Heyman: Yankees exploring outfield market


(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Yankees have been without Brett Gardner for all but nine games this season and they still have some concerns about his elbow injury according to Jon Heyman. He adds that they’re exploring the outfield trade market — moreso than the pitching market — and have spoken to the Diamondbacks about Justin Upton (yay!) and the Phillies about Shane Victorino (meh). Gardner will be back no earlier than July 27th.

I’ve written about Upton a few times in the past, including in last week’s mailbag. As I said when we first learned he was on the block, he’s the rare player you gut the farm system to acquire. Young (24!), right-handed power, speed, favorable contract … Upton offers it all. Unfortunately the Yankees are on his no-trade list and Heyman calls it a “major long shot.” Victorino, on the other hand, is a pure rental. The 31-year-old is having the worst offensive season of his career (93 wRC+) but is still a switch-hitter with speed (19 steals in 21 chances) and very good defense. Victorino is owed roughly $4.5M the rest of the season and will become a free agent this winter.

The Bombers have gotten by with Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones in left field during Gardner’s absence, but Heyman says they are concerned about wear-and-tear as the veteran duo spend more time in the field than anticipated. Victorino would be a fine fill-in if Gardner suffers a third setback, but as Brian Cashman said yesterday, the trade costs for even marginal upgrades are prohibitive at the moment. I doubt the Phillies will take a pair of Grade-B prospects for their center fielder when they can just recoup a pair of high draft pick after the season.

Heyman says the Yankees will monitor the Cole Hamels situation, but we’ve already heard that they have “no intention” of getting involved in a bidding war. They’ve also scouted Francisco Liriano recently, presumably since he’s returned to the rotation and has pitched exceptionally well. With CC Sabathia due back tomorrow, David Phelps stashed away in Triple-A, and Andy Pettitte scheduled to return in September, New York shouldn’t be desperate to add a starter. Frankly they need another quality reliever more than anything.

Categories : Trade Deadline


  1. justin Upton says:

    Get me Cash!

    • Typical MIT Nerd says:

      Would you say the same of Austin Jackson? He’s been far more valuable than Upton – with the bat and glove – over the last three years.

      • Typical MIT Nerd says:


        Brett Gardner = 4.3 fWAR per season
        Justin Upton = 3.6 fWAR per season

        • Mike Axisa says:

          1. Gardner’s WAR is built primarily on his defense and the metrics are not yet perfect.

          2. Gardner is in his peak years, Upton was 21-23 during that timeframe. You’re not getting the 2009-2011 players, you’re getting the 2012+ versions.

          • “Thank you sir, may I have another!” – Typical MIT Nerd

          • Typical MIT Nerd says:

            The fact it’s even close undermines your whole argument. How about this one:


            Austin Jackson = 4.4 fWAR per season
            Justin Upton = 2.7 fWAR per season

            Ajax is only one year older with an even better contract. Would you empty the farm for him too?

            • Mike Axisa says:

              Jackon’s another guy with a sky-high WAR because of defense. I don’t trust the stats enough to believe he and Gardner have been close to TWO FULL WINS PER SEASON better than Upton. Not even close.

              • Typical MIT Nerd says:

                Wait, what? Now you’re picking and choosing which stats to believe? That’s Morgan-esque.

                On AJax – In two of his three seasons (2010 and 2012) his oWAR has been as good as Upton’s best offensive seasons. That he adds ridiculous defense in a even more premium position, plus speed, makes it that much clearer he’s significantly better than Upton. fWAR just confirms the obvious.

                Funny though how you ignore the clear implications. You’re just valuing someone else’s reject different than you would the Yankees’.

                • Mike Axisa says:

                  I never said Jackson (or Gardner) was a bad defender or anything like that, they’re obviously very good. I just don’t trust the stats to say exactly how good they are. There are four major defensive metrics out there and none of them agree on a player’s defensive value. Acting like I’m ignoring defense — which I’m not, all three players happen to be good defenders — just to prove my point when there are valid reasons to be skeptical is just you ignoring the problems with the stats to make your point.

                  Jackson, 2010-2012: 108 wRC+
                  Upton, 2010-2012: 119 wRC+

                  They have identical batting averages (.278 vs. .281), Upton has a 15pt edge in OBP, a 56pt edge in ISO, and just seven fewer steals. Upton had shoulder problems as well that probably hindered his output, so that’s a knock against him.

