Dec
27

Why not pursue Hiroki Kuroda?

By

For a while we’ve waited for the Yankees to make a move. They’ve made a couple, sure, and one was quite the splash. But none of the moves really changed the outlook for 2012. Since Brian Cashman probably didn’t mean “Freddy Garcia, Freddy Garcia, Freddy Garcia,” when he declared the team’s needs for the off-season, we continue to wait. Yet with each passing day it seems less and less likely that the Yankees make a move for a starting pitcher.

Those chances seemed even slimmer yesterday, when ESPN New York reported that the Yankees won’t bid on Hiroki Kuroda. This follows a period when the Yankees denied a connection with Kuroda. While by every indication they do like Kuroda, he just doesn’t appear to fit into their budget. That has, in some ways understandable, inflamed the ire of Yankees fans.

The issue isn’t necessarily with the $12 million base salary Kuroda seeks. In fact, for a one-year deal that’s a more than reasonable rate. The issue is the additional cost they bear. Since they’re over the luxury tax, each additional contract they sign actually costs them 40 percent extra. That turns Kuroda’s $12 million into $16.8 million in total expenditures. It’s an unfortunate situation, but it’s one the Yankees currently face.

It’s still likely, though, that the Yankees could, if they were so inclined fit Kuroda into the budget. They can definitely use another starter, and Kuroda has a very fine four-year MLB track record. Brian Cashman has said in the past — even as recently as this November — that he can takes cases for payroll increases to Hal Steinbrenner for approval. If Cashman can make a compelling case, Hal would make an exception. Yet can Cashman really make a compelling case for Kuroda?

Cashman might like Kuroda. Billy Eppler might like Kuroda. Even Hal himself might like Kuroda. But that doesn’t mean he warrants making a payroll exception. Exceptions come for pitchers like Cliff Lee, who don’t hit the market open. The Yankees were willing to make an exception for him last year, though it didn’t work out. Can Cashman really justify making a similar case for Kuroda?

Let’s just say that Cashman can and does make a compelling case for Kuroda, and Hal makes the payroll exception. That pretty much ties the Yankees’s hands financially. It might seem as though they have unlimited funds, but they clearly do not. Hal has said no before — see the proposed Mike Cameron trade from July, 2009 — and he’ll likely say no after bringing in Kuroda. That means Justin Maxwell as the righty outfielder off the bench. That means no other fringe improvements. Most importantly, it means no in-season improvements.

That is to say, the idea behind not pursuing Kuroda could be with an aim to stay as flexible as possible going forward. The Yankees do have five starters, and they do have a rotation full of worthy kids in AAA. There’s a case to be made, especially from those who want the kids to get a shot, that holding onto that money is good in two ways. It means that the kids will get a shot to prove themselves earlier in the year, and it means that the Yankees can afford to make in-season improvements if available and necessary.

Think about it this way, too. The Yankees have a ton of money already tied up in the 2013 payroll. Not only do they have the $127 million listed on their Cot’s page, but they have an additional $26 million for Cano and Granderson, plus three third-year arbitration players, plus holes at a few positions. And while a few pitchers from the free agent class have been locked up, the Yankees still might want to have some funds earmarked for them. Doesn’t it make some sense to show restraint with Kuroda if it means making an exception for a superior pitcher who will be around for longer?

It’s certainly frustrating to see the Yankees turn down short-term options due to financial constraints. They are, after all, a veritable money making machine. But even the Yankees have their limits. Apparently they have reached them, or are at least approaching them. Being prudent might hurt right now, but for all we know it could be part of something bigger. At the very least, it could help keep opportunities open that wouldn’t be otherwise.

Categories : Hot Stove League

154 Comments»

  1. nick says:

    It’d be understandable if the money were going anywhere but the pockets of the Steinbrenners, the Levines, the Trosts, etc. This team could have a $300M payroll if they really wanted to (not that I really want such a thing or think it’s realistic), but they’re pinching pennies like some hack small market owner. The Main section prices went up, and prices will go up again despite the fact they got a sweetheart deal from the city and they already make hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s a disgrace.

    • theguy says:

      Absolutely agree.

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

      I absolutely agree. They’re just like all those other small market teams that are trying to get their payrolls under $189 million. Exactly 100% just like them.

    • Esteban says:

      Oh you know all the operating costs and revenues that Yankees have. Also nice of you to be generous with other people’s money. $189 Mil is not enough for a payroll these days I guess.

    • BK2ATL says:

      So, should the Yankees continue to fund other teams’ spending sprees through the Yankees’ annual luxury tax contribution and revenue sharing??? When does enough become enough?

