For the second year, the Yankees offer arbitration to no one

The RAB Radio Show: December 1, 2009
Tommy Henrich, 96, nickamed 'Old Reliable,' dies

Last year the Yankees shocked some of us by declining to offer arbitration to any of their free agents. This year they’ve done the same, reports Joel Sherman, but it’s not as shocking. As Mike and I said on the RAB Radio Show, we thought it made sense to offer Pettitte and maybe Damon, but the Yankees have something else in mind. Is this an attempt to keep as much money as possible clear? Or do the Yankees just not want to deal with the possibility of any of them accepting arbitration?

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The RAB Radio Show: December 1, 2009
Tommy Henrich, 96, nickamed 'Old Reliable,' dies
  • Mike Pop

    Cue second guessing!!!

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

      Cue second guessing!!! reading the tea leaves.

      Declining arb to Damon may mean that the Yanks think his decline has begun, they’re pulling a 2008 Bobby Abreu and want him off the team with no avenue for guaranteeing a return, and that Holliday is his Johnny’s replacement.

      Just my hunch.

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

        That’s the real question… Whether the Yanks think Damon’s in his decline and don’t want him… or at least don’t want him enough that they’re willing to pay him about $15M for one season… or whether this is kind of a trend and a peak at Cashman’s M.O. to not let arbitration hearings/decisions handcuff his flexibility during the offseason. This is all just relatively blind speculation at this point, but I wonder if Cashman thinks Damon and Boras have done so much posturing because they actually wanted the Yankees to offer Damon arbitration, knowing they’re not getting anything close to $15M AAV on the open market. I never really thought of that because of both Damon’s and Boras’ history with free agency and arbitration decisions, but I guess it’s a possibility.

        I wanted them to offer arbitration to Damon, decline to Pettitte and Nady… But, not to be overly deferential to Cashman, I tend to trust him on these decisions. He not only has a lot more information and professional experience with this than we (or the MSM) do, but he’s got a pretty decent track record, to boot. Those compensatory draft picks for a Type A free agent are so damned attractive, though… It’s gotta be tough to not take that risk with a guy like Damon (and an agent like Boras).

      • radnom


        Declining arb to Damon may mean that the Yanks think his decline has begun, they’re pulling a 2008 Bobby Abreu and want him off the team with no avenue for guaranteeing a return, and that Holliday is his Johnny’s replacement.

        Possible, but I think it is as simple as 2 high picks not being worth the chance of paying Abreu over 150% his market value or paying Damon at least 50% greater than his. Maybe they want, Holliday, but this decision was not and should not be affected by that.

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

          Maybe they want, Holliday, but this decision was not and should not be affected by that.

          Yeah, but if the team is interested in Holliday, I can see why they’d refuse arb on Damon.

          We didn’t offer Abreu last year because we didn’t want to get locked into his 16M+ salary as that would have stood in the way of acquiring Tex, whom we probably had an eye on all along, from the beginning.

          The Damon/Holliday gambit may be the same thing. We’d rather risk losing (or bringing back at a longer contract) Damon so that we can negotiate first with Holliday. If the Holliday negotiations don’t go how we want, we can call Johnny back and give him his 2yr deal he wanted anyway, but at an AAV lower than 15M.

          • radnom

            But what I am saying is that the only way to read anything in to this is if the Yankees had any reason to offer arb anyway which they don’t. What you’re saying is “The Yankees didn’t do Y because it would stop them from having a chance to do X”.

            The problem is that Y is completely irrational regardless of the existence of X, so the fact that they didn’t do Y gives no insight into their intentions on X.

  • JM

    Why not Nady?

    • JM

      Whatever, I guess Ca$h knows what he’s doing.

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

      Because position players coming off of their second Tommy John surgeries do not have a strong track record of success.

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

        That.

        The potential reward of getting a sandwich pick is outweighed by the larger potential risk of Nady accepting and being a 6M deadweight on the roster and the ledger.

      • JM

        Ehh, I was thinking of it not costing too much and if he does come back it would be a great addition. I thought it would have been a relatively low-risk hig-reward type thing.

