Mailbag: Hughes, Dunn, Lee(s), 2014, Scouts

Scouting The Waiver Market: Adrian Cardenas
What can the Yankees reasonably expect out of David Phelps?

We’ve been getting DH-related mailbag questions pretty much non-stop all week, so Joe and I already answered a bunch of them: Domonic Brown, Jayson Heyward, David Wright, Ross Gload, Kyle Blanks, Jim Thome, and Kosuke Fukudome. Remember to use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar whenever you want to send us anything, even if it’s not a mailbag question.

(Photo Credit: Flickr user Anna Moony via Creative Commons license)

J.R. (and a few others) asks: Does Phil Hughes have an option left? I remember last year that he preferred a stint on the DL rather than a demotion and use of his last option to AAA. Did he accrue too much service time to be sent down without being exposed to waivers?

Hughes does have at least one minor league option left as best I can tell, and the optional waivers thing isn’t really a problem. Apparently there’s a league-wide gentleman’s agreement in place preventing claims from being made. Hughes is roughly ten weeks away from having five full years of service time, at which point he’ll be able to refuse a trip to the minors. I’m not sure that a trip to Triple-A will benefit him at all, he’s got face the challenge of big leaguers to make progress. Then again, Ivan Nova did make tangible progress with his slider following his demotion last summer, so who knows.

J.A. asks: What about Burnett for Adam Dunn?
Antony (and a few others) asks: What about Carlos Lee for the DH? Burnett for Lee?

Might as well kill the two A.J. Burnett trade with one stone. I’m going to give an emphatic no to Dunn, even though I think he’ll rebound (at least somewhat) from his abysmal inaugural season with the White Sox (.266 wOBA) just because he’s too good to do that again. The problem is his contract, which will pay him $14-15M in each of the next three seasons. That’s one-year and $11M more than Burnett’s contract, and will impact the 2014 austerity budget. If he wasn’t so terrible last season, I’d probably say yes. Now there’s so much risk to assume for those three years.

Carlos Lee makes some more sense, even though he’s dangerously close to falling off the cliff. He’ll make $18M in the final year of his contract, and his value is increasingly tied to his batting average as his power continues to decline. Yankee Stadium might be a hitter’s park, but it’s perfectly league average for dead pull right-handed hitters according to StatCorner. Lee doesn’t walk all that much (career 7.3 BB%), so it’s batting average or nothing if the power continues to go. The difference in contracts is significant, so that would have to be worked out somehow. Also, I’m not sure why either the White Sox or the Astros would want Burnett.

Anthony (and a few others) asks: What about Derrek Lee as a DH?

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The last two years have been tough on Lee physical, specifically with regards to his hands. He had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb late in 2010, then missed close to four weeks last season due to a left wrist fracture. Lee managed to hit 19 homers in each of the last two seasons, so he has some power left, and unlike the other Lee he can actually hit the ball to all fields with authority. He’s also has a reputation as strong clubhouse guy, and the Yankees have been emphasizing that of late.

My biggest concern is his walk rate, which dropped to a career-low 6.9% last season after six straight years of walk rates north of 10%. Lee’s strikeout rate (23.1%) also climbed for the third straight year. That’s all a result of him swinging at more pitches out of the strike zone than every before, and that’s tough to reverse at age 36. Lee is said to be considering retirement if he doesn’t find “the perfect situation,” and I don’t know if being a DH and seven-hole hitter for the Yankees qualifies as the perfect situation. He already has a World Series ring (’03 Marlins), so I doubt he’s desperate to win. I am intrigued, but I’m not sure it’ll happen.

Paul asks: $189M or bust. With all the talk of getting to $189M for 2014, am I correct that in 2015 they can go back to, shall we say, less conservative spending habits? Or is this going to be a cyclic thing? Every few years dipping below a threshold and then going back up?

I’m with you there, and Dave Pinto is as well. The Yankees will not only not have to pay $12M+ in luxury tax that year, they’ll also get a rebate on their revenue sharing payout, somewhere between 25-50%. They paid north of $100M in revenue sharing in 2010, so adjust up for inflation a then realize they’re getting a huge chunk of that back by going under the tax, and it’s easy to understand why they’re aiming to do so. They could end up saving themselves $50M+ in 2014 alone.

