"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Winter Meetings: Day Three

More from Indy…


Trading for Curtis Granderson does not take the Yankees out of the Roy Halladay Sweepstakes, according to Joel Sherman. But while Curtis is center stage, here is what Sean Casey and Andy Van Slyke have to say about the man.

Welcome to the Big Apple, dude. Here’s the first of what is likely to be many musical nods in your general direction.

First up today, a note from ESPN’s Buster Olney: “If the Yankees sign Johnny Damon, that will increase the likelihood that they will attempt to trade Nick Swisher. It’s increasingly unlikely that the Yankees are going to re-sign Hideki Matsui, regardless of what happens with Damon.”

UPDATE: According to Jon Heyman, Andy Pettitte will sign a one-year, $12 million contract to remain in New York. The deal could be announced as early as today.


Jon Heyman reports that Andy Pettitte and the Yanks have agreed to a one-year deal worth $11.75 million.

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Show/Hide Comments 1-100
1 monkeypants   ~  Dec 9, 2009 9:56 am

Why on earth would the Yankees prefer to have Damon over Swisher at this stage in their careers?

Why would they fill their hole in corner OF (or DH?) only to create another hole at the same position?

2 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 9, 2009 10:09 am

[1] You're right, it makes no sense. So I am going to ignore it.

3 ny2ca2dc   ~  Dec 9, 2009 10:12 am

Sheesh, trading Swisher would be batshit insane. Melky, fine if it restocks the farm to some degree, but Swisher - Buster is just making shit up. And if we trade Swisher, who will pitch teh 8th?!

I'm real happy with the Granderson trade, but if they open with Melky in left and Mirandi at DH, I'll be real unhappy. I still want to see the 2 cheapest of Cameron, Damon, and Matsui signed for LF & DH.

4 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 9, 2009 10:13 am

[1] I agree. Besides, I don't see why one negates the other. There is plenty of room for both if Matsui is not back.

Accroding to Heyman, Andy and the Yankees are close on a $12mn deal. That probably is more than he is market value, but I think it is an appropriate reward.

5 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Dec 9, 2009 10:15 am

[2] Agreed.

Jon Heyman reports deal with Pettitte to be finalized today. Sounds like $12M/1yr.

6 Sliced Bread   ~  Dec 9, 2009 10:17 am

My brother and I got those Evel Knievel toys one Christmas. He got the motorcycle and I got a stunt car.
Couple hours after unwrapping our gifts, we took them outside to let 'em rip on the sidewalk (the rubber tires were streaking my parents' linoleum kitchen floor).
Bro launched his Evel into the road (33rd Ave. in Flushing) , into the path of a passing car that crushed Evel. The motorcycle was destroyed, and Evel's internal wire frame broke, making him limp through the chest and legs.

Here's hoping the Yankees have much better luck with their new Christmas toy.

7 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 9, 2009 10:26 am

[4] [5] Good news on Pettitte.

[2] I am not opposed to Miranda being part of the DH mix. But I'm really not worried about DH, because there are lots of guys out there Cashman could get on the cheap (Thome and Delgado come to mind) who would do just fine in the slot.

That said, my preference is still Matsui.

8 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 9, 2009 10:28 am

From J. Stark at ESPN: "Yankees are shopping the No. 1 pick in Thursday's Rule 5 draft. They just obtained that pick this week in Brian Bruney trade."

9 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 9, 2009 10:29 am

Miranda will not be part of any opening day line up in the BX unless someone gets serioiusly hurt in spring training.

10 Rob Abruzzese   ~  Dec 9, 2009 10:30 am

I'm sure Olney has better insight than me, but I can't see the Yankees trading Swisher unless they get a very good offer.

Also if Stark is right and they're trying their Rule 5 pick that probably means they don't really like their options.

11 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 9, 2009 10:32 am

[8] So much for the Yankees targeting someone? I wonder if the Granderson trade changed their position?

12 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 9, 2009 10:43 am


You grew up in Flushing? Cool. I grew up in Jackson Heights, and would often go to Main Street for shopping. Its a shame the RKO Keith theater closed down.

13 Paul   ~  Dec 9, 2009 10:50 am

Damn, I love this organization so much. It could have gone so bad with the transition from Big to Little Steins. And they've nailed it.

So many good options now. I love all of Damon, Cameron, Matsui, Thome, even Delgado.

And I'm fine with signing just one and using Melky. I know it's easy to dismiss him, but is it really outside the realm of possibilities that he develops some power? He is only going into his age 25 season.

14 The Hawk   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:01 am

Predictably, I am all for keeping Melky as a starter. I like william's plan in the last thread with Damon as a DH who can play the field in place of Cabrera when they want to semi-rest someone else at DH. IF they can't get Damon I wonder if there's some way to finagle something workable with Matsui.

15 ms october   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:05 am

[13] i thought melky made some substantial strides last year and more power is definitely possible

very glad the "andy situation" seems to have been resolved quickly

16 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:05 am

Jayson Stark tweeting that Yanks think they can make Halladay deal with Montero as centerpiece.

(please no no no)

17 ms october   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:05 am

[14] haha - all of us melky supporters are here today

18 The Hawk   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:06 am

[16] That would be kind of brutal after this bloodletting to get Granderson, for those who value the "kids" ...

