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Morning Bits: Top Ten Prospects, Gio Gonzalez

Good morning all.  Let’s get right to the links…..

* RAB has the list from Baseball America’s 2012 Top 10 Prospects for the New York Yankees.

* How the Yankees could get Gio.

* Ken Rosenthal argues that the Mariners definitely should trade King Felix this offseason. He notes how the Mariners are very excited about their young starting pitching. However, Ken makes a very intriguing point- “Not all of the Mariners’ young pitchers and hitters are going to develop in the way that club officials anticipate. The more prospects a team collects, the greater the chances that it will succeed.”

 

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A’s Want Big Trade Package From Yanks For Gonzalez

A’s Want Big Trade Package From Yanks For Gonzalez

By Delia E.

The Oakland Athletics are looking for a big trade package from the Yankees for Gio Gonzalez, but the Yankees aren’t so sure. The Yankees admit that they “love” Gio Gonzalez, but they do not want to give up prospect players such as Manny Banuelos, Jesus Montero & Dellin Betances.

What I’d Do If I Were Cashman

We know that it is not possible for a team to win the World Series during the offseason due to all the acquisition & trades to make their team better on paper, but the Yankees have done close to nothing. The Yankees have gotten some small players here and there, but if George Steinbrenner was alive today, he would probably be shocked that the Yankees haven’t gotten anyone big. During the Winter Meetings the Yankees picked up 2 Rule 5 Drafts while the Marlins and Angels picked up Jose Reyes, Mark Buerhle, Albert Pujols & C.J Wilson, four big names that were on the FA list when the season ended. I understand that Brian Cashman wasn’t interested in players since they would cost so high or because they get injured but just sitting around not doing anything will not get you Championships.

There were rumors last week that Cashman said that his rotation was as good as it is. Well what I say is that is complete nonsense. The Yankees were good enough to win the AL East Division, and if the bats were alive they may have been well enough to get through the playoffs, but the World Series? I wouldn’t think so. The World Series is the big stage and if you look at the names that aren’t CC Sabathia & Ivan Nova. You have inconsistent A.J Burnett, and okay pitchers like Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes. Garcia & Hughes are good, but if the Yankees were to win the WS, they need the 1-2 punch in their rotation. I would not put Nova as a #2 starter as that would be too much pressure, but having Burnett as your #2 starter? No way. I hate to do Brian Cashman’s job for him, but here are some things I would do if I was Cashman this offseason (you might want to take notes):

1. Sign Roy Oswalt to a 1 year deal: It would have been Mark Buerhle,

Roy Oswalt could be the answer to the Yankees problems, if he could stay healthy.

but Buerhle packed his bags and went to Miami because Cashman didn’t want to sign him. Now, I know what you’re thinking, that Roy Oswalt is injury prone, but his manager Bob Garber insists that Oswalt is fine and that there are no back problems. When Roy Oswalt is healthy he is quite impressive. While Oswalt had a 9-10 record, he had a 3.63 ERA which isn’t bad at all. He doesn’t walk a lot of batters (33 batters in 2011 to be exact; 2.14 BB/9) and struck out 93 (6.02 K/9). He only gave up 10 HR’s in 2011 (0.65 HR/9, which is fantastic). Does Roy Oswalt get injured a lot? Yes. But when he’s healthy does he show that he’s very effective? Yes. Also another hint to Cashman if you are thinking of signing Roy Oswalt. Don’t give him a lot of money. You don’t want that on your shoulder if Oswalt should get injured at any time during the season.

2. Trade for Gio Gonzalez: No, I am not going to propose the trade that was rumored around that would have sent Brett Gardner to the A’s. I was thinking someone more like Eduardo Nunez to the A’s. I wouldn’t send Nunez alone of course. Nunez would go with some nice prospects to sweeten the deal such as Adam Warren or Dellin Betances. If the A’s don’t like it (which is 100% inevitable) then a 3 way trade might do the trick. The A’s see players that they like from the Royals and we see players that we like from the A’s, so a 3 way trade with Oakland, Kansas City and the Yankees could do nicely. I know the A’s might be interested in young outfielders, but I think that Nunez could learn the OF. It should be almost impossible to commit 20+ errors out there like it is at shortstop (Nunez, just don’t slide).

