Yankees did not make offer to Ibanez, priority is a right-handed bat


Via Mark Feinsand: Brian Cashman confirmed the Yankees did not make an offer to Raul Ibanez before he signed with the Mariners. The GM also said the team’s priority is finding a right-handed bat at the moment, even moreso than landing a DH. “I have to see how much money I have left. I don’t have an unlimited budget,” said Cashman, his annual offseason mantra.

There aren’t many quality right-handed bats left on the free agent market, particularly if the team is dead set on adding someone who can play the outfield. I sorta like the idea of Carlos Lee, who can do some damage against southpaws (113 wRC+ since 2010), fill in at first base and DH, and even mix in some left field on the rarest of occasions. He’s also an extreme contact hitter, with an 8.8 K% and an 88.4% contact rate over the last three seasons. Lee did invoke his no-trade clause to reject a trade to New York this summer, however. It gives you can idea of how poor the right-handed market is when I’m writing about a guy like Carlos Lee as a possible fit.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. Bronx Bomber23 says:

    Put me squarely in the camp that hopes Cashman is seeing what it will take to get Michael Morse in the Bronx. I think he would be the ideal fit for what we need which is a RH power bat that can play the OF, help out 1b, and DH. If we can’t get him out of DC, then Matt Diaz would be a nice backup option. I’m not enarmored at the idea of Carlos Lee being the solution.

    • The Doctor (formerly known as G formerly known as Matt Smith formerly known as David Tennant formerly known as...etc) says:

      Morse does have a legit bat and I think acquiring him would be huge in the short term. It’s definitely a matter of cost, keeping in mind that it’s only for one year. A guy with the ability to put up a 130 wRC+ could replace the production lost from Swisher.

      However, if it costs anything that could have a good, cheap impact for 2014, I don’t see them doing it.

    • Stu H says:

      No one’s enamored with Cliff Lee to the Bronx. Not even Cliff Lee.

  2. MannyGeee says:

    hehehe…. Carlos Lee.

    This off season sucks. Not the Yankees off season specifically, just the talent pool in general is so….. meh. a handful of really good to great guys, and then off a cliff

  3. Jimmy Page says:

    He fits the Yankees new “mantra” Old over the hill useless players with no upside only a downside who can be signed at a contract that is as cheap as possible.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      “Old over the hill useless players with no upside only a downside”

      Like the Coverdale/Page collab.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        Or bringing Jimmy Page to guest on anything at this point, although I enjoyed him in “It Might Get Loud,” where Edge was the weaker link.

      • mike says:

        listen to “Take me for a little while”…..its subtle and not over the top, and really feels like what Zep would have recorded in the mid 80′s with a a little theatre with a blusey edge

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          I actually love that album. It’s mostly a dig on the commenter. My only issue with it is that Coverdale’s voice was shot somewhere in between “Slip of the Tongue” and this album.

          The later Whitesnake albums are actually decent on material. He just sounds terrible.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I’m not sure Carlos Lee has much upside, but Youkilis and Ichiro definitely do.

      Who else on the Yankees doesn’t have upside?

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        *jumps in slo-mo in front of Ted*


        and CUT!

        • Ghost of Joe Dugan says:

          Small boy: “Why’d ya do it Robinson? Why?!?”

          RT: “Somebody had to son. Might as well be me.”

          RT coughs and then goes limp, a beautiful young girl sobs, the little boy buries his face into RT’s Yankee jersey and cries uncontrollably. Ted Nelson stands silently watching the scene play out. His eyes seem to be searching for hope but soon grow cold. His jaw tightens, he turns and strolls away.

          Ted Nelson: “They’ll pay for what they did. I’ll make sure of that!”

      • MannyGeee says:

        ooooooooh… stupid boy, that question is like one of those fireball plants in Super Mario Bros for the troll bus crowd.

      • dalelama says:

        Aroid, Tex, Stewart, Cervelli, Gardner, Ichiro, Youklis, Jeter….

        • Jim Is Bored says:

          Right on cue!

        • Ted Nelson says:

          You are not a particularly good troll. Your points don’t even make sense. Cervelli is their 3rd or even 4th string C, Stewart is likely their back-up (and arguably one of the best pitch framers in baseball). Otherwise, all of those guys have been productive in the last two seasons and have a good chance of being good in 2013.

          If you want to be a good troll, try making some points based in reality. Ridiculous points don’t get under anyone’s skin.

    • trr says:

      ….At least until the Steingrabber boys sell the team

  4. Robinson Tilapia says:

    …and we shook our heads at Raul Ibanez and Marcus Thames and Nick Johnson (well, I shook my head at Nick Johnson) and everyone else who didn’t have that nice FA shine before aaaaand maybe I shouldn’t used Nick Johnson as an example, but you get the point.

    Fine on anyone who could contribute in that role. Seems like Lee would fit. I like contact.

