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Price on Gagne was too high for Yankees

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Jul 31, 2007 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The Yankees could have had Eric Gagne this morning. The cost would have been Melky Cabrera or Ian Kennedy according to people involved in the process.

During a dugout interview session a few minutes ago, Brian Cashman said the cost was prohibitive.

“I couldn’t get (Texas) off certain players,” he said.

The Yankees looked at this way: Gagne is a two-month rental because he wants to wants to close and will re-enter the free-agent market at the end of the season. So for 20-30 innings of work as a set-up man, the Yankees would have had to give up a pitcher who could be in their rotation next season or their starting center fielder.

Cashman says he is confident that they can address their bullpen issues from within. They have these options:

Joba Chamberlain
Jeff Karstens
Chris Britton
Edwar Ramirez

It sounds like Ramirez will be here tomorrow and Chamberlain possibly by the weekend.

They dealt Proctor for several reasons. His poor outings were starting to outnumber is good ones. They also feel that he, Kyle Farnsworth and Brian Bruney are similar pitchers. Ramirez and his changeup will give them a different look.





136 Responses to “Price on Gagne was too high for Yankees”

  1. kasey July 31st, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    so, they wouldn’t come off melky or kennedy, but accepted gabbard and murphy (any confirmation on beltre?) from boston? i’m not buying it, sorry.

    but, whatever. IF that’s the case, then you can’t fault cashman for holding off. losing melky or kennedy would have been too much.

  2. Kill Schill-(ing) July 31st, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    Did the Yankees ever offer Alan Horne?

    Shame on Cashman for not leaving himself an alternative option? Wickman, Dotel, Qualls, etc.

    This bullpen has been an Achilles Heel for a full season and a half and Cashman hasn’t remedied it.

    BTW, Pete, will the Yankees consider promoting Ohlendorf?

  3. Ben July 31st, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    I agree with Cash. I like keeping our young kids, especially because so many of them are close to helping at the ML level.

    Only way I could have seen letting go of Melky was if we planned to sign Hunter or Jones to play CF this offseason, planned NOT to pick up Abreu’s option, planned to shift Matsui to RF and have Damon play CF. Otherwise, I think our OF this year looks a lot like our four OFs for next year.

  4. eric July 31st, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    I know this might be a bit of a conspiracy theory but…could the Rangers be a bit annoyed that they are paying the Yankees about $30 million over 3 years (if he doesn’t opt out) for a guy who’s about to win another MVP? It sure seems like they wanted more from the Yankees than what they got from Boston.

  5. Stuart July 31st, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Look at melky’s #’s.. The guy is 22, he has a chance to be a very good player…

    He has a good mind, plays hard, and can hit…….

  6. S.o.S.27 July 31st, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Maybe they thought they got screwed in the A-rod trade and wanted to make sure they got the better end of it this time around.

  7. Jax July 31st, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Good I’m happy for Ramirez. I thought he kind of got a raw deal the first time he was up here. Torr barely used him. I think he could help the pen too but if the manager isn’t going to use him it won’t matter.

  8. Ben July 31st, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    Ohlendorf has only just moved to the Pen. I think they will want to see some IPs out of him there before promoting him. Obviously, the initial results were good, though.

  9. YanksFanLV July 31st, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    The Rangers didn’t even give the Yanks a chance to get Gagne. It wouldn’t suprise me if they are a little miffed still at the A-Rod trade. I don’t understand the Red Sox picking up Gagne, seems like a total keep away play. Lastly, why not send Farnsworth to AAA to work out some stuff. Obviously he isn’t getting it done with the big league club and he isn’t going to be seeing that much time on the mound because Joe doesn’t trust him.

  10. whoa July 31st, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Trading Melky even up for Gagne would have been indicative of a low IQ.

    If they can get Torre to actually use Ramirez, this might work. If not, Cash is spinning his wheels.

  11. We Miss Paulie July 31st, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    I wonder what Rivera thinks?

  12. JFud25 July 31st, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    At least Edwar will get major league money now, cause he certainly is not going to pitch unless the Yanks are up or down 12 runs in the 8th inning or later.

  13. sean July 31st, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    i dont mind cashman not making any big moves. i think all the major weaknesses can be adressed from within. no need to give up the farm when we can use those same players to help now and the future. im also real glad ramirez is getting another shot. he wasnt treated fairly last time.

  14. Steve Dvorak July 31st, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    Seems like everyone feels like the Yanks have become worse or that the season is now suddenly over just because we missed out on Gagne and didn’t dump Farns.

