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The Unit Is Gone

It’s final. Randy Johnson has been traded back to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The haul, as per Peter Abraham (commentary is ours):

RHP Luis Vizcaino. A 32 year-old journeyman with a mediocre WHIP. In the NL.
RHP Ross Ohlendorf. He went to Princeton. Decent numbers in AA.
RHP Stephen Jackson. Didn’t go to Princeton. Decent numbers in AA.
SS Alberto Gonzalez. No worries, Derek!

So let’s call it what it was: a salary dump with a few decent prospects thrown in. A good deal for Arizona, in our opinion. Prepare for a series of field-good profiles of Ohlendorf, the Ivy Kid. Now, Mr. Cashman, exactly how do you plan on replacing those 17 wins? Hmm? We’re waiting….

150 replies on “The Unit Is Gone”

so now we either have to count on clemens (which seems silly) or try to make a trade for a SP.
i’m still not sure how much i like this move.

no worries YFIB, i’m relatively calm all things considered. especially since i’m usually a mess whenever something goes down. i like most of the things cashman has done so far, i’m just not sure what direction he’s going in now.

I think we can easily get a 5.00 ERA and 17 wins out of a combination of karstens/rasner/sanchez/hughes/whatever.
And it’s hard to imagine Igawa being as nail-bitingly awful as Jaret Wright. Okay, no it’s not.

Considering the names being thrown around even recently (Linebrink, etc.), I’d be disappointed as a YF. I’m pleasantly surprised as a SF. The prospects don’t even strike me as rising to the caliber needed to pry Willis away from the Marlins.

If Johnson had stayed with the Yanks and pitched like he did last year, chances are he wouldn’t have won 17 again, unless of course, he once again got a 7.51 per game run support, which was, btw, the most in the AL.

That must have been part of the hold up. The Backs refused to give up the better prospects if they were going to have to pay the whole shebang. The Yanks may have decided they needed to free up the space more than they needed the big-name prospect.
/Complete and utter speculation

Rob, you mean after 2008? Johnson would have been off the books by then anyway, I think.

Frankly, I’m thrilled he’s gone. Besides his mostly lousy performance last year, and another crap-out in the playoffs, I found his demeanor on the mound embarrassing, complaining frequently, and constantly glaring in at the umpire when he didn’t get a call, sometimes on pitches that were clearly balls.
And I would be willing to bet that the rest of the players in the clubhouse are delighted by this move.

Paul – I would’ve loved Linebrink, but maybe now that we have all this farm as capital, we can go out and get something worthwhile – either now or right before the deadline..

Goodbye Randy, can’t say I was ever a big fan. This was 100% a salary dump and most importantly a PERSONALITY dump. RJ is NOT a NY guy, too bad it took two years of getting our hopes up to determine that. As for replacing him will still have 5 SP’s (Moose, Wang, AP, Igawa and Pavano) so if they don’t make any moves, so be it they have until July 31st…..

If that is indeed the Yanks’ Opening Day rotation, I’ll be quite a happy little Red Sock.

Yes Paul, but I am unsure if he wold have been off the books by then or not. I really do not know the status of his contract with the Yanks. But this could allow for a mid season move after Santana/Willis as has been discussed.
SF may be more on target with the “personality/salary dump.”

The personality is a little of what NY was asking for. Randy was a glare at the umpires for not getting a call. The problem is when you act that way and do not perform up to the level that was expected.

Well Paul if Pineiro is your closer, I will be quite the “Happy Little” Yankee.

i’ll say it again…i smell a big trade coming…watch out sf’s…this one may steal the dm thunder…

LeBron James?! Where will the Yankees play him?
Maybe Jeter will stubbornly refuse to move spots and force another great player to move out of position… ;-)

I was thinking he could be the wax distributor at the Ron Guidry Mustache Maintenance Station. You know, since they already signed up Dougie Myunjknckdnklsnbvjkdlsjv to platoon at managing the pension fund and Pride Power Pinstripes 529 college savings plan.

i see you’re joking sf, so i’ll ignore the jeter-bash for what it is [yawn]…this is where i’d normally insert my “veritek is a broken down girly-fighter, sucker-puncher” insult [another yawn]….rg, i have a grip, keep your head in the sand my friend, the yanks are stockpiling prospects for a big trade…you know they don’t have the patience for the younger unproven guys…if lebron can help, don’t underestimate the yanks to be able to go out and get him, and steve nash…

This team is a 90 plus win team with the current rotation. Remember the offense can win games, despite a questionable 4 and 5 starter. Sox fans should concern themselves more with their own issues like finalizing JD’s contract, finding a closer and having quite possibly the 3rd best offense in the AL East.

Just this on Alberto Gonzalez…They have him as the 13th ranked prospect in Yankees system and a 8C = Solid regular/50% chance of reaching potential.
Strengths: Athleticism/speed. Contact/BA ability. Plate discipline. Plus range. Soft/quick hands
Weaknesses: Hitting for power. Average arm strength
Comments: With plus range and soft hands, he makes both the routine and spectacular play. Despite good speed, he isn’t one to steal bases. Makes consistent contact with inside/out swing, so should hit for BA, but will need to draw more walks as power will remain non-existent.

Yea, I’m not sure how much I like this move either. But I do know that the Yankees dumped $18 million dollars and acquired a decent reliever, 2 pitching prospects and a young SS with an above average bat and fielding… Johnson was gone at the end of this year anyway, anyone telling me that they wouldn’t take 5 less wins (if the Yanks dont get Clemens) and use a platoon of pitchers?

its not a bad trade at all. very nice salary dump, a decent much needed reliever especially with how Torre abuses the pen now, 2 more prospects. and a SS who will eventually be a utility infielder with great fielding, and an average bat (dont know why he was included but whatever more youth ill take it).

