Tag Archives: Renteria

Could Yanks go for Soriano now? Pettitte, Keppinger, WS MVPs and a look back to 1996

Maybe, Boras and Soriano are starting to get desperate.

Maybe, this is what Cashman means by saying, “be patient.”

Maybe.

But maybes mean hope. Without hope, there is …  ??? Despair?

Rafael Soriano is still out there. By far, he is the best free agent still available. The league leader in saves for the AL in 2010, with 45 for the Rays, along with a 3-2, 1.73 ERA. 1-6, 2.97, 27 saves in 2009 for the Braves. 11-20, 2.73 for his career. 31 years old. Still in his prime.

But still out there and available. You wonder how desperate he gets and how much his price drops.

MLBTR has interesting news. That there is one, and only one, team that Soriano would consider being the setup man for. The Yankees. Meanwhile, Fuentes still wants to close.  From MLBTR:    

The best closer on the free agent market is open to being a setup man. Agent Scott Boras told Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com that Rafael Soriano would consider signing with the Yankees even though it would mean setting up for closer Mariano Rivera.

“I don’t think there is a team in baseball where he could be asked to be a setup guy other than the Yankees,” Boras said.

Boras said the “door is open” with the Bronx Bombers, but Yankees GM Brian Cashman declined to comment on his team’s level of interest. Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the sides are in contact (Twitter links). However, talks are preliminary and re-signing Andy Pettitte remains the Yankees’ priority.

The White Sox are eyeing Soriano and the Angels seem like a possible fit. The Cardinals don’t appear to have much interest and the Rangers are not bidding at the moment.

Cashman won’t comment on Pettitte or Soriano. It appears that with Soriano still out there, that Boras is looking for closer $ for Soriano if he sets up for the Yanks. There aren’t that many jobs out there for the price Soriano wants as a closer. So they change tactics. Closer money for a setup guy. But only from one team. The Yankees. Cashman has said that he won’t give closer money to a setup guy. Will he make an exception? Or by preaching “patience” is he waiting for Soriano’s price to drop? The best case scenario for the Yankees is this: Pettitte back for one last year, and sign Soriano.

Picture this: 12 pitchers. Five starters. CC, AJ (you hope Rothschild can restore AJ into a #2). Hughes, Pettitte and Nova. Seven relievers. Let’s start from the back. Rivera the 9th. Soriano the 8th. The sixth and seventh have Joba, Robertson, Logan and Feliciano. Your middle guy is either Mitre (I don’t want him at #5 starter….PLEASE COME BACK, ANDY!) or maybe even Mark Prior. If Andy doesn’t return, then his #4 spot goes to a scrap heap guy. Meaning Colon, Garcia, Francis, Millwood, Bonderman… etc. I don’t want Mitre as a #5 starter. I’d rather him fight for middle relief with Prior, a young prospect, or even re-sign Aceves.   

But if Andy returns…things look better. Esp. with Soriano. But a lot—A LOT— depends on AJ regaining form.

Getting Soriano can give the Yankees a killer bullpen in which Joba and Robertson move to the 6th and 7th innings along with Feliciano and Logan. How huge can that be?  It means that even if Andy DOES retire, and you are left with a scrap heap guy like Millwood, Francis, Bonderman, etc. that you are looking for just a five-inning quality start (3 R or less) then go to the bullpen.

Meaning Girardi would have the bullpen, but would need to manage his ass off.

But hey, let’s look at something here.

Pitcher #1 21-8. 3.87. 35 g. 34 starts. 221 IP. 6.31 IP/apperance.
Pitcher #2 12-8, 4.68 30 starts. 179 IP. Just a tick under 6 IP/appearance.
Pitcher #3 11-7, 5.01  29 starts.  170.2 IP. 5.88 IP/appearance.
Pitcher #4 12-11 4.68 30 starts. 169.1 IP. basically 5 2/3 IP per start.
Pitcher #5 7-2, 2.88 11 starts. 72 IP. about 6 1/2 IP per start.
Pitcher #6 4-5, 6.79  11 starts 1 relief appearance. 53 IP. Just a bit over 4 1/3 IP per appearance.

