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


Greatness and desire in the ninth inning

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 17, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Last spring, Mariano Rivera arrived in Tampa with a brand new two-year contract. It was clear retirement wasn’t in his immediate future, but on the day he reported to camp, retirement was already a topic of discussion.

“It’s hard,” Rivera said that day. “One of my kids was, the little one was attached to my hip, crying. It’s hard. A lot of people don’t see that, that part of the game. You have to leave your family. Even though you’re going to see them, being detached from your family is hard.”

I’m sure a lot of Yankees fans share the fear of this morning’s Pinch Hitter. Hunter wrote that he’s hoping for a return, but he’s expecting a retirement. He’s worried this will be Rivera’s final season, and he plans to appreciate every one of these final steps toward Cooperstown.

My opinion? I honestly have no idea. I believe Rivera loves doing this, and I believe he loves being great at this. As long as he can still pitch up to his standards, I believe he’ll feel a pull to do it again.

Of course, it’s hard for me to imagine the pull he must feel from his family at home. The fact he lives in the New York area probably makes it easier, but the baseball life isn’t a perfect companion to a family life, and Rivera is certainly a family man.

‘Baseball is not everything,” Rivera said last spring. “That’s what we do, yeah, but there’s still life after baseball. There will come a time when you have to make a decision, even though you still have the abilities to play. That comes within yourself. If you don’t feel it in your heart, you don’t feel it in yourself no more, it’s time to say goodbye because, why are you going to do it if you don’t have the desire to do it?”

Associated Press photo

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471 Responses to “Greatness and desire in the ninth inning”

  1. PacoDooley January 17th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    repost carry over from last thread:

    Wow, discussions going in every direction here. Here is my take

    Montero is going to be a largely 1 dimensional player – a DH. This is not the Yankees fault, he just happens to be too slow and un-athletic to play the field (but might be able to back up at the catcher position). He is an unproven prospect that has a great swing and great potential, but hasn’t yet matched his potential will success (not including a short stint in NY last year – small sample size). His stats in AAA were good, but not outstanding.

    Pineda had a phenomenal season at the big league level considering his age. He was very good regardless of age (just look at stats like xFIP, WHIP, K/9 etc), so he has proven value and is still very young.

    They looked to trade Montero because they do not see a deep need for a full time DH and he was their best trade chip. He was not bringing back more than Pineda on his own. He was part of a larger package offered for a few months of Cliff Lee. He would have been only part of a package for other established #1 starters. They got comparable, and arguable more value, in Pineda given the cost.

  2. Wave Your Hat January 17th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    repost-

    I was looking forward to seeing Montero play as a Yank, but this trade just had to be made. Sure, there’s lot’s of risk in it for the Yanks – a pitcher is more likely to get hurt than a hitter – but it’s clear that Montero wasn’t going to catch on the Yanks. He was going to DH this year, and wasn’t going to get enough time behind the plate to develop in a position he needed a lot of experience time at. It is cheaper to replace production at DH than anywhere else, and the Yanks aging stars were going to crowd the DH slot anyway down the road. And the Yanks were going to score plenty of runs with or without Montero.

    Pineda is younger after 170 IPs in the majors than Betances is. It allows the Yanks not to have to chase a mega-salary starter like Hamels. With the addition of Kuroda he solidifies a staff that was full of question marks. Once Banuelos and Betances arrive the staff will be good and cheap, allowing the Yanks flexibility to spend money on hitters down the road.

    I am completely with ID on this one.

  3. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Guess we’ll find out.

  4. Chip January 17th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    By the way – if Pineda is a number three starter because Banuelos or Hughes or Nova develop into even more dominant starters then no, I won’t mind Pineda being a number three or even number five starter.

  5. blake January 17th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    MTU,

    Probably so…..but we don’t know his long that trend will continue….these trends can last awhile….

    Cashman gave ip the best prospect moved this winter…..the Latos package in particular though was a higher overall price than what the Yanks paid for Pineda…….and none of those deals got a guy like Campos kicked in

  6. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    By the way.

    Does anyone know how long a dog can chase his tail ?

    Or how many Angels can dance on the head of a pin ?

    Or perhaps even how long it takes to beat a horse to death ?

    Or most importantly of all, How many cheerleaders can fit in the back of a bus with me ?

    Thanks in advance.

    :)

  7. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    blake-

    I am content to let time give me my answer.

    ;)

  8. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    My incomplete and extremely inaccurate list of hitting prospects once hyped as much as Montero…
    Pat Burrell
    Vernon Wells
    Nick Johnson
    Corey Patterson
    Hank Blalock
    Sean Burroughs
    Carlos Pena
    Rocco Baldelli
    BJ Upton
    Delmon Young – for like a million years
    Rickie Weeks
    Ian Stewart
    Joel Guzman
    Jeremy Hermida
    Lastings Milledge
    Alex Gordon
    Cameron Maybin
    Colby Rasmus
    Matt Weiters

    I’ve gone too far…

  9. Best To Ever Do It January 17th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    pat January 17th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    “And he’ll think of it as a business to when he goes to another team.”

    If they have a better offer for him, yes. From all reports, players turn the page easier than fans do.

    ——————————————–

    They do??? Maybe he will but I just can’t see him coming back here. Ppl hold grudges rightly or wrongly. During his HOF speech Michael Jordan blasted the HS coach that cut him from the team.

  10. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    “Blasted” and “Mocked” have 2 very different definitions.

  11. Tom in N.J. January 17th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    What is a number #3 starter?

    Who is considered a prototypical number 3?

  12. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Tom in NJ – To me a “#3 pitcher” means a pitcher you could rank 60 pitchers ahead of in the league (#1 would be 1-30, #2 31-60 etc). I’d love to see someone try to do that with Pineda.

  13. Tackelberry January 17th, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    yankeefemminista:

    I saw where you said that Newman thinks DePaula will finally get his visa this year. Where did you read this? I really hope he comes this year. What ever happened to that other pitcher we signed that was trying to get a visa? Think his name was Paniagua? Anyone hear anything about him?

  14. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Tom-

    A fairly meaningless ordinal asignment within a professional pitching staff which is subject to change.

    :)

  15. Rich in NJ January 17th, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    “– but it’s clear that Montero wasn’t going to catch on the Yanks. He was going to DH this year, and wasn’t going to get enough time behind the plate to develop in a position he needed a lot of experience time at.”

    I agree that Girardi’s counterproductive, defense-first mindset for the catching position was a significant factor in how the organization valued Montero, but Montero is more important than any manager (any good player is), so if that’s the case, the remedy was to remove the manager if he refused to change his outlook.

    “It is cheaper to replace production at DH than anywhere else, and the Yanks aging stars were going to crowd the DH slot anyway down the road.”

    The logical implication is that the Yankees have to get used to getting diminishing production from the DH position since aging stars often aren’t particularly productive.

    The cost, of course, is losing the best production out of the DH position in the AL. To make matters worse, it would have been provided at a very reasonable expense, which would allow them to spend their money elsewhere.

    Also, aging stars often produce more if they do nothing when they don’t play. As CB pointed out yesterday, A-Rod, who is the most likely aging star to DH, may exacerbate his hip and knee problems more by swinging than fielding as a result of the torque involved.

    So again, the idea that the DH should be used for other players argument is extremely weak, imo.

  16. Triple Short of a Cycle January 17th, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Chip,

    The Yankees were top 3 in pitching stats last year in the AL. Of course they weren’t going to get Colon’s first half and maybe not all of what Garcia gave us but is Hughes going to give us nothing again and they did add Kuroda and Nova should give us a full season of what he gave us in the second half of last year. While they wouldn’t have had a bona fide number 2 guy I thought with the Kuroda signing they had enough pitching to make the playoffs.

    Tex basically gave us the same performance he gave the year before so I don’t really know how down a performance it really was especially since his counting stats were there. Ok Arod gave us little production and should give us a better season but does anyone expect him to stay healthy for a full year?

    I knew the writing was on the wall last year which is why I came on here and said I don’t expect Montero to make it to spring training with us. I just think they didn’t really give him a fair shot to catch and I think Girardi had a lot to do with that. Much like they didn’t give Joba a fair chance yet Hughes keeps on getting chance after chance.

    Time will tell I guess

  17. Tom in N.J. January 17th, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    MTU,

    Giving an academically obtuse answer is my job, smart-ass!

    (well played)…

  18. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Triple-

    There is some truth in your words of thunder IMO.

    :(

  19. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Rich – You are missing the purpose of sitting and DH’ing A-Rod… it’s so that he doesn’t diminish and he stays rested. Not so he can keep playing out his contract even though he’s batting .200.

    The cost, of course, is losing the best production out of the DH position in the AL.

    Really? He was going to come in and outhit Ortiz and VMart in his first full season as a DH in the majors? It would be the first full season of production Montero has contributed to his team since single A… Montero has struggled for multiple months to start each season, much like Teixeira does.

  20. blake January 17th, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    You have to watch our for MTU…..he’s a sneaky snarkster.

  21. yankeefeminista January 17th, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    mlb voided Paniagua’s Yankee contract because he falsified documents and he was suspended for a year.

    Read the Depaula info in a Q&A with Newman, I think in Pinstripes Plus back a few months ago. He said Yanks were working on it, but had no control over the visa. However, he felt, and hoped Depaula would get the visa this year.

    Rich in NJ, good to see you. Completely agree.

  22. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Tom-

    Dontcha’ know me by now ?

    :)

  23. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:03 pm
    By the way.

    Does anyone know how long a dog can chase his tail ?

    Or how many Angels can dance on the head of a pin ?

    Or perhaps even how long it takes to beat a horse to death ?

    Or most importantly of all, How many cheerleaders can fit in the back of a bus with me ?

    Thanks in advance.

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    1. 45 seconds

    2. 3

    3. about one day in a normal world. Lohud is not a normal world. The answer is undetermined. They’re still crying about Cliff Lee and Dan Haren after nearly 3 years.

    4, That’s a trick question. No cheerleader in their right mind would stay in the same room with you, much less in the back of a bus.

  24. Shame Spencer January 17th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    ID – I think the list of can’t miss pitching prospects is about the same as the hitting prospects, so to me that’s a wash.

    Lets all hope this trade turns out like the one for Grandy. Everyone wins would be a nice note to leave things on… but we’re not going to know for at least 2 seasons.

  25. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    GB-

    LMAO.

    :)

  26. Shame Spencer January 17th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I guess depending on how you look at it, one could argue we just needed Montero to be better than Posada at DH.. now we need to hope Arod, Jones, Tex, and Jeter can combine to be better than Posada at DH.

