Top one sign that your agent is a class act: When the future Hall of Famer making obscene amounts of money decides to void the rest of his contract without responding to your more-than-generous extension offer, you alert said player’s former employers via text message.
That’s what A-Rod will have to top to beat the Yankees *initial* offer. Chances are, they would have upped that a bit in negotiations, since Boras was starting at 10 years, $300 million.
ESPN is finally officially reporting that the Yankees are offering the managerial job to Joe Girardi and that Girardi will accept the position. We’ve held off on reporting too much of the rampant speculation up until now because there were simply too many conflicting reports flying around. Don Mattingly is not expected to join the coaching staff.
“I don’t want anybody on my team that doesn’t want to be a Yankee…We’re not going to back down. It’s goodbye.“
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?
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?
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, SI.com 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.