Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cricket, Cricket

This has been one of the quietest off seasons in recent memory. Sure we signed some releivers, and that was cool for the 10 seconds it held our collective attention, but so far the off season has been about what we haven't done. No Cliff Lee, and now, the wide net that Cashman had set appears to have been so wide that he can't reel it in. A shame really, I was hoping that net had names like King Felix or Zack Grienke in it. But it is not meant to be. What we do have is 3 starters, one of which may or may not know how to pitch on any particular day. Our offense doesn't need an overhaul, but addressing the rotation was a huge need this off season. A need we haven't met. But alas, its close to New Years and we can't expect much to be done in the next few days. Do we enter the season with Sergio Mitre and Ivan Nova as our 4 and 5 guys? I doubt it. I have to agree that King Felix is the best option, but there's no telling if the Mariners would bite, even if we over pay. Here's hoping that now that Cashman's lost the ace up his sleeve he can still reach back far enough to pull out the king!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Brett Anderson

With the pitching market pretty much non-existant, its time we, as fans, get creative with our non-sensical trade ideas. To this end, I propose Brett Anderson. Who? You ask. Click on the link, I respond. Make me, you say. Make me make you, I retort. But the point is, Brett Anderson is a young left handed pitcher for Oakland who turned in a phenomenal season last year. Oakland, is a huge fan of prospects. A guy like Brett Anderson, who would be seen as a lower rotation upgrade for us, could be gotten for a sprinkling of our prospects. Cashman, I know you read this blog, look into this already! It may be worth it if the price is right, which it always is for the Yankees.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Brian Cashman Is a Genius

I think I know why the Yankees hired Larry Rothschild. Rothschild principal task is to fix AJ Burnett. We all know that's not going to happy. But, Rothschild prinicipal legacy is destroying Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. Rothschild will work his magic on Burnett, ending Burnett's career as a starter, and then the Yankees collect insurance on the remainder of Burnett's contract. Genius.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Concerns About Rothschild

The Yankees recently replaced pitching coach Dave Eiland with Larry Rothschild, formerly of the Cubs. I just read this article in the Daily News about Mark Prior, who along with Kerry Wood, was coached by Rothschild in Chicago. It seems then, in addition to having a lot of experience coaching pitchers, Rothschild also has experience destroying once promising phenoms. I can't say that what happened to Prior and Wood was Rothschild's fault, since clearly the manager has the final say in whether pitchers stay out there. Also, there has to be an organizational stance on protecting young pitchers, something clearly absent in Chicago during the first half of the last decade. But you still have to worry a little bit about Rothschild when you sport a rotation that may have two very young pitchers in Hughes and Nova in it, don't you?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from RJG

We at RJG would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a merry Christmas, a happy holiday, and a happy new year. Not much happening in Yankee land over the last week or so, and we can only hope Cashman returns from the holidays with a plan to fix our rotation. Until then, have a restful holiday everyone.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Andy Pettitte

Each indicator seems to suggest more and more that Andy is not coming back next season. So with three glaring holes in our rotation (I'm currently including Burnett in the glaring hole category) the question is are we heading for another 2008? 2008 proved to be a rebuilding year. Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, and Phil Hughes could not take us to another championship, and despite an incredible season by Mussina, we just couldn't make it to the playoffs. That off season, Cashman restocked with Teixeira, Burnett, Swisher, and Sabathia, and we won it all in 2009. The only issue is that the 2012 free agent market does not look so promising for pitchers. It has some hitters, but not really any pitchers. That means now is as good a time as any to do two things. One, we need to pull off a trade for an established big league pitcher, and two, we need to get one of these kids ready for a starting role on this level. Otherwise, it could prove to be a rocky couple of years.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

King Felix?

Many reporters, and by many I mean Joel Sherman, believes that the Yankees should now go all out for Felix Hernandez. Admittedly, King Felix would be an amazing addition. Sherman suggests opening our farm system and telling the Mariners to pick any five they want. The idea is that with Felix (whose about as old as Hughes) and Sabathia we are set to win some championships down the road. Keeping our top prospects, several of which may not even see a meaningful game in the big leagues, won't give us that. So the question is, what do you think? Open up the farm for Hernandez, or develop the babies to see if we got the next Hernandez in our system (unlikely)?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Much A-doings A-happening

