Sunday, December 17, 2006
Oh Lord don't set my fields on fire:
Someone explain to me the logic of trading Melky Cabrera for Mike Gonzalez. Marchman? Dad? Gonzalez's numbers are pretty good for the National League. Repeat: for the National League. Melky, on the other hand, is a great franchise player. With the departure of Sheffield, I would much rather have Matsui & Giambi platoon at DH and Bernie on the bench than Melky gone. Even if you put Matsui in left, give Melky time at left or even center. I can see getting rid of Melky for someone really special, but the Yankees have a very good bullpen at this point, and on balance, Gonzalez hardly seems worth it.
--Spencer Ackerman
"Pretty good" for the National League? I believe you meant "super super super good."

Last three ERA+: 332, 158, 207
Last three WHIP: .88, 1.32, 1.35
Last three K/9 inn: 11.45, 10.44, 10.67

That's a better strikeout rate than Trevor Hoffman and better ERA+ than Billy Wagner over the same period. The WHIP is only decent, but with that kind of strikeout rate, it doesn't have to be great.

Meanwhile, Cabrera finished 56th in the AL in OPS out of just 75 qualifying players. He was seventh out of seven Yankees to qualify. Yes, it's the Yankees, so this isn't terribly damning, but he was the worst hitter that played regularly for them. He's young and could improve, but Mike Gonzalez is a known commodity and awesome and (this is not a minor point) left-handed. I have no doubt the Yankees could find a below average hitting, good fielding outfielder to replace Cabrera.
Blogger jhupp | 12:20 PM

Yeah, Skip, you got it real bad. MC might be a darned good hitter -- in four years. It's not like he plays center with range, where "darned good" hitting is all-star caliber. He plays left.

MG is just a relief pitcher, and walks too many, but seems to be pretty darned good right now.

It's a perfect Yankees trade. If you don't want to live with win-now trades, root for someone else.
Blogger Wcw | 2:47 PM

You guys make good points. I'm too dismissive of Gonzalez. My trouble with the trade is that throughout the postseason, Cashman *has* operated like he's retooling the franchise -- hence the Wright and Sheffield trades for solid relievers and the attempt to get Doug M (don't ask me to spell his last name) or (urgh) Hillenbrand. Melky is a very talented young player who reminds me of Bernie circa 1991-92. In five years I can see him as an all-star for sure. My father, whose Yankee instincts are superb, has convinced me that the only package-trade Melky should be a part of is one that brings Dontrelle Willis into the starting rotation.
Blogger spencerackerman | 3:57 PM

Heh, welcome to my world, as I watched RoY performances (Ramirez), no-hitters (Annibal Sanchez), batting titles (Freddy Sanchez) budding stardom (Josh Baird) from our former farmhands. Of course, those all occurred in Quad-A ball, by and larger second division Quad-A at that, but still.

At least now that Bagwell is retired I never have to think of the name "Larry Anderson" again...
Blogger Pooh | 4:16 PM

The Yankees have three pretty good outfielders and Gonzalez is a stud. He's easily closer quality, death on lefties and not much worse on righties, and given the Danys Baez contract he'd be commanding something on the order of $7 million per year as a free agent and possibly a lot more. There's also a fear that Cabrera isn't going to develop any power, which given that he doesn't really have the glove for center leaves him as a passable corner OF. I don't love it, but it's not nearly as much of an overpay as it looks, as Gonzalez is legit. We'll see how he does against Ortiz...
Blogger Tim | 8:04 PM

Speaking as a Pirates fan, this trade scares the hell out of me. Gonzalez will be an effective closer long after Mariano is rocking his chair on a porch somewhere, and he's a hell of a setup man until then (NB: Zero blown saves in his first year as a closer, and most of those walks happened in the first 2 months of the season).

Cabrera? Eh. I mean, maybe your dad's right, but for what they've done up til now, Gonzalez is more valuable, and probably has more upside (if you want to say that Cabrera can turn into Bernie, then you have to accept that Gonzo has shown plenty of ability to be another Hoffman, if not another Mariano).

Now if you want to argue that closers aren't worth much, I could buy it, but you haven't said that here.
Blogger JRoth | 2:31 PM

No, no -- a good closer is worth his weight in gold. Or, as they've renamed it, Riverabloons. I hope you're right about this guy.
Blogger spencerackerman | 7:00 PM