An Early Look at Adrian Beltre

Brian Cashman is going to have an interesting off-season. In all likelihood, barring a last second George Steinbrenner intervention, A-Rod is gone. Wilson Betemit, at the moment, is the Yanks’ option at third. He’s an interesting player, who has some upside and was once a very big prospect. So, maybe the Yanks go with him next season and try to make up for A-Rod’s loss by improving other positions. But there have been early reports  or suggestions or rumors or random musings (I guess I don’t know what to call them) that the Yanks are looking at Adrian Beltre as a possible replacement. When I have brought this up to fellow Yanks fans, I get this response: Pass. Isn’t he the contract year poster boy who is grossly overpaid now? Doesn’t he have a .330 OBP? (I’m making up this response. I don’t have any friends.)

I have to say I don’t know much about Beltre. My general impressions have been that he’s not so good. But I have been wrong in the past. So I did some research. And one of the best things about this thing we call blogs is that you can find out from some pretty smart and informed people about players and teams you don’t ordinarily pay much attention to.

One of the best, if not the best, Mariners blogs going is U.S.S. Mariner. So I figured they would have something insightful to say about Beltre. And lo and behold, I was surprised at what they wrote in September of this year:

"Now, take a look at Adrian Beltre’s 2007 line: .283/.331/.503, 122 OPS+

The raw numbers are a little bit lower, but that’s Safeco Field for
you. At home, Beltre’s hitting .270/.332/.430, but away from Safeco,
it’s .295/.330/.567. From an offensive production standpoint, 2007
Beltre is basically indistringuishable from Carlos Lee, Alfonso
Soriano, or Aramis Ramirez, and he’s several notches ahead of Vernon
Wells.

And that’s not even getting into the non-offense values. There’s the
defense, which is obviously a significant factor in Beltre’s favor.
There’s the health – he hasn’t missed any real time due to injury in
six years. And, to top it off, he has age on his side as he doesn’t
turn 29 until after opening day next year.

What would a 28-year-old with Beltre’s performance record command as
a free agent this winter? Not even accounting for possible inflation,
it’s almost impossible to believe that Beltre would do significantly
worse than last year’s crop of similar hitters. $15 million a year for
5 years would be the starting spot for negotiations, and it’s not hard
to see him getting into the 6 years, $100 million range that Carlos Lee
ended up receiving.

The Mariners should be extremely happy to have Adrian Beltre already
under contract for the next two years at the relative pittance of just
$24 million dollars. He’s a terrific player, one of the best third
baseman in baseball, and despite what the national media may tell you,
he’s underpaid relative to his market value."

This is just their analysis, but it makes the possibility of Beltre in pinstripes appealing to me. One wonders if Bill Bavasi, the M’s GM, who has made some odd trades recently, shares a similar view of Beltre. If so, then Beltre is likely not going anywhere. Or if he is, he’ll cost a lot in terms of prospects (but if what U.S.S. Mariner says is true then it still might make sens to trade a lot for Beltre). But there is always the hope that Bavasi thinks that Beltre is, in fact, overpaid. He has not put up numers close to those that he did in his amazing contract year. Perhaps, the M’s feel burned enough to want him gone as a salary dump? In any case, he is an intriguing possibility. What do you guys think?

50 comments… add one

  • I think you should think about the pressure he’s going to have.
    He’s going to have to replace Rodriguez which I’m not too sure how fans are going to react when Beltre’s name is announced as the 3B…
    And we’ve seen him sort of under pressure with the huge contract and all.
    His first year with the Mariners…bad year and I don’t think thats what Beltre would want especially in his first year as a Yankee.
    Not exactly a good impression :)
    Otherwise, he might be nice to replace Rodriguez at 3b

    yankeeboy October 31, 2007, 11:38 am
  • and try to make up for A-Rod’s loss by improving other positions
    Wondering which positions, besides first base, they have room for significant improvement? Assuming they bring back Abreu and Posada, the only spot where they don’t have a regular would be first base, and if healthy wouldn’t Damon move there?
    Or are you referring to the pitching?