That money could easily go right into the Steinbrenners’ pockets, that’s always possible, or they could pump it right back into the team in 2015. Given the team’s annual payroll, I’m guessing it’ll be the latter. Remember, they only need to get under the luxury tax threshold once for all the savings to kick in, they can go right back over in 2015. If you want to start looking way ahead, players like Ben Zobrist, Evan Longoria, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Felix Hernandez, Yovani Gallardo, and Clayton Kershaw are all scheduled to become free agents after the 2014 season. Isn’t that convenient?

Bob asks: Love your site! This question actually comes from my wife and came up during the playoffs last fall. When the talking heads were talking about advanced scouting, she asked me, “How does somebody become a scout?” I really had no idea. So: what makes one qualified to be a scout? What different types of scouts to teams employ? (This probably would have been a better question for the early off-season – sorry I took so long to sent it). Keep up the good work!

From what I understand, the easiest way to get into scouting is to have played the game at some point. That’s true for pretty much any job in baseball, really. MLB runs a scout school in Arizona and the Dominican Republic each year, which is basically a ten-day crash course in scouting. They teach you how to scout pitchers, scout hitters, fill out reports, the whole nine. The only kicker is that you have to be sponsored by an MLB team to attend, so a club basically has to agree to hire you before you can attend. It’s not like anyone can enroll, and that’s why the easiest way in is by having played at some point. Baseball America and wrote features on scout school a few years ago.

As far as different types of scouts, teams usually employ amateur scouts (for the draft and international free agents), pro scouts (for the majors and minors), and advanced scouts (scouting teams the big league club will soon play). There might be others, but those are the three I know. When it comes to amateur players for the draft, area scouts are assigned a specific region (like the northeast), cross-checkers verify reports (they’re responsible for a larger area), and the scouting director is the head honcho. Many of the area scouts are essentially freelancers, going from one one-year contract to the next, and changing teams pretty regularly.

Scouting The Waiver Market: Adrian Cardenas
What can the Yankees reasonably expect out of David Phelps?
  • Vegetable Lasagna

    Hughes will likely be traded for a better starter or a DH. He just hasn’t developed as hoped. They jerked him around like they did Joba and then they overworked him in 2010. We’ve already got our rotation set- CC, Kuroda, Pineda, Nova, Garcia so there’s no room for Hughes to start. Put him in the pen to increase his trade value then ship him off at the trade deadline.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      About as wrong as flavorless veggie lasagna.

      • Vegetable Lasagna

        You don’t think Hughes will be traded? I’ve seen that thrown around a lot lately. We have 1-2 starters too many. I’d much rather get rid of AJ but that might not be realistic. I’d even dump him for Dunn who won’t be as bad this year and would be a good DH in Yankee Stadium.

        • Thomas Cassidy

          Yankees won’t add any more starters this offseason. They didn’t ruin Hughes, he couldn’t stay healthy himself because he was lazy. He has the stuff to be a great pitcher, look at the 2010.

          I expect Hughes to rebound this year.

          • Ted Nelson

            I would be careful jumping to conclusions.

            • Thomas Cassidy

              What conclusions?

              • Ted Nelson

                That you know the cause of a mysterious shoulder problem that even doctors seemed unable to determine the nature of…

                • Thomas Cassidy

                  Whoops. I didn’t mean to say “because he was lazy.” I meant to say he was also lazy. I think the shoulder problem is from throwing too many innings in 2010.

        • Ted Nelson

          The question is what would another team give up in a trade for Hughes right now? Guy could barely pitch last season. Even after the rehab he didn’t look particularly good. Add to that he’s not dirt cheap anymore and might just figure it out in time to hit free agency and leave/get huge $. A ton of risk, and not necessarily a ton of reward.

          I’d rather keep Hughes around to see if he can figure something out/have the depth than give him away.

        • Sloppy Seconds

          Yes you do sound like a vegtable

    • PinedaColada

      I think putting him in the pen does the opposite of increasing his trade value

      • Steve (different one)

        Maybe, maybe not. Good reliever has more trade value than shitty starter. Not saying he’d be either of those things, but the possibility does exist where puttin in the bullpen increases his value.

    • Johnny O

      what’s the point in selling low? you’re not getting much for him, and you lose the potential upside he still has. I wouldn’t be super upset if ninja cash got good value for him, i just don’t see it happening.

