Open Thread: To re-sign or not to re-sign?

Joba could return in a month
Game 116: A Fresh Start

So we’ve got a game at 10 p.m. on a Friday night. Let’s while away the hours debating the 2009 Yankees. And as an added bonus, we’ve even got a rare RAB poll.

When the season draws to a close in a few months and the Yanks’ Front Office begins the process of reconstructing a roster for 2009, the folks in Baseball Ops will have a few decisions to make. Two of the tougher choices facing the Yanks this year will come internally and involve two of their more productive but older players: Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi.

In one corner, we have Abreu, the Yanks’ right fielder. On the season, Abreu is hitting .291/.363/.474 with 15 home runs and a team-leading 76 RBIs. While still good, his triple-slash numbers are well off from his career norms of .300/.400/.500, and at 34, Abreu is definitely past his offensive prime. In the outfield, his defense is merely okay. He has a stellar arm, but throwing accuracy has always been an issue for him. He isn’t the quickest guy in right, and his range has never been a plus baseball trait.

For the Yanks, Abreu represents a dilemma. Bobby wants to stick around, and he would be a good guy for the Yanks’ outfield. There is, however, a but. Right now, the Yanks are waiting for Austin Jackson to land in the Bronx. With an ETA of 2010, the Yanks don’t really need to sign an aging and declining player like Abreu to a deal longer than one or two years. Abreu will probably want a three- or four-year deal monetarily in line with what Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon have.

Meanwhile, the Yanks should have a glut of outfielders next year. For better or worse, Melky will probably still be around; Damon and Matsui — who should be healthy — are under contract; and Xavier Nady will play a role on the 2009 Yankees as well. Does Bobby Abreu fit in or do the Yanks say, “Thanks, but we’d rather have the draft picks”?

In the other corner, we have Jason Giambi. His situation is a bit more delicate. Similar to Abreu, Giambi has expressed a desire to stay in New York, and the Yankees are holding a $20-million option or a $5-million buyout on the Giambino’s deal. On the season, Jason is hitting .256/.391/.518 with 22 HR and 65 RBI. He seems to run hot and cold, and while he had a great series in Texas, he had been scuffling of late.

The Giambi decision is a bit more nuanced than the Abreu situation. First up is the option that the Yanks won’t pick up. If the Yanks cut Giambi and he signs somewhere else, the team will have, in effect, paid him $5 million to play against them, and the Yanks have never been too keen on that approach. Next up is age. Giambi, while healthy this year, will play his age 38 season in 2009 and doesn’t figure to be around for too long. The Yanks need to get younger, and they need a first baseman. Mark Teixeira looks awfully appealing.

So what do you do with Jason Giambi? Should the Yanks pay him to play elsewhere? Should they re-sign him to split time at first base and DH again? While Chuck Johnson recently penned a piece for the YES Network’s site calling for the Yanks to dump Giambi, I don’t think there’s an obvious answer to this one. It’s far, far easier to make the case against Abreu than it is to advocate for or against Giambi.

As always with these open threads, play nice in the comments and vote in the poll below. At this point, I’m voting for Jason Giambi but not Abreu. Number 53 still has a chance to change my mind though.

Which potential free agents should the Yanks try to re-sign for 2009 and beyond?
View Results
Joba could return in a month
Game 116: A Fresh Start
  • dan

    Abreu is going to want (and could get) a 4 year deal. If it takes even 3 years, I’d say pass.

    • Steve

      This is what people don’t seem to get about bringing back Abreu, Mussina and even Pudge. All 3 of those guys will get multi year deals elsewhere. Especially Mussina if he’s coming off an 18+ win season. The only one I can see coming back for a one year deal (with an option of some sort) is Giambi. And thats only because he has so much steroid baggage and we’ve guys like that get passed over time and time again.

      So the question is do you want to sign Moose, Abreu and/or Pudge to 2-3 year deals? My answer in each case is no, Nady will be our RF next year, Damon CF and Matsui will be in LF. Given the declining fielding skills in CF and LF, I guess they will go out and get somebody for one of those spots. Melky’s the 4th OF regardless of who they pick up.

      BTW-I’m not sold on Austin Jackson (he still strikes out too much for me) so holding a spot for him doesn’t make sense to me.

      • Chris

        The ML average is about 19% of AB ending in a strike out. This year, A-Jax is at about 20% of AB ending in strike outs. That’s not too bad. Obviously fewer strike outs would be better, but this isn’t really a negative for him, just not a positive.

        • Steve

          Thats fine, but you’re comparing AA numbers to MLB numbers. And there’s no comparing the two.

          I look at it this way, if he’s striking out 100 times a year vs A-ball and AA pitchers (as he has for the past two years) then if you call him up those numbers will only get worse, not better. We can’t carry a CF who strikes out 150 times or more. Superior MLB pitching will make him look silly with his SO rates.

