Mar
22

2012 Season Preview: Depth

By

Hooray fourth outfielder. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

The Yankees used 46 different players en route to winning the AL East last season, including 28 different pitchers. The Red Sox learned the hard way that opening the year with five solid starters isn’t enough to secure a playoff spot — the numbers six, seven, and eight starters are pretty important as well. Whether it’s injury, ineffectiveness, or just the need to change things up on occasion, every club will need to dip into its system and call up players at some point during the season. In many case, it’s the difference between playing for a title and going home early.

Thanks to a strong farm system and the fact that players are now willing to assume lesser roles in New York, the Yankees have been able to build a very nice stockpile of secondary players should a need arise at some point, which it will.

Catcher
Russell Martin and Frankie Cervelli are one of the better starter-backup catching tandems in the game, but Jesus Montero is no longer around threatening to steal playing time. The third string backstop this year is Austin Romine, who probably needs a full season’s worth of Triple-A plate appearances more than anything. Gus Molina was up briefly last year, but he’s unlikely to get the call in 2012 unless things go really wrong.

(Jim McIsaac/Getty)

Infield
With injuries becoming a bigger concern as Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez march into their late-30s, Eduardo Nunez and Eric Chavez become a bit more important than your typical reserve infielders. Chavez is injury prone himself, so really it’s Nunez that is most important. He came to the plate 338 times last season and could be poised for even more this work this year as Jeter and A-Rod get more days off and time at DH in an effort to remain on the field.

With Corban Joseph and David Adams still in need of minor league seasoning, Ramiro Pena and Brandon Laird are the primary 40-man roster depth pieces on the infield. Pena can’t hit a lick but is a very strong glove man while Laird is more of a hacker with a solid but unspectacular glove. I’m assuming that Russell Branyan and Bill Hall will exercise their opt-out clauses before the season if they don’t make the club, but minor league contract signee Jayson Nix will still be around and could become a factor. The Yankees are fine in terms of short-term replacements, but a significant injury to any of the four regular infielders would likely result in a trade for adequate help.

Outfield
The starting outfield trio has been relatively durable over the last few years, but the Yankees do have Andruw Jones just in case. He has to be in any conversation about the game’s best fourth outfielders. Raul Ibanez and Nunez and the emergency fifth and sixth outfielders only. Justin Maxwell is out of minor league options and having a fantastic spring (.435/.519/.652 in 23 at-bats), and I think he’ll be traded before the season just because there’s no room for him barring injury. It’s either lose him on waivers or trade him for a minimal return.

Chris Dickerson has already been removed from the 40-man roster, but he should be the first in line should help be needed. He can’t hit lefties but he does hold his own against righties while offering defense and speed. Dewayne Wise is a defensive specialist and penciled into a regular outfield spot in Triple-A. We saw Colin Curtis in 2010 but he’s further down the depth chart. Cole Garner as well. Forty-man roster guys Zoilo Almonte and Melky Mesa are slated for Double-A and won’t be factors this year. Jones is a great backup plan, though most of the true outfield depth players are defense-first types and won’t be able to replace much offense.

Starting Pitchers
It’s hard not to get excited about all the quality arms the Yankees have at their disposal this season. Assuming Phil Hughes wins the rigged fifth starter competition, Freddy Garcia is ticketed for long relief come Opening Day. Andy Pettitte will return about a month into the season to give the team seven legitimate big league starters for five spots.

The Triple-A rotation is going to be full of prospects, with David Phelps, Adam Warren, and D.J. Mitchell likely to get the call ahead of Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos. Phelps and Mitchell are on the 40-man roster, but I can’t imagine the Yankees would hesitate to call up Warren if needed. All three of those guys have been impressive in camp and would probably be contending for rotation spots with other teams. There will be no Shawn Chacon-style trades or Sidney Ponson signings or Aaron Small desperation moves this year, the Yankees have starting pitching coming out of their ears. The smart money is on them needing most of it as well.

