Sunday, December 19, 2010

Another Reason to Hate Philly

Philly may have given us title 27, but they've been paying us back pretty good as of late.

Cliff Lee, now the Eagles give us a modern day version of the Miracle in the Meadow Lands.

This is the kind of loss that can get a coach fired. . .if not Coughlin then he should shake things up and fire his Special Teams coach - not being ready for an on-side-kick and a botched punt for the final nail in the coffin - someone has to go.

Oh the life of a Giants fan. . .


old professor said...

The Giants meltdown is unmatched in NFL history. They had a 24-3 lead at half. They gave up 24 points in about 7 minutes. They have had special teams problems all year long and it is time there are some changes made. The punter was a third round pick that has continually hurt the Giants - from his inability to catch the ball from the center to not being able to kick the ball out of bounds like yesterday.

Special teams coach has to go as well - he is responsible for preparing the kicking teams for each game. He did not anticipate an on-side kick, did not tell the punter to kick the ball out of bounds. It would have been better for the punter to run around for 12 seconds - except he probably would have run into the end zone for a safety.

Defensively the team choked at the end as well. They lost containment on Vick, lost concentration on in the secondary and instead on concentrating on tackling went for the interception. All three mistakes led to touchdowns in the final seven minutes.

Now back to baseball - Yankees prepared for a big signing - Lius Vizciano - remember him from four years ago. Team is now prepared to sign an aged over the hill reliever to a minor league contract.

And no I do not believe King Felix is the answer you don't give Seattle all they are asking for (Nova, Montero, Adams and Nunez). The Yankees cannot gamble on the future by going after one guy in desperation. Let's remember the team would be better today had they held on to Coke, Kennedy and Jackson all of whom brought Granderson to NY.

Crash said...

I was so enraged at that game it made me sick. Matt Dodge should be released immediately. Though you could point to many little things that cost the Giants the game yesterday, if the Giants miss the playoffs you could point to that punt and say that's the reason. He had no business kicking it to Jackson, let alone a low line drive right at him. You could read Coughlin's lips saying "Out of bounds". All season long Dodge has been inconsistent at best, but he literally cost them the game yesterday and maybe their season.

I don't mean to pin this all on Dodge either...there was Manningham's fumble which was inexcusable. There were a couple of long Vick runs in which there was a missed tackle on one, and Aaron Ross deciding to rush on the inside instead of staying outside to contain.

The only way the Giants win the division is to win out and Philly loses it's remain games. Giants are 1 game up on the Packers (and then Tampa) and wouldn't you know it the Giants and Packers square off next week in Lambeau. Giants lose and they will be out of the playoffs. They win and Tampa loses one of their remaining 2.

By the way Spring Training is 11 weeks away...and the Yankees do not have a 5 man rotation yet. And for the record I never saw Greinke going to the Brewers. The Brewers are about to make some noise in the NL Central. They also acquired Shawn Marcum from Toronto earlier this offseason. A front 3 of Greinke, Gallardo, and Marcum is pretty impressive. Randy Wolf and Manny Parra round out the rotation with an impressive bullpen. Their offense is still real solid with Braun, Fielder (in a walk year) and Hart.

Crash said...

Old Prof I agree that the team would be in a better position if they held onto Jackson, Coke, and Kennedy. I haven't heard that Seattle has asked for anything for King Felix. I think they would have to be knocked over to even consider trading him. Let's break down this theoretical trade piece by piece. The Yankees have put themselves in an interesting position. By signing Martin to be their everyday catcher, Montero becomes only a backup, maybe twice a week catcher. Romain will certainly start at AAA S/WB this year. Which means he may be ready next spring. They may like Montero's bat, but they like Romain behind the plate. Unless they transition Montero to another position like OF (1B is blocked for years, he's too young to be a DH), then you are better off trading him now at his peak value. If they get Hernandez they don't need Nova. Signing Jeter to another deal gives the Yankees time to develop another SS (or sign or trade for one down the road). If Nunez is ready now don't let him rot on the bench. Adams is a 2B...Yankees have someone named Cano who isn't going anywhere. If I'm the Yankees I would give the Mariners either Nunez or Adams, not both. Assuming Adams can flip to SS. Think Adams is the better bat too. In lieu of Adams I throw in Joba.

You need to remember Fleix while he's already been around, he's only 24, doesn't turn 25 until August. They could sign him to a LONG term extension and still be rid of by the time he hits 35.

old professor said...


