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Nova the Answer, Learning from Bagwell, LA Cashman, I-95 Beltran



By Mike Silva ~ July 20th, 2011. Filed under: Morning Digest.

The Ubaldo Jimenez rumor mill continues to turn as teams like Boston and Cincinnati are now connected to the Colorado ace. We reported here on Friday morning the price for Jimenez is steep, as it would likely cost the Yankees their top positional prospect (Montero) and two of the Killer B’s.

Ivan Nova was injured last night during his Scranton start (rolled ankle). Assuming he isn’t out long term, expect him to make a start during the July 30th doubleheader against the Orioles.

Nova is 24 years old and like any young pitcher has been a bit inconsistent since his big league debut last year. Despite his rookie struggles Nova has displayed a “bulldog mentality” on the mound. One scout told us during the winter that he has a little “Pedro Martinez in him.”

Back in 2007 a kid pitcher was given 15 starts by Colorado. He would get another three in the postseason. The following year, his age 24 season, he would win 12 games with a 3.99 ERA. A year later he was a 15 game winner. Last year he finished third in the NL Cy Young vote.

You know who this pitcher is?

Ubaldo Jimenez.

I wrote on Friday the Yankees should go “all out” to acquire Jimenez. I think he would win them a pennant this year. Besides, the organization doesn’t historically have the stomach to use their young players in a prominent role. That would require risking the possibility of losing and the Yankees only work on the premise of certainty (although veterans aren’t guarantees  it’s what they believe and makes them feel better).

Four years ago Jimenez was a nobody just like Ivan Nova. Today his General Manager is demanding four top prospects for his services. See what a little stomach for the unknown can produce?

***

Jason Isringhausen notched his first save in a Mets uniform since July 6th, 1999. The Mets beat up Carl Pavano and the Expos that day 10-0 as Izzy threw three scoreless innings. To put in perspective how long ago it was Orel Hershiser, now in the ESPN booth, earned a win.

***

Teams like Arizona and Cincinnati have expressed interest in trading for Isringhausen. Funny, because I remember Izzy pointing out that neither team was willing to give him much of a shot for innings during the spring. That was one of the main reasons he came to Port St. Lucie to throw for the Mets. Now these two contenders are looking to Izzy to shore up their bullpens.

If you are the Mets you have to listen. The organization does need to win as many games as possible this year to show the fans they are headed in the right direction. Isringhausen closing out games makes them a better team in 2011. With the bullpen already thin on talent, losing Izzy would leave them naked in the seventh inning. I don’t know if it’s smart to throw Pedro Beato two innings a night.

However, you never know what you could fetch for Isringhausen. Unless it was a great haul I wouldn’t bother trading him for the sake of it. Do you need another C level prospect? Unless it’s a B prospect or above I don’t bother.

For those that doubt Sandy Alderson can fetch a return for the 38 year old reliever they should look at the Larry Andersen trade to Boston in 1990. Four years earlier the Astros picked up Anderson – a right handed middle reliever- off the waiver wire from the Phillies. He established himself as one of the best middle relievers in the National League, and was having another big year in ’90 (1.95 ERA) when he was shipped to Boston for the pennant drive.

Anderson was outstanding in the Boston bullpen as he produced a WHIP under one and a 1.23 ERA. The Sox basically won a division by acquiring one of the National League’s best middle relievers for a Double-A third baseman by the name of Jeff Bagwell. You all know the kind of career he went on to have.

Basically, Larry Andersen won the American League East for the price of a Hall of Famer.

Isringhausen’s situation is a bit different as he is coming off a few years of injury, but if a team sees him as the difference between the playoffs and going home you never know what kind of player you can acquire.

More scoreless ninth innings like last night and it might be a better player than you imagined.

This was a guy that walked into Port St. Lucie for a tryout. It’s amazing the stories that develop over the course of a baseball season.

The Jason Isringhausen narrative might have a very interesting ending.

***

Would it bother you to see Carlos Beltran playing big games down the stretch in Philadelphia? If it yields the best deal in a trade then I don’t see why it should. I am not sure a Domonic Brown for Beltran deal is the best out there. I would prefer to see what kind of pitching prospects Atlanta would be willing to give up. Boston’s  Josh Reddick is an intriguing name as well and has a better big league track record, albeit small sample, than Brown.

During his MILB career Brown has demonstrated power and plate discipline. His walk to strikeout ratio is nearly one-to-one. Even though his MLB OPS is under .700 he’s walked 20 times to 27 strikeouts this year. Not surprisingly, he’s struggled against left handed pitching in the big leagues.

I have no issue with Sandy Alderson sending Beltran to Philadelphia. I just don’t know if Brown is going to develop into the type of hitter that everyone thinks. If I had a choice I take a player coming out of the Boston organization over Philadelphia. Look at the deals for Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay and tell me if you agree.

***

Ken Rosenthal listed ten General Managers that could be on the hot seat. Teams like Baltimore, Seattle, Anaheim, Detroit, Los Angeles, and both Chicago teams could have openings.

