Mailbag: A-Rod, Hamilton, Halladay, AL vs. NL

The Ivan Nova Story
5/25-5/27 Series Preview: Oakland Athletics

Got a massive mailbag for you this week. I dunno, I just couldn’t stop once I got going. Blame yesterday’s day off. Remember to use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar to send us stuff, mailbag questions or otherwise.

(REUTERS/Adam Hunger)

Nathan asks: What’s up with A-Rod and the lack of power? Is he not fully healthy, losing bat speed, or just getting old?

This came in before Alex Rodriguez hit those two homers on Wednesday night, somewhat obviously. Anyway, I think it’s all of the above. He’s going to turn 37 next month and not many players maintain 30+ homerun power into their late-30s. Only 34 players age 36 or older hitt 30+ dingers in a single season (49 total instances), and the vast majority of them took place during the offense-crazy late-1990s/early-2000s. The power decline has been a gradual thing for Alex, look at his ISO through the years…


Source: FanGraphsAlex Rodriguez

That looks an awful lot like normal age-related decline. That monster 2007 season (.331 ISO) came at age 31, right at the end of his prime years. On top of getting old, he also had the torn labrum in his hip. Players need their lower halves to generate power and Alex’s was compromised a bit. Lots of people will blame the past PED usage and hey, they might be right, but I don’t think there’s anything that unusual about a player on the wrong side of 35 losing his power, even a historically great player like A-Rod.

Alex asks: The Yankees had been playoff bound for almost two decades and were buyers at the deadline during this run. If the injuries prove to be too many and the old dudes don’t hit, the Yankees may find themselves out of the race. If they become sellers, who goes? What would the Yanks try to get?

I can’t remember the last time the Yankees were a seller and they may have never been one in my lifetime for all I know. There has been the occasional dump trade — Gary Sheffield, Randy Johnson, A.J. Burnett, etc. — but that wasn’t so much “selling” as it was getting rid of an unwanted player.

If the Yankees did manage to fall so far out of race that selling in advance of the 2014 payroll plan becomes a reality, the most obvious candidates to go would be the guys scheduled to become free agents soon, meaning Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Curtis Granderson, and even Robinson Cano. There would be a market for Brett Gardner, Eduardo Nunez, Ivan Nova, and Phil Hughes, ditto just about everyone in the bullpen. Mark Teixeira and A-Rod are completely untradeable though chances are a taker would emerge for CC Sabathia despite his contract. The problem is his no-trade clause; Sabathia didn’t move his family across the country just to get traded again.

If the Yankees do end up selling parts, the goal has to be to acquire as much talent as possible. Position is irrelevant, get the best players and sort it all out later. Outfield is one obvious area in need of long-term help, and of course they’ll always need pitching. I just can’t see this team falling so far out of the race that they sell at the deadline. I don’t care how awful they’ve looked, anything involving established players for prospects would be stunning.

(Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)

Reggie asks: If the Yankees offensive burn-out continues and becomes a major factor of missing the post-season, especially egregious due to the addition of a playoff spot, doesn’t it appear to you that the fallout would be the signing of one Josh Hamilton?

It’s possible and frankly, that would be the Yankee way. Got a hole to fix? Throw money at the biggest and best free agent and worry about the consequences later. That’s kinda why the offense has been underperforming of late, really.

Anyway, I’m very much against the idea of signing Hamilton (or fellow free agent-to-be Andre Ethier) and have been for a while. He’s already 31 and will turn 32 less than two months into his new contract, and he gets hurt every single year. After all he’s put his body through, you can’t expect his durability problems to go away as he approaches his mid-30s. You’d end up paying him 150+ games a year money for 120 like the Rangers have for the last few seasons. Don’t get me wrong, Hamilton is an elite hitter and would look great with the short porch in right center, but you’re not signing this Hamilton, you’re signing the future version of the guy and whatever age and injury related decline he goes through. If the offense doesn’t rebound because the core pieces are aging, the solution is to not sign another guy exactly like that.

