"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

What Now?

Okay, so the Yankees have landed the big fish, with CC Sabathia agreeing to a seven-year deal worth roughly $161 million. Now what? The rumor mill has had them going hard after first Derek Lowe, then A.J. Burnett, with Ben Sheets and Andy Pettitte serving as backup options who could be had with shorter term contracts.

This prompts two questions: Exactly how much money to they have left to spend? and What about the offense?

With regards to the first, let’s do the math on the money coming off last year’s payroll and how much of that has already been spent:

Credits      
Player 2008 cost 2009 cost Net
Jason Giambi 21 5 (buyout) 16
Bobby Abreu 16 - 16
Andy Pettitte 16 - 16
Mike Mussina 11 - 11
Carl Pavano 11 1.95 (buyout) 9.05
Ivan Rodriguez 4.3* - 4.3
Kyle Farnsworth 3.7* - 3.7
Total Credits     76.05
Debits      
CC Sabathia - ~23 (23)
Wilson Betemit/Nick Swisher 1.165 5.3 (4.135)
Alex Rodriguez 29 33 (4)
Robinson Cano 3 6 (3)
Damaso Marte 0.667* 3.75 (3.083)
Total Debits     (34.052)
Total Net     44.998

all costs in millions of dollars; *estimated prorated portion of 2008 salary

In addition to the above, the Yankees have four arbitration eligible players. Three of whom had poor 2008 seasons and thus are unlikely to have much negative effect on the bottom line. Those three are Chien-Ming Wang, Brian Bruney, and Melky Cabrera. The last is Xavier Nady. The Yankees paid Nady roughly $1.12 million of his $3.35 million salary last year. Nady would cost the Yankees an extra $2.23 million even without getting a raise and is coming off a career year. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect his salary to exceed $5 million in 2009. To make things simple, I’ll just round down the Yankees net savings in the chart above to $40 million.

Of course, the Yanks could spend more than that $40 million if they want to. The opening of the New Yankee Stadium would seem to be a good reason to increase payroll, and should provide the team with increased revenue. That is, it should, but investigations into the Stadium’s funding, the hundreds of millions of dollars of tax exempt bonds still awaiting approval, the back taxes owed by the team, and the recession economy which has slowed the sale of the big ticket luxury suites call all of that into question. So let’s start with just that $40 million left over from the 2008 payroll.

The most recent rumors had the Yankees offering something in the area of 85 million over five years to A.J. Burnett. That . . . (mmf, excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth a little) . . . works out to an average annual salary of $17 million. The latest rumor regarding Derek Lowe revolved around a four-year deal worth $60 million for an average annual salary of $15 million. The last Ben Sheets rumor I’ve heard involved a two-year deal worth $26 million ($13 million annually), and with Andy Pettitte balking at a $10 million offer coming off his one-year deal for $16 million, I’d say $13 million for him sounds like a fair estimate as well.

The Yankees can easily afford two of these pitchers with money left over from last year, but signing Burnett (grkh) and Lowe would leave them just $8 million to help reload on offense before they’d have to start increasing payroll. Signing Pettitte and Sheets, however, would leave them with $14 million, which might be enough to start talking to a big bopper such as Adam Dunn (who earned $10.5 million last year and had the Reds turn down his $13 million option) or Pat Burrell (who made $14 million in 2008).

Signing Pettitte and Sheets would also allow the Yankees to maintain flexibility in their rotation as their pitching prospects continue to graduate to the majors. If the 2009 was comprised of Sabathia, Wang, Joba Chamberlain, Pettitte, and Sheets, with Phil Hughes, Alfredo Aceves, and Ian Kennedy as injury insurance. The 2010 rotation would shed Pettitte following his one-year deal allowing Hughes to move into the rotation with Chamberlain expanding his innings total to something close to 200. Sheets’ two-year deal would then expire after that season allowing Kennedy or Zach McAllister, who will start 2009 in Double-A, to take his spot. Of course, Wang would be a free agent following the 2010 season as well, but that would allow the Yankees to choose between Sheets and Wang and the other free agents on the market with Sabathia still in place, Chamberlain and Hughes behind him still under team control, and Kennedy or McAllister in line available as the fifth starter.