    SF October 31, 2007, 11:38 am
  • first base and pitching. The problem with Damon going to first is that hemnight suck there and his offense isn’t very good for a first baseman. But if the Yanks are smart about it and lucky, A-Rod’s production on both sides could be improved with a number of moves. The problem, of course, is that probably would be expensive in cost and prospects. I’m guessing 2008 is step-back year. Still, Beltre is a nice option for the next few years.

    Nick-YF October 31, 2007, 11:42 am
  • I meant to say A-Rod’s production on both sides could be made up for.

    Nick-YF October 31, 2007, 11:47 am
  • Beltre is an excellent defensive third baseman, but offensively there is more to be concerned about than just his numbers at Safeco. If you look at his splits, you see that he does much better against finesse pitchers than power pitchers (.284/.336/.493 vs .244/.305/.389).
    Five of the top ten strikeout pitchers in AL this past year, came from the AL east which means he’ll be facing a lot of hard throwers, more so than in the AL West.
    If there’s one guy the Yankees should go for, it’s Miguel Cabrera. I think the change would do him good as Melky and Robbie Cano would be a good influence on him and he’s played for Girardi before. Plus the guy can flat out bring it with the bat.

    Jay-YF October 31, 2007, 12:02 pm
  • Would you be willing to trade Hughes/Melky/and another prospect for Miguel? Myself? I’m 50-50 on it.
    But good stuff, Jay, I didn’t know about the finesse/hard stuff split.

    Nick-YF October 31, 2007, 12:05 pm
  • If you trade Hughes and Melky, then what gets you guys Santana?

    SF October 31, 2007, 12:07 pm
  • Jay, just looking at the split numbers, is there a third category besides power/finesse because the numbers don’t add up to his 2007 totals? He had a .503 slugging in 2007. Neither of those splits get there.

    Nick-YF October 31, 2007, 12:07 pm
  • right, SF, another issue. By trading for Miguel, you effectively take yourself out of the Johan sweepstakes. Unless you want to trade Joba and Wang, and then you’re in absurd land.

    Nick-YF October 31, 2007, 12:09 pm
  • is there a third category besides power/finesse
    Yeah, the “this guy sucks, how can we not be tagging this ragarm?” category.

    SF October 31, 2007, 12:12 pm
  • the Doug Davis category, SF? And yet he’s a good pitcher somehow.

    Nick-YF October 31, 2007, 12:13 pm
  • In my view, the hardest thing to come by is great starting pitching.
    And the hardest temptation for a big-budget team like NY to avoid is stars-at-every-position vs. solid role-players and some stars.
    Based on these two points, I am very wary of trading great starting pitching (I understand that Hughes is only POSSIBLY great at this early stage, but still – I would bet on him as a likely #2 at least over the course of his career) plus an excellent role player (Melky – handles pressure well, fits nicely, runs fast, strong on both defense and offense) for a star POSITION player.
    I’d be more open to trading two such players for an established ace (Santana).
    So I wouldn’t make a Hughes/Melky deal for Cabrera.
    We clearly need to fill the massive offensive hole left by A-Rod and that will require some trading to be done, including a likely pitcher, but there I would look to some of the strong farmhands (we still have very strong pitching prospects beyond Joba, Hughes, and Kennedy) and not one of the likely top-3 rotation-guys.

    IronHorse (yf) October 31, 2007, 12:19 pm
  • Well, those are career numbers, but there is another category that is combo of finesse/power and his numbers are .283/.337/.487
    In just 07 it breaks down:
    vs. power – .278/.333/.426
    vs. fin/pwr – .278/.310/.465
    vs. finesse – .281/.317/.536
    Also, the numbers are adjusted to 162 games, so they won’t work out to precisely what he did this year or over his career.
    Good point on the Cabrera trade. For some reason I thought he was a free agent after 2008, which would make it more in the Marlins interest to move him sooner rather than later. That being said, I don’t like the idea of moving a SP like Hughes for offense.

    Jay-YF October 31, 2007, 12:23 pm
  • Jay: Do you think Cano is a good influence on anyone? This is an honest question. My sense is that he is not nearly as self-motivated as, say, Melky, but I’ve also heard from Bowa’s statements and others that he is an incredibly hard worker. It may just seem that his playing style and demeanor give him a bad rep that he doesn’t deserve. And yet I feel like he does go through lapses in concentration, both in the field and at the plate (the latter when he slips back into unbelievably free-swinging) which make me feel like maybe it is he who needs guys around him that are good influences rather than the reverse. Anyway, not sure about this – it is just my sense.

