Davidoff On Damon, Draft Picks, Pavano, O’s

Newsday's Ken Davidoff has his Baseball Insider column up (subscription required); let's take a look at the highlights:

  • The Yankees would love to have Johnny Damon back. The catch there is that they'd love to have him back for $2MM, which Davidoff doesn't see happening. I agree Damon doesn't seem likely to take that drastic of a pay cut, but his options are dwindling.
  • Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says the club acquired Curtis Granderson to be their center fielder, though some scouts have said Granderson struggles in center and is better suited for left field. The Yankees could use Brett Gardner in center, who doesn't profile as much of a corner outfielder offensively anyway.
  • MLB and the MLBPA are actively working to alter draft pick compensation for relievers. Davidoff writes that the Elias Ranking system fails Type-A setup men in particular. Most teams are unwilling to sacrifice a draft pick for an eighth inning role, leaving Type-A setup men with little choice but to accept arbitration. The current goal is for the rankings to favor saves more and wins less.
  • Tom O'Connell, the agent for Carl Pavano, did well to accept arbitration from the Twins and guarantee Pavano $7MM. As Davidoff points out, O'Connell guaranteed his client more money than a free agent such as Doug Davis, who signed for one year and $5.25MM with Milwaukee.
  • In this separate piece, Davidoff praises the work the Orioles have done this offseason, bringing in Kevin Millwood, Mike Gonzalez, Garrett Atkins, and most recently, Miguel Tejada.


Leave a Reply

31 Comments on "Davidoff On Damon, Draft Picks, Pavano, O’s"


MNTwins2010
5 years 7 months ago

Pavano is gonna do well next season. I think he finally has the confidence both medically and organizationally that he needs to be a valuable ML pitcher.

Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Yeah absolutley, Pavano is one of the resons why the Twins played in the post-season in ’09. I really hope Damon returns to the Yankees. A platoon involving Brett Gardner isnt worth it. If the Yankees don’t get Damon, Xavier Nady or Jermaine Dye would be my picks but once again, not platooning with Gardner. I bet that when Damon recently met with the Yanks, Hal freed up some extra cash to make the offer something like 1yr/6MM.

bjsguess
5 years 7 months ago

Sure Pavano pitched for the Twins. He won some games. But his numbers were just meh.

73 innings / 4.64 ERA … guess I’m struggling to see why he was so valuable. More importantly, why people think he will do anything special this year.

The guy is a huge injury risk and even when healthy his upside isn’t any higher than being just an innings eater.

vtadave
5 years 7 months ago

Less than 2 BB/9, more than 7 K/9 (as a Twin)…look beyond ERA. On a one-year deal, a very nice guy to have around.

TwinsVet
5 years 7 months ago

Agreed. He wasn’t anything better than any of the alternatives. And he sure as hell costs a lot more.

Pavano gets undue credit because his arrival coincided with the team coming together down the stretch. It’s a leap of faith to say they gelled “because” of Pavano, versus the more statistically-sound assessment that it was far more coincidental.

If they spent $7m and got a legit 2b or 3b threat, the impact for the clubs’ record would be much more significant. Pavano simply won’t outpitch Duensing/Liriano/Swarzak by a great enough margin, versus how, say, Beltre would outplay Punto.

LinkinParkFTW
5 years 7 months ago

I also agree that the orioles have done a good job, but they still can’t compete with the Red Sox or Yankees.

Utley4God
5 years 7 months ago

2mm? I think a Bobby Abreau deal of 5-6mm would be more reasonable. 2mm seems like an offer just to keep fans off your back.

5 years 7 months ago

I agree at least $5M is more realistic. I still can’t see any team being willing to offer more than the Yankees. Regardless of what happens some team is getting a real bargain.

bjsguess
5 years 7 months ago

Every team in baseball could use Damon at $2m. The guy is still a very valuable player. People are making way too much of his noodle arm.

penpaper
5 years 7 months ago

The Os are definitely have the best offseason so far. They have yet to make a bad move.

LinkinParkFTW
5 years 7 months ago

They’ve had a good offseason, but the Mariners and Red Sox have done better. Orioles are third best though

5 years 7 months ago

I think the O’s have done better than the Sox. They haven’t lost anyone of importance and the added, Millwood, M. Gonzalez, Atkins and Tejada. Meanwhile the Sox added Lackey, Cameron and Beltre, but lost Bay. I just think the Sox’s line up is weaker.

