Sep
10

The Price of Greatness

By

The Yankees should do whatever necessary to resign Alex Rodriguez this offseason, even if it means being unable to bring back Jorge Posada & Mariano Rivera.

Discuss.

Categories : Asides

47 Comments»

  1. steve (different one) says:

    i don’t see how the 2 goals are at odds. Mo and Po should be looking for 3 year deals. the Yankees want to extend A-Rod starting 3 years from now.

    if the Yankees are successful, A-Rod’s extension should start when Mo and Po’s contracts expire.

    if anyone, the guy who it would affect would be Jeter.

    now, we get to an interesting discussion:

    The Yankees should do whatever necessary to resign Alex Rodriguez this offseason, even if it means being unable to bring back Derek Jeter in 2011.

    Discuss.

  2. Mike A. says:

    In reality, the Yanks could probably afford to keep all 3, but every team does have it’s limits. If this is the situation they face, I think they’d have to keep Po & Mo and let A-Rod walk. It’s just so tough to find rliable catchers & closers these days.

  3. Joseph P. says:

    There is no right answer here; people will think you’re an idiot either way.

    I’m keeping A-Rod, though. Yes, it’s beyond difficult to find catchers and closers, but it might be more difficult to find a player of A-Rod’s caliber.

    I don’t think it will come down to this kind of scenario, though.

  4. Joe says:

    Let’s be realistic Posada is coming back. The one area Cashman has always seemed to lack is back-up catcher, or future catcher. Only recently has there been a decent amount of focus on aquiring a future catcher (Romine, Montero). I heard someone suggest that Cervili is the possible back up and future, not bloody likely, at least next year.
    Rivera is something else entirely. There are so many good young arms in the minors. With Nathan and Rodriquez coming up as free agents, there are other possibilities, not that they go after them, but they can be used as leverage. Cashman strikes me as stubborn and I could see him putting up a fight with Mo. Though I could see Mo getting two years max at a high amount, something similiar to the Pettitie deal.
    Though the real issue is who’s willing to go Bernie on us. Neither player is really declining, of shows signs of a quick decline. Mo has a pretty clean injury history as does Posada. So that’s not so much of a concern.
    Summing it up, Cashman is a smart guy, he is building what could be a 120 million dollar payroll in the next few years, if not less. They have enough pitching in the minors to completely fillout their staff. 11-12 pitchers making half a mil. Can you imagine if Kennedy never pans out in two years time, it’s okay, throw Betances, Brackman, McCallister into his spot. No trades, no risks.
    By the way if any of you like to rock I suggest you pick up Modern life is war “Midnight in America”, heavy. Do Yankees fan’s rock?

  5. Count Zero says:

    Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to that — that would be a bad place to have to draw a line.

    I would have to go with Mike — if it came down to it, I would let Alex walk first. You can’t let either Mo or Jorge go to another franchise while they are still valuable players. Bernie should have retired and saved himself some embarassment — Mo and Jorge still have a couple of good years left in them.

    Only way I let either of them go is if they make unreasonable demands in terms of contract length.

    • Mike A. says:

      What if Posada wants 3 years? I would be okay with giving Mo a 3-yr deal, but Jorge? At age 36? Eh…

      • steve (different one) says:

        it will definitely take at least 3 years to keep Posada. i am more concerned about Posada making waves about Torre coming back than i am about the Yankees committing that 3rd year to him.

      • Joe says:

        Do you think Posada would be humble enough to mentor, maybe even back-up a young catcher? I don’t know much about Posada, he seems like a good guy. If he’s willing to play that role, give him the 3.

      • Count Zero says:

        I would give Jorge three years as long as he isn’t asking for $16 million per.

        I don’t think he can catch for three years, but I could see him as a valuable DH in year three. I know he’s 36, but really, there has been no dropoff in his production with the bat to date, he’s a switch hitter with very nice distribution in his splits, and he definitely hits in the clutch.

        Worst case scenario, you eat the last year in payment for everything he’s given the Yankees over the last decade.

  6. EJ says:

    The Yankees have a huge advantage in the Arod sweepstakes: they don’t have to add that much payroll to retain him. The White Sox, Angels, Red Sox, Dodgers, or whomever would have to add about 30 million dollars to their present-day payroll, and and Yankees would add about 6-7 million.

