Nov 4, 2011

If I were Brian Cashman

Note: Stop reading now if you aren't interested in the fantastical musings of a NY Yankee fan. It will be better for you and better for me.  Slyde...don't even bother.

Here is my off-season plans for the Yankees, now that they have extended the contract of CC Sabathia and locked up the options on Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher. It's very simple.
  • Trade Nick Swisher.  Yeah, yeah...I know they just picked up his option.  And at $10.25 million, it was a very reasonable option. Yeah, this is a world in which $10.25 million is considered reasonable.  But there is something very real to dislike about Nick Swisher.  His game, his approach to hitting, is a very patient, wonderful thing. Until it's not so wonderful. He will not swing at a pitch that is an inch outside of the strike zone.  Over the course of the season, that's a great thing that leads to a wonderfully high On-Base Percentage.  But his game is over when confronted with an umpire that allows the outside or inside pitch to be called a strike.  He is virtually useless in these contests. I, for one, would appreciate a hitter who can roll with the punches a bit more.  Mark Teixeira is a similar type of hitter, but the Yankees are paying him a fortune for a number of years.  So he ain't going anywhere.  A hitter like Nick Swisher under contract for only one year is VERY attractive to the rest of the league at that price. Go get a decent starting pitcher right now.  He doesn't have to be an 1 or 2 guy.  He shouldn't be for Nick Swisher and one year. Or maybe go for some prospects, because I have an idea about SP coming a bit later. But the Yankees can get a decent return right now for Swish.  They should do it.
  • Sign Jim Thome. My love of Jim Thome knows no bounds.  And the man can still crush right-handed pitching.  Having him as a part-time DH, along with Jesus Montero from the right side, is a great move.  And a solid long-ball threat off the bench. Yankee Stadium. Short RF porch. Jim Thome. I'm smiling just thinking about it.
  • Sign Michael Cuddyer. Or Jason Kubel. Or Josh Willingham. I don't really care. Sign one of them to play RF in the absence of Nick Swisher. All three are underrated hitters and defensive liabilities.  Sounds like Swisher to me. And all three will come with lower price tags than Nick Swisher. Not that the Yankees have to worry about money. They don't.  But with the limited SP talent available in free agency, the combination of dealing Swish for a pitcher and signing one of these guys seems like a no-brainer to me.
  • Sign Dontrelle Willis. As a lefty specialist out of the pen. Yeah, I know...he's always been a starter.  But as many analysts have pointed out already, he's no good in that role. BUT, he stymies left-handed hitters. Very, very well. This is a LOOGY you want in your pen right now.  And the Yankees can afford to give him more than the league minimum to do so.
  • Release AJ Burnett. I like the guy. Honestly, I do. But he is a sunk cost and a hopeless cause right now. His roster spot can be put to better use.  Sorry AJ. Bye.
  • Sign Yu Darvish and Hiroki Kuroda as a tandem. Darvish will be an expensive, long-term deal. The 37-year-old Kuroda will probably settle for a one or two-year deal. Pairing the young, inexperienced (in MLB terms) Darvish with the older, experienced Kuroda seems like a good idea to me. And a short-term deal for Kuroda is an ideal bridge to the two remaining Killer B's (Banuelos and Betances) in the Yankee farm system for 2013 and beyond. This is the move I'd be pushing for the most if I were Brian Cashman.
  • Re-sign Andruw Jones. Or another decent, cheap OF-type with the ability to play RF and/or LF. And be a strong right-handed hitting threat on the bench. I don't really care who it is.
So here is my Yankee Opening Day 25-man roster:

Russell Martin - C
Mark Teixeira - 1B
Robinson Cano - 2B
Derek Jeter - SS
Alex Rodriguez - 3B
Brett Gardner - LF
Curtis Granderson - CF
Michael Cuddyer/someone else - RF
Jim Thome - DH/bench
Jesus Montero - C/DH
Eduardo Nunez - INF
Andruw Jones - OF
CC Sabathia - SP
Yu Darvish - SP
Hiroki Kuroda - SP
Ivan Nova - SP
Phil Hughes - SP
Corey Wade - RP
Joba Chamberlain - RP
Boone Logan - RP
Rafael Soriano - RP
Dontrelle Willis - RP
David Robertson - RP
Mariano Rivera - RP
25th spot - another corner infielder (Chavez?) or UTIL type.


Dave2 said...

What? No Saltalamacchia?

Verdant Earl said...

Dave2 - Salty is, unfortunately, eligible for arbitration this year. So his fate is up to the fucked-up Red Sox organization. But if I had my way...SALTALMACCCHIA!!!!!!!

sybil law said...

The who, what?

RW said...

Ok,but the game around town here is to be Epstien and right the Cubbies. We're putting money down that the "second coming" - as it had been treated here in the local press - will end up being just another going. Anyway if you can come up with something for those guys I'd like to see it. I need a good laugh. :-)

Slyde said...

Whew! thanks! you just saved me 5 minutes plus a snarky comment that i can save for tomorrow...

Verdant Earl said...

Sybil - Exactly!

RW - I'll get right on it! Maybe I'll work on the Southsiders too!

Slyde - You are most welcome.

Kevin McKeever said...

Can we at least keep Swish's wife?

Verdant Earl said...

Uncool Kev - Tell you what, how about the Yanks trade him AND his wife to the Mets. Then YOU can keep both of them. I'm sure I/Cashman can find SOMEONE on the Mets we would like to have. Could take some time...

Water Logged Canine said...



Verdant Earl said...

Doggie - I don't think I can contort myself like that. Can you? Wait, what?

Thomas Gamble said...

Interesting post!! I really like this site, and hope you will write more.

Slyde said...

Interesting post!! I really like this site, and hope you will write more.

Verdant Earl said...

Thomas - Thanks, possible spam guy.

Slyde - Et tu, douche?