BaseballFan0707
5 years 7 months ago

Between the three, if we’re assuming some of the risks the O’s are taking work out (Millwood and Atkins, that is. Millwood’s 4.80 FIP last year tells us his ERA was the work of a good Rangers defense), the O’s have had the second best to the Mariners. I don’t mean to low-ball the Sox, but Lackey has been injured for extended periods of time for the past 2 seasons, and Beltre had a rough year last year as well. The risk that the Red Sox are taking (hoping their big-time signings remain healthy and productive throughout the year) are much higher than the risks the Orioles are taking (hoping Atkins rebounds even a little bit and that Millwood doesn’t do horribly).

bjsguess
5 years 7 months ago

Out of that list of O’s players …– Millwood is a chump. Expect an ERA near 5. He’s worth about $3-5m as a back-end starter.– Atkins was non-tendered. Rockies let him walk for ZERO compensation. Sure he could be OK but there is a better chance that he stinks.– Tejada is a fine pickup. For $6m his contract is OK. That said, he’s hardly outstanding. Getting an OPS under 800 and a mediocre fielder at 3rd base is nothing to write home about.– Gonzalez is nice. Think he will do really well for the O’s.Overall you are talking about an improvement of maybe 4-6 games. Meanwhile the Red Sox made some huge improvements. Beltre over Lowell is big. Adding in Lackey is huge. Cameron is a wash with Bay. Huge defensive improvement but obviously not as good with the stick.

5 years 7 months ago

Cameron is no wash with Bay. Say whatever you want of how good Cameron defense is, but you can’t compare them.

RedSoxDynasty
5 years 7 months ago

Don’t forget about Scutaro who will be a huge uprade all-around at SS over anything since O-Cab in 04! The sox lineup will at least be on par with last season because of this and the drop in offense from Bay to Cameron. The Atkins addition is on par with the sox adding Hermida IMO. Also, outside of Lackey, none of the players the sox signed are for more than 2 seasons which is a good situation to be in.

kennypowers55
5 years 7 months ago

while i think the O’s made some smart moves, if your going to compare what the Sox got against what they gave up, do the same for the O’s. Tejada big upgrade over Mora at 3rd. Atkins upgrade over the revovling door the O’s put there last year after Huff left. Millwood, solid starter who will eat innings, which is why they traded for him, and gave up basically nothing for him. Gonzales will do his thing and hopefully put some stability at the closer role since “Flat Breezy” George Sherrill left. Is this team ready to compete in the East?? Probably not, but give them some credit for improving their team.

RedSoxDynasty
5 years 7 months ago

I have no problem giving the O’s props for improving their team. Camden Yards is beautiful and I like how they’ve rebuilt the team since the Bedard trade.Building up the farm while spending wisely is the right strategy without getting bogged down by aging overpaid FA’s with long term deals. You misread my post as this is pretty much how the sox do things albeit with a higher payroll and all I was doing was defending their moves this offseason!

5 years 7 months ago

If they Yanks are trying to avoid to pay more money in taxes, the should put some easy attainable incentives in Damon’s contract. But I don’t see Damon taking 2M plain. More like 2M and 5m in incentives.

Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Maybe they could trade Gaudin or Mitre to free up some cash.

BaseballFan0707
5 years 7 months ago

I’d love to be free of Mitre. Gaudin is someone I’d like to see be kept, though.,

YanksFanSince78
5 years 7 months ago

I can’t imagine Cash is only offering Damon $2 mil. I heard that $2 mil is what they have in the “budget” (so hard to use that word) but that they would be willing to go slightly over budget ($5-$6 mil offer) to get Damon.

redsandyanksfan
5 years 7 months ago

4 million with incentives up to 7.5 or 8 based on games play, games play in the field, plate appearances etc… 2 million plain is a pretty good insult to damon after what he has help us do i understand the “budget” but going over a little bit to sign someone like damon is no harm done

yanksallday
5 years 7 months ago

give damon a 4 million dollar deal with about 3 million in incentives. it would be good for our lineup making it more dangerous then it already is.

bjsguess
5 years 7 months ago

This seems like a reasonable offer. Damon is certainly worth more but the market is just non-existent for him. He’s going to end up being this years Abreu. The signing where people scratch their head and wonder why nobody snagged him on the cheap.

BaseballFan0707
5 years 7 months ago

It’s been said a bit too much, but Damon has no negotiating power with any teams right now. He’s basically at the whim of whatever team is interested in him, outside of saying yes or no to them. This is what you get when you listen to Borasshole.

Cashman should feel free to offer him a small contract, if he so chooses. The Yankees offered him a good deal earlier, he got greedy, then tried to come crawling back. Now Cashman should return the favor and offer him small.

Macfan1
5 years 7 months ago

To be honest I really am tired of Damon and Scott Boras, if he’s back fine if not fine. Damon won’t make or break the Yankees. He is a one dimensional player. All he is has is offensive value and that value is greatest in Yankee Stadium, in the lineup he hits in, anywhere else he is a decent offensive player with pitiful defense.

Ask ourselves this why aren’t teams flocking for his services to this point of the offseason with Spring Training rapidly approaching.

Damon was being overpayed at 13 million dollars per season for the past 4 years in NY, a salary he never earned in Kansas City, Oakland, Boston.

