"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Yankee Panky: Grandy, Pettitte

And so it was that at the Winter Meetings, Brian Cashman satisfied two of his major offseason priorities: settling the left field/center field question by acquiring Curtis Granderson in the three-team, seven-player swap with the Tigers and Diamondbacks. On the surface, it looks like the Tigers win this trade in a landslide, getting two young lefty relievers, a hard-throwing righty starter, and a major-league ready outfielder all while shedding $25.75 million in salary over the next three seasons.

The coverage was fairly bland, as it can tend to be when hammering out details of a trade. There were subtle nuances, though. For example, the Post, in my surfing, was the only outlet to cite that the Diamondbacks entered the fray a few weeks ago when Cashman balked at not including Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes in the deal for Granderson (maybe this gives a hint regarding their 2010 status?). ESPN claimed Buster Olney broke the story. How do we know? Jon Heyman tweeted the components of the deal yesterday, and Alex Belth dutifully posted them here.

A couple of items and intimations that appeared everywhere:

  • Granderson’s 2009 decreased OBP and OPS, his strikeout total (141) and average against left-handed pitchers (.183), plus poor home/road splits somehow signaled a decline when he’s in his prime at age 29. Joe Posnanski took those stats and put them in context with Granderson’s career numbers against lefties, adding that he faced tough lefties in the AL Central (Sabathia and Santana), and playing 81 games a year at an unfriendly ballpark for left-handed hitters. Cliff Corcoran took a more analytical turn on a similar premise in this space.
  • Granderson’s personality is perfect for New York.
  • Now the Yankees can more easily make a decision on Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui. Thursday morning, the Yankees were reportedly negotiating with Johnny Damon’s representatives, but in the evening, George King of the Post submitted a story, complete with quotes from Cashman, refuting the earlier reports.
  • The questions as to which Granderson the Yankees will get: the 2008 version that emerged into a perennial 20-20-20-20 threat or the 2009 item that frustrated fans with inconsistent offense and defense, despite the “plus” numbers aggregated in various fielding metric data. And then there is this item, which was not mentioned in the first wave of coverage but could appear within the next couple of days: a NY Times column from William C. Rhoden touting the importance of this acquisition from a cultural standpoint, highlighting the fact that Granderson could bring African-American fans to the Bronx and carry that torch/example set by Derek Jeter. The caveat: with CC Sabathia on the team also, and with him being there first, this may be a non-issue.Most of what was printed centered on the Yankees’ piece to the deal, which was Granderson. Looking deeper, though, I noticed more attention paid to what the Yankees were able to maintain — Chamberlain, Hughes, and Jesus Montero — than what they gave up.

Beyond the obvious, there was little to no mention of the trickle-down effect the losses of Kennedy, Coke and Austin Jackson could mean for the future. Was Kennedy more expendable because he hasn’t pitched a great deal in the last two years? In the Post, King hinted that Coke pitched himself out of a Yankee uniform when Damaso Marte demonstrated success in the postseason, and that Mike Dunn, who threw like Wild Thing Vaughn in his cup of coffee in September but posted excellent numbers in the Arizona Fall League, is seen as a potential second lefty reliever. As for Austin Jackson, is he the next in a line of top prospects who are traded and then thrive, like Fred McGriff, Bo Jackson, Doug Drabek and Jose Rijo? To that end, will fans be upset if IPK thrives behind Brandon Webb, Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson in the desert on the grounds he wasn’t given a fair chance in New York? What about Coke and A-Jax? What happens if they help lead the Tigers to a title and Granderson is a scapegoat in a Yankees playoff loss?

Is this a Roberto Kelly-for-Paul O’Neill type win for the Yankees? What about Eric Milton and Cristian Guzman for Chuck Knoblauch? Or, more appropriately, if we’re going to talk three-team trades, is this a bomb like the 2002 mess that sent Ted Lilly to the A’s, Jeremy Bonderman to the Tigers and Jeff Weaver to the Yankees? All are possibilities.The thought here is thus: as numerous comments in BB threads have posited over the last couple of days, with Cabrera, Granderson and Swisher as the regular outfielders, Brett Gardner in reserve and perhaps Johnny Damon, the Yankees have their best and deepest outfield in some time. All five are southpaws, which is odd and cool; each possesses a combination of speed and power; and two of them are switch hitters. Joe Girardi can mix and match based on any situation.

