The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Something lost and something gained

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 15, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

When the Rafael Soriano signing becomes official, the Yankees will surrender their first-round pick in the 2011 draft. It’s part of the cost for a Type-A free agent. History has shown, though, that neither a multi-year relief contract nor a first-round pick comes with consistent success.

These are the Yankees multi-year relief contracts from the past decade. Obviously I’m just dealing with middle relievers and not closers. For the Yankees, the hope is that Soriano’s lengthy track record will carry over and make him one of the few bright spots on this list.

Steve Karsay – December 2001, four years, $22.25 million
Hampered by injury, pitched 101 innings with a 3.39 ERA and 1.347 WHIP. Released in the final year of the contract.

Chris Hammond – December 2002, two years, $4.6 million
Pitched 63 innings with a 2.86 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in the first year. Traded for the start of the season year for two career minor leaguers.

Tom Gordon — December 2003, two years, $7.25 million
Pitched 170.1 innings with a 2.38 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. When his contract ended, Gordon signed with the Phillies and became their closer for a year.

Paul Quantrill — December 2003, two years, $6.8 million
Pitched 127.1 innings with a 5.23 ERA and 1.56 WHIP. Led the AL in games pitched in the first year and was traded to San Diego in the middle of the second.

Felix Heredia – December 2003, two years, $3.8 million
Pitched 38.2 innings with a 6.28 ERA and 1.65 WHIP, all in the first year of the contract. Traded to the Mets before the start of the second year.

Kyle Farnsworth – November 2005, three years, $17 million
Pitched 170.1 innings with a 4.33 ERA and 1.39 WHIP before being traded in the middle of the final year of his contract.

Mike Myers – December 2005, two years, $2.4 million
Lefty specialist was ultimately released in the second year of the deal.

Damaso Marte — November 2008, three years, $12 million
First two years, pitched 31 innings with a 6.39 ERA. Likely to miss all of the final year of his contract.

The Yankees past 15 first-round picks have been incredibly hit or miss. The mistakes never made it to the big leagues, but the ceiling is far higher than any of the relief pitchers mentioned above. Also worth considering is the trade value of these players when they’re moved early. C.J. Henry has never played at the big league level, but he did help the Yankees get Bobby Abreu.

OF Shea Morenz – 1995, 27th overall
Former football player at the University of Texas, traded to the Padres in 2008 for reliever Jim Bruske.

LHP Eric Milton – 1996, 20th overall
One-time Major League all-star had an 11-year big league career, none of it with the Yankees. They traded him to the Twins in the Chuck Knoblauch deal.

OF Tyrell Godwin – 1997, 24th overall
Didn’t sign. Eventually drafted again by the Blue Jays in the third round of 2001. Total of three big league at-bats.

OF Andy Brown – 1998, 24th overall
Never advanced beyond Double-A. Hit just .228/.309/.407 in his minor league career.

RHP Dave Walling — 1999, 27th overall
Career lasted just three full seasons before he walked away from the game after reaching Triple-A. Had a career ERA of 4.10 in the minors.

C Dave Parrish – 2000, 28th overall
Career .243/.323/.354 hitter in the minor leagues. Never got to the majors.

OF John-Ford Griffin – 2001, 23rd overall
Thirteen games of Major League experience. Career .267/.347/.457 hitter in the minor leagues.

3B Eric Duncan – 2003, 27th overall
Moved quickly in his first few years but has so far topped out in Triple-A. Became a part-time player through parts of his final season in the Yankees system.

RHP Phil Hughes — 2004, 23rd overall
Became an all-star in his first full season as a Major League starter.

SS C.J. Henry — 2005, 17th overall
Traded to the Phillies for Bobby Abreu. Has since quit baseball to play college basketball.

RHP Ian Kennedy -- 2006, 26th overall
Got to New York in his first full season as a pro, but struggled when given a rotation job the next year. Ultimately traded to Arizona where he had a 3.80 ERA last season.

RHP Andrew Brackman – 2007, 30th overall
Had a 3.01 ERA in 2010, his second year back from Tommy John surgery. Considered one of the top three pitching prospects in the system.

RHP Gerrit Cole — 2008, 28th overall
Known to be a signing risk, Cole chose to attend UCLA rather than pitch for the Yankees.

CF Slade Heathcott 2009, 29th overall
A compensation pick because the Yankees failed to sign Cole the year before. Hit .258/.359/.352 in his first full season as a pro.

SS Cito Culver – 2010, 32nd overall
Teenager is likely to open this season in extended spring training.

Associated Press photos of Marte and Hughes

 
 

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140 Responses to “Something lost and something gained”

  1. YankeeRay January 15th, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Unless you are picking in the top few and even then, there are no guarantees.
    This is a no brainer signing for me.

  2. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    I do have to admit that Theo has done a great job with the draft picks – the Sox are going to be absolutely loaded.

  3. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    “Unless you are picking in the top few and even then, there are no guarantees.”

    There’s also no guarantee that Soriano will remain healthy.

  4. DaSaint007 January 15th, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Loaded means nothing.

    boston lost Victor Marinez and Adrian Beltre, two all star caliber players, and their immense contributions last season.

    boston gained Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, tow all star caliber players. One already knows how to play in the AL East. The other has to learn new pitchers and new stadiums, but also has the talent to succeed.

    To me, that’s an absolute wash.

    Prospects are suspects, and Draft picks aren’t even prospects yet.

  5. Noreaster January 15th, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    The way to look at the pick is that they probably traded this years 31st for two picks either next year or the year after (unless Soriano bombs!).

