The Jets are playing the Packers (1pm ET) while the Giants have their bye week. Talk about all of the gridiron action here.
I might be in the minority on this one but I’d trade Hughes for Brian Matusz. He’s lefty, younger than Hughes and just put up a very good season as a rookie. A year younger than Hughes, he outperformed Hughes in both bWAR and fWAR. I’m on the fence on Matt Wieters but will say no for now. He hasn’t been Johnny Bench reincarnated as many had predicted, but he’s been decent his first two years in the league and should still develop into a solid player. He’s not a sure thing though, so I’d stick with Hughes. Would the Orioles trade Matusz for Hughes? No. Would they trade Wieters for Hughes? I don’t think so, they have some solid young pitchers and Wieters probably fills a bigger need.
Boston Red Sox
Jon Lester is a no brainer. I’d lean towards no on Clay Buchholz, but the argument certainly could be made. Dustin Pedroia would likely be a yes if the Yankees didn’t already have the best second baseman in the AL. You could also make an argument for Kevin Youkilis, but he’s on the wrong side of 30, isn’t very durable, and wouldn’t fit a need for the Yankees. Would the Sox trade Lester for Hughes? No.
Chicago White Sox
John Danks is just a year older than Hughes but has 3 seasons better than Hughes’ 2010. This is a close one, but since Danks is lefthanded, I would make the trade. It’s pretty close and I’d consider that the tiebreaker, especially in Yankee Stadium. Would the White Sox trade Danks for Hughes? Doubtful.
Shin-Soo Choo, like his Ohio counterpart Jay Bruce would be too good to pass up, despite a lack of glaring need. Since getting a chance in 2008, Choo has been a beast, putting up a 144 OPS+ with wOBA’s of .402, .389, and .388 the past three years. You could sway me on Carlos Santana, but coming off a pretty nasty leg injury and duplicating what Montero might bring (if you think he’s sticking at catcher), I don’t think I’d make this trade if I’m the Yankees. Would the Indians trade Choo for Hughes? I think they probably would as Choo will soon get expensive in arbitration.
Despite a lack of a need and a big contract, Miguel Cabrera would be a no-brainer. Justin Verlander would also be no-brainer. Would Detroit trade either of these two for Hughes? No.
Kansas City Royals
Zack Greinke is a no brainer. I would not trade Hughes for Joakim Soria though. Some people would, I wouldn’t. As a starter expect Hughes to provide more value going forward for less money. Would the Royals trade Greinke for Hughes. No. Would they trade Soria for Hughes? They should if that offer came across their table, but being the Royals they likely wouldn’t.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
I’m pretty torn on both Dan Haren and Jered Weaver (primary for financial reasons) but I think I’d pull the trigger on Weaver but not on Haren. Weaver is younger and cheaper than Haren and is coming off an outstanding 2010 season. Would the Angels trade Weaver for Hughes? No. Would they trade Haren for Hughes? Yes.
Joe Mauer and Francisco Liriano are easy ones. You could argue Justin Morneau but I think I’d keep Hughes. Would the Twins trade Mauer or Liriano for Hughes? No.
Brett Anderson? Yes. Trevor Cahill? No. Would the A’s trade Anderson for Hughes? No.
King Felix. Enough said. Would the Mariners do it? Of course not.
Tampa Bay Rays
David Price is easy as is Evan Longoria (would love to have that contract). That’s probably it from the Rays. The Rays would not trade either of them for Hughes.
If Cliff Lee had a contract I would trade Hughes for him. Since he’s a soon to be free agent I wouldn’t, and hypothetically if you could have gotten Lee for Hughes in July, I don’t make the trade. Josh Hamilton is a yes. You could argue Neftali Feliz if you thought you could put him back in the rotation and then be better than Hughes, but I’m not willing to go out on that limb. The Rangers wouldn’t trade Hamilton for Hughes.
Toronto Blue Jays
I’m not the biggest Ricky Romero fan but as a lefty I’d consider this trade but in the end I’d stick with Hughes. Brandon Morrow has (ridiculous) upside and came on strong last year but is still volatile. Hughes to me is more of a sure thing going forward, but Morrow could be better if everything goes well. I’d stick with Hughes.
With my 25 guys in the NL and 15 in the AL I have 40 players in the majors now I would trade Hughes for. How about you?