19 ms october   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:06 am

[16] seriously please no
at least some action is happening in indy though

20 The Hawk   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:07 am

[17] I get nervous for ol' Melky!

21 Paul   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:12 am

[16] Yeah, the only thing that could bring me down from my high is trading Montero for a 33 year old pitcher. The real question for me: Can they get Halladay WITHOUT Montero? Something like Hughes, McCallister, Nova? I still don't like it, but I'd understand it.

I guess it all depends on whether they think Montero just won't work behind the plate. At that point, he's a DH. And we're seeing how much those are worth. Billy Butler was minor league beast. And now he's an underpowered DH/1B.

Still, I'd rather they trade Montero for a Hanley or Felix if anyone.

22 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:21 am

Innings pitched through age 32 season (like Roy H), for pitchers from 1973-2009

23 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:28 am

If we let BOTH JD and Matsui go, and resign Andy, I'm guessing we have about $25m to spend? Take away CG's $8.5 AAV, and we basically have money for (A) Lackey or (B) Holliday... and be done.

As far as SP goes... if Joba and Phil even begin to reach their potential, they should be the best 4/5 in baseball. I think AJ and Andy are around average (or a tad worse?) as a 2/3, And CC is a top #1.

Frankly, if we get Holliday, our O will be too sick to describe. And outside of pitching, our team will be set for another 3/4 years (assuming Jesus for Posada).

Again, I'm not worried about DH, as I believe 'the Old guys' (Po, Jetes, ARod) will acount for at least 1/3 of DH ABs. Interleague/NL games have no DH. I can't see Po starting much more then 120 games. I think his beyond horrific D late in the year was a sign of fatigue, and we need him and his bat fresh for 2011.

Jeter SS
Granderson OF
Teix 1B
ARod 3B
Holliday OF
Posada C
Cano 2B
Swisher DH
MelkyGardy OF

That should be a well above average defensive OF.
When an Old Guy is the DH, Swish is in and MelkyGardy is out.

Jeter SS
Granderson CF
Teix 1B
ARod 3B
Holliday LF
Posada DH
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Cervelli C

I know Gardy makes many throw-up-in-their-mouths a little, but...
He has excellent D
He has excellent Speed
He is FREE
If the guy can post a .680-.700 OPS, he becomes very valuable,
And frankly, if he is taught to bunt and lose the uppercut swing, I think this is very doable. If we don't give Gardy at least some consistant ABs, he is useless. We need to give him a chance to see what he can do.

Lastly, Cashman is at his best in July and August. Good deals when teams are dumping are much easier to find then during the winter. I don't mind having some small questions going into ST.

24 JeremyM   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:31 am

Could be that they are leaking the Montero stuff just to keep the price high on Halladay.

25 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:31 am

Xavier Nady is still available .... is he worth another chance?

26 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:32 am

Trading Montero for Halliday means Cashman has had a stroke and George S. is back in charge.

27 Paul   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:38 am

[24] Good call. That does seem likely.

[25] I don't see that. He was never a plus bat nor a plus defender.

28 ny2ca2dc   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:38 am

I wouldn't trade Montero for Doc straight up, much less with Hughes/Joba! If Montero is going, it's for Hanley or Tulo.

29 ny2ca2dc   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:40 am

How Dandy: Sherman says the Yankees re-signed Pettitte for one year and $11.75MM

via MLBRumors

30 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:42 am

[26] Hilarious.

You know I hate to use this word, for so many reasons. But trading Swish at this point seems retarded. Unless there are many *many* other things afoot for the OF/DH situation. But even then...

It does seem like we could get Holloday and make the $ work, though I'm a little scared of the long term commitment and what it does to our already bloated payroll in the out years. Maybe he comes cheaper than expected?

Re: Halladay, yeah something about now trading Montero makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Maybe Joba and Melky instead?

31 bp1   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:47 am

[6] I had the same thing. It never did the tricks shown on TV, but I did manage to bang it into every piece of furniture in the living room. We always had a white Christmas upstate, so I never got to take it outside until Sprint. Come to think of it, all I remember doing with it is running it across the living room floor. Not sure if it ever did make it outside. Probably broke it. It is also the toy I think of when my kids see something on TV and I try to explain that things always work great on TV, but not always so great at home.

Andy 1 year for $12M. Ok. Probably his last season, dontchya think?

I'd trade almost anyone for Halladay. Hitters - even good young ones - can be found. The Yankees have always stocked the lineup with good hitters. Stud pitchers, though. The Sidney Ponson days are still fresh in my mind. Bad pitching just wastes all that good hitting. Gimme Halladay and I'll take some replacement level at 2nd, LF, and RF and feel good. Halladay, CC, AJ, and fill in the blanks, and you've got tickets to the post season for the next four or five years.

32 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:48 am

Here's an even MORE "throw up in one's mouth" thought .... Milton Bradley in the Bronx.

Not that its gonna happen, but ...

33 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:50 am

[32] Totally agreed. Oh, and re: Delgado, I don't pay too much attention to the Muts, but isn't he a clubhouse cancer? Or do I have that wrong?

34 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:54 am


makin' me nostalgic for Lincoln Logs and Tinkertoys ...

35 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:55 am


If I were the Mets, I'd get Blalock to play first ... or get Beltre and move Wright to first.