Hmm, four guys with a large # of starts who had ERA’s of 4.68 or higher. Add up the starts. 100 out of the 162 games. Any guess who they are? Not great ERAs or length to their starts.

The answer? #1? Pettitte. #2? Rogers. #3? Gooden. #4? Key. #5? Cone and #6 Mendoza.

The WS Champion 1996 Yankees.    

Could Girardi get a rotation that gives 5 to 6 IP, then have a bullpen that is killer, like Mo setting up Wetteland in 1996? Wickman, Nelson, Mo and Wetteland were primary in 1996. Wickman was dealt before the WS. Lloyd, Boehringer and Weathers were terrible down the stretch but great in the postseason.

It may be what is necessary  in 2011. As Santayana said, those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Maybe the 2011 Yanks should look to the past and learn from history. Look to 1996 and get a lock-down bullpen.

Signing Soriano, and bringing back Andy, could be their best bet.             

MLBTR also states that the Yankees may give Andy a raise in order to get him back.

The Yankees are willing to offer $12MM or $13MM to Andy Pettitte and are awaiting a decision from the lefty, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.com. As Heyman notes, either of those figures would represent a modest raise for Pettitte, who earned $11.75MM in 2010, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. Pettitte, who has been playing on one-year deals in each of the past four seasons, will probably either re-sign with the Yankees or retire.

Interesting news on Jeff Keppinger, of whom the Yanks were linked to recently regarding utility infielder. From MLBTR:

The Astros were thought to be mulling the idea of trading Jeff Keppinger this offseason, but the utility infielder is scheduled to undergo left foot surgery next week and will likely miss the start of the regular season…

Edgar Renteria is going to the Reds. It is interesting how the history of WS MVPs has been lately. Renteria of course, drove in the winning run of the 1997 WS. Livan Hernandez was the MVP of that WS. Since then, only three WS MVPs are still with the team they won the WS MVPs with. That is 13 years ago. Let’s take a look:

1998. Scott Brosious. Retired after 2001.
1999. Mo. Still with the Yankees.
2000. Jeter. Still with Yanks. Ok. That is two of the three still with the team they won WS MVP with.   
2001.   Tie. Schilling and Randy Johnson. Both retired.
2002. Glaus. Angels then, Braves in 2010.
2003. Beckett. Marlins then, Boston in 2010.
2004. Manny. Looking for work.
2005. Dye. Out of MLB in 2010. Probably Done. Note this is just five years ago when he was WS MVP.
2006. Eckstein. Cards then, Padres in 2010.
2007. Lowell. Retired. This is just three years ago for his WS MVP. 
2008. Hamels. Still with Phils.
2009. Matsui. Angels in 2010, A’s 2011.
2010. Renteria. Reds in 2011.

Interesting, eh?

Twins wrapping up 2 year deal with the American Idle, Pavano.

I got an e-mail regarding Brian Bannister the other day, wondering if he was on the Yanks’ list of pitchers on the scrap heap, so to say. MLBTR reports he is heading to Japan.

Free-agent starter Brian Bannister has agreed to a one-year deal (plus a club option) with the Tokyo Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Bannister, a five-year veteran of the big leagues, pitched for one season with the Mets and the past four with the Royals, to largely underwhelming results, and made 108 starts in his four-year stint with Kansas City. He’ll turn 30 in February.

A second-generation Major Leaguer, Bannister was selected by the Mets in the seventh round of the 2003 draft.

 

Beltre to Texas? Not yet; Pettitte to decide this week?

There were some reports that Adrian Beltre is going to Texas on a five or six year deal worth $90 to $96MM. MLBTR states that Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News offers a “semi-educated guess” that the Rangers will  shift Michael Young to a DH/utility role rather than trade him.

MLBTR and MLB.com however, report that “nothing is remotely imminent” between the team and the third baseman.

