Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wang Becomes Free Agent

From Reuters:

1:24am EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Taiwanese pitcher Wang Chien-ming has become a free agent after the New York Yankees declined to offer him a 2010 contract.

"There's no doubt that we had to make a tough decision," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in a statement on Saturday.

"We are still hopeful that our relationship can continue but those decisions are yet to be made."

Wang, a two-time 19-game winner who has struggled in recent years with injuries, will now pursue a contract with all 30 Major League Baseball clubs, his agent told MLB's official website (

Under baseball labor rules, the Yankees would have had to pay the 29-year-old at least $4 million to keep him under contract.

New York could still sign the right-hander to a lesser, incentive-based deal, agent Alan Nero said Wang would take all other options into consideration.

"I think it's difficult to rationalize a non-tender as further building a bridge with a team, but we'll see," Nero said.

Wang, once considered to be the ace of the New York staff, posted 1-6 record with a 9.64 earned run average in 2009 before undergoing surgery in July for shoulder pain.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina. Editing by Alastair Himmersports)



Middle Relief said...

This is probably a smart "business" decision by the front office.

I hope they can work something out where Wang remains a Yank.

If this guy doesn't come back I will forever hate the concept of inter-league play.

old professor said...

Cashman has said all along that he plans on re-signing Wang after he became a free agent. Apparently Wang has made it clear, he only wants to play for the Yankees.

The Yankees will spend some time going through the names of all non-tendered players before making offers to anyone.

If Damon turns down the two year contract, let him walk.

Crash said...

Wang made $5MM last year. When you tender a contract the maximum depreciation in value is 20%, so the Yankees could have offered a contract to him at $4MM. In this market where oft-injured pitchers get $7.5MM, and Wang's past performance (2x 19game winner) I would think on the open market he can get close to that. Funny how the Yankees spend money freely but want to nit pick over a million here and there to one of their guys.

Crash said...

John Lackey to the Red Sox??? Apparently he is taking a physical for them today. If true I think this would force Cashman's hand for Halladay.

Crash said...

Last week we heard the Yankees made an offer to Damon believed to be a 2 year deal around $18-19MM or so. Then we heard that Damon rejected the offer.

Damon gave an interview (or maybe just a couple of statements) to George King of the Post and says he has not received an offer and has not rejected an offer from anyone...further he hasn't even expressed what he is looking for in an offer to any team.

Not sure I'm "surprised" by this information. But I'm guessing we can thank Scott Boras for all this nonsense. While I think defensively the Yankees can upgrade left field, I don't know about offensively unless they sign Holliday. If they want to settle for .250 25+HRs there are plenty of options (Bay, DeRosa, Ankiel, Cameron, Nady, etc.).

old professor said...

Crash, let's take a serious look at the outfielders you mentioned: Cameron - Yankees almost traded for him last year but backed off because of the asking price. He is an older used up version of Damon. Nady - Coming off of his second Tommy John Surgery there has to be serious question as to whether he can even play the outfield anymore. His first throw to the plate would see the ball arrive followed a few seconds later by what is left of his elbow. Ankiel - strong arm, but had a somewhat questionable offensive year. (Yankees could always bring him in to pitch in a blowout).Mark DeRosa - are you kidding?? If the Yankees give any serious thought to these individuals, they should re-sign Jerry Hairston. He gives you offensive and defensive skill sets and is a strong team guy. (Oh and at 32 he is younger than most of the names you mentioned).

As for Damon - Boras is a boring tired act. The Yankees have put an offer on the table that he probably has not yet discussed with his client. If he truly has a team out there that is willing to go three or four years for Damon take it. If not, shut up and sign with the Yankees.

I am not necessarily convinced that the Yankees have to get Holladay if the Red Sox sign Lackey. Lackey is a stud of a pitcher, but he has not a guaranteed presence in the post season.

Now if the Red Sox land Lackey and trade for Holladay, then cancel the American League season and let the Red Sox watch all of the National League games to see who they will play in October (or November or maybe December).

Crash said...

I'm just to my stomach over all the news.

Red Sox land Lackey.

3 team blockbuster with the Blue Jays trade Halladay to Phillies, and Phillies sending Cliff Lee to Seattle.

Then to add insult to injury, Matsui signs with the Angels.

Brian Cashman should be destroyed for letting Halladay go with out as much as an offer being made. For not being involved in that deal to possible get Cliff Lee. Not making an offer to Lackey, and well Matsui...

Old Prof, Cameron is not a used up version of Damon. You just lost a lot of credibility.

Crash said...

As if it couldn't get any worse...Mike Cameron signs with the Red Sox.

