Should the Yankees offer Pudge arbitration?

Life ain't so good for Jim Leyrtiz
Brewers exercise Cameron's option

We’ve talked about this a bit before, but with it becoming official that Ivan Rodriguez will be a Type B free agent, we should revisit it. Should the Yankees offer him arbitration in order to gain a supplemental round pick when he signs with a different team? There are a couple of factors to consider in this decision, and I’m sure it’s something the Yankees mulled at their organizational meetings.

If the Yankees do offer Pudge arbitration, there is always the risk he accepts. As we learned when I read through the relevant sections of the CBA, this means he is counted as a player for next season and is added to the 40-man roster. The Yankees will then either have to hammer out a deal with him, or go to an arbitration hearing. Neither of these seems ideal, as the Yankees surely don’t want him back. They can cut him prior to Spring Training and only be liable for a portion of his salary, but they’ll then 1) not get the supplemental pick when he signs elsewhere and 2) be short a 40-man roster spot, which can be used to protect J.B. Cox, Alan Horne, Chris Garcia, etc. from the Rule 5 draft.

However, it doesn’t seem that large a risk. Pudge knows that the Yankees plan to start Jorge Posada behind the dish. Surely he does not want to be relegated to backup status, which he would be if Jorge proves healthy in Spring Training. Plus, he could probably get a two-year deal elsewhere, which would be far more attractive to him at this stage in his career. Chances are that he’d decline an arbitration offer, though it’s certainly no sure thing.

Because he is a Type B free agent, there is no disincentive for a team to sign him. Had he been a Type A, as was the projection at Tiger Thoughts, Pudge would have been more likely to accept arbitration. Teams would have probably stayed clear, not wanting to sacrifice a first rounder for a 37-year-old catcher who was putrid in the second half. Without the draft pick at stake, Pudge becomes more attractive for a team in need of a catcher (helloooo Mets).

In this instance, I think the risk of offering Pudge arbitration is worth the potential reward of a supplemental pick. It helps in the mission to rebuild the farm system, and gives us some form of compensation for Pudge, who was an utter disappointment in pinstripes.

Life ain't so good for Jim Leyrtiz
Brewers exercise Cameron's option
  • jsbrendog

    i was so happy whe they got him, and so disappointed in how he performed. at least we didnt give up anything worthwhile really having had a bullpern surpluss.

    as for the arbitration thing i would say give him a call, make it clear he wont play, posada is the starter and molina is the backup and if he accepts he will be miserable and third string and he will reject (or in a fit of pettiness he will accept to spite us).

    i think offerign him is a good idea.

    now i have to go wade through the 160+comments in the marte thread to find out if we decline his option offer him arb he declines and goes elsewhere if we get picks so the guys dont yell at me for asking here and being off topic.

    (go me fantasy football 08)

    • steve (different one)

      i’ll save you the time. yes, they would get picks.

    • radnom

      Exactly. They have to call him up and make sure he knows they are not concerned about Posada’s health, and are just picking up the option for the picks.
      No way he would accept at that point.

  • Slugger27

    i say u gotta do it…. from his body language ((and im sure his playing time)) it didnt seem like he really enjoyed his time here

    plus, the guys a future hall of famer… so wouldnt he wanna go somewhere he can actually START? i mean on this team, he may not even be the first choice as BACKUP… i doubt he wants to be in that situation

    he knows the yanks dont want him, and he knows his playing time will be minimal ((assuming he doesnt get cut)) and besides, the fact of the matter is hes more likely to get guaranteed money signing somewhere else.

    theres little doubt in my mind he could get 2 years from someone on the open market… especially considering the biggest free agent catcher is all star jason varitek

    even if he DOES accept… the yanks can always cut him, its not as if any money they still owe him will hurt their pockets, so even if he accpets its not the end of the world

    i say u offer it to him with little to no hesitation

    • Slugger27

      another point i forgot to make…. the man got booed.

      players dont like getting booed, especially on a team theyre not familiar with, in a city they may not feel comfortable in….

      with all that said… if the fans dont seem to like him, the front office doesnt seem to like him, the pitchers have 2 catchers theyd rather pitch to before him, AND he could get more money and years on the open market… i honestly cant think of any tangible reason he would accept arbitration

      but ya never know…

  • Chris C.

    They should definitely offer it to him, because he won’t accept it knowing he has to ride the bench.

    I don’t think you have to make it clear to him that he won’t play. Posada made that perfectly clear already on Michael Kay’s show.

    It would be stupid NOT to offer it.
    Even if he does accept it, which is a longshot, the Yankees can release him anyway. It’s not like money is ever an issue here.

