Rosenthal: Martin told Yankees he was willing to sign a one-year deal


This is quite annoying. According to Ken Rosenthal, Russell Martin informed the Yankees he was willing to sign a one-year contract worth $9-10M this past offseason. A one-year deal, of course, would have worked well with the team’s plan to get under the $189M luxury tax threshold in 2014 and not left them with the Chris Stewart/Frankie Cervelli tandem for 2013. The Yankees balked and Martin instead took a two-year pact from the Pirates. I love the Yankees, but I hate the way they do pretty much everything these days.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. Slu says:

    Agree. This really grinds my gears. Yay austerity!!

    • The Real Me (Formerly Cris Pengiucci) says:

      This wasn’t even an austerity move, as it wouldn’t have affected the 2014 budget. Not sure why they wouldn’t have signed him for 1 year. Something’s wrong.

      • Tyler says:

        Agreed. I did not read Rosenthal but did he say he heard that directly from Martin? If not I call complete, 100% BS on this. Makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

    • PJS says:

      You don’t know if that is true. Whay did it take so long to come out?

      • HI says:


        It is patently obvious the Yankees did not want Russel Martin back. This was clearly not about money. Get over it, Mike.

    • Don says:

      who cares he wasn’t a great catcher. We need to bring up young catcher. Martin could not hit,or how soon you forget

  2. 200 says:

    Someone give me 10 million I bet I can hit 200 easy.

  3. jjyank says:

    I usually can find logic in most of the team’s moves, but if this is true, that’s a bad one.

  4. 200 says:

    211 2012
    161 2012 postseason
    143 2013 spring training.

    Talk a walk Martin I couldn’t wait till you were outta here.
    I bet there is a woman baseball player that could catch and hit better then this guy. No thanks and no thank ever again. How the heck do you bat 211 in the major leagues and STILL have a job?

  5. TheOneWhoKnocks says:

    I don’t understand what they are doing. I’ve tried to give them the benefit of the doubt but its really a lot of questionable things happening right now.

  6. LK says:

    But then they couldn’t have afforded Ichiro and Vernon Wells!

  7. Kiko Jones says:

    It seems like this and other similar decisions were part of the whole austerity kick. And once Hal and co. came to their senses, it was too late.

    • Slu says:

      Speaking of Hal, he was on Francesa today. Interview is on the Yes page. Nothing ground breaking, but it was a fun listen.

  8. mike_h says:

    nah, its just the “he said she said stuff” I’m sure he says that now but at the time of signing I bet he wanted 2-3 years

  9. Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

    Wow. Count me in with the “I miss George” crowd officially. The way they’re running things just sucks.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Oh sweet Jesus.

      How old are you? You miss the George you think you remember. God knows what havoc pre-suspension George would have wreaked upon this spring.

      There probably would have been a speech in the fourth inning of the game for trailing the Astros in Spring Training.

      • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

        I miss the George that:

        . Won two WS in the 70s with teams that were basically his babies

        . Won the most games of any team the 80s

        . Was owner of a team that won 4 WS in the 90s (don’t think he had a lot to do with it or not, he was owner and the team was being run well)

        I’m tired of that response, Robinson. I want to win, not be calm while making bullshit moves.

        • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

          Oh, and was owner of a team that went to the playoffs…let’s see…13 years in a row? And that in the period between 1995 and 2007 went to SIX WS?

          Yes, I miss George.

          • MannyGeee says:

            Wow… In 5 years people will be missing the way Joe Paterno ran things too.

            It’s funny how people forget your warts and obvious shortcomings just because you are not alive to remind them…

            • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (Formerly RRR) says:

              What? Are you comparing anything George did to ignoring sexual abuse for children?

              You lost me. Sure, if Paterno hadn’t turned his head when sex abuse was going on, and I was a Penn State fan, I’d absolutely misshim, he was an incredibly successful coach.

              Bad comment, my friend.

  10. JobaWockeeZ says:

    I sitll think Martin isn’t all that great but yeah I don’t know why they wouldn’t do this.