  27. Erin January 17th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Wow, Rich in N.J. is back?! :)

  28. upstate kate January 17th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    You guys give Girardi way more power than I think he has. If the organization wanted Montero catching, Girardi would do it or be replaced. I am not the biggest Girardi fan, but to think he failed to use Montero b/c of some perceived bias/jealousy/whatever/ doesn’t make sense to me.

  29. J. Alfred Prufrock January 17th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Rich in NJ January 17th, 2012 at 12:11 pm
    “– but it’s clear that Montero wasn’t going to catch on the Yanks. He was going to DH this year, and wasn’t going to get enough time behind the plate to develop in a position he needed a lot of experience time at.”

    I agree that Girardi’s counterproductive, defense-first mindset for the catching position was a significant factor in how the organization valued Montero, but Montero is more important than any manager (any good player is), so if that’s the case, the remedy was to remove the manager if he refused to change his outlook.

    “It is cheaper to replace production at DH than anywhere else, and the Yanks aging stars were going to crowd the DH slot anyway down the road.”

    The logical implication is that the Yankees have to get used to getting diminishing production from the DH position since aging stars often aren’t particularly productive.

    The cost, of course, is losing the best production out of the DH position in the AL. To make matters worse, it would have been provided at a very reasonable expense, which would allow them to spend their money elsewhere.

    Also, aging stars often produce more if they do nothing when they don’t play. As CB pointed out yesterday, A-Rod, who is the most likely aging star to DH, may exacerbate his hip and knee problems more by swinging than fielding as a result of the torque involved.

    So again, the idea that the DH should be used for other players argument is extremely weak, imo.
    ///

    Co-signed.

    Good to see you, Rich. Hope you’ll stick around.

  30. pat January 17th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    ” During his HOF speech Michael Jordan blasted the HS coach that cut him from the team.”

    Had his HS coach gone on to be an NBA coach, a GM or owned an NBA team, he probably would have taken his call if he thought he was going to offer him a contract when he unretired.

  31. blake January 17th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Jon Heyman JonHeymanCBS

    @hamels signs for $15M. phils

    The Yanks should still sign him if he hits the market.

  32. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Shame – Yes, any good trade should sting a little… it means you were probably able to get what you wanted in return.

  33. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    GB-

    particularly about #4.

    :) :) :)

  34. JCPD January 17th, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:03 pm
    By the way.

    Does anyone know
    Or most importantly of all, How many cheerleaders can fit in the back of a bus with me ?

    Thanks in advance.

    ————————————————————————————–

    None MTU, they’re all in my bus ;-)

  35. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Blake-

    Better shot at the Freak or Cain Mutiny.

    Don’t think they can afford both.

    ;)

  36. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    MTU

    You realize that the information came from an undisclosed government study and is totally infallable.

  37. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    JCPD-

    How the heck are you ? I though you drowned.

    Could I bum one of them off ya’ then?

    :)

  38. Rich in NJ January 17th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    But ID,

    If CB is correct, the torque resulting from hitting may do more to accelerate A-Rod’s decline than resting on days he isn’t in the field, so DHing could be counterproductive.

    I wasn’t looking at Montero in terms of a one year window. I’m not looking at Pineda that way either, and I doubt that you are as well.
    __

    Thanks, yf and Pruf.

  39. LGY January 17th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    The Mariners have plenty of money.

    No reason to think Montero ever makes it to free agency at a reasonable age.

  40. Shame Spencer January 17th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Erin – Betsy’s been back as well.. I’m hoping this is the first wave of old posters returning but I’m trying not to get my hopes up :(

  41. Best To Ever Do It January 17th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    pat January 17th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    ” During his HOF speech Michael Jordan blasted the HS coach that cut him from the team.”

    Had his HS coach gone on to be an NBA coach, a GM or owned an NBA team, he probably would have taken his call if he thought he was going to offer him a contract when he unretired.

    ————————————————-

    Not sure so about that. Jordan was and still is one of the hardest ppl to deal with. It’s part of the reason why he’s so great. I’m just saying for ppl to bring up we’ll get Montero in a few yrs is laughable.

  42. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    GB-

    Of course. Especially if it came from the Gov’t.

    Aren’t they always there to help us ?

    ;)

  43. CompassRosy January 17th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    yankeefeminista January 17th, 2012 at 11:56 am
    “FWIW, Banuelos ranked #2 on LHP top prospects list behind the incomparable Matt Moore. I hope to see a couple of our other lefties on that list, as we have had a dearth of LHP in our minors. Camarena comes to mind. Turley won’t get the props without the power arm, but should be a big year for him.”

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com…..8;c_id=mlb
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Seeing the M’s with #3 (Hultzen) and #8 (Paxton) on that list helps ease the pain of losing Michael … a teeny, tiny bit

  44. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    edit: drowned. Or froze.

    ;)

  45. Duh Innings January 17th, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    How funny and great would it be if Mo announced this season was his final one then came back for one more year after Soriano opts out of his contract thinking the Yanks have no closer – let’s hope that happens. Mo please say this is it LOL.

    I doubt Sori would opt out as I’m sure he knows the Yanks could always go in-house with Robertson and/or Chamberlain or a free-agent, but who knows? He may be arrogant enough to think the Yanks would give him three or four years after this one if Mo really did hang up the spikes.

  46. DONNYBROOK January 17th, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    The SP Arb. signing to watch is Lincecum. The Giants are really getting squeezed\$$$ between Lincecum and Cain. The Giants have 2 seasons control of Lincecum, but he’s Already outta their league\$$$.

  47. stuckey January 17th, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    “Yes finding average hitters wont be hard…..its finding better than average hitters that are under 30 that’s getting tougher and when more teams have better pitchjng that’s an issue if you want to have a team that’s better than average in the future.”

    Why do you think is it getting tougher?

    The metrics of what average and above average are CHANGING, not the abundance of hitters who qualify.

    If in 2009 the definition of an impact bat was a .900 or better OPS, and in 2012 the definition is now above .850, EVERYTHING above and below that gets relatively adjusted.

    I’ll simply ask you to consider this for a moment. Isn’t it more likely the overall definition of average/above/below hitting is changing, rather than the idea that somehow above average hitters are for some inexplicable reason becoming extinct?

  48. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:24 pm
    GB-

    Of course. Especially if it came from the Gov’t.

    Aren’t they always there to help us ?

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    There is some question about whether it was a double blind study or just a wild guess.

  49. blake January 17th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Manny B is Matt Moore lite….same smooth action….same plus CU……just waiting for him to take the command jump that Moore did….

  50. LGY January 17th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Pineda is younger after 170 IPs in the majors than Betances is. It allows the Yanks not to have to chase a mega-salary starter like Hamels. With the addition of Kuroda he solidifies a staff that was full of question marks. Once Banuelos and Betances arrive the staff will be good and cheap, allowing the Yanks flexibility to spend money on hitters down the road.

    ———————–

    Wave

    Are you advocating the Yankees pass on an under 30 elite LHS because of Pineda in the hope some hitter worth investing in hits the market in the future?

  51. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    GB-

    The control group was certainly in question.

  52. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Or. was that “the control of the group”.

    oh well.

  53. yankeefeminista January 17th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Rosy, you are pitching rich in the minors; that is a fact. I like to think that is more the reason why you dealt Pineda than that the Mariners were concerned about his arm. That being said, with that delivery, he may be a future TJS candidate. But let’s hope not.

  54. Erin January 17th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Shame-I did see that Betsy was posting this AM. At least a few people are returning from Never Never Land. ;)

  55. Duh Innings January 17th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    ‘Say this season was really it for Mo. You think Soriano opts out to go for a three or four year contract? No Mo or Paplebon to compete with him (Mo = retired, Paplebon = Phillies closer) and if Bailey sucks for Boston, he’d have two big market teams in the market for a closer (Yanks and Red Sox), possibly four with the Mets and Angels if their closers don’t work out.

  56. J. Alfred Prufrock January 17th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Compass,

    Would be fine if you could give us some ST info on our boy from time to time, if it’s not too much trouble.

    BTW, is Walker expected to join the Mariners’ ro this year?

  57. pat January 17th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    LGY

    Maybe he’ll like playing in a big park in a small market but he might also want to try out a “cozier” park or a larger market. We’ll have to wait and see.

  58. blake January 17th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    “I’ll simply ask you to consider this for a moment. Isn’t it more likely the overall definition of average/above/below hitting is changing, rather than the idea that somehow above average hitters are for some inexplicable reason becoming extinct?”

    Yes….but that’s what Im saying …..because of this a true .900+ OPS bat is becoming the most difficult thing to find in the game. The mean number is decreasing which makes the few guys out there that would have been elite 10 years ago more valuable and its why they aren’t hitting the market.

  59. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    YF-

    Well at least Dellin’s got that one out of the way.

    ;)

  60. LGY January 17th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Welcome back Rich. When I was scanning RAB a while back and saw you posting there I thought we lost you to the dark side :P

  61. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:28 pm
    GB-

    The control group was certainly in question.

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    I did have Congressdog “Killer” helping me, so it must be accepted as fact.

  62. J. Alfred Prufrock January 17th, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I’m chuckling reading how Betances is part of a swing-and-miss power staff now, when he’s been Danks and Ubaldo feed with no future here except as a reliever. Campos is also a sure thing out of A ball, but Vizcaino was “years away”…and you “don’t hesitate” to include him for a stud like Javy Vazquez…..LMAO.

  63. Best To Ever Do It January 17th, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    pat January 17th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    LGY

    Maybe he’ll like playing in a big park in a small market but he might also want to try out a “cozier” park or a larger market. We’ll have to wait and see.

    ————————–

    He could always go to the red sox and dh they’ll have a need

  64. yankeefeminista January 17th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    MTU, Betances’s was ligament reinforcement procedure, but he has been healthy ever since. Knock on wood.

  65. Duh Innings January 17th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Hey people: Mo talk in a Mo entry.

    WHO’S THE 2013 YANKEES CLOSER AFTER MO IF MO RETIRES AFTER THIS SEASON?
    i.e. name your closer. Mine is Robertson. I think he could handle the job. If Soriano doesn’t opt out he would have to be considered for the job or sharing it if Robertson or whoever struggles as Soriano is a setup man being paid closer money. In a dream world I’d say Joba but he has to get back and show he can stay healthy and get men out first before we can talk “closer” re: him.

    Yankee Lohud needs a messageboard cuz this entry is hijacked by more post-Montero trade/Montero talk.

