Now that A-Rod is gone, it’s time to assess the rest of the Yankees’ increasingly painful situation. We’ll go issue-by-issue, so that we don’t get inundated as we have in the past.

First up: Mo and Posada.

Supposedly, the Yankees are prepared to offer them both a boatload of money. However, the Yankees shouldn’t be opening the checkbook so hastily. They should consider the ramifications of locking up both vets to long-term deals.

Posada should get no more than a three-year deal. A fourth would be a deal-breaker for me. Now, many will think I’m nuts. The Yankees have these vast financial resources, and if they’re not using them on A-Rod, they might as well use them on Posada, right? Maybe.

Signing him to a four-year deal would mean he’d be paid probably $15 million per year through the age of 41. That doesn’t sound too attractive. But, as many have pointed out, the Yankees can afford a $15 million albatross, especially if he produces over the next two years (so that might be a $30 million albatross). Plus, having Jorge around to break in any future catcher — whether that be Pilittere, Cervelli, Romine, or Montero — would be invaluable.

The question, though, is whether you can make a $15 million player a part-time player, a la Joe Girardi when Jorge was breaking in. Or would the Yankees be forced to play Jorge full time — either by upper management not wanting to see its investment on the bench, or by a manager refusing to bench a veteran? That’s a question you must answer to some degree before offering Jorge more than three years.

Mo, on the other hand, I can see blowing the cash on. At this point in his career, I can’t think of a better person to have pitch the ninth inning. Why? Because I’m an enormous advocate of the “bullpen ace.” This isn’t a guy you save and deploy in the ninth inning. It’s the guy you bring into the seventh inning with runners on first and third and one out. He’s the guy who gets you out of big jams, so that you can get to the closer. Basically, it’s the same idea as the “bridge to Mo,” except the pitcher isn’t necessarily relegated to the 7th or 8th inning.

Problem: we don’t have that bullpen ace yet. But with Humberto Sanchez, J.B. Cox, and Mark Melancon coming back from elbow surgery, we might find that “bullpen ace” by 2009. Having Mo as the 9th inning at that point would be invaluable.

What do you guys think? Break the bank for Mo and Po? Or make reasonable offers (and by reasonable, I mean deals longer than one year in length) and if they don’t like it, let them walk?

Categories : Hot Stove League
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  • A silver lining in the A-Rod cloud

    Clearly, A-Rod’s opting out has provided a hot topic for discussion, and as the stellar conversation continues in the comments there, I want to offer up a short thought. While, short-term, the Yankees are worse off without A-Rod, in the long run, the Yankees are better off not signing A-Rod to a contract that would call for a 40-year-old to make in excess of $30 million a year. Thoughts? · (20) ·

CNNSI’s Jon Heyman has the news: A-Rod will be opting out of his contract. Here’s the story:

Alex Rodriguez notified the Yankees on Sunday that he’s opting out of his record $252 million contract, has learned.

Rodriguez’s decision means he will become a free agent and be able to negotiate with all clubs. Rodriguez’s bombshell move will shake up the entire winter for the Yankees — who had hoped to retain him with a big extension — as well as other big-market clubs that will now pursue him.

Rodriguez’s agent Scott Boras said he sent word of the opt-out in writing Sunday and left phone and text messages for Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. The Yankees have said that once A-Rod opts out, they wil not pursue him, since they will lose the benefit of the Texas Rangers’ $30-million subsidy.

“Alex made the decision today,” Boras said. “I thought we should notify the club.”

The Yankees were preparing an extension to his current contract for either five or six years, believed to be for close to $30 million annually. However, team officials said Boras has politely declined to meet with them in recent days, and they never presented the offer.

So now we’ll see if the Yankees are true to their word. As they’re losing a year’s worth of A-Rod money from the Rangers, they’ve said they won’t negotiate with him. Can the richest team stay true to its word in dealing with the game’s best player? The future just grew rather hazy for the Yankees.

As for A-Rod, if this report is true, I’m thinking some very unprintable things right now. Don’t let the door hit your money-grubbing hands on the way out.

Update 11:10 p.m.: Ken Rosenthal during the game just said he spoke to Scott Boras, and A-Rod opted out supposedly because he is unsure of the future composition of the Yankees. He’s unsure about Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte‘s return. He’s unsure of the ownership transition. He claims he will continue to negotiate with the Yankees.

For my part, I call bullshit. I’m pretty pissed at A-Rod. The Yanks were willing to offer him a five-year, $150-million deal. Somehow, Boras and A-Rod think some team — not the Yankees — can trump that offer. As Joe wrote earlier today, no way.

Meanwhile, A-Rod is — or was — the future of the Yankees. Mariano Rivera has one more contract left; Andy Pettitte may retire after next season; Jorge has three or four years if we’re lucky. Alex Rodriguez would have been the face of the Yankees for eight years. There would have been nothing at all uncertain about that.

As for the Red Sox, we’ll see. Let’s see how the fairweather fans who hated A-Rod in Boston respond to that one.

Categories : News
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Ajax does his part

By in Down on the Farm. · Comments (0) ·

This World Series has taught me one thing: I love saying “Bob Apodaca.” 

AzFL Peoria was off.

