Mailbag: Preemptive Offseason Plans


(Rob Carr/Getty)

Mark asks: Given how the last four weeks of the season tend to warp perception of player value, would you want to preemptively take a crack at which offseason moves need to be made this winter?

Sure, this kinda sounds fun. I’ll start with what I think is the most pressing offseason issue, Nick Swisher‘s free agency. I’ve said a number of times already that I’d like to see the Yankees re-sign him, but there is a limit. Ideally he’d re-up for a pricier version of Michael Cuddyer’s contract (three years, $31.5M) but I can’t imagine going any higher than the four-year, $52M deal the club gave to Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, and Jorge Posada way back when. That’s my absolute limit right there.

If Swisher comes back, then great, the outfield is already addressed — exercising Curtis Granderson‘s $15M player option is a no-brainer despite his extended slump. If he doesn’t come back, then I’d look to sign a one-year free agent stopgap or trade for Justin Upton. The latter seems unlikely — even if he becomes available, the Yankees just don’t match-up well for a trade with the Diamondbacks — so I’d dig through the Torii Hunter/Ryan Ludwick free agent bin. It’ll be a significant drop-off from Swisher, but I’d prefer that to giving up prospects for player who probably won’t perform any better.

The other pressing issue is the pitching staff as a whole. The Yankees should make a strong effort to retain both Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte for next year, assuming they want to keep pitching. Getting one back would be fine but losing both would be real tough. They’d have to look at a guy like (yuck) Francisco Liriano as a stop-gap starter or spend big on someone like Edwin Jackson. I love Carlos Villanueva and think he’d be a perfect fit for the team, but someone is going to give that guy multiple years and guarantee him a rotation spot. Plus expected 200 innings out of him next year is unrealistic. Either way, adding another veteran arm behind CC Sabathia and ahead of Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova will be imperative. Don’t count on Michael Pineda being that guy at all next year. Anything they get out of him is a bonus.

The bullpen needs a bit of an overhaul, especially if Rafael Soriano opts out of his contract and tries to parlay his big season into a larger guaranteed deal. Even if he sticks around and Mariano Rivera returns, the Yankees should still look into adding one or really two one-year arms to fill out the middle innings. No offense to Cody Eppley, but they need to do better. Jason Grilli, Brandon Lyon, Shawn Camp, even Luis Ayala again. Just guys to soak up some middle innings without the need to matchup all the damn time. Adding bullpen depth before handing things off to the Mark Montgomerys and Chase Whitleys of the world seems obvious. The middle relief has completely collapsed in the second half.

I suppose that leaves the catching situation as the other major issue. The free agent options aren’t great, as Russell Martin joins Mike Napoli, Kelly Shoppach, and A.J. Pierzynski as the headliners. I’d prefer to bring Martin back or replace him with Shoppach, both on short-term deals. That’s kind of the motto of the offseason for me, short-term deals. There are no standout free agents that fit the Yankees’ needs — other than Zack Greinke, who they’ll never sign — so don’t force it. Add the stopgap guys rather than try to shoehorn a bigger-named player into a role that doesn’t fit. As I said in the mailbag yesterday, the catching situation is a total mystery to me.

Adding bench players is always tough for the Yankees, and I figure they’ll let Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez walk. They should, anyway. Eric Chavez might stick around but that’s far from certain. There’s nothing wrong with low-average guys who hit for power, but I’d like to see the Yankees add some players who can make more contact and hit for average when plugging the bench holes. As we saw when A-Rod went down and Robinson Cano started slumping, the offense becomes one-dimensional in a hurry. Derek Jeter can’t be your only contact guy at his age. At the same time, you can’t go too far in the other direction and be powerless when some of the big bats go down. There’s a balance they have to maintain, and right now they lean a little too far to the power side.