    However I am dying to see how at the same time Martin is a great player while at the same time it was a great move to pass on him.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      I don’t think anyone has said Martin is a great player. Certainly useful and better than the crap they have behind the plate now. It’ll be a while before they find another good defending 20 HR catcher to hit seventh or eighth.

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        I’ll be fine with the 25-30 HR, mediocre defending catcher who should be up in AAA by the end of the year.

        • hogsmog says:

          Dude, a catcher you can count on for 25-30 HR is a borderline hall of famer, even if the defense is subpar. If he can take a walk, that’s better than Victor Martinez. Frankly, I’d consider it a win if Sanchez can play league average for peanuts.

  11. LK says:

    I must say, I enjoyed the “Your team only wins because you spend so much money” taunts a lot more than the “LOL your team is incompetent” taunts.

  12. Slugger27 says:

    i dont know why everyones so upset about this. is martin really $9M better than cervelli? i dont think so. i think cervelli can put up similar offensive production for 10% of the cost.

    • Vern Sneaker says:

      Cervelli is a downgrade over Martin, I don’t see the argument for any other view.

      • Slugger27 says:

        re read my post. nothing in there says he isnt a downgrade. the point is that cervelli isnt that much of a downgrade. hes making a small fraction of the proposed martin deal. similar production is to be expected in my opinion.

        in my eyes, its very similar to the ichiro/dickerson situation. here we have a player making essentially the MLB minimum who can give us very similar production. most of thought dickerson for a tiny fraction was the more prudent move. now in the same situation every is up in arms the team didnt overpay for the veteran. (i suspect is because mike was pro dickerson and martin, so ppl naturally gravitate towards that position, subconsciously or not) … but in reality i dont think theyre any different. if youre pro dickerson, you should be pro cervelli in my opinion

        • LK says:

          I think one important difference here is that Ichiro is pushing 40 and could literally fall off a cliff at any moment. Martin could always get hurt, but he’s been pretty healthy the last 2 years.

          • Slugger27 says:

            oh come on. has ichiro ever even been on the DL? whats his career low in Pas, like 675? saying ichiro has durability issues is a joke. out of the 2, i definitely think martin is more likely to be injured next season. its not even close really.

            • LK says:

              Re-read my comment, because you’ve completely misinterpreted it. I’m saying Ichiro has PERFORMANCE issues. As in, he’s completely sucked the past 2 years, and ballplayers in their late 30s usually aren’t on the upswing of their careers. Ichiro has a real chance to be replacement level next year. My point was that the only real danger of a replacement level performance with Martin would be from injury.

              Ichiro also required a 2-year deal, another difference than the supposed situation with Martin.

              • Slugger27 says:

                you do make a good point about ichiro requiring 2 years. it certainly seemed like an overpay, and i didnt like that contract. didnt thikn it was the end of the world, but didnt like it.

                i apologize for misinterpreting your comment. i thought you were talking about health. in any case, ichiro has sucked lately yes, but in my opinion, so has martin. i think theyre both equally likely to have a bounce back year (granted i find both to still be very unlikely) … i dont see why martin is seen as so undervalued though. hes what? a 30 year old catcher with a ton of mileage on him? coming off a terrible year? wheres the appeal?

                • LK says:

                  It’s cool, it’s hard to interpret things on a message board.

                  I don’t personally see Martin as undervalued, I’d say his contract with the Pirates was certainly in line with what he deserved. It sounds like I’m a little higher on Martin and a little lower on Cervelli than you, perhaps because of defense (and a little lower on Ichiro as well). For what it’s worth, I was never in the Dickerson camp at all, so I’m just as puzzled as you about why he gets so much love.

                  • Slugger27 says:

                    i just dont get why people hate both moves. with ichiro, the yankees paid more to get the older established veteran over the cheaper, unproven young guy. everyone hated it.

                    then at the catcher position, the yankees choose the cheaper, less proven young guy rather than paying more for the older established veteran. and yet everyone hates that too.

                    both ichiro and martin are good defenders. both had bad years at the plate. in my eyes, both are equally likely to continue to be good on defense and both equally likely to continue to suck at the plate. a bounceback offensively is unlikely in both cases. its hypocritical to hate both moves, as mike (and everyone else) does. thats all im saying.

