Morse Fits Perfectly With the Yankees

On Tuesday, the Washington Nationals signed Adam LaRoche to a new two-year contract. This essentially made Mike Morse expendable to Washington and he is on the trade market.

YES Network’s Jack Curry tweeted today that the Yankees called the Nationals about Morse after the LaRoche signing, but the Nationals weren’t ready to talk trade yet. However, Curry said that the two teams will eventually talk trade.

Morse would be a very good fit for the Yankees right now. He is a power righty bat, which the Yankees are in desperate need of. Also, Morse can play right field or DH, where the Yankees also need help.

He is not a player you want in right field every day, as his -24.5 UZR over the last three years will tell you. However, the small right field in Yankee Stadium helps hide defensive problems, so Morse should be fine playing there a few times a week. Morse has stated that he strongly opposes being a DH, but that would not deter me from making a trade. It would be best vs. righties to keep a strong defensive outfield of Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki, and have Morse DH.

The reason Morse is a great fit is because he is everything the Yankees need right now in a hitter. Morse has a great combination of power and average that most of the current Yankees hitters don’t have. There is a good possibility that Morse would be the Yankees’ second best hitter this season.

What is so great about Morse is that he does not have a platoon split like so many of the current Yankees do. Over the last three years, Morse has hit .296/.344/.512 against righties and .294/.349/,517 against lefties. The Yankees got burned late in games because of to many players having drastic platoon splits and Morse would help even that out.

As previously mentioned, Morse is a big time power threat from the right side. He hit 18 home runs in 102 games last season and 31 home runs in 146 games in 2011. Mike Eder at The Yankee Analysts made a great point about how Morse’s power fits Yankee Stadium. He points out that 28% of his hits in his career have gone to right field, where he has a .412 average and a .684 slugging percentage. In 2012, 30% of his hits went to right field, and he hit .489 with a .913 slugging percentage.

The Yankees have gone after left handed pull hitters to take advantage of the short porch in right field, but those numbers suggest Morse can take advantage of it from the right side, which is huge to even out the lineup. He is not a fly ball hitter, as his ground ball percentage (48.4% over the last three years) and his line drive percentage (18.9%) have been high. This means his average is not a fluke and he is different than a lot of the hitters the Yankees have currently.

The biggest downside to Morse, other than his defense, is his injury history. He missed the first two months of the season last year with a right shoulder strain. Also, in 2010 Morse missed a month with a calf injury and he missed the entire 2008 season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Fortunately for the Yankees, they would not be making a long term commitment to Morse, who is only signed for next season for $6.75M.

The fact that Morse is only on a one-year deal would be a deterrent for most teams, but for the Yankees it fits in nicely with their $189M plan. He would help them compete this season and he would not affect their plan to get under $189M in 2014.

Also, the fact that he is only on a one-year deal has brought his price down. The Nationals are reportedly looking for a lefty reliever and pitching prospects for Morse. Boone Logan would be a nice player for the Yankees to offer, along with a pitcher like Brett Marshall or Adam Warren. It is likely that the Nationals would ask for David Phelps or Ivan Nova, which would make things interesting. There are a lot of teams in on Morse, so he will not come cheap for the Yankees.

As things stand today, I have the Tigers, Angels and Blue Jays ahead of the Yankees in the AL right now, and there is a pretty big gap between them and the Yankees. If the Yankees were to acquire Morse that gap would close a good deal. I would not put the Yankees as the favorite over those teams, but I would give them a chance to compete with those teams. Morse would just make the lineup a lot deeper than it is right now. Here are my sample lineups with Morse:

Vs. Righties

1. Ichiro

2. Jeter

3. Cano

4. Tex

5. Morse

6. Grandy

7. Youk

8. Gardy

9. Catcher

Vs. Lefties

1. Jeter

2. Youk

3. Cano

4. Tex

5. Morse

6. Grandy

7. Diaz

8. Gardy/Ichiro

9. Catcher

Those lineups, combined with a very solid starting pitching staff and bullpen, would put the Yankees in contention for 2013. The Yankees have not replaced the production of Nick Swisher yet and Morse would probably do just that. Right now, without a righty power bat like Morse, the Yankees are unlikely to be able compete for a championship in 2013. Go get it done Cashman.

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About Matthew B

I am a student at William Paterson University and studying to become a sportswriter. I have a huge passion for the Yankees and love sharing my opinions on them. I can analyze every aspect of the Yankees very well. I am very active on Twitter so feel free to contact me there Twitter: @RAYROBERT9

Posted on January 11, 2013, in Personal Opinion. Bookmark the permalink. 143 Comments.

  1. I agree Matthew….Morse makes a lot of sense. I think when Randy levine reports the declining season ticket sales to Hal this Spring, they’ll wish they did more. Hal’s recent quotes make me want to laugh and cry:

    1) Steinbrenner, re: fans angry about team’s direction: “I’m surprised to hear that there’s anger, if you see what we’ve done this offseason.”

    Please Hal, you signed a bunch of old vets to 1-yr deals while the muddling offense just got worse.

    2) Hal: “Is our goal 189 next year? Yes. But only if I’m convinced if the team I see, that we’ve put together, is a championship-caliber team.”

    That’s a ridiculous comment. So once the entire offseason is over and you see what team Cashman has put together, then you will decide to spend money AFTER all the FAs have been signed.

    3) Hal: Getting under $189 mil isn’t just a 1-year goal: “I believe that you don’t have to have a $220-million payroll to win a championship.”

    This just made me want to punch the wall! Of course you don’t NEED to spend $220M to win a championship but if you have the financial wherwithall to spend $220M+ AND STILL make a fortune, you do it! Doesn’t mean you don’t give young players a chance or overpay people, but don’t take talent away from your team JUST to keep the payroll under $189m to make more money.

    PLEASE just sell the team to Mark Cuban or someone who had George’s hunger to win.

  2. Matt B. well written article. To date this is the best article you have written. Well done.

    Morse is a no brainer. To bad the mgmt doesn’t have the brains to get it done.

