Dec
14

Yanks have considerable room to maneuver

By

If losing out on Cliff Lee brought the Yankees one thing, it’s flexibility. They avoided a long-term contract that would have complicated payroll issues in the next few years. They also find themselves in a relatively favorable payroll situation heading into 2011. Here’s what it looks like right now:

If we add in $10 million, which is what Baseball-Reference estimates as the Yankees’ arbitration raises and reserve clause obligations, that puts them at around $181 million. Let’s bump that to $185 with the addition of Russell Martin. That leaves them quite the cushion should they target a higher priced player in a trade. That type of scenario usually works in the Yankees’ favor, since higher priced players usually don’t command as much of a return, in terms of prospects, as a more cost-controlled player

Still, this doesn’t mean that the Yankees will make a move. It simply means that they can. If they’re going to target a higher priced pitcher, they might not find much to their liking. Here is Cot’s list of highest paid players. Scroll down to the pitcher section and here’s what you’ll see.

1. Cliff Lee: Obviously no.
2. CC Sabathia: Already on the books.
3. Johan Santana: The Mets might want to get out from under that, but with shoulder issues and over $60 million remaining on the deal there’s no way this happens.
4. Roy Halladay: Not a chance.
5. Carlos Zambrano: He’ll be available, and he hasn’t known a pitching coach other than Larry Rothschild. Still, he’s signed for two more years and $35.875 more million. Pass.
6. Barry Zito: Didn’t even make the postseason roster. No way that contract is nearly worth the cost over the next three seasons.
7. Jake Peavy: He’ll miss the start of the season, and in any case he’s been hurt and inconsistent in the past few years.
8. A.J. Burnett: on the books.
9. John Lackey: Obviously.
10. Justin Verlander: Unavailable as unavailable gets.
11. Felix Hernandez: A pipe dream.
12. Derek Lowe: Two years and $30 million remaining for a guy who will be 38 this season. Pass and then pass again.
13. Roy Oswalt: Not available, I presume
14. Mark Buehrle: Mike discussed this yesterday.
15. Ryan Dempster: An interesting choice, but I doubt he’s available.
16. Chris Carpenter: The mystery pitcher lives.

It appears that while the Yankees will save money this off-season, that it won’t help them much. With the above information, it’s pretty clear that Andy Pettitte‘s return is the single best thing that can happen to the Yankees the rest of the off-season.

Categories : Analysis
  • RalphieD

    a disheartening list to say the least…im not totally dismayed though, i have faith (a bit) that ninja cash will slide down our chimneys and plant some gifts under our bat rack (or more appropriately, our pitching rubber).

  • mike

    I feel defeat already. At this point all we can do is strengthen the bullpen. So since we have money sign Soriano, Feliciano, Jenks, and Wood. Pettitte and Nova can round out the rotation

    • Pasqua

      The back of the ‘pen won’t do you much good if you don’t have stability in the early innings. Plus, if baseball teaches us anything, it’s “Buyer beware,” when it comes to bullpen talent.

      • http://www.twitter.com/adorador00 Ray Fuego

        & Wood is the only one who wouldn’t cost us anything.

        • Scout

          Just to be clear, if the Yankees sign a Type B free agent, they do not surrender a pick. Instead, the team that loses the player gets an extra pick, in the sandwich round. So there is no penalty to the Yankees for signing a Type B player.

        • J.R.

          Wrong, Jenks was non tendered, he won’t cost a draft pick, and Feliciano was offered arbitration but is a type B so that is a sandwich pick that comes from no one.

          • http://www.twitter.com/adorador00 Ray Fuego

            Thanks for clearing that up.

  • Mark

    I still think that now and in the long term, not signing Lee is the best case scenario considering what the Yanks would have had to dish out. The Yanks are still a 90 win game on paper and Cash$$ is still a ninja. He’ll figure something out that will help them win this year and for years to come…

    • nathan

      We lucked out. It will be obvious in a couple of years when Lee missed a lot of time with his back issues and oblique injury.

  • http://www.itsaboutthemoney.net Jason @ IIATMS

    Dan Haren? I’m sure the Angels have zero compulsion to dealing him to NY, but who knows…

    • http://www.or.ly JM

      I wish the Yankees out-bid the Angels’ offer of Joe Saunders, with was VERY doable.

      • http://itsaboutthemoney.net Jason @ IIATMS

        Amen to that

  • Thomas

    According to MLBTR, “They’re also expected to add two relievers and a righty-hitting fourth outfielder” with their free money

    Really don’t want to see the Yankees sign two relievers if they are for multi-year deals (and give up picks). It is best to avoid locking up big money/years in the pen considering how fast those signing can sour.

    Of course small one year deals, like the Park one, are fine.

    • MikeD

      Hopefully whomever they sign does better than Park, but agree with your point.

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

    You could probably have talks about Oswalt, though I think he’s slightly overrated and not worth his salary.

    I thought Verlander might be obtainable if Detroit had gone into rebuilding mode, but they clearly have built their team back up.

    Realistic options seem to be Carpenter/Floyd/Nolasco at this point. Meh.

