Here are some of the latest news stories from various sources:
- ESPN.com reports that the Cardinals are getting closer to a deal with Matt Holliday. The deal could be a seven-year deal.
- Wang’s agent told 1050 ESPN
that he has heard from 15 teams who are interested in Wang. The Yankees
were one of them, while the Mets were not. No other teams were
- The Red Sox have made an offer for third baseman, Adrian Beltre, according to ESPN.com. Other teams are also interest including the Angels, Athletics and Orioles.
- Buster Olney tweets that the Athletics have pulled their offer off the table for Adrian Beltre.
- According to SNY, Jason Bay has passed his physical and is officially a New York Met, to be announced tomorrow.
- An AP source tells NBCSports.com that Bay’s deal with the Mets will have a $17M option for 2014.
- Mike Axisa of River Avenue Blues says that the Yankees should go after the A’s, Travis Buck, to play the outfield.
- The NY Post reports that David Cone will not be returning to the YES Network. Tino Martinez is a possible replacement.
- 7:40 p.m. SI.com has learned that the Red Sox are now close to a deal with Adrian Beltre. The deal is believed to be at least two-years with an opt-out option after this season.
- 9:19 p.m. Peter Gammons says via Twitter that the Red Sox have agreed to a one-year deal worth $9M, with a player option for $5M. 9:31 p.m. FOXSports.com confirms.
- 9:25 p.m. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com tweets about a possible trade that would send Luis Castillo to the Red Sox, and Mike Lowell to the Mets. The deal would work out for the Red Sox with Beltre coming, and with Castillo gone, the Mets could go after Orlando Hudson.
- 9:29 p.m. Chad Jennings of The Journal News reports that the Indians have signed Shelly Duncan.
So if everything goes according to plan, the Yankees will go into the 2010 season without Matt Holliday on the roster. To most, it’s a upsetting situation. In New York, we are used to the seeing the big time players, every time we see the chance.
But, if you take a look at a move that seems somewhat puzzling, you will see that the decision to hold off on Holliday, is in fact a genius move.
The Yankees won 103 games last year, beating out the Red Sox by eight games in the standings. Assume that Yankees lost five more games throughout the season. Still they would have won the division.
So the Yankees won games that were unnecessary. In other words, their team was better than it needed to be. So adding Holliday would seem somewhat overkill right? Yes. But then again, this isn’t the same team.
The Yankees had nine players with over 10 home runs last year. This year, three of those nine guys will be gone. So the question becomes: Do the Yankees have enough to win repeat?
Once again, yes. If you take away Wang — who lost the Yankees a good three or four games — assume A-Rod will be here for a full season, add Chamberlain to the bullpen, add Vazquez to the rotation, add Granderson to the mix, and add Johnson as your DH, the Yankees seem to be just as talented as last year.
But, you also have to assume that some things will go wrong. Possibly someone gets hurt, or maybe Jeter doesn’t have as good as a season as last year. Doesn’t matter. Like I said, the Yankees had so many more wins than they needed, that there is a lot of room for error, not to mention that things can go bad for Boston as well (they already lost Bay.)
But why is this a genius move? It would seem that adding Holliday couldn’t be a bad thing right? Wrong. Holliday was seeking a long term, big money deal. Sure, the Yankees could have afforded it. But, as we have already established, it would have been unnecessary money to spend. Instead, the Yankees now have that money saved up for a deal they may need to make in the future. Right now, the Yankees have plenty. In five years, they may not. In five years, this may seem like one of the best moves in Yankee history.
“No chance on Matt Holliday, no chance on Jason Bay,” the official said. “Zero. None. Underline it.”
The newspaper also said that the Yankees are looking to guys like Jerry Hairston Jr. or Reed Johnson to fill the void in left field, while still considering the idea of Gardner as the full time left fielder.
The Yankees are clearly not inspired by this years free agents and are likely to make a splash in next years market, maybe by pursuing Carl Crawford, says the Daily News.
To me this is a big mistake. Holliday is a great, great player and there is no reason to wait out for a worse player in Crawford who is also likely to seek a long term deal. Holliday has said he wants to play in New York, so there is a good chance they can get him cheaper than what he seems to want.
As for Hairston and Reed, do they really think these guys can make a difference? Are the Yankees really considering defending their 27th title by putting Hairston, Johnson, or Gardner as their everyday left fielder? Big mistake.
I still don’t know about this. It surprises me that the Yankees are prepared to have that weak of a left fielder. I would still be very surprised if the Yankees don’t target some kind of big time left fielder. I don’t care what the official said, I’m still not convinced.
Poll of the Day:
Are the Yankees making a mistake by not getting Holliday?(online surveys)
The defending champs had no secrets when moving into the off season, there were certainly some holes to fill. The additions of Granderson, Johnson and Vazquez, along with the resigning of Pettitte, take care of most of those holes. But, there’s one hole still not filled; left field.
Yankees GM, Brian Cashman, has been quoted many times saying that a big time signing in left field would be “innaproripte.” But, as Brian Hoch writes for Yankees.com, that is no clear indication for what is to come.
Remember in 2004 when Cashman insited that Bubba Crosby would be the everday center fielder, and then went off and signed Johnny Damon? How about last year when Nick Swisher was said to be the next Yankee first baseman, and then Teixeira swooped in with a long term signing? This year is no different, and a big deal for a left fielder may be in the near future.
