Update: Yankees, Nakajima still far apart in talks

Open Thread: Scott Proctor
The Advantage of Money

Monday: Heyman issued a correction; the deadline is Friday, not Tuesday. I knew it was later in the week, that made more sense based on when the winning bid was announced.

Sunday: Via Jon Heyman, the Yankees and Hiroyuki Nakajima are still far apart in their contract talks. The CBS Sports scribe says the deadline to get a deal worked out is Tuesday, not later in the week like I’d assumed. The Yankees won the infielder’s negotiating rights with a $2.5M bid in early-December.

Andruw Jones agreed to terms on Friday, just two days after we heard the two sides weren’t close to a deal. So yeah, this stuff can come together quickly. Nakajima is apparently “highly motivated” to play in MLB next season, and his agent even broached the idea of a sign-and-trade a few weeks ago. The Yankees haven’t discussed the idea with anyone though. I’m guessing he’ll sign for three years and about $7.5M, and not be traded before the season. Very curious to see how this whole thing plays out.

Open Thread: Scott Proctor
The Advantage of Money
  • CMP

    Don’t understand why the newly cost conscious Yankees are gonna want to waste $2.5 million per year on a utility infielder when they already have Nunez for a few hundred thousand unless they’re trading Nunez.

    Cashman could get himself another LOOGY for with the money he’d save.

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

      When they trade Nunez for Jurrgens, they’ll need Nakijima.

      I’m seriously starting to wonder if the Yanks will have a very busy January. Garza and Jurrgens and are both available and good matches in terms of prospects.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        When the Braves are trading a pitcher, I’d be very cautious.

        They know what they’re doing in regards to pitching, and usually don’t discard useful pieces.

        • mustang


        • CMP

          Absolutely right. After the Javy debacle, I’d steer clear of pitchers the Braves are looking to dump.

      • mustang
        • CJ

          Betances and corban Joseph for garza? From a cubs blog? Giddy up.

        • http://cubsbillygoatblog.blogspot.com/ Mark

          While that’s what I think they could get for Garza, the problem is that they are asking for way more. So, its unlikely a trade will happen unless their asking price comes down.

      • FIPster Doofus

        I want absolutely no part of Jair Jurrjens in a Yankees uniform. Too many injuries, too many fly balls, too few strikeouts. Combining those factors plus a move from the NL to the AL East is a recipe for disaster.

        • mustang

          I second this!!!

        • Rich in NJ

          I’d rather get Vizcaino back.

        • Jesse

          Yep, yep, yep, yep, and yep.

    • mustang

      Nunez is probably getting trade or it could be that one of these guys is replacing Eric Chavez. I’m betting on the former.

    • Ted Nelson

      Not thinking any of the available pitchers have been worth the cost doesn’t mean they’re suddenly cheap. They have 10 rotation candidates for this season already. This same management group signed Feliciano and Soriano just one year ago. I don’t see any reason to think that they won’t spend when they want to spend.

  • CJ

    How many teams have won a bid for a Japanese player and failed to workout a contract? It is not exactly the honorable gentleman’s move.

    • 28 this year

      I think the A’s were the first last year.

      • CJ

        It’s not like Billy beane worries about people thinking he’s a douche. Did the a’s sign him this year or negotiate with him?

        • FIPster Doofus


          The player in question, Hisashi Iwakuma, is a free agent right now; he’s allegedly about to sign with Seattle.

    • Steve (different one)

      Considering the Yankees made the only bid, I don’t believe “honorable” applies here. Not the same as submitting a bid just to block another team. No one else wanted him, the Yankees have the leverage.

      • RetroRob

        Who reported the Yankees made the only bid? How would that even been known? I’m not saying it’s not true, but it’s possible a few teams submitted bids below the Yankees bid. There are teams that would certainly have an interest in his services, but maybe they weren’t willing to pay what they thought would be a substantially higher posting fee.

