Why the Yankees Should Tell Upcoming Free Agent Cliff Lee “Fuhgeddaboutit”

by Chuck

Rumors are starting already the Yankees signing soon to be free agent Cliff Lee to a lucrative, long-term contract is nothing more than a formality. 

But do they really NEED him?

Not really. 

Cliff Lee’s a good pitcher, no question. His acquisition last July by Philadelphia from Cleveland helped solidify a shaky starting staff and helped lead Philly to the World Series. After acquiring Lee yesterday, the Texas Rangers are hoping for the same result. 

Lee’s rumored to be looking for a contract that will put him in the same $20 million annually his buddy CC Sabathia is currently pulling down, but is he really worth it?

No chance.

Cliff Lee will turn 32 years of age before the 2010 regular season ends. Cliff Lee has played for four different franchises within the past twelve months. Cliff Lee, despite his recent successes, has had two top ten Cy Young finishes and his upcoming All-Star appearance will be just the second of his career.

Over the course of his nine and a half year career, Lee has won 98 games, with almost half (40) coming over two seasons. There are seven active starting pitchers who are younger than Lee and who have won more career games than Lee, including soon to be free agent Josh Beckett. Lee’s career ERA of 3.84 ranks 18th among active pitchers, which trails behind the likes of Ben Sheets and the much-maligned Barry Zito.

While their surprising performance this season made dealing Lee before the end of the season a virtual no-brainer, the likelihood of Seattle attempting to sign Lee long-term was remote, at best.

That’s because they just signed their own homegrown ace, Felix Hernandez, to a five year, $78 million dollar contract, the tenth most lucrative ever given a starting pitcher and which will keep “King Felix” in a Mariner’s uniform through the 2014 season. The contract will pay Hernandez an average of $19.5 million annually over the final three years, an amount Lee will most certainly look to surpass and the Mariners, not willing to pay someone more than “their guy”, won’t touch.

Everyone knows the Yankees have the money, their $213 million dollar 2010 payroll is proof enough. They could easily throw a five year, $100 million dollar at Lee and not even blink.

They better not.

If the 2011 season started tomorrow, and if the Yankees began the season with just the players they have under contract, their opening day payroll would be $118 million dollars, an amount that would rank them seventh overall in 2010. Assuming everyone under contract hits their bonuses and incentives, that figure jumps to $144 million. A big drop, obviously, from $213, but still alot of cabbage.

However.

Three of the contracts that will expire after the 2010 season belong to homegrown Yankee legends Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. Even the part-time residents of Roswell, New Mexico know the Yanks will re-sign them for 2011, save the anticipated retirement of Pettitte. Between the three of them, they cashed $48 million worth of payroll checks in 2010.

Let’s say they all re-sign at 20% less than they made this season, that will put the 2011 payroll at about $183 million. The Yanks are not likely to re-sign Javier Vazquez, so his $11 million comes off the total, leaving $173 million in committed salary.

The Yanks have four players eligible for salary arbitration heading to next year. The good news is at least two of them, and possibly three, don’t figure much in the teams’ plans for 2011, the bad news is they are all pitchers. That’s bad news because the talent pool of pitchers in the farm system isn’t Olympic sized, it’s kiddie sized. Most of, if not all of, the projectable talent is at Double A and below and have little expected major league impact before 2013, if that.

Relievers Boone Logan and Sergio Mitre make a combined seven million dollars this year and it’s an almost certainty neither will be offered arbitration. Another pitcher on the list is Joba Chamberlain. As a first year eligible player, the Yankees can renew his $487K contract, and after his performance over the past year and a half would be unlikely to pay him much more than that.

And while the status of the fourth pitcher is the same as Joba’s, the circumstances are drastically different than they were even a month or so ago.

That player is Phil Hughes.

Not surprisingly, to me anyway, Hughes has blossomed into an All-Star caliber pitcher in the five hole and the Yankees could attempt to sign him away from his 2014 free agent year with a long term, below market value deal similar to what the Tampa Bay Rays did last season with Evan Longoria.

