The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


The value of A.J. Burnett

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 13, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Even when things are quiet, there’s rarely a dull moment with this team.

I was off last week, required to take one week of vacation before the start of spring training. It was nice, a little bit of down time before things get hectic down in Tampa. And aside from the Bill Hall signing and a full list of non-roster invitations, I really didn’t miss much.

But it’s never that simple with the Yankees.

The real story of last week was A.J. Burnett, and the Yankees negotiations to trade the embattled right-hander to Pittsburgh. I believe it was my friend Marc Carig who pointed out that the Pirates essentially would be using their money to give the Yankees some salary relief. How’s that for a new concept?

Of course, all of this stirs a debate of what exactly Burnett is worth. What’s he worth to the Yankees, and what’s he worth to someone else? What’s it worth to simply have him off the roster?

Obviously the Yankees are going to have to pay some of Burnett’s remaining contract. In fact, in order to trade him, they’ll almost certainly have to pay most of his remaining contract. Essentially, the Pirates have to decide what they’re willing to pay for two years of Burnett.

Can the Pirates justify telling the Yankees that they’ll pay only two years, $10 million? That’s what Chris Capuano got with the Dodgers, and that’s basically what Bruce Chen got with the Royals. Could the Yankees argue that Burnett is worth more than that? Aaron Harang got two years, $12 million from the Dodgers. He was worse than Burnett in 2010, but better in 2011. Is Harang a reasonable comparision for fair market value, and if he is — meaning the Yankees would eat $21 million of Burnett’s deal – how much more should the Pirates give up in terms of minor league talent?

For the Yankees, there is an obvious acknowledgement that Burnett’s contract is a problem. The past two years, he’s pitched like an overpriced innings eater, and now that the rotation is overflowing, the Yankees have no place for that sort of pitcher. The question is, what’s the alternative? What of those resources can be salvaged and put to better use?

If the Pirates — or any team, really — is willing to pay $10-15 million for Burnett, that’s extra money the Yankees could spend on a hitter (or maybe two hitters now that veterans are settling for smaller deals). In the past, I’ve argued that trading Burnett might not make sense because the return would be so limited, but given the Yankees current roster situation — with too many pitchers and not enough offensive role players — a limited return could be legimtately helpful. For the Yankees current needs, a platoon designated hitter and a last man off the bench seem more valuable than Burnett.

The Yankees’ money is already spent. The franchise is committed to this Burnett contract, no matter what. In the next two years, they’re going to spend $33 million on something. Should they spend it to keep Burnett on the roster, or should they spend it to get rid of Burnett and sign a couple of role players? Burnett is going to get his money. The Yankees have to get the most bang for their buck, with or without Burnett himself.

Associated Press photo

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194 Responses to “The value of A.J. Burnett”

  1. LGY February 13th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN

    Vladimir Guerrero has made it known to the Yankees that he wants their DH spot. IMO, Raul Ibanez still the frontrunner to sign w/NYY as DH.

    —————-

    I’m really not understanding this apparent fascination with Raul Ibanez.

    He is a double whammy of suck. Not only the worst hitter of the Ibanez/Damon/Matsui/Vlad group but the oldest as well.

    He should be the absolute last resort.

  2. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    dogface February 13th, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    If the Yanks trade Burnett, they could trade Soriano, too. Why not? If they trade Soriano, too, the Yanks would unload even more salary and be free of albatross pitching contracts

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

    They’ll be paying Burnett $10M per season to pitch somewhere else, so they hardly freed themselves of an albatross pitching contract. I’d imagine if Soriano could be moved, it would be for another a bad contract in return or feature the Yankees eating another $6M-$7M.

    Just cuz the pitchers disappear doesn’t mean the contracts do.
    ——————-

    Dogface –

    the Yankees aren’t concerned with what they’re paying, they’re concerned with their payroll. There’s a difference. You pay AJ to go away, yes you’re still paying him, but the money isn’t on your payroll anymore. This is extremely important with the 2014 “pseudo-cap” looming.

  3. Irreverent Discourse February 13th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Just some more about Burnett

    http://www.fangraphs.com/fanta.....j-burnett/

    More about Burnett’s value for fantasy baseball purposes… sometimes gives you an impartial perspective on how a player may perform… rather than just hating him because his name is Burnett.

  4. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    LGY February 13th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN

    Vladimir Guerrero has made it known to the Yankees that he wants their DH spot. IMO, Raul Ibanez still the frontrunner to sign w/NYY as DH.

    —————-

    I’m really not understanding this apparent fascination with Raul Ibanez.

    He is a double whammy of suck. Not only the worst hitter of the Ibanez/Damon/Matsui/Vlad group but the oldest as well.

    He should be the absolute last resort.
    ——————–

    Said it before and will say it again – I don’t want any of the geezers.

    I think they might have a little tunnel vision about wanting their DH to be LH which makes no sense – they could easily get a RH bat and be just as balanced given the switch hitters in their lineup. It just means that Andruw wouldn’t get as many at bats perhaps.

  5. LGY February 13th, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Also Chip, buddy, you have to let go of this David Wright thing. The Mets have no incentive to decline that option.

    If they can’t afford him they’ll just trade him at the deadline or pick up the option after the season and shop him at the winter meetings.

  6. Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    He is a double whammy of suck. Not only the worst hitter of the Ibanez/Damon/Matsui/Vlad group but the oldest as well.

    He should be the absolute last resort.

    And bonus, he is a terrible defender!

    http://www.lookoutlanding.com/.....absolutely

    comment section has 2 of my favorite baseball gifs!

  7. dogface February 13th, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    You pay AJ to go away, yes you’re still paying him, but the money isn’t on your payroll anymore.

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

    Whatever they pay Burnett counts as Yankees payroll and goes against their luxury tax figure. 2014 won’t matter because Burnett’s contract will be done, but he’s going to be a factor in their luxury tax figure both this year and next.

  8. Rich in NJ February 13th, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    “I’m really not understanding this apparent fascination with Raul Ibanez”

    This is just a guess, but Cashman reportedly gave Torre nearly complete control over marginal roster construction. I suspect that Girardi wants a DH that can play the field, and h’s too freakin’ rigid to look at it any other way.

  9. Erin February 13th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Chad-great post

    LGY- “double whammy of suck” gets my vote for LoHud phrase of the day. ;)

  10. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    LGY February 13th, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Also Chip, buddy, you have to let go of this David Wright thing. The Mets have no incentive to decline that option.

