Jan
12

Rosenthal: Yankees unlikely to add infielder on Major League deal

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Via Ken Rosenthal: The Yankees are unlikely to sign another infielder to a guaranteed Major League contract at this point. They’ve already added Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson on big league deals but still need a third baseman in the wake of Alex Rodriguez‘s suspension.

Brian Cashman has said the team will not sign Stephen Drew, but Rosenthal’s report also eliminates Mark Reynolds, Michael Young, and others from the mix. Guys like Eduardo Nunez, Dean Anna, Corban Joseph, and Scott Sizemore will compete for a bench job in camp with Roberts, Johnson, and Brendan Ryan locks for the Opening Day roster. I don’t love the idea of going into the season with question marks at both second and third, but outside of signing Drew, that’s pretty much unavoidable at this point.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League
  • MB923

    Was hoping they’d get Jeff Baker to platoon with Kelly Johnson. Baker smashes lefties.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Maybe he’d take an MiLB.

      The market sucks out there. The trade market had nothing to offer of note. We can argue about Reynolds and whatnot, but it seems like splitting hairs. They obviously don’t think Drew is worth the price tag. It is what it is right now. That doesn’t mean be happy about it, but I’m not quite sure how you make that look better. I haven’t had a single idea which would make me comfortable at third all off-season.

      • Chris H

        Baker is worthy of a major league deal, what he does to lefties would fit perfectly with our infield need.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Lots of guys who are worthy of MiLB’s wind up settling for less.

          Hell, Sizemore claims he had two MLB offers, but took he MiLB with the Yanks because he thought it was still the better opportunity.

        • forensic

          I wouldn’t necessarily mind Baker, but I think the opinions of him are getting a bit out of hand.

          Sure, he may kill lefties like he did last season, but he may not hit them at all like he did in 2012, or he may just be ok against them like he was in 2011.

          • Pseudoyanks

            As I said (opinion) once before, Jeter and Yanks agreed to his move to 3B when they gave him the raise and “big” 1 Year contract anticipating the ARod suspension. In February, when P&C report, it will be a story when the Captain “Volunteers” for the good of the team, and the love of the game, to move over to 3B, likely thanking the Good Lord for making him a Yankee too. Wait for it….

  • Sam

    If the Yankees don’t land Tanaka after not going after infield/bullpen help, they’re gonna get killed by fans/media and rightfully so. Also the team will obviously struggle.

    • Mike

      Agreed. We haven’t spent nearly enough.

      • forensic

        Yeah, they’ve only spent over $300 million this offseason, those cheap bastards…

        • Guns

          For a team that’s arguably (and I’d argue very probably) not even a playoff team. Oh the offseason’s not over?!? I had no idea. IF they get Tanaka it can be debated all season what kind of impact he’ll have. It’s almost like spending money isn’t the only way to build a good team. But dumpster diving for old, useless players at the end of the offseason is the price you pay when you have no farm to speak of and no other way to build a team.

          But lets do back flips because they blew their load on a few players so they can make believe this is a contending team next season.

          • forensic

            Disagree with how they spent the money all you want. And I don’t think they’re quite a playoff team either.

            But, he can’t say they haven’t spent nearly enough. The question is more how they spent it, not how much they spent.

            • Big John Stud

              True, but given their existing commitments, could they have spent better? Maybe.

              Martin last year instead of McCann = $10M in AAV savings in 2014
              Swisher instead of Ellsbury = $65M in AAV savings
              No Ichiro = $6.5M in AAV savings

              That’s $23M and I’m not convinced they lose wins there, maybe 2 WAR. That’s enough to sign a starting pitcher.

              Drop Roberts and that’s $25M. Enough to add a Ubaldo and Drew.

              Who else?

          • Big John Stud

            This.

        • Sam

          I didn’t say anywhere they’re being cheap bastards, but their not taking advantage of their real advantage against other teams — their money. The Yankees can be spending more money fi they wanted while filling needs. They have three starters and i guess three starting infielders (not counting catcher). The yanks have the resources to fill these needs. My whole point is that this is frustrating because they are NOT cheap.

          • forensic

            My reply wasn’t to your comment, so it had nothing to do with what you said.

          • stuckey

            Have you looked at what the NU Yankees payroll will be in 2014 compared to the other 29 ML teams?

