Dec
01

Yanks decline to offer arbitration

By

To anyone. Seriously. They won’t be getting any compensation draft picks for Bobby Abreu, Andy Pettitte, and/or Pudge Rodriguez. PeteAbe says it came down to economics. The Yanks can not loose the comp picks they received for not signing Gerrit Cole and Scott Bittle, so at worst they’ll have two of the top 76 picks after signing some free agents.

Update by Joe: Having paid close attention to the Hot Stove, I’ve noticed a lack of mentions for Bobby Abreu. When I did hear his name, it appeared that most teams preferred Raul Ibanez to him. So the Yankees fears that he’d accept arbitration seem reasonable. They clearly do not want him on the roster next year at $16 million, and by offering him arbitration they’d give him a clear window. Same with Pettitte. They don’t want to pay him $16 million next year. That’s what this all comes down to.

Criticize as you will.

Update again: Bryan Hoch has the transcription of Cashman’s explanation:

“We certainly have been going through this process for quite some time. First and foremost, unlike in past years, we’re not in a position not to be able to sign these players as we move forward. That’s the most important thing. In the past and in the previous basic agreements, you were in a position that if you didn’t offer, you lose the ability to sign.

“Today’s date really has everything to do with the compensation attached to various players, if they had some. Bobby was a Type A and Andy was a Type A, so the determination that we made today was to make sure that we control what amount we’d be spending, at least in the event that we’re fortunate enough to bring those players back.

“We did not want to put ourselves in the position of having that determined by a third party without knowing what that figure would be. The arbitration time period falls in early February, so obviously as we attempt to put this team together, in Andy’s case and in Bobby’s case, they made $16 million a year. It’s been tough in the past to try and deviate from previous years’ earnings in an arbitration setting.

“We just wanted to control the cost that we would allocate for every position on the club by offering them arbitration, even though we wanted Draft picks if we lost anybody. By offering arbitration, we would lose our ability to at least determine a final cost. By doing so, we chose to go a different direction, not offer the arbitration, and we’ll still stay engaged with the entire free agent market including those two players.”

Categories : Transactions
  • EricL

    This is absolutely ludicrous. Abreu would have declined, as would Pudge. If they had accepted, Abreu is worth the money and Pudge could simply be cut. Andy might have accepted, but if he did, it would have been a clear FU from him and his agent. At which point, you trade him or move on. Cashman, for the most part, makes moves I agree with. This … well this was just sheer stupidity. Instead of potentially adding 2 1st round picks and 3 supplemental 1st round picks, we will be adding NONE.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      How can you call it stupidity? Are you privy to any of the ongoings in the organization?

      • EricL

        I love when people pull this line out. It is a classic dodge. I made my case for the silliness of this decision. I think the future will back this up. If you truly can release a player in training camp that accepted arbitration, not doing so is ridiculous.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

          It’s not a dodge. It’s saying that you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          You still have to pay them a percentage of the contract, like 25% or so. For Bobby Abreu making $16M, that’s not cheap. Plus these guys that you would just cut still eat up a finite number of roster spots.

          • EricL

            This I did not know, and I appreciate the reply. I still think Joe is pulling the old faithful line of, “You aren’t a GM – you don’t know whats going on” line when any criticism of an organization is offered. This tactic, while true, applies both ways, and it also is designed to kill off any debate. Yeah, I’m not in the front office, but neither are you (Joe). Furthermore, my not being in the front office does not mean I cannot comment on the perceived stupidity, or intelligence, of a move. Did I need to be in the Seattle Mariner’s organization to know that signing Carlos Silva to his contract, trading Rafael Soriano for Horacio Ramirez, etc., etc. were stupid? No.

            In regard to my initial comments, I will concede they are slightly overboard. Cashman obviously put thought into this process, and he obviously does not want this team to fail. He has shown a willingness to build the farm system extensively the past few years (regardless of last years various problems). With that said, I think this is a clear mistake, and one that he will ultimately end up regretting.

        • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

          It’s ridiculous that your making such definitive, absolute statements with such limited knowledge of this process. The Yankees can not simply release a player of Bobby Abreu’s stature in Spring Training. Abreu could easily file a grievance and a whole shit-storm would have to occur for that situation to be resolved.

  • Yankee1010

    Pretty dumb. I generally believe that Cashman does a good job, but I’m just not seeing the reasoning behind this. Pettitte at 16 million and Abreu at 16 or 17 million for 1 year isn’t the worst thing in the world. Plus, if they want more than that in years and/or dollars, you can get 2 1st rounders and 2 supplemental rounders to re-stock the farm system. I’m just not seeing the logic here.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      Again, you’re not the guy who cuts the checks.

      • Yankee1010

        My point is that they are seemingly willing to pay Pettitte around 12 or 13 million a year. If he makes 16 million a year in arbitration, that’s not the end of the world for a guy who will provide 200 innings at above league average production (he was incredibly unlucky in the 2nd half of the year). It’s a difference of 3 or 4 million for one year. If Pettitte goes to LA now, how are the Yanks going to fill the rotation? I’d much rather have Pettitte slightly overpaid for one year than Burnett and/or Lowe for 4-5. Plus, it’s completely throwing away the opportunity for the draft picks.

