"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Feels like 2003 All Over Again


First Nick Johnson. Is Javier Vazquez next?

Update: Yes, with LOOGY Boone Logan for Melky, LHP Michael Dunn, and pitching prospect Arodys Vizcaino. So who goes to the bullpen? Joba or Hughes? And does this mean Granderson’s in left with Gardner in center, or is there one more big move on the way?

Update: With Arodys Vizcaino in the deal, does your opinion of the trade change?

Update: Fangraphs thinks both teams win here.

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1 NYYfan22   ~  Dec 22, 2009 9:46 am

brought over from last threat. What an exciting day!

The Yankees have agreed to trade Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn and a minor leaguer to the Braves for Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan.

-- Mark Feinsand

2 Bruce Markusen   ~  Dec 22, 2009 9:47 am

I just hope the Yankees have someone in the organization who can get his mechanics straightened out if they get out of whack in mid-season. The last time around, the Yankees claimed they couldn't straighten him out in mid-season, that it had to wait until the winter.

That didn't help much in the postseason.

3 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 22, 2009 9:50 am

[2] Enough has changed in the organization since 2003, Bruce, that I wouldn't be worried about it.

[1] Also from the last thread:

"If that is the deal, that is a steal. I will gladly take that.

But I have two concerns: who plays LF now, and (to me more importantly) who gets bumped from the rotation, Joba or Phil? I’m not really worried about LF, just curious – but the pitching, I am worried about. I think it ends up being Hughes, but that is very sad to me, because he needs more innings if he’s ever going to be a starter. Now if Giradi makes him the long-man, my concerns are lessened, but . . ."

4 Dimelo   ~  Dec 22, 2009 9:52 am

[3] Maybe they groom Hughes to be the closer.

5 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 9:53 am

[2] It seems clearer and clearer to me that he was hurt in 2003.It was his only truly bad season. He won't be as good as last season, but he has consistently had alternating good seasons (~ 120 ERA+) and average seasons (~ 98 ERA+), with lots of innings.

[3] It looks more and more (to me) like Joba will get bumped back to the BP. I really want to see both Joba/Hughes get legitimate shots at starting, but I am losing faith daily.

6 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 22, 2009 9:54 am

[4] Its possible, I suppose, though my hope is that they groom Hughes as a starter, with the intent that he takes over for Pettitte next year. And, of course, between Burnett and Pettitte and the possibility for injuries, I could easily see Hughes getting time in the rotation this year.

7 Ben   ~  Dec 22, 2009 9:54 am

LF indeed. They must be closing in on Damon, right? They're not gonna put Granderson in Left, Swisher in Right and Gardner in center, are they?

I mean, I'll watch the games no matter what. I like Gardner enough, and I absolutely love Javy. But still. It stands to reason Damon is near. Right?

8 ms october   ~  Dec 22, 2009 9:55 am

brought over from the last thread too:

pobrecito – i don’t want melky to go

good to point out william, re: expectations on javy.
last year was the first year his hr/9 was below 2 (1.8) – which though i don’t think he was really home run javy, he will have a tough time repeating
his bb/9 tied a career low at 1.8 – he obviously needs to keep that around his career average or better.

[3] very valid questions shaun.
pitching depth is a tricky animal.

9 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 9:57 am

[3] LF is now a real hole. The Yankees do not have anyone to play it.

As for the rotation, it was clear over the past week that the Yankees had absolutely no intention of trusting both Joba and Phil in the rotation this season (Cashman all but said as much). I think the plan is actually pretty clear. Joba, who no longer has a limit, will start in the rotation and Hughes, who does have a limit, will start in the pen. If Joba doesn’t put it all together in the first half, the roles will be swapped. I think that’s a smart plan regardless because you simply can not have Hughes be a 140 IP starter…it will be the same disaster that Joba was this year.

10 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 9:57 am

[4] A little bit of my soul just died.

11 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:01 am

[9] LF is now a real hole. The Yankees do not have anyone to play it.

Of course, this all depends on how one views Gardner relative to Melky. I still think it's a wash, but I could be wrong. Hoffman is still the dark horse.

If Joba doesn’t put it all together in the first half, the roles will be swapped. I think that’s a smart plan regardless because you simply can not have Hughes be a 140 IP starter…

That's true. And come to think of it, I bitched last year that converting Hughes to a one inning specialist in 2009 would cost significantly in 2010.


12 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:01 am

According to Sherman, the third player in the deal is Arodys Vizcaino, who isn't an insignificant propsect.

13 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:04 am

[8] I suspect that they will get the league average version of Javy (see 2005, 2006, 2008), with a 1.25 WHIP and some HRs, but also about 200 INN. For a #3/4 starter that's not too bad.

14 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:04 am

[11] Clearly, but I am admittedly a big Melky fan and think he was improving toward being a solid to pretty good player.

15 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:05 am

[13] That was my conclusion as well...both on the expectation and the value. I just hope Javy doesn't get caught up in the same level of expectations that hurt him last time around.

16 ms october   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:08 am

[14] yeah this is a bit sad for william, the hawk, myself , perhaps hoss an mattpat, and the other "melky supporters"

17 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:11 am

Well, if you are a Philly fan, you are ecstatic that the Braves made this deal.

I guess Damon IS coming back.

I'll miss Melky too, but getting "good Javy" back is wonderful.

18 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:13 am

From Tyler Kepner:
Yanks traded Nick Johnson for Vazquez, who gave up grand slam to Damon in '04 ALCS. Now Damon's gone, and Nick and Javy are back. Wild.

19 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:15 am

[14] [16] Buck up, kids. I remained convinced that Gardy/Hoffy will not be starting teh entire year in LF. Another move is a-comin'.

[18] It's like Cashman is making amends for past sins.

20 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:15 am

Go with the grace, Sweet Melky. Los dias de dos leches son no mas.

21 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:17 am

[19] This is like the climatic scene from the Godfather. Right now, Cashman is standing godfather at a baptism as all of these moves are being announced.

22 ny2ca2dc   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:17 am

Arodys is the Yanks #2 or #3 prospect, really the only pitcher in the system with legit top of the rotation (if not quite ace/#1) potential (ignoring Brackman). This makes the deal a lot more suspect. I duno about this deal anymore - would rather see Nova or Z-Mac as the third player going. I just got a lot more ambivalent.

I would guess this means we'll have a super defensive outfield, with Gardner in CF and Granderon in LF? That would be a sight!

23 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:18 am

Meanwhile, what must Mets fans be thinking?

24 NYYfan22   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:19 am

[17] Feinsand just tweeted that he was told "this does NOT re-open the door for Johnny Damon to come back to the Bronx."

Is Holliday already wrapped up in a pending deal? Is he a possibility?

25 ny2ca2dc   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:25 am

I don't buy the talk about this meaning Joba or Phil to the BP for good. I would like to see Phil start the season in the AAA rotation. If there's an injury in the first half, he comes up and takes that slot. If not, he can pitch out of the ML BP for the second half, and still get something close to 150 innings, while still pitching in the majors for some portion of that (and helping the team down the stretch).

26 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:25 am

[22] I don't think he is that high, but he is definitely top-15, so it's not an insignificant addition and definitely makes the deal more reasonable for the Braves.

If the plan is to go with Gardner than I think this deal becomes a net loss. If they get someone else, it's probably break even, but better matches each team's needs.

27 The Hawk   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:26 am

[16] Yeah. I mean, I get it, but I don't really like it. I reluctantly accept it. If the trade was for a real #2 I think I could get behind the deal more. I thought the Yanks needed another starter, but I would have been content to see Hughes and Chamberlain as 4 and 5 (or 5 and 4). I guess I feel a little house money-esque after winning it all.

Maybe Melky will return one day, just like Vasquez and Johnson.

Jee-bus, Gardner Gardner and more Gardner. Terrible.

Did this trade happen because of that Banter poll the other day? I voted SP and look what I got. No Melky for my coffee.

28 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:26 am

FWIW, Javy's stats in old YS

note career BABIP of .243 in old YS ... meaning he was hit-lucky ...

29 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:28 am

[28] The Yankees pitching strategy: collect all of the Lucky™ pitchers?

30 ny2ca2dc   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:32 am

[26] BA had him as #3, BP (article from today/yesterday) as #2

31 seamus   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:32 am

I like the pickup of Javy! Don't like giving up more prospects. And you gotta think this leads to a new LF. Though I'm ok with trying Gardner out. I'm not as down on him as others. I'll certainly miss Melky.

32 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:33 am

Just as long as they don't reacquire Ted Lilly and Jeff Weaver ...

33 NYYfan22   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:33 am

on ESPN now...

34 Joel   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:34 am

[24] I don't believe what Feinsand was told for one minute.

Cashman is probably on the phone with Boras right now saying, "One year, eight million, with a club option for 2011. Take it or leave it."

The odds have greatly improved that Damon is coming back next year with Gardner as his caddy.

35 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:34 am

More Tyler Kepner tweeting:
Vazquez has 1 year, $11.5M left on contract. Again, Cashman's going for short-term deals to save up for dream free agent class next winter.

36 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:35 am

[22][26] Given how position-prospect poor the organization is, he is a significant addition. On the other hand, he is probably blocked by Cano and Jeter for several years. Losing A-Jax stings more, but they did (it is hoped) get good return for that investment.

37 The Hawk   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:36 am

It's funny; Sam Borden at LoHud says the trade relieves a "glut" of OFs then immediately says they'll get another OF. Which would create a new "glut", right?! Ah what the hell

38 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:37 am


Sounds more like Sam has a lot of glut-eus maximus ...

39 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:37 am

[31] Hey, we agree! I think Gardy will be less bad than some are expecting, and given a whole season, I think he'll even be respectable (esp. batting #9).

I still think that one more move is in the works.

40 Sliced Bread   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:37 am

I don't like this trade mostly for two emotional reasons:

I liked Melky. He was one of the young Yankees. I always saw him as more than a fourth outfielder, and looked forward to rooting for him the next 5-7 years.

I was at Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS. I know there are things to lilke about Javy (innings eater?), but Game 7 is pretty much all I remember about him. I'd never give up Melky's prime years to see Javy back in pinstripes, and for $11 million dollars. No thank you.

