Will the Yanks not offer anyone arbitration again?

Open Thread: Building a team with up the middle players
Damon: I don't want no stinkin' paycut

Free agency officially started last Friday, but unlike last winter, the Yanks are approaching this offseason at a snail’s pace. “I’ll talk to our guys first,” said GM Brian Cashman. “And after I have my conversation with our guys, I’ll be full blown into the marketplace.” He said that today at the World Series DVD premier, which means he still hasn’t talked business with any of the team’s free agents, most notably Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, and Andy Pettitte.

However, before the team can even begin to have serious discussions with those guys, Cashman will need to sit down with ownership to hammer out the budget. Or at least I assume that needs to happen first. It would make sense if it did. Anyway, that meeting with the Steinbrenners apparently  won’t happen until next week, which is after the December 1st deadline to offer free agents arbitration.

Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but that indicates to me that the team isn’t planning on offering any of their free agents arbitration. After all, if you’re going to offer a player arbitration – especially well-compensated players like Damon, Pettitte, and Xavier Nady – you have to be prepared for the guy to accept. How can you risk offering these players arbitration before you know what the exact 2010 budget will be?

Given his unspoken stance of “Yankees or retirement,” there doesn’t seem to be much of a point in offering Pettitte arbitration. He’s only a Type-B, and if he accepts, he’s looking at a $12-14M guaranteed deal. Declining to offer him arbitration affords the team some flexibility to negotiate a lower base salary. Xavier Nady is a no-brainer offer on the other hand, because he’d earn just $7-8M should he accept, and there are worse things in the world than Nady on a one year deal. That assumes his elbow is sound, of course.

The most interesting case is Damon, the team’s only Type-A free agent. After pulling down $13M next year, he’d likely earn $14-15M in 2010 should he accept arbitration. We found out yesterday that Scott Boras is going to use Bobby Abreu’s two year, $19M contract as a blueprint for Damon’s next deal, so he’s already made it known that he’s willing to take less money. The two draft picks would be nice (assuming another team would actually give up a draft pick for Damon), but maintaining roster flexibility and sticking to an offseason plan would be even nicer. Of course, offering Damon arbitration could very well be part of that plan.

Like I said, I might be reading a little too far into this, but I don’t think my logic is insane. If you offer all three guys arbitration before knowing your budget (or before ownership is on board with your offseason strategy, for that matter), and they accept, suddenly the Yanks could find themselves in quite the predicament. The Yanks surprised everyone by not offering any of their free agents arbitration last year, but I wouldn’t be shocked at all if they did the same this year.

Open Thread: Building a team with up the middle players
Damon: I don't want no stinkin' paycut
  • JMK aka The Overshare

    I can’t possibly see the Yanks offering Damon arb. (based upon the possible risk he’ll sign), him declining it AND another team signing Damon + giving away a 1st round pick. They’d be insane.

    Then again, the Mets will be paying Bobby Bonilla until 2321…

    • TheLastClown

      Why is this so far-fetched?

      If Damon goes Boras’ way, he’ll decline *probably*, and if he should decline, then he’d be looking for something we presume to be in the 2/19 range, which is pretty good for Johnny Damon.

      For an AL team, he could be a pretty cheap pickup for the production, which would be worth it even with a bit of a decline from these last two years.

      If he accepts, we’ve got Damon on that one-year deal we so covet. It’s a higher AAV, sure, but for one year, I like it.

      • JMK aka The Overshare

        I just don’t see a team saying, “We’ll sign Damon for 2/20 AND give up a 1st round pick.”

        I could see the Yanks not offering Damon arb. and him signing with another team for 2/$20, but I think losing a 1st rounder would be the tipping point.

