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


Pinch hitting: Rob Abruzzese

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 26, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Next up in our Pinch Hitters series is Rob Abruzzese, a reporter who covers high school football, baseball and basketball for ESPNNewYork. He’s been blogging about the Yankees since 2005, and in 2008 he created Bronx Baseball Daily. That same year, Rob graduated from Brooklyn College with degrees in journalism and political science, and he still lives in Brooklyn to this day. You can find him on Twitter: @BxBaseballDaily or @RobAbruzzese.

For his post, Rob wrote about D-Rob, taking a look at what’s made the Yankees setup man such an effective reliever.

David Robertson has come along quite well as a reliever for the Yankees from when he broke into the league in 2008 to 2011 when he not only picked up some Cy Young award votes but also nabbed a place on an MVP ballot as well.

How did he get this good? Well, nothing happened overnight for Robertson. He is very similar to the pitcher that came up in 2008, but he has made slight improvements overall across the board that have made a huge difference.

VELOCITY: The most notable difference in Robertson is his velocity. His fastball averaged 90.8 MPH when he came up, but that number has gone up every season and reached 93.1 MPH on average last season. It’s not a huge difference, but it has increased his K% along with it, from striking out batters 27.5 percent of the time as a rookie to a whopping 36.8 percent last year (fourth-best among relievers in MLB).

LOB%: Robertson’s WHIP was a good but not great 1.125 last season, but his LOB% was a strong 89.8 percent for a couple of reasons, the biggest being his ability to strike out batters at a 13.5 percent rate last season. By striking out so many, he is keeping the ball out of play, which takes away the chances for seeing-eye singles, errors, or missed calls by umpires.

HR/9: It also helps that Robertson allowed a very low amount of home runs. Now his ground ball percentage is 46.8, nothing too special, but because he is allowing fewer balls put into play than a typical pitcher, there just aren’t as many chances for a hitter to pop one over the fence. It shows too as his HR/9 of 0.14 was the seventh lowest among all relievers.

ROBBIE’S CUTTER: This really didn’t get a lot of attention last year, but Robertson started to throw a cutter last year. After throwing fastballs at a 74.3 percent clip in 2010, that number went down to 49.6 percent last year, according to PitchFX. It gave him a different look and no doubt contributed to his K/9 increasing for its fourth consecutive year.

IMPROVED COMMAND: Along with all of this, perhaps the most important thing is his improved command. I’m not talking about his ability to keep from walking hitters. After all, his BB/9 of 4.7 last season is identical to his 4.7 BB/9 that he has over his entire career. No, I’m talking more about his ability to spot his pitches over the plate, particularly to right-handed batters.

Take a look at the two graphs provided by FanGraphs below:

On the left is his heat map tracking his fastballs against right-handed batters from 2010. On the right is the same graph from 2011. In 2010, he pretty much just threw his fastball over the plate to righties with no discernible pattern. In 2011 the story is much different, as he almost stopped throwing fastballs on the lower inside part of the plate. It’s not so much where he throws the ball that matters for this purpose, but the fact that the 2010 chart pretty much looks similar to his 2008 and 2009 charts and in 2011, for the first time, he shows the real ability to spot his pitches on the plate with accuracy.

CAN HE CLOSE? It’s great that Robertson had such a phenomenal season last year, but relievers come and go pretty quickly. Just having one good year doesn’t make him a closer in waiting. After all, most Yankees fans probably thought Joba Chamberlain would be their closer after 2007 and Phil Hughes after 2009 and neither seems like an obvious choice today.

Robertson is interesting because of his career progression. He came up in 2008 and made improvements each year. Most relievers who look promising and then disappear are the type that bounce around in different roles before being at the right place at the right time and are able to take advantage for a little while. Guys like Ryan Franklin are examples of this. There are also the Chad Qualls/Luis Ayala types that go their entire careers and then have one or two lucky seasons when most of their stats are outliers and don’t accurately reflect who they are. Other than that, age and injuries are what most often nail relievers.

D-Rob will only be 27 next season, so he has age on his side. He did have to be shutdown with pain in his elbow in September 2009, but since then he appears to be fully healthy. Should he be able to stay healthy then there is a solid chance he could be a great reliever for years to come. Hopefully Rivera doesn’t retire after the 2012 season, but if he does, the Yankees very well already have his replacement in house.

Associated Press photo

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301 Responses to “Pinch hitting: Rob Abruzzese”

  1. Yankee Trader January 26th, 2012 at 9:04 am

    My kingdom for a horse, in this case a “young” lefty bat.

    Pedro Alvarez 3B-has not lived up to potential. Might be worth a minor league pitching prospect, just to ad him to the roster and have Long work with him?

    Dominic Brown OF-looking for starting time with John Mayberry. Also has not reached potential.

    Jon Jay OF Cardinals-they have Beltran Holliday and Allen Craig and Cardinals could use another starter if they don’t sign Oswalt who wants to go there.

    Just for starters while I look up some more names.

  2. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Great post.

    I love Robertson.

    One of my favorite Yankees.

    He’s got the “Right stuff” in all ways.

    Wish nothin’ but good for this kid. He deserves it.

    :)

  3. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 26th, 2012 at 9:07 am

    DRob definitely seems to be a phenomenal work in progress. It won’t stun me if he ends up having the stuff to close.

  4. dogface January 26th, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Jon Jay OF Cardinals-they have Beltran Holliday and Allen Craig and Cardinals could use another starter if they don’t sign Oswalt who wants to go there

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

    Can’t see Jay being moved. He’s the only OF on the team that comes within light years of being an everyday CF. They may use Beltran their occasionally, but no way he can be the everyday. guy.

  5. upstate kate January 26th, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Thanks Rob. A very nice post about one of my favorite Yankees.
    He gives up a few too many walks, but that allows for some great Houdini moments :)
    One of my favorite D-rob moments was when he had a bad outing vs Toronto in ’10 and was in the dugout chewing on his glove in frustration.

  6. blake January 26th, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Nice post!

  7. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 9:12 am

    YT-

    just a friendly suggestion. It might be good if you could find more guys who can play some 3rd base too.

    ;)

  8. Yankee Trader January 26th, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Terrific detailed article. Even though Robertson is around the plate, he’ll still need to cut down on the walks.

    Dogface-

    Thanks for your feedback on Jay. Just throwing out some names of young lefty bats who might be available, given their teams needs.

  9. Tom in N.J. January 26th, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I don’t want Robertson to close. He’s more valuable doing what he does now.

  10. blake January 26th, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Orioles Eyeing Jackson; Damon Unlikely
    By Ben Nicholson-Smith [January 26 at 8:00am CST]
    The Orioles are a long shot to sign Edwin Jackson, but they’d love to have him and would consider offering a four-year deal, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports. The Orioles’ chances of signing the free agent right-hander will likely come down to money, Connolly notes.

    Mlbtr

  11. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Dominic Brown OF-looking for starting time with John Mayberry. Also has not reached potential.

    The Phils do not trust this guy, we should try to buy low on him. No idea what it would take.

  12. Giuseppe Franco January 26th, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Robertson certainly has the stuff to close, but does he have the command to close?

    My only concern with him is that he does tend to throw a lot of pitches and his walk totals are not ideal.

  13. Erin January 26th, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Gotta love D-Rob ;)

  14. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 9:17 am

    CHASE HEADLEY

    * Switch hitter
    * .303 career batting average away from Petco
    * Numbers likely shoot up in YS
    * Numbers also spike in better Yankee lineup vs. Padres
    * 27 years old with 3 years of team control
    * Low salary for DH, fits 2014
    * Highly versatile – 3b, LF, RF
    * Plays 3b, a hedge against Arod injury
    * Plays RF, a hedge against Swisher’s contract expiring
    * Athletic – can swipe a bag

  15. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 26th, 2012 at 9:17 am

    How about Johnny Damon?