                    • LK says:

                      While I see what you’re saying, I think the big difference is the position that they play. If you’re a C who can hit, you’re an absolute superstar, so Martin’s combo of patience/power/defense made up for his atrocious batting average given that there were essentially no alternatives whatsoever. While Ichiro’s defense keeps him from being useless, there were more options available at corner OF. Basically I think it all comes down to what else they could’ve done at the position.

                      I tend to agree with you though that advocating handing RF to Dickerson doesn’t necessarily jive with being up in arms over going cheap at C.

                  • Slugger27 says:

                    and for the record, i think what martin got was what right in line with market value as well. and youre right, i definitely think im lower on martin than you, though im not high on cervelli. i just dont think itll take much to put up similar production to martin. im not high on cervelli, but if martins production is the goal, i dont think i have to be.

              • Hoss says:

                Hey, I’m a Dickerson supporter, but you cannot compare him with Ichiro, who is a future HOFer. Ichiro may not be the same as he was 5-10 years ago, but neither are any of the other fading stars on this team.

                And Ichiro was one of the few players who performed down the stretch and in the playoffs last year. Signing him was one of the few good offseason moves. I believe he will prove to be one of the most valuable position players on the team this season, especially with the exodus of other talent.

                Mike is right about the Yankees FO however. Nothing they are doing makes sense these days. The Statue of Liberty should be moved to the Bronx: Give me your tired, lousy, old players, DFA’d, waived, released or just plain done… c’mon Lyle… welcome to the Bronx…

                • Robinson Tilapia says:

                  I actually agree with you on Ichiro/Dickerson.


                  • Hoss says:

                    And I’ve eaten tilapia on occasion.

                    • Robinson Tilapia says:

                      I had tilapia the other night. Some white wine and shiitake mushrooms. Didn’t feel the least bit cannibalistic.

                      We probably would do just fine in real life. I’d still make fun of you, though.

    • LK says:

      Speaking personally, I’d make 3 points:

      1. Martin is likely to be significantly better defensively than Cervelli, despite the latter’s strong ST.

      2. Re-signing Martin not only upgrades the starter from Cervelli to Martin, but upgrades the backup from Stewart to Cervelli.

      3. Given what the Yankees did spend money on this offseason position player-wise, 9M for a marginal upgrade sounds pretty great.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      It’ll take Cervelli about five years to hit as many homers Martin hit last year.

      • Slugger27 says:

        talk about oversimplified…. thats as lazy as someone just quoting martins BA

        how many years will it take cervelli to hit for the same OBP as martin last year? if youre confident, lets make a pay pal wager. ill say this year.

        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          It’s not just about OBP or HRs. It’s about wOBA. And Cervelli’s career high wOBA is only 3 points higher than Martin’s last year.

          • Slugger27 says:

            i dont think its about OBP… just mocking mikes simple, useless argument.

            • Cool Lester Smooth says:

              That argument is why Martin is better than Cervelli. If Cervelli had any power to speak of, he might be a better option. He doesn’t, so he isn’t.

              • Slugger27 says:

                the argument isnt about whether maritn is better than cervelli. clearly he is. the argument is about whether martin at $9-10M is better than cervelli at $500k.

                in my eyes, theres no way.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

      No not $9M better. Unless the difference between making the playoffs and just missing the playoffs is the difference in value between Martin and Stewvelli.

      Hard to use the “he’s not X $ better” argument to defend a team that just took on over $13M of Vernon Wells’ contract though.

      • Slugger27 says:

        the 2 moves are independent of each other, made in different times in the offseason and under different circumstances. The team had different knowledge of their position in both the short and long term in each deal.

