Jan
17

The Disconnect in Team Policies

By

(Debby Wong/US PRESSWIRE)

Principal owner Hal Steinbrenner created a bit of a stir last week when he showed a remarkable lack of awareness by saying he was “surprised to hear that there’s [fan anger] if you see what we’ve done this off-season.” Other than re-sign a few of their own older players and import the downside of Kevin Youkilis‘ career, the Yankees haven’t done much of anything this offseason. They didn’t even maintain the status quo — the pitching staff is the same and the offense is weaker because Nick Swisher and Russell Martin were allowed to depart.

Anyway, let’s move on from that nonsense and talk about something else Hal said last week. Here are the specific quotes, courtesy of Brian Costa

“I’ve been resolute that [getting under the $189M luxury tax threshold in 2014] is our goal. And that is our goal … I don’t see [staying under the tax threshold] being less of a goal (in the future). I believe that you don’t have to have a $220M payroll to win a world championship, and you shouldn’t have to.”

[snip]

“I’m not a big believer in extensions. There’s exceptions to every rule, but I’m just not a big believer in extensions. I’m worried about this year.”

These two ideas, getting under the luxury tax threshold and avoiding contract extensions, are technically mutually exclusive. In reality, the two ideas are at odds with each other. Getting under the luxury tax means the team will operate within defined financial limits, but avoiding extensions means the team will also have to pay market value for players. Paying market value and having a hard salary limit are not going to mix well, even with a payroll as large as $189M.

Right now this is not much of an issue. The Yankees only have two legitimate extension candidates in Robinson Cano and Phil Hughes, and the latter is far from a no-brainer. Both are one year away from free agency and Cano is a special case because he’s an elite player due a long-term, nine-figure commitment one way or the other. Perhaps the team should consider extensions for Brett Gardner and David Robertson (three years, $12M for both?), but other youngsters like Ivan Nova, David Phelps, Eduardo Nunez, and Michael Pineda haven’t done enough to warrant any kind of guaranteed commitment. Not yet, anyway.

The Yankees, specifically Hal since he made the comments, want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to stay under the luxury tax threshold in the future and that’s fine even if I disagree with it, but they also don’t want to hand out contract extensions to young players. They can do both, but it won’t be easy. The team saved millions of dollars by buying out Cano’s arbitration years with an extension six years ago, and they should be more open to doing the same in the future. There’s a disconnect between the team’s two policies right now, even if breaking one will help them accomplish the (much more lucrative) other.

Categories : Musings
  • Midnight Rider

    the yankees problem is they have some much dead or stagnant money out, when you start every year with 110 mil + plus for a few players A-Rod, CC,Jeter,Cano,Mo,Pettitte that only leaves about 79 mil for the rest of the team. It’s great when those players are returning equal value on investment but they are not going to get any better and that 79 mil runs out pretty quick

    • ajra21

      I have absolutely no problem with the way they are running this team. Anyone who doesn’t see the reasons why they are doing this is missing th big picture.

  • Blake

    I’d take this a step further and say that if the Yankees aren’t going to just outspend everyone anymore and are serious about a budget….then they also need to consider trading certain players if they won’t sign extensions that are reasonable.

    This doesn’t mean you do it in all cases….but they can’t keep operating halfway between the old Yankees and the new ones…..if they want to be everyone else then operate like everyone else.

    That means considering extensions…..and it also means considering trading players who won’t sign them so you get more long term value than a draft pick.

    They need to pick lane….be the Yankees or be everyone else cause in the middle is a bad spot

    • CountryClub

      I think “in the middle” is exactly where they’re going to stay until Arod/Teix come off the books.

    • nixynoodles

      You can’t be half a gangster

    • jsbrendog

      no such thing as halfway crooks

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Scared to death and scared to look they shook

    • Ted Nelson

      Reports were that they were open to offers for Hughes and Granderson this off-season, so if you ignore those maybe you have a point.

    • Chris

      I see a severe lack of understanding about what the Yankees are attempting to do. Every consecutive year that a team is over the luxury tax threshold, the rate they pay (per dollar over the limit) increases. Getting under the luxury tax threshold for just one year resets the scale to zero. With the luxury tax threshold increasing to $189 million next year, it is the first time the Yankees have a realistic shot of getting under it in the past decade. Once they get under it for one year, they can go back to spending as much as they want since the rate they pay will have reset and they don’t have to worry about it for another few years.

      So being in the middle for one year is not necessarily a bad thing. Go for the championship this year, collect the draft picks from departed free agents and sign fillers/bring up young talent in 2013 and then become Dodgers (East Coast version) from 2015 onwards.

  • Upstate Yanks

    Mike I continue to wonder why your so against staying under 189? If we go over, the luxury money gets distributed to other teams. Why should we have to pay other teams the money we make just because their product sucks?

    • CountryClub

      I actually agree with you. I’m not hung up on 189 like most fans are. But, most fans know that the Yanks/Yes make a ton of money and they just don’t accept the 189 cap. I can understand that line of thinking.

      I’ve kind of accepted that there’s going to be at least 1 down yr while we wait for Arod/Teix/CC to come off the books. But once those contracts clear, there’s no reason why they Yanks cant be a force with a 189 mil payroll (it’s also why I’d be shocked if they sign Cano).

      • jjyank

        I agree about the budget. My philosophy on life is to view things the way other people do before I judge them. If I owned the Yankees under this CBA, I would likely be doing the same damn thing. So I refuse to get all pissy about it. Of course, I’m always an optimist when it comes to sports, so I also believe that they can be a solid contender with the budget as well.

        • commerce

          You probably missed the CBS years and some cellar-dwelling after ’64 until GeorgeS came along.

      • http://thegreedypinstripes.com Bryan V

        Too many Yankee fans just thrive on being negative, and this budget gives them something else to complain about. It’s extremely annoying, but that’s the way it is in New York.

        I, too, am totally fine with the budget. Although I understand that going with a budget while ARod is still making nearly $30 million a year is really tough, and the team could suffer because of it.

        What’s funny is that people have complained for years about the Yankees spending too much (and rightfully so… ARod’s extension comes to mind), but now they’re complaining that they aren’t spending enough (and maybe rightfully so).

        • MannyGeee

          You nailed it in your first paragraph. Complaining for complaining sake.

          • The Big City of Dreams

            That’s not it at all.

            • Jim Is Bored

              It’s not it for you, or some other people.

              But there are plenty, PLENTY of people who frequent these boards who complain for complaining’s sake. To pretend otherwise is just blind.

              • The Big City of Dreams

                Not pretending just stating that the issue ppl have with the 189 budget is not complaining for complaining sake.

                • Jim Is Bored

                  You’re not reading anything I’m saying.

                  O:S for today.

        • Ralph

          For some it may be complaining just to complain, but for folks like myself that is not the case. Abstractly, having a budget and staying under it I have no problem with. The problem here is, that the Yankees operated for years with no concern for budget (even under Hal and Hank, see Arod free agency and 2009 free agency), now they are forcing hard timeline on when they will adhere to this budget. However, they appear unwilling to make changes to how they do business to maximize their ability meet this budget and build a winning team, which is their ultimate goal. As Mike posted holding firms to the BS extension policy is not making the necessary changes to meet their ultimate goal successfully. As well, it appears to be preventing them from making sound baseball decisions, i.e. trading for J Upton. If we can beleive what has been reported, 3/38M for a 25 yr old slugger just entering his prime is too pricey. Its not just complaining to complain when you have justifiable reasons to find fault with a specific approach.

          • Jack P

            Also the fact remains the Yankees make BOAT LOADS of money and tickets remain extremely high at the stadium. If both those two things remain true, its a sham to convince us that when the cap resets after 2014, that they need to continue to be frugal. There is a reason why they charge so much money for tickets, its because they can and they make billions off of that and YES, do not feel sorry for them they can afford the luxury tax.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Well if they wait fir those guys to come off the books and don’t sign Cano this team is going to take a big step back.

      • JobaTheHeat62

        1 down year? arod is on the books for a looooooooooong time.

    • LK

      The reason Mike is against 189 is because it makes the Yankees worse while providing absolutely no benefit (to Mike; obviously it provides a benefit to Hal).

      • Ted Nelson

        No, there are benefits to Mike. There are the draft picks they are both hanging onto and accumulating. There are prospects they’re hanging onto. There are overpays they’re thinking twice about. There are one year deals they’re signing that give them flexibility going forward.

        There is that whole not winning less than 95 games in a season yet, too. They also won 1 ring in a decade despite outspending every team, so we’re not comparing perennial WS winner to non-winner here.