36 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 9, 2009 12:01 pm

[35] I asked b/c someone above suggested him as one of the many DH options. It was Paul in [13] above. He even mentioned love so I thought I'd ask :)

37 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 9, 2009 12:23 pm

If you subtract Damon ($13mn), Matsui ($13mn), Wang ($5mn), Molina ($2mn), Nady ($6.5mn) and add Granderson ($5.5mn), Pettitte ($1mn more), Jeter ($1mn raise) and Cano ($3mn raise), you get a surplus of $29mn, which means the Yankees still have some money to spend, even if they want to cut payroll.

As for trading Montero, as much I would love to keep him, he is a 19 year old prospect. If the deal comes down to Montero for Halladay it is hard to argue that you wouldn't trade someone who is still a big unknown for one of the best pitchers in baseball.

38 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 9, 2009 12:32 pm

[32] Based on baseball ability only, Bradley is actually a pretty good fit for the Yankees. If they could get the Cubs to eat most of his contract, I would take a shot with the knowledge that if he acted up, you could simply jettison him.

39 randym77   ~  Dec 9, 2009 12:39 pm

I don't think Melky's going to remain a starter.

It makes no sense. They gave up a lot to get Granderson, and if Melky's still in the lineup, the team is not improved. They would basically be trading Damon for Granderson. It might improve the defense, but I seriously doubt the Yanks gave up IPK, Coke, and Ajax to improve the outfield defense.

Even if Melky does get a little more power...he doesn't have the stick for corner outfielder. And you don't get a player like Granderson and move him to left field because you have Melky Cabrera.

40 Sliced Bread   ~  Dec 9, 2009 12:44 pm

[12] yeah, even after my family moved to L.I. we used to go back to the RKO Keith. Not much left from the old neighborhood, but I think my barber is still on Northern Blvd.

[31] just remembered another bummer about the Evel Knievel toys. My brother got the rear tire caught in our dog's tail. He was a collie. I remember my dad cutting the motorcyle from the dog's tail with scissors. Another great Christmas toy memory!

41 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 9, 2009 12:47 pm

[39] If Melky isn't starting than the Yankees need two more replacements. If the Yankees only bring back one of Matsui and Damon, the team is in fact improved because it would not only be younger, but also the defense in the outfield would be significantly improved (with Melky in LF and Granderson in CF). If you could convince me that Damon and Matsui would both stay healthy and repeat their 2009 seasons, then you could argue that the team hasn't improved, but those are two leaps.

42 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 9, 2009 12:55 pm

37) I'm with you on Montero and Halladay, bro.

43 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 9, 2009 1:04 pm

MLBTraderumors saying King Felix wants 6/$100mm extension. Jeez - where do we sign?!?

Re: Montero for Halladay...okay fine straight up. The good news is, since he's only 19, he'll probably wind up a free agent with years left in his prime (ala Tex), and we can resign him then if worthwhile :)

44 The Hawk   ~  Dec 9, 2009 1:18 pm

[39] Melky starting makes sense if they're not getting Matsui back or Damon back. If they resign both of them, it would be silly.

45 Paul   ~  Dec 9, 2009 1:28 pm

[42] Me too, as much as I love youth. Still, if there's any chance he could be a catcher, you have to hold onto him. Have to. That's really what it comes down to.

[41] Also fine with Matsui (1 year) and Damon (2 years). But I don't think the Yanks will do that. Seems like they'll sign one DH and it's a bonus if that player can field LF a little. Then they have Melky Gardner as the LF.

That said, now would be a good time to flip Melky and a pitcher for another corner bat. Question is: Who?

46 RIYank   ~  Dec 9, 2009 1:33 pm

I don't like the Montero for Halliday deal, because you still have to pay Halliday for an extension. It's Cashman's old complaint about "paying twice". And for just that reason, I'm skeptical that they're thinking seriously about doing it.

47 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 9, 2009 2:03 pm

[46] Ditto. I think Jeremy nailed it back in [24] - this is all about driving up the price. They don't need Halladay. They do need Montero.

[37] I'm not sure Montero is a big unknown at all. The list of guys who have hit .337/.389/.562 as 19 year olds, with half that line coming in the high minors, is very, very, very small. Then add in that he might be able to spend half his games at catcher. And note that the FSL, where Montero spent half the year, is a pitchers' league, and Trenton is of course a pitchers' park.

The chances of Montero becoming a bonafide superstar are, I believe, pretty good. You don't give up a bat like that for a 33-year-old pitcher, no matter how good he has been. Not when you could buy him for nothing but cash in a years' time - or perhaps someone who's younger and might be better.

[38] Bradley at DH would be awesome. If Bradley doesn't have to play the field regularly, he's a monster with the bat. And he could play the field every so often, if needed, unlike Matsui, especially if it was with CC on the mound, or AJ against a free-swinging team.

48 ny2ca2dc   ~  Dec 9, 2009 2:13 pm

[47] Agree completely. If you want to improve the pitching, just sign Lackey. I can't see how the marginal gain of Halladay over Lackey, all things (age, quality, contract/extension length/cost, etc) considered, could possibly be worth Montero.

