Phil is the new Joba and Joba is the new Phil

In a new post up at Lohud, Pete Abe outlines what he'd be willing to give up to get Roy Halladay: Joba Chamberlain, Jesus Montero and the Jays' pick of one of the following: Austin Jackson, Zach McCallister or Dellin Betances. In other words, he'd be willing to give up a lot. If the Yanks made such a deal, they'd effectively change their farm system from strong to weak. It's a big price to pay, but Abraham justifies such an expenditure because of the current situation in Yankee Anything Universe (thanks, gerb and IH). The stars–Jeter, Mo and Jorge– won't be with playing longer and they're doing well. The time to win is now, and Halladay would make the Yanks the team to beat. Without doing the math (which I never do anyway), that sounds about right (the part about them being the team to beat).

I'm not going to argue whether the package is too much or not. Seems like a lot, but maybe it's because I have a better opinion of Joba than Pete does. That actually brings me to the point, which is that Joba's star has fallen a bit. At the opposite end of the universe, Phil Hughes's star is rising. Pete Abe insists that the new set-up guy not be included in any deal for Halladay. I'm not sure how much any one writer represents the ethos of a fanbase, but I do wonder if there is a general feeling among Yanks followers that the two have switched places in terms of their value as future contributors.  If so, the view is short-sighted, as it is based on what some basement dwellers call a small sample. Joba was untouchable a short while ago, and now, after a half-season, he is touchable. Not too long ago, some fans lamented that Cashman did not pull the trigger on the Johan Santana because he wouldn't include Phil Hughes in a deal. And now after twenty or so sterling innings in the bullpen, Hughes cannot be included in a Halladay trade. I'd say, at this point, it's almost impossible to decide which player is going to be better in the future. Yes, Hughes looks better now. Yes, Joba's velocity is down and that is a concern. But the universe is always in flux. Who knows? Maybe in a year, we'll be talking about how great Kei Igawa is! And maybe I will be a member of the first-ever baseball historical society in Jakarta. Actually, the latter is much more likely, but that will be discussed at another time. The point is that I remain clueless. But what about you? Who do you like more going forward? Phil or Joba…or Kei?

18 comments… add one
  • So basically, they both have good stuff, and potential, just lacking some experience and maybe something that will come with age. Meh about the trade.
    I’m excited about the future though, if they both pan out to servicable 3rd starters..

    Lar July 15, 2009, 1:11 pm
  • hate trade speculation.
    not sure why the yanks should trade either of the two.

    YF July 15, 2009, 1:51 pm
  • I agree with YF here.
    Why would they give up either and pan into Toronto’s greed? If Toronto doesn’t feel they can sign him, they’re going to take the best package they can get, and I don’t think NY has to include either of those guys who are ML performers already.
    Just as I don’t feel Boston has to include Buchholz or Ellsbury, and definitely not Bard.
    There are other options out there that could shore up either of our staffs just fine, and I heard on Onley this morning saying that Florida is not against trading Josh Johnson, who I’d rather have anyhow. Crap, I’d rather have Lee or a hitter and go to battle.
    The bigger issue for me is that if Boston traded for Halladay, they’re basically saying that they’re not interested in keeping Beckett (at which point I’ll be really pissed), and that once Bay is paid, a third baseman is signed, how much money is left for Mauer?
    Would NYers rather have Halladay now and for the next 6 or 8 years, or be able to go after Mauer? Or do you guys think that ARod, Jeter, Sabathia, Tex, and Mauer money is possible?

    Brad July 15, 2009, 2:27 pm
  • What Abraham seems to be forgetting is that Yankees have been trying to “win now” for the last five years, at least. How has that worked out again? And has it filled their stadium?
    Nope, if they want to have any chance of filling their pricey stadium, they need stars of the next generation. Halladay, as another expensive pitcher, is not that and the risk is too great to too even try. Keep the kids and watch them grow. Of course, it would have been easier to incorporate Montero if they didn’t drop $180 million on a quickly aging 1B.
    Meanwhile, I don’t see how Joba’s star has fallen. He’s in his first full year as a 23 year old starter and pitching above average for peanuts. He’s going through a rough patch, but when do young pitchers, especially today, avoid that?

    Rob July 15, 2009, 2:38 pm
  • …and now, after a half-season, he is touchable.
    I thought this was a family-friendly site. For shame, Nick!

    Atheose July 15, 2009, 2:44 pm
  • He’s going through a rough patch, but when do young pitchers, especially today, avoid that?
    hardly ever. Plus, you know if Joba is in that deal, Toronto is amost assuredly going to move him right into the closer role, which begs a bigger question: who, in their right mind would trade their biggest star pitcher for a young, unproven closer to a division rival? If it’s Joba they wanted, NY is almost certain to be giving up much more behind him than they should ever consider.

    Brad July 15, 2009, 3:36 pm
  • Please, please, please Yankees, trade Joba Chamberlain, Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero for Roy Halladay. That would be akin to the Sox trading Clay Buchholz, Lars Anderson and Luis Exposito.
    Does Peter realize Halladay is 32 and will seek at least $20 million until he’s at least 37? I know money isn’t as big a consideration for the Yankees, but come on…

    Paul SF July 15, 2009, 3:46 pm
  • Agreed, Paul. If Halladay was 29, that’d be one thing. But you can really only expect another year or maybe two of peak performance. That’s not worth 3 good young players, even before the added cost of the contract extension.

