Did George Steinbrenner wake up today and realize he was paying $26 million for his DH platoon? The Yankees' two-headed DH combo of deposed center fielder Bernie Williams and steroid fallout boy Jason Giambi makes nearly as much as the entire Devil Rays' roster. That was the first thing that came to mind when the Bronx Bombers announced their major shakeup last night. The best DH in the game, Boston's David Ortiz, makes $5.25 million this season while Cleveland is paying $500,000 for Travis Hafner's services. Here is the lowdown on the rest of the moves:
Calling up Robinson Cano. The 22-year-old second baseman was slugging .574 at Class AAA Columbus. This team could use a little youthful enthusiasm. Let's just hope they don't ditch him if he has a mediocre 50 at-bats.
Hideki Matsui moves to center field. He's not nearly as good an outfielder as Al Yankzeera makes him out to be, but he's an upgrade over Williams.
Tony Womack going to left field. Because every team needs a corner outfielder with a career .361 slugging percentage.
The Williams/Giambi platoon at DH. Will either of them play much when Ruben Sierra gets back?
None of this matters as much as Randy Johnson going on the disabled list.
-- Jacob Luft (12:00 p.m.)
The Yankees need to start looking into upgrading their farm system (which is horrible by the way) and give the few young guys with talent in their system a chance to play instead of paying guys like Jaret Wright $7 million a year. -- Brian, Knoxville, Tenn. (12:26 p.m.)
At least the $26 million DH combo is still on the team. George will now have to eat the remainder of Steve Karsay's 2005 contract and excersize the 2006 buyout. By my calculations, that will be $18 million for a total of 12 2/3 innings! That has to be the highest per-inning payout in the history of baseball. -- Marc C., Lexington, Ky. (12:31 p.m.)
Karsay was paid $3 million by the Yankees in 2002 and pitched 88 1/3 innings that season. Since then, he has has pitched 12 2/3 innings while pocketing $15.25 million if you include the buyout. Not a bad line of work if you can find it. -- JL (12:52 p.m.)
I understand that it is the Yankees, but why is it when the Yankees try to do something to help the team for the better it seems like they get drilled for it? I love the moves of giving their farm guys a chance. I also don't think Womack is a long term solution in left field. -- Andrew Openshaw, Point Pleasant, N.J. (12:36 p.m.)
Alfonso Soriano, D'Angelo Jimenez, Nick Johnson, Wily Mo Pena, Mike Lowell, Yhency Brazoban, Brandon Claussen, Damaso Marte and Ted Lilly. Do you think Brian Cashman would like to have some of these young players back? -- RJ, Wilmington, Del. (12:57 p.m.)
I love Bernie, but this move is long overdue. Also, I think the hidden move here is the continuing fadeout of Jason Giambi. By the way, two DHs? You left out Sierra and Andy Phillips. Oy.
-- Tim, Brooklyn, N.Y. (1:05 p.m.)
And where will Ken Griffey Jr. play when they trade for him at the deadline? -- JL (1:10 p.m.)
They'll give up on Cano quickly. He's a very talented, young ballplayer who can mature into a real stud and that's not the Yankees' model. They'll trade him for someone like Griffey, pay Griffey $300 million over two years and complain about the luxury tax. Matsui is a great player who will do fine wherever they put him. I wouldn't give you a bucket of baseballs for Womack, so it doesn't matter where he plays.
-- Billy, Austin, Texas (1:36 p.m.)
Can we add El Duque and Jon Lieber to the list of people Cashman would like to have back? If George is buying out contracts, can he get 5 cents on the dollar for Jason Giambi and Kevin Brown?
-- Ryan, Fairfield, Conn. (2:01 p.m.)
What do they do about their pitching? They can make all the lineup changes they want, but with Randy Johnson and Jaret Wright on the DL and Kevin Brown struggling, they have to be more worried by their pitching much more than their hitting at this point.
-- Chris Gannon, Fairfax, Va. (2:15 p.m.)
The similarity between this year's Yankees and the 1965 Yankees is remarkable. Both teams got old and weathered in a hurry. Investing all that money on a 42-year-old pitcher, even Randy Johnson, was ill-advised. But since they have virtually unlimited resources (who else can afford $25 million-plus per year for a DH platoon?), they probably won't be down for too long.
-- Kamac, New York (3:20 p.m.)
Of the players listed above that Cashman may like to have back, only Lowell and Soriano are of real major league value, and almost anyone would have traded Soriano for A-Rod. Lily should have been kept just because he is a lefty. The others haven't proven anything yet. -- Mike, Jersey City, N.J. (3:25 p.m.)
So Wily Mo Pena (38 home runs in 567 career at-bats) and Yhency Brazoban (eight saves this season) don't do anything for you? I would rather have either of them than Soriano. -- JL (3:30 p.m.)
As a White Sox fan, I'd like to thank the Yankees for taking Esteban Loaiza just as his fade was coming to fruition, and for making it possible for us to land both Jose Contreras and El Duque. And as a fan of a team that is constantly ripped for being "stingy," this proves that it's better to be smart than rich. -- Ray C., Chicago (4:57 p.m.)
It's like moving deck chairs around on the Titanic. This is just the natural result of an offseason where they failed to address their holes, which were:
1) An offense to dependent on slugging, lacking in fundamental skills and flexibility.
2) Fragile/ineffective starting pitching.
3) A limited bullpen. (And this year, they haven't even got that.)
4) Bad defense.
5) Bad bench.
They even added to their problems by adding an automatic out like Tony Womack to the lineup. The Yankees should count their lucky stars if they can slip past either the Orioles, Red Sox, or a Central team for the wild card. -- Mike Quade, Chicago (5:10 p.m.)
I agree Wily Mo and Brazoban are doing well up to now, but to say they are both better ballplayers or more valuable than Alfonso Soriano? Come on!
-- Raul Vila, Ottawa (5:20 p.m.)
Look at their salaries. Pena makes $440,000. Brazoban makes $319,000. Soriano ($7.5 million) hits for power and steals bases but plays a poor second base and doesn't care much for OBP. For the money, I'd rather have either of those kids instead instead of Soriano. -- JL (5:25 p.m.)
All of this makes me appreciate the sure-handed work of Atlanta GM John Schuerholz, who with the help of Bobby Cox has fielded a good team every year while spending money on a real budget.
-- Jeremiah Horne, Thomasville, Ga. (5:50 p.m.)