The real comparison must be made between the trade of Nick Johnson, Juan Rivera, Brad Halsey, Dioner Navarro and $10+ million dollars for these four players from Arizona. Essentially, that’s all it boils down to.
I guess, if you want to count Randy’s contributions to the final standings of the Yankees the last two years, and be happy about it, you could do that. In the end, it’s come down to Cashman fixing what he feels was a bad mistake on the organization’s half in the first place.
If you look at what the Yankees gave up for the Unit, and what they’re getting back after being no better for time spent, it’s a solution to an earlier mistake, not a good deal.
A good deal would have been to never get involved with RJ (just like I don’t want Clemens back in the AL East), and keep the prospects you had to begin with.
Oh well, hindsight is 20/20.
On the physical side – has anyone heard (other than RJ saying that he felt good) what the chances are he actually passes the physical.
And until the Yankees actually make a trade for a pitcher, the real value of this transaction can’t be realized. If that trade never takes place, this is a questionable thing for NY to do for this year anyhow. Unless they feel that Karstens or Rasner is just as good, or some combo of them can replace his production, this move isn’t a great idea.
Take it from a guy that sat through last year’s Boston rotation, trading away what you think isn’t a big deal isn’t always the best idea.

There is an element of risk in any trade. It’s possible that RJ rebounds in ’07 and the Yanks struggle to fill his spot in the rotation, whilst the players the Yanks get in return end up contributing nothing.
Even if that (the worst-case scenario) is the case, it’s a short-term downside.
I do not think RJ will pitcher particularly well next year. I figure there is at least some small chance that one of the guys in this trade might contribute something of value (that’s whatcha call low expectations, folks). Finally, I think the Yankees are well-positioned to fill out their rotation w/o RJ. I won’t be so arrogant as to assert that the Yankees have a “surplus of pitching” or any such nonsense, but I think they will be able to muster up 4-5 capable major-league starters at any given time next year. And that’s all I can really ask for.

Love the Rocket, sick of the drama too though. Let’s rock with what we have for now. Pavano and Igawa will be the 4-5 and if that doesn’t work make a trade before July 31st. I think everyone will be pleasantly surprised with Pavano….have some faith…

but I think they will be able to muster up 4-5 capable major-league starters at any given time next year. And that’s all I can really ask for.
Please don’t take this the wrong way, because it applies to the team I root for as well, but our teams, with their budgets, should be able to do better than just mustering up 4-5 “capable” starters. If that’s all you ask for, then you don’t ask for much from your front office. At worse, we should expect 4-5 slightly more than capable starters, as long as injuries don’t take a strong hold of a team. At that point, it’s literally a crapshoot (see the Sox last year).
Maybe I am just splitting hairs semantically, though.

It’s a double edged sword for the Yankees. If they “buy” 5 front line starters we are the evil empire. If we do what most of baseball does and search for a 4/5 in spring training our front office is falling short. Who knows if Unit is healthy and even if he was how effective will he be? Plus you got something for him, when he walked after this season what would we have?

Cashman has undoubtedly been among, if not the, most effective GM this offseason, at least on paper. Remember that he didn’t really have power until the 2006 season, and many of his signings were direct orders from the Boss himself, or at least his Tampa conglomerate.
Getting rid of Sheffield, Wright, and Johnson (withOUT paying much of their salaries) for a boatload of legit prospects, signing Mussina to an absolute steal of a deal (arguably the best signing this offseason), and getting Pettitte to a short-term contract.
If you told me Cashman was going to do that all in one year, I probably would have told you to please, stop dropping acid and come back to reality. But now the reality is that Cashman is, seriously, one heck of a GM.

It’s a double edged sword for the Yankees. If they “buy” 5 front line starters we are the evil empire.
Maybe so, but I am looking at it exclusive of name-calling. Teams like the Sox and Yankees, with between $3.8M-$5.2M per 40-man roster spot (that’s the current average for our two teams) should be able to do better than cobble together a back-end (#4/#5 starters) of a rotation from 4 or 5 farmhands and unknowns, one would think. It could work out, that’s for sure. And I know that MLB is thin on starting talent, but still, wouldn’t we all be reasonable to expect more, considering the resources. I am not saying that every spot should be filled with supreme talent, but rather that total vacancies in the lineup should be troubling. With the Sox, how can they be spending $150M+ at the moment and still not have a proven closer or even a formerly-proven closer in the mix? (Papelbon excluded for the moment). It cuts both ways; I am not trying to pick on the Yanks here. It’s interesting (though not necessarily shocking) to me that our two clubs can spend like they do and still have big holes in their makeup.
(Again, forget about injuries to a staff – it’s nearly impossible to have 7 quality starters ready in case guys go down. That’s not the depth I am thinking about.)

Remember that he didn’t really have power until the 2006 season, and many of his signings were direct orders from the Boss himself, or at least his Tampa conglomerate.
This is another one of those arguments that is always moving around. First, Cashman is a great GM – look at all those titles! Then he’s not a great GM because, well, it’s not that he isn’t a great GM it’s rather that it’s impossible to prove that he’s not a great GM because Florida has all the power. Then he’s a great GM because he’s apparently been given the power, and look at what he’s done! Cashman is immunized this way. That’s nice for him, I suppose.

Point taken SF, but why are Pavano and Igawa question marks in your eyes? They have 5 SP’s, plus Hughes, Sanchez, Kennedy, Clippard not that far off. Maybe my pinstripe colored glasses are in the way but I don’t see this as a hole.

I think the boys in Queens would kill to have the SP issues the Yankees have.
Never Waivered, Ca$hmoney is the man.

but why are Pavano and Igawa question marks in your eyes?
Jeez, do I have to write anything about Pavano?! I think I’ll leave him to Nick, who seems to have a healthy obsession with Pavano’s performance and trustworthiness.
As for Igawa, I guess he’s a question mark in the same way Dice-K is one, or a hot prospect might be one. And with Kei, he’s a lesser prospect than Dice-K (who, to me, qualifies as a ?). So to me, that’s a question mark. Is that too wacky?

Who said Cashman was a great GM because of the titles? I’ve heard most of the credit (deservedly or not) going towards Torre. Cashman isn’t immunized, now he actually is doing what he feels best, every move he makes will reflect back on him. Not George, not Tampa, him. Please tell me when such a great move was made by the Yankees before the Bobby Abreu trade. Or when the Yankees ever made such a drastic change (for the better) in their offseason tendencies.
My view is that now that Cashman actually does have power to do whatever he wants with the organization, he instantly makes it better. Remember how the Yankee farm system was one of the worst in the majors? Dioner Navarro the Yankee’s top prospect? Now someone even ranked it sixth. I’ll take the recent history, and the circumstances, and say that Cashman is most definitely one of the better GMs out there.

