"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Plenty of Nuthin’

Nothing dramatic went down in Tampa Bay yesterday, but change could be right around the corner. When, is anyone’s guess. Never one to miss an opportunity, the New York Post glossed over last night’s discouraging 5-4 loss on the back page today in favor of some juicy gossip. According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees and Mets may consider swapping Gary Sheffield for Mike Cameron. Sherman’s two sources, an AL and NL club executive, say the deal is in its infancy:

[The Yankees] have talked to a couple of GMs and said they would move [Sheffield] for a similar type of player to shake things up a little, get younger or to fill a couple of their needs, specifically center field or starting pitching,” the NL executive said.

Sheffield, Flash Gordon, Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada do not have no-trade clauses in their contracts. However, Sheffield told the New York Times:

“I’m not going anywhere,” said Sheffield, who is signed through 2006. “If I have to go somewhere, I won’t go. If they said, ‘Wouldn’t you want to get paid?’ I’d say, ‘I’ve got plenty of money.’ I’m not playing nowhere else. I can promise you that.”

If Sheff’s name hangs around the rumor mill, things could get ugly.

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1 Yanks in NH   ~  Jun 29, 2005 6:02 am

1.  Sheffield for Mike Cameron? What would that accomplish except give up some 50 odd RBI's. They're losing me on why they would make that move!

2 kevinmeyers   ~  Jun 29, 2005 6:27 am

2.  Sheffield's a punk. Obviously, I think it would be foolish for the Yanks to make that deal, but Sheffield's quote just typifies the new breed of Yankee we have stocked our ballclub with. Selfish, angry, and spoiled.

3 kevinmeyers   ~  Jun 29, 2005 6:38 am

3.  PS -- In this week's Sports Illustrated, Tom Verducci hands out his midseason awards. Rookie Pitcher of the Year in the NL? Brad Halsey.

4 Knuckles   ~  Jun 29, 2005 6:39 am

4.  I happen to like Sheff. He plays hard and has a lot of personal pride, which I think is often written off as pure selfishness. He signed his contract and has lived up to it thus far, and now that the Yankees are struggling, they want to get rid of him? That would piss me off too, if I perceived myself to be more part of the solution than the problem, while the FO thought the opposite. Sheff for Cameron is not the answer; it would leave us with only one bona fide hitter in the OF, which is entirely unacceptable given the lack of production at 1B as well. A competent CF is needed, so that we can have 2 corner OF that can rake, and an average or better bat in the middle that brings good D to the table.

5 Yanks in NH   ~  Jun 29, 2005 6:45 am

5.  I don't agree, he wants to be a Yankee for the opportunity to win a World Series - and we all know that's what the Yankee's are all about. He's made more than enough during his career as a ballplayer and a World Championship is more valuable than a paycheck playing on a non-contender. Selfish maybe for what we all want - another Championship, and frankly I don't mind having players with that selfishness. Lack of wisdom may be a better adjective as the Yankee's being in serious contention would have to be questioned!

6 Yanks in NH   ~  Jun 29, 2005 6:46 am

6.  That is I do not agree with #2 - few comments were added while I was writing my comment!

7 Nick from Washington Heights   ~  Jun 29, 2005 6:46 am

7.  I'm with Knuckles. Sheff's obviously a proud man. It seems natural that a player wouldn't want to be in a ny way associated with this team's failure. Also, I wouldn't characterize him as selfish. All you need to look at is last year when he played throughout the year unable to lift his left arm above his shoulder. That's sacrifice and pretty selfless as far as I can tell.

This trade is not the solution. The offseason's failures are snowballing. This FO is on a real roll.

8 rbj   ~  Jun 29, 2005 6:57 am

8.  I guess Sheff feels that that he's got a better chance of making the playoffs with the Yankees than the Mets. Sheff did play injured last season, I'm not calling him selfish for wanting to stay with the Yankees, maybe earlier in his career when he wanted to be traded, but how is it selfish to want to stay with the club you signed with?

