Aug
13

Thoughts following Tuesday’s rainout

By
(Greg Fiume/Getty)

(Greg Fiume/Getty)

The Yankees and Orioles were rained out last night and think everyone needed that. The team hasn’t had a day off in a while and it can be exhausting watching them struggle to score runs night after night. That goes for both the fans watching at home and the players watching in the dugout. Here are some scattered thoughts following the impromptu off-day.

1. I was talking about this with a friend the other day: If another team claimed Brian McCann off trade waivers this month, say the Dodgers, should the Yankees just let him go like they did Matt Thornton? That would enable them to get out from under the 4+ years and $72M or so left on his contract, but they’d also be letting him go for nothing. McCann hasn’t hit a lick this season and he’s been a huge disappointment, and it’s fair to wonder if this is just a one-year blip or a sign of things to come. He is a 30-year-old catcher with approximately 10,000 big league innings on his legs, remember. Those guys can fall off a cliff in a hurry and without warning. If this is who McCann is going forward, the Yankees would be foolish not to jump at the chance to unload his contract. Obviously this is all hypothetical since no one is claiming him. I was all for signing McCann in the offseason, he fit the team’s needs perfectly, but it hasn’t worked out at all. Figuring out why he stopped hitting — teams have been shifting against him for five years, stop blaming that — and getting back to where he needs to be has to be priority number one this offseason.

2. Speaking of Thornton, I wish the Yankees would stop putzing around with Rich Hill — retired three of nine MLB batters faced this year! — and call up either Tyler Webb or Jacob Lindgren. I understand why they let Thornton go and I’m not going to argue against dumping a soon-to-be 39-year-old lefty specialist with another ~$4.5M coming to him, but I feel like they only took a half-measure by calling up Hill instead of one of the kids. They took advantage of the situation and got an aging, relatively expensive player off the roster, paving the way for a youngster, but they called up a retread instead. Bah. I feel like Hill is such a waste of time. Both Webb and Lindgren have pitched very well in the minors this year and the team talked glowingly about them after the Thornton move. So what’s the point in waiting? We’re not talking about an everyday position player or a starting pitcher who has to learn to turn a lineup over multiple times, they’re one-inning (or even less than that) relievers who have to come in an air it out for a few batters. I don’t see the sense in waiting until rosters expand on September 1st to call one of those two guys up.

3. The 2015 third base situation fascinates me. Are the Yankees really going to run Alex Rodriguez out there everyday at age 39 with a bad hip after he played only 44 games from 2012-13? Would they re-sign Chase Headley and make A-Rod the full-time DH or even release him? Is the plan to have Martin Prado split time with Alex at third base? Something else entirely? I would love to see the Yankees bring Headley back on an Adrian Beltre-esque one-yearpillow contract, but I get the feeling he’s going to go for the biggest payday possible. I know I would. If that means he leaves the team, then I guess A-Rod with Prado as a caddy is the most likely scenario. The Yankees are going to need three infielders this offseason, though you could argue the best possible solutions at third base (A-Rod, Headley, Prado) and second base (Prado, Rob Refsnyder) are already on the team. There won’t be much out there in free agency, as usual.

(Jared Wickerham/Getty)

(Jared Wickerham/Getty)

4. Speaking of free agency, here is the 2014-15 crop of free agents. It’s a thin class and I wonder if the Yankees would have interest in bringing Melky Cabrera back to play right field. Other than him, the only other free agents who even closely resemble impact hitters are Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. Hanley is hurt all the time and will probably require a nine-figure deal. Sandoval could end up with Beltre money (five years, $80M) and I worry he might eat himself out of baseball once he gets a huge contract. His conditioning issues are long-running and well-documented. Melky might come with the fewest questions among the big free agents, which is really saying something given his performance-enhancing drug suspension a few years ago. Cabrera just turned 30 on Monday, he’s hit very well this season (135 wRC+ heading into last night’s game), and he’s a switch-hitter with some power and a ton of contact ability. His defense kinda stinks but he does have a strong arm, which makes him a good candidate for right field in Yankee Stadium. The Yankees know Melky and he knows them, though that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be easier to work out a deal. It could mean in the opposite, in fact. With the caveat that I am terrible at estimating free agent contracts, my guess is he gets something like four years and $56M to $60M, or Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson money.

5. Looking over that list of free agents makes me think the Yankees really need to re-sign Brandon McCarthy. Not at any cost, obviously. He is coming off a two-year deal worth $18M, though he is both two years older and not as good as he was when he signed that contract. His price should come a bit, in theory. Given the dearth of quality pitching and general market inflation, I’m guessing that won’t be the case though. Maybe two years and $20M gets it done this time. McCarthy does have a very scary history of shoulder injuries — he hit the DL at least once with a shoulder issue (including multiple stress fractures) every year from 2007-13 — so there would be a lot of risk involved. He’s pitched very well in pinstripes though, showing he can deal with pitching in the tougher league and in a small ballpark in his limited time. The Yankees will need rotation help next year and if they can get McCarthy to come back at a reasonable price, they should be all over it. Lock him up during the exclusive negotiating period, before he even gets to free agency.

Categories : Musings
  • mitch

    I’d write Arod a check and tell him to get lost. It’s possible he has something left in the tank. It’s even possible he’s their best option at 3B, but i’m not interested in finding out. It’s time to move on.

  • CashmanNinja

    I would absolutely love if someone claimed McCann, but I doubt it would happen. I really wish he’d start hitting because he is a likeable guy. You don’t hear of any negative type of things when it comes to him. He’s very professional and it sucks seeing good guys struggle. But if this is the offensive version we’re going to get for the next few years then I’d rather get nothing for him instead of paying him all that money and getting little production in exchange. I also can’t stand what the Yankees are doing to the bullpen now. I understand losing Thornton, but replacing him with Rich Hill is not going to cut it. And Whitley really seems burned out as well.

  • Frankie Cerveddardi

    1. Absolutely they should. I think he’s one of the worst FA signings Cashman has ever made. Earlier this season I compared him to the Pavano and Igawa signings. He’s an $85 million Chris Stewart. He was supposed to be one of the big thumpers in the lineup. Gardner’s out muscled him.

    2. Mike, I’ve been saying for weeks play the kids. I don’t know why more of them aren’t up here already. This team has little chance to make the postseason. Why hold down a Zolio all year? And these kids can’t do much worse than their veteran counterparts.

    3. Now that Cashman got us another bloated contract in Martin Prado we have no choice but to trot him out there at 3rd. He’ll be next year’s version of Kelly Johnson. A-Rod will split time at 3rd and DH. I don’t think they have the money to sign a Headley since they need a SS, RF, SP, Resign Robertson.

    4. I don’t know why we let Melky go in the first place. He’s done wonders out in SF and in Toronto. Knowing Cashman he won’t bother with Melky like he didn’t bother with Nelson Cruz and he’ll go out and sign another 35+ year old to a 4 year contract. We’re losing two 40 year olds in Jeter and Ichiro so we’ll need to replenish our stock of wily veterans.

    5. Offer him a one year deal. Use Kuroda’s money to ink him. Kuroda ain’t coming back.

  • Drew

    1) I don’t know if I would unload McCann just yet, I mean he can’t truly be this bad going forward can he? I would give him 1 more year before I would think about moving him.

    2) Said this exact same thing yesterday: http://riveraveblues.com/2014/.....1538972712

    3) I think Alex has played his last game in baseball and will get the Barry Bonds treatment. It isn’t my money, so saying the Yankees should just buy him out is easy for me to say but at this point I think resigning Headley would be a wise move. Having Prado on the team and being able to play a bunch of positions is a great thing to have and he can spell 3B or OF and be the starting 2B until Refsnyder is ready to go.

    4) I would stay far away from Melky as I can. You have to think Beltran is going to play the OF again, and when he has been healthy he has shown he can hit. Same with McCann, I just find it hard to believe that these guys just fell off a cliff and there is no chance of them being a productive hitter again. I could be very wrong but I am willing to wait and see. The Yankees need offense in the worst way but there isn’t a lot to get excited about on the FA market. Offensive help will have to come via a trade.

    5) Right now who is assumed to be in the rotation next year at the begining? Phelps and Pineda? I would 100% would like to extend McCarthy. Mike’s 2/$20 sounds reasonable to me. He can be a solid back end of the rotation guy. If you are counting on him to be more than that, then something has gone very very wrong.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Definitely much more of a pitching-rich class this off-season. Some nice stuff I’d like to see under the tree there.

    Dump McCann? I do believe he can recover from this season. I mean, if there’s an indication that his money is stopping the team from making another move, I’ve always felt comfortable with the idea of Murphy or Sanchez sliding into the role. It wouldn’t be an automatic “no” from me.
    In the absence of finding power somewhere else, and because I’m married to a Melky fangirl, I’d be just fine with that reunion. Worry about how you work in Judge or Austin when they’re ready. If they’re that good, no one is blocking them. I do think his pricetag is going to wind up exceeding his potential value, though.

    Not sure that contract is going to be out there for Headley. I have an absolutely irrational love for the Panda. Don’t go there with me. I’d hit my mama over the head with a shovel in order for the Panda to play third for us.

    Yes to Lindgren/Webb. Yes to McCarthy.

    • MalaysiaYankee

      McCann had recovered after the ASB, substantially raising his average with power, and the Yankees were winning. Then came the concussion and we haven’t won since he hit the DL. Ugh.
      Definitely yes to McCarthy as he is pitching like a 2 or 3, not a rotation backender. Tanaka, Lester/Scherzer, McCarthy, Pineda would be a great 2015 rotation with Greene/Phelps as 5/6.

  • Bret The Hitman

    Are the Yankees really going to run Alex Rodriguezout there everyday at age 39 with a bad hip after he played only 44 games from 2012-13?

    ————

    They would be crazy to do this, Mike

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Even if if came to that, Alex Rodriguez’s body would most likely make sure that wasn’t the case by the middle of April.

      • Bret The Hitman

        He’d prove them wrong in short order.

    • blake

      if Arod is back I fully believe he will start the year as a bench player/DH.

      • Bret The Hitman

        Which forces Beltran in RF, so no upgrades in the OF.

        • blake

          it depends on if Alex hits or not…..he might be mostly bench guy to start out. We have no idea what he’s gonna be if he comes back……he won’t have played in a long time.

          • Bret The Hitman

            Ok you talked me into it – Kemp RF, Beltran DH, Arod bench, Headley 3B. Cut ties with McCann.

            • blake

              I would swap McCann for Kemp if they would……

        • YakaTanaka

          If Beltran is healthy, that’s really not a problem. The issue this season has been that he wasn’t healthy.

          Gardner-Ellsbury-Beltran is a strong OF.

      • YakaTanaka

        I expect the same, but it’s really up in the air. I wouldn’t be surprised with anything from never playing again (performance or just no chance) to 100+ games of above average production at 3B.

        If they don’t go for Headley, Sandoval, or another 3B, this is one of the ways Prado’s versatility is so valuable. Allows them to go into the season with a couple of question marks and plug him at the one where he’s most needed.

  • Bret The Hitman

    I was talking about this with a friend the other day: If another team claimed Brian McCann off trade waivers this month, say the Dodgers, should the Yankees just let him go like they did Matt Thornton? That would enable them to get out from under the 4+ years and $72M or so left on his contract, but they’d also be letting him go for nothing.

    __________

    Not for nothing – 72 M is serious spending money and I don’t think you lose much offense between McCann vs. Cervelli/Murphy.

  • Bret The Hitman

    With the caveat that I am terrible at estimating free agent contracts, my guess is he gets something like four years and $56M to $60M, or Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson money.

    ___________

    As long as Melky earns more than Brett Gardner, justice will be served.

  • blake

    I think the McCann question is interesting because personally I still feel like he’s going to be a good signing at the end of the day…..I think he will bounce back next year offensively and at least make the contract worthwhile before falling off at the end of it. That said…..with the catching depth they have and all the other holes…..I kinda think they would probably just let him go if someone claimed him just to redirect that money into other things.

    I think the chances Arod plays 3B next year as a regular are close to nil…..they’ll either play Prado there or get somebody else.

    With regards to the 2015 rotation….it all depends on Tanaka right? If he doesn’t need surgery then yea maybe they can sign McCarthy and just call it a day…..but if he does need TJS then there is no way they can sell the 2015 rotation to the fans without Lester or Scherzer or somebody else from a trade.