There have been multiple reports about the Yankees interest in outfielders such as Jason Bay and Jermaine Dye. But their ages and lack of fielding abilities will most definitely keep them out of New York. So, that leaves Matt Holliday, who’s young age and fielding ability would seem to fit perfectley into New Yorks mold.
The conistent quotes and reports would make a big deal for Holliday seem impossible. But, something in the pit of my stomach just gives me the feeling that Brett Gardner is not going to be the everyday left fielder for the Yankees. Yes, they had him as the everyday center fielder last year, but Melky was right there to back him up. That is not the case this year.
Holliday got a huge deal from the Cardinals that he hasn’t accepted. That would indicate he is waiting for something else. The Mets are reportadley pursuing Holliday but reports also say he doesn’t want to play in Citi Field. The Red Sox are also a player, but their big deal for Lackey may make them a bit vulnerable.
So, the opportunity is there, will the Yankees take it?
UPDATE: 7:56 p.m. Bryan Hoch of Yankees.com confirms with me via twitter that he will also be surprised if Gardner is the opening day left fielder.
UPDATE 10:03 p.m. Just found out that Holliday said in April of last year that he would like to play in New York. His father also said that he would like his son to play on the east coast. That explains why he hasn’t accepted the Cardinals offer.
UPDATE 10:14 p.m. Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News points out on his blog that the Yankees are unlikely to make a big move considering that their payroll would be way higher than last years, which is something they don’t want to do.
Poll of the Day:
Do you think the Yankees will give an offer to Holliday?(trends)
Here are this weeks top three…
teams on the rise:
- Seattle Mariners
- Baltimore Orioles
- Philadelphia Phillies
teams on the decline:
- Anaheim Angels
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Boston Red Sox
free agent signings:
- John Lackey to the Red Sox
- Chone Figgins to the Mariners
- Hideki Matsui to the Angels (edit: thanks to Evan Coleman for the correction.)
- Curtis Granderson to the Yankees
- Cliff Lee to the Mariners
- Milton Bradley to the Mariners
available free agents:
- Matt Holliday
- Jason Bay
- Ben Sheets
If you have any questions or comments on any of the picks I made, leave a comment on this entry and I’ll reply to you.
Looking ahead to the 2010 regular season…
You never worry about this infield. From left to right: Teixeira, Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez. To me, that’s the best in MLB. You won’t have to worry about that for a good five years.
This rotation scares me. But, the Yankees needed something, and Pettitte was a good choice.
I didn’t really want to see this guy give up 27 runs in three consecutive starts again. Hopefully he succeeds somewhere else, but I don’t want to even risk going through that again.
They did it. They let him go. How dare they. There are some things you just don’t mess with. Your top prospect is one of them.
The ? Marks:
The Yankees gave up a lot for this guy. After all, the Yankees already have a .250 hitting outfielder in Nick Swisher. Plus, he’s 2/3 of a player because he can’t play against lefties. We’ll see.
Don’t get me started on this. If they make an offer, expect Montero and Joba/Hughes to be a part of it. Will they do it?
The Yankees need someone to fill that DH spot. Boras is asking for a four year deal, the Yankees want no part of that. Who will back down?
Bay is waiting for something, I’m not quite sure what it is. Holliday has been dormant for the most part so far. The Yankees have done absolutley nothing in reagrd to either of these guys. Maybe similar to a Teixeira kind of situation?
To do list:
- Get one or two starting pitchers.
- Get one or two relief pitchers.
- Sign a DH.
- Make a decision on Bay/Holliday and stick to it.
The holidays are approaching, so I think it’s a good time to put together a wish list. For the Yankees, of course.
- Resist the urge to sign Hideki Matsui. I’ve said it before, his knees make him useless. I really don’t like having a player sit on the bench and clog up that DH spot considering their are other fielding capable players on the Yankees who will need that DH every once and a while.
- Sign Damon to a two-year deal. It will be tough to do considering Scott Boras is pushing for Jeter-like numbers (yeah right!). Damon showed last year that he is doing anything but decining and is probably on the incline. He had way better power numbers and looked better in the outfield.
- Keep your top prospects. That means no trading for Halladay and no trading for Granderson. I can’t tell you how horrible it would be for me to see the future of the Yankees deteriorate without even giving it a chance.
- Sign Bay or Holliday. The Yankees are going to need one of these guys, but certainly not both. They are both great players and can both fill a spot on this team.
- Sign a starting pitcher. I don’t care if its Lackey, I dont care if it’s Bedard, I don’t care who it is. The Yankees are going to need a starting pitcher no matter what. CC and AJ are the only sure ones right now, and that is not enough.
- Resign Pettitte. Age has proved to be an obstacle that he can overcome. He powered them through the playoffs and to a championship. The Yankees need starters anywhere they can get them. Pettitte will be cheap and will pay huge dividends.
- Keep Joba in the bullpen. Alright, I’ll admit it. He wasn’t that good when he pitched out of the ‘pen in the playoffs. But, please don’t tell me you can tolerate another year of him starting. I certainly can’t.
- Give Robertson more of a chance. Robertson had few tough outings during the year and was pure dominant in the playoffs. He escaped the toughest of jams that without a doubt helped the Yankees win it all. You want to make this team stronger, make Robertson a regular out of that ‘pen.
- To MLB: Expand replay. For all that was made of all the bad calls in the playoffs, I’ll give them that none of them made a huge difference (although Mauers “foul ball” probably would have). But one thing is for certain: in the next 100 World Series, there will be a missed call that changes the outcome of the series. I would hate to see that happen knowing that MLB passed up on it.
That’s what I want. What do you want?