Cashman's weird winter waltz: one step forward (Granderson), two steps back (Nick & Javy).

41 seamus   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:39 am

[39] mark the date and time! :b

42 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:39 am

Yeah, I'm in the Melky we Hardly Knew Ye camp. Some regret here. I'm also way more cool than many with Gardner in left or centre (probably better centre, Grandy left). A strong fielding, so-so batting speed burner at #9 with our lineup ... that's fine, Banterers. Having said that, we are thin in OF now, lacking an established big league 4th OF, aren't we? Is DeRosa the International Next Signing of Mystery?

If Chapman's added it makes the deal a lot more sensible from Atlanta's point of view ... otherwise we're just fleecing them, I think.

I think the 5th starter is partly a training camp battle.It really has to be, no? Hughes actual cap for this year is as low as 140. (The guide/rule's 50 above the previous year, right?) Joba is ready to go 200, in theory. But is it unreasonable to expect one of them to be fairly clearly better than the other as a starter?

43 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:40 am

Melky being traded. Sounds like Juan Rivera all over again to me. Of course I thought trading Javy was an overreaction to the GS he gave up that year. Hope he has enough left or this is a "one trade too many" disaster.

Don't know why they would completely shut the door on Damon unless it's personal now or they fully intend to sign Holliday. Or... nah, I'm not gonna say it.

44 ny2ca2dc   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:40 am

Melky has only 2 years of team control left, right folks? So if Melky breaks out this or next year he can be back soon enough (or would potentially be gone soon enough had he stayed).

45 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:43 am

[40] The thing is, Melky was never going to be part of the future, even if he stayed this year. Next season the Yankees will sign a stud corner OF FA (or they make big surprise splash this year). Swish is still under contract for two more season, correct? That means Melky is essentially a 4th OF until 2012. Given the way the personnel hs shaped up, the Yankees figured he was expendable.

46 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:45 am

So, how does this 11 million play into the fixed budget?

47 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:47 am

[35] [45] I sure hope you're all right. There's going to be a lot of breath-holding in April, that's for sure.

48 Sliced Bread   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:49 am

[45] You're probably right that Melky didn't have a future with the team, but I didn't see it that way. Going into this winter I thought they'd bring back Damon, or get Holliday. After they got Granderson, I figured they'd still get a big bat for LF, and that Mellky would start in RF, and Swish would DH. I would have been fine with that.
I'll admit, I thought AJax would replace Melky at some point, but I figured Melky's future would be in right or as a 4th OF, and if AJax didn't pan out, he'd be an affordable CF for years to come.

49 ny2ca2dc   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:50 am

On third thought, Javy has to be a good bet to be a Type-A FA, certainly Type-B, next off season. And he's one that would likely decline arb. Resultant draft pick(s) takes some of the sting away from losing Arodys.

50 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:50 am

[25] It's not for good...just for this season that one will be in the bullpen.

[30] I didn't realize that BP had him that high, but I believe they were higher on him last year than most. Whether he is top-2 or top-10, the point remains valid. Arodys is a big part of this deal.

51 Bama Yankee   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:53 am

[38] nice

I'll miss Melky (except for the fact that he seemed to always swing at strike three in the dirt). I also liked Javy during his days as a Yankee and I'm glad he's back. The radio station I listen to at work carries the Braves games and therefore I got to/had to follow them a little this past year. Javy pitched pretty well for them down the stretch and I remember thinking it would be nice to have him back someday.

52 seamus   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:53 am

so what do folks know of logan?

53 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:55 am

[49] That's a very good point. Considering that Arodys is still only 19, the Yankees could wind up with a pick who not only has the same ceiling, but also is more advanced.

54 ny2ca2dc   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:55 am

[53] Mattpatt will hate him

55 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:57 am

BP.COM Kevin Goldstein's top 10 Yankee talents age 25 or younger
1. Jesus Montero, C
2. Joba Chamberlain, RHP
3. Philip Hughes, RHP
4. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
5. Melky Cabrera, OF
6. David Robertson, RHP
7. Manny Banuelos, LHP
8. Zach McAllister, RHP
9. Austin Romine, C
10. Gary Sanchez, C

56 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:58 am

[52] An erratic lefty who did have some promise. He is a bigger version of Mike Dunn. I think that part of the deal is a wash. This is Melky and Arodys for Javy (what great first names).

57 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:00 am

Even more Tyler Kepner (he's on fire today):
Yanks use 6 prospects to get Granderson and Vazquez, yet keep Hughes, Joba, Montero, Melancon, Romine, McAllister. Not bad.

58 NYYfan22   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:02 am

QUICK POLL: is Logan a LOOGY improvement over Coke?

Coke looks a little better to me, but it's a smaller sample size and it's quasi-moot, since Coke was already gone.

59 ny2ca2dc   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:03 am

My [54] should have replied to [52], my numbering is off because a comment with links is in moderation purgatory.

60 NYYfan22   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:04 am

[57] I liked this one, by Kep:
Since Yanks traded Vazquez after 2004 ALCS, he has over 1000 innings and over 1000 strikeouts. Only other pitcher to do it: Johan Santana.

61 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:06 am

[58] Porbably close to a toss up, although I don't see Logan as anything close to a lock to make the 25-man.

62 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:06 am

I don't like this move one bit. This is a move to win a 105 games rather than 100. It's sheer decadence for the sake of insurance. And why give up anything when you could get a decent arm on the market and certainly for $11.5M. I mean, Sheets or Duck for $11.5M and Melky, Dunn, Vizcaino or Vazquez? It's not even close for me.

BTW: Melky is going to .800 OPS in the NL. I see Juan Rivera. A guy who was never critical but certainly helpful. And they gave him away for Javy Vazquez? At least the first time you could justify it as needing young pitching. Now, it's pure insurance where the Yankees already have young pitching.

63 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:10 am

Forget all the stats about Vazquez. He's a league average pitcher getting paid more than average. If something happens to one of Sabathia, Burnett, or Pettitte, he's a very nice fill-in. But then you could always make this trade for a similar arm when that happens.

64 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:15 am

Joel Sherman's tweets:
#Yankees project Vazquez as Type-A fr agt next winter so can offer arb and - if rejected - get 2 high picks to begin replenish system

# With Vazquez, #Yankees will try to save some $$ by trading Gaudin or Mitre to team seeking backend help before spring training ends

#Yanks felt could spend on SP or LF, and would rather be vulnerable in LF than rotation, so money on Vazquez not on LF

#Yankees insisting still that they will be under $200M payroll, which means bargain bin for LF if they hold firm

#Yankees figured Melky's arb was going to be $3M-$3.5M, so they see Vazquez as more $8-$8.5M starter than $11.5M

65 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:16 am

[63] But then you could always make this trade for a similar arm when that happens.

Perhaps, though at that point his value would be higher and so, presumably, the trade more costly.

This trade comes down to how much Melky and Arodys are worth more than how much Javy costs the Yankees in terms of dollars/roster flexibility.

66 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:18 am

[64] by trading Gaudin or Mitre to team


Yankees figured Melky’s arb was going to be $3M-$3.5M, so they see Vazquez as more $8-$8.5M starter than $11.5M

Now that's interesting.

67 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:24 am

[63] League average pitchers who throw 200 innings are valuable and not easily/readily attainable. Javy is a huge upgrade over Mitre/Guadin, so the Yankees are improving. It's also not overkill because AJ and Andy are far from locks to get through another season without missing a start. If one were to go down, you'd be looking at two established starters, Joba and a Mitre and Gaudin (kind of like the days of Ponson and Rasner).

The Type A possibility mitigates the loss of Arodys, so this comes down to Melky versus Javy for 2009. Only my fondness for Melky stops be from thinking this was a slam dunk for the Yankees. Either way, it was a creative solution with little risk, of which Sheets or Duck have a lot.

68 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:27 am

[64] My only problem with the SP verus LF logic is if they had to make a choice, it probably would have made sense to not sign NJ and go for a player who could play the OF. Now, they have the DH spot locked up with no productive options for LF. I'd much rather go into 2010 with Miranda as the DH than Gardner as the LF'er.

69 The Hawk   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:29 am

I also didn't think they should have jettisoned Vasquez like that in the first place.

70 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:32 am

[7] There is a group of Melky supporters/Gardner haters, and I myself was once in the "Melky has far more potential/did you see Gardners swing?!?" group, but at this point, with Gardner (equal/better) SSS numbers, outstanding speed and defense, I can't believe the gulf between the 2 is that great. If Gardner can post a .700 OPS in CF, at $0.4m/yr, he will be hugely valuable.
Our current payroll DEMAND with have 8-10 guys for under $1m, who are 'good enough' to support our impact guys.

It's close: JD+Melky > Grandy + Gardy? Could go either way.

[12] I don't like losing Arodys Vizcaino, but the guy was in A ball. That's a LONG way off from helping the Yankees win games. Again... Cashman has been collecting arms, and we all KNEW most were trade bait.

Question: Is Javy, Phil and Joba the absolute BEST 4-5-6 in MLB?
Those 40% of our games count too... yes?

[16] THINK #28! I will miss the kid, dumb as he was.... but, it was just a matter of time. Gardner could have been the one to go, but at this point, shedding $3m counts. And really, we need Garnder's D and speed more then the difference in O.

[22] "...a super defensive outfield, Gardner in CF,Granderon in LF?"
That will be fun. Our OF D has been questionable for years.
REMEMBER: Theo the Genius went all Pitching and Defense. Even with Gardy, our Offense is much better then Boston's.

[23] Maybe about moving to California?

[25] I really wanted BOTH to be in the SR, but we did need depth as injury insurance. The saving Grace is Andy (and $11m) are gone next next.

"If the plan is to go with Gardner this deal becomes a net loss."
Really? Teamwise, you don't think: Javy+Gardner > Melky?

[27] We could get a "real #2" for Melky, Dunn and ARodys? Maybe we should have offered these 3 to the Sox for Lackey?

[34] Cashman is on the phone with Boras right now saying,
“1 year, $8, with a club option for 2011. Take it or leave it.”

I suggested this. If so, do we flip NJ?

71 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:36 am

[37] We had a glut of 4th OFers.

