Anything interesting happening with the Yankees?

Oh, just another day in paradise. When people ask, “What do you do during the offseason?”, my response is almost always that the Yankees don’t have an offseason. Sometimes the winter is more intense than the summer.

The Yankees completed one important piece of business on Monday, signing Andy Pettitte to a one-year, $5.5 million contract with multiple incentive levels. Obviously this is a huge pay cut from the guaranteed $16 million Pettitte made in ’07 and ’08, but this was as high as the Yankees were going to go.

Pettitte knew that it was time to make a decision, and $5.5 million — with the chance to make up to $12 million in incentives — sure beats $0 for sitting at home. With the addition of Pettitte to the 40-man roster, Chase Wright was designated for assignment.

One other tidbit: Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Hideki Matsui are all on track for now.

Now, on to the Joe Torre business, which is sending us all back in our own little time machines. Someone was asking me about my taxes and I actually slipped up and wrote the wrong year … and not even that usual January mistake, I fouled up two years. Seems like this book has us more focused on the ’07 Yankees than the current version.

A-Rod is supposedly laughing off the ‘A-Fraud’ stuff — and look, if you didn’t already know that Alex had some difficulty keeping a low profile, you weren’t paying attention. Some things haven’t changed — by the way, has anyone heard anything about Madonna lately?

Brian Cashman thinks the Yankees might rally around each other as a result of this latest controversy. Hey, you know this team. If it wasn’t this going into the spring, it’d probably be something else.

I want to reserve judgment on this book until I actually hold it in my hands, and based on what I’ve pieced together from excerpts floating around the Internet, that seems like the proper course of action. It seems that there will be a lot more context to base the most salacious parts on when ‘The Yankee Years’ is consumed in its entirety. 

57 Comments

Texas has been demanding Bucholtz, Eilsbury and a prospect for Salty, I imagine they just as ridiculous demands from us, likely starting with Hughes and ending with an outfielder and a minor leaguer.

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The other thing people under estimate with Molina is how well he works with all pitchers, young, veteran, whatever. Never was this more evident than when Pudge came over and had trouble with communicating his signs.
Matt DeSalvo is a NY Met.

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IRod would be like Al Leiter, a non roster invite and insurance, likely not to make the roster. Cash is garbage, he only catches knuckleballers.

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Not to mention that Sui can’t catch up to balls in the outfield like Damon and his monster catches.

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Yanks should not consider trading Matsui. Matsui takes great pride in his conditioning and has a lot to prove…He has been consistently the best clutch hitter in our line up. His legs are healed, he will play an adequate left field, Has a better arm than Damon. Trade Damon, who has no arm, steals very few bases, on obp is mediocre for a lead off hitter and Gardner, another punch & Judy hitter. Nady is a good corner fielder, hits with power from the right side and balances out a line up that has been overwhelming left handed for a number of years.

By keyswahili@yahoo.com on January 29, 2009 11:41 AM
Key, this equals disaster, no lead off hitter and 2 DH’s who might not make it through the year (Sui and Posada) along with a work in progress (Gardner).

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Early indications are that Veritek won’t sign and that Boston is gonna start back up their trade talks with Zona and Texas.

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The ideal trade would be Sui packaged for a young catcher, doubt he would agree to Zona or Texas.

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Matt, if you got Cashman on line 1, make the deal. The longer Pudge stays out there, the more likely he takes a minor league deal, even if he retires after camp.

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Damon is more likely to be re-signed than traded.
Sui is not a protypical DH, we need him to be Ruben Sierra like and give people days off in the outfield, I am not sure he can do that.
Kennadia is defeated, he can’t pitch in NY by his own admission.

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Kennedy is young, give him some time to mature into the #1 draft pick he is. Kennedy is not just some trade chip to toss around in hopes of landing a decent prospect.
P.S. What is with the “Kennadia” and “IPK”.

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Trading Matsui would be a mistake for the Yankees mainly because if they did trade him, they would have to still pay a decent portion of his salary and may not get much in return. It seems as though the Yanks will not be moving Matsui this off-season and I think its for the best– many seem to underestimate the prowess of Godira’s bat when he is in the line-up. If healthy (and all indications point to the fact that he is healthy) Matsui will be a perfect compliment to Teix and A-Rod batting in the 5-hole. Matsui will mainly DH but I wouldn’t count him out of the OF just yet, there has been no proof saying that he will be stuck off the field.

Also, trading Damon would be an absolutely horrendous move for the Yanks creating a gaping hole in the lead-off spot; just look at Damon’s numbers, they were well above league average plus he can play a good LF.

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Although, Montero talks might start with Kennadia, the asking price would likely be Kennadia plus 1.

