Mailbag: Andrus, Wallace, Moreland, Aceves

3/21 Camp Notes: Jeter, Hughes, Betances
RAB Live Chat

Nine questions this week, so I went rapid fire with short-ish answers. Next week will be the final mailbag before Opening Day, so get those last-minute hot stove/Spring Training questions in before then.

(Rick Yeatts/Getty)
(Rick Yeatts/Getty)

Joseph asks: I know this is fast-forwarding a whole season and much can change between now and November, but what are the chances the NYY attempt to pry away Elvis Andrus from TEX after the season? They obviously have Jurickson Profar/Mike Olt for the left-side of the IF for the next 4-5 years. What package you think would get that done?

Andrus, 24, will be one year from free agency after the season, plus he’s a Scott Boras client and will definitely go out on the open market after 2014. You’re trading for one year of him and one year only.

That said, he’s so young and so good (particularly defensively) at a premium position that the cost for even one year of him will be high. I don’t think Texas would have much of a problem getting two top prospects for him, maybe even another one or two lesser pieces as well. Shortstop help is very hard to find. I’d wait until he becomes a free agent and just try to sign him, but that might require something like ten years and $180M at his age.

Mark asks: Would you trade Corban Joseph and Adam Warren for Brett Wallace?

I would not. I thought Wallace would be a dominant offensive player back during his draft days, but he’s got some holes in his swing and can be pitched to rather easily. I remember reading something once upon a time suggesting his big frame and very thick lower half contribute to his inability to adjust his swing. I think the Yankees could stick Joseph in the lineup and get similar, if not better production than they would get from Wallace. He could also fake non-first base spots as well.

Travis asks: Do you think that teams that are having rotation trouble are kicking themselves for not taking a chance on Vidal Nuno during the Rule 5 draft?

Eh, maybe one or two. The Nuno hype machine is a little out of control though. Sergio Mitre dominated Spring Training a few years ago, but it didn’t mean anything. Nuno has been impressive so far and I’m sure there’s a team or two who could use him in the rotation, but be careful not to overrate performance this time of year.

(Ronald Martinez/Getty)
(Ronald Martinez/Getty)

Peter asks: The Joba Chamberlain+ for Mike Olt rumors have swirled over the past week but what about Joba+ for Mitch Moreland?

Moreland, 27, has hit .264/.328/.441 (100 wRC+) with 40 homers in 295 big league games over the last three years. He’s a left-handed hitting first baseman (who can fake a corner outfield spot) with a big platoon split, so he’d need a righty hitting complement. Moreland would help the Yankees right now obviously, but I wouldn’t give up much more than Joba for him. Maybe just a secondary prospect from 20+ range of my preseason top 30. Lefty hitting first basemen with platoon issues aren’t the most difficult players to find.

J.R. asks: With some of the stories emerging about Alfredo Aceves, do you think “character” and “makeup” issues directly lead to his release from the Yankees?

Yes, absolutely. Non-tendering him after 2010 was still a questionable move — even with the injuries, did he really have zero trade value? — but it’s becoming more and more obvious why they did it. I’m in the camp that thinks the Yankees are overrating character and makeup these days, but Aceves is on a different level. He’s borderline Carlos Zambrano crazy.

John asks: I am one of the biggest Andy Pettitte fans you will find so this a very selfish question. Do you think his body can handle 175 innings a year at 40? If things go ok this year, would he consider closing for Mariano Rivera next year to extend his career as we know he has the mindset mastered?

I do worry about Pettitte holding up physically all season, as I wrote in the series preview post earlier this week. If he has trouble holding up this year, I think he would sooner retire than come back as a reliever. Pettitte doesn’t strike me as someone who would hang around when he isn’t effective. If he does hold up and throw those 175+ innings, bring him back as a starter. No doubt about it.

(Chris Trotman/Getty)
(Chris Trotman/Getty)

Mads asks: Not Yankees related, but would a trade between the Cardinals and Rangers with Profar and Oscar Taveras make sense? Cardinals get shortstop help and Rangers get an impact outfield bat, plus they extend Andrus.