        I also have trouble believing that Abreu would accept arbitration, but even if he did, again, it wouldn’t be the end of the world, similar to the Pettitte situation.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

          I buy the Pettitte argument. That one could have gone either way. I also agree that Abreu likely would have accepted. But then think about it.

          If CC signs, it will likely be for about $25 mil per season. Add that to the $32 million you’re paying Abreu and Pettitte, and that’s $57 mil for three players. Toss in A-Rod ($32 mil) and Jeter ($20 mil), that’s $109 million for five players. Mo ($15) and Jorge ($13), that’s $127 million for seven players. Damon and Matsui? $153 million for nine players.

      • Frank

        Blind allegiance to Brian Cashman simply because he “cuts the checks” isn’t the way to go either. At least make an argument if you’re going to criticize others’ opinions instead of copping out.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

          Actually, the argument wasn’t at all that Cashman cuts the checks. He doesn’t. Hal does. The point is that we don’t know where this call came from.

  • AnAngryFan

    I guess they were really worried Pettitte would take them up on the arbitration and land a raise. Based on the market, he would’ve probably asked for and gotten a raise from $16.
    The problem here is they’re putting all their eggs in one basket with Sabathia, Burnett and Lowe. Where will they be if all of these guys say “no.” You still only have Wang and Joba. Wouldn’t it be a nice safety net, even at $16 million, to have Pettitte and his 200 innnings to plug in as the fourth or fifth starter?

  • thisisthedavid

    Sad and Pathetic……

    So angry…

  • JRVJ

    Actually, the really dumb thing is (assuming Pete Abe’s info is correct) not to offer arbitration to Mussina.

    If he stays retired, no problem.

    If he unretires and pitches for the Yanks, no problem.

    if he unretires, does a Clemens and ends up somewhere else, hey, draft picks.

    • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

      I thought they did offer arbitration to Mussina for the exact reasons you mentioned.

  • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

    This team has too many heads, much to Cashman’s chagrin I’m sure…..

    -Scott

  • Bryan

    That doesn’t make any sense, at least offer arbitration to Pudge, I don’t think that a future hall of famer would accept a backup role on the Yanks when he can get a starting job somewhere else. But I’m not Cashman, it will be interesting to hear what he has to say about this though.

    • SWB

      Would you bet 13 mil on that?

  • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

    Mr FAN said he’s going to have Cash on shortly… we’ll see what he has to say, but I’m sure it’s alot of nothing…

    -Scott

  • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

    As of now, the only valid reason I can think of – from a fan’s perspective – is that the Yankees’ brass just do not project a favorable, multi-year market for Bobby Abreu. Maybe all the speculation about the Cubs and Mets’ respective interests in Abreu is just that, and those within the Yankees’ brain trust feel otherwise.

    As for Andy Pettitte, maybe the Yanks think that he will honor his word of playing in the Bronx in 2009 or retire. Therefore, the Yankees feel they can negotiate a pact with Pettitte for under his previous $16M salary from this past season (so why risk offering Pettitte arbitration and run the risk of him earning that $16M salary or more?).

    • Yankee1010

      Because Pettitte’s former BFF also “retired” like that and cost the Yanks a 1st rounder and supplemental rounder under similar circumstances. Pettitte has also left the Yankees before when he feels like he’s being mistreated. I’m not saying he is being mistreated, but he’s the only one who has to think that.

  • Chris

    Hey they still have to midnight to change their minds, right?

  • JeffG

    Leham Bros – Gone.
    Citi Bank – Collapsing.
    JP Morgan – laying off thousands.
    Bear Stearns – Gone.

    And on and on and on.

    Folks, these firms are the ones buying those $7,000 a pop seats on the first base line, not slobs like you and me (who are all probably hurting or getting ready to, as well).

    How much money did YES lose with a mediocre product and no playoffs last year?

    Do not be shocked to see the Yankees payroll at $130-$150 within a year. These arbitration decisions are just a sign of the larger economic whirlwind coming.

  • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

    Brian Cashman is going to be on WFAN (660AM) with Mike Francesa at 6:00 today to explain his reasoning in declining to offer arbitration to the previously mentioned players.

    • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

      I wish I’d said that….lol

      -Scott

  • thisisthedavid

    Andy and Abreu?

    I can understand being worried about Abreu. But if Andy came back for one more year at 16 million its a better investment than Derek Lowe at 3 or 4…

    Whats the status on these players trade wise? if they accept arbitration couldn’t the yankees just trade dudes? just to shed the salary?? or eat money and get talent back?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      The problem is, of course, finding teams to take on those salaries.

  • http://jobatheheat jobatheheat

    I disagree with this move. I at least would have offerered Abreau. Theres no way he would have accepted and we would have gotten type a picks. Worst case He accepts and we have Bobby 1 more year.

