Reassessing the arbitration decisions

Calm before the storm
Good morning from the Winter Meetings

By the time the dust settled last night, only two players accepted their clubs’ offers of arbitration. Of the players I thought might accept — Jason Varitek, Jon Garland and even Mark Grudzielanek — none accepted. So I have to wonder if the Yanks misread the market. Should they have offered arbitration to Bobby Abreu and Ivan Rodriguez? Of course, their decision would have impacted the Adam Dunn and Pat Burrell decisions as well, and it’s really hard to play the “What If?” game here. Yet, I wonder who is making the bigger mistake: the second-tier players for not accepting arbitration or the risk- and cost-averse clubs who simply do not want these players around at any cost anymore?

Calm before the storm
Good morning from the Winter Meetings
  • Rob

    Or some GMs were using the leverage of cutting a player in Spring Training (HInt: Theo).

    Seriously, where is Varitek going to get more than two years at 12-14 million? Where? It makes absolutely no sense for him to reject arbitration, unless there was pressure that they could cut him in March if he did and waited for his $10 million.

    So he rejects. Now some team is going to give him three years and 25-30 million while giving up a first rounder?

    No. Way. In. Hell.

    • AndrewYF

      There’s always a chance a team could sign a higher-ranked Type A, leaving the draft pick sacrifice for Varitek as a second-rounder.

      • Rob

        Perhaps, but still. I’ll shut my trap for a good long while if he gets more than $14 million in base.

        • steve (different one)

          he won’t get $14M.

          but he only has to get $11M for it to be a “raise”.

          i don’t think he would have won a $14M arbitration decision. maybe $12M.

          what is more interesting is that the Rangers just traded Laird to the Tigers, so they might not be looking to trade one of their young catchers anymore.

          • Rob

            $14 million over two years. He won’t be getting a raise in AAV. No. Way. In. Hell.

  • steve (different one)

    i think a lot of it has to do with the player’s current salary.

    there is a huge difference in risk between offering arbitration to a player making $10M and a player making $16M.

    we won’t really know until we see where Abreu signs for and for what.

    only Abreu and his agent know what type of interest they have been getting.

    • Rob

      there is a huge difference in risk between offering arbitration to a player making $10M and a player making $16M.

      Not between Pettitte and Varitek, there’s not.

      • steve (different one)

        Pettitte no, but Abreu.

        i am still 90% sure Pettitte will be a Yankee next year.

        • Rob

          Even less so for Abreu. He was their third best hitter last year. And he would have been a very good signing for a team needing a short-term solution in the OF. He’ll easily get $30 million or more.

          • steve (different one)

            again, we’ll see.

            • Rob

              You bet we will. And, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of “I told you so”.

              • steve (different one)

                I’m a big fan of “I told you so”.

                who isn’t?

                agree to disagree for now.

                we can wait until the OF market shakes out to reassess.

                i think there is a good chance you may be right. nothing would surprise me. but right now, i am just hung up on how many solid hitting, terrible fielding, corner OFers there are on the market. these guys are all so similar. that’s my hang up.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

                  i am just hung up on how many solid hitting, terrible fielding, corner OFers there are on the market. these guys are all so similar. that’s my hang up.

                  Manny Ramirez
                  Adam Dunn
                  Pat Burrell
                  Raul Ibañez
                  Bobby Abreu
                  Milton Bradley
                  Ken Griffey Jr.
                  Eric Hinske
                  Emil Brown
                  Cliff Floyd
                  Garrett Anderson
                  Jacque Jones
                  Juan Rivera
                  Jay Payton
                  Mark Kotsay
                  Brad Wilkerson

                  ——————

                  see also: glut, a

                • Rob

                  Notice how Abreu is in the top 5? And he’s better than Ibanez and Burrell because OBP ages well. On a three year, $30-36 million deal he’s a very good signing.

                • steve (different one)

                  your point would be better if Burrell wasn’t a high OBP guy himself and 3 years younger.

