The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Lane sticks around Scranton

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Jun 04, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The Yankees have cut a deal with Jason Lane to extend his time with Triple-A Scranton. He had an opt-out a few days ago but decided to stick around rather than become a free agent.

Which means that none of the other 29 teams had a spot for him in the majors.

Lane is at .243/.343/.480 for Scranton. He has hit 11 homers. A right-handed bench savior he is not. Keep in mind that Shelley Duncan was Babe Ruth when he was down in the International League earlier this season. The numbers there don’t really translate.

The Yankees have much bigger problems than their bench anyway. Once Jorge Posada gets back, the lineup will be fine. Duncan can give Jason Giambi an occasional day off (as could Posada) and Wilson Betemit can play once every 10 days or so.

What the Yankees need are relievers. J.B. Cox has yet to allow a run for Scranton (10.1 innings). But he has logged only 23.1 innings this season. He could use a little more time to sharpen his stuff. He has only 12 strikeouts in 23 inings.

In 2006, before he got hurt, Cox fanned 60 in 77 innings. He’s not a strikeout pitcher by any means and won’t be in the majors. But you’d like to see him put away a few more hitters where he’s at now, if only to boost his confidence.


Meanwhile, as the Mets pound Barry Zito, it points to the foolishness of signing free-agent pitchers to long-term contracts. And that includes Johan Santana. He’s been pretty good this season. But great? Not really. Let C.C. Sabathia make his money someplace else. Keep the draft pick and continue to build.

It’s painful to watch at times. Who thought that that on June 4 that Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain would have only 16 starts and no wins? But it’s the only way that makes sense. Suffer now, celebrate later.





72 Responses to “Lane sticks around Scranton”

  1. stuart June 4th, 2008 at 1:13 am

    cox has only 23 innings but Melancon has 40 innings..


    MOlina sucks also, the guy cannot hit period… I mean he is a walking DP.

    they need 2 or 3 arms in the pen…they have them but refuse to try them………

    GO YOUNG………

  2. S.A.-Can we please win a game? June 4th, 2008 at 1:14 am

    No pain, no gain

  3. Patrick Bateman June 4th, 2008 at 1:19 am

    I agree with your analysis that the bullpen needs arms, but I don’t agree about Santana/Sabathia.

    The problem is that this organization is getting too attached to draft picks and prospects. Prospects are great, but you can’t overvalue them. Kennedy was vastly overrated. Marquez is another person that looks like he’ll be the pitching version of Andy Phillips. He’s not making progress.

    You gotta know when to sell high on certain prospects and get back what you need. Over the winter when Kazmir said he wasn’t going to sign long term with the Rays, it would have been the perfect time to snatch up a young pitcher. Jose Tabata is being disciplined for being lazy and causing problems in the clubhouse. Some of these guys aren’t going to pan out. If you just sit there and collect pitchers and them let them rot in the minors you aren’t going anywhere either. Look how long the Rays have taken to build a team with #1 draft picks. No prospect is a guarantee, and Brian Cashman still doesn’t understand this.

  4. MoBoy June 4th, 2008 at 1:20 am

    Isn’t going Young screwed us by having three pitchers in the rotation.

    We need a Set-Up guy not two relivers coming off Tommy John surgiries.And we know they won’t be near Joba stuff.

  5. brockdc June 4th, 2008 at 1:22 am

    Barry Zito is not, nor will ever be, in the same echelon as Johan Santana. Nonetheless, point taken. I also agree with your points regarding young pitching, which will require something that most Yankee fans (myself included)are inherently allergic to: Patience.

  6. stuart June 4th, 2008 at 1:23 am

    there are no good relief arms available.. anyone thinks there are have no clue.. who? for how much?

    Linebrink? he stinks and has a huge contract… Fuentes… what do they want?

    yeah sox cox had TJ…. so did many many good pitchers… cox and melancon are 23 + closers for big programs like morrow on seattle or Huston street….

    again the yanks are the only team that only promotes young guys when they absolutely have to.. they only do it when they have no other choice….

    enough of Molina already, man his brothers are so much better then him it is a joke….

  7. Don Vito A. Bellamo June 4th, 2008 at 1:24 am

    suffer now ? I don’t think we will be sufferin’ by the end of this season…..wait and see folks….wait and see…

  8. rbizzler June 4th, 2008 at 1:29 am

    Stuart, who should be getting AB’s instead of Molina?

    The guy is a backup, get over it. He calls a good game, throws well and occasionally contributes with the bat. What more can you ask for from your backup catcher?

    Would you like Will ‘No Thrill’ Nieves back? I didn’t think so.

    PS: The sky is falling…

  9. Mark June 4th, 2008 at 1:33 am

    When it is time for the Yankees to get rid of one of the catchers, and I know they are keeping 3 for a while is there any chance they keep Moeller over Molina?

  10. stuart June 4th, 2008 at 1:34 am

    RBIZZLER, HIS OBP AND SLUGGING are beyond bad..

    BTW his fielding is good but not great and he is literally a terrible hitter.

    Jason LANE, really who cares.. There issue is bullpen, athleticisim(steal runs) and a power arm in the rotation.

    they have Joba for the power arm, are getting Jorge back anyday, and need to get a few better options in the pen(they have options in the minors)….

    so make the changes.. The thing on Jose Molina is Moeller is better offensively and looks pretty good defensively and is much cheaper…

    Why do they hit Molina 8th he stinks stink him 9th.Man I miss Posada a lot…

  11. JoeT 28 in 09!! June 4th, 2008 at 1:38 am

    I am alllll for seeing what the young guys have – bring up anyone who’s ready and lets see what they got

  12. rbizzler June 4th, 2008 at 1:43 am

    Moeller’s career numbers are awful and he doesn’t throw as well as Molina. As for being cheaper, ML contracts are guaranteed so cutting Molina doesn’t save a penny.

    Me thinks you are protesting over a trivial aspect of the roster.