Miller asks: Is it too crazy to wonder if Roy Halladay would be on the trade block this year? I mean, he”s only under contract until 2013 (I think) so he won’t affect the 2014 plan, and he’s AL East proven and all that stuff as well. While I think that in the end, a Halladay trade is very unlikely, what do you think of this idea?

(Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

We’ve talked about Cole Hamels a whole lot because he’s scheduled to become a free agent and all that, but you know what? It’s not completely out of this world insane to think Halladay could end up on the block, allowing the Phillies to use the savings to re-sign the younger Hamels. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. already acknowledged that he’d consider selling if his club didn’t right the ship and guess what? They’re still in last place, exactly one game closer to first than when he made the comments.

Halladay, 35, has drawn quite a bit of attention this season for being merely great and not the best pitcher in the world. His strikeout rate has gone down (still 7.17 K/9 and 19.7 K/9), his walk (1.66 BB/9 and 4.6 BB%) and homer (0.64 HR/9) rates have gone up, and his ground ball numbers (46.7%) have taken a step back. His trademark cutter and two-seamer have lost a little zip as well. That said, Halladay has still been excellent, just not as otherworldly as he has been in the past. Given his track record, he’s earned the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, the Phillies owe their right-handed ace $20M this season and $20M next season before a $20M vesting option comes into play. The option vests with 225 IP in 2013 or 415 IP combined between 2012 and 2013. He basically still has to be a 200+ innings-a-year guy for that sucker to kick in. If Philadelphia is open to moving Doc — he has some kind of no-trade clause but we don’t know the extent — I’d be all over that even with his slight decline this year. Brilliant pitcher, insanely durable, familiar with the AL East, relatively short-term contract. That’s as good as it gets. I just don’t see them trading him away.

Hank asks: Reading the A.J. Burnett update post got me thinking about the NL being the so-called “easier league” and how guys go back there when they suck too much in the AL East (A.J., Javy Vazquez in recent memory). Is the competition really that much worse over there? If so, in what way? The NL doesn’t seem to have much trouble winning World Series titles lately so I’m confused.

Don’t use the World Series (or the All-Star Game) as a barometer, that’s just a random sample of (at most) seven games between just two teams at the end of the season and not an accurate representation of the two leagues as a whole. The AL went 24-18 in the first round of interleague play last week, a .571 winning percentage that translates to 93 wins over the course of 162 games. Last year it was a .520 winning percentage and the year before it was a .532 winning percentage. Since the start of 2010, the AL has won 289 of 546 interleague games, a .529 winning percentage that equates to an 86-win pace over a 162-game schedule.

It all comes down to the talent pool, which shifted dramatically when Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder jumped to the AL this winter. The best player to go from the AL to the NL this past offseason was … Gio Gonzalez? Mark Buehrle? The lack of a DH hurts too because NL clubs need more versatile bench players and basically run their offense in a different way. Every time through the lineup there is this automatic out and that changes the way teams are built and managed. Also, I think the best front offices are found in the AL and they all push each other to get better. The “smartest” front office in the NL belongs to who? The Cardinals? Cubs? It’s a lot different when you’re competing against Andrew Friedman and Jon Daniels.

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The Ivan Nova Story
5/25-5/27 Series Preview: Oakland Athletics
  • Johnny O

    I’d give up manny b and gary sanchez for ~2 years of halladay.

    No on hamilton, just like it’s no on cano.

    • jjyank

      I dunno. I know Halladay will be costly, but if he’s also making 20 mil a year I’m not sure how comfortable I’d be giving up two top prospects.

      Agreed on Hamilton, but not on Cano. I’m in the resign Cano camp. At least Cano has proven to be durable, and any durability concerns in the future is just based on speculation and historical comparisons. With Hamilton, he’s already an injury concern, and considering his past substance abuse, it’s pretty much a forgone conclusion that he’s a DL trip waiting to happen as he ages. I’m not saying that Cano won’t be a problem on a long term deal, but he’s certainly a much better bet than Hamilton IMO.