        That’s not to say you can’t be against it. Saying there are no positives is wrong, though. I think you are one of the best commenters on here, but you have to be actively ignoring the benefits to miss them.

    • Captain’s Gift Basket

      Probably because, under actual circunstances, staying under 189 might turn “our” product into a sucky one.

      As a yankee fan, i don’t care if the yankees are paying for other team’s sodas as long as i can watch a good (great?) team on the field.

      • Ted Nelson

        Then you might want to actually read what Hal said. He said that he’s only sticking to $189 provided they field a championship-contender.

    • keithr

      Luxury tax dollars don’t go to other teams, it goes to MLB. That said, the Yankees do want to get under 189 to limit their revenue sharing hit.

      • chiggie

        I’m with CGB. Don’t care what we pay other teams as long as we are beating them. EVERYONE will be complaining when we do not compete for championships. But, Hal will at least be fattening up his pockets.

    • Blake

      This is what’s actually done with the luxury tax money….which is separate from revenue sharing.

      H. Uses of Competitive Balance Tax Proceeds
      Competitive Balance Tax proceeds collected pursuant to Section B(4) above shall be used as follows.
      (1) The first $2,375,400 of proceeds collected for each Contract Year shall be used to fund benefits to Players, as provided in the Major League Baseball Players Benefit Plan Agreements.
      (2) 50% of the remaining proceeds collected for each Contract Year, with accrued interest, shall be used to fund benefits to Players, as provided in the Major League Baseball Players Benefit Plan Agreements.
      (3) 25% of the remaining proceeds collected for each Contract Year shall be contributed to the Industry Growth Fund and, with accrued interest, used for the purposes set out in Article XXV.
      118

      (4) 25% of the remaining proceeds collected for each Contract Year, with accrued interest, shall be used to defray the Clubs’ fund- ing obligations arising from the Major League Baseball Players Benefit Plan Agreements.

    • GMC

      +1

    • Jerkface

      Luxury tax money does not get distributed to other teams. It pays player benefits and goes to the MLB future fund. And even if it did, so what? MLB is not a bunch of competing businesses like you’d imagine restaurants or something. It is a cooperative monopoly where the Yankees are only valuable if they are battling a collection of near equally valuable teams.

      Without opponents worth a damn, there is no sport.

    • Jack P

      “Why should we have to pay other teams the money we make just because their product sucks?”

      We don’t do anything, the Yankees pay for it, and they make plenty of money to be able to bankroll a superb team.

      “Mike I continue to wonder why your so against staying under 189?”

      Because the Yankees can afford to go over 189 and still make loads of money. They also charge extreme amounts of money for tickets these days, the fans expect that to go back into the team, not into the pockets of the suits.

    • commerce

      Our trump card has almost always been the ability/willingness to outspend our competition–the downside is the luxury tax but the upside is to field a winning team. The wages of sin!!!

    • Nyyfaninlaaland

      Actually Upstate it’s more like the opposite is true.

      Luxury tax payments aren’t distributed to other teams – they go to MLB and pay for things like marketing, pensions, or such.

      In actuality, the less the Yanks pay in payroll in a given season the more they would reduce their team expenses vs revenues, thus increasing their revenue sharing contribution, which is distributed to other teams.

      I agree with the approach the Yanks are taking financially – lowering the Lux tax rate means they’ll have that much more to use where they want going forward. So indirectly the money they save in future years (if any) can be used on payroll or development expenses which could then reduce future rev sharing payments. But in the short run – meaning for 2014 – the rationale you’re employing here isn’t correct.

    • Jg941

      Agreed. Folks have to realize that having NO limits on your spending can kinda make you stupid after a while. Sort of like the cliche’ about the idiot sons of wealthy fathers. Knowing that you always just have this bottomless bucket of money makes you lose your actual skills and ability to make the optimal move, not just the most expensive one. And clearly just throwing more money at it ain’t the answer. Just ask the other 9 playoff teams, all under $140 mil last year (compared to Yankees’ $223), 5 of those under $100, and the bottom 3 COMBINED (A’s, O’s & Reds) paying out less the Yanks.

      That’s why the Yankees are buried under the contracts they have now. An actual budget will force Cashman and others to actually have to use whatever baseball smarts they have to properly evaluate every single piece of this team. That can be a painful transition, and he/they may not even be the right people for the job.

      We’ll see.

  • Dan

    i actually see Pineda as a good candidate for a VERY team friendly extension. The surgery he had obviously is not a good sign, but there are survivors from it and guys who have gone on to have very successful careers. why not offer him 5 years for 25 mil (youd be buying out all arb years and 1 FA year i believe). If he comes back and has NOTHING, its 5 million dollars, which, in the big picture isnt a huge dent. If he comes back and is a serviceable 3/4 starter who throws 175 innings a year, its a good deal. if he comes back and is the monster we all hope (expected) him to be, its a brilliant deal. i would be hyper aggressive with young players, trying to get that cost certainty and giving the organization a clearer idea of what the payroll will be each year, rather than waiting for arb figures to come out.

    • YanksFanInBeantown

      The surgery Pineda had isn’t the same as the labrum surgeries that people don’t come back from. Schilling isn’t an example of someone who came back from Pineda’s surgery, because Schilling’s injury was much worse.

      The comparables to Pineda are: Anibal Sanchez, Jose Valverde, Wade Miller and Roger Clemens. Miller is the only one who didn’t come back all the way, and he was significantly older than Sanchez, Valverde and Pineda when he had the surgery.

      Labrum injuries are scary, but this particular one really is not a death knell, despite what Mike has been saying for the past 9 months.

      • Dan

        all the more reason to try and get him on a team friendly deal NOW. his scars are still fresh enough where if you put 25 mil in front of him he could jump at it. if you end up with anibal sanchez, well, F’in A!

        • Blake

          I wouldn’t sign Pineda now unless it was VERY team friendly ….not only are labrum tears unpredictable but even before that Pineda only had a half season track record of success in the big leagues……he can come back from this yes….but with the budget they can’t afford sunk costs and there is too much risk of that now with him IMO…..let him get healthy and then see about it

        • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

          5 years/25 mil for Pineda?

          Insane.

      • http://thegreedypinstripes.com Bryan V

        Absolutely.

        The tear to Pineda’s labrum is on the back-side of his shoulder, whereas the labrum tear that has knocked out most pitchers was on the front-side of the shoulder.

        Just another example of a lot of Yankee fans being pessimistic. Not to mention that they are disregarding Montero’s horrible season and still saying the trade was a major bust. HELLO! You can’t call it a “major bust” until both players have proven things one way or another… which neither have.

        • Coolerking101

          Montero was the best trade chip the Yanks have had in years. If whoever the Yanks traded for him doesn’t pan out, the trade is a BUST. It doesn’t matter what Montero does.

    • Jack P

      Dan your overlooking a major flaw in your argument. Maybe Pineda wouldn’t want to sign an extension KNOWING that his value is at an all time low.

      • commerce

        Hmmm. You have discovered an even more trenchant gambler (Pineda) than the Yankees in this scenario.

    • commerce

      Making that move would be “all in” for sure–shoulder injuries are the pitchers’ equivalent of pancreatic cancer. One doesn’t often recover. But the upside is undeniably good for the club–CALL!!!

      Well written explanation of your p-o-v.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/OneJay76 OneJay76

    The old Yankee way of not talking contact until the current one is up is archaic, and as Mike points out, counter-productive. Locking up their guys before they hit the market is essential to having the least amount of cost certainty. Here’s hoping the higher-ups can see the answer that is staring them in the face.

    • jjyank

      I agree that the extension policy needs to change in light of the budget. It made some sense previously, because the Yankees could afford the players once they hit free agency. But if they’re not going to be doing that as much, they definitely need to open up to the idea of signing some arbitration guys to extensions.

  • Greg

    The budget means they have to start thinking like Tampa Bay. Draft well. Lock up young guys early. Trade expensive guys in the down side. Avoid high price FA’s. At least until we’ve burned off Arod and Tex.

    • http://thegreedypinstripes.com Bryan V

      The Yankees don’t need to avoid paying a lot of money because of ARod and Tex (not sure Tex should be mentioned in the same breath, but whatever). Take those two out, and the Yankees still have over $135 million to spend… which is more than all but a few teams in MLB.

  • trr

    Let me sum it up: Poor Management will be reflected by poor team performance on the field. We, as fans, can either buy an inferiior product or stay away. The choice is ours.

    • jjyank

      You’re right, the choice is ours. But I’m a Yankee fan damn it. I refuse to not be over something like this. This idea of boycotting things to send a message seems absolutely silly to me.

