No, Will, the Yankees don’t need Holliday


Back in my college days, Sunday highlighted the week. After three straight days of partying in which I probably drank a keg of Natty Light on my own, I’d sleep until noon, throw on a pot of coffee, and read the Sunday sports columns. For some reason, I actually admired them back then. How naive we are in college. I eventually stopped reading those guys, because they brought nothing insightful to the table. In their stead, I frequented Deadspin, thinking Will Leitch was different. Again, I was naive.

Leitch has since left Deadspin for New York magazine. He still writes in the same Gawker Media style but his subject matter more resembles Mike Lupica than Drew Magary. His latest column deals with the Yankees and Matt Holliday, and he states in no uncertain terms that the Yankees need him. Yes, need. If only Brian Cashman had Leitch on speed dial.

It’s not that Leitch makes a terrible case. Holliday would look “downright gorgeous batting fifth, behind A-Rod.” There’s no doubt that Holliday would make the Yankees lineup stronger in 2010. Leitch makes that case clear, but in doing so he neglects to note the negatives of signing a player to a multiyear contract. In Holliday’s case, I believe the negatives outweigh the positives.

Leitch’s basic argument is that the Yankees should forget sentimentality and let Damon and Matsui walk. They’re older players, and the money used on them could go towards Holliday. The problem, unacknowledged by Leitch, is that both Damon and Matsui figure to land short-term deals, while the Yankees would almost certainly have to commit five years to Holliday. At, say, $18 million per season, that puts the Yankees commitments at over $110 million for 2013, plus Derek Jeter at presumably another $20 million.

Even worse, that $130 million would be spread among just six players: Jeter, Holliday, CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Teixeira. If the Yankees intend to keep their payroll around $200 million for the next few years — and there’s little indication that they plan to raise it — that would mean just $70 million for the other 19 players on the roster. That will be tough with both Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes in their third and final arbitration years. If those two pan out, the Yankees could then have over $150 million committed to just eight players.

Towards the end of his unconvincing argument, Leitch wonders, “If you’re not paying for someone like Holliday, why do you have the money?” The answer, of course, is to pay A-Rod, Sabathia, Jeter, Teixeira, Burnet, Rivera, Posada, Cano, Swisher, and Marte, all of whom are under contract for 2010, and who make a combined $165 million. Again, unless the Yankees commit to spending more than $200 million on payroll — not just in 2010, but for many years down the road — adding Holliday to that ledger is not responsible. It is simply too much money committed to too few players.

As an idea, I love Hallday playing left for the Yankees. Practically speaking, I can’t see it happening. He’s a good player, maybe a great player, but the Yankees can’t just sign every good to great player who hits the market. They made three huge commitments last off-season, knowing that it would hinder their future spending. But they saw the three guys they wanted and pounced. That limits their flexibility this off-season. Perhaps in another off-season, without so many dollars committed to future payrolls, the Yanks would pounce on Holliday. But in the winter of 2009-2010, it doesn’t appear that the Yankees have the room.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. Ellis says:

    I agree. Also, a part of me wants a small market team to get Holliday and to be competitive. I mean, it doesn’t feel that fair if we sign every single great free agent – a little competitiveness will make it that much sweeter when we win.

    • mr yankee says:

      Are you serious? I dont understand the concept of this small market thinking. Team wins it all last year, has a chance to add Halladay, Holliday, or any other top quality player and we dont want to because of money and or prospects. That is absolutely crazy you have a chance to win it all for the next three or four years with a Halladay or Holliday signing and we should not because of money or being fair?

      • Omg!Zombies! says:

        You want to team to be in position to win the next 10 years.

        • mr yankee says:

          They will be you realize there are drafts every year and international free agent signings every year. If you trade a Hughes or Joba you might find them in a future draft. While your winning every year because your staff is CC AJ Halladay.

          • Grammar Police says:

            No one knows the Yankees as well as mr yankee. I mean, his name says it all.

            • mr yankee says:

              I know what I have come to expect an I doubt very much the Yankees will sit idly by and watch other teams improve so they can save few bucks.

              • Grammar Police says:

                No one said they will sit and watch while others improve. There are simply other ways to improve as opposed to locking into long term and very expensive deals for a player that seems a bit overrated.

                But of course, mr yankee knows best, because he is mr yankee after all. Why though does mr yankee not use proper grammar? I would think someone as intelligent as you would know better, being that you are mr yankee and all

                • Pasqua says:

                  “Why though does mr yankee not use proper grammar?”

                  You’re missing two commas in that sentence. Just sayin’.

                  Oh, and I wholeheartedly agree with you.