  3. Thanks Matt

  4. Despite my deep distrust of this organization’s management and my criticism for many of their decisions, I actually think the team will be better than many think in 2013. Yes, they will hit fewer HRs but consider the following:

    1) Their OF defense will be a huge upgrade. Ichiro is an upgrade over Swish and you go from one of the worst defensive players in MLB in Ibanez to perhaps the best in Gardner.

    2) Much better team speed with a full yr of Gardner & Ichiro, along with more playing time for Nunez.

    3) With so many players in “walk years”, effort will be maximized. It shouldn’t matter to professionals but its human nature to try harder when our contracts are coming due or we are going to have our performance reviewed. Yanks have about 8-10 significant FAs.

    4) Deep pitching staff from 1-12. CC, Andy, Mo, Aardsma & Joba should all be healthy after injury-plagued 2012s

    • Morse would be the perfect DH and 4th outfielder until A-Rod returns, then he becomes your LFer. What do we give up to get him?

    • Ok, fishjam…
      I’ll buy into almost all of what you wrote! My biggest concern is, some fans are so set on getting Morse that I think they are ready to trade away 3 to 4 good players for a one year player…that is not the way of doing things! Remember when that was the way things got done.
      I think if we are not inundated with injuries, things will work out just fine, with or without Morse…I hope!
      It is crazy out there sometimes…trading Boone, Joba, Warren and Nunez for one player!? If he were to cost that much…I say; forget him! If he were a 24 year-old A-Rod or Jeter that’s different.

      • You’re absolutely right Old Yank. Trading multiple players under team control for 1-yr rentals is what buried the Yanks in the 80′s/early 90s. Morse would be a great addition for 2013 but I would only give up Logan or Joba plus 1 B prospect for him.

        Logan and Joba are useful relievers in their primes but they are both Free Agents after this season and they are just relievers. RPs tend to be inconsistent and the Yanks have several good relief pitchers ready to come up in the next year. A RP for a middle of the order hitter is a great trade. As for the prospect, he’d likely be a SP and that hurts. I wouldn’t include Phelps but someone from like Warren I would. I believe Warren can be a back end MLB starter but the Yanks have a good amount of them. I like Marshall & Turley more than Warren and Banuelos and Pineda should be healthy in 2014.

        I don’t want to give up Nunez. And if the price gets out of hand for Morse, i’d use Jeter & Nunez as my SS and RH DH. Jeter crushed the ball when he was the DH last yr. In 25 games he hit .388/.439/.524/.963. Coming off a busted ankle at 39 yrs old, he should DH even more.

        • I could sign on for that trade; Logan or Joba and a B pitcher!
          I wouldn’t give up Phelps, Nova, Marshall, Turley, Banuelos, Pineda or Jose Campos!
          Jeter and Nunez are good but, Jeter has a bit of a problem with right handers and that DH number .388 was against LH pitchers 2/3s of the time! To be honest, I can’t see him hitting over .300 this year, his age with the added ankle injury is not going to help.

          fishjam this is thinking ahead with concern for a talented player and nothing more…..
          One of my Doctors is a Yankee fan, I asked him why Jeter was only in a boot for a couple of months. He told me, Jeter only had a broken ankle not a compound fracture as mine was. With that knowledge in hand I say: he may have to learn his pitchers and enemy hitters better, so he can play the odds more!.
          I see a lot of trouble for him or the team next year! Heck maybe even this year! It will be very good news if I am wrong again, my prognostication has been a bit off, the last few years. lol

          • Fabian Boyer Simmoms loves the old Yank……but his prognostications are as useful as a wooden leg in a barn fire.

            • fatboy-99…….and the old yankee7, loves you also. You two, even look alike.
              Did your mother ever spend time in western New York?

              • Is that true Patrick? My mother sold toupees throughout western NY in the early 2000s. Is Old Yank my Daddy?

                • Young fatboy. All true.
                  Does your birth certificate read…Ken-7 Simmoms?
                  Are you wearing a toupee, in your Baptism photo?
                  You made me spit out my beer! My desk is a mess!

                  • My mom supposedly had 2 affairs…….one with a guy from the Hair Club ( he wasnt just a customer he was the president of the Hair Club). And another affair with a pidgeon-toed Mickey Mantle fan who fancied Just for Men with his morning coffee.

                    • No, I don’t wear a toupee on my head……..I do wear a merkin…….how embarrassing……don’t tell anyone.

          • Old Yank -No one respect’s Jeter’s accomplishments more than me. That said, I don’t think he’ll be anywhere near as good in 2013 as he was in 2012. He was amazing for a 38-yr old SS and he was the most consistent player in MLB game to game. He kept them team going all year as the one constant.

            But, he led the league in PAs and is coming off a broken ankle. His #s will definitely take a hit but I still think he can hit .300 IF they give him proper rest. He needs to get some total days off and get about 30-40 games at DH. Hopefully Nunez is up to the task to play SS more often.

            • fishjam…
              That is something I can agree with, besides, the difference between .299 and .300 is about 5 hits+/-?
              I am more worried about Jeter playing SS than Nunez.
              I agree with all you have said but, I add to it a big ?? mark for this and Next year. SS is not 1st base!

              Stay healthy and have a good New Year for you and yours! :)

        • fish, I think Morse is the missing peice to this team right now, and I like trading either Warren or Logan for him. I think Joba is going to be great this year so I wouldn’t trade him. I would go as far as trading Warren and Adams for him.

  5. Matt, with your line-ups I would bat Ichiro/Gardy ninth for the double lead off, and the catcher 8th, other than that your right on. This is a good line-up to contend in the East.

    • Yeah Doug the only reason I didn’t was because I didn’t want to stack lefties with Ichiro 1st and Gardy 9th. But you can certainly do it that way as well. With Morse I would put them as the favorites in the East but without him or somebody similar I have them 2nd.

