Cafardo On Yankees, Ichiro, Greinke, Orioles

In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wonders why other clubs weren't more aggressive in their pursuit of third baseman Kevin Youkilis.  The veteran, he argues, would have been a perfect fit in Cleveland where Travis Hafner was sidelined for a time.  The Pirates and Dodgers also could have used a boost at first base, but ultimately backed away when the talks got serious.  At the end of the day, White Sox GM Ken Williams got his man at the deadline and Cafardo praises him for it.  Here's more from today's column..

  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman wants to find starters in place of CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte from within, but if that’s not possible, he’ll look outside.  One National League GM said that while the Astros' Wandy Rodriguez would be a good fit, he doesn’t believe he is of particular interest to them.  Cashman is more likely to gravitate toward Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, and even Zack Greinke.
  • It wouldn’t be shocking to see Ichiro Suzuki get another contract from the Mariners if he wants it.  The outfielder's abilities have declined but ownership may stick with him for the sake of reputation.
  • If the Brewers entertain a deal for Greinke, the Orioles are a team to watch.  The notion that Greinke needs a smaller market because of his past anxiety issues is still very much in play.
  • A team like the Dodgers, Indians, or Pirates would likely take on Vernon Wells if the Angels picked up the majority of the $53MM remaining on his deal.
  • The Nationals and Marlins will have interest in Scott Podsednik once he is healthy.


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74 Comments on "Cafardo On Yankees, Ichiro, Greinke, Orioles"


3 years 2 months ago

If the Brewers entertain a deal for Greinke, the Orioles are a team to watch.  The notion that Greinke needs a smaller market because of his past anxiety issues is still very much in play.

The Orioles “DO” need a pitcher of Greinke’s caliber! The problem is can the Orioles afford it. There’s no doubt in my mind they (Brewers) will ask for Machado or maybe to a much lesser extent ask for Schoop. The major question will be: Are the Orioles willing to do it? We got Thome, which kept him away from the Rangers (maybe). Now the Yankees might be interested, but Zach might not love or be able to find his “New York” Groove with the whole anxiety issue. As for me I don’t know, Zach is a funny little bird. The only thing I do know it’s a total gamble. If we do decide to trade for him. We need to get an extenstion with Zach and he stays with us for a few years!

Bleed_Orange
3 years 2 months ago

I would part with Schoop for a half season of Greinke and a prayer that we sign him in the off season

3 years 2 months ago

Machado, Bundy and Schoop for half a year is a NO! At least i hope so.

Bleed_Orange
3 years 2 months ago

To get real talent like Greinke it takes a real return.  Bundy and Machado are going nowhere so Schoop would have to be the starting point. Plus getting a guy like Greinke in Baltimore for a half a year might make him more willing to stay via free agency.  All that being said other teams (Texas Yankees) would have more to offer.

3 years 2 months ago

I just don’t know what we have in our system to give teams.  I mean, we have a couple young high ceiling players.  But if we are going after pitching you have to give young stud pitching back.  We don’t have that.  We have Betances going back to Double-A to “figure things out”, we have a hurt Banuelos, Warren has shown he isn’t ready for the big time yet and the rest are good back of the rotation fill-in’s.  I think Phelps is much better than he is given credit for and may be a star with the right opportunities.  Other than that…what do we have to give…?

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

This is probably true to a certain extent.  Maybe a team will be enticed with a position player heavy offer.  Maybe someone from the major league roster [Hughes?  Nova?] could be mulled over?

3 years 2 months ago

Doesn’t it feel like we aren’t gaining anything?  We get Garza or Greinke while giving up one of Hughes or Nova?  I mean we are at that point just replacing a least expensive player with a more expensive player.  In terms of performance it may be slightly better, but I like what I’ve seen from Nova and Hughes recently.

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

I don’t know if I would move them for Garza, but Greinke is a different story.  I don’t dislike how the two have pitched for us, but Hughes has given up 19 bombs on the year already.  He’s already arbitration eligible.

Don’t get me wrong — I would prefer to go the prospect route as well, I’m just trying to be realistic.  Maybe Cash looks at it and comes to the same conclusion, that it’s too lateral of a move and nothing comes of it.

johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

 Hughes does the Brewers no good really. He is struggling, will have 5 seasons of service time in at the conclusion of 2012 and is already making over 3m, so a decent raise is in order for a mediocre (at best) year and they just have to move another pitcher who won’t be worth a fraction of what grienke is worth next season before FA and can’t see them attempting even to sign Hughes to a LT deal.