            The argument the Yankees are not taking advantage of their real advantage against others teams doesn’t need to be refuted by words.

            It’s refuted by math.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            I’ve spent this entire offseason wondering what a solid 3B option available on the market was. I couldn’t come up with a single player that was said to be available who the Yankees could have acquired. It was a terrible market and terrible timing for this team. I have no clue what people are expecting here other than the usual malcontents.

            • Big John Stud

              Stephen Drew adds 2-3 WAR to this club.

              Robinson Cano adds 6-8 WAR to this club.

              Those two players alone make this a championship caliber team assuming they signed a league average starter innings eater too (Tanaka, Garza, Ubaldo).

              It’s not our problem that to sign those three players they would have needed to spend another $50-60M or so.

              • stuckey

                Apparently, it IS a problem for you.

              • forensic

                None of the players you mentioned are third basemen.

                • Big John Stud

                  You really need me to tell you that with a legit 2b and SS, they could carry a Kelly Johnson at 3B.

                  When Kelly Johnson is the best infield option, apart from 1B, you’ve got serious trouble.

                  • forensic

                    Sure, if they had spent $600+ million this offseason, they might have been able to put together a playoff team that could compete for a championship.

                    That’s really breaking news! Too bad it’s completely unrealistic and unfair to expect that, at least for most people other than you.

                    • Big John Stud

                      Why is that unfair exactly? They finished with the equivalent of 79 wins in 2013. They failed to spend much of anything last off-season choosing Stewart and Ichiro as starters.

                      They have the finances to support the spending. They make a boatload on tickets. They make more on TV and Radio rights, concessions, merchandise, etc. Instead of their profits being $100-150 million in 2014, it will be $150-200 million.

                      There is nothing unrealistic or unfair about the Yankees spending to compete. They are the most profitable team in the sport. And they are choosing to keep those profits as high as possible.

                    • Big John Stud

                      Nice job moving the goal posts though.

                    • forensic

                      No goal posts have moved. It’s still the same discussion.

                      They are spending to attempt to compete. That’s not the unfair part.

                      The amount you expect them to spend is the unfair part. It’s more than any team has spent in any offseason ever. It’s just absurd.

                      And, as I said in another reply to you somewhere else in this thread, you’re then only repeating the mistakes and problems that have put them in this situation, that you hate, in the first place. That’s not fixing anything, it’s just piling new problems onto existing problems.

                    • Big John Stud

                      It’s only absurd to you because:

                      a. They spent barely anything in 2012-13
                      b. You fail to recognize they could spend that money and still be very, very profitable.

                      You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts.

                      The mistakes they continue to make involve signing slop to get nothing more than a kid a league mimimum could give them. You are pretending they could make more mistakes while ignoring the ones they continue to make (Wells, Ichiro, now Roberts, Johnson etc). There is no “plan” here except to make more money.

                    • forensic

                      The mistakes they continue to make involve signing slop to get nothing more than a kid a league mimimum could give them. You are pretending they could make more mistakes while ignoring the ones they continue to make (Wells, Ichiro, now Roberts, Johnson etc). There is no “plan” here except to make more money.

                      This is all stuff I’ve said here time and time again. I’m not disagreeing with any of this, though you seem to almost just be looking for an argument.

                      I just think that to get out of this situation they need to more start over once they get past some of the horrible contracts, while you just want them to spend even more than they already have.

                      I think that just continues the issue, maybe making it even worse.

                      To each their own, but this going around in circles with you just isn’t really worth it anymore.

                    • Big John Stud

                      What does “start over” even mean? Firing the GM or scouting staff? Building a farm system over a decade? Trading expiring contracts for prospects? What?

                      See, you are twisting one contract into evidence of something. The problem is your argument is less well-supported this very off-season, as you note with Ellsbury!, than simply noting they are getting greedy. There is exactly zero evidence that they are changing their M.O.

                      So their best option is to simply sign the best players available for their needs. That’s Drew. They took on more commitments this off-season for 2017 than they had before this off-season started. If anything, you are ignoring that nothing has changed at all. They are spending money, and in dumb ways, because they have no other choice, for now or for 2017.

        • Big John Stud

          That’s exactly what they want you to say. 189 was never going to give them a championship caliber infield or rotation, based on the state of their farm. Coming off a 79 win team, they have old and ineffective players at four infield positions. They have a 3-man rotation.