3. Ask the Nationals for a trade: I wouldn’t expect the Nationals to help us out, seeing that we won’t give them Brett Gardner but what if we were able to entice the deal with Nick Swisher & Nunez (if the Gio Gonzalez trade doesn’t work). I don’t dislike Nick Swisher, but let’s face it- he sucks in the postseason. And would the Nationals rather have Nick Swisher in the RF vicinity than Jayson Werth, who they unfortunately nicknamed “Jayson Werth-less” due to his contract? Unfortunately, despite the Nationals’ interest in some Yankees players, they don’t have a whole lot to offer as far as the Yankees’ needs go. Stephen Strasburg or Jordan Zimmerman would certainly be nice to acquire, but there’s no way Washington is making them available.

A trade for Felix Hernandez is as unlikely as ever, but if he becomes even slightly available, Cashman will inevitably pounce.

4. Trade for King Felix: The Seattle Mariners may have said that Felix Hernandez is off the market, but if the Yankee were serious about getting starting pitching, then they could try and trade for Felix Hernandez. During the “Yankees Talk” live chat, someone asked me if the Yankees would consider trading Brett Gardner for Felix Hernandez. A point was brought up to me by Matthew B. (Writer for Yankee Fans Unite) that if the Yankees offered just Gardner for Hernandez, the Mariners would laugh in our faces. I would hate to trade Brett Gardner to any team (and I am trying to keep a neutral opinion) but if it is to get Felix Hernandez, I would do it. The Mariners want someone who can entice people into the stadium and Gardner does just that for the Yankees. If you haven’t noticed, there are a bunch of girls who sit in the LF part of the stadium. Do you really think that they are there just for baseball or more to see Brett Gardner make fantastic plays in the OF? That is the type of energy that the Mariners could be looking for in a player. The only issue with giving up Gardner is that there is no given in who will be the next LF who is as versatile as he is. I would only go to this step if all else fails and if the Yankees are getting desperate.

Not sure if Brian Cashman would want to do ANY of these things but it is getting late(r) into the off season and he has so much to do. So Cashman- now is the time to act! What are you going to do this offseason?

Yankees Winter Meetings Recap

The 2011 MLB Winter Meeting have come and gone without much noise from the New York Yankees.  Instead, the Miami Marlins and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim made all the noise in this years very active Winter Meetings.  What would George Steinbrenner think about all of this if he were alive? The Yankees have so far refused to overpay for anybody, or give up any top prospects.  The only thing they did was win the rights to sign Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima. There were some interesting rumors out there for starting pitchers that maybe will develop down the road this offseason.

First let’s start off with the only concrete thing that happened with the Yankees winning the Nakajima bid. It sounds like the Yankees really did not expect to win the bid and that Nakajima probably will not sign with the Yankees. He probably does not want to come to the Yankees in a backup role when he can be an MLB free agent next offseason. If Nakajima did sign with the Yankees he has good power and would be able to help the Yankees give their middle infielders and A-Rod a breather.  There was the idea that they could sign Nakajima and then dangle Eduardo Nunez in a trade, but I do not see that to be the case.

The major trade rumors involving the Yankees were about Oakland A’s pitcher Gio Gonzalez. One trade that was rumored by Mike Silva of New York Baseball Digest was the Yankees getting Gonzalez, the Royals getting David Phelps and Michael Taylor, and the A’s getting Brett Gardner and Clint Robinson. Also, Silva said the Yankees were the front runners for Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespesdes. I believe this would be an absolute steal and a no brainier for the Yankees. They would only have to give up Gardner and Phelps in this scenario. Gardner is a nice player and great on defense. However, he is replaceable especially by Cespesdes, who offers a similar kind of speed and defense. Doing that trade would be the much better alternative to what Bob Klapisch reported the A’s wanted, which was Jesus Montero, one of Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances, and new stud prospect outfielder Mason Williams. That is obviously an asinine offer but I would be inclined to do a trade package around Montero for Gonzalez. The Yankees have a huge need for a number two pitcher and there is no way around it. Gonzalez I think would fit that bill well. Gonzalez is only 26 and is not a free agent until after the 2014 season year. He had an outstanding year last season going 16-12, with a 3.12 ERA, 197 strikeouts, and a 1.31 WHIP. His one negative is that he issued 91 walks last year. Scouts told New York Daily News writer John Harper, that they believe he was pitching too carefully due to lack of run support in  Oakland, and that it would change in New York. I tend to agree with that theory.  I think Gonzalez is the most talented pitcher on the trade market and has a very nice contract. The Yankees should be trying hard to land him.