The Pettitte story is a bit different, especially now that it’s a done deal. It came together quickly, and there wasn’t much of a story to tell except that both sides wanted to expedite matters. To me, the most interesting part of the deal itself is that the entire $11.75 million is guaranteed. There are no incentives this time around.

Getting Pettitte signed quickly buys Cashman time to evaluate the resources necessary to potentially land Roy Halladay in trade, or if John Lackey is a target, how much budget can be allocated to signing him to a long-term, high-eight-figure deal.

Now, more analysis is rolling in and additional projections are coming forth relating to the big fish available. What’s certain is that the Yankees are in the mix with everyone, and on the other end of the spectrum, the Mets are trying like hell to turn the spin machine into a centrifuge and create some kind of positive messaging.

With the two transactions announced yesterday, one thing the Yankees did not do, and it hasn’t been mentioned enough — if at all — is set the market level for the big names still floating. Cashman’s coy aggressiveness has served him well in the past 14 months. It looks like he’s on a good roll, and even though it appears the local columnists are trying to influence re-signing Damon, for the most part, they’re riding the wave with him.


1 RagingTartabull   ~  Dec 11, 2009 9:15 am

ESPN claiming they broke a story they were scooped on?? Surely you jest!

2 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 11, 2009 9:19 am

[0] "...settling the left field/center field question by acquiring Curtis Granderson..."

I agree with pretty much all the analysis except this. My read of the tenor of the conversations here and elsewhere is that the question is definitely not settled. It certainly makes the negotiations with Damon and Matsui different. But there seems to be as much debate about where Granderson will play (LF or CF), next to whom, etc. where he will bat, etc. etc. etc. as there was in general before we traded for him.

For my part, as of this morning when I woke up I find myself leaning toward now signing Holloday for LF and the 5 hole, long-term payroll impact be damned. And Matsui for DH. I hate the rotating DH idea.

3 Will Weiss   ~  Dec 11, 2009 9:47 am

[2] I think it's settled. I've gathered that Granderson will be the center fielder. If Damon is retained, it's as a DH, with Melky Cabrera the primary left fielder. Matsui, I think, is a goner.

4 RagingTartabull   ~  Dec 11, 2009 9:53 am

I don't know what it is, but I cannot bring myself to get excited about the possibility of signing Holliday. No one has to convince me how good he is, I'm one of the people who feel he was completely jobbed out of the MVP 2 years ago....but I dunno, I just don't feel any "ooomph" about getting him.

Maybe its the fact that he's a decidedly NON-Franchise type player (although still very good), but he's going to demand a franchise player type of deal. I know none of what I'm saying is in-depth analysis of the pros and cons of signing him, I just needed to get it off my chest.

5 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2009 9:53 am

[0] Not sure what surface you mean, but I don't think any makes it seem that "the Tigers win this trade in a landslide". Considering their financial predicament, they did well, but all of the players they received have significant question marks. Also, losing $25mn in salary of the next three years ISN'T a good thing when you consider the talent they had to give up. If not for the awful contracts on the book, I am sure the Tigers would have been very happy to keep Granderson and his contract.

[1] Olney is the first place I saw the deal.

[2] According to Cashman, and rightfully so, there is no debate about where Granderson will play. In Chad Jennings post, Cashman specifically said Granderson is playing CF. It also seems like the Yankees are content to have Melky play LF and then acquire a DH (preferably Damon or Matsui). I think that makes perfect sense, although I could also see signing Cameron and moving Swisher to the DH, which would yield an excellent defensive outfield.

6 The Hawk   ~  Dec 11, 2009 9:54 am

The more I think about it, the more I am fine with the OF as is. I don't know who's better defensively, Melky or Grando Calrissian, but whichever is, put him in CF. If you want to be a traditionalist and put power in the corner, put Grando in LF. Essentially he's a replacement for Damon, and a fine one at that. If Damon wants to come back as essentially a replacement for Matsui, with added flexibility cause he can (sort of) play the field, that's fine too. If not, they ought to pursue Matsui as a DH who may sit more games than last year to rest Posada's weary bones.

I'm suspect this is what Cashman is thinking, esp in terms of negotiating with Damon. If it doesn't work out, he'll get Matsui at a decrease in flexibility but an increase in production at DH.

