What Do The Yankees Do If They Don’t Get Cliff Lee?

The overwhelming expectation is that Cliff Lee will end up as a Yankee. They have the resources to pay him more than anyone else, the need for him in their rotation, and they expressed heavy interest in acquiring him in July, even going so far as to include Jesus Montero in their offer. It is no secret that they plan to offer him a lot of money to come to New York.

What if he doesn’t take it?


To me, the possibility of Lee declining the Yankees might be the most interesting question of the off-season, because there is no obvious Plan B. After Lee, the next best free agent starters are Jorge de la Rosa, Carl Pavano, and Andy Pettitte. Bringing back Pettitte just keeps the status quo rather than providing an upgrade, so he’s not a real alternative. There’s no way the Yankees go back to Pavano after the debacle that was his first stint in pinstripes. That leaves them with de la Rosa, who is something of a left-handed A.J. Burnett – not a great fit when they’re frustrated with the right-handed version they already own.

If Lee spurns the Yankees, their fallback plan is almost certainly not a free agent. It’s a terrible crop of starting pitching once you take him out of the picture. So, they’d almost certainly have to turn to the trade market to get the kind of impact pitcher they’re after. Are there actually decent alternatives to pursue in trade?

The big pitcher who will likely be available this winter is Zack Greinke. But he has a limited no-trade clause that lets him block deals to half of the clubs in MLB, and reports are that the Yankees are on the list of teams to which he would not accept a trade. He’s not a person who enjoys a lot of attention, and the spectacle of the New York media market may keep him from being an option. Perhaps all of that talk is overblown, but the working assumption has to be that Greinke is not an option for New York.

The next best pitcher who might be available in trade is… Matt Garza, maybe? But then there’s the issue of whether the Rays would want to trade Garza to their division rival. Seems unlikely at best.

You have to imagine the Yankees thought about this in July when they made their offer for Lee. They knew that their options dwindled quickly if he wasn’t wearing pinstripes next year, as the other available pitchers simply don’t match up to their prime target. If they don’t get Lee, this winter is going to be a challenge for Brian Cashman. That’s one of the reasons I expect that their offer will be significantly more than the 5 years, $105 million that the crowd estimated Lee would sign for yesterday.

For the Yankees, this winter is basically Cliff Lee or bust. Expect to see an offer that reflects that mentality.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Brad Johnson
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Brad Johnson
5 years 10 months ago

Of course, the top reason why Lee might turn down a Yankees offer is probably the fan’s treatment of his wife.

Texas_Dawg
Member
Texas_Dawg
5 years 10 months ago

He said it’s a non-issue and was just one loser.

This is the real issue for the Yankees:

http://www.pinstripedbible.com/2010/11/03/prince-hals-balancing-act/

Roughly $47M (if Steinbrenner is serious about keeping payroll the same) to keep Jeter/Rivera/Pettitte (who made $49M in 2010), replace Berkman/Kearns as bench bats, AND add Lee. Even with Jeter taking a $10M pay cut, Lee at $22M/yr would be a 5% payroll hike over 2010.

pft
Guest
pft
5 years 10 months ago

Not sure if the concern is cash flow or the salary tax. The salary tax threshold is rising 8 million next year so that should help free up a couple of million.

It could also be a ploy to make folks think they won’t be major players in this years FA market for players other than Cliff Lee, or to strengthen their bargaining position with Jeter,Rivera and Pettitte), so not sure I believe it.

If it is cashflow, I would look for the Yankees to be able to convince Jeter and Rivera to back end any multi-year deals with a bunch of deferred money so that they can field a competitive team in their last years. Neither Jeter nor Rivera are living pay check to pay check so this should not be an issue. They should be able to be signed for 25 million payable in 2010 leaving 22 million of the 47 million to spend in in 2010.

Posada is in the last year of his contract and 13.1 million will come off the books in 2012 and Pettitte is unlikely to return in 2012, and perhaps not even in 2011 (saving 11 million). That’s will be another 24 million off the books in 2012. They could also save 9 million in 2012 by not picking up Swishers option (assuming they have an alternative). So the hump is really 2011, especially if Pettitte comes back.

With Cliff Lee they could also back end the contract or include a bunch of deferred money, and appease him and his wife with perks to offset the cost of living and help avoid the unclean. They probably need to offer 2 more guaranteed years than the Rangers and 3 million in AAV to land him.

