Tag Archives: Sheets

Taking a beating…

I see where Eric Gagne was sent to minor league camp. He’s trying to comeback with the Dodgers but results weren’t encouraging.

Ben Sheets, who missed all of 2009 and then signed with the A’s, got lit up yesterday.

They aren’t the only ones taking a beating…also taking a bit of a beating are the ones reporting on a Howard for Pujols rumor. Let’s just say I’d believe that one when I see it.      

Yanks’ game tonight. If I remember correctly, Hughes gets in some work tonight, Joba tomorrow. 

Signings…Nady, Sheets, Thome, Garland. Yanks make “minor” deal.

For one guy who hardly played in 2009 and another who didn’t play at all…not bad.

The X-man, Xavier Nady, signed a deal with the Cubs. More than that $2M ceiling that the Yanks supposedly have for a LF. $3.3 M and $2M in incentives, according to Chad Jennings at LoHud. Not bad for someone who was DL’d after just two weeks and underwent his 2nd TJ surgery. I wonder how often he will play or how he will make those incentives. After all, the Cubs OF appears to be Soriano, Marlon Byrd, and Fukodome. Derrekk Lee is set at 1B.

Meanwhile, someone who didn’t play at all last year gets a one-year, $10 M contract. Ben Sheets signs with the A’s. It has to be seen if this will affect Damon. Sheets was supposedly Plan A with the A’s, Damon plan B. Do they how have the $ for Damon? The song plays on…”Ain’t Got No Home…”

Reports vary on Damon/A’s/Yankees, depending on who you read. Remember that JD did spend 2001 with the A’s, going .256-9-49, 27 SB that year. (OPS+ 82, an off year).

Chad Jennings at LoHud reports that the Yanks traded infielder Mitch Hilligoss to Texas for OF Greg Golson. Hilligoss had a nice consecutive game hitting streak in the minors a few years ago for low-A Charleston. He’s 24 and has spent the last two years at High A Tampa. He missed a large part of 2009, playing in just 51 games, .233-0-14. The year before, he hit just .241-1-31 there. He hit .310 with 35 SB for Charleston in 2007, 4 HR and 53 RBI. He mostly plays 3B, some SS. At 24, not above High-A, and playing positions manned by Jeter and Alex, you can see the expendability. As for Golson, he is 24 and 0 for 7 in his MLB career. A righty hitter, he hit .258-2-40 at AAA Oklahoma City last year. The BB/K ratio wasn’t good. 29 walks, 114 K. I’d expect him to be with AAA SWB. As for the deal, strictly minor leagues.

In scanning the blogs, MLBTR states this:

The final offer Scott Boras presented the Yankees with for Xavier Nady was worth $5MM, tweets Joel Sherman of The New York Post. He adds that the Yanks would have considered him at the price he signed for today, and that they’ll only do a minor league deal for Rocco Baldelli (via Twitter).

You may have seen that Mark Loretta retired. 15 years, OPS+ 98, .295 BA.  

MLBTR states that the Twins signed Jim Thome. I don’t know how many more HR than the 564 he has now (one more than Reggie) that Thome will hit. 600 seems out of the question. He could pass Palmeiro’s 569* and Killebrew’s 573, but I wonder if he’ll get the playing time to get to Big Mac’s 583*. 

But MLBTR also states that Thome goes from $13M to $1.5M and incentives. Damon can’t like that, even if Damon will be (it seems) a full-time player to Thome’s part-time.

Jon Garland found a new home in SD. Things are starting to heat up. Garland was 11-13, 4.01 for LAD and Ariz. last year.      

Quiet…for now.

We never know when a story will develop, but all is quiet for now. There is rumors of possible A’s interest in Damon, although as Chad Jennings (for one from a Buster Olney tweet) writes at LoHud, it seems like Ben Sheets is more on their radar. Meanwhile, Damon is still in Clarence “Frogman” Henry mode—Ain’t Got No Home.

Nice point by Jennings on A-Jax:

Austin Jackson will go into spring training as a favorite for the Tigers lead-off spot. By comparison, the Yankees had Jackson open last season batting sixth because they didn’t want to put too much pressure on him… in Triple-A

There are rumors that the Yanks inquired about Nelson Cruz of Texas. It’d take a little. Cruz did, after all, hit 33 HR and steal 20 bases for the Rangers last year. It was a breakout year for someone 29. Was it a fluke?

