Yankees agree to deal with Feliciano


(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Update by Mike (12/17/10, 10:16 a.m.): Ken Rosenthal says it’s a two-year deal worth a guaranteed $9M with a club option for 2013. Sounds like it’s a $4M salary in 2011 and 2012 with a $1M buyout on the club option. There’s no denying that Feliciano makes the bullpen stronger, but for how much longer? And the contract kinda stinks, but what can you do. Blame the Tigers and Joaquin Benoit.

Update by Joe (12/17/10, 10:02 a.m.): Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees have agreed to a two-year, $8 million contract with a third year option with Feliciano. It should be finalized and made official later today. If that’s not a team option I will be disappointed. Actually, scratch that. I’m a bit disappointed as is. Feliciano isn’t bad, but Bobby Jenks and Randy Choate both came off the board in the past couple of days and they’re both better deals.

Original Post (12/16/10): According to Bob Klapisch, the Yankees are getting close to a deal with lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano. Our anonymous source that’s both close to the situation and a friend of someone involved in he negotiations who asked not to be named but is a baseball person confirms that the two sides are close. Terms of the deal are unknown, but Scott Downs got three years and $15M while Randy Choate got two years and $2.5M, so I bet it’s somewhere between the two. With any luck, it’ll be a one year deal.

This move should come as no surprise. We first heard that the Yankees were interested in Feliciano one month ago today, and then learned that they had met with his agent at the winter meetings last week. Brian Cashman declared that acquiring a second lefty was one of his offseason priorities soon after the season ended, but it appears he isn’t fully confident in Rule 5 Draft selection Robert Fish, or minor league signings Andy Sisco and Neal Cotts. Can’t blame him, really.

Feliciano, 34, is well known around these parts after spending the last five seasons coming out of the bullpen for the Mets. He’s a true workhorse reliever, leading the league in appearances in each of the last three seasons (86, 88, and then 92 in 2010) even though he’s never faced more than 280 batters in a season. Feliciano has held left-handed batters to a .274 wOBA over the last three years, striking out 9.61 lefties for every nine innings pitched against them. He’s also generated a ground ball 57.0% of the time against same-side batters since 2008, an excellent rate.

Like every other reliever, Feliciano has his warts. His unusable against right-handed batters; they’ve tagged him for a .360 wOBA over the last three seasons. He can also be prone to walks and homers, giving out an unintentional free pass to roughly one out of every eleven lefty batters faced since 2008, and he allowed exactly seven homers in both 2008 (1.2 HR/9) and 2008 (1.1 HR/9) before dropping down to just one in 2010. It could be legitimate improvement, or it could be a fluke that will regress at Yankee Stadium. My money’s on the latter, but you’re welcome to feel differently.

One thing Feliciano really has going for him is experience. He’s spent the last half-decade as the Mets’ primary lefty, so he’s squared off against Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Adam Dunn, and Brian McCann with great regularity. I don’t think facing David Ortiz or Adrian Gonzalez or Adam Lind in a big spot will scare him. With Choate and Downs off the board Feliciano is the best of the lefty reliever lot, and hopefully the contract will not be too outrageous. I’m a little skeptical given his history of walk and homer issues, but I recognize that relievers are so damn volatile that he’s just as likely to dominate as he is fall apart.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. I like this move a lot more than the RABbis do. Feliciano has great splits against lefties, and should improve now that he won’t be overused like he was under Jerry Manuel. He made 92 appearances in 2010!

    Over 10 K/9 in his career against lefties, I’ll take it.

    • YankeesJunkie says:

      Yeah the deal is not so bad as long as he is strictly a LOOGY type pitcher. His splits against lefties are excellent with a sub 3 xFIP and the 3.96 K/BB ratio. He is basically another Boone Logan so as long as he is not facing right handed batters in which he is atrocious I am okay with.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I’m fine with the signing (even if it seems like too much $ to me), but the other side to saying maybe he will improve when not used so heavily is that maybe being used so heavily has worn out his arm…

      That’s also the other side to saying he’s durable.

