• “Algebra Cabrera!” or “Melk’s Ilk Parte Dos”

    Posted by on December 16th, 2006 · Comments (29)

    Comments made by WasWatching.com readers over the last 24 hours – along the lines of “What’s the big deal about trading Melky Cabrera?” – got me wondering about “How special was Melky, in the Yankeeland grand scheme of things, last summer?”

    To find the answer, I turned to the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia.

    The question, for me, is simple: How many players, age 21 or younger, have ever played a (for the most part full) season for the New York Yankees, and were actually productive with the stick?

    The answer, via the “CBE,” in the form of a chart:

    melky21.jpg

    Yes, the answer is: Before Melky Cabrera this year, only five players (Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Ben Chapman, Tony Kubek and Willie Randolph) – in the entire history of the Yankees franchise.

    Now, please do not confuse what I am suggesting. There’s no way that I am saying that Cabrera is the next Mantle or DiMaggio. More so, I am merely pointing out that a very young player, one who logs a full season with the Yankees, and who demonstrates that he can hold his own at such a young age with the stick, is a rare find – indeed.

    The Willow match-up should not be a surprise – because that was my finding back in August of this year when I was looking for a Melky-Comp.

    Again, back in August, at the time of the Randolph-match discovery, I wrote: “Melky Cabrera will go on to play in the major leagues for at least another dozen years (barring injury) and have several productive seasons to his credit when it’s all said and done.”

    I still stand by that projection. And, that’s the “big deal” about trading Melky Cabrera. Moving Cabrera, after what he has shown, is not the same as trading away a Dan Pasqua or Hensley Meulens. Therefore, if you’re going to trade Melky, you had better realize that you’re trading away something special – and the type of young player who does not appear on the Yankees scene very often.

    Personally, I could see the trade of Melky Cabrera (from the Yankees) having as much negative impact on the team as the trade for Paul O’Neill had a positive impact (for New York when they acquired him). Players like Melky are play-makers.

    Smart teams usually try to acquire them and/or keep them – they don’t trade them away (unless you’re getting equal or better value in return).

    Comments on “Algebra Cabrera!” or “Melk’s Ilk Parte Dos”

    1. baileywalk
      December 16th, 2006 | 9:26 pm

      No one asked “What’s the big deal?” about trading Melky. It was more along the lines of “Mike Gonzalez is more valuable.”

      Egad, Steve. I know you’re not saying Melky is the next Mickey or Joe D., but it’s probably best not even to mention those names. Joe drove in 167 runs at the age of 22. Melky will lose that battle every time.

      The most important thing to remember is that Melky has only a small role to look forward to on this team. Yeah, it’s a very nice thought when Torre says he wants to use Melky in each outfield position to get the other guys rest, but you know Torre will never do it. Not enough to get Melky consistent playing time.

      He’s blocked in each outfield position for at least two years, and by that time the Yankees big prospect Jose Tabata will probably be ready to come up and play (he’ll be twenty by then).

      So even assuming Melky is everything we think he is and more, is he more valuable for the next three years as a fourth outfielder than Mike Gonzalez would be as a setup man?

      It’s not about how talented Melky is. It’s about what helps the team more — Melky, who’s blocked, or Gonzalez, who’s a good bullpen arm.

    2. December 16th, 2006 | 9:48 pm

      Steve:
      I urge you to send your stats info to Brian Cashman at bcashman@yankees.com I’ve used the address, it works. One of the reasons I come back to your blog is these little stat things you run. This one is one that the leadership of the Yankees needs to have put before them. I can’t believe the Pirates actually asked for more than Cabrera. I disagree with baileywalk, Melky is most valuable as a Yankees player, not a trading chip. We have guys in house who can do whatever this Gonzalez kid can do. Why not have an outfield of Melky and Tabata? Right now our outfield is good, but it is old. There will come a time when Damon is a part time player, Abreu is gone after this season, and Matsui will take over as DH when Jason’s contract is up. We need to constantly get younger and more athletic, and trading Melky is antithetical to that entire idea. It is also the opposite of everything Cashman has done since he actually got to be the real GM of the Yankees. Please share you thoughts with the people who need to hear them.