49 51cq24   ~  Dec 9, 2009 2:25 pm

it doesn't make any sense to me to sign damon over matsui simply because damon could sometimes play left to give the regular leftfielder a break. the only advantages damon has over matsui is that he can play the outfield (kind of), and that he can run. if we're talking about signing someone to play mostly dh, it has to be matsui.

i don't think we should trade montero, joba, and maybe hughes, for anyone over 28 years old. and even among younger players, there are few i'd want for any of those players. these are top prospects, and i don't think we should be giving them up, even for halladay.

anyway, even if it makes perfect baseball sense to trade some of these guys for halladay, i am firmly against acquiring him. we're all yankee fans here and we all want the team to win every year. but at what cost? acquiring halladay now would be a complete joke. would it even be fun anymore? it's bad enough that we already have half of the best players in baseball. getting another established superstar like halladay would be way too much. i would care less about baseball.

50 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 9, 2009 2:36 pm

I am completely onside with william and alex (quel duo!) on Halladay/Montero. Yankees are all about now, over 2-3 years. Halladay is at the very apex of pitchers, Montero is a very high ceiling kid. If he's that good, he'll be a free agent at 26-27 and we'll be glad to talk. And, as others here say, there are a LOT of very high ceiling kids who bump their heads on beams and never get higher. (Alex Gordon, anyone?) Montero's real + factor is if he's an acceptable big league catcher. If the brain trust (which surely can assess this) make a call that he's unlikely to stick behind the plate, a lot of what he is slips down.

I do stay with my chronic query: how much below Roy is Lackey? Do we prefer Lackey + Hughes + Montero to Halladay? (It might not take both Hughes and Montero, but you know what I mean.) I think Lackey is NY-tough, but about 2/3 the pitcher Roy is.

51 randym77   ~  Dec 9, 2009 2:38 pm

It sounds to me like the Yankees want to sign Damon, but not Matsui.

And I wouldn't be shocked if they went after Holliday or some other big bat.

If someone really told Gammon that they were moving Granderson to LF and keeping Melky in CF, well, that's probably this year's version of "Bubba Crosby will be our opening day center fielder." Heck, remember last year, when they convinced Pete Abe that they didn't have the money and were not, absolutely not, interested in Teixeira?

52 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 9, 2009 2:39 pm

[49] I actually understand that. It takes baseball awfully close to European soccer where the same 2-3 clubs in each country (Man U, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan...) have every cookie in the jar. At some level it feels a bit like bullying. But the other reality is that if the team salary base goes DOWN it just means they are finally spending what they have to spend intelligently.

Is intelligence + money unfair? Probably! Fire Cash, hire Ricciardi! Be fair to the other teams!

53 51cq24   ~  Dec 9, 2009 2:51 pm

[52] the salary base would have to go down considerably to make any difference. anyway, i think that it's more important to develop your own players than to spend less money. the negative perception is that the yankees go out and get other teams' stars. they also have an advantage in keeping their own stars, but i don't think many people would complain about that alone, since that is the ideal (the opposite of the first negative). so this year the huge payroll and numerous superstars were balanced by the fact that half our roster was home grown. i would prefer to keep the better home grown players, especially when they're young and have huge potential (like joba and hughes). by the way, i'm shocked that people seem so ready to trade joba. because he had one down year? because his velocity was down? give the guy a chance, he can still be an ace (and i think he will be).

also, how can the yankees consider trading that rule 5 pick when there's someone available named arquimedes??

54 ms october   ~  Dec 9, 2009 2:58 pm

[53] i used to work with a guy named arquimedes - interesting cat

anyway, i agree with you about joba, and especially how fast people have elevated hughes back in front of joba. i don't think hughes has yet to show he can be an effective or better starter for a year. also, i don't think hughes' poor post-season should be overblown but it should not be all out ignored either. joba showed a great deal of inconsistency this year and the diminished velocity is a concern, but he has tremendous potential still and i think his secondary pitchers are fairly developed.

55 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 9, 2009 3:01 pm

[50] h-c-e, I don't think the Yanks are in this for the next 2-3 years at all. I think Hal and Cash want a long-term money-making machine. There's a reason they keep talking about getting younger and lowering the payroll.

Sorry to nitpick, but to compare Gordon - who dominated the hitters' haven that is the Texas League (AA) at age 22 after 4 years of college ball at an elite program (IIRC, those are essentially on the level of AA) - to Montero (who dominated AA at 19 in a pitchers' park, in his third year of pro ball) is like comparing Horace Clark to Joe Gordon. There's simply no comparison.

The failure rate for guys who do what Montero has done at 19 is very small.

56 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 9, 2009 3:14 pm

Shaun, I won't get into the hype factor debate, and will simply accept that Montero is 'even better than' Gordon. I also know that already, at 19, there's major talk (can we even say agreement) he won't be a catcher in the Show. I am way more willing to trust Cash than you seem to be ... even though you are praising him! If the Yankees deal Montero they have drawn certain conclusions about him. They can be wrong, and assessing future prospects is the hardest part of the game ... but that's a REASON to deal for existing talent!

You misunderstood my 2-3 years point. I mean they will not let kids start and learn the job, the way teams in small markets MUST do. They will work the money machine by fielding winning teams in a major revenue ballpark and a cable-based empire. The payroll will inch down, but it won't plummet. I think in some ways it is symbolic ... by not raising it, they let fans and media make that point. The signing smarter thing.

