"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 12/17/08

Powered by the thought that American ingenuity is not dead (as “proven” by this ) …. here’s the news:

  • MLB.com reports that the BoSox have made an official offer to Mark Teixeira, but points out that adding Tex to the lineup could cause a logjam:

The Red Sox have Kevin Youkilis at first base and Mike Lowell at third. To open a spot for Teixeira, the Red Sox might have to trade Lowell and move Youkilis across the diamond.

However, Lowell, coming off right hip surgery, is likely to have to prove his health in Spring Training if he is to be dealt. Last winter the Red Sox re-signed Lowell, the Most Valuable Player of the 2007 World Series, to a three-year, $37.5 million contract.

The Red Sox control Youkilis contractually for the next two years, so it’s highly doubtful he would be moved. …  David Ortiz … is a 10-5 man … meaning he could veto any trade.

(My take: From a public relations standpoint, it would be hard for the Sox to trade the beloved Big Papi.  Youkilis is too valuable to trade in that he plays both corners well, and is insurance for the “old skill set” Ortiz.  The “rational” Sox rooter would understand trading the older, recovering Lowell, although I would think the Sox would have to pay some of Lowell’s salary to move him.  The Twins have a void at third, but even if the Sox paid a good portion of Lowell’s salary, I couldn’t see Lowell’s back holding up on that unforgiving Metrodome turf this season.)

  • Could Manny be Manny AND be an Angel?: MLB.com reports that should the Angels not be able to re-sign Teixeira, they may set their sights on Manny Ramirez.  Manager Mike Scioscia thinks Manny would be OK in Anaheim:

Asked if he’d be for it if things could be worked out with Ramirez, Scioscia said, “Absolutely. Talent like Manny’s is real. He’s a winner. Whether it happens or not remains to be seen. But we would not rule him out.

“We have discussions obviously on character and makeup. We would not rule Manny out. When he’s motivated — and he showed that in the last part of the season — this guy is one of the best talents in the game.”

(My take: Dear Mr. Scioscia … couldn’t it be that Manny was motivated during the last part of the season because he was playing for a new contract?  Isn’t it a prerequisite that players are self-motivated during most of the season anyway?  Aren’t you worried that Manny will coast if he ends up on your coast?  Wouldn’t an outfield with both Vlad and Manny make Torii Hunter’s head [and hamstrings] explode?)

  • Over at SI.com, Jon Heyman notes that it appears the Yanks are falling behind in the race for Teixeira, and may therefore go for Manny:

There are those suggesting the Yankees are only in the running for Teixeira to either monitor the rival Red Sox or drive up the price for the switch-hitting slugger. But while it’s true the Yankees don’t appear as eager to sign Teixeira as the Angels and Red Sox, they do appear willing to sign him at the right price. After already signing CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett for $243.5 million combined, the Yankees appear disinclined to offer $200 million for Teixeira, which is what it may take to get him.

That’s where Manny may come in.

While the Yankees have a trio of accomplished corner outfielders — Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Xavier Nady — they appear to love the idea of Manny and could still utilize Damon in centerfield on occasion.

  • Meanwhile, the News is reporting that there is a split in the Yankee front office over whether to pursue Ramirez:

One baseball official told the Daily News that the Yankees’ interest in Ramirez is more than cursory, that they see the slugger as the perfect complement in their lineup to Alex Rodriguez, forming a 1-2 punch like he did in Boston with David Ortiz.

The official believes that the Yankees are “going hard” after Ramirez, to the point where they are willing to give him a three-year deal worth from $22 million to $25 million per year.

Two other officials are skeptical that the Bombers would commit three years to the enigmatic Ramirez … (however) if the market is limited, the Yanks will try to jump in with a two-year, $50 million package.

According to a source familiar with the Yankees’ thinking, Brian Cashman has been lukewarm to the idea of signing Ramirez, but the rest of the front office – most notably Hal and Hank Steinbrenner – believes he is precisely what the Yankees need to bolster a lineup that underachieved in 2008.