Jim Thome is still looking for a home for his 564 HR after being rejected by the Chisox.

    

Cross DeRosa off Yanks’ list?

Well, Cashman did say that LF wouldn’t be substantive. Meaning no JD, Holliday or Bay. Could it be less substantive than DeRosa?

Over at LoHud, Chad Jennings writes that DeRosa is leaning toward a two-year deal with SF.

I wondered yesterday if, sans the four mentioned above, if Nady returning (and hopefully that recovery for him is going well) is in the Yanks plans.

Over on his blog, NY Daily News writer Mark Feinsand floats the name of Reed Johnson. Average, maybe a bit below. Needs to walk more, but goodness does he take one for the team.

Meanwhile, Omar Minaya’s miserable off-season to date continues. Another free agent spurns the Mets. I don’t know the level of Mets interest, but word is that that they did have an interest in Matt Capps—who like Marquis goes to DC instead.

Spurning the Mets for the Nats. What’s the world coming to?

Mr. Met crying
Maybe a Piniero, Bengie Molina or 
Jason Bay goes there, but as for now,
this just about sums up Mr. Mets’ offseason.
 

Not that it matters anymore, being that the Yanks pulled the Vazquez deal, but Duchscherer is going back to the A’s. (…and I would suspect that any Sheets talk is now dead as well for the Yanks after the Vazquez deal; not to mention goodbye to Wang.)

Update: The Mets did pick up reclamation project Kelvim Escobar, and signed knuckleball pitcher R. A. “Tricky” Dickey to a minor-league deal. But they are still waiting on Bay (and one major league source says that other than the spurned Red Sox deal and the Mets offer that there are no other serious bidders for him…he must really want to play at Citi Field, right?) and Bengie Molina. They lost out on Lackey, Marquis, Capps… still a rough offseason for Mr. Met (see above).          

Pitcher under the tree as Vazquez comes back to Bronx in exchange for Melky.

I don’t think Josh (the Yankee Truth) likes the deal due to the 2004 memories, but I’ll have to e-mail him about it later.

I like it.

Today the Yankees shored up their rotation by trading Melky Cabrera to the Braves for Javier Vazquez (the Yanks also get Boone Logan in the deal while giving up Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino).    

Vazquez went 14-10, 4.91 for the Yanks in 2004, and was an all-star that year. He had a poor postseason, and gave up the curse-killing grand slam to JD in Game 7 of the ALCS that year. He started that year 10-5, 3.56 then went south after July 9th.

One thing, though. That year, Vazquez was supposed to be the ace, more or less. The Truth is, (sorry, Josh) that the Yanks really didn’t have an ace in 2004, which is why the ALCS collapse occured. Vazquez was 14-10, 4.91; Jon Lieber 14-8, 4.33; Kevin Brown 10-6, 4.09; Mike Mussina 12-9, 4.57; Jose Contreras 8-5, 5.64 when traded at the deadline; El Duque was 8-2, 3.30 after coming back. Only Vazquez gave 30 starts. Vazquez led the 2004 Yankees with 198 IP.

Now, (and I think this is huge), Vazquez doesn’t have to be the ace. Nor 2 or 3. He comes in as the #4 pitcher. A #4 who has been through the NY experience before. A #4 who won 15 games last year with an ERA of 2.87. The 33 year old is 142-139 in his career, 4.19 (ERA+ 107). But he eats innings. That 2004 campaign is the only year since 2000 that Vazquez did not pitch 200 innings. He throws heat (Josh does like the power pitchers). Now he joins Hughes, Joba, CC, AJ, Robertson as guys who can strike batters out (238 last year, 5x over 200 in his career). Not to mention Mo.

We aren’t talking ace here. We are talking a guy who is a legit #2 on most teams (and ace on some) coming in to be the #4 guy. Meaning the Yanks now have four starters who all could win say 14-15 games a year (and in some cases more).

…and it also means this. That #5 guy could come from a batch of Hughes, Joba, Aceves or Gaudin with the other three going to the bullpen. Say Hughes is the #5. You still have Aceves and Gaudin as long men and Joba and Robertson set up Mo.

How can you not like that?

The Yanks also get Boone Logan, a 25 year old lefty. HIs stats aren’t impressive, 1-1, 5.19 in 20 games for the Braves last year, 5-5, 5.78 in his career, but he’ll have the chance to take over the spot Phil Coke (traded to Detroit a few weeks ago in the Granderson deal) had last year. He looks like purely a LOOGY. Hey, the 6’5″ Logan is still young.