      • Captain’s Gift Basket

        Absolutely, plus there is a great chance that the 2013 yankees are still pretty good.

        • Adam

          Seriously, only Yankee fans could fathom boycotting a team that will at the absolute very least challenge for a playoff spot and probably get in.

    • MannyGeee

      Soooooo, when you leavin?

    • Ted Nelson

      How about waiting to see what the product on the field actually does before deciding it’s inferior?

      • The Scout

        Amen.

      • Jim Is Bored

        But but but then what would we complain about right now?!

  • LK

    Really good point, Mike. The no-extension policy was always an advantage, because the Yankees could wait until they had the maxiumum amount of information on a player, and then if they wanted him they could always sign him since they would offer the most money. Now that getting out-bid is a very real possibility, the no-extension policy is basically inane.

    • jjyank

      Yeah, I basically made a similar point above somewhere. I don’t really have an issue with the budget, as you and I have previously discussed, but I agree that the extension policy needs to be very much loosened if that’s what they’re doing.

      • LK

        Right. I think the biggest issue with the budget is that it requires a complete re-working of the way the Yankees operate, and that can’t be done overnight. I don’t think they have enough time to overhaul their system before 2014.

        • Stan the Man

          That wouldn’t be the case though, this process started after 2009. They have signed almost exculsively free agents to short term contracts and the Pineda trade was their first big splash to get under the $189. I don’t think the Yanks are doing this overnight at all.

    • Gonzo

      They have to see how well Cano’s extension and want more of that excess production. I think they’ll reconsider their stance on extensions when they see the right situation. Otherwise, I’m with you that it doesn’t make sense.

      • LK

        It’s certainly worth noting that they haven’t had a great candidate for an extension recently, so that’s a good point. Hal’s comment does suggest that their policy isn’t going to change, but of course we should take public comments with a grain of salt as it might just be for leverage.

        • Gonzo

          I might be too hopeful, but I think it’s just a stance to make life easier until the right candidate comes along.

          • LK

            Well, even when the budget was higher and the policy was in full force they gave Cano an extension, so it’s obviously not a hard-and-fast rule. However, they’re going to have to be a little less risk averse now that they’re spending less money.

            Another point that I think is getting ignored a little bit is that while the absolute reduction in the Yankees payroll isn’t huge (but is still significant), other clubs are spending more, making the reduction in the Yankees’ relative payroll more substantial than it appears at first glance (which is what really matters, since you’re bidding against the other teams).

            • Gonzo

              Totally agree with the second part.

    • Ted Nelson

      Depends on the player. Neither Hughes nor Cano seems like a good candidate. The only reason for a club to extend a player is to get a nice discount for assuming performance and injury risk that would otherwise be taken by the player. Hughes may want a deal he hasn’t earned, so more information would be good to determine his value. Cano seems set on maxing out, which again defeats the purpose of an extension… bidding against yourself to satisfy his demands rather than seeing what the market will bear for a 2B in his 30s.

      Mike seems to adjust assume the Yankees can make players take a discount, which isn’t necessarily the case. Gardner and DRob might laugh and then feel insulted should the Yankees offer them 3 year $12 mill extensions, which seem laughably low to me. The Yankees might have given their agents a # like that already for all we know.

      • LK

        Right. They don’t have any good extension candidates now, and it’s possible they won’t stick to the policy if they do have a good candidate (as they did in the past with Cano). I do think if they want to hit the payroll target they’re going to need to be more open to extensions when they’re appropriate.

  • http://thegreedypinstripes.com Bryan V

    You forgot to mention that signing an extension before Opening Day of the last year remaining on a player’s current contract would affect the new contract.

    If the Yankees agreed to an extension with Cano before Opening Day of this season, his new contract would simply be added to his current contract, which would make the AAV lower thanks to his current team-friendly deal.

    The downside of doing that would be that the AAV for 2013 would go up, due to the new contract being worth much more. This is why the Red Sox waited until after the season started to make the extension with David Ortiz in 2006 official.

    BTW, I checked, and that rule did not change with the new CBA. Which makes me believe the Yankees aren’t sure yet that they even want to re-sign Cano, otherwise it would be a no-brainer for them to get an extension down now to make fitting him into the austerity budget a bit easier (it’s not that big a difference, but would likely save 2-3 million bucks).

    • Ed

      If Cano gets an 8 year, $160m extension right now, it saves about half a million on the luxury tax. I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes more than that, making the savings even less. It’s just not significant enough to worry about. The time to extend him was last winter, when he had an extra year at an even lower salary included.

      Also, don’t forget he signed on with Boras, and that he wants to be paid like a star. He’s not doing us any favors here.

    • Stu H

      Any extensions we make for any other players (such as Phil Hughes) would have the same sort of impact. It would increase their AAV for 2014 luxury tax purposes.

      The only way any of this would have helped was for it to have happened years back (e.g., with Cano). Otherwise, they really do need to wait until after 2014 to start extending for it to help for luxury tax purposes.

      • TimA

        If Cano signed a extension it would make his new deal include all his previous years, including the league minimum ones to the AAV, you add all his MLB years with the Yankee’s together with the new deal, and divide by years on current contract + new contract years. My math says that if he was getting a new 8/180MM deal (which is ballpark low end what Boras wants for him, but is enough he would think hard about it) the AAV on it would be 22.5MM, but when you add his current 6/57MM deal to it which is what happen for AAV purposes, then you get an AAV of 16.9MM giving you an extra 5.6MM in 2014 and beyond to work with from a luxury tax standpoint. The savings on extending him now if they are going to pay is legitimate, and large. The Yankees run a wasteful organization that is trying to be frugal. You cant slash your $/WAR ratio over night, and you especially can’t if your unwilling to make the move that’s in your best interest because of out of date policy. The front office should have a pretty good idea about whether they want to keep Cano or not, they also could make a significant enough offer for him to consider staying, and probably save at least 20MM in dollars/years, by not letting the Dodgers bid against them next winter since LA is going way past the tax anyways. Do what’s smart all the way around or don’t, and don’t bitch when you don’t have another WS title till after 2020.

  • Jim Is Bored

    I’m gonna go ahead and channel Ted here for a second.

    The key phrase everyone is leaving out(paraphrased): Our aim is to be under 189 million IF we think we have a championship caliber team.

    That’s a HUGE if, and while Ted can grate on anyone, I have seen absolutely no responses to him when he brings up that completely legitimate point.

    • jjyank

      True, I had forgotten about the conditional end to that quote. I looked it up by the way, this is the exact quote:

      “Is our goal (a $189 million payroll) next year? Yes. But only if I’m convinced if the team I see, that we’ve put together, is a championship-caliber team.”

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        But if Hal can’t see any reason for fans to be upset with the offseason so far, I’m not sure I’d want him judging whether the team is “championship-caliber” or not.

        • jjyank

          I personally think too much is being made of his quotes.

          • http://thegreedypinstripes.com Bryan V

            I’m with you. Yankee fans have been starving for news, so they were ready to jump on anything. So it’s not surprising they’ve taken this bit too far.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting

            I agree. I’m glad he’s indicated an openness to exceed the threshold if the situation warrants it. I just don’t see where he’s shown to have the baseball knowledge to make that determination. Hopefully he’ll take heavy input from his “baseball people”. And hopefully his “baseball people” don’t keep saying “Ken Phelps, Ken Phelps, Ken Phelps”.

        • Captain’s Gift Basket

          Plus, wich day is the deadline to determine wheter the team he sees is a championship-caliber team? 11-01-2013 or, if things aren’t going well, he’ll try to fix everything by july of 2014?

        • Ted Nelson

          When the games are actually played, it’s a lot more obvious where the team stands.

          Fans should not be upset about this offseason. It is ridiculous. A little worried, sure. Apprehensive, I’d say. People ignore that they are returning Gardner, Pettitte, and Mo and assume that Youkilis is cooked and ARod will not return and Jeter’s ankle is done. The same people who wouldn’t stop complaining about Martin all year, now won’t stop complaining that he’s gone. People act like they’ve never had any holes in the last 20 years when they’ve survived plenty. The Blue Jays overpay for a bunch of guys in terms of $ or talent, and suddenly everyone is sure they will jump 20+ wins. (People would hate it if the Yankees brought on Beurhle and then Reyes and JJ at market rates and gave up assets to do it, they’d hate it if they gave two top 5 prospects for Dickey.) The Rays trade their #2 SP and lose 2 of their best position players from 2012. The Os do nothing. People hate the Sox off-season. Yet, they still freak out that the Yankees didn’t up their payroll to $250+ million or something. It’s just shiny new toy syndrome. It’s not about winning one off-season, but fielding the best team.

