If you had any hopes for Sergio Mitre before tonight, I imagine tonight’s performance finished those off.  Hopefully, tonight’s performance finished off Joe Girardi’s hopes as well.

I think they may have because Girardi chose to go to Robertson in the 4th with the game tied up again and Mitre sitting at "only" 75 pitches.  They will burn out the pen tonight, covering at least five innings, but what really matters is where they go from here.  Three Mitre starts are more than enough, let’s get the next entrant in the "Who wants to be the fifth starter" contest up here ASAP. 

What’s Next?

So the Yankees didn’t pull off a big deal at the deadline.  That doesn’t mean they can’t do one later. 

As I talked about the other day,  with the financial climate the way it is, I think more players will pass through waivers than in past years.  I wouldn’t expect Halladay to get through, but some of the other pitchers like Jon Garland, for example, would probably make it through.

The need remains the same, the Yankees need at least one and probably two starters.  I think Pete Abe is on to something with this post about Hughes.   I found it very curious that Hughes was brought out for the ninth inning last night after pitching most of the 7th and the entire 8th.  It would make sense because Joba is going to hit that innings limit and Hughes needs to throw more innings.  You can swap the two of them and hopefully the bullpen and rotation do not suffer.  But, even putting Hughes back into the rotation leaves you with Mitre and that is where Cashman needs to make a deal.

As for the deal they made today it is one of the ones that drives me a little batty.  Is Hairston an upgrade over Ransom?  I think he is, not by a lot, but a bit.  Is Hairston an upgrade over Pena?  That’s my question because I don’t think he is.  Why trade away a prospect, even one the Yankees will probably never use for a guy who essentially does the same thing as Pena, but at a higher cost?  

Stay tuned, Cashman is still on the clock.   

Red Sox Moves

I write this from a small island in Maine.  A small island with no high-speed, no 3G network, just slow dial-up…really slow.

Anyway, despite my limited information flow, I’ve learned (what you all learned probably hours ago) that the Red Sox have traded for the Indians Victor Martinez.  A good bat to be sure.  I suppose he’ll help out Jason Varitek in catching and spell David Ortiz against tough lefties and spell Mike Lowell against tough righties.  It isn’t just depth, but good hitting depth.

With the addition of Martinez, Adam LaRoche was traded to the Braves for Casey Kotchman.  Kotchman seems to add more depth at a position the Red Sox do not need and I’m not sure how they keep him on the 25-man roster.  The Red Sox traded Justin Masterson (removed from 25-man roster), Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price to get Martinez.  So there is space for Kotchman, but now the Red Sox have 1 fewer pitching options.

I’m sure we’ll learn more about what they intend on doing in the coming hours.  With Clay Buchholz still in the organization, there is still a chance of a pitching upgrade (Roy Halladay perhaps…doubtful).

The Red Sox did add some pop to the line-up and some versatility too, but when you match Martinez and LaRoche up side by side, it isn’t like Martinez is twice the player LaRoche is, is it?  I like the move, but very expensive.  I guess that’s why you have minor leaguers, to trade them for known talent.

Deadline Blog

Thanks to some NYC traffic, we are getting a little bit of a late start, but here’s what we know.

Washburn is going to Detroit

V-Mart to Boston

And the Yankees have added…Jerry Hairston Jr.   

3:48 One of the frustrating things right now is that we are hearing only one side of these deals.  Still don’t know who the Yankees gave up for Hairston.  

3:51 Red Sox traded LaRoche to Atlanta for Casey Kotchman. 

3:56 Heyman on MLB Network said that he believes the Red Sox think that Kotchman will adapt to a backup role better than LaRoche.  

3:58 Heyman puts the chances of a Halladay deal at -20%.

4:00 Joel Sherman reporting that the Yankees will have both Hairston and Shelley Duncan on the roster.  That probably means goodbye to Cody Ransom.  

4:03 It’s Victor Martinez bobblehead night in Cleveland tomorrow.  Can they ship those to Fenway now?  

4:05 Peter Gammons reporting that Nick Johnson is going to the Marlins and that Halladay may be on his way to the Angels.

4:07  Andy are you paying attention?  Rolen was traded for Edwin Encarnacion.  

