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Special guest pinch hitter: Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Jan 13, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

For the second straight year, it’s my pleasure to present a guest post from Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus.

Will has done groundbreaking work for BP reporting on injuries. His Under The Knife column is must-reading for executives, the media and fans who want the latest information. Will also writes about injuries and medical issues for Sports Illustrated and Football Outsiders.

Will has been a friend of this blog for a long time and it’s a great privilege to have him as a contributor. Here is his post:

————

“Past performance does not indicate future results.”

Maybe using a financial phrase isn’t the best idea in this economy, but it’s one that many hold true in baseball. With free agency, teams turn over their roster so quickly that the common players over any period are small enough that it’s tough to suss out any sort of knowledge based on consistency. Worse, there’s a mental perception of players that takes hold, making it easier to see their future or past than their present. Mariano Rivera is still Mariano Rivera – the metaphor isn’t that existential – but Rivera ’09 isn’t Rivera ’99 or even ’08. Projection systems around the game are all using past performance and maths to figure out what comes next. It works, sometimes with deadly accuracy, because when it comes to judging a player, I’d point to that phrase up there and say to throw it out.

Jay-Z is the more accurate in this case – “You was what you was before you got here.” The Yankees in ’09 are going to be a great test case for whether a hip-hop truism applies to baseball. The 2009 Yankees will be relying on two pitchers – Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes – to fill slots in their rotation. Yeah, yeah … I’ve heard the talk of moving Chamberlain back to the pen and I’m sure he’d be good, even great, as a setup guy, but you don’t hear the Rays talking about keeping David Price in the pen, do you? Both young Yanks have had some health problems, but their past results tell you a lot about what you can expect from them in ’09.

Chamberlain was in much this same position in 2008, with an ongoing debate about whether to move him out of the pen and how to do it, if the team so chose. The method, starting him in the pen and then shifting him to the rotation, seemed the tougher road to me. I didn’t think the Yankees would have the institutional will to send him down in order to “stretch out” his arm nor the creativity to use him in ever longer stints to do it at the major league level. I was wrong. There’s still some question about whether it was the best way, but let’s give credit where due. That Chamberlain ended up the season with a sore shoulder – and please note it was sore, not torn, sprained, frayed, or any other nasty words you hear Jim Andrews say – at just about the point we’d expect.

There’s not enough evidence to come up with a real conversion factor for pitchers that are relievers one year and starters the next, but if you take innings as innings (a simplistic way to do it) and look at where he got sore, you’ll see shades of the Verducci Effect.

Chamberlain’s ’09 then would seem equally limited, but here’s where I think a change in his preparation is going to factor in. He threw about 60 innings as a starter and 40 more as a reliever. Some work on “leverage” in relief innings has indicated that it may have significantly more stress on the arm, allowing us to make a simple doubling conversion factor for those taking a year to year role change. (If you don’t think it works, take a look at Adam Wainwright’s stat line and where he came up lame after crossing the converted Verducci line.) Giving Chamberlain this credit gives us an equivalence of 140 innings and lets him go up to around 170 “safely.” Using smart pitch counts, skipping his turn now and again, and perhaps returning him to the pen as he nears the limit makes it very easy for the Yankees to maximize their young ace. There’s also a strong argument that allowing him to prep for the season as a starter will allow him to build up even more stamina in his shoulder. I’ll still say that I’d err on the side of caution with him.

On the other hand, we have Phil Hughes, the can’t-miss kid who thus far has due to injuries. Hamstring and rib injuries have cost him nearly two seasons, leaving many to wonder if he can stay healthy. There’s some who say “it wasn’t his arm” and maybe missing out on big workloads as a 21 and 22-year-old might end up helping in the long run a la Nolan Ryan and Josh Beckett. But the issue is that he’s never stayed healthy at the major league level. Freak injuries? Sure, but so far, all the evidence points to the fact that Hughes might not be able to stay healthy at this level. Someday, doctors will be able to wave a wand and tell you the genetic tags that make or break a pitcher, from flexibility, tensile strength of ligaments, and humeral retroversion, but we don’t have those quite yet. What we have is more a Missouri approach; Hughes has to show me he can stay healthy before I believe he can. He’s never gone 150 innings in any season at any level. If you say he can, you have faith, not facts.

The Yankees have some things on their side, including depth, a big checkbook, and new facilities. They’ve shown themselves to be able to develop solid pitchers in both the rotation and the pen, to rehab players effectively, and to at least be average in the number of injuries suffered by pitchers. They’ve been both cutting-edge and creative in the way they’ve dealt with a number of players. Of course, they may need all that since every one of their pitchers in slots one through five have injury concerns. You might not need to look at the standings next season to figure out how well the Yankees are playing. You might just need to check the disabled list.

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169 Responses to “Special guest pinch hitter: Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus”

  1. Bob January 13th, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Fantastic stuff

  2. CB January 13th, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Repost didn’t see new thread…

    Many people killed the yankees for signing AJ Burnett for 82M arguing that he was being grossly overpaid and that other free agent pitchers would be better values.

    Ben Sheets was the hot name for many yankee fans who assumed sheets health really wasn’t that much of an issue. He hasn’t gotten one offer.

    Then we heard how the Yankees had gotten fleeced because the Mets were going to get Lowe for 3yrs/36M.

    And what happens – Lowe winds up getting 60M for 4 years. That’s very close to the same AAV Burnett got. Burnett got one more year but Lowe’s contract will also end when he is 40.

    Strange how the mets offer 3/36 and then the Braves go to 4/60. They didn’t offer 3/40. Or 3/45 despite reports saying the mets wouldn’t go any higher.

    Where are all of the jokes and complaints about Atlanta “bidding against themselves” as we always here with the yanks?

    Functionally there’s likely little benefit of a 4 year deal for a 36 year old who has been in good health vs. a 5 year deal for a 31 year old who has had TJ surgery in the past. Given Lowe’s age and that 4th year I think the risks become much more similar. Lowe on a 3 year deal may have been a different story. But he wound up with a 4 year deal at big money.

    You can argue that you prefer Lowe as a pitcher to Burnett. But the yankees clearly liked Burnett and went out and made an offer to make sure they would get the arm they evaluated as the second best on the market instead of settling for Lowe.

    Lowe’s signing at 4/60 shows that Burnett at 5/82 was roughly the going market rate for a starter on the level below CC.

  3. Wave Your Hat January 13th, 2009 at 11:27 am

    This comment is more appropriate to the old thread than this one, but I went to all the trouble of typing it up so I’ll post it here anyway:

    It’s easy to say Jeter will retire a Yankee but I think the jury is out.

    Jeter is clearly our shortstop for the next two years. Even with the decline in offense in 2008, he was still an above average shortstop. We have nothing in the wings and no reason to trade for a shortstop, so I can’t imagine him not being our shortstop through the end of his current contract.

    The 2010 off-season will be difficult, however. Jeter will turn 37 in 2011. His offensive numbers dropped sharply this year. That may have been due to injury, but it is worrisome that some projection systems prior to the 2008 system showed a high chance that his offensive numbers would start to fall off, and they did. So his performance over the next two years will be critical in determining what happens after 2010.

    Next, various fielding analyses have shown Derek over the last few years to be consistently below average defensively. Last year, he seems to have been a lot better by those same analyses. The question is, is Jeter’s defensive ability that of 2008, or of prior years? Again, the next two years will be critical in deciding that.

    Derek will no doubt want a multi-year contract extension in 2010. Can the Yanks afford to give him one, and at what price? Derek may still be able to play shortstop in 2011, but maybe not, and I doubt the Yanks would want to commit to it over multiple years.

    Derek is highly unlikely to make the transition to CF in 2011 at age 37. Plus, I’m sure the Yanks hope AJax will have won the position by then.

    Derek would have been below average offensively in LF this year. Maybe he’ll bounce back, but IMO by 2011 he will have naturally declined offensively to where he would be below average offensively in LF in any event. Plus, IMO he will be below average defensively learning a new position at age 37.

    Also, Derek is worth one amount as a shortstop, and another amount as a below average left fielder. That may make for a difficult contract negotiation, as the Yanks may not know how to value him.

    Also, it remains to be seen what the composition of the Yanks will be in 2011. That will be Jorge’s last year behind the plate, and we don’t know how productive CF or RF will be. So we don’t even know if the Yanks will be able to afford a below average left fielder.

    So, IMO, it’s too soon to say what will happen with Derek. I am not looking forward to the 2010 offseason, however.

  4. S.A.-Brian "The Ninja" Cashman: Showing free agents lots of love January 13th, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Atlanta gives 4 years/60 million to Lowe? wow.

    Oh and nice post Will!

  5. rodg12 January 13th, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Thanks for getting Will to come and guest post Pete and thanks for Will for dropping by. I love his work over at BP. He and PECOTA are the primary reasons I will re-up my subscription for next year. The 170 inning cap he came up with for Joba is most encouraging!

