Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Dealmakers Do Dallas
2005-12-05 05:28
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The Mets made another trade with the Flordia Marlins over the weekend, acquiring catcher Paul LaDuca. While the Yankees weren't up to much--the most notable news involved a Daily News report detailing how the organization lost money in 2005--they figure to be one of the many teams involved in the flurry of activity this week at the winter meetings in Dallas. Will Manny get his Christmas present and wind up in California? Will Barry Zito leave Oakland? Will the Yankees trade for Juan Pierre? Let the rumors begin!

2005-12-05 06:33:18
1.   debris
From this morning's Providence Journal: "There were unconfirmed reports last night that the Yankees had made Damon a three-year, $39-million offer."

That seems like a very reasonable offer to me. I bet the Sox will offer four years, but I bet they don't go over $45. But what do I know? What do you know? What does anyone know? This is Scott Boras they're talking to after all. And it's a crazy year. And that's a helluva combination.

2005-12-05 06:42:46
2.   alterity
Generic Baseball Team Rep: "We'll give you 3 years, $39 million."

Obi Wan Boras (waving his hand): "That's not the deal we're looking for. How about seven years, $84 million."

GBBTR: "That's not the deal their looking for."

The amazing thing about Boras is his ability to leverage a deal without any leverage, defying expectations and all proclamations about fiscal sanity and bad contracts, and, seemingly, the laws of physics. I would take Damon at that price, even if it's only to keep Pierre away. And let's face it, next year's "bumper crop" of free agent center fielders are getting old. Hunter has been injured. Jones has been shown not to be the fielder he used to be, and will command more salary and years than he is worth. And then there's Pierre, and we don't need to talk about that anymore. The only problem is the Boras Jedi mind trick and the Yanks walking out of the negotiations saying, "Why did we give him that much money for that many years? And did we just buy real estate in Iraq?"

2005-12-05 06:56:39
3.   Rob Gee
Let all us believers say a little prayer this morning for the perfect one-year stop gap (more and cheap if it works) - the one, the only:

MIL-ton BRAD-ley

And for you non-believers, just recall the Latrell Sprewell phenomenon. No one wanted him for the same silly reasons and he was more than worth it. Now if the crazy, Lupica-spiting, version of Milton appears - he's on a cheap one-year contract!

Anyone really believe that the Yanks lost $80mil? They drew 4 mil peeps!? Maybe $20mil but that report smells of well-timed disinformation to get Boras to be more realistic.

2005-12-05 07:20:29
4.   wsporter

"The Yankees had overall revenues of roughly $335 million in 2005 (including the $60 million from YES), but after their $200 million payroll in addition to operating costs, they will pay $75 million in revenue sharing and $33 million in luxury tax, which is based on 40% of payroll over $128 million. (The Yankees would have paid a lower tax rate, but because they were over the luxury tax threshold for the third straight year they were required to pay 40%.)"

The Daily News included this paragraph as illustrative of a $60 - 80 million dollar loss sustained by the Yankees this year. I don't claim to be Milton Friedman but if you do all the adding and subtracting it looks like a $27 million dollar profit. Are the boys at the News smoking it or injecting it? Smells like market making to me too.

2005-12-05 07:44:58
5.   debris

You have payroll and related expenses, but not operating expenses, which are quite likely a good deal less than $27 million. However, if you figure in Steinbrenner's paycheck of $50 million, this probably puts them in the red.

Also omitted are profits or losses from YES.

2005-12-05 07:51:34
6.   jdsarduy
nothing against Damon personally, but I wouldn't want him as a Yankee.
lets hope he takes whatever the Sox offer him.

If the Yanks are in the Red it's MLB fault. Shouldn't a team have the right to spend as much as they want, without being penalized?
Buying free agents guarantees nothing and there are plenty of teams out there that prove that theory.

