• Seung-Yeop Lee In 2007?

    Posted by on October 24th, 2006 · Comments (17)

    From the Pirates official site

    Lee’s contract with the Yomiuri Giants expired after the 2006 season, and there has been widespread speculation that Lee would like to sign with a Major League team. The Yankees reportedly have agreed to begin negotiations with Lee this offseason.

    This ties back into what was reported last July.

    If the Yankees do sign this player, it means Giambi is the full-time DH and it also means less playing time for Melky Cabrera. And, it probably means that Bernie Williams is done in New York.

    Unless…would the Yankees look to trade Abreu, and cash, to some team for a starting pitcher? There are many teams that would love Abreu’s bat – but not at $15.5 million for 2007 with a $2 million buyout for 2008. Sure, the Yankees could throw in $7 million to make this attractive for someone. But, Abreu still has that no-trade clause.

    Still…Venezuela ties Abreu and Ozzie Guillen together. Would the White Sox take Abreu (and cash), and move him to LF for 2007, in exchange for someone like Freddy Garcia? Would that interest the Yankees?

    Probably not.

    This whole thing is probably just bad news for Melky in 2007.

    Comments on Seung-Yeop Lee In 2007?

    1. baileywalk
      October 24th, 2006 | 11:23 am

      Abreu isn’t going anywhere — and he shouldn’t. The Yankees were quick to make Sheffield a first baseman. Why not Matsui? Matsui is a statue out in left field. Somehow I could easily see him as a first baseman. Plus he’s such a hard worker that he’ll spend the entire off-season practicing and be ready for spring training. If Matsui plays first, then Giambi is the DH and Melky the starting left fielder. It makes perfect sense. Matsui is a good hitter, but his fielding has gotten worse and worse. He misplayed balls in the playoffs that hurt this team and people take advantage of that weak arm of his.

      At the very least, they should consider this move. It fills a hole — first base — without adding any payroll, and it allows Melky to start every day.

    2. jonm
      October 24th, 2006 | 11:24 am

      I like Melky as much as the next guy, but his performance last year does not yet suggest that he is ready yet for more than a fourth OF role. His offensive stats were below average for a corner OF and his defensive numbers (although they improved over the course of the season) were disappointing. I really don’t think it would be a good idea for the Yankees to hand him a starting position right off the bat next year.

      I don’t think that Abreu is going anywhere next year.

      That being said, this is very interesting about Lee. Last year, he made $210 million yen, which sounds like a lot, but is only equivalent to $1.8 million. If his defense is average at least, I think that this would probably be a good signing for the Yankees.

    3. October 24th, 2006 | 11:28 am

      I don’t think the Yankees would ever trade Matsui. It’s just a gut feel – like, they brought him here with a promise that he would always be a Yankee. But, I could be wrong.

    4. Rich
      October 24th, 2006 | 11:31 am

      I agree on Bobby. I see no reason to trade him. Melky needs to improve before he assumes the role of RF/LF. Hopefully Matsui can earn his keep in LF, but the idea of a new 1B is intriguing. If Lee isn’t an average to plus defender, I don’t know how useful a move this would be. In order to move Giambi to the role of DH permanently, the man replacing him at 1B has got to be a decent enough defender to validate the decision. This is an aging team, so the DH spot is critical in terms of resting the regulars as well as getting the kids some time. If Lee’s stick is big and his glove is a plus, then by all means, sign him tomorrow.

    5. Pete
      October 24th, 2006 | 12:11 pm

      I’m a big fan of the possible Matsui to 1B move…

      He doesn’t have a gun, but he does get rid of the ball quick and seems to be fairly accurate with his throws.

    6. MJ
      October 24th, 2006 | 12:30 pm

      I just don’t understand what it is about experimenting with players at 1st base that appeals to everyone all of a sudden. I am all for getting Melky into the field on a regular basis but I am just sick of the Yankees turning the 1st base position into a minefield. I truly don’t care what the sabermetric junk says, I want a guy that can field his position at 1st base. What makes people think Matsui can become a good corner infielder? Because he works hard? Gary Sheffield’s a better athlete and he sucked at it…

    7. Raf
      October 24th, 2006 | 1:22 pm

      I truly don’t care what the sabermetric junk says, I want a guy that can field his position at 1st base.
      Yanks tried that with Travis Lee, Andy Phillips and Miguel Cairo. Didn’t work. I don’t think JT Snow is available.

      I’m sure given more than a couple of weeks, Sheffield can play 1b. Ditto for Matsui.

      Say what you want about sabermetrics, but the fact of the matter is, if you’re a capable hitter teams will find a place to play you to get your bat in the lineup. Not so, if you’re a glove man; what’s Rey Ordonez been up to lately?

    8. October 24th, 2006 | 1:59 pm

      i support the idea of Melky playing a lot of LF in 2007. but first off: who is Seung-Yeop Lee?

