Results tagged ‘ Albert Pujols ’
Jesus Montero, dealt to the Mariners in last month’s four-player deal, might well turn into an elite big league hitter, but Teixeira said that the gamble seems to be worth it.
“Montero might be really, really good. He’s got a chance to be special, but so does Pineda,” Teixeira said last night at the Thurman Munson awards dinner in midtown. “I think that’s what we’re banking on; Pineda being a top tier starter and somebody that can be a force for a long, long time.”
Teixeira and the Yankees faced Pineda just once last season, on May 27 in Seattle. Teixeira went 2-for-4 against the right-hander, including a first-inning solo home run.
“[Pineda has an] electric fastball, really good slider,” Teixeira recalled. “He’s so big. Any pitcher that is that big, that can throw that hard, his margin of error is going to be a lot bigger than everyone else’s. He can go out there and not even his best stuff. When you’re 6-foot-7 and throw 97 (mph), you’re going to get outs.”
Teixeira did seem to suggest that the Yankees could use one more bat to complete their offseason shopping. If the season started today, New York’s DH would likely be Andruw Jones, with some consideration given to Minor League slugger Jorge Vazquez and the rest of the at-bats rotating between players like Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter.
“We basically have the lineup we had last year,” Teixeira said. “Rotating a DH wouldn’t be bad, but if you could pick up a guy that could come in and give you some pop off the bench or be a DH every now and then, we’re not going to say no to that. We can use all the help we can get.”
Because Dan Lozano wouldn’t have been doing his job if he hadn’t at least asked, the Yankees did have a chance to talk about Albert Pujols, general manager Brian Cashman said on Thursday.
“They touched base with me, but I said no,” Cashman said. “I gave it a nice, respectful no. We’ve made our commitments, we have guys we’re committed to, and … even though you can say he can fit on anybody’s club, realistically our money is spent in those directions. Trying to add that, how do you add that, with our commitments? You just can’t, it’s not feasible.”
Cashman said that Pujols’ camp understood the Yankees’ situation.
“Even Dan Lozano recognized [Mark] Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, [Jesus] Montero,” Cashman said. “There’s no vacancy here. I think if you were in my chair, you’d be in the same decision-making mode.”
If your eyebrows go up at the mention of Montero alongside Pujols, Teixeira and A-Rod, Cashman was in a joking mood this morning (though, of course, they do think highly of Montero).
Asked for his reaction to Pujols’ reported agreement with the Angels, Cashman replied, “Obviously he’s one of the greatest that’s played. He makes everybody significantly better. If he played for anybody, he’d make them all significantly better. He’s a special player. I don’t know him personally, but I see what he does with that bat. It’s Montero-like.”
OH, DOCTOR: The Yankees contingent could not avoid questions about the American League’s starting pitcher, Roy Halladay — not after the Blue Jays ace told reporters that he believes it’s about a 50-50 chance that he will be traded in-season.
Derek Jeter said that he isn’t the type of person who would go out of his way to recruit someone like Halladay, especially in the middle of the season, when any move would mean the Yankees would have to dump a player off their roster. But Jeter said he was relishing not having to face Halladay and having him on his side for a change.
“You see what he’s done to us,” Jeter said. “That’s pretty much all you’ve got to say.
I’ve said it time and time again. He’s the best pitcher in the league.”
Mark Teixeira lauded Halladay as a competitor and hard worker. He said that even if the Yankees don’t wind up with Halladay in pinstripes, the hope is that the right-hander would be traded out of the American League East, and preferably to the National League.
“Every winter, I look at the free agent list of pitchers and I hope
that every one of those pitchers pitches in the opposite league,” Teixeira said. “That’s
just the way it is. This division is so stacked as it is, you don’t
want any extra players coming into it.”
UP IN THE AIR: Jeter, Rivera and Teixeira
shared a charter flight here Sunday from the West Coast after the loss
to the Angels. Teixeira said that he spent a great amount of the flight
talking baseball with Rivera — Yankee dynasty edition, as Rivera
killed time by regaling his new teammate with some of the stories from
the 1996-2000 dynasty era.
“I got to talk with Mo a lot,” Teixeira said. “We just talked about New
York and how special it was when they were winning. The All-Star Game
is kind of old hat for these guys – they’ve done it so much that it’s
just, ‘Hey, it’s July, let’s go to the All-Star Game!'”
“It was a nice time,” Rivera added. “I was sharing how we did it in
those years and what we accomplished. Tex is a tremendous ballplayer.
We haven’t had a first baseman like that in a long time, since Tino
HEY, BUDDY: Jeter said that he is looking forward to catching up with Joe Torre, who will be in uniform as a coach for the National League. Torre still keeps up with Jeter and the Yankees, and they communicate frequently and check in by phone every once in a while. They haven’t met in person since the winter in New York.
“It’ll be awkward, probably, to see him,” Jeter said.
PRINCE ALBERT’S SHOW: The pace here in St. Louis will be a lot less hectic for Jeter and Rivera than it was last year in New York, when they were being shuttled all around town. That’s part of the benefit and problem of having the All-Star Game in your home city. Now, the Yankees can enjoy being guests and not hosts this week.
“You definitely enjoy it,” Jeter said. “Last year was unbelievable, the way the fans treated not
just me, but the Yankees players in general during those few days. During
the game was really something. Last year was more of a celebration of Yankee Stadium than
anything. This year it seems like it’s almost a celebration of Albert.”