Repeating Mistakes: The Pedro Feliciano Story

Yanks lose to Mariners as bats rest comfortably in Toronto
2011 Minor League Awards
Fail. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Word came down yesterday that Pedro Feliciano had surgery to repair the rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder earlier this month, and although no timetable for his return has been established, it’s a safe bet that he’ll miss most, if not all of next season. That’s usually how these rotator cuff surgeries go. Barring a miraculous rehab, the Yankees will have paid Feliciano $8M over the course of two seasons for exactly one inning of work. Best of all, that’s not even a big league inning, it was a rookie ball inning as he tried to rehab the shoulder.

Unfortunately, Feliciano’s flop isn’t an isolated incident. Teams have been getting burned by multi-year contracts for relievers since the dawn of free agency, and the Yankees are no different. There’s Kyle Farnsworth, Steve Karsay, Damaso Marte, and a quite a few more that failed to live up to their contracts not because they couldn’t handle New York or whatever, but because of the nature of the job. Trying to predict reliever performance is like trying to predict the lottery. You might get lucky and hit it big, but history says you won’t.

To make this Feliciano thing even more … perplexing (I guess that’s the best way to describe it) is that Brian Cashman came out and acknowledged that the lefty was abused during his time with the Mets. Anyone with a computer could have gone to and told you that three straight years of 86+ appearances (not to mention all the times he warmed up and didn’t come into the game) is bound to take its toll on a 35-year-old shoulder. I get that the Yankees a) had Cliff Lee money burning a hole in their pocket at the time of the signing, and b) can absorb the $8M payroll hit and not miss a beat, but that doesn’t forgive the mistake. Bad process, bad result.

I don’t want to harp on this Feliciano stuff too much because I’ve already tackled this whole mess. It’s one thing to make a good decision and have it not work out, but it’s another thing to make a bad decision in the first place. Cashman essentially blamed the injury on Feliciano’s prior workload, which is pretty weak in my book. It’s a lame excuse at best, and indicative of poor decision making. The overvaluation of lefty relievers has been a Yankees trademark for a few years now, and you’d be hard pressed to find a position on the team where more money was spend on zero (literally zero) return over the last half-decade or so. Feliciano is just the latest example of the team repeating a past mistake and giving a less than elite reliever a contract spanning more than one year.

Yanks lose to Mariners as bats rest comfortably in Toronto
2011 Minor League Awards
  • Sean

    Why didn’t they just give him the surgery straight away? Seems like they took a gamble on this rehab thing and it cost any chance of him coming back next season.

    • Ed

      Because if you do have shoulder surgery, the result is often what happened to Marte & Wang – years of rehab before possibly making it back.

      If he went straight to surgery, the odds were high that he wouldn’t ever pitch for the Yankees. With rehab he stood a better chance.

  • Dan

    Granted he is injured now, but I would say that they got enough of a return over the last decade from Marte in the 2009 World Series. Having him to hold down Howard, Utley, and Ibanez was extremely valuable and without him they might not win the series. Also, not having him could be what will cost the Yankees this year if they happen to face the Phillies again in the World Series because I would not expect the same success from Logan.

  • Jamal G.

    With the payroll budget the Yankees have, is $8M over two seasons really more of a risk than the contract handed out to Andruw Jones ($2M over one year)? If this does not effect their talent procurement at any level–professional or amateur–then what is the problem? Assuming that to be the case, then $4M over two years is essentially a no-risk flier in this organization’s world.

    • Greg

      Except for the fact that are down a lefty reliever they thought they needed coming into the season…..if they don’t sign Feliciano they likely pick somebody else up to help them instead….

      • Jamal G.

        Such as?

        • Greg

          Anybody who is actually physically able to pitch and could potentially contribute….

        • Greg

          Scott Downs makes 5mm……according to your logic that extra 1mm should not be an issue for the Yanks to eat….granted it is a 3 yr contract versus 2 for Feliciano but at least it is for a guy who can physically pitch…

          • CP

            Downs signed almost a month before Feliciano. In hindsight, it obviously would have been better to sign him, but it’s hard to say exactly what was happening as the free agent market was developing.

          • vin

            I would’ve greatly preferred Downs. Even with the extra year and additional salary… problem was he was a Type A free agent.

            • ItsATarp

              We’d would have signed downs had Cashman known Levine would go behind his back and sign soriano

      • Ted Nelson

        And what do they pay that person with? Bubble gum?

