This sure sounds familar

While it’s certainly tough to create original content relating to the Hot Stove league, reading this from (former Yanks blogfather and current) RedSox blogger Pete Abraham, it just reads eerily similar to what I wrote yesterday. Nooooo, not an accusation of anything unmentionable, but maybe proof that we’re onto something:

Ben Sheets could be the prize pickup in that group. The 31-year-old righthander has not pitched in 14 months because of a torn flexor tendon. Sheets had surgery in February and skipped the entire 2009 season to rehab, working at TMI Sports Medicine in Arlington, Texas.

[…]

Righthander Rich Harden is a similar pitcher, having not thrown more than 148 innings since the 2004 season. He was 9-9 with an unimpressive 4.09 ERA for the Cubs last season and was shut down at the end of the season with assorted aches.

But he has a 3.05 ERA over the last two seasons and 29 more strikeouts than innings pitched in his career. Harden also spent six seasons in Oakland, giving him the American League experience that Penny and Smoltz did not have. The combination of a depressed market and his lack of durability could make Harden an affordable pickup.

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How come no chatter about Verlander?

With the constant yard sale signs and rumors (and zingers) coming out of Detroit, how come we haven’t heard any rumors on Justin Verlander becoming available (if a team was also willing to absorb some of DET’s dead money contracts):

The level to which Detroit is foisting right-hander Edwin Jackson on anybody who will listen – “It’s like they want to give him away,” one executive said, “and I don’t really understand why” – is an indictment on the mismanagement that began showing cracks with Gary Sheffield last spring and has graduated to a full-fledged fault line. The Tigers have six players making eight figures this year: Magglio Ordonez (who turns 36 in January) at $18 million, Miguel Cabrera (hopefully sober for opening day) at $15 million, Carlos Guillen at $13 million and – get ready to gag on a slice of Little Caesars – $34.5 million for Jeremy Bonderman, Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson (combined 2008: 3-8 in 43 games, with a 6.53 ERA and a 57-to-64 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 93 2/3 innings). All but Cabrera are dead money, leaving Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski to pawn off some of his valuable parts, like Jackson and center fielder Curtis Granderson.

Could a big market team —RedSox, Yanks— swoop in and pick up Verlander and some dead money (Willis, Bonderman) for a young MLB ready pitcher (Buchholz, Hughes/Joba) and two or three lower-/mid-level prospects?

If King Felix is the apple of everyone’s eye, shouldn’t Verlander at least be a close second?

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How Did Cano Turn It Around?

Prior to the season, I wrote the following about Robinson Cano’s 2008: Basically, a grounder is less likely to produce an out than a flyball, but outfield flyballs yield more runs. I would argue that Cano’s decline can be found in this point. Cano hit significantly fewer ground balls and more flyballs than he did in years past. Most Yankees fans know that when Cano has everything working, he is hitting line drives and ground balls right back through the middle. The decrease in ground balls definitely hurt him. Furthermore, Cano saw a sharp decrease in HR’s per flyball, suggesting Continue reading How Did Cano Turn It Around?

Halladay rumors heating up

Hot rumor of the morning is that the Red Sox are “putting on a full-court press” to acquire Roy Halladay. Evidently, the Sox want it done before the Winter Meetings kick of December 7th.

OK. I get it. Makes sense. Adding Doc (and a $100 million extension) to Beckett and Lester would make an incredible Top 3, one that could easily vault them back on top of the AL East. The question for me is less about the extension (just about the money, folks) and more about the other costs (the quality and quantity of prospects heading to TOR).

To land Halladay, Boston would likely have to give up Clay Buchholz, the organization’s top young pitcher, as well as Casey Kelly, the pitcher/shortstop who signed with the Red Sox in 2008 after being recruited by Tennessee to play quarterback. Red Sox GM Theo Epstein is said to be smitten with Kelly, which could be a sticking point in talks with Toronto if Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos insists on the 20-year-old being included in a deal.

The Yankees would love to acquire Halladay, although Cashman has been reluctant to deal away top prospects such as Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero for a player he would then have to sign for more than $100 million, such as Halladay. Toronto would also likely require either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain in a deal.

Let’s take a quick trip in the Way Back Machine to what Cashman had to say back in August 2008 about the Johan Santana trade-that-wasn’t:

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Discussion: Who Could You Get For Jesus Montero?

Yesterday we discussed who we might give Jesus Montero up for. Now I want to discuss which of those players the Yankees might be able to get with a package built around Montero. Here is the full list of names, from the original post and the comments: Evan Longoria- unlikely. He’s an all around superstar signed to a team friendly deal. Justin Verlander- I think that you might be able to steal him this offseason with a mega-offer, as IIATMS speculated this morning. Zack Greinke- Never going to happen. Ace pitcher just coming into his own and signed to an Continue reading Discussion: Who Could You Get For Jesus Montero?

Bizarre moves from seasons past: The trading of Mike Lowell

My friend and fellow huge Yankee fan Dave (who comments under Davey) has long maintained that his dream Yankee infield would have been an all-homegrown group of Jorge Posada at catcher, Derek Jeter at short, Nick Johnson at first, Alfonso Soriano at second and Mike Lowell at third. With talk of Nick Johnson possibly returning to the Yankees, I started thinking about Lowell — who, incidentally and unsurprisingly has been made available by the Red Sox — not because I want him now (does anybody?), but because the unceremonious dumping of Lowell in 1999 is one of the stranger moves Continue reading Bizarre moves from seasons past: The trading of Mike Lowell

Red Sox Hot For Halladay, and What It Means For The Yankees

From the Daily News: A source told the Daily News that the Red Sox are “putting on a full-court press” to acquire Halladay, hoping to add the former Cy Young winner to the top of their rotation to go with Josh Beckett and Jon Lester. “They would love to get it wrapped up before the Winter Meetings,” the source said of the Red Sox. If the Red Sox make a serious push for Halladay, can it be very long before the Yankees get involved? Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos seems willing to deal Halladay within the division, but it will take Continue reading Red Sox Hot For Halladay, and What It Means For The Yankees

2009 Season in Review: The Outfield and Designated Hitter

This is the fifth in a series of five Yankeeist 2009 Season in Review recaps. Please be sure to check out 2009 Season in Review: The Infield, 2009 Season in Review: Starting Pitchers, 2009 Season in Review: The Bullpen and 2009 Season in Review: The Bench if you haven’t already done so. If there’s been one offensive constant across Yankee teams of the last 15 years, it’s been a highly productive infield. Not that the Yankees have had lousy-hitting outfielders by any stretch — although they haven’t fielded 100-OPS+-or-higher guys at all three outfield positions since 2004 — but the Continue reading 2009 Season in Review: The Outfield and Designated Hitter