Jun
10

Corner outfield bat should be top priority at trade deadline

By
(Otto Greule Jr/Getty)

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty)

At 3.75 runs per game, the Yankees have had the most effective pitching staff in the American League this year. The already strong rotation is backed up with more viable big league arms in Triple-A, plus the bullpen has suddenly become very deep thanks to the emergence of Preston Claiborne and Shawn Kelley. The Bombers were expected to have a very good pitching staff coming into the season, but I don’t think many of us thought it would be best in the league good.

The offense, on the other hand, is averaging just 4.00 runs per game. That’s the fifth worst mark in the league and the worst by a Yankees team since that awful 1990 squad (3.73 per game). After hanging six runs on Aaron Harang in the third inning of the first game in the series against Seattle, they scored just six runs in their final 33 offensive innings of the series. Only thrice in their last 16 games did they score more than four runs. Yet it works because of the pitching staff.

We can point our fingers in a lot of places and assign blame for the subpar offense, but the biggest offenders to date have been the corner outfielders. The Yankees have gotten a combined .241/.286/.367 line out of their left and right fielders this year compared to the .256/.318/.415 league average. Things have gotten so bad that Lyle Overbay (100 wRC+) has seen time in right recently, a desperation move I advocated. The corner outfield spots are bat-first positions, those guys are expected to hit. Instead, New York has gotten well-below-average production.

Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki have combined for 427 of the 514 corner outfield plate appearances this year, so it’s no surprise those positions haven’t produced. Ichiro (67 wRC+) is having the worst year of his life and Wells (83 wRC+) is actually hitting worse than he did last season (88 wRC+) when you consider the move into the more favorable ballpark. These two are in very similar situations in that they’ve stunk since Opening Day 2011 with the exception of three weeks — Ichiro at the end of last year and Wells at the start of this year. Those three weeks are the outlier here, not their recent “slumps.” This is who they are.

Curtis Granderson is currently on the DL with a broken hand and is expected back sometime around the All-Star break, but hand injuries are always tricky. They have a way of lingering and impacting offensive production. Perhaps Granderson is less at risk because it’s his left hand and not his lead (power) hand. Either way, he is only one man. There is still another outfield spot worth upgrading with a legitimate everyday bat who can push Wells and Ichiro into a platoon for the next few weeks, then further on the bench when Granderson returns. There’s a very obvious path to improvement here.

(Al Bello/Getty)

(Al Bello/Getty)

“It’s always hard to predict [when the trade market will start to develop],’’ said Brian Cashman to George King late last week. “Last year there was a lot of movement before the deadline. But no one really talks about trades until after the draft.’’

Well, the draft has come and gone and the focus is now on the big league roster. The list of impending free agent corner outfielders who could realistically be available this summer is uninspiring — Mike Morse? David DeJesus? Corey Hart? — but adding a corner outfield bat doesn’t necessarily have to be a rental. Granderson is a free agent this winter and there is no reason to think Ichiro and Wells will morph into everyday players next year. The farm system doesn’t offer much immediate help either. Adding a bat they could control in 2014 as well would be worthwhile.

The list of outfielders due to become free agents after next season is a little more enticing, but not much. Guys like Michael Cuddyer, Alex Rios, Josh Willingham, and Alfonso Soriano could be options, but they all carry big price tags and performance concerns. Are they better than Ichiro and Wells? Hell yes. Are they worth the price, both in terms of prospects and salary? Eh, maybe. We don’t know what the other teams want in return at this point. Hopefully some more names pop up on the market as teams fall out of the race.

Finding offensive upgrades at shortstop and catcher (and to a lesser extent, third base) would be the ideal moves at the trade deadline, but those positions are very hard to fill and the realistically available trade targets aren’t all that appealing anyway. The corner outfield spots are a different matter entirely. There are always left and right field bats on the market and that’s the easiest spot(s) for the Yankees to improve their offense this summer. The trade deadline is still more than seven weeks away, but this is something they should start exploring now. Wells and Ichiro don’t deserve any more rope.

Categories : Trade Deadline
  • nycsportzfan

    Its funny you mention the 1990 team, because about a month ago, i mentioned that this offense reminded me of the 1990 team and was promptly showed stats that showed this yrs team was much better offensively then the 2013team. I then replied to check back in a few wks and tell me if the stats say this teams offense is that much better then 90′s team.