It does make sense, but I think both teams would say no to this trade. Part of the reason is that teams love their own prospects more than everyone else’s, but it’s not quite surplus for surplus either. As I said before, Andrus is a Boras client and working out an extension might be damn near impossible at this point. The Cardinals have no other legitimate outfield prospects to replace Carlos Beltran after the season, plus Matt Holliday isn’t getting any younger. It sounds good on paper, but I think both teams would be wary.

Mark asks: Do you think Mark Teixeira‘s recent injury coming on the heels of Alex Rodriguez‘s hurts Robinson Cano‘s chances of getting the 8-10 year offer both Boras and he were hoping to get from the team and increase the odds that he leaves the team after this year?

You’d think yes, right? But it probably won’t. There will be plenty of competition for Cano’s services next winter — Dodgers, Tigers, Angels, maybe even the Rangers, Nationals, and Phillies could pursue him — that his price will still be astronomical. I’m not convinced he’ll get ten years anyway, but eight definitely seems doable. We have to remember that many GMs don’t care about the back-end of huge contracts because the job turnover rate suggests it won’t be their problem.

Ryan asks: Explain to me how the Tigers can cut free of Brennan Boesch’s contract, owing very little on his untradeable contract. Yet, the Yankees can’t consider just releasing Alex Rodriguez because they would still owe him the $100+ million left on his contract. Is it the wording on the contract? Is it that they would still owe him too much, even if they didn’t owe him all of it, to really consider doing that? Seems weird that other teams can release their players and save at least a little cash and move on, but the Yankees are stuck with the albatross contracts to the bitter end. Is it just a perception? Also, not saying the Yankees should do this with A-Rod necessarily. It’s more of a curiosity as to why they don’t, can’t, or won’t. Thanks!

They can’t. One-year contracts for players with less than six years of service time (like Boesch) are not guaranteed. They can be released in Spring Training and owed less than the full amount — 30 days termination pay is released by March 13th, 45 days after that — which is what the Tigers did with Boesch. The Yankees pulled this same trick with Chad Gaudin a few years ago, releasing him in camp and paying him just a fraction of his original deal. A-Rod’s contract is fully guaranteed, as is nearly every free agent contract.

3/21 Camp Notes: Jeter, Hughes, Betances
RAB Live Chat
  • Travis L.

    I wasnt trying to get on the Nuno hype-machine, sorry if it came out that way. I was just thinking that someone like the Rockies (who have pitching woes) should have given this guy a shot. Not like he can pitch any worse than Francis or Pomeranz has in the last couple of years.

    • CS Yankee

      Agreed, Rox should have had a bag full of options. I’m guessing their scouts focus more on future talent in the draft versus others as they have been fleeced countless times in trades; less CarGo.

  • Bavarian Yankee

    tbh I’ll never understand why Mike likes Andrus THAT much. Andrus is pretty good defensively but where’s the offense? He’s an average major league hitter at best, I don’t know what team would seriously would pay him 10/180. Andrus wasn’t even one of the top 10 SS in wRC+ in 2012. If you really want that type of player then just sign somebody like Jamey Carroll and you get very similar production for 1/10 of Andrus’ price.

    • Slugger27

      the thinking is that he will only get better offensively while maintaining his defensive abilities for several years. hes only 24. granted, i do agree 10/180 is absurd and have no idea where he couldve gotten that number. thats $20M more than tulo got and andrus will be older.

      • Ed

        Tulo signed the extension when there were still 3 years plus a team option left on his deal. The first two years of it were arbitration seasons. Both of those factors lead to significant discounts. He would have gotten significantly more as a free agent.

        • Slugger27

          youre right that him not being a free agent would, in theory, lead to a discount. im just not sure that it played out that way. the reaction around that deal was mostly that the rockies paid market value for him, and that they shouldve been able to sign him for less since he wasnt a free agent. i certainly disagree he would have gotten “significantly more” than 10/157 as a free agent.

          who knows though. you make a good point. even if he was a free agent and got, for the sake of argument, 10/200, there is still no way andrus is worth even close to that. estimating andrus at 10/180 seems insane to me.

    • CS Yankee

      I recall Mike stating in 2010 that Andrus has zero power and should be attacked versus pitching around him…he had an awesome postseason and against them and went yard (i believe).

