Monday, March 19, 2012

Don't Trade Anybody

Contrary to what my cohort said about my absence this weekend, I was not a "drunkard". Sure, I took part in some St. Patrick's Day festivities, but at the end of the night it was I that drove my friends to get something to eat. And no... I was not in danger of receiving a DUI for doing so.

So the latest conversation happening in Yankeeland has to do with trading Freddy Garcia. I mentioned in my post regarding the signing of Andy Pettitte that trading Garcia wouldn't really get the team much in return. At least not something that is really needed at the moment.

Could the Yankees get a better DH than they currently have? No.

Could the Yankees get the heir for Jeter at SS? No.

Could the Yankees get a young 3B to take ARod's place in a couple of years? No.

Could the Yankees get anybody that would be a regular this season? No.

Actually, it's possible the Yankees could get a hitter better than Raul Ibanez. And it's possible to get somebody that is the future 3B to replace ARod. Whereas getting a future SS would be a lot harder, and finding somebody that would be a regular right away is unlikely.

The point is, nobody that the Yankees could get in return for Freddy Garcia would be exciting in any way.

But what about trading Phil Hughes, as Joel Sherman recently pointed out?

Well, first of all, Hughes would probably return less than Garcia would. Phil's BB/9 has gone up in each of the last three seasons, his K/9 has gone down over the last three seasons, his ERA last season was a very high 5.79, he had arm fatigue issues last year, and he may be a future reliever rather than a starter. Put yourself on the other side of this question.... would you be excited if your team traded for Phil Hughes?

And Hughes only has two more years of team control before becoming a free agent. Meaning that by the team a team really gets him going as a starter, he could be on his way out of town. What made me so happy about the acquisition of Michael Pineda was that he has 5 years of team control left, and is an average starter at worst right now.

Like so many other young pitchers, such as Brian Matusz of the Orioles, Phil has plenty of upside. So don't start calling me a Hughes Hater. But I just don't see a team paying much for that upside at all. So while Freddy Garcia would get the team little even though he has something to offer as a starter, Phil Hughes would get the team little even though his upside is that of a good starter.

So what should the team do? Nothing. Regardless of Garcia possibly being disenfranchised with the Yankees (which I call bulls*** on, as any athlete would be upset over news that could negatively effect their playing time), it's important that the team hold onto pitching depth so early. Phil could be ineffective, Pineda's issues could extend from the 2nd half of last season, Kuroda could have a hard time adjusting to the AL East, Nova could take a step or two back, Pettitte may never be ready to return, and the kids in the minors could turn out to be poor choices in MLB. This isn't a case of the Yankees needing to trim a few million dollars from their payroll to make room for somebody, like when they traded Burnett.

So keep everybody around until moves need to be made. Besides, until Pettitte is ready, nothing has changed since people have discussed Garcia or Hughes going to the bullpen. This entire conversation may prove to have been completely pointless.

Freddy Garcia... The Yankee Clubhouse Cancer?

Borrowed from Bronx Daily Baseball

A lot of Yankees and their fans were thrilled last week when the news was broke that Andy Pettitte was returning to the Bronx this year. However, not everybody is thrilled. For one, some of the prospects on the farm can’t be too happy having another veteran blocking their progress. And then there is Freddy Garcia
And asked his opinion of (Pettitte’s unexpected return), Garcia said, “I don’t really care. That’s their decision. I’m here to pitch and that’s what I want to do.”
And when he was asked if he thought Pettitte’s return was good for the team, Garcia had had enough. ”I don’t know man,” he said. “Ask the people. I don’t know. I guess.”
And he got up and walked out.
Since Garcia has gotten here he has been a model teammate by all accounts, helping out the young pitchers and generally being a good guy. However, Pettitte’s return means less playing time and a likely trade for him and he obviously isn’t happy about that.
It’s hard to blame him, but like he told Matthews earlier in the interview, anything can happen with the Yankees. He signed very early on this offseason, when you do that it’s hard to tell what the team is going to look like opening day. In this case, he might not even be on it.