                  Burrell’s last 4 seasons: .389, .388, .400, .367

                • Rob

                  Career lines:

                  Abreu: .300 .405 .498
                  Burrell: .257 .367 .485

                  And Abreu has been playing in the tougher league for the last 1.5 years.

                  If I’m a GM, in this market, Abreu is higher on my list – better player on a shorter/cheaper contract.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

                  Notice how Abreu is in the top 5? And he’s better than Ibanez and Burrell because OBP ages well. On a three year, $30-36 million deal he’s a very good signing.

                  See, you’re actually reinforcing my point below. I was saying, if the choice is between accepting arb and taking 1/18 now and hitting the market again next offseason, or hitting FA now and taking a 3/45, I’d advise Bobby to take the arb and the 1/18.

                  If the best he can get on the market is a 3/30 or a 3/36, then he’d be absolutely INSANE to not take the 1/18. Because, if you think the best Bobby can get on the market is a 3/30 or a 3/36, then he’d surely get at least a 3/27 or a 2/18 next year.

                  1/18 now + 3/27 next year is 4/45, which is a lot better than 3/36 + whatever he’d get three years from now at 38 years old…

                • Rob

                  And if he gets hurt this year? Sorry, but $12-18 million more over two more years, guaranteed, is very different than $4-6 million more over one additional year, for a declining catcher.

                  Good thing you’re not an agent.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

                  And if he gets hurt this year?

                  Bobby Abreu, games played:
                  1998: 151
                  1999: 152
                  2000: 154
                  2001: 162
                  2002: 157
                  2003: 158
                  2004: 159
                  2005: 162
                  2006: 156
                  2007: 158
                  2008: 156

                  Dude’s practically Cal Ripken. It’s not like he’s prone to go crashing into walls all willy-nilly. If there was ever an aging free agent LESS likely to injure himself on a one year deal and blow up his future value, it’s Bobby.

                  Sorry, but $12-18 million more over two more years, guaranteed, is very different than $4-6 million more over one additional year, for a declining catcher.

                  Very true. But, 1 year at 18M when you’re 34 going on 35 and still a productive baseball player who will still be wanted a year from now is also very different than 1 year at 10M when you’re 36 going on 37 and you just put up a .220/.313/.359, your body is breaking down badly, and you probably won’t get a sniff next offseason.

                  Varitek walked away from 10M because he’d rather take 11M or 12M, even if he has to stretch it over two years, because this is the last contract he’s going to sign. Bobby would probably take 18M, because he can still sign a contract of considerable length next offseason and easily recoup whatever discount he’d be taking by hitting free agency a year later.

  • Shamus

    Thought for sure that Varitek would accept ARB.

    Thus starts the messy Varitek/BoSox divorce…

    I would guess that, if the Sox stay true to form, in about 24-48 hours a disparaging report or remark will surface about Tek from ‘unknown sources’ within the clubhouse or front office.

    Bee their MO for years, just ask Mo Vaughn, Noooooo-mah, Damon, Pedro, Manny et al. A superstar can’t leave Boston without getting trashed.

    My prediction is that it will be in a Tony Massarotti article or Dan Shaughnessy. They seem to be the Sox’ henchmen when it comes to slingin’ shat!

    Oh, and Mike and Joe—- SO JEALOUS !

  • Shamus

    * Been their MO for years….

  • steve (different one)

    it also has to do with Varitek being a Boras client.

    Boras is telling Varitek he’ll get him 2 years somewhere, and maybe he will.

    Varitek looked like an overcooked thanksgiving turkey last year, but that’s why Boras is the best.

    • Rob

      Yeah, two years at $20 million? Bullshit. Even if he can get $16 million over two years (which is highly doubtful without bonuses), using the Abreu/Pettitte logic it still made more sense to take arbitration. And that’s not happening.

      There was pressure from the Sox about cutting him in March. There is no other explanation.