Now that Grienke is off the market the Yankees have one less viable option for a premium starter. But those of us getting impatient need to chill out. The Yankees just signed reliever Luis Vizcaino. "Nobody beats the Viz" remember? Apparently the rest of the market forgot it, as we signed him to a minor league deal, but Cashman never forgets, and now our middle relief is set. The Yankee strategy is now confirmed. Sign as many middle relievers as possible to make up for a lack of starters. By signing Mark Prior, Pedro Feliciano and now Luis Vizcaino, among others our middle relief is now stacked. That means that our starters only need to last about 3 innings every start, and that will ensure that they can make 3 starts a week. No need for a 4th and 5th starter. The Yankees' plan is bulletproof.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Greinke to Milwaukee

Because nothing says "winner" like Milwaukee.

The $23 Million Question

Due to our abject failure and humiliation in failing to sign Cliff Lee, the Yankees now have $23 million lying around that they are not sure what to do with. I have come up with the perfect solution: a trade with the Royals. Now I know what you're thinking. Grienke will never make it in New York. But I'm not talking about Grienke. No. What I'm talking about is a very different kind of trade.

Everyone knows the Royals have one of the best farm systems in baseball; a function of residing in America's heartland (it sounds romantic but it's actually kind of a $#!%hole, unless you like Meth, then it's cool). The Royals have had one of the best farm systems in baseball for ages. You know how some prospects are spoken of as 'quadruple A' players? Well KC is quadruple A.

So here's the deal. We trade KC $23 million in exchange for their entire baseball development staff. I guess it's less of a trade than a purchase of all their development personnel, but it would probably be the best possible use of that extra $23 million. Think about it. Imagine we had Johnny Damon when he broke into the league at 22 (or however old he was, I'm not going to look it up). What if we develop the next Grienke? It's a golden opportunity to turn our team into the best player development organization in baseball in addition to being the filthy richest. Alternatively, the Yankees could just give the $23 million to me. That would also be an acceptable course of action.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Take a Gamble?

What if the Yankees looked to do a trade for Scott Kazmir? He did awful last season, he's owed $12 million in 2011, and you have to imagine he's still trying to work things out after recovering from his injury. But, its Scott Kazmir. If a trade could be worked out, and part of his salary swallowed by the Angels, should we consider making this move?

Russell Martin and This Years Hot Stove

When it was announced that Cliff Lee was signing with the Phillies, the Yankees looked to ruin baseball once more by trying to upstage this momentus occasion with their own free agent announcement of catcher Russell Martin. Martin was a catcher for the Dodgers, and a pretty good one until he injured his hip, and couldn't quite return to form. In an interview yesterday, he assured all of us that he hadn't felt pain in that hip for at least a month. Considering that he hasn't played baseball in over a month, I will withhold my jubilation for now.

This is a good signing. For $4 million (plus some performance bonuses that could add up to $1.375 million) the Yankees have a player who has hit well at the big league level, has caught well at the big league level, and could very well return to form after an injury. Worse comes to worse, he's this years Nick Johnson, and really Martin is a smarter signing than Johnson who cost us $5.75 million, and really just projected to be our DH. Martin projects to be our starting catcher, buying us more time for guys like Montero and Romine, and allowing a guy like Posada to focus on the DH role. More importantly though, it gives flexibility if we should so choose to trade either Montero or Romine.

The general consensus I get from Red Sox fans is that Boston is destroying the Yankees this off season. I concede this point, though as Red Sox fans always respond to me when I tell them about the Yankees off season exploits, winning the hot stove is like winning the primary, it sets you up to be embarrased for the next few months. But you have to give it to Boston. They've really restocked this offseason, signing Crawford, trading for Gonzalez, and the recent news of them going after Bobby Jenks, are all solid moves. They haven't addressed their rotation, which I think has bigger issues. Most Red Sox fans won't agree with this assessment but basically, Buccholz is going to come back down to earth, Lester's still good, Beckett sucks, Lackey sucks, Matsuzaka sucks, and Wakefields a million years old. The restocked offense should make up for some of this, but they would be better off adding a pitcher. But really, the best things to happen to the Red Sox this off season is that the Yankees did not get Cliff Lee. Player by player the Yankee offense is still better, but if the Yankees can't piece together a rotation, it won't much matter. Especially if A-Rod gets injured again, or Teixeira waits until August to remember how to hit again. Well, the hot stove is not over yet, and I for one am interested what the freed up $23 million or so that would have gone to Cliff Lee, can do for us in this market. I suspect a trade with an extension is in the works.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Can't Think of a Title

I think Mike Lupica has won me over. He's basically spent the last couple weeks berating the Yankees for even thinking about considering signing Cliff Lee. "The contract is too long!" said Lupica. "Too much money! Not enough payroll flexibility!" And you know what? He's right. Sure, it would be nice to have Sabathia and Lee at the top of our rotation. But will that be the case five years from now? Probably. But that's not the point. The point is that this is one less huge contract that limits us in the future.

