• 2011: No Yankees July Trade For The First Time Since 1999

    Posted by on July 31st, 2011 · Comments (36)

    Francisco Rodriguez, Jason Marquis, Edwin Jackson, Brad Ziegler, Erik Bedard, Mike Adams, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Koji Uehara all got moved. So, there was some pitching to be had in this year’s market. But, I guess, Brian Cashman is happy with what he’s got now and didn’t see the need to try and pick up another arm or two…

    Comments on 2011: No Yankees July Trade For The First Time Since 1999

    1. Raf
      July 31st, 2011 | 9:14 pm

      He saw the need, he just didn’t come to terms with what other teams were asking.

      Erik Bedard intrigues me, I think he was a nice little pickup for the Sox.

    2. Evan3457
      July 31st, 2011 | 9:16 pm

      Raf wrote:

      He saw the need, he just didn’t come to terms with what other teams were asking.
      Erik Bedard intrigues me, I think he was a nice little pickup for the Sox.

      Could be huge, if he can stay on the field. Big if. Huge if, so to speak.

    3. Evan3457
      July 31st, 2011 | 9:19 pm

      …and here we are, end of July, and the Yanks are 5th in the AL in starter ERA, in spite of Hughes and AJ, 1st in bullpen ERA, 3rd in overall ERA, and 1st in ERA+.

      I suppose it could all collapse tomorrow, but maybe Cashman has a point here.

    4. KPOcala
      July 31st, 2011 | 9:32 pm

      I saw today that Bannuelos got promoted to Scranton. If he does wel, I wonder if the Yanks would put him in the rotation and/or bullpen. I think that Burnett would be a fine 5th inning specialist w/Hughes being the swing-man. I also think it’s a no- brainer that Montero is brought up to do what he does best. Hit. As for the lack of action today, ‘Bravo’ for Cashman!

    5. LMJ229
      July 31st, 2011 | 10:58 pm

      Didn’t surprise me at all. Cashman generally doesn’t make big, impact type trades at the deadline anyway.

    6. July 31st, 2011 | 11:00 pm

      The chance of winning it all doesn’t come around all that often. Even the Yankees have won only 7 titles since 1962 (and that’s way more than anyone else). When I heard Cashman defending his lack of moves he indicated last year he would have had to give up Nova or Nunez to get Cliff Lee. My first thought, you mean you think Nunez was worth losing the best opportunity the Yankees had at a 28th title. I don’t think this club is close to postseason ready, and to be honest, I doubt anything could have been done to fix the starting pitching and some of the line-up holes.

      I hope the Yanks keep an open mind when it comes to the GM position, at this point I would be thinking beyond Cashman.

    7. LMJ229
      July 31st, 2011 | 11:03 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      …and here we are, end of July, and the Yanks are 5th in the AL in starter ERA, in spite of Hughes and AJ, 1st in bullpen ERA, 3rd in overall ERA, and 1st in ERA+.I suppose it could all collapse tomorrow, but maybe Cashman has a point here.

      True. Sometimes it seems like we are doing it with mirrors but hey, we are doing it nonetheless. None of the names they were throwing about intrigued me all that much. These are the horses that got us here, let’s see how far we can continue to ride them.

    8. LMJ229
      July 31st, 2011 | 11:13 pm

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      When I heard Cashman defending his lack of moves he indicated last year he would have had to give up Nova or Nunez to get Cliff Lee. My first thought, you mean you think Nunez was worth losing the best opportunity the Yankees had at a 28th title.

      AMEN to that. That’s exactly how I felt. You mean Nunez was not worth giving up to get Cliff Lee? That’s ridiculous! If we had Lee, we probably beat Texas and go to the world series. Then, who knows what happens? It seems to me that Cashman is afraid to pull the trigger on big trades unless he feels that he has the absolute advantage. That’s why he usually makes smaller, low-impact type trades at the deadline. Who knows, had he been able to pull off the Lee trade, maybe Cliff Lee is a Yankee today.

    9. Raf
      July 31st, 2011 | 11:13 pm

      The Yankees can still make a trade, it just means that a player has to pass through waivers first.

      This is where having the 2nd best record in the league may hurt. But I’d rather be with, than without.

      KPOcala wrote:

      I also think it’s a no- brainer that Montero is brought up to do what he does best. Hit.

      With the way things are going with Posada, something will have to give.

    10. Raf
      July 31st, 2011 | 11:20 pm

      @ LMJ229:
      @ Joseph Maloney:

      You guys are forgetting that a trade for Lee was in place, as reported by virtually every news outlet. Others say that the trade was for all intents and purposes done.

      The M’s decided to go in a different direction. Nothing wrong with that.