      • steve (different one)

        There was pressure from the Sox about cutting him in March. There is no other explanation.

        i’m glad you can say this with such certainty.

        i guess we’ll see what he winds up getting.

        we may be underestimating all of the “intangibles/he handles a pitching staff so well” bullcrap. all it takes is one stupid GM.

        • Ron

          “all it takes is one stupid GM.”

          And Lord knows there’s a few of those out there.

        • Rob

          He ain’t getting $10 million/year from another team. Boras can spin two years at $14 million as better for his client all he wants, but that’s utter BS. If he took arbitration according to the Abreu/Pettitte logic, he could have easily gotten one more year in 2010 at more than 4 million, even as a backup to young starter.

      • Clayton

        The option of cutting him is not a real option. Keith Law talked about it in his last chat.

        http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=23917

        You can’t cut a guy if he won his arb hearing. The union would never allow it.

        • Rob

          You and KLaw are missing the point: They can use that language as leverage. It never has to come to March. The question for Varitek/Boras: Do they really want to test that language? There it is the “Club’s opinion” and the Union may squawk, but it only takes one case to make a precedent. And given Varitek’s 2008, there is a case that could be made. But it’s not going to come that. For no good reason, he rejected.

          • Rob

            Chad(Madison, WI): Hi Keith, I think I read somewhere that arbitration contracts aren’t guaranteed so why wouldn’t more teams offer all type A and B free agents arbitration and if the player accepts and the team doesn’t want them then just cut them in spring training?

            SportsNation Keith Law: You can’t cut a player just for financial reasons – you’d better have a good baseball reason, and injuries don’t count. If you cut a player – I’m just talking about guys who went to arb and won – and he files a grievance, you could be on the hook for the whole thing.

            The Sox had a good baseball reason.

            • Clayton

              What? Poor performance?

              Then the case comes back that you offered him arb. You have to live with the consequences. Especially considering the strength of the baseball union. The Red Sox would never test that language.

              • Clayton

                Also, consider that the Red Sox are not the first ones to read this. It has been happened before and there is a reason for that.

                • Clayton

                  been=never

              • Rob

                The language is very team friendly. And the reason it hasn’t happened yet is because it was new in the last CBA.

                Again, all a team has to do is use the language for leverage during negotiations. It’s to prevent a guy like Varitek from sitting on his past salaries in arbitration. I have little doubt that’s what happened behind the scenes.

    • RustyJohn

      Isn’t this the same Boras who told A-Rod that he could get more money if he became a FA and all these offers for him would pour in? Granted, ARod isn’t going to be hitting the soup lines anytime soon, but it is just as possible for an agent to be a moron too.

      • Ron

        He (Boras) also advised Loshe to turn down a 3/$21 offer from the Phillies last year and Loshe wound up with a 1 year ($4.25) from the Cardinals. So yeah, he is totally capable of mis-reading the market, which I believe he did with Varitek.

  • Steve S

    If Renteria just got $9.25M from the Giants then this market isnt as bad as all these owners and GMs have been peddling over the last two weeks. The more I think about it I think Abreu might have accepted but not because he didnt think he could beat his ARB number but that he just liked being here and was willing to sacrifice the extra years because the guy lives in the city, he likes it here. And Cashman really wants to go in a different direction and sees a lot of alternatives.

    • steve (different one)

      perhaps, but i’m not yet willing to use anything the Giants do as data points for market efficiency.

      also, you have to consider postitional scarcity.

      besides Renteria, the only appealing options for SS were a “big” contract for Furcal or trading for Greene or Wilson. it may have been worth throwing Renteria an extra million or two to keep your prospects and stay on a short term commitment.

      for Abreu, there are 4-5 equally appealling FA options.

      but you are right, Abreu seemed to like it here and there is that angle as well.

      • Rob

        You Cashman apologists really jump through all sorts of hoops to make a case.

        If Abreu gets, three guaranteed years, then it was clearly a mistake not to offer him arbitration. And he will.

