Tuesday, November 25, 2008

3 Sheets to the Wind

I really don't get it.

There is  a ton of talk about AJ Burnett and the myriad of teams set to offer him obscene money for a thousand year's work. Why almost NO mention of Ben Sheets?

As I mentioned earlier, and as RAB thereafter agreed with, Sheets is probably a better all-around option. Less injury over his career (to less problematic parts of his body), less years and money needed to sign, younger, and as much upside and talent as AJ. 

It's possible that Cash is simply staying in the Burnett game to drive the price up for the Dread Sox. Or it's also likely that he has genuine interest in AJ. Either way, I really hope that Cashman sees that Sheets is a better option and nabs him before Atlanta does.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

2008 Offseason Plan of Action

So here we are, November 22, and after examining the market and all of the players it's time for the YankeeGM plan of attack for the 2008 offseason. 

Taking the roster position-by-position:

Catcher-

Keep 'em crossed that Hip Hip Jorge is able to catch 100 games in 2009, and the Molina holds up for the other 62. Francisco Cervelli is the next option; let's hope he gets to take the full year at AAA.

1B-

An upgrade here is a must. Trading for Swisher is a nice move, but I would like to see him as a 4th OF, back-up 1B rather than the everyday guy. Texiera is the obvious first choice. A 7 year $155mm deal should get it done. Other options are extremely limited - Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, and Adriane Gonzalez may be attainable, but would prove to be far too expensive in terms of prospects. 

Target - Tex

2B - Robbie
SS- Jeet
3B Arod

Corner OF - 

We are flush at the corner OF positions with less than spectacular options. Hmat, Damon, Nady and Swisher would all be vying for time if the season started today. While adding Manny to play RF would make for one hell of a lineup, that simply is not going to happen. Provided we get Tex we could live with the 4 of these players for 3 spots (RF, LF, DH). I expect we would see some drop off from both Hmat and Damon, but they would still be quite productive players IF they stay healthy. Swisher should rebound from an abysmal season to something around 250/27/90 390 OBP. Nady was on the cusp of a breakout season when traded to the Yanks last year; I think he will continue that break out now that he's more comfortable being a Yankee. I see 300/25/100 from the X man in 2009. 

CF - Gardner/Melky. With AJax coming in '10, there's no reason to make a move in CF for '09. I start Gardner there and see if he can get on base enough to be a royal pain in the ass when he does. If not, we know Melk will play a plus CF and hopefully hit better than 250. 

Rotation - 

The big move is obviously getting CC in pinstripes. Assuming that gets done, my next move would be to get Ben Sheets. While everyone has been talking about AJ Burnett, I think the better sign would be Sheets. He is 2 years younger than AJ, and if we are going to take a flyer on an injury prone starter I would rather it be the younger guy. Both Sheets and Burnett have the ability to be a top of the 'ro guy if healthy. Having spent his career in the NL central pitching in such parks as Wrigley and Minute Maid, his numbers should only be about half a run worse in the AL east. Rounding out the rottion with Andy , Wang and Joba would leave a starting 5 of - 

1 - CC
2 - Sheets
3 - Wang
4 - Pettitte
5 - Joba
6. Hughes, Aceves, Geiss

In order to execute we would need the following signings (with anticipated deals)

CC - 6 years, $150mm ($25mm/yr, 34 at contract end)
Sheets - 4 years, $70mm (4th year vests based on IP) ($17.5mm/yr, 33 at contract end)
Texiera - 7 years, $165mm ($23.5mm/yr, 36 at contract end)
Pettitte - 1 yr, $11mm (old)

These 3 deals cost the Yanks a total of $77mm per year; well below the $88mm that came off the books after the season. In terms of payroll, my plan is not a problem.

The potential problems to executing would be an inability to sign any of the free agents I listed; Tex might want to take the Angel's money, CC might want to be a hitting pitcher on the west coast, and Sheets might want to go to the pitcher's haven in Atlanta. Barring any of these guys pulling a Greg Maddux, however (Maddux took less money from the Braves than the Yanks offered when he left Chicago), the Yanks could, and should get each one.

 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Peavy Thoughts

If we weren't willing to trade the farm last year for Santana, why would we be willing to do it for Jake Peavy?

Peavy has been a great pitcher - in the National League. Peavy has been a great pitcher in the NL WEST. Off the top of my head the only other pitcher I can remember coming from the NL west to the AL was Chan Ho Park. Park's last 2 year with the Dodgers - 3.27 and 3.50; Park's first 2 years with the Rangers - 5.75 and 7.58. 

Don't get me wrong - Peavy is substantially better than Park; but there is no doubt that switching from the NL west to the AL east will increase his ERA - the question is by how much. I believe it is a change worthy of a full point in ERA. This makes Peavy around a 4.00 era pitchers for the Yanks. I don't know about you, but I think Hughes will put up numbers better than a 4.00 era!

With more proven options available without having to give up any prospects, we as Yankee fans can completely ignore all of those Peavy to Yanks rumors and concentrate on the things that actually have  chance of happening. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Who Should the Yankees Avoid?

So the inevitable Manny whispers have begun, CC is waiting for the contract offer that will set the market and AJ Burnett is preparing his opt out letter. We know the Yankees are interested in these free among others but who should they avoid at all costs? Who is just so completely wrong for NY, the Yankees and the direction of the team? Let's take a look;



Mike Cameron
This is a classic Cashman move. Why take a chance on a young player who costs nothing(Gardner) with upside when you can pay millions for an older version with very little to no upside? This is very similiar to Morgan Ensberg move this year. The Yankees signed Ensberg and Shelly Duncan lost any chance at playing time. Now Cameron is a lot move valuable then Ensberg is but it is the classic Yankee move of needing a brand name when the kid with some upside is clearly the better choice.



Manny Ramirez for more then two years
He is 36 and is nothing more then a DH. Overpay for two years but DO NOT sign this man for any longer.



Andy Pettitte
I love Andy Pettite but he looked absolutely done to end the year. His performance down the stretch really cost the Yankees this year. The time to make sure Andy stayed was after 2003, not 2008. Let him walk.



Mike Mussina for more then a Year
My guess is that he retires but if he doesn't offer him one year but that is all. The man is in territory few successful pitchers venture into to(Age of 40+)



Nomar, Pedro or Derek Lowe
One declining former Red Sox is enough.



Randy Johnson
HA! Even Cashman isn't that stupid....


Oliver Perez

Perez has a ton of upside and has shown the ability to pitch well in the big spot.However, the Yankees need answers not more questions in their rotation. Also, a player who is unstable and inconsistent will just get over exposed and exploited with the Yankees.

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