• Report: Yanks About To Ink Nick Johnson

    Posted by on December 18th, 2009 · Comments (73)

    Looks like the Yankees were doing more than just kicking the tires on this one

    Via Yahoo Sports -

    Say goodbye to Johnny Damon, Yankees fans. It looks like he and his three- to four-year contract demands will be walking the gangplank because the New York Yankees appear to be very close to signing Nick Johnson(notes) to be the full-time DH next season, according to New York Newsday.

    Yankees Manager Joe Girardi has also said throughout this off-season that he wouldn’t mind using some of his players (Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, etc.) as the DH on days when they are resting from playing in the field.

    Newsday reports that former Washington Nationals first baseman Johnson will get $5.5 million to swing his bat in the Bronx.

    So, the Yankees passed on Hideki Matusi because he would be limited to playing D.H., and has cranky knees, and then they go out and sign Nick Johnson for the same money, just about, that Matsui got with the Angels. Yes, the super brittle Nick Johnson who will basically only play D.H. in New York since Mark Teixeira hardly takes a day off….

    Make sense? Not to me.

    Then again, recently, Yankees G.M. Brian Cashman said his main focus this off-sason was “Pitching, pitching, pitching and then left field. Those are the obvious areas that we need to focus on.”

    And, since that time, the Yankees traded for Curtis Granderson and will reportedly sign Johnson. Pitching? Yes, they re-signed Andy Pettitte – but, that’s it. Meanwhile premium starting pitchers are changing teams all over the place.

    Bizarro, huh?

    Comments on Report: Yanks About To Ink Nick Johnson

    1. Scout
      December 18th, 2009 | 9:17 am

      Not quite so bizarre, Steve. In money terms, Granderson plus Johnson will cost less than Damon plus Matsui, although the savings is entirely due to Granderson being cheaper than Damon demanded. I leaned toward Matsui because he has better power and run production, but Johnson offers a high OBP. Both are significant injury risks. To me, this is a minor strike against Cashman.

      On the pitching side, I advocated signing Lackey from the day after the World Series ended. But the terms for a Halladay deal seemed very steep and were never entirely clear. Cliff Lee would have come at a high price for a one-year rental. The Yankees seem to have decided on financial grounds that they will not sign another pitcher in his 30s to a long-term deal.

      There remain two kinds of options for pitching: sign a high-risk, high-reward type such as Sheets or seek a trade for a proven, younger starter. I like the latter option, and I would be perfectly willing to include Montero and Hughes/Chamberlain in such a deal. To me this makes more sense as a long-term investment than trading those players for an older established pitcher, even a great one such as Halladay. But, again, this is a pretty close judgment call, and I am prepared to give Cashman more time and the benefit of the doubt.

      I said earlier in the off-season that you judge it as a whole, not in terms of individual deals. Cashman still gets an incomplete. He has been quoted as saying next year’s free agent class is better, much like last year. I’ve seen the list and would only note that it contains just two top-tier outfielders, Crawford and Werth, neither of whom seems to be better than Holliday, and there is no guarantee they’ll become free agents. Joe Mauer is already talking to the Twins about a long-term deal. As for the pitchers, the best will be on the wrong side of thirty, just like this year. To me, it would be a mistake to wait when a team that is built to win now needs only one additional big piece to make a championship next year a strong likelihood.

      More than anything else, the Yankee desire to trim payroll puzzles me. To be sure, we don’t have access to the books. But the team has an enormous revenue stream and, even in a poor economy, winning a world championship can only help boost ratings and attendance. Can Hal Steinbrenner really be thinking in terms of greater profits? Or is it that as a new owner he does not wish to offend his fellow owners and the commissioners by spending far beyond any other team? Does he think that containing or reducing payroll will make other owners think better of the Yankees when the next CBA has to be negotiated? If he does, he is sorely mistaken. I don’t believe in unilateral disarmament in world affairs or in baseball, but that seems to be what the Yankees are practising.

    2. Raf
      December 18th, 2009 | 9:24 am

      “Then again, recently, Yankees G.M. Brian Cashman said his main focus this off-sason was “Pitching, pitching, pitching and then left field. Those are the obvious areas that we need to focus on.”

      Did you believe Cashman when he said that Bubba Crosby was going to be the starting CF?

    3. MJ
      December 18th, 2009 | 9:57 am

      The Johnson signing is a pretty strange one, in my opinion. Not because signing a full-time DH before signing a pitcher and a LF goes counter to what Cashman said — really, who cares what Cashman said since it only matters what he does (and not the order he does it in) — but because Johnson doesn’t upgrade the team in any way. He offers more OBP than Matsui but less power. In effect, it’s a roughly even trade-off with, arguably, a slight edge to Johnson.

      But the larger point remains: if Johnson only plays about 100 games a year (his average over the past seven seasons) then the Yanks need to replace him at DH. Most likely the Yanks would just give more DH AB’s to Posada and A-Rod, meaning that Cervelli and Pena will get far more AB’s than they probably deserve.

      While I agree with Cashman that Damon shouldn’t be brought back at any cost above 2Y/$20M, my hope is that the Johnson signing won’t preclude Damon’s return, provided that he and Boras come to their senses. If Damon’s demands decrease to a more rational and appropriate level and the Yanks still don’t bring him back, I’d be really upset.

    4. Corey
      December 18th, 2009 | 10:08 am

      Any move that sends Damon packing for good is A-OK in my book! ;)

    5. GDH
      December 18th, 2009 | 10:18 am

      It’s possible that no one predicted that Matsui would go elsewhere so quickly, that he was the backup to Damon and not Johnson, but the reality is that with Granderson, the delta between last year’s production and this year’s decreased substantially – enough to be covered by a Johnson type player.

      MJ wrote:

      But the larger point remains: if Johnson only plays about 100 games a year (his average over the past seven seasons) then the Yanks need to replace him at DH. Most likely the Yanks would just give more DH AB’s to Posada and A-Rod, meaning that Cervelli and Pena will get far more AB’s than they probably deserve.

      In this offense, which (with Johnson) is not significantly weaker than last year’s very potent one, and possibly slightly stronger – it will be good and appropriate to give some AB to Cervelli and Pena, as they need to graduate to ML level players, if not for the roster, then for trade chips. Cervelli got 100 AB last year and this year if he is the backup C then he’ll get that and more. Pena, probably gets about 100 all year resting Jeter and Alex when they DH leaving Johnson is available off the bench.

      I don’t have a problem with this – it’s far better than giving Damon what he wants. I’m usually not an advocate of drawing a line in the sand for a few bucks, but in this case Damon and Boras are completely unrealistic. Cash is correct that Damon will get Abreu money whether from the Yanks or otherwise.