        • steve (different one)

          and you seem to be able to predict the future with 100% clarity.

          i’ll have no problem coming back and admitting i was wrong if that happens.

          no problem at all.

          but all of your arguments right now seem to consist of you insisting on things that haven’t happened yet.

          • Rob

            One thing has clearly happened: Varitek gave up the highest AAV he was going to get this off-season.

            And like I said, I’ll STFU if I’m proven wrong. You’re still spinning ;)

            • steve (different one)

              and i will also STFU if i am proving wrong.

              well, probably not. but i will admit that Cashman blew it on Abreu.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

              But Rob, you still can’t claim with absolute certainty that not offering arb to Abreu was a mistake if/when he signs a deal elsewhere, because:

              A) him signing a multi-year deal elsewhere does not mean that he wouldn’t have accepted arb had it been offered, and
              B) a team willing to sign him to a multi-year deal may not have been willing to do so had they been forced to surrender a #1 pick for him.

              It’s the fallacy of the pre-determined outcome… ironically, above you were raking Varitek over the coals for being an idiot and misjudging the market by declining his arbitration offer. Even if you feel Abreu would have never accepted arb, that he’d firmly believe that he could find a better deal on the FA market this winter, it’s well within the realm of possibility that he would have done what you advocate for Varitek, namely, take the money now and see what else you can get later. Especially since that money could be 18M for just one year, and because the 2009 FA class likely won’t be as inundated with corner OF/DH bats.

              • Old Ranger

                Beat me to it again. Thanks! Hell, you wrote it better then I would have anyway, good show. 27/09.

              • Rob

                No, I was saying that the Sox were pressuring him not to accept unless he was willing to renegotiate. *Otherwise*, there was no good reason not to accept.

                Abreu is very different. He can get multiple years. And that’s the agent’s job to see if he can. Given his year in 2008, those offers will be there. Big difference. Add in a little Yankee pressure about his baseball skills declining and not worth $16 mil+, then he rejects AND goes looking for those years.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

                  But Rob, I think Abreu makes more money by taking the one year arb offer and waiting to hit the market again next year.

                  See below:
                  http://riveraveblues.com/2008/12/reassessing-the-arbitration-decisions-6189/#comment-222260

                • Steve S

                  I have to disagree here, if Im advising Abreu, and there is this concern over getting multiple years at the right AAV because of the current economic situation, then it doesnt improve next year. If teams are reluctant to spend now in anticipation of lesser revenues, how are they going to react when they actually get the lesser revenues? And then combine that with the fact that Abreu is a year older now?

                  Again, I think this whole argument is bs by Cashman, he wasnt concerned with the finances, he just didnt want Abreu. And I think its safe to assume that Cashman had some inside info or insight that Bobby would simply accept the one year deal. The evaluation of this move wont be based on whether Abreu gets a three year deal but rather on what Cashman does with this roster flexibility he has created. As of right now his outfield is Nady, Damon, Gardner, Swisher, Mastui and Melky. I think Abreu on a one year deal, even overpriced would have spot amongst those guys but Cashman wants the ability to pursue Manny, Tex or any of the other guys out there which he couldnt do with Abreu on the roster, absent a trade.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

                  I have to disagree here, if Im advising Abreu, and there is this concern over getting multiple years at the right AAV because of the current economic situation, then it doesnt improve next year.

                  It’s not about his contract earning power improving next year. I’d assume that his earning power would decrease next year, yes.

                  I’m just saying, while it will decrease, I don’t think the amount of that decrease, in total contract dollars, is going to be greater than 18M.

                  His AAV earning power will go down in next winter, undoubtedly. I just don’t think it goes down 6M a year over a three year deal. That’s a precipitous fall. That’s huge. As long as he’s not 6M a year worse next winter, he’d be smart to take that massive one year arb payout.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

                  And I think its safe to assume that Cashman had some inside info or insight that Bobby would simply accept the one year deal. The evaluation of this move wont be based on whether Abreu gets a three year deal but rather on what Cashman does with this roster flexibility he has created.