  6. rodg12 January 13th, 2009 at 11:31 am

    *** thanks to Will, not thanks for Will.

    Stupid typos!!

  7. Sam Borden January 13th, 2009 at 11:33 am

    FYI – we’re talking Hall of Fame on FACEOFF today (Carp voted for Mattingly!) Big debate. Come join?

    http://faceoff.lohudblogs.com/

  8. Wave Your Hat January 13th, 2009 at 11:34 am

    From the last thread-

    “Without a better offer, Pettitte is “worth” what the Yankees have offered him.
    Derek Lowe was always going to get more money than Andy Pettitte. His situation doesn’t affect Pettitte.
    Without a better offer, Pettitte has no leverage with the Yankees.”

    Pettitte is worth what you can argue him to be worth until he signs. Any other approach means you have already assumed what you intend to prove. That’s basic but I guess I have to spell it out.

    Lowe is the closest comp out there to Andy. Lowe’s better, but not by much, once you adjust for the defense behind Andy and his injury in 2008.

    Lowe’s signing at $15MM per will IMO demonstrate to Andy that he won’t get $16MM. This will make it easier for Andy to climb down.

    On the other hand, it clearly shows that if Andy will make himself generally available, he could get more than $10MM on a one year deal.

    To me, that shows that the signing of Lowe will jumpstart the negotiations and they’ll get a deal done.

  9. ham fighters January 13th, 2009 at 11:34 am

    thanks wil, great post!

    “You might not need to look at the standings next season to figure out how well the Yankees are playing. You might just need to check the disabled list.”

    i say a better indicator would the the # of rbi’s by hideki matsui. if its over 85, book em in the playoffs.

  10. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story January 13th, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Will: Thanks for an excellent post!

    Wave Your Hat: I think circumstances would have to be fairly extreme before you saw Jeter play for another team. I can’t imagine any scenario where it would happen.

  11. emac2 January 13th, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Wait a minute!

    Will Carroll is way too high brow for the blogging world!

  12. Sal Cipriano January 13th, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Very good post. I think both Chamberlain and Hughes will be great additions to the rotation, but maybe not both this year. The fact that the youngsters failed them last year is a telling aspect of how the Yanks approached this off season. The Yankees will add another veteran starter for depth. Whether it’s Pettitte, Sheets, or a Garland/Wolf type, someone else will be there.

  13. CB January 13th, 2009 at 11:37 am

    “Some work on “leverage” in relief innings has indicated that it may have significantly more stress on the arm, allowing us to make a simple doubling conversion factor for those taking a year to year role change. ”

    Will,

    Very nice work as usual. Appreciate the post for the readers here.

    Your point on leverage is an interesting one. Additional empirical evidence (as usual) is needed but the hypothesis makes sense. Don’t know if you could just double the innings but it’s clearly a higher level of work load.

    Joba is an excellent example of this. As a reliever he was regularly sitting 97-100 on his fastball and throwing his slider very often and at high velocities (that is a vicious pitch and I have to think puts stress on his arm unless thrown with perfect form).

    In 2007 he threw his slider 34% of the time and at 86.4mph. I don’t have the breakdown of his pitch distribution as a starter vs. reliever but in 2008 he only threw his slider 25% of the time and at 85.1 mph. That change in distribution and speed was due to his time as a starter. As a reliever he was still throwing very similar to how he did in 2007.

    As a reliever he was simply trying to miss every bat every pitch. As a starter he was willing to mix his pitches – curve ball and two seam fastball – and more willing to let the ball get hit into play.

    It stands to reason that those relief innings had to be considerably more taxing than those starting innings. The intensity of his pitches was just much higher as a reliever. So he’s a good example of leverage and modifications of the Verducci effect.

    This is also why the idea that it was his innings as a starter rather than his prior innings as a reliever that lead him to have the sore shoulder is largely without basis. That conclusion just can’t be supported due to confounding factors.

  14. SJ44 January 13th, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Excellent post Will. Very interesting stuff. A big fan of your work.

    Wave,

    Lowe is not the test case for Pettitte. Nor was he ever going to be.

    He was firmly slotted as the third best starting pitcher on the FA market and was going to get a multi-year deal from somebody.

    Pettitte has never been in that position in this process.

    I know you have crazy man love for Pettitte and try like crazy to find any way to convince everybody other deals with “jumpstart” his market.

    Unfortunately, the market doesn’t agree.

    Andy Pettitte’s numbers the last two months of last season were among the worst for starting pitchers in baseball. Yes, he was hurting. But, that’s one of the reasons why his market is so soft. Nobody wants to risk doing a deal above 10 million with him for one season.

    He hasn’t had one multi-year offer on the table throughout this process.

    Derek Lowe’s signing has no impact on the Pettitte negotiations because he isn’t in the same class (as far as interest and offers) as Lowe has been during this process.

    The only way Pettitte gets 12 million dollars is if somebody else offers him 11 million. If not, regardless of what Lowe signed for, the Yankees aren’t bidding against themselves when they have the only offer on the table for his services.

  15. sodia January 13th, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Very interesting points; although, I think the Burnett signing is going to bite us in the ass in the future. Carl Pavano II? (counter-jinx)

  16. Riv January 13th, 2009 at 11:46 am

    An actual good pinch hitter piece. I’m shocked

  17. CB January 13th, 2009 at 11:47 am

    “Lowe is the closest comp out there to Andy. Lowe’s better, but not by much, once you adjust for the defense behind Andy and his injury in 2008.”

    If you adjust by FIP that’s true but FIP does not evaluate Andy’s performance accurately as it essentially regresses his BABIP back to a league average of .300. Empirically, Andy has had a BABIP of over .300 every year of his career except 2 so that assumption is suspect.

    If you look at other methods of adjusting – tRA in particular (which is much better than FIP) – Lowe was much better than Andy in 2008. Much better. Andy in 2008 was 8% better than league average. Lowe was 32% better than league average.

    So I agree that Andy was hurt by his defense and did pitch better than his ERA suggests. But he still wasn’t close to Lowe in 2008 – or in 2007 or in 2006 by the best adjusted statistics available.

  18. dennis-costanza(Sox fan) January 13th, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Will: Thanks for a great post. I enjoy your work for BP and always appreciate your diligence.

    CB: Excellent points re: Joba.

    -dennis

  19. CB January 13th, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Dennis,

    Thanks. What are your thoughts on Miguel Montero? He’d be a nice upgrade offensively at catcher. I guess with him it depends on what it costs, however. But Arizona can’t have a lot of motivation to trade a catcher unless it’s the deal they want – catchers are in such short supply – and it sounds like they want Bowden rather than Bard. Tough call.

  20. Chris from NJ January 13th, 2009 at 11:53 am

    I think AJ is less likely to get hurt in the future because he’s learned to take care of his body, not just go and air it out at 98-99mph just for the heck of it. He’s a more mature pitcher now, and I think he will be mostly healthy more most of his contract. No way he is a complete bust like Pavano.

  21. Wave Your Hat January 13th, 2009 at 11:54 am

    “If you look at other methods of adjusting – tRA in particular (which is much better than FIP) – Lowe was much better than Andy in 2008. Much better. Andy in 2008 was 8% better than league average. Lowe was 32% better than league average.”

    CB-

    OK, but I think your analysis validates my larger point, which is that if Lowe is worth $60MM for 4 years, then clearly Andy would get more than $10MM on a one year deal in the open market.

    SJ44-

    I made one comment about Lowe and Pettitte in the last thread and you start up making a capital case of it again, so I answered you.

    I guess I could accuse you of having irrational hatred for the guy but I try not to get personal. Seems like a lot of your posts verge on the personal, whenever anybody disagrees with you.

    Clearly, you think I’m full of it and I think you’re full of it when it comes to Andy. Why don’t we let it rest there?

  22. rodg12 January 13th, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Does anyone know if the Sox signed Josh Bard to a Major League contract? Was wondering if a Montero deal all but ends Varitek’s run in Boston. I suppose it’s possible they resign him and just cut Bard (even with a ML contract).

  23. kill.schill(ing) January 13th, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Thanks Will. The question of how to weigh a inning pitched in relief versus one pitched as a starter always has fascinated me.

    Intuition and anecdotal evidence certainly would tell you they’re not equivalent. When Joba himself says he know that in pitching relief he can “let it fly,” he confirms the hypothesis. Accordingly, I eagerly await a metric that quantifies (or estimates) their respective weight in the “30+ innings” formula.

    Will, if you’ll excuse the quibble…

    Doesn’t your premise about Joba though belie your conclusion? If Joba could indeed pitch 140 to 170 innings as a starter next year without risking injury to his arm, why would the Yankees “return[] him to the pen as he nears the limit… to maximize their young ace.”

    Wouldn’t that increase his risk of injury, first of all, by changing his role, and secondly, and more significantly, by increasing the “leverage” of those innings.

