Posts Tagged ‘trades’

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Wang Has Surgery; Trade Deadline Causes Internet to Explode

July 30, 2009

Chien Ming Wang had surgery on his pitching shoulder, ending his horrid year. It’s a similar and less invasive procedure to the one undergone by Jorge Posada last year, but obviously Posada is not a pitcher and the recovery is going to be different. Hopefully this will give Wang a chance to strengthen his lower body, something which he never seemed to get to full strength after his 2008 foot fracture.

If only someone noticed earlier this year than Wang’s arm was completely out of whack, perhaps due to his foot (Ahem and Ahem)! And yes, it is absolutely necessary to toot my own horn anytime I am on point with even a minor thing, because most of the time I’m wrong.

Only kidding, I am never wrong.

On to more exciting news! The trade deadline is still about 36 hours away and there have already been a boatload of trades, ranging from the big deal (Cliff Lee on his way to the Phillies) to the insignificant (Yankees acquire Jason Hirsh from Rockies for AAA depth). Perhaps I shouldn’t call that last one insignificant, because it also got the Yankees to release Brett Tomko. We call that addition by subtraction around these parts. The Pirates made two savvy deals as well, dumping their middle infield of Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez to the Mariners and Giants, respectively, netting a decent crop of younger players, including Jeff Clement and Tim Alderson. They’ve essentially gutted the team they started the season with, not a bad idea for a last place team, and at the same time shed payroll and brought in young talent. Great moves.

Cliph Lee

Cliph Lee

The Lee deal was of course the most noteworthy news of the day. The Phillies had been locked in discussions with the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay, but after a two week (or longer) face off that offered everything from inane rumors to angry standoffs between the two GMs the Phillies moved on and acquired Lee, a great pickup (though a clear step below Halladay) for far less than they would have had to give the Jays.

I’d like to see the Yankees sit on their hands for once. They need a starter, but the options possibly available to them (Jarrod Washburn, Bronson Arroyo, Jon Garland) are all mediocre at best, and probably are no better than the currently rostered Sergio Mitre. Ideally Phil Hughes will end up in that spot, a theme I will probably mention in every post from here until it happens. If they are that worried about the 8th inning perhaps a set-up man can be picked up on the cheap, something like a salary dump or cash exchange. Relief arms are very volatile, so it isn’t worth giving up anything of real value to get one (Brian Bruney, the good version not the current iteration, was picked up off of waivers last season). And in fact that type of move probably isn’t necessary at all with Damaso “Ball in play; run(s) scored” Marte almost ready to pitch in the bigs again.

Lots to be happy about as a Yankee fan at the moment, just don’t go overboard, Cash!

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Yikes, Where Did The Time Go?

July 16, 2009

So, I disappear for two months, only to find that my traffic was doubled for the time I wasn’t updating. Is my style so off putting that I am more entertaining in silence!? All of the posts after this one will contain nothing more than ellipses…

So the All Star break is about to end so it is as good a time as any to get back in the swing of things. And what could be a better place to begin than by acknowledging unfounded rumors about a trade that won’t happen!?

Roy Halladay: Future Yankee?

Ehhh, no. I don’t think so anyway, though I would love for it to happen.

I have an idea. Let’s play a game! In this game we pretend we are in an alternate universe. The Mets entire team isn’t crippled from the waist down, Chien-Ming Wang isn’t broken,  and the Blue Jays have no qualms about trading Roy Halladay to a team above them in the division. So what might it take for the Yankees to get Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays? Being that they’ve gone through approximately forty starting pitchers this season, they would obviously want a young starter back in exchange for their exceedingly durable ace . They could use a young shortstop to take over for Marco Scutaro in the next year or so. They also need a catcher. The Yankees have prospects in two of those areas, so they certainly could meet the need. One of Wang/Hughes/Chamberlain, along with someone to fill an offensive hole, like CF Austin Jackson or catcher Jesus Montero, and another decent prospect or two would probably be a pretty enticing offer for the Jays.