    :)

  16. blake January 26th, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Do Mccourt and the Dodgers see Ethier as a long term investment? Would they like to clear some money to add some young pitching help? He may be more of a deadline guy…..but he’d be a great fit in a corner outfield/DH platoon

  17. Yankee Trader January 26th, 2012 at 9:19 am

    MTU-
    Limited to 3B. OK I know very little about these 3rd baseman, but here goes:

    rookie lefty Daniel Descalso of the Cardinals-hit .264, 326 abs, .280 vs righties and David Freese has the position locked up for many years.

    Chase Headley of the Padres- switch hitter will cost a ton but Hughes is a southern California guy.

    Still looking while you digest

  18. blake January 26th, 2012 at 9:19 am

    “The Phils do not trust this guy, we should try to buy low on him. No idea what it would take.”

    I agree….they should see what it would take

  19. Yankee Trader January 26th, 2012 at 9:21 am

    While I’m typing Brett already posted that on Headley. :)

    Trisha-

    MTU wants me to find young lefty bats that can play 3B.

  20. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 9:21 am

    YT/Bret/DF-

    I like the Headley idea.

    Good case Bret.

    :)

  21. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Sweet post!

    Randy – “My point relating to cashman is that I know some things he’s done behind the scenes that have changed my perception of him in everything he does. Do I think cashman is as bad as duquette when dealing with players and coaches? ”

    Care to share the behind the scenes stuff?

  22. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 9:22 am

    YT-

    Actually, both 3rd and the OF corners.

    ;)

  23. Tom in N.J. January 26th, 2012 at 9:24 am

    “Care to share the behind the scenes stuff?”

    Something about Neil Allen and Wang envy.

    It’s all very Freudian

  24. Yankee Trader January 26th, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Mentioned Pedro Alvarez-buy low, very low on him.

    Jimmy Paredes of the Astros-switch-hitter hit .286 168 abs, .305 vs righties?

  25. Chip January 26th, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I think Hughes for Headley sounds about right. Two young guys who haven’t lived up to their potential both of whom could benefit by changing stadiums.

    I think though that giving San Diego’s finances they would probably want Phelps or Warren and other minor leaguers (Laird, Joseph, Mesa) for Headley – I would still probably do the deal.

  26. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 9:26 am

    YT-

    Thanks for the hard work.

    The person in question might have to worth Phil Hughes.

    Please keep that in Mind.

    :)

  27. randy l. January 26th, 2012 at 9:27 am

    It’s interesting to me how Robertson and Nova did not receive the attention that Yankees blue chip prosoects like hughes,joba,and kennedy received from the coaching staff and management.

    It’s possible that less is more with getting coaching from Yankee pitching coaches.
    With Robertson the best coaching he got probably came from mariano. It probably didn’t hurt Hughes either.

  28. austinmac January 26th, 2012 at 9:27 am

    “How about Johnny Damon?”

    Trisha, was Erica one of your multiple personalities? :) If so, I agree with her(your) recommendation. Plus, Chavez.

    I don’t see them getting a high quality young hitter with Hughes. Maybe after he shows his velocity is back, but right now he is a low sell.

  29. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Tom in N.J. January 26th, 2012 at 9:24 am

    “Care to share the behind the scenes stuff?”

    Something about Neil Allen and Wang envy.

    It’s all very Freudian
    ———————

    Hahaha.. Well he went into detail about Duquette’s shenanigans so I thought he’d elaborate on the stuff the he’s heard about Brian’s bedside manner. No ulterior motives here, I’m genuinely curious.

  30. upstate kate January 26th, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Why would Phil benefit by changing stadiums? He had injuries last year. I expect him to have a much better year this year just by coming to ST in shape and healthy.

  31. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Chip-

    I would like to know more about Headley’s defense ?

    DF seemed to indicate that the metrics on him in the OF did not look all that good.

    He did not provide any info. on his ability at 3rd ?

    In other ways, the trade seems interesting IMO.

  32. Yankee Trader January 26th, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Rookie Kyle Seager of the Mariners 3B behind Figgins or rookie OF’er Mike Carp.

    The Mariners still owe us a bat! :)

    Bret-

    For Headley, besides Hughes what else would get that deal done for both teams?

  33. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Chip,

    Cost plays a factor for San Diego. I’d be willing to enhance the Hughes package with guys like Laird, Adams, Joseph or maybe even Heathcott. Sign Soler to replace Heathcott.

  34. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 9:31 am

    I would like to know more about Headley’s defense ?

    Fangraphs and BB-ref both say he isn’t very good at any position.

  35. dogface January 26th, 2012 at 9:33 am

    It’s interesting to me how Robertson and Nova did not receive the attention that Yankees blue chip prosoects like hughes,joba,and kennedy received from the coaching staff and management

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

    How do we know this to be true?

  36. a2003pr January 26th, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Hughes and Burnett for Garza and Byrd

  37. Ruby Red Sock January 26th, 2012 at 9:34 am

    How about Johnny Damon?

    ————-

    Nothing like hanging on to the past. Old, expensive and on the down side of his career.

  38. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I bet Headley plays a better 3b than Eduardo Nunez…

  39. dogface January 26th, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Fangraphs and BB-ref both say he isn’t very good at any position.
    ========================

    Looked like FG showed decent 3B play til last season. Injury related?

  40. comet January 26th, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Morning Shame, Erin, Kate, MTU, Yankee Trader and Blake!

    Shame our Spring Training trip is only a fantasy to help us through the winter unfortunately!

    I want a LH hitter.

  41. Tom in N.J. January 26th, 2012 at 9:36 am

    “It’s interesting to me how Robertson and Nova did not receive the attention that Yankees blue chip prosoects like hughes,joba,and kennedy received from the coaching staff and management.”

    Randy, I’ve had this thought too.

    Which is why it would not surprise me in the least if Phelps, Warren, and Mitchell all surpassed the organizational expectations of them.

  42. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 9:36 am

    And I bet the small RF space in YS would be easy for Headley to navigate. This is a guy who swiped 17 bags.

  43. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Thank you JF.

    If his D is bad I say pass.

  44. austinmac January 26th, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I would make a wild guess that Robertson has coaching from the Yankee pitching coach. Or maybe some of our board members are in the bullpen before games to know that doesn’t happen.

    Perhaps, Robertson’s development is due to good work by the coaches with an apt pupil. No, some would close their eyes, make false claims and blame the coaches for failures of players to condition, work hard in the off-season, throw the pitches the catcher calls and the like.

    It gets sillier here by the day. The season can’t start soon enough.

  45. Yankee Trader January 26th, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Headley had a .960 fielding% Jerkface just gave his input.

    Personally just sign Damon for 2 years to give him a chance at 3000 hits and tell him to leave his glove at home. He can still hit, has power and speed.

    Have to go for now. Until later all. Have a great day.

  46. stuckey January 26th, 2012 at 9:37 am

    “How do we know this to be true?”

    Dogface, Randy,

    Randy, dogface.

    “True” is in the eye of Randy.

  47. Erin January 26th, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Morning Comet :)

  48. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Can Damon play 3b or RF?

  49. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Morning Comet.

    Hope you enjoy Palm Springs.

    Several friends have just visited the Superstitions, and they actually lived to tell about it.

    :)

  50. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Morning comet!

    That’s a shame, but I’m more than happy to join you guys on a virtual vacation. It’d be my pleasure!!