(My take: The Yanks must choose.  Will they go for an eight-year, $200 commitment to a young elite first baseman, a position at which they are at a distinct competitive disadvantage currently, and who would make their fiercest division rival even more formidable if he signed with them instead.  Or, will they opt for a two to three-year, $50-75 million or so commitment to a 36-year-old, moody, below-averaqe outfielder with an occasionally cranky knee who would have to patrol a spacious left field, and seems to turn himself on and off as he sees fit.  As Alex, Cliff and Anthony McCarron discussed, the age of the Yanks roster and the length of some current contracts results in perhaps a three-year “window of opportunity”, which would seem to lean for signing Ramirez, but how do the Yanks pass up the chance to lock down first base well into the 2010s?)

  • Cameron/Cabrera deal now firmly in Yanks court: The Star-Ledger reports that the parameters of the Cabrera for Cameron deal appear to be set, but now the Yanks are wondering whether to go through with it:

The question for the Yankees is whether to spend $10 million on Cameron — his salary in 2009 — or put that money to use for a better hitter. If Andy Pettitte takes much longer to decide on the Yankees’ $10 million offer to return, that’s $20 million the Yankees could spend somewhere else — some on a lower-tier free-agent starting pitcher and most on a hitter.

(My take: Cameron still has pop in his bat, and his range in center is still above average, but he struck out in about 30% of his ABs last year, while hitting under .250 for the 2nd consecutive season.  Will he be batting in RBI-critical situations … cause he batted .205 with 2 out and RISP last year.)

  • Clear your calendar Thursday, cause C.C. is coming to town!: The Daily News reports (via Yahoo!Sports) that Sabathia will be introduced at a news conference on Thursday.
  • Back at MLB.com, T.R. Sullivan offers an excellent overview of  recent history in terms of signing free agents in their mid-to-late 30s.
  • Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe offers up his top 5 worst pitching contracts, with Igawa and Burnett landing at #4 and #5 respectively.
  • Yankees are losing a (sponsorship with) GM: Bloomberg.com reports that financially-troubled General Motors is not renewing their sponsorship of the Bombers for 2009, but WILL retain their sponsorship with the Mets.
  • Damon’s play wins “Oddity of the Year” (no … not his overall play in the field …):  MLB.com announced that the fans voted this play as “Oddity of the Year” in the “This Year in Baseball Awards”.
  • Happy 40th birthday to Curtis Pride, who got into four games with the Yanks in 2003.  Pride is one of only thirteen deaf persons to ever play in the Majors.
  • Bob Ojeda turns 51 today.  The Bombers were Ojeda’s final ML team.  He started two games for them in 1994, and lasted a combined three innings, giving up 11 hits and 6 walks, for a WHIP of 5.67.  Fun fact: Ojeda’s 5.67 WHIP is the highest single season figure in history for any pure starter with at least three innings pitched.
  • Charlie Sands (1 AB in his only game with the Yanks in 1967) turns 61.
  • On this date in 1924, the Yanks get four-time 20-game winner (and one of my all-time favorite baseball names) Urban Shocker from the Browns for pitchers Milt Gaston, Joe Giard, and Joe Bush. Shocker led the Browns in wins in each of the prior five seasons and will be a mainstay on two pennant-winning staffs for New York.
  • On this date in 1953, the Yankees sell Yankee Stadium and Kansas City properties for $6.5 million in a deal with Johnson Corp and the Knights of Columbus, who later sell the property back to the Yanks.
  • On this date in 1964, the long-time television and radio voice of the Yankees, Mel Allen, is fired.
  • On this date in 2001, free agent OF Rondell White is signed to a two-year contract.
  • On this date in 2003, Gary Sheffield (.330, 39, 132) finalizes a $39 million, three-year deal with the Bombers, which includes $13.5 million in deferred money and a $13 million team option for 2007.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 The Hawk   ~  Dec 17, 2008 9:39 am

I remember when signing a guy like Ramirez would have been nearly out of the question for the Yankees. I guess losing lowers your personality standards.

Personally, I like the idea of Manny's bat but the drama that comes with it would be unwelcome (duh). There's really no room for him on the team. Unless they could trade Matsui - which they can't - it makes little sense to sign Manny. Thus, it sounds like it will happen.

