Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Verbal Kint

We’re passing through the midpoint of the winter meetings, and a lot has happened on the free agent front. Most of the activity has involved other teams, and a lot of dollars, and I think the Yankees have wisely stayed on the sidelines. Keyser Soze has held up in his private suite, holding court with a few agents. He’s talked, listened, and mostly thought a lot. Let’s look at my winter meetings plan, and talk about what’s happening one by one.

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.

We appear to be on our way to signing Igawa, with meetings held between Soze and Arn Tellem. It stands to reason this will happen without much fanfare. The Zuleta thing appears to have been constructed by his agent, and the Yankees, by all accounts, have shown no interest in him. So be it. I projected him to have some very nice numbers at a low cost, and I’d be happy to try him out. The thing is, the numbers are projected on a lengthy and consistent level of play between the minors in the US and Japan. I think I posted that he has consistently put up .290/.360/.550 at every level. I’d like to back off on Zuleta, since he’s not realistic. There is also another reason, I think it’s wise to do nothing on the Zuleta front, or perhaps even the Craig Wilson front for that matter. Follow me:

Andy Phillips has put up these numbers over the course of his minor league career:

1006 AAA at bats - .294/.360/.534
525 AA at bats - .293/.364/.552
999 single-A at bats - .299/.365/.479

Hmmmm…..if some of us were looking at Zuleta, for those exact numbers across 4 levels of sub-MLB play, why not look to Andy Phillips, who’s rights we own, and who makes $350,000 a year? He wasn’t very good with the stick last season for the Yankees, but generally speaking guys who hit consistently in the minors usually find a way to do it in the Majors too. If that logic works for Zuleta, it works double for Andy Phillips. The one thing we know about the Yankees is that they are always willing to pull the trigger on a deal that will help the club. Increasingly, those deals are very productive, with little sacrifice for significant gain. Ca$h Money has done his homework, learned some important lessons, and most importantly has the control he needs to build the club.

If the Yankees need a first baseman because AP doesn’t work out again in 2007, he’ll find one later in the season. If the Yankees need anything, for that matter, he’ll go out and get it after he’s exhausted a few call ups (see: Wang, Cano). There’s no sense in jumping into shark infested waters, full of blood, when we can wait until the ocean is calm and plenty of tuna are schooling, unaware. To that end, I think there’s plenty of time to wait out a trade for pitching (Willis and Garcia appear out of the question) and maybe we open Spring Training with Pavano on the mound a few times before he’s established enough value to make him attractive. I’m almost guaranteeing that’s a conversation Keyser Soze’s had with the perpetually gimpy righty. “Get on the mound, pitch well, and we’ll make sure you escape the Bronx alive.”

Andy Pettitte will return, and I think you'll see it happen sooner than later. I think Cashman and the Hendricks are playing a little cat and mouse to make sure everything looks good, but I'd be surprised if this is a ploy to get more money out of Houston. It just doesn't seem like the negotiations that Andy's been involved with in the past. Lilly is bumping the Cubs' bid by playing footsie with Ca$h Money, and Ca$h Money is speeding along Pettitte. Nothing more, nothing less. Remember, "Mr. Soze rarely works with the same people for very long, and they never know who they're working for. One cannot be betrayed if one has no people." Enjoy the hurricanes, Keyser. See you back in the Boogie Down soon.


UPDATE: A lot of moves have gone down in a flurry of late wednesday transactions. A quick recap, and a few comments:

1. Ted Lilly to the Cubs (4 years, $40 million) - Glad it ain't us. Good luck to ya Teddy.
2. Freddie Garcia to the Phillies for Gavin Floyd+PTBNL - Nice job Phils. He'll dominate the NL.
3. Mike Piazza to become A's DH (1 year, $8 million) - Brilliant Bill Beane at his Best.
4. Jason Schmidt to the Dodgers (3 years, $47 million) - $16 million per is steep.

The last 3 are all significant moves. Garcia will eat up the NL, Piazza may just pull a Frank Thomas for the A's, and Schmidt just tilted the balance of that division firmly in the Dodgers favor. Lilly's money is stupid, as are the years. Piazza's money is fair, and he will be resurgent as a DH. Schmidt's money is ridiculous and just set the market for Zito, who figures to cash in on an $18 million per year payday. Look for him to sign with the Rangers for 5 years and $90 million. The Mets might make a run, but that money is just silly. What will Matsuzaka cost now that Schmidt got $16 million per? Ka-ching!


Mike Plugh said...

Please don't cut and paste articles from other places here. I will delete them. Just write your original comment and include the link address.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike,

You think Sexson would be a good option on 1st for Yanks?

Alex said...

The Yankees selected Josh Phelps. Victor hall an oufielder from Yankees was selected from Phillies.

Does anyone what the scouting report by Redsox selecting Nick De barr from Devil Rays? thanks

Andy said...

Dotel - Redsox???

[b]Foulke out, Dotel in?[/b]

[b][quote]While agent Dan Horwits has confirmed that reliever Keith Foulke has turned down salary arbitration, the Red Sox are one of the finalists currently in the hunt for reliever Octavio Dotel.

And the should have their answer tonight.

According to sources, the Sox are one of two or three teams to have made an offer to Dotel, who is expected to decide tonight where he will play the 2007 season. Dotel underwent elbow surgery in 2005 and pitched briefly for the Yankees at the end of last season, and will likely end up with a one-year deal in the range of $3 million with considerable incentives.

Cashmoney what are you doing???? Resign Dotel...

Andy said...

I was hoping the Yankees resign Dotel since he's coming back from T.J surgery

Great so the yanks paid him to get back into shape so he could go pitch for the redsox.

Mike Plugh said...

Sexson would be good at first, but I see no need to pay his salary when we have Phillips on board, and Wilson a cheaper option.

I'll look into the prospects, but I figure that none of them will amount to much.

Dotel would be a snake to sign with Boston, and Cashman should call and tell him so. If he signs anywhere else, God bless him. Boston would be a slap in the face to the organization that helped him rehab and PAID him while he did so.

Brian said...

Can you really fault Dotel though? He wants to close and the Yanks aren't offering that opportunity. If they had een smart, they would have signed him for two years and could have reaped the benefits of his rehab this year.

David said...

Chris Russo Just said on his show Unless The Yankees trade Arod's this Offseason, The Yankees will repeat the process - lost in first rounds again every year and Arod's will go 0-21 in playoffs and choke..

Al said...

Yankees Bullpen still messed? Needs to be fix

Do you trust Mike Myers against his Former teammates Redsox?

Myers who gave up homerun to Ortiz. Second He Hit Mirabelli in purpose which gave up a winning run to the Redsox.

Farnsworth = Can he go back to back games? He has plus and straight fastball but He loves throwing his Slider instead.

Same Thing Proctor - He has a straight fastball.

Bring back Aaron Boone as replacement for Cairo. He can play third and also he's former second baseman in his career. Can Yankees bring him back as backup infielder? thoughts

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