  51. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Can Matsui play 3b or RF?

  52. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 26th, 2012 at 9:39 am

    “MTU wants me to find young lefty bats that can play 3B.”

    Okay Trader. Sorry about that!

    :)

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

    austinmac, in fact Erica and I have nothing to do with each other and not much in common whatsoever. I just thought Damon could be a good bench player/alternating DH. I didn’t and still don’t have any kind of long-distance love affair with the guy.

    ;)

  53. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Ibanez. Can he backup 3b?

  54. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Oh no, what would we ever do if our primary DH wasn’t a gold glover in LF, RF and 3b?

  55. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Bret-

    R U kidding ?

    :(

  56. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 26th, 2012 at 9:41 am

    “Oh no, what would we ever do if our primary DH wasn’t a gold glover in LF, RF and 3b?”

    Live happily?

  57. Erin January 26th, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Can Matsui play 3b or RF?

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

    Matsui can do anything he sets his mind to. :x

  58. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 9:41 am

    MTU,

    Yes I’m kidding. Who gives a crap if the DH isn’t a highly skilled defender?

  59. austinmac January 26th, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Headley, wouldn’t be a bad pickup, but I don’t see him having more value than Hughes. Even away from Petco, he has little power for a corner guy, evidently less than stellar defense and not that great of an average.

    I would rather keep Hughes until his value(hopefully)improves.

  60. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Damon should be able to handle RF duty every now and then… If we’re trusting Jones in LF, no reason we can’t trust Johnny in RF occasionally. 3B is a stretch to say the least though lol.

  61. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Bret-

    With as much as he might play in those spots it would be a problem.

    We are not just talking about an ordinary bench player. This guy would have to be seen as a SU guy and a possible every day replacement at 3rd or in the OF.

  62. austinmac January 26th, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Trisha,

    I know you are not Erica. You are much less Muppety and much more lawyerly.

  63. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 9:44 am

    You really only need your DH to be versatile and it just so happens that Headley’s versatility fits the DH rotation situation with the Yankees. There’s no DH out there right now who has Headley’s versatility. Most can barely play one position, let alone 3.

  64. jacksquat January 26th, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Johnny has gator arms and should never play RF except in case of extreme emergency.

  65. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 26th, 2012 at 9:44 am

    austinmac -

    :)

  66. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Personally, I think if Damon was back in NY he’d have better numbers just because he’d step his game up playing in a city where people actually watch the games…

  67. austinmac January 26th, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Shame,

    I like Damon, but he can never play right. He may have the worst arm in MLB, and right field requires a good arm. Jones would be their only possible right field replacement if they signDamon.

  68. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 9:45 am

    That’s nice that Damon can play RF (with his noodle arm). But too bad he’s old and can’t hit.

  69. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Bret-

    If you are moving Hughes to get him then he has to be more than a DH IMO.

    I am back onto the possibility of getting Gordon.

    He seems a better fit.

    ;)

  70. randy l. January 26th, 2012 at 9:48 am

    “Care to share the behind the scenes stuff?”

    Shame Spencer

    I don’t want to say anything that would affect a friend working in the game.

    I err on the safe side when talking about stuff on the blog.

    I have no doubt cashman ‘s management style is to value people who kiss up to him rather than value people who are good at what they do,

  71. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 26th, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Do we really care if our DH can back up a postion? Really?????

    Yeah, it would be sweet. But it cetainly isn’t necessary. That fat tub of milkshake lard seldom plays a position in beantown!

    Bret – I certainly doubt that Damon “can’t hit”.

  72. Chip January 26th, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I know nothing about Headley’s defense – though I’m giddy to watch Miguel Cabrera try to return to 3b this season – that should be a blast to watch.

    I’ll throw a few other names out there:

    Daniel Murphy

    He’s not a prototypical lefty slugger that we might be looking for, but I could see his bat developing into a Johnny Damon type (.300 avg, 20 HR slash line) and he can play pretty much all over the field (though he’s better at the four corners than at 2b) and could be a Ben Zobrist type for the Yankees.

    I don’t know that the Mets would trade him to the Yankees, though Sandy seems less concerned with public relations than Met GMs of the past, nor do I know if Cashman would be willing to give a prospect to the Mets for Murphy – figure someone in the Phelps/Adams class.

    James Loney:

    Obviously has never delivered the kind of power numbers the Dodgers wanted, could be a nice LH platoon bat to go with Jones – see if he can take advantage of the Stadium a little bit.

    Adam Dunn:

    Terrible year last year, ugly contract but would cost almost nothing to get. Possibly one of the only players you can get for AJ – though I still doubt it.

    Alex Gordon:

    Finally had the season the Royals were hoping he would have so he might not be someone you can get.

    Aubrey Huff:

    Down year with the Giants last season, can play a little at 3rd, a little more at 1b but would mostly DH. He and Joba would have to kiss and make up. Not likely to cost a ton to get – though you also can’t get him for AJ.

    Alberto Callaspo:

    Switch hitter – can play some 3b and a little in the OF. Angels are talking about giving Trumbo work at 3b so Callaspo is superfluous. Again – not a guy you could get for AJ; but possibly for Hughes.

  73. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Eduardo Nunez fielding % at 3b was .919.

  74. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Chip-

    Does Loney play the corners ?

    I thought he was strictly a 1B ?

    I looked at him this AM but rejected him because I thought he lacked versatility.

  75. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    MTU,

    Gordon hit .300 in one season. It’s a small sample.

    Headley’s career BA away from Petco is .300 in over 1000 AB’s.

    But if we want to go with small samples, Headley hit .330 away from Petco in 2011.

  76. mick January 26th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Posada, if he could hit righty, would be the perfect DH.
    In fact any switcher would be at that spot.
    Against a lefty Jones would play LF, who DH’s?
    Need another righty bat as well as a lefty.

  77. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    I didn’t say I’d love Damon’s defense in RF but I really, REALLY don’t love Andruw’s defense in LF and we manage to live with it…

    If we had Bernie as our CF for all those years I don’t think a year or two with an every-now-and-then RF who also can’t throw for beans would effect our W/L record much, but thats JMO.

    Randy – I wasn’t looking for specifics and/or key players, but a general idea of what your claims are would be nice if you’re going to use it as a reason for saying stuff like this: “I have no doubt cashman ‘s management style is to value people who kiss up to him rather than value people who are good at what they do” Again, though, JMO, if you’d rather not share that’s your prerogative of course.

  78. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 26th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    randy – nothing I’ve seen from Cashman has ever said to me that his style is to value people who kiss up to him. He appears to be a real straight shooter to me. I think the guy has been very good for the Yankees. It can’t be easy to please 10,000 constituencies.

  79. blake January 26th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Ideally I think it would be great if the Yanks could add another guy who coukd play both corner outfield spots in case of injury or in case Gardner takes a step back with the bat or goes through one of those prolonged funks where he can’t so anything at the plate.

    Woke up in San Diego this morning……im thinking about moving

  80. Bronx Jeers January 26th, 2012 at 9:55 am

    In non-fiction storytelling they often change the names of the subjects to protect their identity.

    For instance we may read a anecdote about “Ryan Bashman” & “Meil Fallon” and have no idea who their real-life counterparts are.

  81. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Can the Royals get better than Hughes for Gordon if they are looking for starting pitching? I think they could.

  82. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 26th, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Shame, I definitely should have come from the Show Me state. Without glossies I believe very little. Until I see pictures of Cashman with horns and a tail, I will continue to have high regard for him.

  83. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Blake-

    I lived there. Met Mrs. MTU there.

    Too much of a big city for me. Great climate though.

