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Yankees Tell White Sox, No John Danks

Yankees Tell White Sox, No John Danks

By Delia E.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post & Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated, Brian Cashman said no to a trade with the White Sox that consisted of John Danks for Jesus Montero & Manny Banuelos. Heyman tweeted that the Yankees would not give up either Montero or Banuelos for Danks.

Yankees have “looked at” LHRP Mike Gonzalez

Yankees have “looked at” LHRP Mike Gonzalez

by Mike D.

Via SI.com’s Jon Heyman, the Yankees are looking for left-handed relief help, and have looked at Mike Gonzalez as a possible option. In 53.1 innings for the Orioles and Rangers, Gonzalez pitched to a 4.39 ERA / 4.11 FIP / 3.73 xFIP line, with an 8.61 K/9 and a 3.54 BB/9. I took a more in-depth examination of Gonzalez as a possible addition to the bullpen here.

Heyman goes on to note that the Yankees do not like the current prices of Edwin Jackson and C.J. Wilson, and despite what Hal has publicly stated, they are still a bit “gun-shy” regarding Japanese pitchers such as Yu Darvish. He also states that it is unlikely that the Yankees will trade for Atlanta’s Jair Jurrjens. Heyman sees a trade for John Danks of the White Sox more likely and sensible.

Yankees Mailbag

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another Yankees Mailbag. Thank you to those who sent in questions – we appreciate it. If you have a question you’d like to ask, either email Mike at yankeesfansunited@gmail.com or contact us on Twitter (@yankeefansunite). Let’s get started…

@NataliaYank25 asks:
I’m hearing a lot of talk about the Yankees and Gio Gonzalez. Anything is possible, so you think it’s a good fit?

–      Natalia, I think Gio Gonzalez would be a good fit for the Yankees. He is the prototypical number two starter that Yankee fans desperately want after the ALDS loss to the Tigers. Gio does not get much run support for the Oakland A’s and yet still wins 16 games with a 3.12 ERA. His breaking ball is one of the best in the American League and would give the Yankees two lefties at the top of their rotation. Their GM, Billy Beane, reportedly likes the Yankees’ prospects, but I don’t see Brian Cashman pulling the trigger on this deal. I think he wants to see Banuelos or Betances grow into the system. Don’t expect the Yankees to make a trade for Gio, but Matt Garza is a possibility.

Will asks:
John Danks name is coming up in trade talks a lot lately, he seems like the ideal #2 starter and a solid lefty. What would it take to land him in a trade? Would Romine, Warren, Mitchell, Heathcott do it? I appreciate the feedback.

–      Will. I disagree with you on John Danks. The guy has never won more than fifteen games in a season and he had a stretch in the first two months of 2011 where he did not even win a game. He would be nothing more than a back end starter in the Yankee rotation. I think the White Sox would trade him on the cheap just because they have shown no signs that they will give him a long term deal since he is a free agent at the end of 2012. I would not give up Romine or Warren for him, but I would give up a Slade Heathcott for him. I look for NY again to look at Matt Garza, Jair Jurrjens, and Gio before they explore a John Danks trade.

Yankees Mailbag: Part 2

Good afternoon, and here is the second part of this weekend mailbag. Thank you to those who asked us their questions, and please continue to send them in!

Brian Cashman has explored trade possibilities the first time around, and is not overly enthused by the prices at the moment.

@NataliaYank25 asked:
Cashman said he’s talking with other teams about trade possibilities. Who do you think they can trade for?

You can never really tell the full extents of who’s available and who’s not available in the trade market. However, there are plenty of rumors. Some trade possibilities Cashman may be talking about could be for White Sox pitcher John Danks or Oakland lefty Gio Gonzalez. There have been the brief mentions of the Braves possibly shopping Jair Jurrjens, but not at the price the Yankees are looking for. In addition, there’s been some speculation that the Phillies may look to see what they can get for Cole Hamels, who will be in his final year of his contract; but a trade for him would be of huge cost. Beyond what I listed above, you can list other names, but really out of speculation, no real substance. I think there are definitely options out there for Brian Cashman to make a trade, if he wants to. Right now, he’s simply letting the market settle, waiting for the prices to drop.