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Bullpen
Assuming the final bullpen spot goes to a second lefty like Clay Rapada or Cesar Cabral, the Yankees will have right-hander George Kontos a phone call away this summer. He’s the early favorite to the ride the Bronx-Empire State shuttle this year. Phelps, Warren, and particularly Mitchell are all candidates for bullpen duty just like Hector Noesi last season. Left-hander Mike O’Connor and righties Adam Miller and Matt Daley have been around the block and will be stashed in Triple-A on minor league pacts. I didn’t think we’d see Buddy Carlyle or Amaury Sanit or Lance Pendleton last year, but there they were. If someone is on the Triple-A pitching staff, they have a chance to be called up.

* * *

It’s important to remember that depth players can help the club in more ways than one. They could directly contribute on the field, but they could also serve as trade bait. The Phelps, Warren, and Mitchell triumvirate is prime trade fodder, especially after the Pettitte signing. We’re going to see those guys in the show in some capacity this year, but don’t be surprised if one is dealt at some point. Laird could be moved as well, though he doesn’t have a ton of value. They can’t keep everyone, you know.

Categories : Players
  • Rip Torn

    All that depth and here I am still stuck fingering Freddy.

  • Ted Nelson

    I wonder if Branyan will go anywhere. He probably needs some “rehab” time in exst/minors anywhere he does.

    Hopefully Mustelier can get himself into the bench picture or at least the call-up depth picture late this season or next season.

    Not so sure that the “smart money” is on the Yankees needing most of their 7 excess starting pitchers…

  • https://twitter.com/Mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    Nothing more exciting than the prospect of *even more* Eduardo Nunez in the field.

    • LiterallyFigurative

      I’m actually hoping he can get the opportunities he got last year. The left side is old, so having a young, fast guy who can hit some and field well is a positive. The more he played, the better the throwing became.

      I’m not saying he’s Omar Vizquel defensively, but considering his age and contract, you’d be hard pressed to find a better option for this team. Plus, he might (gasp!) get better with time. I know that development and improvement is a foreign concept in Yankeefanland, but sometimes young guys need a chance to get more comfortable and get some reps.

      • Fin

        Agree 100%. The hate for Nunez is irrational in Yankeeland. With the state of ss in the major leagues, Nunez is very valuable. Mike says they would likely make a trade for a long term solution. Who are they going to get in a trade that is any better than Nunez?
        If Nunez can become consistent in his fielding, which I think is likely, he could be an overall better player than Jeter at this point in his career. I know Yankee fans want all star caliber players as soon as they step on the field their rookie year, but most of the time that doesnt happen.
        To my eyes, the throwing issues are correctable and not that uncommon for young guys. MLB network did a one of those little segments on young infielders having throwing issues and how easily it is corrected. If he solves that issue, I think he will be a pretty slick fielder, who hits decent especially for a SS and is a dynamic base runner. With the state of ss in MLB today, being afraid of Nunez getting more time seems short sighted and foolish to me.

        • YankeesJunkie

          Even with the decimated state Nunez does not appear to be more than a back up on a WS caliber team. His throwing will hopefully imprsove, but he it appears that he will not be more than an average fielder and him playing every day will inflate his glaring weaknesses of lack of patience and abscence of power. However, at this point Nunez has turned into a more valuable than I would have imagined and unless Adams can get back on track Nunez is the 3rd infield till now.

          • Fin

            I agree that at this point he is nothing more than a backup for the Yankees, but with the age of Jeter and Arod and his ability to play 3rd, ss, second and outfield, hes a pretty valuable backup.
            He doesnt seem to have HR power, but he seems to have gap power, his lack of patience is definitely and issue, and I doubt it gets much better.
            I dont think its impossible to see him becoming a decent starting ss for a few years on the Yankees. I dont think he will ever be a star but he might be able to be a middle of the road ss, and where else are the Yankees gona find one of those? Scutoro doesnt land in your lap every day.

    • forensic

      There’s no arguing that is was an adventure out there sometimes, but he did play significantly better with regular time. The random day or two here and there worry me more than an extended appearance replacing whatever jeter production there may be. He can’t compete with a-rods healthy production of course, but he’s certainly better than seeing any of Chavez.