They also need to trade AJ Burnett at first chance, preferably after he has a decent stretch of games under his belt. This will require eating some salary on their part, but they can get half of it off their books. He is completely unreliable.

t ball
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t ball
5 years 10 months ago

Whatever. She won’t be sitting in the visitors’ section if he signs there and they know that there are drunken idiots in every stadium.

Dan Pitrowiski
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Dan Pitrowiski
5 years 10 months ago

Thats why his Lee and his wife will demand special seating at the game, they already get that, but EXTRA special seating. Maybe his own box.

At that point and probably with $10M more on the table then any other team, the Yankees will land Lee

B N
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B N
5 years 10 months ago

Only 10m more? Don’t be stingy! Make it 20 and we’ve got a deal. ;)

Lester
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Lester
5 years 10 months ago

$10 M? Hahaha… that doesn’t even cover the extra money he’ll have to spend on state income tax compared to TX (where it’s 0%), not to mention the higher cost of living. Hal & Hank better plan on offering $20M+ than the next best offer. Of course, maybe they can bank on Lee giving them a discount for the Yankee mystique.

Barkey Walker
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Barkey Walker
5 years 10 months ago

@Lester, I would imagine BB players have to play tax in every state they, “work” in, just like consultants. But yes, more games in NYC means more tax.

Brandon V
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Brandon V
5 years 10 months ago

I wonder if they’d be interested in Derek Lowe?

kbertling353
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kbertling353
5 years 10 months ago

As a Braves fan, I hope they are.

Jason B
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Jason B
5 years 10 months ago

As a Jays fan, I heartily second that approach.

gradygradychase
Member
gradygradychase
5 years 10 months ago

As a Phillies fan, I hope if they persue Lowe, they would not include Brett Gardner in that package.

Kevin S.
Member
Kevin S.
5 years 10 months ago

If the Giants decide to use their pitching surpluses to upgrade that offense, what could trading them Montero (to be played at first) net there? Or are the Giants just waiting on Brandon Belt?

Even if that’s not a fit, offering Montero up probably makes all sorts of cost-controlled (and thus not particularly old) pitchers available. If they were willing to do it for three months of Lee, would they be willing to do it for 3-4 years of a lesser talent?

Graham
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Graham
5 years 10 months ago

I don’t see the GIants trading anyone other than Jonathan Sanchez, and this brings us back to the Burnett comparison. Granted, I think Sanchez made tremendous strides this year (having watched most of his starts), but sadly I’d wager that his performances in the NLCS and World Series obscured this progress in the minds of a lot of GMs.

(Also — I really don’t want to see Sanchez traded, as I think he could put it all together next year — IF he can get past the big innings jump this year and the fact that he seemingly ran out of gas after his NLDS start.)

Win_it_again_in_2011
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Win_it_again_in_2011
5 years 10 months ago

those were all road starts in the playoffs for J. Sanchez…i think if he gets another season under his belt the way he pitched August and September and he won’t meltdown in the playoffs again…

for anyone who isn’t an SFG fan and hasn’t followed Sanchez much, he used to meltdown in the early innings whenever he had an error committed behind him or just got in a jam and then this year he really was able to work thru these situations with regularity for the first time at this level…am just the avg fan but i expect Sanchez to be better than either Cain or Bumgarner long-term and next year wouldn’t surprise me if he is around 15-8 and 2.80 era…just my opinion though…

pitnick
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pitnick
5 years 10 months ago

I disagree, WinItAgain. I too watched a lot of Sanchez starts this year, and he definitely handled frustration and tough spots a lot better than in the past. But when you step back from what we saw and look at his peripheral stats, they’re awfully similar to the past few years. Even if his mental attitude and concentration on the mound has improved, this year was probably the upper limit of how well he can pitch, unless he somehow cuts down on those walks.

My echo and bunnymen
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My echo and bunnymen
5 years 10 months ago

Johnathan Sanchez caused his problems in teh Chase Utley game, where he had to be pulled. It was Carlos Zambrano-esque. The skill’s there, he just needs to be a man.

quincy0191
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quincy0191
5 years 10 months ago

The Giants don’t have a pitching surplus. There’s no one in the high minors who looks like they can be a capable starter next year, and though they probably have the best 1-5 in baseball, they need that to stay competitive. An offensively mediocre team needs to have an excellent rotation if they want to get anywhere, and trading anyone except Barry Zito would hurt the team more than help (especially for Jesus Montero, considering Posey at C and Belt at 1B). Even trading Zito would only work if the acquiring team took the entire contract, as Zito is the best #5 in the majors; he’s obviously not worth $19M a year, but he’s a capable starter who takes the ball every fifth day and doesn’t get blown up every outing, and replacing that production via FA would be cheaper but not so cheap that they can afford to pay all or even most of his contract for the same overall production.