    • Ron

      Guys, I have been promoting a trade of AJ and Swisher for Carmona and Sizemore for a while now. Both teams have an albatros, AJ for the Yanks and Carmona for the Indians. The Indians want Swisher real bad. We give the Indians what they want, if they take AJ. At the same time, we take Carmona off there hands. A reunion with CC may bring Carmona (Heredia) back to his Cy Young form. And Sizemore is now two years removed from his injury and due for a comeback year. Even the Yanks have to pay $8 mil of AJ’s salary for the next two years, it’s a risk worth taking. The Yanks free up $19 mil in 2012(AJ’s $16.5 less $8 mil plus Swisher’s $10.5 mil) and take on $12 mil (Carmona’s $7 and Sizemore’s $5). This leaves $7 mil for a DH. We then trade Phil Hughes and another prospect for Billy Bulter.

  • dean

    Cut back now….sign Felix, Kershaw, and Andrus later. I like it!

    • Thomas Cassidy

      Andrus is overrated.

      • Ted Nelson

        The guy was 22 years old for most of last season…

        • Thomas Cassidy

          Doesn’t matter. Then people can say “he will be good,” not “he’s awesome.” That’s like saying Jesus Montero is one of the best hitters in baseball, because he might be.

          • Ted Nelson

            No, it’s not. Over the last three years he’s been the 6th most valuable SS in MLB according to fWAR. Between Yunel Escobar and Jose Reyes. Considering that two of the guys ahead of him are Jeter (60% of his value for that period came in 2009) and Hanley (3B) while Castro is the only young stud in MLB I can think of at the position… Andrus is probably climbing that list the next three years.

            What it’s like is saying he’s already one of the best SS in MLB and should be expected to get better. I’m not drooling over Andrus, but a good defensive SS who can handle the stick adequately is a valuable commodity.

  • Plank

    The only revenue sharing money the team will get back is the money given to the 15 teams in the largest market. The A’s get an exemption from this rule until they get a new stadium. Looking at the list of teams, I think the only team they would get a refund from is the Nationals (maybe the Blue Jays, too, but I don’t think so.) Since the Nationals play in such a big market, I would think their revenue sharing check isn’t huge.

    They would get out of paying 25%-50% of the money they send to the Nationals, not out of the rest of the revenue sharing plan.

    I would imagine it would be a few million. It makes me think the austerity plan is a negotiating tactic more than anything.

    • pat
      • Plank

        That says $40 million if they are under for 3 straight years. It says if they dip below for 2012, it would be $10 million.

        Doesn’t seem worth it to the Yankees to jeopardize their brand for ten million.

        • pat

          It’s 40 million over three years in addition to whatever they would save by not paying the %50 luxury tax. I know it’s not your money per se, but that’s a lot of cash to take off the books no matter how you slice it.

        • CJ

          Plank, I agree with you. This austerity budget is nonsense and at best confusing from Joel sherman’s pontification. $50 million in 2014 or $40 over 3 years is a huge difference. The latter not significant enough to bother. Also, does anyone else have difficulty believing MLB giving millions back to
          the Yankees?

  • mgr

    The Yankees will save close to 200 million if they are under for 14,15and16

    • Sloppy Seconds

      No, it’s at least one billion for 17,19 and 19!

  • Ted Nelson

    I think a trip to AAA would greatly benefit Hughes. Guy has to re-learn how to pitch in my opinion. Perhaps he can accomplish that this off-season/spring training… but I’d give him the extra time unless he just blows them away in spring training. What do they have to lose? Especially if they haven’t moved Garcia and/or Hughes.
    His motion is stiff and his arm action starts at the ear. I don’t see him being more than an ok reliever with a straight FB with that motion. If he can fix his motion and work on his off-speed pitches with little or no pressure to perform I think that would be great for him. Either extended spring training or just tell him not to worry at all about results for a few MiLB games, depending on how far along he is when ST breaks.

    Dunn is pretty intriguing, depending on how serious they are about $189 million in 2014. I know it’s cliche at this point, but the guy could hit a million HRs in YS3 even if he doesn’t fully bounce back. If Ozzie were back I’d have to think Chicago would be more willing to just dump Dunn (comments re: Ozzie cries when he thinks about Dunn and he also named his dog “DH” because he’s lazy…). I can see them giving him another chance with a new manager, though.