      I kinda agree with being prudent and making Cashman ALSO tap into their farm system to replenish talent, rather than the previous only tactic of just buying talent.

      Forget Kuroda. Last year when we wanted him at the trade deadline, he didn’t want to leave LA. Fuck it now. Who really knows how he would’ve fared against the offenses of Boston, Toronto, Tampa and Baltimore on a regular basis, as opposed to those of San Diego, San Fran, Arizona and Colorado. Approx. $17 million/yr? No thanks. I’d love to see him pitch repeatedly in that bandbox in Boston.

      We have talent in-house like Hughes (cheap), Noesi (cheaper), and even AJ (unfortunately our high-priced burden), who could reasonably keep us in games and get us at least to the 6th inning, where our bullpen would take over.

    • Need Pitching says:

      “they already make hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars.”

      or about $25M/year according to Forbes (Yankees only, not including YES)
      http://www.forbes.com/lists/20.....34613.html

      YES is highly profitable in addition to that $25M/year, but the Steinbrenner group is only a minority owner, and it’s been reported that YES is currently using most of its profits to pay down their $1B+ in debt

      It’s not as if the Yankees have 100′s of millions in free cash sitting around available to spend on payroll

      The only way the could currently swing a $300M payroll is if they added to the billions in debt they already carry

    • Joeguard says:

      George is turning over in his grave seeing what this group is doing to his team. Hal and his sister is more interested in putting money in their pockets then the team and Cashman has always been an ass kisser, that how he keeps his job not by the moves he makes. They are not going to see me at their games this year, you will not see Hal there ether he don’t care about the team.

    • Rainbow Connection says:

      It’s already embarrassing to see them booted from the ALDS with a $200 million payroll. Making it higher will just be more embarrassing.

      • gc says:

        Just to see where your standard of embarrassment is…the Phillies had an $175M payroll and got booted from the NLDS (being out-PITCHED no less!). Would you consider that an embarrassment?

    • dan gen says:

      you said it all,the yanks want to make their fans pay up without going the xtra mile…total disgrace!

  2. It'sATarp says:

    Why the fuck did they sign Freddy Garcia so early on then? It’s looking like a borderline moronic move. If Cashman hadn’t gotten his extension already, i’d be calling for his head based on how they’ve operated this off season.

    • It'sATarp says:

      Also banking on a future pitcher that may or may not come is really dumb too. See Cliff Lee..

      • Kevin Winters says:

        Don’t worry everyone believes Cain ans Hamels will not sign extensions and the Yankees will expand the payroll to sign one of them.

        Signed

        The fan that believes everything will work out.

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

      You undervalue Freddy Garcia. Garcia can actually be a valuable contributor to the rotation for more than just one season.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Have you seen the other pitching contracts handed out this offseason? He’s a bargain compared to the Capuanos and Harangs and Chens of the pitching world.

      • jsbrendog says:

        ughhh bruce chen, i think i just threw up in my mouth a little.

      • BK2ATL says:

        Something that seems to escape many, along with the fact that CJ Wilson was not on our radar, nor really was he on Texas’.

        While I would’ve liked to have Darvish, no way would it have been at that final price.

        Gio Gonzalez and Mat Latos were very costly in prospects. Now imagine the perceived Yankee markup on either of those.

        Steady Fredy is an absolute bargain compared to what’s going on in the market.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          Right, by no means is Freddy great. But he’s a solid pitcher at a bargain price (in dollars and years) compared to his peers.

          • It'sATarp says:

            I just rather spend the money we gave him on a one year deal on oswalt or Kuroda who both are better than Freddy. It’s a dumb move seeing as how fast they jumped on Freddy rather than waiting of the Market to play out. The 5 milish we gave Freddy could have gone to paying a portion of the contracts of those guys. Freddy was solid last season but i would not want to bank on him doing it again, especially with better options.

            • Dave203 says:

              The problem is you are making the assumption that if they didn’t sign Freddy, the $13 million for Kuroda was still doable. I don’t think we were even in the market for another $13 million pitcher. Freddy with his incentive based contract is the ultimate bargain. He only gets $4 million plus up to another $1.575 million based upon # of starts. You make the bold claim that Kuroda/Oswalt will be better than Freddy, but that is no guarantee either. The typical pitching jumps an full pt going from the NL to the AL, so that can even them out substantially. If you’re going to pay a pitcher 3-4x the price, you better be getting someone substantially better.

            • BK2ATL says:

              You wouldn’t bank on Fredy, but you’re gonna bank on Oswalt at possibly double what Fredy signed on for???

              Unreal.

