AL East Notes: Bowden, Chavez, Cliff Lee

AL East notes, as Jon Lester gets the Opening Day nod for the Red Sox…

  • Michael Bowden told WEEI's Mike Petraglia he knows he has a slim chance to make Boston's bullpen, so he hopes to create an opportunity for himself in Triple-A.  The 24-year-old former first-round pick could be a nice trade chip for the Red Sox should a need arise; he could start for another club.
  • Athletics GM Billy Beane explained to Joel Sherman of the New York Post why he felt Eric Chavez was on a Hall of Fame career path when he locked up the third baseman for $66MM seven years ago.  Now 33 and operating on a minor league deal, Chavez appears likely to have his contract purchased by the Yankees to begin the season.  In a blog post, Sherman notes that Andruw Jones, unlike Chavez, "is creating no buzz in Yankee camp."
  • Talking to Brian Costello of the New York Post, Yankees GM Brian Cashman responded to Cliff Lee's comment that "it seems like some of the Yankee guys are getting older."  Lee never raised that issue to Cashman, who concluded, "It doesn't really matter.  It was a marriage that was not meant to be. That's life."

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42 Comments on "AL East Notes: Bowden, Chavez, Cliff Lee"

Mr. Furious
4 years 5 months ago

I’d hope that all of the Yankee guys are getting older, considering the alternative.

4 years 5 months ago

Why does it say AL east and the Cliff Lee? Duh, he’s in the NL east.

4 years 5 months ago

Comments were about an AL East club, the Yankees.

4 years 5 months ago

Yankees GM quote. Think harder.

4 years 5 months ago

maybe Bowden should be starting for the Sox with the conditions of Dice-K and Beckett

4 years 5 months ago

Let’s see … Beckett has had one bad inning all spring … Dice-K pitched five shutout innings last night, with 5 Ks. Yep, they should both be released.

4 years 5 months ago

I was referring to health and reliability. Beckett had a concussion as far as I knew and Dice-K is one of the least reliable pitchers in the league.

Besides, Spring performances mean almost nothing and I never said anything about “releasing”.

4 years 5 months ago

dice-k is only unreliable if you expect un realistic results. his history shows that basically you can rely on him to have average #5 starter stats, not sure how that makes him unreliable…

4 years 5 months ago

I honestly think people have a major perception issue when talking about players who are paid more than their worth. It creates high expectations, and makes them look at the player as a whole as bad rather than the contract if they’re not living up to them.

It’s the same thing with Fukudome in Chicago; he’s actually a pretty nice player and he has been improving pretty much every way, every year. But he was expected to be a sort of 15-20 HR guy with around a .300 average and he’s not there, and he’s not playing like a $15MM player either so people consider him bad. Ironically, based on last year’s numbers if he got a full season’s worth of ABs, he actually WOULD be a 15-20 HR player now, but people have pretty much given up on him.

4 years 5 months ago

Also see Wells, Vernon.

4 years 5 months ago

yes because the phillies are not getting older too, utley, halladay, oswalt, lidge, howard, ibanez, palanco, rollins, the flyin Hawaiian, yep thats a young team. If he was worried about age he should have stayed in texas. He should just come out and be honest and say “hey look my short time in philly i loved it, I loved the team, the fans and the city, I felt comfortable there and was upset when they “had” to trade me, but the fact is Its a team and city that i loved and was comfortable, thats why I’m there. I’m sorry to the rangers and yankees fans who thought they had me but its a business and no deal is done until both sides are signed on the contract.”

4 years 5 months ago

They didn’t mention if Cashman had his teeth clenched or was biting his tongue when he said it didn’t matter. They should have asked him “what do you really think?” and waited for the cussing and yelling to begin.

4 years 5 months ago

With the perks Cashman gets from the Yankees, I seriously doubt he would be willing to say anything, even behind closed doors.

4 years 5 months ago

Last time they did that a chair was thrown across the room and an innocent window was broken.

4 years 5 months ago

Pulled the active rosters from MLB for the Phillies (no 40 man link there) and the 40 man roster for the Yankees. Realizing this may not have been the exact roster that existed when Lee made his decision but it has to be relatively close. Note, there are some players that should make the team for both that are not listed. Again – the rosters were from MLB.

So explain what kind of Math Cliff is using to arrive at how the Yankees are getting any older then the Phillies?

Sure the Yankees have some players that are older then any of the Phillies but I would take a 41 year old Rivera over a 34 Lidge anyday.

