Thursday Ramblings

As we wind down Spring Training and approach Opening Day, we’re really just going through motions. At this point, we’re just hoping that no one else gets hurt. And, of course, there is a chance that Derek Jeter will miss Opening Day. Great. Let’s officially start the rambling there.

If Jeter is out for Opening Day, that is going to be one hell of a lineup in a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad way. What could it look like? Let’s assume they’re facing Boston’s lefty, Jon Lester.

1. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
2. Eduardo Nunez, SS
3. Melky Mesa, CF/LF (justification here)
4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Juan Rivera, 1B
6. Ben Francisco, DH
7. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
8. Francisco Cervelli
9. Brett Gardner, LF/CF

Um….yikes? That is…not desirable. It could shake out differently and we could end up with Ronnier Mustelier in the fold, likely at third. If that happens, the lineup could be:

1. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
2. Eduardo Nunez, SS
3. Ronnier Mustelier, 3B
4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Juan Rivera, DH
6. Melky Mesa, CF/LF
7. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
8. Francisco Cervelli, C
9. Brett Gardner, CF/LF

Honestly, I can’t tell which one is better/less worse. Your thoughts?

Earlier yesterday, I read this piece from the New York Times about Hal Steinbrenner and the “new course” he’s plotting for the Yanks. In defense of Plan 189, Hal broke out one of his favorite justifications:

“My firmly held belief is that you don’t have to have a $200 million payroll to be world champion,” he said last week in the team’s plush conference room at the spring training complex here. “And the historical data that led me to that conclusion is rock solid.”

Continue reading Thursday Ramblings

To Budget, Or Not To Budget?

After a year of planning a team around a $189 million budget, after thousands of blog posts, millions of water cooler chats, billions of comments about how to spend and who to trade, and one unhappy general manager, Steinbrenner might have a change of heart. But before you get too excited, I’ll warn you that this comes from Wallace Matthews. Despite his reputation for wild speculation, I have to agree with some of Matthews’ conclusions. In the last few months, Yankee fans have grown uneasy with the increasing age of the team, as well as the organization’s reluctance to spend on free Continue reading To Budget, Or Not To Budget?

Re-Upping Cashman Bodes Well For The Future

From Buster Olney: Contract negotiations between the New York Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman are going smoothly, according to sources, and could be concluded with a new deal in the week ahead. Cashman, who has been the Yankees GM since February of 1998, could theoretically walk away from the Yankees at the end of the month when his contract expires. But Cashman has made it clear he’d like to return. The Yankees say they want him back, and contract talks with club executives, including Hal Steinbrenner, have started. On a simple, practical level, bringing Cashman back bodes well for Continue reading Re-Upping Cashman Bodes Well For The Future

Ten Answers to Ten Pressing Matters

I’m usually not one for reading the Post, but in these desperate times for content–with a little help from my girlfriend’s wandering eye–pointed me to this article from GAK3 outlining his ten most pressing concerns for the Yankees heading into this season. Since I’m an absolute know it all, I’ll answer his concerns: 1. Who is Derek Jeter? King leads off rather existentially, doesn’t he? Anyway, I’ve said many times before that there’s likely no way Derek Jeter can hit as poorly as he did last season. On the positive side, Jeter still did manage a .340 OBP, though his Continue reading Ten Answers to Ten Pressing Matters

Hal: Payroll To Stay At Same Level

Hal Steinbrenner was just on the radio with Michael Kay, and Marc Carig tweeted an interesting quote from the interview: Hal on payroll: “I can safely say we’re going to stay at the same level.” This is important information, as it allows us to gauge how the Yankees will approach the offseason. They started 2010 with a payroll of 213 million, and currently have about 145 million tied up in 16 players. That leaves 68 million available for the club to spend in order to stay at the same level. Assuming Derek Jeter gets about 20M, Mariano Rivera gets 15M, Continue reading Hal: Payroll To Stay At Same Level

Why Hal Steinbrenner should open the books a little for Johnny Damon

The common line is that right now, the Yankees have about 2 million dollars left in their budget for the 2010 season. I think that this is entirely plausible. Hal Steinnerbrenner gave Brian Cashman a hard number, and said that he would have to approve any spending over that number. He did so last year with Andy Pettitte, and I think we’re going to see the same thing with Johnny Damon. On one hand, the Yankees needed a budget. In both the free agent market and the draft, they often found themselves taken advantage of by free agents. I would Continue reading Why Hal Steinbrenner should open the books a little for Johnny Damon

Yankees Sticking To Budget

[image title=”02bronx600.1″ size=”full” id=”14068″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ] From Joel Serman (h/t to Fack Youk), we get an interesting report on the Yankee ownership’s unwillingness to spend past their stated budget: The Yankees are telling agents that they only have $2 million, at most, to spend on a left fielder. They figure Damon, even in a diminishing market, would never drop his demands that low. The Yanks being the Yanks, of course, could always just create extra money in the budget as they did last year when GM Brian Cashman successfully lobbied Hal Steinbrenner to add Andy Pettitte’s $5.5 million base Continue reading Yankees Sticking To Budget

The Yankee Bowl?

From Stewart Mandel (SI): NEW YORK — New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and the commissioners of the Big East and Big 12 will announce at a news conference Wednesday the formation of the Yankee Bowl, to be held at the new Yankee Stadium beginning with the 2010-11 postseason, according to sources with knowledge of the event. The game, which will seek NCAA certification next spring, would reportedly pit the Big East’s fourth-place team against the Big 12’s No. 7 selection. Organizers plan to hold the first edition between Dec. 29, 2010 and Jan. Continue reading The Yankee Bowl?

Payroll concerns limiting Cashman?

From George King (NY Post): At Friday’s trade deadline, the Yankees added utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr. and nothing else. Not wanting to add payroll, the Yanks weren’t serious players for lefty Jarrod Washburn, who went from Seattle to Detroit. So, what are the chances of making a deal now that a player has to clear waivers in order to be traded? “Who knows — if it makes sense we will look at it,” GM Brian Cashman said. “There will be opportunity for people to do deals in the new deadline. What that means for us remains to be seen.” If Continue reading Payroll concerns limiting Cashman?