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December 26, 2006

Yanks Shopping After X-mas

It's now confirmed. The rumors from nine days ago are true. The Yankees are making strong moves in an attempt to trade Randy Johnson.

When I read this news, all I can think of is the story that Bob Klapisch shared a few months back:

It was late August when Johnny Damon took a long, hard look around the clubhouse and was appalled at what he saw. "Let's go (bleep-bleepers), wake up," Damon shouted. The center fielder had had enough of the Yankees' listlessness; it was so disturbingly different from the crazy energy he once shared with the Red Sox at Fenway. But instead of rallying the Yankees, Damon was met with silence.

That, and a cold stare across the room from Randy Johnson. Damon was so unnerved by the apathy, he later asked a team official, "Did I do something wrong?"

Clearly, Randy Johnson was a nasty dude in the clubhouse. That's fine when you pitch 200+ innings, with an ERA under three, and then carry your team in the post-season to a ring. But, when you're old, and your ERA is near five, then you can't play that game.

Pettitte in, Johnson out...anyone else feel like these are all just chess moves to get Clemens back in the Bronx?

Posted by Steve Lombardi at December 26, 2006 08:56 AM

Comments

If it gets done, Steve, it'll be a litmus test for Cashman...which way to go? Clemens to pitch half a season at $12 million or Zito at, say, 6 for $100 million. I'm not a big Zito fan but, in the long term, he makes much more sense. A youngish lefty who eats innings and is, at worst, a solid # 2, locked up for 5-6 years vs. a 44 going on 45 year-old whose only motivation is yet another Yankees farewell tour. The smart money is that Rocket either hangs it up or returns to Houston one last time. Let 'em be.

Posted by: JohnnyC [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 09:43 AM

Johnson has been in the league for 19 years. He's not suddenly going to turn into a "rah-rah yaaaaaaay team" type. He is what he is.

The Yanks won 97 games last year. Best record in the league, best record in the majors. So much for listless apathy, eh?

As for Clemens, maybe, maybe not. If that were the case, I'd expect a lot more noise from either side.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 09:48 AM

I obviously can't comment on his clubhouse demeanor, but let's face it, Johnson has been a huge disappointment. We got this guy to be Curt Schilling-2004. Instead he turned out to be a #3 starter. Let him go back to the National League where his flat slider and 91 mph fastball will have a better chance against weaker lineups.

I hear Arizona has a terrific farm system. How about we split the $17 million with them for 2007 in exchange for a top prospect?

Posted by: Joel [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 10:10 AM

What an awesome Christmas gift.

The fact that we can dump Johnson, pay NONE of his salary, and actually get something in return is unbelievable.

Cashmoney once again working magic.

I hope this doesn't lead to Clemens OR Zito. This idea of getting Zito is strictly a theory by Jon Heyman (who is Scott Boras' little bitch). I find it almost impossible to believe the Yankees want anything to do with Zito and all the money he wants.

If anything, Clemens makes more sense, because like Moose and Pettitte, he doesn't require a long-term commitment.

Cashman clearly wants his young players to have spots on this team.

I know Clemens dominated the NL the last three years, but I wonder if he's going to be any better than Johnson back in the AL. And I want nothing to do with Zito, who throws a lot of innings, but they're mediocre innings.

Cashman is on the verge of magically turning Wright, Sheffield and Johnson -- three Tampa guys -- into useful players and payroll relief. Think he can sprinkle some of that magic dust on Carl Pavano and keep him healthy in '07?

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 10:38 AM

Please let this be true. Send Randy out, see what we can get in return. The better the package the Yanks get back, the more of his salary we take on. This will be a great move by Cashman, but I don't want any part of Clemens for half a season. If Roger comes back to the AL East, he isn't going to be much better than Jaret Wright throwing 5 good innings a game. I would rather see that money spent on Zito, at least he will eat innings.

Posted by: dpk875 [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 11:45 AM

Maybe RJ was just confused because he didn't know what Damon meant by "bleep-bleepers". He probably thought Damon was making fun of him with a Big Bird reference or something.

Bottom line, two big game 3 losses means he's just one big piece of shit. He could care less about the Yankees, the pinstripes, and providing Yankee fans with a great memory of him. He's the last shit stain left on the Yankees roster, ship his ass out as fast possible. I will not hold this move against Cash. Even if Big "Shit Stain" Unit goes 33 - 0. F- him and I hope his illegitimate child turns into a Rhode Scholar and takes a big dump on his grave.