  6. Why is Granderson still on the team, for your line-ups?
    I still would trade Granderson this year for the best deal we can get, unless they think a draft pick is more valuable! Granderson would be a good defensive OF and a lot of HRs for a team that has a lack of power.
    There is no way I would set Brett this year, his defense is worth a lot to a pitcher and the win side of the card.
    Play him in CF and bat him 1st or 9th (depending on Jeter) Itchy is a bat control guy so, is a better #2.
    Itchy in right field and #2 sport. Morse in left field or, Granderson in left and Morse as number 4 OF!
    There is no reason to sit one of baseballs best CFers just because he hits about 5-7 HRs a year the rest of his numbers are fine, one thing is he SOs less than he walks.

  7. Mr. Yankee….are you in shape? Your mind is slow…but is your body still agile……can you run without a walker? Are you overweight? I am a little overweight that is why my mother calls me Fatboy . It’s embarrassing …..

  8. Fatboy, if it has to be that…
    I am 74 years old and have never met anyone in better shape from 65 on up! My body is not as agile as it was even 10 years ago and I can run without my walker but not for another month or so, so I am told.
    I am 5-1/2 pounds overweight and yes my mind is slower than it ever was. How and what have you been up to other than chasing bee’s.
    I am trying! :)

    • Hi Old Yank……what have I been up to? I’m in the school glee club, I play the tuba in the band….I play on the football team, ( I’m the front line). I am the president of the sowing class…( I took this position so I can sow my pants… as they keep splitting) how embarrassing…..

  9. Present company excluded.
    Is this the gathering spot for people in the funeral industry?
    Half the day, when I check in here, I feel as though I am at a wake.
    Always the same posters.
    100 days of darkness, the sky is falling, last place is here, Hal is Hitler, and so on.
    They have over two months, to fine tune this squad.

    • So, Patrick…
      What is your prognostication for the team this year? I don’t think I have been happy about things as they are but, bitc-ing about things is not doing any good so, why bother.
      Until they break for the north in the spring, we will not even know who will help make-up the team!
      So young Irishman, keep the faith!

      • oldyankee7-Ken: You were not in my cross hairs.
        You are patient, humorous, and brilliant.
        The league of funeral directors here, are wearing me down.

      • Mr old Yank……I am overweight but I still have opinions. I believe the Yankees will finish first with 98 wins…..cano will go 40/130′ Grandy 45/110 Tex 33/110. Nunez will be a bright spot….Gardner will steal 50.

        • I don’t think you are right but, as you said you have the right to an opinion, such as it is! lol

          1–98 wins, not likely!
          2–Cano at 40/130 damn, I hope not…he has been going for that right field fence and every year his Avg. has gone down along with his hitting with runners in scoring position…..25/130 and .330 is doable for him and will help the team. The one thing is, it is his walk year so HRs sell!
          3–Grandy could give us .260/40/110, but again walk year.
          4–Tex will give us whatever he can!
          5–Nunez could be around .295/15/70…depends on his play time.
          6–Brett will be around .275/5/75 and 60 SB (unless he hits in front of Jeter) @#9!

          This is my Guess, No one knows what will really happen but we will see if we have Two ME first players when the season starts! :)

          • I agree with you OldYank. Cano is a supreme talent but what you say has merit. His K% has jumped from 9-11% his whole career to 14% the last 2 seasons. But his HRs and Walks have also jumped too while still hitting over .300. Last yr he hit poorly with RISP but the yr before he hit great. If he can cut down his stroke and be more patient with RISP in 2013, he could easily drive in 110-125 Runs again.

            I’d bet against 98 wins but I do think they can win the AL East. Baltimore has done nothing to improve themselves and won’t win as many 1-run games this yr. Boston is somewhat better and dumping Bobby V for Farrell is big but they aren’t good enough. Tampa lost their #2 starter, 2 of their better hitters and several strong relievers. They still have several young players who will improve and have Longoria who missed much of last yr. They will be tough as usual. Toronto is everyone’s favorites as they have the high-end talent to match up with anyone. But they still have question marks about their pitching and a lot of guys jumping to the AL for the first time.

            I think it will be a very tight AL East race and if the Yanks can add Morse or another big RH bat, they could be fine. Girardi needs to embrace the strengths of his new team and not sit back for the HR. They have improved their defense, team speed and ability to work pitchers with Youk & Gardner. When Nunez is in the lineup, they will have 3 legitimate base stealing threats. Add in all of the guys playing for new contracts and this team could have a lot different look. They need 2 from the trio of Granderson, Tex & Gardner to step up with big years. They are the 3 regulars still in their primes that had disappointing 2012′s for different reasons.

    • Patrick – If you don’t like it……feel free to ignore it. This is a baseball site to talk about the Yankees….not to make endless fat jokes.

  10. Remember Jim22224444?
    Jim, if you are out there…come back! You are missed.
    He, would be like a bowling ball….rolling through this funeral procession..

  11. Yes Bring back Jim22224444……he has been punished enough.

    Lift the ban!

  12. SCOTT HAIRSTON….today’s bad poker player.
    ” I’ll decide where I will play ( Yanks/Mets )…in a few days.” To drive up his contract.
    Duh!…Now nobody wants him. Imagine, the Mets turning their noses on you. Jesus.

  13. MY SOURCES TELL ME…that Ballpark, Jim22224444, and IFY1959 are
    all at the Olive Garden, in Nutley, New Jersey.

  14. MY SOURCES TELL ME……they have been thrown out of the Olive Garden for causing a disturbance……jim22224444 wouldn’t pay his portion of the bill (said it was too expensive) and Ballpark hit him wit a 34 ounce Louisville slugger.

  15. Merkin? From baseball chatter to this?
    I had to go to Google Images for that one. Never knew that.
    Do you know there is a ‘Merkin World’ site?
    Fatboy…turn in your mother.
    Good night. Stay thirsty.

    • Love how he blames the schedule and Stub hub for the reason for the empty seats in the playoffs. How about adjust the price of the overpriced tickets.

      • Matthew S….
        Be nice now, Hal is unaware he doesn’t know, what he doesn’t know, about baseball!
        One thing I hope everyone picked up on was, him admitting (in a round about way) the team has been in the red for years.
        The team makes a ton of money but pays out more than it takes in and has for many years under the King. His sons and family want a profit in the bottom line.

