Yanks Acquire Eric Hinske

Does this mean the Yanks are a smart franchise? Before this most recent trade, Hinske played three seasons on three different teams run by general managers who went to ivy league schools. Boston is considered by many to be the brainiest of front offices, Tampa's management team is filled with sharp thinkers, and many analysts think Neal Huntington is going to turn things around in Pittsburgh. The Yanks give up a couple of prospects  to add much-needed depth. Hinske can play the corner outfield and infield positions. I like this move given the plan to rest A-Rod regularly and Damon's recent injury issues. Hopefully, Hinske gets back some of the power he had last year.

70 comments… add one

  • They’re not really prospects so it’s no loss. But, seriously, Hinske?
    I don’t really see the point. I’d rather have Ransom and Duncan than Ransom and Hinske. He’s a lefty and they already have four of those in their outfield/DH slots.
    I guess it works as A-Rod insurance, but then so did Mark DeRosa – in the off-season and last week.

    Rob June 30, 2009, 12:49 pm
  • Id rather have Hinske than Duncan, especially with the LF porch and his ability to play both IF and OF….also, it seems like DeRosa’s price tag was more than Hinske so hard to compare the two

    sam-YF June 30, 2009, 1:00 pm
  • It’s a little more like Johnny Damon or Mike Myers: an okay signing that would have been pretty swell…one or two teams ago.
    And hey, Nomar was available for a song too.

    Hit Dog June 30, 2009, 1:02 pm
  • Hit Dog, what’s been so bad about the Johnny Damon signing? He’s been very good with the Yanks.

    Nick-YF June 30, 2009, 1:07 pm
  • Yup, Damon’s earned his contract, and more than JD Drew.
    It might be harder to compare the DeRosa and Hinske trades, but DeRosa is a better hitter and defender. I don’t about you, but I happen to believe that the Yankees shouldn’t be wasting their time with players of no upside.
    On the one hand there’s DeRosa and Bay.
    On the other there’s Hinske and Nady.
    The Yankees can afford the difference. So why don’t they?

    Rob June 30, 2009, 1:18 pm
  • Who could the Yanks have traded for that would have gotten Bay. The reason why the Pirates went for the deal is that they were getting Andy LaRoche, who was a bigger prospect than anyone in the Yanks system except for maybe Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero. It’s a false comparison that doesn’t acknowledge the reality at the time.

    Nick-YF June 30, 2009, 1:26 pm
  • Damn not so bad. Nor was Myers. Nor will Hinske be yet.
    Not so bad acquisitions get you not so bad teams.
    And we all know the Yankees are happily contented with not so bad. Right?
    P.S.- Drew earned his contract thus far last summer alone, and in the playoffs of the last two seasons. I’ll take a sleepwalker, so long as he wakes up like that when my sluggers are sluggish or wounded.

    Hit Dog June 30, 2009, 1:33 pm
  • Hit Dog, I’ll move on. There a millions of moves that even great teams make that fall under the category of a nice depth move. This seems a silly line of reasoning.

    Nick-YF June 30, 2009, 1:36 pm
  • Andy LaRoche is not good. Nor is Brandon Moss. That trade was more of a bust for the Pirates than the Yankee deal.
    Somehow I think they could have gotten Bay with the same package it took to get Nady and Marte. Tabata was prized and the pitchers are back of the rotation material (for the Pirates). Question is: Did Cashman even try?
    I don’t think he did. Just like now with DeRosa.
    If you’re the NY Yankees, why drop $200 million on payroll only to nitpick the budget when it comes to filling holes? That makes no sense to me.

    Rob June 30, 2009, 1:38 pm
  • Andy LaRoche is good for a young player. check out the stats.

    Nick-YF June 30, 2009, 1:40 pm
  • Color me apathetic.

    krueg June 30, 2009, 1:41 pm
  • For the Pirates, sure Andy LaRoche is a fine 3B (with a career .643 OPS in over 600 plate appearances). But then, for the Pirates, Jeff Karstens and Ross Ohlendorf are fine starting pitchers.

