"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News Update – 11/26/09

Today’s update features the Muppets tackling Queen:

  • John Perrotto writes about the Yank’s gameplan for the off-season:

General manager Brian Cashman still hasn’t mapped out his winter strategy, waiting until he meets with managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and his brother Hank next week. “Once I get some firm numbers then I can go ahead and start putting together some ideas,” Cashman said.

The Yankees actually lowered their payroll from $209 million in 2008 to $201 million in 2009. The general feeling is Steinbrenners will tell Cashman to hold the line for 2010. “I think the big picture is to be real efficient with how we allocate our resources,” Cashman said. “Obviously, last year showed examples of, depending who it is, we can step up in a big way. I think we’re going to try to be careful. Careful doesn’t mean slow. We’re trying to spend it wisely, make the right commitments to use for the present and the future.”

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!  See you Monday.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 Shaun P.   ~  Nov 26, 2009 11:25 am

Happy thanksgiving to all - and happy birthday to Jon!

2 Mattpat11   ~  Nov 26, 2009 11:26 am

I've got 10:25 AM, so this blog entry is from THE FUTURE.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

3 Rich   ~  Nov 26, 2009 11:28 am

I think the Yankees are concerned that if they don't hold the line on the payroll a bit, the next CBA may have an even more confiscatory luxury tax.

That's why I think one of the best moves they can make is to not sign Damon and instead trade for a younger, cheaper, and more athletic LFer.

Then they can bring Matsui back at a paycut on a one year deal to DH.

4 Rich   ~  Nov 26, 2009 11:30 am

Shaun's post reminds me that I was remiss. Happy Thanksgiving!

5 Toxic   ~  Nov 26, 2009 11:40 am

With regard to the video and the day of the year over there - the perfect way to prepare the turkey

6 thelarmis   ~  Nov 26, 2009 11:53 am

and...Happy 6 month old half-birthday to Cliff's Amelia!

old fu-manchu friend Sal Fasano has been named manager of Toronto's Class A team at Lansing.

[2] yeah, i wish they'd fix the clock already! daylight savings was practically a month ago and i confuse easily... : ~

well, i'm on my way up to WORLD CHAMPION country!!! i plan on going to modell's and picking up some yankee world serious gear!!!

Happy Turkey Day to you all. gobble gobble!

7 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 26, 2009 11:54 am

Wow on the JD article (talk about tipping your hand!)
"The fact that he can go out and win four championships in a row, you're not going to see too many sports do that anymore," Damon said. "Hopefully, if I'm part of the Yankees, we can say four's going to happen."

"I know what's here in New York - you have the new Stadium, you have the great coaches, you have the great players," Damon said. "You guys just have to tell Cash to get things going with me. I'm up for it."

Damon: (4 yrs each)
Red Sox: .284 .295 .362 .441 .803 - CF
Yankees: .344 .285 .363 .458 .821 - Mostly LF
JD's OPS in the last 4 years (YS aided) of .821 is 28 points HIGHER then his younger-nonYankee years.

Actually, while I'm OK with 1 year, 2 scares me. Could JD have 2 years left of .800+ OPS?. And how valuable in a poor fielding, poor throwing COF with an .800 OPS (and costing $9m to boot) ?

8 Diane Firstman   ~  Nov 26, 2009 11:07 am

[Matt Pat's comment on DST]

OK .... I took the liberty of going in and changing the timezone setting (as a writer here I have that permission) ... let's see if it works.

9 Diane Firstman   ~  Nov 26, 2009 11:09 am

Well .... THAT was unexpected ... the time is now correct, but it places the post BEFORE the "earlier" ones (as it were).

Give it an hour :-)

10 Paul   ~  Nov 26, 2009 11:19 am

I don't see how trading for a LF helps the team unless it's a young guy who will definitely OPS .850 with above average defense. Those guys aren't available for cheap. In fact, I challenge anyone who thinks that's an option to name three young players to be had and who to trade to get them.