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

        I’m not a “re-sign Cano” guy, but I’d absolutely take him long-term over Hamilton.

      • Ted Nelson

        One issue with Cano is whether he can stay at 2B. Even at 3B he’s going to lose some value. Hamilton is a much, much better offensive player to start with, so he has to decline more to get to Cano’s decline level anyway.

        I don’t know who is a worse investment and it depends on years and $, just saying durability is one of a few factors. It’s also not a forgone conclusion that Hamilton’s health will fall apart more.

    • Reggie C.

      Ehh …

      Yeah. I wouldn’t want to part with anything else of value from the farm (i.e., Mason Williams), but for two full seasons of Halladay, I too would advocate trading the mentioned prospects.

    • Steve (different one)

      You have to trade whatever you can for halladay, the guy can throw with both hands!:

      http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/.....24367.html

    • Smart Guy

      thats a great idea, then in 2014 when we are again full of old guys and lacking production like now we will trade mason williams and dante bichette for another short term fix to help us lose in the 2nd round of the playoffs

    • Ted Nelson

      I think that’s too rich for two very expensive years of an old guy who might have already started declining. One of them, maybe.

    • pistol pete

      Who wouldn’t, 2 unproven players for two and a half years of one of the best pitchers in baseball. But who said Hal would spend the 20 mil per, I thought we were on a budget.

  • A.D.

    If the Yanks do get in on Hamilton at all get ready for the media frenzy of articles around Hamilton’s ability to “handle” NYC

  • A.D.

    Man Halladay and CC at a top of a rotation, that is what dreams are made of.

    • Smart Guy

      so is a rotation of halladay – lee – hamels but they dont seem to be that successful this year and if we keep trading guys and adding big contracts thats our future, big name unable to perform to expectations. We are already seeing the signs .

      • Rainbow Connection (futurely Dummies Playing With Balls)

        but they dont seem to be that successful this year

        ………..?

        halladay has a 3.58/2.95/3.33 line, lee has a 2.66/2.98/2.38 line and hamels has a 2.17/2.62/2.92 line.

        and if we keep trading guys and adding big contracts

        halladay doesnt have a big contract, that was the whole point of the discussion.

        • jjyank

          He means the Phillies as a team aren’t very successful this year.

          • Rainbow Connection (futurely Dummies Playing With Balls)

            how did you come to that conclusion? neither his comment nor the one he responded to implied that.

            • Smart Guy

              well duh! i meant the team as a whole, i dont care for individual performances unless we were a good team missing one guy to put us over the hump, sadly right now we dont even know what our team is and what we may need now might not be the same need 2 months from now therefore to trade for halladay would be dumb not only cause we trade away from our close to non existent close to MLB prospects but we add to payroll for a guy who might not be the difference between avg team to great team

            • Smart Guy

              PS. halladay is my fave pitcher, i root for him even when hes facing the yankees, ive wanted him in pinstripes ever since i started being a fan when he was in the minors. Problem is unless hes a salary dump it would be the worst idea to trade away say sanchez and banuelos for halladay the same way it was a bad idea trading montero for pineda.

              • Steve (different one)

                I get that there are plenty of reasons to not like the Montero for Pineda trade, but that said, one is absolutely not like the other.

                Pineda was not a salary dump, he was a young stud with 5 years of team control left.

                Unless you meant to say Montero for Lee?? If so, ignore my comment.

              • Ted Nelson

                How did people come to this price of Banuelos and Sanchez? 2 years ago, sure. Now… I doubt it.

            • Alkaline

              I came to that conclusion, too. Maybe if you don’t read everything looking for little nuances to try to pick apart you’ll be able to take some things into context.