    A relief role would limit his total inning cap by 50%. For example, if 170 is the ceiling, once he reaches 140, he’d have 30 innings remaining as a starter (app. 5 starts) or 15 innings as a reliever (10-15 appearances)

    As Joba approaches his limit, wouldn’t it behoove the Yankees instead to skip his starts, stretch his cap as late into the season as possible, and exhaust it as a starter.

    Or alternatively, if the Yankees decide they need to use Joba for a pennant race and/or playoffs, then skip him for multiple, consecutive starts or shut him down for a prolonged period mid-season?

    The latter two options strike me as preferable to former, namely, moving him to the pen.

  24. sodia January 13th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    I certainly hope you’re right Chris – where’d you get that info?

    Anyway I can’t wait for the season to start. Will the team gel in time for the season? Do the Yankees even make the playoffs? It’s going to be a big year for the Yankees, and for baseball.

  25. montyplease January 13th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    The 1-5 Yankee starters all have injury concerns? So do the 1-5 starters for every team in the league. Pitching is the most taxing position on the arm, and wear and tear are almost expected for every pitcher in the game at some point in the season. You just have to hope it’s not for an extended period of time.

    Yanks have some very good pitching depth waiting in the wings and ALOT of offense, so even if they lose 1 or 2 starters for the entire season, it’s still very likely they would be able to absorb the loss and make the post-season.

    As demonstrated in past Octobers, you can go all the way in the post season with just two of your aces firing at the top of their game.

    Thank you for the mostly negative post, Will. However, this Yankee fan will remain very optimistic; for now at least…

  26. dennis-costanza(Sox fan) January 13th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    CB-

    Amazing that you ask…I was just gong to post and ask you and SJ what you guys thought of him. I know very little about his background. It would be tough to give up either guy as they both have power arms however I do not know Montero so it is hard to judge the value the Red Sox are getting in return. The Globe is reporting that both sides see a great fit so perhaps this deal is going to happen. This will more than likely end Varitek’s career in Boston. I have mixed feelings about that..

    In Will’s post he states injury issues for 1-5. Other than a heavy work load the last few years when has CC had injury isssues? I look at him as the most stable guy in either one of our rotations. The guy is an absolute horse.

    Lastly, I am very, very surprised based on the market that Lowe is getting a 4th year. Atlanta looks a tad desperate here in my opinion. -dennis

  27. Taylor January 13th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Great stuff! Hopefully the Yankees take your advice when it comes to Joba.

  28. SJ44 January 13th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    I don’t have any hatred toward Pettitte Wave. You just continue to come up with incorrect premises trying to support a point that isn’t happening. One that has Andy Pettitte getting larger offers than the offer he had from the Yankees.

    I have said time and time again I’d like Pettitte back for one more year. I think he would be the best way for him to end his career.

    I have also said he was nuts to turn down that deal and he won’t get a better offer than the 10 million he had from the Yankees. Time will tell if that’s the case.

    I will say though that once you hit January without offers, teams budgets are just about set. In other words, there won’t be a buying frenzy upward for the remaining FA’s on the market.

  29. bigjf January 13th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Excellent post. I’ve been saying for some time that I think the difference in recovery time during the transition from bullpen to starter wound up causing the tendonitis. Combine that with the maximum effort that is used coming out of the pen, and it doesn’t seem like much of a mystery. As for Hughes, I know we have no evidence to predict he will find a way to stay healthy, but I will take the faith road based on the facts that he hasn’t had any arm injuries and he has sound mechanics. The Yanks have been careful with him, even though he was rushed to the majors, and I think they will be rewarded for that. I’m not convinced that he’ll open this year in the rotation either for the Yanks. I think he’ll start in AAA, whether the Yanks find another pitcher or give Kennedy another try. I need to see Hughes throwing 93-94 mph consistently (not that 89 mph we saw last year) at AAA before I would feel confident in calling him back up.

  30. SJ44 January 13th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Dennis,

    Montero has a good stick but isn’t that good defensively. His gamecalling is so so. The D’backs felt Snyder was the better defensive option, with Montero being the better offensive option.

    Catchers are tough to come by though. If you can get one, you get him and hope it works out for the best.

    If they do complete that transaction, it will be interesting to see how Montero adjusts to the AL. He’s got to learn a lot of hitters in a short period of time, as well as learn his own pitching staff.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if calling pitches came from the bench in the early part of the season.

  31. Wave Your Hat January 13th, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Given that the Yanks have Aceves, Coke and Kennedy in addition to Joba, following Will’s argument you could still go with Joba and Hughes as long as you are willing to use the other young guys as well.

    That’s a lot of rookies and close rookies to depend on, though, so my guess is the Yanks will find another starter.

  32. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story January 13th, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    I don’t know why I haven’t seen Braden Looper’s name come up when talking about a fifth starter…maybe I just haven’t been paying enough attention?

    There must be something I’m missing, since, numbers-wise, his 2008 was similar to Pettitte.

  33. S.o.S. January 13th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I just want to give props to Dave for his pinch hitting late yesterday. A pinch hitter to the pinch hitter had cliff notes which was something not seen and I grade by the curve so miss spelled words were ignored(not caught). Good job Dave.

  34. CB January 13th, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    “which is that if Lowe is worth $60MM for 4 years, then clearly Andy would get more than $10MM on a one year deal in the open market.”

    Sure. That’s reasonable and very well may be the case. Just by adjusted ERA Pettitte has been better than a league average pitcher the past 3 years by: 2008 – 7%; 2007 – 8%; 2006 – 7%. Remarkable how stable those numbers are despite the fluctuation in his wins-losses and ERA.

    And I think that’s roughly where Andy is in his career now – 7-10% better than league average with enormous experience, particularly with big games.

    We’ll see what kind of other offers he gets. I do think that will drive what he winds up signing for.

    But I also agree the whole situation is foolish. Bot sides need each other and a compromise should be struck. As long as Andy isn’t demanding $16M then some settlement should be reached.

  35. RonH January 13th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Will, great information! Thanks for taking the time to post here.

  36. Yankee Trader January 13th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Will-Enjoyed and respect your post.

    CB-Looking at John Smoltz, converting to a reliever after arm injury, worked out OK.

    IMO still need a starter,preferably a lefty or a righty with good success against lefties. If not Pettitte, and suspect Perez will go back to the Mets, is there any updated info on Mark Mulder’s injury status and Chuck James, who initially was a solid starter for the Braves.

    Also, righty Juan Cruz came up as a starter, and has had two terrific years as a reliever with equally impressive situational stats. Any interest in him to start? Set-up?

  37. BBB January 13th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Excellent post, but can we definitely assume that the Yankees will go into the season with Hughes and Chamberlain both in the rotation? I know that’s what it would be if the season started tomorrow, but it doesn’t. The Yankee FO can’t have that short of memories to forget what happened when the rotation was in the same position last year and how we got killed by lack of depth. For many of the reasons Will stated, the Yankees still need to acquire another pitcher, and I think they will. Again, they arent that forgetful.

  38. YankeeRay January 13th, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    ham fighters
    January 13th, 2009 at 11:34 am
    thanks wil, great post!

    “You might not need to look at the standings next season to figure out how well the Yankees are playing. You might just need to check the disabled list.”

    i say a better indicator would the the # of rbi’s by hideki matsui. if its over 85, book em in the playoffs.

    ——

    Sorry Ham I couldn’t help myself:

    Thats my point, Manny will be at 85 RBI’s by the All Star break out of the DH and 5 hole :)

  39. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story January 13th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Yankee Trader:

    Cruz’s name appears here all the time, I think there are a lot of people here that would like him for the bullpen.

    That said, the 40-man roster is full, so any move such as that would involve additional tinkering as well.

  40. G. Love January 13th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Amen Will.

    Seriously, maybe this post will give some of the posters in here who think Hughes is ready to be a #3 starter in MLB some pause for thought.

    He may turn out to be something great or he may turn out to be a kid who gets injured every year and never puts it together.

    Handing him anything is a risk of major proportion with a team that poised to win a championship.

    Stop clamoring for Hughes. Let him go to Scranton and dominate and pitch 150 healthy innings and earn his way to the Bronx.

  41. CB January 13th, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Dennis,

    Montero is kind of an odd bird, so to speak. Bowden is just a much better talent. There’s really no comparison. But then there’s the whole supply and demand thing and that’s what makes things tough.

    Montero was exactly a league average hitter last season. Played 70 games so it’s not a huge sample. A league average hitter isn’t a lot to get excited about but the average catcher is much worse than a league average hitter so there’s his value.

    He’s ok defensively from what I remember but nothing great. It’s his ability to hit decently that carries him.

    It’s a tough call for the Sox as just in terms of pure talent if they give up Bowden they’ll get the lesser of the deal talent wise but will do so simply based on positional scarcity – which is what you always wind up doing when trading for a catcher.

    My concern with Montero for the Sox is that given how deep your team and system are is Montero a good use of a roster spot? I guess I have to condition that given that the sox system is chock full of terrific athletes (SS, CF, speedy OF, etc.) but almost no good catchers. So the need is significant.