Certainly there’s a fair bit of wishful thinking going on there with regard to the team’s pitching prospects, but, as I’ve written before, there are still more prospects behind Chamberlain, Hughes, Kennedy, and McAllister. Only three of them need to pan out in the scenario I’ve just described, and the third need be no better than a fifth starter. Given the talent in the system, that’s not too much to expect. Just look at the young, home-grown rotations of teams such as the Rays, Blue Jays, and Twins, to name three that come immediately to mind.

Beyond saving a few million in 2009, the Yankees should steer clear of Burnett and Lowe now that Sabathia is in place primarily because additional long term deals would rob the team of it’s ability to take advantage of it’s greatest resource, it’s rich crop of pitching talent.

The other reason the Yankees need to stop their insane pursuit of Burnett and Lowe (beyond the respective injury and age-related risks those pitchers will bring with them) is that, now that they’ve landed a true ace, the Yankees biggest problem is not starting pitching, but offense. Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi aren’t just clearing $32 million off the books, they’re also clearing 62.4 VORP (or roughly six wins worth of offense) off the books. Even if Nick Swisher has a full rebound to his 2007 level of production, he’ll only replace half of that. Besides which, the Yankee offense underperformed last year. The Yankees don’t just need to replace Giambi and Abreu, they need to replace their production and add more. If Xavier Nady returns to his 2007 levels, he’ll only contribute about 9 VORP beyond what he gave the Yankees last year. Nady and Swisher aren’t enough.

Though it’s admittedly unrealistic, the best way the Yankees could use that remaining $40 million would be to give $25 million a year to Mark Teixeira (who was worth 65.2 VORP all by himself last year), $13 million to whichever of Pettitte or Sheets either is willing to take it or has the least disturbing medical records (ideally Sheets for two years rather than Pettitte for one), and put the remaining $2 million toward a two-year deal for Braden Looper worth about $5 million per year. That would allow the Yankees to either platoon Nady and Swisher in right field or trade one of Nady, Johnny Damon, or Hideki Matsui for help in center or at catcher, would give them a rotation of Sabathia, Wang, Chamberlain, Pettitte/Sheets, and Looper with Hughes, Aceves, and Kennedy as backup, and would allow them to run out this lineup:

L – Johnny Damon (LF)
R – Derek Jeter (SS)
S – Mark Teixeira (1B)
R – Alex Rodriguez (3B)
S – Jorge Posada (C)
L – Hideki Matsui (DH)
S/R – Swisher/Nady (RF)
L – Robinson Cano (2B)
L – Brett Gardner (CF)

Take Teixeira out of that lineup and it’s not a pretty picture given the 2008 performances of Posada, Matsui, Cano, and Gardner and the advancing age of Damon, Jeter, Posada, and Matsui. As for Gardner, I’m still wondering if Jim Edmonds might take $5 million or so or perhaps an even lower base with incentives to take a stab at center field. I’m also wondering how much of this post will still be relevant by the time you reach this sentence.

Oh, and before I go, here’s one more lineup to consider:

L – Jacoby Ellsbury (CF)
R – Dustin Pedroia (2B)
S – Mark Teixeira (1B)
R – Kevin Youkilis (3B)
L – David Ortiz (DH)
R – Jason Bay (LF)
L – J.D. Drew (RF)
S – Jed Lowrie (SS)
Does it really matter? (C)

That can’t be allowed to happen.

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Hot Stove

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54 comments

1 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 11, 2008 9:08 am

MLB trade rumors reporting Cabrera for Cameron imminent.

2 Bum Rush   ~  Dec 11, 2008 9:20 am

Couldn't agree more on Lowe and Burnett vs. Sheets and Pettitte.

Teixeira just isn't good enough to justify the cost. His current product is fine. I'd just hate to see it in years 4-8 (or gasp 10) when he doesn't have that far to fall to continue to be a plus at the position. He's Will Clark. And Will Clark was never worth $20 million a year after age 28.

I'd rather run out this:

L - Johnny Damon (LF/CF)
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
L - Adam Dunn (1B/DH)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
R - Manny Rameriez (RF/DH)
S - Jorge Posada (C)
S/R - Swisher/Nady (1B/RF)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
L - Brett Gardner (CF/LIDR)

This is the year to upgrade the OF/DH positions. Manny and Dunn are both better than anything on the market next year. Holliday may be as good (if he proves it this year) but his cost will be prohibitive. Trade Matsui for what scrub you can get.