57 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 9, 2009 3:15 pm

As guessed/predicted here:

"2:12pm: SI's Jon Heyman says the Blue Jays requested Jesus Montero and one of Phil Hughes/Joba Chamberlain plus more from the Yankees for Halladay."

They also want a lock of Swisher's hair.

58 The Hawk   ~  Dec 9, 2009 3:21 pm

[49] You don't sign Damon so he can spell the left fielder, you sign him because he can mainly DH and play LF when anyone else needs a rest. That way, assuming it's Melky in left (or center; whichever) the days A Rod or Posada DHs you'll only be losing Melky's bat for whichever utility guy is in the lineup.

59 Just Fair   ~  Dec 9, 2009 3:29 pm

Save Montero. I don't want to see him dealt for anyone outside of Sir Albert. And that ain't happening. I've read all the hype about him and I want to see him mash in YS 2 for a long time. The idea that dealing him now doesn't matter b/c the Yanks will just sign him when he's a free agent turns me off a bit. But that's just me. I want the Minny Manny playing in the Bronx. Soon. Whether catching of DH'ing. Dealing this kid for a guy who might have his arm pop at any moment freaks me out. End my 2 cents. : D

60 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 9, 2009 3:33 pm

[56] I agree with you, h-c-e: in Cash we all trust! But I don't think he's going to deal Montero away. And I think the reasons that justified dealing Austin Jackson away for established talent do not apply to Montero - not least of all because of the return!

I don't think I'm relying on hype - look at the numbers, look at the context (that is, league/park factors/league factors), and most of all, look at his age. To do what he's done at 19, at AA or AAA, is very, very rare. 5 times in the last 11 years rare (19 or less, .909 OPS or better: Montero 2009, Jason Heyward 2009, Justin Upton 2007, Delmon Young 2005, BJ Upton 2004; no one else since 1999). No hype, just facts.

As for not letting kids start and learn on the job, that's what the minor leagues are for. Small market teams often must promote young players before they are ready - they need buzz to sell tickets, and why pay a free agent $5M when you can get almost the same production of a kid for $500K? The Yanks have the luxury of promoting when guys are ready. Montero will have done his learning in the minors.

As for him not being able to catch in the bigs, I know Kevin Goldstein has gone on the record as saying that's not the consensus anymore. We'll know more in a few days, when his Top 11 Yanks prospects comes out, and then when Keith Law ranks his top 100 prospects, and BA releases their rankings.

61 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 9, 2009 3:35 pm

[58] I have to say, that's a brilliant point. The drop off from Melky to Pena/Cervelli isn't nearly as huge as, say, the dropoff from Matsui to Pena/Cervelli. And when Melkly is playing LF, his glove may make up a good chunk of what he doesn't do with the bat compared to Damon.

62 Bama Yankee   ~  Dec 9, 2009 3:38 pm

[6] Sliced, I loved those Evel Knievel toys. My brother and I had the motorcycle shown above along with the
We also had the Scramble Van. Check out this Evel Knievel Toy Site for a walk down memory lane.

I actually found some of that stuff a few years ago when we cleaned out the attic at my mom's house. Other than a few parts missing and a few broken limbs (kinda like the real Evel Knievel ended up) the toys still worked. And yes, they still put that black streak on the kitchen floor...and yes, my wife hated that about as much as my mom used to... ;-)

63 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 9, 2009 3:40 pm

[47] When Jack Cust was 19, I remember all the talk about how he was a can't miss masher without a position to play. The same was true of Billy Butler. Monetro is not exactly leaps and bounds ahead of other prospects who haven't lived up to the hype.

64 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 9, 2009 3:41 pm

[58] Yep...that was exactly my point.

65 51cq24   ~  Dec 9, 2009 3:45 pm

[58] i understand perfectly the idea. my point is that you don't choose damon over matsui because of marginal gains (the few times damon would play lf- and anyway maybe matsui can play lf at nearly the same level, but that's a separate point) when matsui over damon for the majority of the season would be superior. that is, i only think damon is more valuable than matsui if damon is going to play lf most of the year.
of course, i still think they should sign a real left fielder AND resign matsui to dh. that way you lose only matsui on days when one of the position player dh's. seems to make a lot more sense to me to have a very good bat for most of the year than to not have him so that you don't lose him for some of the year.

66 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 9, 2009 3:51 pm

What does Randy Wolf at 3 x $10mm do to Lackey's price?

67 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 9, 2009 3:51 pm

[65] When you factor in the relative injury risk, do you really think Matsui is better than Damon?

68 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 9, 2009 3:52 pm

[66] Probably not much of an impact because Lackey isn't in Wolf's neighborhood.

69 The Hawk   ~  Dec 9, 2009 3:57 pm

[65] I only said it cause you said "it doesn’t make any sense to me to sign damon over matsui simply because damon could sometimes play left to give the regular leftfielder a break" (italics mine) which is not the idea.

[61] It is william's brilliant point, to give credit where it's due.

70 The Hawk   ~  Dec 9, 2009 4:03 pm

The Yankees want flexibility at DH. Damon is perfect if they keep Cabrera, because he can DH (he actually likes it, or so I hear) or play LF. I don't think the Yankees want the DH to only be used to rest regulars, nor do they want a full time DH a la Matsui.

