Happy Monday to all on what's shaping up to be a slow news day for baseball.
-The New York Daily News suggests that Brett Gardner or Melky Cabrera might be a fit for the Cubs. The Cubs do need an outfielder, preferably one who is cost-controlled, and they do have a surplus of starting pitching…sort of. Ted Lilly, Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, and Carlos Silva are all signed to big money deals, so the only pitchers the Yankees would probably even consider are Tom Gorzelanny, Jeff Smardzija, and Randy Wells, and they all have issues – lack of control, lack of an out pitch – that would probably get them eaten alive in the AL East. So, chalk this one up to pure speculation, although I suspect one of them winds up being dealt before next season opens to a team that's in a similar situation.
- Chad Jennings reports that the Yankees may not have given up on Wang. I wonder if their original offer of just a non-guaranteed minor league contract burned whatever bridges may have been left. Hopefully not. There's been speculation that the Yankees may chase Erik Bedard, and there seems to be confirmed interest in Ben Sheets and Justin Duchscherer, but they know Wang better than any other team does, and better than they know any of those other injured pitchers. Consider that reason #1,245 that Wang should be in Pinstripes again in 2010.
-The recent additions of Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson ensure that the Yankees will continue to have one of the most patient lineups in all of baseball. Eight of the hitters who figure to be mainstays in the 2010 lineup averaged at least 3.84 pitches per plate appearance in 2009. Obviously, simply seeing pitches doesn’t put any runs on the board, but combining patience at the plate with power and on-base skills is a pitcher’s nightmare.
-Some GMs/front offices really make me scratch my head. As if it wasn’t enough to trade three decent, young, and cost-controlled players for a 34-year old who’s played more than 115 games just once since 2004, the Reds also picked up the remaining $15 million or so remaining on Scott Rolen's contract. If that wasn’t bad enough, now they just committed another 2 years and $13 million to him. And they gave him a full no-trade clause. Does it surprise anyone that Cincinnati has one .500 season in the last decade?
(There is a) gradually widening gulf between teams that have embraced the sort of metric-based decision-making processes that have been the norm in the business world for decades, and those that continue to operate as if Bowie Kuhn was still commissioner and computers were still expensive, mammoth devices that run on punch cards.
Ouch. Thankfully, the Yankees front office has clearly moved into the first category over these past few seasons.
- Here’s to everybody enjoying a happy Holiday Season with their friends and families. Please be safe, especially when you’re driving!