  6. Noreaster January 15th, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    DaSaint007,

    The Sox off-season is actually not a wash, they weakened their already bad defense (at 3B and CF) and have limited their ability to fix the team mid-season by draining their upper farm system and adding to their payroll.

  7. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Loaded means nothing? Their farm system is going to be loaded….. all we have in terms of position players in the minors are catchers.

  8. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    It’s also probably better to limit looking at first round picks until the point at which Cashman got more power.

    Viewed with that lens, they have picked very well.

    Also, more picks enable you to take more chances on players with upside and get more hits.

  9. Noreaster January 15th, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Right now the Sox farm system is rated in the bottom third of all of baseball. And it’s not like the Sox have been promoting people to the bigs the last year or so. Just because Theo is going to have picks (which I do admit is a good thing for them) it doesn’t mean they can turn them into long term prospects.

  10. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Ok that sounded more negative than I intended, but the point is that while Cash can’t be blamed for not having more draft picks, Theo should get credit for accumulating them.

  11. Noreaster January 15th, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    FYI, an interesting way to rank the farm systems:
    http://www.minorleagueball.com.....m-rankings

  12. blake January 15th, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Randy,

    Good stuff on AJ in the previous thread and its exactly right. The more rotational you are and the more you release the ball on a horizontal plane the better you timing has to be to have good control/command. AJ has the up and down and to side aspects of his motion to time and all have to be in sync for him to throw it where he wants to….as opposed to a guy like Hughes that is straight towards the target. It helps AJ with his nasty movement but hurts him with consistency in location…..it always has.

    Last year his stuff was down a notch and he wasn’t getting away with mistakes in location as much as in the past…..was it age or just being out of sync in his delivery all year, that’s the question. It will be tough to totally rework his mechanics at his age and Im not sure that’s even the best idea. If Rothschild can just get him to repeat better what he has now and incorporate his changeup more then that will help as it will allow him more leeway in the strike zone. He can’t be a 2 pitch guy anymore unless he gets his stuff back where it was a couple years ago and even then its not wise to continue on like that……I was encouraged by his ALCS start though and am cautiously optimistic that he will be better in 2011.

  13. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Cash can be blamed for not offering more FAs arbitration, if in fact the decision is his. For all we know, Hank may be the GM whenever he feels like it.

  14. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Noreaster, that’s true… I just have an uncomfortable feeling about the Yankees now. Before last year, I thought we were in a good position going forward into the future. Now I feel like we’re not that well-positioned in our division for more than the next couple of years.

  15. Noreaster January 15th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    OK, Betsy, I agree that theo should get credit for gaining draft picks…

    I’m a glass half full kind of guy when it comes to the Yankees and a glass half empty kind of guy with the Sox!

  16. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Rich, I know you’re very down on Cash, but I’m not going to go that route – I don’t agree. Who did you want him to offer arbitration to?

  17. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Well if Hank has more power than we think, that’s not good – although we really don’t know enough about Hal to think he’s great at running a team. All I know is that if these reports are true, it’s just a bad omen for the future.

  18. blake January 15th, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    The Yanks make a lot of their farm system plays in the international market anyway…..they never are able to count on the draft because they always pick so low due to the fact that they win every year. How many high picks have they had over the last 5 years when they’ve built one of the best systems in baseball?

  19. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I’m not down on Cash per se, Betsy.

    I’m down on the way the Yankees run their baseball operations.

  20. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Noreaster, I’m just a glass half empty person in general, but I see the Jays as on the rise with their excellent pitching and farm system. The Rays won’t be bad this year even if they don’t win a playoff berth – their pitching is pretty darn good (though let’s see Hellickson get through an entire year; as good as he was in 4 starts, teams will adjust -he’ll have his issues), with Price and Wade Davis as their first two starters. They do a great job of developing pitching.

  21. BoJo January 15th, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    If you are going to do this analysis properly and limit the draft picks to when Cashman took control, then you also have to limit the relievers to when Girardi took control. Torre blew thru relievers like Kleenex tissues….while Girardi was even getting Farnsworth on the right track…huge difference.

  22. Noreaster January 15th, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Betsy,

    I took a look at some of the projection systems. Pulled everything together in a spread sheet and what it told me was:
    1) The Yanks and Sox are close on offense with the Yanks having more power and a .004 advantage on OBP.
    2) The Yankees have a much better bullpen.
    3) The Yankees would have a better starting staff IF Mr. Pettitte rejoined them. Obviously that leaves quite a hole if he doesn’t come back.

    Add those projections to the fact that the Yankees Farm system is much better right now with more chips to trade or add to the staff in the near future. Plus add in that the Yankees defense is far better than the Sox…I think the future is bright for us.

  23. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    “How many high picks have they had over the last 5 years when they’ve built one of the best systems in baseball?”

    Since they pay overslot with regularity, that’s not really the dispositive issue.

    The drafted IPK, Joba, Backman and Cole. All are top of draft or near top of the draft talents that fell for various reasons but needed to be paid overslot in order to sign.

  24. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Rich, what specifically are you referring to? Not giving kids a chance to grow? Well I sort of agree. I was fine with trading IPK and Jackson, but I have a feeling as I said yesterday that unless a youngster has an incredible minor league pedigree and is touted to be a stud, he has a great chance of being traded for a veteran. The view is that the veteran has done it and we don’t know if this non-superstar kid can do the job (his ceiling is likely not that of the veteran), so let’s trade him. That’s what I see happening………..so, so much for Cash an his desire to field a team with a significant homegrown presence. In other words, the Yankees are going to trade talented kids because they aren’t future all-stars. – and that worries me.