          Is this team a favorite to win the WS? No. Is it a contender on paper? By any reasonable standard, yes. Fans should stop whining and either wait for the season or go front run for the Dodgers if all they care about is buying shiny toys.

          • TomH

            People ignore that they are returning Gardner, Pettitte, and Mo and assume that Youkilis is cooked and ARod will not return and Jeter’s ankle is done.

            Utter nonsense. The argument is that Pettitte, Rivera, Youkilis, and Jeter are dangerously old and, in the case of 2 of them, also returning from serious injuries: and that it is these undeniable facts that are being ignored by Pollyanna’s like you. It is those facts, coupled with the injury to Alex and the departure of Swisher’s, Martin’s, and Ibanez’s HR’s that are at issue. Don’t simplify your opponents’ arguments, although, having said that, I realize that when it is to someone’s advantage to misunderstand people it is useless for those people to try to make themselves understood.

            • Ted Nelson

              No. That they are older is undeniable. That this will mean the Yankees don’t contend is far from an undeniable fact.

              Replacing HRs? LOLOLOLOL I don’t need to simplify your arguments. You do it so well. I just need to let you speak, I don’t even need to present an argument. Replacing HRs… You are too much.

            • Jim Is Bored

              Youkilis may be coming off of an injury, but he is not “dangerously old”. He’s 33, which is not young, but he’s not in the same class as Jeter, Rivera and Pettitte.

              • Ted Nelson

                Not sure TomH has ever made one comment that is either a. relevant or b. positive.

                • TomH

                  I am the Spirit that always denies.

              • Preston

                To be honest there may be more signs of age affecting performance for Youk than Jeter, Pettitte or Mo. Not all people age the same and 33 is certainly old enough for a player to decline.

                • Ted Nelson

                  And young enough to bounce back from a down year.

            • Comedy

              Gardner returning. Now that’s FUNNY! As if he’s going to do anything at the plate! Gardner returning wow I’m laughing so hard right now!!!!

              • Jim Is Bored

                I hope this is trolling, based on the handle.

              • jjyank

                Right, it’s not like Gardner has a career .355 OBP and has ever lead the league in steals before…Ohhhh wait, he has. Stop talking out of your ass.

                • Laz

                  people downplay him, but fact is most teams would be happy to have him manning CF for them.

    • Ted Nelson

      There is no response.

      I have lost a ton of respect for Mike over his treatment of this issue.

      • Jim Is Bored

        I’ve loved this site, and I love, generally, the content Mike puts out.

        But these articles are sky-is-falling troll bait, and nothing else.

        Although whatever, I guess he has to have the page views during the offseason too.

        • Ted Nelson

          I think his best strategy would be to differentiate himself from the MSM dredge with credible analysis, so I think that this is what he really believes.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Maybe his stance on this issue is an extreme one and he’s letting it be known. It shouldn’t take away from the other articles he has written over the yrs

        • Ted Nelson

          I disagree

          • The Big City of Dreams

            You have the right too but that makes you lose respect for him? I could understand if he came out and said the Yankees will be in last place this yr.

            • Ted Nelson

              Part of it is the context of the tone that is near suicidal depression all offseason.

              The other part is ignoring what actually happened to make up a story that fits his narrative. What Hal actually said was that they are aiming for that budget provided they contend. Mike turned that into they will be at that budget forever, and that is a terrible thing.

    • LK

      Well, since this plan was first leaked:
      -The Yankees’ top pitching prospect has had Tommy John surgery.
      -The Yankees’ second-best pitching prospect regressed so heavily that he was demoted.
      -The Yankees’ youngest starter from 2011 has a disaster season in which he lead the league in XBH allowed.
      -The Yankees’ traded their best position player prospect for a pitcher who then needed shoulder surgery and is now a complete question mark.
      -The Yankees’ top catching prospect missed essentially the entire season with a back injury and their current starting catcher was allowed to leave in free agency.
      -The Yankees’ first baseman had his 4th consecutive year in which his season was worse than the one before it.
      -The Yankees’ third baseman needed a second hip surgery.
      -The Yankees’ second baseman hired the best agent in baseball who will almost certainly extract massive contract.
      -The Yankees’ shortstop (who is in his late-30s) needed ankle surgery.
      -The Yankees’ allowed their right fielder to leave in free agency and was replaced with a player in his late-30s who last had an OBP above .310 in 2010.
      -The Yankees’ ace went on the DL twice in one season.
      -The Yankees’ left fielder missed essentially the entire season with elbow surgery.

      I think the team will still, in spite of all this, be good next year. At that point their center fielder, second baseman, and 3 of their 5 starting pitcher will be free agents, and what is already an old team will be a year older. If enough hasn’t already happened to make them re-think this plan, I’m not sure what’s going to.

      • Gonzo

        “By the way, it’s official. I can’t have children.”

        • LK

          Haha, sorry to be a downer. It’s really a testament to the strength of the organization that they’re set up to be a contender with all the poor fortune they’ve had in the past year. I think they’re still set up very well for 2016 and beyond, but with the weakness at the top of the farm system I’m very worried about 2014 if they’re not going to spend their way out of it.

          • Gonzo

            I’m glad you got the reference.

          • Ted Nelson

            I think this is the most important thing you’re ignoring, so I’ll say it first: trades. Promoting prospects and signing FAs are not the only ways to fill out a roster. They can move prospects for cost controlled players on well below market deals.

            As much as went wrong in 2012, the same amount could go right in 2013. Or it could go wrong. Or more likely it will be a mix. Why not wait to see?

            I think you are overstating the weakness at the top of the farm. Austin, Slade, Turley, Flores, Segedin, and Montgomery are in AA. Romine, Adams, CoJo, Marshall, Warren, Whitely, and hopefully at least one serviceable bench OF are in AAA. Sanchez, Mason, Goody, Black and some other lower down guys are capable of quick rises. Manny is having TJS, not a labodomy. Betances might need a labadomy, but he also might be an effective RP despite the volatility.

            And while they’re not going to totally spend their way out of it, they are in a position to spend a TON next offseason.

            • LK

              I need to go, but just a quick reply:

              -The reason to not wait and see is because if you wait and see you might not be able to react in time.

              -If they sign Cano, they won’t be in position to spend a ton next offseason; remember, with the full 40-man salaries and benefits, the cap is really more like $175M. If they don’t sign Cano, then they have a ton of value to replace.

              • Ted Nelson

                I understand your point. I disagree.

                If you commit yourself now, you are decreasing flexibility. Not increasing it.

      • Ted Nelson

        Come on. You lay out exactly what is going on in your comment. They will still be good in 2013. No need to ct prematurely at this point. They can keep evaluating things on an ongoing basis.

        You have also chosen to ignore everything that went right:
        -3 prospects emerged from the low minors to the mid minors as top 50 prospects… One of which is actually their top C prospect, not Romine
        -Slade got at least temporarily healthy, mashed AzFL, and is being talked about as a top 50-100 talent
        -Phelps had a solid rookie year
        -Nova took a major step forward on Ks as well as the step backwards on hittability… Heck even his emergence as a rookie probably falls under the what’s happened since they announced it filter
        -Jeter bounced back from what looked like the edge of the cliff
        -They found out that ARod had no mobility in his hip, which might be fixed
        -Just about all the things you mentioned are things the player may recover from or bounce back from
        -Ichiro played very well for them, and of there was a mechanical or mental change they helped him make they may believe it is likely to carry over to at least some extent

        So, I think they are right to keep moving forward. If things go poorly this year, they may have to re-evaluate. AND HAL LITERALLY SAID THAT IS WHAT THEY WILL DO.

        • LK

          I think the time has passed for when they need to re-evaluate. I don’t think this can all be fixed in one offseason if things go wrong. Some of what you lay out are positive developments, but are unlikely to help in 2014.

          • Ted Nelson

            I disagree. A lot can happen in a year. It’s premature to decide definitively what will happen in 2014.

            • LK

              If you want to say that it’s possible, then yes, I agree. To me, we’ve passed the point where given the relevant probabilities, ownership should have accepted that 189 for 2014 while remaining a contender is unrealistic, and instead tried to plan for 2015 when the top prospects should be reaching the majors. It’s fine if you disagree, I don’t claim to have perfect knowledge.

              • Ted Nelson

                Yeah, like I said… I disagree. I understand your point. You don’t have to keep explaining it. I just think it’s illogical hogwash.

