With Burrell, Bradley near deals, Cashman is justified

Wrapping up December
Report: Giambi to return to Oakland

Pat Burrell is a 32-year-old power-hitting outfielder with some pretty good career numbers. He’s a .257/.367/.485 hitter with an OPS+ of 119. While he’s not as good as Bobby Abreu, he is two and a half years younger than the former Yankee and was hoping for a significant payday this off-season.

Milton Bradley is two years younger than Burrell and seems to be fulfilling the offensive potential that earned him rave reviews while a top prospect for the Expos. He has a career line of .280/.370/.457 and is coming off a season with an OPS+ of 163. He too was set for a big deal.

It’s fairly shocking, then, to learn that Bradley has signed a three-year, $30-million deal with the Cubs while Pat the Bat is on the verge of signing a two-year, $16-million deal with Tampa Bay. Burrell made $14 million alone in 2008 and was coming off of a six-year, $50-million deal. I highly doubt that a 40 percent salary reduction was in his head while the Phillies were celebrating their World Series Championship.

Now, what, you may be wondering, does this have to do with the Yankees? Well, Burrell and Bradley are the next two — behind Raul Ibañez — in the group of corner outfielders to sign, and they’re both doing so at AAVs well below what anyone would have expected just a few months ago. With these signings, the market for Bobby Abreu is further defined, and there is virtually no way that in 2009 Bobby Abreu will earn anywhere close to the $16 million the Yankees paid him last year.

In other words, had the Yankees offered arbitration to Bobby Abreu, there is a very good chance Abreu would have accepted, and the Yankees would be paying a 35-year-old Abreu far above market value for his services. While they may have sacrificed a draft pick in the process, the Yankees made the right choice when they let Abreu go, and each outfield signing this winter just emphasizes that reality.

email
Wrapping up December
Report: Giambi to return to Oakland
  • Mike Pop

    Probably would of made Teix never come here and go to the Sox.

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    While they may have sacrificed a draft pick in the process

    Don’t forget, Abreu would have been less desirable if the acquiring had to also give up a 1st round pick for him, so maybe they didn’t sacrifice a draft pick after all. (Which is also why it is virtually guaranteed that no one will sign that All-Star catcher from Bahstin.)

    • http://www.youtube.com/kevyyankees Kevin G.

      I have a question, how did Jason Varitek become a type A when giambi and pudge weren’t even ranked?

      • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees Eric

        Because Elias factors in “grit” when making their rankings

        • waswhining

          And don’t forget, Tek calls a great game…

      • Ed

        Counting stats and games played make up most of the rankings. The rankings cover the previous two seasons. Giambi didn’t play a lot last year, and Pudge was a backup for a lot of this season.

  • Mark

    Yea, Cashman was justified with Abreu. But if Lowe also signs a lower-than-initially-expected contract, was he justified with regards to Burnett?

    • A.D.

      Well Burnett would have signed with the Braves if not the Yankees, they weren’t competing with Lowe, they were competing with the Braves.

      Obv. you can debate the money/year/player tradeoff on Lowe vs Burnett, but it appears whatever extra they spent isn’t going to prevent them from doing what they want

    • Ryan S.

      I would say yes, because the Yankees preferred Burnett over Lowe. If I remember correctly, Burnett was going to Atlanta for a 5/80 deal before we got heavily involved, so Burnett would’ve still signed a very similar contract even if we weren’t going after him.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      But if Lowe also signs a lower-than-initially-expected contract, was he justified with regards to Burnett?

      Only the performance (and health) of Burnett and Lowe over the next few years will answer that. From the beginning (Scott Boras’s bluster aside), it was clear that Burnett was going to get more dollars and years. We preferred Burnett, because we thought he was the better pitcher (and we were willing to go more years and more dollars for the better player, as usual). If we’re right, and Burnett is better, than yes, Cash is justified.

      If not, if Lowe is the better pitcher (or if Burnett breaks down and Lowe remains healthy), then no, we made a bad choice. Burnett v. Lowe isn’t a contract/money evaluation, it’s a production evaluation.

    • waswhining

      Is it just me or has everyone forgotten just how much of a headcase Derek Lowe used to be? The guy would give up a hit, the shoulders would slump, the whole body would signal Why Me, Why Am I Here and Varitek would rush out to the mound to gently burp him. As a Yankee fan back in the day, he was a delight to watch. I haven’t followed him since he left the Sawks but I can’t believe his makeup has change that much. He’s a perfect match for the Mets and thank God we’ve dodged a bullet.

  • A.D.

    Worked out, for sure, much rather have the FA that we got.

  • Ryan S.

    Good foresight by Cashman and crew. I hate to sound like a broken record, but if Theo had done the same thing, he would be getting a ton of credit for his ability to project the market. This is a decision by Cashman that no one, outside of the educated sections of the Yankee fan base, will ever appreciate.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      Theo actually fucked up by offering Varitek arb, but Boras bailed him out by having Tek decline it. Man, how I wish that they had to pay their back-up catcher $10+mil/year.