  66. RadioKev January 17th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I’ll say it again, I don’t think the Yankees should sign a DH. Sign Chavez, and let he, Jones, and Nunez round out that 9th spot, or give Vazquez the well earned shot.

  67. Shame Spencer January 17th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    ID – Agreed. The way I see it, Pineda can’t be any worse than our #2 of the last 3 seasons (sorry AJ!). So I think I’ll be happy with any above .500 production lol, but I want to see the kid trying to learn and not slacking off. My hope is the organization has looked into the character stuff re: Pineda and won’t need to send him to fat camp. So if he A) pitches to an above .500 W/L record, 2) shows he can make in game or game-to-game adjustments and D) doesn’t need to go to fat camp, I’d be pretty hard pressed to find something to complain about :D

    LGY – Trueeee story.

  68. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Erin January 17th, 2012 at 12:29 pm
    Shame-I did see that Betsy was posting this AM. At least a few people are returning from Never Never Land.

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    no comment, though “Killer” had a few opinions that aren’t meant for sensative ears.

  69. Best To Ever Do It January 17th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Campos is also a sure thing out of A ball, but Vizcaino was “years away”…and you “don’t hesitate” to include him for a stud like Javy Vazquez…..LMAO.
    ———————————–

    lol good point I’ve seen that a lot on other boards JAP. You’re into minor leagues as much as anyone what are the chances the Ms gave the Yankees two aces for a DH and a middle to back end starter. They can’t be that dumb.

  70. CB January 17th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Much of the Yankees entire organizational strategy revolves around generating marginal advantage – especially marginal advantage in places that other teams cannot.

    That’s the whole “value” of having so much revenue from a baseball standpoint. Otherwise all that revenue does is maximize operating margins.

    Seeking out and maximizing those marginal advantages are “market inefficiencies” so to speak in the Yankees context.

    That can mean trying to find a true #1 and install him behind CC even if it costs a huge sum. That was the strategy behind Cliff Lee.

    That was specifically a strategy of generating marginal advantage that the Red Sox would not because they weren’t willing to absorb the risk.

    The average DH in the AL is around a .750 OPS player. That’s not very good. And that distribution is skewed and comprised of a small cohort of players.

    There’s tremendous variance in production out of the DH spot.

    In other words, it’s an opportunity to generate significant marginal advantage – especially for a team with significant resources. Especially if you can do it with a cost controlled young player.

    Last year, rather than maximizing this potential advantage, the Yankees got below league average production from their DH.

    Sure the yanks scored a lot of runs – but that’s not the parameter for success or the goal. The goal is to maximize every positional advantage to the greatest degree possible.

    Last year’s yankee team easily should have scored more runs. That’s a lost opportunity.

    Now can the DH position be filled “cheaply” with some kind of aging veteran? Perhaps. But that generally hasn’t been a strategy that has worked over time for teams. The teams that have generated the most marginal advantage out of the DH slot are teams like the Red Sox who find a plus bat and treat the DH like a real position.

    DH is a position. You cannot just let 600 plate appearances go by and throw them into a grab bag.

    I wouldn’t have made this trade. But I also acknowledge that it was a reasonable trade to make.

    But I have to say, the entire debate around Montero not being particularly valuable because he’s “only a DH” is largely misguided and misses an important core foundation for how the Yankees should be orienting their strategy and operations.

  71. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    GB-

    He’s really graduated from his prior life then.

    Hope he makes a better Congressman than he did a Citizen.

    Good thing I am forgiving and generally have an open mind about these things.

    ;)

  72. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Can we let Montero actually put up a .900 OPS over a full season before we assume he’s going to do that for the rest of his career?

    I just took a brief look at the pitchers he faced last season when he was called up and I wouldn’t say there is anything useful there. A bunch of scrubs and other minor league call-ups… 5 at-bats against actual ML starters isn’t a good indication of anything. Let major league pitching and scouting reports get a hold of him, he’s going to have to make some adjustments at some point, and that will determine if he becomes this legendary hitter we all think he could be… or the league can and will eat him alive. Nothing is certain.

  73. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    GB-

    Besides. You know I personally have no faults whatsoever.

    Unlike Randy or Maine.

    You’re there right with me.

    ;)

  74. blake January 17th, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    The Yanks may have saw Vizcaino as a reliever….which is what the Braves apparently see him as also.

  75. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Robertson would be the closer in the event of….but, he needs to cut down on the walks and number of pitches throw. I don’t think I could deal with another John Wettland or Rich Gossage. I’d be up to 4 packs of Marlboros a game…just in the 9th inning.

  76. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    CB – I understand where you are coming from, but because of the nature of the DH role, the ability to platoon your backups in a highly productive manner and play any aging superstars you may have… is that same level of production (or margin or advantage) not better utilized in the starting rotation eating up 200+ innings?

  77. Triple Short of a Cycle January 17th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I just took a brief look at the pitchers he faced last season when he was called up and I wouldn’t say there is anything useful there. A bunch of scrubs and other minor league call-ups… 5 at-bats against actual ML starters isn’t a good indication of anything

    —————————————————————–

    Didn’t he face Weaver,Lester and Jim Johnson twice?

  78. Erin January 17th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 12:36 pm
    no comment, though ?Killer? had a few opinions that aren?t meant for sensative ears.

    *************

    :lol:

    Oh, I bet he does.

  79. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:38 pm
    GB-

    Besides. You know I personally have no faults whatsoever.

    Unlike Randy or Maine.

    You’re there right with me.

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    here’s a quiz: Which one of the 4 is not like the other?

  80. blake January 17th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    CB,

    So you’re saying the Yanks should sign Prince Fielder :)

  81. LGY January 17th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Montero had only 5 at bats against actual MLB starters?

    Definitely calling BS on that one!

  82. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    CB – Is the Yankee’s financial might not better spent overpaying backups to limit the drop in production of off days, rather than a player that fills only one small role on the team? 1/5 starters vs 1/9 hitters is crude, but it’s simple logic that a starter would be more valuable than any individual batter.

  83. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    GB-

    Also, with the track record for most Congressman I guess the odds are in “killer’s” favor.

    Actually, the more I think about it he should fit right in.

    ;)

  84. CB January 17th, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    “Pineda is younger after 170 IPs in the majors than Betances is. It allows the Yanks not to have to chase a mega-salary starter like Hamels. ”

    This is exactly what I mean. I agree. I think this move was made to save money.

    But I’m sorry, I just can’t be thrilled with this as some kind of evidence for why this was a good move.

    Pineda allows them to maximize profit margins. Great.

    The baseball team would have been much better off keeping Montero and signing Hamels to a 150M deal (your statement implies that Hamels makes it to the market).

    This deal gets worse if they use it as a justification for not signing Hamels if he hits the market. Much, much worse.

  85. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    The baseball team would have been much better off keeping Montero and signing Hamels to a 150M deal (your statement implies that Hamels makes it to the market).

    Here is a classic risk vs reward, are you better off paying a FA starter $150mil or paying a FA DH $150mil? I would say that the start carries considerably more risk than the hitter, which is why you try to keep your pitching staff constructed as cheaply as possible.

  86. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I still don’t think that trade was so much about an uneasiness or dislike about Montero as much as it is about the concern about the injuries that have slowed the progress of the young pitchers in the Yankee system. virtually all of them have been hurt at some time in their careers.

  87. austinmac January 17th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    While Manny has very good stuff, he doesn’t have the gas that Moore has. He was regularly at 97-98 when I saw him. Manny is more 92-94, I believe. Very good, but Moore is fairly unique for a lefty.

  88. CompassRosy January 17th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    J. Alfred Prufrock January 17th, 2012 at 12:29 pm
    Compass,

    Would be fine if you could give us some ST info on our boy from time to time, if it’s not too much trouble.

    BTW, is Walker expected to join the Mariners’ ro this year?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    J.A.P ~
    No trouble at all re: ST updates (just wish I was going in person as I did last year).
    It should be a pretty interesting camp with Jesus’ arrival, a recuperated Guti (supposedly gained 19 pounds) a trimmed down, re-committed Smoak and an addition to the rotation (Iwakuma) not to mention all the young arms vying for spots…

    Walker is probably still a ways away but, I think most expect Hultzen to be up sometime in the second half.

  89. J. Alfred Prufrock January 17th, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Best To Ever Do It January 17th, 2012 at 12:36 pm
    Campos is also a sure thing out of A ball, but Vizcaino was “years away”…and you “don’t hesitate” to include him for a stud like Javy Vazquez…..LMAO.
    ———————————–

    lol good point I’ve seen that a lot on other boards JAP. You’re into minor leagues as much as anyone what are the chances the Ms gave the Yankees two aces for a DH and a middle to back end starter. They can’t be that dumb.
    ///

    Best, I have no idea how good Campos may be. I’m happy they got a guy who is apparently very projectable. What I’m outing is the hypocrisy in here.

    In fact, I would be just as bad as those folks who hand waved Vizcaino as a never-will-be – when they had no basis for saying so other than he was in A ball and ignored “projections” that he would move fast – if I made any claim on where Campos ends up.

    It’s just amusing how people skew things to suit an agenda.

  90. pat January 17th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    “He could always go to the red sox and dh they’ll have a need”

    He could. Having choices is what free agency is about.

  91. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:42 pm
    GB-

    Also, with the track record for most Congressman I guess the odds are in “killer’s” favor.

    Actually, the more I think about it he should fit right in.

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    He’ll certainly “dog” them if they screw up.

  92. Shame Spencer January 17th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    “This deal gets worse if they use it as a justification for not signing Hamels if he hits the market. Much, much worse.”

    This. Very, very good point. I hope they make a run at Cain or Hamels regardless of this move. And, unfortunately for Pineda, if he struggles this season (which realistically he should and will), there’s gonna be a lot of chatter that we *need* another starter for the following season…. again.

  93. blake January 17th, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    “While Manny has very good stuff, he doesn’t have the gas that Moore has. He was regularly at 97-98 when I saw him. Manny is more 92-94, I believe. Very good, but Moore is fairly unique for a lefty.”

    Matt Moore lite.

  94. Mike Ri January 17th, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I?d be up to 4 packs of Marlboros a game?just in the 9th inning.
    ——-

    LOL LOL LOL …

  95. Triple Short of a Cycle January 17th, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Walker is probably still a ways away but, I think most expect Hultzen to be up sometime in the second half.

    —————————————————————————

    I heard some talk of Hultzen starting the year with the club if he has a good spring?

