Tag Archives: Tellem

Andy back for 2010

The Granderson deal was finalized today. I do wonder how it impacts four players: obviously Melky and Gardner (although I wouldn’t necessarily pencil Granderson into CF yet…maybe he is the one who goes to LF?) but also Matsui and Damon.

Update: I now read where Cash states that Granderson is CF, which makes you further wonder about Melky and Brett the Road Runner. Are they moving from 8 to 7 should JD not return? Anyway, it’s a long way to the start of S.T. (and to Tipperary). Let’s see how things shake out and what else Cashman has up his sleeve.  

It seems like now the Yanks have the leverage to offer Damon and Matsui what they want to offer them and not the other way around. It may be that both get the same offer and whoever takes it first is the one who comes back (and DHs, presumably) with the other one being gone. I would think—because he can still fill in outfield-wise—that Damon is preferred, but Damon, maybe moreso than Matsui, will want the multi-year deal that the Yankees will refuse to give. Boras, Damon’s agent, is looking at four years and pushing that JD could get his 3000th hit at the end of it. He is 575 away, meaning four years of 144 hits per year. He had 155 last year. Hmm…at 36, does he have enough in the tank to do it?

Matsui’s agent, Arn Tellem, seemingly is on better terms with the Yankees. The problem with Matsui is clogging up a DH spot that needs to be free for Posada (38) Jeter (36 next June) and Alex (35 next July). Matsui didn’t play the field at all this year, hence the preference for Damon. But could who stays/goes come down to the agents and their demands? To who is willing to come back on only a 1-year deal (or a year and an option?) To who is more likely to take what—with the Yankees holding the hammer after obtaining Granderson—will most likely be a bit of a pay cut?

Chad Jennings said it himself over at the LoHud blog:

Cashman said the Curtis Granderson trade has not completely eliminated the possibility of bringing back both Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, though that doesn’t seem likely and “would come at the expense of a Gardy or a Melky.”

Hmm…I do notice the quotation marks. To paraphrase Thunderclap Newman, is “something in the air?”  

Also from Jennings:

 it’s clear that someone who is strictly a DH ranks low on the list.

Hmm…maybe that means Matsui is gone. Could Matsui AND Damon both be history? 

Cashman does want younger, faster, cheaper…and more versatility.

I should have mentioned Michael Dunn—who the Yanks refused to part with in the Granderson deal—as a replacement for Coke. The 24 year old only pitched 4 innings for the Yankees this year, going 0-0, 6.75. Control was a problem. He walked 5, K’d 5. Combined in the minors (AA/AAA) he was 4-3, 3.31 and 99 K in 73 1/3 IP. 43 walks though.

At least the front three are set. Andy Pettitte re-signed today for $11.75 M. 229 wins (192 with the Yankees) and a record 18 postseason wins in his career (Remember though, Ford and Gibson never had LDS or LCS). He certainly knows, with 5 rings, what it takes to win in NY. Good to see Andy back. One concern though, is his age—38 next June.

Also, this:

Cashman also wouldn’t rule out the idea of making another big trade that involves multiple prospects. “It depends on the player I’d be getting,” he said. “I would in the right circumstances. I don’t like to for good reason.”

Does that mean Halladay? Can you imagine… CC/Doc/AJ/Andy and whoever stays between Hughes/Joba? With Aceves/Gaudin long relief; goodness knows whether Mitre would go to SWB to be an emergency option.

Now if we can only dump Igawa on someone.

The Orioles made a deal for Millwood for Chris Ray and a PTBNL. Millwood will be 35 and I wonder, in that bandbox, what a fit he’ll be. But then, Texas is a homer haven also, and Millwood went 13-10, 3.67 this year. But then again (switches back and forth), his ERAs in both 2007 and 2008 were both over 5.00. 155-121, 4.02, ERA+ 109 career.

The Astros dealt for reliever Matt Lindstrom from the Marlins.

Rich Harden is said to be close to a deal with the Rangers. Harden was 9-9, 4.09 for the Cubs last year.

Randy Wolf (11-7, 3.23 with LAD in 2009, 101-85, 4.13 career, ERA+ 103)  to the Brewers. They also picke Also Latroy (Sadie) Hawkins, the one-time Yankee who, after bombing with the Bombers, pitched well after being sent to Houston.  

 

Leave it to Bore-a$$ to rain on the parade.

In writing about Nady in the previous post, I mentioned that he doesn’t have much leverage…unless you count Scott Bore-a$$ (misspelling intentional). Bore-a$$ (Boras) is known for his outrageous demands (see the link below) and his belief that players over 35 deserve salaries as if they will never age or that their production at 40 will be as it was at 30. In other words, he doesn’t believe in reality, the current recession or the aging process. I regard Bore-a$$ as scum. The worst thing to happen to baseball. But then, if you are of of his clients, and he gets you the most you can get, you’d be foolish not to sign, right?

I do share Jason’s concerns (see comments, previous post) regarding Nady. I don’t know what his recovery timetable is, and you wonder about his arm. He would seem to have no leverage after missing almost all of 2009. I was just wondering if he could be a cheap alternative should the Yanks lose out on Damon or Matsui (and could they use the savings then on say, Lackey? More on Lackey though, later).    

The Matsui/Damon question could come down to who the agent is and not who the Yankees would prefer. Joel Sherman writes about the ridiculous demands Bore-a$$ is demanding for JD.   