      • Glen L

        I don’t think it would have affected the Red Sox offseason one bit had Tek accepted (i.e. they would have still pursued Teix) … and for a team with the financial might of the Sox to have a player as popular (if sucky) as Tek for 1 year at 10mm, well I don’t think anyone would have been too upset (provided that wasn’t incentive to give him more than a backup’s number of PAs)

      • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Last Don

        Mr Potty Mouth you are incorrect. Theo and Co were trying to be the “good guys” with their fans. They almost knew he would not accept arb. If he did they were on the hook for one year and ten and they would look good with their fan base.

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          Theo and Co were trying to be the “good guys” with their fans. They almost knew he would not accept arb

          How do you know this? This ownership has never done that before, not with Nomar, not w/ Pedro, not w/ Manny. So maybe that’s your opinion, which you are entitled to, but my opinion is that Theo fucked up.

          If he did they were on the hook for one year and ten and they would look good with their fan base.

          Yeah, because the Boston fans are totally impressed when ownership pays $10+mil for OPS+ of 73.

  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

    This was a great read. Good job, Cash.

  • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

    He didn’t even offer arbitration to Moose, and he retired. That was a joke.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      You’re complaining about that? Why offer arb to a player that’s going to retire; what’s the benefit in that? Unless you have good reason to believe he pulls a Clemens (which we don’t), all you’re doing is tying up a 40 man spot on a guy who won’t end up using it.

      Offering Moose arb probably costs us Dan Geise, and we don’t get Moose nor a pick…

      • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

        Wait how does it tie up a 40 man spot? When you offer arbitration does it designate a spot for them in the 40 man roster? At the time, I thought Pettite should have been offered arbitration as well but I didn’t know he had plans to sign AJ.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Could be wrong but I believe an arb offer constitutes a contract offer, meaning the player has to stay on your 40 man. Here’s what likely would have happened had we offered Moose arb, in descending order of likelihood:

          1) We offer and he declines, firmly stating that he’s retiring. No harm, no foul same as not offering. 75% odds.
          2) We offer and he accepts, as he’s on the fence about retiring. He drags it out through December, slowing the process on our CC/ Burnett, and eventually decides to retire. We likely lose out on Burnett, who signs with the Braves. Still no Moose, still no pick. 20% odds.
          3) We offer and he accepts, and we sign CC and not Burnett. I’m fine with this, but I don’t see it happening. 4% odds.
          4) We offer and he declines, signing elsewhere. We get picks. 1% chance of this happening.

          Remember, this isn’t Andy or Roger from Houston. This is Moose. He didn’t want to pitch anywhere, and his only other desired option (distant, distant second) was a three year deal back here.

          I fail to see how this is not a non-story.

      • http://www.youtube.com/kevyyankees Kevin G.

        Wait, I’m confused, how does offering Moose cost us Giese?

      • Ed

        You only need to give up the roster spot when the player accepts. Moose would only cost a roster spot if he accepted the offer and then retired again, which wouldn’t make any sense.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Oh, okay, thanks. So, no losing Geise, but still not a big deal, IMO.

          90% of the decision to offer arb or not should be based on the likelihood of acceptance and the likelihood of departure. If Moose was going to retire (hence, both not accepting and not going elsewhere), an arb offer is a pointless formality.

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Here’s my question: If you’re the Phillies, why do you give Raul Ibañez that 3/31.5?

    Burrell is younger and a better hitter than Ibañez, and they’re both equally blah on defense. You paid more money and more years for the older, inferior hitter, instead of retaining a member of your own core for a more team-friendly contract.

    They jumped in the wrong lifeboat too soon in the season…

    • Ryan S.

      I totally agree. Don’t forget that they didn’t offer arb. to Burrell and lost a pick by signing Ibanez, so they had a double whammy on the draft aspect of the deal. It was a completely stupid and pointless move.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Good point. Retaining your own superior, 32 year old player and not losing a pick is better than signing some other teams inferior, 36 year old player and giving a pick away…

        • Mister Delaware

          Its just a brutal, brutal decision by Amaro. Looked bad at the time, getting worse by the day.

          • Mike Pop

            They are chanting G-I-L-L-I-C-K in Philly.

    • A.D.

      Batting average!!!

      • Ryan S.

        OBP!

        • A.D.

          Well Ibanez has the lower OBP, the only thing he’s better than Burell in is batting average, and hitting left handed.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Raul Ibañez, wOBA:
            2005 – .344
            2006 – .359
            2007 – .356
            2008 – .356

            Pat Burrell, wOBA:
            2005 – .384
            2006 – .381
            2007 – .391
            2008 – .374

            Raul Ibañez, birthday:
            6/2/1972

            Pat Burrell, birthday:
            10/10/1976

            • Ryan S.

              Wow, its not even that close in terms of wOBA.

              Let’s not forget that Pat is a well liked player amongst the franchise and probably cost them a marginal amount of money in merchandise/marketing stuff and replacing him with Ibanez probably displeased the fanbase – both the ignorant masses and statheads alike could agree this was a bad move.

    • JeffG

      Not sure if you had a chance to read this one:

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....th-ibanez/

    • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Last Don

      The answer is Amaro is over his head at a job that Stand Pat made look easy. Almost the entire Phillies organization is made up of boobs and fools (most with big money and or strong ties to the area and or the national league for decades) who jettisoned the two bright spots (Gillick and Arbuckle) of their franchise less than a week after they won their 2nd WS title in a billion years.