    I’d almost think it would be better for the Sox to make a run at Russell Martin (which they already may have…). The dodgers are supposedly a bit unhappy with him. I guess I’d weigh what would be better – giving up perhaps Buchholtz and Bowden + 2-3 more prospects for Martin vs. Bowden + for Montero.

    I like Montero and I can see why the Sox would trade for him. But I do wonder if he’s “good” enough to be the solution long term.

  42. EY January 13th, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Super awesome article. Thanks Peter and Will!

  43. CB January 13th, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    “There must be something I’m missing, since, numbers-wise, his 2008 was similar to Pettitte.”

    Looper isn’t good and he was nowhere close to as good as Pettitte was last year.

    The numbers you’re looking at probably aren’t the best way to compare them.

    By adjusted pitching stats in 2008 Looper was around 9% worse than a league average pitcher. In 2007 Looper was 11% worse. In 2008 pettite was 7% better than league average. In 2007 8% better.

    So the past two seasons Pettitte has been Looper by 16% and 19%.

    And that was while looper was pitching in the NL which is very difficult to truly adjust for.

    A lot people keep talking about Looper (Cliff Corcoran in particular…) but they are simply looking at his ERA without considering the defense he plays in front of and the league.

    Looper is just not good and nowhere even close to Pettitte.

  44. Yankee Trader January 13th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Still not convinced that the Yankees will start the season with Cabrera and Gardner in CF, both of whom were terrible against lefthanders, Cabrera @.213, Gardner @.125.
    Gabe Kapler would have been an ideal pickup as a platoon in CF, with a .354 BA and .379 OBP against lefties. Maybe Cashman working on a trade for CF.

  45. dennis-costanza(Sox fan) January 13th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    CB.

    Great info. I am appreciative.

    I would rather see a deal for Salty however Texas wants Bucholtz and the Sox(so far) have deemed him untouchable. Perhaps I am too hasty here but I would do that deal much quicker than the Montero deal.

    The Pettitte situation is an odd one. It makes no sense that the two sides have not put togther a resolution. I am also surpirised that Yankees have not put a firm date out there at this point. (At least one that we know of)I can not see AP pitching anywhere else other than Houston however there is no chance Houston will come close to 10mm.

    IMO, Houston has become one of the worst run organizations in baseball.

    -dennis

  46. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story January 13th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I wonder what would have happened had Phil never been rushed in 2007…

  47. randy l January 13th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    i think will knows as much about pitching injuries as anyone who hasn’t played , coached, or had any advanced medical training in sports medicine. will is a writer. people should remember that.

    that said i like reading will carroll. i agree that joba and injuries may be a problem. i said it at the time that the yankees were going to injure joba when they prematurely threw him into the rotation last summer. he should have gone back to triple a and done it slowly.

    i also think that the yankees rushed hughes and created the likelihood that hughes would be injured and said so at the time. i think hughes won’t be rushed from this point on and will be a very good pitcher given proper seasoning in the minors.

    i do agree with will that injuries to starting pitchers will be the key to the yankee season. one way to hedge against that is to get another solid inning eating starting pitcher and put him in the #4 slot and bump joba to the #5 slot so he can skip starts every now and then keeping his innings down.

    hughes really should be thought of as mid season back up help if necessary. a whole season at scranton would not be a bad thing. cashman needs to spend a little more and protect the huge amount of money he’s invested .

  48. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story January 13th, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    CB: Thanks.

  49. Yankee Trader January 13th, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    CB-
    Using adjusted pitching stats for 2008, is there anyone on this list of remaining starting FA’s that should be of interest to the Yankees?

    Matt Belisle (29)
    Kris Benson (33)
    Paul Byrd (38) – Type B, offered arb
    Roger Clemens (46)
    Bartolo Colon (36)
    Josh Fogg (32)
    Freddy Garcia (33)
    Jon Garland (29) – Type B, offered arb
    Tom Glavine (43)
    Charlie Haeger (25)
    Livan Hernandez (34)
    Orlando Hernandez (43)
    Chuck James (27)
    Jason Jennings (30)
    Jon Lieber (39)
    Braden Looper (34) – Type B, not offered arb
    Rodrigo Lopez (33)
    Pedro Martinez (37)
    Mark Mulder (31)
    John Parrish (31)
    Odalis Perez (32)
    Oliver Perez (27) – Type A, offered arb
    Andy Pettitte (37) – Type A, not offered arb
    Sidney Ponson (32)
    Mark Prior (27)
    Kenny Rogers (44)
    Curt Schilling (42)
    Ben Sheets (30) – Type A, offered arb
    Kip Wells (32)
    Randy Wolf (32) – Type B, not offered arb

  50. Nick in SF January 13th, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Very nice read, but I’m not sure where “The 2009 Yankees will be relying on… Phil Hughes – to fill [a] slot in their rotation” comes from. I still think they reach a deal with Pettitte by the end of this month.

  51. William Buckner January 13th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    dennis
    any org run by ed wade will be one of the worst in baseball.

  52. CB January 13th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    “Perhaps I am too hasty here but I would do that deal much quicker than the Montero deal.”

    Dennis,

    I think we’re looking at the situation in a very similar fashion. The question for the Sox is if Montero is going to cost Bowden +… do we make that deal or do we upgrade to a better catcher – one that could be truly a plus player and pay the marginal difference for that marginal improvement in talent.

    Salty would be one option. I brought up Martin in part to make that point as some people still aren’t sold on Salty as a catcher.

    The Sox do need the catcher much more than they need the pitchers. It’s a tough call. Quite honestly, I like Bowden but you guys really don’t need him outside of depth, particularly if Hagadone looks good throwing (which I believe he has…). Not sure if Bowden will be good enough to be more than a 4th/5th guy in your rotation.

    With Bucchholz its very difficult to make any kind of decision and I’m sure that’s the sox biggest dilemma right now. To get a good catcher you have to give up Clay. Is it worth it? Tough call. For any other position it would be no but catcher is so difficult and that’s the position in your system that stands out most for lack of good prospects.

    The Pettitte situation is very strange. Houston will not want him back unless it’s for way undermarket – $5M. That organization is awful. Carlos Lee 100M…

  53. BBB January 13th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Yanks should sign El Duque to compete for the 5th spot. I’m only half-kidding…

  54. BBB January 13th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Ed Wade is the dumbest man in baseball. If Houston was already hurting before he got there, now theyre writhing in agony.

  55. dennis-costanza(Sox fan) January 13th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    CB.

    Thanks.

    Same page on this one re: catching need vs prospects..

    The Pettitte situation will get ironed out and he will be at spring training and all will be fine IMO. It is just too good a fit for both sides for each one not to bend a tad to make it happen.

    -dennis

  56. ray (sox fan) January 13th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    In thinking about the catching position with the Sox, I still can’t imagine why Varitek did not take arbitration.

    Is it Scott Boras’ policy never to take arbitration no matter what?

    Varitek is very good at calling a game, but it seems one would have been able to anticipate that there might not be a huge market for a 36 year old catcher who hit .219 especially if you have to give up that first round draft pick.

    Boras has helped many players get the big bucks but “messed up” with Varitek this year. If Tek resigns with Boston it will be for millions less than the arbitration amount.

  57. kill.schill(ing) January 13th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    There is to me, Yankees Trader, an obvious pitcher of interest among those listed above.

  58. Doreen January 13th, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    First, thank you Will. I always learn something from you.

    I think including Hughes in the picture makes sense with respect to the subject matter of the post, and, more importantly, with respect to the current state of the rotation. It is reasonable to think that Hughes could take that last open spot, though it’s probably not going to be the case.

    Include me among those who hope the Yankees stick to their guns, as difficult as it might be, to start Hughes in AAA and keep him there as long as possible. That also means I hope the Yankees don’t have a reason to rush him up – meaning they’re already experiencing the same injury problems as they have the past 2 seasons.

    Still hoping that whoever is advising Andy Pettitte comes down to earth (be it his family or his agents) and that Andy comes to his senses and rejoins the team for a final year. Barring that, I almost don’t care who they get for that last spot, as long as it’s a healthy veteran who won’t command a multi-year contract. I want no part of Hughes or Kennedy to start the season, although Aceves would intrigue me. I hope the Yankees don’t get stuck with a multi-year commmitment to some other pitcher. (And yes, I am aware they could trade such a pitcher after the season.)

  59. yanksrule57 January 13th, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    I am a big fan of Will Carroll and BP. I used their fantastic database for research on a statistics project for Grad School.
    Will’s column gave me the inspiration to research the question whether age or stress (basically pitcher abuse, but see his site for the definition) had a bigger impact on predicting a pitcher’s ERA. My conclusion; stress was a better predictor for ERA than age.

  60. CB January 13th, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Yankee Trader,

    Just eye balling that list the only three pitchers on that list who were above league average by adjusted ERA were Pettitte, Sheets and Wolf. Even Oliver Perez was 4% below league average (due to his walks…).

