Dec
07

Thoughts following the day everything changed

By
Robbie no. (Jared Wickerham/Getty)

Robbie no. (Jared Wickerham/Getty)

This was, without question, the craziest week of hot stove action I can remember. That includes the Winter Meetings. Teams just didn’t want to wait for Orlando next week to take care of business, and one of those teams was the Yankees. With Brian McCann, Kelly Johnson, and Jacoby Ellsbury already on board, the team added both Carlos Beltran (three years, $45M) and Hiroki Kuroda (one year, $16M). yesterday. Of course, they also lost Robinson Cano to the Mariners after they offered a tenth year and $240M. Bittersweet day (mostly bitter), to say the least. Here are some thoughts.

1. As soon as the Yankees splurged for Ellsbury, I honestly did not think they would let Cano walk. Spending that much money on a very good but not elite player like Ellsbury only to let your homegrown superstar leave doesn’t make much sense. They held the line at seven years and $175M and I truly believed they would bump their offer up to (and maybe over) $200M if push came to shove. It’s a huge blow to the Yankees short-term — I’d say the next two years at the very least, probably more like four or five — but it will help in the long-term, when they aren’t saddled with a huge albatross contract. I just can’t believe Cano’s leaving. Man, who thought this would actually happen?

2. The Mariners made it very, very easy for the Yankees to walk away. They’re a desperate franchise and desperate franchises do desperate things, like offer $65M more than the next highest bidder. Of course, Seattle had to blow everyone else out of the water if they wanted to land a premium player like Cano. The city itself is great and Safeco Field is gorgeous, but it’s a tough place to hit. The team itself stinks and the travel is awful (the Mariners fly more miles than every other club each season because they’re so isolated in the Pacific Northwest). Add all that together and you get a place that doesn’t attract many free agent hitters. Not many good ones, anyway. The Mariners blew Cano away with the offer and that makes his departure easier to swallow. It sucks he’s gone, don’t get me wrong. But at that price? Had to let him go. No-brainer.

3. I’m pretty sure the Yankees will go hard after Omar Infante to replace Robbie — what’s the over/under on the contract, three years and $30M? sounds about right — and he’s probably the best realistic second base option. I’d greatly prefer a trade for Howie Kendrick, who has two years and $20M left on his deal, but the Angels are looking for pitching and the Yankees just don’t have any to give up. David Phelps and a prospect ain’t gonna get it done. I don’t want any part of Brandon Phillips for reasons Joe already outlined and if Infante’s demands are unreasonable (he and his agent could jack up the price hoping to capitalize on the team’s potential desperation), I think Mark Ellis would be a tolerable one-year stopgap. He’s a very good defender and not a total zero at the plate (92 wRC+ in 2013). Infante is no better of a player today than he was two days ago. The Yankees shouldn’t go all out to sign him just because he’s the best available option with Robbie off the board.

So sweet. (Elsa/Getty)

So sweet. (Elsa/Getty)

4. I was thinking about this last night: Cano doesn’t really have a “signature moment,” does he? Derek Jeter has the flip play (and a bunch of other moments), Jorge Posada has the double off Pedro Martinez in Game Seven of the 2003 ALCS (and a bunch of other moments), so on and so forth. Cano doesn’t really have one. That’s not meant to be a knock against him, it’s just one of those things. Winning the 2011 Homerun Derby doesn’t really count, and, according to WPA, his best game in pinstripes came on July 1st of this past season. He went 3-for-4 with two homers and a double in a blowout win over the Twins. Meh. I guess his game-winning homer off George Sherrill in 2010 stands out (video) — that was the game in which the Yankees broke Jonathan Broxton with a big ninth inning comeback, which I’m sure you remember — but that isn’t anything special. When I think of Cano, I don’t think of a singular moment. I think of that sweet swing more than anything. Like this one. B-e-a-utiful.

5. I’ve said this a few times in recent weeks, but I am a bit nervous about Kuroda heading into next season. He’s getting up there in age and man, he looked like toast late last season. Hitters were squaring him up constantly and he couldn’t locate anything. I guess poor location is better than his stuff falling off — Kuroda’s velocity actually ticked up a bit late in the season — but it’s still a red flag. They still need to add another starter, Brian Cashman has acknowledged that already, and hopefully it’ll be Masahiro Tanaka. I think he’s a really good fit given his age and all that stuff. If that doesn’t work out, I’d rather see a short-term Bartolo Colon reunion than a long-term marriage with Matt Garza or Ubaldo Jimenez. Either way, the Yankees have some decent back-end depth with Phelps, Adam Warren, and Vidal Nuno. Michael Pineda is the real wildcard. He could give the rotation a big boost or not throw a single pitch for the big league team for the third straight season.

6. Beltran definitely gives me a Randy Johnson vibe, meaning the Yankees are adding the right player, just nine years too late. He can still hit, there isn’t much doubt about that, but his defense is below-average and his knees are grenades with the pins pulled. the Yankees will be able to give him time at DH and are going to have to to keep him healthy. If I had known the Yankees were going to sign two outfielders coming into the winter, I probably would have pushed for Shin-Soo Choo and Curtis Granderson. The club opted for Ellsbury and Beltran, which is perfectly reasonable but definitely the riskier option health-wise. Probably more expensive too. This is definitely a high-risk, high-reward roster at the moment. It could be great but it could also be really, really ugly if Father Time comes back to wreak more havoc in 2014.

7. One thing that I do like is the diversity the Yankees have added to lineup. McCann is a brute masher and Ellsbury is a speed guy while Beltran is an all-around hitter who will hit for average and power. He also gives them a switch-hitter, something they didn’t have at last season. Almost literally not at all — Mark Teixeira and Zoilo Almonte combined for 176 plate appearances and that’s it, they were the only switch-hitters the Yankees had this summer. Crazy. Ellsbury, McCann, Beltran, and Johnson all work the count well and that’s pretty important. The Yankees didn’t have enough guys who could put together good at-bats and wear down the starter this year. There were an awful lot of quick at-bats and quick innings. That should change next summer with those four plus Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira, and Derek Jeter returning.

8. Speaking of Gardner, I’d absolutely keep him unless some team offers a starting pitcher that is just too good to pass up. (Lots of people asked about Gardner for Homer Bailey and I don’t see anyway Cincinnati entertains that as one-for-one swap. Gardner’s trade value is along the lines of Norichika Aoki’s and Seth Smith’s, and look at what those two were traded for this week.) Both Ellsbury and Beltran are injury concerns for different reasons, plus Beltran and Soriano figure to get regular turns at DH. Keeping Gardner as a heavily used fourth outfielder who could step into the lineup everyday if someone gets hurt makes an awful lot of sense. If the Reds will trade Bailey for him or another team comes along with a comparable offer, then by all means, pull the trigger. Otherwise keep him around and enjoy the depth. There is no doubt in my mind there will be a time next season the team will be happy they kept him around.

Categories : Musings
  • tmoney

    Mike don’t forget Banuelos as another wild card. With a decent start in Scranton you could see him in the 2nd half of the season. Also can you see the Phillies parting with their 2b prospect Cesar Hernandez maybe in a Gardner swap? He is obviously blocked and the Phills need an upgrade for CF.

    • Farewell Mo

      ManBan hasn’t pitched in 2 years and he’s likely on a strict innings limit. Highly unlikely he contributes at all
      Next year.

  • Canodontyoublow

    I really don’t think the yanks wanted cano back. Something we don’t know.. He’s cocky or something. Either way asking 300m to forego free agency was not a kinda gesture. Reports say they talked to him about running to first and he never did.. I don’t think he would have been safe more than once but it’s probably pretty annoying thing to deal with.

    • JMK

      Nice handle. Classy.

    • Cano Cango

      It’s probably his ARod association. That me first mentality hurts a team.

    • OldYanksFan

      I love Robbie… but frankly, I was afraid it would eventually come out that he was doing PEDs.

      I think the bottom line with the Yankees is they know it’s not 2001 anymore. Their money is still an advantage, but not to the extent it was 10 years ago. It needs to be spent WISELY… and not just thrown around. $240m for Robbie, as good as he is, is ‘throwing it around’. Bookmark this. Robbie’s contract will end up being one of the worst in MLB history.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    I was thinking about this today. I’m upset that the Yankees are losing Player X with Robinson Cano’s production. I’m not necessarily upset that they’re losing Robinson Cano.

    I don’t really mean that in a bad way. I don’t dislike Cano or think he’s a bad guy, but I never made the personal investment in him that I did for Jeter or Mo or Bernie. Cano was just a guy I liked having on the team because he was a great baseball player.

    • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

      This is exactly the sentiment I did such a poor job of expressing the other day when trying to make the case that he doesn’t put butts in seats. A phenomenal player, generational even, somehow though just not someone with whom I ever had any emotional connection, something that I believe is the case for more people than not. Maybe it’s the lack of any real signature moment as speculated above, or something else. Tough to say. But for me it is what it is. I could be wrong (as I’m sure multiple posters will now tell me, again) but I don’t think so.

      Not that that’s why the Yanks didn’t go to 10/240. That’s obviously a smart decision whether anyone truly loves Robbie or not.

      So yeah Matt, I’m with you. Very distressed to see his production walk out the door, but as an individual, he personifies for me the idea of rooting for laundry. And I would’ve felt exactly the same had he been re-signed (for 7-8 years): excited to have the production back, but not moved one way or another emotionally to have ‘Robinson Cano’ back.

      • BamBamMusings

        What helps to turn people off from him is that he is actually trying to be this guy who is adored and deemed invaluable by the Yankee fans. Its just not the case.

        He started gearing himself for this day many years ago. Not only did he switch from Boras to Jay-Z’s firm to become a global icon, but lets not forget that he jilted his original agent to go to Boras in order to get that big pay day.

        He’s just never really endeared himself into the hearts of Yankee faithful.

        • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

          Hmm. Not sure about whether he is actively trying to be that guy as you surmise and describe. His production was certainly amazing if not invaluable. But whether he was trying or not, with me he certainly didn’t succeed in transcending the laundry.

          • BamBamMusings

            In all of Cano’s time with the Yanks, I don’t recall him ever going out of his way displaying his Yankee pride. That’ usually something that endears you to a fan base. See Jeter, Mo, Bernie, even Tex. Heck, look at King Felix as an example.

            Heck, maybe its just a Cano bias on my part. But I just don’t ever recall having any moment where I look at the guy and say, he really loves being a Yankee.

            • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

              What do you mean by displaying his Yankee pride? What do those others do in that regard that he doesn’t?

          • OldYanksFan

            His production was NOT amazing… except maybe in the context of being a middle INF. But at the end of the year, we look at team stats.

            When Pujols signed, his contribution to his team was a 168 OPS+, and Ruthian HR numbers.
            When ARod (1st) signed, his contribution to his team was a 148 OPS+, and Ruthian HR numbers.
            When Cano just signed, his contribution to his team was a 128 OPS+, and very good HR numbers.

            Robbie (so far) is an all-time great 2nd baseman, and an elite all around player. But he will NOT be worth $200m going forward.

            • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

              Two separate questions. I was looking at both sides of the ball, and so yes…his production was amazing (and I’m a guy who generally thinks defensive metrics are both too imprecise and over accentuated in WAR type calculations).

              So I think his production was amazing, and, that he will not be worth near what the M’s paid when all is said and done.

        • Chip

          Players change agents all the time, I don’t think its a sign of immaturity. All sports icons want to be the best at everything (see Shaq’s rapping/”acting”) so I don’t knock him for that. I do agree that he’s definitely not on the level as some of these other guys

          • Lets go Yankees

            There was a bit of a greedy undertone to his switches.

          • Cano Cango

            There’s more to Yankee brand than just ‘Laundry’! We don’t need players who walk around thinking they are a legacy in the making. Tht’s the problem with the ARods and Canos of this team. Glad to see them go..

            • OldYanksFan

              ARod is NOT in that category. He gave up playing SS, ONE HR shy of the all-time HR record for a SS, in order to both be a Yankee and to Win. He in entrenched in baseball, and works like a bastard at it. It was his influence on Robbie that got Robbie working overtime.

              ARod may be an asshole and also a cheat (like literally hundreds of other MLB players), but he is a dedicated baseball player.

              • http://N/A block-30

                Great & true comment. OYF. I’m also a OYF, lucky for me since (61).

              • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

                +10000

      • Mike HC

        He will never be Jeter or Mo, but I definitely grew attached to his laid back, make everything look easy style. I don’t think I have ever seen a player more smooth than Cano. At the same time, I realize that style can turn a lot of people off.

        • http://www.twitter.com/thewallbreakers Scully

          I think, and this might put me in bad company, that Cano always left me wanting something more. His 1st half in 2010, it looked like he put it all together and was going to be the next super-duper star.

          As good as Cano was, and he was very very very very good, I always felt like he had all the tools to be hitting .350 with 40 HRs and 120 RBI every season, because he shows so many flashes of that, and would then follow it up by 3 weeks of chasing sliders 4 feet off the plate and fastballs at his eyes. I think maybe that’s why people weren’t sold on him. Like, as good as Robinson Cano is, he is so talented that he should be even better, which is where all those silly hustle comments come in.

          • Mike HC

            I get what you are saying. If Cano always looked annoyed, beat the shit out of water coolers every now and then, pulled a couple hammies running down the first base line, and dove for balls out of his reach, then people would think, damn, “he is really giving it his all out there.” The smooth, laid back style invites criticism that no matter how good he is, he is not living up to his full potential. Kind of like how Ken Singleton used to mention every year how Cano would one day win a batting title, like he wasn’t mashing the ball year after year anyway.

            • OldYanksFan

              How about if he dove for balls withIN his reach?
              Or ran hard on doubles that may have been triples?
              Or stopped admiring HRs that ending up being doubles, that he turned into Singles?

              • Mike HC

                No arguments from me here. This he is most certainly guilty of, especially on the basepaths. I just don’t buy into the fact that if he tried harder he would have averaged .330 35 120 for his career.

                But if he did do all those little things, and hustled all the time, and hit exactly as he does now, people wouldn’t be giving him shit for not hitting like Barry Bonds.

          • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

            Interesting about that slash line as I’ve thought that as well. And maybe it is precisely because he always makes it look so easy. It made those 3 week swoons where he’d expand the strike zone to Albuquerque absolutely maddening.

            Well, now those will be Seattle’s swoons.

          • chris

            Yes, +1 to this! I saw him in Trenton when he was there too and I always thought he was going to be the next Miguel Cabrera. I guess I never got attached to him because I feel, whether I’m right or wrong, that even though Cano is a great player, he should be better. I felt he was going to be a perennial .320-.330 guy with with 30 homers. When you combine that with his laid back approach and lack of hustle… In a nutshell, I just feel that he never realized his full potential because he doesn’t care. He’s so good that he doesn’t have to try.

            Anyone ever hear A-Rod’s comments on Ken Griffey Jr.? A-Rod would be working his ass off and Griffey played video games instead of going to practice. Then he’d go out and be the best player on the field.

            That’s exactly the vibe I get from Robbie. Which is why I never got attached to him the same way I loved Pettitte and even A-Rod back in the day.

            • KevinD

              I think we are endeared to players who show outwardly that they care as much about winning and the game as we the fans do. I think of Paul O’Neil who looked like he wanted to kill somebody when he didnt get a hit. One announcer even stated that, “this guy expects to get a hit every at bat”
              Its called leadership by example. Jeter had it in spades. The play against Boston is a play where Legends are born. Sacrificing yourself for the team.
              My point is, Cano has talent, perhaps more pure talent than most of the ball players we have seen. But has never outwardly shown that hustle, desire, willingness to sacrifice himself. Maybe because it comes so easy for him, but maybe its because he just doesnt care as much. I don’t know. But the perception was definitely there, and I think thats why there was a bit of a disconnect with Cano the player.

              • Steve (different one)

                This is funny because part of O’Neill “caring” so much meant when he hit a lazy pop up, he would throw his helmet off like a child and jog to 1B….

                And I loved O’Neill, but he certainly did NOT run hard to 1B every time.

                • KevinD

                  Maybe so but he didnt just smile and shrug it off like it was no big deal.
                  He was a clutch performer who showed he had heart. It was THAT, which fans connected with in NY.

                  Heck even Jeter slows up on grounders to second base.

              • thomas

                one thing that NOBODY has mentioned but a factor into the Cano situation is that his “secretary” visited biogenesis for weight loss. Wondering if they didn’t want an A-Rod situation in that regard also.

              • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

                Look how much grief Eli – a two time super bowl winning QB!!! – gets for his perceived lackadaisical attitude and general lack of water cooler punching.