        • Slugger27

          agreed. not that i agree with the strategy, but i agree that teams have become overly obsessed and infatuated with 1st round picks over the past few years and thats gonna hurt damon.

          in reality 2 years of a quality major leaguer who can help your team win and/or advance in the postseason is more than worth a freaking draft pick, but thats not the fad in baseball right now

      • Slugger27

        to me, boras is trying to trick them

        hes saying publicly how his client is seeking multiple years in hopes that the yankees say “well he wants a multi year deal, so we might as well offer him arb knowing he’ll probably decline” … and then boras laughs and accepts knowing that damon probably couldnt do better than 1/14 on the open market cuz of his type a status

        its actually genius, and i bet it winds up working

        again, this is all just a hunch, but id be willing to bet if the yanks offered damon arb, hed gladly accept in a matter of hours

        • Bo

          So an agent doing his job for his client is him trying to trick them?

          You know if he actually lied to teams it would affect all his other clients and his business. Just give him credit for being good at his job.

          • Grammar Police

            I don’t think anyone is taking credit away from him. All that is being said is that Boras is very, very good at playing head games with people, from the “mystery teams” to the reporters that information gets leaked to.

            All that said, I think that the Varitek situation from last year might play into Damon’s line of thinking. I personally would offer the arbitration only because Damon on one is better then Jason Bay for 5; if they signed Matt Holliday I would be fine with that. Offering arbitration is as good as saying to Damon, “There, we have you. Just accept it and move on.”

            • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

              Love the name…very appropriate for this environment lol…funny as it is.

      • Count Zero

        Agree completely. The scenario in which we get Damon for 1 year at $14-15MM is not too bad from my point of view. Sure we’re overpaying, but we get a one-year deal which is precisely what we want.

        I would definitely offer in his case. Not for Matsui or Nady though.

  • Ed

    Xavier Nady is a no-brainer offer on the other hand, because he’d earn just $7-8M should he accept, and there are worse things in the world than Nady on a one year deal.

    I feel the exact opposite on that. He won’t make the opening day roster even in a best case scenario, and players coming back from a second Tommy John surgery have a horrible track record. I’d use that money to bet on Wang instead of Nady without hesitation. Wang has a higher upside, and as bad as the track record is for pitchers recovering from shoulder injuries, it’s still better than for players recovering from a 2nd Tommy John surgery.

    As for Damon, that’s an interesting one. No one has had their salary reduced in arbitration before, but most of that is because guys who clearly deserve to have it reduced have usually fallen far enough that don’t get offered a contract at all. If the Yankees were to offer him arbitration, they would simply have to present the contracts signed by Abreu, Bradley, Burrell, Ibanez, Dunn, etc over the past two seasons as comparisons. They all signed for less per year than Damon has been making. What could Damon present as a comparison that would suggest he’s worth more? Best case for him is Holliday or Bay signs early and he tries to compare himself to them?

    Pettitte is one that could go either way. Low reward, the team almost certainly wants him back, and after having his salary knocked back this year I don’t think he’d get something out of line from arbitration. The only reason not to offer arbitration to Pettitte is to try to take advantage of the fact that he doesn’t want to play elsewhere and lowball him again.

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

      Seconded. If I’m willing to give Xavier Nady a 1/7 or a 1/8 to be my 4th outfielder and bat off the bench, I’d rather just give a 1/8 or 1/9 to Mike Cameron.

      Using their last four healthy full seasons (2006-2009 for Cammy, 2005-2008 for Nady), their batting lines are interestingly similar:

      Cameron: .251/.340/.459 (112+)
      Nady: .284/.339/.474 (112+)

      Even if you dock Cameron a little more for an anticipated age-related decline (which probably isn’t fair, since we’re not docking Nady for an injury-related decline, but whatevs), the difference bat-wise between the two isn’t large. But Cameron is a vastly superior fielder, and his bat can play not only at LF/RF but also at CF, which is a huge plus.

      Given Nady’s solid but unspectacular offensive showing pre-injury, and the injury risks he’s facing at the moment, and his defensive limitations, Cameron seems like the clear choice over Nady, IMO. Even if he costs an extra mil or two, or even three.

      • Ed

        Hadn’t thought of Cameron when writing that. Good idea, agree with your thought process there completely.

      • Evil Empire

        Mike Cameron makes sense on a one year deal for a variety of reasons. I would not object to offering arb to Damon, or to give Damon the Abreu deal (but no 3rd year vesting option).