    Rob June 30, 2009, 1:46 pm
  • I really don’t think it’s fair to say Cashman didn’t try to get a guy like Bay or DeRosa. There are certainly issues you can take up with guy, but i think it’s pretty clear he does his due diligence on everyone who’s available.
    Tabata wasn’t really prized anymore by the time of that trade, and sure Ohlendorf is filling out the back of the the rotation, but is is the back of the rotation for a terrible team in a crap division in an inferior league. There’s zero reason to think he could contribute to a team contending in the AL East.
    The Hinske move is a solid one. Even if all it does is get Berroa off the 25 man roster, it’s worth it.

    Mark-YF June 30, 2009, 1:48 pm
  • “Somehow I think they could have gotten Bay with the same package it took to get Nady and Marte. Tabata was prized and the pitchers are back of the rotation material (for the Pirates). Question is: Did Cashman even try?”
    Well if you’re going to argue this based on an entirely imagined scenario then I don’t know what to do. It doesn’t matter much how good LaRoche/Moss et al are right now. LaRoche, at the time, was a top prospect who the Pirates liked very much. He was rated higher than anyone in the Tabata deal by publications such as BA, BP and probably the Pirates organization.

    Nick-YF June 30, 2009, 1:50 pm
  • Mark, it’s hard to take you seriously if you think Berroa’s still on the 25-man. But, because of him, it’s hard for me to take anything Cashman does seriously.

    Rob June 30, 2009, 1:53 pm
  • “The Hinske move is a solid one. Even if all it does is get Berroa off the 25 man roster, it’s worth it.”
    I thought Berroa was already toast Mark, no? (not being argumentative, just asking…)

    krueg June 30, 2009, 1:54 pm
  • Tabata was also in top 100s and was the Yankees third best prospect going into the season. It’s just as imaginary to say LaRoche was clearly a higher value prospect at the time of the trade. If anything, LaRoche had lost most of his prospect luster following his inability to hit MLB pitching at even Brett Gardner levels. Tabata had issues, no doubt, but he was still 19 years old and playing AA.
    Now we can argue about what if’s all we want. But less than one year later, the Pirates got more from the Yankees deal than from the Manny one. The packages were on par. That’s the reality today.

    Rob June 30, 2009, 1:59 pm
  • “Mark, it’s hard to take you seriously if you think Berroa’s still on the 25-man. But, because of him, it’s hard for me to take anything Cashman does seriously.”
    I’m not sure I understand the ultra-dorky put-down tone of this comment. You’re right! Berroa is off the team. I’m still going to take Mark seriously even if he made a little mistake.

    Nick-YF June 30, 2009, 2:00 pm
  • LaRoche was #31 on Baseball America’s 2008 list.
    Tabata was #37 on Baseball America’s 2008 list.
    That’s a wash.

    Rob June 30, 2009, 2:06 pm
  • Tabata was almost suspended by the Yanks for leaving a game early that season. To say that he had lost his luster as a prospect in the Yanks organization is an understatement. The funny thing is that I was never a huge fan of the Nady/Marte trade, but I’m not going to concede the point that the Yanks could have gotten Bay with that package. It’s just not true. I guess I’ll move on. I’m not sure how interesting this debate can get. Seems highly speculative on both ends.

    Nick-YF June 30, 2009, 2:06 pm
  • Mark, no “put-down” intended – “ultra-dorky” or otherwise, and apologies if you thought so. I usually really like your comments. I’m just annoyed by this move, especially since they needed a right-handed bat and have one already, for free, in the minors.
    To rightly address what you’ve said, I didn’t say I was missing Ohlendorf or Karstens. Not at all. Just that the Pirates got less for Bay than they did for Nady and Marte. Going back, which deal would you have made?
    As for Tabata, there was no difference between him and LaRoche. The latter was more proven in the minors, but Tabata’s age and talent made up for that – even still.
    Sorry, I just don’t like this deal because of what is says, again (Berroa and Ransom say hello) about the Yankees GM.
    Would you rather have?:
    a) DeRosa and Bay
    b) Hinske and Nady (and fine, Marte)

    Rob June 30, 2009, 2:13 pm
  • I love this move simply because of the funny over reaction I’m reading from Yankee fans on other sites.