    Pettitte is by far the best option. He knows that thus the refusal of the offer. The yanees know it too – thus their reluctance to give a firm take it or leave it data.

    Wolf would be a reasonable alternative but I don’t know if he’d take a 1 year deal.

    Sheets has very bad medicals but I don’t know if they’re so bad that even a one year deal would be out of the question. They could make him an offer of 1 yr/10M. If its rejected it’s rejected.

    But overall Andy is by far the best option. Hopefully he comes back. If he doesn’t both he and the team will likely regret it.

  61. Brad Pitt's better-looking brother January 13th, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    As a Yankee fan I would love to see Boston trade Clay B. for Salty.
    That would make for one less good young arm to worry about in the division. People get hung up on offensive stats. Well, Salty has a ways to go defensively yet and I think that deficiency would be a nice thing to exploit.

  62. russell in tampa from long island January 13th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    ollie perez is really bad.why would they offer him 3/30.if andy isn’t coming sign wolf.keep nady and swisher.sign juan cruz.done deal.swisher/damon/nady.if gardenar bombs.

  63. russell in tampa from long island January 13th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    ollie perez is really bad.why would they offer him 3/30.if andy isn’t coming sign wolf.keep nady and swisher.sign juan cruz.done deal.swisher/damon/nady.if gardenar bombs.

  64. jennifer January 13th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Why not take a gamble on the gambler? j/k

  65. ham fighters January 13th, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    i think you’re as likely to see whitey ford in next year’s rotation than kenny rodgers.

  66. Michael Bezloch January 13th, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Lord! It’s a miracle! A guest blogger who actually knows what he’s talking about!

  67. randy l January 13th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    dennis-costanza(Sox fan)-

    do you have that old familiar feeling like brian( red sox fan) seems to have that the yankees are the yankees again and the red sox are going to be playing catch up for the next few years?

    i ask this with humor because brian (red sox fan) like many of my red sox friends here on the cape are not happy about the yankees signings.

    … and what’s up with the red sox, what are they waiting for to spend some of that money that’s gone off the books?

  68. BBB January 13th, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    El Duque FTW! We could sign him for cheap and put him in the bullpen if starting didnt work out.

    I’m really mostly kidding, cause obviously that wouldnt minimize the risk of the rotation, but at the same time, crazier things have happened, right?? :)

  69. randy l January 13th, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    bbb-

    no no no. it has to be livan hernandez just to see nick in sf go crazy. and gb7. and patrick. and whozat. and…. well, you get the idea.

  70. dennis-costanza(Sox fan) January 13th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Randy-

    Yes, I think the Yankees are now the team to beat in the division. I think the Burnett signing will be a huge differnce maker. THe Texiera signing was more crushing though from a fan/season ticket holder perspective as I got excited about him signing with the Sox…. being an Irishman I should have known better that the famine was coming!!

    A bargain basement atomosphere is no way to survive…

    I keep thinking/hoping that there is a mystery trade and that is why Theo and company are holding on to the dough. However, it is more than likely they are going to try to do long term deals with Beckett(if healthy) Bay, Youk, etc.

    Hope your business is doing well. My mother in law still frequents your place. I will ask her to introduce herself the next time she is in..

    -dennis

  71. Patrick January 13th, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Great post Will, I still remember your post from last year’s guest blogger series. Turns out you were right that several young Yankee pitchers were at risk for injury; all 3 of them spent time on the DL.

    It is a little frustrating right now to realize that 2/5ths of the rotation could be held by guys on innings limits. Don’t get me wrong, Hughes and Chamberlain are extremely talented and I expect big things out of them but managing a rotation with two young guys is tough. I think Pettitte is very close a must-sign. I don’t want the Yankees to overpay him or bid against themselves but I really hope they do finally sign him.

    I think Hughes could be very good next year but Pettitte is a much safer bet.

  72. pat January 13th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Heyman on SI.com:

    “The Yankees’ longstanding one-year, $10 million offer to lefty Andy Pettitte expired when the club signed star free-agent first baseman Mark Teixeira to a $180 million deal. The Yankees explained to Pettitte all along that the offer could go away if they hit their payroll limit, and they apparently did that when they signed Teixeira.

    Pettitte, 36, never took the Yankees’ offer because he was hurt by the idea of a $6 million pay cut, never mind the fact that he started and finished poorly last year (he began the year with his HGH press conference and ended it with seven losses in his last nine decisions.) Overall he was 14-14 with a 4.54 ERA.

    But it doesn’t appear that Pettitte has anything better, and if he wants to pitch in 2009 he will have to wait. If the Yankees can trade either Nick Swisher or Xavier Nady, that may open up payroll room to resubmit a similar offer to Pettitte, a beloved Yankee. This time we’d have to think Pettitte might finally except.

    However, months after first making the $10 million offer to Pettitte, Yankees people still believe there is “less than a 50-50 chance” that Pettitte’s Yankees career will resume. Retirement seems to be the main second option for Pettitte, though the Dodgers and Astros could be long-shot possibilities.”

  73. Patrick January 13th, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    “no no no. it has to be livan hernandez just to see nick in sf go crazy. and gb7. and patrick. and whozat. and…. well, you get the idea.”

    You would enjoy that wouldn’t you?

    Livan Hernandez? If you are willing to go down that road, might as well just get Sidney Ponson instead.

    How about Paul Byrd? He could help the team and he’d be easier to throw in the bullpen during the playoffs. (can you imagine Girardi telling Pettitte that he isn’t going to start a playoff game?)

  74. ANSKY January 13th, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Unless Houston offers him at least the same deal as the Yanks, I think we may see a last minute deal struck with Pettitte. I don’t know where it’ll end up in terms of guaranteed money but maybe goal-based bonuses with the potential to reach last year’s salary are what it’d take to make it happen.

    Not that Andy needs incentives to motivate him at this point in his career. Maybe the original $10M guaranteed is a good start. Adding $1M bonus for each game he can win starting with win #13 or 14 is a fair way to reach a compromise. With something like that he could stand to make last year’s money even if he doesn’t win 20 games, but if he goes 11-10 he still gets $10M and the Yanks won’t over pay by too ridiculous a margin.

    My wild guess is he’d win 14, 15, maybe even 16 if the offense and relief pitching are good enough. That’s still something like $14M.

  75. Matty C January 13th, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Great insight on the Giants loss:

    http://bleedingsports.blogspot.com/

  76. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story January 13th, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    pat: Right now, from a PR standpoint for Pettitte, retirement might, in fact, be his best option.

  77. ham fighters January 13th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    in light of the lowe contract and to settle things once and for all, i think cashman should offer andy a now-or-never deal at $12M. that settles it either way. it is overpaying a bit but not outrageous.

  78. Kevin (not that Kevin) Brown January 13th, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Last year our benefactor, Pete, was on record as saying the Yanks were in trouble for not having signed a veteran No. 4 starter, forcing them to go with the rookies, and he was right and we were creamed. To repeat that mistake again this year would be doubly irresponsible of the front office – both because they should learn from their mistake, and because they’ve spent $800M+ over the last two years to start wining NOW.

    Pettitte is insane for not signing, but if it’s not him, then I pray every night they get someone else and leave Hughes and Kennedy in AAA for one more year and put Joba in at No. 5 so he will not have to pitch a full season’s worth of innings.

  79. Boston Dave January 13th, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    “I will say though that once you hit January without offers, teams budgets are just about set. In other words, there won’t be a buying frenzy upward for the remaining FA’s on the market.”

    what does that say about Abreu and Dunn? Any predictions?

  80. GreenBeret7 January 13th, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    randy l
    January 13th, 2009 at 1:17 pm
    bbb-

    no no no. it has to be livan hernandez just to see nick in sf go crazy. and gb7. and patrick. and whozat. and…. well, you get the idea.

    ————————————————————

    You’d better hope that doesn’t happen. I’ll track you down and slice the tendons in all of your fingers for bombarding Cashman with those twenty e-mails a day suggesting it.

    YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

  81. Brad Pitt's better-looking brother January 13th, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    I think Ansky, CB, and anyone else that has thought that Pettitte will ultimately signed by us are right. I’ve thought that from the start, while of course only being able to assume he was posturing when saying he had big offers from other teams. Now it looks like his best deal will indeed be with NY, which is also where I believe he wants to end his career anyway.
    I think his agent has just been doing the things agents do to get the most they can for their client. Unfortunately, sometimes if you push the envelope too far you just might get less.

  82. disco stu January 13th, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    “Yeah, yeah … I’ve heard the talk of moving Chamberlain back to the pen and I’m sure he’d be good, even great, as a setup guy, but you don’t hear the Rays talking about keeping David Price in the pen, do you?”

    What a great point … this is something I wish someone would bring up to the Mike Francesa’s of the world who keep clamoring for Joba to be in the pen and say it is a no-brainer.

