Monday, July 20, 2009

2nd Half Starts With a Sweep

When the main question being asked of the manager is who will be your #5 starter, you know things are going well.

Deja vu all over again? - Phil Hughes is the 1996 version of Mariano Rivera.

Joba finally putting in a start worthy of his ability.

Love it that we're wining these close games.

Looking at A-Rod's numbers, outside of his ABs, you'd never know he was out for over a month.

1 game back in the standings to a team that we're 0 for 8 for the season. - not bad.

Do we do a deal or keep things as is?

Food for thought: On the 10th anniversary of Cone's perfect game, I'm wondering to what extent he'll get Hall consideration. We're talking about a 2-time 20 game winner, a Cy Young, a .600 winning pct., 8-3 in the post season, not to mention he's also sporting 5 rings. What do you guys think?



old professor said...

Mid, regarding Cone, I believe he was eligible this past year and did not receive the necessary votes to be considered in the future, if so the discussion regarding him is moot. In addition, he stated he did not believe he is Hall worthy.

Second half has started extremely well. They will need to win a minimum of 95 games to win the east. Based on their record now, if they go .500 they will finish with 89. Playoffs seem a real good shot barring a complete collapse or the loss of another starting pitcher.

I do not see the Yankees going after Halladay. Toronto will try to play Boston and NY off against one another. Boston has a ton of young arms in the system and may not deem Halladay a necessity. Yankees, believe it or not, are strapped for cash and it is questionable whether they can actually afford the guy. They haven't even approached their number one pick in the draft with an offer.

Hal and Hank have told Cashman no more money. A lot comes off of the books at the end of the season, but they would still have to pay Halladay a good portion of his salary this year (which also impacts the luxury tax and that is already projected at about $21 million for the Yankees). Remember, they took Hinske only if the Pirates paid a portion of his contract. Witness yesterday's old timers game - many of the costly seats were empty - not something you normally see for old timers games.

The three big signings this past winter may have a serious impact on their ability to do business in the future.

Mid said...

If we were in any other division I'd say playoffs were given. The Rays, while 3 back of us, have been surging.

Crash said...

I don't want to hear strapped for cash when tickets at the new stadium are $1,500.

Here's the thing with Halladay...if he's traded to the Yankees it only forecasts as 2 more wins. And that's only if he stays healthy. Which I think has been a challenge the last couple of years. Don't get me wrong those 2 games could mean the difference between winning the division or missing the playoffs altogether. Halladay makes $14MM this year...we're beyond the midway point so he has less than $7MM left. After the trade and all players swap sides you're probably looking at about $5MM difference for this year. The Yankees will not let $5MM stand in the way of getting the best pitcher in the game.

The real value would come in October. If those 2 extra wins put the Yankees in the playoffs then he essentially paid for himself. The following year I'm not worried about salary either. Halladay would stand to make between $15-$16MM next year...let's see that's Johnny Damon's contract, oh yeah and then you have Matsui's coming off, Pettitte's coming off, Nady's coming off. SO no problem there. And when you look at the free agent list for next year, there is no one even close to the quality of player of Halladay (pitcher or positional player). This is a no brainer, and Cashman will screw it up.

If the Yankees don't get this deal done I would be interested to hear how close they actually came to getting him, and what the actual offered/requested players were.

The Scooter said...

Pettite needs a quality outing tonight. I'll sign up for 6 innings and 3 runs, right now.

I'm putting an APB out on Brian Bruney, although with Hughes and Mo probably unavailable tonight, I have a feeling we may see him. If the game is tight, it will be interesting to see if Girardi sets it up so that Aceves gets the 8th, or if it goes to Bruney.

As for Cone. I am a BIG David Cone fan but for some reason I just never really considered him a Hall Of Famer.

Career wise he was 194-126 with a 3.46 ERA. A guy I would certainly go to war with, but I think he falls short of having HOF numbers.

Prof, I would be careful when saying that the Yankees can't add payroll. While they may have a few empty seats at the stadium, their $$$ comes from global marketing and the YES network. They are not hurting. If they don't get Halliday it's because of one of two reasons....Ricciardi will not trade him to the AL East, or the Yanks wiil be unwilling to clear out the farm system for him (I doubt if they would trade either Hughes or Joba at this point).

old professor said...