  5. Midnight Rider says:

    looks like yankee fan is getting frustrated they now have to shop at outlet malls for players and not Fifth Avenue like in long gone can be a difficult transition from getting your meals at the dinning room table to having to fight another alley cat for dumpster leftovers but this is the life Harry and Lloyd have chosen for you…you can all go back to dreaming up ways the midland yankee farm is going to somehow reap Stanton or getting pigs to fly or finding ways for Lindsay Lohan to submit a clean urine test as they are all about as equally based in reality

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      This is going well this morning.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Read an article in Smithsonian yesterday that I didn’t find all that great overall, but it did make a point about how trolls are generally taking over the internet. Seems reasonable given my experience here.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Send a link. I might enjoy that.

          • Jim Is Bored says:


          • Ted Nelson says:

            It is in Smithsonian magazine. Larger article was about a guy who was an early internet insider, but turned against the whole thing based on paranoia that it will facilitate the next extremist social movement along the lines of Nazi Germany or Communist Russia (which it probably will in a sense, but that’s only because it’s a primary means of communication and organization these days… his point seemed more to be that the internet inherently promotes that sort of thing and destroys the middle class, which I’m not so sure about). The rise of trolls was basically an example of how the internet can lead to a lynch mob mentality as much as promote discussion. I don’t think that the next Hitler or Stalin will spring from the RAB board, but I just found it interesting in light of what seems like a rise in RAB trolling and a mob mentality that the Yankees are doomed to fail in 2013 or certainly 2014 if they miraculously manage to contend in 2013.

            • dalelama says:

              I think the increasing skepticism about future Yankee performance is more driven by their rotting core, barren farm system, weak clutch performance, burdensome bloated contracts, and lack of leadership as opposed to some half-baked goofy professor’s acid fuel claptrap about the Internet.

              • Robinson Tilapia says:

                No one asked you.

                We require a written permission slip from your parents before directly replying to any of us.

              • Mike HC says:

                The INTERNETZ will DOOM us!!! … but the Yanks will be just fine

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Or a fear of the unknown… either way.

                • Jim Is Bored says:

                  Or trolls who further narratives without using any facts or statistics, as some perverted way to feed their ego.

                  (dalelama, not you)

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    Yeah. He’s probably right there, though, that guys like Fibula and Rich in NJ who aren’t really trolls doom-monger all the time because of those factors. I think the reason they are wrong for that is that they’re assuming everything they don’t know the outcome of will turn out badly: fear of the unknown. They don’t know what the Yankees’ line-up will look like in 2014, so it’s got to be bad.

                    • Jim Is Bored says:

                      Yeah, I agree. Was just throwing out another alternative.

                    • Sean says:

                      I find it amusing that many people constantly discuss the topics of trolls on this website. Largely, it’s they who are the cause and are quick to berate and belittle any non-regular who posts a comment voicing their opinion either positively or negatively. This thread is comical and illustrates exactly how inflated the egos of some are and how they truly view others in the world, even if they profess otherwise.

                    • Jim Is Bored says:

                      Sean, that’s a gross misinterpretation of what goes on here.

                      Most of our troll bashing, if anything, is a symptom of the community and our recognition of existing trolls.

                      Outsiders, as I once was, are more than welcome here if they post intelligently. Posting a poorly thought out, emotion based opinion gets rightly torn to shreds. And if you refuse to change your ways, you become a meme and a caricature of yourself.. It’s the circle of RAB life.

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

                      Newsflash. Everyone who disagrees with your (Ted’s) positions isn’t a troll. Many baseball experts think the Yankees are trending in the wrong direction for at least the next few years and there are plently of valid reasons to support this idea. This does not make them or me/Rich in NJ “doom mongers.” It makes us realists.

                      I don’t think “doom” is around the corner for the Yankees but given the state of their farm system, budgetary constraints, aging core,etc, pending player loses due to retirement, free agency, etc I do believe 2014 will end up likely being a transition type year where they miss the playoffs.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Sure, Sean. dalelama and Eddard profess to be trolls, but they aren’t. Guys like dan gen who posts the same thing in every thread is not a troll.

                      There are two separate phenomena in terms of trolls and the mob mentality. They overlap, but they aren’t the same thing. There are trolls on this site who come here every day to troll, and who readily admit as much. When you ask why they would be a Yankee fan if it’s such a terrible org, they readily say they are not a Yankee fan. They are trolls.

                      There are also those who aren’t trolls, but have decided that things will go wrong before they happen.

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

                      Sean has a point. There is definitely a faction of posters here who consider themselves to be superior and more enlightened than the rest since in their minds defending the Yankees FO and taking the stance that they will always be great moving forward is the more mature and intellectual position.

                      They tend to lump everyone who has a criticism about the Yankees or voices concerns about the direction of the team over the next few years into the “troll” group.

                      That being said, there is definitely a growing faction of trolls on the board however they’re pretty easy to spot and ignore IMO.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      And there is a group who mindlessly assume the worst as well. Your group is more populous, and generally populated by dopes. My group is populated by commenters who make far more intelligent comments. I’ll take my group. You take yours and the dopes who write for ESPN.

                      You literally make no good points. You just say “well, I don’t know what the team will look like… so I’m scared.” Grow a pair. Risk is not inherently a bad thing. It also creates opportunity.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      And NO ONE is saying they will always be great or always defending the FO. That is a strawman caricature you have created because you disagree when people say that there is plenty of opportunity for the Yankees to fill holes at lower prices going forward and that they are a well run organization. Perfectly reasonable points. No one is saying that it is destined to work out. People are arguing with your ridiculous points that it will not work out because you don’t know what “it” is and are scared by the unknown.

