Yankees Rumors: Burnett, Pettitte, Balfour

Here's the latest on the Yankees as they continue to explore ways of improving their pitching staff…

  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman told ESPN.com's Buster Olney that Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild will travel to Maryland within a couple of weeks to work with A.J. Burnett on some of the right-hander’s mechanical problems. A bounceback season from Burnett in 2011 would make the Yankees’ rotation considerably more threatening.
  • Cashman told Newsday’s Ken Davidoff that the uncertainty surrounding Andy Pettitte’s future is not hurting the team. "Andy isn’t holding us up from doing anything else," Cashman said. Two of Pettitte’s friends tell Davidoff that they think the 38-year-old remains competitive enough to want to play. The left-hander appears to be close to deciding on his plans for 2011.
  • The Yankees don’t like the idea of giving up a first round pick to sign Grant Balfour or Rafael Soriano, two Type A relievers who turned down offers of arbitration and are now tied to draft pick compensation.


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35 Comments on "Yankees Rumors: Burnett, Pettitte, Balfour"


YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

Unfortunately they did a horrible job of it before Cashman took it over. Since then he’s drafted a lot of good players in Joba, IPK, RObertson, Betances, Melancon, Brackman, Austin Jackson, Gardner, etc.

They also do an excellent job in scouting the international scene. Aceves and Banuelos were signed for virtually nothing from the Mexican lge.

I don’t know much about up and coming players for next years international free agency but my faith in their ability to find another Montero, Sanchez, Banuelos, etc makes me willing to see them give up a 1st rnd pick to sign an elite impact player like Soriano or a Cliff Lee (obviously). It’s the Vizcaino’s and Tabata’s (who had their issues, true) for Vazquez, Marte and Nady that really hurt a ball club. I would rather spend $$$$ and trade an unknown quantity than to be more desperate mid season and have to trade a prospect that you might prefer to keep to fill a need. Operate from a position of strength rather than when teams know there’s a level of desperation.

As mentioned the Yanks have a sandwhich pick from Vazquez signing w/ the Marlins (#46 overall). Look at who the Royals were able to draft in the 2nd round and after by going overslot.

Myers 91st overall
Lamb 145th overall
Dwyer 122nd overall
Duffy 96th overall
Giavotella 49th overall

Myers and Dwyer were signed for WAYYYYY overslot and the Yanks haven’t thrown their wallet muscle around nearly as much as they are accused of.

Ferrariman
4 years 6 months ago

Montgomery was a supplemental as well i believe.

moustacheman
4 years 7 months ago

Giving up a first round pick for a reliever is just not a smart move. Relievers are very volatile and this years draft is STACKED. Giving up a first rounder would just be plain idiotic.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

That’s your opinion and you are entitled to it. However, if the Yanks were to acquire a top bullpen arm then chances are it would cost them prospects. I’m interested, what were your thoughts on the Yanks trading for Soria? For or against?

moustacheman
4 years 7 months ago

Well, that was a rumor and was said to be speculation on behalf of the media. But if it was true, it would have been an awful trade on the Yanks behalf. To trade one of the top 5 prospects in all of baseball for a reliever is just plain dumb. As I said before, relievers are extremely volatile and though they have value, they just don’t have enough to warrant a trade of that proportion.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

I agree with you. Montero for Soria or even Betances + others for Soria would be a bad deal IMO. Thus, enters Soriano. I would gladly give up a 1st round pick and get some security before I would trade away any prospects at all OR choose to convert anothe promising prospect like Brackman to a simple relief pitcher. Joba got caught in that trap and Hughes almost fell into as well. Would love to sign Soriano and protect the farm. We can make up with it with the other picks, we just have to do a superior job to find the later round picks that the Royals haven successful in finding as well.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

Cost-benefit concerns are relevant to a team w/ limited budgets. Not to say the Yanks should spend wildly just because they can though.

