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Ranking the Yankees, 1-20

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Nov 28, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The Hot Stove season has been uneventful so far and today could be more of the same. But now that my parents, sister and niece have left NYC, I have some blogging time on my hands.

(Just an aside, while standing on Broadway and 39th Street for five hours on Nov. 27 is a good way to get sore feet and a cold, seeing the look of joy on an 8-year-old’s face when Miley Cyrus waves at her from a parade float is worth it.)

Anyway, here is the question we have for you today: Who are the 20 most important Yankees? The only requirement is that the person must draw a check from the Yankees as of right now. He (or she) can be a player in the majors or minors, an executive, a scout, etc.

This is not a statistical analysis, this is an opinion of who the 20 most important people in the organization are as of today.

Here’s my list and why:

1. Joba Chamberlain: The Yankees will need stars once Those With Rings leave the scene and Chamberlain is the best candidate in that he’s a dominating player, has a personality and the fans love him. The Yankees very badly need him to be great as they continue their transition.

2. Hal Steinbrenner: While his verbose brother grabs headlines for no good reason, Hal has learned every aspect of the organization in the last 20 months, developed working relationships with all the right people and now he’s officially the owner. He’ll be 39 in December and if his family keeps the team, Hal could be The Boss for the next 30 or 40 years

3. Alex Rodriguez: Like him or not, he’s probably going to be around for a long time. Despite his great talent and work ethic, A-Rod has yet to win the fans over and won’t unless he plays a role in winning a championship. Will the next nine years be about chasing Barry Bonds or being part of a winner? Either way, he’s front and center.

4. Derek Jeter: He’s still the face of the franchise and enjoys widespread popularity despite those anxious to point out what he doesn’t do well. How his next contract plays out will be a huge story. But it’s hard to imagine Jeter in another uniform or the Yankees allowing that to happen.

5. Mariano Rivera: He was the MVP of the dynasty and is unquestionably the best player ever at his position. He’ll be 39 on Saturday and nothing lasts forever. But in a world of few sure things, he remains one.

6. Brian Cashman: His new three-year deal and tight relationship with Hal Steinbrenner means that the roster, for better or worse, will be his creation through 2011. Cashman is smart enough not to have allowed a replacement to emerge.

7. Chien-Ming Wang: Young, inexpensive and productive starters are the single most valuable commodity in baseball and Wang is the only one the Yankees have. He is 46-15 over the last three seasons.

8. Joe Girardi: Injuries soured his first season, making his worthiness for the job difficult to judge. Girardi showed he could handle a bullpen. But can he handle New York? Reports of player unrest aren’t a good sign. Managers come and go, which is why he isn’t higher.

9. Robinson Cano: His collapse in 2008 led directly to the team sitting out the postseason. Cano is 26, signed to a long-term deal and could be a cornerstone player if he commits himself. He is said to be readying for a big 2009 by adopting a new workout regimen.

10. Jorge Posada: Now 37, the heart-and-soul catcher is at a career crossroads as he recovers from extensive shoulder surgery. Will he be close to the player he was in 2007 (.338/.426/.543) ever again?

11. Xavier Nady: He murdered the ball for a few weeks after being obtained from the Pirates then finished at .268 for the Yanks, albeit with 12 homers and 40 RBI in 228 at-bats. They need a No. 3 hitter, could he be it? He’ll be a free agent after 2009, which should provide motivation.

12. Andrew Brackman: He’s 6-foot-10, 270 pounds and can throw a fastball close to 100 mph. The Yankees spent $4.55 million to sign Brackman in 2007 and hope he’ll overcome elbow surgery to become an ace.

13. Jesus Montero: Only 19 (as of today), he hit .326 with 17 homers and 87 RBI for Single-A Charleston in 2008. Montero could be the best offensive player the team has developed since Jeter, only with light-tower power.

14. Randy Levine: The team president since 2000, his loyalty to the Steinbrenners has given him great power. But he is heavily invested in Girardi’s success as many believe he led the charge to run Joe Torre out of town.

15. Hank Steinbrenner: George Steinbrenner’s oldest son seems content to let his brother run the show. But he is the team co-chairman and has power to wield if he wants to.

16. Phil Hughes: Will he be a key starter for a championship contender or just another guy? The former first-round pick has seen his star fall. But he’s still only 22.

17. Austin Jackson: A star in Class AA ball, Jackson has a chance to be their center fielder for a decade. His baseball skills still lag behind his athletic ability but are catching up fast.

18. Johnny Damon: The coming season figures to be his last in pinstripes. But Damon can still be one of the most dynamic and productive leadoff hitters in the game. He’s also one of the few players on the team with an actual personality.

19. Damon Oppenheimer/Mark Newman: As the Yankees focus on development, the performance of their scouting director and farm director becomes more crucial than ever.

20. Dave Eiland: The Yankees decided he would be the pitching coach before they named Girardi as manager. If another managerial change is made, he’ll likely survive. He could be their Leo Mazzone.

Obviously this list will change once they sign a free agent or two. How do you rank the Yanks?

Comments

comments

 

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436 Responses to “Ranking the Yankees, 1-20”

  1. AROD November 28th, 2008 at 12:34 am

    AROD is the most important player on the most important team in the world.

  2. Jake November 28th, 2008 at 12:37 am

    I have to agree on Joba. He has to the be guy that transitions the Yankees into the NEXT era. But right now, even if he isn’t a TOTAL Yankee, A-Rod is the most important aspect to today’s team. Everything that offense does hinges on his force in the middle of it.

  3. Tint November 28th, 2008 at 12:44 am

    Hopefully you can add CC and AJ to this list soon

  4. Shawn Pen November 28th, 2008 at 1:00 am

    I would rank Madonna eighth.

    Get ready for her theatrics.

    Unleashed, Madge could suck the 2009 season dry.

  5. Joe November 28th, 2008 at 1:01 am

    There is no possible way you can say Jesus Montero and Andrew Brackman are more important to the Yankees than Phil Hughes or the team’s scouting director. Too much of this list is determined by potential. Just as with all of baseball, prospects are being over-rated.

  6. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 1:01 am

    1. CC Sabathia
    2. Alex Rodriguez
    3. Chin Ming Wang
    4. Joba Chamberlain
    5. Robinson Cano
    6. Phil Hughes
    7. Austin Jackson
    8. Austin Romine
    9. Xavier Nady
    10.Nick Swisher
    11.Mark Melancon
    12.Brian Bruney
    13.Jesus Montero
    14.Dellin Betances
    15.Andrew Brackman
    16.Zachary McAllister
    17.Burnett/Sheets/Lowe/Perez/Penny
    18.Jorge Posada
    19.Derek Jeter
    20.Joe Girardi

  7. TeeJay November 28th, 2008 at 1:03 am

    Just watched A-Rod’s Yankeeography on the great YES Network. Alex credited Hank Steinbrenner for bringing him back after he opted out. Great job by Hank. Where would the Yankees be without Alex he will probably win another MVP this year.

  8. james November 28th, 2008 at 1:08 am

    Bret the Hitman first of all when you have a tie at a number you then eliminate the next number so you’re 5 way tie at 17 would make the next pick 22 and I hope you forgot Mo Rivera and didn’t leave him off intentionally

  9. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Number 17 will be only one player.

    Mo is here for 2 more years so I’m thinking Melancon and Bruney are more important heading forward. That’s why I left off Damon and Matsui (both are gone in 1 year) and put Jeter and Posada near the bottom of the list. They’re both nearing the end of their careers and we need to start thinking about their replacements moving forward.

    The Yankees really truly need Romine to pan out and all of their top pitching prospects so they can be traded for young position players. Catcher and cf are so important so I have Romine and Jackson ranked high. We need a LF, young SS, young catcher and possibly a CF.

  10. swc November 28th, 2008 at 1:28 am

    Pete, you should be embarrassed…why is Chris Britton not on this list?

  11. YankeesLuv November 28th, 2008 at 1:29 am

    I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving! :)
    I saw two of the worst football games today. The games were pretty much over by the first couple of minutes.

    Now about the list…hmmm let’s see…
    I try to look at the list as importance to now and the future. I agree Joba and Arod are key to our success. I wouldn’t rank Hank so low because technically whether Hal or Hank is the #1 guy, nothing is going to happen if one of them is really against it. As much as I love Jeter I wouldn’t rank him so high because I don’t see him having as much impact on this team today or the future as the other people on the list. I might put Girardi and Cano a little higher also. How Cano does in ’09 is a big question mark.

  12. Alex November 28th, 2008 at 1:48 am

    “He’s also one of the few players on the team with an actual personality.”

    I have to admit – that cracked me up. I don’t even particularly love Damon, but I have to imagine most of these guys’ personalities get pretty monotonous after a while.

  13. MoBoy(aka McLovin) November 28th, 2008 at 2:21 am

    Pete:

    How is Derek Jeter more imporatant then MO.MO was way more important then MO in the 09′s dynasty then Derek and last year.Derek is nothing more then a pretty face and the guy who says the right thing at the right time.

    MO was the best closer in the game this year.If it wasn’t for the loses Mo probaly had one of he’s best years ever.

    JUst because Derek to you Pete has a pretty face he must remind you of Tom BRady huh?

    And JOba as number 1.He isn’t gonna be allowed over 130 innings this year.What next you expect 150 innings from Hughes.

    JUst talk about the Patriots Pete.

  14. MoBoy(aka McLovin) November 28th, 2008 at 2:27 am

    Bret the Hitman:

    No MO.Can’t wait till MO leaves before you understand how important to this team.

  15. Patrick November 28th, 2008 at 2:46 am

    I like your list Pete but you rank Damon and Nady too high in my opinion. Both guys will probably move on after 2009. I think Swisher is more important to the Yankees than Nady. He’s signed for longer and he’s a better player. I doubt I’d put him on the list though.

    I might put Melancon at the bottom of the list since he looks to be Rivera’s replacement at closer.

  16. Corey November 28th, 2008 at 3:30 am

    how is Damon too high? he’s 18th out of 20….

  17. Mark November 28th, 2008 at 4:39 am

    Nice list, I think Hal is #1, if he’s astute enough to see through Cash’s flaws and Hank’s BS, the road back to the top is viable, if not it will be a long trip back.

  18. Jeff November 28th, 2008 at 5:04 am

    Andrew Brackman and Jesus Monteros positions on this list in relevance to others is really, really bad…

  19. Pinstripes November 28th, 2008 at 5:27 am

    Jeff,

    You make a good point, but imagine if in 1994 you had Pettitte and Jeter on the top 20 list of the most important Yankees in the organization.

  20. Vrsce November 28th, 2008 at 6:24 am

    Provocative list.
    21 is Kevin Long.

    101 is Ian Kennedy and 102 is Kei Igawa

  21. Joey's Poodle November 28th, 2008 at 8:14 am

    List is way too long — between the roster (25), FO and major coaches, with a list of twenty you’ll end up counting a third of the people at the core as ‘most important’.

    First cut: eliminate everybody who doesn’t have two years major league experience. That’s the earliest you can tell, really.

    Then drop the total to ten or so. That way you have to do at least some rudimentary selection.

  22. ham fighters November 28th, 2008 at 8:18 am

    one guy you left off who will have a big part to play in 2009 is hideki matsui.

    he’s gonna bat behind arod and if he stays healthy could have a huge season in his walk year. not that i think a new contract pushes hideki more than his dedication to the fans and the team. if he has a 25 HR, 100 RBI season, the yankees will have enough offense to retake the division with an improved defense and rotation.

  23. Gary November 28th, 2008 at 8:34 am

    All A-Rod needs to do is understand that he doesn’t need to swing for the fences with every pitch. With his ability and conditioning, all he needs to do is make contact and the HR’s will come by themselves.
    He also should stop looking in the seats to see which hotties are looking at him.

  24. TurnTwo November 28th, 2008 at 8:47 am

    “Dodgers GM Ned Colletti admitted yesterday to having an interest in free agent Andy Pettitte.

    “Some,” Colletti wrote in an e-mail about the level of the Dodgers’ interest in Pettitte…”

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/11.....141125.htm

    yup… no chance the Dodgers have interest in Pettitte. total smoke screen.

    if Cashman wants to ensure Andy comes back, he prob needs to pay a little more attention to him.

    not that Pettitte should be a priority, but just let him know he’s on the list.

    speaking of list… my top 5:

    1) Jeter
    2) Joba
    3) Arod
    4) Montero
    5) Melancon

    to me, Jeter is the Yankees, even after considering the investment the Yankees made in ARod… take into consideration JEter’s contract status going forward, and the fact that they will need him around to mentor the next generation of baby bombers, he’s on the top of my list.

    but there is no denying ARod will need to be the offensive centerpiece for the near future. stop f’n guessing, and just hit the damn ball!

    and Joba, along those same lines, is the next pitching centerpiece. he’s already had great success and some disappointing moments, mixed in with some on the field distractions (terrorist fist pump? health?) and some off the field (DWI). 2009 could be a very important year to what he can provide this organization for the near future.

    Montero, like Pete said, can be the next best offensive player to come from the Yankees system in quite some time… his development will be crucial to the Yankees success in the AL East. while AJackson is closer and will make it to the big leagues first most likely, Montero is the one to watch in the minor leagues this season.

    All eyes are on Melancon thisy ear as a potential bridge to MO this year and next, and his potential successor going forward. there is no doubt that MO has been the Yankees MVP over the last 10+ years, and whoever steps into the closer’s role after him will have some big shoes to fill.

  25. 86w183 November 28th, 2008 at 8:59 am

    The problem with any list is agreeing on the parameters. If oyu are looking only at 2009 then Damon, Matsui and Nady should be on the list. If you are looking beyond, none of them should be listed.

    Either way Hal Steinbrenner is # 1 because it ALWAYS starts at the top.

  26. Victor the Predictor November 28th, 2008 at 9:04 am

    To be watched closely in spring training are Mark Melancon and Brett Gardner making strong cases to go north with the team at the end of March.
    Chien-Ming Wang’s health and Cano’s attitude and work ethic will also be watched closely.

  27. bru November 28th, 2008 at 9:07 am

    i can’t wait to see what brackman,montero,ajax,melancon & others will do going forward.

    the yankees need to sign pettitte now.it is better than signing burnett to 5 years.

    this will give hughes,brackman & others to get more innings in.

    pettitte’s 200 innings will be missed if he is not signed.right now we have wang & joba,one injury to joba & we have only wang,an injury to both & we have no pitching staff.

    how did we get in this position with our resources???

  28. bru November 28th, 2008 at 9:09 am

    if ajax lights it up does he have a chance to grab the cf spot out of st???

    i would think he needs a little time in AAA.

  29. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Gary
    November 28th, 2008 at 8:34 am
    All A-Rod needs to do is understand that he doesn’t need to swing for the fences with every pitch. With his ability and conditioning, all he needs to do is make contact and the HR’s will come by themselves.
    He also should stop looking in the seats to see which hotties are looking at him.

    ———————————————————–

    Rodriguez’ job is to hit the ball hard. Don’t assume that because he’s trying to hit the ball hard and drive it, that all he does is to try and hit home runs. I won’t bother responding to the last ignorant remark.

  30. Jeff NJ November 28th, 2008 at 9:21 am

    I’m as optimistic as the next fan, but I gotta say, seeing this list did not exactly inspire confidence or excitement. I mean there are 9 active players on the list including short termers Nady and Damon, aging Mo, Jorge and Jeter, questionable Cano, injury prone Wang, every other year Alex. Thank goodness for Joba.

    This team has a lot of work to do.

  31. bru November 28th, 2008 at 9:26 am

    a lot of work is right.

    hopefully the farm system produces & i believe it will .

    they need 3 outfielders,catcher,fb & a ton of pitching.

  32. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Jeff NJ
    November 28th, 2008 at 9:21 am
    I’m as optimistic as the next fan, but I gotta say, seeing this list did not exactly inspire confidence or excitement. I mean there are 9 active players on the list including short termers Nady and Damon, aging Mo, Jorge and Jeter, questionable Cano, injury prone Wang, every other year Alex. Thank goodness for Joba.

