Mailbag: Utley, Hill, Prado, Hanley, Managers

Sabathia, Solarte lead 10-2 attack against the Rays
Injury Updates: Tex, Robertson, Ryan, Ramirez

Got seven questions for you this week. Use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar to send us anything throughout the week. Don’t be discouraged if I don’t pick your question. Usually it comes down to not having the room/time or simply not knowing the answer.

Bring to me. (Greg Fiume/Getty)
Bring to me. (Greg Fiume/Getty)

Chris asks: How about a trade for Chase Utley? Good idea and what might it take?

Yes, please. Forget about his insanely hot start — hitting .462/.517/.769 (247 wRC+) with seven doubles and three homers in 58 plate appearances — the 2011-12 version of Utley (112 wRC+) would do just fine for me. He’s a power hitting left-handed second baseman who draws a lot of walks and plays strong defense. He also has no platoon split and some experience playing first base. Oh, and he’s an elite base-runner even though he doesn’t steal as many bases as he once did. Utley would be a wonderful addition to any team, but especially the Yankees since they have a black hole a second base.

The problem is that Utley signed a two-year, $25M extension with the Phillies last season, taking a discount to remain with the team rather than test the free agent waters. Given the market, I think he could have gotten three or maybe even four guaranteed years as a free agent. I’m sure his hometown Dodgers would have been all over him. Utley has a partial no-trade clause and I have no idea what teams are included, but, more importantly, he’s beloved in Philadelphia and the only way the Phillies would trade him is as part of a total rebuild. I’d have no trouble giving up two top prospects to get him. Gary Sanchez and Manny Banuelos? Plus a third, lesser prospect? Fine by me. Utley would be a legitimate five or six win upgrade for the Yankees this year.

Aaron asks: If the D’Backs continue to struggle would the Yankees be more interested in Aaron Hill or Martin Prado?

Man, the Diamondbacks are just awful this year. The rotation especially. It could be historically bad. Both Hill and Prado would fit the Yankees’ need at second base, though they are different players who wind up providing similar value. Hill (7.3 fWAR from 2012-14) is more of a power hitter and average defender while Prado (7.8 fWAR from 2012-14) is a contact hitter and above-average defender. They are both owed similar money t00, $33M-35M through 2016. Prado can play third and left field, so he has that going for him. Either guy would work for the Yankees, but if I have to pick one, I’ll go with Prado because he does more things well and is two years younger. If either hits the trade market, the Yankees should be interested.

Daniel asks: If the Yankees are truly still not interested in Stephen Drew, is it because they are waiting to see what happens with the extension talks with the Dodgers and Hanley Ramirez? Or are they just trying to ride out what they have?

I don’t think the Yankees are waiting for Hanley and I don’t think they should. Sure, he’s a great player and all that, but it seems likely he will sign a huge extension with the Dodgers rather than test free agency after the season. They Dodgers have said they want to keep him, Ramirez has said he wants to stay, and reportedly the two sides have been talking about a contract. Besides, Hanley wouldn’t help the Yankees at all this year, and even if they did sign Drew, there would be room on the roster for both next season. At this point, I have to think there is something in Drew’s medicals that are scaring teams away. The state of the shortstop position around the league is too terrible for him to still be unemployed because of draft pick compensation.

(Victor Decolongon/Getty)
(Victor Decolongon/Getty)

Tom asks: Although it’s still rather early to even think about it, which free agents in next year’s class do you see the Yankees making a push for?

Hanley would be at the top of that list for pretty obvious reasons. The other big names are Max Scherzer, Chase Headley, and Pablo Sandoval. Since the team already has two huge pitching contracts on the books, I think they will steer clear of Scherzer. Headley seems more likely than Sandoval because the Yankees almost always lean towards the guy who walks and works the count. Plus I think there has to be at some concern Sandoval will eat himself out of the game if you give him $100M or so guaranteed. Here’s the list of free agents for the upcoming offseason. Other potential targets include J.J. Hardy, Asdrubal Cabrera, Aramis Ramirez, Chris Denorfia, Jason Motte, Luke Hochevar, and Luke Gregerson. That’s just my speculation, of course.

David asks: How excited can we get about Michael Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka after these first two three starts? They have both shown flashes of dominance (especially Big Mike) but to what extent do we need to temper expectations?

Get excited. Very excited. I’m more excited about Tanaka personally only because Pineda’s shoulder is still in the back of the my mind, and guys who have had arm problems tend to continue having arm problems throughout their career. Tanaka has a (much) deeper arsenal and isn’t as reliant on pure velocity as Pineda, which is another thing to consider. The best part is that this isn’t some one or the other hypothetical. Both are actually on the team. If you’re not going to get excited about these two 25-year-olds after these last few weeks, then what the hell is the point of it all?

Jack asks: Barring injury, who among the current five starting pitchers will be the first to be permanently replaced because of poor production? And when that happens who will be given the first shot at taking over the spot?

Let’s be realistic about this: CC Sabathia and Tanaka are not going anywhere because of their contracts. Hiroki Kuroda has earned a very long leash after the last two years and, given his first few starts, I have no reason to think his performance will fall off so much that the team wants to replace him. That leaves Pineda and Nova, and I guess it’s a toss up. Pineda seems more likely to be knocked out of the rotation by injury than poor performance, and Nova has already lost a rotation spot (2011 and 2013) due to poor performance. If I have to choose, I’ll say Nova. But I don’t think any of these guys loose their spots for anything but injury this year.

nycsportzfan asks: Hey Mike, was wondering if Joe Girardi wasn’t are manager and you could have anyone else in his place, who would it be? For me, it’d be Clint Hurdle.