    Not that it matters, because all I care about is winning games, and right now, the yanks are winning games. Keep winning and fuck the offensive stats. Albeit, it would be smart to try and fix the offense before it becomes a issue, but as of now, it has not.

    • RetroRob

      Check back in a few weeks.

      The offense could be better than the 1990 team…or worse.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      The 1990 team wouldn’t sniff the level of competitiveness this team’s had thus far. I get your point, though.

    • hey now

      #WelcomeToRAB

  • Travis L.

    Would it be worth it to bring up Thomas Neal or Ronnier Mustelier? Hell, I’d almost take Mesa over Wells. Mesa would give a defensive upgrade at the very least.

    • Josh

      While they’d both probably provide upgrades, neither are on the 40 man. Kind of like what happened with Dickerson last year.

      • Travis L.

        True, but if they are THAT down on Wells, just DFA him. LOL. I make it sound sooo easy!

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Would they have to pay him next season if they just shot him?

          • Thomas

            Better aim for the head, it is the only way to kill the walking dead.

        • MannyGeee

          Actually, WE (and when I say ‘WE’, I mean you all…) are down on Wells, not them.

    • TomH

      Mesa? Leave Mesa in Scranton. This team is an offensive catastrophe. It doesn’t need a no-hit outfielder whom ML pitchers would toy with.

      Mustelier’s another matter, and I would certainly love to see him given a chance.

  • nycsportzfan

    Hey mike, what would it take to get a michael cuddyer via trade?

    Could Ivan Nova and Montgomery get it done, or is that highly unlikely?

    • Brian S.

      I would not trade cost controlled pitching for a DH, no matter how good he is hitting in Colorado.

      • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

        THIS!!!!

        This is the kind of trade I wouldn’t want.

      • nycsportzfan

        Its always a gamble, but you gotta give something to get something.

        • The Doctor

          Yeah but this is giving something to get something less valuable. That’s just pointless.

          • nycsportzfan

            Not for this season. The whole point about trading prospects or guys who have tasted the bigs but haven’t yet 100pct became a fulltime ML’er is that your looking to get a piece that helps immedietly and if you can get a bit more outta the player whos all ready made a ML career , then great, but mostly its for the present, and not the future. Clearly Michael Cuddyer helps the yanks alot more this yr then Nova and Montgomery are going to, and montgomery and nova are still both unknowns, who could end up helping very little when said and done in NY.

            Thats the way trades go. It’s a risk both ways.

          • Preston

            What’s Nova’s value at this point? I was as high on him as anybody, but he’s really struggled. I don’t know that his stuff would play up in the bullpen that much, and he’s arbitration eligible next year. Paying around 2 million dollars for a sixth starter/long reliever isn’t that cheap. And Montgomery hasn’t been all that good this year, and his work ethic in the off-season seems to blame. We might be trading both these guys before there value becomes zero. Obviously we might trade them and then they figure it out. But that’s the nature of the beast.

    • CS Yankee

      Rox, as most teams, are still “in it”.

      Costs would be way too much…if your gonna overpay, might as well go (dream) big (Stanton, Gordon, etc).

  • Brian S.

    Zoilo Almonte has a .839 OPS against RHP this season. They should call him up, send David Adams down, and platoon him with Wells. And then maybe even DFA Wells and call up Thomas Neal.

    • Brian S.

      I feel like they should attempt in-house options before trading away valuable assets for old players who are near the end of their contracts.

    • Frankie

      I agree, the kids have done pretty well so far in most aspects… even Adams for the first week weeks. They should give Neal or Almonte a shot for a while maybe get some more of that spark that the kids had been giving them in early May….

      For Almonte, another Switch hitter helps shake up the order a little as well.

    • Aceves’sMountainBike

      makes good sense. I bet they’ll try to shift around the guys with options and try some in-house solutions. cons: coming up too prematurely and riding the bench could (at best) take away from development/regular reps and (at worst) could expose those faults and impact your trade value *cough* *cough* *romine.

    • Jobu

      I agree and would certainly like to see what some of the internal options can offer prior to the trade deadline. My only concern with Z. Almonte is that I keep reading the Yankees feel he needs more development time. Still there are other players that could offer the possibility of an upgrade. They could be worse than 67 or 83 WRC+, but it would take a real effort to be much worse.

