How much could Chad Gaudin make in 2010?

The Yankees now will not be the Yankees later
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Aside from finding an ever-elusive left field upgrade, the only matter of business left for the Yankees this offseason is to settle on contracts with Chad Gaudin and Boone Logan, both of whom are eligible for salary arbitration. Logan is eligible for the first time, but this is Gaudin’s third crack at arbitration, and after the season he’ll hit free agency for the second time of his career (the Cubs released him last April after giving him $2M).

Both the team and player (that means Gaudin or any other player in the league eligible for arb) have to submit their proposed salary figures for next season by tomorrow, though they could agree to a deal any time before a hearing, which would occur during the first week of February. In most cases the two sides will meet in the middle and go on their merry way, however sometimes they can’t reach an agreement and a hearing is necessary. Two years ago, the Yankees were unable to come to a compromise with Chien-Ming Wang. The Yanks won the hearing and saved themselves not only $600,000 for the 2008 season, but the carry over effect saved them even more money in 2009.

The three-person arb panels will pick between one of two salaries: the figure the team submits, or the figure the player submits. They can’t pick something in the middle. Both sides will try to justify their submitted salaries by comparing the player to other players with similar service time, not just other players in general. Gaudin has five years of service time, so he’s going to be compared to other pitchers when they had five years of service time. The people on the arb panel are not baseball experts at all, they’re professional arbitrators who will weigh the arguments presented to them as they see fit. Because of this, neither side will use advanced stats to make their point, instead they’ll rely on the old stand-bys of wins, ERA, strikeouts, walks, maybe WHIP, stuff like that.

After some digging, I found a handful of pitchers who were statistically comparable to Gaudin when they had five years of service time. Let’s tabulate…

(click for a larger view)

These aren’t perfect comparisons obviously, however they’re close enough for this blogger. All four had worked both as a starter and reliever early in their career, and all but one (Benoit) had bounced around between a few teams. Let’s see how much these guys got paid when they reached their third year of arb…

* Arb-2 is salary in second arb eligible year, Arb-3 is third arb eligible year. But you knew that already.

Okay, so this wasn’t as much of a help as I expected to be. I was hoping that they had all received similar raises, like 50-75% or something, but apparently not. It’s worth noting that both Wellemeyer and Correia were coming off career years, and that Benoit was bound by a two year contract extension he signed prior to his second year of arb eligibility. It’s still a valid comparison because of the amount of service time he had.

Instead of focusing on how big of a raise each player received, let’s take a look at how much money they ended up making in their last year before becoming free agents, like Gaudin is now. Both Benoit and Correia pulled in three-and-a-half million or so, and if you average all four players out, you get a $3.1M salary. We’ve been saying all winter that Gaudin will probably earn about $3M next season, though that was nothing more than a gut feel and estimate. At least now we have some basis for comparison.

Three million bucks or so will get you just under a win on the free agent market. CHONE projects Gaudin as a 2.1 win player next year, though that’s assuming he makes 28 starts. If he does that in 2010, either disaster has struck the Yankees’ pitching staff or he’s pitching for another team. More realistically, Gaudin would be a 0.8 WAR player if he throws 40 IP with a 5.00 ERA as a starter then another 60 IP with a 4.00 ERA as a reliever. $3.1M for 0.8 WAR is basically breaking even. Is Gaudin capable of pitching like that? Maybe, maybe not. It’s possible I’m overstating his abilities.

The Yankees overpay for a lot of things, and chances are they’ll be overpaying for Chad Gaudin in 2010. The team has reached the point where a marginal win has an almost negligible effect on the big picture, and I’m certain the team has an appropriate amount of the budget allocated for Gaudin’s 2010 salary.

Photo Credit: Jae C. Hong, AP

The Yankees now will not be the Yankees later
A look at the new batting practice caps
  • Steve H

    Obviously the Yankees want to keep his salary as low as possible. I think the most important part of that would be his trade value. An extra $500k isn’t a huge deal to the Yankees, but if they are thinking about trading him, the lower the salary, the more attractive he is to other teams, without the Yankees having to throw in cash.

  • SM

    I think you looking at the view that he is only worth .8 WAR is misguided. He has value as a SP who can give you 150 plus innings of league avg. Now this skill set may not be as valuable to the Yankees who happen to be a stacked team. So it looks like the yankees are overpaying for a mediocre reliever, but the guy has SP optionality, especially for an NL team and maybe even more so once the season starts and SPs start getting injured. Not to mention the 3M is probably less than the future cost of having to acquire a capable SP mid season, where you have to usually either take on Salary or give up a prospect.

