Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jr to White Sox

According to Fox Sports, the White Sox and Reds have a trade in place to send Jr Griffey to the South Side. According to the report, all that remains is Jr waiving his no trade clause.

Additional Trade Thought

In thinking about whether the Pudge trade was a good one for the Yanks, consider the following-

It's the 9th inning and the Yanks are playing the Tigers in the ALCS. Down 1 at home, we need a run to tie. Tell me you're not begging Leyland to bring in Farnsworth!

Also, it's always nice when a player wants to come to NY. From Bill Madden - 

...Rodriguez, who is a free agent after the season, asked for a meeting with Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski at the team hotel in Cleveland, at which he was the one who suggested a trade to the Yankees.

"They need a catcher and I want to catch every day," Rodriguez reportedly told Dombrowski. "Why don't you see if you can work something out?"

According to Boris, Pudge has always wanted to be a Yankee. Whether I believe him, I don't know, but at least he's saying the right things.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Beating the Dead Horse Rant

The Yanks and Sox both went into today's games trying to avoid a home sweep with their respective 'Aces' on the mound. How'd it work out?

Josh Beckett gave up 8 runs (7 earned) on 11 hits (his pitches looked something like the picture above) in 5 and one third innings tonight as the Red Sox got swept at home by the LA Angels. 

Joba Chamberlain gave up 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits in 6 innings today as the Yanks avoided the sweep at home and pounded the Baltimore Orioles. 

A true Ace is a 'stopper;' a true Ace can be counted on to win the 'gotta win" game. Once again, Blisters didn't show up.

Regular readers of YankeeGM Blog have probably already figured out that the way certain all-sports TV stations have anointed Josh Beckett the King of Aces has annoyed me to no end. The guy has had some very good (borderline dominant) seasons, but has lacked the necessary consistency to be considered the best pitcher (or even the best big game pitcher) in baseball. Yet still when anyone speaks at ESPN they invariably follow the word 'Ace' with three additional words..."like Josh Beckett."

An example. I'm sure you've all heard this one - 

"The Yankees passed on Johan Santana this off season and therefore lack an Ace like the Sox' Josh Beckett."

or - 

"The hope in moving Joba to the rotation is that he becomes a staff Ace giving the Yankees someone to match up with the likes of Josh Beckett."

Can we please put this to rest? Beckett is currently the proud owner of an ERA that is exactly 0.33 away from being double that of Joba. For 2008 Beckett is projected by ESPN to allow 4 times as many home runs as Joba. Beckett's batting average against is 39 points higher, his OPS against is 115 points higher and his strikeouts are almost fully 2 K's per 9 innings lower than Joba.

My point is not that Joba is the best pitcher in baseball (not yet, anyway). My point is that if a 22 year old kid who is not the best pitcher in baseball is THIS MUCH BETTER than him, how can these morons keep talking about him as if he's Sandy Freekin' Koufax?!?

Note to Peter, Buster, Tim and the genius that is Steve Phillips (Kazmir for Zambrano? Really?), I recognize the intense man-love you all feel for boy-wonder Theo; I see, every day, the unhealthy infatuation you all share for the team from New England; but for future reference -

Johan Santana is an Ace.
Jake Peavy is an Ace.
Brandon Webb is an Ace.
Doc Halliday is an Ace.
Joshy Blisters IS NOT.

Kyle's Surprising Reaction

Kyle Farnsworth has not exactly been embraced by the New York fans in his time here. His ability to have meltdowns and his love for long ball made him a common target of Yankee fan's unhappiness. So after the trade today I expected to hear Kyle say all the right things but deep down I never felt like he enjoyed NY just like we never really enjoyed him.

I was wrong

Surprisingly Kyle was very upset. I am almost sad to see him go. He did shut down David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez.......

Pudge a GREAT Move

Kyle Farnsworth for Pudge Rodriguez - what a really great move by Cashman.