    Not true. Yanks have been playing great (overall) for the past month; getting Hughes, Joba, Giambi and Betemit and – probably don’t have to worry about Igawa making any more starts this year.

    The wildcard is still very possible. Plus – there’s no guarantee that the Sox don’t suffer some significant injury, can’t count on it, but some of those arms and knees and shoulders could give out soon.

  15. sammy July 31st, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    I guess, from Peter’s post… I go to what Doreen said in an earlier post.

    the only potential upside? Joe’s got to be more creative in the bullpen now… since he’s lost one of his workhorses. We’ll see if that happens.

    go Yanks.
    let’s go get Boston.

  16. jk July 31st, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    The price was much lower for the Red Sox. Pete, do you think Proctor’s pyromaniac episode punched his ticket out?

  17. sammy July 31st, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    I would say this: put Igawa in the bullpen.
    he seemed to be a lot more confident when he made that relief appearance back in… May, was it? He seemed like that was more his cup of tea.

    why not let him come in on relief, and see if he could be the equal to Okajima? (I apologize if I misspelled his name.)

  18. SJ44 July 31st, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    If I owned the team, and Cashman traded Melky or Kennedy for Gagne, and had to fork over 3.6 million in guaranteed incentives (which the Red Sox did to get him to agree to the deal), I would have fired him on the spot.

    They can fix the bullpen with what they have internally. It also would help if Pettitte, Moose and Hughes gives them innings. Clemens and Wang are eating innings.

    If the starters are going 6+, you mean to tell me, Karstans, Chamberlain, Ramirez, Farnsworth, Villone, Vizcaino and Rivera aren’t enough to win games? Of course it is.

    Its about time the Yankees give the younger guys a shot. I am glad they are taking the chance with them.

  19. Ben July 31st, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Hopefully, Joe’s *creativity* does not involve Joba throwing 40 IPs the rest of the way.

  20. Andrew July 31st, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    I still think this was a steal for Boston.

    Granted, the Boston bullpen was good from the start, but it also kept him away from the Yankees. This is going to be crazy in the playoffs for opposing teams to cope with. Six inning game for Boston now.

    I would argue that Kennedy, who is projected to be a no. 3 starter, would have been worth 2 months of Gagne. Imagine Gagne, Vizcaino, Chamberlain and Rivera to close it out.

    Boston just solidified its status as World Series favorites.

  21. Whine, whine, whine July 31st, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    Shame that Cashman isn’t as good a GM as Kasey and the rest of the McD GM crew.

  22. sammy July 31st, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    Ben – unfortunately, that may be the creativity we see should Joba come out throwin’ gas.

  23. Bob from NJ July 31st, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    For all of you “conspiracy theory” buffs, Daniels was not the GM for the Soriano trade. He is interested in one thing: making the best possible moves so he can hang onto his job. He isn’t out to screw the Yankees or anything like that. He took what he thought was the best offer. He could have pushed Cash too hard, figuring the Yanks would fold, and then Cash backed out completely. Who knows. Point is, the guy has one objective, and that’s too make the Rangers better.

  24. sammy July 31st, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    SJ44 – I don’t think they would’ve needed the 3.6 million in incentives, based on Gagne’s contract. He couldn’t have objected to a trade here; he had to approve the trade to Boston.

    I think that addresses your point. If not, I apologize for misinterpreting.

  25. Bob from NJ July 31st, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    SJ44 – the Yanks would not have had to fork over any incentive guarantees. The Yanks were on the list of teams he could not veto…he would have had no choice but to come and pitch with his current contract.

  26. KAJ July 31st, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    what about Farnsworth, Pete ? Krazy Kyle ? Did you ask what the HALE we are going to do with that jerk now ???

  27. whozat July 31st, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    “Lastly, why not send Farnsworth to AAA to work out some stuff.”

    He doesn’t have options. They can’t send him to the minors without exposing him to waivers. And, I don’t think he has to accept the assignment, even if he does clear waivers.

  28. whozat July 31st, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    I would argue that Kennedy, who is projected to be a no. 3 starter, would have been worth 2 months of Gagne.

    Seriously? A cheap #4 starter from 2008/9-2014/15 is worth two months of an injury-prone reliever?

    Are you crazy?

  29. Jim Johnson July 31st, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    Of course Igawa would be better in the pen. He would have no idea when he is supposed to pitch, so he won’t jog for 2 hours then do wind sprints before his start.