    • radnom

      I came here to post the same thing.

      You arn’t paying for only the .8 WAR he will give you in an ideal scenario. You are paying for that PLUS his potential of 2.1 wins in case something goes wrong. Looking at only half of the equation makes it look like the Yankees are overpaying.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        They do the same thing with Kei Igawa, but at the AAA level.

  • P. Allen

    The 2.1 wins are if something goes wrong. Not quite sure what to make of this, but that is only .5 worse than what Joba projects as.

    • radnom

      I wouldn’t make a whole lot out of it. It is hard to predict things with a million less variable factors than how pitcher X is going to do next season. Take it with a grain of salt.

  • pete

    i liked the last post better.

  • bottom line

    “i liked the last post better”


    WAR analysis can be useful, but the relevant point is what Gaudin could provide vs. his likely replacement– the dreaded Mitre. And another so-called “rplacement value” pitcher may not be that easy to find. They Yankees must typically overpay for assets acquired mid-season. (That’s why their sudden flintiness now seems likely to backfire). Apart from all that, Gaudin had had longish stretches where he’s actually been higly effective — as he was out of the pen for the A’s for a time.

    Still too early to say, but is anyone else concerned that the Steinbrenners seem to be evolving into the Scroogebrenners?

    • Steve H

      Did they overpay for Hinske or Hairston last year? When was the last time they got screwed on a midseason trade? Even the Pirates trade, which may in turn look bad (but I doubt it) was the right trade to make at the time. As far as replacing Gaudin, it’s not just Mitre. There are several arms in the org. that can replace a guy who’s job is as 5th or 6th bullpen guy, or spot starter, dime a dozen on those guys.

      • Zack

        Looking at Cashman’s record, the last “bad” trade he made was giving up Javy for RJ. You can argue the Sheffield trade, but he had no spot on the team and was coming off a big injury.

        • Steve H

          Yeah, and neither of those were midseason. So based on that track record, I have zero concern of them overpaying midseason as bottom line said above. There’s just nothing to back that statement up.

          • Zack

            As always: Facts >>> Perception/Memory

          • bottom line

            Well, I guess giving up Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps was too long ago to count. It did hurt the team for about a decade, though. Or how about more recently giving up Damas Marte for Enrique Wilson. Do I need to count the left hnaded relievers they subsequently brought in (without success) to fill the hole left by Marte for six or eight years? And I’m not so sure we didn’t overpay to get two broken down players in Nady and Marte. Clearly, Ohlendorf has turned into a decent piece. Let’s wait and see with Tabata.

            THat said, I do agree that overall Cashman to this point has done quite well to avoid overpaying in young talent for mid season hole pluggers.

            • Zack

              Buhner was traded in 1988.
              Brian Cashman was named GM in 1998.

              How dare Cashman trade Buhner 10 years before he had the power to make any trades.

              • Zack

                Oops, thought you were blaming Cashman.
                But whatever, you’re going back 21 years for a trade?

              • Steve H

                Buhner was traded 18 days after Cash turned 21. Maybe he was on a 3 week after turning 21 bender and made the Buhner trade while totally trashed.

            • pete

              “Clearly, Ohlendorf has turned into a decent piece. Let’s wait and see with Tabata.”

              Ross Ohlendorf is, in the NL Central, a decent #5 starter. On the yankees, he is either a very replaceable long reliever type, or trade bait. In this instance, he was trade bait. Tabata was having a hideously bad year, and has rebounded to an extent, but there was a decent amount of evidence that suggested Tabata may never even get to the majors. Had there been any more, he would have had no trade value at all, but instead he had some. Those two guys turned into Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte. Nady was having a tremendous offensive season that may have been a bit of an outlier, but he was a quality power bat who was at least an excellent platoon player, and Marte is one of the few set-up men who has been consistent for a pretty long time. The yanks at the time lacked a quality lefty reliever, and, outside of marte, still do. That was a good trade.

    • Zack

      “Still too early to say, but is anyone else concerned that the Steinbrenners seem to be evolving into the Scroogebrenners?”

      Yup, how dare they spend 199m instead of 210m.

      • Steve H

        Spending $29 million more than the 2nd highest payroll team certainly does not equal Scroogness.

        • Zack

          Well why didnt they sign Damon for 3yrs/50m? He would have accepted and we wouldnt have this drama!1!