  • Larry

    Offer the Arb to Pudge. With Posada claiming the dish, Pudge becomes 3rd at best. The FO should get a sense of how Posada is doing during December. If Posada is fine, then Pudge won’t want to hang around and should be able to find himself a two year deal someplace and we can take the pick. A low risk decision IMO.

  • steve (different one)

    they should and i think they will.

    • Larry

      Is there a timeline to offering Arb, i.e., can they do it right now and start the clock?

      • Joseph P.

        They don’t have to offer it to him until December 1, and they likely will not do it until then. That way, if someone signs him between now and then, the Yanks automatically get the compensation pick.

        • Chris C.

          No team in their right mind would sign him before December 1st, when they know there’s a chance the Yankees may not offer him arbitration and they can sign him for nothing after that.

          We’re not talking about Pudge the All Star anymore.
          Heck, after looking around both leagues, you’d be hard pressed to find a team that would automatically name him the starting catcher!
          That’s how much he’s declined.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

            Huh? Whatever team signs Pudge is signing him for the same contract length and dollar figure they agree to with Pudge, before or after any December 1st deadline. The Yankees offering or not offering Pudge arbitration doesn’t change how much money the Reds or Blue Jays or Mariners would be paying Pudge, nor does it change any pick compensation ramifications.

            Now that Pudge is a Type B, as soon as the 15 day signing moratorium passes, Pudge and his agent will immediately start feeling offers, and there’s no need to wait for the arbitration deadline. Nothing changes.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    He may sign somewhere else before the arbitration deadline. Let’s hope he does.

    • steve (different one)

      good point. remember, the signing team no longer stands to lose anything by signing him early.

      this is why in the long run, it may be “better” that he was a Type B instead of a Type A.

      • Chris C.

        Oh really? I did not know that.
        If someone signs him now, they don’t lose a draft pick?
        That’s different then. Maybe someone will make him an offer before 12/1, if that’s the case.
        I really don’t think he’s going to get the offers he thinks he merits, though.
        That’s why I think he may wait and see what the Yankees do.

  • C.Panella

    I definatly think you offer him arb no way he accepts it let’s take the draft pick and move on.. Worst comes to worst he accepts you can easily trade him teams are always looking for a back stop and with his name you definatly could get return on him

    • Jay CT

      Yeah you could get some return… like Farnsworth maybe… or were you thinking something better?

      • Kay Sturns

        @least something younger, lol

  • ko

    Offer it and hope he stays. The Yankees are fools if they are going to rely on a 37 year old catcher coming off of major shoulder surgery (Posada) without an adequate backup. Even tho’ Pudge is a shell of his former self, I’m not going to puke seeing them trot him out there like I did with Chad Moeller last year.

    • steve (different one)

      yeah, that’s not going to happen.

      hopefully they add another veteran catcher to their AAA squad. that’s about the best they can do.

    • Reggie C.

      No way is Pudge going to accept arbitration. He’s still a viable starting ML catcher. Why settle for the Yanks’s back-up slot when he could start on any number of teams. I think he’s a good fit for the Mets. Pudge is an upgrade over Schneider. He’s no all-star, but i think he’s major league avg, and that’s what alot of squads want.

      The pick we get in return could always be used to draft a tough HS signability pick.

      • Tim

        I think that you are a little tough on Pudge. I mean hell, if Varitek can be an all star in 2008 then who are we to say that anybody cannot be an all start in 2009. It is a brave new world!

        • Chris C.

          You really believe Varitek was a deserving All-Star in 2008?
          You are aware that it’s a fan vote, aren’t you?

          • Jay CT

            Sarcasm is never lost on you

          • Eric

            Varitek was actually chosen by the players, not a fan vote, though that hardly changes the argument about him being deserving.

      • Chris C.

        “No way is Pudge going to accept arbitration. He’s still a viable starting ML catcher.”

        He probably won’t accept…..but tell me, on what team out there is he a viable starting catcher, and will get paid more than he’ll make from arbitration? I’d love to know.

      • Chris C.

        “Why settle for the Yanks’s back-up slot when he could start on any number of teams. I think he’s a good fit for the Mets. Pudge is an upgrade over Schneider.”

        He’s not even an upgrade over Castro!
        And can we please find out why Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, and a few starters on Detroit did not want him as their catcher when he took the mound?
        I think that’s pretty damn important when bringing in a guy as your starting catcher, don’t you?

        • Jay CT

          I can answer that one. He didn’t take the mound. The pitchers did. Its called proof reading. You are so quick to cut people up, you don’t even give yourself time to proof your insults!

          • Chris C.


            I wasn’t cutting up IROD. I was defending Schneider. He needed it, considering a catcher on the Yankees who nobody wanted to pitch to and only reached base 25% of the time was called an UPGRADE over him.