                  Exactly. Agreed wholeheartedly.

                • Steve S

                  I dont think his agent would advise him to accept arb. I dont think there is much doubt he could get 3 years at $12M a year. I dont buy this whole Olney $8M a year offer for Abreu nonsense. And as for his competition on the market- Dunn, Manny and Burrell all have major warts that make Abreu at 3 years very attractive. If accepts arb he runs the risk of getting injured and further reducing his value. And my point is if they think its bad this winter, it could arguably get worse next winter, especially when teams see less fans (due to lay offs) and less revenues from other sources (less money spent on advertising).

                  I dont get is the argument that if he is concerned about his ability to get a deal this offseason, what would make that improve next year? The safer bet, the guranteed money is in declining arbitration and approaching the market while you are a year younger and coming off a good year offensively.

                  And I understand what you are saying that he could get more if he plays well this year on his arb year and gets a contract following next year. But thats a risky proposition for him, if he declines this year, there is no doubt he gets a multi-year deal, and thats guaranteed money in the bank.

                • Rob

                  Well, he better be planning to sign an OF cause Damon, Gardner, Nady with Swisher and Duncan isn’t winning a world championship.

                  And for all the Teixeira lovers, he helps but not nearly enough.

                • Steve S

                  Well now you are just being unfair, if they sign Texeira, that more than makes up for no Abreu. I thought your argument was that Abreu wasnt going to accept and that was a mistake by not offering and getting the picks? The argument that they should have kept Abreu is a poor one. He is attractive on a one year deal but if they get a guy like texeira which they couldnt do if Abreu is on the roster, then Cashman did his job.

                  And by the way thats the only the finances come into play here. If Cash manages, CC Tex and another pitcher aside from Andy then he is completely vindicated on this decision. I just dont think he gets both.

                  And yes, Damon, Nady and gardner doesnt win a WS. CC, Wang, Joba and co. win you a championship.

                • Rob

                  It’s doesn’t make up for Abreu AND Giambi plus the rest of the lineup a year older and the wrong side of 30.

                  The offense needs more help than Teixeira.

                • Steve S

                  Okay for the second time- if you keep Abreu then no possibility of either Tex or Manny. So its a nice try to redirect your argument but if you keep Abreu then you have him plus Swish.

                  Now you are totally relying on CC to sign because of the top three free agents he is the only one that fits, IF YOU HAVE BOBBY ABREU on the roster. take away Bobby Abreu, and now the yankees are free to pursue Tex, free to pursue Manny.

                  And as I mentioned above, its going to be about the pitching. The offense, is a concern but not an issue or a priority. The concept that the Yankees NEED more than a guy like Tex is simply being a spoiled Yankee fan. The reality is the offense had a down year last year. They can recover from that, granted they wont score 950 runs, but scoring more than 800 with good pitching is more than enough. And they can do that with the current roster.

                  And again, if you keep Abreu at $18M then you can sign Sabathia but beyond Pettitte, your free agent shopping is done. Do the math:

                  CC- $23M
                  Tex/Manny/ (Burnett/Lowe/Sheets)- $16-$20M
                  Pettitte- $12M

                  vs.

                  CC- $23M
                  Abreu- $18M
                  Pettitte-$12M

                  Maybe you could squeeze out Pettitte and pencil in Burnett or Lowe, but is it really better than the above scenario? And now take the scenario below and instead of CC add one of those second tier pitchers. How does the team look then?

                  Argue that Cash should have offered arb and expected him to decline but its simply stupid to say the Yankees needed Bobby Abreu.

                • Rob

                  Accept the Yankee propaganda all you want. But I fail to see how they’re not clearing $200 million alone next year in ticket sales.

                  4 million tickets X $50 average = $200 million

                  That doesn’t include TV or other revenue.

                  Besides, they absolutely should be planning for 2010 this year since the pickings in next year’s free agent pool are much thinner. That is if they’re interested in winning.