Brian Cashman wanted to play the wait and see game now all of sudden he has to rush around and now overpay for mediocre talent. The signing of Cameron also reduces the Yankees leverage for getting Damon at a fair price.

I think the Yankees will sign Ben Sheets and Matt Holliday. Though this is my knee jerk-sky is falling reaction.

Let me hear what you think? Who will/should the Yankees go after now that the big name pitchers are off the market? Who should they get for the field? They still have needs, if George was in charge everyone in the farm would be gone right now to get someone like Gil Meche. No I don't recommend that.

So here are some trade candidates:

Derek Lowe: AL East battle tested, championship experience. Now better suited for the NL and is owed a boat load of money (3 years $45MM). If the Yankees want to eat that contract they wouldn't have to give up a lot.

Javier Vazquez: All I can see is Damon's grand slam in 2004.

King Felix: No way now that they have Cliff Lee. Mariners are going all in for a run at the World Series this year.

Aaron Harang & Bronson Arroyo: Intriguing at best especially for a #4 spot. Both have big money tied to them $14.5 & $13, respectively.

Josh Johnson: Marlins denied wanting to trade him. Girardi managed him before. Yankees would have to give up a lot to get him.

Roy Oswalt: One of the best pitchers in the game owed $33MM. He has a full no trade, Houston isn't in the buying game yet, and I don't think they're sellers yet either. But this may be a prize worth dumping the farm for.

Available Free Agents:
Wang, Pineiro, Marquis, Erik Bedard, Ben Sheets, Justin Duchscherer are just a few I wouldn't mind seeing in pinstripes next season as a back end guy, with my preference being Sheets.

Middle Relief said...

the phillies are morons.

Why would you give up a proven post season performing, left handed pitcher????

Lackey to the Sox is a pretty big deal.

Disappointed about Matsui

Crash said...

The Phillies should have kept Lee for the season and taken the draft picks. If they went with Halladay, Lee, Hamels, & Haap the NL was over in December.

Cardinals, along with several other teams, are said to be interested in Wang, but he is not in a hurry to sign.

Cardinals have reportedly offered Matt Holliday a contract that pays him $16MM annually, for up to 8 years!!! Wonder what they will offer Pujols next season.

Yankees have apparently reached out to Jason Bay's agent. Bay is actually the only OF on the market whose defensive skills are worse than Damon's...though his arm strength is much better.

Lastly Kate Hudson and A-Rod are done. He better find a new toy before the season starts because we can't have A-Rod sucking the entire year.

old professor said...

Crash, regarding Cameron: He will be 37 during the season. He hit .250 last year with 156 strikeouts. His best season average wise was 2005 when he hit 273 with the Muts and that was in only 76 games. He has 1,798 career strikeouts which is slightly more than 150 per season. That is not my idea of a prime candidate for the All-Star game.

The Phillies wanted Holladay all along. Giving up Lee to get him made no sense because Holladay now slides into Lee's spot and gives you what three more wins for the year. The only rationale you can use for letting Lee go is they could not afford to keep both players.

I am amazed the Yankees never tendered an offer to Matsui. He goes for a one year contract. The Yankees could have put that much on the table at the end of the World Series. Bottom line, they didn't want to bring him back which is a shame. He is a professional ballplayer who gives his all.

Yankees will probably put their sights on Sheets and Marquis. With the contract that Bay turned down with the Red Sox (estimated at 5 years 60 million), I don't expect the Yankees to get into that contract range. I expect Damon back for two years three at most.

Crash said...

Old Prof...I never said Cameron was an All-Star...but you know what you're getting with him...he'll bat .260, hit 25HRs, and have 20SB, and he'll strike out a ton. But he is still considered one of the top OF in the game. He is older, but he is not a used up version of Damon. I was opposed to trading for Cameron, but he would have been a decent option for them now, and added leverage in any discussions with Damon.

Wang turns down a minor league deal, with no guarantee of money, can't blame him for that. Yankees should not go more than 2 years for Damon.

Looking to next years free agent class, you have Carl Crawford. You put him in LF and Granderson in CF and you have a great OF defensively.

old professor said...

Crash, you mentioned Eric Bedard as a possible look see. He could be the left handed version of Carl Pavano. He went to Seattle with a lot of hype and never delivered. I don't believe the guy could take the bright lights of the big City.

Other interesting options for the Yankees: for starting pitching besides Sheets Marquis and/or Wang (who I believe they will re-sign) Jon Garland as a #5 and for the pen Mike Gonzalez. Gonzalez is a lefty the Yankees tried to get from the pirates a few years ago and has had some good years with the braves.