Even though they may not need some of these players right now, let's look at hypotheticals. Jeter gets hurt this year - Nuenz steps in. Jeter changes positions in 2012 (which is more than likely), guess what Nunez ends up as the starting shortstop.

Romine defensively is ahead of Montero. However, the Yankees are not in love with his offense and there is a question as to whether he will be able to hit at the major league level.

Another hypothetical - one of the three in the starting rotation gets hurt or suffers an injury - Nova and whoever else has to step in.

Depth in the system never hurts don't trade it away.

Crash said...

So you would rather miss a chance at the world series, even possibility of playoffs for not only this year but probably the next couple of years because of potential injuries to an aged SS, who has publicly stated he's not changing positions? Talk about short sighted. Since you're all into the hypothetical arguments, Nunez may "hypothetically" be the next Bobby Meacham. And for the record last year Jeter's defensive range factors are nearly identical to Nunez. What's that means for a younger more athletic SS, Nunez isn't covering any more ground than Jeter.

If Cashman is the "Chief Spending Officer" of the Yankees, he needs to go back to economics 101, sell when demand is at it's highest. Right now the kids are full of promise and potential and under team control for the next 5 years. The hit the big leagues and struggle or get injured and you missed the opportunity. Which is par for the course this offseason for Cashman.

old professor said...

Let's talk facts regarding who could and could not help the Yankees. Last season, the Yankees traded Zach MacAllister (up and coming prospect at triple a) to the Indians for Austin Kearns. Kearns hit a woeful .235 for the Yankees was not on the playoff roster and eventually became a free agent: oh yes and he just signed with the Indians so that team has Kearns back and MacAllister. The Yankees traded with Houston for an aging an oft injuried first baseman/outfielder who became their dh (okay so he was friends with Andy Pettitte). To get him they traded Mark Malanchon who the Yankees seemed to give up on (once projected as being the heir apparent to Mo). Berkman hit a couple of homeruns played uninspired ball in the playoffs and has left via free agency. Melancon did well in his 25+games with Houston.

And I don't want to belabor the Kennedy, Jackson, Coke issue anymore, but the Yankees got hosed on that trade. (Would we be looking at needing to bolster the rotation or pen if we would have and wondering who will play left field if we had kept those guys).

Sometimes you have to be willing to step back and allow your system to develop. The core of the team the Yankees fielded last year will be back (older but back). Tex will be back at first and hopefully healthy, Cano, Jeter, A-Rod, Swisher, and Granderson will all be back. Gardner has had surgery that should put him at 100%. Yankees did two months last year relying on Sabbathia and Hughes. Pettitte was out Burnett was well Burnett and Vazquez eventually was banished to River Ave.

Nova will fit at number 4 and the Yankees have a number of prospects at Triple and Double A that will be given a shot. Just like the Royals gave a young Grenke a shot and the Mariners gave a prospect named Hernandez a shot, the Yankees should look to their prospects.

Crash said...

The Royals actually approached the Yankees about Greinke. Greinke said he would waive his no trade clause to play in NY. Royals wanted Montero and Nunez. Yankees were afraid Greinke wasn't a fit for NY and couldn't take the pressure so they didn't do the trade. If this is truly the only reason they didn't make the trade then I do not hesitate to send these guys in a package to Seattle for Felix Hernandez.

Mid said...

No way greinke had the mental goods to play in NY . . . I mean he found it stressful to play in KC for crying out loud . . the Brewers should be a good fit for him . . though I do not believe that the Brew crew will accomplish to much more than KC

old professor said...

Crash, read the article in the NY Post. The Yankees and Royals had discussions at the winter meetings regarding Grienke. The Royals wanted Montero, Nunez and the two young stud pitchers that will be in Triple A this season. The four top prospects in the system are not worth Grienke.

I am not thrilled with the moves the Yankees are making this off season so far. Prior may be the only bright spot I can see other than the signing of Martin.

I still believe Freddie Garcia is a good option for a number four starter (younger and I believe more durable than Pettitte - still prefer Pettitte) and they really need to consider taking a flyer on Chris Young who is recovering from injury as is Brandon Webb.

As for the pen - let's be real the only quality guy still floating around is Soriano - yes he will be the primary set up man, but he could also be used in save situations to give Mo a rest. Mo for two days Soriano on day three. And in two years, he is your closer.

Crash said...

The Yankees don't want to spend the money on Soriano. They really want Soria from the Royals but they are hanging on to him...for now.

