Heyman: Yankees still seeking right-handed bat

Cody Ross headed to Arizona; Yankees not close to any trades
Saturday Night Open Thread

This is no surprise, but Jon Heyman says the Yankees continue to seek a right-handed bat for the bench. He reiterates that Scott Hairston and Vernon Wells are options, though he adds another candidate to the mix: Jeff Baker. I wrote a Scouting The Market post for the 31-year-old back in July, so I’ll just refer you to that and give you the short version here: he hits lefties well and has a ton of experience at first, third, and in right field. Baker is almost certainly a one-year contract guy (though who knows with this market), something that isn’t true for Wells or Hairston.

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Cody Ross headed to Arizona; Yankees not close to any trades
Saturday Night Open Thread
  • jjyank

    I’d be cool with taking a shot on Baker. Hairston too, if the price is right. Which it probably won’t be. And hells-to-the-no on Wells.

    • ClusterDuck

      Sheesh. For somebody who doesn’t hit HR’s Baker strikes out way, way too much.

      I say no to Baker.

    • http://Riveraveblues.com Hep

      Why not give mustellier a shot and save the money ? Give Nunez ab’s at DH, 3b, ss, LF next year. Stop shopping the scrap heap. In 14′ should have an OF of Heathcott, Gardner and Austin, Sanchez at C and infield of Tex, Cano, Jeter/Nunez, 3B of ? Arod at DH because no one will take him.
      SP – CC, Nova, Banuelos, Pineida, Hughes.
      RP- ? That’s where we will need to shuffle.
      Why always stay old ? Get younger and see what happens. Could always sign a need at any time, but build a freaking foundation like Jeter, Williams, Posada, Pettite, Mo, when they came up !

  • DJ

    Not much RH power with the Baker option. Rather they go with somebody like Juan Rivera. Bit more expensive but better power numbers.

  • https://twitter.com/cfrs15 Robert

    Cashman’s ninja move is going to be Justin Upton, with Curtis Granderson involved somehow. I can feel it.

    • Yankees Insider

      Exactly what I think because the D-Backs traded there CF Chris Young to the A’s. Plus they just signed RF/CF Cody Ross. That brings the idea of J. Upton. But it could be a three team trade where we get Upton and get rid of GRANDY and maybe even Hughes (each has one year left on contract). Maybe even a trade for Cargo or Stanton (which is more unrealistic).

      • Eli Whiteside

        Maybe we can get Longoria to play third too! lol

        • MannyGeee

          Not for that NHL style contract. No thanks.

        • Greg

          I hear that Babe Ruth is a FA. Maybe he’ll take a one year deal!

        • Greg

          Per COTS.com, once you add Ichiro and Hughes, plus the arb and pre-arb guys, we’re already at $210M for this year. So there probably isn’t any budget room for anyone absent a trade away of money. So we’re probably going to fill out the roster with Dickerson, Mostelier and either Adams or Joseph. And that’s it, your 2013 NYY’s.

    • Blake

      I wish but have a hard time seeing how ….

    • Rich in NJ

      He has never made a move that good (unless you include the A-Rod trade, which was largely about money), so I would be stunned.

      • jjyank

        I suppose you’d disagree with me saying Swisher? That was highway robbery.

        • Rich in NJ

          I am referring to a situation in which he obtained a true star in a trade.

          • jjyank

            You said “a trade that good”. Cashman acquired a well above average player, who was very close to being a “star”, for complete trash and spare parts. If that’s not an amazing trade because of your arbitrary definition of “true star”, then I’ll just say I disagree with you without getting into an argument.

            • Rich in NJ

              Arbitrary? The standard is implicit because Upton is the subject to which I was responding.

              So it’s reasonable to conclude that the standard set was a star player (in Upton’s case, entering his peak seasons), not a nice player. And if Granderson is included, it would be one in which he was sending back a big contract (at least short-term) in return. When has that happened?

              But sure, he has the Swisher trade in the plus column on his record. It stands out for its uniqueness.

              • steve (different one)

                Exactly, when has that happened? For any team?

                • steve (different one)

                  Just to clarify, I thought it was implied that significantly more than Granderson would be involved, and most likely a third team. If you are saying Cashman can’t pull off Upton for Granderson and little else, I don’t think anyone would disagree.

