Thursday, July 31, 2008
This trade was died and revived in more forms than I can count. Only a few hours before the deadline it looked like Manny was staying put and Bay was headed to Tampa. Ultimately a three way deal between Pittsburgh, Boston, and Los Angeles got it done. The only aspect that is really important to us is what Boston did.
Boston Gains: Jason Bay
Boston Loses: Manny Ramirez, Craig Hansen, Brandon Moss, and cash
Personally, I think that its a lot closer between Bay and Manny at this point than most people do. However, Manny is still the better player. Boston is also paying part of Manny's contract so their is little salary relief. Considering Bay is under contract for 2009 as well I would probably say Boston would have the slight advantage if it was Bay for Manny straight up. However, its not. Hansen isn't a huge deal for Boston but he does still have potential. Brandon Moss is probably a better prospect at this point (I may be wrong I`m going on memory and I don't know Boston's farm that well). I think this makes it a bad trade for the Red Sox. I realize they had to make it after Manny's comments but this seems like a desperate move Boston made that they may come to regret later.
Another side of this deal is that Bay was previously rumored to be going to the Rays. With this trade we only have to deal with one of them in the division. I think this helps the Yankees although its not as big a deal as some people are making it out to be.
Cashman didn't make any big moves today. He made only the small move of Alberto Gonzalez for Jhonny Nunez. Nunez is a pitcher. He has a high ERA but he had an incredible K/BB last year. He`s in A ball. Gonzalez had no future with the Yankees. I`d compare this to the Latroy Hawkins trade.
What is possibly more interesting is what didn't happen. They didn't get another left-handed reliever as was mentioned, they didn't dump Pavano, and they didn't trade for another pitcher.
I didn't really see a need for a left-handed reliever so I don't particularly care about this.
Pavano I was hoping would be dumped on someone. However, he could easily clear waivers. Also, its possible the interested teams wanted the Yankees to pay his salary which defeats the purpose of the trade.
The lack of a pitcher has been covered pretty widely. They went after Washburn but the M's were insane in their demands. However, talks are continuing and Washburn could very easily clear waivers. Cashman did a good job here in not panicking and yet leaving the door open. However, we still need a starter. Ponson just won't do it. Immediately available is Kennedy and Aceves. I`ll also have a post on this area later. Maybe today during or after the game. Maybe not.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
EDIT- The player is Matt Kusik. I don't know him but he looks like he has good stats. They save some cash and maybe he`ll turn out to be good. Astros fans are upset.
The Yankees are interested in Scott Schoenweiss as well. He may be replacing Farnsworth.
I say stay away Cash.I realize that Pavano is completely worthless. However, theirs better options in the bullpen. Besides, Pavano may be able to help if they fail to get another pitcher (yeah I said it). If they can get a guy like Washburn then fine dump Pavano on somebody. However, Schoenweiss would probably just be wasting a roster spot.
EDIT: I just changed my mind. Pavano has a 2 million dollar buyout after the year. So their actually is some salary relief to be had. Dump him on whatever sucker will take him. However, hopefully not Schoenweiss
The Yankees also made a trade today. Farnsworth is going to the Tigers for Ivan Rodriguez. My intial reaction was bad but after looking over Farnsworth's stats more carefully I`m in favor of it. Farnsworth looks like he`s pulled things together and Girardi's gotten some credit for it. While some of this is true, Farnsworth has a 20% HR/FB%. This means that 20% of all his FB's go over the fence. The average pitcher gets about 10%. Although certain pitchers have displayed a skill at this most of it is luck and this year is a huge outlier for Farnsworth. Pudge is basically a wash defensively with Molina but Pudge is a much better hitter than Molina. Another issue is that Pudge will probably be a type A free agent while Farnsworth will be a type B. Pudge probably wants a long term deal so he probably wouldn't accept arbitration. This means the Yankees will probably get better draft picks for Pudge than for Farnsworth. This year has also shown has that the best way to build a bullpen is to just try out different young guys with talent and see what sticks. This solves 3 of the Yankees 4 goals for the offseason. Now I`d like to see them get one more starter. Strangely enough, I was actually mulling over the idea of trading Farnsworth this morning but never got a chance to write about it.
