Abreu New World

Forgive the pun. Yankee fans can be proud of their GM today. Leveraging the team’s financial power, Brian Cashman acquired on-base machibe Bobby Abreu and a fifth starter (Cory Lidle) from Philadelphia while holding onto the team’s elite prospects and blossoming fan favorite Melky Cabrera. The Phillies get the Yanks’ top pick in the 2005 draft (shortstop CJ Henry, who hasn’t exactly been tearing it up in the minors) along with a middle reliever in Matt Smith, and two other prospects. Better still, solid negotiating means that the Yanks will not be required to pick up Abreu’s pricey 2008 contract option. Those wishing to see the glass half empty on this deal will note Abreu’s diminishing power numbers, and it has been suggested that the loss of power will have a corrosive impact on his OBP, and that he hasn’t always come to the park ready to put out his A-game. We’ll see. For the moment, the reality is that he represents a massive upgrade over the present Yankee rightfield option of Bernie Williams/Aaron Guiel. Those competing with the Yanks to reach the playoffs should be duly worried about his addition to the club, and be even more concerned about putting the team away before September, when a potential lineup might read:


With Melky and Bernie on the bench, that would be a serious, serious arsenal. If there’s anything to lament about this deal, it’s that it probably means that 2006 will be the end of Gary Sheffield’s tenure in the Bronx. Probably. Of course, anything’s possible. For the moment, we’ll see what happens, and hope for the best from our new additions. Will the Sox respond? Add your comments on the deal and its ramifications here.

42 comments… add one
  • Melky and Bernie off the bench make for a nice righty-left combo. I’m guessing this is the end of the Guiel era as Bubba will probably stay on a defensive late inning replacement.
    A good day for Yanks fans!

    Nick-YF July 30, 2006, 5:16 pm
  • The question is who goes down now–Guiel or Bubba? With Damon’s injury record, and given Bubba’s speed, Joe will probably hold onto him. But Guiel has a slightly bigger bat.

    YF July 30, 2006, 5:19 pm
  • what do you think of Lidle. Peter Abraham reports that Cashman insists he wouldn’t have completed the deal without him in it. Lidle strikes me as a nice #5 option: A ground ball pitcher who can go deep into games.

    Nick-YF July 30, 2006, 5:27 pm
  • Whatever Lidle brings will be better than Ponson/Chacon and probably same or better than Wright. His road stats have been pretty decent, so hopefully switch to AL won’t hurt too much.
    Re: Guiel/Bubba…I’d much rather see Bubba DFA’ed and Guiel to say but we all know that Bubba has dirty pictures of Joe and so is not going anywhere. Also, Guiel has minor league options which sadly makes him more likely to go. I’d llike to see Melky get some playing time in RF so he can go in as a LIDR instead of Bernie.
    All in all, a very good deal for the Yankees, especially since they don’t have to pick up Abreu’s option. He slots into Sheff’s spot in the lineup and on the payroll and is several years younger. I’ll be sad to see Sheff and his bat waggle go, but at the price he’d demand he was probably gone after this season anyway. Great job by Cash…also, let’s not forget that Yanks will probably get draft picks for Sheff when he signs elsewhere, and for Lidle who is a FA after this season.

    yankeemonkey July 30, 2006, 5:39 pm
  • wow. the yanks gave up absolutely nothing in a trade again. today is the first time you’ve even heard the name of these prospects. i guess phili has a need for .230 hitting utility help at a single A level. i swear MLB should step in and take the franchise away from phili. what a joke of an organization. in a lot of ways, i feel teams who make poor contract decisions should have to suffer through them. the latest rumor i’m hearing is pujols for pavano.

    sf rod July 30, 2006, 5:44 pm
  • Great point about the draft picks YM. The Yanks may have given up their (floundering) #1 of 2005, but if Sheff and Lidle depart after this season, they’ll actually have 2 additional top round picks to compensate for the loss. Props to Cash.

    YF July 30, 2006, 6:30 pm
  • Yankee fans can be proud of their GM today. Leveraging the team’s financial power…SNIP
    Good trade, but the second statement, which is very accurate, kind of prevents the GM from getting much credit from me, at least. You can’t have it both ways, YF. Is the GM doing much when all he has to do is get the financial go-ahead from upstairs? Good move by the Yankees, particularly by their Owner (shocker – George gets some credit!) — he’s the guy who actually agreed to pick up the salary, and the only guy who had the power to make this deal.
    Bottom line is this: the Phillies had one very serious suitor. They traded Abreu to that suitor. They really wanted him gone, and were able to get rid of him (along with another guy making 3M+) for four guys who aren’t even making the minimum, who may never sniff the majors.
    Trades like this are the new millenium’s version of what I remember growing up, a player getting sold (and sometimes these deals were struck down by the Commish, famously). Those deals have been forbidden, in their place we now get stuff like this (and the Beckett deal, etc. – not singling out the Yanks here).

