Sunday, December 14, 2008

Locked and Loaded?


So, approximately 72 hours after I was speculating that we weren't going to get anything done at the Winter meetings, Cashman promptly sticks that idea in my face and goes on to nab the top two pitching prizes on the market.

I like the focus. When the team went on its WS binge the last time it was built on pitching - not hitting (although from a hitting standpoint, it truly is not all that bad as it still is a lineup that has names like A-Rod, Jeter, Nady, Cano, and Posada)

From where I stand, this is how I'm seeing the pitching situation for '09:

Starting Rotation: Sabathia, Wang, Burnett, Aceves/Chamberlain/Hughes

Bullpen: Rivera, Sanchez, Marte, Coke, Bruney, Albaladjedo

Expendable or Minor League Reserves: Kennedy, Wright, Milton, Cox, Ramirez, Robertson, and Veras

Will Chamberlain be a starter or back to being the the monster set up guy? What do you see differently?



Crash said...

Mid your bullpen line-up is not bad, but I don't understand how you can leave Vetras off that list and put names like Sanchez and Albaladejo on it. Sanchez pitched in just 2 innings and Albaladejo in just 13. Both are coming off significant arm surgery. There is no way either of these guys sniff the big team out of spring training. Horne, Cox, and Melancon are better bets.

Hank has been saying he wants Manny. The Yankees have also popped up in Teixeira rumors. Would they seriously give Many a 3 year deal at $25/year when they could get Teixeira for probably a little less annually but for a much longer term (I believe multiple clubs have already offered 8 years at $20MM). Personally I would take the younger, good clubhouse guye for a longer deal than pay Manny. I'm not saying I don't love Manny's bat, but the potential is there for disaster.

The Scooter said...

Off Topic: I was in Giants Stadium yesterday for the Miracle at the Meadowlands Two, and I just have a couple things to say.

1. Both the Jets and the Bills are pathetic. The Bills don't know how to win and the Jets defense is swiss cheese.


2. Dick Juaron should be fired and never allowed on a football field again.

Hmmm....Manny or Tex? I lean towards Teixiera too Crash, but Manny isn't a bad fall back option.

and we have NO IDEA who will fill out the bullpen. I'm sure it will be an open tryout for all those guys mentioned in Spring Training.

What it does say, is that for the first time in years, the Yankees seem to have some depth as far as arms are concerned.

old professor said...

Mid and Crash, as you know, I occassionally am found at a pub owned by a former professional pitcher is is a very strong Red Sox fan - God was he bemoaning (bitching) about the Yankees signing both pitchers. I have to agree with the concept that laying out a quarter of a billion dollars for two ballplayers is just a tad to much (also what happens when baseball adopts a hard salary cap in the next round of negotiations, do the Yankees put only two people on the field??).

I truly hope the Yankees don't sign Manny. The guy is a cancer in the clubhouse and plays at 100% only when it suits him. Teixeira would be a better fit for the team, but eventually economics will catch up to the Yankees.

As for centerfield - Tavaris hit .251 last year and had an OBP of 302 not necessarily an upgrade offensively. The Yankees concern over offense would make one believe they don't have a lot of faith in Posada coming back fully from his surgery and therefore being as productive in the past and they probably have concern over Matsui's durability. I don't like the concept of signing Manny so they can trade Nady.

Oh and Scooter I agree with your assessment of the Bills and Jets and after last nights debacle in Dallas, the Giants may be in for a struggle to repeat.

mid said...

Crash - I wasn't leaving Veras (or Ramirez) off the roster, I'm just saying they're expendable. Both fairly inconsistent.

Giants are not the same team without Jacobs.

The radio killing the Bills coaching staff

Crash said...

2 terrible coaching decisions yesterday; Juaron's was quite possibly the worse decision I have ever seen, and Jeff Fischer deciding not to kick the winning FG. Wind or no wind you have to attempt that FG.

Mid I couldn't agree more. A lot of media are looking at the 2 losses and saying that Buress is really the difference. Bull sh*t. It's the fact that Brandon Jacobs has missed both games and the running game has been non-existent. Ward and Bradshaw have proven they are nothing more than a change of pace.