I think the boys in Queens would kill to have the SP issues the Yankees have.
By May, they may be envying the Royals…

What you will actually get from Pavano or Igawa is an unknown, fine. But to me a question mark is a hole….There’s no hole.
Is it opening day yet?

Hey, I am not saying that this offseason doesn’t represent a change in the organization’s tendencies, but who do you think is telling Cashman what to spend? This is a symbiotic relationship, and a complex one. It’s probably never been all Tampa, and it’s probably not all Cashman now, either. To think that the financial advisors of the team aren’t giving Cashman parameters is quite unrealistic. He’s done a very good job, it would appear, fulfilling moves within these parameters, and even as an SF it’s ok to admit he’s been shrewd and smart. But he doesn’t work in a vacuum. So no pretending.
As for other good pickups by the Yankees pre-Abreu, there weren’t any that come to mind? That’s amazing, considering the team has won like 10 straight divisions or something. Surely he’s done something right that didn’t emanate from the twisted mind of the Boss? Do you think Steinbrenner did all the legwork obtaining Wang, spending countless hours discussing with scouts his experience of local Taiwanese cuisine?

Pavano, Pavano. What are we going to do with you, ya big lug?
There was an interesting article at the Hardball Times a little while ago about the average ERA’s of starters according to their positions in the rotation. What it revealed is that the average #4 and #5 is awful, so perhaps the Yanks’ rotation issues aren’t so dire?

Pavano’s Yankees stint should be the Wikipedia definition of a “hole”. If we put up a YFSF poll, “Carl Pavano: Question Mark or Not Question Mark”, I think I know what would get more votes. Unless by “Not Question Mark” you mean that you just know that he’s going to pull his left buttock muscle driving his Subaru Brat into a tree somewhere.

re: high payroll/question marks in rotations
the only thing that i would mention, sf, is that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of solid pitching out there. virtually none were available as free agents this off season, and few decent pitchers are made available via trade (at a reasonable asking price anyway, further testament to the high demand and low availability).
holes in the lineup? yeah, that is less excusable with the money these 2 teams have at their disposal.
the pitching situation is slow-going. i can wait until they see some ripe, low-hanging fruit to pluck.
i’d rather my team sit on what they have if the other option is trading away youth for another RJ. (unless injuries etc. make such a move the only option.)

Russell – five less wins is a lot, when it might be the difference between in the playoffs and sitting at home..

What it revealed is that the average #4 and #5 is awful, so perhaps the Yanks’ rotation issues aren’t so dire?
That’s a good point. I read somewhere at SoSH that the closer position is comparable; that is – most teams with ninth inning leads win games at a certain historical rate, regardless of the quality of their closer. Lending credence to the idea that not having a stud closer is perhaps immeasurably less valuable than having an average or below-average closer. Which might explain why the Sox have decided that, at least for the month of January, they don’t need one.
But I am not sure I believe that either.

i promise that i am not trying to start a poo-flinging debacle, but the other day i posted a tongue-in-cheek phony quote supposedly given by theo epsteinbrenner, touting pineiro.
i just thought that this was kind of funny. it’s from the herald piece on pineiro:
“Joel was really at the top of the list,” Hoyer said.
wasn’t cordero (and gagne) really at the top of that list?
i’m sure that there will be similar quotes about alberto gonzalez etc., and when they spew forth, feel free to bring them to my attention. i appreciate these things, no matter who says them.

“Coming from Behind: Patterns of Scoring and Relation to Winning
By David W. Smith”
is the article at (in PDF format), in the “Research” category. It examines leads held and blown late in games over the last 73 years, and the statistical occurrences of these situations, closer-independent. It’s very interesting.

Yeah but Wikipedia might want to hold off on that annointment until we see Joel close a few games.
As for the poll I am agreeing with you Pavano = unknown, but not hole.

SF, I admire such statistical analysis, but there’s a part of me that believes that the Yanks aren’t a dynasty with anyone less than Mo in the closing position.

“Joel was really at the top of the list” Hoyer said
You neglect to contextualize. The list that Hoyer was referring to was the Red Sox’ “List of Players Whose Last Names Start with the Letters P-I-N”. So it makes sense that way.

Agreed, YFiB and Nick, which is where my skepticism about not having a closer comes from. But it’s still a very interesting article.

I tend to think the number 4 -5 starter mattering slightly less is accurate based on those are the days you are more likely to have a backup catcher and maybe another starter or two resting. Wright and Chacon was what we had last year and Igawa and Pavano do not seem like a step down if they do what they are capable of doing. Unkowns, yea of course. But I am by no means disappointed that I have an opening day rotation of Pettitte, Igawa, Pavano over RJ, Chacon, Wright. On top of the having the potential of a karstens, rasner, proctor with the ability to step up if need be.

But now the reality is that Cashman is, seriously, one heck of a GM.
Again, let’s see what happens. In reality, Cashman has traded away two legit guys in the rotation, and what many of you said was the most feared bat in the AL when healthy. He got prospects in return, and that’s it.
If NY crashes and burns this year, will the praise of this new “addition by subtraction” philosophy still going to hold water?
I’m just saying that Cashman has done some pretty interesting things this offseason that could undoubtedly come back and bite him. What if Sheff has another MVP year like two years ago? What if Wright wins 15 games while NY struggles with Karstens getting hammered?
I’m just saying that being called “one heck of a GM” before anyone takes the field is more than slightly too soon.

“If NY crashes and burns this year, will the praise of this new “addition by subtraction” philosophy still going to hold water?”
yes. it won’t be ca$hman’s fault.
…it will surely be alex rodriguez’s.

Brad you are giving Cashman a lose lose situation. He has already aquired Abreu and won the division last year with his moves. (I can think of some GMs who did not do the same last year) We won the divison with 2 power outfielders going down and crap pitching from our 2,4,5 (RJ, Chacon, Wright) Did the Angels have any worse of a season because they cut Jeff Weaver and then he went on to win a world series. Actions that happen after matter little. Cashman status should be based on how the team performs (division champs in 2006), and how the prospects turn out or turn into.