              • It'sATarp says:

                Go compare what Kuroda and Oswalt did in the past 4 years to what Freddy as done. This year was the best year Freddy has had since 2006 and it only matches Oswalt and Kuroda’s worst years in the past 4 year.

  3. Tyrone Sharpton says:

    The fuck. These bitches are weighting for nxt yr. ALCS this yr

  4. Whozat says:

    Shouldn’t this be a two word article?

    “Rafael soriano”

    That’s the reason. Randy levine spent the Kuroda money.

  5. Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

    ….or maybe they don’t think KURODA is worth the money he’d cost, and are actually willing to spend the money in places where it’d actually be spent well.

    I’m convinced Randy Levine is tied up and gagged in a janitor closet somewhere.

    I was mostly reading on my IPhone during the holidays and observing the typical overreaction that seems to be the norm on here lately when it dawned on me that I don’t think I’ve ever been upset at the Yankees NOT making a move. I’ve only been upset when they’ve actually made a move I didn’t like (Vazquez #2, for example. Was never a fan of that.) Showing some sort of prudence, though, or just simply not wanting the player enough as another team? Never raised my ire. Ever.

    • jsbrendog says:

      with you 100% (except i thought the javy 2.0 wasnt a bad move at the time knowing what we knew then for the runner up or second runner up to the nl cy young, but this is irrelevant) on this one. this is why i hate yankee fans. the entitlement and oh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah the yankees didnt sign everybody!!!11!11!!1

      theyre trying to be a real team and build for the longterm within a stable infrastructure instead of throwing cuation ot the wind and doing whatever the fuck they want.

      here ends my rant.

      • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

        I think most Yankee fans are perfectly reasonable people who don’t threaten harikari when the team isn’t making big, flashy moves in the off-season. Like with everything out there, the most vocal aren’t in the majority, and it’s not as exciting to write “yeah, I’m just sitting here waiting for the season to start” in the comments section of a Yankee blog.

        Both the prospect of not making a major move, and the potential of holding onto a prospect that might turn out to not be what you expected, seem to be the things that get too many people in a tizzy, both are things that just have never upset me, and I’ve been watching the team for thirty years. I’ve seen a ton of shitty prospects and trades/FAs which never happened.

      • WayneD says:

        RE: ?waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah the yankees didnt sign everybody!!!? and “theyre trying to be a real team and build for the longterm . . . ”

        jsbrendog post is one of the silliest in a long time. Yankee fans aren’t crying or even complaining because the Yankees failed to “sign everybody,” they’re pissed because they haven’t signed ANYONE or traded for anyone that would improve us in 2012.

        The second silly statement was indicating that the Yankees are finally, he seems to be saying, building for the future. Really? Let’s see:

        Our Future HOF shortstop was homegrown.

        Our Future HOF reliever, the greatest reliever in history, was home grown.

        A possible HOF catcher (Posada) was homegrown.

        One of the top lefties of the past decade (Andy) was homegrown.

        A possible HOF center fielder (Bernie) was home grown.

        One of the best young relievers in baseball (Robertson) was home grown.

        And a hitter people are comparing to some of the best hitters today (Montero) was home grown.

        Bottom line is this: No one complains when the Phillies, Rangers or Angels go nuts spending money. No one smugly says, those teams are trying to buy a pennant.

        No, they get lauded for trying to improve their teams. But the Yankees, oh, they’re somehow “cheating” and doing something no other team even dreams of doing when they sign a high-priced player.

        I’m sick of listening to that constant harangue. And I’m tired of no one ever pointing out that the Yankees need to pay their players 15-20% more because NYC is the most expensive place in MLB to live: a million bucks in KC buys you a mansion, while it’ll only buy you a loft in Manhattan.

        I don’t know why the Yankees and teams like Boston haven’t demanded that the luxury tax figure be adjusted for the cost of living in each MLB city.

        The Marlins, for example, kept citing the lack of a state income tax as part of their sales pitch to the players they were interested in, which shows that the cost of living is a factor in signing players, in some cases; and, thus, that factor should be factored into the luxury tax threshold.

        • Steve says:

          With the exception of a reliever and a guy who has played a month in the majors you’re citing examples of players developed almost 20 years ago. Granted, you could cite Cano and Gardner, but how long can the team (and Cashman especially who was not in the picture at the time) coast on those achievements?

        • jsbrendog says:

          cool story bro, tell it again. in 2003.

        • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

          Jeez. A lot I agree and disagree with there.

          I think the Yankees have been incredibly smart in working in homegrown players without full-on rebuilding since the Chuck Cary All-Stars gave way to the Core Four.