One rumor out there is the Yankees are in on Teixeira just to drive up the price on the Sox. If/when Tex signs with Boston the Yankees will sign Manny to a 1 year $28MM deal, making him the highest paid player in the game.

Let's not forget the Yankees still need at least one more starting pitcher. Sheets is said to be favoring Texas because of Mike Maddux, they have a relationship from Milwaukee. I don't think Pettitte will come back for $10MM. Interestingly enough late last week Peavy's agent came out and said he would only go to NY or Boston if he was traded to the AL.

old professor said...


At this point, I think the Yankees are set with starters - They have Sabathia, Burnett, Wang and Chamberlain. The team can fill in the #5 from a large selection of individuals: White, Hughes, Kennedy or Aceves (my choice being aceves.

Crash said...

I'm still hoping we have a rotation of CC, Peavy, Burnett, Wang, and Pettitte. This would keep Joba in the pen. That would give the Yankees hands down the best rotation in baseball and the best bullpen in baseball.

Crash said...

It looks like the Red Sox have made their initial offer to Teixeira. It's believed to be at least 8 years, no word on $$, but Teixeira/Boras wants more than $21MM per.

The Angels have offered $160 over 8 years.
Orioles are $150 over 7 years
Nationals $160 over 8 years.

Given those offers I wouldn't be surprised if the Sox offer isn't at least $170 over 8.

If that's the range, the Yankees could/should be in this.

old professor said...

Crash, Teixeira could be had by the Yankees for ten years @ $21 million per year. That would still leave the team about $22 million less in payroll than last year's team. Will it happen?? I don't think so. The rumors that are going around consists of the Yankees expressing interest only to drive the Red Sox offer up. It may be working. While the initial offer from Boston may have been 8 years, there are indications the offer has been increased.

You also keep dreaming about Peavy. That is not going to happen. I don't seem to understand why the team seems to have a great deal of interest in Ben Sheets (electric stuff when healthy) when the better arm and the better performer is Jon Garland.

Crash said...

I don't know what sauce you're hitting but I would put it down if you think Garland is a better pitcher than Sheets.

I'm not saying that Garland is not good. In fact he is very good and has been really consistent. He's probably a better fit for the Yankees. Garland does take the mound every 5th day. He's been right around or over 200IP for the last 7 years. He's had a couple of 18 win seasons. ERA in the low/mid 4's. And he would be reasonably priced (in the world of MLB).

Cashman has said he wants to add 450-600 IP to the rotation. If you pencil CC in for 200, and Burnett for 150 (his average over the last 8 years) he needs an inning eater. You're not getting that with Sheets, Garland may make sense from this perspective.

But Sheets is a #1 guy, if/when he takes the mound. It's the "IF" part that sucks about Sheets.

Here's the smell test, in game 7 of the ALCS against the Sox who would you want on the mound, Garland or Sheets? Hands down, no brainer Sheets...if he's available.

old professor said...

Crash, your key phrase in the Sheets category is "IF". He wasn't around to help the Brewers in the playoffs and it is questionable if he can put in a full season. Garland will go out every fifth day and even if he is getting batted around (which usually doesn't happen) he will volunteer to stay out.

I cannot see the Yankee starters going the number of innings that Cashman is projecting especially if Chamberlain is in the rotation. The team has made it clear they will closely monitor the innings he pitches.

Crash said...

Even though it appears as though the Cameron-Melky talks have been put on hold. The Post is reporting the Brewers asked for Phil Coke, Mark Melancon, and Jose Veras to be included, the Yanks obviously said no but you could have Kei Igawa. The hold up on money isn't Cameron's salary as much as it is about Igawa's $12MM owed and how much the Yankees will eat.

Post also reports the CC is in town for his physical and could be introduced as early as tomorrow, Daily News says Thursday. AJ could be introduced later in the week or early next week.

Crash said...

I know I said this the other day, but I can't figure out for the life of me why the Yankees would not even make an offer to Teixeira but are "very interested" in Manny.

Makes no sense to me at all.

old professor said...