    • Ted Nelson

      “Garcia and/or Hughes” = Garcia and/or Burnett

    • DM

      As strange as it sounds, I agree with Ted regarding Hughes. If you still have all three, just hold Hughes back. Let him get a few starts in a row down there — see if he can maintain his velocity. He could use a real wake up call too. I found it odd that when there were whispers about a demotion last year, Phil suddenly confessed to having some physical issues. I’m sure rehab or extended spring is better than riding the AAA bus. And despite what Mike said, Like Noesi, Hughes never proved dominant at AAA over significant innings; if he can’t do it there, why should he get to experiment with a rotation spot? The bloom is off the rose with Hughes. “Best pitching prospect” no more. Kennedy and Nova, Warren, Phelps, Mitchell had to log many innings in AAA. Let Hughes force his way back up. Time to chase the carrot, Phil. You’ve been coddled with excuses far too long. It’s not your need of glasses — or that hot spot on your MRI — or that moth that flew in your face that time or next time — it’s a flat, 89-91 mph fastball, a herky-jerky “Here comes my curve!” push motion, and a flabby middle.

      But the Dunn thing is outlandish to me. No position and dollars that extend into 2014 doesn’t make sense.

      • Ted Nelson

        DH is still a position.

        • DM

          …that’s not open full-time on the Yankees, as Cashman discussed on WFAN (mentioning Cano as another player to be added to the long list of those to DH in 2012), which A-Rod described as a “revolving door” a few days ago.

          • Ted Nelson

            That’s a strategic decision the Yankees can reverse at any time in 2 seconds. The position isn’t blocked. They’re not locked into it. They also didn’t need a CF because they had Crosby or a 1B because they had Swisher/Nady if you’ll remember.

            Long list of A-Rod for 20-40 games (if he manages to stay healthy) and…………. no one else. They are presumably counting on significant improvement from Nunez to make this arrangement work. I like Nunez at much as just about anyone, and I will still admit flatly that he was well below replacement last season and is by no means a lock to get much better.

            This strategy only makes sense if the revolving door is superior to just playing those guys and giving them days off as needed. You need strong reserves to make that happen. If you’re not playing a DH with a .380 wOBA in order to play a below replacement UTL… the revolving door arrangement sucks.

            Dunn is also a guy with a 40 point wOBA split in his career. Giving him a day off and Nunez and/or Jones a day on against a LHSP is ideal for the team. Even as a less-than-full-time DH I would expect Dunn to out-WAR Burnett by about 4 the next two years (even if Burnett manages to start that whole stretch)… more than making up for the $15 mill you owe him in 2014 before even considering what he produces in 2014 and the ~$4 mill difference the next two years.

            I can understand passing for financial reasons related to 2014 and/or finding a better $ deal for Burnett. I can understand a belief Dunn has declined physically and doesn’t have the work ethic to compensate. I didn’t say I think Adam Dunn is a slam dunk acquisition. In fact, I said that I doubt Chicago deals him for Burnett. I said I am intrigued.

            • DM

              If it is strategic position maintained by the manager, general manager and mentioned recently by a prominent player, it will be a long list. Rotating DH or revolving door doesn’t mean A-Rod only. You can’t the change the premise of my assertion but keep the subsequent details to criticize them. A-Rod, Tex, Swisher, Jones, Jeter, Cano and another p/t lefty were all mentioned — and when 12 of your 25-man roster are pitchers, that’s a long list — and that was just off the top of his head.

              And Dunn’s 2014 money alone makes it outlandish. The Yankees would have to be trading away a player that’s expensive in 2014 as well. The Ibanez rumors make much more sense. He can play the outfield, he’s a high character guy — and at his age, he’ll most likely come cheap without expectations of full-time ABs.
              I couldn’t see the Damon thing unless he literally couldn’t find another team to give him more ABs. He wants 3000 hits; the worst thing he could do would be to accept being a p/t hitter unless he has absolutely no other choice.

              • Ted Nelson

                Again… Crosby as CF and no Tex were also positions maintained by the GM. When better options came along, he changed his position. I expect that he’ll do the same thing again. I have no idea what Chicago wants for Dunn or what the Yankees think of him. I think he’s an intriguing option as a LH DH since he has CRUSHED RHP on his career and his value is probably at an all-time low right now. It might not be Dunn, though.

                Girardi has been pushed into a revolving GM the last two years. He’s started each of the last two years with a full-time DH: Nick Johnson and Jorge Posada.
                Why do you refuse to acknowledge this? We’ve been over it 100000000000 times now.

                There are a long list of guys who *CAN* DH… not of guys who *HAVE TO* DH. Any position player *CAN* DH. Listing every position player on the roster with half a bat as a guy who might DH is valueless.