Yeah it really bothers me the Yankees haven't done much of anything. With all the questions in the rotation I'm shocked they haven't tried a low risk/high reward guy like Brandon Webb or Chris Young. One is a recent CY Young winner, and the other was in contention for one. The only reason they may not be interested in them is because they will want a major league deal which means a roster spot. You could probably get them on a 1 year deal for less than $5MM. It's not like these guys have a dozen teams after them, like Sheets had last year (which was a bust: 119 IP, 4-9 record, 4.53 ERA). In fact Sheets probably hurt their market value this year.

So on my morning drive today, I was listening to MLBRadio and they started an Interview with Ruben Amaro Jr (Phillies GM) and how he landed Cliff Lee...I started to feel sick so I turned it to ESPN and they started talking about the Eagles...UGH...Hair Nation and Bone Yard for the rest of the ride.

old professor said...

The Yankees have, I believe four roster spots available on the major league roster. They need to move forward and look at the major league "talent" available to give them a number 4 and/or 5 starter. They seem transfixed with the idea to wait for Andy Pettitte to make a decision. It is almost Christmas and the phone has not rung - MOVE ON.

Nova may be a good choice for a rotation spot - if he learned from last year's experience. But Mitre, come on, there comes a point when you have to admit the guy is not going to win you a lot of games nor is he going to go deep into any game he starts. Somehow, I believe hanging on to him has got to do more with Girardi loyalty than talent.

Hey look at the bright side, if this is going to be a rebuilding year, there may be a lot of cheap tickets available to take in games - or the price of suite tickets may actually drop somewhat too.

Crash said...

Read that Post article on what the Royals had asked for...I would not trade either Dellin Betances or Manuel Banuelos. Betances and Banuelos are rated much higher than Nova and we saw what he did last year. I would include one of them in a deal for Hernandez but that is probably the only person I would do it for.

I agree Andy needs to shit or get off the pot. If he wants to see the kids at school give him a Clemens like deal where he doesn't come in until June 1st.

old professor said...

While the Yankees are contemplating who to bring in that still has an arm attached to their shoulder (reference:Brandon Webb, Freddie Garcia, Chris Young)one name that seems to be slipping under the radar is Jeremy Bonderman. Here is a pithcer the Tigers had really high hopes for had a couple of good years pitched a little in 2009 and had soome arm trouble and last year I believe he went 8-10 with a high ERA (North of .500), but still started 29 games.

He is still relatively young (28) may have come back last year too soon and may be worth a look. (Let's be real, he threw 179 innings last year and would be a better option that Mitre).

Not sure his who his agent is but he probably would be able to come in relatively cheap and maybe a change of address would be beneficial.

Crash said...

I don't disagree with that as an option Bonderman if healthy could eat innings. And you could a lot worse than that as your number 5 guy.

With Pettitte telling Cashman "don't count on me being there", the Yankees may need a bigger arm. Fausto Carmona may be a better option via trade. Not sure what the Indians would be asking though. Carmona is a good #3 guy. You have to figure Hughes would be asked to step up to #2, Carmona, then AJ, then Nova?

old professor said...

Nova may be the only option for #5. He apparently had an outstanding winter ball season and is ready to step up.

Crash said...

I see the Yankees tied to several rumors involving trades for White Sox starters. Least likely is Buehrle, but Edwin Jackson, John Danks, or Gavni Floyd all could be realistic. However all deals involve at least one of the following Gardner, Montero, Betances or Banuelos. For the talent coming back I wouldn't offer any of those guys to be honest. I would rather go into the season with Nova and sign a pitcher.

Crash said...

Now there are Damon rumors??? Cashman really is clueless this offseason.

old professor said...

If the team is serious in bringing Damon back, someone else will be on the move. He can still hit, but he is somewhat defensively challenged now that he is 37 (hey it would make sense: Jeter 37, Posada 39, A-Rod soon to be 37).

It could also mean the Yankees are not sure how Brett Gardner is going to recover from wrist surgery (can we say Nick Johnson). My guess is Gardner will be okay to play defensively, but will not be able to swing a bat successfully until mid-May . Damon would also allow the Yankees the flexibility to rest their outfielders. And realistically there is no telling how Granderson is going to respond to hitting right handed again - Damon does not have problems hitting left handed pitching.

Yankees are also looking at Jeff Francis - oft injured lefty formerly of the Rockies. Apparently medical reports are good and his velocity is back. He may not fit in Yankee plans because he is only 31.

Crash said...