    Bret-

    Gordon is a better defender. Especially as a 3rd baseman. He won a GG in LF last year.

    Can he repeat his O #’s ?

  84. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Eduardo Nunez fielding % at 3b was .919.

    ——————-

    Yep, all 33 games he played there..

  85. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Yep. And Nunez looked really stable there too.

  86. blake January 26th, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Signing Damon and buying low on Brown would be pretty awesome…..either that ir signing Damon and seeing if Choo or Ethier shook loose at the deadline. Those two guys are perfect fits…..can play the corners and mash RHP.

    Choo if healthy would totally change the complexition of the offense IMO.

  87. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Bret-

    Who said Hughes is the only part of the deal ?

    ;)

  88. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 26th, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Well I’m off to meet the Wizard. Have a good day y’all!

    :)

  89. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 9:59 am

    MTU,

    I agree Gordon is the better player…but my feeling is the Royals can acquire a better pitcher than Hughes if they make Gordon available. It would be nice though. I like Gordon and Headley. I like Gordon better but I’m not sure if there’s a match.

  90. mick January 26th, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Choo if healthy would totally change the complexition of the offense IMO.
    =====================================
    Yeah, swisher could be the dh.

  91. blake January 26th, 2012 at 9:59 am

    MTU,

    Im really in Carlsbad…..but its just weird for everything to be green this time of year. Ideally if I coukd just get you to buy me a vacation home out here that would be sufficient ;)

  92. Tom in N.J. January 26th, 2012 at 9:59 am

    “Woke up in San Diego this morning……im thinking about moving”

    Those dentists know how to conference….

    I Remember Kaat talking about the early days of baseball free agency and how every player talked about playing for the Padres because it was so beautiful there.

  93. blake January 26th, 2012 at 10:00 am

    “Yeah, swisher could be the dh.”

    DH and play some LF vs lefties….

  94. mick January 26th, 2012 at 10:00 am

    when was the last time damon played rf?

  95. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Blake,

    I like Choo but maybe the Indians feel they’re better off not selling low on him given his track record. They were rumored to want Swish earlier in the offseason so they seem to be looking to add offense, not subtract it.

    Ethier is a guy that I like but if I’m trading Hughes, I’d want more than a one year band-aid on the DH situation.

  96. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Gordon hit .300 in one season. It’s a small sample.

    Headley’s career BA away from Petco is .300 in over 1000 AB’s.

    But if we want to go with small samples, Headley hit .330 away from Petco in 2011.

    The only thing about this is that his linedrive/groundball rates don’t change home or away and he isn’t a flyball guy, so it must be either incredibly bad luck or some kind of mental thing for how bad he is at petco. Its a spacious park but this guy hits line drives and groundballs, 2 things that should not be heavily park affected. Makes me wonder if his good fortune away from Petco is luck.

    I’d be for Chase Headley, if we traded Hughes for him then Hughes would probably have a great season even with 1 pitch as SafeCo would bail him out of many a HR.

  97. blake January 26th, 2012 at 10:01 am

    “Those dentists know how to conference….”

    Lol….I wish I coukd skip the conference and drive around

  98. mick January 26th, 2012 at 10:02 am

    DH and play some LF vs lefties….
    ====================
    Jones would get that job.

  99. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I don’t want to say anything that would affect a friend working in the game.

    I err on the safe side when talking about stuff on the blog.

    First of all, no one cares who you are on the internet. Secondly, no one cares what some random crazy person writes in a blog comment section. No one you know will be fired. If you are really scared you can email the anecdotes to LohudDrama@hotmail.com and they will be inserted into a list of made up anecdotes and a TRUTH REVEALED key will be given out at a later time.

  100. blake January 26th, 2012 at 10:03 am

    “Ethier is a guy that I like but if I’m trading Hughes, I’d want more than a one year band-aid on the DH situation.”

    Ethier would be maybe their 2nd best hitter vs Rhp and give them a much better balanced offense IMO….flags fly forever. I really want Choo but that’s probably mot realistic

  101. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Choo if healthy would totally change the complexition of the offense IMO.

    He would be the ideal #2 hitter vs righties.

  102. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Blake-

    Love that area. Take a ride out to Dana point.

    That corridor from SD all the way to LA is one big megalopolis now.

    When we lived there it wasn’t. Much nicer then.

    Places like Escondido were just farming areas instead of Cities.

    My wife used to play in the SD canyons as a young girl. They had dairy farms in Mission Valley instead of Skyscrapers.

    My advice on the 2nd home is to play Lotto or to give those kids more candy.

    :)

  103. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Ethier is a guy that I like but if I’m trading Hughes, I’d want more than a one year band-aid on the DH situation.

    Hughes is only under control for 2 years, and he is very iffy. Getting Ethier or Choo for Hughes would be a coup.

  104. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 10:04 am

    trisha – true pinstriped blue January 26th, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Shame, I definitely should have come from the Show Me state. Without glossies I believe very little. Until I see pictures of Cashman with horns and a tail, I will continue to have high regard for him.
    —————————-

    Yeah I agree to some extent. I just feel like if you’re going to bring that into the fold, you should elaborate since you already hinted at something to begin with.

    I mean, I get on Andy Pettite on the blog all the time because I believe based on things I’ve heard (from legitimate reporters) that his time spent with the Astros was imposed upon him by his wife who discovered that Andy was not only cheating up putting his gf up in an apartment in the area. For better or worse, that’s colored my view of Andy.. and when I mention it, l state the reason why lol. Now I’m not going to say which reporter told me so, but again, I don’t have a problem saying the reason why. It doesn’t matter to me if people here don’t believe it, that’s their choice just as to believe it is mine.

    So I just feel like I’m being teased with Cashman info lol… I’d rather the cards be on the table and let people decide if they’d like to buy into the pot or not. In all likelihood, those that already don’t like Cash will agree and those that defend him will call it hearsay. So I guess in that respect I don’t see the harm in divulging behind the scenes info. Unless you think anyone here has the ear of a reporter from the Post or something..

  105. upstate kate January 26th, 2012 at 10:04 am

    as we are expecting another bout of the dreaded “wintery mix” it would be nice if certain posters didn’t taunt us about the beautiful weather they are experiencing…I am looking at you Blake and MTU!!!

  106. blake January 26th, 2012 at 10:05 am

    “Jones would get that job.”

    Jones would DH….Swisher in left….Choo in right…..Gardy on bench……not against all lefties but some.

  107. Tom in N.J. January 26th, 2012 at 10:05 am

    “TRUTH REVEALED key will be given out at a later time.”

    Trade in 50000 chip or bret trade proposals and get a TRUTH REVEALED decoder ring?

  108. austinmac January 26th, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Trisha,

    You are I often disagree, but I am with you on Cashman. He is regularly considered one of the top GMs by others in baseball. He makes a trade that most say resulted in the Yankees having a successful off-season, and now he is a dolt. Sheesh.

    I admit my opinions are simply that, my opinions. It disturbs me when others express their opinions as fact. Truly, if any of our opinions had value, someone would pay us for them rather than us writing them on a blog.

  109. blake January 26th, 2012 at 10:06 am

    “He would be the ideal #2 hitter vs righties.”

    .400 OBP 20 steal guy in front of Cano…..yes please

  110. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Blake,

    This is true. Flags fly forever. Plus Ethier would be a Type A free agent so there is some future benefit there as well. But after 2012, you have DH to fill, RF to fill and you’ve already traded Hughes.

  111. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Kate-

    No taunting intended. Just the facts M’am.

    signed,

    Jack Webb

    :)

    Dog walk time.

  112. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Brett – I’m assuming you’re not implying Nunez would be a better 3B than Alex..?

