Results tagged ‘ MLB Trade Rumors ’

Didn’t see that one coming…

Yeah, but at what price?…

I am bummed…

After years of trade rumors involving Yankees prospect Jesus Montero, I thought he was finally home free and slated to be a member of the 2012 Yankees unless a trade for the seemingly untouchable Felix Hernandez were to materialize.  So, to hear tonight’s news that the Yankees have traded Montero to the Seattle Mariners is a shock since it did not involve the aforementioned King Felix.

I was perusing the MLB Trade Rumors tonight when I saw the blurb that the Mariners were close to acquiring an “young impact hitter”.  Of course, there aren’t too many guys that fit that description and Montero is near or at the top of the list.  I didn’t suspect a King Felix trade since there have been no signals that the Mariners are interested in trading him, so my immediate reaction was the fear of trading Montero for something else.  My fear has been justified as the word has come the Yankees traded Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi, a potential candidate for the starting rotation, to Seattle for pitcher Michael Pineda and minor league pitcher Jose Campos.  I  know nothing about Campos (whether he is a high or mid level prospect or just fodder for the lower leagues).  So, this trade was clearly about Pineda, 22, who made the All-Star Team as a fill-in for Justin Verlander last year during his rookie season.  I recognized that Pineda was a quality pitcher, and I had him on a few of my fantasy baseball teams.

But still, I bought into the hype that Montero was going to be an offensive force.  I recognized that he was a liability at catcher, and that Russell Martin and Francisco Cervelli represent the best catching tandem at the moment until Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez are ready to advance.  To ask a young player to start at DH does seem to be a poor major league decision, but I was looking forward to seeing Montero star in pinstripes.  His bat would have found a good spot in the starting lineup.  Maybe a few years down the road, this trade will look great for the Yankees if Pineda wins the Cy Young or becomes the ace of the staff.  But right now, I am just shocked.  It’s not the type of move that one can embrace or create excitement among the fan base.  I truly would have preferred a short term deal to Edwin Jackson or Roy Oswalt as opposed to giving up young, quality talent.  I also liked Noesi, and knew that he was a viable candidate for the starting rotation.

At the moment, and this could change in time, I think the advantage goes to the Seattle Mariners.  I am assuming that they have the young pitching talent, to go with Noesi, to find a suitable replacement for Pineda in the rotation.  Meanwhile, they get one of the best young bats in the game today.  This takes a little heat off first baseman Justin Smoak so perhaps now he can thrive.  Right now, I rate the Yankees rotation as CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Phil Hughes, and A.J. Burnett.  This means that Freddy Garcia is the pitcher most likely to be cut unless the Yankees can find a home for Burnett.

Maybe he missed pitching to #55…

Okay, after an off-season of solitude, Friday the 13th has just become Yankees Night.  The latest word is the Yankees have signed former Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda.  Based on recent reports, I had expected Kuroda to sign with the Boston Red Sox.  Bobby Valentine’s experience with Japanese players, in my mind, gave the Sox the clear advantage.  Regardless of what transpired and why he decided to come to New York (Russell Martin?), he’s an innings-eater and fits nicely in the back of the rotation.  So, if the news of Kuroda’s signing is accurate, I need to update my starting rotation…CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Phil Hughes, and Kuroda (although an argument could be made for why Hughes should be at the back end of the rotation).  The wild card is Hughes, so do the Yankees keep Burnett for long relief and a potential return to the starting rotation if Hughes falters or do they simply cut their losses?  I suspect that it will be the latter with Freddy Garcia held in reserve.  I also think this virtually confirms that we’ll see Dellin Betances and/or Manny Banuelos in the starting rotation at some point during the season.

My second favorite team is my National League favorite, the Los Angeles Dodgers, so I have to say that I enjoyed the starts I saw from Kuroda in his Dodger days.  He may be older, but he’s a quality pitcher.  He’s not going to shut down the opposition but he’s going to keep you in the game.  I would have preferred Edwin Jackson if no other reason than age (and Jackson’s ability to occasionally be a very dominating pitcher).  But still, it’s hard to find fault with the Kuroda signing.  I’d rather go with Kuroda over Roy Oswalt.  I’ve got to believe that the Yankees figured out the game plan for A.J. Burnett before the events of today unfolded so it’s likely that another deal is forthcoming before pitchers and catchers head for Tampa next month.