3 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2008 9:22 am

Cameron over Melky is an upgrade. Also, the Yankees can expect rebounds from Cano, Jeter, catcher in total, possibly Arod and Matsui if healthy. Meanwhile, on the pitching side, the Yankees have lost Mussina's enormous production. Whether he was going to repeat it or not, that production is gone. It's all well in good to project great things for all Yankee pitching prospects, but let me ask you this: how many starters as good as Burnett have the Yankees developed over the past 50 years? I'd love to be able to make the same assumptions you are, but they don't seem realistic to me at all.

Because I think this is really a Tex now or Holliday later debate, I would rather pursue Dunn or Manny on a shorter term deal. That would come close to or exceed Tex' offensive contribution without precluding a play for Holliday next season (assuming the Yankees don't want three offensive players making $25mn in 2010).

I can see an argument for Tex, but it isn't the no-brainer that so many seem to be suggesting.

Finally, if we are going to assume the Yankees' prospects will develop favorably, why can't the team trade them for offensive players?

4 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2008 9:24 am

Also, while Tex did have a great defensive year this season, UZR has him at below average from 2005-2007. He is a good fielder, but certainly not elite.

5 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 11, 2008 9:29 am

I like Cameron for Melky. Melky was dead to me :)

And William I hear you but I'd rather have Tex. Don't forget that he's a massive improvement not only offensively but defensively as well. Imagine Cano being able to shade a half step to his right. Imagine what that does for Jeter. Imagine not worrying about where the throws from SS/3B are headed into 1B. Not to mention his fairly monstrous bat.

6 Bum Rush   ~  Dec 11, 2008 9:31 am

@3

Agreed on Dunn or Manny because of the fraction of the cost - dollars and years. Still I say sign both. They're both better than anything on next year's market. If Holliday is all that this year then they could sign him as well since they'd be cutting probably 39 million from the payroll (Damon, Matsui, and Pettitte).

7 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2008 9:31 am

[5] Tex is a massive improvement over Giambi, but he wont be replacing him. Giambi is gone regardless. See my comment in [4]. I am not sure how much better Teixeira would be than Swisher.

8 rbj   ~  Dec 11, 2008 9:32 am

Wow, bye-bye Melky. Sorry things just didn't work out here. I'd rather have Sheets than A.J. bangs head against wall. At least he won't cost as much sitting on the DL.

Now if only Hughes could have rebounded enough to where neither of A.J. or Ben was needed, then put all that money into overpaying for Tex. . .

9 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2008 9:33 am

[6] You can't sign both because they are attrocious defenders. The Yankees should simply get a big bopper and plant him in the DH slot. For too long, they have accumulated lighter hitting type DHs and forced them into the field. I'd have no problem signing Dunn or Manny and telling them you are my DH for the next three seasons. Take big swings.

10 Bum Rush   ~  Dec 11, 2008 9:34 am

The problem with Melky is that he's still so young and they rushed him. If he ever spends a year in AAA (or the NL Central) I could see him developing some power to be a Juan Rivera type.

11 Bum Rush   ~  Dec 11, 2008 9:44 am

@ 9

Manny was average in LA. Fenway gave him a worse rap than he deserved. In RF at YS 2.0 he'd be fine. Dunn as a LF/DH would be good enough, especially if they had a CF that could cover some ground.

I'm against a strict DH however. They need Jorge and Jeter spending time there over the next two or three years. Jorge could even be the strict DH this year.

12 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2008 9:51 am

[11] You can't make judgments off of Manny's small sample in LA. Also, the Green Monster should have helped Manny, not hurt him. I don't think you can simply shift a poor LF'er over to RF and expect any better. If the Yankees plan on having Manny in the field much, then I don't think they should acquire him.

I also don't like the idea of having Jeter and to a lesser degree Posada in the DH slot. Jeter's bat is simply not good enough to be a DH. Posada's is borderline. In my perfect world, your DH is an absolute slugger. Using the position to give lesser hitters a day off is counterproductive. I'd rather just have the hitting machine, and give those players a complete day off.