        • Ed

          Even if you’re optimistic, you can’t count on Nady as anything more than a 4th outfielder right now. $6m is a lot for a 4th outfielder with just an average bat.

          Factor in the ~30% success rate on 2nd TJ surgery and that’s an expensive gamble, and the reward isn’t high, unless you think his 2008 NL numbers are more representative of his talent than the rest of his career.

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

    Or do the Yankees just not want to deal with the possibility of any of them accepting arbitration?

    If Pettitte or Damon or both had been offered and accepted arbitration, it wouldn’t have been bad. Unlike with Abreu, that was basically a win-win for the Yanks. That’s why it’s weird that they didn’t do it.

    • CountryClub

      Damon at 15 mil seems excessive (even for only 1 year).

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

        The Yanks can afford it, and it’s probably better than the alternative.

        • Jordan

          +1

          It’s a 1 year contract. The money should mean nothing to the Yankees. It’s in effect adding +$2 to the books in LF/DH. That’s pocket change.

          The benefit of Damon leaving and getting the two picks > 1 yr $15 mil contract, IMO.

          The picks could have turned out to be no one, or they could have been a future Swisher and Joba.

          Oh well.

          • Mike Pop

            Unless, they have something else in mind.

            Matt Holliday, maybe a trade for another outfielder.

            Who knows.

          • Mike HC

            Damon would have accepted arbitration in a second if this 15 million dollar number is accurate. If Abreu just got a 2 year 19 million dollar deal, why wouldn’t Damon jump at a 1 year, 15 million dollar offer? He could then get the same two year deal next season if he plays well again, and there is no reason to believe he won’t. If I was Damon, there is no doubt that I jump on that.

            • andrew

              why wouldn’t Damon jump at a 1 year, 15 million dollar offer?
              Because Boras and Johnny wanted longer term security

              • Mike HC

                15 million dollars for one year of baseball sounds like some nice long term security to me. If Damon plays well next year, and the guy has been like a rock in his career, he can get the same contract next offseason, that he would have gotten this offseason.

                In other words, Damon could make considerably more money over the next three years if he accepted arbitration than if he declined it.

                • whozat

                  Assuming he stays healthy and doesn’t fall off a cliff. In baseball, money is guaranteed, so if he gets 2/19, that’s 19mm in his pocket for sure. I don’t like this move for the Yanks. I think that, a week from today, the market would still have looked good enough that Johnny would have declined.

                  Unless they KNOW that Johnny is so amped to be a Yank that he’d have taken it, and they think they can get him back for less…it doesn’t make sense to me.

          • Doug

            “The benefit of Damon leaving and getting the two picks > 1 yr $15 mil contract, IMO.”

            my opinion as well

        • OldYanksFan

          Better then the alternative of JD at 2/$19?

        • radnom

          The Yanks can afford it, and it’s probably better than the alternative.

          How is that better than the alternative? If you were Damon and someone offered you $15 for one year or $19 for two, which would you take? Ditto for the Yankees. If $15 million in year one is a “win”, then you can think of it like the Yankees are getting Damon’s second year at $4 mil, which is undoubtably a team-friendly amount, even assuming typical decline. Plus, if it would require more than this amount, the Yankees always have the choice of not signing him.

          • sciorsci

            It’s not that $15M in year one is a “win” per se; it’s that having Damon in 2010 and then a $0 commitment and an open roster spot (let’s not forget that spots on the 25 man roster are finite as well) in 2011 is a win.

  • Teix is the Man

    Bye bye, Johnny

    • Charlie

      yea, this makes it look like he’s a goner

      • OldYanksFan

        JD has made what… $100m over his career?
        He REALLY wants to be a Yankee.
        He wants to finish his career here.
        And I’m sure he doesn’t mind our chances in the PS.
        Would he really go elsewhere for TWO years for what might amount to $4m?

        JD JUMPS on arb. And Boris has nothing to say about it.
        How many players got burnt last year by turning down Arb?

        • sciorsci

          How many Boras clients accepted arbitration?

          And JD REALLY liked being a Red Sox. Don’t kid yourself; he’s a mercenary of the highest order.