    This team has a lot of work to do.

    ———————————————————–

    I kmow that I’m going to regret asking this, but, how does a freak injury make Wang injury prone?

  33. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 9:41 am

    I*** kmow*** that

  34. bru November 28th, 2008 at 9:43 am

    i think tex would be the perfect player for the yankees.

    he seriously upgrades the offense,protects arod,makes everybody else better with his defense & gives us more options as far as trading nady/swisher/matsui for pitching.

    i heard the braves love swisher???

  35. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Correction: I ***know*** that. Hopefully, that fixes my spelling.

  36. TurnTwo November 28th, 2008 at 9:48 am

    “Correction: I know that. Hopefully, that fixes my spelling.”

    GB, i respect the ADD that you have when it comes to the spelling mistakes, but realize you dont have to always correct yourself… we all make spelling or grammtical errors here, and we got the gist of what that word was, or what you were saying.

  37. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 9:52 am

    TurnTwo
    November 28th, 2008 at 9:48 am
    “Correction: I know that. Hopefully, that fixes my spelling.”

    GB, i respect the ADD that you have when it comes to the spelling mistakes, but realize you dont have to always correct yourself… we all make spelling or grammtical errors here, and we got the gist of what that word was, or what you were saying.

    ———————————————————–

    TT, I make so many typos and spelling errors, I’m afraid that people on here will think I’m an uneducated bum.

    I don’t care that they now that I’m a bum, but, I want them to know that I’m educated. I went as far as the 6th grade….three times.

  38. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 9:56 am

    I guess that I should have gone back that 4th time(know….not now).

  39. Jeff NJ November 28th, 2008 at 10:03 am

    GB, well you may be right about Wang, maybe he’s not injury prone. Does anyone have info as to his career DL stints including the minors?

  40. Chopper November 28th, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Where is Brett Gardner on that list?

    The way he is talked about… thought for sure he’d be at least #15.

  41. bru November 28th, 2008 at 10:05 am

    gb.

    you’re not a bum.

    a persons education doesn’t define them.

    it matters if they have a good heart & are good to others.

  42. Guiseppe Franco November 28th, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Wang is not injury prone by any means. It was a freak accident and nothing more.

  43. bru November 28th, 2008 at 10:10 am

    116.1-2005
    218.0-2006
    199.1-2007
    95.0 -2008

    wangs innings pitched from 2005-2008

  44. TurnTwo November 28th, 2008 at 10:11 am

    “wangs innings pitched from 2005-2008″

    so you’re saying he’s only pitched 200 innings once in his career? what a bum!

  45. bru November 28th, 2008 at 10:20 am

    2007 was just about 200,199.1 actually & i believe 2005 was his first year so i.m not sure when he came up during the year.

    for the most part 2 out of 3 years he pitched 200 innings.

    if you take out his first year & give him 2007 when he pitched 199.1

  46. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Jeff NJ
    November 28th, 2008 at 10:03 am
    GB, well you may be right about Wang, maybe he’s not injury prone. Does anyone have info as to his career DL stints including the minors?

    ————————————————————

    Two stints…one for TJ Surgery in 2000. He’s had three in the Majors, two for spring training hamstring pulls. He’s no more injury prone than Rivera.

    http://www.thebaseballcube.com.....Wang.shtml

  47. bru November 28th, 2008 at 10:29 am

    take out the freak injury & he is a perfect # 2 pitcher.

    if the yankees can just get an ace they have 3 solid pitchers in lets use cc as the ace,cc,wang,joba.

    the 4th & 5th spots all you need is decent pitchers.

    the problem in 2009 is that joba should be the 5th guy because of pitch count limits.

    i like the lineup except cf & maybe another bat but they did fine in the 90′s.as long as their pitching staff has 3 solid pitchers,a decent 4th & 5th pitcher,a little pitching debth & a good solid lineup that plays defence well.

    the defense bothers me a little.i see a trade coming out of nowhere that is going to suprise a lot of people and or signing tex.

    from what i hear he want’s to play on the east coast.

  48. Braintrust November 28th, 2008 at 10:32 am

    The B list to this is if the Yankees don’t get a CF, can Gardner handle 120-130 games, and hit? Also in the pen, can Marte continue the success that he had late in the year. If he can be the lefty out of the pen, then Coke can focus on starting, but if Marte gets clobbered, than Coke will probably get moved to the pen, and have to postpone being a starter.

  49. bru November 28th, 2008 at 10:33 am

    wang had tj surgery??? wow!!!!!

    i did not know that.very interesting.

    i have been reading a lot about brackman.he could be a beast.

    he might have wen’t # 1 in the draft ahead of price from the rays if it weren’t for his injury concerns & his involvement with basketball.

  50. Jorge (México) November 28th, 2008 at 10:36 am

    I’m sure that, a month ago, Wilson Betemit was number one.

  51. bru November 28th, 2008 at 10:40 am

    i am not at all worried about the bullpen.the yankees are absolutely loaded with tons of pitchers in the minors.we saw some of this in 08.

    they have layers upon layers of pitchers.

    at least they did something right by drafting tons of pitchers & if they have a surplus they can be used for position players.

    it will be very interesting watching coke,brackman,betances,acevez,melancon,sanchez & many others progress.

    if a lot of these pitchers come through we might be in better shape than we think & hughes,kennedy also in the mix.

  52. Fredo Corleone November 28th, 2008 at 10:44 am

    “i am not at all worried about the bullpen.the yankees are absolutely loaded with tons of pitchers in the minors.we saw some of this in 08″

    You should always worry about the bullpen. Only sure thing out there is Mo. I count Marte too to a degree as he’s been consistently solid thru his career. After that it’s a lot of arms who have not demonstrated year to year consistency. Nothing more volatile than middle relief.

  53. RalphieD (Cant Wait for Spring Training) November 28th, 2008 at 10:56 am

    i like petes list quite a bit..my top 20 would be

    1.Hank/Hal
    2.Brian Cashman
    3.Girardi
    4.Oppenheimer/Newman (dont tell me these people are too high, good scouting and drafting is immeasurably important
    5.Joba
    6.Arod
    7.Cano (because even though he had a done year he has the potential to be a top 3 2nd basemen in the game)
    8.Jeter
    9.Posada
    10.Wang
    11.Nady
    12.Gardner (if he can continue to adjust he would be a menace and a spark plug on the bases + amazing rang in the of)
    13.Hughes
    14.Ajax (because the most mlb ready)
    15.Montero (prospect i am most excited about)
    16.Brackman (a long shot star)
    17.Dave Eiland (someboy has got to teach these pitchers)
    18. Melancon (by all accounts he could be a force in the bp)
    19. Betances (new yorker with electric stuff if he could put it together)
    20. the most imporant one—the fans…without us its all for nothing.

  54. Mop Up Man November 28th, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Pete, here are the Top Ten, listed below.

    1. Joba
    2. A-Rod
    3. Cashman
    4. Wang
    5. Jeter
    6. Mo
    7. Posada
    8. Hal
    9. Cano
    10.Hughes

  55. OldYanksFan November 28th, 2008 at 11:08 am

    “how did we get in this position with our resources???”
    ———————————————————
    In order of importance: from 1995 on….
    1) They all but totally ignored their farm system. And Boston did not.
    2) While they had some international signings (El Duque, Soriano), they certainly did NOT take advantage of their huge financial advantage in this arena.
    3) They overpaid many players and gave contracts that were to long.
    4) By giving the impression they would buy whatever FA they wanted, this lead to #3.

    The dynasty teams were build on a core developed on the farm. Jeter, Bernie, Posada, Mariano and Pettitte. As all winning teams do, they made some under the radar trades (Paulie), made some expensive trades (Knobby) and bought some expensive FAs. While FAs are often the difference makers, it is the kids you develope that allow flexibility and the finances to spend big on FAs.

    Look at the current Red Sox kids. Lester, Papsmear, Laptops, Masterson, Pedroia, Ellsbury, Youkilis, Lowrie, Hanley and Anabel (which got Beckett and Lowell). Maybe not superstars, but all cost controlled born-and-bred, which allows money to be spent on Dice-K, Manny, Drew and the rest.

    That’s why everybody here that just wants to REPEAT our losing ways, by given overlong and overpaid contracts so we can WIN THIS YEAR, are once again sacrificing our future. That’s why people that advocate trading Cano, Hughes, IPK and other potential talent, simply have NO CLUE how to build and sistain a winning team.

  56. OldYanksFan November 28th, 2008 at 11:11 am

    “if ajax lights it up does he have a chance to grab the cf spot out of st???”
    ————————————————————
    After Hughes, IPK and Melky, I think it will be a long time before the Yankees rush any kids up to the bigs.

  57. TurnTwo November 28th, 2008 at 11:16 am

    “by given overlong and overpaid contracts so we can WIN THIS YEAR, are once again sacrificing our future. That’s why people that advocate trading Cano, Hughes, IPK and other potential talent, simply have NO CLUE how to build and sistain a winning team.”

    except not all long term contracts are bad contracts, nor are they always related to the ‘win-now’ mentality.

    and advocating the trading of players like Cano, Hughes, IPK, and others, is only being done assuming Cashman brings in talent equal to or greater than the value you are giving up.

    but otherwise, sure you make a good point.

  58. Frankie speaking . . . November 28th, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Andrew Brackman will have a strict innings limit and likely begin the year at Low A Charleston.
    2010 should have him see time at AA and some AAA with a possible spot in the Yankee rotation in 2011.

  59. pat November 28th, 2008 at 11:35 am

    One thing the Boston FO has done that the Yankees haven’t done as well is built teams with limited emotion.

    Reading through Pete’s and others top 20 lists, if you made them with no emotion and strictly based on who gives the Yankees the best chance to succeed for 2009 and beyond, some of your choices might be different.

  60. Kevin November 28th, 2008 at 11:42 am

    1. Arod
    2. Jeter
    3. Hal
    4. Joba
    5. Hughes
    6. Cash
    7. Mo
    8. Cano
    9. Wang
    10. Posada
    11. Giradi
    12. Montero
    13. Assorted scouting personnel
    14. Action Jackson
    15. Mark Melancon
    16. Hankenstien
    17. Eiland
    18. Nardi Contreras
    19. Damon
    20. Austin Romine

  61. John November 28th, 2008 at 11:49 am

    I agree. Hughes HAS to be top 10.

    First impressions are not everything… He is going to be Josh Beckett

  62. Dave November 28th, 2008 at 11:58 am

    1.) Alex Rodriguez – You simply can’t deny that he has the single greatest influence (offensively at least) in determining whether or not this club wins a championship – which presumably is the driving force behind compiling such a list. Remember, in 2007 we don’t even make the playoffs without A-Rod – something a lot of boo birds have seemed eager to forget.

    2.) Chen Ming Wang – I still haven’t ruled out the possibility that he will emerge as a “true number 1.” You can disagree with the semantics of that statement all you want, but the fact remains that Wang isn’t a “1” in the way a CC Sabathia or a Roy Halladay (yes the wins total in this case are comparable, but the Wanger’s run support was much better compared to Halladay’s – see 20 game winner Randy Johnson!).

    3.) Joba Chamberlain – If Jorge Posada’s disheartening prediction on Centerstage fails to come true, and Joba’s arm stays consistently healthy, he has the potential to surpass Wang as the Yankee’s true ace. Even if this doesn’t happen, and he proves he isn’t durable enough for the starting rotation someone will have replace Mo as the closer (as blasphemous as this sounds) and who better for the job than Joba?

    4.) Mariano Rivera – The greatest closer of all time, who (arguably) had the best season of his HOF career last season! Despite his recent dip in velocity, MO is still any manager’s choice to close game 7 of the World Series – despite the grumblings of that stupid, disrespectful, redneck, bug-eyed (and not at all intimidating) “closer” on the Red Sox.

    5.) Derek Jeter – Rhetoric notwithstanding, the Captain is the heart and soul of the Yankees. By most accounts last year was a bit of an “off year” but it was also (and more importantly) an anomaly. If Derek Jeter can simply produce at average or above average of what he has shown to be able to throughout his career – the intangibles that make up the Jeter picture are immeasurably valuable to the organization. (I can make this assessment because I hang out in the Yankee clubhouse every season and know all the players/personnel like family, so… yeah).

    6.) Brian Cashman – Yes he’s had his clunkers (Scott Proctor for Wilson Betemit, the Carl Pavano signing, etc.) but he’s also made moves that have significantly contributed to multiple Yankees championships (Roger Clemens (cough, cough), Scott Brosious (still hard to comprehend), etc. History repeats itself, so the adage goes, but it still applies to championships when you’re talking about the Yankees – rather than just overspending to compensate for shortcomings in the farm system, internal development, etc. Cashman will have more influence than any one person in building a championship team during the current offseason. In my mind the notorious “window” for a title is bigger (with CC and (Lowe and/or Burnett, etc.) in 2009 than it has been in years. It’s size (and duration of staying open in the year(s) to come) will have much to do with the actions of Brian Cashman. This cannot be denied or overlooked.

    7.) Robinson Cano – I simply don’t want to hear it from stupid fans who have given up on Cano. These “fans” are the types that everyone hates the Yankees for. I’m not going to take the Ruben Sierra track and say “Man, all they care about here [the Yankees organization] is winning” BUT there’s an element of truth – or better yet sense to what he was probably trying to say. I think [again, since I am a fly on the wall in the Yankees clubhouse and have a magical power to read players’ minds] Sierra was alluding to the fact that that “body of work” is a vacuous concept in the Bronx, by and large. A player’s “value” is so fleeting, and the consequence of such a legendary, historical roster to judge current players against that the “criteria” used by “fans” in making their judgments are misguided at best and insanely irrational at worst. They certainly aren’t the same, grounded-to-the-Earth criteria used by scouts and “baseball people” who are paid to evaluate talent. THEY would say Cano has the potential to be one of the greatest second basemen in baseball for a long, long time. There is simply no reason (YET) to let 2008 end the Utley/Cano 1,2 discussion – besides, Utley just got a ring, I’ll make that comparison all day!

    8.) Phil Hughes – If current reports that Hughe’s has been throwing his fastball, with consistency around 94 mph in the Arizona Fall League – Yankee fans have a lot to look forward to. Please go look at Greg Maddux’s stats over his first two seasons (no, I’m not saying he’s going to be the next Greg Maddux) and then decide how important a very well-thought-of prospects first few seasons are. Let’s take a glass half-full approach and emphasize what Hughes did in relief of Roger Clemens in the must win game 3 of the 2007 ALDS against the Indians, and his injury-shortened no hitter against the Texas Rangers. While we may call these “flashes of brilliance” and not “Cy Young Awards” there’s simply not enough of a reason to give up on Hughes, or to even doubt that he can be a very successful, front-end starter for the Yanks for many years to come. Everyone relax!

    9.) Hank Steinbrenner – Technically should be number 1 because if the money doesn’t keep flowing, none of the aforementioned players/personnel matter BUT, I’m putting him 9th because it’s safe to assume the Yankees will remain the team with the biggest payroll for some time.

    10.) Jorge Posada – Insert Posada’s RBIs into the 2008 Yankee’s team total and we probably edge out the Sux for 2nd in the AL East (this says nothing of the impact these runs would have had in combination with a healthy Wang – like him or not). By all accounts he is – to use a Michael Kay phrase – “Jeterian” with his clubhouse leadership. He’s the best offensive catcher in baseball, with an insatiable appetite for titles and tremendous leadership abilities. He’s an irreplaceable asset as far as I’m concerned.

    11.) Joe Girardi

    12.) Xavier Nady

    13.) Humberto Sanchez

    14.) Johnny Damon

    15.) Jesus Montero

    16.) Austin Jackson

    17.) Andrew Brackman

    18.) Ian Kennedy

    19.) Randy Levine

    20.) Damon Oppenheimer/Mark Newman

    -I’ve already written too much for 1-10 (which I hope some people read/get annoyed by/totally support, whatever) – not going to bother with 11-20. Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving.