    • TWTR

      The more big free agents they sign, the more likely it is that young, upcoming starters like Greene, Mitchell, Banuelos, and maybe Severino at some point in 2015, will be blocked. They should be very careful when deciding to add to their massive payroll with expensive starters when the offense is this bad.

      • blake

        you really don’t worry about pitchers being blocked…..there are 5 rotation spots and you really end up needing 8 or 9 starters in a given season at some point. Chances that someone actually good will be blocked are low……

        if Tanaka needs surgery there is no way they can tell the fanbase….hey guys here is your 2015 rotation. pick 5 of Pineda, Phelps, Green, Whitley, Banuelos, Mitchell…..whoever else…..that’s just unrealistic.

      • YakaTanaka

        You really need to learn what blocke means, and when it’s bad for a team to have a player blocked

        • TWTR

          Do you mean block? As in a young player doesn’t get a chance because a highly paid, but sometimes declining veteran, is permitted to take his roster spot.

          It’s simple really, But thanks for the heads up.

    • Scott

      I agree with you Blake. I think it is too early to dump McCann for nothing. I don’t think he will hit as well as the Yanks expected. But I don’t think he is done yet. I think next year he will be closer to his normal self.

      • bardos

        I agree. I think McCann is suffering from 1st-year-big-contract-expectancies cum NYC-deer- in-the-headlights-syndrome, cum freakin’-shift.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I’ve begun to wonder if, because of the increase in younger pitchers breaking down AND a very small handful of ace-types around the age of 30 beginning to break down while on big contracts, if older starters who have come out the other end of all this intact become a very desired commodity. In other words, is James Shields about to get paaaaaaaaaid much more than we think he should be?

    • YakaTanaka

      It’s kind of always seemed to be the case that SPs who make it to like 30-ish healthy have a better chance to remain healthy. Don’t think that’s recent.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Very true. My question, though, is are we at the start of a trend where teams will overvalue those pitchers rather than be wary of their age because, rightfully or not, they can point at Verlander/CC, as well as the TJ increase with younger starters, and say those pitchers are actually a bigger risk. Does that, in turn, lead to a guy like Shields getting that extra year you didn’t think he was getting?

        • YakaTanaka

          I think CC/Verlander hurt a guy like Shields’ case. I don’t really get how they help it.

          I think longevity and the value of old SPs is way down from the PEDs era when guys like Randy Johnson, Clemens, and other were paid a ton as old men… But that’s just off the top of my head.

          Guys like Bedard, Mulder, and Garcia jump to mind as top of the rotation SP from the last generation who got hurt right in prime years. Which is why I’m not sure it’s a new phenomenon. I haven’t really looked into it, though, and there may be important trends I’m completely missing.

    • blake

      all three of the big FA starters will be paid more than they should be……I think Shields will get the least of the 3 though.

    • runninonempty

      well if he is, the Yankees would sure be the ones to make that happen.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I’m not sure I’d necessarily be opposed to that.

  • TWTR

    Not just McCann. If a team wanted Beltran or Prado or Tex (uh, no), they can go too. If they can reset this team and reap some payroll and roster flexibility, they should do it.

    • Bret The Hitman

      Assuming Arod should play considerable time as DH there’s a need for Headley though and Prado is a hedge if contract talks fall apart. Prado can play 3B or 2B, two positions of need. I think he’s safe. Plus the commitment is short – not so with Brian McCann.

      • TWTR

        Prado doesn’t have enough power on a power-starved team to be a credible 3B or RF, and Refs should not be blocked by him at 2B. When you have $170m tied up in mostly declining players, Prado at $11m is not a prudent allocation of resources.

        • YakaTanaka

          This is not the PED era

          • YakaTanaka

            First, 3B isn’t much of a power position anymore.

            Second, power isn’t the Yankees only offensive issue. They don’t have a bunch of good BA/OBP slap hitters. Better offensive production could come in the way of more power or getting on base more.

            Finally… Prado is not blocking Ref. Prado plays at least 5 positions including DH. If Ref can earn the spot over Prado, Prado can be moved.

            • http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ Need Pitching & Hitting

              Even ignoring power, Prado was a below average offensive player 3 years ago, above average 2 years ago, slightly above average last year, and below average this year. Realistically, he’s likely to be an average at best offensive player. The Yankees need more offense. 3B and RF are probably the best realistic places for them to upgrade offensively. Having to use Prado as a starter at one of those positions gets in the way of that.

              • YakaTanaka

                Disagree. League average offense is an upgrade for them at 3B, RF, or 2B. Prado’s value is also supported by being able to slide to any of the three (plus) where he’s most needed.

    • YakaTanaka

      Fiah all teh playez!!!

  • EB-3

    Mike, first let me say that I’ve been a Yankee fan for a boatload of years and only recently discovered that you are a must-follow on all things Yankee. Here’s my thought following Tuesday’s rainout. Why don’t the Yankees go after Matt Kemp? He’s cleared waivers. I don’t think he’ll cost the farm if they are willing to take on the entire contract. We can afford him. While Kemp doesn’t want to play RF, that is where he makes the most sense and he’d probably be more of a team player with a change of scenery. Everybody talks about how desperate we are for a big stick and that there really aren’t any coming up this off-season. Kemp is a big stick. His stock is down and Mattingly already has a boot pressed against his buttocks. Let’s go get him. Now.

    • Bret The Hitman

      Did Kemp clear? Cashman should get on that. Trade McCann for Kemp. I think McCann would clear as well.

      • blake

        Kemp’s 129 OPS + would be the best on the Yankees (Gardner 127). Even if he’s diminished he’d still likely be their best offensive player and he’s only 29…..I don’t think the Dodgers would do that though……

        • Bret The Hitman

          Blake, have a heart. The Dodgers need a catcher plus the addition by subtraction factor. Kemp is not a clubhouse guy and McCann is a standup guy.

          • blake

            I mean if they both cleared then I’d ask

        • YakaTanaka

          Worth considering, but his defense seems pretty awful as does his attitude and clearly his contract.

          • blake

            yea….there is risk….but they need middle of the order hitters and he’s one of the few with that sort of talent that they could realistically get. With the catching depth they have I’d consider potential bad contract McCann for potential bad contract Kemp.

            • YakaTanaka

              I’m not really on board with you middle of the order bat theory. They need more production overall. Middle of the order bats can provide production, but not if their defense and health sabatoge that value. A slightly above average hitter who plays great D and stays on the field can provide more production and is probably going to cost a fraction of Kemp. I think the piece meal approach to viewing a team is inferior to a total value approach.

              Also don’t see McCann as expendable. Don’t see who takes his ace short-term. You’re opening a huge hole at C that is likely filled with back-up caliber production between Cervelli, Murphy, and Romine… And trading away one of your potential middle of the order bats to get another.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      It’s putting a hell of a lot of faith in an expensive player whose production hasn’t matched his name in several seasons now AND has recurrent injury issues. It’s the type of move the naysayers on here would rightfully piss on if it went south.

    • Lou Zullo

      Getting get Matt Kemp is like getting Steve Kemp, Jesse Barfield or John Mayberry…getting than way past their shelf life…

    • runninonempty

      Kemp already had his best year and do you see the ugly new beard on this LA clown? He is another hot shot celebrity player who had an incredible year, dated beautiful young Hollywood stars and is now maybe- barely a slightly above average player with that word average in quotes.

  • YakaTanaka

    It’s not Rich Hill that’s keeping Webb and Lindgren in the minors. It’s their own development. And using a 9 PA sample to pretend Hill is a waste of time is ridiculous.

    The FA class is actually very deep at SS and SP, which happen to be the Yankees two biggest areas of need. Can we stop perpetuating false narratives at some point?

    • BigDavey88

      I agree with your overall point, but there is more than just 9 PA’s with the Yankees that says Hill isn’t very good.

      Still, I’m in agreement that the Webb and Lindgren should get a little more time in the minors.

      • YakaTanaka

        Hill has K’d like 11? LHH/9 on his career at the MLB level. He’s not a stud and his control is questionable at best, but may be reason to believe he is as good right now as Webb or Lindgren. Yankees have done a good job in recent years in identifyig and straightening out RPs, so I’ll give the benefit of the doubt.

        I just generally think Mike’s pleas are those of a fan who has probably never seen Webb or Lindgren pitch, and just wants to be excited by young players.

        • BigDavey88

          Didn’t know Hill’s LHH/9 numbers. Makes him more interesting but I’m not expecting much.

          • YakaTanaka

            Point is that you probably shouldn’t expect much from a guy just drafted moving up to the MLB level for the first time, either.

        • Eric MacLaurin

          Career?

          Are you kidding?

          You don’t use career numbers to evaluate an old player trying to make a MLB comeback.

          • YakaTanaka

            You also don’t use 9 PAs.

  • JoeyA

    My running theory is Joe G. does not like playing the kids. The way Almonte has been used over the past couple of years vs Ichiro highoights this theory. I would imagine he had input in BP discussions and probably was for Rich Hill over these other guys.
    Bottom line: this organization is completely allergic to using youth unless they play completely over their heads. It makes no sense given the changing landscape of baseball, but the NYY oganization would rather go with an over-the-hill “name” vs a younger guy. Known value vs unknown i guess

    • YakaTanaka

      Your theory is widely held and almost definitely wrong. Cashman makes roster and role decisions, not Girardi (he has said so many, many times). People need to stop pointing fingers in willfull ignorance.

      Zoilo has shown a complete inability to hit at the MLB level. Ichiro is sort of an average bench OF these days. It’s not a mystery at all why they are doing what they’re doing. The theory that playing bad players more makes them good is another that needs to die.

      • Eric MacLaurin

        I don’t think you can view Girardi as someone who is comfortable with young players. Cash makes the move in committee and makes the moves knowing Girardi likes Vets.

        If the team wants to improve their player development they’ll need to change coaches to someone who thinks it’s important to develop young players.

        • http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ Need Pitching & Hitting

          So what, every minor league player with decent stats should get a full season of near every day play at the MLB level regardless of outcome?
          Scouting should play no role in whether a team thinks a player is/will be good enough?
          Just throw everybody out there and hope?

          • Eric MacLaurin

            Yeah, that’s what I said. did you miss the comment on expansion to allow everyone to play?

            Loser

        • YakaTanaka

          I think that’s pure speculation you pulled out of your butt.

          You also don’t develop young talent in MLB. The talent needs to be ready for MLB to get there in thefrst place.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      No.

    • BigDavey88

      Girardi played Solarte plenty at third when he was playing well earlier in the year, he played Gardner in ’10, Melky in ’09, I shouldn’t have to keep going…

      I don’t think your first statement is very accurate – Joe plays whoever gives them the best chance to win and if Ichiro is that guy then so be it, but that says more about the Yankees’ roster and organizational depth than it does Girardi’s willingness to play younger guys just for the sake of playing them. Almonte is incredibly overrated around these parts – a classic AAAA player.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        He may very well be a AAAA guy, but I still see him as “platoon guy ceiling,” which I guess is a notch higher. Still, though, waaaaay overrated on here.

        Every homegrown guy on that 25 man roster is there because they were given an opportunity. The meme is tired. We all know that teams near the top on a consistent basis have less opportunity to work in younger players, the Yankees being the clearest example of that. That’s such a different thing than what gets vomited out here time and time over.

        • BigDavey88

          Exactly. We saw what happens when we “play the kids” last year, even though it was out of necessity more than anything else.

          I’m all for playing the kids when they represent an ACTUAL upgrade, as is the organization, but people can’t seem to grasp that our kids that are theoretically ‘ready’ for the MLB roster aren’t very good, so they don’t play.

          It’s really that simple.

          • Eric MacLaurin

            No we didn’t. They didn’t play the kids last year they signed tired old vets for their swan songs.

            We found out that didn’t work. What were you watching?

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Unfortunately, I was watching David Adams and Austin Romine.

              • BigDavey88

                Yeah, I don’t really want to write a list of terrible “young” players the Yankees had to trot out last season. I’d rather forget.

              • http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ Need Pitching & Hitting

                And Zoilo. And Nunez.

              • Eric MacLaurin

                So was I.

                Adams wasn’t given a chance to play baseball and develop. As soon as he stopped swinging at bad pitches and taking walks he was demoted. Development means rewarding players for playing the right way and giving them some time.

                Having a terrible team all year and giving a few hundred at bats to kids because Vernon wells and overbay are available isn’t an example of player development or giving kids a chance.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  I supposed we ruined him for Cleveland and Tampa as well.

                  • Eric MacLaurin

                    No idea. Once he was gone I no longer followed him.