    • http://riveraveblues.com/2008/11/04/burnett-opts-out-of-contract-5647/#comments yankee21

      That is not the worst case.

      The worst case is Abreu accepts, they go to arbitration and NY winds up paying 17-18 mil for an OTH OF. And… NY is forced into a position to either deal Nady, Matsui or Damon or go with a horrendous OF of Abreu, Damon and Nady while resigning their best defender Gardner to the bench.

      Bottom line is the Yankees are probably thinking two things; one, the draft is not the be all, end all. Second, they’d rather maintain the payroll flexibility and cost certainty critical in today’s market.

  • Bill

    As I stated before this a perfect way for Hank and Hal to save payroll and this way they do not have to spend alot on the draft.

    People laugh at me but as stated before the Red Sox and the Mets will have a higher payroll by this year or next,

    I cant wait for Hank big quote that they are going to go after all the international free agents and spend alot of money on the draft.

    Hank and Hal are making the Yankees operate like a small market team.

    • Austrian Gay TV

      No, that is not the perfect way to save money. They maybe invest 10 million total in the draft and Int’l FA each year.

      That is one year of Carl Pavano. I much rather them invest in the farm, then have to sign some jackass like Derek Lowe until he is 40 for over 10 mil a year. That is 4 full year’s worth of top draftees, and I guarantee 1 of the 250 players that money goes into will be Derek Lowe or better.

      Now, I am not advocating this move, because in this economy there is a very real possibility of Abreu or Pudge accepting for 17 and 13 mil respectively.

      • Austrian Gay TV

        BUT there is…

  • gg

    this is really really bad……who wouldnt want bobby on a overpriced ONE YEAR deal????? and now were not going to get any picks from him…..I hope their is something we dont know involving a replacement bat….like a pursuit of Manny

  • LC

    I can understand not offering to Abreu or Pettitte, but Pudge?

    Pudge saw at the end of the year last year that the Yanks wouldn’t play him if he didn’t play well. He wants to play. More than play, he wants to start, which he would never do behind Posada.

    I can’t believe there isn’t a 2 year deal on the market for him.

    Although it would have been nice to have picks for some of these players. The risk might not have been worth it. The organization must know something we don’t.

    • SWB

      There might be a 2 year deal but how much more is he going to get than 13mil/2yr. If he accepted he would get 13 this year and X amount next year

    • steve (different one)

      I can’t believe there isn’t a 2 year deal on the market for him.

      2 years for how much, $8-9M per year?

      is that better than accepting arb for $13M/1 year?

  • E-ROC

    This is disappointing. I guess the Yanks don’t have the money that most thought they would. I doubt the reasoning would be because of overpaying Abreu and Pettitte a couple of million. The team may not be able to absorb that kinda cash from those two AND dole out millions to high priced free agents.

    • SWB

      They might have the money and think it is a poor investment. The money can be spent more efficiently than bringing back those players at those salaries.

  • Bill

    This is just the first step in there excuses.

    At the end Hank, Hal & Brian will try to spin why they did not sign any high profile free agents.

    Cashman should have stated why should the Yankees spend money when the staduim is going to be sold out next year.

    Are the Yankees the only team that did not offer arbitration to any of there free agents.

    • Steve

      “Cashman should have stated why should the Yankees spend money when the staduim is going to be sold out next year.”

      I bought into that last year. I was all for giving the kids a shot and with the record the Yanks put up in the 2nd half of 2006, I thought they’d be fine bringing back the same team.

      But that’s not going to wash two years in a row. If they do that, then instead of increasing my plan to a full season as I had planned, I’m going to trim back to a Sunday only plan.

      I love the Yanks, but if they’re not even trying to win then they’re not really the Yankees. In any case, I hope we’re both wrong.

  • stuart

    Hey how about this Pettitte is not worth $16 mill. and if he is going to insist on getting greatly overpaid forget him.

    He should be a smart and reasonable guy and accept a 1 yr. deal for $10 mill., I know those are slave wages but Honorable Andy Mr. values you are not worth close to $16 mill.

  • http://salarydump.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

    It’s certainly no revelation or anything but I wonder if one of the main reasons for declining to offer arbitration lies in the fact that only 40 roster spots exist.

    • Chip

      I’d take offering Abreu arbitration and possibly getting two very high picks over protecting Anthony Claggett

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Eh, oh well. It’s just draft picks.

    • mustang

      LMAO.

    • Steve

      Theo Epstein would have done the exact same thing.

  • RalphieD

    “As I stated before this a perfect way for Hank and Hal to save payroll and this way they do not have to spend alot on the draft.

    People laugh at me but as stated before the Red Sox and the Mets will have a higher payroll by this year or next,

    I cant wait for Hank big quote that they are going to go after all the international free agents and spend alot of money on the draft.

    Hank and Hal are making the Yankees operate like a small market team”

    are….you….crazy?