The Yanks also have a handful of players with expiring contracts who are not arbitration eligible and while the majority will either re-sign for ML minimum or shown the door, two so far have played prominent roles for the Yanks this year; catcher Francisco Cervelli and outfielder Brett Gardner. Making less than $900,000 combined, neither have any negotiating rights but have also contributed more than expected.

Back to Lee.

Much has been said of late that his friendships with current Yankees CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett will play a role in Lee’s decision.

Maybe.

Money is guaranteed, winning Championships is not. Lee is human and will do what’s right for his bank account. If the Yankees offer him $20 million and and the Marlins $22, then it’s “Hello, South Beach.”

Will Cliff Lee accept being the number two or three guy in New York? He’s already said, and proven, he wasn’t willing to fill that role in Seattle, although that decision was more mutual than Lee would want us to believe.

Would Lee committ long-term to New York, knowing his buddy Sabathia can opt out of his contract following the 2011 season? If they really wanted to play together, wouldn’t it make sense for Lee to sign with the Dodgers or Angels and have Sabathia follow HIM?

Even if the Yankees don’t re-sign Pettitte and Vazquez, Hughes has proven capable of moving up to the three spot in the rotation, leaving only the need to fill two interchangeable roles at the backend.

Former NL Cy Young winner Brandon Webb is coming off shoulder surgery and might be worth a spring training invite on a non-guaranteed contract. The names of Jake Westbrook, Jorge de la Rosa, Kevin Millwood are among the free agent pitchers who could fill roles at the bottom of a rotation. Even if the Yanks wanted to pick up a bigger name, the likes of Josh Beckett and Tim Hudson are available.

What say the Yanks decide to swing a deal for an affordable guy still under contract? The Diamondbacks would love to dump the remaining $25 million left on Dan Haren’s contract, ($38 million counting his 2013 club option).

The Yankees have a number of cheaper, and arguably better, options than Cliff Lee heading into 2011.

They certainly may want him.

They certainly don’t need him.

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49 Responses to “Why the Yankees Should Tell Upcoming Free Agent Cliff Lee “Fuhgeddaboutit””

  1. Jim Says:

    Beckett signed a $68 million, four-year contract extension in April so he’s off the market. It does seem that the Yanks are reverting back to the buy them if they are out there philosophy.

    At 32 I can’t see why he would get a 4 year $80-90M deal from anyone. I believe Lee is going to be disappointed.

  2. Raul Says:

    I noticed when crunching the numbers, you left out the almost-certain run they’ll make at Carl Crawford.

    So yes, money is going to be tight for the Yankees, even though there are people who think the well never runs dry.

  3. Raul Says:

    By the way…this just in….Buster Posey is good.

  4. Hossrex Says:

    lol… I really hope 32 year old career ERA+ 112, 98 and 55 Cliff Lee doesn’t actually expect the same type money as 28 year old ERA+ 121, 147 and 84 CC Sabathia got.

    By the time CC turns 32 he’ll already be into the years of his absurd contract that the Yankees UNDERSTOOD they’d be overpaying him for, but agreed to on the grounds that they’d also be getting 28, 29, 30, and 31 year old CC.

    I mean… he probably DOES expect he’ll get that sort of contract… but unless Josh Byrnes finds a new job soon, he will most likely be disappointed.

    He’ll wind up with a 4 year 65 million dollar deal. Anything more is desperation on the part of whomever signs him.

  5. Patrick Says:

    Cliff Lee has been good for the last couple of years but he had been awful prior to that. He’s not an elite pitcher, he’s the next tier at best. The Yanks are fine with who they have. Also, Lee seems to wear out his welcome lately. Just the impression I get, especially from Charlie Manual.

    Vazquez and Burnett will be fine. They will end up throwing 200 innings plus of 4.00 ERA/ 1.30 WHIP. That’s more than the Yanks need from their 2 worst starters. Pettitte should be back for at least 1 more and Hughes and CC are aces.

    They absolutely don’t need Cliff Lee.

    What they do need is a lights-out guy to replace Joba. He’s lost.

