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


Byrd close to deal with Cubs

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Dec 31, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Looks like another outfielder is about to come off the market.

Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Marlon Byrd is close to a three-year deal with the Chicago Cubs. Byrd put up nice numbers the past three years in Texas, and it’s easy to see why a lot of Yankees fans liked him as an option for 2010, but I’m not sure I was ever in the crowd. For reasons why, I’ll turn the floor over to Joe from River Ave. Blues.

I remember Byrd from my early days covering the Phillies organization, and I have a hard time believing that same guy is now a consistently productive outfielder. I might be completely wrong. Byrd might have made some very real changes during his time with the Rangers, but I don’t think it’s wise to look only at those three years in Texas and completely ignore the three years that came before.

As for some light Yankees reading, here’s Scoop Jackson’s interview with Curtis Granderson. There are a lot of questions about how Granderson will handle living in New York, playing for New York and dealing with the New York media. Granderson handles the questions pretty well considering he’s never lived in New York, played for New York or dealt with the New York media.

Also, if you’re looking for a fun, quick, non-Yankees read on this New Years Eve, check out Dirk Hayhurst’s latest entry for Baseball America. Terrific story about a day in the life — or at least a moment in the life — of a major league baseball player.

Depending on any sort of breaking news, today is probably going to be a light day here at the LoHud Yankees Blog. I know Sam has a post planned for later this afternoon, but that might be it until tomorrow. I’m meeting some friends for my first NYE in NYC, and I’m very much looking forward to it.

I just want to say thank you for making the past few months a lot of fun. Happy New Year everyone. Have fun. Be safe. See you in 2010.

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130 Responses to “Byrd close to deal with Cubs”

  1. Bret the Hitman December 31st, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Looking more and more like a Dye, Gomes, Thames type solution.

    —-

    Which is why I thought Cashman should’ve slid in Gardner in that package and kept Melky.

  2. Uncle Ellsworth (Expert textpert choking smokers, don't you think the joker laughs at you) December 31st, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    repost
    It was a good year at LoHUd too.

    What about the day of REAL FANS v FAKE FANS FISTFIGHT!

    OR

    THe French Fry Chronicles

    OR
    the Grass roots ESPN Protest when The “Boli Boli” chant was heard.

    Or the One millionth post?

    Or Whe GBs Great Great Grand Twins arrived?

    Tony Sanchez getting drafted?

    and countless others

    Happy New Year LoHudders!!!!

  3. pat December 31st, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    “I’m meeting some friends for my first NYE in NYC, and I’m very much looking forward to it.”

    Enjoy! I hope your party plans are for somewhere drier and warmer than Times Square!

  4. Jerkface December 31st, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    I didn’t realize Melky was “an old veteran guy”. He’s about the same age as Gardner. Hasn’t Cashman admitted to a hole in left field? That hole is, unfortunately, Gardner. His batting deficiency will be greatly exposed this year I fear.

    It wasn’t a straight example, but just because a player is a fit in one year does not make them a fit the next. Unless they are under contract until 2018

  5. austinmac December 31st, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Chad, enjoy the holiday. We will keep sharing our purported wisdom in your absence. I will reiterate what others say, you guys are doing a wonderful job.

  6. Rich in NJ December 31st, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Phew.

  7. Dr Mustard December 31st, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Cashman will have no interest in Jermaine Dye, he is poor in the field and his noodle arm rivals Damons,he is on the mega decline

  8. Dan December 31st, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Now that most of the guys who want long-term deals are pretty much off the market, I’d love for the Yanks to get someone like Gomes or Podsednik.

  9. Mike RI December 31st, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    DR Mustard .

    Dye may not have range . but he does have a nice arm. 9 outfield assists last year can back that up

  10. Mike RI December 31st, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    DR Mustard .

    Dye may not have range . but he does have a nice arm. 9 outfield assists last year can back that up

  11. Yankee Trader December 31st, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Marlon Byrd:

    Read this article from River Avenue Blues. Byrd is not the answer for us, especially now that he’s getting a multi-year contract.

    http://riveraveblues.com/2009/…..yrd-21838/

    Braves want to give Jason Heyward a chance to win a corner outfield spot.

    Options for Damon are dwindling.

    Chad: Sorry I just posted this on the last thread.

  12. AeroFANatic December 31st, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Cubs made a bad move. They have only one regular LH hitter in their lineup. Byrd, a RH, will be 36 when the contract is up. Good luck trying to move/dump Byrd by then with his backloaded contract.