    No, what the no-brainer is, make a decision on what you want Joba to be … starter or closer-in-waiting … and stop shunting him back and forth … i am no doctor, but i would not be suprised that his arm problems from last year may have had something to with the back and forth way he was being used in preceding 12 months leading up to the injury.

  83. jennifer January 13th, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Lowe has reportedly accepted the Braves offer. All us Lowe haters can let out of sigh of relief. We don’t have to worry about him coming to the Yankees!

  84. ham fighters January 13th, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    rickey on steiner’s show on xm now

  85. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story January 13th, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    ““I will say though that once you hit January without offers, teams budgets are just about set. In other words, there won’t be a buying frenzy upward for the remaining FA’s on the market.”

    what does that say about Abreu and Dunn? Any predictions?”

    They’re victims of horrendous timing.

    Teams were urged not to go overboard this year by the MLB (not that the Yankees paid any attention to that) because of the economy, and a lot of teams are being more conservative.

    I think as Spring Training and the season get underway teams will see what their biggest needs are and as long as Abreu and Dunn stay in shape, it’s hard to believe they’ll not get offers–even if they have to take drastic pay cuts.

  86. DT January 13th, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    First off – good blog Will. Thanks.

    I just finished reading comments on the last blog – all these Boston-Yankee comparisons. I think everyone has forgot who won the division – Tampa!

    IMO – many have written off the Rays as a fluke. Cashman hasn’t. He is concentrating on pitching, defense and getting younger. That is the formula that worked so well for Tampa.

    Boston has taken another approach. Sign injured veterans. Let’s see how that works out.

    I still think Tampa is the pink elephant in the room. No one talks about them – but they aren’t going away.

  87. michelle b. (x is the new black) January 13th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....id=3829924

    Randy Levine Subpoenaed –

    ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York Assembly committee investigating the use of millions of dollars in public funding to build the new Yankee Stadium has subpoenaed the team’s president.

    Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a Democrat from Westchester County, said Tuesday that his committee subpoenaed Yankees president Randy Levine as well as city Industrial Development Agency Chairman Seth Pinsky.

  88. Boston Dave January 13th, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    “Well, Salty has a ways to go defensively yet and I think that deficiency would be a nice thing to exploit.”

    I can’t see Salty as an everyday catcher this season. He may end up being an All-Star down the road but it would leave the 2009 Sox in poor shape at the position, IMO, so much so that it would really hurt their chances in the division.

    It would make more sense to dump Bard, trade for Salty, AND re-sign Tek for 1 season. I think that applies even if they get Montero.

    The Sox are taking a pretty big risk if they decide to bring in a new catcher, especially if it’s a young catcher from the NL, without having Tek alongside him for 1 season.

  89. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story January 13th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    michelle: Whoa, thanks.

  90. Ed - American League, prepared to be scared! CC, Aj, and MT!! January 13th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Jerry Crasnick and Ken Rosenthal are both reporting today that the **Braves have interest in Yankees outfielders Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady**. It’s not the first time we’ve heard the Braves connected to the two. The general feeling is that the **Yankees are more willing to trade Nady** , and the Braves may have to compete with the Mets for him.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....erest.html

    ——————-

    is there anyone in the braves we want? Tommy Hanson and Jurrjens is obviously out of the question.

  91. Boston Dave January 13th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    “as long as Abreu and Dunn stay in shape, it’s hard to believe they’ll not get offers—even if they have to take drastic pay cuts.”

    Agreed… just curious how drastic those pay cuts are going to be. 1yr/$6M ? gasp….

  92. Billy January 13th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    What happened to the 500 word limit for guest posts? Pretty unfair that the other posters had to chop down their posts to 500 words and possibly eliminate good details, while this BP guy gets free reign to write as much as he likes.

  93. trisha - CC and AJ and Sheets - OH MY! January 13th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    I’ve always had a theory that it’s much easier to be injured playing for the Yankees because the expectations are so much higher that the players themselves are likely always playing quite a few notches above where they might otherwise be (save a Cano game here or there and players like Jeter who typically play all out.)

    Therefore I believe a major reason Hughes might be considered a possible “health risk” is because he is likely beating himself up as a Yankee in a way that he might not be “forced to” were he with some other team. I think a Phil Hughes who is giving the proper time to develop has the ability to be the most dominant pitchers in the game.

    Playing for the Yankees is always going to mean playing at an exceptionally high level and striving to always be at that level. That necessarily brings with it an additional cost.

    And no I am not saying that other teams’ players don’t play hard; I am saying that playing for the New York Yankees brings with it a set of expectations that might translate into a pull here or a tear there that might not otherwise be there or a breaking down that might not come so soon were the player on another team.

    Just a thought and an opinion.

    My prediction is still for Hughes to be one of the faces of the franchise for a long time to come. The Yankees can of course facilitate that process by making good decisions about exactly when Phil should be brought up to the majors and what bridges need to be gapped in the meantime.

  94. Boston Dave January 13th, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    “IMO – many have written off the Rays as a fluke. Cashman hasn’t.”

    The Rays, if anything, will be better this season. A full year from Longoria and Price is all that needs to be said.

    They have a better rotation and arguably a better lineup (added Burrell, more experience for Longoria).

    Their bullpen should still be above average.

    The AL East is going to be one heck of a race. For all the Yankee haters who are ripping them for their big signings… the Yankees needed these guys just to compete within the division. If the Yanks were in the AL West, for instance, different story. In the AL East, you need to bring it or go home.

  95. Mikey January 13th, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Its evident that Hughes is on the cusp of superstardom, We cannot let last season fool us, he could have easily have won 20 games if luck had changed. I can easily predict that for his season this year.

  96. trisha - CC and AJ and Sheets - OH MY! January 13th, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    “Lowe has reportedly accepted the Braves offer. All us Lowe haters can let out of sigh of relief. We don’t have to worry about him coming to the Yankees!”

    I for one am ready – PHEW!

  97. Doreen January 13th, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Trisha -

    I hope you mean “gaps that need to be bridged,” right? :)

  98. CB January 13th, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    I posted about this a day or two ago – but now that Atlanta has signed Lowe they have a legitimate shot at that division. Or at least enough to make a run. That’s why they signed Lowe and traded for Vazquez. To improve the pitching to win in 2009.

    I could see them being interested in Nady now. They desperately need another OF bat and a RH bat would be optimal for them. Nady seems to be liked by national league teams as he’s performed well there.

    I could see them being a potential trade partner. Dunn and Abreu’s defensive liabilities are still turning teams off. Also, Dunn is reportedly still asking for 4yrs/56M and Abreu 3 yrs/ 48M. They are dreaming if they think they’ll sign for that much.

    Given his cost and adequate defense Nady could fit in with an NL team like the braves.

    Not saying they should simply dump Nady (unless that’s what was truly needed to sign Pettitte…). But I could see some kind of deal working out there.

  99. trisha - CC and AJ and Sheets - OH MY! January 13th, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    “Its evident that Hughes is on the cusp of superstardom”

    Absolutely and unequivocally agree. You don’t have to be a statistician to figure this out either. All you have had to do is take the time to watch the stuff he has. Now if he is given the time he needs to really mature and blossom (we all he really hasn’t had that luxury) we’ll be able to sit by and enjoy the process.

  100. Boston Dave January 13th, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    “What happened to the 500 word limit for guest posts? Pretty unfair that the other posters had to chop down their posts to 500 words and possibly eliminate good details, while this BP guy gets free reign to write as much as he likes.”

    a) Pete can make the rules. It’s his blog.
    b) I think the other guest posters would accept the fact that their blogs haven’t reached the status that BP, or Will, have.
    c) it’s silly of you to be complaining about something so trivial

  101. SJ44 January 13th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Geez, whining about Will Carroll’s post? Now I’ve seen everything on here.

    What’s the problem with the post? The guy had something interest to say, which is better than what most of us write on here on a daily basis.

    Here’s are two novel suggestions to those who whine everyday about the guest posts. Don’t read them or do one yourself and submit it to Pete for consideration.

    Anybody can criticize. Few, if any, can contribute.

    Most of the guest bloggers have written interesting topics to discuss during the slow time of the baseball calendar.

    You don’t always have to agree with the point of view.

    Constantly whining about every guest poster takes up nothing but space. It adds nothing to the discussions.

  102. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story January 13th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Ed: I’d want Jurjens, but as you said, that’s not happening.

    Boston Dave: They’d still make more in an AB than most of us see in a year.

    Billy: I can only speak for myself, but Will Carroll knows a helluva lot more about baseball than I do…

  103. Boston Dave January 13th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    CB,

    I like the Lowe signing for Atlanta. They stole Vazquez from Chicago and now have a formidable staff. You’re right that they need a bat but the NL East is back to being a 3 team race.

  104. trisha - CC and AJ and Sheets - OH MY! January 13th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Doreen -

    :lol:

    I’ve been down with a stomach virus since Saturday. I think I must be dehydrated!

  105. RhapsodyInBlue January 13th, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Excellent post, and interesting as hell. Thanks Will.