                    Most players you try to develop fail. It doesn’t mean you don’t try or get a pass when you do it poorly.

                    • Scott

                      I’ll fill you in, he bombed for Cleveland and Tampa and is back in the minors. As are most guys that people like you are advocating get a fair shot. None of us on this blog are ML scouts or talent evaluators. The guys that get paid to make decisions on minor league players don’t believe these kids you are longing for are either 1) ready for the majors, or 2) very good.
                      For every exception you can come up, there are literally hundreds of minor leaguers people thought deserved a shot that never did squat in the majors when they got their shot.

                    • Eric MacLaurin

                      Who cares?

                      Every time I eat I poop. That doesn’t mean I stop eating.

                      is your argument that you don’t try to develop kids or that you only give then 40 at bats to get established?

                    • Eric MacLaurin

                      Or that you only give the kids a chance if someone respected advocates for them?

                    • Scott

                      My argument is that there are people that make a living evaluating talent. They have much more knowledge than your or me. If they think a guy is ready they will call him up. Then that player has to prove himself. The Yanks players that took advantage of the situations get more playing time and stay with the team: Cano, DJ, Gardner, Robertson, Betances. Guys who don’t show anything b/c they are really 4A players – David Adams, Almonte, Shelley Duncan, etc don’t get more time because baseball teams are a business. Their bottom line is effected by wins/losses. Guys that don’t help you win get jettisoned quick because they aren’t bringing in money to the business.
                      Guys that deserve to be called up will be called up because they are pitching lights out or tearing the cover off the ball, or playing defense like Willie Mays, or stealing bases like Ricky Henderson. Right now the Yanks don’t have that guy.

                    • DF

                      Not just back in the minors, but back in AA. I saw him play against the Thunder this past weekend. He’s barely hitting ok for AA right now.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      And we’re done.

              • lightSABR

                And Zoilo Almonte. Don’t forget his awe-inspiring 55 wRC+.

                • Eric MacLaurin

                  I wouldn’t have promoted him or kept him in the majors.

          • Eric MacLaurin

            The problem is that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

            Not because you’re an idiot but because it isn’t an exact science. You just have to give them a chance and see what they can do.

            Adonis Garcia is in the top 5 in Scranton in all 5 statistical categories and is right handed. No one can say for sure that he cannot help. Thinking you are that smart (not you but anyone) is exactly why successful people and businesses fail so often. As soon as you think you’re too smart to doubt yourself you are almost guaranteed to fail.

            • BigDavey88

              Let’s say the Yankees value this player as a trade chip? What if he fails miserably at the MLB level. His value is now gone.

              History shows that promoting a AA player to the majors isn’t the most successful strategy. Why ruin a potential good player so just to have a remote chance to improve what you admit is not an elite team?

              We’re both just people commenting on a Yankee blog – none of us here know what we’re talking about. I’ll put my faith in people that are paid to know when someone is ready or good enough to earn a promotion.

              • Eric MacLaurin

                I would never endorse holding a prospect back because you think you’re smarter than another team and hoping to trick them.

                You do not ruin a prospect by promoting him early. This is only a problem if you fail to adjust if it isn’t working. The difference between AA and AAA is AAA is full of vets without complete games

                You can put your faith in people but I’ll put mine in information. There is a ton of it available for AA and AAA players and it’s not magic or complicated to use that information to make informed decisions that are fun to discuss/debate.

                when you just quote others you have to wait for society as a whole to figure things out before you can agree.

        • Eric MacLaurin

          Talk about tired.

          The Yankees are not an elite team and haven’t been for a couple of years. Near the top?

          Pretending the team is too good to see what they can get out of a AAA player is complete denial.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Think about what you just wrote, look at who’s gotten an opportunity to play for this team during your little almost-two-year sample, and get back to me. Go on now…

            • Eric MacLaurin

              Why would I repeat my post after reviewing that information again? Why don’t you tell about all the players that got a legit shot to play and or develop?

              Better yet explain how vernon wells was better than trying a few different kids?

          • BigDavey88

            Whether you want to believe the Yankees have been elite or not is completely 100% irrelevant.

            The fact is the Yankees have been finishing with THE BEST or ONE OF THE BEST records in baseball every season (you can look it up if you want). They have not had a good draft position in a while and they haven’t drafted well either. The AAA team isn’t good. There is no upgrade to be had.

            • Eric MacLaurin

              A couple is 2.

              Look at the record this year and last if you don’t recognize that we haven’t been very good.

      • Eric MacLaurin

        Girardi played Solarte at the bottom of the order when he was the best hitter on the team and when there were no other options. He played him every day until he was tired out and slumping at which point he benched him.

        This isn’t how you help a player develop nor is it how you take advantage of a player when he’s hot.

        Baseball is not a sport where you run people out every day the same way unless you want to lose to those that are more nimble minded.

        • BigDavey88

          “Girardi played Solarte at the bottom of the order when he was the best hitter on the team and when there were no other options.”

          Maybe Solarte performed well because he wasn’t in a prime batting spot and was protected?

          This isn’t a video game. As trivial as it sounds to us, you can’t just change batting order positions on a whim. There is a lot more to managing a team that you left out and there are actual repercussions. Beltran isn’t going to be batting 8th.

          • Eric MacLaurin

            Maybe anything. Are you going to argue a point with faith and maybes?

            • BigDavey88

              That wasn’t my main point.

              At the same time, however, I haven’t seen anything factual from you other than your own opinions. “I study minor league numbers so I know when a player should be called up” doesn’t constitute a solid argumentative base either.

          • bardos

            The thing about young guys coming up to the Show (as they call it) from the minors is that it’s a total crapshoot for the player. Just like the play-offs and World Series.

            Who’s hot?

            You give a kid a chance, say 50 at bats, and if he’s cold, Good-bye Charlie, although he might have been the next coming of the lord.

            So many players and a limited 25 man roster. You have to be hot at the right time. Is this luck or some other type of karmic intervention?

        • http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ Need Pitching & Hitting

          There were other options. Kelly Johnson was supposed to be the primary 3B this year. Solarte overtook him, until he didn’t hit for over a month.
          And he didn’t play everyday. Not sure how much rest a kid should need at the beginning of the season anyways.

          • Eric MacLaurin

            The only reason they didn’t need rest before is they were all pumped full of drugs. The failure to adjust to the post steroid era with more rest for players is shocking.

            Have you looked at Johnson’s career? He’s absolutely proven that he sucks and cannot hit. He’s the perfect example of a helpless vet that plays over a kid even though the kid would be a complete failure if he matched johnsons numbers.

            He would have been a fine bench player but a starter? No way.

            • http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ Need Pitching & Hitting

              Your contradicting your own point.
              They did choose to play the kid over the not very good vet.
              That’s what you said they didn’t do.

              As for rest, you may have noticed the Yankees give most of their players frequent rest, and between scheduled off days and regular days off, Solarte wasn’t exactly overworked.

              Kelly Johnson career 103 wRC+. aka league average.

              • Eric MacLaurin

                exactly – he’s been a replacement level player his entire career and now he’s old.

                Players have not been given rest and player after player has been overworked without rest until they struggle or get hurt.

                They played Solarte but wasted his bat at the bottom of the order and played Johnson instead of Wheeler or anyone else they could find who might not be replacement level.

                • http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ Need Pitching & Hitting

                  Average isn’t replacement level. Average is substantially better than replacement level. Kelly Johnson is above replacement level, and was even above replacement level in his time with the Yankees.
                  That said, I agree Kelly Johnson isn’t very good and shouldn’t be a starter. But his being benched in favor of Solarte does fly in the face of the point you were trying to make.

                  • Eric MacLaurin

                    No it doesn’t. The fact that one guy did well enough to force the issue is the point. You have to evaluate players that don’t hit 350 out of the gate to earn a job.

                    Replacement level is someone whose production can be replace by free players and that’s Johnson unless you ignore average and just look at home runs.

    • blake

      I think Girardi’s job is to win baseball games and not develop kids…..especially tweeners like Almonte.

      The Yankees aren’t allergic to youth……they haven’t had any good youth to play in recent years. Hopefully that’ll change soon…..but the guys worth anything they have had come up (Gardner, Robertson, Betances etc)….have all ended up playing.

      • YakaTanaka

        Pitching staff has largely been held together by youth all season.

        • blake

          exactly….

        • blake

          exactly….

      • Eric MacLaurin

        in a game where player development = winning you better do both or plan on rebuilding every few years.

        • blake

          I don’t disagree…..but that doesn’t mean you just play non-prospect X just because they are young. If you have actual good young players that are ready to help then you play them and I think the Yankees do that when they have them……

          • Eric MacLaurin

            Fair enough.

            My issue is that you list all stars and we can’t limit promotions to all stars. We need to recognize and harvest value from role players as well. Everyone’s doing it.

            • lightSABR

              Yes, everyone’s doing it. Including the Yankees. Ever heard of David Phelps, Adam Warren, or Dellin Betances? How about Ivan Nova? Frankie Cervelli?

              • Eric MacLaurin

                No who are they?

      • Kevin Wrong

        Blake bingo on that – the development of these kids is on the GM and the minor league coaches not girardi

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Hmmm.

    • Scott

      I think Joe won’t play Almonte because Almonte is not very good. The Yanks did play several kids last year and this year. Especially on the pitching front. Betances, Warren and Phelps (last year), Solarte, last year they tried everyone and the kitchen sink at 3B (David Adams). This year Almonte got another shot (and did nothing), Wheeler played, Romine and JRM got time last year and this year. So I disagree with your premise Joe doesn’t like to play the kids.
      the kids have to take the bull by the horns when they get opportunities. The Yanks don’t have a Buxton, Bryant, Baez, Russell or Gallo forcing their way onto the team.
      Refsnyder is the closest position player to the big leagues but he needs more seasoning defensively. If the Yanks other 3 IFers were awesome defensively (meaning DJ wasn’t the shortstop) I believe the Yanks would have brought up Ref. But you can’t put him out there when the rest of the IF defense is bad.

  • Rick

    I think the analysis on Brian McCann needs to get taken one step further. It’s not as simple as “stop blaming the shift.” The first step is acknowledging that teams won’t just stop shifting on him – so, as Mike stated, there is no sense crying over it. The second step is figuring out whether he has the ability as a hitter to start taking the ball the other way and forcing teams out of the shift. To figure that out, you would essentially need to look at his spray charts over his career, find a time where (if) he was doing it, and see if there are any changes to his swing since then.

    • pfunk42529

      McCann actually doesn’t do a bad job at all going the other way, when he does though it is almost never a ground ball so there is no point in having infielders on that side:

      http://www.fangraphs.com/spray.....38;vs2=ALL

      • Rick

        Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. I was clearly being lazy about actually doing the analysis.

        • Kevin Wrong

          The indication of this stat so you understand is that the only time McCann tends to hit the ball away is on pitches up and away…He rolls his hands over on low and away pitches at an alarming rate which is the exact designed plan to get McCann and pretty much all the yankees left handed hitters they shift against to hit into the shift…It works as we all can see…. The simple adjustment is this….Front leg positioned more inside and to wait a split second longer. If you do that you will hit the low and outside pitch thru the vacant infield area and yes professional hitters are all capable of this if taught that way

        • pfunk42529

          No problem, I thought the same thing early in the season then anecdotal noticed him going the other way and wanted to see if it was something new for him.

      • Kevin Wrong

        Well it doesnt matter if he hits the ball the other way in the air now does it… The shift is in the infield…..

        • pfunk42529

          Thank you for reiterating my point.

  • Scott

    I believe Alex Rodriguez has every intention of playing baseball again. So the Yanks aren’t going to get lucky and have him retire. I also don’t believe the Yanks will buy him out, at least not this year. Maybe after this season they will say screw it and pay him to be off the team.
    I believe A-Rod wants one more try at not only trying to play well, but showing baseball he is a good guy. He wants to work with baseball in some capacity after he retires.

  • Roy Munson

    1. The Yanks should absolutely let McCann walk if he gets picked up on waivers. They won’t though. It would give the appearance of giving up and they would rather stay relevant with big names rather than make a smart baseball decision.

