Tag Archives: Downs

Downs to Angels

While the Yanks are waiting on Lee, other teams are getting things done. This waiting for Lee is really holding up the Yankees, who, by the time this is over, could really be left holding the bag.

If Lee doesn’t come back, and if Pettitte then decides to retire, what then?

Another Yankees need is that of a lefty reliever to team with Boone Logan—especially since Boston got Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez to go with Drew, Ellsbury and Big Papi.

Scott Downs probably wasn’t on the Yanks’ radar because of being a Type A free agent, but he would have fit the bill well. Instead, he goes to the Angels at 3 years and $15M—maybe more than the Yanks would have wanted to spend on top of Lee. The thing is, what if they don’t get Lee?

MLBTR reports:

Downs has quietly been one of the AL’s best relievers in recent years, posting a 2.36 ERA, a 7.8 K/9 rate and a 2.63 K/BB ratio over the last four seasons in Toronto.  Since Downs is a Type A free agent, the Blue Jays will receive two draft picks for the left-hander — one a first-round compensation pick, and a second-round pick from Los Angeles (the Halos’ first-rounder is protected).

  

 

      

Crawford to Boston for 7 yrs and $142M

Ouch.

Woke up to find out Carl Crawford went to Boston for 7 years and $142M. That Werth signing messed everything up. I had Werth to Boston, Crawford to the Angels. Once Werth went to DC, all bets went off, I suppose.

Boston now has a good lineup with speed. As written somewhere, it could look like this: Ellsbury, Pedroia, Crawford, Gonzalez, Youkilis, Ortiz, Drew, Catcher (Saltalamacchia? Aging Varitek? Will they go after Martin?) and Scutaro. Rotation Beckett, Lester, Dice-K, Laptops, Lackey and if needed Wakefield (at 44).

The Red Sox 2010 missed the playoffs much as the Yanks of 2008 did. (In fact, both teams had the same record—89 wins). Now Boston is attacking the winter of 2010/2011 as the Yanks did 2008/2009. Yankees fans hope the result is different—otherwise Beantown will have a parade in early November 2011.

Some speed there with Ellsbury and Crawford. At the top of the lineup and in the OF. Think Francona wants to test the Yankees’ catchers out right now?

Do the Angels now focus on Lee? I don’t know. Their focus is more on improving their offense and as such, Beltre could be their #1 target now.

But as for the Yanks, this necessitates getting Lee even more. Especially with the uncertainty of Pettitte’s return.

A Tweet from Sweeny Murti of WFAN:

Guess Yanks do believe 7 yr offer now. Improving their bid so soon tells you how badly they want/need Lee.

Hmmm….Yanks going the painful extra mile and a 7th year? If so, 7 years and 165 M? (That’s 23.57 per). Whew.

You wonder if this now puts Boston over the top as 2011 AL East favorites. If so, I’d still have the Yanks as the wild card for now (pre-Lee). How far the Rays drop will be interesting since Crawford, Benoit, Bartlett (SD) and Pena are gone, and Soriano is to follow. Navarro (not a recent help) went to the Dodgers. That will be one different team and could be passed by Toronto if the Blue Jays can make some good moves. The Orioles are looking to improve but from what I’ve seen haven’t done anything significant yet. Targets (Konerko) still don’t go to Baltimore. I’d expect Buck to have them playing better in 2011 but wonder if it’ll be enough to keep the O’s out of the AL East basement. The O’s are sending prospects to the Twins for J.J. Hardy, though.

Another note from Murti, and a good one:

BOS adding LH bats Crawford and Gonzalez just made LH reliever more important for NYY. Also more expensive! (Downs? Feliciano?)

Remember Logan is all the Yanks have right now. Marte not back until mid-August (if EVER). Logan 2.93 was far lower than he ever put up before. It now looks as if Downs, Feliciano or Romero now a necessity as well. Reyes has signed with the Phils. 

Now here is class. From LoHud. A tweet from Curtis Granderson yesterday:

One year ago today, I was traded to the 27-time World Champion NY Yankees. Thank you fans, teammates, and front office for an amazing year.

I see a report that KC got Melky.

In the Rule 5 draft, the Yanks took 22 year old Robert Fish, a lefty pitcher, from the Angels. In high A/AA in 2010, Fish was just 5-5, 6.79 but did have 73 K in 58 1/3.  They also took Right-hander Daniel Turpen, who went 7-6 with a 4.30 ERA in Double-A last season, out of the Red Sox chain.

The Padres took George Kontos from the Yankees. Kontos, 24, was 0-4, 3.60 for A+/AA/AAA in 2010 for the Yanks farm teams. Lance Pendleton was taken by the Astros. Pendleton was 12-5, 3.61 AA/AAA in 2010 but is 27. More later.   

Update, 12/10/10: Reported that the Angels offered 6 and $108M but were blown away by Boston’s 7/142.