    LocklandSF June 30, 2009, 2:18 pm
  • It’s just not true
    Who’s playing imaginary games now?
    So, Tabata was held out of a game. Big deal. He was 19 years old in AA.
    LaRoche, by contrast, had never managed to slug over .322 in over 300 ABs.
    Like I said, the current results of the two trades show the Pirates got more from the Yankees. And that’s without counting anything from Tabata (now struggling, at 20, in AA).

    Rob June 30, 2009, 2:19 pm
  • Rob: My mistake – I meant Ransom, not Berroa. And Hinske may only be a so-so player, but he’s a big improvement over Ransom, with his poor defense nicely complementing his 52 OPS+.
    And Tabata was #31 on the 2008 prospect list. But at the time of the trade, his AA-Trenton numbers were regressing and he was considered problematic in the clubhouse, having been disciplined several times during the year by the team. His stock had fallen quite a bit.

    Mark-YF June 30, 2009, 2:19 pm
  • Problem is, Mark, they’re sending Pena down.
    And you can’t deny that Tabata still had much more upside than LaRoche.

    Rob June 30, 2009, 2:23 pm
  • Ugly thread for a decent pick up.

    Brad June 30, 2009, 2:26 pm
  • What’s ugly? Debating baseball? Where’s ugly?
    And sorry, but Hinske sucks. The Sox knew it which is why they got Kotsay – who’s less sucky by a bit.
    The problem is Cashman is counting on Hinske to play 3B once a week.
    Well, his 3B defense:
    -13.4 UZR
    They gave up nothing to get nothing.
    Great work Cashman.

    Rob June 30, 2009, 2:33 pm
  • A few years ago, the Red Sox acquired and the moved the best prospect in all of baseball.
    You never know with these “rankings” at all.

    Brad June 30, 2009, 2:34 pm
  • Just that the Pirates got less for Bay than they did for Nady and Marte. Going back, which deal would you have made?
    Hindsight is always clearer, but at the time, Nady was playing very, very well. Also, he continued to play well for the rest of the year for NY.
    Can’t very well kill

    Brad June 30, 2009, 2:41 pm
  • Rob: Where are you getting that UZR number for Hinske? Fangraphs says his career UZR/150 at 3B is -5.0 (http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1305&position=3B#fielding), which isn’t really that big of a deal. It was also a positive last year with the Rays and the year before with the Sox, so it’s not like it’s trending down.
    And it’s a dumb move to send Pena down rather than Ransom, who is not even close to being as even replacement level. At least Pena is a suitable defensive replacement and can play a couple positions effectively.

    Mark-YF June 30, 2009, 2:46 pm
  • he continued to play well for the rest of the year for NY.
    No he didn’t. He didn’t even top .800 OPS. And anyone with a brain knew he was playing over his head.
    Mark, you’re looking at UZR/150. Look one column to the left. Plus, were you expecting any differently from a management with the “wisdom” to play both Ransom and Berroa?

    Rob June 30, 2009, 2:53 pm
  • Rob: And no offense taken. And going back to your other points upthread: yeah, the Nady deal is now, if not necessarily a bad one, one that didn’t work out. But the reason it didn’t work out was due to injuries to Marte and Nady. Unfortunate, but I’m not sure Cashman can be blamed wholly.
    I have some of the same problems with Cashman as you do: he’s done a poor job of filling out the back 7 or 8 roster spots. It’s absolutely true that guys like Berrora, Ransom, and Tomko have ZERO business being on the yanks’ 25 man roster. Where we differ is that I think moves like this Hinske one improve that situation. Now if only he and/or Girardi had the really very common sense to send down Ransom instead of Pena, we’d be a win or so better than we were yesterday.

    Mark-YF June 30, 2009, 3:02 pm
  • Oh yeah, that’s right, I was looking at UZR/150. But really that’s the far better metric when it comes to evaluating overall defense. UZR was designed by the same guy who designed ZR, and is an improved and more comprehensive look at overall defense.

    Mark-YF June 30, 2009, 3:04 pm
  • Scratch that last comment – they’re both UZR. The UZR/150 is prorating his UZR over the course of a full season. That -13.4 number you cited though is over the course of his whole career, and is more indicative of how long he has played than his actual value over the course of the a season.