As a DH option - Aubrey Huff. Guy is a pure hitter and has always produced. (He can also play some first and outfield).

old professor said...

The White Sox have acquired Juan Pierre from the Dodgers. It has been rumored for a long time that the White Sox were one of the suitors for Johnny Damon. Apparently, the White Sox felt the rumored 3-4 year deal was above what they were willing to approach. Well that is one less team that Damon can look at.

The Phillies have given up a lot to get Hollady. Some of the same prospects (kyle drabeck for one) they would not part with last year they now have sent to Toronto. Toronto in addition to sending Doc to Philly is sending a $6 million check to help defray this year's salary. The phillies have reached an extension agreement with Hollady for three years at $60 million.

The Mariners get Cliff Lee who has already indicated he will try free agency at the end of the season.

The Cardinals have also increased their offer to Holliday so if the Yankees are truly interested they may wish to enter the arena.

Crash said...

I have read that the Yankees were willing to include Jesus Montero in a deal for Halladay but would not include Joba or Hughes. I think that means it's time for those boys to produce on the field or they are gone when the next big player comes up in trade talks. A lot at stake for Cashman with their success as well I would believe.

The Yankees did not make an offer to Lackey, and they also have no interest in Bay or Matt Holliday.

Talks with Sheets are apparently picking up.

Wang is drawing interest from the Cardinals. If he signs there would anyone be surprised if the Cardinals have 3 20 game winners in their rotation next year (Carpenter, Wainwright, and Wang).

Boston looking at Nady now for RF platoon?

Red Sox also have 2 press conferences scheduled for tomorrow. Assuming this is to introduce Lackey and Cameron.

old professor said...

I cannot see Wang going to the National League. The last time he played in a National League game he had to be helped to the dugout and was lost for the next season and a half.

The Yankees will not make a play for Halliday - Boras is asking way to much and at this point the Cardinals seem to be bidding against themselves. They already have a five year $16 million/year on the table that apparently is not enough. Bay turned down Five years a $60 million. I cannot see the Yankees putting any more on the table for either player.

The Yankees should consider bringing Nady back as the DH and occassional outfielder though I would be really concerned about his ability to throw.

I have some general concerns the way the Yankees are going. They have not improved the rotation, which was priority #2 for them. (CC, AJ and Andy are back, but if the post season is altered they will need someone else).

They have reduced the number of arms in the pen (subtract Bruney and Coke) and have made no moves at bringing someone in to fill the two vacated holes. They have let a proven DH and professional hitter go to LA for 1 year and $6 million and not replaced him.

The only improvement (and this is questionable) is to bring Granderson in at a steep price in prospects and talent. So they now have a centerfielder that can challenge for the league lead in strikeouts.

They have lost two of the excellent bench people in Hairston and Hinske and done nothing to replace them either. In the meantime, the Sox have had a legitimate ace to their staff and an excellent shortstop. (Yes they added Cameron at age 37).

I would not be surprised to see a package of Lowry and Ellsbury possibly to San Diego for Gonzalez.

Crash said...

San Diego won't trade Gonzalez for Ellsbury and Lowry.

The player that is starting to pick up interest is Miguel Cabrera from Detroit. The Sox can't dish their garbage out and expect to bring back a superstar like Gonzalez or Cabrera. They will need to send Bucholz, Ellsbury, and at least 3 of their top prospects.

Cashman has stated all along that he will address the bullpen from within.

I'm not worried about the bench players...players like Hinske and Harriston will still be there in January/February.

Essentially the Yankees need a LF and a starting pitcher. I read yesterday that if the Yankees sign Damon they view him more as their DH than LF. Without signing someone else I would guess that means Melky will be playing LF.

Look for the Mets to make stronger push for Bay in the next day or so. Old Prof you're right about Matt Holliday, there is no market for him. He'll be back with the Cardinals.

old professor said...

Crash, you throw in Bucholtz with Ellsbury and Lowry and I would be willing to believe San Diego will bite.

What bothers me is the Yankees don't seem willing to make an offer to anyone in an attempt to fill their needs; and there are still needs for this team - at least one more arm for the rotation (and if you say Joba and Hughes, then you weaken the bullpen), at least one more arm for the pen, a left fielder, a DH and at least some bench work.

Chicago, Seattle and Boston have all upgraded from where they were at the end of last season. The Yankees have created holes where none existed before. The Angels have filled their need for a DH, but still have a hole in the rotation and seem content with filling third base with one of their prospects.

Meanwhile, the Yankees upgrade (???) centerfield and resign Pettitte. And a two year offer to Bay will not get them a left fielder either nor will a two year offer bring Damon back.