On the Rays, Soriano would represent almost 1/5th of their entire payroll. On the Yanks he would rep about 1/25th. For the Rays, he would be their closer. For the Yanks their 8th inning set up guy/part-time closer, emergency back up closer and future closer if signed to a deal greater than 2 years. If the Rays fail to make the playoffs then the dissapoinment level fails in comparison to the Yankeed failure to do the same.

Seeing as how the bar is set so much higher for the Yanks to succeed vs the Rays for example, I would suggest that Soriano is probably a more important acquisition for the Yanks than they are to the Rays. Considering the Yanks are paying Igawa and Marte $8 mil collectively, signing Soriano is a small thing. Low risk/High reward, IMO.

4 years 7 months ago

Cost isn’t about just money.

I’m talking about the draft pick.

If we didn’t have that first round pick we would have never had Joba, Hughes, or Kennedy (or Granderson by proxy).

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

And if we were desperate to find a mid-season reliever we wouldn’t have traded Tabata in the deal for Marte. If you don’t sign a top bullpen arm then they’ll probably end up having to trade a prospect. Something will get lost either way.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

And just to be clear, Soriano is the only reliever in this year’s class that I would’ve signed as a Type A that would’ve cost a pick. I would not have done it for Downs or anyone else.

Soriano, make for a great 8th inning option, but to me, and much more important, he’s insurance if Mo gets injured. If Mo is injured who do we turn to to be a closer?

You look at the Red Sox and they are three deep. If Paps goes down or is ineffective they have Bard. If both Paps and Bard are unavailable they can turn to Jenks, who is by no means great, but has experience as a closer and has the stuff to do it.

We can’t have a $200 mil payroll and no back up option to MO. That would be insane and to let that happen over $8 mil a year and a 1st rnd pick seems reckless.

nictonjr
4 years 7 months ago

Joba was the 41st overall pick. They would still have him if they lost their 1st rd pick. If fact IPK and Joba were selected with the comp picks the Yankees received for the Phillies signing Tom Gordon. The Red Sox received the Yankees 1st rd pick in 2006 for Johnny Damon. They selected Daniel Bard…

4 years 7 months ago

Johnny Damon helped us win the WS… Bard looks like he can be great…

So good deal on both sides if you ask me.

4 years 7 months ago

And wheres Ian Kennedy now? Yeah, not with the Yanks… And also, Joba was a second round pick from the Phillies for Tom Gordon.

4 years 7 months ago

although trading Kennedy did help us get Grandy also, so I’ll give you that

4 years 7 months ago

although trading Kennedy did help us get Grandy also, so I’ll give you that

4 years 7 months ago

And wheres Ian Kennedy now? Yeah, not with the Yanks… And also, Joba was a second round pick from the Phillies for Tom Gordon.

yg49
4 years 7 months ago

Don’t believe everything you read..

4 years 7 months ago

Calm down. I never said the Yankees will make Joba a starter. I only said it would be the best course of action for them.

moustacheman
4 years 7 months ago

That’s just a rumor and was never actually confirmed. I, personally, would find that very hard to believe. There were TONS of articles after that, that pointed out that was completely speculation.

bonestock94
4 years 7 months ago

Yea, lets compare the greatest reliever that ever lived to Rafael Soriano. Thats appropriate. You know who else looked great 2-3 years before they joined the Yankees? Damaso Marte and Kyle Farnsworth.

Spending big on FA middle relief is silly when you can get a majority of their production with cheap internal options. Its even sillier when you have to give up your first draft pick in a stacked draft class.

bonestock94
4 years 7 months ago

A middle reliever worth 1.5-2 WAR isn’t gonna make AJ Burnett, Nova, and Mitre stink any less. I’d rather focus on the future with a 1st round pick in a stacked draft class.

RahZid
4 years 7 months ago

Agreed, but it will help the Yanks not blow games started by CC and Hughes since the extra depth will allow them to have better rested late inning arms. These arms would otherwise be tired because of how much Burnett, Nova and Mitre “stink”.