    • JD

      The problem is that we have no real sense of our MILB bats. I wish someone would prepare a blog explaining why Adams in failing to hit now. Is it a slump or a defect that MLB pitchers have zeroed in on? Does anyone know of another site where they get a little more into the details of prospect performance. This blog is great (and free) but doesn’t provide much more than the affiliate round-up on MILB.com. This site has good writers (Mike in particular) but not baseball evaluative talent.

  • Wheels

    Maybe they could send Overbay down to AAA to gain experience playing RF.

    • Nick

      hes not doing that. Also he is probaly as good in Right as he will be

  • trr

    You’re talking about arguably the biggest egotist in the game, who is
    legitimately (like it or not) owed $114m by the flagship franchise of the world. I do believe A-rod would like to get back on the field and prove his detractors (and I’ve been one of them) wrong. Whether he will or not remains to be seen of course.

    A-Rod in Japan would be like throwing a mongoose into a cage of doves.
    Steroid use is a non-starter in Japan; there is still a big cultural divide between the U.S, and Japan. Not an insurmountable one – we both love baseball, albeit in somewhat different ways.

    Before anyone takes issue, yes I do know quite a bit about Japanese culture; I work for a Japanese Company, have been there several times,
    and deal with the Japanese Culture every day of my working life.
    And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Bottom line on this deal: ain’t happening. not then, not now, not ever.

    • trr

      Sorry all, obviously this should’ve been posted in the A-Rod thread

  • Brian Romeo

    Why are we pretending like yankee ownership isn’t insisting that Ichiro get consistent playing time???

    he’s not going anywhere… they signed him to a 2 year deal when EVERYONE (including cashman) knew it wasn’t prudent… you really think they’re just gonna let him spend those 2 years riding the pine because he’s a corner outfielder who doesn’t hit much?

    He’s playing, and he’s gonna keep playing.. and it’s all about marketing and the business end of it… just accept it

    • WhittakerWalt

      Yep, he’s staying put. The Steinbrenners have spoken.

    • mike

      He will retire at the end of this year if he remains pathetic…he has too much pride to stick around.

      If Wells was still hitting, or Granderson back, i think Ichiro would be doing better as they would limit his exposure – he is not an everyday player anymore, but ( like Hafner ) they are over-exposed playing every day. if platooned/rested, IMO the Yanks would get more production from them both.

      • MannyGeee

        OR…. or… hear me out here… He has too much pride to walk away from $6.5M. BOOM.

        • Preston

          Very few players ever walk away from a guaranteed spot or guaranteed money. It just doesn’t happen. If the Yankees don’t actively cut Ichiro he’ll be on the team next year.

          • FIPster Doofus

            Gil Meche.

  • Eddard

    If Michael Pineda does well in rehab then the odd man out is Phil Hughes. He’s a trade chip for an NL contender looking for another arm. The NL has done wonders for AJ Burnett, why not Fly Ball Phil? We have our 1-2-3-4 locked in. If Pineda can be that #5 then we can trade Phil for a bat.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      Why is a contender trading a viable bat for a back of the rotation starter?

    • Jim Is Bored

      Eddard, we’re not riding out the rest of the season with only 5 arms in our rotation. It’s just not happening. Hughes isn’t going anywhere this year.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        A week ago, Ivan Nova probably wouldn’t have been the first guy called up again in case a starter was needed. Now, Vidal Nuno is injured and Chein-Ming Wang is eating Pizza Pizza up in Toronto. Never too much pitching.

        • Jim Is Bored

          Agh I missed Nuno’s injury. Damn.

        • Mandy Stankiewicz

          PIzza Pizza™ pizza?

    • Jobu

      Just out of curiosity, but if you were an NL team what kind of bat would you trade for Hughes?

      • Nick

        if they are contendign they probbaly would want to trade prospects. but maybe if someone like the Cardinals was high enough on Hughes they would trade Beltran if they felt Oscar Teveras was ready. thats a big maybe though

        • The Doctor

          The best team in baseball isn’t trading a middle of the order bat mid-season. Period.

        • Will in NJ

          LOL. The trade proposals that are suggested on this website are incredible.

          • Jim Is Bored

            In the comments on this website*.

            The authors tend to be pretty reasonable.

          • Nick

            yeah i shoud have stated that he is the only significant bat from a contender that would potentially be available and to get him you would need to give up some significant prospects. so the Hughes question is kind of irrelevant, I just assume he would be part of a package

            • The Doctor

              Why do the Cardinals want prospects in this theoretical trade? They have a stacked farm system and are in win now mode at the Major League level. If they do anything, they’ll be giving away prospects for upgrades. They’re the kind of team that could afford to get Cliff Lee if the Phillies stop winning and not even give up a major league piece. Why would they even consider giving up Beltran?

