Jul
13

Mailbag: Balfour, Pitchers, Upton, Andrus

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Got four questions for you this week, and remember to use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar to send us future mailbag questions.

(Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Mark asks: I know the Yankees have liked him in the past, since Oakland appears to be in sell mode – how does Grant Balfour look as Joba Chamberlain insurance?

Balfour, 34 had a rough start to the season but has settled down and pitched to a 3.14 ERA (3.74 FIP) overall. He’s making $4M this season with a $4.25M club option for next season ($350k buyout), so he’s a rental. There are three big red flags here. One, his strikeout rate (6.70 K/9 and 18.8 K%) is way down compared to the last few years (8.82 K/9 and 24.8 K% from ’10-’11). Two, his walk rate (3.77 BB/9 and 10.6 BB%) is way up (2.84 K/9 and 8.0 BB% from ’10-’11), and three, his fastball velocity is down into the low-90s and has been trending the wrong way for a few years now. That’s like the red flag trifecta right there.

Brian Cashman tried to work out a sign-and-trade deal for Balfour last offseason, before ownership stepped in and signed Rafael Soriano. I’m not sure if they still like him given this year’s decline, but the price shouldn’t be high at all. The Athletics could save some cash and get maybe a Grade-C prospect in return as part of a trade, which is better than holding on to him for another two months and losing him for nothing after the season. Balfour has AL East experience and that’s always nice, but that won’t save him if the fastball and ability to miss bats is gone. If the Yankees can get him real cheap, sure try him out. Low risk move. I wouldn’t expect a ton out of him, however.

Travis asks: Considering the depth of pitching the Yankees have, do you see them making a big free agent signing? They have CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, David Phelps already in the rotation next year and in AAA, they will have D.J. Mitchell, Adam Warren, Brett Marshall, Vidal Nuno, Mikey O’Brien, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos. That’s a lot of fourth and fifth starters (and some second and third) in the minors. Hard to see giving multiple years to pitchers this year and coming years.

That’s the problem, the vast majority of those minor league guys you mentioned are back-end starters. You don’t really make room for those guys, especially if you’re the Yankees. You let them come up and fill-in if someone gets hurt and you need a spot starter. I mean, if the choice is adding a Cole Hamels or leaving a spot open for someone like Brett Marshall … that seems like an easy call to me.

That said, the 2014 payroll plan is going to impact the team’s free agent decisions more than anything. They’ll need a few of those guys for depth reasons but I wouldn’t let them stand in the way of adding an impact arm. Heck, I wouldn’t let them stand in the way of re-signing Hiroki Kuroda. We’ve written this before, but the Yankees can add a guy like Hamels on a huge contract and still get under the luxury tax threshold in a few years, but it will take some serious creativity. Perhaps it involves dealing a few of those arms for a cheap outfielder or two as a way to offset the cost. I love prospects as much as anyone, but the Yankees don’t have anyone in their system right now that you can point to as a surefire impact pitcher.

Nick asks: So I know there is speculation about a Justin Upton trade. You had mentioned that to get him you would open up the farm system for him. Is there anyway the Yankees can get him AND hold onto Mason Williams or Gary Sanchez? If so, who would you prefer to keep?

(Christian Petersen/Getty)

I suppose there’s a way to do it, I just don’t know how they could. The Yankees and Diamondbacks don’t matchup well in a trade because Arizona has a ton of pitching and needs a third baseman and a shortstop. Maybe they really, really like Brandon Laird and Eduardo Nunez, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up. I can’t imagine a lower level guy like Dante Bichette Jr. would work; if you’re trading a franchise-type player like Upton, you can’t accept A-ballers in return, especially if you’re as close to contending as the D’Backs are.

As far as Williams and Sanchez, I’d prefer to keep Mason but honestly I wouldn’t let either guy stand in the way of a potential trade. Williams has a much more well-rounded game and while Sanchez has serious impact potential, I do still worry about his strikeouts a bit (27.1 K% last year, 23.2 K% this year). Love both guys though and would be willing to move one or the other in a package for a guy like Upton no questions asked. Hell, if those two were going to be the centerpieces of a trade with some miscellaneous pieces added, go for it. I’d have no problem giving up Single-A kids — even super high-ceiling ones like Williams and Sanchez — for a player of Upton’s caliber and potential.

