Constructing a roster the Yankee way

I did not watch last night's game, and I don't mind
Tomko up; Robertson down

Over at The Times Bats blog, Tyler Kepner is doing some truly excellent work. With the Rays in town earlier this week, Kepner used it as an opportunity to explore how the Yankees value their players. His conclusion is one with which I agree: They don’t do a very good job of it.

Kepner’s piece focuses around the discrepancies between what Evan Longoria will be making over the next ten years and what A-Rod has heading his way. Now, there is an obvious comparison problem here; Longoria is a very young star with little service time and less leverage. A-Rod is a bona fide superstar and a player widely regarded at points in his career as among the best all time. But Kepner’s point stands:

Now, the Yankees were never in position to draft Longoria, who went third over all in 2006, a year the Yankees picked 21st. But they’re likely to be tormented by Longoria again and again over the next nine years, while he improves and Rodriguez inevitably declines.

So for one extra year and $260 million more — repeat: two hundred sixty million — the Yankees have an older player who just had serious hip surgery. And there’s nowhere on the field to move him as he ages, because Mark Teixeira is locked in at first base through 2016.

It’s really incredible to think about the makeup of the Yankees’ roster right now. Over and over, the Yankees meet the salary demands of older players, tossing extra years and dollars on the pile. It hamstrings them constantly.

Was anyone else going to sign Rodriguez through 2017? Or Jorge Posada through 2011? Maybe the Mets would have done that for Posada. But considering his age — he turns 38 in August — maybe the Yankees should have let them. And what do they do when Derek Jeter needs a new deal after 2010, when he’ll be 36?

One of the problems with Kepner’s argument is the lack of alternatives. Who would the Yankees have catching if not for Posada? Who would the Yanks have put at third base who could even approximate A-Rod’s level of production? Ken Davidoff recently suggested the older and less healthy Scott Rolen, but most numbers don’t bear that one out.

Overall, though, Kepner has a point. The Yankees continue to tie up players on the wrong side of their careers to overpriced long-term deals. They have A-Rod for eight more full seasons after this one and Teixeira for seven. If CC Sabathia sticks around, he’ll be through 2015. Meanwhile, the Posada and the Mariano Rivera deals are sure signs of paying for the past. I don’t even want to touch the Derek Jeter issue right now.

After this week’s sweeps at the hands of the Red Sox and Rays, Yankee fans seemed to believe that the Yanks are indeed the third-best team in the AL East even in the standings don’t show it yet. That feeling starts and ends with the way this team is constructed. Whether Brian Cashman should be blamed or the Steinbrenner sons as they try to find their ways atop a baseball organization, that could very well be the reality in this league for the foreseeable future.

I did not watch last night's game, and I don't mind
Tomko up; Robertson down
  • Iowa Yank

    Coincidentally MLBTR just reported Yankees’ scouts present at Yu Darvish’s start, there is another 100+ million in 2014

    • whozat

      Pretty sure that every team has looked at Yu Darvish.

      And the nice thing about developing pitching internally is that they might FINALLY be in the position where they don’t HAVE to make huge pitcher signings.

      • Mike Pop

        I agree. If they were not there, they wouldn’t be doing their job.

        I guess Yu is the real deal but like you said, hopefully Brackman, Betances, Bleich etc will be ready by then and look good enough to be valuable starting pitchers.

        No, I don’t expect all 3 of them to turn out well/be with the organization still. That doesn’t have a huge probability of happening.

      • Drew

        like Joba, Philly and Wanger? We’re still going to have to pay them eventually..

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

          I’d be willing to guess that Wang’s big payday will not come with the Yankees.

          • Drew

            Well he won’t be getting the big payout he deserves given last year and this year. I’d like to keep him around for a while.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

              Given last year and this year, you could argue that he doesn’t deserve a big payout. But that runs into a small sample size problem too.

              • Drew

                True, I was just saying that he’s a better pitcher than the deal he will get would suggest.

            • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

              I think if he recovers to his old form in the second half and for part of next season, he’ll be traded by the ASB. With Wang, the Yankees are finally in position to trade a veteran they may not need in the future (due to the org. depth in terms of pitching) for something they do/will need (position player prospects).