I'd be pleased with Damon on a two-year deal and Matsui or Thome on one. The chances that both stay healthy are slim, but then they have Ajax and Montero. So why make a trade for the future when the future is already in-house? It just needs a bit more seasoning at AAA. And Damon would be a fine DH in 2011 if Matsui stays healthy in 2010.

Of course, I'd also be okay with Montero and Miranda splitting time at DH and Montero getting one or two starts a week at catcher. I'm also okay with Ajax, Gardner, and Melky battling for playing time. With the lefty, righty, and switch hitter they've got great balance and it would be a fantastic defensive alignment. In fact, I'm not convinced Melky is done developing. But that's more aggressive than the Yankee modus operandi.

11 Rich   ~  Nov 26, 2009 12:25 pm

Damon is a DH. We have enough of those without overpaying him.

12 wcyankee   ~  Nov 26, 2009 1:11 pm

Happy Thanksgiving to my newly adopted Banter Family. It was an AWESOME season and I'm still basking in the glow. Thanks for letting me be part of this great group of people. Banterites make me happy and look forward to another great Yankee season. I hope the mechanics working on the Score Truck get it ready for a full season of Yankee wins!

13 Paul   ~  Nov 26, 2009 1:14 pm

[11] You know that because of one bad year in the field? He's had those before and recovered. Still, the problem isn't Damon. It's who replaces him that:

a) fills the number 2 slot in the lineup
b) is lefthanded
c) has better defense
d) hits at least the same
e) only costs money

Heck, give me some choices that fit four of those five conditions.

As for enough of those DHs, who else do you mean? Posada's a DH? Then who catches? Who else? A-Rod? Jeter? Who?

Damon in LF is perhaps the best choice for one more year. I'm open to alternatives. I just don't see any.

14 Rich   ~  Nov 26, 2009 1:47 pm

[13] Chill with the attitude, dude. It reveals too much about you.

It's about the precipitous downward trendline of his UZR/150 which mirrors a similar decline when he played CF.

If you actually watch the games, you can see that he has trouble tracking flyballs, and his arm gives a free pass to any baserunner to advance a base.

Batting order is overrated, as most studies have shown.

Granderson could well be a better option.

Damon doesn't want to sign for a year. Given the Yankees' payroll commitments for 2011, I don't want to give him two years. That's why Matsui is probably a better option.

As Steve Goldman has said:

Matsui's skill set will probably age better than Damon's.

So unless Damon is bluffing and will accept one year, I would move on.

And yes, Posada is quickly becoming a DH, and A-Rod, Jeter, and even Teix could benefit from 5-10 games a year there.

15 Paul   ~  Nov 26, 2009 2:07 pm

[14] Attitude? Ummmm, okay. Kettle meet black.

Frankly, I don't care about defense in LF so long as he gets to most balls. And he does. The arm is mostly an overblown non-issue. If you watch the games you can see it comes up maybe once or twice a week. They got by fine this year. One more year of Damon in the field won't kill them. And that's if Matsui stays healthy (which he doesn't tend to and Goldman forgets). Matsui's skill set may age better, but will his body? In year two Damon is the DH.

More to the point, you still haven't given a better alternative. Granderson had a worse year offensively, gets on-base less, and looks like he's already peaked. His three-year trend line is horrid. Plus, who do you trade? And why trade anyone with Ajax a year away? Without answering those questions, you might as well say they get Braun or Ethier. It's lame to diss one guy when you can't come up with someone better. Like I said, I'm open to alternatives. There are just few and far between, if any.

But thanks for being so friendly!

16 Paul   ~  Nov 26, 2009 2:10 pm

P.s. Posada has shown few signs, other than his chronological age, that he can't physically handle his position. And putting him at DH without a decent alternative at catcher means they'll could hurt themselves at two positions.

17 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Nov 26, 2009 2:28 pm

I admit I didn't see attitude from Paul, just a pretty good case for Damon, in the absence of the requested alternatives. Part of the problem in these discussions is when we evaluate a player without considering who plays if he's not there. It is one thing to say, 'Let Ajax come up and then we let JD go' ... and Cash and Girardi (and the Banter) debate whether Ajax is ready. It is another to just say, 'trend line is downwards, his arm is weak, don't want him' without sorting who fills the spot.