    11. LMJ229
      July 31st, 2011 | 11:23 pm

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      I don’t think this club is close to postseason ready, and to be honest, I doubt anything could have been done to fix the starting pitching and some of the line-up holes. I hope the Yanks keep an open mind when it comes to the GM position, at this point I would be thinking beyond Cashman.

      Agreed. The trade market was not that good this year. I do think we need to go in another direction with the GM position though because Cashman seems incapable of pulling off the big, impact-type trades. Look at what a powerhouse the Phillies are this year. The last few years they traded for Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and now Pence.

    12. LMJ229
      July 31st, 2011 | 11:25 pm

      @ Raf:
      Brian Cashman is the GM. It is his job to make sure that all of the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted in a trade agreement. The trade fell through for whatever reason. Some of the blame has to fall on him.

    13. Raf
      July 31st, 2011 | 11:35 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Brian Cashman is the GM. It is his job to make sure that all of the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted in a trade agreement. The trade fell through for whatever reason. Some of the blame has to fall on him.

      The trade did not fall apart because of a clerical error, it fell apart because Jack Z called Jon Daniels’ bluff. Daniels caved, Cashman didn’t. The Rangers got Lee, the Yankees didn’t.

    14. Raf
      July 31st, 2011 | 11:37 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Cashman seems incapable of pulling off the big, impact-type trades.

      The Chuck Knoblauch, Roger Clemens & Bobby Abreu trades were pretty big impact type trades. Last season, they acquired Kerry Wood & Lance Berkman, two “name” players.

    15. LMJ229
      July 31st, 2011 | 11:39 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Daniels caved, Cashman didn’t.

      Yeah, Cashman wouldn’t give up Nunez. We’re talking about Edwardo Nunez here – a BACK-UP INFIELDER!

    16. Raf
      July 31st, 2011 | 11:48 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Yeah, Cashman wouldn’t give up Nunez. We’re talking about Edwardo Nunez here – a BACK-UP INFIELDER!

      Do you honestly think that a Jack Z would have scuttled this trade over a backup infielder? Especially given how things turned out with Josh Lueke?

      He wanted Smoak, he preferred Smoak to Montero. Again, nothing wrong with that.

    17. LMJ229
      July 31st, 2011 | 11:49 pm

      Raf wrote:

      The Chuck Knoblauch, Roger Clemens & Bobby Abreu trades were pretty big impact type trades. Last season, they acquired Kerry Wood & Lance Berkman, two “name” players.

      The Chuck Knoblauch trade was essentially done before Cashman took over as GM. Bob Watson resigned on February 2, 1998. Knoblauch was acquired very shortly thereafter.

    18. LMJ229
      July 31st, 2011 | 11:55 pm

      Raf wrote:

      He wanted Smoak, he preferred Smoak to Montero. Again, nothing wrong with that.

      It was Brian Cashman who said they wanted Nunez and he wouldn’t include him. So it sounds to me like Cashman knew what it would take but he wouldn’t do it. Montero plus Nunez would have likely trumped Smoak.

    19. Raf
      July 31st, 2011 | 11:56 pm

      @ LMJ229: Regardless, Cashman has “big, impact-type trades” on his resume.

    20. Raf
      August 1st, 2011 | 12:03 am

      LMJ229 wrote:

      It was Brian Cashman who said they wanted Nunez and he wouldn’t include him. So it sounds to me like Cashman knew what it would take but he wouldn’t do it. Montero plus Nunez would have likely trumped Smoak.

      I think you underestimate what the M’s got from the Rangers.

    21. KPOcala
      August 1st, 2011 | 12:45 am

      Hey guys, do any of us have any idea what “really” goes on between GMs? We hear the story-line in the papers, that’s it. I mean, there is a very fluid dynamic of a game that a bunch of smart men play against each other. We get the “OMG!” version, let’s not kid ourselves….

    22. Raf
      August 1st, 2011 | 9:31 am

      KPOcala wrote:

      We get the “OMG!” version, let’s not kid ourselves….

      Yes, it makes for good theater.

    23. Scout
      August 1st, 2011 | 10:54 am

      I judge Cashman by results, and won’t pretend to know what went on in the negotiations.

      If we look at the past two years (since the 2009 World Championship), Cashman has led the organization through what might be termed three acquisition cycles — trade deadline 2010, off-season 2010-2011, and trade deadline 2010. Each time, recognizing that the team needed another front-of-the-rotation starter to improve its prospects not of making the post-season but winning another championship, he has pursued an ace. Each time, he has failed to deliver what he and many of us thought the team needed.

      The first two times, his response was that he would have another opportunity in the next acquisition cycle. I expect we will hear the same thing now. I see no reason to place further confidence in his statements after the previous episodes.