  30. sammy July 31st, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    no one wanted Franny.
    he’s got a live arm but a dead head and a bad attitude.
    why would a contender want that, after seeing how he’s done so far this year?

    not to mention… I think SJ44 said this in an earlier post… that he’s due $7-plus million. Even if he didn’t have the ‘tude, why would anyone want to gamble that on someone of Franny’s caliber?

    I can walk lead-off batters in late innings, and I would play for the new minimum wage.

    Franny wasn’t going anywhere, and I think they knew that early on.

  31. rbizzler July 31st, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    I am relieved as the Yanks are still poised to have young stud arms in the future and are stocked for a blockbuster in the offseason if the opportunity presents itself.

    Now, we get to see if blog all-stars Ramirez and possibly Britton (when healthy) can get the job done. But, Edwar most certainly will not be pitching the 8th.

    Kudos to the Sox for realizing that they have a window to win it this year and went for the jugular. This marks the end of their complaining about the Yanks buying championships. With a 250+ million dollar offseason and adding a 4 million dollar chip in Gagne, they seem to have taken a page out of the Yankees 2000-06 playbook. Hope it works out as well for them as it did for us.

  32. youngtimer July 31st, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    Way to protect Melky. I never liked Gagne anyway.

  33. youngtimer July 31st, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    Sammy — you did misspell his name. It’s spelled “Chokeaweinah.”

  34. randyhater July 31st, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    Daniels is hanging onto his job by his fingernails, but he’ll take less talent from Boston in a deal just to spite us? That’s absurd.

    Bottom line, Cash got his pants pulled down again. No way would I have done Melky, but a package built around Horne and Gardner, or Kennedy straight up? To strengthen our main weakness, c*ckblock Boston, and add draft picks in the bargain? Why not?

    I know Kennedy’s been putting up big numbers but so did last year’s soft-tossing untouchable, Tyler Clippard. Notice no one’s kicking down the door for him anymore. Also, there is no way we’re going into next year with 3 rookies in the rotation. Assuming Hughes and Chamberlin pan out, that leaves Kennedy and Horne as insurance guys. Sure that’s nice to have, but if we end up out of the playoffs this year, with no A-Rod next year and Jeter, Posada, and Mo a year older, are we really better off? Not to me.

  35. steve July 31st, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    Pete — I think a key question isn’t whether the Yankees should have given up Melky or Kennedy for a few months of Gagne, but why it seems that Texas was demanding more from NY than Boston. Is that true, and if so, why? Or was it that Epstein was a better negotiator than Cashman?

  36. whoa July 31st, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    Just because Daniels wasn’t the GM for the Soriano trade, it doesn’t mean that Hicks wasn’t involved in this trade.

  37. CB July 31st, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    Why did Gagne even put the yankees on that list of 12 teams he would accept a trade to?

    Most likely because he knew they already had Mo and that they wouldn’t make a trade for him.

    Same goes for the mets and billy wagner and why they were on his list.

    Gagne lost out on a lot of money already because of these injuries. Money was clearly a big issue for him this year.

    Boston basically had to “bribe” him to play there.

    Yes he would have had to “accept” a trade but it wouldn’t have been surprising if he created a difficult situation as an unhappy veteran player with one foot out the door as a pending free agent who wants to close.

    Was that a reason not to get him? No. But does that figure into the cost-benefit of getting him? Yes.

    I would have liked Gagne here if the price was right. Giving up Kennedy would have been insane. Not many pitchers move from college to AAA in less than a year and the ones that do tend to very good. The yankees need more young position players like Melky not less, especially for a two month rental while you are 4 games out in the wild card.

    I’m glad they have the internal options to turn to. In past years they would have been desperate and made foolish moves.

    Why do you think Daniels was asking so much from Cashman? Probably because he thought the yankees were desperate to make the playoffs with a win this year at all costs mentality and would have done something foolish.

    In years past they would have. Thankfully under Cashman that has changed.

    I’d rather give the young guys a chance than keep putting band aids on the team year to year – a recipe that has lead to 7 straight years without a world series as it stands.

  38. kasey July 31st, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    randy hater,


  39. sammy July 31st, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    steve – to answer your question, I ask another question… and this may be spot-on, or may be completely off the marker:

    how much is Texas paying the Yanks for A-Rod?

    maybe the answer lies in there.