This is sort of the Cliff Notes version of the upcoming offseason, and it’s not even a plan really. Just some general ideas. Swisher’s free agency and figuring out the catching situation will be of paramount importance, and as always there is the pitching staff to reinforce. The class of free agents isn’t deep in players who would fill needs for the Yankees, so perhaps they end up going out on the trade market again. We’re going to discuss this from every angle ad nauseum after the season ends (whenever that happens), but I think the important thing is that the Yankees don’t sucker themselves into any unwanted contracts just to plug a hole for 2013 with the 2014 payroll plan looming. If they’re going to stick to it, they have to be smart about it.


  1. Marcy says:

    Mike, next year the Nats will still have Suzuki (great catcher IMO but overused) under contract but Wilson Ramos should be coming back off knee surgery – any thoughts on Ramos?

  2. Mike Myers says:

    A.J. Pierzynski will probably only require 2 years..why not? Massive upgrade over Martin no?

  3. Nolan says:

    What would it take to trade for Justin Upton?

    • Cody Ransom says:

      Nova, Manny, Romine, one of Mason/Sanchez/Austin?

      • Jose M. Vazquez says:

        That’s too much for a right handed hitter in Yankee stadium. You only give that much for a Wifield type player.

      • Nolan says:

        Better off just resigning swish. Let granderson go next year and hope mason and or Austin is ready to fill in by 2014

        • G says:

          Heathcott and Austin seem to be the most likely for 2014. I would not mind getting aggressive with both and playing them against each other in a competition for a 2014 job.

        • vinnie gagliano says:

          How is that too much????? You HAVE to get younger and you guys want to resign Swisher??? I get he’s underrated, good clubhouse guy, and before last month probably having the 2nd best year of all the hitters. But hes NOT worth 50 million at his age.

          In the deal listed above what are you really giving up??

          Nova – probably the most valuable person in that package because he’s ML ready, has team control and has done it at the final level.

          Romine – the Yankees who have NO IDEA who is their catcher next year barely talk about him being in the battery. Are you really that pissed off about loosing him?

          Austin – we all love him but he’s proven NOTHING and he’s 2.5 full years away… so much could happen – and your buying into someone whos JUST done in in A ball.

          Manny – oh yeah our saving grace next year.. smh.. What if he doesnt come back like 2011? You ALL saw what happened to Betances… Manny is STILL a project and needs to improve his control..

          I like all of these prospects…. but thats what they are prospects.. unproven… in the last 6 years we had Hughes, Joba, IPK, Manny, Brackman, Betances…. all guys who we’re deemed so untouchable and all fans loved.. now aside from Manny they are trash or on another team. They did NOT live up to the careers you guys thought they would as Yankees

          trade these guys get a chance at a 24 year old outfielder who finished in the top 5 mvp voting for next year. a guy who will be around for years to come…

          If you want to address the pitching problem… trade Angelo Grumbs, Zolio Almonte, and Campos for Cliff Lees entire contract… id do that in a heart beat..

          Seriously.. i love rooting for prospects who could be cheap studs for the yankees.. but your NOT trading for a player whos 35 at the tail end of his career.. your trading for a hitter who could be 2nd or 3rd best outfielder in the American League…

          • Sweet Dick Willie says:

            While I agree with much of what you say, this is just not true: a hitter who could be 2nd or 3rd best outfielder in the American League…

            Trout, Jones, Hamilton and Jackson are all better than Upton, and this year, Murphy, Gordon, Revere, Rios, Markakis, Cespedes, Brantley, Span and Soo-Choo are all having better years.

            While it certainly isn’t the ultimate judge of a player, you have to consider that he is putting up a 1.1 WAR so far this season.

            • The Guns of Navarone says:

              You don’t think Justin Upton COULD BE one of the best outfielders in the American League?

              It’s fair to say that certain players are having better years, but it’s not fair to say that they’re better than Upton. I don’t think Adam Jones is better than Upton. I don’t think Austin Jackson is better than Upton. It’s certainly arguable and not black and white. Upton is having a bad season and the jury is still out on a lot of these players. It’s too early to say who’s better than who.

              How many of the players you listed had seasons comparable to Upton’s best season? Certainly not Adam Jones, Ben Revere, Rios, Cespedes, Brantley, or Span. Markakis last did it in 2008.

