Jan
28

In the Bronx, building a team on a budget

By

When the Yankees signed Randy Winn yesterday, the move kicked off a firestorm of comments. Even though pitchers and catchers are still three weeks away, even though the Yanks are the reigning World Series Champions, Winn’s signing sent shockwaves through the Yankee Universe. It meant the end of Johnny Damon‘s tenure in pinstripes, and it proved, once and for all, that the Yankees are playing baseball on a budget this year.

For most baseball fans and writers, the idea of a team sticking with a budget is not cause for consternation. The vast majority of baseball teams — 29 of them, in fact — have operated under budgetary constraints. Some teams have more money to spend while others have to make the most of the funds available to them in order to remain competitive. That — and not the idea of OBP as the Holy Grail of baseball — was the driving thesis behind Moneyball. Still, no one blinks if a mid-market team has only $95 million to spend.

In the Bronx, though, things are different. The Yankees are on top of the world. They have a brand new stadium, a brand new World Series trophy, a top-rated regional sports network and an internationally-identifiable brand. They made the Yankee hat more famous than Jay-Z can. With this cachet of fame and success, the Yankees should not have a budget. Or so goes the baseball motif.

As we sit in 2010, though, life has changed economically since the glory days of the mid-2000s as the Yankees’ payroll kept climbing and climbing and climbing. First, George Steinbrenner has passed control of his team onto his sons. While Hal has the desire to win, he also recognizes the business needs of the Yankees. He knows that exceeding the payroll budget by a few million dollars also leads to a few million more in luxury tax payments. He knows that the team owes some debt service payments on their new stadium, and he knows that, prior to 2009, the Yankees’ operating income was a cool $3.7 million the red. With a $209 million payroll in 2008, the Yankees could not turn a profit.

In a few weeks, we’ll hear from Forbes about baseball’s 2009 finances, but considering the Yanks’ adherence to a budget this winter, the team is probably in a similar situation. Based purely on the stadium-centric finances, I believe the team is breaking even at the stadium with most revenue coming from their TV rights deals and the YES Network. So the Yankees have decided that they need a budget. It might be $200 million; it might be far greater what any other team will pay for their players; but it’s still a budget. With the economy in tatters around us, how hard is it to understand that the Yankees can’t just open up their checkbook with no regard for the fiscal impact of it?

For some people — Ken Rosenthal’s latest comes to mind — this is an inconceivable turn of events. For 40 years, the Yankees have spent, spent, spent. Why should a few million dollars stop them from reupping with Johnny Damon? Why would they go for Randy Winn instead? Mike had a fully rational explanation earlier today, but Rosenthal, a career baseball man, could not escape from the trope that the Yankees do not have a budget. Shockingly, they do.

In the end, it’s tough to say who bears the blame for Damon’s departure. Joel Sherman has written two articles (here and here) exploring the fallout from the Boras/Cashman dispute. The Yanks say they had made a few offers to Damon’s camp while Boras, not wanting to appear as though he overplayed his hand, claims he was more flexible than the Yankees say and that the Yankees didn’t really want Damon back anyway. Pick your side in that one. The truth remains that, in an era of fiscal problems, the Yankees do have a budget. They probably have room to improve at mid-season, but today, they are done spending. The money just isn’t there.

Categories : Analysis

131 Comments»

  1. r.w.g. says:

    The team is still spending a whole lot of money. Highest in baseball by far.

    It was just so out of whack earlier and the bottom line is that blowing up the budget all those years didn’t lead to titles.

    The teams were good but they were a little bit mish-mash, you know?

    I dunno.. I just see the team adding a 29 year old slugger in CF and a new #2 hitter who trounced the old one by about 50 points of OBP.

    I’m not worried, angry, or disappointed. I’m psyched.

  2. gc says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Rosenthal is saying that Winn is replacing Damon…wouldn’t GRANDERSON be replacing Damon?? And Winn/Gardner would be replacing Cabrera/Gardner?

    • Yeah. That’s why Rosenthal is completely wrong. Mike discussed that earlier today.

      • Reggie C. says:

        Sherman’s sticking with the chronology of who-replaces-who.