    IronHorse (yf) October 31, 2007, 12:40 pm
  • While Cano might seem at times to lack some concentration, he’s not the type to be showing up late to games, or not going through pre-game routines like all the other players. Plus he has a great attitude, which is Mig-Cab’s worst trait from what I have read and heard.
    What about the idea of putting Jeter at third base?

    Jay-YF October 31, 2007, 1:12 pm
  • What about the idea of putting Jeter at third base?
    Is this a sincere question? I mean, if they wouldn’t move him to 3rd for ARod, they certainly won’t do it for someone worse.

    Atheose October 31, 2007, 1:23 pm
  • Adrian Beltre’s final line for 2007 was:
    .276, .319, .482
    His career OBP is .327 (10 seasons).
    He’s not a free agent, and I can’t find anything saying the M’s are shopping him now. It might cost the Yankees one of their top pitching prospects (Hughes, Kennedy, Joba) to make the trade.
    Splits at Yankee Stadium (04-06)
    Adrian Beltre
    .196, .212, .510
    Mike Lowell
    .315, .359, .493
    Alex Rodriguez
    .322, .417, .624
    (Source: ESPN Player profiles)

    Andrew F (Sox Fan) October 31, 2007, 1:34 pm
  • I don’t see it costing them any of the big 3.

    Nick-YF October 31, 2007, 1:47 pm
  • Nick-YF, what do you see Beltre costing?

    Andrew F (Sox Fan) October 31, 2007, 2:10 pm
  • I could see Horne and a second-tier prospect. If the M’s traded him, I assume they would be trying to clear salary.

    Nick-YF October 31, 2007, 2:23 pm
  • Yea, I like Beltre but he’s not a good option. He did have his 2nd best year (offensively, and therefore his best year after the illusion that was his career year) with the Mariners and they did well, overall. Therefore, I doubt they’ll lose him in a trade, especially to the Yankees, since the Yanks just would not offer their young starters for Beltre.
    I do think the Yankees will pursue Miguel Cabrera, and acquire him. I also do think they’ll attempt to trade for an ace (e.g. Santana or Bedard-highly speculative rumor right now).

    CHEA SON October 31, 2007, 3:28 pm
  • Sports Illustrated has a guy from Baseball Prospectus writing what the Yankees should do:
    A. Part ways with Bobby Abreu, whose $16m option could be better spent elsewhere.
    B. Probably part ways with Rivera, although they can be flexible on this decision if the price is right. Instead, I would sign a left-handed reliever like Ron Mahay, and let Ramirez and Farnsworth fight for the closer’s job, ready to make a move at the trade deadline if no solution has emerged by then, and ready to consider options involving Joba Chamberlain if nothing else is working out.
    C. Hope that Andy Pettitte does not pick up his option. If he does, I would definitely punt on Rivera and probably make Chamberlain my provisional closer out of spring training, ready to reverse that decision as events dictate.
    D. Go ahead and re-sign Posada, being willing to overpay slightly given the lack of alternatives in the organization.
    E. Sign Mike Lamb to challenge Betemit. If Betemit hits well enough
    And the BIG one:
    F. sign Barry Bonds. New York is big enough to absorb any distraction that Bonds might provide, and he’ll likely be one of the biggest bargains in the market. More important, he won’t be seeking more than a one- or two-year contract. That gives us Bonds, Damon, Matsui, Cabrera, Giambi, and Duncan in some kind of rotation between the three outfield positions, 1B and DH. Either Bonds or Matusi is going to need carry a first base mitt with him, and we will rotate the assignments depending on who is healthy and who is hitting.
    More details here. Includes stuff for th Sox as well.

    Jay-YF October 31, 2007, 3:40 pm
  • Interesting, that article says that if they don’t resign Lowell they should move Youk to 3rd, move Ortiz to 1st, move Manny to DH, and have an outfield of Ellsbury-Crisp-Drew.
    The thought of Ortiz playing First Base for 162 games makes me queasy.