    6. GDH
      December 18th, 2009 | 10:19 am

      @ Corey:
      Just curious – what is it you dislike about him?

    7. YankCrank
      December 18th, 2009 | 11:02 am

      This really comes down to how the market played out. I believe that, with so many DH options available, Matsui was a backup plan for if Damon went elsewhere. But as we can see, Matsui signed quickly (something none of us say coming), Damon and Boras are taking their sweet-ass time and with their contract demands not coming down, Cashman is striking on his backup backup DH option – that being Nick Johnson – which isn’t a damn bad backup backup plan.

      He has the same injury risk as Matsui, he’s an OBP machine, a lefty who destroys lefty pitching, the production will be about equal to what Matsui offers because let’s be honest….Johnson will get some cheapy home runs in YS, and he’s cheaper than Matsui and on a one year deal.

      At this point, i don;t think any Yankee fans should be upset with this move. He’s a perfect hitter right behind Jeter in the 2 hole and now we don’t have to grossly overpay for Johnny Damon’s services.

    8. YankCrank
      December 18th, 2009 | 11:18 am

      Let’s try not to be so irrational and look at it this way, from Kepner:

      “Also, there is this: next year’s free-agent class could be the best ever, with Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Cliff Lee, Joe Mauer, Brandon Webb and Jayson Werth -– not to mention Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. The Yankees figure to spend an awful lot of money in that market, and they want to save payroll and keep commitments short wherever they can.

      In the big picture, the Yankees are replacing Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui with Curtis Granderson and Johnson. So they swap two older left-handed hitters who made $26 million in 2009 for two younger left-handed hitters who will make about $14 million in 2010. They replace a speed guy and a slow guy with another speed guy and slow guy.”

    9. December 18th, 2009 | 11:21 am

      I just heard that the Yankees are only signing Nick Johnson so that they can then turn him around and send him out in a trade to acquire Javy Vazquez….

      …yes, I’m kidding.

    10. December 18th, 2009 | 11:24 am

      YankCrank wrote:

      They replace a speed guy and a slow guy with another speed guy and slow guy.

      Except the old speed guy never got hurt and could bat at the top of the line-up whereas the new speed guy doesn’t get on base enough to bat there. And, the old slow guy was a power hitter whereas the new slow guy is not.

    11. Raf
      December 18th, 2009 | 11:26 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      YankCrank wrote:
      They replace a speed guy and a slow guy with another speed guy and slow guy.
      Except the old speed guy never got hurt and could bat at the top of the line-up whereas the new speed guy doesn’t get on base enough to bat there. And, the old slow guy was a power hitter whereas the new slow guy is not.

      I’d be willing to wager that the 2010 Yankees won’t have problems scoring runs.

    12. MJ
      December 18th, 2009 | 11:31 am

      GDH wrote:

      In this offense, which (with Johnson) is not significantly weaker than last year’s very potent one, and possibly slightly stronger – it will be good and appropriate to give some AB to Cervelli and Pena, as they need to graduate to ML level players, if not for the roster, then for trade chips. Cervelli got 100 AB last year and this year if he is the backup C then he’ll get that and more. Pena, probably gets about 100 all year resting Jeter and Alex when they DH leaving Johnson is available off the bench.

      The development of backups is not a worthwhile enough cause to justify the downside risk of Nick Johnson.

    13. Corey
      December 18th, 2009 | 11:44 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Except the old speed guy never got hurt and could bat at the top of the line-up whereas the new speed guy doesn’t get on base enough to bat there.

      I disagree. The old speed guy played hurt constantly, he just never went on the dl.

      @GDH
      I can’t stand him because he is the root of one of the worst baseball memories I have :

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA200410200.shtml

      He is still, to me, the caveman. Not to mention, he plays hurt all the time, sometimes sacrificing production to appear as an iron man. He was signed to be the CFer, and barely lasted 2 seasons as such. Sprinkle in some irrational hatred (Hey, I’m allowed.), and I can’t stand him.

    14. MJ
      December 18th, 2009 | 11:49 am

      Corey wrote:

      I disagree. The old speed guy played hurt constantly, he just never went on the dl.

      He played hurt and produced as an approximately 3-win player. I fail to see how that’s a bad thing.

    15. GDH
      December 18th, 2009 | 12:00 pm

      MJ wrote:

      The development of backups is not a worthwhile enough cause to justify the downside risk of Nick Johnson.

      I don’t view it as a justification, but it’s not necessarily a negative. Johnson is a relatively neutral move which keeps us about even production wise with last year – strong – offensively. Cash should be eyeing Carl Crawford to play LF for this team after this season, and if he signs with Tampa or somewhere else, corner OF / DH types are not that scarce. Damon’s good, but not 3yrs/39M good – not at his tender age.

    16. GDH
      December 18th, 2009 | 12:01 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      I just heard that the Yankees are only signing Nick Johnson so that they can then turn him around and send him out in a trade to acquire Javy Vazquez….

      …yes, I’m kidding.

      Good one Steve. ;-)

    17. Corey
      December 18th, 2009 | 12:12 pm

      MJ wrote:

      He played hurt and produced as an approximately 3-win player. I fail to see how that’s a bad thing.

      You’re forgetting all the times he’s slumped because he’s 100%. Unfortunately, there’s no stat that I can show this to you so it’s just my word. Next season I’m going to start keeping track of stats that aren’t on any of these sites.

    18. Corey
      December 18th, 2009 | 12:12 pm

      slumped because he’s NOT 100% ***

    19. Corey
      December 18th, 2009 | 12:13 pm

      FWIW, Jeter pisses me off with this too.

    20. MJ
      December 18th, 2009 | 12:17 pm

      GDH wrote:

      Johnson is a relatively neutral move which keeps us about even production wise with last year.

      On paper, yes, you’re right. But since your calcuation would have to be based on Johnson playing at least as much as Matsui did last year (526 PA) and Johnson has only averaged 434 PA’s over the past seven years, that’s more playing time for guys that haven’t proven their MLB hitting competency (Jamie Hoffman, Frankie Cervelli, Ramiro Pena).

      GDH wrote:

      should be eyeing Carl Crawford to play LF for this team after this season

      Given how the Yanks keep on talking about hard, set budgets (if that is to be taken at face value), I don’t know how the Yanks can bring in Crawford in the same off-season that will require extensions for Jeter and Rivera and, possibly, a replacement for Andy Pettitte.

      GDH wrote:

      Damon’s good, but not 3yrs/39M good – not at his tender age.

      Agree 100%. I just hope that Damon comes to his senses and realizes that 2Y/$20M, if still on the table, is a great offer to come back to the Yanks. I can’t fundamentally understand why that offer wouldn’t still be available to him. At least I hope it is.

