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Troubling trends for Santana

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on May 23, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

If you’re not an ESPN.com Insider, it’s worth it just for Buster Olney’s daily baseball blog and links package.

That said, he has some interesting stats regarding a Mr. Johan Santana of Flushing, N.Y.

His ratio of strikeouts per nine innings over the last six seasons has been 11.38, 9.61, 10.46, 9.25, 9.44, 9.66. This year: 7.79.

His strikeout-to-walk ratio over the last six seasons: 2.80, 3.60, 4.91, 5.29, 5.21, 4.52. This year: 3.87.

Opponents’ OPS over the last six seasons: .607, .642, .564, .594, .616, .678. This year: .723.

When the Mets were at Shea over the weekend, two people with the team said to me that the organization was worried about Santana’s diminished velocity and Buster’s numbers bear that out. The difference between his fastball and changeup is narrowing.

Now Santana may well make adjustments and continue to pitch effectively. But will he be worth $137 million over six years?

The point I’ve always tried to make about the Yankees not trading for Santana is that it really had very little to do with whether Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy or Melky Cabrera should be dealt. It had far more to do with whether the Yankees should pay big money over a long term to a pitcher for what he did someplace else.

Now consider those trends and picture what they would be against teams in the AL East.

Right, yikes.

Now go to the board and write “I will not doubt Brian Cashman again” 100 times before lunch.

Comments

comments

 

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443 Responses to “Troubling trends for Santana”

  1. Tom May 23rd, 2008 at 11:15 am

    I will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman againI will not doubt Brian Cashman again

  2. Joe from Long Island May 23rd, 2008 at 11:16 am

    From the previous thread –

    raymagnetic – Very interesting. I think Omar, in stripping what he had in his farm system and pushing the Wilpons for a big-contract for Santana, is showing that he is interested in the very short term. We can speculate why. A definite contrast to what Cash has said, and is, in fact, doing.

    Cash deserves credit, I believe, for sticking to his principles and trying to do the right thing. One may disagree about his decisions, but he is doing what he perceives as best for the team in the long run.

  3. stuart May 23rd, 2008 at 11:17 am

    again almost any contract long contract for a pitcher is suicide unless you are signing the next roger clemons which the odds on that re like 1 in a 1000. cc is 27 or so but has been throwing 200+ innings for at least 5 yrs. he is a couple yrs younger then santana at the same time so that is good but he is overweight…

    again the santana move ws good for the mets but it will be a bad signing in a few yrs. in the best case.

    at 33 they will owe him over $16 mill a yr for 3 more yrs. and he will pitch like a 4+ ERA starter…these contracts NEVER WORK OUT…..

    Vlad guerrero worked out and a few others.. Look AROD is great but $26 mill a yr.. terrible contract for the Yanks… ANother deal that has worked out is for MO but again he is a once in a lifetime player…..ONCE IN A LIFETIME………

  4. Anthony May 23rd, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Well, hold on. Keep in mind those past numbers include the second halves of those seasons. Santana’s usually much better after the break, and we haven’t seen what he’ll do in the second half of this year.

    So while it’s probably true that Johan is beginning his decline, it’s probably not fair to compare the numbers just yet.

  5. Jerkface May 23rd, 2008 at 11:18 am

    The gap that Hughes, Kennedy, and Melky have to cross to make that non-trade a wash or net yankee win will diminish greatly over the next 2 years.

    Hopefully bespectacled Phil Hughes will pitch up to his performance of the last half of 2007 and make it a Yankee win :)

  6. stuart May 23rd, 2008 at 11:19 am

    THE manny 7 yr deal aldo believe it or not was a good deal but to show you what a crapshoot baseball is the sux were willing to let him go at least 2 times during that contract…..

  7. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 11:20 am

    One of the most debated issues on this blog has been what is an ace? What defines it? Is Wang an ace?

    That was the primary driver for the desire to get santana – we need an ace. That warrants doing whatever it takes in terms of players and money. You can get an ace – you have to do it.

    No matter your definition I’d say this. If you’re playing a 4 game series against one of your biggest rivals and you’ve lost the first three games and you have your ace on the mound and you’ve given him a lead he MUST hold that lead. Must.

    If Santana were on the yankees and threw a game like he did last night for the Mets it would have been very interesting to see the reaction.

    Raymagnetic posted the buster olney column about santana in the last thread – it’s eye opening about what some scouts are seeing from him.

    I’m giving Santana the benefit of the doubt because he’s often been a better second half pitcher.

    But if it is true that Santana is starting to deteriorate at all that contract could be a disaster for the mets.

    You pay someone $23 million you’re not paying for a good pitcher. He must be an absolute ace.

    The kind of guy who stops 3 game losing streaks and prevents sweeps.

  8. raymagnetic ®™ May 23rd, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Joe,

    I agree, I think the baseball Gods will eventually smile upon Cashman for his decision to stick with the youth movement.

  9. tonyb May 23rd, 2008 at 11:21 am

    I’ve seen enough long term deals to think that they just don’t pay off in the long term. I was actually against the 10 year deal for AROD just because the risk of the 10 year contract is so great. If AROD gets hurt or age diminishes him drastically, we’re going to be hurting with that contract on the books.

    That said, if there is a player to take this gamble on, it’s AROD. The man is fit.

    I hope we continue to avoid deals over 4 years long and only give them out to players in their late 20′s or younger.

  10. Brandon (supporting "Alex being Alex") (J.Santana HR allowed count: 11 ) May 23rd, 2008 at 11:21 am

    good post Pete

    The Santana Trade had 3 effects if it would have been done

    A)2/3 ML ready prospects would have been lost
    B)The Yankees would have had to dip into FA for overpriced fill ins
    C)Santana’s longterm contract and the revenue the Yankees would have to share to the small market teams for being waaay over the $117 MIL tax structure.

    all in all I still say Cashman did the right thing.

  11. jennifer May 23rd, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Usually a pitcher gets better switching leagues (save Zito), becuase the players hadn’t seen them much. I know there is tons of scouting, but i’m sure nothing replaces see the guy pitch with your own eyes.

  12. jennifer May 23rd, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Also how many long term deals for pitchers have worked out? Mike Mussina, I think that is it?

  13. stuart May 23rd, 2008 at 11:26 am

    santana will have to adjust and throw his changeup a few mph less so the difference between his 2 main pitches is over 10 MPH. I am not burying Santana yet but of course his production is going to go down, the question is how much and how fast….

    the mets have no minor league talent, a ancient roster(older then the Yanks), and are in a total win now mode.
    the only thing the mets have over the yanks is the NL stinks but there long term prognosis is not good… they have 2 very good young players; wright and reyes, and then just guys…

    they have no outfleld prospects today in AAA it is so bad they called up a 3rd catcher with the alou injury; church is 29, anderson is 35, endy chavez is over 30….

    the yanks have tons more minor league talent and have joba, hughes, etc all much better options then Pelfrey….Mets better win now else they are going to be bumming big time…

  14. Fredo Corleone May 23rd, 2008 at 11:29 am

    “THE manny 7 yr deal aldo believe it or not was a good deal but to show you what a crapshoot baseball is the sux were willing to let him go at least 2 times during that contract….”

    Actually the Sox put him on waivers once, largely to show him how little value he had on the trade market (if teams weren’t going to pick up his $20M contract for free, they sure as hell weren’t going to trade something of value to do so). At that point, he still had 5-6 years left on the deal and $20M was considerably above the market at that point.

  15. stuart May 23rd, 2008 at 11:32 am

    again the interesting off season signing will be varitek.

    the sux hate long term deals for older guys.. varitek has been there anchor for yrs. I bet they play hard ball with him and to be honest that is what they should do… the jorge extra yr. is a gift from the yanks to the jorge retirement fund.

    if they do not over do the contract with varitek it will say a lot about there organization and there sticking to a plan…they have been much less emotional with signings then the yanks and I hate to say it that has been a much more prudent way of doing things. if the steiiny’s would stay out of it that would help cashman be less generous in yrs. and $$$$’s then the yanks have.. ALL GOOD DEEDS GO PUNISHED….

  16. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Keep an eye on Rich Harden tonight. Reports are he can be had without breaking the bank. Before you bring up his injury history, remember Beckett’s history with the Marlins, yet, the Red Sox were willing to part with Hanley. How’s that worked out for them so far? Harden is better than Beckett, and you wouldn’t even have to give up a Hanley-type talent to get him.

    One thing that can’t be debated is his talent. He’s by most accounts the most talented pitcher in the majors.

    4 million this year. 7 million option. 26 years old.

  17. Laura May 23rd, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Is Abreu in the doghouse? Girardi said that Shelley was going to play again tonight.

  18. stuart May 23rd, 2008 at 11:35 am

    fredo I think they have done that twice but regardless Manny in relative terms has been worth the contract…almost noe of these big contracts works.

    arods will not work but he is agreat player, will probably break all these records in a yankee uniform and a guy like him has a higher probabilty of continuing to perform at a high level but how can the contract work out??he is in yr 1 of a 10 yr deal in 4 yrs he will be 36 with 6 yrs left on his deal…….

  19. tito May 23rd, 2008 at 11:35 am

    You are way off, Pete. Haven’t you noticed by now that the NL is much better this year offensively than the AL is? Seriously, what non-Yankee teams in the AL East actually have an above average offense? Boston has a great offense, and that’s it. Tampa’s is about league average, and Toronto/Baltimore are below league average. Baltimore’s is especially awful.

    Meanwhile in the NL East, the Braves and Marlins are 2 of the best offenses in baseball, and the Phillies lineup is better than league average, and is certainly better than Tampa’s.

    Just look at OPS+ for these teams:

    Tampa: 101
    Baltimore: 93
    Toronto: 95

    Phillies: 104
    Braves: 119
    Marlins: 112

    Santana is not in decline, as you are trying to make it out to seem. He has had 10 starts. Give him 20 more and see where his stats are at the end of the year. he is amazingly consistent and he will show you all once again, that he is the best pitcher in baseball. And he isn’t even 30 years old yet, so he can probably keep it up for another few years.

    I am glasd the yankees did not make the Santana trade. But it has nothing to do with Santana’s imminent decline as you think it does, because Santana is not going to decline any time soon. I just really wanted to keep Hughes and Kennedy and Melky in pinstripes, and I am happy the Yankees did not make the trade. But make no mistaike about it, he is the best pitcher in baseball.

    And I don’t get what your gripe is when you mention the thing about not paying for what someone else did elsewhere. That’s what free agency is all about. If the yankees sign Mark Tex or CC Sabathia in the offseason, it will be the same thing. I mean, it’s not always a bad thing, especialyl if you have reason to believe the player can keep performing at that high level, as is the case with Santana. He is a dominant force and will continue to be.

