Sunday, November 19, 2006


I realize that this is the 2nd post in a day which features a "do not" sign mark on a player's picture. The Yankees are looking at Rich Aurilia to play the role of full time right-handed firstbaseman next season. Along with Jeff Suppan, I have to say that this is another troubling sign for Yankees fans. Suppan just plain stinks. He's worthless to a team hoping to win an AL division, and by all accounts the Yankees are cooling on him. Likewise, I hope the Yankees cool on Aurilia. There is no reason in the world that a team worth a billion dollars should field a player with a below 100 OPS+, unless he is a young player from within the organization.

Rich Aurilia has a career OPS+ of 103, but last season was the only time since 2001 that he was above 100. I don't think he's likely to repeat that feat in the American League at the age of 35. Why? Oh Lord, why? Brian Cashman, please tell me why I'm reading this.

I'd be more inclined to try Shea Hillenbrand at 1st than Aurilia, although there's a lot of baggage that goes along with him. He can play multiple corner infield positions, and has succeeded in the AL East in the past. That idea doesn't thrill me either though. The guy that the Yankees should be looking at is Kevin Millar. Defensively he'll leave something to be desired, but he sports a career 117 OPS+, a career batting line of .287/.366/.472, and knows the Yanks/Sox rivalry intimately. I know it's yet another Red Sox "idiot" that we'd have to "cowboy up" some cash for, but it would be sweet if he hit a homer off Matsuzaka to give us the season series or something. That OBP mark is difficult to match in the FA marks.

Garciaparra is the sexiest option, as he'd complete the Jeter, A-Rod, Nomah infield that Big George would smile at. He's also got the biggest upside, by far, although health is an issue. It's also more likely that he'll stay with the Dodgers than anything else. Garciaparra is the one guy in all of the sport that I would give the thumbs up to Cashman for spending on. Otherwise, I'd be just as content to stand as is until the season begins and we see where the holes emerge. We have the chips to make a trade in the event we have a disaster on our hands, and probably don't need to do anything to score 6 runs a game.

My ideal plan, that won't happen, is move Damon to first and let Melky play center. Next year go out and add Ichiro. You'll see Aurilia in pinstripes next year though, and we'll all roll our eyes.