HWB Honolulu (8-6 loss to North Shore)
Austin Jackson: 3 for 4, 1 R, 2 3B, 1 RBI, 1 HBP - 7 of his last 10 hits have gone for extras
Bradley Suttle: 0 for 2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 E (fielding, missed catch) - still hittin’ .109-.258-.218

Winter Ball (I’ll update these stats every Sunday)
Aarom Baldiris: 0 for 1, 1 R in 3 games
Gerardo Casadiego: 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 5 K in 7 games
Frankie Cervelli: 0 for 4, 1 BB, 2 K in 2 games
Juan Francia: 1 for 12, 1 RBI in 6 games
Edwar Gonzalez: 8 for 26, 1 R, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 3 K, 2 SB in 10 games
Ben Kozlowski: 3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K in 5 games
Jesus Montero: 15 for 39, 8 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 7 RBI, 5 BB, 5 K, 1 SB in 11 games
Scott Patterson: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K in 1 games
Justin Pope: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K in 7 games
Marcos Vechionacci: 13 for 36, 8 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 SB in 12 games
Guillermo Villalona-Bryan: 0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K in 1 games

Categories : Down on the Farm
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I’ve been thinking about this for a bit, and I thought I’d throw it out there for some reaction.

Here’s why I think Alex will sign the extension. First off, I believe the Yankees will go $20 million or so higher than their current offer. Boras has made his stand, and now the Yankees are going to come in lower, and they’ll meet somewhere between.

Anyway, say A-Rod opts out. Everyone will know how much the Yankees offered. If he can’t secure an offer of that magnitude on the open market, it would be a nightmare for Team Boras. Say, after all is said and done, the Yankees make their best offer of a six-year extension at $30 million average annual value (as opposed to the five years and $28 mil and change under the current reported scenario). A-Rod hits the open market, and all he can get is eight years, $250 million. So he’d be taking $30 million less than the Yankees offered.

I believe Boras knows the market. I also believes that he knows his clients stands to make the most money from the Yankees. He won’t let Alex opt out if there’s a chance that no team bids as high as the Yanks. That would be PR nightmare.

Either way, if A-Rod signs an extension, it will be hours before his opt-out deadline. That’s just the way Boras works. I also think that he’ll have a hard time opting out with the Yankees’ offer on the table.

Categories : Hot Stove League
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AzFL Peoria (7-0 win over Mesa)
Juan Miranda: 1 for 5, 1 RBI, 1 K
Steven Jackson: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K – 13 K in 9 IP

HWB Honolulu (8-3 loss to North Shore)
Austin Jackson: 1 for 4, 1 2B

Team USA (3-2 win over AzFL Phoenix)
Jeff Karstens: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K – 20 of 26 pitches were strikes (76.9%)

Categories : Down on the Farm
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The Official ESPN Reporter of River Ave. Blues has an update for us on A-Rod and the Yankees. (Yes, he still thinks A-Rod would be a good fit for the Yankees.) Buster Olney writes:

The New York Yankees have asked to meet with third baseman Alex Rodriguez, and if and when they get that meeting, league sources indicate the team is prepared to make him an offer that will exceed, in average salary, the $27 million per year that he is scheduled to make over the next three seasons — and A-Rod would be in line to set yet another salary benchmark.

The offer could be for something in the range of five years — beyond the three years Rodriguez is already under contract for, from 2008-10 — and perhaps $30 million a year…If the Yankees’ extension offer is for something in the range of $150 million, over five years, then Rodriguez would be owed about $230 million over the next eight seasons.

So basically, the Yankees are willing to pay Alex Rodriguez an average annual salary of $28.7 million a year for eight seasons with a $30-million-a-year annual salary for the last five years of the deal. I find it hard to believe that Boras would be able to get more — or even equal — money from any other team.

Now, I know that some people keep speculating that A-Rod could go to the Red Sox. However — and this news highlights the very silver lining in what seems to be an inevitable World Series championship for the Sox — the Red Sox probably already have a third baseman. MLB Trade Rumors highlighted a report in The Boston Herald in which GM Theo Epstein basically said that Mike Lowell is all but signed for the next few years.

While one could argue — rather successfully — that Julio Lugo sucks, A-Rod is simply no longer a short stop. It would be nice if other American League short stops could recognize that truth as well.

Meanwhile, in Olney’s story, he notes that the Yankees may not get their meeting with Boras. I find that exceedingly hard to believe as the Yankees hold more money than anyone else. By all accounts, they’re willing to spend it, and Boras and A-Rod are better off listening to what the Yanks have to say than they are in ignoring them outright.

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AzFL Rising Stars Showcase (East beats West 3-2 in 10 innings)
Ross Ohlendorf: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 3-0 GB/FB – blew the save in the 9th…ouchie

HWB Honolulu (16-6 win over North Shore)
Austin Jackson: 3 for 6, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K – 5 of his last 7 hits have gone for extras
Anthony Claggett: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 HB, 0-4 GB/FB

Update by JP: It was just reported that Kevin Whelan left the AFL due to a “sore arm”. Hopefully it’s just a precaution.

Categories : Down on the Farm
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Can you ask for much more?

By in Whimsy. · Comments (10) ·
Categories : Whimsy
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