        • OldYank – I don’t think I can agree that the yank don’t make money. The reporter asked Hal flat out if they needed to cut payroll to make a profit and Hal danced around the question………

          “Is cutting payroll something you need to do to remain profitable or is this strictly about eliminating wasteful spending?”

          He said its about being fiscally responsible. He sees that he can increase profits by over $100 Million over a few years by cutting payroll. Frankly if the Yanks can’t turn a profit with their mega revenue streams than they are worse businessmen then the clowns we have had running our government for decades. The club has a lot of expenses but they also have record-level revenues. The value of the franchise has increased over 1000% in the last 5-10 years and that doesn’t happen if you aren’t making a profit.

          What has Hal scared is he’s seeing attendance decrease and less people buying the ridiculously high-priced premium tickets. That should have him scared because the team made mistakes with the new stadium, have stopped spending on talented FAs and have no promising young players for the fans to come see. But instead of worrying about that he is “surprised to hear that there is anger (from the fans)”, blames declining attendance on StubHub and the schedule and is telling fans they will continue to cut payroll in future years after 2014.

          • Fishjam..
            I have been reading about King George having to put his money into the club year after year before there was Internet or blogs.
            I will agree to your supposition, as far as the last few years go! As I stated before, Hal and Hank said many times before they really took over the team, they were going to run it like a business. Well, he is doing that, isn’t he?
            You are also right about the Q & A on cutting payroll for profit! Do you really think he would say they wanted to do that for the bottom line? There is a big difference between Company Value and profits, The way the company had been set-up by daddy was…everything went back into the Company! The kids want money. Therefore the profits are there for the company to be a great Value as it always has been!
            I would try to dig some of that stuff up but, I have trouble just turning this thing on.

            As you said before, Hal danced around his answer to the reporter. I can’t fault him for making money with the team, that is why one goes into business.

            I can’t disagree with your other conclusions either.

            • OldYank – You are right. Yanks didn’t really start to print money until the late 90′s/early 2000s after the Dynasty. Their attendance was pitiful in the 80s and 90s and George did probably put his own money in at times. But in the 80s and even with he Dynasty teams, they didn’t have anywhere NEAR the payroll they have now. The Yanks were at or near the top of payrolls but not by the % they were in the 2000s.

          • The way I see it is you can’t have it both ways. The Yanks got killed for signing big free agents like AJ, and signing A-Rod, now they are being cut down for not making enough moves. The additions of Kuroda,Ichiro, and Youk were good enough for me. They have make team better. Yanks will have 50 million to spend next year on players which should help them improve once again. Hal and company hasn’t hurt this team at all so far, I have no reason to think otherwise.

            • hi doug, I don’t see Hal and company or the fans, having it both ways at all.
              One must remember most of the fans have been treated to the Yanks throwing their money around for any star they needed. For their life time fans (60 and under) have seen nothing other than star after star coming to the Yankees.
              Those days are long gone, maybe one every once in a while. Once the Fans get use to the new way of doing business, they will see a marked change but the end results should be just fine?!?
              Just my thinking how I would do things, if it were up to me

              What about you? This is something you can live with? :)

              • old yankee, I think it’s like comparing apples and oranges, the Yanks the last 20 years were dealing with no cap restrictions. The 189 cap is totally different in my book. Some will say they shouldn’t have any restrictions under the new cap, but I dissagree.

                • doug…
                  The Yankees have been paying, for being over the Cap for many years. If I remember right fashjam or twasp/fatboy have a better handle on it than I do. The diference now is, there is a way to get around it but, a lot of things have made it better and yet worse.
                  One of them can set it up for you. I can take a guess about the teck-stuff but, I don’t like leading you down the wrong road.

                  • Yeah, the Luxury tax has been in effect for almost a decade. The difference in 2014 is it rises from approximately $175m to $189m AND under the new CBA there are 2 HUGE incentives for the Yankees to get under the Luxury tax for the first time ever:

                    1) Their tax rate would reset from 50% to just 17.5% the net time they go over.

                    2) They will get a sizable rebate on their Revenue Sharing. As Hal stated, the Yanks pay over $100m in revenue sharing every yr. Starting in 2014, teams in the top 10 Markets are no longer eligible to receive revenue sharing and the money will be rebated to the teams that had to pay it. So teams like Toronto, Oakland, Atlanta,Washington, etc won’t get revenue sharing even if they have lower local revenues. Its no coincidence that most of these teams are spending more money now.

                    So teams like the yanks can get a refund on there revenue sharing payments BUT only if they under he Luxury Tax threshold. So that is the biggest incentive for the Yanks to get under the cap…..they will get some of that $100M in revenue sharing back and they get more for being under the cap in multiple years so 2015 & 2016 could also be below 189.

                    That is the part that scares me….I believe Hal intends to stay under 189 for at least 3 years which means if they sign Cano, they are basically totally out of the running for FAs on multi-year deals. The 1-yr deals you see this Winter will become the norm along with almost half the Roster earning league minimum

                    • The Yanks have always found a way to compete in all the markets. Hal makes sense wanting to get under tha cap to me, it will save him alot of money. Yanks will be dumping 50 million next year and Cashman will have to make his toughest decisions as GM so far. I do see the Yanks taking a hit in the next few years, but then again no one has stayed on top in sports the way the Yanks have to date.

            • Just a little follow-up doug…
              The old days are about done, 2009 was the last WS victory! The Yankees need to change their thinking in the way they set up the team and I think they have done so. We got into the Cleveland thinking, try to out score everyone with power…hay, it didn’t work for Cleveland now did it?
              Maybe they have figured out what the word BALANCED means!
              There is and has been no need for stars at every spot. The players they need and should go after are players that can play baseball…not just a hitter, or power hitter like Granderson! More like a guy that knows how to play.
              Morse is just a stop gap type player, good bat from the right side but, suspect as a out-fielder. So, he would become a DH right….not so fast! We have a much better player for that position (Nunez) plus we need DH for Jeter and A-Rod and the others as needed. Would it be worth the players we would have to give up for a 1/2 year of Morse?
              The way I can see it working out well is for the Yankees to unload Granderson maybe to Seattle for some very good farm players. Then we would have Morse in LF, Brett in CF and Itchy in RF.