Spring Training 3/19/12

The Yankees have an off day today but tomorrow they will face the Pittsburgh Pirates at George Steinbrenner Field at 7:05 pm ET. The game will be aired on MLB.TV and will show Michael Pineda's latest start as a Yankee. Today should be a day to rest up the little nagging injuries for the Yankees stars.

Yankees Injury Update For 3/19/12

Via Lohud

A quick rundown of the injuries suffered in Yankees camp this spring…
Robinson Cano
Bruised hand
Hit by a pitch last night, Cano was pulled from the game, then he went for x-rays that came back negative. He’s going to be reevaluated on Tuesday, but the Yankees don’t seem overly concerned.
Derek Jeter
Sore left calf
Jeter felt some soreness in his calf during Wednesday’s game in Dunedin. He finished the game but hasn’t played since. Today he’s scheduled to get treatment at the stadium. He hasn’t done baseball activities since Thursday. He’s expected to play Tuesday.
Russell Martin
Tight groin/hamstring
Martin was scratched from yesterday’s road trip because of some stiffness that he says is between his groin and hamstring. He felt something similar a few years ago and decided to be cautious about it this year. He’s expected to play Tuesday.
Nick Swisher
Sore groin
An MRI came back negative, but Swisher hasn’t played since feeling something “tug” running out of the box on Wednesday. He’s been going through regular baseball drills and is expected to play on Tuesday. Like Martin, Swisher said he wouldn’t have come out of the lineup if this were the regular season.
Dave Robertson
Bruised right foot
The most infamous Yankees injury of the spring seems to have resolved itself. Robertson stumbled down a step while carrying a box at his house and he hasn’t played in two weeks, but he threw a bullpen yesterday and is scheduled to throw another one tomorrow. He could be in a game within a week or so and the expectation is that he’ll be ready for Opening Day.
Freddy Garcia
Swollen right hand
Hit by a comebacker on Wednesday, Garcia has been shutdown for a few days. He’s skipping a scheduled minor league start this afternoon but could be back in a game as early as Friday. X-rays showed no broken bones, and Garcia’s simply been waiting for the swelling to go down.
Eduardo Nunez
Bruised right hand
Although he still had the hand wrapped after the game, Nunez played last night and said everything felt fine. He’s now played in back-to-back games after missing nearly two weeks because of soreness than lingered longer than expected. He suffered the injury when he was hit by a pitch in Clearwater.
Ramiro Pena
Sprained right ankle
Pena is scheduled to take batting practice off Brad Meyers on Tuesday, which seems to indicate that he’s pretty close to returning from a sprained ankle suffered while sliding into second base on Thursday. He’s been walking around the clubhouse with no noticeable limp.
Austin Romine
Sore back
Romine missed time with a sore back last season as well, so the Yankees decided to be extra cautious when his back began feeling sore this spring. Romine has not played in a game and just started taking swings two days ago. He might be able to get in a game late in spring training, but he’s spent most of his time just trying to make sure the back doesn’t become a lingering issue.
George Kontos
Sore oblique
Injured in his first bullpen of the spring, Kontos waited longer than expected before getting back on a mound, but he finally made his spring debut last night with a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
Russell Branyan
Sore back
Something of a wild card for the Yankees platoon DH job, Branyan hasn’t had a chance to plead his case because he’s been shutdown with a sore back. He received epidurals last week, but it’s still not clear when he’ll be ready to play.
Manny Delcarmen
Strained lat
The former Red Sox reliever hasn’t pitched in a game this season, but he threw a bullpen yesterday. Based on the timing of other pitchers he seems to be on track to get in a game in about a week.
Dan Burawa
Torn oblique
The biggest long-term injury of the camp could force Burawa to miss significant time. The young relief pitcher seemed to make a fast impression — both Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman mentioned him at different points — but he had to shut it down at