Yankees Soriano Deal Puzzling: The Ups and Downs

Since Brian Cashman took primary control of the Yankees’ decision-making, I’ve agreed with pretty much every move he’s made – at least to an extent.  They haven’t all worked out obviously, as is the nature of the game, but I always agreed with the logic behind the move.  Sure, Nick Johnson got hurt, but when they signed him the Yankees knew they were giving up only a (relatively) small amount of money for an injury prone player who could be an on-base machine. He was also easily replaceable (come on down, Lance Berkman), which mitigated the risk. The logic made sense. Same goes for the Javier Vazquez trade. It didn’t work out, but trading a 4th outfielder, a lefty reliever with no control, and one legitimate prospect who is many years off  for a 200-inning workhorse and a better lefty reliever? You make that trade every time. Again, you can’t always get caught up with the results. As long as the reasoning is sound, the results will eventually be there.

Now the Yankees have agreed to terms with Rafael Soriano and I am pretty baffled by the whole thing. Let’s take a look at what makes it confusing and why it might work:

What baffles me:

- One thing the Yankees have made clear in the past 2 seasons is that they will not overpay for middle relief, as they are instead happy to build from within. This has worked very well, as by year’s end the Yankees have had a solid bullpen. Therefore, how much of an upgrade really is it put Soriano in the 8th over the likes of Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson? Not to mention, Kerry Wood types can be had at the trading deadline and the Yankees have a lot of pitching depth in their system.

- The Soriano deal is filled with player options, which are almost entirely to the player’s benefit. The only way they make sense is if the Yankees are hoping Soriano actually will opt-out after the first year and then they can get 2 draft picks for his departure.

- The money is flat-out absurd for a middle reliever. Based on annual average, Soriano will be the 4th highest paid reliever in the game. Roughly 70IP is not worth that. It’s one thing to overpay Mariano Rivera, but it’s entirely another to overpay his setup man by that much.

- Do you know that Soriano has only pitched 395 innings in his entire career and he’s already 31 years old? CC Sabathia throws that many innings for breakfast.  Soriano has only had 5 seasons really where he was relatively healthy (50+ IP) and productive.

- The Yankees lose their number 1 pick to the Tampa Bay Rays, who know how to use draft picks (though you wonder how much top talent they will be able to afford to draft). The Yankees have the money to sign first-round talent later, but losing a top pick is still substantial.

- Why do the Yankees even have Joba Chamberlain on the roster now? With 4-6 different relievers potentially ahead of him on the ladder, this trade really makes a lot more sense if Chamberlain is moved back to the rotation, where he would represent a significant upgrade over Sergio Mitre. If Joba stays in the bullpen, I will be convinced that he has a lingering health issue that the Yankees think will keep him from being a starter. There is no other possible explanation. Joba is still only 25 – younger than many established stars were when they debuted – yet the Yankees keep moving him farther and farther away from a meaningful role. The Yankees needed to sign a starter this offseason and if signing Soriano allows them to move Joba to the rotation, then they will have somewhat accomplished that. (Interesting though that the Yankees position of strength this offseason was already their bullpen, much like Philadelphia’s was already their rotation. Yet the Yankees sign Soriano and the Phillies sign Cliff Lee.)

Why it’s not so crazy:

- Soriano is not your run-of-the-mill middle reliever. He’s legitimate closer caliber, having proven that last year pitching in the brutal AL East. His ERA+ for his 5 healthy seasons: 283, 198, 146, 139, 228.

- Rivera is not getting any younger and Soriano will give the Yankees options if they choose to cut back on Rivera’s innings or if Rivera spends any amount of time on the DL.

- While Soriano is certainly an injury risk, the lack of mileage on his arm could be a good thing going forward. There were health concerns when the Yankees signed AJ Burnett, yet the Yankees seemed confident that he had turned the corner, so to speak, and put those days behind him (which he has for 2 seasons at least). Hopefully Soriano can also stay healthy (and of course not have the on-the-field performance issues that Burnett has had).

