Replacing Ivan Nova, both now and later

Vidal, open your eyes! (Brian Blanco/Getty)

Vidal, open your eyes! (Getty)

The Yankees got some very bad pitching news over the weekend. Ivan Nova left Saturday’s start with a sore elbow, and a subsequent MRI revealed a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. He will be re-evaluated in New York today and, based on how these things have gone for other pitchers around the league, it’s very likely Nova will need Tommy John surgery in the near future. The procedure would end his season and delay the start of his 2015 campaign as well.

Nova was the team’s least effective pitcher so far this season — that could be the result of the injury, of course — so the Yankees will only have to replace their fifth starter. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a big loss or anything like that, but there’s a difference between losing Nova and losing one of the other starters. This blow is easier to absorb. What can the Yankees do to replace Nova? Several things, actually. Let’s look at this two different ways.

Immediate Replacements
The Yankees have already placed Nova on the 15-day DL, so even if today’s re-evaluation brings best case scenario news, he’s going to miss a minimum of two starts. (Off-days could help the team out a bit.) Vidal Nuno pitched well in yesterday’s spot start (five scoreless innings) and today’s off-day allows him to step right into Nova’s rotation spot, if the team decides to go that way. I have to think they will based on yesterday’s work.

The other options on the big league roster are Adam Warren and David Phelps, both of whom competed for the fifth starter’s job in camp. Warren has settled into a one-inning setup role and even though the season is barely three weeks old, I think he’s there to stay. Even with David Robertson due to come off the DL tomorrow. Phelps has become more of a multi-inning, multi-purpose reliever. He works the middle innings, the late innings, whatever is needed. Kinda like 2009 Al Aceves. Both Warren and Phelps would need to be stretched back out, unlike Nuno.

The Triple-A options aren’t very good. The RailRiders have a mostly veteran retread rotation, and the only guy on the staff with any kind of big league success is, well, Al Aceves. He was last effective in 2011. I can’t imagine others like Brian Gordon, Bruce Billings, and Chris Leroux will get serious rotation consideration. Same with Manny Banuelos. (Billings has been quite good actually, with a 2.74 ERA and 2.67 FIP in 23 innings.) I can’t see any of these guys getting the nod over Nuno or Phelps right now. If anything, Aceves could be called up to fill a bullpen job, but that’s probably it. Nuno seems like the guy right now.

(Brian Garfinkel/Getty)

(Brian Garfinkel/Getty)

Longer-Term Replacements
If Nova does indeed go down for the rest of the season — even avoiding surgery and successfully rehabbing the injury will sideline him for weeks if not months — I think the Yankees have to consider making a trade to bolster their rotation. Remember, Michael Pineda is going to have his workload monitored closely following shoulder surgery, plus we don’t really know what to expect out of Masahiro Tanaka late in the season now that he’s starting every fifth day for the first time in his life. Plus Hiroki Kuroda has shown a tendency to wear down late in the year. Adding some rotation help is never a bad idea.

When looking for trade candidates, the easiest thing to do is find impending free agents on non-contenders. There are fewer sellers at the deadline these days because of the second wildcard spot, so the pool of available players really shrinks. Teams like the Diamondbacks (Brandon McCarthy?), Astros (Jerome Williams?), and Cubs (Jason Hammel?) seem like safe bets to be terrible. The Marlins (Kevin Slowey?), Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa?), and Padres (Eric Stults?) are other potential sellers.

The big rotation trade candidate is the same guy it’s been for about three years now: Cliff Lee. We know the Yankees love him, he remains among the game’s truly elite pitchers, and at this point there is only ~$45M left on his contract through next year. It’s not a huge long-term commitment. (His deal does include a vesting option for 2016.) Lee is someone any team would love to add to their staff and he’d be ultra-overqualified to replace Nova. Even if the Phillies decide to sell, do the Yankees have the prospects to compete against offers from clubs like the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Rangers?