    Simmer down.

  13. stuart June 4th, 2008 at 1:45 am

    rbizzler you are probably right.

    I just am so sick of Molina and his inept AB’s and cannot wait to see Jorge.

    Molina 5 AB’s a week is OK, after that it is unbearable.. the pen obviously is much more of an issue..

  14. nychicago June 4th, 2008 at 1:55 am


    I disagree with your point about signing pitchers to long term contracts.

    1) As Patrick noted, Zito is not close to Johan’s level, or even C.C.’s. Zito had one fantastic year, and consistently declined after that.Johan and CC have been consistent for many years.

    2) Your comment that Johan has not been great this season is unfounded. Yes, Johan has started “slowly”. Take a look at his career numbers though. From 2004-2007, Johan’s numbers (on average) through his first 12 starts: 3.93 era, 87 Ks. Through his first 12 starts this year: 3.20 era, 71 Ks. Johan has always been a second half pitcher, and I think it is fair to say that will continue. So far, he has performed in line with his career numbers, so judge the signing at the end of the year.

    3) CC is a premier talent, look at his game log this year and you will see that he struggled early on but picked it up thereafter. In my opinion, we can’t pass up CC, we have ONE dependable pitcher going in to next year (wang, assuming pettitte and moose are gone). Prospects are great, and I agree we shouldn’t trade prospects that we are confident will pan out. But a draft pick in itself is not a premier prospect.

  15. DYNASTY IS DESTINY! June 4th, 2008 at 1:58 am

    “Why do they hit Molina 8th he stinks stink him 9th”

    You mean bat him 9th?

    Oh yes, I’m sure that will make a big difference…

  16. DYNASTY IS DESTINY! June 4th, 2008 at 2:01 am


    What did you expect to happen when Joba vacated the pen?

    Give me a “clue.”

  17. LI Mike June 4th, 2008 at 2:05 am

    “The problem is that this organization is getting too attached to draft picks and prospects.”

    Patrick Bateman, I appreciate the name because that movie is awesome, but you are a moron for making that comment. What do you want? If prospects aren’t the answer than what is? More free agents of trades? Have you even watched the team in the last few years? Kevin Brown? Randy Johnson? Jeff Weaver? Carl Pavano? I don’t want to ask you anymore questions because you probably won’t understand them.

    I get where you’re coming from when you say the team may overvalue prospects. However, this is a risk the Yankees need to take. If you want to buy Sabathia and trade away our young talent you are absolutely crazy. Sticking with the kids (Joba and Hughes) will work out for the best in the end. And yes I left out Kennedy because I don’t believe he has what it takes. So I guess I agree with you on one point Patrick, Kennedy was overvalued.

  18. whoa June 4th, 2008 at 2:12 am

    I disagree with Peter. The offense has been the biggest problem this season. Posada’s presence won’t necessarily fix that.

    Shelley Duncan has no place on this roster. He’s not a MLer.

  19. Wendy M June 4th, 2008 at 2:22 am

    How can so many dollars return so few wins ? How ?

  20. Guiseppe Franco June 4th, 2008 at 4:09 am

    The problem with too many Yankee fans is that they feel a sense of entitlement and will not take the necessary steps to right the ship.

    Youth is a big part in building a dynasty and the Yanks are going about this the right way in terms of keeping their young talent instead of trading them away.

    Older teams naturally lose that energy and hunger over the course of a 162 game season and into the postseason. That’s just a fact.

    Not many older teams win rings. And we already know that the Yankees are in this business to win rings.

    You cannot stick a Band-Aid on a broken leg if you want it to heal properly. That is essentially what this team did over a span of 7-8 years by signing the newest and shiniest bell or whistle instead of addressing these problems like the starting rotation sooner.

    Dynasties are always built around youth and a lot of homegrown talent. That’s how the Yanks did it in the late 90s and how the old Yankee teams did it. That’s how the Big Red Machine was born. To a lesser extent – it’s how the Braves were the class of the NL for a decade.

    These teams also did it with starting pitching and the Yanks don’t have it. Trading for Santana or signing Sabathia is a quick fix that won’t solve the problem. They need to completely rebuild the rotation and inject the young talented Hughes, Kennedys, and Chamberlains of the world because it’s the right way to do it.

    How many times do the Yanks have to get burned by adding aging free agents with huge contracts based on that they did somewhere else?

    It’s a losing strategy and one Cashman has finally realized. This team got away from the immense success of the 90s by not building from within and developing young talent in the early part of this decade and it’s a big reason why the team is now in this position.

    Frankly, the only way this team is going to get better over the long haul is to take a step back before you take two steps forward. That’s what the Red Sox did in 2006 by keeping their young kids and they are now in a much better position than the Yanks right now for it.

    Patchwork like adding free agents and making dumb long term commitments again is exactly the wrong thing to do to rectify the problem. Growing pains are part of the developmental process so get used to it or come back next year.

  21. mack June 4th, 2008 at 4:10 am

    “Sticking with the kids (Joba and Hughes) will work out for the best in the end.”

    Of course, you have no crystal ball. Only time will tell if you’re right. Joba looks to be the real deal. Hughes is a question mark. Only a moron would put him down as a future ace at this point.

  22. Patrick Bateman June 4th, 2008 at 4:21 am

    “Patrick Bateman, I appreciate the name because that movie is awesome, but you are a moron for making that comment.”

    First off, just because you don’t agree with me doesn’t make me a “moron”. I don’t why I’m even bothering responding to a unintelligent, disrespectful slob such as yourself.

    Prospects are unproven players. You’re not honestly going to tell me that the free agent market is pointless because old geezers like Kevin Brown and Randy Johnson didn’t work out. Or because a 1 year wonder like Carl Pavano is doing something he’s done his entire career, sit on the DL.