    For that reason, I think that we can separate the Jorge/Arod signings. For Mariano, I think that he’ll come at a reasonable price, because at 38 years old age he is no longer the best in the game. For Alex, my concern is years. I really don’t want Arod being paid 30 million dollars when he is 43 years old – because everyone breaks down by that time. I’d offer Arod a 6 year, 180 million dollar extension on his current contract.

    For Posada, number of years is so much more important than money. Posada is having one of the better seasons by a catcher in Yankee history, but he’s not going to hit like this forever, and his downfall will be steep when it does happen. I’d offer him 3 years, 54 million dollars, and a vesting player option for a 4th year if he starts X number of games.

    So, the jist of it is I don’t think that the Yankees will have to make the choice of “Arod or Posada” – I think that the choice will be individual.

    • Mike A. says:

      I think it’s inevitable that A-Rod opts out – there’s no way Boras won’t take him to open market. Well, I guess if Boras gets a sense that no one’s going to really step up and offer much more than what he’s making now, then he might not opt out.

      But if he does, they lose the Texas money and it becomes and additional $14-15M on the payroll. I know Cash said he won’t negotiate if he opts out, but I think (hope) he’s bluffing.

      • steve (different one) says:

        i tend to agree with you.

        BUT….it really comes down to what A-Rod wants to do.

        if A-Rod wants to stay, he will instruct Boras to go to the Yankees and get the most money possible on an extension.

        Boras is going to get every penny he can, but he’s not going to force A-Rod to another team if he doesn’t want to play for another team. in the end, it is A-Rod’s decision, not Boras’. if he wants to stay a Yankee, he will. if he doesn’t, he will opt out and go somewhere else.

        just like at the end of the day Matsuzaka told Boras to just take the Red Sox offer. Boras is the agent, but the client still makes the final decision.

  7. steve (different one) says:

    hopefully, it shouldn’t come down to this.

    if the Yankees keep A-Rod, it will most likely be as an EXTENSION that starts in 2011 (yes, this will take a VERY generous extension to keep A-Rod from exercising the opt-out). Mo and Po should be looking at 3 year deals, that would be finished by 2011. in theory, the Yankees shouldn’t have to choose between any of them.

    if anyone, the person this would affect would be Jeter, who is without a contract in 2011.

    so, now it gets interesting:

    The Yankees should do whatever necessary to resign Alex Rodriguez this offseason, even if it means being unable to bring back Derek Jeter in 2011.

    Discuss.

    the answer is obvious to me.

  8. R says:

    As goods as A-Rod is, that’s not something I would let happen. Arod is clearly the MVP of the league, but you can make a good argument that Posada is MVP of the Yankees. He seems like a leader in the clubhouse. Posada has also become an excellent defensive catcher. Who else would you rather have work with all the new young pitchers coming in the next few years? This is all failing to mention that Posada is in the top 5 in the league in AVG this year. Sure that will probably decline in the next few years but he will still be a top 5 catcher offensively with ease.
    Same thing with Mo, his numbers aren’t as good as in past, but he had a rough start and has had less opportunities this year to rack up saves and bring his ERA down from the few bad innings he has had. You still need his arm in the pen to win the game, no one in baseball i’d rather have closing games.
    Posada and Mo are also the last remaining guys(besides jeter/pettite) from the championship years and you need those guys around the new guys to foster that championship environment.

    So to me Posada and Mo are more irreplacable than Arod. But I really think the Yankees can afford to bring all 3 back. With the Texas contribution, they are paying less than everyone else. Plus next years rotation will have 4 guys a million or so a year. Even if you give the guy a 6 year extension, he will only be 41 at the end. Worry later about having a 41 year old guy making 30 million, and focus on the fact that now he and Posada/Mo will give you the best chance to win.

  9. zack says:

    I think all 3 come back, but if pressed to choose, Mo and Po combined are not equal to A-Rod. Sad but true I am afraid. Jorge has been great, but as already pointed out, he could fall off the cliff any day, literally. And Mo, for where he is right now, sadly is replaceable. Thats not to say I want him to be nor do I think he should be/will be, but it is what it is.

