January 09, 2006
Missed One, Don't Miss Another!
From USA Today:
Free agent outfielder Todd Hollandsworth agreed Monday to a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians.
OK, I'm bummed on the Hollandsworth news. Man, the Indians are going to be tough this year - their front office is good.
But, also from the USA Today:
The Milwaukee Brewers designated infielder Russell Branyan for assignment Monday, making room for new third baseman Corey Koskie.
Branyan played 85 games for the Brewers last season, hitting .257 with 12 home runs and 31 RBI. He has a career .232 batting average with 93 home runs and 238 RBI in 536 games. Milwaukee has 10 days to trade, release or send him outright to the minors.
Branyan whiffs - a lot. But, last year he killed RHP (with an OPS of .943 in over 200 PA). He can back-up at 3B, 1B, and (in a pinch) the OF. He would be perfect "DH Insurance" should the Yankees options at DH fail this spring.
If used correctly, Branyan could be a plus to have on the bench.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at January 9, 2006 10:36 PM
Craig Wilson, Russell Branyan, the Matt Smiths in the system...when are we going to realize that Brain Cashman is good but far from perfect, with or without Tampa running interference? Considering there are no restrictions on him budget-wise, his decisions must be based on his own (however he arrives at them)player evaluations. As Dylan says, even the president must stand naked. The myth (parts of which are certainly true)that people like Bill Emslie, Billy Connors, and Randy Levine have fettered Brain's movements will certainly be exploded if he continues to allow Joe Torre's wants and needs to determine his 25 man roster...hence, Miguel Cairo redux. The last few seasons have been filled with too many instances of been there, done that, let's move on already. All done to secure Torre's comfort zone, not the organization's.
I don't think most proponents of Cashman are blind to the flaws in his record, but, let's be honest. Compare last off-season, when (according to media reports) Tampa was very much involved, to this one. Which set of moves has been stronger? There's not even an argument. So I'll take Cashman and his occasional pandering to Torre (incidentally, name me a manager who doesn't have obsolete ideas about player evaluation) any day over Tampa, George's whims, Cash and Torre.
Just to play devil's advocate for a moment here, I have to say that while I appreciate and understand the sabermetric arguments often posted on this and other baseball sites, sometimes there is just no replacing roster flexibility. Do the Yankees really need another DH type hitter? I certainly buy the argument that the Yanks could use another bat and I agree that Craig Wilson or Russ Branyan could help if we didn't already have Bernie and Giambi (as well as Sheffield and Matsui) in the DH role. How many DH's can one team realistically carry? Do you really want to look like the 2003 team where Giambi, Tony Clark, Ruben, Bernie, Travis Lee and Olerud all had to share the DH/1B role?
I'd love to add another bat. I wish we could've added it at RF or LF (Giles comes to mind), but honestly, what will we do with another fatso slow-poke who can't play the field if disaster strikes and Giambi goes back to pre-June 15, 2005 form?
I agree that Cash has made terrible decisions over the years and that they've been glossed over by the facility in which we blame Steinbrenner and the Tampa mafia but I can't really blame Cashman for looking at this roster and saying no to another DH. If only we hadn't signed Bernie, then we could get the DH-type hitter we need. But since Bernie's here to stay for 500 AB's as a DH, what would we do with Branyan on the bench anyway?
Posted by: MJ at January 10, 2006 10:57 AM
It's all about Bernie. If you believe that he will fail in 2006, then you need another bat - unless you trust Phillips to hit.
If you like Bernie and/or Phillips in 2006, then there is no need for another bat.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at January 10, 2006 11:52 AM
If only we hadn't signed Bernie, then we could get the DH-type hitter we need. But since Bernie's here to stay for 500 AB's as a DH, what would we do with Branyan on the bench anyway?
PH, 1b & 3b. Maybe stick him in LF or RF on occasion. A cheap lefty power bat. Younger than the incumbent DH, and may actually outproduce him this upcoming season.
And remember, that 2003 team made it to the WS :)