Middle Relief said...

Doc and Phils agree to 3 yr $60mm with a $20mm option in the 4th.

While this may turn out to have been cheaper than what Cliff Lee will be demanding, I still think keeping Lee for the remaining season and see if he can bring your team back to the promise land was the better option.

Middle Relief said...

Are there ny other pitchers the Yanks are looking at? I've heard yet another Japan pitcher being rumored (hope not).

Any progress on Wang re-signing?

Crash said...

Wang is not in a hurry to re-sign. He has already rejected a minor league offer from the Yankees. Yankees did like what they saw from Cuban defector Chapman. I see Jason Marquis's name popping up a bit more with the Yankees.

Yankees are apparently close to a deal with Nick Johnson. I think they are looking to him as a DH and a backup 1B. If they do sign Johnson, I would think that opens the door to even a greater possibility that Swisher gets traded.

There were some talks going on that the Red Sox were not done making moves. I think everyone is aware that they are trying to pry Adrian Gonzalez away from the Padres. If they don't get him there was speculation of Adrian Beltre at 3B. Now I'm hearing they may not land either of those guys.

The Mariners want in on any Adrian Gonzalez deal. I think you really have to like what the Mariners are doing. They are being very aggressive.

Crash said...

Just saw the Orioles made a couple big moves...signing Mike Gonzalez for their bullpen and Garett Atkins to play 3B. They are also talking about making a run at Mat Holliday. I don't think they need Holliday, but should look towards another good arm for the rotation.

Baseball America has named the Yankees Top 10 Prospects:

1. Jesus Montero, C
2. Austin Romine, C
3. Arodys Vizcaino, P
4. Slade Heathcott, OF
5. Zach McAllister, P
6. Manny Banuelos, P (lhp)
7. Gary Sanchez, C
8. JR Murphy, C
9. Jeremy Bleich P (lhp)
10. Andrew Brackman P

To be honest I only know about 5-6 or names on that list. Brackman has fallen down the list a long way after a bad season. 4 Catchers on the list and that doesn't include Cervelli. Hopefully 1 of them can be Jorge's replacement in the next year or so. Also means trade chips as everyone is looking for a good hitting catcher.

old professor said...

The offer of a one year deal for Nick Johnson raises some serious questions. The guy can't run any more, due to injuries his range has been reduced thus reducing the defense when he would spell Tex. Power numbers have also been done. He has spent more time on the DL than on the field in his career - Shelly Duncan would be more productive.

As for trading Swisher, Crash think about the fact the team lost Matsui's production, could lose Damon, they can't afford to lose Swisher's 29 homeruns as well.

As for Chapman, showed good velocity, but most believe he is at least one year away from being major league ready. One of the National League Scouts (Astos I think) compared him to former Yankee first round pick Brian Taylor and we know how well that worked out.

old professor said...

Even Baltimore is in on the signing binge. They signed reliver Mike Gonzalez to a two year $12 million and Garret Atkins to a contract.

Crash said...

Seeing Matsui in an Angels jersey made me sick. I know the Yankees didn't make an offer and probably weren't going to keep him, but who knows at $6MM? It's tough to see a player just leave like that. It was even worse to see Pettitte go a couple years ago. That was more shock, this is just sad.

Mid said...

why are we making an offer for Nick Johnson - is Jaun Miranda turning out to be of no value?

old professor said...

Mid, Johnson is viewed as a veteran presence. (Fragile but a veteran presence). Miranda can hit right handed pitching, the question is whether he can hit lefties. Johnson is proven against both. If they sign Johnson and bring Miranda up, Swisher is gone.

Crash said...

Looks like the Johnson deal is all but done. He just has to pass the physical (which may be questionable for Johnson).

Apparently Boras and Damon met with the Yankees yesterday. He would have accepted a 2 year deal, but the money is too far apart. All indications are his time with the Yankees is over. SF Giants are said to be interested in Damon.

Yankees were interested in Mark DeRosa until they heard his price tag: 3 years $18MM. The Yankees are no longer looking at DeRosa.

They are now fully engaged with finding a starting pitching.

old professor said...

Crash, regarding Damon - I don't see any team giving him $13 million per year whether it be a one or two year or three year contract. However, Hal Steinbrenner indicated he was flexible regarding the cap on spending (apparently Cashman did not get that memo because he indicated the budget is hard and fast).

The prospects you list are a clear indication of what the Yankees have. While Montero is a big kid and projects monster numbers for the future, they do not think he will be able to catch because of his size. Austin Romaine is the individual they believe will replace Posada.

