Sunday, December 03, 2006

Mike's Winter Meetings Plan

Since everyone likes to play Ca$h Money, especially all of us in the blogging community, I thought I'd write up my own Winter Meetings agenda, as if I were GM. Here goes:

1. Sign Igawa.
2. Sign Zuleta.
3. Get a final answer on Andy Pettitte.
4. Inquire about Dontrelle Willis.
5. Inquire about Freddy Garcia.
6. Trade (dump) Carl Pavano for a lefty reliever.
7. Drink a Hurricane or two.
8. Pack up my bags and come home.

Here's my thinking. Getting Igawa signed ASAP puts to rest any leverage that other GMs and agents have over my roster moves. Everything else I do about pitching plays off of having him under contract. As much as I like Craig Wilson, and as happy as I'd be if he were our starting firstbaseman next season, I like the idea of trying out Zuleta at a bargain price, say 2 years at $5 million. His consistent performance at .290/360/.550 across every level of competition leads me to believe he can post between an .850 and .900 OPS in the Majors. If he ends up hitting .275 with 20+ homers, he's a steal in this market.

Next, I need an answer on Pettitte. Play or retire. There's no sense in letting him string us out over the next few months. If he doesn't give an answer, let him come to us. I'd also look into both Dontrelle Willis and Freddy Garcia while I was in Florida. Nothing urgent, or worth giving up the farm for, but if they happen to be out there it's my job to see if I can get them. Willis is younger and has more upside. Garcia is a solid pitcher that you can plug in and forget about, something the Yankees have very little of in the rotation right now.

Trading Carl Pavano is a must. You can't expect to get much, but there should be a fair package of middle relievers and prospects that will make the Yankees happy. I'd love to get a lefty middle reliever that can actually pitch, and cash. If anyone can make this happen it's Ca$h Money. Work it out brother.

That's it. What about backup catcher and middle relief, you ask? Here are my answers for both:

Backup catcher (Wil Nieves, Kevin Nelson, Ben Davis)
Let them battle it out in Spring Training. Nieves has had time with the Yankees, albeit very few at bats. Nelson was with Charleston but moved up to the Clippers last year. He hit .283/406/.415 with Charleston, last season. He's going to turn 26 in April, so he's fairly young. Ben Davis is the other option at AAA Scranton, but I don't think many people have faith in him. If these three guys fight it out at Tampa and no one comes out a decent prospect for the Bronx, then Cashman can sign someone. Why do it now, when the market is red hot?

Middle Relief (T.J. Beam, Brent Cox)
I'm very comfortable right now with a relief core of Chris Britton, Brian Bruney, T.J. Beam, Brent Cox, Mike Myers, Scott Proctor, Kyle Farnsworth, and Mariano Rivera. If we need to sign Villone to make sure we have a second lefty, do it. There aren't many great options out there. If Pavano is subtracted and a league average reliever plus a low level prospect comes back, I'd say job well done.

That's my plan. The Hurricanes are the capper. Anyone with me?


Anonymous said...

A nice looking plan.

Isn't the bullpen even stronger if you factor in Britton and Bruney?

Anonymous said...

Also, Kevin Nelson has always been in the Yankees system. You confused Charlotte with Charleston (SC), the Yankees farm team in the SAL. That makes him not an option. He was very old for A ball and has never been a starter.

Al said...

Good Job Mike, taht's great plan..

Mike Plugh said...

I'll fix both of these. Thanks guys.

Jay said...

Jim Baumbach's of Newsday says Zuleta's has attitude problem same as Hillenbrand . Also He says Zuleta will sign with Drays.

Julio Zuleta is a questionable option for the Yankees, at best. He began the offseason looking for a multiyear deal from the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks, his team in Japan for four years. But they didn't want him back and intentionally lowballed him, offering him the same contract terms as his last deal, one year at $3 million. It was a deal they knew he would decline. Also, this guy received a 10-game suspension last season for charging the mound, initiating an ugly scene that caused his manager, the respected Sadaharu Oh, to apologize afterward. Only a guess: I bet he signs with the Devil Rays.

source -

Mike Plugh said...

He may sign with the Devil Rays, if they offer more money and more years. It's really up to what the Yankees want to do. If Cashman has no interest, then it is what it is. Good luck to the Rays.

Zuleta has a temper, but it mainly comes from guys throwing at him all the time. He's charged the mound like 6 times in his 4 years. The thing is guys are scared of him and they know they can get in his head by throwing at him. Usually, there's little real retaliation over here, so he's fair game.

In the States, the pitcher would get tossed lightning quick, or there would be an all out brawl. It's a different world. I wouldn't say that he's a particularly bad clubhouse guy. He's not the type to join a winning club and start sniping at guys and calling them out in the media. He especially won't do it in the Majors, where he'd be lucky just to have a job in the end.

Hillenbrand is a Grade A jackass, and I hope Cash chooses Wilson over him, if Zuleta is a no go.

Juke Early said...

First-I just found COH thanks to web chatter, I'm looking forward to your coverage of the WM.

As for Zuleta, if one MLB team had plonked the same player 19 times, I like to think, it would've been nipped in the ' bud ' around the 4th or 5th time. That said, if those @%#*! beanheads didn't want him, stat probabilities aside, something has to be off. He smells like Sheff lite. . ..

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