    3. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 16th, 2006 | 10:02 pm

      Scott — Athleticism doesnt help your discipline at the plate. Abreu has a team option for ’08, and in this market, he is a bargain, so he should not be gone. I understand the need to have some youth on a team, but we do not necessarily need to get younger. We can go out each offseason and take our pick of the best available free agents. Andruw Jones should be available next year. It’s nice to develop some young talent, but why do the Yanks need to settle for youth, when a guy like Jones could be had? At this point, a good reliever in the bullpen, rather than a 4th outfielder, might make the difference between being a postseason team and being a World Series winning team. Sometimes you have to sacrifice the development of the future {{Tabata, etc.}}, especially when you can get proven players like Jones.

    4. DFLNJ
      December 16th, 2006 | 10:37 pm

      We’re not talking about getting Andruw Jones,though. We’re talking about trading a productive young outfielder with high upside for the most unpredictable commodity in baseball, bullpen arms.

    5. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 16th, 2006 | 10:53 pm

      The availability of OF’s {{Jones, etc.}} next offseason allows us to get rid of Melky.

      High upside…LOL.

      Because bullpen arms are an unpredictable commodity, you have to get a guy like this for 2 reasons.
      1. To keep him from being the most dominant closer in MLB history if he gets traded to the Sox.
      2. Because of his last 3 seasons, and the fact that he is a strikeout pitcher.

      I just found out after typing number 2. that he had arm tendinitis, which could possibly change my position on this potential trade, but ONLY so we could trade Melk for someone else, preferably a HEALTHY strikeout reliever, Tim Hudson, or a big bat in a salary dump by some team at the trade deadline. Of course, for Tim Hudson, we would have to package something along with Melk.

    6. SeanJ
      December 16th, 2006 | 11:15 pm

      I haven’t posted here before so let me first say, Steve you run a great blog and you have a
      following of smart baseball guys who follow your site. I’ve enjoyed reading it for a while.

      However, I think you are off base with Melky. You are putting to much importance in what is in the end an almost meaningless statistic. Yes, it is very rare for someone this young to produce for the Yankees. But why does that matter when there is a glut of OF that can hit much better then him. His value as a player right now has less to do with his production and more to do with his cost. Other teams can’t pay their three OF 12 million + each, so a OF with Melky’s skills with 1 year of MLB is extremely valuable. You will see Andruw Jones or Ichiro Suzuki in the OF regularly before Melky. Probably Tabata too.

      Peter Abraham does a great job of outlining some other reasons why it is the time to trade Melky (http://www.lohud.com/blogs/2006/12/trade-melky-time-is-right.html).

      But more importantly, I think you might be downplaying how good Mike Gonzalez is. He is an NL pitcher and he has had some elbow problems, but he has put up some great numbers in the closer position for the Pirates. 2.17 ERA in 54.0 IP and only gave up 1HR. 64Ks to 31BB with 24 saves is pretty good.

    7. mehmattski
      December 16th, 2006 | 11:16 pm

      Look, I enjoy watching Melky Cabrera play. That home-run saving catch against the Red Sox is enough to put him into the Shane Spencer/Chad Curtis category of left fielders who’ve had special moments. But again, let’s not get carried away here. No trade has been made yet, and how often do you hear an obviously “early in negotiations” rumor floated that becomes the whole deal? For example, if the trade ended up being Melky for Gonzalez and Ronny Paulino, wouldn’t everyone be jumping ecstatically?

      I agree with you that Melky could have a nice, dozen year career. But there’s not much yet to suggest that he’s going to be better than Bobby Abreu or Hideki Matsui in 2007 or 2008. As others have suggested, by then Jose Tabata will (barring injury or other setback) be ready for the big time. Odds are that by December 2008 you will be talking about the dozen years of GREAT baseball that Tabata can provide. His ceiling is much, much higher. And no, Tabata hasn’t had a single at bat in the major leagues, and Melky has proven that he can be at least a league average left fielder (factoring in offense and defense).

      Cabrera’s stock is pretty high right now, and I don’t think that replacing him as a fourth outfielder with Kevin Thompson would be that much of a downgrade. If the deal is right, he’s neither untouchable nor irreplacable.

      Given that of the six men you have listed, Cabrera is definitely the worst… nothing you’ve shown me has told me that trading him is a big deal.

    8. December 16th, 2006 | 11:41 pm

      ~~~He’s blocked in each outfield position for at least two years~~~

      IIRC, Abreu in 2008 is not a given. Related…

      ~~~Abreu has a team option for ’08, and in this market, he is a bargain, so he should not be gone.~~~

      A bargain? Think so? What’s the price-tag on that option? What will be his age then? Didn’t Cash say the Yankees need to get younger and cheaper where they can?