  40. rbizzler July 31st, 2007 at 6:52 pm

    Randyhater, so you think the package he took from the Sox was good? Murphy is a 26 year old outfielder with decent power who was hitting .280 at AAA. Melky is 22 and hitting .290 in the show (.350 last month). Gabbard is a soft-tossing lefty who has been hot as of late, but doesn’t have a good track record. They will be lucky if he ends up as a long reliever. Check out his minor league stats and then tell me if he projects to be any good. Then take a look at Jeff Marquez in Trenton and tell me who looks like the better pitcher long term. Daniels turned down a sinkerballer to pitch in his bandbox. Kennedy, has a good pedigree and has been killing it all year. No way you deal him for a rental.

    And don’t think that Hicks isn’t involved in the process in Texas – he isn’t just going to turn over his whole show to a kid under 30 with limited experience.

    Like I said earlier, the Yanks are still set up for a blockbuster in the offseason and don’t have to bankrupt the farm to do it.

  41. SJ44 July 31st, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    You don’t trade Ian Kennedy for Eric Gagne. That’s nuts.

    If somebody is comparing Kennedy to Clippard, they obviously haven’t seen Kennedy pitch. They are NOTHING alike.

    Kennedy throws 91-93 consistently. He can spot his fastball and breaking stuff in any count and has a very fluid delivery.

    You don’t go from A ball to AAA in less than a year, and have the success he has had, if you aren’t the real deal.

    Tyler Clippard has never been in the same class of pitcher as Ian Kennedy. Trading him away for a two month rental would have been insane.

    They get the same benefits using Chamberlain out of the ‘pen, without giving up anybody.

    Its tough to discuss prospects with folks for several reasons. One, many of you have never seen them. Two, most Yankee fans HATE prospects because they have been brainwashed to just want all stars at every position.

    However, the game is changing. The most important commodity in the game is young pitching. The Yankees have an abundance of it.

    That will help them in the future. Suppose they have to go out and get a third baseman (like Miguel Cabrera, for example) if Arod bolts? They now have the goods to do so.

    If they choose to keep the guys on hand, all the better. Especially if Arod re-ups.

    Bottom line is, until you see these guys pitch, don’t be so quick to discount them. This is a whole lot different than the soft tossers that have been coming through the organization in recent years.

    Hughes, Chamberlain and Kennedy are the real deal and they will help this team win more games, for a longer period, than Eric Gagne ever would.

    Melky? Its funny, they want Melky but settle for David Murphy, the Red Sox Kevin Thompson. I can’t imagine anybody being upset they didn’t trade Melky for Gagne.

    Sometimes, it just doesn’t work with teams in trade talks. This looks to be one of those situations.

  42. Drive 4-5 July 31st, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    Hard to determinw what bums me out more…Krazy Karl still being here or the Red $ox cementing the division by picking up Gagne. The $ox should stop all the talk about the Yankees being the “Evil Empire.”

    As Dan Shaunessy wrote today in the Boston Globe :”Remember when the Yankees stockpiled stars and contracts like the cold war Soviet Union stacking nuclear missiles? The Red Sox have become the Yankees and John Henry is playing the part of George Steinbrenner with more believability (if less bluster) than Oliver Platt. A team that already has Jonathan Papelbon, Hideki Okajima, and Mike Timlin adds Eric Gagne? The Sox’ stable of starters now is backed by a raft of reliable relievers. The Sox have the best record in baseball and are getting ready to add Gagne and get Curt Schilling back. In one swift trade-deadline motion, the Sox made themselves October favorites while the Yankees slept.”

    The Rangers wanted Melky & Ian Kennedy from the Yanks and took less from the $ox. And now Andy Phillips gets his reward for his excellent play…. a seat on the bench.

    Not a happy day in Yankeeland. The one bright spot is that our 4 best prospects are still with us.

  43. whoa July 31st, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    “I can’t imagine anybody being upset they didn’t trade Melky for Gagne.”

  44. rbizzler July 31st, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    The answer to your inquiry is 67 million over the life of the contract, but 22 million of that is to be paid over the next three years and is contingent on A-Rod not opting out of his deal. Basically, Hicks has paid the Yanks 45 million for A-Rod so far and has been generally ridiculed for it. It would not surprise me if he wanted the Yanks to pay a higher price than the Sox. It certainly seems like they took B/C prospects from the Sox and asked for A/B prospects from the Yanks.

  45. SJ44 July 31st, 2007 at 7:00 pm


    Amazing. Folks can project a 23 year olds ceiling. Too funny.