  63. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    For thoe that never got a chance to watch the great Mickey Mantle play, MLB.com is playing game 7 of the 1952 World Series for free…anytme today.

  64. Hank November 28th, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    where is pat venditte on the list?

  65. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Pat Venditte could be effective in relief or just a curiosity. He was at Staten Island in 2008 and will be in Charleston in 2009. He’s going to be fun to watch next season.

  66. bodhisattva November 28th, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    How does Randy Levine make this list but not Nardi Contreras? Nardi is the Man when it comes to our pitching.

  67. bru November 28th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    i am watching the 1952 game 7 of the ws on mlb.com.it is pretty cool.

    thank’s gb.

  68. bru November 28th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    an’t wait til the 8th inning.

  69. Buddy Biancalana November 28th, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    I think Eric Byrnes could be an interesting CF option.

  70. Bobby November 28th, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    20. Hal Steinbrenner: $$$$$$$$$$$$
    19.Brian Cashman: advises which players to get
    18. Mark Newman: baseball operations
    17. Damon Oppenheimer : minor league Wiz
    16.Andrew Brackman: young arm but still rehabbing
    15.Phil Coke: lefty reliever could be a starter
    14.Mark Melacon: new Mo same as the old mo
    13.Austin Jackson: New Bern Baby Bern
    12.Jeremy Bleich: Another Young lefty
    11.Robinson Cano:Possible triple crown
    10.Johnny Damon: pace setter , clubhouse leader
    9.Alex Rodriquez: Infinite Potential, Playoff Neurosis
    8.Jorge Posada: Stalwart Club
    7. C.C. or Tex or Manny: Possible main Cog transition to championship glory.
    6. Derek Jeter: “The Captain”
    5.Phil Hughes: Possible Salient Cog
    4.Joe Girardi: Manages, motivates and gets the best from the team
    3.Wang: Consistent Winner
    2.Joba: The Wildcard
    1.Mo

  71. MoBoy(aka McLovin) November 28th, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Surpised Pete didn’t put Brady on that list.Can’t believe he had Derek Jeter 4th.Ahead of MO.Pete musdt be going crazy.

  72. SteveB November 28th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Pete– this list is an interesting take on things. I don’t want to spend time rearranging names, however I would put Hal as #1, with basically no close competition. If Hal can operate this organization with (1) his Dad’s (over)drive to win, plus (2) unlike his Dad, actually TRUST the judgment of his baseball people, even when it’s not “convenient”, the Yankees will continue to be a powerhouse organization that the rest of baseball cannot touch. That’s more important than anything else. But otherwise, I think Hughes at this time is more important than Montero & Brackman, but that’s not a big deal.

    I hope Montero is in Trenton in 2009 so I can see him.

    Happy Holidays– and Pete, you really should take a mental break from posting for a full week sometime, you deserve it. Don’t worry about us, we’ll all be here when you return.
    —————————————————-
    –the posting below was way too funny—-

    swc –November 28th, 2008 at 1:28 am
    Pete, you should be embarrassed…why is Chris Britton not on this list?

  73. Fran November 28th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Dave – agree with you about Posada. Besides his offensive output, his clubhouse leadership is often overlooked. I think that the Yankees not only missed Posada’s bat, but his clubhouse presence as well this past season.

  74. SteveB November 28th, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    sorry about my formatting issues on my post above. I don’t know what happened there.

  75. TurnTwo November 28th, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    “I think Eric Byrnes could be an interesting CF option.”

    sure; if Arizona ate $15 million of the $20 million owed over the next 2 years, and didnt ask for much in return.

  76. Buddy Biancalana November 28th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Why would Arizona give Byrnes away in that type of deal, it doesn’t make any sense?

  77. murphydog November 28th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Most important Yankees? Define important ;)

    I see the Yankees having a closing window of opportunity to get back to the WS maybe once in the next four years. If they miss that, it’ll be maybe three or four more years before they have an opportunity as they bring along youngsters and take their lumps from Tampa and Boston.

    I give you the Dirty Dozen:

    1. Hal (He has final say, controls the money. That his work ethic, professionalism and baseball acumen are developing well is a bonus).

    2. Cash (The Brains of the operation – his vision, his style will pervade all else for at least the next three years, as it has increasingly come to define the last ten years or so).

    3. Po (Team Spirit. The enforcer. The Shoulder. If he can’t do it anymore, that may well close the window of opportunity for now. In many ways, I see him as pivotal. While they might deny it, without Po, maybe Cash and Hal decide to blow it all up).

    4. A-Rod (Biggest money Yankee asset, after the New Stadium and YES network. If you multiply years by dollars in his contract, he’s the eight hundred pound budget gorilla/albatross).

    5. Girardi (Represents the new direction; he’s a more “modern” manager and has the crucial task of putting his hustle, love-the-game, love-the-Yankees mark on the New team. Changing horses at manager again anytime soon will be a big setback to the program, considering Po, Mo and Jetes have only a few years left. Much rides on Girardi’s short term success).

    6. Wang (Presently the only productive, reliable starter they have).

    7. Jeter (The Captain, the Face of the Franchise, “He Who Plays the Game the Right Way.” Much depends on how well he manages his decline. Must be feeling frustration as time runs out on his incredible career. The next contract will be a watershed in Yankee history. Do they give him what he’s going to be worth or reward him for what he has meant to the team in the past?)

    8. Mo (Irreplaceable – nowhere to go but down. Another reason for Yanks to hurry).

    9. “Newman-heimer” (Player scouting and development is crucial to a balanced and healthy organization. Long term importance, but their work has to be good starting now so the team stays competitive four years from now).

    10. Chamberlain (Can he stay healthy and build up innings and be a dominant starter? Or is he the pinstriped Papelbon, too fragile for rotation work, just right to close? Can affect rotation decisions for years).

    11. Hughes (Cheaper, younger, more athletic? Remember Phil Simms? Lost a few years in the beginning of his career to injuries but went on to greatness. Phil Hughes is only 22 and may be ready to make an impact at the back end of the rotation this year).

    12. Cano (Can he get the stroke back and produce or is he the second coming of Chuck Knoblauch? Another bad year and it’s over for him as a Yankee, IMO. Another Cano flameout probably takes Long out too.)

    Beyond that you have the emerging youth and a noise maker in the person of Hank. Levine? IMO, not a baseball guy – more like Yankee – Government Liaison Officer. Long and Eiland, IMO, are fungible goods and their longevity/importance depends on the success they have year to year. IMO Eiland was picked because of the decision to go with IPK and Hughes in ’08 and his minor league work with them. Given Hughes and IPK’s performance in ’08, however, I don’t see Eiland having proved that he’s top 20 important. Leo Mazzone? Even Leo Mazzone was’t able to get “Leo Mazzone” outcomes in Baltimore. It depends on the talent as much as the coach.

  78. TurnTwo November 28th, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    “Why would Arizona give Byrnes away in that type of deal, it doesn’t make any sense?”

    they wouldnt.

    i guess my point was that it doesnt really make much sense to trade for Byrnes to begin with unless Arizona makes that type of concession to want to simply clear him off their roster and move on.

    otherwise, there is no way i go into 2009 with Eric Byrnes either as my everyday CF, or as a good bench player and 4th OF and me paying him $10 million a year to fill that role.

  79. VIGGY November 28th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    I do players only
    posada
    wang
    arod
    joba
    good old mo!
    damon
    cano
    jeter
    hughes
    matsui
    jackson
    coke
    brackman
    moranda
    nady
    bruney
    gardner
    veras
    molina
    swisher

  80. Vrsce November 28th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    murphydog

    You are absolutely wrong on ARod, which means that your flawed judgement on the rest is probably off as well.

  81. bru November 28th, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    2 back to back bunt singles in the 1952 world series i am watching for free on mlb.com.

    how much the game has changed.

    batters almost never step out of the box & almost every thing a player does has a purpose.no wasted energy.

  82. Buddy Biancalana November 28th, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Is Byrnes a better option than Melky/Damon in CF everyday? I think so, if you trade Melky plus some pitching & have Damon in LF you are much better team. Maybe you trade Matsui for Byrnes & absorb the contract difference.

  83. TurnTwo November 28th, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    “You are absolutely wrong on ARod”

    what is he wrong about?

  84. TurnTwo November 28th, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    “Maybe you trade Matsui for Byrnes & absorb the contract difference.”

    but id rather have Matsui as DH than Byrnes on the team in CF.

    and with Matsui, you only have him on a 1 year deal; Byrnes for 2.

  85. Buddy Biancalana November 28th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Byrnes is more athletic, has more speed, & improves your defense. He’s a decent hitter as well. Tow major hamstring injuries is certainly worrisome for Byrnes though.

  86. michael in sd November 28th, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    johnny damon is meaningless. he seems likehe was thrown on there for a lack of a better option. i’d say ian kennedy and mark melancon are both more important right now.

  87. Brad November 28th, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Lost on the list is Tony Pena and his selection as the bench coach is a good move.
    Aside from his providing spark in the dugout and his knowledge of the game, he’ll find the time in spring training to work with Frankie Cervelli, Jesus Montero, and Austin Romine with their defensive abilities.

  88. bru November 28th, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    what happens if the yankees offer abraeu arbitration & he accepts???

    could get interesting.we will have abraeu,matsui,nady,swisher.

    do we trade matsui,dh abraeu,swish at fb,nady in rf????

  89. pat November 28th, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    “what is he wrong about?”

    On a team that can afford a $200 million dollar payroll, the only contracts that are albatross’ are the ones where players are a liability at their positions or can’t step foot on the field due to injury and their contracts aren’t insured. None of the above applies to A-Rod and therefore the contract isn’t an albatross.

  90. TurnTwo November 28th, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    “Byrnes is more athletic, has more speed, & improves your defense.”

    compared to who?

  91. TurnTwo November 28th, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    “therefore the contract isn’t an albatross.”

    in 2009 as we know it, perhaps. prob 2010, too i guess.

    do we know whats going to happen in 2011 or 2012, or 2013? or beyond?

    who knows… maybe Arod gets into a jet-setting accident with Madge this offseason, and he comes back with a shoulder injury which prohibits him from hitting without any power… then its an albatross.

  92. Buddy Biancalana November 28th, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    compared to who?

    —————————

    Hmmm… let’s see. Matsui, Cabrera , Nady & possibly Damon.

  93. george November 28th, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Nady’s not a #3 hitter. his career #s are in line w/a #6-7. Matsui’s a good #3 candidate, health willing. but

    which goes to show they need another hitter. assuming the current roster’s lineup is something like this, A-Rod needs some protection as the #5, who could then slide everyone else down a notch:

    1. Damon
    2. Jeter
    3. Matsui
    4. A-Rod
    5. Posada
    6. Nady
    7. Cano
    8. Swisher
    9. Gardner/Melky

  94. AP November 28th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    I’d add Tony Pena and Betances to the list and remove Nady/Hughes.

  95. pat November 28th, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    “do we know whats going to happen in 2011 or 2012, or 2013? or beyond?”

    I don’t, that’s why I deal in the reality of today and not the hypothetical of years from now. Today, the contract is not an albatross.

    If you have intuitive powers that allow you to see a shoulder injury coming, please get word to Alex to tell him what day he should curtail his jet-setting so an albatross can be avoided. :smile:

  96. j-man November 28th, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Is Matt Stairs available? Cheaply signed with Philly for 1 more year. Solid bat coming off the bench or occasional DH. Just a professional hitter.

  97. 26 ring November 28th, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Hard to put the likes of Hank/Hal, Girardi, Hughes, Nady, Damon, Levine etc. on the list when you have no idea how long they will be with the organization. Some of them could be gone this off-season alone.

    As of now, that list looks accurate though.

  98. Yankees 1996 November 28th, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Excluding the dynasty guys, obviously….

    The list is Joba and everyone else.

  99. TurnTwo November 28th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    “Hmmm… let’s see. Matsui, Cabrera , Nady & possibly Damon.”

    well, he is prob more athletic than Matsui. he’s got a better arm than Damon. maybe has a little more power than Damon. I would prob argue that Nady is about the same general player that Eric Byrnes is, maybe with a little less speed.

    but it would seem to me that the sum of the parts of Matsui/Damon/Cabrera or Gardner is greater than the whole of Byrnes, especially with the contract he carries.

  100. TurnTwo November 28th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    **maybe has a little more power than Melky**

  101. Eric November 28th, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    1. Joba
    2. A-Rod
    3. Jeter
    4. Mariano
    5. Hal
    6. Wang
    7. Cano
    8. Melancon
    9. Jackson
    10. Montero
    11. Girardi

  102. Mark Alan November 28th, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    I would have differences, Pete, but I like your list as well as those others put forward here. I could throw in a Carl Pavano joke, but he’s history.

    I just want to admit that I get misty-eyed when I read such descriptions of Mo. This must be how our forbears felt about Dimaggio.

  103. Buddy Biancalana November 28th, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Nady = Byrnes except for defense. Byrnes has at least 3 times the power so far in their careers.

    So you wouldn’t make a deal of Matsui for Byrnes even up & no contractual obligations picked up by either team?

  104. Patrick November 28th, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Top ten here we go

    1. Rodriguez
    2. Chamberlain
    3. Jeter
    4. Cashman
    5. Wang
    6. Cano
    7. Hughes
    8. Posada
    9. Rivera
    10. Jackson

  105. Brandon (TEIX IS NOT WORTH IT, GET CC !)..."Don't trade Robi !" November 28th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    “So you wouldn’t make a deal of Matsui for Byrnes even up & no contractual obligations picked up by either team?”

    Have you seen his OBP % and clutch stats ? Are we that desperate to add power ?

  106. Brandon (TEIX IS NOT WORTH IT, GET CC !)..."Don't trade Robi !" November 28th, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    “Is Matt Stairs available? Cheaply signed with Philly for 1 more year. Solid bat coming off the bench or occasional DH. Just a professional hitter.”

    Why not just let Miranda get groomed for that.

  107. TurnTwo November 28th, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    “Nady = Byrnes except for defense. Byrnes has at least 3 times the power so far in their careers.”

    i think you’re selling Nady a little low here… and Nady has 87 HRs in 7 seasons; Byrnes with 101 in 9 seasons, and Nady has a higher slugging percentage thru his career than Byrnes, so idk where you get this ’3 times the power’ number.

    “So you wouldn’t make a deal of Matsui for Byrnes even up & no contractual obligations picked up by either team?”

    nah… rather have Matsui as my everyday DH then count on Byrnes to be in the OF everyday.

    i think Byrnes gets a little boost for being a free spirit, playing with a lot of passion, or for his “grit factor” but he’s really not a buy low, great upside option.

  108. Patrick November 28th, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    “So you wouldn’t make a deal of Matsui for Byrnes even up & no contractual obligations picked up by either team? ”

    That would be a horrible deal for the Yankees. Byrnes is still owed 22 million dollars while Matsui has only 13 mil left on his contract. Matsui is also a MUCH better hitter than Byrnes. Also Byrnes is coming off a huge hamstring injury that cost him most of the year. For a guy that depends on speed to be any good, that injury does not bode well for future success.

  109. duh November 28th, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    ““Nady = Byrnes except for defense. Byrnes has at least 3 times the power so far in their careers.””

    Nady – 108 OPS+
    Byrnes – 97 OPS+

    one guy is an above average player, the other is below average.

    it’s amazing what a little slump at the end of the season will do to the perception of a player.

    Nady is a SOLID player, who isn’t a star, but is consistently above average.

    he is also paid like he is a SOLID player, who isn’t a star, but is consistently above average.

    Byrnes is a terrible player who had one good year at the right time. he is also owed $22M over the next 2 years.