Player Age Player Age
Danys Baez 33.52 Dellin Betances 22.98
Antonio Bastardo 25.49 Andrew Brackman 25.28
Joe Blanton 30.26 A.J. Burnett 34.20
Jose Contreras 39.28 Joba Chamberlain 25.48
Roy Halladay 33.84 Pedro Feliciano 34.56
Cole Hamels 27.22 Steve Garrison 24.51
David Herndon 25.53 Phil Hughes 24.73
Kyle Kendrick 26.56 Boone Logan 26.59
Cliff Lee 32.54 Damaso Marte 36.09
Brad Lidge 34.23 Sergio Mitre 30.08
Ryan Madson 30.55 Hector Noesi * 24.14
Scott Mathieson 27.05 Ivan Nova 24.18
Roy Oswalt 33.55 Ryan Pope 24.82
J.C. Romero 34.78 Mariano Rivera 41.30
Brian Schlitter 25.24 David Robertson 25.94
Vance Worley 23.48 CC Sabathia 30.65
Mike Zagurski 28.14 Romulo Sanchez 26.88
Carlos Ruiz 32.15 Rafael Soriano 31.24
Brian Schneider 34.31 Francisco Cervelli 25.03
Brian Bocock 26.02 Russell Martin 28.09
Freddy Galvis 21.34 Jorge Posada 39.58
Ryan Howard 31.33 Robinson Cano 28.40
Michael Martinez 28.50 Reegie Corona 24.36
Placido Polanco 35.43 Derek Jeter 36.72
Jimmy Rollins 32.30 Brandon Laird 23.51
Chase Utley 32.25 Eduardo Nunez 23.75
Wilson Valdez 32.82 Ramiro Pena 25.66
Domonic Brown 23.54 Alex Rodriguez 35.64
Ben Francisco 29.40 Mark Teixeira 30.93
Ross Gload 34.95 Colin Curtis 26.13
Raul Ibanez 38.79 Brett Gardner 27.56
John Mayberry 27.24 Greg Golson 25.50
Shane Victorino 30.29 Curtis Granderson 30.00
Andruw Jones 33.90
Average Age 30.36 Justin Maxwell 27.36
Median 30.55 Melky Mesa 24.13
Kevin Russo 26.69
Nick Swisher 30.31

Average Age 28.60
Median 26.79

4 years 5 months ago

UGH….and the table looked so good before I hit “Post”.

4 years 5 months ago

Don’t worry, we get the point. I have however found that if you take out the older players and only average the younger players ages together, the average age looks younger.

4 years 5 months ago

I’ve seen a couple people do a similar comparison…with all due respect, do you REALLY think Cliff Lee said, “HMM I wonder what the median age of Team X is?” You ask what kind of math he used – I’d say “none”.

Lee looked at Jeter, Mo, and A-Rod. Three of the Yanks’ stars, all over 35. The Phils’ stars are 30-33. Yes the Yanks have other, younger stars as well…but you can bet that was what Lee was referring to.

4 years 5 months ago

I would’ve had no problem with Cliff saying he didn’t like NY, he didn’t think the team was very good or even he hated some of the players. No problem. But the age thing was sort of lame. He looked at Jeter, Arod and Posada and ignorned the fact that they weren’t even the best hitters for the team in 2010. Tex, Cano, Swisher, Gardner and Granderson are much younger and while Jeter and Arod are keys to the team they aren’t the end all be all.

That being said, I just wish for a chance to face them in late October/early November. Might be a distant dream but that’s what they play for.

4 years 5 months ago

Bowden’s MLB career stats:

23 Games
ERA 6.69
ERA+ 70
WHIP 1.68

2010 Minor League FIP of 4.45 at AAA

Boston spent millions in free agency for bullpen rather than give him as shot at the MLB minimum.

A nice trade chip ?? Really ??

4 years 5 months ago

Nobody ever said he would bring back a bounty and anyway.. His success up until 2010 in the minors as a starter was pretty decent as a starter wheh Boston had a rotation that looked set for years to come and at that time they had Casey kelly as well on the fast track, then converted Bowden the relief duty which they needed at the time, same with Doubrant who had success as a starter.. Go with what they needed at the time with people who were close..

I would like to see both Doubrant and Bowden start this year at AAA. Bowden still has an option left am pretty sure and get his confidence back, he is a bulldog on the mound and his stuff his pretty good, not meant for relief and he has 3 pretty good pitches as well, including a nice, late breaking curve.