13 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2008 9:55 am

[11] Following up, an OF of Dunn and Manny on the corners would require Elliot Maddux, Paul Blair, Andruw Jones (pre-fat) and Willie Mays carrying Joe DiMaggio on their shoulders to make up for the difference.

14 Bum Rush   ~  Dec 11, 2008 10:02 am

@12

The defensive metrics are thrown off by Manny at Fenway. There's simply no other park like it. And I have yet to see his road numbers from his Boston days to say he is "atrocious."

Jeter at SS is absolutely killing the team more so than any other defensive position. Just shifting him to DH, even if he's a bit below average there, would help especially if Wang or Lowe are pitching.

@13

Of course, Dunn could play 1B this year or could be the full-time DH if they use it as an excuse to trade Matsui for a bag of balls. Signing then both for three years doesn't mean they're the corner OF's for those three years.

15 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2008 10:04 am

According to Heyman, the Yankees are in fact back in the mix for Teixeira, so that should momentarily make a few people here happy.

16 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 11, 2008 10:05 am

Maddox! William, you get the prize for the morning for mentioning him. Paul Blair too.

17 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2008 10:08 am

[14] Can you point me to some stats that show Manny's defense was at least decent on the road? I'd like to see the Yankees assemble an OF that actually gets to some balls, so Manny and Dunn remain mutually exclusive to me.

18 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2008 10:09 am

[16] Prize? I am not picky...I'll take half of what CC got.

19 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Dec 11, 2008 10:19 am

Just to update my math in the post above, Cameron will earn $10 million in 2009. So the Yanks will be down to $30 million left from 2008.

20 Bum Rush   ~  Dec 11, 2008 10:20 am

@17

That's the thing - I don't know where to find defensive home/road splits by year.

Still, you keep saying an OF of Dunn and Manny in the corners. At least in 2009 that wouldn't happen with Damon in LF and now Cameron in CF. And even with both of those two gone in 2010, the DH and 1B slots would also be open.

The point is: Dunn and Manny are better free agent values than any other contracts available - this year or next year. Holliday will cost a pretty penny for maybe the same production.

21 ny2ca2dc   ~  Dec 11, 2008 10:23 am

Manny and Dunn would seem superfluous to me too. Honestly, the who AJ thing is so distressing I just want the Yanks to add ONE of the big boppers, and I don't really care at this point if it's Dunn, Tex, or Manny. Adding Cameron would seem to make impossible adding two boppers. I'm pretty worried they're just going to add Cameron and call it done:

Po; Swish; Cano; ARod; Jeter; Damon; Cameron; Nady; Matsui (DH)

Ain't so great. Replacing Nady with Dunn would solve many problems, and Nady is easily trade-able to boot. Dunn won't even cost draft picks, so trading Nady for a prospect and signing Dunn will both improve the ML team and the farm.

22 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2008 10:28 am

[19] Actually, if it goes through, the Yankees may receive some cash back, so they could have even more.

[20] Fair enough, but Holliday is younger than Manny and a better athlete than Dunn. I'd want to leave that door open, especially if he plays well in Oakland.

[21] I agree...the Yankees need to get one of those. Also, with the 1st rounder gone to C.C., the draft picks are not much of a concern.

23 Bum Rush   ~  Dec 11, 2008 10:29 am

@ 19

Would you rather:

a) Two arms (One of Burnett/Lowe and one of Pettitte/Sheets)
b) A bat and a arm (e.g., Dunn/Bradley and any one of the four)
c) A bat (Teixeira or Manny)

Seems like Cashman, with this move, might be outflanking Hank again to avoid (c).

I predict (a) but it seems they would be helped more by (b).

This team still needs more offense. They've replaced Abreu with Cameron (though not his OBP) especially relative to Melky. They still need to replace their second best hitter from 2008 (Giambi) if they hope to add runs. They can't bank on all the negatives flipping with no one else regressing.

24 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 11, 2008 11:06 am

[13] Brilliant!

If the Yanks don't go for Tex, I'm in total agreement with the idea of a big bopper for the full-time DH job. I think I prefer Dunn only because he's younger than Manny and could, if need be, play 1B and RF as well as LF. (I'm not saying I want to ever see him with a glove at any of those positions, though). He'd also be much cheaper.

