What the Cliff Lee Signing Means for New York

They call it Plan B for a reason. Last week, while meeting with the press at the Winter Meetings, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the team had a list of five or so players the team had discussed in the event they miss on Cliff Lee. While we don’t know which players the Yankees have identified, we do know one thing: none of them is as good an option as Cliff Lee. But with Lee spurning the Yankees’ bid, they’re stuck with one of these lesser options, or else go into the season with a questionable rotation.

The problem the Yankees face now is threefold. First, they have to find pitchers that are actually available. Second, unless they finagle a deal for Zack Greinke, they’re dealing with a crop of pitchers who won’t produce to Lee’s level. Third, they’ll have to sacrifice a number of their prospects, which would significantly weaken a farm system that made strong progress in 2010. While Lee would have cost them considerable money and future flexibility, the retention of their prospects could have helped keep payroll under some sort of control through the middle of the decade.

Which pitchers will the Yankees target? Here’s a hypothetical list, ordered by likelihood of pursuit:

Zack Greinke: We’ll see Greinke’s name in headlines from now until he’s traded, since it sounds inevitable at this point. Any mention of Greinke in New York will automatically trigger concerns about his social anxiety disorder, but that’s nothing you or I can comment on. In terms of baseball value Greinke would be the best fit in the Bronx, a righty No. 2 to pitch behind CC Sabathia. But do the Yankees have the prospects to fulfill Kansas City’s demands? Jesus Montero gets the conversation started, but the Yankees have to be more concerned with where it ends.

Ricky Nolasco: The Marlins and Nolasco have been talking extension for a while, but nothing has gotten done. Outside of 2008 he has produced disappointing results for them, regardless of his strong peripherals. Nolasco still figures to get a decent raise over the $3.8 million he earned in 2010, which might lead the Marlins to explore a trade. Nolasco could work for the Yankees, since they’d be acquiring a relatively young, as well as potentially good, starter. It’s a bit of a risk, and the Marlins won’t let him go for nothing. They could decide to hold onto him, anyway, because their payroll figures to be at last year’s level or even a bit below.

Chris Carpenter: Money is the Yankees’ greatest resource, making them perpetual candidates to pick up big-money, short-term contracts in trades. Carpenter is set to make $15 million in 2011, plus a $1 million buyout of his $15 million 2012 option. The Cardinals already have almost $98 million committed to 13 players in 2011, and Ryan Theriot‘s contract will bring them over the $100 million mark. They do have money coming off the books after the season, but that unfortunately includes Albert Pujols. Might the Cardinals seek to trade Carpenter and use that money to help sign Pujols? If so, the Yankees will be knocking.

(It does appear that Carpenter is a 10 and 5 guy, which might make this proposition a bit tougher.)

Mark Buehrle: There have been rumblings lately that the White Sox could make Buehrle available, though trading him would be no easy feat. This is the final year of his contract, during which he will make $14 million. With Jake Peavy‘s status uncertain, I’m not sure the Sox would trade Buehrle this off-season. There’s also the issue of 10 and 5 rights, which Buehrle gained this past July. It’s also unclear whether a previous contract provision, which would raise his 2011 salary by $1 million and provide a $15 million guaranteed salary in 2012, is still effective. Given all the obstacles, this seems like a longer shot than Carpenter.

Derek Lowe: Within the next few weeks I predict we will see a headline that suggests the Yankees and Braves are talking about a Lowe trade. This doesn’t appear to match the Yankees’ M.O. Lowe is still owed $30 million for the next two seasons, and he hasn’t transitioned spectacularly to the NL East. He also turns 38 in June, meaning he’ll also be under contract for his age-39 season.

Chad Billingsley: There is no indication that the Dodgers will entertain offers for any of their starters, never mind their prospective No. 2. But they do have six starters heading into 2011, and might use that depth to improve other aspects of the team. The odds are quite long on this one, but the Yankees might go a long way for a 26-year old who induces a fair number of ground balls and strikes out his share. Still, I see little reason for the Dodgers to trade him.

If the Yankees decide to essentially stand pat, making just a few small moves to fill out the bench and bullpen, they’d head into the 2011 season with a payroll around $185 million, a level not familiar to them. That allows them to remain flexible and add a piece or two around the trade deadline. They’ll still have all of their prospects, and further progress from them in the first half could increase their trade value. (And yes, the opposite is true as well.) There might be a number of pitchers who become available between now and then, and the pitchers mentioned above might come at a slightly lower price than they do right now.

That scenario would leave the Yankees’ pitching in question heading into the season. They’ll still have Sabathia heading the rotation, but he’s the only known quantity. In order to field a suitable staff they need to see progress from Phil Hughes, a bounce back from A.J. Burnett, the return of Andy Pettitte, and an unexpected leap forward from one of their mid-range, upper minors prospects, such as Ivan Nova or David Phelps. As almost every team learns almost every season, things tend not to break this well.

The off-season is far from over, but the Yankees’ best opportunity at improving their team has passed. They now face two inferior alternatives. They could trade for a starter, which brings about a new set of issues. They could stand pat, which means relying on a lot of luck. The Yankees figure to still have a strong team in 2011, but with the Red Sox improving last week and Lee spurning them yesterday their chances have certainly diminished. For once, money might not solve all of their problems.



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Joe also writes about the Yankees at River Ave. Blues.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Lance W
Member
5 years 5 months ago

This article is starting to make me hate Cliff Lee… and I really like(d) Cliff Lee…

Carson
Guest
Carson
5 years 5 months ago

Yeah, I can’t stand classy guys who take happiness over money. Bastards.

Captain Hindsight
Guest
Captain Hindsight
5 years 5 months ago

Vesting option considered, it’s the same money for 6 years the Yankees offered for 7. Sorry.

