Bradbury: Yanks must keep stance on A-Rod

The best Scott Proctor story you'll ever hear
Mrs. Posada: Jorge wants the Yankees

J.C. Bradbury, author of the excellent Sabernomics blog, has an interesting response up to the Jeffrey Gordon piece from Sunday’s Times. Bradbury writes that the Yanks are definitely not going to reverse their position on A-Rod:

What is at stake here is not a single player’s contract, but the organization’s long-run credibility at keeping its word. If the Yankees cave, the repercussions will echo into the future. Why would any player ever not opt out of his deal in the future if he knows the Yankees will give in? Not following up on your threats is bad for your reputation as a tough guy.

Bradbury is dead-on in this analysis. The Yankees simply cannot afford, long-term, to back down for their established stance on A-Rod. Hopefully, Hank and Hal have realized this reality as well.

The best Scott Proctor story you'll ever hear
Mrs. Posada: Jorge wants the Yankees
  • mehmattski

    I’m still crossing my fingers that A-Rod accepts arbitration and comes back for one year. That way both parties save some face, and the Yankees have another year to plan for replacements.

  • steve (different one)

    what if he offered to come back at a substantial discount? that isn’t going to happen, but i think there are scenarios where the yankees could save face and still retain his services.

  • zack

    I don’t really buy that argument because lets be honest, who else is going to have an opt out clause like that? At most it will be a player option a la Pettitte, and almost always that will either be a case of wanting to extend him anyway or bidding good riddance. I don’t really buy into the credibility thing. The reality is, you just don’t construct contracts the way A-Rod’s was written…

  • JRVJ


    I agree with you that arbitration (which the Yankees HAVE TO OFFER) would save face, but A-Rod would absolutely not like 2008 in NYC if he came back to the Yankees due to arbitration.


    Sure, there are scenarios where A-Rod could come back, but they all imply some serious grovelling/canning of Boras/decrease in A-Rod’s economic pretensions.

    None of the former are likely to happen, though.


    It’s not a question of credibility vis-a-vis a specific clause just like A-Rod’s.

    It’s a question of credibility with every other FA which the Yankees negotiate with (i.e., if the Yankees say they will only offer x number of years and x number of money, potential FAs would not buy the Yanks final position if the Yanks cave-in on A-Rod).

    That’s why the Yankees have to take a harsh stand NOW, not just for 2008, but for the near future (2009, 2010, etc.).

    HOWEVER, all this would change if A-Rod fires Boras and takes pennies on the $$$, but this is seen as unlikely by all involved.

  • Dave

    If he signs with the Yanks for less than they have already offered then there is a chance (small, very small) that he could come back. The funny thing is that it is looking like he may turned down the best offer already. I read that Boston would go 5 years at 30 per. Not sure were else Boras can get a commitment for over 200 million which the Yanks were offering.

    I think ego gets in the way of any deal, I wouldn’t be shocked by one.

  • MD

    arod can come back for what he left on the table….17mil per year for 3 years, and 30/year for 5 more…..he gives up what he cost the Yanks in the Texas contribution…..BTW, it wont happen… stop, Scott Rolen…..

  • Steve S

    To play devils advocate (because i agree with the guy) they could back track because of the level of player arod is. Additionally, not many players in this sport could walk away from that deal confident they would get more. This is a unique situation because you have the best player in the sport in his prime available. Future players couldnt argue you did it for arod and assume the same bargaining position, unless they have the same skill set. And if the Yankees get a lot of players of his caliber than that is a good thing.

  • Count Zero

    Let me start by saying that I really don’t want A-Rod back at this point. Regardless…I have seen the light on this one since my anger on the day he opted out.

    I’m not buying any of that article.

    “What is at stake here is not a single player’s contract, but the organization’s long-run credibility at keeping its word…Not following up on your threats is bad for your reputation as a tough guy.”

    Assigning human traits like “integrity,” “credibility” and “loyalty” to a company is just so much nonsense. A company is an inanimate object — it doesn’t have any of those traits. At best, an individual officer of said company exhibits them, but even then, he is still bound to do what is best for the company regardless of how he feels about it. CEOs feel bad about laying off 10% of their workforce all the time — they still do it.

    Likewise to the people who work for said company. Andy can make all the noises he wants about “loyalty to the Yankees” but in the end, he will do what he thinks is best for Andy. He won’t come back for one more year because he feels he owes it to the Yankees.

    It’s a business, folks. The business reasons for not wanting to negotiate with A-Rod after he opted out are well documented and sensible. All 30 million of them. Nonetheless, if somehow it turns out that offering A-Rod a contract in January makes business sense from the standpoint of what he will get, what it costs the Yankees, and what the alternatives/consequences are, then you offer him a contract.

    All this “We can’t back down” stuff is just a load of crap. Pride, integrity, credibility — that doesn’t enter into it. You think Boras will only do a deal with a GM he thinks has credibility? He’ll do a deal with anybody who comes up with the money and the contract he wants…even the former CFO of Enron. And that’s true of 99.9% of the agents and players out there…in any sport.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    The most talented player in the MLB walked away from the richest franchise in the MLB. It had to go downhill from there. Because of who Arod is and because of who the Yankees are, no one blinking first is best for both sides, but the ultimate end, no Arod on the Yankees is bad for both ends.

    If some compromise can be sought it has to come from Arod first since he started this big stupid mess.

    Arod doesn’t really need to “save face” in fact, he can cave and look like the good guy…it’s BORAS who needs to save face.

    The Yankees need to negotiate from a position of strength in the future. Boras needs to negotiate from a position of strength.

    If AROD winds up with a career contract (staying with the Yankees for the rest of his career) HE doesn’t need to save face (in fact, it’s best for him that he doesn’t…groveling is in his best interest now).

    So the best deal would be for Arod to figure out what he can and cannot accept from the Yankees, go to them with that and with the agreement he will cut Boras loose but do it in some way that doesn’t seem like Boras sucked that is why I’m leaving him but something like the Yankees strong armed him to cut Boras loose and even though Arod wants both Boras and the Yankees he can’t have both and he wants to finish his career with the Yankees so I love you Scott, you’re the best agent in baseball (give the ahold lots of PR) but you gotta go because the Yankees won’t deal with you where I’m concerned. Cut to lovefest between Arod and fans when they win number 27.

    THAT would be the best solution.

    Probably a fantasy but there ya go. Problem solved.

  • Ricochet

    If A-Rod wants to stay a Yankee he’s got to fall on the sword by accepting arbitration thats the only way it can happen.

    After that his demands have to be realistic and he’s got to give the Yankees a discount of the money that they would’ve received from the Rangers.

    The length of the contract would have to be much shorter than they are asking for now.

    I for one love his talent but don’t like the player and while it will hurt not having his production come next season I think you’ve just got to take that chance to set up the club to be great but balanced for ’09 and beyond. Plus I want the 2 high pick that the Yankees will get because the ’08 draft is a great class.

  • Gold Glove Gripe

    If I were the yankees, there is no way ARod is coming back. Requesting a $350 million contract is ridiculous. Not only that but he cost the team $30 million.