  13. hardwired December 31st, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    as a poster on RAB so aptly put it, this is the best case against Byrd:

    •2007 H/A Splits:

    Home OPS: .916
    Away OPS: .715

    •2008 H/A Splits:

    Home OPS: .911
    Away OPS: .772

    •2009 H/A Splits:

    Home OPS: .873
    Away OPS: .740

    •99 Career OPS+ (career OPS: .762, which is similar to his away numbers)

  14. Dr Mustard December 31st, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Hendry must be the worst GM in baseball with Minaya, who would give Byrd a 3yr deal.LOL

  15. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day December 31st, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    The Yankees options are dwindling, but then I’m not sure Byrd was ever an option; I doubt they were going to go 3 years with anyone.

    I read the CG interview yesterday – very insightful. Granderson is very smart to be aware of how his behavior will look to the media and the fans (well, the clubbing at 2 am anyway). I think he’ll be ok going out for dinner late at night, though, lol. I hope he’ll be himself, though – NY will love him if he just does his thing.

  16. Frank December 31st, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Byrd’s deal is $5M per season.

  17. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day December 31st, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Happy New Years, Chad – and be safe!

  18. Uncle Ellsworth (Expert textpert choking smokers, don't you think the joker laughs at you) December 31st, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    I’m meeting some friends for my first NYE in NYC, and I’m very much looking forward to it.

    I’m sure your friends are vets but in case not
    stay away from Midtown until after the ball drops

    Have fun

  19. Yankee Trader December 31st, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Byrd-Good luck hitting 20 homers again, in Wrigley field vs Arlington.

  20. Dan December 31st, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    The way I see it, the Yankees have about 10 FA options: Ankiel, Damon, Dye, Gomes, Hinske, Hairston, Johnson, Nady, Podsednik and Winn.

  21. rconn23 December 31st, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    For all those so sure that Damon won’t be back with the Yankees, where is he going to go?

    What team has even seriously considered signing him? You can’t name one team.

  22. stuckey December 31st, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    “Left field is an offensive position. It seems foolish to me to give up the offensive advantage of the Yankee infield by giving it back in the outfield.”

    Yes, it would be foolish to give back THE advantage.
    But what we’re really talking about is giving back SOME of the advantage. SOME of the considerable advantage.

    You talk as if Gardner in LF alone negates their huge advantage. It does not.

    It’s a relative argument, and when you factor in the cost of what it would take to regain SOME of that advantage, and the likely affect on the Yankees overall chances, that’s when the decision begins to look less “foolish”.

  23. xyz December 31st, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    worst Byrd moment from a Yankee fan’s perspective: that damn game-winning GS off Marte in ’08. Awful, just awful…

  24. saucY December 31st, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    i don’t know why anyone would ever want to go to times square on nye…

  25. stuckey December 31st, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Here’s a genuine question – how does Gardner’s ability to make swinging contact compare to your average player? Anyone have the data available?

    I have a foot in both camps. I can acknowledge with my eyes that Gardner has serious issues with his swing, but I also don’t consider this a death sentence for his chances of succeeding.

    Given his tools, I’d rate his chances of improving his offense to a serviceable level if he already makes contact (swinging contact I mean) at a decent rate.

  26. yo ho ho December 31st, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    What team has even seriously considered signing him?

    ————–

    the Nippon Ham Fighters, perhaps?

  27. Uncle Ellsworth (Expert textpert choking smokers, don't you think the joker laughs at you) December 31st, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    saucY
    December 31st, 2009 at 1:15 pm
    i don’t know why anyone would ever want to go to times square on nye…

    inconceivable!

  28. Rich in NJ December 31st, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Betsy

    “The Yankees options are dwindling…”

    I actually think they are improving because bad options are being taken off the table.

  29. GeorgeInJax December 31st, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Dan
    December 31st, 2009 at 1:13 pm
    The way I see it, the Yankees have about 10 FA options: Ankiel, Damon, Dye, Gomes, Hinske, Hairston, Johnson, Nady, Podsednik and Winn.
    _________________________________________________________

    I only like Hinske & Nady out of that group. Both would be nice bats off the bench. Nady could play a decent LF

    Damon & Ankiel are too expensive, Dye too old
    The rest are not much better than what we’d get from Gardner

  30. Rich in NJ December 31st, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    “Here’s a genuine question – how does Gardner’s ability to make swinging contact compare to your average player? Anyone have the data available?”

    Not off hand, but TBH, his contact rates have been a real concern during his mL careeer.

  31. Jerkface December 31st, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Gardner is average at making contact. No worse than any normal MLB regular.

  32. FrankIe December 31st, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    It’s gonna be Sarnataro in left. Becoming obvious he’s the guy.

  33. Mike RI December 31st, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    George in Jax –

    I only like Hinske & Nady out of that group. Both would be nice bats off the bench. Nady could play a decent LF

    -

    You do relalize Nady has had 2 Tommy John surgeries ?? No Thanks !