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Swisher could be close to being dealt to the Braves (Stark).
The Yankees split salary Philly Coke means he will likely spend most if not all year in the minors, unless needed.
Again, Mets interest in Sui is minor, he split time in LF.
Abreu still creates defensive problems, he is ranked among the worst in the league defensively. Even at $8M, I might prefer Nady defensively to Abreu.

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Matsui - 0.371 - 0.478 - 0.295 - 6.10 - 5.70 - 7.05

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Yanks should not consider trading Matsui. Matsui takes great pride in his conditioning and has a lot to prove…He has been consistently the best clutch hitter in our line up. His legs are healed, he will play an adequate left field, Has a better arm than Damon. Trade Damon, who has no arm, steals very few bases, on obp is mediocre for a lead off hitter and Gardner, another punch & Judy hitter. Nady is a good corner fielder, hits with power from the right side and balances out a line up that has been overwhelming left handed for a number of years.

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could Swisher and a pitcher be traded for Lastings Millidge…and Matsui be traded with Cash for a pitcher or pitchers…if that could happen then the Yankees could definately sign Abreu…

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i don’t think the Mariners have a good DH…and they have some good young pitching coming up and some with major league experience…that could be a place for Matsui…and Seattle might be willing to take on a large part of his contract…and that could open the budget for Bobby Abreu…
but i wonder about the potential of Austin Jackson…will he actually be a solid major leaguer…i wonder if the Yankees could trade him and Nick Swisher for Corey Hart or Nick Swisher and Melky for Chris Young…in both those trades they get the combined talent of the two players traded in one player…maybe a prospect pitcher would have to be thrown in but it probably be worth it….

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I know Nady is also gone next year, but there are distinct benefits for bringing back Bobby. Bobby has proven consistency with his swing. With Swisher available to play the corner and Bobby in the DH role you end up looking at the two batters who have faced the most pitches in the majors. A pair of patient bats with Swisher’s almost immaculate defense. Nady is beyond talented, but so are the bevy of players making their way up. In all reality, the Yanks cannot go wrong with any move they make at this point. But I agree with the comment above: I’ll take Abreu over Matsui any day. Abreu is consistent, has stayed healthy, and is a dangerous hitter. He can also pick up extra bases. Put him in the 5 spot and watch pitchers cringe to get through any part of this line up (especially with Jorge back, Cano in better form, and Swisher soaking up pitches). The only unknown is the offensive impact Melky/Gardner might be able to bring. Having only one question mark on the lineup is quite nice, if you ask me.

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Rosh, Nady is gone after this year so it’s similar to signing Abreu in that regard. But the Yankees cannot operate in ’09 to accommodate prospects that have proven nothing and may not be ready nor good enough for ’10.

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That reason for lofting Tek on a pedestal is tired and weak, I’m sorry but Tek isn’t the reason those pitchers pitch well. Pitchers study film now just as much as catchers and know what they want to throw and can shake off the catcher when they want to. It isn’t only the catcher today that prepares for hitters, and if you put a different catcher in Tek’s place they’d perform very simalrly, and the Sox would most likely get much better offense. The “he handles the staff so well” is an ESPN Sox-loving creation. And while Texas may have lowered they demands for their catchers according to MLBTR they still demand Bucholtz plus. My point was it would be too high of a price for the Yankees to get involved because Texas would likely ask for Hughes plus from the Yankees for either backstop. Also I would have to think it would take much much more than IPK to get Montero.

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Partyboy, the Sox are attempting to sign the “washed-up” Varitek more so for the way he commands the pitching staff, than for his offensive abilities. Yes Varitek is on a decline, but like I said, what he brings to the Sox and their pitching staff, no other catcher would come in and duplicate that. He knows the whole staff, knows how to work with the staff, has the respect of his pitchers (as well as the rest of his team and the organization) and is such a huge piece of that franchise. The Rangers had initially wanted to start with Bucholz for Teagarden, but the Sox said no, and I think since then the Rangers have even lowered their asking price, although be it still pretty high.
Bpark, if the concept of a trade with the Dbacks for Montero starts with IPK, I say why not? There’s more than enough arms in the Yankees’ system to be able to deal with the loss of IPK, especially if it happens due to a trade to bring in a 25 yr. old catcher. I would rather the Yankees get Saltalamacchia, but if they can have Montero for IPK, I would think that would be a good swap.
In regards to paying some of Matsui’s contract, well I guess if he would agree to be traded and the Yankees could get something legitimate in return (and they don’t have to pay too much of his $13mil), maybe they should explore that option. If that were to happen, then I suppose the possibility of bringing back Abreu as the full-time DH (he could also spell Nady in RF occasionally) would be a solid option, as long as he’s willing to do that. At this point in time, I’d rather have Abreu in the lineup than Matsui, because who knows exactly what Matsui will do this year.