              • Mike HC says:

                Definitely an interesting article. There should definitely be more research into how the internet changes the way humans communicate.

                • Robinson Tilapia says:

                  Some stuff was brilliant (comparing hedge funds to file-sharing is something to think about for sure.) Most doesn’t apply here.

                  I just don’t think what happens here matters that much. Would the quality of comments (potentially delving into not-cool and offensive stuff, which doesn’t necessarily mean, say, calling dalelama a moldydouchefuck) be even in the top five ways in which the success of this site, to Mike, or to potential advertisers? I’d imagine the quality of what MIKE and the other writers contribute, as well as overall traffic, matters more. Just look at the quality of the comments on the Fox and ESPN boards, even MLBTR. We’re NASA compared to them.

                  I’d be interested in what Mike thinks.

                  • Jim Is Bored says:

                    I wonder what the quality of the comments on a NASA blog would be.

                    • MannyGeee says:

                      “This batch of Astronauts suck. Yuri Gagarin was the clutchiest Cosmonaut ever, and Neil Armstrong is rolling over in his grave now that NASA Steinbrenner wont spend money for all the astronauts that I think are good…”

                      Something like this? and also, space parades stuart a style.

                    • Jim Is Bored says:

                      We definitely need more space parades!

                  • Mike HC says:

                    Well, I guess one way you can tie in what he said to RAB, is that the internet widens the gap between the upper class (ESPN) and everyone else (RAB). You either rake in the cash, or you make beans. Little middle ground.

                    It is tough to have this type of conversation with blog comments, which is also kind of to his point that the internet fundamentally changes the way humans communicate, and there could be many unintended consequences to that.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      I haven’t put a ton of thought into it, but my gut says that is incorrect. I would argue that the internet has made it infinitely easier for the Mikes of the world. I have no idea what kind of revenue he gets, but at least he’s got a platform and some sort of ad revenue. Before, he would have had to print some little Yankees newsletter. Maybe distribute it at the stadium or through a network of friends. Maybe put some money on the table to advertise. It would have been higher overhead, more labor intensive, and just generally harder to distribute, let alone break even on. He certainly might have succeeded in getting a Yankees-centric newsletter or magazine going, but I think that it would have been much harder. That he might have been less likely to even try it given higher barriers to entry.

                      I don’t know whether its role has been positive or negative on the whole, but blaming the internet for the loss of a middle-class ignores a lot of global economic realities. The internet did not make US manufacturing less financially competitive than China, Mexico, and other countries.

                      I’ll have to read the guy’s book to see how he stretches the point to society as a whole, but the way it’s described in the article his theory seems full of holes.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    I just thought that the rise of trolls and mob-mentality being human nature applied here. Nothing else.

                    • dalelama says:

                      To RAB Cashman bootlicks and Yankee Pollyannas troll=truth which they just aren’t ready to handle.

                    • Jim Is Bored says:

                      Nah, I don’t believe things as truth until I’ve seen facts, stats, some kind of objective proof for them, personally.

  6. paul a says:

    carlos lee ? NO WAY

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Only knock I would see would be a complete inability to fake it out there in the outfield if needed, which at least Raul brought.

  7. Robinson Tilapia says:

    This looks very much like the conversation which led to bringing in Ibanez last year. It’s not about a sexy name, or someone who can do everything well. It’s about someone who can play a specific role on this team. Going back to the late 90′s, this team’s done very well with finding this sort of player.

    It’d be nice to address this with a wider stroke and that kind of young, available, cost-controlled superstar who you could count on one hand, but that’s not what’s necessarily needed here.

    • MannyGeee says:

      actually, this is about building a quality bench chock full of role players, which this team did well in the mid 90s, completely forgot about from 2001-2008, and got back to just recently.

      This team doesnt win in 2009 without the monster October from A-Rod, but also without big 2nd halfs from Hairston/Hinske/Marte playing their positions.

  8. Ted Nelson says:

    “The GM also said the team’s priority is finding a right-handed bat at the moment, even moreso than landing a DH.”

    Perhaps because that DH is expected to be used 1-3 months? Couldn’t be, could it?

    • Mike HC says:

      He could also be the left handed DH platoon all season depending on how ARod and Youk are hitting vs righties.

      I was hoping for Carlos Pena but he just signed with the astros for 1 for 3 mil. As with Ibanez, Cashman seems to be holding on to that extra 1-2 million to land that right handed outfielder.

      • MannyGeee says:

        Carlos Pena has to be the most overrated slugger in the league just based on what he’s done historically to the Yankees.

        He should be in the “Pedro Ciriaco Hall of Fame” along with Delmon Young and Jason Kubel (in the Mariano wing, of course).

        • Mike HC says:

          Considering he just got one year, 3 mil, I don’t think anyone is really overrating him anymore. That seems about right.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            I actually never thought an extreme-strikeout guy like that would fit the role, especially since his defensive value would matter less on a team with Tex at first base. I like Pena, but he just didn’t fit to me.

