Sunday, August 19, 2007

Off-Season Deal

Ian Kennedy has clearly been climbing the prospect charts this year. The Yankees turned down the option of sending him to the Rangers for Gagne (thank God). The 22-year, 2006 1st round pick, just threw another 6-innings of 2-hit, no walk, 6 K ball at AAA. He has a 1.86 ERA on the season between A, AA, and AAA ball, and in AAA he has an identical 1.86 ERA.

The fact that he's pitching this well, was a first round pick, and chosen before Joba Chamberlain (and has better stats this year than Chamberlain), has to have him climbing people's charts.

Side Note: Chamberlain was a compensatory sandwich pick. He makes the Tom Gordon-era feel so much better.

The Yankees have slapped the label "untouchable" on Kennedy. Giving that label now to four of their prospects, him, Tabata, Chamberlain, and Hughes. I like Kennedy a lot, and I like Tabata a lot. However, if Johan Santana is available this off-season, if the Yankees could put a package together around those two, they could have a legitimate chance of getting Santana, if the Twins decide to deal him.

I have split feelings on this of course.
1- I really like both Tabata and Kennedy
2- Tabata and Kennedy won't make real money for so many years still
3- Santana is a pitcher who you will be giving a long-term deal for over $20 million a year too, that can't seem like a good idea

1- Tabata and Kennedy are prospects, most prospects fail.
2- Santana is a lefty. A lefty going from the Metrodome to Yankee Stadium.
3- Santana with Yankee run support, throwing games at Yankee Stadium could win an awful lot of games
4- Going into spring training the Yankees would have Santana, Wang, Petttitte, Mussina, Hughes, and Chamberlain, that's 6 guys, so the fact that they don't have Kennedy, not a big blow. Four of the Six not old.
5- Santana with Wang and Pettitte in the rotation, means a fresher bullpen than the Yankees have had in years.

I'm still not sure. I would be unbelievably excited if they do it, no question, as it would no question be a huge upgrade for the 2008 Yankees. But who knows how good Tabata and Kennedy will be for the next 20 years. There's a lot of room for regret there too. Afterall, how many times have we all heard "Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make."

1 comment:

Warren said...

A couple of things:

1. I'm not sure why it's really worth the risk to trade any prospects for Santana - if he's willing to play in New York, can't they just wait a year and sign him as a free agent? Does trading for him really make it that much more likely that you can get him long term?

2. If the Twins are willing to deal Santana, I think they'll end up getting a better package than Tabata and Kennedy. Both are very good prospects, but I would think that they'd have to get an even more highly regarded guy that these two - someone who's both close to the majors (as Kennedy is) and with a very high upside (as Tabata is). Someone more like Philip Hughes, actually (who the Yankees won't and shouldn't trade).

3. In any case, I don't think the Twins will trade him in the offseason, even if they're pretty sure they won't resign him. The only chance they have of making the playoffs next year (and they do have a chance with a core of Mauer, Morneau and Santana) is with the best pitcher in baseball on their team. I could see them trading him at the deadline, but I don't think they'll trade Santana in the offseason unless they get proven major leaguers (and prospects, probably) in return so they don't look like they're giving up on an entire season.