Beltre and Rafael Soriano are the top free agents still available, then Pavano. It is rumored that Pavano may decide between the Twins or Nats soon. 

The Yanks could still be interested in Brian Fuentes, MLBTR reports. Could the Yanks go with Logan, Fuentes and Feliciano? Fuentes would be insurance for Mo, but would have to accept a setup role, and  less money than he may like. Maybe that’s why Cashman is waiting—for the price to drop.

Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon could be in serious trouble.

On Wednesday, we find out if the baseball writers elected anyone to the HOF.

Finally, is this the week we hear from Pettitte whether he is coming back or retiring?       

Update, 1/4/11: Apparently Beltre and the Rangers are closing in on a six-year deal, with Michael Young changing positions yet again.  $90 to $100MM. If Young moves (again) and goes to DH, what then with Vlad? As we saw in the WS last year, OF for Vladdy isn’t a good idea anymore.

WS MVP Edgar Renteria could be Cincy-bound.

The NY Post states that Pettitte may not decide this week, and if he calls the Yanks, it may be only to let them know he is returning. That no call means he is retired. Pettitte has already told the Yankees to carry on as if he wasn’t returning.

It looks like Adam LaRoche will take the Nationals’ two-year offer at $8 to $9 MM per season.

  

2010 WS Game 5. Lincecum outduels Lee. SF wins title.

It was scoreless into the 7th.

Then each team hit a HR in that inning.

The difference was that Edgar Renteria (the WS MVP) hit a 3-run HR in the top of the 7th for the Giants.

Nelson Cruz hit a solo HR in the bottom of the 7th for the Rangers.

That was all she wrote. 3-1 Giants as the Giants win the series in five.

It’s the first WS title for the Giants since they were in NY in 1954 and just their second since 1933.

Lincecum went 8, 1 R, 3 H and 10 K.  2 walks.
Lee pitched well but his one mistake was a huge one. 7 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 0 walks and 6 K.

As McCarver pointed out, with 2nd and 3rd, one out, they pitched to, and struck out, Burrell (see below). But instead of walking Renteria to set up a force at any base (and the plate), they pitched to him with first base open and two out. Mistake.   

Brian (the Beach Boy, the Beard) Wilson finished the game and WS off with a 1-2-3 ninth.
2 K.

So now Lee goes to free agency. The Yanks will be involved, but Lee now comes off a 0-2 WS.

Good stats from Fox regarding Renteria (joins Gehrig, Berra and DiMaggio as the only ones to have GW Series deciding hits in two WS).

Also that Texas hit just .190 in this series. The Giants won two games by shutout, and this one by giving up just one run.

Pat Burrell? Celebrating (as he did in 2008) but relieved. 0 for 4, 3 more K’s tonight. 0 for the Series.  

But Texas 3-4 hitters were Josh Hamilton (.100) and Vlad (.071).

Dave Righetti, Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens and Roberto Kelly get WS rings. Each was on the last-place Yankees of 1990.

…and even more ex-Yankees.  http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20101102&content_id=15953658&vkey=news_nyy&c_id=nyy&partnerId=rss_nyy

As for Chuck Greenberg’s comments, not worthy of too much comment. He got what was karmically coming to him after making them.

   

WS Game 2. Giant strides while Raising Cain. SF breaks it open in 8th, wins 9-0.

First off, Congrats to Roberto Clemente Award winner, Tim Wakefield of the Red Sox.

A few years ago, in looking at young pitchers I wanted the Yanks to target as far as a possible trade, I mentioned Matt Cain. Not that SF was going to give him up…

Tonight, Cain proved he was worthy of the attention. 7 2/3 shutout innings.

He was helped by a Edgar Renteria (is it really 13 years since his hit won the 1997 WS for Florida?) HR and an RBI single by Uribe to put SF up 2-0 entering the bottom of the 8th.