                  They’re both great young players, but Upton is better and (more importantly) actually available. I don’t care whose reject is whose, that’s ridiculous.

                  • Rainbow Connection (futurely Dummies Playing w/ Balls and/or RI$P FTW) says:

                    conveniently leaving out positional value?

                  • Typical MIT Nerd says:

                    And you base Upton in CF on what?

                    To resort to RC to prove your point shows you’ve lost. They’re close in offense and AJax destroys him on everything else. To talk about one being injured, is even lamer. What happened to how young he is?

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      And you base Upton in CF on what?

                      Just his athleticism and the fact that he’s really good in right. I could be completely wrong, who knows.

                      To resort to RC to prove your point shows you’ve lost.

                      This makes no sense. The sun is shining so the Yankees will win tonight!

                      They’re close in offense and AJax destroys him on everything else.

                      There’s roughly a 10% difference in their offense, that’s not close. 2% is close, even 5% is kinda close. 10% is not close, it’s the difference between Jose Bautista and Norichika Aoki this year.

                      To talk about one being injured, is even lamer.

                      I used it as a knock against Upton, supporting your point.

                      What happened to how young he is?

                      They’re pretty much the same age so it’s not worth mentioning here. In terms of Gardner-Upton, it was very valid.

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      And, just because you’ve completely missed the point, yes I would suggest emptying the farm system for Jackson. He is not available however, so this was a giant waste of time.

                    • Typical MIT Nerd says:

                      Except Upton *isn’t* really good in RF. He’s average at age 24. Good luck with that.

                      You’re relying on RC to avoid talking about defense and in a premium position. The way you deal with that? With Morgan-esque illusions towards athleticism. You’ve now jumped the shark. Congrats. And yes, AJax more than makes up for the difference. He’s that good and getting better. Upton is neither that good nor getting better. But at least you have age-based projections!

                      As for emptying the farm for AJax, at least you’ve begun to resolve your cognitive dissonance. Too bad you’re wrong again.

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      Except Upton *isn’t* really good in RF. He’s average at age 24. Good luck with that.

                      This is great, you’re using the stats to reinforce that Jackson is great in CF while ignoring while simultaneously ignoring what they say about Upton.

                      And yes, AJax more than makes up for the difference.

                      Because you say so! Argument settled! I’m done banging my head against the wall.

                • Rainbow Connection (futurely Dummies Playing w/ Balls and/or RI$P FTW) says:

                  in victorinos case, hes a great defender. in gardners case, the metrics are new and he doesnt trust them.


                • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too) says:

                  “Wait, what? Now you’re picking and choosing which stats to believe? That’s Morgan-esque”

                  Really? Is there anyone that doesn’t acknowledge that the advanced defensive metrics are far from perfect and shouldn’t be used as absolute gospel? Not saying they should be dismissed, but there are certainly enough questions about them to not take them as absolute fact. I think they are relatively accurate over a large enough sample size, especially comparing players at the same position, and I believe Gardner and Jackson both have huge defensive value that is often underrated, but I still wouldn’t try to use defensive metrics as proof a player has a certain exact value, or dismiss anybody as “Morgan-esque” for not accepting them as absolute truth.

                  • K Starr says:

                    Thanks for clearing that up Mike. Hopefully this exchange signals a close to the age where amateur analysts pretendng to be subjectively intelligent uselessly obsess over variously convenient statistics.

          • TomH says:

            1. Gardner’s WAR is built primarily on his defense and the metrics are not yet perfect.

            Not yet, eh?

        • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too) says:

          That’s all true, but the idea is to trade for Upton’s future potential, not what he’s already done. He’s only 24 and hasn’t hit his prime years yet. It’s very risky, considering he may never reach that potential, but it’s also entirely possible the prospects they would give up never reach even Upton’s current production.

          • Typical MIT Nerd says:

            Ah yes, trade the farm for a guy who *might* live up to his potential. Make sense.

            • Mike Axisa says:

              Give me an example of someone who will no-doubt contribute. Every trade involves a *might*.

              • Typical MIT Nerd says:

                Clemens in 1998. A-Rod in 2004.

                You did say *every*.

                Those are/were guys you empty the farm for. Justin Upton – a D’Backs reject – you do not.

