Mailbag: Walden, 2014, Hall of Fame


Only three questions this week but the answers are kinda long. Remember to use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar to send us anything throughout the week.

(Christian Petersen/Getty)

Travis asks: In the wake of the Ryan Madson signing, the Angels have said that Jordan Walden is available. Is he worth a look? What would it take to get him? I know he is younger than Andrew Bailey, but would a package like the one Boston sent to Oakland be enough? Do we have that?

I don’t think Walden would command the kind of package the Red Sox gave up for Bailey. His track record is much shorter and he’s an inferior pitcher, at least to the healthy version of Bailey. The 25-year-old Walden owns a 3.06 ERA (2.80 FIP) with 10.83 K/9 (28.2 K%) and 4.00 BB/9 (10.4 BB%) in 114.2 career innings, though he was a bit worse (3.46 ERA and 3.02 FIP) this year while spending almost six weeks on the DL with a biceps strain.

Walden is a classic fastball-slider reliever and he throws very hard, averaging 97.3 mph with the heat according to PitchFX. As you probably guessed with the walk rate, command is not his strong suit. He struggles to throw strikes and figures to continue struggling to throw strikes because he does this (.GIF via Lookout Landing) …

He hops in the middle of his delivery and is literally airborne for a fraction of a second. I’m no pitching expert, but there’s no way jumping in the middle of a delivery like helps you throw the ball to the desired location. Luckily for Walden, a reliever can survive with less than stellar command even in important late-inning roles. Just ask David Robertson.

Anyway, yeah I do think Walden is worth a phone call. He’s still very young and remains under team control for another four years, plus he has the swing-and-miss stuff I like to see in relievers. Saves do jack the price up and Walden has 34 of them, but he did lose his closer’s job this year (due in part to the injury). We don’t have many good trade comparables, but I do think giving up two non-top prospects would be fair. The Angels want pitching and left-handed bullpen help, so maybe something like Brett Marshall and Boone Logan? It might be a slight overpay but I’d actually be pretty cool with it. Give up one year of a lefty specialist and a pitching prospect who struggled to miss bats in Double-A for four-years of a high-end right-handed reliever (who has already gotten Tommy John surgery out of the way)? Yeah that works for me. Maybe the Angels would throw in Kole Calhoun as well.

Mike asks: If the Yanks get under the luxury tax limit of $189M for the entire 2014 season and this savings is a product of ‘X’ number of years that they have been above the luxury tax number, should we as Yankee fans come to expect a drastic frugal streak every ‘X’ years?

Yes and no. By getting under the $189M luxury tax threshold in 2014, the Yankees would reset their tax rate (currently the maximum 40% for every dollar over the threshold) to zero. Should they then go nuts and exceed the threshold in the following years, they would be taxed at 17.5% in 2015 and 30% in 2016. Exceeding the threshold in four consecutive seasons brings a team to the (new) maximum 50% penalty.

However, the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires after 2016. The luxury tax could theoretically be eliminated in the next agreement, or at least be modified somewhat. That said, more and more teams are approaching the luxury tax threshold these days — the Dodgers are going to blow past it next year — and the penalties figure to get stiffer, not more lenient. So yeah, it’s possible the Yankees will have a “X years over, one year under” approach with the luxury tax going forward.

(Bob Levey/Getty)

Mark asks: If given the chance to vote, what would your 2013 Hall of Fame ballot look like?

The ballot was released earlier this week and voters are allowed to vote for up to ten players in a given year. I have no idea why they cap it like that, if there are more than ten deserving players on the ballot why shouldn’t you be able to vote for all of them?

Anyway, here are my eight no-doubters: Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, and Sammy Sosa. I don’t think I need to explain much with those guys, they’re all historically great players who belong in any institution claiming to memorialize the game. PEDs totally happened and are part of history, just like all those years African Americans weren’t allowed in the big leagues or the period of time when pitchers didn’t actually try to get batters out. Did you know that? Way, way back in the day the pitcher was supposed to give the batter something to hit and the game was played between the batter and the defense. The pitcher was just there to facilitate things.

Here are the six guys I’m on the fence about: Kenny Lofton, Edgar Martinez, Rafael Palmeiro, Curt Schilling, Alan Trammell, and Larry Walker. Palmeiro obviously had the magical counting stats (3,000+ hits and 500+ homers) but he never had an insane peak or was considered the absolute best player at his position. I look for both peak and longevity. Oh, and he didn’t contribute anything with the glove either. Trammell’s case is built largely on his defensive value and I’m an offense-first guy, so that’s why he’s only on the fence. Martinez is the greatest DH in baseball history but I’m still undecided given the generally underwhelming power output (309 career homers) from a guy whose only job was to hit. He certainly had the on-base skills, but I feel like a Hall of Fame DH should get on-base and hit for power. Maybe my standards are too high. Walker and Lofton were great players who fall just short of all-time great for me. Schilling is the same way.

Categories : Mailbag


  1. Rey22 says:

    Damn…whoever taught Walden his windup should be fired as a pitching instructor. That’s crazy.

    • BronxBomber98 says:

      Is it sad that I actually want the Yankees to trade for him now? That delivery is crazy and I want to see it consistently.

  2. Klemy says:

    Way, way back in the day the pitcher was supposed to give the batter something to hit and the game was played between the batter and the defense. The pitcher was just there to facilitate things.

    I did not know that! It was like teaching your son to play at the t-ball level for adults.

  3. djyank says:

    martinez should get in (OBP immortal). probably no on schilling (only pitched well in ~1.5 postseasons)

    i dont understand voting in PED guys, some of them in their first year on the ballot.

    mike, youd have 15 years to see how the PED era gains a legacy. why not vote them in in 2025 or so if you still feel theyre legit having seen the sport develop over the next dozen years?

    • Anthony says:

      If everyone does that, they fall off the ballot. They need to reach a certain threshold to stay on it.

      I don’t like Schilling, but I don’t get statements like yours or Mike’s. The guy is a clear HOFer to me. Over 3,000 strikeouts, one of the best postseason pitchers ever, career ERA+ of 127, career WHIP of 1.137, almost a .600 winning record, 3 time 20 game winner, over 300 strikeouts in three seasons.

    • Laz says:

      Because you really don’t know who was juicing and who wasn’t. Sure Bonds juiced, but he was one of the best hitters that ever played.

  4. Leg-End says:

    How have I never noticed that jump in Walden’s windup before? I mean granted I’ve never seen a side shot or slowmo but I just figured he had a funky trailing leg that sort of folded when his front foot planted.

    If the price is right though……

  5. WhittakerWalt says:

    Schilling’s a Hall of Famer, as much as I hate to admit it. If he did what he did for us, we’d want streets and parks named after him.

    • Diamond Dan says:

      Schilling likely lost a lot of wins during those leans years in the mid-to-late 90s with the Phillies, who gave him little support. He’s basically Kevin Brown but with more strikeouts, much better postseason stats, and no PED issue. He’s probably not a top 50 pitcher of all time, but he’s still a HOFer.

    • A.D. says:

      Less playoff success than Andy Pettitte, and it seems most people on this board don’t think Andy should be a no-doubter.

      • YanksFanInBeantown says:

        Less playoff success and much, much, much more regular season success.

      • Diamond Dan says:

        Pettitte has also pitched more in the playoffs than anyone in history. His 3.81 ERA and 19-11 record and good, but I wouldn’t say his postseason pitching has been considerably better than Schilling, who was 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA.

        I think it’s fair to say that in the postseason Pettitte has pitched close to his career regular season averages, while Schilling has actually pitched much better in the postseason than in the regular season.

      • WhittakerWalt says:

        If Schilling was at all likable, and not a Red Sox villain, most of us would be mounting a Bert Blyleven-style campaign to get him inducted into the Hall.
        Over 3100 strikeouts is pretty fucking awesome, and we can’t attribute all of that to striking out the opposing pitcher 3 times a game.
        On the con side, Schilling’s a complete horse’s ass and a teabagger. He won’t win any popularity contests, not that that should be necessary for induction.

  6. DavidJ124 says:

    Do you honestly believe tim raines is a HOFer? come on. As for the steroid guys, absolutely not! Cheaters have no place in the HOF. it’s a slap in the face to all the true HOFers that didn’t cheat to get in.

    As for the guys that you are “on the fence” about, it’s easy.If you are on the fence, then it’s a no. The Hall of Fame is reserved for the elite of the elite. It’s real simple, if you have to make an argument for someone, then the answer is no. Was there a need to make an argument for Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Rickey Henderson, Mickey Mantle,Ted Williams, etc. Those are true HOFers. I don’t put Tim Raines in that category.

    • Mister D says:

      What about Gwynn? (And just in the interest of space, you’re going to say yes to Gwynn then I’m going to tell you to compare their career stats while pointing out that Raines had something like 500 more bases when you stop focusing only on hits and include walks and net SBs.)

    • Tom Zig says:

      If you don’t put in the guys from the PED era then we have to remove Hank Aaron from the HOF. Fair is fair.

      • Brendan says:

        What the hell?

        • thenamestsam says:

          He used greenies.

          • gc says:

            As did Mays and countless other current HOFers.

            • Mister D says:

              Paul Molitor had a cocaine problem early in his career. Weird how that’s never, ever, ever held against him. Ever.

              • gc says:

                I saw one TV talking head using the cocaine argument *against* Raines the other day. But Molitor gets in on the first ballot. Funny.

                • Mister D says:

                  And there’s no way it isn’t infuriating. Either the self-appointed baseball moralists are factoring in race when condemning drugs (see: deification of Josh Hamilton versus the wasted life of Darryl Strawberry) or they’re simply unaware that Molitor ever had a drug problem.

                  • DavidJ124 says:

                    That is a stupid argument. Cocaine and steroids are apples and oranges. Players don’t use cocaine to better their game. They use it b/c they have a drug problem. Cocaine isn’t a performance-enhancing drug. it doesn’t make you stronger or help you hit a baseball. It’s a performance-ruiner. Just ask Dwight gooden and darryl strawberry.
                    Players used steroids to CHEAT at the game b/c they either weren’t good enough on their own or they were getting older.

                    • Jim Is Bored says:

                      Then don’t hold it against Raines. That’s all he’s saying.

                      If you bring up cocaine for one argument, you HAVE to bring it up for everyone connected to it or you’re being logically inconsistent.

                    • Mister D says:

                      Bingo. I don’t care about coke any more than I do PEDs but some voters do and those voters only use it when they’re validating an already formed opinion. Raines bad, Molitor ok. Hamilton inspiring, Strawberry wasted his prime.

                      (Also, according to a Yale economist’s study on stats and aging, Molitor was one of like 18 identified major offensive outliers along with the usual suspects. So if we want to start throwing around blind speculation, we can hit him up there too.)

                    • gc says:

                      You’re missing the point. People were bringing up cocaine use as a way to support the “character clause” when it comes to inducting players into the HOF. If you’re going to say one guy shouldn’t get in because he used cocaine and that’s not a good display of character or something that should be approved of by the HOF, then be consistent with it and apply that same standard to other players already enshrined.

                    • Brendan says:

                      Until the day Ty Cobb is removed from the Hall under the character clause, I’m just going to assume anyone using it to justify keeping out drug users — of either the recreational or performance-enhancing varieties — is a moron.

                    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

                      Shouldn’t success in recovery count as a positive (or at least smaller negative) than collapsing against cocaine?

                    • Mister D says:

                      But Hamilton isn’t really recovered, is he? There have been atleast two relapses (both of which were mostly ignored or excused by the baseball media) and then some general episodes of weirdness mixed in. Don’t get me wrong, I think Hamilton is an awesome story, I just hate the inconsistent application of role model versus cautionary tale for what appear to be relatively similar parallels (Hamilton and Straw, Molitor and Raines).

                    • Robinson Tilapia says:

                      I don’t think anyone in recovery would ever describe themselves as being “fully recovered,” though. It’s just not the appropriate…..nonclamenture, Dude.

                      In all seriousness, you’re always in the process of “recovery,” with relapse being a real part of that. You’re not “recovered” until you’re “relapsed.” It just not how it works.

                    • Mister D says:

                      Yeah, poorly worded. Hamilton is not free of relapse any more than Straw was, was my attempted point. Its just that Hamilton is treated as a success while Strawberry was a perpetual redemption case.

                    • WhittakerWalt says:

                      “Cocaine isn’t a performance-enhancing drug.”

                      You’ve obviously never done rails off a stripper’s stomach and then boned all night.

    • Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

      How do you differentiate the cheaters from the non cheaters? You want to keep out Clemens, Bonds and Arod but what about the other 100 names on that list that haven’t been leaked?

      What do you do with Bagwell and Piazza? Lots of rumors but nothing definitive. Do you keep them out too?

      What about the players of the 50s, 60s and 70s in the HOF who were flying high on amphetamines. Many people think they gave players as much or more of a boost in performance as anabolic steroids and Growth hormone. Why do they get a free pass?

      • GMC says:

        Completely agree, people always seem to forget there are over a hundred players we don’t know about or that there has always been players seeking an edge. As far as I’m concerned many of those guys used steroids when there wasn’t actually a policy on it and they shouldn’t be penalized for that.

    • Brian Cashman is watching says:

      Joe Posnanski said it better than I could ever hope to say it, so here is his argument:


    • Jim Is Bored says:

      How the heck do you know who cheated and who didn’t cheat?

      And what in the world is your definition of “true HOFers”. A “true” hall of famer is by definition anyone in the hall of fame.

      • DavidJ124 says:

        We know that Sosa, Mcgwire, Palmeiro, Bonds, Manny, Arod all cheated bc they failed PED tests.

        Clemens didn’t fail tests ( that we know of) but there sure is a lot of evidence that he was on steroids. We all know that he was.

        So that’s how we know who cheated out of this current crop.

        • Mister D says:

          You list of guys we know cheated because they failed PED tests includes guys who never failed PED tests.

        • Captain says:

          so hearsay counts the same as test results? good to know.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          You should run for congress.

        • Jim Is Bored says:

          So anyone who didn’t fail tests that we know of but that it seems like they did steroids, did steroids?

          You belong in the BBWAA, I think.

          • DavidJ124 says:

            Sosa and Bonds were named in the Mitchell report for failing a test in 03, Mcgwire has admitted it, Palmeiro, ARod and Manny all failed tests. my mistake, mcgwire never tested positive.

            The only reason Clemens was “vindicated” was b/c Andy pettite perjured himself in a perjury trial.

            Do any of you people replying to this thread have any character or integrity? do you respect the game of baseball? not sure why I am asking as it’s pretty clear that you don’t.

            • Jim Is Bored says:

              Yup. Insult people’s fanhood who are posting on a baseball blog online.

              Good way to ingratiate yourself here. Ass.

            • I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

              Why do you continue to duck the issue of the three decades of rampant use of amphetamines, and the scores of HoF’ers from said decades?

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              We don’t. I’m pretty sure the fine folks at LoHud do, though.

              *sniffs monkey ass*

    • YanksFanInBeantown says:

      Top 5 all time stolen bases. Excellent hitter. Great defense. Much, much, much better than Jim Rice.

    • Diamond Dan says:

      I think we’d have a very small Hall of Fame if we went by your logic. Most Hall of Famers are nowhere close to the level of Gehrig, Ruth, Henderson, Mantle, or Williams. Not every Hall of Famer was the best player of his era.

      If it’s a joke to suggest Tim Raines should be in the HOF, why does someone like Tony Gwynn get over 97% of the votes on his first ballot? Raines got on base nearly as often, and was more valuable when he was on base. Gwynn’s gold gloves have failed to convince me that he was actually a great fielder. I think he was one of those guys who may have won a few gold gloves with his bat, and a few more based on his reputation for winning gold gloves.

  7. Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

    I’d have to say no on Larry Walker. Unless I’m mistaken, weren’t his home and road splits huge? I think of him as a creation of Coors field along with Vinny Castilla and Dante Bichette.

    • Mister D says:

      They were huge, but in a “he was amazing at Coors” way, not in a “he was terrible elsewhere” way like Castilla and Bichette. Backing out Walker’s Colorado stats, he was still a .282/.372/.500 career hitter with > 200 SBs and tremendous defense in RF. And that slash line is really an over-demerit since it gives him zero games in Colorado and because hitters almost universally put up better home stats. I think the Walker argument goes so far to factor in Colorado that it ignores how amazing he really was.

      (Not sure how most people see it, but I’d have Walker as a far more compelling case than Helton. Take Helton out of Coors and he’s almost a mirror image of John Olerud but with lesser defense.)

      • vin says:

        You nailed it.

      • Laz says:

        But still, both are products of Coors. And they both played their peak before the humidifiers were implemented.

      • Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

        I see your point but I’m not sure if a .282/.372/.500 is a HOFer as a corner outfielder. He’s certainly a strong consideration and is a better candidate than guys like Puckett and Jim Rice but I don’t think he’s as good as his shiny numbers would leave you to believe.

        I do totally agree that he was still an excellent player Coors field or no Coors field though.

      • Diamond Dan says:

        Perhaps most interesting about Walker is the fact that in his best season he actually had better power stats on the road than at Coors.

  8. Mister D says:

    Mike: Might be worth looking into Sosa’s career numbers again. Just to pick a few non-premium position comps …

    Albert Belle: .295/.369/.564 (381 HR, .269 isoP, .396 wOBA)
    Carlos Delgado: .280/.383/.546 (473 HR, .266 isoP, .391 wOBA)
    Juan Gonzalez: .295/.343/.561 (434 HR, .265 isoP, .383 wOBA)
    David Ortiz: .285/.380/.547 (401 HR, .263 isoP, .392 wOBA)
    Sammy Sosa: .273/.344/.534 (609 HR, .261 isoP, .370 wOBA)

    Sosa has that big and pretty HR number but an isoP below those four others because HR are pretty much all he did. Out of the 929 MLB hitters who have more than 5,000 PAs in their career, Sosa is 229th overall in wOBA and below the midpoint in unadjusted OBP despite playing in an offensive era. Even without getting into the PED debate, I don’t think he’s a clear cut case. If anything, I think he’s getting a pass from our side because of the instinctive backlash against PED backlash.

    • thenamestsam says:

      I agree that Sosa doesn’t belong in a class with the other slam dunks. I think his case is more borderline even if you ignore the steroid thing. Where I think Sosa stands out some is in the “peak” department.

      During his 5 year peak from 1998-2002 he hit .306/.397/.649 for an OPS+ of 167 with an average of 58 homeruns and 141 RBIs a season. It was a crazy offensive era and I’m sure we all doubt that he achieved those numbers sans chemical aids, but that is still an INSANE peak that just bumps him in from my perspective.

      • Mister D says:

        Jaffe sort of looks at that (he uses best 7 rather than 5 consecutive) and Sosa isn’t any more impressive than most of the borderline guys.

        • thenamestsam says:

          I like JAWS a lot as a system. That said, the right field standards are extremely high mainly because of Babe Ruth (and Aaron and Musial). Plus I give Sosa a little extra bump for having his peak in consecutive seasons rather than scattered around a long career (and he is over the JAWS standard by peak). Goes to the “dominant player” sort of argument.

          But I’m not saying he’s a shoe in by any means. I think he’s right around the borderline. For me he’s just in, but I prefer a big hall, and he was such a big figure in the game right when I was falling in love with baseball.

      • Laz says:

        600 hr though. Sure it is not everything, but to reach 600 you have to have a consistency and great peak. Would take 15 years if you are only hitting 40 hr a year, add on the still decent obp.

        • Mister D says:

          His OBP wasn’t decent, its below the midpoint for guys with decade long careers.

          • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

            Self-selection. Guys that aren’t that good don’t have 10 year+ careers.

            Guys that are in the lower half of hitters who play for that long are awesome to start with…

            • Mister D says:

              … and when you aren’t even average among the awesome players, you’re probably not a HoFer. I’m not doing the typical internet “he’s awesome or he sucks” thing; Sosa was a really good player but not an all-time great.

    • Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

      The one thing that stands out in your list is that Albert Belle has gotten screwed because he was such an asshole.

  9. Brendan says:

    I’ll never understand why Trammell stays on the ballot while Sweet Lou didn’t even get the votes to hang around more than a year.

    • Mister D says:

      An optimist says its the SS versus 2B issue. A pessimist says something else.

    • Pat D says:

      Because voters have been stupid in Trammell’s case (meaning not having voted him in), and more stupid in Whitaker’s case by not even giving him 5%.

      I often wonder if Trammell would have already been elected if he had won the 1987 MVP, which was won by George Bell simply because Bell had a lot of RBI’s.

  10. Chop It Up says:

    A few years ago, I would’ve said “How can you vote in the PED guys? That’s lunacy!” But now with a few years of perspective, I can see voting in Bonds and Clemens. I wouldnt vote for Sosa or McGwire though. I feel like their careers are built entirely on HR’s and nothing else. When they werent hitting artificial homers, what else did they do? At least Bonds was a 40/40 guy

    • Jim Is Bored says:

      I’m all for voting in PED guys. But if Sosa and McGwire had never had steroid allegations, there is no way you’d be arguing for keeping them out.

      And how can you tell what Clemens would have done without steroids? Why should we believe that he only took them at the end of his career? Maybe he was doing something else earlier?

      Pretending we have any real knowledge of what went on in these players’ careers is just asinine.

      • CP says:

        Why should we believe that he only took them at the end of his career? Maybe he was doing something else earlier?

        Except all the evidence points to him starting to use them when he was run out of Boston. Just like there’s no evidence that Bonds used steroids early in his career. You’re never going to be 100% sure what happened, but I think we can be smarter than either ignoring PEDs completely or keeping everyone from that era out.

      • Chop It Up says:

        Well, we know what Clemens did in his pre Toronto years(alleged beginning of PED use)and he was awesome. And I wouldnt vote Sosa or McGwire even if they were clean because they were one dimensional. I never liked the “magic number” milestones. I thought it was laughable that if Damon reached 3000 hits, he’d be an HOFer. Sosa and Mac werent complete players by any facet, add in the fact that they were juicers and whats left? Nothing.

  11. JLC 776 says:

    Go for Walden and find a way to get Pat Venditte healthy and we can go for an all-gimmick bullpen!

  12. Andrew Brotherton says:

    Sosa to me just isn’t a hall of famer, yes he had some decent counting stats but he was never considered one of the best players in the league, he was just one of the players that hit a ton of homeruns in a period where everyone hit a ton of homeruns. He was never a plus defensive player, and nothing about him except for the homeruns stands out.

    • thenamestsam says:

      6 consecutive top 10 MVP finishes (including a win and a 2nd place) during his peak and 9 consecutive top 20. I think he was considered among the elite in the game.

      • Mister D says:

        I know the point you’re making and yet I still lending any credence to historical MVP voting.

        • Mister D says:

          “… yet I still HATE lending any …”

          • Preston says:

            Rob Neyer did an article about this a long time ago, while writers usually never get a single season MVP ballot right, over time, say a career, it’s a good indicator. If you sort players by MVP points the list and rankings are very similar to any statistical measure. For whatever that’s worth.

        • thenamestsam says:

          I’m with you. It’s extremely imperfect evidence. But if there is anything that it speaks to at all, I think it’s “never considered one of the best players in the league”. I don’t think it accurately reflects who WERE the best players in the league, but I do think it’s a reasonable representation (or at least about the best we can hope for) of who were considered the best players in the league at the time.

  13. thenamestsam says:

    To me keeping out the steroid cheats is pointless. Some people like to think that the Hall of Fame is only for the best of the best: legends, guys who never cheated, played the game the right way, and were shining examples of some imagined ideal.

    But it’s just not reality. The place is already full to the rafters with halfway decent players, racists, drinkers, brawlers, scumbags and yes, guys who sought any edge they could get, whether that meant throwing a spitball, corking a bat, taking a pill, or dozens of other things we probably don’t know about. And you know what? It’s fine that way. It’s a museum about baseball, and all of those things are part of the history of baseball.

    Drawing a line in the sand now is inconsistent and pointless.

    • Mister D says:

      And then you have guys like Puckett who got in on iffy stats because he was such a nice guy. Then we found out he was a dick.

    • jjyank says:

      Yeah, these are pretty much my thoughts on this as well. Agreed.

    • Jim Is Bored says:

      Preach on, brother.

    • DavidJ124 says:

      Yes, there are plenty of guys in the Hall that weren’t model citizens. However being a drinker, racist, fighter, womanizer, etc. ISN’T the same as taking performance enhancing drugs to become a better baseball player. THAT IS CHEATING and it diminishes the accomplishments of everyone that didn’t cheat. Are there guys in there that found some type of edge that we don’t know about? I am sure there probably are and that can’t be changed. none of the guys before the 80s were steroid cheats though.
      What kind of message does that send to children? you can cheat and take steroids and end up in the HOF?
      Does integrity matter anymore?

      • Mister D says:

        Willie Mays took amphetamines to improve his performance on the field. This is common knowledge.

      • gc says:

        So it’s OK to tell the children, don’t take steroids. But pop all the amphetamines you want before a game. Who cares if they’re illegal? After all, Willie Mays did it, and look, he’s in the hall of fame!

      • thenamestsam says:

        Won’t somebody think of the children!?!?!

        My point is if you’re trying to send some message to your children based on the MLB Hall of Fame you suck at parenting. It’s a museum for people who were good to great baseball players.

        It includes many, many people your kids shouldn’t be idolizing for many, many reasons. If you can’t manage to teach your kids integrity in spite of the Hall of Fame including people who cheated and broke the line to get ahead, I say once again, you suck at parenting.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        I believe the children are our future.


        I have no clue what that means.

      • Captain says:

        none of the guys before the 80s were steroid cheats though.

        James ‘Pud’ Galvin was the first baseball player to be widely known for using performance-enhancing drugs.

        In 1889, well over a hundred years before the whole Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, etc. steroid scandal, Galvin openly used the Brown-Séquard elixir, which contained monkey testosterone.

        At the time, this elixir was thought to prolong human life and give a youthful, energetic effect to those that took it.

        you were saying?

  14. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Yes on Bonds, Clemens, and McGwire. We’re far away from really understanding both the impact of the era, or PEDs themselves. All three got through the MLB testing system. My own personal gut feeling is that all three would be truly elite, special players, no matter the circumstance.

    Sosa did seem like a more one-dimensional guy to me. I’m on the fence there.

    As for Walden, if they feel they truly need that additional impact bullpen guy at the start of the season, and feel like now’s the time to sell high on Boone, that’s a fair price.

  15. mt says:

    As for 2014 budget, what is impact of David Wright signing a 7 year, $122 million extension ($17.5 AAV after making $16 mm in 2013) on Cano? I like the AAV for cano but I just don’t see Cano going for 5 years (my preferred maximum) or 6 years (my absolute maximum) when 1) the “woebegone” Mets were able to offer their franchise player a contract that will take him through baseball year 37 and 2) Wright never reached full free agency.

    Cano and Wright were born two months apart and both will be 30 by year-end.

    I just don’t see Cano staying with Yanks unless there is some outrageous contract for him. Clearly no way both Grandy and Cano are signed to long-term contracts.

    • LitFig says:

      Very interesting thoughts. If the Mets can pay David Wright that type of deal, the Yanks have to at least give Cano that. So basically we are somewhere between Wright’s contract and Boras’ “10 year” contract demands.

      Personally, I’d offer Cano the same extension, or thereabouts. If he signs, great. If not, trade him. You can get two plus prospects for him. It’s much better than a comp draft pick.

      Robbie is my fave current Yankee, and it would suck to see him go. But the interlocking NY is bigger than any player. I’m not a proponent of giving a 30 year old a 10 year contract. The only 10 year contract I ever endorsed as intelligent was A-Rod’s Texas deal, seeing as how he was only 26-27 and was already the best player in baseball.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Maybe the 2B longevity thing will help you out, but I don’t think it’s realistic to expect Cano to take 5 years. I know it’s not ideal for us fans, but at 7 years $140 million I think that the Yankees would be getting off light.

  16. LitFig says:

    1) Guys who throw that hard are always worth a look. But why would the Angels, who will be looking to contend, trade an arm like that, even if he’s a 7th inning guy? Especially when he’s under team control for 4 years?

    2) I’m a fan of the $189 million ceiling. It’ll force the Yanks to use the farm system a little more, and avoid giving out Pedro Feleciano, Rafael Soriano-esque contracts to releivers and 5th starters. Just look at last years payroll. Between AJ Burnett, Feleciano and Soriano (who was an expensive insurance policy), you spent $28 million dollars. Just removing those 3 alone gets you under the $189 million. Now it will take some creativity to stay under, but it’s not as dire as people make it out to be.

    3) Bonds is a HOFer. He was an all-around player, gold glover, base stealer. Sosa and McGwire added nothing to your team outside of the batter’s box, so to me, they don’t belong. I can’t put Edgar Martinez in, a DH who only hit 309 HR. If your primary position is DH, you have to break the 500 HR plateau (just my point of view). If you played a position (and played it well) then I don’t hold you to the same criteria for admission.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Oh I think Edgar belongs. No doubt about it to me.

      I’m not a fan of ceilings. I also think we’re slightly deluding ourselves if we act like there wasn’t always a softer one and that the Yankees still wouldn’t had drawn a line in the sand with Russell Martin no matter the situation.

      We’re going to see that “didn’t have the money” line used in all sorts of contexts on here, and a whole lot of those will be very much off the mark.

      • LitFig says:

        I agree that there was always a softer ceiling in years past, as well as self-imposed budgets.

        But people are acting like the $189 mil ceiling is $89 mil. Given the tax penalties, why wouldn’t you adhere to the ceiling? Especially when the excess money is for specialists and backend starters and your 8th all-star caliber position player who will only take you from a 95 win team to a 96 win team? Is it really worth it in a business sense?

        Even with A-Rod’s albatross contract, The Yanks STILL will have $159 million to spend on payroll. How many teams, even with the new TV revenue will even spend that much? People on this site have made it seem like the Yanks are going to become the Miami Marlins in a year because they won’t be able to sign a 6th inning guy to a $5 mil a year contract.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          I think the “not enough money” line is flipping people out unnecessarily. There was enough money for the guys we brought back, and there will be enough money for the right player. I think you also have to remember that the last FA in their seemingly prime years that the Yankees let walk was Andy Pettitte. That may be a longer time ago for some folks than it is to me and you. Like I said last night, Russell Martin is popping some RAB cherry right now.

          The big contracts hamper things. It’s not even December yet. There’s a lot of hot stove left to keep us warm. Remember, we have no problem with Bubba Crosby as our Opening Day CF….

          • gc says:

            Exactly. When they announce the Rivera deal later, people will probably bitch and moan that they’re spending *too much* money on a 43 year old, no matter how legendary he is. You spend on that which you deem valuable, and you look at what’s available that fits that plan. If Martin wants more than you’re willing to spend (years and/or dollars), then you move on.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

          With the contract commitments they already have, the 189M is going to impact much more than just specialists and 5th starters. With CC, Tex, ARod, and Jeter (if he picks up his option), the Yankees will have less than $90M for the remainder of the 40-man roster. That could still be enough to win if they can find cheap, above average production at several positions, but given the Banuelos and Pineda injuries, the Yankees top positional prospects probably not ready to be above average players as soon as 2014, and likely decline of the players already under contract, winning with that budget in 2014 will be an extremely tall order.

    • gc says:

      Edgar had eight 150 OPS+ seasons. His career OPS+ is 147. That’s crazy freaking good. If your primary position is DH, I’m not sure what else people are looking for. The guy belongs in the hall.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Totally agree with #2. Spending less is going to lower the margin of error, but they should still be able to field a competitive team if they make solid moves and have ok luck. They’ve had holes for stretches every season and still consistently won.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        A lot of folks here seemingly can’t remember off-seasons in which there actually were questions and holes.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          And the ones they might remember were filled with upper-tier FAs… 2009 style.

          The sad thing is that they don’t bother to learn about even recent Yankee history. It’s been a few year and probably before some commenters remember, but the mid-to-late 90s dynasty teams filled a lot of holes with part-time vets (old dudes who were shells of their former selves). They brought in vets ahead of top prospects, and made the prospects earn their place. They bought low in trades and free agency. Yes, they had a young core that won’t be even competed with for at least a few years (maybe ever). Yes, they signed and traded for some expensive studs to complement those young guys. But there’s largely a revisionist vision of a team that always filled every hole with a $20 million (inflation adjusted) free agent. The irony, of course, being that these same people complain that the Yankees overspent on free agent deals in the past and then complain when they don’t look to fill every hole with one.

          • Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

            I keep asking myself why someone as enlightened as you continues to subject himself to reading the drivel posted by the rest of us.

            Makes no sense to me.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              C’mon. That wasn’t even directed at you and his point is valid.

              • Jim Is Bored says:

                I’ve been in a scuffle or two with Ted. It’s really irritating, and I can understand why it takes people a while to get over it.

                But he brings a lot of good points and logic to the table, and people just end up attacking him in random places for no reason.

                Oh well, I guess that’s life on the internet.

                • Preston says:

                  Agreed, I actually like when Ted and I disagree, it definitely makes you examine why you believe what you believe. I can see why it would make some defensive. The personal attacks here are a little out of control from all sides. And I’ve occasionally been as guilty of it as others.

              • Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

                Maybe I wouldn’t feel this way toward him if he showed even a modicum of respect towards the opinions of others rather than attacking them in a condescending demeaning tone. He automatically takes the stance that his opinion is the correct and enlightened one and most of the rest of us are irrational, alarmist, ledge jumpers and spoiled idiots.

                I could probably name 50 other commenters he’s had the same issues with over the last several years many of which have stopped coming here I’d bet in part because of him as I myself have done from time to time.

                Weren’t you telling someone to go fuck themself yesterday and calling another “Bipolar”?
                Seems a little hypocritical calling me out.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  A whole lot of commenters on here fit the description you laid out perfectly. I do try to show respect to the ones who don’t.

                  I usually even try to show respect to the ones who do fit that description, provided that they present their opinions as such, don’t blatantly disregard facts, and show some degree of rationality.

                  • Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

                    So you’ll only show respect to the commenters who you deem worthy?

                    I don’t know who the hell you think you are to pass judgement on others like that.

                    I can tell you I’m not alone in thinking that you’re the most pompous ass on the entire blog.

                    Count me along with Gonzo among those who prefer that you don’t respond to their posts since your opinion means less than nothing to me.

              • Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

                and the “they” to which he was speaking of was directed at the majority of the posters around here myself included I’m sure.

                He attacked me last night after I expressed the opinion that Cervelli and Stewart are questionably adequate as back up catchers.

  17. RetroRob says:

    Air Jordan.

  18. Ted Nelson says:

    While my first reaction is not to worry about the bullpen, Walden wouldn’t necessarily be a bad move. I have some concerns about the stress Walden puts on his arm in excess of other Ps. Mike doesn’t seem to be high on Marshall, but trading one of their better shots as a cost controlled SP for 2014/5 for a RP is a big risk. Not missing bats is far from death to SPs, especially back-end guys. We’d all prefer a Kershaw or Felix, but there’s plenty of value in a cost controlled ~4.5 FIP SP.
    It’s a very interesting option, but I think I’d pass. I think that they have the arms internally to fill out the BP on the cheap, and don’t have much faith in Walden’s health going forward.

    I would bet the Dodgers are the only team that exceeds the $189 limit. And they might actually have a financial argument for doing so, to revive that tarnished brand. (Granted, I do question the way they’re going about it to some extent.)

    • LitFig says:

      Yeah, I’m not a fan of panic over bullpen construction. Outside of your closer and 8th inning guy (and maybe your LOOGY), bullpens are an ever-evolving mishmash of journeymen and kids. Guys can be great this year, stink next year. Spending big money and trading starting pitching for middle relief is a waste of resources.

      If we traded for Walden, he would be battling Joba and Aardsma for the 7th inning job. Do I really want to trade a really good lefty releiver (who can get righties out as well) and a young starter (when we are going to need younger arms in the coming years to keep payroll down)? Not me.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        The question is if you really feel we need that extra guy with closer-type stuff at the start of the year, or are we happy with what we’ve got, with maybe a lesser signing, until mid-season, where it’s reasonable to assume guys like Montgomery will get a look.

        This may be more about missing Soriano’s [pre-2012] spot, whether he was necessary in it or not, than anything else.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Yep. If you have the money for a 2nd closer or 5th late inning guy, great. If not, you can still put together a good pen.

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      Walden just traded to the Braves for Tommy Hansen. On the surface, Hansen seems to be about an Ivan Nove equivalent. I wouldn’t do that trade if I were the Yankees (Nova for Walden).

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        Me neither.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Wow… crazy timing.

        I’m definitely surprised by that move for the Braves. I hesitate to question them on pitching matters, but besides trading a good young starter for a good young reliever (when they already have a strong pen) they might have flipped Hanson for a position player.

  19. Gonzo says:

    Mike, what are your thoughts about putting Marshall in the pen before trading him? I know they aren’t the same, but it would be a shame to see what happened to Clippard happen to Marshall. He did throw gas in high school before TJS. Thoughts?

    • YanksFanInBeantown says:

      Marshall hasn’t done anything to deserve being put in the pen. More strikeouts and less walks than Nova had at that age.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        I think there’s a still a bit of MiLB baseball to be played for Mr. Marshall before we either put him in Monument Park or write him up.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Writing him OFF.

          This is what happens when you’re running a program with one hand and goofing off on the net with another.

      • Gonzo says:

        Mike doesn’t share the same opinion as you, so this question was directed at him.

        My point being is that if you are going to trade him for a good/decent bullpen piece, shouldn’t you check to see if he can be a good bullpen piece. There is a little similarity to Clippard.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Clippard was over 9 K/9 in AA and over 7 in AAA.

      The Nationals also left him as a start for a full season before putting him in the pen.

      I don’t see much of an argument to move a viable starting prospect in AAA to the pen unless your pen needs the help.

      • Gonzo says:

        This was directed at Mike because he’s mentioned more than once that he doesn’t share the same opinion as you regarding Marshall. I also said that I know they aren’t the same.

        Also, I never shared my opinion on the matter. I simply asked Mike his opinion about this situation based on his opinion of Marshall.

        If you have a different opinion of Marshall. That’s great. I guess that’s why this question wasn’t directed at you.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Chill out, dude. I made two simple points and then stated my opinion on the matter, which wasn’t even a decisive opinion… just a general decision rule.

          No need to jump over everyone who responds to your comment.

          I was trying to provide some useful feedback. You asked if Marshall could do what Clippard has done. What Clippard has done is not go from a no-K prospect to a high-K reliever. What happened to Clippard was also not going from AA to the pen.

          • Gonzo says:

            I think you’re reading too much into my post. I deal with you factually because you seem to be “gunning” for me recently. I just gave you the facts.

            I’ve said it before, I’d be happy to not respond to you if you don’t respond to me.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              Again, chill the fuck out. I honestly haven’t even noticed you around here at all lately.

              You responded to everyone not named Mike the same way… like a prick. What you said had no value at all.

              • Gonzo says:

                Dude, calm the eff down. Act like an adult about this.

                This isn’t trolling me? This is just one recent example.

                After you have called me an idiot plenty of times, a prick, and I can’t even remember what other demeaning things you’ve said to me.

                Oh, you also told me TWICE that you were done with me and respected nothing what I have to say. I thought once would be enough for you to stop responding to me since you respect nothing what I have to say. It wasn’t. You kept responding to someone you don’t respect only to have to tell them you don’t respect again.

                You are strange Ted Nelson. I guess you could stop responding to me, but then that wouldn’t be your MO. I guess I’ll be looking forward to you calling me a names again and telling me you have no respect for me.


                • Ted Nelson says:

                  The irony in repeating what I said about calming down almost verbatim and then commanding me to act like an adult is too much…

                  No. Stop taking everything so personal. No one is out to get you. I do not seek out the comments of any particular individual.

                  Again, man, you made the same pirckish comment to Yanksfaninbeantown as to me… it’s not a matter of me responding to you apparently, but anyone.

                  • Gonzo says:

                    You need to stop reading into things so much. I wasn’t being prickish to Yanksfaninbeantown. I think you are going to read anything I post as something prickish. So maybe just take everything at face value or stop reading/responding to my posts. Just a helpful hint.

                    BTW, you called me a prick in this thread, right? What did I call you in this thread?