Joe Macaluso
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Joe Macaluso
5 years 10 months ago

Carlos Zambrano?

Cheese Whiz
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Cheese Whiz
5 years 10 months ago

Oh man, THAT would be entertaining!

Glenn
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Glenn
5 years 10 months ago

Who else hates the fact that every good free agent is the Yankee’s to sign?

Steve
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Steve
5 years 10 months ago

Everyone. Just as I am sure the Yankees hate writing gazillion dollar checks to subsidize the rest of the league while teams lie about their finances, and pocket the money instead of investing in their on-field product.

kbertling353
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kbertling353
5 years 10 months ago

That shit needs to go. If I were a large market team, I would be EXTREMELY upset about revenue sharing.

Falco
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Falco
5 years 10 months ago

I also hate it when things work how they were intended to work.

Steve
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Steve
5 years 10 months ago

Yes, it was definitely intended that the Marlins would hide money while they traded away all their stars, kept their payroll on a shoestring, while lobbying for a taxpayer financed stadium. That’s exactly how it was “intended to work”.

Tom B
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Tom B
5 years 10 months ago

Who hates the fact that any other team in baseball could give him the same contract the Yankees will.

The difference is they won’t, not that they can’t.

Isn’t that the exact purpose of free agency? If the team wants to spend the money they can… but most owners rely on winning to keep their franchises afloat so if they over-invest to do so, their business model crumbles to the ground.

Complain about your poorly run team, not my well run team.

joemoedee
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joemoedee
5 years 10 months ago

I’m not a Yankees fan, nor a Yankees hater. The Yankees just do what every other team’s fans wish their team would do.

Would Oakland A’s fans stop being A’s fans if they went out and signed a bunch of high priced top free agents year-in and year-out?

Jason B
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Jason B
5 years 10 months ago

Joe is spot-on. The BoSox hate the Yanks, and often complain about their approach to acquiring high-dollar talent (among many, many other things)…but it’s the same approach the Sox take, just to a lesser extent. They are the Yankees Jr.

Brad Johnson
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Brad Johnson
5 years 10 months ago

I think you’re missing a basic point from sabermetrics 101. A team should pay a player his expected net Marginal Revenue Product. Or in our common language, teams should pay for wins with respect to the value of those wins.

There’s two reasons the Yankees have an “unfair” advantage. Through shrewd business decisions, they’ve worked themselves into a position where each marginal win is worth more than it is for other teams (generally, it’s certainly possible to contrive scenarios where this is untrue). In the course of doing this, they also brought the talent level of the team to the point where they are always operating in the sweet spot of the win curve; still more value per marginal win. In effect they’ve created a virtuous cycle. This is in no small part thanks to brilliant management, although the best market in baseball helps a lot by both attracting top talent, top dollars from the fans, and top management minds.

Brad Johnson
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Brad Johnson
5 years 10 months ago

I forgot the punchline…

Because the value of each marginal win is higher for the Yankees than any other club, they should be expected to always place the highest bid on any player they truly want.

Graham
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Graham
5 years 10 months ago

@Tom B — I’m sorry, but I completely disagree with your premise. There are few — if any — teams in baseball that can feasibly compete with the Yankees with regard to Lee’s deal. Every team has budget constraints, and while an announced payroll ceiling may be a somewhat arbitrary number, it is nevertheless an arbitrary representation of a fiscal reality. Surely you don’t disagree that the Yankees have greater financial flexibility than any other club, as indicated by the dramatic difference between their payrolls and those of every other team?

As to your further insinuation that the Yankees are just better-run than every other team — I think you’re right to a certain extent. During the late 90s, the Yankees became the greatest business success story the game has ever known, thanks to great baseball decisions (mostly by Gene Michael) and savvy branding maneuvers and extra-baseball machinations like the YES network. So, to a degree, the Yankees built and earned their place atop the financial heap.