    The Nunez love on here is kind of crazy sometimes.. I’m not sure I get it. He’s a nice bench player.

  113. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 10:09 am

    But after 2012, you have DH to fill, RF to fill and you’ve already traded Hughes.

    Hughes would have to have a monster 2012 for the Yankees to trade him that offseason and return something that is both: valuable enough to fill DH or RF, and under control long enough to not be a ‘band-aid’.

  114. austinmac January 26th, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Kate,

    Seventy degrees and sunny today. You can return the favor in July when it is 105 here.

  115. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 10:10 am

    upstate kate January 26th, 2012 at 10:04 am

    as we are expecting another bout of the dreaded “wintery mix” it would be nice if certain posters didn’t taunt us about the beautiful weather they are experiencing…I am looking at you Blake and MTU!!!
    ——————

    upstate kate throwing some shade your way boys!!

  116. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 10:11 am

    The Nunez love on here is kind of crazy sometimes.. I’m not sure I get it. He’s a nice bench player.

    He does some things well, and a few things pretty poorly, and I don’t know why the Yankees have chosen to artificially limit his upside as a utility player when he could have been playing every day working on stuff. They should have traded him post jeter-resigning.

  117. blake January 26th, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Would Hughes and Romine pry either Choo or Ethier away? Probably take more for Choo. I think the Yankees are almost comitted to Martin longterm anyway so that would make Romine expendable if Cervelli is healthy enough to back up.

    I think they want Martin to.catch until Sanchez is ready

  118. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Jerkface,

    No doubt about that. It’s just that I’d be thinking more long term now if I’m trading Hughes and I think Headley is a cheap 3 year solution at DH with versatility uncommon for the position.

  119. blake January 26th, 2012 at 10:13 am

    “But after 2012, you have DH to fill, RF to fill and you’ve already traded Hughes.”

    They’ll have that problem anyway….

  120. Bret The Hitman January 26th, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Blake,

    Not if they added Headley right now.

  121. blake January 26th, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Hopefully the Orioles go ahead and sign Jackson to a 4 year deal……I would rather the Red Sox not get him on some 1 year pillow contract……because that would help their club quite a bit if for no other reason than to give them innings.

  122. Rich in NJ January 26th, 2012 at 10:17 am

    “Would Hughes and Romine pry either Choo or Ethier away?”

    I don’t think it makes sense to move Hughes now.

  123. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 10:17 am

    blake – Choo only has a couple of years of control left.. does Gardner get it done with that package? Would that be a good trade off?

  124. austinmac January 26th, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I don’t think the Yankees are going to trade Romine now. He is either the back-up this year or the only real alternate in the event of an injury or if Cervelli has more post-concussion syndrome issues.

    Hughes is always a guy whose starts I would look forward to watching and come away underwhelmed. Somehow, despite that, I think their is still hope. I would keep him if he is only part of a trade for a so-so DH or bench guy.

  125. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 10:11 am

    The Nunez love on here is kind of crazy sometimes.. I’m not sure I get it. He’s a nice bench player.

    He does some things well, and a few things pretty poorly, and I don’t know why the Yankees have chosen to artificially limit his upside as a utility player when he could have been playing every day working on stuff. They should have traded him post jeter-resigning.
    —————–

    Yeah thats why I thought they’d try to move him in a package this off season since teams were able to get a good look at him last year at 3B and SS as well as some OF.

  126. blake January 26th, 2012 at 10:19 am

    “I don’t think it makes sense to move Hughes now.”

    I agree…..but if you could get a guy like Choo back I think that’s a deal you have to go ahead and make.

  127. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 10:20 am

    JonHeymanCBS Jon Heyman
    Cardinals checked in on edwin jackson, who ended the yr with them and is talking to #redsox. Also has multiyr offer from 3rd team

    ——————–

    Ahhhh.. the mystery team…

  128. MaineYankee January 26th, 2012 at 10:21 am

    ” I err when talking about stuff on the blog” fixed

  129. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Yeah thats why I thought they’d try to move him in a package this off season since teams were able to get a good look at him last year at 3B and SS as well as some OF.

    Why they took him out of spring to only give him 49 PA for the next 2 months was baffling.

  130. blake January 26th, 2012 at 10:21 am

    “blake – Choo only has a couple of years of control left.. does Gardner get it done with that package? Would that be a good trade off?”

    Id do that straight up ….but doubt the Indians would …..id rather keep Gardner if I coukd because he adds a good dynamic to the Yanks with his speed and defense.

  131. Erin January 26th, 2012 at 10:22 am

    RiverAveBlues RT: @CurbedNY: Newly-retired Jorge Posada lists UES condo for $11.5 million: http://curbed.cc/zT9psT

  132. Rich in NJ January 26th, 2012 at 10:23 am

    blake

    Sure, even up, but it’s going to be a very discounted Hughes along with other pieces to compensate.

    This is where self-scouting is so important. They have to make a very sober assessment. If they have any remaining conviction that he could be #2-#3, they have to keep him. If not, move him. Same with Nova, in terms of whether or not he is really going to be a swing and miss pitcher (if Francesa is right that they waited a month to keep him out of the Pineda deal, then they probably do). If Nova is Wang-lite, I’d move him.

  133. dogface January 26th, 2012 at 10:24 am

    does Gardner get it done with that package? Would that be a good trade off?

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

    Not for the Tribe

  134. blake January 26th, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Can’t imagine the Sox would do a muktiyear offer for Jackson…..if they get snubbed on both he and Oswalt that Scutero trade will look super dumb

  135. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 10:25 am

    blake – I’m not trying to trade Gardner exactly but what about Gardner + AJ and a ton of money? So a 2 for 1 with cash included. Or, Gardner + Romine/Nunez/AAA pitcher + AJ and a ton of money? So we could still hang onto Hughes to see where he’s at development wise, we lose AJ and an upper level prospect along with Gardner’s speed game but add Choo’s bat.

    Is that second proposal too much though?

  136. Crawdaddy January 26th, 2012 at 10:25 am

    ” If Nova is Wang-lite, I’d move him.”

    IMO, I think the Yankees feel he can be better than Wang with less medical issues.

  137. blake January 26th, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Rich,

    Agreed….self scouting is very important.

  138. Rich in NJ January 26th, 2012 at 10:26 am

    They can’t trade Romine now.

  139. dogface January 26th, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Ahhhh.. the mystery team…

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

    Mystery team has been a big player in recent years. Fielder, Lee, C. Crawford, etc.

  140. Rich in NJ January 26th, 2012 at 10:27 am

    “IMO, I think the Yankees feel he can be better than Wang with less medical issues.”

    Peak Wang?

    Shiano from Rutgers to TB. Wow.

  141. blake January 26th, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Shane,

    That’s interesting…..doubt the Indians would bite though. I think they’d need Betances or some high upside guy thrown in

  142. dogface January 26th, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Is that second proposal too much though?

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

    Not enough

  143. austinmac January 26th, 2012 at 10:29 am

    MLBTR has a story that the O’s offered Jackson a four year deal. They must be the mystery team. They likely have to pay more to get a free agent with the team’s abysmal recent record.

    Ethier and Choo seem like the best of the possible lot. Ethier will be a free agent at the end of the year, however. Also, he is owed $11M this year so the budget may preclude him.

    At the end of the day, I don’t think a trade will be made.

  144. Crawdaddy January 26th, 2012 at 10:30 am

    “Peak Wang?”

    Yes, with more swing and misses than Peak Wang.

  145. Crawdaddy January 26th, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Of course, Nova still has some more refinement left before he’s there.

  146. dogface January 26th, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Shiano from Rutgers to TB. Wow.