The are in the hunt for Francis, who's coming off a shoulder injury and is historically .500 pitcher (55-50 for the career) with a 4.77 ERA. Yet they won't consider Webb, Wang, Young. You ng has nearly a .600 win % and an ERA in the 3's. He came back last year making 4 starts, going 2-0 with an ERA under 1.00!!!The only bad thing with Young is he has never gone 200+ IP, Francis only did it once. Webb won the CY Yong in 2006 and finished 2nd in both '07 and '08.

Cashman is just illogical and is making poor decisions. So frustrating right now.

Joel Sherman is on XM radio giving very good insight on Girardi, Pettitte, Burnette, and the Yankee farm system. Yankees farm is regarded as one of the deepest in terms of pitching talent. Yankees should begin to see that in 2012. Sounds like the Yankees are already set to write this season off.

Crash said...

Webb signs with the Rangers.

Crash said...

Giants played like crap...I don't understand how players at "skill" positions can be so careless with the ball.

Yankees news...basically none, except i saw something that had Yankees interested in Andruw Jones???

Webb's deal is for $3MM guaranteed with a bunch of incentives that I think could escalate to $10MM with incentives. I hear a lot of people saying that's a very high contract with high risk...I see that contract and think why weren't the Yankees there.

old professor said...

Odd that you mention Webb - NY Post indicated this morning the Rangers were interested and the Yankees were keeping options open. I believe they will look at three pitchers when it comes down to making some final decisions: Freddie Garcia (better option than either Nova or Mitre), Chris Young, who is recovering from a shoulder strain (also better than Nova and Mitre) and finally Jeff Francis (see previous comments regarding Nova and Mitre).

Giants skilled players are lazy and cannot keep their concentration. There is no reason the team has six turnovers in a game. It also looks as if Eli has regressed, he is forcing the ball into areas and he and his receivers are not on the same page when it comes to cutting in or out.

Giants will not make the playoffs, and the coaching staff will be let go. It is also amazing that when you look at what the Giants do in the draft compared to what other teams do, someone has their head up their ass when judging talent.

Their first two picks in the draft were gambles and are only now starting to pay dividends. I also wonder if the team is having second thoughts about trading Rivers for Manning.

Crash said...

I don't agree about Eli. Even though Eli has thrown a career high in INT's and leads the league (second is Drew Brees) I think the majority of his INTs are on the WR. I think Eli is actually too good for his receivers. He throws where the receivers should be, it's the receivers that blow the route or have a ball go through their hands. I'm not saying Eli hasn't made bad throws, because the interceptions that are his fault are the ugliest passes you see on a football field. I'm saying in this case his personal stats are not accurate portrayal of his performance, he is completing 63% of his passes and has a career high in TDs.

Given that...when your QB leads the league in INTs and your RB leads the league in fumbles, you're not going to win too many games.

old professor said...

Now the long wait. Giants are out of the playoffs. Rumors abound as to who the Yankees may be interested in: latest is there may be interest in Bartolo Colon - Are you kidding me???? He has not pitched in the majors since 2009, but the Yankees may be interested. Hey why not try and talk Mussina into coming out of retirement.

This could be a sign of how desperate the Yankees are for pitching for this years rotation. Colon was finished in 2009 and may be healthy now but is two years older. Kei Igwa may be more serviceable.

Crash said...

The Giants missing the playoffs this year is very disappointing. Their season was literally defined by 4 1/2 quarters this year. the last 7:30 of the Philly game and the following week against the Packers. Turnovers killed the team. The offense did well despite not having Hixon all year, Smith, and Nicks each missing significant time in the second half, and an O-line that got beat up missing 2 main players in Snea and O'Hara. Then loosing Seubert yesterday didn't help either. Eli had yet another INT as the result of dropped ball by the WR. Hit the guy in the hands yet turns into an INT. There at least half a dozen INTs that were on the WR, not Eli. Bradshaw and Jacobs need to learn to secure the ball, like the change Tiki made. Both fumbled too much and at costly times. Despite the "improvement" in the Defense I couldn't help but notice the Giants secondary still stinks. The last 3 weeks I saw Thomas get burned on nearly every scoring play. Ross was playing out of position and guys were left wide open. The Secondary has been an issue with the Giants for the last decade. Don't know why they can't get that fixed.

2 years in a row now for the Giants missing the playoffs. Not good!

As bad as that is, I was watching the year in review on MLB Network and was still upset at how disinterested the Yankees seemed to be in the ALCS against the Rangers.