  • Frank

    Unfortunately,the madness likely continues this off-season as they search for another LOOGY. Mike Gonzalez, c’mon down.

    • JimIsBored (Jim S)

      Oh God no. I live close to Baltimore and have seen more than my fair share of Mike Gonzalez.

      Caveat: I know he’s been fine against lefties, I know I’m basing my thoughts purely on opinion, my eyes, poor usage by the O’s, and anecdotal evidence.

      Still. No more nightmares please.

  • Greg

    Mike, you pretty much nailed this. I can’t believe the stupidity of this signing. Cashman says Feliciano checks out medically, signs him, Feliciano hurts his shoulder, Cashman blames Mets for overworking him and causing the shoulder injury… basically Cashman knew the Mets overused Feliciano and, as a result, was a huge injury risk…but signed him anyway….brilliant!

    • JAG

      Agreed. Cashman’s actions just scream bad decision. It’s not like the Mets secretly had Feliciano pitched 20 times in January and the Yankees didn’t know about it until after he got injured. We all knew that he had been overused and yet he got signed regardless. It would have been better for Cash to just take this one on the chin.

    • steve s

      To me, Cashman’s public statements were the most ludicrous part of this whole mess. Interestingly Cashman has been generally very quiet recently. I wonder if the Yanks have muzzled him or whether he has self-muzzled and whether this quiet period has anything to do with his contract status.

      • Greg

        Agreed. I don’t know why he felt he had to come out publicly and bash the Mets….all he did was make himself look like an idiot.

      • dr mrs the yankee

        Or maybe he doesn’t have anything to comment on? What is there for him to address right now?

        • steve s

          He was awful quiet during the Baltimore/Buck hurricane stuff (seems like Girardi was the Yanks spokesman on that one with some stuff from Levine the night of the 11:00 p.m start) and, unless barred by tampering rules, I would have thought putting in the claim for Pena and not consummating the deal begged for some public comments from the GM. You’re right though to the extent that since Yanks are sitting sort of pretty now he’s really not on the hot seat as say compared to Epstein.

    • Nuke LaDoosh

      I blame the medical staff…and so should Cashman. Heads should roll.

      • steve s

        The medical staff did a terrible job in assessing Aceves as well.

      • Greg

        Certainly a poor assessment by medical staff but I still blame Cashman…based on his own comments after the fact he knew there was a legit risk…but he signed him anyways….makes no sense…

    • pat

      This was also the medical staff that signed off on Martin while Boston’s said he was “unsignable”. I’ll take Martin over Aceves all day every day.

      • jsbrendog

        agreement. they will hit hrs and they will strikeout and they will tap weak grounders to ss. the hrs must balance out the rest and the martin gamble paid off enough to balance out the rest for the medicla staff imo

    • Ted Nelson

      Yeah Cashman is an idiot and all the other people in the organization are all just idiots. Good point.

      • Ted Nelson

        Sarcasm, btw

      • Greg

        I never said Cashman was an idiot. I said that he looked like an idiot trying to defend this signing….which he has….to suggest otherwise makes you look like an idiot.

        • Ted Nelson

          I read what you wrote, thanks. “I can’t believe the stupidity of this signing. Cashman says Feliciano checks out medically, signs him, Feliciano hurts his shoulder, Cashman blames Mets for overworking him and causing the shoulder injury… basically Cashman knew the Mets overused Feliciano and, as a result, was a huge injury risk…but signed him anyway….brilliant!”

          You did not say “I can’t believe the stupidity of DEFENDING the signing.” That I’d agree with. Obviously Cashman knew Feliciano’s work load with the Mets. Come on. Obviously in researching the subject and consulting trained medical professionals who are probably among the best in their field he felt the signing was worth the injury risk. You are implying that he is an “idiot” (or whatever word you prefer) to say that Cashman thought Feliciano “was a huge injury risk…but signed him anyway.”

          Let’s not get into name calling. I can assure you I am not an idiot.

          • Greg

            You are clearly a very knowledgeable fan. However, I, along with others on this board, can do without your sarcastic remarks aimed at belittling posters.

            All that aside, I am not saying that Cashman is an idiot. With respect to this particular signing, I do believe that his actions were very misguided….”idiotic” if you will. And, I believe that his comments afterward serve to justify this assessment.

