Cashman: Next Step Not Imminent

From Chad Jennings:

“I am definitely not in a position right now where I feel like I’m ready to do anything,” he said. “The next step isn’t ready to happen now, based on my conversations. There shouldn’t be another shoe to drop immediately.”
Cashman has options, and he has little need for urgency. He has to act, obviously, but the past four days have surely eased any need for desperation. Yesterday, Cashman acknowledged having talked to John Lackey’s agent. Today, he acknowledged talking about Ben Sheets. He’s met with the agents for Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. He’s been engaged with multiple trade talks. As soon as something makes sense, he’ll be ready to move.
“Patience can benefit you, (or) it might not,” Cashman said. “You can wait something out and see if it falls in your lap, but by doing that you risk losing something that you want. It’s a little riskier for us to play that game. If we really want something and it fits in our criteria at some point, waiting it out to see if it gets cheaper, I’m not sure that’s the way we go about it.”

As Jennings notes, the number of options still available to fill the Yankees’ remaining holes allow Cashman to be patient and allow the market to develop a bit.… Click here to read the rest

Guest posting: Do the Yanks need Halladay?

That concern about time fading away means the Yankees can look at the Halladay situation a number of ways.

1) We need Halladay to ensure we capitalize on as many chances to win championships as we can.

Acquiring Halladay will mean the loss of at least young catcher Jesus Montero, one of Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, and a few other prospects of lesser consequence. Would that be worth it? The Yankees are old, and keeping the young talent around is of paramount concern. The Yankees would need to be absolutely sure that Roy Halladay is the man they want.

If they want an awesome pitcher, he’s their guy. Since 2006, Halladay’s stats are unbelievable: 930 IP, 3.11 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 4.39 K/BB, 141 ERA+. (source: baseball-reference.com)

All while pitching in the AL East.

Halladay’s flat out terrific. You don’t need someone else to tell you that. But his age might actually be a concern. He’s 32 and will turn 33 on May 14th.… Click here to read the rest

The devil you know (UPDATED: Or the one you don't)

From MLB’s minor league guru Jonathan Mayo, here are a few:

Yohan Pino, RHP, Indians: The 25-year-old had an extremely successful 2009 season across two levels and two organizations. He began the year in Double-A with the Twins, got promoted to Triple-A, then got dealt to the Indians in the Carl Pavano trade. Combined, he went 9-3 with a 2.83 ERA. Over 127 IP, he gave up 110 hits, walked just 29 and racked up 122 strikeouts. Teams have been able to follow his progress in Venezuela this winter and he’s shown the ability to start and relieve.

Matt McBride, C, Indians: Teams like the bat, and for good reason. During the regular season, he hit .287/.340/.489, finishing with 18 homers and 99 RBIs between the Carolina and Eastern leagues. He then went on to hit a torrid .378/.511/.649 in the Arizona Fall League. The only question is about the defense. An American League team that could have him catch a little and DH some might take a shot.Click here to read the rest

Yankees Choose Jamie Hoffmann, Lose Kroenke and K. Teixeira in Rule V Draft

Being at work, I can’t really go into detail about Hoffman. Greg Fertel at Pending Pinstripes, lucky for all of us, has done it for me.

My opinion: Hoffman’s pick screams “right-handed caddy for Granderson” to me. He can play a very good center field, had a good platoon split in 2009, and has the experience to stick to the roster. Basically, he can do everything that Gardner can except swipe bags, and for that reason Brett Gardner’s spot on the roster might be in trouble. For a Rule V pick, even the first overall, that’s a pretty good day.

Zach Kroenke was a bit of a loss, and I wouldn’t have been surprised to see the Yankees pick him with the 1st overall pick. He’ll get lefties out for Arizona, and that’s about it. Luckily for the Yankees, Kroenke will be followed in the system by Wilkins De La Rosa and Michael Dunn, so there isn’t a lot to worry about here.… Click here to read the rest

Ben Sheets wants to get paid

Shortly after I put up yesterday afternoon’s post examining the Yankees’ potential free agent pitching acquisitions, news broke on two of them. Rich Harden has apparently agreed to terms with the Rangers on a one-year, $7.5 million deal (with an $11.5 million option) pending a physical.

This initially feels like a bit of an overpay, as the pervading thought seemed to be that Harden, Ben Sheets and Justin Duchscherer could be had for around $5 million each, but then again it’s not like there was ever only going to be one team in on their services, so it will obviously require some outbidding to land these guys. Plus, even in a down, injury-curtailed year FanGraphs has Harden valued at $8.2 million last year (and $20 (!) million in 2008), so perhaps the Rangers do know what they’re doing.

It was also announced that Ben Sheets is looking for around $12 million, also known as similar to the money he made in his last full season in 2008.… Click here to read the rest

Harden Signs With Texas for 7.5M, Sheets Wants More

From Ken Rosenthal:

The Rangers are putting their savings from the Kevin Millwood trade to good use.

Free-agent right-hander Rich Harden is close to signing a one-year contract with the Rangers, according to a major-league source.

The deal, valued at $7.5 million according to published reports, qualifies as one of the biggest surprises of the winter meetings.

With Harden, Penny, and Pavano all coming in around 7-8 million, one would think that Ben Sheets would come in at a similar price. While he may have the highest upside of that group, he is the only one not to have pitched at all in 2009. However, it seems that Sheets is setting his sights higher (from ESPN):

Sheets, whose agent met with the Rangers on Tuesday, is apparently looking for money similar to what he made his last season in the majors — 2008, which was $12 million.

Brian Cashman has said that he has a short list of pitchers that he would like to pursue to deepen the rotation, and I would be shocked if Sheets is not on that list.… Click here to read the rest

How come no chatter about Verlander, UPDATED

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?

Verlander will be 27 in 2010. He’s got a 65-43 career record, having won 19 games last year, a year after losing 17 (post-season hangovers?, but not the Cabrera kind). He’s started no fewer than 30 games in his first four full years in the Bigs, pitching in 200+ innings the last three years, including 240 IP last year. He lead the AL in strike outs with 269 and finished a respectable 3rd in Cy Young voting.

My checklist:

  • Young? CHECK
  • Durable? CHECK
  • Ability to miss bats? CHECK
  • Bulldog mentality? CHECK
  • Staff ace? CHECK
  • Accountable? CHECK

And he’s still in the arbitration zone, according to Cot’s Contracts.… Click here to read the rest