6 weeks until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, 8 weeks until the first spring game. It's starting to get late to still have questions in the rotation. Colon has apparently looked real impressive in the Dominican league. Not sure how that translates to MLB though. I think Cashman will just use warm bodies until the trade market establishes itself in June/July.

old professor said...

The Giants not making the playoffs was disappointing, but whether they missed the playoffs or were eliminated in the first round the result is the same - they never had a chance at going to the Super Bowl.

The offensive line WAS one of their strengths, however, they are an aging unit and there is not much to fill in when you look at the depth (or lack of).

This may be the weakness that will seal the giants - aging lineman and no real apparent depth at any position. Be real, if Manning went down how confident can you be in Sage Rosenfeld? The teams linebacking corp was weak and there was no depth to make any of them perform up to their capabilities. Their safeties played way to soft.

These problems can be laid at the feet of the GM. Most teams had substantial depth to fill in.

As for the Yankees, this off season is really puzzling. All of the teams in the division (with the exception of Tampa) are bolstering their lineups signing good free agents and will make a tough division, tougher and through it all the Yankees concentrated on signing Jeter and putting all of their efforts into Lee (with no plan B).

Crash said...

I disagree about the Giants not having a chance at the Super Bowl. If you make the tournament you have a shot. Which is the scary thing about Seattle. Imagine if they make it to the Super Bowl somehow?!?!?

The Yankees/Cashman offseason reminds me of a .200 power's all or nothing. They swung as hard as they could at Cliff Lee and missed. Now they got nothing.

Crash said...

Yankees are interested in Bonderman. Another pitcher who has had significant shoulder problems. At least he's young, 28. Still can't figure out the Yankees offseason.

old professor said...

The Yankee off-season can be described in the following manner - throw enough crap against a wall and see what sticks (or is it stinks).

You keep hearing this is a team that won 95 games last year and is pretty much coming back. Oh really? The team will be without an eleven game winner (that brings us down to 84 wins), without the strong bridge to Mo (scratch a couple of more wins) and all of the players who were old last year (A-Rod, Posada, Jeter and Mo) are one year older.

All of a sudden you are looking at a team with the potential to finish 81-81. I still believe the best option for the Yankees for a #4 or 5 starter could be Freddie Garcia (though they still are expressing serious interest in Jeff Francis). Somehow I have a feeling the Yankees are waiting for a final decision from Pettitte and by all indications that should come this week.

Crash said...

Let's have a little wake up call...even if Pettitte comes back, you're probably talking about 12-15 W's with an ERA around 4.00. I think last year was an exception, he was on a downward trend until last year in most of important stats. Now there is probably no one I want to see take the ball in October more than Pettitte, and I definitely want him back this year, but maybe the Yankees are just looking for an arm that will get them double digit wins with a pretty comparable ERA. Pettitte solidifies the rotation but he's not the savior.

Changing topics a bit...rumor has it Soriano has dropped his asking price to $8-10MM and is looking for 4 years. If I'm Cashman I'm at least making an offer. It immediately gives the Yankees one of the best bullpens in the game and secures a legit back up for Mo if he gets hurt and is the immediate heir apparent when he retires in 2 years.

old professor said...

Crash, as you put it the Yankees are looking for someone to give them 12-15 wins. Do you think Nova or Mitre will give you close to that number?

The only way they get someone that can give them that many wins is if they are willing to trade the farm system which is not a sound move. Any team that has a serviceable pitcher (many anything that is a better option than Mitre) will hold the Yankees up for paying an overvalue amount. The point I tried to make is the Yankees are sniffing around serviceable free agents apparently waiting for Pettitte to make his retirement official. How many times does he have to tell them to proceed as if he is not coming back.

Freddie Garcia will give them 10-12 wins and is five or six years younger than Pettitte. It almost appears as if the team is trying to paint a picture that there really isn't anything out there hoping that Pettitte will, out of loyalty, come back for one more year. With the staff they currently have, they are going to need someone (other than CC) to eat innings. Garcia will give them that. Bonderman is another option, but with shoulder issues, he is not going to give a lot of innings.

If the Yankees are willing to basically give up on the season to allow some of their younger arms to develop than they should come out and say that instead of saying patience is their approach.

Crash said...

Glad to see Alomar in the HOF. Don't really care about Blylevin getting in one way or the other. To me Blylevin had to make noise and cry about it for 14 years before he got in. I think it's good in the sense that it opens doors for other non-300 game Jack Morris who should get in the next year or 2, or even Mussina when he becomes eligible.

Mattingly continues to fall in the vote totals.