    9. December 16th, 2006 | 11:44 pm

      SeanJ – thanks for the kind words.

      Hey, I like Mike Gonzalez. I’d rather see him on the team than Villone in 2007. But, only at the right price. If the Yankees think Melky is the right price, well, like I said “they better be darn sure it’s the right price” – that’s all.

    10. December 17th, 2006 | 12:22 am

      The reason AGAINST trading Melky is of course this year’s situation. 2 OFers went down, and Melky stepped in more than admirably for most of the season. How do we know more OFers don’t go down in 07? The starters are all over 30, with Matsui & Damon coming off injury-plagued years. Melky is also the only potential starting OF we have who isn’t a lefty. (plus it seems he’s loved by his teammates.)

      The only upside that KT has over Melky is speed. But Melky is a better hitter, has a better arm, and is 5 years younger.

      Now I’m not saying I wouldn’t trade Melky for Gonzalez. I probably would. But our bullpen seems to be a strength now. If we traded Melky, our OF depth would include KT and maybe Bernie. In other words, NOT good.

      just my 2 cents.

    11. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 17th, 2006 | 1:09 am

      “Cabrera’s stock is pretty high right now*

      mehmattski — You said it perfectly. His stock is at its highest point. He will never get any better with us offensively. Maybe with another team, but I seriously doubt it.

      “A bargain? Think so? What’s the price-tag on that option? What will be his age then? Didn’t Cash say the Yankees need to get younger and cheaper where they can?*

      Steve– I think it is 15 or 16 mil. I’d say that’s a bargain in this market for a top 10 guy in walks and Pitches Seen/PA, who can also give you stolen bases at a good %. Also, maybe someone talked some sense into Cash about getting cheaper. I agree that it’s good to get younger sometimes, but you shouldn’t get younger for the sole purpose of saving money if you’re the Yankees.

      In addition, WRT Abreu, Damon may have hit 20+ homers, but he most certainly wasnt Red Sox Damon. When we got him, I expected him to put together Abreu type at-bats for the majority of his at-bats, like he did with the Sox, to add to the opposing starter’s pitch count, and to get better pitches to hit. Instead, excluding the 5-game sweep, he was quick to swing early in the count and struck out far more than I ever remember him doing with the Sox, and in key situations no less. We all saw the ability Abreu has to work a count, even in spite of the numerous times he got cheated on pitches.

      Look at the Red Sox OF. Because they could get away with it defensively, they could put Manny, Wily, & Drew out there. You need consistent offensive production from your OF. Not that homers are the most important thing, as evidenced by Abreu, but those 3, if they played the majority of the season, could hit 100+ homers easily.

    12. Yu Hsing Chen
      December 17th, 2006 | 1:39 am

      First of all. this whole trade talk is errily simliar to last year’s let’s trade Cano and Wang for Beckett thing.

      I’m pretty sure 12 out our 11 Yankee fans are glad they didn’t pull that off.

      Yes, Melky is not as valuable as Cano, but neither is Gonzalez as valuable as Beckett was back then (as funny as that sounds now)

      The importance of a solid bench should also not be undervalued. didn’t we just learn that lesson the hard way this year? do you think there’s always going to be a Melky around or a Bernie that would show a little sign a life ? or a Abreu that could be had for nothing?

      What if next year we ended up with a OF of a couple of T-Long like scrubs out there most of the year? would THAT be worth Gonzalez? it COULD happen. relying on any player to be healthy and having 0 backup plan is never optimal.

      As for Abreu, we might want to see next year before we jump to any conclusion, IF he plays close to his career lines for the next couple of years yes he could be worth 14-16M, but his power could also regress even more . and if he does that he’s almost the exact same player as Melky Cabrera probably will be.

      Abreu’s OPS last year was .886 overall, and it was worse for the Phillies, sure it might have to do with a change of enviornment, or it may not have. there is a real chance that he puts up a .850 or lower OPS next year, while Bill James project Melky to be .770-780 ish next year, if that trend continues in 08, would you rather have Melky for nothing or Abreu for 16M?

    13. SeanJ
      December 17th, 2006 | 3:03 am

      All good points. I definitely see the reason to have a good bench and Melky is, in my opinion, the best 4th OF in the major leagues. The ability to be prepared for injuries and to rest players (especially with a team of older players) is valuable, and more valuable to the Yankees then most teams.