72 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:37 am

Anyone like taking a 1-year flier on Randy Winn in LF?

73 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:38 am

"Perhaps, though at that point his value would be higher and so, presumably, the trade more costly."

Not necessarily his arm. A similar, league-average arm. There are always a few available. Heck, Cliff Lee and Brandon Webb could be available.

"League average pitchers who throw 200 innings are valuable and not easily/readily attainable"

The Yanks didn't need that. They needed 100-150 league average innings. Now they'll waste one of Job or Hughes in the pen. And McAllister is almost ready . Funny that the Yanks were talking about acquiring Ohlendorf. Rotation depth, like bullpen depth, can be had cheaply if you trust in your young arms. At worst they'll be 20% below average, but with the offense and bullpen they'll win a nice chunk of those games.

The Type-A business is a red herring. Furthermore, if you're willing to let Joba or Hughes rot in the pen, why no package one, with Melky, Dunn, and Vizcaino, for Lee? It's a weird move because it's a move they didn't have to make.

74 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:40 am

[70] If so, do we flip NJ?

No way. Because JD would immediately become the LF (at least most of the time), so NJ would still be the primary DH. And why flip offensive depth...unless he could be flipped for a legit LF, of course (though I doubt that will happen).

75 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:42 am

[72] Yikes...he's 35 or 36, and have you seen his numbers the last couple of seasons? I'd rather take a flier on Nady.

76 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:44 am

[42] Phil pitched 110 innings in 2007. Also, this 'rule' in theory, applies to 23 yr olds and under, as there bodies are still developing. So Phil is getting to an age where it is not as critical. I read a statement by Cashman (FWIW) that Phil was good for 160-170 IP this year.

77 wsporter   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:47 am

I like it less with A. Viz. in the deal. He's a baby who like all babies needs to develop his change but he has lightening in his arm. He's at least 3 years away but I think the Braves may have gotten themselves a good one there. IMO this is a useful and good trade for us in a number of things that it accomplishes but its not a steal in terms of the talent moved.

78 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:47 am

[76] Still, it's pretty clear that one of Joba/Hughes is destined for the BP, at which point it is not clear he'll be the #6 starter (we went through this last season). I'm really trying to make my peace with that.

79 The Hawk   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:48 am

[70] You can be a Melky supporter and not hate Gardner. I think.

80 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:49 am

Yup, don't like this move one bit. Unnecessary it is. They had plenty of depth to win 95-100 games. And they could have given the kids a chance to find their sea legs. Worst case they make this deal in June/July for another league average pitcher.

81 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:49 am

[79] One would think, but that seems to be a rare breed 'round these parts.

82 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:50 am

[72] Ugh. No. His defense is going downhill fast, and his ability to get on-base has always been too tied up in his batting average. Ideally, I think Gardner can play LF well enough, but the ideal situation would be to find a guy who hits lefties well and has some pop, and could play RF too. In fact, I would think this would be the perfect opening to bringing back not Damon but Nady on an incentive-laden, one year deal.

I'm sometimes too much of a prospect-lover - see my long-going on admiration for Montero, as h-c-e recalls - but I'm going to borrow from my dear friend Hoss right now and say, Arodys is but 19 years old. I think he's going to be awesome, but the baseball highway is littered with 19 year old pitching "prospects" who never made it. If Arodys makes it, good for him, but that's enough for me to say this was a bad deal. (Montero, being a hitter, is of course a lot more projectable and safe, which is why I was/remain so adamant about the Yanks not giving him up.)

I think william gets it right in [67]. And let us not forget that there is another young pitching prospect with a very cool first name that starts with an 'A', Aroldis Chapman, still available. If the Yanks were to sign him, I'm pretty much unconcerned with losing Arodys.

83 The Hawk   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:50 am

[70] [27] We could get a “real #2″ for Melky, Dunn and ARodys? Maybe we should have offered these 3 to the Sox for Lackey?

Uh, wiseass, I never said we could. I'm talking about Melky in a trade, not the other pieces.

84 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:51 am

[43] Rivera might be one of the better players that got away, but a career 107 OPS+ for an average fielding, average running LFer is not THAT great... maybe just a tad above average. Career .331 OBP. Over the last 3 years, he has averaged about a 102 OPS+

85 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:52 am

[78] Exactly. That's what annoys me even more. They showed last year that they weren't going to move Hughes back when they should have. I was looking forward both Joba and Phil working out of the rotation for the first two months. Somehow I think the Yanks would have won 50% of those games.

[79] I'm in that Melky Gardner fan club. They are both useful in their own ways.

86 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:55 am

[84] And never really a full-time player...lots of injuries. Between the two, NJ was the much bigger fish to get away.

87 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:56 am

[57] That post should be in BOLD. I think the baseball community will see this as a big Win for Cashman.

88 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:58 am

Can someone explain to me how this package for Vazquez isn't better than the package the Mariners sent for Lee?

89 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:01 pm

I could well see the Yanks moving Gaudin - he's a useful swingman type pitcher, and then taking that money and signing Nady to an incentive-laden deal. They might have to use a little creative accounting to say the payroll is $200M, not $201M (eg, leaving Igawa out of the calculation), but they can get there.

90 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:04 pm

[88] Speaking out of context, no. Melky+Dunn+Arodys > what the Mariners gave up for Lee.

But context matters, and its impossible to compare packages in a vacuum. The Phillies have no need for someone like Melky, who can play LF/CF well and even hit a bit. Meanwhile, the Braves desperately needed someone who can do those things. QED.

91 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:06 pm

"Forget all the stats about Vazquez"
Someone more literate then myself must address this statement.

In the last 3 years as a Yankee, Pettitte has posted an average ERA+ of 104. He will be 38 in 2010. Is he an average pitcher NOW? Getting $11.5m?

Last year, in the crappy NL, Javy posted a 143 ERA+. But let's forget that. In the previous 3 years, in the AL, he averaged a 107 ERA+. He will be 33 in 2010.

92 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:07 pm

[88] Tough to compare a two-team trade to a three-team trade.

93 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:07 pm

[90] If they needed Melky so desperately, there was no reason to include Vizcaino.

94 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:10 pm

[89] I'm not sure if creative accounting is relevant in this case. If the Yankees are tied to a budget (as they claim), it's a real budget (i.e., the money runs out a certain point). A phantom budget of creative accounting only matters for things like the team's luxury tax assessment, for which the difference between 200 and 201 is pretty marginal.

95 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:11 pm

[68] So which LFer would you prefer, with a $5.5m budget?

96 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:11 pm

[91] I'll eat my hat if he's better than league average next year. Besides, let's jump right to the point. Who trusts him in the post-season?

[92] That's a copout, especially since that part of the deal was between two teams. The Phillies essentially acquired Halladay then traded Lee.

97 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:13 pm

[93] You're comparing apples and oranges. The Phillies sold low on Lee because they could not afford both him and Halladay (for whom they gave up a top prospect). Seattle benefited from the situation because they could offer the Phillies a few bits and pieces to help replenish their farm while, more importantly, taking over Lee's contract.

98 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:15 pm

[72] In the last 4 years in the NL, Winn's average OPS+ was 92. Last year, it was 75. He's got a good last name... but that's it.

99 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:15 pm

[96] Not a cop-out. See [97]. The Phillies had just added a big salary with Halladay (though defrayed partly by Toronto)--that changed the context for trading Lee. You can't view the two-team sub-trade outside of the larger trade.

Besides, let’s jump right to the point. Who trusts him in the post-season?

I do. Why not? Because he pitched poorly in Game 7 half a decade ago?

100 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:18 pm

[79] Name 2.

Show/Hide Comments 101-200
101 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:21 pm

OK, 100 comments....
Rate this deal:
a) Start building a statue of Cashman
b) Good deal all things considered
c) A wash
d) Poor deal
e) I'm rooting for the Mets next season

102 randym77   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:24 pm

They are not going to go with Gardner in the corner, just as they were never going to go with Melky in the corner. Those two are questionable in CF. No way does either one of them have the stick to play corner OFer.

Another deal will be done. I'd bet the farm on it.

103 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:25 pm

[102] The Yankees farm?

; )

104 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:26 pm

[103[ NO! We must keep Montero!!!!

105 NYYfan22   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:27 pm

[102] Nobody puts Gardner in a corner...

[101] b) Good deal all things considered (because I believe "all things considered" means he has an OF in the works)

106 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:27 pm

[97] "You’re comparing apples and oranges."

You do know what those terms mean, right? In both cases it was a a pitcher for prospects. And the Yankees did give up more for less.

The Granderson trade was fantastic. This one is decidedly less so.

107 The Hawk   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:27 pm

[102] Those two are questionable in CF. No way does either one of them have the stick to play corner OFer.

The paradox rears its ugly head again.

108 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:29 pm

[102] I wouldn't be so sure. Granderson moves to LF. He's better than Damon out there too.

109 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:30 pm

As for Vazquez in the post-season, who starts him above Burnett or Pettitte?

110 randym77   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:32 pm

[108] I just can't imagine anyone moving Granderson to LF because they have Brett Garder or Melky Cabrera.

111 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:34 pm

[110] Well, you don't need to worry about Melky any more. And Gardner is a plus player from his glove alone.

112 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:35 pm

[106] I know exactly what they mean. You simply refuse to acknowledge that the contexts of teh two trades were different...very different. Fine.

113 NYYfan22   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:36 pm

Swisher and Brett can duke it out night-to-night to determine who bats in the 8-hole.

114 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:39 pm

[112] Every context is different. Based on that logic no comparison can ever be made.

115 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:44 pm

[114] But not every context is "very different." In this case, a three way deal (in which one of the teams added payroll by adding one pitcher, with the express purpose of ditching another pitcher, so as to sell low in terms of prospects) is too different to make a valid comparison with this particular two team deal.

To claim that Seattle gave up less for Lee is to ignore the very different context. Even if the statement is accurate (I don't know enough about the prospects involved) it is largely meaningless.

Try again.

116 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:45 pm

Brian "Bubba Crosby is our starting CF" is not going into next season with Gary/Hoffy as the starting LF or CF. Of this I am not concerned.

117 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:47 pm

[115] Congrats, you've resorted to semantics. And I'm not alone. You are.