I'm disappointed that Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines didn't get more votes. Larkin will get in next year and rightfully so.

When I was younger the HOF was filled with a bunch of old guys I didn't know except for big names like Ruth, Gerhig, Dimaggio, Mantle, etc. Now it seems really odd that players I watched as a kid are now getting in.

old professor said...

Crash, regarding players that you watched as a kid now getting into the HOF that is an indication that you are getting OLDER. Hey most of the guys I watched growing up are now dead (or will be in a very short period of time).

When you look at some of the original HOF members, you wonder how they would do in today's game. Ty Cobb for example was a great hitter and I believe has the all-time highest career batting average of anyone in the Hall. He hit in an era of the "Dead Ball". What could he have done with the baseballs of today? Ruth hit 60 homeruns in the dead ball era and that year his total surpassed the combined totals of half of the rest of major league baseball. You wonder what he could have done in todays era.

By the way big news out of the Yankee camp. They claim off of waivers a pticher from the Cubs who was 0-1 with a 12.35 ERA. Oh and for that excellence he is now on the 40 man roster. The 40 man roster for the Yankees stands at 39, which has to be reserved for a startiing pitcher - I would guess.

old professor said...

It is interesting when you look at some of the quality free agents available why there is not some interest.

Pitching wise, you have: Freddie Garcia, Chris Young, Jeremy Bonderman, Kevin Milwood, and Jeff Francis all tested arms though Milwood seems to have gotten old very quickly in Baltimore.

(Yet the Yankees are signing individuals with ERA's North of 12.

Relief wise: Brian Fuentes and Rafel Soriano are still out there and both have experience as closers.

What I really find odd is the number of quality DH's left: Jim Thome (aging, but can still hit) Vlad (there isn't a pitch he can't reach and hit) and Damon who could also be a fourth outfielder if necessary.

I am also amazed that the Yankees seem to need a backup infielder and won't look at Jerry Hairston who they traded for in 2009.

Crash said...

I'm not worried about a backup infielder. I want the rotation settled and the bullpen beefed up. Boras is floating the "open to setup for the Yankees" line for Soriano. I have to believe that's because he knows no one else is even sniffing around due to the price tag and he figures the Yankees have a boatload of money left due to the Lee fiasco.

Old Prof you kept asking for Freddy Garcia now there seems to be some movement on that front. I wouldn't touch Millwood. He got lit up when he moved to the AL East. Maybe a winning environment would reignite the competitive juices again. I see he more a fit in Minnesota if they can't land Pavano.

old professor said...

Reporters talked with Pettitte yesterday and he indicated he has still not made a decision regarding returning. With Spring Training 5 weeks away he knows he has to start some kind of routine to get ready. If he has not started that then he is not coming back.

The Yankees seem to be in somewhat of a conundrum regarding their young pitchers in the system. Cashman clearly states he does not believe the big three (the three B's) are not ready for the majors yet. However, if they are going to make a trade for a quality pitcher, then the team they trade with is going to want someone who is major league ready. How can the Yankees use one or more as trade bait when the team doesn't think that any of them are ready for prime time?

As for Freddie Garcia, he would be a good option as a number 4 and thus take the pressure off of Nova. I am not sure about the Bonderman status. As for Soriano willing to take a set up role - The Yankees should look seriously at that option. In addition, he has lowered his price tag.

Crash said...

I was actually very excited that the Yankees were "interested" in I'm reading that the Yankees would only want him short term 1-2 years and he would have to drop his salary demands of closer money.

The Yankees continue to baffle me with stuff like this. Soriano is already a proven elite closer, he's young(ish) at a 4 year deal would still have him out by the time he's 35 (note they are still hoping for the return of a 38 year old pitcher, they were willing to go 7 years on a 32 year old pitcher and their current closer is 41), he would be able to fill in seamlessly if Rivera went down or needed rest and could fill the role once/if Rivera retires. It would hands down give the Yankees the best bullpen in the game. Games would be cut to 6 innings. You could go with Logan, Joba, and Robertson in the 7th, 8th Soriano, 9th Rivera.

Pay him a base of $8MM, then give him escalators based on saves, especially the last 2 years of the deal, that could push him to $13-15MM.

Makes no sense...I want Cashman FIRED!!!

old professor said...

The Yankees may be thinking about Soriano and indicating they are not willing to pay closer money, however, it still comes down to waiting for Pettitte. They have one slot left on the 40 man roster (not necessarily a big deal), but the payroll is at about $170 million. They nead to determine how much they will pay Pettitte (if he comes back - $12-15 million??); sign a fourth outfielder and another infielder. Now you will be in the neighborhood of $185-187 million.