  96. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    pineda is joining a Yankee team that scores nearly 2 full runs more per game than the Mariners… even if he “struggles” and can’t put up the same ERA (which, i have my doubts but i think he’ll be damn close) he’ll win tons of games for this ballclub.

    there will be equal chatter at the first sign of struggle for Montero in Seattle, (which can, should, and will happen) people are never shy about rubbing someone else’s nose in it. :)

  97. Rich in NJ January 17th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    LGY

    Thanks.

    I took a break from here because the inane trade proposals in July of Montero for Jimenez were making me ill.

    Somehow it took an admittedly less bad trade to bring me back. :(

  98. Best To Ever Do It January 17th, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    J. Alfred Prufrock January 17th, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Best To Ever Do It January 17th, 2012 at 12:36 pm
    Campos is also a sure thing out of A ball, but Vizcaino was “years away”…and you “don’t hesitate” to include him for a stud like Javy Vazquez…..LMAO.
    ———————————–

    lol good point I’ve seen that a lot on other boards JAP. You’re into minor leagues as much as anyone what are the chances the Ms gave the Yankees two aces for a DH and a middle to back end starter. They can’t be that dumb.
    ///

    Best, I have no idea how good Campos may be. I’m happy they got a guy who is apparently very projectable. What I’m outing is the hypocrisy in here.

    In fact, I would be just as bad as those folks who hand waved Vizcaino as a never-will-be – when they had no basis for saying so other than he was in A ball and ignored “projections” that he would move fast – if I made any claim on where Campos ends up.

    It’s just amusing how people skew things to suit an agenda.

    ——————————-

    Very well said

  99. blake January 17th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Montero/Hamels vs Fielder/Pineda.

  100. J. Alfred Prufrock January 17th, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    CompassRosy January 17th, 2012 at 12:44 pm
    J.A.P ~
    No trouble at all re: ST updates (just wish I was going in person as I did last year).
    It should be a pretty interesting camp with Jesus’ arrival, a recuperated Guti (supposedly gained 19 pounds) a trimmed down, re-committed Smoak and an addition to the rotation (Iwakuma) not to mention all the young arms vying for spots…

    Walker is probably still a ways away but, I think most expect Hultzen to be up sometime in the second half.
    ///

    Bless your heart. Smoak was grieving for his dad last year, I think you said. Very rough. I thought Walker was closer. I know his upside is considered through the roof and he’s considered a tremendous athlete. By the way, if you’re in NYC in May, some of us are attending the M’s-Yanks series at the Stadium. Love to have you join. (Don’t worry – we’ll protect you! ;))

  101. Best To Ever Do It January 17th, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    pat January 17th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    “He could always go to the red sox and dh they’ll have a need”

    He could. Having choices is what free agency is about.

    ————————–

    That’s true just don’t think the Yankees will be a choice.

  102. CB January 17th, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    “I understand where you are coming from, but because of the nature of the DH role, the ability to platoon your backups in a highly productive manner and play any aging superstars you may have… ”

    I don’t think this is true in theory or empirically.

    Backups are rarely that good. Backups on the Yankees in particular as the Yankees often have trouble filling out their bench as the kind of players they would like on the bench often can just go start somewhere else.

    The bench is actually the area where the Yankees have often had difficulty generating marginal advantage.

    And if aging superstars need a rest they should rest. I could easily see swinging a bat as being much worse for Alex’s hip then playing the field.

    I just feel that somehow DH has become this exception. That it’s somehow logical to not maximize positional advantage there.

    I just completely disagree. I think it’s a market inefficiency the yankees should be maximizing. Just like every other position.

    Yes you can argue that it may be worth decreasing that marginal advantage at DH if you can maximize marginal advantage on the pitching staff.

    But I’m saying the Yankees should be trying everything they feasibly can to maximize both.

    So if all this move does is as I believe you’ve argued given them the “flexibility” to pass on a a guy like Hamels, then all this does is make them a worse team.

    For example, we’ve already heard the yankees are going to now be severely constrained by budget to add another LH bat at the DH position. So we’re set up again to have relative underproduction over 400 or so plate appearances.

    If the Yanks went out and signed Prince Fielder I would find part of your argument much more compelling. But they aren’t going to do that.

    So, no, I’m not thrilled by this general at all.

    This is almost like rooting for the Yankees to maximize their operating margins.

  103. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Blake-

    Less filling.

    :)

  104. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Blake-

    Same great taste.

    :)

  105. CompassRosy January 17th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Triple ~

    I guess anything is possible (he is a college kid so, has had a good head-start) but, I expect he would need more seasoning in pro-ball than just one trip through the AFL

  106. CB January 17th, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    “Here is a classic risk vs reward, are you better off paying a FA starter $150mil or paying a FA DH $150mil? ”

    Well part of what you have to factor in is the replacement for each of those players.

    Pineda would be replacing the 150M pitcher.

    Montero the 150M DH.

    So here’s the thing – Pineda is at the stage of his career in which pitchers probably carry the highest risk for flaming out completely. If he blows out his shoulder this July it will not be a surprise at all. That just happens.

    So in this situation the $150M pitcher is the better investment because it would allow you to use your young cost controlled hitter to not invest $150M in a very “bad bodied” DH who could fall off a cliff like Adam Dunn.

  107. ac1 January 17th, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    you do realize that by the time montero would be eligible to make that kind of bank, the yankees could just go after him in free agency right?

  108. 86w183 January 17th, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I get the thought behind maximizing every position, but that can mean a variety of things.

    One thing you have to try and calculate/consider is productivity per dollar. I know many here believe the Yanks print money and should let the payroll to go $ 255 M, $ 250 M, whatever it takes but that’s not sensible or realistic.

    What is sensible and realistic is trying to keep the payroll relatively flat, which Hal has done very well for the past 7 years. The Yanks lacked a “true # 2 starter” in many of your minds, but they got a lot of wins for minimal cost from Nova, Garcia and Colon. That’s good business AND good baseball.

    Now they have seven starters and need to figure out how to maximize the value of the two who wont be in the rotation.

    There’s nothing wrong with a cost-efficient DH platoon, especially when you are shelling out more $$$ than any other team in the game.

  109. jacksquat January 17th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    If Mariano retires after 2012, and Soriano and Robertson both pitch well in 2012, and Soriano does not opt out, I’d rather Soriano was the closer for 2013 because I prefer Robertson to come in with runners on in the 7th or 8th and getting out of jams.

  110. CompassRosy January 17th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    “By the way, if you’re in NYC in May, some of us are attending the M’s-Yanks series at the Stadium. Love to have you join. (Don’t worry – we’ll protect you! )”

    ~~~

    J.A.P. ~
    Oh, how I would LOVE that! It’s probably not in the cards this year (or the budget) but, someday … SOMEDAY :-)

  111. blake January 17th, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I know the Yanks wont do it…..but I would guess Prince fielder would add about 5 wins to where the Yanks are currently at……that’s a lot.

  112. austinmac January 17th, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    The Rays have been in contention for the last several years principally due to good young pitching. The Yankees are smart to try to acquire and develop such pitching. While I love to watch good hitting, pitching is the key to success.

    Montero will likely develop into a quality major league hitter. However, it is at least as premature to call him a future star as it is to call Pineda one. Both have the potential, but one is a pitcher and one a DH. Montero needs to lay off breaking balls off the plate and Pineda develop a third effective pitch. Neither is easy nor is either guaranteed.

    I do think they should make a big run at Soler if they believe in his ability.

    I wonder if Cespedes overrode his agent by playing in the Dominican League. I thought it was stupid at the time, and it really looks like it now. Sure, it could just be rust, but it must make all teams take a hard look to see him struggle against lesser pitching.

  113. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    CB – So we’re set up again to have relative underproduction over 400 or so plate appearances. I disagree, Andruw Jones’ splits vs LHP are basically as good or better than what you could hope for from any expensive DH… they only need someone to hit RHP to platoon with him.

    What you said about the bench is true, but I feel it’s an area they have let be a weakness, and it shouldn’t be.

    My general point since yesterday is that there are more intelligent ways to construct your roster (dealing within the finite resources of 25 man roster and the $184mil soft-cap on salaries) than paying someone to “just DH” like Ortiz does for Boston. The difference in production just isn’t there.

    A few years ago, LaRussa was platooning his RF with 2 mediocre players IIRC, and his “cumulative RF” was one of the most productive in the game. It does work, but you have to commit to it fully.

    The way I would build it, I can have the DH covered with my 4 backup fielders… get way above league average production from it and spend more money on the other 8 positions (and my starting staff) as a result. I can also carry an extra reliever at all times. This is all for the same money you would spend on a single player and still need to fill all those roles.

  114. RadioKev January 17th, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I think there’s something to be said to be in a situation where you don’t have to sign Cole Hamels to a long term deal. We don’t want to become too over extended and stuck with a bunch of back end years and wasted dollars. That does have a competitive disadvantage.

  115. CB January 17th, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    “Montero/Hamels vs Fielder/Pineda.”

    For me, there’s no comparison between these pairings. Montero/Hamels hands down. Not even close. Less risk. More certainty of production.

    The best argument to support this trade is that you can’t know if Hamels will be available. But that’s not the argument that’s being made. The argument is that trading for Pineda allows you to save money by not pursuing Hamels.

    I bring this up because my sense is that this is the Yankees thinking as well.

    That would mean that it’s the awful contracts to Alex and Soriano that drove them to trade Montero. Again, as a fan, it’s not like I can be real happy about this.

    If Hamels hits the market next year and they don’t sign him and we start hearing this song and dance about how the Yanks have all this great young pitching and they don’t “need” a left handed ace in his prime etc, etc I’m going to very disappointed. Because that’s just misdirection.

  116. Joe from Long Island January 17th, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    CB – I have to disagree with you.

    The issue is not if the team would be better off with both Montero and Hamels. There is no way of predicting whether or not Hamels (1) ever hits the FA market, or renews with the Phillies, or (2) if he does go FA, that he signs with the Yankees.

    And this is not theoretical. Remember how people were drooling over elite players like Mauer, Felix, and Verlander were going to go FA, and the Yanks could swoop them all up? Most recently, the Yanks were the shoo-in to sign Cliff Lee. Things didn’t work out.

    So, we see that waiting for elite starting pitching talent to become available in the market is high risk all by itself.

    Counting on Cole Hamels to return the love is a high risk proposition.

    And, counting on developing your own high-end startnig pitching is risky also. Between players not developing as you hope, and injuries, it is also high risk. Look at the Yankees’ situation. After CC, was there anyone you would undeniably say is a can’t miss high-end talent in that starting pitching stable? We can project about Banuelos and Betances….but we once projected about Brackman, too. And, much as I like Hughes, he also still has to deliver; he may never.