        2 wrongs dont make a right anyway. i dont like the wells deal. it doesnt matter and has nothing to do with this one. circumstances change, they got WBC money, and overpaid for a tiny upgrade. it really has nothing to do with martin over cervelli.

        i just feel like everyone echoes mike on everything around here. mike likes it, all the regulars like it. he doesnt like it, they dont like it. i dont understand why ppl are mad about this and yet mad at them cutting dickerson in favor of ichiro (other than that being mikes position anyway) … i dont think ichiro is $7M better than dickerson, just like i dont think martin is $9M better than cervelli. the team disagreed, fine. its not that big of a deal either way. i just think its hypocritical to hate both moves. just symbolizes the entire attitude of this site lately. mike hates everything, the commenters hate everything, and life is over as we know it.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

          I really wouldn’t have any problem with them deciding the upgrade to Martin wasn’t worth the price if they found a way to upgrade elsewhere more efficiently to offset the downgrade at C.
          Unfortunately, they didn’t. They downgraded the bench and RF as well.
          That they were willing to pay big for marginal upgrades over the in house options elsewhere (Ichiro, Wells), just makes the situation more confounding. Going into the season, before the injuries struck, C appeared to be the weakest position, which is why I think the concern over Martin leaving is bigger. I think many fans would have been equally unhappy if Dickerson was the starting RF.

          • Slugger27 says:

            I think many fans would have been equally unhappy if Dickerson was the starting RF.

            nobody on here. this blog was all dickerson all the time after that ichiro contract. look, i agreed with them. dickerson was the better move, given the money, in my opinion. but i also think cervelli was the better move, given the money. i just dont understand the perceived differences between mike and the commenters on this issue. just doesnt make sense to me. other than just being overly negative.

            im disappointed they didnt do more to improve the team either. im strictly tlaking about this move and this move alone. its perfectly defensible and even obvious in my eyes. minimum for cervelli or $9-10M for martin? ill roll the dice with cervelli too. what does mike always say about catchers … “hes about that age where his overuse and age turn him into a pumpkin” ??

            wonder why he doesnt say that about martin… my inclination is because it would mean he agreed with a move the yankees made, and lord knows we cant have that.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              Ugh, no. I would not have wanted Chris Dickerson as my starting RF.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

              nobody on here.
              I disagree. I think there’d be a lot of complaining if they came into camp with Dickerson as the starter. Preferring Dickerson to giving Ichiro 2 years is different than being happy with Dickerson.

              The biggest difference in the 2 situations for me is the position involved.
              If Dickerson flopped, good corner OF’s are generally attainable at the trade deadline.
              If Stewvelli flops, they probably just have to hope Romine is ready, because it’s very difficult to find quality catching in trade (or just in general).
              Also, they had holes at both spots. Martin was probably (arguably) the best available C. Ichiro definitely wasn’t the best available corner OF.
              As for the money, most/all of the free agents signed aren’t worth the upgrade over the other options. Teams have money to spend. They need to choose the way where they get the most bang for the buck. Given the scarcity of quality catchers, I would have gone that route, especially if it was only a one year deal.

              • hogsmog says:

                “Also, they had holes at both spots. Martin was probably (arguably) the best available C. Ichiro definitely wasn’t the best available corner OF.”


            • Cool Lester Smooth says:

              Chris Dickerson sucks and, seeing as how he’s turning 31 in two weeks, he’s at the tail end of his “prime.”

  13. Vern Sneaker says:

    I wonder if the issue with Marrin was personal, like he rubbed Girardi or someone else who matters the wrong way — like wouldn’t do certain things they wanted, maybe had too strong a personality for them. I don’t remember any media reports of this, but his entire non-signing just doesn’t add up , and more so if this story is accurate. No baseball mgmt. downgrades at catcher over this amount of $, it’s too important a position.

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      Maybe. I mean he went from being Thurman Munson -like to being completely shut out. It has to be personal especially if the report is true about them not wanting to do a 1 yr deal. All of their deals this season outside of Vern and Ich are for 1 yr.

  14. Eddard says:

    You’re always beloved once you’re gone. When he was here, people forget that Martin hit under .200 for most of the season. He was atrocious. Martin was no Jorgie Posada so let’s not make him out to be Johnny Bench. I don’t know if he rubbed Girardi the wrong way but he certainly rubbed me the wrong way. He was the epitome of the boom or bust failure last year. Always swinging for the fences and striking out when a simple single would have sufficed. Good riddance.

  15. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Any chance this isn’t true and just came to Rosenthal while he was picking out an ugly suit?

