It’s a quiet day for baseball news. The Yanks’ Front Office is shut after a wildly successful December, and most of baseball is quiet for Christmas. Use this thread to discuss anything you wish. Just play nicer than India and Pakistan right now.
Barring some unforeseen baseball news, this is going to be it from us for a while today. Enjoy the holiday. We’ll be back later tonight.
Merry Christmas to all from the three of us here at RAB.
The Yankees have already given their fans three of the best Christmas presents anyone could ask for, so whatever Santa brings this year is just icing on the cake.
Baseball news is going to be pretty nonexistent the rest of the day, so go and spend time with family and friends. Eat some good food, sit around in gay Christmas sweaters, go caroling, get into a snowball fight with those bastard kids down the street (if there’s snow where you live). Go do whatever it is you this time of year, and forget all about the Yankees for a few hours. Your blood pressure will thank you.
Happy Holidays to you and yours from the three of us here at RAB. Be safe, and may Mo watch over you.
If you need to talk baseball, or anything really, do it here. Just be nice.
You know what the coolest part is? They actually have the pitching to go along with it this year.
Here’s your open thread for the night. I’m sure you’ll find something to talk about, but if not you can chat about the Rangers taking on the Caps at home. Oh, and make sure you check out the great stuff longtime RABer Dave is doing at his recently launched site, Blueseat Blogs.
The Yanks and righty Chien-Ming Wang agreed to a one year, $5M deal today, avoiding a second straight arbitration hearing. Last year, as you may recall, the two sides went to arbitration over a $600,000 difference in perceived value, and the arbitrator eventually sided with the Yanks, awarding Wang a $4M salary in 2008. Many felt the Yanks were being stingy with their top pitcher, after all what’s another $600 grand on a team with a $200M payroll? Well, it’s not much, but it sets a precedent for the future and triggers a snowball effect.
If Wang won his case and earned a $4.6M salary in ’08, all of a sudden he’s looking at maybe a $5.8-6.2M salary in 2009, rather than the $5M he signed for. The process then repeats after 2009, and again after 2010. They saved themselves just $600,000 in 2008, but perhaps saved themselves millions in future payroll.
There’s also the overall effect. When Joba Chamberlain, or Phil Hughes, or Chad Billingsley, or Tim Lincecum, or any young right hander reaches arbitration, they’ll probably use Wang as a comparable pitcher because arbitrators love simple stats like wins. Wang getting $600,000 less keeps those salaries down somewhat as well. That benefits everyone.
The Yanks have more money than any team in the game, but that doesn’t mean they should spend their dollars senselessly. They’re still a business, after all. (h/t MLBTR)
Here’s your open thread for the night. Talk Wanger, Packers-Bears, whatever you want. Just be nice.
Oh, and make sure you check out Zell’s run-in with Phil Hughes. Color me jealous.
Ian Kennedy’s season is over, he was sent home after throwing 34.2 excellent innings in Puerto Rico. He finished the year at 168.1 IP (counting the Triple-A playoffs), meaning he’s good for 190-200 IP in 2009.
Here’s the other winter ball notables:
- Melky Cabrera: 27 for 83 (.325), 19 R, 6 2B, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 13 BB, 10 K, 2 SB in 22 games … Gammons says the Yanks stopped pursuing Mike Cameron because Melky improved his plate approach this winter, but I don’t buy it for a second
- Robbie Cano: 19 for 68 (.279), 14 R, 8 2B, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 7 BB, 5 K, 1 SB, 1 HBP in 17 games … he’ll be done soon, he was only scheduled to play for a month
- Frankie Cervelli: 12 for 49 (.245), 2 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 9 BB, 12 K, 1 SB, 1 CS, 1 HBP in 22 games
- Edwar Gonzalez: 26 for 73 (.356), 8 R, 5 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 4 BB, 16 K, 2 SB, 1 HB in 27 games … they resigned him after he became a 6 year minor league free agent
- Walt Ibarra: 15 for 75 (.200), 3 R, 2 RBI, 6 BB, 17 K, 3 SB, 1 CS in 35 games
- Ramiro Pena: 29 for 114 (.254), 13 R, 4 2B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 3 BB, 14 K, 1 SB, 1 CS, 2 HBP in 32 games
- Jorge Vazquez: 69 for 198 (.348), 37 R, 12 2B, 15 HR, 46 RBI, 23 BB, 50 K, 2 HBP in 54 games … Yanks just signed him as a minor league free agent after he spent the last ten years playing the Mexican League … MTOM has more info on him if you’re interested
- Jon Albaldejo: 16 IP, 11 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 11 K, 1 WP in 14 appearances
- Wilkins Arias: 10.2 IP, 16 H, 16 R, 15 ER, 7 BB, 12 K, 2 WP, 1 HB in 16 appearances
Wafy Rufino & Abe Almonte just reported to their winter league teams in the Dominican, but haven’t had any signifcant playing time yet.
Use this as your open thread for the night. The G-men kick off against the Panthers at 8:15pm, and home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs could very well be decided in this one. Have fun, but play nice.
Now that I’m done with my first round of law school finals, I can dig out from under this avalanche of baseball articles I’ve been saving for various threads. Let’s start with some Maury Brown musings on baseball’s salary structure.
Basically using some recent numbers from Sports Business Journal, Brown argues against a cap. He notes that the Yanks have paid out over $120 million in luxury tax fees with the Red Sox and Angels the only other two teams ever to dole out a cent. “With revenues at an all-time high, the second highest attendance level on record, and as of late, the most parity, it seems a hard sell to say MLB needs a salary cap,” he concludes.
It’s hard to disagree with that. While I recently questioned baseball’s economic system, if the sport doesn’t need a salary cap, I won’t agitate for one. As Yankee fans, we should be happy seeing our team able to dole out the money it draws in by virtue of its being in New York and having great fans.
Anyway, use this as your open thread tonight. Talk salary caps. Talk baseball. The Knicks are off, but the Islanders, Rangers and Nets all have games tonight. Just play nice.