2 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 17, 2008 9:50 am

Mark Teixiera is a switch hitting, slick fielding 1B, who by all accounts is a great guy and teammate. He would be an asset to any team for sure. Still, I can't help but wonder why so many people seem so overwhelmingly in support of giving him an 8 to 10 year deal, which would essentially lock his team into a very expensive 1B, a position that should be relatively easy to fill.

At age 29, Tex is in the midst of his prime, but I think that should be at least a little cautionary. He seems to have plateaued around an OPS+ of 150, which quite frankly, isn't the overwhelming prime you'd expect from a $25mn first baseman. Now, it is possible that he could improve through his mid-30s, like another former $25mn man (now a $32mn man), but I just don't see Tex as the same kind of athlete.

Personally, I would much rather have Manny for 3 years at $75mn than Tex at 8-10 years/$200-250mn. It fits in better with the Yankees roster needs (they will have no outfielders under contract by 2010, although I'd still prefer Manny as a DH) and the development of the team (it's best offensive players don't project as well as you go further out).

If I was Cashman, I would make Manny an aggressive offer right now and let him know that if he didn't take it, the Yankees would pursue Adam Dunn. If the Yankees wait for Tex to sign, and he chooses Boston, that will add the Angels into the Manny mix, which could boost the cost. I'd rather strike while the iron is hot than allow the market for Manny to grow.

3 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 17, 2008 9:51 am

I too like Manny's bat. So let's get his bat, but leave Manny 3 thousand miles away.

Getting AJ instead of Tex was a big mistake! $82.5m of an oft injured #2/#3 is nuts! Maybe the Yanks (and Braves) know something we don't, but I smell disappointment coming.

With CC, Wang, Joba and AJ, and IPK, Hughes and AA in the wings, with tons of other young talent, do we really need to pay $10m+ for another pitcher?

I guess if we can dump 1/2 of Iggy's salary the Cameron trade makes sense, but otherwise the difference between Brett/Melky and Cameron certainly isn't worth $10m. At least there is a CHANCE that Brett/Melky may surprise us, and I'll guess they are both better on D then is Cameron. Seems like (more) wasted money.

I'm a big Cashman fan, but this team (especially with Cameron) may look a lot better on paper then on the field. CC and Tex would have been close to enough. Sheets or Dunn would have been a good low commitment upgrade. What has happened this winter smells more like Old George then like Cashman.

And Diane, as you hinted, Manny could be big trouble. On principal alone, I don't want the guy. He doesn't deserve to wear Pinstripes!

4 Dimelo   ~  Dec 17, 2008 10:00 am

I kind of hope the Yanks get neither, Manny or Tex. I'd like to see the Yanks, specifically Cash-Money, come up with a trade where we can get a productive player where we give up some talent and can stick him at first base or come up with a better trade than Cameron.

Just looking at different first base options, I like players that fly "under" the radar (i.e. Cincy's Joey Votto, Ryan Garko, James Looney, Casey Kotchman). I'd like to see a trade happen rather than signing some big free agent prize.

What do ya'll think? Is getting the big ticket worth more than giving up some of the Yankees talent?

And I'd like the Yanks say "HELL NO!!" to Cameron. Not cause of what they are trading, but because its Mike Cameron they are getting back. A.k.a The WHIFF MAN!!!

5 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 17, 2008 10:10 am

[1] Have the Yankees ever shied away from controversial players? I can recall another ex-Red Sox player who was thought to be a selfish malcontent who harmed the team concept. In fact, I can think of several. From Babe Ruth to Wade Boggs to Roger Clemens, the Yankees have done quite well picking up Boston’s attitude problems.

At no point in his career as Manny never been an excellent hitter. I keep reading all these articles questioning Manny's motivation to play, but there is no evidence to support the notion that he will be anything less than the great hitter that he has always been.

6 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 17, 2008 10:12 am

[3] Again, this isn't a question of Burnett versus Teixiera, so I am not sure why that would factor into the equation.

7 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 17, 2008 10:13 am

[2] I say screw the aggressive offer to Manny and just make an offer to Dunn already, if a bat is the question. Dunn' bat isn't quite as potent, but he will cost a lot less (money and no draft pick) and will not be a headache / headcase. And when Manny's knees/ankles/feet/ear drums/funny bones act up, and he plays only 120 games or so, Dunn (for 160 games) may be Manny's equal - or damn close.