    21. MJ
      December 18th, 2009 | 12:19 pm

      @ Corey:
      That logic makes no sense. Slumps are part of the game, otherwise everyone would hit .500. If the guy is a 3-win player, your only argument seems to be that he’s not a 4-win (or better) player. You don’t like him and that’s certainly fine. But the Yanks are obviously better with him than without him.

      He plays hurt and he’s productive. Again, I don’t see how that’s not good for the Yanks.

    22. MJ
      December 18th, 2009 | 12:21 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      I just heard that the Yankees are only signing Nick Johnson so that they can then turn him around and send him out in a trade to acquire Javy Vazquez….
      …yes, I’m kidding.

      Let me tell you right now, I’d make that trade in a heartbeat. The Yanks could use a solid #3 starter and $11.5M for one year is a bargain. He’s been no worse than a league-average starter in the AL and he throws 200 innings a year.

      You might be joking but it would make the Yanks better if it were possible.

    23. Corey
      December 18th, 2009 | 12:22 pm

      @ MJ:
      Without any statistics, I really can’t prove my argument so it’s pretty futile to continue. I promise you that I’ve seen games where he’s done poorly due to injury, and it isn’t just a handful.

      Also, to add to my other point about not liking him, the dude almost threw the ball into the stands and cost CC and the yanks and ER. He is, in his words, an idiot.

      Anyway, I’ll drop it since I cannot sway you with an opinion (rightly so).

    24. MJ
      December 18th, 2009 | 12:27 pm

      @ Corey:
      I think you hate him for your own reasons and they don’t have to be valid to anyone but you. I certainly get that, as I spent approximately three months hating everything about Joba Chamberlain.

      Your argument might have some merit but there is no way you can argue that Damon hurt the Yanks in any way. Your example is no different than a few of Swisher’s misadventures in RF this season or when Posada makes his routinely boneheaded plays behind the plate. Sure they might cost the team something but over the course of 162 games, Damon (and Swisher and Posada) all contributed quite a bit. There’s just no point debating otherwise.

      Hate is just fine with me. I will always hate Nady for being as exciting as a patch of dead grass. I guess what I don’t understand is why you think the Yanks are better off with Melky/Hoffmann in LF when they have a chance to relegate bench-worthy players to where they belong.

    25. GDH
      December 18th, 2009 | 12:28 pm

      MJ wrote:

      On paper, yes, you’re right. But since your calcuation would have to be based on Johnson playing at least as much as Matsui did last year (526 PA) and Johnson has only averaged 434 PA’s over the past seven years, that’s more playing time for guys that haven’t proven their MLB hitting competency (Jamie Hoffman, Frankie Cervelli, Ramiro Pena).

      It’s a crapshoot how many PAs he’s able to get, however it should be noted that he’s ben in the NL the past few years and has to trot all the way out to 1B every inning. Fair to say that not playing defense probably helps that number.

      And to your earlier point about payroll, expect some pretty major changes next year, as the 1990s core ages even more – big decisions next year. Developing Cervelli (or at least seeing what he’s got) may not be a bad idea within a strong offense this year – what’s the odds Jorge won’t be DHing in 2011? Keeping some powder dry for 2011 is not a bad idea.

      I believe that if Damon sobers up that offer will still be on the table. Nick Johnson is a stick that they could always move mid-season unless he’s hurt.

    26. YankCrank
      December 18th, 2009 | 12:33 pm

      Listen guys, Johnny Damon would be a great DH for the 2010 season but we need to look at it realistically. Do we want to wait around until January to see if his price falls? If it never does, do we want to be stuck paying him $12+ until he’s almost 40? I think any reasonable Yankee fan would say no to that.

      The Yankees got younger and cheaper with their replacements, and we’re set up to spend some $ next year when better free agents are out there. What exactly are we complaining about here?

    27. MJ
      December 18th, 2009 | 12:34 pm

      GDH wrote:

      Fair to say that not playing defense probably helps that number.

      I’m not prepared to say that, considering that his injuries haven’t been related to the stresses of playing in the field. Maybe it keeps him slightly healthier, I can concede that much. But it’s not like the guy suffers from chronically aching knees or torn hamstrings.

      I’m not going to say that Matsui was the picture of health and that we traded down from a stallion to a broken old mule. But Nick Johnson shouldn’t have the reputation of someone that is reliable or can be counted on. A 106-game average season is pretty freakin’ pathetic.

    28. GDH
      December 18th, 2009 | 12:42 pm

      MJ wrote:

      A 106-game average season is pretty freakin’ pathetic.

      Can’t dispute that.

      YankCrank wrote:

      What exactly are we complaining about here?

      YankCrank wrote:

      What exactly are we complaining about here?

      I’m not complaining – if anything I support the move. Who else was out there for $5M? Although just for the hell of it I’d love to see Vlad get some hacks in a Yankee uniform. Totally emotional, but I’ve just always liked watching Vlad.

    29. MJ
      December 18th, 2009 | 12:42 pm

      YankCrank wrote:

      Do we want to wait around until January to see if his price falls?

      If it makes the team better, yes. The Yanks waited until January to settle a mildly unpleasant contract negotiation with Andy Pettitte last year and they should not give up on Damon just because he and his agent are being disagreeable on December 18th.

      YankCrank wrote:

      If it never does, do we want to be stuck paying him $12+ until he’s almost 40?

      No, of course not. But let’s not wave goodbye to Damon now. The Yanks should negotiate firmly but with the understanding that 2Y/$20M is on the table if he wants it because the team and Damon would mutually benefit from extending their relationship.

      YankCrank wrote:

      The Yankees got younger and cheaper with their replacements

      The younger part is meaningless. Nick Johnson might be four years younger than Matsui but he is by no means a typical 31 year old player. His body is obviously broken in some fairly significant ways.

      YankCrank wrote:

      and we’re set up to spend some $ next year when better free agents are out there

      Pure conjecture on your part. The opportunity exists, with Mauer, Pujols, Crawford, Lee, Cain, Beckett and others, that much I’ll grant you. But it remains to be seen if the Yanks spend as freely next year as a means to justify their more restrained approach this year. After all, as I wrote above, if the Yanks keep on talking about budgets and are already on the hook for $136M for 2011 BEFORE extending Jeter and Rivera, I don’t see how they spend as much as people think.

    30. YankCrank
      December 18th, 2009 | 12:58 pm

      MJ wrote:

      If it makes the team better, yes. The Yanks waited until January to settle a mildly unpleasant contract negotiation with Andy Pettitte last year and they should not give up on Damon just because he and his agent are being disagreeable on December 18th.

      I’d argue those cases are not comparable. There was never a threat of another team with Andy Pettitte, it all came down to what the figure would be. No matter what he was coming back to the Yankees, it was only a matter of time. With Johnny we’re dealing with Boras and his crap, his mystery team jargon and everything else that makes his clients a headache. Maybe the Yankees have other plans in mind and simply don’t want to wait on Johnny Damon and his demands? We don’t know what the Yankees want to do here.