    Therefore, one can reasonably make an argument that when a high-end talent does become available, one needs to take advantage of the opportunity.

    Is that opportunity worth a Jesus Montero? Mind you, he also carries risk. Though we all expect him to do well, his ML resume only a handful of games in the month of September. And you know what they say about September numbers.

    So, it comes down to which set of risks do you want to take. Part of that is determined by the particulars of your own situation. One of those is financial. We have no way of knowing how much money Brian Cashman ultimately has at his disposal, or what other resources/irons in the fire he’s got going to fill that all important DH slot. And, he’s not going to come out and say, and lose his bargaining power.

    Just because we don’t understand, or know, someone’s strategy does not mean that that person does not have a strategy. I actually picked that up from you, a while back, and it does make an awful lot of sense.

    Kind of a long discussion, but there are a lot of layers to this.

  117. J. Alfred Prufrock January 17th, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    blake January 17th, 2012 at 12:39 pm
    The Yanks may have saw Vizcaino as a reliever….which is what the Braves apparently see him as also.
    ///

    Blake, a fellow who’s brother is a PC in the Braves’ system told me he’s got a change in progress that has the Braves rethinking that. Probably in How that develops will likely influence his course beyond 2012. We shall see.

    Philosophically, I think it’s premature of teams to straight jacket a really live arm like that with the burden of a “role” at the A-ball level, anyway.

  118. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    If the quality of the product on the field suffers because the Yankees are looking to watch their bottom line then fans would have a right to complain.

    Since it hasn’t lately they shouldn’t complain too much.

    They may not win the WS this year but they are gonna be in the playoffs and are positioned to go far IMO.

    I’m very optimistic about things and I really think it is a great time to be a Yankee fan.

    But hey, that’s just me and I am an optimist.

    :)

  119. austinmac January 17th, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Blake,

    I will join you in the pointless Prince wish. Will someone tell Hal how much more money they would make if they win the World Series?

  120. J. Alfred Prufrock January 17th, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    “By the way, if you’re in NYC in May, some of us are attending the M’s-Yanks series at the Stadium. Love to have you join. (Don’t worry – we’ll protect you! )”

    ~~~

    J.A.P. ~
    Oh, how I would LOVE that! It’s probably not in the cards this year (or the budget) but, someday … SOMEDAY
    ///

    Just let us know when. It’ll be a good time.

  121. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    So in this situation the $150M pitcher is the better investment because it would allow you to use your young cost controlled hitter to not invest $150M in a very “bad bodied” DH who could fall off a cliff like Adam Dunn.

    Yes I suppose if you 2 picked the two worst plyers possible to fill that scenario… that it could go wrong. Over a 5 year period, is a pitcher more likely to get injured or a hitter? Pitcher. Which is then more worthy of that $150m investment?
    (obviously we are assuming lots of things here like “equal production”). The differences between players like Pavano and Giambi could come to mind here.

  122. upstate kate January 17th, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Interesting Jacksquat. I would have automatically said Robertson, but you make a good point.

  123. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Joe-

    That was a great post.

    :)

  124. Best To Ever Do It January 17th, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    ac1 January 17th, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    you do realize that by the time montero would be eligible to make that kind of bank, the yankees could just go after him in free agency right?

    ———————————————

    Sure they could make a run because they will do their due diligence. I just don’t see Montero thinking sure I would love to come back here why not. Other teams have money and needs as well. My point is people shouldn’t be penciling him into the the 20 whatever line-up if he hits the market. Just like they shouldn’t have penciled Kemp into the line-up.

  125. blake January 17th, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    “For me, there’s no comparison between these pairings. Montero/Hamels hands down. Not even close. Less risk. More certainty of production.”

    I agree….but the problem is that that combo isn’t an option anymore……so my question is….given the depth of young pitching theYanks Yanks now have….would they be better off giving that money they’d give to Hamels to replace Montero’s bat with Fielder? Of course they’ll likely do neither and pocket it……but just hypothetically.

  126. CB January 17th, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    “I disagree, Andruw Jones’ splits vs LHP are basically as good or better than what you could hope for from any expensive DH… they only need someone to hit RHP to platoon with him.”

    No. I’ve already accounted for Jones PAs and those by the “resting veterans.” A DH will get roughly 600 plate appearances a year.

    Last year Posada had 387. And he really stopped DH’ing RH early in the season.

    400 is a reasonable expectation for what the non-Jones/veteran DH player will get this season. If you want to say 350 ok fine.

    “My general point since yesterday is that there are more intelligent ways to construct your roster (dealing within the finite resources of 25 man roster and the $184mil soft-cap on salaries) than paying someone to “just DH” like Ortiz does for Boston. The difference in production just isn’t there. ”

    This may be true generically. It may be true for many teams. But I don’t think it’s true for the Yankees given how marginal advantage should influence their strategic thinking and roster construction. Especially in the starting line up.

    It really only starts to apply if you want to maximize operating margins.

    And if that’s a priority it was especially inane to have signed Alex and Soriano to those contracts.

  127. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    How is the 1000 innings that Hamels has pitched before age 28 (and he has alraedy dealt with injuries) less of a risk than the Fielder/Pineda scenario? I think you are way off here.

  128. pat January 17th, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Ellsbury avoids arb- 1/$8.05M

  129. blake January 17th, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Mac,

    Its pointless but maybe we could start a petition or something……Cano and Fielder back to back would be incredible

  130. m January 17th, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    People are getting stuck on certain things, a little closed minded.

    Waiting for a pitcher to hit FA is not a good strategy. Especially one that hasn’t been traded away (Hamels).

    Yes it worked for Sabathia (and has worked out for the Yankees). But didn’t work out with Lee. Because it didn’t work out with Lee, we had to give up Montero. Yes, I see the irony in that statement, but 5 yrs of Pineda will likely be better than 2.5 Months if Lee.

    Also there are only so many $20M contracts we can hand out. Not giving Hamels one this winter gives us a breather.

    And, yes, I understand we are still looking for offense.

  131. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Right now, the issue isn’t that Robertson can get out of trouble in the 7th or 8th innings, it’s that he’s usually the one that puts himself into trouble in the first place.

  132. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    CB – It really only starts to apply if you want to maximize operating margins
    At what point should you not be doing this? :)

    I don’t think it’s true for the Yankees given how marginal advantage should influence their strategic thinking and roster construction

    You simply value the DH role as more important to capitalize on than one of your starting pitcher slots. I can’t for the life of me understand why but you are entitled to believe what you want. You clearly put enough thought into this that I’m not going to change your mind today.

  133. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Blake-

    Sorry Bro’. it is pointless. Not happening. Can barely seem to afford matsui-san.

    :(

  134. CompassRosy January 17th, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    BTW, J.A.P. ~

    Just saw the link to the Top Ten RHP list come through via twitter – Walker is #8

    http://tinyurl.com/6snsp33

  135. jacksquat January 17th, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    I still haven’t seen any news on the Yankees reaching an agreement and avoiding arbitration for Joba, Gardner, Martin, Robertson or Logan (only Hughes). The deadline has now passed, does this news sometimes take a while to get out?

  136. CB January 17th, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    “The issue is not if the team would be better off with both Montero and Hamels. There is no way of predicting whether or not Hamels (1) ever hits the FA market, or renews with the Phillies, or (2) if he does go FA, that he signs with the Yankees. ”

    Joe,

    This has been a long thread so you may have missed some of the context.

    I agree with what you’ve written. The single best argument to support this trade is the one you made. It’s that you can’t know if Hamels will be available and if he’ll sign.

    I’ll buy that. That I can support.

    But that’s not the argument we’re discussing.

    The argument we’re discussing is that this trade makes sense because it allows them to pass on spending 150M on Hamels should he become available.

    And the way I’m reading this situation – I think having the “flexibility” to pass on Hamels is part of the Yankees thinking in this. I personally don’t like that at all.

    To me, that is poor baseball strategy. Very poor. Because if that’s the case this move really gets down to maximizing operating margins.

  137. pat January 17th, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Liriano- 1/$5.5M

  138. CB January 17th, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Blake,

    I’d save the money now and with the eye of signing Hamels.

    I’d rather than Pineda and Hamels than Pineda and Prince.

    I don’t care how much pitching they have, they should not pass on Hamels if he becomes available.

    But I’m bracing myself for them doing that.

  139. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Nobody can prove that the Yankees would not make a run at Hamels if he hits FA.

    The have the fexilibility to pass but would they ?

    Who freakin’ knows ?

    Budgets change with the circumstances.

    I think Hal has said as much. He likes value. So does Cash.

    A goal is just a goal.

    They may or may not decide to get there although I do think they are serious about it.

  140. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I don’t think it’s true for the Yankees given how marginal advantage should influence their strategic thinking and roster construction

    I don’t see anyone else actually drawing this line CB… I would only say it gives them the option to not have to overpay Hamels… which he most certainly will be overpaid… not that they will flat out pass on him.

  141. jacksquat January 17th, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I think the Yankees going after Hamels if he hits free agency will depend on how Pineda, Nova, Hughes, Banuelos and Betances look this year, not just Pineda. Particularly Banuelos, as I’m sure they’d like to get a second lefty into the rotation.

  142. pat January 17th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    SamMillerOCRSam Miller
    You should have seen Jeff Karstens’ face when he found out he would be getting $3 million.

  143. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Because if that’s the case this move really gets down to maximizing operating margins./i>

    I don’t know why you keep saying this. The league is essentially operating with a soft cap of $184million now… so everything we have discussed and are discussing is with that limitation in mind going forward.

    When you are dealing with a finite amount of money, you have to be maximizing your margins… that’s the name of the game isn’t it? Who can get the most production for the least money? When the “money” has an upper limit, then the game becomes who can squeeze the most production into that space.

  144. 86w183 January 17th, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    MTU —

    Absolutely right! We have no idea what the landscape will be in 10-12 months so why worry about it. The Yanks are will have some $$$ coming off the books, buts it’s too early to tell how much. If Nova, Hughes and Pineda combine for 80+ starts and 40+ wins they probably wont be players for Hamels. But if they combine for 33 starts, 15 wins and two surgeries they probably will be players in the FA pitching market.

    All teams are better off if they can stockpile high level, inexpensive talent… especially pitching talent. I’m satisfied with the Montero trade, but admittedly would have preferred they not make it since they signed Garcia AND Kuroda. Seems like overkill, but let’s see what it all ends up.

  145. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    oops, italics have gone wild!

  146. CB January 17th, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    “You simply value the DH role as more important to capitalize on than one of your starting pitcher slots. ”

    No not at all. In no way. I’m saying you should maximize both.

