Saturday, July 14, 2012

I Agree With Cashman... No Big Trades

With the trade deadline looming, and people starting to talk about guys like Ryan Dempster, I was thinking about contract situations that are more important to the Yankees.

More like "Dumpster"... am I right?

I really don't think the Yankees should pay a lot for a rental. Especially a rental that is not really necessary. The Yankees can win without acquiring Matt Garza, so why pay for him? But what if they could trade for a guy to help them this year, and then be in a better spot to re-sign or extend for 2013 and beyond? Like... say... Cole Hamels? 

Well, when it comes to paying a guy $20 million, I think the Yankees could spend their money a bit better. Their chances of getting down to a payroll of $189 million are slim already, and signing a guy like Hamels is going to force them to fill other spots from within. More to the point... how can they bring back Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, if they spend $20 million a season on Hamels? In short... they can't, unless they say "to hell with the austerity budget". 

So how should the Yankees spend their money? 

Well, Robinson Cano comes first.

Number 1 on the field, and number 1 in your pretty little heart.

Why? Angelo Gumbs is the only middle infielder in the organization ranked in the top 20 Yankee prospects (19th by River Avenue Blues), and he's only 19 years old. Cito Culver could take over for Cano even though he's a shortstop (Cano is a former SS), but Cito's only 19 too. Then there's Corban Joseph, who is in AAA now, but he's batting .259 this year, and hasn't quite shown the same power that Cano provides the Yanks. I'm not saying Joseph won't ever be a viable MLB starter, I'm just saying that betting on the guy right now is not smart. I could be singing a different tune after next season, but the decision on Cano should come before Opening Day of 2013, not at the end of the 2013 season, due to how extensions affect team payroll for the Luxury Tax.

Then the Yankees need to figure out what to do with Curtis Granderson.

"I may be a nice guy, but I will hurt you if you don't do the right thing."

Why? Mason Williams is really interesting to the future of the team, but he's probably 3 years away (currently in high A ball). The same for Tyler Austin, another good OF prospect. Zoilo Almonte is a possibility I guess, but he's also only got an OBP of .32o above high A ball. Ravel Santana, Ramon Flores, and Ben Gamel are top 25 prospects for the Yankees, but they are all 3+ years away from being MLB-ready. That leaves Ronnier Mustelier.

I'm not a big prospect guy, as I've said in the past, but I'm intrigued with this guy. In 267 plate appearances with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season Ronnier is hitting .302/.357/.475.  But due to the fact he's not done well in LF (.968 Fielding Percentage), and his experience in CF is extremely limited (6 games), I see him as a possible replacement for Swisher... but not Granderson. 

That leaves the Yankees with an outfield in 2014 consisting of Brett Gardner and... being optimistic... Ronnier Mustelier. Barring a trade, you can see that this situation with Granderson is not so cut and dry. 

I love you, Nick, but you're not irreplaceable.

So, in my oh-so-humble opinion, there is no way the Yankees should pursue Cole Hamels. And seeing as how they don't really need a rental to get them to the "Promised Land" this season, I see no reason for them to make any big moves... unless that move includes an OF that could take over for Granderson (offensively and defensively) in 2014 and beyond.

Yankees Trade Deadline Targets : Ryan Dempster

In 17 days we will all, undoubtedly, be glues to our TVs and computers watching just what your favorite baseball team does at the July 31st trade deadline. Will your team be a seller or a buyer? Is your team a pretender or contender? The Yankees are definite contenders but I am not so sure that they will be buying much of anything.

As we all know the Yankees will be linked to ANY and ALL outfielders and ANY and ALL starting pitchers. The first of those starting pitchers that we are going to cover is Cubs right handed starting pitcher Ryan Demptser.

Ryan Dempster, as of today 7/14/12, has a scoreless IP streak of 33 innings with six shut out innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks. First let us get down to business... There is a reported 10 clubs interested in the Cubs right hander, one of them is reportedly the Yankees, but Dempster is a 10.5 guy which means he can veto ANY trade the Cubs try and make. Reports are saying that the Cubs have been scouting any and everyone's lower levels of their systems which I find interesting and scary at the same time because we have such great talent, probably our best talent, in the lower levels of the system in Charleston and Tampa.

I really do not expect us to, and hope that we do not, trade for 35 year old Ryan Dempster. While he has a great ERA, 1.88, in a pitcher's park the National League is still the National League. I will ALWAYS be weary of a NL pitcher coming to the AL. I will ALWAYS be weary of a guy on a crappy team with no pressure coming to New York. I will also ALWAYS be weary of giving up good prospects for a "luxury" and a rental. Dempster is signed through this year and makes $14 million bucks this year but obviously that money would be prorated.

In closing this rumor gets a thumb down. Although adding his wife to the Wives & Girlfriends section would not be the worst thing that could happen....

Romine & Joba Injury Updates

Joba Chamberlain made his second rehab assignment appearance this afternoon for the Gulf Coast League (GCL) Yankees. Joba pitched two innings and consistently sat at 95 mph, touching 97 mph, and was great with his control. Joba struck out two batters , did not allow a hit or a walk, and every out that was not a strike out was a ground ball. 19 of his 25 pitches that he threw this afternoon were strikes. Granted this is a league where recent draft picks and such play but it is still a great sign to see him at or above pre surgery velocity. 

Joba is slated to pitch another two inning outing in "three to four days" which would be his third of this 30 day rehab assignment. If Joba has no set backs and goes the full 30 days Joba would have to come back up to the majors on August 7th. Brian Cashman does not expect Joba to need the entire 30 days but you never know. 

Remember the guy that was so good and close to the majors that it allowed us to trade Jesus Montero and not blink an eye? Well one significant back injury, missing about half the season, and missing all of spring training later Austin Romine is back! Austin went 0-2 with an rbi and caught the first three innings of the game. Baby steps but I will take them. 

In other news the Yankees two best pitching prospects , via pre season rankings, have both been cleared to start throwing programs after injuries. Manny Banuelos started a throwing program a couple days ago while Jose Campos looks to start his early next week. 

Angels @ Yankees 7/14/12

Robinson Cano extends his hit streak to 17 games and the Yankees win 5-3

Hey I CAN Pitch...

Saturday afternoon baseball at Yankees Stadium in the Bronx. Today Freddy Garcia will be on the mound for the Yanks and will be opposed by Angels Jerome Williams. The Yankees came back from behind to take the lead in the 8th and would not relinquish it last night. Hopefully we see more clutch hitting and fireworks today.


Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Raul Ibanez LF
Eric Chavez 3B
Chris Stewart C

Go Yankees!!