BronxBombers
Guest
BronxBombers
5 years 5 months ago

And I can’t stand those so-called “classy guys” who are afraid of facing the pressure of playing in a big city like New York, and instead choose to the safe option of playing for a club which dumped them just 12 months ago in favour of one their would-be team-mates.

McE
Guest
McE
5 years 5 months ago

True, Philly is known for being a very small city with a super-friendly fan base. Cliff Coward-Lee is more like it amirite?

Jon
Guest
Jon
5 years 5 months ago

McE: ZING. Awesome.

Socrates
Guest
Socrates
5 years 5 months ago

Philly gave Lee more than the Yankees offered.

Table
Guest
Table
5 years 5 months ago

I hope Cleveland can see the Lee in Lebron.

Mike
Guest
Mike
5 years 5 months ago

Well, he did take the contract that offered the most money for the next five years. He sacrificed the guarantee of additional money at the end of the contract, for the Phillies’ offer of more money over the next five years, making him the highest paid pitcher in the game. Not sure the story is as warm and fuzzy as the media is presenting it. My guess is seven years from now he’ll have made more money than the Yankee offer.

Mike
Guest
Mike
5 years 5 months ago

You Yankees fans literally think the world owes you a championship every year, don’t you?

Davinci Dos
Guest
Davinci Dos
5 years 5 months ago

no Mike, we expect to win. its called confidence: if you don’t like it, go be a shrink.

chrstn41
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Dan Patrick floated Garza and Felix Hernandez this morning. He was just throwing stuff out there. And I can’t see TB sending Garza to the Yanks.

But…what about Hernandez? It would be a huge deal, but would NYY be willing to throw a similar offer for King Felix that they offered for Lee, and would that be enough to get it done.

I could see the Yankees going into panic/eff you guys mode and making a run a Felix, but I imagine they would have to overwhelm Seattle, and I’m not sure they’re willing to do that.

zzyzx
Guest
5 years 5 months ago

Why would the M’s trade Felix? He’s under contract until 2014. Oddly enough, the rest of MLB is not a farm system for the Yankees.

chrstn41
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Sure. It’s just an interesting name. (Like I said before, coming out of left field, and with nothing backing it.) I just don’t put anything past the Yankees.* Especially when they’ve been shut out of the free agent game.

*Not a Yankees fan.

zzyzx
Guest
5 years 5 months ago

Sorry I accidentally down voted your reply to me looking for the reply to it button. My response was just from going onto a Yankees forum to see their reaction and having everyone just be, “Well we’ll get Felix then. Offer a prospect or two but not our best ones of course…”

Andy
Guest
Andy
5 years 5 months ago

Why people bring King Felix up in trade talks now, I don’t know. He’s not on the table, and to put him on the table you’d have to throw unimaginable talent and money at the M’s, even for the Yankees, to make them even realistically consider it. 4 years of a 24 year old Cy Young winner do not come cheap.

Sandy Kazmir
Guest
5 years 5 months ago

Are the Mariners going to be in contention in any of the next 4 years? Take everybody from the Yanks and improve the team. It’ll be painful to keep having this CY argument every year when a great pitcher wins 10-11 games because the rest of the team is so gawdawful.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 5 months ago

I agree. I mentioned this in another thread. But the only way SEA is competitive in the next 4 years is if Smoak and Ackley turn out to be the new Utley & Pujols.

Not likely.

By the time the offense finds 250 more runs, and the pitching staff has replaced Lee’s 4 WAR, and the defense is still really good despite aging, Hernandez’s contract will be up.

With Lee going to PHL, and BOS improving, now might be the perfect time to get NYY to package some young players they normally might not be willing to part with.

I don’t know exactly what NYY have in nth eminors other than the big names, but my main point was that SEA is going to not-compete through 2014 with King Felix, so why refuse to trade him?

If you can get 3-4 players that contribute at the ML level (hopefully with the bat), with 1-2 of those guys being someone that will play for 10 years, with much of being under team control, why not?

The M’s not trading Felix is like the Royals not trading Grienke. I knew that’s insulting to the M’s to compare them to KC, but y’know … take a look.

IMO, the M’s are much further away than they realize. When you look at the number of things they have to improve and their current contracts (time table), they should be developing young players to make a seroius run around 2014. Some contracts are off by then, and they could be inposition to add some serious FA’s to a core of young, talented players.

Or they could just keep doing what they’ve been doing, and hope all the good players on the other teams in the AL West get hurt during the same season, and they win the division with 75 wins (in a good year).

Andy
Guest
Andy
5 years 5 months ago

The fact that you can predict 4 years down the road astounds me.
Compare the 2006 Giants with the 2010 Giants. The 2010 Giants had no similar hitters to the 2006 version and only had Matt Cain and mediocre rookies Jonathan Sanchez and Brian Wilson on the pitching side. I fail to see why you’d give up on a season 4 years away by trading the most important player to the future of your franchise.

The M’s aren’t like the Pirates or KC in that they actually have the money to spend. There’s 23M coming off the books after this season as well as a decent amount of MLB ready talent on the verge of making an impact in Smoak, Ackley, and Pineda along with whoever they draft with the number 2 pick.

Seriously. Trading a Cy Young pitcher when you have him under control for 4 more years is insane. It’s why you never see it happen.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 5 months ago

The Mariners have to ….
[1] Increase offense by about 250 runs.
[2] Replace Lee’s 4 WAR on the rotation.
[3] Maintain pitching and defensive levels (4th in AL), along with #3
[4] Do it in the next 4 years, as key players age.

As I said, it sure sounds easy enough. Then you start looking logistically at what it would require, and all of the sudden it becomes an “if everything goes right” combination (IMO).