    If they can’t afford him they’ll just trade him at the deadline or pick up the option after the season and shop him at the winter meetings.
    ————–

    W-R-I-G-H-T :-D

    Or Soriano for Carlos Lee.

  11. Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    A-rod is on the team for 6 more years :o

  12. LGY February 13th, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I think they might have a little tunnel vision about wanting their DH to be LH

    ————

    I agree.

    Vladdy has always fared well against RHP.

  13. Bronx Jeers February 13th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I still find it hard to believe that a team would voluntarily pay 5-6MM a season for AJ Burnett. Imagine being a Pirate fan and dealing with this.

    I just realized ARod just may earn the first installment of his 30MM bonus. He needs 31 HR.

    Does this get added to payroll for lux tax purposes?

  14. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    A-rod is on the team for 6 more years
    ——————

    After this year you make Alex your full time DH.

  15. Erin February 13th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    AnthonyMcCarron Phil Hughes says he’s fitter than ever heading into Yankee spring training

  16. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    LGY February 13th, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I think they might have a little tunnel vision about wanting their DH to be LH

    ————

    I agree.

    Vladdy has always fared well against RHP.
    —————–

    My guess is that they have it stuck in their heads that Andruw Jones will bat against LHP.

    Frankly I would rather have Carlos Lee batting against both righties and lefties.

  17. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Erin February 13th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    AnthonyMcCarron Phil Hughes says he’s fitter than ever heading into Yankee spring training
    —————

    Find me a player who says he’s in the worst shape of his career – now THAT’s a story.

  18. dogface February 13th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Does this get added to payroll for lux tax purposes?

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

    I think bonuses get figured in at the end of the season.

  19. Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    My guess is that they have it stuck in their heads that Andruw Jones will bat against LHP.

    Well this is obviously fine, Andruw Jones hits well vs lefties. Its the righties which the Yankees need to solve. They could get a guy that is good all around (if possible, requires a trade I guess no FA left for that) but ideally they would just get someone that can hit righties. Anyone at all. Doesn’t have to play defense. And then you platoon them with Andruw Jones.

  20. dogface February 13th, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    My guess is that they have it stuck in their heads that Andruw Jones will bat against LHP.

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

    Why’s that a problem?

  21. El Duque February 13th, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I still find it hard to believe that a team would voluntarily pay 5-6MM a season for AJ Burnett. Imagine being a Pirate fan and dealing with this.

    I just realized ARod just may earn the first installment of his 30MM bonus. He needs 31 HR.

    Does this get added to payroll for lux tax purposes?

    ____________

    Yes it does!

  22. LGY February 13th, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Does this get added to payroll for lux tax purposes?

    ——–

    Yeah.

  23. yanks 27 February 13th, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    The reason Cashman stopped supporting Torre is because he wanted too much say in personnel decisions and was too intrusive in that area.

    If Cashman gave Girardi, an equally bad or worse talent evaluator than Torre, any kind of autonomy after what happened with Torre… well, that is a futile sign for the future of our team.

  24. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    My guess is that they have it stuck in their heads that Andruw Jones will bat against LHP.

    Well this is obviously fine, Andruw Jones hits well vs lefties. Its the righties which the Yankees need to solve. They could get a guy that is good all around (if possible, requires a trade I guess no FA left for that) but ideally they would just get someone that can hit righties. Anyone at all. Doesn’t have to play defense. And then you platoon them with Andruw Jones.
    ———————–

    and I think they settled on Ibanez because they feel like he would be most accepting of a limited role.

    If that’s what the Yankees want then a better/cheaper option IMO is working out a deal for Jason Giambi.

  25. yanks 27 February 13th, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    You know ST is around the corner when the “best shape of my life” stories are starting to circulate.

  26. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    dogface February 13th, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    My guess is that they have it stuck in their heads that Andruw Jones will bat against LHP.

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

    Why’s that a problem?
    ————

    It’s not except that it has them brain locked on getting a LH bat instead of just getting a good bat.

  27. blake February 13th, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    “I’m really not understanding this apparent fascination with Raul Ibanez.”

    Only thing I can figure is that maybe he will be the cheapest and they’d feel the least bad about cutting him if Andre Ethier or Choo are available in July.

  28. 4time February 13th, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Hughes being in the best shape of his life isn’t going to give him secondary pitches. Another non-tweet by the genius beat writers. Wonder when they will tweet that Okajima looked “electric” in his bullpen session.

  29. Irreverent Discourse February 13th, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Do you think they are doing that well? If so, how?

    If they truly believed Montero could not be a catcher, I see what they did as the right move. Most of what Cashman has done with his farm system over the last few years has been moving in the direction I’m leaning towards, so there’s that… I wouldn’t say they are doing it “well” but the signs are there that it’s a possibility they are moving in the right direction.

    Either way, DHing him really shouldn’t be a consideration at this point.
    A-Rod can still play 3B well when he is healthy, but now his health is a bigger concern that it was when his contract was given to him. Maybe not this season, but every season going forward for the rest of his contract his health and ability to play the field cannot be assumed. This need to be extended by resting him as much as possible. Unfortunately as constructed they cannot effectively do that, because Nunez is terrible and can’t effectively back him up. If Chavez had worked out better they could be in a better position today… basically they will need a backup 3B that can hit league average ASAP… preferably one that is young and cost controlled and will be ready to be the full-time 3B in 3ish years… but i digress… :)

    Cash got the opt-out right for more compelling reasons than even drugs. Credit where it was due.
    I’d say he gave the opt-out a year too early if you ask me :) Could you imagine the difference in years and money if it was after yuri/boli and after the first signs of the hip?

    There was no pressing need to trade a player who could have given them massive production at DH. So I don’t see why that should have factored into their plans.
    But you yourself said they must always take the future into consideration. Right now they have an aging, injured A-Rod that is going to need more DH/off time than previously anticipated… you don’t want him out entirely so you need to basically turn him into the back-up 3B/primary DH. They need to keep that same consideration for Jeter, Texeira, and any other player they sign to a contract that touches the age 34 or older seasons. This left Montero with a small window of time for full-time DH production, and a disappearing window to trade him away as a potential catcher. They capitalized on his value when the dream of his catching hasn’t died, not as “just a DH”… or at least they think/hope they did.

