Breaking down the payroll

The Red Sox Chaos From Afar
What Went Wrong: Joba Chamberlain

As always, the Yankees will have some work to do this offseason, primarily with shoring up their pitching staff. They have a decent amount of money coming off the books, mostly in the form of Jorge Posada ($13.1M) and Kei Igawa ($4M), and that money will be plugged right back into the team. In fact, that money and then some figures to be spent this winter. With some help from Cot’s Baseball Contracts, let’s look at the Yankees salary commitments for 2012…

That’s guaranteed money only, and I took the liberty of leaving CC Sabathia out given his opt-out clause. The ten players (not counting Marte) account for $150.25M, and based on MLBTR’s projections, we should conservatively tack on another $17.9M for the six arbitration-eligible players (David Robertson, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Brett Gardner, Phil Hughes, and Russell Martin). That makes it $168.15M for 16 players.

The pre-arbitration guys don’t make a ton of money (relative to the baseball pay scale, that is), but they add up. There’s 18 of them on 40-man roster right now plus two more coming in David Phelps and D.J. Mitchell (who are Rule 5 Draft eligible), so let’s conservatively estimate those guys at $10M total (half a mil each). Andrew Brackman is a bit of a wild card. He earned $1M last season and I have to imagine he’ll make at least that next year per the terms of his big league contract. Let’s call it another $1M for simplicity’s sake, putting us at $179.15M for 37 players. Of course, a few of those pre-arb guys (Reegie Corona, Kevin Whelan, Justin Maxwell, etc.) figure to meet the roster axe at some point in the not too distant future.

So after all that, the Yankees still need to a) re-sign Sabathia, b) add one more starter, preferably two (assuming one is a Bartolo Colon/Freddy Garcia-type), and c) fill out the bench. Item (c) can be minimized by having Brandon Laird replace Eric Chavez and one of the minimum salary guys replace Andruw Jones. I’d be fine with Laird, at least to start the season, but I’m not sure who would replace Jones as the designated lefty masher. Greg Golson? Maxwell? Eh, not likely. Gonna have to spend a little something there. It was nice having a strong bench this past season.

Hal Steinbrenner has held firm on that $200M (or thereabouts) payroll limit over the last few years, so the Yankees will have to get a little creative to address all their needs. Sabathia did take a reduced salary in the first year of his current contract, so maybe he’d agree to that again knowing Rivera, Swisher, and Feliciano will be coming off the books after the season. Yu Darvish would likely come at a lower annual salary than C.J. Wilson, but would also require a massive up front posting fee payment. Also keep in mind that the salary estimates for the arbitration and pre-arbitration players are conservative and probably a little high, so that $179.15 might be more like $175M or so. Insurance might cover Feliciano’s salary for all we know. And who knows, maybe Soriano will opt out, but I’m not holding my breath.

The Yankees appear to have about $25M to play with this winter, which is a ton of free cash in most years. This isn’t most years though. Sabathia needs to be retained and they need even more pitching on top of that, so something has to give here.

The Red Sox Chaos From Afar
What Went Wrong: Joba Chamberlain
  • JobaWockeeZ

    Yikes they’re gonna have like 5 million to get another starter when they get CC.

    Good luck Cashman.

  • Hardy

    They were prepared to spend about 25 million more last year (Lee + Pettitte – Soriano – Colon – Garcia.

    Simple plan: Sign CC, Wilson, Darvish, Beltran. Win 105 games. Profit.

    • Jesse

      That’d better be 94 wins in the regular season and 11 more in the playoffs.

      • Hardy

        Good point.

        Simple plan: Sign CC, Wilson, Darvish, Beltran. Win 105+11 games. Profit.

    • Not That Guy

      Sign CC. Yes.

      Sign Wilson. Seriously consider it.

      Sign Darvish. Maybe.

      Sign Beltran. No. Just no.

      • Hardy

        What’s the problem with Beltran? Very good bat, should be able to play both corner outfield spots about league average. Can step in for Swisher, Granderson (Gardner to CF), Gardner, Teixeira (Swisher to 1B), Montero, Martin (Montero to C).

        • Jesse

          Don’t really like his injury issues. He’s certainly no spring chicken either at 34 years old. He’s a Scott Boras client, so you’re looking at probably at least a 3 year deal. And not to mention, Matt Kemp is a free agent after next season. I say hold onto Swisher for one more year and pick up Kemp when he becomes a free agent.

          • Hardy

            That would work well with my Beltran plan.

            • Jesse

              How so? It’ll take a 3 year contract to get the injury prone Beltran.

              • Hardy

                You want to rplace Swisher with Kemp in 2013.
                My plan is Swisher+Beltran for 2012. In 2013 you can replace Swisher with Kemp and my plan still works the same way.

                • David N

                  Kemp and Beltran are full-time players. If you want a part-time guy in the outfield to spell either of them for a bit, you can be more efficient than paying Swisher $10 million.

                  As for Beltran, injury-prone + Boras = stay away.

        • Not That Guy

          Why sign a player good enough to start in the outfield when we could just re-sign Swisher? Why sit an above average player every game in order to get Beltran or someone else in? If you’re going for a back-up, you should actually sign someone who fits the role of a back-up.

          Or to put it more succintly, see the NoMaas article:

          I have no idea how to post links.

          • Hardy

            Why sign a player good enough to start in the outfield when we could just re-sign Swisher?

            I want to pick up Swisher’s option.
            And I want to sign the best available player because Swisher, Granderson, Gardner, Teixeira, Montero and Martin won’t give you 972 games combined (i expect more like 800-850) and I want the Yankees to be as good as possible.

            • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

              I doubt Beltran will sign to be a 4th outfielder.

              • Jesse

                Especially being a Scott Boras client.

                • Hardy

                  Normally Boras’ clients take the most money and not the most PAs.