We currently have about 7 or so players signed to long term deals, all of whom need to DH. That's not good. We can't keep living like this. Sometimes you have to look yourself in the mirror. Sometimes you have to be honest, finally stop lying to yourself, convincing yourself everything is alright. It's not. We all know it. Besides, pretty soon we'll be tying up Robinson Cano with a massive deal. We have to think about the future. Here's hoping Nova learns to pitch past the fifth inning. Here's hoping some of the kids down in Scranton show us something when they're not busy swimming around their infield. We need to get younger, faster, cheaper, more bionic.

It could be time to let more than one youngster play his way to the majors again. On our team. Not somebody else's. No more trade bait. We could sport a starting line up with Jesus Montero and a starting rotation with Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova next year. That's not a bad thing. Unless Nova blows it in April. Then I demand a trade!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reeling or Thieving?

Now that the biggest free agent pitcher is off the market, the Yankees find themselves in a precarious situation. They need a pitcher, but the means by which they fix all their problems (ie. throwing money at it) is no longer available to them. The next free agent pitcher available would be Carl Pavano, and we've already thrown plenty of money at him. So are the Yankees reeling right now? Maybe not. Cashman has already spoken of his wide net, and has also mentioned that right now the Yankees are going to be patient. Other teams smell blood in the water and are driving the price up on the Yankees, but Cashman's saying that they aren't going to bite right now. Instead, much in line with his ninja nature (Teixeira signing, did anyone see that coming?), Cashman could be planning a major trade. It may not get us a Grienke or a King Felix, but maybe some other solid starting pitcher that will make this team better. A steal could even be in the works. Remember when he got us Nick Swisher for Wilson Betemit? That was magic. So the Yankees may be reeling, or they may be planning the heist of the century either way we need to wait and see. Cashman did say that our team is good as is so we won't be impatient. But clearly he's bluffing seeing as we only have 3 starters right now. Pettitte would really help things out, but signing a solid number 2 guy would go a long way. Maybe we can convince Mussina to come out of retirement?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What Next?

Well I must admit I didn't see that coming either. Cliff Lee spurning both the Rangers and Yankees to go to Philadelphia for less money was just not on my radar of possiblities. Apparently, Lee really likes the liberty bell. But there's no sense in dwelling in the past, even if that past was just a few hours ago. Its best to live life in baseball like the main character in Memento. So what's next? Cashman has alluded to the fact that he has cast a wide net, and that he has a few tricks up his sleeve. We caught up with the GM to see if he would give us any insights into the Yankee strategy now that Lee is off the market.

"I'm not worried." Said an overly relaxed Brian Cashman. "I have more than enough cards up my sleeve to make this off season real interesting. I was kind of hoping Lee wouldn't sign, just so I could show the world my mastery of this work."

So what kind of tricks does Cashman have up his sleeve?

"Check this out." Cashman said, as he began showing me his hands to demonstrate that there was nothing in them. Then, with a quick flick of the wrist he was holding a card. "What card is this?" He asked me.

I replied: "It looks like an ace of clubs with Cliff Lee's picture taped onto it."

"Oh wait, really?" Cashman asked as he turned the card towards himself to glance it over. "Oh look at that, it is Cliff Lee. Okay that's the only trick I had up my sleeve. This is not looking fortuitous."

"Wait, is that really the only deal you had in mind for this off season?"

"No, of course not! No! Absolutely not! Okay, yes, yes it was. Did Pettitte retire?"

"Shouldn't you know that?"

"Do you think Grienke would play in New York?"

"Oh dear."