                • Johnny O says:

                  Both were allegedly on PED’s at the time… Just saying.

                  Arod’s contract and Clemens’ age are two reasons you wouldn’t empty the farm for at those respective times.

                  • Typical MIT Nerd says:

                    Except neither of those two negatives were so bad as to shout “Stop!” like many of us are here for Upton. He’s just not very good. I’d much rather have Swisher or Melky for cash only and with Williams, Sanchez, and Austin ready to reach the Bronx in 2014-2015

                • Mike Axisa says:

                  Ah good, had to resort to using Hall of Fame caliber players to prove your point.

                  It would be unfortunate if the Yankees traded a bunch of Single-A kids who they one day hope will be as good as Justin Upton for the actual Justin Upton. There’s no Jesus Montero to give away, you can’t hang on to every prospect because most of them will flame out.

                  • Typical MIT Nerd says:

                    Now you’re moving the goal posts. You said *every* trade. I gave you two examples. Now those just happen to be the examples that I think you should only empty the farm for – the classic four quarters for a dollar trade.

                    Justin Upton is emphatically not that. If he were the D-Backs wouldn’t be trading him. You get into these modes sometimes where no amount of evidence or counterargument will shake your myopia. For someone whose rep is based on analysis, that’s dangerous. At least admit you’re biased here. No analysis supports this conclusion for Upton. You have to resort to projections based on his age. That’s lame and inaccurate. He’s been that inconsistent.

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      I’m moving the goal posts? You mentioned Gardner, I made the counterargument, and then you moved on to Jackson.

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      And why are we talking about a kid who broke into a bigs at 19 being inconsistent? Who cares? Everyone is inconsistent.

                    • Typical MIT Nerd says:

                      I stand behind the Gardner comp. You objected based on defense and age. So I took both of those away with AJax. He’s clearly superior to Upton. His bat has been as good but he’s got a better glove and more speed at a much more premium position. But to admit as such would require taking back everything negative you’ve ever said about him.

                      Gotta love cognitive dissonance!

                      Just give up already, Mike. You’re wrong on this one. It happens.

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      What negative things have I ever said about Jackson? He strikes out a ton and doesn’t really hit for power. Was that wrong?

                    • Typical MIT Nerd says:

                      Wow, man, now *everyone* is inconsistent? You know you’re on the losing side when you resort to such lame generalities.

                      Upton is the one you’re arguing for. And your conclusion – to empty the farm – should only be used for the best of the best. Upton is not that. He could be a 1.5 fWAR player (i.e., worse than what they already have) or a 5.7 fWAR player (i.e., among the best RF in the game). The problem is he’s never put up two of the same type of season. But if he continues at this pace, the only consistency will be him being worth less than 2 fWAR (2010 and 2012). That’s not something worth setting the farm back years – not when the only real reason to do the deal is payroll flexibility.

                      Take a step back, Man.

                    • Typical MIT Nerd says:

                      Too bad AJax’s Ks are way down and his power is way up. But I suppose only non-Yankee rejects get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to “projection”…

            • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too) says:

              Doesn’t that apply to both sides of the trade?
              Upton has at least shown he can be a productive Major Leaguer. It’s still a question whether any of the Yankees prospects will even do that much. I’m not saying I’d make the deal (depending on what they’d have to give up), but your logic is completely flawed.

              • TomH says:

                The key point here is “gut the farm system to acquire.” “Diamondbacks reject” may be too harsh, but I’ll be damned if this guy is worth emptying the farm system for, especially a system which has lately not been impressive in the availability of high-end people.

                Yeah, the Yankee prospects may not do as much, but what has Upton done lately that makes him so expendable?

      • Greg says:

        This year, absolutely. Last two years, meh

  2. MBN says:

    “Frankly they need another quality reliever more than anything.”

    I would say they need a speed guy more than anything, especially one who can handle the bat, like in bunting situations.

    • CS Yankee says:

      1) Joba is just a few weeks out.
      2) Wade should correct.
      3) Quails should quit baseball (unless he regains movement on the slider).

      • A.D. says:

        Wade doesn’t exactly have this great track record of success, he may just be a volatile reliever who had a nice run

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I don’t understand the urge to separate speed from offensive production. It’s part of offensive production, but if the overall production works out to be the same I don’t see why it matters. (Defensively I’d love to get a faster guy in LF, but that’s also going to be part of his production.)

