Monday, June 16, 2008

Someone (in NYC) really, really wants our CC

The Indians have won five of their last seven, finally discovering that if they put injured guys who can't swing a bat on the DL instead of in the 3 and 4 holes in their batting order they might be able to score a few runs.

The Tribe has cut an 8 1/2 game deficit with the White Sox to 5 1/2 and things are beginning to look as if they are moving in the right direction (as long as the bullpen doesn't have to play too big a role in any particular game).

The Sox, meanwhile, have lost 5 of their last 6 games and look to be about to put Paul Konerko on the DL.

So now does not appear to be the right time to pull the trigger on any trade involving CC Sabathia.

But you can bet Mark Shapiro is getting plenty of phone calls from the 212 area code trying to convince him otherwise.

The Yankees, who have won 17 of their last 25 and have moved to 4 games over .500 and 6 game out of first in the A.L. East, have put together a decent starting staff of late, with the addition of Joba Chamberlain and Darrell Rasner (is he doing it with mirrors?) and the resurrection of Mike Mussina.

But all that may get flushed down the pinstriped pot if, as expected once MRI results are in, staff ace Chien Ming Wang is put on the shelf for most, if not all, of the rest of the season with what is believed to be a broken bone in the foot.

The New York Times is already speculating that the Yanks' GM Brian Cashmen has the speed dial to Mark Shapiro fired up.

"The Yankees’ season changed irreversibly on Sunday. Chien-Ming Wang’s season is in jeopardy with a serious injury to his right foot, and C. C. Sabathia instantly became a very important name in the Yankees’ universe." -- lead of today's New York Times story.

The Times story seems like nothing more than a logical conclusion - no names of any kind are mentioned and no quotes from anyone are included.

The New York Post - also apparently speculating - doesn't seem to think the Yankees have the goods to get it done.

"The Yankees' options to replace Wang are limited. The Indians aren't about to deal C.C. Sabathia and the Yankees don't have the major league-ready arms Cleveland would want. Dan Giese is in the Yanks' bullpen, and Daniel McCutchen, Alan Horne, Jeffrey Marquez and Kei Igawa are at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre."

That is assuming the Tribe is only interested in pitching in return - which may not be a great assumption.

Meanwhile, the Yankee blog published by the Journal News, my local paper, is already speculating about who the Yanks might have to sacrificed to get CC to replace Wang.

"LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS: C.C. Sabathia (Indians): He knows how to pitch in the AL, he’s a lefty (always a plus at the Stadium) and you’ll have a few months to try and sign him. But if the Yankees are desperate, Mark Shapiro will seek the world for his ace, especially if he’s going to an AL team. Start with Robinson Cano."

Robbie Cano would seem like a good place to start, at least if you look at his career numbers. But check out these numbers from for the Yanks lost and bewildered 2B this year.

"Going into Saturday night's game, Cano had the lowest on-base percentage (.260) and third-lowest slugging percentage (.316) of major-league players with at least 250 plate appearances."

If the Yanks were to put Cano in as a centerpiece of a package for Sabathia the Tribe would be getting - for now - yet another player who is underperforming miserably this season. Shapiro would have to try to determine if this year is an aberration or the start of a trend.

As has already been established in the linked articles, the Yanks don't have much in the way of MLB-ready pitching (not counting the injured Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy) and they themselves are trying to fill 1B with the likes of Jason Giambi and Shelley Duncan and Wilson Betemit.

They also have nothing to offer at 3B (Betemit is their backup there too) and the corner outfield spots are taken by veterans who the Indians wouldn't necessarily want if they end up punting on this season and trading CC.

So while the pressure will be brought to bear on Shapiro by the Yanks' front office, it's not clear what the Yankees have to offer in the way of young, healthy major leaguers who are playing up to their potential.


bobbydb19 said...

I posted awhile back, that I would wait until June 16th (the next time the Tribe had an off-day) to see where the Indians were at and how I feel about this season. It is June 16th and I am more confused then ever. I have no idea what they should do. Injuries have hurt them (so you would think), but they are actually playing alot better. The schedule for the rest of the month should be easy. I am going got wait until the end of the month to render my decision.

Ron Vallo said...


There is logic to them playing better with guys on the DL. Prior to those going on the DL they played for two months with guys who SHOULD HAVE BEEN on the DL. To have numbers 3 and 4 producing nothing (because of injuries - we think, and hope) was just stupid. They should have rehabbed 'em right away and they would have been back by now.

As long as the teams hangs close they should hold serve for now. They don't really have to make up their mind which way to go with this season for about a month, and with the Central Division being what it is I fully expect they will still be trying to figure out which way to go a month from now.

the moose said...

hey the moose is back from the Windy city !!! did not see one indians hat, shirt, etc..

tribe won 3 of 4 and probably could have won all 4 - is that mujika guy still on the team - he has to go.

I would say leave the team alone right now. White sox are struggling and guillen will mess them up. tigers are getting hot.
so it could be a nice 3 team race.

can the indians win with jamie carroll ?

I am watching the sox and bartolo colon is pitching and I thought Ron was pitching - what a look alike

Ron Vallo said...

fatolo is shorter.

I personally like jamie carroll. He plays ball the way it was meant to be played.