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Yeah, I like the idea of the Yankees putting a deadline on their offer. The Yankees offering Hughes/Melky/warm body is enough; unless the Mets want to offer up Reyes (who probably costs too much salary-wise for the Twins, anyway), they aren't going to get a better offer. Boston could offer Ellsbury and Lester, and it's still not better than the Yankees offer (unless you think Lester is better than Hughes).

Oh, I think Kennedy, Melky and Tabata is worse for the Yankees to give up than Hughes, Melky and other pitching prospect. Tabata is generally regarded as the best everyday prospect in the Yankees system; he's Melky's replacement in the OF, maybe as early as midseason. He's got a higher ceiling than Melky. Adding him to the trade, just to keep Hughes over Kennedy, is a bit shortsighted.

Mostly because I'm not sure Kennedy's ceiling isn't as high as Hughes. They both have tremendous stuff, and have shown poise in the majors; the only difference is Hughes has had a couple of extra years of hype, whereas Kennedy came almost directly from being drafted to the majors.

If i were the Yanks, i'd keep Hughes over Joba. No one knows if Joba will be as dominant as a starter, and then if he turns out to be a closer, a real good starter, like PH, is probably more valuable.

But if the red sox offered lester and ellsbury, that would blow the yanks offer out of the water. that won't happen, though, so i think the Yanks will get this deal done soon.

Tabata is really, really young (19 this season). He's going to start at AA, the odds of him seeing the bigs this year are very, very slim. There's also some doubt as to the type of hitter he's going to be. Everything thinks he'll be a .300 hitter once he gets to the bigs, but his power hasn't developed. A lot of people, including Baseball Prospectus, now rank Austin Jackson ahead of him. Jackson is probably a better bet for making the bigs this season, but that's also a very long shot. Tabata is a couple of years away, and far from a sure thing (further than Hughes).

Kennedy's numbers in the minors were dominating, and I really liked what I saw from him in the Bronx last season, but he doesn't have the stuff Hughes does. His biggest asset is his command, he has an average fastball and above-average change, but his breaking pitches and velocity aren't even close to Hughes'. I'd really like to see the Yanks keep all three of them, but the drop off is sizable between Kennedy and Hughes, at least as far as projections go. Hughes and Joba have the stuff to be aces, Kennedy, probably a number 3.

Anyway, long story short: A-Jax is probably the heir apparent in center, with Tabata moving to a corner outfield spot. Brett Gardner may even be in the mix as well. Kennedy has a chance to be good, Hughes has a chance to be great. That's why I'd much prefer the Melky, Kennedy, Tabata deal.

Lester is not a top-flight prospect. Tabata, Melky, Kennedy trumps Ellsbury, Lester, unless you happen to work for the Red Sox or ESPN.

i disagree, but i wanna hear your thoughts on joba/hughes. I think they're putting the wrong guy in the package.

Toward the end of the season I wrote a post about Joba's future. I said I thought the Yanks should use him as Mo's replacement, and I still think that's a very good option, but in the last week or so of the season Joba started using his curve. When I saw the third pitch I changed my mind. When I saw a third devastating pitch, it became apparent that they have to try him as a starter, because you can dominate with three.

As far as a comparison between Hughes and Joba, I think Hughes is more polished, and more of the prototypical starter. Good mechanics, great ability to maintain those mechanics. Great control. Great conditioning/size. You name it, he's got it.

Joba is kind of a wild card. I'm worried about his weight and conditioning. That's why I initially thought he should close. I don't know what kind of stamina he's going to have as a starter. Joba has better stuff than Hughes, much better. His fastball has an extra 5MPH on it, their best breaking pitches (Hughes' curve and Joba's slider) are both awesome out pitches. Joba's secondary breaking pitch (curve) looks better than Hughes' (slider). Hughes' change is probably better than Joba's, but we didn't see much of his to compare it to.

If Joba has the stamina to start, and keep his fastball at 95MPH throughout the game, he has a chance at being an all-time great. I think making him untouchable was a no-brainer. Of course, I think Hughes has a chance at being an ace as well. That's why I'd put both of them off limits.

If I had a gun to my head, I'd probably protect Hughes, though. Too many question marks about Joba as a starter, and an ace is more valuable long-term than a closer.


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