The first two games have been pretty awesome in a “haha the Texas bullpen sucks so bad it’s hilarious … hey where’s Neftali?” kinda way, but I want to see all seven games dammit. The Rangers need to straighten themselves out and starting winning some games to make this one interesting. A sweep would be the most boring and anti-climatic thing in the history of things. With any luck Colby Lewis will treat the Giants like he treated the Yankees and the bats will wake up against Jonathan Sanchez.We can only hope.
Anyway, here’s your thread for the game and the night. The Knicks and all of the hockey locals are playing as well, and there’s a zillion college football games on well. Plenty to talk about, so take your pick and do it here.
Chad Jennings passed along a lengthy, but certainly interesting quote today that Brian Cashman delivered during yesterday’s conference call. I suggest clicking the link and reading the whole thing, but here’s the money line: “I would like to always get younger and better. That’s the double-edged sword. I don’t want to get younger and worse. I want to get younger, but while doing so, remain championship caliber. I think that’s what we’ve been trying to accomplish the last few years. I think we’ve done a good job. At the same time, if we have older players who can still do it for us, I don’t have any problem whatsoever in retaining older players who perform at a high level.”
The Yankees have been able to do that to a certain degree over the last three years, most notably by replacing players like Bobby Abreu, Johnny Damon, and Hideki Matsui with Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner, and Curtis Granderson. They’ve also successfully incorporated Phil Hughes into the rotation and a host of young arms into the bullpen. It’s easy to get younger, but getting younger while remaining competitive can be tricky. The Yanks have done a nice job with that the last few years, but it’s a never-ending cycle.
We missed one little detail in yesterday’s conference call notes, but Pete Caldera saves the day: Brian Cashman said he would like to add another lefthanded reliever this winter. Boone Logan will again be the primary LOOGY next year with Damaso Marte out until after the All Star break, and Royce Ring didn’t exactly impress in his late season cameo.
Looking at the list of free agents, I’d cross guys like Brian Fuentes, Pedro Feliciano, Arthur Rhodes, and Scott Downs off the list. They’ll want too much money (and some are Type-A free agents) for a role designed to throw about about three percent of the team’s total innings next year . More than likely they’ll look at someone from the Joe Beimel/Randy Choate/Dennys Reyes/Will Ohman group. Cheap, short-term commitment, just as likely to be effective (or suck).
Mark Feinsand asked on Twitter last night if there were 5 players in baseball that you would trade Phil Hughes for. Immediately the obvious answer was yes. He later followed up adding that you have to include cost, age and success in New York. He then said there are less than 20 players in the majors he would consider trading Hughes for. Off the top of my head this still seemed low, so I figured I’d scan the rosters and check it out. I’m looking at this from the Yankees perspective, not in a vacuum. Without dipping into the minor leagues as I am not a prospect expert, are there 20 (or more) guys on MLB rosters that I would trade for taking everything into consideration? Today I will address the National League, come back tomorrow for the American League.
Justin Upton is the only guy here I would trade Hughes for. While 2010 was a disappointing season for him, a 22 year old with a 111 OPS+ and 3.8 bWAR in a down season is a great commodity. Would the D-Backs trade Upton for Hughes? No.
Jason Heyward is an absolute no-brainer. I’d also go with Brian McCann, who is probably 90% of Joe Mauer at a much lower cost. While the Yankees are stacked in the catching department, if you could trade Hughes for McCann you would, then you could flip Montero in a deal to bring back your Hughes replacement. Would the Braves make either of these trades? No.
If the Yankees were ready to move Derek Jeter off of SS, or if Jeter was ready to move off SS himself, I’d trade Hughes for Starlin Castro. Considering the situation the Yankees are in it’s not a move I would make now, but young shortstops of Castro’s caliber are harder to find than pitching. Would the Cubs trade Castro for Hughes? No.
Joey Votto is a no brainer. He’s the kind of guy you’d make a spot for. Jay Bruce is just 23 years old with 68 career HR’s and is coming off a 127 OPS+, 5.3 fWAR and 4.3 bWAR season. He doesn’t fill a need with the strong Yankees outfield, but I think I’d make this trade and deal from the surplus. Would the Reds trade Votto or Bruce for Hughes? No and possibly.
