For the first 15 days following the World Series, free agents are allowed to talk to and negotiate with only their former teams. That, however, doesn’t stop interested teams from using other means — like the media — to express their interest. And that’s just what the Mets are doing in their pursuit of Jorge Posada.
The Mets have interest in Posada, the longtime Yankee catcher who filed for free agency on Monday and who would fill a position of uncertainty for the club. Paul Lo Duca has filed for free agency as well. Though Lo Duca’s agent, Andrew Mongelluzzi, said yesterday the Mets have an interest in re-signing him, he is no lock to return. Either way, Posada is a more accomplished option…
The tricky issue with the Mets and Posada is that the Yankees will bid for the backstop, who made $12 million this past year. They’re expected to offer him a three-year deal in the range of $40 million, and they almost certainly won’t be the only other team in the hunt either, as the Marlins could be a surprise candidate. Posada loves the Yankees – he’s been with them since debuting in 1995 – but does like New York, meaning the Mets could be viable if he doesn’t return to The Bronx.
Right now, the Mets are talking with Lo Duca, but it’s clear that Posada is the superior catcher. Now, while the Yanks are probably going to offer Posada a three-year deal with a performance-based option, if they don’t wrap it up before those 15 days are over, the Mets could jump in with an offer that just might break the bank. And that is our Jorge Posada Doomsday scenario.
What happens if the Mets offer Posada a guaranteed four- or even five-year deal at $15 million a year? It’s not out of the realm of possibilities. Posada would be a big name for that team, and the Mets certainly have the money.
At that point, it will be hard for the Yanks to justify a counter-offer. Posada turns 37 next year and is coming off a career year. For a catcher, that’s incredibly unlikely. His career line of .277/.381/.479 makes him one of the game’s best catchers over the last decade and a perennially underrated Yankee, but the Yanks, DH or no DH, shouldn’t pony up $13-15 million for his services when he’s past the age of 40. If the Mets are willing to assume that risk, the Yanks may have to roll the dice on finding another catcher.
Hopefully, it won’t come to this. Hopefully, the Yankees will offer Jorge Posada a deal he likes and wants to sign. In my opinion, Posada will be back in the Bronx, but the Mets lurk. As much as we want to, we can’t ignore them on this, another day of the tumultuous Yankee offseason.
Another day, another ridiculous Alex Rodriguez story.
Buster Olney, the official ESPN writer of River Ave. Blues, has a report that states something mind-boggling: A-Rod wasn’t going to even meet with Yankee officials if they didn’t start their contract extension offer at $350 million. The Yanks were initially willing to go up to about $250 million for the next eight years and fell $100 million short of Scott Boras’ insane demands just for a meeting.
Basically, Boras wanted the Yanks to pay A-Rod a whopping $43.75 million per year to play baseball for them. Does he really expect any team to approach that figure? And what’s he going to do when he has to settle for less than the $30 million a year the Yanks were basically offering as a starting point for negotiations? With the Yanks starting the conversations at $150 million for five years, I believe they would have been willing to go up to $175 million, and Boras wouldn’t even sit down to listen to these ridiculous figures.
For that money, A-Rod isn’t really a good fit anywhere.
Well, actually, there’s no trouble. Just a cheesy reference to a 1963 song. In other news, Ed Price reports that the Yankees have decided to exercise the $16-million, one-year option they hold on Bob Kelly Abreu. The Yanks’ right fielder – whom they acquired in 2006 for a whole lotta nothing – will be 34 on Opening Day and, considering what else is out there, is a fine, fine choice for the 3 hole in the Yankee lineup. · (14) ·
The other day I posted a list of five prospects that I believe don’t get the respect the deserve; now I’m going to look at the flipside and take a gander at five guys that I think get a bit too much hype. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these guys aren’t good prospects or anything like that, I’m just trying to control the New York hype monster (every fan over-rates their team’s players, whether you want to admit it or not.).
The good stuff (or bad stuff, depending on your point of view) starts after the jump.