          They’re not cheap bastards. They are greedy bastards. They clear $300M in ticket sales and suites, at minimum. Based on every other indicator, they clear $250M in local TV and radio rights. As a franchise, they are worth $3Billion.

          They have the money to spend. But they are choosing keep another $40-50M in 2014 at the expense of competing for a championship. That’s certainly their choice, but not one I need to support with buying anything Yankee related.

          • forensic

            I never said they’re a championship caliber team.

            But, they’ve spent more money than any other team this offseason. Whether they’ve spent it wisely is up for plenty of debate, but saying they haven’t spent nearly enough isn’t right or fair.

            • Big John Stud

              You’re dodging the point:

              The Yankees haven’t spent enough to contend for a championship in 2014.

              They could have spent more wisely, but then that’s why they are consistently over 189 – because they don’t spend wisely.

              The only way to have a championship caliber team for 2014 was to spend as much as necessary to improve on the 79 win team from 2013. They didn’t spend enough there. It’s a 85-86 win team now, assuming no real injuries with a very old club and nothing to fill the gaps, on the bench or in the farm.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                I’m going to regret this. Then again, I’m on vacation. I don’t really care.

                Also, nice to meet you. What was your screen name last week? How about the week before?

                The Yankees aren’t going to spend for spending’s sake. It seems pretty clear that they’re not going to take risks they don’t feel comfortable with. It may mean the job may not be done in 2014. It also means that they see things differently that the fanbase on the risk they’ve taken on already. I’m not really a fan of that, but I’ll still be here.

                • Big John Stud

                  For spending’s sake? You mean like Teixiera? Or Sabathia? Or Jeter? Or Ellsbury? Or McCann? Or Ichiro? Or A-Rod???

                  The Yankees print their own money. The real George knew his obligation was to take those revenues and do what was necessary to put a championship caliber team on the field.

                  His kids don’t see that as their role. They now divide the profits among the four of them and so every million saved is another in their pockets.

                  Get over yourself. This isn’t about risks at all. It’s about profits, pure and simple. The Yankees will always take on big, risky contracts. Now, fans like you are just giving them a pass.

              • stuckey

                What evidence exists that going on spending sprees – by ANY team, mind you – is an effective strategy?

                2009 is perhaps the outlier in what’s probably a solid argument against.

                Giving HUGE contracts to ANYONE is a losing proposition – the evidence is overwhelming.

                The argument that enough talent ever comes to market any one time to sufficiently turn your team around is a dubious one – the offseason “winners” of the last several season have LOUSY track records.

                The $189m edit may or may not be in CONJUNCTION with a change in approach to team-building, but again, I think the evidence suggests throwing money at the issue in a small window of time leads to questionable results.

                Add to that the postseason is now something of a crapshoot in MLB, even moreso than it was in the initial wildcard era.

                ADD in the fact the Yankees ratings and attendance have been declining for 4 straight seasons, one needs to consider what’s broken in Yankeeeland isn’t necessarily fan’s perception of how much the team is willing to spend.

                • Big John Stud

                  Change in approach to team building? You mean the youth movement of 2007-2008? The emphasis on young pitching?

                  The only change is this ownership group sees big profits as the reward to seek.

                  When you have no farm, the only option is to spend in free agency. I can count on one hand the number of MLB players Cashman’s Yankees have developed in his 16 years.

                  Now they are choosing not to spend nor to develop young talent with MLB playing time. They are choosing a middle way – with Roberts, Johnson, Sizemore – that they chose previously with Pavano, Scott Erickson, Ponson etc – that led to no youth advancing.

                  It’s the way toward a middling team. They had that in 2013. They are already on pace for that in 2014.

                  The only difference for 2015? They will still have no infield and maybe two starting pitchers. They’ll have to spend on the Kershaws, Hanleys, and Headleys of the free agent class. They have nothing on the farm remotely close.

                  So if 189 is a one year, greedy ploy, then 2015 might get better. But if they plan to stick to that greedy budget long-term, this team will be stuck in the ugly middle.

                  • stuckey

                    A re-emphasis on the farm system and international scouting has to start sometime.

                    It started when George Steinbrenner was suspended and EVENTUALLY led to the dynasty.

