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Dollar Sign on the Muscles


Will Leitch on Matt Holliday and the Yanks:

Holliday is exactly the player the Yankees need, a relatively young, high-average, hit-to-all-fields complete player who would look downright gorgeous batting fifth, behind A-Rod. He won’t turn 30 until January, and he’s a proven postseason performer (if you ignore his unfortunate dropped fly ball that cost the Cardinals Game 2 of their NLDS) and a sturdy lineup fixture. He’s not a Gary Sheffield/Jaret Wright type looking to cash in after a big year. He’s a cornerstone. The market is currently depressed for him, but only because the Yankees haven’t yet entered the bidding. If they want him, the Yankees can have him

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1 Paul   ~  Dec 1, 2009 11:53 am

I've got a major problem with him being right handed given their home park and especially if it means letting both Damon and Matsui go. The only straight lefty they'd have left is Cano, and he's not ready to hit #2 yet.

2 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 1, 2009 12:00 pm

Hadn't thought about the #2 hole, but ... Matsui? This is all assuming Holliday. But Jeter/Mats/Tex/A Rod/Holliday/Po/Cano/Swish/MelkNer?

Swish is also a maybe in #2 in hot months. Then Matsui can even split A Rod and Holliday.

3 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 1, 2009 12:16 pm

Superaddition willing to play SS for Sox

Maybe Jeter will see this, and be willing to move to LF soon?

4 Raf   ~  Dec 1, 2009 12:20 pm

[1] But does it really matter? It's not like the lineup will be shut down by RH or LH pitching. The platoon splits aren't all that great. While it's aesthetically pleasing to have RLRLRL batters up and down the lineup, I don't think it's that big a deal.

5 Paul   ~  Dec 1, 2009 12:35 pm

With Pedroia, that will be fun to watch! But if they ever thought this was possible, why not move him long before? How could it suddenly occur to them that maybe their 2B could play SS after what they went through last year?

[4] There are many more good RH pitchers they'll have to face. Imagine if they see Beckett and Halladay in a short series. I'd much rather have some thumpers from the left side and especially at home.

6 51cq24   ~  Dec 1, 2009 12:39 pm

[3] first of all, i hope the sox are stupid enough to move pedroia to shortstop. but as for a teammate being willing to change positions, it's one thing to switch up to a tougher position, another to accept that you aren't good enough anymore to play the position you've played your entire career. and anyway, jeter was completely acceptable at short this year.

7 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 1, 2009 1:02 pm

[3] After how well he played SS in 2009, I sure hope not.

8 Paul   ~  Dec 1, 2009 1:10 pm

[6] It's not all that stupid. As Neyer points out, he played SS in college and a few more games in the minors at SS. Still, what took them so long?

9 51cq24   ~  Dec 1, 2009 1:16 pm

[8] when a team switches a guy from ss to 2b in the minors, especially when he has extensive experience at ss and the team has been without a real ss for years, there has to be a reason. pedroia is no shortstop.

10 ms october   ~  Dec 1, 2009 1:17 pm

[3] pedroia sucked ass at ss before which is why he was mved off
why on god's green earth would anything that pedroia do impact what jeter does?
as william said jeter had a great year at ss he should not move to lf now

11 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 1, 2009 1:45 pm

I should have said "move to LF *when appropriate*"

12 RIYank   ~  Dec 1, 2009 1:48 pm

It does seem unlikely that when Jeter is facing a tough decision, he asks himself, "What Would Dusty Do?"

I would say that the Pedroia to Short rumor is designed to help Theo's bargaining position, but I can't see how it does. The problem for the Sox is that they lose a draft pick if they sign Scutaro, and that's not something that can be bargained away. Hmm.

13 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 1, 2009 1:55 pm

Gary Sheffield 2004 was a man looking to cash in after a career year? Wasn't he pretty much fantastic for the previous ten years?

14 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Dec 1, 2009 2:25 pm

Does this guy really hit to all fields? I'm a little wary of such claims because they said the same thing about Giambi.

If he does, I'm all for him, bring him on.

15 Raf   ~  Dec 1, 2009 2:29 pm

[5] Seems that you're assuming some sort of platoon split, which shouldn't be the case with the RH bats in the Yankees lineup. The caliber of hitters can hit both lefties and righties, I don't see Jeter or Rodriguez getting time off because a tough righthander is on the mound that day.

[9][10] Hanley Ramirez was the reason Pedroia was moved off shortstop.

16 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 1, 2009 2:36 pm

[13] Sheffield may have not been a pleasant guy, but before and during his Yankee career, he hit.