C. J. Wilson had to leave after six with a blister. He did pitch well. 6 IP, 2 R on only 3 H.

You had the feeling that Texas’ karma has turned from good to bad when Kinsler’s drive in the fifth missed being a HR by inches. Maybe even a one single, solitary inch.

In the 8th, the pitcher’s duel turned into a rout. Derek Holland faced three batters, walked all three, and all three scored. Mark Lowe faced two batters. Walk and hit. Both scored. SF got 7 in the 8th–all after two were out—to blow it open. Renteria added a 2-run single to the HR he had earlier, and Aaron Rowand had a two-run triple. Two runs were walked in.  Pathetic.

By the way, do we really need to see a shot of Nolan Ryan after anything happens? He isn’t playing. Hasn’t since 1993. We don’t need to see a shot of him every inning.  He’s not the story.

SF to get Renteria, What does C.C. want? Is he trying to avoid NY?

Frank Zappa, We're only in it for the money

After the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper, Frank Zappa thought they sold out. With his group, the Mothers of Invention, he released an album entitled “We’re Only In It For the Money.”

I wish I could photoshop Carl Pavano’s face over Zappa’s and put Randy Johnson, Ed Whitson and others into the picture. The only thing is, Yankee fans wouldn’t call them the Mothers of Invention. What they would call them is something else. Might start with Mother though.

Why do I mention this? Because so far C.C. Sabathia hasn’t exactly been swimming in offers. There aren’t many who can afford him. He has the offer of arbitration from the Brewers, and the Yankees offer, and what else? Maybe he is waiting for offers to roll in (in this economy, don’t count on a lot of teams offering a six-year, $140M contract, C.C.). But you have to wonder…with the paucity of offers so far, what is he waiting for? King, George A. III asks that in the Post today. Would C.C. only be coming for the money? Is that the delay? Do the Yanks really want someone who doesn’t want to be here (another Big Unit situation?) Do we have to photoshop C.C. into the picture above, next to Zappa?

We’ll have to see if Cashman or C.C. is the “Dancing Fool.”

Word from Mark Feinsand of the Daily News is that the Braves may go to five years for Burnett. As Pete Abraham posts, it would be good for the Yanks. Get someone else to go the risky five years on him, and get him out of the AL East. What do you prefer as far as risk goes…3 years for Sheets or 5 for A.J.?

Abraham does mention a couple of names I’m not sold on. One, Mike Cameron, I’ve gone into detail about before. The age, the strikeouts. The .245 average he’d probably put up. The other name Pete mentions is Rich Aurilia, and I’m too sold on that either. 37, .283-10-52 for SF this year, OPS+ 93. .277 for his career, OPS+ right on the average. 100. He played 1B and 3B for the Giants in 2008, does have some SS/2B experience recently, mostly 2005, some but not much middle infield since. I am a little worried about the age, but will admit that his year last year wasn’t too bad. I remember when the Yanks took a chance on Bert Campaneris in 1983. Campy was 41 and was out of the majors in 1982 but Billy took a chance on him. Campy hit .322 in his final season by being a backup infielder for the Yanks. His pop was gone but his OPS+ was 101. The range was diminished, but for a backup 2b/3b he did ok, esp. for someone 41. So maybe Aurilia would be ok, but I’d prefer a Reegie Corona or younger player than another player over 35.