      • gc

        Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay have been the least of the Phillies troubles this season. They’ve “performed to the expectations” of their contracts pretty damn well.

        • Rainbow Connection (futurely Dummies Playing With Balls)

          theres still a few years on lees deal, but theyve all 3 greatly exceeded salary for quite some time now. “smart guy” is probably wanting a mulligan.

          • Smart Guy

            maybe halladay can hit with RISP

            • Robinson Tilapia

              It takes major league talent to turn f’ing Rainbow Connection into the voice of reason. You, sir, may have actually done it.

              *signs Smart Guy to MiLB contract for depth*

              • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

                IETC

              • gc

                Smart Guy = the new Flapjack

    • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

      Just like a top of the rotation of Halladay, Hamels and Lee seemed to the Phillies last year. How’d that work out? You can’t win if you can’t score.

  • mark

    CC, Halladay, AND Andy at the top of the rotation.

  • jjyank

    Some commenters around here bring up how they wish the Boss was still around so the team would be yelled at until they stopped slumping…the Hamilton situation is exactly why I’m glad that someone like that isn’t running the team. No disrespect to the Boss, R.I.P.

    But if he was still in charge and in his heyday, I would imagine that he signs Hamilton at all costs unless the Yankees win the world series. And that would end up looking real bad in a couple of years.

    • Steve (different one)

      How come the boss wasnt able to yell at the team enough to win a WS from 79-95? Maybe he had laryngitis.

      • jsbrendog

        well he was out of baseball from what, 88-93/94?

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Less than that?

          /notcheckingwikipedia

        • All Praise Be To Mo

          Yea, and that’s why we won in the late 90’s, he wasn’t allowed to trade our good young players and they could develop and come up slowly and cheap so we could then supplement them with FA’s.

      • LiterallyFigurative

        Yeah, I love how certain segments of Yankee fans omit the bad Steinbrenner of the 80’s from their memory.

        • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

          That’s because they didn’t hop on the bandwagon until 1996. They wouldn’t know the difference between Ken Phelps and Ken Singleton.

          • Havok9120

            To be fair, if they hopped on the bandwagon in ’95/6 and then stayed on it through the aughts, they may not know what the Boss is like and they may be spoiled from the playoffs, but I don’t think they’re bandwagon fans anymore. Is been over a decade and a half and most of a decade of frustration.

            • Ted Nelson

              Getting to the playoffs every season wasn’t particularly frustrating for me… I’m not calling anyone a bandwagon team, but if one is going to be a front-runner… a team that makes the playoffs every single season is a good one to pick.

  • OldYanksFan

    With the CC, ARod and Teix contracts on the books, people really want to jump in on Hamilton? After he has a career year?

    My guess is he gets at least 6 years, and well over $100m. 2016 and 2017 already look scary for the Yankees. I wouldn’t want to add a middle aged Hamilton to that mix.

    • Steve (different one)

      Just to add, since I voted yes, I think the most important thing is the length. Agree that you don’t want to give him 7 years. But if you could give him an obscene AAV for 4, maybe 5 years? Again, this is only in the “no payroll limit” scenario.

      • All Praise Be To Mo

        “I think the most important thing is the length” That’s what she said….

    • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

      He’s going to Milwaukee anyways, so it’s a moo point.

      You know, like a cow’s opinion….

      (yikes)

  • Steve (different one)

    Man, I hear all I the reasons against, but I would love to see Hamilton in pinstripes. He is just a transcendent talent, and there are very very few of those players. Obviously of it destroys the budget and keeps the team from bein competitive that would be dumb.

    But if Hal scraps the $189M idea and just decides to raise payroll? Sure. Dude is amazing. Get a solid fourth OFer and plan for the 3 weeks off every season.

    • Havok9120

      Its all about the years. If we push back the budget plan for a couple seasons and sign him for 4 years at a silly AAV….okay, I guess. I wouldn’t want to do it, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world. But even 5 years is reaaaally dangerous territory.