* * *

The upcoming rotation situation would have been much murkier had Nuno gotten bombed yesterday. But, because he pitched well, he’ll likely get another chance or three to fill-in for Nova. And who knows? Maybe Nuno is the long-term solution. If not, the Yankees can try Phelps. A trade is something I think they should consider no matter how well those two perform, but that can wait. It’s early in the season and the Yankees can afford to be patient with their internal options. Nova did not pitch well in his first four starts this year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will be easy to replace.

Categories : Pitching


  1. Dan says:

    I’d add James Shields as a possible candidate if KC becomes sellers. And Masterson if Cleveland sells. Both are impending FAs, and would probably not cost a ton of prospects (compared to Lee anyway). Unfortunately it’s way too early to know what’ll happen in the AL Central.

  2. Darren says:

    What would get Lee? Williams, Sanchez and what else? He has a no-trade, right?

  3. Mickey Scheister says:

    It is Nuno’s time to shine! But really, best case scenario Nuno provides 2005 Aaron Small numbers, 10 wins, a 3.88 FIP, and WHIP around 1.2. Worst case, he provides no value or the 2006 version of Aaron Small. Based on his body of work in the minors the last couple of years and what he’s been able to do in a small (zing) sample size with the big club, it should be Nuno’s job to lose. If they don’t feel comfortable or the wheels fall off with Nuno, they could send Phelps down to be AAA and call up Aceves to take Phelpies spot.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Best case scenario, he gains perfect control over his stuff and suddenly becomes Greg Maddux.

      Never said it was likely.

      I think his most likely best case scenario is “pretty damn serviceable back-end guy.”

  4. CC says:

    I would do anything to never have to read another “Cliff Lee to the Yankees” sentence. Not that I disagree with the logic or anything like that, but my heart can only take so much. With that said, I will be the first person to buy his jersey if he’s ever traded.

    • Poconos Adam says:

      Cliff Lee is the WRONG FREAKING ANSWER. You give up half your farm system and future financial flexibility (next 2-3 years)for a guy who is going to do what? Hate pitching in NY? His contract is disgusting….

      Let the stupid other teams go grab Cliff Lee. If you’re trading half the farm, get a guy who isn’t uber expensive and old.

      Can Stephen Drew pitch Mike? Maybe bring him in too?

  5. Notsosmart says:

    It probably would have helped if some morons hadn’t spit on Lee’s wife when they visited Yankee Stadium a few years back…

  6. DERP says:

    Freddy Garcia is available. Well he just signed with a team in Asia, but I’m not counting that.

  7. JLC 776 says:

    Let’s just completely forget about the idea of the Phillies ever trading at the deadline. Ruben Amaro Junior is a delusional hack of a GM who would rather sink the team than ‘admit’ defeat and trade anyone – especially a guy like Lee – at the deadline now that it’s his head that would be on the chopping block (as opposed to the manager’s now that Charlie Manuel was fired).

  8. AndrewYF says:

    I think Cliff Lee might be my favorite non-Yankee pitcher. He’s just so consistently great. Like a better version of pre-sucky Sabathia.

  9. Jersey Joe says:

    Nuno deserves the spot until he fails. He’s put up good numbers over the past few years and if he can do something that resembles what he did last year, that would be fine with me.

    In the event that Nuno cannot be effective, I don’t want to give up prospects for a stopgap who will be a fifth starter. I’d look to the current FA list to see if there any midseason candidates for the job.

    There is no need to risk prospects for a 5th starter.

    • The Great Gonzo says:

      OK Joe, I’ll bite. Lets play this game:

      Who was the last prospect the Yankees traded away for anything (stopgap or piece of the puzzle) that has made a real difference? Melancon? Meh. Corey Black? Yawn… DJ Mitchell? Noesi? Not even a blip. Montero? Nope. Kontos ran the typical reliever flame out route.

      Unless I am missing someone, it was IPK, Melky, and Austin Jackson. IPK has been massively up and down since his big 2010, Melky has been a headache and was near replacement level between his Yankee tenure and his webmaster career. Also, he’d been in The Show for a couple of seasons already.

