Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
How Hot's The Corner?
2007-11-13 22:43
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Yankees' Offseason To-Do List
  • Hire new manager: done
  • Convince Andy Pettitte to return: pending
  • Re-sign Jorge Posada: done
  • Re-sign Mariano Rivera: see below
  • Find an upgrade over Wilson Betemit at third base:
  • Assemble a bullpen:
  • Fill out the bench:

The Yankees have made a three-year, $45-million offer to Mariano Rivera. With an average annual salary of $15 million, the deal would make Rivera far and away the game's best-paid closer. (Billy Wagner will make $10.5 million in 2008 and 2009, B.J. Ryan will make $10 million in each of the next three seasons. No other closer has an eight-digit salary.)

With the team waiting for Rivera to accept and for Andy Pettitte (serving as Roger Clemens understudy in this winter's production of Hamlet) to make a final decision about playing next year, the time has come for the Yankees to turn their attention to third base.

If the 2008 season started today, the Yankee lineup would have Bobby Abreu in right field, Derek Jeter at shortstop, Robinson Cano at second base, and Jorge Posada catching, of course. Melky Cabrera would be the center fielder while Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui would share time in left field and at DH, with Matsui, who is having surgery on his right knee today, getting the bulk of the time at DH. That would make Jason Giambi the primary first baseman with Shelley Duncan filling in against lefties at first and in right field as needed, and Andy Phillips available as a defensive replacement and second platoon bat at first base. Phillips could also serve as platoon relief for Wilson Betemit, who would be the primary third baseman.

Brian Cashman's assignment at the hot corner is thus finding an upgrade over Betemit or, at bare minimum, a superior platoon partner than Phillips to spell Betemit against lefties. In either case, Cashman should be looking for a right-handed bat. The Yankee lineup as constructed above is contains five lefties (Damon, Abreu, Cano, Matsui, Giambi) and two switch hitters with career OPSs below .700 from the right side (Cabrera and Betemit). That leaves Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada to carry the bulk of the weight against lefties, forcing Joe Girardi to resort to Shelley Duncan and Andy Phillips for additional right-handed fire power.

With the Yankees having closed the door on Alex Rodriguez (or, more accurately, Alex Rodriguez having failed to take the Yankees seriously when they said they would close the door if he opted out), there remains just one righty-hitting free agent first baseman who would indeed represent an upgrade over Betemit. That, of course, is Mike Lowell. Though the Red Sox failed to re-sign Lowell prior to his becoming available to other teams yesterday, it still seems that Lowell will most likely return to Boston. Still, now that he's out there to be had, the Yankees would be foolish not to entertain the idea. Much has been made of Lowell's troubling home/road split in 2007, but few have bothered to note that he was much better on the road in 2006 (.310/.352/.514 against a mere .260/.327/.436 at Fenway), or that he had several strong seasons while playing half his games in the Marlins' pitching-friendly home park. Given the dearth of free agent alternatives, I'm not terribly inclined to fret about Lowell's 2007 splits.

Of greater concern is the fact that he is seeking a four-year deal, which is one reason why he hasn't re-upped with the Sox as of yet (Boston is holding firm at three years). Lowell is reportedly looking for the same sort of 4-year/$52-million contract that the Yankees have recently given to Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, and Jorge Posada. If he can't get that four-year deal by going elsewhere, I'd expect him to go back to Boston on a three-year contract, which means it's four years or bust as far as a contract offer from the Yankees goes. Is Lowell worth it?
To begin with, he's older than Matsui and less than five months younger than Damon, both of whom only have two years left on their four-year deals, and both of whom were slowed by nagging injuries in 2007. It's also important to note that, while Lowell is a strong asset, he is not a dominating player. He's a contact hitter, which is good because he's only struck out 80 or more times once in his career, but bad because his on-base skills are modest and more dependent on his batting average than the typical Yankee hitter. Similarly, his power is fairly modest. He's topped 24 homers just twice and his career slugging percentage is .468. In fact, the Yankee Lowell most represents at the plate is Johnny Damon. Just swing him around to the right side, and give him ten more homers a year in place of all those stolen bases. Lowell's greatest asset, however, is his glove. Fret all you want about his swing being made for Fenway, or about the dreadful season he had in 2005 that he said was due to a crisis of confidence, his glove never waivers.

After Lowell, the only righty-hitting free agent third basemen are the washed up Tony Batista and Jeff Cirillo (neither of whom is likely to play in 2008 for anyone), Pedro Feliz (career .252/.288/.433), and Rodriguez's predecessor Aaron Boone. There are no real gems in next year's crop of free-agent third basemen either (Chipper Jones' option for 2009 can vest automatically, and one assumes that if Hank Blalock comes back strong enough from surgery the Rangers will pick up his option—Joe Crede is discussed below). With that in mind, I could see overpaying a bit for Lowell, though I would try to talk him down to a $10- or $11-million annual salary. Mike Lowell for $40 million over four years? Yeah, I think I'd do that.

As for those other four righties, Feliz can pick 'em, but even so that dismal .288 on-base percentage means he doesn't even meet the bare-minimum requirement of being a meaningful improvement over Andy Phillips as a potential platoon partner for Betemit. Boone's a similar case with more OBP, but less glove. That means if not Lowell, then a trade.

Three potential targets are eliminated right away by virtue of their being not only left-handed hitters, but lefties with steep platoon splits. Eric Chavez has seen his career stalled out in his late 20s, in part due to injuries, and in part due to a supposedly apathetic approach to self-improvement. Given his past glories, multiple Gold Gloves, and wily general manager, he's sure to be far too costly both in terms of the quality of players Billy Beane would demand in a trade, and the $37 million left on his contract. Arizona's Chad Tracy and Kansas City's Mark Teahen haven't gotten much attention in the third-base market, though they should. Tracy was Wally Pipped by Mark Reynolds last year, and with the younger, cheaper, more highly touted Conor Jackson at first base, Tracy's the odd man out in the Arizona infield. That said, Old Man Tracy won't turn 28 until late May and is a career .288/.348/.468 hitter. Teahen had a break out year at third base for the Royals in 2006 before being bumped to the outfield by überprospect Alex Gordon last year. Part of the A's Moneyball draft in 2002, Teahen is just 26 and a solid on-base threat. On the downside, both get more significant boosts from their home parks than Lowell gets from Fenway, and still the power Teahen showed in '06 went missing last year. For the Yankees purposes, none of these three lefties need apply.

Moving on to the righties, Garrett Atkins of the Rockies is one name that frequently popps up as Colorado has Ian Stewart ready to take over at third. Though Atkins looks like a great get on the surface, he's a butcher in the field and, like Tracy and Teahen, has even more troubling splits than Lowell. On his career, Atkins OPS is 146 points lower outside of Coors Field. To make matters worse, in 2007, both Atkins' OPS on the road and against lefty pitching was below .800. Of course, in 2006, Atkins tremendous breakout season, he hit very well on the road, but that's the only time he's done so in his career, and, with just three full seasons under his belt, the soon-to-be 28-year-old Atkins hasn't provided enough evidence to assure a team such as the Yankees that he could put up similar numbers outside of Denver. The end result is a large gap between that what the Rockies are selling—a third baseman with consecutive 20-homer, 110-RBI, .300-average seasons who played on the team with the best fielding percentage in major league history—and what the Yankees might be getting—perhaps a .280/.350/.430 hitter who plays third base like an aspiring first baseman.

Another name that surfaces a lot is that of the White Sox's Joe Crede. Crede could likely be had for much less than Atkins as Crede is coming off a dismal season cut short by back surgery and his replacement, Josh Fields, has already established himself in the bigs, hitting a very Crede-like .244/.308/.480 with 23 homers in 100 games in 2007, whereas Colorado's Stewart has had just 43 big league at-bats. By now you've already had two alarms go off: back surgery? .308 OBP? There's the rub. Crede's a career .259/.305/.446 hitter, which means he's typically been less productive than even the diminished version of Atkins. Crede is, however, a legitimately spectacular defender. Of course, his back surgery throws that into question, but we said the same about Doug Mientkiewicz coming into the 2007 season, and the older and more fragile Minky flashed his leather just fine at first base for the Yanks this year. If Crede could be had cheaply enough, he would be, at worst, a fine platoon partner for Betemit. Given that he'll be entering his walk year, earned nearly $5 million in 2007 (though that could go down in arbitration this winter), has already become obsolete on his own team, and is coming off a major surgery, I can't imagine the White Sox would be able to demand too much for him. The White Sox also make good trading partners for the Yankees because they don't have any gaping holes in their starting rotation and are thus less likely to demand any of the Yankees top young arms. Then again, the Sox could use a center fielder, so they might try to snag Melky. It almost goes without saying, but one year of Joe Crede is not nearly worth surrendering Melky Cabrera's future, though it might be worth a marginal relief pitcher or two.