But the Yankees also reap the rewards of circumstance. They play in the biggest market in the country, and they have their rich legacy of greatness to distinguish themselves from their market competitors (the Mets). They have the good fortune of being owned by a family that is the perfect storm of wealth and passion.

I’m not trying to take a slap at the Yankees here. Much as I dislike them personally, I am trying to give them credit and to look past the obvious “YANKS HAV MOAR MONEYZ” memes. But whether the Yanks deserve credit for their riches isn’t really the story: it’s the comparative strengths of every club in baseball. You’re completely wrong in equalizing every team’s ability to afford Lee at Steinbrenner prices.

SF 55 for life
Member
SF 55 for life
5 years 10 months ago

No team in baseball can match the money making machine that is the Yankees brand. You either have to limit spending while instituting a salary floor as well, or allow franchises to locate themselves wherever they want.

BX
Guest
BX
5 years 10 months ago

If every team operated with a payroll at Yankees levels, at least 15-20 teams would be operating pretty significantly in the red.

And frankly, they get sold/contracted pretty quickly, since they’re losing money.

There’s not another market like the Yankees’.

My echo and bunnymen
Guest
My echo and bunnymen
5 years 10 months ago

Yankees are well run, Cashman is a great GM and the organization doesn’t really entirely on FAs. That said, I wish there was a salary cap because not everyone has the Yankees financial freedom. If the Orioles or Dodgers or White Sox or Pirates or Marlins or Braves or Bull Durham invested in Cliff Lee then that investment would be a greater percentage of their assets than if the Yankees spent the money. The NFL has greatly benefited from a salary cap, the NBA, the NHL. MLB needs to be next.

Jack Str
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Jack Str
5 years 10 months ago

The joke, of course, is that no one else can sign Cliff Lee
AND Alex Rodriguez
AND Mark Teixiera
AND Mariano Rivera
AND Derek Jeter
AND C.C.Sabathia
AND etc., etc.

Keep pretending it’s really a level playing field, though.
This kind of thing from Yankee fans never gets old.

Jack Str
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Jack Str
5 years 10 months ago

It does make their disappointments and defeat taste that much sweeter, though.

Dan
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Dan
5 years 10 months ago

That Lowe comment is a joke right? Coming from a Braves fan, I wish they would take him and most of his contract, but that seems incredibly unlikely.

Doesn’t seem like the Yankees style to pay for a guy with pedestrian stuff and zero upside to be a top of the rotation starter.

By all accounts, Lowe was at least Burnett’s equal as a pitcher when they entered free agency together 2 years ago. It was Burnett’s relatively young age and excellent raw stuff that caught the Yankees eye. They thought he had that K/GB stuff that could lead to him being a top tier #2 or low end #1, while Lowe had basically zero chance to perform better than a middle tier #2 or high end #3 guy (and that was the best case scenario that hasn’t played out).

brendan
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brendan
5 years 10 months ago

why don’t braves fans want lowe? he’s good.

kbertling353
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kbertling353
5 years 10 months ago

He’s owed 30 million for the next 2 years.

dutchbrowncoat
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dutchbrowncoat
5 years 10 months ago

no complaints about lowe please, i would still take him over ollie perez anyday.

joemoedee
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joemoedee
5 years 10 months ago

I never understood the animosity toward Derek Lowe. Lowe has gone 31-22 with a 4.33 ERA and close to 200 innings per season since the Braves signed him. Also, he was money in September, going 5-0 with a 1.17 ERA. Basically without him, the Braves don’t even sniff the post season.

Is he Cy Young material? No, but he’s hardly a bust. (Compared to AJ Burnett going 23-24 with a 4.62 ERA) Of the FA guys that changed teams that offseason, only Sabathia has performed better than Lowe, and the Braves had no chance of landing him. (Pavano was great this past year, but in 09 he wasn’t anything to write home about, which puts him at similar stats to what Lowe has achieved)

Travis
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Travis
5 years 10 months ago

Please don’t cite wins.

Lowe has provided 5.3 WAR over that time. Burnett has provided 4.7. Not that much of a difference.

Neither are worth nearly as much as their contracts suggest.

Jack Str
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Jack Str
5 years 10 months ago

Please don’t cite pitching WAR to suggest an accurate valuation is being made. Particularly when the difference between two pitchers is so small. Pitchers’ WAR can’t even sniff that level of difference.

