Why Trading Jesus Montero and Hughes/Chamberlain for Halladay Is A Bad Idea

[image title=”jesus piece (3)” size=”full” id=”13107″ align=”center” ]Rumors still place the Yankees in the hunt for Roy Halladay. The Blue Jays want Jesus Montero, one of Hughes or Chamberlain, and lesser prospects for the star pitcher. Following the trade of Ian Kennedy and Austin Jackson, this would leave the Yankee farm system almost completely barren of top-end, near-MLB talent.

Roy Halladay is a fantastic pitcher, maybe a Hall of Famer, but he is also 33 years old. He is not a long term solution at the position, and carries with him plenty of injury risk as he becomes a baseball senior citizen. A trade for him would fill the classic Yankees trade: trade lots of long term value for short term value. And this is a terrible idea.

The Yankees are finally running their organization the right way. Their farm system is starting to produce high-quality major league talent. Their major league roster is, for the first time since 2004, completely devoid of albatross contracts (although Alex Rodriguez’s deal has the potential to become one) that bothered them for so long.… Click here to read the rest

Gardner attracting interest

Bobby Jenks

You heard me. Big, oft-criticized, hard-throwing closer. Plus-sized. And the Sox aren’t happy about it:

If he’s upset that it’s continuously brought up, then he should work on it and get it to where it’s not an issue,” said [Kenny] Williams, speaking about Jenks’ conditioning prior to the hurler’s last round of comments but following the closer’s October remarks.

It is an issue. I’ve told him this directly to his face,” said Williams, without hesitation. “If he’s going to have an extended career of effectiveness at a high level, like he certainly is capable of doing, then he has to take better care of himself.”

[…]

When asked if this conditioning question could have played a role in Jenks’ slight struggles, Williams once again held little back.

Well, I don’t know,” Williams said. “It comes into question when you are not in the best shape you can be in, now doesn’t it?” If [Jenks] doesn’t like that, I don’t really care if he doesn’t like that.… Click here to read the rest

The Big Redhead misses the point

Dan is more than annoyed that the current administration is setting the fans expectations for a down year, much like 2006, as the team was/is in a transition phase. Dan believes that the Sox should be more Yankee-like (my words, not his) and just spend, spend, spend because after all, the fans sell out Fenway every game, pay the highest ticket prices, etc.:

it’s nice that Theo has a passion for player development, but asking fans to take a year off is outrageous. Henry is a billionaire and the Sox are making bundles of money. If you don’t believe that, call their partners at Ace Ticket and try to score a few tickets.

Red Sox fans love their team unconditionally. For eight seasons, Henry and Co. returned the love, rebuilding Fenway and overtaking/embarrassing the Yankees.

Now the Yankees are back on top and it feels like the Sox – happy with their trendy, ever-filled ballpark – are giving up.Click here to read the rest

The Non-Tender Candidates

The deadline to tender contracts to arbitration eligible is tomorrow, as any eligible player not offered a contract immediately becomes a free agent. Matt at Fack Youk took a look at the 4 Yankee candidates (Wang, Gaudin, Mitre, and Cabrera), and concluded that Chien MIng Wang would be the only one to go. He says:

Wang is universally regarded as a goner. The Yankees do not want to offer him arbitration and play him more than the $5M he made in 2009 after he’s missed nearly the entirety of the past two seasons. Wang started a throwing program last week, and his agent claims he won’t be far behind other pitchers in spring training, stating he’ll be ready to pitch by May 1st. Still, the Yankees don’t figure it wise to commit the money to Wang given his injury history – including three shoulder injuries now – his poor performance last year and the uncertainty that surrounds him moving forward. I’ll be sad to see him go.

Click here to read the rest

A rotating DH is simply not an acceptable option

.422
.408
.428
.426

What are these, you may be asking yourself? Why, they’re Nick Johnson’s OBPs from his last four fully healthy seasons (2003, 2005, 2006, 2009). Can you believe the Yankees traded a .422 on-base percentage (in addition to Juan Rivera and Randy Choate) for Javier Vazquez? At the time I didn’t think much of it, but now it kinda blows me away.

OK, so Nick the Stick has had some difficulty staying healthy over the years, but given that he’s available for only money, the Yankees have a need at DH, and if you take him off the field he should be far less likely to injure himself, I am going to continue to bang the drum for an N the S return to pinstripes. Especially when Brian Cashman is quoted as saying something like the following:

As per Tyler Kepner, Brian Cashman has discussed the flood of free agent designated hitters on the market and the Yankees’ existing options at the D.H.… Click here to read the rest

Gardner Garnering Interest From White Sox, Royals

With the Yankees suddenly flush with outfielders and likely to add another bat before the end of the offseason, clubs are moving in on Brett Gardner as a cheap, reasonably productive option for their open center field jobs. From MLBTR:

Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times hears from a scout familiar with the situation that the White Sox covet Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner. The Yankees, who just acquired Curtis Granderson, have extra outfielders so the White Sox and Royals have inquired on Gardner.

I’m not sure about the Royals, but I do have one name picked out on the White Sox. Lefty reliever Matt Thornton had a stellar year, his second consecutive good year after muddling through his first 4 seasons in the majors. He is 32, so the Yankees would be trading a young CF’er for a guy on the wrong side of 30, but Thornton is a better fit for the Yankees over the next two seasons, as he would fit nicely in the slot held by Phil Hughes in 2009.… Click here to read the rest

Red Sox ready to fold?

Sorry to cite this, but, via Dan Shaughnessy (Boston Gobe):

In an e-mail to the Globe’s Amalie Benjamin last month Henry explained that the Sox might not be as good this year, writing, “Those reali ties are a function of available talent and age-related transitioning once again, as we did prior to 2007.’’

Tuesday at the winter meetings in Indianapolis, Epstein hammered at the same theme with “we’re kind of in a bridge period. We still think that if we push some of the right buttons, we can be competitive at the very highest levels for the next two years. But we don’t want to compromise too much of the future for that competitiveness during the bridge period.’’

If the Red Sox don’t add an offensive piece to left field — for instance, if they choose not to resign Jason Bay or sign Matt Holliday — will they be able to compete with the Yankees for AL East supremacy next season?… Click here to read the rest

More Ben Sheets chatter

From 2002-04, Sheets was an ironman, starting 34 games each season. Then the injury bug sunk its teeth into him, resulting in a games started progression that reads: 22, 14, 24, 31, 0. Zero last year.

His career stats remain quite good with 3.72 ERA, 115 ERA+, 7.6 K/9 IP, 1.201 WHIP, 3.85 K/BB.

Is Sheets all that different than Harden? What’s the risk here? Dollars? That’s it? Well heck, that’s the advantage of having the biggest yacht in the marina. The Yanks would be wise to consider adding Sheets (or Harden) as the cost/benefit analysis is tilted vastly in their favor. If either gets hurt, as we could almost expect, all that is lost is cash and that’s the one thing this team has in ample supply. But if he returns to form, you got yourself a bargain and this team needs pitching, as it always does.

Would you feel comfortable offering a guaranteed $7-10 million contract to Sheets, despite him not pitching AT ALL in 2009?… Click here to read the rest