The fingerprints of Cash or Hal?…

I always wonder on these types of days if these moves were effected by GM Brian Cashman or if Hank and Hal Steinbrenner got bored and decided to take matters into their own hands.  I am not sure that there’s a move out there that could excite me at this point, but there’s no question the Yankees have a better rotation.  My primary concern still remains a quality backup third baseman for those inevitable A-Rod absences (i.e., trips to the DL).  But now, with Montero in Seattle and Posada on the beach waiting for Old Timer’s Day, who is going to be the DH?  At the moment, it’s a DH by committee with a rotation of A-Rod, Andruw Jones, and others.  It does make one believe that there is a potential acquisition for a veteran hitter in the making.  Bring back Johnny Damon?  It’s certainly within the realm of possibility.

The sleeping giant has awakened…

I know the Yankees objective is to get under $189 million in salary by 2014, but the team is always a sleeping giant.  If the Texas Rangers can come up with $51 million just to talk to Yu Darvish, you know the Yankees are capable of so much more.  It will be interesting to see how the next few weeks unfold.  After a season of inactivity, the Hot Stove League just got warmed up for the Yankees…

–Scott

Ending the Year on a Down Note…


There has been no Yankees news this week as it appears
the team’s focus is on Thursday’s Pinstripe Bowl between Kansas State and
Syracuse…



It always concerns me when I hear that the team cannot
focus on pressing matters when there is a specific focus in another area.  Haven’t the Yankees heard of
multi-tasking?  Instead of worrying about
whether the Wildcats or the Orangemen will win the inaugural New Era Pinstripe
Bowl, I really wish resources were dedicated to finding a pitching staff that
can compete with the Boston Red Sox. 


Johnathan Papelbon  -

Chuck Solomon/SI


As it stands, the Boston Red Sox have to be the clear
favorite to win the AL East so that leaves the Wild Card up for grabs.  There will be no shortage of AL East
competition, without even getting into the other divisions.  Baltimore and Toronto both figure to be
improved, plus there’s no way that you can count out the Tampa Bay Rays.  Maybe in years past, you could pencil in the
Yanks for at least a Wild Card slot, but that’s certainly not going to be the
case in 2011.

I was reading MLB Trade Rumors and saw their column about
Unfinished Business: AL East” and have to admit that the Yankees entry
concerns me:


Yankees: starter, right-handed outfielder. The rest of the Yankees’
offseason centers on
 Andy Pettitte‘s decision, since that will determine whether Brian Cashman has to
pursue a
 Jeff Francis/Freddy Garcia type or rely on Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre. The team will likely add a fourth outfielder who bats right handed
and consider utility infielders and relievers.


At this point, it sounds more and more like Andy Pettitte
will be staying home in Deer Park, Texas for the season.  If that’s the case, any of the above options
spell doom for the Yanks.  I am not
convinced that A.J. Burnett will have a bounce back season so we are potentially
looking at a rotation that features only two (out of five) solid starters in CC
Sabathia and Phil Hughes.  Sorry, but
that’s just not going to get it done against the likes of the Red Sox, Rays,
Tigers, Twins, Rangers, Angels, A’s or even the Orioles. 


Matt Wieters and Brian Matusz - Baltimore Orioles v Texas Rangers

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images


If, somehow, the Yankees managed to get by all of the AL
teams to advance to the World Series, they’d be ousted by the Philadelphia
Phillies, San Francisco Giants, or Milwaukee Brewers. 

I hate to be so doom and gloom when spring training is
still several months away but it is discouraging to see the other strong teams
get stronger while the Yankees wither away. 
Unless you are 23 or 24, time is not your friend.  Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are not going
to magically have their best seasons ever. 
Those days have come and gone. 

I do still think that Andy Pettitte will return although
the odds against it increase with each passing day.  If I was part of the organization for as long
and successful as Andy, it would be very hard to turn down the team’s appeals
for my return.  If they needed me, I’d be
there regardless of the personal sacrifices involved as long as I knew that I
could perform at a high level. 
Therefore, I’d be very surprised to see Andy turn his back on the
organization.  That’s why I think he’ll
give it one more year and then close the book.


Andy Pettitte Alex Rodriguez

AP


Even if Andy comes back, GM Brian Cashman has to do
more.  The setup combo of David Robertson
and Joba Chamberlain does not instill a great sense of confidence based on
their performance last year.  Plus, the
day will come when Mariano Rivera simply doesn’t have it anymore and the team
needs to be prepared.

How do you talk the Florida Marlins into trading Josh
Johnson or the Seattle Mariners out of Felix Hernandez?  I don’t know but that’s what Brian Cashman is
paid for…


cash-wad.jpg


–Scott


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