In the Shop: Yanks’ Money Printing Machine

Bill Madden reports that the Yanks backed out of the Johan sweepstakes because of money:

But it is more than just Cashman’s belief in Hughes that suddenly put
the Yankees in full retreat after Hank Steinbrenner had sounded the
"Charge!" on Santana. Believe it or not, the final decision not to go
through with a deal that was on the table – one that would have
sacrificed Hughes, Melky Cabrera, 23-year-old Double-A righthander Jeff
Marquez and 22-year-old A-ball third baseman Mitch Hilligoss – was
based on money.

Carl Pavano, Jason Giambi, Kyle Farnsworth, etc. Overpaying for mediocrity can hurt you. Even if you’re the New York Yankees.

188 comments… add one

  • That’s interesting news indeed, Nick. Your title for the post is appropriate–what happened to the Yankees’ mint?
    With the new Yankee stadium coming up next year I would have thought they would have plenty of cash for years to come. If you’re going to give someone 25+ million a year, it’s gotta be Santana (and ARod), right?

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 8:50 am
  • I should put the all-important caveat up: this could be completely false. Right now, it’s had to know what’s fact/fiction.

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 8:53 am
  • Yeah, very true Nick. If news broke that the Royals swept in and traded their entire team for Santana, and are forcing him to play all 9 positions, I wouldn’t be very surprised.
    Honestly, a world where the Yankees are fiscally responsibly is not a world I want to be a part of. Hank had better fire someone or throw a chair out a window today to liven things up!

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 8:59 am
  • Bob Klapisch says the exact opposite. Not about the money; all about Phil Hughes.
    http://tinyurl.com/2mmlhy

    Paul SF December 5, 2007, 9:07 am
  • If this is true, the Yankees have to make that deal. Sh*t, they need to make the deal even if it means giving up Horne or Jackson. Both of those two are at least 2-3 years away from sniffing the majors.
    I just don’t get it. The Yankees fall over themselves to get at people nobody’s in a rush to sign and now they one of the best pitchers in baseball dangled in front of them and now they decide to exercise caution?

    Jay-YF December 5, 2007, 9:10 am
  • If the Yankees can’t afford it, how can the Sox? According to CBS, the 2007 player payroll of the Yankees is $180 mil and the Sox $143 mil. There is no question that the Yankees have dramatically greater revenue through YES network, a bigger stadium and very high volume of branded merchandise. The Sox picking up Santana is going to dramatically narrow that difference but I don’t see it affecting revenue. I don’t see how there can be any significant ROI for the Sox to hire Santana. There just isn’t the upside in their market. He is a pitcher, he doesn’t even play every day. Fenway is basically sold out as it is.
    The A-Rod deal on the other hand is different. He plays every day, the Yankees have upside in their (particularly early season) gate and He will drive wild merchandise sales and TV viewer ship (to their network). It makes some sense.

    Steve December 5, 2007, 9:18 am
  • The Yankees fall over themselves to get at people nobody’s in a rush to sign and now they one of the best pitchers in baseball dangled in front of them and now they decide to exercise caution?
    I’m equally confused. Giving up Hughes does sting, but odds are that he will never be a Johan Santana. Santana is a once-in-a-decade pitcher, and you can’t hesitate at a move like that.
    I can understand why Hank is reluctant to lose a young talent like Hughes (didn’t he mention cringing whenever his father dealt away young prospects?), but this isn’t Ervin Santana, or Carlos Santana. It’s Johan fricken Santana. As a SF I’m delighted, but I would be beating my head against the wall if I was a YF

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 9:19 am
  • The A-Rod deal on the other hand is different… he will drive wild merchandise sales and TV viewer ship (to their network).
    You don’t think Santana would drive up merchandise sales and TV viewership for the Red Sox?

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 9:22 am
  • And then again this all could be posturing, all a big bluff. One thing I know is that I’d be the worst GM in the world. I almost feel like you have to go for Santana to prevent him from going to the Sox.

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 9:23 am
  • Have the Twins traded Santana yet?
    No.
    He could still be a Yankee in ’08.
    I won’t buy the Yankees’ claims about money or Hughes until this situation has resolved itself. Either claim may be true or they may not be true. The jury is out.

    SF December 5, 2007, 9:25 am
  • Hey, y’all, I just noticed that Roger Clemens and Byung-Hyun Kim are still free agents… Also Rudy Seanez and David Riske…
    http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2007/12/05/mlb_free_agent_update/

    Hudson December 5, 2007, 9:33 am
  • Broken link, Hudson

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 9:34 am
  • Olney on Mike and Mike this morning said he doesn’t think the Twins will accept the Sox current offer. I wasn’t listening, so I don’t know whether he’s actually reporting that or deducing from the fact that the Twins haven’t accepted the offer despite it being on the table for something like two days.

    Paul SF December 5, 2007, 9:36 am
  • Cashman could very well be hedging his bets that Santana remains a Twin in 2008. Then he goes and gives him whatever he wants on the free agent market. Even if Hughes turns out to be Andy Benes, Cashman is a genius. Even so, you absolutely cannot run your team based on your rival. It never leads to good things. You have to do what’s best for you and you alone, and Cashman believes Hughes is too valuable to give up for a certainty of Santana, especially when there’s a chance he’s available next year.
    The last time the Yankees traded a prospect that turned out to have a good career was Mike Lowell. I, personally, would trust their judgment here.

    AndrewYF December 5, 2007, 9:38 am
  • Link works for me, atheose… Try this:
    http://tinyurl.com/ys84by

    Hudson December 5, 2007, 9:38 am
  • Actually, I should say that Ted Lilly has also had an okay career.

    AndrewYF December 5, 2007, 9:40 am
  • “Even so, you absolutely cannot run your team based on your rival. It never leads to good things. You have to do what’s best for you and you alone, and Cashman believes Hughes is too valuable to give up for a certainty of Santana, especially when there’s a chance he’s available next year.”
    I hear this line of thinking all the time, and I don’t quite know what it means in reality. Not getting on you Andrew, but doesn’t it seem like you have to manage your team in the context of what your nearest competitors are doing? For instance, the A’s are thinking about dealing one of the better pitchers in baseball because they feel that the Angels might have a stranglehold on the division and the wild card will be too difficult to get.

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 9:42 am
  • Ahhh, that works Hudson. Your link at the top was missing a few words.
    I agree Andrew; if the Twins end up holding Santana and the Yankees get him when he’s a free-agent, Cashman will look like a genius. However, unless the Twins end up making a run this year–which seems more unlikely now that Detroit is beefier–I think they would dump him at the trade deadline.

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 9:46 am
  • Atheose, sometimes parts of links get obscured because of the YFSF column width. If you make sure to select the whole line, generally the whole link gets copied.

    Hudson December 5, 2007, 9:48 am
  • I think both you and Andrew are right, Nick. If your management strategy is only reactive then that’s limiting. So the Yankees doing anything as a reflex to what the Red Sox do is probably a mistake. And vice versa. But, like you say, they don’t run their team without considering their rivals. They absolutely, positively, have to. Just as the Sox watch the Yankees as well. But if they allow just this one opponent to determine their strategies then they are doing a flawed job, in my opinion.

    SF December 5, 2007, 9:48 am
  • “According to CBS, the 2007 player payroll of the Yankees is $180 mil and the Sox $143 mil”
    i think mostreported the yanks 2007 at 187… but it was closer to 200… for some reason, nobody counts clemens, but he got paid. besides, i dont see the difference in the two payrolls changing much, as the yanks have increased payroll to close to 200 for 2008, without clemens.

    Ric December 5, 2007, 9:52 am
  • Well, I’m going to say something that might be controversial on a Yanks-Sox rivalry site. I think that the media, some fans, etc have way overstated how much the Sox and Yanks make moves as reactive to the other team’s moves. The Kei Igawa move was a good example. The criticism levelled at the Yanks was that they only bid for him because the Sox had gotten their shiny new Japanese toy. I just think they had scouts who really liked him as a back-of-the-rotation alternative to people like Ted Lilly.

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 9:52 am
  • Ahh, thanks Hudson. My mistake.
    You definitely need to consider your rival when making business decisions, but you can’t make moves SOLELY on what your rival does. But I still think the Yankees should stay in the Santana running simply because it’s the best thing for their team, in my oppinion.
    Throw the Red Sox’ moves into the equation and you HAVE to push hard for Santana.

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 9:54 am
  • In this case, keeping Santana from the team most likely to block your entrance into the playoffs is simply sound strategy. Never mind the fact that he would immensely improve your chances of winning.
    The fact remains that the Yankees will be extremely fortunate if Hughes has a career that even approaches what Santana has done so far. It’s extremely rare, even for the best of prospects. I’m frankly a little surprised that Cashman and the Yankees have (reportedly) taken this tack, to the point that I’m suspicious they’re simply lying in wait to swoop in and take the deal. For the Yankees especially, Santana just makes too much sense.

    Paul SF December 5, 2007, 10:00 am
  • Well, I’m going to say something that might be controversial on a Yanks-Sox rivalry site. I think that the media, some fans, etc have way overstated how much the Sox and Yanks make moves as reactive to the other team’s moves.
    I think this is on the money, Nick, not that controversial. However, I think the Igawa move was certainly in response to not getting Dice-K, but not necessarily a reaction to the Sox getting Dice-K.

    SF December 5, 2007, 10:01 am
  • The criticism levelled at the Yanks was that they only bid for him because the Sox had gotten their shiny new Japanese toy. I just think they had scouts who really liked him as a back-of-the-rotation alternative to people like Ted Lilly.
    I was thinking about the Igawa example too, Nick. I think what makes people think it was a reactive aquisition was the fact that nobody heard that the Yankees were interested in him until after the Matsuzaka deal went through. When a player who is a complete unknown to the general fanbase and media is suddenly scooped up by the richest team in baseball people–and by “people” I mean “the media”–assume it was reactive.
    And who knows, maybe it WAS reactive. But they should give the Yankees the benefit of the doubt because none of us know for sure, and it’s silly to assume that a Major League team would make such an expensive decision on a whim. Even if that team was owned by George Steinbrenner.*
    *-disclaimer: I am not making fun of George, I’m just going off of the general personality he has displayed over the last three decades, which both Yankee and Red Sox fans seems to agree on. George is a very passionate man who will do ANYTHING to win, which is more than you can say for most of the other 29 owners in baseball.

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 10:02 am
  • ” they had scouts who really liked him as a back-of-the-rotation alternative to people like Ted Lilly.”
    I still wonder why these scouts thought he could be successful in mlb throwing a mediocre fastball up in the strikezone.
    I don’t buy it-if the igawa move wasn’t reactionary, seems like the yanks, with more measured consideration, would have passed based on that alone.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 10:06 am
  • I hear this line of thinking all the time, and I don’t quite know what it means in reality. Not getting on you Andrew, but doesn’t it seem like you have to manage your team in the context of what your nearest competitors are doing? For instance, the A’s are thinking about dealing one of the better pitchers in baseball because they feel that the Angels might have a stranglehold on the division and the wild card will be too difficult to get.
    Then the A’s are conceding the division and any hope of contention. Maybe I should add a clause that says if you plan on competing with your opposition, you can’t base your plans around what they’re doing. Baseball isn’t war. You only face your direct opponents 18 or 19 games out of 162. You have to do what’s best for you.
    You think the Indians are a little worried about the Cabrera trade? You didn’t see them try to sell their farm to block Detroit. They have to improve their team in other ways that make sense for them.
    Look, Santana makes sense for the Yankees. He makes sense for just about anyone with hopes of competing next year. But does he make sense at the expense of the Yankees best prospect and starting center fielder, and also other top prospects that give their farm system considerable depth? Not to Cashman. Not when it’s not a guarantee he’s not available next year at only the cost of dollars and a draft pick. I can’t say I disagree with his reasoning.

    Andrew December 5, 2007, 10:10 am
  • Andrew, fwiw there are rumors that the Indians are in talks about dealing for Jason Bay. They’ll probably have to give up a prospect or two. My only point, and I don’t think we’re actually disagreeing as SF’s and your subsequent posts have clarified the issue for me, is that the prospect of the Sox getting Santana has to be a factor in Cashman’s decision-making. It’s overly dogmatic and unrealistic, I think, to say otherwise.

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 10:15 am
  • But then what should Cashman do? Do something that he feels is wrong for the team, just because there’s a chance Boston could get him? Maybe Cash had more inside knowledge or intuition than we think. That the deal isn’t done between the Sox and the Twins, even though the rumors of players haven’t even budged, could speak to the thought that the Sox really were in it just to drive up the price for the Yankees. Theo could be thinking the same thing as Cashman – why deviate from his well-laid plan that looks to be coming to fruition just to get a one-up on the Yankees? Maybe he sees something in Ellsbury and Lester and Lowrie and Masterson that the rest of us don’t.
    Who knows. All I know is that Santana is not on the Sox yet, and as each day passes that a deal isn’t done, it becomes more and more likely that it isn’t going to happen. And if the Yankees get to keep Hughes and get Santana in a year, well, we’ll see what happens. But you can’t be hasty, and you can’t panic, and you can’t be reactionary in this game. It never, ever leads to good things.

    AndrewYF December 5, 2007, 10:24 am
  • I guess the counter to that argument is that you can’t afford sometimes to be too passive. I think Mariners fans lamented how conservative Pat Gillick was throughout the late 90’s and early 2000’s at the trade deadline.
    I am notcriticizing Cashman in any case because who knows what is true and what isn’t at this point? If the Klapisch article is true, I understand Cashman’s position. I guess I just don’t agree with it.

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 10:28 am
  • < >
    I don’t know that that would qualify him a genius so much as a steel-balled gambler. I’ve been saying for a couple weeks now the best case scenario for the Yanks is Santana staying a Twin in 2008. Of course, if you hedge your bets against that, you’re also risking the worst-case scenario of him going to the Sox and dominating for the next couple years.

    Mark (YF) December 5, 2007, 10:38 am
  • Um, my last comment was in response to Andrew saying, “Cashman could very well be hedging his bets that Santana remains a Twin in 2008. Then he goes and gives him whatever he wants on the free agent market. Even if Hughes turns out to be Andy Benes, Cashman is a genius.”

    Mark (YF) December 5, 2007, 10:39 am
  • While I have reluctantly supported a deal for Santana even if it meant Hughes/Cabrera/IPK, I don’t think it is anywhere near a no-brainer that the Yankees have to make this deal – or even the one in Nick’s original post here.
    The Yankees underperformed for the first half of last year with a starting rotation that included Pavano and Igawa.
    When they stabilized their rotation by bringing up young inexperienced pitching talent (earlier than they would have wanted) and adding Clemens, they went on to win about 70% of their games, including the last 8 in a row against Boston – and these were not games Boston was throwing away by any means.
    They barely lost in the playoffs to a team that took the eventual champions to the brink of elimination. Without locusts, would NY have definitely won? I don’t know – but I think it is likely. And I don’t think Wang turning in two of the worst pitching performances of his life sets a pattern for him stinking in the post-season.
    In other words, as painful as last year’s ouster was, unlike the previous many ALDS ousters, it came amidst the backdrop of a Yankee team with more up and coming young pitching talent than I can remember them ever having in the last couple decades of following them.
    As a result, I am as ambivalent as I could possibly be about this deal – I would be both happy and a bit disappointed if we got Santana while trading Hughes and Kennedy (not to mention Melky) and I would be both happy and disappointed if we held on to our talent and, in the process lost out on Santana.
    And I agree very much with Andrew on how to handle what Boston is doing – pay attention but certainly don’t let it drive you to make a deal that you don’t think is good for the future of your team. If you determine that Santana is worth x, y, and z and no more than that, then he shouldn’t suddenly be worth x, y, z, plus 1-2 other cherished pieces because Boston is bidding on him too.
    I still would have liked to have landed Santana for the deal outlined in Nick’s post here, but I am not that upset about not landing him either.

    IronHorse (yf) December 5, 2007, 10:40 am
  • // Without locusts, would NY have definitely won? //
    Still with the midges excuse? The damned bugs were on both players’ necks.

    Hudson December 5, 2007, 10:48 am
  • I’ve heard that Cleveland players didn’t use bugspray – smartly, because the types of midges that were there were actually attracted by the bugspray. Safe to say, the umpires should have stalled the game, and they didn’t. The Yankees should have won 95 games too because of Willie Blomquist and a blind ump. It doesn’t really matter now.

    AndrewYF December 5, 2007, 10:51 am
  • “I’ve been saying for a couple weeks now the best case scenario for the Yanks is Santana staying a Twin in 2008.”
    I agree.
    With at least 31M coming off the books next year when we jettison Giambi and Pavano, the Yanks can sign Santana without losing our youngsters and end up with a lower payroll to boot.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 10:54 am
  • “Still with the midges excuse? The damned bugs were on both players’ necks”
    Hudson,
    When Torre says his only regret was not requesting a stoppage of the game when his rookie reliever was pitching in the highest-pressure moment of his young career, then yeah, I think it is relevant.
    But even if it is not, I maintain my point – NY was not far off last year and I don’t feel the team that eventually won it all was much better – certainly as judged by their head-to-head matchups, so I don’t feel like having mostly the same players this time around, except for three young pitchers, all of whom will have that much more experience going into 2008 is something to be all that scared of.
    Now if you all land Santana, I’ll be disappointed, but I’ll still be happy with our prospects over the next 2-10 years giving what Cashman et al are building. And I haven’t felt that way since 2000.

    IronHorse (yf) December 5, 2007, 10:54 am
  • “The damned bugs were on both players’ necks.”
    I don’t remember seeing them all over Carmona’s neck.
    Joba looked like a piece of flypaper after they kept spraying that OFF on him.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 10:56 am
  • Carmona was just as covered. No excuses either way, or for either guy. To what degree, I would say that Joba had it worse, but we can hardly use that as any kind of excuse.
    It was crazy that they even let him stay out there at all. That’s Joes fault, not the bug(s).

    Brad December 5, 2007, 10:59 am
  • “…I won’t buy the Yankees’ claims about money or Hughes until this situation has resolved itself….”
    i’m not so sure this is the yankees’ claim sf…unless i missed something, i didn’t see anything in the madden article acknowledging that he actually spoke with cashman, or anyone with knowledge of what cashman is thinking, so this could just be another speculative piece by a bored sportswriter to kill time while he’s waiting for the real news…it seems a bit of a stretch for the yankees to actually start worrying about money now…i know they’ve said that they want to control the budget, but we all know that we can’t trust what they say :D

    dc December 5, 2007, 11:01 am
  • Metsblog has this update on the Santana situation:
    “…on monday night i wrote that the word from Nashville, from a few different corners, suggested that the Twins are once again contacting teams, other than the Yankees and Red Sox, to discuss offers for Johan Santana…
    During a recent spot for ESPN News, ESPN.com’s Keith Law said that the Twins have once again reached out to the Mets, Dodgers and Angels regarding Santana.”

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 11:01 am
  • The difference in these two teams was Beckett. That’s all. One has an ace, and the other doesn’t. His playoff dominance is something to behold, but other than that, yeah, the two are pretty similar teams. As was Cleveland and LAA. One pitcher changes everything. Always.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:02 am
  • “One pitcher changes everything. Always.”
    Not always, but a lot of the time. I seem to remember Jeff Suppan leading the way for the Cards last season.

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 11:05 am
  • “Carmona was just as covered.”
    Were we watching the same game? They were like a cloud around Carmona’s head, for sure, but I don’t remember any stuck to his neck, like Joba.
    And I agree that Joe should have taken a more aggressive approach to get the game stopped.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 11:05 am
  • Wasn’t it Jeff Weaver who was the postseason hero?

    Andrew December 5, 2007, 11:06 am
  • Exactly. One guy stepping up when it matters. Not one guy leading the way and running into a 19ERA when it matters.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:06 am
  • right But Suppan’s an ace suddenly?

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 11:07 am
  • Carmona was not just as covered. Carmona didn’t come close to seeing what Joba did. That should be made clear and yes, Torre should have come out and argued for a stoppage.

    Jay C. December 5, 2007, 11:08 am
  • Those Braves teams had a few “aces” and won exactly one WS during their run. The Post-season has an element of, dare I say it, luck involved.

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 11:08 am
  • right But Suppan’s an ace suddenly?
    No, but I think Brad’s point was that an Ace is much more likely to step up and lead the way than any lesser pitcher. Example: Clemens on the Yankees in the late 90’s. Suppan is an exception.
    Also, for the record, there were just as many bugs bothering Carmona. However, they were flying around his face, and were not crawling on his skin as badly as Chamberlain’s.

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 11:10 am
  • Have you guys seen this, from 12:55 this am?
    “The Boston Herald’s Rob Bradford says the Red Sox told Ryan Kalish’s agent that his name has never come up in the Santana talks with Minnesota. Peter Gammons had said the 19 year-old outfielder was added to the deal to make it a 5-for-1 around 3pm yesterday.”

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 11:10 am
  • The 2003 Yankees also had vastly superior pitching to the Florida Marlins. But every single one of the Marlins pitchers stepped up. Even Mark fricking Redman and Miguel Batista. Urgh.

    Andrew December 5, 2007, 11:11 am
  • I like Cash’s move. Its gutsy but I think its the best long-term move.
    I really don’t think this is about money; i think this is about long-term planning. Cash doesn’t want to be locked in at large prices while at the same time giving up player flexibility.
    It just seems that Cash thought getting Santana would be too expensive all around. I won’t say that Santana has held the team hostage for 2 weeks, but I will say that even though he is the best pitcher of the last half-decade, he has the best negotiating position of all time right now. He doesn’t “have” to leave Minnesota, Minnesota is being canny enough to want more from the Yanks then they do from the other suitors, and Santana’s veto ensures that he’ll be paid highly.
    His judgement says that he loses too much in the analysis.
    I guess I can’t agree entirely. And I am shocked that Cash is thinking long-term even though his own contract is up next year. Its wierd to see the Yanks backing away from a table because the whole thing is getting “too rich”, but maybe this goes to show that fiscal discipline and long-term planning are a part of the new Yankee Regime.
    Can that be a bad thing?

    Carlos (YF) December 5, 2007, 11:12 am
  • No, I didn’t call him an ace. I said that he stepped up and carried his team when it matters. Ace-like, yes. Some guys are capable of this, and some aren’t. Even is Schilling started game one, we’re confident. He’s a big time pitcher. Some guys are, and some aren’t. Pettitte is. We don’t really need to emphasize how much Beckett has accomplished when it matters.
    The Yanks need that guy. Maybe they have him. Maybe they don’t. Who knows.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:13 am
  • Yeah, some pitchers are built for big moments like the playoffs. Kind of like how closers require a certain mentality, like Papelbon. Adrenaline-junkie type of thing perhaps.

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 11:13 am
  • “Suppan is an exception”
    As were Washburn, Appier and Co on the ’02 Angels.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 11:14 am
  • Cash doesn’t want to be locked in at large prices while at the same time giving up player flexibility.
    So, Santana (arguably the best hurler in the game today) is the guy to go cheap on? Maybe someone was the straw that broke the horse’s back, but this seems like a front to me. They’re in it, and they know it.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:15 am
  • If the Twins hold onto Santana and he hits the free agent market after 2008, Cashman will be called a genius. If the Red Sox land him this offseason, Cashman will take the blame. Unfortunately for him there’s a lot of luck in between.
    Glad I’m not in his shoes.

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 11:15 am
  • Pettitte’s been that guy and, at other times, he’s been really bad. But it is true that having Beckett increases the likelihood of post-season victory. No doubt.

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 11:17 am
  • I know I am opening a can of midges here, but do SF’s here think their team was much better than the Yankees last year? Really?
    To be clear, I am not knocking the championship. How can I? They won it and so deserve the title of best team in baseball for 2007. But it is a relevant question to these discussions of trade rumors. How desperate either NY or Boston is to make a move vis-a-vis the other is entirely a question of how much better one is than the other.
    And while Boston will always be able to say that they were better in 2007 because they hold the trophy, I am not that conceerned to have both teams go back head to head with exactly the same talent they had in 2007 now that – barring injury – NY will not be juggling their starting rotation for the first 3 months of the season.
    Yes, Beckett made all the difference. But I don’t expect crapola from Wang every October, I like Pettitte, and the small taste of Hughes we got in October – together with Joba becoming a starer all combine to make me feel that NY stands a great chance against any team. Even if not immediately next year because of our pitching youth (and here I don’t mean just the three big names mentioned here), then in years 2-10. I’m fine with that.

    IronHorse (yf) December 5, 2007, 11:17 am
  • That Cashman contract issue is an excellent point. I’d hate to be the GM that spent over a billion dollars in contracts without a world series win, and the rings that I did have, came from Michaels teams. I think I’d make a push real hard this year. Or, maybe he knows he’s safe.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:18 am
  • Man, that’s a lot of “ifs”. I love that scenario too, IH. I love it a lot.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:20 am
  • Where is ten years coming from? These guys are locked up for the next ten years?

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:21 am
  • I know I am opening a can of midges here, but do SF’s here think their team was much better than the Yankees last year? Really?
    I think our team was better (with a healthy Manny/Papi, and a rested Okajima), but not MUCH better. If Wang had pitched just OKAY instead of horrible then we might not be having this conversation. One player made the difference, and sometimes that’s just luck.
    But overall I think the Red Sox definitely were a better team, just not by much.

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 11:22 am
  • I do adore this bit of baseball trivia. Just be glad that no one here is a Marlins fan.
    They’re about as unrecognizable as any team in America — maybe even more unrecognizable than the Pawtucket Red Sox.
    “What’s their(Florida’s) payroll going to be?” one baseball man wondered Tuesday night. “Six million bucks? Eight million?”
    Hey, excellent guesses. As best we can tell, their highest-paid player next season is going to be closer Kevin Gregg. He made $575,000 this year (less than the Yankees paid A-Rod every four days). And he’s actually arbitration-eligible.

    Carlos (YF) December 5, 2007, 11:23 am
  • “They’re in it, and they know it.”
    I don’t think so.
    The yanks have been burned so many times in situations like this, I think, given the enormous price, in money and prospects, that Santana would cost, they decided not to take the chance this time.
    Maybe something about Santana’s struggles in the playoffs and against AL east opponents, coupled with his uncharacteristic struggles in the second half last year, influenced Cash and Co.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 11:23 am
  • “Where is ten years coming from? These guys are locked up for the next ten years?”
    Brad, I get your point, but when was the last time that NY wanted to keep a player who had performed well but was unable to?
    The issue with my argument is not that the Yankees don’t have these guys locked up. The issue is that the pitchers I am banking on are all young and it is a virtual certainty that not all of them will live up to their potential. But locking them up is not an issue for NY and never has been.

    IronHorse (yf) December 5, 2007, 11:24 am
  • And yes, they played 162 games all against the same teams (though one us got to play all the bad ones in a row for a month), and one team came out on top, dominated when it mattered when the other fell apart, and won the whole thing. Yes, one was much better than the other. Overall, as individuals they’re pretty comparable. As a team, they’re definitely not. One was WS champs, and the other was bounced in three games. We can’t cry equal under any circumstances.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:25 am
  • but do SF’s here think their team was much better than the Yankees last year
    no.

    SF December 5, 2007, 11:26 am
  • but when was the last time that NY wanted to keep a player who had performed well but was unable to?
    Player loyalty is one thing the Yankees have always had, and probably always will be. I hate the Yankees with every fibre of my soul, but you know you’ve had a successful career when you play for them.

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 11:29 am
  • Could the Marlins receive more from revenue sharing than they will spend on their entire payroll?
    If so, someone should be entitled to a refund.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 11:29 am
  • Gotcha.
    Well, here’s to hoping that all three of them pitch to a 6ERA, and the other nine years are spent watching A-Rod chase Barry Bonds as the most exciting thing going on!
    :)

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:30 am
  • someone should be entitled to a refund.
    Absolutely.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:32 am
  • “We can’t cry equal under any circumstances”
    “cry equal”? Umm, what does that mean?
    The teams met head to head many times – not as individuals Brad, but as head to head team competitions…you know, games. Boston lost the last 8 of those. If, as I believe Atheose rightly points out, Wang doesn’t turn in two of the worst games of his career in the ALDS, and they met in the ALCS, it would have been a great series. You’re entitled to feel that Boston would have won because they were “much better”, but their head to head matchups in the second half of the season – i.e. with the rotations and rosters that they both took into October – are as good a yardstick to measure them against one another as anything you’ve written and it doesn’t bear out such certainty on your part.
    I repeat, no quibbling from me on Boston having the title of best team in baseball based on the only thing that matters – the championship.
    But in looking at what moves either team “needs” to make this off-season, I don’t feel any great urgency to do much of anything vis-a-vis a Boston team that looks like Boston 2007.
    Now Detroit is scary – scarier to me than Boston right now.

    IronHorse (yf) December 5, 2007, 11:33 am
  • Oh there is no doubt. The Yankees gave $48 million a couple of years in revenue sharing. They are probably going to give more now. Revenue sharing is locally-generated revenue, somewhere around 34% of that revenue is shared. So 32 teams giving 34% of ticket sales and other garbarge….you have to believe that teams are getting millions, possibly tens of millions a year.

    Carlos (YF) December 5, 2007, 11:35 am
  • “and the rings that I did have, came from Michaels teams.”
    That’s about as fair as saying that Theo’s ring in ’04 came from the previous guy’s team. Just like Cash, the core was in place when he got the job.
    Cash brought in Knoblach and Brosius when he took over in ’98, both had a definite impact on the 3 rings that came after that.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 11:36 am
  • “Player loyalty is one thing the Yankees have always had, and probably always will be.”
    To my dissatistfaction Atheose, it seems that Boston has built this as well – as evidenced by how seemingly easily they locked up Lowell and Schilling for starters.

    IronHorse (yf) December 5, 2007, 11:36 am
  • You know how I know New York was–and is–a team very close in skill to the Red Sox?
    Because I was scared of facing them in the ALCS.

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 11:37 am
  • Okay.
    You can hang you hat there if you wish, IH.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:37 am
  • locked up Lowell and Schilling for starters.
    Stupid moves, that are going to hurt them.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:38 am
  • Good point, Ironhorse. I think a lot of that has to do with team chemistry (I don’t think it’s outrageous to say that the Red Sox probably have the best team chemistry in baseball), and the fact that they won a Championship just over a month ago. Immediately after winning a ring it’s tough to put money above everything else.

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 11:39 am
  • “Now Detroit is scary – scarier to me than Boston right now.”
    Offensively, yes, but their bullpen is shaky, esp with Zumaya out for the year; their rotation has some question marks: Will Bonderman return to form? What kind of pitcher will the gambler be in his 40’s, after last years injuries? How will the overated D Train fare in the AL?

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 11:41 am
  • Brad, Schilling pitched very well when he stopped trying to be a power pitcher and accepted his “finesse-pitcher” status. I think he’ll be good next year, as he made that transition well.

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 11:41 am
  • Thats because the NY v. Boston games mean nothing. Weird things happen in those games, and I don’t think anyone really guages the ability of one team based on the outcome of a yearly series against another team. For example, was Tampa a better team than New York the year (2005) they beat them 12 or 13 of the 18 times they played? I think they beat RJ four or five times that year..were they the better team? It’s only valid if you wish to use that measure as a means by which to discount another team.
    Super bowl champs? Eh, we beat them in September by 30.
    See my point?

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:41 am
  • “Stupid moves, that are going to hurt them.”
    Really? Why? Schilling seems to be on the cheap and as much as I hate the guy (he might actually be at the bottom of my list of likable players) he is a veteran presence for your young guys and somewhat of a Boston icon now, isn’t he? And while he doesn’t scare me pitching wise any more, he doesn’t stink either.
    And I thought SFs loved Lowell. Did you want them to go after Cabrera instead – or another option?
    I am not picking arguments – I am genuinely interested to hear why you think those two are mistakes.

    IronHorse (yf) December 5, 2007, 11:42 am
  • “Stupid moves, that are going to hurt them.”
    Really? Why? Schilling seems to be on the cheap and as much as I hate the guy (he might actually be at the bottom of my list of likable players) he is a veteran presence for your young guys and somewhat of a Boston icon now, isn’t he? And while he doesn’t scare me pitching wise any more, he doesn’t stink either.
    And I thought SFs loved Lowell. Did you want them to go after Cabrera instead – or another option?
    I am not picking arguments – I am genuinely interested to hear why you think those two are mistakes.

    IronHorse (yf) December 5, 2007, 11:43 am
  • sorry for double post fellas – typepad annoyances.

    IronHorse (yf) December 5, 2007, 11:44 am
  • See enough pitchers enought times, and sooner or later, it matters not who they are and offense wins..to that, NY is always going to take it. That’s how I explain Boston v. Mariano or NY v. Beckett. It means nothing in the larger picture when the two teams play, you know, other games. They didn’t scare me because of their talent level, but rather they scared me because it would have been the 20th time they saw each other this year. That’s why we dispose of teams that easily disposed of them. They didn’t get to see CC or Carmona five or six times this year and get used to them as a team. Same with us. I have to look at the opponents, and see how each handled the business there.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:46 am
  • ” For example, was Tampa a better team than New York the year (2005) they beat them 12 or 13 of the 18 times they played?”
    Gee, let’s see: Tampa won 67 that year, the yanks won 95. Uh, No.
    Brad, that’s a ridiculous argument – when teams’ records are as close as the yanks’ and sox’ were last year, I think the head to heads tell you a little more.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 11:47 am
  • I don’t know, IH.
    I don’t hate the Schilling move based on the incentives, and yes, I think he brings something to the table, but the Lowell deal really bothered me. I wanted to go younger there. Just MO.
    I fear that two years from now, we have a black hole, with limited range and slow bat at third base.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:48 am
  • Brad, that’s a ridiculous argument
    No, it’s not. I understand you argument, but you’re the one who based the entire thing on head to head comps. Was LAA a better team than NY this year? I say yes. Just as I say Cleveland was. And, I think while they’re all close, Boston was the best of all of them.
    We can just call it close, and be done with it, but I don’t think NY was as good.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:51 am
  • This is a silly argument guys. The Red Sox were a better team, but not by much. If you roll the dice again things could have ended up differently.

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 11:51 am
  • “It’s only valid if you wish to use that measure as a means by which to discount another team.”
    Brad, I am honestly not trying to discount Boston’s ’07 success. When a team, especially one in your own division, wins the championship, you have to measure yourself against them and see what you need to stack up next year and beyond. My reference to the regular season record – especially after we jettisoned Igawa and brought up Hughes, Joba, etc. – is more based on trying to gauge whether NY – as curently constituted – needs to do anything major to compete against Boston as currently constituted. If anything you can take it as flattery for your team.
    But when making that comparison, the best way I know how is to look at how they matched up head to head. I think if NY and Boston had met in the ALCS, it would have been a crapshoot. That doesn’t mean I think less of Boston’s championship. It just means I don’t feel NY needs to go too far in making deals to better match up with Boston.

    IronHorse (yf) December 5, 2007, 11:52 am
  • Loyalty is nice, but loyalty can also be a fault at times, and with Lowell, I feel that they’re going to get two more years of the same, and two years of wanting to move him.
    I could be wrong though.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:53 am
  • “loyalty can also be a fault at times”
    Paging Joe Torre…

    IronHorse (yf) December 5, 2007, 11:54 am
  • I think the player loyalty bit is a bit under-researched.
    Its not really hard to become a “place I want to play.” Pay well, treat with respect, compete, supportive fan base, attractive city.
    Pre-1995, i can’t say that the Yankees had the kind of player loyalty they do now. But what they have now comes from the last 12 years of very player-friendly work. Torre treated them all like favorite sons, they were all paid well, and they competed every year. Also, i thought to myself that Posada leaving the Yanks is funny…cause seriously, although I enjoy the arguments about his HOF candidancy and regardless of that I think of his as being the best all-around catcher of the last decade, I could not imagine him leaving the prestige/power of his current position. Jeter and him rule that dugout, and they wouldn’t elsewhere.
    I think if a player can make a home with a team, they’ll never leave if that team remains competitive. I don’t view Lowell and Schilling as loyalty as their career history has always indicated that they do what is best at the time. And at the moment, Boston is the best place for them both. All a team needs to do to inspire loyalty is to continue to be the best place for that player to play and live.

    Carlos (YF) December 5, 2007, 11:57 am
  • okay, IH.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 11:57 am
  • “but you’re the one who based the entire thing on head to head comps.”
    I am?

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 11:58 am
  • “Pre-1995, i can’t say that the Yankees had the kind of player loyalty they do now. But what they have now comes from the last 12 years of very player-friendly work. Torre treated them all like favorite sons, they were all paid well, and they competed every year.”
    Carlos, very good point which was actually confirmed in Buster Olney’s book about the Yanks dynasty of the 90s. One key moment, he says, was when Jimmy Key signed on with the Yanks and let it be known that NY and the Yanks were a good place and team play. Olney says that was a turning point for them in terms of getting people, who thought the Yanks were crazily run, to come to the Bronx.

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 11:59 am
  • IH, my only argument, which is a valid one is that if the Red Sox were to get Santana they are fielding a rotation that they are 4/5 and possibly 5/5 (depending on what Buchholz does) confident in what they’re getting barring injury.
    Like NY, they know exactly what they’re getting with the lineup.
    NY will be fielding a rotation that they are 3/5 sure of what is going to happen, and even then, Mussina’s slope has gotten harder and harder to predict..(he was benched last year).
    That’s a huge difference. I know they’re willing to roll the dice there, but that’s where I draw my difference from.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 12:02 pm
  • and by “sure”, of course I mean an “expected sure”, not sure as in absolute or certain.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 12:03 pm
  • especially after we jettisoned Igawa
    Ironhorse, that gave me a HILARIOUS mental image.

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 12:04 pm
  • No, Andrews. I didn’t realize that post was yours.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 12:05 pm
  • jesus, we need some real news. My boss is certain to be getting fed up with stove talk around here. She’s getting nohting done here this week! ha.
    I work with five Yankee, five Sox, and two Mets (punching bags) fans.
    Things are a little on edge here this week. Moods going from great to gloom all in one fell swoop of new news.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 12:07 pm
  • Outside of clearing out a roster spot, there’s not much incentive for the Yanks to jettison Igawa. They’ve sunk a lot of millions into him already that they’r enot getting back. Might as well work with to see if he can be useful in some role. Why not see if the supposed quirkiness in his delivery can help him develop effective reliever deception?

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 12:07 pm
  • Baseball is big in the lab.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 12:08 pm
  • I’ll be the first (well, Andrews already basically said this, so maybe the second) to say:
    The Tigers will not win the AL Central in 2008. Further, I’ll bet Andrew Miller has a better year than Dontrelle Willis — and not just because of the league transitioning, and that Cabrera has a down year as he struggles with the tougher AL pitching staffs.
    Adding an overrated pitcher and an elite bat I don’t think are necessarily enough to overcome Cleveland’s stable of young stars that will all improve. That Tiger offense will be insane, though — assuming Sheffield is healthy, Cabrera doesn’t struggle, etc.

    Paul SF December 5, 2007, 12:08 pm
  • Why not see if the supposed quirkiness in his delivery can help him develop effective reliever deception?
    He did step outside of himself once this summer. Could happen.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 12:09 pm
  • Brad
    I appreciate your overall point but I dont think you are using the same criteria to compare the two rotations. Are the sox really that confident that they know what they will get from Schilling next year. At his age, anything can happen he is more reliable than moose but sill. Buchholz is in the same category as the yankees 3 young guns. If even 2 of those 3 are close to what is expected from them, they should be close to equal to DiceK, Lester, Wake. Beckett is clearly the best among the SPs on both teams (although any of the young guys on either team could catch up) but beyond him I dont see the sox rotation as necessarily much better. I think it could swing either way.

    sam-YF December 5, 2007, 12:10 pm
  • “possibly 5/5 (depending on what Buchholz does)”
    So, Buchholz is more of a sure thing than Hughes? If that’s what you’re getting at, I disagree.
    I’m not speaking for IH, but I’m sure his assessment doesn’t take into account the sox acquiring Santana.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 12:11 pm
  • Brad you work in a lab as well? What kind?

    sam-YF December 5, 2007, 12:11 pm
  • Stark is on Max Kellerman saying that he thinks the Sox-Twins deal is blowing up, and is staring to believe the Sox weren’t that motivated to complete it in the first place. Thinks they were there mainly to tweak the Yanks.

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 12:13 pm
  • He also ranks the AL now as:
    1. Sox
    2. Tigers (who he says are close to the Sox0
    3. Yanks
    4. Tribe.
    And he points out that at least one of the teams is guaranteed not to make the play-offs next season.

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 12:15 pm
  • if this is true, the twins got played big time. If i were them id be irate at the sox. Not to say the sox did wrong per se but still…

    sam-YF December 5, 2007, 12:16 pm
  • God, these writers are like little old ladies spreading gossip! I’m so weary of all the swirling rumors…

    Anonymous December 5, 2007, 12:17 pm
  • if this is true, the twins got played big time. If i were them id be irate at the sox. Not to say the sox did wrong per se but still…

    sam-YF December 5, 2007, 12:17 pm
  • “the twins got played big time”
    Ah ha! The hunter becomes the hunted!

