The economics of the Sabathia offer


In a column this morning, Dan Granziano of analyzed the Sabathia offer via an economic spectrum. While, as Brewers GM Doug Melvin said, the Yanks may very well be bidding against themselves, the offer makes perfect sense if you assume the viewpoint of the Yanks. To them, Sabathia is an investment worth at least $140 million over six years.

It’s true that the Yanks probably would have had the current top bid had they offered “only” $110 million over six years, but then the Brewers could have counter-offered. The Yankees didn’t want to take that chance, and the powers-that-be felt that an initial offer of $140 million over six years was a true expression of the value of CC Sabathia to the Yankees for the length of the contract. This is a good point to remember when other teams and their officials and fans start complaining about the Yanks’ riches. It’s all about the economy.

Categories : Asides


  1. Bo says:

    Why should Melvin care if they overbid? Sounds like sour grapes.

    • T-Dizzle says:

      he like everyone else just hates us… he sounds like whining baby to me

    • He’s setting up the PR spin in Milwaukee.

      “Please don’t be angry, Brewers fans, that we’re breaking up the team; please don’t all run out and buy “The Best of Brett Favre” DVD’s or commemorative “Brett Favre is the Greatest” coins from the New England Mint and sit in your darkened apartment all of next summer instead of coming out to Miller Park and supporting your beloved Brewers…

      We had no chance! Not only did the evil, greedy Yankees outbid us for CC, they OVERBID for CC! They paid him more money than he even wanted, just to shove it in the face of every Joe Sixpack Brewer fan! We can’t give up on the ol’ Brew Crew now, we need you more than ever, the whole world is against us! Come on out to the ballpark… We’ve got Matt Gamel!”


      (P.S. I get bonus points for actually using the phrase “Joe Sixpack” semi-intelligently.)

    • Mike P says:

      I think it’s just resignation. The Brewers probably thought long and hard and had a lot of internal meeting before making their offer. Then a few days later the Yankees offer 40% more. In his position, I’d be pretty bitter.

  2. T-Dizzle says:

    we need to sign cc cuz that would help pitching depth and hes a real good pitcher

  3. Mike A. says:

    The 6/140 offer is absolutely reasonable. It’s right in line with what Johan got, and when you consider that CC hit the open market as a more desirable pitcher than Johan when he was traded, it might even be a bit below market value.

    • T-Dizzle says:

      that is a good offer but if he wants more no big deal just give it to him

      • Joe Fitz says:

        Obviously it’s reasonable if they are giving it. But we don’t know how much is in the Yankees operating budget. maybe they would go to 200. Assuming financial numbers of salaries for players without knowing the books is a losing game.

  4. isn’t it kindof silly to pretend that $110M/6 had any chance of getting it done?

  5. Ron says:

    Isn’t Melvin the guy who offered Alex 10/$252? And wasn’t that significantly higher than the next bid? I thought so.

  6. Baseballnation says:

    Melvin is just miffed because the Yankees offer blew any chance of the Brewers making a counter offer

  7. Brian says:

    Giving CC that offer from the outset is not just to outbid everyone else out of the gate, it’s also to give shape to the rest of the plan. It communicates to CC that we like him…we like him a lot.

    With CC, we are seeking a pitcher more (or two, including Pettitte), yet we can be cautious about it, and we will probably not focus on Teixeira b/c of money and our backup plan (Swish). Without CC, we have to get a lot of pitching, and needingly blowing everyone else out of the water for Lowe and Burnett would likely cause greater despair (not just from Yank critics, but us as well).

    We don’t have tons of time to dither with CC when he’s a) worth it, and b) completely and utterly worth it.

  8. radnom says:

    Melvin is well aware of everything you said….his statements are purely for PR purposes, as was his $100 million offer to Sabbathia.
    They were never actually going to sign him and they were fully aware of it.

  9. DP says:

    He’s Canadian! There’s your problem

  10. Steve S says:

    Melvin doesnt have anything to stand on here. He offered him $100M for five years which at this point would represent around 1/3 of the Brewer payroll for next year. So he believes that his market value is on an AAV basis is $20M, the Yankees offer is for an extra year and an AAV of $23.3M. Thats not a massive increase. Granted its $40M in the aggregate total but its an extra year of $23.3 and 5 years of $3.3M, considering the Yankees financial capabilities and their market, the level of payroll (CC would represent approximately 10% of the Yankee payroll) and the level of competition the Yankees have (considering the Sox and the Rays and the Blue Jays all play in the same division), the extra year and the $3.3M per year more, really isnt that extravagant, it could arguably be conservative. Not to mention the fact the Yankees have an absolute need.

    If the Brewers think they can afford $100M as an introductory offer, then what did they expect the Yankee introductory offer to be? Melvin is being naive and just speaking out of anger.

  11. Joe Fitz says:

    Melvin should be smart and take that 25 mil a yr he wanted to invest in CC and actually build a team with it.

    That buys a lot of parts. And they have the best collection of talent at Double A on he way up.