The Reds' Edwin Encarnacion has also been discussed in the rumor mill, but the Reds wouldn't be unloading Encarnacion because they have some one younger and potentially better in their system. They'd be getting rid of him because he's a problematic fielder who has frustrated management with occasionally indifferent play. Sound attractive? What if I told you he too gets a mighty boost from his home ballpark? Moving on . . .

So there's this guy named Miguel Cabrera. Joe Girardi managed him in 2006. Seems Cabrera is the best young hitter in the game, has gotten an undeservedly poor reputation in the field, and after a season in which he totally let himself go and still hit .320/.401/.565, the 24-year-old Cabrera has decided to whip himself into shape for the 2008 season. Sound interesting? To put it simply, any opportunity to acquire a player of his ability at this stage in his career (he'll be 25 in April) should be taken very seriously. Cabrera is the sort of hitter who can fall out of bed and get a hit, but he absolutely creamolishes lefties (.316/.423/.578 career) and, despite his reputation, he's an above average defensive third baseman. You read that right. Looking at Dave Pinto's Probalistic Model of Range for third basemen in 2006 (Pinto hasn't posted 2007 yet), Cabrera is nearly dead center on the list, comfortably into the positive and just two notches below Chavez (Crede, incidentally, is way out in front, while Atkins and Encarnacion are well into the negative, curiously right below Wilson Betemit and Alex Rodriguez's dismal 2006 defensive performance). Those numbers are backed up by Baseball Prospectus's less reliable Rate stat. Cabrera's fielding may have slipped with the weight he put on this past season, but put him back under Joe Girardi's guidance, surround him with positive influences such as Tony Peña, Jorge Posada, and his countryman Bobby Abreu, and put him his first real pennant race since he was a 20-year-old rookie, and he could easily blossom into the best player in baseball.

The only real question is how much can the Yankees afford to give up for Cabrera. The way I see it, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, and Robinson Cano (fortunately the Fish have the keystone covered with Dan Uggla) should be untouchable regardless of the return (Johan Santana included), but I'd give up just about anyone else to get Cabrera, who would be under team control for three more seasons (albeit at very steep arbitration prices, he made $7.4 million in 2007). Cabrera's so good that, given his age and his price, he could actually represent an upgrade over Alex Rodriguez over the next three seasons and, even if his defense takes an irreparable fall, he hits well enough to be among the best in the game at first base or in an outfield corner, all of which will be positions of need for the Yankees in 2009 and beyond.

Thus my third-base wishlist is looks like this: 1) Cabrera for anyone but Joba, Hughes, or Cano; 2) Lowell for something in the area of $40m/4yrs, 3) Crede on the cheap. It could be that none of those three players can be had at those prices. If so, the Yanks should resign themselves to helping Wilson Betemit realize his potential while trolling the non-tenders for someone like Morgan Ensberg who could challenge Phillips for the job as Betemit's platoon partner.

While we're talking about the infield, I'll wrap up with a quick word on first base. With Jason Giambi finally in the last year of his contract (the Yankees will most surely buy out his $22 million option for 2009 even at the steep $5 million buyout price), it appears the Yankees are willing to stick him at first base and see what they can get out of him. Sure, they'll suffer on defense, but with Phillips, Duncan, and possibly Betemit available for late-game replacements, it seems worth the gamble to try to get one more monster season out of the Giambino. Remember, he hit .253/.413/.558 with 37 homers and 113 RBIs just last year, and he's had an OPS+ of 148 or higher in five of his seven season in pinstripes. With no need to keep him healthy for 2009, the Yankees might as well wring every last hit out of him this year, and prior to last year's injury-addled season, he's always hit significantly better when he plays the field. If he breaks down and they have to turn to Duncan and Phillips with more regularity, so be it. Maybe lefty-swinging Juan Miranda (who hit .265/.352/.480 at Trenton this year and is currently tearing up the Arizona Fall League to the tune of .295/.423/.551) will be ready to help out by then, or maybe the Braves will be looking to unload Mark Teixeira at the deadline. Giambi's upside is worth the gamble. Heck, they've come this far with the guy.

Comments (147)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-11-13 23:03:24
1.   weeping for brunnhilde
They have come this far with the guy, it's true.

Wow, I never thought I'd feel nostalgic about old Jason.

The times they are a-changin', eh?

Cabrera, eh?

You promise me he's serious about being serious, Cliff?

2007-11-13 23:04:22
2.   cult of basebaal
technically, i don't know if The Rod didn't take the Yankees seriously but rather didn't give a shit about returning here in the first place. I mean, if he cared at all about staying in NY, he would have taken 10 days to at least present the "front" that he was interested in the Yankees first before going out on the open market.

and when i say "taken at least 10 days", i mean, at least returned the initial phone calls from the GM and new owner BEFORE opting out in the middle of a world series game ...

whatever ... no matter how much i stuck up for you while you were here, a-rod, you're dead to me ...

2007-11-13 23:14:30
3.   Cliff Corcoran
1 Almost doesn't matter if he's serious, the guy is a Manny-like hitting savant.

2 Agreed, now let's make him a dead issue in comments.

2007-11-13 23:17:48
4.   cult of basebaal
and by "dead to me", i mean i "wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire" ... to get all lion-in-winter"-y on you ... you turd-burglar, you! ... meh!
2007-11-13 23:20:06
5.   cult of basebaal
3 cliff! sometimes i think you're one of us!

*pps ... and by "one of us" ... i mean bat-shit-crazy-fanboy"!!!

sigh ...

2007-11-13 23:25:16
6.   Cliff Corcoran
5 I've gotten pretty damn objective in my old age, but I am still doing this for free, ain't I?
2007-11-13 23:43:03
7.   joejoejoe
Would anyone consider swapping Cano for Uggla as a sweetener to help pry Cabrera out of Florida? I know Robbie is great but it solves a bit of the R/L problem and the difference between Uggla and Cano isn't THAT much compared to the difference between Betemit and Miguel Cabrera.

Corey Koskie might be a 3B available cheap althought he too is left handed.

2007-11-13 23:47:10
8.   cult of basebaal
6 ah! the joys of perspective!


old age?!?!?

shiite!!! i remember the Azocar years!!! ...

2007-11-13 23:58:47
9.   Cliff Corcoran
7 No, no, no, a thousand times no. I don't trade Cano for anyone. Anyone. Hands off!

Koskie has post-concussion syndrome. His career is likely over.

2007-11-14 00:22:44
10.   yankee23
I've heard mention of Mike Lamb as a platoon partner as well. Any thoughts?
2007-11-14 00:42:57
11.   weeping for brunnhilde
3 Oh, I know. It's the "almost"-part that scares me.

I can feel myself drawn to the talent, but it almost feels like a deal with the devil.

I mean really, Manny is something to behold, and indeed, when I'm not busy fearing him, I'm just awed by his talent at hitting a baseball. His antics actually endear him to me, serving as a kind of comic foil to the danger he poses.

That said, I don't know how I'd bear having him be our guy, dealing with those antics day in, day out.

Maybe I'm boring, but I prefer to play it straight. Eccentricity on the ball field makes me very nervous.

That said, I could take a chance on Cabrera, especially if at least I could cling to the hope that Girardi'll straighten him out. Baseball's serious business, you know, not some kind of circus.

I don't want to see the bearded lady at 3B, but rather a third-baseman.

2007-11-14 00:43:29
12.   weeping for brunnhilde
6 :)
2007-11-14 03:58:22
13.   ny2ca2dc
Cliff, don't you think Wang is untouchable too?
2007-11-14 04:17:27
14.   Levy2020
I see Chad Tracy up in that section, but not Conor Jackson who is a righty bat, has played a little third base, and who would be somewhat expendable if Tony Clark were signed for two years.... (harp! harp!)

