Sunday, December 21, 2008

Marlon Byrd

Well, the "Snyder on the trade block" rumors didn't last long. It appears Arizona is more likely to deal Montero, which doesn't seem like a good idea to me. LH hitting catchers are slightly harder to find, and Montero would seem to be a natural platoon partner for Snyder. Anyway, Peter Gammons was fanning the embers of a Montero to Boston deal, wondering if the Red Sox would be willing to take on Eric Byrne's contract. Interesting concept, similar to what I had proposed in the Helton situation below.

Anyway, back to my favorite topic -- the 2009 Yankee center fielder. I've been digging through as many stats as I can find, and a new contender has emerged -- Marlon Byrd. Byrd's UZR/150 led all CFers in 2008 with a minimum of 400 innings played, and while he won't set the world afire at the plate, he posts a pretty good average, OBP, and a little pop (Marcel projects a .281/.352/.437 line, while Bill James projects .283/.351/.425). Exactly what the Yankees need.

I'm not going to speculate on what it would take to get Byrd from Texas. The Rangers always need pitching, but suggesting Kennedy yet again would be redundant. Cashman, the move is all yours at this point.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Yankees and Diamondbacks to Hook Up?

Some of these posts are obviously pie-in-the-sky type deals, and while there's little chance of seeing them happen, that doesn't mean I don't think both teams would benefit from making the trade.

With that in mind comes word tonight (courtesy of Ken Rosenthal) that the Diamondbacks are looking to make room for Miguel Montero by trading catcher Chris Snyder and bringing in a veteran backup. Interesting, particularly in light of my earlier beliefs that Arizona matched up pretty well with the Yankees in a Cano for Young deal.

How about expanding that just a little? The Diamondbacks are looking for a 2B and some relief help with the departures of Hudson, Lyon, and Cruz. How about ...

Cano, Molina, and Britton for Snyder and Young

Early reports on Posada's recovery seem favorable, but I'd feel a lot better about the situation with Snyder backing him up rather than Molina. Molina is a good backup (and Mussina's personal catcher, no longer needed), but if he gets more than 200 PAs next year, the Yankees are in trouble.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Trade Proposal

Above almost anything else, the Yankees value OBP. The dynasty that was the late 90's was built on a philosophy of making pitchers work, getting on base, and then getting clutch hits. How many times did you hear announcers say the Yankees were experiencing success because they brought an NL style baseball to the AL? It's a model that the Red Sox have adopted (immitation as the sincerest form of flattery) with great success, and one the Yankees have gotten away from lately.

Nick Swisher is definitely a step in the right direction in getting back to those roots. Last year he averaged 4.5 pitches per plate appearance -- by way of comparison, Bobby Abreu (known for his patience) averaged 4.3. One Yankee not known for his patience is Xavier Nady (3.7 P/PA). So where am I going with this?

Colorado is in a bind with the huge contract they have with Todd Helton. Assuming his option year will be declined, he's got three years left on his deal that will pay him $57M. That's awfully stiff for a club that had a 2008 opening day payroll of $68M.

The Yankees are also in a bind with their CF situation, and I've made my case before that Spilborghs is the answer. So here's the deal:

Nady + Kennedy to COL for Helton + Spilborghs + $5M/year

The Yankees shift Swisher to RF, and put Helton at 1B and Spilborghs in CF. Spilborghs still isn't arbitration eligible and would be playing for the minimum, while Helton would be coming over at about 3 years / $42M. And in 3 years (if things go according to plan), Montero ought to be ready for the big apple.

For the Rockies, they save enough to sign Atkins to a long term deal and plant him at 1B, allowing Stewart to take over at 3B. They move Hawpe to LF (where his defense is better hidden), Nady to RF, and still have Taveras/Fowler in CF. On top of that, Kennedy moves to the back end of their rotation and comes on the cheap with some potential upside.

Seems like a win/win type trade that should be done, but probably won't ...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Yankee Front Office Shows Its Incompetence

I'm at a loss. A total and complete loss. There is no explanation that can be provided that would justify the decision made today to not offer arbitration to Andy Pettitte and Bobby Abreu. All goodwill generated with the Swisher trade has been completely flushed down the toilet in a single afternoon.

I'm racking my brain trying to figure out this decision. Best I can tell, the only downside is that you could end up overpaying on one year, non-guaranteed, completely tradable contracts for two players who have already shown they can perform at a high level in a Yankee uniform. Can someone give Cashman a call and let him know that his current rotation includes Hughes, Aceves, AND Kennedy? And that the Mets and Cubs are both looking for LH bats in RF?

Mark my words, Cashman's ego will drag the Yankees down to the bottom of the AL East and all the bullsh!t writers and baseball "purists" will applaud how smart he is for cutting salaries and attempting to win using home-grown talent. Winning #27 with the league's highest payroll is not good enough for him since no one will say he's the smartest GM in baseball.

Bottom line, when you generate the highest revenues, you should have the highest payroll. And if you use the highest payroll in even a semi-intelligent way, the result is championships. Winning a championship with a low payroll brings no more satisfaction than winning one with a high payroll to anyone except Cashman.

Hal, Hank -- surely you both have more sense than this?