@Kimtheluck asked:
Are they going to resign Russell Martin? If yes when are we going to know it?

To which @NataliaYank25 replied:
Do they need to sign him? He’s under team control.

Russell Martin is arbitration-eligible for the fourth time this winter as a Super Two player. In simpler words, Martin will either be offered a new contract, or he will not be offered a new contract by the Yankees. Cashman absolutely wants to retain him, and if (more like when) they do, it will be somewhere around or a bit north of $6MM in arbitration. The free agent arbitration offer deadline is actually pretty soon – at midnight on November 23. Then, the deadline to accept those offers is on December 7, so you’ll know whether Russell will be back next year (for sure) sometime very soon. But don’t worry, I’m willing bet a boatload of money that Martin will be donning pinstripes again next year.

@Kimtheluck asked:
Is there any chance the Yankees will give a new contract to Jorge Posada?

I’d say there’s a 0.01% chance Jorge Posada will be offered a contract by the Yankees. He has already publicly said he will most likely not be returning to the team next year. There’s simply no place for him on the Yankees, and Jorge knows that. His two options will be to hang it up and retire, or to put on a different uniform than that of the Yankees.

 

That’s it for the Yankees Mailbag: Part 2. A reminder that if you have a question you’d like to ask for next weekend’s mailbag, either email me at yankeesfansunited@gmail.com or contact us on Twitter at @yankeefansunite. Have a great rest of the day.

Morning Bits: Offseason Pace, Danks brothers

Sorry folks for the lack of links, but if you type in “Yankees” to Google, you won’t find much at the moment.

Anyway, here is your morning Yankees link:

— Dan Martin of the NY Post talks about how slow the offseason is moving for the Yankees.

Involving the MLB:

— Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com opines that with the new labor deal, Bud Selig has made the MLB the model for pro sports.

And here is something that caught my eye on MLBTR:

— The White Sox did not add Jordan Danks, the younger brother of John Danks, to their 40-Man Roster. A White Sox blogger, Jim Margalus, speculated that this possible signifies that the Sox are preparing to part ways with the elder brother, John. How so? Well you’ll just have to read it.

If the White Sox are indeed shopping John Danks, I’m all for the Yankees pursuing him.

Afternoon Notes: Wilson, Garza, Gonzalez, Danks, 40-Man Roster

The Yanks have expressed particular interest in White Sox hurler John Danks. Chicago on the other hand is a big fan of NYY Triple-A catcher, Austin Romine.

Via Joel Sherman of the NY Post:

— Brian Cashman would like to do something this offseason, before Christmas, but he won’t unless the prices drop from where they are now. (Sherman)

— Symbolic of the Yankees’ current lack of enthusiasm, when C.J. Wilson’s agent requested a meeting in New York, he was told “we’ll get back to you.”

— The Yanks have looked into a possible trade for Cubs’ starter, Matt Garza. However, a Chicago official said trading Garza would be “very, very unlikely”.

— Among their particular likings is left-hander Gio Gonzalez of the Athletics. Billy Beane, talking about the availability of Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill, said, “In our situation, we are open to anything.” However, Oakland is looking for an ace return for either Gio or Cahill. This probably implies a package centered around Jesus Montero or Manny Baneulos.

— They also favor ChiSox lefty, John Danks, who will be a free agent after this 2012 season. Sherman notes that Danks is “very” available, with the sudden Chicago rebuilding process. The asking price for Danks appears to be similar to that of Billy Beane’s in Oakland. The Yanks don’t view Danks as worth that kind of price, especially considering they’d only be getting one year of him. However, don’t shut the door on this trade possibility. Sherman adds the White Sox are very keen on a number of Yankee prospects, including a “particular fondness” for Austin Romine.

Via Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News:

— On a different note, the Yankees added infielders David Adams and Corban Joseph, outfielder Zoilo Almonte, and right-handed pitchers, D.J. Mitchell and David Phelps to their 40-Man Roster. It seems likely that the latter two will see at least some time in the majors next season.

A little about each of them.