It is possible that the M’s pull it off. It’s also possible they do not. The Giants had a lot of fortunate things go their way with player over-performance of their projections, and there’s no guarantee that the SFG make the playoffs in 2011. IMO, they are much better playoff team that they are a regular season team.

My point was that the M’s should not consider King Felix untradeable. If they can get a package that improves the team overall, or for a longer period of time, they would have to consider it … as hard as it would be to risk being known as the GM that traded a 24yo 6 WAR player with a decent 4-years left on the contract.

ThundaPC
Member
5 years 5 months ago

>>I agree. I mentioned this in another thread. But the only way SEA is competitive in the next 4 years is if Smoak and Ackley turn out to be the new Utley & Pujols.<>[1] Increase offense by about 250 runs.<>[2] Replace Lee’s 4 WAR on the rotation.<>[3] Maintain pitching and defensive levels (4th in AL), along with #3<<

Right now, the starting rotation is basically Felix and a bunch of back-end starters. There's a ton of room for improvement here. Defense-wise, the team dropped from 1st to 10th in UZR with infield defense being the primary area of weakness. Again, plenty of room for improvement. I don't see how maintaining good pitching and defense in a pitcher's park could possibly be difficult unless you constructed teams the way Bill Bavasi did.

Sure, it could take 4 or more years to be competitive. But to fall in line with this belief means:

1) Expecting a bunch of things to go wrong during that time.
2) Assume that team doesn't go out and acquire players to help the team.
3) Team payroll drops significantly when big contracts come off the books (starting with Milton Bradley next year).

The 3rd reason would be my biggest concern as the team had to convince ownership not to further decrease payroll for 2011. Of the other two reasons I could think of, one is pessimistic and the other in contradictory to Zduriencik's track record.

Back to the topic of the Yankees Plan B, if the Royals are demanding quite a bit for Zack Grienke does anyone think Felix will be any cheaper? Yankees already know trying to get Cliff Lee at the trade deadline that Zduriencik doesn't ship off players for cheap.

CMC_Stags
Guest
CMC_Stags
5 years 5 months ago

[1] Increase offense by about 250 runs.
Basically every player had career worse seasons last year. Figgins will be better. Ichiro will likely revert to his historical norms. Saunders will hit or be replaced. Moore or Olivo will hit. Ackley will come up and hit. Smoak will likely hit.

[2] Replace Lee’s 4 WAR on the rotation.
We’ll see what happens with Pinieda and free agent signings.

[3] Maintain pitching and defensive levels (4th in AL), along with #3
Defense will likely get better with Figgins at 3B and Ryan at SS. You already counted pitching on 2. The bullpen was aweful last year and should be better going forward.

[4] Do it in the next 4 years, as key players age.
There are very few old players on the M’s. There are arguably more important young players who will improve than old players who will decline. Also, the Bradley and Silva money comes off the books after 2011 so the M’s will have money to spend in free agency. The only “old” regulars are Figgins and Ichiro. Gutierrez, Saunders, Ryan, Ackley, Smoak, Moore, Vargas, Hernandez, Fister, Pinieda are all the right side of 30.

Seriously, there are only 6 players on the current 40 man roster born before 1980.

ThundaPC
Member
5 years 5 months ago

You’ll have to excuse me. The formatting of the early part of my post got destroyed.

“I agree. I mentioned this in another thread. But the only way SEA is competitive in the next 4 years is if Smoak and Ackley turn out to be the new Utley & Pujols.”

The only way this reasoning could make sense is if the team decides not to go out an acquire talent outside with the $30-$40 million coming off the payroll in that time span. Does anyone think that is really the case? The same team that wound up getting Cliff Lee for a few months, not to mention had a shot at renting Adrian Gonzales before he got traded to the Red Sox? Nah, I wouldn’t assume that at all.

“[1] Increase offense by about 250 runs.”

The team could make up at least half of that by playing players that don’t all hit career lows at the same time. The team sent out a projected 650-700 run roster that wound up scoring 513 runs. That wasn’t exactly by design. The team could conceivably make up 200 runs within the next two years and combined with good run prevention that’s enough to be competitive.

“[2] Replace Lee’s 4 WAR on the rotation.”

You might have a point if this were only 2011? But in a 4 year time table? You would have to assume that Michael Pineda doesn’t pan out, Gerrit Cole or Matt Purke flop, and again have to assume that the organization doesn’t go out and acquire talent.

The rest of my post is above this one.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 5 months ago

I was assuming that for the M’s to compete by 2014, that they would be building around/with Figgins and Ichiro. They are among the “aged”, although Ichiro will likely age very well. IMO, that’s not as big of a part of it it as is King’s contract over in 2014.

I stated that part of the M’s gain on offense could just be regression. I said as many as 50 runs. You guys are saying 150. Possible. We’ll see.

I think Lee’s 4 WAR loss is going to be a significant obstacle.

The key difference you guys are mentioning is that the M’s are going to go out and spend big money on FA’s. Given their philosophy of finding under-valued commodities (Guti, Figgins, etc), I don’t know if that is going to happen. I also don’t know how they may outbid LAA, BOS, NYY, PHL, etc.

Dan Patrick
Guest
Dan Patrick
5 years 5 months ago

As long as we are throwing out interesting names that won’t ever be traded to New York; Koufax. King Felix. Young. Three Fingered Brown. Superman. Lincecum. Gibson.

Sandy Kazmir
Guest
5 years 5 months ago

LoL’d at Superman

noseeum
Guest
noseeum
5 years 5 months ago

If Superman would just take a few hundred miles per hour off his fastball, he’d have much better control.

