Sports Outside the Beltway

Yankee Hot Stove cookin’

- The Yanks are unlikely to trade any of the Troika – good for Cash. The more I think about it, the more I dislike the idea of trading away any of Hughes, Joba or Kennedy. Position players are great, but it’s equally if not more important to know that every single game your starting pitcher’s going to give you a good chance to win. Kennedy for Miggy I’d do in a heartbeat (but Florida never would). The Marlins would probably want Melky and another good prospect in the deal. Every scenario just brings more complications to the future.
If Melky’s traded, who plays center? Andruw Jones, Torii Hunter? No thanks. Both are on the wrong side of 30, have declined on defense, and would probably require multi-year deals. Damon is the only current option. His D declined considerably and he battled injuries all year. His weak arm is better hidden in left than center. What happens when he needs a day off or gets hurt? Sure, Gardner could fill in for an injury, but not a day off. He needs to get consistent playing time and would be wasted riding the bench.
If Kennedy’s traded, Moose would become the fifth starter. Not a good option. A 5.15 era this year, and with Hughes and Joba set to top out at about 140 innings each, Moose would get a lot more innings than the Yanks want. Those innings would be much better handled by the 23-year-old Kennedy with Moose getting spot starts and long relief appearances. I haven’t even mentioned Pettitte. If he does retire, there’s no way Kennedy gets traded (unless it’s for another starter). Assuming 950 ip from the starters (921 in 2007) – subtracting 400 for Wang and Pettitte leaves us with 550. Minus 280 for Joba and Hughes still leaves 270. That amount requires at least two more starters, perfect for Kennedy and Mussina. A duo that is far better than any other combo they could muster, e.g. Igawa, Clippard, White, DeSalvo, etc. And all these calculations don’t even take into account for major injuries.
Now you say Miggy can be had for Kennedy straight up, of course I do it (and worry about the pitching later), but much more than that is asking for trouble down the road. The Yanks counteroffer was Tabata, Sanchez, Horne and Ohlendorf. Tough call but I guess I’d do it: Jtab is a great pure hitter at just 19 (and might actually get some power now that his hand problems are seemingly behind him), Sanchez could be a lesser version of Joba and potential closer within the next two years (although coming back from Tommy John surgery), while Horne and Ohlendorf have great stuff but aren’t too young (both over 24). I would hate losing Sanchez and Jtab but to get a Hall of Fame hitter (turning just 25 in April), you have to do it.

- Cash will offer arbitration to Arod. A win-win for the Yanks. He declines and they get two high draft picks; he accepts and returns to the Bronx on a one-year deal (without a no-trade clause to boot). If for some crazy reason he did accept, Cash would be smart to trade him. Imagine the possible returns…

- As we all could tell from his YES broadcasts, Joe G is a very, very smart guy.

- Read reports on other blogs that the Yanks discussed a Hughes plus Melky for Peavy trade with San Diego. Checking out Peavy’s stats at BRef and BPro, I expected to find a dominant pitcher but merely found a very good one. I just wasn’t blown away by him as much of the media trumps him up as one of the best in MLB. Don’t get me wrong, he was phenomenal this year, but his career has been a combo of a few great and a few average years.

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