        • whozat

          Yes…and I’d rather pay them a bunch of money than a guy who’s never done anything in the majors.

          I also mean Brackman, Betances, ZMac, and probably guys they haven’t even drafted yet.

      • Iowa Yank

        Yeah he’s not a secret by any means but the Yankees will be involved in 2014.
        CC is and will continue to be a horse, if i hear one more Yankee say I’m happy I dont have to face AJ anymore that would make all of them. Its just all things being equal (which they are definitely not) Id rather have gone into this season with Wang Petite Hughes Chamberlain.
        I know it didnt work last year but I have always perferred homegrown talent

    • Drew

      2014! Damn. Seems so far away..

  • V

    Doesn’t even begin to approach the ‘players are too old’ problem, but two KEY decisions that Steinbrenner’s Tampa gang f-ed up, that Cashman didn’t make, were 1) Signing Sheffield over Guerrero, and 2) Trading for Randy Johnson rather than signing Carlos Beltran.

    Also, the Yankees are rarely in the situation to be SELLERS, rather than buyers, making it impossible to trade a productive veteran for prospects (See: half a season of CC Sabathia for 6 years of Matt LaPorta).

    THOSE are the trades that land you cheap top level talent. The only near term possibility of something like that for the Yankees would be a healthy and productive Wang for a young OF, and even there, I’m not sure who would be available. The type of players the Yankees would want are probably all untouchable: Adam Jones/Cameron Maybin/Colby Rasmus/Dexter Fowler, etc.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

      I agree with #2, but didn’t Vlad say he didn’t want to play in New York?

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

        I don’t believe Vlad ever said that. He was going to go with the money. The Yanks seemed to prefer Sheff’s three years over Manny’s five. It was supposedly one of the final George Steinbrenner moves, and Joe Torre, per his book, endorsed it.

        • V

          “”There are going to be big changes,” Steinbrenner snapped. After the 2003 season, without soliciting an opinion from Michael or Cashman, Steinbrenner negotiated a $39 million handshake deal with Gary Sheffield, a 35-year-old perennial All-Star with a reputation for complaining. It was a mistake, Cashman thought: the team had to get younger. He had lobbied unsuccessfully to shift Soriano to the outfield and sign the Japanese-born Kaz Matsui to play second base in his stead. And when Sheffield wavered on his oral agreement with Steinbrenner, Cashman, seeing an opening, worked frantically to complete a deal with 27-year-old free agent Vladimir Guerrero. But with Guerrero on the verge of signing for the same annual salary as Sheffield and with one extra year on the contract, Steinbrenner killed the negotiations with Guerrero. Sheffield had capitulated, and Steinbrenner insisted, “I want him, I want him, I want him.””

          http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=olney_buster&id=2051491

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

          Hmm, okay. I do kind of agree with what Pop said, though–Sheff was good while he was in the Bronx. I would’ve loved Beltran though.

    • Mike Pop

      Agreed with your overall point but Sheff over Vlad wasn’t a huge deal in my eyes. Sheff mashed while he was here.

      Yes, not signing Beltran has been the biggest mistake.

  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

    Here comes the slew of comments about how Cashman hasn’t built a decent bench.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Nah. I hope.

      Half the team is injured. The bench was good, but once it’s depleted due to injuries, the Yanks left with nothing just like 29 other teams.

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

        I completely agree with you. A lot of readers don’t, though. I’ve made at least 20 comments this week defending the bench construction.

      • V

        Totally agreed. Any team’s bench looks weak when they’re decimated with injuries. Depth is having a 2nd guy to fill in when the 1st guy is hurt, and a league average 3rd guy to replace him if necessary.

        Not having a 4th and 5th guy to replace guy #1 is totally excusable.

        Of course, ‘depth’ is seen when there’s results. That’s why Nick Green and Jonathan Van Every are considered ‘solid depth’ whereas Cody Ransom and Brett Gardner aren’t – results. Of course, one would expect the results to be closer by the end of a full season.

      • Scooter

        Ultimately, the answer for the Yankees is to use their big wallets in international free agency and the draft, to build the best farm system in baseball.