                  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

                    So will the Yankees pay him $40 million to be a backup?

                    • Hardy

                      The Yankees pay $12M per year for their number 2 reliever. They can pay $12M per year for a player who is expected to play 100-120 games.

                    • Jesse

                      Just because the Yankees gave a stupid contract to Soriano doesn’t mean it’s fine and dandy to give a stupid contract to an injury prone, Boras client, 4th outfielder.

                    • MannyGeee

                      seems like a ton of money for anouther OF when you have 3 perfectly serviceable OF under contract.

                      And say what you want about Swisher in October, he is a very good RF for the money who is never hurt and hits very well all season long.

            • Not That Guy

              It’s not worth it to sign someone who can play at that level just to sit another solid starter every time he plays. That’s not how benches work. At the same time, the contract that Beltran would be asking for wouldn’t make his playing time worth it. Unless something happens to one of the three incumbents, Beltran patrolling YS2’s outfield in pinstripes is pure fantasy.

              You don’t put All Stars on the bench unless they’re that far past their primes. Beltran can still produce enough to accept a starting job with another team.

              Read the article. It should help make sense of what I said.

              • Hardy

                I’ve read the article. I see the point.

                Read my plan (again). Beltran should easily able to play 100+ games without interfering with the normal playing time of the other regulars.

                He wanted to play for the Yankees before. He has knee problems. Maybe 100-120 games at the favorite for the WS at a starter’s salary is exactly what he is looking for.

                • Not That Guy

                  Let’s take a look at the lineup (in no particular order):

                  1. Gardner
                  2. Jeter
                  3. Tex
                  4. Rodriguez
                  5. Cano
                  6. Granderson
                  7. Swisher
                  8. Montero
                  9. Martin

                  The fact is that using Beltran would require sitting one of those guys every single time he plays. And as a starter, he could get good, maybe better, money elsewhere with more playing time, something that starters with previous All Star appearances look for.

                  You’d be playing top money for a glorified bench player. That’s an inefficient use of team resources. The fact is, while the team does have its fair share of inefficiencies, adding this one to the preexisting issues (especially if Sabathia gets an extension) is just asking for trouble and limits the team’s financial flexibility.

                  Combine those two issues and you’d have a very stupid (no offense) and inefficient contract. It just doesn’t work that way in real life. You don’t field a bench headed by an All Star.

                  • Hardy

                    I think we have exchanged our arguments about signing Beltran in a vacuum. I see your points – they are all fair and well presented – but I disagree. Therefore, I would like to look at the bigger picture:

                    I have thought about the best plan for the Yankees offseason and I came up with the following: Sign CC, Wilson, Darvish and Beltran (and nobody else who is not yet in the organization).

                    You say that is an inefficient plan. That might certainly the case. But I would like to see your plan that is more efficient (more wins for the same (or fewer) costs or same (or more) wins for fewer costs).

                    • Not That Guy

                      All right, for one, go with CC, Wilson, and Darvish.

                      The first is a must, and while inefficient, he has the team by the proverbial balls.

                      Wilson is an intriguing option, and while there are some concerns as well as the strong possibility of him preferring Texas, he might make a solid rotation member.

                      Darvish is a question mark. The posting system means that the Yanks would have to pay a truckload to even talk to him, although the disappointment that is Matsuzaka could potentially affect this price. Thankfully, the posting fee isn’t counted in the payroll. Granted there are concerns that about Darvish adapting to a whole different (pardon the pun) ballgame. Still, the guy is a promising pitcher.

                      Another option for pitching would be to shore up the back of the rotation with another Freddy Garcia type who won’t cost too much (although that might be asking for much).

                      Until 2013 at least, the Killer Bs won’t be ready, although if the team is lucky, their other AAA starters should be able to audition. Hector Noesi deserves a fair look.

                      Re-sign Swisher for one more season at least, then sign a bunch of guys to build a formidable bench. With the aging lineup as it is, we need depth, depth that would be threatened by having an expensive bench player like Beltran.

                      There’s no guarantee of this ensuring more wins (after all, Boston really did look like a surefire AL East winner in April), but at the very least, it would allow for a more flexible payroll and a deeper bench, both of which are necessary to create an efficient team. A few years ago, I would have liked Beltran, but as things stand, he’s just no a good fit.

                    • Hardy

                      It’s easy to say “sign a bunch of guys”. But a plan needs names.

                    • Not That Guy

                      Here’s a hint: Beltran’s not one of them. Too expensive. Too many years.

                      I don’t have a database to look at right now due to my schedule, but the free agent market usually has its share of role players. I’m no expert when it comes to analyzing baseball stats, but the rules of probability suggest that the Yankees should be able to find some players to meet their bench needs.

        • Scully

          He’ll take an everyday job somewhere else.

          Plus his numbers at Citi Field .310/.405/.589/.994 show he can pretty much hit in any park in the league meaning a team like Oakland or Seattle which is desperate for offense could come calling.

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

      You mean we don’t actually have to watch the games now?

      • MannyGeee

        you suuuuuure don’t… Ask Red Sox Nation!

  • Mike K

    I think the number is more like $30M they’ll have to play with. So CC for $15M (back load the deal a little), and maybe Wilson for another $15M (less if any backloading). So the only issue is the lefty-masher, but I don’t think that’s as much of an issue this year as Montero should be able to do that, and Laird (fingers crossed) as well. I don’t think Hal will overrule Cashman if Cash asks for $3M to reup Jones, or find a comparable player, however.

    I really, REALLY wish Dan Brewer hadn’t been hurt so much last year. I think he projects as a perfect 4th OF for this team, but they lost a development year at AAA for him.