      That said, losing two OFs in one year is really not something you can prepare for. Honestly if Jeter and Posada go down for an extended period of time, we’re done, and so would every other team in the league. If something serious like that happens its more viable to trade for someone then to keep a great trading piece for the purpose of a “Break in cases of emergancy” jar.

      I like Melky. I would love to have him as our 4th OF next year. But if you decide to keep him, you will never get the trade value you can get for him now. If he is a reserve for the next two years and Cashman then decides to trade him, he won’t be as valuable as he is coming of a year he started.

      Now if you believe our bullpen is fine then I agree that there is no reason to trade Melky. But I don’t think it is. Torre needs more arms because of the rate he breaks pitchers. Can anyone here truly say they wouldn’t rather have 7th-8th-9th be Gonzalez-Proctor-Rivera instead of Proctor-Farmsworth-Rivera? (Or switch Gonzalez and Proctor if thats better for you). If a deal like this got done, Cashman could also shop Farmsworth, who could still be a viable closer for an NL team. Maybe we could get a good 4th OF for him? (j/k)

    14. brockdc
      December 17th, 2006 | 4:04 am

      What I don’t understand is how posters are so quick to claim that Melky’s stock can’t get any higher than it is right now. I’m curious as to how one reaches such a conclusion, because it makes absolutely no sense to me. Guys, how many 22-year-old rookies show the kind of plate discipline that Melky has time and again, in an environment that is as pressure packed as the one the Yankees play in on a daily basis?

      Is he going to stop throwing lasers from left field next year? Is he going to start flailing at every pitch out of the strike zone next year? No…and no. His defense is likely to improve, now that he has acclimated to the nuances of AL parks (and Y.S. in particular); and, if anything, his plate discipline and overall power will improve with age.

    15. December 17th, 2006 | 5:58 am

      The one thing that I think is important to understand here is that Major League teams deal from positions of strength to fill weak points. The Yankees weak point is pitching. They have a good solid starting rotation, but that rotation has age questions and health questions. We’ve addressed the health questions by acquiring an extra pitcher or two and building a good supplemental staff of minor leaguers. The age question is an issue of resilience.

      Can our starters go 7 or 8 innings every start? We know RJ can’t. We’ve seen Mussina grow weaker after 5 or 6 tough innings. Pettitte would do well to have his innings managed this year. Pavano, if he pitches, shouldn’t be counted on for more than 6 innings of good work. That necessitates a bullpen.

      We’ve had a very mediocre pen in the last several years. We’ve watched the Angels and Twins throw top notch middle and late inning relievers out there and do very well. If we trade from a position of strength (a young switch-hitting outfielder with nice potential) to acquire a lights out left handed closer, we suddenly turn our weakness into a strength and lose very little in the short term.

      Face it, we need a good lefty in the pen. We may as well get a guy who has posted a career 182 ERA+ and absolutely ridiculous OPS against of .588. He posts a strikeout rate similar to B.J. Ryan and lefties go .176/.260/.218 against him. He’s only given up 9 home runs in 155.2 IP, and only one to a lefty (Carlos Delgado, last season, walk off).

      I can’t say we won’t be trading a future star, but at this point it makes sense for our roster for the next 3 years. That the remaining time on Gonzalez’ contract, and probably the time until Melky Cabrera really breaks out. I’m for the trade with only a little hesitation.

    16. NewAmsterdamYanks
      December 17th, 2006 | 7:19 am

      I can appreciate the argument that Melky’s value could be artificially high right now–even if I disagree with it–but then the same could be said about Mike Gonzalez. He’s coming off a few very good seasons, but to assume he continues at that pace seems unrealistic. Other people have commented on the variability of relief ptiching year to year. I think a good comparison is the other left-handed Pirates reliever the Yankees were rumored to have interest in, Damaso Marte, and his age 27 and age 28 seasons (Gonzalez will be 29 next year), which also happen to be his best:

      Marte 2002 (age 27): 2.83 ERA, ERA+: 162, SO/BB: 72/18 in 60 IP
      Marte 2003 (age 28): 1.58 ERA, ERA+: 284, SO/BB: 87/34 in 80 IP

      To piggy-back on Mike’s stats, Marte’s 2002 OPS against was .572, in 2003 it was .546. His rates against lefties were similar to Gonzalez. He gave up 8 HRs in those 140 IP. In many ways it is an eerily similar comp. (I should say I’ve rarely seen other guy pitch, so I am making no claims of equivalence as to pitching style or talent, just looking at the numbers). The next three years Marte’s ERA+ fell to 144, 118, 121. Similar to Scott Proctor 2006. I think expectations for Gonzalez would have to be more in line with those numbers than with his amazing 2004, for example. That may well be of more value than Melky, but you can’t assume Gonzalez will be lights out. He could just as easily be Kyle Farnsworth, esp. considering the injury history and surprisingly small number of innings pitched. I think that is what Steve means when he says Cashman “better be sure.”