  25. Noreaster January 15th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    And Betsy, I refuse to worry about the Tampa (who just lost a lot of talent) and the Jays (until they win something)…

  26. BoJo January 15th, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I would love seeing Cashman putting a clause in every contract that the player will refure arbitration when offered. Don’t know if that is legal, but apparently it is often done with a wink.

    I also wonder if this Type A FA compensation system will be in play much longer…might not matter.

    As far as what Theo has been able to do so far, there are still a lot of barriers between picking a prospect and having them prosper in the majors…injuries, talent, place on roster, etc. Unless Theo is getting top 15 picks (which he isn’t), it is not that easy to pick the stars.

    (I say that because a recent study showed that there is usually a big fall off in talent after the top 15.)

  27. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Noreaster, the Sox have a good pen now – so I don’t agree. I feel the Yankees offense is greatly dependent on how much of the lineup bounces back – Posada is old and who knows how he’ll do as DH? That’s an adjustment. Tex is not old but I’m a bit skeptical about him – not as much as GLove, but his habit of disappearing for months at a time is worrisome. I think Jeter will bounce back, but it’s not a given. I like Swisher, but I don’t love him and I think the Yankees need to think about a replacement in the future. If Alex is healthy, he’ll be very good – that’s a big if. Cano is really the only given in the lineup. The Sox lineup is very good…… I certainly don’t agree about the pitching……and I don’t think Andy will be returning, so that’s moot. Overall, I have found myself rather blase about the Yankees this year

  28. austinmac January 15th, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Shea Morenz came to the University of Texas as the number one QB recruit in the country. He was better at baseball if that tells you how his college football career went.

  29. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Noreaster, I’m not actively worrying about those teams – believe me, I don’t stay up all not worrying. I accept the situation – that’s why I’ve not been that upset about the Yankees where normally I would be. I’ve spent more time on the Knicks and the Anthony situation lately than the Yankees……….

  30. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Betsy

    “Not giving kids a chance to grow?”

    That’s part of it, but there is still time to turn that around. In fact, now is exactly the right time to do it because they have the talent and the need.

    “I was fine with trading IPK and Jackson”

    So was I , but part of the reason I was fine with it is because I thought Joba would get the chance to start.

    “unless a youngster has an incredible minor league pedigree and is touted to be a stud, he has a great chance of being traded for a veteran.”

    Not that you’re wrong, but I have a huge problem with that. It has the potential to derail their ability to win WS with regularity, and given the standard that he set a few years ago, it may signal that Cash really isn’t in charge.

  31. 108 stitches January 15th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Draft picks are only as good as the scouts that draft them. Poor judgement – poor pick.
    GM’s get the credit but the scouts log the many miles and legwork. Talent alone doesn’t do it. The player has to put in the hard work and have the right character and the scout has to see the whole package.

  32. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    I mean, I don’t spend all night worrying -oops, lol. Anyway, I guess we’ll see – despite my negativity, they are going to play the season out and no one is going to hand the Sox anything.

  33. BoJo January 15th, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    108 stitches January 15th, 2011 at 1:22 pm
    +++++++++++++
    That is an excellent point, and important this year. Why? Because as I recall, a lot of the talented scouts left Boston to join San Diego. Theo will be going into the draft with a new team of scouts…they may nothave the success his former team did.

  34. blake January 15th, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Rich,

    That’s my point. They can still do well in the draft despite picking later because they’ll spend more money.

  35. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Rich, I hope I am wrong about only giving superstud kids the chance. I’m not sure about anything with Cashman anymore, to be honest. I don’t know what his plan is. Why didn’t he trade for Haren? So give up Joba or Brackman or Robertson…….I don’t expect or necessarily want an entirely homegrown team, but nor do I want a team made up entirely of FA. Let’s face it – Cano is still hear because the D-Backs were stupid; it’s not like the Yankees planned on Cano being the 2nd baseman of their future. Jeter, Mo, Andy, Po – the only reason they got shots is because the team was so crappy for so long. Mo was on the verge of being traded…..

    As to Joba, while I’m not his biggest fan, it’s disturbing to me that the Yankees aren’t going to give him at least one more shot to prove he can be at least a solid starter (though if they are concerned about his shoulder, that makes all the difference). I refuse to get too high about the killer B’s because I am skeptical about how the Yankees develop their pitchers.

  36. Against All Odds January 15th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Rich in NJ January 15th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    So was I , but part of the reason I was fine with it is because I thought Joba would get the chance to start.

    ————————————-

    There is still home hope Rich.

    According to a source, the Yankees have no plans of trading Chamberlain right now, but they would listen to offers. There is also no talk of moving him back to the starting rotation, where he failed in 2008 and 2009.

    The Yankees have to gauge Chamberlain’s trade value. In 2007 and 2008 he was viewed as a future superstar, but his ERA has been over 4.00 in each of the past two seasons, and he has struggled in a variety of roles.

    “He’s definitely got value,” an NL talent evaluator said yesterday. “The problem is in the past two years his stuff has gone backwards.”

    There is a belief around baseball that the Yankees will move him back into the starting rotation with Soriano now filling the setup role. The Yankees have said all winter that Chamberlain will remain a reliever after bouncing back and forth for his first three years.

    Some teams also believe the Yankees have messed up Chamberlain, but he can be fixed in the proper situation with the proper coaching.