Overall, this is a deal I wish the Yankees had never made. It might make them a win or so better in 2011 – and given the quality of the Red Sox and Rays, that win could be big – but the risk involved seems pretty high. If they moved Joba to a starting role and signed one other starter for depth (Justin Duchscherer perhaps) I would feel better about it.

UPDATE: I wrote the majority of this before news broke that the signing was the work of the Yankee front office and not Brian Cashman. This is comforting in that I feel like I still understand Cashman’s decision-making process but worries me because when Cash gets over-ruled, that’s when problems start and the Yankees could quickly devolve back into the talented but flawed teams of overpriced stars they fielded in the mid-2000s. This is the 2nd time ownership has stepped in and the 1st time was for A-Rod’s ludicrous $275 million contract, which – despite A-Rod’s obvious talent – is the most untradeable contract in the game.

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35 Responses to Yankees Soriano Deal Puzzling: The Ups and Downs

  1. bob says:

    I don't think it's that puzzling or bad a deal. The cost is high/inning pitched but there is good reason to believe that Soriano will provide quality innings. And the money is not an issue for the Yanks so it shouldn't be an issue for us – there is nothing on the horizon that this deal will prevent them from doing. What's puzzling is that the Yanks let Kerry Wood go without appearing to care after he had pitched brilliantly for us, and that they keep insisting that Joba has no future as a starter. If they want to keep Joba they have squeezed him out of relief, so starting is all that is left, and if they want to trade him it does not makes sense to minimize his potential value. The Yanks are as responsible as Joba, due to their confused management of his career thus far, for his relative lack of success, and they appear to be continuing that pattern.

  2. bob says:

    PS – this article addresses the historic value of the first round pick lost in this deal; it’s not been much. Cashman must know this so I wonder why he was so adamant about it, and it also explains why he was apparently overruled by management

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/15/sports/baseball/15kepner.html?scp=1&sq=yankees%20first%20round%20draft%20picks&st=cse

    • Will says:

      Bob, thanks for posting this article. I can't believe there has been so much concern regarding losing a #1 pick. Find a list of the yanks #1 picks starting with the year after Jeet. The idea that the Yanks would ever be concerned about draft picks when making a decision on a signing or even in a trade is laughable. Wasn't Alan Horne one the players the Yanks didn't want to give up when trade talks for Johan Santana were in the works?

      With the inability for NY to accept a transition or bridge year or two there is no way the Yanks can develop young players from within. Trade em before they are exposed, a la Joba.

      • Brian Burkhart says:

        You cannot continue to neglect player development and hope to win. Looking at the Yankee #1 picks post-Jeter is not the point; what it shows is how badly the Yankees have drafted, not that they don't need draft picks. Losing one pick certainly isn't the end of the world, but they cannot go back to the days of simply ignoring the draft. Draft picks are something worth factoring in to any decision.

        The Yankees cannot develop young players? What about Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner, David Robertson, and Phil Hughes? Just because Joba has been inconsistent, it doesn't mean the Yankees should abandon player development.

        For the record, Alan Horne was not involved in the Santana discussions. The Yankees did not want to give up a package that involved Hughes, Kennedy, and Austin Jackson. And they were absolutely right.

  3. bob says:

    Brian – I don't think this is an either/or question. When there is a reasonable expectation that a player can be acquired who will make a significant contribution immediately (and you can afford him), history shows that giving up the first round pick is likely not giving up a lot. I don't have the data on whether the Yankees drafts are less productive than other teams' – I suspect it's an inexact science for the best of scouting organizations. And other than Hughes, I don't think the players listed (Cano, Gardner) were first round selections. There will still be many quality young players in the Yankee pipeline after this signing.

  4. For the record, the Red Sox got Daniel Bard when the Yankees signed Johnny Damon. The Athletics got Joe Blanton when the Yankees signed Jason Giambi (edit).

    Besides, it's asinine to suggest that 1st round draft picks aren't worth anything, or a lot. Pointing out that the Yankees didn't draft well for a while only points out that they didn't care about it for a long time.