          I don’t call him up until he gets his strikeout rates down. If he never does, I deal him. He has bust written all over him. There are a zillion guys with all the tools in the world who can’t hit a big league breaking ball. He doesn’t see many of them in AA, he’ll see nothing that but up here.

  • dave

    i would definately try to sign abreu to a 2 year deal. i just feel he is in better shape than giambi and more consistent on a day to day basis.

    of the outfield situation, i would rather have abreu than damon, matsui, and melky. however theyre still under contract so i dont think there is much that can be done about that. Abreu is much less injury prone than damon and matsui and obviously, better than melky

  • Chris

    Giambi has posted a 400 OBP and 500 SLG in 4 of his 6 seasons as a Yankee, and is very close to those numbers this season. I wouldn’t give either one more than 2 years, but at least Giambi fills a real need for the team. For Abreu, we’ll already have 4 outfielders (Damon, Matsui, Melky, Nady) with A-Jax likely to make at least a cameo, particularly if someone gets injured.

  • Realist

    Wave bye bye to both unless Abreu wants a 1 or 2 year deal at alower rate than his one this year.

    This team needs to get younger and the injury problems, not all but most, are due to age.

    Nady replaces Abreu and should he continue to excell, extend his contract.

    Tex is an option at 1st and is better offensively and defensively than Giambi…plus Betemit can get it done with the glove and I feel would be a better hitter with more playing time..plus cheaper…though not of Giambi’s caliber but they all can’t be allstars(Giambi isn’t anymore but gets paid like one).

    Getting younger and focusing on pitching would be my preferance, other than throwing money at these two whom can be replaced.

    • Realist

      Oops, forgot about Posada playing more 1st base next year.

      • Chris

        why? There’s no indication that he would need to…

        • Realist

          Posada is aging and it’s no big suprise that the pitching staff fared better with Molina catching. Girardi wants him to play more first and IRod could be retained next year?

          • Old Ranger

            Unless his arm can’t withstand his duties behind the plate…we don’t need to carry 3 catchers. Don’t forget, we have Cervelli rehabbing and other catchers on the way…2010-11ish.

          • Chris

            I wouldn’t expect him to catch every day. 4-5 days a week at C, one day off, 1 day at DH, a couple games over the season at 1B.

        • Old Ranger

          Why not? If there is a lefty on the mound…you sure don’t want Wilson to bat right handed! Also he need not catch everyday, and he is a little better right handed hitter then left…not much. Of course this is all predicated on not signing Tex. 27/08??

  • monkeypants

    I selected “neither” for the poll, because it asked for whom to sign next season *and beyond.* Forget beyond, these two guys should be kept around for one season only. Unfortunately, Abreu will command more than a one year deal, so I say let him walk and take the draft picks.

    Giambi’s situation is not more delicate–it’s really quite straightforward. I say he’s hit well enough to pick up his option for next year, then let him walk.

    Next season you have Damon, Nady, Melky, and Matsui to rotate in the OF, and Giambi, Matsui, and Posada at DH. Giambi would still get most of his ABs at 1B, ideally.

    Whatever they do, the team should not sign either of these two beyond next season.

    More interesting: do they offer Pudge arbitration? And does he accept?

    • John

      Agreed. Pick up Giambi’s option, let Bob go.

      We need a CF not a RF. Plus Abreu is a disaster in the outfield.

      Find a CF, let Melky back up all three OF positions.

      • Chris

        You’re not going to find a better CF on a 1 year deal, and in 2010 A-Jax will be in CF.

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona

          I didn’t realize that A-Jax is the guaranteed startng center fielder in 2010.

          • Steve

            I guess we’re going to plug in a guy who could strike out 150 times just because its the year 2010.

            • Chris

              No, we’re going to plug in a guy who will likely be an all-star CF in a couple years because he’s the best option available, and he’s already spent a full year at AAA.

              The strike outs are just a bonus (they could be GIDPs).

              • Steve

                If he is swinging and missing that much at A-ball and AA levels, what do you think he would do against major league pitching?

                There are a zillion prospects who had all the skills in the world that couldn’t hit a big league curve ball. So far, he’s been one of them. I think he has bust written all over him unless he improves this next year at AAA.

  • radnom

    Depends on the market for Tex. He should definitely be the first option at first, but Giambi is clearly #2. If he wants too many years, resign Giambi.

    As for Abreu, I think you have to drop him, unless you want Damon playing center field. I guess it depends on where they think Ajax is at. If you think he is coming up midyear, you leave Melky in center and Damon in left. Otherwise you might want to sign Abreu to a 2 year deal and have Damon try to hold down the season as the everyday CF with Nady in left and Matsui DH. Any more years than that, I instantly pass.

    Also, I think they should try to sign Rocco Baldelli to a minor league deal with heavy incentives, see if he can finally shake his mystery illness. That might also help with the CF situation if Abreu walks. Until Ajax is ready, of course.