The other relevant Yankees information that came out of the Winter Meetings is that Yu Darvish will be posted. As I said with Gonzalez, if the Yankees feel Darvish is a number two caliber starter the Yankees need to win the bid on him. It is currently all question marks behind CC Sabathia in the rotation. Will Ivan Nova have a sophomore slump? Can Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett be trusted? Can Freddy Garcia repeat his 2011 year? Can Hector Noesi come in and live up to the potential the Yankees think he has? Do not relate Darvish to other Japanese pitchers like Dice- K or Kei Igawa, as he has much better stuff. Cashman has been lukewarm in the media regarding whether or not they will bid highly on him, although Yankee scouts are said to love Darvish.

Cashman has done a nice job of protecting his assets so far and not doing anything regrettable. However, one has to wonder with the Angels gaining a ton of talent in Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson, if he will get more aggressive.  The strategy paid off for Cashman last year, but he may be hedging his bet if he goes with the same starting rotation as he did last year. It will be very interesting to see how the rest of the offseason plays out.


Hot Stove Targeting: Gio Gonzalez

While Gio Gonzalez is a strike-out pitcher...

Gio Gonzalez isn’t a free agent, but there have been talks that he’s available on the trade market this winter. Since his debut with the Oakland Athletics in 2008, he has not disappointed Athletics fans while the other 29 teams look. Actually Gio Gonzalez’s name may be a bit familiar to some of the Yankees including Nick Swisher. Both Swisher and Gonzalez were traded from the White Sox to the Athletics in 2008 when Gonzalez was still in the minor leagues. The numbers don’t lie, Gonzalez is impressive but if there is one thing that the Athletics need, it’s hitting. So are the Yankees the right team to fit into the Gio Gonzalez equation to give both teams what they truly desire? Well, let’s look at Gonzalez’s past numbers and leave decisions till the end.

Positives:

Gio Gonzalez impressed the Athletics from day one, even if his rookie year wasn’t very promising. With Gonzalez, the reason that he is so successful is because he is a strikeout pitcher. In his first full season in 2009 he sky rocketed from 34 K’s to 109 K’s and kept his strikeout numbers in the 100’s for the next 2 seasons. Also noticeably in 2010 & 2011, Gonzalez’s ERA has been good with 3.23 ERA & a 3.12 ERA respectively. Gonzalez also has an All-Star status, making the All-Star game in 2011. Gonzalez also gives up fewer hits than innings pitched which is a good thing (In 2011, in 202.0 IP he’s only gave up 175 Hits). He doesn’t hit many batters and (Yankees fans will love this) he doesn’t Balk very often either (He’s only balked once in 2011).

Negatives:

Every player has their negative sides and unfortunately, Gio Gonzalez has just that. For one thing, Gonzalez gives up too many walks. In 202.0 innings in 2011, but he walked 91 batters. The same thing happened in 2010 when he pitched 200.2 innings walking 92 people. Imagine if he stays on the Athletics and faces the Yankees, then he will have a tough time due to the Yankees being a patient team and having fast base runners (Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, and Eduardo Nunez) to play ABC ball with. It would be the same situation, no matter what team he’s on, especially on the Yankees.

...he gives up too many walks, something the Yankees should be wary about

Is Gio Gonzalez a Fit for the Yankees:

Okay, now let’s cut to the chase. The Athletics need hitting and the Yankees need pitching, so Gonzalez would be an ideal match for the Yankees. But the issue here would be who the Yankees will give up in order to get Gonzalez. In my mind, the Yankees would give up a minor league pitcher (Probably either Banuelos, Betances, Phelps, etc.) and Jesus Montero since he has a fantastic bat. But the Yankees might want to look into it some more before they go giving away some of their players for Gonzalez. Gonzalez has not pitched in the “spotlight”. I mean, sure he has pitched for the Athletics, but let’s face it. Oakland is not the same press wise as New York. He could get overwhelmed by all of the pressure that the press will bring him. So is he the perfect fit for the Yankees? He might be, and it wouldn’t hurt to try and besides he only made $420,000 last year so the Yankees might want to take this into consideration when asking about Gio Gonzalez.