  106. five iron from fenway January 13th, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    CB and others –
    What caliber of prospect/player is a reasonable expectation for a trade for Nady or Swisher? Nady is a one year player for the acquiring team.

  107. Doreen January 13th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Trisha-

    Yuck! Feel better. And get some gatorade!

  108. Mikey January 13th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    I dont want to get off the topic of this burgeoning juggernaut of a rotation, but I feel like we must have the same patience with Melky in CF. I mean theres no way he isnt going 30/30 this season. And you know the new gleaming cathedral will only motivate him to snatch that gold glove that is rightful property of the Bombers. Am I wrong?

  109. DT January 13th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    I know one guy on Atlanta that Cash really loves. I think his name is Betemit.

    Wait, let me change the calendar. It’s 2009 not 2006 huh?

  110. saucY January 13th, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    “How about Paul Byrd? He could help the team and he’d be easier to throw in the bullpen during the playoffs. (can you imagine Girardi telling Pettitte that he isn’t going to start a playoff game?)”

    the same name jumped off of that list to me, based on what’s left and $. he probably wouldn’t cost much, would take a 1 year deal, and i think he’d post an ERA in the 4.4 – 4.8 range (a guess). we would be giving boston a sandwich pick, however.

    but i think whomever we get for #4 will be expected to make playoff starts. unless, for some reason, joba is below his innings limit at that time…

  111. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story January 13th, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    SJ: Y’know, I think we could have used that post here a few days ago…

  112. Boston Dave January 13th, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Rebecca,

    no doubt. It’s just amazing seeing these guys values dropping by the day. IMO, some teams are going to get a great deal.

    If the price dropped enough, I keep thinking of creative ways to get Dunn (or even Abreu) into the Yanks lineup. they just don’t have the room right now and they don’t need a DH.

    Dunn in a full season in the Bronx might slam 50HR, many into that short right field porch.

  113. kill.schill(ing) January 13th, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    We can expect the Rays lineup to improve this year, Boston Dave, both because they added Burrell and for the reasons you mentioned.

    No one can predict how their bullpen will respond next year after all the innings they posted in 2008. Then, there’s also the outstanding question of who will close for them? Is Percy still capable? Can he remain healthy and effective?

    Also, however great Price proves, he’s still going to operate under an innings cap. I realize the Rays system is stocked with pitching, but really, by how much more can the Rays’ rotation in 2009 surpass its performance in 2008?

    How many fewer runs can they allow? In 2008, it was 671. The Jays allowed 610? Can the Rays match that figure? I’m dubious.

  114. jennifer January 13th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Geez Billy grow up. Really, whining about how many words a special guest blogger got to use.

  115. Boston Dave January 13th, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    John Smoltz –

    “I’m as determined and I’m as focused as I’ve ever been,” the right-hander said Tuesday. “The uniform has changed. The desire won’t change.”

    I am really dreading this signing for the Sox. Somebody please assure me he won’t be his usual dominating self by the all-star break. please.

  116. Joe January 13th, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Check out the photo here: http://origin.stamfordadvocate.com/ci_11441964 . Cashman and Bobby V spending a lot of time together

  117. CB January 13th, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    “What caliber of prospect/player is a reasonable expectation for a trade for Nady or Swisher? ”

    That’s tough to say given the availability of other outfielders on the free agent market.

    For Nady I’d probably ask for Gorkys Hernandez. They could say no but that’s who I’d probably ask for. Given that Jordan Schaeffer is likely their next CF Hernandez is likely available.

    If they couldn’t get a prospect of that level i’d probably just pass on the deal.

  118. ham fighters January 13th, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    thats the second time ive heard the mets are interested in nady. who do they have to offer?

  119. Boston Dave January 13th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    kill.schilling –

    good points. still, for those that think the Rays were a fluke, I think they’re wrong. How good the Rays will be remains to be seen. but anybody who doesn’t take them as a legit contender is prob going to be sadly mistaken.

    the AL East has arguably 3 of the best 5 teams in baseball (Phillies, Cubs)

  120. Hugo Simone January 13th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    What do you guys think of defrosting Teddy Williams, re-attaching his head and trotting him out to left field? Surely would be an upgrade, no?

  121. kill.schill(ing) January 13th, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    I’d like to see them dump Nady, CB.

    I don’t love a guy who average 100 K’s a year but only 30 BBs, 3.65 P/PA, and a .335 OBA; I fear him.

    Send him back to Flushing on the 7 train.

  122. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story January 13th, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Boston Dave: I’d love it if we could get Dunn for cheap, but I don’t see that happening because we’d have to move someone on the 40 man in turn and I’m not sure he defensively improves the team at all (and we have enough DH-types as is)

  123. Boston Dave January 13th, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    “If they couldn’t get a prospect of that level i’d probably just pass on the deal.”

    The Yankees may be better off waiting til the trade deadline to move Nady if they can’t get a great deal now. Guys like Abreu and Dunn will be signed so the supply will be lower. Also, the Yankees can evaluate their needs better by then and go after a guy to help them win this season. As it stands now, the Yankees can’t identify any obvious needs (other than CF which there isnt an obvious, current solution to). That may change my mid-season and Nady could prove to be a valuable piece at that time.

  124. Mr Torre January 13th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    ask the mets for fernando martinez or dan murphy….do they have any SS prospects?

  125. Boston Dave January 13th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Rebecca,

    I agree. the fan in me wants to see Dunn crushing balls into right field. the realist in me sees no room for a defensive liability OF who would be best served as a DH on a team with several DH’s. Still, it’s fun to dream.

  126. Boston Dave January 13th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    ask the mets for martinez for who? the mets wouldnt give martinez for johan santana or jj putz. why would they give him for nady?

  127. Mikey January 13th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Oh come on Hugo! You know full well that Damon has LF locked down. I can easily see him getting that gold glove if only the league would stop showing anti-yankee bias.

  128. sevrox January 13th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    How many folks are now pining for Mattingly at the helm instead of Brigadier General Joe?

    The tides of fan opinion during slow times…

  129. DT January 13th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    I’d like to see them dump Nady, CB.
    I don’t love a guy who average 100 K’s a year but only 30 BBs, 3.65 P/PA, and a .335 OBA; I fear him.

    Easy on the “fear” talk. That’s the kind of stuff that gets you into the HOF. (so says Gammons)

  130. trisha - CC and AJ and Sheets - OH MY! January 13th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    “How many folks are now pining for Mattingly at the helm instead of Brigadier General Joe?”

    Not I, my love! I’m still a staunch believer in the Joey G. school of management.

  131. Ed - American League, prepare to be scared! CC, Aj, and MT!! January 13th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    “I can easily see him getting that gold glove if only the league would stop showing anti-yankee bias.”

    cough (ARod -should- won the GG instead of Beltre) cough.

  132. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story January 13th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    sevrox: Considering the off-field issues Mattingly had last season, I’m pretty glad we went with General Joe.

  133. trisha - CC and AJ and Sheets - OH MY! January 13th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    “Somebody please assure me he won’t be his usual dominating self by the all-star break. please.”

    Hell yeah I’ll assure you. And I’ll also assure you that facing the AL will not be an automatic piece of cake for the aging hurler!

    :D

  134. Hugo Simone January 13th, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    You may be right, Mikey. So glad we brought him over. Worth every penny!

    However, I personally think this squad should become raging alcoholics like the Mick. They also need some outright assholes like Joltin’ Joe to stir the pot a little bit! Both ways are proven to bring some Championships back to the pinstripes! Let’s bring that Yankee tradition back!

  135. ham fighters January 13th, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    i cant imagine what makes people want to risk the yankees on a guy who’s never managed a game at any level.

  136. RhapsodyInBlue January 13th, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....id=3829924

    Randy Levine Subpoenaed –

    ALBANY, N.Y.—A New York Assembly committee investigating the use of millions of dollars in public funding to build the new Yankee Stadium has subpoenaed the team’s president.

    Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a Democrat from Westchester County, said Tuesday that his committee subpoenaed Yankees president Randy Levine as well as city Industrial Development Agency Chairman Seth Pinsky.
    ————————————————————

    That’s funny. The NY State Assembly is going to question the Yankees on fiscal restraint?

    They’d screw up a mustard sandwich.

  137. YankeeRay January 13th, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    trisha – CC and AJ and Sheets – OH MY!
    January 13th, 2009 at 2:03 pm
    Doreen –

    I’ve been down with a stomach virus since Saturday. I think I must be dehydrated!

    —–

    Do I need to come and hydrate you?

  138. trisha - CC and AJ and Sheets - OH MY! January 13th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    By the way I would love to see someone do the cybermetrics on Josh Beckett. I don’t see any reason to believe that he is going to come back on the scene as an ace hurler. If you want to talk about injury prone – or suddenly becoming ineffective – I think you might want to take a close look at Beckett.

  139. Brad Pitt's better-looking brother January 13th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    LOL Rhapsody
    They’re probably just wondering how they missed out on their cut.