The pitching prospects are weak at best. The only one that could possibly make it to the majors is McAllister and maybe jeremy Bleich.

Crash said...

I have been in awe of the Mariners so far this off-season with all the moves they have done. I thought they put themselves right into contention and could win the AL West next year. Now I'm in awe of their most recent move but not in a good way. They just traded for Milton Bradley?!?!?!

I'm shocked and puzzled.

Crash said...

Yankee/Johnson deal done:'s Buster Olney says Johnson will make $5.5MM next year, plus incentives based on plate appearances. The deal includes a mutual option for 2011 worth $5.5MM.

Crash said...

New details on the Damon contract negotiations. Boras wanted 2 years at $26MM, Yankees countered with 2 years $14MM, Damon asked for 2 years $22MM...Yankees said no.

Mid said...

I'm of the opinion that having Boras as your agent that it is turning out to be a net negative.

Both Damon and Matsui earned their contract - too bad to see them go.

I'd rather have Damon than Swisher

The picture that ESPN used of Nick Johnson - he looks fat.

Crash said...

Was listening to XM MLB last night and some guy from Hawaii called in and said"That Damon...he's a bum!!! He should have taken that contract that greedy little bum!!!"

I was laugh so hard because he had this Bronx/Surfer accent going on.

Crash said...

Just read a report that said 15 teams are interested in Wang, and that the Yankees would like the chance to match/better the final offer. Sounds like the Yankees want to keep him.

The Yankees still have interest in Sheets too. Not sure if they would sign both Wang and Sheets, but if they could and everyone is healthy, that is an amazing rotation 1-5, and puts both Joba and Hughes in the pen.

Crash said...

NY Post saying Cashman asked the Cubs about Carlos Zambranno???

I would say no go on that deal because 1. Zambranno is already highly combustible and the added pressure of NY would be crossing the streams bad.
2. His stats are declining
3. Asking price is probably astronomical. If they weren't going to give up prospects to give up Halladay why would they give a similar package for this guy.

My guess is they sign someone this week before the holiday. The cast of usual suspects Sheets, Ducscherer, Marquis, & Pineiro.

old professor said...

Crash, Cashman has confirmed he asked about Zambrano, but that the Cubs were asking way to much for a guy that has started experiencing arm problems.

If I were a betting person, I would bet that the Yankees will sign Marquis and then make an offer to Wang. (Odd Marquis has indicated a desire to pitch for the Mets). Pinero apparently is asking for a four year deal which won't be forth coming from anyone. And they have concerns about the health of Sheets.

It also looks as if Damon is gone. According to some sources he reduced the asking price to two years at twenty million. The counter was two years at fourteen. With the departure of Matsui and Damon, that is a lot of offense to replace and I don't believe Granderson and Johnson are going to come close to those numbers.

old professor said...

It looks like the Red Sox have to go back to the drawing board regarding trading Mike Lowell. Texas has called off the deal that would have landed Lowell for the Rangers due to a problem with Lowell's thumb which will need surgery. The Sox were trading Lowell for salary flexibility.

Crash said...

Questions about Sheets health...there's a surprise. The guy hasn't reached 200 IP in years. They know what they get with this guy. When he takes the ball you get ace stuff. But don't expect him to take it 34 times in a season. Expect 20 starts and hope for the best. Give him incentives based on starts and innings.

Mark DeRosa has openly commented that he wants to play for the Yankees or the Mets. He's another guy that can hit .260 20+HR, his OBP should be about .350 or so. Not a bad guy to have at the bottom of your lineup. And, though a limited number of games in OF (<30) his UVR150 is very favorable (+31.2). That means he's a good fielder Old Prof. For comparison Damon's UVR150 is -12.1, Plus DeRosa can play all the IF positions as well and he's a good clubhouse guy. He's looking for 3 years $18MM...I don't think I have a problem giving this guy 3 years but would try to do $13.5-15MM.

Crash said...

Well you can take Jason Marquis off the Yankees target list of potential starters...Marquis signs with the Nationals.

old professor said...

It is interesting that the Nationals seem to be moderate players in the free agent market and winter trades. They land Bruney from the Yankees, sign Pudge, and now sign Marquis. With the young pitching staff the team has these two signings should result in a better season for the team.

Congratulations to Mariano Riveria being named Sporting News Athlete of the Year. Great interview in the magazine with Mo. Gives great incite into who he really is, his strong faith and having his priorities in the right place. Refused to talk about individual statistics or goals everything was predicated on team and the team winning.