          • MannyGeee says:

            Yeah, I feel like Yankee fans are always pining for him though. Just like the aforementioned Delmon Young.

            That said, 1/3M is about where he should be. One of the true non-overpays of this off season so far.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              He’s not great, but I don’t think anyone wanting Pena was based on how he hit the Yankees.Before 2012 Pena hit RHP very well, not just the Yankees. 131 wRC+ and .370 wOBA for his career.

              I don’t know how many people, if any, I’ve heard say they want Delmon Young in the last few years… but he does at least hit LHP well. Could be a fit for the Yankees in a Marcus Thames role.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Maybe they should, but I doubt that they’ll sit either one of those guys 2/3 the time if they’re healthy. There are still a few possibilities out there for a LH DH bat like Hafner, Thome, Luke Scott, Giambi, Ryan Sweeney, or (SH) Berkman (maybe Abreu even) who might work out on incentive-laden deals where they can try to fill-in for a couple of months and then if they implode A-Rod should be back. Best case they could take some RHP DH PAs all season. I’d kind of like to see Berkman if his price come down enough and his knee checks out, based on upside. Luke Scott is supposed to be a real turd, but even last season he hit RHP well. Dickerson might be fine as a 5th OF/LH DH as well.

        In terms of RH OF… I don’t have a real opinion, but among FA there are still some options: Hairston, Diaz, Rivera, Young, Raburn, Kearns (not really a LH-masher).

        • MannyGeee says:

          Berkman would be nice as a pure DH. there are extremely legit questions about his knees, and I would not trust him anywhere near an outfield spot… even in an emergency.

  9. Upstate Yanks says:

    Any reason why we’re not talking about a trade for Soriano? If the Cubs eat the majority of that salary we could end up paying 5/6 million a year for a guy who finished in the top 20 in MVP voting.

    #get younger buy getting older

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Two years left on the contract, right? That might be your obstacle right there.

      I’d be game for a fringe prospect and CHI eating salary, but I’m not so sure why they’d do that. They can still stash him somewhere on that roster, right? This isn’t AJ Burnett where you almost had to move him.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        Also, we know where the younger reinforcements are. Nothing wrong with bringing in the right veterans to fill in until the budget limitations are of (yes, if they ever truly are), we know who these kids actually are, and the FA classes begin to look better.

      • Mike HC says:

        Plus, if they have to eat tons of salary and still get back a marginal prospect, they can keep him this year and just do that next year.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          It also seems like they think they’re close to being competitive than others think considering some of the moves they make. You’d think Soriano would have a role somewhere in there, especially in the NL, where you can keep a guy for PH purposes, if that’s still really even done in the age of carrying 12 pitchers.

          • Mike HC says:

            What is interesting is that almost all of the AL clubs have built their teams closer to NL teams. They are kind of ignoring the DH, and bringing in the classic NL pinch hitter types to rotate in. You see in World Series, the AL really does not have a DH advantage anymore.

            The big exception being, Big Papi.

  10. Adam says:

    Anyone interested in Josh Willingham? His fielding isn’t a thing of beauty but I think he can be a really good fit considering he is a right-handed hitting outfielder with power. Plus he is signed at an affordable salary of $7 million for 2013 and 2014 and likely wouldn’t cost an Upton-like haul of prospects to acquire.

    What do you guys think it will take to at least get Minnesota to listen on this deal? And do you think a trade of Nova for Willingham would be fair for both sides? Or Warren + Zoilo Almonte and a lower level filler?

    • Blake says:

      I like Willingham ok but think morse is just as good a fit and would presumably cost a lot less to trade for….at least he should cause he’s a rental and cause you’re not trying to deal with the Twins

      • MannyGeee says:

        The Twins will want more than Willingham is worth, because they typically want more than everyone is worth. Morse should be the target if the stars align, especially since the Nats still owe some karma back from the Clippard/Albaladejo trade-rape.

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

          That trade was pretty freakin bad. I don’t want to get into a Bash Cashman thread but that trade may have been his worst as Yankee GM.

          • Jim Is Bored says:

            Meh. It was bad, but it’s not like the Yankees have been in dire need of a setup man or closer the last few years.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:


              I’d put Lowell and Javy II still ahead there, the latter completely skewed by personal feelings towads Javy and/or Melky.

              Montero/Pineda also lurks, but doesn’t have much to say yet.

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

              I agree the Yankees are OK with set up men but to write off the trade as not that bad because the Yankees didn’t need Clippard is a pretty stupid argument.

              Clippard is a valuable commodity and could have flipped for another useful piece.

              • Jim Is Bored says:

                My point is he probably would never have become a valuable commodity with the yankees, as at his best he would have filled a middle relief role.

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

                  Maybe he wouldn’t have become a valuable commodity then again maybe he could have turned into a Robertson lite had the Yankees had the foresight to see him as a reliever rather than a back of the rotation starter.

                  • Jim Is Bored says:

                    Even in Washington, at his absolute best, his highest value was as a setup man.

                    I just can’t get too worked up about a trade that cost us, potentially, a B+ prospect when all is said and done.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    The Nationals lacked that foresight for a full season after bringing him in as well. It looks bad in hindsight, but at the time it wasn’t that much worse than trading Betances for what looked like a useful BP arm.

