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Plan B

So what if the Yanks don’t land Sabathia or Lowe or even AJ Burnett?

Cliff Corcoran and Jay Jaffe look at some options. 


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1 Shaun P.   ~  Nov 24, 2008 1:11 pm

Awesome. More please!

I still find it strange that, especially with Melancon on the way, and the wealth of options the Yanks have, they signed Marte, but I guess if the kids come through in a big way, they could always deal him. In retrospect, I guess he is probably more valuable on the mid-season trade market than a couple of the kiddie relievers.

2 Bum Rush   ~  Nov 24, 2008 1:41 pm

They signed Marte because they learned the hard way you can't just assume the kids will make the leap. Sure, they have the talent but it needs to continue to prove itself. Two months doesn't mean their safe, just like with Hughes and Kennedy. More importantly, based on experience, Marte fills the lefty and setup roles and can close if necessary. Basically they got three years of insurance for the kids and at a very reasonable rate. Let the kids figure stuff out in blowouts and the 6th and 7th innings and they can slowly break in Melancon, Robertson, Edwar, Coke as Mo or Marte need rest. That's a big difference from having to rely on the kids with no backup should the 40-year-old Closer experience some pains (God forbid).

3 The Hawk   ~  Nov 24, 2008 2:04 pm

Speaking of Burnett and Lowe, I've changed my mind. They should go ahead and get Burnett over Lowe. I just have a feeling Lowe will be ripped to shreds in the AL East at this stage. He's also older and the thing I do like about Burnett is he can dominate, and he does well against the Sox. I more or less agree with most criticisms of Burnett out there but I feel like there's greater upside to go with the risk. It's a smaller, riskier version of signing Sabathia - for all the risks, they potentially have something to offer, but if you don't sign 'em there is NO chance they'll do well for the team.

4 Bum Rush   ~  Nov 24, 2008 2:46 pm


And see, I've come around and think they should get Sheets over Burnett - cheaper, shorter contract with equivalent likelihood of the equal performance.

5 Mattpat11   ~  Nov 24, 2008 2:50 pm

I can't sign on to Sheets, because even two years of 20 starts is going to annoy the hell out of me. But he's just a better pitcher than Burnett. If it has to be one or the other, I'll take Sheets.

I don't want Looper. Five, six, or seven million dollars is just too much to pay for mediocrity when you can get it much cheaper elsewhere in the system. .

6 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 24, 2008 3:16 pm

Sheets over anyone except CC.
But still, I think the issue is offense. I don't count on Phil, IPK or the kids for 2009, but you never know. We got UNlucky last year, maybe this year we get lucky.

But offense? No Giambi, No abreu and can JD possibly do it for another year? Yeah, Cano, Jeter and CF could all produce more but who knows. You put Tex in the 3 hole and our entire lineup looks better. Tex is less of an injury risk then CC or any pitcher, and more likely to NOT be a bad contract.

Sheets and Tex give us a solid team. Not Dominant, but solid. And at a reasonable payroll... and more flexible for the future... and with plenty left in the tank for Holliday next year, who I believe, with the economy, may actually be had for a somewhat reasonable price.

I'll say agaibn, I'm willing to take a shot with a so-so team in '09 if it leaves us with a better future. Offer Tex 8/$165m, get Sheets (shouldn't be too hard... we can outbid ANYONE on a 3 year deal) and hope CC stays in the NL.


Phil/IPK/Coke/AA/#4 type FA

Thats a solid, if not great team

In 2010, Swap Holliday for JD, Posada to DH (Matsui gone) and get a C.

7 Mattpat11   ~  Nov 24, 2008 4:58 pm

[6] The risk of punting 09 (and with that rotation, I can't see it any other way) is two bad years in a row is going to chase fairweather fans away. Yankees need all the revenue they can get.

8 Todd Drew   ~  Nov 24, 2008 5:05 pm

I’m onboard with the Ben Sheets idea. I understand the risk, but I really like the possible reward.

9 Raf   ~  Nov 24, 2008 6:15 pm


I seriously doubt that the Yanks are going to punt back to back seasons.

There is still a lot of time left; with the winter meetings and the Rule V draft, as well as the nontender deadline, there will be more than enough opportunity to shape the ballclub.

10 The Hawk   ~  Nov 24, 2008 6:54 pm

[4], etc

I wasn't including Sheets in the mix because I haven't heard nearly the buzz about the Yanks targeting him as those other two yo-yos. I'm talking strictly between Lowe and Burnett, and mainly cause I was pretty against both of them.

With Sheets in the equation, absolutely I'd rather take a flyer on him than Lowe or Burnett ...

I'd rather Sabathia than any of them, of course, and that includes Texeira. I think the Yankees offense should be a lot better this year than last. They don't need to add anyone. Picking up a bona fide ace would be terrific, and a nice change of pace.

11 monkeypants   ~  Nov 24, 2008 8:32 pm


" I think the Yankees offense should be a lot better this year than last. They don’t need to add anyone."