  34. GeorgeInJax December 31st, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    You do relalize Nady has had 2 Tommy John surgeries ?? No Thanks !
    _________________________________________________

    Yes I do, he would have to pass team physicals & prove he could throw before signing him. At this point he may not be ready to do that before ST. But if he can, he is a very productive bat & decent fielder. Probably the best free agent OF left on the board if he can throw.

  35. stuckey December 31st, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Hmmm, conflicting responses.

    I’m not expert, but I’d would guess making BETTER contact would be a skill at Garnder’s development stage that would more easily improved (and to a greater degree) than making contact at all, particularly given the length of it (his swing) already.

    Just learning to turn a few pop-ups into grounders would possibly have the affect of getting his OBP consistently servicable.

    I like the odds of that happening better if he is not just s strikeout waiting to happen.

  36. Mike RI December 31st, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    GeorgeinJax

    -With little outfield depth that we have. The Yankees can’t afford to take on a risk like Nady, If he goes down we’re right back to square one.

    Besides even when healthy , I think Nady is overrated.

  37. Frank December 31st, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    “There is a player who hit a lot of HR when he first came up in 1990 and another who did the same in 1998 that are getting stuck in the filter.”

    Still wouldn’t rule out Atlanta. Assuming Heyward is their guy in right and McLouth in center, they could squeeze him into left.

    DH/OF in Texas? Rangers team OBP was 14th in the AL last season. Byrd and Jones are gone. Hamilton, Cruz, Murphy is the OF right now. DH is up in the air, though if Smoak can win the 1B job, that might make Davis the DH.

  38. Yankee Trader December 31st, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Betsy

    “The Yankees options are dwindling…”

    ————————————————
    Agree with Rich. The Braves will give Jason heyward a sho at corner outfield, Holliday probably going back to the Cardinals, Bay to the Mets, cheap options for those teams needing a DH, I’d say that Damon’s chances have done dwindled!!!

    I could live with Damon back on the Yankees if he would agree to a one year 5-6 million+incentives deal, and
    would gladly like him back in the two spot spending time at DH some, and being substituted in LF in the late innings.

  39. GeorgeInJax December 31st, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    RE:
    stuckey
    December 31st, 2009 at 1:25 pm
    Hmmm, conflicting responses.
    I’m not expert, but I’d would guess making BETTER contact would be a skill at Garnder’s development stage that would more easily improved (and to a greater degree) than making contact at all, particularly given the length of it (his swing) already.
    Just learning to turn a few pop-ups into grounders would possibly have the affect of getting his OBP consistently servicable.
    I like the odds of that happening better if he is not just s strikeout waiting to happen.
    _________________________________________

    I think that is definitely something that can be improved on. Part of that IMHO came from taking early strikes & the swinging at balls off the plate. He has less than a full cumulative season of play, so I do see him making more contact & improving OBP. With his speed I don’t think it’s outlandish to say he’ll score 100 runs this year.

  40. vtyankeefan-the original!! December 31st, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Damon comes back at the price Cashman wants

  41. GreenBeret7 December 31st, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    If I’m a GM and looking for somebody to split left field as a right handed bat, I might offer Nady a spring training invite or a minor league contract, but, until I see him hit, field and especially throw, I’m not signing him to a multi-million dollar contract.

  42. Howard Cosell December 31st, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Who was Gaudin traded for?

  43. GeorgeInJax December 31st, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    I agree GB7, it would be foolish to sign Nady for much without proving his health. The same goes for Sheets & Wang.

  44. Dr Mustard December 31st, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    I dont think Cashman wants Damon.

    Good luck to Damon when he excepts a 1 year deal for 4mil to play for the Giants

  45. Daveinmd December 31st, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    You lose some with Gardner in left, but that defensive outfield would be very good. Off the chart good. Wouldn’t mind a cheap bat to platoon with Gardner. Otherwise, use the money for Chapman’s signing bonus.

  46. Z-Man December 31st, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Brett Gardner cannot be your full time left fielder. He’s a marginal MLB player who would be a quality spot starter, pinch runner, and defensive replacement. Gardner needs to be the 4th outfielder, and Hoffman 5th. Extended playing time for either would be a mistake.

    Yes I know the lineup is already stacked. But this glaring black hole in left needs to be filled. No need to break the bank, but they need someone who is not already here internally.

  47. austinmac December 31st, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    I don’t want to demean Gardner. He has value as a bench player, in my opinion. Starting him eliminates his true value defensively and as a pinch runner. To say his contact rate is average is not a good thing for a player with no power. Such a player should be able to put the bat on the ball.

    I believe Gardner will continue to try to be patient and draw walks. But, major league pitchers will throw strike after strike unless he gives them someting to fear with the bat.