7 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2009 9:56 am

[4] I have that same gut reaction. What's more, I think this team can be very successful if they just add one more offensive player (whether it be Cameron, Damon or Matsui)...and, it's likely true that they can add two of that group for the price Holliday. More importantly, the upcoming free agent classes could have some very good players, so it might be a good idea to not take on Holliday if that would restrict a future big contract.

For the same reason, I kind of want the Red Sox to sign Bay. While he will be a big help for the next year or two, I think he will wind up being well over paid and under productive. Not only would the Sox be stuck with a bad contract, but it could make them less competitive for future free agents.

8 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 11, 2009 9:57 am

I think Will's right here, and would now be surprised if Melky moves from NY. Damon as the DH/4th OF does allow Grand Center to sit vs harder lefties (because Damon hits them fairly well) and Melky could shift to right to let Swish sit at times as well (with Damon in left). I think the idea is flexibility. Having said that, I think Matsui is a better bat than Damon (not by a lot, but he is) and suits the DH role better, too.

I also note that the Jason Bay market is a little lower than I guessed ... if 4 for 60-65 is where we are, then 5 for 75-80 will get him and that probably is what Holliday will get (maybe a little more but Bay has done his numbers in a very hard AL East). These numbers also make it a bit harder for Lackey to get AJ+ numbers, no? (Though he's probably worth about that.)

9 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2009 10:04 am

[8] AJ got the contract he did because the Braves were an aggressive bidder. If Lackey can attract two bidders, he might top that deal. If not, he'll have to settle for less.

10 Ben   ~  Dec 11, 2009 10:12 am

I really hope they sign Damon as a Tim Raines, dh/outfielder/veteran/clubhouse clown. I love that guy, but he may still be too good, and want too much, to fill the role the Yanks seem to have available for him. I believe in Cashman, I believe in Cashman.

Hey has anyone compared Cashman's record in acquiring good pitching vs. good hitting. I feel a lot more confident in him on the hitting side of things, but I'm not sure how much of the contracts for Weaver, Contreras, Brown, Vasquez, Wright, Johnson ( jeez it's a long list, isn't it?) were his doing.

11 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 11, 2009 10:18 am

[10] I think its really only fair to evaluate Cashman on what he's done post-2005, since that's when we know he was given total autonomy over the front office. And in that time, I can't think of a single big ticket (yearly salary > $10M) free agent signing that he's come to regret. The only free agent signing I think didn't really work out is Farnsworth, and even that wasn't horrible. I could be forgetting some, though.

[4] Agree 100%. If Holliday/Boras would sign a 5 year, $70M deal, I'd be very happy with the Yanks doing that. But they won't, and I'll bet he ends up with more. No where near Tex's money though, no matter how hard Boras tries.

12 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 11, 2009 10:23 am

On a related topic, while part of me thinks throwing $8M at Ben Sheets would be a great upside bet, the other part of me would very much like to see a CC-AJ-Andy-Joba-Phil rotation, with Hughes as the 5th starter capped around 150 IP. Of course, spending no more money on free agent pitching makes it possible for the Yanks to spend a bit more on LF/DH, if needed.

13 Sliced Bread   ~  Dec 11, 2009 10:24 am

[11] Does Igawa count as a bad free agent signing? I think so, but overall I agree Cash has done well. The recent Posada deal may be regrettable, but understandable. Po's bat should still be worth something by the end of his contract.

14 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 11, 2009 10:32 am

[13] Yep. I knew I was forgetting something! Thanks Sliced.

Yeah, Posada's lost 2008 is going to make that deal not all that great, but 2009 probably justifies it. And I agree, his bat probably will be ok come the end. As long as he stays healthy, he should be fine.

15 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2009 10:36 am

[13] Something tells me Igawa's decision came from up above. Even at the time, Cashman was calling him a potential back of the rotation starter or reliever, so I don't think he was very high on him.

As for Posada, I don't you can judge that deal on it's face. As a core Yankee coming off a great season, there was no way the Yankees were going to play hardball. While the Red Sox are always more than happy to ship off their older heros (Lowell is the latest), I am glad that the Yankees have a little more loyalty.

16 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 11, 2009 11:06 am

I think the question now is: does Cashman go after Pitching or Offense?
We could go after Lackey or the next bext thing, and piece together the rest of the position players (ie: No impact guy)
We could go after Holliday and have an outstanding lineup and hope Joba and Phil are legit, and go after someone mid-year if they're not.