  • DM

    I think signing Hamilton would be the old “Yankee way” — not the current version.

    Regarding A-Rod: He’s not the same player — and I dont think his 2 HR game means anything other than a rookie lefty with an average fastball was on the mound. But I still think he’ll be productive, and I trust that he’ll do everything humanly possible — from a preparation standpoint — to stay that way. Say what you want about him, but he’s a pro and works hard at his job — same with Tex.

    • Steve (different one)

      Agree on one hand, but on the other, he’s struggled mightily against LHers. So isnt that a positive?

      The encouraging thing to me is that he called it on Tuesday night. That tells me it was something mechanical and he has fixed it. Over the course of the season, he’ll “lose it” again, but it tells me the power isn’t gone forever.

      If the wind doesn’t knock down a ball he crushed on Sunday, he’s sitting here with 8 hrs about 25% through the season. Feel a lot better about that than 5….

      • DM

        I wasn’t putting his performance down. But I thought it was more of him capitalizing on mediocre stuff in bad spots than some “Eureka!” moment. He still has power — but as he ages he’ll be more of mistake hitter than someone who can catch up to good stuff. Fortunately there’s enough bad pitching in the league for him to continue to do damage. And frankly all this K-Long stuff is as much psychotherapy as technique. Confidence helps. He may have “found something” but the belief that he did — coupled with facing a subpar pitcher — might provide a similar result.

        • Steve (different one)

          Yeah, don’t disagree with any of this. But one thing that is noticeable, he’s altered his approach against some pitchers. He’s been hitting a lot of singles the other way. Maybe he’s recognizing he can’t get around on big time fastballs, and he’ll just take the base hit or even the base on balls. I don’t know, I’m not smart enough to say for sure, just something I noticed. Maybe that was just him trying to get out of a slump.

        • Havok9120

          All of that is absolutely true. A lot of hope from people is resting on the changed leg-kick, and there’s no way for us to know yet what that may or may not mean.

          I know I’ve been encouraged by his willingness not to try and beat fastballs he knows he can’t turn on anymore. We’ll see if he find a way to generate some sneaky power as well.

        • Ted Nelson

          Confidence definitely helps, but there’s also definitely a mechanical aspect of hitting. It’s nearly impossible to separate. I wouldn’t write off a mechanical change, though, to jump to a conclusion.

  • gc

    I’m looking forward to seeing if A-Rod’s new adjusted swing he’s been working on really does allow him to “go off” as he predicted a few nights ago. It looked pretty good in the two homer game, but I wanna see how it plays out on this next trip. He’ll probably explode in Anaheim. He seems to blossom in that stadium, so maybe this trip is coming at the perfect time for him to get on a roll.

  • Gonzo

    I think in the next couple offseasons the FO has some tough decisions to make. I think it comes down to how long their window to make the playoffs is open. Can they reasonably think they are a lock for the playoffs like they have the past 15+ years?

    • gc

      Over the past several years, since the emergence of Tampa as a player, I can’t imagine the FO ever felt as if they were absolute 100% locks to make the playoffs every year. I do, however, think they felt they would be able to field a team that would easily *contend* for a playoff spot every year. I still think they’ll contend for a spot this year and in the coming years, but is that probability less in ownership’s eyes? Hard to say, and hard to predict what the competitive landscape will look in two or three years.

      • Gonzo

        I’m sure the FO never felt the playoffs were a 100% lock. I meant a statistical lock holding all things constant from a FO’s perspective.

        I do believe that their chances going forward, as the team is constructed and if they hold to a budget, have decreased right now. Could things change, sure. The extra wildcard might make this all moot though.

    • Steve (different one)

      No, they can’t. They are going to miss the playoffs on occasion, and as fans, we are going to have to re-orient our expectations. Why? Because the AL East is insane. Every year there will be 4-5 contenders. One or two injuries will be the difference. You can’t expect to win 97 games in this division anymore. Too much talent.