    Mark-YF July 15, 2009, 4:20 pm
  • Clay Buchholz, Lars Anderson and Luis Exposito.
    Absolutely not.
    Also, include Bard on the list of absolutely nots.

    Brad July 15, 2009, 4:25 pm
  • To be brutally honest Joba, in my opinion, is being ruined by the Yankees.
    It seems to me, that when Joba first came on scene it was like the Yankees had TWO supreme closers to finish out games. Yes, Joba was a set-up man for Mo, but he was a force, and he was feared. Practically unhittable.
    The way I saw it then, he was the perfect heir apparent for Mo and gave the Yankees an unbelievable One Two punch, game in and game out in the eighth and ninth.
    But regardless of his promise as a future closer, Joba was shoved into a starting role that he seems ill suited for, at least in comparison to the beast of the 8th inning I witnessed in 07.

    Brian Houk SF July 15, 2009, 8:21 pm
  • I don’t think I can agree with that, Brian, much as I hope it is ultimately true.
    Starters are simply much more valuable than non-closer relievers, and with Rivera showing no signs of slowing down any time soon, Joba’s talent would have been wasted in an eighth-inning role.
    Yes, he’s struggled some as a starter, but that’s what great young pitchers do. They’re inconsistent with their command, they throw too many pitches, and their ERAs sometimes get ugly.
    Last year, when Joba pitched 42 games, 30 of them in relief, he still was more valuable as a starter — 19.6 runs above replacement versus 12.4 as a reliever. A mediocre starter still affects far more innings for the good than an excellent middle reliever. Putting him in the rotation is a good move. He’ll work through these problems, and I predict that within two years, if the Yankees can wait that long, everyone will have forgotten this debate.
    Last year,

    Paul SF July 16, 2009, 8:52 am
  • If neither Hughes nor Joba elevates above #3-starter status sometime in the next 3 years, I’ll be disappointed.
    As for ruining Joba, right now the Yankees’ starting rotation is a bigger problem than most expected it to be due to the loss/disappearing act of Wang, too many short outings by several of their guys other than CC, and CC’s really-good-but-not-great first half. By comparison, while the bullpen has not been superlative, it has not blown many late leads and in fact has kept the Yanks in countless games that the weak rotation has left from the 5th inning or even earlier, holding things in place and allowing the team’s offense to win the second most come-from behind games in the AL (after LAA) so far this year. Joba in the pen would have further depleted the starting rotation and added strength to a bullpen that could always use it but doesn’t really NEED it as much as the SR needs it.
    Whether it is bad for him generally, I really think it’s still too early to tell. Being lights-out in one inning vs. being a #3 or better starter in an ALEast SR feels to me like the difference between a great drawing and a Picasso. I’m comfortable with the Yanks continuing to explore for the rest of this regular season and even next season whether they’ve got (or can develop) a Picasso before deciding to put him back in the color-by-numbers bullpen. And given the relative performances of the pen and SR noted above, I feel it is even clearer that they should keep him working as a starter.

    IronHorse July 16, 2009, 8:59 am
  • Trade for another starter, give Mitre a shot and put Joba back in the pen where he belongs. Mo, Phil and Joba in the pen with Ace and Coke would be lights out.
    Groom him to take over for Mo in another year or two. There, everything is figured out.

    krueg July 16, 2009, 9:38 am
  • Groom him to take over for Mo in another year or two..
    You know as well as I do that’ll be Papelbon’s job.
    :)

    Brad July 16, 2009, 11:28 am
  • Joba in the pen = no learning regarding how to navigate a lineup the 2nd and 3rd time you face them, limited to no practice throwing your curve and change (which are actually very good plus pitches for him when he is on) since he is 99% fastball-slider out of the pen. Unless a decision has been made that he should be a reliever forever, you would simply be delayong the 2-3 year learning process that a transition to starter-status will require.
    Put another way, if the Yanks cannot be patient enough to transition quality young pitching talent like Hughes and Joba into starter-roles than why even pretend…they can just decide that they’ll never again have a home-grown starter and will get their SR entirely via trades and free agent pickups …a recipe for over-payment and past-their-prime pitchers forever.

    IronHorse July 16, 2009, 12:37 pm
  • We won’t be able to sign him after we nab Mauer Brad…
    IH, is it not possible that Joba is just made up to be a closer? Hughes I certainly can see starting again, but Joba looks like a different pitcher now. I understand he was hurt and it takes time to learn to be a starting pitcher, but isn’t it also possible that Joba is cut out to be a closer?
    I still vote for Joba in the pen…

    krueg July 16, 2009, 2:51 pm
  • Joba did rather well in the starting role last year. He’s a different pitcher this year for some reason.

    Nick-YF July 16, 2009, 3:20 pm
  • Joba may be cut out to be a closer rather than a starter Kreug. All I’m saying is that I think the potential upside of him being a starter (and he has had a few games where he has looked superb as a starter) is worth trying to develop him for that role and that such development should not be jettisoned before he reaches the ripe old age of 26 or so. Unless he just plain stinks and shows not signs of making the transition during that time, which has not been the case so far.

    IronHorse July 16, 2009, 6:26 pm

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