News on the morning after an off-day

Konichiwa, Boston
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There is quite a bit of Yankee-related content in the mainstream media today, so let’s make the rounds. (Aside: See, if we bloggers had some degree of access, we wouldn’t have to go linking these stories; we could create them ourselves.)

Roger Clemens has rejoined the team in Toronto. His scheduled bullpen session today will determine whether he starts against Curt Schilling on Sunday at Fenway Park. As long as IPK stays in the rotation after this move, I’m fine with it.

The Red Sox were Kazmired, dropping a 1-0 contest to the D-Rays. That’s good news for the Yanks, since the Red Sox will inevitably wallop the Rays over the next few games. It puts the Yanks just five back, and with a stroke of luck they might enter the weekend series just four games out of first place in the AL East.

There’s an article in the Bergen Record recounting A-Rod’s growing relationship with Joe Torre. This is significant because of the off-season implications. Torre’s contract is up after this season, but what if A-Rod declares that he’ll stay only if the manager returns? That could be an even more perplexing question than the one Mike posed yesterday.

Tim Marchman, who is probably the best sportswriter in the New York press, opines that A-Rod is as good as gone come the off-season. His most likely destination: Boston.

Konichiwa, Boston
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  • Frank

    I really like Marchman, and he analyzes the market well, but I just don’t see how he leaves out one little itty bitty fact:

    A-Rod only leaves if A-Rod wants to. And Cashman will be damn sure it ain’t about money.

    • brad k

      A-Rod is so image conciseness that if he really thinks this through, NY is the ideal place for him to play. The money will be there and with the Texas money in the mix the Yanks have a distinct advantage. If he were to be accepted as a “true Yankee” after the season he’s having and the he sees the Yanks as one of the top contenders to win a championship in the next few years, he could lose the greedy image he got after he left Seattle to play on last place (3 years in a row) Texas. It’s a win win for him.

      I also agree that he puts asses in the seats and with the payroll going down he’s a lock. I can see it now. If he gets to 800 they will call the new Yankee Stadium “The House That A-Rod Built”.

      And last but not least he can defer the whole thing another year if he is undecided. He can opt out after the ’08 and/or ’09 seasons.

  • Ben K.

    I like Marchman’s work, but I gotta think he’s way off base with this one. If A-Rod, last year, was bemoaning the pressures of playing in New York, just wait until he hits Boston. Considering that it even grates on Manny sometimes, Alex would despise it up there. Just wait until the Red Sox fans boo A-Rod every time he comes up this weekend. I’m sure that’ll convince him to jump ship for Boston.

    A-Rod stays a Yankee. That’s my prediction, and I’m sticking to it. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, but I would put money – probably just a little, but some – on this outcome.

    • Jersey

      I’m with ya Ben.

      Usually, if a guy has a year like ARod’s, that would be a sign that he’s bolting for the dough – a bad sign for the current team.

      But given that Yankee fans have come to regularly chant “MVP” because of that performance, I wonder if that increases his desire to stay? He’s finally “adjusted” or “fitting in” or whatever? Just idle speculation on my part, but it would be kind’ve ironic if that’s the case: a great year getting a guy to stay instead of going elsewhere.

  • NYFan50

    If A-Rod goes to Boston it’s going to be a very depressing decade.

  • Mike A.

    I ultimately think he’s going to stay, but the numbers scare the crao out of me. Boras already said that A-Rod will be the first $30M a year player, so what kind of deal will he get? 5-yrs, $160M? 8-yrs $250M? That’s alot of money to dedicate to one player, even if he’s the best player alive.

  • Frank

    I’m predicting the same thing, Ben. A-Rod gets his money (160-170 million over 5 years), but it’s to stay in NY.

  • sam

    This post article is laughable, he gives reasons that every other team would want/need A-Rod and then essentially writes off the biggest player in any A-Rod free agency – THE YANKEES! Im sick of these articles at this point, none of these “professionals” have any idea what Alex or Boras are thinking, speculation is pointless…

  • Frank

    No doubt, Mike. It IS alot of Cash. But I say the Yanks do it because:

    1) A-Rod puts fannies in the seats. And with 800 looming, they’ll pack the new Stadium year after year even if the young pitching goes through growing pains.

    2) They have alot of money coming of the books in the next two years in Clemens, Moose, Giambi, Abreu, and after 09 Matsui and Damon.

    3) Investing the system, means they’ll still have payroll flexibility. As it looks now, 4/5 of next year’s rotation (Wang, Hughes, Joba, Chamberlain) will be league minimum as well as the CF and 2B. Add in Betemit and Duncan and that’s a full 1/3 of the roster making about 4 million combined.

    4) Quality free agents just aren’t available like they used to be. When Carlos Lee and Barry Zito are getting 100 million, you know there aren’t many opportunities to spend like there used to be.