  2. kyle weaver says:


  3. Craig says:

    As long as this is a 1 year deal im in for this

  4. Pak says:

    I like this guy. Hope we don’t over pay

  5. Steve H says:

    I’m fine with him as a 2nd loogy as long as the contract isn’t too bad.

  6. UncleArgyle says:

    I like the signing. Who cares what it cost? The Yanks have about 25 mil to blow on these types of players.

  7. Pat D says:

    So long as he’s used as a LOOGY, or at least has very few PA vs. right-handed batters, I would think this should work.

    Obviously he needs to throw strikes and not give up home runs, which is easier said than done.

  8. Wil Nieves #1 Fan says:

    I just threw up in my mouth a little bit…

  9. Cy Pettitte says:

    better than Dan Wheeler and Lenny DiNardo I guess

  10. Cy Pettitte says:

    Heyman says “#yankees apparently were reluctant to go to 2 yrs on wood. they’re looking at fuentes and feliciano at moment”

    hopefully they pony up for Fuentes instead since they have the cash burning a hole in their pocket

  11. JGS says:

    Don’t love this, but don’t hate it as much as Mike does either. I just can’t get too worked up over the second lefty in the bullpen.

  12. theyankeewarrior says:

    He’s homer prone, but he hasn’t given up a HR to a lefty since the middle of ’09

  13. Avi says:

    “My money’s on the latter, but you’re welcome to feel differently.”
    I don’t feel differently. I hope this report isn’t true. Pedro Feliciano? Choate is a better LOOGY than him at a lesser cost. To me Feliciano is just not that good. This offseason just gets worse and worse.

    • Clay Bellinger says:

      Feliciano is, at the very least, almost as good as Choate. It’s not like the signed Felix Heredia.

    • You’re kidding right? You don’t even know how much Feliciano will sign for. Plus the Yankees clearly don’t want to give any reliever more than one year, and that’s what Choate got.

      And really, if you throw your hands in the air and cry about signing Feliciano over Choate I think you need to re-examine your priorities.

      • Avi says:

        It’s not so much signing him over Choate. I don’t like paying for mediocrity. If it’s $2M or less fine but I think it’ll be more. He made over a $3M last year.
        Not sure what you’re saying about Choate and one year..

        • Steve H says:

          I don’t like paying for mediocrity.

          It’s a 25 man roster. You can’t have all-stars in every spot. If Feliciano continues to retired lefties at his career rate, he’s not mediocre.

        • LOOGYs by definition are mediocre pitchers, otherwise they wouldn’t be LOOGYs. You’re paying for mediocrity any way you slice it.

          And what I meant with Choate was that he was looking for (and recieved) a 2 year deal and it’s pretty clear the Yankees are looking only for 1 year contracts for relievers right now.

        • Tim says:

          Funny how you claim to not like “paying for mediocrity”, then you lament the fact that we didn’t get Randy Choate…

      • Steve H says:

        You don’t even know how much Feliciano will sign for.

        And we don’t know what the Yankees may have offered Choate. Maybe Choate had absolutely no interest in coming here. I know there is a widespread belief among many Yankee fans that if the Yankees make an offer to a player he must sign with the Yankees, but I would have thought the Leebacle would have tempered some of those thoughts.

        • Dave says:

          No, it’s just that Yankee-haters like to think that all Yankee fans are belligerent, obnoxious drunks who flip out when they can’t get Tim Lincecum in a package deal for Ramiro Pena, Cervelli, 2 rookie-A pitchers and a pair of fungos.

          The reality is that those stereotypes are indicative of the ignorance flowing from the haters, not to them.

          That said, it’s also obvious that Lee is not the rule, but the exception. Or are you claiming that you know ‘a lot’ of players that turn down Yankee dollars?


    • pat says:

      Career OPS vs LHB

      Feliciano- .580
      Choate- .598

  14. T.J. says:

    Please be a 1-year deal.

  15. David Nelson says:

    What about Arthur Rhodes? Just had 2 solid seasons with Reds and his last contract was 2 yrs. and $4m. Sure he’s 40, but I’d take him over Feliciano.