              What say you guys…other then…are you Nuts? :)

              • old yankee, I agree with a more balanced attack in a team, and I agree with you on Morse and trading Grandy. My only concern is the loss of so many HRs from last year losing Grandy,Ibanez,Chavez,and Swisher. I’m not sure if this is good for the team.

              • Good points Old Yank. I’m OK with the Yanks cutting payroll but the timing sucks. They are doing it a year or 2 too early. You cannot slash payroll without having good quality, cheap young players ready to perform. The Yanks have spent the last 3 years trading away quality youngsters and seeing their 3 top pitching prospects (4 if you want to include the ridiculous Pineda) washout or get injured.

                Right now, the yankee system is deep in position player talent, deeper than they’ve been in years. But NONE of that talent is ready to be an impact player in 2014. I think Adams and Joseph and 1 of Austin or Slade could be on the 2014 team but I don’t think they’d be impact players. Turn the payroll cutting back to 2015 or better yet 2016 and you should have the young core required to field a good team under 189.

                The Yankees have decided that its better to field a veteran lineup with young, cheap pitching. I believe in the reverse. I prefer to have young, athletic hitters/fielders and a more veteran staff. It’s much harder to learn the nuances of pitching than hitting/fielding. Pitchers tend to blossom later than hitters because it takes years for pitchers to fine tune their command and learn how to set up hitters. There are exceptions but given the Yankees poor track record with young pitchers, I don’t like their strategy.

                • fishjam…
                  This is getting to be a habit…again, I agree with you but, what can we do? Hal and the other family members have said this is the start of the change over…so, be it!
                  I like younger position players and vets in the pitching rotation except for one rookie or young guy a year. Using the young guns in the BP is a big step for the Yanks, they never did that a few years ago!

              • Ok Old Yank…are you nuts? (you asked)…..

                Did you know Grandy led the league in both runs scored and runs batted in….just one season ago? And plays a fine CF. He is a run producing stud….an AllStar. I don’t care how many times he struck out…Mickey Mantle Nd Reggie Jackson struck out a lot too and they weren’t bad were they?

                • Hi bug man, Am I nuts? Been there and called that many times for many years! So, yes… probably!
                  Anyhow, to get back to your question; it is sarcasm right?
                  Mickey had a triple crown and a .298(?) lifetime avg. on a team that for 8 years was one of the worse teams in the East. Reggie also had more RBIs and Better avg.
                  Granderson is expendable because he will walk next year along with Cano. Now, of the two, who do you trade? A no brainer, Granderson! Grandy opens a whole in left field that Morse can slide into.

                  Having a good week? I hope so! :)

                  • Ken….I thought you valued defense? morse cannot field!

                    • Neither Cano nor Grandy would walk if dumb and dumber would stop with the budget BS and just pay them whatever is fair. Paying a stupid luxury tax is nothing for a 1.6billion dollar company.

                      Hal gets less hairspray and Hank gets less Botox.

                    • Let me reiterate the Company makes $1.6B+/- yearly but, they had been spending more than that every year.
                      It is not cheep to start giving attention to a bad to god awful bad farm system, sign A-Rod, Jeter, CC and Tex, the whole farm system and parks, the new park we have etc., staff training and all the people they have in Tampa.
                      As for defense, you know my position on that subject!

              • old yankee, pitching is becoming more important because of the lack of PEDs and amphetatmines. The last 3 years the teams that have pitched well have gone the farthest in the playoffs. I see alot of parity in the pitching this year with the Yanks staff rated as #4 in the AL. This is enough to contend in the East, as I always say the playoffs are a crap shoot. The winning formula more than ever right now in baseball is good pitching, and like Casey always said, you can never have enough pitchers. I remember how everyone was killing the Yanks for Soriano, and he was a big reason they got to the playoffs last year. This year will be no different, the teams that pitch the best will be in the playoffs.

                • doug, I will grant your being right on much of what you have written above. The pitchers were also taking PEDs etc., so it evened the game a bit.
                  Maybe you don’t remember the Baltimore Orioles of the 1970′s they had the best pitching in the Major Leagues but, could only win 2 WS in that time line. Oh, the hitting was damn near as good also.

                  I believe, the team that is “most ready”, by that I mean…; Work the hardest, play the hardest, concentrate the hardest and makes no mistakes will win the majority number of games. On each winning team, there is one or two players that are unstopable…example again: Reggie Jackson what did he do to get into the HoF? Hit those HRs in one WS and hit 563 HRs with a inept BA of .262 in his career.

                  The idea of it being random, I reject, as I do with LUCK, in my opinion any how. One makes their own luck.

                • Doug, while good pitching is important to success, it’s still all about having a balanced team. Tampa Bay had the best pitching in Major league baseball with a remarkable 3.19 ERA last year, yet finished 3rd in their own division because they couldn’t field and only had an average at best offense.

                  • fishjam, Tampa we are not talking about the regular season, you know it all comes down to how you pitch in the playoffs. The Yanks pitched well last year in the playoffs, but the Tigers pitched better. Tampa was lucky to be in the playoffs 2 years ago. The Nats now they have the pitching this year to win in the playoffs, adding Soriano today only helps them more.

                    • Doug, you said the teams that pitch the best will be in the playoffs so figured you were talking about the regular season. Tampa Bay pitched better than every team in MLB yet came in 3rd place in the AL East so pitching isn’t everything. In the playoffs 2 big dominant starters can take you a long way and hits/runs are much harder to come by. You can’t win it all without good pitching but you have to be balanced. One-trick teams don’t usually win it all.

                  • What kind of balance did the Giants have last year, there fielding was 13 in the NL and had a worse fielding percentage than the Rays.