      Gillick was not a fan of ownerships practice in being cheap, and not going after top talent. Not retaining Arbuckle might be the bigger mistake by the Phils.

      • steve (different one)

        Not retaining Arbuckle might be the bigger mistake by the Phils

        totally agree.

  • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

    and to add to Abreu, he also justified not giving a contract to Pudge and Big G as well.

  • A.D.

    Burell will be a nice upgrade for the Rays over Floyd

  • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    “In other words, had the Yankees offered arbitration to Bobby Abreu, there is a very good chance Abreu would have accepted, and the Yankees would be paying a 35-year-old Abreu far above market value for his services. While they may have sacrificed a draft pick in the process, the Yankees made the right choice when they let Abreu go, and each outfield signing this winter just emphasizes that reality.”

    I made a comment about this in Mike’s chat today (as “Guest,” I forgot to write my handle in the little field before I submitted the comment) and I feel compelled to bring it up again. You guys are wrong about the significance of the Burrell and Bradley deals in connection with the Yankees’ decision to decline to offer arbitration to Bobby Abreu. The choice the Yankees made is NOT validated by the contracts entered into by Burrell/Bradley nor will it be validated if Abreu himself receives less than (about) $16 million AAV on his next contract, no matter the duration of that contract. The only way the decision to decline to offer arbitration to Abreu could be “validated” is if Bobby Abreu or his representative states that he definitely would have accepted an arbitration offer from the Yankees (whether because he just wanted to be a Yankee or because he knew he wouldn’t get the $/yrs he wants on the open market). What happens today is irrelevant to what happened a month ago when the decision was made by the Yankees (and when such offer would have either been accepted or declined by Abreu).

    Before everyone kills me here, please note that I’m NOT saying I disagree with the decision not to offer arbitration to Abreu. What I disagree with is the argument that somehow the fact that the FA market for aging OF/DH types is depressed validates the decision to not offer Abreu arbitration.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I hear what you’re saying, but I don’t think you’re analyzing the full picture. Part of the arbitration decision is about assessing the market for players of similar ability and age as Bobby Abreu. Cashman had to make a market decision when he offered arbitration to Abreu, and Abreu would have had to make a market decision when he accepted or declined that offer. It’s all part of the equation, and what happens today is far from irrelevant to what happened a month ago.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        But the important thing here is whether Abreu would have accepted or declined, not whether the Yankees read the market correctly. I agree that the Yankees correctly surmised that any arbitration award they might have been forced to pay Abreu (had he accepted an offer of arbitration) would have been above his market value and his value to the team in 2009, and I applaud the Yankees’ F.O. for good work in that regard. But there’s a whole in your reasoning between that statement and the statement that the contracts given to Bradley/Burrell “validate” the Yankees’ decision to decline to offer arbitration to Abreu.

        • CB

          No. As a business you assess the market and try to make decisions based on the dynamics of the market as you see it.

          You don’t try to outguess the psychology of a particular individual and assume that he and his agent will completely misread the market and then make an irrational decision.

          You are not factoring in opportunity cost or risk into your argument.

          The yankees determined that the opportunity cost of offering Abreu salary arbitration was more “expensive” than losing the picks and having financial control of their roster – including the ability to pursue Teixeira if they chose.

          They made the right calculation. That’s all you can do as a business. You can’t run your operation on the premise that the other party will make a poor decision.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Actually, you’re just jumping ahead. I SPECIFICALLY STATED: “Before everyone kills me here, please note that I’m NOT saying I disagree with the decision not to offer arbitration to Abreu.”

            All I said was that the now-developed market does not justify the decision to decline to offer arbitration. The title of Ben’s post is “With Burrell, Bradley near deals, Cashman is justified,” and that single issue is the one I discussed. Analysis of risk, goals and interests is another issue altogether and was not discussed in my comment.

            • Ron

              All I said was that the now-developed market does not justify the decision to decline to offer arbitration.

              From a purely logical standpoint, the results can never justify the decision – the decision must stand on its own merits, but very few people understand this, especially as it applies to sports.

              An easy example to understand is, if in a game of blackjack you’re sitting on 20, ask for a hit and happen to draw an ace, that outcome does not justify your horrendously stupid decision.

              Presumably, Cashman has a cadre of financial experts (economists, consultants, etc.) at his disposal to help him form his decisions on matters like this. If the process he used was correct, well then that is all you can ask for. You can’t control the outcome.

              If, over time, you use the correct process, your outcomes will tend to be satisfactory. If, on the other hand, you use a flawed process, then your results will probably reflect that also.

              A baseball example is when to use Mo. If Wang is leading 3-0, spinning a two-hit shutout through 8, has retired the last 10 in a row, has a pitch count of 89 and Mo has pitched the last three days in a row, most people would agree that it is a mistake to bring Mo in to that game. The fact that Mo saves that game does not make it a good decision.

              Now if Wang is leading 5-4, has been in trouble all game, has a pitch count of 115 and Mo hasn’t piched in two days, again, most rational people would agree that brining in Mo is the correct move.