      Or as you say, maybe in January his demands will fall and he can still be had? If that never happens we still have Nick Johnson.

    31. YankCrank
      December 18th, 2009 | 1:02 pm

      MJ wrote:

      YankCrank wrote:

      and we’re set up to spend some $ next year when better free agents are out there

      Pure conjecture on your part. The opportunity exists, with Mauer, Pujols, Crawford, Lee, Cain, Beckett and others, that much I’ll grant you. But it remains to be seen if the Yanks spend as freely next year as a means to justify their more restrained approach this year. After all, as I wrote above, if the Yanks keep on talking about budgets and are already on the hook for $136M for 2011 BEFORE extending Jeter and Rivera, I don’t see how they spend as much as people think.

      Well, i’ll glady say you’re right when the Yankees prove that they don’t spend their money when their budget allows them to. We’ve heard Cashman and Hal say numerous times this offseason that they like next season’s FA crop a lot more than this year, is it wrong of me to think that they may want a prime player from that FA class that they speak so highly of?

    32. BOHAN
      December 18th, 2009 | 1:15 pm

      Corey wrote:

      Any move that sends Damon packing for good is A-OK in my book!

      amen to that.
      i love this signing. i had said this earlier in the week. very good hitter shouldnt get hurt DHing. lengthens the lineup even more now. i was very upset when they sent him away last time very happy hes back.

    33. MJ
      December 18th, 2009 | 1:17 pm

      YankCrank wrote:

      With Johnny we’re dealing with Boras and his crap, his mystery team jargon and everything else that makes his clients a headache.

      It’s a GM’s job to put up with the headache of a pain-in-the-ass agent if his client will improve the ballclub. If Cashman doesn’t like the headache he should get some effin’ Advil and get over it.

      Now, neither of us knows if the Yanks have truly closed the door on Damon or not. I’m simply saying that the Yanks should absolutely wait on Damon for as long as they have to unless a better option clearly presents itself. Since the only premium players on the market at that position are Holliday, Bay and Damon, I don’t think the Yanks have any reason to close the door on Damon. I don’t see any interest in Bay and Holliday seems like a long-shot at this point, given his contract demands (and being a Boras client).

      YankCrank wrote:

      we still have Nick Johnson

      Yeah, I know. And I’m none too thrilled with it as long as Damon is unsigned. With Damon in tow, I can get over signing Johnson.

      YankCrank wrote:

      We’ve heard Cashman and Hal say numerous times this offseason that they like next season’s FA crop a lot more than this year, is it wrong of me to think that they may want a prime player from that FA class that they speak so highly of?

      No, it’s not wrong of you but I just don’t see how, unless the Yanks go back over $200M to around $215-220M. They’ve done so before so they can obviously do so again. Obviously talk is cheap if they do so, but the truth is that all we’ve heard is how they have a number and they want to stick to that number and they keep on talking about how that number is below $200M. Again, I grant that talk is cheap and Cashman seems to always say one thing and do the unexpected but I just don’t think fans should get their hopes up too much on next year’s crop.

    34. BOHAN
      December 18th, 2009 | 1:18 pm

      MJ wrote:

      Steve Lombardi wrote:
      I just heard that the Yankees are only signing Nick Johnson so that they can then turn him around and send him out in a trade to acquire Javy Vazquez….
      …yes, I’m kidding.
      Let me tell you right now, I’d make that trade in a heartbeat. The Yanks could use a solid #3 starter and $11.5M for one year is a bargain. He’s been no worse than a league-average starter in the AL and he throws 200 innings a year.
      You might be joking but it would make the Yanks better if it were possible.

      cause jazy vasquez worked out in new york once already right????

    35. MJ
      December 18th, 2009 | 1:20 pm

      BOHAN wrote:

      ery good hitter shouldnt get hurt DHing.

      You can’t say that, really. Johnson’s injuries aren’t of the leg, knee or back variety that often come with playing in the field. The guy has hand/wrist injuries a few times which mainly happens at the plate. He’s by no means the picture of health, even if he DH’s exclusively. There’s enough damage done to his body that the question-marks are legitimate.

      BOHAN wrote:

      lengthens the lineup even more now

      How do you figure? Damon/Matsui are currently out and Granderson/Johnson are currently in. It’s at best a net wash on paper.

    36. BOHAN
      December 18th, 2009 | 1:22 pm

      MJ wrote:
      No, it’s not wrong of you but I just don’t see how, unless the Yanks go back over $200M to around $215-220M. They’ve done so before so they can obviously do so again. Obviously talk is cheap if they do so, but the truth is that all we’ve heard is how they have a number and they want to stick to that number and they keep on talking about how that number is below $200M. Again, I grant that talk is cheap and Cashman seems to always say one thing and do the unexpected but I just don’t think fans should get their hopes up too much on next year’s crop.

      this budget doesnt mean that next year’s budget will be the same… maybe theyre trying to save money now and not over pay for players like lackey (who is by far overpayed) so that they have more money to pay for premium players next offseason.

    37. BOHAN
      December 18th, 2009 | 1:25 pm

      MJ wrote:

      BOHAN wrote:
      ery good hitter shouldnt get hurt DHing.
      You can’t say that, really. Johnson’s injuries aren’t of the leg, knee or back variety that often come with playing in the field. The guy has hand/wrist injuries a few times which mainly happens at the plate. He’s by no means the picture of health, even if he DH’s exclusively. There’s enough damage done to his body that the question-marks are legitimate.
      BOHAN wrote:
      lengthens the lineup even more now
      How do you figure? Damon/Matsui are currently out and Granderson/Johnson are currently in. It’s at best a net wash on paper.

      wrist injuries come from playing the field (i.e matsui) and they come from running the bases as well. and i mena it lengthens what we have now. im not including players that we dont have or wont get. i’m considering who is under contract.

    38. MJ
      December 18th, 2009 | 1:26 pm

      BOHAN wrote:

      cause jazy vasquez worked out in new york once already right????

      198 IP, 92 ERA+, 6.8 K/9, 1.28 WHIP. We’d be talking about a #3 starter, not the #1/#2 he was supposed to be in 2004. Different set of expectations altogether.

      If we suspend disbelief for a moment (since it’s doubtful that such a trade would ever occur), the Yanks picking up the remaining $11.5M on Vazquez’s contract to get a pitcher that is better than what he showed in 2004 would clearly be worthwhile. The Red Sox are paying Lackey $17M to be their #3 starter. We’d be paying $5.5M less with a reasonable expectation of fairly similar results.