      Unless I am missing that brief summer where Mike Trout played for Trenton, that leaves you Austin Jackson and 1/2 of Kennedy over the past half decade. Please do not discount that to mean we could not have used many of those guys over that time frame, but exactly 1.5 of those guys are what you thought they’d be.

      Let go of the prospects, if you hug them too tight they might pop in your face.

      • RetroRob says:

        …and, of course, the IPK/Jackson traded netted a couple 40 HR seasons from Granderson. A trade like that is always fine. Moving one asset for another need, in this case LH’d power.

        Most fans just want to hold onto all prospects and wish them ill once they leave. Corey Black turns in a few good seasons? Disaster! Ignoring they received value back from Soriano.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          No one else can have good things.

        • Poconos Adam says:

          I am not a prospect hugger — but comparing a a deal where you received a guy who is an all-star caliber player and 29 years old for prospects….with a deal where you send 2-3 top guys for a soon to be 36 year old with a 57.5 million dollar price tag (for this year and next, or 75 million for three years)…oh and he’s getting hit like crazy just in case anyone hasn’t actually paid attention to what he does for a living…that is a poor comparison (the Granderson deal and the Lee deal).

          I am fine with dealing kids to fill gaps….but why is it always the most expensive old guy?

          • Eric Young says:

            It’s not money, sooooo: if Philly were willing to part with Lee for whatever we’ve got on the farm, I’d do that deal. Tanaka, Lee, Kuroda & CC (and maybe Pineda won’t break down) could well be enough to get us a ring or two.

            Hall isn’t gonna do it though, and neither is Rubén Amaro.

  10. Wayne says:

    Yankees will have to give up Bryan Mitchell and Brady Lail and Rafael Depaula for Cliff Lee. Seems like a fair deal for Cliff Lee. Yankees win the World Series and Phillies have their future rotation.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Before they all die on the field, amirite?

      That offer probably doesn’t get you Cliff Lee. Bryan Mitchell, GARY SANCHEZ, and Rafi DePaula might.

      • LK says:

        It would all depend on what the Phillies think of those guys, but I would guess another team might top that offer for Lee. I sort of doubt Mitchell and DePaula have much value, generally speaking, so it’s basically a question of if someone will give up a better prospect than Sanchez. Of course, both Sanchez and Lee might have very different values depending on how the next few months go.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:


          I’m also, in no way, advocating for that deal. I was just replying to Dr. Doom above.

        • Preston says:

          The thing that complicates a Lee trade is huge gobs of money. Would the Phillies prefer a team that gives them the best prospects, or the team that would eat most or all of the contract? Who knows. The Yankees might not be willing to take on that kind of money anyways.

    • jjyank says:

      I have to think that trade proposal wouldn’t even get you past Amaro’s secretary.

  11. Mike HC says:

    I think we have enough 6th starters that we should be able to find one to go all Aaron Small/Shawn Chacon on the league. Just rotate them in until we do.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      I’m really glad you gave Shawn Chacon the proper respect here.

      • JLC 776 says:

        Man, I was at Chacon’s first start in pinstripes after the trade. The subtle change in the immediate crowd from ‘who the hell is this NL guy?’ to ‘holy crap!’ was awesome.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          I was pretty bullish on him at the time. He wasn’t that far removed from some serious success. Too bad it all went away so quickly.

          • JLC 776 says:

            It really was too bad. He went from a solid pitcher with potential but the occasional bad start to back-end guy with the occasional good start pretty quickly. But I will always remember him as one of those guys who came out of nowhere to help stabilize the team down the stretch – just the sort of hero we need now (although I’m being dramatic there – it is only April).

  12. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    A Jason Hammel or Scotty Feldman comes to mind early. Who knows what becomes available as the deadline approaches. I expect the Yanks to be active in this unless Nuno suddenly morphs into Greg Maddux.

  13. jjyank says:

    I’m fine with Nuno for the time being. I think there’s a possibility that he pulls a 2011 Freddy Garcia out of his ass. I’d certainly keep my ear to the ground for an upgrade via trade though.