            • Ted Nelson

              A. I am not belittling you or at least making an effort to. I am responding to your comments. In fact, by implying I did not read your comment it was you who attempted to belittle me. You then literally say I look like an idiot. If you’re a pot, you shouldn’t go around calling a kettle black. Don’t cry a river when you’re the one making personal attacks. “It makes you look like a whiny idiot.”

              B. Idiot, idiotic… semantics. It was clear what I meant both in quoting exactly word-for-word what you said and following “idiot” by saying whatever word you prefer. If “idiotic” is the word you prefer, so be it.
              That doesn’t actually address my point.

              This was my point: “You are implying that he is an “idiot” (or whatever word you prefer) to say that Cashman thought Feliciano “was a huge injury risk…but signed him anyway.””

              You imply Cashman was less aware of the injury risk posed by Feliciano than you were. It is possible he was well aware of the injury risk, having quantified it to a far more accurate level than you… and that he still felt the potential reward was worth it, even compared to alternatives like Choate and whoever. It didn’t work out. That doesn’t mean Cashman didn’t assess the decision accurately. He may have, he may not have. Ignorantly deciding he didn’t with no knowledge of his decision making process seems useless to me. Sorry if that “belittles” you whiny.

              • Greg

                And how would you judge the decision making process? How do you know the level to which he consulted medical experts? Did he use the same “experts” that have misdiagnosed in the past? You’re just assuming he did his diligence because you think he is a competent individual. Based on what? Do you know him? Has he worked for you?

                All we as fans can go on are results. We don’t know what went on with the decision making process and how it could have or have not been better. I don’t know what the organization’s risk/return appetite is and whether this decision fell within those parameters. All we ultimately have to judge him by are results. Cashman, Girardi, the players, all of them. You could debate the decision-making process endlessly.

  • Paul Proteus

    They always make these big move for relievers like Soriano and Feliciano and they never work. We could have went with homegrown Joba and Robertson and been just as well off. Joba is hurt now but we couldn’t have predicted that in the offseason. Cheap options like Corey Wade have worked better than shelling out millions for these high priced relievers.

    • Ted Nelson

      You are judging the results, and not the process. Mike is doing a bit of the same, but not to the same degree you are. You are just ignoring the process and going off the results 100%.

      • rbizzler

        I don’t think that he is judging just the results. When he mentions using cost-controlled homegrown talent and cheaper waiver pick-ups while condemning ‘big’ deals for relievers, that sounds like an indictment of the process to me.

        • Ted Nelson

          He does not show that “cheap options” are superior to “expensive options” in any way but to look at a tiny sample of fairly recent Yankees signings… that’s how he’s judging the results. He’s looking at the process, but judging the results. His only justification that his process is better is one example of Corey Wade vs. a few highly paid guys. One example doesn’t (or a few examples don’t) prove a rule. Casey Kotchman is working out while Adam Dunn isn’t, therefore teams should always ignore historic production and always favor minor league deals over multi-year deal for 1B/DH types… doesn’t work. Neither does Wade is working and Soriano isn’t. Need a more in-depth analysis.

          • Dan

            In general, the relievers that the Yankees have been signing have been pitchers in their early to mid 30’s and the problem with these signings is that they are almost set up to fail from the beginning. Most of these relievers are coming off of contracts that they performed pretty well in, so because of their performance they were used in excess and it leads to arm troubles and decreases in performance. Going back,its hard to think of the last pitcher that the Yankees signed that was given a good contract (for a reliever) that was successful.

            Your example also doesn’t really work because the cheaper options are better for relievers because reliever success is so volatile, while success of 1B/DH tends to change less. Dunn was a bad signing from the beginning and I think most people looked at that contract as a bad decision just as most people probably viewed Feliciano as a bad decision.

            • Ted Nelson

              Most people expected Dunn to keep hitting 40 HRs per year for at least a few years and keep hitting to his career .376 wOBA or better, not to implode. The worries were about the length, not that he’s post a .268 wOBA with 11 HRs in 2011. Get real. Guy had hit at least 38 HRs and posted no lower than a .365 wOBA 7 straight seasons and was only 32 this season.
              Come on… you’re twisting my point. I didn’t say Dunn’s was a great contract. I said that one example of Casey Kotchman with his career .321 wOBA outperforming Dunn for a season does not mean there is a rule you should always sign minor league deals for 1B.