While Pudge no longer has the power of his earlier (unquestionably aided) days, I-Rod still carries a nice batting average (.295), is extremely productive, still possesses a canon right arm, and is highly motivated in that he's playing for what should be his last contract. Both Farns and I-Rod are scheduled to become free agents after this season, so this is a matter of 2 teams swapping veterans from strength to help solve a weakness.

The new Yankee line-up - 

Damon - L
Jeter - R
Abreu -L
A-Rod - R
Giambi - L
I-Rod - R
Cano - L
Nady - R
Cabrera - S

Wow - That's a balanced, powerhouse lineup!

Another stroke of brilliance regarding this trade is that not only does it help us this year and not bind us to a long term contract, but also we swapped a probable type B free agent for a certain type A and the enhanced draft picks that come along with it.

Any more questions about the Yanks maybe selling?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tex Now Makes No Sense

As the Braves have more stars on the DL than off, and at an expected $20mm+ per year price tag, look for Mark Texiera to be moved prior to Thursday's trade deadline. With Giambi a free agent after this season, the Yanks will have significant interest in the star 1B. Look for that interest to come, however, in the off season, not at the deadline.

Don't get me wrong...a player of Texiera's talent always makes sense. For the Yankee current roster, however, I think it creates too many issues.

As a gold-glove 1B and switch hitter, Tex would play 1st every day. With 1B occupied Giambi would be relegated to DH duty. With Giambi at DH, Damon would have to play LF. With Damon in LF, where would Nady play?

One potential solution would be to trade or bench Melky, move Damon to center and play Nady in left. As we've seen before, our D takes a pretty good hit with Johnny in CF.

A more probable outcome is that the Yanks pass on Tex for now and go after him this off season when Giambi is gone. Being a Scott Boris client, we most likely do not have to worry about Tex signing with the team that trades for him before hitting free agency this winter.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Stadium Tour

Sir Sid Puts up a Clunker

We can't be all THAT upset - 

1. 2 of 3 @ Fenway is a Win
2. We aren't going to pitch to a 1.53 ERA for the whole second half
3. It IS Sidney Ponson

Sid has pitched fairly well for us, but we all have to remember - he has a career ERA+ of 91, a career WHIP of 1.47 and has switched teams 7 times in his career for a reason. Sidney Ponson is NOT the long term answer to the Yanks' needs.

As with Chacon and Aaron Small, Cashman is trying (and so far succeeded) to catch lightning in a bottle with Raz and Sir Sid until more viable options present themselves. 

Once the M's come back down to earth and realize dumping Washburn's salary is enough of a plus for them, we can replace Sid's career ERA+ of 91 with Washburn's career ERA+ of 108 (ugh).

The Rasner/Ponson experiment needs to end now; we have gotten as much as we can from these 2 and we need to move on. Replacing these 2 with Washburn and Kennedy until Wang and Hughes are ready is a move we need to make now. 

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hey Hedgehog...SHUT UP!

Good god, it's part of the game! Yeah, I know, Joba has it in for you...and yeah, I know, he's almost dented that massive melon on more than one occasion, but for crying out loud, I haven't heard this much whining since my 4 year old's best friend went to Disney without her! 

Also, it seems that it's not even Joba's fault! Check this quote from the Dread Sox's site

Joba Chamberlain has an explanation for the ball always heading for Kevin Youkilis' head.

He said that Kevin's head is so big and dense that it has its own gravitational pull.

I completely believe it!

Here's an idea for ya, dirtbag - if you wanna get back at Joba, try hitting the ball instead of wildly flailing at sliders in dirt that end up in the lefty batter's box!

Apparently, most of the (sane) world agrees with me. Check some examples -

and Here

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Quick Look at Jon Lester

With Jon Lester's very impressive year so far, I decided to take a look at his numbers and see what is making him so successful; after all, this is a player who has an era this year (3.20) that is lower then his career minor league era (3.33). So what gives?