I’m not sure. A big part of the manager’s job happens behind closed doors in the clubhouse, and we don’t know anything about that stuff. In terms of on-field moves, I’ve always felt Padres manager Bud Black does a really good job of putting his players in a position to succeed, either through pinch-hitters or reliever usage or whatever. Giants manager Bruce Bochy and Athletics manager Bob Melvin are both good at that stuff as well. I think you’d have to consider Joe Maddon and Buck Showalter as well. Gun to my head, I’d go with either Black or Melvin. I’ll say Melvin because he has experience managing in the AL.

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Sabathia, Solarte lead 10-2 attack against the Rays
Injury Updates: Tex, Robertson, Ryan, Ramirez
  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    The real question is how are your teeth feeling and what did you have done?

    I’ve now postponed having all four wisdom teeth removed twice.

    • Rick

      Just get them done, it’s rather painless today. I had all four removed about two years ago. Was out of commission for one day and then totally fine.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I want to. I just had other real-life things that made the 3-5 day recovery time ill-timed come up twice. I hope that I’ll be able to get back to getting my dental work caught up in the fall.

        I just hope that, in my recovery time, I don’t wind up trading away Gary Sanchez for Ryne Sandberg.

        • Cliff

          3-5 days? Maybe 3-5 days to go back to eating normally with no pain and no pain medication, but you can certainly go to work the next day.

          By the way, most of the time it’s fine to leave your wisdom teeth in. Only if they actually start coming out the side of your gum or something do you really need them out.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Just quoting what my oral surgeon told me. I’m probably too vain to return to work looking like a prizefighting chipmunk the next day anyway. :)

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

              I was eating Boog’s BBQ at Camden Yards < 24 hours later. Granted, that's probably the exception more than the rule, but still.

              • I’m One

                Yeah, that ain’t happening if you’ve had 3 or 4 removed at once. All that BBQ sauce and shredded meat getting stuck on the surgically closed gaps where teeth used to be isn’t very appealing or sanitary.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  Jim is an Unsanitary Peckerhead.

                • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                  Had all 4 out at once. 2 impacted. No negative side effects.

                  I mean, I was eating like a chipmunk, and swallowing tiny portions at a time. It wasn’t particularly messy.

            • RetroRob

              If you want to have surgery, go see a surgeon.

              Ten years ago, a new dentist I went to tried to convince me why I needed to cap two of my teeth, as he was sure one of them was about to crack, which was going to be very painful. (As if what he was suggesting was going to be less painful!) A decade later, both are still fine.

    • Pasqua

      Just do it. It’s not so bad. The worst part is the anticipation. You won’t even realize you’re having it done, and then you eat ice cream for a day, take care not to eat or drink too vigorously for two or three days, and you’ll feel totally normal within 24 hours. Well worth the trouble keeping those teeth can cause down the line.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I wouldn’t trade Sanchez and Banuelos for Utley in a million goddamn years, FWIW.

    Agree on Black, although it’d be hilarious to hire Joe Maddon, then watch him manage a lot like Joe Girardi in pinstripes.

    • mitch

      Me neither. I don’t see how Utley is a 5 or 6 win upgrade when he hasn’t exceeded 4 WAR himself since 2010. Are we assuming Brian Roberts is a -2 WAR guy?

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        Thank goodness someone else was thinking this.

        Maybe Mike really did have some dental work done.

    • Looser Trader Droids Kenobi FotD™

      I agree wrt the trade. I thought it was an April Fool’s joke. And I’m no Pollyanna prospect hugger.

    • I’m One

      I wouldn’t trade Sanchez and Banuelos for Utley in a million goddamn years, FWIW.

      Agree. I’ll still take my chances on the potential new crop of young players (with these 2 at the top of the list) that the Yankess have available. Utley clearly gives them the chance to improve right now, but I’m not sure I’d want to give up 2 players that have a decent chance of providing that level of performance (perhaps not beginning till 2016) for years to come in order to get less than 2 years of Utley.

      #huggingprospects

      • Rick

        I don’t agree that it’s hugging prospects. It’s just making smart trades. Why give up two of your most valuable trade assets for two years of a 35 year old second baseman with a recent history of rather serious injuries?

        • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew) RIP Egon

          THIS. My jaw literally dropped when I read that line. Sanchez AND Banuelos!!! I would find it hard pressed to trade either for a 35 year old 2B, I don’t care how good he is.

    • Poconos Adam

      Concur. I can hear Frank Costanza now “How could you trade Gary Sanchez?”

      Axisa: “Well, my baseball people kept saying ‘we need more wRC+ at 2b, Chase Utley, Chase Utley’, I had to make the deal.”

      No F***ing way Mike.

      It’s okay not to have the best possible old expensive player at every position.

    • ALZ

      I agree. If this was several years ago, maybe. But Utley hasn’t made it through a full season healthy since 2009. If your willing to give up the money, just go get Drew, otherwise just be happy with what you have.

    • Dan

      I concur. The guys 35 years old, he hasn’t played in more than 131 games since 2009, and 131 was the high by 15 games. He’s not a 5-6 win player anymore, not even close.