    • bob says:

      The point is not that first round picks are not potentially valuable, but that they are less likely to pay off than picking up a player with known major league success. The draft pick's likelihood of future success is a projection of high school or college competition, which is not as useful. Plus there is the delay in developing that talent. It's more likely that a player with a multiple year major league history will, barring injury, continue to produce at that level until he ages out. The correlation with amateur competition is less certain. If one had unlimited funds and no restriction on spending, one could always have a superior team (which is a model the Yanks try to approach). Since that is not possible the minors exist, but when a really good player is available and you can afford him, it makes sense to grab him at the cost of a future hypothetical.

      • The big thing that you seem to be ignoring though is that this is not cliff lee that the Yankees added. Meaning, the Yankees didn't add a front line starter, or a big difference maker. They added a middle reliever. The amount of high leverage innings he is actually going to pitch is very minimal. At best we can hope for a 2 WAR, with at best an 8 WAR over the life of the three year deal. Again, I can't stress this enough, that's a best case scenario.

        A first round draft pick however could easily net them a 8 WAR. Just look at Slade Heathcott or Cito Culver for instance. Either of them could very well put up an 8 WAR over 6 years under Yankee control in even a minor role.

        This is the type of shit everyone seems to be ignoring. Middle relievers really don't make that big of a difference.

        • bob says:

          But he wasn’t acquired as a middle reliever – the Yanks got him to set up and then succeed Mo. If he performs as he’s performed we have as close to a lock when ahead as can be hoped for and may also have a premier closer when Mo retires. It’s true that he could still shop himself since the contract is so one sided – I agree that part is screwy from a Yankee perspective and don’t understand how it differs from a one year contract, since he is essentially a free agent after each season. That part is not ideal but having him is better than not having him.

          And re high leverage innings, holding a lead in the eighth is important. No lead, no Mo.

          Anyway – look forward to seeing how this turns out.

  5. Lucas Weick says:

    A first round draft pick is certainly valuable to any team, and like Rob said, bringing up past Yankee failures from the first round proves absolutely nothing. But the Yankees know what they are getting with Soriano, where a first round draft pick (or any draft pick) gets you a prospect, who could become a great player someday or be a complete bust and never see the light of day in the big leagues.

    The argument can go either way, but signing Soriano is what was best for the team this year, and if there is anything we know about the Steinbrenner family, it is the fact that they have a "win now" mentality and that's exectly what happened here.

    I like the move, because Soriano makes the bridge to Mariano an inning shorter and makes Girardi's decision to pull a starter a whole lot easier now. Plus, like Brian said, this frees up Joba to the point that he can be turned back into a starter now, and I would take him over Sergio Mitre in the rotation.

  6. Joe says:

    This article is pure garbage, and I'm gonna tell you why. Let's start the dissecting shall we ??

    (#1) you state the following OPINIONS

    "This has worked very well, as by year’s end the Yankees have had a solid bullpen."

    below are the FACTS

    Statistically The Yankees ACTUALLY had the BEST bullpen in MLB the last 10 weeks of the season. BUT(very big but)this was contingent on a very mediocre Kerry Wood(as we saw in the playoffs and the rest of his recent career)having the best relief stretch of his career.(literally).

    (#2)you state the following

    "Soriano has only had 5 seasons really where he was relatively healthy (50+ IP) and productive. Do you know that Soriano has only pitched 395 innings in his entire career and he’s already 31 years old? CC Sabathia throws that many innings for breakfast."

    below are some more facts

    I love how you mention this but then fail to mention that four of those seasons have come in the last five. Before that he was between the ages of 23-26 and basically getting his feet wet in the league. This guy has been a model of consistency in this league since hitting his prime, pitching under 60 innings just ONE TIME(2008) in the last five years.

    Like honestly, what is the point of comparing a reliever's IP to a starters ??? Are you hoping a lot of low baseball IQ people read your article ??

    below you state the following(my personal favorite)

    "Therefore, how much of an upgrade really is it to put Soriano in the 8th over the likes of Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson? Not to mention, Kerry Wood types can be had at the trading deadline and the Yankees have a lot of pitching depth in their system."