Now, I need to say something about the Mark Texiera deal. Although most people are ready to hand over the Pennant and World Series already I`m not. First of all, offense in the regular season doesn;t guarentee offense in the postseason. The Angels already have the division wrapped up so I don't see the point of this deal. They gave up a very good player in Kotchman as well.Unless it gives them an upper-hand in signing Texiera this off-season I don't see the point.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Early on they repeatedly failed to hit with runners on and ultimately it ended up costing them. Then Girardi left Rasner in one inning to long. I think that when you`re 4th starter gives you 6 innings of 2 run ball and is nearing 100 pitches you should just hand the game over to your very good bullpen. Instead Marte came into a jam and struggled. Although, it sent me memories of Eric Gagne and the Red Sox last year I`m hoping this won't be a problem. The offense stayed asleep until the 8th and 9th. Nady also struck out in a big spot. Surprisingly, Rivera ended up making the difference. In a game where he was expected to just be getting work in he ended up giving up the run that made the difference in the game.
Thankfully, Boston lost to to a dominating John Lackey. Still, this was an excellent opportunity to move up in the standings.
Now we have two losses in a row. The first I`m okay with since it was Ponson and the Red Sox. The second is not good. If Mussina goes through a dead arm period we`re in trouble. Hopefully this was just a bad game. Also, the offense didn't hit in either games. Their really isn't anymore offensive moves they can make so they juts have to start hitting.
On another note the Twins have interest in Latroy Hawkins.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
The KC Star is talking about a trade that would involve Melky and Brian Bannister. I don't see the point in that move.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Washburn is really not a very good pitcher. However, he`s reliably mediocore. He`s also suffered from a fairly high BABIP. He`s probably a safer bet to go out and give you 5 or 6 solid innings than Kennedy or anyone else the Yankees have right now. He`s also a lefty which means he might be helped by a move to Yankee Stadium (not sure what Seattle is like). The only problem is if you trade for him you`re stuck with him for next year to. If you want you can roll the dice with Kennedy but if he struggles like he did earlier in the year they`re going to be in trouble. This is why I wanted Ponson replaced earlier, to see if Kennedy could handle the majors yet or not.
Although you can't be sure I don't think Kennedy will do well. He was terrible earlier in the year and not much has changed since then. A closer look at his stats from last September show that he was more lucky than good then as well.
I think it would be a good idea to trade for Washburn after all. However, I would be very hesitant to give up anything. Again, although he`s rarely great he is almost always at least okay. He`ll keep the Yankees in games. They can figure out what to do with him in the off-season and you can never have to much pitching.
The Yankees made an offer of Igawa and Melky for Washburn and Mariner aren't interested in either player. Apparently Christian and Gardner are being discussed. What about Christian and Coke for Washburn?
Then you can replace Ponson with Washburn as soon as he blows up against Boston on Sunday ;)
A few days ago I suggested trading for Nady and Marte as part of a plan for the trade deadline. Nady perfectly solves their problem of a right-handed bat even if he does regress to his career norms. Gardner will probably be sent back down to AAA. Marte solves their other, less severe problem of a left-handed reliever. Hopefully this means the end of Latroy Hawkins.
The biggest piece the Yankees gave up was obviously Tabata. While Karstens may be able to start for the Pirates in the NL he really had no future in New York. McCutchen is probably a C prospect. Meaning he could be a good player but we have a lot of guys with similar potential. Ohlendorf was another guy who was never going to have a future in New York. Tabata is the centerpiece of this deal. Tabata has incredible potential but he`s been plagued with attitude and injury problems. Of course, Josh Hamilton overcame much worse. Either way he wasn't going to be ready for a few more years.