  • Bronx Bombers23

    Mike I respect your opinion, but I swear I think you get too caught up in a “name player” sometimes. You would give up our best position player prospect (Sanchez), one of our best pitching prospects (Banuelos), and a third prospect for Chase Utley and his creaky knees, and various other ailments that have plagued him in the past few years. No thank you.

    There is no way in the world I would trade away that much farm system talent, and talent that is not too far away from contributing on the major league level, for a year, maybe two, of Utley. Another 30 something, injury-prone player is the last thing this team needs. Pass please.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I think “win now” and the always-existing possibility of prospects not being what we think they are once they come close to the majors are always tough to balance out with the potential of youth and long term planning when you’re a fan of this team.

      In this case, I think I’d rather think long-term with those players and look for alternate solutions at second, even if it means sticking with current options and riding the hot hand. Between Roberts, Solarte, and Sizemore, someone will be able to play a second base that does not hurt this team.

      • I’m One

        Sizemore and Solarte will add 12 WAR to the team. No need for Utley’s measely 5 or 6 Win improvement.

        #teamsizemore
        #teamsolarte

      • Poconos Adam

        Well freaking said.

      • ALZ

        But the thing is that you only really need 1 to work out to be worth it. The prospect you get to keep them for 6 years, at much cheaper. If you think that Banuelos OR Sanchez will work out decently, then the move isn’t worth it.

        Some teams feel the need to ramp it up certain years, NYY are in the hunt every year. They really don’t need to get that involved in winning now, and forgetting the future.

  • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

    Considering Utley’s contract and age, I’m not giving up Sanchez for him. No effing way.

    • Bronx Bombers23

      I mean really. Why don’t we throw in Jagielo and Mason Williams while we’re at it and see if they will throw in the corpse of Ryan Howard. Then we can collect all of the Phillies bad contracts, washed up has beens.

      • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

        We might as well get Lee, too.

        Oh, wait, his wife will invoke his NTC.

        • Bronx Bombers23

          Yep. Let’s go for the whole enchilada and let the Phillies choose 5 more prospects of their choice as long as they throw in Papelbum. Then the tank would be complete.

          • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

            I WILL RENOUNCE MY FANDOM IF THEY ACQUIRE PAPELBUM!!!

            But it would make Mitch Williams happy.

            • Looser Trader Droids Kenobi FotD™

              +1. His pouty bitch mouth makes me friggin incensed. I want to hit him in the face with a bat, all the time.

  • Rick

    Wait, Sanchez and Banuelos for two years of Utley? No f’ing way. Utley is a great player, but I’m not giving up a guy who could potentially be in our rotation at some point next year and our catcher of the future for Utley. I get that Sanchez is partly expendable due to the presence of McCann, but that doesn’t mean you give him away. You get someone like Pineda in return, as we did with God, I mean Jesus, I mean Hey-Zeus.

    • Chris

      plus Mccann is not that young and he’s not going to be the catcher for all 5 seasons of his contract…plan for him is to switch to 1st when tex’s contract is up and sanchez should be the starter by then…hopefully tex can make it that far…..lol

      • Bill

        McCann is 30 he’s not old. He’s got at least 3-4 more years at catcher.

        Still I wouldn’t trade Sanchez for a 35 year old 2B. If we trade Sanchez it should be for a young player that could man a position like SS, 2B, or 3B long term.

  • Chris

    I think trading for Utley would be a good move but he’s 35-36 and coming off hip surgery…i wouldn’t give up my No.1 prospect for him in Sanchez plus Manny B and a 3rd prospect. If thats what its going to take to get him then i would pass.. I’d wait and see if Roberts holds up and starts hitting to make a trade for a second baseman. and about Stephen Drew i think your right they must not like his medicals and i have heard that as well that the yankees don’t like them because he’d be a perfect fit this year playing third and short then switching next year to SS…

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    OK, so Mason Williams and JR Murphy…perhaps a third piece…..for Utley? Still hang up? I probably do, but I’m just gauging reaction here.

    • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

      I might be on board with that. Gardner and Ellsbury are signed for several years, Murphy is clearly trade bait…I could be talked into that one.

      • I’m One

        I agree. I’d seriously have to consider that. Not sure I’d pull the trigger, but I would definitely give it a long hard look (depending on player health & production at the time of the proposed trade).

      • Dave Guarnieri

        These are July 31st moves. We seem to be doing pretty well as is. No need to rush trades.

        WAIT until we have a better idea of who “Never Nervous”(TY John Sterling) Solarte truly is.

    • Bronx Bombers23

      Laugh heartily…then hang up.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        That doesn’t make you pause a bit more?

        The Phils need as many people under 75 they can get for the future. Murphy is slightly sandwiched here and, for the right player, should be considered. Mason is still far away enough, and still has legit questions about him, for us to be sure at all as to whether he’s ever going to crack this outfield.

        I don’t really think we should be considering Utley as anything other than a dump, if that set of circumstances ever even comes to be, but that does bring us closer to something a bit more worthwhile for the Yanks, even if it’s not there yet.

        • Bronx Bombers23

          With Cervellli out and basically McCann being the only thing left behind the plate (hard to be able to count on Romine at this point) I don’t think we can afford to even consider dealing Murphy at is point. If they did get to a point where they could consider dealing Murphy, I would hope it would be for a younger, middle infielder that could play 2b or SS, and not for an old, injury-prone stopgap like Utley.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Why wouldn’t the team be able to count on Romine? We sell him very short here.