Crash, the contracts of Nady, Matsui and Damon coming off the books would open the need for another outfielder unless you want to keep Swisher and Hinske in Right. Next season could be Austin Jackson time unless he is traded.

Pettite's position will be filled by Kennedy (if he comes back from surgery)or Hughes (unless the team sees more of a value of having him as the bridge to Mo and his eventual successor).

The asking price for Hallady will be too high.

Scooter, the issue of not adding more payroll comes from the Steinbrenner's. Some of the corporate sponsors they normally fill those high price seats didn't come through. Glbal marketing is done due to the recession. While they can't be crying poverty yet, the commitment of almost a half a billion dollars to cover three contracts is substantial.

The Scooter said...

Again, Prof....I think the Steinbrenner's are (like Cashman) in full negotiating mode...while I'm sure their pockets aren't the bottomless pit that it was under their father, I can't see them pinching pennies if a substantial upgrade like Halliday is thrown in their lap. Case in point, if this were better times and George was still around, the Yankees would have already taken Vernon Wells' contract in a deal for Halliday and it would be a done deal.

I do agree with you however, that the asking price from Toronto is going to be astronomical.

How much would you guys give up?

I would do Joba, A-Jax, one of the catching prospects and a young marginal arm for him..but if it got to be more than that, I would walk.

Crash said...

Prof I'm not sure what the future OF will be for the Yankees next season. And certainly if the Yankees go after Halladay A-Jax would be part of that deal. However, there are decent (not great) OF's out there. You have guys like Matt Holiday and Rick Ankiel who could be signed.

As for whom would I deal...Blue Jays are said to want pitching and an IF in return. I would offer Joba, Pena, and Montero. I would add A-Jax if requested, but not Phil Hughes.

If the Yankees don't get halladay, I think they still need pitching help. Now if they add a solid late inning guy (maybe a Chad Qualls or George Sherrill) then you could move Hughes back into the rotation...if you keep Hughes in the 'pen, then you need a back end starter...though I don't know who that would be.

The Scooter said...

Plenty of back end starters will start to become available, Crash. Just to name a few:

Doug Davis (Arizona)
4-9, but with a respectable 3.41 ERA

Jarrod Washburn (Seattle)
7-6 with a sparkling 2.87 ERA

Ian Snell (Pitt)
Has struggled with the Pirates, now in the minors, but I have heard the Yankees like him

Bronson Arroyo (Cinn)
10-8 with a scary 5.07 ERA (but he has been in a few major blowouts that have inflated that number)

Gil Meche would have been another one, but he just went on the DL with a bad back.

The Scooter said...

Pettitte steps into his time machine and gives the Yankees just what they needed. 7 plus innings of one run ball. Maybe this bodes well for his second half.

Good relief pitching and GREAT defense. Teixeira's throw home was spectacular. After years of the Giambino at first, I didn't even know it was LEGAL for a first baseman to throw home LOL

I would like to see Hinske get a few more games against right handers (that's the second time I am making that request).

A THRILLA by GODZILLA to win it. The guy still does have a flair for the dramatic.

Let's see if Mitre can keep the streak going.

Crash said...

There was some good defense last night. Pettitte got into trouble a couple times last night but managed to wiggle out of it. I like that the Yankees are winning these close games. I think this makes 4 in a row now. Tonight's start by Mitre will be interesting to watch. I haven't heard if he's on a pitch count or innings limit.

As far as possible trades...I haven't looked at all the splits yet on these back-end pitchers...but I'm willing to take anyone that has a good history against the Red Sox and/or Angels. Washburn may be the best of that lot but it will cost the Yankees more. he may not do well at the new stadium, he's a fly ball type pitcher.

The Scooter said...

I give Mitre a "C" for his performance last night....and for a fifth starter a "C" equals an "A", so he did his job and has earned another start unless the Yankees make a trade for a pitcher.

Was good to see A-ROD create a run on his own, with a walk a stolen base and 2 sac flies to score.

Jeter once again ranges FAR to his left on at least two plays, showing that the stories of his demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Alone in first place on July 22. I think we would have signed up for that at the start of the season.

Off Topic:
JP Losman signed with Las Vegas of the UFL, cementeing the fact that Buffalo is where careers go to die.

Crash said...

I'm not going to argue about being in first place. The team has been playing real well, getting good pitching and timely hits. The offense hasn't had a big game yet, but have been getting the runs when it matters.