      • Fin

        He hit like a fiend when he got regular playing time while Jeter was out. That was fun to watch. I dont think thats the type of hitter he is though. I think hes more of a .250-.260 hitter with poor on base skills, but has a little pop and alot of speed who knows how to pick his spots to steal a bag.

      • Fin

        Yea, definately cant replace Arods production but only the best starting 3rd basemen in baseball can. The question is, could you find a trade for a 3rd basemen that is any better than Nunez? SS/3b is pretty weak in MLB right now, and getting even a very average one would probably cost alot for a marginal upgrade over Nunez. If Nunez gets his throwing issues under control he can be huge piece to this team. There is a reason that the yankees didnt trade him for Lee and Atlanta wanted him.

    • Rainbow Connection

      He’s only been playing baseball his entire life. You can’t expect him to be able to catch and throw balls in the infield. Unreasonable.

      • Fin

        He hasnt been playing baseball his whole life at the MLB level and for the NY Yankees on a part time basis. The pressure of MLB and inconsistent playing time bring out the mechanical throwing flaws that are common in young infielders and easily fixed. I’ve been playing baseball my whole life, primarily at ss. I’m pretty sure I couldnt play ss for the Yankees.

  • Monterowasdinero

    Eduardo will play alot this year. I am thinking of a new “short term” handle.

    EatingRaoul’sContract

    Thoughts?

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Spell it correctly and you may be on to something … :-)

    • Jesse

      EatingRaul’sContract

    • Slugger27

      use your “looks like ghandi runs like jorge” line.

  • m1kew

    Mike -

    Garcia, Laird, Phelps, Warren, and Mitchell are all potential trade candidiates. The Marlins are a decent fit for Garcia and they have two solid outfield prospects – Elier Hernandez and Jorge Bonifacio. Would Garcia and Phelps or Warren or Mitchell be a fair trade to both sides? If not what else would it take to make this deal happen?

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

      I know nothing about Hernandez and Bonifacio, so I can’t help you. Sorry.

    • forensic

      I just have to ask, the only Jorge bonifacio I found is in the royals organization and I didn’t find any Hernandez with something close to that first name. So, huh?

      • m1kew

        My bad. Thanks for answering my question.

        Both are in the Royals system and were big dollar International signings over the past 2 years that I have kind of stored in the back of my mind. I was thinking Marlins for Garcia but wanted more than a token prospect. I just made a bad mental connection in that my alledged mind was thinking young outfielders who might have a chance to be big time producers a few years from now.

        Bonafacio made the Royals top twenty -

        “A 2010 all-star in the Dominican Summer League, Bonificacio has the offensive tools to be an outstanding hitter one day. He has hitters’ hands and power to all fields he’s just starting to learn how to tap into. He has a pretty solid approach given his age and background and runs a tick above-average, especially for a young player with his frame. He’s played both center field and right, but with his plus arm and his offensive profile, he’ll eventually fit the corner outfielder profile very well.”

        Hernandez – “Wasting no time in making a splash in the international free agency market, the Royals have signed Elier Hernandez, deemed by Baseball America to be the top international prospect eligible for signing this summer to what has been reported to be a $3.05 million contract.”

        I was thinking one of these prospects for a pitcher who can help this year and one who can help for years to come. But I am not sure the Royals need either. Like I said – my bad.

      • Jesse

        Maybe he was talking about Emilio Bonafacio? Don’t know about the other guy, however.

        • Jesse

          Whoops, forgot to refresh.

        • Ted Nelson

          It is his younger brother actually.

    • Ted Nelson

      Maybe there are other guys by those names, but I think both Hernandez and Bonifacio are in the Royals system.

      Those guys are both teenagers who are really, really far away from MLB (don’t think Hernandez has played in the states and he’s 17). The Royals just signed Hernandez to one of the biggest deals in IFA history, so I don’t see them dealing him for short-term help at the back of their rotation (or at least back-end starters, even if they’re higher in KC’s rotation). Bonifacio isn’t quite at that level of potential I wouldn’t say, but he’s a promising rookie ball guy. Don’t think the Royals are really in a position to trade him for a back-end rotation fix, either.