  14. TWTR says:

    If their current four starters remain healthy and perform up to (or outperform) expectations, there is no reason to burn minor league assets on another starter.

    The focus, imo, should be on getting younger, high ceiling infielders.

    • Mike HC says:

      Seems to me the Austin, Williams, Heathcott OF trio are the best combination between most valuable and most expendable to shop around the league for infield and/or pitching help. We probably aren’t going to land a superstar, but we should be able to get back good players for them, whether major or minor leaguers.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        The way this team is set up, all three of them won’t be playing in the outfield anytime soon.

        You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.

        • The Great Gonzo says:

          I would trade Slade or Austin in a cocaine heartbeat if the return was a league average starter/very good swingman for the next two seasons. Shit, I’d send them both in the Utley/Lee uber deal mentioned on these pages last week.

          At best, you won’t see any of the three until 2015. And Mason is still my favorite of the bunch

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

            I’m not sure if I go that far, especially on Austin.

            • The Great Gonzo says:

              I would, maybe not both in that same deal, but I could very easily be talked into trading both guys this season to re-shore up the rotation and the infield.

              Or both on Ryan Howard. I don’t give a shit really.

      • TWTR says:

        True, but as JS suggested, timing is important, so if their value increases to a level where moving them would not be trading low, trading one or more for a young infielder (my preference) makes sense. OTOH, a young OF that can SLG would be a nice compliment to the current OF, depending on how Beltran ages. Alternatively, at some point, the Yankees may have to decide if Gardner/Ellsbury is the right mix, and if not, whether Gardner’s trade value is high enough to consider moving him.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          Even in an environment in which you could stand to improve your farm system, it’s still unreasonable to say you’re going to keep all your prospects. It’s a game of who do you keep and you is tradebait, and it always will be.

          To me, you look at upgrading from Nuno, or whoever, if you’re wanting to have all bases covered for a deep playoff run. I don’t think that moment is right now unless something you can’t refuse comes along. It may happen at some point in the season, though.

          I’m not advocating for Lee unless his value drops following an improper diss of Geno’s Cheesesteaks. That’s for sure.

          • TWTR says:

            For an organization that may just be regaining the ability to develop from within, taken together with an aging ML roster, I would prefer that they confine trading prospects to areas where they have positional depth, for example, as was mentioned above, the OF. OTOH, I would be very reluctant to trade Sanchez or Murphy until one of them establishes himself as the heir apparent to McCann, a role that could have the added value of helping to extend his career while protecting a large financial investment. Why not seize the opportunity to make the C position one of considerable strength for year to come?

            As for Lee, if things go as planned, who does he bump from the playoff rotation? It won’t be CC or Kuroda, given their veteran status, unless they get hurt or fall off of a cliff, nor will it be Tanaka, unless he somehow gets hurt or melts down. It has been suggested that Pineda might not have the durability to pitch in the playoffs this year, but then you are only in need of a 4th starter, who doesn’t always pitch regularly in the playoffs.

            So yes, any good player whose value is deeply discounted is worth considering, but from my perspective, a player of Lee’s age who is owed $25m next year (and at least $12.5m the year after), probably wouldn’t be that appealing unless a lot of bad things happened to the current rotation.

  15. J.J. Salata says:

    Johan Santana available?

  16. Yangeddard Solarte says:

    I think you have to give Nuno another shot vs LAA on Saturday. BGDP has proven too valuable in that pen. He hasn’t given up a run of his own volition since Toronto. BGDP can give you 2 or 3 innings in a pinch, he can fill in for any of the setup guys if they need a day off or get injured and he even got a save when Drob was on the DL. Ramiro Mendoza, Al Aceves, Phil Hughes in 09, BGDP in 2014. To win a WS you need a guy like that in the pen.

  17. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    Let Alfredo Aceves get his old job back, and let Nuno keep the 5th spot. Swap if necessary.