                    Every GM has trades that don’t work out in hindsight, and if trading a reliever that worked out for a reliever that didn’t is the worst you’ve got for Cashman in a decade and a half, that is praising by faint damning.

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

                      As I stated, my point wasn’t to bash Cashman.

                      Obviously every GM has his bad trades Mr Obvious and you needn’t jump to Cashman’s defense everytime someone points out a mistake he made.

                      Trading Clippard for Albaladejo was a bad trade no matter how you spin it. The only way to judge the trade is a few years down the road in hindsight. Not the end of the world, everyone makes mistakes, yada yada yada but there’s no disputing it was a poor trade. That’s all I’m saying.

                      And I also wouldn’t trade Betances unless they were getting someone back with a fairly high ceiling because he still has a chance to be a pretty damn good reliever.

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      The only way to judge the trade is a few years down the road in hindsight.

                      Disagree. That’s the easiest way, not the only way. I’m saying that as a general rule, not about Clippard-Albaladejo specifically.

                    • Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

                      Good intentions are only worth so much. It’s the bottom line that counts. Try explaining to your stock holders that the moves you made were smart at the time though they didn’t work out and you’ll end up on the unemployment line.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      LOL. If you are a fund manager, you don’t sit there and pick nothing but winners. And your investors don’t bust your balls about the stocks that didn’t work out, they look at your overall performance. Cashman is a fund manager. He manages a fund of baseball players. This is why Andrew Friedman is so successful in Tampa.

                      You don’t ignore results, but you also don’t focus on them. You focus on the process. A good process will get you good results.

                      Instead of constantly assuming you know everything (and making a lot of ridiculous points in the process), try learning something new. There seems to be a whole lot you don’t know.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Here’s a different way to think about trading Betances. After time value of money, this is probably the second most basic building block in finance: the security market line.

                      Let’s say that you really like Betances, and you think that the has a good chance of being a 2 fWAR reliever (an elite RP, assume you like fWAR… the metric you use is irrelevant). But you also recognize that this is a guy with a pretty good chance of walking 5+/9IP and based on 2012 might get hit pretty hard as well… this is a guy with probably an equal chance of being, say, a -1 fWAR RP if you put him out there a full season. Assuming a symmetrical distribution, we’re talking about an expected 0.5 fWAR reliever. The volatility (risk) is pretty high, though.

                      Now say that I offer you RP X for Betances. X has 6 years of control left as well, but more AAA and MLB success. He doesn’t have huge upside, but is more certain. For convenience, say that his upside is a 1 fWAR RP and his downside is a 0 fWAR RP. Again, symmetrical distribution and we’ve got an expected 0.5 fWAR RP.

                      Financial theory dictates that you should take RP X over Betances. The expected return is the same, but the risk is lower.

                      Obviously projecting baseball players is difficult, and I know that’s the point you are making in saying to only use hindsight to judge trades. At the same time, if you understand the rationale behind the move you can see why someone would make it. It’s not just, “I’m giving up someone with high upside so I need high upside back.” In investing, you just need to be right 51% of the time. The number might vary in MLB, but the same principle applies. If you can make 100 Betances for RP X moves, you will be wrong on quite a few of them. You will be right more than wrong, though, and end up on top. That’s why the process is what’s important over a relevant sample size. You might lose the trade quite a bit, but you’ll build a strong team in the end.

    • Mike HC says:

      I love Willingham, and would love him on the Yanks. But I think any deal that would entice Minn would be too much to give up for the Yanks. Yanks are going to need all the cheap talent they can get with cutting the payroll next year. I wouldn’t give up Nova for Willingham at least until the all star break. If Nova is still struggling, then maybe, but then Minn probably wouldn’t want him either. As for your second proposal, I think Minn could be a lot better than that from another team.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I’d take more than either proposal you made, I think. No, not Upton-like, but I’d think MIN would want as much as they can get. It may be possible that one single-A would be on the table there.

    • Adam says:

      Corban Joseph should be another expendable piece if Minnesota would be interested in him being included in a potential deal.

  11. Hoss says:

    Wouldn’t anyone find it odd if Coach, due to “budget constraints,” stopped using leather in its products and switched to vinyl?
    Why? Profits down? Brand failing? Market crashing? None of the above: They just thought it would create bigger profit margins.
    Matt Diaz would be a good pickup for the New York Vinyls.

    • Jim Is Bored says:

      …Paying more in luxury tax directly relates to profits. I’m not really sure what your point is.

      If Coach were being penalized for using more leather than all other companies, and that penalty was increasing every year, then yes, of freaking course they would make adjustments. What a stupid analogy.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        That’s what happens when you start with the punchline and develop your argument around it AND when the punchline sucks.

        I bought an ex-girlfrieng a Coach bag once. Considering how much I paid for it, I wish they would have switched to vinyl.

        Then again, he ended his argument with an actual decent option in Dye-az.

      • Hoss says:

        What is stupid is a “fan” who cares about a team’s profits, as if that has some value on the field. If you don’t think that you, as a fan, are already paying for the team with tickets, concessions, TV, merchandise, etc., you are as dense as you are bored.