            • Bronx Bombers23

              His back continues to flare up and give him problems from time to time. I like Romine, I really do, but if McCann were to go down, who would you rather run out there every day, Murphy or Romine? Yeah me too.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                Murphy, but I’d be fine with Romine.

    • mitch

      If Solarte/Sizemore/Roberts are complete zeros by June i’d at least consider it. Williams and Murphy are definitely chips i’d be willing to move, but probably not for a 35 year old 2B with an extensive injury history.

    • Rick

      I think this much more tolerable. When factoring in Utley’s talent and the contract. I’m much more comfortable giving up the catcher that Law considers to have the ceiling of a league average catcher (still very valuable) than giving up the guy he considers to have the ceiling of MVP potential if he maxes out his power. Also agree with the points about about Williams being blocked by Ells and Gardy.

    • Mike HC

      The year the Mets traded Beltran to the Giants might not be the worst comparable. Mets got a top pitching prospect in Wheeler and some money. The comparison is obviously not perfect, but I think Sanchez for Utley straight up is probably fair. Not sure either side would accept that deal. And just as a Yankee fan, I would prefer to stick with Sanchez.

      • Mike HC

        And the Williams and Murphy for Utley deal I would do. Not in a heartbeat, but eventually you have to pull the trigger on that.

    • Pineda Colada

      In a heart beat

    • Bill

      I’d definitely do that. I think come trade deadline a lot of the opposers would change their tune especially if Roberts is on the DL and Solarte has come back down to earth (both of which have a fairly high probability).

  • Wankos

    I agree with the general sentiment on this board. No way would I trade for Utley w/those knees and that hip.

  • Bronx Bombers23

    Here is Chase Utley’s games played in the last 4 seasons:

    131
    83
    103
    115

    And THIS is a guy that you would want to trade multiple top prospects for? Negative ghost rider.

    • adeel

      I wouldn’t make any trades (unless maybe for a nick franklin or owings type) right now. We do not really know what we have with Solarte, Roberts, Sizemore, Anna and even Johnson.

      Yes, they may turn out to be duds, but outside of Roberts, these players are in their prime of their careers, and have a very real potential of cost-savings for many years to come. If we can get even replacement level production out two of these guys, that would be enough for a playoff run.

      Give them more at bats, and if they fall of the cliff, then worry about handing out a 100 million dollars to a player north of 30.

  • adeel

    i vote for Sizemore to become manager if Girardi is gone. It would be exciting to have a player/manager again!

    • I’m One

      Scott Sizemore could be player/manager/GM/team owner and still put up more than Utley’s 5-6 wim improvement for the team.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        He was already contributing positive WAR to the MLB team while playing in Scranton.

  • http://Riverave.blues Jorge Poseidon

    I agree with the sentiment we should be excited about two 25 year old front line pitchers. And like Mike stated I would be leery about Pineda’s shoulder. However to say he is relying on velocity is off base. His velocity is down post surgery and he has developed a change up and his slider is nasty. Yes he is setting it all up off his fastball but he isn’t just a fastball pitcher..

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      *side-eye*

  • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

    I don’t think RAB comments have ever been as united as they are wrt Utley.

    I’m impressed.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      My crystal ball says qwerty busts the streak around 11.

      “All the prospects fail anyway, so why keep them.”

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        11:21. Almost.

    • Looser Trader Droids Kenobi FotD™

      I’m still waiting for Mike to say April Fools. Seriously. It’s so dopey at both face value and upon any real analysis that I just don’t get it.

  • awy

    re: pineda more reliant on his fastball. i don’t think this is true simpliciter. pineda’s velo this year has been up and down, and he was able to do pretty well in the 2 starts that he didn’t have his 94 mph velocity by going to the changeup more. in one game he didn’t even have a good slider but his changeup dominated.

    he’s been able to get people to chase/swing at his change and sliders at a pretty good pace, and he is able to show good command of those pitches. his fastball is very movement heavy to the point of being misclassified as cutters. so simple velo reliance is kind of a thing of the past with him.

    • Bill

      No doubt that he’s improved as a pitcher. I think the point Mike was making was more comparative to Tanaka who is a much more well-rounded pitcher who combines pin point location with devastating stuff (his Splitter). Pineda is really coming into his own though, but is still pretty reliant on his fastball. That’s not really a bad thing though he’s a power pitcher that’s his game. He’s also very young and missed a lot of time. He’s expected to still be developing as a pitcher. I’m still VERY impressed with how well Pineda has developed his game so soon after coming back from injury.

      • awy

        just looked again and mike’s wording was “reliant on pure velocity”. that’s what i was responding to

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I haven’t seen RAB this united since the 2009 WS.

    The night is still young, however.

    • I’m One

      Another couple of drinks and who knows what this will turn into.

      (Hey, it’s Friday and it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, amirite?)

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        Turned into something, that’s for sure.

  • Davidi

    Sanchez, Banuelos and a 3rd prospect for Utley? Really? If the Yankees make that deal Cashman should be fired. Bring in Drew or trade for someone like Prado if not stand pat with Solarte and Roberts at 2B. No need to make a short-term trade like that.