Harry
Guest
Harry
5 years 5 months ago

Felix Hernandez?? Are you kidding me?? The Mariners wanted (and got) Montero for 2 MONTHS of Cliff Lee! Do you have any idea what it would cost to get a 24 year old Cy Young winner who is under contract for the next 4 years? I don’t think anyone has enough to get that done…it might cost more than getting Justin Upton! The Yankees don’t have enough talent to do that. You would have to start with at least Montero and Hughes, maybe even Cano. Idk why the Mariners would have any incentive to do that. Yankee fans crying because for once they lost out on a player…welcome to the real world.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 5 months ago

Good point about Montero (and Lee).

My point wasn’t that they should trade him, but just not consider him untradeable.

I’m highly supportive of teams that are in the situaiton of getting 5 WAR in one roster slot, and would not trade him for just a handful of decent prospects. But if they could get 3-4 guys that may be MLB regulars for a while and develop at the same time (2-3 year period) as Ackley and Smoak do, then you have a core group of young talent that you can add FA’s to in order to be really competitive for a period of years (ala, Philly).

The concern I have is that by the time the M’s offense is “ready to compete”, their defense is significantly older, and Felix’s contract is up. So, it all may not be “together”, which is the key. That’s the question I ask, “Will the M’s have it all together before 2014?” I think it’s a pretty solid ‘No’, while acknowledging I cannot predict the future.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
5 years 5 months ago

“I don’t think anyone has enough to get that done…it might cost more than getting Justin Upton!”

Might?! Sir, as a Red Sox fan, I would gladly trade the Mariners cash considerations and the Portland effing Sea Dogs for Felix Hernandez. All. Of. Them.

King Felix may not be untouchable in the sense that anyone can be traded, but he’s about as close as it gets. The guy is probably going to go down as the best since Pedro and that’s a conservative estimate.

CMC_Stags
Guest
CMC_Stags
5 years 5 months ago

I’m not sure the Yankees have the prospects to get Felix.

John
Guest
John
5 years 5 months ago

As a Ranger’s fan I tried not to get emotionally invested in this decision. But I did. I actually had tears in my eyes. I’m glad he showed it’s not all about the money but why do to a team that disrespects you by trading for a better pitcher suddenly? I’m shocked. And I also hate Cliff Lee. If I ever see him on the streets, I hope I can control myself.

Don Corleone
Guest
Don Corleone
5 years 5 months ago

BE A MANN!!!!!! **SMACK!****

Lance W
Member
5 years 5 months ago

On the bright side, at least you’re not a basketball fan from Cleveland.

Carson
Guest
Carson
5 years 5 months ago

@John – I don’t understand. Why? He was forced to play there for half a season. He owes Texas nothing. It’s not like your childhood hero forced a trade and said you all are bumbling idiots.

Hating a player for leaving for less money seems like a pretty stupid thing to be mad about, let alone cry about.

John
Guest
John
5 years 5 months ago

I’m going to guess you’re a Yankee fan. I’m also wondering why you care so much about my feelings? Am I hurting you? Do you feel pain through my thoughts? I’m sorry you seem to be a sensitive human being. Poor boy.

Carson
Guest
Carson
5 years 5 months ago

@John – You have a strange way of guessing someone’s favorite team and their emotions.

John
Guest
John
5 years 5 months ago

From your first post, it’s not hard to guess you’re upset about something. Perhaps my first post?

Freud
Guest
Freud
5 years 5 months ago

Is this online therapy? Because I have issues with my mother.

Oedipus
Guest
Oedipus
5 years 5 months ago

You know I got drunk with my mom last week…

Socrates
Guest
Socrates
5 years 5 months ago

Lee TOOK the money. The Philly deal was clearly the best financially and gave him 500k less than the Yankees over a year less.

Eric
Guest
Eric
5 years 5 months ago

I’m also a Rangers fan..and while I did have a legitimate sinking feeling when I read that he was going to Philly, I honestly can’t blame him-he likes it there, and could be apart of something truly historic there.

The only thing Cliff Lee owed us was great pitching to help us get to the playoffs and advance once we were in there. He did that, and then chose to go where he truly wanted to go/could make the most money over the next five years.

If I ever see him on the streets, I hope I can control myself enough to only shake his hand and not give him an awkward hug for helping to bring the best and most exciting few months the Rangers have ever experienced.

Kirpuck34
Guest
Kirpuck34
5 years 5 months ago

Well, he’s getting $120 million for 5 years which is more per year than the Yankees were offering. If he gets paid $18 million in 2016 then it’s the same money the Yankees offered. People who say he’s leaving money on the table are not correct.

Cashman's Elf
Guest
Cashman's Elf
5 years 5 months ago

Who says he even gets a contract after 2016? There’s a big difference between having a team on the hook, in writing, to pay you $18 million more through 2017 and hoping that at the end of your newly minted contract that you are still worth over 15 million at age 38 or so.

Scully
Guest
Scully
5 years 5 months ago

$154MM over 7 years guaranteed for $22MM a year.
$120MM over 5 years guaranteed for $24MM a year.

Considering he’ll be 37 at the end of the Phillies deal and it seems impossible a team would then give him a 2 year $34MM contract. He left money on the table.

Captain Hindsight
Guest
Captain Hindsight
5 years 5 months ago

There’s a 27.5MM vesting option, people. He can make as much money in 6 years as the Yanks would pay him for 7.

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

147.5MM < 154MM
last time I checked at least. Still reasonably close.

Captain Hindsight
Guest
Captain Hindsight
5 years 5 months ago

6 years < 7 years

Captain Hindsight
Guest
Captain Hindsight
5 years 5 months ago

In other words, I think he can pretty easily make up the difference in 2017, if he wants to.