The D-Backs could move Chad Tracy to first even.

And where does the resolving the first-base/DH logjam happen if not in the offseason? Spring training? Are all the parts there? I've been convinced for months that Yankees have to move Damon or Melky to bring Matsui's subpar defense back to LF and allow Giambi to DH because neither Damon nor Melky has enough pop for a corner outfield position.

2007-11-14 04:18:27
15.   jeterian swing
I'd advise everyone to forget MCab as a possibility for the Yanks (though he's one of my favorite players and I desperately want him to be our 3rd baseman). According to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, the two LA teams are competing against one another for his services, and the prices are steep: From the Angels, the Marlins are asking for Howie Kendrick, Nick Adenhart, another pitcher and an outfielder. From the Dodgers, they want four of these five: Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Andy LaRoche, James Loney, and Matt Kemp.

Assuming there's any truth to these rumors, I don't think we have a comparable package that doesn't include Hughes, Joba or Cano. I'd be happy to be proven wrong, though.

2007-11-14 04:22:58
16.   JL25and3
13 I don't think so. Wang's basically a good #3 starter, and if you can swap that for a star, do it. Unfortunately, Wang's not as attractive to teams like Minnesota and Florida because he's arbitration-eligible.
2007-11-14 05:02:12
17.   Mattpat11
Lowell's road splits don't scare me as much as his second half splits
2007-11-14 05:34:37
18.   Rob Middletown CT
16 - Chien-Ming Wang just put up back-to-back years of ~200 innings (218 & 199.3) with a sub-4 ERA (3.63, 3.70) in the AL East.

That's a solid #2 starter, IMO. How many guys in the AL can match up with that? Not many, I'd think. Maybe 10-15 guys.

I wouldn't make Wang totally untouchable, but I do think people are underestimating his value.

2007-11-14 05:37:09
19.   Rob Middletown CT
I don't think I'd give Mike Lowell 4 years. I know the alternatives are problematic, but the last 2 years of such a deal are likely to be painful.
2007-11-14 05:46:55
20.   vockins
I think if Cashman sticks with declaring Hughes and Joba aren't available, the Marlins are going to tell him to jump in the river. The packages the Angels and the Dodgers can put together are better than anything the Yankees can do.
2007-11-14 05:58:05
21.   RZG
Chad Tracy had microfracture surgery in late September and isn't expected to be able to play until June.
2007-11-14 05:58:28
22.   OldYanksFan
You could offer Lowell 4/$44m.
He's going to cost close to $40m one way or the other. That way either the Sox give him 4 years for more, or we get a decent AAV on him.

I would pay him a signing bonus of $4m and $10m/annually. If we need to dump/trade him next year he has 3/$30 left on his contract, which might make him moveable.

In general, I don't like semi-power RH pull hitters in the stadium. Is Lowell and up-the-middle type hitter?

2007-11-14 06:00:25
23.   Bruce Markusen
Cliff, excellent analysis. I especially liked your point about Lowell's splits. Everyone is hung up about 2007, but his career indicates he can hit pretty well regardless of the park. Also, glad that you brought up Juan Miranda, who has been virtually ignored in most Yankee discussion elsewhere. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he ends up platooning with Duncan or Phillips at first base, perhaps as soon as Opening Day depending on offseason moves and spring training developments.
2007-11-14 06:08:16
24.   rbj
The fourth year should only be a team option. I'd offer a few more bucks for the three years and a big buyout in the option.

Mo, the 3 year/$45 mil is generous. Please take it.

2 , 3 Who is this "A-Rod"?

2007-11-14 06:09:18
25.   OldYanksFan
Tejada is somewhat undervalued. My guess is Bonds is too. MCab is hot and will get top dollar/prospects, so I agree we should forget him.

Tejada is really perfect for us. a RH batter, a + batter, and not too expensive. His stock his low now. I say buy low, sell high. If you are not worried about MCabs attitude, Miggy's shouldn't bother you. Playing in Baltimore has to be depressing. My guess is he comes to life batting in the middle of our lineup.

I'm guessing, but as Bonds wants to come here, he might come cheaply... around $10m. If he bats 4th for us, it totally changes the dynamic of our offense. Maybe when Mitchell announces 30 other 'steroid abusers', the Bonds stench will be easier to take.

For me, bottom line, I want to compete with, and beat Boston this year. I think our future is bright, and in 2009, there are quality FAs and we have over $60m coming off the books.

For 2008, unless Cashman does some magic we aren't anticipating, Bonds is our best bet to substantially improve our offense.

Without having to play defense, it's not unlikely for him to post close to ARod/MCab numbers and less then 1/2 the price. Can that be ignored?

2007-11-14 06:10:03
26.   ms october
0 Great write-up. The Andy as understudy conjures up all kinds of funny scenarios.

19 I agree. The Yanks need to reduce the number of too long contracts, not add to them. There was no way to get Posada without the extra year and the other catcher options were bad to horrible. But some other 3b options might present themselves besides having to give Lowell a 4th year. If the Yanks are forced into these type of deals, they need to get cheaper buy-outs for the end of contracts though.

2007-11-14 06:12:20
27.   ms october
25 I'm actaully getting more intrigued by Tejeda myself. And if it is true that the Orioles actually WANT Farnsy - this would be a great coup for Cashman.
2007-11-14 06:12:56
28.   sabernar
Cliff, sorry to disappoint you, but Cabrera IS a butcher in the field. David Pinto's PMR for Cabrera in 2007 is a miserable 91.21. Ouch, that hurts. Ryan Braun and Garrett Atkins are the only 3B who are worse.

ARod was 103.37 and Crede was 110.62 (2nd highest of all 3B). Mike Lowell had a PMR of 106.24

2007-11-14 06:16:49
29.   wsporter
0 Cliff, as I read this and think about it and jeterian's 15 , all the nonsense written elsewhere and in light of what the Malignant Dwarf offered up this AM I'm wondering if the best alternative to the guy who is "dead to us" isn't actually that same guy who is "dead to us". If both sides can manage to eat some money and just a little crow .... Oye, this is a bad, a very bad, place to be.
2007-11-14 06:17:34
30.   williamnyy23
I agree that a lot is being made of Lowell's home/road splits, but not enough is being made of the fact that he isn't much more than a league average hitter. For his career, Lowell has an OPS+ (adjusted for Park) of 110. Sure, he had a nice (only nice) season at 124, but that comes on the heels of 104 and 77! At 34, Lowell is now past his prime and not very likely to significantly outperform his career averages...not only next next year, but certainly not over the next 4 season.

Signing Lowell would be a significant miscalculation on the Yankees part, made all the more worse if it prompts Boston to find a much better replacement.

2007-11-14 06:28:30
31.   ChrisS

Lowell's hitting charts:

His power is all pull, baby. He sprays his singles a bit, but anything deep is going to left.

Lowell isn't a bad option if he can be had cheaply (which doesn't seem to be the case), but I'm thinking he's Robin Ventura part II more than anything else.

2007-11-14 06:31:49
32.   Knuckles
30 Amen, amen, amen. The years and dollars of Lowell's next contract are going to be significantly inflated by the visibility he enjoyed this Fall, moreso than any other possible 3B target. Getting away from the buy high mentality is exactly what this franchise needs to do. The Yanks went to 4 years on Posada because they had no other options, and occasionally it's OK to gift one of your own stalwarts an extra year or couple mil. We should NOT be doing that for other team's guys, especially if it's half out of spite and to make a splash in the tabloid rivalry.
2007-11-14 06:32:24
33.   rsmith51
Any chance the Yanks could get Andy LaRoche? Is that only if the Dodgers decide to get ARod? Keith Law described him as a late 90's Yankee type hitter, whatever that means.
2007-11-14 06:37:22
34.   Mattpat11
25 I'm not sure Tejada will come back to life without a needle.
2007-11-14 06:46:59
35.   rbj
29 I wouldn't be opposed to such a deal, but the Yankees shouldn't have to fork over that $21 mil that Texas should be paying. The player needs to eat that money.
2007-11-14 06:49:36
36.   jeterian swing
30 If I were Theo, I would be hoping the Yankees offer Lowell four years -- at that point, the Sox would have done their due diligence (a la Damon and Pedro) and would be free to pursue A-Rod and/or Miggy. That's the forgotten point in any discussion of the Yanks signing Lowell: What's Boston's counter-move? If they get better AND younger at the position (as we get older and worse), we've put ourselves in an impossible position: It will be harder to win now against a strengthened Boston team, and Lowell won't age well or have trade value, making it harder to win in the future.