On what do you base this conclusion? A bounce back from Posada, Cano and (maybe) Jeter, and this team could still score fewer runs if they do not replace Giambi and Abreu, and Damon regresses, and CF is still a sinkhole.

12 The Hawk   ~  Nov 24, 2008 9:38 pm

[11] Right, they still could score fewer runs. I expect them not to.

Posada is not just a bounce back - he was absent for much of the season. His presence makes a huge difference, particularly with Molina taking his spot.

Giambi was mediocre last year and I consider Nady to be a decent enough replacement for Abreu. In fact, I'd much rather see him in there at this point because as consistent as Abreu is, the team needs more intensity.

I expect Rodriguez to have a noticeably better year as well.

If they could add a quality CF I'm all for it so I guess I shouldn't have said they don't need to add anyone. I was thinking about Texeira, mainly.

13 Mattpat11   ~  Nov 24, 2008 10:41 pm

Nady's very best season isn't as good as Abreu's average season.

14 joejoejoe   ~  Nov 25, 2008 12:57 am

It's weird to see Alex talking to Cliff in one blog post. Usually they are like peas and mashed potatoes on this blog, next to each other but not mixed in together.

You all do a great job. It's nice to see smart baseball segments on video without all the hype like a certain network based in Bristol, CT.

15 monkeypants   ~  Nov 25, 2008 7:45 am


Giambi's mediocre season was OPS .875, OPS+ 128. He was the second best hitter on the team last year! Maybe Nick Swisher replaces that production at 1B, but I doubt it.

As Mattpat points out, Nady's best season (last year, OPS+ 128) is worse than Abreu's average season 9OPS+ 133). Heck, even last season Abreu batted OPS+ 120. Indeed, he was the third best hitter on the team!

A-Rod hit "only" 150 OPS+ last season; his career average is 147. He was the best hitter on the team. And you expect him to be noticeably better?

Yes, having Posada back is a major plus, though how much can we expect from a 38 y.o. catcher coming off surgery? How many games can he play?

So, to review: the team loses its 2nd and 3rd best hitter from last season, the best hitter is expected to be even better, and no one else (like, say Damon) is expected to decline.

There is almost no way this team scores more runs this season with the roster they have right now.

16 The Hawk   ~  Nov 25, 2008 11:42 am

[15]Just because you're the "best hitter on the team" doesn't mean you are at your peak, by any means. If the team hits .200 then you could be a .250 hitter and he the best on the team. The point is, the Yankees underperformed last year. In other words, they weren't as good as expected offensively. If someone wants to try and spin that be my guest. Likewise with A-Rod - if you think that was an above average year for him, there's not much I really have to say about it.

I don't care what the numbers are, no-one is going to convince me that Giambi had a good season last year. I watched it with my own two eyes and it wasn't pretty. Again, maybe he was the 2nd best hitter on the team - but that ain't saying much anyway.

Similarly I am simply not on the same page as anyone who thinks Abreu earned his way back onto the team last year. He didn't do poorly but his time is done. It seems the Yanks agree. I framed my argument against him in pretty particular terms; talking about his stats is beside the point.

17 monkeypants   ~  Nov 25, 2008 12:20 pm

[16] Well, if I can't convince you with numbers, I guess I can't convince you. We saw two different players. As for your argument that the "best hitter on the team does mean [he] is at his peak"--correct. But so what? A-Rod had a slightly above average season by his own amazing standards, and yet you expect a "noticeably" better season from him? Is this reasonable? Your expectation that the offense will improve is predicated, in part, on the assumption that a player who will be 33 will noticeably outperform his career averages?

Unlikely, I think.

For what it is worth, Cliff's most recent post, up top, seems to more or less say what I have been saying.

18 monkeypants   ~  Nov 25, 2008 12:23 pm

[16] I never implied that Abreu should remain on the team. But your final statment that "stats are besides the point" only reinforces my argument. You are ignoring offensive production in exchange for some other qualities. That's fine. But don't kid yourself that the X man is going to replace Abreu's offense. The Yankees' offense, especially in the OF, is very likely to be very dire next season. They need all the bats they can get.

19 The Hawk   ~  Nov 25, 2008 1:35 pm


I said stats are beside the point in regard to MY point about Abreu. Which was a decidedly non-stat-oriented point. For some people, there is no room for discussion outside the stats - not for me!

I don't think and haven't said that Nady will replace Abreu's offense - such as it was. My preference is for a harder-nosed player at this stage in the Yankees' development. They desperately need more in that department. I'm hoping Nady will help out. If he does, as long as he posts decent numbers, I think his overall effect on the team will be more positive than Abreu's at this point.

As for A-Rod, he had a crummy year for him. I expect it to be better this year because much as he drives me nuts sometimes, I've seen that he's capable of more. At least during the regular season.

20 monkeypants   ~  Nov 25, 2008 3:30 pm

[20] "As for A-Rod, he had a crummy year for him."

And yet he didn't. He had pretty much a career-average year, just look at the numbers. He's only getting older. We can't expect 2007-type production every year, especially as he enters his mid-30s.

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