9 Simone   ~  Jun 29, 2005 7:02 am

9.  I understand that Sheffield is upset, but there is nothing that he can do if the Yankees trade him other than retire and he isn't leaving $13 million on the table.

I have no problem with the Yankees trading Sheffield for Cameron or another solid center fielder as long as they get back some prospects who can be used to trade for other needs that include a reliever. Besides better to trade Sheffield now while he still has value than wait for him to start whining about an extension like he did about the deferred interest in the off season.

10 JohnnyC   ~  Jun 29, 2005 7:09 am

10.  I agree with Simone. I'd hate to see Sheff go as well, for his intensity, slugging ability, and run-producing consistency. However, he has disintegrated as a corner outfielder in range, is under contract and therefore tradeable, and, let's be real, this team, as currently constructed and with its current coaching staff, ain't going nowhere no how. As long as the Yankees can wheedle some decent minor league prospects along with Cameron from the Mets, I'm for it. At the very least, you add speed and defense to a team that sorely needs both.

11 Athos   ~  Jun 29, 2005 7:11 am

11.  I'm sorry but I need to vent: I was on the phone with a buddy of mine last night and, once I saw Stanton coming in, I knew it was an O's game. I'm so fustrated with the foolishness that's been going on with the Yankee decision making. What's going on here? Who actually has any confidence in the likes of F. Rod, Womack, Stanton, etc.? And now to trade Sheffield??? What the F? If they really want to make a statement and shake things up, then send the underperformers, no matter how much a veteran, to Columbus and play some of your bright young hungry rookies (seems like a no-brainer, but who am I)... Sorry about the steam blow off, but I just had to say something...

12 singledd   ~  Jun 29, 2005 7:16 am

12.  Sheff:
Career: .298 .400 .527 OPS: .927
2005: .300 .396 .502

Career: .250 .342 .443 OPS: .785
2005: .298 .399 .536

Cameron is 32, with a .140 lower career OPS.
Sheff has been one of the few constants over the last 2 years. I don't like the guy that much... but he is tough... and has performed.
He has earned his stripes.

Furthermore, whats the point of trading an outfielder for an outfielder? Shake things up? Try taking away the player's dental plan.

My God!!!!!!!! Is this sh*t the best idea we can come up with!!!

If the Sox can get away with Manny in LF, we can put Bernie there, which at least improves the D (greatly) with Tino at 1B, and makes Giambi our everyday DH. While our D is terrible, it is our team ERA and mostly the horrible LOB numbers we have that are killing us.

Our offense CAN'T afford Womack or losing Sheff. Try Reese or another kid on the farm. Trade Womack and ONE kid for a decent arm for the bullpen.

Jetes - SS
Cano - 2nd
Sheff - RF
ARod - 3rd
Matsui - CF
Posada - C
Giambi - DH
Tino - 1B
Bernie - LF

Switch Bernie and Cano in the order against Lefties. Rest Bernie with Womack/Sierra. Rest Tino with Giambi at 1B and Sierra at DH.
Works in the kids. Keep Womack as far from the field as possible except for pinch running.

NO trades will help if we play stupid, allow 5 pitch innings for the opposition, have a bullpen with only 3 pitchers, throw FAT 0-2 pitches, run the bases poorly, don't move runners.

Note that our Team ERA is 4.52, very disappointing. Note that Boston is in first place with a Team ERA of 4.75.

Like the playoffs last year... while the pitching is not what we expect, it is ultimately the many, many, MANY scoring opportunities we squander, along with this years unintelligent play, that is really killing us.

13 singledd   ~  Jun 29, 2005 7:28 am

13.  P.S. With all our crapy play, we are only 4 games out of the WC. That's ONLY 4 games with more then half the season left. If RJ becomes RJ and Brown can be the Brown of his last 4 starts and we can do all the little things we are NOT doing now, we can still make the post season! So lets tweak some... but an overhaul isn't necessary.