              Maybe, just maybe, the Cardinals would give up some prospects for Hughes if a few of their pitchers suddenly had season ending injuries. Other than that, I see absolutely no way this match up works.

      • Adam

        Maybe Chris Denorfia and Nick Hundley? Seems fair and would fill some of our needs. And Phil should do fairly well in that ballpark.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

          I think you’d need forced trade mode for that one.
          I don’t imagine a non-contender would have any interest in trading for Hughes, and certainly not giving up 1 key contributor, much less 2, in the process.

          • Bill

            I like the idea of trading for Denorfia and Hundley, but agree that Hughes won’t interest the Padres at all. The Yankees will have to part with some decent prospects instead. However if the Padres are willing to take less than our top guys it’d probably be worth it especially for Denorfia who is signed through 2014.

        • Mikhel

          They are not going to give up Denorfia nor Everth Cabrera, let alone Headley nor Hundley. The Padres are better offensively than the Yankees (heck, the Astros are even better than the mighty NYY).

          Hundley could be made available with the return of their suspended C, but I don’t see it happening, the Padres have a surplus of P in the minors, they need bats not pitchers.

    • The Doctor

      It sounds like it makes sense, but the fact is this kind of issue will more often than not resolve itself. Just to make this a bit more clichéd: you can never have too much pitching. If it came down to it, I’d rather stick Hughes in the pen as a multi-inning reliever. He just doesn’t have enough trade value to justify a team giving up a valuable MLB commodity. You could probably give him to a contending NL team for prospects, but no contending team is going to give up a starting corner outfielder for him, unless they’re completely out of contention. In that case, why are they trading for Phil Hughes? He’s a rental at this point.

      It just doesn’t work. If Pineda is throwing well enough to knock someone out of the rotation, Hughes or Phelps will have to go to the bullpen. The trade chips are going to come from the farm system, not the majors.

    • D$1184

      The Yankees wouldn’t get much for pending free agent Hughes. Might send Phelps down to make room for Pineda–I believe he still has options? It would be like when they sent Nova down even though he was pitching well a few years ago.

      • Mikhel

        The NYY demoted Nova when he began to not care in the mound and his “effectiveness” seemed lost. He regained it with that visit to the minors, but he is again in that mode, I’ve seen interviews in spanish and he thinks he is the best pitcher ever, he needs to tone it down A LOT, that stuff doesn’t fly with hispanic baseball players, they (or we, ’cause i played a bit in my college years) play like it is the last game we’ll get to play, and you certainly don’t behave like you are the best ever, even if a player is amazingly good (Canó, plays different in the Caribbean and in the world baseball classic than with the NYY, for example, in NYY he just doesn’t hustle).

  • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

    “Adding a bat they could control in 2014 as well would be worthwhile.”

    THIS!!!

  • WhittakerWalt

    TIL that David Eckstein has been retired for 3 years. I feel like this should have been bigger news, particularly since there’s just not enough GRIT in the league anymore.

  • Nick

    Mike is exactly right that the Yankees need to do this, but they wont. For everyone smack talking Wells I do think that he probably would hit lefties as well as Neal or Musty would, the real problem is Ichiro and the Yankee ownership are not going to give up on him. As much as the Yankees need to make a move they wont, the owners will convince themselves that all offensive improvments when the injured guys return and they wont acquire a Short stop for some reason. Alexi Ramirez makes a ton of sense but they wont do it.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      The combination of Ramirez’ performance since the beginning of last year and his contract makes Ramirez make very little sense, unless Chicago eats a lot of money or the Yankees have some reason to believe Ramirez will suddenly start hitting a lot better.

  • hornblower

    Almost any team in MLB would trade for Phil Hughes. I think the fans here sometimes have low regard for him but a just 27 experienced pitcher with good stuff would be great fit for most teams, especially the Yankees.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      He’s a free agent at the end of the season. That severely limits his value. I’m sure several teams would have interest. I’m not sure any team would give up anything of enough significance to make it worth trading him away.

    • The Doctor

      I don’t know how well regarded his stuff is anymore really. Bringing back a slider certainly helped mix things up, but he just doesn’t have anything particularly nasty.