      You may not like Vazquez and you may be one of those guys that buys the BS that he can’t pitch in New York but you can’t make a credible argument that a minimum of 200 league-average innings would be a bad thing for the Yanks to add to their rotation on a one-year basis.

    39. Corey
      December 18th, 2009 | 1:28 pm

      BOHAN wrote:

      wrist injuries come from playing the field (i.e matsui) and they come from running the bases as well. and i mena it lengthens what we have now.

      What about Big Papi?

    40. MJ
      December 18th, 2009 | 1:30 pm

      @ BOHAN:
      @ Corey:
      Nomar too.

      Matsui’s wrist injury came from playing the field but Matsui doesn’t hold the patent on how a player gets hurt. Clearly, injuries can happen to any player at any time in any number of ways but when a player has an injury history, to simply assume that a full-time DH role will be the cure-all is totally shortsighted.

    41. Corey
      December 18th, 2009 | 1:30 pm

      MJ wrote:

      You may not like Vazquez and you may be one of those guys that buys the BS that he can’t pitch in New York but you can’t make a credible argument that a minimum of 200 league-average innings would be a bad thing for the Yanks to add to their rotation on a one-year basis.

      His first-half was pretty damn good, too.

      Not saying I’d want the trade to happen, but it’s not like he all of a sudden becomes Sydney Ponson on the mound. He just had a horrible, horrible second half. Anyway, he’d cost more from the Braves than it’s worth in my book.

    42. G.I. Joey
      December 18th, 2009 | 1:44 pm

      Looks like this is official pending a physical on Monday.

    43. MJ
      December 18th, 2009 | 2:23 pm

      G.I. Joey wrote:

      Looks like this is official pending a physical on Monday.

      Watch this broken-down P.O.S. flunk it…that would crack me up.

    44. butchie22
      December 18th, 2009 | 2:26 pm

      MJ wrote:

      BOHAN wrote:
      cause jazy vasquez worked out in new york once already right????
      198 IP, 92 ERA+, 6.8 K/9, 1.28 WHIP. We’d be talking about a #3 starter, not the #1/#2 he was supposed to be in 2004. Different set of expectations altogether.
      If we suspend disbelief for a moment (since it’s doubtful that such a trade would ever occur), the Yanks picking up the remaining $11.5M on Vazquez’s contract to get a pitcher that is better than what he showed in 2004 would clearly be worthwhile. The Red Sox are paying Lackey $17M to be their #3 starter. We’d be paying $5.5M less with a reasonable expectation of fairly similar results.

      You may not like Vazquez and you may be one of those guys that buys the BS that he can’t pitch in New York but you can’t make a credible argument that a minimum of 200 league-average innings would be a bad thing for the Yanks to add to their rotation on a one-year basis.

      Mate, you totally lost me with that last statement! I’ve heard strange things on here BEFORE BUT this bloody well takes the cake. You can make the argument that the Yanks might have given up too early on Javy BUT questioning the fact that he could pitch successfully in NYC after that second half debacle in 2004 is almost insane. After his debacle in the playoffs, the die was cast Javy would have to be gone. The guy didn’t work out here, leave well enough around already. You want Weaver back too??!!! His first half was excellent BUT he was so terrible in the second half they didn’t want him starting in the playoffs.

      Mr First Half All Star/Second Half No Star didn’t pitch under the bright lights of NYC to pitch those 200 innings BTW. He crumbled when the pressure was on. If the Yanks were to add someone who could pitch well and pitched those innings and then so be it however Mr Second Half No Star is not a pitcher that can! As much as I brutalize Cash Man even he is not stupid enough to bring back Second Half No Star under his watch.NUFF SAID!

      Corey wrote:

      MJ wrote:
      You may not like Vazquez and you may be one of those guys that buys the BS that he can’t pitch in New York but you can’t make a credible argument that a minimum of 200 league-average innings would be a bad thing for the Yanks to add to their rotation on a one-year basis.
      His first-half was pretty damn good, too.
      Not saying I’d want the trade to happen, but it’s not like he all of a sudden becomes Sydney Ponson on the mound. He just had a horrible, horrible second half. Anyway, he’d cost more from the Braves than it’s worth in my book.

      Corey, I think that JV would cause a stink if he was traded here.The fan base would be none too happy if that happened…. also, I don’t think the Braves want him gone, they want Lowe gone. so any Yankee talk of Mr First Half all Star/Mr Second Half No Star coming here is up there with the Halladay talk…sheer fantasy. Though they will hoodwink a desperate team like the Angels that needs the pitching help in giving up something fro Lowe.

    45. Raf
      December 18th, 2009 | 2:32 pm

      butchie22 wrote:

      Javy BUT questioning the fact that he could pitch successfully in NYC after that second half debacle in 2004 is almost insane

      How so after his first 1/2 of 2004?

      Javier Vazquez has an impressive body of work spanning over 10 seasons. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    46. Raf
      December 18th, 2009 | 2:34 pm

      MJ wrote:

      G.I. Joey wrote:
      Looks like this is official pending a physical on Monday.
      Watch this broken-down P.O.S. flunk it…that would crack me up.

      FWIW, Jaret Wright failed his physical too ;)

    47. butchie22
      December 18th, 2009 | 2:44 pm

      Raf wrote:

      butchie22 wrote:
      Javy BUT questioning the fact that he could pitch successfully in NYC after that second half debacle in 2004 is almost insane
      How so after his first 1/2 of 2004?
      Javier Vazquez has an impressive body of work spanning over 10 seasons. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

      Mr Second Half No Star has a somewhat impressive body of work BUT not on the Yankees! He didn’t work out here PERIOD. Atlanta, Montreal, and arizona are not even close to NYC in terms of fan passion, media scrutiny or vitriol.Funny how Schilling wanted to come to the Yankees supposedly instead of the Red Sox. History would have been told differently if SH No Star went to Boston and Schill came here. They reversed the curse and Mr Second Half No Star helped them too albeit playing for the opposing team ! ; )

    48. Corey
      December 18th, 2009 | 2:45 pm

      butchie22 wrote:

      also, I don’t think the Braves want him gone, they want Lowe gone.

      I think they’ll do what it takes to get a bat. Lowe has no trade value, so he wouldn’t fetch said bat.

      I agree with all of your other points Butch, I was just saying that Javy’s first half here was pretty good, that’s all. The man WAS an all star.

    49. butchie22
      December 18th, 2009 | 2:46 pm

      Raf wrote:

      MJ wrote:
      G.I. Joey wrote:
      Looks like this is official pending a physical on Monday.
      Watch this broken-down P.O.S. flunk it…that would crack me up.
      FWIW, Jaret Wright failed his physical too

      That was another Yankee debacle. Jaret ” Mazzone’s Pet Project” was really great here Wright(pun intended0?!!! Wright?