              My point is that I think it’s fair to say that we wouldn’t be terribly surprised if Justin Upton came to the AL next season and was the 2nd or 3rd best outfielder in the league.

              • Sweet Dick Willie says:

                Of course he could be. But his performance right now wouldn’t make him one.

                Yoenis Cepedes could be one of the best outfielders in the league (some day), but right now, he isn’t.

                While AJax may not be better than Upton, at least his career is going in the right direction.

                As far as Adam Jones, I would unequivocally take him over Upton. Doesn’t make him better, just my opinion.

            • YanksFanInBeantown says:

              Austin Jackson is simply not better than Justin Upton. He’s one year older than Upton and this is his first well above average offensive season.

              Upton Age 20: .347 wOBA in the MLB
              Jackson Age 20: .383 wOBA between Low-A and High-A

              Upton Age 21: .388 wOBA in the MLB
              Jackson Age 21: .351 wOBA in AA

              Upton Age 22: .349 wOBA in the MLB
              Jackson Age 22: .348 wOBA in AAA

              Upton Age 23: .385 wOBA in the MLB
              Jackson Age 23: .333 wOBA in the MLB

              Upton Age 24: .324 wOBA in the MLB
              Jackson Age 24: .309 wOBA in the MLB

              So, going by ages, the last time Jackson was better than Upton was when he was 20 years old in Low-A and Upton was in the majors.

              His age 25 season is almost as good as Upton’s age 21 and age 23 seasons, but that’s the only thing you can say conclusively.

          • Jose M. Vazquez says:

            Upton plays in Arizona where the ball flies out of the ballpark with ease. Here are his splits: Home Ab196,Hits 68, OBP.384,SLG.485, OPS.869. Away: AB269, Hits67, OBP.320, SLG.358, OPS.658. There is a wide gap between home and road splits and you believe that will get better at YS?

            • The Guns of Navarone says:

              The ball doesn’t fly out at Yankee Stadium? Or at the Rogers Center? Think Upton might hit well at Fenway? No more games in those cavernous NL West ballparks either. He’s got some wide career splits but he’s hit in the road before and I certainly don’t see how Yankee Stadium would hurt his numbers.

          • DC says:

            You have to be kidding about Lee’s contract, right? Right?

            • vinnie gagliano says:

              what are the other options??? LETS SAY pettitte does not want to come back what is your rotation???

              Obviously we all know the yankees want to get under the cap by 2014.. but they assumed pineda and baneulos could be viable options for us… thats NOT the case going into next year…. Banuelos could have a great first half and we could see him next year. but going into the year he is not projected to be part of our rotation…

              i think several people would agree that if the phillies wanted to dump lees contract the yankees would highly consider it… Theres just no other option for next year..

              • I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

                If by several you mean one, then yes.

              • DC says:

                Lee contract at this point is either a 3yr/$87.5M or a 4yr/102.5M contract, depending how the buyout year factors in. With a $189M budget looming, I wouldn’t consider his contract for a second.

              • DC says:

                And if Pettitte doesn’t come back, you find another option somewhere, but Lee is not one at full contract price.

          • vicki says:

            do you have the yankees resigning granderson after 2013 in this scenario? he and swisher are the same age (and swish is more valuable); so much for getting younger.

          • Laz says:

            Your kidding right? Over the past 3 years Swisher has had a better OBP, SLG, OPS than upton. Sure Upton will get better and swisher worse, but you are talking about 2 players that will provide roughly the same value. If you can get swisher for 45/3 or even 50/3 that is a much better deal. Upton is signed for 3/39 essentially right now, so that is alot of prospects to give up to save 6-10M. Even Your proposed deal is terrible next year. Nova is a good #4 and who do you replace him with?

          • Magilla Gorilla says:

            Vinnie G: You the man! You are right on about Swisher, Nova, Romine, Austin, Manny. Don’t believe we can get this 24 years old OF without giving up too much.

            I would rather screw around for two years with Torii Hunter and wait for the minor leagues to either develop a new starting OF or develop trade value for a young outfielder. But let’s face it, lower revenue teams are much more able to re-sign their own players to extensions than a few years ago. 24 year olds don’t move, except when the GM doesn’t like them.