  • Realist

    CC, Wilson, Darvish and Beltran? That’s an asinine idea. These next few seasons the farm system has to come up big in regards to starting pitching. There’s no way around it. The amount of money invested into our position players is off the charts. We can’t continue giving out 16-20 million contracts. We have to offset that somewhere. And Cano didn’t even get an extension yet, so that’s another future 20 million per year. Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova need to step up and prepare themselves accordingly to be our #2 and #3 starters. Cashman will probably take another low risk, high reward shot with a starting pitcher and have him battle it out with Hector Noesi, Adam Warren, DJ Mitchel, David Phelps for that #5 spot.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      So it’s CC, Nova, Burnett, Hughes and one of Noesi, Warren, Mitchell, Phelps and some low risk guy?

      We have to bank Hughes is league average which is a big assumption at this point, bank that Burnett does better, bank that Nova continues with his performance and hope that someone steps up. Way too many ifs

      • Hardy

        Agree. It doesn’t make sense to pay ten players 150 million and then to start pinching pennies with half your rotation.

      • Ted Nelson

        I agree that they should consider a Yu, CJ, or trade target. At the same time, though, I also think they can probably make the playoffs again by re-signing CC and using their depth. Can always look on the trade market mid-season if need be. With that offense all you really need to make the playoffs is average pitching. This season they might have been a Nova forearm injury away from a deeper playoff run.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          Barring any injuries and acquisitions playoffs should still be in reach so I’ll agree that they’ll make it with that depth. But to win it all I’d like just one mroe quality starter. Someone like Danks.

          • Ted Nelson

            Yeah, I’d like another quality starter too. There’s just a limit to how much I’d overpay to get one is all I’m saying, especially since I think the fallback plan is pretty nice.

            • LiterallyFigurative


              I don’t see the point of overpaying for CJ Wilson (who’s only been a starter for two years) or Yu Darvish (who noone has actually seen).

              I know we Yankee fans like the sure thing (which doesn’t exist), but given the deep FA class of 2012, you’d be better off signing an innings eater like Buerhle to a short deal and hoping that Phil and Nova can continue their development.

              • MannyGeee

                Yu Darvish (who noone has actually seen).


                Actually alot of people have seen him. The ‘Better than Dice-K’ reviews are in.

                • LiterallyFigurative

                  He may be better than Dice-K, but that’s not saying much, especially when you add in posting fees.

                  And you are right, I should amend that statement to:

                  who 99.99% of us in this hemisphere have yet to see.

                  I’m just not a big fan of sinking big money into a pitcher you’ve yet to see face ML hitters consistently.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    “who 99.99% of us in this hemisphere have yet to see.”

                    That’s totally irrelevant. What’s relevant for the Yankees is what % of their scouts and decision makers have seen him and what they thought of him. Reportedly they’ve scouted him pretty extensively.
                    99.99% of the hemisphere hadn’t seen just about any MLB star before they became an MLB star.

                    Posting fees are not subject to the luxury tax, so Darvish could actually be relatively cheap.

                    There’s a difference between not wanting the Yankees to overpay too much, and not wanting them to pay for anyone without an extensive track-record. They’re generally safer, but guys with long MLB track-records blow up all the time.

                    • LiterallyFigurative

                      I don’t care about the accounting of the posting fee and luxury tax ramifications. The Yanks don’t either.

                      The track record of the two pitchers in question worries me. Wilson might be a “young” 31, but he’s still 31.

                      To me, it just makes more sense to be patient and wait for 2012 FA class and ManBan/Dellin to develop, than to go 5 years for CJ. In the market, he’ll get overpayed.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      The Yankees don’t care about how much money they’re spending on a player? Interesting theory…

      • Realist

        Lest we forget we went into the season with a rotation of CC Burnett Hughes Nova Garcia. Way too many ifs but look how that worked out. We can’t keep going out a throwing 15 million at this supposed quick fix pitchers. We’ve been doing this since 2000. Only one to work out for us was CC Sabathia. The Jaret Wrights, Carl Pavanos, Kevin Browns, AJ Burnetts of the world took our money and did no better for us than a Hector Noesi’s of the world. The guys that helped us through have been the ones no one wanted to take a chance or give an opportunity to, the Aaron Smalls, Shawn Chacons, Freddy Garcias of the world.

        Our problem this past postseason wasn’t pitching, it was timely hitting. We were put in positions to win all those games we just couldn’t hit the ball. Wilson/ Davish does us no good if we can’t put a run on the board or hit with runners in scoring position. How many more extras do you guys realistically think Wilson or Davish would supply us to justify the money they’d get. We’re still at 94 win team at the end of the day.

        • Hardy

          Yankees fWAR leaders from 2001:

          2001: Mike Mussina
          2002: Mike Mussina
          2003: Mike Mussina
          2004: Jon Lieber
          2005: Randy Johnson
          2006: Mike Mussina
          2007: Andy Pettitte
          2008: Mike Mussina
          2009: CC Sabathia
          2010: CC Sabathia
          2011: CC Sabathia

          All big-money signings.

          • Rick in Boston

            Not entirely true. Johnson was acquired in a trade, and Leiber was a low-cost pick-up who missed the prior year.

            • Hardy

              Johnson got a new contract by the Yankees to waive his NTC, so I would consider him a big-money signing (like Gonzalez for the Red Sox). But maybe your viewpoint is correct. My main point stands either way.

              Lieber was not paid like the other on the list but contract-wise he was still more Jaret Wright than Aaron Small.

          • Ted Nelson

            This doesn’t really address the conversation. It shows who has led the Yankees in pitcher fWAR historically… it doesn’t show who will lead them going forward or even begin to answer the question of who they should and should not acquire going forward.

            • Hardy

              It sure does address Realist’s point that “[…] since 2000 […] [t]he [big money pitchers] of the world took our money and did no better for us than a Hector Noesi’s of the world. The guys that helped us through have been the ones no one wanted to take a chance or give an opportunity to, the Aaron Smalls, Shawn Chacons, Freddy Garcias of the world.”

