Monday, May 28, 2007


One thing that sucks about sports radio is the idiotic trade proposals.

Mad Cow [over heavy rock music]: Yooooou're on with the Mad Cow!

Caller: Uh.... hello?

Mad Cow: Yeah, hello. Yooooou're on with the Mad Cow!

Caller: .... hello?

Mad Cow: Speak!

Caller: Oh, hey! This is Bill from the Bronx. I love your show. Its so original. I mean, you take calls from people about sports. Terrific! I mean, how'd you come up with that one?

Mad Cow: Thanks. Whatcha got, Bill?

Caller: Yeah, uh, I think the Yankees offense sucks.

Mad Cow: Yeah.

Caller: ... yeah, so I think they should trade Jason Giambi. He sucks.

Mad Cow: Yeah, he's not hitting. Who should they trade him to?

Caller: ... yeah, uh, the Angels. I think they should trade him to the Angels.

Mad Cow: OK. Who should the Angels give up for Giambi?

Caller: ...uh... how bout Guerrero?

Mad Cow: Great idea. I'll get Cashman on the line. Next caller! Yooooou're on with the Mad Cow!


I don't listen to sports radio much anymore for precisely the reason outlined above. Instead I get most of my sports-related information from blogs. I find that dedicated fans often have much more intelligent insight into the teams they follow.

But sometimes even dedicated fans drop the ball. I mention this because I've been seeing a number of dumb trade proposals on Yankee blogs recently. To their team's credit, Yankee fans aren't used to losing, so its not surprising that they don't know how to deal with it. To that effect, I'd like to point out to all the Yankee fans who are regular FPE readers (all zero of you):

Other teams are not going to just hand over their best players in exchange for over-priced guys who aren't hitting. The ridiculous Bobby Abreu deal seemed to cement the idea in Yankee fans collective minds that other teams are there as a sort of quad-A minor league. Need an all-star outfielder who gets on base? No problem. Just call the Phillies. They'd be happy to oblige you!

I know that deal actually did happen, and I still believe it was one of Brian Cashman's best, even if it isn't working out so well this season. But, deals like that are not the norm. The vast majority of teams will not give you an all-star for almost nothing. Thats because most teams are at least trying to give the appearance of wanting to win.

I'm going to pick on an excellent Yankees blog, Canyon of Heroes, in which the author writes the following:
If they'll [the Angels] take on his [Giambi's] salary, we should make a deal. I propose that we ask for Mike Napoli in return. Napoli would be a very nice backup to Jorge, and is only 25/26 years old. He looks good enough to step in should Jorge get hurt or retire in the not too distant future.

I'm going to skip the 'Posada retiring' comment, and move to the meat of it. As I've detailed here before, Giambi is due $40 Million between now and the end of the 2008 season. This for a guy who can't play the field at all, is frequently injured, and as of this writing is hitting .255/.382/.418 with 6 homers, which is just about average for a DH in the AL. I'm not saying Giambi is without value, but no team is going to give you a 26 year old catcher who is slugging .495 for him AND take on his salary to boot. Its a ridiculous suggestion.

Removing Giambino would make room for Mark Teixeira. If the Rangers are going to shop him, the Yankees should be first in line with a pitching prospect or two. I'd withhold Hughes, Chamberlain, and Betances, but anyone else is fair game. Send 2-3 pitchers of various quality for the young man and get it over with.

I hate that "Giambino" crap. Were I a Yankees fan I might have quit comparing Giambi to Babe Ruth as soon as that whole steroids thing came out. But I digress.

So, after we trade Giambi and his salary for a 26 year old power hitting catcher (and drop forty mill off the books in the process) lets trade a couple mediocre pitching prospects for a 27 year old all-star and gold glove first baseman. Sure, why didn't I think of that? I'm sure after being offered the Yankees fourth and fifth pitching prospects, the Rangers will happily hand over their best player to New York. "Terrific!", they'll say. "No need to give up anything of substance. We're just happy to help."

In an earlier post, Canyon of Heroes suggests obtaining either Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs or Johan Santana of the Twins. Fortunately, the author doesn't bother coming up with specific trade scenarios for these two. Or maybe its unfortunate. It would be interesting to hear who the Yankees would be willing to give up to obtain one of the best pitchers in the game. Melky Cabrera? The Twins are 24-25 and 7.5 games back in their division and 5.0 games back in the Wild Card. Wouldn't it be odd for them to trade their best pitcher to the Yankees, who are 12.5 games back in their division and 2.5 games behind the Twins for the Wild Card?

In all seriousness, if the Yankees really wanted to get rid of Giambi they'd first have to get him to agree to go because he has a no-trade clause in his contract. If he doesn't want to get traded (and why would he?) then he can veto any deal, regardless of how generous the other team is being. Secondly, for any other team to take on Giambi, the Yankees would have to pick up a large portion of his contract. As I said earlier, he can still be a valuable player, but his contract is more than onerous, especially if the Yankees want anything of value in return. Unless you address those two aspects, you're just wasting your time.

If the Yankees want to get either Johan Santana or Carlos Zambrano, the bidding would start with Phil Hughes. Both Zambrano, next season, and Santana, after 2008, will be free agents soon enough, so the idea of trading for either is not a preposterous one. Still, both guys are great, young, and at least right now, inexpensive top of the rotation starters. Any team wanting to obtain either player will have to give up top prospects to do so. To suggest otherwise is simply arrogant.

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