    P.S. The area below this post is officially a NO STUPID TRADE PROPOSAL ZONE

    • http://www.twitter.com/adorador00 Ray Fuego

      I prefer either Carpenter or Floyd. Nolasco isn’t very convincing.

    • Reggie C.

      Carpenter is easily the most proven starter on that list, but is he really available or is his availabilty a mere RAB invention? I guess it wouldnt hurt Cashman to find out.

      Kenny Williams is definitely fielding offers for Gavin Floyd. Floyd might be the BEST starter on that list considering Carpenter and Nolasco would be switching leagues. Floyd’s relative youth makes him the most attractive name on the list. Still … i personally can’t trade Montero in a package for Floyd. Just can’t. Floyd isn’t that consistently good.

      • http://www.twitter.com/adorador00 Ray Fuego

        I doubt Cashman would ship Montero for Floyd. Montero isn’t as available as many people think. I could see Romine or one of the other C prospects gone tho.

        • pete

          Agreed. I could see a Romine, Betances, Noesi, Laird package going somewhere, maybe, but I’m not sold on the ChiSox as sellers.

  • Mark

    Also, maybe the Yanks now have to do what most other teams have to do: bring up someone from their farm. Sometimes a call-up shows the best in players and gets them going to star status before the Yankee brass believed they would (e.g. Cano).

    • Jess

      Any other team, outside of the high payroll Red Sox, would be counting on adding Brackman, Banuelos, and Betances into their major league rotation the next two years if they had them as prospects.

      So why can’t we?

      • Ed

        Because at best, Brackman will be ready for a bullpen job late this season. You can’t expect him to join the rotation until at least next year. The other two are further away, more like late 2012 at the earliest for their debuts.

        In the mean time, the team has two rotation spots to fill.

        • http://www.twitter.com/adorador00 Ray Fuego

          I would prefer the FO allowed the Killer B’s to be brought up as relievers and if they succeed allow them to be starters the next season. If they don’t succeed just send them down to AAA to work on their craft I would hate for all that talent to be wasted in the pen ala Joba.

          • Ed

            I imagine they’ll either do something like that, or call them up to be spot starters / relievers as necessary similar to what happened with Nova this year.

            I doubt they’ll just hand them rotation spots for fear of a 2008 repeat.

          • ROBTEN

            I’d rather they just bring them up when they’re ready to be starters full-time. At this point, they need to be pitching regularly, rather than pitching on the irregular schedule of a reliever.

            long-term > short-term

          • Phishin’

            Bringing up young pitchers that have not quite proven themselves at the minor league level or, shall I say, been stretched out to try and plug a hole in the pitching staff sounds eerily familiar to the route of a pitcher that is currently on the roster and had his progress retarded because of a rash decision….

            • Ed

              I didn’t interpret his comment that way.

              I assumed he meant when they proved themselves ready to be called up, ease them in the bullpen first rather than throw them straight into the rotation. Basically, similar to how they handled Hughes in ’09 and ’10 (ignoring the botched ’07 and ’08 seasons).

            • Sweet Dick Willie

              because of a rash decision….

              Eh, I wouldn’t call it a rash decision.

              Remember, in August 2007, the Yankees were fighting for a play-off spot, their bullpen needed help, Cash had lost out on Gagne to the Sux (thank Mo), and Joba had just about reach his innings limit for the year.

              It certainly made sense at the time.

              • Ed

                Yeah, that wasn’t the bad decision. The bad part was how they handled things afterwards.

  • Will

    Is Cano a free agent after 2011, or arb. eligible, or what?

    • http://www.joelefkowitz.com joe lefko

      Team options in 2012 (14MM) and 2013 (15MM), both with a 2MM buyout.

    • Beamish

      Look at the 5th Column – the team has 2012 and 2013 Options.

      • Will

        Ah, “club options” must be what that stands for. Gotcha.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

          Yeah, sorry. I forgot to add them in. With Cano, Granderson, and Swisher I’m presuming the Yanks pick up the options.

          • jim p

            Just on presentation: it be an easier read, and better editorially, if you just move the “ML Srv/Agent/Length” columns to the right of each year when you do these xls charts, no? A minutes work. Just a thought. Have the names right next to the future commitments, no scrolling required.

  • Slugger27

    any chance tim hudson could be available?

  • Bulldozer

    Blessing in disguise? Sado coming off the books in a year, Mo in two years, AJ in three, Jeter in four, etc…

    Payroll flexibility is nice and the Yanks have it in spades each year.

    • Hughesus Christo

      There’s no one to sign.

      • Bulldozer

        There will be people to sign in the next few years. We may not think they are hot stuff right now, but all it takes is a player to figure something out. Also, trades for salary relief.

        • Hughesus Christo

          Mystery Players > Mystery Teams

          There’s enough money all over baseball to keep elite players off the FA market. This isn’t a viable strategy anymore.

          • Bulldozer

            I didn’t way anything about signing elite players in the next few years.

      • Bulldozer

        Reminds me of a story about a guy that quit from the Patent Office because he said everything has been invented already.