Daniel asks: If the time comes when Elvis Andrus hits the free agent market, can you see the Yankees being major players for him? I believe he’d hit the market at age 25 or 26.

Oh yes, definitely. Andrus is the guy I’m hoping the Yankees will grab to replace Derek Jeter when the time comes. He’ll become a free agent right as the Cap’n's deal is up and Texas has Jurickson Profar coming. Andrus is still only 23 (!) and will hit the open market at 26, so you’re getting all of his peak years. This is a guy that is already an elite defender at short who gets on-base (.368 OBP this year, .345 career), doesn’t strikeout (12.3 K% this year, 13.0 K% career), steals bases (30+ in each of the last three years plus he’ll get this year again), and stays on the field (145+ games played every year of his career). He also has World Series experience and that’s certainly not a negative.

Now obviously a lot can change between now and then, but Andrus makes a ton of sense for New York if they’re looking for a Jeter replacement in two years. I suspect Texas will either a) trade him, or b) trade Profar and extend Andrus before then, however. If he does hit the open market though, the bidding will be out of control. Middle infielders that productive and that young just don’t become free agents these days. I don’t think a deal worth $20M annually across 8-10 years is out of the question if he keeps this up.

Quick Update: Andrus is a Scott Boras client, so the odds of him signing an extension with Texas are small while the odds of him signing a megadeal as a free agent are huge.

Categories : Mailbag

142 Comments»

  1. Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost says:

    If we’ve learned anything from this season so far it’s that we can get by without a decent catcher. It’s not great to be in that position, but I think we can say that catcher is a place we can save some money.

    • jjyank says:

      True, that’s where most teams save money, since there are so few catchers worthy of of big bucks. I’m totally fine with riding out cheap stop gaps and hoping Romine, and eventually Sanchez, can contribute.

  2. dan2 says:

    In the question about pitching prospects, Michael Pineda was somehow omitted

    • DB says:

      Right, also with Pineda coming back next year and if Pettitte or Kuroda re-sign that doesn’t leave an opening for Hamels unless they move Nova or Hughes.

      • CountryClub says:

        I’d be surprised if they both came back next yr. But I think it’s realistic that one will be on the team.

        • DB says:

          Right and I think if one of them comes back the Yankees would probably be perfectly content to go into the season with a rotation of:
          CC
          Kuroda/Andy
          Nova
          Pineda
          Hughes

          With the combination of Phelps/Mitchell/Warren/Banuelos/Marshall all ready at AAA in case one of them goes down.

          • DB says:

            Although I would think if they have a shot at Hamels, they would look to trade Nova or Hughes for a position player prospect, maybe an outfielder to replace Swisher.

            • CountryClub says:

              They would trade Hughes because he’s going to start costing legit money. Although, they’d get more back for Nova since he’d have a few years of team control. Oh well, too soon to worry about that stuff.

          • CountryClub says:

            I’m optimistic on Pineda also. But they can’t pencil him in for a spot. I think they’ll move forward like he won’t be part of the rotation and if he proves to be healthy he’ll replace one of Hughes/Nova. Maybe they trade Hughes if he’s still pitching well.

            Regardless, I think Pineda might start the yr in AAA.

            • jjyank says:

              I’m sure Pineda will be on a 30-day rehab assignment once he’s back, so they Yankees should have a pretty good idea of his post-injury performance by the time that’s up.

            • Why? Seriously Why to all of this, except the second sentence. Why replace Hughes/Nova instead of add to Hughes/Nova. Why trade Hughes if he’s still pitching well? Why start Pineda in AAA if he comes to camp in shape and healthy? Literally none of that makes any sense to me. In 2014 everybody knows that the team is going to have to figure out a way to get under a 189M pay roll. Wouldn’t the easiest way to do that be to have a couple cost controlled, young, good pitchers in the rotation (like Nova and Pineda and maybe even Banuelos) with a solid middle of the rotation guy not making too much (like Hughes) behind a highly paid work horse Ace like CC?