                Rightly or wrongly, this stuff factors into fan perception which, in turn, is reality.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner (the rarely spoken-of sibling)

      I’m upset at losing Robinson Cano, the player, for sure. I’ve spent nine year watching him blossom into an elite player, and it is very sad to see that he chose money over cementing his part of Yankee lore.

      • GQJ

        I don’t understand how anyone can blame Cano for choosing to go to Seattle. I’m sure most of it was because of the money, but I would be surprised if Cano wasn’t quite peeved at the Yankees for the way they took a hard stand in their negotiations with him. I know I certainly would be if I was him…

        The great Yankee organization, which overpays for all free agents (and they just did for Ellsbury), isn’t willing to match or come close to an offer for their own home grown player. Anyone in his shoes would get offended by that given the Yankee’s past and present actions.

        • OldYanksFan

          Not fair. EVERYONE overpays for (the better) FAs these days. It is now the nature of the market. And Robbie was not overpaid. $200m would have been an overpay. $240m was just desperation driven insanity.

          The difference is, if Robbie helps Seattle to the PS 2 or 3 times, they will happily go another decade without sniffing the PS. The Yankees are geared to be perennial contenders. This makes the way to need to do business, different then the rest of MLB.

          Had the Yankees gone 10/$240m, EVERY SINGLE Yankee Blogger and commenter would have been…
          “I love Robbie BUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT………
          Holy Shit…. OMG!!!!… WTF!!!… Didn’t they learn from ARod?!?!?!?… FIRE CASHMANNNNNNNNNNNNNN!”

  • Pseudoyanks

    Good point on Cano not having a signature moment. My Jeter signature moment isn’t the flip play, it’s when HE flipped into the stands against Boston going after that foul ball. Also good comp on Beltran to RJ and nine years too late. Let’s hope those knees hold up.

    • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

      That’s my Jeter moment as well. Next would be the Jeffrey Maier “home run” in 1996.

      Fear of the Day (FotD)™: the RJ comp will prove all too apt.

      • David

        Let’s not forget “Mr. November.” My god, that man has a lot of moments.

        • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

          Yikes how could I forget! Sooooooo many moments.

          • vin

            Hit #3,000 was pretty memorable too.

            • Cano Cango

              To this day, Cano’s signature moment = Signing for 10/240. Can anyone think of anything else?

              • Steve (different one)

                How about being a big part of a WS team?

                The posts suggesting he “should have been” a better hitter are basically insane.

                The guy hit .309/.355/.504 over 9 years including .312/.373/.533 over the last 4 years.

                Are we really arguing that falling short of Miguel Cabrera’s numbers means he’s not giving 100%?

                • OldYanksFan

                  I grew up watching Rod Carew… his entire Career. Over 19 years (to age 39), he posted a: .328 .393 .429 .822 line. And Frankly, Robbie is a FAR better hitter (or should be) and far more powerful.

                  But Carew was SMART.
                  Carew didn’t give away ABs or extra bases.

            • 42isNotMortal

              This is precisely why Jeter was given a raise despite his wasted efforts to get back on the field last year. Moments such as the above mentioned Derek’s shiner and blood inducing dive into the left field box seats, is what keeps his jersey purchases and the fans rolling in.

              Cano, within his maddening slumps and unmatched scorching hot streaks produced 5-6 wins over the course of a season, but his erratic plate discipline overall and constant 0-2 counts in the playoffs especially, make it a lot easier to watch him go.

  • DERP

    I thought Scott Hairston would be a very cheap righty bat before they signed Beltran since Washington has four other outfielders.

    Trade for Kendrick somehow and sign Reynolds to platoon with Johnson at third. Dump one of Wells or Ichiro. Do not want Infante or Phillips. Trading for Nick Franklin would be nice, but Seattle should want a lot for him (rightfully so).

    • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

      I wonder about Kendrick. With the Pujols and Hamilton double disaster deals, I could see the Angels happy to get a little salary relief. Though I guess you could also spin it the other way, that they need to win in the next year or two before Pujols and Hamilton are completely washed up, so trading Kendrick isn’t likely.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

        I would love Kendrick, but he costs more than Daniel Murphy say would. Personally, Gardner for Murphy/Lawley (a prospect) would be my immediate offer to Sandy Alderson.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          I’d much rather keep Gardner and just sign Infante or Ellis instead.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

            Too much small ball there and I am not a fan of Mark Ellis period. Dodgers were dumb for dumping him. He’s better off in the NL really.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              Gardner + Infante/Ellis >>>>Murphy

              (assuming the extra $$ don’t prevent the Yankees from addressing their pitching needs)

  • Dars

    Mike,
    You are way too pessimistic. This Yankee line-up has a balance we have not had in years.
    Speed, power and grit. I can envision Gardner and Ellsbury winning games on speed and defense alone.
    Robinson Cano was in my eyes a milder version of ARod. A guy who raked stats when the game was already won or against poor teams. He was losing his ability to hit lefties too.
    One simply has to go to the 2009 and 2012 postseasons to realize how unclutch Cano is. He only stood to get worse with age. In 2012 against the Tigers he was pathetic. The reason you don’t remember a Cano moment is because there really isn’t one.
    For once the Yankees showed restrain and savvy.
    The Mariners have made a mistake of colossal proportions.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Too bad the Yankees didn’t make the postseason in 2010 or 2011.
      I have a feeling Cano would have raked in the postseason those years.

      Oh wait, he did.
      I guess those weren’t big, clutch games though.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Oh wait, he did.
        I guess those weren’t big, clutch games though.

        ——-

        Yea just like his close and late stats in the regular season are terrible too :)

        Oh wait they aren’t. Cano has his faults and no he wasn’t an icon of Jeter but fans are letting their anger cloud their judgement. I’ve even heard ppl dismiss his durability as if it’s something not important.

    • MikeB.

      I’ve enjoyed reading the comments in this thread about Cano. As much as I’ve been a passionate Yankees fan for years, I never really warmed up that much to Cano. Don’t misunderstand–I think he’s a fine player, but there was always something beneath the surface that kept me from really liking the guy. Yes, I was at The Stadium for many games in which he got key hits and made slick plays, but there was always….something that just did not feel right. And, of course, there were MANY times when I was furious over the fact that he did not seem to hustle.

      Again, there are some great comments here! I’m happy the Yanks did not sell the farm to keep him.

      By the way, I was at that game when Jeter dove into the left field seats for that foul pop. What a game! It seems so long ago.

      As I said in another thread here, I wonder how long Cano will remain with the Mariners? Good luck to him.

      And let’s go Yanks!

    • Cano Cango

      +1.

      As I said above, Cano’s signature moment was signing the dotted line for 10/240.

  • kenthadley

    What will Cano do when he deals with the expectations of the huge dollars? I don’t think he’ll handle fan and media pressure particularly well….heck, he was insulted with a 7/175 offer, his playoff performance wasn’t all that outstanding, and what happens when his skills erode or he finally deals with injuries? I think some of that played into the Yanks hitting a wall at 7 years. All in all, a wonderful player in his prime who can be compensated for by a team willing to spend 189.

  • Eselquetodolosabe

    A package of Gardner, a catcher (Murphy) and a minor leaguer (Mason Williams) for Headley might work. If not, at least try to re-sign Gardner before free agency. You have to lock some of these guys up before you lose them.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      I think the Yanks signing Ellsbury to the deal they did signifies that they have no intention of keeping Gardner after 2014.

    • BamBamMusings

      Is Gardner really that much worse of a player than Headley? Headley had 6 seasons as a full time player. 1 of those seasons was very good with the rest being mediocre at best. I dont see how Gardner is a worse player?

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        Mediocre at best is a stretch.

      • Eselquetodolosabe

        Even though I posted the possible trade suggestion, I don’t disagree with your assessment. IMO, Gardner and Headley have at least similar value, but since the sentiment on this site is that we never have enough value to entice or complete a trade, I added Murphy. Mike Axisa does a great job with this site/blog, but he seems to think that we’re always at a deficit when it comes to viable trade pieces. In addition, the non-negotiation prior to free agency edict should be revisited.

    • vin

      That would need to be a 3-team trade. I don’t think the Padres are looking for a guy like Gardner who will be a FA after next season. I suppose they can plan on flipping him by the trade deadline, though.

      • Vincent Vega

        Lets not forget the possibility of netting a comp pick for Gardner.

        • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

          Wow. I don’t know. A QA next year may be a $15mm+ number the way things are going. For sure he gets more than that total value across multiple years. But it still feels risky to me.

          • Mouse

            There is no risk at all. Gardner ain’t going to take a one year offer from the Yankees when he can get multiple year offers from others.