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

    Wow indeed. Tough job.

  147. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 10:33 am

    blake – I think my argument (if I’m Cash) would be Choo hasn’t been healthy as of late and we’d only get two years of cost control. The thumb thing wouldn’t worry me so much but he did have back issues at the end of the season that should be considered. Also.. the whole DUI think this winter should probably be mentioned..I don’t personally think its something that we should worry about but in these kinds of negotiations I think that’s fair game.

  148. blake January 26th, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Shame,

    True…..call cash and get it done..

  149. stuckey January 26th, 2012 at 10:38 am

    “Agreed….self scouting is very important.”

    Careful, too much self scouting and you can go blind.

  150. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 10:40 am

    blake – I’m gonna have randy’s friend do it.

  151. dogface January 26th, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Shame:

    I think Cleveland’s counter argument would be “Fine, we won’t sell low and we’ll keep him”. Money isn’t going to be a problem for the Indians. Their 4 biggest contracts are off the books after this year. They won’t be moving Choo for salary reasons. It will be to get good cost controlled players. Or they’ll simply pony up to keep him.

  152. jacksquat January 26th, 2012 at 10:45 am

    “MLBTR has a story that the O’s offered Jackson a four year deal.”

    This is why the O’s suck.

  153. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Careful, too much self scouting and you can go blind.

    They should self scout until their palms grow hair

  154. Rich in NJ January 26th, 2012 at 10:46 am

    “This is why the O’s suck.”

    It’s sort of a self-perpetuating feedback loop. They suck so they have to pay more, but because they keep making bad decisions, they suck even more.

  155. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 10:47 am

    This is why the O’s suck.

    I like this version of the O’s though. Duquette loves international talent and their rotation has Wada and Chen, 2 pretty nice starters from the NPB that I wanted to see pitch in the majors. Now I will get to see them pitch, and regularly! Good job O’s!

    Chen is a young lefty with good strike out numbers, he would have been intriguing for the Yankees. Was a free agent too.

  156. jacksquat January 26th, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 10:25 am
    blake – I’m not trying to trade Gardner exactly but what about Gardner + AJ and a ton of money? So a 2 for 1 with cash included. Or, Gardner + Romine/Nunez/AAA pitcher + AJ and a ton of money? So we could still hang onto Hughes to see where he’s at development wise, we lose AJ and an upper level prospect along with Gardner’s speed game but add Choo’s bat.

    Is that second proposal too much though?

    You generally cannot include “tons of cash” in trades. The Commissioner does not want players who aren’t free agents to essentially be bought, he would not approve the trade. Cash is generally only used in relatively small amounts to balance out a trade.

  157. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 10:49 am

    You generally cannot include “tons of cash” in trades

    Except for like many of the big contract salary dumps where the trading team sent lots of money. The braves just paid for 80% of Derek Lowe’s contract. Thats ‘tons of cash’.

  158. jacksquat January 26th, 2012 at 10:50 am

    JF, has nothing to do with international free agents, it has to do with bad contracts. E Jax for 4 years? Not unless it’s really cheap, and he is a Boras client…

  159. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Your point doesnt really make sense. Any trade is ‘buying’ the player. Did you mean he doesn’t want players to essentially be ‘sold’ with the trading team paying most of the contract? Because he already allows that.

  160. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 10:51 am

    JF, has nothing to do with international free agents, it has to do with bad contracts. E Jax for 4 years? Not unless it’s really cheap, and he is a Boras client…

    I wasn’t saying they don’t suck. I am just saying if they are going to suck I like this version of the sucky O’s best. Instead of having to see re-hash MLB talent I get to see some new intl talent.

  161. jacksquat January 26th, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 10:49 am
    You generally cannot include “tons of cash” in trades

    Except for like many of the big contract salary dumps where the trading team sent lots of money. The braves just paid for 80% of Derek Lowe’s contract. Thats ‘tons of cash’.

    Salary dumps are a different situation.

  162. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Salary dumps are a different situation.

    Either its allowed or its not. There is nothing stopping the Yankees from sending AJ+lots of cash+prospects for a good player. Thats a perfectly cromulent baseball trade

  163. stuckey January 26th, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Jack,

    The O’s had by far the wost pitching in the majors last year. They have to do SOMETHING to improve. Jackson wouldn’t be a “build toward the PS season” move, it would be a “show our paying customers some mercy” move.

    Which is the reason I might dial ‘em up and ask which two pitchers of Hughes/Warren/Phelps would it take for Markakis, who’s going in the wrong direction for them.

    Two rotation-ready arms would be BIG for them.

    Maybe thrown in low A bat?

    Highly unlikely, but Markakis could be O’Neil 2.0.

  164. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 10:55 am

    The cash I was including is really meant to cover a chunk of AJs salary.. but I hear your points.

    If the Indians wanted young pitching for Choo I’d tell them to pick from any of the AAA starters and include Gardner to make up for their missing OFer. Maybe one AAA pitcher and another lower level, high ceiling pitching prospect + Gardner gets it done?

  165. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 10:55 am

    but Markakis could be O’Neil 2.0.

    For some posters here they’d have to put a tarp out on the field.

  166. jacksquat January 26th, 2012 at 10:56 am

    JF, show me a recent example of a team basically just sending a bunch of cash to another team where the cash is obviously a major part of the deal, and it’s not just a low salary middle reliever or someone like that, to acquire one of their players.

  167. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 10:57 am

    “There is nothing stopping the Yankees from sending AJ+lots of cash+prospects for a good player. Thats a perfectly cromulent baseball trade”

    I’m going to take this as a compliment since we tend to be stingy with them here on the blog :D

    AAA pitcher, Gardner and you have to take AJ for Choo lol! Someone tell Chip…

  168. dogface January 26th, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Either its allowed or its not. There is nothing stopping the Yankees from sending AJ+lots of cash+prospects for a good player.

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

    Doesn’t the Commisioner have to sign off on any deal involving more than $1 million changing hands?

  169. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Next years O’s rotation as it stands:

    Jeremy Guthrie (who is right now trying to weasel out of it by applying to run the MLB Fan Cave)
    Tsuyoshi Wada (Crafty veteran NPB lefty, think Japanese Andy Pettitte)
    Zach Britton (Top prospect)

    Then some combination of Brian Matusz (Former top prospect, not irreversibly broken due to Orioles curse), Tommy Hunter (Bad former Rangers pitcher), and Chris Tillman (terrible pitcher from the Bedard trade)

  170. Howard Cosell January 26th, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Great Blog Post – right on the money in so many ways……What I think is pretty fascinating is that Robertson didnt rest on his laurels and continue to throw heat the next year out. He is continually working on new pitches like the cutter. And any reliever that is not following Rivera like a puppy dog is an idiot on this team. (can we say this about Joba? Hughes?)

    Rivera is the equivalent of Babe Ruth at his position – why you wouldnt take advantage of hanging out with this guy even in the off season is mind boggling. If Im a reliever on the Yankees Id buy a small house near Rivera’s house in Panama and work out with this guy…

    Robertson if he has another good year – should be the transition guy from Rivera. Perhaps thats the big story here.

    DOES RIVERA HELP PASS THE TORCH TO ROBERTSON in 2012?

    HC

  171. jacksquat January 26th, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Oh, we’re talking AJ and paying most of his contract? Different than just sending cash, that is allowed. I just saw “ton of cash” and thought the intent was to just buy a contract from another team.

  172. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 11:00 am

    show me a recent example of a team basically just sending a bunch of cash to another team where the cash is obviously a major part of the deal, and it’s not just a low salary middle reliever or someone like that, to acquire one of their players.

