Moving forward: Posada, Mo on the horizon

A silver lining in the A-Rod cloud
Hank slams the door

Now that A-Rod is gone, it’s time to assess the rest of the Yankees’ increasingly painful situation. We’ll go issue-by-issue, so that we don’t get inundated as we have in the past.

First up: Mo and Posada.

Supposedly, the Yankees are prepared to offer them both a boatload of money. However, the Yankees shouldn’t be opening the checkbook so hastily. They should consider the ramifications of locking up both vets to long-term deals.

Posada should get no more than a three-year deal. A fourth would be a deal-breaker for me. Now, many will think I’m nuts. The Yankees have these vast financial resources, and if they’re not using them on A-Rod, they might as well use them on Posada, right? Maybe.

Signing him to a four-year deal would mean he’d be paid probably $15 million per year through the age of 41. That doesn’t sound too attractive. But, as many have pointed out, the Yankees can afford a $15 million albatross, especially if he produces over the next two years (so that might be a $30 million albatross). Plus, having Jorge around to break in any future catcher — whether that be Pilittere, Cervelli, Romine, or Montero — would be invaluable.

The question, though, is whether you can make a $15 million player a part-time player, a la Joe Girardi when Jorge was breaking in. Or would the Yankees be forced to play Jorge full time — either by upper management not wanting to see its investment on the bench, or by a manager refusing to bench a veteran? That’s a question you must answer to some degree before offering Jorge more than three years.

Mo, on the other hand, I can see blowing the cash on. At this point in his career, I can’t think of a better person to have pitch the ninth inning. Why? Because I’m an enormous advocate of the “bullpen ace.” This isn’t a guy you save and deploy in the ninth inning. It’s the guy you bring into the seventh inning with runners on first and third and one out. He’s the guy who gets you out of big jams, so that you can get to the closer. Basically, it’s the same idea as the “bridge to Mo,” except the pitcher isn’t necessarily relegated to the 7th or 8th inning.

Problem: we don’t have that bullpen ace yet. But with Humberto Sanchez, J.B. Cox, and Mark Melancon coming back from elbow surgery, we might find that “bullpen ace” by 2009. Having Mo as the 9th inning at that point would be invaluable.

What do you guys think? Break the bank for Mo and Po? Or make reasonable offers (and by reasonable, I mean deals longer than one year in length) and if they don’t like it, let them walk?

A silver lining in the A-Rod cloud
Hank slams the door
  • Ron

    I agree. A point you didn’t address is the relationship between Posada and Girardi (if he gets the job). I don’t know the relationship, but don’t forget that Posada took Girardi’s job, even though he deserved it. That might be something to consider. If we resign him, no way I give Posada a 4th year. Let some other team do that. Also, I would give Mo any reasonable amount he asks for.

  • usty

    The thing is, hopefully, in 2009-10 we’ll have Joe Girardi to break in a new catcher, a la Joe Girardi.

    • Rob

      Except it took Girardi leaving for Jorge to find his full potential with Pena.

      • brxbmrs

        And most people ignore Girardi was a terrible offensive player with a below average arm. He got an inflated reputation b\c guys like Cone did not want to pitch to a rookie.

        Girardi made his bones on an unlikely triple in 1996 – I’ll take anyone not named Torre as manager but I’m not yet ready to christen Joey G. as the next savior.

        I’d like to see both Mo and Jorge come back for many reasons, they are still valuable players, we have no real replacements, life time Yanks, Posada should and could be rested behind the plate and used as a DH\1B, etc.

        But, if the Yanks have to give them more than 3 years $40 each, it pays to consider if they should just fully rebuild.

        I’m watchin all the games either way….

  • yankz

    Reasonable offers or let them walk. Playoff chances are shady at best next year with or without them.

  • kanst

    Break the bank on Mo, even if he loses some stuff I cant see him being worse then a Todd Jones or Borowski by the end of a 4 year deal. Its also really easy to lessen his role if he gets worse, just make him purely a ninth inning guy and he cant do damage.

    Posada I would offer two years worth a lot of money with a third that based off reachable goals. Something like if he catches 110 games in ’09 then the ’10 option is picked up

  • steve (different one)

    my head says let Posada walk, my heart says bring him back.

    i think Mo will come back.

  • Rob

    Why ever should your head say let Jorge walk? Cause he’s old? Whatever. It’s not a ton of money, even at three years (have heard 40mil/3yr thrown around) and he was the best C in baseball this year. Even the 2006 version is very valuable. Nah, pay him, and Mo, and Pettitte and close out this era with the folks that got them here.

    • steve (different one)

      because he is old and batted .393 on balls in play last year, so the yankees will be paying for his 2007 season that he is extremely unlikely to repeat.

      also, b/c losing A-Rod just placed the 2008 playoff chances in serious jeopardy.

      but i do want him back still.

  • Jamal G.

    I say break the bank on MO and Posada ON A 3 YEAR DEAL. I do not want Posada signed through the age of 41 and him becoming a DH/1B who whits .270 with 16 HRS and 70 RBIs. Honestly past the age of 40 do we really expect Posada to be the full-time backstop? I sure don’t.

    Again with Mariano, you break the bank on him because I think with the triplet of Edwar Ramirez/Kyle Farnsworth (did look good from the wind-up so dont throw up)/Luis Vizcaino (who they should re-sign) I think that can be a serviceable bride to MO. We all know that Torre’s biggest flaw was that he blew out bullpen arms (see Proctor and Vizcaino in May and September) so with Girardi at the helm and three relievers he can depend on in the latter innings maybe the fresher arms can be more effective.

