On trading with the Cubs

Somehow, it’s already the middle of July. It seems like just yesterday we were all collectively bitching about the complete lack of baseball and the need for Spring Training to start. Anyway, the trade deadline is approaching and everyone is wondering what the Yankees will do. Brian Cashman has said that he doesn’t like the prices he sees out there right now (obviously, this means we’re minutes away from some big trade news breaking). That doesn’t mean something won’t get done, and I’m sure something will, but we’re just not sure what. Two of the oft-discussed names have been Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza of the Chicago Cubs. The former is a veteran pitcher with an expiring contract and the the latter is a relatively young and talented hard-thrower who’s got a fourth year of arbitration next year. Quite frankly, I don’t want the Yankees to trade for either one, and I’m fairly certain that puts me in the minority, especially with regards to Garza.… Click here to read the rest

PITCHf/x Scouting Report: Matt Garza

If the Yankees are going to spend on a starting pitcher this trade season, Matt Garza is the front runner. Unlike Zack Greinke and Cole Hamels, Garza has an extra year of team control, as well as the only one of the three eligible for draft pick compensation following a trade. Garza has also successfully pitched in the AL East, as well as the large market of Chicago. On the negative side, Greinke and Hamels have produced much more consistent numbers of late, while Garza is struggling with homeruns. The Yankees will undoubtedly continue to be connected with all three pitchers this July, so today we’ll tackle the first and most likely candidate.

Last year was somewhat of a breakout year for Garza. Although he posted a strong 3.86 ERA in his three years with the Rays, his 2011 with the Cubs resulted in a 3.32 ERA, a 9.0 K/9, an 8.5 H/9, and a 2.9 BB/9. These are the sort of numbers an ace produces.… Click here to read the rest

Acquiring Garza Could Be A Mistake

Last week, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported that the Yankees appear more and more likely to acquire a starting pitcher at this years trade deadline and that Brian Cashman preferes Chicago Cubs right-handed starting pitcher Matt Garza over the field of trade candidates. Pleased with Matt Garza’s American League East pedigree, and concerned with the likes of Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, and Ryan Dempster making that transition, Yankee executives appear to have placed Garza near the top of their target list.

There is certainly a case for preferring Garza over similarly gifted pitchers. The 28-year-old has always had exceptional stuff going back to his days as a top prospect in the Minnesota Twins’ minor league system and through his early career in Tampa Bay. In four full seasons as a Major League starting pitcher, three in the American League East, Garza has pitched to a 3.72 ERA. Early career success aside, 2011 was really a watershed for Garza. His FIP, previously hovering well above 4.00 for most of his Major League career, dropped to 2.95.… Click here to read the rest

Market for Garza takes another turn

Anthony Rizzo

You might have missed it yesterday in the midst of the hype of the NFL Wild Card weekend but Cubs GM Jed Hoyer and President Theo Epstein pulled off a small heist from former protege Padres GM Josh Bynes, who worked under Theo with the BoSox until 2005. The Cubs acquired slugging 1B Anthony Rizzo, who batted .331/.404/.652 line and hit 26 HRs in 413 PAs for the Padres AAA Tucson affiliate last year. It was something of a reacquisition of Rizzo for Epstein, who you may recall traded him to the Padres last year in the Adrian Gonzalez deal. This comes on the heels of the Carlos Zambrano deal earlier this week, which brought back perpetually disappointing Marlins starter Chris Volstad.

As I detailed in my Trade Match Series piece on Garza, heading into the off season the Cubs needed a 1B, 3B, RF and have numerous spots up for grab in their starting rotation. Rizzo should (eventually) solve their need at First Base, while Volstad takes the place of Zambrano in the Cubs rotation.… Click here to read the rest

The Yankees and Pitching Prospects

Before I get into this, my first post at The Yankee Analysts, I’d like to thank everyone here for giving me this opportunity and for welcoming me so fully to the team. I have accepted this position knowing that TYA is not only among the best Yankees blogs on the internet, but among the best team centered blogs in all of baseball, and I hope I have something worthwhile to contribute.