                That you call something outlandish doesn’t make it so. I literally broke down the math for you of why it is not outlandish. If you figure Dunn for 3.5 fWAR and Burnett for 1.5 fWAR the next two years… Dunn’s contract is a better value even at 0 fWAR in 2014.

                You are ridiculous. I didn’t say Dunn is the only guy who makes sense. I said he’s intriguing. It’s literally impossible to have a discussion with you.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Since I know you’ll point it out rather than actually discussing the issues: “Girardi has been pushed into a revolving GM” = DH…

                  • DM

                    I knew what you meant — obviously. But the same statement with the right two letters is equally absurd. If you think Girardi prefers a full-time DH but begrudgingly used a rotation there b/c he was “forced” is comical to anyone who has paid attention to Girardi’s own words and managerial style. Defensive flexibility and the ability to rest regulars in the DH slot as been promoted over and over by him. You have it backwards. He loathes being forced into clogging that slot with DH-only types. Remember Thames? Great clubhouse guy — lotsa huge late-inning hits? Replaced with Jones b/c Thames was a butcher in the OF — and had become a 1-way, DH-only type player. Being able to take the field matters on this team. Only you could think, national league-born, defense-first catcher wants a sloth clogging up his DH hole. The same guy who kept running Brett Gardner out there when he was hitting .179 b/c of all “the other things” he can do. When I think Girardi, I think Big Donkey at DH — right. And when I think Cashman, I think 34 yr old 15 mil Big Donkey DH in 2014 — when A-Rod is 39, Tex, 34 — right. The same Cashman that had to ask Hal for $ for Kuroda for 1 yr — right? Makes sense — LOL.

                    You’re a brilliant baseball mind, Ted. You should be a DH — uh, I mean, GM.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      This is an anonymous blog. Stating your opinions as fact doesn’t make them any righter than my opinions. It doesn’t somehow magically make you smarter than me. Grow up.

                      Who was the Yankees’ DH to start 2010? 2011? Your opinion on Girardi’s feelings is nothing more than your opinion. If you really think he’s that irrational, that’s your choice. I chose to view him as a rational actor who will take the best choice. If he’s got a DH… he has always used him. Always. Nick Johnson, Thames/Berkman, even Jorge… why was he still in the line-up hitting .100??? What “other things” was he bringing? Your logic is too poor to even comment on. You can rotate guys into the DH position and still have a full time DH.

                      I don’t think Girardi is hellbent on having a full-time DH. I certainly think he will go with a rotating DH if that makes the most sense given the roster he’s given. Again… I think he’s a rational dude.

                      Thames was let go because he had a career year in 2010 he was VERY unlikely to repeat… How was his 2011 season?

                      Gardner was allowed to stay in the line-up with a .179 BA because there was every reason to expect it to improve. You don’t bench every player who has a slump.

                      Having Dunn at DH in 2012 doesn’t mean you have to keep him for the life of his contract. If he rebounds from 2011… and I think it’s overwhelmingly likely, which is why I doubt Chicago dumps him… and Nunez or someone else steps up to give the Yankees options and/or A-Rod proves too brittle for 3B… trade Dunn. As a .380 wOBA DH he’s going to have trade value.

                • DM

                  You’re so silly, strange and paranoid. No one can discuss anything with you without agreeing 110% with your premise. To ignore the age and physical status these players is crazy. Do you thing A-Rod is going to be benched if he can swing a bat while something else is bothering him? You don’t see a difference between the Alex of old and now? He came into camp last yr in great shape ready to play in the field all year — but what happened? This idea that resting regulars who came here in there 20s but are now in there 30s would suddenly stop b/c they get a DH is absurd. Sorry Tex, 5 straight games on turf, your ankle is barking? Get out there or will just sit you b/c we have a DH?? A-Rod, you’re a little run down after play 10 games straight in the field, and we’re facing another lefty, but will bench you b/c we have a DH??
                  And your Nick Johnson theory doesn’t hold water. He plays a good 1st base and they were going to try him in OF. He was brought in with FLEXIBILITY in mind, not to be a full-time DH-clogger. And the Posada example is suspect as well. Why did he wind up getting games at 1st — more last year than his entire career? Simple — they didn’t want a DH-ONLY guy. Being able to play a position in the field matters on this team.

                  And Dunn’s contract is outlandish b/c of the new CBA and luxury tax implications. Are you that dense to ignore what everyone is saying about 2014 and the Yankees? Money is GOING TO MATTER. Hello?? Anyone home?