  • JonS

    So you Mike, you do expect them to sign Nakijima?

  • Jericho Spade

    3 years at $2.5 per for a utility player with ZERO leverage if he is “dying” to play in MLB. Not bloody likely.

    2 years 3 M and call it a day, maybe some incentives tied to playing time.

    • JohnnyC

      He made $3.6 million dollars in 2011 (280 million yen). Even 2.5 per would be a real sacrifice on his part. I don’t see how it makes sense for him to sign.

      • Jericho Spade

        That’s fine then… but in the MLB all reports state that the Yanks view him as a UTIL player and that does not warrant a high salary. Plus, he is not a free agent and cannot leverage any other team against the Yankees.

        If he wants to play in the MLB, it is essentially a take it or leave it offer, as long as it is a representative offer.

        • Ted Nelson

          The Yankees aren’t likely to pay him more than they think he’s worth. If they pay him $2.5 million per… They pretty much have to feel he’s worth that much or more.

          He does have leverage… Stay in Japan and make more money.

          He’s got a chance at being an MLB SS. That’s a very rare and valuable commodity. $2.5 mill per is not a big salary. LOOGYs get twice that. It’s speculative, but that’s what personnel management is all about.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    I would like to know what the going price is for utility infielders (average annual salary) because I believe that it must be below 2.5 million.

    • CP

      There was a post a couple of weeks ago that looked at what other utility infielders got this year. I think it was focused on the value of Nunez, but it applies here too. If I remember correctly, they were typically going for about $3M per season on a multi year deal.

      • Jose M. Vazquez..

        Thanks CP. Even if they are going for 3M per annum, Nakajima has not yet played in the majors and thus, he should not be getting that type of money yet. It is not the same, say, if he was the top player in Japan where he would be getting top salary.

        • Ted Nelson

          I don’t see why he shouldn’t get market value. You’re taking a risk he’s worse than expected, but you also have a chance that he’s better then expected.

  • CJ

    Mike, thoughts on Sickels prospect list? Full review coming soon?

  • Dammit

    The Yankees offered 2/$3m but his agent came back with “Hiroyuki Nakajima is not Japanese for ‘Nick Punto’!”

  • RetroRob

    I’m strangely fascinated by this potential deal, not because of what I think Nakajima might deliver, but more so because I have this feeling neither side really wants the other. Sure, Nakajima seems to want to come stateside and play in MLB, and playing for the Yankees would be cool, but he wants to be a starter, but the Yankees don’t have spot for him as a starter, and he can probably make more by continuing to play in Japan for another year and then becoming an unrestricted free agent where he gets to pick his team, one that will allow him to start. Meanwhile, the Yankees would no doubt like to add him as a reserve and for depth, but they’ll only want to spend so much money.

    In other words, it seems like neither side has enough incentive to make a deal happen, yet both need to pretend they’re serious. I just don’t see it happening…which means it will.

    • Jose M. Vazquez..

      That neither side wants the other, I have to agree with. (pardon the Joda talk). It seems as if the Yankees bid but were not expecting to win. Now that they have won they don’t know what to do.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Nunez is the guy. Keep him and have him play SS once a week AND 3B once a week. Give our old HoF’ers a day off-a complete day/no DH. Montero DH’s/hits/catches EVERY day if healthy.

    It will pay off in Aug and Sept and hopefully the postseason.

    • Jose M. Vazquez..

      I agree. Don’t trade Nunez. At the same time. I’d like to state that I have changed my mind about Nakajima. If Nick Punto can get 3M per then Nakajima can get the same. I mean, he cannot be as futile as Punto and he is younger than Chavez.

    • MannyGeee

      I hate that ppl hate Nunez as much as they do. He is LITERALLY one throwing arm away from starting for 3/4 of the teams in the league.

      That said, if Nakajima is another Tsuyoshi Nishioka for less Eric Chavez money, I will not say no to that.

      Nakajima is a lottery ticket. You have to treat him as such