  • Dan

    Any scenario where Maxwell might make the team and Ibanez doesn’t? I know ST stats don’t matter in making decisions, but just with how bad Ibanez has looked and how good Maxwell has looked it would be hard to not consider making a change. The Yankees might not want to eat Ibanez’s contract, but I doubt that would keep them from making a change.

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

      Sure, it’s possible. It would surprise me though.

    • LiterallyFigurative

      Only issue I’d have with Maxwell is he’s right-handed, just like Andruw Jones. Dickerson makes more sense if they don’t bring Ibanez.

      • Fin

        If the Yankees dont bring Ibanez north I could see them giving Jones the chance to hit righties and using Maxwell as the fourth outfielder until Jones proves he still cant hit righties or until a suitable lefty DH is found. Its too bad Branyan has been hurt all of ST. It would have been interesting to see him state his case.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    Let’s be honest. Warren, Phelps and Mitchell won’t get any chances to be anything more than shuttle fodder. It’s best to try and use that excess depth now to get a young outfielder. Even if the outfielder is a stop-gap, decent one. Considering the 7 guys we have now (including Andy), and the high ceilings of ManBan and Betances, the AAA trio have reached the double-paned glass ceiling.

    Trade the two you can get the best deal for.

    • STONE COLD Austin Romine

      I don’t know man , I’m not really for the making a trade for the sake of making a trade mind set.

      Writing off Mitchell/Warren/Phelps as nothing more than shuttle fodder is a bit much. They all have real value to this franchise as pieces they can use in a real trade or just as members of the staff.

      You might not like their ceilings but their floors are safe enough to not be just dismissed like that.

      • LiterallyFigurative

        I’m not saying that the trio SHOULDN’T get a chance to pitch on the ML team, I just don’t see were they WILL get the chance.

        I wish they would get real opportunities to compete for the 5th spot. But that is not how this franchise operates.

        With the Pettitte signing, they would need at least 2 guys to get hurt in order to get any burn. Possible? Yes. Likely? Not really.

        Given that they are good valuable guys, to me it would make more sense to trade from the position of strength(12 starters between AAA + ML) for a position of weakness (high-minors, almost ML-ready young outfielder).

        • Fin

          Eh that will all change next year. Petite, Garcia and probably Mo will gone next year. Joba, Hughes and Soriano will be in their final years. There is a place for those guys if they perform, maybe not this year and maybe not as starters but they have real value to the Yankees outside of trade value.

        • Havok9120

          That’s some serious short term thinking. Especially since Garcia and Pettitte are gone after this year and Hughes is probably gone after 2013. The only way we don’t need at least one of them as a starter (and another as a longman) is if both of the B’s pan out as starters which is by no means guaranteed.

          Not to mention you’re assuming Nova and Pineda both stick and perform up to expectations. There’s just no reason to make that kind of trade now, especially not with the budget where it is.

          • Ted Nelson

            Agreed, and even beyond that there’s Mo, Soriano, and maybe Joba and Logan all departing from the pen in the next few years. Cheap RP options will really help with the $189 million goal. Certainly if they see a RF prospect they like better than one or more of the Ps I’m all for a trade, but there has to be that young almost MLB-ready RF available at that price.

    • Ted Nelson

      I’m sure that the Yankees will entertain offers, I just don’t know how much any team is willing to offer. Perhaps if one or two of those guys starts doing really well in AAA and looking like a sure thing MLB starter. Right now those guys are more considered (rightly or wrongly) to be back-end/bullpen prospects by just about anyone I’ve seen. So, the Yankees might get more of a likely 4th OF prospect if they’re looking for someone ready by 2013… in which case I’d just keep the P and either hope he improves his trade value or use him in the pen. Cheap BP options to replace Mo, Soriano, probably Joba and Logan are pretty important to the 2014 budget. A proven set up man is going to run at least like $4 mill per in free agency.