    I’d have signed him for a year. I’d have signed him for two. They didn’t. I stopped giving a fuck.

  16. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Anyone listen to Hal’s interview on the Kay show today? It happened right as I parked my car at home after work.

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      Only heard parts of it but it had the feeling of a soft ball interview

      • Hard to ask the tough questions when the guy you were interviewing was paying your salary.

        • The Big City of Dreams says:

          Yep it’s not easy at all especially when they have known each other for yrs.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Well, I don’t expect dalelama type questions, but I assume Hal is professional enough that he’d take some “heat” type questions.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        Even if he gave company answers, and I’d expect him to, it’d be interesting to have Kay ask him some tougher questions live on the radio.

        Wasn’t expecting much, although I found the Cashman interview the other day to be fun.

        • The Big City of Dreams says:

          Yea Cashman’s interview was fun. I heard Hal on with Francesa earlier in the day.

          I’m sure Hal’s interview with Kay is on their podcast.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            I think those folks who think there’s bad blood within management should listen to that interview. That absolutely sounded like a man who is very comfortable in the skin he’s in.

            I certainly don’t think he’ll be GM forever, nor should he be, nor should anyone be, but that’s not someone about to get forced out or leave in a huff.

  17. dexcente says:

    When a guy who rates somewhere in the high teens among catchers in the game is willing to take a salary where he’d only be the third or fourth highest paid catcher in the league, you pull the trigger on that deal every goddamn time.

  18. wilk says:


    we’re willing to pay VERNON FREAKING WELLS 12 million dollars this year, but not 9 million for martin!??!?!?!?!!?!?!!

    this team is going nowhere

  19. RetroRob says:

    Makes no sense, although I believe it to be true. I really don’t believe Martin wanted to go from playing in LA and NY to Pittsburgh. For some reason the Yankees just didn’t want him at any price. Odd.

  20. Curt and Bernie says:

    The hate for Cervelli on this site is getting ridiculous. Is he a great player? No. Is he good? Probably not. Is he serviceable? Most definitely. In the one season he had significant plate appearances in, 2010 (317 PA–low but the largest sample size and not too low considering Martin had 485 last year–he OBPed .359. That total is .048 points better than Martin last year. His wOBA that year was 317, Martin’s last year was 316. Granted, that is some cherry picking of stats, but it is not as if saying Martin has more HRs isn’t either. What I conclucde from this is that, Cervelli offensively is not nearly as bad in comparison to Russel martin as everyone makes him out to be.

    • Curt and Bernie says:

      Sorry for the typos…should have proofread.

    • Mike HC says:

      I don’t see it as Martin or Cervelli. I see it as Martin or Stewart. I would rather have Martin catch 110 games and Cervelli 52, than Cervelli catch 110 and Stewart catch 52. Plus a huge drop off if Cervelli gets hurt.

      • Curt and Bernie says:

        This is a valid argument. However, I don’t think that it is the one presented on RAB most of the time. Everyone always dumps on Cervelli, when in all honesty, he is not going to be much worse than Martin offensively if he can maintain the level at which he has played in the past. He will not be anything better than mediocre, but (gasp)neither was Martin.

        • Mike HC says:

          You are right that the argument has always been Martin or Cervelli and I basically agree with your points on that one. But I don’t think that is a completely fair comparison when evaluating whether it was a good move to let Martin go.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

          If he can maintain his 2010-11 numbers offensively, I’d take Cervelli’s offense over Martin’s. I’d be worried that his offense would get exposed a bit with increased playing time.
          For Cervelli, I think the defense is the bigger question. With either Martin or Cervelli, you’d expect below average offense. At least with Martin, there was an expectation that he’s not going to hurt the cause with his defense. That’s still a question with Cervelli.

    • Matt DiBari says:

      In that one season, he was also the worst catcher in baseball


      That might help explain the coolness to him.

  21. Erica says:

    This is one of those moments when this face: o_O is completely applicable.

  22. Vern Sneaker says:

    Btw, I always liked Cervelli. Rooting for him to hit .270 and catch decently. Certainly possible if they give him a chance.