      • Paul San Antonio says:

        How many Yankee Greats were free agent sighnings? Most of the time we face the whole ‘earn your pinstripes’ sinario with free agents. Granted some do, but others don’t. The 09 Yanks were great in part because they played darn well together. IMO historically, the team wins World Series and creates dynasties when it spends AND develops players. The current club has done just that. Continuing to do that and spending on the talent that will come due in 2010 makes sense to me.

  2. Grammar Police says:

    If the Yankees were to sign Holliday, I could think envision Girardi going ARod, Tex, Holliday, but I really haven’t thought too much about it because I don’t think they are signing him.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      You’ve got a few errors going on yourself Mr. Grammar Police.

      Why, though, does Grammar Police not use proper grammar? I would think someone as intelligent as you would know better, being that you are Grammar Police.

      Or maybe you should try not to be a dick to posters trying to express their legitimate opinions. That’s what these threads are for.

  3. mr yankee says:

    Wow! is the Kansas City Royals blog or New York Yankees?

  4. miketotheg says:

    right on. we don’t need halladay. he’s going to be way expensive and another ace might mess with the chemistry.

    I think halladay would be great on any team except the red sox and angels. I can’t tell you how many times i ended up with tickets to see him match up with joba. I like Cashman going younger. As much as I love the roster for 09 there has to be SOME additions. Did you hear about that Josh Johnson?

    • mr yankee says:

      Another ace might affect the chemistry? Yeah those hall of fame pitchers who dominate and pitch complete games they really affect the way your team plays.

    • Zack says:

      Halladay is not Holliday.

      • mr yankee says:

        He said Halladay did you see the post I responded to?

        • Zack says:

          Yes, this thread had to do with Holliday and he’s going on about Halladay

          • mr yankee says:

            Ok those power hitting left fielders in their primes are way overrated and we should sign a cheaper and or older most likey one year replacement.

            • Zack says:

              Glad you agree that Holliday is overrated.

              • mr yankee says:

                O I do I mean why dont we just trade all the players on he team making over 10 million and then cut payroll down to about 10-30 million. That way we can rebuild through the draft. The team will only be in last place for about 10 years but hey in about 2020 we will be in the series again.

                • Zack says:

                  And glad you feel the need to go the extreme to try to make your point.
                  Let me try: We should sign every FA available and trade the entire farm system. Sign Holliday and Lackey, trade for Felix and Mauer, plus Longoria and Miguel Cabera for the bench. Boy that was fun.

                  By the way, you’re “power hitting LF” SLG away from Coors is .454 and OPS of .808, that’s Dustin Pedroia or 2009 Magglio Ordonez as your LF.

                • mr yankee says:

                  Well your so convicned that the young players you want to keep are as good as advertised? then if so fine. I say if you can make a move for Halladay you do it and I will take my chances with that staff for the next 4-5 years. After that its Oppenheimer’s job to resupply the farm system.

                • Zack says:

                  Are you’re so convinced that signing guys into their late 30s is somehow a positive for the team? I say you dont add pieces that will handcuff you down the road while you already have the best team in baseball.
                  But you’re right, lets lock up every position so they have a team of 37 year olds getting paid 20+m each in a few years, it will just give you more material to complain about.

                • So…you mean reassemble the 2005 team.

                • Zack says:

                  Sign me up

                • mr yankee says:

                  Let me be clear I have advocated the signing at least this off season of signing one significant player at least a pitcher. I would prefer Halladay as he sems the best pitcher available. I do not think adding Halladay would destroy your franchise forever. I believe there are other Phils/Jobas out there and if you have confidence in your scouting department then you should be able to find those types of players in future drafts.

                • dr. yankee says:

                  In your mind, are the Yankees bringing back Pettite? He’s significant. What about a healthy Wang (ha, ha, ha I said “healthy wang!”). That’s a 19 game winner right there. Both are going to conceivably cost less and be under the team control for less time, plus you still get to keep Joba and Hughes. Is that significant enough for you, or do you just want Halliday for the sake of getting Halliday?

          • miketotheg says:

            no more posts before my coffee. my bad.

  5. Robb says:

    Left field should be Damon on a 1 yr deal or tade for David Dejesus. I would prefer the latter as to defense as well as flexability in being able to play CF in an emergency. He is also cheaper and younger than Damon. I completely agree with cheap and flexible.

  6. mr yankee says:

    Since you guys advocate running the team like Kansas City or Florida should we also trade, Arod, Tex, CC, for prospects under team control? I mean they make a lot of money right?

    • I’ve asked this before, but why do you insist on showing everyone your lack of understanding? If the Yankees are going to spend whatever on payroll, $220, $230, $250 million, fine, sign Holliday. My argument, which you either didn’t read or didn’t understand, is that there are no indication that the Yankees are willing to go above the $200 million mark (or closely thereabouts), and therefore adding Holliday to that is irresponsible because he’d further imbalance the payroll.