                    Your argument continues to be that since the farms system is not strong at THIS moment, the Yankees should just spend on whatever is available, regardless of the VALUE available.

                    Apparently after 19 straight years of winning, a 85 win season and perhaps a valley of a few more years where they aren’t guaranteed 96 wins is highly objectionable.

                    I think it lacks perspective.

                    • Big John Stud

                      Like in 2002? Or 2005? Or in 2008? Or in 2011? Maybe in 2014? Or in 2018?

                      The Yankee farm is rarely strong. They got extremely lucky with Bernie, Jeter, Pettitte, Jorge and Mo all arriving within a few years of each other.

                      They would have been a playoff team during the 80s had the Wild Card existed. Your “perspective” ignores that fact. When the Yankees aren’t developing talent they have no choice but to spend, if they want to compete. But that’s because they have the money! And they still have the money.

                      I could see this point if they were using the infield holes to develop youth. Roberts, Johnson, and Sizemore are not that plan just like Pavano, Burnett, Igawa, and Ponson did not help them to develop pitching. They signed two outfields to longer contracts this off-season when the outfield is the one place where they might have youth. So when will they play?

                      This is an organization stuck in the middle and with greedy owners. They don’t develop youth and they don’t spend enough to compete. It’s an organization with one true plan, and one plan only – to make as much money as possible.

                    • forensic

                      It’s an organization with one true plan, and one plan only – to make as much money as possible.

                      You just described basically every business, company, and organization in history.

                    • Big John Stud

                      Nope, sports is not that way. Many teams in MLB make and spend enough to stay in business and invest in their future.

                      The Yankees are printing money and you want them to make more? Good for you – you are a capitalist. But you are not an honest fan of the baseball team. If you were, you’d realize you’re cheering in 2014, like in 2013, for a third or fourth place team. Have fun with that!

              • forensic

                I’m not dodging any point. They spent a lot of money.

                Of course they haven’t spent wisely in general over the years, and that’s part of why their payroll is so high.

                I don’t think spending any amount of money this offseason would’ve made them a championship caliber team because I don’t think the players available this offseason would’ve been able to make up that difference, barring spending $750 million on all the top FA’s.

                This is why, if they miss out on Tanaka, I don’t have much problem with them trying to hit $189 million this season to get it over with, and then maybe start/continue the rebuilding/retooling next offseason, especially if one or two of the starting pitchers makes it to FA.

                • Big John Stud

                  You are empirically wrong. With Cano and Drew and Tanaka, on top of McCann, Ellsbury, and Beltran, that’s close to a division winner. Without them, they are also-rans.

                  The same is true of the 2015 market. The players are there. They are choosing not to spend.

                  As for you being okay with 189, that is your choice. But, it’s not a choice they needed to make. Financially, the Yankees are already doing more than fine. By all accounts, they are the most profitable team in the sport. 189 is about greed – pure and simple. And I do have a serious problem with that. They certainly aren’t cutting ticket prices any time soon.

                  • forensic

                    You are empirically wrong. With Cano and Drew and Tanaka, on top of McCann, Ellsbury, and Beltran, that’s close to a division winner.

                    And how does that make me wrong? That’s exactly what I said. If they had spent on all those players (which would’ve been in excess of $700 million) then they could compete. But that’s excessively unrealistic and would only lock them into more problems like you’re already complaining about for years and years to come.

                    The same is true of the 2015 market. The players are there. They are choosing not to spend.

                    They’ve already chosen not to spend in the 2015 market? Do you also have the lotto numbers?

                    • Big John Stud

                      Completely unrealistic? Based on what, exactly? The fact they barely spent at all last off-season?

                      The Yankees have the money. They have no prospects ready for 2013-2015.

                      If they want to compete, they had to spend. And you are moving the goal posts. First you say the players aren’t there. When I point out that the players ARE there, saying it’s not “realistic” to spend on them is a lame dodge.

                      The Yankees are not hurting for profits or revenues – they have both in abundance. They are choosing not to spend to make more money. Period.

                      We’ll be having this same discussion next year and with their pace of developing young, cheap talent, likely for many years to come.

                    • forensic

                      And you are moving the goal posts. First you say the players aren’t there. When I point out that the players ARE there, saying it’s not “realistic” to spend on them is a lame dodge.