    • A.D.

      Well AL East has gotten tougher, but playoff spots have increased

      • Havok9120

        Two teams have noticeably improved and Tampa is finally willing (supposedly) to spend some money to keep their run going. Meanwhile, there’s one extra playoff spot and the AL West will consist of at least 3 of the 4 or 5 worst teams in the AL. The addition of 1 playoff spot doesn’t really help much.

  • JohnC

    Only reason I’d like to see them in on Hamilton is to see the Rangers or some other team overpay for him.

  • RON

    maybe im losing my fanatacism…. lets blow it all up and sell sell sell..I can live with not making playoffs this year…if it means fiscally righting the ship and getting younger….

    • Billion$Bullpen

      I am with you Ron. I am old enough to recall crappy Yankees teams and I was still a fan. As long as my team has some players I like and are fun to watch I can deal with a couple of subpar years. We could sell and still not suck. With that said, I do not see it happening. The Yankees winning the World Series does not net that much more $ for the Yankees, keeping the ballpark and YES making money does and they just need to be very good year in and out to do that.

      A few bad years and YES rating would suck and the new park and all their stores and places to eat would be empty.

    • Steve (different one)

      The problem with this, besides the fact that the Yankees are only a handful of games out of a playoff spot in May, is that none of the guys that are tradable (or you’d want to trade) will help “right the ship fiscally”. The anchors are ARod and Teixeira. Those guys are both immovable. CC is not a guy you’d want to trade. The rest of the guys are on relatively short deals. Trading Swisher, Martin, and Soriano does nothing to improve the 2014 situation.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Disagree on Swisher, potentially Soriano depending on what the late-inning reliever market looks like.

        • Rainbow Connection (futurely Dummies Playing With Balls)

          i think hes talking more on the money part, since the whole comment was based on righting the ship fiscally. i dont think anyones arguing they wouldnt get some interesting prospects for swish

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Mark this on your calendar: I think you’re right.

            • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

              Okay now my head is officially exploding. Reasoned thoughts? Thoughtfully presented? You agreeing with him? TWICE?!?

              • Havok9120

                “(futurely Dummies Playing With Balls)”

                This is important I think.

      • All Praise Be To Mo

        Yes it would, if it gets us back younger players with talent who will be cheap in 2014.

      • RON

        Problem with your thinking in relation to my thought, you still are thinking short term, (few games out of playoff spot).. Im thinking longterm. I want the Yankees to win the WS every year, but with the new budget forced upon us next year and 2014, maybe biting the bullet and using our money to get rid some of the immovable contracts would be a rational way to go. Pay now to get flexibility in the future. how about a crazy trade with our Pittsburgh partners? AROD GRanderson and one of the killer B
        plus cash for mccutchen and alvarez….we get younger and they get allstars at payable salaries..(fantasy, i know)

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I understand the frustration. We’re not even remotely there yet.

      If the team’s out of contention, there’s a couple of moves that should be explored. There’d be other solutions in getting back to competitiveness rather quickly than do not involve complete rebuilding.

      The type of complete rebuilding other franchises do is something I have hard time seeing with the Yankees in my lifetime. They will always to try to field something good enough to draw fans.

      No, I don’t think you’re losing your fandom. We’ll see a few comments later whether I still feel that way about your comment, Ron. :)

  • ADG

    Mike, how could you not be a resign Cano guy? the man is on his way to becoming a Yankee legend, give him his due.

    • Rainbow Connection (futurely Dummies Playing With Balls)

      as always, it just depends on the contract. it seems like whenever theres cano contract speculation on this site, theres talk of 6/120 and insane numbers like that. and if 6/120 is the starting point, then im not a re-sign cano guy either.

      the highest paid 2nd baseman makes what? $16M a year? what did andrus sign for? $75M? cano isnt 60% better. 5/90 seems fair. 6/100 seems fair. that makes him the best paid 2nd baseman in the league. if he doesnt like it, he can sign elsewhere.

      • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

        Yeah, I love Cano. But I’m starting to come around to this mantra as well. Now, I can see him becoming the highest paid per annum 2B. But not at “blow-2nd-place-out-of-the-water” money.

        5/90 or 6/100 should be perfect. Too bad Boras is his agent, because that’s not happening.

        • Alkaline

          I agree with both of you. I really hope they don’t do something silly with a Cano extension. There has to be a line drawn somewhere….right?

      • Rainbow Connection (futurely Dummies Playing With Balls)

        and by andrus i mean kinsler

  • Billion$Bullpen

    If we drop out of contention:

    Trade Swish, trade Cano, Martin, Soriano and try like hell to work out a deal to get rid of Alex (Toronto was able to find a sucker for that Wells contract, if we eat half of it somebody might want Alex, i just think the real problem is Alex waiving the no trade)

    Hell see if Andy would want to go to the Rangers. At some point you need to restock and reload. Our team has failed big time in not getting top international free agents the last 7 or 8 years and our team has the most money so we need to do something.

    NO WAY TO HAMILTON
    Not sure on Roy, but I would grab him if I could and maybe flip him to somebody else next year if need be.
    I would not resign Cano, and I would trade him prior to that even being a question if I could get a nice package in return.

    • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

      Why would they trade Andy? He’s on a cheap contract and they’d get nothing back for a 40-year-old 1-year rental.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Anything that suggest Andy Pettitte would get moved, even if the team goes 0 for the rest of the season, is crazy talk. The guy just came out of retirement to pitch for YOUR team.

        There’s no amount of “b-b-b-ut you h-h-have to remove emo-ti-ti-on from it all” that changes that.

        • gc

          I don’t think he would play anywhere else anyway. He’d just retire. Basically, as long as the guy is effective and wants to pitch here, I would think the team will look to keep him around (on team friendly deals, of course).

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Cashman: Andy, we’re going into rebuilding mode. You’re a valuable part of this team. We’d like for you to consider a trade to the Texas Rangers. After all, you do live…

            Andy: Listen, I came out of retirement to pitch only for this team.

            Cashman: We know, Andy, but business is busin….

            Andy: No, Brian, really. Fuck YOU.

            *throws down uniform. Retires. Drives off. Doesn’t return to Yankee Stadium until 2025 by invitation of new Yankee owner, Triple H and, somehow, Yogi Berra*

            • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

              HAHA. Triple H owns the team in 2025, I love it.

              The McMahon-Helmsley Era has returned….break it down!

              • Havok9120

                And Yogi is still alive.

    • Ted Nelson

      They’ve failed bigtime in getting IFAs in the last 8 years? You mean like Jesus, Sanchez, DeLeon, Banuelos, Nova, Noesi, Ravel Santana, Nunez, Cervelli, Aceves, Flores, Zoilo, Jose Ramirez, Jairo Heredia, DePaula…

  • The Guns of Navarone

    I have a big time feeling that Josh Hamilton will be borderline unplayable when he reaches his mid to late thirties.

    I don’t have any evidence to back this up besides his injury history and everything else. But an injury history like his shouldn’t scare me away to the degree it does more so than any player. I just have this feeling that he’s going to be really hard to keep on the field. And as explosive as his ascent into MLB was, his decline will be just as dramatic. I think he’s falling off a cliff in a big way… and soon.

    Just thinking out loud…

  • The Guns of Navarone

    Also… Brian Cashman’s plan for Robinson Cano:

    1) Trade Cano to Rangers for Jurickson Profar, Martin Perez + B prospect (Scheppers, Lamb ?)

    2) Sign Cano for 8 years, $182 million as a free agent.

    • Gonzo

      What do they do with Ian Kinsler and Adrian Beltre?