            And thanks for the spelling lesson. I appreciate it.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      The Yankees are fools if they are going to rely on a 37 year old catcher coming off of major shoulder surgery (Posada) without an adequate backup.

      Fools, fools, I tells ya…


    • Chris C.

      “Even tho’ Pudge is a shell of his former self, I’m not going to puke seeing them trot him out there like I did with Chad Moeller last year.”

      IROD and Moeller in the same amount of AB’s for the Yankees in 2008:
      Moeller…….231 BA, .311 OBP, .640 OPS
      IROD……….219 BA, .257 OBP, .580 OPS

      If you actually puked when Moeller played, then I don’t know how you held anything down when IROD stepped to the plate.

  • E-ROC

    Offer arbitration so Rodriguez can decline it. He will want his own starting gig, plus Molina is here. Girardi favored Molina over Rodriguez as the season was nearing the end. If he does accept arbitration, Rodriguez just became a very attractive trade piece.

    • Chris

      I thought it was Moose and Petitte that favored Molina, and asked to have him catch and not Pudge.

      • Chris C.

        Right…….so on top of IROD not being able to hit anymore, nobody wants to throw to him either.

        Come to think of it, he may just accept the arbitration, realizing how worthless he has now become!

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          Carlos Silva says hello.

  • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

    Offer, and get the pics. If he signs we will trade him so I do not see him signing here no matter what.

  • Mike Pop

    He knows he wont be a vital part to the team.. He wont take the one year deal anywayss.. A team is going to give him 2 or 3 years Id have to think.. And if not he would just go somewhere else to start for one year.. The reason he approved the deal to the Yanks was he thought he would play full time or so and he wanted to do well for his next contract.. and also Detroit was in the shitter but you know he was looking at his next contract too

  • Brian

    Pudge knows the deal. He sees Molina and knows that pitchers were preferring him.

    One slight reason is that he might see the Yanks as his best championship opportunity, but he’s still got plenty of pride to be backup 2A or 2B.

    To think we could pass (well, through arb offers) on Marte, Abreu, and Pudge, get Sabathia and Teixeira (we hope), and still have three first rounders, three sandwich rounders, and two third rounders….that’s exciting.

  • Bo

    They wont apparently pick up a small option on a top set up man. And they would risk fofering arb to a 37 yr old backup catcher?

    Head scratching

    • steve (different one)

      considering the two issues are completely unrelated, i don’t see what is so confusing here.

      Pudge isn’t going to accept.

      also, both moves are consistent, even if you disagree with them: both moves are designed to reap more draft picks.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

        Maybe Bo’s just got lice.

      • Chris C.

        “Pudge isn’t going to accept.”

        I kind of think the same thing, but how much does he stand to make in arbitration? Maybe his agent is telling him that he won’t make more than the arbitration figure out there because his skills have so diminished, so he accepts, knowing full well that the Yankees will probably release him anyway.

        Who knows……at this stage in his career, maybe he’s more about the money than he is about PT.

  • Tim

    When Pudge looks at this situation he has to see that if he accepts arb with the Yanks he will most likely be released prior to spring training. For him this has to be an arb killer. That puts him into a poor position to negotiate a competitive multi-year contract. He needs to be in the market now when teams are still looking for solutions and still have payroll flexibility.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      Exactly. I look for Pudge to have a two year deal wrapped up by the winter meetings. We’ll offer arb as a formality and he’ll decline as a formality. Pudge wants a multi-year offer and a starting job, neither of which are here, and as steve (different one) noted above, Pudge being a Type B makes it a super win-win-win: we get a pick, he gets a new contract, the team signing him doesn’t lose a pick.

      Everyone has a happy ending, just like at the Asian massage parlor.

  • Vin

    I’d be careful about offering Pudge Arb. you can only offer 20% less than previous yrs salary and how long can pudge fool people based on late 90’s reputation? He can’t hit, he is a hacker who NEVER takes a walk, and pitchers don’t like throwing to him, so I am not sure he cracks 2 yrs 10 mil a s free agent, and by accepting Arb from yanks he’ll get 10 mil + for 1 yr and yanks will need a C, no way Posada is a full time C next yr or not at least til july/aug. Just cut ties w/ him and no need to try for an extra pick when yanks will just mess it up anyway, we’ve had 1 good draft in the last 15.

    • Eric

      That 20% rule does not apply to potential free agents, only to players with limited service time that are still under team control.

      • Vin

        That is def not correct, if Pudge accepted yanks could only cut salary 20% its meant for vets not limited service time guys….

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          You have it exactly backwards.

          The minimum offer rule only applies to players with less than six years of service time. Veterans have no minimum offer.

  • Troy

    Offer arbitration so Pudge declines. Why he would accept would be ridiculous

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