  23. Mike HC says:

    Martin is definitely not worth that much, but in hindsight, I would sign up for a Martin/Cervelli catching tandem in a heartbeat. Much more solid than Cervelli/Stewart.

    • RetroRob says:

      $9M for an experienced starting catcher? It’s not much at all.

      • Mike HC says:

        As an owner, I wouldn’t exactly be running to pay 9 million to a catcher with a bad back and coming off a .713 OPS season. In hindsight, seeing how the off season turned out and how the Yanks made no effort to get another catcher, I would have made the deal though.

  24. Curtis says:

    The yankees just did not like him as a player. That’s it. Michael Kay said that the pitchers, most notably, Sabathia, did not like throwing to Martin. The hand-wringing over whackass Russell Martin is out of control.

  25. Pat D says:

    This is a little infuriating and at the same time it’s kind of a “sucker punch to the gonads” moment.

    At this point, I don’t care. Just let’s get on with the season so we can start bitching and moaning for real.

  26. Frank says:

    The Yankees aren’t winning another WS for at least another 4-5 years. It’s going to be a long ride.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      The horror.

      I lived through 18 years without one.

      • LitFig says:

        LOL. This. I became a Yankee fan in the late 80′s early 90′s. I didn’t know what a real good Yankee team was till ’94.

        A year or two without the playoffs, if they are developing the kids and letting the system work, is fine with me.

        I’m a fan for life, not for two weeks, like some of the crybabies on here seem to be.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Oof. You’ve earned your stripes, then. :)

          There’s no way I can say I remember ’78 with a straight face. By the time ’96 hit, I was a junior in college.

  27. LitFig says:

    It’s funny how all this Russell Martin “I wanted the Yanks and only the Yanks” news comes out AFTER he spends Spring training with Pittsburgh.

    Now, he would’ve a one year deal. Riiiiight.

    I don’t think Martin is enough of an upgrade over Cervelli to spend $9 mil per on.
    Count me as one of the people who hasn’t shed a tear that Martin is no longer the starter.

  28. Steve says:

    Stewart is an upgrade cuz pitch framing. End of story

  29. Barry says:

    “I love the Yankees, but I hate the way they do pretty much everything these days.”

    Admittedly I’ve been frustrated since they abandoned old Yankee Stadium for the new one, though. It’s been a shit show since the boss handed over the reigns. Like Girardi can’t freely manage the team, Cashman can’t really run the team like a true GM. Team is being micromanaged into the ground from the top.

  30. CLusterDuck says:

    Cervelli will outperform Martin this year and he’ll do it for a lot less.

    • Barry says:

      Difference being Martin had the ability to alter a game 20 times a season with a homerun. I’m not a Martin fan, and I’m rooting for Cerv but at the same time let’s not compare until sometime in November.

      • ClusterMartinDuck says:

        Folks will be comparing Martin to the Yankee catchers all season.

        Here’s an early comparison:

        Ten Million Dollar Martin has had shoulder problems this spring. Meanwhile Cervelli has thrown out a ton of runners.

  31. Manny's BanWagon says:

    Another dumb move in an offseason filled with them.

  32. Mayor Slimeberg says:

    The responses here are funny. Everything ranging from silly, unrealistic responses to pedantic, preachy drivel (ahem…Robinson Tilapia). And then those who parrot the RaB staff (ahem…Robinson Tilapia) over and over.

    The fact is, the Yankees will be lucky to be a .500 team this season, and anyone who believes they have a solid shot at making and succeeding in the post season is completely delusional. The days of guaranteed post seasons are over until they choose to finally develop some meaningful players internally, and/or spend freely. Likely, neither will happen until Randy Levine & Brian Cashman are gone or the team is sold.

  33. Matt DiBari says:

    This is infuriating

  34. Mantle7 says:

    I’ve been a diehard Yankees fan since 1960. I’ve seen some really great times and some really awful times. This Yankees team reminds me of the late 60s teams, and I expect us to win somewhere between 81 to 84 games, with 86 being the max, barring a miracle.

    Entering the season, we have ONE truly exceptionally position player in Cano, who we may loose after this season.

