From the Globe:
Admit it, now that the World Series trophy has paraded through every Middlesex village and farm. You are starting to feel a little sorry for them. The New York Yankees, I mean.
Truth be told, they are pathetic. Their greatest current player, Me-Rod, is stinking up the sport, baying for lucre that he doesn’t need. Their Murderers’ Row of pitching aces is headed for the glue factory. Mussina, Pettitte, Clemens, Rivera – stick a fork in ‘em. They’re done…
I’m not sure I’ve ever felt this sorry for anyone in my life.
Alex Beam, whoever the hell you are, you can go fuck yourself. We don’t want your pity, nor do we need it. But keep talkin’ the big boy talk, it’ll be that much more fun watching you hit the pavement.
Nothing like a humble champ, right? · (29) ·
AzFL Peoria (5-3 win over Surprise)
Brett Gardner: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 K
Juan Miranda: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI – tied for the league lead with 5 homers, second with 17 steaks
Steven “don’t call me” White: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K – someone out there has to get that reference…
HWB Honolulu (2-2 tie with Waikiki)
Austin Jackson: 1 for 4, 1 K – thrown out at third
Anthony Claggett: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K – lefties are hitting .448 off him, righties .225
FYI – the Guess the PED Users game is kaput. It turns out the report claiming that 11 free agents will be named PED users in the Mitchell Report was inaccurate. Good thing I didn’t spend too much thinking up a prize.
I recently sat down and exchanged emails with Chad Jennings, author of the brilliant Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees blog. Chad’s site is one of the truly great baseball blogs on the internet, and his analysis is always insightful, accurate and entertaining. If you haven’t already bookmarked his site, well, what are you waiting for?
I asked Chad a bunch of questions about the Yanks’ minor league system, and he was kind enough to reply, in record time no less. Let’s get to it…
Prior to the Yanks coming to town, the Phillies occupied the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market. With all due respect to the Phillies organization, they aren’t the Yankees and the buzz just isn’t the same. How different were things around the team this year with the Yanks compared to years past with the Phightin’s?
Pinstripes Plus is reporting that Mark Melancon has returned to game action at Dominican Instructional League, and topped out at 92 in his first appearance.
AzFL Peoria (5-2 loss to Surprise)
Brett Gardner: 0 for 3, 2 BB, 2 K – 6 for his last 27 after going 6 for his previous 9
Juan Miranda: 0 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K
Steven Jackson: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K – one of the walks was intentional, not that it makes a difference
Peoria manager (and Double-A Trenton coach) Tony Franklin was tossed for arguing a call on the bases in the 9th.
HWB Honolulu (6-1 loss to Waikiki)
Austin Jackson: 0 for 3, 1 BB, 2 K – 17 for his 30 hits have gone for extra bases
Bradley Suttle: 0 for 4, 2 K - 1 for his last 22
George Kontos: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 5-1 GB/FB – 39 K in 29 IP
Be sure to play our “Guess the PED users” game!
Mark Feinsand gives us a quick update on Mo and Posada. I found something particularly interesting:
Mariano Rivera also figures to test the market, as teams can begin talking money with all free agents on Tuesday. But unlike Posada, Rivera has sat down face-to-face with the Yankees, as the two sides expressed a mutual desire to continue their relationship. The Yankees have offered Rivera a three-year deal worth $40 million, which is in the closer’s ballpark.
If another club comes within $5 million of that offer, I’ll be shocked. Three years and $40 million? I think it’s kind of insulting that Mo hasn’t already accepted. No other team is going to pay $13.3 million per season for a 38-year-old closer who would be 41 at the end of the deal. Unless they’re run by lunatics and think that Mo’s 70 innings are going to get them over the hump.
Free agency officially begins on Tuesday, and in all likelihood Jorge Posada will remain unsigned at that point. The Yankees have made what amounts to a very generous offer for a catcher entering his age-36 season: three years and around $40 million.
However, we’re seeing a unique trend from Jorge. While it appeared in 2005 that he was entering his decline phase (he posted his lowest OBP and SLG since 1999), he has surged over the past two years, and miraculously posted the best season of his career in 2007.
Unsurprisingly, Jorge has all but rejected the Yankees offer. He claims he’s “more determined than ever to test the market,” and the market will likely bear a four-year bidder in the $50 to $55 million range. The Mets are likely to make such a bid, which puts the Yankees in an uncomfortable position.