Almonte batted .276/.345/.459 with 15 homers and 18 steals between High- and Double-A this season. He’s an unexciting talent but one the Yankees felt they couldn’t lose in the Rule 5 draft.

Joseph, 23, hit .277/.353/.415 with five homers and 58 RBI over 499 at-bats for Trenton this season. The former fourth-round pick is below average defensively and hasn’t progressed much with the bat, but the Yankees are still holding out hope that he’ll be a useful piece of the roster eventually.

Adams batted .370/.421/.509 over 29 games in an injury-shortened 2011 season. The former third-round pick has little in the way of tools but profiles as a solid backup at the major league level.

A former outfielder from his college days, Mitchell doesn’t have much upside but has a nice minor league track record, having held a 3.28 ERA over three seasons, including a 3.18 mark at Triple-A in 2011. He probably has a better shot to eventually earn a roster spot for the Yankees as a middle reliever, though.

Phelps is now off-limits for the Rule 5 draft. A former 14th-round pick, Phelps posted a nice 3.19 ERA and 90/26 K/BB ratio over 107 1/3 innings at Triple-A this season. Though his ceiling isn’t high, Phelps boasts a 2.61 ERA in his minor league career and has a good shot of being a useful back-end starter or middle reliever for the Yanks one day.

Hot Stove Targeting: John Danks

Young, Lefty & Established -

John Danks is a coveted young, 26-yr old lefty for the Chicago White Sox.  He is in his final year of arbitration, meaning he is eligible to be a Free Agent at the end of the season.  With Chicago’s ace Mark Buehrle on the Free Agent market right now, the cost-cutting Sox may need to decide which of these lefties to sign long-term and which to let go.

Positives

Danks has been a succesful lefty starter in the American league for the last 4 years and at 26, is still improving. The sturdy 6’2″ 220 pounder missed 5 starts this season and pitched into a lot of bad luck.  He had the 11th worst run support in MLB (3.49 runs per game) and a very high .313 BABIP, including an improbable .266 BA on ground balls.  That’s a lot of grounders that found holes.  This explains why he had a 4.33 ERA with a 3.79 xFIP.  He actually improved his Strikeout and Walk Rates over his previous 2 seasons so his 8-12 record and 4.33 ERA were truly mis-leading.

When you look at his success from 2008-10 when he averaged a 13-10 record, 3.59 ERA, 203 ip, K/9 over 7 and BB/9 under 3, you see the type of pitcher he is.

Year W L ERA IP WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
2007 6 13 5.50 139.0 1.54 10.4 1.8 3.5 7.1
2008 12 9 3.32 195.0 1.22 8.4 0.7 2.6 7.3
2009 13 11 3.77 200.1 1.28 8.3 1.3 3.3 6.7
2010 15 11 3.72 213.0 1.21 8.0 0.8 3.0 6.8
2011 8 12 4.33 170.1 1.33 9.6 1.0 2.4 7.1
5 Seasons 54 56 4.03 917.2 1.30 8.8 1.1 2.9 7.0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table

His arsenal consists of a Fastball that averages 91.6 MPH and a Cutter & Change Up that are both Plus offerings. He also uses a Curve every now and then as a show-me pitch but it’s not an asset.  His Change & Cutter are effective pitches against both lefties and righties which gives Danks almost identical splits.

vs LH Batters he allows .265/.329/.403/.732 OPS

vs RH Batters he allows .252/.313/.411/.725 OPS

Negatives

After 3 consecutive excellent seasons, Danks was regarded as one of the best young pitchers in baseball and experts were predicting him to explode in 2011.  However, he received no run support and started the season 0-5 despite a 3.83 ERA.  The offense scored a total of 8 runs in those 5 losses and it started to effect Danks’ pitching.  He started to pitch poorly and by the end of May sat at 0-8 with a 5.25.  However, Danks didn’t pack it in and went on an 11 start run in which he went 6-1 with a 2.25 ERA.

After 3 straight seasons of at least 32 starts & 195 IP, Danks durability took a hit as he missed 5 starts this summer due to an oblique strain.  To his credit, he was strong when he returned from the injury, going 3-1 2.47 ERA in his first 7 starts.