Yankees Mailbag

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another Yankees Mailbag. Thank you to those who sent in questions – we appreciate it. If you have a question you’d like to ask, either email Mike at yankeesfansunited@gmail.com or contact us on Twitter (@yankeefansunite). Let’s get started…

@NataliaYank25 asks:
I’m hearing a lot of talk about the Yankees and Gio Gonzalez. Anything is possible, so you think it’s a good fit?

-      Natalia, I think Gio Gonzalez would be a good fit for the Yankees. He is the prototypical number two starter that Yankee fans desperately want after the ALDS loss to the Tigers. Gio does not get much run support for the Oakland A’s and yet still wins 16 games with a 3.12 ERA. His breaking ball is one of the best in the American League and would give the Yankees two lefties at the top of their rotation. Their GM, Billy Beane, reportedly likes the Yankees’ prospects, but I don’t see Brian Cashman pulling the trigger on this deal. I think he wants to see Banuelos or Betances grow into the system. Don’t expect the Yankees to make a trade for Gio, but Matt Garza is a possibility.

Will asks:
John Danks name is coming up in trade talks a lot lately, he seems like the ideal #2 starter and a solid lefty. What would it take to land him in a trade? Would Romine, Warren, Mitchell, Heathcott do it? I appreciate the feedback.

-      Will. I disagree with you on John Danks. The guy has never won more than fifteen games in a season and he had a stretch in the first two months of 2011 where he did not even win a game. He would be nothing more than a back end starter in the Yankee rotation. I think the White Sox would trade him on the cheap just because they have shown no signs that they will give him a long term deal since he is a free agent at the end of 2012. I would not give up Romine or Warren for him, but I would give up a Slade Heathcott for him. I look for NY again to look at Matt Garza, Jair Jurrjens, and Gio before they explore a John Danks trade.

Yankees Mailbag: Part 2

Good afternoon, and here is the second part of this weekend mailbag. Thank you to those who asked us their questions, and please continue to send them in!

Brian Cashman has explored trade possibilities the first time around, and is not overly enthused by the prices at the moment.

@NataliaYank25 asked:
Cashman said he’s talking with other teams about trade possibilities. Who do you think they can trade for?

You can never really tell the full extents of who’s available and who’s not available in the trade market. However, there are plenty of rumors. Some trade possibilities Cashman may be talking about could be for White Sox pitcher John Danks or Oakland lefty Gio Gonzalez. There have been the brief mentions of the Braves possibly shopping Jair Jurrjens, but not at the price the Yankees are looking for. In addition, there’s been some speculation that the Phillies may look to see what they can get for Cole Hamels, who will be in his final year of his contract; but a trade for him would be of huge cost. Beyond what I listed above, you can list other names, but really out of speculation, no real substance. I think there are definitely options out there for Brian Cashman to make a trade, if he wants to. Right now, he’s simply letting the market settle, waiting for the prices to drop.

@Kimtheluck asked:
Are they going to resign Russell Martin? If yes when are we going to know it?

To which @NataliaYank25 replied:
Do they need to sign him? He’s under team control.

Russell Martin is arbitration-eligible for the fourth time this winter as a Super Two player. In simpler words, Martin will either be offered a new contract, or he will not be offered a new contract by the Yankees. Cashman absolutely wants to retain him, and if (more like when) they do, it will be somewhere around or a bit north of $6MM in arbitration. The free agent arbitration offer deadline is actually pretty soon – at midnight on November 23. Then, the deadline to accept those offers is on December 7, so you’ll know whether Russell will be back next year (for sure) sometime very soon. But don’t worry, I’m willing bet a boatload of money that Martin will be donning pinstripes again next year.

@Kimtheluck asked:
Is there any chance the Yankees will give a new contract to Jorge Posada?

I’d say there’s a 0.01% chance Jorge Posada will be offered a contract by the Yankees. He has already publicly said he will most likely not be returning to the team next year. There’s simply no place for him on the Yankees, and Jorge knows that. His two options will be to hang it up and retire, or to put on a different uniform than that of the Yankees.

