Lincecum and arbitration: think big. No, BIGGER

Here’s a wild thing to consider:

One baseball official said this week the folks at Beverly Hills Sports Council and players’ union had discussed the strategic bounds of submitting a bid for $23,000,001. The highest-salaried pitcher, CC Sabathia, plus a dollar. And all that symbolizes. Why shouldn’t the best pitcher get the most money, period? The agency and union declined to comment on the highly secretive process, other than to grant that, yes, Lincecum is a special case. Extremely special.

There’s dreaming big and then there’s BHSC’s dreaming BIG.

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MVP voting gone wrong: "It's My Prerogative"

No, not some 1980’s Bobby Brown song, part of the explanation from SF Giants’ beat writer Andrew Baggardly (Mercury News) on why he opted to give middle reliever Jeremy Affeldt his 10th place NL MVP vote:

Wait, what? OK, OK, this is my ‘sore thumb vote. And no, I can’t really make an airtight case for Affeldt, a middle reliever, as the 10th most valuable player in the league. Especially when I don’t have Tim Lincecum, or any other pitcher for that matter, on my ballot. (Without glancing at Win Shares, I’d have to believe there are many pitchers who rank way above Affeldt.) In choosing Affeldt, I also bypassed several other worthy candidates. For instance, have you noticed there isn’t a single Dodger on my ballot? But hey, this is my prerogative vote. If it were a three- or even five-slot ballot, I wouldn’t dream of making a ‘statement with my final selection. But this is a ballot that goes 10-deep, we all knew Pujols would win in a landslide, and there’s really no impact anyone can make with their final selection. So I think it’s completely harmless to give a tip of the cap to the relief pitcher who had the lowest ERA in the league while appearing almost exclusively in highly leveraged situations. Affeldt was an MVP in the bullpen, all right. He didn’t allow a run from May 8 to July 24 posting 27 scoreless innings over 28 games. He did his job a job of ever-increasing dependency better than anyone else in the NL, and given all the close games the Giants played, he made a huge impact in their final 88-win record.

Seriously? Not Kemp, Ethier, Lincecum, Carpenter, Wainwright… No, but we have Affeldt.

Please, enough of the “statement” votes and just play is straight-up from now on, please.

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Pujols unanimous 2009 NL MVP

Mercifully, we were spared the chest-pounding of the random knucklehead who thought someone else was more worthy than the obviously MVP-tastic Pujols.

IT’S UNANIMOUS!

Let’s just stand back and applaud the genius that is Albert.

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols was a unanimous choice in winning the National League Most Valuable Player Award for the second consecutive season and the third time in his career.

Pujols was listed first on all 32 ballots submitted by two writers in each league city to score a perfect total of 448 points, based on the tabulation system that rewards 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third and on down to one for 10th.

Here’s the results:

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Gammons on Joba, Hughes

Just a quick tidbit from Gammons on Joba, Hughes:

The Yankees are planning to go to spring training with Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain being programmed to start. “They can always go from starting to the bullpen, but it’s tough going the other way,” says Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

Cashman feels David Robertson and Damaso Marte can pitch the seventh and eighth innings in front of Mariano Rivera, but a Yankee run at Lackey, Ben Sheets or another starter hasn’t been ruled out. The feeling inside the Yankees’ offices is that there will be some payroll cutback, but how much is not known.

Sounds about right to me, on paper. Of course, that might change if the Yanks go bargain hunting, as I mentioned here.

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Sign Soriano

Despite Brian Cashman’s recent admission, that the bullpen is not an “area of obvious need,” today Buster Olney (ESPN) writes that the Yankees “No. 1 area of focus, beyond the Damon/Matsui realm: their bullpen. They will look for two relievers, in all likelihood.” This is a strange comment, as the team’s second real need “beyond the Damon/Matsui realm” seems to be fleshing out their rotation (Cashman said as much yesterday), but Olney’s assertion certainly make sense when you consider the relief realities that the Yankees will ultimately have to account for next season. First, if we are to believe that Continue reading Sign Soriano

If not Lackey, then who?

Let’s assume for a moment the following things are/will be true:

  1. Pettitte re-signs with the Yanks
  2. Halladay is not traded to the Yanks
  3. Lackey signs somewhere else besides the Yanks
  4. Wang is non-tendered and leaves to go somewhere else besides the Yanks

Should the Yanks follow the 2009 RedSox model and try the “reclamation route” with starters to fill out the rotation? If so, here are their top options:

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Discussion: Who Would You Trade Montero For?

Jesus Montero has been labelled untouchable by Yankees fans, and he is probably as untouchable as a prospect can be. However, as we have noted on various occasions in this space, no prospect is truly untouchable, as there are almost certainly deals that I would put Montero into. So the task for today is to list the players that you would certainly trade Jesus for, ignoring the fact that the Yankees may be hard pressed to put together a package for many of them. Here is my list: Evan Longoria Justin Verlander Zack Greinke Joe Mauer Felix Hernandez Hanley Ramirez Continue reading Discussion: Who Would You Trade Montero For?

The Yankeeist Interview with River Ave. Blues

While last week’s interviewees, Bronx Banter and RLYW, represented the founding fathers of the Yankee blogosphere, today I bring you the gentlemen behind the most popular and arguably most authoritative Yankee blog running today: River Ave. Blues. Simply put, if you’re a web-savvy Yankee fan you almost certainly know about RAB. I can’t remember exactly when I started reading, but I know it was pretty early on in the site’s existence. Ben Kabak, Joe Pawlikowski and Mike Axisa — each of whom began writing about the Yankees on the web at their own individual sites — do an incredible job Continue reading The Yankeeist Interview with River Ave. Blues