        • Pasqua

          Awww, that’s so sweet. You think allegiance is more important than money to professional athletes…

    • DP

      All this means is that he’s taking a pay cut.

      • Teix is the Man

        I would like to think that, but I’m sure that there will be a better offer out there.

        • CountryClub

          We thought the same thing with Abreu. You never know…

          • Ed

            Abreu was the loser of a game of musical chairs. He held out for a bigger contract than he got offered initially, and got left with nothing after all the big contracts were given out. He got stuck signing with a team that was only going to sign an outfielder if they could cheaply.

            Damon has Boras as his agent. It’s highly unlikely he’ll misjudge the market that badly.

            • Doug

              he misjudged it last year for manny

              • Ed

                Not necessarily. We’ll never know for sure, but Boras claimed that the initial Dodgers offer had most of the money deferred, whereas the offer he accepted didn’t. That change is worth millions.

                • radnom


                  Not necessarily. We’ll never know for sure, but Boras claimed that the initial Dodgers offer had most of the money deferred, whereas the offer he accepted didn’t. That change is worth millions.

                  Maybe, but just try to justify Veritek turning down arbitration with the Sox. Boras misjudges the market sometimes.

                • Ed

                  Maybe, but just try to justify Veritek turning down arbitration with the Sox. Boras misjudges the market sometimes.

                  Of course, no one’s perfect. Boras is the best though.

            • CountryClub

              Not really. Abreu’s offers were all low ball figures.

              I’m not saying that means the same thing will happen to Damon. I’m pretty sure he’ll get a 2 yr offer from someone, but I dont think the dollars are going to be close to what he wants.

              • Ed

                Not really. Abreu’s offers were all low ball figures.

                Based on what?

                The only public commentary on offers to Abreu was him saying at several points in the offseason – as late as the end of January – that he was holding out for a 3 year offer. Ibanez got 3 years, all the other similar outfielders last offseason received no more than 2.

  • vin

    The Yanks must feel pretty confident that they can either re-sign Damon or find a replacement/upgrade. And rightfully so. As was said in the podcast – Damon’s best fit is back with NY.

    • Jordan

      Yes, his best fit is, but now without compensation picks attached to taking him onto your respective team, his market grows.

      He’s proven in the past it’s about getting what he thinks he’s worth, not staying loyal to a team.

      Wouldn’t be surprised if he left for a deal that is just slightly above what Yankees offer.

  • theyankeewarrior

    The Cash money either a) knows that Damon is done and doesn’t want to overpay him or b) knows that he can get him back for less and use the money he’s saving to help the club elsewhere.

    Also, Cameron isn’t all that bad of an alternative in LF if it came down to it. He would be an improvement on D and could benefit from the protection of the Yankee lineup/long-ball tendencies that YSIII has shown.

    The Yankees are still the favorites for Johnny Rocket, Haz Mat and Andy Dandy

    • Stuckey

      Just curious?

      If the Yanks signed Cameron, why wouldn’t be play centerfield?

      • sciorsci

        I suspect he would. I think there might be some fans that think the incumbents get to keep their position because that’s what happened with 2 & 13.

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

          Well, the biggest reason to put Cameron in LF and keep Gardbrera in CF is that CF is a more demanding position, and moving Cameron to LF allows you to give his older body more rest at a less demanding position.

          No need to leave him in CF and move Gardbrera to LF. Cameron moves, Gardbrera stays. It’s probably the smarter alignment.

          • Stuckey

            I get that some people are obsessed with the age issue and believe that teams should proactively try to buffer the effects, but do we have any real indication the YANKEES think that way?

            Cameron would likely be on a one-year deal if signed and I believe he was the superior CF to Cabrera last year.

            Again, I recognize (though don’t agree with) the arguable line of logic, but not sure I see a lot of evidence the Yanks think that way.

          • Mike HC

            Taking Cameron off CF would deplete him of the vast majority of his value. To pay him like a CF, only to move him to LF would be a bad move. Sign him to play CF, or don’t sign him at all.

            • Ed

              Not true. Cameron would not be signed because he is a CF, but because the team needs an outfielder and he was the best available outfielder willing to take a short term deal.