I'm actually not that concerned about this one. I don't see Cash going more than 2 years. If JD wants 3+ he's gone. If he takes 2 years we can handle it, even if in the 2nd year he becomes an expensive extra OF/DH. It won't be the first time we gave someone a year too much.

Paul, I think the JoPo worries are partly actuarial - no one catches effectively at his age, ever, and partly eyeballing - he was moving very slowly back there down the stretch. It seems reasonable to hope for one more year and be pretty damned unsure of the next year. At which point he's a decent DH and back-up catcher. Which means we'd need a catcher AND he fills the primary DH role.

As I say, I expect the Damon/Matsui elements to be pretty easy for Cashman ... he is really unlikely to go long with either (long meaning 3 years for JD and 2 for Matsui). If they insist on those, he starts figuring alternatives.

18 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 26, 2009 2:48 pm

Bay and Holliday are the only 2 that actually UPGrade LF is JD leaves. It's cirrect, the question is not JD but who? Who else?

As much as I am VERY leary of more long/expensive contracts, we will need ONE impact OFer over the next 3 or 4 years. There's AJax for CF and very little. It's either one of the Big Two now, or someone serious for 2011.

Really, OF and SP, and maybe Closer, are our only real issues over the next 3 or 4 years.

At 6/$100, Holliday is year 30-35. That's pretty prime stuff.
With Holliday, we could even DH from withing, or look for a $10m- DH (Matsui, Thome, any number).

19 Paul   ~  Nov 26, 2009 2:50 pm

[17] Thanks! I agree completely on Cashman and Damon. But I don't see anyone giving Damon three years. That's where it helped that Abreu signed so early.

Agree on Posada too. But he's kind of special as it is so it's hard to compare him to others, especially with his late start - at the position and in the majors. He did look slow, but he's always let balls get past him. His arm is still sound. If I had to guess, I'm with you. He's 80% in 2010 and 50% in 2011. Still, that probably means only 1 or 2 starts a week at DH. So they'll likely need an almost full-time DH too. Maybe that's Damon (with a start or two a week in LF), but I'm pretty excited by the possibility of Montero working his way in there!

20 Rich   ~  Nov 26, 2009 3:13 pm

[[15] 16]

You know that because of one bad year in the field?

This is what exactly? Oh yeah, attitude. None of us "know" anything. It's all opinion. But I think you knew that.

Frankly, I don’t care about defense in LF so long as he gets to most balls. And he does. The arm is mostly an overblown non-issue.

Most balls? Seriously? That's a ridiculously low bar. And the arm is a non-issue. Gotcha.

2009 WAR:

Damon: 3.0
Granderson: 3.4

Winning teams are not built on offense alone.

Granderson is what A-Jack MAY become. He may not. I would include him in the package.

More to the point, you still haven’t given a better alternative.

Yes, I have. Granderson is far less likely to decline than Damon given their respective ages.

Posada can't block a ball in the dirt to save his life or a WP or PB. That's not getting better with age.

As william said. It's time to go back to ignoring you.

21 Paul   ~  Nov 26, 2009 3:38 pm

[20] You do realize that WAR is adjusted to the position, right? Granderson gets extra points for playing CF with that offense. In LF it's horrid. And even if the Yanks acquired him to play CF they still need a LF. Melky doesn't cut it there. The fact that Damon is so close to a good CF makes me want him even more. And you've done nothing to argue against the fact that Granderson's trending badly in the wrong direction. So basically you want to trade the best OF prospect they have (and more, which you say nothing about) for a guy who's declining badly and can't hit lefties for squat. Ummmm, oh-kay.

As for Posada, it's always been an issue for him. In fact, he's gotten better back there since his earliest days and there's been little change since. So, nice try. But if you actually look at the stats, you got nothing.

The big worry with Po is staying on the field. But when healthy he's a top-3 catcher and not a DH.