    Are u serious ?? Did you even look at Soriano's 2010 numbers before writing this ?? The guy was a complete shut down arm. After you look at them go compare them to the stiff known as Chamberlain and Casper(disappeared last year)AKA David Robertson. Your basically asking the team to play the first 4 months of the year with their current staff and bank on picking up a starter and a reliever ?? Or count on Chamberlain ?? The kid doesn't have the mental makeup to be successful. Maybe in the future when/if he matures but right now he is a mess on the mound and has been with the exception of the two months after initially being called up.(with whatever he was taking throwing 100mph which is now down to 92-93)

    (#4)

    Why do the Yankees even have Joba Chamberlain on the roster now?

    Because you can never have enough pitching and Joba provides depth. Even if the depth he provides is inconsistent at the end of the day he's a decent middle relief guy with the chance to improve because of his age. BUT fact still remains he's not reliable enough to be handed the primary 8th inning role(neither is Robertson)ESPECIALLY with a starting staff that's filled with ??? Pitchers are like QB's and 7 footers on the court.(supply/demand)

    Soriano's numbers last year

    ERA 1.73 WHIP 0.80

    BAA vs L .196 BAA vs R .132 =(LETHAL WEAPON)

    57K/14BB

    How about Joba and Robertson ?? then we can see how big of an upgrade Soriano really is.

    Joba's stats

    ERA 4.40 WHIP 1.30 (wow!! see that difference ??)

    BAA vs L .246 BAA vs R .258

    77K/22BB

    Robertson

    ERA .382 WHIP 1.50 (see it yet ??)

    BAA vs L .268 BAA vs R .250

    71K/33BB

    Fact is this was a genius pick up by the organization. There was no starting help out there so they did exactly what was necessary to compete.

    And that's build the strongest pen in MLB and shorten the game.

    Now when Andy comes back, we become the AL East favs once again.

    • Brian Burkhart says:

      Is this for real? I'm assuming you must have only read the parts you wanted to.

      1 – Yes, the Yankee bullpen was great last year and they are capable of building it from within or with deadline deals. That's the point. Kerry Wood pitched better than expected but that doesn't change the fact that they were able to construct to a good bullpen.

      2 – The CC Sabathia thing was meant as a joke, but even so, I am well aware of the breakdown of IPs per year for Soriano. That's why you stick with guys with talent; it can take them some time to turn the corner.

      3 – Did I look at his numbers? I listed his ERA+ for every relevant season he pitched. The guy's a great pitcher. I never contested that. He makes them better right now. What I'm questioning is paying that much money (and giving the player options and losing the draft pick, etc) for a guy to pitch 55-70 innings when he's not even your closer.

      4 – When I say why have Joba around, I mean why relegate him to such a small role when he needs to pitch to get experience and is clearly talented. I don't honestly want them to get rid of him.

      Bottom line is Soriano is very good and having him on the Yankees is a plus for them. I am questioning the deal itself. Saying it's a "genius" move is not a fact, though as a Yankee fan I hope it works out.

      • Joe says:

        I read it all

        First off as a fan I'm not paying his salary so I really don't care. Secondly I like it because it's not one of those lifetime security deals. It's only a 3 year deal and odds are Soriano will want another similar contract when this expires at the age of 34 if he doesn't opt out.

        There is only one way he gets another one of those deals and that's gonna be by staying in great shape and pitching well while he's here, and he knows that.(unlike the Burnett situation, 82 mill guaranteed and can basically do whatever he wants with NO worries)

        As far as building the bullpen from within ?? you are wrong

        This is the AL East, not the NL West, did you see those two guys the Red Sox just signed ?? The Killer B's are all a year away and nobody outside of Logan and Mo showed any extended consistency last year.

        You stated the following

        "When I say why have Joba around, I mean why relegate him to such a small role when he needs to pitch to get experience and is clearly talented."