Schu
Member
Schu
5 years 10 months ago

Could return Joba Chamberlain to the start rotation…

Phillies Red
Guest
Phillies Red
5 years 10 months ago

It’s unlikely, but they could try the low-risk high-reward strategy and sign 2 or 3 of Webb, Harden, Haren, or Penny. If you assume a modest bounce-back for Burnett, more starts for Pettitte, and similar years from CC and Hughes, the Yanks might be just fine.

Justa Name
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Justa Name
5 years 10 months ago

I don’t think Haren’s available. Rotation as is is good enough to make the playoffs, but as demonstrated this year, not good enough to achieve a championship, which is always their goal.

Phillies Red
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Phillies Red
5 years 10 months ago

Yes, of course, you’re correct. Sorry about that. I was thinking of Bedard, who, I believe, had his option declined.

Phillies Red
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Phillies Red
5 years 10 months ago

As for being good enough for a championship, well, I don’t know. They were good enough in 2009. I guess that’s why I originally mentioned the “bounce back” for Burnett. I’m not sure this is a where-Burnett-goes-the-Yankees-go situation, but I do think his performance will greatly influence the championship upside (read: quality) of their rotation.

Bill
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Bill
5 years 10 months ago

Bedard would make a lot of sense. If (When) he gets hurt, they Yankees can absorb the loss more that easily any other team. Signing him and looking for a pitcher in trade later in the season would make sense. I’m not sure if Pavano can be completely ruled out. After all, they did pick up Vazquez again last year. It didn’t work out so well, I’m happy to say.

Greg
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Greg
5 years 10 months ago

Just watch Alex Anthropoulos try to pick the Yankees’ pockets. Brandon Morrow for the three top Yankees’ prospects, maybe?

Kevin S.
Member
Kevin S.
5 years 10 months ago

The Yankees already have Brandon Morrow – they call him Joba Chamberlain instead.

tbad
Member
tbad
5 years 10 months ago

Morrow is far more valuable than Joba at this point

Graham
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Graham
5 years 10 months ago

Indeed – at present, it isn’t even close.

Tom B
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Tom B
5 years 10 months ago

You couldn’t trade the Blue Jays franchise for the Yankee’s top 3 prospects…

steve
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steve
5 years 10 months ago

haha seriously? what’s their best 3 prospects? Montero, a 1B/DH, Betances, who’s not as good as Drabek, and who else?

Jason B
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Jason B
5 years 10 months ago

Yeah, Tom’s comment is totally absurd of course. The Yankees top 3 prospects (or any organization’s, for that matter…well…maybe the Pirates) <<<<<<<<<<<<<<< the Jays franchise (or any franchise, for that matter…well…maybe the Pirates.)

woodman
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woodman
5 years 10 months ago

Lol dude, Bautista alone is worth more than your overrated Yankees prospects combined.

Steve
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Steve
5 years 10 months ago

Bautista is not worth more than Montero, though I agree the original comment was silly. Bautista is a free agent after this season.

Also, just b/c you might not know who the Yankees’ prospects are, doesn’t mean they don’t have good prospects. The Yankees will probably have 3 pitchers (Banuelos, Betances, Brackman) in the top 100 plus Montero and Gary Sanchez. 5 top 100 prospects with Romine probably right on the cusp. Not bad.

Mike R.
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Mike R.
5 years 10 months ago

While many people have their reasons for animosity towards the Yankees, being objective about their farm system and not resorting to bland generalizations is a problem for them.

The Yankees have a very good farm system at the moment, being members of Yankee affiliates does not make them any worse than any other prospect. Also, Yankee prospects aren’t at all overhyped compared to other prospects. Ask a Yankee fan for five different prospects in the Yankees system and all they’ll know is Jesus, Romine, and that 6″10 guy who played basketball. Sure, Hughes hasn’t lit the baseball world on fire, and neither has Joba, but every team has guys who don’t (initially) reach their overtly high expectatitions (see Bowden, Reddick, Anderson)

Mike R.
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Mike R.
5 years 10 months ago

scratch the “not” in the first paragraph.

cavebird
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cavebird
5 years 10 months ago

Wow, Steve, you really think that the Yankees get three pitching prospects in the top 100? Banuelos is a given, but I am not sure about Betances and Brackman. I guess I should be happy, if the Yankees get all of those three in the top 100, my Braves should have six pitchers in the top 100 (Teheran, Randall Delgado, Mike Minor, Carlos Perez, Arodys Vizcaino, and Kimbrel). Hell, with those six, I should be happy even if the Yankees don’t get all three in the top 100.