            • Steve (different one)

              This isn’t necessarily true. Don’t you think Hughes would have accepted the QA even though he got multiple years? Depends on the type of year he has.

              • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

                Exactly. 15/1 against 20/3 is no lay up for the latter IMO. Especially for a young SP with a chance to rebuild value and still land a much much larger LT contract.

                Obviously Gardner is not that, but it still seems a risk to me.

            • BamBamMusings

              If Gardy either has a terrible year or misses half the season, (Eentirely possible) He will obviously accept a 15-16 mil Qualifying offer.

              If he has a decent year without missing much time, he would not accept. Next years OF class is weak. There’s no reason he wouldn’t command a long term deal with what’s out there.

              • bkight13

                He would bank the 15m for the year knowing he will still be a FA at the end of the season. Gardner has made good money, but 15m for one year is too much to pass on.

                • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

                  Right. It depends on what he realistically can expect from the open market after whatever season he has. And yes next years FA crop which seems pretty abysmal.

                  I also think the Yanks are that much more likely to extend him the QO if the kids on the farm don’t progress much.

  • Rick

    Is it possible the Yankees have looked around the league and noticed they don’t need a masher for a 2B? They’re above average at 2 positions up the middle offensively. Ryan at short and Ellis at 2nd would give solid D at all 4 up the middle positions. Grab Ellis and spend on pitching.

    • OldYanksFan

      100% correct.

  • BamBamMusings

    1. It takes two to tango. Cano had ample opportunity to sign back with the Yanks. Look at all of the Red Sox players that are just lining up to give their team a discount. Is there really that big of a gap between Cano and Pedroia? (8 years at 110 Mil signed last year) Surely Cano could’ve taken his 175 Mil offer. Too much ego in Cano led to him making a career altering mistake.

    8. Gardner is a great player. The big knock on him is durability. If we’re going to trade him, please lets NOT do the Phillips trade. That would be knee-jerk reaction and a huge mistake. For crying out loud, the guy was moved into the 6 / 7 spot in the reds batting order. BIG MISTAKE!

  • JeterShouldNotBePlayingSS

    I can’t take another season of Jeter at short. He needs to moved to 3B.

  • Eric

    Your worried about KURODA? The guy who im worried most about and I think will determine the Yankees season is SABATHIA. Did you forget he was terrible last year? Kuroda is our #2 or maybe even #3 this year. If our ace does not return to pitching like an ace I think the Yanks are in real trouble. Whos to say he is going to turn it around and be great again? To me the chances are more likely somewhere in between great and what he did last year which does not equal a #1 starter.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      I really wouldn’t count on CC to be any more than a solid mid-rotation starter going forward, and there’s a real chance he won’t be even that.
      Reason they need to add another good starter and shore up the bullpen and fill the 2B/3B holes as I don’t think they can rely on the rotation carrying them to the playoffs.

      • Eric

        I think we’re screwed if thats the case. Pitching always seems to win come playoff time not hitting. Even if we get Tanaka im hardly feeling good going into the playoffs with Tanaka, CC, Kuroda, Nova/Pineda.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          The Cardinals won a WS with Jeff Weaver and Jeff Suppan in the rotation.
          Get there and hope the pitching gets hot at the right time.

      • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

        Yeah. The problem last year was that CC wasn’t even a solid middle of the rotation starter. He was literally one of there worst pitchers in MLB. A rebound makes him a 3/4 type.

        I’m pretty good with how the lineup is shaping up, but now very worried about the staff. Surely a FotD™ to come.

    • toad

      My own opinion, worth what I’m being paid for it, is that CC is a good bet to bounce back strongly. Notice I said “a good bet,” not “sure.”

      I think the pessimism is overdone. He is, as the stock pickers, say, more likely to be an upside surprise than downside.

      • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

        Bounce back, yes. But how high? I think to expect him to become an ace again is a very bad bet. I think he’s most likely a 3 with a bouncer strong 2 with a better bounce.

        • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

          …3 with a bounce or strong 2…

  • Reg

    Sign Colon
    Sign Tanaka
    Sign Reynolds for 3B
    Kelly Johnson will be fine at 2B

    Done

    • Reg

      And

      Trade Ichiro to either Sea or SF for salary relief

      • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

        I laughed.

        • Bavarian Yankee

          I’ll laugh at SF or Sea when it’ll actually happen :D

  • BamBamMusings

    Yanks Send Gardner + Murphy + Adams to Ana for Kendrick!

    • Polar Bear

      This sounds great. Ana could probably use Grady to replace the loss of borjos. they def need pitching and a catcher.

    • Tom K

      Adams is no longer in the organization.

      • BamBamMusings

        Okay then throw a Marshall/Claiborne/Nuno at them as a third piece.

    • RetoolRules

      Hendrick would be nice.

  • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

    We may never know (though I suspect it’ll be leaked somewhat authoritatively sooner or later) but I do think the Yanks went to 8/200 for Cano, or at least let it be known that they might against a competitive offer.

    I would’ve also been happy to have some earn outs in those 8 years to boost the value higher, for things like MVP finishes and the like.

    I also wonder if, after the M’s went to 10/240, JZ went back to the Yanks for a last look. I think that too will be known eventually.

  • JGYank

    Like mike said, we should keep Gardy to make ichiro lose playing time and in case of injuries. If ells goes down and we trade Gardy who is our CF? Our outfield d would suck in that scenario. I see Gardy as the starting LF on most days with Beltran and sori splitting time between Rf and DH with sori getting the occasional start in LF and Gardy can play CF when Ells needs a day. We can play matchups with our outfielders so Girardi has a lot of options there.

    The top 6 or 7 spots in our lineup are good even without Cano. Would like to improve 2b and 3b ( infante/Ellis and Reynolds/Chavez?). I don’t think the angels just give up kendrick even if they get a decent return. Also I’d prefer if johnson doesn’t start and was used as a utility man. I see the bench as him Ryan ichiro and cervelli with the remaing outfielder probably sori or Beltran dhing.

    We need a 4th starter hopefully tanaka and we can use what we have to fill the 5th spot. Maybe a combo of warren Pineda and phelps with one them getting the long man spot in the pen. We need another late inning reliever as well as a lefty but that is not a priority right now.

    So I think what we still need is a 2b 3b SP and 1 or 2 RP. But besides these holes the rest of the team looks pretty good as long as we stay healthy.

    • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

      Yeah I think we’d only trade Gardner as part of a package for a very solid rotation piece. The downside risk to losing him is pretty high.

      I can easily see a mostly regular OF of Gardner, Ells, and Beltran, with Soriano getting most of the reps at DH and also spelling the OFers. Then Girardo also cycles the vets into DH as well.

      • JGYank

        Agree. Soriano will get the most time at DH along with Beltran Jeter mccann and a couple other guys. Against a tough lefty Gardy can get the day off as well as mccann and we can play sori ells Beltran in the outfield and maybe start cervelli behind the plate. Maybe Jeter can DH and Ryan can play short those days.

  • Bo Knows

    Still doesn’t feel real; I’m still bummed losing Robbie

  • Eddard

    1. I thought they’d let him walk and they were 100% correct to do so. You’ll see why in a couple years when Cano’s natural skills decline. When those go he’ll just be a slow middle infielder and an albatross contract. The power will fade in Seattle.

    2. Absolutely. The Mariners made a huge mistake. They are nowhere near competing for a playoff berth and have now set their franchise back with this albatross contract. Good riddance.

    3. People are fretting about the loss of Robbie. This is a ballclub that was in the thick of the race with Stewart, Ichiro, Wells, Overbay, Hafner, no SS and no 3B for much of last season. They’ve already upgraded most of those positions and aren’t done yet with the money saved not signing Cano.

    4. Because Cano was never much of a leader like Jete. They need to start grooming the next Captain.

    5. I’m not. Look at the body of work, 3.31 ERA in the AL East. They just need to manage his innings better through the course of the season. Last season they were so inept offensively they need him to throw a lot of innings in close ballgames. This season they’ll score a lot more runs.

    6. Not me. Beltran is going to be just fine in RF. He’s great in the postseason and they can limit his wear and tear with the DH. Switch hitter in YS always a good pick up.

    7. I agree! They have balance now. Two years ago they were boom or bust, last year they had no power outside of Cano. This year they’ll have a much more balanced lineup top to bottom. Soriano for the whole year, Beltran, Elsbury, McCann, Jeter, Teixera are already big upgrades over Wells, Ichiro, Hafner, Stewart, Nunez and Overbay. And they still have money in the coffers to make more upgrades. That’s what happens when you don’t give one player $25 million/yr.

