Yes, a less fly-ball prone pitcher in Yankee Stadium is a good thing, generally speaking. Yes, a guy who is a near lock to make 34 starts a season is good to have, but 34 CRAPPY starts is not so good. And you know what, AJ Burnett hasn’t hit the DL during his Yankees tenure either, so despite all initial fears of him being an injury-risk, he’s taken the ball every time (with mixed results, like 70/30 bad/good, using the eyeball test only. Am I being too generous?).
Let’s peek at Lowe’s 2011 season, because really, it’s pretty awful:
Is there anything on the tables above that make you excited, in a good way? League-leading loss totals don’t come purely via bad luck and neither do ERA’s over 5 in the NL. Of course, looking at AJ’s 2011 season and their equally craptastic:
The point of Davidoff’s trade idea is to essentially prepay Burnett’s last year (in the $15M Yanks would send to Atlanta; see below) and swap headaches. If you look at the numbers above, they are strikingly similar in ugliness. Sure, the HR allowed jumps out (14:31) as a huge difference, but I will always lean towards the guy who can at least strike out some guys to get himself out of trouble versus the guy who needs his infield defense to save him from the balls put in play. Let’s face it, each of these guys made the batters they faced look statistically speaking like Jimmy Rollins.
Onto Davidoff’s rationale:
Why would the Braves do it? Because they’ve been looking to unload Lowe since shortly after they signed him to a four-year, $60-million contract. Because they liked Burnett enough three years ago to offer him a significant contract, only to finish second to the Yankees. Because, assuming the Yankees throw in enough money – let’s say $5 next year to provide some relief from their current commitment of $15 million to Lowe and then another $10 million for 2013, in return for the Braves throwing in a second-tier prospect – the Braves would assume minimal risk in return for a pitcher who, whatever else you want to say about him, has become a workhorse.
So why would the Yanks want to trade a frustrating workhorse for an equally frustrating workhorse, and pay another team for this right? I dunno other than to get out of the deal one year early.
Why would the Braves do this deal? To add on another year of contractual obligation, even if it’s been essentially paid for, at least over two seasons? No. Because they want to give up any prospect at all? No. Frankly, I have no idea why the Braves would do this, unless they truly believe that AJ Burnett would recapture his 2008 magic back in the NL.
If Cashman asked for Lowe and a 2nd-tier prospect for Burnett and $15 mil, I’m pretty sure Wren would hang up on him.
I just don’t see this idea floating too long.
Amazingly enough, I don’t think this was the worst idea on the page.
This is (emphasis mine):
DH . We sort of went over this: DeJesus, Montero, A-Rod, Jeter, Teixeira.
Put all of this together, and let’s call this your starting lineup against righties: Gardner LF, Jeter SS, Cano 2B, Granderson CF, Rodriguez 3B, Teixeira 1B, Swisher RF, Martin C, DeJesus DH. With a bench of Montero, Nunez, Laird (or a replacement) and a player to be determined.
Then you plug in Montero against lefties, get Nunez and Laird (or a replacement) enough starts and you’re good to go. If you plan for injuries to A-Rod and Jeter, you realize that you’ll find plenty of playing time for Nunez and Laird, and Montero should get starts against righties, too.
Whooooa boy. You want to sign David DeJesus to effectively be the RHP platoon DH, using Jesus Montero only to face LHP as the DH, other than serving as backup catcher? Oh wait, you then say that Montero should “get starts against righties, too.”? Wait, which is it? Because earlier in the article, Ken notes:
But Montero clearly needs to get in the lineup regularly, either at catcher or at DH. He’s the best internal option for an offensive upgrade.
Montero MUST play significant amounts of time next year. If he’s going to platoon or be Joba’d around, just trade the guy already. Give the kid a chance to fulfill his potential. Yes, DeJesus would be a nice Andruw Jones replacement, but not to receive anything CLOSE to the majority of AB’s as a DH. We need those AB’s to help spell ARod and Jeter, and even Teixeira every now and then. Jesus, not DeJesus. Thank you.
Scanning back up Davidoff’s page, he weighs in on why DeJesus might be amenable to coming to NY:
I think DeJesus might be amenable to such a setup because of his New York/New Jersey roots and because he has spent virtually his entire major-league career playing for terrible teams. If he’s sold on the notion of a one-year “pillow” contract , as Scott Boras termed it when Adrian Beltre signed a one-year deal with Boston, then the arrangement could boost his brand in the Bronx.
Except that’s a glorious logicfail (lolgic?). Beltre signed to be the starting 3B, not a platoon DH, sometimes OF. DeJesus will do nothing for his “brand in the Bronx” other than to cement himself as either a “good player/starter on bad teams” or “a nice role/bench player on good teams”. Either way, that’s not going to boost his earnings potential. Might extend his career and earn him some playoff cash and if all goes well, a ring, but that’s about it.
As for Ken’s idea about trading for John Danks… provided the cost isn’t one of the top prospects, I’m good with that.