      Please, don’t comment unless you understand what you’re commenting about.

      • mr yankee says:

        How do you know taht? How can you possibly suggest to have that intimate knowledge of waht will happen? You and I differ I belive that the Yankees will add a significant player, might not be Holliday but they will make the team better.

        • Because the Yankees have never gone above the basic $200 million mark. They’re talking budget. There’s no reason to believe that they will raise payroll until they actually do it. Thinking under those parameters, adding another long-term contract is irresponsible, as it will make it more difficult to assemble future teams.

          • Grammar Police says:

            And last year, for as much as they improved their team, they cut their payroll. Apparently that fact has slipped by mr yankee

          • mr yankee says:

            Do you honestly believe that? I see this as the team has holes and in order to win it all next year the have to make improvements and if you believe Hal Steinbrenner that winning every year is expeted then I do not think they will sit this off season out.

    • Grammar Police says:

      I don’t think other teams would take the contract. Great thought though…

    • dr. yankee says:

      No, you’re right. Let’s just throw gobs of money around because we can. Let’s trade all the talent we’ve amassed because none of them are as good Halliday or Holliday is currently. Plus they’re way too young. Let’s put together a 250 million dollar payroll and blow every other team out of the water by 100 mill plus. Let’s spend 75 million dollars on the left side of the field every year. Multiyear deals with no trade clauses for everyone!
      Hey, why do we even have a farm system anyway? I don’t care about Scranton, Tampa, Trenton, or any other second rate city getting Yankee money. Let’s just trade everyone away, sell those teams, and spend all that money and future income on the best guys who are available right now and forget any considerations for the future. It is a great free agent class and all.
      Who care about defense, I want dingers! No more kids, innings limits, or growing within the game! I want experienced vets only! Lets get the team age back above 32 where it belongs! I love it. Trade Melky and gardner. Sign Damon, Matsui, Holliday, and Cameron. Let’s go and get Halliday PLUS Vernon Wells! Then, we’ll get Carlos Delgado to DH. Oooh, drop Cervelli and give Pudge another shot. Then I think it’s time we trade Cano. We know what he is. Maybe package him and a whoever’s left between Joba and Hughes (who needs em their just relievers anyway) and get Chase Utley! Who gives a shit if it doesn’t make sense? That’s some real talent! And I recognize their names!

      • mr yankee says:

        Hey you went to that extreme. I just said the sentiment that I see in this blog is the Yankees need to cut ppayrool. I do not understand why. I was not aware they were in financial diffilculty. Were you?

        • You clearly do not read our posts, and that disappoints me, because you comment so liberally. No one has ever advocated cutting payroll. Ever. Not once. We’re just thinking along the lines that they won’t increase payroll over 2009. If you actually read our posts, you’d get that.

          • mr yankee says:

            That is not true I have read plenty of posts about the team cutting payroll or wanting to cut payroll. I dont think the Yankees value making a profit over winning.

            • For Lack of a More Creative Name... Alex says:

              A lot of the talk about payroll is not centered around 2010, rather 2013. I doubt that anyone on this blog would say no to Holliday for 1 or 2 years at 18-20 million, but they would say no to Holliday for that same price for 5 years. They are not against the payroll being a bit higher for a short period of time, they are just against the inflexibility that having all these long term contracts would create in a few years.

            • But that is not us advocating cutting payroll. It is us pointing to reports that the Yankees are thinking of cutting payroll. There is a clear, clear difference.

              We advocate working within the budget the team sets forth. We do not have the books. We do not know what the Yankees have to work with. They’ve set the budget at ~$200 mil in the past, and that’s what we’re working with. When/if they change that, we’ll adjust accordingly.

              • mr yankee says:

                Well Joe you may very well be right. I suppose I believe that the Steinbrenner’s desire to win will overcome budgetary restraints. I never thought I would be the only Yankee fan who wants the team to have Roy Halladay in the rotation. I suppose if they do the make the deal I will be the only one who is happy about the deal.

                • steve (different one) says:

                  I would be thrilled if they added Halladay, but I also agree with Joe about Holliday.

                  imagine that, things aren’t completely black and white.

                • mr yankee says:

                  Well if we do add Halladay and that is who I want. I am not so big on Holliday. We will be the only ones celebrating his cy young and world series mvp award.

                • Zack says:

                  What’s Doc’s record in the postseason? Oh no, he’s UNPROVEN!!1!

                • steve (different one) says:

                  but this thread is about Holliday, and you came out all guns blazing. nothing Joe said is unreasonable about Holliday.

