- Fact: As of today, the Yanks’ weakest starting positional player plays first base. This is the only position at which the Yanks are worse than most teams. In other words, there is a lot of room for improvement.
- Fact: There are no first basemen in the Bombers’ farm system projected to be decent major league contributors in the next few years.
- Fact: Jason Giambi’s contract comes off the books after 2008.
- Fact: Todd Helton, by any statistical measure, is a much better player than Doug Mientkiewicz. For instance, Helton, during his "poor" season of 2006, was credited with contributing 23 win shares, which tied him with Paul Konerko for seventh best in the majors. Mientkiewicz contributed 9 win shares. He was 27th in that category among first basemen last year.
- Rumor: Boston papers are reporting that the "Rockies are driving the Todd Helton talks with the Red Sox and that Boston isn’t particularly motivated to make a deal." The Sox seem to have a lot of leverage right now. The Denver Post reports that the Sox have offered Mike Lowell, Julian Tavarez and to pay approximately $50 million of the remaining $90 million left on Helton’s contract. In the process the Sox would be unloading Lowell’s relatively pricey contract (set to expire after the season) and would pay Helton about $10 million/year for the next five seasons. My opinion is that, given the current market, that would be a decent contract for Helton. At the very least, I don’t think it would hamstring the Sox.
- Epiphany: I’m finding the bullet format a bit annoying at this point.
In the final days leading up to the Randy Johnson trade, there were
reports that the Padres were making a late push for the hurler. The
Diamondbacks got the Big Unit, but did San Diego’s offers force Arizona
to give up more than they wanted to? Maybe. I don’t know. Based on a
sketchy understanding of economics, I assume so. I think, at the very
least, the Yanks should make a show of interest in Helton, if only to
drive up Colorado’s asking price. The current proposal is very good for
the Sox, which means it’s bad for the Yanks. Paul’s excellent recent
projections show the Yanks and Sox to be very close. This deal could
very well put Boston over the top. And at what cost?
This all could be a moot point since Helton has a no-trade clause,
and might have already vetoed going to New York. Of course, that
doesn’t make any sense since there’s never been a person in the history
of thinking that would okay a move to Boston and at the same time
refuse to go to the Big Apple. But it happens…I guess. And if so,
then Cashman is off the hook. If not, I think it makes sense for the
Bombers to put their hat in the ring, and not just because it will
affect Boston’s negotiations. Helton is in decline, but he’s such an
improvement over what the Yanks currently have that he’ll make a huge
difference for them in 2007. Fans counting on the Bombers to add
Texeira should factor in how expensive he will be. Again, the Sox’s
current proposed deal has them paying Helton a reasonable price.
Admittedly, he’s on the decline, but who do the Yanks have to address
the issue at first base in the near future. And can they afford to wait
out the market until a more attractive first baseman becomes available?
The iron is hot. Only one team in this rivalry seems to be willing to