    Free agency isn’t the problem. Signing the wrong players is the problem, and that falls on the General Manager. Passing on Beltran but signing Johnny Damon who didn’t even make it through 2 years at the position we signed him to play. Bringing in Kevin Brown and Randy Johnson in their 40′s and not getting proven pitchers in their prime. Bringing in Farnsworth, Hawkins, and Jaret Wright who had histories of failure.

    Our system is loaded with average players. We’ve got a lot of guys growing moss because they aren’t good enough to play at the major league level. Alan Horne is average, but was considered untouchable in Santana talks. Marquez is below average. White can throw hard but has 0 control. Tabata is considered to be a lazy player who’s value drops everyday. Kennedy was scouted as a #5 starter, who we marked as untouchable. We didn’t go near Beckett because Cashman didn’t want to part with Eric Duncan. Whats he doing right now besides wasting space for 5 years in AAA?

    Part of being a successful GM is knowing when to sell high on some of your prospects, fill your needs, and restock with new prospects

  23. Joe June 4th, 2008 at 4:59 am

    Great thread going so far…where are the regulars?

    JB Cox is NOT a closer prospect, not even close. His K/9 numbers have never been very good, and this year they are terrible. Pitching to contact is great if you are a starter and can keep the ball on the ground. If you want to be a late inning pitcher, you HAVE to be able to put guys away or else you are playing with fire with so many balls put in play.

    The Yankees have more than a few big time arms, Cox is not one of them. He IS however a high pick and a pretty big money guy, so he enters most conversations, but he is not the type of pitcher most think he is. I think he can give some decent middle relief, though.

    I think Scott Patterson is a MUST for this bullpen right now.

  24. mko June 4th, 2008 at 5:59 am

    IMO the Yankees should sign Sabathia if they can get him. He works out – great. He doesn’t – it’s not our money :D

    But I don’t think he’s another Pavano or Zito…he’s just a GOOD and DURABLE pitcher. No way can you let him slip through your hands because of some weird principles…

  25. Doreen June 4th, 2008 at 7:06 am

    George wanted Johnson and not Beltran. (I couldn’t even guess why in his mind it was one of the other that year.) And Beltran has had his share of problems over at Shea. Kennedy has never been marked as an “untouchable” – in fact would have been in Minnesota as we speak if the Twins had accepted one of the Yankees initial offers.

    Last off season Tabata was coming off a very successful season and who knew he would be having some problems this season? The Yankees don’t have a lot of position player prospects and rightly, I think, want to hold onto the ones they have for now.

    After Pettitte and Clemens left in 2003, the Yankees were left with a decimated starting staff and pretty much had to scramble to fill those star spots. At that time they did not have anything in their system to call up or develop. They had to go outside the organization. Steinbrenner has always had a penchant for players who hurt the Yankees. Johnson, at least, fit that description due to the 2001 World Series. I would guess that it’s difficult to talk George Steinbrenner out of a whole lot.

    The Yankees have their problems, but you you really can’t put a revisionist spin on things; nor can you really use 20/20 hindsight.

  26. Stan June 4th, 2008 at 7:06 am

    There’s just no justice in Yankeeland as the waste of a roster spot (Betemit) gets to stick around and provide nothing.

  27. SJ44 June 4th, 2008 at 7:28 am

    When one talks about adding players, it pays to take a look at the 40 man roster.

    You can’t add a player to the major league roster unless they are on the 40 man roster.

    JB Cox, David Robertson, and Mark Melancon are 3 legitimate candidates for the bullpen. None of them are currently on the 40 man roster.

    To get them there, you have to make moves. Some could be as easy as putting Hughes and Albie on the 60 Day DL.

    Others (Hawkins, White, Billy Traber) could involve DFA’ing players. The problem with that is, you get nothing for the player. Even if its a low level minor leaguer, you like to get something when you move some players. Just cutting them for nothing may be nice for a fan to say but, for an organization, it makes little sense.

    The 40 man roster of the Yankees is overloaded with pitchers.

    As of today, counting guys on the various DL’s, there are 27 pitchers on the 40 man roster. They have a total of 44 guys on the 40 man roster. More are allowed because some of those guys are on the DL.

    Way too many pitchers on the 40 man roster, IMO. It creates roster imbalance.

    At this point, I have no problem going to Cox, Robertson and Melancon. To do so though, they have to make corresponding moves on the 40 man and its unclear how exactly they go about it right now.

    As far as Joba last night, he has to be in the rotation and that’s going to create growing pains across the board with the pitching staff.

    This team is not one or two players away from being a good team. They just aren’t. Watch them everyday with less of a rooting interest and more like a GM.

    What do they do well? Hit? We haven’t seen that this year. Lots of names, little production. Especially with RISP.

    Defense? Its awful. No other way to say it. Melky Cabrera is the only plus defender on the team.

    Run? Average team speed at best.

    Bullpen? Aside from Mariano, not good.

    Starters? Average at best.

    They are what their record says they are. An average team.

    Meaning, this is the perfect time to break in younger players in roles you see for them in the future.

    If folks reject the growing pains that come with it, come back when they are finished products.

    That’s what happened in the Dynasty Years. Its amazing how popular Bernie Williams became after he was a finished product.

    If the internet existed back when he was starting out, calls for him to be DFA’ed would have gone all through Yankeeland. You think Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy looked bad? You never saw Bernie Williams in his first 2-3 years as a Yankee. He looked like he never played the game. He was that awkward and that bad.

    It takes time to develop players and there is no one way to do it. Every player develops differently. Some quickly. Some take more time. Some don’t develop at all. Its a tricky business.

    At some point, EVERY team, yes even the Yankees, have to retool. This is the year for them to do it.

    Retooling doesn’t always involve spending over 100 million bucks on a player. One of the reasons why they are in the spot they are in today is because of that failed and flawed strategy.

    Better to learn from past mistakes than make the same one’s over again.