                      Actually, that’s not at all how it went. I said the players aren’t there, unless they wanted to spend $750+ million on them all. If you spend insane money on all the top FA, then you can turn around almost any team in short order. It’s just not a realistic expectation.

                    • Big John Stud

                      Nice dodge.

                      The Yankees were outspent by the Seattle Mariners for the best free agent available.

                      They are greedy and you are giving them cover for no good reason.

                      Now, they have a clear upgrade out there for 3b, SS, or even 2B and they are choosing not to spend there either.

                      There are also upgrades available for the rotation. They are choosing not to spend there either.

                      None of those contracts would bankrupt this organization – in 2014 or in 2020. They are simply choosing to be greedy. HAve fun with that.

                    • forensic

                      Yes, they were outspent by the Mariners, but there’s a ton of doubt as to whether that was a wise contract by the Mariners anyway. If Cano’s a shell of himself in 8 years and the Yankees are paying him $25 million, what are you gonna do? Spend $30 million on another player and just sit Cano?

                      How much of an upgrade (if at all) Drew and the pitchers (outside of maybe Tanaka) would be is very debatable. And it’s especially moreso considering the contract demands that have been coming out of those camps.

                      And Drew isn’t a 3B or 2B anyway, and there’s no guarantee that he would want to move.

                    • Big John Stud

                      Who cares about what the Yankees are spending in 2022? You would have been okay with them missing out on Sabathia or Teixeira in 2008 because they were going to be costly in 2016?

                      Moreover, if if they had signed Cano to that same contract, he would have been their only commitment in those later years. That’s hardly a payroll killer, if they were smart otherwise.

                      See, that’s the contradiction in your thoughts. You are pretending they’ve turned the corner in that thinking from one non-contract, even as you admit they still are dumb spenders. You both give them credit for the “right” call on Cano while assuming they would continue to make dumb calls.

                      Basically, you are twisting in whichever way the wind is blowing.

                    • forensic

                      I’m not pretending they’ve turned any corner. I’m glad they finally made what I think is a prudent decision. But, I still want the FO changed so they can make a plan and actually try to stick with it through future decisions.

                      You don’t have to be all in one direction. It’s fine to think they made the right decision in one situation while also not believing there’s a long-term change in philosophy or how they’re going to act (as evidenced by the Ellsbury contract, which I really don’t like).

                      I’m not just a fan of the 2014 Yankees. I’m a fan of the Yankees and thus I do take into consideration what the future consequences of decisions for 2014 would be. I do care if something they do this offseason will greatly handcuff them for several years in the future.

                      I don’t just want them to compete in 2014. I want them to compete for years and years to come in the long run. If that means they’re not a powerful team for a year or two or three while they try to work out of their unproductive farm system, inflexible roster, and albatross contracts, then so be it.

                    • Big John Stud

                      Made a prudent decision? Because they are greedy? A prudent decision that has no impact, if any at all, until 2020?

                      That makes no sense. The Yankees of 2020 or even 2018, could easily carry the cost of Cano if he shits the bed. It’s not evidence of anything, really, other than their own greed now.

                      You are convincing yourself of the conclusion while ignoring the facts.

                      “while they try to work out of their unproductive farm system, inflexible roster, and albatross contracts, then so be it.”

                      There is no evidence of any of this happening. Their farm any more productive in 2013. Their roster wasn’t any more flexible in 2013. And the albatross contracts did not go away in 2013.

                      You can now repeat all of that for 2014. The only difference is they rooted for a player to be suspended.

                      So when can I expect a different approach? 2015? 2016? 2017? When?

                      The fact is without any production from the farm, they have no choice but to spend if they want to win. The spending this off-season was barely enough to keep them falling further backward. Next off-season the same will be true.

                  • JGYank

                    How do you know they are even going to follow through with 189? They went after Cano and happened to be outbid, and are going after Tanaka along with signing 3 other expensive FA. Tanaka will put them over 189 most likely. If they had a great team at 189, you wouldn’t even care their payroll was below 200, whether they are greedy or not. What about all the owners in MLB who pocket money? Could the Yanks have spent more? Sure. They have the money to do that. Should they have to? Not at all. Not when they have the highest payroll in the sport (as they should have). 200 is enough to have a great team, but they already have huge contracts on the team for players that are old and breaking down. If they don’t want to pay the luxury tax for another year after already paying it for year after year, good for them. Why shouldn’t they try to lower payroll if they can still have a good team? Its a business. The goal is to make money.