    SF July 30, 2006, 7:05 pm
  • Considering the Phils’ earlier demands of Hughes and Tabata, and considering the rumored need to pick up Abreu’s 2008 option to convince him to waive his no-trade clause, I’d say that Cashman read the situation very well. He waited out these demands, didn’t flinch, and basically came up with the best possible deal a Yanks fan could imagine. I think he did well. The Yanks have has financial advantages in every deal they’ve made in recent years, and have not always been so successful. The Big Unit trade is a pretty good example. The Yanks announced their desire to get Johnson and paid a costly price to complete the deal. That deal occurred in the days when Georgie was more active.

    Nick-YF July 30, 2006, 7:17 pm
  • SF: That’s predictable. I really think you can’t have it both ways; carp about Cashman when you don’t like one of his moves, and then give him zero credit when he does something you do think is positive. You’re not privy to the negotiations between teams, and who was pressing for what. Cashman sat by, biding time, forcing the asking price on Abreu down, when at any moment he could have gone elsewhere. There are other teams that have serious cash flow. (Were not the Sox making noise about Abreu only a week or two ago? If it was a ploy to drive up his price than it didn’t work.)
    The Yanks made a solid move today. They could have made a bad deal, or no deal. They did not. As for the salary, yeah, it’s large, but if it replaces Sheff’s deal next season, and the potential payoff is huge if he represents the difference between making the playoffs or not. (See BP’s Baseball Between the Numbers on this subject.)
    RSN’s no-credit-for-Cashman arguments are becoming massively tiresome and massively predictable. Not to mention absurdly condescending. He made the deal. All GM’s work with their owner’s budgets and approval. That’s reality. Anyone who thinks this deal was an easy slam dunk to accomplish, rather than a work of intelligent design and negotiation is kidding themselves. Kid at your own risk. Objects in your rearview mirror may be closer than they appear.

    YF July 30, 2006, 7:20 pm
  • PS: What Nick said.

    YF July 30, 2006, 7:23 pm
  • YF said what I was trying to say better.

    Nick-YF July 30, 2006, 7:24 pm
  • Did that make sense? YF said it better than I did. Make sense? Ok? Not sure it came out right.

    Nick-YF July 30, 2006, 7:32 pm
  • Anyone think that there’s a chance Sheff signs on for two more years as DH?

    Sam July 30, 2006, 7:38 pm
  • And I liked Nick’s version. It’s all good in YFN today.

    YF July 30, 2006, 7:39 pm
  • Sam: Could be. A bit pricey and it leaves the Yanks with a lot of DH candidates. But that would be some torid lineup, when healthy.

    YF July 30, 2006, 7:41 pm
  • Obviously there are lots of negotiations we aren’t privy to. And Cashman definitely deserves plaudits for not dumping Hughes. But I say that Hughes was never on the table. I say that Cashman told the Phillies he’s not dealing Hughes, never, no way, under no circumstance, and they can just forget any deal with him in it. And I bet he said that Day 1 and the Phillies probably believed him. The thing about this is that if YF was the armchair GM of the Yankees he would have traded for Abreu 65 days ago and probably at a greater cost, such were his panicky misgivings about the Yankees when Matsui went down. I remember thinking there was no need to panic, such was the talent depth of the Bombers. So I guess we can at least acknowledge that Cashman is better suited to the job than my co-blogger, and that Cash and I share a similar quality of patience and perspective. Whatever that’s worth.

    SF July 30, 2006, 7:41 pm
  • Sam, he’s expressed his desire to end his days as a Bomber. The problem is would the Yanks be able to fit him onto a roster as a full-time DH with players like Giambi, Damon and Jorge? He’s not very flexible for a team with a lot of players who need time away from defense. So, yes, I think Sheff would be willing to come back as a DH; he’s never expressed any problem with that role. But I’m not sure Cashman would sign him for the money he wants as a DH who can’t play the field.

    Nick-YF July 30, 2006, 7:42 pm
  • Oh, and the whole “objects in their rearview mirror” thing – are you kidding? Who is underestimating the Yankees?
    One trade and the nauseating cockiness comes out. Now that’s predictable.

    SF July 30, 2006, 7:44 pm
  • Good point, Nick. I can see the complications, but that’s why we have Joe! It would lead to a sick, sick lineup, though.
    Plus, you know with the ages of these guys that there’s going to many niggling injuries in the seasons ahead. I doubt that Joe would have that hard a time fitting them in since at any one time there’d be someone on the DL.