14 murphy   ~  Jun 29, 2005 7:33 am

14.  It's funny. Everyone has always talked sh@*%t about sheff being bad in the clubhouse and what not, yet, since he has been here he hasn't said boo. despite him being yet another "purchased" veteran on the team, his intensity and production add up to an invaluable competitor. how many yankees actually have the cajones to get tossed? not many. i love that about him.

as per cameron: while he is a great centerfielder and has speed to be a 20/20 (maybe even 30/30) guy, he would be ill-fitted to this lineup. while gone are the days of a pitcher wasting 40 pitches in the first inning (knoblauch, jeter, bernie, tino, posada), the yankees are still relatively patient and pitchers still talk about having to "work" against them. cameron, on the other hand, is a real slasher. aside from his career OPS being a paltry .770 (with a .248 BA to boot), his career BB:K ratio is more than 2:1. so, were this trade to go through, save his occassional infield single or homerun, jeter would STILL be our leadoff batter, but would start the game with one out.

15 jedi   ~  Jun 29, 2005 7:39 am

15.  I think we are missing one outrageous detail in this "Cameron for Sheffield" talk. The trade rumor is not a straight up trade with some propects on the side. The trade is for Cameron AND Cairo for Sheffield. Not only does this trade suck straight up, but missing the detail about Cairo being included in this deal sums up the Yankee Brass whole heartedly admitting they made the mistake of letting Cairo go in the offseason and signing Womack. This trade does not make sense (where the hell are we putting Cairo, in RF?), that's why I believe it's all rumors.

We are not even taking into account the offsided monies involved. There is about a $6-9 mil(not sure) difference in salaries with Sheffield making more. Even adding Cairo wont make it even. The yanks will have to cough up money because the Mets surely wont be shelling out money of their own. And I do not see the Mets giving up any prospects after their blunder with Kazmir.

This trade just plain old smells fishy and stinks...Just another way for the media to put pressure on the yanks to do something when they are bored of hearing nothing.

16 jonm   ~  Jun 29, 2005 7:43 am

16.  We don't even know whether Cameron still is a good CF. He was very good in 2003, but his numbers according to defensive metrics took a big hit last year. Who knows how his injuries this year will affect him? This would be a disastrous deal for the Yankees.

17 Nick from Washington Heights   ~  Jun 29, 2005 7:44 am

17.  jedi, why would the yanks have to cough up money? this is obviously not a trade of equal parts. The mets are getting the much better player. and the mets are about the only team i'd imagine would take the hit on their books. look at their offseason. they're not afraid of doling out the money.

I hope you're right that this trade is just rumors and heresay but I don't know.

18 jedi   ~  Jun 29, 2005 7:52 am

18.  Nick, this is what the ny post is reporting. they feel the mets have the upper hand here because they are not as desperate as the yanks. If you want to talk about about offseason history, do we have to there with the yanks about how freely they give money away to offset deals? come on...

Its a rumor...trust me its a rumor...they cant be that stupid...

19 Nick from Washington Heights   ~  Jun 29, 2005 8:11 am

19.  Jedi, the FO is streaking:
1. not signing Beltran
2. Womack!
3. Wright!
4. Pavano!
5. Womack! (just because you gotta love that move)

in other words, they CAN be that stupid.

20 JohnnyC   ~  Jun 29, 2005 8:13 am

20.  It might be a fishing expedition to see what MIGHT be offered in return not just from the Mets but any of the hopeful contenders out there. Guys and gals, you can only trade what there is a demand for. And if Sheffield can get you a CF and maybe two very good prospects (preferably a couple of hard throwers), you do it because very likely this season has already gone up in smoke with Torre's lame managing. Why eviscerate someone's trade value just to finish at .500?