  140. Betsy January 13th, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    This is a pretty overwrought post by Mr. Carroll. I think he’s overly pessimistic on Phil and I’d like him to explain how CC is an injury risk. Does he also expect Wang to suffer another lis franc injury? I think this a complete overreaction – this is the kind of post I see all the time from Red Sox and Met fans.

  141. Betsy January 13th, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    This is a pretty overwrought post by Mr. Carroll. I think he’s overly pessimistic on Phil and I’d like him to explain how CC is an injury risk. Does he also expect Wang to suffer another lis franc injury? I think this a complete overreaction – this is the kind of post I see all the time from Red Sox and Met fans.

  142. Betsy January 13th, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    By the way, MLB Network has a special tonight (admittedly, late – it’s on at midnight) about NY baseball after 9/11 – it should be fantastic.

  143. trisha - CC and AJ and Sheets - OH MY! January 13th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    YankeeRay -

    :lol:

    Only because I truly love you do I recommend that you do not do that. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone! I have to believe that I picked it up from someone else so could as easily transmit it. But thanks for the thought.

    :D

  144. GreenBeret7 January 13th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    trisha – CC and AJ and Sheets – OH MY!
    January 13th, 2009 at 2:34 pm
    By the way I would love to see someone do the cybermetrics on Josh Beckett. I don’t see any reason to believe that he is going to come back on the scene as an ace hurler. If you want to talk about injury prone – or suddenly becoming ineffective – I think you might want to take a close look at Beckett.

    ————————————————————

    How could Beckett get hurt/injured? He doesn’t play hard enough and he’s not a Yankee.

  145. Mikey January 13th, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Ed dont get me started on gold glove bias, cause we all know there was a robbery at SS. I dont think i need to mention the name of that all everything studd we have gracing SS do i? No i do not.

  146. jennifer January 13th, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Betsy- I believe that is the same special that was shown on HBO. 9 innings from ground zero? Get your tissue box ready.

  147. trisha - CC and AJ and Sheets - OH MY! January 13th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    “How could Beckett get hurt/injured? He doesn’t play hard enough and he’s not a Yankee.”

    Yeah just imagine if he were. They’d carrying his arm off the field right now. In any event, if Beckett is not injured he is losing his effectiveness OBVIOUSLY.

    Gee I did mean to mention in that post that other teams’ players also played hard – oh, I did mention it!

  148. YankeeRay January 13th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    trisha – CC and AJ and Sheets – OH MY!
    January 13th, 2009 at 2:40 pm
    YankeeRay –

    Only because I truly love you do I recommend that you do not do that. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone! I have to believe that I picked it up from someone else so could as easily transmit it. But thanks for the thought.

    ——

    I understand as STS’ are the worst kind of sicknesses

  149. Ed - American League, prepare to be scared! CC, Aj, and MT!! January 13th, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    “Ed dont get me started on gold glove bias, cause we all know there was a robbery at SS”

    I think you meant 3b.

  150. trisha - CC and AJ and Sheets - OH MY! January 13th, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    jen and Betsy I swear I got teary just thinking about it. I will definitely be watching it since sleeping isn’t in the cards for me right now…

    :(

    Did anyone catch the 9 where they named the all-time players at each position? I just wondered who they named. I didn’t get to watch it, though I’m sure it will be repeated.

  151. GreenBeret7 January 13th, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Looks like the Orioles got themselves a good 4th outfielder. They have signed Justin christian.

  152. five iron from fenway January 13th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    CB – Thanks for the info. It will be very interesting to see how Cashman fills in the rest of the roster over the next month or so. It seems he has gone stealth – which usually leads to good things i.e. Texeira!

  153. Mr Torre January 13th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    good for justin christian….thought shelly duncan might of hooked on with the O’s also

  154. trisha - CC and AJ and Sheets - OH MY! January 13th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    YankeeRay is that what they’re called? I am far from a baby with sickness but I can tell you this has been one of the most awful experiences I can remember. And it doesn’t show signs of going anywhere soon!

  155. Ed - American League, prepare to be scared! CC, Aj, and MT!! January 13th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    “Looks like the Orioles got themselves a good 4th outfielder. They have signed Justin christian.”

    See Ya J-Chrizzle. :( just don’t come back and hurt us too much.

  156. Yankee Trader January 13th, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    If the Yankees trade Nady to the Braves, they could ask for Kelly Johnson, who can play the outfield or Josh Anderson who can play CF. Braves have Martin Prado who can take over 2nd, and will probably bring back Andruw Jones to compete with their youngsters.

  157. jennifer January 13th, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I didn’t realize Justin was a free agent?

  158. saucY January 13th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    :arrow:

  159. jimmy27 January 13th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Manny will sign with Yanks on Friday 2 years 52 mil.
    Source: Friend of a friend of a friend….
    (I hope not)

  160. pat January 13th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Someone just told me ESPN desportes reported Jorge is planning on playing for Puerto Rico in the WBC. Good news if his rehab is going well enough for that to happen.

  161. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story January 13th, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Will miss JC, he was a fun player to watch, for the half season we did get to watch him!

  162. GreenBeret7 January 13th, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    jennifer
    January 13th, 2009 at 3:00 pm
    I didn’t realize Justin was a free agent?

    ————————————————————

    He became a FA when NYY non-tendered him in December. NYY should have moved Cabrera and kept Christian and platooned him and Gardner.

  163. Brad Pitt's better-looking brother January 13th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    That’s a lot of speed heading to Yankee Stadium South.
    Would have liked to see what JC coulda done here.

  164. YankeeRay January 13th, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    jimmy27
    January 13th, 2009 at 3:14 pm
    Manny will sign with Yanks on Friday 2 years 52 mil.
    Source: Friend of a friend of a friend….
    (I hope not)

    ——-

    Jimmy, please don’t do this to me without a better source as this is the kind of notice I have been waiting for.
    Now, along those lines, I don’t think we would pull that off without a nady/matsui deal already in place as it would kill our leverage.
    What I mean by that is that we could have a side deal in place with Boras first and then trade those guys but if we signed Manny first I believe we lose some leverage in trading them.

  165. clarko January 13th, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    The economy could have a painfully negative effect on the fortunes of some mlb teams come the trading deadline and there remains the possibility that very good players who would not otherwise be jettisoned become available. A team with strong and flexible economics may find themselves in position to make a decisive pick-up or two- beyond the Abreu/Lidle (RIP) trade. If this scenario pans out, and I hope it does not,for all of our sakes, mid-season could become a second off-season. Last July the world looked a lot different. Who knows looking forward.
    k

  166. no.27 January 13th, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    It makes sense that relief innings take more out of a pitcher than innings as a starter. I don’t think it makes sense to have Joba switch from less stressful innings (starting) to more stressful innings (relieving) as he approaches his innings limit.

    This is obviously not likely, but I think the ideal situation would be putting Joba in the bullpen for the playoffs if Hughes can prove enough to be a 4th starter. It’s a different situation in the playoffs where you only need 4 starters and middle relievers have even more pressure on them to hold leads.

    People were talking about Jeter possibly moving to 2nd base, but I can’t see why. His arm isn’t the reason he’s considered a below average fielder, it’s his range. You need to cover more ground at 2nd base than you do at SS.

  167. no.27 January 13th, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    “Also, Dunn is reportedly still asking for 4yrs/56M and Abreu 3 yrs/ 48M. They are dreaming if they think they’ll sign for that much.”

    Is this something you’ve read that you can link? If he’s still holding out for a deal like that in this market, I wonder what people that thought he would definitely take a 1 year deal 5 weeks ago think about that?

    Anyone think the Mets will sign Pettitte? They definitely should.

  168. Will Carroll January 13th, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Sorry – forgot this was going up so I’ll try to answer some of the questions:

    kill.schilling: You’re right, you have to use a multiplier to know when to convert him to relief and keep the workload in mind, as well as closely monitor his arm. I oversimplified there, nice catch.

    monty please: The Yanks are more concerning that most staffs. It’s odds, not certainty, of course.

    yanksrule57: I’d love to see that paper.

    Betsy: I’ll give you 100 to 1 Hughes never wins a Cy Young. I do rate him ahead of Homer Bailey …

    Thanks to all for reading.

  169. OldYanksFan January 14th, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Dunn is young and has had a consistant hitting history, and he will be picked up… 3/$39 or 4/$48… in that area. Bobby will be lucky to get 3/$36, and more likely to get 2/$24 or less. Dunn has no glove, but at 28 with a career .899 OPS, he is still and elite DH.

    Pettitte’s pride is backing him into a corner. I guess his Bible studies don’t apply to his baseball career. He ONLY wants to pitch in Yankee Stadium. Giambi took $6m, for crying out loud.

    Do the Braves have any young catchers? I want to hold on to Swisher…. he will be very good for us. I would let X-Man go, but only for someone who has a future with us.

    And Pete… what is it with this Will Carroll character?
    Bring back….. SAM-I-AM!!!!!!!!!!

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