Yankee Hotstove

Signing Damaso Marte To An Extension

Every GM has a white whale out there. Billy Beane’s was Erubiel Durazo Brian Cashman’s was Damaso Marte, in as much as he traded him away once but so desperately wanted him back. They sure as hell didn’t trade for him as rental.

Marte’s graphs look interesting. Crucially, his K/BB ratio stabilised in the last 2 years in the Good range, and his HR/9 has stayed in the good range for 4 years. He’s a pretty good pitcher to have for the next 3 years if h can keep it up. The usual pitcher caveats apply. He could go Pavano, but they all could go Pavano. I don’t know what Pavano proved but the fact that not all free agents are destined to pitch in New York, even if they sign a big fat contract to do so.

Trading For Nick Swisher

The White Sox are so accommodating of the Yankees. Some years back, they took in Jose Contreras after he flamed out in NYC. Now they’re taking Wilson Betemit off the Yankees’ hands in exchange for their disappointment, Nick Swisher. Nick Swisher is of course that famous object of desire that Billy Beane so wanted to sign in ‘Moneyball’. So having been traded unexpectedly by Beane last winter, Swisher suddenly finds himself in New York. I’d imagine his head is spinning. It’s certainly going to make Mark Lewis’ follow-up book to ‘Moneyball’ mighty interesting.

I’m going to miss Wilson Betemit. I kept waiting for him to be that guy, but he was never going to get enough playing time on a team with Jeter, A-Rod and Cano.

Giving up Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez together with Wilson Betemit is a bit of shame, but the Replacement Level Yankee Weblog says this Teixeira pitcher the Yankees are getting back in return is better than Nunez.That’s good.

Nick Swisher was a disappointing player this year, but that is mostly due to his BABIP being so woefully terrible. I had him on one of my fantasy teams this last season, always knowing his BABIP had to get better than the .200 level it was hovering at during April, May and June. Then I gave up. He was solidly unlucky for 3 months, after which he hit well enough for his BABIP to finish at .251, but by then the damage was done. Again,t he RLY days he was not one, but two standard deviations below his career norm. Well, the Yankees can expect at least 1 deviation below next year and still come out all right. He’s more productive than Betemit, or Melky, or Gardner. He wasn’t Billy Beane’s fave candidate for nothing.

The LoHud blog is reporting that Swisher probably will play 1B. He’s not a big enough bat to play 1B, but he’s versatile. Peter Abraham thinks that this trade removes some leverage for Teixeira.

What’s interesting with both the moves is that the Yankees are making medium moves arther than blockbuster moves to shore up their position, before the storm of bidding for CC Sabathia and Mark teixeira begins.

On A Side Note About The A’s

Having mentioned Billy Beane and the A’s, I want to quickly note the trade that saw the A’s acquire Matt Holiday on a 1 year rental. Very interesting move from Beane considering he was dismantling his 2007 side not so long ago. Holliday’s father was interviewed on the NYT and made lots of noise saying he wanted to see his son in pinstripes. It may still happen too.

“If someone would have called me today and said Matt had gotten traded to the Yankees, I’d have been hunting for a place to celebrate,” Tom Holliday, the associate head baseball coach at North Carolina State, said in a telephone interview.

As for Tom Holliday, who coached Street at the University of Texas, he said he had hoped that if his son could not be traded to the Yankees, he would at least be dealt to a team in the East. Alas, he is headed farther west.

“We wanted him to come to the East Coast so we could get some sleep at night,” he said. “It’s just a different channel on the package for me.”

Hmm. Talk about dropping heavy hints. Next off-season when Holliday becomes a free agent, expect to see him go to New York. 🙂

One of the things about the move is that it temporarily removes Matt Holliday as trade target… or does it? Do the Yankees have a package of players Beane might want to swap Holliday for? Like, say, Nick Swisher? hint, hint? In any case, the hot stove has been interesting to date. I’ve really not done much baseball blogging because I’ve been too depresed about the 2008 season. The Phillies won the World Series you say? Well, I, never!

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