    Mark-YF June 30, 2009, 3:07 pm
  • Hey, if nothing else, Hinske and Swisher can both get matching mohawks to add to that fun level in the clubhouse, right?
    It’s a decent pickup for Cashman, who didn’t get fleeced to do it. I won’t hurt NY to have him on the bench in any way.

    Brad June 30, 2009, 3:15 pm
  • Glad you didn’t take it personally, Mark. I was feeling a little punchy when I wrote. Never a good place to start.
    With Marte and Nady there was so little there to begin with, it’s hard for me to give him any credit. I’d just shrug my shoulders if Bay hadn’t been moved for less. The problem for Cashman was that Bay was lefthanded and couldn’t play right field. Instead, he goes into 2009 with not one guy that can legitimately slug .500.
    I absolutely agree about the Yankees roster. The problem is Hinske should be the 25th man, not the first guy off the bench. He doesn’t hit enough and his glove is awful. If you’re going to give him a shot, why not give Duncan a month in the majors to see if he can help them sit Matsui or Damon? Hinske doesn’t help there because Damon and Matsui are both better hitters – against lefties and righties.

    Rob June 30, 2009, 3:25 pm
  • hey, rob, sorry if i was a little snippy. just had a bad morning. leave it to health insurance companies to put me in a bad mood. anyway, i still disagree about the bay-marte/nady comp:)

    Nick-YF June 30, 2009, 3:36 pm
  • No worries, Nick. Just remember: You’re entitled to your opinion. You’re not entitled to your own facts :)
    Agree to disagree.

    Rob June 30, 2009, 3:51 pm
  • Yeah, I don’t think Hinske is going to see any time at DH or OF – you’re right that he’s not a better option than anybody currently there. I assume his role will be backup 3B, 1B when Teix needs a day off, and occasional pinch hitter. And he has a bit of value there, especially because A-Rod is going to definitely needs some days off.

    Mark-YF June 30, 2009, 4:04 pm
  • The always thoughtful Rob Neyer’s take:
    “You might wonder what the Yankees would want with a guy like Hinske, who’s not having a good season and is nobody’s idea of a future star. Well, the Yankees need a guy like Hinske. He can play four positions passably enough and he can still hit enough to give you a chance, particularly against right-handed pitching. Look at the Yankees’ bench, pre-Hinske … there is one extra outfielder: either Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner (whichever of them isn’t playing center field in a given game).
    Are there better fifth outfielders than Hinske? Maybe. But very few of them can also play first base and third base. Considering Hinske’s negligible salary and the two “prospects” the Yankees sent to Pittsburgh — neither was ranked among the Yankees’ 30 best prospects before this season — this might qualify as the smartest deal of the month.”

    Mark-YF June 30, 2009, 4:12 pm
  • Boooo I really liked Hinske. Goddamnit.

    Atheose June 30, 2009, 4:15 pm
  • I won’t hurt NY to have him on the bench in any way.
    I disagree. If the intent is to rest Matsui or Damon with Hinske, that’s a mistake because the latter is a worse hitter than both. If the intent is to rest A-Rod with Hinske, that’s a mistake because he’s a butcher with the glove there and his bat doesn’t make up for it. Worst of all, they have guys in the system who are just as good if not better. Shelley Duncan could be properly used to rest Matsui and Damon against LHP and as a small upgrade in offense. Pena won’t do much with the bat, but he’ll help with his glove.

    Rob June 30, 2009, 4:15 pm
  • I don’t think he did. Just like now with DeRosa.
    I think it’s a little disingenuous to assume Cashman hasn’t been trying to make moves. I’m sure he made a big push for DeRosa, since that would have fulfilled his needs better than Hinske.

    Atheose June 30, 2009, 4:34 pm
  • I’m sure he made a big push for DeRosa
    Really? Cause he had two shots at him and plenty of pitching to land him.