    • Tom O.

      I’m assuming when you said “Joba, Chamberlain” in reference to next year’s rotation, you meant to put one of those as Kennedy. But a good point nonetheless!

      • Ben K.

        Nah. Joba starts twice in every five days ;)

    • Mike A.

      a full 1/3 of the roster making about 4 million combined

      Don’t forget about all the guys in the bullpen. Guys like Edwar, Britton, Ohlendorf, Karstens, Rasner, etc. They’ll all be making the minimum, or darn close to it. Those relievers can be sneaky expensive sometimes.

  • Frank

    Yup, sorry meant IPK. And good point on the bullpen especially the sneaky *cough* Farns *cough* expensive kind. Is it a stretch to say that the 1/2 of the roster could be making 6 million (500k each) next year?

  • Mike A.

    I don’t think it’s a stretch at all Frank. The Yanks roster is very top heavy in terms of salary. You have Jeter, A-Rod, Giambi, Moose, Pettitte, Posada, Clemens, Mo, Matsui, Damon making something like $160M combined, and the other 15 guys on the roster make like, $20M combined.

    It’s not an idea salary structure, but Cash is working on it.

    What do you all think about the whole “Torre’s contract is up after this season, but what if A-Rod declares that he’ll stay only if the manager returns?” question Joe brought up?

    • steve (different one)

      ugh. i don’t know. if it were just one player saying this, i’d tell them to take a hike since you can’t let the players dictate who the manager is.

      but what do you do if Posada, Mo, Pettitte AND now A-Rod all take this stance?

      i guess you’d have to bite the bullet and bring Torre back since if all 4 of those guys leave, it won’t really matter who the manager is next year anyway. the Yankees would not be able to replace those 4 with anything that is available and make the playoffs.

  • Jon

    I don’t know how the ARod article can be considered to be above elementary school level when there is not even a mention of the Texas money.

    Simply, in order for another team to top what the Yankees could offer in an extension, they would have to outbid them by nearly $4 Million per year. There is just no chance of that happening.

    The fact that this guy could think that Cashman would let the Red Sox outbid him by $4M per year is so ludicrous it makes my head spin.

  • Frank

    Nah, A-Rod won’t worry about Torre. All the press about how they’re best friends is just off-day filler.

    I worry more about Jorge and Mo playing that hand. I hope Jorge still has lingering resentment for being benched for three years for the Girardi reputation. Mo is the one I really worry about.

    So a choice of Mo and Joe or neither?

    I’m not sure, but Joe’s management the last two months (Melky, Duncan, Betemit, Giambi, Damon, Joba, IPK) has me wondering if he can do alright if management is holding his hand.

    • John

      Would he want to come back if Cash said, you can make the in-game decisions but I’m setting down some ground rules about pitcher usage?

      If Torre retires it’s a moot point.

  • Yankee Fan in Chicago

    I still think the Yanks sign A-rod to an extension. I think Cash is serious about not resigning him if he opts out, and without the Yanks in the game to drive up the price, I think Boras folds.

    AS for the Sawx, I wouldn’t bet on them blowing out the Rays the next 2 days, In fact, I think the Rays will win tonight, as the pitching matchup favors them. The Rays can get to Wake, and Sonnanstine has been pitching well, as we found out last week.

    He’s 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in his past three outings, and he threw 6 2-3 innings in a 6-5 Rays win at Fenway on Aug. 15.

    • Joseph P.

      I wouldn’t be so sure about the Rays getting to Wake. Since the beginning of the 2005 season, he’s 9-1 against them with a 2.48 ERA. This year, he’s 4-0 with a 1.65 ERA. I fully expect the team full of youngsters to falter once again against the knuckleball.

      • Frank

        Well, keep in mind that those numbers benefit from Wake pitching at the Trop where he doesn’t have to worry about wind messing with his control.

  • Sherard

    There iin nothing to temper Wakefield’s success against Tampa. He is 19-2 in his career. At some point the law of averages says he will lose one, but there is SOMETHING there.

  • steve

    isn’t wang and cano arbitration eligible next year ? they wont be making league minimum anymore.

  • Ron

    This is truly a hack piece. No where does he address the fact that Cash said he would be willing to negotiate an extension after the season concludes. Alex has until 10 days after the WS ends to opt out. Cash will put a significant offer on the table in those 10 days, certainly as much as any other team could offer (don’t forget, as Marchman so conveniently does, Cash has the money coming in from Texas, which the other teams won’t have). Then Alex/Bor-ass will have to decide to take the sure thing or roll the dice, knowing full well that there are only 2-3 teams that can/will pony up the dough. And those 2-3 will know that the NYY will NOT be bidding to drive up the price.

    If this guy was honest and interested in writing an accurate article, he would have addressed these items. Instead, he wrote a piece worthy of the tabloids.