      I’m a fan of Hughes and would like to see him extended, but I don’t think any teams are high enough on him as he is right now to give up valuable MLB pieces for 6 months of him. If they were getting his peak years that are coming, he’d be quite valuable, but he’s essentially a lock to go to free agency and see what he can find.

    • jsbrendog

      homer prone pending free agent to be starter with below league average numbers the past 2 years and no out pitch who can’t put anyone away with 2 strikes? seriously? no. way.

      phil hughes has not been a league average pitcher since 2010.

      go look at the similar pitchers on his bref page and retch

      http://www.baseball-reference......ph01.shtml

      (disclaimer, i love hughes but let’s be realistic)

    • Mikhel

      Hughes is a free agent at the end of the season and whomever acquires him, won’t be elegible to get a draft pick as compensation if he goes elsewhere, the new rules stats he would have to play at least a full season for them to be elegible for a compensation. His value is really low.

  • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

    OK here we go IF Nuno and Pineda were pitching lights out and they were to put Hughes or/and Nova on the block would they be able to get a good under control corner outfielder? IF so give names please.

    • Jim Is Bored

      I’m not sure, but definitely better names for Philbert than Crazy Ivan.

    • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

      Oh come on guys RAB is letting me down. Ok I will throw one out there and watch you guys rip it apart. How about Mark Trumbo?
      There were rumors that the Yankees have been interested in him before.

      • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

        But if your going to rip it come up with something better.

        • The Doctor

          I’m not as opposed to this as I was upon first reading it. He’s definitely improved his walk rate a lot this year and if you can hide a bad defender anywhere you can hide them in YS right field.

      • Mikhel

        **I smoke a bit of a magic cigarette**

        I propose: Professional baseball player© Nix and Hughes for: Trout, Trumbo, Jered Weaver, then ship Trumbo+Brignac to SD and get Denorfia, Headley, Amarista and Everth Cabrera. Amarista+Cabrera+Jobba ‘the hutt’ Chamberlain to Texas for Yu Darvish.

        I would also send: Romine+Wells+money to Boston in exchange of David Ortíz (bundled with a big package of magic milkshakes, and the bosox personal dealer, the son of Jerry Remy), and Clay Buchholtz with a big tube of his “special rosin”.

        **man, this stuff the Pirates parrot sells is reaally strong!**

  • mick taylor

    the yankees need texeira to start to justify the 22 million dollar contract. he has gotten a free pass in the new york media. show me one article ripping him in the post or times.blaming wells for everything is unfair when tex is hitting 160.

    • Jim Is Bored

      You apparently don’t read much.

    • vicki

      ten games. come on.

  • http://stevearts.com Shodo11

    I live out on the west coast and watch the Dodgers regularly. I pretty sure you could get Eithier for Hughes or even Phelps or Nova or Nuno – you get my drift. Andre would do well in NY – he likes the limelight and that short porch in right.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      I’d imagine they could probably get Eithier without giving up any of those pitchers. The question is why would they want to take on another horrible contract.

      • mitch

        Unless LA eats a ton of the contract, i wouldn’t touch Ethier…even if they were giving him away.

        • Mikhel

          LA Dodgers are rumored to be offering Ethier and eating most of his contract in exchange of ANY starting P who could be their 4th or 5th starter, but a regular #2 or #3 P in any other team, they have Puig and another OF ready to make it to the big leagues.

          If a team is interested in giving away a not so good pitcher, then said team would have to eat most of the 80+ millions owed to Ethier (Crawford is also available).

      • The Doctor

        Not to mention yet another lefty. Not that there are a ton of righty options but still.

        Now if the spend happy Dodgers eat a huge chunk of his contract, we’ll talk. He could be the best realistically available option… Or at least I thought until I noticed he’s 31 years old. No that is definitely not something I want unless we are paying him pennies on the dollar.

    • Preston

      I would Like Ethier. RF in YS would be perfect for him, not a lot of ground to cover and easy for a LHB to hit it out. They would definitely need to eat some money. But maybe this Dodger management would do that. The problem is that the contract is pretty backloaded. I can’t imagine them eating half of the remaining contract just to get rid of him.

  • Cool Lester Smooth

    And y’all laughed at me for saying we should get Dom Brown!

    • Jim Is Bored

      Who laughed at you for wanting Dom Brown?

      People may have laughed at specific offers, or at the likelihood, but I’m pretty sure most of us would have loved to have Dom Brown this year.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        I don’t think anyone actually laughed at the idea, but people were surprisingly lukewarm on my “Nova and pieces for Brown” plan over the winter.