      • ledavidisrael


      • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

        Difference is Nady was/could be entering his prime while Cameron is/could be entering his decline. It seems as though Nady’s “rising action” is comparable to Cameron’s “peak” or “climax”…then again, Nady did have pretty serious surgery so who knows how he’ll play this year…

        It’s hard to tell. I wouldn’t be against adding either of them…or neither of them for that matter (assuming we re-sign Damon/Matsui)

      • Bo

        Why would they possibly give Cameron a contract when they have Gardner, melky, Jackson etc on the team?

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

          Because Cameron is a pretty safe bet to outproduce Gardner, Melky, and Jackson, and he’s a one-year stopgap that allows Jackson to get another year of seasoning before we hand the job to him.

          • Bo

            And you want to pay him 8-10 mil a yr for that?

            Thats not Cashmans MO if you havent been watching.

            Wouldnt he have gone after him last yr if that was the case???

            • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

              And you want to pay him 8-10 mil a yr for that?

              No. You pay him 8-10 mil for ONE year…not “a” year or “per” year. You essentially rent him for one year.

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


                Cashman’s MO is to make short-term moves for superior production as long as it doesn’t disrupt the long-term plan. See also: Andy Pettitte’s one year 2009 contract and forthcoming one year 2010 contract.

                • Bo

                  Superior production is kind of a stretch there.

                  Isnt one of the goals to get younger and more versatile?

                  How does blocking 3 of your better prospects accomplish that feat? its not like you’re plugging in Beltran in CF.

                  I just cant see Cashman giving 10 mil to Cameron when he has 3 capable young cost effective guys sitting around. Especially when Gardner/Melky combined for solid production in CF and Jackson is one of the best prospects you have.

                • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

                  How does blocking 3 of your better prospects accomplish that feat?

                  You’re not blocking 3 of your best prospects. You’re substituting a veteran CF for the 4th OF tag team that is Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner.

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

                  Bo, when we signed Andy Pettitte to a one-year deal last year, were we “blocking” Joba and Phil’s path to becoming big league starting pitchers?

                  No. We were paying a one-year premium for superior production in a manner that allowed us to be a better team for 2009 without blocking the paths of our talented young prospects.

                  If AJax was ready to start on Opening Day 2010, nobody would be calling for Cameron. He won’t be. He won’t be ready until 2011. Therefore, signing Cameron to a one year deal is the best of both worlds. We get a good big league centerfielder for 2010 and then we get the vacancy back open for AJax in 2011.

                  And Melky and Gardner go back to the bench, where they probably belong anyway. We get depth and flexibility. Nobody’s career gets blocked or derailed. Everyone wins.

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

                  Bo says:
                  Superior production is kind of a stretch there.

                  Mike Cameron, 2009 WAR: +4.3
                  Melky Cabrera, 2009 WAR: +1.6
                  Brett Gardner, 2009 WAR: +2.1

                  Oh, and:
                  Johnny Damon, 2009 WAR: +3.0
                  Hideki Matsui, 2009 WAR: +2.4

              • Bo

                Yea. Again why would they want to pay him 8-10 for 1 yr when they have cheap cost effective players who can play there?

                If they wanted Cameron they would have signed him last yr when there were huge question marks in CF.

                • Anthony

                  He was property of the Brewers last year when they picked up his extension, we couldn’t have gotten him unless we gave something up. This time around all we need to give up is money, not money and prospects.

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

                  Thank you, Anthony.

                  We WERE interested in Cameron last year. The Brewers then picked up his extension. We CONTINUED to be interested in Cameron after that, tried to hammer out a trade, and couldn’t line up our wants with Milwaukee’s wants.

                  In the intervening year, Cameron had a BETTER year and is now MORE available.

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

              He did go after him last year, and ultimately didn’t pull the trigger because Cameron wasn’t a free agent and would have cost prospects.

              Cameron is now a free agent.

              And adding multiple questionmarks to your statements doesn’t make them more poignant or significant.