        1. Granderson arrival moved Melky/Gardner to LF (Cash called Granderson the new CF).
        2. Melky traded. New platoon Gardner/xxxx.
        3. Winn signing = close of Damon’s career in pinstripes.
        4. Winn + Gardner replacing Damon in LF.

        Are you sure Rosenthal simply isn’t looking at the new OF configuration , and isn’t discussing production?

  3. It seems like a bunch of big ego’s got in the way of completing this Damon deal.

    • Steve H says:

      In what way?

    • steve (different one) says:

      yes, Johnny Damon could not accept that his market value is half of what it was 4 year ago. simple as that. had he come to this realization sooner, perhaps he’s still a Yankee.

      • Warren says:

        The New Market is now based on – no steroids – to extend those players careers past 35 years old.

        All MLB players will need to see that in the market from this time forward.

  4. Johnny says:

    Yeah, the feeling I get is that the Yanks could have signed Damon for $5-6 million. If they weren’t willing to spend that, you know something is up.

  5. Pablo says:

    All of american business is watching budgets why shouldn’t the Yankees. I guess if it’s not your money it does not matter.

  6. steve s says:

    I thought one benefit of the new YS was that the Yanks were able to effectively setoff their luxury tax obligations against debt service on the new YS. Does anyone have any better knowledge of whether that is in fact true and, if true, how the setoff actually works?

    • steve (different one) says:

      it’s not luxury tax, but they can deduct some of the debt service from the revenue that goes into the revenue sharing pool.

      it’s a help, but it doesn’t reduce the luxury tax.

  7. Matt says:

    Some people are simply stupid. They can’t see that getting younger and adding rotation depth is smarter than resigning aging players.

    • Bo says:

      Getting younger at the expense of getting better?

      And since when is Winn young?

      • CountryClub says:

        You’re in the minority when you say the Yanks arent better after this winter’s moves. That’s OK though, you;re entitled to your opinion.

        Signing Winn (no matter how old he is) to a 1 yr deal does not stunt their long term goal of getting younger. Signing a guy Winn’s age to a 3 or 4 year deal would, however.

      • Steve H says:

        Well Winn is younger than Damon, and overall they clearly got younger.

        And who says they didn’t get better? I think the vast majority of people feel that they did get better. You on the other hand, are on a lonely angry island by yourself.

  8. This will end badly.

    (Not the Yankees having a budget, mind you; no, the conversation about the Yankees havin a budget. THAT’S what’ll end badly.)

  9. Pete says:

    They’re payroll is going to be bigger than ever next year. They’ll have to take care of Jeter and Mo. They’re probably going to be bidding on at least Cliff Lee’s services. And then there’s all the increases that ARod, CC, Granderson and Tex get from their contracts. So, it seems to me that this year is just an aberration in terms of the Yankees budget.

    • Fun fact:

      Given escalating base salary and homer incentives, ARod has a very realistic chance of earning $42M in one single year in 2013.

      • r.w.g. says:

        That’s insane. Is it a career home run mark he needs to reach to get the bonus or is it based on how many he hits in the season?

        It’s got to be the former because of the no-performance-incentive rule for contracts?

        $42MM potential salary for a 38 year old. Yikes. Stay positive, I guess.

        • pat says:

          The career mark. Those sort of clauses in contracts have been banned since then.

          • Ed says:

            No, it’s not banned actually. The Yankees worked with the union to structure this around the ban.

            Technically, they’re not bonuses. Those home runs have been labeled as historic events, and the payments are for participating in the marketing of those events. He has to do things along the lines of participating in advertising campaigns and providing the team with autographed merchandise.

      • Ed says:

        Looking at Cot’s, A-Rod’s base salary doesn’t escalate. It went up to $32m last year, stays the same this year, then goes down every year except for the final one, which is the same as the year before.

        For 2013, I see $28m base + $1m signing bonus + $6m per milestone. That ads up to $41m if he hits 2 milestones.

        It would be really hard to do, but if he pulls off 714, 755, 762, 763 in one season he’d get one massive payday. The last 3 in one season wouldn’t be that hard to do though, and would still give an impressive payday.

      • thurdonpaul says:

        Wow, I would be happy with a tenth of that, for my LIFETIME.