I continue to think that the way to get Tex would be to offer him Sabathia's contract: $23M AAV but with an opt-out after 3 years. There is no way Boras doesn't jump all over that, because it means he can get Tex (and himself) another big payday. You deal with Tex opting out if and when he does.

[4] Trades are fine with me, but IMHO, the only worthwhile 1B on your list is Votto (Loney is a nice hitter but I don't see the power ever coming on).

8 ms october   ~  Dec 17, 2008 10:26 am

well first, i agree with william on manny; but am also okay with just going ahead and making an offer on dunn.

second, while we don't know that it was either burnett or tex, we also don't know that it wasn't burnett or tex.

third, i also agree with shaun's tex strategy - make him an offer with an opt out after 3 years.
the idea that the yanks have a 3 year window of the old heads is pretty accurate as of now (obviously some things change, but with the cc contratc, mo, po, jeter's contract, and alex still being in his prime - a 3 year push makes sense)

9 The Hawk   ~  Dec 17, 2008 10:36 am

[5] I guess you're right, but in the late 90s halcyon era (ah remember those days?) I routinely heard about the Yankees looking for a certain type of guy - the type of which Manny definitely was NOT, as was referenced specifically more than once before he found his way to Boston. Maybe it was lip service, but after the most ignominious chapter in his career, they don't even pay lip service to the idea of character. I'm just saying it's funny how losing helps you to lose the high road pretty quickly ...

10 joejoejoe   ~  Dec 17, 2008 10:41 am

Leaving aside the on-field merits of Manny, he's the best possible fit from a show business point of view. He steals some of the "Los Mets" marketing thunder, he's in the headlines every day, and he's a hometown kid.

The 114 win '98 Yankees drew 1.3 million fewer fans than last year's 89 win 3rd place team. The Yankees have been getting better and better with the show business aspect of running the team and that is probably why the Yanks will choose Manny and not Teixeira.

From a baseball perspective I don't think the Yankees should ever go out of their way have an elite 1B or DH. They will always have a good number of veteran stars on their team and you have a better chance of optimizing rest and ABs with a veteran squad with a handful of guys with 1B mitts like Swisher, Posada, and maybe Damon than blocking that route for half a decade with Tex.

I think the Yanks sign Manny and trade for Cameron and then are done with everything but minor moves.

11 The 13th   ~  Dec 17, 2008 10:42 am

[0] From a public relations standpoint, it would be hard for the Sox to trade the beloved Big Papi.

You underestimate the Sox front office. They'll just plant stories in the local press and run the guy out of town.

12 The Mick536   ~  Dec 17, 2008 10:59 am

No Manny, please. I despise him. He is a low life. I don't care how many homeruns he hits. I hate his hairdoo. I hate his long pants. I have enough trouble with Cano's lack of intensity. I'd rather have Bernie Madoff in left field.

As for the non-hearing players, astounded how many were called by that inappropriate surname. But, they said the same thing about Tommy.

13 zack   ~  Dec 17, 2008 11:14 am

[12] There does seem to be an underlying bit of racism to your post, but leaving that aside, the notion that Manny is a 'low life' is absurd.

What, he watches his home runs, does some goofy things, is a mental case and can be counted on for 15 or so "mental off days a season," and supposedly "tanked" the first half of last year despite hitting to an ops+ of 130, better than anyone save Arod on the Yanks?

First, the Yanks have had plenty of guys who watch their home runs, do goofy things, and take mental days. El Duque almost always hit the dl with some injury or another that nobody could figure out. The line between Damon and Manny isn't so far apart.

But even ignoring all that, Manny has never, say, been caught drunk driving like a certain fan favorite kid. He's never been caught with a gun, never cursed anyone out, or anything remotely "thugish." Hes a putz, but he isn't dangerous, and if he is such a "cancer," it sure didn't hurt the Sox. Remember that 2004 team that had such great "chemistry" and that helped them win? wasn't Manny on that team?