[15] Ramirez was traded in the winter of 2005; Pedroia played 74 games at SS in the minors during 2006. Hanley really didn't cause the switch. In fact, if Boston thought Pedroia had any ability to play SS, why would they waste all that money on Lugo?

17 Raf   ~  Dec 1, 2009 2:58 pm

[16] Pedroia also played a bulk of his games @ short in 04, not making the switch to 2b until AA Portland in 05, where he was teammates with Ramirez. Ramirez was traded after the season, as you noted, and Pedroia played the majority of his games in 06 at short (74-SS, 33-2b, 4-3b). It's reasonable to say that Hanley's presence caused the switch.

As for why the Red Sox didn't go with Pedroia, who knows. After dealing Nomar, they went with Cabrera (04), then Renteria (05), then Gonzalez (06), then Lugo (07-09). It should be noted that Renteria and Lugo were signed to 4 year contracts, and Lugo's arrival coincides with Pedroia being the full time 2b.

Maybe it was a miscalculation on Theo's part, maybe he has a thing for shortstops, I don't know.

18 ms october   ~  Dec 1, 2009 2:59 pm

[15] numerous scouts (including those who liked him and thought he was a mlb player) have said pedroia was ass at ss

19 51cq24   ~  Dec 1, 2009 3:41 pm

[17] if he played 2b in 05 because hanley was playing ss, but then switched back to ss in 06 when hanley was gone, how is it reasonable to say that hanley's presence caused the switch? something else caused the sox to switch him back to 2b permanently.

20 Raf   ~  Dec 1, 2009 4:05 pm

[19] At the ML level, that would probably be the acquisition of Julio Lugo. Wouldn't be the first time a team has gone with a "proven veteran." Not sure of the Sox thought process at the time, I don't know why Gonzalez was allowed to leave (offense?), but Lugo was a departure from what they were running out there years prior (primarily defensive minded shortstops).

But seeing as Pedroia was the starting SS before and after Hanley Ramirez, how can you not say that Hanley's presence caused the switch?

In 2006, the Red Sox had Alex Gonzalez @ SS, perhaps the organization switched Pedroia to 2b (at the ML level) because the organization preferred Gonzalez to Pedroia @ short? Pedroia played more games @ AAA at short than he did at 2b, and more games in the majors as a 2b than he did at SS. 2007 was Pedroia's first year as a full time starter, and the Sox signed Julio Lugo to play short.

21 51cq24   ~  Dec 1, 2009 5:09 pm

[20] sorry but i don't follow your logic. it seems absolutely certain that if hanley hadn't been traded, pedroia would have stayed at 2b because hanley would be the starting ss. but hanley was traded, and pedroia went back to playing ss in the minors. so hanley is not the reason pedroia switched permanently to 2b. perhaps the sox saw pedroia at 2b while hanley was still there and decided he was much better suited to 2b, but that must be more of a reflection of his play at short than his play at 2b. it seems absurd that they would switch him to 2b because they preferred either gonzalez or lugo. maybe they had no other options at 2nd, but isn't it easier to fill 2b than ss long term? and did they really see gonzalez or lugo as long term solutions at short?

22 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 1, 2009 5:18 pm

In his career. Holliday's OPS is 74 points HIGHER against RHP. And unlike Giambi, he would have no reason as a Yankee to try harder to pull the ball. Hell, after watching Jeter, he might start aiming for RF....

23 Raf   ~  Dec 1, 2009 5:45 pm

perhaps the sox saw pedroia at 2b while hanley was still there and decided he was much better suited to 2b, but that must be more of a reflection of his play at short than his play at 2b.

Then why have him play more games @ short than @ 2b? He didn't become a full time 2b until he the majors.

it seems absurd that they would switch him to 2b because they preferred either gonzalez or lugo.

Why would it seem absurd? Given Gonzalez's defensive reputation, it's not surprising at all. Where it gets confusing is when Lugo was signed. Up until that point, the focus was on short being a defensively premium position; Pokey Reese, Cabrera, Renteria & Gonzalez all have reputations as good glove guys.

maybe they had no other options at 2nd, but isn’t it easier to fill 2b than ss long term?

Maybe; Mark Loretta started @ 2b for the Sox in 2006. 2005 had Bellhorn and Tony Graffanino (after Bellhorn was cut) @ 2b, Bellhorn was the primary 2b in 2004. Todd Walker was there in 2003.

and did they really see gonzalez or lugo as long term solutions at short?

Maybe not so much Gonzalez (signed for a year after Renteria was moved), but Renteria and Lugo were both signed to 4 year contracts, so it's reasonable to expect that they figured into the Sox's plans for a while. Renteria had a bad year and was spun off to the Braves, Gonzalez left after the 2006 season, and Lugo was signed.

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