                • mr yankee says:

                  About Holliday yes I dont care if they sign him or not. I do care about improving the pitching staff. Thta is where I want them to make thier move.

        • dr. yankee says:

          Well, they’re on the hook for building a really big new building. I don’t know if you’re familiar, but it’s called Yankee Stadium. Anyway, it was real expensive to build and the ticket prices they tried to push into the stratosphere to help pay for it needed to be cut and cut further into next year. So right there, an argument could be made that there’s not as much money to go around as everyone initially expected as I’m pretty sure they didn’t plan to have to cut ticket prices so drastically in the opening season.

          Also there’s this guy named Brian Cashman. He’s a pretty powerful figure in the organization and has gone on record on numerous occasions that he wants player who are “younger and more athletic”. Last I checked Matt Holliday is neither young nor athletic. Last I saw he dropped a routine fly ball and ended his team’s season. He’s also about to turn 30 and as it turns out is a much better NL player than AL player. There’s really no pressing need to get this guy whatsoever without even taking his salary demands into account

          This Cashman fellow has also gone on record and said he’s “embarrassed” by the team’s bloated payroll. And further he has said, “We spent a lot of money last year, we’re not going to spend as much this year.” I know that you can still get Holliday without spending the money we did last year (you could get a lot of guys and still not spend that kind of money), but getting the guy just for the sake of getting him (or worse because mr yankee says so)is bad business.

          The question isn’t whether the Yankees are in dire financial times. You can be certain that they are not — despite any ticket snafus I already alluded to. The question is why spend the money when you really don’t have to.

          • mr yankee says:

            You toched on something that I wanted to talk about. Cashman being embarrased about the payroll. I have been saying that for a long time. Cashman’s personal feelings about payroll does not sit right with me.

            • Who says he’s embarrassed by the payroll? That’s just stupid.

              • dr. yankee says:

                He did. After the world series. google: “Brian Cashman embarrassed yankee payroll” No direct quotes, but the overwhelming thing I’ve gotten from him since his takeover is that he wants “younger, cheaper, and more athletic players”. Matt Holliday is 0 for 3 in that category.

                • So he said it, but without actually saying it? He said it by saying he wants “younger, cheaper, and more athletic players?” Wanting “younger, cheaper, and more athletic players” is not the same as being embarrassed by the payroll.

                • ” he wants “younger, cheaper, and more athletic players”. ”

                  Are we tlking about Cashman here or…every other GM in the whole damn league?

                • dr. yankee says:

                  Read any quote attributed to Cashman since 2005. That’s all he talks about, younger and more atheletic, younger and more atheletic. For a group of Yankee fans you guys should read what the GM says from time to time. He doens’t give away a lot of clues, but he lets you know where he’s coming from.

                  Mondesi, just google the phrase and click the first few links. All the embarrassed stuff comes from one Daily News Article. And to be perfectly frank, he should be embarrassed. The amount of money we spend over the rest of the field is downright embarrassing.

                  All you guys who spout out new stats and sabermetric mumbo-jumbo are doing so because of the ways the rest of baseball has been forced to compete with the Yankee money machine. We spend so much money we change the way people look at and talk about the game.

                • Who doesn’t want to get younger and more athletic? Is it your contention that he should be actively trying to make the team older and less athletic.

                • dr. yankee says:

                  Yes. That’s my contention entirely. Thanks for paying attention.

                • dr. yankee – I googled it. You’re basing your argument on Bill Madden’s completely unsubstantiated speculation? Cashman never said he was “embarrassed” by the Yankees’ payroll. Bill Madden said it.

                • IRememberCelerinoSanchez says:

                  Cashman’s focus on “young and athletic” has nothing to do with being embarrassed. It has everything to do with the Yankees finding themselves in the mid-2000s with a ton of old players on long-term contracts, preventing him from making the team better.

                  The issue is flexibility, as Joe pointed out, and if the Yanks sign Holliday and Halladay to long-term deals, as Joe pointed out, the 2011 or 2012 Yanks may look an awful lot like the 2005 Yanks.

                  We don’t want to be the Royals. We want to be a team that can win every year. What we really don’t want to be is the 2005 Yanks.

                • dr. yankee says:

                  Yeah, I know, I read the article too. I told you there was never a direct quote and you really shouldn’t have expected one, but why wouldn’t he be embarrassed? It’s not like him to out and out say it as that would be pretty uncharacteristic, but you get the sense that the Yankees under Cashman want to be a more efficient model of winning than they have in the past.