    I agree with Raul that the Yanks will go after Crawford, but Gardner is very similar to Carl in every way. They run, swing and field almost identically. OK, the swings aren’t identical, but they have the same effect. A lot of contact to ground balls and line drives, fewer flies and pops but a lot of gaps and occasional big drives.

    I think it would be smart to lock up Hughes today and think about trading Granderson in the off season, sign Crawford, and put Gardner in CF for good. After Gardner has another big year in 2011, sign him long term too, like 5 years/ $21M……If they took a gamble today, they could sign him for the rest of his career for $21M.

    Like Chuck pointed out with the Rays and Longoria, it’s smart to get these young stars for #3-$5 million per year.

  6. Raul Says:

    Patrick,

    You aint kidding. Joba destroyed what was a crazy pitching duel between Vazquez and Hernandez. He’s got a 5.79 ERA at this point. I know ERA doesn’t really mean much to relievers, but that’s disgusting.

    In March, people were still debating whether or not he should be a starter. We won’t be hearing that argument any time soon.

  7. Cameron Says:

    The Yankees are going to try something crazy and figure if one fat guy in pinstirpes turned from a pitcher to a home run king, they will attempt to make him the next Babe Ruth. Hilarity will ensue when it turns out Joba can’t hit worth a damn.

  8. Chuck Says:

    I intentionally didn’t mention Crawford/Jayson Werth because the article is about pitching and how the Yankees have other, better, and cheaper options.

    I probably should have expanded on the idea a bit by saying maybe three years of Dan Haren at $38 million is better than two years of Cliff Lee at $40 million and would make Crawford more affordable.

    But we’re talking the Yankees here…EVERYBODY is affordable.

    Patrick, you know I love you, man, but Brett Gardner long-term?

    Um, no.

    I’ll borrow Hoss’ line for this one..he’ll have to wait for Josh Byrnes to get another job.

    I HATED the Granderson trade. Probably as much as any deal the Yankees have ever made.

    While I’m personally happy for both Kennedy and Jackson that they are not getting a chance to show up the Yankees by playing well, but Granderson has as many negatives as positives in his game and they are NOT park dependent.

    If you have warning track power in San Diego and average 45 XBH a year and get traded to Houston and all of a sudden are averaging 70 XBH a year, that’s a result of enviornment and NOTHING you have done as a player.

    Granderson couldn’t hit lefties playing in an Indy League. What’s the point of putting him in a more hitter friendly park if he ends up platooning?

    Stupid, stupid trade.

    The Yanks have two starting OF’s having career years and another coming OFF a career year. They have no choice but to overpay for Crawford or Werth.

    Did I mention how stupid the Granderson trade was?

  9. Chuck Says:

    I’ve been a Yankee fan a LOOONNNNGGGG time and they have given more leeway and have coddled and babied Joba more than any player I can ever remember.

    At what point is it going to become clear Joba isn’t a major league pitcher?

    If I was Cashman, last night would be the last game Joba ever wore a Yankee uniform. I’d ship his ass to Scranton or Trenton and make him a starter.

    There’s three weeks until the deadline, he could get three, four starts and 20-25 innings and showcase him.

    And if nobody bit, I’d leave him there all year and get rid of him in the off-season.

    What do the Yankees need, other than some bullpen help?

    A RH bat who can play the OF and DH.

    Kansas City is so desperate to get rid of Jose Guillen they said they will pay ALL of his remaining contract, about six million bucks.

    The Yanks could dump Joba, and get the bat they need…FOR FREE!!!!!!!

    The difference between Hideki Irabu and Joba?

    Joba doesn’t like sushi.

  10. Bob Says:

    Chuck, would MLB ever make the Royals pay the contract of somebody instead of the Yankees? 6 million is way over the 1 million threshold that Selig looks over.

    Bob O

  11. Chuck Says:

    “6 million is way over the 1 million threshold that Selig looks over.”

    It might be a threshold, but it’s not a rule.

    Seattle is paying all of Cliff Lee’s remaining salary, obviously with MLB’s approval, but there’s nothing saying they can’t if they agree up front.

    Agreeing on money is the same as agreeing on a player.

  12. Bob Says:

    BTW, I do not like sushi either. When I eat Japanese, either a steak or shrimp tempura. Hope I spelled it correctly. Miso soup is outstanding, however.