Update, 12/16: See Comments below for Bartlett.

SF signs Tejada. A door closed to Jeter?

You figure not many teams would be interested in Jeter. First, the price. Second, the realization that the odds of actually getting him are slim.

That doesn’t stop some from dreaming. Really, the Orioles? I can’t see Derek going to a rebuilding team, but let’s face it. His numbers might improve by playing in that bandbox. The author does realize the odds are remote.

Now the Giants were listed as a team that could have interest in Derek. But with a signing of Miguel Tejada imminent, have they removed themselves from the picture? Granted Uribe is LA-bound, but there is still Sandoval (3B). Are they putting Tejada back at SS? Sandoval at 1B doesn’t work since Huff is coming back. With these moves, are they now out as far as a Jeter fallback option? It appears so.

LoHud reporting that Scott Downs will turn down arbitration and be a free agent. I’m salivating, but he’s a Type A free agent. Would the Yanks give up the pick?

If Derek does go elsewhere, the Yanks’ plan is apparently to go with Nunez. Poor kid. He might do well if not replacing a legend and hearing the inevitable boos. But as I wrote earlier, say Jeter at 37 puts up .260-6-50 or so with 12 SB. Say he shows advancing age (37) and with a huge $18-20M a year multi-year salary. Then say, the 24 year old Nunez shows better range, not as much pop, but gives you .280-3-45 with 35 SB at less than $1M a year. Who then, is more cost effective? I’m not down on Derek, but as a business person, if one person gives you as much for that much less, icon or no icon, who do you choose?

Personally, I don’t know where that Pettitte/Rangers stuff came from (well, yes, we know but I don’t put much faith in that source) but I think it’s pure b.s., any rumor that Andy would go there or that the Rangers are trying to “lure” Pettitte there. Don’t believe everything you read.

BTW, SI’s Sportsman of the Year? Drew Brees.

NL CYA to Halladay; some Yankees news.

The Phillies’ Roy Halladay joins Gaylord Perry, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez as those who have won the CYA in both leagues.

The vote was unanimous.

Halladay went 21-10, 2.44. He shared or had the outright MLB lead in wins, CG, shutouts, and IP, and led the NL in hits given up (due to IP of course), batters faced, least walks/9 IP and K to BB ratio. He threw a perfect game as well.

The postseason doesn’t count in the voting, but Halladay threw a no-hitter in the NLDS there as well, and just missed another perfecto by just one walk.  A superb year, capped by his second CYA. Halladay won while with Toronto in 2003.

Recently I listed a list of lefty relievers that the Yanks could target. My #1 choice was Scott Downs, but he is a Type A free agent and the Yanks would have to give up a draft pick should they sign him. With the Yankees targeting Lee, giving up too many picks would hurt. Therefore the Yankees could be looking at my #2 choice, Pedro Feliciano from the Mets, who has led the majors in games pitched in each of the past three seasons. Feliciano will be 35 next August and went 3-6, 3.30 in 92 games for the Mets this year. For his career, Feliciano is 22-19, 3.31. Feliciano is not a type-A free agent.

MLB Trade Rumors states that Marcus Thames might be Japan bound:

  • Meanwhile the Softbank Hawks are working on signing Marcus Thames, according to a Sponichi report passed along by NPB Tracker’s Patrick Newman on Twitter.  Thames, 34 in March, was productive in a part-time role for the Yankees this year.
  • I could see Thames leaving, especially since DH is going to Posada. I wonder about backup OF. I’m not a big Melky fan, but he switch-hits, can PR (lose some weight, Melky) and plays all three OF positions. Decent insurance, and knows NY since he was there before. Popular, too. Just needs someone to stay on and kick his ass, and you wonder about his influence on buddy Robbie Cano. I wonder if the Yanks would take him back or if there were other reasons Melky was traded away, ones which were OFF the field issues?

    MLBTR also states these issues:

  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman ruled out Leo Mazzone but not Rick Peterson for the team’s new pitching coach, reports Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger.
  •  

    • Bartolo Colon announced he was attempting a comeback to Yoel Adames of ESPN Deportes in late October while pitching for the champion Dominican team in the Pan-American Games qualifier. He said at the time that he “maintains conversations” with the Yankees, Rockies, Cardinals, and Tigers, though other teams approached him following his complete game victory over Nicaragua on October 10. The 37-year-old right-hander was solid in three of his four appearances in Puerto Rico, the only exception being a 2.3-inning, six-run drubbing by Team USA that Colon chalked up to inadequate rest.

     

    No surprise in the pitching coach department. My choice, Scott Aldred, is due for an interview soon.

    As for Colon, I have no interest in him. He’ll be 38 next May, and was out of the majors in 2010. Since winning the CYA in 2005 (and I still think Mo, the runnerup that year, should have gotten it), Colon has gone 14-21, 5.18 (2006-2009). ERA+ 89. WHIP over 1.5. Ugh.  