              Now, if Mo blows the save, IT WAS STILL THE CORRECT MOVE. You can only control the process, not the outcome.

        • A.D.

          Its true Abreu’s people could have given him bad advice like other FAs and declined.

          Basically it validates the risk/reward wasn’t there, if the player does whats right in hindsight the Yanks don’t get picks and have an overpaid outfielder that they didn’t want, and presumably can’t move because he’s being paid 6-8M more than the market.

        • Glen L

          Abreu’s decision would have been guided by the market at the time the deadline approached for accepting (or his agent SHOULD have made sure that was the thought process) … even a few weeks ago it was obvious the market for corner outfielders and the market for FAs in general was going to be very buyer friendly, as such Abreu’s decision should have been colored by such information.

          In that regard, the decision to not offer arbitration isn’t dependant on what Abreu says he would or wouldn’t have done. The decision stands as a prescient reading of the market slightly ahead of time by Cash and co.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            You assume that players/agents knew, in early December, that the market for OF/DHs would be SEVERELY depressed. There is not an iota of evidence to support that statement. It may be true, but you can’t act like it’s fact.

            “…the decision to not offer arbitration isn’t dependant on what Abreu says he would or wouldn’t have done.”

            This is just plain, flat-out incorrect.

            • whozat

              “This is just plain, flat-out incorrect.”

              No, it’s not. Decisions are made with the information that you have at the time, not assuming knowledge of what the other side would have done.

              If you decide to stick on a 19 in blackjack, does the fact that the next card was a 2 make your decision “wrong”?

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                “No, it’s not. Decisions are made with the information that you have at the time, not assuming knowledge of what the other side would have done.”

                But we’re not talking about whether thety made the right decision! We’re talking about whether that decision is JUSTIFIED by contracts enterede into a month later.

            • A.D.

              Well there is some evidence, namely everyone knew the economy wasn’t going well, and everyone knew that there would be a bunch of DH corner OF types

    • Thomas

      I agree 100% with what you said and have stated the same thing once or twice on this blog myself.

      Very few players, including Varitek, Bradley, and Ibanez (who are probably all inferior to Abreu), accepted arbitration. Judging by their demands, it appears many of the players thought they would still get better offers than an arbitration deal.

      I suspect Abreu would have declined the Yankees offer of arbitration, since he thought he could get 3 years at about $15M per.

      However, I still think the Yanks were right in not offering arbitration, because the chance that Abreu would accept far outweighed the chance of getting any draft picks.

    • Yankee1010

      I agree with Mondesi a little bit and submitted a somewhat similar analysis during the chat, i.e. the time to evaluate the Abreu decision was last month when Abreu had to decide whether to accept.

      Granted, if the market is really going to be this depressed (which suggests that it’s possible Abreu could have been worried about it a month ago), maybe Abreu would have accepted then and that probably means no Teixeira. In that case, I think the Yanks came out of the situation pretty well.

    • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Last Don

      “What I disagree with is the argument that somehow the fact that the FA market for aging OF/DH types is depressed validates the decision to not offer Abreu arbitration.”

      I agree and also add this:

      The Yankees being the Yankees also in some degree can either set the market or create an event in which alters the market to a degree that will effect the direction the market eventually heads in, even if that eventuality is as soon as a month later. This matter is very complex and I doubt anybody here has enough info to really know anything about it in any definite terms, I know I do not.

      Something else I said in the last few months is the effect of the over all economy will have on baseball and its players including “stars”. The top two or three guys at each position in baseball might not take a hit but the rest of the field will. This is also some righting of the ship for baseball and sports as well as the economy as a whole.

      With this new economic marketplace now in effect I think the guys who make up those goofy stats that says how much a guy is worth could buy a whole lot more players with less of their pretend stat money.

  • Ed

    Mondesi is exactly right. Similarly, if Jason Varitek or Manny Ramirez or Orlando Cabrera knew how the market was going to unfold, they may have accepted the arbitration offers they declined. Hindsight is 20/20 – these players didn’t have the benefit of hindsight when they had to make the call on whether to accept arbitration.

    • A.D.

      Well, I’d argue Tek knew his market, his price isn’t so much deflated because of current economics, but because he isn’t good, Orlando Cabrera was essentially pushed out of chicago, they announces they’re moving Alexi Ramierz there awhile ago. Manny, might still get more money, and part of the trade was he would decline arb, on top of it the Dodgers are still there for Manny, and they will pay him, worse case he probably gets 2 years with more than 20M per year, or better than 1 year 20M.

      But back to Abreu, he wasn’t leaving the Yankees because he wanted to, he wanted to stay, and he wanted a 3 year deal, not necessarily more money then he was being paid previously. Which one was more important, we’ll never know, if he was given an opportunity to come back to the Yanks on the 1 yr 16M via arb, he might have taken it, many could see that FA might not be that great this year, and he could take as good a salary as he was going to get & playing for the team he wanted to be with.

      We’ll never know, but I think we’d all be pissed & worse off if there was no Tex because Abreu accepted

      • Ed

        “Well, I’d argue Tek knew his market, his price isn’t so much deflated because of current economics, but because he isn’t good”

        That makes no sense. If he knew his market, then it would have made no sense for Varitek to turn down arbitration. Because right now his best hope is maybe a 1 year deal with Boston for significantly less than his arbitration figure. Your comment suggests that Varitek suddenly started to suck after he declined the arbitration offer.