    Atheose October 31, 2007, 4:16 pm
  • B. Probably part ways with Rivera, although they can be flexible on this decision if the price is right. Instead, I would sign a left-handed reliever like Ron Mahay, and let Ramirez and Farnsworth fight for the closer’s job, ready to make a move at the trade deadline if no solution has emerged by then, and ready to consider options involving Joba Chamberlain if nothing else is working out.
    I think this is preposterous.

    SF October 31, 2007, 5:04 pm
  • The chances of the Sox playing Ortiz at first on a regular basis is nil. DHing him is like an insurance policy, and spending more on Lowell just to keep Ortiz off first makes more sense than playing Ortiz at first and saving money at third.

    SF October 31, 2007, 5:05 pm
  • “A. Part ways with Bobby Abreu, whose $16m option could be better spent elsewhere.”
    The Yankees are saving enough money with A-Rod not coming back. Who are you going to replace Abreu’s skill set with? Who are you going to replace his OBP and batting eye with?
    “B. Probably part ways with Rivera…”
    FAIL.
    “F. sign Barry Bonds…”
    Actually, from a purely pragmatic standpoint, this would make a ton of sense… if the Yankees didn’t have 3 guys playing DH already. Bonds would be the ultimate OBP machine on an AL team. He would absolutely rake at Yankee Stadium and its porch. He’d be able to play more games because his fragile knees wouldn’t have to play in the field. An Abreu-Bonds 3-4 combination would be create all sorts of havoc.
    That being said, signing Bonds would be just be the most wrong thing to do ever. If he were signed, I’d probably give up following baseball completely until he left the Yankees.

    doug YF October 31, 2007, 5:30 pm
  • If the Yankees sign Barry Bonds……………………………………….I can’t think of any act preposterous enough to demonstrate the disillusionment I would feel. I would just cry.

    IronHorse (yf) October 31, 2007, 6:34 pm
  • “Hoping to improve the atmosphere in the clubhouse, Hank Steinbrenner today announced the signing of free agent Barry Bonds. Bonds declared that he is happy to be a Yankee, and will wear the vaunted pinstripes with pride. Bonds cited the organization’s embrace of Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield, as part of the reason he felt so welcome in the clubhouse.
    Having lost Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada to free agency, Mr. Steinbrenner assured reporters that he was confident with the teams’ outlook for 2008. “I think our all-lefty lineup will be the envy of baseball,” the owner said.”
    (Preceding was a work of satire, in case it’s not obvious. Nate Silver is a moron.)

    Andrew F (Sox Fan) October 31, 2007, 11:09 pm
  • SF-
    Agree on the preposterocity of parting ways with Mariano. Besides the fact that he’s still in the top 5 of AL closers, the idea of Kyle Farnsworth “fighting” for any job outside of the Octagon is ludicrous. Also, not sure what they’d do instead of Abreu. Melky won’t playa good right field with his arm, and Tori Hunter/AJones isn’t going to makeup the difference.