          • Ed

            Well, the biggest reason to put Cameron in LF and keep Gardbrera in CF is that CF is a more demanding position, and moving Cameron to LF allows you to give his older body more rest at a less demanding position.

            I agree with that sentiment for a player under a long term contract or for a player with a history of injury issues, but Cameron is neither.

            Cameron has been a much better CF than Melky, so I’d put Cameron in CF and Melky in LF unless Cameron starts showing signs of wear.

          • sciorsci

            Alternatively, signing Cameron would allow them to ease AJax into the lineup at LF should he prove himself ready in 2010, rather than the rather historic position of CF for the NYY. And if AJax isn’t ready until 2011, then Cameron (if he’s on a 1yr) is gone, or (if he’s on a 2yr) either moves to LF or allows AJax to cut his teeth out in left.

            My concern with Cameron being seen as a possible replacement for Damon is two-fold: 1) he’s a RH replacement in a LH+ ballpark; 2) he’s anything but a #2 hitter – does Cano move to #2 in the lineup?

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

        Well, if we sign Cameron and don’t sign any other outfielder as well, i.e. no Johnny Damon, no Matt Holliday, etc., the OF would be Cameron-Gardbrera-Swisher.

        Cameron probably plays LF in that scenario. He plays CF only if there’s a superior bat playing in LF, like Damon/Holliday/etc.

        • sciorsci

          Why? Because corner OF are supposed to have the superior bats? The lineup would be the same, offensively, whether Cameron was in LF and Gardbrera in CF or vice versa; in either case, play your best defensive alignment. My opinion is that the best defensive alignment would be Cameron in CF and Gardbrera in LF if that was the only OF they acquired.

  • doty

    what do u got to lose by offering damon arbitration? boras would never allow him to sign a 1 yr deal. Unlike Abreu last year signing damon to a 1 yr contract even at a little higher price than the market price is not a terrible thing

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

      Damon may take the 1yr arb offer, whether Boras likes it or not. Johnny loves it here and may not want to leave, multi-year contract be damned.

      • doty

        how can u go wrong with damon for 1 yr at possibly 3-4 million above the market value. I dont believe that outways the compensation picks.

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

          I see your point.

          We may have declined arb simply because we’re not willing to bring Johnny back unless it’s at below market rates, because we are fearful that his decline has begun.

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

            we’re not willing to bring Johnny back unless it’s at below market rates

            I think the Yanks would be happy to bring Damon back at market rates, but by offering arbitration, you guarantee that he will be paid above-market for at least one year and maybe more.

          • Ed

            We may have declined arb simply because we’re not willing to bring Johnny back unless it’s at below market rates, because we are fearful that his decline has begun.

            That’s what I’d bet on.

            Considering every outfielder to sign since the end of ’08 (including Abreu twice) signed for less money than Damon made this year, he would have an extremely hard time justifying a pay raise to an arbitrator. The Yankees could even justify a $1-$2m pay decrease as overpaying for him.

    • radnom

      boras would never allow him to sign a 1 yr deal

      I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Boras has probably learned his lesson from last year. If it is true than Damon’s market lies in the same general area as Abreu’s deal this year, then Damon can make more money by accepting arb for a year then signing a new contract in 2010.

  • http://thetundrablog.blogspot.com/ Jake H

    I thought that they would offer it to Damon. Everything he is saying is that he wants a multi year deal.

  • JohnC

    Marlins did not offer arbitration to either Kiko Calero or Nick Johnson. Yanks should take a look at Calero. I know he has been plagued by injuries, but he could be a bargain if healthy. Has a devastating slider which would be death on righties. Maybe look at Johnson too, as a DH and backup 1st baseman.

  • John NY

    To me, you have to look at what Abreu got from the Angels and ask yourself if Damon is going to get the 2 years/19 mill? in the open market. The negotion starts there at 1 year @ 8-10 million w/ a club option for the second year. Cash Money vs. Boras. Who wins?

    • http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d80/madamsteph/Sports/alg_melky.jpg Drew

      I don’t see why Johnny and Boras would accept a second year team option unless it had like a 25+% buyout. Even then I have to think that he would get a better deal that guaranteed the second year.