Brian Cashman does not have a contract after this season. Many believe he might be ready to move on from the thankless position he has in New York. I still believe the Cubs would be a great fit for him, but what about the Dodgers?

Once the whole Frank McCourt mess is straightened out (Bud Selig will win in the long run since MLB gets what it wants) that becomes one of the most desirable positions in baseball.

With a good owner Cashman could come in and be given full autonomy to re-build the franchise along with former Yankee Don Mattingly. What a great story that would become.

The Angels might be an interesting possibility as well.

Cashman threw another subtle hint about his displeasure with his current situation during an interview with Mike Ashmore of the Hunterdon County Democrat:

Ashmore: I remember you once told me that no one is untouchable. Is that still the case?

Cashman: “Realistically, there are guys that are untouchable for me. But I’ve got bosses, so.”

Doesn’t sound like a guy that is crazy about his entire situation.

Cashman has pushed the Yankees as far as anyone in history. The fact he was able to wrestle any autonomy from George Steinbrenner is a grand achievement. Now that George has passed, you can see the Tampa faction flexing its muscles. Ultimately, it will be the suits that will run the Yankees into the ground. History always has a way of repeating itself in sports.

I still believe Cashman is gone after this season even if he wins the World Series.

***

The Dodgers released Marcus Thames yesterday. He was an unusual signing for LA since he is horrendous on defense an there is no DH option in the National League. Considering that he didn’t even hit lefties (.197 batting average), his forte, there was no reason for this charade to continue.

Thames did a nice job for the Yankees last year off the bench. Maybe they can bring him back to the organization on a minor league deal as depth.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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7 Responses to Nova the Answer, Learning from Bagwell, LA Cashman, I-95 Beltran

  1. Chuck Johnson

    If the Red Sox felt Josh Reddick was a capable replacement for Drew, they wouldn’t be in the Beltran sweepstakes to begin with.

    Their payroll is already the highest in the game and are well over the luxury tax, even if they take on a small percentage of his deal, it will be a substantial bump over what Reddick makes.

    Sandy Alderson is too smart to rebuild his team with someone else’s scraps.

    I would take Brown in a New York minute, although Philly isn’t trading him, in or out of the division.

  2. Dave

    “For those that doubt Sandy Alderson can fetch a return for the 38 year old reliever they should look at the Larry Anderson trade to Boston in 1990″

    That wasn’t a Sandy Anderson trade, Anderson was never in Houston.

  3. Dave

    @ Chuck the Red Sox have the 3rd highest team salary @ $161M behind the Yankees ($202M) and Phillies ($172M)

    http://content.usatoday.com/sportsdata/baseball/mlb/salaries/team

  4. SteveB

    I think you are reading too much into Cashman’s comment with Ashmore. In any job, unless you have the final say, you can always be overruled. It’s reality. That’s happened to Cashman several times over the years- Arod was a notable example, Soriano was another. Cashman has learned that you never say never, and that was the opinion he expressed to Ashmore. That Cashman has done as much as he has over the years with overbearing personalities like GMS and Randy Levine around him is a testament to how well he is trusted by ownership. Oh sure, he could probably write his own ticket out after 2011, but when you’ve been GM of the Yankees for 13 years, with all the publicity, pressure, success and unlimited funds….. where do you go to get the same level of satisfaction? He also has a home in CT with kids he has to consider. I think if Hal & Hank want him to return, he’s back. Maybe with a bit clearer role, but he’s back.

  5. Mike Silva

    Dave

    Sorry for the confusion – I didn’t mean he made that deal just that there is precedent

  6. Stu B

    @Dave: Mike never said that Alderson made the Larry Andersen (not Anderson) trade, but that it can be looked at as a point of reference.

    @Mike: For what it’s worth, Baseball America ranks the Phillies’ system 10th and the Red Sox system 17th after trading 3 of their top 6 prospects, Anthony Rizzo, Casey Kelly, and Raymond Fuentes, in the Adrian Gonzalez deal.

    And they have this to say about Josh Reddick: “Injuries created several openings in Boston’s outfield in 2010, but Reddick couldn’t seize the opportunity. After bat .390 in big league camp but losing an Opening Day roster spot to Jeremy Hermida, Reddick didn’t hit and in April and June callups. He also endured his most extended slump in four minor league seasons, not getting going until he hit .351/.372/.627 in the second half in Triple-A…
    The Red Sox haven’t given up on Reddick by any means, but Ryan Kalish has passed him and they may not have an opening for him on their 2011 roster. He could create one if he can tone down his approach once he returns to Pawtucket.”

    If they’re dealing with the Red Sox, they’d be much better off getting an arm like Anthony Ranaudo or Drake Britton.

  7. Will in Central NJ

    “Would it bother you to see Carlos Beltran playing big games down the stretch in Philadelphia?”

    If–IF–the best haul could be had from Philadelphia, head and shoulders over what other suitors offered the Mets, then yes—send Beltran to Philly.

    I survived the Seaver trade to Cincinnati. With that in mind, surely, I will survive seeing Beltran in a Philly/NYY/SF/BOS or other uniform, for 2-3 months.

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