                    • Big John Stud

                      “Why shouldn’t they try to lower payroll if they can still have a good team? Its a business. The goal is to make money.”

                      That was the plan in 2013. How did it work out?

                      As constructed, they aren’t good enough to compete. This 2014 team isn’t playoff bound.

                      And if they spend on Tanaka, then there is little reason not to spend on Drew.

                    • forensic

                      And if they spend on Tanaka, then there is little reason not to spend on Drew.

                      There are huge differences between the two which, I think, makes it worth spending on Tanaka but staying away from Drew.

                    • Big John Stud

                      Really, what are those? The replacement level player they have at SS? Or the one at 2B? or the one at 3B?

                      Stephen Drew is a clear upgrade on all three. For a 88-win team that matters.

                      With nothing on the farm, that matters.

                    • forensic

                      Well, Drew isn’t a 2B or 3B anyway, so that’s not really an discussion at this point.

                      But, beyond that, he’s another 31+ year old player who’s had injury problems and hadn’t produced much for the last couple years before one big Fenway-fueled half season last year. He’s also another lefty who can’t hit lefties.

                      Tanaka is in his mid-20′s and has the potential to be a near-top-of-the-rotation starter for years to come. Sure, he could disappoint, but pitchers with his potential and age just don’t hit the free agent market anymore and it’s a huge area of need for the Yankees (not just for now but also because he could still be around when they reach the future point of being in position to compete for a championship.

                    • Big John Stud

                      Drew is a better 2B or 3B than anything they have. That matters.

                      A four year deal for Drew is not going to kill this org in any way shape or form. But it may be the difference between the playoffs and sitting home.

                      And by the way, Mr. Capitalist – that revenue difference in making the playoffs more than makes up for Drew’s salary.

                      That’s why they aren’t signing Tanaka.

          • stuckey

            “That’s certainly their choice, but not one I need to support with buying anything Yankee related.”

            Who’s arguing you should?

            • Big John Stud

              My fandom for the last 30 years?

              • stuckey

                A big fan of George Steinbrenner’s effectiveness as principle owner between the years of 1983 and 1995 were you?

                • Big John Stud

                  No, but there also wasn’t a Wild Card then. Had there been, they would have made the playoffs many years and perhaps could have won a few championships as one.

                  • stuckey

                    Which years are those?

                    There is sufficient evidence to suggest George Steinbrenner’s greatest contribution to the Dynasty years was allowing himself to be talked out of trsding Bernie Williams (several times), Mariano Rivera, and trading for a SS before the 1996 season.

                    Heck, I forget, he probably wanted at some point to get rid of Pettitte and Posada too.

                    There is a solid case to be made his suspension was the true genesis of the dynasty.

                    George Steinbrenner was a mixed bag of good and bad, but any efforts to grant him sainthood as a shorthand way to criticize his sons is either ignorant or theatrics.

                    • Big John Stud

                      The 1985 team was championship caliber.

                  • stuckey

                    And btw, you can’t give someone credit for what would have been success in a system that didn’t exist.

                    As owner of the NY Yankees his job was to win a AL East crown. He failed for 11 straight seasons. And I’m being generous and granting him assumption of a crown in ’94.

                    • Big John Stud

                      People here give them “credit” for simply making the post-season and comparing it to the 1980s. Those people are making the false comparison. I’m simply taking it to the logical conclusion. The Yankees in 1980s weren’t so different than those of the 2010′s. They develop no talent and buy free agents. The difference now is rather than simply spend their profits, now they are lining their pockets.

  • RetroRob

    They can’t just keep adding players to the MLB roster since that creates issues with the 40-man. This could be as much about the Yankees telling the market that if you want to play for us, you’ll have to start with an MiLB contract, but you probably good chance of eventually making the team.

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

    Not necessarily upset with this, but the idea of Nunez seeing serious playing time saddens me.

    • mattb

      So lots of caveats here – we don’t know the ask – we know that last season, Drew apparently took less money in exchange for assurances that he’d play shortly – and for him to work the Yanks, he’d obviously need to move off that stance, as he’ll without a doubt need to take some reps at both 2B and 3B.