    2. Looks better to fail with a veteran than a rookie in the Yanks mind

    3. This to me is the key to the off season. Will the Steinbrenners let the A-Rod contract hold them hostage on any roster improvements? My bet is yes.. Headley LaMaar is the smart choice.. but again.. Arod will bring more ratings and well.. again… he’s a bigger name. ( He’s also like 60/70 hitts away from 3000 hits and like 6HR away from his next bonus… I don’t think there is anyway A-Rod doesn’t come back)

    4.I bet they bring back Ichiro

    5. Hopefully they bring McCarthy on a short term deal and stay away from any big 6/7 year deals with Lester/Scherzer. We’ve seen how those have worked for guys on the wrong side of 30

    I hope I’m dead wrong… I just have a feeling, maybe just a suspicion that ownership is going to have a bigger say on baseball decisions this off season.

    • YakaTanaka

      oaktag

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Gotta keep the classics alive.

    • http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ Need Pitching & Hitting

      I really don’t think they will bring back Ichiro. They just traded for a marginal bat with a fairly substantial contract so they could not play Ichiro nearly as much. It seems like they see Ichiro as strictly a backup at this point (as they should). With their need for offense, and questions as to how much Beltran will actually be able to play OF, I would expect them to either pursue an extra OF with more offense, or go the cheap route and see if one of the kids (or a Solarte-esque milb contract signing) can do the job while spending the money elsewhere.
      Unless Ichiro is willing to come back for a very big pay cut (probably no more than a $1M-ish contract), I don’t see them bringing him back.

    • Eric MacLaurin

      I hope you’r wrong on number 2. That’s the credo of a loser.

  • Scott

    Mike,
    don’t the Yanks have to have Webb or Lindgren be up with the team in August in order for them to be on the post season roster (should they make the post season)?

    If that is the case, I would assume one of them will be up in the next week or so.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      No, they just have to be in the organization by Aug. 31. The Yankees can use the Sabathia and Nova injuries to get them on the postseason roster.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      They’ve got enough 60-day DL exceptions to make something work, don’t they?

    • http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ Need Pitching & Hitting

      As long as they are somewhere in the org., it won’t matter, because even not-40 man roster players can replace any player on the DL for the postseason. Either could just replace CC or Nova, regardless of when they are called up.

    • Frankie Cerveddardi

      They’re not going to the postseason. The red hot KC Royals ain’t losing. Detroit and their 5 aces will get back on track. And you’ve still got Robbie Cano and the Seattle M’s to deal with. Toronto Jays are also ahead of us. Get the kids in there and see what they can do.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    1. I would not dump McCann. I don’t know how anyone can look at the pitchers we’ve used this year and how well they’ve done or how well pitchers did in Atlanta and pretend he doesn’t have anything to do with it. I’m not worried about the position without him because I like the guys we have but I think he’s worth it and I would keep him. This would be a money move and there is no way I keep prado over McCann.

    2. The Hill issue makes me think the front office is managing service time. If this is the case, whoever is making the decision is mentally challenged in a way that probably cannot be fixed. The Yankees worrying about paying a player in 5 years and willing to lose today to save money in 5 years is a complete fail in terms of economics and baseball. It actually shows a very childlike comprehension of math in general.

    3. I think Arod goes into the outfield next year though I think the Prado idea is to have a competent back up since he’ll want to try 3rd but won’t be good enough.

    4. Pass on free agency unless we can get Lester or a number 1 starter.

    5.Pass on McCarthy as well. 2 10 or 15 maybe but he’s making 10 and doing well as a Yankee. If he does well enough to sign he’ll cost more than he’s worth.

    Rothschild and McCann give us a new ability to build and or rebuild pitchers. I would use this as profit center where we buy low, rehab and then sell or keep the finished product.

    • Pkyankfan69

      Arod in the OF?…No, he’ll definitely be used out of the BP

    • Bret The Hitman

      I think Arod goes into the outfield next year

      ————–

      Oh really?

      • Eric MacLaurin

        If they can’t dump him which they will try very hard to do.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Couldn’t disagree with the Alex and service time thing more. Jacob Lindgren was in college a few months ago. I like Tyler Webb, but he’s a relief prospect. There are no George Springers being held back here.

      • Eric MacLaurin

        Service time doesn’t refer to Lindgren or Webb. It refers to not using young players that might help for no apparent reason over the last 2 years. You don’t need a star to improve a crappy team. Sometimes another crappy player is just a better fit. Like the right handed Garcia instead of Almonte given our left handed outfield.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          So, if you were referencing Rich Hill in your argument, who exactly are you referring to?

          • Eric MacLaurin

            Rich hill????

            Why is he in the majors? We have kids that could fill the spot and they choose someone whose been playing poorly.

            I have to assume there is a reason you bring up a scrub instead of one of your actual prospects. Service time is all that really makes sense and I’ve seen several decisions that seem based either on a fear of losing a bad player or dice.

        • http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ Need Pitching & Hitting

          I guarantee they aren’t worried about Garcia’s service time either.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Randy: “You know, Brian. We can’t bring up Adonis Garcia now. If we do, in five years, we may have to be paying him….”

            *entire room breaks out in laughter*

            • Eric MacLaurin

              Yeah.

              The laughter is when I GM brings up a weak lefty as the fourth outfielder when the first 3 are all lefties.

              You can assume they’re stupid or look for another reason.

              I know the people here need to have a media person tell them which players are good but your laughter about Garcia paints you as a fool.

              Cuban players sorted or dismissed by age is for the very weak minded.

    • BigDavey88

      I’m in agreement about McCann. Earlier in the season Mike was praising his defense and his work with the pitching staff, and that is now all erased?

      McCann has been a huge disappointment offensively but he’s had an overall positive impact on the team – I don’t think the staff performs as well as it has without him and I’m willing to bet he isn’t done with the bat. Mike’s comments on McCann sound more like something I’d read from the comments section than from him.

      Yesterday’s off day has reset my Zen Baseball approach I suppose.

  • gageagainstthemachine

    I’m kind of surprised there was no mention of Rusney Castillo in this post. He’s getting ready to sign somewhere and it could potentially affect the lineup, if not right away, down the road soon. And where would it put Refsnyder in long term plans? That’s an outcome’s conclusion I’m looking forward to seeing in the next few days.

  • Bigdan

    Blake made an excellent point in the last thread. The Yanks simply lack middle of the order bats. They have table setters and bottom of the order guys, but no real 3-5 guys. All season long we’ve lamented the failure of Beltran, McCann, Soriano and Tex as the Yanks middle but the problem was they have just been miscast. Soriano was no longer a MLer. McCann shouldn’t hit higher than 6th. Ever. Beltran might be a middle of the order guy if he’s healthy so there’s possibly one. And Tex is a 5th place hitter at best and probably slipping lower as his career continues.

    The challenge of course is to fix all that over the off season with budget of perhaps $20-$30MM. The Yanks are probably around $187 or so now (including Prado and arbitration stuff). Unless Hal takes the budget to the place it’s only gone once before (230MM in 2013), there’s not a lot of available funds, especially if the Yanks prioritize a pitcher like Lester. That will be the first threshold question for the offseason. Until the Yanks can answer the question, do they need a frontline starter, they can’t reach the questions of Drob or improving the offense.

    • Bret The Hitman

      Name a middle order bat you’d target (I don’t see any).

      • Pkyankfan69

        Not sure we’ll get him, or if it’s even the right move, but I think we’ll make a strong push for Tulo

        • Bret The Hitman

          I’d rather have Kemp plus the prospects.

          • Pkyankfan69

            Now that Kemp is playing better I doubt the Dodgers would just give him away… It’s not like they’re hurting for money.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      50/50 chance this picture actually uploads.

    • http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ Need Pitching & Hitting

      That’s the big problem. There are no currently elite hitters on the team.
      And the available free agents don’t really offer much hope.
      Hanley is probably the best impact hitter of the bunch, but he’d want to play SS and probably shouldn’t. Also would probably command a contract that could quickly add to their problems. Cruz and Melky are having big years, but their history suggests they won’t consistently perform at that level. Above average offensive players? Sure. But probably not elite middle of the order hitters for the next several years.
      Unless they manage to pull off a blockbuster trade, they’re probably going to have to continue without that middle of the lineup anchor for at least next year.
      I guess the best alternative would be to try to lengthen the lineup and find above average hitters at as many positions as possible, but with a lot of the offense-first positions already spoken for, that going to be a very difficult task.

      • YakaTanaka

        I don’t think that’s the problem. It’s a problem, sure, but having solid hitters 1-9 (or close) would make your lffense as productive as having a star or two and some holes. They may be getting close after the deadline and going forward, but the Yankees haven’t had a solid lineup all season. They’ve had tons of holes. Even A-Rod in his prime played on one of the worse teams in the league when they weren’t able to put talent around him. This isn’t the NBA where stars make everyone else better and can dominate the game.

    • Frankie Cerveddardi

      The problem is they’ve invested too much into these sunk costs. And I said this back when we signed these albatross contracts, they’re going to turn into sunk costs 3-4 years down the road. Why they gave CC a 7 year extension I’ll never know. That’s a sunk cost. A-Rod signed till age 42. That’s a sunk cost. Teixera injured all the time. Sunk cost. And as if they weren’t satisfied with that they signed Beltran and McCann this offseason. The key to building a sustained winner is to do it through the farm. That’s what they did in the mid 90s and it carried them through for nearly 20 years.

      • Big Game Thames

        Don’t forget Ellsbury. It won’t be long before that turns and worse they already had a better, cheaper version. So dumb.

      • Rick

        You understand that every single person acknowledged those contracts wouldn’t look good at the back end, right? Yet, there is still a very large amount of posters on this board that continue to pine for Cano and his 10 year deal. Do you honestly think that’s going to look any better in years 6-10?
        When you make those deals, you simply hope you get enough front end value to justify it as a whole. Without looking at the numbers (WAR specifically as a best estimate), I have no idea if CC’s front end numbers would equal the value of the contract – meaning I haven’t look to see if his total WAR matches up with the estimated average cost of a win over the life of the contract.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Rick, are you really angling to fetch us coffee today? You? Really? :)

          • Rick

            I was feeling generous. You’re a dunkin guy, right? Kindly let me know where to forward the gift card.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              I’m quite the coffee snob, but I’ll take one of those cookie dough flavored ones if there’s no other option.

      • YakaTanaka

        You don’t seem to understand the term sunk cost.

    • Big Game Thames

      That’s the problem with this org. They only know how to spend to dig out of their mediocrity. And so they get stuck with dumb contracts. Now instead of being clogged at 3b, 1b, they added C, CF and DH this past off-season. Developing youth is one problem, having somewhere to play them is something else entirely.

      • lightSABR

        Name one MLB-ready middle-of-the-order bat who’s languishing in the Yankee farm system because there’s no room for him on the 25-man.

        And just to head this one off: O’Brien and Bird would not have been better than Teix this year. Not even close.

        • lightSABR

          All right, full disclosure. Turns out that Oliver’s 2014 MLB projections for Bird are pretty similar to Teix’s numbers this year. (O’Brien’s are 35 wRC+ worse.)

          That said, of course, there’s no guarantee that Bird would actually perform up to those projections.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Exactly.

    • blake

      the problem is that fixing the problem isn’t easy.

  • Big Game Thames

    I said this last night but watching the Jays and Ms made me wonder what the Yankee OF would look like with Melky and AJax. They’d hit better and field better and saving buckets of cash. Looking back they lost huge value for both and won nothing of significance with their replacements.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      *puts arm around BGT*

      It’s time to move on, buddy. I know….I know…..but they’ve moved on, and they seem happy. You’re entitled to that happiness too.

      • Big Game Thames

        Yeah, except they will have gone two years without a RF, maybe more if they don’t bring back Leche. And instead of Ajax they just gave another dumb contract to a light hitting CF.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          And if they hadn’t signed Danny Tartabull….

          • Big Game Thames

            Are you a troll here? I don’t see you adding anything of substance to the discussion. Does criticism of the dumb free spending hurt your wittle feelings?

            I’m setting you to ignore.

            • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

              Don’t do that! It’ll just crush his wittle feelings.

              You need to improve your troll-identifying skills.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                My rhetoric isn’t drawingthe universal ass-kissing it used to. Therefore, the person on the other end must be trolling. it can’t be me. No way.

                • Slu

                  I know you didn’t mean it this way, but you are right about one thing…your rhetoric isn’t drawing the universal ass kissing you used to get around here. Pot meet kettle.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Do you bother to read the names of the people commenting on here? Yeah, I’m a troll. Hilarious. And you have no clue what a factual argument is, like 90% of the idiot diaspora.
              .

            • YakaTanaka

              Your comments are hard to take seriously.

          • gageagainstthemachine

            …”Seinfeld” would’ve had to find another Yankee to ride shot gun with George Costanza.