I have no idea why people keep thinking I said Soriano is a cure all for the Yanks rotation, I never said that. A bullpen has a greater impact on a game the more it has to pitch. When you have multiple pitchers who will not typically go deep into games, the bullpen has to pitch more. This is a fairly simple concept.

bonestock94
4 years 7 months ago

The pen will need to pitch more, but I just think the impact of a type A middle reliever over a solid internal option is probably overstated.

As for those starters “stinking,” I think Nova has the potential to be a ML back end starter, but I’m not holding my breath that he’ll be good as a rookie in the AL east. AJ was a disaster last year and not great the year before…I’m assuming we’ll see more of the same. Mitre does in fact stink.

RahZid
4 years 7 months ago

Agreed on most counts.

What exactly do you mean by “solid internal option”? Do you mean someone who was drafted high enough to end up becoming a successful middle reliever? If so, guess what range of picks (or over slot payment) you would be using to get him into your organization.

Essentially what this comes down to is the time-value of prospects. Do you take the relatively sure thing in Soriano and lose the pick, or do you keep the pick, but use one 1 or 2 rounds later and have a quality reliever in 3-4 years? There is no wrong answer here, at least not when you have the Yankees budget.

bonestock94
4 years 7 months ago

For an internal option, I mean someone like a AAA starter thats doing well midseason…like a Warren, Sanchez, Noesi, or maybe even Brackman if he thrives in AAA this year.

As of today I think we’re one righty away from having a solid pen. Theres still plenty on the market that won’t cost a pick. They might not be on the level of Soriano, but in the end I doubt it will matter much.

As a fan, I’d like to see them retain the pick and go all out for a high ceiling player that dropped down to the Yankees due to high bonus demands.

RahZid
4 years 7 months ago

That makes a lot of sense. My only reservation with that is that there are other teams looking to do the same thing on draft day, especially Boston, and Boston has 2 picks (once Beltre signs with Texas) before the Yankees have a pick. Also, Boston has shown a willingness to go way above slot early in the draft (Casey Kelly, Ranaudo). We’ll see what’s there at #31, it is a very deep draft class.

RahZid
4 years 7 months ago

Also, everything I have said up till this point is about middle relief in general as your original post didn’t mention type A middle relief, please keep that in mind.

4 years 7 months ago

Yankees dont want to give up a 1st round pic ahahahahahhaahahhaahahha, look stick to your f*cking roots. George Steinbrenner dying is the worst thing that could ever happen to this franchise because his kids aint go no balls.

4 years 7 months ago

Really? So they had no balls in spending almost half a billion dollars on three players which so far seems like a great investment? I dont get your logic.

HHHDMS
4 years 7 months ago

I think Nova might be a good starter one day..Id like to see Aceves have a comeback year..
But I think Soriano or Balfour is what the Yankees could use..

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

Aceves is no longer with the Yanks.

gcx302
4 years 7 months ago

Common man, NOT going to go one a one-year performance, but Soriano has a good chance to be an elite closer. Mariano won’t last forever. Last time we checked, he IS a human being… If we can’t get Soria (very likely not…), I like Soriano as a possible future Yankee closer – if he is willing to be a setup guy for a couple of years

gcx302
4 years 7 months ago

Mark,

Common man, NOT going to go one a one-year performance, but Soriano was one of the top 5 relief guys in all MLB in 2010. Has a good chance to be an elite closer. Mariano won’t last forever. Last time we checked, he IS a human being… If we can’t get Soria (very likely not…), I like Soriano as a possible future Yankee closer – if he is willing to be a setup guy for a couple of years…

4 years 6 months ago

So promise him closing duties when MO retires

LifeLongYankeeFan
4 years 6 months ago

Hey its worth a shot sending Rothschild down to work with Burnett. They sent Cliff Lee down to the minors in 2007 and look what happened the rest is history. Imagine if Burnett could become a consistent pitcher with good command with the stuff he has. Drooling lol.