I know some may find this hard to believe, but I'm actually listening to John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance".

Put Norv Turner's brother on a plane right now.

Posted by: Garcia [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 01:50 PM

I meant love child, not illegitimate.

Posted by: Garcia [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 01:53 PM

Nice language Garcia

Posted by: RICH [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 02:24 PM

Yes, I know.

Posted by: Garcia [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 03:40 PM

I do have to wonder what the Yanks will get for RJ. I mean, if Cashman is not willing to pick up the $16M left on RJ's contract, why would teams be willing to part with anything of value? Of course, getting rid of $16M in nearly dead weight and replacing it with some combination of Clemens, Zito, or both is still a better move.

I don't think Zito's worth a six year investment but if the Yanks could find a way to get him to take four years, I'd have no problem living with a #2/#3 type guy like him, along with Wang, another year of Moose, and some combination of Pavano/Pettitte/Igawa/Hughes/Rasner/Karstens/Clippard

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 04:19 PM

The problem with that, though, MJ, is that Zito really isn't a 2 or 3. Personally, I think he's more of a 4/5.

He ranked SECOND in BB allowed in the AL this year. Second only to the control-free Daniel Cabrera. Zito's ghastly 1.40 WHIP was the worst in his career.

Mussina finished among the best in every significant, important category for pitchers this year. Mussina is considered a 3 by a lot of people. If Mussina is a 3, then Zito -- whose only good attribute is that he throws a lot of innings -- has to be considered a 4 or 5.

I truly hope the Yankees have no interest in Zito. Yeah, he's young, and yeah, he'll throw over 200 innings and stay healthy, but is that worth 16 million dollars a year? I don't think so.

I think they're going to get Zito-like numbers out of Igawa for 5 million a year.

Go into spring training with Pavano as the 4, and if he gets hurt, then give one of the many kids a chance to pitch -- the list is pretty long now: Karstens, Rasner, Clippard, Hughes, Chamberlain, Kennedy.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 04:45 PM

Why does everyone seem to forget Unit's relief effort in gm 5 of the '05 ALDS?

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 04:59 PM

Because despite the effort (and a strong one at that), the Yanks still lost.

Also, it seems to me most Yankee fans have forgotten Mussina's effort in game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, although I suppose that's neither here nor there.

Posted by: JeremyM [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 05:18 PM

Also, we forget it because he was paid to come in and win games that he started. If he did that we wouldn't be having this discussion. His relief appearance instead looks like a footnote to an otherwise disappointing stay in NY.

I did like it when he got all fired up at the cameraman on his way to his physical though. That was cool.

Posted by: Mike Plugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 05:35 PM

It's hard to pat Johnson on the back for a nice relief effort because he gave up 5 runs and 9 hits in 3 innings in game three and killed us.

If Johnson had thrown the 4.1 scoreless in game three rather than gave five (only to follow it up with another pitiful playoff appearance in '06) maybe Yankee fans wouldn't think he was so worthless when it mattered.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 06:24 PM

"Trade rumors involving Johnson apparently grew out of a discussion the pitcher had last week with Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman."

I think this is code for "I can't hack it in New York." Supposedly, the Giants, Padres, and Dodgers are in the mix as well.

Posted by: JeremyM [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 06:48 PM

If loser Cashman just gives away RJ for nothing just to get rid of his salary I will be extremely pissed off. If you keep RJ for this year, you at least have one more pitcher for the rotation if someone gets injured and you lose his 16 mil salary next year. If you trade him and pick up his entire salary, then you can actually get a good prospect or maybe some major league ready talent. But if you just give him away to so you dont have to pay the 16 mil this year, it wont help us at all for this year. What does 16 mil more this mean to the Yankees....absolutely nothing, that is what. I will say again as I have said many times before, this is a time for us to use our financial advantage. We should just pick up his entire 16 mil salary and trade him to get someone who could help us this year at best and more likely someone who could really help us in the future. If all we get is payroll flexibility, that means nothing because all the good free agents are gone except Zito who is nothing special and Clemens who can only help us for half a season and nothing beyond this season. We have to use RJ as a chip to help us not only this season but for future seasons. That is why it is imperative that we just eat his entire salary for this year. It should already be considered what economists term "a sunk cost". But you can absolutely bet that loser douche bag Cashman is more interested in getting payroll flexibility when we have no use for it right now rather than getting a player that could help us possibly this year and definitely in the future.

