Are the Yankees done?

telephone.jpgBrian Cashman may be on vacation this week, but Ken Rosenthal suggests that the Yankees aren’t done yet. At FOXSports.com, he wonders if they’ll make a few serious calls about Ben Sheets and/or Juan Cruz before all is said and done.

The Yankees did kick the tires on Sheets back at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, but Sheets has had trouble finding a club willing to take a chance after he experienced injury problems late last year.

With the Andy Pettitte standoff dragging on and his chances apparently dwindling by the day, Sheets represents another choice should the Yankees really not be comfortable with selecting their fifth starter out of the group of Phil Hughes, Alfredo Aceves, Ian Kennedy and Phil Coke.

Cruz would be an addition to a back end of the bullpen, and a welcome one to those who have their doubts about Damaso Marte and Brian Bruney setting up. The rest of the relief corps is certainly amenable to an upgrade, with contenders like Edwar Ramirez and Jose Veras not promised anything heading into the spring.

28 Comments

as to “are the yankees done ”
i agree the yankees need emergency pitching help
patient fans have waited too long to see a fully balanced team get into the world series…let alone just make it to the wild card..
sign 2-3 leftover pitchers to minor league deals…there are at least 3 or 4 decent relief men out there…
the 2 biggest areas of concern should be catching and centerfield..the radio sports talk over past year or two has been to try to trade for mcclouth of the pirates…young
and a decent glove…maybe 2009 is the year he breaks out
with the bat..
the yankees have quite a few pitchers and extra reserve outfielders/infielders….
let’s face it …we don’t know if austin jackson is the real deal..as to the comment about the tampa bay ray’s outfielder up for free agency next season…sounds good..but at what cost?
how many $20,000,000 a year players can the yankees
afford..this is why i feel the yankees should hold onto
nick swisher over xavier nady..nady is a proven national league player and has played for the pirates…

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Pettite was erratic during the early part of the season and down right terrible the last half…why in the heck would the Yanks want to sign this guy and not give Ben Sheets a one year deal…Pettite is on the downside of his career and is injury prone, too…they should have let him walk. Yanks should still pursue another quaility pitcher…can trade Damon,Gardner, and Kennedy to KC for Grieneke…or use these players to get Peavey from the Padres…Padres have announced that they must shed $ 5mill in Payroll…Remember, Sabbathia stated that he wanted to stay in the N.L…He is a Yankee now…Peavey can be had. Don’t depend on getting much from Joba and even less from Hughes…both have talent but need additional innings to build stamina and refine their pitch repertoire….we made the mistake of depending Hughes and Kennedy in 2008 to fill the 4th & 5th spots in our rotation…when we should have gotten Santana. The Yanks must add Manny to this line up…EVEN with the addition of Texiera YANKS ARE WOEFUL WHEN HITTING WITH RISP….Manny batting cleanup resolves that and gives the Yanks a chance to win the wild card…otherwise this is another paper tiger team.
Forget all the prejudice marlarky about players being “drama queens”…focus on performance…none of us has any personal knowledge of these players or what goes on in a major league club house…we do know that Manny is a better clutch hitter than anyone we can suit up.

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I meant back end of the rotation

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Matt,
I hate to disagree with you because you clearly base your arguments on facts. But I still believe that a flyer on Sheets is a good idea, if we get him to sign a one year incentive laden deal. Even with the risk of injury, he is very unlikely to miss the whole season.

Say we get 10 starts out of him. We will have the chance to win most of those games, and if it doesn’t trigger any incentives, it won’t cost us much at all. But what I like most from this is it will give us about another 2 months to evaluate the young pitchers at AAA. Aceves and the rest may give Hughes a run for his money and we won’t have to make a desicion by Spring Training.
And if we get closer to 20, or even 30 starts from him, any incentive clauses that may be triggered would be more than worth it. This guy has ace like ability.

If the young pitchers don’t pan out, we’d have to go sign some veteran who would be lucky to get under a 5 ERA. That wouldn’t be a disaster for the back end of the pen, but it wouldn’t be great either.
Sheets is definitely a high risk gamble, that’s why he is still on the market with his ability. But I say the reward could be so great that this is a risk worth taking.