      Readers of this blog divide broadly into two camps. On one side are those who believe the Yankees should hold onto their young players and deal them only for a sure thing. Some in this group would have made the deal for Cliff Lee as a rental, while others prefer to see the the young players retained and developed by the Yankees. Clearly, I am not part of this cohort. I don’t think the young assets are that good and the odds against them turning into major league stars are enormous.

      On the other side are those of us who believe young players are marketable assets who should often be used in deals to acquire proven talent. We (I count myself a part of this cohort) prefer to see the Yankees capitalize on the current window of opportunity to win another championship. No, I do not think you trade Banuelos for a half-season rental — that would be overpaying recklessly. (And there is an opportunity cost when you surrender prospects — they are not available later to meet a need or complete a deal.) But when a talented, relatively young, and still effective pitcher such as Jimenez is on the market, I favor paying significantly to obtain him.

      Cashman has drifted into the former camp. It is a sign of his power within the organization that no one above him has forced him to make deals. But he does need to be held accountable for the results. If the team comes up short this October, it will be time for a fresh face at GM, preferably someone from outside the organization who can take a fresh look at the talent and is not so heavily invested in it.

    24. KPOcala
      August 1st, 2011 | 11:12 am

      @ Scout: I wonder if Theo would mind having Masterson in his rotation right now? Endless debate on this sort of thing. I wonder, how much of a GMs successes often boil down to pure chance?

    25. Raf
      August 1st, 2011 | 11:27 am

      KPOcala wrote:

      I wonder, how much of a GMs successes often boil down to pure chance?

      Good question. There are fundamentally sound trades that blow up for any number of reasons. I’m sure Theo would make the Masterson trade again, given the team’s needs at the time.

    26. Greg H.
      August 1st, 2011 | 1:40 pm

      Scout wrote:

      We (I count myself a part of this cohort) prefer to see the Yankees capitalize on the current window of opportunity to win another championship.

      So, what would you have given to get Jimenez – Montero, Nova and Betances? I can respect that opinion, but my question is, which friggin’ Jimenez shows up, last year’s or this year’s? Everyone would give up the farm for last year’s Jimenez, but this year’s? This guy is not the lockdown everyone assumes he is, especially not in the AL East, or the playoffs. He’s a kid who had one great season (actually, just one phenomenal first half) and after that has been league average. He’s shown signs of slowing down quickly, and of being a pouter (both normally the kiss of death for a NY Yankee).

      Sure, I would rather him be our #2, but for most of the farm?
      I’ll take chances with our bunch of question marks.

    27. Scout
      August 1st, 2011 | 2:08 pm

      @ Greg H.:
      I make that deal without hesitation. This year’s Jimenez has pitched well after a poor start, and I wager he benefits from getting away from Coors Field. His velocity remains good, if nto what it was last year, and it has gone up a tick since his early season injury. He has a team-friendly contract for the next two years. If his performance disappoints, then you cut bait when the contract is up.

      Montero is a player with no long-term position on the Yankees. You can believe he’ll be a viable catcher if you like, but I buy the reports that suggest this future lies at first base or DH. The Yankees won’t have openings at either spot, with Tex at first for another four years and A-Rod headed for DH in another year or so. Nova is a nice, back-of-the-rotation starter who doesn’t miss many bats. Betances has much more chance of ending up as a bullpen piece than as a top-of-the-rotation starter. Some other team may find all these pieces valuable, and I believe you need to surrender quality to get it back.

      To focus on one deal, though, misses my main point. Cashman has failed to deliver the goods not once but three times. In each instance, you can explain away the failure as the result of specific circumstances — Seattle wanted a different package, Lee preferred Philadelphia, and the Yankees had doubts about Jimemnez health. There will always be specific circumstances you can use to justify inaction, if that is your preference. I am suggesting there is a larger pattern here, a pattern that spells the inability of the GM with the largest bankroll in baseball and a reputedly top-five fam organization to acquire what the team needs. When do his backers stop making excuses for him and decide to hold him accountable?

    28. Raf
      August 1st, 2011 | 2:38 pm

      Scout wrote:

      When do his backers stop making excuses for him and decide to hold him accountable?

      When the team falls apart and isn’t in a position to win. The “sky is falling” meme that pops up every so often in Yankeeland is a bit tiring.

      ZOMG they didn’t trade for Cliff Lee!!!!
      ZOMG they didn’t sign Cliff Lee!!!1
      ZOMG Pettitte’s retiring!!1!!
      ZOMG they signed Bartolo Colon, he’s teh suck!!!
      ZOMG they signed Freddy Garcia, he’s t3h suck too!11!!1
      ZOMG the rotation is CC-Burnett-Hughes-Colon-Garcia!!! No way the Yankees can contend with that rotation

      And yet, here we are, August 1st, the Yanks in 2nd, 2 games behind the World Champion Red Sox, and 4 games up on the Angels for the Wild Card. 3rd best record in baseball, 2nd best record in the AL.