  • Chip

    So, what’s the bad part about having a player making 18 million while hitting .290/.370/.470? I mean if nothing else, just let him come back and attempt to trade either him or Nady. Eat a bunch of the money and get a prospect back. And really, it’d be stupid for Abreu to go to arbitration anyway. It’s not like he’s getting younger

    I realize that draft picks aren’t the be all and end all but we’re already going to lose our first and second round picks from the probable signing of two type A free agents. So from two consecutive drafts, we have two picks from the first two rounds TOTAL (the Bittle pick is in the third right now but we’ll see). That’s not the way to restock a farm system that’s lacking in everything except pitching and catching.

  • Matt

    I think not offering to Pettite and Pudge was perfectly reasonable, but not offering to Abreu is borderline indefensible. While you guys are right that there’s no way to know if Abreu would have accepted, it seemed like an excellent bet, and apart from that, the downside, even the worst-case scenario is not bad at all. 2008 Abreu was quietly very good again, at least with the stick. I’m sure he’d come out as a $12-14 Million player if properly valued. Getting that on a one year deal while increasing your flexibility with the Swisher-X-Damon-CF crew doesn’t sound so bad. And you think they wouldn’t be able to find a taker at $16M in February in whichever team is left holding the bag in the Burrell-Manny-Dunn sweepstakes? Really disappointing.

  • http://salarydump.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

    Maybe they are pulling a Marte and are going to sign him to a 3-year, $48 million deal.

    • Steve H

      Please no.

  • Rob

    I’m really disappointed as well. At least Pettitte and Abreu should have been offered. It’s a negotiating tactic besides the fact that both could have, at worst, actually contributed to the team in 2009. Abreu is still better than Damon and Nady. Pettitte would grit out 200 innings and for one year is still better than Lowe.

    Now they have no ties to either. Both could easily sign two-year $20 million deals elsewhere, deals that the Yanks have no intention of matching.

    All I know is without CC and one of Teixeira/Manny, this off-season points to another 89-91 win team. And signing Lowe and/or Burnett without CC is a big mistake waiting to happen. So is going into 2009 with the current offense.

  • VO

    I think not offering Andy was a good idea because they can’t afford to pay him 16 mil but Abreu? He had no intention of signning a 1 year deal he said. But now that 16 mil from abreu should be added to the 16 mil from pettite and offer Teixera a contract that hell except, as I have said before if you have tex in the infield with jeter and arod as well as cano hoping on a good year you wont need the stellar outfield

  • Ivan

    Well I see what Cashman is trying to do. It’s quite interesting what’s tryin to accomplish.

    • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

      Boy….that was enlightening.

      -Scott

      • Ivan

        thank you.

  • BigBlueAL

    Hopefully this finally puts to rest all the stupid arguments by alot of people here obsessed with freakin draft picks like its the NFL or NBA. You guys are all up an arms why, because now the Yankees wont get an extra draft pick if Pettitte or Abreu sign elsewhere???? Big f’ing deal. Obviously the Yankees feel that maybe getting an extra draft pick is not worth potentially overpaying Abreu and Pettitte a few million each.

    Plus honestly most people here dont even want Abreu back, and who says Pettitte wont re-sign anyway????? Its amazing how now people here are complaining about whats the big deal to overpay Abreu and/or Pettitte, granted for just one season, yet get up in arms when discussing the money it would take to sign Burnett or Lowe potentially.

    Obviously the Yankees are putting all their eggs into the Sabathia/Burnett/Lowe basket, if not then they would have the same team next season which they obviously dont want and rightfully so.

    Sorry for maybe coming on strong, Im just shocked at the reaction to this basically minor development. One thing for sure, it shows how much passion we all have for the Yankees to say the least!!!!

    • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

      It’s because Cash talks about “rebuilding thr the farm system” whether it be using homegrown products or trading them. These were ways to obtain more picks with little downsde. I’m telling you, when the Yankees talk about spending for free agents and they’re worried about resigning Petitte for $16 mil, with the posibility of getting draft picks if he goes elsewhere – somethings wrong.

      -Scott

      • BigBlueAL

        Its called Cashman blowing smoke up people’s asses, mostly to other GM’s. Its a negotiating ploy against other GM’s. Of course he wants to rebuild the farm system, but the team will still be based on big-ticket FA’s and/or trading for expensive players.

        He has stuck to his guns, witness the non-trade for Santana last year. Just because he is not willing to risk getting a possible extra 1st rounder in terms of paying an extra few million for a player or two they may not necessarily want back anyway is not straying from his rebuilding the farm plan. This is two seperate things. Plus as Pete Abe mentioned they are already guaranteed 2 picks in the first couple of rounds anyway even with the fact they will be getting some Type A FA’s anyway.

        They want roster flexibility which is something they havent had in awhile. Nothing wrong with that….

        • Old Ranger

          Damn good argument I’d say, well done. 27/09

        • Yankee1010

          They are only guaranteed 2 picks in the first couple of rounds because they didn’t sign their 1st and 2nd rounders last year.

          In 2005, the Red Sox let a bunch of vets go, but offered them arbitration. They ended up with Ellsbury, Lowrie, Bucholz and Bowden as a result. not a bad haul for just offering arbitration.