Danks has shown some inconsistent velocity in his career which is a bit of a concern.  There are games where his FB his averaging in the 92-93 range then inexplicably, there are games where his average FB doesn’t exceed 90 MPH.  That is somewhat puzzling but sounds more like a case of a young pitcher losing his mechanics and/or arm slot at times.

A Fit for the Yanks?

IMO, Danks would be a perfect fit for the Yankees.  He is a legit 26 yr old left-hander who is still improving and has many good years to come as he has yet to enter his prime.  It’s a fact that southpaws benefit from pitching in Yankee Stadium so sliding him into the rotation with CC & Nova would give them a solid 1-2-3 for years to come.  Unfortunately, he’s in his last year of arbitration so he’ll be a Free Agent at the end of the season.  He’ll require a substantial commitment in dollars and years.  However, this is the type of pitcher the Yanks should be signing in Free Agency – established, yet young enough to be in his prime for the life of the contract.

From the White Sox’ perspective

The Sox don’t want to lose Danks but they have some tough decisions to make.  Fellow lefty Mark Buehrle is a Free Agent.  The durable Buehrle has been a rock in their rotation and has been a very popular figure in the Chicago clubhouse and to the fans.  The team has a lot of money already committed this year and rumor is Kenny Williams has been ordered to reduce the payroll.  If he brings Buehrle back, Wiliams will have to cut money somewhere and with Danks a year from his own Free Agency, it is unlikely they would be able to sign both lefties long-term.  So rather than keep Danks for one season, he could deal him to bring the team some badly needed young talent.  Young lefty Chris Sale is ready to step into the rotation and could take Danks’ spot.

Jim Callis of Baseball America says “there’s no question” the CWS have the worst farm system of any team.  Williams has been quoted as saying he would be looking for young MLB-ready impact players rather than A/AA ball level prospects if he trades anyone.  He has to say that because otherwise he’d be throwing this season away, but I  think the Yanks could offer him an attractive package of low & upper level prospects.

Cost for the Yankees

While everyone covets Montero & Banuelos, a realistic package for Danks would be something like Betances, Romine & Noesi.  Noesi would step into the rotation, Romine would backup Pierzynski and be the Catcher of the future and Betances would be a young stud maybe a year away.

Romine would be attractive to Chicago

Or perhaps a package of Gardner, Betances & a prospect OR Nunez, Betances & a prospect.  While Chicago fans may think I’m crazy and demand a combo of Montero, Gardner, Nunez & Betances, it is important to remember that the Yanks would only be getting one year of Danks and he is coming off a 8-12, 4.33 season.

Another possibility is perhaps the Yanks agree to take on either Adam Dunn or Alex Rios.  Both have 3 yrs left on their deals – Dunn for $44M & Rios for $38.5M.  Maybe CWS will eat half of one of those deals, ship them to NY with Danks for Romine, Noesi & Heathcott.  Chicago would save $20M+ over the next 3 seasons plus the $9M owed Danks.  They could use that cash to re-sign Buehrle and they’d also be receiving a MLB ready starting pitcher, a young Catcher who could apprentice a yr under A.J. then step in and a highly regarded OF prospect.  But unless Cash traded Swisher, Rios or Dunn wouldn’t get regular ABs.

What do you think?

Is Danks someone Cashman should target and if so, what would you be willing to give up? From a Chicago standpoint, if you are Kenny Williams would you trade Danks?  What would be a fair deal?

Not the offseason for change

The Yankees concluded their 2011 season in a way that is all too familiar to us. Unfortunately, we have to deal with the sting of yet another brutal first round exit from the playoffs.  This one hurts a lot because it was all lined up so perfectly. We had Mariano Rivera and David Robertson available for two innings each, and we were coming home with momentum.  All we needed was one big hit and we could not get it. That is the main difference between the Yankees dynasty of the 90s and the last decade. Those teams had players like Bernie, Brosius, Tino, O’Neill, and Jeter who raised their game from the regular season to the playoffs. The teams of the last decade have had better regular seasons than postseasons.  However, another disappointing playoff series does not mean that this team should make radical changes this off-season.