    walein October 31, 2007, 11:11 pm
  • Nick, I don’t think Beltre is a bad option, but I also wouldn’t give up much for him. I think there are other low investment, high reward guys available at 3B.
    I think this offseason will be Cashman’s most challenging offseason ever. That being said, here are the 10 things I would do:
    1A- Sign Posada at all costs. There isn’t a FA in the class of ’08 or ’09 that I would rather have over Posada even at his age. This year’s class is highlighted by Lo Duca and Barrett, next year’s class features Jojhima and AJ Pyerzinski.
    1B- Sign Mo.
    1C- Send the entire team to Andy Pettitte’s home and convince him to give us one more season.
    2- Find out what it takes to bring Santana to the Bronx. Part, not all of Boston’s success can be attributed to having a dominant #1, the Yankees don’t have that and haven’t had that in quite some time. They need that to win. Forget about Miguel Cabrera, this team needs a shut down, dominant pitcher like Josh Beckett. Wang would be a perfect fit for the Twins. He’s young, he is making near the league minimum and he’s a GB pitcher in a HR friendly park. Of course there would need to be some other parts added, but I don’t think it would take Joba or Phil and in my eyes they are the only pitchers that are off limits right now.
    3- I let Abreu walk. Minimal power and with the loss of A-Rod, someone has to anchor the middle of the lineup.
    4- Go hard after Andruw Jones. He will be 31 at the start of next season, giving him at least 4 good seasons before you would really see a decline. Coming off a terrible 2007 his value isn’t as high as it could have been, meaning he might not get the big money he was hoping for. Play him in CF, Melky in RF and Damon/Matsui platoon in LF/DH. Someone needs to replace some of the HR’s we lost in Alex. I don’t think you need a ton of team power to win, but I do think you need an anchor in the middle of the lineup and the Yankees don’t have that right now.
    5- Say goodbye to Jason Giambi. Find a way to get rid of him. He is only under contract through ’08 ($22M club option in ’09, buyout is $5M) so realistically if you traded him to SF. Oakland or even the Angels and pay $12M of his 2008 salary that team would be getting him at a bargain of $9M. He hasn’t played a full season in years, he’s on the downside, need any more reasons? Only sticking point is he has a FULL no trade clause.
    6- Call the Mayor! I wanted him last season and I will call for his signing again this year. Call Sean Casey and offer him a 1 year deal. Career avg of .301, OBP of .366 and has averaged just 2 errors over the past 3 seasons at 1B.
    7- Let Betemit and Corey Koskie battle it out for 3rd base. Koskie seems to always be injured, but it won’t take a huge contract to sign him. Low investment, high reward. He’s a lefty, he’s played in the AL before and he has a career OBP of .367. His downfall is that he hasn’t logged more then 400 AB’s since 2004. Another consideration would be Mike Lamb, good OB%, but has only logged more then 400 AB’s once in his eight year career.
    8- Sign a backup catcher in the offseason. There are many good, solid backups on the market this year, get one ASAP. Guys I like (in order) Jose Molina, Damian Miller and Jason LaRue.
    9- Bring back D’Angelo Jimenez as the utility man. He can play 2B, 3B and SS. He also has a career .263 avg and .351 OBP and has a decent glove, not a bad guy to have coming off the bench. (Alberto Gonzalez could use another season in the ML’s to improve his hitting. Being a utility man will certainly not help that)
    10- I will take a lot of heat for this but kick the tires on Gagne. If all checks out and he’s healthy, there’s upside there. You don’t just get bad overnight, unless you are injured. Kick the tires hard…LOL.
    C- Posada
    1B- Sean Casey
    2B- Robinson Cano
    3B- Betemit/Koskie/Lamb
    SS- The Captain
    LF- Damon/Matsui
    CF- Andruw Jones
    RF- Melky
    DH- Damon/Matsui
    Bench- Duncan, D’Angelo Jimenez, Gardner and Molina/Miller/La Rue
    SP- Santana, Pettitte, Hughes, Chamberlain, Mussina.
    If I were GM…

    John - YF October 31, 2007, 11:55 pm
  • ^This doesn’t seem like it makes any sense at all. Why would you even attempt to sign Andruw Jones? He’s not an anchor for a lineup at all. Yes, he does hit homeruns, but so does Giambi. Jones also strikes out a TON, and his numbers have always been mediocre (except for his HR totals). It doesn’t make sense for the Yankees to sign a person like this.
    If this was the case, they’d find a way to lose Giambi and plug Bonds in at DH. Even so, that’s inherently problematic in its own right. Who would we trade Giambi to? Why would the Giants take him? Or any other team for that matter? We’ll probably have to play this out and maybe attempt to eat his entire salary and give him away to the Angels or something (that could stop them from signing A-Rod! Yay!).
    The Yankees are going to make a move for a 3B slugger. That’s just the way they work. You will not see a platoon system at third because we sort of have one in place for 1B with Duncan and maybe Doug M. The Yankees need to make up for offense and could do a variety of things that don’t include anything too dumb.
    We can trade for Miguel Cabrera or Santana. I’d love Santana, and I’d love Cabrera (I prefer Cabrera but I know Santana would be the better option). I also love Melky, but I doubt he’ll be on the team this season because Cash is going to dangle him and Ian Kennedy for something.
    If we get Cabrera, great. Hopefully Pettitte will stay and we’ll have Wang, Pettitte, Hughes, Joba, Igawa. I think we’ll need another starter though (the kids are young and need to work up their innings), so you may see the trade for Santana go down.
    Either way, I predict a lineup similiar to this (assuming Giambi is somehow dissolved into water):
    CF – Damon
    SS – Jeter
    RF – Abreu
    LF – Matsui
    3B – Miguel Cabrera
    C – Posada
    2B – Cano
    1B – Betemit/Duncan