      He is pretty awesome with the glove but has made quite a few errors as well. He also has been punished by the coke-head manager for lack of hustle.

      If Profar is all of that, they should trade Andrus for max value to fill some of their other holes. Olt seems like too much hype and more Trumbo like, IMO.

    • Tyler

      I agree. Make no mistake I think he will get $100 million ish on the open market but that much is not happening.

    • Dalek Jeter

      I guess Mike’s projecting that Andrus is going to get better from here. I mean I’m looking at his numbers, and nothing really jumps out as all that impressive except for the stolen bases. However, if Andrus comes into his own the next couple seasons and gives the Rangers .295/.380/.400 with 30+ steals and continues to play incredible defensively I could see him signing something closer to like 10/160 maybe…but yeah 18 mil AAV for Andrus does seem steep.

    • derrick

      He thinks Swisher is good that should tell you all you need to know about his skill as an evaluator of a valuable baseball player.

      • jsbrendog

        nick swisher is a very good baseball player.

      • Slugger27


  • Cris Pengiucci

    I’d wait until he becomes a free agent and just try to sign him, but that might require something like ten years and $180M at his age.

    Signing a young, top-tier SS to a ten year, $18MM/yr deal? Then Yankees would never do that. Oh, wait …

    I’d be on board with that. Since Andrus is a FA after the ’14 season, having him and Cano together for years to come would be a good thing.

    • Tyler

      There is no way in hell Andrus approaches those numbers on his next contract. He’ll definitely make around 100 million but close to 200? Absolutely not.

      • trr

        that does seem sky-high, doesn’t it?
        them again, these days…

      • LK

        When Andrus is a FA, the Dodgers will have moved Ramirez back to 3B and have a hole at SS, and his agent is Scott Boras. I’m not saying he’ll definitely get $180M, but it’s absolutely possible.

  • Matt DiBari

    I might just have six plus years of Joba fatigue at this point, and I desperately want it to just be over, but I think Yankee fans have him horribly overrated.

    If player [x] on the Rangers was a fat, extremely injury prone right handed middle reliever with a big mouth and a DUI, and the Rangers were demanding an arm and a leg in “equal value” we’d all be laughing in their face here.

    • Slugger27

      you think yankee fans have overrated him?? we’re talking aobut trading him for mitch moreland here……

      i dont think anyone cares about the dui. i mean it sucks that he did it but as far as trade value, nobody gives a shit. also not sure why youre accusing him of having a “big mouth” … even a google search doesnt turn up anything recently with him popping off… is there an incident youre referring to that im forgetting?

      • Dalek Jeter

        I agree…I really don’t understand the Joba hate lately. I mean I believe it would and should cost more than Joba to get a Mike Olt, but at the end of the day he’s at worst a middle reliever with really good stuff, and at best possibly a middle of the rotation starter (no, I will never let it die.)

    • Barry

      You must be a city dweller. Living in the country almost everyone has had at least one DUI. Doesn’t make him the devil. Who cares if he’s heavyset, he’s obviously a better ballplayer than you ever were.

      • Travis L.

        That’s hateful! I was a pretty good ballplayer in high school and even had scouts talk with me, but my family had me believing that I would never make a life out of playing a game. So, instead of focusing on baseball, I went out and got a job and then got hurt doing it. Just because Joba plays MLB, doesnt mean that he is necessarily better than someone who isnt…just means he got a shot and some of use didnt or didnt take advantage of. Just saying.

        • Travis L.

          …got a shot *that* some of us….

        • 2badjack

          i hit .725 in littleleague

          jez “i could have been a contender”

  • kevin w.

    Sorry but Andrus is not worth a 10-year, $180 million contract. I don’t even believe he is a $18 million dollar player, $12 seems more reasonable. Unfortunately he’ll get paid like an $18 million dollar player, but you can find acceptable fast, defense, no power shortstops for cheaper than $18 million.

    • Bo Knows

      But how many of those can actually swing a bat and take a walk? That’s why Andrus will get paid, their aren’t many SS that are effective on both sides of the game. I doubt he’ll get 10 yrs, but I could easily see him getting 15 a year on an 8 year contract.