  28. bottom line June 4th, 2008 at 9:00 am

    SJ– What a great point you make about Bernie Williams. The New York papers, which have always been filled with writers that have ant-Yankee agendas, often seemed determined that Williams, a potential star, be cut before he could show his stuff. Mel Hall was agitating against him and the papers were full of “deer in the headlight” quotes on Bernie. It is only because the Yankees were basically non-contenders, the media spotlight not quite so harsh, that Bernie was allowed to develop.

    Meanwhile, it was obvious to most talent evaluators that he would be an upper-echelon player. I have written about baseball from time to time and saw him in 1989 when I did a story on the Yankees AA farm that was running away from the Eastern League. Though Bernie was hitting just .260 you could see that his body was still maturing, that he had not yet filled out in the chest and shoulders but that he already ran first to third like Willie Davis.

    There’s simply no getting around the need for patience. I do agree that it would be desirable to trim some of the surplus pitching we have. But it seems clear that nobody wants to give New York a fair shake in deals. Personally, I would hold on to Melancon and Horne if possible. I do agree that some prospects — probably Marquez and Kennedy — have been over-rated. But at this point, unless they have market value to fetch something that can help us now, what’s the point of dumping them.

    I don’t see the 40 man roster as a problem. Billy Traber seems totally dispensable, as does Steve White. They Yankees have a bunch of “insurance” policies ob the 40-man who should be dispatched once the need arises to bring up a Melancon or Cox or Robertson.

    This is a team that can’t defend, can’t hold a lead, can’t play small ball. Lots of holes. I would bring up Gardner immediately, along with either Cox or Robertson at the first chance. Meanwhile, ignore the Lupicas and the Mad Dogs who would like to see nothing more than the Yankees abandon the wise and necessary policies of internal development.

  29. 86w183 June 4th, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Excellent points all on the patience required to re-tool. The key to retooling AND winning is the play of the veterans easing the transition. The pitching issues would be much more tolerable if Wang had pitched to his abilities in his last 5 starts. Ditto Pettite who has been dreadful, Farnswurst and Hawkrap.

    Great assessment of the 40-man roster. Here’s more. Of the 27 pitchers on it, 23 are right handed. Rush Limbaugh must be putting this roster together to be so right-wing and left-phobic.

    Ease up on Molina. He’s a part time player thrust into a full-time role and he’s worn out. He is not an every day catcher, but has done a credible job of filling the void.

    Why on earth did Girardi pull Veras? He wasn’t throwing poorly and the bullpen is already gassed. It was a Torre-esque pitching change for the sake of making a change that added to the fatigue problem. Someone as slight as Ramirez is going to need more rest.

    Here’s one vote to give the 8th inning to Ohlendorf and leave him there. He has a much higher ceiling than Ramirez, Veras, Guise or anyone else on hand and I’m convinced his problems have been caused in part by having pitched in just about every imnning imaginable.

    A big YES on Sabathia. 2009 cannot feature Wang and four kids… Mussina and Pettite should and likely will retire. Teixiera is more debatable, but I’m inclined to say yes on him, too. Even if those two cost $ 40 mill a year or more, the Yanks remain almost $ 50 mill below current payroll to address other concerns. Tex is so good defensively he makes every infielder better and every pitcher better.

  30. 86w183 June 4th, 2008 at 9:06 am

    One point of clarification. Of the 27 pitchers on the 40-man list, 4 are on the 60-day D.L. (Paguano, Sanchez, Bruney and Brackman) and thus do not count.

    The the actual 40-man breakdown is:

    19 RHP, 4 LHP, 5 C (absurd), 8 IF, 4 OF.

  31. jashell2000 June 4th, 2008 at 9:24 am


    Well said and as usual I agree with the majority of your analysis. This team IS in transition and it will absolutely be painful at times. The difference for a team like the Yankees (unlike other MLB teams that rebuild) is that there is still a “win now” mantra that conitnuously exsists. That was what made this team so remarkable back in ’94,’95 (and even ’96) is that they were able to win a lot of games and even get to the playoffs (exception of strike in ’94) while rebuilding with Bernie, Jorge, Jeter, Pettitte etc.

    The one thing that strikes me most about this current youth movement is timing (which is everything when you are trying to win at the same time). I’m fine with moving Joba to the rotation, but where are the replacement(s) for the 8th inning? There is absolutely NO bridge to get to Mo currently left by the Joba transition. Cash HAS to make moves (internally) to fill this void. Otherwise, this team’s biggest weakness (pitching) get’s worse. My point is that the “timing” of Joba moving will only look more suspect if the bullpen falters even more which is what is happening currently. With the exception of Wang, our starters are giving us about 6 quality innings. Joba is in this group since he is young and has an innings limit for the year. It’s going to hurt, but more tweaking needs to be done for the Joba transition to be more successful. My take.

  32. SJ44 June 4th, 2008 at 9:35 am

    The bridge stuff is really overrated.

    How can I put this delicately. Just about every bullpen (absent closers) in MLB suck. They really do.

    Its like a card game. You shuffle around a ton of guys, hope a few get hot, and you have a “great bullpen”.

    You don’t “build” bullpens. You really don’t.

    Its just one big crapshoot because the guys you are dealing with are either failed closers or failed starters.

    Its impossible to figure out.

    That’s why I don’t buy the Mike and the Mad Dog floated theory of “knowing” who the 8th inning guy is prior to putting Joba in the rotation.

    That’s not only wrong, its idioic.

    Why would you tie in Joba Chamberlain’s development to a failed relief pitcher? Seems to me to be a dumb way of developing pitchers.

    You try enough guys in the bullpen, somebody will get hot for you. That’s how it works. All this “formula” talk is nonsense floated by talk show guys who want to sound intelligent discussing baseball. From a player development perspective, it makes little sense.

    The Red Sox “found” their 8th inning guy last year after barely using him the entire spring and after Mike Timlin got hurt. Some “formula” isn’t it?