              • Bo

                And no team trades prospects for established players???

                The Brewers were begging teams to take his 10 mil salary off their hands. Its not like it would have cost Montero for him.

                You really see Cashman spending 10 mil to sign another CF when he has 3 of them in camp for the min $?

                • Anthony

                  Yes but last year is different than this year. By most accounts Cash had to ask to increase payroll for the Tex signing. If getting Cameron and his salary would have disrupted that, then there’s no way we do it.

                  CC, AJ, and Tex > Pick 2 of Aj, CC, and Tex along with Cameron.

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

                  The Brewers were begging teams to take his 10 mil salary off their hands.

                  And the reason we couldn’t complete the trade is because we took a hardline stance and demanded that they either eat some of his money or take Igawa in return. They balked at our hardline stance and kept Cameron.

        • pete

          because the likelihood of any of those guys matching any part of cameron’s game (except gardner on D) is, at least for 2010, very very low.

          • Bo

            We’ll see. I just dont see Cashman spending his dough on CF when he has needs elsewhere and young guys who can play there.

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

              That’s the thing, though… he doesn’t really have needs elsewhere.

              And no, Bo, Roy Halladay is not a NEED. Halladay is a WANT.

              Both of them are just wants, and just luxuries. The difference between them is, one luxury will cost us prospects for a big upgrade; the other costs only money (and a relatively small amount at that) for a mid-level upgrade.

              Cameron is low-hanging fruit. He will undoubtedly improve this team, whether he’s playing in front of Melky/Gardner in CF or next to them in LF; he costs nothing but money; he’s not a long-term commitment like other FA’s are.

    • ledavidisrael

      Deff agree with the wang point and the cam point in reguards to cash spent on nady.

      Really don’t see how a dude with one +4 win season is a lock for 8-9 million.

      When it can be spent on a CF who has averaged +4 wins a season or a pitcher who has averaged about 4 wins a full season.

    • Chris

      He won’t make the opening day roster even in a best case scenario,

      Why is that? Recovery from TJS for position players is 6-9 months, which means he should be back by spring training.

      and players coming back from a second Tommy John surgery have a horrible track record.

      That’s just false. The risks involved in a second TJS surgery are no greater than those involved in a first TJS.

    • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

      What is the difference in success rates or track records between position players coming off of Tommy John surgery and pitchers coming off of it? Some pitchers are quite successful afterwards (although some are never the same)…I’m not too familiar with the outcome of position players coming off of the surgery though.

      • Zack

        It doesnt mention position players but it has pitcher success rateat 85-90%, leaving the extra 10-15% because well not every thing works out. So position players have to be in the same range.

        • Bo

          Cant think of many position players that have even had the surgery.

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

            Rocco Baldelli
            Luis Gonzalez
            Ben Davis
            Shin Soo Choo
            Clete Thomas
            Carlos Quentin
            Rusty Greer
            Vance Wilson

            Wilson is the only other position player to have TJS twice. He blew out his elbow in spring training 2007, and then blew it out again during his rehab in early 2008.

            Finally back again, he played in 57 games this year for the Royals AA club in 2009. 39 of them were as the DH. In his 18 games at catcher, he allowed 20 steals and threw out… nobody.

            His line in AA (he’s 36, mind you): .270/.342/.461.

            • Zack

              Well he was never a good hitter, but its nice to see that he was still able too, even if it was in AA. But he also had it in mid-2007, so he was 1.5 years removed from the surgery, not 6-9months like Nady.

  • http://lolyankees.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/lolyanks65.jpg Drew

    The meeting won’t take place until next week but I don’t think that means that there has been no communication. On Lohud they quoted Cash as saying “I’ve had my pro scouting meetings, now I’m talking to ownership about budgets.”

  • Voice of Reason


    Let Nady Walk
    Sign Damon 1/10
    Sign Matsui 1/10 and his translator 1/0.25 (I keed, I keed)

    Lower payroll, same championship team? Or am I dreaming?