  3. AnthonyD says:

    Heyman translation: The Yankees are thinking of doing some stuff but probably won’t

  4. CS Yankee says:

    Cole for Phelps, Dellin and Liard is the most they should give up.

    I know, it’s highly unlikely that makes it happen…which case you try Greinke…when they hang up, you call it a day.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Cole for Phelps, Dellin and Liard is the most they should give up.

      That’s Hamels for Phelps and two players with no trade value.

    • TheOneWhoKnocks says:

      Phelps, Dellin and Laird isn’t going to get you a Cole Hamels jersey.

      I’d give up pretty much any 1 guy in our system for Hamels
      I’d give up pretty much any 3 guys in our system for J Upton

      • CS Yankee says:

        You would give up Sanchez, Williams or ManBan for 90 days of Hamels and all three for Upton?

        Way, way, way too much.

        Hamels will likely be a Dodger come Christmas time so a top 40 prospect in baseball is too much for 3-4 postseason starts, IMHO.

        • TheOneWhoKnocks says:

          The Yankees were willing to give up Montero for 90 days of Cliff Lee
          All due respect to Williams Sanchez and Banuelos but none of them are even remotely close to as highly rated as Montero was (and hows Montero doing by the way?)
          You think they wouldn’t be willing to give up one of these guys for Hamels? They’d do it in a heartbeat, and I’d be fine with it.

          Flags fly forever. Don’t fall in love with prospects.
          Hamels is a legit front end pitcher and he raises our championship hopes considerably.

          As for Upton, yes I’d trade Sanchez Banuelos and Williams for Upton. Even if all 3 of those guys work out(which is pretty much impossible these days) Upton is the kind of guy who is worth gutting the system for.

          • LK says:

            Yeah, I don’t really like these whole, “How can we give up prospect X for 90 days of this guy?” lines of reasoning. You’re giving up prospects. Sure, it might be 6 years of Mason Williams. But you know what? He might flame out, and it might be 0 days of Mason Williams. I like Williams a lot, but if you can acquire an ace for a single good (but not super-elite) prospect in a year where you’re already one of the favorites for the World Series? You do it every time.

            This even taking into account the fact that having a guy here for the end of the season might make him more likely to re-sign. Either way, I think you trade almost any single prospect in the game for a guy like Hamels, and certainly any prospect the Yankees have. The reality is, given how often prospects don’t pan out, half a season + playoffs of an ace AND a first round pick is better than the vast majority of prospects, and essentially all prospects playing in single-A.

            • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too) says:

              They wouldn’t get a first round pick. The new CBA eliminated draft pick compensation for players acquired during the season.

              • LK says:

                Beat me to it! I agree the lack of 1st round pick does change the calculus somewhat. I still don’t think the Yankees have any single prospect good enough that I wouldn’t drive him to Philly for Hamels myself, extension or no extension, draft pick or no draft pick. To me the debate is what you’d be willing to give up besides whatever prospect the Phillies want the most. We don’t have a Profar or Bundy in this system – we can only hug these guys so much before it becomes ridiculous.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  Not trading someone and hugging them are not at all the same. You are boversimplifying this to a ridiculous extent.

            • LK says:

              Just remembered that under the new CBA the Yankees wouldn’t be able to get a draft pick if they traded for Hamels. Doesn’t change my opinion, just wanted to note the error.

  5. TheOneWhoKnocks says:

    Would obviously love to get Justin Upton, he’s exactly the kind of player the yanks should be willing to break the (prospect)bank for. 24 year old tremendous upside already proven at the big league level and at a reasonable cost.
    Wouldn’t complain if they traded guys like Banuelos, Williams, or Sanchez in that deal.
    I don’t think we match up with the dbacks needs, and we’d be competing against 20 other teams in the bidding so I’m not getting my hopes up.

    I think a guy like Willingham is a much more likely target. I don’t think the Yanks will be interested in Victorino unless Gardner suffers another setback. The goal is to acquire an OF that we would also control next season and Victorino doesn’t fit that.

