• WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 12/17/08

    Posted by on December 17th, 2008 · Comments (27)

    Feel free to use this post as a place for you to comment on anything Yankees-related (or within reach of tagging the bag of being Yankees-related on a decent slide) today. It could be a casual conversation offering, or, something you saw in the news, or something very detailed that you want to share that’s within the territory of Yankeeland.

    Or, comment on something that someone else has posted here in the comments…

    Have fun. Play nice. And, remember, keep it Yankees-focused.

    Comments on WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 12/17/08

    1. YankCrank
      December 17th, 2008 | 10:42 am

      I’ll start by saying something that everybody will most likely disagree with and want to argue about.

      I don’t want the Yankees to sign Tex. There is no denying his talent and what he would bring to a team but I don’t think it’s in the best interest of the Yankees to shell out another 8-10 year contract worth upwards of $200 million. Is he valuable? Of course, his defense, offense, and presence make him a monster player.

      But is he “needed?” Many people are afraid with how Tex would improve the Sox if he went there, or say that he would put the Yankees over the top of the Sox if we acquired him. Well, I think we learned a big bat or two isn’t the difference maker in baseball. Putting together monster lineups with A-Rods, Sheffields, Matsuis, Giambis and Damons haven’t put us over the top. You can be quick to say none of those players are of Tex’s value, but Tex only comes up so many times in a game. I applaud the Yanks and Cashman for investing their money into pitching first because you only go as far as your pitching takes you.

      All you Tex fans, tell me why i’m wrong.

    2. Corey
      December 17th, 2008 | 10:53 am

      agreed YankCrank

      It’s just too many years…i mean, if we have him for 8 years a-rod forever, re-sign jeter (they will, regardless of what you guys say), CC, burnett, they’ll have the same core for years and years…but what if it’s not a winning core? (like what the mets have currently) Then you’re stuck with this core for years.

    3. MJ
      December 17th, 2008 | 11:32 am

      I applaud the Yanks and Cashman for investing their money into pitching first because you only go as far as your pitching takes you.
      ———–
      Except when you miss the playoffs because you don’t score runs.

      Outside of A-Rod and maybe Cano (a question-mark right now but with upside and potential), there isn’t a single hitter on this team that is both in his prime and above average. Jeter, Posada, Matsui and Damon are all old and on the downside of their careers. Nady is league-average in every respect. Gardner is below league-average. We don’t quite know what Swisher is but he’s probably somewhere between league-average and slightly above.

      The point is that it’s not just about 2009. Think about what this team looks like for the next few seasons. The Yanks need Teixeira because he’s young, in his prime, and a stud hitter. There’s no one coming up from the farm system right now that you can count on (Montero hasn’t even played at AA yet so he’s not worth mentioning). Especially if you factor in that the Yanks will stupidly re-sign Jeter, the Yanks NEED a young hitter that can help carry the load as A-Rod ages.

      Again, remember that Teixeira isn’t just here for one year. The Yanks want to build a successful taem for the future. When you don’t have any ML-ready hitters in the minors and the rest of your offense is either old or strictly average, and you have a chance to sign the best free agent hitter in his prime, I don’t see how you pass that up.

      If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. To not do it because you’re afraid that you’ll be “stuck with the core for years” doesn’t make sense to me. What if it does work? Then you’ve got a championship team for years…

    4. YankCrank
      December 17th, 2008 | 11:52 am

      “Again, remember that Teixeira isn’t just here for one year. The Yanks want to build a successful taem for the future.”

      I think this is where you and I will have a disagreement. The Yanks, of course, want to put together a winning team but how does it work out best for them at the current moment? Jorge is around for 3 more years and we have no clue what his shoulder condition will be like. We have guys like Damon, Jeter, and A-Rod who are going to need an increase on days rest out of the field to DH. If you let Swisher man 1b until either Montero is ready or a better option becomes available you throw Swish in the outfield, give Posada days at 1b and leave a DH spot open for Damon, Jeter or A-Rod. Basically, we keep all of our best bats in the lineup every day because we have roster flexibility.