          I also think this argument is as old as dirt. I’ve been listening to the “but we’re the YANKEES and the YANKEES ALWAYS ARE OUT TO WIN” versus “let the kids play” since the 1980′s. We are treading no new ground. These camps exist and will always exist.

          I assume that, in Pittsburgh or Kansas City, they argue over concessions and who they’ll trade away first with the same vigor.

        • Joe says:

          There’s this guy named Sabathia…. you may have heard of him?

          I know most Yankees fans just assume he would extend (much like most assumed Cliff Lee would be had for enough money), but if he really does opt out I wonder what folks would be thinking.

        • viridiana says:

          “I don’t know why the Yankees and teams like Boston haven’t demanded that the luxury tax figure be adjusted for the cost of living in each MLB city”

          Frankly, I don’t understand why the Yankees haven’t brought legal action against Selig and MLB for sticking their paws deep into Yankee pockets. Revenue sharing, luxury tax, reverse draft, new CBA. It never ends. This management is very docile, it would seem.

        • Rainbow Connection says:

          Edit yourself, dude.

  6. Mark L says:

    I recently spoke with someone in a position to be quite familiar with the Yankees organizational finances. Long story short is that the team is in a lot worse financial shape than most people realize. The stadium was at least $300 million over budget and they overestimated how much they could bring in through their various special suite packages and sponsorships. Based on pure speculation, it would seem that the team will try to keep the payroll frozen around its current level of $185-195 million for the foreseeable future. For 2012, I would be surprised if the team were able to add more than $7-8 million in additional payroll through the end of the offseason.

    Also worth noting is that, while the Yankees are a pretty sound investment, we don’t know for sure how the other components of the Steinbrenner portfolio have been performing over the last three years.

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

      ….or they just see a marketplace this year in which players are getting contracts their performance does not warrant and are finally drawing a line in the sand as to who they’ll give what to.

      That doesn’t discredit what you’re saying, but I am with the crowd who believes that, if the situation called for it, they’d take on a payroll number higher than what they envisioned. I just don’t think they see it and, as much as I like the idea of Kuroda or Oswalt, they may not think that sort of short-term cushion will make that big a difference.

    • Kevin Winters says:

      Yet they overpaid a reliever to be in an over stacked bullpen. And the only reason they made the move was because they needed a shiny new toy.

    • dan gen says:

      who give a…..,then,sell the team for billion plus and get somone whowants to win at all costs….this team is old and not built to win without better starters.

  7. thurdonpaul says:

    Maybe we should start a collection for Hal & Hank….(im kidding).Until proven otherwise, I trust the decisions of the front office,we Yankee fans have been pretty spoiled for a long time. Lets have some faith in management that it knows what its doing.

  8. Platano Man says:

    Yes, Freddy Garcia is very under-appreciated that’s why I can’t wait to see him start game 2 of the ALCS next season. Also it’s good to see a bunch of ACES waiting for their chance to come at AAA. Before I forget Burnett we should expect AJ Burnett to finish again in the top 5 in the CY Young voting.Oops how can I forget to mention that Hughes and Nova are the closer to being the surest thing in the MLB than anyone else!!!

    P.S

    Don’t forget that our will take us again to the promise land like it did in 2011!!!!

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Maybe you’re new to baseball, but if necessary, teams can actually make trades during the season in hopes of upgrading. Shocking, right?

    • jsbrendog says:

      I don’t like you. I’m going to call you Jimmy.

    • Ana says:

      We had the best record in the AL in 2011…

      • Kevin Winters says:

        True but 2012 is a new year.

        • jsbrendog says:

          in 2011 offseason everyone said the yankees and cashman sucked for not getting cliff lee and colon and freddy wouldnt get us to the playoffs…

          just saying.

          • Bruce Bruce says:

            And it worked out but that doesn’t mean they’ll get lucky again.

            • Mike Axisa says:

              When you’ve made the playoffs 14 times in 15 years, it’s probably not luck.

              • BK2ATL says:

                What do you mean “it’s probably not luck?” That one time shoulda been a shoo-inn for #27 (at the time)…..we shoulda won #29 this year….(paraphrasing)

                Fire Cashman???? Yeah let’s go out and get Billy Beane, Andrew Friedman, Jon Daniels, Alex A. or Jack Z…none of whom have ever won shit (WS). No wait, Theo??? Let’s see how much of a genius he really is now. Alex A. just bid $52 million just to speak to a pitcher who’s never thrown one pitch in MLB, THEN has to sign him long-term…. Jon Daniels actually won the bid….Geniuses.