    An AL talent evaluator said it will become clear in spring training how much value Chamberlain has. Then, everyone will see how the Yankees are using him, and you will be able to tell if there’s interest based on how many scouts come to his outings.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports.....Q7LLUQIR3K

  37. Against All Odds January 15th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    some hope not home hope

  38. Noreaster January 15th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Betsy, All fair points about what could go wrong with the Yankee lineup. But look at their competition…1-5 the Sox are pretty loaded (except their number 1, 2 and 5 hitter are coming off injuries and their cleanup hitter has to learn the ALEast). Their 6 hitter is a lefty, old and off the ‘Roids. Their 7 hitter is a lefty and old (and has never had more than 70 RBI for the Sox in 3 years). Their 8th hitter is a catching platoon that can’t hit or throw. Their 9th hitter is a shortstop that can’t hit or catch the ball. Plus they have a lineup full of lefties where the Yankees are perfectly balanced 3L/3R/3S…

  39. BoJo January 15th, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I get the feeling that the press is going to be so hard on Joba starting that Hal and Hank will push Cashman to give him another shot.

    If that means Cashman is losing control and quits, I can live with it.

  40. DaSaint007 January 15th, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Betsy: Sox have a good pen now

    —————————————-
    Better than they Yankee pen?

    Or position by position, is boston beter?

    As far as rotation is concerned, boston’s rotation had regressed last season. Ours isn’t too nifty either, but if they are expected to rebound, why can’t ours?

  41. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    LOL I want to know who these scouts are. When Joba was in the rotation, all I heard was that the Yankees had no clue because he’s really a reliever. Now he’s a reliever and the Yankees have messed up? Idiots, lol

  42. DaSaint007 January 15th, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Tampa Bay lost Crawford and Soriano, yet no one is trashing their GM. In fact, folks are talking about Hellickson’s four starts as if he’s the next coming, while they’re just iffy about Nova or even Joba’s potential.

    Amazing disparities. Yes, the grass is always greener on the other side.

  43. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Da Saint, it doesn’t matter- the fact is, the pens are close and since the Sox have a better rotation and probably a better offense…………

    Lester is great. Even if Buchholz’s ERA rises a run, it’s still a mid-3′s ERA, which is terrific. Dice K is a fine 5th starter. Beckett is no great shakes, but I feel he’s a better bet to rebound than AJ – as bad as he was last year, he was injured and I feel like Beckett is still extremely talented. If he’s a 4th starter, that’s not bad. Lacky isn’t great, but he did finish the season strongly. He’s still ok as a 3rd starter. I’m not predicting that the Sox win the division by 10 games, but I think they are clearly the best team at this point.

  44. GreenBeret7 January 15th, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    For all of Epstein’s supposed ability to collect draft picks and other such nonsense, he has exactly 6 home grown players on his team that are contributing something more than modeling uniforms.

    Why am I not surprised that the same few people that drool over Epstein and his “picks” are the same ones that “have no faith” in Hughes, Chamberlain or anybody in pinstripes. Instead of reading the idiocy of the so-called experts and scouts that have no reason to trumpet anything NY, try going to see these kids yourself. Scouts from other teams yammer on about Montero’s catching haven’t any reason to build him or any others up….except “Get Him” to their teams. For public consumption, they all have major flaws..Montero is too big, Banuelos is too small, etc. Go see ‘em and judge from that…not what some hack on another team’s payroll puts out.

    Shea Morenz…name from the past. His great-grandfather was one of the originak hockey HOFers, Howie Morenz.

  45. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Sorry, blake, I interpreted your post to mean that their draft position was an big impediment, similar to how it would be in another sport.

    Betsy

    The Yankees actually need pipeline of talented young players to contribute to the ML club because they regularly pay a premium for stars. So you need good cost-controlled offsets. Also, they need to keep their assets because at some point in probably the not too distant future, they will have to replace the 3B and SS, and at least one of those positions will have to be manned by a player who can put up big numbers. Maybe Laird steps up? IDK.

    Against All Odds

    Thanks for the link. As I said last night, give him a year with Rothschild before pulling the plug.

  46. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Noreaster, I’m pretty sure Gonzalez can hit anywhere……..and Pedroia is a terrific hitter – he’s healthy, so what’s the ? now with him? I don’t get your point about their hitters being lefty; so what?……….and yes, Ortiz is off the roids, but he’s still dangerous.

  47. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Rich, I agree with you…………but the problem is, I don’t know that the Yankees agree.

  48. Noreaster January 15th, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    It’s always great to have GB7 bring the blog back to reality (even if it is a cranky version of reality).

  49. blake January 15th, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    SI_JonHeyman And while cashman preferred to keep draft choice, he in no way threw body block to soriano deal. He’s a team man

    SI_JonHeyman Yankees r no different from other teams in 1 respect: The gm doesn’t have full autonomy … Ultimately, its hal’s team

    SI_JonHeyman Brian cashmam has full backing of steinbrenners. He made case not to sign soriano. but Cash is a team player

  50. DaSaint007 January 15th, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Betsy, the Yankees had a better offense than boston last season.

    And you can’t use the word ‘clearly’ when it’s not clear. It’s your subjective opinion.

    And you say the pens are close? How does Pappelbum, Bard, Jenks, Wheeler, Okijima and Dubront compare with Rivera, Soriano, Robertson, Joba, Feliciano, and Logan?

    Rivera > Pappelbum
    Soriano > Bard
    Robertson > Jenks
    Wheeler = Joba
    Feliciano > Okijima
    Logan > Dubront

    Offense:
    Tex = AGon – who has to learn a new league
    Cano > Pedroia
    Jeter > Lowrie or Scutaro
    ARod > Youk
    Crawford > Gardner
    Granderson > Ellsbury/Cameron
    Swisher = Drew
    Posada = Ortiz

  51. yclept January 15th, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Accumulating picks, for the most part, is not really dependent on the GM of the team. You have a good free agent – you offer him arbitration – he doesn’t accept – you get a pick. It’s not really genius – it’s luck.