    Because of the contracts they currently employ, the Yankees could not have picked a worse time to have a stud prospect come up that has no definitive place on the field. Bad timing leads to moves like this being made.

    Just saw this on another post…
    “Sending Nova to the minors last year wasn’t about development – it was that they had too many healthy pitchers. It was a numbers crunch.”
    Exactly, Chip. So it does nothing to further the argument that they developed him well.

    Except he developed his slider while down there and came up pitching better than when he went down. You can try to knock down the process with Nova as lucky but whatever it was, it was effective to a very measurable degree last year.

  30. Irreverent Discourse February 13th, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Whoa, sorry for that wall of text, I’ll take a break for a little while and check in again at 5. :)

  31. SoS February 13th, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Im with Chip on having Alex DH after this year. We need him to stay healthy and that would be the best way to get the most out of his bat. If Wright isnt available then you go after Miguel. No not that Miguel unless you were thinking of Cairo. Maybe in the New Yankee Stadium, he can get a pop fly to go over. Or Luis Sojo if that fails. Brosious is too old. Think of the bright side. All we would have to do is cut a bullpen catcher in the minors to cover their costs.

  32. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    yanks 27 February 13th, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    The reason Cashman stopped supporting Torre is because he wanted too much say in personnel decisions and was too intrusive in that area.
    ———————

    The reason Cashman stopped supporting Torre was because it wasn’t worth supporting him anymore.

    Torre had alienated the team’s best player (Alex), he couldn’t be trusted not to abuse three pitchers that the Yankees were trying to work in (Joba, Hughes, Kennedy) and the bottom line was that he was getting blasted in the first round of the playoffs by less talented teams.

  33. Rich in NJ February 13th, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    “Only thing I can figure is that maybe he will be the cheapest…”

    blake

    It’s probably a difference of 1 or 2% of their payroll..

  34. blake February 13th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Im just nit sure how good David Wright is anymore…..he’s still pretty young…..but he swings and misses the ball an awful lot these days and that has nothing to do with Citi field

  35. Rich in NJ February 13th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    “We need him to stay healthy and that would be the best way to get the most out of his bat. ”

    This is not necessarily true. Swinging the bat may be what puts stress on his hip and knee.

  36. SoS February 13th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Folks. On a serious note. Why are we still talking about retreads? Why not have a dh that can hit over 30 homeruns a season, hit over .250 and strikeout a ton doing it? People pay big bucks for players like that. We have one in our system just waiting for the phone to ring. He might be the next Kevin Maas. Vasquez should get a shot. More upside than any of the names that are being mentioned.

  37. Yankee Trader February 13th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    If the Yankees want a full time DH, Guerrero, based on last season makes the most sense, Doesn’t walk, but hits to all fields and can launch them over the RF wall in YS. He also doesn’t strike out much.

    Ibanez is a pure DH facing righties and even then hit only.256 against them with a terrible overall OB% They don’t need his below marginal glove as they have Andruw Jones.

    If they want a player as full time DH who can hit a few dngers and go from 1st to 3rd on a RF single, then Damon is the man, as long as he leaves his glove at home.

  38. blake February 13th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    “It’s probably a difference of 1 or 2% of their payroll..”

    Yea but apparently it matters to them……again I think all these leaks are to push Damon….but would I put it past the Yanks to sign Ibanez because he’s cheapest at this point……Nope.

  39. Irreverent Discourse February 13th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    This is not necessarily true. Swinging the bat may be what puts stress on his hip and knee.

    We are not just concerned with his hip, which came out of nowhere. We are now concerned with his entire body breaking down. Any minute he doesn’t spend on the field diving at ground balls (that he may not even catch) will help preserve him.

    Obviously giving him full days off would be even more effective, but then you are losing his bat completely.

    Everything we are talking about is assuming that he will be productive to some degree in these roles. If he’s going to bat .150/.200/.200 then they will have to figure something else out, obviously.

  40. Rich in NJ February 13th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    “If they truly believed Montero could not be a catcher, I see what they did as the right move.”

    Why not wait a little longer to find out?

    “A-Rod can still play 3B well when he is healthy, but now his health is a bigger concern that it was when his contract was given to him”

    It may be that playing 3B has no effect on his health.

    “They need to keep that same consideration for Jeter, Texeira, and any other player they sign to a contract that touches the age 34 or older seasons. ”

    Not if they can’t hit enough to justify DHing.

    “Except he developed his slider while down there and came up pitching better than when he went down”

    Was that a plan or an accident?

  41. Rich in NJ February 13th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    “We are not just concerned with his hip, which came out of nowhere. We are now concerned with his entire body breaking down”

    This is all speculation, but it’s really not the issue. The issue is whether or not playing the field or hitting puts more stress on his legs. CB seems to think it’s the later. I think his argument makes sense.

  42. Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    I don’t think they should consider DHing Tex. He is at the position closest to DH on the field. And Jeter is going to bench, not DH.

  43. Irreverent Discourse February 13th, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Why not wait a little longer to find out?

    They waited 2 full seasons of AAA to call up romine instead… how much progress did he actually make in those 2 years? now he’s at the level where he has to hit the majors and can’t catch full time anymore, how is he going to progress as a catcher better more than he has catching full-time?

    It may be that playing 3B has no effect on his health.
    It may be that the sun turns blue when you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s true.

    Not if they can’t hit enough to justify DHing.
    No one is arguing that we should keep unproductive bats in the lineup. This is beginning to sidestep and turn this conversation on its head like last time.

    RE: Nova Was that a plan or an accident?
    Could ask this question about every single player and prospect in baseball… he went down and I presume at some point talked to a coach or manager, and then threw his slider more effectively. Whatever it was, it was successful.

  44. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Rich in NJ February 13th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    “If they truly believed Montero could not be a catcher, I see what they did as the right move.”

    Why not wait a little longer to find out?

    ———————

    Because if you find out that he can’t catch then so does everyone else and all of a sudden you can’t get the Mariners to give you a player like Pineda for him.

  45. SoS February 13th, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Playing third base has to take its toll on his body. Going after nubbers hit in front of him and having to throw accross his body. Or ground ball hit to the gaps that he has to dive to get. I would think taking that away would give us 50% more healthier Alex. I did the graph myself, cant find this kind of info anywhere.

  46. Irreverent Discourse February 13th, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    This is all speculation, but it’s really not the issue. The issue is whether or not playing the field or hitting puts more stress on his legs.