  48. Dr Mustard December 31st, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    sign Karim Garcia

  49. Yankee Trader December 31st, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    IMO, at this point, I personally think that the best FA person, offense-wise, for the Yankees, is getting Damon back on a one year deal, as I think he’s running out of options, and probably has no options if he wants to play on a contender.

    Nady is represented by Boras also, and agree, unless he can throw right now with distance and accuracy he doesn’t warrant a major league contract.

    Dye, offensive-wise, would have to revert back to his first half statistics of 2009, and probably would have to play RF with Swisher in LF.

  50. austinmac December 31st, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    What happened to Dye in the second half of last year? Was he hurt? Worn out? Nearing the end? The fall off was dramatic.

  51. RM December 31st, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    If they feel the need fro a big time bat Cah will make a trade. But I think he is going sign a Hinske type or wait aroung until spring to see who the best OF available is when teams are finalizing their rosters

  52. Sacfly December 31st, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Some one menioned the other day possibly trading for Ryan Doumit as a possibility. Can play outfield and be another back up catcher. What do you think it would take to trade for him. I know they neeed pitching maybee Gaudin +.

  53. Yankee Trader December 31st, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    The Phillies signed Tagg Bozied today. Isn’t he Geoffrey Sarnataro’s cousin on his mother’s side????!!!!!

  54. Daveinmd December 31st, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Starting him does not eliminate his defensive value. That two month span before he broke his thumb demonstrated that he can play every day and offer value. His defensive skill at creating outs would place him at an elite level for left field. It was already close to elite for center field. With the offense the Yanks have at other positions, this is not the worst scenario to follow.

  55. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day December 31st, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    CB, thanks for your response re: Chapman.

    I don’t think there’s any way Damon will swallow his pride and sign for $5 or $6 million with the Yankees…even if the Yankees are inclined to have him back. Nady? He’s a nice guy and I’m rooting for him, but I don’t see the Yankees taking a chance on him – he’s too great a risk.

  56. Mike December 31st, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Damon really doesn’t have a ton of options unless his price comes down. Obviously the Giants are one of the options and might be willing to offer the most money and years. If his price comes down to one year, and the Yankees still say no, look for the Damon to pursue right field for the Rays. He wants to stay in the Tampa/Orlando area to be with his family, he talks about that all the time. When hes down in Tampa, hes always in a better mood. His price will have to come way down though, just like Bobby Abreu last year. Especially if the Rays can move Burrell, i could definitely see that.

  57. Frank December 31st, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Mike:

    Damon can’t play RF for anyone. Simply doesn’t have the arm. Crawford doesn’t either, so there’s no way Damon fits there, ‘cept as a DH.

  58. Mike December 31st, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Good points Frank. I’m just wondering how much of a downgrade Damon is defensively from Matt Joyce and Gabe Kapler. If Burrell gets moved, Damon could DH/platoon out in right maybe. The biggest thing is that he must lower the price to a 1 year, 6 mil. type of deal. If the Giants offer 2-3 years he will definitely take that because there is nobody else that will offer that.

  59. stuckey December 31st, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Z-Man December 31st, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Yes I know the lineup is already stacked. But this glaring black hole in left needs to be filled. No need to break the bank, but they need someone who is not already here internally.

    _______________________

    Who?

    And/or what sort of numbers do you think the Yankees NEED (not want) from the 9-hole?

  60. 86w183 December 31st, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    A multi-year for Damon in a huge ball park in the NL with no DH to rest his legs? Talk about a guaranteed recipe for disaster!

    Happy New Year’s to one and all… I appreciate each of you and enjoy our banter — even when it gets a tad fiesty.

    I agree on Byrd IF you are thinking about him as an every day player, which I’m really not. I think the Cubs signing him for three years is almost (but not quite) as stupid as giving Milton Bradley three years.

    Of course that’s what keep the Cubs the Cubs.

  61. Rick December 31st, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    The best fit is Randy Winn. Nady is a risk. Hinske has a limited glove. Johnson has back issues. Dye has slowed in the field. Gomes swings for the fences and little else. Thames is hit or miss and only a slight upgrade from Damon in the field.
    Damon wants more than a year for being one dimensional.

    http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb....._id=133160

  62. John in Ohio December 31st, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Well….you finally took my advice.Enjoy your NYE night on the town. Sounds like fun.

  63. John in Ohio December 31st, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Dr. Mustard

    How about Aaron Guiel?

  64. Pat M., December 31st, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    As more and more guys are signing and what they’re signing for, Hideki Matsui was real smart to sign when he did & for what he signed for…..He’s getting 6.5 million to be a DH…..He’ll end up making more than Johnny Damon, when Johnny come marching home……

  65. the gay Yankee fan December 31st, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    You heard it here first…

    If the Yankees let him play, Gardner is going to be a star in 2010: .300+ BA, 50+ SB, 15+ triples, sensational outfield play.