Factor in that you may want to sit Granderson vs tough lefties, and signing Damon is really the right move.
And believe me, I am a big Matsui fan.

71 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 9, 2009 4:04 pm

Many scouts think Aroldis Chapman would immediately become the second best prospect in the game behind Strasburg, so why wouldn't it make sense for the Yankees to sign him and then make him the centerpiece of a Halladay trade?

72 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 9, 2009 4:05 pm

[68] Well certainly Lackey is no-doubt superior, but on the whole I have to think that this drives Lackey's price higher. The small number of decent or better FA SPs on the market just went down by one, two if you count Pettitte. Add in the fact that many of these guys are injury cases (e.g. Harden or Sheets) and the short list gets shorter. No?

73 RIYank   ~  Dec 9, 2009 4:14 pm

[71] Because if he were tradable to the Jays at the contract level, they would just sign him at that contract level? How would the Yankees outbid the Jays and then trade Chapman at the higher salary??

74 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 9, 2009 4:17 pm

[73] I am assuming that the contract would come with a hefty signing bonus paid by the Yankees, making Chapman very affordable to the Jays.

75 51cq24   ~  Dec 9, 2009 4:19 pm

[67] yes. he's a better hitter and a bigger threat from the bench. of course i would want to know more about his knee, but based on what i do know, i'd want his bat over damon's.

[69] yes that is what i wrote.

[70] i just don't understand why you have to choose between damon and matsui. why not choose between damon and other lf options, and then choose between matsui and other dh options? in other words, i don't understand why the yankees wouldn't want to sign a dh. if the cost is absurd, then i guess you don't. but it seems to me we could sign matsui to a reasonable, short contract, like pettitte. but once you sign matsui as dh, you don't have to use him as dh every single day. if posada or others need some days at dh, they can still have them, and you have a huge bat on the bench. isn't this how it worked this year?
i don't see why the granderson acquisition changes the lf/dh dynamic. granderson is an upgrade over melky. now we need a lf and a dh. or, if you think granderson is better suited as a lf, we need a cf and a dh. i do not think we should sacrifice the upgrade we just made by neglecting dh or letting melky play lf or cf regularly.
i still think we need a lf and a dh. and i think matsui is perfectly suited as a dh/ph.

76 RagingTartabull   ~  Dec 9, 2009 4:26 pm

the deal is officially done

commence the creation of bad Granderson puns

77 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 9, 2009 4:50 pm

[75] Overall I'm inclined to agree. I would be quite pleased with *both* JD and Godzilla back for one more year, and I'd overpay to have it. Granderson doesn't change that a lick for me.

78 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 9, 2009 5:14 pm

[50] "Yankees are all about now, over 2-3 years. Halladay is at the very apex of pitchers, Montero is a very high ceiling kid. If he’s that good, he’ll be a free agent at 26-27 and we’ll be glad to talk."

When the Yanks sign Mauer, I'll agree with you on the concept 100%. Of course, they won't need him then unless he's shifted to the outfield by then. Signing C.C. and Tex did not completely convince me that the Yanks can sign absolutely anyone they want; those guys were traded before they signed on as Yankees, while Mauer for now is still with his home team. What it would likely take to sign Mauer is a combo of big money/wine-dine + lowball or non-competitive offer from the Twins.

On MLBN, Cashman says he thinks Granderson fits well into the 2 slot; sounds like a take-it/leave-it for Damon, though he's not saying, of course. Looking like bad timing on that European vacation, bro; hope you don't have to do an Alex and take over from Boras...

79 randym77   ~  Dec 9, 2009 6:05 pm

Jayson Stark says the Yankees are among the teams interested in Nick Johnson.

I was so bummed when they traded him, but given his injury history, I'm not sure I want him back.

80 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 9, 2009 6:35 pm

[79] It only makes sense it seems if they intend to DH him, which he hasn't done since he was with us in 2003. He's a high OBP guy a la Nick Swisher, which leads me to believe if the team is serious about him, they intend to trade Swisher; that really depends on if they sign Damon and Melky's arm moves to right or they find a real RF somewhere. It seems unlikely tho; he could start on quite a few other teams regardless of his injury history. Yanks would have to overpay to get him based on his offensive potential; in which case it's a waste since you already have him playing RF where he's needed.

The Mets desperately need a 1B with a bat, so it makes sense there except they don't seem to want to spend anything; seems like they might go into receivership by the All Star Break the way they've been going the last couple of years. Not sure where to begin there, but Willie's Curse seems to be an appropriate name for it, incompetence aside...

81 randym77   ~  Dec 9, 2009 6:39 pm

[80] Yeah, I'm not sure how he'd fit in, either. They did try him in left field when he was with the Yanks.

As for the Mets...more like the Curse of Madoff. ;-)

82 Yankster   ~  Dec 9, 2009 6:49 pm

According to Fangraphs, for whatever his predictions are worth, Bill James has Matsui at an OPS of .842 in 2010 and Damon at .785. Fan predictions at Fangraphs show a similar spread. That's pretty significant especially given that Damon really doesn't have much of a position to field to make up for the offensive gap. Matsui also has shown that he can get up off the bench after sitting there cold for seven innings and hit in a high leverage situation at his normal average. So he's not only a solid DH, he's an awesome PH. And we might need one of those when our new CF gets paired with a LOOGY. Plus, Mats might take 1 year with a low buyout in the second year, while Damon is understood to want more years. That second year is gonna be a doozy.