        Congrats to you Alex !!

    • Brian says:

      Don’t forget our 2011 LF, Carl Crawford.

    • A.D. says:

      I believe they calculate payroll on AAV so the year fluxuations don’t matter, that said CC makes the same in 11 as 10, and A-Rod makes less.

      Pettitte and Vazquez’s contracts come off the books (if they’re adding a Cliff Lee, doubtful they resign both, perhaps neither).

      They do have to take care of Jeter & Mo, however they make 21M & 15M respectively, it’s doubtful they’ll get a whole lot more than that (if they get more).

  10. Bo says:

    We’ll see if this budget talk is real when they need a bat or a pitcher mid season.

  11. A.D. says:

    Reading the Post articles I’m inclined to sign with the Yanks over Boras on this one, even if you want to say they were “negligent” because they didn’t speak with Boras specifically and went with other trusted sources, that’s on Boras for making big public demands & not coming to the Yankees table.

  12. Tampa Yankee says:

    Hey Sucka Got No Juice…

    http://www.t-shirthumor.com/Me.....tfu_lg.gif (Not safe – language)

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

      Agreed.

      Seriously… When was the last time Rosenthal was actually right about something? I’m talking about an opinion or observation, not just reporting on fact/news. I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw him on TV or read something he wrote and said ‘good point’ or, for that matter, said anything other than ‘how is it possible that this man is paid to give his opinions when he is always so wrong about everything?’ His consistent suckitude is actually kind of impressive, he’s the fucking Lou Gehrig of suck.

  13. JackISBACK says:

    Somewhat offtopic, but I found it hilarious. The whole Gerald and Brandon Laird fight got started when their 70 year old grandpa felt up Eddie House’s wife in a lounge at an NBA game.

    http://bases.nbcsports.com/201.....e.html.php

    I found that to be pretty funny.

    On topic: I think the Yankees have a budget for THIS year, because they want to save some money for a spending spree next year. I also think they are going a bit more towards defense as well, and when that is factored in, Gardner is a pretty good player in his own right.

    • Brian says:

      This “budget” is analogous to the 2007-2008 offseason when they decided not to go after Santana with an eye towards the following monster offseason. Save some cash now, and go for the big fish next year. The big difference is that our 2010 team is a hell of a lot better than the 2008 team.

    • Rick says:

      i have no doubt thats what they’re doing.

      people thinking this strict budget stuff is more then just a 1 year thing need to wake up and smell the coffee.

      Baring something unforeseen, such as injury, ineffectiveness or something like that…Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford seem to be on their way to becoming the Yankees next big signs.

      • CountryClub says:

        Cash was pretty honest about next year’s crop of FA’s being better than this year’s. I think we can expect them to go for at least one big signing next year.

  14. Evan NYC says:

    What is Damon looking at realistically? A one-year deal from the Reds (blah!) for $4M-5M? Is he going to land a long-term (2/3 years) deal?

  15. Peter says:

    while i thought Cashman had real interest in bringing damon back…i don’t think that now.

    i think the yankees made up their minds on damon and matsui at the same time…and that was to let them both walk.

    • Tom Zig says:

      Can’t say I blame them.

      Matsui’s knees are ready to blow at any moment. He can’t play the field, even though the Angels will try him out there anyways.

      Damon went down with a calf injury in the WS and went through a huge slump at the end of the regular season. Plus I’m kind of worried that if Damon returned, he’d show up to camp out of shape, he’s done it before.

      Replacing Damon/Matsui with Granderson/Johnson was the right call.

      • Peter says:

        its hard to blame them.

        but its also hard for me to sit here and say something negative about matsui’s health and be in love with the nick johnson signing, if you know what i mean.

        but johnson is an OBP god and he’s younger then matsui so i am in favor of the move as a whole.

        letting damon go i question…but it is what it is.

        i still think granderson/damon would be better then granderson/johnson. but hey..what can you do.

        i Still like the team we have.