Regardless of Jeter’s situation, if you could trade Hughes for Troy Tulowitzki you do that in a heartbeat. Ubaldo Jimenez would be another easy one. You could make the argument for Carlos Gonzalez but his road splits are a huge concern. Would the Rockies trade any of these three for Hughes? No.
Hanley Ramirez, like Tulo would be too good to pass up regardless of Jeter’s situation. Josh Johnson is another no-brainer. Mike Stanton would also be too good to pass up. Would the Marlins trade any of these three for Hughes? No.
None. The Astros are a mess.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw is a definite yes. You could argue for Andre Ethier and bringing his left handed bat to Yankee Stadium but he’s older than you may think (29 in April) and getting expensive. If you believe in upside you might consider Matt Kemp, but Kershaw is the only sure thing for me. Would the Dodgers trade Kershaw for Hughes? No.
Yovani Gallardo and Ryan Braun are definites for me. I wouldn’t want to bring Prince Fielder in, pay him a bunch of money, then tell him all he has to do is hit. That’s got problem written all over it.
New York Mets
I’d probably trade Hughes for David Wright and move A-Rod to DH full time but I could be easily talked out of it. I don’t think the Mets would make the trade though.
I’d take both Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels for Hughes. If the Yankees didn’t already have Cano I’d think about Utley though he’ll be 32 next year and expensive. The Phillies would not trade any of them for Hughes.
I’d consider Andrew McCutchen but I think I’d stick with Hughes. The Pirates would not make the trade however.
San Diego Padres
Adrian Gonzalez is another guy you make room for. As awesome as Mat Latos was, would I pull the trigger on a trade for Hughes? I don’t think I would (but I’d probably be wrong). Pitchers coming from the NL is always dangerous. Coming from the Padres and Petco only adds to that uncertainty. Would the Padres trade Gonzalez or Latos for Hughes? No.
San Francisco Giants
Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Buster Posey are no brainers. An argument could be made for Madison Bumgarner but I’d stick with Hughes.
St. Louis Cardinals
Albert Pujols wouldn’t fill a need and is about to get very expensive, but he’s Albert Pujols so of course I’d make the trade. Adam Wainwright and Colby Rasmus would both make the cut as well, Rasmus would force another trade from the crowded outfield but it would be worth it. Would the Cardinals trade Pujols or Wainwright for Hughes? No. Would they trade Rasmus for Hughes? I doubt it, unless Larussa really hates him and has enough pull to ship him out.
Even thought the need isn’t great, Ryan Zimmerman is and I’d trade Hughes for him. I’d also trade Hughes for Strasburg but with an eye beyond 2011 and taking a huge risk. I think the risk would be worth it as Strasburg truly has a chance to be a once in a generation type of pitcher. It’s certainly a big risk/reward situation. The Natinals would not trade either of them for Hughes.
So there we have it, I count 25 National Leaguers I would trade Hughes for if the situation presented itself. How about you? Be sure to check back tomorrow for my take on the American League.
Baseball America had a nice little puff piece about Graham Stoneburner today, but you need a subscription to read it. The only thing you really need to know is that VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman called him “Jake Westbrook with a little more power … he has that kind of sink on his fastball.” Stoneburner posted a 2.73 FIP in 142 IP in A-Ball this year, though Newman did admit that there’s been “debate internally about him being a starter or being in the pen.” It’s all about the changeup, if he improves it, he’ll start.
Meanwhile, check out these pics of Stoneburner courtesy of Andy in Sunny Daytona.
AzFL Phoenix Desert Dogs (11-4 loss to Peoria)
Jose Pirela, 2B: 0 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K
Austin Romine, C: 0 for 4, 1 K, 1 PB – six for his last 32 (.188)
Brandon Laird, LF: 0 for 4, 1 K – four walks in 13 games is the same number he had in 31 games with Triple-A Scranton this year
George Kontos: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 0 K, 2-0 GB/FB – just 17 of 37 pitches were strikes (45.9%) … that’s Sarah Jessica Parker ugly
I’m don’t know how in the world I missed this, but apparently a game had to called early the other day because Desert Dogs manager Don Mattingly ran out of pitchers in the eighth inning. They’re not going to push any of the pitchers in a developmental league, and this doesn’t tell you anything about Donnie’s managerial ability, but it’s just funny. Could you imagine if he had just been named the next manager of the Yanks (with zero experience, no less) and this happened? The MSM would have a field day.