    8. I think Gardner is too good a player to rot on the bench. I’d trade him for another piece, either an infielder or a pitcher. The OF has gone from weakness to strength.

    • JMK

      Did Eddard just write that? Am I dreaming?

      • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

        Yeah. I actually found myself agreeing with some of these points. After which I feel like I need a shower.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      There’s no reason Gardner couldn’t still be the starting LF on the current roster.

      • Bill

        He will be the starting LF unless traded. There’s no way he’s a 4th OF anywhere. The guy was our 2nd best hitter for most of last year and he’s one of the better defensive OF’s in the game.

        Beltran and Soriano will both spend a lot of time at DH.

        Gardner may sit against the occasional lefty, but otherwise he’ll be in the lineup everyday.

        His trade value is also a heck of lot more than guys like Seth Smith and Akoi. He’s not enough to land a guy like Homer Bailey, but could be enough to get a guy like Pablo Sandoval.

  • JGYank

    Also no worried about Kuroda that much. Even if he declines from his 3.31 era he can still be a good pitcher. I like how the Beltran signing adds power and a switch hitter to the lineup both of which were needed. I think the yanks do go after infante but I forgot about Ellis as a FA and think he would be a decent stop gap. If we add infante and someone like Reynolds i would be very happy with the lineup.

  • PridePowerPinstripes87

    You know what’s crazy, the opening day lineups for 2013 and 2014 will be completely different except for Gardner (provided he’s not traded). If he is traded they will be completely different. Nuts.

  • Mouse

    Okay, so I see that most here want to ship the last homegrown everyday veteran in Gardner off in a trade. That leads me to ask, have the Yankees ever won a championship with an all mercenary team? For that matter, has any team ever won that way?

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      I’m not sure having Gardner or not is going to be the deciding factor in whether or not they win a championship this year.

      That said, I’d prefer they keep him, unless they can use him to get a very good player that addresses a need they can’t adequately fill in free agency.

      • Bill

        Uhh Jeter is still on the team. Plus the pitching staff has quite a few home growns as well.

    • Steve (different one)

      The 2004 Red Sox had about one homegrown player on the entire roster: Trot Nixon.

      So yes, it’s been done.

      • Mouse

        Jason Varitek?

        • Steve (different one)

          Mariners….

  • lou

    I’d Still go after Choo and then put a package together (Gardner) for a 3b or a P. My question is who is the #3 hitter now that Cano is gone? I feel that Choo could be that #3 kinda guy. Sure the outfield is crowded but by signing players kinda opens the door for future trades? The Yankees offer 170M to Cano so I see no reason to stop now. Keep signing so you have things to trade.

    In all I will miss Cano but I still think the Yankees should have traded him during last season. I’m sure a contender was willing to take him at a shot of the World Series. Anyway Thank you Cano best of luck but Seattle? Geez

    • Steve (different one)

      The Yankees are not signing Choo.

      Beltran can hit third.

      • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

        Probably right about Choo though I was stunned to read on mlbtr that one of the beat types (I think) said the Yanks are still in on him. I could see if somehow things stay to 5 years that they might say what the hell and go all in.

  • Zach

    Let’s just take a moment to remember last year’s Opening Day lineup:

    Gardner, CF
    Nunez, SS
    Cano, 2B
    Youkilis, 3B
    Wells, LF
    Fransisco, DH
    Suzuki, RF
    Nix, 3B
    Cervelli, C

    And in July, we were running out this squad:

    Gardner, CF
    Suzuki, RF
    Cano, 2B
    Overbay, 1B
    Wells, DH
    Nunez, SS
    Lillibridge, 3B
    Mesa, LF
    Stewart, C

    Wells is likely to be dumped, Ichiro and Cervelli to the bench, and Gardner could very well get traded. The 2014 Yankee lineup is going to look a LOT different. And even without Cano, it should be much more balanced.

    • Dalek Jeter

      There’s literally 1 guy in either of those line ups who figures to be a regular in 2014, and that’s Gardner.

  • Miguel

    Really hope Yankees can swing a trade for either Kendrick or Martin prado. If not maybe get Marco scutaro.

  • tmoney

    This contract will be as bad as Arods if not worse. There have only been two 2b in the history of baseball who have had multiple 4 war season in their age 34 seasons and up. Randolph had 2 (age 34 and 36) and Whiticker 3 (34-35-36). Joe Morgan and Jeff Kent are the only ones I can remember putting up decent stats in their last 30s.

    • Steve (different one)

      Here’s the thing though: Cano has the bat to slide down the defensive spectrum.

      I wouldn’t have given him 10 years either, but he could move to 3B or even 1B in 5 years. His value isn’t tied up in positional adjustments.

      • ajr24

        $24 million for a 39 year old 20-25 HR third baseman though? Have to assume the average would slip a little and given that he doesn’t walk that much his value could be depreciated a ton.

        • Steve (different one)

          In 8 years, $24M might be the league minimum…heh

  • JobaTheHeat62

    I know one thing that has changed…I was all about AROD being suspended, now nothing would make me happier to see him play next year. That would crush 189, but its not my money.

    • Mike HC

      Same. I want him back. 50 game suspension would be perfect though because he can probably only make it through 100 games anyway.

  • Mike HC

    Good thoughts.

    As far as Gardner is concerned, if they don’t trade him, he is definitely going to be their starting left fielder. I don’t see him as a 4th outfielder at all.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner (the rarely spoken-of sibling)

    Just no fucking way on Bartolo. I’d honestly rather give Garza five years. At least I know there’s a decent chance he could cement the mid/back of the rotation.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      I guess you haven’t seen Colon pitch for a while. Over the past two years he has a 2.99 ERA in 342.2 IP. I’d take him on a one year deal any day.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner (the rarely spoken-of sibling)

        I would spend every pitch fearing the next one was when the other shoe fell off. I don’t even want to say what commenter i’d resemble.

        • Steve (different one)

          To quote the great David Wells: you can’t pull fat.

  • http://www.twitter.com/thewallbreakers Scully

    I’ve been doing some thinking about the outfield layout + DH.

    Let’s say there are an average of 6 games every week and you have 3 outfield spots + a DH spot which gives you 24 total playing spots for Beltran, Soriano, Gardner, Ellsbury (+ the rotating DH with Jeter, and Teixeira) I think the breakdown could look something like this (assuming perfect health of course):

    Ellsbury: 6 Starts in CF = 6
    Gardner: 5 Starts Left field = 5
    Beltran: 1 Start at DH, 4 Right Field = 5
    Soriano: 2 Starts at DH, 1 Left Field, 2 Right Field = 5
    Jeter: 2 Starts at DH = 2
    Teixeira: 1 Start at DH = 1

    That totals 24 and properly rotates guys around. Whether a defense that has Soriano in left and Beltran in right one day a week is worth it remains to be seen.

    Gardner, in my opinion is a starter and not a 4th outfielder. He hits enough and his Left Field glove is the best in baseball. I think Beltran and Soriano will be getting a day off every week.

    This also takes into account that Jeter will be getting a day off every say 2 weeks and a half day off every week he’s not sitting a game (DH). Jeter will be the starting shortstop until his feet explode turning a double play, even with Ryan around to be a late-inning replacement.

    • http://www.twitter.com/thewallbreakers Scully

      I should also add that losing Cano sucks, but by the time this offseason is over this Yankees team will have a lot of versatility with Johnson being able to play a ton of positions (I see him being mostly 3rd, 2nd and maybe a start at 1st now with the outfield logjam), and Ryan getting a spot start at 3rd here and there and maybe 1-2 start a week at SS and 2nd. This will also change with Infante coming in (if it happens) but I still see him being a 5 out of every 7 game type player.

      I know people might complain, but even with losing Cano, I like the job the FO is doing to repair the non-pitching lineup. There’s still a ton of work to be done with the pitching obviously. I have a feeling Gardner’s best value is with the Yankees as he’s not going to fetch you more than a 4th starter and most teams don’t need his particular services at this exact moment.

    • Mike HC

      Fair analysis. Regarding Beltran, he definitely needs days off. St. Louis would try to limit his playing time the best they could. Like Mike wrote, his knees are a time bomb.

      • Dalek Jeter

        I really think the “rotating DH” should be with Beltran and Jeter getting the majority of reps there. The metrics and the eye test tells me that Soriano is a passable outfielder so in my mind 65% of the time Jeter or Beltran should be DH’ing with the other 35% being split between McCann, Soriano, and Teixeira.