    • Marcus says:

      I’m not so sure. I agree with your general sentiment (that Cashman made up his mind early), but I think what he made his mind up about was that negotiating with Boras/Damon would require exclusion of other possibilities. Signing Damon at $13M a year (even for one year) was out of the question from the start, so Cashman decided he didn’t have the time to play Boras’s games and immediately started looking into other options. He probably could have gotten Damon for 2 yrs $7M per year, but by that time, he saw better possibilities.

      Playing Boras’s games take up time and a lot of effort, unless you are a party that is willing to dump a lot of cash on a player and say “take it or leave it” (a la Tex last year, or Damon back in 2005).

      Damon’s age probably made it easier for Cashman to move on, but I don’t think he used that as the main rationale for moving on from Damon.

  16. The Three Amigos says:

    It really is amazing… you would have thought the Yankees murdered someone. They get crushed if they have a 210 million payroll and now crushed for having a “budget.”

    Besides I give Hal a lot of credit, he is letting Cashman do his thing while staying in the background. You always have to start somewhere and this wasn’t a bad option. They can’t let every free agent think they are going to be paid grossly over market.

    Finally, I understand each client is different and the next huge client the Yankees want, Boras will forget all about this. However, is it really wise for Boras to go after Cashman, I mean he only controls the purse strings for all of your clients biggest possible payday. I don’t get that.

  17. Cecala says:

    Does anyone else think that the budget also has a little to do with the collective bargaining agreement expiring? Might not be a large factor, but I doubt the Yanks want all of the other clubs wanting a harder luxury tax.

  18. chriso says:

    Nick Johnson is replacing Damon.
    Damon was the Yanks’ #2 hitter. Johnson is now the yanks’ #2 hitter.
    Curtis Granderson is replacing Hideki Matsui.
    Matsui was the Yanks’ #5 or #6 hitter. Now that job is Granderson’s.

    Randy Winn is replacing Melky Cabrera. Look at it that way and it is easy to see that there is nothing to get excited, nor upset, about.

    I think this fussing about “the Yankees’ budget” is silly. If Johnny Damon were capable of playing the OF, the Yanks would have signed him. But he isn’t, so they didn’t. And you could say the same about Vlad Guerrero or Jermaine Dye or Xavier Nady. (Anyone who felt excitement at the thought of the Yanks signing Reed Johnson needs sex badly.) Another factor is 2011. Cashman needed to find a stop-gap for the OF, just for 2010, not a guy who was going to be a factor next year. Cashman wants Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth to play left field for the Yanks in 2011. He wants Cliff Lee in his rotation. He needs to maintain flexibility with the DH spot because of Jesus Montero, among other reasons. Throwing a bunch of dollars at Damon would have made all of those concerns more complicated.

    Heading into the 2010 season, this is an improved Yankees’ team because they’re going to be better on defense and better in the starting rotation. Let me put it a different way: They were the best team in the game in 2009 and are better now. There is no rational reason to be worried.

    • (Anyone who felt excitement at the thought of the Yanks signing Reed Johnson needs sex badly.)

      uhm…..

      Cashman wants Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth to play left field for the Yanks in 2011. He wants Cliff Lee in his rotation.

      and…you know this because……

      Heading into the 2010 season, this is an improved Yankees’ team because they’re going to be better on defense and better in the starting rotation. Let me put it a different way: They were the best team in the game in 2009 and are better now. There is no rational reason to be worried.

      ok, at least there’s something in there i can agree on

      • pete luciano says:

        Forget Crawford, save all your money and light a candle that Mauer doesn’t sign an extension. Then sign the best player in baseball, use Posada as backup catcher and DH, wow.

    • Peter says:

      (Anyone who felt excitement at the thought of the Yanks signing Reed Johnson needs sex badly.)

      LOL. this sentence i liked.

    • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

      All kinds of FAILOL sprinkled with mostly half-truths. Just awesome. Golf clap (or fap, should I say?) to you, sir!

    • pete luciano says:

      Granderson can’t bat behind Arod. He can’t his righthanded. Late in games we lose Arod, they walk him, then bring in a lefty to face Granderson. The Yankees are very weak vs left hand pitching. Granderson and Winn are automatic outs and Gardner is inexperienced. Late in games it will be difficult to hide all these weaknesses. Also, Johnson’s splits vs leftys is only ok, nothing like Matsui’s. We’ll be looking for a righty bat by June. That’s why the Winn signing was so absurd. His righthanded splits were 154/183/200 the lowest in mlb since 1954. Good luck late in games.