 

That’s it for the Yankees Mailbag: Part 2. A reminder that if you have a question you’d like to ask for next weekend’s mailbag, either email me at yankeesfansunited@gmail.com or contact us on Twitter at @yankeefansunite. Have a great rest of the day.

Yankees Mailbag: Part 1

Thank you to all who asked questions for this mailbag – let’s get started!

(If you don’t see your question, it will be answered in tomorrow’s Part 2.)

Billy Beane is willing to listen on anyone at the moment.

@AJ_Rotger asked:
What would you give up for Gio G. from Oakland?

I would give up anybody except Jesus Montero or Manny Baneulos. However, considering Gio Gonzalez is under team control for quite awhile, Billy Beane has no reason to ask for anything less than one of those two. Gio is young, talented and has plenty of low-dollars years ahead of him. However, I wouldn’t give up Montero or Banuelos for him. Although he generates a lot of striekouts (8.6 career K/9), I am not keen on his fastball command issues (4.4 career BB/9). If the Yankees are to give up Montero or Banuelos, it has to be for a sure thing elite starting pitcher. Gio Gonzalez, in my opinion, is not a sure thing. Would I like to have him pitching in pinstripes? No doubt about it…but not at the price Oakland is asking for.

@PrimoBledBlue asked:
Which prospective pitcher would you consider to be in the NYY rotation: Yu Darvish, CJ Wilson or Roy Oswalt?

Out of all those three, my favorite for the Yankees to acquire would be Yu Darvish. Although there is always the “Japanese-import” risk, its money the Yankees can afford to gamble on. Cashman may say he’s on a budget, but you can never put too much weight into comments like that. I think he has the highest “upside” of the three you mentioned. Also, if they were to make a trade for a John Danks etc., in addition, there would be less of an absolute necessity for Darvish to be as elite as he was in Japan.

C.J. Wilson would be a great pitcher to have…on a three-year deal. However, he is reportedly looking for a six year, $120MM deal, which is absolutely absurd. If I’m Brian Cashman, I walk away after the four year mark. His upside simply doesn’t match up with the enormous risk of a 5-6 year contract. Delia took a look at whether the Yankees should pursue Wilson, earlier in the month, before we found out what kind of lucrative contract he was looking for. I would take a pass on Wilson.

 

Oswalt would be a nice addition, since it would be on a relatively short contract, such as a two-year deal. He’s been very consistent throughout his career, never having a FIP over 4.00 in 11 MLB seasons. Matt examined the idea of Roy Oswalt on the Yankees earlier in the month. Oswalt has consistently manufactured plenty of ground-balls, and successfully limited the walk. However, his back is definitely something to think about, as back problems are a tricky thing to come back from, although there are always exceptions. I would not want Oswalt to be the one pitcher the Yanks acquire for the rotation next year, as if his back problems flare up again, well…

 

@GITGUYfoREVer asked:
What are your thoughts about Albert on the Yankees?

Although it’s impossible as a Yankee fan to not want to see Albert Pujols in pinstripes, there’s really no spot currently open for him. Ricky, a few weeks ago, shared his thoughts on Pujols. Some have said they could trade Tex, but that’s just typical Yankee-fan greediness. His ability to drive a pitch anywhere in the ballpark at a far distance is something we would all drool over to have on the team. But as long as A-Rod, Tex, and Montero are on the team, there’s no reason to sign Pujols. If, however, Jesus Montero was traded for an elite starting pitcher, then there is a scenario where I would absolutely, positively go after Albert. You could sign Pujols to play third base, move A-Rod to DH, and keep Tex at first. That is, if Montero is traded, which I don’t exactly advocate.

That’s it for the Yankees Mailbag: Part 1. Anybody that asked any questions that weren’t on today’s mailbag, will be answered tomorrow by Ricky. A reminder that if you have a question you’d like to ask, either email me at yankeesfansunited@gmail.com or contact us on Twitter at @yankeefansunite. Have a great rest of the day.

Afternoon Notes: Wilson, Garza, Gonzalez, Danks, 40-Man Roster

The Yanks have expressed particular interest in White Sox hurler John Danks. Chicago on the other hand is a big fan of NYY Triple-A catcher, Austin Romine.