I think this is a good trade with some risk. The Yankees were able to make this trade because they have a lot of pitching prospects ahead of the guys they traded and Austin Jackson has moved ahead of Tabata. Its not exactly a steal but they can give up Tabata without depleting their farm.
In my previous post about the trade deadline I suggested doing basically this trade except with Kennedy instead of Tabata. Then I suggested trading for Washburn. However, since we still have Kennedy this means he may be a better option than Washburn. I need to think about this some more. I`ll probably have another post on this either tomorrow or after the game.
Rivera is still amazing. he`s really earning his contract. Although, the concern was more for the later part of it. The offense was more dissapointing. However, it was against a great pitcher in Beckett so I`m willing to give them a pass. Still, they`re lucky the Boston infield was playing in. Today is another big day. I`d be surprised to see them win tomorrow so they better get one today. I`ll have more on the Nady/Marte trade later.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Will Carroll is saying they`re coming to the Yankees.
Pete Abraham is saying Phil Coke has been pulled from his game in AA Trenton.
Kennedy and Coke for Marte and Nady?
- Apparently the Cano rumor is just a rumor. There's no truth to it. It also inspires the new "George King is an idiot" tag.
- The Yankees are looking at Adam Dunn. Dunn can't field or run and he strikes out a ton but he`s an amazing hitter. I wonder if Bronson Arroyo would be in a potential deal. The only problem is that the Reds will probably want Jackson or Hughes who I doubt the Yankees are willing to trade.
- Their is also some interest in Randy Winn. I like the idea of trading for him. He can play all the OF positions (although you`d rather avoid having him in CF) and is a better hitter than anyone else the Yankees have at DH. I think I might prefer getting him and moving Kennedy into the rotation may be preferable to my previous idea of trading for Nady and Washburn.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
The sweep against the Twins was big as they`re also in the wild card race. Now they have an off-day before going to Fenway.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Here`s a list of Yankees needs in order:
- Right handed hitting outfielder
- Another starter
- A catcher that can actually hit
- Lefty reliever
The outfielder I think is the most needed position. Damon will probably play DH for a while before moving back to LF which means we have to deal with a Gardner/Melky/Abreu outfield a little longer. When Damon moves back to LF then at DH we have a Betemit/Sexson platoon. While that's better its still just a band-aid fix. Jason Bay and Xavier Nady seem like the most realistic targets. Bay is clearly the better player. However, it may be tough to get him without giving up Jackson or Hughes which I definitely wouldn't want to do. How about Kennedy+Ohlendorf for Nady+Marte. This also solves the below problem of the left-handed reliever.
However, losing Kennedy makes it impossible to replace Ponson if he immediately struggles. So if the above deal is made a corresponding move for another pitcher is needed. Apparently the Yankees are targeting Jarrod Washburn. If the above trade doesn't get made then the Yankees should aim higher. However, if it does then Washburn would easily take over for Ponson by giving up very little. If the above move doesn't get made then I would rather just bring up Kennedy than take on Washburn's contract. They probably will want a little more than just Igawa but its really just a salary dump so Igawa+Gardner for Washburn?
If the above two trades are made then this isn't a major problem. The Yankees can deal with poor offense from catcher (usually a weak position anyway) and centerfield if their stars start hitting and they get another bat. I think they`re going to have to swallow poor offense from Jose Molina and hope he gets hot and his defense holds up.
The left-handed reliever thing isn't a big deal with the bullpen playing the way it is. Brian Bruney is also coming back. However, its a nice thing to have. The first trade solves this problem and Marte would fill the hole nicely.
So if I were Brian Cashman I`d do these trades:
Trade 1) Ian Kennedy and Ross Ohlendorf to Pirates for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte.
Trade 2) Kei Igawa and Brett Gardner to Mariners for Jarrod Washburn
So here's the Yankees new roster:
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The offense came alive with Damon's return. For at least one day we didn't have to worry about Damon and Matsui's injuries. Cano's BA and OBP are climbing slowly but surely. The bullpen was also, as usual, brilliant. I still think they need to replace Ponson but they`re getting by with him.