      • OldYanksFan

        Looking at the $$$ being spent this year, and the fact there are always disappointments (player wise and team wise) there WILL BE salary dumps mid season. And iun 2014, Lee could be one of them.

        The truth is, anyone who really looks at our salary commitments/ages can see the Yankees are headed for some kind of retooling year or 2. So if we got Lee, maybe we put it off for a few years, but it’s still there.

        ARod and Jeter will cost a forture per WAR. We can only hope Teix stays around $4.5m/WAR for some years yet. Mo may be less productive the next 2 years.

        I’m glad we did not get Lee. This could be addition by subtraction, as the Yankees really need to utilize the farm.
        With LONG term contracts and Lee’s going for $25m and Crawfords going for $20m, our financial advantage only goes so far.

        The guard is changing. Our future is up to Cashman being smart and creative, the International market, and the kids producing.

    • BklynJT

      What does it matter when no one wants to sign with the Yankees anymore???

      /msm’d

  • Reggie C.

    Grant Balfour and Rafael Soriano anyone?

    Soriano might be a top 5 reliever in the entire AL.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      If the Yankees sign Soriano (who I’m sure wants to close), you then want to give the Rays a 2nd round pick for Ballfour? Pass.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      He’s also an extreme fly ball pitcher. That might not work in Yankee Stadium.

      • Reggie C.

        Soriano is only 30 years old so how much wear-and-tear is actually on that arm? I don’t think he showed any warning signs of impending arm injury. The man’s WHIP since 2006 is super impressive.

        It might cost us 3/30 million, but Soriano matches up well with us.

        • Thomas

          He has had 3 elbow surgeries in his MLB career. He was superb the season before one of those injuries and very good a season before the other (he was hurt already before one).

          He has significant wear and tear on the arm.

        • MikeD

          I’ve wanted Soriano on the Yankees for years. Unfortunately, he’s going to be expensive now that he’s a closer(although we certainly have the money) and he’s missed three seasons with extensive injuries. He’d also cost us top draft picks. Add it all up, and he’s not quite a fit.

          Yet if not Soriano, there is a very good reason to spend on a high-quality arm. The Yankees were 5th among MLB teams last year in blown saves. Although Mo hit a rough patch in early September and had a couple more blown saves this year than typical, he certainly wasn’t the problem; it was the bridge to Mariano that broke down too often. Fixing that could lead to another three to five wins. The answer is not one of the fungible lefties on the market. It’s something higher end. Perhaps it’s a simple as bringing back Kerry Wood and having him for a full year. For the right guy, it’s worth an overspend.

  • jay

    If i was Cashman i would see what chicago is askign for zambrano. let them pay 5 million and give up 3 mid level prospects.
    They should also take a chance on webb, wang and justin d. of oakland who is a free agent.
    sign bill hall and randy choate

    good offseason

    • Johnny O

      you could’ve said the same about going after wang and duchscherer and webb at this time last year, and it wouldn’t have amounted to anything. granted, it’s only money and it’s not our money, but the moves didn’t pan out in 2010 and probably won’t in 2011.

    • Thomas

      They should also take a chance on webb, wang and justin d. of oakland who is a free agent.

      When you “take a chance” on a lot of these injury risk guys, it is not a low risk signing, it is a high risk signing. These guys will all have a decent base salary (think average $5M), plus easily attained incentives (like $1M for every five starts). If a guy gets healthy and sucks you could end up paying him like $7M for 10 starts. Even if one guy is really good, when you look at the total price paid he is not a bargain.

      This is similar to what Boston did with Penny, Smoltz, Saito, and Baldelli in 2009. All other than Saito sucked and it cost the Red Sox quite a bit of salary.

      • cheddar

        I believe Duchscherer made $2 million in base in 2010. I don’t know how much of his $3.5 million in incentives he may have achieved, since he appeared in only a handful of games.

        His leverage is minimal at this point. I would at least inquire about him.

      • Ed

        Generally contracts like that happen the first time a guy is coming off injury. When it happens two years in a row, the second time tends to be much cheaper.

        Webb, Wang, and Duchscherer all were last effective in 2008. They all took injury risk contracts last year and contributed nothing to their teams. For anyone to take another chance on them, they need to reduce their demands a lot.

    • ray-ray

      Best post i’ve read on here yet,although 15 million and 2 mid-level prospects i think would do the trick for Zambrano..everybody forgets this guy was borderline Jimmy Piersall last year..and i’m with you 100% on Wang,Duscherer,and especially Webb…1 year deals with club options and you get 2 of the 3 for peanuts!!!

  • Johnny O

    Wait it out. In Spring Training 2010, no one would’ve though Lee would be dealt (again) and Haren would be dealt. I was pushing hard for Haren this summer, but such is life. Other guys will become available, none are right now so we wait.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    No need to spend to the budget by overpaying a guy, or trading for an overpaid guy. If the right deal is there, make it. Look at one of the guys on the list in Lackey. Sox had money to burn last year and gave him a bad contract. Had they not done that, they could even have more room to play with. If you can get a guy with only 1 or 2 years left on a bad contract (for minimal prospects) go for it, but don’t spend just to spend.

    • ROBTEN

      This.