    • YakaTanaka

      Both those guys are very inconsistent year to year. Melky had to be cut outright by the team that acquired him before becoming even replacement level, and I’m not sure how AJax is an offensive upgrade over Granderson, Gardner, or Ellsbury.

      Even if you are right that they made two mistakes (which is debatable), no team is going to bat 1.000.

      • Big Game Thames

        Ummm actually AJax has been more consistent than Ellsbury.

        And Melky for all if his detractors would have been their best OF each of the last two years. You know, as he peaked.

        • http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ Need Pitching & Hitting

          If Melky ever had the 2010 season he had with Atlanta with NY, he would have been run out of town, just as he was run out of Atlanta.

        • Get Phelps Up

          “each of the last two years”

          Maybe you should look up how he did last year.

    • Too_Many_Idiots

      No way Melky and AJax field better than Gardner and Ellsbury. Melky has been below replacement level on defense practically his entire career.

    • nyyankfan7

      They gained nothing of significance?

      Getting 115 HRS from Curtis Granderson for 4 years was somewhat significant. Go look at his 2011 stats, they are actually ridiculous – .364/.552/.916. 41 HRs 119 RBI 25 SB.

      • http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ Need Pitching & Hitting

        *262/364/552

        • Too_Many_Idiots

          I liked nyyankfan7’s stat line better.

          • nyyankfan7

            sorry i accidentally copied OBP / SLG / OPS instead…got 1 column off on BREF….

            either way – a hell of an offensive season; one this team could desperately use from anybody.

  • Bigdan

    It’s good to see folks finally including Arod in discussions of roster construction. It wasn’t very long ago when it seemed a strong majority of people were saying Arod would never spend another day in a Yankee uniform. That first occurred when Arod had his second hip surgery. And of course he came back as I predicted. Then after his suspension, there was a full torrent of claims that he would be cut by Hal, and of course that hasn’t taken place either and won’t.

    As I said last week, expect as soon as the World Series concludes several stories on the magnificent shape Arod is in and how he can’t wait to get back on the field next year. No one has a clue how well he’d hold up as an everyday 3b. I, for one, never thought Jeter would hold up this year as a 40 year old SS coming off a terrible ankle injury. I think if Jeter could play SS this year, Arod could surprise us next year at 3b. But if he can’t we know why the Yanks added Prado.

    Sure will be interesting though to see if Arod can still hit. Maybe he can fit into the Yanks middle of the order.

    • Big Game Thames

      Even A-Rod at a .750 OPS is a huge upgrade. That’s really what this team has come to.

      • Rick

        A-Rod probably would’ve been our best RH bat this year

        • Big Game Thames

          Holy sheet, you are right. Good things he’s signed until he’s 42!

          • Rick

            I’m not saying it’s good that he’s signed, I’m just saying that this year for all of the talk that Thank God A-Rod is Gone, he would’ve helped.

    • Bolek

      Sounds about right to me. Yeah, there’s the hip, but it’s had a nice long rest. Now, the nice long rest may have caused some attrition in hitting skills and fielding, but ARod has always been an A-List player, and I’d take my chances on his overcoming these problems, while recognizing that we can’t expect a 39 year old to be a 29 year old.

      My biggest fear in an ARod return is the Media Circus Syndrome.

      • Bigdan

        As to your last point, my biggest fear with Arod is that there always seems to be another shoe yet to drop. In a weird way, I think that’s one reason Hal will keep him around. The only way Hal can save money on Arod’s contract is for him to be suspended again (or some kind of injury insurance thing). With Arod, it’s always possible that can happen. Again.

  • Hankflorida

    “it’s the pitching, stupid,” and I could see the offense with Text, Prado, Drew, Headly, McCaan, Beltran, Ellsbury and Gardner with A-Rod at DH where if he gets hurt, the insurance picks up some of his contract without effecting the cap. With pitching and defense as the main ingredients, “fasten your seat belts, it may be a bumby season ahead!” Next year, the name of the game is still the Wildcard, and the odds are one in five that the Yanks will be sitting at the table when October comes calling.

  • lightSABR

    Hey – look, everybody! Kevin Youkilis will be available this offseason!

    Third-base problem? Solved.

    • Kevin Wrong

      YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK

  • Rick

    Does anyone know what happens if CC is forced to sit out the rest of his career because of injury (we all know he’s not retiring)? I know there is an insurance policy that would reimburse part of his contract, but I’m assuming he still counts as being on the books for luxury tax purposes, correct?

    • http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ Need Pitching & Hitting

      He would still count against the tax. I have no idea on the insurance policy.

      • Rick

        Thank you, sir.

    • blake

      unless he retires…..yes he still would count towards the tax. The insurance is still money saved for the owners though…..and money that could theoretically be spend on players……or on new Holliday Inns for Hal

      • Bigdan

        Don’t forget Hal used Tex insurance money last year to up the payroll (for all the good it did) so he may do that again if the situation arises.

        • http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ Need Pitching & Hitting

          Is Vernon Wells still available?

        • blake

          sure….obviously it wouldn’t help as much as him retiring and getting off both the books and the luxury tax payroll but it would have to help some.

          Of course none of this is probably happening and he will probably be back in the rotation next year for better or worse…..hopefully not worse.

  • Chip

    Last night reminded me of Bull Durham where the team turned on the sprinklers because they desperately needed a rain-out.

    To a couple of Mike’s points:

    1. I agree completely about calling up Lindgren or Webb instead of Hill. It didn’t make any sense at the time and it still doesn’t.

    2. I think Alex is either the starting 3b for the Yankees or he’s not on the team next year. If they DH him that puts Beltran in RF every day with Prado at 3b. Only way they can keep Headley is to release Alex, commit to Prado in RF and Beltran at DH or make Prado the 2b which probably won’t happen if they’re serious about signing Castillo or giving Refsnyder a look.

    3. This ties into the above point. There’s no viable place for a Melky Cabrera unless they decide to let Headley go, release Alex, move Prado to 3b and Beltran to DH full-time.

    4. McCann has been a huge disappointment and Murphy and Cervelli have played well when given the chance. But I also don’t want to discount the impact McCann has had on this pitching staff. I don’t know if that’s something that Cervelli or Murphy bring to the table yet. I think McCann probably will turn it around next year.

    • Kevin Wrong

      They plan on putting Beltran in RF next year – thats 100 percent the plan. He will have the surgery to remove the bone spur during the off season

      • Chip

        Well if that’s the case then Prado’s at 3b and Alex is the DH.

      • YakaTanaka

        I think he’ll miss most of next season if he has the surgery in the offseason. Don’t remember the exact timeline gven.

    • John in Forest

      The problem with calling up Lindgren (who issued three walks in 0.2 innings last night) or Webb is that they are players with very short track records who would need to be placed on the 40-man roster. If it turns out that they’re not ready for prime time, then they tie up a spot on the 40-man roster. The only way to remove them is to waive them, and they’ll be claimed. Until the staff is sure they’re ready, they’ll stay in the minors.

      • Chip

        As opposed to Hill who has a very long track record of being awful I will take my chances.

        • John in Forest

          Oh, no argument! Hill’s not good, I agree with that. But promoting a guy who may block future roster moves because he’s had 20 good innings in the low minors isn’t the solution. Dumping Hill doesn’t mean Lindgren or Webb get promoted.

  • Bigdan

    I’m generally not that distraught about McCann. Overpay? Sure, but what’s new? The key is to understand (1) he’s not really a middle of the order hitter so don’t make him that and (2) find his hidden value.

    I’ve said before I think McCann should be playing a lot of 1b. Not this year, but next. McCann has logged a lot of games at C for a 30 year old. The Yanks are flush with catchers in their organization. They also have a full time 1b who probably needs at least a day or two off a week. Play McCann at 1b a couple times a week, use Cervelli or Murphy a lot at catcher (sort of a second starting C) and give Tex lots of rest. I think this will improve production from both Tex and McCann.

    I also think McCann will hit a bit better next year. At least that’s my hope. It’s finding middle of the order bats that’s the real thorny problem.

  • OldYanksFan

    1) McCann needs to be a 3 WAR/yr player to earn his keep. I don’t think he’s done. I think it’s an adjustment/down year. However, since we have some decent Catchers on the farm, I would let him go if someone takes on his contract.
    3) Headley is a good idea. He is not having a great enough year to get a huge contract, so I would sign him to a reasonable one. Hopefully ARod will still be able to hit. His hips are healed, I don’t think that’s an issue. The question is can he post a .750 OPS? If so, he could be fine (considering the money is already spent) as a BU3B, BU1B (which I believe he can handle) and a DH.
    The Yankees will NOT just cut him. IF…. if he can still hit, he will play.

    • gageagainstthemachine

      If ARod is used as a UTIL player next year, it’s going to be another “fun media circus of a season” again. Not that it won’t be if he’s simply back in the dugout at all, but imagine the money being spent, the ego of ARod, and the media’s non stop scrutinization of ARod from “Superstar” to “Super Scrub”.

      • YakaTanaka

        Don’t think UTL is really an option. Think it’s more 3B/DH if the Yanks keep him and he can produce at all, both far from givens.

  • Fritz Peterson

    We desperately need to get younger. Imagine if we had ~3 first rounders this past year instead of older players with 3 more big contracts. 3 first rounders this year plus the other group of 3 first rounders (Clarkin, Judge, and Jailego) and the minors gets a big infusion of talent to go along with the International signings. We need a new core 4 and signing older free agents to big contracts is not the winning formula.

    • Kevin Wrong

      Fritz the yankees signed a ton of young international players this July so trust me they are trying to add in more young talent

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Somewhat agree. I wasn’t a fan of the idea of surrendering so many picks. However, I do think the org made up for that loss later on by picking Lindgren, as well as the spending spree with the international players. You’re not going to have three first-rounders every season.

      • Fritz Peterson

        Because you rarely get the chance at 3 first rounders, just thought we should have done it before we go back to our old ways.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          They’ve never spent as much on the international market as they have this year. They’ve never drafted an almost instant impact guy like Lindgren. What old ways are you talking about? They’re always going to be players on the FA market.

          • Fritz Peterson

            Old ways meaning putting little value on trying to protect/obtain first round/ supplemental round picks.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              That system’s only been in place a few years.

            • YakaTanaka

              You also can’t put too much value on picks, especially late firsts.

    • YakaTanaka

      Getting younger =/= getting better.

      Look around MLB at the youngest teams and best farms year-to-year and you’ll understand that the route you advocate is no better than buying talent. Yankees are trying to do both, which I think is the way to go.

      They don’t want to pay Ellsbury, Beltran, McCann, Tanaka, etc… But when the development route fails (as it largely did for them recently) then your choices are putting a terrible team on the field or buying some talent.

  • Eric Buser

    Christ …Sign 7 starters next year. We all know the rotation next year will have even more question marks than 2014. 4 of the 4 returning starters will be coming off injury plagued seasons. Kuroda will be a FA or retire. 2015 is looking very bleak.

    • YakaTanaka

      Pretty hard to say what 2015 looks like before the off-season even arrives.

  • Chip

    My guess on the 2015 lineup:

    Ellsbury – CF
    Prado – RF
    Tulo – SS (acquired for Refsnyder, Pineda, Severino, Sanchez and Clarkin)
    Tex – 1b
    Beltran – DH
    McCann – C
    Alex – 3b
    Castillo – 2b
    Gardner – LF
    Bench: Murphy, Almonte, Ryan, Corey Hart(?)

    • GregD

      I sure hope the Yankees don’t trade all their top prospects for a .260 hitter away from Colorado’s ball park………they will be continuing the problem that they have had…..no players developed in the org and ready to play in the major leagues

      • YakaTanaka

        Batting average is only one part of offensive value. Tulo is a pretty unique talent at SS in the post-PEDs era.

        The impact Coors has on home/road splits is also pretty well documented. Players almost universally outperform their Rockies road splits after leaving. It’s in part because they become accustomed to the lack of break pitches get in the thin air so the breakig balls outside Coors are that much fiercer.

    • Rick

      That’s way too much to give up for Tulo

    • YakaTanaka

      I don’t think Tulo will be a Yankee with all the SS talent available in free agency this off-season. There’s no one near the same level, but they cost only money and in some cases a pick. I don’t think the Yankees will gut the farm for a huge injury risk. They are very much about value investing.

  • YankeeFan™

    I love McCann I know he’s struggled with the bat but he’s done a amazing job with the pitching staff and his framing is amazing.

    • Eric Buser

      Cervelli frams well, and costs A TON less.