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Abreu - 0.405 - 0.498 - 0.300 - 5.53 - 5.99 - 4.62

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Dumping Nady/Matsui and resigning Abreu isn’t really a bad idea. With Swish, Nady, and Melky/Gardner remaining after this season, there leaves no room for prospects next year. That’s still an overflowing outfield scenario … I’d like to see Austin Jackson get a shot in the ’10 season. Picking up Abreu for 1 year helps to clear the air, keeps a DH option for him open, and leaves Swish clear to be an everyday player. If the Mets are interested in Sui, make it work. Keep Bobby in Pinstripes. I’d love to see Damon, Melky/Gardner, Swisher as the outfield and Bobby as THE DH!

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Career stats:

Player - OBP - SLG - AVG - AB/R - AB/RBI - AB/SO
Swisher - 0.354 - 0.451 - 0.244 - 5.99 - 6.52 - 3.92
Nady - 0.335 - 0.458 - 0.280 - 7.79 - 6.90 - 5.03

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Keswahili,
Joba had no history of injuries while starting prior to 2008. If he feels any discomfort this year he may get shut down for a delivery overhaul at Tampa. We need to hope that doesn’t happen. And I agree Grienke would have been a nice addition.

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Now that the rotation is complete or at least we are heading to spring training in the right direction; the Yankees should focus on the Outfielders, It time to see if we can bring Bobby Abreu, it will be interesting to see if the Yankees makes some moves with Nady and Cabrera, try to bring back Abreu; it will be an amazing line up.
Damon
Jeter
Texeira
Rodriguez
Abreu
Posada
Matsui
Cano
Gardner or Nick Swisher

If the Yankees trade Nady it will be hard to be compete without a power hitter on the outfield, Swisher has to develop again. It could take long.

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Matt,
The Tigers flat out stole Laird! Counting on Kevin Cash as backup is not something I’m comfortable with. His 2008 number were worse than Swisher.

It’ll be interesting to see how quickly some of our catching prospects develope in the minors. It’s too bad Cervelli lost so much time last year with the broken wrist. I’m still mad at the Rays for that!

I also hope Nady duplicates his offensive production from last year. Maybe the Yankee lineup will help him stay at higher level than his past.

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Matt, Abreu has lowered his demands to 1 year 8M.
Mets have minor interest in Sui in left field with Tatis but they would want us to pay a portion of his salary.

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Then Molina remains the backup and if Posada can’t catch they need a starter. Posada should be moved to DH and Sui to the westcoast.

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Trade for Salty or Teagarden? Please the Rangers are asking way too much for the Yanks to entertain that. If the Red Sox haven’t pulled the trigger on a deal like that and are going to sign a washed up catcher in Veretek instead that has to show that the asking price is much too high. We all know the price is starting with Buchholtz but there is definitely more to it. Joba ins not a reliever, he was drafted as a starter and had injury problems because the Yankees babied him by putting him the bullpen ten trying to make him a starter. It’s nice to be shutdown in the 8th and 9th but you have to get to the 8th with a lead. A set-up man usually has one plus pitch and one or two so-so pitches to work with Joba has a starters arsenal. Nobody can really say he’s a true injury risk until we see how he handles a season where he prepares to be a starter and pitches the whole season as a starter.

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If Igawa wants to go Andruw Jones and redo his contract and actually pitch, some teams are willing to trade for him but not at his current salary.

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Jon Garland got more money than Pettitte, that’s sad.

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Montero discussion will begin with Kennadia.

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What else is A Rod going to do other than laugh off Torre, he knows going after him isn’t worth it. As far as Pettite goes I think this was a good deal at a reasonable price.

http://cobf.mlblogs.com

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The yanks def need to get rid of Nady and Matsui. Matsui is getting old and Nady is good trade bait. Keep Swisher for DH and re-sign Bobby Abreu!

Also put Joba back in the bullpen where he truly belongs. With Joba in front of Rivera, the game is over by the 7th and if Rivera goes down for some reason, we have Joba.

Lineup: 1. Damon, 2. Jeter, 3. Teixeira, 4. ARod, 5. Abreu, 6. Swisher, 7. Posada, 8. Cano, 9. Gardner

Rotation: 1. Sabbathia, 2. Burnett, 3. Wang, 4. Pettitte, 5. Hughes

Bullpen: Rivera, Joba, Veras, Marte, Ramirez, Bruney, Coke

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Olney: if the Yankees move 2 of Sui, Nady, and Swisher, they may re-sign Abreu.

By bpark23@gmail.com on January 28, 2009 11:34 AM

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Oley: if the Yankees 2 of move Sui, Nady, and Swisher, they may re-sign Abreu.