    All the naysayers here will eat crow.

  66. randy l. December 31st, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    from the previous post:

    “The best way to brace against Posada getting hurt is to augment left field.”- CB

    CB-

    i can see that.

    so that means that the left field situation is linked to having an aging catcher who’s very good when not injured.

    well it’s clear the yankees need another good outfielder.

    i do see how you think holliday would solve the problem. he would.

    i just think he solves it too good.

  67. saucY December 31st, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    getting outta here early! happy new year folks :)

  68. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) December 31st, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    “The best fit is Randy Winn. Nady is a risk. Hinske has a limited glove. Johnson has back issues. Dye has slowed in the field. Gomes swings for the fences and little else. Thames is hit or miss and only a slight upgrade from Damon in the field”
    ———————————————————

    my choice would be Robin Yount. He was able to do more than Winn did in his career. And he is the same age

  69. Phil the Thrill December 31st, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Jose Ramirez finally got that award I told you about last week.

  70. joeman December 31st, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    there are smarter people in the Yankee front office than I am, but I do think they are making a mistake if they go into next season with Gardner as their starting LFer

  71. Drive 4- 5 December 31st, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Happy New Year to all LoHuders and especially our new hosts.

    Very few players in the FA market suck as bad as Scott Podsednik. Besides his low on base percentage,lack of power and 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio, what the heck does he have to offer? Forget about the stolen bases. He ranks 10th among active players in caught stealing and twice has led the league in that infamous category.

    With the choices dwinfling, it might not be bad to give Xavier Nady a shot. If youre going to have a low obp hitter in left field, it might as well be one that’s occasionally going to drive in a run.

  72. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day December 31st, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    What award, Phil? Is he another IFA signing? What can you tell us about him? I have heard his name thrown out around a couple of times and he’s apparently very highly regarded.

  73. Dr Mustard December 31st, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Ricky Ledee for LF

  74. joeman December 31st, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    the gay Yankee fan December 31st, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    You heard it here first…

    If the Yankees let him play, Gardner is going to be a star in 2010: .300+ BA, 50+ SB, 15+ triples, sensational outfield play.

    All the naysayers here will eat crow.
    ————————————
    if that happens they should move you into the front office

  75. Bill Porter December 31st, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    I’m really really hoping the Rays sign Damon to play right field. Really really really hoping they do …. How many runners will go from first to third on fly balls to the warning track with him out there?

    I like Johnny a lot, seems like a good guy. That steal of third in the series is an all time great play and seems to define #27, in my eyes at least. I think we could do a lot worse than have him back to play left and Dh some at the right price. But Damon in RF for any ML franchise has to be a nonstarter. I’m sensing a tongue in cheek post as I think about that one?!?!

  76. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day December 31st, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

    12:57pm: Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Scott Boras might consider one or two-year offers for Holliday. However, there are nine-figure offers out there, so, as Miklasz says, a short-term deal seems “highly unlikely.” Miklasz hears that Boras won’t go for a five-year offer from the Cardinals. The agent seems to be going for a seven or eight-year deal, but the Cards remain confident in their chances of bringing Holliday back.

  77. Nick in SF December 31st, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I was worried that melky vs. brett arguments would stop after they traded melky…

    Thank goodness it isn’t so!

  78. CB December 31st, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    “so that means that the left field situation is linked to having an aging catcher who’s very good when not injured.”

    randy,

    I really do think those things are linked very closely.

    To me, one of the defining factors across much of the yankee’s franchise history has been the ability of the team to find dominant players at up the middle positions.

    Those players give the yankees huge marginal advantage versus the competition.

    Think about how good Jeter was last year. He was clearly one of the 10 best players in the game and he did that at shortstop. How many teams have that?

    Then throw in how good Posada was? How many teams have a catcher who can produce like that?

    But what becomes really devastating is the intersection of the two – Jeter and Posada (and of course Cano). How many teams can even come close to matching that kind of up the middle production?

    The problem of that strategy however is risk – if one of those players goes down there is no way to replace him – not from the bench and not from the trade market. That’s generally true of superstars – but it’s much more so with up the middle players, particularly because they are more likely to get hurt.

    As such I think as those players age, redundancy needs to come from other starters, rather than from the bench or trade market – or conversely from the pitching staff through enhanced run prevention – which is essentially the 2010 club’s strategy.

  79. mick December 31st, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    I’m meeting some friends for my first NYE in NYC, and
    =====================================================
    chad, keep money in front pocket, nothing in back esp in Times Sq….enjoy!

