Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Santana yo-yo

Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record had this to say today, and it really got me thinking, which is always dangerous. The guys at Pride of the Yankees didn't help, either! I'll keep it brief, I promise, after last night's manifesto...

This was late Monday night, about 12 hours before the Mets would pounce upon their most dramatic trade in recent history. Twins' general manager Bill Smith, in a panic to move Johan Santana, called the Yankees and admitted surrender: Phil Hughes was no longer a prerequisite, he said. Instead, the Twins asked for Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera and a top prospect. Would the Yankees still be interested, Smith wondered?
Obviously, the Yanks passed. Dollars aside, I am not sure that was the right decision after all. I've yo-yo'd on this for a while. I'm happy that we kept the kids, but there's a seed of doubt after reading that paragraph above. That would be a deal to take, not to pass on.

What would the team look like today, had the Yanks agreed to these terms? Well, we'd have to sign a 4th OF, preferably one with speed/youth, like Corey Patterson. He'd be a part time starter in CF, moving to LF or RF at times to spell Abreu and Matsui or Damon (in CF). Would be inexpensive, relatively speaking. Fourth OF's like Patterson are always attainable.

And while giving up IPK and (possibly) Jeff Marquez would take a chunk out of the upper tier of the farm system, the Yanks would still have a very solid core with guys like Horne, McCutchen, Jackson, Tabata, Brackman, Betances, etc., still left. That's a pretty solid group. Plus, best of all, the Yanks would still have Hughes and Joba.

A rotation of Johan, Wang, Pettitte, Hughes, Moose/Joba would be pretty darn impressive.

I just wonder if we swung the needle too far to conservatism, if, of course, Klapisch's accounts of the Monday night offer were indeed true. Give me a few hours and I'll probably come back and call myself an idiot. Or you can do it for me.


UPDATE #1: An hour doesn't go by before we're getting more info and changing our minds based upon the new info! Thanks to Greg at Sliding Into Home for pointing this one out, refuting Klapisch's late-Monday scenario. The Daily News has this tidbit, and if true, would render the previous yo-yo moot.
According to sources familiar with the entire negotiations, after the Red Sox removed Lester, the Twins called the Yankees back and proposed a scenario in which Hughes would not have to be part of the deal. Instead, they asked for Chien-Ming Wang and Ian Kennedy. The Yankees flatly rejected that, leaving the Mets as the Twins' only alternative.
If this were indeed the "last and final" proposal, good for Cashman & Co. to hold the line.

UPDATE #2: Pete Abraham from the LoHud blog was kind enough to post the Yanks Baseball America rankings of their top 30 prospects. Big thanks to Pete since many of these names have been discussed and it's good to benchmark them relative to their peers! Only the Top 15 are shown below:
1. Joba Chamberlain, RHP
2. Austin Jackson, OF
3. Jose Tabata, OF
4. Ian Kennedy, RHP
5. Alan Horne, RHP
6. Jesus Montero, C
7. Jeff Marquez, RHP
8. Brett Gardner, OF
9. Ross Ohlendorf, RHP
10. Andrew Brackman, RHP
11. Mark Melancon, RHP
12. Humberto Sanchez, RHP
13. Dellin Betances, RHP
14. Dan McCutchen, RHP
15. Kevin Whelan, RHP
(only 4 of the top 15 are not pitchers! Is that good or bad? I guess I'd rather have more pitching than less...)


E-5 said...

2 weeks for pitchers and catchers...let's go! If we thought Cabrerra was a piece we could replace, keep the theory and go to the minors for your 4th outfielder, that's why Cabrerra is here to begin with (Corey Paterson is what we did in the 80's). If you can do it with 3 young pitchers, you can do it with 1 outfielder. With all the contracts that are ending soon let's think about a #1 catcher so we can move Posada to 1st next year.

JoeOrange31 said...

I read that Klapisch article, too, and thought something similar to what e-5 says. How did Melky get here in the first place? Do you mean to tell me that the Yankees were unwilling to put Austin Jackson in CF? I hardly think it was a deal breaker. IPK, Marquez and a third minor leaguer, even a good one isn't the same as Wang, IPK and Marquez. Bravo for standing pat.

PS...some guy named Nettles is asking me how you got his license plate!

E-5 said...

To JoeOrange31,

Age before talent