Yesterday, we heard that the Yankees were checking in on left handed relief pitcher Pedro Feliciano, as well as newly available right fielder The Justin Upton. On some level, both players make sense for the Yankees.
Feliciano is a lefty reliever who, shockingly enough, kills lefties. Justin Upton is my age and has already established himself as a legitimate player.
For a player of Upton’s talent, there is almost always room on the roster. For a pitcher like Feliciano, there’s almost certainly always a job because everyone wants a lefty at some point. However, I don’t see the interest from the Yankees being anything more than cursory at worst and tepid at best.
The Yankees, like all major league teams, are interested in everyone for the right price and will almost always look into any and all players who become available. Both of these guys, though, will likely be passed over by New York.
In the case of Pedro, Boone Logan stands in the way. If not for Logan, I think I’d want the Yankees to go a little harder on Feliciano. However, there isn’t much need for a second lefty in the bullpen. Joe Pawlikowski and Mike Axisa touched on Feliciano during their radio show yesterday and I’ll agree with their points: Feliciano may have racked up a ton of miles; his control isn’t pinpoint (even adjusting for IBBs as Mike noted); he can’t face RHB at all; and, as Joe pointed out, having a lefty for the sake of having a lefty isn’t all that attractive. That’s a pass on Pedro.
Justin Upton is one of my favorite young players in the big leagues. He’s now apparently available. Obviously, I’d want the Yankees to jump on him, right? Well, not so much. The cost it would take to get Upton–the package starts with Jesus Montero for sure–is just way too high. The Yankees could dangle some pieces to appear interested, but I don’t think they’ll do anything more than that, unless the price drops. Trading for Upton also creates a roster crunch, as the Yankees have three starting caliber outfielders already. While Upton and his $4.25MM salary for 2011 would be an incredible value, the current Yankee OF is relatively cheap and still very productive. This is painful, but pass on The Justin as well.
The Yankees are, apparently, interested in utility man Bill Hall. He had two great years in Milwaukee, signed a big contract, then fell flat. He had a resurgence in Boston last year, posting a 111 wRC+, a .342 wOBA, and a .209 IsoP. Hall played 71 games in the outfield as well as five and six at third base and shortstop, respectively. All told, he was a 1.0 fWAR player for the Sox in ’10, acceptable for a bench player. His versatility and pop makes him attractive, but a strikeout rate over 30% and a walk rate under 9% takes the shine off of that apple just a bit. I was concerned, too, with the possibility for a Fenway Boost, but Hall only lost 8 points of wOBA away from home in 2010 (.346 in Boston, .338 away).
The Yankees aren’t sure how long Mariano wants his next contract to be. According to Buster, they expect that he wants a two year deal. I’m not opposed to that, but would prefer it if he went year to year. If I had to bet on it, I’d say Mo will end up with a one year, $15MM deal.
The Yankees have been loosely linked to Jorge De La Rosa, though he appears to prefer the Pirates over other teams. De La Rosa would be an okay back up option if Cliff Lee passes on the Yankees and Andy Pettitte retires.
In non-Yankee news…
I just want to parrot Moshe’s point that adding a playoff team is a bad idea.
Lastly, the Marlins were just all sorts of silly yesterday. First, they traded Dan Uggla for a questionable package. Mike Dunn may still have a little upside left (but that’s being very generous) and Omar Infante is just…eh. He had a nice season in 2010, but it was an empty .321 that he hit. I find it hard to believe that the Marlins couldn’t find anything better than Infante/Dunn for Uggla.
And, secondly, three years and $18MM for John Buck? Really, Florida? Just…wow. That’s got awful idea written all over it.