    CHEA SON November 1, 2007, 4:45 am
  • First off, Andruw Jones is not mediocre. Even in a down year his 26 HR’s give him more then anyone on the current Yankees roster. He is not A-Rod, but he gives the Yankees some power in the middle of the order. Barry Bonds isn’t coming to NY (Thank God) and as this team is currently constructed there needs to be a power threat somewhere in there and Jones provides that. As for him striking out a lot, he had 23 more K’s then Abreu and just 18 more then A-Rod. Plus he is solid in CF, he is not Torii Hunter, but still a solid fielder with a good arm.
    On to Giambi. My biggest problem with him is his health. You are correct when you say we might have to just play this year out, my ideas are just that ideas. I don’t know that anyone would take Giambi in a trade, but if the Yankees were to pay $12M of the $21M he is due I would say they increase those chances. At $9M, he’s a bargain for a team like SF. At that price he would be making slightly more then Randy Wynn, Dave Roberts and Ray Durham, all of who are on the current roster. With guys like Ryan Klesko and Mark Sweeney playing 1B over the past few seasons for them, it doesn’t seem like Giambi’s defense would be a difficult pill for them to swallow.
    You say the Yankees are going to make a move for a 3B slugger, that’s just the way they work and that we will not see a platoon system. I disagree. Was Charlie Hayes a slugger? Was Wade Boggs a slugger? Didn’t they platoon thier way to a WS title in 1996? Scott Brosius didn’t hit for power, his high with the Yankees was 19 in 1998. Solid defense and timely hitting, a guy who knows his role, that will suit the Yankees just fine.
    Finally you can’t get Cabrera AND Santana without completely depleting your system. If it comes down to one or the other, it’s Santana, that should be a no brainer. Cabrera is a great talent, but the Yankees need a shutdown #1 and that’s Santana.

    John - YF November 1, 2007, 9:35 am
  • Giambi does fit the Giants’ profile: Old and getting older.

    Paul SF November 1, 2007, 9:44 am
  • I dunno what kind of offers he will get but he would take a reasonable offer Id love to see the yankees take a flyer on Kerry Wood as an 8th inning guy. He was throwing in the high 90s at the end of the year last year and the reduced workload of an RP could keep him healthier. Maybe his former catcher could convince him to take this role…

    Sam-YF November 1, 2007, 9:44 am
  • Sam, he’s another high upside bullpen guy. But we would really have to kick those tires GOOD with his track record. If healthy though he could contribute in a big way with that arm.

    John - YF November 1, 2007, 9:46 am
  • The Twins won’t trade Santana this off-season. They just picked up Nathan’s option. I suspect they’ll go get a cheaper CF like Rowand. Then they’re poised to make a run with Liriano coming back. If they’re out of it at the trade deadline, then they’ll move Santana when they can get the most in return. Heck, if Gagne could bring Gabbard, Murphy, AND Beltre then, Santana is going to require much more than Wang – think Melky and Kennedy and Tabata and that still might not be enough if the Dodgers or Angels are all in.

    Pete November 1, 2007, 9:48 am
  • I think I read somewhere that the Cubbies weren’t going to give up on him yet and wanted to keep him on. They also want to keep Prior.

    Nick-YF November 1, 2007, 9:49 am
  • By the way, I’m not sure the Twins would want Wang any ways. Sure the ground balls are nice but on turf? Moreover, isn’t he arbitration eligible this year, if not certainly next year. So they get two or three cheap, but not very cheap, years from him then have to worry about his free agency? Why would they do that when they could demand a Hughes or Chamberlain. And if the Yankees won’t give one of them up, they’ll be outbid since some team will give up a top pitching prospect like a Billingsley or Buchholz or E.Santana.

    Pete November 1, 2007, 9:54 am
  • Pete, I guess one of the advantages the Yanks have compared to other teams is that they could lock Santana up immediately for several years with some ridiculous offer. There are definitely teams that could offer bigger prospect packages but would the Dodgers offer LaRoche, Billingsley, etc for a year of Santana?

