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Around the Stove

This is easily the worst time of year for baseball fans, as most teams have signed all the big-name players they're going to sign, the awards and honors are all handed out, and we're still more than a month away from pitchers and catchers.

So what's going on? Not much.

  • Jon Heyman says the Yankees are very interested in Andruw Jones as a fourth outfielder. Seems like that would be a good move. Jones was an average defender while playing all three outfield positions last season and posted a 113 OPS+ in 328 plate appearances. Of course, Jones is a Scott Boras client, which means Heyman may or may not be trying to use the Yankees as a way to get more money for Boras from another team. 
  • Initial reports said the Yanks were leery of Marcus Thames' defense; I think Thames would be a great corner outfield/corner infield backup type for the Red Sox, but there's been zero word on the Sox considering any moves at all. Perhaps they're seeing Lowrie as a first base backup, as opposed to just the usual 2B/SS/3B utility role, with Darnell McDonald handling the corners.
  • The Yankees also have expressed interest in Justin Duchscherer, who would be one of those low-risk, high-reward starting pitchers the Yanks could use to round out their rotation, regardless of what Andy Pettitte does (has he died? Has anyone checked?). Duchscherer has a career 3.13 ERA, which is good, and he posted a 2.89 ERA in five starts last year, which is very good. Of course, it was 1.82 before he allowed four runs in 3.1 innings and ended his season with a hip operation, which is not so good. Those are the only five starts he's made since the end of the 2008 season.
  • Spaking of Pettitte, the New York Post actually showed up at his door (so I guess he's OK) in Texas. Pettitte's "just chilling out, hanging. I'm relaxing." He might even be shooting some b-ball outside the school.
  • The Sox officially re-signed Hideki Okajima, which was slightly surprising given his terrible 2010. He did have a much better OPS against left-handers last year (still not terrific, though), so perhaps he's transitioning into more of a LOOGY role.
  • And for a brief moment, the Sox had Max Ramirez on their roster. He's now with the Cubs.

9 replies on “Around the Stove”

Andruw Jones: I guess it’s a fit in comparison to the other OF’s available. He plays defense fairly well, plays all 3 spots, provides a decent option if someone went down.
Marcus Thames was a great guy to have on the team last year. Said all the right things, did all the right things, but I sincerely hope they Yankees cut ties. He’s borderline awful in the OF and when you are searching for a 4th OF’r you can’t sign a guy that can’t play the OF. Nice guy, but time to cut ties.
Duchs: Between the depression issues, hip and list of other injuries this guy is a ticking time bomb…His stats are solid, he was an all-star all that good stuff, but what are the chances he’s still pitching in August? I’d rather have reliability at the back end and sacrifice upside.
AP: At this point he can let us know the day before P&C’s report and it wouldn’t matter. The well is dry on FA SP’s, so if he decides he wants to pitch it’s a bonus, if not we go with what’s out there and what we have.
Oki: Put the terrible 2010 aside I’d rather have him than invest all that $ in a guy like Fuentes. Nothing wrong with that move. Theo continues he streak of solid moves.
Max: Max Ramirez and Salty (along with Teagarden) were once some of the best pieces in the Rangers minor league puzzle. He was always considered to be the best hitter of the bunch, with Teagarden the best defender and Salty the most complete of the group. Certainly would have been a nice fallback for the Sox to have considering their C situation, but what can you do…Oh I know what they can do SIGN MOLINA!!!

not sure i understand…why would heyman care about boras getting more money for jones?…so he can claim some sort of scoop?
i kind of liked thames, so wouldn’t mind seeing him come back…so, maybe defense isn’t his forte, but the yanks shouldn’t mind sticking him out there once in awhile to give guys a rest…
justin duchscherer…why not?…at this point i don’t see many other options…may as well kick the tires on a few retreads…a decent trade seems unlikely since there don’t appear to be any willing partners out there, unless the yanks ridiculously overpay for someone…
pettitte is really starting to annoy me…crap or get off the pot already…while i would love to see him come back, one theory is that he is anxious about the upcoming clemens trial and the role he may have to play in that…either that or his agent is holding the yankees hostage so they overpay for him…
i guess i was a little surprised too that the sox re-signed okie, but in a role such as you described, it prob makes sense…
i missed the news with max…what happened?

DC, Heyman is widely known as a shill for Boras, reporting whatever Boras tells him regardless of how likely it is to be true. It’s a two-way street: It helps Boras drive up the price on his players and helps Heyman continue to get scoops no one else has.
The Sox claimed Ramirez off waivers, but since he was out of options, they had to put him on waivers before he could go to the minors (which he assuredly would have done to start the season), and the Cubs claimed him on the second go-round.

that is funny john, espec. since i hadn’t seen your comments yet…we cross-posted…
thanks for the clarifications paul…hadn’t heard that about heyman, or i forgot it…re. max, got it…thanks again

I’m with John re: Pettitte. Even if he declared he’s coming back today the Yanks would still need to land at least one reliable starter so I don’t think he is effecting them at all. Andruw Jones a pretty solid. Provides some much needed senior leadership on this young inexperienced team ;)
As for Duscherer, I’m with dc – a combination of “why not”, “you’ve got nothing to lose”, and “what other choices are out there?” makes me say go right ahead.

Jeremy Bonderman $12.5M
Dave Bush $4.21M
Justin Duchscherer $1.75M
Jeff Francis $5.75M
Freddy Garcia $1M
Kevin Millwood $12M
Nate Robertson $10M
So forgetting about AP for a minute, which of these back end SP’s would you want the Yankees to sign? We know there’s CC, AJ and Hughes. That leaves 2 spots open. I’d hope one went to Nova, give the kid a shot. Honestly I’d sign Bonderman and Justin Duchscherer. Here’s why: I am not convinced Justin Duchscherer can last an entire season. I’d let him compete with Bonderman for the #5 spot and see what happens. Worst case he works out of the bullpen, a place where he’s had some really good success. I like Dave Bush, Nate Robertson is intriguing and I think Kevin Millwood is the safest bet, but they are too expensive and probably looking for longer than a 1 year deal. None of them are spectacular, matter of fact most if not all of them are projected to pitch at nearly the same level. I’d go for upside and salary efficiency at this point and it looks like Bonderman and Justin Duchscherer can provide both of those things.
I also really hope they pass on Soriano. I know that it’s appealing to have a Soriano – Rivera bridge, but between the draft pick and his desired salary I’d pass. Let’s try and lock down that 4th OF and get ready for ST!

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