Was it just Aceves, Coke, and Mo last night? I haven't seen Melancon or Robertson since the break (I could be wrong on that) it would seem they need some work. Hopefully the Yankees can be up by more than a couple and get them in the game tonight. Give The rest of the pen a day off.

Somehow I missed Albaledejo getting sent down, and Tomko is DFA yesterday. Too bad, Tomko had a good spring, was pitching real well a AAA before his call up, had a couple good performances but went downhill real quick after that.

old professor said...

tomko being designated for assignment clearly indicates the Yankees may really be committed to youth. The dilema they faced was keeping Tomko or getting more innings for their younger pitchers. Yesterday they answered the question.

I would not be harsh on Mitre with a grade of C. The guy had not started a game in the majors since September of 2007. In addition, he has not pitched in the majors in over a year. He had to be nervous. Now if he can stay healthy.

Scooter, Jeter ranging far to his left was accomplished because he shades to the left to compensate for a lack of range, the other side of that is by shading to the left he has to hustle to go to the right making ordinary plays for most shortstops a remarkable play for him (can you tell I am not a Jeter fan?).

The Scooter said...

You are unbelievable, Prof.

Even in a year where Jeter has gotten to EVERYTHING...left or right, you still bash him.

How about the play he made to end the game last night. Another SPECTACULAR over the shoulder grab in short left field.

Maybe you will finally give him his due the day he makes his Hall of Fame acceptance speech.

Crash, don't forget Bruney. We haven't seen him either.

old professor said...

Good question regarding Bruney - One would have thought we would have seen him last night. He has not pitched since before the all-star break.

Yankees get to see another young pitcher tonight kid is 1-7 and going against A.J. It would appear the Yankees have a real good chance at winning tonight and tomorrow. It would be nice if they could pad their lead in the east over the next couple of days.

The Scooter said...

Just a heads up...

1:05 start today for the Yanks

57 said...

Great! have to listen to garbage while on the road today.

The Scooter said...


57 said...

Halliday might be a Cardinal sooner than we think... that would VAULT that team into the WS or at least a great showdown in the NLCS with LA.

Pedro Feliciano, left handed reliever for the Mets, is rumored to be heading to the LAD. Fine by me... if it helps the Dodgers win the WS and get Torre back to NY as the Mets GM.. im all for it.

old professor said...

Oh where to start, hmmmm??? How about those Muts, they lose another to the NATIONALS!!! It would seem the players have quit on the season.

It would appear the team leading the sweepstakes for Halladay would be the Phillies. However, don't be surprised if no one comes up with the price the Jays are trying to exact.

Question regarding where has Brian Bruney been was answered yesterday. Looks great to the first two hitters strikiing both of them out, but then gives up back to back jacks forcing the Yankees to go to Mo for the final out.

Yankees now in first by two games as the Red Sox continue to sink. This morning on Mike and Mike, Tim Kerchen indicated the Red Sox batting order looks very ordinary and in disaray at the top. Red Sox trade for Adam LaRoche from Pittsburgh and Chris Carpenter from St. Louis. Both should add pop to the lineup.

Yankee pitching continues to look good and Hughes looks outstanding once again. Maybe he should be groomed to be the successor to Mo.

The Scooter said...

Adam Laroche is an average ballplayer at best. Low on base % means he is atypical of what the Sox typically look for.

And it was Chris Duncan (Shelly's brother) that they got from the Cards for Lugo. He will not even be brought up to the big club unless there is an injury.

These two trades are non-news.

Bruney actually didn't appear to have bad stuff, yesterday. His fastball was around 95. I think he just needs work so he can get his location down. I still think he is going to be an important bullpen guy before this is over.

I think Ricciardi pulls the trigger on the best deal he can get at the deadline. It will probably be Philly.

The Mets can be summed up in two words:

Tony Bernazard

57 said...

Good to see that the Mafia is alive and well in Jersey.

57 said...

Crash said...

Not to rehash Halladay trade talks, but apparently Ricciardi hasn't even taken the Yankees call about what it would take to get him. Internally the Jays have said it would start with Hughes, Austin Jackson, and Montero.