There is simply no better bat out there than Manny's. Not Dunn. Not Tex. If the Yankees can get Manny for two years, then they should. Period.

14 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 17, 2008 11:23 am

That's a dangerous game suggesting any underlying racism in Mick's comments, though I understand what you are getting at. Further, Manny has displayed some thuggish behavior as in when he shoved a 60+year old traveling secretary to the ground last year.

15 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 17, 2008 11:25 am

Uhhh Zack [13] you're conveniently forgetting his assault of a 64 year old man last year over the mortal slight that *Manhy didn't get enough tickets to a game*. That makes him a low life and a thug. Full stop.

And the fact that it came in the midst of an obvious series of "dogging it" episodes (e.g. leaving his bat on his shoulder for 3 straight down the middle pitches, forgetting which knee was "hurt", etc.)

And you're also forgetting the fact that it was Papi protecting Manny in the clubhouse and from the press.

All this said, let's not assume the Yanks have given up the character driven approach just yet. After all, all we know is what we read in the papers. Has Hank been quoted about loving Manny? Sure. But he's always good for a quote. About anyone or anything. Until there's a confirmed offer, all this taking offense to the notion of Manny on the Yanks b/c he doesn't fit the brand/character mold is just speculative.

16 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 17, 2008 11:27 am

should append sentence in 2nd paragraph with:

...combines to make things worse in terms of his character. He was clearly - literally and figuratively - shoving his way out of town.

17 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 17, 2008 11:40 am

Also, let's not forget the place of character in todays instantaneous 24/7 news-info world vs. its place in the 30s - 80s. The reality is that today we know more about every word and deed of every celebrity and athlete on earth. And we know it pretty much instantly.

20 - 100 years ago, the news cycle consisted of 1-2 editions of a daily paper and the evening news. The press corps was way smaller. And on and on.

We had plenty of alcoholics, abusers (physical and substance), cheaters, louts, etc. on the team over the years - including some legends with retired numbers!

I'm sort of playing devil's advocate b/c I'm of two minds on Manny. But ignore the past at your own peril...

18 The Hawk   ~  Dec 17, 2008 11:46 am

The funny thing is, I LOVE Manny. When I saw the Sox at the stadium last summer I watched him almost exclusively the whole time and it was HILARIOUS. The guy is absolutely a space cadet. It would be a mistake to get into the definition of the word "thuggish", but I don't think Manny is that. I don't think he's really a bad guy, just a real weirdo. Yeah he pushed that old guy over, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that it was an accident since he went his entire career with assaulting the elderly prior to that.

All that being said, I just don't know how well he'll fit in on the Yankees. I think all their concerns they had when he was last available still stand ... Maybe though, his weirdness and A-Rod's will somehow cancel each other out. Or maybe they will spur each other on to even greater heights of weirdness ... A-Rod marries Dolly Parton? Manny falls asleep at home plate after hitting a home run? These things and more may come true; also they might have 500 RBI between them.

19 Yankster   ~  Dec 17, 2008 11:54 am

Two things:
1) "Window of Opportunity" describes a situation where you have a bunch of players under control at low salaries at which their ability cannot readily be replaced. The Yankees, who pay aging stars more than anyone else, NEVER have "windows of opportunity." - Win now! before we replace Posada with the best free agent catcher in baseball (whoever that turns out to be). Win now before we replace Jeter with the best free agent SS? Ridiculous - it's a window of nostalgic opportunity - "will the old squad win again?"

2) There are no good 8 year contracts. Giambi was much better (may still be better) than Teixera when he was first signed - who wants that to have lasted 8 years? Let's go with Swisher for a bit and see where it gets us. Yanks were third in baseball in OPS last year - what's all the kvetching about?

20 zack   ~  Dec 17, 2008 12:04 pm

[14] While I stand by my comment, I don't want to stir up controversy. It just bothers me to no end to hear the "Manny disrespects the game because he wears baggy pants and has dreads etc" lines over and over again. But, so be it.

[14][15] I did forget the traveling secretary incident, but Manny also apologized, and perhaps worse, was allowed to get away with such behavior by the Sox org.