        • Mike HC

          I’m on board. Jeter is the big wildcard. Let’s hope he is even good enough to be worthy of DHing on days he isn’t playing short. I semi worship Jeter, but last year was depressing.

        • Bill

          That makes sense to me. I think Soriano is in better shape health wise than Beltran. A lot of people say Beltran is the better RF and maybe they’re right, but he hasn’t played well there recently. Ultimately though the most important thing is keeping these guys healthy. Beltran in particular given the investment.

  • your mom

    “This is definitely a high-risk, high-reward roster at the moment. It could be great but it could also be really, really ugly if Father Time comes back to wreak more havoc in 2014.”

    That would be some pretty unbelievable luck if we keep getting injuries up and down the system again. It’s getting rather old.

  • Dick Whitman

    Gardner is more valuable than Aoki. When healthy he’s a 4-5 win player. That has real value. Let’s not pretend he’s a 4th OF on a good team.

    • Mike HC

      The best trade value for Gardner would be for a player of similar value/one year left on deal that plays 2b or 3b. I don’t think one year of Gardner has the ability to bring in a worthy prospect haul.

      • Bill

        I agree, but comparing his trade value to Aoki and Seth Smith and calling him a 4th OF is just insulting.

        • http://www.twitter.com/thewallbreakers Scully

          Agreed. He’s proven that when healthy he’s a starter. He’s a player that brings multiple tools to the table, speed, great glove, decent bat, occasional pop (not homeruns but he’s not strictly an ichiro-type singles hitter), good IQ. He’s a starter.

  • Farewell Mo

    I think Kuroda has to be looked at as their number 5 starter. After the last 2 years, I don’t see how they could expect more than 175 innings out of him maximum before he goes off the cliff again.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Maybe 5th starter for September.
      His full year performance has been much more in line with a #2 starter. Ideally I wouldn’t rely on him being more than a #3 this year, but I’d say the same thing for any of the Yankees other existing starters.

      Maybe just trying to lighten his workload a bit will help out later in the year.

    • Steve (different one)

      Just keep Nuno in the bullpen and have him take Kuroda’s spot every 6th start.

  • Farewell Mo

    Agree with mike that the yanks really can’t trade Gardner. Totally unrealistic to think Beltran and Soriano Can handle the corners for a whole season. Gardner should be starting LFer and Soriano/Beltran split RF and DH

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

    Regarding Cano’s signature moment, I almost feel like it’s the last out in 2009. Maybe that’s part of the reason that people don’t have that high level of attachment to him. As awesome as he is, there just never really was that one heroic moment.

  • Steve (different one)

    ARod has had about 10 signature moments but that doesn’t really seem to matter….

    • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

      Agree, though there are a like amount off the field, for better or worse.

  • LarryM Fl

    I will miss Robbie Cano’s baseball ability. His bat, glove and arm are 5 tool attributes. We all know his short comings. It will take some time not to look for him and accept his replacement.But it will come. Whoever is playing second will eventually have his momment of glory and the fans will quickly forget Robbie Cano plays here no more.

    I was a 7/175 guy and walk away. The Yankees did what was good for them. Cano did not leave the money on the table who could leave 65 million on the table. This is not a Lifetime movie. I think Robbie will second guess his ultimate decisions of agent selection and team selection. Boras would have presented a strong case for the Yankees not to go higher and I believe Boras may have been more realistic with demands.

    I’m excited as this team is becoming stronger through out the lineup offensively. Now work on the pitching and this team could be a force as usual going forward.

    • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

      Yeah. I never thought 1B would be the same after Donnie’s back forced him out of the game. But man did Tino change my mind. (Not that anyone we can get looks like a Tino, but you get my drift). Sooner or later a 2B for the Yanks will do memorable things.

  • KennyH123

    Trading Gardner would be a huge mistake. It would leave us with a 38 year old LF, 37 year old RF, an injury-waiting-to-happen in CF, and no viable backup unless you count 40 year old Ichiro, which I don’t, or the totally useless Vernon Wells.

    Gardner is an elite level defender at all 3 spots, and has elite level speed, and can hit a little and get on base (.344 OBP). He will play a ton next year, even if he doesn’t start every game. I realize he has value as a trade chip, but I don’t think the Yankees have any intention of trading the guy.

  • Steve (different one)

    I slept through the Beltran thread, but my $.02:

    Beltran was a necessity IMO once Cano left. He’s the only available bat that can sniff Cano’s production, and the Yanks were smart to pounce. Having his righty bat against LHers is a huge deal, and it’s the one reason I think I prefer Beltran for 3 years over Grandy for 4 (even though I was a pretty big Grandyfan).

    I also think Kendrick is the best fit at 2B, but I don’t know how to get him.

    My trade proposal sucks, but would the Mets do Gee for Gardner+, then Gee for Kendrick? Probably not, I think.

  • mt

    I was much more pessimistic on Cano leaving than general media and fans have been so I guess I am not as heart-broken today. Team will suffer over next 3-4 years without his production but today I am just trying to be optimistic that Cashman can fill holes and our farm system can start producing some position players soon so we do not have to dabble so heavily in the overpriced FA market

    It is interesting in terms of people saying Cano had to take the money from Seattle – yes, I would also take if that were the difference ($65 million) but let’s also recognize that there are players who make diferent choices and take less money – witness face of franchise Pedroia (who is at 8 years and $110 mm on a contract extension signed before he hit FA, I believe) and face of franchise David Wright (who was at 8 years years and $138 mm in a contract that replaced his the last club option on his last contract).

    Unfortunately the players who don’t opt for FA and who sign below market contracs never tend to be Yankees even the iconic ones like Jeter. That is fine because everyone deserves to make the most they can make. But given that there does exist a segment of players who don’t opt for maximizing money and years (add Jeff Weaver to the list of those not maximizing) it just seems that Yanks don’t ever get one of those. (Pettite and Kuroda have obviously helped us out with short-term deals in the past couple of years but I am more talking about younger players that would have been due for longer-term, 5+ year contract).

    So basically the “risk” of extra 3 last years (yrs 8, 9, 10) or $65 million to Cano ($240 million Seattle contract less $175 million Yankees apparent last offer) is replaced by the risk of the 3rd year of Beltran ($15 million), the extra $25-$35 million overall over-pay to Ellsbury and the fifth year to McCann ($17 million). Total “risk” numbers end up being similar but we have the three players who are much less durable than Cano (McCann with his surgically repaired shoulder and annual second half swoons due to ??, Ellsbury with his 2 injuries from outfield collisions and his foot fracture last year, and Beltran with his bad knees. More diversity certainly than just relying on one player but those 3 are much more risky from health standpoint.

    Side note: if there ever was a player who deserved to go to FA and maximize his earnings, even if he signed again with Mets, it was David Wright – he has been through a pretty depressing last five years or so of his career (from a team performance standpoint). Instead he opted to negotiate early and sign a below-market contract ($17.25 mm AAV ending in his age 37 year, which is not too bad for the age of a 3B)

    • Steve (different one)

      Not for nothing but Cano DID sign a below market extension about 5 years ago which punted some FA years away.

      It’s just that he signed it a while ago and now was a FA again looking for one more max contract.

      The Yankees got 9 seasons from Cano, and I am guessing they will be better than his next 9.

      We should stop ripping the guy for chasing the money, he could have been a FA 2 years ago….

      • Steve (different one)

        PS not saying you specifically were ripping him

  • Chip

    Honestly, the first play that comes to mind for me is the bunt double last season against the Sox. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been hoping somebody would try it for years

  • Bill

    Mike,

    If the Yankees signed Mark Ellis and Mark Reynolds to one year contracts at whatever salary you think is realistic, A-rod was suspended for the full season, and the Yankees signed one solid starter (Tanaka??) and one solid reliever (Balfour??), could they hit the 189 mil mark?? Let’s assume 25 man roster is McCann, Cervelli, Tex, Johnson, Jeter, Ryan, Elliis, Reynolds, Gardner, Ellsbury,Beltran, Soriano, Almonte, CC, Tanaka, Kuroda, Nova, Phelps, Huff, Cabral, Balfour, Robertson, Kelly, Clairborne and a Warren/Nuno/Pineda type. Let’s also assume we trade off Wells, Suzuki, Nunez, Romine and Betances for some minor leaguers. Do we have a chance to get under 189 or has that ship sailed???