                  My use of the Madden article was to simply wake people up to the reality around them that the Yankees are serious about fiscal restraint and will continue to be going forward as long as Cashman’s in charge. Unlike RAB, I see a real commitment to trim payroll, not just stay at 200 million. Perhaps the use of the phrase “cashman’s embarrassed” and sending you to a Madden article that merely speculated it was bad sport, but I’m sure folks have mined for more from less before.

                  Anyway, part of that efficiency has been seen by all of us in a greater emphasis on scouting and the in the draft. Not to mention a steady payroll reduction since Cash took over. It’s asinine to think that the Yankees spend an extra couple of mill each year in the luxury tax. It’s an unnecessary payment made each year to your competition. That alone has got to be an embarrassing check to write.

                  The good thing is that we’re not talking about sweeping changes. Just minor adjustments. The luxuray tax threshold is climbing to 178 mill, I think, and I’ve also got to think that the place the Yanks want their payroll to be as well in the coming years.

                • leokitty says:

                  The Yankees are exempt from luxury tax because of paying for some things with the new stadium, I believe.

                • dr. yankee – I’m only taking issue with this concept that Cashman is “embarrassed” by the Yankees payroll. He has never said anything like that, and the concepts of wanting to be fiscally responsible or get younger and more athletic don’t mean he is embarrassed of the payroll. This is the same man who went out and spent over $400M on 3 players before the 2009 season. He wants to stop giving out bad contracts, but that doesn’t mean he’s embarrassed to have so much money to play with nor that he’ll shave payroll just for the sake of shaving payroll.

                  We agree on much of what you’re saying, I just think you’re reading a little too much into certain things and seeing things in a black-and-white prism, when really there’s much more nuance involved.

          • “Last I checked Matt Holliday is neither young nor athletic. Last I saw he dropped a routine fly ball and ended his team’s season. He’s also about to turn 30 and as it turns out is a much better NL player than AL player”

            To defend Holliday a bit, a) you can’t say anything about his time in the AL based on 3 months, b) dropped ball or not, the guy is a solid defender in left field. Last year he posted a 6.0 UZR/150.

          • “Last I checked Matt Holliday is neither young nor athletic. Last I saw he dropped a routine fly ball and ended his team’s season. He’s also about to turn 30 and as it turns out is a much better NL player than AL player”

            To defend Holliday a bit, a) you can’t say anything about his time in the AL based on 3 months, b) dropped ball or not, the guy is a solid defender in left field. Last year he posted a 6.0 UZR/150.

  7. The thing about Leitch’s writing now that he’s at NY Mag that really bothers me is that he’s being such a poseur – he’s writing for a NY-based outlet so he’s acting like he speaks for the common NY fan, but he doesn’t and he never has. There has always been an anti-NY strain running through his writing in the past. He may live in NYC, but, as a sports fan, he’s always been, and continues to be, an outsider living in NYC. Now, though, all of a sudden he writes for NY Mag, so he’s one of us and can say things like “the thought of letting them (Damon/Matsui) go to another team hurts,” but “we’ll have to get over that,” and he can tell us what Yankees fans should want and what’s in the Yankees best interests, as if he actually shares those interests? I get why NY Mag hired him and why he went there, but to a NY sports fan who was familiar with his work before he went to NY Mag, his new stuff, written as if he’s ‘one of us,’ just comes off as disingenuous and annoying. He built a career on his ‘Midwestern common-fan wryly observing the big bad sports world with a smirk’ schtick, and what he’s doing now seems fake and even a bit hypocritical.

    • I had a similar rant in the post, but cut it out. I wanted the topic to be that the Yankees don’t need Holliday, not Leitch’s disingenuous writing. But your point is more than valid. I’ve been a Yanks fan since birth and try to avoid saying “we,” so it irks me when someone like Leitch, a die-hard Cardinals fan, does it.

      • Grammar Police says:

        People saying “we” about the Yankees is one of my biggest pet peeves. None of us are members of the Yankees.

        • Steve H says:

          Except mr yankee.

        • I agree, but this is actually a bit different. Leitch has always used the “royal we” in his writing, it’s kind of his thing… But here, and in other articles at NY Mag, he’s been using it as if to say he’s one of us, and he’s not. He’s not using it as if he’s a member of the Yankees (which, again, I agree that a lot of fans do and I also find it annoying).

        • It gets on my nerves more with football teams than it does with baseball. It’s pretty easy to feel more emotionally invested when you’re committing 160-170 days worth of watching games. To say nothing of following rumors, minor league guys, etc.

      • Yeah, sorry to go off on a tangent. I’ve read a few of his NY Mag pieces and checked out that blog he’s contributing to on their website and his stuff has been bothering me, so when you put up this post about one his articles it just reminded me of my annoyance with his recent work and I rolled with it.