    Sam July 30, 2006, 7:45 pm
  • After this season why would the Yankees bring back Sheffield? Questionable personality. Bad health. No position. And he’s older. Makes absolutely no sense, particularly if he wants even 1/2 of what he’s getting, for more than one year. The only way he comes back is if he gets healthy quick and three other guys get hurt between now and December 31st.

    SF July 30, 2006, 7:49 pm
  • true, Sam, you think about this year and who though that Bernie would be playing so much. Hey, I’d love to bring Gary back. He’s one of my favorite players. I defend him all day against the false accusations of his attitude problem. He’s been nothing but a gamer and good teammate since he’s arrived in the Bronx. But I’m not sure we couldn’t use the money he’ll get for some player who’d be more useful to the team. The starting pitching in 2007 and beyond worries me.

    Nick-YF July 30, 2006, 7:49 pm
  • I’m inclined to agree with SF about Sheff returning. Just a thought, but one major reason the Yanks would sign him would be to keep him away from the Sox. Trotman might be on his way out. Might the Sox want to upgrade their offense in RF.
    Nah, it doesn’t make much sense for Boston to go after him.

    Nick-YF July 30, 2006, 7:52 pm
  • For me, the best part of all this is the “Trade Assessment Scorecards” that will fly around ESPN, etc. I mean, OF COURSE this was a great deal for the Yankees, exclusive of future performances. They got a fantastic position player and a starter for NOTHING. Nada. So: A+. Bravo, Brian.

    SF July 30, 2006, 7:55 pm
  • Nick, unless they move him before the deadline, I think WMP is the rightfielder with power the Sox are planning on for the future. I don’t see Sheff working for Boston – he’s not the kind of guy they’ve signed recently: no position, old, hurt, barely marketable.

    SF July 30, 2006, 7:56 pm
  • And Julian Tavarez is marketable?! Which demographic does he appeal to? The lonely man plotting the end of the world in his mom’s basement?

    Nick-YF July 30, 2006, 7:57 pm
  • Tavarez is a middle reliever – marketability is not part of the job description.

    SF July 30, 2006, 7:58 pm
  • And Tavarez was neither old nor hurt when the Sox signed him. I just don’t see the Yankees signing Sheff to keep him from the Sox. If they do, though, I think YF is really going to have a hard time touting the genius of Cash. That would be really, really stupid.

    SF July 30, 2006, 7:59 pm
  • LOL, Nick!

    yankeemonkey July 30, 2006, 8:00 pm
  • Yeah, SF, you just wish he were old and/or hurt!

    yankeemonkey July 30, 2006, 8:01 pm
  • Yeah, the Sox would have no need for Sheff given their current roster construction. However, every two months there seems to be huge turn-over at Fenway, so who knows! And don’t forget, the off-season is another chance for Manny to request a trade. And we all know it’s going to happen.

    Nick-YF July 30, 2006, 8:02 pm
  • No kidding, YM. Just the first part would do, frankly.

    SF July 30, 2006, 8:02 pm
  • SF: You are correct in your suggestion that I would make an awful GM. In my one experience drafting my own team of actual humans (in my last year at summer camp) i put together a team that went, if memory serves 1-15. That said, the suggestion that you might do any better….I don’t think so. Sometimes I think SF stands for Short Fuse. If you were at the helm, Tito would have been canned some time in mid-April 2004.

    YF July 30, 2006, 8:24 pm
  • John Kruk’s take on the deal, which makes no sense, even by Kruk standards: Abreu and Lidle are a big improvement for the Yanks, but the Sox are still the better team. However, if the Sox feel they need more offense and add another bat then the Yankees will be better. (Because the Sox defense will suffer.) If this makes sense to you, seek help. Get well soon Peter G.!

    YF July 30, 2006, 11:32 pm
  • John Kruk speaks in zen koans. My mind is blank after his analysis. I am at peace.

    Nick-YF July 30, 2006, 11:40 pm
  • With this deal, does this mean Yankee fans can drop the annoying excuse (mostly propogated on NYYFans.com) that Theo somehow gets better breaks on his deals than Cashman? The Yankees gave up absolutely nothing for two players who will help them this season — even less than the Sox gave up for Beckett and Lowell, and when it’s all said and done, probably less than the Sox gave up for Schilling or Martinez.

    Paul SF July 30, 2006, 11:41 pm
  • What did the Sox give up for Schill, Paul?