118 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:48 pm

[114] But . . . aw heck, its not worth it.

[93] Perhaps I was being a bit over-emphatic by saying the Braves needed Melky desperately. In any case, the Braves had a need for Melky, the Phillies did not, and that's why this package of players never would have been traded for Cliff Lee.

As for not needing to include Arodys - Vazquez got Cy Young votes last year (deservedly so), and is a very good-to-great starter. Melky's career triple slash line is .269/.331./385. Even with the Yanks taking on Vazquez's salary, that's not exactly equal in the Braves' eyes, is it?

119 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:51 pm

"This is a significantly better return than what Philadelphia got for Cliff Lee, for instance."

- Dave Cameron, fangraphs - He likes the deal for both teams. I should be clear. It's not a bad deal for the Yankees. It was just an unnecessary one.

120 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:51 pm

[116] Especially when one notices this (the last line of the Yanks' press release about the trade):

"The Yankees’ 40-man roster now stands at 37 players."

Lots of room to make more moves.

121 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 12:56 pm

"Lots of room to make more moves."

I'm all for spending money. But spending money and trading prospects is generally a bad idea. Vizcaino didn't have to be moved. Send them Ivan Nova or sign Sheets or Duck. Melky wasn't special. But he was useful. And more useful than Hinske with more upside.

122 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:02 pm

[117] Huh?

I'm not sure what that alone part is supposed to mean---I don't see tons of posts even bothering with the comparison one way or another. In any case, I don't give a rats ass.

You invoked the Lee-Halladay-prospects three way trade implicitly to criticize the Vasquez-Melky/prospects trade (i.e., the Yankees gave up too much). The criticism is flawed:

1. Trades should be evaluated primarily on their own merit. Maybe Seattle got away with one---bully for them. That does not mean the Yankees made bad trade (or a good trade) or gave up too much (or too little).

2. One has to consider the relative value of the prospects involved for both teams. The Yankees remain rich in pitching prospects (as you have noted before), so a low level prospect who is years from the majors may relatively little value to them even if he has a high ceiling (and thus relatively high value to other teams). It's clear that right now the Yankees value Hughes, Joba, Montero, and even Romine much more highly than they do some of teh other arms they have stockpiled in MiL.

3. The dynamics of a three way trade are very, different from the dynamics of a two way trade, making any such comparison difficult at best. Any criticism based on such a comparison is even more suspect.

4. We do not know all of the "insider" factors in the three way deal. Did Toronto mandate that the third team had to be outside of the AL East, for example? Did Lee have any sort of no trade clause? Either would have limited where the Phillies could have sent him, and thus dictated what they could have asked for in return.

There is really very little point in making the comparison that you raise, other than to try to make the Yankee-Atlanta deal worse by comparison...a deal that most everyone here seems to be ambivalent about or relatively positive towards. Then again, I haven't bothered to tally up all of the posts to see if you are "alone" or not, because such a matter would irrelevant to the merits of the case.

123 51cq24   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:03 pm

[101] i would put it somewhere between a and b. in fact, i'm shocked that anyone here is complaining. there is a possibility that vizcaino turns into an ace in 5 years, but that possibility is very low. and, in my opinion, this was a good time to trade melky, who will never be as good as some here seem to think he will. his swing is too loopy.

as for whether anyone trusts vazquez in the postseason, i find it truly absurd to hold game 7 of the 2004 alcs against him. for one thing, it was 5 years ago. for another, that was his worst full season as a starter. finally, he was put into an almost impossible situation by a manager who had already all but forfeited the series. it sucked that he gave up a grand slam on his first pitch, but he didn't put those runners on base. kevin brown did. i trust javy vazquez to competently start a game in the postseason.

i do worry about the joba and hughes situation, but as has been discussed here already, phil couldn't have started all year anyway. if i were girardi/cashman, i'd keep joba in the rotation all season (or until he pitches his way out, which he won't), and i'd make phil a 2 inning setup man. that way he should stay loose enough to be able to step into the rotation in case of any injuries, and should rack up enough innings to get into the starting rotation in 2011. i do still believe that the long-term plan is for him to start, but unlike many people here, i wouldn't be devastated if he stays in the bullpen.

124 Simone   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:04 pm

I'll miss Melky, but I am pleased to have Javy back. To the end of his stint, I thought that he was coming into his own.

125 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:04 pm

[119] It’s not a bad deal for the Yankees. It was just an unnecessary one.

Unnecessary...yes, I definitely agree with that. I too would have far preferred to go with Joba and Hughes in the rotation, with Gaudin and Ace as #6 and # 7, and worry about #8 later.

126 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:10 pm

[101] I'm between b and c. It certainly helps the team this upcoming year (mainly because I think that Melky and Gardy are more or less a wash...those who prefer Melky will have a different view), and it would only hurt the team relatively far down the line. That said, I do agree with Paul (!!!) that the move seems like a bit of overkill...unless they really have conceded that Joba or Hughes will not turn into a starter. Insurance is one thing, adding a #3 type starter as insurance is a bit much.

And lastly, from an aesthetic standpoint, I would have preferred to see the Yankees at least make a go of reducing payroll slightly and keeping a few more homegrown players on the 25 man roster.

127 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:13 pm

[122] For someone who doesn't give a rat's ass, you're spilling an awful lot of pixels. The Yanks gave up too much relative to market prices and especially since they could have had Sheets or Duck for the same money but without the prospects. An unnecessary deal and at the price required.

"as for whether anyone trusts vazquez in the postseason, i find it truly absurd to hold game 7 of the 2004 alcs against him."

It wasn't just that game. He's bombed in his other two starts as well. SSS yes. But he's the #4 if all are healthy. Hardly worth the upgrade. They were a 100 win team before this trade. They're a 100 win team now.

128 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:13 pm

Paul - What are the odds that NEITHER Andy or AJ miss some serious time? I rate this as (B) A good deal, but a B+ in Terms of Cashman getting exactly what we needed (considering the price)... a consistant innings eater, healthy, slightly above average and capable of MAYBE being more.

I think this team needed a good 6 man rotation... considering the various issues with AJ, Andy, Joba and Phil.

I did like Melky. He is young and could still be better then he has shown. But that can be said about a lot of guys, including Gardner. What he HAS shown, is that he is a very-slightly-better-then-average CFer and a below average LFer.

The Melky Silver Lining:
... He should get consistant playing time in a weaker league, with far less pressure and not hearing trade rumors every other week. I'm sure he's bummed, but this will ultimately be better for his career.
... Maybe Cano will hang out more with ARod now. Amos and Andy is now just Andy.
... No more Melky/Brett debates. We can just wait a few years and see what happens.
... No more worring about seeing Melky get his face stepped on when he slides head-first into 1st base.
... Our team IQ jumps up about 6 points

129 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:14 pm

"Insurance is one thing, adding a #3 type starter as insurance is a bit much"..especially at a #1 price.

130 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:17 pm

[128] They had an eight-man rotation (without McAllister) and one that netted them 103 wins last year. And that was without using Hughes to best of his abilities. This trade hasn't changed anything.

Moreover, I was all for insurance...with Sheets or Duck. Save the prospects unless it's a no-brainer or you need mid-season help.

By the way, I say all this as a huge fan of the first Vazquez trade at the time. But he's now shown he's not consistent.

131 seamus   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:18 pm

[129] i don't agree that that was a #1 price. That package does not get us a #1.

132 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:28 pm

[127] For someone who doesn’t give a rat’s ass, you’re spilling an awful lot of pixels.

I don't give a rat's ass about being "alone", which you accused me of as if that was a valid measure of the merits of an argument.

133 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:29 pm

My favorite about this trade is that it might, possibly, push Lucky™ back another spot in the depth chart. Maybe, depending on whether Job or Hughes is suddenly deemed irreplaceable in the 'pen.

134 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:30 pm

If you asked me to make a list of people I neither expected nor wanted to see in a Yankee uniform ever again, Jome Run Javy Vazquez would have been somewhere near the top. And somehow we gave up Dunn (WooHoo!) but got a crappy LOOGY in return.

Still, its a lot better than some of the other options out there so I guess its a net positive.

They need to sign Damon now.

135 51cq24   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:31 pm

[127] short sample size, and a bad 2nd half of the season in which he might have been hurt. [and just to clarify, he only started one game (game 4 vs minnesota)- the other 2 appearances were both out of the bullpen behind kevin brown.] and 5 years ago.
also, you said earlier that this upgrades them from 100 to 105. now you think it does nothing, or are you saying they were a 100+ win team before and they still are? normally i would agree that a team projected to win 100 games should be fine, but please don't forget that boston has definitely upgraded their rotation, and could also be a 100 win team in 2010 (i personally doubt it with their offense, but it's possible).

[130] an 8 man rotation? cc, aj, pettitte, joba, phil*, gaudin**, mitre***, who? aceves?
*can't stay in the rotation all year
**kind of sucks
***really really sucks

136 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:32 pm

[134] Wow, that was downright balanced and not entirely negative. You've come a long way! ; )

137 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:32 pm

Ah, it wouldn't be winter or the holiday season if there was not a thoroughly dead horse being beaten to death, ad infinitum, at the Banter. NOW the season is really complete.

And on that note, Merry Christmas to all! See you folks in 2010, unless they sign Holliday or Bay or Damon over the next week+.

138 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:33 pm

[135] mitre***, who? aceves?
*can’t stay in the rotation all year
**kind of sucks
***really really sucks


***is very, very, very unlucky.

139 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:35 pm

[132] Fair enough.

140 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:35 pm

That package doesn't even get a #2, or in most cases, a reliable #3. I liked thinking about Arodys, but he is in A ball! Can't we just get Daniel Cabrera or Farnsworth? Throwing hard is great... but history is littered with hard throwers that never saw the light of MLB, no less having a real impact there.

It's fine to get attached to our players and their potential. That's a BIG part of being a fan. But if we want to play GM and judge Cashman, we need to put emotions aside.

After seeing Iggy, Mitre, Ponson and a long list of terrible SP stand-ins, I would think Vazquez would put a lot of minds at ease.