  12. Steve S says:

    That Affeldt signing makes the Marte resigning look pretty bad. Im still not sold on a three year deal on the guy.

    • i disagree.

      i mean, i don’t disagree that 3 years is less than ideal.

      but i disagree that the Affeldt deal makes it look bad. the yankees were working with imperfect information. they didn’t know which way the market would go once the free agent period started and they didn’t let him hit the open market. that was a risk they weren’t willing to take.

      also, Marte has a much better track record than Affeldt.

      it’s not great, but i don’t think it’s that bad either.

      • Steve S says:

        Sorry Steve(do) meant to go here, see below)

      • mustang says:

        “Marte has a much better track record than Affeldt.”

        I totally agree and looking at this scouting report tells you why.

        “Jeremy Affeldt
        His lack of great velocity means that if his command is off, he’s in trouble.”

        Sounds like the same old lollipop lefty reliever with no fastball have been there done that.

        • Steve S says:

          Im not saying the Yankees should have signed Affeldt. Im just saying the Yankees overpaid for a commodity they arent desperate for, granted lefty relievers are valuable but its not like their bullpen right now is a great weakness. The Yankees uncessarily gave Marte a third year and he will be 37 years old by the time its over, check out his velocity then.

          And as for the “scouting report”, Klaw said Affeldt is the second best free agent relief pitcher. I love velocity but how did it work out for Krazy Kyle when he was here? How did it work out for Arthur Rhodes all those years when Paul Oneill was licking his chops? Im not saying Marte is either one. But financially and based on his age, and in light of what Affeldt just got its a bad signing for Cash. Not a horrible disaster, but it didnt look good at the time and now looks worse.

          • mustang says:

            At 37 then he can become another lollipop lefty reliever. I did say they might of gone one year to many.
            We have both seen enough baseball to know that if a lefty reliever has no control his day is probably over. That’s what made Mike Stanton and makes Marte different if their control is off here comes a 90 + fastball.
            I do agree they overpaid a little, but it’s far from being a bad move.

            • ceciguante says:

              considering the alternative (having no lefty reliever for next year, or one with an inferior track record), i like the marte deal.

              bullpens are so variable that spending for one extra year, or a few extra mil, is completely worth it. there’s more downside in not signing him. don’t let one solid year of bullpen performance erase the memory of how many ham n eggers we’ve trotted out of the pen this decade, and how many wins it has cost us.

              • mustang says:

                “don’t let one solid year of bullpen performance erase the memory of how many ham n eggers we’ve trotted out of the pen this decade, and how many wins it has cost us.”

                This is so fucking wise and right a tear ran down my face when I read it.
                Preach on bro

        • Eric says:

          Affeldt is no “lollipop lefty.” According to, his average fastball last season was about 1 mph faster than that of Marte.

          • mustang says:

            Maybe your right I have never seen Affeldt pitch I’m going by a scouting report on the net and track record.

            Is a rare southpaw with blazing heat that can make left-handed hitters look silly. Throws strikes and stays ahead in the count. Racks up strikeouts.
            When he does allow base-runners, they can steal bases off him at will. Also, right-handed hitters have some success against him, compared to lefties.

            He has good command. He works well with runners in scoring position and gives left-handed hitters nightmares.
            His lack of great velocity means that if his command is off, he’s in trouble. He needs to make strides in his endurance if he returns to starting

          • mustang says:

            Can Affeldt throw his fastball for strikes? I mean his career K numbers are Ok, but Marte’s are better.

          • mustang says:

            One more point if Affeldt is so good why is going to play in a wasteland like San Francisco?

  13. Steve S says:

    I have to disagree with you. They know the middle reliever market is around $2.5 to $4.5 (what Linebrink got last year). With this economy its not going to go up and even if it was, how much above $4M? And Linebrink got his money from Krazy Kenny, in the midst of the worst free agent starter market. Not to mention the fact that this market seems to have a surplus of closers AND middle relievers.

    Affeldt is five years younger, he pitched just as well the last two years if not better (2007 Marte was lights out) and he pitched in Cincy and Coors (not pitcher parks). Not to mention Affeldt is a type B free agent so on the open market he had immediately more value then Damaso. The fact that he pulled out $8M, and we had Marte over a barrell that way and we GAVE him the three years just confirms that was a bad deal.

    • mustang says:

      Disagree find me another lefty reliever with a fastball like Marte’s with his track record. The guy was closing for Pit. last year. I agree that they might of gone one year too many, but I would rather that then to lose him.

      • Steve S says:

        Closing for Pittsburgh? Really thats the big qualification were looking for now?

        Mustang, Im not arguing that he is a bad player. Im saying its a bad contract. And the lefty reliever nonsense has to stop. They are a luxury and by no means a necessity. Especially considering how strong the rest of the Yankee bullpen is.

        And you didn’t have to lose him, you could have kept him for next year at half the total cost.

        • mustang says:

          “And the lefty reliever nonsense has to stop. They are a luxury and by no means a necessity.”
          I don’t think Mr. Cashman agrees with you on that.