If they are truly going to keep the budget at $200 million, Soriano should be able to fit. Regarding length of the contract, I may be wrong, but Soriano in his past has had shoulder and/or elbow problems and last year was his true breakout year. I would speculate three years with a fourth as an option year.

Once all that is done, the issue will then become the 40 man roster. If Pettitte returns (or they sign another starter) add a reserve infielder, fourth outfielder and Soriano that turns out to be four people on a 40 man roster that already has 39 slots taken - that means three people have to be released or outrighted.

The team also has to start looking at 2012 - Posada gone, A-Rod to mostly DH and Laird to third?????

Crash said...

Soriano has not had shoulder problems, but he did have TJS back in 2004, and another shoulder surgery in '08.

I'm not concerned with 2012 yet. And I'm certainly not worried about Posada leaving freeing up the DH spot. I would imagine you're right though A-Rod would most likely be splitting time there with Jeter.

Crash said...

Garza officially traded to Cubs for a heap of minor league players (well I guess official pending physicals). Potential impact to Yankees...they were rumored to be interested in Zambrano a month ago, if they planned on making a trade at the deadline because the Cubs would be out of it, this may have thrown a wrench into that. Garza makes the rotation deep and the Cubs may be in contention in the weak NL Central.

old professor said...

Crash, you indicate that Soriano has not had shoulder problems, but did have Tommy John Surgery and some shoulder issue in 2008 - that would confirm that he had some shoulder problem. I don't believe offering the guy a three year contract should be a serious issue.

Regarding Garza going to the Cubs, this would give the Cubs six starters for their rotation: Garza, Zambrano, Dembster, Wells, Gorzalanny, and Silva. The trade for Garza gives the Cubs the flexiablilty to trade someone (though to be honest I don't believe they were overly enthused about Carlos Silva last year (he was 10-6 with an ERA of 4.22). The last time Silva pitched in the American League was with the Mariners in 08 and 09. In those two years, he went 4-15 and 1-3 with ERA's of 6.49 and 8.60). So Silva may be the odd man out, but who knows.

Pettitte by keeping the Yankees waiting is hurting the teams ability to make a decision. They don't want to make a move without hearing from him while he has told them to make decisions as if he is not coming back. The team would like to have him back, but can't wait forever for him and once they make a move and sign someone, my guess is he announces his formal retirement.

Crash said...

Sorry...didn't mean shoulder, Soriano's injury history is all ELBOW related, not shoulder.

Andy Pettitte tells Yankees to "Just go on"...that's not a good signal. Yankees need to stop waiting and go on.

Crash said...

Listening to Bill Madden on MLB Radio this morning. He says Cashman offered Montero and Nunez to the Royals for Soria, but they weren't interested. Cashman doesn't want Soriano because apparently he isn't a team player. He does his own workouts, refuses to run with the other pitchers. He would take days off and would tell Joe Madden he wasn't available to pitch. He would apparently cherry pick saves to boost his stats to get the big pay day. This is why Cashman doesn't want to lose their first round pick for him.

He also indicated that the Yankees while publicly stating they're not waiting on Pettitte, they believe he is coming back if only because he hasn't officially announced he isn't. To me it sounds like Pettitte wants a Clemens like deal where he shows up in May or June.

old professor said...

Cashman has now come out and indicated they are no longer interested in Soriano because it would cost them a first round pick. Cashman has told his scouting department to move forward with the idea they will have a first round pick.

Bonderman by the way had circulation problems in his pitching shoulder and appears to be a year removed from the issue. The kid is 28 years old and could be worth taking a flyer on.

Sympathies go out to Dallas Greem and his son John in the death of John's nine year old daughter who was killed in the Tucson shooting.

Crash said...

And by the way I do take some joy in knowing the Eagles lost yesterday. The Packers are playing really well at the right time and could end up in the Super Bowl. I think they beat Atlanta next week. They are the only team that could match up against the Patriots.

old professor said...

The way to get around Soriano paddiing his numbers and taking nights off would be to give him a base contract loaded with incentives. The Yankees not wanting to give up a draft choice may be a good move. I have heard this years draft is a partidcularly good one so the Yankees could actually end up with decent talent in the draft. Having said that, I am not sure they have always done really well in the draft. Brackman, et al are prospects that are one or two years away from competing.