        It’s what they’ve been trying to do since Oppenheimer took over drafting. It will take time for this to bear fruit – but top-notch player development will cover up a lot of mistakes.

        It sure seems like the Hank era left us with several contracts priced way over market value. The Po and Mo contracts are pretty much irrelevant – they’re coming off the books relatively quickly

        The ARod deal seemed bad b/c Hank seemed to be bidding against himself. I don’t think there was any mystery team offering anything close to 10 years out there.

        I think Cashman and Hal ‘get it’. And one always ends up overpaying in free agency for the top guys. The point is – if you build your farm system, you’ve got guys ready to step in, and you can use excesses in one area (pitching, say) to trade to fill in areas of weakness.

  • whozat

    Ok, Tyler…any thoughts at all on other reasonable options?

    Frankly, I would have loved it if they’d never traded for RJ and kept Dioner Navarro. At least then they’d have had some leverage with Jorge. Sure, the Mets might have signed him for the 4 years if they’d played hardball, but I think he’d have come back on a shorter deal if the yearly value was right.

    As for ARod…it was weird that they seemingly caved so fast, but what, should they have gone for Rolen or Crede instead? It’s easy to criticise without offering any alternatives.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      It’s easy to criticise without offering any alternatives.

      Curious, whozat: Why so defensive about Kepner’s positions? He raises some valid points and leaves the questions open. The Yanks are not spending very efficiently right now. That’s a pretty basic and non-controversial conclusion.

      • Mike Pop

        The problem I have with this article is, well it’s kind of pointless in my opinion. Yes, Evan is a better value over his deal than A-Rod is. Much better. Yes, A-Rod was given way too many years and way too much money considering what we, the fans know. As far as we know, there were no other “serious” offers. It is quite obvious that they went way too much, like Slugger said I would of preffered them to go 7 or 8 years worth more cash per year. This is what the team has a GM for yet Hank apparently negotiated this deal.

        But, with Teixeira. How did they not spend that money efficient? They gave the money they had to in order to get him. Nats apparently offered 180-200, and Boston offered 168 from what we know. It’s not like the Yanks drastically outbid everyone.

        A.J., eh even though I love him. It’s tough to see giving him a 5 year deal considering his injury history/overall performace but they had to in order to get him in NY with ATL right there with them. Same with CC, they had to throw alot of money at him to get him in NY, apparently. Since he loves Cali.

        But seriously, what does this article tell us that we don’t know. Maybe I’m being a little hard on it and I don’t really express my opinions on these often, but it’s just how I feel. As I said yesterday in a comment, I found it worthless.

      • whozat

        because Kepner’s position is something that we see all the time, and an attitude that I’ve seen a lot in my professional life. I have a PhD in Computer Science, focusing on security. The easy way to get a paper in the area is to pick something that’s not perfect (and there’s plenty, because NOTHING is perfect) and rip it apart without providing an alternate solution. Then you claim “I’m just trying to start a dialog!” when someone calls you on it.

        I consider it to be intellectually lazy.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tADvb3yyhwM Slugger27

      the alternative for arod was less money and less years… i doubt anyone wouldve topped, say, a 7 yr 200 offer

      thats still a lot of years and a LOT of money, but its less than 10/275 and id be willing to bet nobody wouldve beaten it

      the problem with posada is that the yankees were forced to pay more. there werent even good FA options (unless u consider Lo Duca good) and no real prospect in the minors worth of being the starting catcher

      • whozat

        I think it’s possible that they could have gotten ARod for fewer years, yeah. But should they NOT have signed Tex? Look at the Swisher deal…there’s Cash getting a RFer for 2009 – 2011 without overpaying and without committing to someone past his prime. The Nady trade was the same kind of deal, in my mind.

        I do think they’re going to regret the AJ deal. I wish they hadn’t signed that contract. But I have a hard time faulting the Posada and Tex deals, given the situation with which the team was faced at the time.

        What they do about Jeter is really going to define Cashman’s legacy, I think.