    Bob O

  13. Cameron Says:

    The MLB wouldn’t make us pay it, we’d pay it without forcing ourselves. Guillen… I kinda like him, but he’s chewing salary like a goat chews… Well, everything.

  14. Chuck Says:

    There’s a more important question here, Bob.

    Can you pitch?

  15. Bob Says:

    No. At one point I was a decent hitter .350 in high school, but not ina baseball state. I even hit 4 homers my senior year. In Michigan

  16. Raul Says:

    Bob is now Al Bundy as far as I’m concerned.

    4 homers in one game. I know that’s not what he said but that’s how I’m running with this story.

  17. Patrick Says:

    Chuck, you know I’m a big Gardner fan so take my praise with a grain of salt.

    I think he’s going to be good for a long time. I know it’s still early, but to me, he’s clearly a 40-60 SB guy and probably a .295 BA/.370 OBP guy with excellent defense, base running instincts and run scoring ability, plus, he will always be among the leaders in triples.

    I would definitely take Gardner over a healthy Ellsbury at this point. He doesn’t seem to have an ego, which might be his best trait, which is also Carl Crawford’s best trait.

    I suppose they could keep also egoless Granderson as a platoon player instead of trading him, but they should only pay him accordingly. It wasn’t like he ever could or will hit lefties so I can’t imagine what the Yanks were thinking on that one.

    Your article is about pitching though and from my perspective, the Yanks real weakness is in the pen, setting up Mo. They have two prominent guys, Joba and Robertson, getting shelled. Joba has to go to the minors. They can’t trade him like this. You couldn’t get a Happy Meal for him. They should trade Montero for someone like Matt Thornton. That would help them get another banner more than anything.

    If one of the starters struggles or gets hurt and Lee pitches great for Texas, then the Yanks probably would make a run at him, but I don’t see it.

    I hope Petitte wins 20 and they sign him to $30M, 2 years and then he can start thinking about hanging them up, but not before.

    Burnett is the guy who scares me the most but he’s not going anywhere. He has a lot of outings where he loses a control of the game. Petitte hardly ever does that (gamer, battler, cagey, gritty). I think Vazquez is going to have some average outings mixed with some dominant ones the rest of the way and both CC and Hughes will make a push for 20 wins along with Petitte.

    If it plays out like that, the Yanks should just commit to the same starters next year.

  18. Chuck Says:

    Like the old saying goes, “speed never slumps”.

    I see Gardner having a different skill set than Ellsbury, but they are essentially the same player.

    Just like Juan Pierre, Vince Coleman, Omar Moreno, etc, speed guys usually have short careers.

    They’re not someone I would sign long-term under any circumstances, their contracts usually outlast their productivity.

    Great defensive players will always find a job..just look at Omar Vizquel.

    Good hitters will always find a job, even if they get to the point where they can no longer play defense.

    Once a speed guy gets hurt or loses a step, he’s done.

    I understand Girardi taking out Vazquez yesterday, 117 pitches through seven is alot…then again, with a one run lead ON THE ROAD I might have let Vazquez start the eighth inning and if need be have Rivera get a four or five inning save.

    If the Yankees don’t pick up a righty bat and solidify their bullpen, they’re not getting back to the Series.

  19. Cameron Says:

    Four or five inning save? I thought Mo couldn’t pitch four or five innings.

    …And I get my daily jackassery out of the way early.

  20. Patrick Says:

    Speed never slumps but once it’s gone, it isn’t coming back. That’s true, but when I mentioned long term and Gardner, I was thinking 4 to 6 years for around $20M like the Rays did with Zobrist and only after Gardner finishes off this year strong and continues into next year. If he hits .300 with 110 runs and 50 SB, and starts off the same way next year, lock him up for cheap.

    Those are the economic values in the ML’s. Young guys who have proven they belong can be had for 5 year $20M contracts that cover their 26-31 ages. Then, let someone else give them $15M per year for their 30’s.