    This year, their “automatic” 8th inning guy (the same player, BTW) leads the AL in inherited runners scoring. So much for “needing” an 8th inning guy to be great.

    They are in first again because they have very good starting pitching. That’s where it all starts.

  33. Jorge Steinbrenner (the long lost third brother) June 4th, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Pete, I don’t think a lot of us are exactly “suffering” right now as fans. This may not be our year, but I am so enthralled by the development of our young players this year that I couldn’t even tell you what the Sox’ record is. I can’t even tell you who the hell Ryan Church is and why he’s talked about on the Mets so much. The Yanks are holding my attention more than ever right now.

    I agree with GC as to the sense of entitlement too many fans on here have. It also shocks me that so many fans learned nothing from past Yankee teams and eras. Perhaps there’s some really young people on here, but I doubt that.

    I have patience for Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, and am willing to continue to go through this in order to build a new core of home-grown players that we can, then, complement with a veteran presence. i don’t need to make the playoffs this year if all we’re going to do is lose in the first round again. i’m, frankly, tired of that.

  34. JohnC June 4th, 2008 at 9:51 am

    I would love to see Gardner up here, but the problem is, if he comes up, he has to play otherwise it could retard his development. WHo do you sit? Damon? Matsui? Melky? Not an easy solution. As for the releivers, Cox, Melancon and Robertson still need more time to develop. I could see Cox coming up, but not the other 2. THey are just not ready. Just have to be patient and ride this wave out. Maybe this is the year they just don’t make the playoffs. I would definitely make a big pitch for Sabathia this winter. A top three of Sabathia, Joba, and Wang is pretty good, with Hughes and maybe Pettite if he comes back.

  35. eric in australia June 4th, 2008 at 10:00 am

    another reason to say yes to sabathia is the 40man/Rule 5 issue. Getting Sabathia at the top of the rotation provides one more ‘sure thing’ in the rotation, allowing Cashmoney to trade some mid-level depth who are 40man cloggers. Guys like Marquez, Chase Wright, Steven White, McCutchen, McCallister et al, have a little currency and will sooner or later be rule 5 eligible as kontos, betances, garcia and many others will get protected when their time comes.
    Surely cash will use all the RHP chips he has to bolster position player stocks which are still fairly modest.

  36. jashell2000 June 4th, 2008 at 10:06 am

    True, you definately have to “shuffle around a ton of guys and hope they get hot”. The problem is the “ton” that we have, are not hot…yet anyway. And my point was if you move Joba, there have to be other moves that follow (which I believe you also agreed with). There have been a few with Patterson and Giese, but I guess we will have to see what happens and who gets hot. Like I said earlier, I am all for Joba moving to the roatation since that is ultimatley where he is headed, there just is no one as of yet that they can count on to get the ball to Mo (consistantly) when there is a lead. I hope it can be figured out soon, otherwise ’08 will be a wash and we build for ’09.

  37. holdstrong June 4th, 2008 at 10:08 am

    “Suffer now, celebrate later”

    Learn from History Pete! There is a great book out there called ‘How to Waste Your Franchise on the Arms of Kids’ by Wood and Prior, from Chicago publications.

  38. dbm June 4th, 2008 at 10:16 am

    I am all for developing young pitchers in the organization, but the current strategy has me fuming. I have to agree with Dave Perkins column today. We have pushed Hughes very hard (physically). We have created a prima donna in Kennedy (who thinks he is pitching well enough to stay in the majors, based on his comment ‘these guys will look like clowns,’ made when he was sent back to AAA), and now we take Chamberlain and use his very limited allocation of innings in a sub-par way. As a starter, he’ll be able to pitch only a few games (and a few innnings at that). If we wanted to make him a starter in ’08, that should have been done from the spring training on. (Obviously, this is done to appease Hank.) Joba would be infinitely more valuable using his limited innings in the pen and starting in ’09.

  39. SJ44 June 4th, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Its not done to appease Hank. This has ALWAYS been the plan from Cashman. Where do people come up with this stuff?

    From the day Joba was called up, he said he was a starting pitcher. Hank wasn’t even running the Yankees at that time.

    Its been written by Pete, every beat writer in town, and virtually every person with any contact with the Yankees that Joba was brought up last year to fill a void and hit his innings mark. After that, he was going to be a starting pitcher.

    He started all spring and they said he would go into the rotation at some point this season.

    Hank is not forcing the Joba move to the rotation. This is where he belongs for the simple reason that you don’t waste an arm like that in the 8th inning.

    This ain’t rocket science. Its what every team in baseball does with a kid possessing Joba’s talent.

  40. Kill-Schill(ing) June 4th, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Wasn’t there some guy named Pedro the Red Sox signed for 6 years at $75 million. I wonder how the Red Sox fared after signing him to a long-term contract?

  41. SJ44 June 4th, 2008 at 10:32 am

    How did the Mets fare signing him to a 4 year 52 million dollar contract?

    Also, when Pedro signed with the Red Sox, there was no revenue sharing or luxury tax plans in MLB.

    75 million was 75 million. For teams over the level, like the Yankees, add 40% to that contract. 75 million becomes a 105 million. It makes it a different deal.

    The game has changed from the time of the original Pedro contract.

  42. Kill-Schill(ing) June 4th, 2008 at 10:40 am

    We’re still debating the Joba move? If anything, fault the Yankees for the timing.

    I’d hoped early in the season the Joba transition would have coincided with the ripening of Melancon, Cox, Robertson, so that one or more of the latter could replace him in the late inning roles.

    I’m guessing the injuries to Hughes and IPK accelerated the Yankees time table, but I don’t wish to accord them more credit than they deserve.

    In the confidence they’ve expressed in the bullpen as currently constituted, Cashman and Girardi might be stubborn, blinkered, or just adept at equivocation: in any case, the bullpen has to be restructured, if not immediately than as soon as possible.

    The Yankees stand on the precipice of a cliff right now. If they don’t begin to turn things around over the next 30 days, they’re not going to make the playoffs. It’s really that simple.