We are a WS bound team.
Should our #6 really be a reclaimation project or a Farm hand?
Can you name me a year we had too much Pitching?
Do the Sox have too much pitching?
But Paul, here's where I hope you are correct.
That we were a 100 win team going to a 105 Win team.
How many here think, pre-trade, we were a 100 Win team?

141 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:37 pm

[135] It's about marginal wins. They already had those or could have gotten them more cheaply.

Goldman just ran though all of the options.

142 ms october   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:40 pm

[133] i'd say that makes us very lucky today :}

143 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:40 pm

[136] I think there are conditions that would have made this a terrible trade, and if I didn't think it was a decent trade, I would have really hated it.

144 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:41 pm

[140] He showed power and control. At his age, that's pretty special. As for our #6, it's silly to say they need four or five solid starters every year. esp after 2009.

"How many here think, pre-trade, we were a 100 Win team?"

They won 103 games last year. That's the starting point. Even subtracting five for regression/age, they get at least two back with Granderson and NJ. Then consider that they had a 3.5 man rotation in 2009. The only question was whether the pitching would stay healthy. But that's always a question.

145 51cq24   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:45 pm

[138] i don't know how i made that mistake. but don't correct me you loner loser.

[141] what makes wins marginal?

146 51cq24   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:48 pm

[144] ok honestly now you aren't making any sense. you start by subtracting 5 games for regression/age. fair enough. 2 back for granderson and johnson? that's a 2 game improvement over damon/matsui? or are they a wash and you subtract 2 from the 5 game regression/age subtraction because they aren't old?
but here is the craziest part: "Then consider that they had a 3.5 man rotation in 2009." exactly! and you're the one arguing that we don't need more pitching depth? i don't understand.

147 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:52 pm

[145] When they add little to the bottomline. This was a playoff team before this trade. This is a playoff team after this trade.

The late great Doug Pappas on marginal wins

Of course, that's assuming the pitching stays healthy. But we always have to assume the pitching stays healthy. And like in 2009, I'm afraid the Yankees wouldn't go back to Hughes/Joba in a time of need.

148 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:52 pm

[146] The 3.5 man rotation just won them a world championship. And that was with mis-use of Hughes and Joba.

149 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:54 pm

[143] OYF, as I said before (on another thread) I don't think of ANY team as 100-win team before the season starts. 100-win seasons are relatively rare and often involve a good bit of luck (in addition to talent, of course). Last year, for example: the team won 103 games but their Pyth Win Expectancy was only 95 wins. I was convinced that the '99 team was better than the '98 team on paper, but only won 98 games.

Given that, it definitely makes sense to try to improve, if possible, no matter how good you think your team is. No wins should be considered marginal before the season starts, IMO.

150 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:55 pm

[121] I'm not a fan of Javy Vazquez at all. I hole him responsible for game seven. I didn't like his James Bond villian speech on the way out. He's been anything but consistent since he left.

But for the life of me I can't figure out why anyone would want Justin Duchscherer. The prospect of getting him is one of the reasons I don't really mind this.

151 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:57 pm

"only won 98 games"

Surely you jest.

"But for the life of me I can’t figure out why anyone would want Justin Duchscherer."

Insurance = cash, plus you could put him in the bullpen.

152 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:58 pm

[147] Of course, in that article, Pappas is discussing the ratio of marginal wins to marginal payroll, a ratio that is far more important to low revenue (or rather, low spending) clubs than it is to the Yankees.

153 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:58 pm

[151] That's a hell of a lot of money to spend on a middle reliever.

154 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 1:58 pm

It is very debatable whether what the Yankees traded to the Braves is better than the package that the Mariners sent to the Phillies. Regardless, the Phillies didn't need Melky. They have no room for him in their OF, so wouldn't pay him $3mn to sit on the bench.

As for this being an unnecessary trade, that is only true if you assume no Yankee starter will get injured and you figure that Hughes can hold down a rotation spot for the entire season. Both are very shaky assumptions, so Cashman was smart to bolster the rotation (and the bullpen as well). Just because the Yankees won 103 games last season doesn’t mean that’s their starting point for this season. If the Yankees didn’t acquire another starter, they’d be one injury away from a very weak rotation (even if you assume Joba finally clicks).

155 51cq24   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:00 pm

[148] why did you cite the shallow '09 rotation as a reason we'd win 100 games in 2010?

[147] "But we always have to assume the pitching stays healthy." this competes with your "Forget all the stats about Vazquez" ([63]) for most ridiculous statement on this thread. we always have to assume that the pitching does NOT stay healthy, especially when one of our top starters has an extensive history of injuries and another is 37 with a history of shoulder trouble.

[149] "Given that, it definitely makes sense to try to improve, if possible, no matter how good you think your team is. No wins should be considered marginal before the season starts, IMO." you are not alone!

156 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:00 pm

[151] I jest not. They looked better on paper but did not replicate 118 wins, nor did they even win 100 games. Just like this year's team cannot be expected to replicate last year's 103 wins (especially given that last year's win total seems to have been a bit lucky-high). In a division with the Sox, I am not willing to assume that a 100 win team just became a 105 win team, nor am I willing to assume that improvements to the team are thus marginal.

157 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:03 pm

[155] you are not alone!

No man is an island...

158 51cq24   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:03 pm

[155] elbow, not shoulder

159 ms october   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:08 pm

[158] at this point it is both with andy

[157] you are so unlucky

to me this move is buying the insurance policy before the tornado hits your house.
it does complicate life for joba and/or hughes, but hopefully cashman will create a better roadmap than the one he had last year with those two.

it will be interesting to see what cashman has in store next. at the very least you can't say he has been sitting in barbados celebrating the serious with his phone off all winter

160 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:11 pm


I think it goes without saying that the next move needs to be a left fielder.

161 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:12 pm

[160] Not BUC? or utility IF?

162 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:13 pm

[161] I'm guessing that was sarcastic?

163 ms october   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:16 pm

[160] yeah i agree.
and sort of think it is going to be holliday - because i don't see cashman waiting for crawford next year (i don't think cashman will have crawford valued that highly) and preferring to go after lee, mauer, etc. caliber of fa in 2011

164 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:16 pm

[162] You never know with me...I'm a lone wolf.

165 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:18 pm

[154] "only true if ..."

Those weren't the only possibilities. I'd add:

- Needing 400 innings from six pitchers (Hughes, Joba, Aceves, Gaudin, mitre, and McAllister). That's seemed very reasonable and league average seemed to be the mean expectation. That's all they needed.

- Trading Melky et al for mid-season help.

[155] "why did you cite the shallow ‘09 rotation as a reason we’d win 100 games in 2010?"

Because the offense is still the best in baseball, the bullpen is very good, and the front three are among baseball's best.

[156] I mean the *only* 98 wins. That's an excellent team every year.

166 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:18 pm

The more I think about, the more it seems as if Cashman will not be adding a LF, but will instead use a Gardner/Hoffmann platoon. Maybe they might go after DeRosa, but nothing more.

167 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:19 pm

[166] :(

168 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:21 pm

"At the very least you can’t say he has been sitting in barbados celebrating the serious with his phone off all winter."

Ah. The Michael Bloomberg Technique™...

169 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:22 pm

[166] You might be right. I wonder how truthful the claims are that the team has a more or less fixed budget? There can't be much room left to add payroll, unless someone is traded (like Swisher, which would defeat the purpose of adding a LF).

Would DeRosa play for only 2 or 3 million? Is there anyone else available for that price? Nady? (I know, I know, you despise him...I'm just mulling options).

Cashman isn't setting up for something really kooky like trading Joba or Hughes?

170 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:23 pm

Gardner in CF > Melky in CF, especially with a .345 OBP in the 9th slot.
Granderson in LF > Damon in LF, especially in Yankee Stadium 2.0

As for Hoffman, I think it will depend on how he looks in CF/LF during the spring to determine who of Grandy and Gardy he subs for.

171 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:23 pm

[167] At some point, you run out of money. Aside from LF, this team has the potential to be well above average at every other spot in the starting lineup, rotation and bullpen. Maybe it's the residual joy of Winning the World Series, but I think the Yankees are in great shape. I already have my season ticket invoice all set for payment and can't wait for Opening Day.

172 51cq24   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:23 pm

[165] so you meant to say that despite the shallow rotation, the yankees were a 103 win team last year, so they will be that again this year. therefore it's stupid (marginal) to deepen the starting rotation? you must be kidding.

173 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:25 pm

[167] Um... Gardner/Hoffman + DeRosa = bad egg nog?

174 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:25 pm

The more you look at this offseason, the more you can see the workings of a plan. From broad strokes like Vazquez and Granderson to minor moves like Hoffman, all of the pieces fit so nicely.

175 51cq24   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:27 pm

[169] i would be shocked if joba or phil are traded. who would he trade them for? surely not a left fielder when there are 2 good ones on the free agent market and more in 2011.

176 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:27 pm

[174] Well, that would be a first. I'm not sure I really see a plan, but if there is one, I'm glad we actually finally have one.

And I'm sure there's some sort of sedative I can take that will make watching Brett Gardner get 500 AB less painful.

177 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:28 pm

[172] No. With a short rotation (and pitchers used poorly) they won a championship and 103 games. Pitching was not a primary problem. Another 100 innings from a Sheets or Duck was all the cover they needed.

It seems Cashman took away the wrong lesson from 2008-2009. This Yankees team, with an outstanding offense and a very good bullpen, can do fine with good enough pitching. And what they had in 2009 was much better than that.

178 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:29 pm

[176] You really think the Yankees have been this successful for so long without a plan?

179 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:30 pm

"some sort of sedative"

Watch him play defense, then watch him reach base.

180 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:30 pm

[174] Yep. The Hoffman move was a head-scratcher way back when (or so it seemed), and now it all makes sense. The success or failure of the off-season will rest largely on how Granderson turns out, I think. If he goes back to being a big run producer and plays fine OF (whether Cf or LF is irrelevant), this off-season will have been a massive success. Moreover, so many of the subsequent moves have been based on his trade. It will be interesting.

181 seamus   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:30 pm

[177] don't we have all 3 now? i mean, assuming either joba or phil is pen bound. We have a top notch rotation, a top notch offense, and a top notch bullpen.

