Tuesday, December 21, 2010

From Haren And Lee To...Um....

  • Mark.....Prior?

I'm only half-kidding when I say that.

The Yankees response to their needs in the starting rotation will not be answered by Mark Prior; I think everyone----the Yankees, the media, the fans and Prior himself----know this.

Even with that, we've come a long way from the heady days of mid-summer when following the Mariners backing out of an agreed upon deal with the Yankees and double-dealing Cliff Lee to the Rangers, and weeks before Dan Haren was traded to the Angels, there was a prevailing notion that the Yankees were going to go after Haren via trade, get him, and then go after Lee following the season.

They were going to get him as well.

At the time, I thought the plan was ludicrous. Haren is owed a guaranteed $29 million through 2012; if the Yankees were getting Lee as a free agent, they would've had to up their offer significantly from what it was----so significantly that it would've dwarfed what he got from the Phillies. Once you add in C.C. Sabathia's and A.J. Burnett's contracts and the raise coming for Phil Hughes, then the Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera deals, you come to the conclusion that not even the Yankees could do that and stay financially sane.

I doubt anyone thought they'd end up with nothing.

Well, nothing unless you consider Mark Prior to be someone who can provide....something.

I'm not being cruel or sarcastic when I scoff at the notion of the club getting anything of substance from Prior. History has shown that he's not going to stay healthy regardless of his stuff.

So where does that leave the Yankees?

GM Brian Cashman has said that they're "unlikely" to acquire a top pitcher. This is even more stark with the Zack Greinke trade to the Brewers and Ricky Nolasco signing a contract extension with the Marlins.

There's nothing out there.

The Yankees current depth chart in the starting rotation consists of Sabathia, Burnett, Hughes and Ivan Nova.

Venturing into frighteningly new and unfamiliar territory of rejection, the Yankees and their fans are confused and scrambling. They've grown accustomed to being able to purchase whatever they wanted/needed; when someone refuses their money, they have to step back and reassess; move onto Plan B; but Plan B wasn't all that great either with Greinke being considered unsuitable for New York and the pressure of pinstripes.

They have no options other than to wait for mid-season and see which teams might place some pricey and unexpected arms out on the market.

Factoring in the aggression of the Red Sox and White Sox, the Yankees are now in the position of needing----not wanting, needing----Burnett to return to 2008 form (and since he's not a free agent, don't hold your breath).

Like the once wealthy person who looked down upon his contemporaries from a lower class, rather than being above the fray in digging for answers, the Yankees are amongst the rabble without the bounty to go around and the objects of their desires either refusing to take their cash or being sent elsewhere.

A lot can change in five months----backward and forward.

  • Viewer Mail 12.21.2010:

Jane Heller at Confessions of a She-Fan writes RE Pedro Feliciano:

Glad to hear you like the Feliciano signing for the Yankees. Always good to have a guy who will give you innings.

He's actually more of a lefty specialist. The Mets made the mistake of trying him against both righties and lefties and it, um, didn't work.

Justin writes RE Zack Greinke:

You're just plain wrong throughout the article. Greinke was a 5WAR player last year. He doesn't need to bounce back. A transition to the NL will make him even better.

Second, the whole point about facing Pujols in September is kind of moot. It's not like he gets shelled everytime a good batter comes up to the plate because he's scared.

Lastly, the Brewers bullpen morphed as the season went along. Loe, Braddock, Axford is a 7-8-9 inning trio that can stack up to the best.

Don't come at me with WAR when we're talking about more of a mental issue than performance; and he did not pitch up to the standard he set in 2009. His strikeouts were way down and he, bottom line, was on a level with a number 3 starter on a good team. He was the number 1 starter on a rotten team, so it didn't make much of a difference, but now there are actual expectations in a team-concept aside from a talented and frazzled pitcher who's failed to fulfill his potential.

You're missing the point about facing Albert Pujols----the mental aspect has a lot to do with performance and Greinke's mentality is an acknowledged question mark.

Truth be told, I think he's going to do very well with the Brewers, but if you're expecting a Roy Halladay-level of dominance, you're deluding yourself.

Speaking of which----Kameron Loe, Zack Braddock and John Axford "stacking up with the best"? Really?

Bullpen performances are fluctuation, but Loe? Really? Are you expecting him to repeat what he did last season? Good luck there. Braddock walked 19 in 33 innings and his control wasn't much better in the minors. Axford's good. I'd prefer to have an established closer, but they can win with him.

Your expectations appear to be peppered with the enthusiasm from a big acquisition. Understandable, but mistaken.

Joe writes RE the Red Sox:

Everyone has games where they score double-digit runs. The offense was 2nd even with all of the injuries, which you mentioned in your first article, but fail to mention now. That is WAY more important than a few offensive "outbursts."

(T)hey didn't expect "too much" from any players. They hoped everyone could hit like they have, and be average or better. Then, the lineup would be really good up and down, but not necessarily *great*

Their 2009 offseason WAS "fine." There 2010 offseason was great. You can't grab great players in every offseason, that is unrealistic.

You try and decipher the intangibles/unknowns (You just did it with Greinke, as you cannot get in his mind, yet try and speak of how he might handle a big game), yet when I do it, you frown upon it. All I did was bring it up as a possibility that Theo was okay with waiting to acquire Gonzalez for 2011, rather than 2010. And any GM knew that they could also add an impact OF for 2011 through free agency. It is a definite possibility that this was Theo's plan.

Joe's bloviating comments are peppered with quotes from yours truly. You can read the entire context here----link.

Where's the "objective analysis" from which your life is based, Joe? All I see here is explosive defense of that which is, at best, arguable. That you happen to be wrong is irrelevant. If this were any other team I was discussing, you'd comment and move on; since it's the Red Sox, you're taking it as a personal affront for reasons that aren't based in logic, but in emotional response.

And all this time I thought you were Spock.

Max Stevens writes RE the new site:

Prince, the new layout looks great. Congrats.

Thank you Max, we're moving up in the world!!!

Jeff at Red State Blue State
writes RE the Cubs and Kerry Wood:

I actually like Kerry Wood coming back to the Chi. As much as I dog the sCrUBS for being... well, dumb... Wood has long been a stand-out in the community and this is a good, cheap PR move if nothing else (I do think he'll help Marmol get a hold of himself... maybe). Wood gives back so much to community and he is a genuinely nice guy. I hope to run into him at Wildfire sometime... maybe I'll even buy him a drink.

I'm amazed he took such a light deal. $1.5 million? It's nothing in today's game; especially for a veteran who did very well with the Yankees and taking into account the dearth of relievers available.
I was on with Sal at SportsFan Buzz yesterday talking about Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford and all the other stuff that's gone on in baseball. Go to Sal's site for the I-tunes link or click The SportsFan Buzz: December 15, 2010 to listen directly.

1 comment:

Matt said...

If I were the Yank's I'd take Derek Lowe off the Braves hands, presumably for little more than his salary commitment. He'd eat innings per usual and with their offense I could easily see him being a 15 game winner. For what it's worth (not much) I was at Fenway this summer and watched Grienke throw a 1-run complete game loss against Clay Buchholz's gem and obviously came away impressed. I think he'd have thrived in NY or anywhere else.