There is every indication he wants to pitch after this season and pitch only for the Yankees. Regarding retirement: he stated that he does not want to retire and then get the feeling he should have played longer. In adddition he said he will know when it is time to go and he will do so - he does not want to be an individual that just hangs on.

As for the Yankees - they had the goal of finding a centerfielder, signing Pettitte and bringing Damon back (get a leftfielder) and then address rotation needs. They accomplished the first two items, won't bring back Damon and have allowed Lackey and Marquis to go elsewhere. There are not a lot of good arms left in the pool (except those that can be very good, but physically challenged).

old professor said...

Trade with Atlanta is on the verge of happening. Yankees would send Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizciano to the Braves for (are you ready for this hopefully you are sitting down) - Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan. Yep that's right the same Vazquez who couldn't make it in NY a few years ago and who couldn't deal with Ozzie Guillen in Chicago is headed back to NY.

Boone Logan is a lefty who was also run out of Chicago by Ozzie. I don't like the trade. Vazquez did not have the make-up to last in NY and is owed $11.5 million this coming year and then will be a free agent. The Yankees give up Cabrera who they still contractually control for two more years, Dunn who had an outstanding fall ball in Arizona and Vizciano who is a 19 year old Dominican with a dominating fastball (96mph) and great curve and is one of the higher rated prospects (pitched to an ERA last season of 2.65).

Yankees have to be nuts to make the trade. $11.5 million for a number four starter - WHAT ARE THEY THINKING. Word is if they trade Cabrera, that would allow them to bring back Damon. So you trade a swith-hitting 25 year old with a cannon for an arm in order to bring back a 36 year old outfielder with no arm. What is the logic to that??

Crash said...

I think I agree with Old Prof. I'm not liking this trade. On one hand I think the Yankees just got the best available pitcher on the market (Ben Sheets can thank his agent for pricing him out of the market...that makes 3 or 4 agents that have messed up in that manner). But the Yankees gave up a lot to get Vazquez.

Melky had a bunch of big clutch hits last year. His power #'s were up, his defense is above average. Melky had the potential in the near future to be a legit 20HR-20SB guy. I think the Yankees have defintiely traded him at his peak value. Which is what we were yelling about a couple seasons ago.

Dunn was the reason the Yankees let Coke go, not sure what other lefty they now have beside Marte.

Vizcaino was their third best prospect on the farm.

Vazquez on the other hand now becomes the best #4 starter in baseball. If he can go 200IP, 200+K's get 15 wins and keep the ERA around 4-4.5 you take that.

Vazquez was an All-Star once in his career...2004 with the Yankees. He gets the bad knock because of the Damon grand slam in game 7. But he had a very respectable year otherwise.

I like Vazquez, it was just a lot to give up. The Yankees still have one more move to make, because they do not have a LF.

Some possibilities...Damon, Holliday, Ankiel, DeRosa.

I kept hearing how the Yankees wanted to come in at $185MM...will acquiring Vazquez puts them at $199MM with a LF still to be acquired. If I had to guess I would say that Swisher was probably offered first. I think they would have wanted to move his $6.5MM salary and sub-par defense before Melky and his above average defense and $500K salary.

Crash said...

Just read that Yankees will most likely look to trade Guadin or Mitre to clear salary room and that leaves about $5-6MM for LF. That too me says no Matt Hooliday or Johnny Damon. I think Mark DeRosa is being fitted for Pinstripes...

old professor said...

The Yankees have actually weakened themselves this off-season. They are continuing to shed offensive capability for what?? Gone are Damon, Matsui and Cabrera. Those three account for over 65 homeruns and many clutch hits. They trade Coke, Austin Jackson, Mike Dunn, Vizciano and Bruney and what do they get back? A rule 5 pick who has not hit his weight, a lefty specialist reliever with an era north of 5, a centerfielder who was close to leading the league in strikeouts. Oh and they wanted to get younger so they trade Coke at age 25 and Cabrera at age 25 and replace them with a 25 year old reliever and a 33 year old starting pitcher (who had his career year pitching in the NL East where he faced the Mets, Marlins and Nationals how many times???).

This portends to be a long season comiing up. The pitchers better look at throwing a lot of shutout innings. Cashman has to be on something!!!!!!!!!!!!

Crash said...

Old Prof you make me laugh. You want to complain about getting back a "lefty specialist reliever with an ERA north of 5"...when Dunn the lefty specialist reliever the Yankees got rid of had an ERA near 7.

The more I think about this deal the more I like it. The Yankees went out just made their rotation the deepest in the game...even better than the Red Sox with Lackey. It will put Hughes or Joba (or maybe both) in the pen. Despite losing Damon, Matsui, and now Melky this team won't struggle to score runs.