6.5 MM in 2017 won’t even be what it is today, but for comparison Andy Pettite made 12MM last year. Maddux made 10MM per in his last two one-year contracts.

Azmanz
Member
Azmanz
5 years 5 months ago

Part of the 120 mil guarantee is the 12.5 mil buyout in the 6th year, so the 27.5 mil vesting option is “only” 15 mil more than what he would already make.

154 over 7 – 22 MM
135 over 6 – 22.5 MM

He’d have to make 19 mil the 7th year to get to the Yanks offer. It’s entirely possible, Clemens made that in a half year when he was that old. I wouldn’t bet on it tho.

Captain Hindsight
Guest
Captain Hindsight
5 years 5 months ago

…true.

Guy
Guest
Guy
5 years 5 months ago

“In other words, I think he can pretty easily make up the difference in 2017, if he wants to.”
Seems like someone just realised their maths was wronnggggggg

Cliff
Guest
Cliff
5 years 5 months ago

Don’t buy that not all about the money crap, it will come out that the phillies offered the most money. It is now being reported that NY and TEX were at 22mil vs 24mil from Philly and if his option is as easily attainable as it sounds its a question of health making the Philly deal alot better then the other two.

TonyPenaforHOF
Guest
TonyPenaforHOF
5 years 5 months ago

His son has cancer and while it is in remission Philadelphia has one of the best juvenile cancer centers in the world. I know he has a ton of money but don’t discount this as a factor. Why not go to a place like Philly? Good team, great rotation, less pressure to win 20 games AND every playoff game and less travel for your wife and kids for the best medical care in the world for your son. At some point the money doesn’t matter anymore.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
5 years 5 months ago

A quick google search tells me the alleged best overall hospital for cancer patients in the US is in Texas, with the second best being in NYC. Nothing in PA rated the top ten.

Kev
Guest
Kev
5 years 5 months ago

He said juvenile… Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

DT
Guest
DT
5 years 5 months ago

Yankees should huddle up and enjoy Ivan nova as a fifth starter and watch as the sox and rays race past them. If the FO honestly is not considering Grienke b/c of his “anxiety” then that FO has some serious problems itself.

moebius
Guest
moebius
5 years 5 months ago

Sox: yes. Rays: no. Good luck replacing Crawford, Pena, and Soriano.

As currently constituted, the Yankees are the Wild Card. Which is not a horrible situation to be in.

Mick in Ithaca
Guest
Mick in Ithaca
5 years 5 months ago

Let’s play the games first. No Pettite, an injury to an aging player, no rebound from AJ . . . the Yanks could struggle for that wildcard. And if anything happens to CC, then it’s good night nurse.

Of course, the Yanks “as currently constituted” may not much resemble the Yanks as constituted by the end of March.

Los
Guest
Los
5 years 5 months ago

Pena was worth 1 win last year, hardly irreplaceable.

Guy
Guest
Guy
5 years 5 months ago

“Good luck replacing Giambi, Damon and Isringhausen”

Boom!

Socrates
Guest
Socrates
5 years 5 months ago

The Rays lost big time this year any way you cut it. The Yankees MIGHT lose Pettitte but otherwise are a very similar team (although vastly improved at C defense).

On paper…
Boston is the best team in the AL (that hurt to say). They Yankees are still probably #2, with CWS, DET, and TEX close behind. The Angels and Twins might still make a run but that remains to be seen.

Anything can happen in the playoffs. The best team usually wins, but certainly doesnt always win.

Nate
Guest
Nate
5 years 5 months ago

Why not call the Cubs about Ryan Dempster? He’s under contract for 2011 and 2012 and he’d be reunited with Larry Rothschild. He’s effective, right-handed, and would fit nicely behind Sabathia.

Chuck
Guest
Chuck
5 years 5 months ago

Great idea on Dempster. The Cubs are looking to offload some contracts and they could even inquire on Zambrano and see if he’ll waive his no-trade clause to go to a winner.

I would rather have Dempster, but he’s really the only consistent starter the Cubs have. If you took on any of: Soriano, Fukudome, Zambrano – I bet the Cubs would give you Dempster for next to nothing.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
5 years 5 months ago

Dempster is a good idea. Don’t know if the Cubs would bite, but they might think about it. The other thing is that the NL Central is pretty weak, so the Cubs might see it as winnable this year.

Sandy Kazmir
Guest
5 years 5 months ago

Garza for Montero, straight up. And don’t gimme no back talk bout intra-division, because it’s all about value.

Dave
Guest
Dave
5 years 5 months ago

I’d say Montero and Banuelos – Your right its about value, but its also about leverage and the Yankees don’t have any now that Lee’s off the market and everyone knows Cashman is ripe for an overpay deal.

Mike
Guest
Mike
5 years 5 months ago

The Yankees wouldn’t do it. Garza is mid-tier and fading.

Michael
Guest
Michael
5 years 5 months ago

At some point in 2009, the Red Sox offered the Mariners any combination of 4 players that included Buchholz, Ellsbury, Kelly, Anderson, Rizzo, Kalish, Bard, Pimentel for Hernandez. They were turned down.

I’m not sure if the Yankees, or anybody else for that matter could best a combination of Buchholz, Bard, Rizzo and Kelly. Granted, at the time Buchholz’ value was at it’s nadir unlike now, but he still was a pretty worthwhile chip.

Carson
Guest
Carson
5 years 5 months ago

That trade supposedly also included Adrian Gonzalez going to Seattle in a three team deal.

So, yeah. The price is set pretty high to get Hernandez. Why would teams even really bother?

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 5 months ago

Why would teams even really bother?

Because King Felix gives you 6 WAR RIGHT NOW.

How many prospects in the NYY sytstem are going to provide 6 WAR (combined) for the ML club in the next 3 years?