      3rd in the league in ERA (LAA-SEA)
      2nd in R/G (LAA)
      2nd in runs (LAA)
      2nd in K’s (TOR)

      From a statistical view, the Yanks are good enough to contend and win it all. There have been teams with worse pitching that have won it all. From an emotional view, the Yanks are flying by with smoke and mirrors and the grass is greener on the other side WRT contending teams.

      Just another year in Yankeeland :)

      Haven’t seen this much handwringing since 2009. That season turned out pretty well ;)

    29. Scout
      August 1st, 2011 | 2:49 pm

      @ Raf:
      Fair enough. We’ll revisit this in October. But, again, please don’t misrepresent my view. My point is not to question or wring my hands over each decision. It is the larger pattern of the past three acquisition cycles I am criticizing.

    30. bags
      August 1st, 2011 | 2:54 pm

      @ Raf:
      haha. genius.

    31. August 1st, 2011 | 2:55 pm

      Scout wrote:

      It is the larger pattern of the past three acquisition cycles I am criticizing.

      As any wise person would. :-)

    32. Raf
      August 1st, 2011 | 3:07 pm

      Scout wrote:

      My point is not to question or wring my hands over each decision. It is the larger pattern of the past three acquisition cycles I am criticizing.

      I understand where you’re coming from, but looking at the acquisition cycles, I don’t see an “inability of the GM with the largest bankroll in baseball and a reputedly top-five fam organization to acquire what the team needs” as much as I see a GM who won’t make a deal for the sake of making a deal. Given the Yankees current position, I’d rather Cashman make a smart or prudent deal than make a “splash” because the fanbase/media wants it. Had the pitching been under performing, fine let’s make a deal to shore up the rotation/bullpen. Even now, the team can still make a deal if someone slips through waivers.

      For the record, I would’ve made the Lee deal. I would’ve made the Jimenez deal as well (with Nova instead of Hughes; I don’t think his curve would play well in Colorado), but if there are concerns with Ubaldo’s health, I’d understand why the Yankees would be hesitant to make a deal.

    33. Greg H.
      August 1st, 2011 | 4:16 pm

      Raf wrote:

      For the record, I would’ve made the Lee deal. I would’ve made the Jimenez deal as well (with Nova instead of Hughes; I don’t think his curve would play well in Colorado), but if there are concerns with Ubaldo’s health, I’d understand why the Yankees would be hesitant to make a deal.

      I would make the deal for Montero, Nova and anyone not named Banuelos or Hughes. But maybe Colorado likes Cleveland’s offer better than that.

      Scout wrote:

      We’ll revisit this in October… It is the larger pattern of the past three acquisition cycles I am criticizing.

      We’ll see the result of Cleveland’s gamble before October. Larger pattern is understandable, but in the previous cycles, he did acquire Tex, CC, and Burnett (for better or worse) which shows that when the market does match up with our needs, he is effective in bringing home players that help us.

      We play October baseball every season (except 2008). Making the playoffs every year is the barometer for how the organization is doing. Most everything else is subjective, and any playoff team is capable of winning 11 games or three series.

    34. LMJ229
      August 1st, 2011 | 4:27 pm

      Brian Cashman operates like a small market, win later GM in a big market, win now organization. If you get a chance to obtain a difference maker like Cliff Lee you take it. The prospects are the unknown commodities, not the name player, so it’s the Mariners that are taking the gamble not the Yankees. Yet, Cashman is afraid to pull the trigger on big trades unless he feels that he has the absolute advantage. He wants to look smarter than the other guy.

    35. Raf
      August 1st, 2011 | 4:59 pm

      Greg H. wrote:

      But maybe Colorado likes Cleveland’s offer better than that.

      I don’t doubt that. Same with the Lee trade. That the trades with Colorado and Seattle didn’t go through isn’t an indictment against Cashman. They didn’t match up as well as the other teams did. Nothing wrong with that.

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Yet, Cashman is afraid to pull the trigger on big trades unless he feels that he has the absolute advantage.

      His trade history says otherwise.

    36. KPOcala
      August 1st, 2011 | 5:31 pm

      I can understand backing up the truck for a “Mantle-type player”. What I have read and seen over the years is that you don’t back the truck up for any pitcher, even for Sandy Koufax. Crazy? No, not when you realize that any one player, especially a pitcher is literally a sneeze away from being Koufax to turning into Andy Hawkins (sorry Andy). When you back the truck up, you’d better damn well know what your doing, and you’ve got to be very lucky. Otherwise your back to buying into the free-agent circle game. I spent 20 years of my adult life watching the Yankees go that route.

      So maybe some of you guys should cut Cashman a little bit of slack, no?

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