But as for "And the fact that it came in the midst of an obvious series of “dogging it” episodes (e.g. leaving his bat on his shoulder for 3 straight down the middle pitches, forgetting which knee was “hurt”, etc.)"
I'm sorry, but there is no way to prove that Manny purposefully struck out. In fact, if anything, Manny has proved quite the opposite, that despite whatever else might be going on, when he is in the batters box, he is there to do one thing, hit. If Manny was "dogging it" last season, he did so to a tune that outhit everyone but ARod on the Yanks.

And I still stand by my original statement: The notion that Manny is somehow of lesser character than everyone else is a convenient excuse. Should his "dogging it" rumors and his incident with the traveling secretary be considered worse than driving drunk? Or punching a wall? Or throwing at someones head on purpose? Or taking roids? Or beating your spouse? Or getting in bar fights?

Because all of those things have happened in the last year, and are just as "dangerous" or worse, yet the focus is on Manny's "bad character."

The Yanks have had plenty of bad apples on their team. They've won with them and lost with them.

I'm sorry, if you were okay having Gary freaking Sheffield on your team, than Manny HAS to be ok.

21 zack   ~  Dec 17, 2008 12:05 pm

[19] And they are now talking about 9 years needing to get it done for Tex.

I really really wanted the Yanks to sign Tex, but I think 9 years and 200M for a 1B is pretty much a bad idea...

22 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 17, 2008 12:10 pm

The "window of opportunity" *is* important to the current Yankees, simply because you don't want to have to scramble three years from now to replace a catcher AND a shortstop and perhaps your stopgap first baseman and your aging outfielders all in one off-season. I mean, look at what they're going through now because they kept signing past-prime or suspect pitching talent. You have the opportunity to sign the best 1B to hit the market in the last few years, and also benefit at the same time by not having to worry about the position for some time.

If they sign Manny, its yet another position they have to fill in three years.

Giambi's offensive numbers were indeed better than Tex when he first signed (especially having played in that Oakland park with all the foul territory). However, Giambi was always a wreck defensively, and his skill set (and use of PEDs) led to a rapid decline, which many of us could have (did?) foreseen at the signing of that 7-year deal.

As for the OPS last year ... Giambi and Abreu were 2nd and 3rd on the team in OPS+ .... why not slot Tex into one of those holes?

(Kim Ng ... watch out) :-)

23 zack   ~  Dec 17, 2008 12:13 pm

[22] On the other hand, part of what Cashman's stated (at least) plan is to have internal options available to replace those aging stars. Part of the benefit of singing Manny to 2-3 years instead of Tex to 9 is that ideally in 2-3 years you have a replacement. Of course, that might not happen, but then its the Yankees own damn fault. That would allow for the win now and win in the future as well approach.

24 Yankee Mama   ~  Dec 17, 2008 12:23 pm

I agree with Diane. I think Tex would give us a decent return on investment and would protect Alex in the line-up as well. Is Manny as scary at bat? Yes. Manny is a savant type. He has a mastery which is one in a million. Off the field, he is an eccentric, not of this universe. It's hard not to salivate on some level. The other side is that he doesn't care about what teams care about. He just wants to do what he is phenomenal at and get paid as much as possible to do it.

Tex, on the other hand is a team guy. It has been excruciating watching the Yank's attempts to fill the hole at 1st. Mantiewicz looked great, but his bat was cold. Giambi's bat was great, but couldn't throw a ball in a straight line. I would prefer to see that addressed. Also, with Damon and Matsui, we have a log jam between LH and DH if Manny were there.

25 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 17, 2008 12:32 pm

The Yanks have basically had a total of THREE first baseman over the last 24 seasons:

26 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 17, 2008 12:37 pm

If they decide to go hunting for a real 1B next season, the potential 1B choices in the 2010 free agent class don't look too appealing:

27 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 17, 2008 12:45 pm

[19] The Yanks were not 3rd in OPS in MLB last year. They were 5th in the AL, 9th in MLB if I'm adding properly.

IIRC, Rob Neyer said they were 3rd in the AL in road OPS in 2008 - obviously a big difference. Still, its possible that the Yanks offense might be OK next year without any other additions, but I'm skeptical.