  110. Dave November 28th, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Fran – I couldn’t agree more. Jeter is always the one who gets the “clubhouse leadership” credit. Obviously he’s done much to deserve this kind of praise but it seems to me that some of that praise should be thrown Posada’s way, or at least more than we hear about. It’s not that people don’t acknowledge Posada’s leadership (I’m talking about the fans here, not the players) – they do – but when we lost Posada for the season last year we weren’t simply losing his bat, which is often the first gripe people had. Let’s not forget that even though Posada’s offensive stats constituted one of the best offensive seasons for a catcher in baseball history, the Yankees lost the everyday, heat-of-the-battle kind of leadership that Posada can bring to the table. I’m sure Posada still had a substantial impact even though he wasn’t playing every day – but It’s not a stretch to assume he would have had more of an impact had he suited up for each game. Curt Schilling had a revealing blog post the other day (what can I say, I like to stay informed about the enemy) going to bat for Jason Varitek and his leadership abilities. It goes without saying that Varitek doesn’t have s**t on Posada, but Schilling’s post made abundantly clear how appreciated Varitek’s leadership (besides his horrible stats) was in that Red Sox clubhouse. That Posada was (and is) an RBI machine can only make him that much more important it seems.

  111. duh November 28th, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    “He’s a decent hitter as well.”

    no, he isn’t.

    he is a very poor hitter for someone who plays a corner OF position.

  112. David November 28th, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Pete’s list shows that the Yanks don’t have the amount of long-term strength (or even medium-term strength) that one would like to see. The only players who can be securely predicted to contribute over the next 5 years or so are ARod, Joba, Jeter, Cano, and Wang. Although Joba surely could be an outstanding reliever, he still has to prove that he can pitch a full season as a starter.

    The other players on the list are short-termers like Mo, Posada, Damon, and Nady. Or, hoped-for future stars like Hughes and Montero. The team has a lot of work to do to get back to a leadership position.

  113. ham fighters November 28th, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    byrnes seriously injured both of his hammy’s last year. his legs are his whole game.

  114. duh November 28th, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Byrnes is 33 this season. if his legs are his whole game, he is worthless.

  115. Squints November 28th, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Why the hell does everyone want Swisher so low in the order? His walk rate is too valuable to hide at the bottom of the order. He should be batting third so he can see a ton of pitches and get on base in front of Rodriguez.

  116. ham fighters November 28th, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    matsui has a higher BA, OB% and slg% than swisher.

  117. randy l November 28th, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    my top twenty( in no particular order of importance)
    #1 sj44
    #2 cb
    #3 doreen
    #4 pat m
    # 5 nick in sf
    #6murphydog
    #7patrick
    #8oldyanksfan
    #9 drive4-5
    #10 joefromlongisland
    #11mel
    #12 greenberet7
    #13 raymagnetic
    #14 whozat
    #15hmmm
    #16 turn two
    #17fredocorleone
    #18kill(shilling)
    #19trisha
    #20 brandon

    why? because when these people stop paying to watch the yankees, there are no yankees as we know them.
    cashman,levine,hal,hank,oppenheimer, and eiland will be long gone from the yankees when the above fans are still yankee fans.
    if the yankees don’t make the playoffs a second year in a row, some of the above mentioned management will be gone sooner than later.

  118. Patrick November 28th, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    randy you are awesome haha. You need to add yourself to that list.

    randy, I haven’t seen you post here that often recently. I know you said that you have a business to run so I’m sure you are busy. I was wondering, what do you think the Yankees should do this offseason? Sign a bunch of pitchers, go after Teixeira, ?

    I remember last season you lamented the fact that Cashman went with Hughes and Kennedy in the rotation rather than veterans. Well it turns out you were right, that was a huge mistake. Do you still feel the same way, should the Yanks re-sign Pettitte and get 2 more pitchers from free agency?

    Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving.

  119. ham fighters November 28th, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    nady and swisher’s ba and obp are pretty close, but nady has a significantly better slg%

  120. PAT M. November 28th, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Randy 1…I’m flattered to be even considered …..That being said, one of the insights that this forum brings is a diversified elemnt of expertise…..In other words people offer stregths in different scopes of the game and the Yankee club itself……Not one person brings the elevated knowledge and expiernece in regards to the battery….I just wish you’d shelf the modesty and share more……Your an ace in my book…….

  121. ham fighters November 28th, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    i think you could make a case for either nady, swisher or matsui batting third and there’s always the option of batting alex 3rd.

  122. randy l November 28th, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    patrick-
    you might have noticed that i’m kind of a contrarian by nature( other people might use other terms) but i think the yankees were on their own personal downward spiral when the economic crisis and it’s downward spiral hit this fall.

    add the two trends together and i think the best strategy for the yankees would be to sit on their cash while they are cash rich. i wouldn’t sign any player that still thinks the economy is as it was. my hunch is we’re in a whole new ball game. wait a year and get players really cheap.

    there are going to be teams in financial trouble because of the overall finacial crisis. san diego is in trouble because of a divorce. wait till the financial crisis cascades into mlb as it has to at some point. it won’t just be peavy on the trading block. there will be lots of blue chip players available.

    yankee management tends to lag behind the trends the past few years. if they get this one wrong and overpay for free agent players ,it’ll take years to undue the damage.
    why not just be patient and wait for the cheaper times? baseball always reflects the real world,and in the real world , cash is king.

  123. MikeEff November 28th, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    brandon only coming in at #20? no way–he’s in the top 5

  124. CB November 28th, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    “my hunch is we’re in a whole new ball game. wait a year and get players really cheap.”

    randy,

    First off – appreciate the kind thoughts, though not sure they are deserved. And as others have said – you most definitely deserve to be up on any top 20 list.

    Hope you had a nice thanksgiving and things are going ok with the business. I imagine lines of credit must be very difficult right now. Its unbelievable that even very healthy businesses with strong revenues are getting squeezed. And its the same story all over the world.

    If things settle down I hope you get a chance to post some more. Things aren’t the same without the resident contrarian!

    I agree with you that things are likely to look worse next year than they do this year.

    So keeping the “powder dry” and staying as liquid as possible makes sense.

    If the team doesn’t go after Tex hard this year I have a feeling part of the reason will be that they think they might be able to sign Matt Holliday next year more cheaply. Just a guess.

    However, as you said above – is missing the playoffs a second year a viable option?

    If they keep the powder too dry this off season I don’t see how they can make the playoffs.

    Not with the current holes in the rotation. The supply/ demand for pitching is always going to be skewed towards demand. No pitchers the caliber of CC will be available for several years (not perhaps until Felix Hernandez becomes a free agent at the age of 25…).

    Assuming Lackey signs an extension, I don’t even think any pitchers as good as the oft injured Burnett or Sheets will be available.

    So how dry is too dry? Can they afford to stay liquid with that many holes in the rotation and so many question marks on the internal options?

    In a strange way the team may be held hostage by the capital expenditures required to build the new stadium.

    Staying liquid is a good idea. But how price sensitive will ticket buyers paying those exorbitant prices be if the team misses the playoffs a second season. Will that disposable income get shifted in 2010?

    Could keeping the powder dry create a significant loss of revenue downstream?

    It’s a very difficult, high risk investment problem.

    The only way to get quality players on the market is to offer long term deal.

    Long term deals = fixed costs. Fixed costs are not what you want to take on during an economic downturn – especially a downturn that looks like it will be deflationary in nature.

  125. randy l November 28th, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    pat m-
    i think you and i just agree a lot. the one thing that we both got wrong this past year was mussina, but not really actually. we both clearly said he was done. but what was done was his old way of pitching. when he was given an ultimatum by eiland and girardi to change and pitch inside aggressively and he made that change, he was the old mike mussina again. if he had made the change 5 years earlier, he’d have his 300 wins. there’s a lesson in mussina. it’s not just talent;it’s how it’s used. i was happy to see him go out the way he did.

    happy holidays to you, patrick,and all who keep the blog fires burning.

  126. Drive 4-5 November 28th, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    My list for what it’s worth:

    1. Hal – His dad brought us 6 rings. Good luck filling those shoes.

    2. Cashman – Hopefully he learned from his mistakes rushing Joba & IPK. Also, needs to accept input on scouting and player development.

    3. Damon Oppenheimer/Mark Newman – If the Yanks want to develop their system they cannot afford to draft 2 unsignable players with their first 3 picks.If repeated, that type of performance is cause for dismissal in any business. Also,draft some position players for God’s sake!

    4. A Rod – Expect a big bounce back season. His divorce obviously affected him just as it would anyone. But if he were to let his personal life again affect his play he’d be run out of town.We need him to play up to his ability,which is enormous.

    5. Jorge Posada – Yanks need at least 2 more productive years from him.

    6. Mariano Rivera – Same as Posada.He’s our MVP

    7. Jeter – His numbers may start to tail over the next few years but still is capable of leading the Yanks to success. Hates to lose and best thing he can do is instill that in the kids.

    8. Joba – Simply the future of the Yankees’ pitching fortunes.

    9. Phil Hughes – This 22 year old kid has done a lot of living in the last 24 months. How he comes through the disappointment of last year could define his career with the Yankees. What Cashman did by annointing Hughes with a rotation spot wasnt even fair.Let him develop.

    10. Robinson Cano – It’s wayyyy to early to give up on him. Has the potential to be dominant.

    11. Chien-Ming Wang – When he doesnt try to overthrow he’s as effective as any pitcher in the AL.

    12. Joe Girardi – Jury is still out on him.

    13. Hideicki Matsui – In ’09 the Yanks desperately need him to hit with RISP and drive in runs.

    14. Johnny Damon – Is still capable of being one of the best leadoff hitters in baseball.

    15. Xavier Nady – If he starts the season as the #3 hitter in the lineup we could be in for a long year.

    16. Austin Jackson – Please send to Scranton even if he has a strong Spring Training. No more rushing!

    17. Jesus Montero – A Yankee power hitting prospect is a rarity. Is he the next Kevin Maas?

    18. Yanks hype machine – Shut it off and let the kid’s play speak for themselves. It’s to the point where many fans dismiss Yanks’ pr babble as quickly as the media does Joe Girardi discussing injuries.

    19. Hank – Needs to let Hal estblish himself as the leader of the orginization.Don’t embarass us anymore, please.

    20. The new Yankee Stadium – Will it be proven to be the House That Greed Built or a worthy successor to the greatest arena in the history of American sports?

  127. Drive 4-5 November 28th, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    randyl,

    Thanks for the inclusion. The great thing about this blog is the passion of the fans. You’re at the top of that list.

    Dang!I just spent 20 minutes coming up with a top 20 Most Important Yankees list and it seems to have been eaten. It must be those turkey stained fingers I’m typing with lol.

  128. PAT M. November 28th, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Thank’s Randy,,,I just always enjoy your perspectives from behind the plate…….I was also wrong about the Hughes promotion in 07…Both CB and you were very open and on the record about the risks and concerns over his early arrival…..The fianancial concerns are not without merit…..CB doea bring up a rather solid argument about having the Stadium dark for another October…..The club is compelled to spend in a big way this winter…..They can only hope that the market drops a little more by the time they hit Vegas……They actually set the bar….

  129. alvaro espinoza's hipster frames November 28th, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    michael kay’s list:

    #1 – michael kay
    #2 – joba, arod, etc.

  130. randy l November 28th, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    “Could keeping the powder dry create a significant loss of revenue downstream?
    It’s a very difficult, high risk investment problem.”

    cb-
    you expressed the conundrum better than i could have. the problem you describe is why someone really good needs to be at the wheel of the yankees to make these decisions. without trying to rehash old views, i don’t see anyone in yankee management who is talented enough to play the balancing act that it would take to solve that high risk investment problem you describe. i think staying cash rich is the best thing to do with their skills.

    that said, i see your point that i’m saying the yankees have to make the playoffs for many in present management to keep their job, yet i’m also saying if they sign sabathia and a few others to overpriced contracts they’ll be hurting the team in the long run.

    i don’t know the way around that one. if the yankees maybe just sign sabathia, he’ll give the team the shot it needs next summer. then save their cash for what i think will be the inevitable deals on the market when salaries drop.

    i’m pretty sure this year is not the year to go crazy with free agent money.

  131. Buddy Biancalana November 28th, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    TurnTwo November 28th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    maybe has a little more power than Melky

    ———————————————-

    The reference to 3 times as much power was Byrnes compared to Melky, it was you argument.

  132. Buddy Biancalana November 28th, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    *your*

  133. Taylor November 28th, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    I disagree with a few of them. Firstly, I think, given A-Rod’s contract, he is the most important player on the team. If he starts a mid 30′s decline, when he’s signed through 42, then we’re in major trouble. Plus I don’t think Hank should even be on the list, but if he is, it has to be way after Hughes and Action Jackson. Plus, I’d have Mark Melancon on the back end of this list.

    Here’s my take:

    1. A-Rod
    2. Joba
    3. Hal Steinbrenner (because of his ability to sell the team)
    4. Wang – Continue to give us 17-20 wins and 200 innings with a sub 4 ERA, we’re in great shape.
    5. Posada (if he can play catcher and hit like he usually does, we’re way ahead of the game. If he can’t, then we have a guy with a sub .300 OBP in the lineup in most games).
    6. Jeter
    7. Cano
    8. Rivera – He’ll probably be around for only 2 more seasons, so this is actually too high for him.
    9. Phil Hughes – He was the #1 pitching prospect in baseball 2 years ago for a reason. We didn’t get Santana because we wanted to hold onto him. He’s extremely important.
    10. Austin Jackson – We need him to be a good CFer for us for many years to come.
    11. Austin Romine – Can he be our catcher of the future?
    12. Mark Melancon – Can he be our closer of the future? (I don’t think so)
    13. Cashman – probably a bit low for the GM
    14. Girardi

    After this it’s not a big deal. Nady is what he is and that’s nothing special. Andrew Brackman was a high risk, high reward draft pick. If he makes it, that would be awesome, but if he doesn’t, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise and wouldn’t cripple the franchise or anything. Similar thing with Jesus Montero. If I believed he was going to be our catcher of the future, then I’d have him quite high on the list, but it looks like that won’t be the case. If he makes it and can hit up to his potential, that would be awesome, but if not, we can survive.

  134. Buddy Biancalana November 28th, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    duh November 28th, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    ““Nady = Byrnes except for defense. Byrnes has at least 3 times the power so far in their careers.””

    Nady – 108 OPS+
    Byrnes – 97 OPS+

    Nady is a SOLID player, who isn’t a star, but is consistently above average.

    he is also paid like he is a SOLID player, who isn’t a star, but is consistently above average.

    ——————————————————

    Huh?

  135. CB November 28th, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    “i’m pretty sure this year is not the year to go crazy with free agent money.”

    I hear you. I do think signing Matt Holliday next year could be significantly cheaper than signing Tex this year. Jason Bay and Rick Ankiel are also up in 2010. Bay may sign an extension in boston, but I could see a guy like Ankiel having his value drop a lot next summer if he hits the market.

    Pat M and Mel have made some compelling arguments for getting Tex.

    The risk of signing Tex is that the market may fall out some by next summer and you are stuck with a very overvalued asset long term (in addition to Alex’s contract…).

    The problem with the wait until next year approach on spending for players is the supply available with respect to pitching.

    There’s just no talent worth signing next year in terms of free agent pitching. Lackey is going to sign an extension with the Angels. After that you’re looking at Rich Harden (would you sign him to anything more than 2 years – even that?), Justin Duchscherer, Eric Bedard, and Brett Meyers.

    Forget CC – AJ, Ben Sheets and even Lowe may be better options than any of those guys.

    In terms of economics – next year seems like the time to save for.

    In terms of supply of pitching talent – this is the off season – not next.

    Not easy at all.

  136. Chris Barrows November 28th, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    I’d have Oppenheimer higher on the list myself.

  137. Patrick November 28th, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    randy, you make some good points about the economy. If the economy truly does fall as hard as you think it will then the smart thing would be to keep the payroll as low as possible right now. However, I’m the eternal optimist (like you are the eternal contrarian) and I believe the market won’t get as bad as you are expecting.

    MLB has already started feeling the effects of a bad economy but I don’t think it will get so bad that payrolls will drop significantly. The players union is too strong and MLB is making lots of money right now.