    50. Raf
      December 18th, 2009 | 2:55 pm

      butchie22 wrote:

      Atlanta, Montreal, and arizona are not even close to NYC in terms of fan passion, media scrutiny or vitriol.

      And is a load of hooey and isn’t particularly relevant. Vazquez had an off year in Chicago, it was because he had an off year, not because of some mystical ability to “handle pressure”

      Had the Diamondbacks been a bit more reasonable in their demands, maybe Schilling would’ve been traded to NY.

    51. butchie22
      December 18th, 2009 | 2:58 pm

      Corey wrote:

      butchie22 wrote:
      also, I don’t think the Braves want him gone, they want Lowe gone.
      I think they’ll do what it takes to get a bat. Lowe has no trade value, so he wouldn’t fetch said bat.
      I agree with all of your other points Butch, I was just saying that Javy’s first half here was pretty good, that’s all. The man WAS an all star.

      HHAHAHAHHA! First Half all Star/Second Half No Star. Ummm, if push comes to shove the Tomahawk Choppers of Georgia can foist Lowe on a team that needs pitching. They need a bat BUT not at the expense of weakening their rotation though…. actually, .I don’t see them moving No Star even though he has more value. Mark my words, a team that needs a starter will get Lowe as debased as his work was last year ,he’ll be gone.

    52. butchie22
      December 18th, 2009 | 3:05 pm

      Raf wrote:

      butchie22 wrote:
      Atlanta, Montreal, and arizona are not even close to NYC in terms of fan passion, media scrutiny or vitriol.
      And is a load of hooey and isn’t particularly relevant. Vazquez had an off year in Chicago, it was because he had an off year, not because of some mystical ability to “handle pressure”
      Had the Diamondbacks been a bit more reasonable in their demands, maybe Schilling would’ve been traded to NY.

      It isn’t a load of hooey ,bit your bloody tongue,mate! When the No Star was pitching for crowds of 3000 and then pitches for a team that was selling out and had full capacity crowds ,that’s a game changer. Montreal didn’t even have a rdio contract near the end! He goes from one or two nespapers to a gazillion reporters asking him tough questions all the time. That’s a major difference…ask the legion of players who don’t make it here about how different NYC is as a market. You assertion of the mystical is absolutley absurd. Baseball is a very mental game, the game changes when you actually have heaps of pressure as opposed to being coddled by the crowd , media etc so on…

      With regards to Schilling, supposedly it was not entirely in the Snakes’ hands. If he wanted to come here THEN it might have happened. The Yanks were hell bent on Mr No star as was Boston. They got the goat and they got their Messiah………

    53. butchie22
      December 18th, 2009 | 3:13 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      YankCrank wrote:
      They replace a speed guy and a slow guy with another speed guy and slow guy.
      Except the old speed guy never got hurt and could bat at the top of the line-up whereas the new speed guy doesn’t get on base enough to bat there. And, the old slow guy was a power hitter whereas the new slow guy is not.

      I agree. CG AKA Mr Media Savvy is not a top of the order guy on a team like this and Nick” Chris Carlin’s Twin” Johnson has a great OBP but where’s the pop? with Damon and Matsui’s departure they’ve lost a considerable amount of clutchness,power and top of the order hitting in Damonic.Mr Media Savvy can hit homers and Chris Carlin’s Twin can get on base so it’s not like they diminished that much BUT they did a little bit….

    54. Corey
      December 18th, 2009 | 3:22 pm

      Ah, office secret santa has treated me well. Inaugural Season shot glasses and a yankee freezie pilsner glass. I can’t wait for opening day!

    55. butchie22
      December 18th, 2009 | 3:28 pm

      Corey wrote:

      Ah, office secret santa has treated me well. Inaugural Season shot glasses and a yankee freezie pilsner glass. I can’t wait for opening day!

      I hope you put those great gifts to good use! Now maybe if you can sneak some Jim Beam in a flask and some fat Aussie beer into the New Yankee Stadium Mall ! ; ) After you spend a princely sum on the tickets you might want to save money somewhere……

    56. Raf
      December 18th, 2009 | 3:38 pm

      butchie22 wrote:

      It isn’t a load of hooey ,bit your bloody tongue,mate! When the No Star was pitching for crowds of 3000 and then pitches for a team that was selling out and had full capacity crowds ,that’s a game changer.

      No, it isn’t. So what happened in 2004? Did he start sucking because he realized that he was pitching for the Yankees? Were the crowds smaller in the first 1/2? Were they selling less tickets? C’mon…

      Montreal didn’t even have a rdio contract near the end!

      What does that have to do with anything? The issue with tv/radio contracts is Loria dropping the ball.

      He goes from one or two nespapers to a gazillion reporters asking him tough questions all the time.

      Do you honestly believe that? Have you ever seen how these post game press conferences go? You don’t think Chicago’s not a major media market? That’s news to the people of Chicago…

      That’s a major difference…ask the legion of players who don’t make it here about how different NYC is as a market.

      Jeff Weaver failed in Seattle. Is it because he couldn’t handle the pressure of playing for the M’s? He couldn’t handle the pressure of playing in SoCal? He got shelled pitching there too.

      You assertion of the mystical is absolutley absurd. Baseball is a very mental game, the game changes when you actually have heaps of pressure as opposed to being coddled by the crowd , media etc so on…

      No, not quite, there are years and years of evidence to the contrary. Matter of fact, if that were the case, Kei Igawa would be a superstar given how rabid the Hanshin Tigers fanbase.

    57. YankCrank
      December 18th, 2009 | 4:03 pm

      According to Ken Davidoff, looks like Johnny and Boras lowered their demands to a two-year contract but refused to take a paycut from $13 a season. Yanks valued him at $7 million a season.

      I really think Johnny/Boras messed up big time here. Every free agent has the right to look for as much money as they feel they deserve, but in this market Johnny is going to have to take a paycut to play anywhere…and he should have taken a paycut to play for the Yankees.

      Then again, if some team pays him upwards of $13 million for multiple years i’ll gladly eat my words. But where we’re standing now, I hope Johnny will be happy playing elsewhere.

    58. MJ
      December 18th, 2009 | 4:36 pm

      @ YankCrank:
      What do you mean they valued him at $7M? I thought they had offered 2Y/$20M last weekend?

      I’d have just offered Damon arbitration and been willing to pay him $15M for one more season or gotten the draft picks. As it is, it looks as though Damon would’ve declined given that he wants at least a two year deal…

    59. Corey
      December 18th, 2009 | 4:41 pm

      MJ wrote:

      I’d have just offered Damon arbitration and been willing to pay him $15M for one more season or gotten the draft picks. As it is, it looks as though Damon would’ve declined given that he wants at least a two year deal…

      agreed:
      http://waswatching.com/2009/12/01/old-reliable-passes/#comment-245503

    60. YankCrank
      December 18th, 2009 | 5:06 pm

      @ MJ:

      I’m just going by what Ken Davidoff tweeted.

