• Tyler Clippard Going?

    Posted by on July 31st, 2007 · Comments (10)

    It sounds like, from some rumors, that Tyler Clippard could be a trading chip for the Yankees today.

    If true, will this be the same as when the Yankees traded Brandon Claussen? Or, will it be like the time the Yankees traded Jake Westbrook? What about Jim Deshaies? Tim Lollar? Gene Nelson? Doug Drabek? Bob Tewksbury? Scott McGregor? Ted Lilly?

    It’s impossible to tell if Clippard has a sure-fire major league career ahead of him. You can never tell with young pitchers.

    Back in the early 1990’s, the O’s had a pitcher in their farm system named Jimmy Haynes. He did great at A-ball, Double-A, and Triple-A. Haynes was picked to be the “next Mike Mussina” by many – he was “can’t miss.”

    Guess what? He missed. He missed really bad.

    It happens all the time with pitching prospects. Still, I’m bothered that the Yankees are willing to let Tyler Clippard go – if the rumors are true. Sure, he’s a wacky kid from Florida and he’s not someone who will “Wow!” you with his delivery and stuff. But, he seems to have a feel for pitching. And, that makes him somewhat like guys along the lines of Tewksbury and McGregor.

    Both of those guys went on to win 100+ ballgames in the major leagues. And, each of them had an outstanding year on their resume: Tewksbury in 1992 and McGregor in 1980 and 1983.

    If Clippard’s going to do that too, I’d rather see him do it in a Yankees uniform.

    Comments on Tyler Clippard Going?

    1. JohnnyC
      July 31st, 2007 | 9:27 am

      But with the Yankees’ relative depth in pitching prospects, you can’t productively hang on to all of them. You make judgments and, right now, Clippard is, what, 5th or 6th in rank among Hughes, Chamberlain, Kennedy, and Horne. You might even put Karstens and Rasner ahead of him. If Clippard can get you a piece for today’s pennant race, you trade him. The problem with trading away the names you rattled off was the Yankees were not trading from a surplus of pitching prospects.

    2. July 31st, 2007 | 9:47 am

      Fair point JohnnyC. But, is Clippard really 5th or 6th behind Hughes, Chamberlain, Kennedy, and Horne? Right now, you have to say yes – probably no question. But, a blown shoulder here and a major elbow reconstruction there, and all of sudden he could be your #3.

    3. Nick from Washington Heights
      July 31st, 2007 | 9:49 am

      Steve, by that logic, you could say that Clippard is a blown shoulder and major elbow injury away from being worthless.

    4. The Scout
      July 31st, 2007 | 9:55 am

      Clippard has questionable mechanics and an odd delivery that really got out of whack this year. His confidence took a blow when he got to the majors, too. Most scouts looked at his upside and saw a back-of-rotation pitcher. On balance, as the others note, there are better prospects ahead of him and another generation of good prospects coming up behind him. That makes him expendable. You have to give up value to get value.

      It all may well be moot, anyway. So many teams are in on Gagne now that the price will likely go higher. At that point, the Yankees would be wiser to simply say no.

    5. Raf
      July 31st, 2007 | 9:59 am

      As with everyone else, I’d hold on to him, unless the right deal comes along.

    6. Mike
      July 31st, 2007 | 10:10 am

      I think you hold on to everyone until the right deal comes along.

      Clippard could be a good major league pitcher someday, but would you trade that possibility for a shot at the post-season this year?

    7. rbj
      July 31st, 2007 | 10:13 am

      So would it be Clippard for Gagne? I agree that you can’t hold on to them all, and it really is a dice roll on which pitching prospects will turn out well.

    8. bobo
      July 31st, 2007 | 10:25 am

      Clippard for Gagne is such an absolute no-brainer, I can’t believe anyone would complain. I’d be jumping for joy.

      The absolute minimum we are getting him for is what’s been rumored – Clippard, Karstens/Marquez, plus another lesser prospect. And even that seems unlikely.

      I think it’s going to end up being Gardner, possibly with Clippard or Karstens in there as well.

    9. baileywalk
      July 31st, 2007 | 1:07 pm

      If the Yankees make the rumored trade to the Rangers for Gagne — giving up TWO starting pitching prospects and Brett Gardner AND someone else — they are out of their minds. It’s not like we’re talking about the old Gagne. We’re talking about a guy who’s always hurt and is throwing about eight miles an hour off his old fastball. Plus, there’s absolutely no way he would re-sign as a setup man. You can’t give up Marquez and Clippard for two months of Gagne. If the Yankees really are considering this, then it’s probably a good thing Joba is moving to the bullpen. If Joba in the bullpen (a mistake, I think) keeps them from making this trade, then it’s worth it.

    10. Tex Antoine
      July 31st, 2007 | 4:56 pm

      Wow, first Jeff Kennard is Scot Shields and now Tyler Clippard is Scott McGregor. Amazing how your powers of clairvoyance always project second-rate Yankee prospects into borderline All-Stars. The reality: neither of these guys will probably ever sniff a major league mound again, much less approach the level of the two guys you mentioned. Another example of someone fetishizing prospects to the point of absurdity.

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