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

      You’re dreaming because Damon won’t sign for 1/10 and I don’t think the same team gets the job done next year. I mean, that team would have a legitimate shot … they’d even be the front runners, but I think in this league if you’re not moving forward than you’re moving behind.

      Whether its Holliday or Lackey, I would like to see us grab another major piece to strengthen the aging core.

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

        but I think in this league if you’re not moving forward than you’re moving behind.

        This idea is still based primarily on unsubstantiated conventional wisdom and not directly on verified data. It’s probably impossible to verify with data, because there’s too many variables and moving parts.

        Suffice to say, I don’t think we should jettison an aging vet and replace him with a younger (and costlier) alternative simply because we subscribe to the unsubstantiated idea that “if you’re not moving forward you’re moving behind”.

        I think we should take the general philosophy that underpins that old baseball saw (the less intellectually dubious notion that you should always be looking, looking, mind you, to improve your team at all times and at all positions) and blend it with the present reality that the options available THIS offseason for making those improvements to our team may present too much risk and not enough reward to make then sound gambles, and while we don’t like the idea in a grand strategic sense, the smart thing to do in the tactical sense may well be to reup the old guys on short-term deals and kick the can down the road a year.

        • Evil Empire

          Very well stated sir, and I cannot disagree. I do not feel that my statement is innately incongruous with what you are saying, however. My wish for obtaining one of Holliday or Lackey is based on the fact that they are high caliber baseball players that fill needs within the organization – I don’t want one of them just to shake things up, I want them because they’d represent a significant upgrade. I know they both cost a lot of money, indeed, either one would surely prohibit other moves down the road. But as long as it doesn’t affect going for King Felix (option #1) or Josh Johnson (option #2) in 2012 than I think the repercussions are acceptable.

          I find myself to have a very “LET’S FUCKING GO FOR IT IN 2010, GOD DAMMIT” attitude, because I’m starting to get worried about how old the team is. I want to milk this core for everything its worth. Even CC, a guy still in his prime, is someone I feel we need to ride out NOW while the getting is good.

          I respect where you’re coming from, TSJC, but I smell the blood in the water in 2010/2011. What’s the downside on Matt Holiday besides the salary? The only other long term option I see for left field is Carl Crawford (who will also cost a shitload, though to a lesser degree) or maybe Melky Cabrera/Austin Jackson manning LF and CF in some form in 2011?

          • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

            The one downside to Holliday besides salary is the years. As the premier free agent this offseason, he can demand 5-7 years. Do you really want to find out what a 36-year-old Matt Holliday looks like in left field? Since LF is a less defensively demanding position, it will be easier to find younger corner outfielders that can better the production of a future aging Matt Holliday.

            You saw how Damon’s defense took a nosedive this season, severely curtailing his value as a player. The same thing could easily happen to Holliday at the end of his hypothetical contract.

            The Yankees have the money. However, they cannot afford to lock down a premium offensive position for the next seven years to a 29-year-old.

            • Evil Empire

              7 years? I agree, too much.

              5 years? I think we can deal with that. This is a new baseball economy we’re living in, and Yankees of 2010 don’t need to behave like the Yankees of 2009, even though they’re the exception to the rule in terms of current lucrativeness. If Matt Holiday can be had for 5 years – and I do believe he can – I’m down for that shit. But even I have my limits, and I’m no fool. Anything further than 5 years and I do agree, Damon and one of Cameron/Matsui would be the best outfield arrangement.

              I think its worth giving Lackey his AJ contract if he wants it as well (if Holiday ends up not working out). I’m crazy like that. Just keep in mind that I’m not just betting on the fact that CC/AJ/Lackey all stay healthy and productive, I’m also betting on the fact that if they falter, we can pick them up with cheap internal solutions and also, if need be, dipping back into the free agent well in future years.

              • Bo

                I think they’d rather go 2 yrs with Damon than 5 with Holliday.