4:22 Jason Stark reporting that nothing happened with Halladay

4:30 Heyman reporting the Padres have traded Peavy to the White Sox- AGAIN!

4:31 Yankees traded Chase Weems (single A catcher) for Hairston

4:34 Peavy has agreed to the trade with the White Sox according to Buster Olney

4:42 Hey Yankees’ fans, the White Sox traded their starter for tonight in the Peavy deal.  Not sure what their plan B is, but they might have to scramble because they haven’t had an offday in awhile.  

Deadline Day

Today’s the trading deadline and in celebration, I will be live blogging from 3pm-5pm with news, rumors and reaction to what happens during the day.  Feel free to stop by and comment. 

Another One Bites The Dust

The Times is reporting that David Ortiz failed the same drug test in 2003 that A-Rod did.  In addition, Manny Ramirez also failed that test.

I have said all along that I think baseball players just need to come out as a group and admit what they did.  Having the news come out in fits and starts damages the game more than a huge mea culpa would.  

As for Ortiz, this report certainly makes his statement from February hard to understand.  At the time he said the following:

"I think you clean up the game by the testing. I test you, you test positive, you’re going to be out. Serious. I know that if I test positive for using any kind of substance, I know that I’m going to disrespect my family, the game, the fans, and everybody. I don’t want to be facing that situation, so what I will do, I won’t use."

I hope that Yankees’ fans do not celebrate this news.  This doesn’t invalidate any championships Boston won it just makes it clear that the Red Sox’s cheaters were better than the Yankees’ cheaters in 2004 and 2007.  That is the sad truth of all of this.   

A Defense Of Swisher

Nick Swisher has been a frustrating player to watch this season.  For all the good he does with the bat, he goes into lengthy slumps and his defense in right can be frightening to watch.  Spurred on by some comments on various posts on this site, I decided to take a deeper look into his defensive play.  Here is what I found out.

Let me say up front that defense is a tough nut ot crack.  There are a lot of different ways to look at it, but I find the "Revised Zone Rating" method that Hardball Times uses to be the best.   Using their methodology, the average rightfielder mades 87% of the plays in his "zone" in 2007.

Swisher is well above-average in this category, making plays on 93.3% of the balls hit to his area.  Just for comparison sake, I looked at Abreu’s defense in 2008 and found that he made only 87.2% of the plays in his zone.  Of further interest, Siwsher has made 31 "out of zone" plays in right this year- basically balls that he probably shouldn’t get to.  Abreu made only a total of 32 all year in 2008. (I also compared Teixeria’s defense in 2009 with Giambi’s in 2008 and found that Teixeira made 80.8% of the plays compared to Giambi’s 67.9%.)

While Swisher covers enough ground, it is his arm that is a weakness.  To date, he has only thrown out 1 runner.  This is a consistent problem for Nick, he only threw out 3 runners in 2007 and 2008 respectively. 

So, my conclusions are that despite his arm, Swisher makes the plays he should and when you factor in his bat, he is an above-average rightfielder.   

Don’t Panic

Yes, the Yankees just traded for a guy with a 6.66 ERA in AAA.  But, this trade isn’t about the Yankees, it is about the Scranton Yankees.  Simply put, they have almost nothing left in their rotation between injuries and callups so the Yankees traded for Hirsh and sent the infamous PTBNL back to Colorado.  This is about AAA depth, not big league depth. 

Shaking Things Up

Lee is headed to the Phillies and Ian Snell is part of a package headed to Seattle.  That leaves Toronto without an obvious fit for their ace and the Yankees potentially out in the cold because it looks like Seattle is buying and not selling. 

If Toronto budges from it’s rumored price of Joba and Hughes for Halladay, then I talk to them.  Otherwise, no thanks.  

I still think the play is to call Arizona and see what they want for either Davis or Garland.  Not flashy, but innings-eaters at the back of the rotation that shouldn’t cost too much prospect-wise.   

Wang’s Done

It’s official, Wang is out for the year.  As the article speculates, this could also be the end for Wang as the Yankees are very likely to non-tender him at this point. 

That’s a discussion for another day, for now the Yankees really need to come up with a new starter.  Mitre is a time bomb.  Joba is almost out of innings. 2-1/2 days until the deadline, what is Cash up to?