Better people have to already been thrown out than just Hughes, or Nova. it would take more prospects to sweeten the pot some am pretty sure.

Slopeboy
3 years 2 months ago

You’re selling Hughes and Nova way too short, especially Nova.
Both had bad starts and Hughes does give up too many homers, but they’ve pitched well lately and are starting to come around.
The season’s finish will be the telling story on both of these guys and I’m sure you’ll be re-thinking your opinion on these two come October.

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

 Is he really, though?  Randy Johnson won 17 games for us with a broken back.

johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

It’s possibly with Nova, who will still have 4 more seasons of team control left after the year, but seriously doubt with Hughes who will be set to walk at the conclusion of the year (2013) and the Brewers are looking now to cash in on one impending FA. Why downgrade is my point?

Nova and Hughes are pretty much (ATM) the same quality of SP. Nova, a year younger and 4 years less service time, without any issues and Hughes never has had the success that people have been heaping on him for years. Sure it could come in the NL, like it did for Ian Kennedy, but I just don’t see one of the bigger SP trade chips going for someone like Hughes and not saying that to disrespect any of the NYY fans here.

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

I would like to see Greinke in New York — I don’t think it would be that big of a deal for him at this point.

Also, wouldn’t mind Cashman kicking the tires on Vernon Wells.

Lunchbox45
3 years 2 months ago

What does wells provide that an andruw jones doesnt?

LazerTown
3 years 2 months ago

A big contract.

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

 It’s not necessarily to get rid of Andruw Jones.  It’s to replace Brett Gardner.

Lunchbox45
3 years 2 months ago

 ya, thats probably not a good idea.

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

Depends on how big a fan you are of Gardner’s hitting style, I suppose.

Lunchbox45
3 years 2 months ago

 this is more about wells’ ability (inability) to hit as opposed to replacing gardner

notsureifsrs
3 years 2 months ago

at least he has a hitting style

3 years 2 months ago

wow. Let’s see who wins on most measures since 2010. Defense: Gardner (one of the best in the league); OPS/OPS+: Gardner; rWAR: Gardner by 2x. Then there are things like age and contract…

Wait, why was this even a question?

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

Because Brett Gardner’s not that good…?

Prior to this year’s .817 OPS [in 38 PA, mind you], Gardner is carrying a .721 career OPS. He’s also 28, he’s not some kid fresh out of the minor leagues.

notsureifsrs
3 years 2 months ago

OPS is quick and easy to compute, but it’s not a useful measure of offensive output. gardner is a competent hitter, a tough at-bat every time (well over 4 pitches per PA, which is fantastic), and a menace on the basebaths

he was league average offensively in 2009. in 1200 PA since then, he has been 12% above league average offensively (112 wRC+)

when you add in his elite defense in left (and what should center) field, it just gets silly to talk about replacing him

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

 I have a feeling most of the people who think Brett Gardner is such a tough at bat, don’t really watch him play 100+ times a year.

We’re getting into “eye test” area here.. but he looks weak.  Swinging with all his might, looking like his arms were physically pushed back by the fastball when he makes contact.  He’s certainly fast out in the OF, but he has a bad arm.  Not an average arm, a bad arm.

I’m split on his effectiveness on the base paths.  His totals are nice, but he should have more.  If you’re aren’t actively watching the Yankees all the time you can’t know how many times he just doesn’t go — like he doesn’t really know when he should.  And then he goes back to the dugout and Joe Girardi puts his arm around him like he’s a “kid” and explains what went wrong like he’s some rookie.  He’s 28.

It’s ridiculous.

notsureifsrs
3 years 2 months ago

i am actually completely fine with you basing your conclusion on your own opinion of what you see. the few things gardner does extremely well are things you don’t value very much, so it makes sense that you wouldn’t like him a lot as a player

the data disagrees, is all. so it’s only when you try to bridge the gap between “i don’t value him” and “he’s not valuable” that i feel the need to jump in

slider32
3 years 2 months ago

I’ll agree Gardner is an elite defensive player, one of the best in either league. Offensively he is average, and with all his speed he really doesn’t get a good jump when stealing, and he is not a knowlegeable baserunner with good instincts. He also is not a good bunter. That being said, I don’t think Gardner is going anywhere, he’s a good player for his salary.