              And if someone wants to use his version of the last 10 years to argue for historical lessons regarding the best path forward, then whether this version is accurate or not certainly is relevant for the discussion about 2012 and beyond.

              • Ted Nelson

                Missed that point on “Realist’s” part…

              • Realist

                My point was we don’t need 3 16+ million starters for us to successful. We’ll always have that ace making that kind of money (Mussina, Sabthias, etc) but we don’t need to throw that money at anyone just for the sake of it. Got to give the young arms a shot to develop.

    • Ted Nelson

      We don’t have to do anything but cheer for the team. We are fans.

      The Yankees organization can decide how much it wants to spend. As individual fans we have little to no power over how much they choose to spend.

      You want Hughes and Nova to step up, that doesn’t mean they will. There is certainly an argument that the Yankees should hedge their bets a little.

  • Bummed and Rushed

    “I’m not sure who would replace Jones as the designated lefty masher.”

    Ummmm, Montero?

    • Jesse


  • your mom

    Tex, AJ, $ Arod = 70 million. Yikes!!!

  • theyankeewarrior

    Mike, I think the $200M budget is a myth. It’s much more like $225 (including the other 15 players on the 40-man and Feleciano, Marte buy-out etc.)

    Just think, if they got Cliff Lee last year, they would have been well over $200. Sure Soriano’s contract would not have happened, but I think they still would have signed Martin, etc.

    • Hardy

      Yes. Their 2011 opening day payroll was $207M. They were willing to spend $23M more on Lee. They would have paid Pettitte as much as Soriano. So the Yankees were willing to spend $230M in 2011. If you include a modest 2% inflation, they are at a limit of $235M in 2011, meaning there are $60M to work with. That will be enough for 3-4 major signings.

      • Mike K

        Now you’re getting into a lot of speculation. For one, you’re considering the AAV of Lee’s proposed deal. Though that’s what is used for tax purposes, they may have backloaded the Lee deal to keep the payroll lower in 2011. They may or may not have been willing to pay Lee as much as Soriano, and for all we know they were already assuming a Pettitte retirement when budgeting for Lee. Also, signing Pettitte would have precluded signing Garcia ($3.5M guaranteed I believe).

        I think the payroll “cap” is above $200M, which is why I added $5M above. But $230M+? Nope, not happening.

      • Ted Nelson

        That they can spend the money doesn’t mean they will or should. In all likelihood they’re going to be looking for value, not just rushing to throw $60 million at “3-4 major signings.” It could happen, but it’s very hard to imagine spending $10+ mill on a 4th OF when you already have one of the best starting OFs in MLB.

        • theyankeewarrior

          Right. So basically, on top of CC, arbitration raises, etc., they will have plenty of room to attack the pitching market to see if there is reasonable value there.

          Aka bidding on Yu

          Aka giving CJ 5/85


          • Ted Nelson

            Yeah, absolutely.

    • MannyGeee

      this team signs Cliff Lee, they do not sign Soriano Colon AND Garcia. maybe one of Colon/Garcia, but definately not Soriano.

      Did you count that subtraction of about 20M with the addition of $23M?

      • Hardy


        2011 plan: $23M Lee + $11.75M** Pettitte + $0.5M random middle reliever = $35.25M
        2011 actual: $10M Soriano + $1.5M* Garcia + $0.9M Colon = $12.4M

        $35.25M – $12.4M = $22.85M

        * It is my understanding that Opening Day Payrolls are based on the guaranteed part of the contract.
        ** 2010 salary

  • Sarah

    This may be crazy, but the Giants are in desperate need of a shortstop, and I just don’t see them spending the big money for Jose Reyes. Nunez could be a valuable trade chip in that situation – he’s shown he can hit and run, he’s got a good arm, and when he plays every day, the errors seem to diminish.

    Why not see if the Giants would trade a starter (most likely candidate is Sanchez) for Nunez and maybe Golson (they also need a decent CF)?

    • Hardy

      Sanchez is 29, was about league average for the last 4 years, is coming of his worst year in the majors and should make about $7-8M in arbitration. I don’t see how he is a real upgrade worth Nunez+.

      • Sarah

        In a perfect world, there’d be a better option but the Giants are not going to trade Cain, Lincecum or Bumgarner.

        • Hardy

          But Sanchez is at best a one win upgrade over Nova, Burnett or Hughes. Why would the Yankees pay $7M + Nunez + something else for that.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Yeah I’m not a fan of anyone with worse BB rates than AJ Burnett. Especially when they’re doing it in the NL West…

        • Sarah

          I’m not a huge Sanchez fan, but honestly, he’s cheaper than CJ Wilson, younger, has better “stuff,” etc. He’s not the worst option.

          I said it might be crazy, and apparently, it is. I guess if they could somehow swing a deal for one of the better starters…

    • http://deleted Total Dominication


    • MannyGeee

      you might get Zito for Nunez and Golson.

  • Cuso

    Posting fee doesn’t compute against the cap, though. They’re going to have much more bargaining power with Darvish than CJ (provided they win the posting fee).

    I get the sense that CJ is a guy we’d have to “convince” that he could handle the scrutiny in NY. You hear him talk about how he like pitching in the heat, hates the cold, hates rain.

    I’m not taking the overboard tack of saying he’s incapable of competing in NY. I just don’t like the idea of overpaying and outbidding everyone for this guy to “convince” him to be a Yankee.

    Do the Darvish, IMO.

    And (yes, here it comes) if you really need some extra cash to play with, don’t pick up Swisher’s option. $10.5M? Come on. He’s not THAT good. I don’t care about you “But, but, but he leads us in .OBP and he’s a great guy” BSers. He doesn’t bring that much. He defense is below-average (I didn’t say awful, okay?), he’s NOT a perennial 30-HR guy (29, 28, and 25 are NOT 30, folks) and he is completely (AND YES, I MEAN COMPLETELY) incapable of giving you a good at-bat in a critical situation.