        • Jim Is Bored says:

          I never said I cared. You created a stupid analogy, and I pointed that out. You must be having a terrible day; go home and hug your kids or something.

          • Hoss says:

            There is a group of fans, well represented here, who have bought into the party line, that the Yankees have to stick to some sort of an austerity budget when it comes to building a roster now.
            I prefer to let the business folks in the FO figure out that by doing so, they are damaging their product and brand and not recommend foolish moves like signing has beens (or never weres) like Matt Diaz or Juan Rivera.
            The Yankee FO were the same folks who said that the reason they could charge exorbitant prices for tickets – thousands of dollars for a single game – was because that was what the market in NY could bear. So the Yankees have the highest ticket prices, top TV revenues, top merchandise revenues, etc. in MLB.
            If they wish to limit their product from winning on the field, they will need to adjust to the reality that the amount that they can charge for viewing that product or displaying its logo will also be reduced.
            As a consumer/customer paying top dollar for the Yankee product, I will not go along with lower Yankee quality on the field willingly. If the team is worse because the FO doesn’t want to spend and reduce its own profits, that should not become my problem. They are not a troubled business. They are extremely profitable business and should realize that issues like the luxury tax will sometimes need to be borne by the owners, not the customers who expect a quality product, in order to protect the brand in the long run.

            • Jim Is Bored says:

              I must not be the bored one here.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              Yet nowhere in here is there room for someone to say, “I’m a fan of the team despite the financial situation. I am not a banker or millionaire, therefore, will leave decisions as to millions to be made by those with the actual millions themselves, and will base my conversation on the reality in front of me.”

              None. I imagine this will further the notion that I have no opinion because I’m not the one yelling the loudest.

              • Jim Is Bored says:

                We’re just sheep, man.

              • Hoss says:

                I can still be a Yankee fan without supporting the FO. When fans/media speak up, things can change. I don’t believe in leaving decisions about whether I go to games, buy merchandise, etc. to “those with the actual millions themselves.”

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  Instead you believe in making those decisions in December?

                • Artis says:

                  You are not exactly dispelling the notion that Yankee fans are only Yankee fans because they always spend the most and buy all their players.

                • MannyGeee says:

                  “When fans/media speak up, things can change.”

                  Can they really? You are voicing your opinion somewhere no one can hear you.

                  Write a letter to Cashman, I’m sure he’s itching to hear the vinyl analogy from some dude on the Internetz. I’m sure he will give a shit.

                • Robinson Tilapia says:

                  Yes, you can still be a Yankee fan without supporting the FO. No one is disputing that. You are, however, trying to create a dichotemy in which you either support the payroll limit or reject it. There’s very little middle ground and, when middle ground is offered, these are the folks that get dismissed as drinking the Kool-Aid, etc.

        • Dave says:

          Haha. Agreed. Some of these idiots on here think they are part owner. Who cares about the profits. George didn’t and he built a billon dollar empire with no regards to spending. His idiot son will ruin this organization. Oh and all you morons that are ashamed of the yanks spending millions on new players have finally got your wish. Cashman will fail with a budget.

          • Jim Is Bored says:

            I’d really love for someone to point out where I said that I cared about the team’s profits.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            “Who cares about the profits. George didn’t and he built a billon dollar empire with no regards to spending.”

            That’s just plain-ass fucking stupid.

            • Hoss says:

              George knew he had to outspend the competition when times were changing to be ahead of the curve.
              He built his product – the Yankees – on equity. The team’s value grew from $10 million to $2-3? billion, not with annual profit taking.

              • Jim Is Bored says:

                Outspending competition != no regards to spending.

              • Robinson Tilapia says:

                And neither you or Dave has access to the books or were present for his business meetings. You’re imagining shit to meet your narrative.

                All this beautiful work led to not making the playoffs for 18 years AND Doyle Alexander.

                • Dave says:

                  Yet it lead to a billon dollar empire.

                  As a fan if they don’t win the World Series it does not bother me because at least I know they made an effor by brining in high profile players . Unlike now the numbers guy “Hal” is more interested in making money but not investing it back.

                  God forbid anyone who does not agree with Tilapia.

                  • Jim Is Bored says:

                    “George didn’t and he built a billon dollar empire with no regards to spending.”

                    If you think anyone can build a billion dollar empire with no regards to spending, I have a bridge to sell you.

                  • Robinson Tilapia says:

                    Read Ted’s comment below, as well as Joel Skinner’s. Then go ahead and continue telling me I’m actually the Stalin Jaron Lanier was referring to.

          • Joel Skinner says:

            While I agree that this whole budget may be tough for a few years and I dont think George would do it if he were alive, Don’t act like just because George spent money, every year was great. George acting on impulse bought Pascual Perez, Tim Leary, Roy Smally, Dave LaPointe, Andy “The Anchor” Hawkins. The late 80′s into the early ninteys were one personnel mistake after another. The Yanks turned around the franchise while George was suspended and Gene Michael focused more on Player Development and didnt buy max out the budget.