    I think it’ll be a quiet deadline. I don’t think we really need a reliever though, Eppley has been great and I’m pretty confident in Joba’s ability to fill high leverage spots when he gets back. The only reason the bullpen has been a concern is because Girardi has been using Qualls in high leverage spots, that won’t happen again

    • Typical MIT Nerd says:

      Where does the love for Upton come from? At a certain point “tools” need to translate to consistent performance. Since he became a regular? Try: 0.7 fWAR, 3.8 fWAR, 1.4 fWAR, 5.6 fWAR, 1.0 fWAR (2012).

      So in his first four seasons, his value has averaged 2.9 fWAR. By contrast, AJax has averaged 4.8 fWAR with him exceeding that this year, perhaps by two full wins. Yet who here would open the farm to him? And he’s been far more consistent than Upton.

      Sometimes Mike gets on these hobby horses and doesn’t know when to quit riding. That’s fine if the whole cavalry here didn’t blindly follow with gusto…right off a cliff. If Upton were as good as you all think, Towers wouldn’t be trading him.

      • Typical MIT Nerd says:

        By the way, you know who else has more value than Upton? Brett Gardner himself at 3.5 fWAR a year since 2008 including a peak that Upton has never reached.

        • LiterallyFigurative says:

          So you are saying that a guy the Yankees developed is more valuable than someone else’s player? Surely you jest!

          Seriously though, I really don’t see what the big fuss is about Upton, especially at his contract. He has yet to be consistent.

        • Now Batting says:

          Any argument that relies heavily on UZR is inherently and fatally flawed.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        While I agree Upton has only so much value, it’s ridiculous to keep ignoring his age. He’s not Barry Bonds yet, but you’re also talking about some years when Gardner was facing NCAA and AJax was in the minors. It’s not in Upton’s control when he was called up.

        • Typical MIT Nerd says:

          AJax is one year older having a season that Upton has never had.

          • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too) says:

            maybe he has it next year?

            • Typical MIT Nerd says:

              Or maybe he puts up another 1.7 fWAR season?

              See, I’ve seen this story play out with another Upton. BJ’s projections were never met.

              • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too) says:

                That BJ’s projections were never met really isn’t relevant. Being brothers really doesn’t make them equally likely (unlikely) to meet projections. My only point was that, as you noted, followed a relatively bad season with a great one. If Jackson can do that going from age 24 to age 25, perhaps Upton can as well. We won’t know until next season.

          • Mike Axisa says:

            He’s having the half season that Upton at age 22.

            Jackson: .323/.405/.538 in ~300 PA
            Upton in 2009: .320/.399/.576 in his first ~300 PA

            • Typical MIT Nerd says:

              Again, except with the defense and speed and at a premium position.

              Big difference (that you keep choosing to ignore).

              Moreover, we can see where AJax is simply getting better. Upton is not.

              • Now Batting says:

                Dude, your whole entire argument rests on defense, something that is not accurately quantifiable to make an argument. Just stop.

              • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too) says:

                Not sure a great half season is proof he is simply getting better. He very well may be, and I suspect he is, but a great half of season really isn’t proof of anything except that he had a great half of a season. If it was proof he was getting better, wouldn’t Upton’s great half season be proof of the same. A half season isn’t proof of anything if it isn’t sustained. Upton clearly didn’t sustain his. The jury is still out on Jackson.

      • YanksFanInBeantown says:

        Do you know what the acronym fWAR means?

        (Hint, the “F” doesn’t stand for Baseball-Reference)

  6. MikeTorrez says:

    I doubt the Phillies will take a pair of Grade-B prospects for their center fielder when they can just recoup a pair of high draft picks after the season.

    I’m confused. Weren’t compensatory draft picks for rental players eliminated with the new CBA? So wouldn’t the Phillies be more inclined trade Victorino?

    • yooboo says:

      Phillies may prefer draft compensation to prospect B players.

      • yooboo says:

        Phillies may prefer compensatory draft picks to acquiring B prospects.

      • MikeTorrez says:

        But what I’m asking is if compensatory draft picks were eliminated with the new CBA. If that is the case, then the Phillies’ options are limited to trading Victorino or simply letting him go via free agency with no compensation.

        • Rick in Philly says:

          Compensatory players were eliminated for teams that acquired the player during the season. So the Phillies can hold onto Victorino, get the picks; but if they trade him, the Yankees cannot get the picks.

        • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too) says:

          They weren’t eliminated. If they keep Victorino and make him a qualifying offer (about 12.5M), and Victorino turns down the offer and signs with another team, the Phillies would get 1 supplemental round draft pick for compensation. What was eliminated is if a team acquires a player during the season, they are not eligible for draft pick compensation for that player.

        • yooboo says:

          Uh no!

          Rental or half seasoned player does not qualify a draft compensatory at all.

          Phillies have a shot to recoup a draft compensatory for losing Victorino. They must offer a quality offer (125 percentage increase I think) to Victorino.

          There is no Type A and B free agents. That could mean there is no team will lose any draft picks for FA signings.

          Draft picks compensatory is added at the end of 1st round for FA signings. Lottery picks (weakest combo in revenue and records) will be added after FA portion.

        • Clayton K. says:

          I had the same question and I believe you are correct according to this article (5th bullet) mlb.com article

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Neither is a rental for the Phillies. If they offer them the $12.5 million QO they get te picks if they decline the QO and sign elsewhere. No brainer with Hamels. I think they would probably offer Victorino the QO, but I don’t know.

  7. yooboo says:


    Yankees will have 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th games trail for Gardner? Oh boy!

    If Yanks want to add serious speed onto the roster then Raymond Kruml is a perfect weapon. He is very similar to Brett Gardner minus OBP.

    Losing prospect, paying millions and no draft compensation for losing newly acquired player to FA combo is an overkill.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I think that there are better internal options right now than either. Why would you replace Wise with Kruml, or bring either up before Dickerson or Fukadome?

      • yooboo says:

        Yanks will try to find a new starting player if Gardner is unreliable. I don’t want that way.

        For me, I like Wise better but the way Girardi set up it is Jones and Ibanez will man LF so Kruml is ideally for PR and defensive replacement.

        I have been waiting for Chris Dickerson but for some reason, Yankees do not count on him.

        Kruml is more of a “Hello” and “Good Bye” player. That is why I think of him as a speedy weapon.

        I don’t know McDonald that well. Problem is he is a right handed hitter while Kruml, Dickerson and Fukadome are left handed hitters. That may explain why Victoriano’s switch hitting is so appealing.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Dickerson is down because he would require cutting someone, isn’t going to play over Ibanez (whether rightly or wrongly), and was hurt or just coming back when they brought up Wise.

  8. Freddy's Mom says:

    If they get Upton they keep Gardy?

    Hey, Ibanez looked pretty good in the field yesterday, didn’t he? Hate to bring up that game, though. I was at the stadium. T’was fun to see him and Grandy scampering around the outfield trying in vain to keep the rapid fire Angels hits from turning into runs. Those baserunning gaffes were just unspeakable. And so I shall stop speaking of them, so to speak.

    Um, how do we feel about Qualls? I find it hard to type his name now without disgust. And Joe, skipper, please, please, please learn how to pull a struggling pitcher before it’s too late! Is it too much to ask?!

    Yeah, we need a pitcher. I’m a wee bit emotional at the moment but I don’t wanna see Qualls come in unless we have a minimum 4-run lead. Maybe 5.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Girardi usually gets ripped for having too short of a leash. It’s so laughable that whatever goes wrong fans want to act like the manager should have magically predicted it. Qualls is effective against RH. He’s not a stud, but the reception here is ridiculous. It amazes me that some of you guys hae ever watched an MLB season before. It really doesn’t come across. One loss and everyrhing is wrong.

      • LK says:

        In fairness, I think you can make a legitimate case that Joe left Nova in too long yesterday. Top of the order seeing him for the 4th time, clearly didn’t have fastball command, etc. I was definitely in favor of pulling him even before I was able to look at in hindsight; not really anything to get all that worked up over though. That said, I agree that there’s too much second-guessing going on with Qualls. Girardi manages the bullpen pretty damn well – if anything I think the criticism would go to Cashman in this case for not having a better option available, although even there I think that’s a tough case to make given how many bullpen guys have either gotten hurt (Mo, Joba) or been far more ineffective than could’ve been predicted (Wade).

        • MidlandTX says:

          Sometimes it’s not a matter of hanging a loss on a manager, but of players being placed in a position to succeed and failing to do so.