    I think its very important for the Yankees to address their pitching needs right now. I don’t think that a $180 million payroll will hamstring NYY in the future.

  138. MP November 28th, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    PLAYERS ONLY:
    1. Jeter – just try to imagine the yanks w/o him.
    2. Joba – see Pete’s thinking.
    3. AROD – Need him to fit in with the fans – return to 2007.
    4. MO – Need a great closer to win a world series. Best in the biz…still.
    5. Posada – Great hitter, great leader, calls a great game.
    6. Cano – Gotta rebound well – we don’t have infield hitters in the farm.
    7. Montero – Monster hitter – capable of 40+ hrs from C/1B/DH
    8. Hughes – Phil Franchise = hyped for years
    9. AJAX – B/C of all the hype/lack of a CF.
    10. Brack-Attack – Could be unbelievably beastly.

  139. randy l November 28th, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    cb
    just like so major investment banks put up a front until it’s too late, i’ll bet some mlb teams will be in that boat by next summer. so the yankees may not need to wait to next winter to have a shot at some premium players.

    it’s never happened before that multiple teams would be doing fire sales before the all star break, but who’s to say it won’t happen next summer? i think it’s a possibility.

    i see your point about sabathia being a unique situation, so with a cash is king strategy, he’d be the exception to the rule. just don’t sign any other high priced free agents. hold some cash if the scenario i’m suggesting happens.

  140. Joe from Long Island November 28th, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    So I’m home today, while new skylights get put in….And I’m looking at more collateral damage to the sheetrock than I had thought….Which means another (unexpected) expense. No one can say I’m not doing my part to stimulate the economy.

    So, looking at this new, unexpected 4-figure expense, I get a beer out of the ‘fridge, and go to the blog….And read randy I’s post from a couple of hours ago, which actually makes me smile….I don’t know what I contribute here that’s worthwhile, but it’s nice to be thought of.

    Getting back to business…I am really getting intrigued by Ben Sheets. The analysis by River Avenue Blues was pretty thorough, and a good read.

    With the financial issues that we all know about, I think this makes signing CC even more important. Because then, we can seriously consider Sheets, where if CC goes to Anaheim, and we sign AJ Burnett, there’s no way we can take on TWO potential arm problems; say hello to Derek Lowe. While CC’s good injury history makes taking a chance on Sheets more palatable.

    Finally, if the money is available, I’d rather sign Tex than Holliday. I wouldn’t bank on his performance out of Coors Field. This season in Oakland will be interesting for Mr. Holliday.

  141. Joe from Long Island November 28th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    And the advantage that Ben Sheets gives (IF healthy; I obviously don’t know his medical data) if that he can be had at a relative bargain compared to either Burnett or Lowe, both in terms of dollars and years. That, in turn, opens up a slot for current minor league hopefuls.

  142. CB November 28th, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    “it’s never happened before that multiple teams would be doing fire sales before the all star break, but who’s to say it won’t happen next summer?”

    Very good point. Next year will be very interesting in terms of economic differentiation.

    Baseball passed $6.5B in revenues last year. A lot of that money is locked in for 2010 due to long term TV deals.

    The source of revenue most likely to vary is ticket sales and local TV revenues (will this impact YES?).

    Yanks have ticket sales locked in for 2010. Still likely to be a lot of demand in 2011 for tickets.

    So the yankee’s relative advantage in revenues may actually grow if ticket sales fall off. Same will go for the Sox – too much demand for tickets (though interestingly – the Sox didn’t raise their ticket prices this year).

    So waiting to spend has a lot of advantages.

    I agree that CC is just an exception that warrants spending now.

    But if he’s all you get and you don’t spend on another free agent who do you fill the rotation in with in 2009 such that you have a reasonable shot to make the playoffs?

    CC/ Wang/?/?/Joba (innings limit). Assume you bring back Pettite. CC/Wang/Pettite/?/Joba.

    Is that good enough to make the playoffs, especially with the expected line up? I’d have to guess no.

    And if they miss out of CC then it starts looking considerably worse.

    Then you could be forced to spend cash on guys like AJ out of pure need.

  143. NYYankFan November 28th, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    “Jeter – just try to imagine the yanks w/o him.”

    People felt the same way about Mantle and Mattingly but life went on and games continued to be played. No one player is bigger than the team. If he’s really the most important, the Yankees are in big trouble.

    “AROD-need him to fit in with the fans – return to 2007.”

    2007 was a season for the ages. Not likely to happen again by A-Rod or anyone. If that’s what he needs to win over “fans” he’ll have to deal with not winning them over because it’s not likely to happen.

    “Montero – Monster hitter – capable of 40+ hrs from C/1B/DH”

    Monster hitter in the minors doesn’t guarantee major league success.

    “Hughes – Phil Franchise = hyped for years”

    Let’s hope 2009 is the year of less savior and more pitcher.

  144. carl November 28th, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    I would love to see Johnny Damon take a huge pay cut and come back.

  145. randy l November 28th, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    patrick-
    i hope you’re right about the economy , but i have a friend who was a partner in a two billion dollar hedge fund until he left it and went all into cash last february because of subprime problems he saw. granted that’s a small sample, but i see the same warning signs over my main street counter . i think this crisis is one for the ages and you are one of the lucky ones who gets to experience it at all a young age.

    nothing like experience as a teacher. baseball can’t run contrary to the greater economy it’s in for long. this is the first time in my life i’m as interested in the economy as baseball and i have a hunch the two will be intersecting by next summer.

    right now it’s almost like major league baseball is in denial about what’s happening. there’s been almost no talk of scaling back. one of the reasons that we all get so into the game is because it is a quality diversion from the real world, but i think this is a time when that isn’t so easy to do.

    the beauty of baseball though is that no matter what happens to the economy, spring training will come and the season will go on without skipping a beat. the players may just be having a few less zeroes on their paychecks,and that actually might not be so bad.

  146. randy l November 28th, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    cb-
    you’ll think i’m crazy after all my protesting about the young pitchers last year,but i think hughes will be ready to contribute. i still think he needs some triple a in the early season,but i think he’ll be good next year. maybe 10-12 wins.

    the yankees won’t miss the playoffs in april. they don’t need 5 good starters at first. i’d sign sabathia and take my chances without any other big splashes.

  147. mel November 28th, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    randy l,

    Thanks for the great list. I hope that you and the rest of board had a great Thanksgiving. I’m just recovering now. It was a nice distraction from the Hot Stove Watch. ;)

    I agree with you that we should make better use of our money. It may hurt in the short term, but if we wanted to, we could start a great home-grown rotation in the near future.

    But I understand the need for the Yankees to make their be$t efforts because they’re opening a new $tadium and the cost-benefit lo$$ of missing the playoff$ (though they did pocket quite a bit from a lot of playoff games over the last 13 seasons).

    We’re truly not far off, having won 89 games without Wang and Joba missing 30 starts between them and Jorge and Hideki each missing most of the season.

    Whether your glass is half-full or half-empty, it’s great being a Yankee fan. Can’t wait for the new era to begin. Good Times.

  148. joey b. November 28th, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    anybody know any good new york giants blogs?

  149. CB November 28th, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    “you’ll think i’m crazy after all my protesting about the young pitchers last year,but i think hughes will be ready to contribute.”

    randy,

    Excuse me while I close my just dropped jaw! I think we are in exactly the opposite position that we were in last year.

    I’m very pro getting veterans into the rotation – especially the stud left hander. You’re a bit more cautious.

    And now – you want Hughes in the rotation! And I am pretty firmly against it.

    To me the big issue with Hughes is that he’s had now 2 whole years of development time wasted. The time frame is almost as if he had TJ surgery.

    For a player to not throw innings between the age of 20-21 is bad. But I think a one year lay off was recoverable – especially as he got some major league inning in in August-Oct in 2007.

    But 2008 was an even bigger wasted year, IMO. And as that was the second consecutive year of not throwing every 5th day I think that’s a real big problem.

    I think Phil needs to be in AAA and pitch at least half a season down there. Preferrably a whole season to build his arm back up and work on his cutter (a pitch that I think will make a huge difference for him…).

    I’d take a flier on Aceves in the rotation before Hughes.

    That said – I think they are going to sign AJ – whether they sign CC or not. Just a guess. AJ’s agent started walking back the ironclad demand for a 5th year – he wouldn’t do that unless the market just wasn’t there for a 5 year deal.

    If its 4 years I think they’ll sign AJ. Just a hunch. Pettite is becoming a more convoluted situation.

  150. Joe from Long Island November 28th, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    randy – If you’re right about Phil Hughes, then it would provide some insurance if they wanted to go after Sheets. Again, the shorter contract and fewer dollars needed compared to either Burnett or Lowe make him very attractive to me. That and his pitching.

    As regards to Tex, I wonder how flush Arte Moreno is truly feeling these days. Does anyone have a clue as to his, and the Angels’, finances?

  151. PAT M. November 28th, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Sign Sabathia and Texeria…They address two main concerns, it’ll be quite some time before an opportunity to ink players of this magnitude comes around again……These are glaring holes in the roster…..A dominate # 1 starting pitcher and a top # 3 hitter who is on the brink of making a run at an MVP …….

  152. Fredo Corleone November 28th, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    “As regards to Tex, I wonder how flush Arte Moreno is truly feeling these days. Does anyone have a clue as to his, and the Angels’, finances?”

    Good enough to pay either Sabathia or Teixeira with no problems. He had a lot come off the books this year and a lot coming off next year.

  153. CB November 28th, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    “And the advantage that Ben Sheets gives (IF healthy; I obviously don’t know his medical data) if that he can be had at a relative bargain compared to either Burnett or Lowe,”

    I think Sheets is an option they should seriously consider after reviewing his medical records and recent scanning.

    That said, I think too much has recently been made of saying that both AJ and Sheets are both frequently injured so there’s not that much difference in risk between them.

    I think that’s overstating the case.

    There is a big difference between them in terms of risk. AJ had TJ surgery and successfully recovered. Sheets has never had TJ surgery and he suffered an elbow injury this year that while muscular could suggest that he’s putting strain on his elbow.

    AJ had TJ surgery in 2003. It’s not very common that guys blow out their elbows twice in a career. Usually the TJ replacement ligament holds up after its done.

    Not all injuries or risks are equal. With pitchers you worry about shoulders and elbows and then everything else.

    Both Sheets and Burnett have had similar shoulder problems (tendinitis/ soreness).

    But you have to worry less about Burnett’s elbow than you do about Sheets’s even if his current elbow injury fully repairs without surgery.

    I think Sheets is a better pitcher when healthy. But i think that’s he’s a bigger risk in terms of injury, particularly to his elbow, than AJ is. AJ seems like he’s done going through the process of not only having TJ but recovering from it.

  154. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    CB
    November 28th, 2008 at 6:43 pm
    “And the advantage that Ben Sheets gives (IF healthy; I obviously don’t know his medical data) if that he can be had at a relative bargain compared to either Burnett or Lowe,”

    I think Sheets is an option they should seriously consider after reviewing his medical records and recent scanning.

    ———————————————————-

    I, too, would pick Burnett over Sheets. The only armisues that Burnett has had beides the ligament surgery was in 2006 when he had minor surgery to clean up torn scar tissue from the ligament surgery. He did have an aching shoulder in 2007, but that was early in the season and hasn’t bothered him since. Granted that Sheets has the better control, but that tightness in his elbow and forearm would be my biggest concern over the next two years.

  155. Brad November 28th, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    Artie Moreno needs Teixeira or no less than Manny to save face for trading Casey Kotchman to get Teixeira last July.
    Without either, there’s no protection for Vladimir Guerrero.

  156. YankeeRay November 28th, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Good point on AJ’s elbow. I have been on record as saying to go after sheets and I am ok with either AJ or Sheets along with Oliver Perez. I don’t want CC. I really think that a 25 mill plus contract will become a staff disease as it’s only human. If CC doesn’t post 78 Guidry numbers the resty of the staff will be resentful. I also think he is an injury waiting to happen with his weight and innings logged as well lack of big game wins. To me, Perez and Sheets/AJ at virtually the same price is the way to go.
    Sign Tex so we don’t regret it like Beltran. His 20 mill plus contract will just blend in with the rest of the infield. Don’t miss out on the chance to build for the next 5 years in teh new stadium.

  157. Tom November 28th, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    I’m starting to warm to the idea of A.J. Burnett. I don’t know if it is GB using his psyops training on me, or if I have developed stockholm syndrome from reading these posts.

  158. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Tom
    November 28th, 2008 at 7:26 pm
    I’m starting to warm to the idea of A.J. Burnett. I don’t know if it is GB using his psyops training on me, or if I have developed stockholm syndrome from reading these posts.

    ———————————————————–

    I just use hypnosis by internet o persuade people to accept my theories. You’re my first victim….errr…success.

  159. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    NYY needs two starters or three if they don’t resign Pettitte. Neither Hughes nor Chamberlain will go much above 140 innings, next year. They’ll either need to go heavy on pitching or go with two of the pitchers and a bat like Teixeira’s. If NYY can’t sign Teixeira, they need to try and get somebody like Adam LaRoche. I’d prefer him over Adam Dunn.

  160. ray (sox fan) November 28th, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    GB7,

    Good to see you are still around. Old turkeys can be quite vulnerable this time of year!!

    Just a little bit of friendly harassment from the Sox spy.

    To be honest, I don’t think you are much older than me.

    Who do you think signs first? CC, Tex, Lowe, Manny, or Burnett?

  161. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    ray (sox fan)
    November 28th, 2008 at 7:42 pm
    GB7,

    Good to see you are still around. Old turkeys can be quite vulnerable this time of year!!

    Just a little bit of friendly harassment from the Sox spy.

    To be honest, I don’t think you are much older than me.

    Who do you think signs first? CC, Tex, Lowe, Manny, or Burnett?

    ———————————————————–

    Evening, Mata Hari…errr…Ray. Hope you and the (sox fn) family had a great holiday. I’ll let you be older than me…not a problem…I’ll get the younger ladies.

    As far as who signs first….I think it’ll be Sabathia….after that, the rest fill follow pretty fast, except for Teixeira. I think that Boras holds him out until the last and then tries to pressure the big loser in the signings to over bid on him.

  162. doslobo38 November 28th, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Everybody keeps saying that the Yankees need a number 3 hitter…well we had one of the best one’s in baseball in Bobby Abreu but we are just letting him go…Yeah it is going to be a long season.

  163. doslobo38 November 28th, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Everybody keeps saying we need a number 3 hitter…well we had one of the best in baseball in Bobby Abreu and the Yankees are just letting him go. It is going to be a long season.

  164. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    I have warmed up to Burnett as well since last year. He really finished strong and showed that he can dominate. Maybe it was just an issue of needing to fully recover from TJ surgery both mentally and physically. Burnett really looks to be finding himself and I think he’s a real difference maker. If it’s true that his agent is backing off the 5 year requirement, it’s a no-brainer. He’s already 32 and relies on power over control. I wouldn’t want him past age 36.

    CB, you’re scaring me with the talk of Sheets. You made a simple link that I didn’t see. His current issue doesn’t seem serious because he doesn’t need surgery but the location of the strain could indicate he’s heading towards TJ surgery. I don’t think we’d see more than 120 IP’s out of him next year so I wouldn’t give him more than 1 year.

    If I had to choose between Pettitte for 1 year or Sheets for 1, then I say Sheets. If it’s Pettitte for 1 or Sheets for 2 then it’s a much tougher call.

    CB, you’re right about our pitching needs being timed with a nice supply in 2008. We need 3 new contracts in our staff which definitely means we have to aim for Holliday next year instead of Tex this year.

    Although Tex is the better ballplayer, the difference isn’t to great and when you consider our depth at their positions, it becomes an easy decision.

    For first base, the Yankees have 3 options, both short term and long: Swisher, Miranda and Montero.