LazerTown
3 years 2 months ago

For all that he still can snag 30 bases.  He sees alot of pitches and takes alot of walks.  Perfect at the top of the lineup, especially when you got players like grandy, arod, cano, teix that can get him in.  A walk from gardner can easily turn into a run from a nice basehit by someone behind him.

3 years 2 months ago

I don’t understand…why would we want Vernon Wells?

monkeydung
3 years 2 months ago

because being a Yankee has the magical effect of reinvigorating guys like Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez, Eric Chavez etc.

Lunchbox45
3 years 2 months ago

umm Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez were some of the most elite players players in the league at one point.

LazerTown
3 years 2 months ago

If he had a few more good years jones would have been a lock for HOF.  would have had 500 hr, 150 sb, was one of the best defensive centers for several years.

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

 Well, consider it.  He does have plus power, he is a good defender [can handle LF], and the Angels would be picking up most of the tab.

I know he was bad in Anaheim last year — brutal, even.  He hit .218.  But he still hit 25 HR, and the 3 seasons prior to that year he averaged 22 HR 77 RBI with a .793 OPS.

Yeah, he’s bad when he doesn’t hit for a good average, because his walk rates are not great [6.6% for 2002-2011] but he doesn’t strike out all that much, either.

I think he would be a good replacement for Gardner, he would be aided by the YS3 bandbox, and maybe Kevin Long could help him out a little bit.

Lunchbox45
3 years 2 months ago

 he’s right handed, and never hits to the opposite field, doubt yankee stadium would help him

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

 The fences were moved in all around when they built YS3.

johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

 That is nothing really. Bill Veeck had his on wheels and would move them in and out, depending on which team was coming to town until they were banned :-)

Serious on the wheels and fences with Veeck, but just giving ya a hard time on the fences in general.

cubsfan97
3 years 2 months ago

 Veeck got banned from doing that because he tried changinf fences between innings and they caught on!

johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

 HAHA. I didn’t remember him doing it between innings and getting busted for it! Just he would move them between series and had them all on wheels!

Veeck was sooo way before Charles O’Finley with funny things for baseball like that, then he had “blow up disco” night and 10c beer night in Cleveland that led to a drunken free for all and a forfeit of the game!

Through all of that, he was a legit WW2 vet and hero who lost a leg in the war and Combat decorated.

His book “Veeck as in Wreck” is one of the best baseball reads have ever had.. Ever…

Slopeboy
3 years 2 months ago

You are the beneficiary of the new conduct rules on this site. If you had made the proposal during earlier times, you’d be bombarded with derision and ridicule to no end. Seems as everyone here is just humoring you. I’ll say what no one else seems to want to say- that’s ludicrous!
Wells is at best an overpaid Jones.
Greinke is NOT a fit for NY.

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

I don’t think there’s anything ludicrous about it.  Greinke is better than every single starter in the New York rotation, except maybe CC [personally I think he’s better].  I guess he’s supposed to just freak out because it’s NYC, right?

As for Wells — the guy hit 25 HR in his worst season ever.  He’s a better defender than Jones and Ibanez at this point in their careers and he’s a better hitter than Brett Gardner.  Besides, it was conditional based on how much of the contract Anaheim is going to eat.  They eat 75% of it, and he’s not making much more than either Jones or Gardner.

Slopeboy
3 years 2 months ago

I just don’t understand why people insist on bringing Greinke to NY. He’s already made it clear that he has absolutely no desire to play in a big market. When he was in KC, he let that be known, that was why he went to the Brewers.

As an example of how it feels about the media spot light, think back to when he accepted the Cy Young award, it was in a small venue and he answered a few quick questions and then quickly left. Think about
how how he would perform in an environment that he felt uncomfortable with- can you spell disaster?

As for Wells, the only time he’s been better than Ibanez and Jones was when he signed his current contract . I’ll give you that he is a better defender than Ibanez, but certainly not Jones. Had it not been for the brutal blunder of Tony Regins, he’d still be in Toronto because no one else would pick up that contract. The fact that Angels are willing to eat a substantial portion of the contract in order to move him
Should make you see that what you’re proposing isn’t well founded.

3 years 2 months ago

 Social anxiety isn’t something that just goes away with time. NY would be the worst possible place for him to go. The spotlight would be glaring directly upon him and he would never get any hint of privacy, something people with SAD need.

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

 The spotlight would focus on Greinke exclusively and forget about Sabathia, Rodriguez, Jeter, Cano, Swisher?