      Tex is an amazing player. At no point am I making an argument that he is overrated or not worth signing. The angle i’m taking is, like MJ said, the Yanks have money committed to guys who are still talented but not in their prime. To keep them all healthy, rested and in the lineup you need to get creative and putting Tex at 1b makes that tougher.

    5. YankCrank
      December 17th, 2008 | 11:56 am

      Also, speaking about players who are on the Yankees who are past their primes and on the downfall, the reason that’s the case is because the Yankees got into the habit of giving out deals or acquiring contracts to players that bring them past their prime (Giambi, Abreu, Matsui, Posada, Jeter). Signing onto Tex for 8-10 years will once again do just that. The idea of Tex at 5-6 years sounds great, but is he worth giving another Giambi-like contract to? We already have a contract like that for A-Rod…do we want 2/5 of our infield making $20 million at age 36 when they aren’t who they used to be?

    6. MJ
      December 17th, 2008 | 12:10 pm

      You don’t pass up Teixeira out of the need to keep the 1B spot open. That just doesn’t make sense.

      Other than Posada, there’s no one else on the team that needs the 1B spot beyond 2009 and, truthfully, why would we even want Posada to try his hand at 1B? Chances are he’d be lousy at it. He’s not the most athletic guy and doesn’t move around that well behind home plate.

      After 2009, Damon is gone. 1B would really only be between Teixeira and Swisher and Swisher can play LF when Damon’s gone. Or, Swisher can be traded if he can restore his trade value after 2009.

    7. Raf
      December 17th, 2008 | 12:22 pm

      I applaud the Yanks and Cashman for investing their money into pitching first because you only go as far as your pitching takes you.
      ————–
      Blue Jays fans say it’s 4th place. Braves fans wonder why they didn’t win more titles with a rotation fronted by Smoltz-Glavine-Maddux. Tigers fans are wondering what happened to their pennant winning 06 squad.

      Yanks should get Tex, because he’s the best player out there. That he fills a need @ 1b is a bonus.

    8. Raf
      December 17th, 2008 | 12:24 pm

      do we want 2/5 of our infield making $20 million at age 36 when they aren’t who they used to be?
      ———–
      We’ll worry about that when we come to it. It’s too far off to be a concern. A lot can happen between now and then.

    9. YankCrank
      December 17th, 2008 | 12:48 pm

      “Blue Jays fans say it’s 4th place. Braves fans wonder why they didn’t win more titles with a rotation fronted by Smoltz-Glavine-Maddux. Tigers fans are wondering what happened to their pennant winning 06 squad.
      Yanks should get Tex, because he’s the best player out there. That he fills a need @ 1b is a bonus.”

      That argument can go both ways Raf. We’ve acquired the best player out there a number of times, Giambi and A-Rod are probably the best examples, and we were left with as much as the Braves teams and Tigers squad. Does it help to get the best player out there? Sure, it can’t hurt…but does one player put you over the top? I think we both know the answer to that.

    10. Raf
      December 17th, 2008 | 1:15 pm

      Sure, it can’t hurt…but does one player put you over the top? I think we both know the answer to that.
      —————
      Exactly, which is why I don’t understand why you’re against Tex ;)

      Seriously, that point was more towards your pitching angle; if it were all about pitching, those teams would/should have won more than they actually did.

      The acquisitions of Giambi & Rodriguez aren’t the reason the Yanks haven’t won a WS since 2000. There isn’t a “championship formula” that can be applied, or else more teams would win. Look at the Red Sox; you would think they “have what it takes to know how to win” based on 04 & 07, but what happened in 05, 06 & 08? Did Theo lose his magic touch?

      Do what you can during the regular season, hope things work out for the best during the postseason.