    If the Yanks keep A-Rod at 3rd, they can survive with a less than average catcher for a year or so (assuming they are not starting the Stink as well). Its not ideal, but its alot better of a situation than if A-Rod leaves. Posada’s offense in no way will come close to what A-Rod has/will provide.

    But If I am Cash, I just throw 3 years at 15/, or perhaps 3 years starting at 16 and going down. You overpay with the hope that by that last year, JoPo is splitting time with his replacement from within, no?

    As for Mo, shouldn’t 2/10-12 do it?

  10. cbeck3 says:

    Nonesense,

    Sign all three. None of them want to go anywhere else, or to retire.

    With Joba, Hughes, Kennedy, Cano, Duncan, Edwar, etc we have plenty of low priced talent and should have plenty of money for these 3 of our star players.

  11. Mike A. says:

    Plus, after the 2008 season Pavano, Giambi, Moose, Farnsworth & Bobby (I’d be shocked if they pick up his option at this point) will all be off the books, and I can’t see any of them resigning. That’s basically $65M worth of annual savings right there.

  12. CountryClub says:

    I think if Arod opts out of his deal the Yanks should let him walk. Yes, I know, he’s the best player in baseball. he’s carried us at times this year. I understand all of that. But do you really want to sign him to a 8 yr, 250 million dollar contract? Who wants to pay a 39 year old 32 mil a year for 20-25 home runs? How about a 40 year old. You have to realize that he’s right now at the end of his prime. He’s going to have 2 or 3 more great years and then it’s all down hill. let him walk and spend the money elsewhere.

    • Mike A. says:

      I agree. Even though A-Rod seems like the type that’ll be productive well into his late 30′s and early 40′s, giving him a 8 yr $200M deal has serious albatross potential. Todd Helton seemed like he’d keep it up into his late-30′s, but that didn’thappen.

    • Count Zero says:

      Agree, although like Mike, I don’t think A-Rod’s going to decline very precipitously. I could see him hitting 30-35 HRs at age 39, not 20-25. Nonetheless, if he opts out, I let him walk. On principle.

      Know what though? He’s having so much fun with Melky and Cano treating him like a big brother right now…with all the kids on the bench looking at him like he’s God himself…I think the odds are real good he’ll be back. Add in the fact that he fully understands the significance of having a number retired by the Yankees, the significance of a place in Monument Park, and the fact that Cashman is not going to lose the A-Rod ticket sales for a few million — and I think the only thing that will prevent an extension is a disastrous PS and more of that “he’s not a true Yankee” nonsense in the NY media.

    • steve (different one) says:

      “He’s going to have 2 or 3 more great years and then it’s all down hill. ”

      how do you know this? who are the comparables for maybe the greatest player of all-time?

      i’m not saying it *won’t* happen. i have no idea, but neither do you.

      if you have to take a gamble on someone, you do it with the most extraordinary talent in the game.

      why can’t A-Rod have 5-6 more great years??

      in 5 years he won’t even be Sheffield’s age.

      A-Rod is 32, Posada is 36. everyone here thinks we should bring Posada back for 2-3 more years. yet A-Rod is going to suddenly start declining before he is even as old as Posada is now?

      that doesn’t make sense.

  13. Adam L. says:

    My off-season moves:

    Do what it takes to sign A-Rod, Mo, Posada, and pick up Abreu’s option. You bite the financial bullet for one season, the final one before many terrible contracts (mentioned in the comment above come off of the books), you’ll save the money spent on Clemens this yr. to boot, and you wait for the minor-league system to churn out a couple players here and there to supplement these 4 guys. I don’t see any other way to get better next year (save a Santana trade?), then to put out the same offense and hope the improved pitching staff makes the big difference for your team…maye work out a nimble trade for a reliever, but otherwise you’ve got to keep this offense intact, and keep Rivera to allow the master plan with the young pitching to stay intact.

  14. bkight says:

    If Alex opts out on his contract he will cost the Yankees the $21M from the Rangers. It would be completely selfish and greedy. As great as he is, he hasn’t outplayed his original 10 yr $250M deal. No one in baseball is getting $20M a year anymore, let alone $30M.