    For the record, I voted neither in the poll, but obviously the answer isnt that simple. If I had to say there was better chance for one or the other I would bet on Giambi. I could see some team shelling out a ton of years of Tex and the Yankees passing and Signing Giambi for 2.

  • steve

    whoopsie daisies I didn’t notice the beyond part …. can I change my vote to neither. i voted to quickly … this is like high school exam all over again.

    if abreu wants a one year deal then sure resign him but i don’t see that happening so I’ll take the two draft picks.

    is there anyway they can accept the option and trade giambi along with 5 million dollars a la jarred wright ? someone might want him for one year at 15 ish ? maybe if they throw in a few more million they can do that, and they can send him to a team of their “choice” like with sheff money.

    if we make a deal with pudge not too accept arbitration and we let go of abreu we’re looking at 4 extra draft picks so losing our original picks to sign CC isn’t so bad.

  • monkeypants

    Realist:

    Tex is only an option if the Yankees can sign him. No guaratee there, especially if he wants a 6 or 7 year deal.

    Betemit is a worse defensive 1B than Giambi, and he isn’t half the hitter.

    Giambi has been one of the most valuabe 1B in the league this year: 4th in OPS (higher than Tex), 4th in RC/27. You’re not replacing that with Wilson Betemit. He should have been an all-star this year.

    • Realist

      Monkeypants:

      I agree about Tex, signing and the ability to sign him comes first ofcourse ;-)

      I disagree with you regarding Giambi being a better defensive 1st baseman and I forgot to add that Posada would be seeing more time at 1st in that scenario.

      There is no way Giambi should have been an Allstar this year, again I disagree but respect your opinion :-)

      • Chris

        Youkilis OPS through end of June: 920
        Morneau OPS through end of June: 853

        Giambi OPS through end of June: 946

        I don’t think it’s a slam dunk that he should have made it, but there’s certainly a very good argument that he was better than either of the two 1B that made the AL squad.

        • Realist

          OPS, BS, whatever…he wasn’t more deserving imo.

          • Chris

            Well then…. that was a well thought out response.

          • steve (different one)

            all you have to say is “defense”. no need to pretend that OPS isn’t important.

            • Chris

              Except defense at first base doesn’t make up for a 93 point difference in OPS – Giambi’s not good, but he’s not that bad.

      • The Scout

        The season doesn’t end in June, unless you’re playing high school ball.

        • Chris

          As far as the all-star game is concerned, it does.

    • dave

      tex wants a 10 year deal

  • NYFan50

    I wonder how healthy Posada is going to be heading into next season. What if he can’t catch? He’d have to DH or play first.

    With 4 healthy outfielders already, there’s a glut on that position. That means one of those guys is already on the bench or at DH.

    There’s just no room for Abreu, and there’s no reason to give him a 3 year deal when he’s really only needed for a year. Why sign Abreu anyways if you could get a younger Burrell for 3 years? Why sign Abreu if you could get Manny for 3 years?

    With Giambi, there are younger potential first base alternatives: Dunn, Teixeira, and maybe Posada if he can’t catch.

    How many years will Giambi want? 3? Can he get that on the open market? He might be able to. I wouldn’t commit 3 years to Giambi, and even 2 is kind of iffy.

  • Guiseppe Franco

    Under no circumstance should the Yanks bring back either Giambi or Abreu.

    Let them walk. Take the draft picks they can get for Abreu and be done with him.

    This team needs to get younger. You can’t have 6 or 7 players in the starting lineup in their mid-30s and up.

    Damon and Matsui have played well for this team as well, but their time will end at the end of 2009.

    The Yanks are guaranteed to have three regulars at least 35 years of age in 2010 (A-Rod, Jeter, and Posada) – they need to balance the rest of the lineup with as much youth and players closer to their prime as possible.

    This team can’t get younger if they keep re-signing aging players past theri prime.

    That just leads to another inconsistent and underachieving offense that we’ve witnessed all season.

    • Chris

      The team should get the best players available, whether there 25, 35 or 45. There really aren’t any 1B options out there that would be better than Giambi. Should they give him a 3 year deal? Probably not. But there really isn’t any danger in a 1 year deal, and if he stays healthy he’ll leave as a type A free agent…

      • Guiseppe Franco

        This game has changed the last few years. It is becoming more of a young man’s game every day.

        If Posada cannot catch everyday next season, he’ll have to play somewhere. And Matsui will be the DH so that leaves 1B.

        They may already have their first baseman for next season even if Giambi walks.

        • Chris

          The game has changed because more of the better players are younger, not because you need youth over production. The bottom line is that you need the best players, whatever their age.

          I’m not convinced that Posada can’t catch regularly next year. I think this is a situation like Giambi at 1B this year. In the winter, everyone scoffed at the idea that he could play 1B regularly, but that seems to have turned out pretty well.

