Archive for December, 2009
The Yankees acquired the number 1 pick in the rule 5 draft when they sent Bruney to the Nationals, and now it appears they are trying to see what they can get for that pick, according to LoHud. There really aren’t a lot of great players among the rule 5 pool this year, but there has to be somebody in there that another team wants enough to trade for the rights to pick him. The Yankees would need this pick less than any other team in baseball, because part of the rule 5 draft rules state that the player must remain on the major league roster for the entire season in order for the team to retain rights to him. That means the Yankees would have to find someone among all those rule 5 rejects to take up a spot on their already loaded roster for all of 2010 if they want to be able to keep him for 2011. That means no time for development, they’d need to grab someone that will play NOW. I don’t see anyone in that pool that fits that criteria.
The Yankees have re-signed Andy Pettitte to a one-year deal worth $11.75 million. I think they’re overpaying, but that’s what they’ve got to do for guys who are considered part of that “Yankees core”. Pettitte had an ERA over 4.00 this season, and his park adjusted ERA+ was just 103, where 100 is the average. That means he’s a slightly above average pitcher, and the Yankees are going to be paying him $11.75 million. That’s an ace’s salary on many ballclubs. Pettitte made $5.5 million last season.
In case you haven’t heard, the Yankees were part of a 3-team trade that has them acquiring Curtis Granderson. The players they give up include Phil Coke, Ian Kennedy, and Austin Jackson, our top outfield prospect. Granderson hit 30 home runs last year and stole 20 bases, but his skills are clearly diminishing. He’s barely a better than average fielder, where he used to be great. Anyone who watched the critical series against the Twins and the 1-game winner-take-all playoff the following Monday at the end of this season knows that Granderson has lost a step out there. He also can’t hit left-handed pitching AT ALL. I mean, he hit like .200 against lefties with zero power. That makes him a huge liability, especially late in a game against lefty specialists.
Now let’s talk about who we gave up. Phil Coke, eh, I don’t care about him. He serves up too many meatballs. I haven’t seen Coke hurt the Yankees as much as it did this season since Steve Howe (RIP) was on our roster. Ian Kennedy was clearly a guy whose time with the Yankees was coming to an end. They pretty much stopped using him toward the end of the season and he didn’t even pitch in the postseason. Austin Jackson, now that’s going to hurt us. I think Jackson had all the tools necessary to do what Granderson will do except even better, AND he would have been cheaper. Not that I’m paying the bills or anything, I just don’t care to have an embarrassingly inflated payroll. Granderson will make more than $8 million a season for the next 3 years.
Rather that go position by position through the outfield, we’d rather do this All Star voting style, where we just pick the 3 top outfielders and make them interchangeable out there. Mickey Mantle is the first of those top 3. He’d probably end up playing left field on this all time team, because we’ve got a better fielding option in center and our right fielder is one of the best ballplayers of all time. I think people forget how great Mickey Mantle really way. 3 MVP awards, a triple crown, 16 times voted an all star, a batting average just under .300 but an on-base percentage over .420… the list could go on and on. He even won a gold glove for good measure.
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle
This may seem like an unwise choice, but the truth is the Yankees have not had very good third basemen over the years. Craig Nettles is one name that comes to mind, but he really didn’t put up very impressive stats. Man, he could punch though (sorry Bill Lee). Wade Boggs was another choice, but he really was better known as a Red Sox, and we’d be damned if a man with a Red Sox cap on his Hall of Fame plaque is going to make a Yankees all time team. Alex Rodriguez has been with the Yankees for what, 6 seasons now, and he’s been an MVP or MVP contender for nearly all of them.
1994 Upper Deck SP Holoview Red Alex Rodriguez
Derek Jeter has already cemented his place as a living legend at Yankee Stadium (both new and old) and is without a doubt the greatest shortstop the Yankees have ever had. He’s batted over .300 for his career with over 200 home runs. He will someday have a plaque out in monument park, along with one in Cooperstown.
1993 Upper Deck SP Derek Jeter
Tony Lazzeri was really the only clear choice for the New York Yankees all time second baseman. Hopefully Robinson Cano can one day challenge him for this spot, but for now it was Lazzeri vs. Willie Randolph. Lazzeri hit .293 and won 5 championships as Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig’s teammate in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
1933 Goudey Tony Lazzeri
This was an obvious one. Lou Gehrig was by far the best 1st baseman the Yankees ever had, and that’s saying a lot. After all, Don Mattingly manned the right corner of the infield for over a decade and was a perennial Gold Glove winner. Gehrig was more than just Babe Ruth’s sideman, he was an RBI machine and would have easily had 500 home runs if it weren’t for that dreaded disease. He finished with an oh-so-close 493 long balls. Not only is Gehrig the top Yankee 1st baseman, he’s the top 1st baseman in all of baseball history.
1934 World Wide Gum Lou Gehrig
The Yankees are the World Champions for the 27th time, so I thought it was about time to present their All Time Team. We had a little vote, and the results will be posted over the next couple of weeks.