              My point is that you have to quantify how volatile relievers are compared to other players. To have a meaningful discussion you can’t just throw it out there as fact even though you don’t know how much more volatile they are. Another point was that the Yankees signings of a few guys is not a meaningful sample. The volatility in such a small sample is huge, just like relief performance. Obviously you missed those points…

  • Kosmo

    This has been discussed many times on this blog. Yanks could have signed Scott Downs and Grant Balfour for half the money it took to sign Soriano. Cashman for whatever reason decided to make it stink by publicly stating Feliciano had been abused by the Mets.
    Downs has turned in another fine season and last time I looked Balfour has had a good season.

    • Kosmo

      Check that, it´s actually 8 million less than the 34 mil it took to sign Soriano.

      • Ted Nelson

        Yeah… A. Those guys were expensive, too and B. You’re looking entirely at the results. If Downs and Balfour got hurt this season while Feliciano and Soriano didn’t… you’d have no case. If Soriano is lights out next season while those two get hurt… again you’ll have no case.

        • Mike S

          I agree with several of the points made here. While it’s always easy to judge an acquisition retrospectively, I think it’s reasonable assume that middling relievers (and especially specialty relievers) are rather fickle in performance by nature.

          Because of that, I would think clubs would be a bit more hesitant to invest so readily long term into guys like Feliciano. I would have thought the Yanks might be more apt to try an internal option. I wonder if that’s an indictment on their feelings toward their own system.

          Also, Ted, I’ve read this site a long time and one thing I’ve noticed is that nearly all of your responses seem rather confrontational(in my opinion). I don’t mean to belittle or scrutinize your contributions to the comments section (because you seem like a passionate fan), but I think you’re points would garner a lot more credibility if you posted some original responses to the article of your own rather than just negating everything else that others say. Just a thought.

          • Ted Nelson

            A. The comment I responded to mentioned Scott Downs instead of Feliciano… you are aware that Downs got almost twice as much total money for an extra year, right?

            B. That they didn’t like any LOOGY in their system doesn’t mean they don’t like their system as a whole. Your logic there is simply flawed. Signing a LOOGY says nothing about how they feel about their prospects at any other role/position.

            C. I regularly post “original” responses to the article. It is sort of ironic that you say this while confronting my comment with a comment that barely even addresses my comment.

            • Mike S

              Honestly, you’re the reason I never reply to articles here that I’d love to converse about. I don’t need you telling me my “logic is flawed” simply because you disagree. That’s what I mean when I say “confrontational.” Throw some stats up or say a statement refuting a point, but don’t make it personal. Afterall, you’re not a Yankee affiliate who speaks on behalf of the organization and knows all the ins and outs of the club.

              I think it’s absolutely fair to say that if the Yanks don’t choose an internal candidate, it might mean they have reservations about their own farm system guys and whether or not they are a “good fit” for a specific job. Obviously, certain farm guys are not geared for that type of job, but there are plenty of guys who are relievers in the making who one could be given a chance. It’s just speculation. It’s my opinion.

              • Ted Nelson

                I’m sorry you feel that way, but I don’t have to know the ins and outs of the org to comment on your logic.

                You took them not wanting to promote a left handed relief pitcher from their high minors to mean they didn’t trust their system as a whole. “I wonder if that’s an indictment on their feelings toward their own system.” It is simply not an indictment to their own system… just the left handed relievers in AAA at the time. That says nothing about the lefties in the low-minors, let alone say their C prospects. That’s all I was saying. In extending it to the whole system, your logic was flawed. It was in no way whatsoever a personal attack. That you took it as such is nothing but a misunderstanding. What it was was a comment on what you wrote. Nothing personal about it. Your logic in the comment you wrote is what I was commenting on.

                “Obviously, certain farm guys are not geared for that type of job”

                If that’s obvious, why say it’s an indictment of their system?

          • the other Steve S.


        • Kosmo

          You should consider what Mike S in a very polite way said. He echoes my thoughts exactly.

  • MattG

    I am typing this solely with my left hand. This is just step one in my plan to pitch in the major leagues before Pedro Feliciano. I give myself 50/50 odds.

    Cashman, please take note. I am going to need an agent.

