Updates from under the Trop

Damaso Marte is scheduled to throw two innings tonight for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He might need two days off after that and then the Yankees will think about a possible promotion.

— The Yankees have no word yet on Chien-Ming Wang, who is in Birmingham, Ala. meeting with Dr. James Andrews.

Alfredo Aceves and Dave Robertson are not going to pitch tonight. The Yankees are going to stay away from those guys and that’s why a move still has not been made to call up a position player. It sounds more and more likely that Ramiro Pena will be the guy who gets the call.

Joe Girardi did not sound optimistic that a trade would be made before July 31. It seems like the Yankees are confident there will be moves to be made in August and the team is playing well right now, so there’s no urgency to upset the apple cart, so to speak.


Hey, Bryan, guys, I wanted to share these comments with you:

This is a truly interesting week because of the whole lot of deals that will change the looks of many of the contending clubs in baseball. Each GM is trying to dominate the never-ending game of negotiations. One important question is: what criteria will be chosen by each team regarding the possible deals to be made? Many readings can be made. But two vital factors cannot be hidden (THERE ARE MANY, MANY, MANY OTHERS, of course, but because of the space I will only mention these three): what is the nucleus of each team, what changes should be made (or not), and what are the financial conditions influencing each team´s decisions?

These factors strongly affect the main questions of these days: which players you simply need, which players do you really covet, and how far you want to go to get a player?

Let´s try to see for example part of the decision-making process of the Phillies – They want Halladay. They need Halladay. But they said no (and I believe they are right in doing so) when asked to include both Happ and Drabek in the deal. Why? Because of the interrelation of the factors mentioned. Their nucleus is formed by 10 players (for the sake of this analysis, a “nucleus” consists of the players that are currently important for the team, young or old, and that one might correctly assume will be considered to be in the team´s roster in 2010, even though some of them could also be traded if a good opportunity appears): Utley, Howard, Hamels, Rollins, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Happ, Lidge, Blanton, Moyer. In those eleven players, the team has already committed something around $95 million of their total budget. To get Halladay would mean a huge increase in their costs, and they understand that to keep Halladay beyond 2010 they will have to make a huge new offer, or risk losing him as a free-agent. But also to be taken into account and being extremely important is the fact that of those eleven players, EIGHT WILL BE 30 OR OLDER NEXT YEAR. Should they sacrifice the bulk of their top pitching rookies to get a 32-year old pitcher ( Ok, we all agree he is a great pitcher, that is clear!), when they must also think how they will renovate a good part of the team in the not-so-far future?

It has been said that Tampa are trying to free up dollars in order to have a big deal made and to change for the better. Well, they can do a lot of things because they have some flexibility the Phillies don´t have. Their nucleus (Garza, Howell, Kazmir, Price, Shields, Longoria, Pena, Crawford, Upton, Zobrist and Navarro) includes ONLY ONE PLAYER (Pena) ABOVE 30.

Using this same analysis, we can see that the Yankees have these “nucleus-players” – Jeter, Posada, Sabathia, Burnett, Canó, Hughes, Chamberlain, ARod, Teixeira, and Rivera. (A healthy Wang could and should be included here.) In this group, 5 players are older than 30. And key positions –catching, the outfield, the DH, the closer, will have to be covered –some pretty soon, some in the near season (s).

In comparison, Boston has a nucleus formed by these players: Papelbon, Beckett, Lester, Buccholz, Pedroia, Ellsbury, Bay, (a healthy) Matsuzaka, Youkilis, Wakefield (who apparently will keep playing forever). ONLY 2 OF THESE PLAYERS IS OLDER THAN 30.

In the case of Halladay Toronto has lost leverage after announcing they need to reduce costs pretty fast. You have to consider their whole landscape; a single example is a big mistake made some time ago that really put them in a bad situation: Vernon Wells’ renovation. I just read that they want to trade him; no way any other team will want a 31-year-old player with a contract for five more years and around $100M due (I just read it somewhere; is that really true??). In a similar situation were and are the Yankees with Matsui, or Igawa. And if Marte does not come back to his old form, who will want him with his present contract? Nobody.

A great GM, when modifying a team, may change the nucleus, but for the better, not for the worse, and he must try TO ADD WITHOUT SUBTRACT; he must know the distinction between a gamble and a risk. And if he can improve the team, at the same time not dramatically affecting the present and FUTURE budgets and the average age, that´s simply great (situation not found too often). And he has to apply this old strategic rule: when trying to advance a negotiation, you have to anticipate where your initial decisions will ultimately lead and use this information to calculate your best choice. In other words: “LOOK FORWARD AND REASON BACKWARD.”

This will certainly be an interesting week. Let´s also hope the decisions to be taken by Cashman and his team will be great for the Yankees…



Scranton/WB 4
Toledo (Tigers) 0
W: Wordekemper (2-0, 5.06); L: Brown, B (3-9, 3.95)
HR: None.
Harrisburg (Nationals) 9
Trenton 1
W: Atilano, L (5-7, 4.87); L: Pope (4-8, 5.40)
HR: HAR: Daniel (4).
Tampa 9
Charlotte (Rays) 0
W: Pendleton (11-5, 2.58); L: Newmann (5-6, 4.74)
HR: TAM: Adams, D (2), Smith, K (1).
Charleston 0
West Virginia (Pirates) 4
W: Strickland (6-4, 3.12); L: Lare (0-1, 2.70); SV: Moreno (4)
HR: None.
Staten Island 3
Hudson Valley (Rays) 5
W: Gibson, G (3-2, 6.38); L: Marte, R (2-2, 5.29); SV: Quate (6)
HR: None.
GCL Yankees
You may also see http://www.yankeesdaily.com for details.
Durham (Rays) 7:05 PM
Harrisburg (Nationals) 12:05 PM
Charlotte (Rays) 7:05 PM
West Virginia (Pirates) 7:05 PM
Hudson Valley (Rays) 7:00 PM
Staten Island
GCL Yankees
GCL Pirates 12:00 PM
You may also see http://www.yankeesdaily.com for details.


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