29 I think this is accurate: As dead as A-Rod may be to all of us, he's actually the perfect fit for our team. What's more, by voluntarily taking ourselves out of the A-Rod negotiations, we REALLY damage our overall leverage: Not only do we eliminate the best possible option at the position, we also drive down the market value on him, making him more affordable to Boston or LAA.

One more point to consider re trading for MCab: If there's any lingering animosity between Girardi and the Marlins' FO, it makes it that much less likely they'll cut us any sort of sweetheart deal (which wasn't going to happen in the first place) -- they can't have any interest in watching Cabrera AND Giradi win someplace else.

2007-11-14 06:58:02
37.   Cliff Corcoran
10 Lamb's a lefty.

13 I don't think Wang is untouchable, no. Of course, I'd prefer to keep him, but I'd move him in the right deal, and a trade for Cabrera is the right deal if it's there to be had (though 15 makes a convincing case that it's not). I would not, however, trade both Wang and Kennedy. If one is moved, the other must stay.

2007-11-14 06:58:20
38.   Shaun P
If Miggy Cabrera isn't available for a non-Joba/Hughes/Cano package, then I'd be comfortable seeing the Yanks try out an Ensberg/Betemit type platoon.

29 MFD, it is a bad place, and you have a point . . . but bringing A-Rod back is going to cost a huge fortune. $300M/10 years + 40% luxury tax = $420M. Maybe the Yanks can get under the tax threshold, but if not, is A-Rod worth a cost of $42M/year for the next ten years?

2007-11-14 06:58:52
39.   Count Zero
36 Amen to all of that.

IMO, Choice 1 ain't going to happen in any reality-based universe, Choice 2 isn't very good, and Choice 3 is a fallback position at best.

I would rate re-sign A-Rod despite his folly and trade for Tejada above any of the options listed above. The latter scares me as a PED user, but his contract is shorter than Lowell's will be.

2007-11-14 06:59:47
40.   Simone
Has anyone else lost a significant portion of their brain cells reading Mike Lupica's A-Rod column this morning? I officially designate him, "crazy as hell."
2007-11-14 07:04:01
41.   Cliff Corcoran
36 Great points again. I fully meant to include in the post above that If the Yanks take Lowell of Boston's hands, it frees them up to sign Rodriguez. Nightmare.

That said, the Yankees took a public stance by declaring they would not negotiate with Rodriguez if he opted out. Much as it might seem wise to go back on that in this specific case, they simply cannot lest they lose credibility in all of their other negotiations moving forward. They have to stand by their word. Put more simply, they made a big bluff, Rodriguez and Boras called it, and now they have to prove they weren't bluffing or it will be assumed that everything else they say ("we're not trading the kids" "we can't give you that extra year" etc.) is a bluff as well.

2007-11-14 07:04:10
42.   Sliced Bread
29 Heh. Pass the salt, and let the black feathers fly, wsporter!

Oy, indeed. I agree a Crow Pie Summit in Tampa might be the least unappealing of the unappealing hot stove options we're chewing over.

Ah, fug it. If I'm Cashman, I'm playing "super model at the buffet" for the next few weeks: appearing vaguely interested in everything, but at the same time, nothing at all.

This will accomplish nothing baseball wise, mind you, but Cash will look svelt in those reindeer sweaters he seems to love so much.

Meanwhile, it seems Hank Steinbrenner requires a cooling-off period when making big name purchases. His "the ball's in his court" needling of Rivera makes him look impatient, like he's standing over a cold pot demanding it to boil because he's just flipped the heat switch to high. Wonder where he got that trait from.

2007-11-14 07:05:13
43.   Shaun P
37 Say Wang (but not IPK) was included in deal for Cabrera. What happens if Pettitte doesn't come back? Doesn't that force the Yanks to sign a free agent pitcher? Otherwise:

Moose - how many ever innings he can pitch (200 max)
IPK - cap ~180 IP*
Hughes - cap ~150 IP*
Joba - cap ~130 IP*
5th starter de jure - 150 IP

Total: Maximum of 710 innings

*Note the IP cap includes any postseason time and time spent in minors

Maybe the Yanks could get creative, and cycle through a number of 5th starters to up those IP totals, but trading Wang seems to leave a huge hole to me.

2007-11-14 07:12:04
44.   Cliff Corcoran
37 Of course it requires them to sign a FA pitcher. Same would be true if they traded Kennedy and Pettitte doesn't come back.

BTW, the innings caps don't include postseason games.

2007-11-14 07:16:54
45.   ms october
Seems to me that if Pettitte doesn't come back they have to sign a FA pitcher irrespective of trading one of the "trio" or Wang.
2007-11-14 07:17:49
46.   jeterian swing
41 I completely agree -- we CANNOT negotiate w/A-Rod -- which is why Cash should stay away from Lowell, let A-Rod go west, and figure out ANY other option at 3rd (Ensberg or Crede in a platoon w/Betemit being the most plausible -- and not entirely unattractive -- possibilities).

It's incredible to me that our best chance to win means ignoring the top two free agents at 3b, but I can't think of any other way around it.

I suppose the stars could align in some way that would allow us to obtain MCab: Boston could re-sign Lowell, A-Rod could go to LAA, and LAD might decide to save their chips for Johan (Colletti has stated that he plans to trade for pitching and man do they need it), which might leave us the most attractive suitors, but that's asking for a lot of things to go our way in an unlikely timeline. Still, stranger things have happened, I suppose.

2007-11-14 07:25:14
47.   Shaun P
44 "BTW, the innings caps don't include postseason games."

I thought the 'rule of 30' included postseason time as well, but I could be wrong. To me, it seems like it should. I'd be concerned if Joba threw 142.1 regular season innings (30 over his previous high) and then added another 25 in the postseason. Even if that brought the Yanks a Serious win.

45 That's a good point I didn't consider.

Cliff, if the Yanks needed a FA pitcher, who would you advocate? A short term deal for Colon or Wolf has got to be better than a Pavano-type overpay for someone like Silva, right?

2007-11-14 07:32:55
48.   JL25and3
I think the "loss of credibility" argument is way overrated. First, Cashman's been a GM for long enough now that his credibility should be well established. Second, this is a special case and everyone knows it. And third, isn't it pretty well assumed that anything a GM (or agent) says publicly is just a negotiating stance anyway?

As for the money Texas "should be paying," that's in the past and has to be forgotten. Never mind anything about the past contract, and just look it it this way: the Yankees need a third baseman, and they need a right-handed power hitter to bat cleanup. There's a free agent available who amply fills their needs. The question is whether they want to sign him at that price - which they may not. That's all that matters.

2007-11-14 07:35:24
49.   OldYanksFan
36 I respectfully disagree.
If ARod doesn't want to be a Yankee, none of this matters. However, if it's still an option, this is the perfect opt out scenerio.

If nothing else, ARod definitely wants to know what he's worth. I dont think anyone will go higher then 8/$250, but as many GMs have said, it only takes one moron (T.Hicks) to ruin the market.

Had the Yankees 'officially' offered 8/$240, ARod could use that as a base to go to other teams and say 'do better or I stay in NY'. Now, he does NOT have that option. If teams think NY is OUT of the bdding, they will make/start with lower offers. Cashman knows this.

My guess is IF IF IF ARod would still like to play for us, when it's all oover, he will take his best offer to us and allow us to match it. IF. This is his 'cake and eat it too' scenerio.

The WS announcement, the 'blowing the Yanks off', the no phone calls to Cano, etc., all smacks of Boras game plan/manipulation. I think we take this ARod situation too personally. It's one giant game. This is the biggest sports contract in the history of the world. ARod's ego needs it, and Boras is the master at playing for bucks.