    Rob June 30, 2009, 4:39 pm
  • I didn’t say I was missing Ohlendorf or Karstens. Not at all. Just that the Pirates got less for Bay than they did for Nady and Marte. Going back, which deal would you have made?
    It doesn’t matter how we value certain players, or how they’re ranked. What matters (the ONLY thing that matters) is what the Pirates perceived. They were extremely happy to get Andy LaRoche, enough so that they parted with Jason Bay.
    Comparing the Xavier Nady trade is irrelevant and ignores the context from which Bay was sent to Boston.

    Atheose June 30, 2009, 4:40 pm
  • Really? Cause he had two shots at him and plenty of pitching to land him.
    Rob, you’re saying that Cashman didn’t even try. You have no idea what happened, what trade scenarios were tossed around, and what Cashman and the Yankees organization was willing to part with, nor what Cleveland was asking for.
    I hate Cashman and can’t wait to see him finally fired, but you’re making a ton of assumptions here based on nothing but speculation.

    Atheose June 30, 2009, 4:42 pm
  • you’re making a ton of assumptions here based on nothing but speculation.
    You say that, right after you say the Pirates were “extremely happy” about a sub-.700 OPS hitter? Kettle meet black.
    If Cashman had wanted DeRosa, the price, both times, could have been easily met. It’s really as simple as that.
    Worse, you haven’t countered my main argument. The Pirates got more, for less, from the Yanks. People are still scratching their heads about how the Sox got Bay while Pirates got LaRoche, Moss, and Hansen.

    Rob June 30, 2009, 4:54 pm
  • you can’t dismiss the fact that the yanks probably overvalued marte when dealing for nady. the yanks were happy to deal tabata away as he had started to live up to his “the next manny” billing, minus the ability to hit. karstens, mccutchen, and ohlendorf all had run their course of usefulness in the yanks organization and had reached the ripe age of 26. marte came with a cheap team option (declined) for 2009, while nady would become a FA at the end of ’08. at the time, it felt like a quick band-aid for a struggling melky, overworked bullpen void of a legit lefty, and a yankee team looking up at two teams ahead of them in the division. i’m not sure it was a case of dealing prized prospects to better the yanks for the future.
    with the bay deal, the sox gave up a former first rounder in hansen, a solid bat with tons of minor league accolades in moss, and a player the pirates actively sought in laroche.
    not sure those two deals have alot of similarities. the sox deal that sticks in my craw was the one made for gagne. murphys legit and time will tell on beltre. throw in gabbard, and the sox got fleeced.

    sf rod June 30, 2009, 6:35 pm
  • No gamer today?

    rootbeerfloat June 30, 2009, 7:10 pm
  • Seriously folks? Lugo just went 2 for 2 and there’s no gamer??

    rootbeerfloat June 30, 2009, 7:34 pm
  • Gamer’s up.

    attackgerbil June 30, 2009, 7:36 pm
  • Hinske. Yawn.

    I'mBillMcNeal June 30, 2009, 8:05 pm
  • You say that, right after you say the Pirates were “extremely happy” about a sub-.700 OPS hitter? Kettle meet black.
    There you go ignoring the Pirates wants/needs in place of your own. At the time he had not had a full season at the majors yet, and had done extremely well in the minors. He was a top prospect, and they wanted him. It’s that simple, and your opinion of what they got is completely irrelevant compared to their desires.
    Worse, you haven’t countered my main argument. The Pirates got more, for less, from the Yanks.
    No, I said that you’re ignoring the context of the trade, which you are. And what part of “the Pirates coveted LaRoche” don’t you understand? Our opinions of him do not matter, because the Pirates wanted him, so they got him. This is ridiculously simple, but you’re spinning and twisting it just because you want to make Cashman out to be the scapegoat.

    Atheose June 30, 2009, 9:55 pm
  • There you go ignoring the Pirates wants/needs in place of your own.
    Except you and I are equal on that footing. You have no ideas, any more than I do, what their wants and needs were. What if they prized Ohlendorf (who shut out the Cubs tonight) or Tabata? What if they were willing to move Nady for LaRoche? You just don’t know either.
    The fact is you have no idea what the context is. It’s not that I’m ignoring it and you’re not. It’s that it’s an unknowable. What are your sources for saying they coveted LaRoche? And how does that compare for getting to slots in their rotation filled?
    Instead, we’re left with verifiable results. And the Pirates got more from the Yankees, for less in return, than they did in the Manny trade. That by itself is pretty amazing considering the clear differences between Bay and Nady and Marte.

