Matsui noticeably absent from Elias Rankings


Elias Sports Bureau’s free agent rankings were released earlier this afternoon, and they contain a few surprises. Despite numerous projections placing him firmly in the Type B bracket, Yanks’ DH Hideki Matsui is an unranked free agent. Although Matsui missed much of 2008 with injuries, he rebounded to have a stellar 2009 regular season campaign, and over the last two years — the period considered by the rankings — he hit .282/.368/.473 with 37 home runs and 135 RBI. Meanwhile, Xavier Nady, who played in just seven games this year, is a Type B free agent.

In unsurprising news, Johnny Damon is a Type A free agent, and Pettitte is a Type B. As Joe wrote earlier, the Yanks will most likely resign Pettitte for 2010. The remaining Yankee free agents — Eric Hinske, Jerry Hairston and Jose Molina — are also unranked.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. Tom Zig says:

    Soooo…offer arbitration to Nady then?

  2. A.D. says:

    No biggie on ‘Sui, since they wouldn’t want to offer him arb anyways.

    • The idea that Matsui isn’t a Type B and Nady is, though, makes me believe that the rankings are a bit broken. I guess if you factor for age in a vacuum, Nady would be more desirable than Matsui, but one of those players is coming off a second Tommy John surgery. Common sense too should be a factor.

      • A.D. says:

        I mean there are plenty of issues with the rankings, like the high rankings middle relievers can get. It costs the same in draft picks to sign Darren Oliver or LaTroy Hawkins, as it does for John Lackey?? That’s redic.

    • Yeah, the only guy we’d potentially have offered arb to would be Pettitte, and we’ll probably just hammer out one year deals with him, Damon, and HazMat before the arb deadlines anyway.


  3. A.D. says:

    LaTroy Hawkins an A?
    Carl Crawford a B??
    Fernando Tatis a B ???

    Otherwise easy for the Yanks

    Damon: decline
    Pettitte: offer
    Nady: decline

  4. JM says:

    Just checked Dierkes’s Free Agent predictions. They don’t look too great… I don’t think the Mets are doing all that in free agency, and no way Lackey is in Pinstripes next year…

    • jsbrendog says:

      and no way Lackey is in Pinstripes next year…


    • r.w.g. says:

      Jon Heyman, over at, “scooped” that the Yankees were in fact going to be in on John Lackey.

      It was filled with quotes from unnamed ‘league-sources’ who said “the Yankees think Lackey is a bulldog” and that they “like his toughness”. The Yankees are also apparently willing to hand out another Burnett contract, but Lackey is going to need more than that.

      It was an interesting piece, but Heyman forgot to include Lackey’s agent in the “works cited” section of his paper. But hey, that’s what second drafts are for right?

  5. Doug says:

    Most people seem to want Damon back, but for only 1 year. Do you then offer him arbitration?

    If he accepts it, he’ll likely be paid about $15M, which is more than he’s worth, but maybe not by much (fangraphs had him at $13.6M this season).

    If he turns it down, you get the 2 draft picks. And this is probably the likely scenario with Boras as his agent.

    • I toyed with the idea of offering Damon arb, watching him decline it, and signing Mike Cameron to replace him, thus adding two free picks, but ultimately, I doubt it’s worth it.

      Damon probably accepts arb, even with Boras as his agent, because he wants to be back here too much. If we hand him an avenue to ensure he’s a Yankee in 2010, he probably takes it.

    • JMK aka The Overshare says:

      I like Damon and would be happy to have him on a 1-year, not 2-year deal, so I guess it isn’t absurd. Still, I don’t think paying a guy twice his value is a great idea, even for a year. However, if he is offered arb, doesn’t take it, signs with a new team, we get picks, Mike Cameron isn’t given arb. and we sign Cameron, I’m happy.

      Unlikely we get Cameron and two really good picks, though.

      • Doug says:

        i agree that paying him $15M when he’s only woth $7-8M is not the best idea. but, like i mentioned before, he was worth $13.6M this past year. if he takes a slight step back (likely), lets put him at $12M or even $11M. overpaying $3-4M isn’t terrible. better than signing him to a 2/20 contract imo.

        • JMK aka The Overshare says:

          I hear you, and as I mentioned before, I’m not totally opposed to the idea in principle. I don’t see Damon declining $15-17 million for one year. He’s expressed his desire to stay in New York and he’d probably make around the same amount on a 2-year deal. Say he declines this year. He’s made around $15 million. He plays next year and makes at least another $6 million. More money and he’s definitely going to play this year and next. Maybe not for the Yanks in 2011, but he’ll play.

          If I were reasonably secure in my belief that he would decline arb. because he’s dead-set on a multi-year deal, hell yeah, offer him arb. But the risk of paying him twice his market value eats away at being able to improve the team this year, even if the real value difference is only $4-5 million.

    • Joe D. says:

      As far as the market goes, Damon compares well to Abreu. Abreu was worth an averaged $8.3 mil per season over the last two years. Damon was worth an average of $15 mil.

      Acc to Rotoworld, Abreu received a 2/18 deal with an option for year 3 that kicks in based on plate appearances. So Abreu’s max is actually 3/27. Doubtless Boras and many teams know Damon is worth more right now.