ARod also wants to win. So this way, he gets to come back to the Yankees after the dust has settled (manager, coaches, Mo, Po, Pet, Abreu).

Lets be honest... with ARod back, we really don't HAVE to do much with our offense. We can put a post a 1st base (or Giambi) and still score 900 runs. Cashman could concentrate 100% of one SP and 2 BP guys.

I personally think the Yankees and NY is too much for ARod. But if this is NOT the case, the door is still open. I'm waiting to see what the offer is from the Angels. They are really the only ones that might pay him as much as we would.

And while the $21m is a lot... lets be honest. We just overpaid Mo/Po more.
Right now, as far as production goes, Po is worth 3/$36. The market forced us to pay more. Mo is worth 2/$24 at most. He is not the best anymore, and probably won't be in 2009.

So lets be honest. It just cost us $30m+ to resign two lifetime Yankees. So what should we expect from ARod? If we are so pissed at ARod, why aren't we really pissed at Po/Mo? I mean... does Mo really have to think about 3/$45? He might as well put a gun to our heads. In 2010, we will have a 39 yr old catcher making $13m and a 41 yr old closer making $15m.

2007-11-14 07:35:35
50.   mehmattski
For correctness' sake, if the season started today, Matsui wouldn't be playing anywhere, since right about now he's currently unconscious with a camera and knife in his knee. Which is also why the people clamoring to trade him are a little overboard.

I still wouldn't mind trading Melky/IPK/Tabata or Jackson for Cabrera. The problem then shifts from 3B/1B to CF, where I'm not entirely sure that the best man on the market (Andruw Jones) is an option for the Yankees, given that Scott Boras is dead to them. Settling for Torii Hunter or Aaron Rowand would be a big mistake, and Brett Gardner is not entirely ready for the big time yet.

Cliff, you didn't mention internal moves like Jeter to 3B and AG playing short... is this because it will never happen?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-11-14 07:36:43
51.   Bronxer
41 Agreed. We cannot sign Lowell to a four-year deal because that would make the Yankees weaker at 3B (for four years ) while enabling the Sox to sign ARod and upgrade significantly at 3B. Lowell is not worth anything more than 3 years, max.

I don't think anyone will sign ARod for 10 years guaranteed. It may be a 10 year deal, but it will have some "opt out" clause at the 5 year mark (player or team) so ARod can become a FA again in 5 years and cash in once again as he closes in on the HR record. I can see the Sox giving him a guaranteed 5 yr / $150 (with Boras announcing it at a 10 yr deal, yet knowing they will opt out after 5)

2007-11-14 07:38:24
52.   alasky
A-Rod may be coming back this week (doubt it, but who knows?:

At the end of the day, isn't that for the best? Also, as far as losing face, Cliff, you're making too much of it. Agents and players rarely take anything at 100% anyway, and I hardly think that you give up arguably the best player in the game to maintain your credibility in contract negotiations. As they say, money talks, bs walks...

2007-11-14 07:39:59
53.   alasky
2007-11-14 07:41:33
54.   OldYanksFan
53 Cashman said he would NOT PURSUE AROD. He did not say he would NOT SIGN AROD. If ARod 'pursues' us, the is no 'going back on his word'. Look at Cashman's exact words. He left the door open.
2007-11-14 07:42:11
55.   Shaun P
I know we've briefly discussed him before, but what about trading for Scott Rolen? He's right-handed, good with the glove, has power and OBP - sure he's been hurt lately, but apparently, he is done with LaRussa:

Maybe he could be had in an Abreu-type salary dump?

PS - Rolen's agents are Sam and Seth Levinson, the guys who also represent Posada (and Lowell)

2007-11-14 07:43:08
56.   Shaun P
52 is your friend!!!! (And ours, too)
2007-11-14 07:46:50
57.   jeterian swing
52 Wow.

Well, if that were to come to fruition, I can't say I'd be too displeased. He really is the perfect fit.

So if A-Rod were to return, who would have to eat the most crow: Cash? Hank? Boras? A-Rod?

2007-11-14 07:47:41
58.   JL25and3
52 You can't cut a player's agent out of the negotiations. That's what agents are for.
2007-11-14 07:48:27
59.   JL25and3
56 We'll just have to get the comments up to 110 as quickly as possible. I'm doing my part right now.
2007-11-14 07:48:56
60.   Sliced Bread
57 ARod should devour the lion's share of the crow as the feast begins, but there'll be plenty to go around for the next 8 years.

Do crows come with wishbones?

2007-11-14 07:49:19
61.   Bronxer
57 Boras would. And that is why I don't see this happening. Boras is too smart to be 'left out of the negotiating'. This would only be the case if there is no other market for ARod. I think this whole situation is simply Boras trying to let the Angels, Dodgers, Sox (and Tigers?) know that there's yet ANOTHER team in the mix.
2007-11-14 07:50:55
62.   alasky
The only part that makes me bite at all was that Hank essentially gave a no comment to the post yesterday. Why wouldn't he just have shot it down?
2007-11-14 07:53:06
63.   jeterian swing
58 He could change agents. More likely, he could stay with Boras' firm and just have Boras' top lieutenant do the negotiation. That would technically satisfy the Yankees' demand that Boras "cannot be in the room." A-Rod would save face, the Yankees would save face, the fans could emrace A-Rod with open arms and feel OK about it. Only Boras would look bad, but that's nothing new for him. He'll still get his commission.
2007-11-14 07:54:43
64.   yankster
0 incredible write up. Thanks much.

Unspeakable Craphead might come back if he ate the $30 mil. he stole out of the mouths of Yankees children. That would save the strength of Cash's negotiating word. He could also easily fire Boras (saving himself 5% or about half the 30mil!) and blame him for the opt out ("Boras was like a father to me, but when I realized how he was hurting the game, the team I love, and even me, I just had to do something about it. I'm sorry for any pain I've caused.")

It is Boras that has done all the talking. Craphead, to his credit (and he needs a hell of a lot of credit), has kept his mouth shut and stayed out of the press.

Since when is 27 mil over ten years below market? I don't see anyone else falling over themselves trying to lock him up even at that price. More like eight years at 220.

51 And Boras NEVER gives teams opt outs. EVER.

2007-11-14 07:56:26
65.   ms october
61 Yes, I'm not sure who this anon source is and what has caused this turn of events other than the market for Arod not being what Boras hoped it would be and as Bronxer said needing to bring the Yanks back in somehow as well as shift all the heat to him and try to take some off Arod. Boras has lost a few high money clients over the years in Bonds and Sheffield - I would guess he will do whatever it takes to keep Arod on his client list. And there is no way Arod would negotiate on his own ala Sheff.
2007-11-14 07:58:05
66.   The Monk
Forget Lowell at $40m/4 -- his offer from the Redsux is $39M/3.

I like the Rolen idea because it would cost less than Cabrera and there's really no way the Marlins are going to trade him unless they get major value in return. From the Yanks, that means Joba or Phil plus other major league ready or able players (like the Melkman). If the Yanks can get Miguel Cabrera for Sanchez, Horne, Marquez and Gardner, they'd be crazy not to do so; but the Fishies won't go that low just yet.

2007-11-14 07:58:13
67.   alasky
FWIW, Andruw Jones, a Boras client, negotiated with the Braves during the season in person, and without Boras (Schuerholz had a terrible distaste for 'ol Scotty...), so there is precedent, though those negotiations weren't fruitful.
2007-11-14 08:02:55
68.   mehmattski
That article is the reason why I think any Boras clients are probably not options for the Yankees this off season... That includes:

Bruce Chen
Eric Gagne
Jose Hernandez
Andruw Jones
Matt LeCroy
Travis Lee
Kyle Loshe
Rodrigo Lopez
Corey Patterson
Kenny Rogers
Ron Villone
Jeff Weaver
Brad Wilkerson
Byung-Hung Kim

Not that there is anyone other than Jones (and maybe Loshe) that the Yanks would be interested in. But cutting off the #1 agent in the game is not a winning strategy.

2007-11-14 08:12:44
69.   Bronxer
ARod is trying to sign for the most money, not with the best team or the one with the best chance to make the playoffs or win the WS - if he was he wouldn't have signed with Texas, or opted out of his latest contract. He wants money, period. And lots of it.
2007-11-14 08:14:25
70.   rbj
52 I'd be fine with that.