    ?? Any trade where team has paid a lot of a contract. The Indians are not receiving JUST CASH. They are receiving players + cash to pay AJs contract. Its not what you’re making it out to be at all.

  173. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Doesn’t the Commisioner have to sign off on any deal involving more than $1 million changing hands?

    The commissioner’s office has to sign off on deals involving cash, yes. They are always signed off on though.

  174. dogface January 26th, 2012 at 11:01 am

    JF, show me a recent example of a team basically just sending a bunch of cash to another team where the cash is obviously a major part of the deal, and it’s not just a low salary middle reliever or someone like that, to acquire one of their players

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

    What does “cash is obviously a major part of the deal” mean? You don’t think cash was a major part of Zambrano to Fla? Or Lowe to Cleveland?

  175. Irreverent Discourse January 26th, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Good article, but -10 points for not mentioning the mechanics behind D-Rob’s magic fastball.

  176. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    jacksquat January 26th, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Oh, we’re talking AJ and paying most of his contract? Different than just sending cash, that is allowed. I just saw “ton of cash” and thought the intent was to just buy a contract from another team.

    ————-

    Thats right, jack.. When I included AJ in the deal I figured no one would take him even if you attached The Mick himself to it, so Gardner and AJ isn’t getting you much of anything unless you pay for some of his ridiculous contract.

  177. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    The commissioner’s office has to sign off on deals involving cash, yes. They are always signed off on though.
    —————–

    … remember when Arod was almost a Red Sox?! LMFAO!!

  178. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    … remember when Arod was almost a Red Sox?! LMFAO!!

    And of course A-rod was willing to restructure his contract so that he got paid less money to join the red-sox, but then every player ever wants more money from the Yankees :x

  179. dogface January 26th, 2012 at 11:09 am

    remember when Arod was almost a Red Sox?! LMFAO

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

    That was the MLBPA who called that off though.

  180. upstate kate January 26th, 2012 at 11:10 am

    ID
    as in his long reach which makes his FB seem faster than it is b/c it gets to the plate quicker?

  181. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Jerkface – So true. I still don’t get what kind of voodoo Lucchino pulls on these guys to take less money… Agod (typo but it stays), Pedroia, Youk, and even the major of mercenaries Arod… unreal.

    I’m convinced he has eyes like Medusa’s or a cane like Jaffar in Aladdin.

  182. jacksquat January 26th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Wasn’t it the players union that scuttled the A-Rod to the Red Sox deal because it supposedly lowered the value of the contract (because of too much deferral of salary I think)?

  183. Irreverent Discourse January 26th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    upstate kate – Correct. He leaps forward off the rubber, and releases the ball closer to home plate than any other pitcher in baseball. There is less velocity lost between his hand and the plate because the ball is in the air for less time… so his fastball seems to “jump” at hitters, getting there earlier than his arm action and actual velocity account for.

    It’s a beautiful quirk for a closer, they all need one to have any sort of long term success.

  184. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    mayor of mercenaries*

  185. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Wasn’t it the players union that scuttled the A-Rod to the Red Sox deal because it supposedly lowered the value of the contract (because of too much deferral of salary I think)?

    Yes. He wanted to actually take money out of the deal, which they poopoo’d.

  186. Chip January 26th, 2012 at 11:15 am

    blake January 26th, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Would Hughes and Romine pry either Choo or Ethier away? Probably take more for Choo. I think the Yankees are almost comitted to Martin longterm anyway so that would make Romine expendable if Cervelli is healthy enough to back up.

    I think they want Martin to.catch until Sanchez is ready
    ——————-

    I don’t think you need to include Romine. Hughes and a lesser prospect should be plenty for Ethier.

  187. Chip January 26th, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    … remember when Arod was almost a Red Sox?! LMFAO!!

    And of course A-rod was willing to restructure his contract so that he got paid less money to join the red-sox, but then every player ever wants more money from the Yankees-

    —————

    His willingness to restructure his contract is why the MLBPA killed the deal. It would have set a bad precedent.

  188. Irreverent Discourse January 26th, 2012 at 11:16 am

    upstate kate – For comparisons sake, D-Rob stands at 5’11″ (which I imagine is a bit generous). 6’10″ Randy Johnson didn’t get as close to the plate when he released the ball.

  189. Bronx Jeers January 26th, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Does anybody know of an instance when a player named in here was involved in a trade? I mean I’m sure Montero was mentioned a million times but did anybody see that coming? Most actual trades come out of nowhere and/or consist of consist of players many are reluctant to let go.

    Maybe we can start eliminating names from the great trade pool we’ve got going here. Like AJ.

  190. Rich in NJ January 26th, 2012 at 11:19 am

    “His willingness to restructure his contract is why the MLBPA killed the deal. It would have set a bad precedent.”

    No, it was that the restructuring reduced the inflation-adjusted AAV.

    Precedents have a role. The good the game should govern.

  191. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Does anybody know of an instance when a player named in here was involved in a trade?

    They traded Noesi which I thought they should have done (he or Nova) :v

  192. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Bronx – We’ve been trading Gardner for 3 years now.. just lets us have our fun! ;)

  193. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Jeers-

    FWIW I happen to think Betances is more available now than he was before the Pineda trade.

    Not saying we should trade him just that I believe the Yankees might be a little more open to it now.

    He’s a little less untouchable IMO.

    I’m not sure many would think that is advisable, or even a possibility.

    ;)

  194. Tom in N.J. January 26th, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Montero was named here a billion times. Heck he was traded once before.

    Pineda was never mentioned as a target though.

  195. austinmac January 26th, 2012 at 11:23 am

    I would love to get Markakis, but even if the O’s would trade with the Yankees, Markakis is owed nearly $60M over the next four years. Wouldn’t that blow the 2014 goal? Which, by the way, I hate as a goal.

  196. Erin January 26th, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I?m convinced he has eyes like Medusa?s or a cane like Jaffar in Aladdin.

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  197. Chip January 26th, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Bronx Jeers January 26th, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Maybe we can start eliminating names from the great trade pool we’ve got going here. Like AJ.

    ———————

    Only rosey eyed optimists think AJ will actually be traded.

  198. Chip January 26th, 2012 at 11:26 am

    MTU –

    How about Betances, Swisher and Hughes for J Up

  199. Rich in NJ January 26th, 2012 at 11:27 am

    “Pineda was never mentioned as a target though.”

    A month or so back, someone asked a Mailbag question of Axisa about Montero for Pineda. I think his name was Jack.

  200. Shame Spencer January 26th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Chip January 26th, 2012 at 11:26 am

    MTU –

    How about Betances, Swisher and Hughes for J Up
    ———————

    I’d swallow hard.. but I think I’d do it.

  201. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    The Yankees must have a computer like “Carmen”. Only better. It’s a “HAL” class 1 Billion.

    All they have to do is input the characteristics of the player they seek and it spits out the possibilities.

    The rest is just legwork. Too bad we don’t have one here on LoHud. It would sure simplify things.

    ;)

  202. Rich in NJ January 26th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Arizona won’t do that for Upton.

  203. Irreverent Discourse January 26th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    How about Betances, Swisher and Hughes for J Up

    This is the closest to a legit JUpton trade I’ve seen here yet. I don’t think you could do this trade before the season, but this could happen at the AS break if Arizona is not contending and Hughes is pitching well.

  204. Irreverent Discourse January 26th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Rich – Realistically I only see Arizona wanting to hold onto Upton for 2 more seasons, they will not want to pay him the $14mil the last 2 years of his deal… It’s probably still not enough this year though.

  205. Jerkface January 26th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    The Yankees must have a computer like “Carmen”. Only better. It’s a “HAL” class 1 Billion.

