Sherman: Yankees have $2M to spend on left field

The twists and turns of Johnny Damon's off-season
Yankees sign Royce Ring, David Winfree

The Yankees are telling agents that they only have $2M to spend on upgrading left field, according to Joel Sherman. No matter how much we dream of a Johnny Damon return, there’s zero chance that’ll happen if Sherman’s report is accurate. $2M isn’t going to buy you much on the free agent market (about half a win), and frankly if that’s all the money they have to spend, then I’d rather just see them save it for a potential mid-season pickup and go into the year with Brett Gardner and Jamie Hoffmann battling it out.

Yeah, Brian Cashman successfully lobbied Hal Steinbrenner to expand the payroll last year for Mark Teixeira and Andy Pettitte, however Sherman notes that the Yanks had agreed to a trade for Mike Cameron last July, but Little Stein wouldn’t take on the extra $5.5M in salary. Maybe people should stop blowing off the concept of a payroll limit after all.

email
The twists and turns of Johnny Damon's off-season
Yankees sign Royce Ring, David Winfree
  • Rose

    No point to spend $2M on LF. Keep it and let’s move on. Sign Hairston as the utility guy and poof. Done.

    • radnom

      I would have to think that when they are talking about money for LF any Hairston signing wouldn’t affect that, especially considering how recent this report it, Sherman probably means they’ll have $2 million for LF after adding Hairston.

      • Rose

        So I guess the question is…

        Johnny Damon and Ramiro Pena OR Jerry Hairston Jr. and Reed Johnson? Something like that?

        • radnom

          I’m not so sure those equations balance out.

          I figure Johnny Damon’s salary > Hairston’s + Reed Johnson’s.

          That alone probably made the choice pretty easy for them.

          • Rose

            This makes it sound like Hairston, alone, will replace Damon (room wise)

            http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....nkees.html

            • radnom

              It does but if we read between the lines, why would the Yankees right now be telling agents they have $2m for LF if they more or less have committed to Hairston.

              Besides, that list from Sherman looks like speculation more than concrete information.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada
  • Cam

    Not acceptable! The Yanks should use their vast wealth and clone Griffey, Jr. circa 1997!

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Assistant GM Jean Afterman: Mr. Cashman, I have good news and bad news.
      Cashmeezy: Gimme the good news.
      Afterman: After years of genetic experiments, we believe we’ve successfully replicated Griffey and Bonds. They’ll be ready to play by Spring Training.
      Cashmeezy: That’s great! What’s the bad news?
      Afterman: It’s Ken Griffey Sr. and Bobby Bonds.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        Even worse, Bobby Bonds Jr. and Craig Griffey.

        • Thomas

          What the Yankees didn’t have access to any of Buck Bonds, Duck Bonds, H Bonds, or ??? Bonds!?!?!?

          • pete

            they got a whole bunch of liberty bonds

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

              I’m talking Double-A rating, Ted. Best investment in America.

              /RexKramer’d

              • Bronx Ralphie

                “moscone…bail bonds”

                name that movie

                • ray-ray

                  midnight run

      • Rose

        Cashman: Pretty awful…anything else?
        Afterman: There is one more thing…
        Cashman: …..
        Afterman: Bobby Bonds was programmed with the best baseball skills on the planet while Ken Griffey Sr…well…he was accidentally given the ability to knit very well…

      • Dwnflfan

        Who wouldn’t like to have an outfield with Griffey Sr & Bobby Bonds in their primes?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          Who said they were in their primes?

  • jsbrendog

    however Sherman notes that the Yanks had agreed to a trade for Mike Cameron last July, but Little Stein wouldn’t take on the extra $5.5M in salary. Maybe people should stop blowing off the concept of a payroll limit after all.

    and ive been saying it for over a year, there is a har dbudget. but this evidence and cold hard fact will do nothing to stop the unwashed masses (and Bo) from mocking those who talk about the budget

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      this evidence… will do nothing to stop the unwashed masses (and Bo) from mocking those who talk about the budget

      Wait, Bo washes?

      • ColoYank

        Heh.

        Don’t boversimplify.

    • radnom


      and ive been saying it for over a year, there is a har dbudget. but this evidence and cold hard fact will do nothing

      The problem is that people were saying this last year, when there was also evidence and cold hard fact, and these people are dead wrong.

      This is a different situation, because Damon’s addition to this team probably isn’t worth the extra 7 million to the Yankees, but there is no reason to believe the “hard budget” exists regardless of the situation. For the right person, I’m sure it is as flexible as always. That person just isn’t there right now.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        So, compromise:

        The Yankees have a hard budget (Non-Teixeira Division)

        • radnom

          Too simplistic. There was nothing inherently special about Texiera, he was just the right player at the right time.
          I think each player/situation deserves its own consideration.