    That’s when clubs have the most bargaining power, when guys are playing for the minimum, because most normal guys will jump at the job security and finally being any kind of millionaire. Also, I’m not suggesting that the Yanks sign Gardner for a lifetime contract but I’m pointing out that they could do it now for the same amount that 5 years is going to cost them in the near future.

    Thames was supposed to be that righty bat and he still might be but yes, they need one plus bullpen help.

    Filling out that pen shouldn’t be as hard as it’s proven to be. They have 5 workhorse starters that routinely get them into the 7th.

    That Vazquez game had to solidify their resolve to do something before the trade deadline. There’s virtually no bridge from the starters to Mo in a close game.

  21. Chuck Says:

    Patrick,

    What’s going to happen NEXT year?

    Crawford in left, Granderson in center and Swish in right?

    You’re going to sign your fourth OF to a longterm contract?

    And the Yankees aren’t rumored to be interested in David DeJesus so HE can be their fourth OF.

    I’m not buying Gardner out of any arbitration OR free agent years.

    Crawford is similar to Ichiro in the sense that while they’re fast/speed guys, it’s not the only impact part of their games. Both can go 0-4 and be the MVP of the game by defense or just by being a potential threat in the lineup.

    Gardner can’t do that.

    He leads the ML in two strike BA because pitchers know he can’t hurt them, walking Gardner is like walking the pitcher in the NL.

    He’ll come back to earth eventually and will be in Triple A BEFORE he hits free agency.

  22. Bob Says:

    Raul, I would rather date Kelly Bundy than be her father. And Seriously you all, I did run for 4 TD’s in one game.

    Bob O

  23. Bob Says:

    Chuck, again not sure where to put this. The first round pick for Arizona failed his physical. And when the pick was made Baseball America questioned/criticized the choice. Perhaps that is another reason Brynes was fired.

    Bob O

  24. Bob Says:

    Patrick, you said you hope Andy wins 20 and gets a 2-year deal. Even if he wins 20, I think he prefers 1 year deals at this stage of his career. I think he prefers the flexibilty over the security at this point. Plus, I think he will retire regardless of how well he performs. Time will tell.

    Bob O

  25. Patrick Says:

    Bob, I agree, taking it one year at a time does seem to be a mutual understanding between Petitte and the Yanks but it was the Yanks who wouldn’t give him multiple years when he came back from Houston. I suppose it would be stupid for the Yanks to give him more than he’s asking for at this juncture. He will be back in 2011 though.

    Chuck, as you know, I have a ton of respect for your player evaluations, but I think you’re wrong on Gardner, especially on defense. As good as Crawford is on defense, Gardner is better. He goes back on the ball much better than Crawford. In fact, I’d put Gardner right at the top of the list in the majors for that particular ability. I’ve seen a real lot of both these guys in person and that’s why Crawford doesn’t play CF anymore. He’s unsure of himself going towards the wall. Gardner makes spectacular catches that I assume he’s going to make. BTW, Swisher is horrible by comparison.

    Plus, Gardner’s 2 strike hitting ability has to do with his approach more than anything. With 2 strikes, he waits as long or longer than anyone to start his swing. He’s not going to hit many HR’s in those situations because he’s all hands, but he has the most good at bats of any Yank, fighting off pitches and eventually putting the ball in play.

    It happens all of the time where a player gets pigeon holed by expectations one way or another. For example, if you ask 10 baseball people who they would rather have, Granderson or Gardner, 9 of them would say Granderson. But why? Granderson has proven that he can’t hit lefties. He’s proven that he’s a low OBP guy. He’s proven that he’s about a third as efficient a base stealer than Gardner. Sure, Grandy has more pop than Gardner but it comes at such a cost to the rest of his offense.

    Also, Gardner is thickly muscled. He’s nothing like Pierre or Podsednik in that regard. He’s more like Crawford. Gardner could hit 10+ HR’s and 10+ triples.

    Look at BJ Upton vs Zobrist. Same thing. Upton gets to suck for 3 years and still has an everyday job because of prior expectations. The Rays tried every possible scenario to avoid playing Zobrist until he forced his way into the lineup due to a combination of injuries and other player’s failures.