                  • Ted Nelson

                    Do you realize this is an anonymous blog? You can insult me all you’d like. Have fun with it.

                    I didn’t ignore their age. I went so far as to say A-Rod might need to double his previous career high at DH. Who is delusional again? Who else is old? Jeter? Can’t hit as a DH: sit him. Tex? Dude is 32. Cano? Dude is 29. Swisher? 31. You think I’m crazy for not thinking Cano, Swisher, and Tex as old??????????

                    Having a DH doesn’t mean you have to play all your regulars 162 games a year… how on earth did you get from A to B????????

                    “And your Nick Johnson theory doesn’t hold water. He plays a good 1st base and they were going to try him in OF.”

                    He played 2 games at 1B and 20 games at DH… Dunn can also fill in at 1B and OF. It’s not pretty, but he can still produce adequately as a back-up given his offense.

                    “Are you that dense to ignore what everyone is saying about 2014 and the Yankees?”

                    Are you that dense that you think everything Cashman says happens? I have provided numerous examples of times he said one thing… and then the org did the exact opposite.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      You have a very tenuous relationship with the truth…

                    • DM

                      “He played 2 games at 1B and 20 games at DH”

                      Conveniently ignoring the fact that he got hurt early on.

                      It’s so sad that you shout your assertions into a cave but the only merit you ever hear coming out is the echo of your own voice. And for you that’s consensus. Bizarre.

                      I can’t wait for more quotes from Girardi. Then you’ll say that Girardi and I don’t know what Girardi is thinking — only you do. But then again, I think you’ve heard Girardi’s views already – but, like the Montero-trade, you hate it — so you burn that page from the book. Sorry Ted — we’ve all read it already. You’re not fooling anyone but yourself.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Only you and I are commenting here… there’s not consensus on anything. It’s your opinion v. my opinion. Just as no one is backing up my opinion… no one is backing up your opinion.

                      I never said I have any clue what Girardi is thinking. I said that just about every single time he’s had a decent DH on his roster, he’s used him as a full-time or platoon DH. You insist he hates having a DH… yet he keeps using one. I think he’s pragmatic. You think he’s dogmatic.

                      What quotes, by the way? You have offered exactly… zero quotes. You have said that your interpretation of his comments on flexibility is such… again, that’s your own interpretation. You seem to be ignoring Cashman’s direct quotes where he says he’s looking at the trade market for a DH bat.

                      I have no problem with a rotating DH under the right circumstances… you need at least 9 starting position players to pull it off (or a combination of platoon guys that adds to 9 full-time players). As much as I’ve defended Nunez for years now, I am not willing to call him a starter yet. Jones is a nice platoon guy, but I’m not willing to call him more.

                      Notice that I have never once said I think the Yankees are desperately seeking a full-time DH. If the best value they find is a cheap lefty platoon mate for Jones… I think they’ll go with that. And again… they’ll have a full-time DH between Jones and his platoon mate. If the best value they find is a full-time DH… I think they’ll go with that.

                      You act like every player plays 162 games. That’s just not accurate.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      And I didn’t ignore that Johnson got injured. I listed the games he played in. He played 9% of them in the field. Zero in the OF. Your guess that he’d play a higher percentage going forward means nothing. It’s not a fact. What is a fact is that in the games he played… Girardi used him as a full-time DH.

                    • DM

                      Nick Johnson had back issues before the season even started. And of course your regular starters are going to need less rest early in the season. Your mention of NJ’s brief, early season stint is meaningless to the argument.

                      And I see you creeping away from your initial stance — like you always do — regarding the DH position. When Jones was back and Montero was still here, how was that to work? Who was losing ABs? You’re replacing Montero’s DH presence with a LEFTY like I said — which you first dismissed. I did say they would seek a bat — A P/T LEFTY — b/c that fits.

                      And here’s a clip from a Girardi interview in early Dec.

                      “You said Montero needs to earn a spot and everybody potentially needs to earn their spot. Do you go into Spring Training with it in your head that Montero is your primary DH?”
                      “Girardi: Yeah, are those expectations we have for him, yes. We expect him to perform at a level that he helps us next year. We expect that from him. I’m not saying he would be our full time DH, because I think we need to rotate that around a little bit, but we expect to give him at bats as a DH next year.”

