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.

Other notes:

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.

6 Responses to “Doing Diligence on Upton and Feliciano”

  1. I’m not so sure Montero has to be a center piece for this trade, yes he is our best and most ready prospect but smaller market teams are realizing that the Rays and Rangers didn’t get good by hitting they got good by acquiring young cost controlled arms and continue with them into the future. Why trade a power sluging RF for a power slugging 1B?

    No instead I see the “Big 3” of Brackman, Betances and Banuelos being the key here it would take 1 if not 2 of them and then add in some other arms and possibly a young bat along with 1 of the current 3 outfielder we have of which Gardner makes the most sense because he is the youngest and cheapest with the best defense of the 3.

    A trade could be made that gives the Diamond Backs both young high ceiling rotation arms along with 1-2 players they could immediatley plug into the major league club.

    The rotation they have has almost no high upside arm in it at all with the removal of guys Scherzer and Haren so I imagine they would be intrigued in 94+ MPH anything let alone with the praise our young three is getting right now.  (Quote)

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  2. I wouldn’t mind trading Montero for any number of young, above average position players. I love how his bat projects but I think he may be a liability defensively at catcher. I feel like baseball is changing so I did some quick research. I took to quick look at the top 10 AL stolen base leaders in each season from 2000 to 2010. I’d like to have done this w/ the entire league but I don’t have the resources. For the eleven year period, the top ten AL base stealers swiped an average of 362 bases per season. That number has been exceeded each season since2005. The last two seasons, they top ten crossed 400 bases. (409 in ’09 & 436 in ’10).
    Was Posada was able to hide out in the era of OBP, HR and PED? If guys are going to be running more in the years to come, Montero’s 22% throw out rate in AAA will be a huge problem. I like the idea of having him catch lefties. That could be one way to hide his current weakness.  (Quote)

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    T.O. Chris Reply:

    A catcher who can hit 30 HRs can hide his defensive liabilities just like Dan Uggla being bad at second gets covered by his middle of the order bat and from all reports and first hand looks Montero has that kind of power but much better plate coverage and pitch selection than Uggla.

    With Montero though I don’t see how there are many guys you would trade him for considering even if his defense is awful you put him in RF or DH and he hits 30 HRs in that position in the middle of the order.

    Way too many people seem to be on the “Montero has no value to us if he can’t catch” movement and that just isn’t true his bat is as close to can’t miss as there is and he has a chance to be a perrinial MVP if he develops into what we hope, there is just too much potential to trade him for anything less than an established young superstar or ace like young pitching.  (Quote)

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    Tabata Daycare Reply:

    I agree…throw in Bret for players like Carlos Gonzalez, Jason Heyward or Justin Upton. Or trade for Ryan Zimmerman and move A-Rod to DH. (these are just fantasy trades i dreamed up) Do you think the DH slot will be available enough (A-rod, Tex, maybe Jeter all in their mid-late 30s) 2-4 years from now?
    I love the idea of Montero in RF and I’m frustrated that the Yanks haven’t even tried to see if he can track a fly ball. I understand they want to give him every chance to succeed behind the plate. But if that’s true, why do the Yanks keep trying to trade him for pitchers over 30 years old? Maybe if they put him in RF, he’d turn out to be slightly below average fielder w/ a plus arm. In addition, the less time Montero spends learning to catch, the more time he spends in the batting cage. If he could be the next Manny or Mike Piazza…I’ll take Manny.  (Quote)

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  3. Quick thought on Mo: Maybe it makes sense to offer him two years now. I realize there’s sharp risk for decline but that risk has been there these past few years and some players are just worth it. Rather than have to coax him out of retirement next year for what would be an equal sized contract–maybe it makes sense to lock him up and keep him away from retirement?  (Quote)

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