    Nick-YF November 1, 2007, 9:58 am
  • I dont agree that the Twins will necessarily get the most for Santana during the season as opposed to the off-season. This is a common misconception. Deadline deals are more or less 2 month rentals with little chance for the acquiring team to resign the player. Off-season deals provide more time for teams to work a deal and more opportunity to allow for a window to negotiate an extension. In this day and age, most organizations will not give up much in the way of prospects for a rental.
    This said, Im still not sold that the Twins will be moving Johan this winter…

    Sam-YF November 1, 2007, 10:02 am
  • Wang is arbitration eligible in ’08.
    Kerry Wood is a FA.
    As for the Twins not wanting a GB pitcher, Carlos Silva has been pretty successful on the field turf of Minnesota and he’s not 1/2 the pitcher that Wang is.
    I don’t know what it will take to land Santana, but you need to inquire. If he isn’t available you move on and contact other teams.
    I agree with Billingsley and Buck, but Santana doesn’t belong on that list anymore.

    John - YF November 1, 2007, 10:19 am
  • Nick –
    Wouldn’t the Dodgers, or Angels, similarly lock him up? And I’m not sure the Sox are out of it either.
    Sam –
    You assume an acquiring team couldn’t negotiate an extension as part of a mid-season deal. Seems like it’s happened before.
    Further, I can easily imagine a team like the Dodgers giving up their young players mid-season if they have veterans that are hitting (Nomar) and are close. It might be easier (logistically) to move a major player in the off-season, but it doesn’t rule out the mid-season deal.
    I really do believe the Twins are looking at next year as their last opportunity before rebuilding (again). I can’t see them moving Santana now when they could still win a title with him. After the last few years (Rockies, Cardinals, White Sox, Marlins) as many as 20 teams probably think they’re close. And they probably are.

    Pete November 1, 2007, 10:28 am
  • Allright, I’m putting my GM hat on as well. here goes:
    1. Sign Jorge Posada. The Yankees will probably have to overpay for him, but unfortunately, there just aren’t many options out there. Besides, aside from a good bat, Posada is smart and the Yankees need a smart guy to work with the young staff they will have next year.
    2. Sign Mo. He’s still one of the best closers in baseball and will be for the next couple of years.
    3. Get Andy Pettitte to pitch again. If not for early in the season where the Yankees didn’t score some runs for this guy, he probably would have won 20 games. They needed him to come up big in the playoffs and he did, going 6.1 innings with no earned runs and 5 strikeouts. It’s obvious his former elbow problems are gone as he pitched 215 innings this year. The guy is a horse. Plead with him to exercise that option and play again.
    4. Do whatever it takes to get rid of Jason Giambi. He has a full no-trade clause, but make it clear to him that he’s going to spend most of the summer riding pine. If he knows he can go somewhere else and play every day, he might be more willing to accept a trade. The Yankees would get nothing in return and have to eat a LOT of that $21 million he is due this year, but do it anyway. Give Shelley Duncan the shot at first base and make Johnny Damon the DH for the most part, inserting him in from time to time to give outfield rest to Abreu and Matsui.
    5. Forget the free agent class this year for the most part. It’s too weak. I like Torii Hunter, but he’s going to cost too much and he’s going to want a long term deal. The Yankees don’t need to be inking any more 30+ year olds to 6-7 year deals. Andruw Jones is a Boras client and is going to want $18-$20m per year for 6-8 years. He’s coming off a career worst year. His defensive skills are starting to decline and he strikes out way too much. Wait until after 2008 and the Yankees can go hard at Mark Teixeira who will only be 29 when the 2009 season starts. That also means forget signing Mike Lowell. He’s a great guy and a good player, but he’s 34. He’s going to want a four year deal. Go cheaper and sign a guy like Mike Lamb to play third.
    6. Okay, so here’s where it gets interesting. Sign Aaron Rowand (if the price is right). If he starts looking for a five-six year deal, then forget it. However, if he can be signed to a 4 year deal at $13-$14 million, then go ahead and do it. He just turned 30 this year. He’s not a heart of the order kind of guy, but he’ll drive in some runs and he’ll be able to cover that spacious outfield playing center and he has a strong arm. One thing he always does is play hard.
    7. Why do that? Because the Yankees should do what they can to work out a deal to get Johan Santana from the Twins even it somehow involves a three way deal with another team (like the A’s). The Twins need offense more than pitching, but including Melky Cabrera, Chien Ming Wang and maybe Ian Kennedy (yes I know he’s an a-list prospect, but we’re talking about arguably the best pitcher in the major leagues here) can get the deal done (with the A’s acquiring Kennedy and sending Chavez to Minny as part of a package. Beane loves those three team deals). I don’t care about Alex Rodriguez’s win shares. A starting rotation of Santana, Pettitte, Hughes, Chamberlain and Mussina will more than make up for that loss of offense. Unlike the Angels who rely solely on Vlad to drive in runs, the Yankees have 3-4 guys capable of driving in 90+ runs (Matsui, Cano, Abreu, Posada). They’ll have to manufacture more runs, but they’ve done it before. On all the championship squads, only one player (Bernie Williams) hit more than 29 home runs and that was Bernie Williams in 2000 when he hit 30.
    With Joe Girardi managing, you’ll see more stealing, hit and run and sacrifices. They can do all of this without spending a ton of dollars and still be in a position to win it all next year.
    So what you wind up with is a lineup that looks like this:
    1. Johnny Damon – DH
    2. Derek Jeter – SS
    3. Bobby Abreu – RF
    4. Jorge Posada – C
    5. Hideki Matsui – LF
    6. Shelley Duncan – 1B
    7. Aaron Rowand – CF
    8. Robinson Cano – 2B
    9. Mike Lamb – 3B