                      Why does he say that Ted? What is this “need to rotate” he mentions? He has Montero plus 2 catchers. You said Montero’s position doesn’t matter. He can DH and catch a tiny bit, right? Why is he tentative Ted? Could he be thinking about A-Rod and his desire to rest other veteran players on a rotating basis perhaps — LIKE HE ALWAYS TALKS ABOUT – HALF-DAY RESTS for regulars to KEEP THEM FRESH and HEALTHY over the course of a long season?

                      Another quote from same interview about Jeter.

                      “What do you expect out of Jeter and do you expect to scale back the amount of innings he plays?”
                      “Girardi: I think he paid attention to how many days in a row he played last year and made sure that he was fresh, and a lot of that is just watching. Do I have a set number of games that I expect him to start at shortstop? No. I might start him at DH one day to kind of give him a blow, I might do that. The big thing is to make sure he has life in his legs. It’s the same for Alex, it’s the same for Tex, it’s the same for all my guys. The one thing that was interesting, there were days where I thought Grandy might need a day off and you would play him and he would hit two home runs. He was the one guy that was kind of hard to figure out. But I kind of get a good feeling by watching them when they need a day. ”

                      Another question about Jeter…

                      “I guess the question is your expectations of the number of games you get out of him. He’s a guy who used to play 160 games a year. Do you need to be more careful with him on a preventative basis with him this year?
                      “Girardi: 150? I don’t know about 150. You have to wait and see how he’s doing and how many DH days you can give him and how timely are days off, but I expect him to be productive, I do.”

                      How many DH days for Jeter, Ted?? He had 10 last year in a shorter than normal season. And he’s a year older. But it’s only A-Rod, right, Ted? Which started at 10 games when you thought he was in suspended animation from years past — now you jumped to 20-40. These DH days for these vets seems to be growing Ted. Does Girardi make it sound like there’s a great full-time DH opportunity for Montero — or anyone else? NO.

                      Gee, Ted — Girardi seems be saying the same thing that I mentioned.
                      Does “same for all my guys” count as a long list, Ted??? It seems Girardi already has a scheme from last year THAT HE’D LIKE TO KEEP USING — even when Montero was here (with two catchers as well). He really sounds “forced”, Ted — or does it sound more like a PREFERENCE b/c he feels it works to keep guys fresh?!?!? Do you think Girardi will feel his guys “need a day” more or less a year later — and a year older?!? Does he sound oriented towards flexibility, Ted?? You may think they don’t need rest — BUT THEIR MANAGER SURE DOES — WHICH IS WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      You are too dumb to even talk to.

                    • DM

                      It’s one thing to be a loser, but a sore one too? Your tunnel-vision, attention span and Ted-Logic isn’t suited for the actual game, its players, managers and GMs — but more for fantasy baseball played in TedWorld, where you’re king and a few stuffed animals and action figures are the only subjects — awe-struck with silence as you spit fWAR stats from both sides of your mouth. Where “a good prospect” is defined as “one that is not a bad prospect” — and “bad move” is synonymous with “solid enough move” — and “up” can mean “down”, etc, etc.

                      I’ll stay here where facts matter. But unfortunately for you, you’ll have to come back once in a while too — or at least when you hear…

                      “Teddy?! Time for dinner!!”

                      …reverberating through the semi-finished basement.

  • Buhner’s barber

    As per Cot’s, Zobrist (2015) and Longoria (2015 and 2016) both have team options after 2014. For about 45 seconds though, It was great thinking of them in pinstripes.

  • Kosmo

    I´m certainly in favor of a AJ for Carlos Lee or a Travis Hafner trade. If AJ rebounds he could turn out to be a valuable commodity come the trade deadline so Houston might flip him for a prospect or two which would enable them to dump the rest of his remaining contract. At this time he has more relative value than does Lee. Although NY would have to eat something in the neighborhood of 12 to 15 million. Lee could have a resurgence in power if surrounded by NYs lineup. The last couple of years Lee was perhaps the most dangerous hitter in Houston´s lineup so more than likely he was pitched around.

    • Kosmo

      also its been reported NY might have some interest in Raul Ibanez ,he´s 39 and in decline but as a part time LF and platoon DH doesn´t seem like bad choice.

      • Preston

        If Carmona can’t come back to the states the Indians might have interest in Burnett. But Hafner hasn’t been healthy in a long time. He has 13 million plus a 2.75 million buyout. Seeing as the Indians only picked up about 5 million of Derek Lowe’s contract this swap would mean the Yankees eat over 10 million in salary. That’s a lot.