      Like I said, I’ll bet the Yankees would entertain offers and might even be actively looking to trade one or more. It’s just not that easy to imagine a match where a team has an MLB ready-ish (in a year) RF prospect the Yankees are comfortable replacing Swisher with that they’re willing to deal for a back-end SP prospect or two. Definitely could happen that a match emerges where the Yankees are higher on a guy than his org., but it’ll probably take some patience.

      • Fin

        Yea, this makes the most the sense. I see the most likely trade to acquire a young bat involving Hughes if he pitches well. Meaning those guys listed above will become more important. I could also see a trade involving Gardner as he may have more value to another team playing centerfield than he does to the Yankees playing left.

        • Ted Nelson

          Good point about Hughes. Even as he nears FA he could establish value as a long-term piece.

          Issue I see with Gardner is just that you answer the RF question, and create a LF question…

          • Fin

            I think that gardner is easier to replace than Swisher. So if you were able to replace Swisher in a deal that included Gardner, the hole gardner leaves would be easier to fill or the downgrade would have less of an impact. Of course there are lots of variables, such as the quality of player coming back in a Gardner trade.
            The only reason I see him as trade candidate is he could have more value to another team, being a center fielder and lead off guy, rather than left fielder 9th place hitter. I dont expect/want them to trade Gardner but it wouldnt shock me if it happens.

  • j

    I know this is kinda off topic but can someone explain to me the difference between Ramiro Pena and Jose Iglesias? They are both excellent fielder who cant hit at all yet one is the greatest SS prospect ever and the other is well, Ramiro Pena. Is it really just the age difference?

    • LiterallyFigurative

      One plays for the Red Sox organization, the other plays for the Yankee organization. The former will have his deficiencies glossed over, while the latter will be picked apart.

      Nothing new here.

    • lardin

      Easy, one plays for the NESPN owned Boston Red Sox who think they are smarter then every other team in MLB history. The other plays for the evil Empire.

    • A.D.

      Red Sox hype machine

    • Ted Nelson

      Yeah, other than the perception issue I would agree it’s age. Pena is 26, so there’s not much hope he suddenly learns how to hit. Iglesias can’t hit, but is 22 and rushed through the minors a bit so he’s got more development potential

    • thenamestsam

      As much as everyone wants to see a conspiracy here I do think there’s a pretty significant difference between these guys in terms of talent. Pena is a good fielder, but he’s not great. He made a bunch of errors last year and he has a negative UZR for his career at SS and 2B. Those are pretty small samples and UZR has its flaws, but I don’t think anyone is saying that Pena would be a gold-glove caliber guy in full time duty – which is exactly what they’re saying about Iglesias. In conclusion, neither can hit, but Iglesias still might at some point and he’s a much better fielder at a younger age. He’s overrated in my opinion, but he’s not the same as Pena.

      • Fin

        Yea, you hit the nail on the head. IF he can hit at a minimal level say .240 in the majors he could be valuable with the Sox offensive ability to carry him and his defensive impact. Hes definitely over hyped, his ability to even hit at a minimal level is too big of a question mark for him to have the status he does. He should be a guy to keep and eye on rather than a top prospect. A zolio Almonte type guy.

      • Ted Nelson

        Yeah, that’s a good point. Pena’s defense might get overrated by us Yankees fans since he can’t hit.

  • forensic

    There will be no Shawn Chacon-style trades or Sidney Ponson signings or Aaron Small desperation moves this year

    Just like what was said last year before Brian Gordon and Sergio Mitre (yes, again) made their appearances.

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

      I was waiting for someone to mention this.

      That’s not true at all. The rotation was a wreck at this time last year and we all expected them to have to go outside the organization for help. They actually had to bring in less outside help than we expected when the season opened.

      • LiterallyFigurative

        But it makes you wonder what they really think about Warren, Phelps, Mitchell, Noesi, etc., if they had to trade for Brian Gordon or Mitre to spot start. Maybe they didn’t want to use up an option, but those two moves just made me scratch my head.

        • STONE COLD Austin Romine

          They most likely didn’t want to burn a 40 man roster spot & option.