      That all being said, I’d offer Damon arb. If he accepts and gets $14-$15 mil, then fine…assuming pretty good health, he’ll make most of that back, and we’ll keep our 2011 options wide open. If he doesn’t accept, *and* winds up elsewhere, we get us some Oppenheimer Opportunities. I think offering arbitration is a no-brainer here.

    • A.D. says:

      Yeah, its an interesting situation, say you could get Damon for 8-9 a year, you’re better off just giving him a 2 year deal for 16-18, then offering arb (when he’s likely to accept given he 1. wants to stay in NYC, 2. Isn’t making as much on the FA market as he is now), even if you only want him for 1.

      Most ideal would be 1+1 based on PA/health or just team choice for 8-9M a season.

      Basically chances are you never get those draft picks and pay Damon more, instead of just signing him to market value.

  6. Players who would now officially cost us the 32nd pick in the draft to sign (assuming they get offered arb and decline, which is likely) and who, since they’re not remotely worth giving up the 32nd pick for, we should eliminate from conversation:

    Jason Bay
    Chone Figgins
    Orlando Hudson
    Randy Wolf

    Guys who are merely Type B’s and who, thus, should intrigue us more than any of the Type A’s since they only cost money and not a pick:

    Mike Cameron
    Joe Beimel
    Brandon Lyon
    Fernando Rodney

    • Tom Zig says:

      Fernando Rodney???


    • jsbrendog says:

      i know you too well here to actually believe you’d advocate signing beimel/lyon/rodney.

    • andrew says:

      Meh… you wouldn’t trade Slade for Bay straight up? I don’t want to sign Bay, but not because of the 32nd pick.

      • I’m more trying to say that all those players were bad ideas already, but the first round comp pricetag should be the final nail in the coffin.

        Sorry if it’s worded unclearly.

        • Joe D. says:

          My feelings on that FA-quartet: I don’t know if there was room for more nails in those coffins in the first place.

          “Bonus” nail in the coffin?

          • Oh, expect to hear all four of those names over and over again all winter long until they sign elsewhere.

            Maybe not Hudson, but the NYC mediots love them some Chone Figgins, Jason Bay hits homers and thus, must be awesome, and they’re settling on Randy Wolf as the “smart” option since the team seems to show no interest in Lackey.

            (Of course, the true smart option rotationwise is standing pat, but good luck telling that to a B-Jobber.)

        • handtius says:

          Speaking of coffins, anyone see the new Dexter? I enjoy that show.

      • A.D. says:

        I wouldn’t trade Slade for the right to overpay Bay

      • JMK aka The Overshare says:

        But you’re not trading for Bay straight-up. You’re giving them a pick and paying a guy $70 million over four years who isn’t nearly worth it.

        1st round picks are a great way to get top talent for cheap. Unless you’re wowed by a top-flight guy (a Tex, Sabathia), I don’t see the point in tossing them away.

        Gerrit Cole still makes me sad.

        • pat says:

          Ugh, I know. Kid would probably be our 3rd or 4th best prospect right now.

          • pat says:

            In the PAC-10- 85 ip 104k 38bb 3.89 era 1.12 whip.

          • Lanny says:

            The Cole thing has a chance to really make everyone angry in a few yrs.

            • A.D. says:

              Eh, as fans I don’t see how we can be “angry”, it’s upsetting/annoying, but the word isn’t that the Yankees were cheap, but that Cole was unsignable, on top of that the Yanks bounced back and signed a top talent with the replacement pick, and a player that’s just as good as anyone on the radar when they took Cole the previous year.

              Yeah it’s a shame, but nothing the Yanks could do.

          • JMK aka The Overshare says:

            No doubt. What pitching prospect would be above him? Z-Mac may be more advanced, but no way does he have the ceiling. Possibly Man-Ban and Viz? I’d think his upside is still better than those two (both players I have high hopes for).

    • dalelama says:

      I always thought a team got a first round pick if they lost a class A free agent but it was an extra pick at the end of the first round (aka compensatory picks) not one taken from the team that signed them. Or am I confused with the NFL ?

      • Jack says:

        They get both.

        Type A free agents yield the signing team’s first-round choice and a supplemental first-rounder as compensation, while Type Bs bring back only the sandwich-rounder. Clubs who finished in the bottom half of the major league standings can’t surrender their first-round selection, and compensation picks for failure to sign draftees from the previous year can’t be lost either. A club must offer arbitration to a free agent in order to receive compensation for him.

        For the first three months — and not coincidentally, through his first 110.2 innings — he was masterful. After 20 starts, Joba was 7-2 with a 3.58 ERA.

      • Mike bk says:

        if you are pick 16-30 you lose your 1st and the team you took them from gets a sandwich as well. if you are 1-15 then the 1st round pick is protected and you give up a 2nd instead.

        type b’s get the losing team a sandwich pick but no team to team compensation.

        • dalelama says:

          Thanks for clearing it up…after signing Tex, Sabathia, and Burnett when do we get our next first rounder ? 2013 ? LOL

  7. themgmt says:

    Slade > Josh Hamilton

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