  52. Noreaster January 15th, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Betsy, Pedroia is a terrific hitter in Fenway, on the road, he’s not that great. Gonzalez is going to be great, no doubt. Ortiz, he’s dangerous mostly against second tier pitching now…

  53. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    That’s an attempt at damage control, blake, and pretty much what one would expect under the circumstances.

  54. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Da Saint, when it comes down to it, we’re all just posting our opinions…….and we obviously disagree. It’s not a big deal – the season isn’t far off and we’ll find out who’s right (I hope I’m wrong, let’s put it that way, lol)

  55. blake January 15th, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Rich,

    Yea I probably didn’t make that very clear. I guess my main point was that despite the fact that Tampa and the Sox have a lot of draft picks…..it ultimately comes down to picking the right guys and then being able to sign them. The Yankees have been doing that well the last few years both in the draft and in the international market……I think they’ll be ok.

  56. Noreaster January 15th, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    DaSaint, Nicely said. I would actually put Swisher > Drew since Drew can’t stay of the field and Swisher has more power.

  57. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Rich, I agree – I mean, he can’t throw a body block to Soriano because he’d be fired probably. If I suggest something to my boss and he disagrees, at some point I have to back off because my boss is still my boss. What this tells me is that the Steinbrenners value winning right now more than they do the future – maybe Hal is not too different from his dad.

  58. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I think Gardner has a shot at giving you value that is pretty close to Crawford’s.

  59. Against All Odds January 15th, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Rich in NJ January 15th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Against All Odds

    Thanks for the link. As I said last night, give him a year with Rothschild before pulling the plug.

    ——————————–

    Yea hopefully Rothschild can be the one to unlock the key to Chamberlain.

  60. DaSaint007 January 15th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Betsy, one of my goals of 2011 is to turn you into a ‘glass is half full’ type of person. ;-)

    Noreaster, I actually prefer Swisher > Drew also, but was trying really hard to be evenhanded. But you’re right Swisher > Drew!

    Ok I forgot Catcher!

    Martin/Posada/Montero >>>>>>>> Salty/Varitek

  61. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    On the other hand, it’s not like Cash has covered himself in glory this off-season. I can’t blame Hal and Hank for wanting to compete… Now if the reason they insisted on Soriano is because they did not want Joba as the EIG, then that’s sort of on Cash because neither Robertson nor Joba have developed appropriately. At some point, Cash is going to have to take responsibility for the problematic pitching he’s put together

  62. blake January 15th, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    I think the Yankees currently have a better lineup, comparable defense, and better bullpen than Boston. I know everyone is going nuts about Boston’s offense but there is only one position on the field where I would clearly rather have Boston’s player than the Yankees and that’s in LF (and Gardner is pretty good). The rotation is where Boston currently has an edge if they stay healthy……but if Andy comes back or they add a comparable replacement then the Yankees become just as good if not better than Boston overall IMO.

  63. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Da Saint, I’ve had 39 years of experience being a pessimist – it’s a fruitless task, lol. That said, my comments today are not borne from pessimism – IMO, from my point of view, I’m being realistic. I think the Yankees will be ok this year- nothing particularly special. I’m honestly not sure about their future given the brutal division they play in, but there’s no point worrying about that now.

  64. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Blake, you would rather have Tex than Gonzalez?

  65. Against All Odds January 15th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Rich in NJ January 15th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    The Yankees actually need pipeline of talented young players to contribute to the ML club because they regularly pay a premium for stars. So you need good cost-controlled offsets. Also, they need to keep their assets because at some point in probably the not too distant future, they will have to replace the 3B and SS, and at least one of those positions will have to be manned by a player who can put up big numbers.

    —————————————

    Very well said because having that pipeline is vital to the future of the organization. That’s why Montero sticking at catcher with this team is so important. To have a potential young impact bat at catcher would set them up nicely especially when guys like Jeter and Alex continue to decline.

    I’m gone for now enjoy the rest of the day guys.

  66. DaSaint007 January 15th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Rich, I agree about Gardner. Would love to see another improved season with him hitting .300 and about 60SB, and possibly a bit more power.

    As far as 4th OF is concerned, Andrew Jones plays all 3 OF positions, but so does Justin Christian, who would cost a fraction and provides infinitely more speed. Greg Golson should get a shot as well, just don’t think his bat translates well. Probably more suited to be 5th OF. I know that GB has seen both play extensively and has said good things about Christain.

  67. blake January 15th, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Crawford is a better pure hitter than Gardner but they are pretty comparable in every other phase of their games. Gardner gets on base more but Crawford has significantly more pop. If Gardner takes a step forward as a hitter (I mean just hitting the baseball) then he could close the gap.

  68. Noreaster January 15th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Blake, I like the way you think…except the Yankee defense if far better than the Sox defense…taking a page from DaSaint:
    Tex = AGon
    Cano = Pedroia
    Jeter > Lowrie or Scutaro
    ARod = Youk
    Crawford = Gardner
    Granderson >>>> Ellsbury
    Swisher > Salty/Tek

    Up the middle the Sox are pretty weak.

  69. Noreaster January 15th, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Martin > Salty/Tek
    Swisher < Drew

  70. blake January 15th, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Betsy,

    I think its a pick Uhm really. Right now.probably Adrian because he’s younger and I think his swing will age better but they are comparable players.

  71. blake January 15th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Noreaster.

    I just said they were close. The Yankees are better defensively IMO but the biggest difference could be behind the plate if Martin bounces back.

  72. blake January 15th, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Would much rather have Swisher than Drew.