Lester's whip is 47th best in baseball while his era is 18th. So a bit of luck has definitely helped him. Also, he has really gotten his walks under control - BB/9 2006 - 4.76, 2007 - 4.43, 2008 - 2.99.

His Babip has actually gone up a tick from last year 2006- .332, 2007-.285, 2008 -.298

So what gives? Is this luck or is this a pitcher with good stuff learning to control it? Probably a little of both, but the Lance Armstrong of baseball is due for his era to start matching his peripherals stats.

One thing of does one gain velocity on the fastball AFTER cancer? 

Avg fastball speed: 2006 - 90.2; 2007 - 89.9; 2008 - 91.4

Time to Pull Ahead!

The Yanks are now even with the Dread Sox in the loss column. Pull out the brooms, and we tie them for 2nd in the division and for the wild card lead. 
The Sox are being exposed as a team with good starting pitching, a very top-heavy line up, and a disaster of a bullpen in front of Papplepuss (who's a disaster of another kind). 

If Sir Sidney can keep up the fantastic showing by Yankee arms, our brooms will be a waggin'!

Joba and The Hedgehog

While the timing leads me to believe that it wasn't on purpose, when you look at the history it sure seems The Hedgehog dissed Joba's momma, doesn't it?

In a 1-0 game I cannot see Joba wanting to put the lead off man on regardless of how much he may hate Youkilis. 

But as this is now the 3rd game where it looks like Joba was headhunting Youkilis, and as Joba's control was pretty impeccable all night (1 walk in 7ip), you gotta think that something's going on.

Having put up with A-Rod and Jeter getting plunked a couple of times every series, and having withstood Pedro's headhunting ways, I have no problem with Joba letting loose with a little chin music from time to time. It's an attitude we have lacked since Clemens was throwing shattered bats at crosstown catchers. 

While I dislike Youkilis, I would like to see Joba bring the ball down a hair when getting a batter to move his feet. Brush-back is one thing...true head hunting is quite another.

Will the REAL Ace Please Stand Up...Oh Wait; HE DID!

Beckett pitched well; Joba pitched better. 

Hey Fatso and Fruit Loops - any questions?

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Best News of the Day

Today was a good day in Yankeeland but the best news I am sure most of you missed.

It's not Joba becoming our ace and beating the sox or the trade that fills two of the Yankees biggest holes - a right handed bat and a lefty out of the pen and it wasn't even Joba punking out Youkilis again (what did he do to piss Joba off!).

The best news of the day comes to us via;

"Hughes is slated to start and pitch two innings on Monday for the GCL Yankees"....

but that's not it...wait for it....

"Pavano is tentatively scheduled to toss two frames on Tuesday for the same club, assuming that a batting-practice session goes as expected on Saturday. "

Finally, Carl is on his way back! Now the Yankees are unstoppable!

How is Joba's fastball doing?

One of the big questions with Joba moving to the rotation was how would his fastball velocity be affected by the additional innings. The premise being that Joba the reliever was going at maximum effort for 1 or 2 innings and Joba the starter would not be able to maintain that level of effort.

So we start with Joba's velocity as a reliever which was third best in baseball at 95.8 miles per hour on average.

As a starter Joba's fastball actually rates a little better, tied for first in baseball among starters but down a bit at 94.9 miles per hour.

But what about his velocity late in games?His late start against Oakland ended like this;
95 mph Fastball
96 mph Fastball
100 mph Fastball
98 mph Fastball

Joba is the real deal as a starter or a reliever. He stuff translates well to starting or relieving.

He is the kind of prospect that comes along once every 20 years. Wherever he is it is something special to watch.

Washburn? Nah!

In our search to improve the starting pitching before the deadline, the name Jarrod Washburn is apparently gaining legs. 

To those of you agreeing that it's a pretty good idea, I ask one question...why?