182 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:32 pm

[177] So, you are just ignoring the possibility of an injury for Pettitte or Burnett, all while assuming two chronically injured pitchers would contribute meaningfully?

The lesson Cashman seems to have learned is you do whatever you can to improve your team and not make too many assumptions based on last year.

183 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:35 pm

[180] Granderson is going to mash, against lefties too. Look for a .875 OPS, 35 HRs, 100 runs, 100 RBIs. He's going to be really fun to watch.

[182] Did they ignore that possibility in 2009?

184 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:37 pm

[175] I'm just playing with ideas. Who are the big stud LFs in 2011, besides Crawford?

185 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:37 pm

[183] I hope he does. His trajectory over the last three years is not entirely promising, but we shall see.

186 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:38 pm

[178] I think the Yankees say the word plan a lot. Does that count? 200 million dollar payrolls can make up for alot bizarre and pointless moves.

187 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:40 pm

[183] Apparently they did because when Wang went down they didn't have a replacement. Thankfully, every offensive player picked up the slack.

188 randym77   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:41 pm

[111] Don't get me wrong, I love Gardy. But I don't think he's a fit for corner OFer.

Seems like we went through this before. Bubba Crosby, IMO, had a better glove than Gardner. Perhaps not quite as much speed, but much better instincts. Some argued that with all the sluggers on the team, we could carry him even if he didn't hit.

But, well, it doesn't work that way. Especially with the Yankees. If you have a light hitter in a traditional power position, you're giving up some of the advantage you get from having expensive stars. And the Yanks are just not a team that values defense over hitting.

189 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:41 pm

[186] If you can find that much fault with the way the Yankees rin things, I can't imagine what you would be like as a Met fan.

190 51cq24   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:42 pm

[177] what is the lesson you took from 2009? that you only need 3 starters to win the world series? that's a pretty dangerous proposition.

191 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:44 pm

[179] Not gonna work. Tried that last year, and the entire second half of the year, when he didn't reach base, and the World Series, where he didn't reach base and somehow turned a Raul Ibanez fly ball into a double almost killed me.

192 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:44 pm

[188] Crosby and Gardner do not have anywhere near the sample to make any kind of definitive conclusion about their defense based on stats.

Unless you think the Yankees are willing to spend as much money as it takes to get better, then sacrificing LF might not be a conscious decision as much as one born of necessity.

193 51cq24   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:46 pm

maybe cashman is looking to the "lesson" from 98-00: you don't need an everyday left fielder.

194 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:47 pm

The Mets are close to signing right-hander R.A. Dickey to a minor league contract, according to the Associated Press.

195 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:48 pm

[185] Comerica has been killing him and even against LHP. By contrast, he's going to kill YS 2.0.

[187] They frittered away Hughes' innings.

[190] That even with them not knowing how to develop young pitchers, they still won 103 games and a championship. With more innings available for Hughes and Joba there was less room for them to mess with them. Add-in Aceves, Gaudin, Mitre, and McAllister they had plenty of arms to give them .500 baseball.

196 randym77   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:50 pm

[192] I know that. I base my assessment on watching them. Which may not be reliable, either, but hey, it works for me. :-)

I think the Yanks are going to sign Damon, or someone similar. LF is traditionally where you put the guy with the big bat who can't play defense. Having Gardy there would be a big disadvantage.

197 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:52 pm

[189] I'm sure. But even they don't have a Sidney Ponson fetish.

But honestly, with the number of times over the last five years that we signed someone because they finally had a good year last year (Pavano, Wright, Farnsworth and so on and so forth) or signed someone for absolutely no reason (LaTroy Hawkins) or for the sake of signing someone (Kei Igawa) the sheer number of years people like Jose Veras took off my life as we kept on going with that experiment, giving 100 innings over two stints to Sidney Ponson and whatever it was they were doing last year with Joba, the Yankees just seem to do whatever they feel like at any given time.

198 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:52 pm

[196] I have no problem with that, but as evidence, you linked to a statistical analysis.

199 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:54 pm

[150] "I hole him" (snicker snicker)

200 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:54 pm

Gardner can also get on-base. Crosby never could.

It's back to the paradox. Gardner is fine CF on a championship club. Granderson is an excellent LF. Both represent upgrades over 2009.

Show/Hide Comments 201-294
201 thelarmis   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:54 pm

Viva Queer Jazz !!!!

[157] ugh. i think i'm alone. well, unless RI is around.

i'm enjoying sifting thru every comment on both threads today. i always liked Javy. i'll miss leche. i'm glad he's coming to atlanta. i'll try to go sit by him and wear my Got Melky? t-shirt.

202 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:55 pm

[197] You keep harkening back to mistakes that were made several years ago. Also, they are mistakes on the edges...the Yankees have never built their teams around these signings. Finally, what a Vazquez does is hopefully avoid the need for Ponson.

203 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:55 pm

[188] I know this was baserunning rather than fielding, but I'll always question the awareness of someone who didn't notice Jason Giambi in front of him.

204 seamus   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:56 pm

[201] yo man. how goes the new digs?

205 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 2:58 pm

"to me this move is buying the insurance policy before the tornado hits your house."

206 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 3:00 pm

[202] I don't like Javy at all, but I have no problem with this trade just for that reason.

But I'd argue that if no one else, Pavano, Farnsworth and Igawa were all signed to be key contributors in this club, when even a cursory look at their histories and Igawa's scouting report would suggest they wouldn't be. They weren't fringe players brought in to fill out the roster.

I also forgot about "The new David Ortiz" Wilson Betemit.

And the Joba/Hughes "map" was last year.

207 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 3:03 pm

[206] I'd argue that they were fringe players to the extent that the Yankees were such a talented team when they were signed. You could argue Pavano and maybe Farnsworth, but definitely not Igawa. Cashman called him a 5th starter/lefty reliever when he was signed.

What problem did you have Betemit? He was a productive utility man beforehand who was acquired for Scott Proctor. Again, he was a small piece to the Yankee puzzle.

208 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 3:04 pm

[160] I think it should be hot, buxom cheerleaders. Anyone agree?

209 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 3:08 pm

[207] You don't spend 45 million dollars on a middle reliever who isn't even good enough to do that.

And as it turns outs, Wilson Betemit was not David Ortiz.

210 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 3:09 pm

[209] Why not? Has it prevented the Yankees from fielding a winning team? If the Yankees wanted to roll the price on a Japanese player, good for them.

211 thelarmis   ~  Dec 22, 2009 3:16 pm

[208] i agree. hole-heartedly! (spelling intended)

[204] 'sup, pal?! comin' along each day. the maintenance guy from my apt complex is here right now, doing some electrical work for me. later on tonight, i've got a buddy coming by to help with some shelves in the closet, and stuff.

tomorrow, i'm a-gonna get a left fielder. i'm saving the cheerleaders for the holiday weekend. shit, my parents are coming down this weekend, to help with house stuff. the cheerleaders will have to wait til the new year...

i had a big problem with the Igawa signing. i mean, i liked "Quest", at first, but the entire signing reeked of reactionary bollocks to theo's dice-klay $100+ mil 'splash'...

212 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 3:18 pm

[166] Agreed 100%. And while I know you liked Melky, he did get 3 years of playing time, which is more then most prospects get here in NY. Even if people consider Gardner a hole, our O is still top tier. I would like to see Gardy get a full year of play. I'm not predicting anything... just that it will be fun, and important to see what he really offers.

I mean, considering his speed and Defense, how much does he have to hit to be better then Ellsbury? who starts for the next best team.

And as I've said, if Gardy can stick, having a cost controlled starter is a HUGE advantage. If we don't have to spend $6m - $12m on a CFer, it makes it easier to sign another big FA.

Right now, we have serious financial commitments for the foreseeable future. It's why we didn't get Holliday. It's why we might not get Cliff Lee.

If you believe that we have a $200m cap for a while, it is not hard to do the math and see that Cashman will have to be creative in the immediate years.

213 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 22, 2009 3:20 pm

Hmm, Paul's got a lot of free time today and a lot of strong views. I admit I am coming late, after being away from my computer, but I share monkey's perplexity about the process of judging this trade against another. Judging a trade turns on the needs and talent of the two teams involved, and their budgets, sometimes. Phillies didn't need Melky and we wouldn't have given them Montero or one of the two pitchers (JobaPhil). Even if Seattle pulled a brilliant deal for a year, that doesn't affect whether THIS is a good trade.

I am also astonished at all the people throwing around 100-win-team phrases like nickels. There are too few of those, the sport is too riddled with variables. This was more than 'insurance' this was Cash following through on what he'd said all along was his priority: a starter. If people didn't like that priority there was a lot of time to argue (here, or, more cogently, in the Yankee brain trust!). But we have a couple (at least) of fragile starters and it is obvious Cashman wanted a serious third-starter level. I do not believe Phil Hughes was so mishandled last year, by the way, he was lights out for a critical period and regained a ton of lost confidence. Joba was almost certainly messed up, but it is also possible he messed himself up. They are young.

As for left field, the alleged urgent need, I'm on record here a lot (too much?) that a) our infield bats alter the usual equation of needing a slugger at each corner OF spot and b) Gardner will likely be perfectly okay as a great fielding, mediocre hitting, very fast #9 hitter. #9 hitters ARE mediocre hitters, Banterers!

I can see him picking up a cheap-ish 4th OF type now to do battle for that roster spot, or DeRosa if his price comes down a little, but I would be amazed if Damon is in the picture and I am quite sure (famous last words?) Holliday isn't even on the radar.

I give the trade a B+ because I'm firmly of the view that 19 year olds must not be overvalued in the Yankee way of doing things. Let others do that overvaluing, based on their NEED to steal $ value.

214 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 3:21 pm

[210] You don't think they could have allotted some of that money to someone that could have actually helped the team?

And more importantly, flushing 45 million was part of a plan?

215 seamus   ~  Dec 22, 2009 3:27 pm

[211] good, good to hear! i think this is the first i'd seen you while on the site since the end of the season. was wondering how the house was working out.

216 thelarmis   ~  Dec 22, 2009 3:27 pm

don't fret Leche lovers, we still have a Melky in the system! ; )

this reminds me of the Tolkien short story "The Chaining of Melko", though i guess this is more like "The Theft of Melko and the Darkening of the Valinor".