  18. Frank says:

    Typical Yankees fans reaction to some adversity- trade whatever decent prospects they have and take on a ton of salary for an aged starter who is past his prime. Pass. I’ll take my chances with Nuno.

  19. md says:

    Trade for who? Nova might have lost his spot anyway with a few more stinkers. At least we’re not talking about “blocking” the kids any more. Phelps, Nuno, and someone or two from the minors will have to fill it up for a while.

  20. Dick M says:

    Nuno’s the guy. Kid’s got a chance. He rarely misses the glove.

    That performance yesterday was a big deal. In Toronto, house of horrors, domed stadium, pitching staff getting lit up 2 days in a row, and needing a win to salvage the split.

  21. ALZ says:

    Lee also has a $12.5MM buyout on his club option for 2016, so you are looking at closer to $60MM.

  22. jOE says:

    I say let Lee rot in Philly…he had his chance to be a YANKEE….he can go to H@LL !!!!!

  23. vin says:

    What’s Kei Igawa up to? Now that the Yankees have figured out how to get Japanese pitchers to perform, I say we give Shades another shot.

  24. Derek Jeter says:

    Is everyone overlooking the obvious? Dean Anna should be a lock for the 5th spot!

  25. mustang says:

    I’m just happy to be talking about getting another player who initials aren’t SD.

  26. LK says:

    I wouldn’t be against making a move for a starter, but I still think an infielder is a greater need. CC/Kuroda/Tanaka/Pineda/whoever is still potentially a very strong staff no matter how that 5th spot shakes out.

  27. Al says:

    Jeff Samardija ?

  28. RetroRob says:

    Let’s get back Montero, also David Adams, then package them together with Ivan Nova for Cliff Lee. It’s not too late!

    • TWTR says:

      I would like them get Montero back on the cheap, and then see if they can expand his production while shrinking his waste line.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        Buy more recyclables, obviously.

        In all seriousness, I’d just hate to give him a 40-man spot right now but, otherwise, I actually buy into his magically morphing into something that resembles what we thought he was if he were to come back.

    • Jersey Joe says:

      We’ll get back Nunez too, and try to substitute him for David Adams.

  29. Jersey Joe says:

    Could Ichiro net us something?

    • jjyank says:

      If he could net anything useful, he already would have. The Yanks have been reportedly shopping him since the offseason.

      Maybe things change if a team in contention loses a high profile outfielder, but I wouldn’t count on it. Ichiro probably has more value to the Yankees as a guy to rest Beltran/Soriano/Ellsbury, pinch runner, and defensive replacement than what he could bring back in a trade.

  30. Jorge Steinbrenner says:


    Some food for thought.

    I find the stuff on Billings hysterical, FWIW.

  31. Who would even get pushed out of a hypothetical Sabathia, Lee, Kuroda, Tanaka, Pineda rotation for the playoffs?

    My guess would be Pineda would be put in the pen and used as a 6-7th inning guy. I am sure his FB would jump a mph or 3 and he would be nasty.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      My hunch, by that point? Exactly what you said.

    • hogsmog says:

      Yeah I’d bet on Pineda, as he’s on that not-innings-limited-but-actually-innings-limited plan this year and probably won’t be starting in the postseason unless he really has to.

  32. mt says:

    Timing is an issue here. It is April 21st and teams are probably not looking to dispose of starting pitching right now.

    Jeff Samadzija (spelling?) has been talked about as a tarde pssoibility since November – I don’t see Cubs all of a sudden letting him go now unless overwhelmed with the prospects in a trade. My understanding is they are pricing him pretty highly in tersm of trade return.

    How can Amaro turn around and sell Cliff Lee to the Yankees any time soon when you have people like Utley, Howard and Papelbon still on payroll and a stadium to fill?

    I think Yanks will have to make do wiht internal options (Nuno, maybe stretching out Phelps again, one of AAA retreads) until June at least, if not the trading deadline.