Crash said...

Just read that the Yankees are concerned about the workload CC, Burnett, and Pettitte had in the postseason. They have pushed back their scheduled start to begin workouts by a couple weeks. That is also why the Yankees went with Vazquez, who consistently hits 200IP, over guys like Sheets or Duchscherer.

Also Cashman tried to trade for Vazquez 2 other times. He tried a deal with Arizona back in 2005 and again when Vazquez was with Chicago.

old professor said...

Crash, don't talk to me about Dunn's ERA being near 7. First he came out of Double A at the end of the season and was put in to games to test his arm and velocity. He may have been in four maybe five games at one inning each and had I believe one bad outting. The guy is 25 is lefthanded throws 95 and had an excellent fall league experience. You don't give up on that (also consider he is a converted outfielder and needs one or two more years to develop). Of more concern was the 19 year old Dominican they gave up. He has been projected as a can't miss strong arm who the Yankees will regret giving up on.

It is also significant that to trade for the whiff king and the return of vazquez, the Yankees have given up the #1 prospect in the organization, the #3 prospect in the organization, a lefty thaey expected to be in the pen and a 25 year old switch hitter who started in centerfield the last two years.

All toll the Yankees give up - Cabrera, Dunn, Coke, Jackson, Bruney Vizciano; lose Damon and Matsui.

In return they get: Granderson (149 strikeouts last year), Hoffman who hit 189 for the Dodgers, Vazquez who lost 10 games while pitching in the NL East. Look at the stats - 10 of his wins came against teams under 500. He lost three times to the Marlins, and once to the Mets. Other loses were to ST. Lousi, the Giants, Brewers and Reds and and he lost to the Red Sox. And yes we add lefthanded specialist who lefthanded batters hit .286 against. And the new DH has had fewer at bats than the Yankee pitching staff combined for the last seven years. Johnson breaks bones taking pitches. Yep we got some real quality coming to NY and morgaged the future. If the season started today, you have Granderson in Center, Gardner in Left and Swisher in right. That is not an outfield lineup that will strike offensive fear in any starting pitcher.

Crash said...

OK, let's fast forward to about 9 months from now...when Javy has 15W's, an ERA better than Pettitte's and more K's than CC or AJ, you'll be claiming that you thought this trade was the difference maker to getting #28.

Granderson won't come close to 150 K's this year, and his power #'s go up. I bet he finishes about .280 with 30+HR.

old professor said...

Crash, we can all dream about the what if's in nine months (sounds kind of like being pregnant). Bottom line - the Yankees signed a pitcher that couldn't perform in the Bronx or Chicago (could this be a fragile ego)and significantly weakened their offense. Those two items added together signify problems.

Crash said...

The SF Giants have offered Mark DeRosa a 2 year deal at $6MM per. I think that effectively prices the Yankees out. If DeRosa does sign with the Giants, that's also one less spot for Damon to land. The Giants were the only other team I heard that were interested in Damon.

Tyler Kepler of the Post offered that Reed Johnson may be an option in the Yankees price range. That would make sense from a Yankees perspective. He's athletic, will hit about .280, has an OBP about .400 and is above average defensively.

Crash said...

Here are the incentive details on Nick Johnson's contract (credit to ESPN, as reported by the AP)

Johnson gets a $5.5 million salary next season, and the deal includes a $5.5 million mutual option with a $250,000 buyout. He can earn $1 million annually in performance bonuses: $50,000 each for 400 and 425 plate appearances, $75,000 each for 450 and 475, and $125,000 each for 500 and each additional 25 through 625. The option price would increase to $6 million with 500 plate appearances, $6.5 million with 550 and $7 million with 600. If he has at least 550 plate appearances, the buyout would be $500,000.

Crash said...

Nothing to report on the hot stove front at the moment so I'm going to bitch about the Giants.

Possibly the worst performance from a professional football team I've ever seen.

The Offense sucked, the coaching sucked, and the defense has sucked all year. Way to close out the old Giants Stadium.

And to top it off, with Dallas winning the Giants season is officially over.

I sense major changes in the coaching staff next year.

old professor said...

Crash, I can't agree more with you regarding the Giants. It was one of the worst efforts I have seen from a professional football team. Osi gets in for four snaps - it would appear his days are numbered. Offensive coordinator left nothing to the imagination. Made the Panthers D look all world.

Yankee options are narrowing regarding a leftfielder. Don't be surprised to see Damon back.

Crash said...

So DeRosa goes to the Giants finally. That's bad news on the Yankee front, I thought DeRosa seemed like a very good fit. Hopefully the Yankees don't overreact and sign someone that's a lousy fit...say Jermain Dye. Thankfully John Heymen is saying the Yankees are not interested in Dye.

