Who's On First?
The first base situation isn't getting any better. As previously mentioned, Shea Hillenbrand is not the answer either. The Times has some fairly obvious ideas though:
More and more, to Torre and the front office, there is a sense that the season cannot be saved unless the existing players produce as expected. They are not seeking to make any significant trades, even one for first baseman Mark Teixeira of the Texas Rangers.Good. He's a FA after next year and a Boras client and would command not only a huge prospect investment (so long, Joba) but would not sign an extension for anything other than ridiculous over-market money. Make a run at FA Teixeira? OK. But don't mortgage the future now.
The Yankees are no longer interested in trading for Teixeira, who is on the disabled list and will command a better offer than they will be willing to make.
The Yankees are leery of dipping into the depth they have built in their farm system to make a trade for short-term help. That explains their reluctance to jump at Los Angeles Angels first baseman Shea Hillenbrand, who was told he would be designated for assignment on Friday.
The Yankees would take Hillenbrand, but only if the Angels paid almost all of his salary and accepted very little — probably a low-level prospect — in return. Hillenbrand is making $6 million this season and is batting .254, with an on-base percentage of only .275.
The Yankees flirted with signing Hillenbrand as a free agent last winter, but they wanted Doug Mientkiewicz all along, mostly for his defense. Mientkiewicz has a broken wrist and is out for at least another month. His right-handed complement, Josh Phelps, was designated for assignment last week when Torre lost faith in his defense.Wait, did everyone catch that? Let me repeat: after saying Phillips would be the starter, Torre sat him for seven of the first eight games on the trip. Phillips started on Thursday for only the second time; Miguel Cairo started at first six times on the trip and Posada once. Does anyone actually think Miguel Cairo is a better choice at first base than Andy Phillips besides Joe Torre? And why does Torre always lie about playing time, but never stick to his guns when it comes to lineup cards? The guy needs to go.
Andy Phillips was promoted to replace Phelps, and after saying Phillips would be the starter, Torre sat him for seven of the first eight games on the trip. Phillips started on Thursday for only the second time; Miguel Cairo started at first six times on the trip and Posada once.
General Manager Brian Cashman is considering almost anything at this point, and if the Yankees do not get Hillenbrand, they may turn to Shelley Duncan to see if he can help at first base. Duncan, the brother of Chris Duncan of the St. Louis Cardinals, is batting .302 with 19 home runs and 58 runs batted in for Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.K. Show of hands - who thinks Torre would play a rookie, especially a rookie not known for his defense (which as we all know is the most important aspect of a productive first baseman) over Miguel Cairo? Anyone? A prospect with a future over a wily veteran with heart and guts and grit and hustle and playing the right way ability and doing the little things that don't show up in the boxscore and being a leader by example? Nobody? Good, you've been paying attention the last 11 years.
Labels: andy phillips, brian cashman, joe torre, josh phelps, miguel cairo, shea hillenbrand, torre is dumb
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 9:17 AM