  73. hardwired7 January 15th, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    When Soriano comes on to protect a 1-run lead vs. Boston, how many people will be bemoaning the loss of the 31st pick in the 2011 draft???

  74. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    “When Soriano comes on to protect a 1-run lead vs. Boston, how many people will be bemoaning the loss of the 31st pick in the 2011 draft???”

    One appearance resolves the issue?

  75. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I don’t actually think going position by position to decide who’s better works in baseball as much as it works in other sports……………

  76. Noreaster January 15th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Betsy, I’d actually argue that going position by position works better in baseball than other sports. But, yes, there is a group dynamic involved in things like lineups and defense. A good first baseman can make up for bad throws from 3B and SS and a great centerfielder can help to cover ground of a bad Right or Left fielder.

  77. hardwired7 January 15th, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    I don’t really see what the issue is, Rich.

    Picking that late in the draft is the proverbial crap shoot.

    Soriano is a known commodity. Yes, he had injuries in the past, but nothing from the last few seasons has raised any red flags. In fact, his last surgery was TMJ, a Yankee favorite.

    In terms of the $$$ involved, it doesn’t represent a significant portion of the payroll, and shouldn’t hamper their ability to make moves going forward.

  78. blake January 15th, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Betsy,

    Why not….in baseball there are no schemes or game planning things that are difference makers as there are in football for example. Its an individual team sport. The team with the better players in generally considered better…….especially when discussing “on paper” which is all there is right now.

  79. mick January 15th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    The only matchups that matter in baseball is the pitcher against the hitter.
    It’s not like Swisher has to be better than Drew in RF that day to determine who wins the game.
    They don’t match up against each other as in basketball or football, on offense and defense.

  80. Keith--FL January 15th, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    The Yankee lineup and offense cannot be put down as a huge strength that is better than the Red Sox, I feel that their offense is overall better….we have a bunch of question marks with ours…..will Posada at 39 be a good DH and stay healthy, will Martin be a decent hitting catcher, will Jeter be better, will Arod be better than what he was–because we need him to be, especially at that ridiculous salary, will Tex not be so streaky and inconsistent especially at the beginning of the year, will Granderson continue to improve and hit lefties better, will Swisher have another great year, will Gardner come back OK from the wrist surgery…the only real definite awesome all-star hitter is Cano….and will we have a bench that can hit at all?? Red Sox have Cameron, Lowrie, and McDonald for their bench and they have better grinders in Youk and Pedroia, Ortiz is still a very good DH and Crawford is great and it seems Gonzalez will be great as well…and finally remember our offense was very streaky overall last year and terrible vs. mediocre and unknown pitching, and then of course it disappeared in parts of the ALCS…….I hope Montero adds something to our offense as the back-up catcher and sometimes DH and we sign Damon or Andruw Jones, maybe Hal will step in on that as well as Cashman has a very weird agenda this winter and before we signed Soriano I was not even remotely excited about the start of spring training…..

  81. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    I guess the reports were true:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports.....8;FEEDNAME

    This is really beyond disturbing……….and I don’t buy that it means nothing to Cashman’s authority

  82. blake January 15th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Mick,

    Yea but on Jan 15th what other way is there to evaluate the teams?

  83. mick January 15th, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Since when does the GM have the last word?
    Then he would be the owner.
    If Cash said no to this deal he is an idiot.

  84. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 15th, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Hitting and running!

    Yankees now have the best bullpen in the majors. That ain’t small potatoes. If you remember back to Brujo, Stanton, Nellie, and Mo, the Yankee bullpen was feared. Jeff Nelson has said that this bullpen reminds him of the 1996 Yankee bullpen, definitely high praise.

    When Nellie broke down all the reasons that this was a great signing, it hit me that all of those reasons were mentioned here. So either all of us who mentioned the reasons are baseball geniuses, or it’s pretty much common sense!

    I’ll take either.

    :)

  85. mick January 15th, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    blake

    true. this is just another form of fantasy baseball.

  86. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Blake, I don’t have a problem discussing the merits of individual players – it’s all we have now. Maybe what I’m talking about is when it comes to playoff series – all you see in newspapers are individual matchups. It’s not like golf, where the players are matched up against each other. I mean, if I give Alex the check mark against some other 3rd baseman in a short series, it means little if Alex has a bad series and the other guy has a great series. Matching up individuals works better over the long haul. I still think the Sox are better, but we’ll see.

  87. Betsy January 15th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Well Cash did say no because he didn’t want to give up the draft pick. I like the deal, but if Soriano opts out and there is no FA compensation, then it’s awful.

  88. blake January 15th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Despite all the “grinders”, Boston has a ton of question marks in their lineup as well. Drew is always a health risk, Papi could fall off the cliff for good at any time, they have no catcher, is Pedroia’ s ankle 100% and is he fully back, can Youkallis stay healthy (playing 3rd is more demanding) , can Ellsbury stay healthy…….if were going to focus in the Yankee flaws we have to do the same with the Sox.

  89. Noreaster January 15th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Keith,

    See all posts above, but the Sox lineup is very weak in the 6th – 9th position. Ortiz can only hit second tier pitching now, Salt/Tek flat out stink, put a fork in Drew, SS not so much, Pedroia only hits in Fenway.

  90. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    “Picking that late in the draft is the proverbial crap shoot.”

    Because of the ability to pay overslot for players with signability issues, it’s really not.

    Plus, the more picks you have, the more likely you are to have hits.

    Again, Soriano has not exactly been the model of health in his career.

    Is there a basis for signing him? Sure, but it’s not as simple as your post would suggest.