        Of course, that might have just been because they still thought that Nova was anything more than a borderline 5th starter, despite his entire professional career outside of 2 months at the end of 2011 and June of 2012.

        • MannyGeee

          In fairness, it’s more because anyone without a major homer boner knew that it would take more than Nova and some spare parts to pull Dom Brown…

          Most people were aware that OF depth (with or without Wells) was more than a luxury…

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            People actually were saying that the proposal I had below was too much, since they didn’t want to lose Murphy.

            • Cool Lester Smooth

              Obviously MTPS, but it certainly isn’t an overpay.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        Just found what I said, I was championing a “Gumbs/Murphy+Warren+Nunez for Dom Brown” trade. It might have been a bit much, but Warren and Nunez are the definition of replaceable depth.

    • The Doctor

      I don’t think anyone laughed. RAB was actually quite high on Brown as recently as last year. I remember a Betances for Brown rumor came out and everyone practically shat their pants with excitement.

  • Bats

    I’m sure Cashman will take care of the Yankees needs. However, I doubt that the Yankees will pursue a tremendously big bat for the stretch run.

    In 2012, the Yankees 4.83 Runs per game, which is 0.83 difference from this season. Tacking in (about) 1 run per game, isn’t such a big deal, IMO. Especially since the current Yankee Superstars (i.e. Tex and Cano) have been underperforming as of late. What the Yankees needs are hitters that bat .270, but with OBP that hover around .340.

    If the Yankees are having problems scoring runs, it’s because they are having problems setting themselves up to score runs. As of this date, the Yankees .OBP is .307; and they are 11th in the League with Walks with 171. When those stats are improved, the Yankees will score more runs per game. BTW, Boston who leads the League in Runs per Game league the Lead in .OBP and ranks 2nd in the League with Walks with 251; Detroit ranks 3rd with 223….28 BB difference.

    Where the Yankees need to improve in is pitching. Though, Kuroda & Pettitte have been awesome this year, their age could take a toll (see Andy Pettitte). Once the pitching goes, I predict, the whole season will go as well…..and FAST.

    • Justin

      ….they have, literally, the best pitching in the league.

      Their offense is not good. Why would they focus on an area in which they are excelling?

      For next year, sure, pitching.

      • Jim Is Bored

        I think we could definitely short up our rotation with as much depth as we can get, as long as it’s not cost prohibitive.

        But I’d say that in literally every season of any team that’s ever played the game.

    • The Evil Umpire

      Hey Bats, if you can add another run per game to the Yankees offense, I think we’ve just found the Yankees’ new GM! Goodbye Cashman!

    • Mikhel

      0.83 is what turns a bad team onto a good team with the type of pitching the NYY have, look at it this way: the padres astros average a bit more runs per 9 innings than the NYY, yet they are bad because of their awful pitching.

      PS
      I expect a 0.270 AVG hitter to have AT LEAST a 0.360 OBP, a 0.090 points or better OBP than his AVG for those with less than 0.300 AVG (from whom I would expect a 0.370-0.380 OBP). It is doable, the great NYY teams of the 1990s had those numbers.

  • Travis L.

    Off topic….Boston just DFA’d Pedro Ciriaco…do we take him and DFA Brignac?

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Absolutely!

      If only to prevent him from playing against us.

    • The Evil Umpire

      I’d rather have the rotting corpse of Honus Wagner.

      • The Doctor

        He’s a first baseman now. Can only really pick balls out of the dirt these days…

        I’ll show myself out.

        • The Evil Umpire

          That made me chuckle out loud at work! Nice one!

        • TCMiller30

          Haha nice.

    • The Doctor

      I suppose he offers a bit more upside than Brignac, so I suppose we could. I am a fan of Brignac’s defense though, so unless there’s a clear offensive upgrade I’m not going to fret too much over it.

      • Mikhel

        I watched him play all winter and while he is more than capable in his range, well, he is actually very good, he is rather average or below average fielding the ball cleanly, he will get to a lot of grounders but will seldombly drop the ball and fail to even get an out.

    • pop

      You wanna give the Frenchman the guillotine?

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      Chris Nelson also DFA’d again.
      Time for round 2?