    Part of why I find this argument odd is that in no way does Pineda guarantee that you’ve maximized one of your pitching slots for 2012.

    He’s extremely talented. But extremely raw. I’ve watched him pitch quite a bit. If he were to take a step back this season I wouldn’t be surprised in any way. It’s just the nature of young pitching.

    So to me the way you could maximize both of those spots for the short term and long term was to sign Kuroda and keep Montero as the DH/part catcher.

    That way you could assess for a year how Banuelos and Betances do and see whether Hamels or Cain make it to the market.

    If any of those 4 players work out – Banuelos or betances develops or Cain or Hamels develop then you have your pitcher and you still have your DH.

    For the 2012 season – the Yankees should just work under the assumption that Pineda is their #4 starter. Don’t think it’s reasonable to expect more from him.

    And this is from someone who thinks he’s supremely talented.

    Your argument becomes more compelling if you feel that the Yankees would be better off with:

    CC/ Hamels or Cain/ Pineda/ Nova/ 1 out of banuelos vs. betances vs. hughes and a journeyman DH

    rather than:

    CC/ Hamles or Cain/Nova/2 out of hughes vs. betances vs banuelos + Montero at DH.

    I’d take the the second over the intermediate term. I think Kuroda alone provided the flexibility to wait and see how things develop while still being able to win this year.

    Conversely, the argument becomes compelling if you just say that we can’t count on ever getting Hamels or Cain so getting Pineda was a must. I’d buy that as well but that’s not the argument being discussed (at least not the argument that I was responding to).

  147. Joe from Long Island January 17th, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    CB – if the question on the table is, should the Yankees go after Cole Hamels if he does go on the market – then, that’s an easy question to answer (at least to me). The answer is “yes”. Because, as we know, that kind of pitching talent is to be cherished. Not the CJ Wilson’s of the world (and I don’t mean to speak poorly of CJ Wilson, but I hope you know what I mean).

    If we are saying that you should always be in the market for high-end starting pitching, the Hamels is a no-brainer, for the same reasons that the trade for Pineda was deemed a good one by the Yankees. You can’t count on Banuelos, Betances, or whomever, so get’em when you can.

    Good pitching trumps good hitting. Tampa Bay demonstrates that on a regular basis. You don’t have to bludgeon the other team. You just have to score enough.

    So, if it’s me, I still go looking for the Cole Hamel’s of the baseball world.

  148. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Say it ain’t so, Mu.

    Muhammad Ali is 70 years old today

  149. 86w183 January 17th, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    We need to get over the bad contracts already on the books. There’s nothing that can be done to un-do those deals. Yes, giving Alex $ 30 M was stupid and Cashman knew it. Giving Soriano over $ 10 M a year to set up was even dumber. Let’s move on.

    The Yanks could have a lot of money to play with after 2012 with expiring contracts for Mariano, Swisher, Kuroda, Garcia, Jones and Feliciano totaling almost $ 50 M.

  150. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Does this guy know what the definition of “incredible” is? Here’s a hint: It’s not Craig Counsell’s career.

    ScottMCBS Scott Miller
    Craig Counsell retiring and moving to Brewers front offfice. Incredible career from ND to ’97 Marlins to ’01 Dbacks and beyond.

  151. pat January 17th, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    David Price -1/$4.35M

  152. Chip January 17th, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    From Dave Schoenfeld of ESPN (and a lifelong Mariners’ fan) on the comparisons between Montero and Miggy:

    When Miggy was 21, he was hitting 33 home runs in the majors. Montero was putting up good-not-great numbers in Triple-A. I don’t think Montero is the next Cabrera

  153. Chip January 17th, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 1:31 pm
    Does this guy know what the definition of “incredible” is? Here’s a hint: It’s not Craig Counsell’s career.

    ScottMCBS Scott Miller
    Craig Counsell retiring and moving to Brewers front offfice. Incredible career from ND to ’97 Marlins to ’01 Dbacks and beyond
    ————-

    Given Counsell’s skill level I think the fact that he had such a long MLB career is pretty incredible.

  154. 86w183 January 17th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    GB 7 —

    The “incredible” part about Craig Counsell is this:

    It’s incredible such a talentless guy lasted 16 years in the bigs and made more than $ 20 M.

  155. Joe from Long Island January 17th, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I wouldn’t read too much into Brian Cashman’s continuing proclamations that he has a budget, can’t spend too much, has payroll limitations, etc., too literally.

    Yes, I can believe that Hal does things differently than his father. Yes, I can believe that they would love to get below that luxury tax threshold and reset the penalty.

    But, Cash speaks publicly not for the fans, I don’t think. I think his messages are directed to other audiences – players, agents, and other GMs. That, the Yanks aren’t going to bid against themselves, and aren’t shy about waiting to get the price down.

    I still think that, despite what we read about a limited amount available for the remaining spots, and talks over low cost options, that they are waiting for Carlos Pena to get anxious. They were interested in him last season for a reason – that swing in YS. And, he can play the field.

    Now, maybe Eric Chavez is the one left out in the cold. Between Pena and Chavez, I’d sign Pena, and look at Brandon Laird to fill the Chavez spot. Or, another role player looking for a job. But, that’s just me.

  156. 86w183 January 17th, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Chip —

    Brilliant minds think alike

  157. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Long doesn’t mean it was incredible. Moe Berg had a long career, but, he didn’t ever have an “incredible” career until he was out of baseball.

  158. Chip January 17th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 1:37 pm
    Long doesn’t mean it was incredible. Moe Berg had a long career, but, he didn’t ever have an “incredible” career until he was out of baseball.

    ————

    Incredible doesn’t mean “good.” Incredible means that something’s hard to believe.

  159. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Trying to play word games again, Chimp?

  160. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Joe-

    I hope you’re not expecting me to do any cartwheels at the thought of getting Carlos Pena.

    ;)

  161. Chip January 17th, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    86w183 January 17th, 2012 at 1:37 pm
    Chip —

    Brilliant minds think alike

    ———-

    Indeed.

  162. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    CB – Part of why I find this argument odd is that in no way does Pineda guarantee that you’ve maximized one of your pitching slots for 2012.

    No more of a guarantee that Montero will show up and give you the production you are assuming from him. Montero may have slightly more upside, but I consider Pineda’s potential impact on the rotation more important to my team than Montero’s impact as DH.

    You just can’t assume you can sign Hamels/Cain or any other FA for that matter. Going forward they have CC followed by Pineda/Hughes/Nova/Betances/Banuelos. These guys are not going to all work out long term. Heck, if 3 of them do they will have done exceedingly well for themselves. Whatever doesn’t work out they will need to plug holes through free agency if and when that happens.

    You should make all your plans with what you have in hand, and later on when it’s time for Hamels/Cains FA… worry about what you still need then.

  163. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    JonHeymanCBS Jon Heyman
    arbitration filing numbers will be exchanged this aft for those who havent agreed on deal. lincecum is the BIG ONE. @SFGiants

  164. Chip January 17th, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 1:42 pm
    Trying to play word games again, Chimp?

    ———–

    I didn’t realize that knowing the definition of a word constituted playing word games you epic tool.

  165. Joe from Long Island January 17th, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    MTU – please don’t do cartwheels. A man of your age might get hurt. :)

    And, after few second deck dinges, I think you’d wind up loving Carlos Pena.

  166. Chip January 17th, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Joe from Long Island January 17th, 2012 at 1:47 pm
    MTU – please don’t do cartwheels. A man of your age might get hurt.

    And, after few second deck dinges, I think you’d wind up loving Carlos Pena.

    —————–

    The sub .230 BA would get on my nerves.

  167. blake January 17th, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    CB,

    If I knew that the Yanks could find offense in the future then Id say Id rather have Hamels/Pineda also……however given what I know now….and what the Yanks have in the upper levels of the minors currently……I think Id rather have Prince and Pineda because 1) I know that’ll be available 2) that can help in 2012 and 3) because the Yanks currently have more pitching options than they do young impact bats to replace what they gave up in Montero.

    As you do….I have a bad feeling this trade was set up so that they coukd sign neither though and that stinks.

  168. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Banuelos listed as #2 left handed pitching prospect by Jonathan Mayonnaise.

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com.....8;c_id=mlb

  169. G. Love January 17th, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    CB,

    Would you rather have Montero and Hamels or Hamels and Pineda in our rotation going forward?

    That very well could be the plan and the Yankees could be looking at Hughes, Betances, Banuelos, etc. as the arms that land “the bat” going forward.

    For instance, what if you could get a Ryan Zimmerman or David Wright for young pitching depth? What if Towers decide to really put Upton on the market if AZ doesn’t contend again?

    While I think Montero is going to hit the cover off the ball as a DH in this league I see some of the logic in the move they made once I take emotion out of it.

    Still, I agree with you that treating the DH as a lawn chair for aging vets and tired everyday players is a huge mistake by Cashman and Girardi. If your DH hits like Manny Ramirez or Frank Thomas, you’re basically stepping on the throat of your competition.

    I don’t understand the fact that your DH doesn’t play in the field equates his 600 at bats are meaningless and I can’t figure out for the life of me why our GM and manager seem to see it as an after thought.

  170. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    blake – I have a bad feeling this trade was set up so that they coukd sign neither

    Or… waymore likely… a set up so if they can’t sign either they won’t be dead in the water?

  171. Joe from Long Island January 17th, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    chip – yeah, that would bother me, too. that’s why i’d bat him 6th or 7th, after tex and maybe swish. still, 25-30 hrs, an almost .900 ops and a fistful of rbis from a platoon with jones in that spot ain’t bad.

  172. Joe from Long Island January 17th, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    glove – as i said before, i’m thinking that all that talk about using the dh for alex, jeter, tex, as a half day off all the time is meant not for the fan, but for that other audience. the one that cashman actually does business with.

  173. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Joe-

    I’d rather have a high contact type who understands situational hitting. That isn’t Pena.

    We have plenty of power.

    In that sense, I’d almost rather have a Damon or a Matsui although those guys still have some power.

    I prefer Damon because he still can run.

    This is pretty strictly a DH-only job so Johnny’s fielding does not come into question.

    We also have swisher if we need a fill-in 1st baseman.

  174. CB January 17th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    “No more of a guarantee that Montero will show up and give you the production you are assuming from him. ”

    The Yankees themselves have said that the least risky aspect of this deal is montero’s bat so I think they disagree with you. And they were the ones who made the trade. They are also the ones saying that if Pineda doesn’t develop a third pitch they made a mistake.