  91. 108 stitches January 15th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Let Boston gloat over their additions of Gonzalez, Crawford, Jenks, and Wheeler. The fact remains that they need to go virtually injury free all season and in particular with their starting pitching. There’s nobody major league ready to call on or to use as chips when the 7/31 trading deadline arrives. Their minor league tank is empty.
    The team is not strong up the middle with questionable catching, shortstop, and full health of Pedroia and Ellsbury.
    There’s possible team disruption when Ortiz realizes that he’s on his last contract. No guarantees that Gonzalez and his agent will think twice about signing an extension when they see what Albert Pujols will get when he’s also a free agent at the end of 2011. Papelbon is in his walk year and claims he’s going elsewhere. He’ll need a career year.

  92. mick January 15th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    If the Cards played the Yanks would you match up their 3rd baseman vs Alex or would you match up Alex vs Puljols?

    It all comes out in the wash.

  93. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    From Betsy’s link:

    “He has not lost one iota of control over baseball operations,” the executive said. “He has not lost one shred of credibility in the eyes of ownership.
    __

    File this under just say anything. They made him look like a fool.

    If they wanted Soriano, why not tell Cashman before he made the comment about giving up picks?

  94. blake January 15th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Betsy,

    Fair enough and I agree there……I’ve just grown tired of Boston being penciled into the WS because they replaced two good players with two better players……they had a lot more issues than that last year that are being forgotten or overlooked.

  95. mick January 15th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Match it up this way: we have a much better offense than the rs, up and down the lineup.

  96. joeman January 15th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    # blake January 15th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Despite all the “grinders”, Boston has a ton of question marks in their lineup as well. Drew is always a health risk, Papi could fall off the cliff for good at any time, they have no catcher, is Pedroia’ s ankle 100% and is he fully back, can Youkallis stay healthy (playing 3rd is more demanding) , can Ellsbury stay healthy…….if were going to focus in the Yankee flaws we have to do the same with the Sox.
    ———————————————————————————————-
    there are health risks with the Yankees ….just being real

    Tex,Gardner,Martin,among others

  97. mick January 15th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    If they wanted Soriano, why not tell Cashman before he made the comment about giving up picks?
    ======================
    This has been discussed here before.
    Perhaps Cash was telling Boras, thru Chad, after another long day of negotiating, that to lower his asking price and maybe it worked.
    Who cares what you read in the papers or internet, to be the truth no less?

  98. blake January 15th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Mick,

    Yes, which is why I didn’t focus on one player but all position players.

    Joeman,

    Yes of course but the Yankees didn’t just lose an entire season because their team couldn’t stay healthy enough to compete…..

  99. upstate kate January 15th, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    how does anyone know that Cash didn’t make those comments to get Soriano’s price down? According to that same article, he wanted 4yrs for 56K.

  100. mick January 15th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I like the deal, but if Soriano opts out and there is no FA compensation, then it’s awful.
    =========================
    Why wouldn’t there be any FA comp.?

  101. Rich in NJ January 15th, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    “how does anyone know that Cash didn’t make those comments to get Soriano’s price down? According to that same article, he wanted 4yrs for 56K.”

    How did those comments help lower his price?

    If Soriano had an offer to close for the same contract the Yankees offered, it’s reasonable to think that he would have accepted.

    There were no comparable offers.

    As it is, he got a ridiculous contract for a setup reliever.

  102. mick January 15th, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    upstate kate January 15th, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    how does anyone know that Cash didn’t make those comments to get Soriano’s price down?
    =====================
    we all need to mind our own business and let Cash run the team into the ground….i mean run the team.

  103. blake January 15th, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Pujols’ Agent Sets Deadline For Extension Talks By Zach Links [January 15 at 1:41pm CST] Dan Lozano, the agent for Albert Pujols, notified the Cardinals that Spring Training is the deadline for a new deal to be struck, GM John Mozeliak told Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter). Earlier this week, Cards chariman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. said that he was “hopeful” that the club can extend Pujols by Opening Day.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com

  104. joeman January 15th, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    off topic…jets running mouths again, this time league is looking into it…

  105. mick January 15th, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    To hold up that deal for a draft pick would have been heresy and Cash would have heard it bigtime from the fans….instead perhaps he heard it from the FO and more power to them…shows they’re paying attention.

  106. Tar January 15th, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Blake

    Good Virginia vs Duke game on

  107. mick January 15th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    As it is, he got a ridiculous contract for a setup reliever.
    ==================================
    He is not just a setup man. He will close games and is an insurance policy.
    Just because Mo has been not human all these years does not mean he can’t tweak his arm and miss a month or 2.
    Who would close then?
    What if Soriano falls in love with it here and stays forever like MO?

  108. upstate kate January 15th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    3 years for 35 < 4 years for 56, both in # of years and amount/year.
    We suspect there wasn't another team interested at that price, but we don't really know.

  109. blake January 15th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Tar,

    Im not home but following on phone……go UVA

  110. blake January 15th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I don’t think we can accurately judge the Soriano move until we see what happens to follow it up with the rotation, we see how he pitches, and we see that the next Robinson Cano isn’t taken with the #31 pick in the draft. It might be awhile before we know if it was a good move or not.

  111. mick January 15th, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Blake
    They had to make this move. Worrying about where the next Robbie Cano comes from is not realistic and has no bearing on making or not making this move. You know the odds are against it.

  112. joeman January 15th, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    if the Yankees can make their games 7 inning with a lead…..lot of trust in Soriano (pitbull) and Mo getting six outs

  113. mick January 15th, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    # upstate kate January 15th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    3 years for 35 < 4 years for 56, both in # of years and amount/year.
    We suspect there wasn't another team interested at that price, but we don't really know.