          As a fan, I would love them to sign Damon for a year, but I completely understand why they don’t want to add him (and his salary) to an otherwise loaded team.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            No, here’s what is inherently special about Teixeira: He’s a superstar heart of the order hitting MVP candidate in his prime.

            You stretch the budget for MVP/Cy Young candidates in their prime. For everyone else, you don’t.

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              But they didn’t necessarily stretch the budget for Teixeira, did they? The Yankees’ budget in 2008 was $209,081,577, and in 2009 it was $201,449,189, per Cot’s. The Yankees made some very big purchases last offseason, but it’s not like they added to their payroll – in fact, they lowered it from the previous season. Now, might they have been aiming for a much lower payroll in 2009, and stretched that planned-payroll to sign Tex? Perhaps, but we have no way of knowing that. All we really know is they signed him and their payroll still went down from the previous season’s payroll.

              It’s a minor point but I’m just not so sure the Yanks made some unplanned expenditure and stretched their payroll when they signed Tex. It just as, if not more reasonable to think that they had the money available and they spent it.

              • radnom

                Obviously they had the money available (as they always due) but the point is they blew their public budget to get Tex.
                And that is what we are talking about here….what they publicly claim is their hard budget. What they are really willing to spend is a matter we can only speculate on, but all appearances are that if that money last year didn’t go to Tex, it wouldn’t have been available for any other player.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “Obviously they had the money available (as they always due) but the point is they blew their public budget to get Tex.
                  And that is what we are talking about here….what they publicly claim is their hard budget.”

                  I hear you, but I disagree with your premise. I couldn’t care less what the “public budget” is, I care about what the actual budget is and whether or not they actually stretched that budget to sign Tex, and I don’t think it’s nearly as clear that they did that as most people make it out to be.

                  You may be talking about this “public budget” here, but I think that’s completely irrelevant.

                  “… all appearances are that if that money last year didn’t go to Tex, it wouldn’t have been available for any other player.”

                  Maybe it would have, maybe it wouldn’t… But even if it wouldn’t have been available for other players, that doesn’t mean that the Yankees stretched their budget to sign Teixeira. I think it just means that they had a budget, Tex fit into that budget, but nobody else would have been worth the expenditure if they didn’t sign Tex, so if they didn’t sign Tex they would have come in under-budget.

                • radnom


                  I couldn’t care less what the “public budget” is, I care about what the actual budget is and whether or not they actually stretched that budget to sign Tex

                  I think I was not clear in my initial point. The Yankees were very clear about the “public budget” last year and then broke it. This logically leaved two options:

                  A) The public budget matched the private budget but they made a special case for a special situation and broke it.

                  B) The public budget was a sham and was in no way representative of the feelings behind closed doors.

                  I personally believe A is how it went down but you seem to subscribe to choice B. Regardless, it is all speculation since we don’t actually know what is going on in there, all we know is their “public budget”.

                  I think youre also saying that Texiera’s signing didn’t contradict statements by the Yankees earlier in the season (?) but this just isn’t true.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “I think youre also saying that Texiera’s signing didn’t contradict statements by the Yankees earlier in the season (?) but this just isn’t true.”

                  I never said anything of the sort.

                • radnom

                  Thats what that question mark was sure, I wasn’t sure if you were implying this. What say you on the rest of my response?

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  I say agree to disagree. We’re just coming at this from different angles, I don’t think there’s much more to hash out. The opinions are out there at this point.

            • radnom

              Again – boversimplification.

              There are varying degrees of “stretching the budget” just as there are various situations in which the Yankees would do so, one of which is to land a superstar in their prime.

              To say it is impossible in all other situations is just shortshighted. No Damon and Cameron (last year) didn’t make sense.
              But lets say the Yankees, right now, had the opportunity to trade for a younger player who would help the team for a number of years (also saving money in future free agency) at the expense of going 4/5 mil over the hard budget this year. You don’t think they would see that this overall is a good investment?
              Or, lets say that due to injury/ineffectiveness the Yankees find themselves at July with a HUGE deficiency in an otherwise solid team, and a chance to add a player and ~5 million over budget and likely prevent the $200 million sunk cost of the original payroll from not achieving its full monetary potential (playoffs).

              These are just two examples, but you can see what I mean. Sure they are unlikely, but so is the opportunity to land a Texiera in his prime. It happens.