  • dkidd

    as long as the front office feels that not winning the world series = failure, the insanity will continue. moving forward, it will interesting to see if red sox are willing to sit through a rebuilding cycle at some point or if they will start sliding into the same unsustainable craziness

  • 86 Mets

    While I agree that the yanks aren’t going to ge the value out of A-rod that the rays will get out of Longoria, I think it’s a bit of an unfair argument. I don’t really see the yankees getting to many opportunities to draft in the top 10 in the near future, so the team will be forced to take a different approach than tampa. Remember, when the core of this team was put together, they took the same approach as tampa is now. Guys like jeter, posada, and rivera were all locked up and kept in pinstripes for the prime of their careers. The problem now is the backlash the team will recieve if they don’t let these guys finish their careers in NY. While I don’t like the lengths of any of these deals, do you really think they are going to hamstring the yankees if they have to eat the contract to move these guys?

  • Mike Pop

    Speaking of Evan….. HR.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tADvb3yyhwM Slugger27

      can we trade our entire team for him? we can just field a slow-pitch softball team for the rest of the positions and have ben, mike, and joe as our starting rotation and still win 90 games

    • V

      Best fantasy trade I’ve made – 20 team keeper league – before the season, Josh Hamilton for Evan Longoria straight up. Hamilton’s not a 2010 keeper by our rules, but I can keep Longoria at pick #60 in 2010. w00t.

      • Mike Pop

        Heh. I have Longoria, Pujols, and the recently banned Manny on one of my teams. Sucked that Manny got suspended, have to make a trade soon.

        • V

          This particular league, I sold my 2009 draft for 2008 players, so my team this year sucks, but I’m building for a solid 2010. ARod/Sizemore/Longoria/McLouth as no doubt keepers, and a bunch of potential 10th round keepers.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

          I lost Manny and Aramis on one team.

      • andrew

        Last year the team in first place in my league was reeling when Longoria went down with the wrist injury. I gave him David Wright for Longoria so that he could try to hold onto his lead, I think Longoria as a 15th round keeper was a steal.

    • Drew

      Love watching Ortiz! haha

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

      What in the fuck just happened?

      • Drew

        Pa.the.tic.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

          Wow @ Pena.

    • Drew

      Dick is calling every pitch a fastball. What the hell is he talking about?

  • Troy

    Yankee fans seemed to believe that the Yanks are indeed the third-best team in the AL East even in the standings don’t show it yet.

    I’ve held this opinion since before the season started…I just don’t see what makes them, overall, better than either team. Both those teams were, imo, built MUCH better than the Yankees.

  • steve (different one)

    i don’t have a problem with criticizing the A-Rod deal, but bringing up Longoria is a classic red herring.

    has NOTHING to do with anything. nothing.

    if he wanted to make a better argument, he should have started with Mike Lowell. a trade that Cashman calls his biggest regret.

    that’s the premise of the article, and logically, you could say the Yankees should have let Scott Brosius walk and kept Lowell.

    no Brosius, no A-Rod.

    but bringing in Longoria is really stupid. after all, i could write a similar article about the Mets, Johan Santana, and Joba Chamberlain.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      It’s a point of comparison. He’s not saying the Yankees should have signed Longoria over A-Rod because that’s impossible, but he’s saying that the Yankees are not getting value for their money. That’s just a fact of baseball right now.

      Trading Mike Lowell was seriously one of the worst moves the Yanks have made in the last 20 years.

      • steve (different one)

        i realize that.

        i am just saying that this isn’t a Yankee specific “problem”. the CBA is set up in such a way that players are way underpaid for the first 6 years of their career.

        you could compare any awesome young player to a comparable FA and conclude that team isn’t getting “good value”.

        the yankees can afford to have some giant contracts. what they need to do a better job of is to fill out the REST of their roster with cheaper, homegrown talent.

        that’s what they are clearly trying to do right now, but they are still another 1-2 years away.

        the Yankees are the Yankees. when a singular talent like A-Rod or Sabathia become available, they should flex their muscles and get that player.

        but if they keep developing young talent to complement those stars, they should be able to keep their payroll closer to $150M than $200M.

        and that is a very successful business model for the Yankees.

