Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bye Bye Bruney

The Brian Bruney trade to Washington is interesting. Bruney is arbitration eligible and is no longer in Girardi's "circle of trust" and will help the Nationals. Washington has the first selection in the Rule 5 Draft and may be selected for the Yankees to complete this trade. Trying to find out who is unprotected and could make the Yankees roster. Any ideas?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The State of the Yankees

The State of the Yankees 2010

Sorry it has been a few years since my last SOTY, but it has been some lean years in Yankeeland. With apologies to the Royals, Orioles, Cubs Blue Jays etc., in Yankeeland we have to win. Wining is expected, a relief.
2008 was needed. Cashman bit the bullet and didn't trade Melky, Hughes, and Kennedy for Santana. Refused to bid for Vernon Wells. Waited, sacrificed 08 and went for and got CC, AJ, and Tex. The 3 young ones all spent time in Scranton-Wilkes Barre last year, but Melky fought his way back and Hughes evolved from a scared kid to a un-hittable 8th inning guy.
On the horizon...stick to the plan. I love Cashman. I love guys that have a plan and stick to it - right or wrong. I thought he was right about Girardi over Mattingly (not anymore), not trading for Santana and waiting for CC, right about Joba in the rotation (wrong about the innings), right about trading for Xavier Nady and Damasco Marte, and not cutting Giambi in April (I almost wanted to sign him for 09).
Cashman's plan is to get younger and cheaper, well at least get under the 200 mil. A-Rod makes ALOT of money, so does Jeter and Posada. Tex, CC, and AJ make fair market value.
Damon and Matsui are gone. Unless they sign for a one year, incentive laden contract. Damon over Matsui due to Damon can play some left. With Posada, Jeter, and A-Rod the Yanks need the DH to rotate the older everyday players. Remember, no more uppers allowed.
Outfield: Melky and Swisher are locks. Gardner is a problem. I like him better as a 4th outfielder. Tough to have Gardy and Melky in the same line-up with both lacking in power and I like Melky in center everyday. I don't like that he moves to a corner when Gardner plays. Sign Nady and expect him fully recovered from "Tommy John" for the second half. He's better than anyone they can pick-up at the trade deadline. Austin Jackson is waiting in AAA. Needs another year to develop some power.
Damon, Melky, Swisher, and Gardner rotating until Nady takes over in RF.
Tempting to sign a big bat like Jason Bay or Matt Holliday, but I'd rather the Yankees drive-up the price and have them sign elsewhere.
Infield: Kind of set, ya think. The new A-Rod, Jeter, Cano, and Tex. Ramiro Pena is the back-up playing 3 days a week as the others DH.
Catcher: Posada and Cervelli. Two young studs coming in Austin Romine and Jesus Montero. Both really young and ready post-Posada. May trade Montero as his future may be 1B.

Pitching, pitching, pitching. That's what it is all about! CC and AJ form a solid 1-2. That brings me to Andy Pettitte. What would have been if Andy never went to Houston and stayed with the Yanks? We will never know. Cashman took Andy for granted as he he went with an all right handed rotation of Vazquez (4.91) Leiber (4.33) Mussina (4.59) Brown (4.09) before breaking his hand, and Contreras (5.64). Hopefully Andy doesn't retire.
It is tough to plan on young pitchers, especially starters. Here are the 2006 Yankee top pitching prospects: Phil Hughes, Sean Henn, Matt DeSalvo, Steven White, JB Cox, Jeff Marquez, TJ Beam, Christian Garcia, and Tyler Clippard. Yeah! I should be a scout.
Might want to go after Derek Lowe from Atlanta. Maybe they will take a couple "prospects" from above list. (Not many left) Except Hughes of course.
Yankees proved my big 3 theory. The 4th and 5th starters are irrelevant during the season, as well as the post season. Chad Gauden, Ian Kennedy and Sergio Mitre will compete (cheap) for the 5th spot/long man. That brings me to the 4th guy in the rotation. Joba vs Hughes! Both are better in the bullpen, but the money is in starting! A number 3 starter is worth 10 million a year. Bullpen guys make the minimum.
The "Joba Rules": Okay, I like that Cashman has a plan, but this plan makes no sense and it has Billy Connors all over it. Billy Connors is a trusted pitching voice in the organization (George Steinbrenner) with no history of success. The main reason for Mel Stottlemyre's retirement is the power Connors has. Where is the proof that limiting a young pitcher's innings has anything to due with future success or health? Andy Pettitte is the only pitcher since Ron Guidry that the Yankees developed. Andy pitched 175 innings (plus 7 post season) his rookie year, followed by 221 innings (32 post) his second year. Year three 240+11.2, year four 216 + 23.1) Compare that to Joba first full year 100, second year 157. Can you imagine Joe Torre pulling Andy after 3 innings?
Solution: Joba starts, no inning limit, and automatically is in the bullpen in the playoffs. Hughes is in the pen to begin the season then goes to AAA during the All Star break for a couple of starts to build his arm strength to return as a starter for the second half. Or Hughes to start in the rotation, then go to the pen when Wang is healthy.
Bullpen is really solid. It starts and ends with Mo. Mariano is a machine. Joba may retire before Rivera. Robertson, Marte, Hughes are in the mix for the 8th inning. Melancon, Coke, Aceves, and Kennedy could find roles. I think it is the end for Bruney, Ramirez and Abaladejo. look for Romulo Sanchez, Andrew Brackman, and Michael Dunn to help this season in the pen. Yanks could sign a Jose Valverde, Rafeal Soriano, Fernando Rodney, Mike Gonzalez, or Brandon Lyon.

Rich Harden could be a nice sign or the hard throwing, Cuban, lefty Aroldis Chapman.
Look for Yanks to go after Roy Holiday. Package with Vernon Wells (5 years, 90 mil left on contract) for prospects not named Hughes or Chamberlain. Keeps Holiday out of Boston and gives a big bat for the outfield. Wells just had wrist surgery that may explain off year. I know it goes against Cashman's plan of no long term contracts, but it will mean giving up "only" Melky or Jackson, Kennedy, Romine or Montero. Gives Yanks option of re-signing "Doc" or letting him go free agency and pocketing two draft picks. Also - AJ won 18 with Holiday.

Jeter SS
Wells CF
Texiera 1B
ARod 3B
Matsui (or Damon) DH
Posada C
Cano 2B
Swisher LF
Cabrera RF

Cervelli, Nady (second half), Gardner, Pena

Sabathia, Holiday, Burnett, Pettitte, Chamberlain/Hughes
Rivera, Vaverde?, Robertson, Aceves, Coke, Marte, Gauden

I am really excited about 2010. They won (finally) in 2009 without any career years. Jeter, Tex, Rivera, Cano, Damon, and CC had nice years. Posada, Nady, Wang, ARod, Gardner, Kennedy, Bruney, Marte, Matsui lost time due to, or were recovering from, injuries. Chamberlain and Hughes (first half) were disappointing. Remember how bad Wang was? Pettitte and AJ were inconsistent. Wang was the number 2 starter, Cody Ransom was the third baseman, Bruney was the eighth inning guy, Nady the RF, Edwar Ramirez the 7th inning guy, and Gardner the center fielder (who slides head first).
Go Yanks!