    All they have to do is input the characteristics of the player they seek and it spits out the possibilities.

    Brian: “HAL, trade AJ Burnett, eat 80% salary, receive something in return.”
    HAL: “I’m sorry, Brian, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
    Brian: “Acquire good left handed hitter”
    HAL: “I’m sorry, Brian, I’m afraid I can’t do that. Too expensive.”
    Brian: :c

  206. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I think Swisher is too expensive for their blood.

    No one knows our pitching better than Towers. Other than our own team.

    I said earlier that I wished we could exchange someone with his team because he knows the values much more accurately than other GM’s might having had the personal experience, and he is on very good terms with Cashman obviously.

    No one thought there was a good match though.

    :(

  207. Rich in NJ January 26th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    ID

    That’s why I would have held on to Montero… (I think it’s fair to bring that up here)

    Maybe they want Pineda?

    But yeah, they need more than a one year rental of Swisher and a very questionable Hughes.

    It would also have to be Banuelos, probably. And the Yankees need LH starters.

  208. jacksquat January 26th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Rich in NJ January 26th, 2012 at 11:27 am
    “Pineda was never mentioned as a target though.”

    A month or so back, someone asked a Mailbag question of Axisa about Montero for Pineda. I think his name was Jack.

    It wasn’t me!

    I like Pineda, but I did not want Montero traded. :(

  209. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    JF-

    You’re a SA. Can’t you alter the program for us so it pleases LoHud more ?

    :)

  210. DONNYBROOK January 26th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Seth Smith woulda been the perfect fit here, but Kuroda came into the fold too late. Cashman is just gonna have to sit tight till an affordable\ $2 or $3 Mill (LH) DH becomes available. I would pass onna Bay or El Caballo for AJ deal, and would Not greenlight Headley for Hughes. I would be interested in Hughes being involved in bringing over Alex Gordon, or possibly that W\Sox kid De Aza. De Aza looked Extremely good in his limited MLB exposure.

  211. jacksquat January 26th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    MTU January 26th, 2012 at 11:41 am
    JF-

    You’re a SA. Can’t you alter the program for us so it pleases LoHud more ?

    Maybe infect the HAL with the Hank virus…

  212. Irreverent Discourse January 26th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    rich in NJ – I really doubt Pineda was acquired to turn him around into something else. He’s probably here to pitch for the next 5 years unless he falls flat. I don’t see the “want” of JUpton justifying holding into Montero as a DH. He was used to create this pitching excess so that the excess can then be moved to fill a more important lineup position to this team going forward, SS/3B/OF.

  213. Nick in SF January 26th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    The computer was part of the Tampa faction; Cashman unplugged it.

    I could tell you more, but I don’t want to say anything that would affect a computer stilll working in the game.

  214. Chip January 26th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    MTU January 26th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I think Swisher is too expensive for their blood.

    No one knows our pitching better than Towers. Other than our own team.

    I said earlier that I wished we could exchange someone with his team because he knows the values much more accurately than other GM’s might having had the personal experience, and he is on very good terms with Cashman obviously.

    No one thought there was a good match though.
    ——————

    Well they would be saving with Swisher vs. Upton

  215. Irreverent Discourse January 26th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    rich in NJ – It’s just too early to talk JUpton as a trade target, there are other players out there not under control for so many years that won’t cost nearly as much. I still don’t see JUpton actually getting traded until AS break 2013, when he has 2 years $28mil left on his deal. By then the cost will come down to the point where a team will actually let go of the players necessary.

  216. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Thanks Nick.

    I know you have gone about as far as you dare.

    You never want to hurt all those electrons. Especially since they are so sensitive, and are delicately whirling around out there.

    Completely understand your position.

    :)

  217. Rich in NJ January 26th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    ID

    It was sarcasm. Sorry, I should have realized it doesn’t always translate on the net. Not that I wouldn’t do it, but I realize the current GM wouldn’t.

    As for holding on to Montero, as I have said (ad nauseum, right) I thought he was the most important player on the Yankees if you use a five or more year window, but again, as I said, if he was traded, I wanted to move him for a young, impact position player.

  218. Patrick January 26th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    If I were the Diamondbacks I wouldn’t trade Justin Upton for anyone. I’d keep him no matter what.

  219. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Chip-

    I am happy if you can get us Upton. Please proceed with all possible dispatch. Godspeed.

    :)

    Jack-

    Maybe it has been infected with the 2014 Luxury tax virus instead ?

    ;)

  220. Erin January 26th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Nick in SF January 26th, 2012 at 11:49 am
    The computer was part of the Tampa faction; Cashman unplugged it.

    I could tell you more, but I don?t want to say anything that would affect a computer stilll working in the game.

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

    :lol:

  221. Irreverent Discourse January 26th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    rich in NJ – No worries, I’m just getting myself into the flow for today anyway :)

    if he was traded, I wanted to move him for a young, impact position player.

    If 2 guys out of Pineda/Hughes/Nova work out, you may get that as the end result.

  222. comet January 26th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Shame welcome to our Spring Training Jaunt 2012 edition.

    Get ready for some sun and fun and baseball too.

    MTU the Superstitions? Were they armed when they went. They looked foreboding to me.

    Palm Desert might just be our future winter residence although I think Phoenix is more affordable and thus more likely.

    I like the idea of Choo but don’t see the Indians moving him.

  223. 108 stitches January 26th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Jeff Keppinger would have been a better utility player than Ramiro Pena. If the TB Rays can afford him, so could the Yankees have.

  224. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    New Thread —>

  225. Erin January 26th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    New Post: Looking everywhere for the next Mariano

    :arrow:

  226. RMS January 26th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Hughes value is low, won’t get much for him.

    I like Damon for DH. Good clutch hitter, good clubhouse guy, has played here before.

  227. stuckey January 26th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    “I would love to get Markakis, but even if the O’s would trade with the Yankees, Markakis is owed nearly $60M over the next four years. Wouldn’t that blow the 2014 goal? Which, by the way, I hate as a goal.”

    Has anyone thoroughly examined the Yankees current payroll obligations for 2014? We all know it’s Arod (who salary actually begins sliding down) Sabathia and Teixiera (which are static).

    Cano is obviously in line for a BIG raise, but other than that, there are no significant obligations, right?

    Jeter, Burnett, Soriano, Swisher, Mo (probably) are all erased.

    Cot’s has the obligation number at $75m and change.

    https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0Ah4PW47PiAi-dExKaHRyU2J1ZEN1THltdTFfbEFwcUE&output=html

    And I’m not ignoring arbitration eligible players and trying to retain Granderson if he repeats his 2011, I’m just talking about a pure crunching of the numbers?

    Anyone want to take a stab at estimating a roster make-up that comes in under $185m?

  228. MTU January 26th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Comet-

    Rugged hikers I guess ? They are foreboding looking w/o a doubt. I told you some of the stories about them in the past.

    Palm Desert is nicer than Phoenix IMO though I agree it would more costly to live there. Of course, you know my bias against big cities.

    Best of luck with whatever you decide to do. SAS lives over that way.

  229. Bronx Jeers January 26th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    FWIW I happen to think Betances is more available now than he was before the Pineda trade.

    ————————————————————————–

    Definitely. But I think Cash will probably want to hold onto him as long as he can or at least until we know what’s needed at the deadline. Personally I would offer Damon $4MM. They’re over the tax threshold anyway and he was a very popular player.

    I think the goal is to have CC + 4 cheap guys come 2014 with (fingers-crossed) Pineda & Nova being 2 of them. This season might be Hughes last shot (if he’s not traded)

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