    And the next argument I anticipate is “who can duplicate his production?” My answer would be, that you don’t need to. You have enough offense on this team tied up in huge contracts. I would try to trade for a young RF with potential upside that needs a change of scenery and who can actually get around in the outfield. (Domonoc Brown? Franklin Gutierrez? Trevor Crowe?)

    Get younger in RF, get someone you know can field and take a chance that K-LOng can develop the guys bat.


    • Mike K

      Swisher is worth a lot more than $10M a year. More like $15-$18M on a 1 year contract. Fortunately, Cashman realizes this, which is why he is *not* going to decline the option. If he needs the money, he *may* be willing to trade Swisher. Maybe a team like Philly is willing to take the sure thing in Swisher’s contribution over the uncertaintity Dominic Brown brings, and I wouldn’t be against that if the Yankees can also get something else back (IDK what w/o looking further). But declining the option would be stupid.

      • Not That Guy

        Actually, fielding metrics grade out Swisher as being average to above average. I think there was an article here a while back that noted Swisher’s improved defense.

        Besides, the idea of fielding the best team possible means holding onto the parts that can produce. It’s nice to trade for a good fielder with potential, but the fact is that Swisher is a decent fielder with a solid bat. Keep him for at least the coming season depending on what happens with Kemp.

        • Not That Guy

          Just to be clear, I was replying to Cuso.

      • Monteroisdinero

        Swish at 15-18M is about as nauseating as Arod at 30M. No way is he worth that. Now maybe if he could run or throw.

        He has been durable and healthy and if we could just sit him in the post season….

        • Nick

          Did you see how much Jason Bay and Jayson Werth signed for? Yeah, Swisher is worth 15-18 mil on the open market.

          • Monteroisdinero

            2 wrongs don’t make a right.

            • Ted Nelson

              The comment was never about how much the Yankees should pay Swisher. The comment you responded to was about how much he would likely get on the open market and how much his production over the past three seasons has been worth… has at least been worth the $10 mill he’s scheduled to make, arguably more.

              It’s interesting that you like guys like Golson who can run and throw but can’t hit a lick, but dislike guys like Swisher who can hit very well but are only average runners and throwers.

              • MannyGeee

                I agree. If Swisher gets declined, he EASILY makes $12 -14M a season on a long term contract…

                say what you want about his ‘unclutchyness’, he hits 25-29 HRs a season, plays an OK 1st base and ‘fits’ on this team.

                JD Drew has made $12.5M a season to be shitty since 2007. There’s a RF option for you.

    • Ted Nelson

      Swisher is a perennial 4 WAR player and his defense is pretty respectable.

      Domonic Brown is probably not coming cheap.

      Franklin Gutierrez is all of two years younger than Nick Swisher and can’t hit a baseball to save his life. He makes $5.5 mill next season and $7 mill the season after that.

      Trevor Crowe is three years younger than Swisher and has a career wOBA of .284 in 713 career MLB PAs.

      Get rid of Swisher and replace him with a worse player who is a couple of years younger? Really? Trevor Crowe or Franklin Guitierrez? Really?

      • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

        You’d be surprised who some people here want to Swisher with.

        • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

          *replace Swisher with.

        • Jesse

          Carlos Beltran!

          • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

            Remember his clutch game winning hit in game 7 of the 2006 NLCS??

            oh, wait…

            • Hardy

              22 games in 2004 and 2006 mean absolutely nothing for 2012-, but
              a) Carlos Beltran career postseason: .366/.485/.817, 11 HR in 101 PA,
              b) Carlos Beltran 2006 NLCS: .296./.387/.667, 3 HR,
              c) Carlos Beltran has never lost a LDS.

          • Dave B

            No! Dear God NO! Keep Swish in 2012 is the right mantra. Let’s not mess with our outfield success with injury prone guys. Besides, what about Swish’s intangibles? Don’t we all value them?

            • Jesse

              Sarcasm detector off?

              • Dave B

                No, but some of these postings are seriously recommending Beltran and it is insane to want to add a pile of cash to the payroll on a 4th outfielder/DH. I’ve seen the “get rid of Swish” postings on other sites, too.

                • Hardy

                  So maybe you could share your non-insane comprehensive offseason plan with us.
                  (Please also put a payroll and a win number on it.)

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    You know what? I am glad Lee was not signed. Did he help the Phillies get to or win the WS? No! The other thing is that he would have been pitching in the most powerful division in baseball. That is the reason that he did not sign. Instead he wentn over to the weaker league.

    • Rainbow Connection

      If he was on the Yankees, he wouldn’t be facing them. There goes your ‘most powerful division’ statement.

      • Mike K

        Not quite; he’d still have to face the Red Sox (#1 run scoring offense in baseball) and Blue Jays (#6, better than every NL team except the Cardinals). Even the Orioles and Rays scored more runs than all but 7 NL teams, and one of those 7 was the Phillies. Only NL East (besides Phillies) team which was better than the worst AL East team in run scoring was the Mets; Mets better than both Rays and O’s, but only by 10 and 11 runs, respectively. So yes, even taking the Yankees out of it Lee would have faced much stronger offenses in the AL East than he’s facing in the NL East.

    • AndrewYF

      I’d rather have Lee than Soriano.

    • Mr T.

      A contract can not be Judged until the end of that contract…there is still some time for Cliff Lee and the Phillies to win a WS…

  • Darren

    I take issue with the idea that CC might take less money because after this year, Mo’s salary is coming off the payroll. That would not be a good thing. This is not Igawa coming off the payroll.