I think the forgotten point in all this Manny talk - and the talk about the offense in general - is the Yanks' lack of depth and their over-reliance on guys who, at age 35 or older, are that much more likely to miss games due to injury. That's even before you add Manny (going to be 37) into the equation (or Cameron - who will be 36). Damon, Matsui, Jeter, Posada - all are likely to miss 20 games or more. The Yanks' options to cover any of those guys, even with a mere replacement-level player, are basically nil. The reserve OFs are Shelley Duncan and whichever of Melky and Gardner isn't in CF. Even if you consider Swisher a reserve OF, the 1B on the roster are Shelley again and Juan Miranda. I guess Ransom could cover 1B too - but then the Yanks have no reserve 2B or SS or 3B!

Why add to that problem by signing a 37-year-old with a recent history of knee and leg issues (Manny) - or worse, trading for a 36-year-old CF? (Though at least Gardner might be an OK cover in CF for a couple of weeks if Cameron got hurt, or in LF for Damon.)

Youth is not a panacea, but context is important here. I'd much rather the Yanks take a chance on Dunn - or somehow sign Tex - if only because either of those guys is far more likely to play 160 games next year than Manny is.

We've already seen what happens when Posada and Matsui miss significant amounts of time. Do we really want to see that again?

28 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 17, 2008 12:58 pm

[19] Not to mention in regard to OPS, you're losing two guys with significant OPS factor from that lineup. Comparing last year's OPS is a moot issue at best; we're completely ignoring what it's been replaced with so far.

29 ny2ca2dc   ~  Dec 17, 2008 1:16 pm

I think aside from contractual issues, the biggest benefit to Dunn, compared to both Tex and Manny, is positional flexibility. He can play 1B and the OF corners, while Manny is a DH and Tex planted at 1B. Obviously, Tex is a great 1B, and Dunn is a poor fielder at all his slots - but he's not Giambi/Abreu bad. He would allow you to stick him at first and play Swisher or Damon in center (with the other one in left), or Swish in right (if Nady is traded), and when Matsui is gone Dunn could even just go to DH.

I was all for Tex for 6 or 7 years at 20mm per, but at 9 or 10 it's time to move on. Just because the Yanks have lately done a terrible job filling the slot doesn't mean 1B is all of a sudden a hard position to fill. Plenty of FA 1B guys will hit the market in the next 6 years, guys like Pujols, Howard, Prince, etc.

Besides all that though, Nady should really be on the trading block right now, I want a replacement for Tabata in the farm system! I think a market for him would develop before the FAs settle, as he's so much cheaper. The tier of teams who can't pay for Dunn, Tex, Manny, etc should look at Nady as a solid option. Hell, maybe trading Nady opens up enough money to get Tex after all, which would leave Swish in RF, then go get Holliday for LF next year. Swish's flexibility means signing Tex gives you a medium term OF asset, of which we have none if Swish is the 1B.

I guess that's all to say there is really no excuse to not add one big time hitter. there are just so many ways to go, at plenty of price points.

30 Yankee Mama   ~  Dec 17, 2008 1:28 pm

The problem with Dunn is that he's more of the same. Below par defense. I wouldn't underestimate run prevention. Plus, with Tex you get both, strong offense and stellar defense. This reminds me of the year Beltran went to the Mets. I couldn't understand what was holding the Yankees back. Seemed like a no-brainer to me. Switch hitting, young, top shelf defense.

Aaagghhhhhhh!!! As Charlie Brown would say.

31 Raf   ~  Dec 17, 2008 1:44 pm

The Phils may take Lowell off the Red Sox's hands...

I must try that bacon roll. That is awesome on so many different levels.

32 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 17, 2008 1:47 pm

If you are going to discard Manny for pushing the traveling secretary, you had better be prepared to disown some pretty big figures in Yankee history. Once again, the Babe himself would fail miserably under that same scrutiny.

I, for one at least, am not going to buy into the Gammons-led Red Sox party line and believe that Manny is the root of all evil. If two games and one incident erase all that he done on the field, then I think we need to reevaluate our puritanical view, or clean out the closets of the many players already in uniform.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver