Tidbits and Crazy Speculation

Here's what's happening and being said in Yankeeland:

  • If you're an undecided voter and a fan of the Yanks, this little nugget from the Daily News might help you decide: With a Democratic rather than Republican commander in chief, the
    Yankees have won several more pennants (22 compared to 17) and nearly
    three times as many championships (19 to 7). In fact, the team has a
    losing World Series record when the GOP
    controls the Executive Branch, going 7-10 for a .412 clip.
  • George King III reports that the Yanks are likely to decline Damaso Marte's $6 million option. My guess is that Marte's designation as a Type-A free agent influenced Brian Cashman's thinking here. Otherwise, I don't see why the Yanks wouldn't take on a slightly pricey one-year deal for one of the better lefty relievers in baseball. King, however, says the Yanks are willing to bring him back at a cheaper price. Maybe Cashman is thinking that other teams will be hesitant to sign a middle reliever that will cost them a draft pick and that his market price will be depressed as a result.

  • And now the longest bullet ever: There are different stories about the Yanks' off-season plans
    according to the rumor monger you read. I've read that Sabathia is
    target #1. Then I've read that the Yanks don't think they can get the
    big lefty. The Yanks are supposedly honing in on Teixeira. Then another
    writer reports that the Yanks think Manny is a more likely signing than
    the Angels first baseman. In other words, everybody is speculating. So
    I'll do some speculating myself: While I want the Yanks to sign
    Teixeira, I wonder if some people in the front office are reluctant to
    give a long-term deal to a first baseman considering the futures of
    Derek Jeter and A-Rod, who both might need to be moved from their
    positions in a few years due to declining athleticism. I think the
    Yanks will get Sabathia for a record-setting contract, bring back Andy
    Pettitte, watch Mussina's retirement press conference, sign AJ Burnett
    for a lot of money, trade for a first baseman (Hughes for Casey
    Kotchman), and make a surprising run at Adam Dunn. I cannot see the
    Yanks going after Manny Ramirez because of his knee issues and the good
    chance he'll need to be a full-time DH sooner than later.The Yanks will also try to shed Hideki Matsui's contract. Perhaps, they can convince the Giants to take on Matsui's one-year deal by playing up his appeal among San Francisco's Japanese-American fanbase. If we're to believe last year's rumors, Cashman almost pulled off a very good deal for the very talented Jonathan Sanchez. The Yanks would be very lucky if they could get him this time around. The Yanks could try to deal Johnny Damon in a similar salary-shedding deal, but he's more essential and valuable for the Yanks' plans to compete in 2009. He'll be the everyday left-fielder. The Yanks will take their chances with Brett Gardner manning center, praying that Austin Jackson can be in the line-up by July. Will these plans make the team better? I'm not sure. Now back to Teixeira. Where will he end up? In Boston, of course. The Sox will then turn around and trade Kevin Youkilis to the Dodgers for Russell Martin (whom a Dodgers' front office guy said was just average in 2008). The Sox will gamble that a combination of Lowrie, Lowell and Lugo can handle SS and 3b.Crazy? Indeed. But it's speculation season. Now's the time to be crazy.

20 comments… add one

  • No way the Sox trade Youk. They’ll trade Bay and move Youk to LF before that. Even setting aside his leadership role and his popularity among the fans, his versatility in the field — 1B, 3B, LF, RF — and in the batting order make a trade simply unthinkable.

    Adam November 2, 2008, 11:48 am
  • Also, I don’t see Alex having to move in the foreseeable future. Jeter/Posada maybe, but not Alex.

    YF November 2, 2008, 12:44 pm
  • Anyone who seriously thinks Boston will trade Youkilis either must be high as a kite or else is seriously clueless about what the Epstein-era Sox look for in position players. Youks has versatility, durability, patience at the plate, a high OBP, and is a Gold Glover to boot.
    So I assume that Nick, you’re just stirring the pot on this one.
    Much more likely would be for Boston to keep Youks and go after Texeira as a first baseman.
    So what would become of Lowell? First of all, he’s a big question mark for 2009 to begin with. Secondly, I could see Lowell becoming a platoon 3B/DH guy, who allows Francona to rest Youks, Teixeira (Youks subbing at first) and Ortiz regularly, and even fill an outfield slot in a pinch.
    Lowell could still play as much as two or three out of every five games in that scenario — more if there is an injury to any of those three.
    A better question: What is the gameplan vis-a-vis Crisp and Ellsbury? Do the Sox keep four major outfielders, or does one of these guys wind up in a big trade?

    Hudson November 2, 2008, 1:55 pm
  • (Note: That’s Youks filling an OF slot in a pinch, not Lowell. Though in theory I couldn’t see why MLow couldn’t learn to play left.)

    Hudson November 2, 2008, 1:57 pm
  • I would really like to see Ortiz/Youk/Lowell/Teixeira sharing some spots:
    1B: Youk and Tex
    3B: Youk and Lowell
    DH: Ortiz and Lowell
    And yeah, Youk could even play some LF and RF. I absolutely, 100% see Crisp getting moved this off-season. He and a pitcher (Buchholz or Bowden?) would be worth grabbing a catcher like Teagarden or Salty. Not sure the Dodgers will give up Martin, but that would be pretty sweet.
    I don’t see Youk getting moved.

    Atheose November 2, 2008, 2:13 pm
  • I’m stirring the pot but it’s not as if I’m suggesting the Sox trade Youk away for a bag of balls. It’s Russell Martin, who is one of the three best catchers in the NL. It’s less likely the Dodgers make that trade than the Sox.
    Also, I’m high and clueless.

    Nick-YF November 2, 2008, 2:30 pm
  • Yeah, this is the hot-stove season: there’s nothing to keep us entertained except for football and baseball trade speculation. It’s the only baseball we have right now.

    Atheose November 2, 2008, 2:49 pm
  • i think you are way off, by saying the sox will get tex…even if the yanks have to get into a bidding war for him,,they will…he is going to be an intrekit piece of the puzzle the yanks have..

    nick blasioli November 2, 2008, 5:16 pm
  • nick, where you been buddy?…good analysis…i think you might be right on here…youk is not untouchable…a couple of sox at most are…

    dc November 2, 2008, 8:07 pm
  • my predictions:
    yanks will not get the pitcher they want [no cc]
    yanks will get tex, manny, and a lesser pitcher, and resign moose and pettite…
    good luck abreau and giambi…
    good riddance pavano……….

    dc November 2, 2008, 8:11 pm
  • dc, I’ve been super busy in my first year as a full-time public school teacher. The beginning is killer. This is a tough job.
    As sf has written here before, nobody should ever be considered off-limits. I think Youkilis is an amazingly valuable player, just as I think Russell Martin is. Will this trade ever happen? No. But if it did, I don’t think the Sox would be the losers in the deal.

    Nick-YF November 2, 2008, 9:07 pm
  • The Red Sox may contend for Teixeira, but I don’t see Theo breaking the bank for him. Boras will be gunning for 8-10 years, over $20 million per. My guess is the final price will be a little less, and will be paid by the Angels or some unexpectedly stupid team (Orioles?).
    Why not the Yankees? They need 1B free to put Posada and ultimately Jeter or A-Rod. Cashman’s a pretty smart guy, and if he’s running things, he won’t limit his flexibility thusly.
    Why not the Red Sox? Our FO likes value plays (Ortiz) and underrated / undervalued players (ex. JD Drew). We MIGHT make a play on Tex, but only if league interest is tepid, and he can be acquired for around 6 years at $16 million per.

    Andrew F. (Sox Fan) November 2, 2008, 10:43 pm
  • Why is there an assumption the Red Sox will make moderate offers for Teixeira?
    I know this club has often said, “Here’s our value. We go no further.”
    I also know this club — admittedly, in a far different situation — spent more than $51 million just to acquire the posting rights for a pitcher they coveted. That was not a moderate decision. They determined which player would make the biggest immediate and long-term impact, and pushed in all their chips. After two years, that decision thus far looks well made.
    Teixeira is similar to Matsuzaka: He’s young, arguably entering his prime with years of proven success under his belt, with the opportunity to significantly remake a softening part of the team (not a liability, but trending that way) both immediately and for the next near-decade.
    Now the Red Sox were in a blind-bid process with Matsuzaka: They HAD to overbid to make sure they got their guy, then they did the usual game of chicken by refusing to budge beyond the $100m total price tag they set before they even made their bid. But what’s to keep Epstein from saying to Henry, “Teixeira is our must-have acquisition” (we know the Sox have coveted him, and were more than happy to be seen as overpaying for J.D. Drew, who has essentially the same skills, except not to such a high level), and Henry nodding and authorizing up to $200 million (or $250m or whatever). Epstein has the point beyond which he will not budge, but that point remains above where any other team — including the Yankees (if they have such a point) — is willing to go.
    I have no reason to believe this is true, although I certainly do hope it’s true. I feel pretty confident in stating, however, that we should not assume that just because the Red Sox refuse to go beyond the value they’ve determined for a player, that the determined value itself is not very, very high.

    Paul SF November 2, 2008, 11:22 pm
  • Cashman has made it known that the Yankees are looking for starting pitching, and so far reports show that they’re not too focused on Tex. Meanwhile, according to MLB Trade Rumors, the Sox are pushing hard for Tex.
    I’m all for getting Tex. The Sox have the money, and what other big aquisitions would they make this off-season? It’s looking more and more like Burnett will be heading to the Yankees, and we aren’t going to be in the mix for Sabathia/Sheets/Peavy. Varitek will either be back with a 2-year contract or we trade Coco or Buchholz away for Teagarden or Salty. Lester/Beckett/Daisuke is still a very strong top 3 (assuming Beckett is healthy), and Wake is an excellent 4/5 guy, and we have the depth in the farm system to fill in the 5th pitcher. So yeah, I see Tex as a priority now.
    Youk isn’t untouchable, but it would take a shiznit-load for us to trade him. That most likely will not happen. It COULD happen, as Nick speculates, but it’s extremely doubtful.

    Atheose November 3, 2008, 9:01 am
  • Additionally, the Yankees are going to yoink at least 2 of the best pitchers this off-season. With Mussina likely to retire within the week they’re losing their best pitcher from 2008, which makes their rotation look like this:
    1. Chien-Ming Wang (healthy?)
    2. Joba Chamberlain (healthy?)
    3. Andy Pettitte?
    4/5. Darrell Rasner/Sidney Ponson/Phil Hughes/Ian Kennedy
    With Chamberlain’s and Wang’s health an issue, and with Pettitte aging very fast, they need Sabathia and Burnett more than ever. With those two they at least have the depth needed to survive.

    Atheose November 3, 2008, 9:21 am
  • Its not clear to me how much of an issue health is for Wang. His injury can really only be described as freak and all reports expect him to make a full recovery (as Brian Bruney did). Seeing as it wasnt his arm im not too worried about that. Joba on the other hand….

    Sam-YF November 3, 2008, 10:31 am
  • Yeah sorry, I have no idea how healthy he is either and a quick search didn’t give me any recent news (hence the question mark I added). Even if he is at 100% though, the rest of the rotation is up in the air.
    Here’s an interesting piece of news though: Ben Reiter predicts that Kevin Millar will return to the Sox as a backup player, essentially to replace Sean Casey. If the Sox acquire Teixeira I don’t see this happening, but if not it is intriguing.

    Atheose November 3, 2008, 11:21 am
  • Millah has high VORP as far as the “highly entertaining to have around the ballpark” metric goes.

    Hudson November 3, 2008, 5:30 pm
  • Nick, I’m not gonna accuse you of trying to stir the pot with the suggestion that Youks might be trade bait. But I will say that that suggestion puts you up there with the crackpot callers on WEEI, as well as the suggestions that Youks be moved to the OF or 2B or SS.
    The most likely scenario, IMHO, if Big Tex comes to Boston, would be to move Lowell. And I don’t see that happening, either. In fact, I don’t think Theo will go after Big Tex at all.
    I do think that any major deal he makes likely will be predicated on Bay being moved.
    Buccholz continues to impress in AFL, I hear. (No, not Arena Football.)
    And I wanna reiterate: I certainly can’t blame NYY for having interest in Manny.
    But I really, really, really don’t want this to happen.
    Although it would kill me to see him in pinstripes and getting hits to beat the Red Sox, more than anything I just don’t want to see him get rewarded for quitting on Boston. And I think Cash is decent enough that he probably sees it the same way. At least I hope so.

    I'mBillMcNeal November 3, 2008, 8:44 pm
  • “Cashman has made it known that the Yankees are looking for starting pitching, and so far reports show that they’re not too focused on Tex.”
    Ath, Cash has done this bait-and-switch before. I won’t believe it until Tex has a deal inked elsewhere.

    I'mBillMcNeal November 3, 2008, 8:48 pm

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