  20. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 11:35 am

    “Is Abreu in the doghouse? Girardi said that Shelley was going to play again tonight.”

    Eric Bedard is among maybe the nastiest left hander in the AL right now.

    Bedard gave the yankees fits last year – he killed the yankee’s left handed bats.

    Abreu’s sitting only because of Bedard.

    If Ensberg doesn’t play tonight at first for Giambi then he truly has no role on the team and has completely lost Girardi’s trust.

  21. JW May 23rd, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Martin,

    When you say without breaking the bank, what do you mean?

  22. Jake May 23rd, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Interesting number crunching. I agree entirely Peter. The money was always the biggest issue for a guy that pitched in an inferior division for his career. Add that to the diminished stuff as proved by those numbers and the Yankees (and Red Sox for that matter) made a great decision to pass.

    Who knows, he may continue to dominate…I would expect as much, but probably not in the AL East over the next 5 or 6 years.

  23. Peter May 23rd, 2008 at 11:36 am

    “I will not doubt Brian Cashman again”

    Sort of like the Yankees need Cashman more than he needs the Yankees.

    Know this much, without the Yankees, Brain Cashman as we know him does not exist.

    And each and every day I take a look at the bench, sorry, but for $200+ million, I got plenty of doubts.

    Not so much with Stick and Watson. I like Brian, but if he ain’t the most overrated executive in baseball….On a scale of 1-10, he’s a 6.5. A-F? I’m thinking a solid B- or C+.

  24. Fredo Corleone May 23rd, 2008 at 11:37 am

    “Is Abreu in the doghouse? Girardi said that Shelley was going to play again tonight.”

    #’s against Bedard???? He was out last night because he was 0 for 10 against Burress.

  25. JW May 23rd, 2008 at 11:39 am

    CB,

    Totally agreed. Shelley and even more so Ensberg need to show something soon if not tonight. If Ensberg can’t start tonight, he might as well be on another team, whether thats SWB or somewhere else.

  26. ham fighter May 23rd, 2008 at 11:40 am

    i was against the trade, but id rather see you compare santana’s #’s at the quarter pole for those seasons vs. this years #’s because santana has always been a slow starter.

  27. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 11:41 am

    “Santana is not in decline, as you are trying to make it out to seem.”

    Pete was onlyl commenting on a column Buster Olney wrote in which scouts voiced concerns about Santana.

    This is what olnery wrote of his conversations with scouts:

    ” After the item on Johan Santana’s diminished velocity was posted here yesterday, some scouts from other teams chimed in, indicating through e-mails and phone calls that they were seeing the same thing. “The Mets were asking around about that in spring training, about what his true [velocity] baseline was,” said one talent evaluator. “They were concerned.”

    Said an AL scout who has seen Santana this month: “His stuff isn’t even close to what it was [with the Twins].”

    How much has his diminished stuff affected him? We have less than two months of starts to consider from 2008, a very small sample, and keep in mind that except for last season — when Santana suffered a significant statistical decline in the last six weeks — he has often done his best work in the second half.”

    He’s a better second half pitcher but this is concerning.

  28. Fredo Corleone May 23rd, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Martin:

    1) Harden is not better than Beckett
    2) Harden’s injury history is more comparable to Prior’s than Beckett’s (Beckett has averaged 3 starts per year the past 4 seasons – Harden has made 32 starts total from ’05 thru ’07.
    3) Billy Beane gives nothing away cheap. He wanted Hughes for Blanton. He will cost plenty.

  29. Rob NY May 23rd, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Rich Harden is better than Josh Beckett? Let’s not lose our minds. Harden hasnt pitched enough innings in his carrear to make that kind of statement. I don’t like the Sox as much as the next guy but Beckett has earned the kind of respect where a guy who has not pitched 500 innings in almost 6 years of a career doesnt get lumped in the same category as a guy who stomps his way through the playoffs.

  30. Anthony May 23rd, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Abreu vs Bedard: 4 for 20, 4 BBs, 4 Ks, 0 XBHs

  31. JW May 23rd, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Peter,

    Coming into this season with Molina, Ensberg, Duncan, and Betemit on the bench I was thrilled. No one would have thought Ensberg and Duncan to look mostly lost, Molina to start a majority of the games at catcher, and Betemit to be on the DL as much as he has.

    Hindsight is 20/20.

  32. James May 23rd, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Martin,
    Harden is better than Beckett? Harden hasn’t pitched more than 120 innings since 2004. Beckett is a horse and a proven winner. You are insane if you would rather have Harden over Beckett. I can’t stand Beckett but he is one of the best in the business.

  33. Mike May 23rd, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Hughes is ricky vaughn

  34. Fredo Corleone May 23rd, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Oops! Prior post should read Beckett has averaged 30 starts over the the past 4 seasons.

  35. LathamJoe May 23rd, 2008 at 11:46 am

    The Mets’ trade for Johan Santana is not about the possibility of his diminished performance in 3-4 years at that salary. That is a gamble Mets ownership is willing to live with. With no World Championships in New York since 1986, its all about the Mets winning now with what they’ve got. Santana was the necessary piece in taking their shot. He was the best pitcher available for what the Mets gave up. He already turned down a 5 year/$100 Million+ offer from the Twins, so his market was pretty much set for what he received.

    And for all the “diminished” stats so early in 2008, Santana is 5-3, 3.36 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP with a .500 Ballclub. Not too shabby!

    Let’s wait a little while before criticizing this deal. Deals like this depend upon what the Team’s longterm and shortterm goals are. How many critics jumped on the Red Sox Management for the Beckett deal?

  36. the original SP May 23rd, 2008 at 11:46 am

    I never doubted that move at all. I’m tired of huge, long-term contracts to players who have yet to prove themselves in a Yankee uniform. But it’s unwise to think the Yankees won’t sign somebody else to a big contract (Sabathia and/or Texeira).
    Cashman has also avoided other disasters from the hyped-up free agents or trading block pool (Gagne, Zito). Let’s just hope the Yanks don’t spend all that money in one place once Pettitte, Mussina, and Giambi are gone!

  37. Yazman May 23rd, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Mets did the right thing (and so did the Yanks).

    With Santana, Mets goals were to:

    -win while their older investments were viable (Pedro, Delgado, Wagner, Alou, Castillo)

    -sell new stadium tickets

    -help attract other free agents in coming years

    -protect anything of value in their farm system (which they did accomplish).

  38. pat May 23rd, 2008 at 11:46 am

    “Is Abreu in the doghouse? Girardi said that Shelley was going to play again tonight.”

    Girardi didn’t say he would be playing for Abreu just that he was playing. He could also be at 1st or DHing.

  39. Laura May 23rd, 2008 at 11:47 am

    “Abreu vs Bedard: 4 for 20, 4 BBs, 4 Ks, 0 XBHs”

    Oh, I forgot we were getting Bedard tonight. I hope he’s off his game.

  40. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 11:47 am

    “Rich Harden is better than Josh Beckett? Let’s not lose our minds. Harden hasnt pitched enough innings in his carrear to make that kind of statement.”

    By that logic, one can’t make the statement Chamberlain is better than Javier Vazquez, because Chamberlain hasn’t pitched the innings.

  41. ham fighter May 23rd, 2008 at 11:47 am

    rich harden has made 33 starts in the past 3 years. how much his contract is worth doesnt matter for a guy averages 11 starts/year. we already have a guy like that, his name is carl pavano.

  42. Yazman May 23rd, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Defending Martin:

    Talent does not equal success (or being “better than”). It’s an indicator of potential.

  43. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 11:50 am

    “Harden’s injury history is more comparable to Prior’s than Beckett’s (Beckett has averaged 3 starts per year the past 4 seasons – Harden has made 32 starts total from ‘05 thru ‘07.”

    No, I think that’s incorrect. Prior’s injuries are probably from an immediate 200 inning workload very early in his career. Whereas Beckett’s injuries were due to fingernails, blisters, and a handful of other freak injuries.

    So, if anything, I’d say his injury history is closer to Beckett’s.

  44. r.w.g. May 23rd, 2008 at 11:50 am

    The only thing I’ll say about the bench is that we should have kept Andy Phillips instead of Ensberg.

    Andy could play 3B at least as good as Ensberg, can play a little 2B in a pinch, and he plays a very clean 1B.

    He also hit .290 for us last year. Yeah, he’s a AAAA without much power.. but he plays better defense than the guys currently manning 1B and does what you want bench players to do — comes up with those dinky singles when you need it. Why? Cause he isn’t wrapped up like Shelley and Betemit in being “power off the bench”. He just tries to make solid contact.

  45. Anthony May 23rd, 2008 at 11:50 am

    If Harden can be had on the cheap though, it might be worthwhile to look into it just to keep him away from the other teams in the division.

  46. Drive 4-5 May 23rd, 2008 at 11:51 am

    I’m sorry. Ill say that I will not doubt Brian Cashman ever again when Kei Igawa proves he is worth the $46 mil price tag or Igawa wins 15 games. Whichever comes first.

  47. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 11:51 am

    “Harden is not better than Beckett”

    Did I say anything about postseason success or how many starts he made the past 3 years?????

    No. I said he is more talented. Argue that, not other points I didn’t make.

  48. pat May 23rd, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Cash on with Kay yesterday was good.

    When asked whether making the Santana trade would have given Cash more job security, he said the Yankees don’t pay me to save my job, they pay me to do my job (great line) and the long term success of the team is part of doing that job.

    Kay told Cash he never knew he was that altruistic. Cash said he didn’t know what that word meant but he would Google it when they finished to see if he was.

  49. Eugie May 23rd, 2008 at 11:53 am

    I see people brought up Beckett. Not too long ago, everyone one threw him under the bus too. Remember he did give up 36 HR’s and posted a 5+ era in his first year with the Red Sox. Sometimes pitchers need a year to adjust, sometimes they don’t. I really think its a little too early to pat Brian Cashman on the back. Give it a year or two and see how all the players involve are performing and then judge it.

    By the way, Why are you paying money to read the thoughts of an admitted Yankee hater?

  50. Fredo Corleone May 23rd, 2008 at 11:53 am

    “So, if anything, I’d say his injury history is closer to Beckett’s.”

    So you want logic to apply to some of your arguments, but not this one????

  51. Yazman May 23rd, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Who would give C.C. Sabathia 4 years @ $25m per? Five years @ $22 million? I just don’t give him 7 years.

    (although ask me again if ony 1-2 of our young guys emerge this year)

  52. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 11:53 am

    “The Mets’ trade for Johan Santana is not about the possibility of his diminished performance in 3-4 years at that salary. ”

    Long term contracts are always about both short term and long term.

    You can fool yourself into believing that we’ll we’re signing this guy to win now – but the reprecussions of these long term contracts last for years.