      While signing Lee was a good idea, there’s no reason to spend that money now if no one is available that is worth it. We’re still talking about a team that was two wins away from the World Series. If you sign players just to spend money and look like you are “doing something,” it ends up causing more problems long-term than it solves in the short-term.

  • Nostra damn us

    I may be seriously deluded but I haven’t given up hope on Greinke yet. Wondering why he’s not on the list?

    I like the idea of Kerry Wood returning as well. I like Kerry Wood.

    • Thomas

      Greinke’s not on the list since he isn’t one of the gamee’s highest paid pitchers.

      • It’sATarp

        Young, Low cost and talented? Why hasn’t the yankees jumped on him?!?!? oh right they are afraid he’s crazy or something…bleh

        • Slugger27

          i think theyre more afraid that montero, joba, gardner, and banuelos will end up being collectively more valuable

        • Adam B

          everything has to be fair, the royals gm ha said publicly that if you want greinke then we are not interested in making a fair trade, it will be 100X unfair for anyone who wants him.

  • Kevin

    Felix for Manny B, Betances, Heathcott, Montero, Gardner, and Russ Adams

    • Johnny O

      Won’t happen without some sort of McCourt/Hicks divorce/bankruptcy combo. King Felix is FA in November 2014 after his age 28 season. I wish I were his agent.

      • It’sATarp

        He plans on joining the Phillies to form the Power Rangers

        • Johnny O

          I was thinking Voltron.

          /childofthe80s

    • Mike

      They would ask for Cano and Hughes

      • pete

        cano, hughes, and gardner, probably.

  • http://twitter.com/kschmidt2 Kiersten

    This article just made me feel so much better! Sigh.

  • Adam

    The Yanks are a 90 win team as constructed…get into the playoffs and see what happens. See who might become available (did we ever expect Granderson last year?) but don’t make a panic move just for the sake of making a move. Cash-ninja understands that all, which is heartening (read no Jaret Wright signings). Hope for Andy to come back, sure up the bullpen and get ready to battle.

  • mike c

    At this point our chips are too valuable to accept anything less than a pipe dream

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Agreed.

  • Reggie C.

    I just don’t see how the Phillies are going to retain Cole Hamels in a couple years. I guess the Yankees can retain “room to maneuver” until then when Hamels hits Free agency. Are the Phils really going to have FOUR guys on that team make $20 million plus. I just dont see it.

    Anyways, Oakland might be looking to unload Brett Anderson or Trevor Cahill at the next trading deadline for a bevy of prospects. Oakland might then be willing to take on a couple healthy killa Bs tearing up AA/AAA + Noesi + a David Adams.

    • J.R.

      If they are “tearing up AAA” wouldn’t you rather give them a shot at the pro level?

      • http://www.twitter.com/adorador00 Ray Fuego

        I would think one of the B’s ceiling would be higher than either of those. Why trade them if they’re doing great?

      • Reggie C.

        Nope. ‘Cause Brett Anderson or Trevor Cahill are also young and already very good pitchers. Cahill is actually fantastic and healthier than Anderson. Thinking about it … Cahill showed talent to the point that might merit an inclusion of Montero. Its an interesting situation to monitor for sure.

        If Billy Beane thinks he can swipe a a trio of high-end starting prospects, he might actually be willing to deal.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          Anderson>>>>>>>>Cahill

          I wouldn’t trade Jesus for Cahill straight up, wouldn’t even think about it.

          • Reggie C.

            Love for the lefty. I hear you. Not sure what Cahill failed to do last season to get dissed by you (>>>>>, really?). I’m just saying OAK wouldnt be a bad place to send every West Coast Yankee scout.

            • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

              It’s what Cahill didn’t do, strike anyone out.

              • Reggie C.

                So then Cahill might actually be easier to pry loose than Anderson. Cahill also sported a near 10.0 K rate in the minors. The K rate also jumped from his first ml season nearly a full point. I think the kid is actually only 22 or 23. Cahill can get better.

                if you’re not willing to give up Montero … how about all 3 killa Bs (worst-case scenario).

  • It’sATarp

    And reality kicks…the pitching market is thing for the next few years. I hope the yanks will get over their fear of grienke and at least try try to discuss the possbility. Although i would make Banuelos and Montero untouchable while everyone else can be up for grabs.

  • dsss

    I’m disappointed, but not unhappy we did not get Lee. He didn’t want to be here, and he was just using NYY to get what he wanted from others; nothing new there.

    The pickings and/or price of free agents and trades seems high in risk, money, or prospects. We have only what we have- ?no matter where you go, there you are. I guess patience is needed so we avoid a hasty trade and loss of prospects out of fear.

    So now we wait until July or until one or two of the minors step up and claim a spot. Maybe some of that new available money should be spent strengthening the back end with someone like Kerry Woods if he has interest?

  • Monteroisdinero

    Starting rotation at Scranton?

    DJ Mitchell, Wordkemper, B’s????

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      Wordekemper has been a reliever. You forgot Phelps and Noesi. Banuelos and Betances will probably start in Trenton. The fifth start may be Rumolo Sanchez.