    I do think someone like Jason Hammel (i.e, a 4th/5th starter profile type in AL east who is currently a veteran on a bad team) is more likely to be traded earlier – Cubs probably would be looking to flip someone like that at not that high of a prospect cost – I have no idea whether Hammel is any good this year or is a good target – but someone like Scott Feldman last year who was with Cubs and then got traded to Orioles mid-season might also be gotten in May.

    • mitch says:

      Agreed. Nuno is worthy of a shot. If he doesn’t work out Phelps should get a chance. As good as Lee is, they don’t really need a guy of his caliber as long as the other four guys are healthy. If the internal options can’t get it done then i’d move on to guys like Hammel or Feldman

  33. Bobby d says:

    In order to win a championship one needs to have three great starters . The Yankees should have gone into a full court press to get him this offseason. Now it’s even more obvious. I could definitely see a championship run this season with all the other improvements this team has made. So if they really are serious about winning this year this is a no brainier. Make it happen!!!!

    • mitch says:

      That’s not true at all. Who were the Red Sox three great starters last season? They won because they had depth and a bunch of above average guys.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Get who? This is a post on Ivan Nova.

    • CS Yankee says:

      So dropping about 500M$ this off-season in commitments isn’t being really serious about winning this season? Gotcha!

      The troll is strong with this one.

  34. Yangeddard Solarte says:

    The Os need some of our pitchers. They just cannot close out the Sox in this series. Big Papi now up with tying runs on base.

  35. Mickey's Mantle says:

    Screw Cliff Lee! He doesn’t even want to be a Yankee.

    • nycsportzfan says:

      Seriously though, could you imagine Tanaka,Pineda,Lee,Kuroda,and CC as your starting 5? Thats almost not fair. He’s getting to the point, where winning trumps mostly everything. Not to mention, if we lose a pitcher to injury, having Lee, would possibly keep us right in contention(if we are indeed in contention).

  36. emac2 says:

    Trade for a starter?

    We just had a 4 way spring training competition where everyone won. I say start Nuno, extend Phelps and sign a few of your typical vet longshots for AAA.

    There is no way I gut the farm for a 5th starter or some overpriced old guy. Save it for a real need.

  37. Tom says:

    I honestly say its Nuno’s job to lose now. He pitched well in Spring and he had a nice spot start yesterday, plus he pitched great last year in starts.

    Its only April so no need to panic. If Nuno starts to fail and we get to June then you can look at other teams positioning as sellers. Example are the Royals any good and you could look at James Shields, or clevelad with Masterson. The fact its April let one of the Kids (Nuno, Warren or Phelps) have their shot.

  38. John C says:

    I wonder what’s more productive, using limited trade assets for a pitcher or a middle infielder?
    I guess it all depends on the players involved, but barring any other major pitcher injuries, I’d prefer a middle infielder.

    • vicki says:

      we have to consider next year’s free agent class. and the fact that we’ll have no kuroda nor nova for 2014′s rotation.

  39. forensic says:

    Utley and Lee for the entire Yankees Top 10 Prospects list.

    Get it done Cash!


    • nycsportzfan says:

      We don’t need Utley. He’s just as worrisome with the injuries as Brian Roberts, and is playing outta his mind right now, which means, he’ll come down to earth going forward. The Phillies probably all ready had the best month stretch there gonna get outta Utley this yr.

      As for Lee though, I love the idea! Lee has really easy pitching motion, can pepper the strike zone, works fast, and is a ground ball pitcher. Hes savvy enough to pitch for awhile longer as well.

      I’d give up something like Gary Sanchez,Mason Williams,Peter O’brien, and Rapheal DePaula for him.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        Is your “F” key broken?

        • nycsportzfan says:

          Nope. Is yours?

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

            I can spell Alfonso and Rafael correctly. You consistently can’t.

            Oh no….we’re about to hurt his pheelings again. :(

            • nycsportzfan says:

              We’re? Who else??lol Fucking moron. Your a weasel dude. Your to stupid to realize, no one cares about my grammar. Some people don’t have time to let my not spelling a word right, bother them.

              My grammar isn’t good, so what? Lucky for me, this is a blog about the Yanks, and not a poetry class or something, I suppose.