    Rob July 1, 2009, 3:46 am
  • Hinske is basically a fill-in for Nady. He can play all four corner IF and OF positions, and has some pop off of the bench. The Yankees got him for absolutely nothing — two scrubs in A-ball.
    What I don’t understand is why some dudes here are blaming Cashman for not trading for DeRosa when the price turned out to be a reliever of Chris Perez’s level. For the Yankees, that means D-Rob or Melancon. That’s a little too much for a bench player, albeit a very good one at that. Barring the unlikely possibility that Girardi would use some complicated system of lineup musical chairs to ensure that DeRosa played every day, in my opinion it wouldn’t be worth it.
    Also, I don’t believe criticism of Cash on grounds that he can’t “assemble a bench” or the “last 7 guys on the 25-man” holds much merit. What I want to know is what some of you are expecting on the bench. If bench players were good enough, they’d start. I’m sure many of you have heard that bench players usually only have 2/3 skills: defense, hitting, or position versatility. There are only a handful of “super-subs” in baseball: DeRosa, Ben Zobrist, Willie Bloomquist, Jerry Hairston, and so on.
    Finally, unless Shelley Duncan learns to hit a big league breaking ball, he doesn’t have a place on the 25-man. The league figured him out pretty fast last year.

    doug YF July 1, 2009, 7:02 am
  • You have no ideas, any more than I do, what their wants and needs were.
    Except we do know what their wants and needs were, because they traded for Andy LaRoche. Their actions are what speak volumes here. They had no 3B depth in their minor league system, and were using Bautista at third. At the time LaRoche was highly rated, and I remember the word “coveted” specifically being used.
    In 2007 Andy LaRoche was ranked the 19th best prospect in all of baseball (the third highest 3B, behind Alex Gordon and Evan Longoria). The following year he was ranked 31st, which is still phenomenal. The Pirates needed a third baseman; the day after LaRoche joined the team they moved Bautista to a utility role. That alone shows that they valued him highly, and needed him. From an article in the Post Gazette: “”Andy LaRoche was one of the best prospects in all of baseball, and we’re thrilled to get him,” Huntington said.” What more convincing do you need?
    Look, you started this by speculating that Cashman could have gotten Jason Bay for what he gave up in the Nady trade. Like I said before, this ignores all of the context involved, and both the explicit evidence (the Pirates needed a 3B) and implicit evidence (the Pirates coveted him).

    Atheose July 1, 2009, 8:10 am
  • “hat I want to know is what some of you are expecting on the bench”
    Well, I’m not expecting greatness from the bench or the back-end of the roster. I’m not even expecting league average. I do expect major league caliber players though, who can make a couple spot spot starts or come out of the ‘pen and not kill you. Ransom, Berroa, Tomko and co. aren’t even close to being even that good. They’re complete black holes.

    Mark-YF July 1, 2009, 9:20 am
  • Except we do know what their wants and needs were, because they traded for Ross Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens, and Jose Tabata.
    See how well that works in judging “context”? The Pirates may have had a need for a 3B. But they also had a need for two starting pitchers. And Tabata has been ranked right there with LaRoche but with significantly more upside. By the time of the trade the luster had worn off both. What was Huntington going to say? “We just acquired a dog.”?
    You’re right. I did start “this” by noting they could have gotten Bay with that same package. I stand by that. The only fact today is the Pirates got more from the Yankees for less. They could easily have used Nady and/or Marte to get a 3B. They practically gave Bay away.
    I do expect major league caliber players though, who can make a couple spot spot starts or come out of the ‘pen and not kill you. Ransom, Berroa, Tomko and co. aren’t even close to being even that good. They’re complete black holes.
    Exactly. I’ll also take a younger player with upside. Ransom is 33. Berroa is 42.
    Hinske sucks. He’s played all of 8 games at 3rd in the last three years. Putting him out there is a step down in defense from A-Rod and a step down in offense from Matsui (if they’re DHing A-Rod). DeRosa they could have played against LHP.