On the flip side, the Yanks do lose an OF. Personally, I don’t think Melky will hit as many HR in Atlanta as he did with the Yanks. There won’t be any “Melk” to go with AJ’s pies so we’ll have to see what other moves Cashman has up his sleeve.

Melky hit .274-13-68 with 10 sb (OPS+ 99) for the Yanks in 2009. The 25 year old OF is a .269 hitter, career OPS+ still only 88. His 162 g. average is .269-10-65, 13 sb. Nice little OF. But for a #4 starter who can possibly win 15? Expendable.

Of course for now, Brett Gardner is a winner. But somehow I see Gardner as the 4th OF (PR/Def. replacement) next year.

So if Granderson is in CF and Swisher in RF, who’s in LF?

I don’t see Bay or Holliday. Could JD return even though it’s been ruled out? Is there enough in the budget (now back over $200 M) for JD? Can you picture this?

Jeter SS
Damon LF
Teixiera 1B
Alex 3B
Granderson CF (yeah, I know…I really don’t like him here at 5 but…)
Posada C
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Johnson DH

Johnson (who had a .426 OBP last year) and whose 162 g. average is .273-19-80 with 102 walks hitting 9th? How insane would that be? ..and don’t forget, Nick Swisher, despite the .249 average, had 97 walks last year. Insane.

I hear DeRosa talk for LF. DeRosa is 34 (35 in Feb.) and looking in the $6M range. I don’t know how low JD will come down to in his negotiations. I don’t think he’ll be back (he said as much, but as that James Bond movie said, Never Say Never Again). DeRosa went .250-23-78 for Cle/StL last year. OPS+ 99. He is versatile.

I, however, would suggest someone else. Move Granderson to LF and go after Marlon Byrd for CF. Byrd is cheaper (just a bit over $3M last year) and at 32, a little younger than DeRosa. He hit .283-20-89 last year (OPS+ 106). His 162 game average is .279-12-69, OPS+ 99. The HR and RBI were career highs as he never had more than 10 HR before but in the past three seasons Byrd hit .307, .298 and .283.

DeRosa has a 162 game average of .275-14-68, OPS+ 97. The numbers compared to Byrd are similar. DeRosa is older. Byrd allows Granderson to go to LF (or vice-versa) and allows for better OF defense. Byrd, a righty, I think complements Gardner. Both are CF and Granderson switches to LF. With DeRosa, Gardner is pushed more in the background since DeRosa plays LF, Granderson CF.

So if JD, Holliday and Bay are off the radar for monetary reasons, and Byrd fits the plans, how would you like this (and in this case, my lineup puts Granderson back at #2 since no JD).

Jeter SS
Granderson LF
Teixeira 1B
Alex 3b
Johnson DH (that OBP in front of Posada, Cano and Swisher)
Posada C
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Byrd CF

All in all, not too bad.

Cashman has another trick up his sleeve. OF, specifically a LF. The question is when does he pull the rabbit out of the hat and who will that rabbit be?

The other thing I wonder with the deal of Melky is this—how high are the Yanks on that Rule 5 player, Jamie Hoffmann?

Also going to the Braves were Michael Dunn (the 24 year old lefty had a cup of tea with the Yanks in 2009, 4-3, 3.31 in AA/AAA) 99 K in 73 1/3 minor league innings) and 19 year old Arodys Vizcaino, who in short season Staten Island was 2-4, 2.13 in 10 games and a top prospect.

Update: I really think this deal is the straw that broke the camel’s back regarding Wang coming back or even the Yanks possibly signing Ben Sheets as a reclamation project (really, both would be).  Now to see what Cash does for LF.

I wonder if the onus is on JD. Looking at the makeup of the team, JD has to be salivating for another ring. But does he (like A-Rod) do his own deal and basically tell Boras to stick it? Granted JD may have to come back at less than he would want.

In other words, the money elsewhere….or the RING here?  

 

 

Yanks, JD weren’t close in negotiations; and who would you target?

I don’t know the supposedly “hard and fast” number that the Steinbrenners gave to Cashman—whether it was to lop the budget $15M, $20M or whatever.

But it is coming out how far apart JD (who confirms his Yankee years are over…but never say never again…however as of now) and the Yanks were.