In 2005 with the LA Angels Washburn had a pretty good season going 8-8 in 29 starts pitching to a 3.20 ERA. Since then he has posted 4.67 (95 ERA+), 4.32 (100 ERA+) and 4.75 (84ERA+). Washburn is not a strikeout pitcher, is currently pitching to a 1.482 WHIP, is on the wrong side of 30 (34 in 3 weeks) and gives up far too many HR given he plays half of his games in Safeco National Park.

The Yankee goal in considering this trade is to upgrade the rotation. In my opinion, Washburn does not offer any upgrade over IPK, nor does he offer a significant enough upgrade over Rasner and Ponson to make the deal. 

If we are going to make a trade I always feel that getting some kind of talent back is important. If we want to look at AJ Burnett, Aaron Harang or just about anyone with an ERA+ over 100, then great. Washburn is NOT the guy!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

In Order...

At the break the Yanks were 5.5 out of the wild card lead; the standings looked like this-

Minn -2.5
Oak   -4.5
NYY  -5.5

The schedule after the break had us playing (in order) Oak, Minn then Boston. 

After sweeping the A's the standings read - 

Minn -2
NYY -3

And now, after sweeping the Twinkies - 

NYY -3

We have dispatched with the A's, then the Twins, now it's time for a good old fashioned ass-whoopin' up at Fenway to put us in a tie with the choke-sox for the wild card lead and no worse than .5 out of the division lead. 

Let The Massacre begin!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Trade Talk

Just 4.5 games out of 1st place and the deadline approaching, what is Cash-Man to do to make the Yanks better equipped to make the postseason?

While Brian has definitely shown a potentially unhealthy love for the depth of our minor leagues (pitching, anyway), it's time to be realistic and trade away some of those kids while their value is high and before they potentially get exposed. Some of the kids I would trade -

Phil Coke (26, AA)- One of the few lefties in the Yankee organization, Coke is 9-4 with a 2.60 ERA.

Eric Wordekemper (25, AA) - Righty reliever has a 3-2 record and a 3.67 ERA. 41.2 IP, 47 H and 35 K's put him in the lower echelon of our pitching prospects.

Kei Igawa (29, AAA) - Prospect? I dunno, but he ain't making the big club any time soon! 9-5, 3.80 ERA, 101 H and 90 K's in 113 IP...someone should be willing to take a chance on him. 

Steven Jackson (26, AAA) - Another righty reliever, 1-3, 5.14 so far this year. 70 K's in 61 ip should give some value.

Alan Horne (25, AAA) - Having spent some time on the DL this year, last year's AA pitcher of the year has certainly done well enough in his limited time at SWB to be a valuable trade chip (2-2, 4.35, 31 ip, 33H, 24K's)

JB Cox (24, AAA) - An extremely effective reliever, Cox' numbers justify a call-up. For the year he is 3-3, 3.32, 38 IP, 32 H and 18K's. His low K rate is what makes him trade bait in my book.

Ian Kennedy (24, AAA) - While Ikky struggled mightily in the Bigs, he is young enough and dominant enough in the minors to insure that the bloom is nowhere near off this rose. While I believe Kennedy will be a very effective major league pitcher, I do not believe it will be at the front of the rotation. 

Any/All AAA position players - The only one I'd like to hold on to is Alberto Gonzalez. Keeping him, however, would not create a deal breaker.

Any/All AA position players not named Jackson - There are some real prospects in this group like PJ Pillittere , Edwar Gonzalez and Jose Tabata, but you've got to give to get, right?

I am far less familiar with lower level players, but I would definitely keep Jesus off the table. 

Many people have said (with a high degree of smug, I might add) that the Yanks will not make a major move, and that anything Cash does will be considered tweaking the roster. I disagree. Consider, for example, the following trade - 

Ian Kennedy, JB Cox, Kei Igawa,  Cody Ehlers, Erik Wordekemper and Steven Jackson to the Pirates for Jason Bay and Damaso Marte.