        On the “we” thing… It’s not even just the general old ‘Will Leitch royal we’ thing like he did at deadspin anymore… The context in which he’s using it makes clear he’s using the word “we” to imply that he’s one of us, that he’s speaking as a NY sports fan and even, when he’s writing about the Yankees, as a Yankees fan. It’s just phony.

        • Michael Kay says:

          in his defense, I think he just missed writing daily for a trafficked blog and NY Mag asking him to write essentially as a “beat blogger” was that chance. It isn’t very different than a regular paper writer, most of the country is full of beat writers feigning an interest in their local team. He was in the press box at Yankee Stadium for the majority of the season, after the gig started, so I think he’s trying to adapt to it.

          He is a Cardinals fan, but is hardly a Yankee hater. He has in fact stated numerous times in other mediums that he thinks the Yankees being a dominant team is good for baseball. When he hosted Dan Patrick’s show he said something to the effect of “Didn’t you kind of miss The Yankees being a juggernaut?”

      • steve (different one) says:

        I read your post as the Yankees are cutting payroll to $50M in 2010, non-tendering Derek Jeter, changing their name to the Cleveland Spiders, and changing their uniform to include shortpants. Very irresponsible, Joe.

      • daneptizl says:

        I realize what you’re saying… but then I remember that if it wasn’t for the fans, there would be no NYY, so since we make the NYY able to exist, we are essentially a part of the team, thus giving me no qualms to use ‘we’.

        • Pasqua says:

          I call “bullshit.” The Nationals have no fans, and THEY still exist.

        • Michael Kay says:

          I think the “you aren’t on the team” line has also lost relevance just in the way each league markets themselves. You aren’t just a fan anymore, you’re part of “Red Sox Nation” or “Yankee Universe” (which is retarded, I can see some schmo like Randy Levine saying “You know what’s bigger than a Nation? A planet! No wait, a whole UNIVERSE!”)

          So coupling that with the increased cost to watch in person or on TV, while it might still not sound right to my ears, I don’t find as much fault with fans using the term “we” as I used to.

  8. mike says:

    as much as I think Holliday is a NL hitter and his righty bat would be a bit wasted in Yankee Stadium where a lefty would enjoy greater success, unless the Yanks can retain Matsui there is a real danger of the 5th spot in the lineup being staffed by a #6 or #7 type hitter – and thats with Cano being moved up to #2 with the loss of Damon.

    In the playoffs everyone saw what happened with a powerful #5 in the lineup, and what happened in NL when Posada was forced to bat 5th…its realy not a pretty offensive pitcture, even with a solid top of the lineup.

    Fortunately/unfortunately, Matsui appears to be the best bet for the next few years as a perfect #5 hitter, yet Holliday is the man of the moment and can play D pretty well.

    Its not my money ( and never really is) but Matsui back in the fold makes Holliday a true luxury/ upgrade over Damon, but in my opinion not a necessity.

    • Zack says:

      “and what happened in NL when Posada was forced to bat 5th”

      Are you saying Posada cant bat 5th because of 3 games in the WS?

    • Player A hits .274/.367/.509 with a 131 OPS+, player B hits .285/.363/.522 for a 133 OPS+. Which one bats 5th and which one bats 6th?

      • Steve H says:

        The guy with the 131 OPS+ hits 5th because the 133 OPS+ would contradict his (incorrect) point.

        Obviously, 1 game in the World Series is a much better way of determining a real (powerful) #5 hitter than by using a full seasons worth of data.

      • Steve H says:

        And, just to make sure sample sizes don’t skew the data. Over the last 6 years, Player A hits .292/.370/.482 with a 124 OPS+ and Player B hits .285/.387/.493 with a 131 OPS+. Which one bats 5th and which one bats 6th?

        And which one is more “powerful”?

  9. JSquared says:

    Holliday is nice, but this guy has it all wrong. Adding another guy who will make $15 Million + for 5+ years and will be 30+ when the season starts is just asking to lose something somewhere wheter it is money or the talent that player possesses right now.

    Do writers still think they know more than Brian Cashman? That’s hard to believe. Cashman wants to get younger, but not by adding contracts that will hurt the Yankees down the line. Damon and Matsui can’t hurt, and there’s always the trade deadline if the Yankees can’t find anything they like in the Free Agent or Trade Market this offseason.

  10. JobaJr says:

    The Yanks need to sign Holliday/Bay


    Resign Damon and/or Matsui.

    I don’t care which way they choose, but that offensive production needs to be replaced somehow.

    • Zack says:

      “offensive production needs to be replaced somehow.”

      They had the #1 offense last year, while missing Alex for 5 weeks and having him stuggle upon his return. Dont you think they can sacrifice a little offense and improve greatly on defense, so you dont have to score 5 runs a game? Just to give another choice besides those two.