                    • Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

                      Give it up dude, I know I’m done with this guy. He just has no clue as to what a condescending ill mannered prick he really is.

                      He’s either has asperger’ s syndrome (which i strongly suspect) or he’s the most obnoxious person I’ve ever come across.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      You’re right. I guess it’s just my upbringing. Never to back down from a bully and such. Never really works on the internet though.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      It makes sense, but I wouldn’t let that stop me from trading him for a proven big leaguer if the right deal comes along before the season begins. I’m not much of a Marshall fan, don’t think he can cut it as a starter in the AL East.

  20. Pat D says:

    A few years ago, I came to the belief that if I was a HOF voter, I’d vote for anyone and everyone. I wouldn’t eliminate non-PED suspects/known users.

    That said, if I were to vote this year it would be Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Biggio, Bagwell, Schilling, Raines, Trammell, Martinez and Lofton.

    So obviously that means I’m not voting for McGwire, Sosa and Palmeiro. Why? Simply because you can only vote for 10, and I feel that the 10 guys I picked are more deserving overall than the 3 PED suspects. I wouldn’t even be able to cast token votes for Bernie and Mattingly.

    And get used to this kind of reality, everyone. Since the PED guys have no chance of getting voted in, you’re going to see this issue every year for the next 10 years or so. Especially with the other guys joining the ballot in the coming years.

    Oh, yea, I should add that the overly crowded ballot is the primary reason I tell all of you here and now that Jorge Posada has NO CHANCE IN HELL of being elected to the HOF. Now hit Vince McMahon’s music.

  21. YanksFanInBeantown says:

    Schilling is a slam-dunk, know doubt Hall of Famer. 86 fWAR and 76 rWAR. More Ks than Smoltz and one less than Gibson. Higher K/9 than Clemens and a lower BB/9.

    Not to mention his absolutely bonkers peak from 1997-2004.

    • Pat D says:

      Yea, I absolutely hate Schilling, but you really can’t question his HOF credentials. My dad keeps saying, “He only won 216 games.” After I hit him again and tell him that wins don’t much matter, I remind him of his postseason performance, especially the Bloody Coc…I mean, Bloody Sock which pretty much guaranteed his election the moment the Red Sox won that series.

  22. Gonzo says:

    I stopped caring about the HOF debate, but I always get dragged in at some point.

    I’m not sure how Sosa is a slam dunk while a guy like Dick Allen, who I think had a better career than Sosa, never made it. Is it really all about the long-ball? I guess so.

    • Mister D says:

      Dick Allen is the biggest off the ballot crime by a large margin.

    • Pat D says:

      Why isn’t Dick Allen in the HOF? Pretty simple. He was an asshole and the writers hated him. It’s pretty much the same reason why Albert Belle only last two years on the ballot.

      • Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

        The voting process really needs to be taken away from the baseball writers.

        • gc says:

          Yes yes yes yes and YES!!!

          • Pat D says:

            But to whom do you give it then? You can’t give it to fans. You also can’t give it to current HOF members, as they’ve pretty much shown throughout history that they can’t be trusted to make sound judgments without bias, either.

            • Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

              It’s a tough question to answer as any group you give it to has their own agenda.

              • gc says:

                True. I like what they’ve done with the old veterans committee. They use a committee of 16 voters made up of hall of famers, executives, baseball historians, and media members. As a starting point, I think I’d rather see something like that (maybe not exactly like that). I just would rather it be anything other than just writers.

                • Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

                  I think that would be the best solution. Maybe have the writers vote on which players make it to a committee for the final determination?

      • Gonzo says:

        And this is why I stopped caring about the HOF. I’ve pretty much written off all BBWA awards.

        I’m sure I’ll get dragged back in though.

        • Pat D says:

          I get what you mean, but I personally find the whole process fascinating. It’s great to be able to point to guys who, in my opinion, “get it,” and to ridicule those who “don’t get it.”

  23. WFAN CALLER says:


  24. Cuso says:

    I think Biggio is a lock ,too.

    But you can’t say Biggio is a lock and say Palmiero isn’t if you’re going take the stance that PEDs aren’t relevant.

    3,000 hits is 3,000 hits. The only reason to “be on the fence” about Palmiero would be the PED issue.

    The “never the greatest at his position” argument could be applied to Biggio as well.

  25. Fernando says:

    Edgar Martinez is a no-doubt HOF in my book. I don ‘t agree that he needs to have hit more than 300 career homers, since he was a DH. The numbers are there — BA, OBP, SLG, RBI, etc. He was one of the best hitters during his time winning two batting titles — only DH to win one. And he’s one of only five guys ever to have an award named after him. He also suffered from an eye condition that prevented him from focusing each eye on the same point. He had to do daily exercises so he could properly focus.

  26. The Real Greg says:

    Forget Walden. Just traded to to the Braves for Tommy Hanson.

    • Pat D says:

      Gotta think that’s a win for the Angels, provided Hanson can stay at all healthy. Though I believe KLaw said yesterday there’s little chance of that happening.

      • Preston says:

        It’s still a good roll of the dice. Relievers are volatile as a class, and his hop delivery probably makes him more so.

      • Mister D says:

        I saw that comment too, but I took it as speculation worded goofy rather than inside information. Hanson has never been a FA so his medicals probably only reside with one team and that one team has a vested interest in not letting badness slip.

  27. Bobby says:

    I don’t know. Palmeiro might not have been the best at his position, but he DID win a Gold Glove at DH. That’s gotta count for something.

  28. hogsmog says:

    It isn’t like voting these guys into the HOF will make people forget that they did PEDs; Clemens and Bonds would have been in regardless, and therefore would get my vote.

    McGwire surprises me, though, as he struck me as a pure slugger who didn’t do much else. Without PEDs, I would place him at about Adam Dunn production levels, which certainly isn’t HOF worthy.

    I’m really crossing my fingers for Raines and Bagwell, though.

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