        • Tank the Frank (formerly just “Frank”)

          That’s the best I’ve seen it put. The Yankees are truly flexing their financial muscle both in FA and the draft. The plan has been to fill the team with a few big-time all-star calibur FA players and fill in the rest with home-grown talent that are cheap and produce…. otherwise to be replaced by other home-grown talent.

          Obviously the emphasis has been on pitching, but the position players will come in time.

          I think the talk of A-Rod’s decline are overblown. He’s just the kind of physical freak that can produce at a high level (not 2007 level) throughout most of the contract. This labrum surgery doesn’t concern me. It has a past history of success with other players. It’s not like A-Rod is the overweight David Ortiz type slugger who’s a prototypical DH. The last couple years of his contract may be tough, but that’s the nature of the beast.

          Teixeira’s the same way. He has no real injury history and plays a corner position. The Yankees have gotten great production out of their FA OF. And just as we see Matsui really become somewhat of a liability… guess who’s contract is up?

          I think the Yankees have done pretty well, overall. Posada and Mo were no-brainers. I would have liked to see one less year for both… but it’s only one year. That’s what the Yankees can afford to do.

      • Mike Pop
        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          Heh. Nice find. We got a whopping five comments on that back in May 2007. If I wrote that now, it would receive considerably more.

          • Mike Pop

            Typed in Mike Lowell traded from Yanks in the search bar. Yours was the 5th or 6th one down.

            Pretty funny, cause I was looking for who he was traded for.

            RAB tells all.

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

        The guys that they got for Lowell played a grand total of seven games for the Yankees (all Ed Yarnall). Ouch.

      • Matt M.

        the problem with that article is that the yankees winning has partly hampered their ability to get that great player value.

        while they have a clear financial advantage, their late drafting position leaves them in the position to draft the TJ/signability guys rather than getting the solid locks of longoria, price, beckham.

        while the Rays look stacked for now and the foreeable future…they were the laughing stock of the league for a decade

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          But the problem with that complaint is that it doesn’t explain why the Yanks outspent the field by ~$100 million for A-Rod or why they went high on some of their other guys while eschewing smarter spending in prior years.

          We all understand why the Yankees have to spend, but no one is forcing them to overspend or spend poorly.

      • Troy

        Absolutely. Traded Mike Lowell for what turned about to be absolutely nothing, and now the guy’s killed the Yanks for years.

  • V

    I do really wish the Rays had successfully traded for Bay last year, instead of the Sox :-(

    • Troy

      Why? He’d still be within the Yankees division, still killing the Yanks.

  • zs190

    The problem, I feel, is that the Yanks need to win every year, that takes away leverage from the team. If the Yanks didn’t resign
    ARod/Mo/Posada last year, then the Yanks wouldn’t be remotely competitive last year and that’s unacceptable to the brass(maybe to the fans too) so they have to sign them. The agents know that too and press the Yanks for longer years, and that’s kind of what has hamstrung the team.

    I feel like if we are working with the same framework as Sox/Rays and be willing to field a less-than-great team once every 5-10 years, the team would be structured much better.

  • V

    Wow. Why did we release Carlos Pena?

    • Mike Pop

      Hey, the Sox did too.

    • zs190

      Probably because he wasn’t that good, no? He was a very marginal player until he got to Tampa in his age 29 year and all of a sudden he was an all-star, who would have thought?

      • Troy

        I’ve heard many of times that Pena credits Long for helping turn his career around.

        Besides, even if he “wasn’t that good” back in 06…I’d bet he was probably still better than Andy Phillips and Craig Wilson.

        • steve (different one)

          he was absolutely NOT better than Craig Wilson on the day that trade was made.

          go back and look up their numbers. you’ll be surprised at how solid Wilson was.

          hard to believe considering he sucked in NY so bad

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      So, V, you’re the guy who released Pena? Great move.

  • Accent Shallow

    I think the point about Longoria is a salient, although obvious one: the way to avoid paying premiums for free agent talent is to develop your own through the farm. Granted, the Yankees face greater difficulties there than perennial cellar-dwellers like the Rays, but it’s certainly possible with good scouting and paying over slot.