21 murphy   ~  Jun 29, 2005 8:19 am

21.  johnnyc, are you calling for a fire sale? (cos i have thought of that too)

22 Hank   ~  Jun 29, 2005 8:58 am

22.  What planet are we living on? Trade Sheffield? Maybe they should also look into getting a package of prospects for A-Rod. What about Jeter? Maybe trade him for, I don't know, Khalil Green. This is ridiculous.

23 jedi   ~  Jun 29, 2005 9:05 am

23.  Hmmmm...these are not so bad ideas.

Lower team salary, an abundance of propects and an upside SS. Sounds like 1996.

24 Fred Vincy   ~  Jun 29, 2005 9:28 am

24.  Singledd has it exactly right. Trading Sheff for Cameron would be absolutely indefensible. We have a .538 OPS in left field, and the problem is the guy in right at .927??

25 Dan M   ~  Jun 29, 2005 9:49 am

25.  It's not that Sheff is the problem, it's just that you have to give up value to get value. You can't fix the Womack problem by trading him because you can't get anything of value for him. If the Yankees are changing course, and will no longer trade valuable prospects, then they have no choice but to trade valuable veterans. And that's why they'd contemplate trading Sheff.

26 Ben   ~  Jun 29, 2005 10:12 am

26.  I wonder what would happen to the Yanks if they just kept the team intact. It's hard to tell how much noise is going on with them, and how much is just the media trying to generate a story, but what if they just stayed pat. Maybe one trade closer to the trading deadline on July 31st. Perhaps the most stimulating and "shake-up" move management could make would be to publically state that there is no magical help on the way. After all, if the issue this teams has is with scoring, they have all the talent that a scout or a sabermatrician would prescribe.

What if the Yanks were left to fend for themselves? No Steinbrenner bailout?

27 JohnnyC   ~  Jun 29, 2005 10:17 am

27.  murphy, I'm not advocating a fire sale. What I want the team to do is re-tool on the run...so that we don't end up trading away prospects for more aging, high-priced veterans OR gutting the team so that it'll be several seasons before we can contend again. Trading away veterans with value for multiple players who are younger and cheaper AND who improve the team's defense, speed, and bullpen is smarter than merely patching up a leaky boat and heading straight into a tempest. The future must be protected without surrendering the present.

28 Athos   ~  Jun 29, 2005 10:25 am

28.  Why even trade??? Let's send Womack, Pavano, etc. down to work themselves out of whatever's affecting them and see what adding some new farm blood in could do. It worked with Cano and Wang, let's try some more with Phillips, Thompson, Cannizaro in the field and plate and throw in some Anderson and DeSalvo for pitching...

29 JohnnyC   ~  Jun 29, 2005 10:54 am

29.  You can't just send a ML veteran down unless its for an injury rehab. You have to get his permission. Why would even Tony Womack agree to go to AAA? He'd just as soon ask to be traded or released. Plus, the idea of George paying tens of millions to guys playing for Columbus doesn't strike me as being remotely realistic.

30 Simone   ~  Jun 29, 2005 11:10 am

30.  JohnnyC, you and I are on the same page right now. The Yankees aren't going to trade Sheffield for Cameron and Cairo straight up no matter what the media says. However, if the Mets hand over a couple useful prospects that would definitely work. Like i said before, the Marlins are also a possible landing spot for Sheffield.

People keep forgetting that Sheffield is 36 years old. While Sheffield comes from a family of great athletes and I would think that he has another good couple of years, he may fall over the cliff and be done by next year. Without a doubt, Sheffield will be scrambling for DH time with Giambi next season and his defense will be even worse. Now is the ideal time to trade him, while the Yankees can still get something of value in return.

31 JonathanC   ~  Jun 29, 2005 11:21 am

31.  How can you guys say you don't like this trade? You guys need a CF badly. How long are you going to watch Bernie/Womack butcher balls in CF? I watched them cost you 2 games over the weekend. And that was just this weekend! How long are you gonna to watch people go from 1st to 3rd on you?

