Losing

If the Red Sox complete the deal for Johan Santana that’s looking more and more likely, it would make them the instant favorites to win like, 150 games next year.

A rotation of Santana, Beckett, Dice-K and Schilling wouldn’t be normal.

And if the Yankees trade for Dan Haren as some sort of consolation prize, that will not be cool.  Haren is not as good, and will cost more in terms of talent.

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10 responses to “Losing

  1. Does the soon to be finalized A-rod contract lose some of its value if Santana goes to the Sox? Or does the Santana situation make an even stronger argument for signing A-rod at whatever cost?

  2. The Sox would be the favorites, but even without adding anyone the Yanks would still be a very good team. It definitely wasn’t worth trading Kennedy and Hughes for a 29 year old Santana. It’s just too much.

    Anyway with Cabrera and Dontrelle heading to Detroit for prospects, the Tigers are now in Sox/Yankee territory. I feel bad for Ezzie because the Indians will probably be the odd man out next year if the Tigers get their bullpen together.

  3. Btw, where’s your Heroes post? There’s a lot to talk about.

  4. As a Jays fan, I am really hoping that the Sox get Santana. Let the (already) strong get stronger. The Yankees getting Santana would be devastating.

    Switching gears a little: that’s one crazy-assed trade last night. I have never been big believers in the Tigers pitching staff past Verlander (Bonderman’s no more than a solid #3 and Robertson a decent #4 – ’06 seemed to be a fluke) but this makes it more solid. I guess they have to be considered the front-runner to win the Central for the next four years now, right?

  5. The Tigers lineup with Cabrera and a healthy Sheffield is on par with the Yankees. I’m not going to go as far as to say Detroit has the better team, but they and the Yanks are probably neck and neck right now (with Boston being better only if they get Santana). The Indians and Angels are right behind. The AL is just getting better and better relative to the NL.

  6. As of right now, I think Boston is a MUCH better team than New York. I don’t think it’s even close.

    Without Santana, the Yankees remain without proven quality starting pitching. They have no clear ace (Pettitte and Wang are both solid #2’s – the former because of his age and the latter because he can’t pitch on the road), Chamberlain and Hughes are question marks at this point and Mussina is just a decent #5.

    Don’t get me wrong – Chamberlain and Hughes seem to be on track to develop into star pitchers. But relying too much on young starting pitchers that have less than 100 career innings in the bigs between them is not a sure recipe for success, especially in the AL East.

    And while there is no question that the Yankees were superior offensively relative to Boston, to expect the same level of awesomeness from the lineup in 2008 is a tad optimistic. I don’t think it’s saying much to assume that Posada, A-Rod, Giambi, and Damon all have production declines in ’08 relative to ’07.

    If I were a Yankees fan, I would be pissed that they didn’t get Santana.

  7. Boston clearly has the superior pitching and probably the better pen. The hope is that Cashman can upgrade the pen or the plethora of pitching prospects can produce a one or two good relievers. Bullpens are often crapshoots anyway.

    I wonder about Wang. Is he really worse on the road than at home? Certainly the stats bear that out and we have two seasons of road starts to work with. But I can’t think of any reason why he’d be worse. Surely he should be a worse pitcher in places like Minnesota with the turf, but why should he pitch worse in Boston or Anaheim? We’ll see how he pitches this year.

    I agree about relying too much on young pitching, but these aren’t just young pitchers. Joba and Hughes are two big-time prospects who have completely dominated minor league competition and even performed well in the majors for a short period of time. I’m not expecting Joba to give up a run every 40 innings like he did in relief, but I think he can be a league average pitcher. Hughes performed fairly decently despite two injuries and only being 21.

    Compare the Yanks projected rotation now and before 06: Last year the Yanks were relying on Mussina to be a quasi-ace like in 06, and Pavano and Igawa to be their 4 and 5. Mussina and Hughes/Joba are a much better 4 and 5. Plus injuries killed the staff last season, forcing guys like Clippard, Karstens, DaSalvo, etc. into the rotation. Barring another crazy rash of injuries to the rotation, they have Kennedy, Horne, and Igawa for some spot starts, which isn’t nearly as bad.