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. Grienke's on New York's radar and hopefully Pettitte won't retire. Here's hoping we have the necessary pieces to make a Grienke deal happen.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Didn't see that coming did you. Cliff Lee turned down the Yankees to accept a smaller contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Clearly, living close to home was not a major issue. There must really be something to playing for Philadelphia since this is the second major pitcher they've been able to sign to a below market extension (Halladay was the first). It's an impressive coup, and it now forces the Yankees to either make a major trade for a starter, or try to develop some of their pitching prospects. If Pettitte doesn't return, next year might be ugly. Should be an interesting month and a half.

Clifftov Lee, Today Could be the Day

He's had a whole weekend to consider his options, crunch the numbers, weigh the pros and cons so will today be the day that Clifftov makes a decision? The options range from being boardwalk and park place with hotels rich to dinner at restaurants with no prices on the menu rich. Both are appealing, and both have draw. How do you choose? Plus, in one of the contracts the Yankees offered pizza parties for Lee and his friends for every game that Lee won, while another one offered ice cream cake on Lee's birthday and a trip to the zoo. The third contract would give Lee a gold star to put on his tote box every time he said something kind to a teammate. You have to weigh the pro's and cons.

The truth is the Yankees have the following in their favor:

-Money. They probably have the largest contract on the table.
-Contender. The Yankees are always in the mix for the post season, and when they're not, they make the moves necessary to get there. In the last 16 years, they missed the playoffs once. And the very next season they won the world series.
-Tradition. Its not just about money, the Yankees have history, and tradition on their side. Its a demanding place to play in, but that's because of all the greats who have played there. The competitive spirit wants to play in New York.

But there are benefits to playing in Texas too. He could be getting in on the ground level of a new baseball power house. With Nolan Ryan as team president, they are going to compete, and they're going to be making moves. Lee could be the anchor for that team, the defining face of the franchise. And lets face it, the Rangers aren't offering chump change either. Its also closer to his home in Arkansas. But there is risk here. The Rangers could turn out not to be the power house they hope to become. The Rangers prior financial problems could effect the team down the road more so than anticipated.

So lets see which way he goes, and here's hoping that we find out today.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Should the Yanks Be Cultivating a Greinke Deal?

Cliff Lee has not yet decided whether to accept one of the Yankees' offers for his services. Despite the guaranteed birthday pizza parties, Lee is still vacillating. He could simply be taking his time, but the delay suggests he may be seriously considering an option which pays him less but keeps him out of New York. After all, if money was the only consideration he'd simply pick the biggest contract and that would be that.

If the Yanks wait for Lee to decide before seriously getting involved in Greinke conversations, the Royals will be in a position to dictate a deal much more on their terms. It is possible that the Yankees pursuit of Russell Martin is evidence of an attempt to free up Jesus Montero for a potential trade. But a Greinke deal shouldn't be plan b. This should probably be a 'whatever comes first' situation.

If you're on the verge of a trade for Greinke, then Lee can't waste anymore of our time. You might even pull the Lee offer off the table. People don't like giving up a lot of prospects, and it will take a lot, but Greinke has the goods (granted, whether he can handle NY is a big question; but hey, if he can't, he's a hell of a trade chip). The Yanks have a lot of pitching talent in the minors; coupled with some of our position prospects, we may have the ability to pull off a trade with the Royals. Perhaps it's worth not waiting until we're in a position of weakness to begin serious conversations about Greinke.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winter Meetings Over, Bronny Gets a Call

The last time we spoke, Bronny got an earful about not having signed Cliftopher Lee yet. He promised to move on the matter, post haste, but has yet to deliver the coveted free agent to the blood thirsty New York masses. The Winter Meetings now over, it was time to fire up the old satellite video phone and give Bronny Cash another phone call. The following is a transcript, handwritten by robots (that's how internet text makes it onto your screen).

BC: Hello?

RJG: [Disguising voice] Um, yes, this is Darek, um, Brown . . . acre. I have a response from my client, Cliftopher Lee.

BC: Really?! Which of the three contract options did he accept?! Was it the one with the guaranteed pizza parties on his birthday?!

RJG: My client has opted to tell you to go #$&@ yourself!

[Distinct sound of whimpering on the other line]

RJG: [No longer disguising voice] Seriously? Crying? You're crying? There's no crying in baseball! Or the front office corporate baseball world you inhabit!

BC: I wasn't crying, there was something in my eye.

RJG: Something in your eye? Do you always whimper when there is something in your eye?

BC: Don't you?

RJG: Touche. Moving right along. Why haven't you signed Cliftopher to a contract yet?

BC: We've made three generous offers. The ball's in his court now.