     

    What other free agent(s) make sense for the Yankees? It’s not who you may think

    Ok, we know the Yanks will go hot and heavy for Cliff Lee. Are there any other free agents the Yanks could or should target?

    First of all, the Yanks have to take care of their own, meaning Jeter and Rivera.

    As for other players, I don’t see them going after Crawford or Werth. I don’t want Dunn and don’t think the Yanks have any interest in him.

    In looking at the top 20 free agents as listed in the NY Post, I wasn’t interested in any of them (and, just as an aside, they had Manny listed at #20).

    But in looking at a top 50 list on MLBTR, there was a name that caught my eye.

    He made $4M last year. I don’t know what he is seeking now.

    It’s Scott Downs.

    Why would I love Downs on the Yankees? Consider this. The Yanks last year, for most of the year, had only one lefty in the bullpen. Boone Logan.

    Logan had a great 2009. An unexpectedly great  2009. How unexpectedly great?

    2007 68 games. 2-1, 4.97 for the White Sox.
    2008 2-3, 5.95 in 55 games.
    2009 1-1, 5.19 in 20 games for the Braves.
    2010 2-0, 2.93 in 51 games for the Yankees.

    Um. See anything that sticks out and is out of the norm there? (besides the reduced # of games in 2009?)

    So if you are a Yankees fan like I am, you are happy at what you got from Logan in 2009, but also a bit skeptical. There’s the, “oh yeah, let me see you do it again” attitude.

    The only other lefties who pitched out of the bullpen last year for the Yankees were Royce Ring, 0-0, 15.43 in five games,  and Damaso Marte, 0-0, 4.08 in thirty games. Marte has had surgery, and won’t be able to even resume pitching until after the 2011 All Star Break. Ring was removed from the 40 man roster last week and Ring was then granted free agency a few weeks later.  

    So what do the Yanks do? Logan is an unproven commodity. I’m looking for insurance.

    It’s why I’m interested in Downs, who will be 35 next year. Downs made $4m in 2010.

    In 2006, Downs was moved full-time to the bullpen. In that, his adjustment year if you will, he went 6-2, 4.09, 1 save. Since then, he has flourished.

    All with Toronto:

    2007 4-2, 2.17. Led AL with 81 games. 1 save.
    2008 0-3, 1.78. Five saves. 66 games.
    2009 1-3, 3.09 9 saves. 48 games
    2010 5-5, 2.64 no saves. 67 games.

    Superb numbers. Great insurance plan if Logan falters. Great 1-2 lefty punch if Logan doesn’t falter.

    MLBTR does state that Downs could also draw interest from Boston, Philly (who let J.C. Romero go), and the Angels. They also point out that a draft pick would have to be surrendered.

    Does he fit the Yanks’ budget? I don’t know (yes, the Yanks have a budget. I don’t know what it is, and it’s considerably higher than others, but…).

    You don’t just go after the best players. You go after needs. It just so happens that Lee fills a need. Vazquez’ departure opens a rotation spot. Who better to fill it? Not only that, but Pettitte may retire.

    A lefty reliever is also a Yankees need, especially when you had just one of them last year and he is still unproven. 

    Downs can fill a need. From John Heyman of SI: Lefties hit .152 off him last year.

    Scott Downs
    Scott Downs.
    #1 choice for a lefty reliever?

    The Yankees can also look across town, as the Mets Pedro Feliciano is a free agent. He may come cheaper than Downs, as he made $2.9 M in 2010. Feliciano has led the majors in appearances each of the last three seasons (86, 88 and 92 games).

    2007 3-4, 4.05; 2008 6-4, 3.03 and 2009 3-6, 3.30. Not bad, but numbers not as good as Downs’ were. Downs also did it while working in the AL East, not the NL East.

    Downs is slightly older than Feliciano. Once again, from Heyman: Feliciano’s career numbers vs. lefties? .214 BA 

    Pedro Feliciano
    Feliciano. Option 2?

    J. C. Romero is as old as the other two. Meaning that in 2011 he turns 35. 1-0, 3.68 for the Phils this past year (and I would guess the Phils/Angels/Red Sox and others after lefties would show interest in all the lefty relievers I have mentioned, except for Romero/Phils, since they let him walk), Romero drew a suspension in 2009 for violating MLB’s PED policy. 29 walks in 36 2/3 in 2010. As John Heyman states,

    “Be skeptical when guys with failed steroid tests have down years.”

    J.C. Romero
    Romero.

    Romero against lefties? .215 BA. $4.25M last year.