    9. Raf
      October 24th, 2006 | 2:09 pm
    10. MJ
      October 24th, 2006 | 2:27 pm

      I’m not suggesting the Yankees go for a guy hitting .158 that won’t make an error in the field. But what about Sheffield/Matsui gives people the belief that they can play the position? Honestly, I just don’t get it. Giambi’s been playing first his whole life and sucks at it. How can someone playing it for six months be that much better? It takes more than athletic ability to be good at something. After all Sheffield was a young man once and wasn’t a particularly great infielder.

    11. Raf
      October 24th, 2006 | 2:59 pm

      Sheffield and or Matsui can’t be much worse than Giambi @ 1b. They can’t be worse than some of the people who have played 1b in the majors.

      FWIW, Giambi has played the OF corners as well as 3b. Sheffield, as we already know, has had time @ 3b & SS. Rodriguez is playing out of position @ 3b, and he’s doing ok. Posada made the switch from 2b to C. Yount made the switch from SS to CF. Julio Franco has played everywhere in the infield. There are plenty of other examples of players making positional switches. So, who’s to say that these guys can’t hack it @ 1b. If he’s willing, I’d take a long look @ Sheffield @ 1b. Same goes for Matsui.

      They don’t need the 2nd coming of Mattingly, they need someone adequate at 1b.

    12. MJ
      October 24th, 2006 | 4:13 pm

      At $13M for 2007, with his ARod-esque suckitude in the playoffs, Sheff can go ply his trade in another city. I am not going to endorse dropping that kind of money on a guy that hit at about league-average last year (112 OPS+) who may or may not be able to play a position every day.

    13. Raf
      October 24th, 2006 | 4:27 pm

      He only played in 39 games last year. Otherwise, he put up 132, 143 & 167 OPS+ the last few years.

      Personally, I’d rather look at the 1100+ AB’s he had over the course of his Yankee career than the 12 he had against the Tigers. Or better yet, the 8000+ AB he had over the course of his career.

    14. October 24th, 2006 | 6:43 pm

      Melky would make a terrific 1st. baseman. He is the same size as Mattingly and a fine athlete.

    15. October 24th, 2006 | 6:53 pm

      Thanks raf. he’s not very impressive. he’s already 30.

      and if ‘Godzilla’ never hit 40 HRs here (in more games mind you), why would Lee be any kind of HR threat? he’d more likely be a 20-25 HR, .260-.280 hitter. i dont get it. you’d get a lot more production from giambi, so unless Lee is Mattingly at 1b, why make the move?

      this is not a rant at you raf, just at the Yanks. but hey, if you can get him for cheap, why not? except that it spells less PT for melky. 🙁

    16. Yu Hsing Chen
      October 24th, 2006 | 9:43 pm

      Lee is also a lefty hitter, and really, we already have too much lefty, if we get Lee. next year our line up will have a wooping 6 lefty. with 2 righty and a switch. the other teams might as well trade for Mike Myers to start against us!!

      Moving guys around isn’t really that much of a deal, we’ve all played baseball (i presume) and most of us probably played more than one position in our *careeer* i’ve played all the OF and 2B/1B .. and most major leaguers have moved around sometime during their career with the minors or majors. the only issue is if the guy is a butcher there. if he’s not, and he gets enough time, he’s fine. Matsui played 3rd in highschool. Cano played 3rd in the minors, Andy Phillips was drafted as a SS for example.

      As for Sheff, he’s a valuable impact bat. you have to remember this is a guy that has a career SLG well north of .500 and closing in on 500 HR.

    17. baileywalk
      October 24th, 2006 | 11:50 pm

      MJ, first base is historically a dumping ground for sluggers who can’t field and for older players who can’t play their normal position anymore (catchers, centerfielders, etc.). Because Matsui is such a poor leftfielder, it makes sense to move him to first because he hurts the team when he’s in the outfield. And it’s much different for Matsui to spend the off-season training to be a first baseman and Sheff taking a crash course and playing there IN THE PLAYOFFS after only a week.

      If Matsui was a good outfielder, it wouldn’t make any sense. But since he’s so horrible out there, it opens the door for Melky and gives the Yankees a first baseman, which they currently do not have.

      I’ve played everywhere on the baseball field (outfield, infield, I’ve pitched — everything and anything) and first base felt like less of a skill position than left field. It DOES take skill to be a good first baseman, but Matsui’s lack of mobility will not hurt the team as much (and his arm is weak, but it’s accurate, and he’ll probably be able to make throws from first).

      I’m not saying they HAVE to do this, but it does make a lot of sense, and there aren’t that many first-base options out there.

      At the very least they should consider it. I think Matsui will do fine. I’d rather him be an average first baseman than a lousy leftfielder.

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