  • http://stevearts.com Shodo11

    For the time being, why can’t Joe rotate in Overbay in right or left vs righties? Wells/Ichiro are killing us right now. Telling you Eithier would be good for us. He was an all-star not long ago. Now it’s Puig-mania out here and we could snap him up. If you don’t like that – how about Kubel from the D-Backs? And PS – What is up with Cano this weekend – he looks confused.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      Ichiro and Wells were all-stars not too long ago – both only 1 year prior to Eithier’s last appearance.

    • The Evil Umpire

      You risk overexposing Overbay, and then you have a groundball single turn into a run scoring 3 base error.

    • The Doctor

      Ethier would be a good get if and only if the Dodgers eat a massive chunk of his contract. Even then I’d be hesitant. He’s more or less a platoon bat with bad defense. I’m sure he’d like the short porch plenty and he’s been an above average player pretty much every year, but he’s not a fantastic option.

      Really I just want Swisher back.

    • Roadgeek Adam

      Eithier stands a better chance of going to the Mets.

  • Hardy

    Maybe they can pry Nick Swisher away from the Indians. One top prospect could be enough.

    • The Doctor

      They could’ve had him back for just money. I’d be excited to get Swish back, no question, but it’s not going to happen and the way they went about getting him back would piss me off.

  • http://stevearts.com Shodo11

    C’mon, let’s deal in reality. Love Swish but not coming back. Gotta dig through the rosters and see who’s not being used. How about Venable from SD? He’s a Princeton guy.

  • Tim B

    Well if your gonna trade for a corner outfielder, it needs to be worth while for both teams. I would pursue Giancarlo Stanton. Young and it would be worth it for the long run. Now i would trade Ichiro, prospects and maybe some cash. Marlins said hes not available but maybe they would like whats coming back. Maybe you try playing Overbay every day and you’ll get results.

    • http://stevearts.com Shodo11

      Ichiro? Why oh why would the Fish want him. Stanton would require 2 pitching prospects plus Adams, or someone else.

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Ichiro, Melky and IPK for Stanton.

      MAKE IT HAPPEN, CASH!

      • The Real Me

        Best proposal I’ve heard! (Melky + IPK is always the correct answer.)

    • Will in NJ

      Why on earth would the Marlins want Ichiro… Sometimes I wonder if RABers think before they conjure up these rediculous trade proposals. If there’s one owner who would do something that stupid, however, it would certainly be Loria. But in all seriousness, Stanton is one of the few players I would gut the farm system for if he was made available

      • shittyshittybangbang

        Yeah, but um ….., dont forget ….., the marlins are fucking stupid. Youre welcome !

      • Jim Is Bored

        Ridiculous.

        There’s no e in ridiculous. Rediculous is a ridiculous way to spell ridiculous.

  • http://stevearts.com Shodo11

    Or Bernadina from the Nats – that guy would be great. He’s only 28, makes 1.2M, and is totally unutilized by the Nats.

    • The Evil Umpire

      I think they need a power bat more than another speedster. +1 for thinking outside the box though.

      • Mikhel

        a speedster who bats for average and gets on base is better than a power bat: 25% of at bats end up being hits, but only 2% of those at bats end up being homeruns. That’s the reason why, for example, Hunter Pence has produced the same amount of RBIs and Runs than Granderson from 2010-2012, with a fraction of HRs. Pence has played in offensive limited teams and has produced as much as Granderson in a high offensive team like the NYY, imagine what he could produce (Pence) with the NYY. 70% of Granderson’s RBI have been himself scoring in his own homeruns.

  • Robert

    Neal Musty and Z Almonte. Lets see what they can do. Because I believe all 3 are out of options or subject to rule 5 and will get Major League shots on other teams ala Chris Dickerson next spring!

    • Robinson Tilapia

      How could musty be out of options? He’s never been in the major leagues.

      • The Doctor

        I believe sending him down from big league camp in Spring Training uses up an option, but there’s no way he’s out. Actually, he’s not on the 40 man roster, so maybe they haven’t used any. I really don’t know, but regardless he has options left.

  • mceli

    For anyone advocating trading hughes… He would bring back a rental or a slightly better than avg player given hes a FA soon.. Hughes is infinitely more valuable to us as back of rotation starter.. and then qualifying offer and 32nd pick in draft.

    So Hughes for rental or Hughes for 32nd pick and likely top ten prospect
    …no brainer

    • JohnnyC

      Finally the voice of reason.