If Ricciardi isn't fielding all calls on Halladay, then how can he know if he has the best available deal? How does he know that he is maximizing the return and putting his team in a better place to win (albeit in the future)? This to me is exactly why JP should be shown the door in Toronto. He had more than enough time to turn the club around and couldn't get it done. I think they finished 3rd place in the East a bunch of times, but they were not leaps and bounds above Baltimore or even Tampa during that time. Plus he made some bad re-signings (Wells and Rios) that have hampered the financial ability of the team. Wells has just been a train wreck since that signing. The Yankees wouldn't even touch that contract.

And 57, Halladay will not go to the Cardinals or Brewers. Those teams won't give up the #1 prospects Toronto is asking for (Colby Rasmus from StL and Alcides Escobar from Milwaukee).

Going to the NL, I feel for the Pittsburgh fans, but the new GM there is cleaning house and starting over. That sucks if you're a fan of the Pirates, but really a great opportunity for that GM (sorry I don't know his name) to shape the team the way he wants to and have the owners support.

The Mets are done.

Wang has a set back, I think Mitre was able to give a serviceable start, but I don't think he will be the solution for the remainder of the season. We need something to happen like Aaron Small. Quick do we have any 33 year old rookies down on the farm???

old professor said...

I will depart from the masses who believe the Yankees should trade for Halladay. First look at the starting pitching that the Yankees have been getting - Burnett and CC are studs that are getting the job down. Pettitte seems to have come back nicely from a few extra days of rest. Joba - if the fire has actually returned - could give them serviceable innings and some wins. If and only if the starting rotation stays healthy having Mitre as the number 5 is a non-factor. If he finishes with a 5-5 record so what.

Why build an opposing team's roster and chances for success by depleting your system and sending very good young guys to th Jays just to add a 32 year old who CURRENTLY appears to be one of the best in the game? What he does in Toronto does not necessarily translate to success in NY. IN addition look at his stats at Yankee stadium. Correct me if I am wrong, but he has not been lights out there (either the old or new).

For what its worth, the Yankees have what could be considered the best #1 and #2 pitchers in baseball. Their number 3 has to grow up and get consistent. Pettitte will walk into the sunset at the end of this season and can be replaced by a B list starter free agent or from within (Hughes/Kennedy).

Yankees may need to add a couple of pieces, but not necessarily in the starting rotation. I would like to see one more bat brought in to backup the infield. Ransom is not an offensive threat - nice guy and flexiable about where he can play, but he can't hit.

The Yankees have the second best record in baseball - In the playoffs a number five starter does not come into play.

Crash said...

Old Prof, again you just have new clue. Halladay through his career is 7-4 at Yankee Stadium with an ERA under 3.00 (that's both new and old). He's also 16-5 against the Yankees with a 2.90 ERA.

His stats against LA and Boston are not great just above .500 in each case with ERA well over 4.00.

You say Mitre can go 5-5 and be ok with that. Not so. Look at the stats/projections, the Yankees need someone who down the stretch will go 7-3 or 8-2, it's going to be that close, having your #5 go 5-5 could mean missing the playoffs. Admittedly, that could change depending on how long the Yankees keep their streak going and Boston continues to slide.

57 said...

Mets in 2010

Crash said...

Couple of possible worries for us fans that have a team contending this year...the Tampa Rays are said to heavily pursuing Cleveland SP Cliff Lee AND 1B/C Victor Martinez. Let me just say WOW, I didn't see that coming. Both of those guys could help the Rays immensely. Either one of those guys could push them up to the Wild Card, both would have them contending for the division I would think.

Not so worrisome news...Matt Holliday could be heading to St. Louis.

Crash said...

WOW Mark Buehrle pitches a perfect game against the Ryas!!! It's the guys second no hitter.

The Scooter said...

You'll have to excuse me for being a little cranky today...I was up all friggin night watching the game after the rain delay.

It was worth it though. CC settled down after a rough couple innings and once again Phil Hughes was fantastic. Congrats on his first major league save...why do I get the feeling there are going to be about 400 more of them?

Teixiera goes deep on a 3-0 pitch and Posada's bat looks like it's heating up.

Lucky Seven in a row. Now let's see another strong outing by Joba.

Burhle is one of the most underrated pitchers in the league, but Derek Wise made a spectacular play, climbing the center field wall, in the ninth to save the perfect game, the no hitter and the shutout. It might be the best defensive play EVER made during a perfect game.

