MLBTR: 2013 Yankees Contract Issues


As part of their contract issues series, MLBTR reviewed the Yankees’ roster and the players scheduled to become free agents or arbitration-eligible after the season. It’s not a small group, we’re talking ten impending free agents, nine arbitration-eligibles, and five with contract options. Obviously the 2014 payroll plan is still a ways off, but if the Yankees are serious about getting under the $189M luxury tax threshold that season, they have to start planning for it right now and some of these contract issues are not insignificant. Check it out, it’s a quick but comprehensive overview.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. #28 in 2012 says:

    I did not realize M.Montero signed for 5/60. That leaves Napoli and Martin as catcher FA. Do the Yanks get compensated for letting Martin walk? Do they have to offer him a contract to receive a pick? How does that work these days?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      They have to make him a qualifying offer to get picks, which is basically a one-year, ~$12.5M contract.

      • #28 in 2012 says:

        Is the Qualifying value based on Montero’s comp?
        I guess one year 12.5 would work for the Yankees. If Russ keeps non-hitting, he may just take it as well. It sucks they cant let him walk and get a pick, that would seem ideal as they really shouldt lock him up for any more than one year due to Grandy and Cano being much bigger priorities.

        • Cris Pengiucci says:

          From MLBTR:

          •The qualifying offer, which will be determined by averaging the top 125 player salaries from the previous year, is expected to fall in the $12-13MM range for the coming offseason. All qualifying offers are for the same duration (one year) and the same amount ($12-13MM).

        • Gonzo says:

          That’s the qualifying offer for any free agent this offseason. It’s the average of the top 125 paid players’ salaries. That’s why he said ~$12.5mm instead of $12.5mm.

          It’s based on the year before, so we are pretty sure it’s going to be very close to $12.5mm and not $13.5mm or some other wild swing.

          • #28 in 2012 says:

            Thank you for explaining it fellas!

            How much worse can Chris Stewart be on a <$1 million deal than Martin on a ~$12.5?

            • Cris Pengiucci says:

              $12.5 does seem a bit high for Martin, I agree. Just not sure how they slide into a long-term solution if they let him go.

            • RetroRob says:

              It probably make sense on some level to offer Martin the one-year $12-million-whatever qualifying offer, figuring he’ll turn it down and hit the market to look for a multi-year deal. He’ll get less than $12 million per year, but more overall on a three-year deal, and he’s probably looking for that security. The Yankees get a draft pick. Worst that will happen is he’ll accept the offer and the Yankees have another year to figure out their catcher situation.

              Then again, isn’t there another wrinkle here. Doesn’t the player also have to be rated a Type A free agent to receive a qualifying offer that will lead to draft pick compensation? If Martin doesn’t rate as an A (and I really have no idea how they figure that out), then it doesn’t matter.

              Or am I wrong?

      • Reggie C. says:

        Haha. If Martin can’t claw his way back to at least match last year’s production, just let him walk. Hes been doing some of that , but at some point he’s gotta hit his weight.

  2. Cris Pengiucci says:

    With an eye on the 2014 payroll, the only players that the Yankees need to look at carefully are the upcoming FA’s that may require a long-term deal to retain. My list of these would include:

    Swisher – Hopefully he’s willing to take a discount to remain in NY. How much above 3/30 are they be willing and able to go?

    Martin – Not too many options out there. Does a 1-year qualifying offer give them enough time to work out something for ’14 that better fits their budget?

    Anyone else they really want to retain should be on 1-year contracts. I’d guess even Mo & Pettitte would go year-to-year (assuming Pettitte decides to continue on after this season, which I can see, giving him one last chance to win a championship with Mo).

    Cano and Granderson become the biggest concerns after the ’13 season.

    • LiterallyFigurative says:

      I suppose a one year deal for Martin is fine. With Romine’s injury, they might need another year to figure things out.

    • #28 in 2012 says:

      Just to think that Mo, Soriano and Martin collectively could earn around 40 million in 2013 is crazy.

      • RetroRob says:

        That’s one reason why I hope Soriano holds down his closer job while Mo’s away, racks up some nice save totals, and decides to hit the market again after this season in search of another multi-year deal.

    • Brian S. says:

      If the Yankees do not want to extend Granderson and Cano (and I would hope that they do not want to extend Granderson) then they should be traded this offseason for a couple prospects (obviously Cano could fetch more than Grandy could). Why let elite players walk without getting anything except a draft pick in return?

      • G says:

        Because Granderson is an all-star and the Yankees are always looking to win it all. Why get rid of him and replace him with a far inferior player when it harms immediate chances of winning?

  3. LiterallyFigurative says:

    I think the Yanks should let Martin walk if he wants anything over 7 or 8 mil per. He’s solid, but if he’s not going to produce with the bat, why pay him that kind of money? Unless you are an elite offensive catcher, a team could deal with “eh” offense and spend the money elsewhere.

    Swisher is not a guy I’d give a long term deal. He’s solid, but at his age and with his defense, I loathe a 4-5 year deal.