  16. AJ says:

    I would have preferred Brian Fuentes, but whatever welcome to New York Wanda Feliciano.

  17. Andrew S. says:

    Nice move. With Wood, Feliciano, and one other big arm, this bullpen can be pretty scary (good scary)… even before Mo.

    • Clay Bellinger says:

      Unfortunately, it looks like Wood is headed to Chicago.

      • sammy boy says:

        Not Re-signing Wood would hurt me more then not getting lee, He solidified our 8th inning in 2010 much better then expected!! i would give him 2 years easily even 3 if thats what it took, who knows they might even be able to convert him back to a starter in a year or so.
        If it was me I would get wood, Feuntos & even soriano.. They have the money, if the phillies have the best rotation ever, lets have the best bulpen, which now a days is the biggest part of the game.

        If pettite comes back, I would go for carmona, & have nova compete for the final spot, with that bullpen i mentioned above, I would feel pretty confident going in to 2011

        On the offensive side, we just need a few complimantery pieces, heck i would bring back thames, & see what else is out there.

        • Zack says:

          I have a better chance to be a starter than Kerry Wood.
          2-3 years? He hasn’t even had two good full seasons as a relieved, talk about falling in love with his ERA

  18. David Nelson says:

    Why does it have to be another lefty? Quality relief pitchers should be able to get both left-handed and right-handed hitters out. Get a solid reliever for your money, not a guy to pitch to one batter!

  19. Yank the Frank says:

    I definitly like this guy better than Choate, although I’m not crazy about his version of “Light My Fire”.

  20. Greg Davenport says:

    Cashman has completed his off season, over come your fears therapy, and did well. However now his job is climbing up those 22 floors he came down from aided by gravity. In the big apple perception is everything. Right now he is fourth in a very tough division. Good thing he’s CLIMBING

  21. Greg Davenport says:

    ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS SORIANO!!!!!!!! Someone has stolen the other gifts

  22. GermanYankee says:

    I’d like to have Feliciano but 2/8 is pretty much for a LOOGY. The Choate deal makes this deal look bad.

  23. A.D. says:

    Talk about the year to be a reliever, geez

  24. Chas says:

    2 years 8mil is too much for this guy. We have to pay him and Marte this year and when this chump screws the pooch we will pay him and someone else next year.

  25. Mattchu12 says:

    Still holding out hope this falls apart and we sign Brian Fuentes.

    Then we’d have Mo, Joba setting up, D-Rob and Fuentes as the main righty and lefty MRP’s, Logan as the LOOGY, and Mitre coming on as the mop-up guy. That leaves one spot for competition.

  26. Mike Myers says:

    Confirmed Signed via MLBTRADERUMORS…Done deal…lets live with it

  27. Mike Myers says:

    The Yankees have agreed to sign Pedro Feliciano, according to Jon Heyman of (Twitter links). MDR Sports represents the left-hander. The two-year deal is worth at least $8MM, may include an option for 2013 and will be finalized today.

    • CS Yankee says:

      Waaaayyyy overpaid for a LOOGY.

      Seems like Cashman is listening to these RABbi’s that call for spending the Lee money. Choate was a steal for that coin, Jenks about par and the rest seem to be a bit/really high.

      So much for saving money on role players, keeping relievers on very short-term deals, or at least getting someone that could replace Mo (if he went down).

  28. viridiana says:

    I wonder if Cashman needs more help in fronnt office. So much going on and he’s been outflanked several times this winter. Is Soriano now the best (only?) option to improve this club (and set up some trade options)?

    • Clay Bellinger says:

      What? First off, I’m sure the Yanks would be willing to provide him any help that he wanted. If there willing to spend millions on LOOGYS, they’ll spend on front office employees with much smaller salaries if need be. Second, the dude has been the GM for like 14 years, I’m sure he can handle it. Third, how many times has he been “outflanked” this winter? Lee chose a smaller contract to go elsewhere, nothing he could do about that.

  29. Teh Comp Pick says:

    Two years 8 million??!!!???1?

    Teh greatest offseason.