        This one I really don't get man. I mean what are you saying ?? Are you saying they should of gave the 8th inning role to Joba ?? And you would of felt comfortable with that ?? Can he not get experience pitching in the 6th and 7th innings ? Again were trying to win the AL East here. Fact is he's shown time and time again that he's just not ready for the big pressure situations(at least not yet)and the addition of Soriano will benefit him greatly by taking pressure off of him and reducing his role which in turn might help him relax and mature as a pitcher. I watched 9 innings x 162 games last year(well almost)and believe me the bullpen needed help. Woods dominance the last 8-10 weeks masked it'd deficiencies. I heard Aceves just resigned which is huge(he was a big loss)Add him to Feliciano and Soriano and we are in business. 10x more if Robertson can bounce back.

        IMHO Joba will be no more then a decent middle reliever. To go from living at 98-99 and touching 101 to living at 91-92 and touching 95 so fast at such a young age is a big PED red flag IMO. Honestly I think he has bad anxiety issue's as well, he's a nervous wreck when on the mound.

        you stated the following

        "What I’m questioning is paying that much money (and giving the player options and losing the draft pick, etc"

        The deal is set up where if he opts out the first year we actually get two picks,(1 pick the second year) and there is a no no-trade clause.

        So basically if he opts out it becomes a plain old one or two year deal and we get our pick back.

        Trust me, this is going to end up a great pick up.(especially if Andy comes back and helps)

        • We all pay the players salaries through the tickets and t-shirts we buy and the commercials we sit through. I just bought 15 tickets for a Pirates game in April for $315. That's not even the equivalent to 1 ticket in the same section to a Yankees game. So indirectly it directly effects us.

          • Rob Abreezy says:

            “…So indirectly it directly effects us..”

            What you meant to say was, “So indirectly it effects us”

            You do not need the word “directly”

          • Thanks for correcting my grammar on a comment made at 4am. Really appreciated. Really, if you wanted to correct my grammar and not be obnoxious about it the best way to do it would be through email.

        • Brian Burkhart says:

          Right away when you say "First off as a fan I’m not paying his salary so I really don’t care," it's obvious we are evaluating this deal on different levels. I am looking at this deal as a business decision for the Yankees, taking into account the dollars and other risks. If you are evaluating this deal by only considering if it makes the Yankees better right now, then of course it's a no-brainer.

          As Rob noted before, what makes the deal kind of crazy is that they're paying Soriano all this money when, best case, he'll be a 2 WAR player, because middle relievers just aren't that valuable. Yes, I would trust the 8th inning to Joba (or better yet, make him a starter). His FIP and xFIP last year both suggest he was rather unlucky. And let's be honest – we've seen him go into Fenway as a starter and shut down the Red Sox. The kid can handle big spots. Has he been inconsistent? Of course. He's only 25. Same goes for Robertson (who by the way was still good last year – 114 ERA+ and 10.4 K/9). Soriano will likely be better, but is it worth all the money to win say 94 games instead of 93? I'm not sure.

          I would also reiterate Brandon's comment regarding Joba. Your numbers on his fastball are not accurate. He has been building back velocity ever since his shoulder injury in the summer of '08 and last year he looked strong.

          • Joe says:

            "As Rob noted before, what makes the deal kind of crazy is that they’re paying Soriano all this money when, best case, he’ll be a 2 WAR player, because middle relievers just aren’t that valuable."

            That statement is soooo wrong it's not even funny. 8th inning guys have become a HUGE part of the game(especially in October) the last 10-15 years. Your closer(in this case Mo) can't close if he's not handed the ball.

            "Soriano will likely be better, but is it worth all the money to win say 94 games instead of 93?"

            This is more complete non-sense. If you really think a shut down arm(meaning both left&right handed bats) is only going to make a +1 in the W/L department your either a Yankee hater or just don't know the sport as well as you think. You can add a MINUMUM of 4-5 wins with this guy getting those critical late outs in big games. And as far as his importance in the PLAYOFFS, fuggedaboutit !!!!!