    Let’s all hope and pray that Mo signs another two year deal after this year is done.

  • JD


    This is great work.

  • CountZero

    I remain unconvinced on the worthiness of pursuing CJ. Yeah, he’s had two great seasons in a hitters’ ballpark — no doubt. He also pitched nearly half his games against the light-hitting As, Angels and Mariners. And he still walks too many guys to be an elite starter IMO.

    At a reasonable price — sure. But I see him getting at least an AJ contract and I don’t want any part of that honestly.

    • Hardy

      He also had a great season as a reliever in 2009.

    • Mike K

      Back of envelope math using fWAR (5.9) for CJ Wilson and degrading at .7WAR per year, has him at about 18WAR over 5 years. At $5M per win that’s $90M. So I think 5/90 is very reasonable for Wilson. Now, if AJ has scared you away from that, then sure, I can understand. I think AJ may be a rather unique (head) case. But if Wilson gets AJ money, I think the Yankees should jump on it.

      • Ted Nelson

        I don’t know how unique AJ is… lots of pitchers decline for various reasons. If you look at all pitchers signed to long-term deal with aavs above $10 mill, you’re going to have a whole lot of busts: AJ, Lackey, Zito, Neagle, Hampton, Jaret Wright, Carl Pavano, Dice-K… on and on.

        I think CJ Wilson absolutely will get a deal in the 5-7 year $16-20 million per range, and based on the market I think most of those deals would be fairly reasonable (not so much 7 year $140 mill or something… but to a point). I just don’t think AJ Burnett is particularly unique as a SP who got a huge contract and failed to live up to it.

        • MannyGeee

          I don’t know how unique AJ is… lots of pitchers decline for various reasons.

          Funny, I do not look at AJ as ‘declining’… just as HOT & COLD as any player in the history of the game.

          Declining, to me, indicates that his ‘stuff’ is losing its… stuff. AJ has his stuff still, but cannot harness it, like he has been all his career.

        • Mike K

          No, I just think AJ Burnett is a rather unique individual. I think (and have read in other places) that people are leery of giving Wilson “AJ money” because they think the results will be the same.

          Wilson doesn’t share a lot of the problems that many of the ones you listed have. Only one good/healthy season, or having a recent history of injury issues/decline in peripherals. Giving Wilson a 5 year deal will quite likely look bad on the back-end of the deal, but I think the front-end he’ll earn the contract.

          • Ted Nelson

            You think AJ is unique, but haven’t provided any reasons why…

            As I say, the results of giving someone “AJ money” often are the same as with AJ.

            “Wilson doesn’t share a lot of the problems that many of the ones you listed have. Only one good/healthy season,”

            Those guys all vary pretty dramatically, the constant being that they got big deals they didn’t live up to. That list was the tip of the iceberg, there are tons more SP who got big deals and declined.

            Saying Wilson has a long track record as a starting pitcher seems really disingenuous given it’s been all of two seasons…

            “Giving Wilson a 5 year deal will quite likely look bad on the back-end of the deal, but I think the front-end he’ll earn the contract.”

            I absolutely think he will and should get a fat deal, and is likely to be a solid pitcher at least going forward. I also absolutely think that if you were as good at predicting decline as you make yourself out to be you’d be a very rich man working for an MLB team rather than commenting on this blog.

      • Mr T.

        How about 5 years 100M for CJ…would you still do that..?

        • LiterallyFigurative

          Heck no.

        • MannyGeee

          I would rather spend the 5/60 + 40M posting for Darvish. but its not my money.

        • Mike K

          Probably not, unless the last year was a non-vesting team option.

  • JohnC

    I think this is it for Mo. He says every year that it gets harder and harder for him to leave home when its time for ST. I think he grooms Robertson for 1 more year and then he takes over as the closer.

  • JohnC

    I’d be surprised if Wilson leaves texas to come here. Last year they went toe to toe with the Yanks to try and keep Lee, and they won’t have to go anywhere near as high to keep Wilson. I think he resigns with Texas if the money is close. They will also have serious competition for Darvish among Washington, Seattle, Texas and maybe even Toronto. They have to resign CC

  • Kevin M.

    Just because a a guys is on the 40 man roster doesn’t mean you owe him $500K a year. If he’s in the minors….like 15 of them have to be….then they don’t get a major league salary. So that’s another $7 million or so right there.

    • Jetrer

      they still get 100K + in the minors if they are on the 40. So it won’t be near $7M, especially with Brackman likely making 1M in the minors.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    Can you believe it? David Ortiz says he wants to play for us. I read it in the Post. I say NOOO. This guy is going on 37. He is using us as leverage against the Red Sox. We need young players not has beens.

    • Bartolo’s Colon

      if it weren’t for jesus and arod using all the dh at bats, this would could work out well, at least if we could sign him to a one year deal

      • Ted Nelson

        Yeah, agreed. He’ll be 36 next season (not 37 as the original poster suggests… at least is his listed birth date is correct) and is still an IS rather than a has been. He led all DHs in fWAR for 2011 and put up a BABIP of .405… which would have led all Yankees regulars.

        On a long-term deal he’d probably become a has been at some point, for a year or two would probably be a good sign.

        In the Yankees current situation, though, I agree that he doesn’t make any sense.

    • MannyGeee

      the only way this works is if Montero is your full time C and Russell Martin is no longer with the team.

      Truth be told, in a bubble I would not be against signing Ortiz, unfortunately he does not fit into this team as currently constructed.

  • Bartolo’s Colon

    I say sign CC and make a strong push at darvish, then attempt to find a solid bench player (3b preferably). That is all the yanks need. the posting fee will be alot, but it seems that the yearly commitment won’t be crazy. as much as swisher pisses me off, he is, without a doubt, the best option for 2012, hope he has a huge walk year, then let the angels or some team pay him for his mid thirties. please don’t trade jesus and give arod a lot of days at dh!