    Which speaks to what they think of the bat they traded. And I see no reason for why this would be pure “spin” given that it makes them potentially look bad and opens them up for criticism.

    “You just can’t assume you can sign Hamels/Cain or any other FA for that matter. ”

    Sure. And as I’ve posted multiple times, I think this is the most compelling argument to make the trade. Joe brought this up and I agreed with him.

    But this was not the argument we were discussing. We were discussing the value of the trade vis a vis the notion that the trade was a good move because it gives the Yanks the “option” to pass on Hamels.

    So you’re now bringing up another argument. One that has much more merit as its an argument about opportunity cost rather than operating margins.

  175. Joe from Long Island January 17th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    mtu – i hear you. that may be part of the deliberation, also.

    or, they could be working on another type of deal, using some of those 7 starters.

    we won’t be hearing cash talking about that on hot stove. only his “payroll constraints”, in case anybody missed it the first dozen times.

  176. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Joe-

    YT also mentioned Kotchman.

    If he could repeat last year and he was cheap enough (which he isn’t) i’d like to get him over Pena too.

  177. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    G. Love – Those at bats aren’t meaningless, any they only treated it that way last season with Posada’s farewell away tour. Every other season they have had at least a semi-permanent DH solution in hand.

    Instead of paying $15m+ for a DH, I would sign better backups that can split the DH role up between them and also have the option to give someone like A-Rod as much time off the field as he wants to stay healthy while still utilizing his bat. Obviously one of my backups would play 3B.

    People say “well you can’t get good backups that can hit” I say… you are the Yankees and if you don’t have 5 bad contracts, you can pay the backups enough to make them want to be backups for your team rather than mediocre starters somewhere else…

  178. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    CB – But this was not the argument we were discussing. We were discussing the value of the trade vis a vis the notion that the trade was a good move because it gives the Yanks the “option” to pass on Hamels.

    I don’t know who you think brought this notion up originally, I think it was you. So you’ve been having this long elaborate conversation with yourself… hehe…

    I don’t think they are going to pass on Hamels… they just might not have to break the bank to get him because they have more insurance now. I think the trade was made because clogging the DH long term, especially for the situation they are in now is stupid… and they woke up to the fact that they were going into the season relying on Burnett/Garcia/Hughes/Nova.

  179. AeroFANatic January 17th, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Wilson Betemit.

    Comes cheap (1m), switch hitter, mashes righties from the left side, also plays decent 3B and SS. Provides roster flexibility.

    No, yes?

  180. blake January 17th, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    “Or… waymore likely… a set up so if they can’t sign either they won’t be dead in the water?”

    That may be true…..but im pretty sure they could sign Prince if they wanted….

  181. CB January 17th, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    “Would you rather have Montero and Hamels or Hamels and Pineda in our rotation going forward?”

    G. Love,

    I’d take Monter and Hamles. The Yankees already have strong depth in their pitching in the minors. I’d take the risk that one of those young guys will work out because the team has relatively few bats and buying bats is just not easy either.

    CC/Hamels/ Nova/ Banuelos/Hughes vs. Betances vs. etc. I would have taken my chances with being able to keep Montero and taking a shot with that staff.

    I think that would make the team more balanced. Sure Banuelos isn’t a given. But Pineda isn’t a given either – he’s developing also. Now he’s proven significantly more than Banuelos but he’s not a finished product either.

    But the alternative of trading young pitching for a bat could work as well. It just involves another set of risks and unknowns.

    It’s just very difficult to find a bat that profiles as a potential .900 OPS bat. It’s not as easy as it used to be.

  182. Joe from Long Island January 17th, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Look at what the Yankees have done in their ml system. they stocked it with pitchers and catchers. to me, that shows their organizational philosophy.

    so, to me, carrying this philosophy further means that they will continue to put a premium on acquiring high-end pitching talent wherever they can find it.

    if hamels makes the market, they will be in. if they do otherwise, it goes against that philosophy, and the one statement that cash has made that i think he really does mean – that pitching is the key to the kingdom.

  183. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    blake – If they wanted to? Sure… but it wouldn’t be a 3 year deal that clears for the Tax date we are all so fearful of… it would be a real deal.

  184. yankeefeminista January 17th, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Chip, Joe–Pena will make decent contact in a platoon (w/Jones), batting vs. righties, where his triple slash in 2011 was .255/.388/.504 and in spite of the 25% K’s had a 17.2 BB % vs. righties. You just won’t be able to use him vs. lefties, but that’s why you platoon him.

  185. 86w183 January 17th, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I’ve been in favor of signing Betemit all along.

    Makes much more sense than Damon, Matsui or Pena. Younger, cheaper and more versatile.

  186. J. Alfred Prufrock January 17th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    CompassRosy January 17th, 2012 at 1:13 pm
    BTW, J.A.P. ~

    Just saw the link to the Top Ten RHP list come through via twitter – Walker is #8

    http://tinyurl.com/6snsp33
    ///

    Thanks, Rosy :D. This stuff is like candy, isn’t it?

  187. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    CB – Which situation would you consider to be better…

    Having just enough future depth to meet the needs of your rotation… and probably still need to go out and spend money on the FA market… or having extra pitchers to trade away for a player like a “Montero”, but one that plays a more beneficial position?

  188. blake January 17th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    “blake – If they wanted to? Sure… but it wouldn’t be a 3 year deal that clears for the Tax date we are all so fearful of… it would be a real deal”

    They’d have to give Hamels a “real deal” as well though……they aren’t betting under that 189 mark anyway unless that young rotation they are building pans out and offsets the large salaries elsewhere

  189. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I’d prefer Matsui over Pena to DH. Pena still thinks of himself as a 1st baseman and he might not adapt to a downgrade.

  190. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Take a .250/.375/.500 line from Pena, combine it with a .300/.350/.515 line from Jones… sprinkle in some A-Rod, Teixeira and Cano off days and you are left with basically the 3rd or 4th best “DH” in the AL.

  191. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I have to agree with CB’s POV re: having Hamels and Montero but that’s not what they chose to do.

    So it’s a moot point now.

    The wisdom or foolishness of the decision will be revealed to us in the fullnes of time.

    That’s the bottom line.

    Right now I am gonna hope that Pineda develops that 3rd pitch, stays healthy, and reaches his cieling as a stud # 1.

    I’m out soon.

  192. PacoDooley January 17th, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    m January 17th, 2012 at 1:11 pm
    People are getting stuck on certain things, a little closed minded.

    Waiting for a pitcher to hit FA is not a good strategy. Especially one that hasn’t been traded away (Hamels).

    Yes it worked for Sabathia (and has worked out for the Yankees). But didn’t work out with Lee. Because it didn’t work out with Lee, we had to give up Montero. Yes, I see the irony in that statement, but 5 yrs of Pineda will likely be better than 2.5 Months if Lee.
    ———————————————
    Yes, but 2.5 months of Lee could quite likely have led to a WS title, and that would be return enough. I also think he would have been more likely to sign with NY had he been part of the team already.

  193. blake January 17th, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    “It’s just very difficult to find a bat that profiles as a potential .900 OPS bat. It’s not as easy as it used to be.”

    There is a 1.00 OPS available right now.for just money…..probably be the last chance at one for awhile

  194. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Butt-o-mint was here once before and he sucked.

    Pass.

  195. blake January 17th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    “Take a .250/.375/.500 line from Pena, combine it with a .300/.350/.515 line from Jones… sprinkle in some A-Rod, Teixeira and Cano off days and you are left with basically the 3rd or 4th best “DH” in the AL.”

    This is probably true and is the best course if they don’t don’t something bigger

  196. CB January 17th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    “I don’t know who you think brought this notion up originally, I think it was you. So you’ve been having this long elaborate conversation with yourself… hehe…”

    No not at all. Wave originally brought it up. This is what he wrote:

    Pineda is younger after 170 IPs in the majors than Betances is. It allows the Yanks not to have to chase a mega-salary starter like Hamels.

    I quoted that line in an earlier post.

    So..”hehe” I’m not sure what you’re hehe’ing about as it was then you who decided to engage me in discussion of this point.

    Ironically, it was you who then quoted the post I made in response to Wave and started this conversation.

    Your post from 12:44:

    “The baseball team would have been much better off keeping Montero and signing Hamels to a 150M deal (your statement implies that Hamels makes it to the market).

    Here is a classic risk vs reward, are you better off paying a FA starter $150mil or paying a FA DH $150mil? I would say that the start carries considerably more risk than the hitter, which is why you try to keep your pitching staff constructed as cheaply as possible.”

    So I was genuinely under the impression that I was having a legitimate conversation with you. But hehe i guess i was wrong after all.

  197. PacoDooley January 17th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Good point made earlier that you really want your DH position to be a position of offensive strength, not a resting spot that makes it a weakness (and if stick A-Rod at DH you are adding the bat of someone like Chavez another sub at 3B, and therefore, in effect the DH position is costing you offence).

  198. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Blake-

    Give it up.

    ;)

  199. dogface January 17th, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    David Price’s pre arb agreement = $4.35M

    Nice deal for the Rays, but also a pretty big 1st year Arb number.

  200. Tom in N.J. January 17th, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Who are these ‘back-ups who can hit’. I keep seeing this posted as the ideal solution for the DH spot, but who are these guys?

  201. blake January 17th, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    MTU,

    Yea…..Hal wont listen …..I bet Cashman would agree with me though if he had a blank check ;)

  202. dogface January 17th, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Pena still thinks of himself as a 1st baseman and he might not adapt to a downgrade.

    ============================

    He’s has said as much.

  203. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    blake – Your negative outlook on the future of hitting is so bizarre… why do you think players are going to stop going to FA and “get locked up early”? It’s getting me depressed, and I don’t even believe it’s true! There is essentially a never ending procession of 27 year old batters coming out of their rookie contracts or arbitration years… what are you so worried about?

  204. CompassRosy January 17th, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 1:48 pm
    “Banuelos listed as #2 left handed pitching prospect by Jonathan Mayonnaise.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    YF beat you to that report, GB :-)

    yankeefeminista January 17th, 2012 at 11:56 am
    “FWIW, Banuelos ranked #2 on LHP top prospects list behind the incomparable Matt Moore. I hope to see a couple of our other lefties on that list, as we have had a dearth of LHP in our minors. Camarena comes to mind. Turley won’t get the props without the power arm, but should be a big year for him.”

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com…..8;c_id=mlb
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Seeing the M’s with #3 (Hultzen) and #8 (Paxton) on that list helps ease the pain of losing Michael … a teeny, tiny bit

  205. blake January 17th, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Price will be traded before 2013 trade deadline.