    • pat

      Phelps will be there. I doubt all three B’s start in Scranton.

    • Thomas

      Betances should start in Trenton.

      Brackman and Banuelos should be in Scranton.

      • Reggie C.

        Brackman, Noesi, Phelps will be a strong trio of starters for Scranton. However, i think Trenton will boast TWO killa Bs in that rotation. Banuelos didnt even throw 70 innings in 2010. I’d keep him in AA for another 60.

        • Ed

          Agreed. If they hold Banuelos in AA, there’s less temptation to give him the Joba treatment and rush him through the minors before he can build up the arm strength to pitch a full season.

  • J.R.

    Am I the only one that would look in to Brad Penny? When he went to SF and then St Louis he looked pretty good. I know he was terrible with Boston, but I’m wondering if that was just shaking off rust from surgery. And realistically he will probably be better than Nova/Mitre.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Brad Penny is about 325 lbs. right now. No thanks.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        That pic wasn’t really Brad Penny………..was it????

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          Either him or Barney.

      • ROBTEN

        right now, Brad Penny is going off his Subway diet.

        • Bulldozer

          Brad Penny is engaged to Dancing with the Stars’ Karina Smirnoff. Crazy.

  • AndrewYF

    Why not add Chad Billingsley to Chris Carpenter and create a #doublemystery?

  • wow

    Garza?

    • ROBTEN

      Not worth what it would cost. To consider trading him in the division, the Rays would ask for much more from the Yankees than any other team.

      • ADam

        I think Garza is worth the bit of overpaying they would have to do. You could pull it off w/o dumping hughes or montero… i would do it in a heart beat… Could also get a third team involved if needed….

        Garza is only 26, and has pitched very well in the AL East and fits the yank’s pitching philosophy with strikeout pitchers…

        • ROBTEN

          I don’t think there’s any way that you could pull this off without sending Hughes and/or Montero, whether to the Rays or to a third team. When teams trade within a division, I think they’re going to go out of their way to make sure they’re not helping out a direct rival. It’s why the Mariners accepted Smoak over Montero–along with getting a top prospect, it hurt their rival directly as much, if not more, than having Montero over Smoak would have helped them.

  • http://bleedingallblue.blogspot.com mikebk

    Floyd seems like the best name who might be available.

    Billingsley is intriguing if the Dodgers would move him.

  • Chris

    I wanted Lee like everyone else but this is good for the Yankees. The fact Cash played hardball and did not cave sends a message to the rest of the agents in baseball that the Yankees are not going to be push overs for players now. At 185 million the Yankees are only 7 mill over the luxary tax for 2011 which is 178 Million. If they can dump Marte and his 4 mill contract it puts them in an incredible position. I hope the small market teams are ready for a TINY pay day because the Yankees are almost 100 percent going to be under the 200 million dollar mark this season. If they wanted to its possible for them to go under the tax for the first time (which I don’t think they will do) but I can’t imagine teams like the Pirates are excited by this news.

    • pat

      Marte’s contract is probably covered by insurance.

      • radnom

        Still counts against the payroll for luxory tax purposed.

        Although I don’t know how Chris imagines they would trade him to anyone seeing as how its pretty unlikely he provides anything at all this year.

  • Fair Weather Freddy

    How bout Yanks just exercise patience for a change? Every team in baseball knows the Yanks are in a tough spot and need a pitcher, so any team they talk to is gonna ask for the moon and the stars from the Yanks. I say try and convince Andy to come back for 1 more year, which I think he will. Take a flier on a couple of guys like Wang and Prior and give them a look in ST. Also, take a long look at Nova and guys like Noesi and Warren in ST. Yanks are good enough to compete. Maybe by the trading deadline something better could come along, but now is not the time, as the vultures are sure to be circling

    • Mike HC

      When do the Yanks ever get a discount though, or even a fair deal. Teams and players will always ask for more, and usually get it, when it comes to the Yanks rather than other teams anyway.

  • Mike HC

    I’m all for adding some relievers with this extra money even though in a vacuum, they will probably not be worth it.

  • ultimate913

    If I were Cashman, I’d wouldn’t do anything that would affect the team in 2012 and beyond. Put Nova in the rotation and if Pettitte comes back, we’re set with our 5 SPs. If no Pettitte, bring up an AAA arm.

    I’d let payroll come down…and down…and down, and then do the 2008 offseason + more in 2-4 years.

  • Gollumbar

    If Andy comes back, I’m content to sit pat. Games are played on the field and I am pretty happy that I didn’t jump off the GWB when the Mets signed Santana.

  • Mike

    This might actually be a blessing in disguise. Cashman might be forced to rely on our developing prospects for a change instead of high priced free agents. Should be nice to see how our pitching prospects stack up against the Tampa’s and Boston’s homegrown pitchers.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      It didn’t work in 2008. I’d rather not have to rely on them because they’ll be rushed or sent to the bullpen. Then when they pitch a ball in the rotation they’ll be yanked out immediately.

      If they’e coming up I want them to be ready with as much innings pitched as possible so we don’t have to deal with any rules again. There should be quality stopgaps a la what Javier was supposed to do instead of serving up a homer every 2 batters, that can be had to ensure that the B’s are ready.