Back to the real world: Of course, Wang’s value is in the tank right now, which somewhat limits that possibility (along with the fact that he shouldn’t be sold at the absolute bottom of his value). The Jays might want to get a little something more from the Yankees than they would expect from any other team, as a tax of sorts for an intra-divisional trade. On top of that, Cashman might still be keen to keeping both Chamberlain and Hughes.

It likely won’t happen, but even so, if an offer comes in revolving around one of Chamberlain or Hughes (without gutting the ENTIRE farm system), you have to take it. The Yankees are one of the few World Series aspiring teams this season, and Halladay would provide another ace for at least several more seasons (with an extension). If Halladay isn’t the best pitcher in baseball, he is right next to them (and it wouldn’t hurt him to replace a few starts against the Yankees offense each year with the Blue Jays). And even with a trade of one of those young pitchers, you’re still left with several young starters, particularly if Wang rights himsef.

One quick opinion on Wang: He needs a full offseason of conditioning and work. He still has his sinker, just not the location, and he shouldn’t have been working himself out in the major leagues at all until he proved himself worthy in the minors for more than two starts. He will be fine next season, barring any reoccurrences in his foot or other lower leg troubles.

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Roarin’ Good Times

February 15, 2009

Here is the outlook for the coming season: I will of course be on top of everything the Yankees do, and will probably post/bitch/gloat at least once a week, depending on the course of the season. Also, more importantly, every post title from here on out will be dinosaur related. Think I can come up with upwards of fifty dinosaur jokes? WE SHALL SEE.

Now, onto real baseball related musings. Even after the expected departure of Bobby Abreu (to the Angels) last week, the Yankees have quite a bit of depth in the corner outfield positions. Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon are still around, and each is still more than capable of putting up better than league average numbers in left field. If he doesn’t end up in center field, Brett Gardner also provides a great glove and incredible speed, a similar skill set to Jacoby Ellsbury. Last year’s mid-season pickup Xavier Nady is a starting caliber player, and newly acquired Nick Swisher has a career OPS+ of 112. The Nady trade was at best questionable last season, and after picking up Swisher only seems all the more unnecessary. Damaso Marte, also picked up in the Nady trade, could have at least fetched a pair of first round picks (should the Yankees have offered him arbitration and he turned it down), but I will save complaints about that debacle for another evening. Instead, while Nady and Marte are serviceable players, they cost the Yankees a promising and (very) young player in Jose Tabata, who after recovering from a hand/wrist injury finally started putting together a solid string of games in Pittsburgh’s minor league system. The presence of Swisher and the dearth of bullpen arms in the Yankees high minor leagues only further cement the notion that the trade with Pittsburgh was unnecessary. Considering Marte and Nady each got new contracts and raises, and you really wonder what Cash was thinking last Summer, other than that it was time to panic.

Of course, all of that leads to the Yankees current situation, which in all honesty is a good one. Depth is a plus, especially with several players past their prime in the outfield. However, the best course of action at this juncture would be to make a trade to essentially “undo” last season’s version. Sending Nady to a team like Atlanta, Cincinatti or even the Mets (any of whom would likely require eating much of the raise Nady got this season) for a prospect or two would go a long way in repairing the Yankees minor leagues, which suffered in the last year due to a poor draft. Adding an offensive prospect via trade, followed by a strong June draft (the Yankees still retain a first round pick, even after their spending spree on Type A free agents, because they failed to sign last year’s number 1 pick Gerrit Cole) would do a world of good for a system scarce in hitting after Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero.

The Yankees are certainly not in any offensive trouble this season, but Jeter, Posada Damon and Matsui are all going to be gone or displaced to new positions in the next several years, and the way the team handles the minor leagues in the next season and a half is going to be a huge determiner in how the A.L. East standings look for the next decade.

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