    • Stuckey

      Not sure Abreu 2009 is the right comparison. Abreu become a veteran leader on that team that the team fell in love with and his production was team-leading.

      Damon might be looking more at an Abreu 2008 market.

      I mean yeah he’s got the hook swing down, but what team is really going to invest in a guy who was awful in the field and despite having a healthy and productive year, still comes off as a little creaky.

      Team are probably also asking themselves what’s he’s going to do when NOT hitting between the guys who finished 2 and 3 in the MVP voting, and two slots before arguably one of the top 5 players of all time.

      Damon’s paper “value” and what he can get are two different animals.

      • JMK aka The Overshare

        I see what you mean. I think the idea behind the Abreu comparisons were that they’re both old corner outfielders with good, not great power, woeful defense, and Damon and Boras could misread the market like Abreu did last year.

        That said, I don’t see Damon succeeding elsewhere like he would on the Yankees. Part of his success is the lineup and the stadium. He’d probably decline quite a bit elsewhere.

  • sciorsci

    I really don’t get it, particularly with Damon and Pettitte. The Yankees would probably love to have Damon on a one-year deal, although I admit that the price would be inflated. By not offering arbitration, they have really just opened the market up to all interested parties, whereas by offering arbitration, they’d at least have removed from the equation those teams at the back of the draft order who value their draft picks to such an extent that it factors into their FA decisions.

    With Pettitte, would the arbitration number have been based off of his actual compensation for 2009, or his guaranteed number from last season? Because if it’s the latter, it makes even less sense.

    But with Damon, particularly with Boras blowing all sorts of smoke about multi-year deals, why not give themselves the fallback of a one-year deal or draft picks as they prepare to sit down with the monster. Even if Damon were to accept, and even if they feel that the decline phase is about to start, it’s a ONE-YEAR deal.

    I haven’t for one second truly considered the possibility of Holliday a realistic one, but I think the decision not to offer arb to Damon suggests that it’s a possibility, and a strong one, because Damon accepting arb would effectively eliminate Holliday from the equation.

    • Ed

      Even if Damon were to accept, and even if they feel that the decline phase is about to start, it’s a ONE-YEAR deal.

      It’s not so much if they think the decline phase is about to start, but rather if they think it already did.

      His defensive declined drastically this year, and he hit like a pitcher in September. Overall he hit great at home, but not so hot on the road. It’s quite possible he’s already declined significantly, but it was hidden by the short right field fence.

      Also remember, he was a Yankee only because the Red Sox did not think he would be worth having under contract in 2009. Obviously there’s not a ton of value in a 4 year old projection, but, it’s another opinion to keep in mind.

  • Mike HC

    I don’t see this as that big of a deal either way. Pettitte is going to pitch for the Yanks or retire. Might as well bring him back on our own terms, rather than go to arbitration. There is also a chance the Yanks may not want to sign Pettitte depending on what they do with Halladay, Lackey, and the other free agents. No need to make a commitment of any kind with him.

    If Damon is supposed to get around 15 million in arbitration, that would be taking the Yankees to the cleaners. Abreu just got 2 years for 19 million. Sounds like a horrible deal to me. We could sign Damon for two years and pay only about 5 million more.

    • sciorsci

      True, but it also means committing dollars for 2011, when the FA class will be far stronger. A one-year deal, even at inflated dollars makes more sense to me. Or, to be more exact, the safety net of an inflated one-year deal, with the benefit of driving several teams out of the market for Damon, makes much more sense to me.

      • Mike HC

        I just don’t see it. Everyone is focused on the one or two year deal aspect, but if we are paying Damon 15 million for one year, that would essentially be paying him for two years, but we only control him for one. It would make perfect sense to take Damon on a two year deal for only about 5-6 million more than the one year deal. He can play LF next year, and shift to DH for the second year if we get a better LF. The second year also gives us the flexibility to stick with him in LF as well. Damon for two years is a no brainer to me.

        • Reggie C.

          I guess i agree.