          • Steve H

            3 years for Johnny “2 steal” Damon? Listen, he wanted 4, we should have just given him 5/$90. Anything less is scrooge-esque.

  • bottom line

    “Did they overpay for Hinske or Hairston last year?”

    Those were minor pieces. If they have to replace a major piece — like a starter or, say, A-Rod — it will not come cheap. Gaudin gives every evidence of being able to do a decent job subbing for a front-line player as either a starter and reliever– you don’t compare that value to a pinch-hitter like Hinske. They did do well to get Hairston. All the more reason they should have kept him. This penny-pinching on valuable role players is both troubling and amusing adter the Yankees have overpaid guys for years. Yes, by all means exercise good judgment. But pound-wide penny-foolish won’t look so good if/when guys start falling next summer. The lack of an adequate back-up for A-Rod/Jeter could be this team’s Achulles heel this year and beyong. Pena is a good back-up to a legit back-up infielder. I’d hate to guess what he’d hit if forced to play two or three months.

    • Zack

      “If they have to replace a major piece — like a starter or, say, A-Rod — it will not come cheap.”

      Replacing a top 5 player in the game is hard? No shit.
      Who would you like to sign to back him up? Give a guy 5-10m to sit on the bench just in case?

    • Steve H

      Your direct line:

      They Yankees must typically overpay for assets acquired mid-season.

      Give me one shred of evidence that your statement is correct.

      • bottom line

        Steve H–

        –Jay Buhner for Phelps is the classic

        — Damaso Marte for E. Wilson is another.

        The first may be too long ago for you but it did hurt the team for a decade. As to giving up Marte, how many lefty relievers did we go through in the last decade to fill that hole. Think of the watred money on the likes Chris Hammond, Gabe White, Embree etc.

        And giving up Ohlendorf doesn’t look so hot to me. It’ll look a lot worse if Tabata develops– es[ecially since we are short outfielders.

        THat said, Cashman has done a good job overall in not overpaying– especially since he had to deflate other teaams’ expectations after many years in which NY traded out of desperation.

        • Zack

          “Jay Buhner for Phelps is the classic”

          Blaming Cashman for trading Buhner is classically stupid.

          • Zack

            My mistake again. But still, 21 years ago?

          • bottom line

            Who blamed Cashman? Why don’t you read the comments before replying? I actually went out of my way to say Cashman has generally done a good job in avoiding overpaying.

            • Steve H

              So Cashman has zero history of overpaying midseason, and your direct concern is that he is going to overpay midseason this year.

            • Zack

              I already stated I misread it before.
              Figured you were talking about Cashman cause he’s been in charge since ’98; instead you had to go back 21 years to find a bad in-season trade that you claimed the Yankees have a history of making.

        • Steve H

          Ohlendorf and his 4.72 FIP in the NL Central will not be missed. Marte for Wilson, wow an 8 year old trade of a middle reliever. Really franchise destroying. So you bring up 1 trade in 8 years, what about all of the good ones?

          Marte had a direct impact in 2009 on winning the title. That alone makes that trade worth it in my eyes, even if Tabata develops, and Ohlendorf finds a way to completely outperform his FIP going forward, which is highly unlikely.

  • bottom line

    “Replacing a top 5 player in the game is hard? No shit.
    Who would you like to sign to back him up? Give a guy 5-10m to sit on the bench just in case?”

    Hairston signed for $5-10 million? No shit.

    • Zack

      “If they have to replace a major piece — like a starter or, say, A-Rod — it will not come cheap.”

      That was your comment. Hairston is not a replacement for ARod. Hairston or a player like him will not be expensive to take from a crappy team. You made it sound like if ARod went down they would need to make a big move; which you would want to prevent by having a good backup.

  • bottom line

    Yes, there’s Jay Buhner and Marte. Before them, Drabek, McGriff, Willie McGee. Were these Cashman deals. Of course not. But they were desperation deals. As Ihave said blue-faced Cashman has generally avoided such mistakes.
    However, he is not blameless. Who exactly did we get for Ted Lilly? And I know Justice helped win one year but Westbrook turned into a pretty decent pitcher over several years. And are we all so happy about Nick Johnson and Juan Rivera for Javy Vasquez?

    For some reason, you ou insist on making the same simplistic point over and over, despite the evidence of countless examples of NYY overpaying in desperation trades, some mid-season, some off-season.