On another note: Given the money both of our respective GM’s bring to the table, neither can hardly be called into mensa meetings based on their decisions. When you build playoff teams year in and year out with Twins or A’s money, well, then credit should be showered.
Our GM’s have an endless supply of cash, an endless supply of scouts, an endless supply of assistants and other resources that help them make their hundred million dollar signings. When either guy trades away all-stars for prospects while picking up part of the salaries, it can’t be considered a brilliant move.

Absent a trade later this offseason, is it possible that Cashamn quietly is doing this year what the Sox FO said they were doing last year — taking a year off, so to speak. Staying competitive, sure, and this is a competitive team, but building up the system, waiting for better free agents, letting top prospects develop and then using that to build a better dynasty for the years to come.

Seth, I’m hardly giving him any situation. I clearly said that the moves “could” bite him. Nowhere did I say they definitely would. It could work out to be great, or it could be a terrible move. All I’m saying is that it’s too soon to pass the keys to the city for the moves. It is highly possible that it turns out bad for him for at least this year.
You don’t agree?

While I agree with your basic premise, brad, you do paint a very rosy picture of what cash traded: two legit starters, and the most feared bat in the AL when healthy. A more accurate assessment would be: a 43 year old pitcher recovering from back surgery; an oft injured starter who could barely give you 5 inn a start, and a 39 yr old hitter whose swing is all about his wrists coming back from a serious wrist injury.

I think we’ve beaten that trade to death, Seth. I didn’t like it at the time. Epstein says it was a mistake, so I don’t see the point there. The Sox clearly went into last season at least intimating that making the playoffs — while always a goal — would have been something of a bonus.

FWIW, I wonder how those rates differ in the playoffs. If a closer like Mo can give you a save rate of, say 85 percent versus 75 percent, that becomes much more important over 10 games than over 162. That additional game or two could be the difference in a series.

” that becomes much more important over 10 games than over 162. That additional game or two could be the difference in a series.”
Well said. Spot on.

“. The Sox clearly went into last season at least intimating that making the playoffs — while always a goal — would have been something of a bonus.”
This, however, is hard to buy, in light of the beckett trade.

If this is a ‘year off’ for the Yankees, boy would I love to see what a competitive team would be like.

“that becomes much more important over 10 games than over 162. That additional game or two could be the difference in a series.”
Agreed. This is also true for postseason starting pitching. Which is why I like Pettitte as the number 3 over RJ.

Regarding SF’s point regarding closers and 4th/5th starters, the key difference to me is the postseason. 4th/5th starters are important during the regular season, but far less important during the playoffs. The 5th starter shouldn’t pitch at all, except in a blowout. Whereas the closer becomes more important than ever. This is why Mo matters more than [insert back-end starter here].
If you were running a team that was on the playoff bubble… a team for whom simply making the playoffs would be a victory, then one could certainly argue that having a decent back end of the rotation matters more than overpaying for a “proven closer.” The Yankees are not that team, however.
The 4th/5th spots in the Yankee rotation will be filled by (barring further FO activity) some combo of:
I chuckled bitterly as I typed Pavano, believe me. I seriously doubt he throws a single major-league inning for the Yanks again, but it’s possible, so he’s in there. Igawa I think will get a shot, and I’m ok with Karstens/Rasner as the 5th man to open the season.
As the season goes on, Hughes becomes a possibility (Clippard less so, but possible), as does, of course, the Rocket Man. Though I think that if he comes back to the rivalry, he will go back to the Sox.

NY Post said that Clemens didn’t like RJ, and now with RJ gone, it’ll be shocking (to them, I guess) if Clemens doesn’t come back.
I’ll believe it when I see it, but ya, as long as you make the playoffs, 4-5 doesn’t matter so much. Unless your season is on the line and you’re forced to put up Jaret Wright..

brad, you do paint a very rosy picture of what cash traded:
There’s nothing rosy about it, Andrews. Did he trade away two starters who were in the Yankee rotation last year? Check. Did he trade away a big bat. Check. Did he get nothing more than prospects in return, while still paying partial salaries in return? Check. Listen, we could beat this to death over the status of all the players involved, but for now it’s nothing more than bias opinions. If we break it down to the facts, remove the bias, it is what it is. Trading away ML players for prospects. It’s not a bad thing to do for any organization, but ones like NY and Boston do NOT have the patience to wait and see what works out in the end. Maybe you do, but most don’t. Logically, if you’re hoping that some combo of Karstens and Rasner are going to win 17 or 20 games in NY next year, I think it’s a big stretch. Neither is that good, but should benefit from a Sheffield-less offense, which brings me to my next point. If X person is going to call that Sheffield deal a good one, it’s another stretch. When healthy, Sheffield is a great hitter with enormous HR and RBI potential. That deal was made solely to keep him out of Boston, which is exactly where he would have run to for the cash. My two cents worth is that Cashman did not WANT to trade away a plate monster like GS for prospects, so calling a good deal before we see how the numbers pile up is premature.
I’m not saying that it’s bad or good for now, but when you look at what’s been lost in comparison to what’s been gained, I don’t see the advantage to the Yankees. It may turn out that way if a trade does indeed take place, but until that time, it’s totally up in the air. The soup to nuts version is that the Yankees have lost 350 IP and 30 or so wins from their rotation, and what probably projects to 25 or so HR and 100RBI from the lineup. In return, they’ve gotten absolutely zero wins, zero HR, and zero RBI in return. It’s hard to call it a good deal when you look at the numbers.
Will it work out? I don’t know. But I do know that Cashman has work to do. As a Red Sox fan, that Rotation has not looked that bad since, well, I can’t remember when.
Nobody will be happier than me if this is what they show up to Florida with.

But, Brad, Sheff played less than a month for the Yanks last year. You have to contextualize that trade. There was no room for him on the team. You can’t really say that trading Sheff will prove regrettable. You can say that about the Unit trade if the rotation is injury-riddled and mediocre.

Also, the money for Wright’s deal is how much it would’ve costed the Yanks to drop him. So in some respect, the prospects were “free”..
It’s actually pretty amazing, in retrospect, that we still won 97 games missing Matsui and Sheff. And still won 17 games for a terrible RJ.
And if trading RJ brings Clemens (at the very least, the money to bring Clemens) then the prospects are “free” too!
I guess it depends on how you want to look at it..