                  • Rich in NJ

                    Who do I think consistently pulls of really good trades? Andrew Friedman and Dave Dombrowski.

                    • steve (different one)

                      I think Dombrowski is the closest comparison, because he is usually buying, and does well. Agreed.

                      Friedman is a tougher comparison. Not that he isn’t good, but many of his big trades involve selling guys as they get close to FA. The yankees aren’t usually in that position. You could argue that they SHOULD be now, but this is new territory compared to the last 15 years.

                    • Robinson Tilapia

                      The Swisher trade was brilliant.

                      Dombrowski pulled his share of trades which didn’t work out for him in Miami. He also dismantled that team in a manner that, if you were a Marlin fan at the time, you would not have been a Dombrowski fan.

                      When we say “Dombrowski is usually buying,” how quickly we forget.

                      That being said, both are excellent GMs within the environments they work in. Congratafuckinglations. That’s two out of 30 GMs.

              • jjyank

                You always seem to make comments like this. When does a trade like that ever happen? How many GMs make slam dunk trades for true stars and win them? It’s happened before, but the tone with which you say it implies that Cashman is an inept GM because he has *only* traded for one “true star” before. And that’s ridiculous, in my opinion. I get that you don’t like Cashman, but your dislike permeates too manny of your statements.

                If you didn’t mean to imply that, I apologize. This is the internet, after all. Hard to detect a tone.

                • Rich in NJ

                  I plead guilty to the idea that I don’t think Cashman is a GM who makes all these ninja moves, which is what the original poster termed it. So why expect one?

                  I never said Cashman was inept. I think he’s ok as a GM, nothing more.

                  That’s the problem wit the comments here. If you criticize him, it’s always construed as saying he sucks.

                  If they are truly moving to a smaller revenue model, with a reliance on in-house solutions and player development (which I would be fine with as long as the pipeline was in place, but it’s not), I don’t think Cashman’s record of development argues in favor of him being a good fit for that model.

                  • jjyank

                    You just seem more critical than others. Me construing it as “he sucks” extends a lot further than this one particular comment.

                    As far as development goes, Cashman isn’t the guy teaching them breaking pitches and patience at the plate, etc. Sure, he has a role as the manager. A whole lot of development is luck, too. GMs that have a consistent pipeline and pull off great trades for true stars are an outlier.

                    • Rich in NJ

                      Well, if you have read my comments, I have consistently said that I don’t think he sucks any time I have been challenged, which is a lot, because any criticism of Cashman here is always challenged.

                      Since 2006, Cashman is the guy overseeing the system. So think it’s it’s fair to say the buck stops with him.

                      For example, despite their persistent inability to develop starting pitchers, he only now replaced Contreras with Patterson. That’s kind of late.

                      That’s not about luck, it’s about choices.

                    • Robinson Tilapia

                      “For example, despite their persistent inability to develop starting pitchers”

                      Except that this year’s rotation will feature two home-grown pitchers, and 2006 has you one year removed from Chein Ming-Wang’s debut. All this within an environment in which they missed the playoffs once in that span. Fail.

                  • steve (different one)

                    You are misconstruing the meaning of the “ninja” moniker.

                    It does NOT opine on the quality of the trade. It refers to the stealthiness of the trade.

                    I agree that some use it in that way, but that’s not what “Ninja” refers to. It means a trade for Upton would come out of nowhere, because Cashman keeps things close to his vest. That is all.

                    • Rich in NJ

                      OK, point taken, although with regard to Upton, their need for a very good young OF would not come out of nowhere to anyone.

                  • Robinson Tilapia

                    “That’s the problem wit the comments here. If you criticize him, it’s always construed as saying he sucks.”

                    Gross exaggeration, especially since there actually are more “Cashman sucks” than “Cashman is infallible” comments on here.

                    Those of us who don’t consistently criticize him get written off as taking it easy on him, no matter how many times we write about not liking specific moves he’s made.

                    I’ll say the same about Cashman I said about Dombrowski and Friedman above: He’s a very good GM for the environment he’s in.

                    • Milt Toast

                      A very reasonable and apt evaluation of Cashman as GM. People tend to forget that ALL GMs have to work within the framework provided by their owners. That’s as true under George as it is under Hal…or Woody Johnson.

      • steve (different one)

        Swisher.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Don’t see why anyone would give up Upton for Granderson. Even if prospects are involved Cash would argue that Grandy should cost less in prospects but Towers would do no such thing.

