Berkman, Wood, Vazquez qualify as Type-B free agents

Mazzone expresses interest in New York job
Open Thread: World Series Game Two

This winter’s Elias rankings are out, and MLBTR provides the goods. Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood, and Javy Vazquez all qualify as Type-B free agents, meaning the Yankees will receive a supplemental first round pick in next year’s draft if they sign elsewhere. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera unsurprisingly check in as Type-A’s, so in the unlikely event that they sign elsewhere, the Yanks would receive both a first rounder and a supplemental first rounder.

Of course, the Yankees have to offer each player salary arbitration to receive those compensation picks. The Yanks haven’t offered anyone arbitration in the last two years, and there’s no reason to expect them to start now. Berkman might accept given his salary ($14.5MM), ditto Wood ($10.5M). They’re unlikely to get that big of a payday on the open market, and regardless of how good they were down the stretch in New York, that’s just too much for spare parts. Forget Javy, no chance they offer him arbitration. Just sever ties and move on.

As a reminder, our 2011 Draft Order Tracker is up and running, so check back in throughout the offseason as picks change hands during free agency.

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Mazzone expresses interest in New York job
Open Thread: World Series Game Two
  • mko

    Would Berkman really accept a DH/bench role just because of “a few millions” on his bank account?

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      Yes.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      Wouldn’t you?

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

      How many millions is “a few”?

      Ten million? That seems like more than “a few” to me, and 10M is probably what he’d forgo by declining an arb offer.

    • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      I fall more to the ‘no’ side than most people around here (as evidence in the comments above mine). I don’t think Berkman wants anything to do with playing in NY next season, I don’t think he wants anything to do with being a DH next season, and I don’t think he’d accept an arbitration offer from the Yankees. The man has made millions upon millions of dollars in his career and has made it abundantly clear that he never wanted to come to NY (had to be persuaded to allow the trade) and never wanted to be a DH – a part time DH at that.

      Everyone else will say ‘yeah but the dollars,’ but I don’t think it’s always just about the dollars. Yeah, of course money makes the world go around, but you have to look at the context, look at all the circumstances. I, for one, would be surprised if Berkman accept an arbitration offer from the Yankees.

  • icebird753

    I wish the team could have gentleman’s agreements with players so that they can offer arbitration and not have to worry about them signing. Like $500K for a player to agree to such an agreement.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      Pretty sure that’d be all kinds of illegal. Other owners and the player’s union would be furious over something like that.

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

      If you gave Lance Berkman 500k to decline an arb offer, he’d take the 500k, wait for the arb offer, accept it, and then give you back the 500k with another 500k on top for double-crossing you, and then he’d pocket the 16M he’d get from the accepted arb offer.

    • Ted Nelson

      There would be no point in even requiring the arbitration offer if this were allowed…

  • Kiko Jones

    I would hardly label Kerry Woods as “spare parts”.

    • Eric Young

      From what I saw in the second half, he’s $7M – $8M range.

  • Ed

    Berkman might accept given his salary ($14.5MM), ditto Wood ($10.5M). They’re unlikely to get that big of a payday on the open market

    And if they’re unlikely to get that on the open market, they’re unlikely to get it in arbitration. Maximum paycut rules don’t apply to free agents who accept arbitration. You don’t walk into arbitration and say “I made $X last year, so I want $X + $Y this year.” You have to identify similar players to yourself, justify why you think they’re similar, and then base your demands off their salaries.

    Berkman’s not elite anymore, and older 1B/DH types haven’t been making big money for a number of years now, so he wouldn’t stand a chance if he asked for a raise. Wood’s been hurt a lot and wasn’t even a closer most of the past two seasons, so he’ll be looking at a setup man’s salary in arbitration (although probably on the high end due to the closer history).

    The bigger issue is the Yankees won’t offer arbitration because they don’t want to get locked into those players. They’d rather have the flexibility to fill those roster spots later in the season based on remaining budget.

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

      But arbitration is an either-or scenario, the arbiter can’t just say “this is what you’re worth on the market, this is what you get”. He/she has to either pick the team offer or the player offer.

      Say Berkman thinks he deserves a raise, and asks for 16M. Say we are only willing to pay Berkman 2M, because that’s our budgeted max for a DH on this team (which is fairly ancillary and superfluous).

      Even if Berkman could never get 16M per on the open market, if your an arbiter and you have to choose to give Lance Berkman (who hit .274/.399/.509 140+ as recently as last year and was an NL All Star two years ago) either 2M or 16M, which salary are you going to give him?

      • Ed

        Say Berkman thinks he deserves a raise, and asks for 16M. Say we are only willing to pay Berkman 2M, because that’s our budgeted max for a DH on this team (which is fairly ancillary and superfluous).

        Of course. But Cashman would have to be an idiot to offer $2m. I’m going under the assumption that’s he’s not an idiot and would offer a market rate salary. If he offers, something in the $6m area, give or take a little, and uses Damon, Abreu, Matsui, Thome, Vlad, etc as his comparable players then he’ll most likely win.

