Soriano saving the Yanks from Edwin Jackson

Splitting Burnett
John Sickels' Top 20 Yankees Prospects

Via Buster Olney, the Yankees like free agent starter Edwin Jackson, but they don’t have the room to add him because Rafael Soriano is taking up a big part of their budget ($11M in 2012, $14M in 2013). Joe wrote about Soriano and how his contract may be preventing moves last week, in case you missed it.

Would Jackson help the Yankees next year? Of course. Is he the one missing piece that would put them over the top? I doubt it, but stranger things have happened. I know he’s young and all that, but he is a classic “should be better than he is” type and I think the Yankees have about three of those guys in the rotation already. Being the best available anything has a way of distorting reality and making players seem better than they really are, which is what happened with Gio Gonzalez and is probably happening with Jackson. I’m terrified of ownership stepping in an ordering a signing here, frankly.

Splitting Burnett
John Sickels' Top 20 Yankees Prospects
  • The Tenth Inning Stretch

    And we thought Soriano wouldn’t get any saves.

    • jsbrendog


    • Mike HC

      brilliant haha

  • nick

    I’d rather have Soriano. While a reliever is much less valuable than a starter, he also has less opportunities to be awful as well. And Soriano is a much better pitcher than Edwin inning for inning as well.

    • Mike Axisa

      I’d rather have neither at their prices, honestly. There’s a right price for Jackson, but it’s not 5/60 like he wants.

      • crawdaddie

        That goes without saying at those prices.

      • thenamestsam

        I’m curious why you think that’s too high. He has averaged about 3.7 fWAR the last 3 years. Fans have him projected for 3 next year. Split the difference and say about 3.4 WAR. Relatively shallow aging curve since he is pretty young, so I’d project something like:

        2012: 3.4 WAR
        2013: 3.1 WAR
        2014: 2.8 WAR
        2015: 2.3 WAR
        2016: 1.8 WAR

        That’s 13.4 total which at todays going rates is worth slightly more than 65 million, and that’s assuming 0% inflation, so more like 70-75 would probably be fair assuming those projections, which don’t seem all that aggressive to me. Do you think he’s extremely likely to just fall apart? Because given his track record and age I think 5 years for 60 million would be an excellent signing. 60 mil doesn’t buy as much as it used to.

      • Slugger27

        huh? $12M is unfair? fangraphs has him at a minimum of $15M worth of value for 3 years in a row, and hes just entering his physical prime.

        unless you’re letting some irrational disliking of him affect your stance, i dont see how that contract is too high.

        • Mike Axisa

          It’s not the dollars, it’s the years.

          • Slugger27

            a 5 year contract will only take him through his age 33 season. whats wrong with that?

            the guys thrown 600 innings the past 3 years, theres no health concerns.

            • Mike Axisa

              I’m well aware of his health and age, but five-year contracts for good but not great pitchers usually don’t work out. It’s just the nature of the beast. Is 33-year-old Edwin Jackson going to be an asset to the Yankees in 2016? Probably not.

              • Hardy

                Does 2016 Edwin Jackson project worse than the 2012 Freddy Garcia?

                • Mike Axisa

                  I don’t see how that is relevant at all.

                  • Hardy

                    I would like to know what scares you about 2016 Edwin Jackson that doesn’t seem to scare you about 2012 Freddy Garcia.
                    Finding out what you think regarding their projected quality would help me in that endeavour.

                    • Mike Axisa

                      That he could pitch about as poorly as you seem to think Garcia will pitch this year for three times the cost.

              • Gonzo

                Is anyone concerned at how many sliders he’s thrown?

                • Mike Axisa

                  Apparently not.

              • Slugger27

                bringing up 33 year old edwin jackson in 2016 is a strawman. and to answer your question, yes i do think hed be an asset at the back of the rotation.

                most teams are well aware that the very last year of a FA contract is likely to be the least valuable. thats nothing groundbreaking. most teams make the sign anyway knowing theyll likely get surplus value in the short term. the yankees are a WS contender RIGHT NOW, and have a need for pitching. if they wanna pay ejax 5/60, getting more value initially and less value in 2016, then im fine with that.

                • Mike Axisa

                  It’s not a strawman, it’s part of the equation you have to consider. Is Jackson enough of an upgrade over what they have to warrant that kind of commitment? I just don’t see it.

              • Ace

                “Is 33-year-old Edwin Jackson going to be an asset to the Yankees in 2016? Probably not.”