Speaking of the Giants (the baseball type, not the Burress-type), it looks like they will be getting Edgar Renteria. Renteria, the hero of the 1997 WS, is 33 and hit .270-10-55 for the Tigers in 2008. OPS+ just 84, though. He is a .290 career hitter, but with an OPS+ of just 96. Still, SF needs some hitting. They’ve been atrocious the last couple of years, and remember, they HAD Bonds in 2007. Meanwhile, besides Aurilia, there IS someone else who is a free agent from the Giants available. The only problem is that he will be 43 next April. If a team wants a utility infielder who won’t have to hit much but just be a defensive replacement and pinchrunner, maybe get in 80-100 games but get a total of 100 or less at bats, Omar Vizquel could be their guy. Omar only hit .222-0-23, OPS+ a sorry 45 last year, but he only made two errors. Obviously at 43 his range isn’t what it was, but Omar’s 385 career SB and fine glove could lead someone to sign him. It would have to be a team wherein Omar is strictly a PR/def. replacement. Some team pretty much set in the infield and which has a solid lineup to cover for Omar’s bat. Despite a career OPS+ of just 83, Omar put up over 2600 hits and has a .273 BA (same as Rizzuto). Eleven gold gloves. A problem is this…all at SS. How would he be at 2B or 3B? He has played in only one game at 2B in his career, none at 3B. Can he do it? Can he show the versatility to be able to stick? Big question, and it actually makes Aurilia look better, now that I compare the two.

Boston signed MVP Dustin Pedroia to an extension. Six years, $40.5M, with an option for 2015.

A quick addition: In the “Don’t You Forget About Me” category, Jonathan Albaladejo has pitched in eight Puerto Rican Winter League games, and is 6 for 6 in saves. 9 IP, 0 R, 6 H, 1 walk and 6 Ks.

MLBTR (via Ken Rosenthal of Fox) says the Yanks could be interested in Baldelli. This would be interesting because Baldelli can’t play CF everyday. Would there be a rotation between him, the Road Runner (Gardner) and Melky for the CF/Backup OF spots? A revolving door? Rosenthal also calls the Yanks a possibility for Adam Dunn. Rosenthal says that the Braves are close to signing Dave Ross as a backup C. MLBTR also reports that the Mariners have signed Russell Branyan. As for Rosenthal, when it comes to the Yanks, I kind of take his stuff with a grain of salt.

It’s hard to repeat, but the Phils have some ingredients to do so.

First, some WS numbers:

Phils hit .262. I guess the most surprising hits may have been the HRs by Blanton and Bruntlett. I thought Blanton’s HR was the death knell for the Rays. Burrell was just 1 for 14, but his one hit led to the WS clinching run. When I asked in the pre-Series look at the two teams who would be the unexpected star, I didn’t think it would be a pitcher’s HR, did you? But there were some others—Ruiz was 6 for 16, HR, 3 RBI and Werth made a couple of mistakes to help the Phils lose game 2 but otherwise was 8 for 18, HR and 3 RBI. Howard was 6 for 21, 3 HR, 6 RBI. Utley was just 3 for 18, but 2 of the hits were HR. Rollins was just 5 for 22.

As for the Rays, Longoria gets the goat horns for the Series. The rookie will be great, but for those who remember the Oh-for that Gil Hodges had in 1952 or the 1 for 22 of Dave Winfield in 1981, put Longoria’s 2008 up there next to those. 1 for 20 with nine strikeouts. Pena 2 for 17. Crawford 5 for 19, 2 HR. The Rays hit .212. Navarro was their best hitter at 6 for 17. Bartlett 3 for 14. Upton 5 for 20, Zobrist 1 for 7. The Phils hit 9 HR, the Rays 4. 24 runs for the Phils, 4 for the Rays.

Pitching wise, Romero with 2 wins for Philly, J. P. (for this series, more like Thurston) Howell, 2 losses for the Rays. Two saves for (Mr. Perfect 2008) Brad Lidge. 2.86 ERA for Philly. Madson gave up 2 ER in 3 2/3. The rest of the Philly bullpen had a combined ERA of 0.00. The Rays ERA was 4.50 and Wheeler, Miller and Howell (to name just three) combined to give up 6 R in 6 IP.

Now the question is, can the Phils repeat? Only the 1992-1993 Blue Jays and the 1998-2000 Yanks have been repeat champs since 1978, thirty years ago. The Phils can do it, but it won’t be easy. I think they need to shore up the rotation in order to do so.