                I’ll gladly stick with Cashman. You’re right, it’s probably not luck. He knows what he’s doing.

              • dan gen says:

                you are not a true fan…if you are satisfied with that…mr.g. set the standaard…who the hell are you to limit it…

              • ahinds says:

                so george stienbrenner getting suspended for how many years? was not luck. if he kept in charge the yankees would not have made the playoffs those 14 years. I think the yankees got very lucky with him being gone. I think this would be an interesting thing for this blog to comment on.

      • Rainbow Connection says:

        Cool.

  9. Platano Man says:

    Yes, Freddy Garcia is very under-appreciated that’s why I can’t wait to see him start game 2 of the ALCS next season. Also it’s good to see a bunch of ACES waiting for their chance to come at AAA. Before I forget Burnett we should expect AJ Burnett to finish again in the top 5 in the CY Young voting.Oops how can I forget to mention that Hughes and Nova are the closer to being the surest thing in the MLB than anyone else!!!

    P.S

    Don’t forget that our rotation will take us again to the promise land like it did in 2011!!!!

    • nsalem says:

      If you were actually watching you would know that it wasn’t the starting rotation that knocked us out of the playoffs in 2011.

      • radnom says:

        I hate this argument, but it gets repeated around here ad nauseum, even by RABbis on occasion.

        When did it start to make sense that offseason planning should be based around a 5 game sample size? Only because it defends the team/Cashman?

        Just because the starting rotation wasn’t an issue in a random short series at the end of the year doesn’t mean that its not (by FAR) the weakest part of the team moving forward.

        This argument is completely moronic. As we all know, anything can happen in a short series. But that doesn’t mean putting together a weak rotation and hoping for the best is the most optimal strategy.

        • nsalem says:

          I didn’t think the starting rotation was weak in the playoffs and I didn’t think it was weak over the 162 game season last year. I also don’t think it will be weak next year. There have been many World Series won with rotations worse that this years Yankees Even those with short attention spans won’t have to go to far back to find them. What actually gets repeated ad nauseum and incorrectly is that our pitching is weak. So there

        • Mike Axisa says:

          No one is claiming that the rotation isn’t an issue going forward. nsalem is just refuting the point that the rotation is why they lost in the ALDS last year.

          • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

            I actually read it as radnom did the first time around but, yep, it can totally read the other way as nsalem rightfully meant it as well.

            • nsalem says:

              Considering the potency of our offense and bullpen I t think our starting rotation deficiencies (most notably the lack of a true number 2) did not cost us last year and will not cost us this year. if our starters were backed by the Padres or the Giants it may be a problem, but not so much with this team. What we lacked in quality (starting rotation wise) we made up in quantity and I have confidence we will five four others besides CC that can deliver quality starts. Would it be nice to have another quality arm? Of course but to trade for one we would had to have given up a Banuelos or Montero, to me one year of Danks wasn’t worth it. To overpay for an FA like Buerhle or Jackson and get into a long term agreements we may regret also is not worth it. My points are that the Yankees are on the right track in the way they are developing arms and that our lack of a number 2 did not cost us anything last year and may very well not this year. Though I don’t think my point was moronic I understand Random’s frustration and though I disagree i do see his point. Personally I think we will be fine this year without that major addition to the pitching staff.

          • radnom says:


            nsalem is just refuting the point that the rotation is why they lost in the ALDS last year.

            Was he? Please point out where in the comment he responded to that Platano Man insinuated that fact. He didn’t. His point is completely irrelevant to discussions regarding this offseason’s potential pitching acquisitions, which is clearly the topic of this thread.

        • Kevin Winters says:

          Good point it’s like ppl assume this season will be the same as last year. Things change players get injured, players regress, etc.

  10. munson78 says:

    We fans can panick when they decide to trade Cano for a cheap 2b and prospects. Until then, we can just sit back and wait to see what happens.

  11. Rookie says:

    Makes sense to me, Mark. I suspected as much. Recent decisions reminded me of decisions by the Mets years before their financial distress became a public matter.

    It would explain a lot:

    It connects most of the dots in terms of decisions made — maybe even wildly overpaying Jeter as a Yankee icon for financial, not competitive reasons, and a similar rationale for A-Rod’s albatross of a contract.

    The obvious outlier that comes to mind that it doesn’t explain in my opinion is Soriano.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      It doesn’t explain the Yankees’ dogged pursuit of Cliff Lee either. None of this “the Yankees are cheap” stuff would exist had Lee taken their offer instead of Philly’s.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        The also Yankees gave out the fourth largest pitching contract in history this offseason, let’s not forget.