  • monkeypants

    Realist,

    Who in the AL was more deserving at 1B? He has outperformed basically everyone not named Youkilis. Maybe Morneau has been about as good.

    As for defense, reputation seems to trump reality with Giambi. He’s not good, but he’s not that bad, and he’s as good or better than Betemit by just about any objective measure: far better range factor (9.43 v. 8.53) , identical zone rating ZR (.820 v. .818), identical fielding % (.992 v. .994).

    • Realist

      Monkeypants:

      You named them, Youk and Morneau….

      Please, Betemit has the ability to play the entire infield, Giambi is at best a liability at 1st. Plus you are forgetting in my scenario that posada would be getting time there as well, so offensively you gain alot with him there.

      It’s all good if you believe Giambi is that good, I don’t and haven’t since he stopped taking HGH. He’s replaceable and this team, if they can’t get Tex, would be better served going after pitching..than paying Giambi to do something Posada/Betemit and Jeter down the line can do ;-)

      • Chris

        Youkilis OPS+ 143
        Morneau OPS+ 144
        Giambi OPS+ 142

        They’re equal this year, and as I mentioned in a previous post, Giambi was better up to the all start break than either of them.

        • Realist

          Yep, and I answered..

      • monkeypants

        Betemit can play the whole field, and is pretty bad at every position. But he has some nice pop against RHP, hence he’s a decent back up. But 600 plate appearances? No way.

        As for your trio of Betemit/Posada/Jeter taking time at 1B…the odds are good that not one of them would be league average offensively for the position. So, by playing them the yanks would be losing ground against other teams that have even average batters playing 1B. Meanwhile, they would need to fill the gaping holes at SS and C, which are much harder to replace with guys who can hit a little.

        We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. IMO, if the Yankees can’t get someone as good as Tex, they are far better off resigning top-five-1B-in-the-league-this-season Giambi for one year.

        • steve (different one)

          the odds are good that not one of them would be league average offensively for the position.

          2008 american league average for 1B: .263/.345/.430

          i’d say the odds are very good that either Jeter or Posada would beat that.

          • steve (different one)

            should have kept reading, you answered your own question below

            • monkeypants

              Yeah, my bad–I misplaced my reply!

  • monkeypants

    Guiseppe,

    “This team needs to get younger”

    OK, but you can’t just get younger for the sake of it. What younger player will replace Giambi’s production? Wilson Betemit?

    With Abreu at least they have options: Nady, or even Jackson. But who plays 1B, at least if they don’t sign Texeira? And please don’t say Duncan (Shelley or Eric).

    • Steve H

      With the way Molina has handled the staff to generally pitch above expectations, it’s worth considering putting Jorge at 1b full time and having a more defensive minded full time catcher. Not Molina, but depending on the offense said catcher would provide, you’d probably have to replace Melky too. Can’t have 2 huge holes in the lineup. While I think Posada’s D is adequate, having a guy like Molina behind the plate has shown the difference a catcher can make on a staff. Our staff will be young again next year, and I don’t know if Posada at this point is our best option back there.

      • monkeypants

        Will Posada’s aging bat carry him at 1B?

        • Chip

          He’d be league average or so

          • Steve H

            More worried about his aging body at catcher. League average and healthy at 1b would be better than injured at catcher for 13 mil/yr. This is my scenario without Tex. If we can get Tex, go for it.

            • monkeypants

              I’m of the opposite opinion. Posada is most valuable not as an average 1B but as a slugging C. They took a risk when they signed him to 4 years, and that risk ONLY pays off if he is behind the dish. So I say ride the fuck out of him behind as C. Even 70% of Posada is better than anything the Yankees have in their system for the next few years.

          • monkeypants

            Could be–this season the average AL 1B: .264/.346/.432/.777/108 OPS+. Ave MLB 1B: .270/.353/.454/.807/116 OPS+.

            Posada
            Career: .277/.380/.477/.857/124 OPS+
            2008: .268/.364/.411/.775/111 OPS+

            So, 37 y.o. Posada stands a decent chance of being league average or better at 1B, assuming he can field the position. But then, who plays C? Molina? Moeller?

            Everyone can’t be moved to 1B.

    • Guiseppe Franco

      If the Yanks can sign Sabathia during the offseason, they can use some of the young arms in the minors as trade bait to get a younger everyday outfielder to replace Abreu.

      Nady can play first base too and has in the past. He’s a versatile guy.

      Whether Sabathia signs with them or not, who knows. But they will certainly go hard after him.

      And if they do land him, it makes some of the young arms like Kennedy, Horne, Kontos, and Marquez expendable because I expect to see Pettitte return next season.

  • LC

    Do the yank get any draft picks if they let giambi go?

    • Chip

      Only if they offer him arbitration and he declines which isn’t going to happen

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

        Not quite. The rules of draft compensation say that Type-B free agents can be signed by another team and his original team will be compensated through the draft even if the original team did not offer him arbitration.

        Jason Giambi will be a Type-B free agent more than likely.