Looking at the ages of the Phils (and I’ll include Burrell, who is a free agent and may or may not be back), of all their players who had 100 AB or more this year, only backup C Chris Coste was over 33 (35). As I said, I believe Howard (28), Utley (29) and Rollins (29) are the best Philly has ever had at their respective positions, and all three are in their prime years. The supporting cast is Ruiz and Werth (29), Victorino (27), Feliz 33, Burrell 31, Jenkins 33, Dobbs 29, Bruntlett 30. Only expendables like Taguchi (38) and Stairs (40) are up there.

Hamels is just 24. I’m not sold on Kyle Kendrick (11-9, 5.49, didn’t pitch in postseason) but Kendrick is just 23 and could prove me wrong. Myers and Blanton aren’t great, but both are just 27. The big problem is Moyer turning 46 in a few weeks. And the ancient ex-Mariner was a very good 16-7, 3.71 this year. Getting a replacement for him—especially a key sidekick for Hamels—is a Philly imperative. I don’t think the others grade out as a good #2. The team can hit. The bullpen has an expendable Flash Gordon (forgot about the 40 year old injured Flash, didn’t you?) but Lidge is 31, Romero 32, Madson 27, Durbin 30, Condrey 32. Eyre is 36, Seanez 39. They might need someone here. 25 year old J. A. Happ could be on the staff next year.

So when you look at them, what do you see? Most of the players in their prime years. As far as their division, the Mets could give competition but the Mets have problems. No Wagner, they need to find a closer. Pedro is basically done and I don’t see the Mets re-signing him. For his nice year, Delgado is still aging. Ollie Perez is a free agent. They have problems. Florida could be like Tampa was this year if their young pitchers all develop in 2009. There is a lot of youth and potential in their pitching staff much like Tampa had this year.

BTW, Florida traded Mike Jacobs (1b, .247-32-93, OPS+ 111) to KC today for relief pitcher Leo Nunez, 4-1, 2.98, ERA+ 152. As for the rest, the Braves are rebuilding (90 losses) and the Nats are what seems like light years away.

So the division doesn’t look bad for them. Neither does the league. It appears as if the Phils have smoother sailing in the NL than AL teams have. More competition in the AL (AL East had Toronto 4th with 86 wins).

But go back and look at the ages of the Phils….and then as Yankees fans, we have to look at the Yanks. Posada turned 37 this year. Matsui 34. Jeter 34. A-Rod 33. Damon will be 35 soon. Giambi was 37 this year. Abreu 34. Pettitte turned 36. Moose was 39. Mo will be 39 soon. Hawkins was 35 when the Yanks dumped him.

Now on the free agent market there is Lowe (36) and a 37 year old Manny. I couldn’t believe King, George A. III’s column in which he says several industry sources believe the Yanks will make a serious push for Manny for RF. I hope not. The Yanks already have a superstar righty hitter who is a drama queen. But back to the ages. You see one team in the Phils with guys in their primes, another in the Yanks with guys past theirs. Look at the young talent the Rays have. Look at Boston’s transition to youth. The years of not developing the farm are hurting the Bombers.

Ken Macha is getting the Brewers managerial job.

I goofed by one day. I said next year’s WS could end of November 4th if it goes 7. Actually it is November 5th….even worse. It STARTS on October 28th. Meaning the Game 5 that was yesterday will be Game 2 next year. That is if it isn’t snowed out in Milwaukee or thereabouts.

Yesterday it was Garrett Anderson’s contract not getting picked up. Today? The White Sox didn’t pick up Junior Griffey’s. The Tigers didn’t pick up Renteria’s.

Burnett has to decide on his opt-out by Monday.

The WS got record low ratings. Click the link for more.

Meanwhile, if you want to see something totally ridiculous, check this out. Those guys at MIT really should stop rigging polls. The 2004 Red Sox over the 1998 Yankees? In their dreams.

Update: Reader Jeff pointed out that the link to the ridiculous above wasn’t working. I think it’s ok now. Make your choices and rate the Champs since 1980. Then after you submit your picks, you will see how ridiculous the voting has been so far. ESPN=NESN?