2011 chatter gaining volume

Rosenthal on Girardi:

Girardi has not distinguished himself these past few weeks, but the Yankees’ split personality also reflects the input of GM Brian Cashman. The Yankees are more concerned with keeping their players healthy than winning the division title, and Cashman does not apologize for it.

As for Girardi’s future, some in the industry believe that he has irritated the Yankees’ front office and ownership by refusing to rule out the possibility of going to the Cubs. But such is not the case.

Girardi and his little black binder have been a major cause for consternation around the Yankosphere lately. Girardi has every right to refuse to rule out any potential future employer, particularly when his current employer will not discuss his 2011 role until after the season is complete. I’d like to have him back but if he goes to Chicago, I’ll put my Ivan Drago face on.

Alex Speier of WEEI touched on some Yanks stuff as well:

The emergence of those two outfielders in 2010 – Gardner all year, Granderson in the second half – has reshaped the Yankees, both this year and perhaps into the offseason. Their performances could have a great deal to do with what happens to the Red Sox this coming offseason.

Outfielders Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth represent the prize position players of the free-agent class. The Yankees had been widely expected to spend liberally in order to acquire the services of one of those players.

Yet given the skill sets of left fielder Gardner, center fielder Granderson and right fielder Nick Swisher, the Yankees may well exercise restraint in any exploration of a deal for an outfielder.

Widely expected” by those not really watching this team day in, day out.  I think most Yankee watchers have realized for some time now that Cliff Lee was the big fish and that Cashman will not look to replace Granderson with someone 2x his salary, given the pending contracts to Jeter, Mo, etc. I said as much just the other day. The only outside chance I see is if someone is willing to pay full ride for Granderson, and even then…I just don’t see it. Some folks believe Cashman needs Granderson’s 2nd half to spill over to the post-season and 2011 to validate the trading of Austin Jackson. Me, not so much.

Speier adds some supporting data:

Swisher earned an All-Star berth. He is now hitting .288/.360/.512/.872 with 28 homers and 88 RBI. Granderson started slowly, then was sidelined by injuries, but is enjoying a strong finishing kick (he has eight homers and an OPS over 1.000 in September) to bring his season totals to .251/.326/.469/.795 with 23 homers.

Gardner, meanwhile, has emerged into a valuable weapon, with excellent on-base skills and tremendous speed that impacts the Yankees both on the bases and in the outfield. He is hitting .276/.382/.376/.758 with 42 steals, with the 26-year-old exceeding the Yankees’ expectations of what he might do in an everyday role. His OBP nearly matches that of Werth (.385) and exceeds Crawford’s (.360).

I’d personally like to see Gardner slide into CF and Granderson to LF, but we’ll wait on that debate until we know if Girardi is back with his Cubs or remains in pinstripes.

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11 thoughts on “2011 chatter gaining volume

  1. Granderson is vastly underappreciated in the Bronx, so far.  Having married into a family of Michiganders, I saw first-hand how sad Tigers fans were to see him go.  He was my father-in-law’s favorite Tiger — “He just LOOKS like a ballplayer,” he would say, and who can argue with that?

    Granderson is far too good of a hitter, not to mention a person, to be treated as a one-year Pinstripes rental.  Having chosen to trade for him, the Yankees owe him time to shine. 

  2. Well, I sure hope A.J. improves.  Since it looks like we don't have much choice in the matter.


    But all this talk about the outfield – sure, Crawford and Werth would be nice, but they're not a lot more than horizontal moves – until we find reliable replacements for Javy and Burnett, its just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.  Sure – its something to do, but pretty much pointless in relation to the big picture.

  3. What I really want to know, what I’d like to have answered, is WHAT do the Yankees do with Burnett and his contract?  There is still a lot I don’t know – can we release him?  And if we do, and he’s picked up, who’s responsible for the last 50 mil?  Can we do like the Mets, and hope to catch him in some kind of morals charge, and then dump him?
    I know – grasping at straws – but going forward, he looks to be the Yankees worst problem in 2011, 12, and perhaps even 13.  Tho by then, Jeter, Alex, and even CC could be competing for the position of boat anchor.  The Yankees can’t really afford to trot him out every five days for the next three years, can they?

  4. Jon, it's funny, back in May we were talking about how the Yanks' strength this year WAS starting pitching.  Now it looks like we've got CC and Phil Hughes, then we pray a lot.  Hopefully Pettitte regains his form for the post-season, but if we're considering the future, Pettitte does not promise to be around much longer … and we have to plan in case Pettitte breaks down again mid-season.