Brian Cashman has always said you cannot make decisions based solely on the postseason. He is absolutely correct. The sample size is way too small to be considered worth more than the regular season. Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez obviously were the main goats of this postseason and. The only one of those three you could do anything with is Swisher.  Let’s say hypothetically, you do not pick up Swisher’s option, and you replace him with Michael Cuddyer.  You cannot guarantee me Cuddyer, or any other replacement, would hit in the playoffs. There is no possible way of knowing. However, I do know that Swisher will produce better in the regular season based on a larger sample size. Plus his 10 million dollar option is cheap and you can go out and find somebody else next year.  As for Teixeira and Rodriguez you have to hope they dedicate themselves this off-season to get better.  Teixiera needs to improve his mechanics from the left side as his line of .218/.327/.462/.788 suggests. Rodriguez needs to develop an exercise routine that can help him stay on the field.  Signing Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder to big bucks is not the answer with all money they have tied into Teixiera and Rodriguez. Texeira and Rodriguez improving is the only option.

This is also not the off-season for radical change because of the big free agent class next year.  Matt Kemp is an elite outfielder who could potentially replace Swisher. He is a five tool player and is only 27. He makes much more sense than Pujols or Fielder would.  Stud pitchers also will be available like Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, Zack Grienke, John Danks, Shaun Marcum, and potentially Dan Haren and James Shields. Some of these guys may also be available at next year’s trade deadline. This is why the Yankees should not blow their money on C.J. Wilson or Yu Darvish this off-season. Sure they will need to sign or trade for a pitcher or two, but it does not have to be for major money. It is also why the Yankees do not have to go completely all out to extend CC Sabathia. I say 6 years at 150 million is a good meeting point. If Sabathia is dead set on 7 years letting him walk is probably the better option. The long term risk of a man who is close to 300 pounds is scary. All those innings will have to take its toll at some point right? Th St.Louis Cardinals are proved you do not need outstanding starting pitch to win a championship. You can win with clutch hitting and an outstanding bullpen. The Texas Rangers also got to the World Series without great starting pitching. So I would defiantly try to extend Sabathia, but it is not a necessity.

This Yankee team needs fine tuning this off-season and not a major overhaul. Winning 97 games in the AL East this year was a major accomplishment and should not be taken lightly. That is the sample size that you should trust more. The postseason is a complete crap shoot that can never be predicted.  However, if next year we have similar results in the postseason, we can consider more major moves because there will be elite players out there.  The outlook for the Yankees next year is bright and winning the World Series should be within our reach.

Thoughts on the Future of the Rotation

Should C.C. be back next year at any cost?

It is likely that:

[1] C.C. Sabathia will opt out of his contract this off-season.

[2] He will return to the pinstripes next year.

[3] C.C. will receive a massive contract of at the very minimum 5 years and $120MM.

However, at what point in the contract negotiations should the Yankees consider alternate options?

Joel Sherman of the NY Post says that if Sabathia wants a considerable amount past 5 years and over $120MM, the Yanks should at least look elsewhere.

If Sabathia wants more, the Yankees have to seriously consider another direction rather than accept greater long-term risk.

In my opinion, Sherman hits it right on the money here. C.C. is 31 years old, and somewhere around 290 pounds. Look at the facts: another 7 year contract would take him to the 2018 season, and Sabathia would turn 38 that season. No offense in any way to C.C., but the combination of being overweight with a history knee problems, and in his upper thirties does not bode well for the Yanks. However, the luxury of having a true ace should never be downplayed. C.C. is an absolute horse. He’s been one of the Yankees’ best free agent signings in the modern years.

Year W L W-L% ERA GS IP H ER SO ERA+ WHIP
2009 19 8 .704 3.37 34 230.0 197 86 197 137 1.148
2010 21 7 .750 3.18 34 237.2 209 84 197 136 1.191
2011 19 8 .704 3.00 33 237.1 230 79 230 147 1.226
NYY (3 yrs) 59 23 .720 3.18 101 705.0 636 249 624 140 1.189

But- there have been some signs of weariness in the second half of this season and in the playoffs. Are the 1,198 innings he’s thrown in the past five years catching up with him? That is a question the Yankees front office should deeply think about. I’m not saying I don’t want Sabathia back in the Bronx next year; a long-term contract is a risk of gigantic proportions. It’s like the A-Rod contract for a pitcher.