(UPDATE - In reviewing the above trade I determined I was probably a little light. Swap out Ehlers and add Gardner to really get this done)

In Kennedy, Igawa, Cox and Jackson the Pirates would be getting MLB ready or near ready pitching. Ehlers is a decent lefty 1B prospect who is much like a John Olerud type with gap power and a plus plate discipline. 

While we would certainly be giving up some young talent, the return would be 2 things the Yanks sorely need - a very effective lefty out of the 'pen, and a power hitting corner outfielder. Bay is only 29, and is under team control through 2009. With Abreu headed for free agency after this season, Bay would fill a need not just for this year, but going forward as well.

This is the kind of trade I can see Cashman making - something that adds not just for now but potentially for years to come.

I agree that making one of the 'old-type' Yankee trades of a kid for an aging veteran (Tony Armas Jr for Mike Stanley comes to mind) should be avoided at ALL costs. A smart trade that utilizes our minor league depth and addresses a long-term need, however, needs to be made.

Manny Being Manny

Monday, July 21, 2008

Yankees Making a Move

The Yankees Started the second half behind three teams in the wild card chase; Oakland, Minnesota and Tampa. Tampa has since swapped spots with Boston. The Yankees face in order Oakland, Minnesota and Boston after the break. This is the opportunity an underachieving team like the Yankees needed and so far they are taking advantage. They have leapfrogged Oakland in the standings and are now one game back of the Twins. With a sweep of the Twins they will have only Boston standing in their way of the Wild Card lead. So things are looking good.

Now this team is clearly flawed. There are two spots in the rotation that are questionable at best and the lineup has 3 outs at the bottom in Melky, Molina and Gardner. Also, Matsui and Posada are most likely done for the year, Giambi is coming back down to earth(.216 in July) and Jeter is having maybe his worst year as a Yankee. With all this somehow the team is close to the top of the wild card race. The question is, is this good fortune or is the Yankee team good enough to compete. Their run differential is a little worrisome (+32) when compared with the other contenders oakland (+57), Minnesota(+33) and Boston(+87). With Cano heating up, Andy pitching well and Hughes and Wang due back in September they should stay in it regardless of any big moves by Cashman(which I personally would not expect).

The question of whether they have enough to make it back to the postseason will probably not be determined into the final days of September...perhaps even the final weekend in Boston.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Bullpen Continues to Come Up Big

Weird Yankee win today that was once again built on a very strong outing by the pen. I know Veras gave up the tying run after Joba departed and Mo gave up a run in the ninth but the pen was still good - pitched 6 innings giving up 2 runs.

Edwar Ramirez has now gone 9 innings without giving up a hit( 9 0 0 0 2 14). He is looking to be a bit streaky but is definitely showing he can be a very value able member of the bullpen. Jose Veras is still pitching well and Farnsworth has his era down to 3.43 with 8 straight hitless innings of his own. Add in Mariano and the decent contribution from Dave Robertson and the bullpen could be the Yankees biggest strength. There are a number of good power arms(Yankees bullpen leads the AL in strikeouts by relievers) and the one question mark, Latroy Hawkins, is most likely gone when Bruney is ready.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Public Enemy #1

It started for me with Carlton Fisk. I remember screaming "Kill him, Thurm!" at the TV as an 8 year old. From there, names like Bob Stanley, Dwight Evans, Rich Gedman,  Marty Barrett, Spike Owen and Mike Greenwell (
grrrr! my all-time most hated player!) made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I am a Yankees fan, and there is always at least 1 Red Sox player that I completely loathe!!

Recent history saw Jason Varitek the object of my hatred. The smug look, the likes of Tim McCarver, Joe Morgan and especially Peter (I Love Theo!) Gammons 
gushing over his leadership and handling of the staff (what crap!), the fight with I hate Varitek! I still hate him, but now that he is completely inept at the plate (218/299/354) he's taken a back seat to the new public enemy #1 - Jonathan Papelpuss.

