Friday, August 25, 2006

Phil Hughes

from ben:
Phil Hughes update from Akron game last night:

IP: 5 (Yankees imposed limit)
H: 0
BB: 1
K: 9

Another tough night for the guy who got away.
ben, i know this is a sore point for you because you are convinced that gillick could have had him if he had just stuck to his guns, but i've been thinking about it and i'm not sure i believe that is true. i could be just rationalizing (well) after the fact, but i'm definitely leaning toward the "couldn't have gotten him" side.

here are my premises:

- pat gillick is a competent GM as evidenced by his track record in toronto and seattle

- cashman gained steinbrenner's promise that he'd have "complete control" over the yankees last offseason. i recall one of his key points was that he would not return unless he was guaranteed to be free from the pressure to trade away all of his prospects for often ineffective short term moves

- it was important to gillick to remove abreu from the clubhouse (and whose removal may or may not be a direct cause of the recent personality change in the team)

- it was important for the phillies to be free of either abreu's or burrell's salary to prepare for this offseason

- there were no other bidders for abreu's services -- at least none that didn't also require the phillies to eat a lot of abreu's salary

i'll write more when i have some time, but i wanted to get these out there to see what you think.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete,

You’re a logical fellow and with respect to “The Trade” and I’m a somewhat emotional one, so I’ve given your thoughts serious consideration.

Just to prove I’m thinking rationally, I’ll stipulate that Pat Gillick is a solid GM who has forgotten more about baseball than I will ever know and has insights into the team and locker room that are not available to armchair guys like me. Equally relevant, I wasn’t involved in any of the trade talks, and I have never met Mr. Cashman or learned the secrets inside his head.

I don’t dispute any of your basic premises.

But when I go to sleep tonight, I will remain convinced that Pat Gillick failed to measure the situation from Cashman’s shoes. Steinbrenner clearly promised not to interfere, but George is George, and George will say anything to get what he wants at any given moment. He’s an old man who wants to win now. A simple promise not give “complete control” would not interfere with his desires for a team that he owns. George’s employees report to him, not the other way around.

Trading for Abreu was not (only) a short-term fix. Bobby is young (by Yankee standards) and figures to be a cornerstone of this (championship-level) team for the next five years (about Steinbrenner’s life expectancy). The Yankees don’t want to sign Gary Sheffield to a new contract, and now they don’t need to.

Yes, the Phillies needed to unload Bobby’s salary. I know that’s what Pat was thinking. My entire point is that he was thinking about things ONLY from the Phillies’ perspective. Bobby’s salary was no issue to the Yankees. They would pay anybody $15 million to be a star right fielder. The manager of the team was openly begging for Bobby. The third base coach went to the airways to make the case. The Yankees were in second place and looking like the odd man out in the wild card chase.

The Red Sox also wanted Abreu, but ultimately they decided they couldn’t afford him. I’m not convinced the Yankees knew this, but if they did, kudos to Cashman.

Had Gillick waited until the trade deadline to make this deal, I probably could have resisted the urge to pipe up. But they didn’t. They made the trade 30 hours before they needed to. All I’m saying – all I’ve ever said – is that Gillick should have waited. With all my heart I wish he had summoned the courage to say, “No thanks, Frank, I think we’ll stick with Bobby and throw him in the leadoff hole to see what happens. I’ve got the better hand and you know it. Good luck down the stretch. Let’s catch a playoff game together if you’re not doing anything in October.”

Phil Hughes may never pitch an inning for the Yankees (the bet here is that he will before George dies), but Bobby Abreu has already delivered a pennant.

You don’t give away Bobby Abreu for nothing (even if you don’t want him anymore). When push came to shove, Cashman would have dealt a AA pitcher for a chance to win the World Series this year. If faced with a similar scenario in the next couple of year, I hope that Pat Gillick would make this kind of move also (assuming the GM he was dealing with forced him to). Please don’t look past the obvious point that trading Phil Hughes for Bobby Abreu would have been a great trade for the Yankees, considering the circumstances.

9:50 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And by the way,

With Geary and Madson picking up clutch saves, there is no longer doubt that Gillick is checking in with Scrapple.

Great win tonight! It's all happening. Let's go Phillies,

Ben

10:00 PM EDT  

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