I think if the Yanks were set on a DH only type, Matsui would have already been signed. I'm sure he wants to be a Yankee (again). I don't think 2 years of DH'ing elsewhere would be more attractive... especially considering if he has a good 2010, they Yankees might consider him again for 2011.

Trading AJax and therefore not having him as our 'next OFer' changes things for me. We have some OF kids on the farm, but really nobody in the next 2-3 years we can really count on to be an above average player.
Unless there is an OFer available next year that Cashman has his eye on, it seems like Holliday becomes very attractive. I mean, what are we waiting for?

As I said before, with Holliday and Granderson in the fold, our position players should literally be set for 3 years. Aside from Montero replacing Posada, our 2012 or 2013 lineup could be the same as 2010.

At this point, with the Yankees being a/the favorite as the WS champ in 2010, I have to wonder if this would be attractive enough to Holliday to give us a decent price. ARod gave up his position to wear Pinstrips. Beltran was willing to give away (was it) $10m. What's it worth to be part of the next dynasty?

I wonder if Cashman 'pulls a JD'... waits a bit to see if Holliday in still around in a month, and then offers 5/$75m, with a 24 hour window to decide.

Holliday (LF)
Swisher (DH) - Swisher (RF)
Melky (RF) - Miranda/Montero (DH)

And when Posada is the DH, Swisher in RF, so you are swapping Cervelli for Melky.
That is a sick, sick lineup.

(The only thing better would be if Bay leaves the Sox, and then Cashman steals Holliday from the Sox, ala Teixeira!!!!!)

17 Will Weiss   ~  Dec 11, 2009 11:09 am

[5] William, I love it when you kill my opens. ... The results -- how each player fares in the new locale -- will truly bear who wins the deal. I know this. My point was that every player involved in the deal has some flaw or flaws associated with him. For the Tigers to only give up two players and restock themselves the way they did is a credit to Dave Dombrowski, and those young guys are in a good situation with Jim Leyland managing them. Would you be surprised to see Scherzer, Coke, Schlereth, and AJax thrive? They'll be a contender again, if not next year, then in the next three years. They're still a dangerous team.

[8] Re-signing Matsui severely limits what the Yankees can do from a flexibility standpoint. If they don't go with Damon, then I think they'll give him a 2-year deal at about $10M per to be the DH. He could teach Grando how to hit lefties.

18 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 11, 2009 11:38 am

[16] The free agent class for next offseason, with regards to OF, is significantly better than this one. OF free agents of possible note include (2011 age in parenthesis):

Pat Burrell* (34)
Carl Crawford (29)
Coco Crisp (31)
Michael Cuddyer (32)
David DeJesus (30)
Adam Dunn* (31)
Brad Hawpe (32)
Jason Kubel* (29)
Jayson Werth (32)

*assuming these guys could play the field passbly well, an open question for sure

None of those guys is especially young, but none are especially old either. Its a much bigger under-35 pool to pick from than Holliday and Bay, though.

So my guess is that Cashman's strategy is, "Why overpay now for Holliday, when I can get almost all of the production at a smaller cost and fewer years next year?"

I think the real reason the Yanks are close to done is that the 2010 payroll is currently ~$195M (I presume $3M each for Gaudin and Melky in arbitration, and include monies owed to Igawa, Brackman, Miranda et al). Last year was ~$201M. If they want it to go down, and they keep saying they do, that means they only have ~$6M left to spend, and no way Damon or Matsui takes that. Cameron might, but only if its late January and he's still not signed. A low-cost DH option, like Thome or Delgado, might.

OTOH, the Yanks could trade Melky, and thus free up some more cash to then sign Damon or whoever - but they won't make the signing without having the trade lined up first.

Or, they could be totally done. Melky in LF, Hoffman and Gardner as backup OFs, Miranda/Hoffman/guys to rest at DH. I'm not saying I like that, but I do think its possible.

19 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 11, 2009 11:39 am

[17] I have a friend, a longstanding Tiger fan, who thinks Leyland is the most overrated manager in the game.

Gets apoplectic when Leyland is praised as a master-tactician. If he were here, he'd be blasting the idea that Leyland will know how to help the youngsters, or bring them along well. I do agree that Dombrowski did well here, if money/rebuilding were the aims, but isn't the Maggs contract a Dombrowski deal? (I don't know the history of that one.)