    • Cris Pengiuci

      I’d put the odds at 60/40 in your favor. :-)

  • Donnies Mullet

    Hard pressed to find as much money spent on zero production? How about starting pitcher…

    Igawa, Pavano, Burnett

    That’s about 180M. What did they get back, a total of 10 WAR?

    • Greg

      That’s fantastic compared to the -0.9 WAR Kevin Brown gave us over 73 IP in 2005 for 16mm….or the -0.8 WAR Jaret Wright gave us over 63 IP that same year for 6mm….what a staff we assembled in 2005.

    • Greg

      I wouldnt include Burnett among that group. He has a ring and has actually pitched for three years.

      • Ted Nelson

        A whole lot of guys who are not good MLB players “have a ring.”

  • Sarah

    I saw yesterday that Javier Lopez of the Giants is headed to free agency this off-season. Any thoughts on whether he’d be a good fit for NYY, and what sort of money he’d be looking for?

  • Jorge

    …..and people still get bent out of shape when the Yankees don’t acquire Mike Adams, Mike Gonzalez, or whatever other middle reliever who’s hot happens to be available.

    You don’t spend a penny on middle relievers.

    • Ted Nelson

      “You don’t spend a penny on middle relievers.”

      I think this statement is as ridiculous as paying Soriano $33 million.

  • jsbrendog

    the yankees are going to overspend on poor decisions. i’d rather it be relievers for 2-3 years than positon players like jayson worth or carl crawford who get paid 10x more to underachieve for 5-8 years.

    not condoning it, but after accepting it as a reality i am much happier with marte/feliciano/karsay/farnsworth etc than them doing it with the aforementioned positoin player fails

    • TomG

      Good point. If you’re going to roll the dice on any position, relief pitching seems to be the easiest place to absorb a bust, so long as the manager doesn’t over commit to specific inning assignments.

      • theyankeewarrior

        Yes, rolling the dice is fine.

        But in this case, even peons like us on this blog could see that there was a better option to roll the dice on. His name was Randy Choate. He wanted 2 years as well, and he would have been a much better gamble.

        • Ted Nelson

          This article is not about Choate vs. Feliciano.

          • theyankeewarrior

            When discussing the signing of a FA, it’s important to weigh the alternatives. Choate was an alternative.

            • Ted Nelson

              See below. You are using hindsight to claim that Choate’s superiority was predestined based on your own belief he was superior.

              • Cris Pengiuci

                Before the Feliciano signing Choate was brought up as a viable option in many discussions. The fact the he did, infact, out-perform Feliciano at a lower cost simply confirms, in hind-sight, that he would have been a good option. That’s not to say that he couldn’t have gotten hurt, but it seemed a better choice then as well as now.

                • Ted Nelson

                  I haven’t said he wasn’t an attractive option. I felt he was the most attractive, too.

                  What I have said is that his success and Feliciano’s injury are not conclusive proof that Feliciano was a bad process signing.

                  “it seemed a better choice then as well as now.”

                  To you, to others, to me even. Not to Cashman apparently, though. Or maybe not to Choate. Maybe Cashman reached out to Choate and was told to go fuck himself. (Probably not to the market as a whole, either… since no team outbid Tampa for Choate unless Choate turned down more money… totally possible, but not likely he turned down twice as much… and you’d hope Feliciano had some other offer on the table close to 2/8 if that’s what the Yankees paid. Speculation… but with some logic behind it.) I am saying you cannot use a subsequent injury to prove you were right at the time. If you find out it was a pre-existing injury… you could at least prove the Yankees were wrong though it’s not like you would have known about the injury to say you were right.

    • Ted Nelson

      I also think this is a good point. Plenty of examples of free agent busts and guys overpaid on extensions and overpaid for in trades at every position. Someone above also points to starting pitching.

      To me it really boils down to exactly how volatile relievers are and how valuable they are. Based on what I have read from him, Mike (along with some of those who agree with his stance) believes relievers are so volatile they are a “lottery” and their value is reflected in straight WAR. I find this to be an extreme position and not entirely in-line with reality. I haven’t quantified how volatile relievers are, but there is consistency among the best relievers year-to-year and for blocks of several years. WAR does not account for leverage. Accounting for leverage doesn’t mean higher leverage spots are harder to pitch… it means they are more valuable to the team.

      I don’t totally disagree with Mike’s conclusions that big multi-year deals to relievers tend not to work out. I just think he takes about the most extreme a view as possible to get to that conclusion, without doing much to support his extreme view.