  • Bigdan

    Talk now that Tulo may have a hip labrum problem. He’s been out since mid-July. Seeing a specialist.

    • GregD

      not someone that we should go after…….his injuries are mounting……

    • Bigdan

      http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl.....8;c_id=col

      The link. Was that Arod’s doctor he’s seeing?

    • blake

      Ive wanted Tulo forever but if it turns out that’s the case then beware…..

      • Bigdan

        yea Blake, I think with this the Tulo romance has to be over. Just way too much risk.

        • blake

          well he’s arguably the most valuable player in baseball when he’s 100%…..the problem is that he’s rarely that player for long. I’d still want him but if it’s a labrum issue then it would have to be more a salary dump move than trading a bunch of prospects + taking on money move.

      • Steve E. Sacks

        I”m scared Cashman will still go after him. The Yankees seem enamored with him and it’s a mutual thing. He’s a great player don’t get me wrong but the Yankees need to get much smarter about how the spend their money.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I’ve seen little to suggest this is a two-way thing. He seemed way more emanated with the Yankees, and even that seems a bit overstated.

        • YakaTanaka

          LOL

          • Stevie Sacs

            LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!

  • TopChuckie

    I agree with all those who pointed out McCann’s value beyond his offense, primarily I don’t think this pitching staff would have done nearly as well without him, and that overachieving pitching staff is the reason the Yanks are still in this season. So that alone makes him worth Hal’s money to me.

    I think McCann’s offensive struggles have nothing to do with diminishing talent and are entirely due to vision issues. He has had them repeatedly in the past, and is constantly squinting at the plate. I think that needs to be addressed and if it can be corrected, I think he will return to his expected production.

    So in summary, I say hold on to him.

    • Steve E. Sacks

      I hope your right I really do. He’s been pretty brutal offensively. One of my biggest disappointments. I thought he would have a big year.

  • John in Forest

    The Yankees need to start thinking beyond next week. I agree that signing McCann, Beltran, and Ellsbury represented upgrades; but McCann blocked the team’s supposed catching depth and they already had Gardner to lead off and play CF; the two biggest bullets, not counting Tanaka, went to non-need positions.
    Looking at Cot’s BB contracts, the Yankees first went above $205M in average annual payroll in 2005. They’ve been highly reluctant to go much above 205, except last year when they basically had to buy another team. So I expect to see payroll around $200-$210M next season. Can the team afford to spend like drunken Dodgers? Yes, but they won’t. Cot’s shows that the Yankees already have $165M under contract next season. That includes just two pitchers, Tanaka and CC. It doesn’t include Robertson, Headley, Drew, but it does include A-Rod, Teixeira, and Sabathia, for a total of $68M (and $76M against the salary cap); the team is still paying for the 2009 World Championship and will be for three more years.
    Robertson, Drew, Headley, and Prado are all going to be making $10-$13M next year. Pick two, because the others won’t be back. Prado’s under contract, and I like the idea of keeping him as a backup to A-Dud and Beltran, since at least one can be counted on to miss significant time next year. From the other three, I want Robertson. Alex, unless more dirt appears that gets him another suspension, will be at 3B next year, and he will hit better than anyone else has while he’s been out.
    But yes, the team needs to get rid of toxic contracts the way the Red Sox were able to a couple of years ago. Move McCann (and Teixeira!) if possible; there are younger, cheaper alternatives available. Move either Ellsbury or Gardner; the team doesn’t need two lefthand-hitting leadoff men for the next four years.

    • Bigdan

      There’s a lot here and I’m not sure I agree with all or most, but this is absolutely the right approach to the analysis. It makes absolutely no sense to talk about roster construction regarding Hal’s Yankees without including references to the budget and it’s impact on roster decisions. Kudos.

      • runninonempty

        agree. One thing that continues to baffle me is that they sign players like Ryan and then don’t use them. Same for Kelly Johnson. They did use him, but in all the wrong ways. He was a great fit for YS and this team if used correctly. Ryan was a waste of money and roster spot when you look at how they have just kept Jeter in the line up all game long extra innings included. Was that signing just for show? There must be something wrong with the environment in Yankeeland, as too many players once removed from the Yankees seem to go on and do very well.

        • John in Forest

          I think the Ryan signing was in case Jeter’s ankle gave out again. I think the Johnson signing was one of several, hoping that one guy would rise to the top; Solarte did, for a couple of months. Ryan, Johnson, Solarte, Anna, Roberts, and Sizemore combined cost roughly what Ichiro does — low cost moves, hoping one works out.

    • runninonempty

      beautiful. One of the best laid out comments I have seen here. This team adds more bad contracts that I could ever imagine. All teams make mistakes, but the Yankees don’t seem to learn from them and seem to move forward with their eyes closed.

      • YakaTanaka

        It amazes me not only that people make comments like the one you replied to, but then that other people think they are brilliant.

    • Bigdan

      “Robertson, Drew, Headley, and Prado are all going to be making $10-$13M next year. Pick two, because the others won’t be back.”
      ——-
      Ok, Headley is just out so no need to consider him (unless Arod is suspended again). Prado is in. I’m not sure Drew will be able to get $10MM next year especially based on this year. I think the Yanks are going cheap next year at SS and they are hoping they can get Drew in the $7-8 range.

      But all of this is contingent on the threshold question: Lester and the starting rotation. If they go big on a starter, I don’t think they’ll be any money for Drob. But if they pass on Lester, et al, they could sign Drob and maybe McCarthy and still fit under the budget.

      Without any real empirical support, I think Hal’s raising the budget next year. Not to the $250MM range but more around $230MM. But, on the other hand, he may decide to lower it as well. I think that’s unlikely, but he lowered the budget this year after the Yanks missed the playoffs and he may do the same next year.

    • Chip

      McCann didn’t (and still doesn’t) block anything. John Ryan Murphy may become an everyday catcher but he won’t be as good as McCann. Cervelli played 93 games in 2010 but due to injuries, suspension and ineffectiveness he has played in only 99 games since. Sanchez and Torrens are both far from sure things and if/when one of them is ready, McCann will likely move to DH or 1b.

      Gardner was an impending FA when they signed Ellsbury and, what’s more, if Tanaka hadn’t been posted the team likely would have needed to trade Gardner for pitching.

      No one had a problem with either the Tex or CC contracts (not even CC’s new contract) and they’re not paying Prado $11 million next year to be a back up to anyone.

      • John in Forest

        My guess is that anytime a team talks about spending $150M on one player, lots of people inside the organization have problems with it. Without Tex, CC, and A-Rod, the Yankees don’t win the 2009 Series. But how about now, when they’re contributing little and earning as much as entire teams?

      • runninonempty

        that may be true about Tex and CC’s contracts at the time, but I am sure there is quite a bit of buyers remorse at this point in time. CC’s contract and lack of performance from last year to the bitter end of his contract will end up hurting the Yankees as much or more than A Rods. And Tex? You could hardly give him away at this point.

        • YakaTanaka

          Every time you invest in anything you risk regretting it. The logical solution is probably not to invest in nothing. At least not when you are sitting on a pile of cash.

        • Chip

          Of course the contracts look awful now but the only way to avoid that is a commitment to not giving out long term deals. If you do that then you’re not going to get the apex free agents that you want and the complaint will be that the Yankees are operating on the cheap.

          Every team that invests big money risks having that contract look bad. Angels would be thrilled to get do-overs on Pujols and Hamilton. Detroit moved Prince to get out from his contract and they probably are terrified of what Verlander is going to be going forward. The Red Sox pushed the re-set button on Carl Crawford. The Phillies are stuck with Ryan Howard…etc.

          When you sign players at or approaching 30 to long term deals you do so knowing that at some point you’re paying for what a player did rather than what he will do.

    • Bigdan

      “Move either Ellsbury or Gardner; the team doesn’t need two lefthand-hitting leadoff men for the next four years.”
      ———-
      That’s absolutely true. I’ve been writing about the Ellsbury/Gardner redundancy for months. Gardner is the only one here that can be traded because of the contracts. I’ve been saying for awhile the trading of Gardner should be an offseason strategic move.

      I may be changing my mind on that. Trading Gardner was always predicated on replacing him with a power corner OF bat. But is there one out there that the Yanks can get and afford? Maybe Tomas, the Cuban who may become a FA in the off season. Melky? Not exactly a power bat but certainly a productive one. But is there room in the budget for either?

      Trading Gardner in the offseason would be a strategic move, a potentially risky move, and a creative move. And for all those reasons, it certainly doesn’t sound like a Yankee move. But this is something I’d be willing to re-visit in the offseason.

      • OldYanksFan

        This is just stupid.
        Frankly, I wish the Yankees had 7 more ‘redundant’ players like Gardner and Ellsbury.
        I guess Sheffield and Matsui were redundant?

    • Stevie Sacs

      I agree big time about moving Ellsbury or Gardner. I think it was a big mistake to spend all that money on Ellsbury. Gardner is basically the same player but way cheaper. Yes Ellsbury has a higher peak performance but considering his injury history how often are you getting that really? But on to the business of dealing one, Ellsbury will be tough at the money he makes, maybe if yanks swallow some cash they can get something for him. Gardner is more tradeable but I also don’t see getting a ton for him. If you find a team that needs a leadoff hitter bad and feels that is the last piece they need then they might be willing to give up some good assets.

    • YakaTanaka

      The term “blocking” gets misused a lot around here. The first requirement for someone to be blocked is that they deserve to play. Cervelli is the only C in the org besides McCann who deserves to play at the MLB level. Murphy has been injured and ineffective in AAA. Romine has largely been ineffective in AAA. Sanchez has been solid but unspectacular in AA. There’s more that goes into promotions than results, but it’s really hard to make a case that McCann is blocking anyone but Cervelli right now. And Cervelli is at best hard to trust because of his health and at worst not someone you want starting even when healthy.

      Gardner and Ellsbury are two of the Yankees most effective hitters. They need more good hitters, not to move the good hitter they have because of some theoretical argument that they’re not perfect fits.

      • Stevie Sacs

        Some of that is player development personnel as well.

    • OldYanksFan

      Except….look at the other 29 team payrolls in 2005. The Yankees were RADICALLY outspending everyone. Not so now… where the Dodgers are at $230m this year (and they were at about $80m in 2205). The Angels at $155m. The Sox were at $175m in 2012.
      The FO isn’t stupid. If they learned one thing from the $189m and fielding non-winning teams, it’s that their profits (as well as the value of the franchise) is in Winning.
      The Yanks will not spend money just to spend money. But if they think they can field a winning team by spending (a smart) $225m, they will do it in a heartbeat. The PS can be worth as much as $25m, so being close doesn’t pay.
      The Yankees aren’t cheap. They are simply not throwing money away on false hopes. This is New York, and we are still the Yankees.

  • TopChuckie

    For those of you hoping the Yanks will one day be able to void ARod’s contract, this new DEA bust adds a little optimism. The DEA said they are only after the distributors and the recruiters, not the users. If you remember back when the initial suspensions were being handed out, ARod was said to be getting the harshest punishment due in large part to his recruiting of other players to the program. In addition, his cousin was busted by the DEA for recruitment. The Yanks apparently can’t void his contract due to failed tests or PED usage, but I do believe they could void it due to an actual criminal charge, if one were to result from the investigation, i.e. Bosch squealing.

    • Bigdan

      I don’t know. According to reports, Arod has been assisting authorities in the investigation. Recruiting players is not distribution in law enforcement terms. Now if Arod were getting a kick-back, sure there may be liability there. But does anyone think Arod was getting paid by Bosch for anything? It was always the other way around.

      • TopChuckie

        Between the UM connections, ARod’s Miami presence, ARod’s immersion in the whole PED scene, ARod’s cousin’s involvement, and MLB’s desire/willingness to bring down their biggest star, I have a feeling ARod was knee deep in the whole operation. I think he was a conduit. Too much smoke.

        • Bigdan

          I’ve done a lot of these investigations before in a prior life involving some serious big name subjects.. It’s all about the money trail. Unless money flows from Bosch to Arod, there’s no criminal case. I can’t imagine Arod would be taking money from Bosch to get him clients. But if he is, then he’s in trouble.

          • TopChuckie

            Could be as simple as a barter system. ARod recruits clients in exchange for free/discounted product. All the money could have still traveled from ARod to Bosch, just a lot less of it than if ARod wasn’t recruiting.

            • Bigdan

              That’s absolutely true as a possibility. People can be pretty tricky at hiding kickbacks. Anything of value is a potential kickback. But at 30,000 feet it doesn’t look that way. Arod wasn’t in this to make or save money. He was in this for PEDs. And Bosch, he was all about the money. Don’t see a whole lotta motivation for any benefit other than PEDs flowing back to Arod. It’s not like he needed a “discount.”

              • TopChuckie

                I don’t NEED to take Post-It’s home from work.

                Recruiting accusations have been made against ARod in the past, so if he was adding to Bosch’s business, it doesn’t seem that far fetched that either ARod would say, “I’m scratching your back, you scratch my pimply back.” or that Bosch would have simply offered, “Hey ARod, bring me some more customers, and your supply is on the house.” I doubt ARod’s response would be, “Sure, I’ll bring you customers, but I want to keep paying you, and you should probably keep track of my payments in a book somewhere.”

    • Rick

      You don’t really believe a criminal charge permits a team to void a contract do you? How many times have you seen an athlete get arrested? Subsequently, how many times have you seen that contract voided? MAYBE if he was found guilty. MAYBE. And I stress maybe, yet again, because its’ extremely unlikely and far-fetched – though remotely possible.

      • TopChuckie

        There was talk of an attempt to do it just based on the usage. There are conduct clauses, and this contract pretty much represents more motivation for an attempt to void than any other contract in history. Never claimed it was a slam dunk, but people were already hoping for an attempt to void it, I’m just saying this potentially creates a little more opportunity. Breaking a real life law carries a lot more weight than breaking a baseball law.

        • TopChuckie

          Also the chance for additional suspensions and recouping of the contract.

          • Rick

            This alternative is much more likely.

            • Kevin Wrong

              Either way its highly doubtful this case even goes to trial before the 2015 season begins so this isnt going to do anything to AROD for next year

        • Rick

          As someone who has worked on these precise issues for a different professional sports league – I’m telling you it’s near impossible to void a contract on that basis.

  • Rick

    BTW, Axisa, hope you’re reading this. I’m nominating you for the Ice Bucket Challenge. I expect a video of you completing it within the next week.

  • Steve E. Sacks

    Outside of Tanaka this past offseason is looking like one full of regret and one that might sink Cashman ultimately. But I’m not sure the remaining Steinbrenners care enough. Man I miss George sometimes. But getting back to the matter at hand. Signing a 30 year old catcher was dumb, signing Elsbury when you have a very similar productive player (Gardner) who is way cheaper was super dumb. Beltran, you just knew he was going to get hurt again.

    • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

      Why do you miss George? So he could make a ton of stupid trades of young players for washed up veterans?

      • Steve E. Sacks

        Because he cared and applied pressure. Kept people on their heels. I don’t sense that anymore. I feel like Cashman is trusted blindly.

        • runninonempty

          thank you Steve. Hal and the rest… Levine, Newman, et all— could care less as long as the Yes network is lining their pockets. For all of George’s mistakes, his passion was undeniable.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            What good is passion without results? Once again, eighteen years without a championship, with a strong argument to be made that the dynasty was built off his not being around to trade everyone…..and he still almost did upon his return.

            I spent my entire childhood embarrassed at who the owner of my favorite team was.

            • Dos Luises

              I did too. Steinbrenner was thoroughly hated by Yankee fans (with a brain) and non-Yankee fans (all) for about 15 years. I will say though, his last BIG move is also one I hated at the time, which proved to be a blind squirrel moment and that was the hiring of Mr. Torre.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                Yup. We laughed mightily when he hired Torre. I also remember laughing when one of the first moves on his clock was to sign “good defensive catcher” Joe Girardi.

                BTW, Big Game Thames wold call this “trolling.”

          • YakaTanaka

            That you are lumping Levine and Newman together is a pretty good indication that you have no idea what you’re talking about. Their roles with the team are barely related and hardly comparable.

        • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

          Applying pressure and keeping people on their heels don’t exactly guarantee positive results.

          I also hate that assumption that the people running the team now don’t care.

          • runninonempty

            I think the Blind allegiance to people who do not perform is some proof that they don’t care. Or that they are just willing to tolerate such an under achieving team.

            • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

              I don’t like Levine and Trost either, but they’re just businessmen. They have nothing to do with baseball decisions, except when Levine sticks his nose into, usually with disastrous results. Sadly, it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere.

              Maybe they need new blood in the front office, but the grass is always greener.

              • runninonempty

                true enough!!! the grass is always greener— indica or sative:)

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              I don’t see who there’s been blind allegiance to. I’d give a veteran a longer leash and the benefit of the doubt as well until it’s obvious it’s not happening.

            • YakaTanaka

              Not making a public spectacle and grabbing backpage headlines for doing something rude and inappropriate =/= not caring…
              I wonder how many of these pro-George fans actually lived through him. And I wonder how many of those who did have ever managed an organization.

              • Dos Luises

                Hear hear.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                Not only did ietc, but I bathed in it.

          • Stevie Sacs

            You need a balance of course. That was the beauty of the Stick Michael, George, and Showalter/Torre dynamic. The balance was just right.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Eighteen years.

              • runninonempty

                that’s crazy. Why doesn’t it feel like that? But I don’t doubt your statistics!

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  ’78 to ’96. I was four when they won the first one. I was 22 when they won the next one. Think about how many years, as a fan, I went through without a championship. My entire childhood.

                  Yet people complain now as if what’s happening to the franchise is sacrilege and glorify those days.

          • Dos Luises

            One of my favorite George is a Boob memories regarding “applying pressure” and the nonsense that said pressure will push Ballplayers to succeed happened with Dave Righetti (nobody could blow a save like Rags.) He was coming off of a really good 1981 Rookie of the Year campaign and in 1982 March Spring Training, one of his first meaningless appearances where he got shelled, The boss fumed with a “He better not have one of those sophomore slumps” rants of utter and complete BS. It was then that I realized what an idiot he was.

            • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

              And that’s not even taking the whole “turn a pretty good young starter into a closer because we let the veteran free agent walk” bungled decision into account.

              • Dos Luises

                Yeah, this was before that. Remember the pun? Yankee bullpen went from “Riches to Rags”…

                • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

                  No, I was only about 4 at that time.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                There was also thinking guys like this one below me would suddenly turn into top flight pitchers because they wore the pinstripes in lieu of actually finding good pitchers.

                • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

                  And to think he was the best of the bunch that they rolled out in those years.

                  • Jorge Steinbrenner

                    Who needed Doug Drabek, really?

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          And it led to eighteen years without a championship. I’m glad he made you feel warm, fuzzy, and coddled, though.

        • CarlosRodriguezNeuf

          AGREED!

        • Kevin Wrong

          Stevie part of the problem is people think Cashman was the reason they had a dynasty… He wasnt, he basicaly did nothing to build those teams and Cashman was a puppet until 2004 when he was finally given power by George to make personel moves…..

        • YakaTanaka

          LOL

    • Thomas

      They needed a catcher and he was only a few that were out there. I am glad they didn’t resign Granderson.

      • Stevie Sacs

        Yeah and McCann does a great job with the pitchers. You can’t deny him that. But maybe you spend less and get a nice vet backup type of catcher and give one of the youngsters a chance. Or even Cervelli. Cervelli’s biggest problem is health. He’s pretty decent.

        • YakaTanaka

          They let Cervelli earn the starting C job literally last season. He proceeded to miss almost the entire season, which was part of a larger trend.

          McCann is having a bad offensive year, but he was and probably still is one of the best offensive Cs in all of baseball.

      • Paul San Filippo

        The reason they needed a catcher was because they let Martin leave because they were trying to get under $189m but then they never did that and instead were forced to overpay for McCann

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          And they let Posada retire and Mike Stanley and Matt Nokes and if they only let Butch Wynegar not age.

    • YakaTanaka

      Caring and overreacting flamboyantly aren’t the same thing. He was a good owner overall, but the Yankees often won in spite of George. That was increasingly the case as other teams started spending money over his tenure, and would probably really be the case in today’s game.

      A GM isn’t judged just on small sample results, but on process and if a larger sample of results is available than that as well. They were very defensible moves at the time and may look a lot better this time next year.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        They were so entertained with the hirings and firings, they didn’t notice when the season ended every year, I guess.

  • Posada_20

    If not Melky, how bout Colby Rasmus? Has speed, power and is a very good outfielder

    • Rick

      Who’s the real Colby though? The one that sucks this year, or the one that was a near 5 win player last year?

    • Kevin Wrong

      Our outfield next season is already set — Gardner-Ellsbury-Beltran

      • Bigdan

        I think this is the correct assumption. The issues for the Yanks in the offseason will likely be Lester, Drob and SS in that order.

    • 86w183

      Melky is a far better offensive player than Rasmus, and with Gardner and Ellsbury in the OF, the priority on the 3rd OF should be offense. If A-Rod returns he and Beltran will both need significant time at DH, but both will also need to help the team with some significant time on the field defensively too.

      • Stevie Sacs

        Sign Melky but watch the years, he’s 30 already. Trade Gardner. Gardner is having a really nice season so Yankees might be able to sell high. I’d actually rather save money and Trade Elsbury of those two but I think it will be tougher to trade Elsbury because of his price tag. But hey maybe we can find a sucker. He has been fairly healthy this season…

        • OldYanksFan

          And who do you replace Gardner with? He is actually one of our best contracts.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          In a rebuild, do you know who you trade? BOTH.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      It’s been quite the drop-off for him. Avoid.

  • Hankflorida

    Right now, the Yankees have to zero on to the 2nd Wildcard. The problem is will the starting pitching hold up and that includes the enigma of Pineda. We cannot expect this team to start to produce runs as what you see is what you got. The question is will McCarthy and Greene continue to put zeros on the board or will the league catch up with them.

    • runninonempty

      I think they have to zero in on the future. They are so lucky to be where they are with their minus runs vs runs scored and that luck will not continue. Seattle and Kansas city are much better teams and Detroit and Toronto are getting players back and still ahead of them as well. I don’t see how they climb past these teams with what they put on the field every day. Everyone can kid themselves, but this team is counting out the calendar, if not all of them, at least Tex and a few others. Just read Tex’s comments in any of the articles Daily news or Post.. he has given up and there is just no fire on this team. And sadly, it is accepted all the way up the ladder.

      • Stevie Sacs

        I give Girardi (especially Girardi) and the team itself a lot of credit for hanging in tough. But let’s be frank this is a poorly constructed team that is not very good. Yanks should blow it up IMO.

        • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

          How would you blow it up? Realistically, mind you.

          • Stevie Sacs

            Basically have to try to trade all their big money guys. Yanks would have to swallow some money but would flush minors with talent. Yanks need more major league ready guys. They would probably be real bad for a year or two. I’m willing to put up with it.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              That’s not blowing it up. That’s trading away the guys you don’t like. It doesn’t work that way. The big money guys are also worth a bit less than you think they are.

              Every old argument is new again.

              • Stevie Sacs

                Get what you can for them.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  That might actually put the franchise in much, much worse shape than it currently is.

                  • Stevie Sacs

                    Prob not if you have the right people there who know how to build up the minors and make good trades. Is Cashman that guy? I’m not so sure…

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      Steve, where is this taking us? If they only traded the right guys and if they only had the right pepole to know how to trade those guys and if only they served a different flavor soft-serve at the concessions. Can we ground ourselves in what is actually in front of us here?

                    • Stevie Sacs

                      Yanks minor league system is not good enough. Your not going to blame that on the people in charge? The Yanks need to adapt and perhaps that means letting a few people go. Signing overpaid older guys is not going to win a championship.

                    • WhittakerWalt

                      It did in 2009, when we signed all the guys you hate now.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      Blaming the GM, the team president, etc. Do you think only we do this? It’s the battle cry of the somewhat-more-than-casual fan of any under-achieving team.

                      But we’re actually over-achieving.

                      Is it 5:00 PM yet?

                    • Stevie Sacs

                      I agree that we are overachieving. It is deluding people. This is a mediocre team.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      Another misdirection play.

                    • OldYanksFan

                      Would we be ‘mediocre’ if Nova, Pineda and Tanaka were still pitching? What about if McCann and Beltran were just having ‘average’ years? With an uninjured team… while not great, certainly competitive in the AL East.
                      Teams that Win USUALLY don’t have major injuries and middle-of-the-order guys having down years.

                    • runninonempty

                      what you just said is crazy. If I were 6’10 I could have been a basketball player. What the heck does IF have anything to do with anything? Successful teams win and do not make excuses about injuries and I can guarantee you many of the world series Yankee teams had injuries.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      They lost 4/5 of their starting rotation…..and are still several games over .500. This is far beyond “they lost a couple of inessential guys.” COME ON NOW.