Monday, July 21, 2008
At least Damon is playing tonight.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
The first game consisted of good hitting as well as good pitching and was a good way to start the second half. Mussina has been amazing and for him to come back from last September and the start of this year to become the Yankees ace has been key to keeping the Yankees afloat.
The second game continued the great pitching but the offense stranded an unbelievable amount of guys on base. Joba has also been incredible and so far has lived up to the hype. Often forgoten though is the bullpen. From the 7th to the 12th they gave up only 2 runs showing the bullpen is deep beyond just Rivera.
Today's game was very similar to the second game. Pettitte has quietly also had a very good year and today he delivered with 8 innings only giving up 1 run. Rivera of course closed it out. However, the offense was again terrible.
Right now the Yankees are in a very good place. The Yankees are only 4.5 behind the Rays for the division and 3.5 behind Boston for the wild card (also behind the Twins). Damon is coming back very soon. If a Sexson/Betemit plattoon can work out at DH and the rest of the team starts hitting then a comeback may be possible. However, they need to start hitting with men on base. Rasner let alone Ponson won't be able to win with such little run support.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Their bullpen is surprisingly a strength. Rivera is having one of the best years of his life, Veras has emerged to take Joba's spot, Farnsworth has been better than anyone predicted, and we haven't missed Joba there at all. If Bruney can come back he`d be an another weapon. Latroy Hawkins has to go though.
The top three pitchers in the rotation are fine. However, Ponson is just awful. Rasner has been okay. He`s suffered from a high BABIP but I`d much prfer to have him as a 5th starter than a 4th. The injury to Wang was absolutely crippling. The difference between him and Ponson is huge. Theirs no way they can survive with Ponson in the rotation so they need another pitcher. Wang won't be back until maybe September and Hughes won't be back until August. Pavano is not even worth hoping for. If I where the Yankees I`d give Ian Kennedy another chance after the break. At the trade deadline its time to decide what to do. If he does well than fine leave him in there for the rest of the year. If he`s terrible than you have to make a move for another pitcher. If he does poorly but not terribly (by this I mean ERA in the high 4's or maybe even lows 5's) maybe you should just leave him in there and cross your fingers. It also matters where they are in the standings obviously.
Oddly the team's biggest weakness is their offense. A-Rod is hitting like normal and Giambi has surprised everyone by returning to all star type levels. Unfortunately, those are the only two guys on the team with EQA's over .300. The next two highest are Damon and Matsui. Today we`ve heard news that Matsui will probably need season ending surgery. Damon is also hurt but will be back much sooner than that. After that everything falls off. Posada has an EQA of .269 which is fine for a catcher but right now he`s the third best hitter in the lineup and you don't want that. Abreu and Jeter come next. Both of these guys are expected to be among the Yankees' best hitters but they`ve been pretty much exactly average. After that we have Chad Moeller and Justin Christian. The only two starters we have left then are Melky and Cano. Melky has an EQA of .229 while Cano's is even worse at .218. Earlier in the year I wrote about Melky's power starting to develop and how I thought he was going to end up a very good player. Its starting to look like I was wrong. Not only this but while Cano's defense has remained very very good Melky's defense has clearly fallen off. They have no other options for Cano and he has been a better second half player so he could salvage his season. However, Melky has shown much less potential over the past few years and it is possible to get another outfielder. Brett Gardner's has also been awful in his time up here. Other than his one big game against Boston he hasn't hit at all and to telly ou the
So here`s a list of the Yankees underperformers or just problems:
- Latroy Hawins
- Derek Jeter
- Bobby Abreu
- Melky Cabrera
- Brett Gardner
- Robinson Cano
- Sidney Ponson
- Wilson Betemit
Hawkins isn't a huge deal. Girardi never uses him but their are a few better options in AAA.