However, especially since this deal for Cameron locks one of Damon and Matsui into LF (and thus, by default, the other into DH), trading one of those guys would have to happen first to open up the DH slot. Damon may have more value as he had a great year last year, and has only a partial no-trade clause, compared to Matsui (coming off knee surgery and with a full no-trade). But, as Damon is the better glove and IMO more likely to play 150 games this year, I'd prefer the Yanks try to move Godzilla.

25 Bum Rush   ~  Dec 11, 2008 11:11 am

@ 243

Dunn could play 1B. Let Swisher and Nady platoon in RF and LF. Then it also frees the team from having to carry Gardner. Swisher could play CF in a pinch.

With Cameron, my hopes on Manny are dimming. Dunn still makes sense and for 2010-2011 too.

26 ms october   ~  Dec 11, 2008 11:21 am

[23] i think b is the better option too.

why hasn't burnett gotten the memo about the advantages of pitching in the nl.

[24] agreed shaun.
i also don't understand why the yanks can't put a great bat/ weak fielder as the basically full time dh. i agree with william that the yanks are better off giving guys a complete rest rather than dhing them with the exception of arod.
plus manny loves his days off and though matsui has been a great hitter when healthy, it is hard to trust him to be health even as only the dh.
many people try to re-create those 90's teams - they had pretty damn good but a little over the hill bats on the bench, in platoons etc.
even though damon has more value in a trade than matsui, he also has more value to the yanks. he plays a decent lf and can play cf when needed. assuming the yanks get cameron, i don't totally trust him to play 150+ games - he is getting older, has had some freak/weird injuries that can happen to someone who plays cf aggressivley, and if he takes the wrong over the counter anything he is getting a major suspension this year.

27 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 11, 2008 11:46 am

I'm guessing no one is supposed to be happy this year. The haters are coming out in droves against the Yanks signing CC for that much, saying all the same stuff about how in a bad economy this is irresponsible (as if they wouldn't do the same thing if they had as much to spend; look at Washington's offer to Tex?) and this unbelievably stupifying pursuit of Burnett at the possible expense of a solid bat. Even if you are looking down the line at Holliday, you've got to know that you're opening the season at this point with an older lineup (minus Melky - enter Cameron) and a big hole at 1B that's supposed to be plugged with disintegrating vets, and a considerably weak outfield in a considerably tough division. Why, why do I even care so much at this point?

28 JL25and3   ~  Dec 11, 2008 11:49 am

[27] And we're all trying our best not to even think about the catching situation.

29 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 11, 2008 11:52 am

[28] (That's kinda why I didn't mention it >;)

30 ChrisS   ~  Dec 11, 2008 12:03 pm

[27/28]

I'm starting to accept that the Yankees will not likely ever have a team of 25-32 year-olds in their prime for multiple seasons.

Their record precludes them from having a shot at the top talent in the draft (outside of high risk/high reward type pitchers). They have money, and they're going to spend it on free agents. They will never have even a $120 million payroll brimming with talent both home-grown and from shrewd trades.

There will always be questions going forward because they will always be an old team.

31 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 11, 2008 12:12 pm

Yanks have already lost 3 players from their AAA roster in today's rule 5 draft .... details to follow.

32 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 11, 2008 12:15 pm

make that 4 .... Ivan Nova taken

33 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 11, 2008 12:19 pm

Reegie Corona also taken

34 JL25and3   ~  Dec 11, 2008 12:27 pm

What are the odds that any of them will actually stick in the majors this year?

35 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 11, 2008 12:29 pm

[30] The Yanks can sign top free agents, but can't trade for young players? I think there's too much pressure to win now as opposed to building lasting teams, especially since the team is seemingly more concerned about maintaining a billion-dollar brand. The Yanks have indeed built themselves quite the Ivory Tower if that's the case; are they the only team in baseball that straddles both industry and sports entertainment in such mutual fashion?

36 The Hawk   ~  Dec 11, 2008 12:30 pm

Whenever I'm feeling blue, I come by here and find someone fretting over how to replace Giambi and I smile and laugh and everything seems just a little sunnier ...