    It’s easy to say in year one its win now. Much, much harder to say that in year 5.

    And if in year 1 the player isn’t performing like the best player at his position (and so far this year santana hasn’t even been close to the best pitcher in the NL – see brandon webb) then the contract is really problematic because you aren’t getting the short term benefit you expected.

    The Mets expected brilliance from Santana – they were trading for the Santana who put together that great from 2002 to 2006.

    You don’t pay $23 million for an ERA+ of 130. You pay that for an ERA+ of at least 150.

    I’ll say it again – if Santana were on the yankees and he was pitching the 4th game of a series trying to avoid a sweep and he blew a lead (however small) yankee fans would be ready to tar and feather him as being a choker.

  53. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 11:54 am

    “Harden is better than Beckett? Harden hasn’t pitched more than 120 innings since 2004. Beckett is a horse and a proven winner.”

    Again, take a look at what I said. Nothing about the postseason. Nothing about the number of starts.

  54. ham fighter May 23rd, 2008 at 11:55 am

    ok martin so you arent worried about how many starts he will make if we pick him up? i mean, what does that matter if he’s “more talented” than beckett.

    and if i buy a lamboghini that doesnt run, i have a better car than your corolla.

    hey buddy, can i get a ride to work from you?

  55. rico May 23rd, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Why is Shelley Duncan still on this team? You can talk all you want about how much energy he brings to the dugout or whatever, but he is terrible at baseball, even against lefty pitchers. What, did he have like 2 good weeks last year and now all of a sudden he gets a big leash? I’d rather have Abreu/Damon/Giambi/Matsui all start against lefties rather than see Duncan’s dead bat in the lineups.

  56. Optimistic Red Sox Fan May 23rd, 2008 at 11:56 am

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  57. SJ44 May 23rd, 2008 at 11:57 am

    I think its impossible to make sweeping generalizations (never sign a pitcher to a long term deal, etc) on players.

    You have to examine things on a case by case basis. Every case is unique and every situation is different.

    For example, a lot of teams today would not think of drafting a smaller pitcher (6 feet and under) and consider them as a starter.

    There is a belief in many baseball circles that bigger guys hold up longer.

    Is it true? I don’t know because I don’t have the data many teams possess. However, its a trend in the game.

    If Greg Maddox was a high school senior or college junior, its doubtful he would be drafted today. That’s missing on a first ballot Hall of Famer.

    Conversely, the Giants drafted Tim Lincecum and so far, he has been excellent.

    Will he hold up? No idea.

    Santana’s second half last season could have been an aberration.

    However, I’ve watched his starts this year. Aside from a start in Philadelphia, where he was great, he hasn’t been that good.

    Folks who wanted Santana will say, “small sample size”. Perhaps.

    However, when you take his second half stats from last year, his numbers so far this year, his velocity, etc, you could make an argument he is beginning to drop off.

    Not exactly what you want for 138 million dollars.

    Does that mean the Yankees don’t go after CC this off-season? Not necessarily.

    It means you follow his year, track his data, then make as much of an informed judgment as you can based on the information you possess.

    The one thing you don’t do, and the Yankees didn’t with Santana, is make a panic move simply because some members of the media, fan base and ownership group, wants it.

    You make a bad deal, and the Yankees have made their share over the years, it doesn’t just hurt you for one year. It hurts you for years.

    Just look at several guys on the roster and in the organization at this time as proof.

  58. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 11:58 am

    “ok martin so you arent worried about how many starts he will make if we pick him up?”

    I’m sure the Red Sox are glad you are no where near their front office. Otherwise Beckett (and his lousy injury history in Florida) would never have ended up in Boston.

    If you have a lambo that doesn’t run, take it to a car shop. I think the company will actually send someone to your house though.

  59. raymagnetic ®™ May 23rd, 2008 at 11:59 am

    “How many critics jumped on the Red Sox Management for the Beckett deal?”

    Was there anyone who thought the Red Sox made a bad deal for Beckett? They traded an unproven rookie for a 25 year old pitcher who looked dominant when the Marlins won the WS and was considered an elite prospect himself coming out of HS.

    I don’t recall anyone thinking the Sox made a bad deal at the time.

  60. UMbrella May 23rd, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    I think that Santana is doing just fine, and anybody who doubts him is a fool.

  61. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Rich Harden’s injury history is in no way, shape or form comparable to Josh Beckett’s.

    Harden has had multiple arm injuries. In particular, he’s had shoulder injuries – the worst location possible for a pitcher.

    Beckett had a series of mostly nagging injuries but not like Harden.

    Harden has thrown 72 innings over the past 2 years. Beckett never any kind of two year stretch like that. Beckett never lost whole seasons to injuries.

    Talent is one thing. Talent coupled to injuries is one of the most common reasons why pitchers fail.

    Harden is no longer a prospect or a young pitcher filled with potential. He’s past that point in his career.

    The injuries are part of his performance projections.

    Pitchers like Joba have never experienced the types of injures harden has.

    Few pitchers have had as many recurring injuries as Harden has.

  62. SJ44 May 23rd, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    You can’t compare Harden with Beckett.

    Both have had a lot of injuries. Beckett’s have been blisters. Harden’s have been chronic shoulder and hip injuries.

    For a small guy like Harden, which are the more serious injuries?

    I wouldn’t touch Harden. Too many warning signs of injuries for my tastes.

    Also, if Billy Beane is looking to deal him, you can rest assured he has all of the best available information re: his long term prognosis.

    Harden doesn’t make that much money for Oakland to be unable to carry him.

  63. Eugie May 23rd, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    ““How many critics jumped on the Red Sox Management for the Beckett deal?”

    Was there anyone who thought the Red Sox made a bad deal for Beckett? They traded an unproven rookie for a 25 year old pitcher who looked dominant when the Marlins won the WS and was considered an elite prospect himself coming out of HS.

    I don’t recall anyone thinking the Sox made a bad deal at the time.”

    You weren’t paying attention then because ALOT of people did. He gave up 36 Hr’s that year. cmon.

  64. ham fighter May 23rd, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    as i made the point on the last thread, harden is not beckett. i wanted beckett and would have done what it took to get him and keep him off boston’s roster if at all possible (not sure it was possible and im sure cash tried).

    you are saying that the yankees should get harden no matter whenter he can go out and pitch or not. thats ridiculous. it’ll be great when our spot starter is making his 9th start in harden’s place , because while karstens is getting his a*$ handed to him, we can point to the bench and say: look we have rich harden and he’s better than beckett.

  65. S.A.-Hello? Yankees Offense? Where are you? May 23rd, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Wow…”When will Willie be fired” Watch 2008 is outta control…

    Interesting stuff about Santana.
    Very happy about Ian’s performance yesterday. Hope we see more of it. :)

  66. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    “Harden has had multiple arm injuries. In particular, he’s had shoulder injuries – the worst location possible for a pitcher.”

    Shoulder injuries are the worst spot. Unfortunately for tHE p

  67. ham fighter May 23rd, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    hell, why not sign cy young? sure, he’s been dead 50 years……but he’s better than beckett!

  68. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    “Harden has had multiple arm injuries. In particular, he’s had shoulder injuries – the worst location possible for a pitcher.”

    Shoulder injuries are the worst spot. Unfortunately for the point you were trying to make, he’s had trouble with his back and obliques.

  69. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    “You weren’t paying attention then because ALOT of people did. He gave up 36 Hr’s that year. cmon.”

    No that’s not true. The Beckett deal was made over that winter. Ray was referring to the time when the deal was made.

    After that deal was made it was universally lauded as a great deal for the sox.

    Hanley Ramirez at that time wasn’t a very highly regarded prospect.

    The Red Sox were thought to have made a great deal at that time before the season started. No one criticized it.

  70. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    “hell, why not sign cy young? sure, he’s been dead 50 years……but he’s better than beckett!”

    I’ve never seen footage of Cy Young. I’ll take your word.

  71. Patrick May 23rd, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    There is a belief in many baseball circles that bigger guys hold up longer.

    Another reason taller pitchers are valued more is because they release the ball closer to the plate then a shorter guy. The difference between a 5’10 guy throwing low 90s and a 6’3 guy throwing low 90s isn’t huge but there is a difference in favor of the taller pitcher.

  72. Fredo Corleone May 23rd, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    “Was there anyone who thought the Red Sox made a bad deal for Beckett? They traded an unproven rookie for a 25 year old pitcher who looked dominant when the Marlins won the WS and was considered an elite prospect himself coming out of HS.”

    Classic “worked out for both teams” deal. Even the secondary pieces worked out. Lowell, who was thought of as finished and a salary dump has performed admirably and the pitcher the Sox included (Sanchez?)did well in FLA before being injured.

  73. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    “Shoulder injuries are the worst spot. Unfortunately for the point you were trying to make, he’s had trouble with his back and obliques.”

    He has a shoulder injury right now and has had shoulder injuries in the past.

    His shoulder injury now wasn’t supposed to be very serious according to Beane. What a surprise – it’s turned into another lost season.

    Yes he’s also had serious hip injuries. He’s had a littany of injuries – so he’s injured just about every body part possible.

    Keep trying though to prove your right though with your comparison between Beckett and Harden.

    Dig away in the sand.

  74. ham fighter May 23rd, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    i dont know how the red sox fans felt when they heard they were getting beckett, but i felt like it was a HUGE blow to the yankees. i remember thinking “omg, they got a replacement for pedro”

    looking back, id say my initial reactioin was right on.

  75. hramaaa May 23rd, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    No that’s not true, it was not universally lauded. Hanley Ramirez was indeed a highly touted prospect, and Mike Lowell was a high-priced commodity in serious decline. There were plenty of people against it.

  76. SJ44 May 23rd, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    He’s also had numerous shoulder problems. Those are the cause of his back and hip issues.

    That been clear for years about. Its why Beane has no market for Harden even though he has shopped him for the last two years.

  77. raymagnetic ®™ May 23rd, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    “You weren’t paying attention then because ALOT of people did. He gave up 36 Hr’s that year. cmon.”

    I said at the time they made the deal did anyone think it was a bad deal. It’s easy to point out what he did after that year and say it was a bad deal. However when it was announced that they had acquired Beckett it was looked upon as a good deal for Boston.

  78. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    “Hanley Ramirez at that time wasn’t a very highly regarded prospect.”

    Obviously, you just started watching baseball around 2006-2007. Hanley Ramirez was very highly rated.

  79. Brandon (supporting "Alex being Alex") (J.Santana HR allowed count: 11 ) May 23rd, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Yankees pay attention to Joba :lol:

    Joba slipped on a pair of batting gloves as we talked. I mentioned that the great thing about starting is you get to bat in interleague. Chamberlain smiled and said, “That’s why I’m going to hit right now.”