    They can’t go into the All-Star break at .500 and rehearse the Miracle of 2007 because the AL East is infinitely superior this season. Worse, the Yankees have a treacherous 2nd half schedule.

    SJ44: Any news on Humberto Sanchez?

  43. SJ44 June 4th, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Sanchez may be getting into Gulf Coast Games by the middle of this month.

    If he can, he will probably spend a few weeks there before heading to Tampa (A ball) for the next step in his rehab.

    That’s the last I heard about it.

  44. Kill-Schill(ing) June 4th, 2008 at 10:51 am

    The Mets signed a Pedro at 33 to a 4-year contract.

    CC Sabbathia will be 28 this off-season. The more apt comparison is the Red Sox signing of Pedro at 26, not the Mets signing of him at 33.

    Signing a pitcher over 30 to a long-term contract, I agree, isn’t a prudent use of resources. But the rule shouldn’t apply to pitcher under 30.

    Moreover, the principle should serve as a general guide, not a categorical rule. Each player should be evaluated as a separate case, judged by his talent and his long-term durability.

    $75 million in 1998 was an astronomical sum of money, perhaps a large contract, in today’s terms, than Santana’s 6-year $137 million one.

    Furthermore, I fail to understand how revenue-sharing has any significance on evaluating the merit of signing a free-agent.

    Yes, revenue-sharing means fewer worthy free-agent pitchers hit the market andthat teams must develop their own rather than construct rotations wholsesale via free-agency.

    However, that shouldn’t preclude a team that generates as much profit as the Yankees from signing a premiere free-agent pitcher under 30 when he’s available.

  45. SJ44 June 4th, 2008 at 11:11 am

    There is more that goes into it than profitability.

    First off, there’s health issues.

    To invest over 130 million dollars (which is what it will take) on CC, you have to feel he can hold up over the course of the contract.

    You also have to put your overall salary at a level which gives you additional flexibility to make moves, while not continuing to fund your competitors via the luxury tax.

    In a vaccum, yes, its makes sense to go after a guy like CC.

    However, these decisions can’t be made in a vaccum.

    Right now, its too early to even make that call.

    Better to wait and see how he holds up and pitches the rest of the way, as well as see what other options are out there, to make that call.

  46. Jorge Steinbrenner (the long lost third brother) June 4th, 2008 at 11:17 am

    I’m all for signing Sabathia. Hell, I was all for signing a guy who pitched against us the other day as an innings-eater to help the load: Livan Hernandez.

    What I’m not for is giving prospects exactly two months of a chance, and then saying they were busts, recommending some book on Kerry Wood and Mark Prior(!) as an example of why you don’t invest in arms.

    Maybe I can get a book deal for a book on why you don’t put your future in the arms of questionnable arms. I’ll call it “Lessons Learned from Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright.”

    Keep on spreading that gospel, SJ. This place needs it.

  47. Yu Darvish June 4th, 2008 at 11:18 am

    I couldnt disagree more with Peter you cannot have a team lacking a definitive “Ace”. Lets review the A.L. teams and there respective aces. The East(in order of current standings)Tampa-Scott Kazmir,Boston-Dice-k/Beckett,Toronto-Roy Halladay,All except Baltimore have an ACE. The central-Cleveland-C.C. Sabathia/Cliff Lee,Chicago-(none to speak of but Danks, Contreras and Floyd are better than wanger, Moose and Andy),Detroit(none due to Verlanders ridiculous drop-off)Twins(none), Royals-Zack greinke is developing into one. The West-Angels-Joe Saunders/Ervin Santana,A’s-Rich Harden if he could ever get on the field,Seattle-Erik Bedard/Felix Hernandez,Texas(no need for explanation) As you can see the teams with an Ace or great 1-2 are the teams that have winning records this is why we must have a clear cut Ace! We shouldnt have to suffer this team hasnt had a prime age Ace since Pettitte in the late 90′s! Enough is enough and Wang is tremendous but hes not a pitcher hitters clutch think about at night

  48. 86w183 June 4th, 2008 at 11:25 am

    I disagree. A lefty in his prime with excellent health history MUST be pursued to give stablity to the rotation. You can’t pretend Joba, Hughes and Kennedy will be proven, established starters by the end of the year.

    CC turned down Cleveland, not over $$$ but the fact that if he got that much they wouldn’t be able to put a quality team around him. I bet the Yanks get him for less $$$ than Santana. But even if it’s about the same, its still much less than Pettite and Pavano combined.

  49. Yu Darvish June 4th, 2008 at 11:32 am

    It is ridiculous to insist the Yankees never again sign a proven pitcher on the free agent market, simply because “we have changed we are not George Steinbrenners Yanks we are the farm grown Yanks” that mantra is a pleasant idea but sometimes you must invest money in a player that has done it and is ready to be a major leaguer lets face it even ignoring this year which is shot 09 dont look much better Wang will never be an Ace he is a 2 being forced as an Ace , does anyone expect Joba to be an Ace less than a year into starting and who can predict anything positive for Hughes and IPK based on what they have seen this year? This let the kids grow up never open the wallet again idea is truly a pipe dream yes the kids must be given a shot but the product on the field cannot be a joke either, Who is gonna pay 20 bucks next year to sit in the bleachers in a brand new ball park and watch wang, followed by 4 guys fresh out of A ball there needs to be Wang and another presence to back him up.

  50. saucY June 4th, 2008 at 11:34 am

    “Who thought that that on June 4 that Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain would have only 16 starts and no wins? ”

    Joba has a win in relief. but i know what you mean :|

  51. SJ44 June 4th, 2008 at 11:34 am

    The key to CC is health. I agree, he would be a great addition to the roster if he is healthy.

    His body is a bit of a worry though. That’s why I want to see how he holds up this season.