If it is a team that cannot spend in FA, and is basically required to build from within, then acquiring him for 3-4 prospects does not make sense. The NYY are not one of those teams.

NYY wants to win now, and I don’t see 2-4 of their prospects being MLB regulars right now. Felix is signd through 2014 for a team-friendly value.

So, why bother with King Felix. To try and win the world series would be my short answer.

Look at the NYY lineup. How many are free agenst? How many are homegrown? On their current roster, how many homegrown players do they add each year? Every 3 years?

Yeah, they can afford to trade away prospects for a CYA pitcher, and still be competitive 3 years from now, 5 years from now, and 10 years from now.

Frank
Guest
Frank
5 years 5 months ago

They add homegrown players nearly every year. Whether it’s a Cy Young runner up, a 3rd place MVP second baseman, a new centerfielder, leftfielder, yount top pitching prospects or roll players on the bench.

What exactly is your point?

Carson
Guest
Carson
5 years 5 months ago

@CircleChange11 – And, so, the Mariners should look at that argument and see how it helps them win baseball games how?

The Mariners ownership has (stupidly) been against a full force rebuild plan. They feel 3-4 year plans become 7-10 year plans. And, they may be right (the alternative route they chose hasn’t been any better, though). Whatever their reason is, they’re against it. They aren’t going to let Zduriencik send their 24 year old Cy Young winner away unless they get a massive haul that is probably unrealistic.

If they turned down Buchholz and hand picking 2-3 other Sox prospects AND Adrian Gonzalez BEFORE Felix won a Cy Young, why should we expect anything different now?

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 5 months ago

What exactly is your point?

First things first … when someone states that the NYY are not dependent on homegrown talent to be competitive, it is not saying the same thing as “they never have homegrown talent”. That happens in (seemingly) every discussion on the NYY.

C- Posada – NYY 1998 (Year they became a starter)
1B – Teixeira – FA 2009
2B – Cano – NYY 2005
3B – ARod – FA 2004
SS – Jeter – NYY 1996
LF – Gardner – NYY 2009
CF – Granderson, Trade 2009
RF – Swisher, Trade 2009
DH – Thames, FA 2010

SP1 – Sabathia, FA 2009
SP2 – Burnett, FA 2009
SP3 – Hughes – NYY 2010
SP4 – Vasquez, FA 2010
SP5 – Pettitte – NYY 1995

CP – Rivera, NYY 1995

So, in the last 15 years, the NYY have made 7 homegrown players MLB starters (and that’s probably with one of the best talent groups of 3-4 years in history). In the last 5 years they have made 2 homegrown players starters.

My point is simply, they are NOT reliant on homegrown talent in order to be competitive. So, they could afford to trade prospects for King Felix, and would probably be one of the few teams where that might be a better move than hanging on to the prospects.

The NYY are one of the teams that can play to “win now” each and every year. It’s probably not the best model to follow continuously, but they could.

realitypolice
Guest
realitypolice
5 years 5 months ago

@circlechange… ARod was not acquired as a free agent… it was a trade that brought him and half his salary from Texas.

JFC
Guest
JFC
5 years 5 months ago

Carl Pavano is still out there… Does anyone else think the Yanks will finish fourth in the AL East next year without improving that rotation?

Slugger27
Guest
Slugger27
5 years 5 months ago

“Does anyone else think the Yanks will finish fourth in the AL East next year without improving that rotation?”

No.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
5 years 5 months ago

Fourth? No. WAAAYYYY no. (As much as I would like for it to be true.) This isn’t a 80-win team retooling, it’s a 95-win team retooling.

Rays have gotten worse. Jays haven’t gotten any better (Villanueva in, Marcum out).

dutchbrowncoat
Guest
dutchbrowncoat
5 years 5 months ago

people said the same thing about the jays when they lost burnett. and then again when they lost halladay.

and besides, rumor has it they have some drabek guy who can probably fill in reasonably well for marcum.

tdotsports1
Guest
5 years 5 months ago

The Jays will be better just based on their young talent improving year over year plus Lind/Hill not hitting like total sieves. Don’t discount the Jays just yet.

Plus, Villaneuva won’t see many (if any) starts dude, he is bullpen filler.

Their rotation will be Romero, Morrow, Cecil, Drabek, Rzcep/Litsch/Stewart – not too bad.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 5 months ago

Does anyone else think the Yanks will finish fourth in the AL East next year without improving that rotation?

No

Does anyone think winning the division (or just making the playoffs) is the NYY’s goal next year?

No

Their key competitors from the NL just added Lee to a rotation that already had Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels … and when healthy features a rather strong lineup.

Their division rivals just added AGon and Carl Crawford, and will likely be healthier this year than they were last year.

Why we look at situations involving the NYY and apply formulas and logic associated with the average team is beyond me.

If the NYY don’t make the WS, the year will be seen as a failure for them. Other clubs may say stuff like that, the NYY mean it. I’m no fan of the NYY, but acknowledge that they are a unique situation.

Barkey Walker
Guest
Barkey Walker
5 years 5 months ago

If Pettite doesn’t resign, then third would be about right. Toronto is a very, very good team (they would probably make the ALDS almost yearly in the AL Central).

Guy
Guest
Guy
5 years 5 months ago

So the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays are very, very, very good teams?

Socrates
Guest
Socrates
5 years 5 months ago

The Rays are not that good without Crawford, Pena, and Soriano. Also they may trade one of their starters (Shields or Garza) and while the replacement is Hellickson, he is probably not ready to step into either of their shoes.

In addition, they lost almost their entire bullpen.

The Yankees on paper are still better than TOR, TB, and BAL. The games need to be played and all teams including Boston will have injuries, but the Yankees are still a top team.

