If Pettitte tries the staredown, BLINK

I have a great affection for Andy Pettitte. HGH issues aside, he’s a battler, a gamer and seems to be a pretty solid family guy. Yes, asking to push aside the HGH use is tough when making a case, but given his elbow injury history, I can see why he’d look that way. Not excusing him, but I get it.

And that’s sort of my point: If Pettitte really pushes the Yanks/Cashman into a staredown, I’d hope that Cashman blinks first and lets him return to Houston (or wherever, but logically it’d be his home town of Houston).

Meanwhile, the Yankees want to wait on Mussina before they entertain Andy Pettitte’s offer to come back. There are rumblings that Pettitte wants a two-year deal, and that won’t be happening with the Yankees, who would ask Pettitte to accept a one-year offer in the neighborhood of $10 million. Pettitte made $16 million each of the past two years.

Pettitte hasn’t even filed for free agency yet, but when he does, and if this staredown is still going on with between Pettitte and the Yankees, expect the Astros to try to bring Pettitte back to his hometown. The Astros, from owner Drayton McLane to manager Cecil Cooper to ace Roy Oswalt, are very fond of Pettitte. It’s a saga on which to keep an eye.

His elbow history, his decline in 2008, his desire for a multi-year committment are all reasons enough to let him return to the NL to enjoy his final playing years.

I’ll cheer like a madman whenever he returns for Old Timer’s Day or as a Spring Training Special Instructor. But I’m tabling my nostalgia for the sake of improving this team, something the Yanks have historically been loathe to do (and something the RedSox excel at; Damon, Pedro, maybe even Varitek). Continue reading If Pettitte tries the staredown, BLINK

Matsui/Cano/Holliday rumor

The Hot Stove is a better place with Tim Dierkes on the prowl. Via MLBTradeRumors, Tim brings us this juicy Matsui/Cano/Holliday rumor from Yahoo’s Tim Brown (got all that?):

One source mentioned a potential three-way deal that would send outfielder Hideki Matsui from the New York Yankees to the Seattle Mariners for a pitching prospect, perhaps Ryan Rowland-Smith. The Yankees would package the prospect with second baseman Robinson Cano and another young player to the Rockies for Matt Holliday.

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Continue reading Matsui/Cano/Holliday rumor

What to say before you're traded

From agent Barry Axelrod:

“Jake grew up dreaming of playing in pinstripes…”

Of course he did. Just like every other free agent signed by or player traded to the Yanks. They all have that dream. It must be part of Agenting 101. Announce that you have always dreamed of this day, putting on the pinstripes. Blah, blah, blah.

The best part of Axelrod’s partial statement above is captured in the totality of his quote below (emphasis mine):

“Jake grew up dreaming of playing in pinstripes, but he has a strong preference to stay in the National League,” Axelrod said. “He’s a good hitter — he was the most potent part of the Padres’ offense at times this year — and he knows the hitters in the National League. But, Jake’s strongest preference is to not be traded.”

Let’s giggle over that, let it roll around your noggin for a few moments: Jake Peavy, NL Cy Young caliber pitcher, the most potent part of the Padres lineup. OK, we know that’s not true (hello Adrian Gonzalez?) but the fact that his agent had the gusto to even suggest it just gives you a hint how badly that team needs offense. Continue reading What to say before you're traded

Yanks interested in everyone

Very busy morning (and afternoon!) for me today so to synthesize the scuttlebutt coming out of the GM meetings in Dana Point, CA: The Yanks are in on everyone.

There you have it. It’s amazing what $88 million buring a hole in your pocket can do to your sense of rationality.

Continue reading Yanks interested in everyone

Manos de piedra

With all due respect to Roberto Duran, it seems, according to uber-stat overlord Bill James (and his Fielding Bible), that Derek Jeter is set to claim that moniker for himself.

“Given every vector and every type of hit, they assigned a percentage probability that the ball would result in an out, and then they had analyzed the outcomes to determine who was best at turning hit balls into outs. One of their conclusions was that Derek Jeter was probably the least effective defensive player in the major leagues, at any position.”

Naturally, Jeter shrugged it off. Then probably took his latest supermodel to dinner while showing off his four W.S. rings and nine digit bank account. He had this to say last spring training when a Penn University study released in February found Jeter to be the worst shortstop in the majors.