I don’t think Cashman is losing a wink of sleep about Damon and Boras. What’s the worse that happens he signs elsewhere and the Yankees have a much, much better defensive player in the outfield and still have a terrific offense. Damon is a luxury more than a necessity at this point.

Its his one dimensional, strictly offensive player that has hurt his offseason. He is not a dominant offensive player to warrant accepting his poor defense on most teams in the game. Heck if Damon hit like Holliday or Bay you could accept his poor defense but he doesn’t. He is a complimentary player not a difference maker in a lineup.

BaseballFan0707
5 years 7 months ago

Exactly why he has no negotiating power at all. Well said, sir.

Mission28
5 years 7 months ago

the yankees will offer 1 year 5 mill to Damon. It isnt worth it starting gardner. He is more of a threat to come off the bench in the 8th or 9th when you need and steal the base

Macfan1
5 years 7 months ago

For all the Brett Gardner naysayers I hope he gets the opportunity and proves folks dead wrong next season. Its like we feel we have to have a slugger at every position. The reality is based on where Gardner fits in this lineup he can contribute very effectively for what the Yankees would want out of him next season in a lineup of

Jeter – SS – R
Nick Johnson – DH – L
Tex – 1B – S
Arod – 3B – R
Posada – C – S
Cano – 2B – L
Granderson – CF – L
Swisher – RF – S
Gardner – LF – L

Gardner hit 3 HR, 23 RBI – .270 AVG, .345 OBP, .379 SLG, .724 OPS (only 208 at bats), 26 steals in 31 attempts. Double his at bats and you could be looking at a guy that could steal 40+ bases ahead of Jeter and Nick Johnson.

Gardner can turn an out into a single, single into a double, double into a triple, all that from the #9 hole and between him and Granderson covering left, left center and center field balls aren’t dropping in off the bat of anyone, unlike with Damon, who went into his weird slides and often came up empty with a piece of the turf and not the ball.

Having Brett Gardner in the 9 hole, push bunting, drag bunting, slapping the ball into the holes to get on base, getting on 1st base and distracting the pitchers because he is always a threat to run, moving himself into scoring position ahead of Jeter and Johnson, two contact hitters that know how to put the ball in play is a huge bonus for the Yankees out of the 9 hole.

Right now I would sign up for this from Brett Gardner in the #9 spot
Terrific defense in Left Field, where he is catching everything hit out there
3 HR, 44 RBI, .276 AVG, .350 OBP, 45 steals in 60+ attempts.
I will take those numbers from Gardner next season in a full season of at bats.

Gardner recently did an interview where he is working on bunting, bunting, bunting, because he said he had gotten away from it towards the end of his time in AAA and now wished he hadn’t done that.

He also stated “I just want to be in there and play and contribute,” he said from his home in South Carolina. “Hopefully I’ll be playing every day. I’m sure they’re going to look at a couple of different options, and hopefully I fit in there somewhere.”

He feels he needs to be more aggressive, at the plate and on the bases.
As the #9 hitter he realizes, “Hitting ninth, the very last thing they’re going to do is walk me,” Gardner said. “So they’re going to throw me a lot of fastballs, which I saw a lot last year… It’s one of those things that I’ve got to get over the hump. I’ve got to get more aggressive. I can’t fall behind.”

On bunting he has been working hard on that aspect of his game and says, “There are days when I bunt more than 100 balls. ”This offseason: “I (bunt) every day,” Gardner said. “And obviously as spring training gets closer, I’ll be doing it more and more. And when we get to spring training, I’ll be doing it more and more.”

He also realizes once he is on base he has to use his best asset speed and move into scoring position for the top of the order.

An interesting note about Gardner and his improvement, remember this was a guy that started off as the everyday CF last season, started off slow and started platooning with Melky, then was terrific in May and June and then he got hurt with a broken thumb in July stealing a base

When he is committed to improvement the results usually show up in his performance

Double-A in 2006: .272/.352/.318
Double-A in 2007: .300/.392/.419

Triple-A in 2007: .260/.343/.331
Triple-A in 2008: .296/.414/.422

New York in 2008: .228/.283/.299
New York in 2009: .270/.345/.379
New York in 2010: — / — / —

I for one look forward to him in 2010 in the #9 hole and being a thorn in the sides of pitchers and if he can’t get it done, there’s always spare outfielders on the market trade deadline as well.

Macfan1
5 years 7 months ago

Oh would these writers give it a rest already, Curtis Granderson was traded for to be the Yankees starting CF in 2010 at the age of 29, they would make it sound like the guy was collapsing in the outfield and is on his last legs, he is still above average in range and UZR 3 of the last 4 seasons as a full time player in CF. Writers have a lot of free time to over analyze things apparently.

He was traded for to be the CF and will be it in 2010.