                What did you want to see them do? Sign Swisher? A huge portion of their prospect talent is in OF they are on record saying could be in MLB this season. Cash said Austin is a special talent who could move very quickly. Newman said they expect Slade in MLB in 2013 or something. They could have signed Martin and stayed under $189 pretty easily, so I have to assume part of it was just not seeing the value. Maybe being worried about his back.
                Otherwise, what did you want them to do?

                They are in a position now to contend in 2013 and evaluate the budget as they go. If they went out and spent like wild this off-season, they would have no choice in the matter.

                • LK

                  To be honest, the fact that you’re citing Cashman and Newman’s public statements on the Yankees’ prospects is proof to me that your position is overly optimistic.

                  • The Big City of Dreams

                    Cashman and Newman’s public statements on the Yankees’ prospects is proof to me that your position is overly optimistic.

                    ——————–

                    The fact that Cash and Newmann are even thinking about those kids getting time in 13 tells me the entire organization is overly optimistic.

                    • LK

                      Well, that’s sort of thing, I think if you hooked up Cashman and Newman to lie detectors you’d hear a different story. Newman in particular is ridiculously pollyannaish when it comes to the Yanks’ prospects.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      It’s optimistic, but not at all unrealistic that your top OF prospects will make it from AA to MLB in a year at 22 and 23. We’re really talking about 2014 here. I was just offering evidence from people within the organization that they have some options in the OF. Really the point I was making was that things have changed in a positive way regarding the 2014 OF picture, not a negative way.

                      Making it to MLB to contribute also doesn’t mean reaching your ceiling. A young guy can be ready to hold his own against MLB Ps, but not a total stud. Spreading your risk across 5 or 6 guys you’re looking at as potential contributes also significantly increases your odds of actually getting a contributor or two.

                      And if none works out, OF are generally relatively easy to find compared to IF or SPs.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      Understood Ted but the Yankees aren’t just looking at these players to chip in but to make a serious impact. Anytime Hal speaks about 2014 it’s always these guys have to step up…these guys have to get the job done.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    So, no answer to what you’d have liked to see them do? Just “spend mo money damnit!”

                    My point is that the 2014 OF picture has not been impacted in a particulalry negative way since the plan was announced, and in fact it’s very easy to argue that there are tons of positive developments. Ichiro, Austin, Slade, Mason, Flores, Mesa… Point is that OF is not where the unfavorable developments you’re talking about have hit them.

                    Mostly P is where the tangible ones have hit. And their staff is boss going into 2013.

                    So…….. again……… What should they have done to blow past the $189 budget for 2014?

                • The Big City of Dreams

                  Otherwise, what did you want them to do?

                  —————–

                  Be in a better position prospect wise so that they could make an easier transition. The last thing I want to see is these kids rushed to the bigs to save the team in 2014.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    I meant what did he want to see them do this offseason to blow by the $189 budget.

                    They have the 11th best farm according to BA. Every team could be in a better situation prospect wise. A lot of what you’re talking about is as likely to boil down to dumb luck as anything, with injuries setting back Manny, Romine, Adams, Slade, Bleich… a lot of what, in theory, was hoped to be the MLB ready talent (give or take) right now.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      Some of it is bad luck.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      Maybe ppl think Hal putting that out there is just talk. We’ve heard about the budget over the past couple seasons and whenever Cash, Hal, or another Yankee official was asked about it the response was that’s the goal and we’re sticking to it. But now after all off season of hearing the fans are upset he comes out and says that. Why not say it yrs ago when they first mentioned it

  • mitch

    Matt Harrison just signed an extension of 5 years 55mil which bought out two years of arbitration. He’s better and more accomplished than Hughes, but was under team control for an extra year. Wouldn’t something like 4/44 (8,12,12,12) have been a reasonable offer for Hughes?

    • Ted Nelson

      I believe Hughes just agreed to a 2013 deal.

      I think that might be his market value as a free agent. Personally, I think that the Yankees can find better value for that money. It might be what Hughes gets, but I’d let him walk.

      • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

        I think the bigger problem is that he will get even more than that as a FA, ‘worth’ it or not. Too many teams with major TV money coming on line, and pretty much every team needs SP, always.

        i wouldn’t be too too surprised for him to approach CJ Wilson money if he has a decent year this year. Yeah I know his numbers aren’t as good, but it’ll be 2 years later, the TV money league wide, he’s still young-ish, and the rest of the SP FA list is pretty thin iirc.

        • Ted Nelson

          I don’t think it’s a problem. Let him walk. Replace him with better value.

          CJ Wilson was a better P signed just last year. Dumpster was a better P signed this year. EJax was a better P signed this year. I don’t think Hughes is going to suddenly break the market.

          • The Big City of Dreams

            He’s not going to break the market but if he repeats he should get 5/75.

            I’m with you let him walk

            • Ted Nelson

              I don’t think the comparable deals support 5/75. EJax is a better P and got 4/52, as one example from this offseason.

              • The Big City of Dreams

                I didn’t think so either but look at it this way. He’ll be what 27/28 hitting the market with pitchers like Baker, Maholm, Burnett etc. Someone will overpay for this kid.

                • Ted Nelson

                  We’ll have to see. I think you can overpay him at a lot less than 5/75.

                  • The Big City of Dreams

                    I guess we will have to see.

        • MannyGeee

          If he has a nice season and makes the leap (FINALLY) this season, he’s in line for AJ/Awesome O’ Clock money, not CJ Wilson money…

          That is a LONG LONG LONG way to go for Hughes to break $85M, no matter what he throws this season

          • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

            Okay maybe we are splitting hairs when I say “close to” CJW money. Rather than get worked up about that shade of grey, I would simply say that he could easily get more than 4/44 both in years and in AAV. And, I agree with those above: let him walk if so.

    • Mister D

      Its reasonable, but Hughes is an awful fit in the Stadium. Not his fault or the team’s fault or anything, it just is.

  • dasani

    Lets face it Yankee fans have been spoiled for a long long time. I agree with Hal that you don’t need a 200 million dollar payroll to win a championship. I doubt very much the Yankees will ever field an inferior team, once all the dead weight contracts are cleared out in a few years it will be interesting to see which direction this team is taken to.

  • 28 this year

    I think the 189 mandate could have a few other effects. If the Yankees are serious about staying under, it would cause the amount of revenue sharing for small market teams to decrease. Because those teams like those profits, the next CBA might step back on hurting big market teams when small market teams start losing money because a big market won’t spend and share. This could open the door to smaller luxury taxes and smaller penalties for going over the limit because then the small markets will want the large markets to spend a bit. Of course, the Dodgers might throw a wrench into this line of thinking…

    • Ted Nelson

      Agreed, but there’s no room for strategic thinking when the majority of writers and commenters here are convinced that the sky is falling.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Small markets don’t lose revenue sharing money under the new CBA.
      Only the few big market teams that receive revenue sharing $$ stand to lose revenue sharing money, and they lose regardless of what the Yankees spend.

      • Ted Nelson

        I think the point was more that luxury tax money that benefited other teams, arguably small market teams with small budgets relatively more, may start to dry up a little. Though the Dodgers may counteract that.

        And the even larger point was that part of it may be strategic, ie anticipating the moves of others. Ignoring this incentive may have just caused a harsher CBA next time. There may be some other benefits in negotiations.

    • Gonzo

      Wasn’t the old way under the old CBA that revenue sharing and the luxury tax were separate from each other?

      I don’t know if that changed though.

  • Raul Moandesi

    The problem is they’ve avoided extensions but then given huge contracts to guys that didn’t deserve them or who could be seen as never living up to them (looking at you Teixeira and A-Rod). In both of those cases if they were paying them something close to market value today (say $15M each), they’d be well-under the threshold already.

    That’s where Hal really worries me. He’s just smart enough to be truly dangerous with these principles. Understanding that you are the Yankees and can pay the open market price is actually a fine idea. Always take the view that you can match any contract offer if you choose to.

    The problem is when you choose the wrong players to invest in at those market rates. The Howard and Fielder contracts are really bad. But so too is Teixeira’s. The challenge isn’t paying market rates for players and being sure they are deserving or underpriced, as in the case of extensions. The challenge is being smarter than the market. Even as they had a bad contract in Giambi (that worked out far better than Teixeira’s has) after a year or two of Andy Phillips they forgot that 1B is a relatively easy position to fill, especially with aging players.

    And A-Rod’s contract was signed before they ever saw what the market would bear for him. He opted out. They should have seen what the market would bear for him. Instead, they essentially gave him an extension.