    • Rainbow Connection (futurely Dummies Playing With Balls)

      they just signed kinsler long term?

    • Smart Guy

      more like

      cashman trades cano to the Mariners for taijuan walker, vinnie catricalla and blake blevin.

      walker gets injured before he throws a pitch, catricalla hits like ramiro and blake serves as mop up

  • Robinson Tilapia

    IF the team were to fall out of contention, sure, the prudent thing to do would be seeing what you could get for Swisher and Martin, keeping open the possibility of bringing Swisher back in the off-season if he’s the best choice out there. Is this actually going to happen? HAHAHAHAHA. Not a chance, IMHO. This team’s going to be there at the end.

    I’ll take a high average, 15-20 HR, 75-80 RBIs out of Alex for the rest of his career. Really. Nothing he does will ever match the contract. I’ll take solid production from him and continued good defense.

    I think Halladay, at this point, would be getting the name you wish you would have had three years ago. I think he can get the job done, but I’m not driving half the farm system to Philly for him anymore, and I LOVE Roy Halladay.

    • LiterallyFigurative

      I agree about trading the farm for Halladay.

      A team that most posters cry about being old and slow would trade all their top 21-23 year old guys for a slightly declining pitcher in his mid-30’s. Logical, no?

  • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

    To answer your question, Mike: Rickey Henderson (1989) was the last time they were sellers.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      The GREAT Greg Cadaret.

      • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

        don’t forget Plunk and Little Luis Polonia……oh and we also acquire Luis’ Godzilla glove in that trade too….

        • Robinson Tilapia

          ….and a little bit of potential statuatory rape, but I digress.

          I’ll never understand why I’ll always exactly remember who we got in that trade.

          • aluis

            Because it was one of the darkest days in yankee history not withstanding 2004

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Trading an aging Rickey was one of the darkest days in Yankee history?

  • LiterallyFigurative

    The Yankees won’t fall that far out of it to be sellers.

    The biggest choice the Yanks are going to have to make is:

    With the $189 million “austerity plan” looming, would we be better off being the Rangers, or the Phillies?

    Even with the CC, Alex and Tex contracts, there is still roughly $110 million to spend. Would it be better to spend it more on pitching (Hamels and bullpen), or trust the young arms to develop and spend the cash on offense (Grandy, Cano, Hamilton)?

    Personally I’d prefer to get the pitching, even at the expense of a Swisher or Russell Martin or even Granderson. Throughout baseball, it seems as though the pitch and defend teams are having more success (SSS). Now obviously you need SOME offense, but you could theoretically (sp) win with less offense if your pitching is strong.

    The only danger is becoming the Phillies. They have the great pitching, but an old and slow everyday lineup that has injury issues. Having Hamels and Lee and Halladay are fine, but far too often the offense leaves them very little wiggle room.

    The Yanks could conceivably have a CC, Hamels-led rotation, but struggle to score because far too much dependence would be on Alex and Tex. Maybe it could be mitigated with the hope of some combo of the Charleston All-Stars making their way up the ladder, but 2014 could be rough offensively if we had to replace Cano or Granderson with average players or some of our AAA or AA prospects.

    • Havok9120

      I’d rather spend on offense and trust our system to produce pitching that can stack up behind CC.

      No, we don’t regularly produce aces. Fine. But we’ve got an ace already and for the foreseeable future. And Pineda is coming back, even if you think he’ll never even reach is past performance, he’ll still probably be a very good starter. And one thing we’ve got plenty of in the system is decent-good starting pitchers for the 4s and 5s.

      Leave Hamels the heck alone and keep the bats coming.

      • pistol pete

        Getting pitching from the farm for the long term is very very risky. Joba and Hughes prove that. Since Pettitte in 96 we haven’t produced a decent frontline starter that stayed with the Yanks for the long haul. We’ve had much more success with position players ie Jeter, Bernie, Posada, Cano, and Gardner. The starting pitching can’t come close to that performance