Ron writes: Do you think Brian Cashman has been stockpiling young stud pitchers for the trade of the year? I think he’s getting ready to bring Johan Santana to the Yankees.
Answer: I know a lot of fans hope this is the case. But Santana has a no-trade clause in his deal, so if the Yankees are going to deal for him, he’s going to want an extension. Plus the Twins are contenders, so they aren’t just going to deal away their ace. They also have a new stadium being built. Trading Santana would send a bad message.
Russell writes: I noticed Francisco Rodriguez is eligible for free agency after 2008. What do you think the chances are of the Yankees going after him? My personal opinion, but I believe he is the second best closer in the majors behind Rivera.
Answer: K-Rod makes sense on plenty of levels. But I think the ideal plan would be to sign Mo to an extension for two years and then see what develops internally. It could be Scott Proctor, who has plenty of guts. Or maybe Cashman takes one of his many high-ceiling kids and converts him. There’s a theory that every organization has a pitcher who would make a good closer, it’s just a matter of figuring out who that is.
Enigma writes: How about trading for Taylor Tankersley? Yankees need a young lefty with electric stuff like Tankersley
Answer: The Marlins need him, too. Florida isn’t going to shed many 0-3 pitchers without getting plenty in return.
Lloyd from Oregon writes: If the Yankee staff pitches well and the Yankees are doing great then maybe Mr. Cashman and Mr. Torre can have a different thinking about signing Clemens when he gets his act together and figures what he wants to do. If he doesn’t want to sign with New York, then tell him to stay in Houston, but do not let him go to Boston. Next I feel everybody should get off the bandwagon about A-Rod. Sure he did not come through a lot of times at bat, and made some errors in the field. As far as him getting booed, wasn’t it Mickey Mantle that said when they boo you for not coming through in the clutch, you know your a great player and the fans do to, cause they expect you to get a hit every time? And last, I feel with all the loyalty that Bernie Williams has for the Yankees, if they find no place on the roster for him, they should consider offering him a minor league outfield coaching job, telling him to keep in shape, and if somebody goes down in the outfield like what happened last year, there might be a possibility of a place on the roster for him as the season goes on.
Answer: Thanks for reading out in Oregon, Lloyd. I’ve been there and it’s beautiful country. I think Clemens ends up in pinstripes, A-Rod still gets booed and Bernie retires (unless they trade Melky). I’m not sure Bernie would want a job in coaching. If he quits playing, he will turn to his music career.
Jim writes: As a fan of the late 70’s championship Yankee teams, I’m stoked to see many of my childhood heroes with roles within the organization the last few years (most notably Guidry and Mattingly as of late). In your opinion, who are others that you could see filling roles in the future? I’d love to see guys like Nettles, Gossage, and Lyle coaching for us, provided they have value where it is needed.
Answer: Being a coach is a lot of work for nine months. It’s not sitting around telling stories. The coaches work with the players, do a lot of the scouting reports, etc. Not every ex-player is ready for that schedule. Plus the Yankees owe it to their organization to pick the right people, not just old favorites. It has more to do with who the manager trusts and is comfortable with than what team they played for.
Mark writes: Can you please give me your thoughts on the Yankees catcher situation? With Posada getting up in age, is Nieves a viable backup? I see where there are several catchers invited to spring training, namely Todd Pratt. Pratt is a former big league backup catcher and looks to be the only real keeper in the group. Are the other contenders or pretenders?
Answer: It wouldn’t be a mailbag without a backup catcher question. I think Nieves or Pratt would be fine and if they’re not, they’ll find somebody else. Posada was healthy and productive all of last season and seemed rejuvenated working with Tony Pena. I don’t seem rising or falling based on the backup catcher.
Thanks for the e-mail everybody.