        • A.D.

          It suggests that he put too much faith in Scott Boras.

          I shouldn’t have said “Tek knew his market” but that Tek’s market hasn’t changed that much due to the economy, so that fact that he declined arb, in my mind, was very stupid.

          He’s a catcher who put up a terrible offensive season, and most of his value is in “intangibles” or hoping for a bounce back season (presumably 2007 would be his bounce back now).

    • whozat

      No, but their agents should have. Who’s to say that Bobby’s agent isn’t as smart as Cashman’s people?

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Name one high (or relatively high) profile FA/arbitration case in which the player who was offered arbitration accepted.

        • whozat

          Irrelevant, due to selection bias. A lot of old, expensive guys were not offered arby, thus could not accept.

          The top, top guys didn’t, because they were still going to get money. Boras’ guys didn’t, but you know what…looks like Boras might have done some of his less-desirable guys a disservice.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            “Irrelevant, due to selection bias. A lot of old, expensive guys were not offered arby, thus could not accept.”

            Fair enough, but it cuts both ways – who’s to say whether he would have accepted or not. The point you responded to, however, still stands. The current market is not validation of arbitration decisions made by teams in early December.

            • whozat

              “The current market is not validation of arbitration decisions made by teams in early December.”

              …yeah it is. It shows that Cashman read the developing market correctly. Unless he had some inside info that Abreu’s agents saw things fundamentally differently, he made the only wise choice.

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                “…yeah it is. It shows that Cashman read the developing market correctly.”

                Ok, I feel like we need to slow this down a bit. WE AGREE that the now-developed market is valdation of Cashman’s apparent reading of the market back in November/early December. THAT IS A DIFFERENT ISSUE than whether or not the now-developed market justifies his decision to decline to offer arbitration to Bobby Abreu. Please read the original post by Ben and my original comment in response, I think we’re talking about different issues.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Two things, Mondesi, with full December 1 presentism in mind:

              1) Bobby, IMO, is slightly more likely to accept than Varitek, Cabrera, Bradley, etc. because he’s getting paid more now. Going into arb with a baseline salary of 16M, he stood to make a possible 18-20M one shot payday. That’s harder to turn down, even not anticipating a market collapse. Plus, he’s on the Yankees, who figure on spending a lot of money to improve the team (increasing his chances of being on a winner if he stays), he’s not injury prone, he’s surrounded by good hitters, and the corner OF market looks thinner next year (increasing his chances of maintaining good production through 2009 and being a desirable FA next winter), and he likes it here.

              It’s far from impossible to think that he would have accepted and bet on delaying that multi-year deal one more season.

              2) Ultimately, it’s a risk/reward decision. We didn’t want Bobby back (for good reason). We weren’t willing to gamble on getting two picks at the possible cost of him accepting and us being stuck with him (also, sound reasoning). The risk outweighed the reward. Yes, you’re correct that the current market is not “validation” per se of our December decision, but it’s damn sure contributory evidence.

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                Dude that’s all well and good, but it’s off-topic from my point. Probably my bad for allowing myself to get dragged into a tangential, but similar, discussion. If you read my comments I think you’ll find that not once (I believe) have I argued that Bobby Abreu would have accepted arbitration, or that Cashman made the wrong decision in declining to offer arbitration to Abreu.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Fair enough, perhaps we’re both going off on tangents.

                  Hey Mondesi, speaking of going off on tangents, did you hear that I won the Inaugural RAB Fantasy Football League this year? It was so easy, it was like the opposite of taking candy from Bobby Abreu.

                  Rafi, jsbrendog, Mike, Joe, and SAMIAMSPORTS were Varitekian pushovers compared to my utter dominance. Over before it started.

                  [ Fantasy Football Championship Bragging Rights Name Drop #13 of 1000 ]

                • Mike Pop

                  You will NEVER get to 1000 unless you start to get lazy with it and just drop the name drops out of the blue and get boring with it.

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

                  He’s gotten to 13 in 1.5 days. At that pace, he’ll reach 1032 by August 1st.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I’m sincerely trying to avoid doing that. I want it to be creative, and not just annoying.

                  My goal is to tangentially work it into conversations surprisingly, like a quasi-non sequitur.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  TSJC – If you would not have entered the league unless you were going to win, your victory months after you made the decision to enter the league would not serve as “justification” for such decision.

                  Popavero – http://tinyurl.com/2ur5gc

                • Mike Pop

                  Goood one !

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “TSJC – If you would not have entered the league unless you were going to win, your victory months after you made the decision to enter the league would not serve as “justification” for such decision.”

                  I have absolutely no idea what I’m saying anymore. lol. I’m pretty sick and I’m going to go home from work now. I apologize to anyone I argued with today. You are patient, kind people.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Mondesi:

                  In 2008, I was a much, much better RAB Fantasy Football League team owner/manager than Don Mattingly, Bernie Williams, and Raul Mondesi were.

                  I won.