    • Chris

      Agree 100%. We never get a chance to see our guys and what they can do in the majors. Does anyone see what the Rangers are doing with Feliz and how it is almost EXACTLY what we did with Joba? They should leave the guy alone and learn from our mistake.
      Think they could take a shot on Fausto Carmona?

      • Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

        Is Carmona a FA?

        • A.D.

          No, but potentially available

          • Chris

            Fausto Carmona Drawing Heavy Trade Interest
            By Ben Nicholson-Smith [December 15 at 12:31pm CST]
            Fausto Carmona is drawing heavy trade interest – perhaps as much as Zack Greinke – according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Carmona, 27, drew lots of trade interest leading up to the July 31st deadline, but GM Mark Shapiro held on.

            Now in his first offseason as the Tribe’s GM, Chris Antonetti must determine whether to trade Carmona or hold on. Morosi hears that the Indians are now in “listen and explore” mode and are not eager to move the right-hander.

            Carmona returned to form in 2010, making the All-Star team and posting a 3.77 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 210 1/3 innings. He struggled through the 2008-09 seasons after breaking out in 2007. An extreme ground ball pitcher, he has a career 59.7% ground ball rate.

            Not only is Carmona coming off a strong campaign, he will be affordable for the next four seasons. After they pay Carmona $6.1MM in 2011, the Indians have a series of club options that run through 2014. It would only cost the Tribe $28MM to exercise all three options.

    • Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

      “Cashman might be forced to rely on our developing prospects for a change instead of high priced free agents.”

      So Hughes, Gardner, and Cano isn’t enough prospect development for you? And hasn’t Boston made big recent waves through the FA market?

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ

        When a season is depending on a FA like Lee year in and year out then yes the player development wasn’t enough.

        Of course they’ve always made up for it but it doens’t take the fact away the Yankees in recent years haven’t done a good job in regards to player development.

        If we take away the Core Four our homegrown talent on the team is thin.

  • BG

    I would not be so quick to presume about Oswalt. If the Phillies can’t move Blanton (and really, who wants him?), they may decide to unload Oswalt and his salary and still remain with a pretty decent rotation.

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      Oswalt certainly is no Lee but why get Lee in the first place for a huge contract when you can just stick with Oswalt who’s almost as good but a lot less cheaper?

      They want a Fearsome Foursome™ and tht’s what it appears their getting.

  • A.D.

    Hold the money till teams get more interested in unloading payroll. Phillies probably want to unload Blanton, and some team may still look to free payroll to sign Adrian Beltre.

    If Pettitte doesn’t come back and you have to throw Nova, Mitre, Noesi, Phelps against a wall for 2 to hopefully stick, it won’t be pretty but can probably hold it together for awhile until teams with highly paid pitchers fall out of contention

  • beef

    it’s jeter’s fault that cash couldn’t sign lee. if his agent hadn’t played stupid mind games and gotten the contract signed sooner, maybe cash would’ve had more time to think over the lee situation. great job captain.

    • Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

      The Yankees had “time”. They had enough time to prepare a menu list of offers to Cliff. He didn’t want them, so he went elsewhere. It’s no one’s fault.

      • Chris

        Exactly. It doesn’t take much time to make an offer to Lee, or increase an offer.

        The only thing I do wonder about Jeter/Mo is if they want to redo the contracts to bring in the deferred money if they’re going to be under budget next year.

        • beef

          just no. jeter wanted 20+ mill this year. he’s really not that good anymore but it doesn’t seem to click in his brain. in his mind he is still a young kid (amazing!). if psychologists want to study a narcissist jeter would be a good subject.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            All of this has zero to do with Cliff Lee signing with the Phillies.

            • beef

              sure, whatever helps you sleep at night.

              • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                So why don’t you blame Russell Martin too? Cashman has been working on that as well.

              • toad

                What exactly would Cashman have concluded had he had more time to think? That he should offer even more money? Why do you think that – within reason – would have worked?

                Lee decided to sign with Philadelphia. That’s the story.

                If you can tell us what Cashman could/should have doen differently, to bring him to NY, then let’s hear it. “Cashman screwed up,” is not very persuasive.

          • Chris

            What? My point was that Jeter has about $8M that he’s going to get paid by the Yankees, but is deferred. Would the Yankees want to pull that in and pay it sooner (when they’re under budget) rather than when it’s deferred to since they may have more budget constraints then. Mo is similar, although I don’t know the numbers.

    • Ryan

      Yeah, I heard Cashman stepped in a puddle on the way to negotiate with Lee too, and he was so upset thinking about that he didn’t have any time to think about Lee.

      • beef

        sad that cash’s first agenda was to sign some worn down old bum before Lee.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          And that worn down old bum was signed weeks before Lee made a decision, so it has nothing to do with Lee not signing with the Yankees.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        I can confirm this. He was wearing brand new italian loafers and was extremely distraught. Those shoes, along with Derek Jeter, kept Lee from becoming a Yankee.

