The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

NY Post: Yankees talking to Ibanez; also searching for outfielder, DH

When the free-agent market opened following the World Series, Brian Cashman prioritized pitching over any other position.

Eventually, the Yankees general manager signed Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Hiroki Kuroda to one-year deals. In part, Cashman’s focus on arms played a role in catcher Russell Martin leaving for the Pirates and a two-year, $17 million deal after not receiving an offer from the Yankees.

Now, after signing Kevin Youkilis to play third in Alex Rodriguez’s absence and close to announcing Ichiro Suzuki’s two-year contract, Cashman is looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder and a DH.

“I’m open to whatever, whether talking to [free agents] or other clubs,’’ Cashman said when asked if one position took priority over the other. “Whether it’s now or June, at some point we’ll have it.’’

Cashman also said, “We are talking to Raul Ibanez and his agent.’’

Ibanez, who hit 19 homers in the regular season and three more in October, is drawing interest from the Rangers, Mariners and Phillies. The 40-year-old left-handed hitter would strictly be a DH if he returned to the Yankees, whose projected starting outfield will be all left-handed hitters in Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Ichiro.

Asked if he were willing to talk about discussions with Scott Hairston, who would fill the right-handed hitting outfielder search, Cashman didn’t want to go there.

I’m not sure that a return engagement of the Shockmaster™ is much of an upgrade at this point.  He’s probably useful as a platoon DH, but it seems to me that some of those DH plate appearances against RHP might be better used to see if Corban Joseph or Ronnier Mustelier can hit enough to be part of the 2014+ Yankees.  I’m not going to get upset if they re-sign Ibanez, but it’s not going to make me think the team is any better than they’d be without him.

--Posted at 8:51 am by SG / 61 Comments | - (0)


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(sorry, OT)

Hey Ugly, I bought your movie. Now you owe me TWO dinners with Gail and Padma.

In all seriousness, I really enjoyed it and I don’t even watch soccer. The parts in China and Iran were awesome. Nice work! Definitely recommended.

Is the team not even one win better with Shlockmaster?

RAB suggests that Tim Stauffer might be a good minor league signing.  I concur, because he’s from Saratoga, close to Albany where I grew up.  Actually he had a few good years before injury felled him, but query how much San Diego’s capacious park influenced the results.

[0] I definitely agree that I would rather give the DH at-bats to someone from the minors who may be able to help in the future.  Even if it isn’t a “traditional” DH like Jospeh.  After all, even against righties, do we really expect Ibanez to post much better than a wRC+ of 110 (he was 115 last year)?  Joseph could probably approach 100, maybe more. 

All that said, if they give him a small, guaranteed 1 year contract it certainly doesn’t hurt.  He’s insurance coming out of ST that someone doesn’t get hurt; a minor Cano injury puts Joseph as a starting 2B for a month after all, a major Gardner injury puts Ibanez in LF.  He’s also easily disposed of in April if he isn’t hitting, and Joseph (or any other player) is tearing up AAA.

[2] Ibanez put up 1.1 fWAR last year, and that’s AFTER rebounding from a prior poor year in Philly.  I don’t think it is wise to expect him to produce more, especially as part of that value was from playing outfield (better position adjustment, and he actually was a positive UZR).  If he’s DHing almost exclusively figure he gives back maybe 5 runs, so even if he hits a little better (more rest, better platooning), figure he wouldn’t do better than 1 fWAR, right?  So, are the options replacement-level?  Maybe, maybe better than that.

I think I’ve found the source of much of my frustration…when no one is commenting here, I get bored and read through the commentary at RAB…

The commentary at RAB makes me want to stab myself in the eyes with a fork.  An unwashed fork.

[5,6] Lohud. That is all.

Lohud is the great unwashed gene pool.

I’ve taken to LoHud more recently just to see what trade proposals they’re coming up with.

It has been rather slow here, possibly because there haven’t really been any moves to talk about.

By the way, I’d say since the start of the playoffs, about 90% of the time the pages on this website never finish loading.  All the information is there and the page is functional, but the browser is still waiting for something.  Is that just me or is that happening to everyone?

I am having that issue with Firefox but not with other browsers.  Hopefully the eventual move to the new site will fix it.

Some guy on RAB today proposed signing Jermaine Dye, who hasn’t played in the majors since 2009 and officially retired almost 2 years ago. Granted, it wasn’t the typical frenzied senselessness that one is accustomed to reading in the RAB comments, but it appealed to me in its own special way.

If you’re going to sign Jermain “Tool and” Dye, then you really must sign Melvin Hall.  Really must.

If you’re going to sign Dye and Hall you really ought to try and coax Derek Bell out of Operation Shutdown too.  And maybe see if you can get Paul LoDuca out of retirement to catch.

Ivan Nova for Kendrys Morales, who hangs up?

[11] - After playing around with it for a few minutes, I noticed that if I disable adblock plus the problem goes away.  I don’t see any ads, but disabling it even just for this site solves the problem.

[15] Angels.  I’m thinking Hughes gets it done, though.

Is Sal Fasano still active?

[14] Operation Shutdown is one of the most terrific things ever in baseball PR, no? It didn’t get the attention it deserved, because the Pirates suck and who cares. For me it’s up there with Andre Dawson’s blank contract and the awful Turn Ahead the Clock promo.

Ha, the search for a platoon right-fielder has also occasionally tricked my mind into considering players from the past. Gary Sheffield has popped into my head, before I come to my senses.

[20] I’m pretty sure Sheffield could still punish some fastballs.

Sheff had the most violent swing I can recall.