On the other hand, this could all be part of Boras' strategy to pump up the player's negotiating strategy by putting the Yankees back in play. Scott would be fine having player - owner direct negotiations if it helped his bargaining position with all the other teams.

2007-11-14 08:17:26
71.   Shaun P
66 My only worry with Rolen is his shoulder. The Cards say he's 100% fine, physically, but boy it sure doesn't seem like he is.
2007-11-14 08:17:48
72.   Shaun P
61 65 FWIW, I wouldn't trust an "anonymous source" within a Daily News article about the Yanks. It could well have been Madden himself.
2007-11-14 08:20:10
73.   Yankee Fan In Boston
70 an anonymous source hinting that the yankees might be interested in rodriguez? sounds like a boras plant to me.

rodriguez wanted out. that is what the timing of his announcement said to me. he won't ever be a yankee again.

2007-11-14 08:22:24
74.   Count Zero
49 52 I agree -- this whole "you can't back down" argument is overrated, as any businessman knows. As has been pointed out many times by the people who keep putting forth this argument: it was a bluff -- a negotiating tactic -- and everyone knew it was a bluff from the moment he said it. Retracting the position doesn't reveal anything about anybody. Stubbornly sticking to a losing hand just to "save face" reveals more about a GM's competence (or lack thereof) than changing his mind.
2007-11-14 08:31:02
75.   ms october
3 So much for not discussing HIM.

73 I basically agree with your conclusion. But stranger things have happened.

2007-11-14 08:34:58
76.   standuptriple
I'm in the Rolen camp as well. IIRC, he finally agreed to surgery, so his cost should be low and the Cards, due to infighting between him and LaRussa, might be willing to cut ties. He's only signed thru 2010 and will probably make less per year than Lowell. I think he's a gamble worth taking.
2007-11-14 08:39:33
77.   OldYanksFan
69 Really? Did you just get off the phone with him? So...He's already made $200m from baseball, is looking at another $250m easy (if he doesn't get hurt)... but he has NEVER won a WS... and you think that $20 or $30m difference is more important then winning a WS?

Did you just get off the phone with him?

2007-11-14 08:43:16
78.   nemecizer
72 73 I don't know, the article specifically cited "a high-ranking Yankees source". I read that as a person who works for the Yankees, not Boras. If the Daily News is going to go passing off someone with just knowledge of the Yankees, but not a member of the organization, as a "Yankees source" then they are making a pretty big journalistic violation.

I would take A-Rod back if he ate serious crow, the deal made financial sense for the Yanks, and weakened Scott Boras.

2007-11-14 08:43:49
79.   Mattpat11
68 I certainly hope the Yankees aren't interested in Kyle Lohse.
2007-11-14 08:45:27
80.   Bronxer
77 Easy there, champ. If he was more concerned with winning, he wouldn't have gone to Texas. Could things have changed, sure. But opting out of his current contract seems to imply that things haven't changed. Just expressing my opinion, as we all do here. Down boy.
2007-11-14 08:45:56
81.   Bronxer
77 Easy there, champ. If he was more concerned with winning, he wouldn't have gone to Texas. Could things have changed, sure. But opting out of his current contract seems to imply that things haven't changed. Just expressing my opinion, as we all do here. Down boy.
2007-11-14 08:48:46
82.   JL25and3
79 Better him than Bruce Chen.
2007-11-14 08:50:41
83.   Knuckles
82 Better me than Bruce Chen...
2007-11-14 08:52:45
84.   JL25and3
81 I basically agree with 77 , though I might not have worded it that way. I think we really have to be careful of blanket pronouncements about what Rodriguez is thinking, what he wants, and so on. We really don't know what he's thinking.

63 Using Boras's top lieutenant would certainly be possible - though, obviously, Boras would be the equivalent of a manager who's been ejected, not physically present but still running things.

I'm not sure about firing him altogether at this point. I think Boras would have a very strong lawsuit.

2007-11-14 08:53:27
85.   Bronxer
77 "and you think that $20 or $30m difference is more important then winning a WS?"

When you opt out from your $27M contract with the New York Yankees .... then, "yes it is".

2007-11-14 08:53:50
86.   OldYanksFan
74 Finally, a little common sense. Like Cashman will let go of a guy who could anchor our next dynasty and maybe beat Bonds for the HR record, so he can 'keep his word'.

Cashman said: "the team had no plans of sweetening Rodriguez's deal in an effort to keep him on the team. It's the same thing with Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and all other guys," Cashman told the paper. "He's got a significant contract he's earned, and we hope he stays."

Funny... 4/$52 and 3/$45 look pretty sweetened to me. Anyone want to kick Cash's ass for going 'back on his word'.

"New York said repeatedly that it would not negotiate with Rodriguez if he opted out."
That right... they will not negotiate. They will offer him "X"... take it or leave it. What exactly does negotiate mean?

What if ARod accepts arbitration? He made $27 this year and was MVP? $30m is probably a reasonable figure. So.... If ARod now has a 1 year contract, how about if the Yankees talk about a 'contract extension'?. Say... 7/$200m?

There are DOZENS of ways Cash and the Yankees can get around 'losing face'. And just how much face does one lose by signing the best player in the game?

I've said 100 times, I don't know if ARod wants back, but its possible. If he want back, he will be back. 100% guaranteed.

2007-11-14 08:54:58
87.   Mattpat11
82 I think I've mentioned this before, but I am opposed to acquiring mediocre pitchers.

If we're resigned to having a "traditional" (read: lousy) number four and/or five starter, I'd much rather go with Karstens or DeSalvo than waste money or resources to acquire a bad pitcher.

2007-11-14 08:55:38
88.   OldYanksFan
"Alex likes to be the center of the universe," the source said. "He wants to be a part of the Stadium going down and the opening of the new one. It's not about money. It's about his face being everywhere. This is the only stage that can guarantee that."

"Most of this is about Alex trying to salvage his image," said another source close to the negotiations. "He's upset over the way this whole thing has played out and the way he's being portrayed now, because of Boras."

2 different sources saying the same thing.

2007-11-14 08:57:28
89.   Shaun P
79 82 That is truly a lose-lose situation. Ugh.

78 My understanding is that Bill Madden was/is the mouthpiece for "undersirable" members of the Tampa Cabal. They have used him before to plant rumors for their own reasons, without regard for whether there was any truth to the rumor. (And of course the Boss did the same thing himself many times over the years.)

All other considerations aside - I don't trust anything from the Daily News that references an anonymous Yankee source of any kind. Not trustworthy, and so often wrong.

2007-11-14 08:58:22
90.   Bronxer
88 And opting out of your $27M contract with the Yankees says another thing, entirely.
2007-11-14 09:04:48
91.   OldYanksFan
80 Texas was years ago. He was younger and not really, really rich yet. He got an offer that was just silly, and he jumped at it.

Dude, the guy was will to give up 28 MILLION to go to the Sox. He has already proved you wrong. Then he GAVE UP HIS POSITION TO DEREK JETER to be on a winner.

From CBS Sports, 12/18/2003.
The proposal from the Red Sox that the players' association rejected a day earlier would have cost Rodriguez $28 million, according to the team's evaluation, and $30 million, according to the union's analysis, Boras said.

Are you telling me I can look at ONE decision you made 8 years ago, and definitively know how you feel now?

2007-11-14 09:07:06
92.   Bronxer
91 Pal, you can look at whatever you want. Regarless of what happened in the past, opting out of a $27M contact with the Yankees says you want more money. Good for him.
2007-11-14 09:08:53
93.   Bronxer
NOT opting out of a $27M contract with the Yankees would have said that he wanted to stay and win a WS in New York. Unfortunately, this didn't happen.
2007-11-14 09:14:54
94.   OldYanksFan
64 "Unspeakable Craphead might come back if he ate the $30 mil. he stole out of the mouths of Yankees children."

Maybe someone can confirm, but I believe it is $21m. I think $9m is deferred, and Texas still eats it.

How about lifelong Yankee Crapheads Mo and Po? The just stole more then $21m 'out of the mouths of Yankees children'

How about a little hate for them?