    I think that this change in the state of Yankees affairs changes the way the Yanks will approach the post-season.  I agree, given what's happened to Burnett and Javy, neither Crawford nor Werth seem like priorities to me.  The priority is: even if we add Cliff Lee, we seem to fall short of a reliable 2011 rotation.  I don't know if the Yankees are willing to open up the vault right before the negotiation of the next CBA, but aren't you tempted to at least take a look at Yu Darvish?

  5. Jon, sure, the Yanks could release Burnett and be stuck with the $49.5 million left on his contract.  They could trade him, either for another player with a huge contract and low productivity, or in a deal where they agree to pay a (large) portion of his contract to the team that takes him.  Or we can hope that Burnett turns things around in 2011, which strikes me as the most likely scenario.
    Jason, good post!  I think the Yanks will want to keep payroll as low as possible going into next year’s negotiation of the new collective bargaining agreement.  If the Yanks dramatically increase payroll, there will be renewed calls for a more punitive luxury tax.  A few extra dollars of 2011 payroll may cost the Yankees a lot more down the road.  I don’t think this concern will affect what they pay for Cliff Lee, or Derek Jeter, but it may be enough to convince the team to give Grandy another year in CF or LF.

  6. Look at Yu?  Sure – why not?  Pay Igawa type money to get him – not so sure about that.  Weren't you the one warning me about the perils of young pitchers? ;)


    But yes – I'm constantly in "discussions" with fellow Yankee fans who are screaming that we should have grabbed Oswalt, or even other, lesser and older pitchers.  It gets tiresome, seeing all the teams playing us and trotting out guys they've brought up – I know, SSS and all, but they always seem to do well.  Where our AAA "stars" – and look where it has gotten us.  One starter, an unpredictable short man, and a lot of trade bait.


    Maybe we can trade Igawa back to the Japanese team that owns Darvish.

  7. Speaking of young pitchers, any one wanna take back that Javy Vazquez deal?  The kid we traded away for Javy just put up a 2.74 ERA with a 6.58 k/bb ratio.  He's only 19, so who knows.  Still, he's more valuable than a 0 WAR starting pitcher…

  8. Jon, remind your “fellow Yankee fans” how Cashman scored in a big way with K. Wood.  From everything I read, the Yankees have assembled an EXTREMELY talented group of young pitchers in the minors … now let them get their experience in the minors so we’re not juggling different versions of the “Joba Rules” with half of our starting rotation.  Also, none of the minor league guys seem major league ready, with the exception of Nova, who looks like a 6th starter to me.  But come 2012 or 2013, I think we’re going to have some cool young guns in the rotation.  (Remember, we’re the Yankees, and we have to win this year and next year and every year.)
    I haven’t looked, but I assume that Darvish will be made available like Dice-K was made available: cash bids to his Japanese team, then negotiate with Darvish himself.  I imagine the Yankees will submit a bid, probably on the low side.  Yes, young pitchers will break your heart, but I’d rather have a young pitcher break my heart than A.J.

  9. I'm all for not trading Granderson and focusing first on Lee in the FA market, but if the Yankees don't pursue Crawford, who plays DH?

    I don't think that Crawford should be the DH (my personal vote would be Swisher), but if we don't pursue a hitter in free agency and hold the line on payroll, how does this play out? Jorge as the main contributor in a rotating DH scheme?

    Burnett's had a terrible year, but the Yankee offense can support a mediocre starting pitcher (particularly one who can eat innings when he pitches well, which AJ does half the time). If Andy retires, a rotation of CC/Lee/AJ/Hughes/Nova doesn't worry me, and if Andy returns, a rotation of CC/Lee/AJ/Andy/Hughes is one I find exciting.

    If he stinks up the joint next year, it'll be easier to trade him/give up when he has two years/33M remaining on his contract.

    And by the by, why can't we afford both Lee and Crawford? Given the amount of money coming off at the end of this year, couldn't we sign both and only increase payroll by about $10M? By Yankee standards, that's downright restrained.

  10. If the Yanks are spending money on the lineup (which they should not, as most everyone here agrees), I'd like to see a left side of the infield guy.  There are a couple of candidates for that DH spot over there who are going to be Yankees a long, long, long time.

  11. Grandy is a cat out in center.

    I know he has had his issues at the plate.  But I love his abilities in the field, and he comes across as a team player!

    He has improved at the plate as stated, and I would hope that they do not trade him either.  He is a quality player all around.