  • Bronx Byte

    The contract of Marte runs out after this year and there’s no guarantee he’s healthy. Feliciano won’t likely pitch in 2012 and his 2 year deal runs out.
    Shopping for another bullpen lefthander will be high on Cashman’s priority list this winter.

  • Jesse

    Damn it Cashman, you shoulda signed Randy Choate!!!

    /Blaming Cashman’d

    • theyankeewarrior

      Seriously though, I don’t blame Cashman for giving 2/8 to a guy that has potential to shut down Ortiz/AGon/Jacoby types in big games.

      It’s a risk that could have turned out great for us.

      The thing that sucks is he had a better option right in front of him. Choate was cheaper his arm was still attached to his body.

      • Jesse

        That’s true. And to be honest, I liked the signing when it was made. But obviously the stupid thing on Cashman’s part was that he said the Mets abused him. Well if that’s the case, why the hell did you sign him?

        But if he signed Choate wouldn’t he have to give up a sandwich pick? I’m pretty sure Choate was a type B, not sure about Feliciano.

        • theyankeewarrior

          You don’t have to give up a pick for a type-B.

          The team that loses the player simply gains a pick. Tampa Bay gained a pick when the Marlins inked Randy Choate, but it wasn;t the Marlins pick, it was just granted to them.

          • Jesse

            Ah I see. Thanks for clearing that up.

  • theyankeewarrior

    By far, the worst part about this signing is that Randy Choate signed the same contract, but for like entry-level salary.

    And he’s been great.

    Can you imagine our pen with Aceves & Choate in it this year?

    • Jesse

      Dream bullpen:

      • theyankeewarrior

        As long as we’re dreaming, take out Wade (although he’s been great) and insert a fully healthy Joba Chamberlain throwing gas, pumping fists and starting fights with Youk.

  • Ted Nelson

    I feel like the article looks more at the results than the process. It takes for granted that relievers are so volatile that they are comparable to the lottery, while only providing a small sample of Yankees signings and their results as proof. It seems to reflect frustration with the Yankees’ results more so than any attempt to analyze their process.

    The article also seems to take for granted that a straight WAR calculation is adequate to measure reliever value. People are misguided in thinking that accounting for leverage implies higher leverage innings are harder to pitch. This is incorrect. It implies that those innings are more valuable to the team. Therefore, having a better pitcher (better overall/in an average inning, but if you can find a “more clutch” pitcher… more power to you) in those innings is more valuable than in lower leverage innings. This is why WAR is not the way to calculate reliever value. This is why their is an argument WAR does not properly calculate reliever value. Not because higher leverage innings are “harder.” That’s a red herring/strawman and only takes away from the actual discussion.

    The article also fails to consider other factors such as the marginal benefit of an out that adds to an extra round of playoff revenue and the marginal difference in expected production between these high priced pitchers and the alternatives. Not all players will match their projected production (and I’m certainly open to relievers being more volatile and less valuable than any other position/role… besides maybe bench roles in terms of value), but I don’t think that means you just forget about projecting performance and spend no money at all. I don’t think it means you cherry pick the cheaper alternatives from past years based on hindsight knowledge of the results.

    • theyankeewarrior

      The author of this article was begging the Yankees to sign Randy Choate for months before the offseason even began, so it’s hard to say that it was written in hindsight.

      Most Yankee bloggers and many Yankee fans were against a Feleciano deal of more than one year.

      The same way they were against a Marte contract.

      • Ted Nelson

        Choate got a multi-year deal. Mike’s thesis is that no reliever should get a multi-year deal.

        You’re missing my point. It’s not about whether Choate or Feliciano was the better signing, and neither is Mike’s point in the article.

        • theyankeewarrior

          Choate’s “multi-year deal” pays him less than Feleciano makes in one year. They could have released him in year two and still have owed him less than Feleciano made from June through September of this season.

          The reason Mike wants to stay away from multi-year commitments is because they can strangle your roster and payroll. Nothing about Randy Choate’s contract could strangle the Yankees budget.

          My point from above: The worst part of this signing was that there was a better alternative out there.

          If there wasn’t a Randy Choate on the market, I would have been much more accepting of giving 2 years to Pedro.

          The Sox are lefty-heavy and had/have? the best roster of any competitor in the AL. I don’t mond going after not-notch LOOGY options, but in this case, there was a better/safer choice out there.