4 years 5 months ago

Why is everyone assuming Chavez is on track to make the Yanks Opening Day roster? He’s competing with Nunez, who seems like a lock since he can play 2B/SS, and Vazquez, whose ST numbers are quite a bit better, so far. Plus he’s a better bet to stay healthy.

Unless something changes in the next couple weeks — which is entirely possible — Chavez would have to get the job on name alone.

4 years 5 months ago

I don’t think Vazquez is major league material. He can hit some homers thats for sure, but he’s more of a career minor league all-star. He’ll probably have a career similar to Shelly Duncan.

4 years 5 months ago

Maybe so. But unfortunately I don’t think Chavez is ML material anymore, either.

4 years 5 months ago

No bias, not attacking you, but can you explain why he isn’t mlb material? Certainly he can not handle a 162 game schedule but as a reserve off the bench the chances of him staying healthy should increase.

4 years 5 months ago

He only held up 7 weeks last year in a DH-only role. And he only played against right-handers. And he rarely looked comfortable (I watched his every 2010 at-bat).

I’m pulling for him to make the team, and to do well. But the odds of him even being a good utility player are very very slim.

I hope he can prove me wrong. But it would be a small miracle if he lasted half the season, even in a very minor role. His spine and shoulders just aren’t likely to hold up.

4 years 5 months ago

Ok. See your point.

4 years 5 months ago

Sort of a quick judgemet there. It’s not like he has ever had a chance to show his ability or inability to hit mlb pitching. I agree that he is a long shot to be a starter in the bigs though.

4 years 5 months ago

Chavez will most likely win the job, even if he doesn’t run away from the competition because of his resume. Nunez will beat out Pena as Chavez will over Vasquez. Keep in mind that the Yankees almost always go with the proven vet over the unproven rookie.Case in point, last year they signed Lance Berkman rather then use Miranda, who played the same postion and put up very similar numbers.

4 years 5 months ago

I’m not ruling anything out. But if they go with Chavez just because they consider him a proven vet, then they’re probably making an ill-advised decision.

Berkman was a VERY different story, last year, because he was an excellent player as recently as 2009. The last time Chavez had so much as a decent season was 2007 (and some would say 2006).

I guess it probably won’t matter much, either way, though. It’s not like the Yanks starting infielders are likely to see many off days.

4 years 5 months ago

You can have both on the bench ya know? Yanks will probably have 5 spots for the bench. Jones, Montero, Chaves, Nunez (or Pena) and maybe another OF like Maxwell.

4 years 5 months ago

If they decide to go with a 5th outfielder, then he definitely won’t make the roster. Not unless they’re content with Posada being Martin’s only backup.

4 years 5 months ago


5 starters
7 bullpen arms
8 positions players
1 DH

that adds up to 21 spots…

Jones (OF), Montero (C), Nunez or Pena (IF) that leaves 1 more spots for either Chavez (3B/1B), Pena (IF), Maxwell (OF) or Vazquez (1B/DH).

The Tony
4 years 5 months ago

Chavez as a potential Hall of Fame candidate is absurd. So he hits around 30 homers and knocks in around 90-100 RBI thats great but when Chavez bats .260 for his career, there is no chance of making the Hall

4 years 5 months ago

No one said — or even intimated — that he’s a potential Hall of Fame candidate. All they said was that back when he signed his six-year deal, he appeared to be headed down that path. And no one who watched him a lot during his prime could have argued otherwise. He won six straight gold gloves at third base, and rightfully so. He was unbelievable at the hot corner before his spine gave out. And for 5 straight years he had an OPS of .850, or higher.

4 years 5 months ago

^don’t do it! it’s a trick!

4 years 5 months ago

he was so good

4 years 5 months ago

Do it! Read the words and comprehend them! ^He is the liar!

4 years 5 months ago

This. I hate how often the total contract values get thrown around vs. average annual. If I turned down a 3-year $100,000 contract at an office to work for $50,000 a year, no one is going to celebrate me for leaving money on the table. I know every penny is guaranteed in MLB, and players get hurt, but still it’s a very calculated move.

4 years 5 months ago

Don’t do it! It’s a trap! ^

4 years 5 months ago

Nooooo!!! Admiral Ackbar!

Blake McCarthy
4 years 5 months ago

Im sorry but i dont agree with you , you tell me an occupation outside of professional sports where for the same job people can be earning 25 million or 1 million dollars a year.

In profesional sports guaranteed money in my eyes is a better option where there are variables like age and injury which can be reflective in results. ( Especially when that contract is hitting your declining years.)

I believe it was a calculated move but not for the reasons you stated , He just wanted to play for the Phillies