    Regardless Chuck, I don’t want to beat a dead horse. I love Gardner’s game and you don’t. Time will tell.

  26. Cameron Says:

    Either way, if the Yankees want Crawford, someone has to go. The best choice to cut would be Granderson. Not because he’s a worse player than Gardner, but because Granderson costs a lot more and they’ll need to move some salary if they want to get Carl and/or Lee. If they want to add a big name, they’re going to need to shave something off sooner or later.

  27. Bob Says:

    If they want to add a big name it will be Cliff Lee, although to Chuck’s chagrin.

    Bob O

  28. Chuck Says:

    Bob,

    The DBacks picked the kid they did for one reason..signability.

    BA was right to question the pick not because of his physical issues but because he was a second round talent in a shitty draft.

    Both the Pirates and Orioles took second round guys in the first round last year, one guy is performing well and the other just came off the DL, so, either way, like Steve Winwood so aptly put it, “you got to roll with it, baby.”

    Cameron, Crawford IS a big name.

    The Yankees, no matter how much $$$ they have, aren’t going to sign three $20 million players in the off-season.

    Jeter’s a given, and Crawford presents the more pressing need.

  29. Bob Says:

    Chuck, I read Joel Sherman’s column yesterday, and he said unless Jeter has a solid second-half, he will not get the years and money many thought he would. Personally, I thought he would get a 3-year deal in March. Now he will be lucky to get two. And I would rather have Crawford over Lee for some reason as well.

    I hope Wakefield gets to 200 wins this year so he can retire, and then the Sox can hopefully pry Yu Darvish from Japan, and sign Crawford. Of course, that by itself leaves them with a questionable/dubious pen, and the catcher situation somewhat unresolved pending the status of Victor Martinez.

    Bob O

    Bob O

  30. Cameron Says:

    That’s what I was trying to say about Crawford or Lee, they’re both huge names, but they’ll need to shave off something or their payroll’s going to be too large even for New York to manage. They can’t get one, the other, or both, without some serious dumping.

  31. Bob Says:

    I believe Andy will retire, Jeter’s salary will come down, and who knows about Mariano?

  32. Chuck Says:

    Yu Darvish has no interest in pitching in the States.

    Jeter will name his price and his years with little or no negotiation.

    I can see him getting the same four years Posada got for 18-20 mil per.

  33. Bob Says:

    Chuck, what do you envision for Jeter? If the Yankees go beyond 3 years they will be screwing themselves. Remember, it was the SS they did not want to give up in the Lee trade. And I thought Yu Darvish was willing to test the waters over here. Who knows?

    Bob O

  34. Lefty33 Says:

    “I can see him getting the same four years Posada got for 18-20 mil per.”

    You really think Jeter has got four more years left in him Chuck?

    He’s looked awfully old at the plate this year and I couldn’t imagine a him being effective at 40 years old playing SS.

    I would hope that he plays for 3000 and then after that hangs it up knowing that his Cooperstown resume is complete and leaves before he becomes a caricature of himself.

    As for Pettite and ‘Mo, it would blow my mind if they both don’t come back for another year or two.

    My guess is that Pettite does a Brett Favre and signs another one year deal after “deliberating” in November. And ‘Mo signs a two year deal. The Yanks have almost no choice with ‘Mo especially with Joba showing that he is, like you said, more the heir apparent to Irabu than ‘Mo.

    They are both pitching too good to retire.

  35. Chuck Says:

    Darvish’s wife is the highest paid actress in Japan, he said last year at the WBC he had no interest in playing in the states.

    Probably couldn’t afford the pay cut, no matter what he would get here.

  36. Bob Says:

    Did not know about his wife. Although one would think Hollywood would have an opening for her. Shit, I could almost write the script.

  37. Bob Says:

    Chuck, you said they have babied Joba more than any player you can recall. What about Steve Howe? When I lived in Michigan, I met a few people who knew him. Sad story.

    Bob O

  38. Raul Says:

    Competitively, I could see why Darvish might want to play in the States (if indeed, he does). But I don’t see his wife making the move. If she’s really a huge star in Japan, it’s probably best she stay there. I don’t want to get into a racial thing but I don’t think she’d have the same success here.