I have no problem with a young guy being confident, even a little cocky regarding his talent; but Papelpuss goes waaaayyyyyy too far. 

In addition to continually comparing himself to Mariano (are you kidding me?!?), the guy has zero class. Add this to all of the crap about him thinking that he should close the ASG, Peteabe had this from the AL clubhouse - 

Yankees clubhouse manager Rob Cucuzza said how impressed he was with the Red Sox players. A few of them asked to see Thurman Munson’s locker. “Those guys and Terry (Francona) have been incredibly respectful,” he said. “I didn’t really know them before this and they’ve been great.”

Then we have Jonathan Papelbon, who is wearing a sleeveless blue t-shirt with a drawing of a hand making an obscene gesture. Yes, that obscene gesture.


It's obvious that the guy just doesn't get it. There is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and it's obvious no one has shown this idiot the right way.

Another thing - can he please stop the pre-pitch face that makes him look like he's about to give oral pleasure to a Ken doll? Just close your mouth for god's sake!

I don't wish injury to any player - regardless of how much I hate them. A little Rick Ankiel disease for Papelpuss, though, would be a lot of fun to watch!

Sexson a Yank

Buster Olney is reporting that the Yanks have reached a tentative agreement with Richie Sexson.

Sexson is definitely worth a shot. This will at least give us a threat off the bench, and help vs lefty pitchers. 

Let's hope Richie turns out to be this year's David Justice!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sell? Get Real!

Many writers, bloggers and fans have been talking about the Yanks' as possible sellers into the trade deadline. I have one question for the lot of them...what the hell are you smoking?

6 games behind the Sox for the division and a half game closer to the wild card, the Yanks once again have their sights set on a 2nd half postseason run.

With Joba in the rotation along with Pettitte and Moose, they make for a very solid top 3. If the Yanks could add a healthy Erik Bedard by the deadline, our rotation would rival any in baseball.

The offense has vastly underperformed so far this year. Adding Richie Sexson will help add some thump vs lefties and off the bench, and a productive Cano will help the O get back on track.

Assume for a moment that we were more like 10 games back and selling was actually a good idea; while we have some chips teams might be interested in, what could we get back? Abreu, Moose, Giambi, Farnsworth, (a healthy) Damon might all garner some interest for teams in the hunt. As each are going to be free agents after the year, we certainly would not receive much back for them. The one possible trade chip we may receive something of value back for would be the 2-headed CF duo of Melky/Gardner. Trading one of these 2 is certainly not selling, though. Trading either of our under 25 CF'ers would be buying. 

All of this talk about selling whether by writers or even by Cash himself is mildly amusing. In his usual stealth manner, Cashman is simply throwing the competition off his trail by hinting at a Yankee sale. Don't get fooled - its not gonna happen!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Windmill Willie

According to the Post, Willie Randolph will be back at the Stadium tonight at the request and invitation of King George himself. 

Hopefully Yankee fans will be given a chance to show Willie our love and wipe away some of the damage done by that other classless team in NY and their GM. 

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Eyes on the Prize

The Rays have a brutal September schedule. Since the beginning I have been both impressed by how well the Rays have played, and not very concerned about their long-term ability to stay in the race. They have some good young players, but I have felt all along that they will fade.

Having lost 6 in a row, the swoon has apparently started.