“Maybe it was a computer glitch,” Jeter told The Post during spring training. “Every [shortstop] doesn’t stay in the same spot, every one doesn’t have the same pitching. Every one doesn’t have the same hitters running. It’s impossible to do that.”

All that being said, I think Jeter opens the 2010 season somewhere other than SS. And, by the way, that’s his last year of his 10 year, $180 million contract. Get ready for the armageddon.

Continue reading Manos de piedra

Yanks add Mitre via "Lieber" deal

Here’s my set-up on this story:

Yesterday, I was bonkers busy at work. I managed to get a few posts up early but my afternoon was an absolute train wreck. Stress, pressure, late night. Close to 5pm, I get an email from old buddy Matt Sosnick, agent extraordinaire. He asked me if I was free to chat. Under almost any other circumstances, I would have dropped everything to take his call but yesterday was different and I let him know. So he asks me if I saw the “Mitre news”, which I clearly hadn’t. He then sent me the link alerting me to the fact that Mitre signed with the Yanks.

I will try to catch up with him today to see if I can dig a bit deeper on this.

As far as the signing itself, I think this is an solid acquisition. It’s precisely what I’d call the “Jon Lieber” deal, the low base for the recovery year with a team option for the following year. [I thought the Yanks should have done this with Dotel, but there was no team option, which was a mistake.] Mitre has shown flashes of greatness goodness followed by periods of mediocraty. However, his injury might have been a contributing factor.

A sinkerballer, Mitre was especially effective early in 2007. In May of that year, he was 2-0 with a 1.12 ERA in 40 1/3 innings. As the season progressed, however, he dealt with fatigue, and his second-half statistics suffered. In 12 starts after the All-Star break, he was 2-4 with a 7.27 ERA.

Mitre’s 28, prime pitching age. With solid training, conditioning and the latest recuperative methods, we’ll probably see him return to the ‘pen in 2009, with a chance as a starter in 2010. At the very least, he’s a big guy (6’4″, 210 lbs) who could become a useful part of the rotation (or bullpen) in 2010.

I like this deal. Continue reading Yanks add Mitre via "Lieber" deal

Surprise, surprise!

Well, maybe not since I’ve been claiming it for ages: Peavy will agree to waive his NTC to come to two AL teams: Angels and Yanks. Now, it’s a nice insurance policy in case the Yanks are shut out on other FA SP pursuits…. or it’s a throat-stomper if they do get CC and decide to go ahead and deal for Peavy, too.

Towers said that the five NL teams — the Braves, Cubs, Dodgers, Cardinals and Astros — remain Peavy’s preferred destinations, but Towers said Peavy also expressed a willingness to consider the Angels and Yankees should it be impossible for Towers to find an equitable deal with one of the NL clubs he likes.

I guess we’re not so far down on his list as we thought just yesterday.

(Thanks to themarksmith for the tip) Continue reading Surprise, surprise!


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We're down on his list, but….

If there’s nothing much better brewing for Padres GM Kevin Towers, he might approach my boy Jake about re-considering donning the pinstripes:

While the Yankees aren’t in Peavy’s preferred National League, the idea isn’t completely wacky.

Playing with (Derek) Jeter, playing for the pinstripes,” Towers said, the idea rumbling around to give him a New York state of mind. “It’s down the list; he wants to stay in the National League.”

But if that doesn’t work out, we maybe go back to them and ask them if they would consider New York.”

The Yankees possess two things that the Padres seek: money and prospects. If the Steinbrenners give Peavy some green, and send some green players to San Diego, who knows?

It’s probably the only American League team Jake would consider. He talks with Derek Jeter all the time,” the Encinitas-based Axelrod said. “He said to me at one point, ‘Gosh, every kid growing up dreams about the pinstripes.’ “

And I jokingly noted a week or two back that the Yanks should send country-raised guys like Moose to chat with Peavy (yes, it’d be tampering) to let him know the city ain’t always big and bad. Turns out maybe Jeter’s been doing that all along.

While it was meant to cause some bile-rumbling for the normally placid San Diegans, it sounded quite nice to me:

The crowd settles into the seats at the new Yankee Stadium, as legendary public address announcer Bob Sheppard clears his golden throat.

Your attention, please, ladies and gentleman,” booms Sheppard’s deep voice, filling the South Bronx air. “Pitching for the Yankees, Jake Peavy.”

Quite nice, indeed.

Continue reading We're down on his list, but….