Jun
30

Olney: Yankees not interested in Jim Thome

By

Via Buster Olney, the Yankees are not interested in trading for Jim Thome. The Phillies are shopping the veteran slugger mostly because he doesn’t fit their roster. I guess the fact that he hasn’t played the field in seven years snuck up on them.

Thome, 41, is hitting .242/.338/.516 with five homers in 71 plate appearances this season while missing more than a month with a back strain. Most of that damage came as a DH during interleague play — .333/.415/.722 with four homers in nine games — and that’s obviously how the Yankees would use him. They’re not going to get rid of Raul Ibanez with Brett Gardner hurt and they also have both Jack Cust and Russell Branyan stashed away in Triple-A. Thome can still mash, but a DH is not on the shopping list.

Categories : Asides, Trade Deadline

46 Comments»

  1. Rush Stern- megarobothead says:

    id love to smell Jim Thomes feet. I bet they are wonderful.

  2. Cuso says:

    Yeah, I was thinking about this when that report cam out and there’s no obvious AL “contender” fit.

    Yanks-No
    Sox have Ortiz
    Texas – possible because they’re very right-handed. But they really don’t need him. If Texas acquired, it would just be a favor to Thome – not really based on need.
    Anaheim -too many guys – too few spots already.
    CHI-Sox have Dunn
    Cleveland is overstuffed with LH bats and has Garner coming back too.
    Detroit is the only realistic possibility because they don’t have a DH, at least not until V-Mart returns in September.

    While Baltimore, Toronto & Kansas City would be other strategic fits, Thome likely wouldn’t see those teams matching his prerequisite of actual “contenders.”

  3. DM says:

    “but a DH is not on the shopping list.”

    Never was, not before, not now.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      It was on the shopping list just two years ago: Marcus Thames, Nick Johnson, Lance Berkman…

      • DM says:

        I was referring to this off-season plan to the present. You know, right? That rotating DH thing that you said they’d never utilize?

        But if you really want me to refute your tired Thames/NJ/Berkman attempt for the umpteenth time, I might oblige you — if I have nothing better to do.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          I said it was unlikely, because I assumed that Nunez nor Ibanez would warrant playing time. So I assume they’d platoon Jones at DH with a LH. Because… you know… they ALWAYS had a steady DH situation before this year.

  4. Steve (different one) says:

    If they didn’t have Branyan and Cust as Ibanez insurance, it would make some sense. But he’s kindof redundant with Branyan.

    • DM says:

      I think Branyan/Cust are insurance for Tex rather than Ibanez. If Raul got hurt today, Dickerson would be the call up. That might change if/when Gardner is healthy but not now.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Replacing Wise with Dickerson and brining up someone who can actually hit would probably be the better move were Ibanez to go down for an extended period.

        • DM says:

          So if one of your corner OFs goes down (for an extended period no less), you replace him with a 1st baseman, huh? And replacing Wise with Dickerson somehow makes that acceptable? Deplete an already depleted OF by one to bring up a guy who can only allow Tex to DH here and there? Brilliant. The only level of intelligence and baseball knowledge you chronically overestimate is your own.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Stop. Think. You can call me dumb all you want and that does nothing at all to prove your incorrect points.

            You have plenty of OF depth that will play ahead of or next to Wise anyway. Dickerson and Nix are as likely to play as Wise. Jones is more likely to play in the corner. OF depth is not a problem. (Or just keep Wise and insert him for Dickerson if you prefer him to Dickerson… point is that you have 5 OF on the roster.)

            It’s about optimizing your roster. Getting another strong LH bat in the line-up against RHP. DH Branyan/Cust in those situations with Dickerson/Jones, Granderson, and Swisher in the OF and Dickerson/Jones and Nix in reserve in the OF.

            I’m dumb and you don’t see that possibility? The lesser or Dickerson/Wise is not going to play hardly at all in that situation and will largely replicate the other one’s impact.

      • Steve (different one) says:

        You’re right, as of now. Since the post was about Thome, I was jumping ahead and assuming Gardner is coming back. I agree if he doesn’t, the situation changes.

        when Gardner returns. Ibanez returns to DH and they have two credible backups to that role in AAA. Sorry for the confusion

        • DM says:

          Apology not needed. We’re just killing time until the game starts, right?

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Even before Gardner returns, if Ibanez goes down you’re using Wise or Dickerson in a platoon of some sort with Jones in LF. Or just using Jones, maybe, but his knee doesn’t seem to be right. It’s a pretty similar situation to having Gardner back, except a very poor man’s Gardner in Wise/Dickerson.

    • Kosmo says:

      now I can rest at night knowing we have the Cust and Branyan insurance policy.

      • Steve (different one) says:

        As far as veteran depth sitting in AAA, what can you reasonably expect? Having those two guys in AAA is pretty amazing, especially since they are both hitting. Wierd comment.

        • DM says:

          They’re fine as AAA insurance. The more depth the better. But they had to settle for minor league deals for a reason; so you hope you don’t need to tap them for any significant playing time.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            They had to settle for minor league deals because they stunk last season. That doesn’t mean their careers are over. Both were very productive in MLB before last season and now appear to be healthy. There is a good chance at MLB productivity this season if they stay healthy.