Everyone in New York would be so fascinated with him they would drop everything and follow him around everywhere whenever he stepped out of his apartment?

notsureifsrs
3 years 2 months ago

you’ve got this one right. the social anxiety thing is entirely overblown. greinke might not like the new york lifestyle as much as other places, but he’d still very probably perform as an elite starter

bucsws2014
3 years 2 months ago

The only reason Bucs would go in direction of Wells is if the Cubs demand too much to get Soriano. Both Halos and Cubs would be eating big chunk of salary and while Soriano appears the more productive player at the moment, Bucs would likely be reluctant to trade a key prospect for what is essentially a stopgap for this year only. I could see Bucs giving up Gorkys and a lesser piece but that’s about it.

bigpat
3 years 2 months ago

 I think Soriano would be a good fit, Pittsburgh seems to be a good place for players to rebuild their stock lately. Also, if you knew nothing about Soriano’s salary, you’d think he was a pretty decent player. At least this year, he is hitting for some good power and despite how ugly his D looks, it usually grades out well.

I think they need to get a better #4 hitter and keep Cutch at 3 and Alvarez in the 6 hole for the rest of the season no matter what. I will be incredibly disappointed in Hurdle if he moves Pedro back into the heart of the lineup regardless of how well he hits.

goner
3 years 2 months ago

 I sincerely hope the Pirates do not trade for either Wells or Soriano, no matter how much $ comes with them.

LazerTown
3 years 2 months ago

He caN still hit 30hr.

johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

Pods would be an absolute joy in the Marlins OF as compared to the motley crew of castoffs and out of position people they have been forced to employ there since Bonifacio went down.. Kearns, who has no clue how to play “d” some times. Coghlan, who has to be close to burning bridges rapidly as he sinks lower and lower. Solano, the IF playing OF and shows it all the time he tries to get reads on balls.. What a mess they have. Pods would be such a relief.. Someone who can still run and play decent defense.. Amazing theory to have an OF who can actually field is it not?

thesultanofswingandmiss
3 years 2 months ago

He would give them experience, plenty of it to. It’s pretty horrid Watching a 
Marlins game from the bleachers right now.

thesultanofswingandmiss
3 years 2 months ago

I’ve been to a couple Marlins games this season, and its pretty painful watching from the bleachers. Podsednik would give their outfield a lot of experience. And as you said would improve their fielding in the outfield.

Natsfan89
3 years 2 months ago

If acquiring Pods means getting rid of Ankiel I’m all for it. An outfield of Morse/Podsednik/Harper until Werth gets back would be great.

LazerTown
3 years 2 months ago

Im just still surprised ankiel has a job as a regular, aside from 1 decent year with the cards he has been pretty bad.  He can just not hit very good, and its surprising that teams don’t have anyone better.

3 years 2 months ago

Who’s the best baseball columnist now that Cafardo has run the Sunday Globe baseball column into the ground and JoePos isn’t with SI?

craigkimbrelfan
3 years 2 months ago

Delgado, Pastornicky, Spruill and Redmond for Grienke and PTBNL?  Come on Melvin!

3 years 2 months ago

If Mariners bring back Ichiro i’m done watching. It’s hard enough watching them as it is, but there’s no reason Casper Wells can’t take over in RF.

DerekJeterDan
3 years 2 months ago

You are going to have a very hard time convincing fans that Casper Wells is more deserving of the RF spot than Ichiro Suzuki. No, he is not the same player as he once was but he is still the face of that Franchise and a dearly beloved fan favorite. Look at his numbers this season. Aside from the low OPS, he is having a pretty good year statistically. When you think of the Mariners, you think of Ichiro. He’s still on pace for a 180 hit season at 38 years old!  He is also on pace to steal more than 20 bases, approach double digit homeruns, and drive in just about 50 RBI. He is and always should be a Seattle Mariner. Like Jeter is iconic for the Yankees as a shortstop, Ichiro is the same presence for Seattle. I would resign him for another season if he still wants to play. It’s a no brainer if I’m the Mariners GM. Ichiro has a great reputation.

notsureifsrs
3 years 2 months ago

ichiro is actually having a good year. he’s a career .350+ BABIP player with a BABIP below .300 right now despite a line-drive rate over 26%. just to be clear, a 26% LD-rate is insane

he’s had bad results on line drives (12% worse than the league), bad results on groundballs (15% worse than the league), and horribad results on flyballs (-15 sOPS+ (100 is average))

he’s back to playing elite defense and when these numbers normalize he’ll be back to being a productive offensive player

DerekJeterDan
3 years 2 months ago

Nice seeing some of those advanced statistics. Very refreshing and confirms that Ichiro still has something left in the tank. Good post.

