Monday, October 6, 2008

The Case for Trading Robbie Cano

Remember: NO NEGATIVES about any Yank.

Reasons we should trade him.

1. We can. Unlike most of our starters, he cannot veto a deal.

2. He'll bring value -- if packaged properly, maybe a top pitcher. He's a great player, and teams recognize he's got great seasons ahead.

3. A change of scenery will do Robbie good. Four years in NYC can be a lifetime.

4. Look at Robbie's physique. He should be playing third. With Arod there for at least the next three years, we have no long-range place for Robbie.

5. Orlando Hudson. He's a free agent. He owns three Gold Gloves. He hit .305 this year. He switch-hits. He hustles like a maniac. Imagine the O-Dog beside Mark Teixeira -- another switch-hitter, another gold glove -- on the right side of our infield. What an improvement! (Note: If we can't sign Teixeira, Robbie might bring a solid first-baseman.)

6. We have too many slow starters. We can't consistently tank in the month of May. Robbie doesn't seem to hit until the All-Star break. On a warm-weather team, he'll surely do better.

7. Robbie's trade would serve as a wake-up call to close friend, Melky Cabrera, whose lack of discipline has threatened his career.

8. If Robbie were to have another off-year -- unlikely, but possible -- his trade value would plummet. He's still highly regarded. But if he slogs into next June batting .210, nobody will give anything for him.

9. Trading Robbie would enliven the infielders of our farm system. We have prospects, but they're at least a half-year away.

10. We don't need an All-Star at every position. We need players who bunt, who move runners, dive into the stands and excel at fundamentals. We love him, but that's not Robbie.

11. Basically, we played this season without Robbie Cano. He didn't hit for the first half. He went into a fielding funk in the second half. An off-year. Simply stated, we have too many under-achievers. We need a sparkplug. As great as Robbie is, it's hard to imagine him being that player.

12. All the above is predicated on the notion that we get value in a trade. We do not HAVE to trade Robbie. We would not give him away. But we probably can't solve all our problems through free agency. To get a good player, somebody will have to go. Robbie is our best chip.

Coming: The case for trading either Kennedy or Hughes.


Anonymous said...

The case against trading Cano, Hughes, or Kennedy is simple and compelling. Their values are lower than they have been in the last few years. The Yankees made that mistake by trading Tabata when his value was at its nadir. Doing that once is excusable. If it becomes a pattern it's not. To the contrary, it's bad business.

Anonymous said...

Point taken. But we gotta do something.

It's like Iraq.

We can't leave because things are going bad. Then we can't leave because things are going good.

There's a point where, hey, you gotta go.

There's a point where, hey, we gotta trade somebody.

I'd rather it be Robbie than another Tabata.

Anonymous said...

Cano's worst year (that was it, he will get better) was Orlando Hudson's average. OH hit 300 with 109 OPS+ for the first time in his career in NL West. This is the same division Manny got plugged into and hit .400 with a 213 OPS+. OH will come over here and be replacement level. All he has is a glove and with Jeter and Tex we can stand to have a lazy Cano fielding play every once in a while.

The real solution here is to throw bags of money at Bowa. Keep Cano.

Anonymous said...

I was just smiling to myself about how Boston would react to an infield of A-Rod, Derek, Cano and Teixeira. One down year is no time to toss Cano. That kind of logic would have seen Ruth get traded after 1922. NY's big discriminator has always been money. Let's use it -- take some chances -- and not consider dumping a potential HOF 2nd baseman "because we can".

adam said...

Only problem with keeping Cano around is that our middle infield is gross. Jeter was never that great of a defensive shortstop (on top of his now old age), and Cano flat out sucks at second base. He's just a lazy fielder.

The ideal trade would be Cano and some minor league shit for a young, defensively minded second baseman who can hit for league average plus a 3 or 4 starter. But nobody would do that because Cano's salary gets so ridiculous in a few years... by having him sign that contract with us we almost guaranteed that no other team would want to touch him. If we're lucky he outperforms himself to start next year and we can lay down a serious trade before the All-Star break. I don't see him leaving this off-season.

Anonymous said...

Good points all but...

a) While the NL is inferior, you can't judge it by Manny's performance. He might have done the same thing if traded to us.

b) I agree Cano could be a future HOF, but would argue he needs the change of place to do it.

c) He's not lazy. He tries hard. But until his playing days are near their end -- age 34, say -- and he's scraping to keep his job, he might never be that player who crashes into the wall.

Pedroia crashes into the wall. Pauly O'Neill crashed into the wall. Jeter, Youkilis -- they crash into walls.

We need the players who crash into walls. Seriously... is that Cano?

adam said...

I'm not sure Crashing Into Walls is a legitimate thing to hope for a second baseman to do anyway.

Regardless, my point stands that we're probably not going to be able to get rid of him (with positive value) until he seriously increases his trade value... and at that point I don't think the fans would want to let go of him. If Cano does have a breakout first half of the year, it's probably going to mean that the Yanks are winning the division in July and it doesn't make much sense to ship your star second baseman to another league in that scenario.

Anonymous said...


Cano might have looked awful this year at 2nd base but he wasnt really that bad. He just wasnt making golden glove caliber plays this year. But prior to this year he was making some amazing plays. Even with his unimpressive fielding this year he put up .984 FP and turned over 100 DP's (over 130 last year) 500 Asists 300 PO's. Thats pretty good. Compare that around the league. Dont count Robbie out as an offensive substitution to a real second baseman. He is a second baseman.

This is what el duque is suggesting. He had a mental year. Can he come back from it at all to his potential? Can he do it here? Thats the gamble this is about.

adam said...

I know you guys don't dig into real statistics but I'm gonna throw some out there anyway: if we can shop him, we should immediately... this team would regret keeping him around, but I wouldn't count on getting what we think is good value in return. His BABIP (batting average on balls in play.. for the statistically uninclined here it's basically just the percentage of the time that his bat strikes the ball that it doesn't get put for an out) in 2006 was absurdly high.. 60 points above league average, thus his "great" offensive year. His BABIP regressed to slightly below league average this year, thus a (significantly) below average year. Fact is that he's not that great of a hitter to begin with, and that's not really all that likely to improve. Even if he's some kind of monster that is supposed to have a .330 BABIP, he's still nothing all that special. If he does significantly improve his plate discipline, it's going to be in the next two years but keeping him around is too much of a gamble in my opinion.

You guys are right, I'm being too harsh on his defense. He does stack up rather favorably, but I wish he'd show some more effort sometimes.

Regardless, if we can shop him away, I say do it. If we can get a middle-rotation starter and a relief pitcher, fuckin' a let's do it. I doubt we'll get any offers to that extent, though, given the price of his contract. I think we're going to be in a shitty place with him a year from now, though, unless he comes out firing with a .400 BABIP before the All-Star break and Cashman is smart enough to shop him around. It is my negatively inclined opinion that his trade value right now is as high as it will ever be, but god I hope I'm wrong.