Answering the Tough Questions About the Yanks’ Offseason

George A. King III wrote a story on all the buzz surrounding the Yankees this offseason at the Winter Meetings early this morning. And he’s very correct. He listed several hypothetical questions that needed answering, so I decided to weigh in.

Are they getting Roy Halladay?
I say yes. There’s a reason why every non-Yankee fan in baseball calls the Yanks the evil empire. I think the Yankees would be stupid to miss another opportunity at acquiring one of the game’s best pitchers (see Johan Santana two years ago). The best part of a trade for Halladay? His one year remaining on his contract allows the Yankees to be compensated with two draft picks next year if they let him go. The Yankees have a deep farm system filled with plenty of chips the Blue Jays are interested in. It’s time to spill the beans for a true ace.

What about John Lackey?
I hope not. Lackey is a good pitcher that looks great in a terrible market. He will get A.J. Burnett money when he is really worth Andy Pettitte money ($10MM). I doubt the Yankees will want to give Lackey that type of money, especially if they re-sign Pettitte and really are cutting their payroll, which leads us into our next question…

Are they really cutting payroll?
Maybe a little, at most. The Yankees said they were going to try and cut payroll last year too. And then they signed Mark Teixeira to an eight-year, $180 million deal. I’m not worried about the Yankees’ willingness to drop a couple extra dimes if it could win them No. 28.

Would they trade Phil Hughes and/or Joba Chamberlain?
They should trade Chamberlain, not Hughes. I don’t believe Chamberlain has a future in the rotation, which lowers his value in my eyes tremendously. He could possibly become a good closer one day, but in my mind, that’s worth giving up for one year of Halladay.

Hughes showed he could dominate the bullpen despite throwing below 95 MPH. I think with his pitching repertoire, he has a chance to become a solid starter in the show. Give him a couple more years in the rotation and you might see his name checked off on some writers’ Cy Young Award ballots.

Are they going to start Hughes and Chamberlain?
Assuming they keep both, which I think is unlikely, I’d say to start Hughes and make Chamberlain the setup man. I’ve had enough of the wild Chamberlain starting the game on the hill. I’m interested to see if he can regain all of his velocity back to where it was in 2007, around 100 MPH.

Plus, I believe the Yankees will re-sign Pettitte and probably sign a guy like Jon Garland, Pedro Martinez or Aroldis Chapman. This way, the Yankees won’t have to completely rely on two young guys out of the rotation. And let’s face it, without Pettitte, the Yankees are looking at Chad Gaudin as their No. 5.

If they go into the rotation, are they interested in Rafael Soriano?
I’m sure they are, but I don’t think they’ll get him. I think relievers like Soriano are a waste of money. He’s not an elite closer, but he’s demanding a closer-type contract after a great year. He’s no sure thing to be as good as he was last year in a much-tougher AL East.

One of the Yankees’ biggest strengths of 2009 was their bullpen. Nearly all of it was homegrown with the exception of Damaso Marte and Brian Bruney.

What are they doing about Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui?
I predict Damon will be re-signed and Matsui will be let go. Damon’s bat would not be easy to replace, especially now that Chone Figgins and Mike Cameron are probably off the market.

However, Matsui’s bat would be equally as hard to replace, and the more I think about it, the more I want the Yankees to keep Matsui at a low price for 2010. He should take less money because of the condition of his legs. I don’t even know if he could pass a physical this offseason.

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And King even forgot a couple of questions: Will Pettitte be re-signed? Who’s starting center field in 2010? What’s Austin Jackson’s role for 2010? What about Aroldis Chapman?

This article is also featured on lenNY’s Yankees.

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8 Responses to Answering the Tough Questions About the Yanks’ Offseason

  1. Matt Imbrogno says:

    "They should trade Chamberlain, not Hughes. I don’t believe Chamberlain has a future in the rotation, which lowers his value in my eyes tremendously. He could possibly become a good closer one day, but in my mind, that’s worth giving up for one year of Halladay."

    There is such a logical inconsistency in this. You claim that he has not future in the rotation, yet you include him in a deal for the best pitcher in baseball over the last five-six years. If he has no future in the rotation–which is ridiculously false–why would the Blue Jays, or any other team for that matter, want him while giving up their best pitcher? You can't say that he's got no future as a starter and then include him as the centerpiece for blockbuster trades. The only reason he'd possibly be the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade is because of his incredible potential as a starting pitcher.

  2. After the way he pitched for most of the 2009 season, I would say he's got a bright future as a starter. Was the final 40 innings really that much more important than the first 110?

  3. Matt Imbrogno says:

    <blockquote cite="comment-59">

    Rob Abruzzese: After the way he pitched for most of the 2009 season, I would say he’s got a bright future as a starter. Was the final 40 innings really that much more important than the first 110?

    Exactly. He hit a rough patch because he's never pitched that many pro-innings before. Just because he wasn't an All-Star in his first time around as a full-time starter at the ML level doesn't mean his potential is gone and he's a bust. He's definitely got some improvements to make–mostly in the control and pitch selection department–but he's got the talent to do it and time is most definitely on his side.

    In two years–hell, it may even be this time next year–we'll be laughing about the fact that there was even a debate about Chamberlain's role.

  4. Lenny Neslin says:

    Matt, just because I think Joba has no future as a starter, doesn't mean the Blue Jays think that too. A lot of times in trades, the party getting the prospect likes the prospect a lot more than the party owning the prospect thinks he is worth.

    Please, don't throw out the word "false" when arguing opinion. You have no factual evidence to back up your claim that he definitely will become a great starter. Just watch what you type.

    Also, if you are wondering what I am basing my opinion off of, it is basically what you said in your second comment:

    "He’s definitely got some improvements to make–mostly in the control and pitch selection department–but he’s got the talent to do it and time is most definitely on his side."

    Oh, and you may want to read my latest post. It is George A. King III 100 percent agreeing with me. Then again, you must be right, King and I both like to post fallacies instead of legitimate arguments…

  5. One thing I would not do to make an argument stronger, say that George King agrees with me. That's just me though. Especially when it comes to Joba, King was one of the original B-Jobbers.

  6. Matt Imbrogno says:

    <blockquote cite="comment-79">

    Lenny Neslin: Please, don’t throw out the word “false” when arguing opinion. You have no factual evidence to back up your claim that he definitely will become a great starter. Just watch what you type.

    Yet you're allowed to say that he's not going to be a great starter when you have no factual evidence to back it up?

    Also, I do have factual evidence. In 2008 and the early part of 2009, Chamberlain was definitely successful as a starter. His hiccup in 2009 happened when he reached a point that he'd never reached before. He's definitely got things to improve, but he's also got an entire world of potential.

  7. Lenny Neslin says:

    Woops, the post that agreed with me was by Frankie Piliere. My B. Rob.

  8. Matt Imbrogno says:

    <blockquote cite="comment-88">

    Lenny Neslin: Woops, the post that agreed with me was by Frankie Piliere. My B. Rob.

    Regardless, that's a fallacious argument.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_author

    Just because a guy is a reporter doesn't mean he's right.