The word of a scout is hardly gospel, but it’s certainly an educated opinion. That’s part of the reason I’ve enjoyed reading former scout Frankie Piliere at Fanhouse. In his past two chats — this Wednesday and last Wednesday — Piliere talked a lot about the Yankees, including this question and answer:
Q: What’s going on with the Yankees and Roy Halladay? Last I heard, the Red Sox are making a HUGE push for him right now. Any idea if NY is going to do the same thing? What is their limit (Montero/Hughes/and a lesser prospect?)
Piliere: The million dollar question indeed. Boston is going after him very aggressively right now. I just don’t know if the Yankees have the desperation factor in their corner. They still want to get younger and just not sure they want to go that extra mil and surrender one of their big prospects. If they can do it without Montero or Jackson then I think they’ll be in on it but that’s a big if.
You do have to wonder how much desperation could play a role in the Halladay sweepstakes. As Sam outlined this morning, a Halladay contract extension could put the Yankees into a payroll jam, but probably not enough of one to rule it out. There are only a handful of teams able to enter the Halladay race and it could be a matter of who’s willing to make an over-the-top offer.
Q: Can the Yankees make a major push for Halladay without including Jesus Montero?
Piliere: Can they? Yes. But if Toronto deals Halladay and doesn’t get Montero it doesn’t look too great. I think they have other prospects to pull it off though.
Other Yankees highlights from the past two Piliere chats:
• Asked to choose Ian Kennedy or Red Sox prospect Michael Bowden, Piliere went with Kennedy. “I think he’s more in the plans than Yankee fans like to believe,” Piliere said. “Just not sure why people so easily forget about this guy. I think he’ll be in the mix for the rotation in ST barring a spending spree on more pitching.”
• Asked to name breakout players for 2010, Piliere went with the Rangers’ Chris Davis and “Phil Hughes as a starting pitcher.”
• Asked if the Yankees will be willing to budge from a one- or two-year offer for Johnny Damon, Piliere said no. “I think they’ll be smart on this one,” he said. “I do not see them going beyond two years. I can see Damon walking for the bigger deal.”
There’s more Yankees stuff in there. Check it out.