    Rob July 1, 2009, 10:56 am
  • The thing is, every team carries “black holes”, as you put it, on their 25-man. Someone in the bullpen has to eat innings in low-leverage situations in order to preserve the more valuable relief arms. It might as well be Tomko.
    I’ll agree that Berroa was terrible, but when Ransom was on the DL and A-Rod needing regular rest, the Yankees still needed to keep him around, if only for a few weeks. He’s gone now. Ramiro Pena can now play every day in Scranton and he will have the chance to improve his hitting if possible. Ransom at least can field his position, even if his ass is old and his only apparent “tool” is the ability to jump really high.

    doug YF July 1, 2009, 11:01 am
  • And Tabata has been ranked right there with LaRoche but with significantly more upside.
    I’m sorry, but can you cite these sources? Tabata is young and has above-average speed, but right now that’s all he’s got going for him: he has a career .759 OPS in the minors. You’re very quick to dismiss LaRoche’s upside, even though he has been worlds better than Tabata in the minors. Sure one was 24 at the time and the other was 19, but then again you’re the one making the comparisons, not me.
    Again, the Pirate’s needs are all that mattered. You’re making far too many assumptions of what happened to have any substance behind calling Cashman a failure for not getting Bay instead of Nady.

    Atheose July 1, 2009, 11:43 am
  • I’m sorry, but can you cite these sources?
    Baseball America:
    2008 –
    31. Andy LaRoche 3b, Dodgers
    37. Jose Tabata of, Yankees
    2007 –
    19. Andy LaRoche, 3b, Dodgers
    27. Jose Tabata, of, Yankees
    You can quibble that LaRoche was on the 2006 list, while Tabata wasn’t, but that would mean ignoring the fact that Tabata was 17 at the time.
    You’re making far too many assumptions of what happened
    Really?
    All I know is:
    Bay and Nady were traded in the same market, from the same, and to the same division.
    The Pirates had a lot of holes.
    They gave up two starters to get the Yankee package. They gave up one to get the Sox/Dodgers.
    They got more value from the Yanks than from the Sox.
    As far as analyzing baseball trades, that’s about as close as it gets. Now if you never want to analyze baseball trades, because of the rampant unknowns, then that’s your prerogative. But to assume you know more or are being more fair, and I less, is a fiction based on more assumptions than anything I’m relying on. Bay was available. He was dealt after Nady. The Yankees could have had him if they made the effort. There’s nothing that says he was only going to be used to get a 3B prospect named Andy LaRoche.

    Rob July 1, 2009, 12:13 pm
  • Rob, I was specifically talking about how you claimed that Tabata had a much higher upside.
    But to assume you know more or are being more fair, and I less, is a fiction based on more assumptions than anything I’m relying on.
    That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that Cashman, and the Pirates organization, know more than you know–which they do. Based on the best evidence we have (the trades themselves and their immediate needs) it’s obvious that the Pirates really wanted a 3B. They paid more for him because, we can assume, he had more value to them. The only thing I’m assuming is that the Pirates wanted LaRoche more than they wanted Tabata, which the evidence suggests. You’re ignoring that evidence and claiming that Cashman should have gotten Bay because, in your subjective opinion, Tabata was worth more and had a higher upside than LaRoche.

    Atheose July 1, 2009, 12:32 pm
  • There’s nothing that says he was only going to be used to get a 3B prospect named Andy LaRoche.
    And there’s the problem: you’re using the lack of information to assume that he could and should have been gotten. I’m using that lack of information to say that:
    1. You don’t know everything that happened behind closed doors, or what the Pirates were demanding for Bay
    2. The Nady trade happened a week before the Bay one. Maybe they were demanding a king’s ransom for Bay on the 25th, but in the last few hours before the trade deadline decided to take what was available when no better offers surfaced.
    3. Maybe the Pirates put their need for a 3B above their other needs; that’s why they took what they could get for Nady, while holding onto Bay in order to get a 3B. We just don’t know.
    I’m saying that there are thousands of possibilities and unknowns. You are making the definitive statement: “Cashman could have gotten Bay for what he gave up for Nady/Marte”. Big difference.