  206. Betsy January 17th, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I agree with ID……Montero has been mediocre for the last two first halves of the 2010 and2012 seasons so why is it again that he is going to be the best DH in the league in 2012? He wont struggle against MLB pitching but Pineda will struggle against MLB hitters?

    No way am I counting on Hamels …I’m not even figuring him into the equation. I think The Yankees were NOT going to count on the 2 B’s or any of their young pitching given how Joba and Phil have turned out

  207. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Tom in NJ – Everyone employed to be a DH currently in the AL? Guys like O-Dawg or Peralta/Bartlett? Guys like Carlos Pena, Chavez, Andruw Jones?

    They don’t have to be “good hitters” per se, league average or better and not an embarassment in the field… just better than what you wouldnormally consider our backups. My team would never be left with Pena/Nunez backing up the middle infield, I’ll tell you that.

  208. MTU January 17th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Blake-

    Good job of greedy though. I’ll hand you that.

    catch you later.

    Keep dreamin’. Everything goes to seed w/o them. Makes it all worthwhile.

    :)

  209. blake January 17th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    “There is essentially a never ending procession of 27 year old batters coming out of their rookie contracts or arbitration years… what are you so worried about?”

    Who? Teams are either extending their young hitters (Tulo, Braun, Upton, Kemp, Mauer, Longoria, CarGo, etc) or they are milking their arbitration clock to where they get the prime years and they hit the market near 30.

  210. Pat M. January 17th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Doc Joe…..I want to be on your team ….What I’m reading over the past few days I feel is more about Montero than it is about one’s philosophical approach to the game……As much as I like Montero as a potentially outstanding hitter, he’s not nearly a complete ballplayer……For me and history bears this out to a great degree, pitching and defense gets you to The World Series far more often than a good hitting DH……..I recommend that you wait until you see Michael Pineda throw a baseball before you condemn him…..I find myself at odds with several members for whom I have great respect for the first time in my four plus years here…..Because of this great admiration for their knowledge and experience in the game I find myself re-examing my position….However I go back to what I saw back in May at Safeco combined with my viewpoints in how a successful ballclub must be built and frankly I’m back to loving this trade……And then there’s the Campos factor that gets lost in the discussion….

  211. CompassRosy January 17th, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Tweet from Larry Stone…

    StoneLarry
    Don’t expect any official confirmation of Mariner-Yankee trade today because of travel issues involving Jesus Montero.

  212. dogface January 17th, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Price will be traded before 2013 trade deadline

    ==============================

    Not if they’re winning, but otherwise quite possibly.

  213. blake January 17th, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    And Im not really worried…..its just the way the game seems to be trending and the Yankees don’t have a whole lot of position players that are close to the big leagues…….

  214. Cosmo January 17th, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Pat M. January 17th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Thanks for your response yesterday.

    I had them Nova, Pineda, Hughes.

  215. blake January 17th, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Dogface,

    I think they’ll trade him either way for a major haul before he hits that arb 3 and makes a bunch of cash…….just how they operate and how they keep it going.

  216. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    blake – Only Teixeira and Martin currently hit on this team as acquired through FA (and not previously playing on the team i.e. Jeter/A-Rod). It’s not the only way to acquire players.

  217. blake January 17th, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    “Don’t expect any official confirmation of Mariner-Yankee trade today because of travel issues involving Jesus Montero”

    Montero is pretending it didn’t happen.

  218. m January 17th, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    So, giving up Montero would have possibly gotten you one WS (no guarantee). Because Texas had Lee for a lot longer than 2 months and he didn’t sign there. From what I understand, Texas was his second choice last winter. Of course he could have been saying that to piss off Yankee fans. :P

  219. blake January 17th, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    “blake – Only Teixeira and Martin currently hit on this team as acquired through FA (and not previously playing on the team i.e. Jeter/A-Rod). It’s not the only way to acquire players”

    No….but there isn’t anything close in the minors and you can’t count on trades when teams aren’t turning loose of these players. We’ll see.

  220. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    blake – Also, I’ve read things that have said the new CBA will force more players into FA, not less. Since the IFA and Draft are no longer options for the big clubs to fill their roles, they will have to pay more money in FA to fill those holes… and that players look to take advantage of this by hitting FA earlier and not signing those sweatheart deals for so many years.

  221. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    blake – … and then you wake up one day and curtis granderson is your centerfielder.

    :)

  222. kd January 17th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    just my opinion, but i think the arb decision today means hamels hits free agency. the phillies are good at locking up players that they want long term. they have utley a huge contract at the time, then topped themselves with the howard contract. only arod gets more aav than howard.

    a one year deal with hamels when they could have extended him tells me that they’re going to let him test free agency. they have so many big contracts, could they add another and stay under the cap?

    also, maybe hamels wants to test the market. cj wilson is a far lesser pitcher and got a ton. hamels might get cc money or more. and he knows he’s wanted in pinstripes

  223. CB January 17th, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    In the 2001 season there were 33 qualified pitchers who had an ERA of 4.00 or better.

    In the 2001 season there were 37 hitters who put up an OPS of .900 or above.

    Only a decade later how does the game compare?

    In 2011 there were 62 pitchers who had an ERA of 4.00 or better.

    So the number of pitchers with an ERA of 4 or better nearly doubled over the past decade.

    In 2011 there were only 17 hitters who put up an OPS of .900 or above.

    So the number of hitters who put up an OPS of .900 decreased by around half.

    Just think about that. Within the span of one decade the game has changed radically. It’s almost entirely different in its orientation.

    Hitting is much more scarce than it was only a decade ago and it’s become relatively easier to find pitching.

  224. Erin January 17th, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Yankees Pitchers Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson agree to 1-year, contracts, thus avoiding arbitration.

  225. Pat M. January 17th, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    kd……Rumor is that Hamel’s would like to pitch for The LA Dodgers….The new ownership will be in place and they’ll have plenty of dough to spend……Who really knows other than The Phils are not going to have the scratch to pay him ……Or so it seems

  226. Erin January 17th, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    New Post: Yankees reach agreements with Robertson, Chamberlain

    :arrow:

  227. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Can you at least look at the number of pitchers over a 120 ERA+ and hitters over a 120 OPS+ to put the run scoring environments into proper perspective? Who’s to say that a .900 OPs or a 4.00 ERA are good cutoffs? This would at least be marks each year 20% better than league average, right? also known as replacement level i believe.

  228. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    CB – That does NOT mean that hitting is more scarce, it simply means it’s more difficult to hit.

  229. Pat M. January 17th, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    CB…..I said yesterday that I see Montero being a Carlos Lee type of hitter…..And as I said yesterday that’s not a knock on him at all….

  230. yankeefeminista January 17th, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Betsy January 17th, 2012 at 2:17 pm
    I agree with ID……Montero has been mediocre for the last two first halves of the 2010 and2012 seasons so why is it again that he is going to be the best DH in the league in 2012?
    ________
    Montero was coming into 2010 having been shut down early in 2009, due to a broken finger. But let’s just disregard that. He was also moving up from AA to AAA. 2012 hasn’t began yet, so don’t indict Montero prematurely. Or did you mean 2011? People are not going out on a limb by saying Montero can hit; it is as plain on the nose on anyone’s face. KLong said Montero, like Cano, is “another kid who can wake up out of bed and hit.” People may not want to keep hearing this, but the reason this trade is hard to take is that Montero’s bat is as close to a given as it gets. Pulling small sample sizes out of Montero’s milb career really doesn’t cut it. His overall career minor league numbers are staggering and he batted .328/.406/.590 in the majors. Take another angle, but don’t denigrate Montero’s ability to hit. You (not just you, Betsy) will seem awfully foolish.

  231. DONNYBROOK January 17th, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    - YANKEE LOCKER ROOM -

    A-ROD – “Hey, you guys hear that uppity rookie, what’s his name, oh yea, Montero, got 86′d?

    MARTIN – “Yea I heard”. “The guy wanted to carry my jock, but I told ‘em thanks, but no thanks”.

    JEET – “He even had the gaul to ask me for a signed baseball.” ” I told ‘em you gotta “pay” for that”. (laughter throughout the entire locker room) “He didn’t even get what I meant”.

    TEX – “What’s so funny about that”?

    SWISH – ” TEX dude, your flat-out hilacious hilarious”.

  232. CB January 17th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    “That does NOT mean that hitting is more scarce, it simply means it’s more difficult to hit.”

    Of course it does. That’s just saying the same thing in different ways.

    The denominator is roughly the same. Hitting is more difficult. That means proportionately there are fewer hitters who have hit at levels which are considered to be plus production on an absolute level.

    And as far as the Yankees are concerned performance in both a relative and absolute scale matters. The goal is to maximize run differential.

    The game is in a much lower run scoring environment now. That’s a fact. And that has significant implications for how one should orient strategy.

    It’s reasonable to make an argument for this trade. But the idea that Montero is some almost fungible asset because he’s “only a DH” is off the mark.

    Montero projected to be able to hit at a level that only 17 major leaguers did last season.

    Has he done it yet? No. But he clearly has a real chance of doing so. That’s a major loss.

  233. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    which are considered to be plus production on an absolute level.

    What is this thing you just made up? :p

  234. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    But the idea that Montero is some almost fungible asset because he’s “only a DH” is off the mark.

    A DH turned into a pitching surplus which can be turned into a position player of need… how is this a bad thing. There will always be players out there to DH. You can’t just “go get” good pitching.

  235. CB January 17th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    “What is this thing you just made up? :p”

    This from the person who said:

    That does NOT mean that hitting is more scarce, it simply means it’s more difficult to hit.

    Give me a break. When you’re argument breaks down you resort to snark and semantics.

  236. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Manny Banuelos is #2 behind Matt Moore

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com.....8;c_id=mlb

  237. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    CB – I did no such thing… you need to calm down.

  238. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    CB – You are making up arbitrary “levels of production” that mean absolutely nothing in the context of the game as it is played. That’s why they make adjusted versions of those very same stats you just quoted… so you can compare different era’s of baseball properly.

  239. Irreverent Discourse January 17th, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Being “a .900 OPS hitter” in 2001 and 2011 are completely different things. You can’t just make that a hard line plataeu you need to reach. This is also making large assumptions as to the validity of using OPS to gauge production in the first place.

    Don’t come at me with “oh you just semantic and blah” when your argument starts to fall apart. Be real.

  240. GreenBeret7 January 17th, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Of course, Banuelos will be traded because Girardi doesn’t want a better left handed pitcher on the team than he was.

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