Ian
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

I agree. I would be shocked if the Yankees don’t get Lee as a rotation of CC, Hughes, Pettitte, Burnett, ??? is relatively underwhelming, especially when you consider the diminished offense of the team (unless Montero makes up for it, which isn’t out of the realm of possiblity).

As for his wife, well…when the Yankees offer an extra year and $4 mil a year more than the Rangers, I think she’ll be convinced. Besides, they wouldn’t harass her if her husband were a Yankee. I think his wife’s complaints is one of the least important stories of the young offseason.

Sam A
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Sam A
5 years 10 months ago

Being a LHP would give de la Rosa an edge over Burnett. Not saying they go after him, but the Burnett comp is a bit unfair.

Dan
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Dan
5 years 10 months ago

Dave,

What do you think is the trade value of Matt Garza? With the Rays trying to upgrade their offense, Garza might be their best bet to do so. Could be he traded for Cardinals Colby Rasmus or Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce? What would be a decent comp for a MLB player, and potential prospect options?

kbertling353
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kbertling353
5 years 10 months ago

Either one of them is far too much

Graham
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Graham
5 years 10 months ago

Given the acrimony between La Russa and Rasmus, I wouldn’t be the least bit to see Colby traded — and for less than Garza.

Tom B
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Tom B
5 years 10 months ago

… and given that acrimony Rasmus hasn’t been moved… and is still far too good for them to do something silly like trade away a young stud who’s attitude can be adjusted.

cavebird
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cavebird
5 years 10 months ago

Graham–even if the acrimony is greater than reported and the Cardinals have to move Rasmus, they get more than Garza. The Braves would give them more for starters (and good Lord, they should, given the complete lack of centerfield options they have). The Braves would given them Jurrjens and Infante and a decent pitching prospect at least. And since Jurrjens is a year behind Garza in the arbitration process, he’d be cheaper, which would be an advantage for the Cardinals given that their offseason money will be tied up in extending Pujols.

That all being said, I doubt the Braves get Rasmus either. He is just too valuable to the Cardinals–they have no other apparent centerfield options, he is good, and he is cheap.

chuckb
Member
chuckb
5 years 10 months ago

I would guess that Plan B for the Yankees would likely be to upgrade their offense and try to get a few more wins that way. Bring back Pettitte and sign either Werth or Crawford for their OF. They could then figure out what to do w/ Swisher, Granderson or Gardner.

DT
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DT
5 years 10 months ago

the yankees already are hinting they are going to avoid crawford and werth

CircleChange11
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CircleChange11
5 years 10 months ago

They also hinted, actually came right out and said, that they were not interested in Teixeira.

Why do people buy into these “rumors” that players don’t want to play for certain teams or that teams aren’t interested in certain players.

It benefits the NYY to say they’re not interested in a player. It keeps the price down initially. If they can come in at the end and snipe the player with a slight increase, rather than get into a full out bidding war.

Why would NYY come right out and say that they are REALLY intersted in Crawford, only to give his agent fuel to say “You want us, here’s what we want …”.

THe NYY an dother teams say lots of things, and then do the opposite.

spydog
Member
spydog
5 years 10 months ago

Not that a trade could happen between the Rays and Yankees, but let’s say it was possible. The Rays will need a power bat and don’t have great solutions at C/1B/DH, which are the positions Montero can likely play. The Rays also need a cheap option at closer or at least another good RHP reliever to replace Soriano. Joba is a good fit since the Yankees are a little sour on him.

What would the Yankees need to include to make this deal fair? Fill in the blank to get this deal done:

Price for Montero, Joba, ______, ______, etc…

george
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

price is as close to untouchable as there is

Steve
Guest
Steve
5 years 10 months ago

Wow, that’s a doozy. No way the Rays would do anything like this for anything that would also make sense for the Yankees (since it would be something like Montero, Joba, Gardner, and maybe another pitching prospect).

Lucas Apostoleris
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

Joba really needs to come to camp as a starting pitcher. No, he’s not Cliff Lee, but he’s getting vastly underrated by the Yankee brass.

mike
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mike
5 years 10 months ago

where do rangers turn if yankees sign lee?