217 thelarmis   ~  Dec 22, 2009 3:30 pm

[215] thanks, man! i've been reading everyday. i moved on my birthday (earlier this month) and preceded to lock myself out of the new house, not 10 minutes after the movers left! it was a nightmare, although rather hilarious.

at&t completely fucked me over and i didn't have any internet for over a week and a half. plus, i was in NY for turkey day. i've been around, but not as much as normal. i'm definitely here everyday though!

still settling in. i think it'll be a lot better after the turn of the year. hope things are great by you and you have a good holiday season!

218 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 22, 2009 3:49 pm

So far I don't "like" as in emotionally "like" the 2010 Yanks as much as I did the 2009 version of same. Grandy may be the best guy on earth but so far I'm not feelin it. I'll also miss Melky, and believe he willl continue to improve (though no one will ever mistake him for Bernie at his peak).

I am also still willing to wager that Granderson + NJ will perform worse than Damon + Matsui in 2010, whether in slash stats or OPS+. I also believe firmly that NJ will spend material time on the DL (>30 games, and if you told me 50 I'd believe you).

My prediction for Javy is basically 200 league average innings which, in the grand scheme of things for this team is ultimately a positive, though not if it stunts either Phil or Joba's development.

Other than the longish term control we now have of Granderson, an obviously superior defender, it's difficult for me to accept that these moves amount collectively to anything other than different but not better, and no more flexible for the long term than if we'd simply overpaid for 1 year each of JD and Matsui.

Yup, still beating that dead horse.

Don't get me wrong - I'll be more than happy to be proven wrong - BELIEVE ME. But until then, or unless we sign Holliday, I'm "meh" on this off season so far.

219 RIYank   ~  Dec 22, 2009 4:11 pm

I'm here, thelarmis. And I was glad to see that you have tasted potatoes.

I'm going to make Christmas latkes at my brother's house. Also chocolate souffle. Those are the two things I'm interested in making now, so he said they could work around me. (His wife is not tribal, if you know what I mean.)

Viva Queer Jazz, baby! That's gotta be a very good omen. The Bronx could use some Queer Jazz, esp. the Latin kind, to counteract all that excessively macho hip hop.

220 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 22, 2009 4:11 pm

I actually really like this new team as much. Never cared for Melky. He was cute, but didn't like his game. I like Grandy and Johnson and Javy.

221 Paul   ~  Dec 22, 2009 4:14 pm

Love Granderson. He'll likely end the season as my favorite player.

222 leutbneot   ~  Dec 22, 2009 4:17 pm

This is a fair trade for both teams, IMO. Javy is a good pitcher. He's not amazing, but I'd wager dollars to doughnuts that he's better than Pettitte in 2010. We have a beefy rotation. All we need to do is sign Damon and get the hell out of this market before we hemorrhage any more prospects.

223 RIYank   ~  Dec 22, 2009 4:18 pm

Yeah, I like Granderson, too. And I like Nick J.
I have a slightly sour taste in my mouth when I think about Javy V., that old "how come you perform for other teams but not us?" thing. But I'm cautiously optimistic.

I'll be bummed if Arodys turns into a stud, though.

224 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 4:23 pm

[191] Not gonna work. Tried that last year, and the entire second half of the year, when he didn’t reach base...

I call bullshit on this. Looking at Gardner's gamelogs, his OBP on June 1 was .339 and on July 29 it was.354. It peaked at .374 and never dipped below .339. From July 4 through July 29, in the second half of the season, it was consistently in the .350s. Then he broke his hand on July 29 and did not play again until September. His numbers in September, post-injury, obviously declined.

So in fact he got on base very consistently into the second half of the season, at least until his injury.

You seem often to remember certain players performing remarkably badly. You should check out their stats sometimes, though.

225 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 4:23 pm

[223] To be fair, its not like he's been great since he left us. He was dead average in 2005, and below average in 2006 and 2008.

226 RIYank   ~  Dec 22, 2009 4:27 pm

[225] True, but two very good years. VERY good.

227 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 4:29 pm

[225] ERA+ of 98 in 2006 and 2008, so just about dead average. He seems to alternate those 98/100 ERA+ years with fine seasons. Which, actually, does not bode well for next season, if the pattern holds.

228 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 4:29 pm

[224] Gardner's on base percentage in July was .304. It actually rose all the way to .308 in games played after he returned from injury. He had a very good May and June. He had a very bad April, July, and September.

229 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 4:31 pm

[228] Ha-ha...must be that new math! His June really pulled up his season aves.

230 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 4:32 pm

[229] What?

231 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 4:34 pm

[230] I was joking at my own (mis)use of his running season totals (found on his game logs) rather than looking at his splits by month. Gardner's super-good June pushed up his season averages so that, even though he slumped badly in July (~.300 OBP as you point out), his average at the time remained in the .350s.

232 ms october   ~  Dec 22, 2009 4:36 pm

some tidbits from the javy call:

his arm was, as many of us stated, screwed up the second half of 2004
happy to be back

Hughes and Chamberlain: “It’s going to be a competition for that fifth spot.” Cashman said whoever does not make the rotation will either go to the bullpen or go to Triple-A. The Yankees have not decided who gets bumped.

233 The Hawk   ~  Dec 22, 2009 5:28 pm


Bravo, ladies and germs, bravo! That's a lot of posts since I left earlier today. You'll forgive me if I don't read them all before I spout off again.

To wit: They better put Chamberlain in the rotation. And that's coming from a true-blue Joba-is-a-reliever fan.

234 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 5:33 pm

[233] So, then Hughes to the 'pen? or to AAA?

I'm not arguin', just askin'.

235 The Hawk   ~  Dec 22, 2009 5:34 pm





Aw hell, I'm still proud of youse.

236 The Hawk   ~  Dec 22, 2009 5:42 pm

[234] Oh thank goodness you're here!

It's a good question. I guess AAA then bullpen if a place doesn't open up for him in the rotation by July or August. Something like that. They're in a bit of a pickle. They should have signed Sheets, then he would break down just in time for Hughes to fill out his innings limit as a starter in the bigs.

If it's Chamberlain as the odd man out the question is even trickier. My main wish is that with all the contortions Joba's career has gone through in its short life, that they build on last year and give him a chance to grow as organically as possible. If he doesn't progress this year then maybe you make him a reliever, though I wouldn't mind if they gave him two more years as a starter (unless he's a complete disaster).

237 randym77   ~  Dec 22, 2009 5:43 pm

[198] I meant it more as a "remember when...?" Since it was four years ago.

[200] Gardner has a better OBP but Crosby had more power. Their minor league OPS were very similar.

238 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 5:46 pm

I wonder what Jermaine Dye would cost?

239 randym77   ~  Dec 22, 2009 5:51 pm

That Fangraphs thing is interesting. They think Melky is below average as a CFer. I've seen some analyses claim he's one of the best in the league, and some say he's the worst. I guess defensive stats still have a ways to go.

240 The Hawk   ~  Dec 22, 2009 5:52 pm

I guess this means Wang is out for good, for sure, fwiw.

241 The Hawk   ~  Dec 22, 2009 5:53 pm

Oh and I also guess the team isn't getting younger after all.

242 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 22, 2009 5:57 pm

Woke up to find Melky AND Arodys Vizcaino have gone! For f#uckin game 7 GS Javy Vazquez??! I don't like it!! Why not just sign Ben Sheets to a one-year deal??

200+ comments to skim through..am guessing this has been a controversial deal...

CC, AJ, Andy, Vazquez-In-The-Country (his new nickname, bonus OK Jazz points for whomever gets that one), Phil, Joba..I guess that is pitching depth..still of rather seen Ben Sheets and CMW on one-year incentive deals...

243 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 5:58 pm

I don't buy the competition for the rotation, but think it makes sense for Cashman to make sure both believe it. One mistake they may have made in 2008 was pretty much guarantee IPK and Hughes a rotation slot, so this should keep Phil and Joba honest. Unless Joba absolutely falls on his face, I think he lands the starting job, partly because he deserves that chance after being jerked around and partly because he should not have a limit. If that happens, Hughes could end up in AAA for a couple months of 5 inning starts before being promoted to either take a rotation spot (in case of injury or ineffectiveness) or join the bullpen. If Joba loses the "battle", however, I think he immediately starts in the bullpen.

244 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:00 pm

[241] Perhaps. Granderson and NJ are younger than JD and Matsui, by a comnined 8 or ten years. Javy (33 age next season) replaces Wang (30), which adds a few years. Cervelli replaces Molina, = -10 years or so. Bruney (28) is gone, replaced by the likes of Robertson. Hoffman is only about 25. Everyone else is a year older. I bet the average age of the team is a touch lower next season.

245 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:01 pm

Damn, forgot my ESPN Insider has expired..anyone see what Keith Law wrote? Some copy&paste action please??

[243] I still can't trust this team to manage Hughes correctly after the Joba nonsense last year.

246 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:03 pm

[245] I can't trust the team handle Hughes correctly after the Hughes nonsense last year!

247 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:04 pm

[242] Ben Sheets reportedly wants 2 years/$24mn. No thank you. Also, the Yankees couldn't afford to gamble on someone like him because before this trade they had, at most, 4.5 starters, which isn't enough to get through a season. Vasquez provides you with at least league average quality to go along with a guaranteed 200 innings. That should help lighten the load on the rest of the staff as well as leave the bullpen less exposed to the 3-4 inning starts that were too common last season.

248 The Hawk   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:05 pm

I do cringe at the thought of Gardner as the starting LF (or CF, since it doesn't make a goddamned difference!) again. But you never know. He is physically gifted. He is so fast he should be an excellent outfielder; maybe his fielding brain will grow this year. If he can finagle his way on base every now and then, then figure out just how to run the bases, he could be okay. I'll just close my eyes when he's at the plate.

OR ... they could sign Damon, which I didn't want them to do at the expense of Melky, but would like to see now.

249 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:05 pm

[245] Law liked it a lot for the Yankees, but thought the Braves did well considering their predicament, which was caused by two bad contracts to Lowe and Kawakami.

