Monday, November 24, 2008

Cano for DeJesus?

I read a rumor tonight from a fairly legitimate source that a Cano for DeJesus swap was being considered. Surely that talk is coming from the Royals camp, because there's no way on God's green earth the Yankees should make that deal.

I don't have a huge problem with trading Cano, but for DeJesus? He's not even my top choice for CF in '09, and I wouldn't give up Cano for any of the others on my list either.

If I'm trading Cano, it has to be for (1) a pitcher, or (2) a position player with the same kind of upside as Cano (see Young, Chris).

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Matsuzaka to pitch in WBC?

The Boston Herald is reporting that Dice-K intends to pitch in the World Baseball Classic in the spring. From this Yankee fans perspective, that's music to my ears.

I haven't read it elsewhere and no one can say for sure, but I'm not convinced that the Red Sox '08 trip to Japan didn't take something out of them in October. The MLB season is a marathon, and willingly lengthening it in any way just doesn't make sense. Couple that with a couple of trans-Pacific flights, and the impact can only be detrimental.

So, here's to hoping that Japan goes deep into the tournament, and Dice-K adds another 30-50 IPs onto his arm before spring training even opens.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Two more options for CF

The hunt for a CF for 2009 continues, and two other names that seem to be getting some play are David DeJesus and Cody Ross.

DeJesus is signed to a team friendly deal, which, like Spilborghs and the Rockies, means that the Royals don't have much incentive to move him. He is a NY native and gets some extra credit for that from Yankee fans, but I'm lukewarm on him. He's another LH bat, plays pretty good defense, but he's not exactly a lead off hitter and he's not going to bang out many HRs. He would be a good #2 hitter for the Yankees, but that spot is currently occupied, and unless the Yankees plan on shipping out Damon and letting Jeter lead off, I don't believe he will be worth what KC will be asking for him.

Cody Ross would be an interesting acquisition. He hits for power from the right side, plays excellent defense, but he's not exactly the most patient guy in the world. Marcel projects him to hit .266/.331/.485, which would look awfully good from CF when combined with his defense. That said, I'm not sure what FLA would be looking for in exchange. They have Cameron Maybin penciled in as their CF of the future -- would a Kennedy-based deal get him?

My preferences (in order) to fill the vacancy in CF in 2009:

1. Ryan Spilborghs
2. Cody Ross
3. David DeJesus

Sunday, November 16, 2008

CF option?

One of the most overlooked players I continue to come across in searching for the next Yankee CF is Ryan Spilborghs. He can play above average defense in the corners and average defense in CF, he works the count and takes his share of walks, and the guy can hit. And yet, the Rockies have never managed to get him more than 275 ABs.

The Rockies don't have much motivation to move him (don't think he's arbitration eligible until after 2009), so the price might be slightly steeper than if he had a big contract, but surely he could be pried loose with a reasonable offer.

There is much love for Ian Kennedy among Yankee fans (I'm not one of them), and Kennedy's name has come up in connection with Colorado in the past. How about a Kennedy for Spilborghs deal? Let's be honest, Kennedy has slipped considerably on the depth chart, especially if the Yankees are sincere and able to pull off their expected FA signings, and now might very well be the time to deal him. Why not fill a need in the process?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yankees with a bold move

It's being widely reported that the Yankees went after the big fish today with a 6 year $140M deal. While *slightly* higher than most opening offers, I'd imagine it had the desired effect -- Sabathia has been served notice that if he truly wants to play in the NL and on the west coast, he'll be taking less money and years than what the Yankees are willing to put on the table.

Slightly more disturbing is news that the Yankees are also preparing offers for Burnett and Lowe. I guess with the uncertainty around Pettitte and Mussina, Cashman is planning for all contingencies, but I'm not a big Burnett or Lowe fan. Burnett's stuff is electric, but his inconsistency and injury history would be enough to keep me away. And Lowe seems far better suited to the NL (and in front of a good infield defense) rather than NY.

Given Mussina and Pettitte seem content with short term deals, my preferred rotation for '09 would be Sabathia - Wang - Joba - Mussina - Pettitte, with Hughes and Aceves in the 6 and 7 holes. That's pretty strong, and it also offers the Yankees greater flexibility over the next few years for FA or help from the minors.

Think of it this way:

Sabathia v. Beckett
Wang v. Matsuzaka
Joba v. Lester
Mussina v. Lowe (?)
Pettitte v. Wakefield

I like the Yankees chances ...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cashman steals Swisher

Well, I called for a Cano - Swisher trade a couple months ago, then backed off in favor of a Cano for Chris Young deal. Not bad on the Swisher front, but I'd give myself an "F" for the Cano side.

I don't see any way this trade is anything but a huge win for the Yankees, and I'm giving Cashman all the credit in the world for it. Swisher's exceptional patience at the plate fits like a glove with what the Yankees were doing in the late 90's, and I'm not worried about his poor 2008 -- I'd bet he ends up a strong candidate for comeback player of the year next year.

That said, this would seem to indicate that Teixeira is a wish and not a requirement, unless the Yankees can trade Damon or Nady and move Swisher to an OF corner. Nady doesn't fit the Yankee model for displaying patience, and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see him moved in the next few weeks. Having three OFs hit free agency at the same time probably isn't the best idea anyway, and Swisher would fit really nicely into RF for the next few years.

I also think this makes Juan Miranda expendable. What teams would be interested in a Nady - Miranda - prospect package for a CF? Obviously getting greedy, but I'm really, really, really liking a lineup that includes both Swisher and Teixeira.

How about Nady - Miranda - Kennedy to Seattle for Bedard? Ichiro? Maybe Nady - Miranda to the Giants for Rowand?