In a failed effort scare the Yankees into forking over more money, Mariano Rivera, recipient of a three-year offer from the Yanks, tried to convince the world that he would follow Joe Torre to the Dodgers if he can’t come to terms with the Yanks. This is about as likely as Bonds’ name not showing up in the upcoming Mitchell report. The Dodgers, with Takashi Saito, Jonathan Braxton and, yes, Scott Proctor, had the third lowest bullpen ERA in the Majors in 2007. With their offensive production so poor, they aren’t about to make a 38-year-old closer any offer that comes remotely close to the one the Yanks have extended to Rivera. Just sign your contract already, Mo. · (17) ·
Zach McAllister | RHP
McAllister grew up just outside of Peoria, IL, in the small suburb of Chillicothe. His father Steve is the Central Region scouting supervisor for the Diamondbacks. McAllister was a star in both baseball and basketball while at Illinois Valley Central High School, but it was clear from the get-go that his future was on the diamond and not the hardwood.
I’m not talking about Yankees’ farmhand Justin but rather Benedict XVI. The Pope will be making an April visit to one of baseball’s most celebrated Cathedrals. He’ll have to find another number though for his trip to the Bronx as Number 16 was retired long ago. · (13) ·
In news that will be surprising to only Will Carroll and Will Leitch, Jorge Posada is really close to signing a new deal with the Yankees. I know the Yanks offered him three years originally, but I fear that this deal will be for four. Hopefully, Jorge is up for learning how to man first base. · (14) ·
If the Yanks want to grab Johan Santana from the Twins, they’ll have to be prepared to give up an arm and a leg. Reports in Yankeeland say that the Twins want the offer for their lefty stud to start with Roninson Cano and one of the Yanks’ Big Three pitchers. I’ll update this post with more info later, but let me just say that the Twins’ early demands sound much too steep.
Update 9:48 p.m.: Now that I’m home, let me flush this out a bit.
The story came to us via this Ken Davidoff article. Davidoff reports that an official close to the Twins believes any trade offer will have to start with Robinson Cano. Jim Baumbach speculates that the offer would have to include Cano plus a top-flight pitcher. Furthermore, Davidoff says that a package of Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera and other prospects wouldn’t be enough to land Santana.
There’s a lot to unpack here.
First, Robinson Cano. As many of you already have noted in the comments, this is simply an example of the Twins throwing out an opening bid through the media. As others have said, Cano is arguably one of the best players on the Yankees right now. As a young second baseman with a career average of .314 and a career OPS of .835, this kid has a ton of value, and he’s nearly irreplaceable on the field and in the lineup. The Yankees should not give up Cano for anything really. I’d consider to be the one untouchable in the Yanks’ current lineup.
Second, the package deal. The Yankees certainly shouldn’t give up Cano and others for Sanatan. There’s no need to explain this one.
Finally, the Phil Hughes+Melky Cabrera deal. As skeptical as we are of Melky, trading Hughes and Melky for one year of Johan Santana is simply insane. The Yanks have Hughes for five more years, and Melky for four. Basically, they have nine years of these two players under control. Trading nine years of that for one year of Santana doesn’t make any sense.
Right now, the Twins are in no rush to trade Santana. They don’t really have to trade him until July. At that point, the asking price will be a lot lower. If the Yanks want Santana, they should wait until he becomes affordable. Right now, as Brian Cashman I’m sure realized, the Yanks have no business making a trade with the Twins.
Let’s be clear: I’m not trying to bury Melky Cabrera. I simply think he’s vastly overrated (and, incidentally, think that if any GM overrates him so, we should see what we can get for him). His arm is valuable in center, but as I’ve continually noted, he often takes poor routes to balls, resulting in him making fewer plays than he should given his range. Dave Pinto’s Probabilistic Model of Range agrees with me. It actually rates Melky below Johnny Damon in center.
Now, this clearly isn’t a flawed metric. I think we can all see, on the whole, that Melky is better defensively in center than Damon at this point in his career. However, that’s heavily considering Melky’s arm. When it comes to ability to get to batted balls, they’re on more even ground. If there’s a gap shot to right center, I’d actually feel more comfortable with Damon running it down than Melky (though that’s just one man’s opinion). But on a medium fly ball with a runner on third and less than two outs, you and I would both rather have Melky there.
Anyway, I just wanted to use PMR to illustrate that point. Johnny Damon is by no means a poor center fielder. He just has Berniearm. And yes, in many ways that can hurt us over the course of a season. But if we were to get a quality offer for Melky, I would be totally comfortable with Damon starting the year in center field. Check that: as long as Matsui isn’t in left. I understand how poor that would make our outfield defense.
Bernie Williams just doesn’t know when to turn in his spikes. According to Mark Feinsand in The Daily News, Bernie thinks he could return to the Majors in 2008. Bernie had a great run on the Yankees, but he just doesn’t accept the fact that his time seemed up. I love Bernie; I can’t wait for the Yanks to retire number 51 during the eventual Bernie Williams Day celebrations. But this latest news just makes me pity Bernie. Enough already. · (15) ·
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?