  • infernoscurse

    no love for Jon Lester? hes a FA next year, and as we have seen many times before we always take Redsox players from them even in their down years :D Lester to replace kuroda would be nice

    • vin

      Nah, the Sox will sign him for 3/30 with four team options worth 8mil each or a 5 dollar buyout.

    • stuckey

      I think by course Yankees HAVE to make him a nice offer, if nothing else to at least force the Red Sox to get in the neighborhood if he’s serious about a hometown discount (the recent drama overlooked) and/or to get another team outside the division to drive the price up even further.

      If Nova and Banuelos put together decent years, having them as trade bait isn’t the worst thing in the world.

      A rotation of Tanaka/Lester/Pineda/Sabathia/Nova or Banuelos would be expensive as all hell, but man, your urgency to sign big bat infielders just lessened a little.

  • EA

    I would insist the Phillies include Utley’s stool in any deal so he can field grounders during his eventual rehab. So Utley and his stool for Romine and Williams. Cash$ would have to pull the trigger.

    • vin

      Oh THAT stool. I honestly had no idea where you were going after the first half of that sentence.

    • Mr. Roth

      The whole stool, or just a sample?

      • jgibs

        I see what ya did there.

  • stuckey

    Generally, I think it’s about time we consider a wholesale reevaluation of trade practices.

    There is too much parity in general and the postseason is now more of a anything-goes tournament that ever before.

    The win-now trade just doesn’t have the same impact as it has in previous eras (if it ever really did).

    I’m not prospect hugger by even a small degree, but the reality of Utley vs. what best-case scenario can do to your odds just isn’t a significant ratio.

    Every trade as the right price, but the proposed price of this one seems way out of whack with what you hope to gain, which is almost a negligible chance in your postseason chances.

    • mitch

      It wouldn’t have much impact on winning the WS once you’re in the playoffs, but it could definitely help getting there. While i think Mike’s 5 or 6 win lift is off, I think he’d probably be good for a couple win surplus. In a tight division that could be the difference.

      (Still no way i’d do Sanchez, Banuelos, + for him)

      • stuckey

        vs. potentially a decade or more of two guys helping you get there.

        In the balance, I’ll take the longview, given getting there isn’t what it once was, is my point.

  • AndrewYF

    Your trade proposal is almost as hilarious as Steve Lombardi’s proposal of Pineda for Pastornicky. Almost.

  • TomG

    I don’t get RAB sometimes. Sanchez and Banuelos clearly have their warts. It’s fun to follow these guys, but these two prospects, like all prospects, will probably never amount to anything at the MLB level. The odds are in favor of them contributing nothing. We’ve seen it happen with prospects over and over. Utley has played in the majors at an MVP level.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      Did you actually read the comments you’re disagreeing with?

      Or are you just here to be contrary, as we knew would happen eventually with someone.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        He’s one letter in the alphabet away from Bluejay Banter.

      • TomG

        Don’t be a dick, I’m really not trolling. The major league infield is a weakness. Adding Chase Utley on a team friendly contract would be a huge addition. Sanchez and Banuelos may end up being all-stars, but they realistically won’t end up reaching their ceilings.

        • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

          I would disagree that his contract is all that team friendly, particularly considering if he reaches the vesting options as his age increases.

          • Gonzo

            If his options vest, isn’t that a good thing? 500 PAs in the previous season means he probably produced for you.

            • Gonzo

              And as far as I can tell, you can still buy out that 2016 vesting option for $2mm.

              • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

                That means you’d be paying him for past performance, as usual with expensive vets. No reason to believe he’d earn that money again.

                • Gonzo

                  If you’re complaining about paying $2mm for past performance, I don’t know what to tell you. You probably shouldn’t look at some of the existing contracts on the books.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          “The odds are in favor of them contributing nothing.”

          This is not true, especially for Banuelos.

          “Utley has played in the majors at an MVP level.”

          This is irrelevant, because it was 5 years ago.

          “Sanchez and Banuelos clearly have their warts”

          So does Utley.

          You also ignore salary concerns and team control moving forward.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          “Sanchez and Banuelos may end up being all-stars, but they realistically won’t end up reaching their ceilings.”

          A) That’s not what you said originally.

          B) They don’t both have to be all-stars for this trade to be a terrible idea.

          • TomG

            What I said is the odds are in favor of these guys contributing nothing at the major league level. That’s just singling out any two prospects.

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

              The odds are not in favor of Banuelos contributing nothing. AAA prospects with his pedigree almost always contribute something, even if they aren’t all-stars, even if it’s just in the bullpen.

              Banuelos has owned every level of the minors. He had one injury, and is in recovery. Short of another injury, you’re going to see him in the majors in 2015.

              How you can compare him to a run of the mill, “any prospect”, is just no.

              • Gonzo

                Banuelos has owned every level of the minors.

                In his 169 IP in AA+ ball before the injury he has a WHIP over 1.50. I wouldn’t call that owning every level. I would argue that he has never owned anything above A ball. That was before he missed almost 2 years of development.

              • Gonzo

                Isn’t Cashman’s story that he had two injuries? The bone bruise and then the torn ligament when rehabbing his bone bruise?

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

              And can you not tell how

              ““Sanchez and Banuelos may end up being all-stars, but they realistically won’t end up reaching their ceilings.””

              and

              “The odds are in favor of them contributing nothing.”

              are two different thoughts, and why I’d take umbrage with the first and not the second?

              • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                Second and not the first*

        • Jorge Steinbrenner
    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Funny. You look nothing like Fred Robbins.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      So you never, ever hold onto them? There’s a winning strategy.

      • TomG

        I’m not saying that. Yet everyone was bitching about them trading away the farm in the 90’s, and you know what happened. They fucking won. So maybe it is a winning strategy.

        • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

          How did they trade away the farm in the 90’s? By trading Roberto Kelly for Paul O’Neill, then trading Hitchcok and Davis for Tino and Nelson? Neither of those would count as trading away the farm.

          They also constantly resisted trading Bernie and Mo.

          • TomG

            Could you imagine what would happen if they traded Nick Johnson today? RAB whining would cripple the internet for a month. We’re talking about a pitcher recovering from major arm surgery and a good AA catching prospect for one of the best second basemen of his generation. Maybe we’re overvaluing our prospects a bit here.

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

              “good AA catching prospect”

              An understatement.

              “one of the best second basemen of his generation.”

              From 4-5 years ago.

            • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

              You just basically ignored my contention.

              And like Jim said, Utley is past his prime, as productive as he still is.

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

              You’re just either willingly or incidentally completely ignoring Utley’s age/injuries.

              • TomG

                What are you doing with Banuelos?!?

                • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                  And reply to Macho Man.

                  You said “We traded the farm in the 90s!!!1!1″

                  He disagreed, you ignored it, because you were wrong.

                  • TomG

                    Well done, you’ve successfully answered hyperbole with snark, you’re f’ing brilliant.

                    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                      Still avoiding any of the actual responses to the issue.

                • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                  Banuelos is 23.

                  He had one injury.

                  Utley is 35. And has had injuries in each of the last 4 seasons.

                  • Gonzo

                    Can we get clarification on this? Wasn’t it two injuries. The bone bruise then the UCL tear rehabbing the bone bruise?

                    He wouldn’t have lost close to two years from just the TJS.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  He’s recovering from TJ and is still about the age prospects should be in AAA despite missing most of two seasons.

                  Your argument is a dumb generalization. You’re picking the wrong young players and the wrong veteran.

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

              And moreso, were you not around for the Montero years? Do you remember how we traded our best prospect? Recently? As in, not long ago? And also, remember Austin Jackson/Ian Kennedy? We traded them too.

              Guess who wasn’t crippled: RAB writers and most of the commenters. Because we’re not idiots.

              • Dalek Jeter

                For the record, I hated both trades at the time. Especially the Jackson/IPK one, only because I originally thought we were getting Granderson AND Edwin Jackson and then found out it was just Granderson. After consideration though, I came around on both trades.

                • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                  “After consideration though, I came around on both trades.”

                  And you were totally allowed to hate the trade initially. I’m fine with people who never came around. But TomG’s statement that RAB would be “Crippled” if we traded a nick johnson equivalent is inane.

                  • Dalek Jeter

                    It is laughable. We traded Nick Johnson, and sure there wasn’t a RAB back then, but I don’t remember an uproar from Yankee fans calling into radio shows or anything like that.

                  • Jorge Steinbrenner

                    I hated Montero/Pineda. Shit happens.

          • Dalek Jeter

            And Jeter. Michael Kay loves telling the story about how there was a deal in place to trade Jeter for starting pitching in ’95 of ’96. That’s trading the farm. And I’m not saying that Gary Sanchez will be half the player that Jeter is, or that he’s half the prospect that Jeter was at the time…but Sanchez is also the type of guy that’s actually considered trading the farm. The guys they did trade, Roberto Kelly, and Sterling Hitchcock are guys like…Corey Black and Austin Romine. Prospects, sure, damn decent ones too, but not top guys.

            • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

              Kelly wasn’t even a prospect anymore. He was an established MLB player.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Kelly was better than that, but he was no superstar, and he brought back Paul O’Neill. That actually wasn’t a crazy trade at the time, but we wound up winning that, and then some.

              • Looser Trader Droids Kenobi FotD™

                I was not pleased about that trade, and rarely in my life have I ever been so happy about being so very very wrong. Paulie became one of my ATF guys.

            • Gonzo

              …but Sanchez is also the type of guy that’s actually considered trading the farm.

              That’s really relative to the farm system no? There are some clubs that could make that trade and not be trading away the farm.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          what..

          …seriously

          I can’t.

          Jeter…Mo…Posada….Bernie……Pettitte….that stupid nickname…can’t believe we traded all of them.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          What the motherfuck are you talking about? The 90’s?!?! Who exactly was traded away that wound up leading to those four championships? Quit taking Mike’s painkillers.

          • TomG

            OK fellas, I’m going to go outside now, try to get some sun today.

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

              Suuuure.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Bye bye.

              Now what?

  • sas

    I think Mike should take some more time off. First, his obsession with washed up “proven names” in the infield. Utley, Drew, etc. Utley for Sanchez and Manny B? Second, saying Pineda is reliant on velocity when that is proving not to be the case.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Didn’t say Pineda is reliant on velocity, just that he needs it more than Tanaka.

      Calling Utley “washed up” is beyond silly.

      • Looser Trader Droids Kenobi FotD™

        So is trading the two prospects you offered for him.

        Sorry Mike but that trade proposal sucks so bad that we really ought to have a new acronym. YTPS doesn’t even begin to cut it in this case.