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 12:20 pm
  • Heh, rumors indeed. The fact of the matter is that the rumors are the only news. People are talking. They talk, and we get one word out of every four. The reporters report what they hear.
    Trashing their reporting implies that they know something we don’t. All they have is access, not concrete knowledge.

    Carlos (YF) December 5, 2007, 12:21 pm
  • Yeah, in the absence of information, the ESPN guys have really muddied the waters. You notice you don’t hear anyone from Boston, New York or Minnesota repeating that kind of unsourced garbage.
    The Red Sox made two legitimate offers, both of which filled the Twins’ needs. They are currently the ONLY ofers Minnesota has on the table, so it’s hard to say how the Red Sox weren’t serious in making those offers, unless the Twins are trying to accept one and the Sox keep pulling it back. I highly doubt that.
    It sounds like the Twins didn’t expect the Yankees to be serious, are now stuck with an offer they don’t necessarily like and are trying really hard to find someone else to make them not look bad. They’re starting to look foolish, I think.
    (Note: the above paragraph is as fully sourced and informed as I believe any of the information we’ve received from ESPN.com this morning).

    Paul SF December 5, 2007, 12:22 pm
  • I’m not big on trashing reporters for reporting information. But their job also requires a gatekeeping function. If they don’t believe the report is true or credible, or if they’re just speulating, they need to say so. But the ESPN guys have really let us down lately, and seem to be conflating their duty to analyze with their duty to report, thus turning their analysis — which basically means very little — into news, which means much more.

    Paul SF December 5, 2007, 12:23 pm
  • They also have bosses who are always on their asses to report something, so the inclination to stretch rumours into truth is higher than it would otherwise be.

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 12:24 pm
  • the truth is there could be ambivalence on both ends. Who knows? Who knows if they wer ever as close as some reports implied yesterday (Will Caroll-I’m looking at you!)

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 12:24 pm
  • Silverman in the Herald applies what he can to the ESPN.com confusion:
    “Whether or not the Twins were shopping the Red Sox’ offer because they do not feel it is enough or whether or not the Twins feel the Red Sox’ offer(s) is good enough but they want to take one last swing through the other teams before accepting it remains to be seen. Wish we could offer more substance right now, but we will as soon as we can.”

    Paul SF December 5, 2007, 12:26 pm
  • ha they report info like that because people like us stay up until ungodly hours waiting for the info and refresh our browsers every 30 seconds on 10 different sites to see whats news. If any one is to blame its us!

    sam-YF December 5, 2007, 12:27 pm
  • Okay.
    The rotations are equal from top to bottom. Projections for either is silly at this point.
    I figure it this way:
    Beckett…18-20 wins
    Wang… 18-20 Wins
    Pettitte…17-20 Wins
    Schilling…10-14 wins
    Matsuzaka..10-10 wins
    Mussina…12-15 Wins
    Wake..13-16 Wins
    Hughes..16-20 wins
    Joba…16-20 wins
    Buchhlolz…13-15 wins
    Seems right, based on past performances and all.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 12:28 pm
  • I’m (obviously) pretty peeved at ESPN right now, including Gammons. Not only did they completely blow the five-for-one angle then not report the correction in the blog (Gammons only corrected it on TV, but it’s still uncorrected online), but they’ve reported very little in the past 24 hours, simply confusing things with their “analysis” about whether the Sox ever meant to acquire Santana, etc.
    I imagine they do feel pressure to always have something new to report, but it bugs me when a reporter’s own opinion becomes the news itself. This happened during the Matsuzaka sweepstakes, and they were laughably wrong, but no one was ever held accountable for the silliness they “reported” before that deal got done.

    Paul SF December 5, 2007, 12:29 pm
  • Yeah, sam. I’m a chemist.. Lab is slow right now, Thankfully. And, for two day’s I’ve been working on digestions (MBAS), so I have time to wait and do nothing, but I’m ready to pull my hair out. ha.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • Nick, I heard that on Kellerman as well. This could open the door for the Yankees to swoop back in and maybe, just MAYBE not have to part with Hughes in a deal.

    Jay-YF December 5, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • Honestly, I think Peter Gammons, Buster Olney and the rest of the gang are just told things. I don’t think they make stuff up, but they go by what they are told.
    But you are right about one thing: ESPN folks speak with such authority that its painful to realize that they are just going on what an un-named official told them. Gammons especially does this. He occasionally flat out tells someone “no, this will not happen” without any explanation of where that came from.
    In the end, Gammons, Olney and the gang can not give up their sources or processes as that will deny them access, but when they are wrong…it makes every one look flabbergasted.
    I think it works similar as in politics. The Twins or Sox or Yankees know that if they call Gammons and imply something, he will report that implication. But because he’s Peter Freaking Gammons, his report which will air at 9 am on sportscenter will be treated as fact, regardless of how hesitant or certain he appears.
    I don’t think reporters are trying to mislead us; i just think we are all part of one huge informational pathway that is not always concerned with giving us concrete truth.

    Carlos (YF) December 5, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • “(Will Caroll-I’m looking at you!)”
    I’m looking at Gammons.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • “Don’t expect to see a Twins-Red Sox or Twins-Yankees whopper. The sense is now that Minnesota will hold onto Johan Santana.”
    Guess the Red Sox can start penciling him in for Opening Day then.

    Paul SF December 5, 2007, 12:32 pm
  • And, I’m only joking with the rotations post, Sam.
    Imagine if Santana stays and goes nowhere? That’s even stupider than taking the Sox offer less Ellsbury.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 12:33 pm
  • exactly, Paul:)

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 12:33 pm
  • OH..Sam’s talkign about me, isn’t he? Well, Im not doing it tonight! I’m giving up on this Santan crap. He’s not goign anywhere. Even Peter Gammons thinks so on ESPNS Winter Meetings blog:
    “12:15 p.m., from Peter Gammons
    • Don’t expect to see a Twins-Red Sox or Twins-Yankees whopper. The sense is now that Minnesota will hold onto Johan Santana. ”
    Of course everyones been completely wrong at least once in this fiasco.

    Dionysus December 5, 2007, 12:34 pm
  • Last quote was from Gammons on the ESPN.com blog.
    I agree they’re not trying to mislead us, Carlos, but I also don’t think they’re necessarily talking to an unnamed official either. Maybe an official with another team, or other reporters who may have talked with unnamed officials. Something tells me when we’re down to, “The sense is,” we’re basically hearing what all the reporters gissoped about over lunch in the lobby.

    Paul SF December 5, 2007, 12:34 pm
  • “The sense is not that Minnesota will hold onto Johan Santana.”
    Why? It doesn’t seem like they’ll compete this year, and they’ll get two draft picks for him when he goes next year, yes? So what motivation do they have to hold him? Especially since they can get at least 3 decent prospects or more from somebody.

    Devine December 5, 2007, 12:36 pm
  • The Twins are stupider than I thought. Not ONLY are they gonna fail to trade Santana while they can get somethign for him.. but they are considering signing David Eckstein!
    “11:22 a.m, from Jerry Crasnick
    • With the Twins in search of middle-infield help, one potential target is free agent David Eckstein. “I’ve always had a lot of respect for him,” said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire. “He catches the ball. He knows how to play. He’s a proven winner.” ”
    Proven winner? Thats positively Joe Morganish, Mr Gardenhire, you idiot.

    Dionysus December 5, 2007, 12:37 pm
  • And I’m asking that not because I’ll be mad if the Sox don’t get Santana (like I said, I’d be very curious to see a full year of healthy Lester), but because it just doesn’t make any sense to me.

    Devine December 5, 2007, 12:38 pm
  • I’m going with the “no news is good news” theory right now. Who’s to say they aren’t all secluded in Theo’s suite right now working it all out.
    I’ll react when I hear one way or the other.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 12:38 pm
  • Great discussion. A couple of quick points — we haven’t mentioned the effect that a technical manager like Girardi, a long-time coach like Eiland and a less-tyrannical Steinbrenner like Stubby are going to have on the team. It seems to me that these are actually relevant factors.
    Also, I really like Cashman’s gamble. I really doubt Epstein is willing to give up Ellsbury + Buch/Lester + X prospects to get the job done, just as we weren’t willing to give up Hughes + Melky + X prospects. My secret hope is that Minnesota comes crawling back near the deadline and wants IPK + Melky + Horne and we land Santa.
    Ho. Ho. Ho.