          Joba was a comp. pick. I’m not going to list every comp. pick, but to suggest that draft picks are “minor” ignores reality. How are they supposed to get younger without drafting guys and having a legit farm system?

          This was a missed opportunity.

  • Steve

    Draft picks are sooooo 2006.

  • billbybob

    You know the economy is bad when the Yanks are worried about spending cash. The Steinbrenner’s must of lost crazy cash since September; maybe they are tightening the reins.

    • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

      Hank must be rethinking the company dental plan for the front office crew like his dad…..lol

      -Scott

  • Steve

    THANK GOODNESS the Yanks didn’t offer anyone arbitration.

    Because as a Yankee fan, I’m really worried that their payroll might be 196 million, instead of 192 million.

    • BigBlueAL

      Oh man, as a Yankees fan Im so worried because now they may not get an extra 1st-round pick which we all know will develop into a sure-fire All-Star player by 2012.

      • Steve

        Al, something tells me you missed my sarcasm.

        Explain to me how the team would be hurt if we offered arb and got those picks. Explain to me why I (as a fan) should give a crap about the Yanks saving 4 mil off Andy’s salary. Because in all honesty, I don’t see why any fan should give a damn whether Hal takes home 110 mil next year after taxes or 125 mil after taxes.

        • BigBlueAL

          Hey Ive always been one to say who cares how much the Yankees pay players it aint our money and they can afford it. So I agree with your point in a way, my main complaint is with all these people who constantly complain about the Yankees overpaying players, and now they are all up in arms because the Yankees dont want to be stuck possibly overpaying a couple of players, one of which in Abreu they probably dont want back anyway. Cant have it both ways.

          • Steve

            Gotcha, buddy.

            In any case, I’m not one of those people, so you were clearly aiming that elsewhere.

  • Manimal

    We have too many draft picks anyway. And its not a outstanding draft class.

    • Steve

      We are like Cuba in 1959 when it comes to our farm system.

      Our farm system is a paradise. We have everything anyone could ever want or need, so now we just want to make sure we spread the draft picks around to other franchises.

  • Joe B.

    I can understand the logic here – whether I agree with it or not is entirely separate – but what I want to know now is what Cashman has up his sleeve. I can’t see going into the year with an outfield of Damon/Gardner/Nady, and we only have two starters right now (three if you count Hughes).

    If something isn’t brewing behind the scenes, it needs to be.

  • pat

    All i can take from this is we need all the room we can on the payroll to go after a few big ticket free agents. Pettite can hopefully be signed for less than what he made this year. SOmeone alluded to the lack of interest in Abreu maybe cashman knew nobody would give up a 1st rounder and didnt want to be stuck with another “OTH OF” h/t jamal. I mean who really wants to be outta the sweepstakes for sheets manny tex burnett dunn etc. because we have to give abreu 18 mil? Plus isnt swisher just a younger cheaper more athletic version of bobby anyway?

  • Manimal

    And mike I had a question that I forgot to ask in the live chat.

    What is the chance that CC Sabathia will get a chance to pinch hit if he comes to the american league?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Very unlikely. You don’t sign a guy to a $140M+ contract and then let him take the unnecessary injury risk of pinch hitting.

      • Steve H

        Hank would be thrilled. He was just a tad vocal (as always) after the CMW injury.

  • Ivan

    Wow Fatman Scoop was on the WFAN.

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  • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

    Can we sign Manny now? :D

  • mustang

    I read every comment above and I’m confused. Two comments stand out:
    Scott of 3 Kids Tickets says:
    “It’s because Cash talks about “rebuilding thr the farm system” whether it be using homegrown products or trading them.”
    Mike A:
    “Eh, oh well. It’s just draft picks.”

    Hasn’t Cashman made it a point on how important it is to build the farm system and how important draft picks are?
    And RAB preaches the value of draft picks and Mike A. leads the sermon.
    What happen? I mean this just doesn’t make sense and I have yet to read anyone from the Cashman sides come up with strong argument for this.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      No way. I’m on record on this site several times saying that the value of draft picks is over-rated. The value of a good farm system is something I preach, but having lots of picks doesn’t necessarily make a good system.

      The Yanks have shown the willingness to go significantly over slot for guys that drop in the draft, which is like having extra picks in the early rounds.

      • mustang

        I stand corrected.

    • BigBlueAL

      I still havent read a good argument from the non-Cashman side about this. Except for the of course gold mine extra picks which wouldve turned out to be sure-fire All-Star players by 2012.

      Honestly, I think this is small news and am shocked by the amount of responses so far. Even Cash himself is probably wandering what is the big deal anyway, Pettitte will most likely re-sign with us anyway and we dont want Abreu back to begin with because we are already stuck with 3, 4 if you count Swisher, corner OF’ers.

      • mustang

        “I still havent read a good argument from the non-Cashman side about this. Except for the of course gold mine extra picks which wouldve turned out to be sure-fire All-Star players by 2012.”