JD and his agent, Boras, wanted 3-4 years at the same amount. $13M a year. According to some, JD came back with a two-year, $26M offer, but the Yanks responded with 2-years and $14M. Big difference, and you may have seen that Matsui got $6.5 with the team-with-the-name-that-is-way-too-long. Apparently Damon lowered his demand to 2 years and $20 M but by that time the Yanks had moved on to Jolly Old St. Nick (Johnson) for 1 year at $5.5 with mutual options for the same for 2011.

After the 2010 season it gets interesting. Jeter and Mo. A 36 year old SS and a 41 year old closer. Two of the best ever (in Mo’s case, the BEST) at their positions. Two Yankee ICONS, guaranteed in the future to be two of the last—if not THE TWO LAST—people introduced at Old Timer’s Days. How much to retain them? How long?

Could Pettitte be retiring after 2010? Could the Yanks hit the market then and reunite CC with Lee? Wouldn’t that be a dream…Andy retires and Lee (free agent) replaces him.

Not only that, but there would be another CC available then—Carl Crawford. I salivate at thinking CC/Granderson speed in the OF, on the bases and the lefty bats.

As long as you can draw a walk, speed doesn’t go into slumps.

There is a debate over at the LoHud blog regarding which reclamation project the Yanks should focus on—Sheets, or Duchscherer. Chad Jennings says Sheets. Sam Borden says Duchscherer.

I say Sheets. Let’s compare the two.

Sheets: is 31, 32 next July. Career 86-83, 3.72, ERA+ 115. Big problem is that he missed last year and has never pitched 200 IP in a season since 2004. Since 2004 he has pitched 160 innings in a season just once. He is a 4x all-star who K’d 264 in 2004. I don’t expect that kind of dominance again, but if he can come close to the 2.70 of 2004 (when despite the K’s and ERA he was just 12-14), 3.33 of 2005 (another hard luck record, 10-9) or 13-9, 3.09 of 2008, great.

But the real reason I want Sheets over Duchscherer is this (as long as the health of both are the same and good): Sheets has started his whole career. 221 games. ALL starts.

Duchscherer is 32. 31-24, 3.14 in his career. ERA+ 138. Yes, the ERA is lower, but Duchscherer did that all basically, in relief. Before the 2008 season, Duchscherer had just five MLB starts. He did have three solid seasons as a setup man 2004-2006, with ERAs of 3.27, 2.21 and 2.97. But those were AS  A SETUP MAN. The only real season Duchscherer started was in 2008, when all 22 appearances were as a starter before getting hurt. Duchscherer, like Sheets, missed all of the 2009 season. In 2008 he was 10-8, 2.54 when going down. Superb. 141 2/3 IP. But due to his prior role, it was the only season in Duchscherer’s career where he threw over 100 IP.  

And that’s it. Why I prefer Sheets over Duchscherer. The age (Sheets is 8 months younger) isn’t too much of a factor. Both are coming off injuries. But Sheets has started much more, and despite his history, seems more likely to give the innings (if healthy) than Duchscherer would.

Now if we were talking about bullpen help rather than getting a reclamation project for the #4 rotation spot, then I’d say Duchscherer. But we are not. We are talking reclamation for back-end, and letting Joba/Hughes battle for #5 with the “loser” joining Aceves, Gaudin, Robertson, Mo, Marte, maybe a Melancon in what hopefully would be a killer bullpen.              

Update: Looking at various blogs, I don’t know where people are sometimes. I see a lot of people talking Holliday/Yankees. It isn’t going to happen, people. I can understand your thinking about saving money (Damon/Matsui) to go after Holliday. I don’t believe the Yanks would match what the Cardinals supposedly offered Holiday. I do believe that there is a budget and that if it were more that the Yanks would have upped the ante for JD or Matsui but not both. They had in them 1) two leaders respected by their teammates and who had clubhouse presence 2) two guys with postseason success 3) guys who understood and could handle NY.

In short, quit the Holliday talk. It’s ok to dream that, but it isn’t reality or going to happen. Personally, I think Holliday goes back to the Cardinals. There isn’t a market throwing lots of $ at OF right now. I think Bay goes to the Mets. Who else has made a huge offer? Damon could go to SF, although I think that because of his arm, an AL team and DHing would be better. Damon could (as MLBTR notes) slide into St. Louis if Holliday turns down the Cardinals. As for Holiday, beware. Maybe his RF power translates well to Yankee Stadium. He did hit an AS game HR there in 2008 and he has power to RF. But hIs H/A splits aren’t the best. .351 with 100 HR at home. .284 with 52 on the road. JD isn’t a CF anymore, so I don’t see JD in Chicago. The Cubs will probably look to move Fukodome to RF. Could they now be players for Marlon Byrd? I read where they had Granderson interest. Soriano is in LF. No fit in Wrigley for JD.

