Just for the record, there are still 69 days until the first pitchers and catchers workout at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. In other words, we’ll probably have a few of these mailbags to help pass the time until baseball returns. Let’s get right to it:
Frank asks: If the Yankees don’t bring Matsui back who do you see as the No. 5 hitter to protect A-Rod?
Frank, assuming Damon comes back, I think the Yankees will primarily go: Jeter, Damon, Tex, A-Rod, Granderson/Posada, depending on who is hotter at the time. With no Damon, I think Granderson will hit second and Posada will be the primary No. 5 hitter.
Tyler asks: With the names being floated around to land Roy Halladay, would you rather see the Yanks go for the real long ball, call the Mariners and say “pick 2 or 3 of our top 5 and 3 or 4 of our 10-20 top prospects and send us Felix?”
There aren’t many players in baseball who you’d even think about giving up multiple high-end young players for, Tyler, but The King has to be one of them. Even so, I wouldn’t hold your breath. Seattle should do everything it can to keep him.
Chrissa asks: Did Mo pick “Enter Sandman” for his song or was it picked for him and stuck? He doesn’t seem like the Metallica type.
You’re right, Chrissa, Mo is very much NOT the Metallica type. It was picked for him and just stuck. Actually, I remember when Metallica singer James Hetfield came to a Yankees-Mets game in 2005 as a guest of Randy Johnson – who is a huge fan of and friendly with the band – and several players were excited to meet him. Rivera, on the other hand, had no idea who he was (though he did chat with Hetfield after being introduced to him just before BP).
Andy asks: Do you think Mike Cameron is a viable option for the Yanks?
I don’t, Andy, mostly because at age soon-to-be-37 he doesn’t fit the “let’s get younger” concept that Cashman seems to be pushing. That said, if the Yankees did get him, the most excited people around would surely be the media – Cameron is one of baseball’s ultimate good guys.
Ben S. (and many, many others) asks: The Blue Jays have said they would like an established hitter in return for Roy Halladay. What established Yankee bats could you see the team including in a deal for Halladay?
Start with Jesus Montero, Ben, and keep going from there. Word is that the Jays very much like Montero (though perhaps not at catcher long-term), but would also want young arms in a deal – figure on Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, plus at least one more mid-level prospect to even get in the conversation at this point. As we saw with Johan Santana, though, the longer this thing drags on the lower the price may drop. I’m not so sure Halladay will ultimately bring in the haul the Jays want, especially since he’ll likely be demanding an extension to drop his no-trade clause.
Kevin asks: In your opinion, who defines the years ’96-’09: Mariano Rivera or Derek Jeter?
Kevin, I love Mo as much as anyone, but it’s got to be Jeter. He’s the guy who will be associated with this Yankees run for years and years to come.
Dan asks: Will Chad be taking over the blog exclusively next season or will it continue to be run by the two of you? Hope to see both of you!
Dan, I – and Chad – appreciate that and it’s safe to say you’ll see both of us. Chad is our Yankees beat writer and so, obviously, that’s 100 % of his focus. I’m a general columnist and still write about other sports, too, (Giants/Eagles on Sunday, for example), but I’ll be doing plenty of Yankees both on the blog and in the paper. The hope is that our different styles and insights make the blog even more enjoyable for you guys.
Robert asks: With Coke/Bruney gone and Joba/Hughes (potentially) starting, who are the most viable in-house options to fill the void in the pen?
It’s impossible to forget the work Dave Robertson did during the playoffs, Robert, and I’d be surprised if the Yankees don’t give him a chance to stick in 2010. Girardi, in particular, loves Robertson’s high strikeout rate. Obviously there are other young relievers who showed glimpses in 2009 (Mark Melancon, Jonathan Albaladejo) but I’ll be curious to see how Mike Dunn develops. He’s 24, a converted outfielder and throws in the mid-90′s as a lefthander. How much do the Yankees like him? A turning point in the Granderson trade was when the Yankees got the Tigers to take him out of the deal.
Doug asks: Now that the Yankees have added a new CF and gotten Andy to agree to return, is there a big move left this offseason? Do you think there is a surprise move that gets made by the team before winter ends?
I don’t see anything like last year’s sneak attack on Teixeira, Doug. Well, except for that tiny Roy Halladay press conference in late January …
Don asks: If you could invite three living or deceased Yankees to breakfast tomorrow (pancakes for the table, of course), who would they be?
Ruth (just because), DiMaggio (in hopes he’d bring Marilyn) and Bobby Murcer (because he was, literally, among the nicest men I ever got to meet and I’d love to hear him talk baseball with the other two).
Ward asks: If Damon signs elsewhere, what about re-signing Xavier Nady to play left (assuming he has healed from his surgery)?
I don’t see Nady returning, Ward, though supposedly he’s doing well in rehab and hopes to be ready for spring training. The Braves are interested in him, as are his former team, the Pirates.
Patrick asks: If the moon were made of spare ribs, would you eat it?
Uh … well, no, Patrick. But I’m not a pork guy (or, you know, an astronaut).
Patrick asks: OK, that’s not my question, but who doesn’t love a Will Ferrell/Harry Caray quote during the offseason?
(Scratching head …)
Patrick asks: That was also not my question for the mailbag! Seriously, how has the Lohud Yankees Blog experience been thus far compared to what you expected? What do you like best about it? What do you like least about it? What are some of your (and Chad’s) goals for the blog for 2010?
Well, Patrick, it’s been about as I expected, mostly since I had the pleasure of stepping in for a few weeks when Pete was still here, so I had a pretty good idea how it would go. It was then, and still is now, a fantastic community of incredibly passionate readers, and that makes all the work worthwhile.
We know that we can’t make everybody happy all of the time (even though we do try), but I think our goal is to continue to grow the site and bring as many people as we can inside the Yankees world. As you can tell, there’s a lot going on in there.
Thanks to all the readers who sent in questions. The response was overwhelming and we’ll be sure to do more of these as the offseason goes on.