                You got to remember they need that LF semi free soon for Jeter to play.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    He’s only a Type-B, and if he accepts, he’s looking at a $12-14M guaranteed deal. Declining to offer him arbitration affords the team some flexibility to negotiate a lower base salary. Xavier Nady is a no-brainer offer on the other hand, because he’d earn just $7-8M should he accept, and there are worse things in the world than Nady on a one year deal.

    Mike, both Pettitte and Nady would be bad guys to take to arbitration. You’re not taking into account the marketplace for their services. It’s a down economy, and Nady would do handstands if someone guaranteed him 7 mil for next year. Given his injury status, he’s looking at 1-2 mil w/incentives. Andy at 12-14 is closer, but he earned 10-11 this year on an incentive-laden deal and as you mentioned has almost zero leverage. Guaranteeing more/all of the money Andy earned this season sounds like a deal both sides would agree to.

    Assuming my numbers are right, total it up
    Arb scenario-20 mil
    Negotiating scenario-13 mil

    If I can save 7 mil by simply not offering arb, then that’s the way to go. If you were planning on letting them walk, then you could factor in the value of the draft picks, but that doesn’t apply here, since you’re retaining them.

  • JK

    If the Yankees take Nady to arbitration he would get beat. Nady missed the entire year, who exactly would Boras use as a salary comp in the hearing? The 20% max cut rule doesn’t apply to free agents. Plus he could easily get cut in spring training if his elbow isn’t sound and only receive 1/8 of his reduced arb salary.

    Boras turned down 10M in arbitration with Varitek coming off a horrendous year. No way in hell does he accept arbitration after the year Damon had when the Yankees signed 33 year old Arod for 275M, 35 year old Posada for 52M & 37 year old Mariano for 45M. He also thinks Damon is a better player than Abreu who just got 2 years 19M + a vested option.

    Boras also wouldn’t want to take the treat of the Yankees signing Holliday off the table for other GMs to think about as he floats rumors about their “supposed” interest in the media.

    Nady = offer
    Damon = offer
    Pettitte = decline

    • theyankeewarrior

      I’m sure Boras learned his lesson with Tek. The Yankees would be a perfect team for Nady to come back on a 1-year with, bank 7 million bucks, and prove to the rest of MLB that he can still pla.

      Then, next season, while he is still relatively young (and Bay and Holliday are off the market) he can go for a big contract.

      Bottom line: You DO NOT offer X-Nady arbitration. He might not be able to play till half way through the season! There are plenty of other alternatives. As TSJC explained above.

      This offseason is NOT like last. 7-8 million bucks is a lot of money to this Yankee team. They have an enormous amount tied up to their existing roster and three solid holes to fill.

      I have to assume paying Xavier Nady anything close to what he made last season is not in their plans.

      • Bo

        How many guys get “beat” in arb?

        You don’t think Nady could beat out Swisher? Nady wouldnt get 400+ at bats on this team playing RF/DH?

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          No, because Nick Swisher’s a better player in almost every aspect of the game.

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

            The “almost” might be generous. I’m struggling to think of one single aspect where Nady’s better than Swisher.

      • JK

        In arbitration the agent has to argue why his client should get XYZ salary compared to another player with similar service time & stats. Nady did nothing in 09 & is coming off major surgery. He would lose the case and end up making make 2-4M, with the possibility of getting released in spring training if his performance is not up to par.

    • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

      How does Pettitte’s incentive laden contract affect arbitration? Do they look at base salary? The amount after all incentives were met? Or does it not matter at all and each side just arbitrarily throws a number out there and the arbitrator decides which ones the best?

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

        They look at total salary made. All the incentives he hit are considered part of his 2009 salary.

        • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

          I’m assuming Pettitte received the total amount of incentives he could have possibly made in 2009, correct?

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

            Most media reports I’ve seen say he made 10.5M last year. So, he hit most of the incentives but not all of them. The total compensation had he hit every incentive would have been 12M.

  • Bo

    It’s probably a good bet they offer Damon arb. If he accepts I think they’d be comfortable paying him 13-15 for a 1 yr deal. If not they’d take the pick and run. They want to keep the LF spot fairly open and not lock it down into any long term deal with players they don’t love ie Bay/Holliday.