Back to Holliday for a second. I don’t see the Colorado numbers continuing. A .318 career hitter, I can still see him hitting .300. I don’t see the 34 and 36 HR numbers but more like 25-30. 90 to 100 RBI, maybe 105 in a good year. Not the 137 again. He is a 133 OPS+ for his career. Excellent. Even knocked down to 120 makes him solid. In short, I see him as solid. .292-27-97 is certainly solid. I don’t think he’d be the .318-34-120 beast that others think he would be.

But I see him staying in the NL. I don’t see him being on the Yanks at all. No, the Yanks as I see it aren’t after Holiday. Yes, believe it or not, they have a budget which they are sticking to, and I believe Cashman when he says that pitching is their top consideration right now. … and with Hinske and Hairston both on the market, a utility guy is probably on their list right now as well. Someone besides Ramiro Pena. Hairston back would be nice. I don’t see DeRosa, since he is asking for too much.

Some talk (Cameron before, Holliday now) I wish would just go away already. Especially when you don’t see it happening.              

Cubs/Marlins deal

The Cubs traded talented but troubled OF Milton Bradley to Seattle for Carlos Silva. Bradley had one year with the Cubs, .257-12-40 ops+ 99. This after a superb 2008 with the Rangers, .321-22-77, OPS+ 161. Bradley’s attitude made him unacceptable to the Cubs and once again he has to find a new team. Silva missed most of 2009, going 1-3, 8.60 for Seattle in 8 games after a disastrous 2008 when he went 4-15, 6.46. Silva is 60-64, 4.72 in his career (ERA+ 92) while Bradley is a .277 career hitter with a career 115 OPS+.

I’m looking at various rumors. There’s one where the Yanks were interested in Mark DeRosa, but that DeRosa’s asking price was too much. I’m wondering…would the Yanks have used him in LF or as a super-utility guy (which they really don’t need). DeRosa is 34 and the Yanks were smart if, as reported, DeRosa wanted a three-year deal.

According to the Post, even though the Yanks save some $12M (Granderson/Johnson 2010 contracts vs. Damon/Matsui’s 2009) the Yanks may not be able to allocate the money. Apparently there is a budget and it’s less than 2009’s.

It’s interesting to see where the other starter the Yanks would like is coming from. For all the talk of Marquis or Piniero, it just may be that someone like Ben Sheets would be the person. There is rumors of the Yanks being interested in Sheets, but the talented but oft-injured (missed all of 2009) pitcher may have to be brought in on a low-base, high-incentive pact. He’s a talent, but one not seen on the mound often enough.

Sheets is just 86-83 in his career, but struggled for years with a then-poor Brewers club. Career ERA 3.72, ERA+ 115. He K’d 264 in 2004. The guy is a 4x all-star, but has topped 160 IP only once since 2004. Sheets is just 31.

Another pitcher the Yanks are said to be looking at is Kelvim Escobar. The 33 year old missed all of 2008 and pitched in only one MLB game in 2009. 101-91 4.15 (ERA+ 112) in his career, and some indications are that teams (Yanks?) are looking at him solely for relief. I would think that he would be on that low base/high incentive (or a minor league deal) like Sheets. 

It’s not official, but apparently the only thing keeping Johnson’s signing from being so is the physical. The agreement has been reached. See the previous post and the comments for my thoughts of Johnson and where he should be in the order (as opposed to where others think he should be).

There is a blog with an all-decade Yankees team. I think it’s pretty straight-forward, especially since some positions have had only one guy there the whole decade. Personally, I probably would break it down to quarter-centuries. More competition, I would think. If we went back to say, 1984, then who would you take at 1B (Mattingly, Giambi, Tino, Teix). Do you place a restriction on someone like Teixeira, who has only one year with the Yanks? Do you say “at least three years with Yanks”? How about 2B. Now we have Randolph, Knobby, Soriano and Cano. Just saying.

I just hope that for the first qtr. century, that I’m still around in 2025 (when I’d turn 64—cue the song—) at the end of that year.