    No, the issue is keeping A-Rod healthy and productive until he is 41. Whether that means resting a hip, knee, elbow, neck, back, head, hair, toenail or jockstrap… being the DH is more restful than playing the field. Like I said, not playing is “more restful” but also “less productive”.

  47. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    I don’t think they should consider DHing Tex. He is at the position closest to DH on the field. And Jeter is going to bench, not DH.
    ———————–

    Also Tex is a premier defensive player – DHing him negates a huge part of the value he brings to the team.

  48. pat February 13th, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    How Alex’s opt out went down gives Cashman arms length deniability but Cashman was willing to negotiate an extension prior to the opt out so is he really deserving of credit for seeing into the future?

  49. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Blake -

    On Wright – I think the park is in his head and has led to bad habits.

  50. 4time February 13th, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    The problem is people are putting too much emphasis on where Montero plays.

    The bat speed/power is what the team needs – they don’t need it from catcher.

  51. Yankee Trader February 13th, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    There’s one Pirate player who played toward the end of last year. He was not a highly ranked rookie but he’s a lefty and played LF for them. Hit .298 in 215 ABs, .327 against righties and .237 vs lefties. He’s already 26 but looks like he has some speed-led the team in triples [6]. Maybe he might be one of the players the Yankees should name in return for Burnett

  52. Doc Iac February 13th, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    my friends who r met fans(poor souls) say wright cant hit in the clutch…

    i dont watch the mets enuff to know

  53. blake February 13th, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I wouldn’t move Alex to DH until there was an option to play 3B that would make the team better…..

  54. Yankee Trader February 13th, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    It would really help if I gave you his name-Alex Presley. Any thoughts?

  55. blake February 13th, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    “On Wright – I think the park is in his head and has led to bad habits.”

    That may be true…..but there is no way Id give him a big contract until I saw him be the player he was 3 years ago again and stay healthy.

  56. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Yankee Trader February 13th, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    There’s one Pirate player who played toward the end of last year. He was not a highly ranked rookie but he’s a lefty and played LF for them. Hit .298 in 215 ABs, .327 against righties and .237 vs lefties. He’s already 26 but looks like he has some speed-led the team in triples [6]. Maybe he might be one of the players the Yankees should name in return for Burnett
    ————–

    I don’t think the Pirates are going to give the Yankee anyone off their 40 man roster.

  57. SoS February 13th, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    my friends who r met fans(poor souls) say wright cant hit in the clutch…

    =====

    People here used to say the same thing about Alex. Hits when it doesnt count. He almost single handedly gave us #27. I would take the risk on him.

  58. Irreverent Discourse February 13th, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 4:00 pm
    I don’t think they should consider DHing Tex. He is at the position closest to DH on the field. And Jeter is going to bench, not DH.
    ———————–
    Chip February 13th, 2012 at 4:03 pm
    Also Tex is a premier defensive player – DHing him negates a huge part of the value he brings to the team.

    I’m not talking about doing this alot, just enough to keep him fresh for the next 5 seasons. Who is to say he won’t have surprise injury problems like A-Rod? Teixeira already DH’s 10 games a season, bumping this to 15 or 20 isn’t outrageous… and not this year obviously.

  59. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    blake February 13th, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I wouldn’t move Alex to DH until there was an option to play 3B that would make the team better…..
    ————–

    Can always hope that Eduardo Nunez’s bat continues to develop or that Corban Joseph or Brandon Laird figure it out.

  60. Erin February 13th, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    RealMichaelKay Talking AJ Burnett situation with buster Olney at 415 pm on the Michael Kay show on ESPN New York,

  61. Doc Iac February 13th, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    sos,

    ya u right, i didnt think about that

    there are still yankee fans who say arod isnt clutch…he has been clutch his whole career, i remeber an article this site posted sayin arod has been clutch

  62. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Doc Iac February 13th, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    my friends who r met fans(poor souls) say wright cant hit in the clutch…

    i dont watch the mets enuff to know
    —————

    Mets don’t play in any meaningful games so how would anyone know what he’s able to do in the clutch :-)

  63. Doc Iac February 13th, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Mets don’t play in any meaningful games so how would anyone know what he’s able to do in the clutch :-)

    haha valid point….im guessin they were talkin about 06 and 07

  64. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    For those who care – Baseball Prospectus has their top 101 prospects:

    http://www.baseballprospectus......leid=16020

  65. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    4 Yankees made the list – the ones you would expect, Manny B, Gary Sanchez, Dellin, and Mason Williams.

  66. sammiejohnson February 13th, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    “If they truly believed Montero could not be a catcher, I see what they did as the right move.”

    Fwiw, I just saw a short video of Mariners’ camp on BBTN. Montero wearing Mariners jersey hard to watch (he is still wearing #63). And he was catching, you guessed it, King Felix. If he opens season as Mariners’ starting catcher, Cashman might want to consider the witness protection program.

  67. Irreverent Discourse February 13th, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    The Mariners already announced Miguel Olivo as their starting catcher I believe… so Cashman can walk down the street safely for now.

  68. Bronx Jeers February 13th, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    If Alex’s 6MM bonus gets added then it makes sense when they say that the savings from AJ won’t necessarily be used for Damon or whovever is the best option.

  69. MTU February 13th, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    YT-

    Alex Presley.

    No relation to Elvis.

    No need to thank me.

    ;)

  70. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    sammiejohnson February 13th, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    “If they truly believed Montero could not be a catcher, I see what they did as the right move.”

    Fwiw, I just saw a short video of Mariners’ camp on BBTN. Montero wearing Mariners jersey hard to watch (he is still wearing #63). And he was catching, you guessed it, King Felix. If he opens season as Mariners’ starting catcher, Cashman might want to consider the witness protection program.
    ——————————-

    Why?

    Because a bad team that’s not in contention for anything is willing to play a subpar player doesn’t mean that a team contending for a championship should.

    I mean, if the Yankees trade Burnett to the Pirates and he’s their opening day starter does that mean the Yankees should have kept him?

    The Mariners need Montero to catch to justify the fact that they traded Pineda for him or else their fan base will be out for blood.

  71. 108 stitches February 13th, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    What’s most bothersome with Burnett is his clogging up of a rotation spot both in 2012 and 2013 when pitchers such as Warren, Phelps, and Mitchell are on the cusp of being available in 2012 and Banuelos and Betances in 2013 thus holding back their progress.
    Burnett is as good as he’ll ever get and being a big fish in a small pond in Pittsburgh is where he should be.
    Cashman needs to act within the next few days before the Pirates withdraw from consideration and see the Yankees with the Burnett question hanging over their heads during spring training.