        But as I said before, his reason to avoid arbitration will be because he’ll most likely want to fill the DH role with a cheap player late in the offseason after he’s already made all the major moves. He’s not going to want to get locked into Berkman early in the offseason.

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

          So then perhaps the best thing to say is that we’re not going to offer arb to guys like Berkman/Vazquez/Wood because we’re only interested in retaining those players (or filling their slots with similar players) at far below-market rates, and only the free agency system allows us to get players at below-market rates.

          • Ed

            Agreed.

          • OldYanksFan

            Well… on the market, you don’t get that many players for far below market. But the market is just low on many types of players. Very old, one dimensional and DH’s are not in demand, and therefore don’t command much. The fact that Matsui, Vlad, Thome and others got $6m and under means that’s the market ‘value’.

            These days, it seems like very few older players are worth offering Arb to, as they have often reached or exceeded their peak value, and there are almost always FA replacements at a better price.

            Who’s the last player the Yankees offered Arb to, and accepted?
            Who’s the last player the Yankees offered Arb to, and declined?

            • Ed

              The fact that Matsui, Vlad, Thome and others got $6m and under means that’s the market ‘value’.

              Right, that was my point. And that’s why Berkman would likely get that much in arbitration, assuming that Cashman offered something in that neighborhood.

              These days, it seems like very few older players are worth offering Arb to

              Remember that less people in general get offered arbitration nowadays. Under the old rules (thru 2006, I think), if you didn’t offer arbitration, you lost the right to negotiate with the player until May 1st, which essentially meant that would definitely sign elsewhere. If you did offer arb, you could keep negotiating until early/mid January. That put an extra incentive on offering arb. Now there’s no limit on when you can resign you own free agents, so they’re a lot less reason to offer arb.

              Who’s the last player the Yankees offered Arb to, and accepted?

              Pettitte in ’07.

              Who’s the last player the Yankees offered Arb to, and declined?

              Ron Villone in ’06, I think. I can’t find 2007 details though. Probably no one more recent than that, as ’06 was the last year of the old rules.

          • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            “So then perhaps the best thing to say is that we’re not going to offer arb to guys like Berkman/Vazquez/Wood because we’re only interested in retaining those players (or filling their slots with similar players) at far below-market rates…”

            That’s a bit of an oversimplified, and I think definitely an overly conservative, approach to arbitration decisions.

            The calculus doesn’t just include how much the Yankees are willing to pay the guy, it includes how likely the guy is to accept the offer, whether they could move the guy after he accepts the offer, and a number of other things.

  • toad

    Wha can Wood get on the open market? Might be worth trying to sign him for that.

  • http://www.retire21.org Mike R.- Retire 21

    This sucks. Next year’s class is one of the deepest in years and the Yankees will be out of the first 80 picks.

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

      You know, in a deeper class, you don’t get hurt as much by not having a high pick, because there’s a better likelihood that there will still be a good player at #84 (or wherever in the 80s we end up picking.)

      • http://www.retire21.org Mike R.- Retire 21

        Yes, but it sucks only having one pick in the top 100.

        /glasshalfempty’d

        • Ted Nelson

          Right now the Yankees have not 1, not 2, but 3 picks in the top 100. If they don’t sign a big free agent, which is possible if they miss on Lee, they’ll have 3. If they do sign a Lee, they’ll still have 2. And, while it might “suck” not to get more young talent, they’ve already got a lot of young talent in the system so it doesn’t feel as bad to me.

  • Poopy Pants

    So…in other words…nothing happened today.

    • Esteban

      You’re so pleasant.

      • http://www.retire21.org Mike R.- Retire 21

        Take it from a teacher. Poopy pants are never pleasant.

  • Andy

    Doesn’t at all matter, but you missed Andy, who is also Type A.

  • Kevin M.

    I think you guys are missing something here. Berkman made a rather unusual request when agreeing to waive his no-trade clause – he made the Yanks promise NOT to pick his option. And it was a huge option….well more than he’d make in arbitation. So he pretty clearly does not want to stay in NY as the DH….so why not offer him arbitration? Since he’s only a B it won’t cost teams a pick to sign him so he doesn’t need to worry that turning the offer down will hurt his chances of signing elsewhere.

    I think if we were smart we’d offer Berkman arb.

    • Am I the only Kevin?

      I agree generally with this, but the point above that the Yanks may not want him back under even a $6M rate (save money for Lee and bullpen, and leave DH open for Montero/Posada) is valid. You are saying the risk of Berkman accepting is particularly low (I agree) given he could have gotten a $10M or so 1-year contract with his option and he now stands to make about $6M via arbitration and will be only DHing, but maybe the Yanks are just that risk adverse?

      Still, I would offer arbitration to both Berkman and Wood. Berkman has very little chance of accepting (get the same salary elsewhere but possible multiple years and play in the field to keep value high), and Wood would be a fine addition at a 1-year $5-6m salary (although I’d prefer he decline).