All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Can this marriage be saved?

The answer seems to be "yes."

Still no official word on A-Rod, but it sounds like it's all over but the shouting. It appears that A-Rod and the Yankees both looked around at the market, and decided they were better off together than apart. There are no third basemen out there who can match A-Rod's production, and there don't seem to be a lot of teams clamoring to give A-Rod the $350 million contract of Boras' dreams, either. So, like a married couple who parted angrily, only to reconcile when faced with the hazards of the dating scene, the Yankees and A-Rod are back together.

It's always such a soap opera with A-Rod. If he really wanted to be a Yankee, why opt out? He could be getting an extra seven million a year - from Texas. Even though he's kissed and made up with the Steinbrenners, he's likely burned some bridges with his teammates and the fans. Various Yankee players expressed the wish to see Torre, Pettitte, Rivera, and Posada return. But when it came to A-Rod, the silence was deafening.

I predict there won't be silence from the fans. The boos will only be louder after all this drama.

Meanwhile, negotiations with Mariano Rivera aren't going well. Strange, because everyone thought Mo would be the easiest to sign. Apparently, he wants a four-year deal like Posada got; the Yankees are only offering three years. Mo is unhappy at comments Hank Steinbrenner made about his age, and has told his agent to shop him around. I think he'll still end up in pinstripes next year, but it might cost the Yankees more than they expected.

In other hot stove news...the Yankees are still pursuing Mike Lowell. Yes, even though A-Rod is as good as signed. They want Lowell to play first base.

I would guess that this is a bluff. They are just trying to drive the price up for the Red Sox. While the Yankees do need a first baseman, I'm not sure Lowell is worth what he would cost. And I wonder how much his improved offense is due to playing in the bandbox that is Fenway.

OTOH...Lowell at first base would also mean they have him as a backup at 3B and 2B. Right now, Betemit has the backup infielder role that Cairo used to have. Only Betemit's glove isn't that good. You sort of expect a backup infielder to be a defensive upgrade, or at least not a liability.

The only problem is the Yankees already have too many old, expensive players. If they add Lowell, what happens to Giambi? If he becomes the DH, what happens to Matsui? Someone would have to be traded.

Of course, someone may be traded anyway. Even with A-Rod back in the fold, the Yankees need pitching. Though it's probably their young players they'll have to trade to get it. Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain.

I must say, I'm none too sanguine about the Yankee's immediate future. I like Jorgie, and I'm glad they re-signed him. I want Mo to end his career in pinstripes, too.

But the cost may be very high. Jorgie will be 40 by the end of his contract. If Mo gets what he wants, he'll be 41 by the end of his contract. A-Rod is being offered a 10-year deal, which means he'll be 42 by the end of the contract.

This is a "win now" game plan. Only the Yankees haven't won, and they keep getting stuck carrying all these veteran players, way past their sell-by dates. It blocks younger players out, and makes for a one-dimensional team that's all-bat, no glove. They win during the regular season, but not in the post-season.

Cashman seemed intent on re-building the farm and making the team cheaper and younger. But I wonder how much influence he has these days.

posted by BubbaFan, 10:40 PM


I guess the Shelley Duncan HR bashing fun is lasting about as long as Shane Spencer. =(
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, November 16, 2007 2:52 AM  

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