    61. butchie22
      December 18th, 2009 | 5:59 pm

      Raf wrote:

      butchie22 wrote:
      It isn’t a load of hooey ,bit your bloody tongue,mate! When the No Star was pitching for crowds of 3000 and then pitches for a team that was selling out and had full capacity crowds ,that’s a game changer.
      No, it isn’t. So what happened in 2004? Did he start sucking because he realized that he was pitching for the Yankees? Were the crowds smaller in the first 1/2? Were they selling less tickets? C’mon…
      Montreal didn’t even have a rdio contract near the end!
      What does that have to do with anything? The issue with tv/radio contracts is Loria dropping the ball.
      He goes from one or two nespapers to a gazillion reporters asking him tough questions all the time.
      Do you honestly believe that? Have you ever seen how these post game press conferences go? You don’t think Chicago’s not a major media market? That’s news to the people of Chicago…
      That’s a major difference…ask the legion of players who don’t make it here about how different NYC is as a market.
      Jeff Weaver failed in Seattle. Is it because he couldn’t handle the pressure of playing for the M’s? He couldn’t handle the pressure of playing in SoCal? He got shelled pitching there too.
      You assertion of the mystical is absolutley absurd. Baseball is a very mental game, the game changes when you actually have heaps of pressure as opposed to being coddled by the crowd , media etc so on…
      No, not quite, there are years and years of evidence to the contrary. Matter of fact, if that were the case, Kei Igawa would be a superstar given how rabid the Hanshin Tigers fanbase.

      The bottom line reagrding The NO STAR is that he couldn’t hack it here, you can’t explain it away with stats or anything tangibl, HE WAS A MESS IN THE SECOND HALF OF 2004! Do you remember how ‘great” JV was in game 7 of 2004? Absolutley shitastic! as a Yankee fan I bet you are effing proud of his steelar performance in that game,correct? Weaver? You are making me laugh now…I might spit out my coffee. Weaver couldn’t hack it here either,mate! He screwed up here because he has no pressure in Tigerville and came here and couldn’t hack it. I remeber one game that was televised on 9 and the crowd let him have it and he looked like his entire family just died! BTW.Seattle is down the road mate, he went to LA after the Yankees. Perhaps by the time he reached seattle his stuff diminished AND his psyche wasn’t right. But I’ll say this about weaver, he has a ring,though! He got one in the town where ballplayers love to play ,St Louis. when Tino first went there they were patient with him, even though he followed Steroid Brain McGuire. In Yankee Stadium, he was treated like an enemy player by many obnoxious Yankee fans!

      Igawa?HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAAH! That was a horrific example, he pitched in another bloody country,mate! Different league, different country, different traditions etc so on.The Japanese are so respectful and polite in the stands. The press doesn’t go for the jugular like they do in NYC. Not only did his stuff now translate , did you see his awkward body language on the mound. The guy looked perplexed to be here!

      Raf, keep on deluding yourself about how players are stats first THEN human beings second. To actually deny that fact is sheer insanity. And if you think anyone can pitch or play here bring headcases like Greinke, Milton Bradley OR Khalil Greene here …that would be rich! Even Cash Man admitted that there is a consideration on whether or not a player can play here in NY with the Yankees. It’s not a no pressure atmosphere like KC or Shittsburgh is , it’s a tough place to play. How did the obnoxious and animalistic Yankee fans treat Afraud for how many years? They booed at him, criticized him…do you think that helped his psyche? Rudy Giuliani had to come out and defend this effing guy for chrissakes from all the rubes that were savaging him almost every time he came up. Oh, but I forgot Arod is a stat off of Fangraphs not a person…..I say that with much too much sarcasm ,mate.

    62. butchie22
      December 18th, 2009 | 6:01 pm

      YankCrank wrote:

      According to Ken Davidoff, looks like Johnny and Boras lowered their demands to a two-year contract but refused to take a paycut from $13 a season. Yanks valued him at $7 million a season.
      I really think Johnny/Boras messed up big time here. Every free agent has the right to look for as much money as they feel they deserve, but in this market Johnny is going to have to take a paycut to play anywhere…and he should have taken a paycut to play for the Yankees.
      Then again, if some team pays him upwards of $13 million for multiple years i’ll gladly eat my words. But where we’re standing now, I hope Johnny will be happy playing elsewhere.

      \

      Crank, he wants two years for 22 mill. Yanks want to pay him 2 for 14 mill? Where do you guys think he ends up? The SF Giants? Just a hunch…………

    63. GDH
      December 18th, 2009 | 7:22 pm

      butchie22 wrote:

      It’s not a no pressure atmosphere like KC or Shittsburgh is

      Another instant classic. Thanks for that one butchie.

      I don’t see Damon in SF. Not for 2 years 22, although no pay cut would mean 2/26. Not in SF, that kind of money was already wisely spent on Barry Zito, and Edgar Renteria.

    64. Raf
      December 18th, 2009 | 7:52 pm

      butchie22 wrote:

      The bottom line reagrding The NO STAR is that he couldn’t hack it here, you can’t explain it away with stats or anything tangibl, HE WAS A MESS IN THE SECOND HALF OF 2004!

      Yes he was a mess in the second 1/2. THE STATS SHOW HE WAS A MESS. The stats also show that wasn’t the case the 1st 1/2 of the season. You never answered the question. Was he productive because pressure only applies to the 2nd 1/2 of the season? Better yet, does the “Z0MG PR3zzUR3″ apply since the Red Sox didn’t see 1st place after June?

      Do you remember how ‘great” JV was in game 7 of 2004? Absolutley shitastic! as a Yankee fan I bet you are effing proud of his steelar performance in that game,correct?

      Not proud of his performance, not simple enough to have a couple of games OVERRIDE A 12 YEAR CAREER

      Weaver? You are making me laugh now…I might spit out my coffee. Weaver couldn’t hack it here either,mate! He screwed up here because he has no pressure in Tigerville and came here and couldn’t hack it.

      So how do you explain the bad years he had with other teams? He couldn’t handle the pressure in St Louis, Seattle or Anaheim?

      I remeber one game that was televised on 9 and the crowd let him have it and he looked like his entire family just died!

      You can’t be serious…

      BTW.Seattle is down the road mate, he went to LA after the Yankees. Perhaps by the time he reached seattle his stuff diminished AND his psyche wasn’t right.

      Weaver was lit up in LA as well. Guess he couldn’t handle the pressure and sunshine in California.

      But I’ll say this about weaver, he has a ring,though! He got one in the town where ballplayers love to play ,St Louis.