          Damon may require more off days than what we’re willing to admit, but he’s not going to kill us out there in LF for 2 more seasons. His plate skills fit the new YS so well that that he’s a borderline All-star given the production. Do i expect a repeat of last seasons power output? ehh. no. But he should still OPS above .800.

          i hope. Its all moot if Damon refuses a pay-cut. 2 yr / 18 mm offer. No more.

          it also lets Damon DH full-time in 2011, if we can land Crawford long-term to fill LF.

        • sciorsci

          it’s not like offering him arbitration precludes signing him to a two-year deal; it just gives them a fallback of one year if Boras decides to get cute. And it carves the majority of MLB out of the market for his services.

  • BronxBomber44

    Makes sense… Damon at 15/year is ludacris.

    See Abreu, Bobbina.

    • TheLastClown

      Wouldja just look at what that damn rap music has done to our adjectives?!

      Interrobanging erotemes

  • http://thetundrablog.blogspot.com/ Jake H

    I wanted a draft pick!

    • Reggie C.

      We’re picking 32nd. (according to the RAB radio show)

      • http://thetundrablog.blogspot.com/ Jake H

        Yes but I wanted the one we would have gotten if Damon left. More picks!

        • Reggie C.

          Meh. When Tyler Matzek got selected by the Rockies last year at #11 , even after he said he wanted “unprecedented” money, that pretty much signaled the end of top-end talent falling the championship-level squads in a normal draft situation.

          IF Matzek had fallen to us, it would’ve been insanity. But alot more squads are now playing the 1st round right.

  • JMK aka The Overshare

    The reason they didn’t offer Damon arbitration is because there was a better chance he would take a one year deal at $15 million than there was another team signing him to a 2-year deal (+option) + giving up a draft pick.

    Oh, and they saved money and are still the favorites to re-sign him. How was this a mistake? It was a smart, calculated move. Just because you can pay more, even for one year, doesn’t mean you should.

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

      “The reason they didn’t offer Damon arbitration is because there was a better chance he would take a one year deal at $15 million than there was another team signing him to a 2-year deal (+option) + giving up a draft pick.”

      I don’t think this isn’t quite accurate though. It doesn’t matter if there’s a better chance of Damon getting a 2+ year offer, it matters if there’s a better chance Damon and Boras would make the decision by December 7 that they’d rather settle for the 1 year/$15M offer than test the market and get the 2+ year deal they covet. It’s about whether Damon/Boras would give up on the idea of a 2+ year deal within 1 week, right?

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

        “I don’t think this isn’t quite accurate though.”

        (fixed)

      • JMK aka The Overshare

        Right. I should have been more specific.

  • nathan

    I guess the Yanks are getting comfortable with their ability to pick talent out of the international pool… instead of 2 picks here sign them over from DR or PR…

    also, does this increase the likeliness of signing Matsui… i dont see Damon on a bargain deal… Matsui’s ability to hit 5th and hit lefties is too enticing… 1 year deal

    • Mike Pop

      Just got a boy out of Taiwan according to MLBTR.

      • Reggie C.

        a UZR specialist?

    • sciorsci

      Aren’t PR kids subject to the draft, a la Jorge?

  • larryf

    Damon will not have a better year than he had this past year. Let him go and let’s get back to discussing the Granderson deals Cash (never takes a Halladay) is working on….

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

      Hmmm… no.

      I’d rather overpay Damon for a year than trade good prospects for Granderson. Pass.

      • larryf

        not me. 28 years old/30 HR’s/great speed/excellent defender/AL guy who has played on division contender-pressure games/and great community guy…

        I’d like him for prospects-but this is a rehash. I just think we should let JD go and keep Matsui whose game is less effected by aging bones/muscles/tendons etc…

        • Zack

          /platoon player

          • sciorsci

            Like Paul O’Neill’s splits suggested in Cincy?

