Posada Having Surgery

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Kim Jones just announced on YES that Posada will undergo shoulder surgery soon.  Apparently, the acquistion of Xavier Nady led the Yankees to this decision.  It’s a good move because with a six-month recovery, any further delays would put 2009 in jeopardy.

Jones also reported that the trade for Washburn "is probably not going to happen".  

 

Trading the Savant

While this is hardly late-breaking news (I got it from Peter and MLBtraderumors.com), Tim McCarver, during Saturday’s Fox broadcast, relayed a conversation he had with Theo Epstein prior to the game in which Epstein said that if Manny Ramirez were to waive his no-trade, they would look to trade him.  Wow.

Somehow I missed this yesterday, but regardless, it is big news.  First off, it is significant in that this is the most forthcoming a Red Sox official has ever been, on the record, about player personal moves.  Secondly, it means the Red Sox would like him off the team…a big hole to fill.

ESPN Deportes interviewed Manny Sunday and Manny said he’d ok a trade.  He was quoted as saying "I don’t want to be a problem and a distraction to the Red Sox in such a critical moment of the season. I want to help the team, even if that means I have to go."

In the interview, he did much to stress that his knee injury was legit and to let us all know he is a professional and would never play games.  Sure, I believe all he says.

No matter what else he said, Manny just called the Red Sox bluff (either intentionally or not) and they can now work a trade for him.  The question is does Boston get enough in return to fill the hole that Manny would create.  It doesn’t seem likely they can get enough pop in return, unless they trade Manny for a bunch of prospects and then go and send a bunch of prospects to Atlanta and get Mark Teixeira (get ready for some OF play for Kevin Youkilis if that happens).

This isn’t an ideal situation.  The ideal would be if Manny would just play baseball and shut up.  I guess that’s asking for too much.

Let the rumors begin (Manny to Philly was one that cropped up buy the Phillies quickly denied it).

As for tonight’s game, the NOAA.GOV radar doesn’t look good, but the system is quick moving and should be out of the way in time to play some baseball with just perhaps a rain-delay to start things off.

Ponson Tonight

The Yankees may still trade for Washburn, but he is currently pitching for Seattle in the third inning.  Lester versus Ponson is not a matchup that looks very good for the Yankees so it may be a long night, but you never know.

Dead Heat

The Yankees went into the All-Star Break 5.5 games out of the wild card and with three teams above them in those standings.  The standings still show them a game back, but they are even in the loss column.  They have jumped ahead of Oakland and Minnesota and at worst they will only be three games behind Tampa for the division lead tomorrow morning.  In addition, they have made a trade that will improve their chances in 2008. 

I think the Red Sox have the easiest path to the playoffs of the three AL East teams (more home games/weaker opponents) but this is going to be a horse race.  For a team that lost 60% of its rotation and probably has lost 2/9th’s of its lineup, that’s a great position to be in.  This will be a fun race to the finish. 

#34?

Marte is wearing #34 which was Phil Hughes’ number the last time we saw him.  I wonder how that happened. 

Meanwhile, game is in commercial, but I am not a fan of Ramirez vs. Ramirez.  I would have liked to see D-Rob here.   

UPDATE: Apparently, I should stick to my day job.  Nice work Edwar.

UPDATE (Monday 11pm) Here’s how the number switch happened.  Hughes is going back to #65

Washburn On The Way?

Buster Olney is reporting that the Yankees are close to acquiring Jarrod Washurn from the Mariners. This makes sense because the Yankees passed Igawa through waivers and took him off the 40-man roster today which gives them only 39 players on the 40-man.  It doesn’t sound like they think Bruney or Kennedy is ready to help, so something else must be in the works. 

I will save my analysis for when a trade actually happens, but I hope they aren’t giving up a lot to get him. 

UPDATE: Jon Heyman pointed this out, but look at the Yankees schedule and probable pitchers.  No one is listed for Sunday where Sidney Ponson was scheduled.  Washburn is scheduled to start for Seattle tomorrow…hmmmmm.  (Seattle’s schedule still lists Washburn)

UPDATE 8:40pm: Ponson listed as a starter again for the Yankees tomorrow.  Sounds to me like a poker game here between Cashman and Seattle.  We will see who blinks first, but I don’t think Cashman is sending Melky or Gardner to the Mariners for Washburn. 

A Change In the Trade

Ok, apparently the trade has changed and in place of Coke and Kontos are McCutchen and Karstens.  I would rather have Coke or Kontos than Karstens, higher upsides even with the problems, but McCutchen is a better addition for Pittsburgh. 

This doesn’t change my opinion of the trade at all, still a very good one for the Yankees.  And, remember that Hughes and Kennedy are still Yankees.  If they live up to their potential and you have a rotation of Joba, Wang, Hughes and Kennedy plus someone in 2009, the Yankees will be just fine. 

