"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

I See London, I See France…


Tyler Kepner with the latest on Johnny Damon:

The Yankees did not offer salary arbitration to Johnny Damon on Tuesday, which may not be such a bad thing. Damon, who is in Paris, said he was encouraged.

“In a better position since teams won’t lose draft picks,” Damon said in a text message. “Will now wait and see what develops.”

If the Yankees believed Damon could receive a better offer on the open market, they probably would have made the arbitration offer and taken draft picks if he signed elsewhere. By making no offer, the Yankees are again predicting a severely depressed market for free agents.

Damon is in Paris, Alex Rodriguez is in London. Life is good for the World Champs.

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1 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 2, 2009 12:37 pm

At first I thought it was a no-brainer that the Yankees should offer Damon arbitration because he wouldn't accept it and draft picks would diminish Damon's value. Now, I wonder if Damon will get a big offer, meaning he might be better off accepting arbitration. I don't think it is wild to think he could see a $16-18mn salary award, which basically means the Yankees could then have wound up with Holliday for the same annual salary.

2 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 2, 2009 12:48 pm

This is a hot debate over at RAB, and the comparisons to 2008 Abreu are flying. I do believe JD has been honest in saying he wants to stay with the Yanks. While I know he wants 2 or 3 years, I can't see any contract offer for much more then $20m.... so I would think he would jump all over arb and end up with 1/$15. Unless he falls apart, he should then be able to get at least $5m as a FA in 2010.

Bottom line... Cashman made the correct move.

I'd love to hear people's opinions.
If we assume Holliday would like to be a Yankee, and like the idea of winning.... what's the cheapest Cashman might get him for?
Would 5/$85 get it done?

If Po is available to DH 60 games and ARod and Jeter DH 20 games, does it really pay to spend $10m on a full time DH?

3 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 2, 2009 12:54 pm

[2] It doesn't who is "available" to DH. What matters is who plays when Po, Arod and Jeter aren't in the field. Right now, that seems to be alot of Cervelli and Pena. It makes no sense to enter the season willingly giving away that many ABs.

As for Holliday, I don't Cashman should be concerned with getting Holliday for a few million dollars cheapers (that's how Boston lost Tex). Instead, he should determine whether Holliday fits into the team's plans and then make every effort to get him.

4 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 2, 2009 12:55 pm

[3] Should read: It doesnt MATTER who is "available" to DH.

5 ms october   ~  Dec 2, 2009 1:27 pm

[2] i'm available to dh 162 games - but no one should give a damn about that as william said [3] it DOES NOT matter who is available to dh
you don't get extra credit for winning with a low payroll or with a bum at dh.
so yes, it pays to spend on a quailty dh (ask the red sox when papi was worth a damn). having a really good dh while maximizing the bats at the other positons is a good strategy for a top offense.
i know mp and i are some of po's biggest supporters but his defense is not at the point of being so negative that his bat does not outweigh it.
the campaign for po as the full-time catcher, with a good lf, and a real dh is reiterated today!! viva le offense with a decent (or better) lf.

6 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 2, 2009 2:58 pm

William..can you really ask: "how Holliday fits into the team’s plans" without qualifying his contract cost/length?

I think it's obvious that Holliday fits very nicely with our needs. Do we need a quality OF'er? Do we need to replace JD/Matsui's bat? Do we have qualify COF'ers on the farm? Is there one we want in next years FA class?

We have 6 years and $75m of ARod/CC/Tex left. Whether we want a player or not, whether he 'fits' or not, we must be very careful with additional long/expensive contracts for the next 4-5 years.

For years, Papi (.950 OPS) played close to every AL game, at a cost of $13m/yr. Is that comparable to 'needing' Matsui (.850 OPS hopefully) for 80-100 games at $10m?

Posada is only going to start 100 games. Not MY choice, but the reality of his age/condition. So he can sit 60 games... or DH. ARod and Jeter need some rest. They can sit 5-8 games or DH 10-15 games. And my guess is those numbers go up a bit in 2011.