              We’re??lol God, your a tool.

              • jjyank says:

                If you honestly think that nobody cares that reading a comment like this is like trying to have a conversation with an eight year old, then I feel sorry for you.

                Yes, it’s a baseball blog. But we communicate through text, and when that text is just nails on a chalkboard bad, you don’t get taken seriously. We all make grammar slip ups from time to time, but…dude. Just, wow.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

                You get insulted on here every day for your grammar. You get more comments on your grammar than anything you have to say about baseball.

                So tell me again how no one cares?

                Get fucking lost, you illiterate ass. The fact that my tax dollars pay for something or other you do offends me.

          • jjyank says:

            Are you sure? Because I’m pretty phucking sure your “f” key is broken.

            • nycsportzfan says:

              Oh, the little blog bitches all ganging up on me, ey?lol Classy.

              • jjyank says:

                Just spell is name right. He’s on the team that you root for hard enough to comment here regularly. It’s not that hard. In fact, it’s easier, considering that spelling the name correctly actually requires one less key stroke.

                It’s been going on far too long. Alfonso. Rafael. Say it with me now.

                Alfonso. Rafael.

                • nycsportzfan says:

                  Shut up clown. How the fuck does anyone care enough about me spelling Alphonso wrong(same fucking name, just wrong spelling), to mention it, is beyond me.

                  Its been going on long enough.lol Get a life.lol

                  • Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

                    So you admit you know it’s wrong and just keep doing it? OK, cool. Gotcha. Answers my question.

                    Now I’m not going to bother with you anymore, except for those times you say something REALLY stupid.

                  • jjyank says:

                    And you still spell it wrong, on purpose. I honestly feel sorry for you and hope this nonsense doesn’t reflect on your real life.

                    If you want to wield ignorance, be my guest.

                  • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

                    We care because we’re adults with an actual education and, sadly, you resemble only one of those.

                    It’s not like any opinion you offer here has an ounce of baseball sense behind it.

              • nycsportzphan says:

                Actually you’re right, this is better.

            • nycsportzfan says:

              Just felt you had to come to your blog buddies defense, ey? You guys crack me up. You idiots make errors all the time, hypocrites.

              Whoa, I spelled Alphonso wrong, holy shit!

              • jjyank says:

                And knowing that it’s wrong, you do it again. Nobody cares about occasional errors. Everyone has them. This is borderline trolling, considering you’re just doing it on purpose now.

                • nycsportzfan says:

                  Your a fucking loser dude. “No cares about occasional errors”, but they care that a random blogger who they don’t know spells fucking Alphonso(alfonso)Wrong.lol

                  Heres a idea, just ignore my posts? I don’t change for nobody dude. I post what I post, and thats the way it is. If you wanna beef day in and day out about it, then bring it, toolbag!

                  • Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

                    You’re not a blogger, you’re someone who comments.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

                      I can understand how he may think he’s the actual blogger when he spends half a game thread yelling “FUCK YOU BRIAN ROBERTS” and no one responds.

                      Oh, sorry…..”FCUK U BRYAN ROERTS LOL.”

                      It can feel like you’re the actual blogger sometimes.

                  • jjyank says:

                    So you’d rather fight a guy who’s almost assuredly bigger than you, and who has been part of the RAB community longer than you, instead of just spelling the player’s name correctly.

                    That…says an awful lot about you, and none of it good.

                    I honestly feel bad for you. Oh, excuse me. I feel bad phor you.

                  • Jorge Steinbrenner says:


                  • jjyank says:

                    Also, saying “your a fucking loser” isn’t an insult. It makes so sense, grammatically. I don’t even know what you’re talking about.

                  • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

                    LOUD NOISES

          • Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

            I honestly want to know if you misspell their names on purpose or not. Seriously. Is it too much to ask you to answer that simple question?

  40. vicki says:

    nuno’s not going to cut it. his name doesn’t end with an a. trade for jeff samardzija. or …. hey, has burawa ever started?