    Alex has finally been accepted by the Yankees and fans, and if he walks away now for more money he is sacrificing his legacy. He can be an all-time Yankee great or the symbol of the ultimate money grubbing athlete.

  15. Stephen says:

    My instnct is that the Yanks will be able to hold on to all three.
    But, if it came down to this decision you’ve got to resign Posada and Mo. Don’t get me wrong, I respect A-Rod, I think he’s the best player in baseball and a shoo in for MVP, but his productivity in the line-up could be replicated by signing a solid replacement at third and a more productive firstbaseman. It’s more difficult to find such solid catchers and closers.

  16. Frank says:

    Sign all three:

    Mo: 3 years and 36 million
    Jorge: 3 years and 36 million
    Arod: 5 year extension for 165 million (15 million of which is a signing bonus).

    For A-Rod that yearly money is what he’d get elsewhere. Boras gets his highest paid player in baseball. And the Yankees keep him on his current deal even as they overpay for his race to 800.

    And I think Cash has it exactly right. If Arod is going to opt out regardless, what’s keeping him in NY? They can give him any amount of money prior to opting out, so he must only being doing it to use the Yankees to drive up his price.

    Hopefully Cash holds firm. The question is: Does Arod WANT to stay in NY. If so, they get an appropriate extension done. If not, then he opts out to leave. The good news is it will be settled ten days after the series (at least for the Yankees).

  17. DKA says:

    I think they’ll be able to bring back all three but, for the purpose of discussion, you don’t mess with your core. You bring back Mo and Jorge and let A-Rod walk. We would find plenty of ways to win without A-Rod.

    That being said….Alex, please stay.

  18. Frank says:

    Also agree on Abreu. It’s pricey but one year pricey.

  19. Travis says:

    Given the choice, I let Alex walk.

  20. Adam L. says:

    I would answer, 30 mil per on A-Rod…

  21. Adam L. says:

    As an example (admittedly not perfect), A-Rods’ VORP this year is over 90…CC and Milton have combined for less than that…and I think we’ve all learned about the perils of investing in middle relievers through free agency (extremely fungible). If you consider starting with A-Rod, even if you get league-average players to fill out those other positions, it would be almost impossible to not come out ahead. He’s the best player in the game right now, period. Thereore, the only irreplaceable one…

  22. brxbmrs says:

    Lousy FA class as well this year – you could make a case whatever the Yanks have to do to retain A-Rod is the best (and safest) bet.

    I don’t want the Yanks to waste any money on Hunter (who comes up very small with the stick in big games same for Andruw Jones, who looks worn out).

    Glad its not my decision – its a tough one – while A-Rod has been otherworldly this year, he is 32 and he’s probably looking at another 200+ mil committment over a 7 or more year term.

    As of right now, if there is one guy you would think could still be a premier player in his late 30′s, it would be A-Rod – but sometimes that stuff changes so quickly – just like Jeter nursing his knee or Matsui turning into an automatic out.

    It use to be most guys would start to decline in their early 30′s – we are seeing it again I feel thanks to increased pe testing – in that sense, it may show you that A-Rod was clean and is even better now that others have had to “play naked” – or he’s just got better stuff ;-)

    I think the Yanks bring back all 3 – if A-Rod walks, it will be b\c he wants to get away from NY or someone gives him more than 250 mil and the Yanks won’t match it.

    I also agree with the above comment, if you “save” on A-Rod’s salary, not only do you run the risk that you downgrade alot at 3rd, but you could multiply the potential mistake by spending badly in other areas.

    At his worst, we know what A-Rod is (from his struggles at times in OCtober and in “big” games”), another player(s) worst could be like Carl Pavano or Steve Karsay.

  23. JS says:

    I say give Arod his money (as long as he doesn’t opt out and you can just add years and money because you don’t want to go from paying $15 million a year to $30 million on Arod.

    Also, bite the bullet and give Mo and Jorge 3 more years (even though Jorge will be playing 1b/DH for the last year). That will give us 2 productive years from both of them and probably one of them will do well the last year too. Just do it. Otherwise:

    1. Who’s going to be as effective as a catcher?

    2. Who’s going to be as effective as Mo? And I want Joba to start, not relieve.

  24. Dude says:

    remeber about Arod, this is probably his best season ever! he’s likely to regress next year. bearing that in mind, i would sign up for a 5-year extension (through 2012) for $25-30 mil a year bc Texas would still pay $7 mil per year.