Crash, the Yankees have indicated they do not want to offer an eight year contract to Teixeira. Could they do it, yes and probably for $22 million per year which would still mean an annual payroll less than last year's. The issue is eight years (which would make one wonder why seven for a pitcher is okay oh and they did give a 10 year deal to A-Rod). They are contemplating offering Manny a three year deal for somewhere in the range of $22-25 million. After three years, he is gone and out of the way (which means the Yankees will get about 1 1/2 seasons out of him before he starts to fake injury or whines about wanting another contract).

The whole concept of Manny being a Yankees is objectionable. He is not a team player he doesn't hustle, and he is a cancer in the clubhouse. Having said that, the Yankees play the Red Sox 19 times next year and that would be at least 19 games where Manny would be at his best.

The other piece that bothers me about Manny is he will have to play the outfield where is a liability. This would mean Nady goes on the trading block. If they use Manny as a DH, then Matsui is the odd person out. (This is unfortunate because I believe Matsui is the consumate professional - he goes about his business and tries to leave it all on the field. He played through pain from knee problems and only went on the shelf after the team was out of contention).

Crash said...

Speculation is the Cameron deal is on hold because of Manny. Yankees sign Manny, Damon goes back to CF so no need for Cameron. I would think Nady goes to RF, Matsui is platooned DH/LF. Even if Matsui was playing the OF, that may be the weakest defensive OF in MLB. Couple that with the non-gold glove of A-Rod at 3B, lazy Cano at 2B, and Swiss-cheese Swisher at 1B and the big quarter of a billion dollar investment into the pitching staff means jack crap. I mean Jeter and his multiple gold gloves can't pick up the slack for the entire infield, right Old Prof.

Pettitte's agent says there's a 3 year $36MM offer from someone. If he can get that from anyone he should take it. The Yankees will not equal that offer.

The Scooter said...

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Posada C
Cano 2B
Matsui DH
Swisher 1B
Melky/Gardner CF

your # 3 and #4 hitters sure seem like a formidable tandem that might mask any defensive deficiencies.

And Manny can't be that much worse of a RF than Abreau was.

I like it.

old professor said...

Crash, Swisher is not a liability at first. Damon can still play centerfield, but does not have a major league arm anymore (actually never did). Matsui is better defensively in left than Manny though he also has a weak arm.

It would also appear that Cabrera has gotten the message. He is having a decent winter ball season.

It also seems that Cano may be back on track. And regarding A-Rod, has the responsiblility of not only playing third but covering the majority of the shortstop area that Jeter can't get to because he happens to be shaded to close to second base, which he has to do in order to compensate for his inability to go to his left!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Within a year he will be playing first base.

Crash said...

CC and AJ looked the part and said all the right things yesterday. Perhaps the bigger news is that the Red Sox, at least for now, appear to be out of the Teixeira sweepstakes. I would love for him to go to the Nationals, but I think he will stay in LA.

Once Teixeira signs, the Manny talks will heat up. That probably won't be settled until well into January. Other possible bats...Adam Dunn, Milton Bradley, or even Giambi??? Nothing real intriguing.

The Scooter said...

The more I think about it, the more the Yankees really need a middle of the order bat. And I'm not talking about Adam Dunn or Pat Burrell.

Hopefully the Angels will sign Tex because that would probably leave just the Dodgers and Yankees interested on Manny.

Crash said...

I agree Scooter. Having the Red Sox fall out of the Tex race, means Boras has one less team interested in Manny. I just said I hope he goes to the Nationals, but that would mean both the Angles and Dodgers would be in the bidding for Manny.

Joel Sherman has multiple sources in the Yankees saying they will not pursue Ben Sheets because of the injury risk already assumed with signing AJ. To me that makes sense. It also may say they're fairly confident Pettitte will be back in pinstripes next season.

old professor said...

It seems somewhat odd that there is a high degree of confidence that Pettitte will be back. Yanks offer one year at $10 million and there is a rumored 3-year $36 million offer from another team. If my math is correct the one year differential is $2million with another $24 million in beyond the first year. If money appears to be the issue, he should take the three year deal and close the book on his Yankee career.