        • Chip

          You really don’t think he makes Type-A? I figured he would but then again he did only have an OPS+ of 104 last year in 83 at-bats. Well that makes it a bit easier

    • Chris

      He would have been a type B last year… right now it would seem that he’ll be about the same. That would give them a sandwich pick if they offered arbitration and he declined.

      • monkeypants

        Why would he be only a type B free agent if he is the fourth or so best 1B in MLB this season, and one of the top two F.A. first basemen? I am not arguing with you, I am just curious how the evaluation works.

        • Chip

          Nobody knows but it’s the top 80% of whatever the hell Elias uses

        • Chris

          It’s a 2 year average, and he had a really crappy 2007, and the look at PA RBI and HR as counting stats, so missing half the year last year really hurts his numbers. They also look at BA and OBP which were down last year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

    Give me my Type-A compensation for Bobby Abreu and look into re-signing Jason Giambi if no adequate First Base options for 2009 present themselves during the off-season.

  • Chris

    I was just poking around and noticed that Bonds is a type-A free agent. I assume that even if he signed a deal now the team would give up their 1st round pick next year. That’s a fact that most people advocating for signing him seem to miss.

    • Steve H

      Did the Giants offer arbitration though? Wouldn’t he have just come back and played for them if they had?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

      The Giants did not offer him arbitration, therefore there is no draft compensation for the Giants if Barry Bonds is signed. Also, after May 1st, a team can not be compensated through the draft if their free agent (who declined arbitration) was signed by another team (don’t quote me on that, I believe that is the case, not sure).

    • steve (different one)

      also, the 2008 draft has already happened.

      you can’t get compensation in the 2009 draft for letting a FA go at the end of 2007

  • Bryan

    I would much rather see Giambi go even if we lose 5mil than to see Abreu walk, not only are you losing your right fielder and 3 hole hitter but Giambi can be replaced. Abreu sees a lot of pitches in front of A-rod, plus there’s no immediate replacement for his offense (as under his career numbers as they might be) within the organization. A-Jax’s not going to be ready for a while and if you call up Gardner or Christian, they could put out Melky-like numbers. Giambi, while hitting better than last year, is still liable to injury and why would you take a 38 year old while a younger, faster, defensive 1B in Teixeira is just a couple million away?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.
  • BG

    I’d bring back Giambi on a year to year basis if the salary was low enough. They don’t have any in-house options other than Giambi unless you want to convert Posada to a 1B next year. I think they are eventually going to have to do that before his contract is up but hopefully not next year. You can’t go after Tex because you need to leave 1B open for Posada or even Jeter to transition to in a few years. Giambi for a year makes perfect sense to me.

    Abreu is harder. He’s still one of the better offensive players on the team even if he’s declined slightly. Plus, I really do believe his hitting in front of A-Rod makes A-Rod a better hitter. I’d bring him back for up to 2 years, maybe 3 years with a buyout clause on the third. I don’t know whether Abreu would do that. If not so be it. If they do bring him back, I’d try to trade Matsui. Trading Matsui would better serve the goal of getting younger and more athletic than letting Abreu walk. Also with little faith in Melky, no desire to see Damon or Matsui in pinstripes past 2009, and having not had enough time to really judge whether Nady is someone they want beyond 2009, I don’t like the idea of having to replace the entire outfield in 2010 even if one replacement comes in-house from AJAX.

    • Bryan

      I could see Posada DHing during those years and maybe (just me thinking out loud), could you make Cano a SS and turn Jeter over to 2B? Cano has got a rocket arm and good defense. I would still rather get a young producer at 1B and figure it out later than see Tex get away.

  • Old Ranger

    I also voted to send them packing. I will reiterate monkeys’ statement; “We need to get younger”. The Yanks have the players to trade, use them for a very good and young CF…if possible. If and when A-Jax is ready for the show, that’s fine. Yankee stadium has always need a LF with CF skills, maybe ST will show that A-Jax is ready for the big time…who knows what a year makes! We also have Brett, Justin, and Matt in AAA…hay, don’t be so quick to judge them on a few at bats. Mickey was sent down after he made it out of ST…go figure, we have seen it happen before! 27/08??

  • http://www.pinstripesplus.com ansky

    Just an FYI. Montero didnt leg out a ball and just got immediately pulled by Tyson who went to Jeff Nutt to catch the game. Gotta go full speed down here, Jesus. Romine’s DHing so thats that

  • RC

    I would not bring back either Abrue or Giambi
    I like Tex at first
    Listening to MLB Home plate today it sounds like Tex wanting 10 years was out of context. Of course he would like 10 years, he would like 20 does not mean he will get it.
    This might be a little crazy but what about offering A-Rod’s buddy…Manny..a 2 yr deal. Yes he is old and he is well he is Manny but he is still very productive and maybe motivated to stick it to the Sox. Move Nady to right and ?plays CF.
    Posada can DH back-up C and 1st base. Trade Matsui, Damon as 4th OF
    Well since I am thinking crazy with Manny I can fill CF with Jeter.

