Friday, November 30, 2007

If this trade is consummated it will haunt the Yankees for generations

Yankees ready to trade Hughes for Santana.

If there is a God, please do not let this happen for all that is sacred and good.

Posada: "Boo-hoo I'm old so let's mortgage the future for a guy no other team can acquire"

Way to be diplomatic there, hip-hip Jorge.

I understand why Posada, as a 53-year-old catcher with only so many chances left at a ring, wants Johan Santana so badly, but outright begging for the Yankees to trade for the man is pitiful.

After rededicating themselves to nurturing the farm system, it strikes me as mind-boggling that the front office would completely reverse course.

If I'm the yankees you HAVE to look at the bigger picture here: NO OTHER TEAM is going to come close to what the Yankees are thinking about offering.

It's becoming more and more apparent as the Phil Hughes hostage drama carries on that it's a one-team race. No other team can come close to matching a package of Phil and others. Yesterday's news had Boston dangling a quartet of players that no one gives a shit about. Simply put: Unless the Sox are willing to part with Jacoby Ellsbury, there is zero chance that Santana will ever don a Red Sox uniform.

Outside of the Sox there are no other contenders. The Angels and Dodgers keep getting mentioned, but as suitors for Miguel Cabrera. I could maybe see the Angels pulling something off if they lose the Cabrera sweepstakes, but the Dodgers? They haven't done anything noteworthy since leaving Brooklyn 40 years ago. (On a related note, if you're a baseball fan living in New York, do yourself a favor and go see the Museum of the City of New York's wonderful "Glory Days: New York Baseball 1947-1957" exhibit. You won't be disappointed.)

Getting back to the present, ultimately the Yankees are once again bidding against no one but themselves.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Yet another reason the Yanks shouldn't even think about dealing with the Twins

This is the same organization that let David Ortiz walk after the 2002 season.

I've often wondered how different the last few years would have turned out had the Yankees signed Ortiz instead of the Sox, and I think it's probably safe to say that the Red Sox' World Series championship drought would still be in effect to this day.

Just say no to giving the stupidest baseball team of all time the best pitcher the Yankees have ever produced.

The Phil Hughes hostage drama, day 649

It's great to see all the support I've received from many of the outstanding Yankee blogs I've been reading on a regular basis for the last four years - hell, River Ave. Blues turned it up a notch and already created merchandise.

As for our boy Phil, he obviously 100% agrees with everything we've been saying here, and had some choice words for Brian Cashman in today's News:

"It's not like you can get a guy like Santana away from the Twins for nothing. It's nice that other teams think highly of me, but I'm very happy with where I'm at. I'd love to stay," said Hughes, who went 5-3 with a 4.46 ERA in 13 starts for the Yankees this year.

"I've always had the mind-set of coming up and playing for the Yankees," said Hughes. "It was an exciting change in the philosophy of the way it used to be. Looking at the guys who came up this year - me, Joba and Ian - we can help in the rotation for years to come, which would be cool. Not many times do you get three guys 21 or 22 years old to fill three spots in the same rotation. "You can never assume things are going to happen, but it's fun to think about the way things could be."

I'm sorry, who wants to trade this man away again? He LOVES THE FACT THAT HE'S A YANKEE and knows that he, Joba and IPK will TEAR IT UP given the chance.

If I were Cashman I'd tell Bill Smith to either beg tightwad Carl Pohlad, he of 114th-richest American fame, for more money or stick it where the sun don't shine and enjoy one last season of Santana before having to wave goodbye to him for no compensation save two draft picks. This dangling Hughes as bait thing has GOT TO STOP. I've been looking forward to watching this kid dominate for the Yanks next year and many many years after that, and I simply cannot believe that the Yankee hierarchy could be this shortsighted.

SAVE THE BIG THREE

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

OK, just to play devil's advocate, here's who I would trade for Johan Santana

Psyche!

I wouldn't trade anyone from the Yankees' farm system for Johan Santana.

I would, however, be happy to make the following trade on behalf of Theo Epstein: Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia for Johan Santana. If the Sox want to make that move, I say let 'em.

As I said in a comment from yesterday's inaugural post, as great as Santana is, who knows how well he'll fare pitching half his games in the Fenway Park bandbox? The last thing Yankee fans should be worried about is what the Sox do. Sox fans worry about the Yankees -- not the other way around.

If Theo wants to mortgage his own farm, I can live with that. I know the Sox have shown that they're willing to part with talent to get talent, but in this case it seems unlikely. Epstein, Gammons et. al. talk about Ellsbury as if he's the second coming.

I would say 90% of the people who have come to this site so far have been overwhelmingly supportive of keeping Hughes. The minority in favor of trading for Santana have all cited the same concern: That Santana won't be available to pick up as a free agent next year.

I completely disagree. As highlighted above, I simply don't see the Sox being willing to part with that much young talent for Santana, when they can also make a play for him for just money next year.

And who the hell else not only has the quality prospects to entice the Twins but can also afford to pay the man the $25 million a year or so he's expected to command? The short list includes the Mets, the Angels Angels of Anaheim and the Dodgers. Unfortunately for the Mets, no one cares about their prospects, so unless Minaya wants to part with Jose Reyes, I'd say this deal is a non-starter. According to Mark Feinsand, the Angels are busy prepping a package for Miguel Cabrera, and if that deal were to go through, it's unlikely they would remain players for Santana. And who cares if Santana goes to the Dodgers? We're never going to see them.

Regardless, the News continues to stoke the fire that the Yankees are the leading candidate to land Santana right now, which is why getting the word out about this site is more important than ever. Do you want a lefty with 900-plus innings on his arm, or the most exciting young pitcher this side of Joba Chamberlain?