                  You’re also missing the fact that Manny is a better hitter than Teixeira. He goes further in making up the lost offense. If it’s Pettitte, CC, and Manny then their a bit better off than the 2008 team. Signing Dunn too and they’re ahead.

                  So fine, if they were never planning on bringing back Abreu because they’re going after Manny and Dunn, then you got me. I don’t see it. Teixeira alone isn’t enough. Add in Dunn and they’re much closer.

                • Steve S

                  Okay you are a little all over the place there Rob.

                  1) I dont remember ever saying that the Yankees couldnt afford something. Im just saying realistically speaking, they seem committed to spending below $200M. I dont think thats Yankee propoganda, I thinks that an effort to operate in the black.

                  2) Yes the tickets sales would produce income, so would the TV revenue, wow you figured out the Yankees make a lot of money!! They also spend an inordinate amount of money. A $200M payroll with the LUXTAX probably puts them closer to $240M. Now add in revenue sharing and thats close to $300M. I dont think its unreasonable for them to want to get to a certain payroll level. Now I know they have certain exemptions for next year but guess what, they come back in 2010.

                  3) I didnt know we were debating Tex vs. Manny. Yes Manny is the better offensive player but if we are planning for 2010 and beyond, Tex is the better player and the better investment, especially at the current quotes. But again I mentioned TEx only in the context of replacing Bobby Abreu’s offense. I dont think either is an absolute necessity.

                  4) Now as for your fantasy lineups. So the only way Cashman justifies letting go of Abreu is if he adds arguably $55M to the payroll? And probably commits $200M+ over the next X years? Wow, are you Bobby Abreu’s agent? Because with that logic you are right they do need Abreu.

                  5) THEY CAN STILL SIGN ABREU!!! I mean really, they declined the chance to have exclusive rights to pay him more than $16M. They didnt decline to sign him at all. If it comes down to it, they can just offer him a deal. Especially if he is as important as you think.

                • Steve S

                  And let me add they are according to Dierkes at around $140M, now add in the $4M to Marte, $7M to Swish (less around $1M for Betemit), lets say $12M to Pettitte and the $23M to CC. Thats $45M right there. So now were at $185M. Now include arbitration raises for Nady, Wang & Co. and you are looking at $190-$195M. Add in Bobby Abreu you could be north of $210. Now you are saying they need to add another offensive player.

                  And by the way financially, yes the Yankees are in good shape but their biggest cash cow is the YES Network, which is owned in large part by Goldman Sachs, have you read a paper recently? Have you notice what is happening? This is severe so everyone is feeling it, even the New York Yankees. And I still dont think the Abreu decision was financially motivated.

      • Steve S

        I agree with the Renteria position scarcity but considering his performance last year, I am stunned at that number, especially after they gave Affeldt a $8M for the next two. Look its clear that these teams have to deal with economic crisis/recession, I just dont believe that the economics plays that large of a role for Yankees, especially when the issue is a one year contract. Cashman can try and push that in the headlines but I just dont believe it. I also dont believe its a “small market” decision. I think Cashman has different things in mind and is only saying that because he doesnt want to show his hand for potential trade partners and free agents. I can only speculate, but like I said if Abreu accepted, its not his salary that becomes a problem, its a logjam on the roster.

        And thats why this isnt a referendum on Cashman’s willingness to spend, that argument is ridiculous. Rather, its merely the fact that we dont have a full disclosure on the issue (and were not entitled to it) and without knowing if Cashman had some additional information that Abreu would accept. Absent that, judging from the market, I cant imagine Abreu would have accepted and therefore Cashman’s decision was poor and cost them two draft picks, which isnt the end of the world but it would have been better to have them.

  • A.D.

    Not that surprised for a Boras client to decline arb… you wouldn’t hire Boras if you were just going to go to arb.