  80. hramaaa May 23rd, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    There is no comparison to make between Harden and Beckett. Harden needs to stay healthy for a couple consecutive seasons before anybody will take him more seriously.

  81. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    “Hanley Ramirez was indeed a highly touted prospect, ”

    No he wasn’t. By the time that deal was made people had soured on Ramirez quite a lot.

    In 2005 he was BA’s 10th ranked prospect. In 2006 he was BA’s 30th ranked prospect.

    He was a good prospect but far from an elite one when the deal was made.

    No one anticipated that he was going to become the kind of player he has.

    The Marlins did a great job targeting him. But mostly people in baseball – including the Sox – didn’t think of Ramirez as an elite prospect.

  82. ham fighter May 23rd, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    maybe you’re right martin, maybe harden is better than cy young was. after all, harden has thrown 480 innings with pretty good numbers.

    cy young threw 435 innings…..in one season. rich harden couldnt carry his jockstrap, besides, if he did, he’s strain a tendon.

  83. SJ44 May 23rd, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Sometimes, trades work out for both teams. Like the Marlins-Red Sox deal and the A’s-D’backs and Rangers-Reds deals last off-season.

    That’s the way they are supposed to work. The object of trades are to improve your team. Not to fleece the other guy.

    Its why so many bad teams stay bad. They are so busy looking to fleece teams they never make any deals to improve their own team.

    Look at the Nationals and Pirates as examples.

  84. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    “He has a shoulder injury right now and has had shoulder injuries in the past.”

    He’s got a shoulder injury now huh?! So he’s pitching with a serious shoulder injury tonight against the Red Sox at about 7:05?

  85. Patrick May 23rd, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Hanley Ramirez was indeed a highly touted prospect

    Actually when he was traded Ramirez’s stock was on the decline. He was always one of those so-called “5 tool players” but he never really put it together in AA and above.

    Looking at his 2005 season he played in AA the entire year and put up and ops of .720. After that season he was traded and didn’t play another game in the minors. He has really been pretty remarkable:
    2005 – .720 OPS in AA
    2006 – .833 OPS in MLB
    2007 – .948 OPS in MLB

  86. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    “maybe you’re right martin, maybe harden is better than cy young was.”

    Who said anything about Cy Young? You mentioned his name. I said I knew nothing about him, so I took your word. Now you’re quoting 435 innings in one season and comparing it to Harden. Um, ok.

  87. SJ44 May 23rd, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Geez, Martin how dense can you be?

    How many games has Harden pitched this year? If you don’t believe he has had shoulder injuries in the past, and this year, here’s a tip.

    E-mail an A’s beat writer and ask him about Harden’s injuries.

    I’m sure he will list them for you.

  88. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    “Obviously, you just started watching baseball around 2006-2007. Hanley Ramirez was very highly rated.”

    In 2006 Hanley Ramirez was the 30th ranked prospect in baseball according to Baseball America.

    Ramirez was not even ranked as a top 50 prospect by baseball prospectus that year. He was on their “honorable mention” list.

    So, no Ramirez was not considered a great prospect at the time of the trade. He was considered a guy with great athletic tools but he was no longer considered an great prospect.

    And I’ve been watching baseball fairly closely for quite some time but thanks for your bitterness.

  89. stuart May 23rd, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Sj everything you said is true but again these long term deals NEVER WORK.

    paying a 27 yr old $16 mill a yr for 7 yrs always comes back to bite you..

    Sabathia, overweight, thrown a ton of innings, very good pitcher but whatever you sign him to the lat 3 yrs. are going to be a bad deal. maybe if when you sign these guys you just asume the last few years are going to be bad investments you can rationalize the deals much better..

    Lincecum has already been a good deal for the giants,when you are talking about blowing a few million dollars vs. $70 mill. things are much different.

    I think Beckettts contract is very reasonable…

  90. Fredo Corleone May 23rd, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    “In 2005 he was BA’s 10th ranked prospect. In 2006 he was BA’s 30th ranked prospect.

    He was a good prospect but far from an elite one when the deal was made.”

    Honestly not sure a lot changed between ’05 and ’06 with Ramirez aside from going to the Eastern League where nobody hits.

  91. pat May 23rd, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Brandon

    Joba said in his Yesterdays show on YES that he is a good hitter. The end of Interleague is about a month from today so Joba must think he’s going to be starting before then.

  92. Mitch May 23rd, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Henley Ramirez was the top prospect in the Red Sox organization for 2003, 2004 and 2005 (according to Baseball America).

    http://www.baseballamerica.com.....edsox.html

  93. Delisondo May 23rd, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    I took Martin’s comment to mean that Harden is better now than Beckett was considered at the time of the trade. And aside from one postseason performance in ’03 Beckett wasnt that great for the Marlins. Harden has been better than Beckett was with the Marlins.

  94. hmmm May 23rd, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    “I think that Santana is doing just fine, and anybody who doubts him is a fool.”

    no one is saying he isn’t doing “fine”.

    but if you think the fans here would be satisfied with “fine” after parting with Hughes, Melky, and others plus forking over the richest contract to a pitcher in history, i don’t think that is accurate either.

    the argument for getting Santana that was repeated over and over here is that he is “THE BEST PITCHER IN BASEBALL”.

    we are simply questioning if he is still that guy.

    i am not saying he isn’t, but i am MUCH LESS sure about it than i was 1 year ago.

    everyone keeps saying he is a “second half” pitcher, but one of the biggest issues with trading for him, was that in 2007, he had a “bad” (by his standards) second half.

    according to fangraphs, his fastball is down 2 MPH from 2006.

    he IS getting hit harder than he ever has before.

    non-pitchers have a .750 OPS against him this year, after he got hit to a .713 OPS in the second half of 2007.

    again, these aren’t BAD numbers, but they are WAY out of line with what he did in 2004, 2005, 2006.

    he has still been very good, i don’t want to pretend that he hasn’t, but there are warning signs here. decreased velocity, HRs are way up, strikeouts are way down.

    it’s not foolish to ask “hey, what is up with Johan?”

    is he injured? is it just a flukey rough patch and he’ll revert to his dominant self?

    i don’t have these answers. but over the last 25 starts, he simply hasn’t been JOHAN F*$@#G SANTANA.

  95. rconn23 May 23rd, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    “Hanley Ramirez at that time wasn’t a very highly regarded prospect.”

    Look, it’s true that the deal was lauded as a win for the Red Sox, but Ramirez was always regarded as a top prospect.

    There’s just no comparison between Beckett and Harden. Harden just shows no hint that he’ll ever stay healthy.
    Right now, there’s no other pitcher in baseball I’d rather have expect Webb or Lincecum, who I think within two years will be the best pitcher in the game.

  96. Patrick May 23rd, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Heres an interesting question. Would you rather have a top 5 starting pitcher (Beckett) or arguably the best offensive shortstop in the league (Ramirez)? I’d rather have the shortstop.

  97. ham fighter May 23rd, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    in case you missed the ’03 series, let me remind you of something. JOSH BEKCETT KICKED OUR ASSES!
    now which year was it that rich harden won the world series for the a’s?

  98. Fredo Corleone May 23rd, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    “Harden has been better than Beckett was with the Marlins.”

    No, he hasn’t.

  99. ham fighter May 23rd, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    patrick, the answer is, id rather have the W.S ring.

  100. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    “Henley Ramirez was the top prospect in the Red Sox organization for 2003, 2004 and 2005 (according to Baseball America).”

    No one is talking about his ranking from 2005 because those rankings come out before the 2005 season.

    Ramirez’s prospect status tanked because of his 2005 season.

    The Beckett deal was made in November of 2005 – after Ramirez’s poor season.

    Ramirez was ranked in BA’s prospect rankings for 2006 at #30. That is not a great or elite prospect.

    Go look at Ramirez’s prospect rankings from 2006 – that was what his value was perceived to be at the time of the Beckett trade.

    This really isn’t hard to understand.

  101. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    “So, no Ramirez was not considered a great prospect at the time of the trade.”

    Current prospects rated lower than the 30th best prospect:

    Andy Laroche, Chase Headley, Lars Anderson, Geovany Soto, Joey Votto, Daric Barton, etc. etc.

    All studs. All highly regarded. So, clearly the 30th best prospect must be pretty highly regarded, right?!

  102. Peter May 23rd, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    JW

    “Coming into this season with Molina, Ensberg, Duncan, and Betemit on the bench I was thrilled.”

    Thrilled??

    And hindsight’s only hindsight in hindsight. When I spoke to a Dodger fan friend of mine when we got Betemit they coulda sworn that he was in the minors. In other words, he’s nothing. Ensberg was/is washed up (I agree with whomever said that the Yanks would have been just as well off with Andy Philips) and to not have a serviceable backup shortstop coming out of spring training was gross negligence. To have had to send Duncan down to Scranton to start the season pretty much shot Shelley for ’08.

    My only point is that for some reason Cashman is viewed in some circles in a way that I just don’t view him and that 1-25 the 2008 Yankees are a very poorly constructed $200+ million team.

  103. Patrick May 23rd, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    patrick, the answer is, id rather have the W.S ring.

    That wasn’t my question but thanks for trying.

  104. raymagnetic ®™ May 23rd, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    “or arguably the best offensive shortstop in the league (Ramirez)? I’d rather have the shortstop.”

    Well when the shortstop is the worst shortstop in the league then it diminishes his value quite a bit.

  105. SJ44 May 23rd, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Stuart,

    7 years? No question you pass on that.

    I don’t think its going to go to 7 years for CC.

    He’s not Santana. If Santana isn’t Santana this year, that affects how teams bid for CC. Teams will be very leery of committing 7 years for CC.

    Also, the pool of teams for CC will not be that large.

    The Mets? Not after paying Santana. Not going to be in the bidding.

    The Red Sox? Nope.

    The Angels? Nope.

    The A’s? Nope.

    The Giants? See Barry Zito. Not happening.

    The Padres? Nope.

    The Dodgers? Frank McCourt won’t spend that kind of cash for CC with Kershaw on the horizon.

    That knocks out the west coast teams and he’s from the Bay Area.

    If becomes a free agent, two teams will probably be in the bidding. The Yankees and Tigers. The Tigers will spend money. Will they go 7 yrs? Questionable.

    I think its going to be a small, yet lucrative market for CC. It will depend on where he really wants to play.

    He may end up taking less and staying in Cleveland if he’s really comfortable there.

    If I was a betting man, I’d say its, in order: Cleveland, the Yankees and the Tigers.

    I just don’t see anybody going 7 years for him. Unless somebody bids against themselves. As the Yankees did in the Giambi negotiations when he was a FA.