          Gordon and Mitre realistically weren’t going to remain with the org after 2011 anyway.

        • RetroRob

          The Yankees actually were going to call up Phelps last year, but it happened just as he had the shoulder issue. They certainly liked Noesi and carried him for most of the year, but he wasn’t stretched out enough once they needed another starter.

          I don’t think any of the three will be star pitchers. Back-end arms. Maybe decent bullpen options. They provide depth for the Yankees. No reason to trade them just yet, especially since Kuroda and Pettitte will probably be one-year options, and they have no idea how Nova will do in year two, or if Hughes will return to 2010 form, or even better.

          My guess is one of the three will find a spot on the Yankees next year, probably in the pen. Two will be traded to fill a more pressing need, but the Yankees won’t do that just yet. No need to.

      • forensic

        That’s not true at all. They still had their 4 normal starters and had to fill in for colon for a short time. Warren was all but fitted for a uniform when the organization did the same thing they always prefer to do and go out and find some sort of trash to plug in instead of one of their own potential kids. They even had Noesi already on the roster and ready having just pitched 6 innings 10 days prior but wouldn’t even use him.

        • forensic

          Didn’t even realize I used the same opening line as you. Not meant to seem mocking at all. Sorry.

        • Havok9120

          They weren’t even halfway through there first season of AAA and we were hearing rumblings from all the beat writers about Phelps getting called up….right before his shoulder flew off.

          Its a different situation this year. You’re acting as if they’ve been in AAA for 2 or 3 years and that simply isn’t the case.

          I believe that Noesi should’ve gotten the ball for one of those starts, but there was no harm at all in doing what they did. I know you disagree.

          • forensic

            Phelps didn’t have any discomfort until almost a week after gordons first start. And they certainly didn’t treat Warren as if he wasn’t ready, they treated him like this organization does when there is any sort of other option, make up an excuse and dump them back down. And this is phelps third part/full season, warrens second season, and mitchells third part/full season at AAA. That’s a lot of time, multiple seasons aren’t necessarily needed when successful.

            The harm is that they are all still unknowns at this level, which they’ve helped push off again this year too, which means they’ll be in the same boat again next year looking for other pitchers since they apparently can’t depend on kids they don’t know anything about, and yet cant even give them an opportunity to show them anything.

            • Fin

              The time in the minor leagues, that you mentioned is what they have now, not what they had last year. The petite signing is what seems to me to be your real issue. They were all lined up to get a chance this year, depending on who was performing the best, until the Petite signing.
              While I cant say I’m a huge fan of the Petite signing, I couldnt see the Yankees saying no him on such a cheap deal. He is potentially the Yankees 3rd best starter. Blocking guys who project as number 4 and 5 starters with Andy Petite is more than reasonable.
              Its very possible through trades, injuries and ineffectiveness all of those guys will have the opportunity to pitch at the major league level this year. By all of those guys, I mean which ever 1 or 2 of them are pitching the best in the minors will get a shot, not that they will all get to the majors.

  • viridiana

    Excellent post. Glad you mentioned Cabral. After his 6K performance yesterday,Yanks could have tough choice between Cabral and Rapada.

    • Havok9120

      One late innings performance against a pitching first team. He can make it competitive if he keeps it up, but Rapada remains WAAAAY out in front I believe.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Agree. Cabral may have made the conversation harder, but I feel like Girardi’s already testing out situations in which Rapada would be brought in mid-season in ST.

        Watch those stairs, Clay.

      • Fin

        It was a hell of a performance though. I’ll give him that. Not often you see 6 strike outs in 2 innings.

  • lardin

    As I was reading over all of this, i noticed that the yankees have a very deep balanced team. They have a top offense a solid to very good rotation a top bullpen and very good defense. Jeter is probably the worst defensive player on the team.

    • YankeesJunkie

      Jeter may be the worst starter of the fielders and he will put up 2-3 WAR.

  • Granderslam

    Plus, great minor league arms depth. Looking forward to seeing the youngsters contribute in a big way. Or maybe used as trade bait for a bat or OF’er (depending on contract situations).