    • nyyankfan7

      that is the dumbest logic I have ever heard. Lee’s agent refused to take an offer from Cashman until after the winter meetings at which time Jeter was signed then Lee turned down an extra 2 years and $30 million- the Yankees never had a chance and were only involved to drive up the price.

  • Tony

    Sometimes there just is no answer.

    While its great that we have payroll flexibility…unfortunatley we are a win now club..without a win now rotation.

    Even with Andy back..there just is no viable trade solution and no vable Free Agent stud pitchers now or next offseason.

    Our only hope is: a big bounce back from A.J. (which I believe he will be better this year) Hughes continues to get better and we get a good year from someone like Nova..but it is very unlikeley that all of those things will go right..so for me this is the first season in a while where I do not expect a great deal from this team..maybe thats a good thing..let the young guns down at AA and AAA mature. knowing they will get a shot if they perform…BUT make no mistake, this Yankee team right now is an 80 win team..thats with Andy coming back.

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      80 win team? The team last year had 2 below replacement level pitchers, a replacement level pitcher for the second half, and an injured vet and had a pythag record of 98 wins.

    • Mike HC

      Last off season our rotation was also CC, Hughes, Pettitte and AJ. Then we traded for the great Javy, who pitched worse than our AAA pitchers. That team still managed to make the ALCS.

      Losing Lee will hurt our chances at a WS, but not drop us to an 80 win team.

      • Chris

        I actually think it’s a bigger impact on the Yankees chances once they’re in the playoffs than their chances of making the playoffs.

        • Mike HC

          My thoughts exactly.

    • Ryan

      80 wins?! Do us a favor and root for a different team.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      First Name Only Male Handle Rule.

  • Anthony Murillo

    Some of you guys need to stop freaking out, saying we won’t win anything, etc.

    The team, as it stands right now, will not be the same team to enter the 2011 season nor will that team be the same when the playoffs come around (and we will be in the playoffs).

    • http://www.blogs.thetenthinningstretch.com the tenth inning stretch

      This.

  • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

    I think our best option now is to resign Pettitte and give one of the young guys a shot. Prices will return to normal at the trade deadline. Sabathia, Hughes, Pettitte, Burnett, Noesi is a good enough rotation, I think. Maybe we can finally get Haren (I’m obsessed, OK?) next summer if the Angels are out of it again.

  • Yankeescribe

    Any chance we can pry Tim Lincecum from San Fran???

    • Chris

      No.

  • Teh Comp Pick

    Most of the pitcher that can be had are not attractive. Not trying to grab a guy in a dump like Big Z or Derek Lowe. Carpenter is a nice idea, but I’m not so sure he’s available. Love how the MSM is trying to say Lee left tens and tens of millions on the table. I actually heard on SC this morning he left 40 million from the NYY on the table. Why does the deal Lee took get called 5 yrs/120? It’s really a minimum of 5/132.5 which is how I thought these things get quoted?

    • Chris

      I think it’s really a minimum of $120M if the option does not vest. The buyout is typically included in the value of the contract.

      • Teh Comp Pick

        You are correct on that, didn’t realize he could possibly not get that extra 12.5. Thanks.

  • J

    This has got to increase the chances we go all in for Darvish. He might be the best available pitcher over the next two or three years.

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      He’s staying in Japan.

      • J

        Yeah but he will be posted next year

  • John

    Who cares? Fire Cashman.

  • Adam Wolf

    I like when people on this board suggest trade ideas for the Yanks, but I think people just pull names out of the air and make ridiculous suggestions without thinking it through.

    I like Floyd as the 3rd/4th SP but I am not too sure that the CWS are interested in a C prospect when they have a pretty good one of their own in Flowers.

    I also like Nolasco, but recall that FLA just signed Buck to a $$$ deal and have Sanchez @ 1B.

    Let’s get a shutdown BP (Wood/Soriano) and worry about a 4th/5th SP by the deadline.

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      The CWS want to save money and get bullpen help. It’s certainly possible. And lets not forget…it’s Kenny Williams.

  • JZ

    We’ll be lucky if the Yankmees win 40 games. At this point, it’s best just to go for the #1 pick in the 2012 draft. Anything more if just dreaming and idiocy. It’s not even January and already they’re eight back of the Sox.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Totally agree. They will be the worst team in baseball history. Lee would have meant an extra 55 wins.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      Didn’t you hear? They canceled the regular season. The Red Sox/Phillies World Series starts March 31.

    • Bulldozer

      I heard the band broke up too. Bummer.

  • Craig

    I’d pass on Soriano. Though he’d strengthen the pen, giving up your number 1 pick and paying $13-14 million for 3 years for 70 innings a year is ridiculous.

  • beef

    At least we have Russell Martin! This is so depressing.

  • Craig

    I’d target Woods and Fuentes each for 2 years deals to maintain some flexibility. Problem is the market is really bare for starters unless you’re really ready to clean out the farm. If Pettite retires, there’s a strong chance they don’t make the playoffs.

    • Chris

      Tiger Woods?