    Posada is having a great year (almost as good as Arod considering he’s a C), which is partly due to a much higher than normal for him babip. a lot of those balls are finding holes this year. the babip merely backs up what my eyes tell me too. signing him is a bigger risk…

    • steve (different one) says:

      yup. i’ve been waiting to see if anyone mentioned Posada’s BABIP. he is hitting an insane .392 on balls in play.

      that won’t happen next year.

  25. Sean McNally says:

    Guys, guys guys… its not a zero sum game.

    When you are paying less than a million for 60% of your starting rotation, with Wang and Pettitte being only moderately expensive, along with the savings of Betemit, Cabrera and Cano all being pre-arbitration or otherwise cheap, you can spend big bucks on those three.

    Plus as has been pointed out the Texas money really softens the blow.

  26. JP says:

    Does any remember why Texas is subsidizing part of A-Rods contract as things stand today? It was only three years ago that Texas traded him because they couldn’t afford his salary and at the time, it sure looked like the Yankees were the only team that could. So now you have two teams sharing the cost of a 25M dollar man and now he wants another raise. Sure some team will pay him $30M next year, agents will always find teams that are willing to pay more, but I don’t think the end result will be much different that where Texas found themselves in 2004. I think A-Rod is one of the all time greats but I don’t think it’s worth the risk unless the Yankees plan to have a whole lot more help from the minors in the next year or two, and I’m not just talking about pitching.

  27. Barry says:

    27,708,525(espn)= A-Rod’s Salary. What more does he want? A 3-5 million dollar raise, what is he having trouble paying his mortgage or electric bill. If the guy is that selfish, let him go. And thankfully, Cashman, with one of his smarter moves, has said that if A-Rod wants anything more than an extension, he’s gone. Look A-Rod’s a baseball great and we all appreciate what he can do but lets be honest, his numbers are not going to be this good every year, he may not ever have another 50 or even 60+ home run season again. Why does this guy think he’s worth more than close to 28 million dollars. We all complain about Roger Clemens being a mercenary, what about A-Rod. Personally, I think a player with team loyalty is more important than some ass that can’t appreciate that hes making a Goddamn ridiculous amount of money and playing for the best team in sports history. This guy needs to step up and prove someone wrong, show that hes not just some punk who will play for anyone willing to pay the ransom. I think A-Rod should leave, I’ll stick with Jorge and Mo, at least they know where their loyalties lie.

    • steve (different one) says:

      “What more does he want? A 3-5 million dollar raise, what is he having trouble paying his mortgage or electric bill.”

      this is such a dumb argument.

      he is worth whatever the market will bear. why should he take any less than what he is worth? b/c he is already wealthy? that’s nonsense. would you take a job for much less than your market value? no.

      it’s not that he WANTS more money. it’s that he CAN GET IT. so why on earth should he leave it sitting on the table? he should leave the money that HE earns for the team sitting in the pockets of the billionaire owner? he should FORFEIT an extra $150M to not opt out to please a bunch of fans who have treated him like garbage for 3 1/2 seasons and have only finally “accepted” him this year b/c they realize how screwed they will be without him next year?

      Mariano is the highest paid reliever of all time. Posada is the third highest paid catcher of all time. Jeter is the highest paid SS of all time.

      let’s stop pretending that these guys are martyrs. they simply had the good fortune to be signed as teenagers by the Yankees. if A-Rod was that lucky, he would have been a career Yankee as well. but no, he was drafted by a team that didn’t want to pay him anything close to what he was worth when he hit free agency. i don’t see why he should be criticized for that.

      if A-Rod leaves, it will be because he is tired of fans like you who constantly hold him to a different set of standards than every other athlete in history.

  28. JS says:

    “if A-Rod leaves, it will be because he is tired of fans like you who constantly hold him to a different set of standards than every other athlete in history.”

    WOW…That’s pretty cool that Arod reads River Avenue Blues…

    Hey Arod, hi from Birmingham, man! We love you! Say hi to Derek please.

  29. [...] 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. [...]

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