Keep an eye on how far we are from Boston - ignore the Rays.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jason Giambi/Charitable Donation

Yankee GM Blog,
     My name is John Paul, and I am the co-found of Fuzzy Ink, a clothing line based entirely around the mustache.  In response to the recent phenomenon that is Jason Giambi's  mustache, we have released a special edition t-shirt featuring the Big G in all his fuzzed up glory.  To sweeten the deal and further show our appreciation for the New York fans, we have also decided that 15% of all sales will go to a New York City based charity (still to be named). All charity suggestions welcomed. Because we are located in North Carolina, our t-shirt is currently only offered over the internet, but we are looking for people who may have an interest in helping us get this product sold around the city.  We are also considering making a trip up to New York this weekend just so we can help spread the word.  I do hope that our product and donation is something that you and your readers would consider getting behind, and hope that the spirit of the cookie dusters lives on in all of us.  I look forward to hearing from you, and thank you for your consideration.  
Please see attachment. Following is a direct link to our Giambi shirt:
Best Regards,
John Paul
Fuzzy Ink, LLC

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Joel Sherman has a great read about the Brian Cashman's potential master plan in building the Yanks, and how a CC signing looks to be at the top of the wish-list. Sherman points out that Cashman's plan over the past few years has centered upon this up-coming off season.

With over $85 million coming off the books this offseason, $113 total over the next 2 and the Yanks set to open a $200 trillion new stadium in '09, the 2008 offseason has been one that Cashman has been looking forward to for a couple of years.

As we have warned previously, all indications have been that the plan called for 2008 to be a rebuilding year in the Bronx. A look at the lack of 2007 free agent signings and the composition of our opening day rotation shows that Cashman wanted to use this year as a way to get the roster purged of dead weight, and also as a way to get the young pitchers the experience they needed to be top of the rotation studs.

Sherman writes that there are 4 elements leading to a very active off season this year, headed by the CC signing -

1. $87 million in older/useless players coming off the books. Giambi, Moose, Pettitte in the older column, and Hawkins and Pavano in the useless column. Even if we decide to keep some combination of Giambi/Pettitte/Moose, it will be for far less than each make this year.

2. Giving the young arms a year of on-the-job learning should have made their performances next year even better. Sherman points out that a rotation of Sabathia, Pettitte, Joba, Wang and Hughes would mean that the Yanks are running a quality arm out each and every day.

3. The build-up of young arms will allow the Yanks to make a trade for a significant young, athletic position player. Sherman gives names like Maybin, Brantley and Gamel as possibilities. As Kennedy, Melancon, Horne, Whelan, Sanchez, Ohlendorf, Marquez, Coke, Kontos, Wordekemper, Cox, Phillips, McCutchen, White, Igawa and Karstens will all be either major league ready or very close, Cash will have a bevy of arms to dangle in potential trades.

4. While cost is always a consideration, a CC signing in the off season would cost only dollars and a draft pick. While the dollar cost would be considerable, the package pales in comparison to what the Yanks would have had to give up for Santana (dollars AND talent).

While Sherman says that none of the officials he has spoken with thinks the Yanks will be in active in the market for position free agents, I think Texiera will be high on the Yanks' radar.

Sacrificing 2008 for a long-term roster of young, athletic position players, and a rotation that features a quality arm in all 5 spots makes a lot of sense. Being only 4 games out of the wild card on July 8th means that the re-building can accompany a playoff appearance too.

Monday, July 7, 2008

CC's off the board - Another possible Target? AJ Burnett

A couple of positives first regarding CC going to The Brew Crew - 

1. We don't have to worry about facing him the rest of the year
2. It's unlikely that the Brewers will pony up the necessary cash to keep CC long term, so we can sign him after the season and pay only cash and a draft pick.

With CC off the board, where else can the Yanks turn to add depth and talent to a rocky 'ro? Well we've already made the case for Rich Harden. Should Harden be too expensive (Billy Beane doesn't make bad deals), the next pitcher the Yanks might consider is AJ Burnett.

Burnett has an opt-out clause in his contract that would allow him to void the last 2 years of his contract and become a free agent after this season. The 31 year old is slated to make $12mm in both 2009 and 2010 if he does not opt out.

Much like Harden, Burnett has experienced injury issues in the past. Only twice in his 10 year career has he exceeded 30 starts and in 3 seasons he failed to make 15. This season he has struggled a bit with a 4.92 ERA in 18 starts. 