      • JSquared says:

        Agreed, I wouldn’t pay Bay half the money he wants and I don’t think I would want Holliday for what he’s shown in the AL for the price he’s asking.

        I see Cameron as a cheap option. I would like to see nothing more than to have a great Defensive outfield.

        • Tank the Frank says:


          And I don’t think there’s any reason not to expect Cameron to hit 25-30 HR. He’ll replace some of the offensive production as well.

      • JobaJr says:

        Technically yeah…

        But what about those starts when AJ is on the mound? Or what if their pitching is going through a bad skid?

        Damon and Matsui combined for 52 HR’s last year and 172 RBI, all while hitting a combined .278.

        Obviously there are other options (Sign Mike Cameron, Plug A-Jax in Center, Have Melky play left and put Gardner in everyday…) but you can’t just lose those kinda numbers from a lineup.

        • Zack says:

          I didnt say eliminate those numbers by playing Melky and Cabera both everyday. But they can sign an OF who has a lesser bat than Damon but 10x more defense.

          “But what about those starts when AJ is on the mound? Or what if their pitching is going through a bad skid?”
          Again, they’d still have the #1 offense with their lineup. What happens when their offensive is in a bad skid? Defense can be the difference in winning 2-1 or losing 3-2.

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        5 weeks without production from Alex is different than the whole season without production from Damon and Matsui.

  11. Omg!Zombies! says:

    My ideal scenario instead of signing Holliday.

    Sign Cameron to a 1Y $8m deal and then Matusi on a one year contract. Let Damon walk and hope Ajax is ready to take over by 2011.

  12. Will in NJ says:

    I wouldn’t mind Holliday. Yes, he’s going to be 30, and yes, the yanks are going to have to pay for his decline years, but he’s still an athletic power hitting LF with above average defense, and if damon and matsui both go, there’s going to be a rather large offensive hole to fill. Also, to everyone who keeps saying that he’s worthless outside of the NL/Coors, his AL numbers were skewed by a horrendous april. He was hitting his stride may/june right before he was traded. However, the fact that if the yanks do sign him, they will have numerous multi-year contracts for aging players makes me hesitant.

    • Will in NJ says:

      Just to conclude, I won’t scream if the yanks do sign holliday, but like Omg!Zombies! said above, my ideal situation is for the yanks to resign matsui and sign cameron.

  13. gargoyle says:

    I’ve become very opposed to bringing Damon back.

    • Bonos says:

      Damon now plays the OF badly and will get worse. His HR power is YS generated. His twin steal is now enshrined. What is his allure. Yankee this year have three CFs and corner OFs with noodle arms. I realize the need for the Pransome Hince in RF but Damon not so much.

  14. Grover says:

    Holliday would be a mistake. Halladay will spell repeat. Be patient and have Burnett make a call to his buddy to help the cause.

    • Bonos says:

      Halladay is the same problem as Holliday. More talent granted but it’s also trading 500 thou for 20 mil. Joba et cie. In this case you want Halladay for five years. It’s called bad timing. Last year you trade for Halladay and sign CC.

  15. Righetti with Tomato Sauce and Polish Gossage says:

    How cool would it be if they signed Holliday, traded for Halladay, and convinced Jrue Holiday to quit basketball to become a pinch runner? Holliday, Halladay, AND Holiday… Imagine the possibilities…

  16. Mike HC says:

    Right on the money here. No need to pay Holliday all that money when we can get both Matsui and Damon back for shorter deals.

  17. pete says:

    Obviously we don’t know what the yankees budget is exactly, but everything they’ve done so far suggests that it is in the $200 mil ballpark. Now, for the people decrying even the notion of a budget, please pay heed: the yankees, as a general year-to-year rule, break even financially. A ton of money comes in yes, and they are a tremendously successful franchise because they sustain themselves and are able to pay all of their employees and never really go into the red at all. But they are one of the few teams in baseball that consistently pushes itself, through payroll, stadium/network employment, etc, right about to its limit financially each year. Thus the ~$200 mil budget. The yankees as a franchise make an insane amount of money, yes, but at the end of the day, they rarely make a significant profit, which is the only way their budget could significantly increase.

    As Joe put it perfectly, signing holliday to a long-term deal would just create a further constraint on the future budget. If, as he said, $150 million is tied to 8 players four years in advance, then that leaves the yankees with only $50 million in their budget for that year to fill out their roster. This would essentially preclude the yankees from acquiring any high-end free agents in the coming years (which include free agents better than matt holliday, and at least as good, as far as in the coming half decade goes, as halladay), which would force them to rely on a roster that was built upon a foundation of an overwhelming majority of pre-arb farm products. And as of right now, they do not have 17 quality future major-leaguers in the system. Top-heavy rosters do not create good teams.