    I guess the same folks knew Melky would hit over .340 as a starter this year.

    Amazing. I am surprised more teams wouldn’t trade their starting CF for a setup guy with a bad elbow, making 11 million bucks this year.

    What were they thinking?

  46. nick July 31st, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    look, folks, on one level, it burns my ass too that the Sox got Gagne…..but the price, for us, wasn’t right–and to my mind it’s a damn good thing that the front office dosen’t buy into the ESPN-generated “as long as we beat the Sox” schtick.

    Remember back before 2004? There was no rivalry…Sox fans hated the Yanks with a passion, Yanks fans were bored/amused by Sox fans’ obsession. Be nice to get back to the old attitude, wouldn’t it? Yeah, they won the Series. We’ve done that a few times….

  47. nick July 31st, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    Also, if getting Betemit means Cairo is released, that’s a MASSIVE upgrade for us–if it means Philips is benched, not so much….

  48. bill July 31st, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    I’m not going to lose any sleep over not getting Gagne. I think he would have been an injury waiting to happen with how Torre manages his setup men. I don’t remember Clippard ever being an untouchable. I think people overrate a lot of our prospects and underrate the guys that Texas got from Boston. The guys they traded have more upside than Clippard and Gardner and from what i’ve heard Kennedy and Horne are worth more than a rental. I wouldn’t be surprised if next year, Gagne was Boston’s closer and Papelbon was in their rotation. We don’t have that option if we want to keep Mo. Lets give the younger guys a chance they have to be at least as productive as Bruney, Farnsworth and Proctor have been lately. And I’m not sure why everyone is complaining about our bullpen’s performance last year. I remember it being pretty good.

  49. passer by July 31st, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    Kasey/Randy Hater,

    Do you guys even think for a second before questioning the integrity of a person managing a $1B enterprise. Why would Brian Cashman lie. If he said he couldn’t get the rangers to lay off of the top prospects, I believe him. Does it even occur to you guys that in the Rangers opinion the sox offer was better than anything the yankees offer outside of the top 4 prospects. Or that texas could be looking for an ML ready pitcher (given the current state of their rotation) which the yankees dont have outside the top 3? Dont try to act smart. You are not as smart as you think you are (doesn’t mean you are stupid). The sooner you realize it, the better it is for people on the blog.

  50. The Monk July 31st, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    I think the Yanks will trade Farnsworth in the coming weeks. He has the remaining 1/3 of this contract and all 5.75 or so for next year, so no one will claim him on waivers — if they do, the Yanks will turn him into Randy Myers circa 1998. Simply stated, he can be moved. The question is, for whom? If a high-end prospect, that’s fine.

    I doubt Ohlendorf will be in the Bronx — he’s stunk up AAA both as a starter and a reliever. Joba came in and dominated from day one, Kennedy pitched 6 shutout innings in his first appearance, and Hughes has annihilated AAA hitters since his third start. Ohlendorf hasn’t shown MLB quality yet.

    As for Gagne and Papelbon: I think it’s even money that the RedSux re-sign Gagne to close next year. That frees up Papelbon to start, which the denizens of Ratway wanted to have this year, and they can cut Schilling loose.

  51. Albany Yankee July 31st, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    Does anyone here think that the Proctor trade may have been Cashman telling Torre that he has to use other guys out of the pen? Cashman thinks they have the arms in the system, but if you bring them up one at a time, Torre just keeps using Villone, Myers, Proctor, Viz and Mariano. This move takes one of Joe’s safety valves away and now he’ll have to use Edwar and Joba.

    Of course, the Yanks have been trying to get Betemit for over a year, so this could just be the conclusion of a long chase, but I thought maybe moving Proctor opens a door for a younger guy or two.

  52. youngtimer August 1st, 2007 at 8:16 am

    One thing you’re all forgetting – Papelbon doesn’t WANT to start, said so himself when he switched back to the ‘pen earlier this year.

  53. bill August 1st, 2007 at 12:37 pm


    I recall him saying something to that effect – that he preferred remaining the closer but i don’t remember it being issued as a demand. I think he got converted back more because Piniero wasn’t going to work out and they had enough starters that they didn’t need him as a starter. John Smoltz preferred starting but that didn’t keep him from closing when that was the best thing for the braves.

    I could see them saying goodbye to Shilling, keeping Gagne and starting papelbon. I would think Papelbon would be open to this if it was the best thing for the team, this year clearly it wasn’t.

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