    If you look at the outfield situation, it’s much worse. We have 3 positions instead of one and our 3 options all seem less stable: Gardner, Melky and Jackson. We could bring back Nady in 2010 and still conceivably need to fill 2 outfield positions with below average options. Even if they believe they can sign Holliday with Damon/Matsui/Pettitte money, we could still fall one position short in the OF. I think they’ll likely trade for a centerfielder now and not assume that they’ll be able to sign Holliday + another outfielder. An upgrade to CF now sort of buffers the passing on Tex.

    Sorry Tex fans, it’s going to be pitching today and Holliday tomorrow.

  165. Joe from Long Island November 28th, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    I think the trade of Holliday to the As this offseason will work out to our advantage. We will have a much better idea of how his play, specifically hitting, translates outside of Coors Field and the NL, before we contemplate spending great gobs of money on him.

  166. mel November 28th, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    I’m warming up to the idea of AJ, too.

  167. Buddy Biancalana November 28th, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    Bret-

    I can’t get over the fact that you value Bruney more than Mo. kind mind boggling.

    If AJ’s demands for a 5 year deal have truly come down, he’ll be a Yank.

  168. Buddy Biancalana November 28th, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    *Kind of mind boggling*

  169. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Joe from Long Island,

    Billy Beane acquired Holliday with an eye on our prospects. That’s the only thing that scares me. Hopefully we won’t be in a desperate need for offense at the deadline and hopefully Beane can’t find a team that could trade him, woo him, get him used to their city and ultimately sign him after 2009. After all, he is a Boras client. I think Beane will get good value on Holliday even if the Yankees aren’t players.

    But imagine if Beane’s scouting crew only wants 1 of Brackman/Betances to go along with IPK + a reliever prospect?

    I would be convinced that Brackman/Betances would go on to become aces and IPK a steady mid-rotation guy and the reliever in the deal would become their closer.

    Scary.

  170. Ed - patience isn't a virtue to some people November 28th, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Manny, a Yankee? huh?

    http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/u.....src=sports

  171. ham fighters November 28th, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    i dont see any possiblility of cash signing manny.

  172. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    If they have a deal lined up for Matsui, they could sign Manny. Would be perfect if Matsui was dealt for a catching prospect that would share time with Posada now and Posada could play some first base with Swisher moving to LF on occasion and Damon in CF if Melky/Gardner aren’t playing like average players.

  173. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Buddy,

    I hate to say it but Melancon is more important than Mo because they’re grooming him to be the next closer and Mo’s got only 2 years left. Melancon is great but he’s also recovering from TJS. If he falls then the most likely candidate to replace him is Brian Bruney. Also, no matter what happens, Bruney is our setup guy next year and could be for 5-6 years after that if he lives up to his talent.

    Another thing Buddy. I actually thought about your Eric Byrnes idea at one time but scratched it when somebody mentioned his age 33 and hamstring issues. I wasn’t sure how serious hamstring problems are since it’s sometimes only a 15 day DL stint. But then I thought of Ken Griffey Jr. and I worry about the Byrnes idea now.

    I do like the idea of trading Matsui to the D-backs and salvaging something for him. The NL West is an open division now that the Dodgers are losing so many key parts to their team. They don’t even have a pitching staff. The D-backs could add a bat like Matsui and make a push. Matsui is a difference maker. The D-backs could also offer arbitration to Matsui after 2009 and possibly get 2 draft picks for him.

    I would ask for Miguel Montero and if they forced me to assume the Byrnes contract I probably would do it. I would move Posada to DH and fix the catching situation right this instant. Austin Romine is a long ways away and who knows if he’ll pan out. It’s important that he does but it could be 3-4 years. Posada could be finished defensively for all we know. The last time we saw him he allowed 3 stolen bases in 1 inning and was throwing like my right handed sister throws with her left hand. Now if we’re going to focus on pitching and defense we should do just that and do it now.

    Miguel Montero will outhit Molina that’s for sure.

    He’s a legitimate ML ready talent and he’s young and strong defensively.

  174. Buddy Biancalana November 28th, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Bret-

    Molina is the backup, are you suggesting carrying 3 catchers again?

  175. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Buddy I commented on your Bruney comment but it’s not appearing…

    Not necessarily 3 catchers if they trade Matsui for a ML ready catcher that would benefit from full-time in the minors.

  176. RhapsodyInBlue November 28th, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    We’ll trade you Matsui and throw in two plastic knees.

  177. ham fighters November 28th, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    ” ML ready catcher that would benefit from full-time in the minors”

    seems to be a contradition there.

  178. Y's Guy November 28th, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    you’re gonna trade mastui for a 3rd catcher?

  179. Nick in SF in Pikesville, MD November 28th, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    If the Yankees are going to win a title in the next couple of years, I think Mo will be the more important.

    Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and is enjoying the long weekend. I got a nice late birthday gift, a book called “The Greatest Game; The Yankees, Red Sox, and the Playoff of ’78″ by Richard Bradley. I can’t give it my top recommendation yet as I haven’t had a chance to read it, but it sure looks great!

  180. j-man November 28th, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    I just don’t get Derek Lowe compared to some other guys. He may be reliable,but he will be league average, command 10 million dollars per year, and cost draft picks.

  181. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Buddy,

    I hate to say it but Melancon is more important than mo because they’re grooming him to be the next closer and Mo’s only got 2 years left. Melancon is legit but also recovering from TJS. If he falls apart then the most likely replacement is Bruney who’s only 26. No matter what happens, Burney will at least be called on to be the setup guy and if he lives up to his talent he could be that guy for the next 5-6 years.

    Another thing Buddy, I actually thought about your Byrnes idea at one time but scratched it just now when somebody reminded me he’s 33 and has major hamstring issues. I wasn’t sure how serious hamstring probelms are since it’s sometimes only a 15 day DL stint. But then I thought of Ken Griffey Jr. and I worry about the Byrnes proposal now.

    I do like the idea of trading Matsui to the D-backs and salvaging something for him before his knees burst. The NL West is an open division now that the Dodgers are losing so many key parts of their team. They don’t even have a pitching staff. The D-backs could add a bat like Matsui and make a push. He’s a difference maker. The D-backs could also offer him arbitration after 2009 and possibly get 2 draft picks. He’d make them competitive for 1 year in a wide open division and bring young talent in the future.

    I would ask for Miguel Montero and if they forced me to assume the Byrnes contract I probably do it. I would move Posada to DH and fix the catching situation right this instant. Austin Romine is a long ways away and who knows if he’ll pan out. It’s important that he does but it could be 3-4 years for all we know. Posada could be finished defensivly. The last time we saw him he allowed 3 SB’s in 1 inning and was throwing like my right handed sister throws with a left hand missing 4 digits. Now if we’re going to focus on pitching and defense then we should do just that and do it now and stop pretending.

    Miguel Montero’s a legitimate ML ready talent and he’s young and sound defensively. He’ll outhit Molina for sure.

    I know, not saying much.

  182. ham fighters November 28th, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    personally i think lowe will have a better year than pettitte who apparently still thinks he’s worth $16M

  183. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Tell me you wouldn’t do Matsui for Miguel Montero.

    Nothing wrong with putting Montero in AAA until Posada proves that he can’t throw anymore which might not be too long. We can’t assume his arm is better when the last thought in our minds is those 3 stolen bases in 1 inning. I’m not at all comfortable with the catching situation. Carrying 3 catchers when 1 is Chad Moeller is alot different than 3 catchers with 1 being 25 with upside.

  184. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Bret the Hitman
    November 28th, 2008 at 9:03 pm
    Tell me you wouldn’t do Matsui for Miguel Montero.

    Nothing wrong with putting Montero in AAA until Posada proves that he can’t throw anymore which might not be too long. We can’t assume his arm is better when the last thought in our minds is those 3 stolen bases in 1 inning. I’m not at all comfortable with the catching situation. Carrying 3 catchers when 1 is Chad Moeller is alot different than 3 catchers with 1 being 25 with upside.

    ———————————————————–

    Montero is not much of an offensive upgrade over Molina and a defensive downgrade. He’s certainly not worth Matsui. He’s not even worth Cabrera.

  185. Ed - patience isn't a virtue to some people November 28th, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    I rather prefer Teagarden, Hanigan, or Ramirez over Miguel Montero. Otherwise, no.

  186. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    GB,

    Miguel Montero is most certainly an offensive upgrade over Molina. Not very close. One hits average for the position and is 25. The other hits well below average for the position and is 32. Maybe you missed Posada’s last game behind the plate or have you forgot already.

    If the Yankees can clear Matsui off their payroll, they can sign 3 pitchers and have enough money leftover to bring in Manny to be the DH. How about a clutch hitter like Manny batting behind Arod. You think Arod sees some meatballs if that happens?

  187. Tom November 28th, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Keep Francisco Cervelli around instead.

  188. Ed - patience isn't a virtue to some people November 28th, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    “Keep Francisco Cervelli around instead.”

    that’s another option, but he’s a stronge spring training to be the 3rd catcher. he just needs to hit more.

  189. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Damon-cf Damon-lf
    Jeter-ss Jeter-ss
    Arod-3b Arod-3b
    Manny-dh Manny-dh
    Cano-2b Cano-2b
    Nady-rf Nady-rf
    Posada-1b Posada-c
    Swisher-lf Swisher-1b
    M. Montero-c Melky/Gardner-cf

    Sabathia
    Wang
    Burnett
    Pettitte/Sheets
    Chamberlain
    Hughes
    Aceves

    Any questions?

  190. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Bret the Hitman
    November 28th, 2008 at 9:15 pm
    GB,

    Miguel Montero is most certainly an offensive upgrade over Molina. Not very close. One hits average for the position and is 25. The other hits well below average for the position and is 32. Maybe you missed Posada’s last game behind the plate or have you forgot already.

    If the Yankees can clear Matsui off their payroll, they can sign 3 pitchers and have enough money leftover to bring in Manny to be the DH. How about a clutch hitter like Manny batting behind Arod. You think Arod sees some meatballs if that happens?

    ———————————————————–

    Montero is a .239 career hitter and not that good on defense. You’d better check the numbers. What type of pitchers do you imagine you’ll get for 13 million dollars if you’re getting three of them? You could barely get three average relief pitchers for that.

    http://www.thebaseballcube.com.....tero.shtml

    Like I said…he’s not worth Matsui and NYY has 4 catchers that are moving up quick. Montero isn’t worth looking at.

  191. Nick November 28th, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    @CB: There is no “think”. Sheets IS better than Burnett when healthy.

  192. Tom November 28th, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Ed – All that Francisco Cervelli has to do is hit at is minor league career numbers and he’d be an average catcher.

    .280BA .381OBP .385SLG .766 OPS

  193. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    GB,

    Montero isn’t even a full time catcher and he’s 25 so why would you weigh his career numbers more than his recent performance?

    What did Montero bat last year?

    How bout Molina?

    We’re signing 3 pitchers regardless of the Matsui situation. If we trade Matsui then we pay for more than half of Manny. When Damon expires in 1 year, that’s another 13 mil.

    Having Manny makes up for missing out on Tex and keeps us away from a long term deal with Holliday after 2009. I’d much rather have Manny for 3 years than Holliday for (insert number reflecting absurd demands here).

    Tell me you would want Matsui over Manny.

  194. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    2008

    Molina OPS: .576

    Montero OPS: .765

    Not even close.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sorta.....ompare.y=1

    http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sorta.....statSet1=2

  195. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Bret the Hitman
    November 28th, 2008 at 9:34 pm
    GB,

    Montero isn’t even a full time catcher and he’s 25 so why would you weigh his career numbers more than his recent performance?

    ———————————————————-

    Whatever you say. Get on your little PS3 and make your big trade, because that’s as close to reality as you’re going to get.

  196. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    You don’t need a little PsP to read this stat my friend:

    2008

    Molina OPS: .576

    Montero OPS: .765

    Not even close.

  197. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Oh and by the way…

    Molina will turn 34 halfway through next season.

    That should tell you something about the catching situation.

  198. RhapsodyInBlue November 28th, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Brett you really need to calm down, we don’t need 3 catchers at the moment, this isn’t dodge ball.

    Let’s wait to see how Posada responds in the spring, meanwhile we have a few pitching issues to iron out.

  199. Tom November 28th, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Matsui for a back-up catcher is bananas.

  200. bottom line November 28th, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    Very glad to see new faces on the AJ bandwagon.
    Too much talk of his not being healthy in the past. Fact is he dominates now and may have finally put it all together. If he’s available for four years (or maybe even five) I say put the rush on him now — and get him into the stable. That takes some of the pressure off and allows us to find the best value among Tex, CC, etc. I think it’s important to get a deal done fast. And if it’s at a high price, so much the better. Other teams are going to have more of a problem than we will matching the new higher wage standard with the other FA’s.

  201. Kyle in Syracuse November 28th, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with this list Peter. Great job.

  202. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Bret the Hitman
    November 28th, 2008 at 9:58 pm
    You don’t need a little PsP to read this stat my friend:

    2008

    Molina OPS: .576

    Montero OPS: .765

    Not even close.

    ———————————————————–

    What part of he’s not worth Matsui don’t you understand? A backup catcher is the last in the list of Yankee priorities. Then you try adding Ramirez to this by taking Matsui’s salary to next year’s salary from Damon to justify another three years pay for Ramirez? Is this your version of government buget savings? You save 13 million this year so you can spend 80 million over the next three years? Sorry, but, your voo-doo economics stinks, as does your ideas of player priority. Losing Matsui, Abreu and Giambi strips almost all of the Yankees left handed bats.

    Nobody’s going to get a problem like Ramirez for less than four years.

  203. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    RhapsodyInBlue

    We’d be trading Matsui to clear room to make it more possible to outbid the Dodgers for Manny.

    Miguel Montero could play all year in AAA but if for some reason Molina starts huffin’ wind like he did when playing too often last year (turns 34 at the break next year) or Posada can’t throw, he’d be ready if called up. In 2010, Montero would be the starting catcher, fully seasoned another year in AAA or between AAA and the bigs.

    So 1 year of Matsui for a backup catcher 1 year and then a starter thereafter.

    The comparison here is Matsui vs. Manny not 1 year of Matsui versus Miguel Montero.

  204. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    No voodoo economics here.

    Johnny Damon-lf
    Derek Jeter-ss
    Alex Rodriguez-3b
    Manny Ramirez-dh
    Jorge Posada-c
    Xavier Nady-rf
    Robinson Cano-2b
    Nick Swisher-1b
    Gardner/Cabrera-cf

    Montero ready in AAA in case Posada can’t throw.

    2010

    Gardner/Cabrera/Jackson-cf
    Derek Jeter-ss
    Alex Rodriguez-3b
    Manny Ramirez-dh
    Jorge Posada-1b
    Xavier Nady-rf
    Robinson Cano-2b
    Nick Swisher-lf
    Miguel Montero-c

  205. Tom November 28th, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    I apologize for bringing up this can of worms, but, what is up with these conflicting scouting reports on Hughes? Peter wrote that he talked to scouts and Phil was hitting 95 on the gun. Jim Callis quotes a scout that had him in the low 90s and (i’m paraphrasing here) “didn’t know what all the fuss was about”.

    Now Tim Kurkjian writes that the Yankees “have great expectations in 2009 for pitcher Phil Hughes,…Hughes is healthy now, and threw the ball well in the Arizona Fall League.”

  206. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Obviously, you haven’t bothered to check that NYY would have to put Montero on waivers to send him to the minors and, he’d never clear waivers. That means that NYY not sold Matsui for $50,000, but would have to may more than half of his salary to Arizona, because they can’t afford him.

  207. Tom November 28th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Bret, The D-backs cannot afford to take on Matsui’s contract. If they could they would use that money to resign Hudson or Randy Johnson.

    Don’t even mention Eric Byrnes. His legs are in the same shape as Matsui’s and He’s signed for an extra year.