Posted by: Chewbacca [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 07:19 PM

It's hard to pat Johnson on the back for a nice relief effort because he gave up 5 runs and 9 hits in 3 innings in game three and killed us.
===========
Regardless, the Yanks had the lead in that game; it was 6-5 after 5.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 08:54 PM

I think this is code for "I can't hack it in New York."
============
I doubt it. He had one good year and one bad year.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 08:55 PM

chewie, why is cashman a 'loser douche bag'?

Posted by: Travis G. [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 10:48 PM

To differentiate him from a winner douche bag, of course.

Posted by: JohnnyC [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2006 11:01 PM

LOL @ JohnnyC

I agree w/ Chewy, Ca$h is a loser because he is more interested in cutting payroll than improving the team. I could understand if he was the owner/GM of the Yanks. Conversely, he is just the GM (therefore, not his own money), and to top that, he is the GM of the most win-driven-regardless-of-money owner in sports history.

Posted by: DonnieDosTresBaseball [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 27, 2006 01:10 AM

I agree w/ Chewy, Ca$h is a loser because he is more interested in cutting payroll than improving the team.
==================
You can cut payroll and improve the team. For example

1996
John Wetteland $4M

1997
Mariano Rivera $550k

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 27, 2006 09:31 AM

Raf--Of course you can. Only a fool would think otherwise, but it is more likely when you spend the bucks.

Posted by: DonnieDosTresBaseball [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 27, 2006 11:24 AM

Just got sent this fact by my brother, I'll have to agree with him that the Yanks can manage 4 runs a little better than the A's

-When the Oakland A's have scored four or more runs for Zito, he is an
astounding 85-4, for a .955 winning percentage

Posted by: dpk875 [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 27, 2006 11:58 AM

Raf--Of course you can. Only a fool would think otherwise, but it is more likely when you spend the bucks.
=============
Depends on how you spend it and who you spend it on. I posted this on Bronx Banter a few days ago;

2006
NYY: $195M - 97W
MIN: $ 63M - 96W
DET: $ 82M - 95W
OAK: $ 62M - 93W

2005
NYY: $208M - 95W
BOS: $124M - 95W
CHI: $ 75M - 99W
CLE: $ 42M - 93W
CAL: $ 95M - 95W

2004
NYY: $184M - 101W
BOS: $127M - 98W
MIN: $ 54M - 92W
CAL: $101M - 92W
OAK: $ 59M - 91W

That's a lot of $$ spent with varying results.

If you'd like to read the entire thread, which branched into revenue sharing, it can be found at this link
http://tinyurl.com/so8zm

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 27, 2006 03:51 PM

Raf-

What you dont understand is, in this particular situation, the Yankees would be better served to spend the money on eating all of RJ's contract rather than save it. There are few benefits of trading Randy Johnson and letting another team take on his salary. First of all, the Yankees gain nothing by ridding themselves of RJ's salary this year because the only people left to spend it on are Clemens who can only help us for one year and Zito who is overrated.

Also, if the only two choices are, trade RJ and let another team take his salary or keep him, then we would be better off keeping him for the rest of the year because as I said above, we would gain nothing by saving the money, and we would gain the chance that RJ could return to Pre-Yankee form. And since his contract is up at the end of the season, his salary would come off the books then.

However, the benefits to picking up his entire salary and trading him are far greater because more teams will be invovled in the trade talks and the Yankees will get far better returns for RJ like possibly better prospects or even major league ready talent that could help this year and definitely in the future.

That is why I would be angry if we traded RJ and didnt pick up his salary. It would be a wasted opportunity to use the Yankees financial advantage to help our team for the future. And that is why I would insult Cashman as a loser douche bag. Because, he would rather act like the 29 other teams and iniate a salary dump rather than act like what the Yankees should be.

Posted by: Chewbacca [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 27, 2006 07:05 PM

*initiate* a salary dump------correction

Posted by: Chewbacca [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 27, 2006 07:09 PM

What color is the sky in your world?

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 28, 2006 08:35 AM