    Only way this works in Boston now is if Varitek takes a few less dollars for a 2-3 year deal. Else maybe Pudge as a Red Sox

  • Old Ranger

    Business is business, what is good for one team is not for another.
    Yanks are playing it the way they see it, who (or group) ever had the muscle to make this decision for the Yanks, it will be Cash out front taking the criticism or the accalaides. Well, that’s why he makes the big $$$$$. 27/09.

  • A.D.

    Is anyone else a little surprised on what Laird went for?

    • steve (different one)

      yes.

      i think Boston, like Rob said, probably assumed that Varitek was going to accept arbitration.

      and while they were waiting around for that, they missed a pretty big opportunity i think.

      • Rob

        To nitpick, Laird isn’t that good (career: .255 .306 .383) and he’s already past peak. If I’m Boston, I see what Cash and Kottaras have in Spring Training. Kottaras, with his OBP, isn’t a complete black hole. Plan B is trying to make a trade if they have no other choice.

        • steve (different one)

          it’s not so much Laird himself that was the opportunity, but trading with Texas in general.

          it’s not that Boston had to get Laird on the cheap, but Boston absolutely has the pieces to pry Saltalamacchia away.

          you may be right about Kotteras, i admit i don’t know much about him.

          • Rob

            But Salty is a tweener. His defense isn’t good enough for C and his offense isn’t good enough for 1B. Trading Buchholz+ for him is not a good plan. But if nothing looks good for them in May, they can always do that as a short-term fix.

            Boston has had good success trusting their prospects just before they were “ready” – Youkilis, Papelbon, Pedroia, and even Ellsbury to a degree. I think they’re just going to see what Kottaras can give them. Catchers are notorious to develop late and he OPSed .800 in AAA last year.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

              I thought they were only dangling Buchholz for Teagarden? I never heard about a Salty-Buchholz swap. Yes, that would be stupid.

              • steve (different one)

                i thought the rumor was that they asked about Salty, the Rangers asked for Buchholz and the Sox declined.

                but that doesn’t mean they wasn’t another traded to be made.

  • A.D.

    Perhaps the ARB decisions just show that overpaying veterans is going out of style, which goes with signing team control guys to extensions and buying out FA years

    • Old Ranger

      It looks as though you may be right. Signing a player like Cano (if 2008 was only a hic-up) was a new move for the Yanks. It sets inline with the things Cash has been trying to do the last few years…cut the payroll and sign younger more athletic players. We could end up with ; Sept. CF, Cano, Joba, Phil, Swish, X-man and the long shots of CC, Tex…all of them are under 30. 27/09.

  • Reggie C.

    Had Abreu been offered and accepted arb., he was going to make significantly more than any of these guys who turned down arbitration. Abreu isn’t coming off a down year statistically. Sure his fielding range and OBP have taken hits, but neither factor was going to prevent Abreu from getting a bump in pay to at least $18 ML.

    I think Cash and co. just got tired of having to write checks to this guy when Nady is on the team right now AND better, younger options are on the market or will be next off-season.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      Again, we’re not seeing the big picture here. Yes, Abreu is declining, and yes, if he’s going to get a multi-year deal, he’d prefer to get it this winter as opposed to next. However, if he’s offered arb, he’s looking at probably a one-year payout of, say, 18M. If he declines and hits free agency, he can get a three year deal from someone at what AAV level? 14M? 15M? 16M? Let’s take the middle ground approach and say that, his best prospects are probably a 3yr/15M AAV deal, which is 3/45. 3/45 vs. 1/18 seems like a no brainer, unless you consider that after his 1/18, he’d hit the market in the winter of ‘09-‘10 after his age 35 season, still likely sporting a productive (albeit perhaps not a #3-worthy) bat. At that point, he needs to only sign a multi-year deal equal to or greater than the 3/45 minus the 18M he’d already have pocketed in order to break out even. 45-18 is 27, so if Bobby can get either a 2yr or 3yr deal in the winter of ’09-’10 with a total contract value of 27M or more, he GAINS money by accepting arb and waiting it out another year.