22 Rich   ~  Nov 26, 2009 4:04 pm

The fact that Damon is so close to a good CF makes me want him even more.

You do realize that Granderson was only just above average in CF, right?

Granderson could play LF for the Yankees, which would probably improve his defense.

Damon's defensive trend doesn't concern you, but Granderson's trend does? Sweet.

Let's see Granderson play 81 home games with a short porch in RF before we over emphasize his decline.

Yup, I want to trade A-Jack for Granderson. Write it down.

Why do you think your man Girardi didn't have Posada catch AJ?

Seriously, I don't care what you think. You're a clown. Take off the floppy shoes and enjoy your Thanksgiving.

Then go away and ignore my posts.

23 Paul   ~  Nov 26, 2009 5:27 pm

"Granderson could play LF for the Yankees, which would probably improve his defense."

So Melky Gardner in CF and Granderson in LF? Sweet baby Jesus, that's inspiring.

"Yup, I want to trade A-Jack for Granderson. Write it down. "

Yeah, that will be enough. I mean, while we're at it let's trade Montero for Verlander and Porcello.

"Damon’s defensive trend doesn’t concern you, but Granderson’s trend does?"

Ummmm, defense in LF is worth a fraction of the offense necessary to carry the position. But nah, next you'll say Granderson is more valuable than Manny. Meanwhile, Damon only needs to field the position for one more year and perhaps not even that. Granderson would be expected to carry his position for many more years. If Granderson were a free agent, and available on a two-year contract, of course you sign him. He's not. And won't be. In fact, he has four years and 29 million left on his deal. So a longer contract with a shorter track record and a more precipitous drop? Brilliant analysis!

"Why do you think your man Girardi didn’t have Posada catch AJ?"

Because Burnett has a 10 dollar arm and a 10 cent head. But nice job changing the goal posts once the numbers were shown not to fit your biases. I suppose Jorge was a DH when Randy Johnson didn't want him either? Damn, the Yankees are morons.

Really, great work. You've gone from being wrong and insulting to even more wrong and more insulting. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

24 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Nov 26, 2009 5:45 pm

I feel like the old hockey linesman trying to stop two young enforcers from swinging at each other.

But guys, really, both of you have some points, both of you overstate some ... and that happens in bars and blogs. I think 'clown' and 'floppy shoes' is just silly, Rich, forgive me. Paul, really, tone is 50% of any dispute. People listen to you more if you modulate it.

Neither of these two positions is as moronic as each of you suggests the other's is! These are all judgement calls, really. It hardly bears getting so emphatic.

D in left matters less than in center. Agreed. Offence does matter more, however, and 37 year olds are a legit question mark for that. Points both ways. Grandy is an attractive talent with major worries vs lefties lately, undeniable, both ways. A platoon for 8-9 million (on the good side of it) is not bad for NY, frankly. Trading serious prospects for him? Feels like a bad idea. Seems to cut against Cashman's philosophy, or he'd have traded prospects (pitching mostly) already.

Paul, really, why is Melky/Gardy in CF and Grandy in left so much less 'inspiring' than Damon in left? Remember you can platoon him. There WILL be a 4th OF. Maybe a 5th! That wouldn't faze me, only the cost of a trade does. We can carry a defensive CF (Gardy's better) batting 9th.

Posada sits for AJ because of AJ, not because of Posada. He needs to sit 1-2 a week, and if AJ's made happier, that solves one of those rest days.

But this isn't a debate worth so much agitation. Take your two minutes in the box.

25 Paul   ~  Nov 26, 2009 6:42 pm

Thanks for trying to mediate. Honesty I don't care about the name calling. It's juvenile but it doesn't bother me nearly as much people making stuff up and passing it off as fact. Then when they dig in their heels when they've proven to be woefully wrong it just makes it that much worse.

"Paul, really, why is Melky/Gardy in CF and Grandy in left so much less ‘inspiring’ than Damon in left?"