    Atheose July 1, 2009, 12:39 pm
  • You’re ignoring that evidence and claiming that Cashman should have gotten Bay because, in your subjective opinion, Tabata was worth more and had a higher upside than LaRoche.
    Read the thread again. I’ve been talking about the packages. And where I highlight LaRoche vs. Tabata it was to show they just weren’t far apart in prospect status.
    As far as what the Pirates thought, that’s irrelevant because it’s unknowable.
    I’m saying that there are thousands of possibilities and unknowns.
    And they’re all irrelevant for the same reason.
    My “definitive” statement (more my opinion, but whatever) is defensible among the lines I’ve argued. The Pirates got a better deal from the Yankees and gave up less. I have a good idea of why Cashman wasn’t focused on Bay (lefty bat in LF – already had two of those). But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t an opportunity to upgrade. There clearly was. And at the price already being discussed for Nady and Marte.
    I don’t expect to see you ever arguing trades here. These two trades are as close as these things get. So if those unknowables are too much for you, then every trade will be.

    Rob July 1, 2009, 12:54 pm
  • Okay Rob, here’s what you said:
    Somehow I think they could have gotten Bay with the same package it took to get Nady and Marte. Tabata was prized and the pitchers are back of the rotation material (for the Pirates). Question is: Did Cashman even try?
    I don’t think he did. Just like now with DeRosa.

    You’re assuming Cashman didn’t try to get Bay, or DeRosa. This is incredibly naive. Just because there are unknowns doesn’t mean you can assume a GM didn’t even kick the tires on certain trades.
    I have no problem analyzing baseball trades: what I have a problem with is assuming that all trades are 100% equal for comparison. There are so many things that go into it that it’s impossible to say that Cashman could have gotten Bay for Tabata and change.
    These two trades are as close as these things get.
    They may be closer than most, but they’re far from equal. No matter how many times you keep saying that, it’s not true, and ignoring that in order to call for Cashman’s head is extremely presumptive.

    Atheose July 1, 2009, 1:08 pm
  • And you have yet to cite how Tabata had a higher ceiling than LaRoche, or what evidence you have to suggest Cashman didn’t even kick the tires on Jason Bay or Mark DeRosa.

    Atheose July 1, 2009, 1:12 pm
  • You’re calling me “naive” but without any evidence to the contrary. That’s rich.
    These two trades were as close any trades could possible get. I never said they 100% equal. That’s a strawman.
    Worse, you’re ignoring reality to force that strawman. It wasn’t Tabata and change (like LaRoche and change). The Pirates got two pitchers now in their rotation, one of whom shut out the Cubs last night. That seems to be your problem. You’re focusing on LaRoche at the expense of seeing things as they actually were. You’ve overrated LaRoche, denigrated Tabata without doing your research, and ignored all else, including everything else I’ve said.
    I’m done. Have the last word if you wish.

    Rob July 1, 2009, 1:15 pm
  • Last off-season the Rockies traded Matt Holliday to the Athletics. Why didn’t Cashman make that trade? He had the pieces! Obviously he didn’t even try.
    At the trade deadline last year the Dodgers acquired Manny Ramirez. Why didn’t Cashman make that trade? He had the pieces! Obviously he didn’t even try.
    Remember when Hanley Ramirez was traded to Florida? The Yankees should have totally gotten him. Why didn’t Cashman make that trade? He had the pieces! Obviously he didn’t even try.
    See how much fun this is? Never change, Rob!

    Atheose July 1, 2009, 1:26 pm
  • LEAVE JOSÉ TABATA ALONE, YOU JACKALS!
    Seriously, though. Whether Tabata had attitude problems, or the pressures of being a top Yankee prospect was too much for him, in the end he walked out on his team. It’s not like they gave up on him, but these problems made him expendable. He had serious red flags at the time the Yankees traded him, red flags that Andy LaRoche did not have.

    doug YF July 1, 2009, 3:43 pm
  • Thanks Doug, I didn’t know that. I’m sure there are hundreds of minor things like that that all add up to every decision a GM must make, and weonly see a glimpse of that.

    Atheose July 1, 2009, 8:47 pm

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