    • Bo

      Because they dont want to give Damon 12 mil a yr that means there is a hard budget?

      Spare me.

      I’ll believe hard budget when they dont resign Jeter because he wants 20 to SS at 36.

  • radnom


    and frankly if that’s all the money they have to spend, then I’d rather just see them save it for a potential mid-season pickup

    Nah, go out and get a cheap platoon partner to throw into that mix if you can. A two million dollar budget isn’t going to get much at mid-season either. If there is really a need at midseason, the Yankees will probably be willing to stretch the budget a bit, otherwise what a waste. If they arn’t (very unlikely) than having $2 million saved up isn’t exactly going to help anyway.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      I agree. I don’t think the cap on the opening day budget is necessarily the cap on what they’ll be willing to spend during the season is a need arises. If a decent option is out there now for the Yanks to spend whatever money they have left over in their current budget, I think they should go ahead and spend the money on that option. Frankly I think it’s flat-out wrong to think that the budget today is the budget for the whole season, I can’t believe the Yanks are going into the season unable to take on any more salary if need be.

      • A.D.

        Exactly, with the Steinbrenner’s the opportunity to win almost always allows the pockets to be deeper.

        That said, 2M at the deadline gets you a player actually signed at 4M+

  • A.D.

    2M, or exactly what Jerry Hairston’s base salary was last year

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      It all makes sense now!

      WAKE UP SHEEPLE

    • radnom

      Again, since they said that is how much money is remaining to upgrade left field and not “to upgrade the team”, I have to think this probably is separate from the Hairston signing. As in, $2 million is the budget for LF after they sign Hairston.

  • mike c

    -18

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Actually, that math checks out.

      What we’re willing to give Johnny Damon (1yr/2M) – what Johnny Damon wants (2yr/20M) = -18

  • Thomas

    $2 Million . . . that should plenty to bring Gerald “Ice” Williams.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      You are my new favorite poster.

      • Thomas

        I had a hunch you’d enjoy that comment.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      So he can be be best man at the Jeter/Kelly wedding.

  • Master of all Trades

    I think this is great. The Yankees are actually doing what Boras has been doing all these years. They are using the media to send messages. I love it.

    • radnom

      A mystery LF has recently made an offer to play for the Yankees at 1 year $250K…..

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        A mystery LF has recently made an offer to play for the Yankees at 1 year $250K 7 years, 1M (total)

        Fixed.

        • jsbrendog

          there is a league minimum

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            Not in Reverse-Boras-land.

      • Esteban

        well done

  • teddy

    reed johnson perfect fit mashes leftys and plays good defense

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    Little Stein wouldn’t take on the extra $5.5M in salary.

    Because Hal knew that the boys had that shit on lockdown. Why waste another $5.5 milly.

  • another ignored wake up call

    You guys get it yet? Or should we spend another few weeks blindly throwing LF candidates at the wall and pining for a broken down Johnny Damon to come crawling back?

    There is a budget. Why else does payroll seem to reduce every year since 2005?

    • radnom


      Why else does payroll seem to reduce every year since 2005?

      Because the organization has overall become much smarter/more efficient?

      I can’t see this version of the Yankees just handing out $20m/year deals to any player who has won a WS title for them.

      • radnom

        Oh, and to clarify on the “smarter/more efficient” point – a big part of that is a renewed focus on player development.

    • mike c

      damon’s deck will now be known as reduced payroll deck

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        Good one, mike c

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          Brian Fantana: I’m telling you, this lady has really crawled into Ron’s head.
          Brick Tamland: [breaks out laughing] That’s a good one!

  • Thomas

    Sherman ranking of the Yankees’ targets: Nady, Johnson, Baldelli, Hairston, and Thames. With this in mind, it sounds like Hairston might count in the $2M available, not the Yankees sign Hairston and then have $2M left over.

    • Steve H

      That’s assuming Sherman is right though.

      • Thomas

        Of course and that is always a big assumption.

  • anon

    What if they offer Damon 2mil to play LF this year with an option to be assistant GM next year for 2mil?

  • Zack

    Well if they are telling agents they only have 2m, then they have more like 4m. Just like agents tell teams they want 10m/year, but really are looking for 8m. Why would you tell agents or anyone your real payroll limit? Just hurts you in negotiations

    • Steve H

      Agreed.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Eh, I hear you, but I think that’s an oversimplified view of how sophisticated parties negotiate in closed and continuing negotiation systems (i.e. like MLB, where you’re constantly negotiating with the same counter-parties and in competition with the same peers, year after year, in the same market). You’re assuming it’s always the best tact to publicly posture that you have less money to spend than you really do, but that’s not really true… If a party always acted that way, there would be little mystery about what their true position really is at any given time (other parties would just assume, accurately, that you can add a few million to whatever that party says they have).