    • Ted Nelson

      I think you are forgetting how good Tex was. That’s not to say that it was a great value signing, but it also wasn’t particularly obvious that he’d suddenly start declining in what should have been prime years.

  • Ted Nelson

    No, they are not “technically” mutually exclusive. Extensions can backfire and hurt your budget as well as help it. Players are going to take a discount on an extension, but only because of the uncertainty over what will happen between now and free agency.

    • Gonzo

      You might want to look up “mutually exclusive” and while you’re at it look up “technically” too.

      • Gonzo

        BTW, this is not a hostile comment.

        • Gonzo

          Just messing with you Ted. Haha.

      • Ted Nelson

        No, pretty sure I used them correctly there.

        • Gonzo

          You did. It was a joke based on our last tangle.

  • Darren

    I’ve thought long and hard about this one, but in order to have any credibility as an internet commentor, I must choose sides…

    I agree, Michael Pineda hasn’t done enough to earn a contract extension.

  • Paco Dooley

    They had the luxury of the no-extensions policy when they had no clear spending cap. They could wait to see how players performed and then pay market value for that established value. This doesn’t make sense if you want to manage costs and are not willing to always pay the market value.

    So I agree that they are mutually exclusive…

  • There’s the Door

    Hal was born on third base believing he hit a double.

    • jjyank

      And this comment was born in the dugout thinking he just got back from hitting a homer.

      • Gonzo

        This is good.

      • gc

        Well played!

  • Captain’s Gift Basket

    So, Napoli for 1 year and 5M… That Hip must look like crap, but at that price i would’ve taken the chance with him too.

    • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

      Apparently incentives can take it to $13mm. I assume PAs. That still might be fair value but an entirely different matter (obviously) than $5mm. Still, your point holds about his hip, or at least their opinion of it!

  • Celerino Sanchez

    First, Hal and Hank are bad businessman for resigning A-Rod to a huge contract that has turned into a huge albatross and by overpaying when there was no one else bidding against the Yankees. Now, Hal the “good businessman”, has decided that the Yankees will stay under a $189 million dollar budget. Here are my issues:

    • Their stupidity is to be offset by an inferior on-field product which punishes the fans, most of whom were against the deal in the first place.
    • Are the luxury tax savings going to be used to lower ticket prices or YES’s fees to the cable companies? Of course not – it is going back in the Steinbrenner’s pocket.

    So this is the bottom line (and why most fans are upset) – the Steinbrenners got themselves into this mess and expect the fans to clean it up. They will reap all of the benefits of this new-found fiscal responsibility and the fans will pay more and get less.

    All of this is caused by Hal and Hank

    • Jim Is Bored

      Better to learn from your mistakes than to ignore them.

    • Ted Nelson

      A lot of teams overpay players. This is not unique to the Yankees. The Yankees have still managed to field a contender every year, while most of those other teams don’t. As a fan of the Yankees, I’m not sure how you can feel so indignant.

    • jjyank

      The budget and ticket prices are not related.

      • Jim Is Bored

        You’re fighting a losing battle, methinks.

        • jjyank

          Sadly, you’re right.

    • viridiana

      Yes, Celerino. I remember that wonderfuk day you went 5 for 5.
      And I agree that the junior Steinbrenners are really messing things up– and things will get worse.
      How is it, for example, that they are so focused on 2014 payroll but have neglected to make a single move all winter to begin building a younger cost-controlled roster? They seem to think they can fool the fans with a fairly good team in 2013 before falling off the cliff next year. And by refusing to market the older assets they have they have backed themselves into a corner. Boras has them by the short hairs on Cano. And the Yankees will either pay north of $200 mill in an A-Rod like deal. Or lose him. And yet no effort has been made to trade him for players around whom a budgeted team can build. Same with Granderson and Hughes. Mike hits on the essential point in noting how their moves this winter are inconsistent with the budget plan. But I would go further, saying flat-out that their moves this winter show nothing beyond bean-counting concerns, reflecting no interest in taking the required steps to build a younger cost-controlled team. Extending both Hughes and Joba would be excellent moves in that respect, though I fear Hughes may simply be set on free agency. In any case, look at what this team has for 2014. It’s not pretty (though a commitment to working in young talent actually would make it doable). Thus far, though, no evidence of that commitment or of any concern beyond cutting back. Snip. snip.
      My only question: which will drop faster– the Yankees’ winning percentage or their attendance?

      • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

        Hmm. So all those studs in high A and AA don’t represent any effort toward 2014? And they haven’t made ANY EFFORT (your words, emphasis mine) to trade Cano? Because you are a GM on another team or high level Yankees employee and know this? And they haven’t tried to trade Granderson or Hughes despite, you know, the reports of them listening on Granderson and Hughes?

  • Mark in VT

    I think we are all forgetting an important piece to all of this: When have the Yankees (ownership, front office, etc) followed through with EXACTLY what they have said? How often has ownership and Cashman said they are planning one thing and done something completely different?
    Getting under $189 for 2014? I’ll believe when I see it.
    Staying under $189 for >2014? I’ll believe it when I see it.
    Not giving any player or manager an extension before their contract is up? I’ll be…. you get the point.

    • Ted Nelson

      But didn’t you get the memo that the sky is falling?

      • trr

        It’s already fallen. Take off the rose colored glasses and look around

        • jjyank

          Maybe you should try taking off the blindfold instead.

    • Jerkface

      Well the extension thing has been seen… for the past decade or two. So if you don’t believe that by now…

      • Ted Nelson

        No. They gave Cano an extension. It was a sound enough plan for a team that could pay market value for the best players not to tie up money going forward.

        • Jerkface

          They did not give him an extension, they tendered him a contract.

          • Jerkface

            Meanwhile, they let players like Jorge Posada, Bernie, Jeter, & Mariano Rivera reach free agency where they could be squeezed.

            • Mark in VT

              I think considering the “new plan,” let’s assume that not everything they did in the past will be done in the future.

            • viridiana

              Good point. And now they will be squeezed by Cano. And needlessly lose Hughes and Joba.

              • Jim Is Bored

                See, this is exactly what a lot of us are talking about.

                They haven’t even lost Joba or Hughes yet, so you have no idea if this strategy, at least as far as we can predict it, will cost us Joba or Hughes.

                And even if it does, it’s going to be because Joba and Hughes get overpaid by another team. When, if the Yanks had signed them for the salaries they could command, the same people would be here whining about how we spend irresponsibly(see: ichiro, youkilis threads).

                • viridiana

                  By taking only limited risk, Yanks could extend Joba now at a bargain rates. He will get around $2 mill this year. An extension for 2013-205 mgiht work for $8-9 mill. This would assure Joba essentially a 50% raisethis year. Unlike Hughes, I sense that Joba would like to stay with Yanks. There is also a very good chance he will rebound nicely this year (that’s not a trampoline joke). The alternative is to wait until Mo retires, let Joba go along with Logan and Aardsma and be forced to sign a free agent closer for the going rate. rembmer, Sorian just got $14 million. Esxtending Joba at $3 mill per yr. is a relatively low risk move that could bring huge payback.
                  As to Hughes, they had their chance to extend him yesterday. My sense is he’s gone. Time will tell.

                  • viridiana

                    Too many typos to correct in prior post. Will have to do better job proofing. Sorry.

                  • Jim Is Bored

                    If you think Joba is taking a 3 year deal at 8 million without testing free agency, I don’t think we can have a real conversation.

                    The Yankees have also been good, at the very least, at bringing up bullpen arms, and we have a pretty sizeable stack of them waiting in the minors. There is no need to overpay for Joba right now.

                    And you’re ignoring the risk that Joba doesn’t have a bounce back year, which is very real. Also ignoring the risk that Hughes doesn’t improve at all. There are risks to both sides, and you seem to only be focusing on one.

                    Assuming that our lack of extending them is an automatic “goodbye” is silly, and from the rest of your arguments, I don’t think you meant it that way.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Don’t you know the rule that any player will accept any contract a random internet commenter throws out there?

              • Jim Is Bored

                Ignoring completely the fact that someone like Boras is going to “squeeze” the Yankees whether he’s looking for an extension or a brand new contract.

                • The Big City of Dreams

                  Which is why they should have tried to extend Cano when they had a chance

                  • Jim Is Bored

                    Why in God’s name do you think we would have gotten a good deal then? What proof do you have for that?

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      Because he and his agent accepted the extension they gave him yrs ago. Hell even Boras threw out the idea of extending Cano when he became his agent but Cash shot it down.

                    • Jim Is Bored

                      “We want an extention!” is not the same as “Hey if we talk about an extension you’ll get a fantastic deal!”