  30. Jonathan says:

    omg….i can’t wait for the new fan confidence poll. Cashman is like 1 for the last 2 years. How the hell is this a better deal than the deal choate got or jenks got or kerry wood got. I am blown away. how is a second lefty worth $4 fucking million for 2 or 3 years? God damn Cash…I understand we have extra money to spend….but how the fuck is this a good idea….If we sign Bill Hall i’ll be convinced Cashman had a fucking stroke or something. I bet the Hairston brothers get like $3 million total on 1 year deals and we’ll give $5 million to hall for 3 years.

    • Al says:

      You shouldn’t include Kerry Wood in the list of Cashman 2010-11 blunders. The guy obviously wanted to go back to the Cubs. He took a ridiculous discount to return to his old team. How is that Cashman’s fault? Some people just want to blame Cashman for the sake of finding a scapegoat because the Yanks didn’t sign 5 all-stars in the offseason. Its insane.

  31. Ted Nelson says:

    Not saying he can’t, but I’m not totally confident Logan repeats his 2010. So, I do think it’s a good move for the Yankees to sign a 1st LOOGY and double down. I’m also not saying Feliciano should have been the guy, but between he and Logan (and maybe eventually Marte or some darkhorse candidate) you have to like the Yankees odds of having at least one strong LOOGY in the immediate future.

    • A.D. says:

      Yeah, chances Logan fully repeats 2010 is basically 0, and there is still a decent chance he completely implodes.

    • Andrew says:

      I agree on Logan, he seems a prime candidate for regression in the bullpen just because of his previous history, struggles with control, etc. In that sense, I like the Feliciano move because he has established, consistent success against LHB. And it’s definitely important to have one or two good LOOGYs given the left-handed heavy contending team lineups out there (Minnesota, Boston, even Texas to a degree w/ Hamilton). So if Logan flames out, it is valuable to have Feliciano on board.

      • CS Yankee says:

        Logan started off weak with walking everyone, but got corrected and did well.

        I don’t expect young players to regress once they corrected their issues. So I think his BB’s are behind him, but maybe another issue could surface (i.e. the longball) as relievers do get figured out with their limited pitch selection.

        This puts Logan as the second LOOGY, but damn 2/8 is way overpay for such a specialist.

  32. Adam B says:

    I’m with you guys, I wanted Bobby Jenks

  33. Mike Myers says:

    Ive been thinking about this (for about 30 seconds)…Its not bad. The dude has a rubber arm, so he could help protect all of our young pitchers that are on the rise.

    he is like an 8mm insurance policy. eh?

    • CS Yankee says:

      All the insurance agents across the country should be doing backflips.

      I am ok with the signing, but thought it would be a year at like 2M$, or 2 for like 3-4M$.

      Maybe with the Fuentes wants of 3/15 or Soriano 3/30 (guessing), this makes some sense, but it seems to be a foolish investment compared to recent ‘pen success stories of late.

      • Andrew says:

        Feliciano made $2.9 million last year, and he had a good 2010, so it was very unlikely his price would drop below $3 million. $4.5 is a lot but it’s not a huge jump–the 2nd year I’m not crazy about, but thankfully it seems as though it’s a club option for 2013, so I can live with 2 guaranteed years.

        • CS Yankee says:


          Please tell me he is real solid against the righties as well?

          Paying that much for a/the LOOGY is just bad, but if he can get around the righties to get the other lefty (pitch the inning) I can better understand the move.

          • Andrew says:

            He walks basically all the righties he faces (exaggerating). So yes, he won’t be facing many righties, unless he is handing them an intentional or unintentional BB. In that sense it is too much money, because yes he’s only facing one type of hitter.

  34. Klemy says:

    Not crazy about this at all.

  35. Not at all crazy about this – Damaso Marte round two.

    Keep those fingers crossed for Soriano..

    Btw how much frickin money do the Sox have??

    • Mike Myers says:

      The sox have like 50mm coming off the books next year, so they can spend knowing that.