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Burnett will be 37 in 5 years and in the same position as Pettitte is now . The chance of Burnett reaching 200 wins is highly unlikely

Yankees signed a pitcher ( Sabathia) who openly said he wanted to stay in the NL and there was a lot more baseball to be played other than in NY . He sure changed his mind when that big dollar figure was dangled infront of him . Burnett opted out of his contract to garner more money and Tex wanted to play for NY but he demanded the big contract. Why do people feel because Pettitte wants to pitch for NY, he should take less money. Yes he is in the decline of his career but wanting to finish his career in NY shouldn’t make him less valuable

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it seems to me the Yankees have no easy an obvious answer for the last rotation spot…they now have some economic restraints-self imposed or otherwise…which may make them look internally for a fifth starter…but if they choose to spend money but still try to save money then it would seem that the Yankees would follow the Red Sox modal this season and sign Sheets for about 5 mill with incentives that go up to 10 or 12 mill…if we look at Sheets over the last 5 seasons he has been good for at least 17 starts and has pitch like a top of the rotation starter…if he gave the Yanks that type of quality for 17 or more starts in the 3 or 4 hole that could mean a win every time he comes to the mound and it could give the youth pitching that much more time to get ready…and it probably means the Yankees spend less on him that they would with Pettitte because he probaly wouldn’t get all his incentives but if he did get them it’s just a little more money for a pitcher who was alot more effective…if they can get Pettitte’s 200 innings that’s great…but if a team gets in serious talks with Sheets before Pettite makes up his mind then the Yanks should shift their focus quickly…plus the insurance policy of Freddy Garcia is gone to the Mets…

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Matt,
Burnett is signed for 5 years and has 87 wins to date. He would have to win 22-23 games a year to reach 200 wins in the next 5 years. Good luck with that

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Sure it does, errors are a stat that mlb keeps. Pettitte has recorded more wins for the Yankees than most pitchers over the past decade more than Clemens, more than Wells, more than Pavano, likely more than Mussina, more than Rivera, more than Wang, more than AJ Burnett, more than Sheets, more than Sabathia, more than Al Leiter, more Jarrett Wright, more than Randy Johnson, more than Shawn Chacon, more than Aaron Small, more than El Duque, more than Leiber, more than Javi Vazquez, more than Kevin Brown, more than Louaiza, more than Contrareous, more than Weaver, more than Sterling Hitchcock, more than Kenny Rodgers, more than ted lilly, more than Irabu, more than Doc Gooden, more than David Cone

http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/stats/historical/player_stats.jsp?c_id=nyy&baseballScope=BLA&subScope=pos&teamPosCode=all&statType=2&sitSplit=&venueID=&timeFrame=1&timeSubFrame=2007&timeSubFrame=2006&timeSubFrame=2005&timeSubFrame=2004&timeSubFrame=2003&timeSubFrame=2002&timeSubFrame=2001&timeSubFrame=2000&timeSubFrame=1999&timeSubFrame=1998&timeSubFrame=1997&timeSubFrame=1996&timeSubFrame=1995&Submit=Submit

1. A Pettitte* 164-87

2. M Mussina 103-63

3. R Clemens* 83-42

4. M Rivera* 62-44

5. D Cone 64-40

6. O Hernandez* 61-40

7. D Wells* 68-28

8. R Mendoza*

9. C Wang*

10. M Stanton*

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In the past three seasons he has set or tied career highs in hits and runs. allowed

By matthew_saiki@gmail.com on January 22, 2009 6:09 PM
Poor defense. Read Robert’s article.

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For all the Pettitte haters, why is he ranked 2nd overall in quality starts over the past 3 years? Pure luck?

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Pettitte has over 200 wins in ny and houston. Sheets and Burnett may not last that long.