  5. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Zero place for him. Don’t have to be connected to every name out there.

  6. Jonathan says:

    Has everyone forgotten that ibanez has been terrible for awhile and isn’t likely to improve? Were running out a bad fielding and hitting left fielder. How long do you let that continue? Dickerson in LF and thome at dh or branyan or cust would most likely be better offensively and defensively. Considering how little it’d take to acquire him I see no reason not to be interested if ibanez continues his free fall and Gardner comes back or Dickerson is finally brought up. The only reason I see not to is if you believe in branyan and custs AAA numbers over their last several MLB seasons.

    • Steve (different one) says:

      Well, they were both productive in 2010, so if by several you mean “one”…

      • Ted Nelson says:

        That’s an ignorant comment. Cust had wOBA of .393 and .371 in 2007 and 2008, then a wOBA of .342 in 2009 (507, 598, and 612 PAs). That is several seasons. It was his defense that dragged down his value. He was productive offensively.

        Branyan had a .383 wOBA in 1/3 a season in 2008 and a .368 in over 500 PAs in 2009. Injured in 2008, but productive for several seasons when he played.

        Maybe take two seconds to look into their stats before making incorrect statements.

        • Need Pitching says:

          I believe he was arguing your point, making your comment the ignorant one.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Huh? He was arguing the exact opposite. He said they had one productive season, I said they had more than one.

            My comment was in response to Steve, not Jonathan. I think that was pretty clear in that I directly refuted his point.

            • Need Pitching says:

              I think you completely missed his point.
              Jonathan: “The only reason I see not to [trade for Thome] is if you believe in branyan and custs AAA numbers over their last several MLB seasons.” IMO, that is implying that Cust and Branyan’s good AAA numbers contradict their last several years (which would mean they have been bad for several years). I believe Steve (different one) was correcting that assertion, by pointing out both were productive as recently as 2010, so the AAA numbers only contradict the most recent year of MLB numbers, not the several years worth that Jonathan implied.

              One of us is seriously misconstruing someone’s statements, but I’m pretty sure it’s you.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                No. Steve said “if by several you mean ‘one.’” that reads that they were ony good for one year.

                • Need Pitching says:

                  NO. Jonathan implied they had several BAD years. Steve contradicted that by saying it’s only been ONE BAD year instead of SEVERAL BAD YEARS.

    • Need Pitching says:

      ” and isn’t likely to improve”

      Cause nobody ever comes back from a slump.
      He’s slumping right now, very unlikely he’s this bad for the remainder of the season (not that I expect him to be great, but he’ll be serviceable, and very likely better offensively than Dickerson, and likely at least as good as Branyan/Cust, but with slightly more versatility)

      • DM says:

        “but with slightly more versatility”

        which is exactly why he was signed rather than DH only types. The Yankees are covered well at first with Tex/Chavez/Swish. Ibanez was brought in b/c he could play the OF for an extended period, and b/c Cashman felt they were weak at AAA with OFs (which includes Dickerson — who they even risked losing).

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Thank you captain obvious. None of that means Ibanez is a better fit than Branyan/Cust if he’s not hitting, not fielding well, and those guys are healthy.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        I disagree that he’s likely to be as good offensively as Branyan or Cust. He can at least stand in LF and swat at the ball, but given their offensive histories I think it’s very likely Branyan and Cust would outhit Ibanez by a wide margin over a meaningful sample. Something like .360 wOBA to .320 wOBA.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          And the point is really that his hot start was most likely a mirage.

          • Need Pitching says:

            I agree the hot start was a mirage. I wouldn’t expect anything more than a 110 wRC+ vs. RHP for Ibanez. I’m not confident either Branyan or Cust would exceed that enough to negate the roster inflexibility.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              That’s where we disagree. Cust and Branyan both hit significantly better than that leading up to 2011. 2011 was only one year and Branyan especially had a known injury responsible for the dip.

              To me the issue isn’t so much the flexibility or that Ibanez is as good offensively as Branyan/Cust, but that the direct result of replacing Ibanez would be a huge role for Wise or Dickerson. Right now I think the roster is probably better with a passable primary starting LF and a back-up CF than with a solid to strong DH and not one of the two (LF or CF). If Ibanez doesn’t turn it around Wiserson/BranCust might be superior to Ibanez/Wise, though.

              • Need Pitching says:

                I’d somewhat agree with that. Until Gardner comes back, Cust/Branyan wouldn’t be replacing Ibanez directly, they would be taking AB’s from Chavez and rest from ARod (not necessarily a horrible idea). When Gardner comes back, it would make more sense to consider Cust or Branyan, since Ibanez would mostly be DH’ing then. That should also give enough time to see if Ibanez can break out of his slump. In the meantime, since Wise has been hot, maybe give him some more pt and ride the hot streak until he comes back to earth.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          And the point is really that his hot start was most likely a mirage.

  7. NYCSPORTZFAN says:

    forget Thome, ask them about Ruiz.. i’d love to have him on the team.. I’d give em banuelos, Heathcott, and Jr Muprhy… Its pricey, but whatever, Ruiz is fantastic,and we would have a real strong all around backstop

  8. Need Pitching says:

    When did the White Sox move to the NL?

    /Kurodacan’tpitchintheAL’d

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