2005-12-05 08:10:27
7.   Harley
Olney running bit re Yanks among teams talking to Nomar. Super Utility Man!!!
2005-12-05 08:28:00
8.   wsporter
debris. The YES revenues are included in those figures. Since the Yankees are only partners in YES those would be their share of "net revenues". Are they going to claim 90 to 110 million in operating costs in addition to payroll? That's what it would take to achieve the loss figures they're talking about. Wow, that's alot of turtle necks.
2005-12-05 08:28:29
9.   alterity
Rob Gee,

I'm honestly curious. . . do you think that if you somehow convince everyone here that Bradley is the way to go that it will somehow happen? After all, so far as I know, no one here has any pull with Cashman or Steinbrenner. But that may be my ignorance talking. And if the Dodgers can get Zito for Bradley and some (top shelf) prospects, I see them doing it in a heartbeat. How would the Yanks compete with that offer, especially when the Dodgers are clearly in win now mode (as if there is any other mode for them)? Of course, Oakland has a CFer, so why they would want Bradley is beyond me. In any case, with regards to the Yanks, I'm not convinced enough by Bradley as a ballplayer or a person to give up anything but a bag of balls for him, and it seems that it's gonna take more than a bag of balls.

2005-12-05 09:03:04
10.   murphy
i must admit i am excited to have nomar around. i would love to see what he can do.

i want the yankees to sign johnny damon so he will cut his f'in hair; but that's not enough.

i think we should tell boras we will give Damon fifty bucks and a bag of weed to cut his hair and resign with the sox.

2005-12-05 09:07:40
11.   Rob Gee

Actually, I'm an assistant to Cashman and I'm trying to convince him by getting the fans on board (some very wishful thinking).

All you say is true, except for the bit about MB's skills - he's more than legit there, offensively and defensively.

Now whether Bradley is attractive will come down to the price. Cashman's not throwing out names much ("not in his interest"), but I'd bet MB's status is one of those he alluded to when he talked about a very dynamic CF market. But there's no chance of Zito for MB, unless LAD included someone like Edwin Jackson. Who knows what the asking price is?

My riff all along was that Crazy Uncle Milton is our best CF option that's available out there when you weigh talent, price, and age. The common retort is: character, bad seed, etc. My goal has been to point out the utter nonsense of that reasoning. Fact is, the other options will leave us wanting (Pierre/Michaels) or overspending (Damon). Here's hoping they give MIL-ton a chance!

2005-12-05 09:41:23
12.   Dimelo
The thinkfactory has put out the Yankees ZIPs projections for '06.
2005-12-05 10:15:34
13.   Marcus
Dimelo, can you explain the methodology of ZIPs projections? How accurate are they (if you look back at previous projections)?
2005-12-05 10:33:11
14.   kylepetterson
Wow, not a bad season coming up for Brown. Can't wait.

By the way, when did all of our bats go dead?

2005-12-05 10:36:30
15.   Dimelo
Marcus, I have no idea how accurate they are. When I look at them it's just to check to see what's projected for certain players. It's no different than looking at projections in rotisserie, some might be right on and some may be way off. It's definitely not an exact science and I hope you didn't take it as such.
2005-12-05 10:53:08
16.   Marcus
No, not at all, I just was curious if it had any actual predictive ability or if ZIPs are mainly a "just for fun", hypothetical thing. I don't know anything about projections, though. I've heard of PECOTA and ZIPs, but always wondered how they worked. Just curious if you knew anything about it.
2005-12-05 11:06:40
17.   Dimelo
I wonder how much weight those projections have: PECOTA or ZIPS. I can't see them ever being exactly right, but like you I'd like to know the % of times they are at least within 90% or more of their projections with a tolerance of some +/- with respect to the stat being compared against (projected vs. reality). I would guess and say they are right (or as close to right as one can be in a prediction) 15% of the time, but that's just my own prediction.
2005-12-05 12:44:01
18.   KJC
// Yanks among teams talking to Nomar //

Nomar in pinstripes? That's harder for me to imagine than Damon wearing 'em. (And I'm talking strictly on a visual/mental level, not a logical one.)

2005-12-05 13:00:49
19.   Nick from Washington Heights
Hey, KJC, as a Sox fan, would it bother you to see Nomar in a yanks uniform?
2005-12-05 13:05:37
20.   tommyl
Rob Gee,

Are you really an assistant to Cashman? Does he actually read this site and our comments? That'd be dually amazing and scary.

2005-12-05 13:12:06
21.   KJC
// would it bother you to see Nomar in a yanks uniform? //

I guess it kinda would. I don't like seeing any of "my players" wearing pinstripes, but for some guys I'm not exactly torn up over it (see Embree and Bellhorn). But since Nomar came up thru the farm system and was the face of the Sox (so to speak) for so long, I think it'd be weird to the point of bothering me.