      • Tantalus2010 says:

        This is not a horribly sophisticated analysis. Damon is gone. Matsui is gone. Melky is gone. Randy Winn is signed and some combo of Gard/Hoff/Winn is PROBABLY going to play left field. It is going to happen. Get over it. You’ll heal, I promise.

    • pete luciano says:

      Winn stinks, had his worst yr last yr and isn’t getting any younger. We needed a right handed bat if Cashman was so bent on not signing Damon, and Winn can’t hit leftys. This signing makes no sense.

  19. AndrewYF says:

    “The new, bottom-line Yankees should take no satisfaction in having read the market better than Boras. Their brilliant analytical skills will leave them with the plodding, frequently injured Nick Johnson rather than Damon in the No. 2 spot, and a left-field grouping reminiscent of their ill-fated Doug Mientkiewicz-Josh Phelps duo at first base in 2007.”

    Didn’t you hear Conan O’Brian, Rosie? Cynicism will get you nowhere.

    Oh wait, I guess you already know that.

  20. Steph says:

    This was an excellent article. I enjoyed every single word of it because I have been trying to say the exact samething for the longest time. It is not the “imposssible” thing that the MIGHTY New York Yankees have decided to operate under a budget. How is that concept so difficult to grasp. This is not the 80′s nor the 90′s. I am glad they have stuck to their guns and kept to their budget. They have a plan, they always do. Keep the faith, this is a team that is being ran very well these days.

    Now, if they can only focus there attention more on the incredibly depleted Farm System.
    This is of course one man’s opinion I could be wrong.

    • Steve H says:

      I don’t think their farm system is depleted, but most of their talent is at lower levels, which will thin out as they get closer to the majors. They traded 3 top 100 guys in the past few years to help the MLB club, so they are bound to take a hit. If they continue to draft well and sign IFA’s, they will keep the cycle going. They may never had 3-4 top guys that are close to the majors, because they won’t have room for them in the majors. For instance, let’s they their top 10 prospects below AA turn into 7 prospects this year, and weed down to 4 by the time they get to AA and AAA, 2 or 3 of those 4 will likely be traded to fill needs (Ajax, Tabata, etc) in the big leagues, and maybe they’ll have a spot or two for the others (Montero, Melancon types).

  21. nycornerstone says:

    I WAS HAPPY WITH THE ROCCO BALD-DELI ALMOST SIGNED LAST WEEK,NOW IF WE LOSE GRANDERSON OR SWISHER THERES NO POWER COMING OFF THE BENCH AT ALL NO WINN SITUATION

  22. nycornerstone says:

    it was joke a deli has more power then winn wheres the power off the bench ?

    • Tom Zig says:

      Jorge Posada, when he isn’t the starting catcher.

    • Steve H says:

      Power off the bench #1 isn’t a big issue, and #2 can be filled easily, see Hinske last year. Maybe they’ll bring in Baldelli on a minor league deal, or Gomes, or Thames, or Pena, or Izzy Alcantra. Winn brings more to the table then all of those guys (except Izzy), despite having less power.

  23. nycornerstone says:

    can jesus play the outfield ? <+

  24. nycornerstone says:

    i think barry bonds would of signed for 2 million to play for the yankees, he’s in left out anyway. sorry another joke

  25. Stryker says:

    the thing about this budget is, i’m curious as to if it will be a recurring thing or if it was solely because the yankees were coming off winning a world series coupled with a relatively poor free agent class.

    believe me – while we’ve got the blinders on here and think it’s the yankees being “smart”, everyone else thinks had they lost or not even made it to the world series they would’ve opened up the wallet considerably.

    this, of course, has led to many an argument among my friends and i – arguments matt ACTY (now matt imbrogno) knows all about and knows we can’t win. sometimes it sucks being a yankees fan, hahaha.

