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Preseason At Bats

Over at the New York Times‘ Bats blog today, Justin Sablich has a round-table Q&A with myself, Steve Lombardi, and Benjamin Kabak concerning the Yankees’ outlook for the coming season. A quick sample:

Q: Cliff, there is little doubt that Teixeira will help this team in the short term and probably for many years to come. But how concerned are you about Teixeira, on an aging team, clogging up a position for eight years that is often considered a prime spot to move aging players?

Corcoran: A team concerned about how it can keep declining players in the lineup isn’t going to win. I’m thus not concerned in the slightest about having one of the best first basemen in baseball “clogging up” a position on the far left of the defensive spectrum just because the team might have declining players looking for a place to play. Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon are free agents after this season and shouldn’t be re-signed. Neither Derek Jeter nor Jorge Posada should remain past 2011. Though Jeter likely will, he won’t hit enough to carry first base by then (he barely does now), and it will be Jeter’s contract, not Teixeira’s that was the mistake.

The real issue is Alex Rodriguez, who is signed through 2017, a year longer than Teixeira. Unlike Jeter, Rodriguez could carry a corner outfield spot, but also unlike Jeter, he’s awful at tracking fly balls. That would make first base the preferred destination for Rodriguez’s big bat should age and injury further erode his play at third base. Once again, the problem isn’t that Teixeira is signed through age 36, it’s that Rodriguez is signed through age 42.

Check it out.

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1 a.O   ~  Mar 30, 2009 1:01 pm

Great piece, Cliff.

But Old Gardy is going to prove you wrong about not offering more than Edmonds, I predict.

2 Will Weiss   ~  Mar 30, 2009 1:10 pm

[0] Good stuff, Cliff. ... Unconditional love for A-Rod and Cashman? Steve isn't reading enough of the Banter. Neither of them get a free pass here.

3 tommyl   ~  Mar 30, 2009 1:47 pm

[2] Well, Lombardi's "less then unconditional love" is usually him saying how much one of those three sucks. I used to avidly read his blog a few years ago, but at one point he just started ripping Hughes for no apparent reason. Every time he pitched there was a post about his velocity, or command or whatever. It just become unreadable.

4 williamnyy23   ~  Mar 30, 2009 2:02 pm

[3] I have a feeling he is simply trying to ramp up his comments with many of his posts, which is why I seldom drop in over at WW.

5 ms october   ~  Mar 30, 2009 2:33 pm

way to represent cliff.

interesting to get the different takes in one spot.

not so sure about edmonds too, and back to thinking melky just might put it together (probably somewhere else), and am interested to see how gardner shakes out.

6 monkeypants   ~  Mar 30, 2009 3:03 pm

[4] Same here--I pretty much stopped reading his blog. The Banter, though, remains at the top of the rotation!

7 Rob Abruzzese   ~  Mar 30, 2009 4:16 pm

I read this earlier today. Good points.

8 cult of basebaal   ~  Mar 30, 2009 7:23 pm

as i wrote over at BBTF, you've gotta scrape the bottom of the Yankees Blog barrel pretty damn hard to come up with a ladle full of lombardi.

should'a gone with SG from RLYW.

9 rbj   ~  Mar 30, 2009 7:32 pm

[3], [4] Yup. I guess not wanting to tar and feather those three, and run them out of town on a rail equals unconditional love.

And way to go Cliff.

10 Rich   ~  Mar 30, 2009 11:30 pm

Cliff turned a lowest common denominator question into a lesson in roster construction. Good work.

11 SteveAmerica   ~  Mar 30, 2009 11:36 pm

WasWatching is a complete joke that's all I say about it.

Cliff, you are pretty absolute in your disdain for the Burnett signing. Is there any scenario in which you will say, "I was wrong about it." Or do you fully object to it based on the decision making it represents?

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