              • CountryClub says:

                Honestly I dont disagree with anything you said. But the Yanks wont really know what they have in Pineda until ST and they cant just assume he’s going to be healthy. So they will come to camp with 5 proven starters and Phelps most likely as the 6th man. Now, if Pineda comes through ST in good shape he could step right into the rotation. But then that makes one of Nova/Hughes the odd man out. Since Hughes would be in his last yr of team control, I think they’d explore trading him. I’m not saying they should trade him, just seems like the most likely scenario.

                • Ok, I understand what you’re saying now. Your point is that they shouldn’t not go after Hammels just because they have Pineda in their back pocket, because who knows how Pineda comes back…so if they do sign Hammels and Pineda’s healthy Pineda>Hughes/Nova, Nova>Hughes long term.

                  • CountryClub says:

                    Right; I’m not sure it’ll be Hamels, but they will get another proven starter in the winter if they lose one of Pettitte/Kurodo.

                    • I personally think that if they can retain one of Pettitte or Kuroda that’ll be fine. Then even w/o Pineda it goes:
                      CC
                      Pettitte/Kuroda
                      Nova
                      Hughes
                      Phelps(Probably, he’s been the most successful so far)

                      to me that’s a good enough rotation to win, even in the post season. Don’t get me wrong if an Edwin Jackson is still hanging around come late January or early Feb, go for it. I just don’t want to sink 20+ Mil into Hammels long term, for whatever reason I feel like it’s got AJ Burnett written all over it.

                  • G says:

                    Holy crap people why is it so hard to spell Hamels correctly?

                • Robinson Tilapia says:

                  This assuming Kuroda and/or Pettitte come back. I’m not counting on either of them at the moment.

                  To me, it makes a guy like Phelps the odd man out.

                  These are still GREAT problems to have.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  I think that they take an intermediate route. They don’t act like Pineda will give them nothing. Cashman is extremely rational. I think he’ll act like Pineda is what he is. Don’t count on him, but don’t box him out of a rotation spot either. I think Phelps or a one year guy will keep his rotation spot warm if te outlook on his return is good (of course it might be bad too).

                  And I think they’ll know a lot about Pineda before ST. Which will impact their decision making.

                  • CountryClub says:

                    I could be wrong, but I dont see them coming into the season with Phelps as their #5. If they were willing to do that, it changes a lot of what I wrote above.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      I think that they would depending on corcumstances. 4 solid starters ahead of him, good depth behind him in a long-man/AAA, Pineda and/or Banuelos looking healthy, and him looking like a mid-to-low-4s FIP/ERA guy. I think all that’s the most likely scenario unless there are 5 in front of him.

              • jjyank says:

                Agreed. Though like I mentioned above, Pineda will be in the minors anyway for a rehab assignment most likely. I think I remember him being ready closer to May than early April, but I could be wrong. \

                As far as Hughes goes, I guess it all depends on how he pitches. I have no idea at all what kind of contract he would require.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                If Hughes hits FA coming off two solid seasons, he’s unlikely to be cheap. Which is why you consider trading him if the right deal comes along.

                • I see and understand that point of view, but seriously, as much as I love Hughes, who is going to give him more than 7-12mil a year to pitch? That’s not dirt cheap, but I think it’s a fair amount for a 3/4 guy who can give you 180-200innings.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    $12 mill is a big deal for a mid-to-back-end starter in light of the $189 million budget. There’s a lot of depth in Ps that could step up cheaper before then, and three big offensive holes that need to be filled (plus C).

                    • Honestly, I’m not saying Hughes is essential at all. If Phelps, for example, has established himself as a competent ML starter, then by all means let Hughes walk. My original post was meant to say that while these guys are under contract shouldn’t the team do everything in their power to get as much out of them as possible?

                • Anthony says:

                  Unlikely to be cheap to whom? The Yanks? I’m not sure I understand. What are the benefits of trading Hughes before FA status, and what would happen if we didn’t and he reached free agency?

                  Sorry, my newness is showing, lol.

              • MattG says:

                Why post this at all. This is complete speculation on that which we have no idea at all. The Yankees might know exactly what to expect from Pineda come November. They might share this, they might not, so…so nothing.

                In this, I have complete confidence the Yankees will plan accordingly, and we’ll have no idea what is going on.

            • blake says:

              they should start him at AAA both to make sure he’s ok and work him back slowly….and also to try and recover the year of service time they lost this year.

              • He was on the 25 man and Major League disabled list, this year is gone in the way of his “service time.”

              • CountryClub says:

                And I think this is likely too. Since he hasnt pitched in a full yr, I think they start him in the minors (either they use an option or it’s on the rehab clock). Let him have some success down there before you throw him in the fire. He needs to work on his change up anyway.

                • blake says:

                  this year is lost because he’s been on the DL….but if they option him to the minors next year and he stays long enough I think they gain a year of control? At least that’s my understanding…maybe I”m wrong.

                  • Brian S. says:

                    That would be awesome. I’d love to open next year with CC-Kuroda-Pettitte-Nova-Hughes (or Phelps/Hamels instead of one of the old guys) and have Pineda start in AAA until his arbitration clock gets delayed.

                    • Unless it’s because he’s still injured Pineda, his agent, and the Players Union would definitely not like that at all.

                    • Brian S. says:

                      How so? I think the Yankees would have a great reason to start him in AAA. They want him to get used to pitching again after being out for so long. In fact I would be surprised if they DIDNT do that. Not much the players union or his agent could do. What would they say? “No, Pineda is ready to start in the AL East after not pitching in a major league game since 2011.”

  3. Kevin G. says:

    Is it just me, or does it seem like that whenever there’s a great player on the market the Yankees and the other team never “match up well?”

    • jjyank says:

      Well in this instance, the Yanks probably don’t match up well with most teams. Manny is injured and the rest of the upper minor prospects are projected to be back-end guys. All the best prospects are A ballers, and you can only get so much for them.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        I disagree that you can only get so much for A ballers. Many of the top trade acquisitions recently have been for guys in A ball. Pence, Haren, Halladay, Javy… That is SO much, not only so much.

        It is a matter of “matching up” though. A team has to be looking for the best prospect return, and not immediate contribution. The DBacks seem to be willing to listen but still trying to contend, so not a likely match.

        • jjyank says:

          Alright, they can get an impact guy for A ballers, but you can’t tell me it wouldn’t be much easier to “match up” if Sanchez and Williams were raking at AAA isntead of Tampa.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            But then the Yankees would be less likely to deal them: their value would rise commenserately. Higher minors guys are more valuable all else equal, but in terms of “matching up” some teams will take their chances with more ceiling on more volatile low minors guys. Because they can’t get as much raw talent if they get closer guys. It’s the basic risk/reward curve.

            • jjyank says:

              That’s my point Ted. A ballers have less value because there is more risk. The Yankees dealt Montero to fill a need. They probably would have needed to throw in more prospects if it were an A ball player trade.

            • Brian S. says:

              And Towers traded Dan Haren for a package surrounding an A-baller in Tyler Skaggs.

              • jjyank says:

                You’re missing my point. I never said they can’t trade A ballers, just that it’s easier and would require less players if they were in the high minors.

    • Mike HC says:

      I heard that Philly will be looking for a young CF if they decide to move Hamels. And I would think Mason Williams has got to be one of the top CF prospects in baseball. So that could work out possibly.

      • MattG says:

        I think Mason alone might be too much for 2 months of Hamels. 0r not, he is an A baller.

        I put it this way…if they want a CF, I don’t think Philly could to better.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      It’s no different for any other team. Major trades take a ton of work to happen in any sport.

  4. MattG says:

    Travis completely disregards Michael Pineda. Did I miss something big?

  5. MattG says:

    That’s a shot at Jeter.

    • G says:

      Well considering Jeter’s been worth 6.2 fWAR over the past 2.5 seasons while Andrus has been worth 9.4, I don’t think saying we’d like to replace Jeter with Andrus is really a shot at him as much as it is statinga well-informed opinion. Really the fact that Jeter is even in the same ballpark as Andrus in average fWAR over the past 2.5 seasons is a testament to his greatness, but Andrus is unquestionably the better player now. His offense will never be what Jerer’s once was, but his defense is significantly better than Jeter’s ever was and he is an above league average batter at a 108 wRC+. I’d love to see him in pinstripes in a few years.

  6. Gonzo says:

    I would be shocked of they traded Profar. Like freaking stunned.

  7. Ted Nelson says:

    When did players that young ever hit the market regularly? It’s always been rare to get your 6 years in by age 26. That isn’t a new development.

    Point with Hamels isn’t that you let one guy stand in the way of signing him. Your risk is spread across all of those guys (plus Pineda), so do you take your chances that two or three of those guys come through (plus the odd scrapheap guy) and spend on position players or do you grab Hamels and save on position players? Given the success Nova, Pineda, Banuelos, and Phelps (and Hughes, though he’d have to be re-signed) have had… I’d be tempted to leave Hamels alone. I certainly wouldn’t fault them for getting Hamels, though.

    I could see the Rangers sliding Andrus to 2B and Kinsler to OF, super-UTL, or trying to trade him in addition to the two options laid out in the article.

    • Drew says:

      What do you Banuelos has had success? The guy has been injury prone and walks a ton of batters. He’s not getting a September call up at this point. I see Banuelos contributing either 2013 at the earliest.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        I can’t really follow your comment.

        Banuelos has been injured this season, not exactly injury prone. He’s had a lot of success being one of the youngest guys on every level he’s been at. This season he was just dominant when he came back from the back injury for a short time.

        Guy is a consensus top 30-50 prospect. Elbow injuries happen to Ps all the time. Every guy who has gone down with an elbow problem is not injury prone.

      • Jim Is Bored says:

        When did Ted say he saw a september call up for baneulos?

        He’s had a great track record before this year, I’d still call that success. He walks too many, but it’s not at Betances levels.

        • Drew says:

          I was just making a point. He is very young for being at AAA level but he is not ready to step in and help the Yankees this year. Even if he does get called up in September he will be having his cup of coffee just like the yankees have done with other top prospects in the past. For him to contribute anything this year, something will have to go horribly wrong with the big league rotation. Banuelos just needs to prove he can stay healthy, and that he can sustain his pitching performance from when he came off his 1st injury.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            We were talking about next season, not this season. What will the Yankees do next season and going forward? Should they try to sign Hamels this offseason?

            I fail to see how Manny’s 2012 contribution is relevant…

            • Preston says:

              And we’re not even talking about the start of next season because CC, Nova, Hughes, Pineda and Phelps would probably all start over Banuelos (if we sign no-one else which is unlikely we’ll probably bring back at least one of Andy, Kuroda or Garcia). So Manny would probably be a mid-season call up at best.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Ted said he was a September callup when those who want to add negative intonation to everything he writes decided he said it.

    • YanksFanInBeantown says:

      Profar would be the one moving, Andrus is the better fielder.

      • Also, Profar is younger and still in the minors. It’s a lot easier to transition somebody down there in games that don’t really mean anything to anybody but the players playing them. He could average an error a game down there for the first month and the FO in Texas would say “as long as he’s improving, and getting his work in, that’s fine.” that’s something you can’t do at the major league level.

        • Reggie C. says:

          Note that Profar is already in AA. If a positional change is going to happen, it shouldve happened yesterday.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        I think they’d move Andrus, personally. His quickness will play at 2B, and Profar is a good fielder who only became a full time fielder a couple of years ago (was move highly saught after as a P prospect).

      • MattG says:

        KLaw disagrees.

        I think he’s probably more qualified to judge.

        • YanksFanInBeantown says:

          KLaw says that Profar is going to be a much better player than Andrus, not that he will be a much better fielder.

    • jjyank says:

      I’m with you on being temped to leave Hamels alone. No doubt he’d be an awesome addition, but I’m skeptical that the cost doesn’t quite justify the need.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I’m looking forward to it being Cashman’s fault that Philly signed Hamels to an extension.

  8. Nick says:

    Ok…so they don’t match up….hmmm…Any chance they could get a 3rd team involved to get the 3rd baseman that Arizona wants?

  9. Luisergi says:

    On Travis’ question;

    CC
    Kuroda
    Andy
    Nova
    Hughes
    Pineda
    Phelps
    BaƱuelos
    etc
    etc…

    Looks great at first, asuming Hiroki and Andy come back wich i think both parts (yankees and both of those guys) will seriously consider. You’d think the yankees do not need/should to get into the Hamels bidding. But then it comes the money thing, the age thing, and the flexibility thing;

    Hiroki will demand at least another 10M, and i’m pretty sure Andy will not sign for 2M again, it would require at least 7M IMO, that’s 17M for two really “seasoned” guys, on one year deals, wich gives the FO some room to figure out all that 189M for 2014 thing (plus solid performance on the hill, but no ace-like).
    Hamels, under 30, an ace, will sign for something around 20M, wich seems not all that far from the 17M the other 2 guys will make, but for 6 or 7 years, so the yankees would be stuck with another hughe deal, and they lose depth (some).

    it’d go;

    CC
    Coal
    Nova
    Hughes
    Pineda
    Phelps
    BaƱuelos
    etc
    etc

    Wich road would you take?? with the winning every year menatlity and getting under 189M, on mind

    I’d go with Hirok and Andy on one year deals, instead of giving Hamels a fortune forever, but that’s just me.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I tend to agree here.

      I think it’d be interesting to completely punt on Hamels and not get into megadeals that tie up the $189 million line unless you have no other options. Lefty at YS3 aside, Hamels is far from the only very good pitcher who will become available by 2014. Won’t Price be an FA soon?

      A one-year deal for one of Hiroki/Andy sounds fine with me. Re-evaluate Pineda next year. See if Phelps can actually exceed projections. See if the guy worthy of locking up long-term is actually named Philip Hughes (remember when he went by “Philip?”)

    • BK2ATL says:

      Agreed.

      We don’t need no Coal. :)

    • Bunt Gardner says:

      If I read it correctly, the extension Philadelphia is discussing with Hamels would be around $24M/yr.

  10. blake says:

    I would guess Texas keeps both Andrus and Profar and finds a place for both of them to play….but yea Andrus would be a nice Jeter heir if that were possible.

    They should try to get Upton….the Yanks never get a chance at a player with that upside at that age….

    • Reggie C. says:

      With Adrian Beltre locked in at 3B till the END of 2015, i’m not sure where Profar fits. The young man doesn’t play the outfield. With the re-signing or extension situations for Hamilton and Napoli, respectively, an issue after this season, the Rangers are not going to be able to afford to keep everyone.

      • blake says:

        2B. They have said he can play 2B just as well as SS….could move Kinsler to LF….I think they’ll let Hamilton walk.

        • Reggie C. says:

          You mean the Ian Kinsler locked in through 2017? They’re going to move Kinsler off 2B? Not sure how that plays out. Profar might very well be Major league ready at this point next season. His AA play to date is nothing short of jaw dropping, so when he’s ready, the Rangers are going to have to make some far reaching decisions.

          • blake says:

            why not….it’s about getting your best 9 players on the field. Not saying it’ll happen…just that it could.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            It’s being speculated just about everywhere that they could move Kinsler to LF and let Hamilton walk. (And/or acquire Upton.) Doesn’t mean they will, but this isn’t controversial thinking.

        • Canadian Yankee Fan says:

          I saw this suggested on BP yesterday also…not let Hamilton go specifically but I assume that is implied in moving Kinsler to left.

    • MattG says:

      Texas is absolutely stacked. There is no where to move Andrus that would make sense for them…yet. Maybe they let Hamilton walk, trade Bourjous, and make Andrus the centerfielder.

  11. Gonzo says:

    My money is on trading Andrus for a haul when Profar is ready or Profar is ready when Andrus leaves a FA.

    • jjyank says:

      That’s my thought too. I think they trade Andrus the offseason prior to his walk year, assuming Profar doesn’t hit any bumps. But that’s just my own speculation.

    • Reggie C. says:

      Yeah. I’m thinking the same.

      The Andrus haul can net the Rangers a quality, young ML starter as the centerpiece with “lesser” pieces still expected to be viable prospects. I kinda expect the Rays to be at the head of the line for Andrus when that day comes.

      • MattG says:

        That is not the Ray’s MO at all. Andrus is a known quantity. The Rays pay for unknown, undervalued, quantities.

        • jjyank says:

          I think Reggie was talking about being at the head of the line for an Andrus trade, not necessarily signing him long term.

          • MattG says:

            I don’t think that affects my comment. Have they been at the head of the line for known commodities, via free agency or trade, before?

            They can try, but Tampa is smart enough to realize that someone with the intent of signing him would value that two month period as a wooing window. This is the Tiger’s MO (for instance), and this is the sort of team that will make the best offer.

            • jjyank says:

              Who said it needed to be a rental? Maybe Tampa trades for him in the offseason and makes a run at the World Series, then gets the draft picks when he walks. I can see that.

              • MattG says:

                No more draft picks…unless they offer 12M or something, right?

                I said it’s not their MO, which means I think it wouldn’t happen, but I did not say it wouldn’t happen.

                • jjyank says:

                  They have to make a qualifying offer, but there is no way Andrus accepts the QO with that huge payday ahead of him, they would still get the picks.

        • Reggie C. says:

          If there was any confusion, my bad. I’m solely talking about a trade transaction for Andrus. I agree the Rays probably can’t afford to keep Andrus long-term. However, that said, the Rays may need to diverge from that stance and given Andrus’s steady improvement and fantastic age, he’s one guy the Rays should back up the truck.

          • MattG says:

            I agree with you that the Rays would have tremendous respect for Andrus. Where I disagree is that the Rays will not be alone with that respect, and that is the problem.

            What is it that disappears the moment you share it?

      • BK2ATL says:

        The Rays have a couple of SS in their top 15 prospects list. I doubt if they’re going to be giving up a haul for another SS (Andrus), nor the $$$ cost involved.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I can definitely see trading him, but at the same time if Profar flames out or struggles when he comes up… You’ve traded your back-up plan and you’re a contender with a major hole. (Though I think they do have another highly touted SS somewhere.)

  12. yooboo says:

    Elvis Andrus hits FA and Derek Jeter ponders about exercising the player’s option (8m, 3m bo) in 2014. Wow.. Jeter has to morph into a superman and breaks Pete Rose’s record next year.

    I prefer Jurickson Profar to Elvis Andrus because he has power, speed and OBP machine.

    It is good thing that it is 3 year later’ problem as we have Aune, Grumbs, Cutiver and Pirela to sort out as a full time SS for 2014 and beyond. Right now, Grumbs and Aune are groomed as 2B. Cutiver works on maturity. Pirela gets better.

    Rangers are working on extensions or contracts for Colby Lewis and Josh Hamilton. If they fail to retain Hamilton then I think it may be a good chance that either Andrus or Profar will play CF or SS for CF trade could be done in the off-season.

    For rotation part, Do Yankees envision Hughes and Nova as a powerhouse SP? If so, Phelps will occupy 5th spot. If not, we will see who is/are new SP. Signing Hamel, Shields or Grenike is not going to happen. I like Anabil Sanchez as long as it is no more than 12m during 14-16 seasons. Is it even possible?

    Since Pettitte is on the DL for 2 months, his arm should not be worn out. Bringing him back is also possible at last minute.

  13. yooboo says:

    I prefer Jurickson Profar to Elvis Andrus because he has power, speed and OBP machine.

    By that, I mean altogether.

  14. Vinnie Gagliano says:

    How bout a 2015 lineup of Gard, Andrus, Cano, Upton, Tex, Arod, Sanchez, Prado, and Mason. lol.. dream on right.

    • Vinnie Gagliano says:

      by the way, I wrote it as Prado at 3rd and Arod DH.

      Am i the only one who thinks Prado is VERY underrated??

      • yooboo says:

        Not for me. I overvalued him 5 years ago and still do now. I kind of wish he can belt 20-25 home run a season.

  15. Bavarian Yankee says:

    meh, I’m not a fan of Error … ehm sry, … Elvis Andrus. Sure, he’s a speedy guy that also can hit close to .300 and get on base quite often but the defense actually isn’t that good, it’s average. Imo a SS also has to hit for power (15-20 HRs at least) to get a really big contract.

    I’d rather sign a cheaper guy like Yunel Escobar or Jed Lowrie instead of handing out a big contract to Andrus. Heck, I’d be perfectly fine with Nunez if he can ever be close to an average defender at short.

    • You call Andrus “Error Andrus” then say you’d be “perfectly fine with Nunez” at short in the same post. Does anybody else see anything wrong with that?

      • also you say you want Yunel Escobar. Seriously, I cannot be the only guy who sees things wrong with this post right?

        • Bavarian Yankee says:

          you just don’t get it. I said I want Escobar INSTEAD of Andrus because Andrus likely isn’t worth the huge difference in money.

          • Just for comparison fangraphs likes Derek’s defense more than Yunney’s defense. That was going into this season. Imagine how terrible Escobar will be in three years.

            • Bavarian Yankee says:

              have you looked at Escobar’s defensive metrics this season? Beats Andrus in any given category but DPR. Admitted it’s small sample size but Escobar is probably a better defender than you think.

          • yooboo says:

            Escobar and Lowrie are not that cheap, either.

            To think Andrus is a below average defense as your post hinted is simply ridiculous.

            It is not uncommon for SS under 24 years old makes a bunch of errors. Our world’s best defensive SS, Tony Fernandez made 30 errors as 23 years old. Our most popular retired SS, Cal Ripken made at least 25 errors for 3 years (22-24).

            Andrus has top notch defensive skillset. Don’t be kidding yourself.

            • Bavarian Yankee says:

              “To think Andrus is a below average defense as your post hinted is simply ridiculous.”

              I said he’s average, UZR and several other defensive metrics agree. True, he CAN be an elite defender but he isn’t yet and maybe he’ll never be an elite defender. Right now he’s just inconsistent.

              • yooboo says:

                Your post claimed Nunez would be all right if he was average but passing on Andrus when he is being average.

                The math of yours is what I talked about. It is universally impossible for Andrus and Nunez being in the same group.

                Nunez > Andrus. That is what you accidentally hinted.
                Andrus > Nunez. That is easily most logical suggestion.

                • Bavarian Yankee says:

                  “Nunez > Andrus. That is what you accidentally hinted”

                  you put that out of context. I prefer Nunez because he is waaaaaay cheaper. Andrus is more skilled than Nunez – absolutely no doubt about that and I never argued that – but Nunez is cheaper. I take Nunez skill (if he gets better defensively) + his low salary over Andrus skill + enormous salary.

                  • yooboo says:

                    do you mean for 2014 when Andrus hits FA?

                    Andrus’ contract now is affordable but it will require a bunch of savvy prospects or players to get him, which we obviously don’t want to see that happen.

                    • Bavarian Yankee says:

                      when he hits FA. That’s the topic so that’s what I was talking about all the time ;)

                    • yooboo says:

                      All right. Both enter the prime that time so who knows.

                      Betancourt will be 33 years old. umm.

            • I honestly don’t understand the baseball world’s love affair w/ Yunel Escobar. He’s barely below average defensively according to most metrics (as opposed to just straight terrible) and he’s decent offensively.

            • MattG says:

              Our world’s best defensive shortstop was Tony Fernandez?

              What? Did you read that off his hall-of-fame plaque?

      • Bavarian Yankee says:

        that’s because you didn’t read the whole thing. I indead said I’m perfectly fine with Nunez but I also said “if he can ever be close to an average defender at short.”

        please don’t reply to my comments if you don’t even read them.

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