JFC
Guest
JFC
5 years 5 months ago

Yeah, maybe I got a little excited there with fourth, but I was questioning their talent as they stand, without Pettite. They got what might be career years from Swish, Cano, and Gardner last year, and CC had surgery this offseason. It’s probably unlikely though.

Mike
Guest
Mike
5 years 5 months ago

You build a team to get to the Playoffs. Anything beyond that is stupid. The Giants got hot and won the Series. you can’t predict short series so you shouldn’t bother trying to build a team for them. Build a team to get there and then hope.

Barkey Walker
Guest
Barkey Walker
5 years 5 months ago

The Phillies have a heck of a series team. You’re looking at four aces on five days rest. Any can loose it, but more than two seems unlikely… that said, I’m a Twins fan, so I’m used to seeing three great pitchers get light up in a row at the ALDS.

Will Wilde
Guest
Will Wilde
5 years 5 months ago

I heard Joe Blanton could be had pretty reasonably.

HAHAHAHAHA

david
Guest
david
5 years 5 months ago

Given that it’s the Yankees, isn’t it more likely that they totally overpay via trade for a young stud starter like Johnson, Cain, Kershaw, Latos, Danks, Gallardo, etc rather than a Lowe or Buehrle type?

I realize those are all nearly untouchable, but if the Yankees are desperate enough to throw a package of Montero, two of the 3 big Bs, Nova and one of their middle-of-the-diamond guys at you, don’t you have to at least consider it if you’re on the other end of the phone?

moebius
Guest
moebius
5 years 5 months ago

Right now, the Yankees are a Wild Card team, which is a fine place to be.

The Sox got better, the Rays got worse, which suggests BOS NYY TOR TBR (?) BAL next year.

As I see it, the Yankees have to do two of four things.

A. Throw enough money at Pettitte to get him to stay.
B. Trade for an arb eligible pitcher who is about to become unaffordable, which means they could lose Montero (their All-Star RF of the future).
C. Use their tremendous financial advantage to buy a big contract (Zambrano, Lowe, and Dempster are the three possibilities).
D. Take a bunch of high-risk, high-reward fliers on guys like Brandon Webb, and see what sticks.

The Yankees suddenly have $24 million laying around. Giving half of that to Andy Pettitte, and slotting half of that for an arb-eligible pitcher or two reclamation projects doesn’t sound so terrible.

James
Guest
James
5 years 5 months ago

Zero chance on Buehrle accepting a trade to NY… unless they are going to extend him for 3-4 years @ $20-25m or something unreasonable, but even then, not sure he’d do it.

rich maiori
Guest
rich maiori
5 years 5 months ago

so the yankees did not land a guy who was 12-9 last year, a whopping 3 games over 500, for 25 million a year until he was a broken down sub 500 pitcher a few years hence, so what. i’ll bet given the opportunity Ivan Nova can get three games over 500 be cheaper by say 150,000.000 and give them far greater flexibility in signing the next great young superstar pitcher.

Mick in Ithaca
Guest
Mick in Ithaca
5 years 5 months ago

Well, then they’d surely not want Hernandez since he was only ONE game over 500.

While there might be a number of legitimate reasons for not wanting to give Lee an enormous contract for 7 years, carping about his W/L record and comparing him to Nova is a little ridiculous.

snapper
Guest
snapper
5 years 5 months ago

I’d say Wandy Rodriguez (over 30, last year of arb so should come cheap if the Gonzalez deal is any precedent) and Carlos Zambrano (2 years left, Cubs would probably take a B prospect and eat some contract) are far liklier than any of the names mentioned in the article.

david
Guest
david
5 years 5 months ago

The Yankees already have one incredibly overpaid, hard-throwing but stupid starter who they have to keep in the rotation despite the fact that he’s imminently unqualified to stay there for the next four years… why would they want Zambrano?

snapper
Guest
snapper
5 years 5 months ago

Because he puts up a 118 ERA+ or better every year?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
5 years 5 months ago

Two of a team’s top three prospects and a first round pick is cheap now?

Hm. News to me.

WY
Guest
WY
5 years 5 months ago

The only way Carpenter is getting traded is if the Cardinals have a disastrous first few months, fall completely out of contention, and decide to deal him midseason. There is zero chance of them trading him in the offseason given their plans to compete in what may the last year for La Russa (and, heaven forbid, Pujols). They’re doing their version of going all-in this year, which isn’t anything like the Yankees/Sox/Phillies version of it, but still…

This speculation of the Yankees getting Carpenter only makes sense from the Yankee side of the equation. It just doesn’t make sense if you look at where the Cardinals are and what he has meant to that team over the last 7-8 years.

Andross
Guest
Andross
5 years 5 months ago

Agreed. I could see a deadline deal for Carp, but not before then.

JWO
Guest
JWO
5 years 5 months ago

It would depend on the trade offer. If you started including names like Nunez, Cano, Chamberlain, etc., you’d probably get the Cardinals attention.

Max Powers
Guest
Max Powers
5 years 5 months ago

I read the article. Then all 100 comments – and now I can’t even remember what the article was about…

DownwiththeDH
Member
DownwiththeDH
5 years 5 months ago

The Yanks best bet now is to hunker down and make moves with the a 2012 series win in mind.

William
Member
William
5 years 5 months ago

i pretty sure that 1. zack grienke has a no trade clause that can block a trade to 15 teams (including yankees) and 2. he has dealt with anxiety and depression in the past, I’m not sure he would be a good fit for the biggest stage in baseball

dte421
Guest
dte421
5 years 5 months ago

When did Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman start sharing the account name “CircleChange11????”

David D
Guest
David D
5 years 5 months ago

Would Yankees be interested in Zito (I’m a Giants fan)? Cheap, half priced.