Crash, for some reason Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee just don't scare me. Martinez is a very good hitting catcher who probably can't catch regularly anymore. As a 1st baseman and DH, he is a "pretty good" hitter.

To me, Cliff Lee is hittable. I know he had an unconscious year last year, but again, he doesn't strike fear in my heart. He's not on the same level as Halliday, Beckett, Lester, CC or Burnett.

Whatever team gets those guys will certainly be improved, but I don't think a trade like that would propel the Rays to the World Series.

Crash said...

Scooter you are better man than me. I was in bed by the second inning. Hughes gets the save. I think the Yankees are just teasing us, same way they did with Joba. They have no intention on leaving Hughes in the pen, even though it is clear that he is very capable of doing the job well, and could be Mo's replacement. 2 things to consider: I think Mo wants to be the all-time saves leader. And he's not catching Hoffman by the end of his current contract. And the Yankees will have a glaring hole in the rotation when Pettitte is not brought back.

Wang looks like he may be done for the year. The Yankees need to find a more permanent replacement to fill the void.

I was listening to the Michael Kay "round-table" discussion last night...Steve Philips was adamant about including Joba in any deal right now if it was going to bring back a Halladay type player. If the Yankees don't want to put him in the pen, and they don't feel he can be an effective starter, and they don't think he has or will recover fully from last year's shoulder injury get rid of him now while his stock is still high. I have to say I can't disagree with that logic.

The Yankees are HOT!!! Back to back good starts from Joba, fingers crossed.

Crash said...

Just read a couple of things that lead me to believe the Yankees are actively pursuing a starter...Brian Cashman finally acknowledges "we're a little thin in pitching depth"...Really??? You think so??? And as the Post points out Kei Igawa is your best minor league option. When I read that it was like getting hit in the gut with a bat.

They mention Washburn and Bedard as possible trade options. I wouldn't rule out Cliff Lee either. Obviously the price wouldn't be as dramatic for those guys.

If Joba is limited to about 140IP, he has about 9 or 10 starts before he is shut down. cash mentions a "plan" but won't share it. More interesting is that Joba doesn't know the plan either. Only Cash and Clueless Joe.

The other option is they trade for relief help, saw something about Kerry Wood???, and move Hughes into the rotation. Wood isn't having a great season and don't think he would do well in the Bronx. I think they may have other options out there on the relief side.

The Scooter said...

Matt Holliday officially to the Cardinals for three prospects....YAWN

Crash said...

Matt Holliday (and 2 others...prospects)go to St. Loius for Brett Wallace, Shane Petersen and Clayton Mortensen. The A's are picking up about $1.5 of the $6MM still owed to Holliday.

Roy Halladay news...Ricciardi is in "serious" discussions with 4 teams...reportedly they are Phillies, Brewers, Dodgers, and Angels. SighYankees are missing from the list...

The Yankees did inquire to the availability of Cliff Lee and were told Joba or Phil plus others...I hope Cashman ended the call at that point. No way would I trade a top prospect for Cliff Lee. I would like him on the team as a #3 or 4 guy but not at that price.

Bad News on Wang. Going for second opinion (or is it the third now) on his shoulder...the infamous Dr. Andrews will be doing the evaluation to see if surgery is needed. Not sure if this endangers next season or not.

57 said...


Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, ninth on the career list with 573 homers, expressed frustration last week about the list of players who are climbing the career ranks and linked with the help of performance-enhancers. Killebrew said the tarnished records have "hurt the integrity of the game."

"As far as I'm concerned, Hank Aaron is the all-time home run champ, and Roger Maris should still have the [single-season] record at 61, but Barry Bonds is the name you see in the record book," Killebrew said.

Aaron said his conversations with his fellow Hall of Famers have revealed that some would walk off the stage in protest if a confirmed steroid user were honored in Cooperstown.

"I don't need to tell you who,'' Aaron said. "But I think some players would do that. The people I've talked to certainly have some resentment toward it.''

Aaron doesn't dispute Bonds' status as baseball's current home run champ. At the same time, he expressed gratitude for Killebrew's show of support.

"I appreciate it, but I'm still second," Aaron said. "Like I told somebody the other day, 'No matter how [people] feel, I don't think I'm going to ever hit another home run.' It's all over with. I can't even play 18 holes of golf anymore."

Jerry Crasnick covers baseball for



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