That makes the OF FA pretty slim picking. I wouldn't be surprised if the Yankees head into camp with what they have, and see if Damon is still available at that time willing to perhaps take a 1 or 2 year deal at that point for the Yankees $$ figure. With DeRosa signing that's one less OF spot for Damon to land at (even though some speculate that DeRosa will play 3B for the Giants).Plus I would think DeRosa's deal eats away at the Giants budget and they perhaps can't afford Damon either at this point. Market is drying up and 2 big LF still out there, I think Damon is going to be left looking for a job. I wouldn't be surprised if Damon came back to the Yankees and said "OK 2 for $14MM" and the Yankees say no, now it's 1 for $5MM.

Crash said...

I'm reading some of the side stories here at the blog. And I come across the one that claims the Red Sox are the team of the decade. The reason being, they broke the "curse" and the Sox set the standard to be measured by.


Last time I checked, to quote Herm Edwards, "You play to win the game!!!"

So let's see, just for comparison:

AL East Titles:
Red Sox 1, Yankees 8.

AL Championship Pennants:
Red Sox 2, Yankees 4.

World Titles:
Red Sox 2, Yankees 2.

Win/Loss Record:
Red Sox 920-699, Yankees 965-651.

Winning Percentage:
Red Sox .568, Yankees .597.

100 Win Seasons:
Red Sox 0, Yankees 4.

Yeah that's setting the standard all right.

Every year it's what are the Red Sox going to do to keep up with the Yankees, not the other way around. Even though the Curse may have been broken, make no mistake about it, the Yankees are the team of the decade, and they will always be the better team period.

Crash said...

Mets have agreed to terms with Jason Bay...4 years $66MM, with a 5th year vesting option (reportedly an "easy" vesting option) which puts the deal at 5 years $80MM.

The Mets were the only other team I heard possibly looking at Holliday. They were teasing that they could look at Holliday if Bay doesn't want their money. I would guess that Holliday will now sign pretty quickly with St. Louis. He turned down a 4 year extension in Colorado worth over $80...he won't get anywhere near that now, he left a lot of $$$ on the table.

Crash said...

Some interesting articles around about why the Yankees may not want to add Matt Holliday to their line up. Stat forecast have the Yankees about a 100 win team next year (without Holliday). Adding Holliday, and his close to $20MM price tag, put the Yankees anywhere between 101-103 wins. Is that really a great value??? It would be a different story if the Yankees were say a 92 win team...and we know it takes 95 games to win the AL East.

I think the Yankees could go into camp without adding anyone else. At this point I would like to see what Gardner could do on a full time basis.

old professor said...

Interesting to see what happens now with Damon. The Mets and Giants were rumored to be interested in him. Giants sign DeRosa and Mets sign Bay. Market is beginning to close on Damon - He should not have listened to his agent. Apparently the Boras hype job for all of his clients is beginning to run thin with teams. Damon should have taken the Yankees first offer. Too bad good team and club house guy.

old professor said...

One has to wonder whether the Yankees are keeping the checkbook closed this season because they are expected to go after Joe Mauer and Carl Crawford next season. MLB Rumors claim if the Red Sox and Yankees get into a bidding war Mauer could get $30 million per year. Wonder what Crawford will command? Add to the dilema - Mo and Jeter are up for contract renewals at the end of this season. ($225 million payroll anyone??).

MLB Network listed the top nine teams of the decade: St Louis was #3, Red Sox #2 and Yankees #1.

Crash said...

Mauer will still with the Twins. The Yankees will go after Carl Crawford if he does not sign an extension with the Rays. Crawford loves Tampa.

I heard that the Cuban pitcher Chapman needs to sign sometime before midnight tomorrow. He figures to have a lot of $$ tied to a signing bonus, and if he signs before midnight he doesn't have to pay taxes on it because he's been in the country less than a year. He signs after midnight and he loses a bunch in taxes.

Crash said...

I think I'm seeing Matt Holliday has agreed to terms with the Cardinals...8 years $140MM??? WOW!

Marlon Byrd being floated out there as a possible option for LF for the Yankees. Stat wise, he's a little better than Melky. Byrd will hit closer to .300, and 20 HRs. His UZR rating was not high last year, but I think that's because the Rangers played him out of position, mostly in CF. He is suited much more for a corner spot. His UZR in CF is -2, while LF is +10. If the Yankees can get him at $4-5MM for a year or 2 it would be a good signing. And the Yankees would actually have a decent defensive OF for next season.

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