  106. saucY May 23rd, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    “Joba said in his Yesterdays show on YES that he is a good hitter. The end of Interleague is about a month from today so Joba must think he’s going to be starting before then.”

    if they’re stretching him out, he’ll most likely get an at-bat or two, even if he’s not starting a game at that point…

  107. Eugie May 23rd, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    ““You weren’t paying attention then because ALOT of people did. He gave up 36 Hr’s that year. cmon.”

    I said at the time they made the deal did anyone think it was a bad deal. It’s easy to point out what he did after that year and say it was a bad deal. However when it was announced that they had acquired Beckett it was looked upon as a good deal for Boston.”

    I read that wrong then, sorry.

  108. ham fighter May 23rd, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    avg. starts per season (career);

    rich harden:13
    carl pavano:16

  109. S.A.-Hello? Yankees Offense? Where are you? May 23rd, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    LOL
    Sweeney feisty today on wfan

  110. Patrick May 23rd, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Well when the shortstop is the worst shortstop in the league then it diminishes his value quite a bit.

    This season he’s been a lot better, only slightly below average with an RZR of .826.

    Are you saying you’d rather have Beckett instead of Ramirez?

  111. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    “All studs. All highly regarded. So, clearly the 30th best prospect must be pretty highly regarded, right?!”

    No. No they are not. None of those guys is considered to be a “stud” prospect.

    They are all thought to be good prospects and Lars Anderson is considered to have potential but is still too young to know what you have. He only played in low A ball last year. He’s struggling quite a bit in A ball this year.

    The 30th ranked prospect in any year generally isn’t considered to be a “stud.”

    And in general the 30th ranked prospect wouldn’t necessarily be enough as the headliner in a package to get an arm as talented as Becektt (who was only 25 himself at the time).

    I’m finished with this conversation. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  112. randy l. May 23rd, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    “Ramirez was not even ranked as a top 50 prospect by baseball prospectus that year. ”

    that shows you should pay only so much attention to a baseball web site. it’s not like they have scouts out there. there is a limit to their info. they hated soriano for years too.

    that said, they’re useful at what they do.

    at the time of that trade, i thought the red sox took a big chance. no one expected lowell to rebound the way he has. that was a trade that worked out for both sides. someone did their homework or got lucky or both.

  113. Fredo Corleone May 23rd, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    SJ:

    Can’t buy the Dodgers won’t be in on Sabathia with so much coming off the books.

  114. Patrick May 23rd, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    The Red Sox? Nope.

    I could see the Sox offering Sabathia money. The only reason they wouldn’t is to keep Beckett happy which isn’t a huge deal in my book. Imagine a rotation of Beckett, Sabathia, Bucholz, Lester, Matsuzaka next year. That would be absolutely ridiculous. A mixture of lefties and righties plus all of them are young or in their prime.

  115. ham fighter May 23rd, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    patrick, you dismissed my answer that id rather have the w.s. ring, but it is the right answer. debating a trade doesnt just involve pitting one guy’s stats vs. another guy’s. teams have needs and holes and surpluses and prospects. every trade takes all these into account. the red sox felt that an ace would put them in the w.s. and it did. if hanley ramirez turns out to be the best shortstop of his time, great for them, the sox got thier w.s. rings so it was a GREAT trade for boston no matter what.

  116. raymagnetic ®™ May 23rd, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    “This season he’s been a lot better, only slightly below average with an RZR of .826.

    Are you saying you’d rather have Beckett instead of Ramirez?”

    I didn’t know how his defense was looking this year. Honestly I can’t say which one I’d rather have, I’m stuck.

  117. hmmm May 23rd, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    “When I spoke to a Dodger fan friend of mine when we got Betemit they coulda sworn that he was in the minors. In other words, he’s nothing.”

    wow, you have totally proved this point.

    your dodger fan friend thought he was in the minors?

    case closed.

  118. raymagnetic ®™ May 23rd, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Patrick I don’t think the Sox will sign CC for 7 years at over 20 mil. They haven’t shown any inkling that they operate like that and I don’t think they’re going to change their philosophy now.

  119. randyhater May 23rd, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    What a surprise. Buster Olney (and Pete) carrying Brian Cashman’s water.

    Just so I’m clear, Hughes (who’s been god-awful) is still a front of the rotation lock. But Santana (who’s pitched to a sub 3.5 ERA and is on pace to win 20 games) is washed up. Okay.

    Cashman’s newfound stinginess is as much about his next job as it is about his current one. When he’s pounding the pavement this fall, resume in hand, the last thing he wants fresh in a prospective employer’s mind is another record-breaking contract with his name at the bottom. His keeping the prospects and stiff-arming Santana was all about rehabilitating his image. Penny-pinching player development guru: Good. Inventer of the $200M payroll: Bad. If that means flushing the 2008 Yankee season down the toilet, so be it.

  120. Patrick May 23rd, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Patrick I don’t think the Sox will sign CC for 7 years at over 20 mil. They haven’t shown any inkling that they operate like that and I don’t think they’re going to change their philosophy now.

    If thats the baseline for CC I don’t think the Yankees will sign him either. If his demands are less I think both teams would go after him (along with Detroit like SJ said).

  121. hmmm May 23rd, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Andy Phillips is a terrible baseball player.

    i can’t believe people still think otherwise.

  122. SJ44 May 23rd, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Frank McCourt isn’t a big spender. They spend, but in short bursts. Noting really long term. CC is going to require more than a 1-3 yr deal. I’d be shocked if he went all in for CC.

    They went big with Jason Schmidt, even if the term (3 yrs) was small, and they got killed in that deal.

    It makes certain owners gunshy. McCourt is one of those guys.

    The Red Sox? Not gonna happen. They don’t need Sabathia and they aren’t committing that kind of money for him.

    If they wanted to go in that direction, they would have gone for Santana.

    Its not how they do business. Especially, with Beckett’s deal coming up again soon.

  123. Fredo Corleone May 23rd, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Are you saying you’d rather have Beckett instead of Ramirez?

    I would. Sox are out a World Series if they don’t make that deal. Good pitching always beats good hitting.

    Also worth noting Ramirez’s career as a SS is nearing an end. He’s not very good there. Likely will be a CF.

  124. Brandon (supporting "Alex being Alex") (J.Santana HR allowed count: 11 ) May 23rd, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Scherzer to the BP

    oh brother this better not be a trend we started :lol:

  125. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    “No. No they are not. None of those guys is considered to be a “stud” prospect.”

    This is rich stuff. The top 50 players from 30 different teams and 3 levels of professional ball are not considered studs. Just ‘good’ prospects.

  126. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    “that shows you should pay only so much attention to a baseball web site. it’s not like they have scouts out there.”

    That’s not true of either Baseball America or Baseball Prospectus.

    Both of them compile their assessments based primarily on conversations with scouts. They both also make it a point to talk to scouts inside and outside of the organization the prospect belongs to.

    For BA and BP their prospect assessment is based solely on the assessments of scouts.

    BP does a separate analysis of prospects based on statistics but even they only look at it with extreme caution based on problems with projections. And those statistical analysis don’t figure into their prospect rankings.

    That’s all assessments based on the take of scouts.

  127. rbizzler May 23rd, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    CB,

    I generally agree with you that the Red Sox and some talent evaluators soured a bit on Hanley in ’05, hence his inclusion in the trade. But many other scouts, etc. felt he was bored and needed to be challenged and that is why the Marlins threw him into the fire so quickly (that and they had nothing to lose).

    It is easy to look back at Hanley’s initial and continued success and think that those in the latter camp were correct about his prospect status, but I know that it is not that simple and Hanley could have struggled and had his development stunted by the aggressive promotion.

    Wait until next year and all of the prospect evaluators are down on Tabata, are you going to feel that he isn’t a top prospect?

  128. jennifer May 23rd, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Was Sweeney on WFAN yet?

  129. Patrick May 23rd, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    ham fighter,

    My question has nothing to do with WS rings. I just thought it would be an interesting debate to discuss whether a stud starting pitcher is more or less valuable than a stud shortstop. If I wanted to debate who got the better of the trade I would have included Lowell and Sanchez, etc but I didn’t.

    Stats will support that Ramirez is more valuable than Beckett but does everyone agree? I’m not sure if I even agree although my first thought is to go with Ramirez.

  130. jon May 23rd, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Ok, let’s see what’s real here and what’s fluff:

    K rate: real.
    K/BB ratio: well, real, but his walk rate is actually down, so this is entirely because of his decreased K rate. Fluff.
    decreased velocity: very real
    opponents OPS: meaningless without more context. Does he have a higher BABIP? (slightly). A higher line drive rate? (slightly). A higher HR rate? yes, but not much higher than last year.

    So the concerns are his K-rate and his HR rate.

    What’s up with the HR rate? He’s allowing more HR/FB, but actually significantly less fly balls (compared to other balls in play). But since the K-rate is down, he’s allowing more balls in play. All this adds up to a slight increase in HR rate.

    Anyway, much of this is very very simlar to last year. He’s basically the same pitcher. What’s interesting is his k-rate is down from last year, but his velocity isn’t. A look at his game logs this year shows inconsistency with his strikeouts. He’s had games with more than one per inning, but also 3 games with 4 or fewer (including just 1 in his last start) which is really sinking him there.

    Compared to last year, he had 7 such games, including games with 1 and 2.

    Really, the k-rate could be a small sample size issue at this point.

    Anyway, he’s clearly not the same pitcher as he was >2 years ago. That doesn’t mean he’s not great – but probably not a good bet to be the best pitcher in baseball.

  131. randy l. May 23rd, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    “but if you think the fans here would be satisfied with “fine” after parting with Hughes, Melky, and others plus forking over the richest contract to a pitcher in history, i don’t think that is accurate either.”

    hmmm-

    even me who prefers veteran pitchers didn’t like that deal. money was fine , but not with the number of prospects.

    it was just an emotional judgement, but it wasn’t hughes i objected too ,it was melky.

    he seems like he should be a yankee. a role player yeah, but a very good role player.

    don’t get me wrong about hughes. i think he’s going to be good, but he doesn’t do it for me like joba. i think hughes is going to take a while.

  132. hmmm May 23rd, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    “Just so I’m clear, Hughes (who’s been god-awful) is still a front of the rotation lock. But Santana (who’s pitched to a sub 3.5 ERA and is on pace to win 20 games) is washed up. Okay.”

    fantastic, fantastic strawmen.

    no where did ANYONE say anything about Phil Hughes or that Santana was washed up.

    but hey, keep proposing made up arguments so you can keep knocking them down.

    also, how is Santana on pace to win 20 games? he has 5 wins in 10 starts. is he going to start 40 games?

  133. Fredo Corleone May 23rd, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    “Frank McCourt isn’t a big spender. They spend, but in short bursts. Noting really long term. CC is going to require more than a 1-3 yr deal. I’d be shocked if he went all in for CC.”