        • Kosmo

          True but it was reported NY would be willing to eat 8 million of AJs contract so a couple million more wouldn´t break the bank.

    • Thomas Cassidy

      Why is everyone wanting Hafner? He sucks ass. He can’t even stay healthy. And when he does he still sucks. If the Yankees do trade Burnett, they will get nothing back at all. They will end up signing Ibanez/Damon/Matsui. If they want to get a DH via trade, they need to give up Hughes or Garcia.

      • Kosmo

        Hafner´s numbers the last 3 years despite injury have been pretty decent. He has a high OBP, hits .275 or so . If NY can get 350 ABs out of Hafner splitting time at DH with Jones, Arod etc. I´d say they did OK. Also he could surprise folks and stay healthy for a season.

        • Thomas Cassidy

          I just wouldn’t go for a guy with health problems. I’d rather sign Damon who can give you the same production.

          • thenamestsam

            Hafner is a significantly better hitter than Damon at this point.

            Hafner wOBA last 3 years: .355 .358 .353
            Damon wOBA last 3 years: .376 .340 .328

            I don’t think Damon is a bad choice. His numbers would probably bounce back some in Yankee Stadium, and he always seemed like a good teammate and all that, but Hafner is the better player at this point and the stadium should benefit him as well.

            • Thomas Cassidy

              Hafner also can’t stay healthy. So those numbers don’t mean much. Hafner won’t be on the Yankees anyway. The FO isn’t stupid enough to want that.

            • Ted Nelson

              Yeah, I don’t know that either is clearly superior. I would point out that Damon’s home/road split in 2011 was huge and outside the Trop he hit for a wOBA of .353 with a BABIP that’s in line with his career average. That still doesn’t make him clearly better than Hafner, depending on the cost of acquiring each and Hafner’s health.

  • Monterowasdinero

    Damon is the guy. He runs well and, after Gardy and Grandy he’d be the 3rd fastest guy in our lineup. He is not totally useless against lefties and he is not totally useless as an outfielder as long as he doesn’t have to try for an assist. He will hit 15-20 HR’s at YS and he takes pitches and makes contact.

    As for Hughes, I also agree with Ted. Phil’s mechanics and repertoire are suboptimal. I’d like to see him in AAA for a month or two both to work on stuff and to see how he compares to Banuelos/Betances/Mitchell/Phelps etc. in terms of effectiveness.

    • Kosmo

      I think it´s more about dumping AJ than signing a FA DH. NY could do both things separately, but to me unloading AJ is more important than what FA DH they sign.

      • ryan

        Yeah I don’t see the yankees actually getting anything good in return for AJ. The best they can hope for is eating 20+ mill of his contract and saving some money. Phil’s value is too low to trade him now, maybe after 2010 they could’ve gotten something worth while for him. He needs to prove he can be a dependable starter before he’s worth anything in a trade.

      • Ted Nelson

        How come?

    • Gonzo

      I said it before, sending Phil down makes sense if they have a plan a la Halladay. If not, it’s a tough choice.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    For the Yanks, the idea is to dump AJ’s contract AND get a DH back. I would prefer Carlos Lee, just because his contract is up at the end of this season and he’s not the health risk that a Hafner or Morneau would be. Even if you had to pay $22M of AJ’s contract AND pay $18M for Carlos Lee, I’d do the deal. You’d get AJ off your roster, save 5.5M next season, and get a guy who should be rejuvenated hitting in a major league lineup, between Tex and Swisher.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    What do you think it would cost to move Hughes for Dom Brown (besides Hughes obviously)?

    Would Hughes and a decent minor leaguer do the trick? (Not wanting to trade Sanchez, Betances, Banuelos, Williams, Campos or Romine). How about Hughes and J.R. Murphy, or something along those lines?

    • Ted Nelson

      Anything’s possible, but I would not do that deal if I’m Philly. Hughes is a huge risk with only two more years of team control that are not even that cheap.

      • LiterallyFigurative

        You are right, maybe we’d have to sweeten the deal a little more.

        But I don’t think they could command alot for Brown. It seems like they have soured on him a bit.

  • Brian in NH

    In regards to that Scouting question…one of my old High School teachers was a scout for the phillies in the late 80s and early 90s. Has a Philly WS ring that he liked to show off once in a while. New Hampshire wasn’t really a hot bed of baseball back then though. he wasn’t even a baseball coach either, just track.

  • Peter

    How bout Ankiel for DH?