20 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 11, 2009 11:43 am

[18] OR they could non-tender Gaudin (h/t RAB), which would free up money too.

There might be some good value in the non-tender market as well.

21 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2009 11:59 am

[16] If the Yankees won a World Series with Damon, Melky and Swisher, why do you feel an urgency with Granderson, Melky and Swisher? The Yankees could very well Holliday, but the price seems as if it is going to be very steep. With better players potentially available over the next two season, and other, cheaper viable alternatives floating around, I am not so sure I'd be willing to pay so much for Holliday.

[17] I don't think I kill them! Besides, your posts are usually longer, so one criticism isn't much (for me). While every player has some flaws, Granderson is a proven major league talent with a definite all star upside. His risk is much less than any other player in the deal. Because he is signed to a good contract, it means the Tigers really aren't saving much in the long term.

As for what they received, I don't think Coke and Schlereth will wind up contributing much more than solid bullpen work. Scherzer definitely has potential, but there are so many concerns about his delivery and mechanics, that he could also be a bust. A-Jax could wind up being a solid major league CF'er, but I think that's far from a foregone conclusion. Personally, I think Melky will wind up being the better player. The Tigers did not receive a quartet of blue chips.

22 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2009 12:02 pm

[18] According to my numbers, you are about $10mn too high, but I think the general point is still valid.

[20] I think that's very possible.

23 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 11, 2009 12:15 pm

[18] Do YOU take Holliday if he takes 5/$75?
And will the economy still suck in 2011?
Cashman didn't trade for Santana, as he shouldn't have. Hopefully, he won't trade for Halladay. But when it comes to FAs, he appears to be a bird in the had guy.

Frankly, unless the Sox replace Bay with Bay/Holliday and make some other quality moves, I don't think they are as big a threat as in past years... so maybe getting a Holliday type isn't urgent. But I view him as 'Teixeira Light'. Decent age, excellent O without sacrificing D, a solid citizen, and someone who mets our greatest position need, like Teix did last year.

I guess like last year with Teix, is it worth going over budget to lock up a quality player who should have 5 very good years left? I think Cashman feels the way I do. Between Interleague/NL games, Posada, ARod and Jeter, we only have about 1/2 a DH needed. Holliday might not put us over budget much, as we really don't need a DH if we get Holliday.

Brad Hawpe and Jayson Werth would be good pickups, but nobody else on that list excites me. Maybe if Crawford has a better year this year he's on that list too.

24 Biscuit Pants   ~  Dec 11, 2009 12:22 pm

[0] Will, I think you meant Deion Sanders when you wrote Bo Jackson.

25 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2009 12:25 pm

[23] At that price and length, yes, I would sign him, move Melky to right and make Swisher the primary DH. However, if the Yankees are serious about their budget, they wont have much room to add another starter. Assuming Hughes has an innings limit, the Yankees really only have 4.5 starters, and that's without considering whether Joba or Hughes will be effective in that role. I think Cashman probably wants to add more pitching depth. Lackey probably doesn't make sense, so he has to figure out if the Yankees are in on Halladay, and if not, who else might be a good fit.

26 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 11, 2009 12:30 pm

Questions I haven't seen addressed:

1) Does Brett Gardner stick with the big club on Opening Day 2010?
1a) Does Gardner get traded before then?
2) Do Tigers deal Miggy Cabrera/Ordonez (hmm ... to Mets for Carlos Beltran?)

27 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2009 12:36 pm

[26] I think (hope) Gardner will be traded. The Royals and White Sox have both expressed an interest, so maybe Cashman can get a bidding war going.

As for the Tigers, I can't see them being able to move Ordonez or Cabrera. Not only are the contracts prohibitive, but Cabrera's defense combined with his end of year antics probably would scare away anyone considering it.

28 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 11, 2009 12:41 pm

[25] william summed it up for me in [24].

[22] Hmm. I wonder how we are off by that much. Admittedly I like your numbers better! Did you use average annual value, or the actual 2010 salaries? I used 2010 salaries taken from Cot's.