  • Richard Deegan

    Any chance Sherman was set up (and Yanks are offering arb to JD & AP) for slamming Derek for exceeding the Sherman Awards Quota? It would sure make him look like a jerk. LOL

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

    Just a random thought… This literally just popped into my head when I read another comment, above, about Abreu misreading the market last season, so I haven’t thought this through at all… But might the sentiment that Cashman was a genius last year for declining to offer arbitration to Abreu actually be wrong, since, as things turned out, Abreu and his reps apparently misread the market to the point that they waited for the deal they wanted so long that they were left out in the cold and had to accept a 1 year deal at a fraction of the money he was seeking, meaning that Abreu didn’t think he was going to have to settle for a 1 year deal and probably would have declined the Yankees’ arbitration offer and given the Yankees compensatory draft picks? I get that Cashman read the market correctly, but I think, and I think I mentioned this last year a bit as well, that he might have actually misread the Abreu situation itself, as it applied to the Yankees’ arbitration decision.

    I wonder if the same thing is happening with Damon. It’s a different situation, of course, but it’s kind of similar. I wonder if Cashman is better at reading the market than he is at reading whether a free agent would decide, in only one week of time, to accept an arbitration offer and settle for a contract of shorter duration than the free agent and his reps think they will get on the open market.

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

      I.E., Cashman made the right decision to not offer Abreu arb only provided that he correctly anticipated that Abreu would have accepted it, but he misjudged Abreu’s disinclination to accepting and should have better anticipated the mistake Abreu would have made?

      Hmmm…

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

        Right… To be less… wordy… than I usually am… Cashman misread Abreu’s next move, which, based on the available evidence (Abreu holding out and being, seemingly, very surprised at his late-offseason predicament), would have been to decline arbitration and hand the Yankees 2 draft picks. I think a lot of people took Abreu’s eventual predicament last offseason as evidence that Cashman made the right move, but it could also be seen as evidence that he made the wrong move because if he’d offered Abreu arbitration Abreu likely would have declined.

        I’ve brought this point up before and even a couple of times in this thread… But it’s about what the player and his reps will decide to do in only 1 week of time, not about whether the market will eventually (or does eventually) deliver them the contract they covet. I agree that it’s a guessing game, but I think it’s a different type of guessing game than a lot of people realize, and I think Cashman might just be a tad too risk-averse and cost himself some extra draft picks here and there. These guys and their agents have to make these decisions in one week. It just doesn’t seem to be in their nature, to me, to accept arbitration and accept less than they think they’re worth, so quickly. These guys and their agents are conditioned to think they’re the best players in the world and they’re worth all kinds of money and that this is their big chance at a big payday, I don’t think too many of them are able to be completely realistic and give up on all that within the span of one week, without ever even testing the market.

        That wasn’t actually less wordy at all. Meh, such is life.

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

        Continuing this, kinda, is the Marte situation.

        He declined the 1/6 option on Marte only to resign him to a three year 4M AAV deal. Cashman seems to value the flexibility of signing guys on the open market more than the security keeping guys off the market and bringing them back on one year deals, if those deals are potentially dramatically over the dollar value judged to be worthy of the player.

        Whatevs. Maybe that muddies the waters, maybe it’s explanatory.

  • Hawkins44

    Guys – it’s simple math… arbitration probably gets him 15-16 million for the year. They are hoping to get him for 2 years and 15-16 million… that way they can have Nady as the 4th OF this year and Damon as the 4th outfielder (and great insurance) next year with Austin Jackson replacing him.

  • radnom

    Everyone remember last year how we all circle-jerked for about a month about all the top draft picks the Yankees would be getting only to be completely floored at the arbitration deadline?

    I’m fairly certain that a little over a year ago I said something along the lines of “They should offer Abreu arb, there is no way if he accepts and getting him on a 1 year deal for 16 million would be great! Overpaying a little but no long term commitment!” haha glad Cashman know what hes going guys

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

      Right, but it also would have been great to get the 2 draft picks if/when Abreu declined the Yankees’ offer of arbitration, no?

      • radnom

        Geeze imagine the market for him if he had declined arb? He would have had to pay a team to play for them.

        • Hawkins44

          Honorable… no way Damon declines… he gets 16 million for one year. Compare that to the offers he would get as a old left fielder that can’t play defense…. and your peer Abreu just signed for 8 million per year… it’s a no brainer. He would have accepted arbitration and then provided he had a comparable year would sign a 5-7 million dollar/yr contract with someone after the 2010 season. My math says that’s 22-23 million for two years. Pretty good money in this economy.