Right. JD is 36. He relies on his legs. Granted he was 12 for 12 in SB this year, but that is down from 29 the year before. Granted he batted second in 2009 and led off the previous year, thus causing more situations where you don’t want to run and take the bat out of someone’s (T & A’s) hands. But there have been signs that JD’s legs aren’t the same. The calf injury that took him out of Game Six of the WS. The slow start to 2008. There were times of defensive inadequacy, and I’m not just talking about the weak arm, but in going after balls in LF. There is no question that CF for JD is out of the question. No doubt JD had a great year offensively (highest OPS+ of his career). The porch and JD got along well as he tied a career high in HR with 24.

Yet Bore-a$$ wants a multi-year deal for someone who just turned 36. It seems like all Bore-a$$ wants is a team with a bunch of overpriced 35 and older players all signed to multi-year deals…all of whom who could implode at any time due to age and injury issues.

Do you really think that Brian Cashman or any GM wants that?

Ideally, the Yanks would want JD on a one year deal or one year and an option. Austin Jackson (A-Jax), 23 next year, who is cheaper and coming off a .300-4-65, 24 SB year at AAA is in the wings. Do you really think the Yanks want JD for 3 years when a possible rising star—who comes much cheaper—could be ready?

Ideally, JD fits because unlike Matsui, he can still play the OF but be gravitated more and more to DH to save his legs. JD’s game is about his legs. Matsui didn’t play an inning of OF in 2009. There is talk of maybe the Mariners going after Godzilla, but a lot depends on Junior Griffey, who turns 40 soon. After a .214-19-57 year, will Junior take his 630 HR and retire?

It is interesting in looking at the MLBTR link (previous post) to see Nady ranked #48, Damon at 12 and Matsui at 27. There are some guys in the top 10 who (Randy Wolf? Pettitte?) were nowhere near the top 10 last year. The Valverde/Phils projection seems like a natural. I can definitely see the Phils doing that. Will they? Bay with the defensive troubles and 162 Ks would seem a poor fit for LF at Yankee Stadium despite the .267-36-119 and 13 sb.

Sherman also writes today of the Angels tepid interest in retaining Lackey. One AL GM wonders if it is a red flag…as if the Angels know something about their bulldog ace who did not give 30 starts or 200 IP in either 2008 or 2009 that no one else does. Although I do salivate over a possible CC/AJ/Andy/Lackey top 4 of the rotation backed up by a bullpen trio of Joba/Hughes and Mo (and while I’d salivate, others would nauseate over that), there are concerns, even with that. The Lackey numbers for one. I like the bulldoggedness of Lackey, but that stat of no 30 starts or 200 IP in the last two years (combined 23-13, approx. 3.80 ERA) is a concern. There is no question the guy is great when healthy. He is just 31. He did go 19-9, 3.01 (led AL in ERA) in 2007. But what do the Angels know?

Burnett is other question mark. AJ gave 30 starts and 200 IP for the second straight year, first with the Yankees (13-9, 4.04), but it’s the first time in his career that AJ (33 next January) has ever done that. Will he hold up?

Getting back to the free agents, should Bore-A$$ take JD elsewhere, the Yanks may do the currently unexpected (since JD and not Matsui is the better fit given the Yanks want to keep the DH spot free for the aging Jeter, Posada and A-Rod, whose ages will turn 36, 39 and 35 by the end of the 2010 season) and keep Godzilla. Unlike Bore-a$$, whom the Yanks have had a tempestuous relationship with (think A-Rod’s optioning out for one), the Yanks have been on good terms with Arn Tellem, who represents Matsui.

So if Bore-a$$ takes JD elsewhere, what then? Would Nady be physically ready or cheap (although no leverage, rep’d by Bore-a$$)? Is A-Jax ready to play in the majors? You would want to replace some of JD’s power. None of the top 50 on the list thrill me too much. I would not expect the Yanks to make a big push for Holliday or Bay. I could be wrong but I see neither one making his home in the Bronx next year. I could see saving money and maybe going after a Lackey but only if JD or Matsui is gone. So who other than Nady would be reasonably priced and enable the Yanks to get Lackey or a solid #4 (I don’t see Wolf or Harden coming to the Bronx either, but…)

Marlon Byrd? Interesting and the only one I really could see (unless a trade, but we are talking strictly free agents for now). 32 and a CF. CFs who move to LF to cover Yankee Stadiums LF have paid dividends recently. Damon this year. Chad Curtis in 1999. Byrd hit .283-20-89 in 2009 for Texas. I wouldn’t expect the power in NY. Even though Yankee Stadium played short, it didn’t have the heat that Texas does. Balls do fly out there. .280-12-70 for Byrd could be more like it. Yes, Melky could go to LF and Gardner start in CF but I think the way Girardi played it in 2009 was perfect. I wouldn’t go Melky lf and BG cf. Too much power would be lost and I’m still of the opinion that neither may be full-time players but players who are 4th outfielders…but who can thrive in the right situation—that being the one Girardi put them in this year; platooning them, going with the hot hand, keeping both fresh. Byrd doesn’t steal a lot of bases, but he can run.

Who…if anyone besides the trio of Yankee veterans who you probably want back (JD, Matsui and Pettitte)… excites you about the top 50 free agents this year? If the answer is no one, then you understand why the Yankees did what they did last year in striking while the iron was hot. Nothing against Marco Scutaro, but when he is listed at #8 in the top 50 free agents…

I do worry about the prediction MLBTR has for #17. Aroldis Chapman to Boston. Boston is in “must make moves” mode…much like the Yanks were last year.

It will be interesting to see if Sheets/Texas does take place. What a talent. What a shame injuries have taken a toll on that talent. Then again, you can say the same for Erik Bedard.

UPDATE: Griffey is returning to Seattle. You wonder how this will affect the Yankees and Matsui for it appears as if a “landing spot” for Godzilla is now gone. I can’t see Seattle having two aging players, both of whom are now primarily DHs and who would spend hardly any time in the OF.