            Look, yes I understand paying a middle reliever big money isn't the best move. Yet let's not forget we are the NY Yankees and our goal is to win WSC. Secondly our payroll is about 25 million lower then last year with Lee's deal not going on the books. Trust me there are highly educated guys who are smarter then both of us that comprehend & contemplate these deals. A lot of thoughts go into the decisions and all the pro's and con's are weighed out.

            people shouldn't have no problem with this deal because

            A: it's only 3 years not 6-7

            B: we can trade him whenever we want(maybe when we have a consistent,legitimate, internal option to actually take the 8th inning role)

            C: It makes us a MUCH better team for 2011 with the ability to shorten the game.(and this is always the goal for the offseason)get better, and we did

            Being able to sew up the 8th and 9th innings will now allow Girardi to have a large option of weapons(Joba/Robertson/Aceves/Logan/Feliciano)at his disposal for those 6-7th innings where so many games are usually lost. More importantly he can be tactical and aggressive with them(big difference) knowing he has the last two innings in the bag. Also with 3 holes in the back of the rotation(figuring AJ craps the bed again this year and Andy doesn't come back) he will probably be going to that pen early and often this year so all that depth will be that much more important.

            If there is one thing we learned in the last 10-15 years it's that teams with great bullpens have a lot of success in October.

            "I would also reiterate Brandon’s comment regarding Joba. Your numbers on his fastball are not accurate. He has been building back velocity ever since his shoulder injury in the summer of ’08 and last year he looked strong."

            That is false, his velocity was UP and DOWN that year as well though he was hitting 95-96 a little more before the shoulder strain. How long does it take to build back your velocity ???? 3 freaking years ?? you have got to be kidding me ?? fact is this kid was throwing 100mph when he first came up in 2007 and we haven't seen that SINCE.(this is a talked about fact) the injury theory was an old 'hope'. He occasionally hits 95-96 on generous guns, but literally 80% of his fastballs are 91-92 with him hitting 94-95 on occasion.(big difference between throwing 98-99 and hitting 101.

            those days are gone

          • Brian Burkhart says:

            You should study up on what it means for something to be false versus fact. I said, best case, Soriano will be roughly a 2 WAR player. As it currently stands, Soriano has never had a WAR above 2. That is, as you like to say, fact. If you don't believe me:

            http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=110

            Calling Soriano a 4-5 win player is flat out ridiculous. He would have to post one of the best seasons ever for a reliever and out-perform his previous best by quite a lot.

            As for Joba, yes, sometimes it does take 3 years to get velocity back. And no "literally" 80% of his fastballs last year were not 91-92. "Literally" his fastball average was 94.6. If you look at his pitchFX data, you can see a steady increase in velocity over the past 3 years:

            http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfx.aspx?playerid=26

            Combine that with his peripheral stats (FIP, xFIP, BABIP – which all show that he outperformed his actual ERA last season) and Joba could be in line for a big 2011.

          • Joe says:

            What the hell is WAR ?

            one of these new stats that make no sense ???

            get that crap out of here

            BAA/WHIP/ERA

            all you need to know about a pitcher

          • Joe says:

            OK, sooo then your telling me that Rivera was what +1 or +2 ????

          • Brian Burkhart says:

            What makes no sense is relying on BAA/WHIP/ERA only to evaluate a pitcher. BAA and WHIP are extremely similar, though WHIP at least factors in walks. Neither of them, however, take power into account. Both will treat a single exactly the same as a homerun.

            ERA can be useful for starters, but is much more troublesome for relievers because it does not take into account inherited runners. Reliever comes in with bases loaded, 2 outs and lets 3 runs score and his ERA is still 0.00.

            So yeah, I think some other numbers could help evaluate a pitcher.

          • I'm surprised you even know what WHIP is given your attitude toward stats.

    • My favorite part of your comment is this, "Are you hoping a lot of low baseball IQ people read your article ??"

      • Joe says:

        Those are the only readers that CAN agree

        Tell me in September that this guy only made a +1 game difference.

  7. Will says:

    I agree that player development should not be ignored. But with Cashman and the current pipeline that the Yanks have, it is not a strength and not something they focus on. It would take a culture change as well as some personnel changes (and probably a season or 2 of missing the playoffs) to make their player development and drafting anything of significance. Continuing to draft and pay lip service to development when they suck at it is ridiculous and counter productive.