    11. YankCrank
      December 17th, 2008 | 1:16 pm

      MJ, Raf, you guys make very good points. There are a ton of ways to justify Tex as the Yankees 1b for the future. I see what Raf means by getting the best player available which is never a bad thing, and I see MJ’s point that you can’t use leaving 1b open for Posada as a reason NOT to sign Tex. Once again, both good points.

      Looking long term, like MJ says, we need bats. But i’m very weary of 5-6 years from now when A-Rod is 38, Tex is 35, and Jeter (presuming he’s stubborn and won’t move, which has been the case and despite what you think the Yankees will bring him back after 2010) is a 39-year-old shortstop. That is an old, slow and over-paid infield. We all saw how the long term deal of Giambi hurt the team and the flexibility and I think the Yankees would be wiser to not sign another long, huge deal.

      You guys say not to think about Montero yet. Well, instead of giving $200 million to 1b and pay him not only for what he’s done in the past but also pay him for what he will do for your team as he declines, we need to think about and find the guys who will do the damage for you in their 23-28 prime…like we’re hoping from Montero. (We don’t know if he’ll be a 1b or even develop into a stud, i’m just using him as an example). The Yanks are doing that now and I really feel another long, expensive contract will of course help us in 2009 but hurt us down the road. We can say worry about that when we get there, but when we get there it’s going to suck.

    12. Raf
      December 17th, 2008 | 1:23 pm

      We all saw how the long term deal of Giambi hurt the team
      ————
      But did it really? From 2002-07, the Yanks made the playoffs. They won division titles every year until 07. They made the World Series once in 03. They had a top 5 (3?) offense from 2002-2007.

      Giambi hasn’t been the problem. Even the one off year that he had, 2004, the Yanks slugged their way to 101 wins.

    13. MJ
      December 17th, 2008 | 1:39 pm

      YankCrank, I’ll put it to you this way: the Red Sox are hotly pursuing Mark Teixeira despite having an All-Star 1B (Kevin Youkilis) and a huge minor league stud (Lars Anderson) who will likely be in AAA next year. The Red Sox are not worried about clogging 1B/DH with Teixeira for 6-10 years even though they already have Youkils, Anderson, and Big Papi for only two spots.

      Montero should be the furthest thought from our mind. In 2-3 years if and when he’s ready to come up, we’ll figure out what to do with him. It might mean that he has to learn how to play LF or RF, it might mean that he’ll be a full-time DH, or it might mean that he’s traded to a small-market team for one of their established stars that can help right away in another area of need (potentially SS, C or CF).

      The Yanks need Teixeira in 2009 because the offense looked haggard last year and will be without Abreu/Giambi this season. The Yanks need Teixeira because it gives the team at least one more in-his-prime slugger to pair with A-Rod while the both of them are still at the top of their game.

      Obviously a long-term commitment has its risks. But the way I see it, Mark Teixeira is more of a “sure thing” than CC Sabathia (although there’s no such thing as a sure thing). I loved the Sabathia signing but I think the Yanks should’ve focusued on Teixeira second.

    14. YankCrank
      December 17th, 2008 | 1:42 pm

      “But did it really? ”

      Of course it did. Giambi should have been a DH with how awful his defense was, but our bad and expensive deals clogged the roster and forced him to play 1b far too often. Was anybody happy that Giambi had to play almost 900 innings at 1b last season because DH had to be used for Damon, Abreu, A-Rod, Jeter and Posada (while active)? That’s what these long deals do to us. That’s exactly why another long deal won’t help us down the road.

    15. MJ
      December 17th, 2008 | 1:46 pm

      YankCrank, so you’re advocating for only short-term deals? I don’t think you’ll be able to bring in much talent that way.

      I’m not following you completely. If long-term contracts are bad, why are you in favor of Sabathia?