Jeter is untouchable and hasn't been terrible at the plate just very average. I`m confident he`ll start hitting in the second half as well. However, the team just can't take his defense anymore. Defensive stats aren't great but when they all reach the exact same consensus and that agrees with what most fair-minded people see then they`re usually right. Baseball Prospectus' Rate 2 has Jeter costing them 16 runs over the course of the year. Meanwhile Cano has been amazing at second base getting balls up the middle the shortstop is supposed to get. Its well past the time to switch the two of them.
Abreu is another guy that hasn't been truly awful but only average. Abreu is nothing special on defense either. His arm is good but his range is poor. He should start hitting better in the second half. If he doesn't theirs not really anything they can do about him.
Melky got off to a good start but has basically collapsed. While his defense is still excellent they can't handle his bat being in the lineup. Same thing for Gardner. He had the one big hit against Boston but other than that nothing but speed and defense. They won't be making a comeback with an outfield like this. I`ll come back to these guys a little later.
All you can do with Cano is hope he continues his trend of doing better in the second half. Their are no second baseman available to replace him with and its hard to forget the promise he has shown at times.
Ponson should be replaced by Kennedy immediately. I realize Kennedy was pathetic early on and hasn't been great in his starts in the minors since coming back but at least he has potential. Ponson is a timebomb waiting to explode with his low K/BB.
Betemit is the Yankees best option for DH right now and that`s a problem. I`ll come back to this a little later.
So basically what the Yankees need is another pitcher, another hitter, and for some of their "stars" to start playing at the levels they should.
Pitching, as usual isn't widely available. A.J. Burnett is the best option out there and the Blue Jays aren't trading him in division. They`re going to have to look within the organization and try Kennedy. The other option is to pray Ponson can hang in their until August when Hughes should be getting back.
It might be easier to find another hitter to solve their LF/CF/DH problems. We`ve heard a few guys rumored to be available. Here's a few different options the Yankees have:
- Just hang on and hope everybody starts playing the way they should and hope that's enough.
- Sign Richie Sexson and plattoon him with Betemit.
- Trade for Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, or Xavier Nady.
I don't think the Yankees are going to make the playoffs if they just use the first option.
The second one is more interesting. Betemit has always been better against righties and Sexson is awesome against lefties. They may be able to get some solid production out of these two guys.When Damon gets back he can take his place in LF and you can handle whatever combination of Melky/Gardner/Christian in CF. If Matsui comes back then its not hard to bench Sexson and Betemit.
The third one is probably the most the most unlikely. Cash is reluctant to give up any good prospects. However, its an interesting idea. First of all, the deal would probably happen closer to the trade deadline. This means Damon could be back by this time so they would be the DH. A move like this would really help the lineup. If Nady were the person they traded for then next year he could take over for Abreu and Matsui could become a full-time DH.
No matter what happens they`ll have to swallow a weak CF unless Melky magically start hitting again. If I were Cashman I would sign Sexson tomorrow and see how a plattoon of him and Betemit work out before trying a trade for another outfielder. If that were to happen than I think Nady might be the best target as they might be able to get him without giving up Kennedy (who they need for the rotation) and he could also take over for Abreu next year.
I don't usually get to excited over these games. However, this one was drew me in a bit. Still, I went to bed in the 7th when it was 2-0 with the AL coming up. When I got up this morning I did not expect what I saw. For all the talk about people hating the all star game I`d bet you that for the people at the game it was one of the most exciting games they`ve ever been to.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Before the blog closed I had a few ideas I was considering and I want to try one or two of them. Barring a huge shift in your opinions I`m not going to bring in a Red Sox blogger to write about their teams after all. However, I definitely want to try and get some more writers and if that happens then I might be able to start writing more about the minors. If anybody out there is interested in writing about either the majors or minors in any capacity please just post your idea and email in the comments sections. If you have any ideas please post in the comments section. And I`d appreciate some feedback on these three new ideas I`ve had or any ones that people have in the comments section.
Hopefully I`ll be back permanently this time. :D