Tom B
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Tom B
5 years 10 months ago

they turn back to the middle of the pack where they belong…

Jason B
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Jason B
5 years 10 months ago

“the middle of the pack where they belong…”

?!? Teams have designated slots of where they should finish now?!? Who knew. I guess someone told San Diego their slot wasn’t atop the NL West late in the season…

Jon
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Jon
5 years 10 months ago

Clearly we aren’t bitter at all

Anon
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Anon
5 years 10 months ago

You’re one of the douchebags in the bleachers who was yelling at Cruz in the ALDS, weren’t you?

todmod
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todmod
5 years 10 months ago

Ah the entitled abrasive Yankees fan, what a charming bunch.

Tom B
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Tom B
5 years 10 months ago

I don’t follow the hate on my comment… they got handed the best pitcher in baseball… it barely cost them anything… why would you expect them to sustain this level of play when they aren’t getting handouts next season?

Typical “omg he’s a yankee fan, he must be evil”…

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
5 years 10 months ago

It’s mainly (a) begrudging them for making an astute trade, with the clear unspoken wishing and hoping your Yanks could have pulled off the same (a/k/a “sour grapes”), and (b) the phrase “where they belong” like they have no business even daring to compete for or win division titles or pennants, and that such things are better left to the big boys.

Something to the effect of “probably will fall back to the middle of the pack with a mediocre rotation without any ace material” would have sufficed just fine, sans douchebaggery.

MikeS
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MikeS
5 years 10 months ago

John Danks is 2 years younger than Garza and has 4.5 more WAR (12.4 vs 7.9) over the last 3 years. He has resisted advances by the White Sox to sign him to a long term deal. I bet Kenny Williams would rather sign him but he might accept the right offer.

B N
Guest
B N
5 years 10 months ago

As for Greinke, I don’t think any team should try to trade for him other than the Royals. He’s a great pitcher, but his success hinges on his mental state and adjustment issues. Right now, he’s comfortable and successful playing for the Royals. If he gets traded, especially to a bigger market club- they could end up with the 2005 version (ineffective) or the 2006 version (absent).

Of all the Royals blunders, they did right by sticking with Greinke and getting him in a good place. Personally, I’d hope to see that relationship continue because I think it would be best for both parties. If have trouble imaging Greinke being as comfortable playing anywhere else and thusfar Greinke has been quite reasonable in his contracts with the Royals. If that continues (playing well, below market contract), why should the Royals ever want to trade him? It’s not like he’s old and they can afford to resign him.

JSmith
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JSmith
5 years 10 months ago

The Jays could move Marcum. He’d be a solid 3rd or 4th starter for the Yanks. And a solid clubhouse guy.

steve
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steve
5 years 10 months ago

i imagine the Jays would want Montero + more, I don’t know if I See the yanks going for that

this guy
Guest
this guy
5 years 10 months ago

I bet they take a flier on Bonderman.

Lets Go Mutz
Guest
Lets Go Mutz
5 years 10 months ago

I bet they don’t

Nick
Guest
Nick
5 years 10 months ago

Nice reasoning.

Trebecois
Guest
Trebecois
5 years 10 months ago

I like the Danks idea best, the Yankees top prospect is likely blocked at 1B and while I am not sure Danks is worth Montero straight up.

The Sox would find a long term replacement for Konerko, and so would be likely to chip in enough to make it happen.

Craig
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

If the Yankees traded Jesus Montero for John Danks I would break everything within a 10 ft. radius of me.

Bigmouth
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

Might the Yankees be interested in trading for Jonathan Sanchez?

Jesus and Bob Dylan Offspring
Guest
Jesus and Bob Dylan Offspring
5 years 10 months ago

I rather not have them sign Lee, I mean our pitching wasn’t horrible. Sabathia had knee problems no one really knew about. Hughes should get even better next season. Pettitte still has good innings in his arm. And Burnett should bounce back, he is better than the pitcher he was this this season. Ivan Nova should be given a chance to fight for the 5th spot.

Craig
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

Your glass is definitely too full. Currently constructed, the Yanks have no No. 2 pitcher and, frankly, nothing more than an okay rotation. Pettitte had a great 2010 but the Yanks can’t bank on him providing No. 2 production at this stage in his career. I’m very happy with the steps Hughes took this season, but the Yankees don’t want to thrust him into a No. 2 spot- nor do I even think he would succeed in that role. Burnett is an automatic loss every fifth day and needs to be the fifth starter. Period. And then everyone is talking about letting Nova or some other rookie into the rotation? That is very possibly a rotation that has the Yankees watching games from the comfort of their homes come October/November.

waynetolleson
Guest
waynetolleson
5 years 10 months ago

Not always the biggest Cameron fan, but this was some pretty good analysis. My guess of what Lee would get offered was five years and $~115 million. However, for reasons mentioned in this article, the Yankees might be willing to go six years and $~130 million, or five years and $~120 million, maybe even a little more.