Via Joel Sherman of the NY Post:

— Brian Cashman would like to do something this offseason, before Christmas, but he won’t unless the prices drop from where they are now. (Sherman)

— Symbolic of the Yankees’ current lack of enthusiasm, when C.J. Wilson’s agent requested a meeting in New York, he was told “we’ll get back to you.”

— The Yanks have looked into a possible trade for Cubs’ starter, Matt Garza. However, a Chicago official said trading Garza would be “very, very unlikely”.

— Among their particular likings is left-hander Gio Gonzalez of the Athletics. Billy Beane, talking about the availability of Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill, said, “In our situation, we are open to anything.” However, Oakland is looking for an ace return for either Gio or Cahill. This probably implies a package centered around Jesus Montero or Manny Baneulos.

— They also favor ChiSox lefty, John Danks, who will be a free agent after this 2012 season. Sherman notes that Danks is “very” available, with the sudden Chicago rebuilding process. The asking price for Danks appears to be similar to that of Billy Beane’s in Oakland. The Yanks don’t view Danks as worth that kind of price, especially considering they’d only be getting one year of him. However, don’t shut the door on this trade possibility. Sherman adds the White Sox are very keen on a number of Yankee prospects, including a “particular fondness” for Austin Romine.

Via Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News:

— On a different note, the Yankees added infielders David Adams and Corban Joseph, outfielder Zoilo Almonte, and right-handed pitchers, D.J. Mitchell and David Phelps to their 40-Man Roster. It seems likely that the latter two will see at least some time in the majors next season.

A little about each of them.

Almonte batted .276/.345/.459 with 15 homers and 18 steals between High- and Double-A this season. He’s an unexciting talent but one the Yankees felt they couldn’t lose in the Rule 5 draft.

Joseph, 23, hit .277/.353/.415 with five homers and 58 RBI over 499 at-bats for Trenton this season. The former fourth-round pick is below average defensively and hasn’t progressed much with the bat, but the Yankees are still holding out hope that he’ll be a useful piece of the roster eventually.

Adams batted .370/.421/.509 over 29 games in an injury-shortened 2011 season. The former third-round pick has little in the way of tools but profiles as a solid backup at the major league level.

A former outfielder from his college days, Mitchell doesn’t have much upside but has a nice minor league track record, having held a 3.28 ERA over three seasons, including a 3.18 mark at Triple-A in 2011. He probably has a better shot to eventually earn a roster spot for the Yankees as a middle reliever, though.

Phelps is now off-limits for the Rule 5 draft. A former 14th-round pick, Phelps posted a nice 3.19 ERA and 90/26 K/BB ratio over 107 1/3 innings at Triple-A this season. Though his ceiling isn’t high, Phelps boasts a 2.61 ERA in his minor league career and has a good shot of being a useful back-end starter or middle reliever for the Yanks one day.

Thoughts on the Future of the Rotation

Should C.C. be back next year at any cost?

It is likely that:

[1] C.C. Sabathia will opt out of his contract this off-season.

[2] He will return to the pinstripes next year.

[3] C.C. will receive a massive contract of at the very minimum 5 years and $120MM.

However, at what point in the contract negotiations should the Yankees consider alternate options?

Joel Sherman of the NY Post says that if Sabathia wants a considerable amount past 5 years and over $120MM, the Yanks should at least look elsewhere.

If Sabathia wants more, the Yankees have to seriously consider another direction rather than accept greater long-term risk.

In my opinion, Sherman hits it right on the money here. C.C. is 31 years old, and somewhere around 290 pounds. Look at the facts: another 7 year contract would take him to the 2018 season, and Sabathia would turn 38 that season. No offense in any way to C.C., but the combination of being overweight with a history knee problems, and in his upper thirties does not bode well for the Yanks. However, the luxury of having a true ace should never be downplayed. C.C. is an absolute horse. He’s been one of the Yankees’ best free agent signings in the modern years.