Whatever happens, Cashman's trade totally changed the complexion of the negotiation with these two. He probably saved $2 million of CG's 8.5 annual average in gained leverage against Damon and Mats.

83 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 9, 2009 6:55 pm

[81] >;) Whose to say one doesn't happen without the other?

84 The Hawk   ~  Dec 9, 2009 7:09 pm

[75] No-one ever doubted that's what you wrote. It's right there, in black and white.

85 51cq24   ~  Dec 9, 2009 8:03 pm

[84] actually just black. but you said black and white! why would you say black and white when it's only written in black? because the background is white? but i didn't have anything to do with the background, my writing is only in black!

the point i was making, which i think i made clear, if not in the original post then thereafter, was that i don't think you sign damon over matsui because he can sometimes play left field. damon's advantage is that he can play in the field. the less he'd be asked to do that, the less advantage he has, and therefore the more matsui's offensive advantage matters. i'm sorry that i didn't use the exact language of what i was referencing, but the logistics of who gets rest was really secondary to my point. i'm not really sure it warrants your somewhat derisive attention.

86 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 9, 2009 8:21 pm

I've read all the comments and ...still don't get why they would trade Swisher..?

Too much year-end overtime makes Mr. OK Jazz Tokyo a slow boy...

87 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 9, 2009 8:34 pm

[0] Alex, I absolutely LOVE Curtis Mayfield...am inspired now to head back to the bar here in town called "Curtis", soul-music specialty bar...

88 The Hawk   ~  Dec 9, 2009 8:48 pm

I once listened to Curtis Mayfield at great length on a nighttime trip through the American southwest in a 77 Chevy Nova. Ol' Curtis did not pass the "nighttime trip through the American southwest in a 77 Chevy Nova" test.

89 The Hawk   ~  Dec 9, 2009 8:52 pm

[85] I didn't say it was written in black and white, just that it was in black and white. The white, you see, is background for the black letters to be seen against. It makes for a rather striking contrast, you must agree.

90 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 9, 2009 8:57 pm

[88] Which album?? I imagine that driving through the southwest US at night..you'd need something to either heighten the spookiness factor (maybe some early Can or Pink Floyd) or something extra peppy to distract you from the approaching coyote spirits (maybe some Motown or rockabilly).

91 The Hawk   ~  Dec 9, 2009 9:08 pm

[90] I don't recall ... My friend brought it. I thought I really liked Curtis Mayfield at the time but that all changed that night. It was something about Mayfield's vocal delivery and all that percussion, and the length and aimlessness of the songs and our journey. Just a bad scene ... I can only take one Curtis Mayfield song at a time now.

92 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 9, 2009 9:20 pm

[91] Been so long since I did a roadtrip I cannot think of a good music list now..actually been 11 years since I last drove a car! (and not missing it..)

But I love Curtis, check out his live albm from 1971, more stripped-down versions of his songs from that period.

93 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 9, 2009 9:29 pm

[84],[85] Multicultural texting? >;)

I'm thinking Cash is gonna keep us guessing as much as he would keep Damon and Matsui's camp guessing in terms of what his real options are; he may very well want them both back, but on his terms. I bet we have more of an impact on negotiations than on the players' actual play with all the analysis we freely expound on. Our subjective opinions don't matter so much to the parties involved as an occasional nugget or ream of info that might support their own findings. It's not entirely out of the question to ask if we are doing some of the legwork for Cash and Co. (for free!)

So as it stands, we have Melky, Curtis and Swisher as our starting outfield from left to right respectively, and Gardner as our 4th OF. if the lineup was made today:


So, ostensibly the hole to fill is DH, where if you base it purely on production then Matsui has the edge. However, there's been talk of using the DH as a catch-all spot to rest Alex, Derek and Jorge, in which case your bench had better have some strong backups.

With that line of thinking, Damon becomes somewhat of a luxury in that you would then push Melky and Brett to the bench and leave only two bench spots for the infield; BUC and one BUI; who would you find or keep if that were the case? Would you then re-sign Molina and Hairston, or open it up for Cervelli and Pena, whom would certainly be cheaper and likely produce the same results?

I have to think that as much as I'd like to see Damon and Matsui back, their presence on the roster would not allow a lot of flexibility to rest the Big Three throughout the season the way we would like to. The only way you see Montero then is as a late-season call-up or injury replacement; not even the first one called unless he absolutely tears the cover off the ball in the minors.

This obviously goes against Cash's edict to get younger. Personally, this may be their best chance to do so, with two older players coming off big contracts and bigger years; the only ready AAA position players they have left are Shelly(?), Miranda and Cervelli, and you have to think Montero is not far behind, not to mention whoever they select for Rule 5 if they don't select one of their own.

So, what's the thinking then? If they keep one or both of Damon and Matsui, then they might either trade Montero and spare parts for 3+ years of Roy Halliday and GORH, or you prime Montero in AAA and have him ready at a moment's notice if Matsui sucks or gets injured. If you let them both walk, you could sign Matt Holliday for LF and trade Melky and/or Brett for a spare arm or buckup infielder, or platoon the both of them at left with the other serving as Granderson's understudy. These are possibilities, but I dare say none of us really knows what Cash intends to do until he starts doing it.