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          Good point. I completely forgot about CC’s contract.

        • Mark L says:

          Which would be consistent with a plan of financial moderation and gradual payroll decreases, rather than abject cheapness.

          As currently constituted, the Yankees are a good bet to win 90-95 games. I think Cashman and the Steinbrenner Bros. are now deciding whether adding an additional $10-15 million in payroll to be a 95-100 win team would be worth it.

          • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

            …or where those five wins would come from? Is it worth that extra money to see if Kuroda/Oswalt could bring them, or are they willing to take the risk and see if Noesi/Phelps/Warren would deliver them anyway?

            • Mark L says:

              I think the gains would come from replacing Hughes and Garcia with pitchers who are better bets to provide 30 quality starts. It could also come from upgrading our UTIL spot and bringing back Andruw Jones at the market rate.

              • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

                People are really quick to write off Garcia. You’re only as good as your last start sometimes.

                • FIPster Doofus says:

                  Yep. Garcia’s a good fit for the Yankees. He’ll go out and throw six, give up three, and that’s more often than not enough with this offense supporting him.

          • dan gen says:

            and a good bet to lose in the first round….

        • BK2ATL says:

          Just a question, do you think the Yankees would’ve have still given CC this contract, had they signed Lee last year?

          I would’ve hated to see that one play out.

      • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

        This should be placed in large, flashing neon above this thread.

    • Mark L says:

      I think the Soriano decision is explained as an emotional response to things not going as planned.

  12. Greg says:

    Joe,

    It totally makes sense for the Yankees to be frugal. Except for one thing.

    The goal of the Yankees is to win the World Series every year.

    That goal has been proclaimed by the fans and partly by the media. Gone are the days of rebuilding for the Yankees.

    • jsbrendog says:

      so the fans say.

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

      They were saying the same thing back then too, you know.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Except the Yankees aren’t rebuilding. They’re returning essentially the same team that won an AL-leading 97 games last season. They’ve lost two players of significance in Posada and Colon. The former was a shell of himself, the latter quite useful for half the season before dropping like a rock. Montero will be in from Day 1, and here’s hoping Jones will re-sign.

      Basically, this is still a really good team; moreover, with the added wild-card spot, their chances of making the playoffs in 2012 have actually increased.

      • David, Jr. says:

        I agree with what you say.

        I have them at about 94 wins. Starting with last year’s 97, I see:

        C – a plus compared to last year, with Martin a year farther from injury and Montero judiciously used for maybe forty games.

        1B – a plus. Tex is in his prime, and is a fierce competitor.

        2B – push.

        SS – a minus, maybe a significant one. Father Time never loses. Ever.

        3B – a plus. Still in the latter part of his prime, and is a fierce competitor.

        RF – push.

        LF – a small plus. Can improve. Was somewhat banged up last year.

        CF – push, although not easy to duplicate.

        Relief – push, although not easy to duplicate.

        Starters – a push, although very dependent on health of CC.

        The acid test for the new budget attitude will come if I am way too optimistic. Say they look like a third place team, with commensurate dropping in attendance. What happens then? Save money or turn it back the other way?

        • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

          What happens then should be no different. You evaluate and move on.

          The New York Yankees will finish in third place within your lifetime. They’ll finish under .500 within your lifetime.

          Some of your projections I agree with. Some I don’t. I don’t think you can make SS a minus and 3B a plus. As much I am calm about what the team is doing, my assessment of the starting pitching would be a slight minus until they figure out who the best five truly are.

          • jsbrendog says:

            well to nitpick i would say ss could be a push to a minus but i would def rate 3b as a plus cause even if arod gets on the field and stays healthy you have to believe the production will be bettert ahn last yr no? only way i see it s a minus is if he gets seriously hurt, no?

  13. what the uck says:

    So it finally happened…the Yanks won’t spend money even to fill a need…because they have spnet too much on Arod and Jeter and gave a player option to CC that they had to reup…so now they won’t even get Kuroda for 1 year…FUCK.

  14. nsalem says:

    I think the Yankees are committed to a long term plan of developing their own arms and will not deviate for short term gain unless it involves a sure fire ace such as Cliff Lee. As Jumpin’ JacK Swisher so insightfully stated before “maybe the Yankees don’t think Kuroda is worth the money he would cost. The trades and free agents have not been here this winter and though he may wind up being great the 100 million dollar investment it would have taken to sign Darvish was not be the prudent thing to do. I like the patient approach the front office is taking. Some may call their actions cheap while others will consider it intelligent.