    The Yankees have had several names come up as the successor to Mariano Rivera over the years. Joba doesn’t seem fit to be the guy. I remember some hype over Mark Melancon a few years ago and that went out the window as well. Maybe Brackman once he proves he can’t start.

  39. Chuck Says:

    Anybody can write a porn script, Bob.

    Steve Howe got alot of chances, but I don’t think he was babied.

    He was always a reliever, never had to worry about pitch or inning counts, shit like that.

  40. Chuck Says:

    Cliff Lee said at his AS press conference today he’ll demand a no-trade in his next contract.

    If he thinks some team will give a 33 year old pitcher with a history of shoulder problems a five or six year deal for $18-22 million a season AND with a no-trade he’s out of his effin’ mind.

    Unless Josh Byrnes gets another job first.

    Or Billy Beane could trade half his roster and field a Triple A team to free up the cash.

    Wait…

    Oakland already fields a Triple A team.

    Scratch that one.

  41. Lefty33 Says:

    “The Yankees have had several names come up as the successor to Mariano Rivera over the years.”

    The wildest one I’ve seen is that Albaladejo has got 29 saves for Scranton this year apparently he is now the closer in waiting. (LOL)

  42. Chuck Says:

    The Yankees are keeping Joba around for two reasons:

    1)As bad as he is, and he’s really bad, they don’t have anyone better, and;

    2) to save face. The Yankees have been blowing smoke up our collective asses the past two years trying to get us all to believe he’s just a tweak here or an adjustment there from being the next Tim Lincecum.

    Ain’t happenin’

  43. Chuck Says:

    Hey, Lefty, I bet this Abaladejo kid can throw more than three consecutive strikes.

    Already he has an advantage over Joba.

  44. Lefty33 Says:

    “Hey, Lefty, I bet this Abaladejo kid can throw more than three consecutive strikes.”

    He can indeed throw more than three consecutive strikes but other than his fastball he’s got squat.

    The reason why I threw the LOL about Abaladejo in before is that he is no better than Joba and is another guy the Yankees never should have gotten but they did anyway.

    1. He’s already 27.

    2. The Yanks traded to get him from the Nats for Tyler Clippard. If they would have kept Clippard he no doubt would have been a part of the Pen this year and last year.

    3. He’s a failed starter who had arm issues and then was converted to a reliever by Pittsburgh who drafted him in 2001.

    4. Sure he was 5-1 for the Yanks last year but look at the hits per nine and the plus five ERA.

    I brought his name up because I’ve read in a Yankee blog or two, for whatever that’s worth, that if he keeps pitching well and if Joba keeps sucking tailpipe his 29 saves in AAA are going to get him the 8th inning job (since like you mentioned they have got no other real options) and he’s not really a major league capable pitcher.

    So once again the Yanks send away the guy who could be helping and then may try to ram the round peg into the square hole with the guy who won’t help.

    That to me is why Cashman is a putz of a GM and it’s a pity that Stick Michael got too old for the job.

  45. Bob Says:

    You think the no-trade provision Lee wants is extreme? Did you see where Boras compares Prince Fielder to Teixiera. Called him a rare commodity. Yeah, competent 1bman are rare these days. The Yanks will most likely pass, especially if they sign Crawford. Th Mets have Ike Davis. Perhaps the Sox will bite; see what Youk, Lars Anderson and Anthony Rizzo look like in a year. But he will not get 8 years.

  46. Chuck Says:

    Scott Boras is a retard.

    I saw what he said about Fielder and almost pissed myself.

  47. Patrick Says:

    300 LB baseball players don’t have a long shelf life.

  48. Brautigan Says:

    I looked up “greed” in the dictionary and there was a picture of Scott Boras. That is all you need to know about Prince Fielder’s agent.

  49. Cameron Says:

    Fielder’s got worth. A guy who can hit HR’s and drive guys in like he can is easily worth a lot of money. Tex money? Dude, Teixeira wasn’t worth Teixeira money. But I’d say $15 MM a year over maybe a 5 year deal is pretty reasonable for him. Depends on the team, he’d be more useful in other places.

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