  80. Rich in NJ December 31st, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    I think Boras is trying to bait the Yankee or the RS to make Holliday a one year offer, if only to gain leverage with the Cards.

  81. Phil the Thrill December 31st, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Betsy,

    Yeah, he as an IFA.

    http://mvn.com/pendingpinstrip.....ing-award/

  82. Roger(live from Amsterdam) December 31st, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    I just want to wish everyone a happy new year!

    It’s almost time over here(3,5hours).Be careful out there and don’t do thinks I wouldn’t do…

  83. the gay Yankee fan December 31st, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    joeman -

    Do you think that is so impossible?

    Gardner was batting around .280-.290 for most of the season and that was his rookie year. Every time he had a bad game, Girardi sat him and put Melky in there. It is completely feasible that if they allowed him to play regularly, he could easily bat above 300.

    He also had 26 SB’s in limited play. In a full season where he will be on base more, doing twice that would be easy for him.

    We already know the guy can rake it in center so with more experience and confidence, he’ll be a regular highlight reel.

  84. Permínio Neto December 31st, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Thank you Chad! Congratulations for everything that happened with you this year. You’re a great guy and really deserves it. Enjoy NYE and have a happy 2010.

  85. Rick December 31st, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    my choice would be Robin Yount. He was able to do more than Winn did in his career. And he is the same age.

    ………………..

    Funny Vinny but Ricky Henderson is younger than Yount. Both are Hall of Famers. Let the 2 of them battle it out in March.
    Maybe Ricky should challenge Gardner to a foot race.

  86. Nick in SF December 31st, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    roger, when are you going to HK? I think it’s already 2010 there.

  87. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day December 31st, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Phil, thanks! Wow, sounds very talented………he’s another one who should be fun to watch this year.

  88. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day December 31st, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Happy New Year, Roger!

  89. crawdaddy December 31st, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Regarding Nady, the recovery time for position players and TJS is 6-9 months which is much shorter than it is for pitchers. Secondly, the Yankees have his medicals since he was a Yankee until 6-7 weeks ago. This doesn’t mean that the Yankees are going to sign him, but if they do, then they’re more comfortable with his recovery than many Yankee fans.

  90. crawdaddy December 31st, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    “I think Boras is trying to bait the Yankee or the RS to make Holliday a one year offer, if only to gain leverage with the Cards.”

    Rich,

    I think you’re right, he’s trying to squeeze the Cardinals to guarantee those option years.

  91. crawdaddy December 31st, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Jim Duquette on XM Radio heard Johnny Damon is upset at the Yankees for their hardline bargaining position against him. If true then I don’t see him coming back because it’s exactly what Cashman stated about players reluctance in taking pay cuts from the last team they played for which could affect his level of play in 2010. Maybe, Cashman and Damon have a heart to heart talk, but it doesn’t look good if what Duquette said is true.

  92. Nick in SF December 31st, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Could it be that Damon and the Yanks have parted ways?

  93. Brian Cashman $$$$$$$ December 31st, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    The New York Yankees and Johnny Damon are PARTING WAYS.

    Over and out.

    ~BC

  94. CB December 31st, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Phil the Thrill,

    That picture you have of Chapman on your blog is great.

    So much of baseball is about how an athlete generates energy and then how he transfers that energy to the ball.

    That picture of Chapman captures a lot of what makes some pitchers special.

    You can see how he develops arm speed by generating tremendous torque through his torso. His hips are opening while his torso stays back and that strong separation helps create rotational energy. It’s really a great snap shot in time of how a power pitcher generates velocity.

  95. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day December 31st, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Damon might the first in a long line of players to be upset with the Yankees, but too bad – that’s business. The Yankees aren’t going to be making any moves out of desperation. If their preferred choice prices himself out of what they value him at, they move on to someone else instead of just throwing $$$ at that player.

  96. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day December 31st, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

    The Padres will, “in all likelihood,” gauge the market for Adrian Gonzalez this summer and deal him before the July 31st trade deadline. The Mets, Mariners and Red Sox could all bid for the slugger, but the list of suitors could change drastically by mid-summer.
    One GM expects the Mariners to consider offers for Felix Hernandez if they don’t lock him up long-term. “They may seriously have to think about trading him,” the GM said. Locking Felix up won’t be cheap, either. As Olney notes, Hernandez could command C.C. Sabathia-type money ($161MM) if he were a free agent. Luckily for Mariners fans, Felix won’t hit the open market until after the 2011 season at the earliest.
    Olney says the Orioles offered Matt Holliday $70MM or so at one point before moving on. Here’s a look at some other offers Holliday has received.
    Executives tell Olney that the Dodgers’ quiet offseason is giving other teams confidence and emboldening them to make more moves.