      I’m agnostic about the trade by the way. I wouldn’t like to lose Melky’s future, but I can see the arguments in favor. Although the Pirates (or the Braves in a three-way) would most assuredly want more than just Melky.

    17. December 17th, 2006 | 7:37 am

      I’d not about Marte’s dropoff that it came the season after he threw a career high 79.2 innings for the White Sox, and that his minor league numbers are absolutely atrocious.

      Gonzalez’ numbers weren’t much better, but both players have made the transition from minor league starter to MLB reliever well. In fact, the Yankees were looking at trading Kevin Thompson for Marte about a week ago, before this Gonzalez deal for Melky emerged. Watch the Yankees get Gonzalez, and the Red Sox turn around and get Marte. That’s the way things are going these days.

    18. December 17th, 2006 | 9:10 am

      ~~~What I don’t understand is how posters are so quick to claim that Melky’s stock can’t get any higher than it is right now. I’m curious as to how one reaches such a conclusion, because it makes absolutely no sense to me. Guys, how many 22-year-old rookies show the kind of plate discipline that Melky has time and again, in an environment that is as pressure packed as the one the Yankees play in on a daily basis?~~~

      Big Ditto to that.

      BTW, awesome comments by all on this one so far – on both sides of the debate. Very impressive and appreciated!

    19. antone
      December 17th, 2006 | 10:08 am

      I still think they should trade Matsui, not because he can’t play but I think simply they could get more for him and then play Melky in left and avoid another situation where they get old all at once with Matsui, Damon, and Abreu in the outfield…

    20. baileywalk
      December 17th, 2006 | 11:03 am

      This isn’t comparable to trading Wang and Cano for Beckett. I don’t think Melky has the upside of either of those guys, and Wang is a starting pitcher. Starting pitchers and outfielders don’t match.

      I just want to make one note (since I’m for making this deal): in my perfect little world, Melky would start in left over Matsui. I like Matsui a lot, and when he’s hot he’s as good as anyone with the stick, but he’s also prone to extended slumps and he’s an atrocious outfielder. I hear guys like Peter Abraham say he’s a “decent” outfielder and just have to laugh. Matsui often looks like a little leaguer out there, twisting and turning and not reading the ball at all. He could also have a contest with Johnny Damon to see who can get a radar gun into the negatives with their arm strengths.

      I think the runs Melky saves in left (left, not center, where he’s not nearly as good) makes him more valuable than Matsui. In the perfect little world I mentioned, Melky would be in left, Matsui would DH, and Giambi would spend his last two years healthy at first. But that’s not happening. Matsui is signed for 12 million a year and he’s playing left field. That’s just the way it goes. I personally would bring back Abreu because he’s the exact type of player the Yankees need (he’s diverse — speed, power, patience, etc.).

      So while Melky deserves to play, he won’t. He’s blocked. And he has the best position-player prospect since Derek Jeter right on his heels.

      As others have said, getting Gonzalez would give us the first truly solid bullpen we’ve had since the Mo-Stanton-Nelson heyday. It wasn’t bad last year, but Bruney-Proctor-Gonzalez/Farnsworth-Mo closing out games? I’ll take that.

    21. NewAmsterdamYanks
      December 17th, 2006 | 11:47 am

      “Bruney-Proctor-Gonzalez/Farnsworth-Mo closing out games? I’ll take that.”

      Sure, I agree with that, but (as long as we are taking reported rumors at face value) the more interesting question to me is whether or not the difference between that lineup and a lineup of Bruney-Procor-Marte/Farnsworth-Mo would be significant enough to justify giving up Melky instead of Kevin Thompson. If Gonzalez performs at the level he has in the past few years I’m sure it is. I’m just cautious of paying a large price for relievers (either in money or trade) based on past performance.

    22. JohnnyC
      December 17th, 2006 | 11:52 am

      bailey, I hear you. And, as Steve said, this works if Gonzalez is the real deal…as sad as I’d be to see Melky go. But, to your point about Torre as a pen killer. What makes you think that getting more arms solves that problem? He’ll just go through them faster. Check the number of innings Gonzalez has ever pitched. Make a guess as to whether that total arithmetically or geometrically increases under Torre. The better he pitches, the more he’ll pitch. Come to think of it, the worse he pitches, the more he’ll pitch as well. I hope Cashman is thinking about 2008 as well as 2007.