  72. sammiejohnson February 13th, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Irreverent Discourse February 13th, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    The Mariners already announced Miguel Olivo as their starting catcher I believe… so Cashman can walk down the street safely for now.

    ____________

    Maybe, but Olivo can’t hit. Not hard to see Montero tearing it up in ST and proving to be ok behind the plate. Wouldn’t take much for the Mariners’ to change their mind.

  73. MTU February 13th, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    YT-

    http://www.baseball-reference......1&t=b

    There’s his #’s.

    Not much Pro experience. Therefore not much to go on.

  74. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    sammiejohnson February 13th, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Irreverent Discourse February 13th, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    The Mariners already announced Miguel Olivo as their starting catcher I believe… so Cashman can walk down the street safely for now.

    ____________

    Maybe, but Olivo can’t hit. Not hard to see Montero tearing it up in ST and proving to be ok behind the plate. Wouldn’t take much for the Mariners’ to change their mind.
    —————-

    Given that Montero couldn’t hit enough last spring to beat out Gus Molina for a back up job I find this to be an unlikely scenario.

  75. Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Given that Montero couldn’t hit enough last spring to beat out Gus Molina for a back up job I find this to be an unlikely scenario.

    Montero OPS’d over 1 every spring before that.

  76. MTU February 13th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    108-

    I’m with you.

    Let’s put a bow on it, and get ‘er done.

    Out West we try not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

    ;)

  77. Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Is it really an unlikely scenario that Montero hit well in spring training? I think thats a ludicrous statement to make.

  78. Against All Odds February 13th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Is it really an unlikely scenario that Montero hit well in spring training? I think thats a ludicrous statement to make.

    —————————–

    And even if he doesn’t it’s ST

  79. Irreverent Discourse February 13th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Maybe, but Olivo can’t hit. Not hard to see Montero tearing it up in ST and proving to be ok behind the plate. Wouldn’t take much for the Mariners’ to change their mind.

    Montero isn’t going to AAA to catch for them, he’s going to DH and never learn how to catch. That’s my guess.

  80. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Given that Montero couldn’t hit enough last spring to beat out Gus Molina for a back up job I find this to be an unlikely scenario.

    Montero OPS’d over 1 every spring before that.
    ——————-

    Okie dokie.

    So what you’re saying is that with a job on the line Montero pooped the bed :-) (just kidding- I could care less about spring stats)

  81. pat February 13th, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    “Wouldn’t take much for the Mariners’ to change their mind.”

    It would take a heck of a spring training based on Wedge’s comments following the trade.

  82. 4time February 13th, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    If people thought the constant Austin Jackson/Kennedy updates were rough, just wait for the Montero/Noesi ones. At least the majority liked the Granderson trade, can’t say the same for the Pineda one.

  83. Irreverent Discourse February 13th, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    pat – Did Wedge say they are keeping him down to keep working on catching?? That would be what the Yankees should have done had they kept him… send him down again and make him exhaust every oppurtunity to catch. He shouldn’t have been the DH this year anyway, even if he wasn’t traded.

  84. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Is it really an unlikely scenario that Montero hit well in spring training? I think thats a ludicrous statement to make.
    ——————

    Of course it doesn’t matter how Montero hits in the spring. No more than it matters how you hit during a September call-up; actually even less than that.

    Whether Montero catches or DHs won’t be determined by his hitting or by Olivo’s hitting – it will come down to their defense and handling of the pitchers. Not that Miguel Olivo will have anyone confusing him with Pudge Rodriguez. But he’s still probably a better defensive option than Montero.

  85. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Irreverent Discourse February 13th, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    pat – Did Wedge say they are keeping him down to keep working on catching?? That would be what the Yankees should have done had they kept him… send him down again and make him exhaust every oppurtunity to catch. He shouldn’t have been the DH this year anyway, even if he wasn’t traded.
    —————–

    So three years at AAA? That would officially end the Mike Piazza, Miguel Cabrera comparisons.

  86. Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Of course it doesn’t matter how Montero hits in the spring.

    I don’t care about Montero becoming catcher, I just think its stupid you said its unlikely because ‘montero didnt hit well last year’.

  87. Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Did Wedge say they are keeping him down to keep working on catching?? That would be what the Yankees should have done had they kept him… send him down again and make him exhaust every oppurtunity to catch. He shouldn’t have been the DH this year anyway, even if he wasn’t traded.

    Montero is going to DH and be the backup catcher, is what Wedge said.

  88. blake February 13th, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    “Can always hope that Eduardo Nunez’s bat continues to develop or that Corban Joseph or Brandon Laird figure it out.”

    Yuck

  89. Yankee Trader February 13th, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    MTU-
    Maybe a distant cousin to Elvis.

    At this point if they can trade Burnett and give up 20M, then they did more than expected, and a case of Iron City beer or better yet, rolling rock, should satisfy the Yankee brass! :)

  90. kd February 13th, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Jon Heyman @JonHeymanCBS

    #yankees, #pirates still talking aj. deal likely to get done w/ bucs paying $13-15M of $33M, & giving up 2 non-roster guys

    is tony sanchez on their 40 man?

  91. Erin February 13th, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    JonLaneNYC .@Buster_ESPN to Michael Kay: Burnett trade talks on ’10-15 yard line.’ #Yankees

  92. Nick in SF February 13th, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    “Is it really an unlikely scenario that Montero hit well in spring training?”

    Have you been reading the beat reporters’ tweets about how cold it is in Tampa right now???

    No way Montero could hit in cold weather like that if he was still a Yankee. He’s much better off going through spring training in Arizona, though someplace like Equatorial Guinea would be more ideal.

  93. MTU February 13th, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    YT-

    They should do it. If can get any prospects so much the better.

    Just take the salary relief if nothing else.

    I like Rolling Rock by the way.

    :)

  94. blake February 13th, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    K Long in the radio…..sounds very pro Damon.

  95. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Of course it doesn’t matter how Montero hits in the spring.

    I don’t care about Montero becoming catcher, I just think its stupid you said its unlikely because ‘montero didnt hit well last year’.
    ————

    I was joking

  96. blake February 13th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    “JonLaneNYC .@Buster_ESPN to Michael Kay: Burnett trade talks on ’10-15 yard line.’ #Yankees”

    Send in Tebow!