    I dont understand why you guys keep pushing Laird for the bench, and not Jorge Vazquez? This year in trips in just about the same amount of AB’s, Laird had a lower average, 16 less Home Runs(by the way Chato broke franchise record with 32 and led the Int Lg) 25 less RBI, 94 points lower in SLG%, 26 less OPS, AND LESS WALKS!!! 17 to Chato’s 30!! And, yes Jorge strikes out, but if you look at his game log every time Pena, Laird, Dickerson, etc was called up for ARod, and Chavez and not him, that is when he went in to a slump and started K’ing a lot. He will strike out a lot, but not that much in the ML’s when he is totally focused. He worked so hard, and did so well. It is hard to keep focus when everyone far inferior to you is being called up even after you have more than proved yourself. How would you feel. They complained about his defence and he worked on it. Over 800 chances and .993% at third, and mostly first. Laird is an avg AAA 3b at best. .968%, and .975% at first and mostly third. Chato has a very good arm, he used to catch. He is very playable at 1b n 3b off the bench! In the majors Laird looked lost. He will still not be ready next year. Small sample, but in 11games hit a bad .190 and .969%. Chato is more than ready and he has proven it. 10yr dominant career in AAA Mex lg from when he signed AT 16YR OLD!! He was rated the #1 hitter in the country. In Mexico he is like Matsui is to Japan. Gatorade Ads and all. Was cleanup hitter for National Team for years. Played in the WBC in 09(1st AB a 500ft Grand Slam!!) Last yr was Carrib World Series MVP. And look what he did in Spring, lead the team in hitting. Look who was backing up third this year..Pena .911%, and Nunez .928%. Chato can do better than that!! Not to mention insain power off the bench. Chavez 2hr all year. That is what we needed off the bench in the playoffs. He would have helped! Every winter he and Nelson Cruz had the same stat line. I think the Rangers are happy they gave Cruz a chance!! I am done venting…. Give Chato a chance for God sakes. So what if he isnt on 40man. Plenty of players on it that shouldnt be on it.
    Peace V

    • Monteroisdinero

      Hip Hip Jorge! (the other one)

    • Mike K

      I’ve personally seen Vazquez play in about 20 games in AAA the past two years. He’s a hacker like Alfonso Soriano, but without the bat control. He won’t hit major-league pitching. Also, he’s NOT a third baseman. He’s also not a first baseman, but at least he can stand near the bag and catch balls thrown to him. He’s also I believe 29, so is probably already on the downward path.

      Laird can play a fine 3B (stop quoting fielding pct), and a very good 1B. He can also handle corner OF spots if needed. He’s got as much raw power as Vazquez, or close enough anyway, and at his age he can still gain more, plus learn better plate discipline.

    • Jose M. Vazquez..

      No relation but I agree he should be given a chance. He can play some third (not great) and first (good enough) plus he is a power right hand bat and cheaper than Jones. He could probably learn to play some outfield also. This another way to get younger.

    • MannyGeee

      hopefully you realize that the defensive black hole, big bat first Yankees are far gone… sorry for Jorge, but I cannot see him sticking with the big club.

  • miles davis

    Swisher in 2012, Kemp in 2013. YAY!

  • Mr T.

    If i’m the Yankees i try trading Swisher…to any team even in the AL east for a young pitcher,prospect or otherwise,who i think can out perform Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett…i plug him into the rotation and move Hughes to the bullpen because i don’t like Hughes as a starter(duribility issues).I pick up Michael Cuddyer,he is probably signable at 12mill a year for 3 years…which means he’s tradable next season if Kemp hits free agency…even if the Yanks have to move him with some cash…of course i try to resign CC and maybe pickup CJ if the price isn’t to high,but i wouldn’t mind Roy Oswalt or Mark Buerle if they don’t ask for no trade clauses…gives them flexibility for 2013…

    • Ted Nelson

      It’s certainly an option, but Cuddyer is almost a full fWAR worse than Swisher even in his career-year 2011.

  • MannyGeee

    Give me CC back… ONE of CJ or Yu, and another stopgap pitcher (Freddy?) and a 4OF (Golson/Dickerson would do) and we are set to pop in 2012. got a Nunez/Laird utility infield core, a Golson/Dickerson 4OF core, and a backup in C/Primary DH in Montero.

    Worry about 2013 in 2013. A whole metric shit ton of young guys that can be considered then.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    Of course I like Laird too . He definitely deserves a place on the roster as does Golson,Dickerson or Maxwell. Look at the Tigers. They beat us with youngsters on the bench except maybe Betemit who is not so old.

  • PortlandYankee

    For all this talk of the Yankees’ $200 million payroll limit, it’s been closer to $210 3 of the last 4 years. So let’s call it $35 million to play with.

    I also question whether the Steins are thinking in terms of 25- or 40-man roster. If it’s the 25, that’s more like $45 million.

    $25 CC
    $15 Darvish
    $2.5 long man (Noesi or Phelps)/6th inning guy (Wade)/2nd lefty
    $1 Cervelli/Nunez
    $5 Andruw Jones/”Eric Chavez” (Laird’s bat is nowhere near MLB ready).

    That’s about $215 for the 25-man, which is how I think this whole thing plays out.

    I would also see how the closer market prices out after Madson, Papelbon & Bell, then think about eating some of Soriano’s salary for a couple of B-prospects (for example, sending him to the Dodgers) if they really need the flexibility.

    • Brian S.

      PSA isn’t good enough for you? You have to cheat on us with RAB?

    • Ted Nelson

      ”Eric Chavez” = Eduardo Nunez

      • PortlandYankee


        Eduardo Nunez is a RH 3B/SS who charitably is not a good fielder.
        Eric Chavez is a LH 3B/1B who still flashes skill with the glove.