      That said – and believe me, I don’t think Stephen Drew is the end all, be all – nor do I think that of Omar Infante or Peralta – but given where this club is on the win curve, assuming that they can’t get under 189 even with Arod off the books this year (I’d have to crunch the numbers, but it does scare me in that they’re probably ballpark, and one could see them changing course again and going balls to the wall to stay under – you ask me, the Arod result was the worst of all possible worlds, 81 games, 189 is gone, and you get a possibly productive player for half a season), Drew just makes a ton of sense for this team.

      First off, he’s Jeter insurance. Obviously there’s going to be a rotating DH to an extent, but one could easily see a scenario in which Jetes is the quasi-primary DH against LHP – with Soriano and Beltran starting in the corners, and Ellsbury or Garnder in center – that’s only one of many variations, but the notion of Jeter playing 120-130 games at shortstop is batshit. So you can pencial Drew in to start at short in that scenario (not optimal, he’s got a platoon split, but I’d live with it).

      Second, he’s not ancient. Even if you go 4 years, you’re not paying him till his late 30s. And assuming this is the last season we even consider Jeter at short, I’d have no issue with Drew taking over the position, esp. given the current lack of alternatives.

      Third, I have no problem with Kelly Johnson playing pretty much everyday in one capacity or another. Not a superstar, but he’s a perfectly nice player, with some pop. But that certainly can’t be said about Brian Roberts, Nunez, or Brendan Ryan. I think Dean Anna is intriguing and ought to be given a long look – and again, Drew isn’t a superstar, his offensive numbers last year were inflated by Fenway, but would anyone really argue he’s not an above league average middle infielder?

      I don’t think the infield needs superstar quality as much as it needs legit viable options and flexibility. And on that count, I really do believe that a Drew type player changes the club’s entire dynamic.

      Doesn’t have to be Drew, by the way. If one were able to put together a reasonable package for a Marco Scutaro, he’d fit the bill perfectly – older, but on a shorter term deal, less money, plus, he’s a righty. Prado will also be a fantastic fit.

      To a lesser extent, I feel similarly in that Reynolds, while a deeply flawed player, might have more value to the Yanks than to many other clubs, and if he can be had at one year, $3-5mm batshit insane not to do it. Badly needed righty power, and also a guy who can play some first base (which may well be needed).

      I have no idea what the team will actually do – virtually everything they’ve done thus far has surprised me. I’m actually pretty bullish on the additions made and believe they’re 2-3 pieces away from being an awfully good club. Rolling the dice on Tanaka, assuming (big assumption), that they can have him if they’re willing to pay the most, is one such move.

      That’s priority 1. For me, an infield upgrade – and Drew sitting out there is awfully tantalizingly, is clearly priority #2 (I’d also certainly inquire about Sandoval – while he’s coming off an awful season, would also see what it would take to acquire A. Cabrera – right side of 30, good track record, positional flexibility – though a notable decline). But if they’re not going to improve the infield, I think, even with Tanaka, you pony up for for a second starter. If I had my way, it’d be Ubaldo. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t like the contract – but it’s in effect buying depth, and therefore increasing the extent to which some of the other pitching in the system can be used in a trade package.

  • Fiber care

    I don’t often agree with bleacher report pieces, but I read an article today suggesting a trade for Whote Sox 3B Connor Gillaspie should he become available in the wake of newly acquired Matt Davidson likely taking his job. I’m not sure what it would take to get him, but if the price was reasonable I think .245 13 HR 40 RBIs (134 games) would be a welcome upgrade over last year if he simply comes close to repeating those numbers. Who knows maybe the short porch will help him too and he can man the hot corner while providing some lefty power in the lineup. At the very least he’s a young player who’s shown, while in a small sample size, pretty decent numbers and I would have to figure has a lot of upside.

    Obviously you can’t bank on that, but I think the Yankees need to get more creative and try much harder to find quality infield help because I’m not buying the Nunez, Johnson, Roberts, Anna, Sizemore mess

  • JGYank

    There’s just not much out there. Young and Reynolds aren’t that great anyway. Don’t want to see Nunez and Cash said he doesn’t see him or Ryan as a 3B, but that could end up happening. We can’t expect much production out of the infield this year so our outfielders have to carry the offense and stay healthy along with the top of the rotation.