      • Freddy's Mom says:

        Nah, sorry dude, but you’re just wrong. I was at the game and that, as everyone knows, trumps TV viewers (alert: joking!). Anywho, I’m standing there with all the drunks, right behind home plate, and I’m thinking, “Take Qualls out, Joe, right now. Take him out. He’s about to give it up, I am certain of it.” So, you’re right that sometimes we stupidly second guess the manager but this time I FIRST guessed him and guessed right and it wasn’t hard to see. I’da put a fresh arm in just to cover myself. Don’t ask me which arm, but giving up 3 runs rather than trying that doesn’t seem too smart to me. And I am a big Joe G supporter, so leave me the freak alone!

  9. Ed in SF says:

    Would the Phillies really get a pair of picks if Victorino walks as a free agent? I thought to get picks now a team would have to extend a qualifying offer, which would be something like a $12 million deal for 1 year. Would the Phillies really offer that?

    • Mike Myers says:

      yea. Victorino might not get 12M a year, but he will get a 4 or 5 year deal on the open market. cant pass up all that cash.

  10. Dave the Ox says:

    what is a moreso? It’s in the second sentence.

  11. Dee says:

    Does the Flores scouting report make Mason Williams expendable? So, we can package Williams, Betances, and others for Upton?

  12. melkman says:

    Any chance the yanks explore bringing back Melky this offseason?

  13. Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost says:

    I enjoy the rumor mill porn like anyone else, but here’s something us Yankee fans have to get a grip on. The following players will not be Yankees this year:

    1) Cole Hamels
    2) Justin Upton
    3) Zack Greinke
    4) Felix Hernandez

    The following players very probably won’t be Yankees this year:

    1) Matt Garza
    2) Francisco Liriano

    The following players we’d better hope won’t be Yankees this year:

    1) Ryan Dempster
    2) Wandy Rodriguez

  14. Ted Nelson says:

    I think people are getting a little carried away with Upton. Serious under acheiving, attitude questions being outwardly aired, shoulder questions… There are a lot of red flags bringing into question whether he’ll ever fully put it together on a sustained basis. I would give up a lot to find out, but not “empty the farm.” There’s a line. There’s a huge downside that’s somewhat likely if you overpay. He’s really attractive for the $189 mill goal, but at the same time they could blow that goal by taking too much risk on one questionable guy and failing…
    Maybe two of the top 4 plus a CoJo or something if I liked his chances of recovery, but not 3.

    I’m equally intrigued by Headley. I have no idea, but he gets less hype so I’d imagine he might cost substantially less. Might give you similar production (freed from Petco) and can cover RF when Swisher leaves while also being an option at 3B. Again, I don’t have a clue about asking price, just intrigued by reports the Padres might deal hom and hold Quentin for the picks.

    • yooboo says:

      Headley is my idea. boo.

      I prefer him to Upton because of switch hitting with good power. Problem is Headley gets so comfortable at 3B now.

      Upton’s player status first, team second attitude may scare us but Arod had this kind ego and Yanks handled it just fine.

      Dunno. I am kind of paranoid about what if Upton wants more money that Yanks could not afford anything without going over 189m in 14-16.

    • Athenian says:

      All stats out the window. The guy has NY on his no trade list. That is the equivalent of the middle finger. Move on.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        That’s only to create leverage. He can ask them for an extension or whatever to buy him out of it. Abreu had the same thing and the Phillies had to pay him $1.5M to get to waive it.

        • yooboo says:

          Indians and Cubs, too? umm

          • Reason says:

            Are they on his no-trade list? Haven’t looked. No matter. Players have a no-trade list for two reasons: First, the obvious. They don’t want to ever play for a certain team. Second, to create leverage. Most players who have the Yankees on their no-trade list do so in the hopes they can get a few more dollars.

            I should add that the no-trade list overall is about leverage. There are few markets a player won’t go to for the right amount of money.

      • Greg says:

        It was just reported by somebody that Upton would be willing to listen to teams on that list.

  15. Reason says:

    Maybe the Upton brothers are cut from the same cloth. Good players, very athletic, productive, but still underperformers relative to expectations.

    • Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost says:

      This is going to sound stupid, but my troll brain didn’t associate the two as brothers at first and in my mind I was thinking ‘he reminds me a lot of BJ Upton’.