    • jsbrendog says:

      i agree with you 100%. this is how a successful baseball team/business is run. It isn;t really about the fans at all. It is about the bottom line, and the bottom line is about winning. making the playoffs every year and bringing the payrool down below luxury tax levels is worth more $$$$ to the bottom line than going over and winning a WS and then paying out luxury tax money and possibly not making the playoffs when everyone is 40 and you can’t afford anyone else. and that’s the…..

      bottom line

      ———————————————————

  15. Jen says:

    This offseason has been kind of maddening. Not because the Yankees aren’t spending but that they’re being so passive they are missing the boat on some value deals. None of us believe Cashman wants to start the season with his current rotation but each day that goes by is another day with no movement. If he’s going to pull a Damon move it has to happen soon.

  16. Pasqua says:

    While economics might play a role in giving the young starters a better shot to succeed, it still requires the yanks to try something very new with them: patience. Can they / we do it?

  17. RetroRob says:

    All well and fine is the plan is to give the young pitchers their shot, although it still makes the signing of Soriano last year even more perplexing. If the team basically pushed itself to its payroll limit with the Soriano signing, then I’d rather they have waited to spend that $12 million per on a starter than a reliever.

  18. LarryM.,Fl. says:

    I don’t believe the Yankees are cheap. They have paid a surcharge on their total salary budget of 40% over cap for the last 8 years or so. Their are a couple of contracts that will haunt them over the next few years. Soriano and Arod will hurt unless these guys come to life. With Soriano if Mo goes down, God forbid. He’s really 11/12 million dollar expenditure who is not needed just some overkill. Jeter will give back not to the extent of 17 million but he’ll be noticed in a positive way on the field. CC was a no brainer an Teix. needs to hit the other way. We need to sign Cano. So its prudent to give the kids a chance. There cheap and will provide IMHO as much as any over priced FA and over priced trade.

    Maybe the Yankee organization is feeling the economy and the printing press is broken. Maybe its time for us fans to support the club with the decisions made by the same guys who have won 5 WS series in the last 15 years and had excellent teams go to the playoffs.

    It will be fun to watch as the Montero’s and the Nunez’s get their opportunities on the field. Any injuries to the SR could mean opportunities for people waiting in the wings. I can recall a kid named Mel Stotelmeyer (spelling) getting his shot. And doing quite well during the regular season and WS.

    Still 8+

  19. Joe M says:

    I’m just glad none of you are the GM of the Yankees

  20. ahinds says:

    Mark L says:
    December 27, 2011 at 3:16 pm
    I recently spoke with someone in a position to be quite familiar with the Yankees organizational finances. Long story short is that the team is in a lot worse financial shape than most people realize. The stadium was at least $300 million over budget and they overestimated how much they could bring in through their various special suite packages and sponsorships. Based on pure speculation, it would seem that the team will try to keep the payroll frozen around its current level of $185-195 million for the foreseeable future. For 2012, I would be surprised if the team were able to add more than $7-8 million in additional payroll through the end of the offseason.
    Also worth noting is that, while the Yankees are a pretty sound investment, we don’t know for sure how the other components of the Steinbrenner portfolio have been performing over the last three years.

    i thought it was worth repeating.

  21. Bob Loblaw says:

    I just feel for cashman. If he had full control all along, we wouldn’t be looking at 6 more years of arod at crazy money and soriano wouldn’t be here. Now cash has gota work around the budget while being hamstrung by decisions that were shoved down his throat. If im going to be angry with anyone in the organization, its levine and hank

    • viridiana says:

      A-Rod was an infinitely bigger mistake than Soriano. That contract will bedevil Yanks for years. Soriano might actually prove his worth in time.
      I have no problem with fiscal prudence. But if Yanks skimp where they really need help (eg Kuroda) they will pay price on field and with attendance.

      • It'sATarp says:

        No relievers hardly every prove their worth. Arod is more likely to give us more value, even though is contract is a piece of crap.

  22. CJ says:

    If they dont make the postseason in 2012, which I think is a strong possibility, they will blow up the budget next winter.

  23. prdentist says:

    I would never go after a pitcher who has only pitched in the national league, never!!!! The Yankees have been burned too many times with these kinds of pitchers. Johnson, Hawkins,and Vasques for example of pitchers who do well over there but suck here in the AL East.

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

      Use the space below to list pitchers which prove our friend, the Puerto Rican dentist, wrong.

      • prdentist says:

        a few more examples:
        Ben Sheets..3.72 ERA in NL..4.53 in AL
        Jake Peavy..3.29 ERA in NL..4.49 in AL
        Brad Penny..3.99 ERA in NL..5.43 in AL
        John Smoltz.3.27 ERA in NL..8.33 in AL, only 1 year in AL

        • Rainbow Connection says:

          How did Kevin Brown do?