We will have a backup C in the lineup 60 or so games no matter what.

My point is instead of a full time 'impact' DH like Matsui or Thome, might it be better to spend that money elsewhere... maybe a UINF with a better bat... maybe a 1/2 yr deal on a cecent Catcher?

For the cost of JD, Matsui and Nady, we could have Holliday and a Cameron type. Wouldn't that be more flexible?

7 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 2, 2009 4:00 pm

I'm still trying to sort my thoughts on a different player. Why is there so little talk/typing about Lackey? He is available, and I asked already whether people prefer Lackey + Hughes or Joba, or Halladay - Hughes or Joba (and probably minus a good field player too). I love Roy, but am unsure why people are so unenthused about a #2-3 starter without strings.

I agree with william on the DH thing - JoPo's value is behind the plate this year, if at all possible. When we rest him, ideally we rest him, or he pinch hits if need be. The only player I'd sit Matsui for is A Rod. Maybe Jeter, but I can't see DJ DHing yet. Of course if there's no Matsui, a lot changes.

8 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 2, 2009 5:23 pm

[6] Yes, you can. The best example is CC. The Yankees (correctly) determined that we was absolutely essential to their long-term plans and as a result pretty much gave him a blank check. If they feel the same about Holliday, they should do the same. If not, then they should consider other alternatives at other prices.

As for the DH, even if you assume Jeter, Arod and Posada would sit 70 games anyway, that: (1) still leaves 90 games in which you are using a vastly inferior AB; and (2) ignores the fact that Posada and Arod in particular may actually need full days off anyway, in which case you now have two inferior bats playing. Furthermore, it completely ignores the depth issue, not to mention protection in the case of injuries.

Regarding your proposal, sure Holliday and Cameron instead of Damon and Matsui would have merit (I've removed Nady because he is really a non factor), but that's not a case of rotating the DH. If both player were brought in, you would have replaced the full-time DH with someone who is a good offensive player. If that's a realistic option, then it is worth exploring. What should not be considered, however, is leaving the DH slot vacant with the expectation that guys like Cervelli and Pena will get more playing time.

[7] I'd rather have Lackey + the youngsters than Halladay, but he could wind up costing way too much in terms of years and dollars. Lackey has already started to see his stuff and durability diminish, wheareas Halladay has actually been getting stronger. If it was a three years or so, I'd be all over Lackey, but at 5 or 6 years, I just think the Yankees will wind up with two (AJ and Lackey) high priced pitchers who are on the down side within 3 or 4 years).

9 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 2, 2009 5:41 pm

Agree, again, william. Lackey is 31 (Halladay is 32, a year and a half older). I wouldn't go past 4 years for John and would love to hold at 3 for Roy, but happier giving him the 4 years. The other thing is: Halladay is absolutely outstanding. Lackey is good.

10 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 2, 2009 5:50 pm

On top of that, I recall someone saying that the Angels' interest in retaining would be a barometer in terms of how interested other teams would be in pursuing him; i.e, if he has some sort of non-disclosed injury or is trending downward (and LA would know better than anyone), it would likely show in what they offer him. If they make an all-out effort to re-sign him, the Yankees would likely be more interested. Since the Angels haven't made a move, the silence will continue. If they make no move whatsoever, the silence would be deafening.

11 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 2, 2009 7:39 pm

Yeah, but Chyll, dude, this is bluff poker, and if the Angelinos KNOW this same barometer rumor ...

They'd play way-cool and let the price slide. Right?

12 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 2, 2009 11:55 pm

That can only go for so long. The Yankees could afford to call them on it. At any rate, they can afford to wait it out, too...

13 Rob Abruzzese   ~  Dec 3, 2009 2:17 am

Indeed it has been good for the Yankees. girardi seemingly gets honored every night. Jeter was in a Markie Mark movie and at St. Barts with hot Minka Kelly.

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