37 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 11, 2008 12:30 pm

[34] The Twins will give Jones a look for their pen I'm sure, though I don't know if he'll stay on. The Marlins and Kroenke are another possibility.

The others (Corona and Nova) I'd be surprised.

38 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 11, 2008 12:41 pm

andres santos and jose salenes from AA team taken in minor league portion of draft

39 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 11, 2008 12:42 pm
40 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2008 12:44 pm

I don't get the hand wringing about not having many position players age 28-32. Part of the reason that is he case is because the Yankees have signed long-term deals or had long relationships with guys like Arod, Jeter and Posada. Even the likes of Matsui started with the team in that prime range. I see no reason to lament having to hold onto players past that prime range, especially if you are going to advocate an 8-10 year deal for a 28 year-old who will eventually turn 33.

41 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 11, 2008 1:02 pm

[40] Well, maybe that's the wrong approach if you believe you have to have a winning team year after year. If you know that a player's skill is going to degrade after age 33, you should start grooming a replacement at some point. That might seem heartless to some, but it's likely a choice between winning and maintaining friendly relations with your All-Star past. The way I see it, the dynasties in the further-flung past for the most part still had most of their popular players come around on Old-Timers' Day even when their playing days with the Yanks were stunted by non-sentimentalization.

I dunno, things are different because the Yanks are as much a brand as they are a team (if not more so), thus they have to maintain a relationship with its glorious past at the expense of present production? It just seems like the mixed priorities are conflicting with each other.

42 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 11, 2008 1:08 pm

[2] There are VERY few elite FAs who are worth their contract. The reality is you pay a huge premium to get these guys... take it or leave it. $100m worth of Dice-K wasn't risky? How about JD Drew? Are those 2 aren't really elite. And how about CC? Anyone think about paying him $23m/yr in 2014 and 2015?

[4] You posted 1 defensive metric. As poor as defensive stats are, how about 2 oer 3 other ones to round out the picture? Bill James Fielding Bible has him as the 6th best 1Bman from 2006-2008. Not elite, but top 20%.

Manny + Dunn might help but they are both extremely 1 dimensional players. Plus as great as Manny's bat is, for $25m/yr, the guy is too unstable.

[9] I'd take Dunn as a DH, and I hear he might be a bargain. But doesn't that make Matsui superfluous?

[11] You are just wrong about Manny's D. I've watched him for 8 years. He DOES have good hands. He catches most of what he reaches. But he gets poor jumps and can't run. He CAN come in on balls, but is terrible going into the gap. He may not be the WORST fielder, but he is in that arena. Bill James has Manny as the 2nd Worst LFer (2006-2008) and Dunn as the 3rd worst.

43 ChrisS   ~  Dec 11, 2008 1:30 pm

It's not necessarily hand-wringing. I don't think that the Yankees will be that team chock full of youngsters and pleasant surprises (and, yes, the added potential for a losing season). They don't approach the process that way and big chunk of the reason is that they can pay players what they have to. The Yankees don't have the financial pressure to cut their losses and there's definitely less incentive to take risks with unproven, but talented, players (outside of pitchers it seems). So they can hang onto players past their prime, but how many do you want to hang onto? The Yankees threw boatloads of money at two high-end free agents in the early 90s (Bonds and Maddux), both declined to join the Yankees. What would the late 90s teams have looked like had they those two been signed? (No Matt Drews in '93!) Would they still have won titles?

It's a double-edged sword and I don't think I could handle being a fan of a team that is constantly in turn-over and just as a player gets good he's shown the door. But I'd like to see more of a long, pinstriped line, to steal a phrase. Instead of looking forward to seeing which players will improve or live up to their potential, the main thing becomes whether or not Player A will produce like he has in the past or get worse and whether or not Yankees fail to win the post-season.

44 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 11, 2008 1:31 pm

[42] Well then. Maybe Cash is secretly reading Bill James and keeping his own counsel about fixing the offense... or so I hope. I'm of the mind that he'd rather build a lasting team over time as opposed to maintaining status quo, but I have no idea what he's actually doing, and maybe I don't need to know. Sure is frustrating though, and again begs the question: WHY DO I CARE??

45 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 11, 2008 2:19 pm

From MLBTradeRumors:

1:01pm: Cameron's agent told Tyler Kepner nothing has been completed. Kepner says the Brewers have actually been asking about Igawa.