  4. Jose M. Vazquez says:

    If we sign a catcher, it should be for no more than one year. No matter if it’s Martin, or Shoppach. That should give us time to bring up Romine and or JR Murphy and Sanchez the year after. For the bench I would prefer some hungry triple A guys who can run and field and hit some. We just cannot continue to be a geriatric care team (hospice). It depends on Swisher whether he accepts a three or four year deal at reasonable cost. I don’t see a replacement as good as he inthe horizon. Granderson may be in a slump but he can hit homers and get on base when he is on. I’d keep him too.

    • Magilla Gorilla says:

      Here are the free agent catchers who are not subject to team options. Who will take a one year contract and is an improvement over Martin?

      Koyie Hill
      Gerald Laird
      Mike Napoli
      Wil Nieves
      Ronny Paulino
      A.J. Pierzynski
      Humberto Quintero
      David Ross
      Brian Schneider
      Kelly Shoppach
      Yorvit Torrealba

      I would go with Austin Romine and pray. Pray he can hit and pray his back holds out.

  5. Sweet Dick Willie says:

    In talking with my brother who lives in Tempe, he said the sentiment there is that Towers will definitely deal Upton this winter.

    The local medias portrays him, rightly or wrongly, as a non-hustling malcontent.

    Don’t think that will play well in NY.

    • vicki says:

      too bad the dodgers don’t have room in their outfield. they’re collecting malcontents.

    • Laz says:

      Upton is a good player, but over the past 3 years swish has had a better ops,obp,slg,hr for 39/3 (2013-2015) compared to whatever swish will get. If the price comes down fine, but I think its a terrible idea to trade banuelos, austin, etc for someone that won’t provide production that is any better, and won’t really save that much money.

      In my view they are better off resigning swish or signing torii hunter. Prospects can net you a potentially better player (pineda) but, what is the point if the upgrade is not all that great. Banuelos should still be able to be a solid rotation piece.

    • Big Members Only (formerly RI$P FTW) says:

      Well, that’s settled. I guess the causal fans know exactly what the team will do.

      • Magilla Gorilla says:

        To Big Members Only. Since when did you become Pat Gillick? OK to disagree, not to disparage in a hostile way. You do not know who is on the other side of the blog.

  6. Cody Ransom says:


    I was listening to ESPN radio this morning and the guy talking suggested Granderson for Lincecum straight up.
    Part of me wanted to vomit on the spot. The other part of me imagined 08-11 Timmy striking out 12 winning game 6 of a world series.

    • JonS says:

      That’s interesting. Lincecum didn’t just forget how to pitch. Something happened. If they can find out why not check it out? It’s better than losing Granderson for nothing after next season plus it answers the question of “how does it help the team.”

      • I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

        His second half era is something like 3.3 so far. Just read it a day or two ago, and am too lazy to look up his advanced stats. But it may be that he has corrected whatever the issue was.

      • Big Members Only (formerly RI$P FTW) says:

        They fixed AJ, so why not?

  7. Mike says:

    Would be interested in grabbing Scott Hairston for cheap as a replacement for Jones.

    • Brian S. says:

      Melky Mesa could replace Jones. I have Mesa, CoJo, and Mustelier as bench players next season.

      • Brian S. says:

        In fact, you gotta think if they let Swisher walk and don’t sign another outfielder that you give Musty a starting job.

        • Laz says:

          I’m betting they sign swisher or Hunter. You still need a DH with Ibanez and Jones probably leaving. I wish they had brought up Mustelier or CoJo for September. At least see if they can hit the pitching.

  8. DERP says:

    Does anyone here worry about the poor season Upton is having?

  9. Jay Fernandez says:

    Trade Granderson this off season, and sign a stop gap until
    Mason Williams is ready in 2014. Sign Melky to replace Swisher. Melky will not put up the same numbers he did before the suspension, but he is a better fielder and clutch hitter than Swish.

    • DERP says:

      A few thoughts:

      I don’t think Mason Williams will be ready by the start of 2014.