    Again, entering the season, we’ll have, at best, league average to below average players at catcher, first base, left field, and right field. And we may have league average to slightly better than league average at short and third.

    So, overall (cumulatively speaking), we’ll be average, at best, at catcher, first, short, third, left field, and right field: that’s six out of eight position players. How any rational Yankees’ fan can envision this team making the playoffs is beyond me.

    You can be a diehard Yankees fan without being delusional; the everyday players on this team are not championship caliber and, while the pitching is good to very good, it’s not good enough to overcome all of the mediocrity and aging players we’ll be fielding this year.

    Also, when Jeter, Granderson, and Tex return, it’s highly unlikely they’ll all return to top form for the entire year. And it’s extremely unlikely A-Rod will ever return to form this year or any year hereafter.

    The bottom line isn’t whether we should have kept Martin at 9M for one year; the bottom line is Hank hasn’t made ANY real effort to maintain this team at a championship-caliber level.

    I’ve lived through both great and awful moves by The Boss, but — at the very least — he always TRIED to field the best team possible, regardless of the cost. Hank hasn’t done that.

    If there is a heaven, George is shedding more than a few tears at how badly Hank has mismanaged George’s beloved Yankees. That to me is the real message behind the disastrous moves and non-moves of this offseason.

    I’ll be watching this year to root for Jeter to get as many hits as possible in his unlikely pursuit of Rose’s hit record, and I’ll be rooting for Mo to pad his all-time saves record. Beyond that, I’ll go to some Trenton Thunder games and hope-to-hell I see a lot of growth in our double A players. Given Hank’s mismanagement, our future appears to be completely in the hands of our kids in AA and A ball.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      “The bottom line isn’t whether we should have kept Martin at 9M for one year; the bottom line is Hank hasn’t made ANY real effort to maintain this team at a championship-caliber level.”

      With this many aging players, who carried this team for so many years, clearly in decline, how easy was that going to be?

      If you have such a sense of history, why is it surprising to you that, when these guys entered their late 30′s, this franchise was going through a period of figuring out who they were going to be next?

      I agree with you that Martin, in isolation, doesn’t really matter a whole lot.

      “I’ve lived through both great and awful moves by The Boss, but — at the very least — he always TRIED to field the best team possible, regardless of the cost. Hank hasn’t done that.”

      Come on. You lived through the 80′s, the managerial changes, the embarrassing press statements. You’re going to tell me that, back then, you felt the way about George that you do now? I was barely a teenager and I wanted him run out of town.

      “If there is a heaven, George is shedding more than a few tears at how badly Hank has mismanaged George’s beloved Yankees. That to me is the real message behind the disastrous moves and non-moves of this offseason.”

      ….and he’d be wondering which one of the prospects he could trade first.

      I’ll ignore the Hank/Hal stuff. It doesn’t really matter that Hal makes more of the decisions when you say Hank does. The sentiment remains the same.

      I’ll join you in rooting for the team for sure, but I expect a bit more perspective from someone who’s been a fan for this long. I still enjoyed your comment.

      • jsbrendog says:

        seriously, pre suspension george was the woooooooooooooooooorst. the team was better off for him being suspended so they couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t trade all of their prospects such as bernie williams, derek jeter, jorge posada, mariano rivera, any pettitte and made shrewd trades for complementary pieces like nelson/tino, o’neill, and such while he was gone.

        then, he comes back, they lose in the WS in 01 and all of a sudden it is bossmania again throwing out FA contracts to anyone with 1 great yr the previous yr.

        i love george, he was the yankees but man did that guy, despite his will to win, have a micromanaging problem and a talent evaluating/knee jerk reaction problem

        • Mantle7 says:

          In reply to jsbrendog:

          If you believe George wasn’t actively involved in the team’s decision while he was suspended, you’re dreaming. And you’ve, in effect, made some of the case for George being a great owner, despite his sometimes bizarre behavior.

          He was a smart enough owner to never trade core players like Williams, Jeter, Posada, Rivera, and Pettitte. Did they consider it at various times? Yes. Did they do it? No. And George no doubt approved the trades and additional expenses involved in obtaining guys like Nelson, Tino, O’Neill, Reggie, Goose, and so many others.