                      I don’t know how to be more clear about that, yet you continue to ignore the point.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      Calm down Jim no one is being ignorant just because I’m not on your side 100% doesn’t mean I’m being ignorant. Relax this is just a game baseball isn’t life or death.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      It’s not about agreeing or disagreeing. It’s about you acting like your speculation is fact and Jim pointing out that it’s speculation that doesn’t even seem very reasonable given what we know about Scott Boras.

                    • Jim Is Bored

                      I never got upset, you’re ignoring the point.

                      If you’re not ignorant, explain how you’re not ignorant. Stop repeating the same thing over and over as if it’s fact, with absolutely nothing to back it up.

                      It’s what a middle school student would do in a philosophy essay.

                  • Jim Is Bored

                    And moreso, could you be using any more hindsight for that? Would if we’d extended him and he’d been hurt all year? How would the extension have looked?

                    It’s never, ever black or white. Painting it as such is a boversimplification.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      Cano is one of the most durable players in the league. Sure anyone can get injured but he plays almost every game.

                      “could you be using any more hindsight for that?”

                      Not hindsight just pointing out that if the team is serious about the budget they have to do things they don’t normally do.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      No, you pointing out that in your opinion they have to do what you think they should do despite not knowing many of the relevant details (which, by the way, is the definition of ignorance… It’s not necessarily an insult). Big difference.

          • Ted Nelson

            Semantics.

            Extensions can backfire, which is why teams generally reserve them for their best players. Meanwhile, not every player is going to take a discount for certainty. Assuming all or any of those guys would take a discount is pure speculation.

    • Mark in VT

      My point is: Let’s wait and see what happens before we make a judgement. Not just of this coming year either. The next few years.

      • John C

        Cmon Mark. YOu’re expecting Yankee fans to reserve judgement? How naive can you be?

      • jjyank

        “Let’s wait and see what happens”

        This, exactly. The baseball landscape can change dramatically in a matter of weeks or months, let alone years. The contracts the Yankees have passed on could backfire, prospects could surprise, etc. I like to take things as they come in baseball.

        • Jim Is Bored

          Same here.

          I don’t see the point of getting so worked up about things that haven’t happened yet, and aren’t guaranteed to happen. At least insofar as a baseball team is concerned.

  • Gonzo

    Just to be clear here guys. Under the new CBA the Luxury Tax does not go towards the revenue sharing system MLB has in place, right?

    • Jerkface

      75+% of it goes to player benefits, 25% to the MLB future fund. So No, not to revenue sharing.

      • Gonzo

        Thanks. I didn’t think that changed.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Right. Most of it goes to fund player benefits (though I’d assume any luxury tax applied to benefits would reduce the amount the individual teams would have to contribute to those benefits, so there would likely be some benefit to other teams).

  • MannyGeee

    All of this said, one does not just simply hire Scott Boras if they intend to take anything less than Market Value whilst still in the prime of their career.

    We are taking alot of solace in the assumption that Cano would accept an extension today instead of 3 seasons ago.

    • Jim Is Bored

      That second point. A million times over, that second point.

  • TrollHunter

    Looks like I’m going to pass on the extra innings package this year. (I’m a transplanted NYer)I will follow Hal’s lead and just pocket the cash!

    • Gonzo

      Nothing wrong with that.

    • MannyGeee

      This will affect the league more than the Yankees. That being said, if you’re REALLY to follow the Steinbrenners’ lead, spring the $15 for the MLB audio package instead of the $189 for the cable package… in the spirit of the budget.

  • Klemy

    My problem with the $189 million number is that for the next several years they are basically working with a $159 million budget, not $189. Until Arod comes off the books (or performs like a valuable player), that’s all wasted cash.

    • Klemy

      This is not to say that $189 million isn’t enough to spend to contend, because it should be. The problem here is that the advantage of covering up contract mistakes is lost at a time when it would be very beneficial.

    • MannyGeee

      9 of the last 10 World series winners did it on far far less than $159M, FWIW

    • Ted Nelson

      Even last season he was a league average starting 3B by fWAR (exactly 15 among qualifiers), so this seems blatantly wrong to me. He has definitely been very overpaid the last few years, but he has had value. We’ll have to see how and when he recovers. Certainly possible he’s actually better with a repaired hip that the Dr has said was basically unusable when he fell apart late last season.

    • Celerino Sanchez

      Actually, the figure is $177 not $189. Every MLB team has to pay $12M into the Players Benefits Fund and this number is included in the $189 million.

  • TomH

    Tangential to the issue at hand, but relevant insofar as the Owner is also at issue: does Hal ever smile? He seems kind of dour,ownership’s answer to the dear departed Soriano.

    George occasionally smiled, but the son seems to be one of the gloomy professors of the dismal science (i.e., an economist, a budgeteer). (I know he’s not a prof! It’s just a metaphor.)

    • jjyank

      The real question, it seems, is does Hal #untuck after every interview?

    • Preston

      I think he doesn’t like the limelight, and is uncomfortable in interviews. So when he’s on camera he looks dour. I don’t think anyone should take it as an accurate reflection of his personality.

  • mt

    I agree – he will need to do some extensions – if they had followed their no extensions policy with Cano, they would have already lost him. On the other hand, extending grandy after 2011 might have been a mistake – as mentioned above, and extensions policy has risk just like a “no-extensions” policy.

    The problem with what Hal said is that they always make it seem that fans are whining. And we do. But we want him to acknowledge that a champiosnship caliber team is much harder to achieve with the old contracts they have. That is what people want him to say and he probably will never throw I gvuess Levine under the bus and say it. People overpay all the time but it is still unclear whether they could have gotten away with an 8 year $200 million conract without incentives (They had no idea that steroids might be a possibiliy?) ) – who was their competition to pay $275 mm – $300 million. Tex is another story – we barely beat out red Sox by $8 million or so, I think.

    • mt

      Arod contract is what I am talking about.

    • MannyGeee

      “But we want him to acknowledge that a champiosnship caliber team is much harder to achieve with the old contracts they have.”

      Ironically, I think by not throwing good money after bad and going bat shit crazy year over year with MORE contracts that are going to be old in a matter of time, he is in fact acknowledging your statement as fact.

  • Get Phelps Up

    I must say, when I saw how many comments were in this thread I thought it would be a total disaster.

    • Pat D

      It is a disaster. I think you know why.

      • Jim Is Bored

        Oh come on. We’ve had disasters.

        On the scale of 1 to Hiroshima, this is at most a Lexington and Concord.

        • jjyank

          Yeah, we’ve seen way worse around here.

          • Voice of Reason

            Is it too hard to scroll down an inch or two and spare us this bs?

            • jjyank

              Is it too hard for you to do the very same thing you just advised against?

            • Jim Is Bored

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIMrFpnfvyI

              I think sums it up about right.

              • JobaWockeeZ

                This is why, ladies and gentleman, people leave the RAB comments over time.

                • The Big City of Dreams

                  Yea that’s uncalled for

                  • Jim Is Bored

                    To Big City,

                    People leave because posters like you don’t read the bulk of anyone’s posts.

                    And then you respond as such, and it pisses people off. Since Mike has clearly stopped enforcing any of the posting guidelines, I’ll stop following them. If you can’t handle it, I’ll be heartbroken.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      I read a number of the comments on here. What you did was uncalled for. It would be the same if anyone else did it.

                • Jim Is Bored

                  Good, fuck them if they can’t handle discussion and disagreement.

                  Voice of reason was a dick, so I was a dick. Fuck you too, if you have a problem with it.

        • Pat D

          I consider any non-game post with a Ted factor of greater than 25 to be at least a minor disaster. They are the posts that I typically avoid since it’s the same arguments hashed out over and over again.

  • California Chris

    With the Phil Hughes deal the Yankees payroll stands at $196 million for next year. I am still not sure why people are acting like we are the Royals on here. The Yankees HAVE to get below $189 next year as they will have their luxury tax reset. It is as simple as that.

    • Gonzo

      I’m pretty sure it’s more than that. Mike wrote about it recently.

      http://riveraveblues.com/category/analysis/

      • California Chris

        Correct, all arbitration cases have not been settled. I was stating what it is today, for the naysayers.

  • There’s the Door

    Every story about Hal has the phrase “no-brainer” in it.
    Coincidence?

    • Gonzo

      He learned from Stephen A. Smith that you need a catchphrase, quite frankly.