      The advanced fielding metrics don’t really back up your statement that Melky is a better fielder than Swisher.

      Swisher has been really good with RISP this year. He also has better postseason numbers than Melky (for those of you who don’t care about small samples).

      • Bo Knows says:

        fielding metrics are very unreliable

        Your right about Mason not being ready for 2014…he suffered a shoulder injury that cost him a good chunk in Tampa. He’ll need to start 2013 in Tampa, with the possibility of finishing Trenton. Even if he does that, he’ll still spend the most (if not all) of 2014 between AA and AAA.

        The best bet for 2014 in terms of the Outfield will be Tyler Austin (If he is allowed to start in Trenton, which I think he will), Slade and Flores

    • Flyer7 says:

      Seems like an awful big package for Upton but considering Nova and Manny may never be more than #4s why not? Romine? Not sure. Never one of Mason oor Austin.Maybe someone else,maybe Noonie or Gardner?

      • G says:

        May not be more than 4s, but Manny has the stuff to be a great #2 if he can stay healthy and harness his stuff (which we’ve seen he can do when healthy… So basically just stay healthy). He’s on the small side so projecting him as an ace can be sketchy, but the potential for that is there too, albeit reaching it isn’t probable. Still, hard to justify trading him based on what is essentially his floor.

    • TogaSean says:

      Melky was almost done and without a job prior to PED’s, I’ll take a pass.

      Resigning Swish needs to be a priority as far as I’m concerned, in addition to pitching.

      • YanksFanInBeantown says:

        He’s not going to suddenly lose the muscle mass that he gained, and the work ethic isn’t going away either.

  10. Marcy says:

    Without Swish the Yanks would only have 1 switch-hitter. I know there are a lot of teams that don’t make switch hitters a priority but the Yankees did for many years – and this platoon thing just isn’t working so well.
    If the Yankees were a younger bunch and brought in a group of older guys that “did it before” that would be great but they’re getting to the point where they need to be getting younger everyday players while some of their vets are on the bench. That was sort of tongue in cheek.

    I agree Scott Hairston is better than Andruw Jones at this point of his career.

    This might be an unfair assessment but both Upton brothers – we hear all the time they have all the talent in the world but…having said that – it would be nice to have a right-handed power bat in the outfield but it would be nicer to have a switch-hitting speedster out there. Even though Victorino isn’t old (at least by Yankee standards) his skills seem to be diminishing but it’s just a thought.

    Do we know if Brett Gardner is going to be healthy for spring training? There really are a lot of ifs here.
    Whatever they do re Granderson they need to have a 4th outfielder that can play center – no one should be playing CF everyday.

  11. DM says:

    I think part of the upcoming off-season plan will need to address 2014 as well. That might mean offering extensions for some younger players –i.e., pay them more in 2013 to pay them less than what would get in 2014 otherwise. Also, you’ll need to let some other guys poke thru in the pen in 2013 to see what they might offer in 2014. You can’t look at 2013 in a vacuum, then try to address all the challenges of 2014 next off-season. Cashman will need to get creative way before that time.

    • Marcy says:

      Yes, but what young players? That’s a big part of the problem.

      • DM says:

        Hughes, Nova, Gardner, Robertson, even Joba and Logan. I won’t mention Cano b/c he didn’t bring in Boras to sign a team-friendly extension. It’s a risk of course, but you might save in 2014 by tempting them in 2013. The old policy of waiting then paying up at the end if you really want them won’t work. You have to save somewhere.

        • Marcy says:

          They did that with Robbie a few years ago so it isn’t as if they never do it. I think w/pitching it’s tricky because of injury and the financial situations they’re always in.
          Robertson isn’t a FA until 2015 – let’s see what they do with him.
          Nova isn’t even arb eligible until 2014 so maybe he can redeem himself before you ask the Yanks to pony up plus this is the second time he’s had arm issues that I can think of.
          We don’t know what Gardner will be coming back from this injury and he’s not a FA until 2015 either so I wouldn’t rush until I knew.
          Joba’s not a FA until 2014 — he too has to show he is and can stay healthy, I would think.
          To me Hughes is the interesting case – I like Phil but we don’t know what the organization feels about him.
          I don’t see it with Logan.