Nick. I understand what you’re saying, but you have to assume that Sheffield will be at least 70% of his normal self. Which equates into a pretty good player. If he doesn’t play at all and puts up zero numbers, then you can call the trade a great one, because that’s exactly what you’re getting out of prospects.
If Sheffield plays regularly, he’s a force to be reckoned with. Period. I’m trying to not look at this in a Red Sox V. Yankees point of view, but rather a logical sense. If Sheffield is back to 100%, and Abreu goes back to his Philly ways, this deal is a bad one.

my secret identity revealed again!
Yeah, sometimes I think of using that as a means of pointing out your differing opinions when you need to offer legitimate argument, but then I fear you’d get ahold of my SoSH name…hahahahaah.

“Abreu goes back to his Philly ways, this deal is a bad one.”
I’ll take the Philly version of Abreu. It’s pretty good even if certain Philly fans didn’t appreciate it.

I seriously don’t think you can call the Sheffield trade bad at all. There was absolutely no place on the team for him. He can’t play first base, and he’s not much of an outfielder. Who would be benched for him to play? Matsui? Abreu? Giambi? When would Melky ever get to play?
There was absolutely no room for Sheffield on the team once the Yanks traded for Abreu. Given their position, that the Yankees got the Tigers’ top pitching prospect and two lower-level but highly touted relief prospects, without paying any of Sheffield’s salary is amazing to me. That was probably my favorite deal of the three. Jaret Wright’s coming in close second because even if someone does worse in the #4 spot, at least they’ll be replaced. Much better than Wright giving 5 innings of agonizing baseball day in and day out.

30 Wins lost from their rotation??
You really like Jaret Wright Huh? Losing Jaret Wright is a loss?? Please that guy did more harm then good. 5 Innings McGee, Good Riddance. Our bullpen thanks him for going elsewhere.
The same folks that are crticizing this move are the same folks that would have questioned Unit’s effectiveness. “He’s not a #1, he’s washed Up.” You can’t have it both ways.
“I don’t know. But I do know that Cashman has work to do.”
You have some set…Cashman has assembled an All-Star at every position except 1B. He has built up a glaring weakness (the Bullpen) and filled the farm system with talent.
Yes, you have a MUCH better staff on paper. BUT (and here comes the dead horse) no closer and quite possibly the 3rd best offense in the AL East.
And your right the Sheffield deal wasn’t a good one it was a GREAT one. Sheff, Unit, Kevin Brown and so on and so on all the cancers are gone. What made the sox so darn good in 2004 was Chemistry. What made the Yankees so good in 1998 was Chemistry. Ask the NY Giants about pure talent. Or call the Tuna and ask him how TO’s talent is benefiting his team. Remember the most talented has not always won the WS over the past few seasons. 2003 the Yankees were the favorites, 2004 Cardinals were the favorite (Just ask Dennis Leary who did a commercial on FOX saying “It doesn’t matter who wins the AL, nobody is beating the Cards”) 2006 I was in Vegas and I know the Cards weren’t even CLOSE to being the favorites and how did that turn out?

brad, you’re completely overlooking the health issues. RJ & GS aren’t the players they were even a year ago. Both are coming back from serious injuries at an age where complete recovery is anything but a sure thing. Last year was one of the few seasons in Wright’s career when he didn’t spend time on the DL. All are significant question marks.
You’re right when you say only time will tell, but with these moves, the yanks gain a flexibility they haven’t had for years.

“If [sheffield] doesn’t play at all and puts up zero numbers, then you can call the trade a great one, because that’s exactly what you’re getting out of prospects.”
sanchez will potentially pitch in the bigs this year. he’s a legit prospect. if not this year, than ’08. if not with the yankees, he’ll be traded for someone else.
…there will be some return on the trade, it is just too soon to tell how much it will effect the yankees and when.
i’m splitting hairs.

from the latest klapisch article at
Whatever the reason, Johnson was unhappy enough to look daggers at Johnny Damon last August when the outfielder tried to rally the slumping Yankees. In the middle of the clubhouse, Damon shouted to the whole team, “Come on, you [expletive]. Wake up!” From across the room, Johnson stared coldly, so unnerving Damon that he later asked a club official, “Did I do something wrong?”
…(I)t’s clear no one will miss him. One employee said, “Randy was the kind of guy who, if you asked him, ‘How’s it going?’ he’d stare you down and say, ‘What do you mean by that?’ He was the most socially awkward person I ever met around here.”
sounds like a cool guy to hang out with for 8-9 months. “the most socially awkward person…”?!? matsui’s “relieving himself” in the on deck circle, you’ve got rodriguez and his psychological baggage, gary sheffield’s pity parties, george steinbrenner, etc.
…and RJ is the sociopath of the group.
good riddance.

“There’s nothing rosy about it, Andrews. Did he trade away two starters who were in the Yankee rotation last year? Check. Did he trade away a big bat. Check”
He gets Pettite and Igawa. He gets Abreu. Lineup and pitching remain basically the same as last year. And he gets a bunch of prospects to boot.

not literally. hideki has a well publicized and enthusiastic appreciation for adult “reading” and video materials. supposedly he is a “collector” and shares his vast library of such things with the hoardes of reporters that follow him around.

Abreu contributed more to the Yanks offense last year than Shef. Granted, Sheff is probably a whole lot scarier.. but hopefully Abreu is finding his 25-30HR stroke again. If nothing else, he keeps leading the league in balls per plate appearance, and that’s fine by me..

Is it truly awful being a YFIB? I have been a visitor many times, but never a full time resident and it was awful! Wearing my Yankee hat through town was like….well I can’t think of any PC comparisons, but you get it….

Trisk: if you stick your hand on the range, expect it to be burnt. I know it’s bad, but that’s the way it is.

Just to clarify, Boston is AWESOME, it’s the baseball team I don’t like. The city is great.
Didn’t want to start an uproar!

Oh I don’t mind being burnt…not an issue. This coming from a guy who wore a Yankees jersey with the numbers “1918” on the back in the bleachers at Fenway 2 years in a row…I just couldn’t imagine it on a daily basis.
FYI- If anyone wants to purchase said “1918” jersey let me know…Had it custom made, real smart investment!

t, i wear my yankees gear and i take heat for it. it isn’t unbearable. if it was, i could always stop wearing it. (which really isn’t an option.) i play in a hardball league every summer. there i am known as “yankee.” it definitely took a while for people to warm to me. longer than usual. (i’m kind of a jerk.) but honestly, all of my friends while i was growing up in upstate NY were sox fans. (i don’t know why.) i’m used to it.
it is probably similar to being a SFINY.
the most annoying thing is the media coverage of baseball. but i can handle that.