      • Zack

        I can agree with that; but it always goes back to your perception of the truth from the GM/Player/Agent.

  • mryankee

    Jesus if you like Damon then just sign him. If it means 2-5 mill then so be it. Or just announce they do not want him back and go with what you have. This counting pennies stuff is annoying.

    • mike c

      i’d like to think this is cashman’s jiu-jitsu against boras. if not, then yes, very annoying

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      I don’t understand what you’re upset about. It’s not like the Yankees are doing some public dance with Boras re: Damon and changing their mind every other day about whether they’re interested or not. They haven’t showed any interest in Damon, publicly, since before they signed NJ, and even then that public interest was muted.

      • mryankee

        Because it appears they are haggling over 3-4 million. That is a guess I am not sure. However if that is the case and he can help the team then sign him already. Or make a statement that regardless of his price we do not want Johnny Damon back.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          “Because it appears they are haggling over 3-4 million.”

          No, it doesn’t appear that way, you made up that scenario in your mind. It appears that the Yankees aren’t negotiating with Damon right now, not that they’re haggling with him. Show me one piece of evidence or even rumor that says the Yankees are haggling with Damon right now.

          “Or make a statement that regardless of his price we do not want Johnny Damon back.”

          They have, you just aren’t acknowledging it for some reason.

      • mike c

        see teixeira re: 2008

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Irrelevant. He’s saying the Yankees are haggling with Damon and he’s tired of it, but that’s not happening.

          • mike c

            it’s all part of the same game– yankees displaying public interest drives up prices/demand for players from other teams

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              OK… So what, exactly, would you like to see happen right now? Do the Yankees either (1) have to sign Damon or (2) have Cashman write an Op-Ed in the NYT stating that the Yankees will not, under any circumstances, sign Damon? Because other than one of those two things happening, I’m not sure what you want to happen that isn’t happening right now. It’s not like the Yanks and Damon are constantly negotiating through the media, I just don’t understand what you guys are upset about or want to happen.

              • mike c

                i have no problem with what they’re doing, because i believe they are making moves using their leverage that will strengthen the team. but if not, then yes it will be dissapointing

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      WHY THE FUCK IS MY BURRITO TAKING THIS LONG TO COOK IN THIS MICROWAVE!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

      • Crazy Eyes Killa

        There hasnt been enough of this around these parts in recent memory, but that might be that everyones burrito is cooked since the world series and all

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          Almost everyone’s, apparently.

    • jsbrendog

      uggggh it is you who is annoying man.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        I wish I had gone with this response instead of trying to explain why it’s annoying.

        • jsbrendog

          youre in debate mode after your convo with radnom, its understandable

    • Tom Zig

      Do you have 2-5 million to donate?

  • theyankeewarrior

    Trade Gaudin and add his salary (around 3M) to the 2M or so remaining.

    I’m sure Hank wouldn’t mind going 1M over to get Damon if Cashman thinks it’s worth it…

    That gets them near the ’09 Abreu contract

    • pete

      gaudin’s value to this team > damon’s

      • theyankeewarrior

        The 7th starter is more valuable than the starting left fielder? 3 months ago, Damon started every playoff game and batted 2nd…. Gaudin watched from the outfield bullpen.

        But you’re right… 7th starers usually get paid much more than starting 2-hole hitters.

      • the artist formerly known as (sic)

        is this a fucking joke?

        • theyankeewarrior

          Is what a joke?

        • theyankeewarrior

          Yeah, I think he was trying to argue that because the Yankees already have a solid offense, they need Gaudin more than Damon. But in a vacuum, Damon is obviously more valuable to the Yankees because he plays everyday and would bat second.

          Also, his salary might not be a hell of a lot higher than Gaudins looking at his market right now…

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            Which is why pete included the phrase “to this team”.

            That’s critical to the meaning of his statement and can’t be glossed over.

      • Bo

        Has to be a joke. A long man more valued than an all star caliber LF.

  • Reef

    The Yankees are just playing games right now… anyone who thinks the Yanks only have 2 mil dollars left to spend on LF may have a couple extra chromosomes… this is just posturing, pure and simple. people need to be patient, Cash knows what he’s doing… until then, these “reports” by the Yankees beat are just hearsay.