        1. Chances are, the Yankees will need both these guys on the roster (when Jeter & A-Rod are inevitably injured at the same time).
        2. They do substantially different things (one is a defensive replacement, the other isn’t; one is LH depth, the other is RH). If it’s not Chavez, it’s going to be Brandon Laird (bad choice, needs a year in AAA), or maybe a Wilson Betemit (better choice, bad glove).

        • Ted Nelson

          I think you’re underselling Nunez. It’s not his glove at all… he flashed more glove work than most 3B with his range… it’s his throwing and to a lesser extent his lack of familiarity at 3B. He actually posted identical #s against RHP as Chavez: .297 wOBA vs. .298.

          It’s not every season the Yankees have a Chavez. Maybe he comes back or they find common ground with a Casey Blake or whoever… but it’s not every season you have a veteran LHH utility IF. And often when you do they’re no better than Nunez (if he cuts the throwing errors at least a little) anyway.

  • BGrider85

    I think it’s laughable that people are in favor of not picking up Swisher’s option because of a hit he didn’t get. We win the ALDS, this would be an entirely different conversation. $10.5 million is very reasonable for someone that will hit 25-30 home runs, have a respectable OBP, and play serviceable right field. Someone Michael Cuddyer…really? He’d cost more, want more years and maybe give you a similar performance.

  • BGrider85

    Someone suggested **

  • Grover

    I think some of you missed the gist of Mike’s post. I took “something has to give” at the end as the payroll being too high despite the contracts of Posada, Igawa and Marte coming off the books. By resigning CC for similar annual dollars the Yanks will be left with very little money with rookies on the bench and a shortage of depth in the starting staff and pen. I added the pen because Ayala’s innings need to be picked up.

    • PortlandYankee

      This only works if you accept Mike’s accounting. I, for one, do not.

      1. It depends on a definition of “roster” that I don’t believe the FO shares. For example, it’s not clear to me that the FO will count Feliciano’s $4 million (or Igawa’s in the past), or the 40-man salaries as part of their “cap”. I think most of this talk of “spending limits” is for show for MLB’s benefit, to prevent a hard cap.

      2. Even if we agree on the 40-man as the definition, it’s setting an arbitrary cap that historically has not been honored by the FO. If the FO thinks that $215 million is what it takes to put the best team on the field, they’ll spend that.

  • ro

    I think Cashman has more up his sleeve than we are led to believe.


    What if there was discussion about restructuring Arod’s contract for the remaining 6 years? He is getting paid $29mm next season, not $30mm unless I read wrong. After the 2014 season it drops quite a bit down to $21mm. What if something could be restructured that defers payments to after he retires. He has $143mm total remaining. What if the annual value was reduced to about $19mm per year. It’s about $17.5 when divided up for 8 years. He will still have signed the largest contract in history, he doesn’t lose anything there and my belief is that he would be amenable to doing something like this. He might do himself the favor of not having to play to the contract and the criticism that is sure to follow over these next 6 years. Getting paid $17.5mm still isn’t great, but much better than $29mm.


    Yeah I know, I’m crazy. I’m the minority when I say I like AJ and think he’s a good pitcher. Emphasis on “good” and not intelligence. He’s just a likable dumb guy. Anyway, you rarely here negativity about his “stuff” and when it boils down to it, that is what you want the pitcher to have. Josh Johnson is incredible, but let’s face it, seeing him for 12 appearances every season isn’t very rewarding. AJ would do very well in the NL. I just know it. He’s not a #1, but he’s a legitimate #3 on the Padres, Pirates, even the Cubs. Nationals, Marlins (again), even the Met’s. Just so many teams that need pitching. AJ has been durable, healthy and despite his massive shortcomings, has eaten a ton of innings. So….?

    He’s not being moved straight up, but Cashman kicking in $10mm-$12mm isn’t too farfetched. AJ for $10mm-$11mm for 2 years is fine. Perhaps closer to $8mm or $9mm is better, but $10mm is Malhom, Chen and Kazmir territory, so..?


    Pick up his option and trade him to the Braves and perhaps the 10 other teams that would likely be interested. He’s not going to get back top of the shelf stuff, but decent prospects and this is where Cashman can get creative and get a third team involved. Maybe we give up a guy like Kontos, Mitchell, or even Warren in addition to Swisher.

    Could be a savings of $31.5mm btw these three. Allocate that to 1 new pitcher (Darvish?) and the rest to whatever other moving parts. I’d rather see the Yankee’s make the Swisher trade and sign Darvish these days. He’s gone after 2012 anyway. We’re not going to resign him as he’ll be getting older (why I’m not a fan of Beltran either). I’ve been vocal about trading Montero in a package for someone like Gio G, but not sure anymore. Joe or Mike wrote that compelling article the other day about Montero and I have to agree that he’s better here now.

    • PortlandYankee

      Don’t forget Soriano.

      • ro

        Unlike the moves I listed above there is nothing the Yankees can do with Soriano other than hope he opts out or pitch him.

    • ro

      Some edits:

      “Getting paid $17.5mm still isn’t great, but much better than $29mm.”

      Paying Arod $17.5mm per year isn’t great, but much better than $29mm.

      “He’s not being moved straight up, but Cashman kicking in $10mm-$12mm isn’t too farfetched. AJ for $10mm-$11mm for 2 years is fine. Perhaps closer to $8mm or $9mm is better, but $10mm is Malhom, Chen and Kazmir territory, so..?”

      Cashman kicking in $10mm-$12mm total bringing the remaining owed to $20mm-$22mm. $10mm – $12mm per year. Although many people may feel he’s no better than an $8mm – $9mm a year pitcher.

    • Hardy

      The $30M for A-Rod are $29M in salary plus $1M pro-rated signing bonus.