          • theyankeewarrior

            I don’t **mind

            Top **notch


          • Ted Nelson

            The difference between Choate and Feliciano is 2% of the Yankees’ annual payroll. If you think that’s strangling their roster and payroll… I don’t know what to tell you.

            That Choate has done better does not prove he was the right decision given the evidence available at the time. I tended to prefer Choate for less money as well, but he could have gotten hurt in ST just about as easily as Feliciano. Feliciano was a bit higher injury risk, maybe, due to age and use. However, there is no one-to-one relationship between age or use and injury. Christian Garcia can’t pitch 5 inning without getting hurt, while someone like Darren Oliver or Mo stays healthy at 40-whatever with a lot of miles on the arm.

            You are condemning the Yankees and asserting that you were correct based on the results. If Choate was injured in a fluke way this season… you could not make that claim with the same logic.

            • Dan

              Increased age and use are definitely indicative of an increased injury risk. Neither Mo or Oliver have gone anywhere near the level of over-use that the Mets exhibited with Feliciano. Yes, some pitchers are at risk when they are younger, more due to poor mechanics than to use, but major league pitchers that have been in the league for many years tend to have less problems with injuries if their mechanics are sound. When those same pitchers are asked to pitch in about half of their teams games (like Feliciano was) then you are much more apt to develop injuries.

              • Ted Nelson

                “Increased age and use are definitely indicative of an increased injury risk.”

                Again… quantify it. Saying something is “definitely” true because you think it is doesn’t even necessarily make it true, let alone tell us the degree to which it’s true.

                You don’t even start to address the expected performance for Choate vs. Feliciano compared to the expected injury risk for Choate vs. Feliciano.

                • Ted Nelson

                  I preferred Choate, too, by the way. My point is not whether Choate or Feliciano is preferable.

                  The points I have actually made are that it’s not what the article is even about really, and that the logic used by theyankeewarrior and now you is flawed.

                  • Every Day I’m Shuffling

                    Ted Nelson….master troll.

                  • Dan

                    This makes absolutely no sense because I am not using any of the logic used by yankeewarrior he made a point on the influence of the payroll, which I can acknowledge will not have an effect on the Yankees ability to operate. Also, I never made any reference to Randy Choate as yankeewarrior until you brought him up as a counterpoint. However, your logic is very flawed that the use and age of Feliciano did not predict that he was a near guarantee to get injured. Find one other pitcher that pitched to the extent that Feliciano did over the same period of time and had not gotten injured.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      What I meant was that his logic was flawed… now your logic is flawed. Not that your logic and his logic were the same logic.

                      “However, your logic is very flawed that the use and age of Feliciano did not predict that he was a near guarantee to get injured.”

                      Based on… what? Your say so? You have made no effort to quantify it, but it’s nearly certain? I find it comical. This is the sort of illogical stuff I’m talking about.

                      Feliciano never pitched more than 64 innings in a season. I realize between warm-ups and less rest days this isn’t the exact same as that many innings in fewer games, but it’s also not like he pitched 90+ innings a season. He didn’t. I can find plenty of guys who gave ~60 IP per season for a long period.

                • Dan

                  The problem is there haven’t been many other relievers that have come anywhere close to the misuse/overuse that the Mets exhibited with Feliciano because most teams know it will lead to arm problems. To use your examples of Oliver and Mo, neither of them approached anywhere near the 86 games that was the low of the last 3 years of appearances for Feliciano. Choate came close to that last year with 85 games pitched in however the year before that and this year he had much lower totals, so he has been able to have more success and fewer injuries by limiting his use or by not constantly putting him in games. The other point from the article was that the 86-92 games that Feliciano appeared in each of those years most likely doesnt include another possible 10-15 games where he got warmed up and did not come in. There were enough red flags that Feliciano should have been avoided. Choate might have been a risk coming off the amount he pitched, but his relief outings were also significantly shorter than Feliciano as he pitched about 15-20 fewer innings.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    “There were enough red flags that Feliciano should have been avoided.”

                    Because… he got injured. If he appeared in 85 games for the Yankees this season, you’d be writing about how the guy has a remarkable arm.