                  [ Fantasy Football Championship Bragging Rights Name Drop #14 of 1000 ]

                • Sweet Dick Willie

                  I want it to be creative, and not just annoying.

                  You’re doing a pretty good job at both right now.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I’ll take that as a compliment.

        • CB

          Gregg Maddux accepted Atlanta’s offer of arbitration which shocked John Scheurholz and forced him to make that awful trade of Millwood to the phillies. That changed the entire direction of the atlanta franchise as they were building their staff around Millwood. And that was in a robust free agent market. There’s no way to eliminate the risk of acceptance.

      • andrew


        In other words, had the Yankees offered arbitration to Bobby Abreu, there is a very good chance Abreu would have accepted, and the Yankees would be paying a 35-year-old Abreu far above market value for his services

        I am fine with the Yankees not offering him arbitration, because yes, they read the market correctly and would’ve been overpaying him had he accepted . But what evidence out there suggests there was a “very good chance Abreu would have accepted?” Everything I see points to Abreu rejecting. You can argue the move either way, but to say there was a very good chance he would’ve accepted… well there’s really just no evidence to support that.

        • whozat

          “Everything I see points to Abreu rejecting”

          Like what? Players who are a lot better than him not accepting?

          If the Yankees were bright enough to read the market correctly (and so were other teams), why do you assume agents would have all read the market INcorrectly? The evidence was out there for everyone to see, and the agents actually had a couple weeks more info to work with.

          • andrew

            Because of the 24 players offered arbitration, only 2 accepted… I don’t see what everyone is missing.

            Players who are a lot better than him not accepting?
            The list of those who rejected arbitration includes Orlando Cabrera, Juan Cruz, Orlando Hudson, Oliver Perez, Jason Varitek, Casey Blake, Paul Byrd, Jon Garland, Mark Grudzielanek, Brandon Lyon, Dennys ReyesBrian Shouse

            Yes, “everything i see points to Abreu rejecting.”
            Still.

  • pete

    Couple of things: first, while Burrel is a nice upgrade, why didn’t the rays go afer abreu or bradley? While I’m sure ramirez would have been out of their league financially, and burrell at 8mil/year is quite a bargain, I’d have thought they’d like to get a good OBP guy like Abreu to DH and bat 3rd. Sure he’s older and in decline, but at DH I think that deline would be less steep and they only had 2 guys with OBPs over .350 and 2 guys with averages over .280. Of course Burrell gives 30+ HR power from the right side and is younger, but I still feel like he is going to succeed on a lesser scale than either those other two would have. If they really couldn’t afford better though, than major hat-tip; 30 HRs can cost a heck of a lot more than 8mil/year.
    Second, did anybody see this: http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.....1043732536 ? they do the AL East evaluation and each of them feels like Joba “obviously” belongs in the bullpen…how does anybody believe this? I mean I know that they weren’t quite the Blue Jays, but the yanks’ ‘pen was very good last year without him while the rotation floundered in his absence…STARTERS DON’T BELONG IN THE BULLPEN. Especially when his true VORP in the rotation (value over Ian Kennedy in 30ish starts) is about 300 times greater than his true VORP in the bullpen (value over Damaso Marte/Brian Bruney/Jose Vera/Edwar Ramirez/Mark Melancon/Phil Coke in maybe 20ish “clutch” situations). Why can’t there ever be smart, reasonable ANALYSTS (not former players) on TV? Gahhh

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Couple of things: first, while Burrel is a nice upgrade, why didn’t the rays go afer abreu or bradley?

      Burrell didn’t require draft pick compensation.

      • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

        Rays have a stacked minor league system, I doubt it was draft picks they were worried about.

        • Mike Pop

          Nah it was, because that is the only way to build a successful ballclub.

      • A.D.

        neither does Abreu

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Touche.

          Burrell is 3 years younger than Abreu, and less of a trainwreck in the OF.

          Fixed.

    • Yankee1010

      What’s better is that 2 days later, they all said Price belongs in the rotation because he can give them a lot of innings there. You can’t make this up.

    • A.D.

      My guess is they didn’t want to commit the extra year & 2M+ for Bradley. We don’t know Abreu’s price yet & they may have wanted the younger Burell to fit in with their dynamic.

      Along with out of those 3 Burell may be the most “sure thing” Bradley is an injury concern, and is coming off a moster offensive season that probably won’t be repeated. Abreu is a declining veteran, whose numbers could drop. Burrell has little serious health concerns, still in his prime, and quite steady with the bat. In terms of OBP it was down last year, but was .400, .388, .389 respectively the previous 3 seasons

      • whozat

        Also, they needed help hitting lefties. Burrell offers that; Abreu does not. Also, Bradley’s well-documented injury problems AND he’s crazy. They dumped Dukes and Young to get rid of crazy guys; when a cheaper, almost-as-good option was available that’s NOT nuts, why not go for it?

  • Adam

    I disagree. If Abreu was allowed to decide whether to accept of reject the arbitration offer in late December, he may have accepted; however the landscape seemed much different on December 8 when the players’ decisions on arbitration were due. Remember that out of 26 players offered arbitration, only Darren Oliver and David Weathers accepted. I would think that Abreu and Giambi would have expected more on the open market and declined arbitration. It is easy now to see that would have been a foolish decision, but their likely decision nonetheless.

