Friday, July 28, 2006

Friday is Trade Talk Day

Out at the bar last night, I received a call from my father, who wasted no time in opining that trading Scott Proctor for Wilson Betemit would be a move the Yankees cannot pass up. This rumor spread quickly over the course of the week, and I had heard basically every argument from every angle on this subject, so I was prepared for my father's logic.

“Proctor is at the height of his trade value.:
“Torre is burning him out.”
“You can't turn down a versatile 26-year-old with some pop to his bat.”

You know what? Those are all valid points, especially the one about Torre burning him out. However, I still don't think it justifies a swap. I'll offer up one reason to counter the Trade Proctor notion:

Who the hell is going to take his spot in the bullpen?

If Octavio Dotel was ready to go next week, it would be a different story. And even then, there is no guarantee on Dotel's effectiveness (though he's done well in his sporadic minor league rehab assignments). That means Villone slides into the seventh inning role, and the Yanks take a gamble (and possibly overpay for) a guy like Roberto Hernandez. This not only downgrades (Proctor has been lights out when properly rested), but it limits the effectiveness of Villone, who does a great job of picking up for starters that have to leave before the sixth inning.

Assuming Dotel isn't coming back – and some think he's done for the season -- the bullpen looks like this:
Mo, Farny, Proctor, Villone, Myers, Chacon, Beam/Smith

Realistically, the Yankees should be looking to replace the Beam or Smith with a better suited reliever, not forcing themselves to have both on the roster. I mean, I like the guys, but they're very green and might not be ready for this intensity that is September in the Bronx. Dealing Proctor would mean the Yanks would have to fill at least one, ideally two bullpen spots. And to replace the quality Proctor has given the Yanks will be no menial task.

For the future, this move makes sense. But you know George and Brian aren't thinking about how Wilson Betemit can help the Yankees in 2007; they're thinking about who can help the Yankees in 2006. And, though many signs point to trading him, Proctor is going to be integral to any kind of success this team will see. Now if we can just buy him another four days off...

What about Borowski?

I heard his name tossed around this week, and I honestly think he'd be a nice fit for the Yanks. He'll come cheaper than many because he's 35 years old and playing for a team out of contention. The Marlins have no realistic use for him, and with the current supply-demand situation for middle relievers, they could command some bounty for him.

There were rumblings that Joe Girardi wants Bubba Crosby. During his year in New York, Girardi thought Bubba was capable of playing every day, and with Reggie Abercrombie under performing in centerfield, the time seems perfect for experiments. Of course, Bubba himself would not fetch Borowski (3.51 ERA, .258 Slg. against lefties), but it doesn't appear he'd cost anyone the Yanks don't want to part with. The only problem, as usual, is that there will be plenty of bidders.

Abreu Update

From the Daily News:

After asking for top prospects (such as Phil Hughes or Jose Tabata) in exchange for Bobby Abreu earlier this month - even though the Bombers believe any transaction involving Abreu is basically a salary dump for Philadelphia - the Phillies are now said to be discussing a deal that would net them lesser prospects for Abreu - with the catch being that the Yanks have to take on former Bomber Jon Lieber, too.


There are no two greater words in the English language than “lesser prospects.” And what is this with taking on Lieber as a catch? We need another starter; Lieber is a starter. Preferably, we'd like a starter with playoff experience; Lieber not only has playoff experience, he has it with the Yankees, against Boston. I realize he's not pitched so well this year, but I am still adamant in my stance that his escape from Citizens Bank Park will be cause for immediate improvement.

The names of these lesser prospects is mere speculation at this point, but so long as they fall at or below the level of Tyler Clippard, I think this could work out. In fact, I'm kinda miffed that I read that report, because it is making me unrealistically optimistic about Abreu and Lieber in the Bronx.

This development makes sense coming on the heels of Carlos Lee's rejection of a long-term deal. That means there are three high-talent, high-priced outfielders swirling around the trade market, thus reducing the value of each. And of the lot, I'd take Abreu every day of the week.

Any and all trade developments will be covered here today, so make sure you're hitting that re-load button. I'll also try keep up over the weekend, but I make no guarantees.