    • Jorge Steinbrenner (the rarely spoken-of sibling)

      I can’t imagine a scenario in which waiting for Tanaka, without bringing in another pitcher, is a good idea.

      I used to say cano should be the tipping point on the celery cap. Now I think it should be tanaka.

    • Bill

      In this scenario you have lots of @options for rest. Assuming you face a right handed starter 120 games and a lefty starter 40 games you would have McCann catch 120 and DH 10. Cervelli catch 40. Tex at 1B for 140 and DH for 10. Johnson at 2B for 80 and 3B for 60. Jeter at SS for 100 and DH for 40. Ryan at SS for 60. Ellis at 2B for 80. Reynolds at 3B for 100 and 1B for 20. Gardner LF for 120 and CF for 20. Ellsbury in CF for 140. Soriano in LF for 40, DH for 50 and in RF for 50. Beltran in RF for 90 and DH for 50. Almonte in RF for 20.

      Total starts in the field would be 140 for Ellsbury, Gardner, Johnson and Tex. 120 for Reynolds and McCann. 100 for Jeter. 90 for Beltran and Soriano. 80 for Ellis. 60 for Ryan. 40 for Cervelli and 20 for Almonte. Ellis, Ryan, Cervelli and Almonte would also pick up innings in blowouts and as late innings defensive replacements.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      No.
      Right now they have roughly $10M (maybe less) left to spend (if ARod is suspended all year). Even if they can get somebody to take all of Ichiro’s salary, I’m not sure they could fit any more than Tanaka (or someone like Garza instead). Without dumping Ichiro’s salary, they probably couldn’t even do that much.

      I’d imagine the $189M ship has sailed.

      • Bill

        OK, you probably right. I would still rather have Ellis and Reynolds on one year contracts totaling about 10 mil (3-5 each)than sign Infante by himself for 10 per year for 3 years.

  • cheddar

    Serious question, as I’m not really familiar with either one of them…

    In what ways is Infante considered superior to Johnson at 2nd to warrant spending $10M on him this year that could otherwise go toward pitching help?

    • Bavarian Yankee

      Infante is a slightly better player overall but has less power than Johnson. Infante had one of his better years last season while Johnson has been borderline useless for 3 years now. Imo it’s more about if you believe Johnson can rebound after 3 years of being a shadow of his former self while Infante is still on his usual level. You’re basically paying Infante more because he’s the safer option of those two.

      • cheddar

        I see. Thanks.

        Considering our other needs, if Johnson could replicate rates similar to 2013’s 16 HRs and 52 RBI in 118 games, with decent defense at 2nd, I think I’d be okay with that.

      • Bill O

        Well Infante is a contact hitter who hits for high average and is a plus defender in the infield (can even play SS if needed). Johnson has more power and actually had a good season this past year in the AL east (far from useless). While they bat from different sides of the plate both have pretty even splits. Both are solid baserunners, nothing special. Johnson will walk more, Infante will hit more. Infante has been more consistent throughout his career, but is really reliant on maintaining a high BA. Whereas Johnson’s value comes more from walks and HRs.

        Infante is the better all-around player. Its hard to see him being worth 10 times the amount we got Johnson for as some are speculating, but honestly I think Johnson is one of the steals of FA thus far. His versatility will be huge plus his power will play well in YS. With regular playing time he could hit 20 HRs.

        I’d be happy to have them both though. I think Infante is a good value if he can be had for something like 3 years 24M.

        • Chris H

          I agree it makes sense to have both, worst case scenario Johnson starts at 3B against RHP (until Arod gets back?) which isn’t awful.

  • JLC 776

    It’s strange, I’ll miss having Cano on the team, but I won’t really miss Cano. Maybe it’s as Mike says, he doesn’t really have that signature moment. I mean the guy has been amazing day in and day out, he’s a great player to have on your team, but I’m just not shedding any tears.

    And the hustle thing really did bother me. Every single time. I know not everyone agrees, but there it is.

  • Chip

    Also, Cano leaving just proves that extending your own players is just smart business. They could have locked him up 2 years ago but decided not to

    • Steve (different one)

      How do we know this? Considering they already extended him early once, why would they have balked at a below market extension 2 years ago?

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    Would Murphy, Montgomery and Nunez get Kendrick?

    • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

      No way…I just answered my own dumb-ass question

  • Kramerica Industries

    http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?cont.....id=6479266

    That’s the second Cano video Mike posted. I was at that game. I was looked thoughtfully over my ticket from that game yesterday.

    THAT will always be my Robbie signature moment. No doubt about it.

  • Hassey

    Does this mean that Cano is no longer the best 2n of all time? Is being the GOAT in Seattle like a tree falling in a forest?

    • Steve (different one)

      Joe Morgan was the greatest 2Bman of all time a week ago and still is today….

      • Hassey

        Morgan has a huge ego so he’d likely agree with you but I wonder what Jim Kaat or Tim McCarver would say to that

  • mitch

    If they decide to scrap 189 I think Aramis Ramirez might be a decent option. He makes a ton of money, but he wouldn’t require giving up big time prospects. With Kelly Johnson here, you could afford to give him plenty of rest. One more big time RH bat would really make the lineup strong.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      so you want another Kevin Youkilis? Ramirez is a looong DL-stint waiting to happen.

      • mitch

        definitely an injury risk, but that’s why he’d come cheap. They should have more depth and wouldn’t need him to play everyday. Plus, he’s much better than Youkilis, so there’s a greater potential reward.

        • Kosmo

          A Brewers “journalist“ suggested a salary dump of Weeks, Gallardo and Ramirez to NY for a couple of so-so prospects with the Brewers eating a portion of their salaries. NY would be on the hook for roughly 30 million for these 3 players. Weeks I´m not crazy about but Ramirez would give NY a potentially solid 3B for 1 year and Gallardo a league average SP for also 1 year.
          A bit off the wall but I kind of like it.

          • Bill O

            Interesting, but seems like another Youkilis type mistake in terms of overspending on injury risk veterans who are past their prime (Gallardo is still young, but is coming off a bad year). It all depends on how Ramirez checks out health wise. You’d also really have to bet on a Weeks rebound year. Its certainly possible but he’s looked bad of late. They’d probably have to reduce the salaries a bit more than that. I’m not crazy about Gallardo in the AL East, but suppose he’s probably better than Hughes.

            Ramirez and Weeks could make sense with a guy like Kelly Johnson already in the picture. Ramirez is another guy that will need regular rest and the DH spot looks like it might not be an option.

            Obviously though the Yankees will have to wait on ARod’s suspension to make this kind of move. I don’t know that the Brewers would be willing to wait as that would not allow them to re-invest the money as most of the good FAs will be gone by then.

  • Bavarian Yankee

    Infante is a slightly better player overall but has less power than Johnson. Infante had one of his better years last season while Johnson has been borderline useless for 3 years now. Imo it’s more about if you believe Johnson can rebound after 3 years of being a shadow of his former self while Infante is still on his usual level. You’re basically paying Infante more because he’s the safer option of those two.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      meh, reply fail.

    • Tom K

      Johnson simply cannot start. His value is in the fact that when he does play, he will not be a major black hole in the lineup (IE, Ryan – who brings a different skill to the table). But if he is an everyday player, his limitations will be much more prominent.

      I still view Infante as an everyday type of player – barely. He is still good enough to feel comfortable with at second base, because he can play solid defense while being just good enough with the bat.

      • Bill O

        I don’t necessarily think Johnson is an everyday starter, but you’re undervaluing him a bit. He’s an okay option at the bottom of a good everyday lineup. The Yankees are unlikely to get someone significantly better than him at 2B. The only options are Infante who is better but not by leaps and bounds. Kendrick is significantly better but is not a likely candidate. The only other FAs are guys like Ellis who is better defensively, but probably worse offensively. Johnson could easily hit 20 HRs playing in YS. I mean he’s hit no less than 16 in each of the past 4 seasons.

        Anyway I’d be okay with Johnson in the lineup more days than he is not. However I think the Yankees need to take advantage of his positional versatility to maximize the value to the team. His greatest value will be moving around and giving different guys a rest on different days. So let’s say the Yankees conclude the lineup by signing Ellis and Chavez (purely hypothetical and not something I’m suggesting). Ellis and Johnson could platoon at 2B. Chavez would need plenty of time off at 3B and Tex will need occasional time off at 1B. The team is okay in the OF, but if anyone goes down Johnson moves out there from time to time as well.