    • whozat

      Again…it’s stupid to base your decision on the assumption that the other side will make an irrational choice.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Bingo.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        You assume that the decision to decline arbitration would have been an “irrational” choice, but that’s not necessarily true.

  • CB

    Businesses need to make their decisions based on their best reading of the relevant market.

    This is exactly what the yankees did in

    They read the market place and make a decision. They don’t simply try to read the psychology of a single individual and then try to make a decision that will cost millions by out guessing the desires of the other party.

    People who are saying that what matters more is whether or not Abreu would have accepted are essentially arguing that the yankees should have made a business decision based on their divination of Abreu’s psychology rather than on the likely dynamics of the free agent market.

    That’s just not the way to run any kind of business.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “People who are saying that what matters more is whether or not Abreu would have accepted are essentially arguing that the yankees should have made a business decision based on their divination of Abreu’s psychology rather than on the likely dynamics of the free agent market… That’s just not the way to run any kind of business.”

      You misrepresent the comments above, please see: http://riveraveblues.com/2009/.....ent-248739

  • andrew

    The Sox nabbed Nick Green from right under our noses!!! Fire Cash!!!

  • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

    Fun Fact # 10(I think, might be 9.)

    Pat Burrell and Tom Brady played high school football for rival High Schools. Burrell played for Bellarmine College Preparatory, while Brady played for Junipero Serra High School.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Fun Fact #11:

      Tom Brady had complications with his knee surgery and may miss part, or all, of 2009, forcing the Pats to franchise Cassell and spend more than 25M on their QB spot next year.

      Oh, and Chad Pennington sucks. That too.

      • Ryan S.

        Its closer to 30M than 25M. Cassel will get $14M, and Brady $14+M. I wish I had a better understanding of the NFL salary cap works so I knew exactly how much this limits their financial flexibility – I can only assume its quite a bit.

    • KW

      Nice fact, couple of ex roomates came from Bellarmine. Bunch of douches…

      • Ben B.

        awesome

  • Mike Pop

    MLB Network needs to show the game that Joba pitched vs the BoSox and owned them. That is a game I want to watch again.

    • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

      I was working for half of that game, I’m with you on that one. Fuck the ‘LCS’s play the good games again.

      • Mike Pop

        Ya I worked during the whole thing. Was pissed but watched it on the encore. That was the same game we traded for Nady if Im not mistaken. We traded for him during the game I think.

    • Ryan S.

      That Joba game MIGHT be on mlb.tv … I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that game being available for download or w/e. You’d actually have to spend money to watch it though : /

    • Infamous

      They played that on Yankees Classics recently. Dominating

  • Januz

    Brian Cashman deserves only one possible grade this offseason……. A-PLUS. He brought in the top two starting pitchers, and the best hitter available. How people get over him for not offering Abreu arbitration is just nuts. Keep in mind, next years free agent class may be Matt Holiday alone (No Teixeira level left handed hitters (Let alone switch hitters)). Plus, they still get picks for Cole & Bittle in what is supposed to be a weak amateur draft class to begin with.

    • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Last Don

      “Brian Cashman deserves only one possible grade this offseason……. A-PLUS. He brought in the top two starting pitchers, and the best hitter available.”

      Slow down there skippy. Any mook could sign those three players for the type of coin that was dished out. If you want to give somebody props give it to the Steinbrenner family, as they are the ones who allow deals of that magnitude to take place.

  • Mike Pop

    Ugh, these 2004 highlights ;(

  • ko

    A couple of things. Whoever the Yankees put in right field this year is a definite downgrade from Abreu – even if he has declined a bit. Also, what’s a first round draft pick worth in millions? You can discount that amount from the savings. The math is that we’ve saved 16 million minus whatever we’ve lost in production in right field minus the value of a first round pick minus whatever we’re paying Abreu’s replacement, Swisher, this year, minus the value of the three guys we traded for Swisher. I think we’ve lost money on this deal.

    • Mike Pop

      The defensive upgrade evens it out though, no? And I dont see how we lost money on this deal at all.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Including both offense AND defense, either Swisher or Nady could easily approximate or exceed Bobby’s production in 2009, and at a third of the price.

        • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Last Don

          Agreed.

    • steve (different one)

      The math is that we’ve saved 16 million minus whatever we’ve lost in production in right field minus the value of a first round pick minus whatever we’re paying Abreu’s replacement, Swisher, this year, minus the value of the three guys we traded for Swisher. I think we’ve lost money on this deal

      no, that is your math.

      your math ignores the fact that you have to PAY your first round pick a large signing bonus, and that player may or may not ever amount to anything. that doesn’t mean a first round pick doesn’t have value, it does, but your “math” ignores the money you have to pay for that, usually several million.

      it also ignores the fact that Nady and Abreu have IDENTICAL value when you factor in defense.

      it also ignores the fact that we’d have to pay Betemit about $1.5M this year.

      it also ignores the fact that we got back a reliever (Texeira) who has equal value to one of the players we sent for Swisher (Nunez).

      so after bitching ALL offseason about how Cashman wasn’t going to spend ANY money this winter, you’ve changed your focus to just making wild claims.

      i admire your tenacity.