2007-11-14 09:16:39
95.   dianagramr
Anybody wanna take a chance on Scott Rolen?

2007-11-14 09:17:54
96.   Bronxer
95 Not here, but I could see the Sox taking him if Lowell goes elsewhere.
2007-11-14 09:19:30
97.   Raf
94 I don't hate any of them, but the difference between Posada/Rivera and Rodriguez is that the former came to the end of their contracts, and the latter chose to end his contract.

I'm not going to begrudge the man his $$, but the situations are a bit different. I don't know Rodriguez's motives for opting out, nor do I really care, but on the surface it seems like a money grab on his and Boras' part.

2007-11-14 09:20:10
98.   Simone
All these media leaks about Alex reaching out to the Yankees is a negotiating ploy by Boras to push the Angels, Giants and the dark horse team that will emerge to put their first offer for Alex on the table. This is all about leverage. Alex isn't signing with the Yankees unless they pay him the $350 million that he is demanding.
2007-11-14 09:23:54
99.   OldYanksFan
92 Yes, he wants more money. He has an option and just won the MVP. So? Did Po want more money? Is he a Yankee? Did Mo want more money? Will he still be a Yankee?

Maybe he ALSO wanted an 8-10 year deal, and though this might be a good time to get that? Possible?

Maybe he is just doing the same thing that Mo, Po, JD Drew and 95% of all MLB players do. Get more money and more years when they have the leverage.

Again, I don't read minds and I haven't spoken to ARod in a few months now, so I don't know what's really on his mind. I can talk educated guesses, but I certainly can't say anything definitively.

Is paying $30m to ARod, an every day player, crazier then paying $15m to Mo for 80 innings in 2008? 2009? 2010?

We spend money to put a winning team on the field and ALSO to maintain having certain players.

2007-11-14 09:25:00
100.   JimmyH
52. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !!
63. This fan won't embrace A-Rod. He is a plague on team unity.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-11-14 09:26:19
101.   OldYanksFan
98 ARod will get 10/$350 from the same team that gave J.Damon 7/$100.
2007-11-14 09:28:16
102.   OldYanksFan
100 Yup. Melky, Cano and JD really hate the guy.
2007-11-14 09:29:33
103.   standuptriple
95 I'm still in. I think he has a better '08 than Lowell. Does everybody forget Lowell's '05?
2007-11-14 09:33:30
104.   Simone This is nothing, but a set up by Alex to get the teams to start bidding on his services. The Yankees would be fools to get involved in any type of negotiations with Alex. Let him go beg for his money elsewhere. He is using them as leverage pure and simple.
2007-11-14 09:35:19
105.   liam
95 - I was wondering why he wasn't part of the conversation. I think he's the best player we can get for giving up practically nothing. New GM in place could also be in the mix for a nice fleecing.

Anyone think IPK for Andy LaRoche and some equalizer would be a good trade?

As for MO and PO taking their time and squeezing the necks of their lifelong employers, thats what the yankees get for playing it safe and waiting for the off-season. There was a risk/reward determined, and cashman chose risk averse. it could have worked out either way, and this time it ended up working for the players. announcing that they wanted joba to be a starter before the rivera negotiations was stupid, but it was done, and he has them by the proverbial balls. andy wont say anything until rivera is signed, because among many personal things, it puts rivera in a tougher negotiation position, as they will have the flexibility to put joba anywhere they need.

2007-11-14 09:36:05
106.   Shaun P
95 Yes! (See 55 )

Great minds and all that. =)

98 104 I'm not sure if these rumors are Boras-plants or not, but I do believe Boras/A-Rod would do anything to improve their leverage.

I will also be shocked if A-Rod returns.

2007-11-14 09:40:53
107.   Schteeve
I think there's a better than 50% chance that A-Rod comes back. The whole "future credibility" thing is goofy. A-Rod is a once in a generation/history of the game type player, the rules need to be felxible when it comes to evaluating/hiring a guy of his talents and impact.

And as for all the "he's dead to me" stuff, if he's back on the team next year, I will be thrilled.

2007-11-14 09:40:54
108.   JL25and3
92 , 93 If yo uwant things to be black and white, OK. It's possible - just possible - that he wanted to see what his options were and then make a decision. And if the Yankees don't want him on those terms, then maybe - he figures - they really didn't want him that much after all.

In effect, maybe it's quite the reverse of what you say.

2007-11-14 09:42:04
109.   NJYankee41
95 I would. All it would really cost is money. The Cards won't be able to ask for too much in terms of prospects. If healthy he could still be a helpful player.
2007-11-14 09:47:14
110.   OldYanksFan
NYTimes: "The Yankees are wary that Rodriguez's new stance might be a trap to lure them into negotiations and thus drive up his price in the marketplace. But they seem to believe he is sincere in his desire to return."

Personally, at this juncture, I don't think Boras/ARod can fool Cashman/Steinettes. I don't know if this is really going down, but I am NOT afraid that Cashman will let himself be used.

105 I agree. And Mo and Po using leverage to get more money/years is WHAT BASEBALL PALYERS DO. I have no problem with it. They had us by the balls, and they squeezed a bit.

My problem is the hatred ARod gets for doing the same thing, while Mo and Po will still be loved.

I don't like seeing people/players being demonized. I use Mo/Po simply as an example to show the 'selective' hatred ARod gets. If you accept,m without question, 2 lifelong, core Yankees doing this, they you should feel the same way about ARod.

2007-11-14 09:51:09
111.   Simone
108 Really, this is not Bizarro World for not most of us.
2007-11-14 09:53:03
112.   Mattpat11
107 I was thrilled when Roger Clemens came back to this team. It didn't change my opinion of Roger the man, which is poor.
2007-11-14 09:53:20
113.   Shaun P
110 I agree that A-Rod gets demonized more than he deserves (see also, Bonds, Barry Lamar) - but Raf is right in 97 . The Mo/Po situations and the A-Rod situation are just a bit different, and so I don't think it fair to equate them. And one's feelings about them.
2007-11-14 09:56:58
114.   Bama Yankee
95 Put me in the pro-Rolen camp. Maybe getting him away from LaRussa would be like a shot in the arm (or shoulder in his case). He has a great glove and if healthy (big if, but so is Crede) he might even be able to bat cleanup.

Seems like he would cost the least in a trade (since the Cards would be looking for a salary dump) and we would always have Betemit as an insurance policy.

I agree with 103 , I think Rolen will be rockin' in 2008. I say we give him a shot to prove that he's got something left in the tank. Who knows, maybe we get another .300/.400/.600 seasib (like 2004) out of him. Heck, even if he goes .280/.375/.500 (career avg) that would probably be better than what Lowell does next year.

2007-11-14 10:00:38
115.   Bronxer
99 YOU SPOKE TO AROD?!?!?!?!?!
2007-11-14 10:01:36
116.   Bama Yankee
114 of course, by "seasib" I meant "season". 'Tis the seasib to be jolly (and preview your posts).
2007-11-14 10:01:58
117.   Bronxer
114 I agree that Rolen may be a better option than Lowell.
2007-11-14 10:03:52
118.   Shaun P
114 Rolen is also a year younger than Lowell, and only has 3 years left on his deal, instead of the four Lowell would require.

But his shoulder is a huge question mark.

2007-11-14 10:04:45
119.   standuptriple
114 "I think Rolen will be rockin' in 2008"

Please give us a bad pun alert before you do that.

2007-11-14 10:10:12
120.   OldYanksFan
113 They are different, but I can make a VERY strong case that Mo and Po 'Fucked us' a lot more then ARod. I mean, who should give us a hometown discount? ARod, he of 3 teams and a 4 year Yankee, or Mo and Po, they of 1 team and 11 year Yankees? But don't misunderstand me. I DON'T Feel that way. I'm VERY glad they are both back. I understand baseball business.

However, if Po had 2 yrs left on a contact for $11m with an opt-out clause, I guarantee he would have opted-out and gotten his 4/$52. The exact specifics of the situations are different, but the motivation is the same.


Thats the bottom line. In that context, Mo, Po and ARod did the exact same things. The real difference is that Mo and Po should have more allegiance to the Yankees. But they were never going anywhere. Mo to the Dodgers? How silly is that?