94 RIYank   ~  Dec 9, 2009 9:43 pm

[93] I declare that this thread is officially over. Let the crickets chirp!

95 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 9, 2009 9:47 pm

[94] I challenge that declaration!

I don't care how good Doc Halladay is..just once can't the Yankees see what they got with their prospects? I am really exicted about Montero..I mean, we won the damn World Series last year (and 103 games in the reg season!)..do we "need" to get Roy?

96 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 9, 2009 9:47 pm

[90],[91] My buddy told me about a church session one Sunday where the pastor was played up to the dias by the church band to the strains of Freddy's Dead. The pastor, a fairly young guy not a whole lot older than me, glanced at them sidelong before going into his sermon, and when it was over and he was leaving the pulpit, the band played him off with the same song.

The pastor stopped dead in his tracks and turned around, saying, "I just have to say something, because I was thinking about this the whole time... was that you guys playing Freddy's Dead? I thought that was coming from outside!" The whole congregation fell out laughing...

Best church session ever... >;)

97 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 9, 2009 9:50 pm

[94] Geez, what did I do??

98 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 9, 2009 9:51 pm

[96] Hysterical...why on earth would they choose that song?? Was "Pusherman" too obvious??

99 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 9, 2009 10:04 pm

[95] That depends on what you want to see beyond next year. Re-signing Damon and Matsui reminds me of reassembling the 2001 Yanks and hoping the outcome is a little different. Lackey I'm not convinced is more than a slight upgrade over signing Javier Vasquez or even Jaret Wright. But trading for Doc feels almost like signing Giambi; a good idea at the time, but at what cost to the future? I'm not sure I like any of the options, but to be honest it's not up to us and they all have big risks attached. I think your safest bet at this point is signing Matt Holliday, who will only cost you money and perhaps picks you won't miss anyway, and if there's any close-to-direct correlation to the Giambi signing, it's that.

100 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 9, 2009 10:07 pm

[98] I'm sure that's what he was wondering, too! Gotta admit, the song automatically puts a swagger in your step, not an unexpected thing in a Black church >;)

Show/Hide Comments 101-107
101 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 9, 2009 10:34 pm

[100] I remember going to a Black church in Washington DC one time..it was astonishing, made the Blues Brothers look like Pat Boone. I asked a regular if every Sunday was like that and he said "more or less"...but that this particular church was well known for it's exuberant choir and band, it attracted people from around the city and even non-believers...wish I could remember the name and location, somewhere north of U-St, not that far from Howard U...guy was playing a lap-steel guitar and making it sound like it was from Mars, just awesome!

102 The Hawk   ~  Dec 9, 2009 10:49 pm

[93] I'm pretty sure I read a quote somewhere, where Cashman said Cervelli will fill the BUC role. Maybe not a big piece of your puzzle, but there you have it ...

103 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 9, 2009 10:59 pm

[101] I think I know which church you're talking about, though I'd only been there a couple of times.

A lot of great singers and musicians, particularly in jazz and soul, honed their craft in church, so I would be surprised if any of those folks weren't also professional musicians on the outside; though I heard one gospel singer say she wishes there was a way to separate being a musician from being in the music business...

104 monkeypants   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:02 pm

[93] I have to think that as much as I’d like to see Damon and Matsui back, their presence on the roster would not allow a lot of flexibility to rest the Big Three throughout the season the way we would like to.

I'm not sure how the starting DH---whoever he is---would end up significantly cutting into flexibility/limiting how the team rests players. When the starters play, the DH plays. When the starters rest, sometimes the DH plays...somtimes the position player occupies the DH spot and the regular DH sits. No DH is going to start for A-Rod or Posada or Jeter. The only place where it might matter would be LF.

Now, all this being said, I'm not concerned about DH. This is not because I think the spot should be left open for convalescing and aging players. Rather, there are plenty of options out there this off season: Matsui, Damon, Nick Johnson, J. Thome. For nostalgic reasons, I would love to see Nick the Stick.

105 monkeypants   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:03 pm

[104] Holy unclosed tag, Bat Man.

106 Raf   ~  Dec 9, 2009 11:28 pm

we won the damn World Series last year (and 103 games in the reg season!)..do we “need” to get Roy?

It isn't so much about need, but if a pitcher like Halliday becomes available, the Yanks should at least do due diligence.

It's been done before, the 1998 Yankees, coming off a 114 win season and a WS title added the defending Cy Young Award winner, Roger Clemens.

107 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 10, 2009 8:16 am

[63] When Jack Cust was 19, he hadn't yet played a game above low-A ball. When he finally got to AA 2 years later, yes he did have a .966 OPS, but that was El Paso in the Texas League, a fantastic hitters' park in a hitters' league. Not the same.

When Billy Butler was 19, yes he played in AA (and in that hitters' heaven known as the Texas League), but his OPS in those 119 PA was .880, with only 5 HR. The next year, he repeated the level, stayed there all year, and his OPS was .887, with but 15 HR.

If Montero spends his entire age-20 season back at Trenton, and his OPS is .909 or less, then we can compare him to Billy Butler. But that won't happen, and so we won't compare him to Billy Butler.

And yes, I will not let any of these go. =)

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