Cam is no Sheff with the bat, that's a given. But, he has pop in his bat, can steal a base, and immediately gives you a TOP 5 CF in the American League. Also, he is great in the clubhouse, he could be the guy who's turns the Yanks from a group of superstar into a TEAM!

32 pmarcig   ~  Jun 29, 2005 11:30 am

32.  Fellas, I think the answers are here (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=050628/yankees) if you haven't seem them yet. Pretty funny. The scary thing is, you can't help but think "you know, that might work."

A highlight is this quip on Woe-mack: "Give Joe Torre a copy of the Yankee stat sheet with Tony Womack's batting average (.239), on-base percentage (.273) and slugging percentage (.263) circled in red ink. Give Torre subtle reminder that those numbers make Womack the 790th best hitter in the majors leagues (out of 792), according to Baseball Prospectus."

I guarantee you that I could get up there find a way to get on base 27% of the time.

33 Larry   ~  Jun 29, 2005 11:34 am

33.  I'm sure a number of you already saw this, but it really can't be stressed enough how truly awful Womack has been. From the Verducci "all-bust" team article -

"OF: Tony Womack, New York Yankees. Joe Torre must want to be fired as Yankees manager. What other reason could there be for putting Womack into the lineup repeatedly? I'll say it again: Womack is the worst outfielder in 99 years. Like Guzman, he can't hit, but Womack can't field very well, either. Since May 27, Womack has one RBI, zero extra-base hits and one walk. Pathetic. For the year, he has five extra-base hits and 11 RBIs. The last time he hit a double was April 26. Give me Bubba Crosby, Bubba Smith, Bubba Gump ... anybody else."

Wow. Just, wow.

34 Fred Vincy   ~  Jun 29, 2005 11:35 am

34.  If the point were to give up on this year and trade Sheff for good prospects, that would be defensible. But, if we are still trying to make the playoffs this year, as we clearly are (and should be, since for all its flaws the team still has a fair shot at the wild card), there is no way in this world to get back anything like Sheff's value.

Baseball Prospectus has Sheff ranked 18th in the majors in Value Over Replacement, and you can be sure that no one like that is coming back. Winning trades concentrate value, not dissipate it.

Remember Ricky Henderson for Luis Polonia, Greg Cadaret, and Eric Plunk. That's Sheffield for Cameron and some arms -- an unmitigated disaster.

35 bronxbomber7   ~  Jun 29, 2005 11:48 am

35.  It's all about pitching and not getting behind just about every game. Need to shore up that bullpen and maybe find a spot starter. Take a shot on Borowski for the buulpen who's been DFA'd by the Cubs- no real risk. Danny Graves would have been better than some of what we have.

There's got to be something better out there than Stanton and Quantrill as much I appreciate what Stanton did in the past for us. Proctor & Groom & F Rod ain't too trustworthy either.

Mariano is still the best closer in baseball. Gordon is still pretty reliable although he's been battling. Sturtze maybe a bit less reliable. That's all we got right now - 3 guys.

36 Dan M   ~  Jun 29, 2005 12:07 pm

36.  Of course you're not going to get one player that has equal VORP to Sheffield. But you could get a package of players, whether it be Cameron plus other parts or some other package, whose combined value is equal to or greater than Sheffield's. Think of it in Win Shares terms. If you add up Cameron's WS with, hopefully, another OF's WS, and thereby remove Womack's negative WS from the equation by limiting him to a UT/PR role, you can come out on the positive side of the ledger.

37 Fred Vincy   ~  Jun 29, 2005 1:17 pm

37.  Yes, but....

There has to be a way to get Womack out of the lineup without trading a Hall of Famer having a good year, even if he is 36.

For free, they could play Sheffield and Kevin Reese and it would be better than replacing Sheffield AND Womack with two Mike Camerons (combined projected annual VORP per BP 56 vs. 48). I'm not saying, of course, that Kevin Reese is the guy to save the team (though he would be an improvement over Womack), but giving up Sheffield is giving up period.