29 51cq24   ~  Dec 11, 2009 1:00 pm

i'll be very surprised if melky is a starter in 2010. i think we still need a lf, and a dh. i don't think damon is well suited to be either, frankly, since he's a terrible fielder and not as good a hitter as other dh options. i don't understand signing him just because he's something in between, especially when he'll probably want too many years (which is why we should have offered him arbitration). since we need a left fielder and holliday is available, it seems silly to me to not try to sign him. obviously, as i've said many times, i think matsui is a perfect dh/ph. and it DOESN'T HURT FLEXIBILITY BECAUSE HE CAN ALWAYS SIT DOWN! if there are really financial limitations, you still need a dh. i'd rather sign matsui and let melky start most games than sign damon and go without a dh, because i think matsui's offensive advantage outweighs damon's ability to play when position players are dhing. if damon were a presentable outfielder, that would be different. but he's awful, and has been for years.

[0] actually granderson is a righty. i suppose there's no chance of him considering batting righty at this point in his career, but it seems odd to me that he hasn't tried it considering how bad his numbers are against lefties.

as for pitching, i think we should re-sign wang and maybe try signing sheets, depending on the money. i think it's pretty clear joba will be starting next year. otherwise all the maneuvering with his innings last year will be for naught. hughes should probably start also, but i'm confident in his ability to remain a starter, even before any innings limitations kick in. i expect a year similar to joba's 09 from him.

30 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2009 1:05 pm

[28] I think it has to do with signing bonuses. I've always applied the signing bonus to the year it is paid, but perhaps that isn't how it works for luxury tax purposes? I haven't been able to find anything definitive on that.

31 51cq24   ~  Dec 11, 2009 1:11 pm

[29] that should say NOT confident in phil as a starter all year.

and let me try to be more clear on my first point. if we can afford to sign a left fielder and a dh, then i think matsui should clearly be our target for dh. but even if we can only afford to sign one, i still prefer matsui to damon. in that situation, melky would be starting in lf most of the season. so the question is, which is greater, (matsui's offensive advantage over damon for most of the season + his value as a threat from the bench in games in which he doesn't play) or (damon's offensive advantage over melky in the games when other position players dh - melky's defensive advantage over damon in those games + melky's value from the bench in those games). i don't know the precise answer, but my intuition is that the former is better.

32 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2009 1:11 pm

[29] You might be right, but why would it surprise you? He was pretty much a regular in 2009, so why not 2010? Also, do you really think Damon is that far behind other DH options? If so, who in particular? As for offering him arbitration, I think this market has proven that it would have been silly to wind up paying Damon $15-16mn for 1 year, which is what he would have been awarded in arbitration.

I also like the idea of Sheets, but the early word is he wants in excess of $12mn, which is absurd.

33 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2009 1:12 pm

[31] You also have to add health into your equation. Who is more likely to miss a considerable amount of time: Matsui or Damon. I think that question heavily favors Damon.

34 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 11, 2009 1:12 pm

[30] OK, now I'm really curious, because (except for Brackman) I ignored signing bonuses altogether. Here's what I have (all in millions):

Posada 13.1
Tex 20
Cano 9
A-Rod 32
Jeter 21
Melky 3
Swisher 6.75
Curtis 5.5
Miranda 0.4
Cervelli 0.45
Pena 0.45
Gardner 0.45
Hoffman 0.45
CC 23
AJ 16.5
Andy 11.75
Joba 0.45
Phil 0.45
Mo 15
Marte 4
Aceves 0.45
Melancon 0.45
Dunn 0.45
Gaudin 3
Brackman 1.695833333
Igawa 4

I also had .45 for Edwar and Albaladejo, but I guess I shouldn't include those. If they aren't in the majors, they won't get paid. Still, that drops me to ~$194M ($194.1958333M to be precise).

35 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 11, 2009 1:15 pm

[34] And while Edwar and/or Albaladejo will, I'm sure, be in the mix this year, I think if neither sticks for good in 2010, they will both be gone, because both are arbitration-eligible after 2010, and there are plenty more righty relievers down on the farm.

36 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 11, 2009 1:21 pm

[28] CC gets a big raise. His first year had bonus money in it.
1) Does BONUS money count towards payroll on the year it is paid?
2) I assume it is 'Taxable'?
3) Bonuses are paid out in all kings of crazy ways. What's the logic?

Brett won't bring us much more then a bag of balls. Why trade him unless we get someone really useful? He's got options and is cost controlled for a while. I think trading him depends somewhat on who we get for LF.