          • prdentist says:

            Brown had a 2.39 ERA in 2003 in the NL and then in 2004, he had a 4.09 ERA for the yankees

            Danny Neagle in 2000 had 3.52 for the reds in 18 games,yankees trade for him and he goes 5.81 ERA for the rest of the season, 16 games.

            Carl Pavano….I rest my case!

        • Ted Nelson says:

          That list proves exactly nothing. There is a real argument that’s easy to make saying the AL is tougher to pitch in than the NL… that list is a joke, though.

          That’s a whole 4 pitchers. 4 counter examples would be really easy to find.

          Three of the guys on your list got injured and one was 42 by the time he logged his 40 AL IP.

          • prdentist says:

            I’ve named 10,where is your 4?

            • Bruce Bruce says:

              still waiting

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Try thinking for two seconds about it. One of the best AL pitchers ever, Pedro, had never pitched in the AL before Boston.

            • Jim Is Bored says:

              Andy Pettite
              Roger Clemens
              Randy Johnson
              CC Sabathia.

              Your move.

              • prdentist says:

                “I would never go after a pitcher who has only pitched in the national league, never!!!!”

                This is where my point began. Jim, the 4 pitchers you named all were successful in the AL before going to the NL. Johnson’s time with the yankees could be debated as being successful or not. He won 17 games his first year but his ERA got up to almost 5.00. He went back to the NL and his ERA dropped back into the 3.00′s. My whole point was that everyone is hot for Kuroda but he has never pitched in the AL, so his ERA in lower and he looks like a great 15 million dolar pitcher but I believe he was blow up as a yankee. His inter-league ERA will be the norm, 4.33 or worse. That is why I would stay away from him.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              As I said, there are examples and a few examples do not prove a rule anyway. This is a joke. You gave a guy who was semi-retired and three guys who got injured.

              Pedro Martinez and Curt Shilling were co-aces for a WS winner for the Red Sox. They had a combined 80 IP of relief work in the AL before Boston that was barely above replacement (all Schilling in Baltimore).

              Josh Beckett, same story.

              Kevin Millwood averaged 4.5 fWAR his first two seasons in the AL and 3.5 his first 5 seasons in the AL.

              There are four.

              Randy Johnson pitched in the NL first, so you are wrong there. The Mariners acquired him when he had never pitched in the AL.

              John Burkett.

              • prdentist says:

                You are right, Johnson pitched in about 200 innings in 3 years for the expos before being traded to the Mariners.

                Schilling ERA NL 3.30 AL 4.00
                Beckett NL 3.46 AL 4.04
                Millwood NL 3.89 AL 4.37
                Burkett NL 3.91 AL 5.02

                Pedro is the exception with NL 3.32 AL 2.52

                Stats say something else than what you think!!
                I agree that some pitchers could have a great year or two but overall numbers say something else.

                • prdentist says:

                  As far as Kevin Brown, lets use him as an example of a pitcher who when back and forth in the AL and NL and lets see his ERA.

                  Tex..8 years…3.81 ERA
                  Bal..1year… 3.60
                  FLA..2 years…2.30
                  SDP..1 year… 2.38
                  LAD..5 years… 2.83
                  NYY..2 years… 4.95

                  Looking at these seems to show that his NL ERA was so much better than his AL ERA over his whole career.

                  As we can see, for the most part the NL ERA is better than AL ERA.

  24. Hardy says:

    After the 2011 ALDS Randy Levine said: “The Yankees’ way, what The Boss taught us all, is if we don’t win the World Series, then the season is a failure.”
    That rang true. But if he is says something similar after the 2012 season, I would not take him seriously. They decided not to improve the team because improving the bottom line was more important to them.

  25. Ted Nelson says:

    I don’t think it’s financial so much as as a strategic decision. That’s just my guess. If they can make exceptions for Tex and Lee, I have to image that they can make a few million $ exception for Andruw Jones (or someone to compete with Maxwell at least) on top of Kuroda. I think that they want Noesi and Phelps and Warren to get their shots… and maybe Dellin and Manny if they put their control together.

  26. BINNER says:

    Ive been saying it for the past 2 years…pitching wins in the playoffs. Your never going to win a world series with CC & the scraps. Until Noesi, Hughes, or whomever proves to be a solid 1B or 2 slot pitcher, its going to be another year of failure…

    Freddie Garcia is a fine #5 pitcher for the regular season when your playing Oakland and the Kansas City’s of baseball. Worthless otherwise.

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