    16. YankCrank
      December 17th, 2008 | 1:52 pm

      “YankCrank, I’ll put it to you this way: the Red Sox are hotly pursuing Mark Teixeira despite having an All-Star 1B (Kevin Youkilis) and a huge minor league stud (Lars Anderson) who will likely be in AAA next year. The Red Sox are not worried about clogging 1B/DH with Teixeira for 6-10 years even though they already have Youkils, Anderson, and Big Papi for only two spots.”

      The Red Sox don’t have to worry about that because they don’t have any contracts that currently exceed 6 years. They all have low-cost, short deals that help their roster be flexible with a lower payroll. If Tex goes to the Sox, when he’s 35 and declining, the remaining players on the Sox (Youk, Pedroia) will either be productive or replaced for productive ones because that’s how they operate. No love loss, we keep you for your prime and let you go after with Tek as an exception). They are smart and won’t commit 8-10 year deals for multiple infielders. Exactly what we shouldn’t do.

    17. YankCrank
      December 17th, 2008 | 1:53 pm

      MJ, sorry if i’m confusing you. I was in favor of Sabathia’s 3 year opt out with hopes he has 3 monster years then joins the Giants. 7 years of CC would most likely be a regrettable contract.

    18. MJ
      December 17th, 2008 | 1:56 pm

      Now you’re arguing something else.

      I agree completely that a team has to be ruthlessly objective in its self-analysis. Boston made the right choices in letting Pedro and Damon go, especially because they had talent at those positions that could either step up or they could afford stop-gap measures.

      As much as we all believe that the Yanks will do the stupidly sentimental thing and keep Jeter, we don’t actually know that will happen. You’re arguing that Boston can bring Teixeira in for a long-term deal because they’ll have that flexibility down the road.

      It’s certainly possible that the Yankees will have that same flexibility. In theory, the 2011 Yankees could be without Jeter, Damon, Matsui and Nady, and Posada will be entering his final season.

    19. Raf
      December 17th, 2008 | 2:13 pm

      Of course it did. Giambi should have been a DH with how awful his defense was, but our bad and expensive deals clogged the roster and forced him to play 1b far too often.
      —————-
      Of the things that went wrong with the Yanks last season, Giambi is fairly low on the list. Having 4 outmakers in the lineup (Jeter, Cano, Melky, Molina), and other injuries (ARod, Matsui, Posada, Wang) hurt more than Giambi’s work @ 1b.

    20. butchie22
      December 17th, 2008 | 2:28 pm

      You don’t pass up Teixeira out of the need to keep the 1B spot open. That just doesn’t make sense. Quote by MJ

      MJ I made this point yesterday and I most heartily agree with you. Damon and Matsui are out after next year, Posada can DH, Jeter can move to center and Arod can DH when Posada leaves in 3 years. Teixeira could play 1st base for the Yanks for years and years as far as I’m concerned. I think the Angels might be smart enough(or stupid enough) to go 9 or 10 years, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

      Someone mentions Cash Man’s moves on pitching. I like 3 years of CC, but like AJerk’s contract with Toronto it is a mixed blessing. If he ends up like Ben Sheets last year CC can stay and keep the money. CC has not been that good in the postseason either. Now with Burnit(sic), he is maddeningly inconsistent AND he has never pitched in the playoffs. And to add insult to injury, is bad with the press. So far, so bad. The real problem the Yanks had last year was hitting not pitching. They were mediocre offensively last year. I have a sinking feeling that sans Abreu, Giambi and the lone presence of Manny(but not Teix) ,this looks almost like a repeat of last year offensively. All in all, Teixeira should have been priority 1b after CC, BUT the Yankee front office evidently cannot scout it’s own team’s needs. A smarter GM would have asked: what areas are my team weak in? Answer: Hitting and defense. That dolt Cash Man goes after pitching instead…..go figure.

    21. YankCrank
      December 17th, 2008 | 2:29 pm

      “Of the things that went wrong with the Yanks last season, Giambi is fairly low on the list. Having 4 outmakers in the lineup (Jeter, Cano, Melky, Molina), and other injuries (ARod, Matsui, Posada, Wang) hurt more than Giambi’s work @ 1b.”