            For the record I am not against the Yankees spending money and forgetting the $189 plan but all I want is that they spend the money appropriatley. If Cano wants 10 years and $200 million….no way Im doing that. Josh Hamilton got 5 years…no way I would do that.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              This should be promoted to “sticky” status.

              How many .500 pitchers got deals as it they were top-of-the-rotation guys because, somehow, it was thought the mere act of wearing pinstripes would change them.

              Andy Hawkins. Just perfect. Thank you.

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

              I agree with your point that it’s revisionist history to remember George as some kind of super executive as he obviously made TONS of bad moves.

              I strongly disagree with the narrative, however that the Yankees were only able to turn things around when he was exiled for 3 years and Stick was in charge because I think it’s naive to think he still wasn’t calling shots behind the scene from 90-93 since it was impossible to enforce.

              • Robinson Tilapia says:

                I don’t necessarily buy the second part either, but there was a pretty substantial difference in how business was being done. SOMETHING was different.

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

                  Something definitely changed but I’ll never believe he gave up complete control of the team while he was away. Those left in charge would have been kicked out on their asses as soon as he was reinstated if George didn’t like their decisions and I’m sure he had a great deal of input on any major decisions.

                  When George came back in 1993, things didn’t go back to the way they were before and I think by stepping back a bit, he may have gained some perspective that maybe the old ways weren’t working out.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    Based purely on your own speculation, you will never believe something?

                    He was incentivized to stay away through the threat of a longer ban should be be caught meddling. I also doubt that he completely stayed away and certainly the people left in charge had incentives to do what was in the team’s best interest (duh), but I doubt he signed off on every decision. Once he got back he tried to trade three of the core four, so your narrative has some holes in it.

                    • Robinson Tilapia says:

                      Paging Felix Fermin….

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

                      He had several members of his family in the Yankees hierarchy including his sons, sons in law, etc at the time of his “exile” if I remember correctly so again I stand by my position that I find it very hard to believe he wasn’t highly involved in running the team at that time.

                      It’s certainly possible too that Stick Michael may have carried more clout during that time and stood up to George persuading him away from making bad decisions too not to mention some of it may have been good luck with proposed trades falling apart.

                      He also may have just seen the error of his ways over the last decade.

                      Obviously this is all speculation on my part as well as on yours but this blog is about expressing an opinion so take it for what its worth.

            • Laz says:

              Agree, people are also acting like the Yankees are becoming the A’s. $189M is still a lot of money. They will need to change their ways, but lets not forget, this will still put them near the top of the league in money spent.

          • MannyGeee says:

            Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it make comments that sound idiotic

        • Ted Nelson says:

          If getting under the tax for ’14-15 allows them to spend more down the line, it is very reasonable to care. How they run their business has a very real impact on the product they put on the field.

          It’s not necessarily even a matter of caring, though. It’s a matter of understanding their rationale. Every team could sign an ever revolving parade of top FAs every year if they didn’t care at all about profit. If you think it’s reasonable for every fan of every team to demand their team ignore profits, good for you. I understand, like others here, that they will not do that. Yet, I also understand, like others here, that they can still win on a budget. Because just about every team in sports history besides maybe the ’00s Knicks and maybe today’s Dodgers was on a budget of some sort. I also understand that the Yankees still have one of the best rosters in MLB entering 2013, and that we have little idea what their 2014 roster will look like at this point.

    • MannyGeee says:

      correlation fail. If the Yankees started hiring hockey players to be their RH DH and Martin Biron was the 2013 starting catcher (since the supply is higher than the demand and they’re “cheaper” and “easier to come by” currently), then the vinyl/leather example fits…

      otherwise, meh

  12. Joel Skinner says:

    What about Juan Rivera?

    • Hoss says:

      Too costly. Try Ruben. He might still be in the budget.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Yeah, it’s not like they’ve spent some $56+ million on FAs for 2013. Or about the Rays average payroll the last three years.

        They’re paying Dickerson $900,000 in AAA, but they can’t afford the great Juan Rivera on what’s likely to be a huge $1-2 million salary.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:


          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            Actually, take the “shhhh” back.

            My prediction is that someone will now call you an asshole in order to obscure the fact that you’re absolutely right here.

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

              Ted’s a big boy. I don’t think he needs you to defend him.

              Actually, he probably shouldn’t have responded to Hoss whose post was completely inane and trolling.

              • Robinson Tilapia says:

                Which is why we’ve hired a 6’8, 300 lbs. of pure muscle guy we’ve had in developmental for a few years who can’t work or talk to be Ted’s bodyguard.

                In a few months, we will push him over Ted, who will eat a powerbomb through two tables on route to jobbing to Eddard.

                We’ll then release the bodyguard in a year when he accidentally paralyses MannyGeee on a botched wristlock.

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

              Have you considered that him being an asshole and his point being “absolutely right” isn’t mutually exclusive.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Definitely an option. While he’s probably got less upside than Lee based on Lee’s 2011, he’s been more consistent against LHP the last few years.

  13. MartinRanger says:

    Wouldn’t Matt Diaz or Juan Rivera provide a whole lot cheaper possible solutions? Or a trade for Mike Morse? I don’t think the cheap veteran market is so badly depleted we have to turn to Carlos Lee to ‘play’ the outfield.