RJG: The ball's in his court? Please don't sully our baseball conversation with basketball metaphors. Don't you think going with three contract offers might be a bit confusing. I mean, no offense, but the guy makes a living throwing a ball.

BC: But that's why these players have agents. And not just regular agents. Super agents! Darek will bring all our contract offerings to Lee and be all, "this one good, this one better. This one, Cliftopher no like."

RJG: Holy $#!%.

BC: Yeah. The best is when you're in a room together with the athlete and the agent. The player is all, "Me strong. Me throw ball for you or me throw ball at you!" And the agent is like, "What my client means to say is, he's open to playing in New York if the price is right." And I'm like, "Then why is he holding a ball and staring at me menacingly?" And the agent is all, "He's just trying to show you his game face. Very nice, now why don't you go play with your ball outside?" Then the player is all, "recess?" "Yes, recess." Literally, the first #$@&ing 30 minutes of every one of my meetings goes like this.

RJG: That's the craziest thing I've ever heard.

BC: Or is it?

RJG: You just blew my mind, Bronny Cash.

BC: You're welcome.

RJG: Holy $#!%.

BC: And my work here is done.

RJG: It's not all about you, Bronny.


There you have it folks. The Yankees are confident that Cliff Lee will be happy with at least two of the three contract proposals currently before him.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Quick Tidbits

The Yankees have made an offer to Lee.

The Red Sox may trade Dice-K to the Mets for Beltran. Please do.

I'm really happy not to be an Orioles fan right now.

Will Derek Bounce Back?

So now that Jeter is officially signed, the question moves on to how Jeter will do over the foreseeable length of his contract. These 4 years could be painful to watch, or he could age gracefully and surprise us all. To guage this contract we're going to have to wait until the 4 years are up and evaluate. But now the question is, how will Jeter do next season? Will he bounce back? I for one see him improving this coming season. Will he still be a singles hitter? Yes. But I actually think he will hit .300 again next season, before we start to see his real decline. This season could be the supernova of Derek Jeter. As a star dies, it explodes into a glorious, wonderful, gigantic supernova. A final glorious display of its power and wonder. In this same way, I think this year will be one of the last if not the last year we see Jeter playing the way he used to. A glorious display of his power and wonder. After this season, I wouldn't be surprised to see him decline, but a declining Jeter will still be more productive than most shortstops out there, and that's what we'll have to take comfort in. What do you think? Will Derek bounce back next year or is he doomed to continue the decline of this season?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cliff Lee Could Get 7 Years

Its being reported that Cliff Lee could be getting a 7 year deal. The Yankees do not seem willing to go that long on a contract, and just like that the Rangers have an in. There's no way the Rangers can compete with Yankees money, but under new team president Nolan Ryan, they are committed to spending on their team, and they have a legacy to protect, a legacy of overspending. So the Rangers may have their in if they are willing to commit to those 7 years, which the Yankees likely won't, and can remain competitive on the total dollar amount. However, the Yankees may consider including option years that become activated if certain performance requirements are reached. Hopefully, now that Mariano and Jeter are pretty much taken care of, the Lee front will start moving.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Maybe Not

According to this article, a Boston deal with Adrian Gonzalez is done.

Pen Found: Jeter Signed

It is official. Derek Jeter is signed for 3 years and $48 million with a 4th year player option, which could bring the total deal to $56 million if exercised or $51 million if declined. In addition, there are $9 million in incentives that could bring the total deal to $65 million dollars over the 4 years. This article has all the details.

In other news, the Adrian Gonzalez trade to Boston fell through as they couldn't agree on an extension. Further more, Jayson Werth has signed a 7 year, $126 million deal with the Nationals. That leaves just Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford as the biggest pieces available in this free agent market.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jeter, Yankees Almost at the Finish Line

It looks like Jeter and the Yankees are incredibly close on a new deal with wildly divergent potential parameters (1, 2). In fact, sources close to the negotiations have indicated that the deal would have been completed, but no one could find a pen.

"They had just finished polishing off the final details," explained one person who was in the room during the marathon negotiations. "Cashman's all, 'So it's settled, only aloe based soaps will be left in Jeter's hotel suites during road trips.' Then he slides the contract, which he had been typing out on an old school typewriter, to Jeter and Close. Jeter's like, 'Does anybody have a pen.' Cash goes, 'I brought the typewriter.' Close is all, 'I don't use pens. I have an iPhone. Plus, it's bad chi.' At that point negotiations had to be delayed until a pen could be git gotten."