                Using this logic 90% of free agents would never sign a contract with any team (or have an agent representing them for that matter).

                This is the most un-RAB comment I have seen from an RAB personnel in a long time.

                • Slugger27

                  “This is the most un-RAB comment I have seen from an RAB personnel in a long time.”

                  couldnt agree more, well said.

        • Mick

          With the luxury tax, that contract becomes 5/$84M…$16.8M/year.

          • CJ

            You can’t figure the tax that way.

            • Mick

              I just did.

      • nick

        In a perfect world we’d have neither, but we’re in a world where the Yankees end up with one of them. And I’d rather have Soriano.

  • Sarah

    The worst part is Heyman’s constant tweets about EJax today. He compared EJax to Lincecum, Cain and King Felix using a sub 4.50 ERA for the past three years.

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      For reals?

      • Sarah

        Yes. It’s unbelievable. The other three have ERAs under 3.00 for that 3 year period, but yeah, EJax is right in their league.

    • Mike Axisa

      Yeah really, what was that about? Boras must have given him a little nudge.

      • kenthadley

        He’s on the payroll.

      • Slugger27


      • Sarah

        I think so, because it’s been EJax all day on Heyman’s Twitter.

        • Rainbow Connection

          Just ignore it. Why are you following someone who is soooo wrong all the time and is obviously being paid to write false info?

      • Soriano Is A Liar

        Boras: “Hey Man deserves a 6 year deal. Compare him to Ken Rosenthal and Incarcerated Bob, he’s among the best in the business!”

        • Slugger27

          what did soriano lie about?

  • mike

    Looking at this market, and because we have a killer pen already (without contemplating Joba’s return), Im happy the Yanks have that strength and depth (as well as having Soriano as the security blanket for Mo) then to have a Jackson-enigma at the back of the rotation taking innings from any of the top guys in the minors.

    Having him eat 200 league-average innings is not going to get the Yanks any deeper in the playoffs. there is certainly a value to that, but i think it can be made up other ways for a lesser committment

  • Hardy

    I don’t understand this tweet. Several players on the Yankees have contracts larger than Soriano. Two of them even signed before 2011 like Soriano (Jeter & Rivera). What is so special about Soriano’s contract?

    • Mike Axisa

      It was completely unnecessary.

    • kenthadley

      The Yanks are using Olney to tweak Boras for the Soriano contract, basically telling him if he didn’t stick it to them for Soriano they would have been interested in Edwin. Today’s contest is between Yanks and Boras, but being conducted via Olney and Heyman.

      • Hardy

        That makes sense.

      • radnom

        Why would the Yankees go to the media just to send a personal jab at Boras?

        Soriano is relevant because he was the last major FA contract (ignoring CC’s extension) and, as Mike mentioned, a poor allocation given the Yankees roster construction.

        • kenthadley

          Because this is how it works. Boras is pushing Edwin on Yanks. Yanks really not that interested, but would be if the price really drops. So somebody in FO leaks to Olney about how they’d be interested if it wasn’t for another of Boras’ clients taking up the budget. In this way, you pit Boras against Boras in the media, and Cashman gets some leverage for the future dealings with Scottso.

          • radnom

            I think that is very speculative and I sincerely doubt its true.

            Not to mention, please explain how exactly this would give Cash leverage in future negotiations? Its Boras’s fault the Yankees went after Soriano? Its not like they got hosed on the deal, it just didn’t make sense for the Yankees specifically.

            • Slugger27

              im with you on this one radnom. honestly, given the market for closers this day and age, the soriano contract wasnt even that bad. its just that it didnt fill a need. if the yankees didnt have joba or drob, i wouldve been 100% fine with the signing.

              also, to think the yankees will have future leverage in negotiations with boras because of an olney tweet is laughably absurd.

        • Rainbow Connection

          Because jabbing at him helps them in the future…oh…never mind.

      • Slugger27

        you cant possibly believe this is really whats going on.

      • Urban

        Boras stuck it to the Yankees?

        No, the Yankees stuck it to themselves.

    • Slugger27

      i think the main beef is that our other high contracts filled a need, and other than CC (who we all agree is worth the money), they all are integral everyday players.

      soriano just turned what was already a strength and made it a super strength.

      • Hardy

        What about A.J. Burnett?