At $80m, I can the the Red Sox and Angels in on Holliday. Will the Cardinals go that high? The Mariners take the big dive? Who's got $80m to spend?

37 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2009 1:23 pm

[34] I didn't see that you said you added in Melky and Gaudin, which explains some of the difference. You've also added a few guys whom I haven't assumed will make the team. Where you are now too low is you haven't included Arod's $1mn bonus in 2010, which is payable January 15 as well as Tex' and CC's pro-rated bonuses, assuming they shouldn't be applied completely to 2009, which is when they were paid. Also, you are too high on Brackman because most of his bonus was payable over 6 years (even though he has a four year contract). The real annual figure is $858,333.

38 51cq24   ~  Dec 11, 2009 1:24 pm

[32] it would surprise me if melky starts because i see the granderson trade as an upgrade in cf, not as an answer to lf. maybe i'm wrong, but while melky did start most of the year in 09, he was also by far the weakest starter. i like melky and hope he improves, but i just don't see it happening. his swing is too loopy. he is a good outfielder though, especially in the corners where he is more effective at stopping 1st to 3rd and such.
i don't think damon is way behind anyone, but i do think matsui is better, and i don't think damon is nearly enough of a fielder to overcome that. and while that would have been a bit of an outrageous salary in 2010, i think the yankees could handle it for 1 year, which would be much better than 3 or 4 years at a slightly lower annual salary. plus you get the possibility of added draft picks.

[33] that's true, and matsui's knees are an issue that the yankees should certainly consider. but in his career he's been very durable. maybe that has caught up to him, but i don't think that's at all clear, especially if we don't use him in the outfield at all. but it sounds like other teams would consider using him in the outfield, so maybe he's actually getting better. i just don't know.

[10] vazquez was a good pitcher. the mistake with him, in my opinion, was trading him for the old asshole.

39 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2009 1:26 pm

[36] If you apply the bonus in the year it is paid, CC's salary doesn't change. Otherwise, it jumps from $15.3mn to $24.3mn.

Bonus money is taxable, but what I am not sure about is whether you pro-rate (like football) or apply it in the year it is paid.

The Royals and White Sox are rumored to be very interested in Gardner, so I think Cashman can get something back for him. These are teams that have traded useful parts for Coco Crisp and Scott Pods, so I wouldn't rule it out.

40 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2009 1:34 pm

[38] I don't think the musical chairs matters that much on offense. With a bat in their hands, it doesn't matter where they play, so Melky is still Melky. If Damon signs as a DH, the net difference is Granderson versus Matsui, which isn't a bad tradeoff. Where the shuffling does count is on defense, and Melky and Granderson would be a significant upgrade.

My point with Damon was not one year at a high salary versus 3-4 years at less. It's 1 or 2 years at less versus 1 year at high salary. The Yankees might be able to afford $16mn, but why do that when you could possibly pay another DH (or Damon himself) half that? Then, you could use that $8mn to fill other holes.

The Yankees had to treat Matsui so gently this past season, that I don't think you can confidently project him to stay healthy. For that reason, I would give Damon an edge over him (unless you are prepared to bring in Matsui and another bat like Cameron or DeRosa).

41 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 11, 2009 1:43 pm

[37] Ah, well, back in [18] I do mention Gaudin and Melky, so that's $6M.

Miranda has to DH, because who else will right now; even if he doesn't, he gets paid his $.4M. Everyone else also comes from the 40-man roster, to fill the last bench spot and the non-Mo-Marte-Gaudin bullpen slots - unless, of course, the Yanks sign some free agents, which I doubt they will. Perhaps a non-tenderee is possible, but those guys make peanuts too. Even still, Miranda+5 spots = ~$3M. That plus the $6M for Gaudin and Melky gets us about even.

But where did you get that number for Brackman? Yes, his $3.35M signing bonus is spread over 6 years (that's $558333 in 4 of the years, $558334 in the other 2), but his salary is $4.55M for 4 years, or $1,137,500 each year.

[39] I have no idea if or how bonuses count towards payroll in MLB, and I doubt there's an official answer like in the NFL. So for simplicity, I left them out.

My wild-ass guess, though, is bonuses are treated as non-salary expenses, and thus technically wouldn't count towards payrolls.

42 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2009 1:59 pm

[41] Only Miranda gets paid regardless of where he is. The other 40-man guys have to actually be on the team to earn their major league salaries.

