Monday, October 08, 2007

Your 2008 Yankees

C Jorge Posada (He's Ageless and the "Real" Captain of this team.)
1B ???
2B Robinson Cano (The face of the next generation)
SS Derek Jeter (Bad post-season can't erase HOF career)
3B Alex Rodriguez (You need him. He needs you. Pay the man.)
LF Johnny Damon (Keeps things loose and should bounce back healthy)
CF Melky Cabrera (Young. Cheap. Great arm. Decent bat.)
RF ???
DH Jason Giambi (Unless you can trade him, you're stuck with him.)

SP Johan Santana (Trade Wang and Hughes to get him. Just do it.)
SP Andy Pettitte (He can still get it done.)
SP Joba Chamberlain (The Future)
SP Ian Kennedy (Polished and Promising)
SP Mike Mussina (Unless you can trade him, he's your #5 man.)
RP ???
RP ???
RP ???
RP ???
CL Mariano Rivera

You'll notice that I've left 1B, RF, and the entire relief corps up in the air. I also left Matsui off the team. Realistically, most of the relievers will be back, as will Godzilla. You'll probably see Mientkiewicz again and you may even see Abreu after that 9th inning homer against Borowski. Very little may change. I'm simply proposing that we look into moving Matsui, letting Abreu walk, and exploring some options to get younger, faster, and more dynamic. I'd love to dump Giambi and Moose as well, but they are paid a lot and seem rather hard to pawn off on anyone. I'd try a Moose to Philly thing, and I'd try to pay some of Giambi's salary to get him out.

The biggest thing I'd do in the offseason is get Johan Santana. I love Hughes' potential and Wang is a very nice pitcher. You have to give value to get value. Wang is a 120 ERA+ type guy and Hughes looks like he will eventually be in that neighborhood as well. He could be better. It's hard to trade away two young arms that make the minor league money for the forseeable future, but Johan Santana is a once in a blue moon guy. Here are his ERA+ numbers since becoming a full time starter in 2004:

2004 - 182
2005 - 153
2006 - 161
2007 - 133

Even in his down season this year he had a 133 ERA+. He's not 30 until opening day at the new stadium. The last time a Yankee posted an ERA+ of 133 or better for a full season was Mussina's 142 in 2001. The last time we had a pitcher post an ERA+ of 150 or better was Andy Pettitte in 1997. How about the 182 that Santana had in 2004? Anyone close to that? No. There are only 3 Yankees in the franchise history to have higher ERA+ than Santana's 182. Guidry had a 208 in 1978. Spud Chandler had a 197 in 1943. Lefty Gomez had a 191 in 1937. If you loosed the criteria to include Santana's 161 in 2006, you only add an additional six Yankees to the three I mentioned already. None of those seasons came any later than 1964. Go get him unless (1) the Twins won't take Wang and Hughes, or (2) you think Hughes will be able to put up a 150 ERA+ on a number of occasions.

You're going to spend big this offseason on A-Rod, Posada, and Mo. You can let Abreu walk and plan for Giambi's exit in 2009. Face it, we need the best pitcher in the world on our team so we can win one of these bloody series. Santana twice in an ALDS is nasty with the Yankees' offense. He also comes from the left side, so you can own Yankee Stadium. Just do it.

More later when I feel more sane.


Mike said...

No way to trade the Wanger and Phil for Santana. Santana will command a long-term deal that will tie Yanks up, and if for whatever reason Santana jumps the shark (can you guarantee he wont?), you're stuck with him the same way you're stuck with Giambino now. Wanger and Hughes are cheap, Wang won 19 games two years in a row, and Hughes will have a similar season next year, just watch. So, go get Santana, but not at the expense of the real young talent that will be paying dividends for years. And no, I can't say Wanger or Phil won't jump the shark either, but look at the money factor if that ever happens, and you know that Wanger and Phil need to stay.

Mike Plugh said...

I say screw the money factor. This is a pitcher who has put up numbers unlike anyone but the top 1-2% of pitchers all time. His best season ranks as one of the greatest single seasons in the history of the sport.

Wang is a nice pitcher. Hughes could be a perennial All-Star. Neither of those guys is the kind of dominating left handed starter that is Santana. For anyone he makes sense. For Yankee Stadium he makes more sense. For the money he commands, only a few teams make any sense at all, and the Red Sox might be one of them. If so, we face the prospect of being a team with a more reasonable payroll and very good starting pitching in a division with Beckett, Santana, and Matsuzaka.

I'd rather have him on my team and go with Joba and IPK.

b/c said...

Mike I think you are overreacting here. Hughes will be a consistent 140 ERA+ guy for years and cheaply.

Joba is that dominant arm that can take over a playoff series.

RollingWave said...

Mike: I kinda doubt the Twins would trade the face of their franchise, it's the same as the stupid A-rod trade rumor last year, you "KNOW" it can't happen, but people just like to talk about it for fun.

There's more to trading Johan than just trading 1 older pitcher for 2 younger, the market effect will be big , the image effect will be pretty bad on the Twins. and i see no real reason that they can't just throw what their paying Hunter this year (10M) to add to what their already paying Johan (13M!) and lock him up, espically with the new Stadium comming up.

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