  97. Rich in NJ December 31st, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Yup, I think the Cards realize that they are bidding against themselves.

  98. Buster Olney December 31st, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I want my mommy.

  99. crawdaddy December 31st, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Let’s talk about Chapman.

    If he signs a ML contract for 25M for 5 years and 10M of it is a bonus, doesn’t that still count as 5M AAV towards the luxury tax which means it’s going to cost the Yankees 7M per season with the 40% tax rate added on?

  100. Wait till we do it all over again December 31st, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Since when was Damon upset?

  101. Brian $$$$man December 31st, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Gentleman: three players will vie for LF: Brett Gardner— Jaime Hoffman— Geoffrey Sarnataro.

  102. Erin December 31st, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Betsy-I just noticed your new handle-love it. :)

  103. G. Love December 31st, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    If Cashman takes the team into the spring with Bret Gardner as a platoon or primary LF’er, there’s a reason for it. There’s something the Yankees are seeing in him and want to see develop.

    I know we heard stories this winter about other teams calling about his availability when Granderson was acquired. Perhaps, that led the Yankees to take a deeper look at him and decide to give him the shot.

    I don’t see Damon coming back. At this point, he will be a disgruntled Yankee.

    He went into the off season thinking 4 for 52 and because of the way the Yankee negotiations went, he’ll be lucky to get 15 million guaranteed for 2.

    We don’t want him taking that from us. He won’t be happy.

    The story that always haunted me in the Torre book was about him wanting to retire early in his tenure with us. He’s an emotional player and you have to love him for that, but that emotion can swing the wrong way too since he feels he’s worth more and has been disrespected.

    I can’t get excited about Nady since none of us know if he can throw a ball 3 feet.

    Bret isn’t who I envisioned in LF. I wanted Holliday, but that ship is sailing and the Yankees appear to have determined he’s not the worth the money and commitment to them…if it’s Gardner in LF, it’s more a condemnation of the available free agents than it is of Bret.

    Do I think he’ll be the answer in LF? I have no idea. But if the Yankees want to let him try and see if they can add speed to the everyday lineup, I’m all for it.

    Everyone keeps harping on that pitchers won’t walk Bret and will throw him strikes. Perhaps, a steady diet of strikes and good pitches to hit might enable him to become a better contact hitter.

    I mean, some people were lashing out at some of us for not having the “vision” to see Melky was about to become a 20-25 HR threat any moment now.

    If the Yankees make Bret the LF’er, it’s because they believe in him. Whether he lives up to that or not is what they play the games for.

  104. Kevin (not that Kevin) Brown December 31st, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    From the previous post: I would say that one of the biggest days for the Yanks last year was the day – I forgot the date – when Cashman showed up unexpectedly in Atlanta, where the team was in a terrible losing streak. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the turnaround start right around then?

  105. randyhater December 31st, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    “I was worried that melky vs. brett arguments would stop after they traded melky…

    Thank goodness it isn’t so!”

    Haha. That horse has got a lot of life yet. Just wait until May and Melky’s burning through the NL while Gritty Gutty leads the team in almost beating out grounders to short.

  106. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) December 31st, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    “Funny Vinny but Ricky Henderson is younger than Yount. Both are Hall of Famers. Let the 2 of them battle it out in March.
    Maybe Ricky should challenge Gardner to a foot race”
    ————————————————–
    lol

    happy New Year, Rick. And to everyone

  107. S.o.S. December 31st, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Man i got to the bottom of the posts and was worried that this Damon stuff was going to continue. Thank god Cash has been on top of things here just reminding people that the Yankees and Damon are parting ways.

    Seriously people. His ship has sailed. We replaced our #2 hitter already. If we cant find a #5, then Cash will pull of a trade for a Defjesus type player. Gardner is a #4 outfielder. No more than that.

  108. Yankee Trader December 31st, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Kevin-

    That would be after this game against the Braves.

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/g.....23_NYY@ATL

    Gardner got a hit. I was at that game and Posada looked awful, striking out 4 times!

  109. GeorgeInJax December 31st, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Nice post G Love @ December 31st, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    It’s refreshing to see posts with reasoned logic.

  110. joeman December 31st, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    S.o.S. December 31st, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Gardner is a #4 outfielder. No more than that.
    —————————————
    Amen

  111. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day December 31st, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Erin, thanks!

    GLove, I really don’t think Cashman wants to go into the season with Gardner as the LF. If he does, IMO, it means he’s not happy with the options that are out there as opposed to having the confidence in Gardner to get the job done.

  112. GeorgeInJax December 31st, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    RE:
    joeman
    December 31st, 2009 at 3:22 pm
    S.o.S. December 31st, 2009 at 3:18 pm
    Gardner is a #4 outfielder. No more than that.
    —————————————
    Amen
    ———————————————–
    How is a kid going to get better without playing him?