    • Big Juan says:

      Damaso Marte is possibly the worst comparison you could make. Marte is always hurt and Feliciano has been the epitome of consistency in terms of being able to pitch all the time.

      And yes, let’s keep crossing our fingers to overpay for Soriano and give up the first round pick in a stacked draft.

  36. Cashman says:

    Paul Quantrill all over again!

  37. Al says:

    I’m sorry, Mike, but all the advanced statistics in the world can’t convince me that Randy Choate is a better bullpen arm than Feliciano. Pedro has been much more consistent throughout his career and has shown the ability to be a workhorse out of the pen. Choate has had a rollercoaster of a career to say the least. Sure Chaote will be cheaper, but to me, Feliciano is much better thus a bit more expensive. Besides… the guy makes some great music! haha

    • Frank says:

      Agree. I too like Feliciano’s overall numbers better than Choate. As for the contract, the other signings set the market for relievers, so sure, the Yanks had to overpay. Plus, the Yanks had little leverage. Everyone knows they need a lefty in the pen.

  38. theyankeewarrior says:

    The Yankees hot stove is HEATING UP!!!!!

    First, it was Martin. Now Feliciano. What’s next, a Hairston brother?

    It’s like ’08-’09 all over again!

    • mustang says:

      “Like a lot of things in life, we laugh because it’s funny, and we laugh because it’s true.”

    • CS Yankee says:

      Don’t mistake the hot stove for this mircowave (quick fix) approach.

      Somehow, I holding on to the vision that old 46 comes back, we get a Garza-type pitcher, AJ goes six innings 2-out-of-every-3 times and Hughes stays strong all year/post-season. The bats crush and coffee Joe orders a new number before ST 2012.

  39. slim says:

    Love these marginal player signings, just what the Yankees need.
    no reason to go after anyone Elite, might as well save a few million here and there.
    Cashman offseason = FAIL

  40. Big Juan says:

    I’m really impressed by the intelligence, rationale thinking, and calm demeanor many people are showing in this thread.


  41. slim says:

    just hoping for Bill Hall in my stocking and it will be a great Yankee Christmas!

    Seriously if we sign Soriano I will be happy, that would make this signing seem better and give them an awesome bullpen.
    That along with taking a chance on a SP with high upside that does not cost us Montero (Zambrano type, not Freddy Garcia type)

  42. David says:

    Huge $ available could equal a stealth Cashman move. I wonder what Soria would cost? He would be a great fit.

    • The Three Amigos says:

      If you are going to trade through the roof for Soria, you might as well just lose the draft pick and some money for Soriano.

  43. mustang says:

    The Yankees actually sign someone?

    Now that’s news.

  44. Monteroisdinero says:

    The 4 hour Red Sox games have just gone to 4:15 min. Joe G will be popping out of the dugout 2x an inning in the 6th, 7th, 8th.

    Can’t get enough lefties for Drew/Ellsbury/Ortiz/Crawford/AGon

    Let’s get Fuentes too for Joe West’s sake!

  45. slim says:

    clay possibly Cliff Lee instead of blowing him out of the water like they claimed they would do ; they ended up offering him a contract no better than the other 2 offers out there.
    Yankees have more money than others, why not use that to their advantage instead of watching the Sox do it.

    Soriano is the elite reliever I am referring to though or if not him how about Jenks or Wood both are much better than this guy and would have cost roughly the same.
    I know Wood took less to go to Chicago but if they offered him a nice 2 year contract he likely would have stayed.

    It seems like NYY is not the preferred destination right now for many players so that means we have to overpay a little.
    In the past that was never an issue and now all of sudden Cashman is trying to low ball or pay market value for everyone.
    I think he normally does a good job he just miscalculated this offseasn and felt it would be a buyers market and instead with Benoit and Werth ridiculous signings, this offseason became a sellers market fast and he failed to realize it and is now behind the eight ball

    • mustang says:

      “how about Jenks or Wood both are much better than this guy and would have cost roughly the same.”

      Jenks wanted closer money and got 2/12

      Wood was looking for 2/12 and left 2 million on the table to play with the Cubs

      Your talking about a 4 million difference and neither is a lefty.