  97. Bronx Jeers February 13th, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    If I was a Pirate fan I’d Be huffing some serious extra paint about now.

  98. LGY February 13th, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Buster said he gets the strong feeling Ibanez is the #1 target basically because the perception is that he’s still a competent defender.

    Ugh.

  99. 4time February 13th, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Because Damon is the best player of all these guys mentioned. Unfortunately, the Yankees seem to be interested in the worst one (Ibanez).

  100. Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Buster said he gets the strong feeling Ibanez is the #1 target basically because the perception is that he’s still a competent defender.

    lmao perception ??? Perceived by whom?

  101. blake February 13th, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    “Buster said he gets the strong feeling Ibanez is the #1 target basically because the perception is that he’s still a competent defender.”

    The perception is wrong

  102. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    kd February 13th, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Jon Heyman @JonHeymanCBS

    #yankees, #pirates still talking aj. deal likely to get done w/ bucs paying $13-15M of $33M, & giving up 2 non-roster guys
    ————————–

    If the Yankees manage to get anyone that some evaluator says is worth anything I would be shocked and amazed and immediately find Brian Cashman a much hotter girlfriend.

  103. Nick in SF February 13th, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    The holdup in the AJ deal is over which team will pick up his membership dues for the WPBA.

    http://wpba.kbakery.com/

  104. Yankee Trader February 13th, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    kd-

    Tony Sanchez is not on the 40 man roster. Attached 40 man as of 1/17/12 and their salaries:

    http://www.piratesprospects.co.....yroll.html

  105. 108 stitches February 13th, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    It’s been said that Burnett is a nice guy and good in the clubhouse. Not a recipe for pitching under .500 baseball.
    As former Brooklyn Dodger / New York Giant manager Leo Durocher was fond of saying, “Nice guys finish last.”

  106. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    LGY February 13th, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Buster said he gets the strong feeling Ibanez is the #1 target basically because the perception is that he’s still a competent defender.

    ——————–

    That’s only because the other three are DHs…it’s like saying that out of me, my brother and Kyle Davies that Davies is perceived as the best major league pitcher.

  107. LGY February 13th, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    lmao perception ??? Perceived by whom?

    ————–

    “Perception of scouts”

  108. LGY February 13th, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Ibanez can give you 30 or so starts in left or right field and be “representative”

  109. Against All Odds February 13th, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Great another old guy

  110. Yankee Trader February 13th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Nick-

    I think you’re right. He’ll want to make sure there will be pies on hand.

  111. Doc Iac February 13th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    ibanez will cost the yankees more cause they gotta order xxxl helmets for his dome piece

  112. blake February 13th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Buster’s scout rates Ibanez as a plus defender.

  113. kd February 13th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    thanks trader.

    chip,

    the yankees might get someone ok. good, not great. remember that aj would be the opening day starter for the bucs

    tony sanchez, we can all dream, would be an absolute coup

    cash has gotten the better of teams before, see the swisher trade. one can always hope

  114. LGY February 13th, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Vladdy “wants to sign with them.” Damon “desperate to sign with them”

    Kay wants to know WHY (in classic screechy and loud Kay voice) Ibanez over Damon.

  115. blake February 13th, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    They are playing chicken with Damon…….

  116. stuckey February 13th, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Despite the absolute torturous level of self-satisfied smugness that will envelope this forum like a April fog in Maine in Montero starts off hot, for the kid’s sake I hope I have to wade through it, and good.

    I hope Randy and J.AP and the rest get their fondest wish.

    That’ll all get made up for anyway when the Yankees actually have a league-leading (ish) offense over the next several years and their aging line-up doesn’t suddenly turn to a pile of dust and bone like a vampire in sunlight, as is being commonly predicting around here…

  117. LGY February 13th, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Also, one of Buster’s scouts thinks AJ can give the Pirates a 3.9 ERA and 220 innings.

  118. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Yankee Trader February 13th, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    kd-

    Tony Sanchez is not on the 40 man roster. Attached 40 man as of 1/17/12 and their salaries

    ——————–

    Shockingly Sanchez would make some sense

    Here – you can play with this list and see who you would like. http://players.piratesprospects.com/#of

  119. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    LGY February 13th, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Also, one of Buster’s scouts thinks AJ can give the Pirates a 3.9 ERA and 220 innings.
    —————–

    Look for the scout that’s high – that’s the one who is giving Buster his info.

  120. Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    day: .281 .364 .470 .834
    night: .254 .333 .431 .764

    What if they are reverse vampires?

  121. Yankee Trader February 13th, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Chip-

    The Yankees might actually get someone from their 40 man roster, as of now it’s at 40 and one will have to come off when Burnett finally “crosses the goaline from the 15.”

  122. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    LGY February 13th, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Vladdy “wants to sign with them.” Damon “desperate to sign with them”

    Kay wants to know WHY (in classic screechy and loud Kay voice) Ibanez over Damon.
    ——————

    Vlad and Damon feel that way because they are running out of options – if the Yankees don’t sign them exactly what’s left?

  123. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    kd February 13th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    thanks trader.

    chip,

    the yankees might get someone ok. good, not great. remember that aj would be the opening day starter for the bucs

    —————–

    That’s more of a reflection on how bad the Pirates’ rotation is than saying anything positive about AJ.

  124. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    blake February 13th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Buster’s scout rates Ibanez as a plus defender.
    ——————

    compared to what – a corpse?

  125. Irreverent Discourse February 13th, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    They are playing chicken with Damon… and rightfully so… I bet Cash was pissed when Damon ended taking what he did in 2010.

  126. blake February 13th, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Damon and Soler and head to Tampa……let Chavez pile up medical bills for somebody else.

  127. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Yankee Trader February 13th, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Chip-

    The Yankees might actually get someone from their 40 man roster, as of now it’s at 40 and one will have to come off when Burnett finally “crosses the goaline from the 15.”
    ————-

    Meh – I would rather have a minor leaguer than Jeff Karstens.

  128. Nick in SF February 13th, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    We need Josh Hamilton to counter the Reverse Vampire Effect.

  129. LGY February 13th, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    @stealofhome Chris St. John
    If I did everything right, no hitting prospect ranked in the top 20 from 1990-2006 has ever not made the major leagues

  130. austinmac February 13th, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    What kind of play do they need to run? I put the Pirates in touch with Buster’s scout. Done deal.