                    • Giants had great balance last year. They were 5th in ERA and 6th in Runs Scored despite playing in the biggest pitching park in MLB. Of all the teams that made the Playoffs in both leagues, only 1 had an offense that was below average, Cincinati. So, I mantain……pitching is important but you must have a balance between scoring runs and preventing runs. As Tampa Bay proved, even with the best piching in baseball you can come in 3rd place in your division if you are below average in both scoring and catching the baseball.

                  • fishjam, if you want balance it was the Yanks, 2nd in hitting, 5th in pitching, and 3rd in fielding. Tampa, you have to be in it to win it.

                    • Yup, Yanks have pretty much have always had balanced teams since the mid 90s. The one year. Yanks have been 1st or 2nd in runs scored almost every year for the last decade. The only exception was 2008, their offense fell to 10th in MLB and they didn’t make the Playoffs. That’s why I think Morse is important after losing Swish and the drop-off at Catcher.

            • Doug, it’s about spending on the right FAs. AJ & ARod were massive overpays. Giving huge money to CC was justified because he was on the right side of 30. Not spending on International FAs like Cespedes Chapman, Soler, Hecheveria, Darvish, etc was a mistake for the richest team in MLB. Signing 39-yr old Ichiro to a 2 yr deal instead of 28-yr old Melky was a mistake. That $50 Million they have next year needs to pay for 18 players!!! Try to field a quality team next yr for $175 Million (after the $13M in benefits). I have tried on paper a dozen times. It’s not a playoff-caliber team unless several young players step up.

              • , almost all free agents are overpays, the bigger the player the bigger the overpay. Some other international players were busts like Dice K. Let’s wait and see how a juice less Melky does this year, remember him in Atlanta. It’s easy to speculate. Yanks are on the back end of their big spending, and I agree need some of their young players to be successful to make it happen. Next year all they need is one outfielder and a pitcher to make the team along with some back-ups.

          • This is a really sad story. Not surprising. but sad nonetheless. It just makes so much sense http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/new-york-yankees-likely-to-pass-on-justin-upton-011312

            • Matt, I think Morosi is crazy, why would Grandy want to sign with the M’s. We all can make up some crazy trades on this site, buy when writers do it they look foolish. I for one am not that high on Upon.

            • It is sad. I’m not sold on Upton as a superstar but I think he’d be a good addition. It is sad for 2 reasons:

              1) The Yanks can’t afford 3 yrs @ $39M for a 25 yr old middle of the order OF
              2) They don’t have the upper level prospects to make such a deal

              When you look at the package Seattle gave up, the Yankees simply don’t have a prospect to headline such a deal right now. they want a big-time pitching prospect near MLB-ready to replace Bauer. With Banuelos hurt, the Yanks can’t match that. The Yanks could match the other 3 pieces but not the headliner to compare to Taijuan Walker. Everyone in the Seattle deal has played in the Upper Minors or Majors. Yankee top prospects are too young to complete a deal like that.

  16. fishjam, I think if Pineda returns to form by next year the Yanks will be fine with their starting pitching. CC, add Shields,Lester,or Haren, Nova, Pineda, and Phelps. Line-up Gardner, Nunez, Ellisbury, Cano, Tex, A-Rod, Jeter, Romine, and Heathcott.

    • Doug, that would be a nice team but will never fit under 189. Shields isnt a FA and Lester will cost a fortune the Yanks won’t pay. Haren is possible on a 1-yr deal for $12-15M like Kuroda but that’s a price they likely won’t pay. No chance whatsoever they sign Cano AND Ellsbury.

  17. Add to that Cabral,Marshall,Whitley,Monte,and Kahnle in the pen.

  18. Old Yank……Jeter will hit .300 again this season. Take it to the bank.

    • If he does, that is great for the team. I have a question for you. If Nunez makes an error once in a while, is that better or worse than having a SS that can’t cover the ground I can (lol)?

      If Jeter can do near as well as last year that would be great but with his ankle and age along with the infamous big year before the fall….we can only hope, but anyone that says for sure he will do it again is using their heart not their head!

      And no mater what you may think I am not bashing Jeter, if he has a bad year it hurts the team. If he has a good year it helps…which do you think I want of him? :)

      • Ken – depends how limited Jeter is by the injury. If he has last seasons range….I’d stick with him …the guy who is more sure handed then the guy who blows easy plays. I think most pitchers would agree.

        What say you Fish?

        • I’ll take old reliable over a gifted but erratic SS any day. Jeter has poor range but he makes every play he still makes every play he’s suppossed to. I’d replace him when we have a clear better option, but seeing the SS’s around MLB, Jeter is fine with me. He’s also a calming influence on the rest of the team….I don’t think it’s a coincidence the rest of the team looked like they wanted to go home after Jeter got carried off the field in the playoffs. I don’t think he’ll be as good as last yr but he could hit .300. But I’d like to see him DH more and get days off all together too.

  19. And given the chance…Nunez will hit 300 too. (300 fans will be hit with his throws)

  20. Old Yankee …..do not root for the Yankees to get Morse…..he makes Nick Swisher look like Roberto Clemente in The OF.

    • I realize that wasp, just some others are so intent on getting him I felt bad about saying …as I did…he is a good bat but not a real good fielder. Ibanaz wasn’t that good either so………..! :)

  21. Young yank…..just because Fish and some others here want him…..don’t compromise. You and I know how important fielding is. 1 +1=3

    • Morse will DH most of the time and play RF maybe 50-60 games. RF at Yankee stadium is one of the easier OF positions in baseball. With Gardner in CF and the short fence behind him, he’ll be adequate. The guy came up as a SS – can he be worse than Swisher humping doorknobs out there?

  22. Old Yank……what announcer used to say How About That!

  23. Fish – what Yankee announcer said Holy Cow!

  24. CashMan will eventually realize he needs an RHH to platoon with Iichy and a RHH DH.

  25. Ken…you let young Fish beat. You to the Mel Allen answer? Shame…

  26. Ken…..the yankee conglomerate does not take in 1.6billion each year. We don’t know what there revenues are. The team is VALUED at 1.6billion dollars. We also don’t know what there expenses are. But you can bet their operating profits are large enough to give the steinbrenners more than they need while we bear the brunt of the costs.