  • Infamous

    Dunn 3/30 or Pettite 1/10??

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      There’s nowhere left to play Dunn. Not just for ’09, but for the next 3 years. I love him, but Tex/Posada/Jeter makes him an impossibility.

      • Infamous

        We’re gonna need a Dh for the next three years. And Matsui has not been healthy for the past 2 years who knows if his knees can hold up at 35.

        • Infamous

          I couldnt imagine a 3,4,5 of Arod,Tex, and Dunn. That would be insane. Almost 100 Hr’s guaranteed right there

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          We’re gonna need a Dh for the next three years.

          Jorge Posada says hello.

    • Mike Pop

      How does this make sense ?

      • Infamous

        Because It looks like the yankees only want to spend 10 mil. more. So would you rather spend 10 mil on Pettite or 10 mill on Dun and have Hughes as the fifth starter

        • Ryan S.

          So no love for Matsui? You’d just eat the $13M he has left on his contract?

    • Ryan S.

      Pettitte 1/10, no doubt about that.

  • Januz

    I just don’t think Adam Dunn makes a lot of sense, unless it is on a 1 year contract. The probability is they will need DH for Montero or Posada in 2010. If they could trade Nady and sign Abreu for 1 year (Say for that same $10m) that would not be a bad strategy.
    On a different note, I saw Olney on Sports Center and he thinks the Rays have a better lineup than the Yankees or Red Sox, and was comparing Teixeira and Burrell, WITHOUT bringing in defense, and mentioning “Pat The Bat” had Utley and Howard surrounding him in the lineup.

    • Ryan S.

      You lost me at “DH for Montero … in 2010″

  • Virginia Yankee

    if the floor is lower they can save some money and not be tied to another aging player but

    – they still need to replace 100 runs scored / 100RBIs

    and they don’t have Abreu Bradley or Burrell at the lower cost

  • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Last Don

    “t’s fairly shocking, then, to learn that Bradley has signed a three-year, $30-million deal with the Cubs”

    I agree it is faily shocking. It shocks me that anybody would give that bone head a one year deal for league minimum let alone a three year deal for 15 times what an average person will make in their lifetime.

  • KO

    Neither Swisher or Nady is the hitter that Abreu is. Defense in the confined area of right field is overrated. The wild claim is that Swisher will be anything useful. Talk about decline, everyone loves to slough off the fact that two teams have given up on him in two year. It wouldn’t surprise anyone but the bloggers on this sight for it to be three in three. As far as bitching is concerned, constantly dissing a good ballplayer like Abreu isn’t bitching, but expressing concern over Swisher is? Nice logic. Also, I did bitch all winter about Cashman and the owners. They had cheaped out when not going for Beltran and Guerrero a few years ago – and I was on it. Now that they’ve demonstrated that they’ve corrected the error of their past ways by going whole hog for Sabathia, Burnett and Teixeira, I freely commend them for their cojones and new found good judgement.

    • steve (different one)

      you fail.

      i pointed out about 5 ways your “math” was wrong and all you can argue is that defense in RF is not important.

  • ortforshort

    Lets see. Abreu (20 100 .296) last year, Swisher (24 69 .219). Both draw walks about the same. Abreu runs much better (22 sb to 3). Swisher may be better defensively, but the small Yankee Stadium rightfield negates a lot of that. Swisher strikes out 20% more.
    ==> I’d say the difference in value between someone who can hit at a high level (a #3 hitter) and someone who can’t (a #8 hitter) in right field to the Yankees – $7.5 million.

    Value of players – Jeff Marquez, Jhonny Nunez, Wilson Betemit – we’ll say a million apiece. Betemit’s salary of 1.5 million – the salary of his yet unknown replacement of equal value we’ll presume ==> .5 million.
    ==> that’s another 2.5 million

    Salaries: Abreu $16 million (1 year), Swisher $21 million over the next three years. Its not a stretch to think that Swisher won’t make it even past this season with the Yankees. The A’s and the White Sox happily unloaded him each of the last two years leaving the Yankees holding the bag. Bloggers on this site seem to think that Swisher is some sort of a gold niugget. More reasonable people look at his record and think that the Yankees are holding a 21 million dollar turd. Either way, let’s say that Swisher costs 7 million this year. My math says the Yankees lost $17 million to gain $16 million.
    I pass.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Your math is terrible.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Your math analytical prowess and knowledge of baseball is terrible.

        Fixed.

    • Rob in CT

      This assumes that Swisher doesn’t bounce back at all.. when there are some good reasons to believe he will. We’ll see. We will also see if the decline of Bobby Abreu continues. I think it will (albeit at a relatively graceful pace).

  • Pingback: Youth Baseball Parks Blog » Blog Archive » Cubs Get a Gamer

  • mike

    while i agreed with picking up Swisher, I wonder if Cash would have waited ( ie was that deal to be made later, such like Cameron) had he seen the market dropping.

    Yet, If Swisher was insurance for not getting Tex – considering Nady would have been the next 1B option – would the glut of outfielders on the market have changed the equation ( ie manny, abreu, bradley?) where the trade would have been superfluous and the monies better used elsewhere?

    Just a thought