    • Jim Is Bored says:

      I can’t get on the Juan Rivera train. If Nick Johnson weren’t Nick Johnson, we’d use Juan Rivera as our go-to injury guy.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I agree that there are other options out there who are at least as attractive as Lee offensively and better defensively.

      I don’t know how cheap Morse will be, and I don’t know how much better than Lee he is defensively (if at all). People are talking about giving up Nova for one year of him, and I’m very skeptical of that idea.

    • Laz says:

      Why do so many people want Diaz?
      He has been awful for 3 years now, and he absolutely cannon hit rhp. So you would need another pinch hitter for him later in the game. Rather have Hairston than him, just because if you really need to Hairston can hit vs rhp.

  14. Adam says:

    Free Ronnie Mustelier!

  15. Upstate Yanks says:

    I’d really like us to find a way to bring in Harriston. He could platoon with Ich/Gardy. If it takes 2 years he might be worth it while we wait for the youngin’s

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

    Why not bring Manny Ramirez to camp and see what he can do. I’d be down with minor league contract.

    Maybe playing back in the Bronx for the Yankees can energize him for a year.

  17. Mick taylor says:

    Sign lance berkman and Grady sizemore

  18. OldYanksFan says:

    This is a long but VERY insightful article that is very pertinent to today’s Yankeedom. While it is specifically about the ‘Moneyball’ movie/book, it has some great insights about big money, free agents, and what it takes to build a winning team.

    Some interesting lines:
    “However, the Yankees’ extravagance avails them far less than most people assume and less still than the linear correlation implied by Moneyball’s premise. According to Ranjit Dighe, an economist at Oswego University, the Yankees actually receive no marginal benefit, at all, from each dollar expended above $150 million.”

    “Among the many reasons why payroll doesn’t impact baseball clubs’ success more directly, a primary one lies in the systemic inefficiency MLB’s collective bargaining rules embed in the sport’s salary structure. Or in brief, the period when players perform at their most proficient doesn’t correspond to the time when they earn the most money.”

    “The inefficiency is emblematic. And it likely explains why the Yankees have failed to recapture the supremacy their core of young, cheap, prolific and homegrown players conferred for a brief interval in the late 1990s ..”

    “Since 2005, Yankees have paid over a $100 million dollars each year in revenue sharing levies and luxury tax surcharges that MLB has transferred to the League’s Have-Nots.”

    • Jim Is Bored says:

      “According to Ranjit Dighe, an economist at Oswego University, the Yankees actually receive no marginal benefit, at all, from each dollar expended above $150 million.”

      I’d really love to read more in depth about that study. I have a hard time believing it as a blanket statement. As an extreme example, let’s pretend the Yankees had spent 50-60 million on A-Rod this year. Or any player for that matter. If a gigantic portion of that 150 million is taken up by a few players, I think there’s a substantial marginal gain by adding players who are above replacement level, which requires reaching above that 150 million mark.

      Of course I’m just speculating without researching, but what else is the internet for?

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        Same here.

        Great link here.

        The point of agreement that, really, most of us have on here is that it’s not that $189 million is ever peanuts, just that it’s harder, and is going to take some creativity, to make moves when so much of that is tied up in moves mad before $189 million was a “thing.”

  19. pistol pete says:

    Shopping at K Mart with a strict budget, a bunch of overpaid bad contract veterans, no catcher, and a shitty farm system is a formula for disaster. It’s not impossible to win with such a poor hand but unlikely and not the Yankee way of the past. I wonder if the savings in luxury tax will be greater than the income loss if the Yanks fall apart and nobody is paying ridiculous ticket prices to watch an aging team in transformation. It will also be sad to see an empty billion dollar Yankee Stadium if the Yanks aging team can’t compete. The Yanks might have one more short run left in them or it could be 1964 or 1982 all over again, we’ll see.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Why even bother writing something new? Just cut and paste the same sentiment you wrote yesterday.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Two problems with your comment:
      1. Should the team fall apart to the point where they’re losing more than what they’re gaining, they can make in-season or off-season acquisitions that blow past the $189 threshold.
      2. What they’re gaining is not only a two year thing. I don’t know enough about MLB labor-relations to have a good idea of what the luxury tax will look like going forward to new CBAs, but the Yankees might be gaining spending power for decades either directly or indirectly through less restrictive rules going forward.

      And, of course, you’re pretending their roster isn’t currently one of the best in MLB. Which it is.

    • Artis says:

      Spoiled brat alert!

    • CS Yankee says:

      I don’t like letting Martin & Swish go without an offer, however they do have objectives that don’t match with the 2014 budget versus the (likely) possibility that the farm will have those (RF-C)positions covered (Ty-Mason-Slade-Gary-Arom).

      My vote would have been to spend big on one-year fliers for 2013, they seem to have a more balanced approach. Time will tell, I may not renew my YES/MLB package and save 300$ (as the value may not be there)…for sure i’ll follow them and watch every ESPN & Fox game that I can and will catch them at some park next year regardless.

    • Get Phelps Up says:

      1964 was a World Series team.

  20. Mick taylor says:

    Looks like only thing andruw jones could hit was his wife

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