38 tommyl   ~  Jun 29, 2005 1:32 pm

38.  Something I'm a bit confused about with this proposed trade is that you are trading a RF for a CF. Who do they anticipate playing everyday RF if Sheff goes? Surely not Sierra/Womack? That leaves either Crosby or Reese and I'd rather my OF be Matsui, Crosby, Sheff.

I still don't see why they don't just play Crosby in CF. He has to be better offensively than Womack and he can field relatively well.

Its refreshing though to at least see them not offering up prospects left and right as they do in most years. Most hope inducing comment of the day was by Swindell, saying he would be way less involved than Steinbrenner. Imagine, this payroll with Gene Michael and co. running the show...

39 jonm   ~  Jun 29, 2005 1:35 pm

39.  Fred Vincy,

The comparison that you make with the Henderson deal is an outstanding one. The rumored player included with Cameron is Cairo and he's a spare part -- 3 win shares the rest of the year tops. The only other Met who I might take is Heilman who could go into the rotation, but even that strikes me as a risk.

40 uburoisc   ~  Jun 29, 2005 1:49 pm

40.  Trading Sheff for Cameron and prospects is a bad deal, in my opinion. I'm fine with Bernie, Mat, and Sheff to close the season. Tweak till the end and then reload if necessary; we're still in this (amazingly) and a couple changes might make the difference: Woemack out, Bernie in LF, Giambi hitting again, RJ hitting his stride, Brown showing up, etc. I think the thing that really hurts this team is men left on base and some really bad pitching IQ.

41 Beth   ~  Jun 29, 2005 1:57 pm

41.  So, in seriousness, who's getting canned? Torre or Cashman? What's the over / under on the date?

42 uburoisc   ~  Jun 29, 2005 2:12 pm

42.  Neither.

43 Dan M   ~  Jun 29, 2005 3:16 pm

43.  Correct, no one is going. This is "I need concessions and tax breaks from the city" George, and he doesn't want to blow it by being "Insane" George again.

44 Dan M   ~  Jun 29, 2005 3:23 pm

44.  As for RF, I'd bet that if the Yanks did trade Sheff for Cameron, they'd also try to get Aubry Huff (who's definitely leaving TB this summer). And, remember, all I meant was to offer reasons why they would "contemplate" making the trade - not why they should actually pull the trigger.

45 Simone   ~  Jun 29, 2005 5:44 pm

45.  I understand the reluctance to part with Sheffield and his bat will be tough to lose, but the Yankees aren't making the playoffs with the team as it formulated so they need to make a move in addition to hoping that the starters pitch better. Right now Sheffield is the only real chip of value that they have to trade and now that Matsui and Jorge's bats have woken up and Giambi is chipping in, the offense will be able to withstand losing Sheffield.

46 brockdc   ~  Jun 29, 2005 7:24 pm

46.  Simone,

Sorry, but I disagree. Our offense is already butt terrible at hitting with runners in scoring position - which is a key reason why we're losing so many close games. Sheff is the best clutch hitter on a team that includes A-Rod and Jeter. He is intimidating to opposing pitchers and gives this team an edge. He is old, but, at 32, Cameron's career has most likely leveled off.

And then...AND THEN...who plays right? I'm all for improving this team, but robbing Peter to pay Paul won't do.

47 Simone   ~  Jun 29, 2005 8:03 pm

47.  brockdc,
I just don't see anything way of getting back the bunch of players that the Yankees need to make the playoffs without trading the young players that the other teams covet. Maybe Cashman can be more creative, but it is better that Sheffield goes than Cano or Wang.

48 Dan M   ~  Jun 30, 2005 5:17 am

48.  brockdc, again, you can't look at this deal in isolation. Before this deal was dead (which it officially is) I'm sure the Yanks were looking at getting another outfielder to play right, like Pena or Huff. They wouldn't just make this one deal and leave it at that.

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