    Adrian (YF) December 5, 2007, 12:38 pm
  • If this info is legit, and the Twins are putting out that message, I’d guess it’s a last-ditch bluff before having to take the Red Sox’ offer.

    Paul SF December 5, 2007, 12:38 pm
  • Like Brad says, the absence of real news is actually a good sign.

    Paul SF December 5, 2007, 12:40 pm
  • But if they don’t move him when they could have had almost everyone’s top prospect for him, they’re stupid. Stupid is an understatement.
    A huge one of immense proportions.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 12:41 pm
  • Of course, Paul, the Sox could be putting out that info as well for leverage or to get out the talks.

    Nick-YF December 5, 2007, 12:41 pm
  • I’d guess it’s a last-ditch bluff before having to take the Red Sox’ offer.
    That was my first instinct.

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 12:41 pm
  • Ha I was thinking the same thing from my Yankee-biased perspective.

    sam-YF December 5, 2007, 12:41 pm
  • “Mr Gardenhire, you idiot.”
    That’s a bit harsh. Not that I agree in this case, but I have to say I think a ML manager might see things we don’t when they look at players.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 12:42 pm
  • “But when making that comparison, the best way I know how is to look at how they matched up head to head. I think if NY and Boston had met in the ALCS, it would have been a crapshoot. ”
    i hate this line of thinking. baltimore and tampa may have taken the season series over NY the last couple seasons. and they well may have beaten NY had they made the playoffs. would you call tampa a better team? its all about the W’s and L’s at the end IMO.

    Ric December 5, 2007, 12:42 pm
  • Would the Red Sox risk lying about it? It wouldn’t take much for the Twins, especially considering the PR hit they would be taking, to say: “Uh, we were ready to deak, and the Sox backed away.” That would make the Sox look doubly bad. Better to float something about the negotiations taking too long, or set some sort of crazy arbitary deadline, or decide you don’t want to give up Lester or Ellsbury after all.

    Paul SF December 5, 2007, 12:45 pm
  • C’mon, Twinkies. You really need to keep him. Think about the attendance drop if he leaves! Keep him! KEEP HIM!!!!!

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 12:46 pm
  • *a-hem* ready to deal

    Paul SF December 5, 2007, 12:46 pm
  • Atheose December 5, 2007, 12:47 pm
  • “but I have to say I think a ML manager might see things we don’t when they look at players.”
    David Eckstein has a CAREER OPS+ of 89. The highest he had EVER? 101. Thats one freakin point above the average play. David Eckstein is a BELOW average majore league ball hitter.
    His feilding? In 2007 he had a FRAA 0f -7
    I see the NUMBERS, Andrews

    Dionysus December 5, 2007, 12:48 pm
  • “they well may have beaten NY had they made the playoffs.”
    They didn’t, and that’s the point. Based on the season series between our teams, I agree with IH – an ALCS matchup between them would have been a crapshoot.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 12:48 pm
  • Oops, I’m wrong. His FRAA in 2007 uwas -11. His career AVERAGE is -7

    Dionysus December 5, 2007, 12:49 pm
  • I’m late to this party today, so I haven’t had a chance to read the thread in depth, but a few thoughts:
    1) For Cashman it wasn’t simply about the money, it was also about Hughes (as Madden makes clear in his piece and the News editor makes clear in their headline – but left off the backpage). But I don’t doubt that he used the money, with Pettitte returning, to mount a much stronger argument. And 2/3’s of visitors on the Daily News poll said the team made the right call.
    2) How smart will Cashman look if Santana goes nowhere? He will have called the Sox bluff, not given up Hughes, AND is well-positioned to sign Santana next off-season. Of course, there’s two big IF’s there right now. One, the Sox don’t get him very cheap, and two, Santana isn’t traded at all.
    3) The fact is, for all the bluster about who running the Yankees, Cashman has made a very ballsy call when he has one-year left on his contract and it stuck. If he were looking out for himself, he could have easily traded for Santana – who cares about the future? The point is: He can be made to look very, very bad in many, many ways (Santana goes to the Sox, whoever gets Santana wins a ring, the prospects aren’t very good over the next year) ans still he chose a sensible approach. It is very justifiable right now. Only time (short-term with Santana, long-term with the kids) will tell if it was a good one.
    P.s. Well said Carlos about Key and the pre-1995 Yankees. I don’t think it was just Torre though. It was also Stick Michael laying the foundation. There’s a reason why a lot of folks don’t know or understand his influence. In an organization of big egos, he’s happy to simply get the job done well. And it was his OBP philosophy that shaped those Yankees, which he put into place at least 10 years (early nineties) before Moneyball hit the shelves.

    Mike YF December 5, 2007, 12:51 pm
  • “I see the NUMBERS, Andrews”
    OK, fine. The point I’m trying to make here is not about defending Eckstein.I’m just saying that as a fan, I have a little more respect for people who have spent their entire lives in the game. I’m sure when they look at players, they see things we don’t. Numbers don’t tell the whole story. Seems kind of ridiculous for you to call him an idiot, that’s all.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 12:53 pm
  • MOneyball isnt an OBP philosophy, Mike. Common mistake. Moneyball is about finding what skills/players are undervalued. This changes every year.

    Dionysus December 5, 2007, 12:55 pm
  • I don’t think the writers are gossiping either, I think every one is gossipping.
    I imagine that Gammons is talking to some Boston folks, some twin folks, some MLB officials, some ballboys, a couple of janitors, and an occasional monkey. I imagine that he’s taking this information, including the hefty load the monkey gave him, and throwing it around at other folks he trusts (and/or wants to screw) and seeing what they think. And then he’s doing that again. Just hanging out, just talking to some other folks, and trying to parse it. And then of course, ESPN demands he comes on camera, wipes the hefty load off his hands, and appear authoritarian.
    I’ve been to a couple of conventions; big sweeping affairs with people having agendas but with alot of downtime. Every body is in a new city, every one kind of knows every one, but there are unique cliques rolling around. And then someone says we should all go to dinner. The amount of cell phone calls when trying to get eight people to go to dinner in this scenario is mind-boggling. Oh we can go here, oh I heard about his place, is so and so going, should we ask him? Where does he want to go? How much does it cost? Can i get a steak there? Do we have enough cars, who drives? How do we get there?
    Now imagine that there were a gaggle of reporters there with you. Some of them are going to dinner with you too, some are just reporting the news, and each time you come to one part of the decision, they report it to every one in the world.
    Now add another factor – the dinner you are planning is not tonight, its actually for a few days from now, but you start planning it the moment you walk in the door.
    There are just so many people involved here. Three clubs, multiple representatives from each club, MLB officials, other teams, that any type of clear concise reporting is impossible.

    Carlos (YF) December 5, 2007, 12:59 pm
  • Actually numbers DO tell the whole story. I’ll buy that there may be some veyr very very small existance of ‘intangibles’, but they are primarily directed at a FANBASE. Our love of Mike Lowell for example. Sure, he’s a gfreat guy and A-Rods kind of a jerk.. but A-Rod is the better ballplayer PERIOD and if hadnt been for the length/price of the contract, I’d take him over Lowell.
    Heck the only position I really beleive has ‘intangibles’ that really affect a ballgame is CATCHER because of their ability to plan and call a good game.
    Excepting that, there is ONLY statistics. They measure how human beings perform at an activity we call baseball. Signing David Eckstein to a 4-year deal worht millions IS stupid. Wanting him as your.. starting ANYTHING.. is stupid.

    Dionysus December 5, 2007, 1:00 pm
  • What about bat-boy, Dionysus?

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 1:02 pm
  • I dunno he’s kidn of short for a bat boy*
    *This is a joke. See Eckstein gets more credit than he deserves because he’s short. Everyone talked about how he was undervalued and underappreciated and ignroe dbecause he was a short guy in the majors. Everyone said this WHILE everyone else was writing those same articles.. whihc amde them all silly

    Dionysus December 5, 2007, 1:06 pm
  • I dunno, Dion. St. Louis did pretty well with him there.
    Two WS appearances and all. I agree that I don’t think he’s good, but as a ML SS, he’s managed to make it this far.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 1:06 pm
  • Wow, Dionysus, that’s pretty arrogant, but if you’re that confident that you know more about the game by looking at a few stats than someone who’s worked in it their whole life, then good for you…
    I’m sure plenty of teams are just waiting on your call

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 1:07 pm
  • Eckstein makes up for being short by giving 100% in every at-bat and play opportunity. Sometimes having a player like that on your team can be contagious, and motivate other players to give it their all.