      • Mikhel

        The bad thing is… the NYY would have to make a qualifying offer to Hughes to get that Draft, that is: offer Hughes a 13.5 MM per year contract or more. No way Hughes turns down such an offer, which in any case, the NYY would be stuck with Hughes at double his current price.

        • mceli

          Hughes is 27 and hitting the open market as a free agent… he is not going to take a 1yr deal, i can easily see someone giving him a 3-4 years assuming he doesnt blow up completely this year

  • http://riveraveblues sandy g

    the only way the Yankees save face with their fans is for the Yankees to release a-rod and eat the rest of his contract for 80mil.we all know that’s a lot of money against the salary cap,but for piece of mind for all its the second best thing that should happen.we all know what the best case is but arod is not going to retire.my solution to this problem is for the Yankees to hire tony soprano.

    • jsbrendog

      so i thought you were trollin’ til tony soprano….i…i don’t know….

  • I’m not the droids you’re looking for…

    I got it:

    ARod and Hughes for Puig.

    • pablos ham sammich

      I got it:

      ARod and Hughes for bologna

      • jsbrendog

        das raycess

        • shittyshittybangbang

          jea, bery bigoted !

  • CS Yankee

    Let’s recap;

    The M’s took Smoak (+ parts) over what the NYY offered (Montero/Adams; so with Phil being a solid #4/5 starter and Lee being an “Ace”, NYY would expect 1/4 or 1/5 of Smoak.

    I’ll pass on the Angels fourth OFer playing in the PCL out of Utah.

    Unless they can package a bunch of “meh” (Hughes/Nova/Dellin/Joba) for a 3 WAR OF signed for a couple of years, wait for the 30ish pick in 2014.

  • shittyshittybangbang

    Unlike some, im not down on hughes. From what has been preached …. you could never have enough pitching ! I dont do cyber/numbers/metrics, etc…, i test for me, and i think hes pitching well. Liked his “stuff” last outing. With the dearth of “quality” pitching, you could do a lot worse. Shit, id probably try to extend him now.

  • shittyshittybangbang

    * eye test (dumbass)

  • Scooter

    The Dodgers have excess OFers.

    • The Doctor

      Let’s break down the Dodgers’ outfielders:

      Yasiel Puig: not getting traded
      Matt Kemp: absurd contract the Yankees can’t afford, not getting traded anyway
      Carl Crawford: cannot be traded to the Yankees
      Andre Ethier: could definitely be had, but has a bad contract, struggles against lefties (a problem they’re trying to get away from), and is bad defensively. Not to mention he’s already 31.

      None of them are particularly enticing. Ethier could be good if the Dodgers are a huge chunk of his contract and asked for practically nothing in return, but even then I’d like to see better options explored first. He used to be an All-Star masquerading as a superstar, now he’s an above average platoon player masquerading as an All-Star. Good player, sure, but not touching him with that contract.

    • MannyGeee

      Either and Puig (one that the Dodgers would never give away and one that the Yankees SHOULDN’T want) are the only ones available.

  • The Real Greg

    Options:

    Ryan Rayburn-Indians
    Mark Trumbo- Angels (Gonna be tough)
    Chris Denorfia- Padres
    Marlon Byrd-Mets (probably not, but it has happened before)

  • King George

    Might be a dumb question, but does extending a qualifying offer to Phil at the end of the season guarantee a first round compensation pick IF he declines? Is that all that is required?

    • The Doctor

      As long as another team then signs him before the trade deadline (or is it the Draft?), yes.

      • MannyGeee

        If he doesn’t sign before the draft, there is no compensation.

        • The Doctor

          Ah it is the draft. Thought so but the trade deadline made more sense to me. Thanks.

  • shittyshittybangbang

    Ethier + 50% of contract value for ivan nova and a “b” prospect. Not enough ?

    • The Doctor

      It might be enough, but I’m not sure Ethier is a great option. He’s certainly an upgrade, even his 76 wRC+ against lefties is better than Ichiro’s overall production, but he’s still a platoon lefty on a long contract about to exit his prime.

      At $10M/year, however, I may be able to tolerate the bad parts of the deal. 4 more years isn’t a short commitment, but you probably aren’t going to be able to match his production for a whole lot less. It’s a tricky deal and the Yankees really couldn’t afford to put anything less than a very solid defensive outfielder in left next year with such a butcher in right, but I would seriously consider it if he came with half the contract paid for.

  • qwerty

    Where are all the fans who called Cashman a genius for taking on Wells’s contract?