As for Brackman, his $4.55mn contract includes the $3.35mn signing bonus, so his annual outlay is $558,333 for his bonus (paid 2007-2012) and $300,000 for his salary (paid 2007-2010).

The bonuses definitely count toward the luxury tax (they are salary expenses). The question is when are they are applied...pro-rated or as they are paid.

43 Will Weiss   ~  Dec 11, 2009 2:05 pm

[24] I did mean Bo Jackson. He was an original Yankee draft pick. By that token, I could say Mark Prior and John Elway also, but your Deion Sanders point is valid.

44 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 11, 2009 2:10 pm

Look at section XXIII, part C for some help

45 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2009 2:11 pm

[43] He was drafted by the Yankees out of high school, but he decided to return to high school, so he definitely doesn't qualify as a former Yankee prospect who was traded.

46 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 11, 2009 2:13 pm


The determination of a Player’s Salary for a particular Contract Year
for the purposes of interpretation and application of this Article XXIII
only shall be in accordance with the following rules.


(3) Signing Bonuses
Any Signing Bonus in a Uniform Player’s Contract (and any
other payment this Article deems to be a Signing Bonus) shall be
attributed, pro rata, over the Guaranteed Years of the Contract. If a
Contract contains no Guaranteed Years, the Signing Bonus shall be
attributed in full to the first year of the Contract.

47 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 11, 2009 2:14 pm

Chad Gaudin got paid $2m in 2009. Is he not worth that for SP depth?
What about JHJr? He was handy to have around. What would he cost?
Hinske was great on the bench. What does he cost? Even though he is shitty with the glove, isn’t he a good backup for ARod at 3rd (with a lot of work during ST), when ARod doesn't play?

In 2010....
Holliday + NO DH (Po, Swisher, Jeter, ARod, Miranda, Montero) costs the same as 'a Cameron' and 'a Matsui'. Is it close to a wash production wise?
In 2011, My guess is Po DH'es 60 games and of course Montero and the crew (Swisher, Jeter, ARod, Miranda). So if we don't get Holliday (and lease a LFer instead), we still need a LFer.

I'm just not sure that Holliday costs us much more over the next 5 years then a different (equal in value) alternative,

This is why Methinks Cashman is on Holliday.
Besides... lots of dopey fans will think we got Halliday. and be happy.

48 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 11, 2009 2:19 pm

Maybe those dopey fans will be upset thinking we got THIS guy ..


49 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 11, 2009 2:22 pm

[41] So..... if we sign player X for 1 year and pay him $5m salary with a $5m bonus, you think our 'official payroll' only goes up by $5m? And what about the 40% tax? If so, this would be a way to lessen our 'offical payroll' in the eyes of other teams?

If we sign Holliday, pay him $1m year1, with a $14m bonus...
Did Cashman GET Holliday and keep the payroll under $190m?

What if we give someone $6.5m/yr in bonus for 2 years... and it balances out when Po in off the books in 2012?

There must be some 'funny' rules about bonuses, because they are handed out all kinds of different ways.

50 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 11, 2009 2:23 pm

[46] That's the answer...excellent.

Flipping through, it was interesting to note that the 2010 luxury tax threshold will be $170mn, up from $148mn in 2007. At a 40% tax rate, that saves the Yankees a good amount of change. If their payroll is $200mn, their tax bill will be done to $12mn.

Also, luxury tax bills are announced on December 12, so the Yankees have that to look forward to tomorrow.

51 51cq24   ~  Dec 11, 2009 2:30 pm

[40] i'm not really sure what your first paragraph is referring to regarding musical chairs. i agree with it, but i think granderson vs damon would be a better tradeoff than granderson vs matsui, particularly since the yankees would probably start damon in the outfield more than he deserves.
i mostly agree with your second paragraph, especially the end, but i think that if the yankees really want damon back, it would ideally be for only 1 year, and i think he'll get at least 2 and probably 3 as a free agent. and since i don't think that overpaying for one year is a huge deal (if we have him at all), i think it would have been worth it to offer him arbitration and possibly get 2 draft picks. i also don't think we've seen enough of this offseason to know where the market truly is.
again, your 3rd paragraph is a good point, and i would like to know more about his health. but they would be treating him gently again this season, probably more so to rest position players at dh, so i think he could handle it, especially if he's in better shape, which is supposedly possible.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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