    • Deep Thoughts says:

      Just like the equally skilled and gritty DiMaggio brothers, Torre brothers, Alou brothers–oh wait, no, each individual had his own skill level and attitude regardless of family ties.

  16. Reason says:

    I haven’t seen confirmation of this, but I hear Francesca report that Gardner felt sorness today in his elbow. Yikes.

    • yooboo says:

      That is the reason we have this thread.

      • Reason says:

        No, that wasn’t what drove the thread. It was Heyman’s article simply reports that the Yankees “still have concerns about Brett Gardner’s elbow situation.” There was no mention of any specific issue, soreness, or set-backs. Just a general level of concern, which makes sense since it’s been a issue since April/

        Francesca, however, said that after Gardner felt sorness today after yesterday’s workout. That’s a specific lacking in the article and is cause for much greater concern. Much.

        Yet there are no specifics with Francesca either, so while what he reported may be correct, it could also be much more minor (or serious) than what his words suggest.

        • yooboo says:

          True. it was all about hint, not confirmation.

          • Reason says:

            I just heard Francesca say it was Girardi who reported the soreness today and I also see RAB has posted an update under injuries.

            That soreness means we’ve officially moved DEFCON 3 to DEFCON 2 with Gardner.

            I’m hoping it’s just a one-day thing as he gets back to playing, but it’s concerning.

    • AnthonyD says:

      The next time you hear Francessa report something will be the first time

  17. oldmanalex says:

    Can someone explain the following article to me via Ken Rosenthal.


    • Greg says:

      Basically saying that the AL east is boring this year with the Yankees running away with the division and that the AL West is more interesting to watch.

      • oldmanalex says:

        I dont get why he just didn’t come out and say THAT. All this jargon about the Yankees not being superpowers anymore, getting classified with Boston and NOT the elite teams in the game, made me feel insecure.

        • yooboo says:

          Yanks and Red Sox slow down on payroll and are not being overaggressive on upgrading on weakest position for a win it all contest.

          Rangers and Angels are well balanced in talents and payroll so it is easy for them to land big name. It is a good story for media to talk and discuss about.

          Let them have it. Yanks will be back with a bunch of savvy prospects.

  18. mike says:

    I heard a caller on FAN/1050 a few months ago ( actually months at this point) joking that his Grandfather was shot on Utah Beach on D-Day and returned to combat quicker than Gardner returned to play……

  19. Brian S. says:

    A commenter on fangraphs made a very good point.

    Justin Upton career
    Home .302/.385/.539(2012 .279 .356 .443 – .333 BABIP)
    Road .249/.327/.413(2012 .252 .339 .340 – .325 BABIP)

    Justin Upton 2011
    Home .333/.411/.622
    Road .246/.328/.439

  20. Adam says:

    Meh, I am on the side of keeping DeWayne Wise (something I wasn’t several weeks ago, until this offensive uprise he was put on us.)

    Losing Gardner is a hurt yes, but let’s stick with what we got in DeWayne.

  21. Mike R. says:

    All of this talk makes me miss Austin Jackson.

  22. willbur says:

    Sorry Mike Axisa,
    But truth is you don’t gut the farm for one player with flaws. Let me explain it in detail:
    1-Their has been speculation over last few years that he has an elbow injury, possibly significant enough to warrant eventual surgery.
    2-He has the same flaws his brother has which is lack of heart at times and a me me attitude which is a big reason Arizona is giving up on a 24yo with that talent.
    3-the days of gutting the system are long gone unless your getting a clay bucholz or matt kemp. justin uptown to me with his negatives does not qualify.
    4-I believe he has two year left on his contract so if you gut the farm and in 2 years they decide not to resign uptown cause he didn’t live up to expectations and you have an old team with Jeter, Arod, Texiera, Cano at 31, granderson at 35 you will be setting the franchise back long term.

    So lastly Mike, I completely disagree with this column as it is a careless idea, much like the idea of trading the farm for Ubaldo Jimenez who ironically I had same concurs as why would a team trade a young stud like him? And the answer is????????? Same as Upton’s!

  23. Kiko Jones says:

    I dunno what purpose it serves to speculate on a guy who has so little interest in playing here that he has the Yankees on his no-trade list. Meanwhile, a three-man platoon (Ibañez, Jones, Wise and maybe Nix as no.4) can’t handle LF for the rest of the season?

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