    • monkeypants

      Interesting. So, you would play everyone out of position and have no one as your starting catcher. I’m liking this plan. : )

      • RC

        Not everyone out of postion
        Pudge catches
        A-Rod plays 3rd
        Cano at 2nd
        and of course Mo still closes
        but no I do not have a SS

        • monkeypants

          Pudge is free agent, no?

    • Chip

      Damon as 4th OF? You’d have to have him play CF. You’re defense would then be Manny/Damon/Nady which would be the WORST outfield defensively in the league. Yes it would be productive but hard to watch

      You can’t just say, trade Matsui. What are you doing to trade him for? A bag of balls? Matsui has zero trade value right now. He’s old, has a big contract and is injured. You’re better off keeping him and hoping he can DH and maybe play a bit of LF

  • Chip

    Let’s look at this from the end of this season stand-point. We’ll have Nady, Damon, Melky, Matsui as our four outfielders. A-Jax, Gardner and Christian will probably be in AAA (that’s a FAST outfield). Second, short and third are obviously covered. I don’t see a place in there for Abreu.

    I’d offer Abreu arbitration which is convenient because if he accepts you get him at one very expensive year (not like the Yankees will be short on money) or you get two draft picks when a team signs him for three more years. Figure he doesn’t accept.

    Molina is a great backup catcher but just isn’t a full-time guy. So you figure Posada will be back there most of the time (if his shoulder is fine that is). Pudge will not be offered arbitration because that’s just a mess for the Yankees if he accepts (unless he says he wants a multi-year contract and agrees to decline it).

    That leaves us with a lineup of
    Damon CF/LF
    Jeter SS
    Matsui LF/DH
    A-Rod 3B
    Someone 1B
    Cano 2B
    Posada C
    Nady RF
    Someone DH

    First of all, we need to know if Matsui can play the outfield. He looked like an old man there this year. We all also know Damon isn’t a great outfielder but we’ve also seen what having a black hole offensively in CF can do. I’d sign Giambi to a one-year contract with the understanding that he will decline arbitration the year after. I’d then take a look at signing Tex if it’s feasible and if not, then taking a run at Adam Dunn to tandem with Giambi at 1B/DH.

    Like I said, if Matsui needs the DH spot, you can only have one of Giambi/Tex/Dunn. If he can’t, well then I suppose you just buy out Giambi, pay big money for Tex and hope A-Jax comes soon because you’re stuck with Melky/Gardner in center

  • Ricochet

    I’m not sure what to do about Abreu, there is no way I could be for a 3 or 4 year maybe a 2 year $25m deal though.

    I’m not for or against keeping him or letting him go.

    Melky needs to go, well at least not be one of the starting OF’s.

    Nady is a RF so he can replace Abreu if they let him go they have there RF and if he stays he can play LF well that’s if they put Damon back in CF where he is more than capable of playing.

    If they don’t want Damon in CF then IMO they need to make a trade this offseason to get a worthy CF.

    AJAX, for those who have seen him on a consistent basis say that he’s better suited to be a LF.

    If they offer Abreu a deal I can’t see it being for more than 2 years and if the Yankees let Matsui and Damon walk at the end of 2009 then Abreu in RF for 1 more year then move him to DH.

    As for Giambi, there is no chance at all that his option will get picked up, maybe they offer him a 1 year deal at a very reduced price.

    I would rather see them let Giambi go and take the chance of offering Pudge arbitration, if he walks then it’s draft picks for the Yankees and if not the Yankees have a nice 1-2 punch at Catcher with him and Molina.

    IMO it’s very unlikely that Posada will be anywhere near the same, torn labrum’s destroy careers and the shoulder is never the same and I think for next season he’s best suited to see time at 1st, DH and as the 3rd catcher.

    • monkeypants

      It would have to be a very reduced price for Giambi, because they are already sinking 5 million to buy him out. So, they can spend 5 million not to keep him, pick us his option and pay 22 million (I think) to keep him, or pay 5 million + X to keep him. If they want him for only one year, they might as well just pick up his option, because what will they really save otherwise? A few million dollars?

  • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees Eric

    Assuming we don’t get Tex we could also play Nady at first next season and resign Abreu instead of Giambi. I agree one of them should probably go, similar to the Moose-Pettitte situation.

  • A.D.

    Basically Giambi’s option shouldn’t be picked up because it’s 20 million dollars, if he wants to sign a Frank Thomas deal thats something to talk about.

    A possibility would be to lett G go, resign Abreu to a 2 year deal, play X at first, Abreu in RF, Damon in LF, Melk in CF DH Matsui, and of course if you sign Tex Melk is squeezed out

    or

    potentially put together a package for a young 1B or OF (Holliday, Atkins & Fielder are names that are possibly available)

    • monkeypants

      BUt the fRank Thomas deal was a two year deal, for 10 million each year (with incentives). I’d rather just pay him 20 million for one year and hope to coax one more productive season out of him.