    We suspect there wasn't another team interested at that price, but we don't really know.

    =============================================
    For all we know, there was a team out there at 1 year 10m and we jumped on it.

  114. blake January 15th, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Mick,

    I like the move and agree that the slim chance that a great player would be taken with the 31st pick is not enough reason to avoid it……I was just saying that historically that pick will be taken into account one day.

  115. BoJo January 15th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    blake January 15th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I don’t think we can accurately judge the Soriano move until we see what happens to follow it up with the rotation, we see how he pitches, and we see that the next Robinson Cano isn’t taken with the #31 pick in the draft. It might be awhile before we know if it was a good move or not.
    +++++++++++++
    Nail>Head>Bang

  116. mick January 15th, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I like the move and agree that the slim chance that a great player would be taken with the 31st pick is not enough reason to avoid it……I was just saying that historically that pick will be taken into account one day.
    ==================
    True. By the 2nd guessers. But this move was a no brainer. Whether it fails or not will always be open, but it is a moot point.

  117. blake January 15th, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    For example, does the fact that the Angels drafted Mike Trout with the compensation pick they got for Teixera mean that the Yankees shouldn’t have signed him? Of course Teixera is a little different than Soriano in value but the general idea is the same……

  118. mick January 15th, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    if the Yankees can make their games 7 inning with a lead…..lot of trust in Soriano (pitbull) and Mo getting six outs
    ======================
    listen….if he rests Mo and gives Soriano some saves, you could be looking at 2 innings from each of them in a playoff game or 2.

  119. mick January 15th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    we have 2 leftys now + 2 closers.

    we are 1 pitcher away from our usual 4 , and Andy knows this and is working out.

    this team will be better than last years.

  120. bdog375 January 15th, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    When we had Gordon setting up Rivera, it was absolute lights out. I really like the Soriano/Rivera combo. Just nasty. Soriano is one of the top five relievers in the game, and Mo – well he is Mo.

  121. BoJo January 15th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    And –diiferent than the Gordon/Mo years, you have Girardi managing the pen. They should be killers this year.

  122. blake January 15th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Mick,

    If Pettite comes back or they can make a move for someone to replace him then I think you could make a strong argument that they could be. The bullpen is better and if Martin stays healthy they have a catcher that can throw…..we have to see how it plays out but on paper they could be.

  123. DaSaint007 January 15th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I personally don’t care if the 31st pick in the 2011 draft hits .350, has 50 HR 150 RBI 50SB AND pitches in his spare time during the 2015 or 2016 season. The Rays won’t be able to afford him long term, and just maybe the NYY win 3 or even 2 WS in the interim, it would be worth it.

  124. Doreen January 15th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Betsy -

    I just read the article in the Post you linked to.

    I don’t understand what you read that I didn’t.

  125. mick January 15th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    If anyone thinks the rs have the same confidence as we have in Bard/Papelsmear….well….
    I have a bridge I’d like to sell em.

  126. mick January 15th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    # DaSaint007 January 15th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I personally don’t care if the 31st pick in the 2011 draft hits .350, has 50 HR 150 RBI 50SB AND pitches in his spare time during the 2015 or 2016 season. The Rays won’t be able to afford him long term, and just maybe the NYY win 3 or even 2 WS in the interim, it would be worth it.
    ==================================================
    And wouldn’t we pick him up as a FA eventually anyway?

  127. mick January 15th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    let’s see Bard/Papelschmear vs Soriano/Mo….now that’s a matchup I like…

  128. blake January 15th, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Dasaint,
    Agreed. That’s how the Yankees roll. Think about the future but always place more value on the present because it pays the bills……

  129. mick January 15th, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Mick,

    If Pettite comes back
    =================
    Blake
    He’s coming back.

  130. Doreen January 15th, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    upstate kate -

    That’s what I say.

    People are making mountains out of molehills. As usual.

  131. mick January 15th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Wait till Mo teaches So the cutter….omg

  132. blake January 15th, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I think Pettite is coming back as well. I just don’t know if it will be.to start the season or around the end of May. Im hoping the Soriano signing tips the scales towards just coming on back now……

  133. mick January 15th, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Now when we bring in Feliciano or Logan to fan Big Poopie in the 6th with the tying man on, we can do it again in the 9th.

  134. mick January 15th, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Im hoping the Soriano signing tips the scales towards just coming on back now……
    ====================
    I’m with you on that Blake, but think the team might be stronger down the stretch if Andy sits out a few months

  135. mick January 15th, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    This team can be stronger because of the bullpen and don’t forget we have a potential monster, in
    Spanish that’s Montero.

  136. blake January 15th, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Mick,

    Yea that’s a fair point….I think id rather just get him in the fold for ST and then possibily skip him a few starts or let him go on 6 days rest some in the first half to keep him rested and healthy. Either would be better than nothing though.

  137. Pat M. January 15th, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    blake…..If Pettite does indeed decide to pitch in 2011 it’ll be after his testimony in July……I’ve always felt that neither he or the club wants to have to deal with this until after the Government is done with him…….

  138. blake January 15th, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Pat M,

    You think? That would be ok if they could have his 2010 first half in the 2nd half of 2011. Your thoughts on Joba to the rotation? Everyone else has weighed in.

  139. mick January 15th, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Having Andy down the stretch would be ridiculous and could set up another 2009 for him.
    Now that would be the way to go out in style…

    NEW ONE=====>>>>>>>>>

  140. joeysdadjoe January 15th, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Dave Parrish DID make it to the majors as a Yankee. Never got into a game however.


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