    You don’t just sign these guys for one year. You have them for 5-6. As we have seen with guys like Pavano and Giambi, they often don’t hold up over the length of their contract healthwise or from a performance standpoint.

    Just something to consider when pondering what to do to improve the team in the off-season.

  52. Yu Darvish June 4th, 2008 at 11:36 am

    In addition to that any Yankee fan who claims to have been ecstatic when the Mets traded for Santana are totally full of it! we all wanted Johan just not at the price the Twins were asking

  53. jashell2000 June 4th, 2008 at 11:38 am


    Agreed that IPK and Hughes injuries/ineffective starts accelerated things faster than anticipated. Those two getting hurt, hurt this team in more ways than one. Now the offense is under pressure to score more, starters are pressured to pitch into the 8th and only give up 1 or 2 runs all because of a lack of a bridge to Mo. Ultimately Cash and Giriardi have to decide either rush the youngens’ in AA and AAA or mix and match and take the lumps with what they have(which is what it seems like they are doing currently). Thanks for the discussion, I better get back to work.

  54. Yu Darvish June 4th, 2008 at 11:41 am

    I understand SJ that C.C. has a weight issue and body that could break down but hes not Carl Pavano, thats kind of an unfair comparison Pavano is the worst free agent signing ever even if C.C. was injured at some point during his contract it would likely not be the ENTIRE time but I do get your concerns I am concerned too but I cannot see the Yanks open next year without Moose likely, most certainly without Pettitte and Wang sitting by himself left to anchor a rotation of guys who just started getting into Casinos

  55. 86w183 June 4th, 2008 at 11:42 am

    CC is a pretty safe bet. In seven seasons he’s made 28 to 34 starts every year and thrown between 180 and 241 innings. After a slow start this year his last five starts have covered 38 innings with an ERA below 2.00.

    A documented high quality innings eater might be the most valuable thing in baseball these days. Sabathia is a must get if available.

    Again, if you take either Mussina or Pettite’s money plus Carl Paguano’s expiring $$$ it covers one of the best starters in the business. Then you give Giambi’s $$$ to Teixiera and you have better pitching, better defense, better offensive balance and a younger roster and you haven’t increased the payroll a dime!

  56. Youuuu June 4th, 2008 at 11:44 am

    “it points to the foolishness of signing free-agent pitchers to long-term contracts. And that includes Johan Santana. He’s been pretty good this season. But great? Not really.”

    You are way off Pete. A more accurate thing to say would have been “long-term contracts for free agent pitchers generally have been unsuccessful”. But to specifically pick out Santana and judge his signing is absurd. He has only been pitvhing for the Mets for 2 months. How can anybody know at this point whether it will turn out to be a good signing or not? The Zito one is pretty obvious early on in his contract. But even so, he’s been a Giant for over one season already.

    At some point a team does have to make a free agent splash. It’s all about balance with the farm system development, trades, and free agent improvements to optimize the ballclub. If CC or tex looks like a good fit, the Yankeeswill sign them for 2009. And that doesn’t mean by any stretch that they are giving up on the young guys like Hughes/Kennedy etc.

    And Santana is pretty awesome. It’s not like he is putting up a 5.00 ERA and giving people reason for alarm. He was just a dumb choice to use as your example. Zito was the better choice.

  57. Yu Darvish June 4th, 2008 at 11:46 am

    86W183- That is the most intelligent post I have read in awhile and its not as if Sabathia would be blocking one of our top prospects essentially wasnt it always the Yanks goal to have “The big three” in the rotation even with C.C. the rotation would stil include the big 3 it would likely be C.C.,Wanger,Joba,Hughes and IPK whats wrong with that

  58. Yu Darvish June 4th, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Everyone who wants the Yanks to become the A’s should really root for a small market team, in a large market it is about keeping a fair balance between the farm system and the players produced there and the Free agent/Trade market a team that relies solely on the farm doesnt belong in NYC

  59. Yu Darvish June 4th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    I have an amazing fact here and you can check it out the yankees have roughly eighty million dollars coming off the payroll following this year including the cancerous contracts of Pavano,Giambi,and Farnsworth

  60. Anthony June 4th, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    I’ll take CC in the rotation just to take some of the pressure off of the kids as they develop. The big difference between Cash and Theo is that Theo doesn’t put the Sox in the position of requiring that the kids produce, they have given themselves plenty of other options. Cash doesn’t seem to get this. Where was he when Beckett was made available? Did we even try to get him? Forget how Beckett is performing right now, we all know he’ll turn it on in the second half and, as usual, dominate in the postseason.

  61. Anthony June 4th, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Even taking a flyer on Colon? Why didn’t we do that? The list goes on and on.

  62. Yu Darvish June 4th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    I agree Anthony poor planning Im sure Beckett wasnt even discussed even after he torched us in the World series 5 years ago

  63. Yu Darvish June 4th, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Cash’s develop the kids mantra is something he only dedicated himself to after he made three of the worst FA signings ever Tony Womack, Kei Igawa, and the American Idle himself Carl Pavano! This youth movement is a smokescreen for this teams recent failures in the free market

  64. Patrick Bateman June 4th, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    If the Yankees don’t sign Sabathia, then there was no reason to sign Rivera, Posada, and ARod.

    That was problem with totally avoiding Santana this year and entering the season with Wang, Pettitte and a bunch of question marks in Mussina/Hughes/Kennedy/Joba. You gotta have a mix of veterans and young players. Just having Wang in the rotation next year, who isn’t an ace, (I’m sorry if I offend any Taiwanese readers) makes this rotation a huge joke.

    No other team goes from a veteran filled rotation to a rotation filled with all inexperienced pitchers over night unless you’re the Marlins. You gotta start taking advantage of ARod and Jeter’s prime years, because there is no offensive players in the system.

    The offense is built for today, not 5 years down the road when Hughes and Kennedy get their act together.