                    And 60 IP across 85 games is not the same wear on the arm as 85 innings pitched. Nor are effective innings generally the same wear on the arm as ineffective ones where you face more batters. Nor are innings with one delivery the same as with another. That’s my point. THERE IS NO ONE-TO-ONE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AGE OR USAGE AND INJURY. That’s what I said. You disagree. Fine. Continue to believe whatever you want while feeling no need to justify it with evidence.

            • theyankeewarrior

              Choate: Younger, cheaper, not overused & still dominant vs. lefties.

              Feleciano: Older, THREE TIMES more expensive and way overused.

              Forget the results. I don’t care about the results. The point is, Choate was a better option from the beginning.

          • Ted Nelson

            You are also assuming they could have signed Choate. Perhaps he left the Yankees’ org with a bad feeling towards them and told them he would not sign with them… who knows? Or that he’d sign for them at Feliciano money, at which point he is no longer a bargain either…

            I’m saying there are a lot of assumptions being turned into definitive statements here. Let’s label the assumptions as assumptions, and the facts as facts.

            • Dan

              Again, you have done nothing to prove your point. You cannot compare the amount of work that pitchers like Oliver and Rivera have gotten to Feliciano as their arm was taxed nowhere near as much. Even as you state with them going into higher leverage situations, they are given more time off to recover. By running Feliciano out there 2 out of every 3 days over a 6 month period and ask him to continue to throw with warm-ups 20-30 pitches is going to produce some sort of damage. Just because I remember Torre and his blatant overuse of this pitcher, to provide another example is Scott Proctor who also pitched in over 80 games two straight years. Then his first year with the Dodgers he suffered an injury that knocked him out for a season and a half. Peter Moylan and Brandon Lyon also pitched near the top in games pitched last year and suffered major injuries this year… Also, there were enough people screaming about this before Feliciano got injured, the fact that he did only confirmed those concerns. Yes, if he pitched in another 85+ games this year people would say things like he has a rubber arm and be amazed, but its more likely that pitching in the number of games he pitched in that he was bound to get injured. You have yet to show any evidence to support your conclusion that increased age and use does not lead to injury when I think if you look at any pitcher that even comes close to the use that Proctor and Feliciano were put through you will end up finding that the pitcher will end up with an injury that will knock them out of baseball for over a full season.

              • Ted Nelson

                Feliciano himself dealt with a similar work load for 5 years in a row. Why is it that in the 6th year he had an injury and not the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th? Because there is no one-to-one relationship between usage and injury. I don’t see how you keep arguing against that point if you understand what I’m trying to say. It seems you don’t understand, since you’re not really addressing it. From the beginning I acknowledged that Felciano was a higher injury risk. I said his injury wasn’t a certainty, though. Why suddenly in ST of year 6 was he unable to pitch after a full off-season? Perhaps he toughed through the injury to get to his pay-day… but that’s pure speculation. All I know at this time is that he suddenly got hurt in ST. I agree that his prior work and age made him more likely to get hurt than others. Of course, his professional already makes him quite likely to injure his arm… so what I’m asking is how much more likely?

                • Greg

                  So what is the justification for 2/8? Why not offer him a one year? What was the decision-making process for a two year deal? You have provided no evidence of comparable 2 year offers (or any other 2 year offers, comparable or not, for that matter) other than to speculate that he had one simply because Cashman wouldn’t have given him two years otherwise.

            • Dan

              Another pitcher that supports my case just because I remember him being overused by Willie Randolph is Aaron Heilman. He was a pitcher that was used in around 80 games a year for three straight years and then developed elbow and shoulder problems. Again, none of these pitchers came close to number of times Feliciano pitched, and you cannot tell me that there is no correlation if not an outright causation argument to be made.

              • Ted Nelson

                I never said there was no correlation. You are arguing against a straw-man. I said there is no one-to-one relationship.

  • vin

    Multi-year contracts to non-closer, 35+ year old relievers are a bad idea 99% of the time. The 1% has to be Tom Gordon. We all remember him choking in the playoffs, but he was pretty spectacular with the Yanks. After that deal expired, Cashman should’ve quit while he was ahead and never signed another old reliever again.

  • boogie down

    He looks like Denzel in that photo.

  • I

    Seen like most Yankees fan don’t care those money ($8M), feel this is a non-factor and repeatedly defend Marte’s contract.

    Obviously, the really attitude is when “you don’t want to give them money” then even $1M can seriously effect other FA, we have a budget, we can’t waste money. The ticket’s price. bla bla bla