May jhave to be in Tampa for three days in March for training purposes -hopefully I can take in a spring trainning game.

Crash said...

You have to love this quote from Cashman:
"We're very protective of our draft picks, and we have been for years,"

Is he F'ing kidding?!?!? This guy may have certifiably lost his mind. What organization has he been in for the last 20 years??? The Yankees have rarely done well in the draft and when they did they most likely trade those players away. Yes they "Core Four" and Bernie were great, and Cano, and now Hughes and maybe Gardner turned out well. But there's a 10 year gap between when Jeter showed up in the Bronx (1995) and Cano (2005). Hughes & Joba come up in 2007, Gardner in 2008.

Using that as an excuse not to go after a Type A free agent is absurd. The Yankees have the 31st pick of the draft.

old professor said...

Interesting commentary on sports link regarding the possible reason why Pettitte has not commited to play this year - Title of the commentary is Fear Factor. Apparently, Pettitte will be testifying this summer in the federal trial against Roger Clemens and he is the federal government's star witness. There are those that say he does not have the stomach for a long season and what will turn into a real court drama as Clemens and his attorneys try to bring Pettitte's credability into question.

I don't believe the premise behind the article. Pettitte basically stood up and admitted using growth hormones and was willing to deal with the consequences. He and Clemens have not spoken since Pettittes testimony before congress and are no longer friends.

Pettitte has more intestinal fortitude than Clemens ever had and cannot believe he is not committing to play because of the upcoming trial.

I do agree with your assessment of Cashman. Something really odd seems to be going on in the organization - a lack of vision and commitment to the growth and success of the organization.

Crash said...

I think Pettitte may be thinking that he knows it will be circus before and after he testifies. No need to put teammates through that again. Plus if he's the star witness, he could miss a couple starts or so. His head may not be in the right place leading up to and immediately after. All of a sudden you essentially missed a month of the season.

Looks like Andruw Jones will be signed as the Yankees 4th OF this year. Better glove than Thames, but I don't think you will see the same offensive production, maybe power wise (Thames had 12HR, while Jones had 19)...but Jones also finished the season batting .230 while Thames was .288, though he did have 100 or so fewer AB's.

Pretty entertaining BCS Championship game last night. With no Giants in the playoffs and spring training still 5 weeks out, I guess I turn to College basketball for a little while. Syracuse is currently undefeated (16-0) and ranked #4 in the country and conference play has already started. Pitt has a good team this year (think they are #5 now) and should be the only real competition in the Big East for 'Cuse this year. The Orange are well on their way to securing a #1 seed in the tourney.

old professor said...

Crash, stick to baseball as for the Big East and basketball, Pitt is number 5 and UConn is number 8. The Orange looked sloppy against Seaton Hall and if they play like that against either Pitt or UConn, they will suddenly have two loses and be out of the top 10.

Andruw Jones can play all three outfield positions where Thames was a liability in the outfield. Power wise, they are pretty much equal. What I am not sure of is the clubhouse/bench chemistry. Thames was a consumate professional and a good club house guy to have around. I don't know if Jones is the same quality. What I do know is that Thames stayed in shape and ready to play at all times. It was a few years ago that Jones good have been a candidate for a fat farm.

Yankees are still looking at Garcia. Have not heard much interest in Bonderman, but it would seem to me that Bonderman would have more of an upside - being four years younger and two years removed from arm issues. The only question would be if he could eat the innings that Garcia might be able to.

Crash said...

Yankees interested in Justin Duchscherer...this is intriguing on a couple different levels. First he has been dominant in both the rotation and the bullpen, even a little as a closer. Yes there are injuries. But his last season ending injury was a hip, not elbow or shoulder. Think it was the same thing A-Rod had. He may be nice piece if healthy. Even if he gets healthy by June, that's a nice starter to add at that time.

old professor said...

It is interesting to still see some of the names that are out there as free agents and you have to wonder if they are at the end of their careers: Damon, Vlad, Thome, Ramerez are all still waiting for the phone to ring. All are somewhat defensively challenged so they may be waiting a long time.

Pitching wise , Ian Snell (he of former Pirate fame traded to the Mariners - young and has a good arm though his head apparently is not screwed on tightly), Steven Jackson - also a former pirate who came from the Yankees in the Octavio Dotel trade. Jeff Weaver went 5-1 for the Dodgers last year is still relatively young and healthy (Yankees thought so much of him a few years ago they got involved in a three team trade to acquire him). And if the Yankees need relief help, why don't they look at Jon Rauch??

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