                    • BKamm

                      Is 4 games, “several games?” I’ve always thought of 4 as a “few”. Like in “I have 4 dollars.”

                  • runninonempty

                    The franchise is currently in pretty bad shape- I am not counting the few bright spots- Severino, Judge, etc, down on the farm, but what is on the field and what is committed to for the next few years. That is pretty bad. If you were starting a new team, how many current Yankees would you put on it? That should answer the question as to the state the franchise is in. And that should be a great question to put to Cashman or anyone else above him. What do you think about that?

            • Too_Many_Idiots

              You mean what the Phillies tried to do, but were told “no thanks” by everyone?

              CC, Arod? No team will touch those contracts. If Tex is as bad as everyone claims, why would another team want him? Getting rid of the big money guys also means dumping Tanaka. Blowing it up is much easier said than done.

              • Stevie Sacs

                Not Tanaka, lol.

                • Too_Many_Idiots

                  But you said trade all of their big money guys. That includes CC, Tex, Arod, Tanaka, and Ellsbury.

                  • Stevie Sacs

                    I said try to trade all their big money guys. I think most fans know who I am referring to. Considering how well Tanaka pitched this season before he got hurt some might even argue he is underpaid.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  But you absolutely look into trading Tanaka in a true re-build. Pre-injury Tanaka might have gotten you the entire San Diego Padres.

                  You don’t want to rebuild. That’s fine. You don’t have to want to. Just don’t call what you want a rebuild. You want a Boston-style “Get Out of Jail Free” card.

            • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

              See, but that’s not realistic. They weren’t willing to trade Kevin Brown and pay most of his salary for just one year. So I doubt there’s much of any chance they’d trade off guys like Beltran, Ellsbury, McCann, etc., and eat most of the money owed to them in order to get some halfway decent prospects.

              • CurseOfTheLucchino

                No GM / owner in their right mind would touch Ellsbury McCann or Beltran for the type of money they have guaranteed.

                The Yanks aren’t blowing up anything, they just need to spend more money until the farm can get back on track

  • YankeeBill

    Excellent thoughts, all. I think they have to give McCann another shot in 2015 to see if this was just a one year adjustment blip. Beltran is only now recovering from that horrible fall he took in Tampa and is worth giving another chance in 2015. Problem with signing Melky is that you have to find places for Rodriguez and Beltran. If you sign Melky, then you don’t sign Headley because A-Rod would be at 3B and Beltran would have to be the DH. I’d rather have Headley at 3B, A-Rod at DH and Beltran (assuming the elbow surgery is successful) in RF. Prado becomes a one man utility squad, accompanied on the bench by Ryan, a catcher and a lefty hitter with some pop off the bench. Sign either Drew or Hardy for two years to be your SS. Stick Refsnyder at 2B. Stay far away from Hanley and the Panda. Re-sign McCarthy and go to war next year with a rotation (in April) of Tanaka, Pineda, McCarthy, Greene and Sabathia. Nova should be ready around June and you might have a couple of more arms (Banuelos?) ready to step in if Tanaka indeed has surgery. And in 2016 we might very well see the likes of Bird, Judge and Jagielo. The future isn’t all that bleak.

    • Kevin Wrong

      Bill actually we know doubt have some young talent on the horizon and u left out one of the biggest in Severino and another in Refsnyder.
      Also 2 very good looking lefty bullpen arms in Lindren and webb.
      I however would not sign McCarthy….He has been injury prone and i wouldnt trust him..
      The Yankees need another front line pitcher and we are not guarenteed of anything with Tanaka next season and since Lester would not cost a draft pick to sign i would go all out to get Lester…If Tanaka is back then that 1-2 punch would be fantastic at the top of the rotation…

  • AskMeAboutMyCandyBars

    I wish the Yankees would stop putzing around with Rich Hill

    Mike, have you taken up studying Yiddish in your spare time?

    • Kevin Wrong

      I agree i want to see Webb or Lindgren instead…..What candy bars are your favorites

      • AskMeAboutMyCandyBars

        Caramello, Chunky, Sky Bar, 3 Musketeers, Milky Way.

        • Bret The Hitman

          LOL. Your avatar is Aurora Snow, the esteemed actress. Is this (selling candy bars) what adult film stars do when they retire? Does it fill the void left when your application to the Girl Scouts was denied?

          • AskMeAboutMyCandyBars

            Good eye (recognizing Aurora). To the best of my knowledge, she has no involvement with selling candy bars. I wrote for an adult blog for many years, and found Aurora to be one of the nicest people in the business.

            • Mick

              So the candy bar theme is not dedicated to a fellow blogger?

              • AskMeAboutMyCandyBars

                Of course the candy bar theme is dedicated to a fellow blogger. Or more accurately, the blogger reactions to the proposed candy bar contest prizes.

                • Mick

                  Are you who I think you are?

                  • AskMeAboutMyCandyBars

                    A little difficult to answer unless you give me some clue. But if you’re thinking someone from LoHud, then no.

                • RhapsodyInBlue

                  Most of us would like to ask you to get lost. Your entire shtick is stupid, It wasn’t even good for a laugh the first time out. Maybe if you were somewhat clever with a sense of humor you could have pulled it off. You lack both.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Hold that for a second. You wrote for what? Our Cool Lester Smooth sort of worked in porn?

              • AskMeAboutMyCandyBars

                Nah, I wouldn’t characterize it as working in porn. Just wrote (freelanced) for a blog which was part of an adult DVD site.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  What can I say. I like the “short, but not that short” type. This is exactly why I went and married someone taller than me.

                  • AskMeAboutMyCandyBars

                    I’m with you in the short but not too short camp. I’ll assume Bridget the Midget is too short for us?

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      If she’s called “The Midget.” Yes. I don’t think I want to know who she is, now knowing your history.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I have them all. Please post your social security number.

        • RhapsodyInBlue

          Is this an open thread numb nuts?

    • RhapsodyInBlue

      Have you considered a joke writer? How about some new material?

  • MG

    I am always amazed by the posts that first want the Yankees to get rid of their players with big contracts and the sign Jon Lester to a high priced contract. You can’t predict that any high priced FA will earn their money over the full contract and most of the evidence suggests they don’t. If you want the Yankees to build a strong team on a long term basis you can’t support signing another guy like Lester, it’s enough already…

    • YakaTanaka

      You have a point about the contradictory nature of many comments, but the leap you made to not being able to support a Lester signing if you want the Yankees to win long-term just defies logic.

      • MG

        Out of context, the comment is directed at those who want the Yankees to rebuild by getting rid of big contracts, why would those people want Lester signed?

        • Stevie Sacs

          I’m in the rebuild camp and I wouldn’t mind Lester if it’s a short reasonable contract.

          • MG

            he will probably get 6 years, $120M+, how about that?

            • dkidd

              that seems like a bargain

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              He may get more.

            • Stevie Sacs

              I thought Lester was a little older. He’s only 30 so I’m sure he’s looking for both years and money. So then no I definitely don’t want the Yanks to do that.

              • YakaTanaka

                Not all big contracts will be bad deals.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            But we both know it’s not going to be either short or reasonable.

          • CurseOfTheLucchino

            Lester goes back to Boston if it’s a short reasonable contract, it’s gonna take a long unreasonable one to ink him…

        • YakaTanaka

          Not sure if I fall into that camp or not, but I’ll tell you what I think…

          Not all big contracts work out the same way. You can want them to get rid of the ones that haven’t worked out (rightly or wrongly) and at the same time you can want them to sign new ones you think will work out (again, rightly or wrongly… and you’ll be wrong a decent % of the time in both cases).

          There doesn’t need to be an all-big contracts or no-big contracts approach. They can mix and match, and you hope that they’re right more than wrong. Sometimes you go 3/3 (at least in the short-term) and win the 2009 WS… sometimes you go maybe a combined 1.5 or 2/4 in the short-term and risk missing the 2014 playoffs. Usually it will be in between.

    • Kevin Wrong

      MG the yankees already have too many long term committments to go the other way so at this stage its add and hope to develop talent in the system to replace players like Teix,Beltran,Arod, and CC when there contracts are done in 2 or 3 years but you dont stop signing any big contracts in the mean time…..They have already committed long term to Ellsbury,McCann and Tanaka

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Then again, that isn’t too far removed from what the Red Sox are trying to tell us their strategy is right now. Shed to spend again.

      • Pete22

        The Red Sox have missed the playoffs (including 2014) 4 of 5 years, which included 2 last place finishes. Pretty much everyone on that team exceeded prohjections by a wide margin
        and have regressed this year. Their kids (prospects) did not play much
        of a role in 2013 and have failed dismally in 2014 . Is this really the model the Yankees want to follow?

        The playoffs are a crap shoot, the best team does not always win, its all about how hot you are as a team at the end and the quality of the opposition. Red Sox lucked out in playing a Tigers team where Miggie was hurt and ineffective and then play an NL team with no power to win it all.

        I would rather have a team that is competitive every year and is reluctant to throw in the towel. The Yankees, despite the relative lack of post season success in recent years, have made the playoffs every year in the 21st century except for 2 years (Red Sox have missed out 7 years). Obviously, if they miss out this year that’s 3 years, and the first time in 20 years they missed out on the playoffs 2 years in a row.

  • Bill O.

    While I’d like to add an impact bat this offseason I think the Yankees need to avoid any long term deals (anything over 3 years) and should also aim to not have to surrender their first round pick. Additionally given the lack of supply of big time hitters you have to think that guys like Melky, Sandoval, and Hanley are all going to cost more than typical market rates.

    The exceptions to the long term deals would be any international free agents that are younger. So guys like Castillo for 2B, Tomas for RF make a ton of sense for the direction this team needs to go (i.e. getting younger and paying for future performance not past).

    I think the Yankees should target several guys on shorter term deals. Specifically I look at guys like Headley, Drew, Lowrie in the infield. I like Hardy too, but he’ll probably get a bit more. Then for pitching McCarthy, Jorge De La Rosa, Francisco Liriano, and Brett Anderson all could be good fits on the right contract.

  • Pete22

    The thing about McCann and his future projections is look at his body. He obviously does not spend much time in the gym. Such players fall off a cliff fast offensively, especially those playing a demanding physical position like catcher. There were gripes in Atlanta about his physical conditioning.

    Also, his 2014 season is hardly unique, he had a similar season in 2012 and rebounded in a contract year in 2013. Beware the contract year

    Speaking of the contract year brings you to Lester. Before 2014, he had 3 every uneven seasons. 2011 when he and his teammates fell off a cliff in September in one of the greatest regular season chokes of the past 100 years (alas, Yankees hold the honors for playoff cokes). In 2012 he was not even league average, putting up a season much like CC did in 2013. In 2013 he had a 4.5 ERA up to the 1st week of August, and there was talk of not picking up his option in Boston, at which point he turned it on and was very good.

    Now in 2014 he is good for full year, so far, in a contract year. Playing for a division leader in Oakland and still talking about returning to Boston. Must be that chicken and beer addiction although I never knew Boston is known for its great chicken, or beer.

    Stay away from Lester folks..

  • Pete22

    On the subject of 2015 free agency. How about Colby Rasmus? Only 28 with a bit of a down year due to injuries but his bats made for YS. Gardners trade value has to be sky high and maybe he can land a cost controlled pitcher in a package with a couple of top prospects who are in blocked positions (eg C and maybe 2B if they plan on Prado at 2B)..

    In an ideal world, I keep the prospects and Gardner, but with Hals budget, money is tight for player acquisitions with Arod coming back on the books.

    Can’t see Melky in pinstripes again due to his PED suspension and the Yankees desire to move away from that image (which is why I think Arod will never play another game for the Yankees, even if they have to pay him ). Giving long term deals to Hanley or Sandoval would be foolishly throwing away money. Steep decline curve in the future for both.

  • Jarrah

    Thinking about free agency, someone that has not been mentioned yet is Michael Morse. I think he’d be a perfect fit for the Yankees. He can play RF but also spell Tex at 1B. Hits for power, .274/.328/.463 slash line. We need a power bat in the outfield with Ells & Gardy. Think Morse would be as good a candidate as anyone in baseball.

    There is no 2B option in free agency AT ALL. You have to keep Prado on for that exact reason or go after Refsnyder. Asdrubal Cabrera could be worth a look for short or 2B, but that’d be the Stephen Drew experiment take 2.