Mike
Guest
Mike
5 years 5 months ago

The Phillies 2011 have been declared by the fans as the greatest pitching staff ever, before throwing a pitch.

The Red Sox 2011 have been declared the greatest team ever by their fans, before playing a game.

Nothing against either team, but if baseball history tells us one thing, the odds are neither will make it to the World Series.

Play ball.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
5 years 5 months ago

The 2009 Yankees were pretty much handed the World Series in December. Guess how that turned out?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
5 years 5 months ago

Additionally, going into the 2007 season, I recall the Red Sox being considered the clear favorites for both their division and the World Series.

For every plucky underdog WS winner, there’s a pair of overwhelming juggernauts steamrolling their way to a title.

JK
Guest
JK
5 years 5 months ago

Actually odds are pretty good 1 of the 2 will make the WS.

Eric M. Van
Guest
Eric M. Van
5 years 5 months ago

Folks looking at the AL East are ignoring the Orioles, who under Showalter were merely the fourth best team in baseball (after adjusting for SoS). And they did it largely by dramatic improvements from young heralded players who had been huge disappointments the first four months:

Matusz 5.46 -> 2.18
Arrieta 5.47 -> 3.78
Tillman 7.92 -> 4.08
Jones .306 / .434 -> .370 / .462

They obviously shouldn’t be a WC favorite, but they need to be in the discussion.

pft
Guest
pft
5 years 5 months ago

Besides improvement by some of the young pitchers and Jones, the Orioles also got back Roberts, Pie, Scott, Wieters and Gonzalez shortly before or at the time Showalter took over. They played so well in part because they were healthy for the first time all year.

Unlike a certain richer team in the north, the Orioles did not have the depth or financial resources to cover these injuries. I agree that if they are healthy, the Orioles will not be a bad team in 2011 and could flirt with 500.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
5 years 5 months ago

Can we not pretend the Orioles do not have financial resources? They had a stranglehold on the DC metro market until their ownership decided to stop giving a crap.

They’re not poor, they’re just poorly run.

pft
Guest
pft
5 years 5 months ago

Assuming the Yankees sign Pettitte, they will not have lost any player of significance. The Red Sox for all the excitment of Crawford and AGon have lost Beltre and V-Mart.

Not getting Lee, losing baggage like Vazquez and Johnson, and saving 5 million on Jeters salary for 2011, means the Yankees are flush with Cash to acquire bullpen pieces and bench and acquire a salary dump at the trading deadline to fill any holes.

Obviously, they have to stay healthy, but a bounce back by AJ and if Nova/Phelps make the jump, their starting rotation should be adequate given a high run support and good bullpen support.

Thats why as Red Sox fan I am not resting all that easy.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
5 years 5 months ago

If you’re a Red Sox fan, you should also take into account how much time the 2010 Red Sox lost to injury. They didn’t just reokace Beltre and V-Mart, they’ve added Ellsbury and about a third of a season of Youk (Who in only 2/3 of a season out WAR’ed Mark Teixeira) and half a season of Pedroia (Who put up slightly more than half as many WAR as Cano in less than half as many games).

Meanwhile, A-Rod and Jeter are yet another year older and their current penciled in number two starter put up an ERA close to five in the second half. If all things are equal in terms of injuries, bouncebacks and regressions where they logically would occur, the Sox currently have a better team going into the season.

Fuck Your Mother
Guest
Fuck Your Mother
5 years 5 months ago

I am pretty sure that the 10-5 rule was abolished in the last CBA. If I remember correctly, the owners wanted the union to concede something, and they almost no one ever exercised 10-5 rights, so they gave them that (insert joke here about MLB owners and their negotaiting skills vis-a-vis the MLB players).

Hank
Guest
Hank
5 years 5 months ago

If Pettitte resigns, I think NY doesn’t do anything before the season starts and depending on injuries and how Burnett and Nova look, maybe they pick up a back of the rotation starter mid-season. As some have mentioned, yes they are a year older but this is essentially the same team as last year with better defense at catcher and a DH who probably will not be injured 2 days into the season. Pettitte is probably due for some regression from last year, but Burnett probably also is (in the other direction)

I think they should make a run at Josh Johnson next winter (he’ll be 2 years away from FA, his salary jumps to 13-14 mil/yr and while not a lot, that means he and Hanley Ramirez will be >50% of theMarlins payroll. He might be the Zach Greinke of next winter and I imagine others will also be interested too. Earning only 7-8mil this year I don’t see the Marlins trading him this year as that is ultra cheap for his value, and 3 years of control proabbly does not net that much more in prospects than doing it with 2 years of control.

Not sure what it would take…. Maybe start with Montero, Nunez (?), and Betances (or Banuelos). and 2 other guys, I’m not sure they would want someone like Gardner as he would start hitting his arb years…

G Head
Guest
G Head
5 years 5 months ago

A little on a tangent here: But is anyone else annoyed with the “Sainthood” of Cliff Lee and the whole “He couldn’t be bought” crap?
First off, the guy got $120MILLION!!! He didn’t exactly sign with the Royals for $5Million a year instead.
Secondly, it is reported that he was sticking a demand of a seventh year from Texas, yet ends up signing with Philly for five? So how important was that seventh year? Or was it a bargaining tool?
Lastly, everyone is so quick to write about how Philly was/is a perfect fit for Lee and his family (his child specifically, which is great), however why was there this almost-LeBron James signing delay then?
I have nothing against the guy, but he is INDEED like any other pro athlete who others like to vilify: He used other teams for his own gain, looked out for himself and his family, and scored more $$ than we can even dream about. Nothing wrong with hat at all, but enough of the “Saint Lee” crap already.

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