        So simply put its not that Johnson isn’t an everyday player its that because he can play many positions you don’t want to slot him into one thus negating the versatility he can offer to a lineup that could certainly use a “10th man” that plays most of the time.

  • PunkPitch

    Relying too much on one star player offensively, and investing the like, is a bad, bad idea. I have mixed feelings on the new players chosen to bring in the new era, but there are some hidden upside. Where there were no trade possibilities, there are now. A package of Gary Sanchez and Gardner could fill another gaping hole. Lets see what Cash does next, and enjoy the show.

  • Jersey Joe

    With Martin Prado expendable as Matt Davidson is coming up, he could be a great trade option for Brett Gardner. The D’Backs OF is already quite crowded, but maybe a 3 team trade could work that would send the Diamondbacks pitching. Maybe sending Gardner and Romine to a team with pitching, who would send a pitcher to the D’Backs.

    Maybe:

    Gardner, Romine, Arizona prospect to Oakland
    Prado to New York
    Milone to Arizona

    Oakland could definitely use Gardner to play LF, moving Cespedes to DH, or to just move Crisp to 4OF. Gardner is a perfect player for the A’s. Romine would be a nice backup to have also.

    If Milone would go to Arizona; that is the question.

  • toad

    Infante may be no better today than he was two days ago, but that’s not the issue. The issue is whether he is more valuable to the Yankees today than he was two days ago.

  • cooolbreez

    Can we have multiple DHs in the lineup? There’s alot of guys that need days off next year:

    Jeter
    McCann
    Beltran
    ?ARod?
    Tex

    • Bill O

      The best way to rest players is to give them full days off. If you have depth on your team which the Yankees are trying to build they can both DH one guy and give another guy a day off when they need to. How do you think they do it in the NL (where Beltran and McCann played)?

  • SDB

    Eh, Cano’s gone but there are a lot of moves left this offseason. I’ll wait a bit longer before writing the team off or proclaiming success for the 2014 Yankees.

    Meanwhile, what will R-Til’s new username be?

  • mt

    I like that Kuroda is back but I am worried about Kuroda’s durability. I think we need another high-end starter badly and we can’t depend on that starter being Tanaka given how posting system has changed. Tanaka may not get posted at all if his Japanese team doesn’t like the new cap of $20 million on the posting fee.

    I am not that sold on tying up Infante as FA on a 3 year contract with our pitching still in flux (I also wonder if he will also try to hold up Yankees since he may sense desperation). Wouldn’t getting Mark Reynolds on a relatively cheap contract for 3B and 1B back-up plus using Nunez as righty batter complement to Kelly Johnson (playing 2B and sometimes 3B) be a better spend than an Infante free agent contract? Then we could take savings from not signing Infante and get a better starting pitcher and 8th/9th reliever (maybe Crain since Balfour may be too expensive).

    After filling pitching need, I may feel better about Yanks going the Infante route if it is clear that Arod is missing over 100 games or if it is clear the $189 million salary cap is toast.

    • Bill

      I agree. Please see my posts here at 12:09 and 12:50. If we can get under the 189 and fillholes through reasonably priced FA signings rather than trades , then we can hold onto our prospects and spend big next year.

      • Bill O

        I don’t think getting under 189M is feasible anymore even if ARod is suspended for the year. The Yankees would basically have to clear more salary or not sign anyone else. The Yankees have already spent close to 90M in average salaries that count against the luxury tax (Jeter, Ells, McCann, Beltran, Ryan, Johnson, Kuroda). Take ARod out of the picture and I have the Yankees in the 170’s already. And they’ll need to have some buffer going into the season to allow them to add guys during the season if needed.

        Short story, forget 189M its not happening. That said I wouldn’t be opposed to the Yankees using the rest of the offseason to spend smart to round out the team. Although if Tanaka is available they have to pounce. You can’t get young top level talent like that anywhere else.

  • Goose

    Looking back on Cano’s tenure, I’ll always remember the 2010 ALCS. He was just about the only thing that went right for the Yankees in that series, and him and Hamilton mashing the ball that series was just great to see. He’ll be missed.

    • mt

      Good point – that series was probably his signature moment even though we lost the series.

      • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

        That’s part of the perception issue. When what is (perhaps) your best moment is in a losing cause, it’s not the same.

  • Zach

    @McCulloughSL Source: Yankees receiving significant interest in Brett Gardner and willing to trade him. They’re not shopping him, but they’re listening.

  • Kosmo

    I really like the idea of trading for Prado. 3 years 33 million remaining. He can handle 3B or 2B and is a better player than Infante. I´m not sure what the cost would be and I´m not sure if NY matches up well with Arizona. He would be one heck of a pickup.

    • FIPster Doofus

      I doubt Prado’s available. One of the reasons the D-backs got him in the Upton deal is because of how much they value both his leadership and production.

      • Bill O

        Yea, they’d be fools to trade him. He did struggle for most of last year, but came on at the end of the season. He’s one of the most underrated players in the game. And with his versatility and with how many positions he played for them last year they’ll have no problems finding playing time for him.

      • Jersey Joe

        He’s somewhat expendable with Davidson coming up. Can’t move to crowded OF. A 3 team trade could work involving Gardner.

  • Nathan

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports......e-girardi/

    Robinson didn’t want to bat second in the order and didn’t want to play for Girardi.

    Makes him leaving a little easier seeing how he isn’t a team guy.

    • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

      Huh.

  • There’s the Door

    You’ve got six outfielders and a shortstop who will need to DH some. An outfielder ought to go, and Gardner is the only one tradable. If they can bring back some sort of good pitching or a solid third baseman, they should do it.

    I expect that they will sign Infante b/c he covers them at third if the suspension holds up. He’s a nice piece and a difficult out in big situations.

    The guys they’ve signed are good, tough, winning players. I like everything they’ve done so far, the crazy prices aside.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Six outfielders is deceiving. Wells is all but gone. Ichiro has no business doing anything but pinch running and being a late-game defensive fill-in. Those two are basically irrelevant. The Yankees have four outfielders who matter. None of those four “ought to go.”

    • Bill

      Keep Gardner. Dump Ichiro and Wells. The DH piece is workable. Please see my 12:09 and 12:50 posts above.

    • Nathan

      None of them are Red Sox “gritty” though!

      /sarcasm

  • http://gorobonow.com Jorell

    When I think of a signature Robinson Cano moment, the first thing that comes to mind is his Grand Slam in Game One of the 2011 ALDS. I remember seeing him knock the ball out as I was walking into a bar for a friend’s party. So exciting.

    • Lukaszek

      Yes that is what I was thinking too. Or June 2012. Or going 24-for-40 to close out the season.

  • FIPster Doofus

    “Gardner’s trade value is along the lines of Norichika Aoki’s and Seth Smith’s, and look at what those two were traded for this week.”

    That seems overly pessimistic. Gardner is way better than both. I have no interest in trading him. No use weakening one part of your roster to strengthen another when there are still good FA solutions available.

  • D

    The Yankees should bring back Bartolo Colon for a year. I doubt he’ll return to the As after they basically told him his 2.65 ERA in 2013 wasn’t good enough for him to start Game 5 of the 2013 ALDS and if they haven’t tendered him an offer by now they probably won’t, especially since I can’t find an article rumoring them to tender him an offer. Colon would be only a one-year proposition and low-risk in that even if his ERA is as much as a run higher than it was in in 2013, that’s still only a 3.65 ERA, only 34 points higher than Kuroda’s 2013 ERA and 9 points lower than Pettitte’s. I think a year and $8M would do it as that’s double his 2013 salary thus a pretty respectful/respectable offer, besides that the Yanks resurrected his career in 2011 as they gave them the chance to shine that year, he did that and got two years out of Oakland. If he re-signed the Yanks rotation is set with Sabathia, Kuroda, Colon, Nova, and one from Phelps, Warren, Nuno, Banuelos, Pineda, Marshall, or Huff. The Yanks could STILL go after Tanaka if he’s posted and if they landed him Nova would be the fifth starter (Sabathia/Kuroda/Colon/Tanaka/Nova where Tanaka could be the ace, #2, or #3 if he’s better than a #4.)

    I don’t want the Yankees to sign Mark Eillis because old and doesn’t hit for power or steal bases anymore. They should bring back Reynolds and Nix instead.

  • bkight13

    The Yankees survived last year with the cast from the Walking Dead. They can afford to lose Gardner if it brings back a 2b,3b or SP. One of Ichiro and Wells probably has to go as well. It all depends on what happens with ARod. I don’t expect much more action until his suspension is settled.