Chen was their defacto ace last season), would they ever sell on Mike Moustakas for something like Betances, Banuelos, and more?!
    It might seem like a lot to give up (and it us), but it WOULD allow us to ease Rodriguez into the DH role while getting back that coveted lefty power bat and setting up the offense for a long time. It’s obviously COMPLETELY mortgaging the future, but the net result looks something like NY keeping their fringe pitching depth with guys like Mitchell, Warren, Phelps, etc and parting out the three best picks in a fairly strong farm system for five (six on Moustakas?) below-market years of an ace-caliber pitcher and the heir-apparent to A-Rod’s throne.

    Would KC go for it?! Would NY go for it?!

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