Today, in his blog, Buster Olney echoes some of my thoughts from yesterday: If A-Rod fires Scott Boras and attempts to personally make amends with the Yankees, he could still be the Yankees’ third baseman come 2008. But since that’s about as likely as the Pirates winning a World Series next year, we best be movin’ on.
The biggest free agent third baseman out there is this year’s undeserved World Series MVP Mike Lowell, and his impending free agency is the subject of an article in today’s Boston Globe. The article, written by Captain Obvious, notes that Lowell, 34 by Opening Day and not getting younger, will have plenty of suitors, chief among them will be the Yankees.
But if I’m the Yankees, I pass on Mike Lowell with a vengeance. Who needs another overpaid aging player on the team? Plus, he won’t hit.
Wait, you may say. How can I claim that Mike Lowell won’t hit? This is after all the same Mike Lowell who hit .324/.378/.501 with 21 home runs and a team-leading 120 RBIs. Of course he can hit!
But that hitting is a product of Fenway Park. Take a look at this:
This is Mike Lowell’s Fenway Park hit chart. How did he manage to hit a whopping .373/.418/.575 with 73 RBIs at home? By spraying the crap out of the Green Monster. Nearly all of his Fenway Park extra-base hits seemed to be a product of that wall. Meanwhile, on the road, Lowell hit just .276/.339/.428, numbers much more in line with his career stats and 2006 numbers.
So in Yankee Stadium, Lowell just wouldn’t be the same force he was at home for the Red Sox this year, and there’s no reason to spend $12-14 million a year over four or five years to sign a player that just isn’t going to be much of an offensive force. Pass.
Rafael Chaves was named Triple-A Scranton’s new pitching coach, taking over for Dave Eiland. Eiland, as you know, will OFFICIALLY be named the Yanks’ pitching coach any minute now. There, happy now Ben?
AzFL Peoria (5-3 loss to Mesa) there’s 12 games left in the Javelinas’ season
Brett Gardner: 1 for 4, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 K – he’s hitting .365, but he’s got only 2 XBH…and they’re both triples
Juan Miranda: 1 for 4, 1 BB, 1 K
HWB Honolulu had a scheduled off day. There’s only 13 games left in the Sharks’ season.
Update: I’m not sure if any of you follow college baseball, but if you do then you know that Oregon has resurrected it’s baseball program after a two decade hiatus, and will begin play in 2009. Baseball America will have a monthy feature following coach George Horton as he tries to build the program up from scratch. Check it out, it should make for some interesting reading.
- This is the coaching staff. Those early reports – including one in this space – about Kevin Long’s departure were incorrect.
- Joba Chamberlain will start unless Mariano Rivera leaves.
- Related: The Yankees want Posada, Rivera and Pettitte in pinstripes in 2008.
- Hideki Matsui is getting knee surgery; Derek Jeter is not.
- The Yanks will decide in the next day whether or not they are picking up Bobby Abreu’s option. Signs are pointing to yes.
And, of course, the big news. The Yankees, Cashman said again, are utterly through the A-Rod. Cashman, Hank and Hal all tried to reach out to A-Rod, and the self-obsessed slugger didn’t return their calls. This snub along with the loss of the subsidy means the door is firmly shut there. I believe it.
On November 1, Cashman also claimed that Robinson Cano could play third base, that Wilson Betemit could play third base and that some combination of Shelley Duncan, Andy Phillips and Jason Giambi will man first base. As we seemingly wave good bye to Doug Mientkiewicz, you can bet a lot of money that the offseason probably will not end with those folks playing those positions come Opening Day.
Let’s say you have two players at the same position, and they put up four-year splits that look like this:
Player A: .250/.323/.408 with 83 HR and 333 RBI.
Player B: .303/.403/.573 with 173 HR and 513 RBI.
Which one do you choose? Bonus points if you can identify “Player” A and Player B. That’s a hint. · (44) ·
When Joe Girardi is formally announced today as the Yankee manager, he will don number 27. Why 27? Because he wants to win the franchise’s 27th World Championship and will literally carry that chip around on his shoulder. The number 27 has a rather unglorious history in New York. But fan favorite Mel Hall wore it during a stretch that seems that it was generations ago. · (3) ·