        • Looser Trader Droids Kenobi FotD™

          For the record I love you and your site, and am deeply grateful for the work you do here. Every. Single. Day. (Except yesterday, and YTPstillS :P)

  • mustang

    Death, Taxes and NO to Gary Sanchez, Manny Banuelos and a third, lesser prospect for Chase Utley.
    That seems to the theme will let’s get back to old reliable Drew, Drew and Drew.
    I think you lost them at the “lesser prospect” Mike.

    • Bronx Bombers23

      He lost me at Sanchez.

      Everything after that just made the trade proposal that much more idiotic in my humble opinion.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        You’re among 99% like-minded commenters. No need for humility :)

  • blake

    I love Chase Utley but I also think that price is too steep and that 5 or 6 wins (especially when it’s not even a full season) is really overestimating his impact…..for Utley from 5 years ago I might consider it…..for 2014 Utley I’m not doing that…..especially when you still could just sign Drew for money only and keep Sanchez and Banuelos.

    • stuckey

      Who you taking off the roster for Stephen Drew right now Blake?

      Roberts, Solarte or Johnson?

      • Dalek Jeter

        If Drew was ready to play? Roberts with out much of a second thought, really.

        • stuckey

          That’s fine for fantasy roster building in a vacuum, but I always seem to find a deaf audience when it comes to applying real world expectations to these issues.

          That’s simply not how ML roster/clubhouses are managed by GMs and managers, and for good reason.

          As fans we all just want to manipulate stats, but teams have to manage people, and how you handle on guy on a roster affects the other 24.

          Yankees made their choice, they went with Roberts at a discount over Drew (or at least Drew help make that choice for them).

          Roberts was fine during ST and he’s had very few ABs so far this season.

          They aren’t just dumping for the idea of Drew at a position he’s never played.

          Sign him now, and send him to Tampa for 2-4 weeks and you’re effectively telling Roberts he’s on borrowed time.

          As I say, I fully understand fans wish teams treated players like this, but they don’t.

          Steinbrenner already said it, and again, he says those things for a reason, so it gets down to the players who are playing for you.

          The Drew thing continues to be a stato-matic fantasy, divorced from the implications of how clubhouses are handled, which last I looked, was still an important aspect of baseball.

          Just apparently not well understood by many fans.

          • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

            Look, you bring a TON to these discussions, but you always find a way to demean the people you’re replying to. Even people who agree with you.

            “but I always seem to find a deaf audience when it comes to applying real world expectations to these issues.”

            You know this isn’t true. Many here, including Dalek, have agreed with you when you’ve brought this up before.

            • stuckey

              I was more talking to Blake, I stand behind it, and he knows why.

            • vicki

              don’t even bother, jim. think of him as your friend’s bitch girlfriend. when she comes home, all judgy and disappointed, it’s better to just go to somebody else’s house.

          • Dalek Jeter

            I thought we were talking about roster building in a vacuum. I totally understand there are real world applications and reasons that don’t factor into the idea that “Drew improves the roster” which is why I’ve held “he’d be an upgrade, but at what cost.”

  • Dalek Jeter

    I totally get where Mike’s coming from with his trade proposal (which sucks, obviously, as all do) in that prospects, as good as they may be, are still just lottery tickets. And taking off the rose coloured glasses for a second, Banuelos is a pretty long odds lottery ticket after elbow surgery. Utley is a proven commodity at a position where the team needs help.

    All that said, I wouldn’t make the trade. Utley’s on the wrong side of 30, coming off a couple injuries himself, and I hate to play this game but there’s a better option available next offseason for 2B in Jedd Lowrie. Who is not only younger, but will only cost money.

    • Dalek Jeter

      I don’t get where’s getting the “legitimate 5 or 6 WAR upgrade” unless he really thinks Solarte/Sizemore/Johnson/Roberts are all going to combine to be like negative 3 wins at 2nd.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        That was really where he lost me.

    • Bill

      I’m a big fan of signing Lowrie in the offseason.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        Lowrie and/or Headley top my wish list.

        • Looser Trader Droids Kenobi FotD™

          Headley FTW.

      • Dalek Jeter

        As am I. I know it’s greedy, but I’d love to see at least 2 of Lowrie, Hardy, Hanley(if he makes it), and Headley.

        • stuckey

          I don’t really pay attention to stats until May 1 and don’t concern over any of them until Memorial Day, but would be nice for Headley to get his OPS over .600.

          • Dalek Jeter

            Trust me, he’s on my fantasy team, I couldn’t agree more. But even still, in his “down year” last year he was a 3+fWAR player, is a switch hitter, hits for some power, walks at a decent rate, doesn’t K alot, and is a rock defensively. Shades of A-Gon, but get that man out of PetCo and see what he can do in a regular ballpark.

            • stuckey

              If you want to see two, what are you imagining happens to Arod, particularly if one of them is Headley?

              Do you suspect he’ll be released somehow or another?

              • Dalek Jeter

                If they sign two, then the scenario (in my mind at least) is the OF is LF Gardner, CF Ells, RF Beltran; the INF is Headley, Somebody, Lowrie, Tex 3B-1B with A-Rod as the primary DH, and they don’t resign Sori.