  • Ivan

    I would break the bank on Mo if I had a chance. I understand Mo is the same Mo of 10 years ago but think about it, other than Papelbon or MAYBE K-Rod, who is better than Mo period at the closer position? Even at Mo advance stage he still has a good fastball albeit not the fastball he had in his prime but a good fastball nevertheless. Plus, even though Mo is old, he still better than most closers period and talking the good ones too. Besides Mo is the best and has been my fav Yankee growing up (him and Derek Jeter) and I think he has been the symbol of why this team has been succesful.

    AS for Posada I think is a little different. Posada is 36-37 years old and he pratacally hada career year. That said, catchers seem to slip alot quicker and I feel that Posada might slip here. I’ll give him a 2year 15M deal. Nevertheless, I be wary of Posada.

    • Joseph P.

      “other than Papelbon or MAYBE K-Rod, who is better than Mo period at the closer position?”

      Right now: J.J. Putz. Joel Zumaya looks to be one of the best next year when he’s moved to that role (though Detroit did a good job of using him as the bullpen ace while Todd Jones pitched the ninth).

    • Alexander W.

      Joe Nathan.

      • Max

        Who just happens to be a free agent after 2008.

  • brxbmrs

    K-Rod gets it done but he’s shaky as hell. Mo’s still in the top 5 and probably the top 3.

    If we ever got to see him throw 50-60 innings vs. 70+ a year I think Mo would be even more effective – over his career he’s pitched more innings than almost every current closer.

  • Stephen

    I say that there are worse things in the world than re-signing Posada to a four year deal. With A-Rod out, the Yanks really can’t afford to lose his production out of the catcher slot. Even if he is on the decline, and I realize that he is very unlikely to reproduce his performance from last season, it’s worth biting the bullet by signing him one year too long if it means having stable production for the next couple of years. Unless you have some reason to believe that Victor Martinez or Joe Mauer will suddenly become available, there is no one around who can make up Jorge’s value.

    As for Mo, I say go all out on a short term deal. His numbers this year were solid even though he got off to a terrible start. I agree with those above that Mo’s still among the top three closers in the league. Unless the Yanks did a real about face and decided to keep Joba in the pen, there are no viable options to replace Mo right now.

  • Pete

    Its a tough place the yankees are now in, and with the beast that is the red sox, you could say the yankees have a slim chance to go to the playoffs next year unless something lucky happens and they get the wild card. Im all for making them reasonable offers but we have to start coming to grips with what the yankees are dealing with next year, “a rebuilding year”, offering them a boatload of money for declining performance seems to be not in our best interest when that money could be allocated and used better elsewhere, say a trade or prospects or what have you, they’re is a current mass exodus from the bronx and i really dont see what is wrong with letting it continue, why not let some prospects come up and get some burn, yea the yankees won’t be the greatest team to watch next year, but in the long term, you could argue that letting mo and po go and clearing up all that money would not be the worse thing, i love them to death, but i could think of people id rather have then the two of them, say a fransico liriano or a santanna, even an ian snell who is rumored to be available and baltimore is looking to deal bedard according to with arod now gone, and possibly po and mo, all those transactions seem more and more likely, I dunno my two cents, but i think if you can get anything from what i wrote is that we have to understand that next year will not be the greatest in the bronx.

    However, you could also make the argument to keep them. Having two celebrated veterns on your team is never a bad thing exspecially when they can work with younger prospects. Posada of course wont repeat last years stats but seriously if you compare him to other catchers i wouldnt say worth the money hes looking for but hes worth alot. And having Mo around for the 9th will always be something special and he still shuts guys down time after time, but hes gonna hit a brick wall someday and if we lock them up for long term deals are we prepared to deal with a un effective mo for the last two years of a 4 year contract worth alot of money.

    Again just my opinon, i think it was ben a couple of weeks ago that put up the hypothetical situation of purging the whole team basically, and at this point, i say why not, we didnt win before by buying free agents, we won with home grown players and prospects, so why not go after it again in the same way, and for god sakes get some god damn pitchers who arnt 40 years old.

  • Jeteupthemiddle

    I would give Posada a 4 year deal…well sort of.

    I would give him a 3 year deal that has a 4th one that would automatically vest based on games started at the catcher position in year 3.

    I don’t think you are considering that Giambi comes off the books after 2008 and that Matsui and Damon come off the books after 2009. There will be a DH position available for Posada for a year or two of his contract if need be…unlike now where there is an utter log jam at the position.

  • Michael T

    Jamal G. says:

    October 29th, 2007 at 11:52 am (Reply)
    I say break the bank on MO and Posada ON A 3 YEAR DEAL. I do not want Posada signed through the age of 41 and him becoming a DH/1B who whits .270 with 16 HRS and 70 RBIs.

    Couldn’t agree more. The scary part is, .270/ 16 HR/70 RBIS would be an improvement at 1b/Dh over the past two years.

  • barry

    Maybe biased?
    Posada= 3+1 club or player option/45M+13M
    Mo=2 years 28 M
    I’m worried about Mo and I don’t know whats left in his tank

  • Jamal G.

    Im suprised at some of the comments made about money. Trust me, if there’ s one thing we dont have to worry about its the money. If you want to argue the fact that letting MO & PO go to (lol mo, po, go, to) FA so we could get some supplemental pick or a #1 pick if the right team were to sign them then that’s fine but dont bring money into the mix.