          • sciorsci

            Who’s to say – quite that definitively at least – that he gets $16M? Maybe it’s $14M and change, maybe it’s $15M, maybe he accepts and they continue to negotiate a two-year deal in good faith before heading to arbitration.

            And Abreu’s AAV is $9.5M, not $8M, and he signed that deal prior to the arbitration deadline, which means he signed it, quite literally, in a vacuum, without taking his value to the open market (likely because the open market was rather cruel to him a year ago). Now, Damon is going out on the market with nothing more than some imaginary loyalty (from a guy that has played for four teams and has defected within the sport’s biggest rivalry) giving the Yankees an opportunity to bid in good faith rather than against teams that might wish to drive up the price on the Yankees.

            The biggest difference between Abreu ’08 and Damon ’09 is that the Yanks were pretty obviously not going to bring Abreu back last year, which not only took them out of negotiations, but also took several teams that might have driven the price up on them out of the market as well. With Damon, if there is a legitimate sentiment that the Yankees fully intend to bring Damon back at their price, it might be worthwhile for another team to drive the price up on Damon (if they can accept the risk that they might end up with him for a little more than they actually value him at), if it means that by keeping Damon at a higher price, that other team has a chance to bid on another guy they want without the Yankees snatching the player up at a higher price.

            There’s a lot of factors in play here, and there’s no way to say definitively that we know better than Cashman, but I think that those who suggest that Cashman’s risk-averse nature as it applies to arbitration is a major consideration are onto something. It’s not that an overpriced one-year deal for Damon is the best scenario; it’s that the possibility of extending exclusive negotiations with Damon, or negotiating with him in a depressed market with draft picks as compensation if they don’t sign him seem, to me, to be a more favorable arrangement than just negotiating with him on the open market as they would any other free agent.

            Unless, of course, they just don’t really want him back.

            • sciorsci

              That should read:

              if it means that by the Yankees keeping Damon at a higher price

            • Hawkins44

              Good points… my take is:

              1) If he accepts arbitration and I’m his agent I’m starting the negotiations at 15 million/yr… period. That’s the point.
              2) The reason Abreu signed his deal when he did is he knew the market, knew that the deal he got was probably the best deal possible within a 10% margin of error and he liked LA.. there was no big contract out there or he would have participated.
              3) If the Yankees are going to pay someone 15 million/yr… their thinking is that money can either 1) Bring Damon back OR participate in the Holiday/Bay sweepstakes….

              Case closed.

              • sciorsci

                The difference is, they can get a productive LF for one year at $15M and keep their flexibility intact for next year’s FA class, or they can lock up their long-term payroll finances even further than they already have by acquiring Holliday/Bay.

                I’m actually starting to wonder if they might be considering taking Vernon Wells along with Halladay to keep the prospect return minimal for Toronto.

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

            Me: “Right, but it also would have been great to get the 2 draft picks if/when Abreu declined the Yankees’ offer of arbitration, no?”

            Hawkins44: “Honorable… no way Damon declines…”

            I was talking about Abreu, not Damon.

  • sciorsci

    The only other factor to consider is that few, if any, agents represent only one player. So, if by not offering arbitration to a player that an agent intends to take to the market but give the Yankees a chance to match, Cashman is currying favor with agents, particularly one as influential as Boras, maybe it’s a calculated move in a much larger chess game than the individual arbitration decisions reveal.

    The way the market works now, offering arbitration (and attaching the draft pick compensation to the player in question) puts a serious drag on that player’s ability to seek a new contract. I’m sure agents are not thrilled with being offered arbitration for any but their least marketable clients, particularly after seeing what happened to Juan Cruz last year, for example. Is it possible that by not even offering arbitration to players that the Yankees theoretically would like to bring back, presumably on one-year deals if possible (and with fairly deep pockets so we can just, for the purposes of this argument, leave their artificially imposed budget restrictions aside), the Yankees are doing favors to agents that in turn repay them with the opportunity to let the market come to them when the situation calls for it, a la Teixeira?

    • Hawkins44

      Totally agree with everything you wrote there….

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