  26. Brian says:

    Everyone that’s freaking out about having a platoon in LF, needs to remember the dynasty years (which are about to be renewed). We had Chad Curtis, Ricky Ledee and Shane Spencer out there. Keep in mind that our rotation is a lot better than last year, and our defense is A LOT better. With all the commotion over Randy Winn (a former All-Star), we’ve forgotten that we have Javy Vazquez as our #4. Take a deep breath, a shot of tequila, check the final standings of 2009, and trust in Cash.

    • pete luciano says:

      Are you going to play Winn in a platoon with Gardner vs leftys. Did you know his splits vs leftys last yr in 125abs was 158/183/200 the worst line in mlb since, get this, 1954. Nice platoon.

  27. nycornerstone says:

    im just saying the outfield has no options,if we lose granderson and swisher , whats ou outfield look like gardner, winn, hoffman? ouch

  28. mustang says:

    “I believe the team is breaking even with most revenue coming from their TV rights deals and the YES Network.”

    Do you have anything to back this up?
    Because a lot of people would seem to disagree with you.

    If Hal Steinbrenner wants to keep his silly budget for the 4th outfielder and back-up guys on the roster so be it. As long as he keeps going after the marquee players that makes up a champion.

    • mustang says:

      “The YES Network could be worth $3 billion or more, according to Fortune’s calculations, which are based on the network’s cash flow and what other regional networks have been worth.’

      I think the YES Network is more then breaking even, but that’s just a guess.

      • They’re breaking even on the field and with ticket sales. The YES Network is where they draw revenue. Also, valuations do not equate with revenue.

      • mustang says:

        And didn’t RAB just have a thread on how the YES Network’s ratings were great this year even better then ESPN?

        • That still has nothing to do with the way the New York Yankees operate as a business.

          • mustang says:

            I understand what you’re trying to say, but at the end the YES network main attraction are the Yankees. The main reason the YES network turns a profit is the Yankees and unless Hal is giving the YES network money away he is making that profit.
            You can separate them if you like to make your point, but isn’t that silly since YES and the Yankees make profit for one main family.

    • Because a lot of people would seem to disagree with you.

      Who besides you? I linked to the Forbes numbers that show the Yanks operating at a deficit in 2008. I’d love to see your version of that.

      YES probably is a huge money-maker for the entities that own it, and we know it’s potentially worth a lot if somewhere to try to buy it. But with the way the Yanks balance their books, their budget is their budget. I don’t understand why this is so hard a concept for so many people to grasp. Every business has a budget that they can’t exceed without taking on debt, and the Yankees do not want to do that right now.

      • mustang says:

        ” I linked to the Forbes numbers that show the Yanks operating at a deficit in 2008. ”

        Those that included the YES network ?

        • mustang says:

          Does that include the YES network?

          The 2008 YES Network profit and the Yankees deficit go to one main controlly source the Steinbrenner family. And I doubt that the Yankees deficit out weighted the YES Network’s profit that my version on that.

      • mustang says:

        ” But with the way the Yanks balance their books, their budget is their budget. I don’t understand why this is so hard a concept for so many people to grasp.”

        It’s not a hard concept to grasp at all, but people don’t see the YES Network and the Yankees baseball team as two separate entity.

        It’s a business shell game plain and simple.

        • mustang says:

          It’s funny Hal wants to turn a profit with the team and the network which is fine, but to say that their separate entity so they can cry poverty for the team is something that no one is or should buy.

        • I’ll explain it. I did some more research for you. The YES Network is owned in part by Yankees Global Enterprises and Goldman Sachs. The Yankees Global Enterprises also owns the team. The Yankees shell out over $200 million in player payroll and, by many estimates, nearly another $100 million in luxury tax and revenue sharing. They also pay season employees, a Front Office staff and debt service on bonds for the new stadium. They draw in money from concessions and ticket sales and money from YES Network advertising. With revenues around $300 million and cash flow under $200 million — which is then split between the Yanks and Goldman Sachs — the team is using the YES revenue to offset the rest of their expenses.

          In 2008, that equation led to operating deficit.

          Now do you see how the economics of it work? It’s not a shell game, and that’s why the Yanks have a budget. They can’t keep running deficits because they can’t keep borrowing — especially at a time when banks won’t really lend money — to make sure they break even.