    Another ex-Met is a FA. Hisanori Takahashi, who’ll be 36 next year. Takahashi is asking for a three-year deal worth $4-5MM per season, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. No way do I give him that. He did well, starting and relieving, going 10-6, 3.61, 114 K in 122 IP, but I’m not giving any lefty reliever three years unless he was a Lyle or Franco-type closer. So scratch him.

    Takahashi
    Asking too much?

    Hmm. I’d give only two years to a reliever, especially when all are 35 or 36. My first preference is Downs, because of the AL East experience, but I don’t know if the Yanks would want to give up the draft pick that comes with taking a Type-A. I wouldn’t mind Feliciano, who has that NY experience (albeit across town). I’m down on Romero and don’t want to give Takahashi three years.

    So Downs or Feliciano? It may come down to the draft pick, years and salary.

    Downs made $4m last year? To me, he’s who I’d target. The core (Jeter, Rivera, Alex, Posada, Pettitte) isn’t getting younger. Granted all the lefties I named above will be 35 or 36 next year.

    But if the sands of time are getting low on the core, go for it now.

    What do you think? Downs? 2 years, $10M? Yes, I’d like Wood back, but if he isn’t back, getting that second lefty in Downs would not be a bad move (as far as cost goes, Wood had an $11.5M option not picked up. Downs for two years could be less than Wood for one year would have been). Wood, of course, is a righty and may want to close and not setup. Downs knows what his role would be.  

    So don’t only follow the Lee negotiations. Granted he’s top notch and will command top dollar. He’d be a superb pickup. Follow the minor negotiations too.

    Like a lefty reliever. It could be just as important to the Yanks 2011 chances as Lee could be.  

    Update, 11/11 : BBD reports the Yanks have no interest in Downs due to the draft pick loss. If the Yanks sign Lee, they may already lose a pick, so…

    it’s too bad, but I see the Yanks point. Still, a lefty reliever must be found.

    Damn, I’d love to have Downs.

     

    Game 102. Yanks lose heartbreaker, 3-2. Besides Berkman, make another deal for Kearns.

    The Yanks lead is down to one.

    The whole game came down to one pitch and two swings.

    The Yankees swing came by Nick Swisher, a two-run HR in the first. The Yanks opened the game with a single by Jeter and  Swisher’s HR. After that, 0 r on 2 H.

    Hughes pitched great and had a 2-0 lead, & 3-hit shutout with two out in the sixth. Two on. One pitch away from getting out of the inning. A 2-2 count.

    ….and then he gave up his first road HR of the season. 3-2 Rays and that is how it ended.

    The loss cuts the Yanks lead down to one. Each team had only 4 hits tonight. Ouch.

    Hughes drops to 12-4, 4.07. 6 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 2 w and 6 K. One bad pitch, that’s all.

    Joba went two and was the Joba we want. 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 3K. ERA to 5.60.

    Tonight, Alex didn’t look good at all. I’ll take no #600 as long as I see good swings, a hit, some ribbies. Saw that before. Not tonight. Tonight was bad.

    But more Yankees news. I wrote about Berkman on a previous post. Now another Yankees deal as they get Austin Kearns from the Indians for a Player TBD or Ca$h.

    Kearns is 30 and a righty bat. Mostly a RF, he has played LF and CF. He was hitting .268-8-42 for the Indians, OPS+ 111. He had lousy years in 2008-2009, but I like this move for the Yanks, and it could be a sign that Thames is gone. Kearns is far better than Thames defensively. It is a sign that Thames’ D was bothering the Yanks as much as it was me.

    Kearns hit .315 as a rookie for the Reds in 2002 with 13 HR. He has some pop, hitting 15 in 2003, 18 in 2005, 24 in 2006 & 16 in 2007. His 162 g. average is .257-20-81 with an OPS+  of 104. I can easily see him playing LF against lefties (and providing better D than Thames), with Gardner switching to CF with the lefty-challenged Granderson sitting.

    It bolsters the bench—a bench that had Thames (3 HR this year), Cervelli, Pena and Curtis (3 MLB career HR COMBINED) just got Berkman (326 career HR, 13 this year) and Kearns (113 HR, 8 this year). I can’t knock Cashman here. It improves the bench and the team.  

    I like the moves. You?

    I’d like Scott Downs yet. Buster Olney however, is saying Cashman is looking for someone who can play 3B when Alex DHs. Not good news for Pena.

    Pena’s glove is ok. The bat isn’t. Hence the search.

    Word is that Mark Melancon and Jimmy Paredes are headed to Houston.

    Melancon was 0-0, 9.00 in two games with the yanks this year. In his MLB career, 0-1, 4.87 in 20 1/3 IP. 15 games. For SWB he was 6-1, 3.67 this year with 6 saves. The righty reliever is 25.

    Paredes was a 2b, 21 (expendable with Cano) at low A Charleston. .282-5-48 this year, but with 36 SB. Switch-hitter. 4 levels down and with Cano…

    Berkman for this? Great deal.