    And it wouldnt be so bad to have Nady’s right hand power bat on the bench assuming hes healthy.

    • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

      If he accepts I think they’d be comfortable paying him 13-15 for a 1 yr deal.

      Damon and Boras know he’s reaching the decline period of his career…so they’ll certainly be looking for more than one year so he’s not even older and (possibly) visibly less productive. Also, he’s openly talked about Bobby Abreu’s contract which is like $8M per year…paying Damon $13-15 for this year when you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) won’t happen. So this is probably the least likely to happen. If they offer arbitration…they have some inclination that Damon and Boras will 100% decline. Neither side likes it…unless the Yankees know Damon is declining and signing elsewhere.

      • Bo

        While they may not want to pay him 14 mil for one yr I dont think they’d mind doing it in Damons case.

        Because they’d rather overpay for 1 yr for Damon than go 3+ with him or 5+ with Bay/Holliday.

        I’m sure they would love to have him take Abreus Ana deal. It would take them about 2 seconds to say yes to that.

        • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

          Why are you so willing to overpay Damon for 1 year (possibly $14M+) but are so against cheaply paying a veteran CF like Cameron possibly $8-9 mil for a rental year?

          • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

            Assuming you can get Damon on an Abreu contract instead (2 yr/$18M)…you could essentially get Damon AND Cameron for very close to what you want to just pay Damon in 2010…

          • Reggie C.

            Cameron offers much better defense and comparable power. He’d be several million cheaper than Damon.

            Its starting to look like a no-brainer if Damon really wants a minimum of 2 years / $26 mm.

            • JohnC

              Cameron also strikes out twice as much as Damon.

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

                Strikeouts are bad, but not bad enough to bar a player from consideration.

                Even with all of Cameron’s strikeouts, he still posted a wOBA of .346. Damon’s wOBA was .376, and he was helped tremendously by park effects that Cameron did not similarly benefit from.

                Is Damon a better bet to offensively outproduce Cameron? Sure. But that’s countermanded by the large defensive difference between the two, and while Cameron is not an elite bat like Damon is, he’s still solidly above average.

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

            Why are you so willing to overpay Damon for 1 year (possibly $14M+) but are so against cheaply paying a veteran CF like Cameron possibly $8-9 mil for a rental year?

            That is a very good question, Rose.

  • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    I think I’d like to see them offer arbitration to both Damon and Nady (Pettitte – no need).

    Damon is very likely to turn it down, in which case the Yanks can negotiate with him anyway and will receive the draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere. The risk is that he accepts, in which case the Yanks overpay for one year of Johnny Damon. I can live with that because I prefer the one-year commitment and don’t think the $5M or so they’d be overpaying would cripple the Yankees – but obviously it’s not my money, nor do I know how that would affect the Yanks’ offseason plans.

    Nady I feel similarly about… He’s likely to turn it down, but if he accepts then you’ve got a lottery ticket, possibly an overpriced lottery ticket, on a possibly productive outfielder.

  • BG90027

    Its pretty hard to predict what the market is going to be for Damon. I think we read too much into the Abreu comp. Its one deal. Part of me thinks that Damon could get more than we expect on a two year deal because I wouldn’t want any part of a 5+ year deal on Bay or Holliday and Damon’s lesser demands could make him an attractive alternative. With that in mind, I don’t think one year of Damon at $14 million would be so bad. I think I might even prefer that to 2 years and $22+ million. Add in the strong possibility that Damon turns down arbitration and it would put the Yankees in a stronger negotiating position as other teams would have to give up the draft pick in addition to $ for Damon. I’d offer arbitration to Damon. As pointed out, Cameron’s an attractive alternative in many ways but I think the Yankees would really miss Damon’s bat in the two hole. I don’t like Swisher in that spot and they don’t really have another good alternative there.

    Damon’s it though. There’s really nothing to gain by offering it to Pettite, Matsui or Nady.

  • haiku-man

    Damon always bolts a team when he’s a free agent,always.He’s working as a mercenary now,just for hire!!