Sorry, but platooning someone you've acquired for top prospects is exactly my point. And having an average bat in CF and a below average bat in LF, relative to the average at the positions, is not just uninspiring. It's unacceptable on a championship club. Granderson and his .340 career OBP certainly doesn't belong in the top two thirds of the lineup.

So now that we've agreed that Granderson is unacceptable, the question remains: Who if not Damon? Like I said, I'd be fine with Ajax, Gardner, and Melky fighting for time depending on matchups. But that's not how the Yankees roll.

Posada, of course, was a red herring in this whole discussion. Sensible people realize he's not a DH in 2010. And he's not a full-time DH in 2011 either.

26 Paul   ~  Nov 26, 2009 6:59 pm

P.s. Goldman says he'd offer Damon arbitration:

"Offering Damon arbitration seems like a good gamble to me on two levels. If he accepts you pay a high price in cash but you're only committed to him for the season, so if he tanks you can even eat the money and let him go before the year is over. If he leaves, you get a first-round pick from whatever club signs him. Seems like a no-brainer to me."

So the one "expert" cited in this discussion has no problem with Damon coming back, even on a pricey deal. But for the 14 million for one year, I don't see why not to extend it to two years and $20 million. Heck offer him arbitration OR a two year $20 million deal. He gets a choice of two really good options, especially if he thinks he'd got a lot left. If he refuses both, the Yanks get the picks and can move on to Cameron.

27 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Nov 26, 2009 7:19 pm

I'm actually a JD backer, Paul. I started the Damon's Da Mon 'chant' here two years ago when people were down on him. So I have little problem with either of your scenarios, actually.

But I think the Granderson thing turns entirely on what 'top prospects' means. Detroit, as you probably know, are dying to unload salary - having backed their way into 18 million for Maggs. I suspect that a team willing to take on money doesn't have to give up so very much. No one will take Ordonez, just as no one will take Wells (worst contract in baseball) so Tigers need money help elsewhere. Grandy vs righties in Yankee Stadium (New) is appealing. NY needs some sense of what's going on with him. WHY is he trending down young?

But, as I say, I don't think Cashman will deal serious talent for him, so the question is ... what about less-than-serious talent? In any assessment, there's a 'that's worth it' point.

28 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Nov 26, 2009 7:54 pm

What is this "Thanksgiving" you all refer to? Does not compute..regular work day here at Acme Investigations, Mr. Spacely just informed me that one of our clients will bring a new, lucrative order in next month..I suppose I should be thankful for that? Oh, and of course that pitchers & catchers is getting closer every day...

29 Paul   ~  Nov 26, 2009 8:03 pm

[27] Cool. And honestly I was never a huge fan of Damon's (probably a holdover from 2004) but I've come around. He's stays healthy and mostly productive. If there was a better alternative I could be convinced. I'm just not sure there is.

On Granderson, besides southpaws, it seems he gets hurt by his home park. I'm not going to deny there might be more there, but I just don't think the Tigers are going to give him away. His contract is actually reasonable even if he never finds his peak self again. Maybe if the Tigers would take a few second tier prospects - guys like Nova and McAllister plus a lower level prospect or two. Still that seems like too much. Why thin the farm for a platoon player? And I'm not convinced the Tigers take that deal. Maybe that package and take on Magglio too? It's similar money that they would give to Matsui and Damon. Still, I don't see Illitch giving up on next year so easily.

30 wsporter   ~  Nov 26, 2009 8:22 pm

Happy Thanksgiving all you Banterers!

31 Shaun P.   ~  Nov 26, 2009 10:47 pm

[30] Hey! Long time no see, my fellow Dutchman! Glad to know you're still around!

32 Chyll Will   ~  Nov 27, 2009 1:34 am

[30] Dude! Whassup! Been hoping you were okay; glad to see you.

33 wsporter   ~  Nov 27, 2009 10:35 am

Gentleman! Glad to be back. So . . . anything happen over the last year or so?

34 Chyll Will   ~  Nov 27, 2009 2:32 pm

Nah, same-ol', same-ol'... yunnow, winning and such >;)

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