      But I’ll dream for it.

      • Laz

        Could see a 3 team deal, if they wanted to move granderson.

      • steve (different one)

        Tend to agree that it’s a longshot, but it would have to involve a third team, IMO

  • RetroRob

    Career .296/.344/.498 vs. lefthanders. I’ll take one year of Baker over three years of Ross.

    • thunder rd runner

      agreed!

  • Bobby D.

    Getting Justin Upton would be the ticket to the World Series! We need a right handed hitting outfielder with his power and contact ability. With him you’d have the clutch hitter we lacked in the last three years post seasons. Add Ichiro, Gardner and Nunez to the lineup and you have speed and the contact ability we’ve lacked!

    • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

      “Clutch Hitter” who hits .176/.391/.235 w/ runners on 2nd and 3rd w/ 2 outs. Not saying I wouldn’t love Justin Upton on this team, but lets stop acting like he’s a right handed Griffey Jr. in his prime.

      • steve (different one)

        I have no idea if Upton is clutch or not, but don’t those numbers point to the idea that he just gets pitched around in those spots?

        • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

          the .391 kind of suggests that yeah, but the .176 also points to some one who extends his own strike zone even when being pitched around. Like I said, I’d love him on the team, he’s young, tools-y, and all around an above average player BUT he doesn’t guarantee anything.

      • Laz

        I wish people would stop acting like he is the absolute answer. He is good, but the guy only had a .785 ops last year. He is going to require emptying the farm out. This team needs to get younger all over, not just trading all that potential for 3 years of a young player.

        • jjyank

          I agree that you can’t bet on him being the next Mantle or anything, but to be fair, he battle thumb problems most of the year. The year before, he put up a .385 wOBA and a 139 wRC+ at age 24. The dude is really good. I don’t think 2012 is his true talent level.

    • Evan3457

      Justin Upton has lots of positive attributes, but “contact” isn’t one of them.

  • Midwestyankee

    gardner would likely be part of a trade for Upton, with either Hughes or Nova and a middle reliever. Uptown won’t come cheap, he’s young with a long future

    • Blake

      I would think Granderson/Gardner, Nova/Hughes/Phelps, Mason/Heathcott,, and then probably Logan or something might be in the ballpark …..but it might not even be close either

      • Laz

        and how much are you really improving the team by then. Upton isn’t cheap. Will be averaging $13M for next 3 years. If 189M is their goal then it doesn’t make sense.

        • Blake

          His AAV (which is what matters for luxury tax ) is only around 8 though….Id make that deal because Upton is a legit superstar talent that hits from the right side and could anchor the lineup for years…..don’t think the Dbacks would though

          • steve (different one)

            I’ve heard different takes on this: do the Yanks get to count the $8M or do they get counted at the $13M, the AAV at the time of the trade…

            • Blake

              I haven’t been able to get 100% confirmation on this ….but from everything alive read I believe the contract is transferred as is and the Yanks would get the AAV from the entire contract ….which would be 8 millionish…..

              Perhaps Mike could clarify this ……

  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

    I’ll pass on Baker.

    73 wRC+ and .285 wOBA against lefties last year though he was better in 2011, below average defensively at every position he’s able to play and he pretty much hits like a pitcher against righties.

    Why bother with this guy. I can’t believe Mustelier could be worse by any meaningful degree.

    • viridiana

      Amazing really that they would sign a sub-mediocrity like Baker over Mustelier, who has hit and made contact wherever he’s played. Hate to say it, but this organization is really begining to seem dysfunctional. Severe budget cutting but no inclination to work in the young players who could make it work.

      • steve (different one)

        You may be right, but not promoting Mustelier doesn’t prove it. At all. The guy is apparently a butcher in the field, and they need someone who can play the OF for this spot.

        Also, they seem to be willing to hand over the catcher job to a young prospect. And everyone is up in arms over it…

      • jjyank

        I’ve never seen Mustelier play, but don’t you think there’s a reason that he gets almost zero prospect buzz? It’s not just the Yankees that don’t believe in Mustelier, not even close. Or do you know more than the Yankee front office as well as every major baseball publication?

        Look, they may have made some questionable decisions that we as fans can disagree with, but not giving Mustelier a shot is NOT proof of that.