11:49am: Joel Sherman talked to a top exec involved in the talks who called the chances of a deal "remote." Kevin Baxter of the L.A. Times was told the deal is done, however.

11:17am: Ken Rosenthal says the potential deal hit a roadblock over the Yankees' desire to have Milwaukee pick up part of the tab on Cameron. Also, the Brewers want a second player after Cabrera. Tom Haudricourt says the Yankees tried to unload Kei Igawa on them.

9:28am: The Cabrera for Cameron deal is close but not done, according to Joel Sherman's source. He says the Brewers could receive a pitcher as well, with the quality depending on whether they'll assume salary.

46 rbj   ~  Dec 11, 2008 2:33 pm

"Also, the Brewers want a second player after Cabrera. Tom Haudricourt says the Yankees tried to unload Kei Igawa on them."

Ah well, that would scotch any deal. "You want to unload A-Rod on us, and pay his salary too? Great. What, we have to take Igawa as well? No thanks, keep them both."

If the deal does get squashed, let's hope it gives Melky the kick in the pants he needs.

47 zack   ~  Dec 11, 2008 2:36 pm

It would be a shame to see Tex sign with the Sox, as their offense will be in its prime for awhile as the Yanks' ages. Sure, Ortiz might not be himself, but the core of that team is in its prime now or will be soon. And other than Tex, it would be a pretty CHEAP lineup, leaving them room to resign Beckett etc.

So while the Yanks would be looked into a few hefty longterm contracts, the Sox would have but one.

Now don't get me wrong, A-Rod and CC aren't likely to be huge burdens for them, despite their relative heft (so to speak). But as already discussed, signing Burnett to 5 years and perhaps even Lowe to 4 WOULD be a burden.

And with the offense only getting older and not as good but with tons of pitching waiting in the wings, doesn't it seem far more advantageous to lock in some offensive players to longer term contracts, if you must. That is to say, they don't have the ability to fill in for their aging offense, whereas they can fill in for their rotation.

All this to say that signing Tex would be a very very very good idea, methinks.

48 ms october   ~  Dec 11, 2008 2:46 pm

mattpat needs to send drayton moore a nice holiday present.
http://tinyurl.com/6ghkjy

"And with the offense only getting older and not as good but with tons of pitching waiting in the wings, doesn’t it seem far more advantageous to lock in some offensive players to longer term contracts, if you must. That is to say, they don’t have the ability to fill in for their aging offense, whereas they can fill in for their rotation."

this sums up many of the senitments her eand in a lot of cliff's recent posts quite well.

49 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 11, 2008 3:03 pm

Maybe we can buy EVERY good pitcher in MLB? Then we can go on with a crappy offense and defense.

Frankly, I'd rather watch Hughes then AJ, rather watch IPK then Lowe, and would really rather watch Tex at 1B then Swisher.

Maybe the secret plan is to wait out Manny and then make the best offer? God... I hope not.

50 JL25and3   ~  Dec 11, 2008 4:45 pm

[47] Yeah, I don't get it. What happened to the whole idea of the long-term plan, and the farm system, and all that?

If they're talking about limited resources and cutting payroll, why are they throwing money at the organizational strength but ignoring the glaring weakness? Burnett and/or Lowe would be good signings for one year, but for longer than that, they're a waste of resources. And either way, Teixeira looks like a great investment for the long term.

William, I don't think the question is having a team full of 28-32 year olds, just having some players that aren't really old or in AA.

51 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 11, 2008 5:08 pm

(wondering if anyone read my News of the Day post today)

Yeah, I know .... the fast and the furious goin' on here ...

52 Eric B   ~  Dec 11, 2008 5:32 pm

Yes, Diane, we all read your post. May I make a suggestion? We would like to hear your thoughts on the news of the day, i.e. "I am pleased w/ the CC signing" or I am against the AJ Burnett signing because...

53 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 11, 2008 5:39 pm

[51] (Wondering the same thing) but at least there's cake! ...umm, remember, I'm the one who either accidentally makes sense or you get my gist after having a week to think about it...

54 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 11, 2008 6:16 pm

You guys see the Giambi rumor? Possible?

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