    No, they won’t get shots at the Strasburgs, the Wieters, the Uptons, the Longorias, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find quality talent in the mid-late first round, or later. Players’ skills change and evolve with professional coaching and different levels of competition — Phil Hughes was drafted late first round in 2004, and 3 years later, he’s the best pitching prospect in the game.

  • http://www.twitter.com/MatthewHarris84 Matt H

    The Derek Jeter Contract Issue in the winter of 2010-11 is going to be the hottest debates in Yankee history.

    • Thomas A. Anderson

      What debate? They are gonna overpay him because they feel they don’t have a choice, even though it is painfully obvious that they shouldn’t.

      • andrew

        Well, I don’t think they should overpay him because he definitely isn’t worth it with his declining range and bat!

        (see? that debate…)

        • Tank the Frank (formerly just “Frank”)

          Of course he’ll put up a career year ala Posada and force the Yankees to give him 3, 4 years.

  • Thomas A. Anderson

    Until the Yankee brass gets this shortsighted, “World Series or Failure” imperative out of their heads, their decision making in free agency will continue to be less than desirable.

    With their financial advantage, the Yankees should own the international free agent market and pour the money they blow on say, a 3 year deal for Marte, into drafting and scouting.

    They can’t see the forest through the trees.

    • Accent Shallow

      You know, I’ve heard this sentiment hundreds of times (Team A should not have spent the money on Player X, and instead have invested it all in developing the farm system), and I’m not entirely sure how efficacious it would be. Otherwise, wouldn’t we be reading articles whenever a new GM takes over about how the team is looking to expand their scouting department? I have the impression that all MLB teams spend about the same on drafting/development/scouting, and that the market is pretty saturated.

      Otherwise, why wouldn’t the Yankees, the Mets, the Red Sox, the Dodgers, or any other team with money to burn be doing this? Why wouldn’t, say the Pirates, instead of taking on Matt Morris, be doing this?

      It can’t just be the perception that the MLB team has to spend for free agents.

  • Mike HC

    As you mentioned in the article, what are the Yankee alternatives? It is not like these veterans are blocking young superstars in the minors from thriving. Unfortunately, outside of Austin Jackson, the Yanks don’t have a strong stable of young position player talent. Many of our high draft picks have been pitchers, which I agree with. The other factor is that there is no salary cap. Re-signing these players are really not preventing the Yanks from signing other guys. The bottom line is that championship teams usually are the product of guys from the minor league system (im sure there are exceptions).

  • Tank the Frank (formerly just “Frank”)

    The Yankees rolled the dice with how they saw their future roster. The believed, and had good reason to, that A-Rod would be a very durable player and be able to play 3B/DH well into his contract. They truly put all their eggs in one basket there… and failed due to the steroid use… but that’s another topic.

    They believed, and had good reason to, that Posada would be able to catch for the duration of his contract. Maybe a little DH/1B here and there (before Tex). He’s been very durable and very productive throughout his career. He came back VERY well from the shoulder surgery. Hamstring strains are hamstring strains and can happen to anyone; it’s not a serious injury that keeps you out long.

    Same can be said with Mo. Plus, I have to think the Yankees believed they had someone who could BEGIN to replace Posada and/or Mo should they become injured and/or wear down towards the end of their contracts. The Yankees are obviously very high on their pitching and catching depth and talent.

    Tex, I belive, was another good signing. Great, durable player who plays a corner position. This signing, however, I believe marks the end of any long term contracts the Yankees hand out to positional FA…seeing as how you can’t put them at first in their declining years. I think Tex was an exception to a new rule for the Yanks.

    Matsui and Damon are gone next year, and I expect the Yankees to continue to become younger and more versitile.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      The Yankees rolled the dice with how they saw their future roster. The believed, and had good reason to, that A-Rod would be a very durable player and be able to play 3B/DH well into his contract. They truly put all their eggs in one basket there… and failed due to the steroid use… but that’s another topic.

      That’s not proper analysis, Frank. They didn’t fail due to steroid use. They failed because they’re paying A-Rod around $75-$100 million more than he would have gotten on the open market.