I live in Boston…granted I live on a college campus, where there are many more Yankee fans than you’d expect, say, in a regular Boston neighborhood. It’s not unbearable, just realize that people are going to look at you weird, or give you daggers, or tell you how, again, Ortiz is the epitome of baseball and A-Rod isn’t fit to lick his shoes.

i have no problem with ortiz. i love the guy. i was threatened when i announced my plans to have an “ortiz 34” yankee shirt custom ordered from, though. i thought it would confuse more than enrage.
evidently not.

YFIB so glad it’s not an option!
I went to College in CT, which is like Mass/Boston lite, so I understand the whole friends aspect and funny looks.
You guys ever go to the Eagle Deli??

Eagle Deli is where they have that Redunkulous burger and fry eating record….Went there in 2003 tried to break the record and name the sandwhich the “DJ.” They said if you break the record you get to name it….

“tell you how, again, Ortiz is the epitome of baseball and A-Rod isn’t fit to lick his shoes.”
History has provided you with ample material to combat those attacks, Andrew. I know I’m telling Noah about the flood here, but it’s fun to say anyway.

if the yankees want to protect the value of these top tier prospects they’re stockpiling, they should keep them out of the AAA allstar game.

sf rod, how much mileage do you think you can get out of 1 bad outing by hughes?
Not much, but when you consider that it was the only time all year that he faced good hitters, in a chance to shine, it could very easily reflect his inability to handle the pressure of the situation. That’s probably not the case, but when he’s only faced the division’s best once, it’s hard to not judge his performance. It’s difficult to judge any prospects ability to make the jump, but when they’re give chances to showcase themselves, it’s hard to not frown on them when they do exactly the opposite.
Let’s just face it, this kid is good, but he absolutely should not be faced with the daunting task of getting big leaugers out this year. Until he proves he can get the best guys in his own division out, he needs more time.
See – Hansen.

i happen to like boston the city too, and fenway park…i lived most of my life in upstate ny and ct, and had the opportunity to visit boston for business and pleasure a few times…i’m sure i missed a lot of the sites, but the history, charm, and food [love that seafood], make it one of my favorite places…
as for the rj and sheff trades, we’ll have to take a wait and see attitude given that the yanks take was prospects…you could argue that the chances of one or more of those prospects making a difference in the ml is the same as the chances rj and sheff have to recover from their injuries and battle age problems…the yanks got some salary relief and some trading chips for guys that just didn’t seem to fit in anymore…

If Hughes dominates AAA like everyone is expecting him to, then there’s no reason to keep him in the minors. And there’s more reason to think that he of all people could handle it better than, say, Steven White or Tyler Clippard.
Also remember that rookie relievers should have a more difficult time than rookie starters. They are immediately put into pressure situations where your job is to protect a lead, or at least keep your team in the game. A starter can shape his game from the beginning.
I don’t expect a perfect game in Hughes’ first major league start. I don’t even expect 6 innings. Pitchers need time to adjust, and Hughes will too. He stumbled a bit in his first few starts in AA, but he quickly adjusted and dominated from then on. I think we can trust Hughes’ ability to adjust to better hitting more than others who have struggled longer.

I hope the yanks continue to resist the urge to rush hughes. Since so much of the game is mental (75%, according to Ortiz on last night’s BB confidential) it would be a shame to destroy the kid’s confidence needlessly.

Anyway fellas have a great weekend. I am off to prepare for Sunday’s HUGE game with the Iggles. Let’s go GEE-Men.

I have been to one Sox-Yanks games in Yankee Stadium. It was the only time in my life at a ballgame that I have ever felt that I was physically intimidated by fans at a game. For this reason, I have a serious distaste for the place. I have been to several other games there, probably 12 or 13, and have had no other problems, nor seen any serious shenanigans involving Yankees fans trying to intimidate rooters for the visitors of that specific day. At the game I attended, I was wearing nothing indicating that I was a Sox fan, nor was I at all animated in my support of the Sox. I did nothing to draw attention to myself – my allegiances were pointed out by a fan sitting near me who I actually knew in college. From there some other fans took it upon themselves to berate me constantly, among other things. I was also sitting in the most expensive seats in the Stadium, and those who took liberty with my personal space appeared to be a couple of drunk guys from the financial world. This may say more about 20-somethings in the financial world than about Yankees fans. But Yankees fans they were.
Fenway, I am sure, has had it’s share of Boston fans saying or doing stupid things to Yankees fans. But I have been to four Yankees-Sox games with YF himself there and he has always acted the same way I acted at Yankee Stadium, without incident. I am not sure what that means. Fenway has always seemed like a gentler, more beautiful place to watch a game me, even the bleachers (no polite area, that). But I freely admit I am biased.

I think we can trust Hughes’ ability to adjust to better hitting more than others who have struggled longer.
Why? Is there something different about him? Is there something that makes him more capable than other stud number ones to make the jump? I know he’s good at AA, but I also know that there have been an absolute truck load of guys to dominate there, and flame out under the lights. I can name twenty off the top of my head. Listen, he’s good and I acknowledge that, but if the Yankees are smart, they’ll let him stay right where he is until he’s ready, not when they need him. Guys without amazing stuff, like Hughes, get figured out quickly by ML hitters, and if he doesn’t have a strong background of doing well at every level, he’ll stumble when it happens. It’s not speculation, it’s proven. We need to look no further than Zach Duke or John Lester’s struggles at the ML level. Both were just as touted, and just as talented. I know Lester had issues of his own, but he was hardly what we expected of him at the outset. He gave up hits, walked guys, and got really lucky when he needed to.
It takes time, but trust me, I really really hope to see Hughes pitching to guys like Vernon Wells, Manny Ramirez, Ortiz, Haffner, Sheffield, and others before he’s ready. Nothing would please me more than seeing im flame into a mushy mess on the mound and get sent back with his tail between his legs. They should wait, and hopefully someone is smart enough to realize that in they Yank FO.