  65. Yu Darvish June 4th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Exactly Bateman the offense is getting old fast they cant wait for the young pitchers to dominate someone needs to dominate now

  66. Bill June 4th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Barry Zito was an awful signing. Although its surprising just how bad he is this year, it is not surprising that it turned out to be an awful signing. But to say that the lesson is that you can’t sign free agent pitchers to long term contracts is BS. He was a pitcher in serious decline and most people including Cashman knew not to go after him. That’s like saying because Juan Pierre was a bad signing, you shouldn’t sign everyday players to long term free agent contracts or because Ruben Rivera and Brien Taylor didn’t pan out, the yankees should always trade their prospects for major leaguers. Pete you know better than that. Its shoddy reasoning.

  67. Patrick Bateman June 4th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Even if we sign Sabathia next year, we’re still short one veteran pitcher. I really don’t trust going into next season with Sabathia, Wang, Joba, Hughes, Kennedy.

    Kennedy really doesn’t appear to have any major league stuff, and the attitude he carries is also a large problem. When he was sent down to Scranton this year he said “i’m gonna make these guys look stupid for sending me down”. Instead of coming to the realization that the reason he was sent down was that he couldn’t throw strikes and he couldn’t get out of the 3rd inning.

    The next real power arm on our horizon is Andrew Brackman, who throws 100, but he’s two years away from even sniffing the major leagues. Betances is an easy 5 years away from even touching the majors in a relief role.

    You sign Sabathia, due to his ability to throw 200+ innings. If it doesn’t work out, its not coming out of the Lo Hud budget. The Yankees have more money then they’ll know what to do with between the team, the Yes Network, the new Stadium’s revenue, and revenue sharing kickback for building the new Stadium.

    You don’t sacrifice a world class 3B and SS in their primes and the best closer of all time just because you want to retain a draft pick in 2009 that may or may not lead to a successful player.

  68. Greg Mandel June 4th, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Man, you’re still touting sticking with the kids, after the disaster that’s proven this season? Reminder: Santana has always pitched his best in the second half, and even when he’s “not great” he still gives you 6-7 solid innings every time out. How would that look at the top of a rotation with Wang, Pettitte, Mussina now? And Chamberlain still in the pen? Now we have a big, steamin’ cup of Jack Squat in the pen to get to Mo, and a rotation full of holes. Stick with the kids if you have 7 or 8 years to win, and hope that Phil Phlop and Kennedy will turn out to be something other than space-wasters on the dl. Good God, yeah, let’s pass on Sabathia, since passing on Santana was such a great move! Santana/Sabathia does not equal Barry Zito, who was in decline long before the Giants’ ill-advised signing. Where’s the common sense here???

  69. 27 this year June 4th, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    I think building a team takes a combo of draft picks, prospects, and free agents. Look at the Rays, they built themselves using lots of draft picks but then, they sign cheap players to fill out the roster and it is wokring. look at percival, he is pretty good. We can’t get attached to draft picks that we stop looking to free agents but we also have to shy away from big money deals. We screwed up so many times and signed players like pavano and giambi and now we have to wait out their contracts. However, signing Arod or jeter to long term contracts works. We just got to pick our spots.

  70. JeterMack Clutch June 4th, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    27, it doesn’t hurt the rays when the key players sign cheap, team-friendly deals either.

    pavano, mussina and pettitte were free agent signings, too and the latter two have contributed alot to our winning tradition. So, signing free agents is not bad if we make smart signings. I think CC would be smart, he will take alot of the pressure off of the inexperienced pitchers and will give you 6 innings strong at least; he comes at hitters and trusts his stuff. he hasn’t had a weight relevant injury yet, so there is no reason to suggest that he will.

  71. Chazz Michael Michaels June 4th, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Here is a new idea guys…..package a few prospects for YOUNG pitching in a trade! The Yankees have always wanted to do the Phil Hughes for Randy Johnson TYPE of trade. What they need to do is send say….Ian Kennedy, Jeff Marquez and Chris Brittan to the Royals for Zack Grienke….or to the Giants for Matt Cain for example. A team with one good young starter that would like a chance at 2-3 young pitchers in return. Pitching wins games…and with all of the Yankees money, the fact that they don’t have a solid rotation shows just how horrible upper management is. $200 mil and we couldn’t buy, trade for or draft FIVE friggin guys??

    Also, trading a young pitcher for a young position player is not a bad idea either. If you look at the Yanks farm system, they have a fleet of great young arms….except for catchers, they really aren’t stocked at any other positions. Most teams would love to get an arm for a bat! Wouldn’t a guy like Joey Votto been great to have for an Ian Kennedy? That won’t happen NOW, but you get my drift.

  72. Ron Russell June 10th, 2008 at 5:13 am

    Perhaps I’m an old fart, but I remember when the Yank’s really sucked and that was Pre-Steinbrenner! You guys belly-ache about this team, give me a break!!! Yes, I’m talking about when CBS owned them and they were basically a tax write off. We had Kenney at 3rd, Gene Michael at SS, Horace Clarke at 2nd and Joe Pepitone was at the end of his career at first. Our Ace was Mel and the most exciting pitching event of one year was when Mike Kekich and another pitcher decided to trade Wives. Poor Roy White quietly put up with a lot of Loosing teams, as did Bobby Murcer. Yes, I remember the late Thurman Munson as a a rookie. Trade Deals that helped: A kid named Lou Pinella for Lindy McDaniels and the Yankee faithful were furious–who was this kid? Sparky Lyle for Danny Kater caused the Red Sox to swear off trading with us. Yes, I suffered for many loosing seasons and remember the thrill of seeing the Yanks in fist place for the first time in my life. Actually, prior to that thrill was just being at 500! Those years, we were 20 games under and my god–those teams made this one a joy to watch. How spoiled we have all become. We have the foundation for a team that could shock a lot of folks and one never knows. A nobody can get hot in the short term and become a hero overnight and after the dust settles–a zero. Just ask Brian Doyle (1978).

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