          • DM says:

            They rarely do it b/c they’ve had the resources to compensate — but they won’t in 2014. It’s not only about free agency either. It’s about potential arb awards in 2014 and locking players in at a specific price rather than a question mark. They don’t have the cushion to play coy any longer. 189 is a hard number — but you have to get as close as you can. Like I said, it entails a risk — but so does waiting for them to prove performance that might price them out of your budget. Wait and see won’t work this time. No wiggle room. No Cashman getting an extra 3-5-8mil from Hal to fit this guy or that guy.

            • Marcy says:

              You’re right but more than ever they have to be right, they can’t make the mistakes of the past (Igawa style). First they have to be sure the players are healthy and that’s a question with Nova, Joba (though I think he’s getting better, and Gardner. I think they will sign Phil and Robertson. I don’t think they will w/Logan — at least not long-term.
              I heard Robbie tell a story that when he was in AA Donnie pulled him aside and told him he had a chance to be special, what to work on, etc. (2 bad he didn’t tell him to run to 1st base) but seriously, they knew what they had and that’s why they signed him through his arb years. I would think with the inconsistencies with the above mentioned players they’re waiting to see who if any are good enough to want them for the long-term. It doesn’t make sense to just sign them because you have them — it has to be worth it, don’t you think? I hope this goes through…

              • DM says:

                I agree completely. I’m just saying that 189mil in 2014 might alter their usual line of thinking. I can’t see waiting until next off-season to figure out all the pieces of a $189mil roster jigsaw puzzle — minus a handful of aging expensive veterans who aren’t going anywhere, and a huge FA showdown with Boras/Cano. The situation for 2014 is unique — even more unique than other mid and small-market team budgets since it HAS to be no more than $189 — with a huge portion of that already taken up by a fraction of the roster, and only a fraction of that fraction being pitching.

          • Big Members Only (formerly RI$P FTW) says:

            “and the financial situations they’re always in”


  12. Brian S. says:

    You have to figure the roids haven’t worn completely off of Melky Cabrera right? I would be interested in a 1 year ‘prove it’ deal.

  13. Hardy says:

    To me this sounds like a plan to build an 88-win team. Some downgrades, no upgrades and some decline by a team that is pretty old on average.

  14. OldYanksFan says:

    Matsui posted a 123 OPS+ in 7 years for the Yankees.
    Swisher has posted a 122 OPS+ in 4 years for the Yankees.
    Swisher is a far better fielder, they both have averageish arms, Swisher is a better runner (because Matsui was slow), is a Switch Hitter, and plays a decent 1B.

    Why was Matsui so loved, yet people are ready to dump Nick, who is great in the clubhouse, has been very healthy, and has been very consistant (year-to-year)?

    • Jonathan says:

      um…7 vs 4 years. Matsui only played with the Yankees before he left and oh yeah…he won the freaking WS MVP the year his contract was up. That really isn’t obvious to you?

    • Jose M. Vazquez says:

      I don’t want to dump Nick. I love him. But the truth is that Matsui was a more opportunistic hitter than Swish has been so far. Therein lies the love for Hideki.

    • Ron says:

      It’s called clutch. Go look at swisher’s playoff numbers.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      OPS+ is outdated. wOBA says Hideki was a superior hitter. Plus WPA/LI says he’s a lot more clutch than Swisher as a Yankee. And he’s did it for 7 years.

      And there’s the whole playoffs thing which Swisher also disappears in.

    • vicki says:

      and then there’s the porn.

    • Big Members Only (formerly RI$P FTW) says:

      Minorities are looked at as ‘mascots’. See: CC Sabathia.

  15. Marcy says:

    I like Franklin Gutierrez – I think he’s a great fielder; he has been ill but now that they know what’s wrong with him (Crohn’s)and they have Saunders in CF, he could probably use a change of scenery.