    I think his commitment to Torre as the manager (a pretty big expenditure by manager standards) commits him a little more than he otherwise might be. With so many good young players there crazy not to get a rotation anchor. A Sabathia, Kershaw, Billingsley lot would put them in the thick of the NL title chase for awhile.

  134. Bill May 23rd, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Maybe with the exception of last year, Santana’s numbers have always been better after the all star break than before the all star break. If Olney is comparing full season numbers to Santana’s 08 through Mid May, I’m not sure that its a very fair comparison. I’d still have pulled the trigger on that deal.

  135. Patrick May 23rd, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    “The Red Sox? Not gonna happen. They don’t need Sabathia and they aren’t committing that kind of money for him.

    If they wanted to go in that direction, they would have gone for Santana.

    Its not how they do business. Especially, with Beckett’s deal coming up again soon.”

    I could make all the same arguments and say the Yankees won’t go after him. They didn’t get Santana, they have more young pitching than the Red Sox and in the last several years they haven’t handed out huge contracts to pitchers. Also Cashman has straight up said he made mistakes offering big money for pitchers and that in the future he will be more careful doing so.

    In truth I think both teams will make a play at Sabathia but I don’t think either one will sign him.

  136. S.A.-Hello? Yankees Offense? Where are you? May 23rd, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Jennifer-Sweeney was just on

  137. a-rod this year manning May 23rd, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    i hope willy gets fired from the mets and they lose the next 20 games! willy will get a good job some where and the mets will be once again the trash of our town!!!!!!

  138. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Jennifer,

    Yes, Sweeni was already on, and he was fiesty today. I think he took a cue from Joe and Evan earlier today.

  139. jennifer May 23rd, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    So I should listen on line later?

  140. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Yes. Rare to hear Sweeny like he was today. He was really testy with the Joba questions.

  141. hmmm May 23rd, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    good post jon.

  142. Michael T May 23rd, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Good post Pete. ONe point though, is that the AL East and the AL in general as having more powerful offenses is a bit stale. Even with pitchers batting, the average NL team is outscoring the average AL team by a material margin this year. You can look it up. The most plausible cause(s) of this shift I have read are:

    - The average position player in the NL is almost 2 years younger, and in a post-steroids, post-uppers year the oold guys arebn’t getting it done

    - Production from the DH slot in the AL has been awful this year, probably due to the point above

  143. rbizzler May 23rd, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    pardon my asking, but was Sweeney pro or con the Joba move, or just the messenger?

  144. S.A.-Hello? Yankees Offense? Where are you? May 23rd, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Yeah. Listen to him online later. He was pretty good imo. I thought he finally snapped. lol

  145. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    “Wait until next year and all of the prospect evaluators are down on Tabata, are you going to feel that he isn’t a top prospect?”

    rbizzler,

    I wasn’t trying to make any assessment of how good Ramirez actually was then.

    All I was referring to was the perception of his value. I was referring to that because when you’re making a trade the value of any asset is completely based on perception. This is especially true with young players.

    I remember the Becket trade well and had followed Ramirez. Rightly or wrongly many talent evaluators had soured on him (turned out they were wrong).

    But that perception was what got him involved in that trade package.

    Personally, my evaluation of Tabata isn’t going to change much one way or another based on this year – he’s just so young for AA.

    But that said – I wholly expect Tabata’s trade value to be much, much lower this off season compared to last off season if he continues to struggle in AA.

  146. Fredo Corleone May 23rd, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    “Yes. Rare to hear Sweeny like he was today. He was really testy with the Joba questions.”

    Why was he testy??

  147. SJ44 May 23rd, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Fredo,

    That’s just it. Signing Torre was his big move.

    A story making the rounds among some baseball folks. Torre went to McCourt (over Colletti’s head mind you) and pushed for them to go after Santana.

    McCourt refused. Not because of prospects (McCourt couldn’t name 10 prospects in the Dodgers system), but because he wasn’t going to pay Santana that kind of money.

    He pretty much told Torre he was the big long term (3 yrs) free agent pick up in the off-season.

    Could a bad season this year change his mind? Perhaps.

    Even if it did, Torre only has 2 more years to go on his deal after 2008. He isn’t even there for the long term.

    At least this far into his ownership of the Dodgers, he’s not been a guy looking to set payroll records. Definitely not looking to go beyond 3-4 yrs on most of their FA pickups.

  148. hmmm May 23rd, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    “Maybe with the exception of last year, Santana’s numbers have always been better after the all star break than before the all star break.”

    sure, but don’t you think what happened last year should carry more weight in the discussion?

  149. mel-I never doubted Ca$hman May 23rd, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Santana trending down is no surprise. He was phenominal for years and it’s not that easy to maintain that level of performance.

    I think his numbers this year are based on several things. *Clearly the NL is the better league. (That’s a joke, but barely-lots of young stars producing)
    *Santana’s got a lot of mileage on his arm. (The Yankees showed incredible restraint. Mileage was never a factor in the past)
    *His team sucks and is in turmoil. (Hard to get pumped up amid that mess)
    *And last but not least, his heart’s not in it. He was supposed to be a Yankee. He’s pitching in the wrong stadium. He has great numbers @ Yankee Stadium, yet just earned his first home win last week.

    Seriously, things will work out for the Yankees. Even without three new pitchers to integrate, you have a new manager, new routines, etc.

    Here’s an article on the long term plan:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl.....8;c_id=mlb

    Try to ignore Steinbrenner’s comment about Cashman. It’s not a threat, his thoughts get lost in translation.

  150. ham fighter May 23rd, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    brandon, sherzer wasnt supposed to be up this early, when they brought him up, they said they’d use him mainly out of the bp. he only pitched 90 innings last season, so he couldnt be in the rotation for the remainder of the season anyway. he’ll start again but he’s at 42 innings now, so they have to slow him down some to keep him from going over 120 for the season.

  151. jennifer May 23rd, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    http://www.nydailynews.com/spo.....tml?page=0

    Pete isn’t the only smart beat writer!!

    He is spot on on everything!!

  152. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Sweeny agrees with the move into the rotation.

  153. Hankenstein May 23rd, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    The RS have some truly awful middle relief. But when your team is up by eight runs you can afford to give up three-run homers. Better than walking people. If Dice-K ever learns how to pitch with a lead, his ERA might go up but it would save some wear and tear on the bullpen. Starters got to go longer in games. Any bullpen is gonna wear out with a series of 5-6 inning starts.

  154. pat May 23rd, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    rbizzler

    Made a pro Joba to the rotation point but pretty much just the messenger.

  155. Rock em Sock em Robots May 23rd, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Can we stop using the term “stud” to describe a baseball player?

  156. jennifer May 23rd, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Bets on Mike complaining about Joe blowing his stack.

  157. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Brandon,

    Many people think that Scherzer’s future is as a reliever.

    He’s got that unbelievable fastball but his secondary pitches just aren’t nearly as good. He doesn’t really have a third pitch.

    I don’t know if Arizona has made up their mind on his future and this could be for innings limits, but Scherzer is in many ways the prototypical starter that you move to the pen.

    He’s nowhere close to the case of Joba. He doesn’t have Joba’s repertoire.

    Scherzer is closer to Papelbon than he is to a Verlander.

  158. rbizzler May 23rd, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    CB,

    I am in agreement with you, but I was just trying to point out that the whole concept of who is a ‘stud’ prospect and who isn’t is a pretty fluid one.

    It looks like Hanley just needed to be challenged and he responded well to that challenge (much like A-Jax last year, who, as you know, was not dominant before his promotion).

    My hope is that the similar thing happens with Tabata this year after his little melt down. And no matter what he does this year, I will also be high on him because of his age and the lingering effects of the hamate surgery.

    Am I correct in that I have seen you commenting more over at RAB in recent weeks?

  159. ham fighter May 23rd, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    rock em sock em:

    you knocked my block off!

  160. gayle May 23rd, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Also with the Mets I think part of the reason they needed him so badly no mater what the deal was in terms of dollars is that they very much are a win NOW team this is the year they really need to do it. They have no farm system, they are starting to get diminished returns on many of their players, have signed older players to stupid deals (see Luis Castillo) plus they came off the worst collapse in baseball history so they needed to do this deal on many levels NOW whether it made sense or not.

  161. S.A.-Hello? Yankees Offense? Where are you? May 23rd, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Oh fun
    fatso and fruitloops time. I wonder what their take will be on Girardi.
    But I suppose it will be Mets/Willie/Omar day

  162. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Great. Now the other two. Why do I listen. It’s like rubber-necking a wreck on the road.

  163. Red Sox fan May 23rd, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    RandyHater

    That’s the greatest wording I have ever seen used. You are unbelievable…for a Yankees fan.

    By the way, did anyone see MANNY RAMIREZ pump up MIKE LOWELL in on deck circle before his grand slam yesterday. I think most of the credit should be given to Ramirez for that grand slam. Anyone agree??

  164. S.A.-Hello? Yankees Offense? Where are you? May 23rd, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    “Bets on Mike complaining about Joe blowing his stack.”

    I was just thinking that. lol

  165. RyanM May 23rd, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    I was wondering if the reason some of Santana’s numbers are down are because he is not an early season pitcher. He has struggled in April and May in the past. April and May have historically been poor months for him. Santana has a 4.07 career ERA in April. He has a 4.01 career ERA in May. His current ERA is 3.36. Factoring in the fact that he’s in the NL, that would probably put him at right around a 4 ERA in the AL. Are they diminishing? Has his velocity been down in April and May before only to shoot up later in the season during the important months? Is he just experiencing his normal slow start, once again? I think we definitely have to experience a full season to see how Johan Santana’s strikeout numbers and velocity actually are.

  166. jennifer May 23rd, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Well right now it doesn’t look like any Yankee talk at all. Looks to be all Mutts.

  167. James May 23rd, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Martin,
    You have provided nothing to prove that Harden is better than Beckett. You say he is more talented. Based on what?

  168. G, Love May 23rd, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Please. I’m not about to applaud and give Cashman a standing ovation for NOT getting Johan Santana.

    He’d still be one of the top pitchers on our staff and still be a lefty under 30. He could be having an adjustment period, he could be injured, it could be a lot of things. He’s still pitching better than anyone in our rotation other than Wang.

    Randyhater said it best, with Hughes on the DL again, we’re supposed to sit here and say well Johan is done but Hughes is a lock as a potential ace?

    I’m not ready to say that about Hughes. I’d like to see Hughes throw 180 innings without hitting the DL before he gets annointed with anything.

    I will doubt Cashman again because he did a terrible job assembling this team in the off season. With the amount of talent and payroll he has to work with, he still could have come up with better options than Giambi at 1b, Damon in LF, etc. I understand those were terrible contracts he was locked into, but he could have been more creative and searched for more athletic players as back ups.