  • Fin

    Mike, I believe I have read that Ibanez contract is not fully guaranteed if he doesnt make the team out of ST, that they are only on the line for a portion of the contract. Am I making this up in my head, or is this the case?

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

      I haven’t hear that it is guaranteed. I know Chavez’s is, not sure about Ibanez. If it’s not guaranteed, they could release Ibanez anytime between now and Opening Day and pay him only 45 days termination pay.

      • Fin

        Lets say its not guaranteed. Between what Ibanez showed last year, and so far this ST, I think him being cut is a real possibility. It would allow them to keep maxwell and save them $1m (almost half of Petites money).
        If it is guaranteed I dont see any way they dont give him a month or so in the majors to see what he has.

        • Havok9120

          This. I’d quite happily cut him if it isn’t guaranteed.

          If it is, he gets a month or two to do with what he will.

          • Havok9120

            For the record, I’m pretty sure its guaranteed. Almost certain in fact.

    • forensic

      No article I found said anything about it being non-guaranteed.

      • RetroRob

        So you’re saying it is guaranteed?

      • DM

        I think the Ibanez haters have tried to dream this contract issue into existence.

        • Havok9120

          Agree completely.

        • Ted Nelson

          Interesting how you get mad when people call you a Player X-hater explaining that it’s just your evaluation of their play (no matter how subjective your comment), but if someone else dares to express a positive or negative opinion on a player that differs from your take they “love” or “hate” that player on a personal level.

          • Fin

            I gota say after what Ibanez showed in decline last year and what he has showed in ST thus far, I think hes cooked. If that makes me a hater, I’m a hater. While he might bounce back, if he doesnt do it before the regular season, and I could save one million and not bet on him bouncing back I certainly would save the million. If I’m spending the mil either way, I give him a shot to earn the money.

          • DM

            Who’s mad besides you Ted? Stop projecting.

        • Fin

          Lol thats why I asked if I made it up in my mind. Its entirely possible I dreamed it up.

    • GardnergoesYardner

      I think it is guaranteed, because I think the org. would be a lot less reluctant to just hand him the DH role if he was on a MILB deal. If he was getting 1 mil no matter what, they’d give him every possible chance, as he’s obviously getting.

      • Fin

        I dont think his chances in ST are a sign of it being guaranteed. He would be getting the same chances either way. As bad as hes been, he could still come back to life and pulling the plug in ST wouldnt wise. Especially because there really is no other left DH option. LOL, one thing is for sure if he keeps hitting the way he has and hes on the opening day roster, its because it was a guaranteed deal.

  • jack knife

    heard some other leftys are impressing in camp any word on that ?

  • Kosmo

    If Ibanez flops I wonder if an Abreu for Garcia trade might be an option ? Angels eat the balance of Abreu´s contract.

    • Granderslam

      Angels are said to be looking for pitching too…but at the minor league level, in particular. Maybe the Yanks/Angels are a match though. Pitching for hitting.

      • Havok9120

        It’d all depend on the money.

    • YankeesJunkie

      I thought about it for awhile and I do not like the move. Abreu will most only likely be 10 percent above league average which is not anything out of the ordinary at the DH position. The Yankees can surely get someone to do that without giving up Garcia who could fill the Alfredo Aceves very nicely which could rack up 1-2 WAR where Abreu will probably have trouble getting to 1.

      • Fin

        The issue with your logic is that if all the starters are healthy in a month and Ibanez is still a corpse, the need for an Ibanez replacement will far outweigh the value of Garcia in the pen and sending Nova to the minors when Petite comes up.
        I think the ideal scenario is trading Garcia a month into the season, barring injury, and Petite takes his spot as the 6th man, injury insurance. With the stacked AAA staff, if there are no injuries they virtually have to trade Garcia, there just arent enough pitching spots for all of them and no room on the AAA staff to stash one. Not to mention, no way in the world can the Yankees send one of those guys down to travel the country if hes pitching well. The bullpen will be bad enough.

  • Rainbow Connection

    It’s like a deep dish pizza or sumthin’. tss. tss.