    What about Chris Young – the D-backs already brought up their hot hitting OF prospect and they have 1 behind him, I think. Yes, he’s a little older than Upton but his contract isn’t as long and so shouldn’t cost as much trade-wise which is why they probably keep wanting to trade Upton.

    They probably both could use the change of scenery.

    Melky is not coming back.

    Man, if they trade for pitching…that just doesn’t give me a good feeling – then again, they need pitching. Freddy is not coming back. Cashman might try another reclamation project–who knows?

    Kyle Lohse has great stats but his AL stats were AWFUL but clearly Lohse could have learned something since then. Whoever they sign, I hope it’s 1 of those 1 year deals. They’ll have to do something – even if Kuroda and/or Andy come back, they are kind of old tho for me #46 is welcome back as long as he still feels he can be competitive.

  16. Rich in NJ says:

    You can’t have Martin and Swisher on the books for 2014 while retaining any hope of payroll flexiblity, assuming they sign Cano to a monster deal.

    I would much, much rather sign Hughes for 2014 than Martin or Swisher.

    • Marcy says:

      I would guess that if they do sign Cano to a monster deal they structure the contract so the money increases after Jeter’s gone.

      I agree on Hughes, Martin & Swish.

      • Rich in NJ says:

        IIRC, all contracts are calculated in terms of AAV for purposes of tax thresholds, so backloading wouldn’t help.

        • Marcy says:

          I don’t know if you’re still around but if Derek is gone after next year and the new contract officially begins after then – meaning he plays for whatever he’s owed for next year but just signs this off-season to lengthen the contract (for more money) — does that work?

          • Rich in NJ says:

            I think I read, although I’m not certain of its accuracy, that if Jeter doesn’t exercise his 2014 option, that for tax purposes, his option is counted in the 2014 figures along with the amount of any new contract.

            According to Cot’s, his 2014 option can increase from $8m to as high as $17m if he meets the various incentives.

            So if the preceding is accurate, it’s probably in the Yankees’ best interests if he gets close to $17m because I can’t see him agreeing to play for $8m.

            • Marcy says:

              1 last try. I’ve been trying to respond – after looking up the contract I don’t know about the tax part but you’re right on the #’s. Let’s just see if he’s even there in 2014. They already deferred $2M for the 1st 2 yrs. of the contract. I can’t write all I wrote before but I hope this ends better than it did w/Jorge and Bernie.
              Also, I think they have a plan – the question is how well conceived is that plan?

    • Squints says:

      Not that i think they should because his future is so bright and hes the MVP of the team, but couldnt the Yankees get a kings ransom for Cano, good young starter and solid outfield to replace either Swish or Granderson?

      • JohnnyC says:

        He’s a FA after 2013. You’re not going to get that kind of deal for someone who’ll be asking for 8/200.

      • Rich in NJ says:

        It’s worth exploring because a 10 year deal beginning in his age 31 season is a concern, but they would have to nail what they are getting in return. Young starting pitchers often carry significant risks, so I would prefer solely offensive players coming back. Given that he would only be controlled for one season, his value might be lower than what one would otherwise expect.

        If they do go that route, which I doubt, it would truly signal the beginning of a new business model.

  17. Squints says:

    Off Topic: Im going to the game tonight in Baltimore, their expecting rain around game time, where should i check for weather updates for delay or cancellation? I have Yankee Weather on Twitter didnt know if could check anywhere else.

  18. The Moral Majority is Neither says:

    Signing Cespedes and landing Darvish would have been the way to go.
    Sticking too close to a 2012 budget will make it tougher to meet the 2014 budget, when it actually matters.

    • DC says:

      Not necessarily. It depends who gets signed to one year deal(s) and who is ready to contribute from the farm by 2014. Also have to factor in Soriano, Granderson, Mo’s situations.

    • herby says:

      I think missing out on Cespedes was one of Cashmans more brainless moves…all it would’ve cost was money, and in Yankee dollars not a whole lot. I was shocked when he ended up going to the A’s. I never expected much on Darvish, didn’t feel the Yankees wanted to pay the fee, or worry about him flaming out. I’m not too worried they didn’t go that route.