Sherman also discusses possible alternatives to signing Sabathia to a massive contract.

“With that pen and a powerful offense, could they survive if — for example — they lost Sabathia, but signed Wilson and traded for someone such as the A’s Gio Gonzalez or White Sox’ John Danks? “Can you win with five No. 3 starters and strength everywhere else,” the NL personnel man said. “Yes, I think you can. I think the Rangers are doing it right now.”

If you think about it, the Yankees could certainly survive without Sabathia in their rotation next year. That is, if the Yankees take advantage of the rest of the free agent and trade market. A cluster of simply solid-to-very good pitchers could potentially work. Let’s take a look at the options Sherman gives. We’ll profile Gio Gonzalez, John Danks, and other pitchers later, but for now… The Yankees could swing a deal for Gonzalez, as the Athletics are offensively deprived and already have plenty of strong, young pitching. They could rebuild without Gio in their rotation. The White Sox are in some strange sort of rebuilding mode, and Danks may become available. You also have to consider other trade options, such as Matt Cain of the Giants. Say you sign C.J. Wilson, trade for Gonzalez/Danks, and possibly sign an innings-eater like Edwin Jackson or Mark Buehrle. Then you fill in the holes with Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, and one of the young-guns like Adam Warren or Hector Noesi. As for Burnett, who knows. All of a sudden, you have a solid, playoff-caliber rotation, without a massive 7 year / $140+MM contract. Then you have a pretty good amount of flexibility.

However, the Yanks would not have a clear ace. As Sherman and his source say, the Rangers don’t have a clear #1, even in Wilson. They have a team built on a solid rotation, a tremendous offense, and an excellent bullpen. Look where they are: up 2-1 in the ALCS.

Ideally, C.C. Sabathia does not opt out of his contract, but we simply have to expect the worst. Any deal exceeding Cliff Lee’s 5 years/$120MM contract, should alert the Yankees to at least consider an alternate plan.

 

Stat Insert Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/12/2011.

NYY vs. SEA – 7/25/11

 

Let’s make it 16 straight losses for the M’s, Freddy. As mean as that sounds…

Lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher DH
Russell Martin C
Andruw Jones RF
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Brett Gardner LF

Pitchers:

Freddy Garcia (8-7, 3.21) vs. Jason Vargas (6-8, 3.94)

And some deadline notes/rumors before the game:

  • A rival executive tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Yankees will add a lefty relief pitcher via trade. Duh!
  • Joel Sherman of the NY Post says that the Yankees will not trade Manny Baneulos, Dellin Betances, Jesus Montero, and Austin Romine unless a premier, number 1 starter becomes available.
  • Also according to Sherman, the White Sox have spent a considerable amount of time scouting the farm systems of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies. In case Edwin Jackson becomes available (or even John Danks), the two teams could potentially make a trade.
  • The Yankees like A’s lefty Gio Gonzalez quite a lot, and would “pay big to get”. Despite Oakland falling out of contention, they are still refusing to talk Gonzalez. If he did become available, Gonzalez would be one hell of a guy to get, as he is only 25, and has a 2.67 ERA.
  • Jon Paul Morosi now says that the odds of an Ubaldo trade are around 50/50. Sherman says that the Yankees are concerned “about Ubaldo’s inconsistency, all-out delivery (arm trouble?), (and) coming to AL East.” If there truly are these concerns, then the Yankees should by no means give up 2+ top prospects for Jimenez.
  • Bob Klapisch says the Yankees are interested in Hiroki Kuroda, but have had no recent discussions with the Dodgers. It’s also known that Kuroda may not accept a trade to the east, let alone a trade at all.

Enjoy the game. Lots of rumors going on, with 5 days remaining until the day of the trade deadline.