Never was more scared than right field at Fenway Sox v. Yanks seats. The four guys behind me said that the Yankees had “so many minorities on the team because New York has the Statue of Liberty.” One of them followed that up with somethting about alot of Jews living in NY but another was quick to point out that the “Jews got nothing to do with the Statue of Liberty…” (I swear this is an actual conversation that took place during the starting lineup announccements)
Now…SF…I don’t imagine you are missing that same tooth that they were missing or share those profound sentiments concerning the international make-up of a team like the Yankees; and though I’ve heard some back-woods racism in Yankee stadium before, I’ve never heard anything that struck “the fear” in me like my first two innings at Fenway.
I’m just pointing out that there are dunderheads in every sporting event…whether they’ve paid for the seats or their company has (personally, most of my Yankee fan ffriends hate those business guys who leave early from the games).

Ah, so now Hughes doesn’t have the ‘stuff’ to dominate? That pretty much contradicts any and all scouting reports about him. Hughes is a step and a half above Lester and Duke, if you read the scouting reports. He does EVERYTHING well, and he, literally, has no weaknesses. At the age of 20. I think the only negative thing I read about him is that his changeup is not yet major-league ready. That’s it. Most scouts said he was ready to come up and pitch quality innings in September, when he just turned 20 years old. Thankfully the Yankees didn’t do that, but it tells you something about the kid that stats don’t do justice to (although his stats are superior to Lester’s and Duke’s while being a year younger).
Lester did probably exactly what he was supposed to. His ERA was sparkly at AAA, but he walked way too many, and in only 50 innings. He was not ready, and he ended up walking everyone when he got brought up. No surprise there. His walk rates were never really that good, and he probably won’t succeed until he can get that under control. Same with Duke and his strikeouts. Now I’m no scout, but those are pretty basic attributes. Anyway, Hughes obviously shouldn’t start the season in the major leagues and he won’t, but if he can dominate at AAA, like I said before, then there is no use keeping him in the minors. You’ve got to let a pitcher take his lumps…when he’s ready. And I honestly think Hughes will be ready this year.

SF: The unfortunate truth in my experience is that 1% of the “fans” can ruin an experience at any sporting event regardless of affiliation for the other 99% of the fans _of the game_ in attendance. It sounds to me like you were in a high-probability area of that 1%, and I am sure that there is truth that in some audiences, 1% is far too slight a fraction. In any case, it’s a shame and a sham that some people won’t let one another enjoy the game for the game’s sake, while rooting on their team without taking the rivalry to a place where it doesn’t have to go. There’s a place one can go to when “riding” a visitor (something I have done many a time), and it’s pretty easy to see when it goes past that border. Apologies from the general Yankees populace.

And like I said, I hope so too. I’m so tired of the Hughes spin machine. I’ve seen him twice, and both times he got rocked. Once and for all, I hope everyone buys into the kid’s scouting reports, and brings him up to the ML. In fact, I hope he makes the team right out of ST. Finally, we’ll get to see the sure fire HOFer, absolute ace that is the phenom.

Brad, you must have seen 2 out of his 3 career starts that could qualify him as being ‘rocked’. Too bad you couldn’t see the playoff game against Portland where he struck out 13 in 6 innings. That’s what ah’m talkin’ ’bout.

brad, we don’t know how good hughes will be until he gets to the ml…until then, it’s conjecture…some of it’s hopeful, some of it’s hype, but some of it’s based on the young man’s raw ability to throw a baseball…if we knew when and how that talent would peak so we could bring him to the ml at just the right time, we could all be crackerjack gm’s…you’re right, he may be the guy you saw get rocked, after all the odds are against even the most ballyhooed prospects…but, even roger clemens got rocked once or twice [and i know he’s no clemens, i’m just saying that even the best have bad outings]…
i’d like to join ag in apologizing for rude, threatening yankee fans…i hope sf’s realize that the jerks are a small portion of our fanbase, and certainly don’t speak for or represent the good ones in any way…i’ve enjoyed all of my live-game experiences in y-stadium and fenway…good-natured banter was part of the fun, but it never got out of hand…

See, that’s why I don’t go to Yankee stadium. I never have and I never will. As much as a baseball fan as I am, and trust me I do love baseball, I’ll never contribute a single dollar to Steinbrenner or the crowds there. I know it sounds bad, and I’ve been to Shea plenty, but they’ll tear down Yankee stadium, and with it will go memories I never had a desire to have.
I have this theory. People should be left alone while at a game, but the reality is that they aren’t. I’ll admit to being one of those hecklers or hat knockeroffers, and I regret those days, but when you walk into Philly you don’t wear a Giants Jersey. It’s that simple. If you want to be left alone or not have your bell rung, don’t bring that attention to yourself.
If you really want to cheer for your team and wear the jerseys and hats – go to home games. Otherwise, deal with the drunken stupidity of either place.

You should really go once before it gets torn down. Along with Fenway and Wrigley, it’s among the oldest (and best) baseball parks. Even if you hate the Yankees with a passion, stadiums like Yankee Stadium, Fenway, Wrigley go beyond stupid rivalries. They are baseball incarnate, and letting your hatred of a man or fans or a team get in the way of that is something you’ll regret down the road.

Yeah, I’ve thought about that Andrew. I just can’t do it. Maybe if someone gave me free tickets, I’d do it. But no way do I give my money to it. I live fifty minutes or so away, and I just can’t bring myself to do it!

Well, I for one ‘overcame’ my Sox dislike to watch David Ortiz hit his last two homeruns of the season vs. the Devil Rays.
Of course, getting the tickets for $15 each had a lot to do with it. But really I wanted to see a baseball game, and where better in my vicinity than the Pahk.

good thing hughes is a step and a half ahead of all other prospects, because he’s a step and a half away from being a major leaguer. if he got exposed facing AAA players, what makes you think he’ll contribute this year at a major league level? 12-6 between tampa and trenton might sound great heading into columbus, but you honestly believe that he’s gonna make a difference in the bronx. overlook the shelling he took in the allstar game, overlook the shelling he took during spring training last year, get him up to the bigs asap. project him into the ’07 rotation. give him the untouchable tag when teams call. the sox did the same with hansen, but no sf’s are expecting him to be a savior this/last year. no sf’s are touting masterson as the closer for the big club in ’07, even though he tore it up at a lowell. it was horrible to watch what the sox did the psych of cla before he was ready.
keep hurrying him to the bigs. talk him up when clippard, karstens, and rasner hit a rough stretch.
……you can’t even think about a possible starting 5 in ny without wondering how different it’d be with lidle on it.