    I like what I’m hearing with the Tanaka situation since we’re one of the 3 teams he apparently has narrowed it down to. But I’m afraid he’ll prefer the west coast and NY may be his 3rd choice based on that. If not, the Dodgers don’t really have a strong need for him and want to extend Kershaw and Hanley and the Angels aren’t as good as us, have a bad farm system and have less money to play with because they have money locked up in the Pujols and Hamilton contracts so I like our chances.

  • Big John Stud

    I don’t see how they are going after Tanaka then. If they were, Drew is the guy to sign because he immediately adds 2-3 wins over what they have. Jeter is very likely to be replacement level, same with Roberts. Sizemore is no where in discussion.

    All systems a go for Plan 189!

    They made a big splash with spending to stem the tide in attendance and YES ratings. Here’s hoping Plan 189 is truly a one year thing. Then may they make a serious run at upgrading next year – with Kershaw, Hanley, Headley, and Sandoval available – so they can contend in 2015.

  • Batsman

    I don’t think that there is a question mark at second. Kelly Johnson that he’s okay to man 2nd along with Brian Roberts. With 8 positions settled, the Yankees CAN afford to let one position be a “?”

    • Big John Stud

      No borderline playoff team can punt on a position with nothing in the farm to slot in. And this isn’t even a borderline playoff team, yet. Tanaka may help there, but I don’t think they have any intention of signing him.

  • Grover

    As one of very few fans of $189M and the potential reset on the tax penalty percentage, Cashman and company have done a masterful job thus far. I’ll save my bitching for when they break camp and head North if the staff is as currently constituted.

  • Dars

    People forget 1996. The Yankees won with a rookie SS (Jeter), a journeyman 2B (Duncan), a platoon at 3B (Boggs/Hayes), a light hitting catcher who was good defensively (Girardi), a very young starter (Pettite), two veteran starters past their prime (Cone and Key) and a then virtually unknown set up man (Mo).
    They had a great 1b and above average CF and LF and a strong bench.
    That was it. The team this year reminds me of that team. The key is a rebound by Sabathia and a Nova delivering.
    We need Tanaka for depth and another bullpen arm.

    • Big John Stud

      Wow, you really are a fan.

      If I grant that analogy, who in their organization plays the Jeter role? He was worth 3-4 WAR that year. Their combined contribution from 2B, SS, and 3B in 2014 won’t be worth 3-4 WAR.

      Pettitte was worth 5.6 WAR in 1996. They won’t get that combined in 2014 from all of Nova, Phelps, Pineda, and Warren combined.

      Mariano was worth 5 WAR in 1996. They won’t get that from their entire bullpen in 2014.

      Otherwise, though, spot on!

    • FLYER7

      Dars, did you forget The Warrior in RF?

  • cashjr

    I think the yanks would spend tons, if there were tons out there worth spending on. But you have to have some sort of limit. Can’t pay Cano $240M, can’t pay Tanaka $200M (exaggerating to make a point), and can’t pay Drew $48M.

    Spending for the sake of spending would have landed Pujols and Hamilton and they just weren’t worth what they got. If some sort of value is not out there then they should pass and get below 189. That makes it easier to spend tons next year (assuming there are tons still worth spending on). Yanks proved they weren’t cheap by getting Ellsbury, McCann and Beltran and their bid for Tanaka will be competitive, but they may have to back away like they did with Cano. In fact their offer to Cano was pretty high, certainly higher than anyone else’s except Seattle.

    I just don’t see it as an either/or kind of thing. Either spend like crazy or you’re totally greedy and screwing all the fans. I think it’s ok not to spend if you can’t get some sort of value and obviously they disagree with some here on the value of Drew.

    • Big John Stud

      You are pushing strawmen.

      No is saying they should spend just to spend.

      And you are assuming the Yankees have a limit. Well, what is that limit? In a bad year, they clear $300M in ticket revenues. Their TV and radio rights are worth $250M a year. Add in concessions and merchandise.

      The Yankees could spend $300M a year in salaries and still do very, very well. The difference between 189 and 300M just ends up in the pockets of the Steinbrenners and folks like Levine and Fox Sports.

  • Pistol pete

    How do we not sign Michael Young. Great contact hitter, can play multiple positions, is clutch too. A huge upgrade over Nunez and can sub for Tex when he gets hurt. Clearly the best third base option left out there.