    • You are right to some extent. I do know that for many, many years, up to the last year or two, the Yankees had to get money from a % of profits from Daddy and a couple of times from Yes Net!

      Companies as large as The Yankees and the other subsidiaries make up the conglomerate, which is run by Hal. One thing to keep in mind, each subsidiary is a company of its own and I know the baseball operation has been losing money for a lot of years, until lately!

      It happens to be their company and they have money invested in it, if they want to make money they can make as much as they can or want. So far there is no law against that yet.

      • The steinbrenners have the right to make as much money as they can…..they have the right to charge 2000 a ticket, 100 for a jersey, 20 for a sandwich. But when is too much, too much…when the fans can’t afford to take their family to a game. Right Now! Greed is bad!

        • In case you haven’t noticed T guy, Greed has been around as long as man started keeping records and before even that.
          But then again, When you have so many family members invested in the company’s one needs a profit of such amount as needed. We have no idea how much it takes to run that company and how much is profit do we?
          What one doesn’t know can come back to hurt them! :)

        • Young yank…….greed is a sin. Charging the prices they charge is a sin. When the average fan can’t afford to go to a game with his family it’s a sin.

          • twasp, if you can’t afford the price watch it on TV, it’s all about supply and demand the American way.

            • Doug ……many fans have the right to go to a baseball game without being ripped off. Saying watch it on TV is wrong…..I want every kid in America to be able to go to a game.

  27. Doug – cashMan stinks….and I don’t buy that defense that pitching is impossible to predict. that goes along with your random theory. You are saying the outcome of choosing a pitcher is random..it may fail…it may succeed…..it’s random and cannot be predicted by a GM. Each move has a 50/50 chance of success.

    Well CashMans record in acquiring pitchers hast been well below 50% being successful.

    • twasp, half of your predictions will not come to fruition. What I am saying is that after the aces or top ten pitchers in the game the rest are a crap shoot. Just look at the parity in the game ane you will see that this is true.

    • I will take a stinky GM like Cashman any day of the week, that’s why he doen’t get fired. You don’t know what you are talking about. If you believe what you have written then you should be fired.

      • Doug…you don’t know what you are talking about. You constantly spout this ridiculous theory that everything is random and can’t be predicted…and when you get called on it….your response is to say “you don’t know what your talking about”. CashMan gets more trades/acquisitions wrong then he gets right. Look it up random theory genius.

  28. Yes….but even if it’s a krap shoot and each move is 50/50…….. CashMan scores even worse than 50/50…..meaning he is below average.

  29. Come on twasp….None of us has the right to tell the owner of any company what they must charge and what they can’t….unless you are Obama!
    As for the average fan not affording to go to a game with his family it’s a sin bit; back in the day we couldn’t afford to live in a real house…maybe you heard about it, a thing called the Depression. Even up into the 50′s we had to get in through the old back-end to watch a game…we were “The Kitchen Trash” named so by the old guard that left the gate un locked for us.

    By the way, there is no such thing as a right to see a game…that is something made-up by people who say some have the right to live off of my hard work!

    I don’t believe in random response, even when one sets up a random firing pattern the pattern is soon figured out, sometimes within thee/five shots.

    Play nice now, both of you have a right to you opinion! Right?
    Don’t work to hard to marrow. :)

    • Ken…I know you would be the first person to volunteer to take a group of underprivileged kids to a game. Right?

      • I and my buddy have done it many times over the years! Why do you ask?

        I will give a poor person a job but, I will not give them money, for any reason…and I have heard them all.
        When they top mine, then maybe!
        If I were to walk into the house of said poor kids, and they had all the gadgets and bells and whistles…
        no, I wouldn’t count them as underprivileged kids, would you?
        The kids I count, are those that have nothing or next to nothing!

    • old yankee, yes I remember my father telling me that my Grandfather who had 11 kids could only afford to pay the interest on his house and never really owned it so to speak. Obama has us heading in that direction agian.

      • doug…
        Before we get into trouble with Matt S…even though I agree with you…we must stop writing about such things! We must keep it to sports.
        I understand your Grandfathers situation all to well, I came from “The Kitchen” in New York…back in the 40′s with 5 sisters and it wasn’t fun. Those, in this day and time, that choose to stay in those situations have no respect for themselves, so I have none for them. In the days your Grandfather was having trouble was the 1920/1930′s, very rough times with people working in the WPA, soup lines and no work at all!
        Did you know baseball is a very good history of the times?
        Examples;
        1–back in the 1800 to 1918 years, most players were Irishmen…!
        2–1920 to 1935 (about) it was Italians
        3–1945 to? we started to see a movement to bring everyone into the game.
        4–For the past few years we have seen many of the latin country’s come to the for front.
        What does this mean, history wise? It was all tied to prejudice!

        Be well and have a nice day!

        • old yankee, Great history lesson, wasn’t there something about gambling in the days of Cobb and Speaker. It was a different world in those days, everyone bet on the games. That was why they came up with a rule on gambling on games

          • doug…
            One must remember the times, those guys were paid little to nothing for playing a kids game!
            After the rule changes on gambling, we had one of the most unjust banishments of a player for life, from baseball!
            Shoeless Joe Jackson should have been called Clueless (like Joe Torrie) Joe Jackson back in 1918(?) when they threw the WS against the Reds(?). Joe had no idea what was going on, he played his heart out and damn near won the WS anyhow. They called him Shoeless for a reason, as with a lot of players back in those days they came from all aspects of the spectrum, from College man Christy Mathewson to Joe Jackson, dumb and dirt poor.
            If one must talk about one of the (all around) great players, Shoeless Joe Jackson rates a place beside the biggest names in baseball.

            • old yankee, my first year in the minors we got 500 a month, and if you had a good year the next year you got 550.