          Finally, how can the owner with the most WS Championships in his era be “the woooooooooooooooooorst” owner? How many more World Series did he have to win than EVERyBODY ELSE IN MLB to be a great owner?

          Be realistic, you can’t win every year, but we won FAR MORE than our fair share under The Boss, and he deserves our respect and admiration for that. No other owner in baseball tried harder than George to win the World Series every year.

          • Cuso says:

            It’s well known that the Boss made several attempt to trade Pettitte and wanted him gone. Torre, Watson & Cashman all implored him not to several times over.

            The core of players that were allowed to develop was cultivated by Stick Michael’s newfound autonomy during the early 90′s.

            Did George have “something” to do with the Yankees during hies suspension? Yes. Was there an organizational change during that time period when necessity disallowed George to micromanage? Absolutely.

            I love The Boss as much as the next person. The 80′s were a mess under his regime, though. Remember in 82 or 83 when he tried to make it a “speed team?” Oy.

            • Mantle7 says:

              The “speed team” was one of the times I was ticked at George. I thought it was a bad idea at the time, and it certainly proved to be.

              But, in his defense, a lot of teams were stressing speed at that point, and George caught speed fever. You’ll also notice that he never again underplayed the importance of the power game in both wins and attendance. So, George, unlike some of us, did learn from at least some of his mistakes.

      • Mantle7 says:

        Did George make some infuriating and bizarre moves in his career as owner? Of course: and I more than alluded to that in my post. But he also brought us the likes of Catfish and Reggie and Goose and a host of other FAs that helped us win more World Series than any other team during his tenure.

        So, how can you begrudge him a few mistakes? Yes, I was ticked at him several times in those years, but I never hated him or questioned his desire to win; and his desire to win easily eclipsed every other owner in baseball.

        On balance, George was easily the most important MLB owner in the post FA-era. He deserves to be in the HOF; he unquestionably helped change the game of baseball. And his numerous WS teams are a testament to the fact he was the best owner of his era, warts and all.

  35. Brian in MA says:

    I agree on pretty much hating the way they are doing anything these days. I’m not saying just blow as much money as possible, you have to use it intelligently, but these aren’t the fucking Marlins here. Baseball is a business, but business is about relationships as much as it is about money. And the only relationship they seem to care about is the one with The Cap’n and Mo, and maybe CC and Andy. Not that they don’t deserve what they have, but i get the feeling the Yankees don’t give a shit about anyone else on the roster.

    I also hate the fact that they are ALWAYS without fail going to take the failing old re-tread scrap heap pickup over their own young guys. Not everyone has to be a megaprospect like Mike Trout to be considered for an everyday gig. I’d rather see Melky 2.0 flailing around up there for peanuts than washed up Juan Rivera or Vernon Wells doing the same thing for millions.

  36. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Let’s have some fun.

    If Papa Bear were freed from his rolling grave, who would he have already traded Williams, Austin, Sanchez, Slade, Ramirez, Montgomery, and Hensley for?

    • jsbrendog says:

      well, let’s see, who was available…would he have dealt some of that for some of those marlins guys that went to toronto? was there a top line OF, C, or SP that was traded this offseason he wouldve done it for? Dickey? yikes..i dunno

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        Perfect answer on Dickey. Dickey, Morneau, and Lincecum would be my guesses. They’d all be gone.

  37. Doug Drabek for Rick Rhoden

  38. trr says:

    If true, this flies in the face of everything Hal said on WFAN yesterday

  39. XSoldier54 says:

    Martin sucked the past two years. He was no better than Cervelli/Stewart defensively and he couldn’t hit a lick other than the occasional long ball. My guess is that Cervelli/Stewart will throw out a higher percentage of baserunners than Martin and produce at least an equal BA and a higher OBP than Martin. They won’t hit as many homers, but who cares. Good move by the Yankees, Martin was not even worth what he got from Pittsburgh and my guess is that he will suck again this year.

  40. MartinRanger says:

    I’m not taking this at face value for one minute. Not if I don’t know who Rosenthal’s source is.

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