3+ more months of this nonsense before meaningful baseball returns. Sigh.

I excel at nonsense and thus resemble your remark.

[20] Bonds.  Probably the ONLY person you could sign for the Yankees to take media pressure off of ARod…and could probably still put up a .225/.350/.475 line.  He would be full time DH but probably hit enough that we could live with Mesa as the RH platoon partner.

[23] Pitchers and catchers in less than 2 months.  Meaningful enough for me, as we will get our first real idea of a) who appear to be leading candidates for roles (relief pitchers, 5th starter, bench players, starting catcher) b) get our first real idea of where players recovering from injury REALLY are on the rehab schedule (Jeter, Pineda, Rivera, CC, others).

[25] I’ll take the over on that line, just because, well, it’s Bonds.

Bonds has dropped like 50 pounds since he retired. He’d probably be Ichiro redux.

[28] Wow, those ‘muscles’ really melted away, eh.

Giambi is fit and ready.

Bonds! Too bad he’s a lefty.

[31] Good for him. I’d like to see some of these tub o lard sportswriters who will vote to keep him out of the Hall complete a 111-mile cycling race.

[28] Can he hit it out when he wants, as Ichiro?

Cesar Cabral and Michael Pineda have joined the flat ground all-stars!

[27] - This.  Not only is Bonds on the wrong side of 45 now, but he is not the roided up chem experiment you are remembering.  He is a 45 year old non steroid Bonds. I might prefer Carlos Zambrano (strictly as a bat) over Bonds at this point.

[34] And they were never heard from again.

A lot of times this site is NA especially at night on my Android.  Is this true also on people’s computers?

[37] It’s been happening less recently, but is still an issue. SG is moving the site at some point in the non-distant future, which should fix it.

[1] Thanks, yankz!  Really glad you liked it.  Clearly my plan to maintain the long distribution tail by posting on a baseball site is working.

Anyone ever read the comments an NoMaas?  They’re…bracing.

[40] NoMaas is pretty bracing itself.

They do score some pretty good interviews and the prospects stuff is solid though.

I was a founder of NoMaas till my expulsion and incarceration.  Axe SG.

[14] “Nobody told me I was in competition. If there is competition, somebody better let me know. If there is competition, they better eliminate me out of the race and go ahead and do what they’re going to do with me. I ain’t never hit in spring training and I never will. If it ain’t settled with me out there, then they can trade me. I ain’t going out there to hurt myself in spring training battling for a job. If it is [a competition], then I’m going into ‘Operation Shutdown.’ Tell them exactly what I said. I haven’t competed for a job since 1991.”

Vargas for Morales

Valar Morghulis?

Valar Dohaeris

I wonder if Julio Franco is available.  And Ruben Rivera.

[3] I covered Stauffer all through high school, college, the draft and his career in the minors. (That my cheap-ass paper used a stringer to cover his major league debut instead of flying me to Cincy still burns my ass). Nice kid, good family. Too he’s had lingering shoulder issues throughout his career. But IIRC, he grew up a Red Sox fan.

Here’s a question for you all.

The pleasures of rivalry aside, fun aside, jokes aside:  Do you actually believe that the population that roots for the Red Sox comprises lower caliber people than the population that roots for the Yankees does?

[49] I think there’s something to the whole “dedicated to losing” ethos. I say politically correct things about Sox fans to their faces - stuff like “hey, I respect your commitment” and “good for you, baseball matters in Boston”. But really, I think less of them. No lie. (Not SSF, of course, as far as she knows)

[37] Pretty predictable between 11pm est and 11:30, it’s going down for an hour or so and flips over to the week-old cache.

[35] Maybe I’m misreading things, but it looks like you’re taking the “under”, not the over.

[49] An emphatic no. For the guys that post on the internet, that maybe true (but then there are the LoHud’s of the world, so who really knows), but not for the ones that go to Fenway Park most of the times, or the ones that live in New England and root for the team.

Dan Shaughnessy has probably done that fanbase a lot of disservice. Bill Simmons didn’t help much either, although in his defense, he is a fantastic basketball writer who got amped up about baseball for a while.

All Red Sox fans are subhuman.

But all subhumans are not townie fans. Some root for Texas or the Mutts.

[53] One of my smartest friends is a Mets Fan. I think he might be a reverse idiot savant.

My wife is ostensibly a Red Sox fan. So yes, I do think less of Red Sox fans. Zing!

Seriously, though, no, I don’t think less of fans of any team. There are way too many asshole Yankee fans for me to judge any other team’s fans.

Do you actually believe that the population that roots for the Red Sox comprises lower caliber people than the population that roots for the Yankees does?

We don’t believe anything until SG runs the numbers, or at least a simulation.
From what I’ve heard of the algorithm, however…

[22] Sheff hitting a laser off Papelbon that slammed into the monstah in an angry regular season game is my favorite Sheff moment.  But instead of signing him and Derek Bell, couldn’t we just go all in and sign Dykstra?

[49, 54, 55] My future in-laws are Red Sox fans (well, father-in-law is an ex NY Giants, root for any team playing the Yankees), and my brother and best friend are Mets fans.  So there are definitely good solid people who root for those teams.  And obviously, lots of horrible Yankee fans.

However, Philadelphia fans…

Mo was the smart one

I’d sooner convert to Christianity than root for the Red Sox.  Not even at the point of a sword would I cheer for Lestah or Pedey or Big Papsmear.

[50] - [35] was in agreement of [28], not [27].  My bad.

Seriously, though, no, I don’t think less of fans of any team. There are way too many asshole Yankee fans for me to judge any other team’s fans.


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