    One thing about the offenses. Sure A-Rod and Posada will probably regress, but Giambi and Damon actually underperformed last year and should be at least as good. Cano, Melky, Jeter and Abreu should improve. Besides Jeter they all had ridiculously long slumps last year and Jeter was hurt. The Yankees won’t score 960+ runs, but 930 is a reasonable projection.

    The Sox should also regress offensively. It’s a lot to expect Lowell, Varitek, and Pedroia to do as well in 08.

    I’m ambivalent about Santana. Yeah he’d improve the staff for a few years, but Hughes is only 21 and has literally years until he’s a free agent. A cost controlled young pitcher is the most valuable commodity in baseball. If the deal is Hughes, Melky, and a B level prospect, I’d have to strongly consider it, but there’s no way I’m giving up any more than that.

  8. http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2007/12/05/2007-12-05_brian_cashman_yanks_balk_at_millions_and.html

    According to this (mlbtraderumors.com), the asking price was a package of hughes, cabrera, and two prospects I’ve never heard of (not to say that means anything). That doesn’t seem like a lot to me.

    I didn’t really think that the yankees had such good pitching last year either. And, like I said earlier, I don’t doubt that hughes and chamberlain will be stars. I question, though, whether they will be stars in 2008. It takes time for hitters to adjust to new pitchers, especially when there’s limited tape available on them.

    League average may not be enough if the yankees want to compete for the wild card, let alone win the division. The whole discussion started on whether the yankees were better than boston, not whether the yankee rotation was below average or not.

    On wang, I think that its a groundskeeping thing. I think that while wang is throwing his first pitch, the field crew is still trimming the infield grass! Conversely, the yankees let the grass grow longer to accomodate wang. That’s the only thing I can think of that explains the disparity (though he pitched well in two starts at the metrodome).

    With respect to hitting: cabrera’s major league stats are inline with his minor league stats. So I don’t know why you’d assume that much of an improvement. Abreu and jeter both posted stats that were close enough to their career norms that it would be a stretch to assume a marked improvement, especially considering that they’re not getting younger. Damon and Giambi just look like they’re tapering off.

    Pedroia didn’t come out of left field. He was regarded as a top prospect before the season. And varitek’s year was in line with his career norms (though he’s getting old). Lowell, I agree, was probably an aberration. Boston was stupid for not pushing hard for arod. And ellsbury is better than crisp.

    Don’t get me wrong – I think that the yankees are going to be very scary in ’09 and beyond with their young pitching and with guys like mussina, giambi and damon coming off. But I don’t see it in 2008.

  9. I’ve heard of Marquez, but he’s a B level prospect. I could definitely see money being the issue, although over 60 million is coming off after next season. I’m emotionally attached to Hughes, so I can’t say I’m sorry we didn’t get Santana.

    You might be right about Wang. We’ll have to see how he does this season to see if it was just a case of small sample size. If Wang does pitch well on the road this year, he is a #1, no doubt.

    The Yankees don’t need to equal Boston’s pitching because they have substantially better hitting. The Yanks were almost 100 runs better than the Sox offensively last season. While some players will drop, that’s a huge gap. The Sox were 120 runs better defensively. But the Yankees pitching will be better going in just because they probably won’t have to use 13 pitchers this year. And if they do for some reason, they’ll have much better guys to use in the minors than they did last year.

    League average pitchers at 3 and 4 is a huge bump from last season. Igawa was way below average and started 12 games. That shouldn’t happen again. Clemens was above average, but he rarely went deep into games and forced the awful pen into action too early. Hughes should go deeper and should be as good. Mussina is better than Igawa (his DIPS projected him better than his 5.15 ERA). So the pitching is better from 3-5, and could be really special if Hughes and Joba make a jump.

    Giambi is tapering off, but Damon was very good after June. He came into camp out of shape, got injured, and it took him two months to get healthy. All and all you’d expect the Yanks to lose a little hitting, but they should still hit much better than the Sox. I think the pitching has improved enough to keep the Yanks in the same class as the Sox. So you might be right that the Sox are better, but they aren’t much better. It was no coincidence that the Yanks had a better record from July on.

  10. $10 says Joba and Hughes perform better than league average.

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