For his career, however, Burnett has allowed only 1,104 hits in 1,268 IP; he has a career HR allowed rate of 0.79/9 innings and a 8.22 K/9. 

The Jays know they are gonna lose Burnett after this season, so it shouldn't take too much to pry him away from JP Riccardi. In making the trade, Cash could add a year to Burnett's deal to get him to forego the opt out.

I don't think this is the route I would take, but it is an option. If we are going to trade for an injury risk, Harden is both better and younger than Burnett; but no doubt he would be far more expensive in terms of prospects.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy Joba Day

Every fifth day has become must watch TV with the transformation of Joba into a starter. With the red hot Rays coming into town today's start by Joba could be a pivotal point in the season. The Yankees are on the verge of possibly being sellers for once and really cannot afford to fall any further out of the race.

Joba has A 2.08 ERA vs the Sox (obviously all out of the 'pen) are we're all looking for more of the same today. Hopefully, Joba can show the world exactly what a true ace looks like - a 7 inning, 3 hit 0 run, 12k performance would certainly go a long way to setting things in the right direction.

Any way we can get a 'W' is what we really need, and Joba is the guy to get one. So let's hope we celebrate Joba day in style.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Yankees Dirty Little Secret

I don't hear it talked about much but I sure hear it every time the Red Sox are in town. Its the growing number of Red Sox fans that have invaded Yankee Stadium to make it Fenway south. Yesterday they seemed to have completely overrun the stadium and as a Yankee fan I find it tough to swallow. Yankee fans are supposed to be tough, passionate and sometimes over the top insane but clearly the makeup of our crowd has change to the point where Red Sox fans feel comfortable coming into Yankee Stadium and screaming at the top of their lungs. If you dispute my take of things go play the highlight video of Lowell's home run and listen to the crowd's reaction.

Of course the standard reaction of Yankee fans when you bring this up is there are a lot of Bostonians in New York just like there are a lot of New Yorkers in Boston. Then I ask why don't you hear the same roar from the crowd in Boston when the Yankees hit a big home run?

It pains me to write this but the truth of the matter is Boston fans have made themselves very comfortable in the Bronx. So I ask why doesn't anyone mention it?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Six Sigma

4 vs. Boston and 2 vs Tampa Bay.

The next week will go a long way in making the 2nd half run an easier stretch, or making it a really tough road to hoe.

Those feisty Rays are playing like they have yet to wake up, and the Sox, while certainly flawed, are never an easy opponent.

Thursday: LHP Jon Lester (6-3, 3.48) vs. LHP Andy Pettitte (9-5, 3.98), 7:05, YES
Friday: RHP Josh Beckett (7-5, 3.65) vs. RHP Darrell Rasner (4-4, 4.22), 1:05, YES
Saturday: RHP Justin Masterson (4-2, 3.75) vs. RHP Mike Mussina (10-6, 3.87), 3:55, FOX
Sunday: RHP Tim Wakefield (5-6, 3.72) vs. RHP Joba Chamberlain (2-2, 2.22) vs. 8:05, ESPN
Mnday: Off Day
Tuesday: RHP Matt Garza (6-4, 3.76) vs. Sidney Ponson (5-1, 4.19)
Wednesday: RHP Scott Kazmir (7-3, 2.63) vs. Andy Pettitte (9-5, 3.98)

PeteAbe reports that there are whispers that the Sox may call up Clay 'Computer Boy' Buchholz for Saturday's game.

If the Yanks want, they could skip Ponson and throw Pettitte and Rasner vs the Rays (probably a good idea!).

Both series being at home, I think it's imperative that we show some nuts and kick some butt. 4-2 would be enough, but I really want a 5-1 stretch. The obvious game of worry is the matinee Friday pitting Rasner against Joshy Blisters. If we can turn that one into a battle of the 'pens we can win.

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