    Atheose December 5, 2007, 1:10 pm
  • Just to clarify my point:
    I’m not saying anything one way or the other about Eckstein. I’m saying I think you are offbase in calling Gardenhire an idiot.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 5, 2007, 1:11 pm
  • I’d argue that St Louis did pretty well DESPITE him being there, Brad. The numbers are bad.
    Andrews, some baseball people are just stuck in the past. Remember when Dusty Baker talked about how he doesnt liek walks because they “clog up the bases”? Does that make any sense? We KNOW this to be false. See Sox, Red. Or Kees, Yan. Some managers still think WINS are an important stat for a Pitcher when Wins are a TERRIBLE judge of a pitcher since, you know, they are dependant on his own offense and bullpen.

    Dionysus December 5, 2007, 1:11 pm
  • Atheose, his 100% is a damn sight below what is 100% for an AVERAGE player. His defense COST the Cards 11 runs (via FRAA which isnt perfect, I know) last season. If A-Rod is only giving 60%, I’ll take his 60 over Eckstein’s 100.

    Dionysus December 5, 2007, 1:14 pm
  • I’d take A-Rod’s 60% over about 75% of baseball, not just Eckstein.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 1:27 pm
  • While we don’t (or at least, I won’t) use the bugs as an excuse as to why we lost, it’s simple to say that we were a few lucky bounces away from maybe taking the series.
    Well, I won’t go that far, but I would say we were close to getting a game 5, and AP vs CC, I’ll say it’s a toss up – CC got hit in Game 1, but somehow escaped trouble.
    In either case, I think the point is that we were close (at least in winning the series), and the bugs symbolizes the bad break we got.
    I mean, looking at the results, it’s not even like they hit off Joba – the run came off 2 (or was it 3?) wild pitches. It’s no excuse, but it was clearly at least an “easy” turning point or clinching point or whatever.

    Lar December 5, 2007, 1:28 pm
  • Andrew – the attendence will only drop 1/5 of the time anyhow.. =P

    Lar December 5, 2007, 1:30 pm
  • Brad – where do you get these win projection numbers? =P Doubtful Hughes or Joba even pitch enough to even come close.

    Lar December 5, 2007, 1:32 pm
  • I imagine, Lar that, much like Eckstein, Hughes and Joba will win those extra games through pure grit and hustle and scrappiness. After all, there are thigns other than statics like Innings Pitches so far and such.

    Dionysus December 5, 2007, 1:34 pm
  • Lar, I was only joking with them. It just seemed to me that everyone has all of these rookies (on both teams) performing to an extreme level (note the past performances tag), when I happen to think that projecting anything at this point without any history of performance is biased and senseless. But, discounting the performances of Schilling by saying “what do the Sox expect to get from Schilling at this point” and putting the rookies in the same category is just wishful thinking. Maybe so, but probably no.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 1:37 pm
  • Doubtful Hughes or Joba even pitch enough to even come close.
    I completely agree with this. One million percent. But much like Small or Chacon, either could be the recipient of 10 runs of support and win 16 games with a 5 ERA. Never know.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 1:39 pm
  • Brad – ya, I was thinking about Small and Chacon when I said that.. I figured you were probably joking, but I haven’t been active lately, so it’s hard to gauge the context scanning 300+ posts.. =)

    Lar December 5, 2007, 1:42 pm
  • Brad I was actually comparing Schilling to Moose in my post and said as much explicitly. In your earlier post you, said that the sox would have 5 of 5 reliable starters depending on Clay and didnt give the yankees youth the same treatment. By the same reasoning we could have 5 of 5 reliable starters depending on Joba and Phil’s performance.

    sam-YF December 5, 2007, 1:46 pm
  • Dio – True on OBP and Moneyball. My only point there is that Stick was using OBP a primary decision-making criteria well before it became “popular” to do so, even among other GMs and scouts.

    MIke YF December 5, 2007, 1:52 pm
  • Back from meetings to see the debate rages on.
    I am not as negative on the reporters – especially the ones like Gammons and Kurkjian and Olney who I think are pretty thorough, sensible, and don’t tend to act like blowhards to increase ratings.
    I think the nature of what these guys are covering lends itself not only to rumors but to actual stories that then don’t pan out to reflect reality as it is ten minutes after it was reported.
    I mean, you have a bunch of teams tossing back and forth 50 different ways to make puzzle pieces fit. All of them at different points are leaking part or all of stories – sometimes true sometimes false, probably most often a bit of both – and the reporters are there trying to get whatever tidbits they can because people like us want to know.
    I know there are irresponsible reporters in the world – and maybe there are even a disproportionate number of them in the sports journalism and commentating world. I don’t know. But I think just because a prospective deal that Gammons or Olney talked about yesterday ended up not happening last night does not mean that they were wrong when they reported it.

    IronHorse (yf) December 5, 2007, 1:52 pm
  • Gammons has lost objectivity in the last few years.

    Mike YF December 5, 2007, 2:03 pm
  • Okay, Sam. I don’t agree whatsoever since the fact remains that Mussina was skipped over last year a few times because he was pitching so poorly, and really, didn’t do anything to improve his status near the finish. They did everything they could to avoid having him pitch in the playoffs. I don’t think the Yankees have any faith at all in Mussina, and while he’s my favorite Yankee pitcher in a long time, he hardly instills the confidence in his fanbase that Schilling does in his. This is, however, just my opinion.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 2:03 pm
  • Why is Minnesota viewed by several here as having royally screwed up if they keep Santana?
    They now know exactly what the market will bear and they still can deal him after things have shaken out more for other teams, can’t they? I’m not sure Minnesota is any less likely to miss out on top prospects being included in a deal for Santana just because they decide to pull the trigger in the weeks following the winter meetings. Or am I missing something?
    And even if they don’t move him at all, the A’s have made a living holding on to guys in their last contract-year (players tend to perfomr well in those years by the way) and then taking the draft picks when they go and they’ve done well that way. With Liriano and Santana plus a very strong closer in Nathan, Minnesota may legitimately feel that if they can get into October, they’ll have a real shot at going far. I wouldn’t bet on them, but I don’t think they would be idiots for thinking this way.

    IronHorse (yf) December 5, 2007, 2:07 pm
  • “Honestly, a world where the Yankees are fiscally responsibly is not a world I want to be a part of. Hank had better fire someone or throw a chair out a window today to liven things up!”
    HAHAHA I’m with you on that one. I love when the yankees turn on eachother.

    Lyndsay December 5, 2007, 2:11 pm
  • Brad, if you look at my past post I also said that moose was more unreliable than Schilling just that the he remains a prime candidate for someone to break down a la moose.
    Anyway, i dont really disagree that the sox have a better prospective rotation (w/o Santana) but I do maintain that our rotation could be alot better than you are giving it credit for.
    Its a relatively pointless conversation anyhow but i guess its good for filling time during an incubation…

    sam-YF December 5, 2007, 2:11 pm
  • agreed.
    IH, I only disagree inasmuch that they could have Ellsbury, Hughes, Kennedy, Lester and whomever else in separate deals respectively, but they’re not going to or likely to get that kind of deal later. The draft most likely won’t get that kind of talent, and they know they’re going to deal him or lose him anyhow. Why drag it out?
    I agree that they’re not stupid when it comes to having Johan on the roster (that never, ever hurts), but if you can get top talent for him now, they should take it. They’re risking the Yankees or the Sox giving that package to another team, and having to settle for less later from the likes of the Mets or Dodgers.
    Only a few teams are in this race because of his contract demands, so it’s not like a smaller team is going to pony up it’s prize for one year of him, or he’s going to accept a deal to KC (or the likes) anyhow.
    Also, don’t know who read it, but Schilling wrote a nice piece on the trade over on 38.

    Brad December 5, 2007, 2:20 pm
  • reports on sox radio say the, competition for santanna is over. The sox just signed him to a 3 year deal. money was not disclosed. they gave up coco crisp, jon lester, and two mid level minor leaugers. first, lester must pass a physical. They say this will make, boston heavy favorites, to repeat as champs.

    Anonymous December 5, 2007, 2:59 pm
  • People actually read Schilling’s “opinionz 4 u?”
    Unlikely.

    doug YF December 6, 2007, 3:54 am

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