    I’m on the edge with Granderson. He’s got the power, plays pretty good defense (not great). My issue with him is his low BA, pull heavy, high strikeout style. I don’t think it will age well. Even for his career year last year, he strikes out way too much for my liking. With his speed and power combo, he should be a little more of an all-around hitter. He could still hit 30 some homers, but get more doubles and triples. What kind of contract would you consider “fair” for Grandy? 5 for 90? 6 for 105?

    Cano is a high-contact guy who won’t walk much, but he will hit pretty well. He’s been that for almost 8 years. He’s been durable. This year he has been a dissapointment for his standards, but he’s still elite. Cano deserves more than Kinsler or Phillips, but not a crazy contract. 6 for 110?

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      I’d pick up the option on both Granderson & Cano. Let’s see how this year plays out and what they do in ’13. Then see where the rest of the team is on salaries and decide what to offer them after the ’13 season. I suspect it would be tough to keep both. It may be easier to positionally replace Granderson (slide Gardner over and find a LF) and Can may also provide better overall offense, but who knows what it will take to sign him. Maybe offer each of them a contract at the same time and take the one that signs first.

      • LiterallyFigurative says:

        I would pick up the options, no doubt. I’m talking about the long-term contracts.

        At the end of this season, I would offer each of them the long-term extension, just to gauge where they are. If you feel like Cano is gonna go Boras on you, try and trade him. If you think Granderson is looking for Kemp-like AAV (which I don’t think he would, but you never know), look to move him. Trade one of the two and try and resign the other after 2013. I know they would only have 1 year of team control left, but you could get a really good prospect or two for them. The Mets got Wheeler for Beltran at the All-Star Break last year.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I would not act like C defense doesn’t exist.

      • LiterallyFigurative says:

        It does exist, but do you pay 8-9 mil for a defensive catcher who for the last calender year hasn’t hit?

        • Manny's BanWagon says:

          I wouldn’t. You can get that from Stewart for a few hundred thousand per year

        • Ted Nelson says:

          One problem with your point is acting as if all “defensive Cs” are the same. There are different degrees of strong defense.

          And then there’s their offense to consider. It’s just not true that Martin is a bad offensive C. He’s 16th in wOBA among Cs with 100 PAs this season despite a deep slump (took out Doumit, left in Napoli). Last season he was 13th among Cs with at least 250 PAs.

          I would not rush out to pay Martin whatever it takes. But if it’s more in the $8 mill range it certainly might be the right move. There’s more to consider than oversimplified labels of offensive C vs. defensive C.

  4. Manny's BanWagon says:

    Looking at the current state of the Yankees roster, what they already owe to players in 2014 and the lack of potential impact players in AA and AAA right now other than Banuelos, if they’re committed to the $189 million payroll, I think those years are much more likely transitional than championship.

    Cashman is going to have to be a magician to improve or even maintain the talent level on a roster filled with high priced veterans whose performance will likely regress, players like Cano, Granderson and Swisher who are due big salary increases if kept around while at the same time cutting payroll with most of the talent in the farms in A ball.

  5. Brian S. says:

    Let Martin walk and go with a Stewart/Romine battery next season. Let Swisher walk and sign two cheap platoon players to match his production. Sign Cole Hamels, who will be more valuable than Swisher and Martin combined. Make sure to offer qualifying offers to Martin and Swish to get compensation.

    • Brian S. says:

      Also we should be sure to dump Soriano on a team desperate for relief pitching. I bet someone would take him at 1-14, even if we don’t get much back in return.

      • Brian S. says:

        If we dump Soriano we might not even have to do a platoon situation in RF. Maybe sign BJ Upton or one of the other decent outfielders on the market.

    • Need Pitching says:

      At his current rate of production, a qualifying offer to Martin may very well be accepted.

  6. Drew says:

    I seem to agree with everything in this article except for the fact that the Yankees would entertain the idea of releasing Joba Chamberlain. There is just too much upside to release a pitcher of that caliber even if he is only going to be a bullpen arm. We all have seen this year how quickly bullpen depth can disappear.

  7. Tim says:

    Wow, how the mighty Yankees have fallen. From Posada in his prime with an OPS over .900 to Stewart/Romine/Cervelli, wow! With age in other areas and a mediocre starting staff this is not a playoff team in coming years imo.

    • All Praise Be To Mo says:

      Wow, you mean a team doesn’t always have a borderline HOF’er behind the plate? ZOMG!!!!1!! That’s it, I’m gonna go be a Mets fan. Have some perspective and wait a couple years for our younger catchers (Romine, Sanchez, Murphy) to come up and see if they can produce.

  8. Kosmo says:

    Offer Swisher a 3 year 36 million take it or leave it contract. Let´s see how much he loves playing in NY. Yanks can dig up a marginally better catcher than Martin via trade for a lot less money.

    • All Praise Be To Mo says:

      Offer them both QO’s, I’m fine with either on a 1 year deal, even if it’s an inflated salary. Gives us 1 more year to develop/trade for low cost replacements for them.

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