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How about the Zona catcher?
Molina is the best backup catcher we have had in over ten years. I don’t know why people are dismissing him when he was forced to start because of injury. He has way better defense than Posada. Making a trade for another catcher would end Posada’s career as a catcher not Molina’s.

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I think that Cashman should explore a trade with the Rangers for 1 of their surplus of catchers. Saltalamacchia would be a great addition to this club in my opion, if not Teagarden (he’d probably come at a higher cost than Salty). That would provide more than enough insurance for the Yankees, because who really knows how many games Posada will be catching this season.

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Melancon is definitely looking like the long term replacement for Rivera. Thing is, Rivera is, well he’s Mariano Rivera. And I just hope we won’t need to replace him yet.

The Yankees really do need an improvement catching. I don’t think Posada can be our fulltime catcher until Montero or Romine comes up, and Montero may well be moved from catcher soon anyway. In the meantime Molina isn’t a player who should get 80 games a year.

Cathers are usually very hard to trade for. We have to wonder though, Tigers didn’t give up all that much for Laird in my opinion, maybe Cashman should have at least swung at that trade.

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Bryan,

As a journalism student and a Yankees fan, I just want to thank you for the effectiveness in which you follow your beat. This semester we are doing an intense study of beat reporting. Having followed your beat for the past year, and thoroughly for this exciting winter, I find it much easier to understand the depths of beat reporting.

Thank you for unintentionally being a teaching aid.

Rosh Koch : http://www.roshkoch.com

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Well said rocket!!!!!

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The best thing that could happen to the Yankees would be Torre saying something bad about them. They need a little anger in their play!!!!

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Wow! I thought after reading the AFraud and Torre’s book deal that I was on a blog for The Bold and The Beautiful not MLB. This whole ARod situation just keeps me laughing. I am surprised with Torre and the book. I really thought Torre was above crap like that. I guess when all else fails write a book. Maybe He and Jose can start a book club together with Oprah.

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Chamberlain’s needs time in the minors to smooth out his delivery and build up stamina… his delivery is to violent…he won’t last long as a starter. Yanks had chance to trade for Greinke but Royals inked him for four years…Should still pursue Ben Sheets.

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I have a suggestion that’s probably not going to happen: trade Nady, and sign Abreu for a big discount.
http://bronx-awesome.mlblogs.com/
King Yankees

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That’s not a bad article from RAB because all they usually post is the same exact thing as Peter Abraham. It doesn’t mean they are right. Last year I said that Joba wasn’t going to make it as a starter and what happened? He broke down. I’m 1 for 1. After this year, I’ll be 2 for 2 because he’s going to get hurt as a reliever as well.

Sean Serritella

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Disablemes,
Your arguments have absolutely NO credentials whatsoever. Joba is 24 years old, and is dropping jaws all around the league. He is a stud with a great repertoire or #1 pitches. For Rodriguez, he will undoubtedly be among the absolute elite echelon of players ever to have stepped to the dish, if not the best player. A-Rod is a tank, I would rather he over anybody else in our line-up for the 2009 season. I can’t believe how little love A-Rod received this year for MVP votes. No, I don’t think he was the best hitter in the AL this year but he was up there in every category, just goes to show the uneducated stigma that revolves around A-Rod. I guess I shouldn’t be shocked howoever, in a year when Pedrioa won the MVP with those numbers– I’m not saying that because I’m a Yankee fan, I say it because he did not deserve it.

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Here are two things you can count on.

AFraud will never win a championship with the Yankees. As long as he is on the Yankees, they will never win.

Also, Joba will never work out as a starter. He’ll get hurt.

Sean Serritella

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I commend you on waiting to read “The Book” before you comment on it. They had an interesting discussion about the book this morning on MLB Network. It would appear from listening to them that many of the advance quotes out and about that are attributed to Torre might actually have been said by others. Will I read the book – Yes! I’m a Red Sox fan; how could I not! But I too am reserving judgement. Joe Torre always struck me as a class act and I don’t expect my opinion to change after reading it.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

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Bryan,
Is Joba out of ESPNtheweekend? His court appearance is now around that time.
ESPN was raving about the Yankees rotation last night. They said Pettitte is the best 14 game 5 starter ever. ESPN guys went as far as to say Pettitte should be #3.

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We have no proper backup for either Posada or Rivera, and if either of them misses time there is a steep dropoff. If I was Cashman or Girardi I’d be losing sleep.

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Here’s an interesting read…until you get to the Red Sox fans comments:
Comparing the Yankees’ rotations in 2008 and 2009
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com/sox_and_pinstripes/2009/01/comparing-the-yankees-rotations-in-2008-and-2009.html

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