  • Juke Early

    Hal will accomplish what some people thought, incorrectly, George was doing. By turning the New York Yankees into just another MLB franchise, all the years it was so much not that, will be subsumed. Especially telling will be who Hal hires to acquire talent & develop it, in the rest of the decade. It’s like having a unique Ben & Jerry ice cream flavor & removing everything until there’s just vanilla. Hey! vanilla is good. But it ain’t the Yankees. Have fun fellas, this will soon be the Blankees. Doesn’t mean I won’t root for the team, just that I see what’s happening.

    • MannyGeee

      You will lead cliff jumpers with your witty analogies and wry play on words… “Blankees” FTW!

      Doesn’t mean I won’t root for you and your kind of trollism, just that I see what’s happening.

  • jjyank

    What’s funny is that there are more grave-rolling comments on the comments of the Facebook post for this article than there are here. Impressive.

  • OldYanksFan

    In the new CBA, the Tax for us would be 50% in the future. The fact that the Tax clock resets after ONLY one year of being under the threshold is pretty liberal. In the next CBA, instead of resetting, it may just step back on notch (from 50% to 40% instead of to 17%).

    In not against going for $189m.
    However, I don’t want to see it become a regular goal (and I don’t think it will be).
    If the Yankees hit $189m in 2014, they save like $50m.
    If they hit it again in 2015, they will have saved over $100m.

    So at that point, I can’t imagine them ‘staying cheap’.
    It would hurt the team and cost playoff monies.

    So for one year, I can understand their program.
    Two years will be painful, but if that is the extent of our ‘rebuilding’, it ain’t that bad.

    I believe this is just a one or two year thing, based on the conditions of the new CBA.

    I believe by 2016, the Yankees (with big savings in their pockets, and the big 3 contracts nearing an end) will come out STRONG.
    VERY STRONG.

    • MannyGeee

      Future Yankee Ace David Price will be a FA in 2016, no?

      Also, Harper & Trout loom.

      • California Chris

        Harper and Trout will be locked up way before that and as much as I would love for the Yankees to get Price, I can’t see Tampa not trading him for half a team with the trade partner looking for an extension. I pray I am wrong.

        • RetroRob

          I think you’re right on Trout. He probably won’t be a free agent until he’s 30.

          Bryce Harper is represented by Scott Boras. The only way that Harper is not a free agent by the time he’s 24 is if Harper overrules Boras, who is going to position Harper to smash A-Rod’s contract. Just my guess.

  • http://CubanC123@yahoo.com CubanC

    Does anyone else just dislike this Ted Nelson guy? I rarely, if ever, comment on this site. But I do enjoy reading the comments and discussions for the most part. However, Ted sucks the life right out of reading the comments. Reading the comments has nearly become unenjoyable. At first, I just skipped all of his posts but now it seems he comments on nearly everything. He’s become unavoidable. I can’t stand his holier-than-thou attitude or repeated condescension of other posters. It’s come to the point where I think his mission is to essentially put-down anyone that disagrees with him. Anyway, I’m sure he will react the same way to this post, same as always… I just wanted to voice that.

    • Poo Corner

      Yeah, for some reason Ted and jjyank feel the need to post 75 times in each thread. It’s usually a douche fest. Ted complains and jjyank tells everyone how cool jjyank is. They’re both trolls.

      • Havok9120

        Prolific poster =/= troll.

        Try again.

    • Steve

      You nailed it. Holier than thou is the perfect description

  • commerce

    Outstanding piece by MikeA which could not even be ruined by his man-crush on Russ Martin. PLEASE STOP pining for a good defensive catcher who was one of the worst hitting regular backstops in the league in ’12. Eighteen catchers had 250 ABs or more last season in majors–in re BA, Russ brought up the rear w/ his .211. His .311 OBP was 11th, and SLG, also 11th. His wRC+ was an unimpressive 95 (I haven’t looked up the other 17 guys).

    I don’t have a big problem w/ one’s liking the guy, but that his absence will leave a hole in the Yankee order is not likely given his offensive slide which began a couple of years before he came to the Yankees while with the Dodgers, makes me crazy–especially coming from a knowledgeable baseball writer like MikeA.

    • Preston

      Well Chris Stewart put up a wRC+ of 65 last season and Francisco Cervelli had a wRC+ of 89 in AAA last season. So we are likely going to get a huge offensive downgrade at C next season. I also don’t think either of these catchers has shown the ability to defend or game manage as well as Martin. It’s easy to say there are other Catchers that were better in the MLB. But none of those guys were available this off-season and Martin was.

    • ClusterDuck

      Agree. Glad we didn’t sign the “downside” of Martin.

    • RetroRob

      I have one wish for 2013: RAB needs better trolls. There is not a single quality troll here.

  • RetroRob

    I agree. Mentioned similar when reports started surfacing a year or so back that the Yankees planned to implement Plan 189. Once there’s a salary cap (even if it’s by their own hand), then they need to change their overall approach on negotiating contracts, as well as how they view their farm system and development.

    Hal Steinbrenner has said himself he’s a finance geek. If so, then he understands that waiting to pay market rates means higher contracts, which cuts into the budget. So that leads to the obvious question. What are they up to?

    • Preston

      I agree, but who should we extend? I don’t think extending pitchers is all that smart. If we’d extended Phil Hughes after 2010 we probably would be paying him significantly more than his 2013 arb salary is. Unless it’s a Matt Moore type deal, I’m not a fan. We should probably extend young position players. But we did do that with Cano. Who else would we do that with? Gardner maybe. Although given his age and his skill set, extending him beyond his arb years might not be smart. I think they say they don’t want to give extensions externally, but internally they are willing to do it in situations they think make sense.

    • Ted Nelson

      It also moves performance and injury risk from the player to the club, so you have to get a discount commensurate with that risk.

      It’s not just extend guys and watch them all produce on below market contracts.

  • paulc

    hal is a tool…gonna be a rough few years…period…

  • Dante

    This team has become boring. It’s the GREAT YAWN!

    Cashman is the executioner. While Hal is the play caller.
    It’s been ossifying before our very eyes. We fans have witnessed a gradual erosion since the 2009 team.

    So for 2013, what’s to get excited over?

    Watching 42 yo Mariano come back? Boring.
    Witnessing 38 yo Jeter’s return from an ankle fracture? Chringe. Does anyone believe he can ever play at the level, again, that he did in ’12?
    How about Pettite and seeing if he can go a full season @ 40+ without pulling a hammy or groin or back etc?
    CC “the Ace”, with out bone spurs in his elbow. Can he win the big game consistenly? He hasn’t thus far.
    A-Rod…how exciting to think we get to read about his impending return and how “pumped” he is. Jeesh.
    Plus there’s Grandy whiffing and Cano slouching.
    And let’s not forget Girardi’s innane overmanaging?
    How many games does he cost his team with his constant bullpen manuevers?

    You’re 2013 NY Yankees:
    Old
    Fragile
    Ossifying
    Over Paid
    Mediocre

    BORING…BORING…BORING!!!

    Tell me please..WHAT’S TO GET EXCITED ABOUT??

    We’ll hear now from the Yankees Public Relations Office.

    Maybe it IS time that the Steinbrenner’s sell the team.

    Wait what’s that…rigor mortis is setting in. They’re going to field a $200M lifeless corpse and we haven’t gotten to Spring Training yet.

    I can’t wait…. YAWN!!!

    • Preston

      If you want exciting story lines than watch General Hospital or something similarly trashy. I’m excited to watch baseball, you know, for the games and such.

  • Pistol Pete

    Hal’s an asshole. He’ll find out you don’t jerk Yankee fans around. Don’t patronize the fans by jerking us off about being surprised the fans are not happy with the off season. They lost Martin to free agency because Hal got cheap and do not have or are even looking for a major league replacement for him. They lost Swisher, Ibanez, and Soriano and have not replaced them. They’ve only signed players they already had who are older and some are coming off injuries. Only Youkalis is an addition and he needs to replace Arod who’s going to be out for months. Why the fuck would Yankee fans be happy with this off season. Then he shows disinterest in signing Cano to an extension a home grown future Hall of Fame caliber player. George must be rolling over in his grave. The Yanks have a real shot at being really lousy next year and that’s going to look real bad with those $1500 box seats in August.

  • Bluefin

    I gave up my season tix this year because of this nonsense. What Hal conveniently forgets is that premium seats for the Yankees cost 2.5 to 3 times what identical tickets for other teams cost! So if we’re doing things on the cheap, will the Yankees reduce ticket prices? Of course not. It’s enough to make me stop being a Yankees fan. I hope Hank sells, or at least let’s another member of the family (Hal??) take the lead. Being clueless about why fans are angry just shows he’s not his father – the blood runs a little thin after a while and these kids are CLUELESS and going to destroy a lot of the fan base.