          • mustang says:

            Did a little research myself this is based of 2006. I would think YES profits are even higher now:

            “No need to worry about last year’s $28 million loss, when its value rose $200 million, to $1.2 billion. “Like a piece of property in New York City, it’s really not an annual profit-and-loss-based business,” says Joseph Perello, former vice-president of business development. The Yankees—read Steinbrenner—also own more than a third of the YES network, which broadcasts Yankees games to 8.7 million subscribers. The network’s revenues top a quarter billion and its profit margin is 60 percent. Though a completely separate business from the Yankees, YES’s value is directly tied to how much interest people have in the team, making a $200 million payroll a very easy decision. “

            • mustang says:

              “They can’t keep running deficits because they can’t keep borrowing — especially at a time when banks won’t really lend money — to make sure they break even”

              The Banks are going to lend you money when your net worth is over 1.2 billion dollars!!!!!!!

              It’s a shell game whether you see it or not.

          • mustang says:

            Last thing, it’s nice to talk about a budget when we are
            discuusing the cotracts Winn and Damon. If they really wanted to address the budget they wouldn’t have signed CC, AJ and Tex.

            • How does that follow? We’re talking about a budget because they wisely spent on CC, AJ and Tex. It makes far more sense to have those players around now than it does to re-up with Damon right now. Because they have three impact players who are better than Damon, we’re discussing a budget.

              • mustang says:

                It follows because if they are so budget conscious they would not of out bid for CC by 20 million or AJ.
                Again nice to talk about budget when discussing a 4th outfielder on a stack team.

  29. Joseph M says:

    I have never seen an offseason bungled as badly as this during the George era.

    If the budget is the question, then what the hell is Javier Vazquez doing here. A career .500 pitcher,a postseason bust and all this comes with an 11.5 million dollar price tag. Hey, here’s a money saving thought, the Yanks have two young studs, Hughes and Joba, put them in the rotation and let them pitch.

    If budget is the question then how do we wind up with Nick Johnson at DH instead of Matsui. The difference, Matsui signed for 6.5, Johnson 5.5, big deal. One is a trip to the disabled list waiting to happen, the other, a great hitter, great protection for AROD in the batting order and a one of a kind post season performer.

    The bating order has been weakened, I’d take Damon in the two hole anyday before Nick Johnson, I’d take Matsui’s lethal bat over Granderson’s an day of the week and Melkey is more value than the combo of Gardner and Winn.

    Think about it, it would have been cheaper to keep Damon and Matsui, than it is to carry Johnson and Vazquez.

    Melkey and Gardner are cheaper than Granderson and Winn.

    • Warren says:

      Matsui can not run to first.
      Damon can not throw to the infield cutoff sitting in near outfield area.
      Melky was used in a trade for a pitcher.

      Looks as if the GM of the Yankees was improving the team with players that can run, throw, hit and pitch.

      Normal offseason in MLB.

      Do not see any bungling here.

      • pete luciano says:

        The Winn signing was stupid. Cashman was looking for a righthanded bat and he got a switch hitter who hit 158 last yr batting right handed. Guess you’d rather see him late in games rather than Damon or Matsui.

  30. Dave says:

    There is so much stupidity in this post that I don’t know where to begin. It’s just too much. Like the ramblings of a mental patient.

    Please tell me you didn’t have offspring to further pollute the gene pool?

  31. Joseph M says:

    Reverse order, the pitcher they got is a .500 pitcher who can’t pitch in big games and makes 11.5 million a year and blocks the development of one stud pitcher (Joba or Hughes who must remain in the bullpen). Matsui and Damon are gamers, big time players who com through. Nick Johnson out of the last ten seasons missed two seasons completely and played one month of a third. He has had numerous stretches on the DL. In the seasons he actually appeared in he haas played over 135 games once.

  32. [...] the past two days it has become abundantly clear that the Yankees do have a budget, and that they’ve basically reached the threshold. Since acquiring Javy Vazquez in December, [...]

  33. [...] and another more realistic option in Reed Johnson came off the board after they landed Winn. The hard budget means Chien-Ming Wang is likely to move on as well, especially if someone is willing to give him a [...]

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