      • http://www.blogs.thetenthinningstretch.com the tenth inning stretch

        Great low-ball hitter. If only he swung left-handed…

  • Chris

    Top starters available next year are CJ Wilson, Cole Hamels, Buerhle and Edwin Jackson. The first 2 would make nice number 3 starters with the other 2 are more of a number 5 starter. Best option might be Yu Darvish if his divorce gets settled.

    • MikeD

      I’m pretty sure Hamels is still arbitration eligible, if so, he will not be a free agent, even if his contract is up.

    • Reggie C.

      YU DARVISH would be an awesome pick-up for this team. Man … i hope he smarts up and makes himself available for the posting fee. The posting fee isn’t subject to the luxury tax so if it takes 75 million to win it … so be it.

      Cole Hamels is more of a #2 and maybe even a #1 if the peripherals keep improving. I said it earlier, and i’ll restate it – I dont see how the Phils are going to be able to afford Hamels in a couple years.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Fortunately, one of the reasons we have money to spend is a very good, inexpensive LF’er which prompts the question of how his wrist surgery went. Any updates?

  • Chris

    This is how it must feel to be a fan of every other team in the Majors…I feel…normal and not special.

    • Betty Lizard

      Well, no, not exactly. Imagine, for example, being a fan of the Indians. Someone I love is a fan of the Indians and I have a soft spot in my heart for that team. Being a fan of the Yankees on the very worst of days does not require more than a minuscule amount of devotion and blind faith that being a fan of the Indians requires.

  • beef

    people underestimate the idea of “perks” factoring into this. maybe the phillies are willing to setup lee with younger women to stay in a hotel room after each road game? i wouldn’t be surprised. everybody cheats these days.

    • briancashman420

      Must be some nice “young women” they’re serving :P

    • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

      Or Chase Utley’s wife. I hear she’s a wild one.

  • Xstar7

    The Yankees are fucked. They aren’t going anywhere next year. Montero is going to be a bust. Jeter is going to be so bad he won’t even make it to 3,000 hits. Pettite is going to retire next week. Phil Hughes is going to give up even more home runs than he did last year. AJ isn’t going to make any progress. CC is going to exercise his opt-out after 2012 to go play with Lee in Philadelphia.
    Next year its gonna be a boston-philly world series and its going to be a tie since they’re both unbeatable. The Yankees are going to be in last place even behind the Orioles since now they have Mark Reynolds and Buck Showalter as their skipper. The Blue Jays are going to get Zach Greinke and sweep the season series against the Yankees. And our only solace is that the Mets will suck too.

    Pessimism is a bitch ain’t it?

    • OldYanksFan

      Hey!!!!!!!! At least we get a decent draft pick!

      • Xstar7

        Cashman will find a way to screw those up too after Steinbrenner signs him up to a 10 year 275 million contract because he thought the stunt he did was sooo cute he wants him to do it every year for his kids.

    • Bulldozer

      Well, at least the Mets will suck too.

  • Chris

    And they raise ticket prices….

  • Monteroisdinero

    Montero is gonna show up at spring training and blow everyone away. Starting catcher. Get on with it!

  • Jimmy McNulty

    20M draft 20M IFA class.

  • Chris

    I hope they don’t do anything insane and try to get Pujols if he gets to free agency next year.

    I’d stack up on help in the pen if I was in charge. There are no good options for the rotation right now so why not gear up for a lot of 5 and 6 inning starts. The depth in the pen is going to be even more important.

    • Xstar7

      Why wouldn’t they get Pujols if he was available? We’ll just do with him what we did with A-Rod and put him somewhere else. Even if you already have a star at 1b, you can’t pass up an oppurtunity to get a player of Pujols’ caliber.

  • Chris

    The only thing they could do is move Tex to 3rd and A-rod to DH to fit in Pujols. But its not what they need at all. It would set them back for the price. Its not going to happen but if a person can be nervous about adding a guy like Pujols I am…The Yanks need pitching. Pitching wins all the time and I’d rather spend millions on pitching than another slugger.

    • Xstar7

      It’s not what they need but I don’t think they’d mind. It’s all just baseless speculation anyway as its certainly not going to happen. But What top flight pitchers are going to be free agents or are willing to be traded? (Not for Montero.) Definitely not any like Cliff Lee. And Zach Greinke isn’t the best option

    • http://www.blogs.thetenthinningstretch.com the tenth inning stretch

      We’ll trade A-Rod in a mega-deal for Casey Kelly. Frees up the money and the playing time.

  • Felix

    Aren’t we forgetting General Igawa’s $4M contribution to this spreadsheet?

  • BuyNBye

    HAL and BRIAN:
    Whatever happends with the pitching, “WE NEED MUSCLE”. I would be down with the Yanks signing RUSSELL BRANYAN as a bench player. He can play 1st, 3rd, and the outfield. He’s hit a ton of homers at the Stadium including one off the window of MOHEGAN SUN (the black backdrop in center field) and one into the 4th deck in RIGHT FIELD. Neither had been done before or since. He could fill in at any of THREE positions and we don’t miss a beat, in fact we add to it. He would be a MONSTER up in there. For those that are not familiar,
    Check out the video: BRANYAN ENJOYS YANKEE STADIUM. He hits them off Righties and Lefties.