    My point is this: it is easier and cheaper to stock the team in the off-season than to rely on mid-season deals. And that doesn’t mean bringing in expensive vewterans to sit on the bench. At $2 mill, Hairston would have been a reasonable back-up. I would like you to tell me who exactly in the Yankee system can replace A-Rod with any sort of reasonable skill set over the next three or four years. And make my words — he will require replacement in that period.

    • Steve H

      Who says Hairston would have signed here for $2 million?

      Oh, and newsflash, every single team in professional sports has made trades they regret. Cashman’s track record of trades is great. Trust the system.

    • Zack

      1. Stop going back 10-21 years. Times change, priorities in baseball change
      2. You name Ted Lilly trade, I’ll name the Nick Swisher trade. You win some, you lose some
      3. YOUR original post talked about mid-season trades, thats why Steve H challenged you to find bad mid-season trades Yankees have made.

      4. “I would like you to tell me who exactly in the Yankee system can replace A-Rod with any sort of reasonable skill set over the next three or four years. And make my words — he will require replacement in that period.”

      I dont even know what that means; you guarantee that ARod is going to miss 20-50 games over the next 3-4 years?
      Would Hairston be nice? Yes. Am I concerned? No, because Cashman can go out and get a player like him for nothing. Plus you havent factored in maybe Hairston wants to play with his brothers, wants the extra $$, etc.

      • SM

        Shawn Chacon cost Money plus player

        But the cost is shown in the amount of starts that Rasner, Desalvo, Clippard, etc got over the years. Its not easy to find league avg SP

        • Zack

          No one said it was easy finding league avg SP.

          But signing Sheets or Bedard doesnt fix your problem. You have 5 starts, and then Joba and Hughes are set up guys, so if an injury happens it would take a month for them to get back into 5-6 IP pitchers.

  • Mo

    interesting research. Can you WAR guys suggest a trade destination for Gaudin, a team which he is better than a fourth or fifth starter?

  • Pingback: Yankees avoid arbitration with Gaudin, Logan | River Avenue Blues

  • mbonzo

    Triple-A Scranton Game One ( 11-2 win over Rochester, makeup of Saturdays postponed game)
    Chris Dickerson, CF, Kevin Russo, 2B: 1 for 5 – Both with 2 runs scored, Russo struckout once and Dickerson drove in a run.
    Mike Lamb, 3B, Doug Bernier, SS: 0 for 4 – Lamb walked and scored, he also struck out.
    Jesus Montero, C: 3 for (f#&%ing) 5 – He hit 2 bombs, a double, and 2 loud outs from what I’m told. He’s 9 for his last 24 (.375), with one double and three homeruns.
    Jorge Vazquez, DH: 1 for 3, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
    Brandon Laird, LF-3B: 1 for 4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R
    Terry Tiffee, 1B: 1 for 1 – The one was a double, he should have started the game today on third base but he was released before the game. Kruml replaced him.
    Raymond Kruml, LF, Greg Golson, RF: 0 for 3 – Both struck out twice, Kruml scored a run, Golson walked.
    Adam Warren, RHP: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 Ks, 2-1 GB/FO – 21 of his 27 pitches were strikeouts! He was on a roll; too bad he couldn’t finish his start.
    Freddy Garcia, RHP: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 HR, 5-4 GO/FO – 42 of his 59 pitches were strikes, he was quoted saying his finger was fine, but those 8 hits speak differently.
    Andrew Brackman, RHP: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 SO, 5-1 GO/FO – 23 of his 31 pitchers were strikes, He now has a 3.24 ERA in his last 25 IP, and has only walked 1 in his last 9 IP. He’s turning the season around, but that season ERA is still dreadful.

    Triple-A Scranton Game Two (9-4 win over Rochester)
    Chris Dickerson, CF: 2 for 3 – Doubled and homered
    Kevin Russo, 2B, Jorge Vazquez, 1B: 1 for 4 – Russo tripled, scored a run and an RBI but struck out once, Vazquez had the hat-trick.
    Jesus Montero, DH, Brandon Laird, 3B: 2 for 4 – Laird homered again, and Montero had another double along with a strike out. Montero is now 11 for his last 28 (.393). Have yourselves a day.
    Jordan Parraz, RF, Raymond Kruml, CF, Luis Nunez, SS: 1 for 3 – Kruml doubled, Parraz K’d and walked, Nunez had 2 RBIs but also had an error.
    PJ Piliterre, C: 2 for 1, 1 R, 1 BB
    Manny Banuelos, LHP: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K’s, 7-3 GO-FO – only 56 of his 90 pitches were strikes. You can tell he had command issues today, but the GO-FO is a positive.
    Scott Proctor, RHP: 1.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, zeroes, 2-0 GO-FO – 10 of his 15 pitchers were strikes.
    Raul Valdes, LHP: 1.0 IP, 3 H, zeroes, 1-0 GO-FO – 11 of his 16 pitches were strikes.