  • mustang

    I have to bring up an alarming trend here. When I first came to RAB I came from the old “King George” guard. You know trade the prospects for vets buy players that might not fit and so on. During my RAB recovery I learn to value the prospects and spend wisely with an eye on future. That all WAR is not bad.
    Now one of the leaders of my recovery is like “let’s get Drew” and “let’s trade Gary Sanchez and Manny Banuelos for Utley”. What the hell is going on? Where the RAB that developed things like “Save the Big 3″?
    For God sake we had to make our own game thread last night!
    These are just scary times here.

    • Looser Trader Droids Kenobi FotD™

      The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.

  • adeel

    its not even about the prospects, its taking at bats away from an infield that has given you every reason to think they CAN hit. Prospects are lottery tickets, and if we have a situation like last year I would pull the trigger for someone like Utley; I just don’t want to bring in a big name when our current acquisitions are outperforming everyone’s expectation.

    • Bill

      Yea I agree, no need to make the trade now, nor would a team like the Phillies. Its way too early and the Yankees can continue to ride the hot streak of Solarte and also see what Roberts and Sizemore can give them with great defensive backups like Dean Anna and Brendan Ryan also in the mix.

      Oh yea the team also has Kelly Johnson who looks like a very solid regular basically wherever you put him.

      By the trade deadline though things may be very different.

      Oh all the guys discussed though I’d definitely go after Prado. We’ve all seen the value of having guys like Kelly Johnson and Solarte that can play mulitple positions. Prado is a better version of that. If the D’backs make him available I wouldn’t hesitate to give up some top prospects.

  • Bronx Bombers23

    Why don’t we see if we can coax Michael Young out of retirement after we trade the farm away for Chase Utley in an electric wheelchair so we can have an AARP infield. World Series here we come!

  • Mike077

    Character is an important part of player consideration for the Yankees and there must be something with Stephen Drew that has put the front office off.

    Chase Uttley: Same with Uttley. I remember him using the f-word in a public address during the celebration for the Phillies title a few years back. It was low-class and took attention away from the team accomplishment. If guys can’t control their emotions and mouth, they make poor teammates. I would hate to see him become a Yankee.

    • stuckey

      Character is important of how teams do their business.

      No one is being dumped in April for a marginal player at best currently working on his short game with a silent cell phone in his back pocket.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Fantastic?

    • Dalek Jeter

      O_o I’m not sure how I feel about this comment. Or Stuckey’s response. Mostly because I don’t understand them.

      • stuckey

        I’m simply saying the character of the Yankees organization is as much of a factor as the character of Stephen Drew.

        Given its mid April and the performance of the infield options thus far, and given the assumption Drew doesn’t sign here without a guarantee of a position, I think it would show a lack of character on the Yankees part to sign him.

        Which is my I don’t think they will.

  • Sam

    What’s better than when the Yankees win? When they score 6 or more runs so you can get 50% off the next day (meaning today) at Papa Johns, with the promo code Yankees6. Pizza party time!

    • Dalek Jeter

      Did we just get spammed or is this dude actually this excited about papa johns that he felt the need to give us all this short commercial?

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Jordan Brink for Chase Utley: Who hangs up?

    • mustang

      Cashman in a second

  • Gonzo

    I see where Mike is coming from here. At some point, you have to dig your heels in the ground and say, “this year.” It wasn’t last year, and many people thought it was because of the $189mm mandate, and if it’s not this year, when is it?

    I don’t think the playoffs are a given, so that is probably where I differ with a lot of you people. The difference may be in the way people see Utley in relation to raising the playoff odds. It might be as simple as that. It also might be the way people value Gary and Manny. Combine those differences, and you get what we have here in this thread.

    There are probably other things involved too, but I see those as the main issues.

  • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod

    Fuck Stephen Drew up, down, sideways, upside down, reverse, whatever else you can think of.

    Seriously, the Yankees do not need Stephen fucking Drew and they are not going to sign Stephen fucking Drew. I wish we could stop hearing about him already.

    • RetroRob

      Stephen Drew.

      …runs for cover.

  • TWTR

    There is no way that I would trade Sanchez for a 35 year old Never.

  • Dave Guarnieri

    In addition to Utley, they should trade Gardner for Brandon Phillips. That was sarcastic BTW. No thanks for either guy.

  • RetroRob

    Those were some good drugs Mike got.

    In defense, as we have all seen, it’s quite possible Banuelos and Sanchez will amount to nothing more than a pile of…Montero. I have no problem trading prospects, but I’d like to get back something more than a 35-year-old 2B’man for two seasons. At least with Montero, it was another young stud coming back, and one who was already had a full season of success on the MLB level. That’s why the trade was rated almost universally as a win for the Yankees prior to the shoulder issue. Montero had no position and outside of a few September ABs, was untested.

    Two good years from Utley maybe more than the Yankees will ever see from Sanchez and Banuelos. Yet, I’d rather hold them. You only get one chance to trade top prospect, and in the case of Banuelos a former top prospect now trying to rebuild himself. That’s part of the problem. The Yankees would be dealing not quite at the low point (that would be the last two years), but pretty darn close.

  • mustang

    Beltran out of lineup after tumble

    No surprise, Carlos Beltran is out of tonight’s lineup following last night’s flip over the wall in foul territory.

    Brett Gardner LF
    Derek Jeter SS
    Jacoby Ellsbury CF
    Alfonso Soriano DH
    Brian McCann C
    Yangervis Solarte 2B
    Kelly Johnson 1B
    Scott Sizemore 3B
    Ichiro Suzuki RF

    RHP Hiroki Kuroda