  208. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Tom
    November 28th, 2008 at 10:19 pm
    I apologize for bringing up this can of worms, but, what is up with these conflicting scouting reports on Hughes? Peter wrote that he talked to scouts and Phil was hitting 95 on the gun. Jim Callis quotes a scout that had him in the low 90s and (i’m paraphrasing here) “didn’t know what all the fuss was about”.

    Now Tim Kurkjian writes that the Yankees “have great expectations in 2009 for pitcher Phil Hughes,…Hughes is healthy now, and threw the ball well in the Arizona Fall League.”

    ———————————————————-

    Callis is a nototious Yankee hater and has never had much good to say about Hughes or any other Yankee prospect.

  209. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    GB,

    Are you changing your argument now?

    Let’s say Teixeira goes to Boston, then Arizona has a place to trade Matsui (Angels).

    Would you want Manny over Matsui if Teixeira goes to Boston?

  210. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Tom,

    Are you changing your argument now that you see Miguel Montero would be our starting catcher in 2010 and a nice insurance policy callup from AAA in 2009 if Posada can’t throw or Molina implodes (will turn 34 next year)?’

    Who’s to say Arizona can’t spin Matsui? Do you realize that if they took Matsui off our hands, they would in effect be sending Manny out of their division? Think they have a better chance to reach the playoffs without Manny on the Dodgers but on the Yanks instead?

  211. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    And whose to say the D-backs wouldn’t sweeten the pot if the Yanks thought Miguel Montero was not enough?

    (BTW, Yanks have expressed interest in Miguel Montero this offseason).

  212. Bill November 28th, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    Would you guys do: Cano for Luke Hochavar, Mike Aviles, and David DeJesus.
    Then send Hughes + Gardner + Suttle for Peavy?

    Aviles replaces Cano, Hochavar replaces Hughes, and DeJesus replaces Gardner. Peavy replaces Ponson/Rasner.

    Rotation:
    C.C.
    Wang
    Peavy
    Pettite
    Joba

    with Hochavar and Kennedy in the wings.

    If they trade Cano, they would definetely need to get Tex though.

  213. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    Changing what arguement? Nothing’s changed. He’s not worth Matsui. If NYY was trading Matsui, they’d trade him to LAA for Mathis or Napoli….both highly more valuable than Montero.

  214. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Correction: ***If NYY was trading Matsui for a catcher***

  215. mel November 28th, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Tom,

    Here’s an article from mlb.com (pretty reliable)re: Hughes improving his stock in Arizona.

    I think we’re just seeing what a healthy Hughes can do.

    One scout told Pete that he could be their #2. That’s pretty damn good.

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com.....8;c_id=nyy

  216. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    As for Miguel Montero on waivers. That’s fine. I’d trade Molina or put Molina on waivers then if that’s the case. I wasn’t sure if Montero had an option left.

  217. mel November 28th, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Bill,

    It’s already been established that Peavy can get done without Hughes.

    The market for Peavy’s pretty weak because of his extension demands.

  218. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    “Changing what arguement? Nothing’s changed. He’s not worth Matsui.”

    D-backs could sweeten the pot if that’s the case.

    “If NYY was trading Matsui, they’d trade him to LAA for Mathis or Napoli….both highly more valuable than Montero.”

    I’d be shocked if the Angels traded Napoli away and Mathis numbers didn’t touch Montero’s.

  219. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    OK, Bret The Clueless man, now you’re changing it. Now, Arizona’s “sweetening the pot”. With who? And who do you propose Arizona get’s from the Angels? Whatever…I’m done with your silliness.

  220. Tom November 28th, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    Thanks Mel.

  221. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    GB,

    Don’t get nasty.

    You call me clueless but you thought the Yankees should trade Matsui to the Angels for a catcher who hit buck ninety four last year (.194 for all you stat guru’s not named GreenBarret)

  222. Tom November 28th, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Call me crazy, but, I do think that when i’s all said and done Peavy will be a Yankee.

  223. bottom line November 28th, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Tom– I believe the Callis piece on Hughes came from the print edition of BA. They have very long editorial lead times. My guess is he wrote that weeks ago, before Phil’s last two outings– when he really had extra juice on the fast ball. So I’d go with the Pete’s scouts, hands down.

  224. GreenBeret7 November 28th, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    I didn’t say that NYY should trade Matsui at all.

  225. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    “And who do you propose Arizona get’s from the Angels?”

    There you go you’re gettin’ the hang of this PS3 thingie. You originally identified the Angels as a possible target for Matsui (for Napoli or LOL Mathis) but now you don’t think the Angels would be willing to give up something to the D-backs to acquire Matsui?

  226. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    “Changing what arguement? Nothing’s changed. He’s not worth Matsui. If NYY was trading Matsui, they’d trade him to LAA for Mathis or Napoli….both highly more valuable than Montero.”

    -Green Barette

  227. miggs November 28th, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Bret stop dominating the thread with this nonsense.

    I agree with GB, not sure what the real debate here is. Matsui is an elite bat when he’s healthy. Guaranteed 25 hrs 100 rbis 100 runs scored. He’s also a great guy to hit behind A Rod.

    There really is no argument and this whole debate is a huge waste of time unless Poasada isn’t healthy, and all signs say he’s ahead of schedule.

  228. Bret the Hitman November 28th, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Miggs,

    Good for you.

  229. thisguy November 29th, 2008 at 1:20 am

    have none of you learned from carl pavano?

    im actually hearing people say give AJ 5 years? That can’t be right…

    Have you looked at his past?

    I just dont get it…

    …I just dont.

  230. O'Dog November 29th, 2008 at 5:42 am

    Arguing online is like playing in the special olympics – even if you win, you’re still retarded.

  231. ham fighters November 29th, 2008 at 6:50 am

    funny how ppl fixate on one guy they want on the team and are willing to make stupid trades or twist the defense to make it happen. this guy wants to trade matsui for a 3rd catcher so that we can sign manny.

    ask yourself this: do u really think brian cashman and hal steinbrenner would agree to bringing manny to n.y.? the answer is no, so do u really think they are going to trade matsui for nobody to accomodate getting manny? no chance in the world.

    some guy the other day wanted to move arod to 1B so he could get david wright for 3B (never mind that wright cant carry arod’s glove at 3B.)

  232. Guiseppe Franco November 29th, 2008 at 8:47 am

    There is no chance Hal and Cashman will sign Manny Ramirez.

    Hank may like him, but Hal and Cashman have shown zero interest in him and would never let him inside that Yankee clubhouse.

  233. Steve November 29th, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Here’s Pete’s list, with my comments

    1. Joba Chamberlain-Agree. The Yanks need him to be their Josh Beckett if they are to make another championship run.
    2. Hal Steinbrenner-Agree. He’s on board with the two pronged strategy of FAs AND farm system. As long as that is the case, we’ll be an elite team.
    3. Alex Rodriguez-Too high. Proved in 2007 that no matter what he does, its not enough if they don’t have the pitching to make those runs stick.
    4. Derek Jeter-A bit high. Aging, declining with the bat and glove. But his clubhouse leadership is essential to the Yankee mix.
    5. Mariano Rivera-I don’t believe closers are as big a deal as other do, but he’s still the best who ever lived.
    6. Brian Cashman-Belongs higher. He’s the ultimate decision maker on all player moves. Belongs after Hal.
    7. Chien-Ming Wang-Meh, whatever. Hopefully, he will be our 3rd (or 4th) starter by the end of the year.
    8. Joe Girardi-Should be right behind Cashman. His vision and style of baseball is what this team will ulitmately reflect over the next few years, and he’s more Mike Scioscia than he is Joe Torre. Pitching trumps hitting first, last and always. He values fielding more than Torre did. Gardner and Swisher are the first moves in that direction. Torre was a laid back father figure in a room full of big stars with their own agendas, Girardi wants a clubhouse of solid guys who care about winning and will defend each other.
    9. Robinson Cano-Meh, whatever.
    10. Jorge Posada-Should be right behind Jeter. He’s Derek’s hatchet man and we saw last year how sorely he can be missed both on the field and in the clubhouse.
    11. Xavier Nady-Meh, whatever
    12. Andrew Brackman-Sorry, hasn’t pitched enough
    13. Jesus Montero-I can’t count guys in A-Ball. Call me in two years.
    14. Randy Levine-After the stadium is built, I have no idea why he’s on any list. Replace him with Stick Michael.
    15. Hank Steinbrenner-Who?
    16. Phil Hughes-Should be higher. Still think he will be the anchor of our rotation for the next 10 years.
    17. Austin Jackson-Never was a big A-Jax fan. Let him strike out 130x a season for San Diego.
    18. Johnny Damon-Damon? Really? If we have trouble scoring runs again, one of the reason will be our 2 corner outfielders don’t have enough pop, and he’s one of them.
    19. Damon Oppenheimer/Mark Newman-Should be higher. The farm will supply us with bullpen arms, starters, our next catcher and hopefully a replacement for Jeter. Plus fodder for trades. I’d say that’s pretty important.
    20. Dave Eiland-Should be higher. Given the young elements of our pitching staff, he’s going to be very important going forward.

  234. Beanietown November 29th, 2008 at 9:09 am

    Okay Pete – the party’s over.

    Let’s get back to work.

    I would love to see the Steinbrenners bring Manny into the fold.

    I have hopes for an ARod/Manny era in Yankee history.

    I believe it would become a “modern version” of Ruth/Gehrig or Mantle/Maris.

  235. Guiseppe Franco November 29th, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Wang a third or fourth starter at the end of this year?

    Uh, not exactly. The only FA pitcher on the market better than Wang is Sabathia.

    Not Burnett and certainly not Lowe.

    You’d think people would have learned just how valuable Wang is to this team after he went down and became irreplaceable.

    Wang is probably the most underappreciated member of this team.

  236. peter b. November 29th, 2008 at 9:20 am

    why isn’t Edwar Ramirez on this top 20 list??

  237. sunny615 November 29th, 2008 at 9:26 am

    On Jeter, I had said the same thing about Joe Montana and the 49ers and they moved him. If Jeter’s skills see a precipitous fall off and he still wants to play but the Yanks don’t have a place for him, I can see him going elsewhere. Unfortunately, it’s a business first and there will always be casualties.

  238. Paulie November 29th, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Wang is probably the most underappreciated member of this team.

    Andd…

    The last guy I want on the hill in an important game. Which to me is much more important than the meaningless game he had 23 ground balls in during June.

    I’m just saying..

    I the Yanks had CC and Burnett, and the playoffs were to start tomorrow with all healthy, Wang would be the odd man out. My rotation would go CC, Joba, Burnett, CC.

  239. 108 stitches November 29th, 2008 at 9:27 am

    There will be activity in MLB next week leading up to the winter meeting in Las Vegas.
    The calm before the storm is about over.

  240. the pie guy November 29th, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Hey Bru,

    Looks like the fellas over at It Is High have a thing for you…

    Check out the posts:

    A picture says a thousand words

    and

    Tensions escalate in Lohud blog comments

  241. the pie guy November 29th, 2008 at 9:31 am

    PS

    Green Beret and SJ44 can go toss a black, choclaty salad!

    No one cares what you have to say.

    Rock on to Mel, Rebecca, Clare, Brandon, Turn Two, 86W183, Drive 4-5, Nick in SF, Guiseppe Franco, and the oterh Lohudders that are here to discuss baseball, not put down other Yankees fans, no matter how dumb guys liek Bru are, they are still fans!!!

    Pete, you do a great job but you should say something to the dooshbags like SJ and GB that are here just to talk down to people b/c they can’t do it in the real world, they hide behind keyboards…

  242. Drive 4-5 November 29th, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Beanietown.

    “I have hopes for an ARod/Manny era in Yankee history.

    I believe it would become a “modern version” of Ruth/Gehrig or Mantle/Maris.”

    Or maybe Dumb & Dumber.

  243. the pie guy November 29th, 2008 at 9:32 am

    BTW, Pats suck !

  244. Drive 4-5 November 29th, 2008 at 9:34 am

    the pie guy,

    You have any pumkin left? lol

    PLEASE Cash..say no to Manny.

    Beanietown, Dont get me wrong.I wasnt calling YOU dumb, just Manny.

  245. Beanietown November 29th, 2008 at 9:45 am

    “Or maybe Dumb & Dumber.”
    —————————-
    Drive 4-5,

    Wouldn’t it be nice to experience a modern version of the some of the dynamic duos of the past? Forget for a moment the sports analysts and constipated accountants among us that worry about win shares, payroll and team chemistry (Thurmond and Reggie never got along).

    I’m talking strictly about fan appeal. Imagine going to spring training and watching ARod and Manny getting ready for the season together as teammates.

    Imagine the regular season, with ARod getting hot in April, Manny getting hot in May and June and so on.

    The potential is beyone anything Boras could envision.

    Both within one or two years of reaching 600 home runs.

    Not only would it be great for the Yankee fan base but it would be great for MLB.

    It would be great for ESPN, the YES Network and even the cover of Sports Illustrated.

    It would be great for the new stadium and it would be great for New Yorkers.

    ARod was born in Manhattan and Manny grew up in Washington Heights.

    One player refuses to talk to the press, the other can’t stop talking to the press.

    One player gets his hair cut twice a week and the other wears dreadlocks.

    The potential fan appeal is enormous. The press wouldn’t be able to get enough of them.

    We owe it to the Boston Red Sox to take their orphan Manny off of the street.

    Thank you.

    The New York Yankees did it with orphan Babe Ruth and they can do it again with Manny.

    Here’s to the Steinbrenners making it happen.

  246. Guiseppe Franco November 29th, 2008 at 9:53 am

    The last guy I want on the hill in an important game. Which to me is much more important than the meaningless game he had 23 ground balls in during June.

    —————–

    The guy had a bad postseason in 2007 (oh, by the way, Sabathia hasn’t fared much better in October the last two years) and you’re gonna incinerate a scarlet letter into his chest?

    That’s insane and extremely short-sighted.

    Wang’s postseason numbers were fine in 2005 and 2006. But you want to bury the guy because he had a couple of rough starts?

    Andy Pettitte has had a lot of bad postseason starts too. He’s just had plenty of opportunities to make amends.

    Wang hasn’t had that chance yet.

    Burnett would be lucky if his health allows him to make a postseason start given his history of softness.

  247. Drive 4-5 November 29th, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Beanietown,

    I’ve made my case against Manny over & over. I’m firmly in the camp that wants nothing to do with that lazy, shiftless, self centered, irreponsible prima dona. He quit on his team in ’06 and again in ’08. As a professional athlete, that’s a cardinal sin.It’s worse than cheating with steroids because it is actually amount to cheating to lose. His last at bat against Mo in Yankee stadium should have warranted a suspension from baseball.

    It would be only a matter of time before he became a headache.As soon as he’s not “happy” ( read:having everything his way) he’d be another embarassment. We already have the soap opera that is A Rod. We dont need another.

  248. Ariel November 29th, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Beanietown,

    Though you and I are in the distinct minority on this board, that is not necessarily the case in official Yankeeland. In fact, could well be the very reason why many of the anti-Manny posters indulge in the extreme, hoping to stem what may be inevitable. It is interesting to observe the gradual movement in the esteemed press from what once was “it will never happen” to “well, it’s possibly”, to “don’t be surprised if—–”.

  249. Drive 4-5 November 29th, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Ariel,

    I’m in the anti- Manny camp but I’m not hoping to stem anything. All I am is a season ticket paying customer. I don’t make decisions other than with my wallet. And my wallet wont be happy if the Yankees stoop to signing Manny Ramirez.I’ve been a fan for 5 decades but I’m not one to blindly support bad decisions. I stayed away from giving them my hard earned money in the past in the past and I can just as easily do it again. They’ll always be my Yankees, but that doesnt mean I have to be as stupid with my money.

  250. Beanietown November 29th, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Compared to Billy Martin (as a player and a manager for the Yankees), this guy Manny Ramirez is a choir boy.

    But first, I must expose the moles among us.

    I find most closet blosox fans are against Manny coming to the Yankees.

    Most of them pretend to be Yankee fans.

    One of my litmus tests for those of you that have an adverse opinion on Manny is to request that you post that Ted Williams was overrated.