  131. pat February 13th, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    “Montero is going to DH and be the backup catcher, is what Wedge said.”

    Wedge said Montero will focus on being the DH. He also said there are guys (plural) ahead of him at catcher and they think he can do it eventually but he needs to work with Olivo, Wedge and others to develop his catching.

  132. blake February 13th, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    “They are playing chicken with Damon… and rightfully so… I bet Cash was pissed when Damon ended taking what he did in 2010.”

    Yea I don’t have a problem with them playing the game…..get him as cheap as you can but at the end of the day get the right player…..and that’s pretty clearly JD.

  133. Yankee Trader February 13th, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Chip-

    Actually the Pirates rotation was not all that bad. Morton and Karstens had good years as did James McDonald; They have Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon a few years away and a 17 year old Mexican who is highly touted-Luis Heredia.

  134. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    pat February 13th, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    “Montero is going to DH and be the backup catcher, is what Wedge said.”

    Wedge said Montero will focus on being the DH. He also said there are guys (plural) ahead of him at catcher and they think he can do it eventually but he needs to work with Olivo, Wedge and others to develop his catching.
    —————-

    Good for Wedge – let the GM take the heat if he doesn’t do more than DH – you concentrate on what’s best for the team because lord knows if you put Montero back there and he’s not ready they’re not going to say “oh, Eric should stay manager because he’s doing what’s in the best interests of the team long term” they’re going to fire you for losing games.

    Development is for minor league managers, winning for major league managers.

  135. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Yankee Trader February 13th, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Chip-

    Actually the Pirates rotation was not all that bad. Morton and Karstens had good years as did James McDonald; They have Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon a few years away and a 17 year old Mexican who is highly touted-Luis Heredia.
    ——————

    Trader – I was being a little tongue in cheek – I don’t think AJ will be the opening day starter – more likely he slots into the third spot behind McDonald and ahead of Bedard and Karstens or McCutchen.

  136. jacksquat February 13th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    blake February 13th, 2012 at 4:45 pm
    K Long in the radio…..sounds very pro Damon.

    Listen to the hitting coach.

  137. austinmac February 13th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Soler is not eligible yet as I understand it.

  138. LGY February 13th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    @stealofhome Chris St. John
    Average WAR for hitters ranked in the top 20 from 1990-2006: 26.2. Only 7 with career fWAR below 0.

  139. Yankee Trader February 13th, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    The Pirates have a 19yo RF’er who was the 1st pick of the 2nd round who is a switch hitter with “raw” power-signed for 5M.-Josh bell. He’s not on the 40 man roster I attached earlier.

  140. hardwired7 February 13th, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    In his 16-yr MLB career, Raul Ibanez has been on the plus side of the dWAR ledger twice, and both seasons (’00 and ’04) he clocked in at a less-than-inspiring 0.2 clip.

    His UZR #s would make Marcus Thames blush:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/stats.....F#fielding

  141. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I’m not sure if this really happened or was some poetic license by the movie, but in Moneyball there’s a scene between Billy Beane and David Justice where Justice says “look, I’m not DHing, you’re paying me 7 mil a year because I’m a star” and Beane says, “actually the Yankees are paying you $3.5 mil not to play for them because you’re old.”

    I would love for Huntington to have a similar convo with AJ.

  142. Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Wedge said Montero will focus on being the DH. He also said there are guys (plural) ahead of him at catcher and they think he can do it eventually but he needs to work with Olivo, Wedge and others to develop his catching.

    He said Montero is going to hit every day but they are also going to rotate the DH. Said Montero will hit and be eased into catcher. I did not hear him say multiple guys were ahead of Montero for catching or that Montero would not catch at all? It seems like they are going to break in Montero like the Yankees would have.

  143. Chip February 13th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Yankee Trader February 13th, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    The Pirates have a 19yo RF’er who was the 1st pick of the 2nd round who is a switch hitter with “raw” power-signed for 5M.-Josh bell. He’s not on the 40 man roster I attached earlier.
    ————-

    Can’t trade a player less than a full year after he was drafted.

  144. blake February 13th, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    The Yanks coukd have drafted Bell but passed..

  145. Yankee Trader February 13th, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    OBP for Damon, Matsui and Ibanez in 2011
    D- .326
    M- .321
    I- .289

    Yankees as a team OBP for 2011- .343

    Once Burnett is traded is there another lefty bat that can produce better numbers than those above and isn’t 38 to 40 years old?

  146. austinmac February 13th, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Bell was considered to be a difficult sign, and I expect Cole cured them of that risk. He is a high upside guy the Pirates wouldn’t trade even if eligible.

  147. pat February 13th, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I found the quote I read from Wedge…

    “Miguel (Olivo) is still our catcher right now, and we have a couple other guys too, obviously. With Jesus, the most important thing for me right now is to make sure he gets every-day at-bats. And then to continue to develop as a catcher. I do feel confident he’s going to be a solid big-league catcher, and without a doubt he has the potential to be an every-day big league catcher. I don’t think he should expect anything less from himself, because I don’t. But, he’s 22 years old. Most catchers develop late. We’re not going to rush this thing.

    “It’s important he gets every-day at-bats, it’s important he keeps working with Jeff Datz and myself, in regard to becoming a big-league catcher. And he’s going to be catching for us as well. But I think with Miggy here, he has a chance to be a mentor for Jesus. Because we have Miggy here, we don’t have to throw him right in the fire, and we’re not. We’re going to take care of this young man. He has a chance to be special, and from talking to him here in the early going, I think he’s a special person, too. So I think the most important thing is he’s going to have every-day at-bats, we’re going to continue to break him in as a catcher, but we don’t have to throw him right into it. It takes time to develop. I don’t want to push that and it winds up taking longer. If you try to push that forward too fast, it’s going to take him longer to be the player he needs to be.”

  148. blake February 13th, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Target a guy like Jordy Mercer and if you can get a guy like that and save 13-15 million then its a huge success……you’re not getting one if their good ones.

  149. Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    I think that says it all, he isn’t supplanting Olivo out of ST and he is going to catch in the majors?

  150. blake February 13th, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    “Bell was considered to be a difficult sign, and I expect Cole cured them of that risk. He is a high upside guy the Pirates wouldn’t trade even if eligible.”

    True …..but both guys that we’re “tough signs” from the first round did sign after being shown the money…..