    Also, on a side note, I’d like to contradict those who believe that all owners who don’t reinvest as aggressively as the yankees are just selfishly holding their money in their pockets. Not every team is capable of doing this, because not every team is assured of revenue the way the yanks are because of their fan base. This is not just a market thing – it’s a product of the yankees brand name and the historical association of that name with winning. Other clubs need to keep their profits as a means of franchise insurance. If their team fully collapses, they need that money to keep themselves from going into debt. The yankees have a powerful enough draw just from being the yankees that debt is not something they have to worry about as much – one bad year will not destroy their fanbase, or probably even make a significant dent in it.

  18. NC Saint says:

    You are 100% right, except for one detail.

    Money is for paying Damaso Marte in much the same way that sex is for contracting herpes.

    • pete says:

      i can see this argument i guess, given the volatility of relievers and the amount we are paying damaso, but at least he’s pretty effin good

      • NC Saint says:

        Yeah, I’m not saying he’s not pretty good, but passing on two draft picks to give a middle reliever three years of seriousish money is the least defensible move of the unrestricted Cashman-era, IMNSHO.

        I think it’s probably always a bad idea to give a real contract to anything but a top-flight reliever, but to make it that long and give it to a Type A guy who would have walked seems crazy. I would love to ask Cashman what he was thinking on this one.

        • pete says:

          yeah no i agree

        • leokitty says:

          Do you really think anyone would have signed Marte and given up 2 draft picks for him if they offered arb? Because I do not.

        • AndrewYF says:

          He was thinking he could get at the least a fantastic LOOGY, at the best a left-handed setup man.

          Marte was the second-most important reliever in the bullpen in the World Series. I’d say his year was hardly a disappointment when you factor that in.

          Plus, there’s 2 years left, and now that he’s healthy and not participating in the WBC, he can continue to be one of the most consistently good middle relievers in baseball (of any handedness), like he’s been his whole career.

    • whozat says:

      It’s for paying Marte in that the Yankees signed him to a deal and must pay him the amount upon which they agreed.

  19. Pete C says:

    Why no love for John Lackey. All he’ll cost is cash. And NY is about the only team that can afford him. Halliday will cost prospects and probably more cash.
    Basically whenever I think of Holliday, all I can see is him getting hit in the cup by that sinking liner in the Division Series.
    St. Louis got him to follow Pujols, so that’s not as big a stretch as it would be for some. But NY probably gets Lackey and resigns Damon for as few years as possible.

  20. Ted Nelson says:

    Great piece. I’ve been thinking the Yankees should look at Bay and Holliday, but hadn’t thought the budget implications through so carefully. Can’t spend 75% of your payroll on 25% of your roster. Not only do you have to fill out your roster, but next time a true $20 mill per player, like Joe Mauer or Tim Lincecum, becomes a free agent literally entering their theoretical prime years, your hands are tied and your money already spent on a bunch of 35+ players.

    Why is Holliday so favored over Bay here? What are the financial implications of letting Matsui walk? I don’t mean salary, I mean in terms of penetrating the Japanese market. Apparently every Yankees game is on network television in Japan. If Matsui is on Seattle or Boston, does that mean the Yankees lose Japanese fans and their $? Also, what do people think the market for Damon and Matsui will be like? Who might be interested and how much will they command?

    Halladay is pretty tempting no matter what the asking price and payroll implications because with Halladay, CC, and AJ at the top of the rotation the Yankees are the favorites by a mile for the next 3 years. On the other hand, with Beckett and Halladay at the top of their rotation, the Red Sox become the favorites. Given that he’ll be 33 next season, though, I guess patience is in order.
    Josh Johnson may be a better option, but despite his age I’m not sure I would give up as much as for Halladay. He’s never pitched in the AL, let alone the AL East. He’s had an injury history and limited track record of success, reminding me a bit of Carl Pavano or a young AJ Burnett: is he now healthy forver, or will be spend as much fo the next 5 years on the DL as he did in the last 5?

  21. Robb says:

    Ok so there are spots to potentially fill in LF, DH, and SP. I would propose a 3 for 1 trade for Dejesus, sign either Harden/Sheets and Wang. As far as DH Damon on a 1 yr or actually I am a fan of trying Miranda as a DH and seeing how it goes. I would suggest that finding a DH bat during the season would be the easiest of things to acquire.
    Just a few random thoughts as I contemplate the economics lessons that are being taught throughout this thread. lol.

  22. [...] Avenue Blues, a Yankees blog, respectfully disagrees. Well sort [...]

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