For all of those who believe that Lee is going to turn-down tens of extra millions of dollars AND the chance to pitch for a contender every single season because of what a couple dumb drunks said to his wife, think again. The Yankees can buy Mrs. Lee a nice luxury car or two, and write “I’m sorry for what our fans said to you” in the sky” and she’ll forget all about game three of the ALCS.

This is about business. This is about dollars and cents. This is about a competitive athlete getting the chance to choose where he wants to play.

Nick
Guest
Nick
5 years 10 months ago

Well Philadelphia isnt signing him so he’s not getting EVERYTHING he wanted…

Scott
Guest
Scott
5 years 10 months ago

Brett Gardner for Jair Jurrjens?

Just thinkin’ out loud.

nuke
Guest
nuke
5 years 10 months ago

Yes, because the last NYY-ATL trade involving an outfielder and a starting pitcher worked out so well.

Steve
Guest
Steve
5 years 10 months ago

Great point. These players will perform exactly the same as their predecessors b/c the uniforms are the same. Hanson for Golson?! No way, Javy was a bust!!!

cavebird
Guest
cavebird
5 years 10 months ago

Nuke, I have to say, neither side of the last Braves-Yankees deal can say it was anything but a fair trade. Vazquez sucked, Melky sucked, and Vizcaino got hurt. Only the LOOGY swap at the periphery of the trade (Dunn for Boone Logan) did anything at all, and they were both pretty good. Go figure.

OmarStrollin
Member
OmarStrollin
5 years 10 months ago

You can’t only look at 2010 in that trade though, Cavebird. The Braves still have Vizcaino, netting them the potential for his future. If you really want to look at 2010 alone, the Braves at least saved $9M or so. That money went toward an uninspiring 1.5 WAR from Glaus and Hinske, but it also let them sign Edward Salcedo for $1.6M. The Braves spent a lot on international free agents this past winter, likely as a result of some of the freed up cash from moving Vazquez. It may not end up being a great trade for Atlanta, and there’s no way to directly attribute signing a guy like Salcedo to this trade, but considering New York got absolutely nothing except the right to pay Vazquez $12M, I give the victory to the Bravos pretty handily.

Adam
Guest
Adam
5 years 10 months ago

You may be right, Morneau. I left out the monetary considerations. And Vizcaino could still be a beast, but he does worry me—his injury was a partially torn elbow ligament which he did not have surgery on. While some guys are okay rehabbing that type of injury (Ervin Santana), most of the time it ends up with TJ surgery a year later with another year wasted.

Still, you are right, the money save by the Braves was about 8-9 million, and cash never has a bad season.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 10 months ago

Naturally, the NYY will sign Lee AND trade for Grienke.

I’ll believe it when I see it when …

… Lee turns down more money to play elsewhere.

… Grienke chooses to pitch for KC instead of NYY.

Players say lots of things but then having a knack for going with the most money or playing for the team with the best chance for a title. Most years NYY satisfies both situations.

Craig
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

You can definitely believe it sooner rather than later. If the Yankees get Lee they won’t be moving a big package for Greinke. Feel free to blast me in 2+ months if I’m wrong.

gradygradychase
Member
gradygradychase
5 years 10 months ago

I think the next best pitcher on the free agent market behind Cliff Lee is Brandon Webb.

Matt
Guest
Matt
5 years 10 months ago

I agree, Webb is interesting, though he’s certainly a far from the virtual sure-thing that Lee is.

joel schwab
Guest
joel schwab
5 years 10 months ago

The Yankees cannot win unless they get rid of the catcher. He cannot bend down, or throw or even catch the ball any more. Get rid of Burnett. He is a complete liability. Get rid of Schwitzer. More double plays, more strike outs with the men on base. Thank you.

A loyal Yankee fan

James
Guest
5 years 7 days ago

What superb write-up! No idea how you were able to say this text..it’d take me long hours. Well worth it though, I’d assume. Have you considered selling ads on your blog?

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