              • doug…
                I understand the way it use to be, Mickey Mantle highest contract called for $100,000 can you believe what he would be paid to-day?
                You had to have a job in the off-season didn’t you. Fans say, those were the good old days, I say, only if you never had to live through the days yourself.
                Anyhow you and others, such as yourself, were the leaders that helped the players of today make the money they do today! Most of them continue to make it sound as though the stats of yesteryear show the players of today are better fielders and athletes. I would like to see the players of today play with the gloves, fields, equipment etc., they had to put up with.

  30. I would like a sportswriter to ask Hal if the 20% slash in Payroll will coincide with 20% drop in Ticket Prices, Parking, Concessions, etc. or if the savings will just be pocketed by the Steinbrenner family.

    It’s bad enough that they have backed out of their arrangement with StubHub. That was the only place to get Yankees tickets at a reasonable price but the team thought it was hurting their ticket sales so screw the fans.

    Yankee attendance has been going down steadily since 2009 and 2012 was their lowest overall attendance since 2003.

    • fishjam…
      No sports writer will ask that question, and you know it! And no, I would say that 20% is there to stay, just like our taxes!
      Have a great day fishjam!

    • fishjam, I am always for the players making more money and the owners making less, since the players are the product. When I played the team owned you. Ticket prices will never come down that much in this area for many reasons. I haven’t gone to a game in 20 years because the high price, but I do watch almost every game on TV. If I get the itch to see a game in person, then I go to a minor league game or a high school or college game.

      • doug…I disagree with your summation but, in one sense you are right, the players are the selling product.
        Now look at it the logical way; without the owners, there would be no stage for the daily performance right? Who takes the financial risk with their money the players…not at all…the owners put their money at risk. If you had $10,000 invested somewhere you would want and expect a reasonable profit right? Why is an owner not entitled to a profit? It is his money not yours or the players!
        There are always two or more ways of looking at things.

        • old yankee, you are totally correct in your summation, without the owners money their is no team. I just take the players side since when I played their was no free agency, but players salary has little to do with ticket prices in my book. The price is set by what the owner can get.

          • doug…
            I somewhat agree they want what they can get but, you miss a very salient point!
            Not only must one consider the players contracts, the coaches, manager, stadium mortgage, farm system and stadiums, travel, all the people behind the organization…none of them make min-wages!

            Even considering all that, yes they could be less greedy but, again…it is their money laying out there with a risk of loosing every thing if things keep going as it has.

            Not ment to be derogatory at all but, how is your paycheck this month, a little light. It reminds me of something I heard about The king of the USA…”You know he is lying, he opened his mouth!”

            • OldYank – I wanted to punch a hole in the wall. My check was $68 light….thanks O! But lets not get started on politics.

              • fishjam…
                I hate that stuff but, I did see it coming thank the gods. Three contractors, owe me for work done by me.
                We worked it out fine, that is called having good tax lawyers.
                Did you know many ex-players end up with very little money after they quit baseball, they had bad managers or were to cheep to spend the % for a good money manager.

                • old yankee, there are alot of thieves out there calling themselves managers. As for O, he has really brought this country down, time to circle the wagons.

  31. Doug…my premise is not lame that CashMan loses at trades/acquisitions more than he wins…it’s a fact.

    Your premise that because the team makes the playoffs each year the GM has to be good is lame. If the GM has the more money than any other team ( sometimes 4 times the amount) of course he has a big advantage. If CashMan had $50m player budget do you think he would have made the playoffs each year?

    • Twasp….
      You have a big hate for Cashman and A-Rod, I just don’t like Jeter or anyone else that is so PC their sh-t doesn’t stink! When I have something to say about anyone I try to have facts. Why do you and some others denigrate Cashman so much, If he is so bad, why did King George give him control when he never let other GM’s have that kind of power? Why don’t you guys look up the records of some of the other managers like the one that left Boston under duress.
      You want to get down on someone try Cashmans bosses and Randy. He is just a figure-head now, every sense the kids took over, everything goes through Hal and Randy.
      I agree, Cashman is not the best GM but, he does what he can under the system he is in…until his contract is up…then it’s; been not so nice, don’t call me, I won’t call you! He will not quit, but when his contract is up, I think he will walk!
      Cashman became Asst. GM in 1993 and 1998 was named as VP/GM…has been in office longer than any GM in New York under King George! This will be his 20th year!

  32. Greed is bad!

    WMD never existed in Iraq.

  33. I believe Hitting and Pitching are about equally important with Fielding being a distant 3rd. Also, Fielding can be very difficult to measure with Stats. Errors/Fielding % tell a very limited story and UZR is far from reliable. You really have to watch a team a lot to guage their defense. For instance, by Fldg % the yanks were great in 2012 but watching them daily, they had poor range on the left side of the IF and the entire OF was below par. TB on the other hand was brutal in Fldg % and made a lot of big errors. however, their defensive shifts and positioning saved them dozens of runs which is difficult to quantify.

    • fishjam
      twasp always laughs at me because I count a run given up equals 2 the team needs to get back! My math is sound 1+1 = 3…if a game is tied 0-0 and one make an error to let in a run, or is not talented enough to reach a ball he should have if, he was able to cover the ground to get the ball and make the play needed to stop the score…that is one run. To win the game we now need two runs not the one we needed before the other team scored an put a era of ONE on the pitcher, because it was not counted as an error.
      See the logic…1+1=3, this is why I count pitching and defense as one and the same…one without the other is a big time loss.

  34. DOUG & EVERYONE, if the only way to get Morse was to trade Phelps and Logan or Nova and Rapada, would you do it? Which package would you rather deal? And if you say no, what would you do for a RH bat?

    • fishjam…
      In my humble opinion, I would not trade Phelps or Nova. That would be like; trying to do something the same way time after time and expecting different results. That type of trade is what lost us some good to very good players over the last few years, well 30 years anyhow! It sounds good for 2013 but what about 2014? Andy and kuroda will be gone after this year, with Phelps and Nova we have at least one of them can move into that spot.
      I may go for trading Logan and a B pitcher for one year of Morse!
      Morse is like a right-handed Ibanez(sp), good hit not much glove.

    • fishjam, no I wouldn’t trade that much pitching for Morse as a rental. I would try and sign Hairston in that case.

    • I would do it for sure

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