Phil Hughes has the chance to be a New York legend. During Game 3 of the ALDS against Cleveland, I couldn't have been prouder sitting in the upper deck and wearing my "HUGHES 65" tee as Phil was mowing the Indians down left and right. At the stadium as well as on the walk home from the subway, complete strangers were coming up to me giving me five and saying "that's the shirt to have tonight!"

Look, Santana is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and it's rather insane that he's even being shopped in the first place, which is why baseball should never let stingy billionaires own franchises.

But in this fan's mind, not even Santana is worth the man Pete Abe oh-so-wisely dubbed Phil Franchise.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

If the Yankees trade Phil Hughes for Johan Santana I will be forced to drop my lifelong allegiance and root for another team

Over the weekend there was a good deal of scuttlebutt regarding what it would take for the Yankees to trade for Johan Santana, namely top pitching prospect Phil Hughes, mediocre center fielder Melky Cabrera and outfield prospect Austin Jackson.

Despite Santana being one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball, I truly hope the Yankees aren't seriously entertaining the idea of trading one of the most exciting young pitchers their system has ever produced for a player they can have for NOTHING BUT COLD HARD CASH IN ONE YEAR.

The fact that deals are even hypothetically being thrown around makes me nervous. After witnessing the success of the trio of young pitching studs the Yanks introduced to us this year, the aforementioned Hughes, the sensational Joba Chamberlain (who has rightly been declared untouchable by the organization) and Ian Kennedy, coupled with years of ineffective free agent pitching signings and trades (see Neagle, Denny; Weaver, Jeff; Contreras, Jose; Brown, Kevin; ad infinitum) it looked like Brian Cashman and company were finally on the right track of developing pitching from within.

I'll never forget Tuesday, May 1, 2007. I was watching the Yankees play Texas with my brother, and it was Hughes' second Major League start. I had of course read all the hype surrounding Hughes for the past three years, and couldn't wait to see what he was going to do after a rocky first outing against Toronto.

As any Yankee fan can attest to, Phil didn't disappoint, and as batter after batter went down, my brother and I kept laughing in giddy amazement about what we were seeing. I've been watching the Yankees regularly since 1993, and even attended Dwight Gooden's 1996 no-hitter, and not only can I simply not recall being more excited during a regular season game than I was for Phil's near no-no, but I don't think I've ever been more excited for the opposing team's lineup to come to bat than my own.

Of course, Phil's brush with baseball history didn't quite turn out the way we had hoped, but everyone who saw the game that night knew that without a doubt, Phil Hughes would have pitched a no-hitter had he not pulled up lame with one out in the 7th.

After returning from the hamstring injury in August, Hughes' results were a bit mixed, although his peripherals were still sound. He seemed to really settle in come September, pitching the Yankees to a huge must-win victory against the Mariners early in the month, paving the way for the team to snag the Wild Card lead and never look back.

And what happened in October? I was fortunate enough to attend Game 3 of the ALDS against Cleveland, and simply witnessed the Yankees' only victory of the series authored by none other than Phil Hughes, in relief of an 80-year-old Roger Clemens.

Those in favor of a trade for Santana will cite Santana's track record as well as Hughes still being a relatively unknown commodity -- despite positive early returns, we don't know what Hughes will ultimately become.

However, after YEARS OF SHITTY STARTING PITCHING, I'm more than willing to take my chances with Phil Hughes in the rotation, who could very well deliver multiple Cy Youngs in the future. In 2004 we thought we were getting an ace when we traded Nick Johnson and Juan Rivera for Javy Vasquez. On paper it looked like a great deal, but the Yanks sure ended up getting bitten in the ass on that one, huh? Nick the Stick and his .400-plus OBP would look pretty damn nice at first base in 2008. And the following year, we traded for Randy Johnson, only to kick him to the curb two seasons later after subpar results, which were lowlighted by the punting of his two pivotal Game 3 playoff starts.

Now if the Yankees actually acquired Santana, chances are he'd be better than Vasquez and Johnson. But I think he has just as good a shot at coming over and falling far short of expectations as he does of dominating. Simply put, the Yankees do not have a positive track record of success in dealing for starting pitching.

Additionally, what Yankee fan in their right mind would prefer rooting for Santana over a top-flight Yankee farmhand? And getting back to my initial point, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU TRADE FOR SANTANA WHEN YOU CAN SIGN HIM WITHOUT HAVING TO GIVE UP THE FARM IN 2009?

I can't stress this enough. What Yankee fan is so rabid for a championship in 2008 that they would actively mortgage a future of potential multiple championships for a shot at winning it next year?

Honestly, if the Yankees were to trade Phil Hughes, I might seriously have to consider switching my lifelong allegiance. I practically came out of the womb with a Yankee hat on, and I eagerly look forward to passing my Yankee fandom on to my son one day. But it would be very difficult for me to pull for the team if they traded away their most exciting homegrown player in more than a decade -- one that I have a serious rooting interest in and who has become my favorite player on the team.

I don't know who I'd root for. The National League is almost as boring as hockey, so the Mets aren't an option. I suppose I would have to vigorously campaign to bring back a third New York baseball team, which is actually a pretty cool idea regardless of everything I've written prior to this.

In conclusion, the Yankees absolutely cannot trade Phil Hughes to the Twins for Johan Santana. There is no conceivable way this deal makes sense to anyone with a brain, especially when (say it with me now) SANTANA WILL BE A FREE AGENT IN ONE YEAR. And if he gets traded somewhere else, who fucking cares? Let the Red Sox or the Mets unload all of their top prospects to get Santana. I'll be more than happy as Joba, Hughes, Kennedy and Horne pitch us to many, many championships over the next decade-plus.

e-mail: keephughes@gmail.com