      Oh yeah, he sucked as a Cardinal too. 5.18 ERA woo-hoo! I think the pressure got to him out there too…

      Igawa?HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAAH! That was a horrific example, he pitched in another bloody country,mate! Different league, different country, different traditions etc so on.The Japanese are so respectful and polite in the stands.

      Obviously you are unfamiliar with the Hanshin Tigers and their fans.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNizL09ypzQ

      Not only did his stuff now translate , did you see his awkward body language on the mound. The guy looked perplexed to be here!

      Kinda like here?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW0YtOxxmXk

      That’s in JAPAN, by the way

      Raf, keep on deluding yourself about how players are stats first THEN human beings second. To actually deny that fact is sheer insanity. And if you think anyone can pitch or play here bring headcases like Greinke, Milton Bradley OR Khalil Greene here …that would be rich!

      *facepalm*

      Even Cash Man admitted that there is a consideration on whether or not a player can play here in NY with the Yankees. It’s not a no pressure atmosphere like KC or Shittsburgh is , it’s a tough place to play.

      Doesn’t make Cashman correct, and players have sucked in KC and Shittsburgh. Guess players couldn’t handle the media pressure there either?

      How did the obnoxious and animalistic Yankee fans treat Afraud for how many years? They booed at him, criticized him…do you think that helped his psyche? Rudy Giuliani had to come out and defend this effing guy for chrissakes from all the rubes that were savaging him almost every time he came up. Oh, but I forgot Arod is a stat off of Fangraphs not a person…..

      Since you brought up Fangraphs

      WAR – Wins Above Replacement

      Alex Rodriguez
      09: 4.4
      08: 6
      07: 9.6
      06: 4.6
      05: 9.4
      04: 6.7
      03: 9
      02: 9.8

      Seems a clear pattern to me, Rodriguez can’t handle pressure in even numbered years…

      I say that with much too much sarcasm ,mate.

      No problem, doesn’t make you any less correct. I’ve already shown my work, let’s see yours…

    65. Raf
      December 18th, 2009 | 7:54 pm

      If Damon doesn’t sign with NY, Atlanta should be his next option.

    66. YankCrank
      December 18th, 2009 | 8:10 pm

      If The Sox deal Ellsbury in a package for another player it’ll always free up left field in Fenway

    67. YankCrank
      December 18th, 2009 | 10:04 pm

      Kepner just tweeted that late Thursday night Damon went to the Yanks and said he’d do 2 years $20 million but by then, Yanks had already agreed with Nick Johnson.

      I don’t know the validity to what these NY sportswriters are saying, but if Johnny came back to the Yanks at their terms last minute, why not sign him anyway?

      I know I spent most of the day arguing against signing Damon, but that’s only at his demand for 3 years and $13 mil per year. But if that report is true and he came all the way down to the Yanks terms, I wish they would have brought him back.

      Too bad.

    68. December 18th, 2009 | 10:11 pm

      @ YankCrank:

      Wasn’t the Yankees’ terms around $7 million per year?

      http://twitter.com/KenDavidoff/statuses/6806669427

    69. BOHAN
      December 19th, 2009 | 8:40 am

      MJ wrote:

      BOHAN wrote:
      cause jazy vasquez worked out in new york once already right????
      198 IP, 92 ERA+, 6.8 K/9, 1.28 WHIP. We’d be talking about a #3 starter, not the #1/#2 he was supposed to be in 2004. Different set of expectations altogether.
      If we suspend disbelief for a moment (since it’s doubtful that such a trade would ever occur), the Yanks picking up the remaining $11.5M on Vazquez’s contract to get a pitcher that is better than what he showed in 2004 would clearly be worthwhile. The Red Sox are paying Lackey $17M to be their #3 starter. We’d be paying $5.5M less with a reasonable expectation of fairly similar results.
      You may not like Vazquez and you may be one of those guys that buys the BS that he can’t pitch in New York but you can’t make a credible argument that a minimum of 200 league-average innings would be a bad thing for the Yanks to add to their rotation on a one-year basis.

      im not sayin he cant pitch in NYC im saying he cant pitch in the AL. his ERA in 4 yrs in the AL are 4.91 w/ NY and 4.84 3.74 4.67 with chicago. so its not just ny its the AL. its much easier to pitch the NL then it the AL so him coming back here just isnt a good diea.

    70. BOHAN
      December 19th, 2009 | 9:12 am

      butchie22 wrote:

      Raf wrote:
      butchie22 wrote:
      when Tino first went there they were patient with him, even though he followed Steroid Brain McGuire. In Yankee Stadium, he was treated like an enemy player by many obnoxious Yankee fans!

      when tino first got here he was booed a bit but it was because he wasnt producing one bit. once he started porducing he became loved and when he came back here when he was with stl he got a standing ovation. dude was loved here, he was actually my favorite player, and he will forever be loved here.

    71. MJ
      December 19th, 2009 | 3:00 pm

      BOHAN wrote:

      im not sayin he cant pitch in NYC im saying he cant pitch in the AL. his ERA in 4 yrs in the AL are 4.91 w/ NY and 4.84 3.74 4.67 with chicago. so its not just ny its the AL. its much easier to pitch the NL then it the AL so him coming back here just isnt a good diea.

      Each of those ERA’s was league average:

      2004 ERA+: 92
      2008 ERA+: 98
      2007 ERA+: 126
      2008 ERA+: 98

      That’s league average. No one’s arguing that the NL isn’t easier but if you re-read my comments the fact remains that 200 innings of league-average performance for $11.5M would be a very good investment.

    72. Evan3457
      December 19th, 2009 | 4:28 pm

      To repeat what I said in the prior thread:

      Nick Johnson doesn’t suck. He can hit some. He’ll do OK, if he can stay healthy.

      He’s a decent puzzle piece, but, except for salary, I don’t see how he fits into the Yankee puzzle better than Damon. He’s slow for a #2 man, although he’ll certainly be on base a lot. He’ll also set up a lot of RBI and GIDP for Tex and A-Rod.

      I could see batting him #5 or 6 against righties, and hoping he can take advantage of the short alley in right and right-center as Damon used to. His power’s a little short for #5.

      See what I mean? He’s a good piece, but he doesn’t…quite…fit.

      I don’t think I understand this signing. Certainty? Cost? I dunno.

    73. Evan3457
      December 19th, 2009 | 4:31 pm

      Not that I want to pay Damon more than $7-8 million for 1 year, with an option for another, and a small buyout for declining the option. That seems reasonable to me.

      Then, we can do Steve a favor…make the outfield Damon/Granderson/Melky/Gardner/Hoffman-Whosis, and trade Swisher for another good part or a prospect or two…Texas might need an outfielder, but probably not…the Royals in a deal for Gil Meche, if he’s healthy?

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