    Double-A Trenton (4-3 win over New Hampshire)
    Austin Krum, LF, Austin Romine, DH, Jose Pirela, SS: 2 for 4 – Krum scored 2 runs and had 1 K, Romine 1 R, 1 RBI, but 2 K’s.
    Corban Joseph, 2B, Robert Lyerly, 1B, Melky Mesa, CF: 1 for 4 – Lyerly K’d twice but scored a run and an rbi along with a SB, Mesa doubled and K’d twice.
    Zoilo Almonte, RF, Jose Gil, C: 0 for 4 – Almonte had the hat trick, he’s 6 for his last 33 (.182), Gil K’d once.
    Addison Maruszak, 3B: 0 for 3
    Cory Arbiso, RHP: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 K’s, 11-2 GO-FO
    Josh Schmidt, RHP: 1.0 IP, 1 K, zeroes
    Kanekoa Texeira, RHP: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 2-0 GO-FO
    Ryan Pope, RHP: 1.0 IP, 2 K’s, zeroes

    High-A Tampa had the day off.

    Low-A Charleston was rained out; there will be a doubleheader tomorrow.

    Short Season Staten Island (3-1 win over Lowell)
    Cito Culver, SS: 1 for 5, 1 R, 1 SB, 1 SO
    Angelo Gumbs, DH: 2 for 5, 2 doubles, 1 R, 1 CS, 1 SO,
    Benjamin Gamel, RF, Tyler Austin, 3B: 1 for 4 – Gamel BB’d, K’d, and stole a base, Austin doubled, scored a run, walked, and K’d twice.
    Cody Grice, CF, Ali Castillo, 2B: 1 for 3 – Grice walked and had 2 RBIs, Castillo doubled and walked. Williams replaced Grice defensively in the 9th.
    Reymond Nunez, 1B: 3 for 5 – Two doubles, he’s hitting a quiet .282 on the season, but still no signs of power.
    Zachary Wilson, LF: 0 for 5, 1 K – There will always be one guy without a hit, today, that is you Zachary Wilson.
    Nick McCoy, C: 2 for 4
    Bryan Mitchell, RHP: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 4 BBs, 5 SOs, 5-1 GO-FO, 1 E – The walks suck, but he’s only given up 1 R in his last 3 starts, looks like things are starting to click.
    Dustin Hobbs, RHP: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 SO!
    Fred Lewis, LHP: 1.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 SO
    Branden Pinder, RHP: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K’s, 4-0 GO-FO- This kid has a lot of strikeout potential so seeing the groundouts too is great news.

    Rookie GCL Yankees (6-5 loss to the GCL Phillies, walk off style)
    Jose Rosario, 2B: 2 for 4 – He had 1 CS, 1 PO on the bases, 1 E, 14 for his last 39 (.359)
    Caludio Custodio, SS, Isaias Tejeda, C: 1 for 5 – Custodio doubled and K’d, Tejeda drove in an RBI but also had a throwing error.
    Dante Bichette, 3B: 3 for 5 – Doubled once, 14 for his last 33 (.424). He’s anti-bored.
    Matt Duran, 1B: 0 for 5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K’s, 1 E
    Yeicok Calderon, RF: 1 for 4, 1 RBI and 1 K
    Daniel Lopez, CF: 2 for 2 – Tripled, scored 2 runs, BB’d twice, stole a base, the only blemish was 1 CS. He’s hitting .309/.373/.487 in the GCL after tearing apart the DSL earlier in the year.
    Bubba Jones, DH: 1 for 2, 1 RBI, 1 K
    Greg Bird, DH, Justin James, LF: 0 for 2 – Both with 1 K, Bird still looking for that first hit.
    Andrew Cave, CF: 0 for 1, 1 BB – First professional game.
    Gabriel Encinas, RHP: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K’s, 2-4 GO/FO You have to love the K’s.
    Joel De La Cruz, RHP: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 K, 3-1 GO/FO
    Mariel Checo, RHP: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 SO, 1-1 GO/FO – He’s starting to impress me, he hasn’t given up a run in over a month now.
    Joaquin Hinojosa, RHP: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 K, 2 HR – Blew the save.
    Corey Maines, RHP: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 SO