    There’s a lot of excitement on this blog for Montero, do you really expect him to Mash MLB pitching from day one? Young players take a little time. Gardner doesn’t even have a full season under his belt. Relax & watch him score a bunch of runs for us.

  113. Kevin (not that Kevin) Brown December 31st, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Yankee Trader:

    Thanks, appreciate that. They’d lost three straight and four out of six. So am I correct then that things sort of turned around after that game? Didn’t they go on a bit of a tear?

  114. G. Love December 31st, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Betsy,

    I see it differently. I think there are players out there who could play a serviceable LF for us. If Cashman balks at them he does so knowing that Bret is the alternative.

    At some point that has to speak of confidence in the player, no?

    He’d be failing at his job if he purposely went into the season not believing in his LF’er at all when he had many chances to do something about it.

  115. Phil the Thrill December 31st, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    CB,

    he’s like a whip, with his release point right at the CRACK. That’s when he’s hitting 102.

  116. S.o.S. December 31st, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Gardner is another Bubba Crosby. The guy had one year in the minors where he hit over three hundred(barely). If he wasnt a base stealing threat. No one would even think about mentioning his name. He takes bad routes to balls and has to make up for it with his wheels and his diving catches. I dont need an infield track power hitter in left field. Not sure whats worse. His power or his bad stuck on his shoulders for the 3rd strike. Melky was in some peoples mind a 4th outfielder and is twice the player. What does that make Gardner?

  117. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day December 31st, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    GLove, your last point is very true.

    I trust Cash to find someone decent to play LF, but since it’s probably for just a year, I think he’s clearly hoping to sign Carl Crawford (if he’s available)next year. I think that’s a mistake because he’s not worth a big contract. If not Crawford, then I have no clue what Cash plans for LF.

  118. randyhater December 31st, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    I like Nady as much as anybody but his only real role on this club would be serving as Nick Johnson’s wingman as they both while away the summer rehabbing in Tampa.

    Cash needs to cut to the chase already and resign Damon, who despite all the talk about breaking down is actually one of the most durable players in the sport over the last 10 years.

  119. timo December 31st, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Yes, June 24, Cashman pre-game speech day in ATL, was the turnaround day of the year. 38-32 going in, 65-27 the rest of the way.

    Also, and not coincidentally, it was turnaround day for Alex. His BA was at .207 going into that game. A 1-3 started his steady climb to a very respectable .286 finish.

  120. Nick in SF December 31st, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    I can definitely envision Melky burning through Atlanta’s adult entertainment industry.

  121. RayVT December 31st, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    G. Love
    December 31st, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    If the Yankees make Bret the LF’er, it’s because they believe in him. Whether he lives up to that or not is what they play the games for.

    True! And if he works out great! I just don’t believe he will and I also think that the Yanks are looking for someone else as well. Perhaps Hoffman is the darkhorse here.

  122. Kevin (not that Kevin) Brown December 31st, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Timo:

    Thanks, appreciate the info. I guess nothing motivates like the guy who signs your checks (figuratively speaking) showing up to tell you you’ve been stinking up the joint.

  123. Kevin (not that Kevin) Brown December 31st, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Meanwhile, I think LF is less about whether or not Gardner starts and more about an earlier post by Chad or Sam about how they felt the team would NOT trade Brett or Melky because they would then have no outfield depth, on the 40-man or in the minors, if they did. Now that they have, we have our starting three plus a Rule 5 draftee in Hoffman – clearly not enough.

    So I think without question Cash will go out and get another OFer, and then it will be about Gardner, Hoffman and that guy battling it out to start – just like with Brett and Melky last year.

  124. stuckey December 31st, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    “What does that make Gardner?”

    What he’s always been – the type a player that a mostly casual, not-quite-up-to-speed baseball fan doesn’t understand or appreciate.

  125. 46fan December 31st, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Happy New Year’s Chad and thanks for the great job you’re doing here….

    Happy New Year’s everyone – be safe and enjoy!!!!

  126. Ed H. December 31st, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Imagine it’s the summer of 1947. There’s a Yankee player who just completed his rookie year. He came to the plate 293 times, eeking out an OBP of .310 with an OPS of .775. He was ridiculously bad in the field and fans, writers and other players wanted to ride him out of town on the rails. Fans on the LoHud Yankees blog stopped just short of calling for his head. (Sorry, couldn’t resist; I made that last line up!) His initials are YB. Guess who it was.

  127. jvcelt January 1st, 2010 at 8:56 am

    damon for 1 yr….

  128. scoopemup January 1st, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Yogi……and don’t compare Gardner to Yogi!!!!!

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