  41. Eric Young says:

    Anybody know how Nova’s 12 – 18 mos. rehab stint will affect his contract status (arb/fa, etc) with NYY?

  42. Dave Guarnieri says:

    If Cliff Lee has a no-trade clause there is no way in Hell would he agree to come to the Yanks. He is not a guy who takes to the limelight & didn’t appreciate his wife being used as a spittoon in 2009. He is pitching for the team he chose. It seem he wants to finish his career in Philly and escape to the solitude of Arkansas and devote himself to his family (he has a son who had cancer which is now in remission).

  43. nycsportzfan says:

    This should be a non issue till Vidal Nuno makes it a issue, if he does. Nuno did well last yr on the big club, and obviously just gave us a brilliant 5innings yesterday. Untill he shows he can’t do it, this is a non issue.

    We can always stretch Phelps out as a starter if needed, as well. Especially with Betances and Claiborne both gaining experience by the day.

  44. nycsportzfan says:

    I’ll take it a step further, and say, we might of upgraded Nova with Vidal Nuno. Nuno can flat out pitch, and works fast, and throws strikes, and can throw strikes with any of his 3pitches. On top of that, he differs his MPH so effectively, he keeps hitters off balance. This kid can pitch!

  45. Charles says:

    I think Lee is probably more obtainable than people think, they have a similar system to New York’s. They have a lot of talent in the lower part of the system that has a lot of upside that can take a step forward. I think a deal like this could work:

    NYY receives:
    Cliff Lee

    PHI receives:
    John Ryan Murphy (Replaces Ruiz once his contract is up)
    Tyler Austin (Most developed of the outfield prospects, and PHI always seems to need outfielders)
    One of Phelps/Warren/Claiborne/Betances (PHI has had a bullpen need for the past few years)
    1 starting pitcher prospect (Not Banuelos but I’d be pretty ok with anyone else in the system)

    That gives the Phillies 3-4 almost Major League ready players and allows NY to keep their top prospects in the system.

    But tbh I don’t see them making any moves for the Rotation, they’ve shown that if the need isn’t 100% necessary and they can save money with internal options, they’ll do so. I expect Nuno to get the spot and they’ll stay with him as long as possible.

    What’s far more likely I think is a deal for Ricky Weeks/Aramis Ramirez or a Reliever. The Brewers have gotten off to an unreal start and they’re playing way above their heads, once the league catches up to them they’ll slow down in early-mid May. And by the Allstar break they’ll be out of it and looking to deal.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Why in God’s name do you make that trade if you’re the New York Yankees?

      • Preston says:

        I would. Murphy’s most likely outcome is a below average starter or backup, and of course there is also the chance that he’s nothing. Austin is still in AA and doesn’t have elite athleticism or elite power, so his upside is limited, not to mention his injury history. Any pitching prospect in the Yankees system is a very speculative commodity given that we don’t have any legitimate front end guys above A ball. Phelps is probably the most valuable of the MLB pitchers listed hear, and his upside is probably fourth starter. It’s a lot of meh. The get is two years of one of the better pitchers on the planet. I’d make the deal, I don’t think the Phillies would. Of course the other side to this coin is, it’s not my money and Cliff Lee is owed lots of it.

        • Deep Thoughts says:

          Giving up six years of even an average catcher, plus five of Phelps–who is incorrectly valued above as a throw-in relief arm–plus two other prospects seems fine in a vacuum, for the privilege of paying a 35-year-old either 2/$62.5 or 3/$77.5, is not exactly a no-brainer to me.

  46. Sergio Mitre says:

    I am waiting for JoeG to call me.

  47. wayne says:

    Trust me yankee will be willing to give up a great package for the Phillies Cliff Lee. Knowing the yankees the veteran clutch starting pitcher they will give the team whatever starting pitching prospects Phillies want. Like I said for a clutch starter Yankees will give up anything. They probably won’t have any starting pitching prospects left after that type of trade but for the yankees clutch is still clutch! Nature of the beast is the best way i could put it !!

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