    Jay-YF November 1, 2007, 10:30 am
  • Cot’s has Wang as arbitration eligible this off-season (“for the 2008 season”).
    http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2000/05/2008-arbitration-eligibles.html

    Pete November 1, 2007, 10:57 am
  • Pete- I realize that an extension can be negotiated mid-season but looking at the trades made (and not made) at the all-star break over the last few years, it really seems like the days of teams giving up multiple great prospects for one star player are past us. We’ll see…

    Sam-YF November 1, 2007, 11:32 am
  • Pete, that’s what I meant. Sorry for the confusion.

    John - YF November 1, 2007, 11:51 am
  • Aaron Rowand is a fine alternative, but I just have the feeling that if the Yankees sign a Free Agent OF’r it will be in place of picking up Abreu’s option. Rowand is only 4 months younger then Jones. So the age argument you used could also be used for Rowand. Also the White Sox and Kenny Williams LOVE Rowand so he won’t come cheap.
    As for Shelley Duncan playing 1st base, I just don’t like it. He’s not good enough defensively. Having a solid defensive first baseman (like Youk) gives your infielders the confidence that every throw doesn’t have to be perfect. I liked Dougie M, but there are other guys out there who play similar defense but with a better stick (Sean Casey).

    John - YF November 1, 2007, 12:06 pm
  • Rowand won’t command a ridiculous contract like Jones in either length or cost. I’d rather have Rowand for less money and only have him tied up for the prime years of his career. With Jones you’re on the hook, paying him $20 million a year when he’s 37 and starts looking Bernie did at that age prowling that cavernous outfield.
    If there’s one thing the Yankees need to avoid, it’s long term contracts.

    Jay-YF November 1, 2007, 12:18 pm
  • Absolutely right in theory, but I’m telling you that the White Sox love this guy. They could single handedly drive his asking price up to the $16M per region.
    Also, what makes you think Jones is going to ask for 6 years? There is actually some talk about Jones taking a short contract 1-3 years due to his AWFUL 2007. I don’t think he signs for 1-3, but I also don’t think he signs for six.
    But again I wouldn’t mind Rowand at all. I care more about getting a legitmate #1 and a 1Bman with a decent balance between defense and offense.

    John - YF November 1, 2007, 12:24 pm
  • Remember, Jones is a Boras client. The reason the Braves told him to get lost is because Boras was already scratching the itch for a 6-8 year deal. Word around the campfire is that the Dodgers are taking a serious look at Jones vis a vis A-Rod and there’s no way I can see Jones only getting a three year deal.

    Jay-YF November 1, 2007, 2:00 pm

Leave a Comment