    Sam July 31, 2006, 12:04 am
  • I don’t post often, but I read the posts her evry day… That was the most drama queenimic post of the year. Oscar nomination, NickYf. Beotch

    birdmanofvt July 31, 2006, 1:14 am
  • To which post are you referring, birdman? I’m honored that you recognized my queenimic qualities, but I must admit to being a tad confused. Keep on keeping on.

    Nick-YF July 31, 2006, 1:21 am
  • The Sox gave up Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon, Jorge de la Rosa and Michael Goss for Schilling. Fossum and Lyon were big-league-ready players at the time. I’m not saying the Sox got fleeced or made huge sacrifices. Clearly, it was a great deal for the Sox.
    But the Sox did actually give up big-league talent, whereas the Yanks give up just prospects who have not even performed well in the minor leagues.
    Now if we want to talk about proportionality, the Sox gave up mediocre major-league talent for a Hall of Famer who won a ring for them, wile the Yanks are giving up mediocre minor-league talent for two very good non-HOFers. Maybe the Sox did get the better deal for Schilling, but just looking at the talent itself, I think we can safely put to rest this idea that Cashman gets penalized because he’s the Yankees’ GM…

    Paul SF July 31, 2006, 11:41 am
  • Here’s the thing about this deal w/r/t how it might change the Sox’ mindset: everyone knew it was coming. Abreu’s been talked about for months in New York. The question was more “when” not “if”. So if we had this on our minds, then Theo and company had it on their minds. Clearly they were not interested in getting in a bidding war for Abreu’s services with the Yankees, whether for internal budgetary reasons or because of the Phillies’ demands. Who knows. But we do know that no matter what the Sox offered, the Yankees could trump them. It’s very simple, this fact. And it’s not whining – the Sox, however financially strong they are, do not operate with the same financial mechanics as the Yankees. So the Yankees were the leading suitor for Abreu, and they came away with him. This is neither shocking nor a work of genius on anyone’s part. It is, though, a very good trade for the Yankees, and makes them even more formidable than they already were. The Sox may not feel that they can even respond, such is the dearth of talent on the market, and stand pat. I wouldn’t be shocked if there was nothing but a minor deal, if that. I also wouldn’t be shocked if they made a splash. But I would be shocked if Theo gave away known, quantifiable, major league value for a temporary fix, unless that fix is equally proven (hence the Loretta and Lowell trade winds strike me as far-fetched, unless a guy like Peavy is involved, which he probably isn’t). I don’t see why this ethos would change because the Yankees executed a move that was highly predictable. The Sox have tried to answer the Yankees in certain ways over these last three years but mortgaging the team for a temp just doesn’t square with how they’ve done it. And they’ve operated succesfully this way, which corroborates this ideology, I imagine. Nothing is sure, of course, particularly at deadlines. But I don’t see an anomaly happening because of the Abreu situation.
    (Now go get Roy Oswalt, dammit!!!!)

    SF July 31, 2006, 11:53 am
  • I’ll agree with most of what SF writes here. The Sox front office has almost certainly war-gamed the scenario in which Abreu lands in the Bronx, so the idea that they’re surprised now is far-fetched. That doesn’t mean it is not going to push them into a response (it may, it may not). As for the idea that the Yanks had more to trade for Abreu, that’s a dubious assertion. The Sox clearly have more ready minor league talent. So the question is finances. The Yankees are apparently more willing to spend from their booty, which is certainly larger than that of the Sox. But the Sox have a bit kitty too. And if Abreu means the difference between playoffs/not playoffs, then the salary addition probably pays itself back many times over. But who knows. The Sox made these calculations for themselves, and proceeded on their own terms. We’ll see what the result of that strategy is in the future.

    YF July 31, 2006, 12:41 pm
  • It’s fair to say that the Sox have large resources. No kidding. But it’s just pure denial to think that the Yankees don’t have a bigger pot of money from which to spend. They clearly do. They spend more. They generate more revenue. That is what we call here in science land a “fact”. It’s the way it is. I can deal with it as a fan, even though it’s frustrating (but thank goodness I am not a Royals fan…) Why is it so hard to admit that your team has more cash to spend than anyone else?
    There’s definitely a streak of an inferiority complex, when this subject comes up, even as the bragadoccio bellows forth. “We’re the most storied franchise, we draw the most fans, we have the most historic stadium, we have a great tv network and the most fans worldwide – who is bigger than the Yankees?”, but as soon as someone harps on the fact that this popularity logically leads to much bigger coffers and greater resources by which to obtain talent the gloves come out and the defense mechanism kicks in. We’re then chided that “the Yankees just choose to spend more”, as if that choice isn’t facilitated by the reams of cash coming in over the threshold. I find it very odd, and telling.

    SF July 31, 2006, 1:22 pm

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