    As for Cano, he was good from the start. Little actual development went on there when he was in the minors as evidenced by Kevin Long's comments in the '08 season when Robby struggled. He basically said we all knew he had holes in his swing and was headed for problems but he was producing so we just let him go. Yeah, great development.

    Not sure I buy Robertson as a success story. He is good, not great and probably more inconsistent than good. Again, talent that has not been nurtured. Hughes, he has had 3-4 years to figure it out and ended up useless in the playoffs. Joba, poster boy for Yanks 'player un-development' program. I would even point to the fact that Jorge never developed as good defensive catcher. He has been at the bottom of the league in errors, PBs and thrown out % for a majority of his career.

    I would love to have a development pipeline that is sustainable for the team and produces a wealth of home grown talent. Yanks culture does not currently allow for it so don't bother even fooling ourselves. In retrospect, what would it have been like having CC, Johan, Andy, AJ as a rotation for the last few years? They kept Hughes and Joba instead? Uh, yeah, don't think that really equates…

    • Brian Burkhart says:

      Yeah this can't be serious. The Yankees have made gigantic strides in player development. A team with their resources should never be substandard in this area. As Rob mentioned, they have the 6th ranked farm system in all of baseball and the best pure hitting prospect in Jesus Montero.

      Hughes is still only 24. Santana is already past the point of being a real ace, even in the NL, and the Mets are on the hook for $20 million+ per season. Not trading for Santana was one of Cashman's best moves. Even if it were Hughes for Santana straight up, it would not have been a good deal.

      Oh and let's not trash Kevin Long. He's been fantastic. To say Cano was just "good" is a gross over-simplification.

    • I can’t even tell if you are joking or not.

    • Mike S. says:

      Robertson had a bad start to 2010, ERA 13.50 after May 7th.

      But from May 7th through the end of the regular season, he was damned good. ERA 2.50.

  8. Will says:

    Also, not sure how I get looking at Yanks previous draft picks and what has happened with them in terms of player development is NOT and indication of how they operate. Strange…

    • Because there was a big change in the way they did things in 2005. Between constant call-ups and trades their farm system has been very productive over the past few years including playing an integral part in the success of the 2009 World Series team. They are also currently ranked 6th in baseball.

  9. Brandon Burkhart says:

    Joe, I don’t think you are allowed to call an article “pure garbage” and then use “IMHO” and “are u serious ??” when responding to it. Two points:

    1. Joba Chamberlain’s fastball averaged 94.6mph last year and at times touched 97-99. It did drop when he was a starter but for obvious reasons. It’s honestly amusing and ridiculous you’d think he’s an obvious case of PED use. It’s also pretty crazy to say his ceiling is as a middle reliever if you watched him pitch at all. Oh, he’s also 25.

    2. The reason this deal drives me insane is because the market for him just wasn’t there to justify giving him 35 million. Where else was he going to get that money? Also, if he pitches really well in two years he’ll walk when we actually need a closer and if he under performs we’ll be stuck with a 33 year old making 14 million. Not a brilliant signing by any measure.

    • Joe says:

      Brian the kid wasn’t throwng nowhere near 100mpn last year.

      He might of nicked 97 a once and a while on some genorous guns but that’s about it.

      His velocity and effectivness haven’t been the same since 07 (FACT)

      This is also why he falls behind to soooo many hitter’s throwing sliders he hopes they bite at because he just doesn’t have the confidence with his FB anymore. What happens after they don’t bite and he falls behind ?? the hitter sits on a FB the whole park knows is coming and crushes it 400ft the other way. In 2007 he was the complete oppsite, blowing heat past guys from the first pitch and then after they were down 0-2 or 1-2 he would make them look silly after they waved 3 seconds to soon on a slider.(slider is only as good as your FB)

      If you watch the games instead of just study stats you would know this.

      He was electric and dominating in 2007, and hasn’t been since.

      You can call it old age at 25, but I’ll stick with my PED opinoin.( let’s not forget testing gets more thorough with each passing year)Maybe something ogt added to the list in 2008 just like it did to Manny.

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