      2yr/27M = 13.5M AAV
      3yr/27M = 9M AAV

      So basically, all Bobby Abreu has to do is not become so sucktastic in 2009 that he becomes a player not worth a 13.5M or 9M AAV this coming offseason. And, if he puts up another .280/.370/.460, he could probably find someone next year to give him a 3/27 or something in that ballpark…

      The more I think about it, the more I think Bobby definitely would have accepted Arb. I know older players generally want to get a multi-year deal while the getting’s good, but you just don’t leave a 1yr/18M payment on the table. That’s so much money, it’s almost impossible to not take it.

  • http://jobatheheat jobatheheat

    Just read that the Cashman,CC and agent meeting went great.

    • steve (different one)

      Cashman: do you like money?
      CC/Agent: yes.
      Cashman: here is a big pile of it.
      CC/Agent: this meeting is awesome.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

        CC, do you like gladiator movies?

        • Ron

          CC, have you ever been to a Turkish prison?

      • jsbrendog

        this post made my morning

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          Cashman: do you like money?
          CC/Agent: yes.
          Cashman: here is a big pile of it.
          CC/Agent: this meeting is awesome.

          All I keep thinking about when I read this is the scene in Dodgeball where White Goodman is bribing Peter LaFleur, and he opens up the case with the $100,000 in it and it’s one tiny stack of a hundred $1,000 bills.

  • r.w.g.

    the front office probably misread the market, but i think having more control over the roster and the payroll this off-season was the goal.

    the team needs elite, impact players. so to that end, it’s better to have all your resources available to get what the team really needs first, then worry about giving double digit millions to the worst defensive OF in baseball and your 4th starter.

  • Bo

    It was a huge mistake not fofering arb to Bobby A.

    • Ron

      “It was a huge mistake not fofering (sic) arb to Bobby A.”

      That comment adds nothing to the discussion. If you think that, please articulate it in a response to tsjc’s post as to why it was smart that the Yanks didn’t offer Abreu arb.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      No, it wasn’t. It was only a mistake if there was no way that Bobby would have accepted, and Bobby signing a multi-year deal elsewhere is not conclusive proof that he would not have accepted.

      I still think he would have.

  • T-Dizzle

    i mean yea we need picks but we also need to be smart so its tough ya know but i still think they should have offered it to him cuz the picks were worth it

    • Ron

      “but i still think they should have offered it to him cuz the picks were worth it”

      But they don’t get the picks if he accepts.

      • T-Dizzle

        no i meant like if he accepts then its not that bad cuz hes still good ya know and its only 1 year and if he declines then yay cuz we would get the picks when someone else gets him

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          if he accepts then its not that bad cuz hes still good ya know and its only 1 year

          What if he accepts and it prevents us from adding Texy, Dunn, or Manny?

          That would be bad, no?

          • T-Dizzle

            yes but having him would make us not need those other guys as much

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

              Multiple years of Tex, Manny, or Dunn >>>>>>>>> one more year of Bobby

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

        And, as much as we all love picks, it’s just not worth the gamble on getting two draft picks if there’s a sizeable chance that Bobby Abreu accepts. We do not want Bobby Abreu and his unmoveable 18M contract “clogging up our roster-flexibility-paths”.

  • T-Dizzle

    i think they really need cc

  • mustang

    Wow !!! Can you guys go at it? That why I like RAB.
    Reading most of the comments it’s hard to believe that Cashman didn’t make a mistake on Abreu. I just can’t see Abreu and his agent taking a chance at his age of taking the 1-year. What happens if he takes the 1-year and has a bad year how much money would he be leaving on the table?
    Abreu right now still has value and by not accepting arbitration he still has some control over what he is going to make and where he is going to go. One injury or a bad 2009 changes that in 2010. I don’t think Abreu would want to risk all that for 1 year of 16 million plus as a Yankee.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      What happens if he takes the 1-year and has a bad year how much money would he be leaving on the table?

      Probably much less than 18M.