I’d Rather Not Dye

Hey, everybody. Before I get started, let me “introduce” myself. For those of you who don’t recognize my name, I’m Matt Imbrogno and I wrote for Bronx Baseball Daily for the last few months. Anyway, thanks to Moshe for bringing me on here and I look forward to writing for the audiences here at TYU. On to the writing…

In a recent article, Bryan Hoch suggested both Mark DeRosa and Jermaine Dye as possible left field options if the Yankees stick to their guns and determine that Johnny Damon is too pricey. There are a few reasons to dislike both players. Let’s roll with DeRosa to start.

First, Buster Olney tweeted today that DeRosa is leaning towards accepting an offer from the Giants for two years and $12MM. It’s doubtful that the Yankees would want to match, let alone exceed that offer. It’s arguable that one year of DeRosa is too much, especially at $6MM. Second, I think DeRosa loses a good amount of his value as a full-time LF.… Click here to read the rest

Thinking About Brian Cashman

During one of the various discussions that took place on this site yesterday, commenter MJ made an important observation about Brian Cashman that I would like to highlight. The comment is taken out of its original context, so some of it may not be entirely relevant, but the general gist of it is clear:

First of all, no one proclaims him a genius. He’s a good, competent GM that has done a very good job since getting complete control over baseball operations in November 2005.
Second, considering the farm system he inherited was completely barren because he didn’t have control over the scouting/drafting process, it’s no surprise that the Yanks had to go the free agent route for a number of years until their system could start producing enough players to plug into holes or used for trades.
Third, you dismiss the players I listed as “nice moves” but completely ignore the fact that Wells was the team’s best starter in 1998 and that Clemens was the team’s best pitcher from ‘99-’03.

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Options in left field

The Yankees traded Melky Cabrera for Javier Vazquez, and in so doing addressed their one glaring weakness: a 4th starting pitcher. The move meant the team was parting ways with a home-grown, fan-favorite, but the trade has been described as a slam dunk. Vazquez doesn’t need to be a rotation leader for the Yankees, only a back of the rotation guy who can give them the league average in performance and eat some innings. He’s better than that.

The only problem is that the team traded away its main option in left field. I’ve hypothesized that this trade was a gift to Johnny Damon, but its being reported he still wants more than the team (or any team) is willing to pay. Has the Brett Gardner era begun?

Many Yankee fans just screamed “god no!” at the computer screen. Are they right? Gardner was a blank slate, even last year. He appeared in 108 games, but only had 284 plate appearances.
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Yanks should check in on Ryan Church

Today, during the Nick Johnson conference call, Brian Cashman was asked about how he and the front office will address the Yankees’ current void in left field. He answered, “It won’t be a big-name situation, I can promise you that.” Thus, unless the Yankees are willing to utilize Brett Gardner on an everyday basis — personally, I have trouble believing that they are willing to do that — it appears as though Cashman could look for another trade or, as Tyler Kepner noted, instead, he could sift through “several lower-tier free agents.” Perhaps one of the “lower-tier free agents” the Yankees might turn to for outfield help is former Nat/Met/Brave, Ryan Church.

Church, 31, is an intriguing left-handed hitter. He hit .271/.348/.463 while with the Nationals from 2004 through 2007. Church collected only 35 home runs as a National, however, he seemed on the brink of at least a modest power outburst as he hit 43 doubles and 15 homers in 2007 (in cavernous RFK Stadium).… Click here to read the rest

Yanks interested in Reed Johnson for LF?

As the Yankees attempt to patch together their outfield after their most recent acquisition, in Tyler Kepner’s latest, we learn of the team’s left field plan going forward. The NY Times scribe writes that the Yankees are “not interested at all in the free agents Jason Bay and Matt Holliday,” two outfielders that simply do not fit the Yankees’ current payroll. Instead, given their decision to employ financial restraint this winter, the Yankees are interested in “several lower-tier free agents,” notes Kepner, including the “veteran Reed Johnson,” who is a career .282/.344/.411 hitter.

Johnson, at 33, is a right-hander with a knack for knocking southpaws (career .841 OPS against, versus a .707 OPS against righties). He established himself as a mediocre hitter and an excellent corner outfielder while manning left field (his career UZR/150 in left is 23.3) with the Blue Jays from 2003 to 2006. In 2007, however, lower back issues — a herniated disc and surgery to correct the issue — hurt both his offensive and defensive contributions.… Click here to read the rest

Montero 5th on BA's Top Prospect List

From John Manuel:

Why he’s here: The minors’ best hitter, Montero gets compared to Mike Piazza as a catcher whose hitting tools far outstrip his defense. The Yankees don’t see him as Jorge Posada’s heir because his defense is on par with Piazza’s or worse.
What he’ll be: Because he’s likely to move out from behind the plate, Montero should be a first baseman or DH primarily. Other ex-catchers with premium bats such as Paul Konerko and Carlos Delgado leap to mind.
When he arrives: New York’s offseason moves will dictate whether Montero spends all season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre or moves up to the big leagues as a part-time catcher and DH.

For more on Jesus, here is BP’s Kevin Goldstein:

The Good: Simply put, Montero is one of the best offensive prospects in the game, and possibly the best. He’s a massive slugger with the contact skills of a batting champion, with one scout classifying his ability to put the middle of the barrel on the ball “almost supernatural.” His raw power is at or near the top of the charts—and he’s just starting to tap into it.

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