“…a lifetime of absolutely unadulterated despise…”…say you don’t mean it to that extreme, brad…how can you have fun that way?…

Having said that, Hughes is nearly universally regarded by prospect gurus and other such analysts as the top pitching prospect in the game, or the #2. This is not something that some Yankee bloggers have created.
So if the Yankee fans are wrong about Hughes, they will not be alone.
I’m trying to remain guardedly optimistic.

.. Lidle was a FA and had no intentions of resigning with the Yanks..
And also, you can say that about anybody..

I can honestly say from my 10 or so trips up to Fenway, i have only had a handful of bad experiences. I dont wear too much of my Yankee garb, usually a Mantle tee (which should by all means command a quasi-mutual respect if not avoid all out confrontation). I do get jabbed at verbally of course, its to be expected, and i’ve seen many many physical standoffs from opposing fans at virtually every level of the Park whether people i am with are involved or not. Curiously enough, the worst, or most tasteless, occured between two sox fans i was with and a Sox fan family. They got on my back for the Mantle shirt and instead of really giving it to me, they decided to lob as much gum, food and beer as possible at the two sox fans who treated me to the game. Mother, father and children all played catapult for the various foodstuffs and constantly covered these two sox fans i was with in nasty. My hosts werent wearing Yanks garb obviously as home fans, but they assumed (even after a full on shouted explanation of their sox association) that they were Yank fans. Bizarre to say the least but it was disgusting to me that they would go that far and ignore the pleading to quit. It hasnt kept me from Fenway, but it left a serious tarnish on fenway for me and a constant wonder as to some of the aforementioned 1% / role models for the kid.

Rob’s right. Prospects are prospects are prospects, but Hughes and Homer Bailey of the Reds are in a class unto themselves right now. Still doesn’t mean YFs should (or will neccessarily) expect him to deliver on the promise next season in NY.

one word keeps popping into my head about prospects, with no ml experience, as well as those with relatively little ml experience: “potential”…time and time again you hear folks say stuff like: …if so and so lives up to their “potential”, then you’ll see…or, so and so had a rough year, but has had success before, so the “potential” is there…
can anyone guess who i’m talking about?: beckett, dm, lester, hanson, wily mo, and so on…when yf’s have questioned or had reasonable doubts about these guys, the response from sf’s has been to say that they are wet blankets or naysayers, and shouldn’t ignore the “potential” these players have…and that’s only fair…the hughes fans are only asking sf’s to return the favor and acknowledge that the guy has “potential”…

I beg to differ (as usual!). With Major Leaguers with a track record (like Beckett), it’s easier to expect certain performance levels. With minor leaguers, it’s very difficult to have confidence that they will be difference-makers. I do not recall SFs (again, I hate the generalizations) feeling total confidence or cockiness about how much they would contribute. From my standpoint, I was very excited to see the young players on the roster, but I didn’t expect them to be difference-makers. Papelbon blew away expectations. As has been stated before on this site (in threads I have penned), I think it’s refreshing for the Sox to actually bring in some homegrown talent as opposed to trucking in vets off the waiver wire or through free agency. But my expectations for Lester, Hansen, et al were different, and I think reasonably so, from someone like Beckett. As for WMP, I don’t think there were any SFs who were under delusions that the guy was a complete player. But he did darn well in the role that he played.
As for Hughes, I differ somewhat from other SFs at this site who seem to think that he’s an extreme question mark. He’s not. He’s a much smaller question mark than almost any minor leaguer, based on his stats and what I have read. But look at Scott Kazmir, about as sure a thing as there could have been. He’s good, yes, but he struggled his first year in about 1/3 to 1/4 of a season, and got hurt in his third. These young players take time to develop. Hughes is a puppy. To think he can be a contributor is reasonable, and relatively soon even. To expect lights-out performance puts tremendous pressure on a player who may not do that for 2, 3, or even 4 years. If Hughes is one of the best pitchers in the AL in 3 or 4 years (an eternity nowadays) that would be a tremendous accomplishment.

actually sf, i don’t think we disagree all that much…we’re both loyal to our teams, but we both try to see both sides of an issue, and that’s all we can ask of each other…fair play…my example about “potential” was merely to point out that some sf’s [not you] may be overlooking the “potential” hughes has, while simultaneously arguing the potential of the younger sox…i’ll be the first to admit the odds are that he will not make it, or will be just an average ml pitcher…the odds are against most prospects, but he arguably [and on this, i think you agree], he has more potential that the average prospect, and that’s what’s exciting…i also agree with you that he should not be rushed into a pressure packed role…he needs more seasoning at the lower levels…i wouldn’t mind seeing him in a sept call-up relief assignment with nothing on the line…that might be fun…

Brad despises the Yankees? Get out!!! I would have never guessed, his posts are always free favoritism. Yankee Stadium is not as bad as you would imagine. Much more laid back then ever before. Just don’t sit in RF bleachers with the Bleacher Creatures and your more then safe.
What’s wrong with wearing your jersey at the Linc?? Go Gee-Men.

i agree with your opinion of bernie’s musical endeavors – just couldn’t bring myself to say it on that thread, out of respect for one of my favorite yanks.

Go Gee-Men.
Trisk – this is no joke: I have a very good friend that is a big Yank/Giants fan. He drove to Philly to see a game, and parked in a nice safe spot there (paid lot). Now, he’s not stupid, so nothing he wore said Giants on it, but he did have one of those liscense plate wrap-arounds that said NY Giants on it, and a sticker on his window that had the Yankee intertwined NY.
When he got back to his car, people had written terrible things all over his car in bright red lipstick, poured beer on it (and what appeared to be BBQ sauce), it stank of urine, and a huge Eagle was drawn (poorly too) on his back window with a black sharpie.
Eagle fans are the absolute worst (and I’ve been to a Broncos-Raiders game). His car was a total wreck, and he had to drive all the way back to Mystic with it like that. On some level, it was pretty funny to see the car, but it definitely went above and beyond anything I’d ever seen before.

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