2007-11-14 10:17:19
121.   SF Yanks
120 If ARod is just looking after himself then fine, but why not call anybody back or at least inform some people of his decision to opt out. This all would have been different if he acted with a little class.
2007-11-14 10:19:18
122.   JL25and3
111 No, most of us don't live in Bizzaro world - but we don't live in A-Rod world, either. My only point was that it's foolish to say he's definitely thinking A or B, because we don't know. (Maybe he lives in Bizzaro world - "Wait a minute, Cynthia, I have to bring in the garbage.")

So the Yankees shouldn't base their decisions on what they think he's thinking; they should base them on what they need and want. They could use a righty power-hitting third baseman.

2007-11-14 10:19:33
123.   Bronxer
121 Excellent point. I had forgotten how he didn't return phone calls and allegedly demanded a 10yr/$350 just to sit down with him. Plus, his timing was abhorrent.
2007-11-14 10:22:09
124.   OldYanksFan
"But a three-year, $45 million offer is so far unacceptable to the Rivera camp, which is said to be seeking $50 million for the closer's last long-term contract. Rivera turns 38 later this month, and he'd be 41 in the final year of his deal."

The highest paid reliever in baseball gets what? $12m? I love Mo but I thought 3/$45 was grossly overpaying him. Now he wants $50? Am I nuts... or is this really greedy?

2007-11-14 10:22:58
125.   YankeeInMichigan
I'm surprised that Morgan Ensberg's name hasn't come up in this thread. Granted, he's been awful the last couple of seasons, but if he is non-tendered he will be a low-cost platoon option for Betemit or any of the "need-not-apply" lefties. Even having him on the roster would lower their demand for Cabrerra, and could thus drive down Florida's asking price.
2007-11-14 10:24:15
126.   OldYanksFan
121 It's all a game, guy... with it's own rules. Maybe ARod was afraid he migh still the beans if he spoke to friends. Maybe Boras muzzled him. Who knows? But it doesn't matter. But maybe ARod could use a few lessons from Mo.
2007-11-14 10:26:21
127.   YankeeInMichigan
124 The difference is that if no other teamn calls to offer $50 million, he knows that he has the Yanks' $45 million offer in the pocket. A-Rod knew that the Yanks' offer would expire if he opted out, and he still gave the $350 million ultimatum.
2007-11-14 10:27:23
128.   OldYanksFan
123 See 126
How can you guys be so reactional to all this bullshit? Repeat after me.
"Johnny Damon will get 7/$100"
"Johnny Damon will get 7/$100"
"Johnny Damon will get 7/$100"

By the way, where did Damon end up anyway?

2007-11-14 10:28:34
129.   ny2ca2dc
Where's DeadHorse when we need him on ARod. Geez.

I'll again agree on Rolen; I think he'd be a great pickup regardless of whether another 3B is picked up (A-Rod or M-Cab or Lamb or no one or whoever the heck else). He could also be part of the mix at 1B, or in left. I'm all for picking up Righty Power on the cheap, and if he's an injury risk that's what the wads-o-cash are there to cover over. We're saving all this money after Clemens and A-Rod, but there are so few places to spend it, Rollen is obvious. Not only would he be cheaper & possibly shorter term than Lowell, the prospects required to get him would be less valuable than the 1st rounder we'd hand to the Red Sox for signing Lowell. I really think that draft pick is the biggest reason to avoid Lowell.

2007-11-14 10:29:50
130.   JL25and3
121 So now business decisions should be made based on how classy they think he is? Essentially, whether he hurt their feelings or not?

One dead horse is enough for today, I know. But I do think it's kind of ironic for the Yankees to take umbrage at his not being sufficiently classy, and for refusing to negotiate. (That's real irony, not Michael Kay irony.)

2007-11-14 10:30:44
131.   jeterian swing
125 As it happens, his name has come up in both Cliff's original post and 46 and maybe elsewhere, too. I agree, he'd be a fine platoon partner for Betemit, and a sound (if unsexy) option.
2007-11-14 10:32:04
132.   OldYanksFan
127 Repeat after me.
"10/$350m? Ha Ha Ha Hahahahahahahahahahah"
"10/$350m? Ha Ha Ha Hahahahahahahahahahah"
"10/$350m? Ha Ha Ha Hahahahahahahahahahah"

Look, I'd go into more detail, but Alyssa Milano and myself have to go pick up Pam Anderson and Jessica Biel, and a gallon jar of Viagra. So ya all later.

2007-11-14 10:33:22
133.   Bronxer
128 Hey Friend-O, I never said he would get 7/$100.
2007-11-14 10:34:21
134.   Bronxer
132 .... is he really gone??????
2007-11-14 10:36:50
135.   JL25and3
119 I still like Rolen "The Headless Thompson Gunner," but that's only for Warren Zevon fans.
2007-11-14 10:49:30
136.   OldYanksFan
127 ARod had a 3yr/$91 contract remaining. You don't think ARod could get that NOW from any other team?

You keep quoting specifics of a given situation as if that makes a difference. 95% of ALL MLB contract nogotiations are about one thing:
Everything else is bullshit.
Mo, Po, JD Drew, Soriano, Zito, Meche, ARod, 95% of everyone else (except Bronson Arroyo... and look where it got him).
(although winning does enter the equation... especially for the very rich).

2007-11-14 11:12:14
137.   JL25and3
136 That's so cynical. What about Mike Hampton? He signed with the Rockies because he, um, liked the Denver school system so much. Yeah, that's it, the schools.
2007-11-14 11:14:01
138.   OldYanksFan
Yup. A Real 5%er.
2007-11-14 11:14:29
139.   OldYanksFan
Is anyone a little surprised that Mo wants Mo Money?
2007-11-14 11:17:19
140.   Bronxer
136 is that "one thing" the more money, or the more years?
2007-11-14 11:54:36
141.   Chyll Will
Boy am I glad I have nothing to say >;)

But I do have a question, a fantasy-like question: What is the deadline for A-Rod to accept or reject arbitration after cash offers it? If Boras is feeling a bit spiteful for the yankees' refusal to participate in his Manifest Destiny plan, could he gain an ounce of leverage by having A-Rod accept arbitration and thus slow down or halt their other plans until they deal with him in one way or another, or is that too much of a political thriller?

138 Mike Hampton's a 5%er? Has he suddenly changed his name to Michael 13X Wise Intelligent and started walking around the streets confronting bad guys and cops and anyone else who "disrespects" him and his people and beaning people in the head with pocket-sized Qu'rans? Wowzers, I have been away from the world a while... (oh yeah, >;)

2007-11-14 12:09:22
142.   JL25and3
141 December 7. A day that shall live in infamy.
2007-11-14 12:23:08
143.   Chyll Will
142 Irony is yummy...
2007-11-14 12:33:45
144.   tommyl
OldYanksFan, the problem with all of your comparisons is that Mo and Po had the decency to return phone calls, sit down with the club and not make some big pronouncement during Game 4 of the World Series. If A-Rod truly wanted to stay with the Yankees, couldn't he have called back one of, Cashman, Hank, Hal, hell, Robbie Cano, Damon etc. back? Couldn't he have sat down and said, I want such and such in years and money and see what they had to say?

Nope, he was told if he opted out the Yankees were off the table. He walked. He can whine all he wants about being the same as MoPo but its not even close. Hell, MoPo had a more legitimate gripe in that they wanted to negotiate extensions in the spring and were turned down by the Yankees. A-Rod was just a schmuck. Hell of a baseball player and I used to love him, but he was a schmuck.

2007-11-14 12:36:20
145.   tommyl
141 Not really. The Yankees could say, fine, you're our 3B for next year. We'll do a one year deal and offer him about $27 million. He can ask for whatever he wants but it'll only be one year unless the Yankees relent and negotiate.
2007-11-14 12:55:33
146.   YankeeInMichigan
145 Right, except that the Yankees will probably only offer about $23 million. That's higher than anyone else in baseball, so I can't see an arbitration panel awarding more. A one-year contract will suit the Yankees just fine, as A-Rod will have the motivation of a "contract year."
2007-11-14 13:16:52
147.   JL25and3
146 I'd say there's zero chance that an arbitrator will decide on a $4M pay cut after an MVP season.

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