We’ve discussed it many times, but with the market opening up in a couple of days it seems appropriate to discuss again. Do you up your three-year, $40 million offer to match or exceed a four-year, say $53 million deal?
I’d say yes, but under a few conditions, the paramount of which being that if Jorge doesn’t produce in the later two years of the contract, he sits. My main fear regarding Jorge is that he’ll finally enter his decline years and drop off dramatically. It doesn’t seem likely that this will come in the next two years, but with a catcher you never know. It’s tough to sit your $15 million annual investment on the bench, but if they can do it with Jason Giambi, they should do it with Jorge.
In that scenario, you’d be essentially paying him $50-some-odd million for two years of work. It sounds absurd, but it’s not like the Yankees are paupers. They have the money, and they might as well use it to keep Jorge around while we wait for Jesus Montero and Austin Romine to develop.
However, if his contract is going to keep him in games whether he produces or not, I can’t advocate a fourth year. A third is enough of a gamble. How many catchers do you know who produced at high level at this age? I can think of one off the top of my head: Carlton Fisk. But we’re talking a Hall of Famer here, and while Jorge has been excellent, he’s a member of a far less exclusive club: The Hall of Very Good.
But hey, Fisk did put up a line of .285/.378/.451 in 452 at bats as a 42-year-old. So it can happen. I’m just not sure I’m willing to bet $50 million on it.
In other news, the sun will rise in the east and set in the west; water is wet; and grass is green. Seriously though, Tyler Kepner reports that the Yanks could land Johan Santana without trading Phil, Joba or Ian. The market for Santana should develop before the owners’ meetings next month. Once the Twins realize they can’t afford him, the frenzy will begin. The plot thickens. · (9) ·
It turns out that 11 current free agents will be named PED users when the Mitchell Report goes public in a few weeks. While that’s bad news for the players, it’s good news for RAB readers. Here’s the rules: try and guess the players who will be named, and whoever gets the most correct wins. Simple enough.
The prize? Well, I’m not sure yet, but we’ll dig something cool up. As a default for now, I’ll write a Prospect Profile for any minor leaguer (Yankee farmhand or not) the winner chooses. I’ll keep you updated on the good prize in the coming days. If there’s a tie…eh, we’ll figure it out.
Remember, Jose Guillen’s already been named, so the list is down to ten. You can find a full list of free agents here. Leave your guesses in the comments, mine are after below (RAB staff, as well as family and friends of RAB staff are ineligilbe to win; only your first entry will be considered)
Barry Bonds, Milton Bradley, Luis Gonzalez, Shawn Green, Jorge Julio, Ryan Klesko, Paul LoDuca, Eric Milton, Steve Trachsel and Jeff Weaver
Joe Torre is going to write a book about his 12 years managing the Yankees. Not included in this tell-all memoir will be chapters concerning Jeff Weaver and the 2003 World Series, Kenny Lofton’s role keeping the bench warm during the last four games of the 2004 ALCS, the decision to not bunt against Curt Schilling or an epilogue by Brian Cashman on why, when you stop to think about it, Torre’s time in the Bronx should have been up three years ago. · (8) ·
It’s a rumor that Buster Olney reports on his blog today:
In other words, a lot of conversations that go along these lines: This is how I see a deal working for me, and this is how I see it working for you. It is within this vein that the Padres and Yankees talked briefly about a possible deal that almost certainly won’t happen (Jake Peavy for Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera), and it’s within this vein that teams are now openly shopping their best and youngest pitchers.
My Hughesian bias says no to this one, but it’s tough to sneeze at the likely NL Cy Young winner. However, Mike has a different take:
“You know, Peavy is a great pitcher – young, Ks a ton of guys, durable – but he’s NEVER won a big game…I think he’d shit his pants in NY.”
Point well taken. Mike also brought up the long-term value. While Peavy can be had for reasonable salaries for the next two years, he’s probably looking at $18 million per year as a free agent after that, while Hughes will just be entering his arbitration years. So even if Hughes isn’t quite as good as Peavy — and if he reaches his ceiling he can be as good and even better — his value relative to his salary could easily even out.
Glad to see my Hughesian bias justified by other means.