        I agree with you I think the picks are over rated, but this is a much different direction then what Cashman preached in the past.
        I can see Pettite but Abreu & Rodriguez someone has to explain that one to me.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

          This is how I see it. How many rumors have you seen surrounding Pudge and Abreu? Close to none. They’ll get offers, for sure. But will they be more attractive offers than the $16-$17 or $13 million, respectively, they’d get in arbitration?

          You can say Pudge wouldn’t accept because he doesn’t want to be Jorge’s backup, and you might be right. But he might also see that guaranteed cash and jump on the arbitration offer, figuring he has a decent shot to start because of Jorge’s injury.

          Same with Abreu. Say the best offer that comes in is 2 years, $24 million. I think he’d rather accept arbitration at that point, take his $17 mil, and make up the $7 mil difference next off-season.

          I’m not saying the decision was right. I’m not sure if it was or not, because I don’t have the inside info. I’m saying it was completely defensible.

          • mustang

            Ok this and Mike P below are the best explanations for this move.

    • Joop

      LOL you.

      • mustang

        Great insight like always Joop.

  • Mike P

    I think the biggest lesson from this episode is that the Yankees see the recession affecting MLB more than most people have realised. The fact no free agent has signed yet points in that direction. They may be convinced that players will come cheaper than anticipated and that Pettite, Abreu & Rodriguez will realise this and jump at arbitration as the FA season drags on.

    • BigBlueAL

      Interesting point. We all probably shouldnt underestimate the impact of the economy on the MLB.

      • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

        If the economy is that bad, don’t offer Sabathia $140 mil. Otherwise, no one is going to believe you when you cry wolf….
        I DIDN’T SAY DON’T SIGN SABATHIA….read it again….lol

        -Scott

        • BigBlueAL

          LOL yeah I know. I meant the economy on all teams in general, and like Mike P said maybe Cashman is using that knowledge to his benefit and was worried that Abreu, Pettitte and even maybe IRod would jump at the their salary they would make in arbitration since the FA market might be dead compared to years past due to the economy.

        • Mike P

          Well like Warren Buffet would tell you, don’t let a few million get in the way of a fundementally sound asset! On a serious note, that contract offer was different as CC is unlikely to sign for the Yanks if someone else offers similar. They desperately need him and that move probably ends a bidding war before it starts. One offer to Sabathia does not reflect on the overall FA market, which has been dead silent so far.

    • Steve H

      That’s a great point. While the recession may have a much smaller affect on the Yankees, or none at all, it will have a greater affect on other teams and will drive prices down.

    • Steve

      I’ll buy that. They’ve assessed the market place and they clearly think that both Abreu, Pudge and Andy will have so few suitors that arb isn’t worth the risk of having to pay them. That could also explain why the hot stove market has been ice cold up until now. Everyone is scared to spend any money.

      The GM’s meetings will prove whether or not they were right. If players start getting signed to huge deals, then the Yanks completely misread this market. If players activity is tepid, and the free agents who do sign get less years than everyone thought, then they were right.

  • kenthadley

    IMO, anyone that says they buy these non-tender decisions of Cash is just drinking his Kool-Aid……check out how many teams tendered their FA’s……why are the draft picks unimportant to us, but valuable to them? Maybe because we dont sign our picks anyhow……..connect the dots…..these decisions today, the reduction in spending in June draft, the reduction in spending for International signings, the Santana rejection (which I agreed with based on the reasons offered, but now I see purely as a financial decision)……..this payroll will be in the 150 M category…….that’s the primary strategy…..thank you, Hal…….

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Yes, because winning with a sub-$150M payroll is impossible. It’s science.

      • kenthadley

        absolutely not impossible…..but not next year when coming down from 210…..unless you really think the kids will step up big time…..that is a lot to ask, as we saw last year…..

      • mustang

        It’s not impossible, but for the Yankees payroll should not be that big of a factor.
        I don’t totally agree with this guy, but you must admit his theory does have some legs.
        I hope Hal and Hank aren’t going cheap on us.

  • A.D.

    I can see the arguments with Pudge & Pettite… but Abreu, seriously? I actually don’t know why the the Yankees wouldn’t take the 1 year deal, frankly I figured they don’t really want Abreu for long term contract compared to at all, he’d even be a decent trade bait….really scratching my head on that one.

    Figure if Abreu accepted, go Damon, Swish, Abreu in the OF (Nady 1B). or Try and trade Nady, Swish, or Abreu in spring training for prospects.

    Obviously Yankees will have plenty of draft picks, would have been nice to have 2 more.

  • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees Eric

    I could defend Cashman by saying that he probably had reason to believe that those 2 would accept arbitration if offered, so there would be no draft picks gained anyway. If that was the case, then not offering arbitration to Abreu was understandable. I have to imagine that the agents for Abreu and Pettitte made it clear to Cashman that they would accept arbitration, so it was not offered. If that wasn’t the case, then Cashman made a mistake (at least with Abreu). You can shrug off the importance of draft picks all you want, but a lot of the reason for the resurgence of the Yankee farm in the past few years was because of their first-rounders and sandwich picks. Without 1st-round and sandwich picks, there is no Hughes, Joba, or Kennedy.