    • theyankeewarrior

      It’s interesting how teams like the Yankees can easily use the media during negotiations. They probably leak plenty of legitimate information to them throughout the season and off-season so that when they need them for a negotiating ploy, they can just leak a false or “skewed” story when they need to as well.

      I wonder how Cash goes about it…

      Cashmoney to Olney at winter meetings: “Check it son, we’re about to sign Pettitte this afternoon”

      Cashmoney to Heyman around dinner time: “Yo Heys, we just locked up Nick the stick for chump change”

      Cashmoney to Sherman this morning: “Kepp on the DL Sher, but we only got 2 mil left in the bizzle for Damon. That sucka is dead meat on this market.”

      (Hangs up phone, laughing/fist-pounds Hal/heads off to day-spa for full body massage)

  • http://Youcan'tincreaseyourrange TLVP

    There are so many reasons not to spend unlimited amounts of money even if you have it (which is at least debatable)

    1) There might be nothing worth spending your money on
    2) MLB might go berserk and introduce a salary cap
    3) MLB might go a little bit berserk and raise the luxury tax
    4) Manage expectations internally: Next year Jeter and Mo will be looking for new contracts, by playing hardball now with LF they are signalling to them there is in fact a budget and even though Jeter and Mo are beloved by all they have to fit into that budget. That goes for both years and dollars
    5) We’re going to make the post season anyway and after that its a crapshot anyway so why bother

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      4) Manage expectations internally: Next year Jeter and Mo will be looking for new contracts, by playing hardball now with LF they are signalling to them there is in fact a budget and even though Jeter and Mo are beloved by all they have to fit into that budget. That goes for both years and dollars

      4a) If Mo and Jeter do play hardball and demand market rate (or greater) compensation, every dollar not spent now on an ancillary piece is a dollar that can be spent later on a more important piece. Coming in underbudget in the present can make it easier/allowable to come in overbudget later.

  • Bo

    Payroll limits? With the revenues this franchise makes? You or anyone else really think they’d let 5 mil come between them and a player they like who would help them win?

    • Zack

      Except its not just 5m. Who says Damon would accept 1yr/7m? Last update we had was that Damon/Boras wanted 2yr/20m.

  • Bill R

    Does anyone else think that perhaps they aren’t gunna sign anyone long term in left field with the thought that Big Slade will be coming up in a few years and Granderson under contract for a handful as well?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      No.

      • thisisthedavid

        lmao

  • thisisthedavid

    Endy Chavez?

    Who are we expecting to get midseason?

  • Arijan

    Supposedly the Yankees are now willing to offer Damon a 1 year deal from 5-7 million (http://nybaseballdigest.com/?p=20380) so at this point I wouldn’t believe anything anyone says, especially concerning the payroll budget.

  • Benjamin

    http://www.realgmbaseball.com/.....damon_$5m/

    just get this done for the LOVE OF GOD! its 6 million dollars. Hank’s got that much in his couch cushions! This in NOT the time to be cheap.

  • king of fruitless hypotheticals

    …this is just me being fruitlessly hypothetical, but maybe the steinbrenners want that money this year, and in the process, got pissed off enough that they were pretty damn sure johnny damon wasnt going to be the guy that took it away from them.

    if you ran a business, and you were pretty sure you were going to get everything you wanted this year, and had the opportunity to have an owner’s equity draw of sufficient size to buy whatever it is that you wanted, is there a chance you just, i dont know, do it?

  • pete luciano

    This is absolute nonsense. Gardner can’t play every day and a Gardner Hairston platoon is a joke. The more both play the worse they get. Both proved that last year. Once the regular season started after spring training Gardner stunk and Melky had to take over. The more we saw of Hairston the worse he got. Part time players are part time players. We’re the Yankees, spend the money to get Damon, it’s not that much, stop penny pinching. Damon’s a good guy, it seems we’re taking a ridiculous stance on him. He’s well liked in the clubhouse, hits lefties well, can handle the post season, and was very responsible for a successful one two punch at the top of the order. Why all the venum at Damon. Did we forget he hit better in the playoffs than Teixeira, Swisher, Cano, and Melky. Do you think Gardner or Hairston will do that?

  • Pingback: Could LaRoche make Conor Jackson available? | River Avenue Blues

  • Pingback: Report: Yanks’ waiting for Damon’s price to come down | River Avenue Blues

  • Pingback: Report: Yankees tried to acquire Denard Span | River Avenue Blues

  • Pingback: Unsurprisingly, Yanks uninterested in Oswalt | River Avenue Blues

  • Pingback: Possible trade target: David DeJesus | River Avenue Blues