      • Tank the Frank (formerly just “Frank”)

        What do you mean proper? Did I not use my salad fork?

        I stick to my guns here, although A-Rod is over-payed… that’s not debatable. I think the Yankees big failure was not knowing about A-Rod’s steroid use. If Selena Roberts can find out, then so can the Yankees….although it’s possible they asked him and he just straight up lied.

        Don’t forget that the reason they’re paying him what they are is because they thought they were getting a clean player. A new home run king that would wear a Yankees uniform and advance the Yankees brand. They did fail in that regard.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Constructing a roster the “Yankee way” = Constructing a roster the “Max Power way”

    • Iowa Yank

      A lot like the wrong way… but faster?

  • http://mechanicalmen godfather

    What Kepner says is true, but the aspect of rostering that he doesn’t address — one even more potent to me — is their total lack of attention to flexibility. Look at the intelligence with which the Rays have built a roster, the availability of players at more than one position. Where are the equivalents on NYY? DH isn’t a freaking position; it’s an imposition — all the more so when you have guys who can do nothing else. No need for a roll call here…is there? Where is their Zobrist? A guy like that is worth a coupla roster spots. Look at NYY pitching…Once upon a time there was a Ramiro Mendoza, who would START a game, pitch in the middle of one, and even, when called upon, CLOSE one. I blame this on a lack of a philosophy, on a lack of imagination, on an absence of creativity. Call it lounge chairs in a living room or blue suits in a closet, but these brains have stacked up too much of the same stuff. The idea is to streettccchhh your possibilities, not to minimize them. And, even with all their money, they insist on really lonnnnnnnnnng pacts when, because they have so much of it, they can simply pay more for fewer years. Or is there anyone on the planet with a modicum of baseball sense who doesn’t think a few more million over less time would have not landed CCS. If not, then there are other ways to compete. This is particularly painful to someone who remembers when NYY rosters were well-conceived stocks of talent. The nonsense of NYY suits being disappointed in anything less than the MLB championship has long been heard, and it is more ludicrous than ever. This club is too wooden; it’s not having any more fun under little Joe than it was under big Joe. And it most certainly has lost the dignity it had when I first spotted, in centerfield, the incomparable Joe…Di, by name.
    Let’s quit the rich-kid-in-the-neighborhood act and get down and dirty with the teams that relish beating our spoiled asses.

    • Tank the Frank (formerly just “Frank”)

      “What Kepner says is true, but the aspect of rostering that he doesn’t address — one even more potent to me — is their total lack of attention to flexibility. Look at the intelligence with which the Rays have built a roster, the availability of players at more than one position. Where are the equivalents on NYY?”

      What your saying is true but you have to notice the trend away from these old ways recently. All the flexibility you mentioned is on the DL. I think the days where we give out albatross contracts to declining position players – ala Giambi, Matsui – are over. I think A-Rod was a special circumstance and Tex was a welcome exception.

      If you’re faulting the Yankees for not having a “Ben Zobrist” then you’re on the wrong track. The Rays built their team by a decade of drafting 5-tool studs… not Ben Zobrist. More and more roster flexibility will come for the Yanks in the next few years. Just be patient. Cash has a plan.

  • fantasia

    Benjamin, it’s not accurate to equate the Rivera and Posada deals. Rivera served the full year last year, had better stats and more difficult appearances than the highly publicized ‘total save stat’ AL and NL guys. Posada of course was out most of last season. That’s hardly the same result on the team’s investment. I believe Rivera even came in #4 on the James/Neyer AL Cy Young predictor. As far as this year, Posada is on the DL, has a diagnosed injury, and Rivera is an active member of the team. Obviously his velocity is down and he gave up some costly homeruns but he’s had some good performances too. I believe you made the same comparison -panning both the Posada and Rivera deals-at the end of last season. This is the kind of statement that the glitterati, ESPN, etc. will latch onto and convert to conventional wisdom, especially since it comes from someone thought to be a Yankee fan. It’s obvious there is no comparison between Mo’s and Posada’s situation. Even if Mo went on the DL this year, he’s still given the team a year more for their money than Posada.

  • UWS

    What’s the 40-man move?