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Now that Cabrera and Nady are signed it appears that Pettitte at $10 Million would increase the payroll from 2008 not lower it. With that “barrier” exceeded, can we now give Pettitte the $12 or $13 Million he is worth? King, laugh all you want, but neither Burnett or Sheets have demonstrated that they can succeed as Yankees while Pettitte has! Any skeptics may want to reread this:

The wrath of e-mailers is misplaced
http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2009/01/15/the-wrath-of-e-mailers-is-misplaced/

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Sean,
Interesting choice of Coke for the five slot. Although he did little to merit attention before 2008, it’ll be interesting to see how he starts 2009 at AAA or AA. I’m not sure where King got those numbers from, but Ford wasn’t a hard thrower either. No doubt that out of what we have now Hughes is the clear choice!

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Burnett and Sheets are not better pitchers than Pettitte, neither is worth more than him, both are way overpaid, no wonder Pettitte doesn’t want a paycut it is because of this that I empathesize with him. I would count on Pettitte in a big game before Wang and the 2 injury prone Pavano lookalikes.

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At this point in his career Pettitte has the right to earn more than Burnett. Schilling got paid for sitting all of last year. Clemens got, well we know that.

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Garcia is being looked at as minor league option and not to fill out the rotation.
Damon extension coming? 2 or 3 year being discussed.

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Freddy Garcia? Really? Since when did we become MLB’s rehab home? Maybe he can room with Zambrano?

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Paplebon not interested in a long term contract, preferring to “roll the dice”? In Free Agent-speak I guess that means he’ll be looking for the BIG payday soon.

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I realize Andy Petitte had a so-so season and at times did not pitch well. His current salary is indeed too high. But, if a mediocre ball player can get a raise then I believe that the Yankee organization can afford to sweetened their current offer. Last year was a mess for the the whole team not just Andy. Let’s give Andy a solid two year contract with a possible option for a third. Andy bleeds Yankee pinstripes.

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2005, not 2004.

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http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090121&content_id=3762410&vkey=hotstove2008&fext=.jsp
I wonder how much Garcia would cost, I’d have to think that the Mets will make a serious play for him given their need for pitching. If that happens he could end up costing the Yanks around 4 million, I would much rather sign Sheets for 6-8 with incentives and an option. However, Garcia has pitched in the AL and before last year was healthy and an innings eater. If he is anything like he was in 2004 he may be a great pick-up.

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i think that the Yankees should get Juan Cruz and Joe Beimel…because Phil Coke is unproven as a lefty reliever…his septemper work is not a big enough sample to feel safe and Damaso Marte may be loosing his effectiveness and relievers are unpredictable…as for the last rotation spot i think they should sign Ben Sheets… unlike Pavano when he does pitch he has proven to be dominate…and if he can be signed for a relatively cheap contract with incentives then if he pitches alot he’s worth it and if he doesn’t then he wasn’t too costly…his average ERA is 3.72…over the last 4 years his ERA hasn’t been over 3.82…who knows how many innings he will pitch…100 or 150 or even 200…but the more innings he pitches the better the possibility of what ever team he pitches for of winning the game and the longer in the season he goes the more the Yankees would have to build up their youth’s skill and confidence…and pitchers who go deep into ball games make the bull pen better…the only reason i could see the Yankees not making these moves is too save money…because the competion is thick in the AL East…
the Yankee Fanatic…

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The Yankees should make a run at Juan Cruz and/or Joe Beimel. You can never have enough pitching, and if any of the arms in the bullpen go down early in the season and for an extended period of time, the Yankees bullpen might not look as good as it does. I’m just really anxious for this season to be over. There’s tons of quality FAs out there, and the Yankees do have some holes that they should fill. Will the Yankees make anymore moves this off-season?

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I think Phil Coke will get the last spot.

Sean Serritella

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I think both signings merit consideration. Time and time again it has been shown that there is no such thing as too much quality relief pitching, and Cruz is capable of helping us out in the pen.

As for Sheets, well he does come with injury related question marks. But surely we could afford to risk say 5 mil guarenteed with several million more in incentives. There is a risk that he misses a sizeable chunk of time, but when he is healthy he will be the best no. 4 starter in baseball. And when he isn’t, we will be right back where we are now, going with the kids

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Anyone think current outfield “onholds-options” are due to Carl Crawford becoming a free agent next year??

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I have to wonder if the Yankees are ever done.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

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Forget Cruz, should have just paid Fuentes.

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