      • Steve H

        Wouldn’t 2/10 make more sense. If you only get 1 productive year, you cut him and essentially pay 20 mil for 1 year. But if he is productive in the 2nd year, then 2 years/20 mil makes more sense (twice as much) as 1 yr/20 mil

        • Chris

          The problem is that he would take up a roster spot for both years…that may not be a problem, particularly on a 2 year deal. If you’re looking at Tex, I’d rather give a 4 year $100M deal than a 6 year $120M deal, even though it’s more per year.

        • monkeypants

          Baseball contracts are guaranteed. If you cut him you still pay him. Now, on one hand it makes sense to say if you pay him 20 for one year you might as well pay him for two years. On the the other hand, if I have to pay 20 either way, it might make more sense to squeeze one more productive year out him, then let him walk and get draft picks if he signs elsewhere. The odds of that are better after next year than gambling that he stays productive for two years. There is also the problem, admittedly not huge, of possibly wasting a roster spot for two years

  • Old Ranger

    With Nady in RF, Brett in CF and Johnny in LF…I don’t know, but that looks like one hell of a athletic outfield to me. If Brett can hit up to (or better) then Melky, it would be a plus for the team. Brett has many more weapons then Melky…better Defence, speed, range and routes, not a better arm…but it’s avg. 27/08??

  • Baseballnation

    How is Abreu geting votes??????? He’s clearly more easy to replace via matsui’s return next year…which will put Nady in Right. You want to say Miranda/Betemit can hold down first?? No. I’d still rather have Giambi on his option year then either. They’d be much better off collecting the compensation picks for Abreu…To high end picks, say it with me!

    • Steve H

      Abreu is more of a sure thing. For a more than 1 year deal, I’d rather keep Abreu as DH and get a 1b. But I would like to see them both go and bring in Tex.

      • Chip

        Abreu will jprobably be able to get a 3 or 4 year deal seeing how he’s the only decent one on the market in RF

  • Jay

    I dont think Abreu should even be thought about. His numbers are declining; his walks have fallen off the table. The Yankees have too many outfielders/DH already.

    The Giambi debate is really an interesting one to read. I would rather see him brought back for the 1 year and invest in Sabathia and /or Sheets. Adam Dunn would qualify as a 1b on the market, but I don’t know if he is worth the two draft picks.

    Does anyone know what 1b will be coming on the market after the ’09 season, when Damon and Matsui’s contracts come off the books?

    • Chip

      That’s almost impossible to say since so many guys sign extentions these days

      • Jay

        True.

        I would rather see the Yankees bring Giambi back (as much as it pains me to say that, as I dislike him on many levels) and sign Sabathia. Then the Yankees can deal some young pitching for some young hitting, like the Edison Volquez/Josh Hamilton deal. Cashman has a bunch of good young pitchering prospects and more coming through behind them

      • Chip

        But since you asked,
        Lance Berkman (team option)
        Paul Konerko
        Derrek Lee
        Seung-yeop Lee (from Japan who would be 32 and might come over)
        Lyle Overbay
        Carlos Pena
        Albert Pujols (team option)
        Chris Shelton
        Kevin Youkilis

      • Steve H

        I hope all of these guys get extensions, because I wouldn’t want any of them.

        Player Club
        First Basemen
        Carlos Delgado NYM
        Ross Gload * KC
        Wes Helms FLA
        Aubrey Huff BAL
        Nick Johnson WAS
        Adam LaRoche PIT
        Robb Quinlan LAA
        Matt Stairs TOR

        • LC

          Would u guys extend mussina or do u thikn this year is a one time thing? I think i would sign mussina for 2 years and let pettitte go. He’s gotta be a B-type free agent. Would he decline arbitration?

  • Adrian-Retire21

    They can’t keep Pettitte and Giambi.They are too old and aren’t that great.They are replacable.

    • Steve H

      Pettitte is sure to take a 1 year deal, they absolutely should keep him with no long term commitment. They should keep giving him 1 year deals until he breaks down or retires.

    • Jay

      I do not see why they wouldn’t want to keep Pettitte for another year. You can never have enough pitching, especially guys who win 15 games a year with a respectable era and an ace in the playoffs. You also have to bring Mussina back after this seasons performance.

      • Steve H

        Agreed. We can’t just rely on the young guys. Remember, Hughes and Kennedy were to be big parts of the rotation this year and they have exactly 0 wins between them (until tonight). Pettitte and Moose are, despite their age, very reliable and should both be brought back. If you get CC, maybe only bring one back, but otherwise, for short term deals, they can/will help this team.