        • Slugger27

          what about him? that signing filled a need.

          going into that offseason, the only starting pitcher the yankees employed was chien ming wang. 2 guys if you count joba (who was on an innings limit and couldnt start the whole year). pettitte was a big question mark, and all the other spots were completely vacant. they needed 3 pitchers to fill the rotation, and went out and got 2.

          • Hardy

            According to your initial post [all] “other high contracts filled a need, and other than CC (who we all agree is worth the money), they all are integral everyday players.”

            I agree that Burnett filled a need, but do you consider him an integral everyday player?

        • Need Pitching

          they definitely had a need for SP that offseason

  • Jesse

    That Rafael Soriano contract is the gift that just keeps on giving!

  • Joeytime

    I think sorianos contract kept us from having a chance at darvish and or Wilson… Jackson may never have been on the radar… Still the same point is upheld from the article, I don’t think any of these starters are worth locking up long term so thank RAF sor. For clogging the Yankees wallets, now go produce next year…

  • CJ

    First, there is no budget. If Hamels or Cain were available this year they would go for one if not both.
    They should not spend big on players like Edwin Jackson.
    If you think the Soriano and Burnett contract’s are keeping the Yankees from making a move, imagine what these contracts to do to small market teams.
    The Yanks can spend any amount any pay luxury tax and never worry about making a profit.
    Jackson is an overpay for any team, even at 3/30.

  • Urban

    I’d rather have Soriano for the next one to two years than Jackson for the next four to five.

    One of the bigger mistakes teams make is participating in a weak free-agent market just because it’s there. Some years it makes more sense to pass and wait for a stronger class that fits teams’ needs; otherwise, they run the risk of overpaying for mediocre talent. Jackson has a resonable price where he make sense, but it sounds like his asking price is too high.

    That all said, I think the Yankees are playing a bit of a game here. I refuse to believe if their budget was so tight that they were incapable of seeing one year ahead and how Soriano would restrict their movements. What I think is more likely is they are tyring to talk down the market so they do have a chance at Jackson.

  • CJ

    Simple New York Yankee spending rule, Don’t pay more than $10 million for a player who won’t sell Yankee player tee-shirts (we all have them, more than half the Stadium crowd wears them)

    • Rainbow Connection

      I don’t own a single Yankees shirt. Proud of it.

      • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

        Why would you be proud of that? Honestly just curious.

  • Robert

    I want no part of EJax ,he reminds me of A.J.

    • Slugger27

      thats an insult to ejax.

  • Avi

    I don’t want to see the yanks go after jackson and I’m pretty sure 5/$60M will be a bad contract. However based on his age, experience, and power stuff I wouldn’t be surprised if he took a considerable step forward in the coming years.

  • JoeMoes

    Can’t wait for 2014 with aj and soriano off the books 30+ million off the books.

  • wow

    Call me crazy, but maybe all this “we like Jackson” stuff is their attempt of trying to force the Cubs’ hand a bit at lowering the price for Garza, especially since the Yankees are probably the Cubs’ best option since they want good young pitching.

  • stuart phillips

    They are not getting into the world series with team!!!!!

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      Many Cardinal’s fans said the exact same thing when Wainwright went down.


    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

      You not making sense missing words!!!

  • Mickey S

    Sign Jackson for 4/42, trade Soriano to the Angels for partial salary relief and give AJ the fifth spot to see if he can salvage his contract.

  • stuart phillips

    They are not getting into the world series with this team!!!!!

  • Rich in NJ

    The merits of signing Jackson aside, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cash is using Olney to send a message to Levine about the impact on Soriano’s contract on roster flexibility.

    • Urban

      …or more likely a message to Boras, who is negotiating Jackson’s contract and who negotiated Soriano’s. Bring your price down if you want the Yankees to play.

      • Rich in NJ

        It could be, but since I suspect that Jackson isn’t their first choice, the message may have another (or perhaps more than one) intended target.

  • AC

    the fan base just wants the Yanks to sign somebody. Me included. Yeah the big re signing of CC was nice and all. Nobody likes to hear YOUR team has no $$$ left to spend. All of a sudden we are the A’s. Personally i dont think E Jax is the answer on a 5 yr burden just like AJ. How bad can Oswalt’s back be for us to be passing on a 1 yr deal that he has said hes willing to accept.

    • Mickey S

      How bad can Oswalt’s back be for us to be passing on a 1 yr deal that he has said hes willing to accept?

      This. Give him 13.5M on a one year deal with a club option for 14M next year.

  • Avi

    Betances, Warren and Laird for Garza or Jackson for 4/$44M?