250 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:06 pm

[245] His conclusion:

At this point, the Yankees have a rotation close to that of the Red Sox, and they could very well enter 2010 a better team on paper than they were at the same time before 2009.

251 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:06 pm

[246] D'oh!
[247] Sheets would take a year, no team will give him 2/24.
[248] I really, really, REALLY could live the rest of my life without ever seeing another Garnder "at-bat"..

252 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:07 pm

[246] Ironically, the Yankees didn't mishandle Hughes by using him in the bullpen, but instead by NOT using him.

253 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:08 pm

[250] Thanks! You can be the Insider guy this season then, save me the $40? :)

Yankees are a much better team than the Red Sox, it's not even close right now..

254 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:09 pm

[251] No team will give it to him, but that's what he wants. It's not worth waiting to find out, especially when his reliability would be very low at any price.

255 ms october   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:09 pm

[245] ok jazz here is klaw's take on what the yankees get: ( tried not to go overboard with c/p here)

Even in his down years, Javier Vazquez has been a pretty good pitcher, giving around 200 innings of league-average performance to his employers. But twice in the past three years he's been significantly better than that. The Yankees will hope the trend continues.

Vazquez is durable and consistently misses bats -- he finished fourth in the American League in strikeouts in 2006, 2007 and 2008 while with the White Sox, then second in the National League in 2009 -- working with a true four-pitch mix and plus control. The main knock against him has been his difficulty when pitching in tight spots, as he's less effective by about 100 points of opponents' OPS out of the stretch. Still, he's so good out of the windup and good enough from the stretch that he can be one of the most valuable pitchers in his league in most years.

For the Yankees, Vazquez provides more bulk innings to a rotation that worked its front three starters very hard in 2009 (including short-rest work in the postseason), allowing the team to shave a few pitches off their starts in 2009 because manager Joe Girardi doesn't have to be prepared for a three-inning outing every time the rotation's fourth spot comes up.

256 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:09 pm

[252] Well, you know my feelings on that. he should not have gone to 'pen to make room for Wang (at the time). After that, he shouldn't have stayed there. And once there he should have been used differently. Now this season we get to watch how they handle his limited innings.

257 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:10 pm

[253] One of the perks from working for ESPN awhile back.

258 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:11 pm

[255] Thanks ms. O!
I know Vazquez can eat innings..I just wanted to keep Melky and see Arodys & A-Rod in the same game one day...

259 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:11 pm

[256] Having Vasquez should make managing Hughes a lot simpler, but we'll see about that.

260 ms october   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:12 pm

[259] how so william?

261 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:12 pm

[258] While I am generally pleased with the trade, it is a bummer that we (likely) not see a game featuring Arodys, A-Rod, and TWO Melkies (Melkys?) on the same team!

262 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:13 pm

[257] Really? Must have been "interesting"..I'll re-sign up for Insider soon, I miss Law and Buster Olney's blog every morning.

So of they bring back CMW on a minor-league deal, the pitching depth will be real solid..I like this team. But will miss Melky...thelarmis, show hiim some love down in Hotlanta!

263 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:14 pm

[259] Yes, probably. I just meant that his innings will be even more limited this season because of their usage (I would say bungling) of him last year. So, do they start him in AAA then move him permanently to the BP? Or move him to the rotation then shut him down entirely at 140 INN? Or plan a Joba-like "road map" for him?

264 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:15 pm

[260] For starters (don't pardon the pun), they are not forced into putting Hughes into the rotation and trying to make him last over the full season, which was at the heart of the Joba debacle. Secondly, if Joba proves competent in Spring Training, the Yankees could send Hughes to the minors for two months, which would allow him to build a 60-70 innings base upon which to add another 50-60 bullpen innings, which should set him up to be a starter in 2011. Finally, it sends a message to both Joba and Hughes that they should take nothing for granted.

265 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:16 pm

[261] Kind of funny and eerie that we just talked about that last week.

266 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:18 pm

Wait..has anyone mentioned that this may cause Robinson Cano to sulk and slump this season? Being totally serious..guy's best friend in NYC is sent to Atlanta, that's got to make him unhappy..and Cano seems to be a sensitive kind of guy..

Someone call Jeter and tell him to get those sleepovers going again!

267 The Hawk   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:22 pm

[266] It could go either way. Maybe he needs to have less fun. Who knows.

268 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:23 pm

Crasnick on Sportscenter saying Yanks are very close to signing a LFer, NOT Damon.

269 The Hawk   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:26 pm

[268] Oooooooh another mystery man!

270 ms october   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:27 pm

[264] thanks.
i just hope they don't stick hughes (or joba) with one inning relief stints again.

271 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:28 pm

[269] Please don't be Holliday...

272 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:31 pm

[271] Why not? At 5/85? Come on...passing on that would be plain silly. We'd be getting 3+ years of prime and 1-2 years of in decline from high heights. Not talking 7 or 8 years, 160mm here...

273 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:34 pm

[272] 5 years? Sure..but 7 or 8 would be a Giambi-style deal..am tired of watching them pay 20+ for late-30s guys who can't field..

274 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:35 pm

Here's how I see it: who is going to give Holliday > 5/85? The Mets? And you really think he goes there to play? No way.

275 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:37 pm

I think we're being tee'd up for a major announcement in 5...4....3......2...............

276 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:53 pm

OMFG, Crasnick is reporting they signed Ponson to a minor-league deal! Someone check on MattPat!!

277 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:55 pm

by the by... I think neither of the Yanks top 2 draft picks were signed. Do they get compensation for this? And if so, what?

278 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 6:59 pm

"3+ years of prime and 1-2 years"
Holliday is entering year 30. You believe he will start decline at 33 or 34?
5/$85m would be fine. My issue is future (2012 on) budgetary concerns.
However, if the Payroll gets to $210-$220, so be it.

279 ms october   ~  Dec 22, 2009 7:00 pm

[276] WAIT, WHAT?!?! who signed pontoon?

280 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 7:02 pm

From MLBTR.com
Joel Sherman of the New York Post has pretty much every Yankees angle covered. Vazquez was simply the best available option for them. The Yanks' payroll is up around $198MM against a $200MM target, though trading Sergio Mitre and/or Chad Gaudin would free up a little cash. The Yanks will try to snag a veteran left fielder at a bargain rate, and aren't considering Holliday or Bay.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman confirmed that he won't be adding a big piece (MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reporting). Chad Jennings of The LoHud Journal has quotes from Vazquez from the conference call.

281 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 7:06 pm

From Lohud: Cashman on the Yankees payroll:
“I do have a number that we’re working under. We will be at that number and it will be less than last year"

282 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 7:09 pm

[281] I can't figure how they are still as low as $198 million, but I haven't looked too closely. Javy adds 11.5, but Granderson and NJ save them a good bit.

283 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 7:13 pm

[280] though trading Sergio Mitre and/or Chad Gaudin would free up a little cash.

I can see Cashman now, to other GMs: "Come on, do you feel....lucky?"

284 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 22, 2009 7:19 pm

If Cashman is true to his word in [281], the man is a magician.
Compared this 2010 team to the 2008 team, which had a higher payroll.

[273] The problem with the Giambi deal was not Giambi per se, but that the contract was heavily backloaded. The AJ, Teix and CC contracts have an equal AAV every year. ARod's contract was heavily frontloaded. While this costs a bit in interest, it's much smarter for future budgets.

Gods knows what ARod will produce at age 41 and 42, but at least he's making $20m, as opposed to $27.5m, or even $30m.

285 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 22, 2009 7:19 pm

[279] Gotcha! :)

286 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 22, 2009 7:20 pm

[278] I was trying to be post-roids conservative. He may very well excel for most/all of 5 years. Was just trying to point out that 5/85 is a great deal for him (for exactly the reason you cite - his age).

And I still can't figure who would go more $ or years...so that leads me to 1 conclusion.

He will be a Yankee. I don't believe ANYTHING that comes out of Cash or Hal's mouth about the 'budget.'

287 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 22, 2009 7:20 pm

[277] What?

288 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 22, 2009 7:20 pm

[284] Great point. I imagine A-Rod will still be a productive DH at age 41 and 42..and by then 20million may be a bargain..

289 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 22, 2009 7:22 pm

BTW Tex was signed a year to the day TOMORROW. Sleep tight!

290 monkeypants   ~  Dec 22, 2009 7:25 pm

[284] The smartness of frontloading or backloading a contract is dependent on present needs and the future market, no? If you frontload and it hamstrings your team now, not so smart. If you backload and the market takes off, the huge amount you are paying five years from now doesn't look so huge when you get there in five years.

291 ms october   ~  Dec 22, 2009 7:39 pm

[285] haha :}

292 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 22, 2009 10:36 pm

Heh-heh, I'm seriously thinking about doing a Comments Recap on the busier threads like this; they tend to be rather entertaining and they may convince a lurker or two to join in the fun. Whaddaya say, family?

293 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:05 pm

[292] Game thread comments recap would be hysterical..especially in games when Gardner pinch-runs, Joba starts, Girardi makes more than one pen move, and with anyone commenting while listening to Sterling.

294 Evil Empire   ~  Dec 22, 2009 11:05 pm

I don't want to bore anyone with the specifics, but if you compare Vazquez'es stats to Lackey's stats since 2003, you'll find the following is true:

1. Lackey's got a better ERA+ and Vazquez'es ERA+ is as consistent as a Yo-Yo.

2. Vazquez has BETTER K's per 9 IP -- and, in fact Lackey's K's per 9 IP have been declining for several years (albeit only a little in the last few).

3. Surprisingly Vazquez usually (not always) has better BB's per 9 IP than Lackey.

I don't know if Vazquez is worth $11 million per year but I believe it's a one year deal with a team option (I might be wrong about that), but Lackey's not significantly better to be making $16+ million a year, particularly when you consider that the sox have him for 5 seasons. Given Lackey's declining K's, higher than expected BB's (as compared to Vazquez), recent injury history, and new address in Fenway, I wouldn't be shocked if Vazquez has a better year in 2010.

So I like this move. Vazquez will be a more valuable #4 starter than Lackey will be a #3 starter. AND, Vazquez solves the problem of having 4 credible starters in the postseason.

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