      Fairly low on a list of things that still went wrong. Just because injuries were a bigger issue doesn’t mean Giambi as a primary 1b wasn’t a problem. Giambi had a number of issues besides last year’s defense. How about after 2004 when his health kept him out of the playoffs when we couldn’t buy a hit against Boston and had to use Tony Clark? Was that the biggest issue? No, but it hurt us. How about in 2005 when the Yanks concluded they could only afford one of Randy Johnson and Carlos Beltran because somebody who missed the end of 2004 was making $20 million and clogging our payroll flexability? Biggest problem, no, but a problem indeed…how’d you like to have Beltran in center right now instead of Melky or Gardner?

      Giambi had some productive years, yes, but that long contract did hurt us at times. You can’t pretend it didn’t.

    22. YankCrank
      December 17th, 2008 | 2:34 pm

      “A smarter GM would have asked: what areas are my team weak in? Answer: Hitting and defense. That dolt Cash Man goes after pitching instead…..go figure.”

      Butchie, before Tuesday of the Winter Meetings, if Cashman looked at his depth chart he would have seen 9 starting players, a bullpen, and only 2 starting pitchers in Wang and Joba out of 5 needed. You’re telling me you’re going to criticize Cashman for filling out his rotation first?

    23. Raf
      December 17th, 2008 | 2:54 pm

      How about after 2004 when his health kept him out of the playoffs when we couldn’t buy a hit against Boston and had to use Tony Clark?
      —————-
      Rivera also blew saves in games 4 & 5. Also of an impact was Olerud getting hurt, as well as two calls that were overturned (ARod’s slap & Bellhorn’s HR)
      —————-

      How about in 2005 when the Yanks concluded they could only afford one of Randy Johnson and Carlos Beltran because somebody who missed the end of 2004 was making $20 million and clogging our payroll flexability? Biggest problem, no, but a problem indeed…
      ——————
      Boras was willing to have Beltran sign at a discount, and the Yanks still weren’t interested. Mind you they didn’t have to trade for Johnson, and Giambi was only making $13M, not even the highest paid player on the team (and on top of that, they were trying to get rid of him). And it didn’t prevent them from getting Johnny Damon a couple of years later. Yanks didn’t sign Beltran because they didn’t want him, not because they couldn’t afford him.

    24. Raf
      December 17th, 2008 | 2:56 pm

      Fairly low on a list of things that still went wrong. Just because injuries were a bigger issue doesn’t mean Giambi as a primary 1b wasn’t a problem.
      ——————–
      Point isn’t that it wasn’t a problem, point was that there were bigger problems that needed rectifying.

    25. MJ
      December 17th, 2008 | 2:56 pm

      Giambi had some productive years, yes, but that long contract did hurt us at times. You can’t pretend it didn’t.
      —————–
      Where Giambi’s contract hurt was his inability to play 1B from the day he got here. However, when he was putting up monster offensive seasons, no one seemed to mind.

      In Teixeira, you wouldn’t be getting a player who masquerades as a 1st baseman, you’d actually be getting a 1st baseman. Furthermore, just as with Giambi, if he’s raking, that’s all you really need him to do.

    26. YankCrank
      December 17th, 2008 | 3:40 pm

      I don’t think we’ll ever see eye to eye on the idea of Tex. However, if I turn on the tv at some point during the week and see the Yanks signed him I wouldn’t be disappointed and i’d also be very surprised. I imagine we’ll revist this conversation when we find out where he lands.

    27. MJ
      December 17th, 2008 | 3:51 pm

      I agree, I don’t think it’ll happen either. I think Boston will shell out the dough for him that’ll be that. As a result, I think the Yanks will be forced into a panic-signing with Manny and will give him too many years. Such has been the way of Brian Cashman so I don’t see it stopping now. The entire winter has been an overreaction and so will the Manny signing…

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