The Yankees hope to acquire a pen, preferably blue and fountain, in order to complete the negotiations today.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pieces Falling Into Place

The two biggest pieces of news going into this Friday morning are that the Yankees have increased their offer to Derek Jeter, and that they are on the verge of signing Mariano Rivera to a 2 year $30 million deal. Although no one knows what the increased offer to Derek Jeter is, sources familiar with the negotiation have told the RJG that the increases are enough to buy him one hamburger, every day, for the next million years, assuming moderate inflation and that hamburgers and humans still exist a million years from now. In other news, the Yankees have not signed Cliff Lee yet.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jeter and Yankees Find Common Ground

The Yankees and Derek Jeter met recently to find some common grounds before moving forward in negotiations. The negotiations thus far have been less than stellar, with much of it carrying out publically like a bar brawl, that gets taken outside through the shattered window left broken from the bar stool that struck it moments before. But Jeter stepped forward, and as classy as ever, set up this meeting to establish common ground.

"I really appreciated the talk." Explained Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman. "We were able to find some common ground, and we feel confidant that we can now move forward."

What was the common ground they reached?

"Well we first agreed that the new Star Wars trilogy sucked, and that the originals were great, classics even. Once we were able to find this common bond, we were able to also agree that Jar Jar Binks ruined the first movie, and that the love story between Padme and Anakin had to have been written by a middle-aged guy who's never talked to a woman, at least not substantially. We came to some disagreement when we wanted to hold that the third of the recent trilogy was at least as good as Empire Strikes Back, but Jeter pointed out the poor dialogue and Darth Vader yelling 'Nooooooo!' at the end was more comical than dramatic. We had to concede this point. Then we agreed on how weird it was that Anakin was like 5 in the first movie while Padme was like 18, then in the second movie they're both the same age give or take a couple years. What was that all about?"

Did they find common ground else where?

"Oh yeah, we also agreed that Greedo doesn't shoot first. He doesn't shoot first! He doesn't (expletive deleted) shoot first!!"

We all agree.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Rays Are Going to Be Crazy in 2015

The Rays recently had 6 players decline arbitration, 3 of them type A's, and 3 of them type B's. For each type A free agent another team signs, the Rays will get that teams first round draft pick, and a "sandwich" pick between the first and second rounds (I beleive Joba was a sandwich pick back in the day). Each type B free agent nets the Rays a "sandwich" pick. That means the Rays are going to be praying that teams start signing these guys, and then will turn their prayers towards a strong draft year, because they could potentially end up with 3 additional first round draft picks, and 6 sandwich picks. 9 players drafted prior to the second round of the player draft.

This brings me to a discussion of the baseball players draft. I'm not going to say that we suck at drafting. Indeed, Phil Hughes was a product of the players draft, and so were other such notable Yankee players as...well...Phil Hughes...Oh! Gardner too. He's alright. Anyways, Derek Jeter was the first round draft pick back in 1992 and he became the face of the franchise. Over the past decade we've signed players like David Parrish, John-Ford Griffen, Bronson Sardinha, Jon Skaggs, Eric Duncan, Jonathan Poterson, Jeffrey Marquez, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, Andrew Brackman, CJ Henry etc. Some have made it up to the big league level, some made it there for other teams, but with the exception of Hughes and Chamberlain, we really have been pressed to find much success out of our first round draft picks. I'd like to say that that's just the nature of the draft in baseball, but the Rays have seemingly mastered the draft. Yeah, yeah, they always drafted first because they were so bad all these years, but so did the Royals and the Pirates, and they do not have nearly the same amount of success as the Rays. Over the years the Rays drafted several players who made it to the big leagues, many of which are still on the team. The list of players drafted by the Rays include this years MVP Josh Hamilton, Rookie of the Year and two time gold glove winner Evan Longoria, starting pitcher David Price who just posted a 2.72 ERA with 19 wins this season, as well as other big league players such as Jeff Neiman, BJ Upton, Rocco Baldelli, and Delmon Young (who had a breakout season for the Twins this year). Even their failed picks like Dewon Brazelton and Jason Standridge still maintained careers at the big league level. All I'm saying is that if you give the Rays 9 first round picks, in addition to the one they already have, they may destroy the world of baseball as we know it.