        • viridiana

          Mustelier’s lack of “prospect” status is the result of his being signed at age 26 out of Cuba, as well as the tendency of BA to undervalue guys who do not have power, speed or both. Guys who can just make contact and have alley power are often overlooked.

          • steve (different one)

            Sure, but if you have a wart like that you better be able to field your position, something you keep avoiding to talk about.

          • jjyank

            On BA, you may be right. But that’s not the only scout or publication out there. And you’re underrating the age aspect. Mustelier has always been older and more experienced than his competition. Maybe he’s being overlooked, maybe he’s not. But considering all the sources that have far more credibility and access than you or I don’t believe he’s a real prospect, it strikes me as a bit over the top to use this as an example of a dysfunctional aspect of the organization.

          • viridiana

            The bigger issue here is the sense that Hal Steinbrenner is totally over his head and has made some huge mistakes. Indeed, I can report with some assurance that his NY Yankees are going to wind up as a case history of mismanagement at Hrvard Business Schhol.
            Look, it’s one thing to get the budget down. Personally, I think that’s quite uderstandable. But here’s where Prince Hal has totally bungled things:
            1- He announced a major budget cutting program at the very time that a new national TV deal, along with several lucrative new local TV deals, would bring a flood of new money and new well-endowed rivals into baseball.
            2-He may have underestimated the central achievement of his father — spending to get the best talent results in nearly exponential revenue gains. When George bought the Yankes they were drawing less than 20,000 per game. There is no guarantee that fans — who must now pay much higher ticket prices — will continue suport a mediocre, as well as aged and boring, team. The decline in attendance, concression and parking revenue, along with the accompanying decline in TV viewership — could cost they Yankees far more than they csave by getting under the luxury tax.
            3- The only conceivable way to cut $30 or $40 million in annual salary and still compete (and improve) is to work in homegrown young talent. Perhaps this will still come but to this point we have seen an almost pathological feart of youth. Sure, sign McGehee instead of giving Adams and Mustelier chance. Ship out Kontos after one bad outing. Exile Warren after one bad outing. Admittedly, these are not our top prospects, but they are guys who could help fill roster holes in 2014 and perhaps beyond,
            4 – Do I need to even mention the numerous non-signings of players who would have helped rebuild this team, either for the near- or long-term. Chapman, Cespedes, David Ross — fill in the names. Even Swisher could have been signed– and Granderson proactively traded. There’s room to argue either side of many individual non-sgnings but the net effect is beyond dispute. The Yankees have assembled an ancient roster, have only a dozen or so players for next year, have broken in almost no young talent and will not spend.
            Epic mismanagement by Hal Steinbrenner, if he is responsible for all this.
            (Sorry for the rant, but it’s been building…)

            • Eli Whiteside

              well said!

            • Dave

              Agreed. Hal is destroying the empire. George had it right, spend money on stars it shows the fans that you want to win and even if you don’t win you still make money for at least trying. I know the luxury tax is high but is it really worse then losing money from all the other revenue streams?

            • Robinson Tilapia

              “The bigger issue here is the sense that Hal Steinbrenner is totally over his head and has made some huge mistakes.”

              Says a guy commenting on a blog on a Saturday night while Hal is able to do whatever the hell he wants tonight.

              • DC

                Yeah, I was kind of worried about that case management study until I saw it was being taught at “Hrvard Business Schhol”. I think that’s over at the YMCA annex.

                • Vertical Pinstripe

                  I’m a Yael man myself.

                • Milt Toast

                  Just because he’s illiterate doesn’t mean his ideas couldn’t be right. Of course they aren’t but that’s another matter.

              • viridiana

                Daddy saw to that. Has nothing to do with any merit of Hal’s.

            • Ted Nelson

              They’re doomed!

              Glad that you have such insight into the inner-workings of the Yankees’ org and the ability to predict the future. Thanks for the heads up.