      • Busta says:

        its a little early to be judging that decision.

        • herby says:

          Okay…boy wasn’t signing Winfield to that ten year deal a great one…
          So what is a good timeline to judge a deal…Montero is deemed a bust by most after only one year at 22…Posada wasn’t even in the majors at that point.
          All Cespedes was going to cost the Yankees was money, and not even close to what it would cost to sign Swisher. He could possibly be a replacement for Granderson or Swisher and if it didn’t work out oh well…nothing lost but the parking fees.

  19. J says:

    Choo from the Indians would be great. I know he’s a one year rental, but that may drive down their asking price.

  20. Busta says:

    Are the definitely Angels picking up Haren’s $15.5m option for 2013 even though they added a ton of payroll last winter?

    He’s had a down year but has the potential to be a great pick-up.

  21. Steve S says:

    A Kelly Shoppach (vs. righties) and Frank Cervelli (vs. lefties) platoon would hit fairly well.

    I want to see a fast, incredible-fielding outfield next year. Move Gardner to center, have Dickerson in a platoon situation with a lefty-masher, and but whoever in RF.

    • Magilla Gorilla says:

      It is hard to run a lefty-righty platoon at catcher. Later on in the game you can have the wrong match-ups.

      If you start making switches, then you need a third catcher in emergency. Also, pitchers have catchers that they like to work with.

      So you get the wrong catcher workig against the lefty righty platoon.

      Finally, I could see the platoon maybe if either Shoppach or Cervelli was a left handed hitter.

      • Steve S says:

        I could definitely see that as an issue – then maybe having Chris Stewart around as well isn’t the end of the world. It certainly is doable considering the positional versatility of Eduardo Nunez and Jayson Nix. Have a bench of Stewart/That Night’s Back-Up/Nix/Nunez/Back-Up OF.

        Shoppach won’t command more than $3 million, so essentially they are having an above-average offensive catcher for $3.5 million if you include Cervelli’s pay.

        Another option is having a utility guy around that is capable of playing catcher, in the likes of what Chris Coste was. I don’t know if that player currently exists though.

  22. Magilla Gorilla says:

    Start with what’s good. Yankees are solid around the infield.

    They need a catcher who can hit unless they have hitters in the outfield.

    The outfield consists of Gardner (now of unknown value) They can re-sign Ichiro. These guys represent a very similar game. Slap hitters. Good stolen base guys. Good defenders. Both lefties. Maybe one or the other is unnecessary. Probably Ichiro if Gardner’s rehab is positive and he is able to get in some baseball over the winter.

    Granderson will be back at $15M. The Yankees will work on him and Granderson will be motivated to get his game back to 2011 levels.

    Swisher is important because he is a switch hitter. The Yankees look terrible against lefty pitching and keeping Swisher rather than shuttling in righty bench players who are bad fielders is not the answer. Swisher stays unless you can get Torii Hunter for two years at $13M. Hunter would also help on the right side.

    Starting pitching: Must stick with Pettitte, Sabathia, Kuroda, Hughes and the best of Nova, Pineda. At this point, I would trade either Hughes, Nova or Pineda if I could get a top flight every day player at either catcher or OF. I would not hesitate to move Alex Rodriguez to the outfield, if best trade package involved a 3B.

    Free Agent target might be Anibal Sanchez, longtime Marlins, now with Tigers.

    I would go to Alex Rodriguez and ask him to tear up his contract. Give him an extra two years at a minimal total contract increase. Maybe he can give up those now-worthless home run marketing bonuses. the idea of a new contract would be to lower the average yearly salary he is paid and allow more flexibility in the Robinson Cano contract.

  23. Capt C says:

    Should let swisher walk and resign Ichiro to a one year deal to play RF. Pick up grandy’s option and trade him for prospects this team needs to get younger and build the farm up.

  24. Vic says:

    Next year sounds miserable, Mike. “Bridge year,” anyone?
    The good news is, ARod’s contract will be off the books in 5 short years, and I’m sure most of us will still be alive.

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