    Closet blosox fans are UNABLE to past this simple litmus test.

    If you cannot say Ted Williams was overrated I do not care to hear your opinion on Manny.

    I believe that Ted Williams was overrated (521 home runs and only 64 vs left hand pitching. The lowest ration in mlb history of players that have hit 300 or more home runs). It was Ted (mighty against righties) Williams.

    Here’s to the Steinbrenners bringing Manny into the fold.

  251. Bret the Hitman November 29th, 2008 at 10:30 am

    We’re going to pay big one way or the other, either long term with Holliday or short term by signing Manny and trading away 1 year of Matsui.

    The Sox fans think they hate Manny now.

    I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces when he’s on the Yankees and busting his tail to totally annihilate the Red Sox and get them back for their complete and utter lack of appreciation for all of his contributions over the years.

    Sure, he may relax against teams like the Royals and goof around in LF but when it comes to games that matter, he turns it up and wills himself into getting big hits in big situations. As a DH, we wouldn’t even have to worry about his defense at all.

    The Sox don’t know how it feels but they will.

  252. Yankee Trader November 29th, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Pete-

    Hope you and your family had a good holiday.

    If we don’t get the free agent starters we’re interested in, are there any relief pitchers, who were former starters, and/or have the repertoire to be starters and give the Yankees 5-6 strong innings before turning the game over to our fairly strong bullpen? JJ. Putz? Kerry Wood? Others?

    Also, could Brad Penny be worth a shot, as a come-back player ala Cliff Lee?

    Why no interest by the Yankees in 32 yo lefty Randy Wolf, who has regained arm strength and pitched well down the stretch for the Astros?

    No to Manny-is a DH Head case- could not patrol left or right field in Yankee stadium, and definitely not worth the aggravation. Bet my GM stock that the Yankees don’t sign him!

    We need three starting pitchers- potential #1 and a #4 and #5, with Wang as #2, and Joba as #3.

  253. Paulie November 29th, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Burnett would be lucky if his health allows him to make a postseason start given his history of softness.

    Have you even looked at the reasons he was on the DL? This remark only makes you sound as if you’ve garnered all your information from WFAN re: Burnett. He’s yet to take a DL stint because of “softness”. His problems were related to surgery, and then to remove scar tissue. Yes, he’s had some issues, but not once has he sat out nearly an entire year because he wasn’t able to jog the bases. That’s a difinitive definition of “soft”.

    Nowhere did I say CC was the proverbial playoff ace. I just happen to think CC is worlds better than Wang, and if Burnett is pitching like he’s capable, so is he.
    Heck, I’d rather have a healthy Sheets than Wang. Wang is always one ground ball away from a bad inning – one errror away from 3 runs scoring, and I guess you could say that about any pitcher, but Wang just lets too many guys on base, and sooner or later (like in the playoffs), it could and did bite them.
    And, you’ll notice I didn’t have Pettitte on my list..I don’t want him anywhere near the mound either. I base my opinion on reality, not hypothetical situations or what a guy did ten years ago.
    On any given day Wang is awesome. But, on that same any given day, Burnett and Sheets do not need the other nine guys to play brilliant defense to help them out – they can control a game themselves.

  254. Paulie November 29th, 2008 at 10:53 am

    EDIT: Other eight guys. AL syndrome – I never count the pitcher. ha.

  255. Gary November 29th, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Beanietown :

    Keep in mind that the Babe’s best years were ahead of him and he wasn’t 37 years old when the Yankees got him.
    Not the case with Manny. It might work for a year or 2 at the most but the back end of his contract would look ludicrous when he reached 40 years old.

  256. Guiseppe Franco November 29th, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Whatever you say, Paulie.

    For the record, I never listen to WFAN so my opinion of Burnett is based on my own two eyes.

    And it hardly matters whether you like Pettitte or not, he’s going to be resigned.

    Burnett is overrated and signing him would be a huge mistake.

    As for Wang, any ground ball pitcher is one error away from a bad inning. That goes for Lowe, Peavy, and Brandon Webb too. Improve the defense and you’ll improve their effectiveness.

  257. Brandon (TEIX IS NOT WORTH IT, GET CC !)..."Don't trade Robi !" November 29th, 2008 at 11:22 am

    WTF Plaxico Burress !!!! :x

  258. Paulie November 29th, 2008 at 11:30 am

    I agree, Brandon.

    This entire team is one unit, and then there is Plexiglass. If there is anything I can’t stand (other than the thought of Tex playing first for the Red Sox), it’s a cry baby wide reciever.
    You think he would have learned something from Hines Ward.

  259. Paulie November 29th, 2008 at 11:32 am

    And it hardly matters whether you like Pettitte or not, he’s going to be resigned..

    I agree. Once CC signs on the West Coast, they’ll have no choice but to overpay for nothing more than a league average inning eater, which isn’t a bad thing, but I’d much rather overpay for something of better value.

  260. trisha - CC will opt to be a Yankee. November 29th, 2008 at 11:32 am

    As an aside, I am heartbroken about that poor Walmart worker who lost his life yesterday. A 2000 person stampede to scoop up bargains, and a worker trampled in the process. And thus is the spirit of Christmas in America. What a sad, sad, commentary. Rest in peace, Jdimytai Damour.

    For those people not in the Yankee market and who cannot watch Yankeeographies, the Jorge Posada Yankeeography is on You Tube.

  261. jennifer November 29th, 2008 at 11:35 am

    brandon just heard that! Called a friend they are in shock!!

  262. Brandon (TEIX IS NOT WORTH IT, GET CC !)..."Don't trade Robi !" November 29th, 2008 at 11:38 am

    How the bleep I’m sorry Pete but that deserves that type of response ! HOW DO YOU SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE LEG :evil:

  263. Guiseppe Franco November 29th, 2008 at 11:45 am

    I agree. Once CC signs on the West Coast, they’ll have no choice but to overpay for nothing more than a league average inning eater, which isn’t a bad thing, but I’d much rather overpay for something of better value.

    ——————-

    Most people on this board buried Mike Mussina a year ago and he turned out just fine.

    And I’d argue that his shoulder issues had a lot to do with Pettitte’s rough second half. But Wang and Joba went down and he took one for the team when he could have missed a start or two.

    Burnett doesn’t make those sacrifices, which helps explain why he’s only thrown 200 IP + three times in nine seasons – twice during walk years.

    Wait until things play out before you close the book on Sabathia. The hot stove hasn’t even begun to heat up yet and he’ll have to leave a lot of Yankee money on the table to sign with another club.

  264. jennifer November 29th, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Let me guess he was cleaning it?

  265. Vrsce November 29th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Beanietown

    Ted Williams was overated (except in his own mind/frozen head).

    Manny should not be a Yankee.

  266. Buddy Biancalana November 29th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Plax is lucky he only hurt himself. Moron!

  267. Squints November 29th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    “Beanietown

    Ted Williams was overated (except in his own mind/frozen head).

    Manny should not be a Yankee.”

    WHAT?! If anything Ted Williams was underrated because of all the ink DiMaggio got. How on earth can you say Ted Williams was overrated?

  268. Buddy Biancalana November 29th, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    I find it funny that other blogs run threads on the commenter’s here.

  269. Squints November 29th, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    “Most people on this board buried Mike Mussina a year ago and he turned out just fine.”

    Which is fair enough to say but Mussina’s great season last year was an exception, not a rule. To expect Pettitte to bounce back and have a year anything like what Mussina had last year is unrealistic.

  270. trisha - CC will opt to be a Yankee. November 29th, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    I am also in the anti-Pettitte camp. I will be pleased if the Yankees don’t sign him. I was huge on Moose coming back for another season. But when I heard his interview regarding his knowing in the winter of 2007 that this would be his last season, it has to make me wonder whether that knowledge affected his game in nothing but a positive way. If Moose had not made that decision and was on the fence, would we have seen such a stellar season? No way of knowing, but he himself has said he thinks that he was playing much more relaxed knowing he had made the decision that it would be his last season.

  271. S.A.- CC Watch 2008: Making some Yankee fans go bonkers November 29th, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    WTF Plaxico!?!?!?!

    :evil:

  272. Guiseppe Franco November 29th, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    To expect Pettitte to bounce back and have a year anything like what Mussina had last year is unrealistic.

    ——————

    Never suggested that Pettitte will come back next season and pitch like Moose did in 2008.

    I’m simply reminding people that it’s not fair to bury someone so quickly.

    Both guys know how to pitch and the shoulder issue with Pettitte probably had a lot to do with it – especially when you consider that he pitched well in the first half.

    Even when he pitched poorly, he still had enough in him to throw 200 IP. That’s not easily replaceable and it’s only a one-year commitment.

    Mark my words, he will be back to the old Pettitte next season.

  273. CB November 29th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    “I believe that Ted Williams was overrated (521 home runs and only 64 vs left hand pitching. The lowest ration in mlb history of players that have hit 300 or more home runs). It was Ted (mighty against righties) Williams.”

    This is a great example of cherry picking some combination of statistics to make a cheap point. Only people who don’t understand statistics try to make rhetorical points like that.

    How about this:

    Career leaders in OPS+:

    1. Babe Ruth+* 207 L

    2. Ted Williams+* 191 L

    3. Barry Bonds* 182 L
    4. Lou Gehrig+* 179 L
    5. Rogers Hornsby+ 175 R
    6. Mickey Mantle+# 172 B

    Ted Williams was mind bogglingly good. So good that it’s almost impossible for us to understand how good he was as the vast majority of us have never ever seen a hitter perform at close to this level of brilliance.

    In the history of the game there was Babe Ruth and Ted Williams and then everyone else.

    People want to talk about Manny? His career OPS+ – 155. He’s nowhere in the same universe as Williams.

    It is true that Williams hit for less power against left handed pitchers.

    But that just a relative criticism. He still had an .880 career OPS against left handed pitchers. That’s fantastic.

    And the difference between his power left handed and right handed didn’t have that much of an impact on his game. There just weren’t very many left handed pitcher back then as it was an era in which the situational left handed reliever didn’t exist.

    Only 23% of Williams plate appearances came against left handers – that’s correct – less than a quarter of his plate appearances were against left handed pitchers.

    Compare that to Barry Bonds – 33% of his at bats came against left handed pitchers.

    Left handed batters from Williams era tended not to see very many left handed pitchers so they just had less exposure and practice to hitting lefties. So naturally there was more pronounced split.

    Does anyone seriously think that if Williams were playing today and had more exposure to left handed pitching he wouldn’t have had much of a split at all?

    After Williams, the finest left handed hitter of his era was Stan Musial (career OPS+ 163 – amazing yet not even close to Williams).

    Go look at Musial’s splits. He also had a decrease in power against lefties that was similar to Williams.

    It’s likely an issue of the era more than it is of the player.

    And the overall point is – if 77% of your plate appearances come against right handers, your stats against lefties just aren’t nearly as important.

    Williams was phenomenal. We’ve never seen a hitter even close to his brilliance. The nearest is Pujols and even he isn’t close to Williams.

    Ted Williams is underrated. Severely so. He gave up three prime years of his career to go fight in WW II where he was considered to be a brilliant air man. He then gave up two more prime years of his career to serve in Korea.

    He could have joined the military services baseball team. That’s what they wanted him to do.

    Instead he insisted on going back into combat and flying missions.

    He missed 5 major years of his career. If he had not had to serve in the military his numbers would be much, much better than they are now. Think about that. Not a little better – much better. And that includes breaking Ruth’s home run record.

    He hit over .400. Had multiple 1.200 OPS seasons. He won the triple crown – twice. He put up an OPS of over 1.000 every year of his career until he turned 40.

    And he was overrated?

  274. Paulie November 29th, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    CB..

    Some people are just simply too dumb to respond to, man.

  275. Drive 4-5 November 29th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    CB,

    Thanks for clearing that up about Ted Williams!lol

  276. Drive 4-5 November 29th, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    And if we can clear up another misnomer, there is no correlation between fans posting here that do not want Manny and Red Sox fans. Maybe on Sons of Sam Horn, but not here. I repect those that want Manny because of his ability to hit. But I personally want to see the Yankees take higher ground and not reward Manny for the last 3 years of headache he’s been

  277. Squints November 29th, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Wait a minute. Williams definitely hit more than 63 homers vs. left handers because the splits on baseball reference.com only go from 1956 and forward. If you look at his splits page on BR, his total homers add up to only 357 so…

  278. Rob November 29th, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Dave Eiland can be their Leo Mazzone? Eiland was named pitching coach solely for his work with Hughes/Chamberlain/Kennedy and look at how Hughes/Kennedy performed (albeit in limited experience) with him in New York versus Ron Guidry. Eiland’s tenure will greatly depend on the success of Hughes/Kennedy.

  279. Bill November 29th, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    No way Cano should be this high on the list. Frankly, they should get rid of him and simply get someone who can play 2B. If you count him high because of the degree to which he hurts the team, perhaps. Anyone doubting Jeter should consider the fact that his performance has an enormous impact on the team for no other reason than the fact that he’s the starting SS. He’s more important than A-Rod because ARod can’t move over to play SS on a full time basis anymore. Jorge needs to be higher for the same reason. The performance and availability of the starting C is more important than prospects. I understand the “moving forward” concept, but even so, what happens with the starting SS ans starting C is of enormous import to the Yanks in the next few years.

  280. Beanietown November 29th, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    SUBJECT: November 29th, 2008 at 11:00 am
    Beanietown:
    Keep in mind that the Babe’s best years were ahead of him and he wasn’t 37 years old when the Yankees got him.
    Not the case with Manny. It might work for a year or 2 at the most but the back end of his contract would look ludicrous when he reached 40 years old.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Gary -

    I know Babe Ruth joined the New York Yankees in 1920.
    They didn’t even make the postseason that year.

    I know Babe Ruth played in the 1921 World Series and the Yankees lost it to the New York Giants.

    I know Babe Ruth played in the 1922 World Series and the Yankees lost again to the NY Giants.

    It is an historical fact that Lou Gehrig joined the New York Yankees in 1923.

    The New York Yankees won their first world series in 1923.

    I say bring Manny to New York and put him in the lineup with ARod. Then sit back and watch history repeat itself.

    Thank you.

  281. mikey November 30th, 2008 at 10:15 am

    trade cano and melky to cards for ainkel asnd adam kennedy

  282. Mason November 30th, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Before I get into my thoughts on the article, I have to comment on the suggestion of a trade of Cano and Melky for Ankiel and Adam Kennedy. You are either absolutely crazy, or some stupid Cardinals fan who knows that not even Hank would consider that one.
    Now about the article. As I looked through these comments I notcied a lot of people saying how overrated prospects are and how Montero and Brackman shouldnt be so high up on the list. Well the reason they are so high up(or at least why I agree with Pete) is because the success of these prospects IS crucial to the Yankees future. Lets face it, the Yankees arent a very young team. Having good prospects who will be able to replace the aged veterans (Jeter, Posada, Mariano, etc.)is obviously very important to this orginization. One thing I am concerned about with the Yankees however is all of the holes they have at the major-league level. We all know that pitching is being adressed this off season and hopefully fixed. But even with Swisher I dont consider first base filled. Also the outfield looks very shaky at the moment. Right field is the only position truly locked up if the Yankees move Nady to right. The outfield will be able to survive ’09 if no changes are made but something will have to change next off season. With Matsui and Damon gone after ’09 left field will be vacant and unless Melky can figure out how to hit again or Gardner shows some pop in his seemingly powerless bat, a move in center will also be needed until Austin Jackson can prove himself a true all star CF like everyone is saying he will be. Basically what I am saying is, until the Yankees fill up all of their major holes, I dont expect them to be a sure thing WS Champion team.

  283. Mason November 30th, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Woops forgot to say The suggestion of the Melky and Cano for Ankiel and Kennedy was made by ‘mikey’ – just to keep any confusion of someone thinking i was referring to the article.

  284. Beanietown December 1st, 2008 at 8:06 pm

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