However, I understand the business of baseball and realize that the players don't have the same team rivalry/hatred that we fans do. And I definitely wouldn't blame the guy, considering his current situation -- he's gonna take the best shot he's got. If his options are to play second for the Yankees or third for the Pirates, I would think the choice isn't too hard.

2005-12-05 13:19:22
22.   Rob Gee
Sorry tommy to disappoint but the wishful thinking bit referred both to my dream job and the ability to reach consensus on the logical masterpiece that is MIL-ton BRAD-ley.

I agree though - our ruminations should be for entertainment purposes only, that is, until Crazy Uncle MIL-ton is wearing stripes, and no, not as a felon.

2005-12-05 13:32:17
23.   standuptriple
If they boo-ed DJ in the Bronx can you imagine what the heckles would be if Nomar went on an extended slump? That alone is worth $2-3 mil.
2005-12-05 13:33:02
24.   wsporter

I'd go nuts if Jeter were to put on the Boston Red. They were so much alike, Jeter and Nomar. How did it all wash away on Nomar for you guys or at least for you? I'd love to see Nomar in Pinstripes; you know an honored and worthy opponent and all that. I'd never have wanted him directly from Boston though. In a weird way that would have seemed a violation of some ethical principal. So what the hell happened anyway, if he walks into Fenway wearing Pinstripes does the place go nuts?

2005-12-05 17:48:47
25.   debris
The Yankee franchise is currently estimated to be worth $ 1 billion. If that figure has increased over the last year by more than the paper losses claimed in this morning's papers, what have they really lost.

I'm not Milton Friedman either, but my sense is that an operating loss of $50 million has a much greater tax advantage than a capital gain of $50 million has a tax disadvantage.

2005-12-05 19:33:17
26.   wsporter
Yeah, I think your right. I was thinking about this (when I should have been working on something that I actually get paid for). A 4% annual appreciation in value would be roughly $40 million at that figure. Probably not an out of line estimate. No shame in leveraging a well earned capital loss with those kind of figures in play. At that rate they might be able to scrape up enough cash to pay for a utility infielder or two. Nice work if you can get it. When they open that new stadium they'll change the underlying financial relationship they now have with game. They may be worth more than 21/2 - 3 times the value of the next closest franchise or be worth more than the bottom 80% combined. It sure must beat saving green stamps.
2005-12-06 04:49:59
27.   KJC
wsporter --

// How did it all wash away on Nomar for you guys or at least for you? //

I can only speak for myself, but I was disappointed when he turned down the 4 yr/$60 mil offer -- you have to admit, that was a darn good offer. (Sure, it wasn't quite the A-Rod money that he wanted, but who gets that kind of contract anymore?) That and watching him play in '04 made me feel like he didn't want to stay in Boston (the famous "Nomar sulking alone on the bench while Jeter dives into the stands" game is the most-cited example) and that he'd rather follow the money. So be it -- I understand that's baseball today.

Overall, I was disappointed that he wasn't on the team when they won the WS after all he did and represented for the Sox all those years, and I was sad to see him get injured last year. I was (and still am) pulling for him to have a comeback.

// I'd never have wanted [Nomar] directly from Boston though. //

I know what you mean. If, for example, Jeter was to play on the Sox, I'd want to "cleanse" him by going thru another team first. ;)

// if [Nomar] walks into Fenway wearing Pinstripes does the place go nuts? //

I think it will: 50% cheering him & glad to see him playing again, and 50% booing because he joined "the enemy." (I'd be in the first category.) If he came to Fenway on any other team, I imagine he'd get a huge reception, especially after what happened w/ Cabrera's first trip back to Fenway as an Angel.

2005-12-06 05:04:57
28.   wsporter

Thats cool, I'd hate to see it go "Clemens" at Fenway on Nomi. I'm hopping we can find something for him to do on a dh/of platoon situation. My suspicion is that if he's over the injury phase he's still one hell of a ballplayer.

2005-12-06 05:09:35
29.   KJC
// my suspicion is that if he's over the injury phase he's still one hell of a ballplayer. //

I agree, which is reason #2 I wouldn't want to see him on the Yanks (the first reason just being "that don't look right").

2005-12-06 05:23:52
30.   wsporter
The Team from Boston has a hole at second, any chance Nomar will try to "go home again"?

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