I thought I’d introduce myself to the readers by exploring a phenomena I’ve been considering for quite some time now. Given plethora of young arms in the system – Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Hector Noesi, David Phelps, and Adam Warren – ostensibly close to their shot with the big league club, it’s worth noting how little success the organization has had developing starting pitchers during Brian Cashman’s tenure as general manager. In fact, since Cashman took over before the 1998 season, his system has succeeded in developing exactly one front of the rotation starter.… Click here to read the rest

Giving and Getting

What a player gives is what the team gets. Sure, that’s a fairly obvious statement that’s likely too broad a generalization. There is more nuance to it, both on the SABR side (marginal value of a win) and the more traditional side (chemistry, etc.), but let’s take a look at the statement at its face and boil it down to two simple things: playing time and quality of performance. You want players to do both of these things and the ones who can perform at the high ends of these respective spectra are the star payers. Of course, that doesn’t always happen. There are some who can pitch a lot of innings or go up to bat a lot, but aren’t necessarily good at it. On the flip side, there are those who posses great skill and talent, but can’t stay healthy enough to play at that high level for extended periods of time.

I’ve talked before about the “two devils” of contract negotiations–money and years–but i guess w could consider this dichotomy a third devil (bonus points if you can come up with a clever term for it).… Click here to read the rest

More Things Not Happening

January 2nd was a busy day for the Yankees…in terms of things that probably aren’t going to happen. We heard multiple reports that the the Yankees are unlikely to bring in Edwin Jackson because of budgetary reasons. We also heard (in that same link) that the asking Price for Matt Garza is getting too high for the Yankees’ liking and that the team is not close to a deal with Hiroyuki Nakajima. So, for the Yankees, still, this offseason is more about inactivity than activity. But, at the same time, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

I’ve been a little sweeter on Edwin Jackson than most have, but missing out on him is not a bad thing. While he’s certainly durable, he’s obviously not a guy to whom you give a five year contract, but at $12M, he’s not a bad guy to have in your rotation. I still don’t think I’d give him four years, unless the AAV were $10M, but I think he’d be okay to have on a 3/36 deal.… Click here to read the rest

Commenting On Davidoff’s Choices

Yesterday, Ken Davidoff of Newsday floated out six options the Yankees could employ to improve the rotation. Let’s take a look and make some comments.

His first option was trading for Felix Hernandez. He knows it’s not going to happen. We know it’s not going to happen. Let’s just move on.

Door number two is a trade for Matt Garza centered around Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances. This is definitely more likely, but may not be cheap or easy…and I’m okay with that. I’m much more bearish on Garza than most seem to be, though, so take that with a grain of salt.

Next, he throws out the money suggestion (a 4/$48M contract for Edwin Jackson), but quickly dismisses it. I don’t dislike Jackson as much as some do, but I wouldn’t give him four years. If he can be had for 3 years at 10-12 million a year, sure go for it. The odds of that happening?… Click here to read the rest

The price for Matt Garza just went up

You might have missed this amongst the year end celebrations yesterday, but ESPNs Buster Olney tweeted a significant piece of news in the Matt Garza derby. He wrote:

@Buster_ESPN Buster Olney
Tigers have made it known to other teams that they are willing to trade Jacob Turner in a deal for the right pitcher. That’s a big piece.

16 hours ago via web

This is significant for a few reasons. First, its coming from the Tigers, not some Chicago-linked source who could be floating trial balloons to drive up the price.  Next, if you’re not familiar with Jacob Turner, you should be. He’s the best pitching prospect in the Tigers system, was ranked #26 overall in 2010 and #21 last year by Baseball America, and he had a cup of coffee with the MLB club at the end of the season last year. So total that all up. He’s closer to the big leagues than either Banuelos or Betances and ranked higher twice than either of them has ever been.… Click here to read the rest