    • kenthadley

      if they tell Cash they would accept arbitration, doesn’t that hurt their leverage? If I was an agent, I dont think I’d admit that to the GM I was negotiating with……maybe I’m missing something here….

      • A.D.

        well actually they want arb dropped, they can negotiate more freely with other clubs if there is no type A tag on them… if your a GM would you like Abreu & your first round pick or Ibanez and no pick, obv depends on how you weight the players, but it can’t hurt Abreu’s status that he no longer costs a draft pick

  • Conan the Barack O’Brian

    A lot of great points above: recession somewhat at play, MLB fiscal restraint communication to owners at play, Joe P’s point on what Abreu will realistically get as an offer elsewhere.

    This I am a bit confused about: on one hand they want to dictate the price on Abreu and Pettitte. Yet on the other, they significantly increase the incentive for other teams to sign those guys, as they won’t have to give up a draft pick to get them.

    So which is it: do the Yanks want them or not? Am I over-valuing draft picks to think that other teams would not sign either one on that basis? Possibly the Yanks are merely gambling that other teams won’t make more competitive offers to either Pettitte or Abreu, as there is considerable lack of chatter. Nevertheless, they are focusing on other available free agents first and foremost, and they are basically identifying Pettitte and Abreu as just fishes in that big pool, with no need to be obligated to them in any way through the arb process, loss of draft picks or not.

    • steve (different one)

      So which is it: do the Yanks want them or not?

      Pettite, yes. Abreu, no.

  • Reggie C.

    Its surprising to think the market for Abreu being so weak that Cash wouldn’t offer arbitration. Abreu will contribute to any team. He’s not a 3 hitter as we used him, but he’s a good 5/6 type. Abreu isn’t at the stage where he’s a 1 year guy. I totally won’t be surprised to see the Hot Stove heat up tomorrow on Abreu.

  • Rob

    They should have offered to all of Pettitte, Abreu, and Pudge with the veiled threat that they could get cut after the arbitration hearing if the salary was too high. That would have made the players think twice about accepting if they were truly going to sit on their past contracts.

    The important point is that they didn’t have to follow through on this threat. But having it on the table gave them leverage. If I’m a free agent in March the market is a very different place for me with budgets set.

    They’ve gone from having perhaps 6-8 first round and supplemental picks to maybe 1 or 2 if they sign a Type A. And even if the draft class is weak this year the beauty of the system is they can not come to terms with their picks (wink, wink) and and then get supplemental picks in 2010.

    I’m now convinced that Cashman is an idiot. That point will be hammered home when he signs Lowe and Burnett.

  • Captainwiley

    Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Pettitte’s salary of $16m last year the second highest of all pitchers (Santana got $17m in 2008)? I love Andy, but he simply isn’t worth $16m/year or a possible raise on top of that. It’s easy for us to throw numbers around about a few extra mil here and there, but if the Yankees are starting to actually reign in their past frivolous spending habits, the whole free agent landscape would see the effects. The above average group of free agents (Abreu included) might not see the same av annual salaries they are used to.

    The CC offer gives me comfort though because I agree with opening the vault to sign the premier players in the game when they become available. I’d rather have CC (at $25m/year) and one of our rookies in the rotation than Andy ($16m/year) and someone like Garland ($12m/year).

    And yes, I’m one of the minority who dreams of the damage Manny and Arod could do in the lineup. Again, I’d rather have Manny and Gardner ($25m total/year) in the outfield than Abreu and Cameron ($25m total/year).

  • Malcard89

    I believe that this was a very flawed move. My argument runs with the others who claim that Abreu is still a productive asset on any team for more than one year, and how is he not? We are looking at this situation from the impossibly high standards of a Yankee fan, which is to make the playoffs every year and have an all-star at every position. Bobby Abreu’s stats are worthy of a 5/6 hitter on the Yankees star-studded offense, which happened to underperform this year due to Cano, Melky, and Posada being either MIA or just not good. However, on ANY other team, Bobby Abreu is a legitamite 3 hitter. Having him back for a year at $16 million is not the worst thing in the world, especially when you have older guys like Manny Ramirez primed for a monster deal over 3-4 years. Pettitte can be debated, I believe there’s no right or wrong with his situation, but c’mon… you have to offer Abreu arbitration at this point where draft picks are indeed important (contrary to Mike’s argument) because it would have gotten us two high picks, especially considering how many we will lose if we assumedly sign two Type A free agents. Other teams aren’t afraid anymore to go overslot, they realize the value of overpaying early in a player’s career (overslot in the draft) for a chance at a bonafide star in the future. And no, im not saying Cashman is “TEH worst gm in the world!!1!1!!!” because of this, but it is a disappointing move.

  • dkidd

    i distort facts until they align with my wishes, so i’ve decided this means we’re planning to make a CC-esque run at texiera!

  • Tooch

    One bothersome thing about this is the fact that we’ll never truly know whether Cashman made a good move or a bad move. I suppose with Pettitte, if he ends up in pinstripes for $12M in 2009, then it’s a fine move.