UPDATE 3:05pm: Nady is in the lineup and Gardner has been sent down.  Hawkins has been DFA’ed as well so the news is good.  

Manny Facing Possible Suspension

Providence Journal sports writer and ESPN contributor Sean McAdam reports in today’s Projo that Manny faces disciplinary action, including possible suspension, if he opts out of the line-up again today.

The kicker in all of this in the Red Sox eyes is that Manny has not sought treatment for his knee condition.

From McAdam:  "Skepticism obviously exists within the organization about the severity of Ramirez’s injury.  Ramirez did not seek treatment for the knee on Thursday, an off-day, a signal to Francona that Ramirez would be available for last night’s series opener.  Ramirez said Wednesday in Seattle that the knee had been bothering him for the last week, but he has not sought treatment from the training staff."

Say Goodbye to Boston?

Manny Ramirez did last night what he has done so many times before.  He sat while his team needed him.  Knee injury or not, the race for a playoff spot is tight and the Red Sox are obviously a better squad with Manny than without.

By declaring himself unable to play (despite two clean MRIs after the game), Manny forever likened himself to Nomar Garciaparra.  I’ll confess, while watching the game last night, I didn’t put this comparison together, rather it happened Saturday morning.

Remember the 2004 game in the Bronx where Derek Jeter made one of the greatest catches ever?  He was in a full sprint to snare a pop-up and his momentum carried him into the stands only to emerge bruised and bloodied?  I know you know the game.  It was also the same game where Nomar Garciaparra sat on the bench while the rest of his teammates were leaning against the dugout netting.  Garciaparra’s brooding and unwillingness to be part of the team ultimately led to his being traded and perhaps changed the direction of the Red Sox franchise.

Well Friday night was Nomar all over again, except this time it was Manny.  Enough is enough.  The trade deadline is 5 days away and the Red Sox need help.  David Ortiz is back, but if Manny decides to play the role of a 3 year old, again, there is no time to wait him out.  Send him packing and try to acquire help.  The Yankees just made a good move in getting OF help and a situational lefty.  A nice pick-up for a team just 2 games back from Boston.

I am not about to propose trade ideas or what I think the Red Sox could get in return for Manny, but anything is better than a $20mm player not willing to play.

The Boston Globe’s Gordon Edes said "one player (teammate) called it a disgrace and would not be surprised if the team tried to trade Ramirez."

Ramirez is probably acting like this because he wants to know if his team option will be picked up for next year.  Well, this is proof again that Ramirez is less mature than most toddlers.  He fails to realize the significance of a "team first" attitude.  What makes it all the more shameful is that Manny has already earned over $160,000,000 playing baseball and despite that, he is more concerned about his next paycheck than his next World Series opportunity.

Manny, you are a bore.  Take your act somewhere else.

Red Sox notes: As for the game itself, Friday was a frustrating night for Red Sox fans.  Too few hits (who could have helped there I wonder), a bad called third strike (part of the game) and yet another bean-ball by Joba Chamberlain aimed at Kevin Youkilis’s head.  That last part is very distressing.  Per Baseball Tonight, Jason Varitek was heard wondering aloud how to deal with Chamberlain.  The conclusion was to ultimately take matters in the players hands.  In other words, I guess we can expect a plunk fest today or tomorrow.  Most likely tomorrow because Tim Wakefield just doesn’t have the capacity to, well, hurt or intimidate an opposing batter.  He can humiliate them sure, but that’s really all.

Get ready for some Tim McCarver today!!!

Roster Guesses

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Assuming the trade goes through, how will the Yankees fit Marte and Nady on the roster?  The first move, adding the two players to the 40-man will probably be accomplished by moving Wang to the 60-day DL.  (Ohlendorf coming off the 40-man frees one spot).  But, who goes away to make room for these players on the 25-man?

To clear room for Marte, the Yankees have only one logical move, DFA LaTroy Hawkins.  One year of Hawkins was a better idea than two years of Vizcaino, but the move didn’t work.  It’s time to admit that and cut him loose.  The Yankees could chicken out here and send Giese down, but that would be foolish.  Giese has done his job, Hawkins hasn’t, the choice is clear.

On the batting side, it comes down to one of two candidates Christian or Gardner.  At first glance, the Yankees would probably send Christian down, but that would be a mistake.  Gardner has a much higher upside, but he needs to go back to AAA and play every day.  Plus, Christian gives the Yankees an option against LHP if they wise up and sit Melky against portsiders. (a very good idea)  Platooning Christian and Melky would improve the centerfield picture and Christian gives the Yankees the same speed quotient Gardner does.  On days when you play a lefty you could do something like this:

LF-Damon

SS- Jeter

3B- A-Rod

DH- Giambi

RF- Nady

2B-Cano 

1B- Sexson

CF-Christian

C-Molina

Should be interesting to watch, probably won’t happen until Sunday though.