  46. mustang says:

    I think a lot of the hate here for Feliciano comes because he played cross the street. His numbers are good vs. Lefties and for all of the homerun proneness he gave up just one last year. The contract isn’t bad Feliciano is arguably the second best lefty in the market after Downs and he got 1 year less and 1 million less a year.


  47. Joe says:

    Is there anyone In AAA that can take the final spot in the bullpen? If not, are there any decent free agents still available besides Soriano and Fuentes?

    • To my knowledge, not really and no.

    • Mike HC says:

      Brackman, maybe, but I am just talking out of my ass. Nova possibly if he doesn’t end up the 5th starter. I’m sure there will be various guys from AAA and lower the Yanks will call up throughout the season that I don’t know about as well. Not sure if any can get the job done though.

  48. mustang says:

    Look at the bright side RAB at least they didn’t give up “THE PICK”.

    • Why do you keep saying this over and over again? Do you think strong farm systems materialize out of thin air, especially with a team like the Yankees who never trade FOR prospects?

      • mustang says:

        I’m making light of the subject that’s all. No I don’t think strong farm systems materialize out of thin air and I’m very thankful for what Cashman has done with the Yankees system. I was very frustrated in the 80′s watching George destroy the farm but in the same breath the pendulum can’t swing the other way were very draft pick is highly valued and very prospect is untouchable. The truth is somewhere in the middle which is where the FO is.

  49. mustang says:

    “Feliciano isn’t bad, but Bobby Jenks and Randy Choate both came off the board in the past couple of days and they’re both better deals.”

    I might give you Choate, but Jenks sign for 2/12 and is a rightly.

    How is right-handed Jenks at 2/12 a better deal then left-handed Feliciano 2/9 when there need was a lefty and especially in light of this comment “but I recognize that relievers are so damn volatile that he’s just as likely to dominate as he is fall apart” which is true of most relievers.

    • mustang says:

      Joba and Robertson could maybe to a less degree do the job of Jenks. I have less faith that Logan could do the job of Feliciano.

    • Because Jenks is the better pitcher and even held lefties to .243/.302/.346 line last year in a relatively large sample size (120 PAs) and, in fact, he did slightly better against lefties than he did against righties.

      Whereas Feliciano should never be left in to face a righty in any situation except a blowout.

      This is not a big deal worthy of going crazy about, and we don’t know if Jenks would have signed with NYY for the same deal but all things being equal I’d rather have had Jenks for the extra money.

    • Mike HC says:

      I’m with you. We needed a lefty out of the pen and Jenks is being overrated.

  50. Mike HC says:

    This signing is a no brainer to me. We need a lefty out of the pen. I hope we get Soriano too if we can’t trade for at least a number 3 type starter. The Yanks need pitching whether it is starter innings or out of the pen.

    • I really don’t like the contract but that appears to be the going rate for relievers right now. All things being equal I’d rather have Jenks given his effectiveness against both RHB and LHB but I guess they felt a lefty was a higher priority.

      • Mike HC says:

        Jenks does not seem like much of a prize to me at all and seems like he is getting worse. He might completely blow up this year pitching for the Sox, or if he ended up with the Yanks. Just my feeling on him.

        I don’t love Feliciano, but we needed a reliable lefty bullpen arm and his price was moderate.

  51. Angel says:

    Hope the Red Sox get Fuentes

  52. Dave Mancuso says:

    This offseason feels like lukewarm bathwater

  53. NM says:

    As a Mets fan, I don’t mean to invade by any means, but I think you guys will like Perpetual Pedro. He got his nickname, “Perpetual Pedro”, because hes got a rubber arm; its pretty incredible how durable he can be. I suppose age and past usage can be a waring factor, but his abilities to get lefties out should not be questioned; hes dominant against them. Just keep him away from the righties and you’ll have a very good, dependable reliever on your hands.

  54. Russ says:

    Lets hope we don’t continue to sign players like Burnett who are a legend in their own minds.He should put the pie throwing energy into his pitching then he might be a .500 pitcher and not choke so much.

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