Year W L W-L% ERA GS IP H ER SO ERA+ WHIP
2009 19 8 .704 3.37 34 230.0 197 86 197 137 1.148
2010 21 7 .750 3.18 34 237.2 209 84 197 136 1.191
2011 19 8 .704 3.00 33 237.1 230 79 230 147 1.226
NYY (3 yrs) 59 23 .720 3.18 101 705.0 636 249 624 140 1.189

But- there have been some signs of weariness in the second half of this season and in the playoffs. Are the 1,198 innings he’s thrown in the past five years catching up with him? That is a question the Yankees front office should deeply think about. I’m not saying I don’t want Sabathia back in the Bronx next year; a long-term contract is a risk of gigantic proportions. It’s like the A-Rod contract for a pitcher.

Sherman also discusses possible alternatives to signing Sabathia to a massive contract.

“With that pen and a powerful offense, could they survive if — for example — they lost Sabathia, but signed Wilson and traded for someone such as the A’s Gio Gonzalez or White Sox’ John Danks? “Can you win with five No. 3 starters and strength everywhere else,” the NL personnel man said. “Yes, I think you can. I think the Rangers are doing it right now.”

If you think about it, the Yankees could certainly survive without Sabathia in their rotation next year. That is, if the Yankees take advantage of the rest of the free agent and trade market. A cluster of simply solid-to-very good pitchers could potentially work. Let’s take a look at the options Sherman gives. We’ll profile Gio Gonzalez, John Danks, and other pitchers later, but for now… The Yankees could swing a deal for Gonzalez, as the Athletics are offensively deprived and already have plenty of strong, young pitching. They could rebuild without Gio in their rotation. The White Sox are in some strange sort of rebuilding mode, and Danks may become available. You also have to consider other trade options, such as Matt Cain of the Giants. Say you sign C.J. Wilson, trade for Gonzalez/Danks, and possibly sign an innings-eater like Edwin Jackson or Mark Buehrle. Then you fill in the holes with Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, and one of the young-guns like Adam Warren or Hector Noesi. As for Burnett, who knows. All of a sudden, you have a solid, playoff-caliber rotation, without a massive 7 year / $140+MM contract. Then you have a pretty good amount of flexibility.

However, the Yanks would not have a clear ace. As Sherman and his source say, the Rangers don’t have a clear #1, even in Wilson. They have a team built on a solid rotation, a tremendous offense, and an excellent bullpen. Look where they are: up 2-1 in the ALCS.

Ideally, C.C. Sabathia does not opt out of his contract, but we simply have to expect the worst. Any deal exceeding Cliff Lee’s 5 years/$120MM contract, should alert the Yankees to at least consider an alternate plan.

 

Stat Insert Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/12/2011.

NYY vs. SEA – 7/25/11

 
Let’s make it 16 straight losses for the M’s, Freddy. As mean as that sounds…

Lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher DH
Russell Martin C
Andruw Jones RF
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Brett Gardner LF

Pitchers:

Freddy Garcia (8-7, 3.21) vs. Jason Vargas (6-8, 3.94)

And some deadline notes/rumors before the game:

  • A rival executive tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Yankees will add a lefty relief pitcher via trade. Duh!
  • Joel Sherman of the NY Post says that the Yankees will not trade Manny Baneulos, Dellin Betances, Jesus Montero, and Austin Romine unless a premier, number 1 starter becomes available.
  • Also according to Sherman, the White Sox have spent a considerable amount of time scouting the farm systems of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies. In case Edwin Jackson becomes available (or even John Danks), the two teams could potentially make a trade.
  • The Yankees like A’s lefty Gio Gonzalez quite a lot, and would “pay big to get”. Despite Oakland falling out of contention, they are still refusing to talk Gonzalez. If he did become available, Gonzalez would be one hell of a guy to get, as he is only 25, and has a 2.67 ERA.
  • Jon Paul Morosi now says that the odds of an Ubaldo trade are around 50/50. Sherman says that the Yankees are concerned “about Ubaldo’s inconsistency, all-out delivery (arm trouble?), (and) coming to AL East.” If there truly are these concerns, then the Yankees should by no means give up 2+ top prospects for Jimenez.
  • Bob Klapisch says the Yankees are interested in Hiroki Kuroda, but have had no recent discussions with the Dodgers. It’s also known that Kuroda may not accept a trade to the east, let alone a trade at all.

Enjoy the game. Lots of rumors going on, with 5 days remaining until the day of the trade deadline.

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