            • dan gen

              right on….you said it all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Dan

            Yes, damn BA and their love of players with legit tools! Not saying that making contact isn’t important, but to say that they only value players with speed/power is showing that Ronnie’s deficiencies as a player. If you lack high end tools, you’re not a prospect. If your 27 and don’t have a position or flat out rake, you’re not a prospect. If the rest of the roster were complete and the yanks decided to give him a job, you’d be going crazy asking why hey couldn’t find a better guys for the 25th spot

      • Ted Nelson

        Miranda, JoVa, Duncan, and hundreds of other AAAA players also hit MiLB pitching at every level… until MLB. There’s more to scouting than simply looking at past performance. You have to consider how a guy will hit better pitching based on the exact strengths and weaknesses of his performance. If all of his production comes on FBs but he can’t hit a good off-speed pitch in the zone, for example, he might eat up MiLB Ps only to get eaten up by MLB Ps.

        Signing a player ahead of Mustletier also don’t end his chance of earning a spot later in the season.

    • Ted Nelson

      Why would you possibly look at one season’s platoon splits and decide that’s what a guy is? He wasn’t just better in 2011, he was better every season from 2005-11. On his career he has a 118 wRC+ against LHP, which is why he’s in consideration and probably a better option than Mustelier (not to mention that it’s not an either/or scenario, because if they sign Baker they still have Mustelier).

  • The Real Greg

    Red Sox robbing the Pirates blind with this trade.

    Getting Joel Hanrahan for Jerry Sands and Stolmy Pimental (suggested deal)

    • Steve

      Pimentel is trash but Sands could be a decent power bat. Odd for the Sox to be getting Hanrahan, they already have a full pen. But with him it’s going to be pretty loaded.

      • Milt Toast

        Good thing they traded for Andrew Bailey last year.

    • Laz

      only 1 year at like $7M. There is supposed to be more players too. He is only a relief pitcher, one who was terrible til they put him in Pittsburgh.

  • mitch

    Is Baker even an upgrade over Jason Nix as a RH outfielder?

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Baker career vs. LHP: 296/344/498 118 wRC+
      Nix career vs. LHP: 239/309/428 94 wRC+

      • Milt Toast

        It was just a rhetorical question. Lighten up already. :)

  • Simon

    I have thrown this out there before but I’ll say it again now that the White Sox might acquire Kubel from the D’Backs, what about Dayan Viciedo to play LF/RF and maybe a platoon with Ichiro? He has a lot of power, though he does K a bit, he’s young.

    Again this is only possible if the Sox acquire Kubel.

    • Ross

      Love the Viciedo idea (he can even fake third base). They might be a little trigger shy on a deal with the Yankees, though.

  • Chuck

    Vernon wells Vernon wells!

    • jjyank

      *pukes*

  • Heyman’s Mystery Team

    Someone let the pilot light go out on this year’s hot stove.

  • Robert

    To all Minor League Yankee prospects who read this board,There has never been a better chance to move dramatically up in this farm system than this year.With 2014 as well as a slew of injuries for our aging Major League line up in 2013,The call to the Minors will be early and often. Get in the shape of your life because the door will be wide open!

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Honestly? Yes.

  • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

    So completely OT but Top 30 most intimidating players on MBLn right now…the clip of an older Nolan Ryan beating Robin Ventura like the red headed step child of a rented mule is just hysterical.

    • Dean Travers

      That’s almost as funny as the clip of Nolan Ryan running away from Dave Winfield who throws the home plate ump out of the way w/one hand after a 1980 HBP; I guess the media loves mythologizing Ryan too much to show that clip.

      • Milt Toast

        Nolan Ryan’s pretty tough for an illiterate hick.

  • Ross

    I would love to see Mustellier get a shot at making the team out of Spring Training. That guy can flat out rake. But, that’s not the Yankees’ style.
    So, if Hairston signs elsewhere, I would approach Milwaukee about Hart. I have no idea if we match up with their needs but, he seems to fit what the Yanks are missing.

  • ken

    i thought upton had the yankees on his no trade? if he waves it for more money do the yankees pay it?

  • Pistol Pete

    I like Upton and he’d save this putrid off season but before we give up the farm and anoint him a savior check out his stats and power numbers. Last year he hit just 17 hr’s and slugged just 475. He hit less home runs than Swisher Martin and 26 less than Granderson. Good player, yes, superstar, not yet, I’d rather give up the whole farm and shoot higher for Giancarlo Stanton but that ‘s probably a pipe dream.

  • Herby

    Another one of these let’s give up the farm system and my daughter’s virginity types for…Giancarlo (insert schoolgirl heavy sigh) That mantra gets old after awhile, especially considering it’s not going to happen, and I don’t think it’s worth the price of admission.