    But with Abreu, I’m sure there will be a market for him as this week progresses. I’m sure once that happens, people will be on here bashing Cashman for not offering arbitration. But you have to wonder- if we had offered arbitration, and now teams are giving up first round draft picks for an over-the-hilll OF with bad defense who couldn’t win in Philly or New York, would the market still be there??

    Just some food for thought for all the critics…

    • Reggie C.

      Watch Abreu sign a 3 year deal the week of the winter meetings. He’s not likely to get 16 ML per, but watch him get 3 years.

      • Tooch

        I wouldn’t be surprised either I don’t think, something to the extent of 3 years, $40M sounds very possible. But I’m fairly certain you don’t see that same contract getting inked at the winter meetings had he been offered arbitration.

  • Rob

    Great so the Dodgers offered Lowe and Manny.

    Let me get this straight:

    The Dodgers could now replace their starting pitcher and outfielder with Abreu and Pettitte, cut payroll in the process, and collect a bunch of picks.

    The Yanks, by contrast, could lay out double the dollars to Manny and Lowe and collect no picks in the process.

    Yeah, when Cashman winds up get fucked hard by Colletti, who has many fewer dollars to play with, that’s saying something.

    • steve (different one)

      what an idiotic post.

      you know what’s not going to happen? this.

      • Rob

        Yeah, Pettitte and Lowe swapping teams seems really idiotic. In just that scenario, guess who gets picks?

    • http://justinyates.wordpress.com justin

      It’s a moot point because Manny won’t be a Yankee in 09′

  • Old Ranger

    What is all the ruckus about. They didn’t offer arbitration to three guys, so what! Do you actually think the Yanks wanted Pudge or Bobby back, at all…No way?Andy is different, if he will take a cut he comes back, if not…we move on without him.
    Mike, Joe, Mustang (more or less) hit it pretty close I think. Yanks want the flexibility they haven’t had the last few years getting three spots (40 man) and saving a ton of money is good thinking. Now they have about $45mm that can be used else where…like CC and Tex.
    Just for the edification of some of the fans here; it is their money and they will spend it judiciously for good players, not has be-ens. We have the pitchers to plug in if we miss out on big guys, not as reliable but…we do that which we can do and not worry about that which we can’t control. I am confident Cash has a plan, let it revel itself to us…in do time. 27/09.

  • LeftyLarry

    Smart play by Yanks.If they offer Abreu or Pettitte arbitration they both take it because nobody will offer them big bucks like that.Now they can sign either for much less money if they want to.
    Pudge?
    He might have accepted arbitration also.
    I like what Cashman did here.

  • Phil McCracken

    I think this whole thing is a head scratcher. People are saying how tuned into the economy Cashman is, meanwhile Boston offers arbitration to a .215 hitting, 37 year old Varitek and Paul Byrd.

    I was pretty shocked when Cashman didn’t go the no risk route on Marte by picking up the option and this is pretty shocking as well. Worst case scenario is the cut the guys loose in the Spring and pay them for a month.

    30 days pay for Abreu or Pettitte is 2 beers at the new Yankee Stadium.

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  • Andy

    Bottom line, this was stupid. I don’t care if I am not cutting the checks, privy to the conversations, etc., whatever excuse the homers who hate any criticism of the organization may offer. This is the site which made an excellant and compelling case for offering Pettitte arbitration, and this move may be looked at as a slap in the face forcing Pettitte to sign with LA with no compensation.

    They will go out an pay more per year than Pettitte would get in arbitration for a multiyear deal (maybe four or five years) to a pitcher OLDER than Pettitte who hasn’t pitched in the AL in years, and when he pitched in the AL when he was in his prime had an ERA over 5, instead of RISK taking on a one year deal with a proven starter who can be a great back end of the rotation placeholder so the Yanks can take a year to see if one of their young guys is ready to take a rotation slot. That is sheer madness. The ONLY way this isn’t a bad move is if the Yanks sign Pettitte to a reasonable one year deal.

    And that doesn’t even get into Abreu, who was the Yanks one chance at getting a draft pick back for the two and maybe three they are going to lose – we forget that the farm system was so terrible for so long because the Yanks never had any high draft picks, and it was only in the past couple of years, when they didn’t sign the big names every year, that they had the picks to sign Joba, Hughes, Kennedy, et. al. And don’t give me this well we still have the Cole and Bittle picks – no, we don’t, because we LOST THOSE LAST YEAR, which means in the aggregate we are already DOWN THOSE TWO PICKS. I didn’t want Abreu back, so if there was a high risk he would accept, maybe this wasn’t so horrible, but if I were him, at that age and with those declining numbers, I’d try my damnedest to find a multiyear deal somewhere. And would a year of well above average offense be that horrible, with so much money coming off the books? And wouldn’t he have trade value, even at that salary, since it’d be a one year deal, especially if we ate some of the money?

    I just don’t get it, and I think it was a bad move not to offer either arbitration. I just hope they sign Pettitte, and make good picks with the few picks they will have in next year’s draft.

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