Here is a thought - sign both Pettitte and Sheets and put Joba back in the pen. That would give you a starting rotation of five proven starters and there would be enough arms in the minors should an injury occur (yes Mid you can read into the fallback arms as Kennedy and Hughes both of whom have had excellent winter ball stints).

Crash said...

I was listening to some XM MLB Home Plate today, and it seemed like every caller was a Red Sox fan complaining about Yankee spending. Guess what Idiotnation, the Yankees could sign Pettitte and Manny at $12 and $25 respectively and still be under last years salary. That's right sign 3 of the top 4 free agents and still reduce salary. Guess what, next year they will do it again too with Damon, Nady, Matsui, and Molina (combined $31MM) coming off the books, increase that figure if Pettitte does come back for one year. I would guess some of that has been penciled toward Wang's arbitration or extension. Going even further to 2010, Jeter ($21MM) and Rivera ($15MM) are coming off the books.

Crash said...

I'm watching D'Angello Williams and Jake Dellhome carve up the Giants defense.

Crash said...

Just saw that the LA Angels have pulled their offer to Teixeira off the table. If Boston is out and LA is out, will Teixeira sign with the Nats? This almost smells like collusion. Sox pull out, La pulls out. Sounds like they're trying to drive the price down.

The Scooter said...

Not sure if it's collusion so much as teams finally tiring of Boras' shtick. I doubt that the Red Sox are out of it, and I think the Angel's realized that he wasn't playing on the West Coast for anything less than $200 mil.

Giants D came up big at the right time, as did their offensive line. Championship teams do that sort of thing. Unlike the Jets who need to buy Favre a gold watch and completely clean house as far as the coaching staff is concerned. I hate to say it, but Mangini looks like he's in over his head.

How about Spagnulo to the Jets? Or Maybe Cower?

old professor said...

The Yankees could have Teixeira with an eight year offer competitive to what Baltimore and Washington have on the table and he would sign.

No one is going to offer him ten years and in excess $200million (Though the Yankees have the room and flexiblility.).

Scooter, regarding the Jets, the turning point in the game came with the decision not to kick a field goal after a five yard penalty. The coach is over his head and has not made good decisions over the last few weeks. Maybe he could be the replacement in Detroit.

Crash said...

The Giants D definitely showed up in the second half. They now essentially have 2 weeks off to get everyone healthy. Tuck looked banged up last night and I have to believe the D line is just wore out. They have not been getting pressure like they were earlier in the year.

If the Jets miss the playoffs I think Mangini is gone and Cower is in.

If the Yankees make a play for Teixeira, that means the Yankees have to live with Jorge behind the plate and DH, and any idea of Jeter playing 1B down the road is out the window as well.

I can see the pros and cons to Teixeira and Manny. I don't really care who they get as long as they get one of them...though I did put both of them on my list to Santa.

Crash said...

I saw something that said Rocco Baldelli is drawing interest from the Reds, Pirates, Phillies, Red Sox and Yankees. Now that he has experienced winning a little bit, I can't see him going to the Reds or Pirates.

Could the Yankees be interested in him to play CF? He's only 28, he appears to be finally healthy. He could probably come close to what Abreu did last season. .300, 20 HR, 20 SB.

Crash said...

Luxury the Yankees get their annual Christmas card from Bud Selig and in it says cut me a check for $27MM. That's more than the Marlins payroll last year. The threshold last year was $155MM. Safe to say they'll be cutting a check the next couple of years. But after 2011 when the threshold should be about $178MM, the Yankees could be under that amount. A lot is coming off the books by then...Damon, Matsui, Posada, Mo. Jeter will most likely get a new deal but I would imagine he'll have to take a pay cut, he's not getting $20MM on the open market.

Which brings me to my question...a lot of these small/mid market teams get a ton of cash from the Yankees, what happens if the Yankees actually don't have to pay anything. All these teams complain about the Yankees spending and imbalance, but they don't complain about the sharing that happens as a result of it.

Crash said...

Teixeira to the Yankees...8 Years $180MM. Merry Christmas Yankee Fans.

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