  • The Scout

    The Yankees won’t control the timing of the Texeira negotiations. He’s a Boras client and Boras tends to string out the talk for as long as possible. That forces teams to make decisions before they know if they’ll sign a Boras client. In this case, the Yankees will have to make their Giambi decision before they know Texeira’s final destination.

    I would not sign Giambi. The $5 million buy-out is a sunk cost; you just write it off. Even if the team decides to bring him back, they will do so at a lower rate than $22 million. He would take less, too, because no team will offer him anything close to the $17 million difference between the buy-out and the option year. That said, I would let him walk. He has been a black hole in the line-up for prolonged stretches and is terribly miscast now as the #5 hitter in the line-up.

    Yes, a replacement is needed, and there is no one on the roster who readily fits the bill. I would favor a strong pitch to sign Texeira (a conversation for another day, one I’m sure we’ll have more than once going forward), but the team will need a plan B. It may involve a trade of prospects for an established player, something that makes the RAB readership cringe (again, a conversation for another day).

    I would bring Abreu back for two years. I don’t love him, but he remains a reasonably productive hitter. I am not ready to bank on A-Jax for 2010; that puts too much pressure on him. Abreu represents a good bridge. I think Matsui is best used now as a DH, given his leg problems. Nady is valuable and Damon can split time as DH/LF/CF. But I think the foursome of Matsui, Nady, Damon, and Abreu gives the team the most productive offensive outfield and best chance of winning in 2009-2010. I see Melky, Gardner, and Christian as spare parts, no more.

    Will Abreu settle for two years? No one can predict; it depends on the market. The push for younger (and cheaper) players is widespread. Is there a team out there likely to give Abreu $36 million over three years? If he can get it from some other team, more power to him; at that point I would let him go.

    • Jay

      Good points. I just dont think its fair to assume a young kid like AJax will be ready for the spotlight or expectations that comes with playing on the Yankees in 2010. There are a lot more Kevin Maas’s then Derek Jeter’s if that makes any sense…

  • E-ROC

    Put Nady at first and Pat Burrell in RF.

    • Steve H

      Absolutely no way can Burrell play RF. That would never, ever happen.

  • Matt M.

    Lets all stop acting like 20 million dollars is excessive for giambi for one year.

    Torii Hunter
    Andrew Jones
    Vernon Wells are all making 18 million a year.

    is picking up the option at 20 million a little over-priced. yes but its a guarantee for one year. if you play around with anything else you’ll end up being stuck with the Big G for 2 or god forbid 3 years.

    Tex is no spring chicken himself in his late 20’s and seeking a 7-10 year deal….now that greenies have been banned i think we’ll start to see a really substantial dropoff of player’s productivity into their mid to laate thirties in the coming year

    • Steve H

      All things being equal I think Giambi would stay here. And no one else would offer him anywhere near 20 mil. So there would be no point in us giving it to him. If he gets a 15 mil offer elsewhere(highly doubtful), match it and he’d come back.

      • Chris

        but if you turn down his option you’re paying him $5M already… so really the option is only for $17M.

        • Steve H

          Ok. I would be shocked if someone paid him 17 mil. Who would? Who has the money and is in the AL that would do that? Anaheim is the only possible team that would match up, league, position and $$, yet I still don’t see that happening.

    • Jay

      I agree. But I think the dropoff has already started, no need to wait till next year.

  • Steve H

    Could this game start sooner? I’m excited to see what the new and improved IPK has to offer. I’m optimistic. Hoping to see the 2007 call-up IPK, as opposed to the 2008 early season IPK

  • http://riveravenuewatch.blogpot.com Mike NYY

    I offer Pudge arbitration. If he accepts then fine we just move Posada to first and Pudge stays at catcher. We get draft picks for Giambi and Abreu.

    If he declines then awesome, we get our picks and pick up Giambi’s option. Giambi has been a better hitter this year. Plus its just a one year commitment.

    • Jay

      I do not see a problem offering Pudge arbitration. I don’t know that Posada will ever be back to what he was, Molina seems be having a career year throwing guys out. If he turns it down, you get draft picks. If he accepts it, you have great depth and could possibly even have a trade chip if necessary. It seems a win win to me.

  • Malcard89

    Best solution: Offer all 3 (Pudge, Abreu, and Giambi) arbitation. It’s that simple.

    If they decline, we get a ton of draft picks.

    If they accept, they become decent one year options.

    They would all be useful, but they aren’t exactly necessary. Teixiera can replace Giambi; Matsui, Damon, and Nady is an above-average-offensive outfield; Posada and Molina are a decent tandem.

  • Sean

    The problem with signing Tex, one that very few people consider, is that in the long run the Yankees are going to need a place to play Jeter. He cannot play shortstop forever. so why not re-sign Giambi on a one year deal chock full of incentives that can maybe bring it to two, rather than tie up first base for 8 or 10 years with Teixiera (not to mention all the $ Boras is going to demand). That way, Jeter takes over first in a few years and the Yanks save 90 million or so.