  151. blake February 13th, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    The Mariners want Montero to hit first and foremost…..I doubt they are as concerned about whether he catches or not as much as everyone seems to think they should be.

  152. SoS February 13th, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Dont forget that these 38 to 40 guys are 6years younger in cuban years.

    Having said that, I would give our boy vasquez a shot.

  153. Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Having said that, I would give our boy vasquez a shot.

    Unfortunately he is a righty, and also strikes out wayy too much and doesn’t walk at all. K-Long said he’d end up as a .200 hitter in the majors :<

  154. SoS February 13th, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    I think the yanks should get one of those 7th inning weiner runners and have him race our rightfield squerrel in th 7th inning stretch. Maybe also use him as the heroic pie thrower when needed.

  155. Yank 97 February 13th, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    PeteAbe
    Maybe they’ll both be great players. But it seems odd that the #RedSox and #Yankees weren’t much interested in Darvish or Cespedes

  156. Villa Nova-Ya February 13th, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    pat -

    It seems to me the Yankees MAY HAVE done Montero a favor. The Seattle Mariners sound like they are going to be extremely patient and deliberate in making Montero a catcher (if they do, at all). Plus, the Mariners are not invested in Montero’s catching ability as the Yankees were. If all he ever does for them is DH, if he does it well, they’ve been successful. Here, as always, it’s a somewhat different story.

    That same patience and deliberate approach would NEVER work here in NY. The Yankees could have had all good intentions, but the pressure on the young man to be more than “just a DH” here in NY may have been a lot to bear.

    (And I believe the Yankees did have good intentions, that if they kept Jesus Montero, he would have been brought along slowly as a catcher. And I do believe that if Pineda was not made available, Montero would be a Yankee today. I do not believe that he was “destined” to be traded.)

  157. PittsburghYankeeFan February 13th, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Still waiting for AJ in the Burgh. It will be fun.

    I have no problem with Vlad (would be wild), Damon, Ibanez, even Matsui. All will be had for less than $5 million. Vlad is intriguing, and his left/right splits aren’t too bad.

    By the way, Vlad’s OPS in Yankee Stadium for 2011 (only 35 AB) was .988. He also played in 145-150 games for the past 6 years running.

    Interesting…

  158. SoS February 13th, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Jerkface,
    isnt that what we pay klong for? do your magic kevin!! When was the last time we had a power hitter like v down there and just let him rot?

  159. Nick in SF February 13th, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    PittsburghYankeeFan, I left you this reply last night:

    “The threat of a deal with the Indians for Travis Hafner instead hangs over the deal–people in Pittsburgh hate losing out to Cleveland.”

    In this context, would losing out to Cleveland mean that they get AJ or Pittsburgh gets him?

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  161. blake February 13th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Guy from Oakland was on the radio and Bowden asked him who he compared Cespedes to in the big leagues……he said Mike Cameron………ok….that’s a lot of risk for Mike Cameron upside.

  162. hardwired7 February 13th, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I’d ask for that awesome bridge that you can see over the left field wall.

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  163. Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Bowden asked him who he compared Cespedes to in the big leagues……he said Mike Cameron………ok….that’s a lot of risk for Mike Cameron upside.

    20 HR good defending centerfielder is bad upside?

    Here is what Kevin Goldstein had to stay, more behind the pay wall:

    2) While it might not seem to at first glance, this deal actually does make sense financially. Oakland’s payroll is still under $60 million, but that’s not the point here; the point is that we’ve been conditioned by the recent developments in the free agent market. The middle-class free agent deal is dead. Players either get $200 million or they get a one-year deal. The days of commonplace four-year, $32 million signings are long gone. To be fair, many of these deals were ill-advised (we’re looking at you Russ Ortiz and Julio Lugo), but the point is that while nearly all teams are out of the elite player sweepstakes, $30-plus million deals are affordable to nearly everyone; it’s just that they need to be offered to the right players.

    Cespedes and Oakland is a unique combination. The Cuban import has already cleared his identity and passed his drug testing, and with his visa application in the expediting process, he should be in Phoenix within the next week or two for a physical and the official announcement. That gives him a full spring training to play in an inflated offensive environment, and while there was much talk about how much time he’d need in the minor leagues to get ready (most estimates were in the 100-300 at-bat range), he’s suddenly likely to break camp in the big leagues as Oakland’s everyday center fielder.

    His tools are as impressive as those of anyone in the game. He has plus-plus raw power, above-average speed, the ability to play center, and a strong arm, but it’s fair to anticipate significant troubles at the plate in terms of his batting average and strikeout rate. A .250 batting average might be the most realistic of expectations for Cespedes’s first year, but he’ll do so much around that average that he’ll still be valuable. In fact, no player in the organization is more likely to be a star, with Cespedes’s peak potentially lining up with what is a hopeful window of opportunity for the A’s beginning in 2014. If that doesn’t happen, he would be a very valuable trade chip.

    http://www.baseballprospectus......leid=16026

  164. Against All Odds February 13th, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    blake February 13th, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    The Mariners want Montero to hit first and foremost…..I doubt they are as concerned about whether he catches or not as much as everyone seems to think they should be

    —————

    Exactly if he becomes a first baseman but mashes I don’t think he will care.

  165. blake February 13th, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    “20 HR good defending centerfielder is bad upside?”

    Nah….but let’s remember that were talking upside….not a guarantee ….lot of money for a good regular upside and not star upside…….if that’s what they really think.

  166. Jerkface February 13th, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    .lot of money for a good regular upside and not star upside

    He is getting less than 10 mil a year, he is pretty much making ‘good regular’ money. The Goldstein article brings up that the ‘good regular’ seems to have faded away.

    Damon or Matsui got 4 years 13 million a year, that seems almost foreign now for players of that quality.

  167. Tom in N.J. February 13th, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Am I losing my mind or does Baseball Reference have Mike Cameron’s career ops+ at 151?

    http://www.baseball-reference......mi01.shtml

  168. blake February 13th, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    “He is getting less than 10 mil a year, he is pretty much making ‘good regular’ money. The Goldstein article brings up that the ‘good regular’ seems to have faded away.”

    Yes….but he’s not a good regular yet……that’s my point…..you’re paying him for stuff he’s not done yet. Look I would have liked the Yanks to sign him…but it coukd be a total waste of money and I don’t think it makes much sense for where the As are right now…..

  169. Against All Odds February 13th, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    They not he

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