          “Especially considering how strong the rest of the Yankee bullpen is.”
          One year with a lot of guys who have yet to prove themselves from year to year.

          “And you didn’t have to lose him, you could have kept him for next year at half the total cost.”

          He would of made 6 million next year Affeldt now makes 4 million, as does Marte. And no one knows what the market for lefty reliever will be in 2010.

          • mustang says:

            “Closing for Pittsburgh? Really thats the big qualification were looking for now?”
            Did Affeldt close for Cin or Coors ? Don’t know just asking.

    • steve (different one) says:

      yeah, i don’t disagree with most of what you are saying, Steve.

      my point was simply that Marte and Affeldt were signed under 2 different set of circumstances. Affledt was a FA and let the market set the rate. Marte and the Yankees did not wait for the market to set the rate.

      both sides took a risk. the yankees took the risk that the market would settle lower than what they paid. and it may have. Marte took the risk that the market could have exploded.

      both sides gave up something to get something. i think Marte came out a little ahead.

      so, i don’t disagree that the Yankees could done better. i am just saying that 1) they overpaid slightly to make sure Marte didn’t go to another team and 2) if this is the kind of mistake they are going to make, i can live with it.

      i don’t think this contract reflects as poorly on the Yankees as it does the Mets. where the hell was Omar??

      • mustang says:

        “i don’t think this contract reflects as poorly on the Yankees as it does the Mets. where the hell was Omar??”

        True that.

  14. Januz says:

    There was no way that Sabathia was going to resign with Milwaukee, and Melvin knows it. He also knows Milwaukee may be waiting another quarter of a century, until they make the playoffs again, so he will start streaming crocodile tears over the Yankees offer, and how unfair it is, instead of concentrating on his own team. If he can’t cut it, as GM, maybe he should go work for ESPN or the Daily News (Come to think of it, he could not be any worse than Mr. Met aka Mike Lupica (Notice Lupica is on ESPN, and works with Juan Gonzalez at the Daily News)).
    This is just another example of seeing jealous team after jealous team, angry columnist after angry columnist, The Entertainment And SOX Programming Network (ESPN), and “Guilt Ridden” bloggers, standing on their soapbox, trashing the Yankees over Sabathia and the new stadium, every chance they get (I do not know who is despised more by the mainstream media George Bush or the Yankees?). Here is something for Yankee haters to look at, the fate of the Tampa Rays. There are several different articles on this from the St. Petersburg Times. source: I wish they cared even a little bit, about a WORLD SERIES team, with first class young players, and the question can they stay in Tampa, as they do about the Yankees and their stadium.

  15. Old Ranger says:

    Going after pitchers and inexpensive position players makes a lot of sense.

    There are a few of us that have been preaching; pitching and defense wins games, I must add a caveote to that statement. Pitching, defense and young athletic everyday players help a lot in winning the WS. Hence; no Tex, Manny, Dunn and ad-nauseum. The defence in the OF will be much better with Brett, Nady and (ok) Johnny, with the addition of Swish…the defence is much better all the way around. 27/09.

    • “Pitching, defense and young athletic everyday players who can get on base frequently and drive in runs when the opportunity presents itself help a lot in winning the WS.”

      Hence, yes Tex, Manny, Dunn, and ad-nauseam.

      • Old Ranger says:

        Disagree Tommyboy!
        Tex would be a nice addition, I agree. Manny and Dunn no way, we don’t need anymore DH types…if Manny or Dunn comes over to the Yanks, what do you do with Matsui? I could see Swish and Brett in CF or Swish and Johnny/Nady in Rf/LF…if Tex signed with the Yanks.
        I guess the point I was getting at is; Cash thinks pitching/defence will do the job this year, next year there are a few usable FA to try and pick-up.
        Why spend all the money in one year, we still need a dependable OF next year…even with the resurgence of Brett (hopefully).
        Personally, I’d like to have Tex on the Yankees for 2009/2016 but, again, the money it would take to get him may be to much…considering we will pay big time for an OF next year. I think CC and (if we must) AJ/Lowe and Andy, you see…I would go after CC and Tex only. I never was on board with Tex, CC, AJ, and Lowe. 27/09.

        • We’ve been over this a bunch of times, Ranger… Matsui is on this team for one more year, possibly less. He’s not any reason why we should or shouldn’t do anything.

          we don’t need anymore DH types

          At the risk of blowing a bunch of people’s minds and starting another huge shouting match, I disagree. DH types, who can GET ON BASE and DRIVE IN RUNS are likely exactly what this team needs. We fell off a cliff offensively last year, not because we didn’t have any fast, athletic good defenders, but because we gave way too many AB’s to way too many guys who weren’t good hitters. I want good hitters. If one or two of those good hitters are bad defenders who are DH types, I’ll live with that as long as they’re good hitters. Manny and Dunn are. And, we don’t really have any “DH types” anymore, they’re all either gone or they’ll be gone next year.

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