    • G

      Garza trade, no question. It won’t be that cheap though, I’d try Betances, Warren, Phelps, and Sanchez. Hell if we have to spin a 3 way trade with the Padres involving Rizzo so be it.

    • Tom

      I’d take Jackson.

      Unless folks buy into Garza’s last year as a turning point, Jackson actually has better #’s. Garza has 2 arb years left and will be approaching that annual money in his last arb year, and then you will be faced with letting him walk away or overpaying him.

      So while you have the added risk of 2 years on the EJax contract, you don’t give up the prospects and folks need to look beyond the ERA when evaluating Garza.

      While the AL East meme is nice for Garza he had a rather massive home/road split (not surprising given the Trop is a pitchers park) and his ERA significantly outperformed his FIP and xFIP which has been over 4.00 EVERY year but the last one. Garza is Danks 2.0…. people’s perception of his skill seems to be tracking with the frequency he’s talked about.

      That said you probably are light both on EJax’a contract and the prospects in the Garza trade

  • Mickey S

    Wow, I just took a closer look at EJax stats, how he posted a 3.79 ERA with a 1.44 WHIP and a lackluster K/9, it is kinda scary for the team that does give him a high salary/multi year gig. He’s a 4.50 ERA guy going forward, so whomever said he reminds them of AJ was on point. I’d still rather have a 4.50 starter for the money Soriano is getting paid.

  • viridiana

    Ridiculous to blame Soriano for not signing Jackson. Why not blame A-Rod? His contract is the real albatorss and will only get worse. And having Soriano actually gives the Yanks options. I don’t recommend it but it could allow them to include Joba (later this year) or D-Rob in a deal. At worst, he would have value on the trade market– perhaps on a $6-7 million deal. Yanks have the money for EJax or Kuroda and they shouldn’t be dropping hints that one (of their many) overpriced contracts is dicating their tight spending this winter.

  • Duderinough

    Forget Ejax, remember Wright and Pavano. We will be alright. No need for panic moves.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    Has anyone asked the question why has no team signed AJax to a long term contract? You can understand that the Dodgers let him go because maybe they had no patience. The Rays don’t like to pay. But the White Sox, Diamondbacks or Cardinals could have signed him. What could be the problem? I agree that he does not bring anymore to the club than what we already have on the big club or in AAA.

  • Grover

    Nothing wrong with Noesi, Warren, Mitchell, and Phelps by committee if someone falters or Burnett pitches well enough to be traded. I would rather some chances be taken with youth than sign what is left. I’m in favor of signing Cain or Hamels next year, trading for Felix or Kershaw but even Garza is likely a full tier below and the rest of the available alternatives are not appreciably better than the unknown that are the kids.

  • bonestock94

    I think a 3 year contract for under 15m would be good for the Yankees. Don’t think thats reasonable though, at least the years. He should be worth at least 3 wins. He would also be frustrating as hell.

  • Mike c

    he’s really not a good pitcher. BR has jackson worth 0.8 WAR last year, they also have burnett at 1.1 WAR for 2011

    • CMP

      That’s 0.8 WAR as a Cardinal in 12 starts. His total for the season was 3.1 WAR which is about the total Burnett has had for his last THREE years combined.

  • Favrest

    Soriano is a disease.

  • Ted Nelson

    It’s like every Yankee related headline is posted on here as fact.

    What incentive do the Yankees possibly have to come out and say that they love Edwin Jackson and would pay anything to have him? Whether they love him, hate him, or (most likely) think he’s a solid pitcher worth a certain price… they have little incentive to jack up the guy’s value. If they want to sign him, they want to sign him for less money. If they don’t want to sign him, they still have an incentive to keep FA pitcher prices down.

    Then there’s the gamesmanship with Boras. He went around Cashman to get Soriano more than Cashman was willing to pay him. Why wouldn’t Cashman try to send him a message not to do that again? “If you had taken Soriano’s services to the next highest bidder or let him sign for what I thought was reasonable, we’d have more money for EJax… but since you went around me we can’t afford him.” Whether they actually want him or not Cashman can play that card with Boras.

    Then there’s the chance it’s just an untrue rumor. Someone in the org who is not privy to the top level decision making is frustrated they’re not signing anyone… and assumes it’s a budget thing based on the information that they have. Or Olney pieces together information from a few sources and infers it’s a budget thing when it might be more of a marginal value + developing young pitchers thing.