    Hearing him dismiss promoting Gardner because he wasn’t right handed on Michael Kay’s show was infuriating when we’ve just spend weeks watching guys not hit or perform from both sides of the plate.

    If Johan turns out to be hurt and can’t pitch for the contract, then yes, it’s a win for the Yankees in some respect.

    But if he’s such a genius, it still doesn’t take away the fact that at one point he was going to deal Hughes and Melky and 2 minor leaguers for Johan until the Twins asked for more.

    The only thing that saved Cashman from making that deal was Bill Smith (and Hank for pushing), not Cashman.

    And for the record, Theo was thinking of dealing just as impressive pieces as the Yankees were for Santana and Smith never bit.

    The only person who should get any sort of credit is Smith, although for his own team he botched the deal at such a high level it’s not funny.

    If really could have acquired the likes of Hughes, Melky, Lester, Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Masterson, etc., then he is still one of the dumbest GM’s in the league for taking that Met package.

    In fact, the Red Sox packages look much better than the Yankee package does now.

  169. Kill-Schill(ing) May 23rd, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Girardi won’t sit Abreu two nights in a row.

    If Duncan plays tonight, he will either spell Giambi at 1b or Matsui at DH, both of whom played last night against Burres.
    ****************************************************
    A few things to keep in mind about Santana and its implications for the Yankees past and future decisions:

    1) It’s too early to render a definitive judgment on the merit of Cashman’s decision not to trade for Santana.

    Hughes hasn’t pitched a full season yet or proved he can, quite frankly. Who knows about Marquez potential?

    Then too, Santana’s stats, as CB observed, almost always improve in the 2nd half of the season.

    The question is why: is it because he’s one of those pitchers whose velocity improves with the steady accumulation of arm strength as his innings increase?

    I don’t know the answer to this question.

    2) Santana should remain an elite pitcher, even if the recent drop in velocity is systemic, rather than temporary, because his dominance derives more from his change-up than his fastball. Santana can adjust, much as Pedro did in his final season with Boston, and his first year with the Mets.

    Although Pedro, it’s true, has a wider array of pitches. Santana, on the other hand, still profits from being a lefty and always can return to throwing the slider with more frequency, a pitch he largely has abandoned of late, for some reason.

    3) CC Sabbathia is NOT Johan Santana. The implication is more significant than its banal truism suggests. Like SJ44, one shouldn’t draw any overriding conclusions about the merits of a long-term contracts for one pitcher based upon the fate of another.

    Sure, prudence recommends avoiding long-term pitching contracts for older pitchers: Kevin Brown (30), Mike Hampton (28), and maybe or maybe not, Santana (29).

    But not always: Pedro Martinez (26) received a 7-year contract from Boston.

    Sabathia will be 28 this off-season. However, he’s one big dude, suggesting the kind of durability, if he’s diligent in his conditioning, that the much slighter Pedro and Santana body-types don’t promise.

    Sabathia’s body-type suggests parallels to Wells, him of the rubber arm. Then again, Wells might be a genetic freak too.

    Still, Boomer was an effective starter well into his late 30′s. And even though Boom didn’t begin throwing 200+ innings until age 27, he pitched at a high level for 10+ years.

  170. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    rbizzler,

    I agree with you on Tabata. His response after that blow up was encouraging. If he has a middling season I’m not going to get too down about it at all. You could make a case that he should perhaps have started at Tampa given that he was coming of the surgery.

    But I also think that we can now say that the idea of Tabata being the kind of great prospect who is going to be up by the age of 20 is now done. There were people penciling him into RF for abreu in 2009. Neither he nor Jackson are going to be ready.

    The guy in the system I’m really surprised to see people worrying about is Betances. Sure he’s walking a ton of people but I just don’t see how that’s surprising? We knew it was going to be like this with Betances from the day he was drafted. I’m thrilled that he’s healthy and getting innings and missing bats. That’s all I wanted from him.

    RAB is a great site. I do post there. There’s not as much conversation in the comments there. But its a great resource.

  171. hmmm May 23rd, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    “Randyhater said it best, with Hughes on the DL again, we’re supposed to sit here and say well Johan is done but Hughes is a lock as a potential ace?”

    right, except absolutely no one said either of those things.

  172. TurnTwo May 23rd, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    “Harden is not better than Beckett”

    Did I say anything about postseason success or how many starts he made the past 3 years?????

    No. I said he is more talented. Argue that, not other points I didn’t make.”

    i agree… on pure stuff, Harden is a better pitcher than Beckett. thats just the kind of stuff he has.

    ive always loved Harden as a pitcher, just that you cant depend on him to take the mound every 5 days for a full season right now.

    if he can be had for a package of a couple B level arms, i’d take a shot on him myself. the contract isnt a bank buster, and its commitment is only thru 2009 i believe… so if he turns out to be an injury mess, you cut the cord and you’re done with him.

  173. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    “The guy in the system I’m really surprised to see people worrying about is Betances. Sure he’s walking a ton of people but I just don’t see how that’s surprising?”

    I agree. To this point he has to be at least as good as one would/should expect. Why, who is worried about Betances? I haven’t heard anyone that’s worried. It’s low A. At least his balls aren’t hitting the backstop.

  174. rbizzler May 23rd, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    CB,

    Agreed on Betances, but you have to be impressed with his ability to miss bats and not give up hits. Obviously the command is not there, but a big kid with limited experience who throws that hard is going to have some bad days. The upside is there though and that is hard to ignore.

    Speaking of upside, I know that it may be a bit of a teaser, but Chris Garcia has looked good so far.

  175. hmmm May 23rd, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    kill schill, good post.

  176. SJ44 May 23rd, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    The only problem with the “Santana is a second half pitcher” belief is, he wasn’t last year.

    Admittedly its a small sample. However, his second half of last year and early part of this year just hasn’t measured up. He has been far from dominant.

    Remember, when you pay a guy 138 million, being average or league average isn’t what you are paying for.

    You are paying him to be great. To stop losing streaks, be dominant, etc.

    So far, Johan has not been that. Not in the second half of last year and not so far this year. A blip on the screen or a trend? Too early to say.

    All I know is, if I was in the Mets front office, I’d be squirming a little right now.

    You take all of that information under consideration when assessing whether or not you do a long term deal. Not just for Santana but for any player.

    The Yankees aren’t where they are right now because they didn’t make the Santana deal. They are where they are because their offense has (to date) not even been close to what it was last year.

    If they were scoring at the 6 run a game pace they were last year, they would be in second place, only a couple of games behind the Red Sox right now. Despite the shaky starting pitching.

    The lack of offense has hurt them more than anything else right now.

  177. mel-I never doubted Ca$hman May 23rd, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    hmmm,

    You’re splitting hairs. Why do you want spoil the fun?

  178. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    “i agree… on pure stuff, Harden is a better pitcher than Beckett. thats just the kind of stuff he has.”

    CB and I have beaten this dead horse. If you haven’t really watched Rich Harden pitch, then I encourage you to do so tonight (if you have the basbeall package). My luck, he’ll get bombed tonight. Nevertheless, he is a special, special talent.

    Here’s a good article on him:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl.....8;c_id=oak

  179. mel-I never doubted Ca$hman May 23rd, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    I was joking earlier when I said Santana wanted to be a Yankee instead. But go back a month or so, remember Santana lashing out at the home fans? Something about them booing? It wasn’t what the PR people ordered.

  180. Kill-Schill(ing) May 23rd, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    thanks, hmmn. Love to you, too.

    Question: Billy Beane calls you, as Yankees GM, on the phone and offers you Rich Harden in exchange for 1) Alan Horne or Daniel McCutchen and 2) two B prospects.

    How do you answer?

    I know Beane already told Susan Slusser he thought Blanton should command Joba Chamberlain, but let’s assume that before calling you, he’s taken his lithium.

  181. bdog375 May 23rd, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    I do not have stats to manipulate like Olney, but I remember Santana as a second half pitcher. I do not like the Mets, but I think that they have enough problems then to have meaningless stats from Santana looked at with a microscope. He is still the best pitcher in the game.

  182. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    “but you have to be impressed with his ability to miss bats and not give up hits. ”

    Completely agree. If Betances wasn’t missing bats in low A then I’d be more concerned.

    I think people are forgetting how badly Betances season was last year in Staten Island due to the injury.

    My main concern was that Betances was a kid who was having trouble repeating his delivery and in turn was putting too much stress on his elbow due to poor mechanics.

    Even his first start in Staten Island he was only 91-92 after having better velocity in the GCL.

    Then he got hurt. I remember many people were wondering when, not if, Betances was going for TJ.

    So this year IMO is going very well for him. He’s shown the stuff is there and his elbow is OK.

    He’s not a guy how is going to make slow and steady progress. He’ probably just going to put it together sort of like Daniel Cabrera may have. Hopefully it happens sooner rather than later. But that’s the issue with tall pitchers.

    I’m trying not to get too caught up in Garcia because he’s been such a tease for so long and then just keeps getting hurt.

    But the stuff is phenomenal. In terms of pure stuff in the organization Joba and Brackman are on their own level (this of course assumes Brackman recovers 100%). And then right after those two its Garcia.

    If he gives them anything at this point its a huge bonus.

  183. hmmm May 23rd, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    “You’re splitting hairs. Why do you want spoil the fun?”

    it’s kindof my thing.

  184. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    “I know Beane already told Susan Slusser he thought Blanton should command Joba Chamberlain, but let’s assume that before calling you, he’s taken his lithium.”

    Hahaha. Good trade proposal. Make it a bit more specific. Who are the B’s?

  185. hmmm May 23rd, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    “Question: Billy Beane calls you, as Yankees GM, on the phone and offers you Rich Harden in exchange for 1) Alan Horne or Daniel McCutchen and 2) two B prospects.

    How do you answer?”

    i would probably do it. Harden has tremendous upside and the Yankees have the depth to make that deal.

    but it all comes down to his medicals, i think. Harden has something wrong with his shoulder that could always be an issue.

  186. Fredo Corleone May 23rd, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    “I agree with you on Tabata. His response after that blow up was encouraging. If he has a middling season I’m not going to get too down about it at all.”

    I’d be thrilled if Tabata had a middling season in AA. He’s got a long way to go before he gets that good. I still think he should be in Tampa.

  187. TurnTwo May 23rd, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Martin, I kind of feel like Harden is the type of pick up that makes all too much sense for the Yankees, or a team like the yankees.