MSUcorner
3 years 2 months ago

Something left, indeed. But not enough for a corner outfield spot. It makes absolutely zero sense to resign a guy that age and declining, when you are rebuilding. We have a number of young outfielders, that we need to play in order to find out if they are big leaguers or not. Having Ichiro in the lineup may help us once in a while, when he has his random 4-5 game, but in the long term it hurts us.

Felix is the ‘face of our franchise’ at least he is the cornerstone of our rebuilding efforts.

macdice
macdice
3 years 2 months ago

What type of contract is Greinke looking for? His options for next season could be limited if he only wants to play for a small market team and stil wants his pay day. Seattle might make a play for him as a free agent if they use some of their pitching prospects to go after a bat

LazerTown
3 years 2 months ago

Greinke and Felix would make a very intimidating rotation.  If Montero and Smoak ever pull it together that would be a good start to their lineup. 

cookmeister
3 years 2 months ago

doesn’t Wells still have a NTC, or was it forfeited when he waived it for the Angels?

LazerTown
3 years 2 months ago

If he got a starting position I would figure he would drop it.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
3 years 2 months ago

The Red Sox kind of shot their own foot as far as Youkilis is concerned.  First, Valentine said something to the effect that he had lost his enthusiasm, whatever that means.  Then the Red Sox followed up with the wonderful off the record quotes about trading him, trading him, trading him.  I think I read that at least once a day for days on end.

They told the baseball world they no longer wanted Youkilis.  So, if you are a GM, you just wait out in the weeds until the Red Sox cry uncle. 

Lunchbox45
3 years 2 months ago

probably even more

Melvin McMurf
3 years 2 months ago

 a lot more…..like 60 million

Lunchbox45
3 years 2 months ago

he’s owe 48 million the next 2 years, plus whatever is left for this year, give or take 12 million.

so yah 80 million to take him of the angels hands should do it.

I forgot what angel fan said it (props to him)
“Just pretend we are paying that money to trout”

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 2 months ago

Unless he’s not going to cost a good prospect, don’t expect expect Boston to make a serious bid for Grienke. I just don’t see them making major moves. As for the Rangers, my guess is they made their major pitching staff addition when they signed Oswalt.

johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

 Boston has no need for him is the difference. They have 6 and a half SP (the half is Matsuzaka).

johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

You must not watch many (if any) Boston games either. Bucholz has been “game on” since mid may. Beckett has been his old self since about that same time, Doubrant and probably even Morales can give them 125IP. Hopefully Cook can even be a average to below 5th SP and there is always that shell of a guy, Matsuzaka and there is Lester, nobody will underestimate the guy with the highest WP in the game the last 4 seasons.

Nah, they don’t need Grienke, Garza, much less Dempster.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 2 months ago

Strangely, baseball moves aren’t made in spite.

The simple facts are adding a starting pitcher may not really help. Boston’s real problems this season have been injuries, inconsistant offense, and pitcher’s who haven’t met basic expectations. Most of these same pitchers are pretty much guaranteed spots. Add to that Grienke will cost prospects. While Boston has a lot of potential in the lower levels it thins out in the upper levels. I can never remember when players from the previous year’s draft are eligible… but my bet is any trade for a quality pitcher starts with Barmes or Bradley (possibly as a PTBNL depending on eligibility).

Personally, I tend to think Boston is going to roll the dice with smaller moves.

slider32
3 years 2 months ago

Cherrington has made some moves that make you want to scratch your head. Both Lowrie and Reddick would be better than they have now. The Sox still score a ton of runs and are have enough potential to turn it around the second half. On paper Lester, Beckett, Buckholz, and Doubrant are still as good as a most good teams. I still like them more than the Rays because the Rays don’t hit, and their defense has been shotty this year.

LazerTown
3 years 2 months ago

He has made some bad moves, but he did need a closer, but the melancon trade wasn’t needed.  He has also been handcuffed by some of theo’s moves.  A-Gon trade emptied the farm and tied up lots of payroll,  crawford i knew was overpaid from the start. A-gon is good, but im not a fan of paying market value as well as giving up 4 good prospects.

LazerTown
3 years 2 months ago

I don’t think the situation is dire enough to give up sanchez, and williams for 2 months of greinke.