    23. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 17th, 2006 | 12:10 pm

      “his plate discipline and overall power will improve with age.* –
      1.It *can* only improve. His plate discipline last year was so few and far between. (10+ pitch walk in mets 4-0 deficit game).
      2.You mean his plate discipline will improve, kind of like Damon’s improved with us. LOL. Damon was probably the most plate disciplined batter in baseball with the Sox. With us, in no simpler language, not so much.

      “I still think they should trade Matsui, not because he can’t play but I think simply they could get more for him and then play Melky in left and avoid another situation where they get old all at once with Matsui, Damon, and Abreu in the outfield…*–

      That line, get old all at once, is the absolute dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. You got that from one of our older commentators, and every single one of them are complete and utter morons. No other team has three star outfielders that just pack it in at the exact same time. Then again, RJ got old pretty quickly. The moment he put on his pinstripes, the calls weren’t goin’ his way no mo’, and Duke Castiglione was startin’ a fight with him and getting rewarded with a job at ESPN.

      “What I don’t understand is how posters are so quick to claim that Melky’s stock can’t get any higher than it is right now.* –

      1. As others have stated, he will be a 4th outfielder.
      2. He’s shown his *Lack* of plate discipline time and again
      3. There’s no reason to believe that he will ever be anything more than a 10 homer guy for us.
      4. If other teams are stupid enough to trade for him now, then let’s package him in a deal to get Tim Hudson, even it means RJ and eating his contract. Who’s more valuable, Hudson or Randy/Melky?

    24. antone
      December 17th, 2006 | 12:56 pm

      Actually Donnie..I live in Rhode Island so I do not pay attention to any NY media…I really think they should trade Matsui instead of Melky that is my own honest opinion…Matsui is horrible in left, he seems to be getting worse..yes he can hit but I don’t they haven’t won with their so called great lineup…I really think they need someone like Melky in the lineup..and Matsui at 12 million a year is a bargain on this market, so they could probably get alot for him, maybe more than just a relief pitcher who will probably only be around 2-3 years since most relievers don’t have long productive careers they are up and down…thats MY honest opinion not someone else’s…I don’t see how thats dumb, if i said trade Jeter or Rivera than that would be dumb..you have Melky, he’s young he can play, put him out there..Matsui has the most trade value of any of their outfielders to me..I think they should trade him not Melky if they make a trade at all

    25. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 17th, 2006 | 1:08 pm

      I didnt say you’re dumb or the idea of trading Matsui was dumb, although I disagree with it. I know that I’ve heard our older commentators use that moronic “get old fast” line all too often. That simply does not happen. Players dont just get buried 6-feet under at the drop of a hat. It happens over time, and especially not to players in their early-mid 30′s.

    26. brockdc
      December 17th, 2006 | 1:22 pm

      JohnnyC, you beat me to the punch. If Mr. I’ve Never Pitched More Than 54 Innings In My Life is truly as good as hyped, Torre will have strapped 80 innings on him by August – that is, if he’s not on the DL by then.

    27. antone
      December 17th, 2006 | 2:42 pm

      Donnie, I wasn’t referring to this year, I’m looking towards the future 2-3 years from now you have 3 OF’s 35 years old or older, which could possibly be like having 3 Bernie’s out there…and also I would not move Matsui simply for that reason, I just think it’s another reason to consider moving Matsui, along with his now reasonably priced salary, the fact you do have 4 capable OF’s and I think he has the most trade value, if anything I would sit tight for this year, and hang onto Cabrera and fill the OF-DH role with those 4 rotating in the OF and Giambi-Melky-Matsui-Damon-Abreu as DH

    28. December 17th, 2006 | 3:05 pm

      the trade is getting closer.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/17/sports/baseball/17base.html?_r=2&ref=baseball&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

      Gonzalez has good stats, but potential has elbow problems, walks a lot, and has only pitched 156 ML innings.

      Pitt is ALSO asking for a ‘ML-ready’ reliever, which could mean Proctor, Veras, Beam, Britton or Bruney. That’s too much imo.

    29. December 17th, 2006 | 3:08 pm

      especially when you include Melky, and then the imminent signing of Igawa (who could be in the pen).

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