    Billy Beane isnt stupid. he knows he’s got a ticking time bomb in Harden currently. so he’s going to get him healthy, and take offers. he’s not going to get a ‘A’ prospect for him, so in Beane’s strategy, youd have to think that he’ll accept a package of a couple of Class A arms with upside, or a couple of upper level ‘B’ arms and cut bait.

    who has more of these types of prospects than the Yankees?

    and Harden is the type of pitcher where you may not get 25 starts from him… but the starts you get are going to be special.

    but what you do is recognize this going in… have a back up plan, and have other arms on hand for not if, but when Harden goes down.

    between Rasner, IPK, Joba, Hughes, and Horne, youve got the McCutcheon’s and Karstens, and White’s of the world, to fill in on those spot starts to allow Harden injury time.

    i know, sounds crazy…. but i really think he’s worth a shot.

  188. hmmm May 23rd, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    “I do not have stats to manipulate like Olney, but I remember Santana as a second half pitcher. I do not like the Mets, but I think that they have enough problems then to have meaningless stats from Santana looked at with a microscope. He is still the best pitcher in the game.”

    what stats has he manipulated? he has simply laid out his stats every year, including this year, while noting that 2008 is still a small sample.

    i see nothing dishonest about that.

  189. whozat May 23rd, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    “Question: Billy Beane calls you, as Yankees GM, on the phone and offers you Rich Harden in exchange for 1) Alan Horne or Daniel McCutchen and 2) two B prospects.”

    1) No

    2) …let’s talk, Billy :-)

  190. TKinDC May 23rd, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    I will not argue that Doggy is sane, but when he sits there and insults every Mets fan it is kind of entertaining.

    Now if he attacks the yankees? thems fightin words!

  191. S.A.-Hello? Yankees Offense? Where are you? May 23rd, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    lol..”Put Moises Alou in a hospice.”

    Oh lord. It’s gonna be entertaining today. I can’t wait to hear what Steve the crazy Mets fan has to say

  192. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    KS,

    I agree with hmmm. Very well thought out, balanced take.

    At the same time I think what hmmm said before in his 12:25 post really sums things up:

    “the argument for getting Santana that was repeated over and over here is that he is “THE BEST PITCHER IN BASEBALL”.

    we are simply questioning if he is still that guy.

    i am not saying he isn’t, but i am MUCH LESS sure about it than i was 1 year ago.”

    I agree with that sentiment. I love Santana. But I am less certain that he’s either the first or second pitcher in baseball.

    Forget the talent they had to give up – just betting $138 million (and it is a bet) while at the same time having that decreased certainty over his performance is very troubling.

    And for that much money he has to be a top 2-3 pitcher for at least three seasons.

    Santana has that great change up but he pitches off that fastball. If his velocity does drop (which I’m not sure if it is ) then he’s got to reinvent himself somewhat to slow down his change even more and add a third pitch (I don’t see him going to the slider much anymore this year though maybe I’ve missed that pitch).

    The money alone is a great concern. Making that committment and seeing how he might be losing a bit already in year 1 of the deal can’t make Omar happy.

    There’s no way to fully assess the deal – completely agree with you there.

    But just watching Santana throw and seeing his numbers – it’s concerning.

  193. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    TurnTwo,

    You’re preaching to the proverbial choir. I completely agree with everything you just said. We have the depth to take a chance on a special pitcher. If he’s healthy, he’s an ace. Hands down–an ace. If it doesn’t work out, so what? We’ll soon be drowning in good young pitching.

  194. TurnTwo May 23rd, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    damn… could you imagine going Wang, Sabathia, Harden, Joba, Hughes in your 2009 rotation every 5 days?

    holy moly.

  195. CB May 23rd, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    “Question: Billy Beane calls you, as Yankees GM, on the phone and offers you Rich Harden in exchange for 1) Alan Horne or Daniel McCutchen and 2) two B prospects.

    How do you answer?”

    I would say no. The real factor in my mind is related to the recurring and recent shoulder problems Harden has had.

    IMO recurring shoulder injuries change a lot. There’s no way to come back from a serious shoulder problem – and all the signs are there for harden – would it be that surprising if he needed shoulder surgery at some point over the next year?

    Baseball Prospectus’s projections for Harden this year were really eye opening. Under their optimal projection – and this is best case scenario – they could not see Harden throwing more than 120 innings this season.

    And now he’s been on the DL twice already with that shoulder.

    Neither Horne or McCutchen may have very high ceilings but I think both guys have very high floors. They are going to be major league starters.

    They may “only” be #3 or #4 starters – but those are very valuable assets.

    I’d be much more interested in trading them in a deal for younger position players than a guy like Harden who has a high likelihood of going bust.

  196. rich May 23rd, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Harden’s injury history…

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....yerId=5588

  197. Martin May 23rd, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    rich,

    Thanks for the breaking news. I think you’re the only one who has brough up his injury history.

    A budding journalist indeed.

  198. whozat May 23rd, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    WEll, some were fighting over what he’s injured and when. This answers all of that. He missed most of last year with shoulder trouble. Before that, he missed time with back and oblique problems. His most recent issue was the shoulder again.

  199. no.27 May 23rd, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    So what kind of contract would you guys be ok with giving to Sabathia?

    I would think he’s going to get at least 16mil a year for 6 years. Maybe the Yankees could offer him a shorter deal with more money like 18/yr for 5 years. I know that long term deals don’t work out very often, but in this case, you’re getting a lefty for Yankee stadium that can eat innings and team up with Wang to be as any other top two starters in the league. Then we have the young guys at the back of the rotation to give us potentially one of the best rotations in baseball.

    The problem with not signing him is that there’s really no other way to put together a dominant rotation. Some people say they should save the money for someone that is better than Sabathia, but when is someone like that available on the free agent market?

    I say sign him, and Texiera. Trade Damon (with some salary paid) for a reliever and bring up Gardner to play CF with Melky in RF and Matsui in LF. With Melky in RF, Gardner should be able to shade far enough into LF to get everything not on the line. That improves the rotation, defense in the outfield and at 1B and frees up the DH spot to rest the veterans. And it still gets rid of $50mil in salary.

  200. RustyJohn May 23rd, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    And these stats are from the weaker NL- his stats are still good though.

    Anyone would have to be crazy to give 6 years to a pitcher unless they locked them in below market value. I hope the Yanks don’t get Sabathia either, I think that will be just as big a mistake. It all depends on what happens over the next few months- if hughes gets healthy and back into form, if IPK works out and with Joba there will be a Wang, Joba, Hughs, IPK rotation- what if Rasner remains lights out? How can they justify spending 20 mil a year for 6 years when they have a guy who is making 300K a year? Even if Rasner is only a .500 pitcher for that time and wins 12-14 games, are 4 to 6 wins worth 18 million a year?

    Having payroll doesn’t mean having to piss money out the window. It means having room to absorb your mistakes and to keep your prospects and homegrown talent and take risk on high-end draft picks. That is where Cashman is going.

    In two years there will be no Moose, Pettite, Abreau, Matsui, Giambi or Damon. That’s between 90-100 million in payroll gone. Plus Jeter re-signs and it will be for less than the current contract. How awesome a farm system would you have if you had 100 million to blow on it and to sign your young studs to long-term below market deals?

  201. LathamJoe May 23rd, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    “After that deal was made it was universally lauded as a great deal for the sox.
    Hanley Ramirez at that time wasn’t a very highly regarded prospect.
    The Red Sox were thought to have made a great deal at that time before the season started. No one criticized it.”

    Conversely, when Beckett had a miserable first season, and Ramirez and Sanchez were performing at a high level for the Marlins, virtually everyone criticized that Deal.

    When the Twins accepted Minaya’s prospect package,virtually everyone claimed the Mets had
    “stolen” Santana and congraulated them for getting a long term contract done to protect their investment.

    That’s why I believe its too early to evaluate the Santana deal.

  202. SCRANTON May 23rd, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    I will not doubt Brian Cashman again

  203. Cathy May 23rd, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    “I hope the Yanks don’t get Sabathia either, I think that will be just as big a mistake.”

    I’m with you RustyJohn! Sabathia hasn’t pitched well this year and I’m not crazy about Teixiera either (what’s up with his back??).

  204. Uh Oh May 23rd, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Pete, I think your conclusion that Cashman “was right” and “shouldn’t be doubted” is premature. I’m in agreement with the “wait and see” approach on Santana. The Yankees could end up wishing they made that deal if Hughes is as big of a winner as Brandon Claussen or Matt Drews.

    I generally side with Cashman in avoiding paying huge dollars for many years for a pitchers whose trends raise some red flags. But, I just think we need to wait a couple of seasons to sift through who was right and wrong, unless Santana goes down tomorrow needing TJ surgery.

    I would stay away from the mythical Harden deal unless guys like Karstens and Chase Wright are involved. Did someone say Pavano? Britt Burns?

  205. Cathy May 23rd, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    “Why is Shelley Duncan still on this team?”

    1. He’s a right handed batter
    2. He plays OF and IF – actually he’s a pretty decent OF

  206. Uh Oh May 23rd, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Cathy,

    As for CC, that should be a “big FAT mistake”. His conditioning and number of innings thrown should worry the Yanks.

    Hey! Hey! Hey! It’s faaaaaaat CC.

  207. rich May 23rd, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    “rich,

    Thanks for the breaking news. I think you’re the only one who has brough up his injury history.

    A budding journalist indeed.”

    i didnt realize somebody had posted the actual history (with dates)rather than mere generalizations. i’d say something rude back to you, but other people have already given it to you pretty hard for your incompetence, so ill give you a break.

  208. Yankeefanfoev13 May 23rd, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Thank God that Cashman is smart.
    Give it 3-4 years one of the 3 will win a Cy Young.

  209. bronxbomber77 (from worst to first in 2008!) May 23rd, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    FWIW, I’ve been reading on the Hanley debate.

    Living in and owning a business in Portland, Me. where the Saux Double-A franchise, the Sea Dogs, play, I can tell you that yes, Hanley was thought of quite highly within the Saux organization.

    Many thought he would be similar to a Nomar, just not as much pop.

    When he was traded, MANY local people, from Maine to Mass, were upset. They thought he would be the Saux shortstop for the next 10 years.

    Just giving you some MOSP (man on street perspective)!

  210. bronxbomber77 (from worst to first in 2008!) May 23rd, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Although, Hanley was also known for being quite the night owl.

    He enjoyed the party life and went out drinking ALOT.

  211. Players Union May 23rd, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    He’s always been a second half pitcher. Given the state of pitching in the big leagues, if the guy wins 90-95 games in the next six years his contract woud have been worth it.

  212. j xi3 May 24th, 2008 at 5:43 am

    I don’t think Santana Case equals Cashman’s performance. I don’t think Cashman’s performance is good.

    I don’t think Peter is really saying “Cashman is great”. He last sentence is realy cute, though. And, that’s the idea.

    It’s interesting to see that there’s so many people with take that so seriously.

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