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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Pinch hitting: Scott Proctor’s Arm

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Jan 09, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

January is usually a slow month for baseball news. So we’ve lined up a series of guest bloggers to entertain you. Next up is Andrew from Scott Proctor’s Arm.

Andrew is from Rockland County and studies journalism at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. He started his blog last May so he could write about his favorite team. Andrew reports that Derek Jeter is his favorite player and he got to 10 games at the Stadium last season.

Here’s his post:

Following another early playoff exit, things were looking grim for the New York Yankees. Joe Torre, after 12 successful seasons, was out after what was probably his best managerial job (winning 94 games after starting 21-29), and many thought free agents Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte would follow in a mass exodus. Alex Rodriguez also opted out of his record contract during Game 4 of the World Series.

But by the end of December, the Yankees were successful in retaining their free agents. Some of their contracts bothered me, while others were smart.

Posada, a 36-year-old catcher, has played in 131 or more games behind the plate every season since 2000. I would have been hesitant to give him four years and $52.4 million at that age for fear of him breaking down, no viable replacements in-house (the catching prospects are extremely young) and a lack of position mobility. However, at the time, Rodriguez looked like he was a goner and the team couldn’t afford to lose Posada’s bat after he had a career year. The Yankees blew their chance to get any sort of discount by refusing to negotiate during spring training.

Rivera also received a bloated contract (three years, $45 million). I would have given him a two-year contract with an option, but Rivera also felt slighted that he wasn’t spoken to during the spring. Rivera had probably the worst season of his career this year, yet he was rewarded with a pay-raise ($15 million per year for a closer pitching about 70 innings is ridiculous). An option would’ve allowed the Yankees to gauge where Rivera was at the age of 40.

The biggest and most expensive move involved the reigning M.V.P. Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $275 million contract with bonuses for home run milestones (making it potentially worth $305 million). The contract is a relative bargain, as it is not back-loaded when he’s past his prime.

Losing his right-handed bat would have been a crushing blow to the team for the upcoming season. But in the long-run, if he left, it could have been beneficial to the team. His production is irreplaceable, but the Yankees would’ve had more money to sign cheaper, quality players to stray away from the all-star lineup concept which has failed to win playoff games since 2004.

With the young pitchers likely having innings caps this season, re-signing Pettitte was a must. After declining his $16 million player option to weigh his future, he signed a one-year contract for the same amount a few weeks later. His production last season (15-9, 4.05 ERA), however, probably doesn’t warrant a deal worth that much.

I don’t like LaTroy Hawkins, but I liked his contract (one year, $3.75 million). The Yankees finally realized they shouldn’t give multi-year contracts to mediocre relievers.

Yes, this isn’t my money. However, with the luxury tax becoming a factor, the Yankees should become more cautious in their spending. They should also reevaluate their policy of not negotiating during spring training. They probably could’ve gotten Rivera and Posada to re-sign at much lower values.

I am very excited for the Joe Girardi era to begin. I loved his hire, because he won the 2006 National League Manager of the Year award with a young team and the Yankees appear to be headed in a younger direction as well. Hopefully Yankee fans will have a lot to cheer about when October rolls around this year.

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72 Responses to “Pinch hitting: Scott Proctor’s Arm”

  1. Mark McCray January 9th, 2008 at 12:22 am

    I heart Joe Girardi

  2. whozat January 9th, 2008 at 12:36 am

    So…they had no internal options for catcher, there weren’t any good ones on the market, Minaya would GLADLY have given Jorge that money…and the contract was a BAD idea?

    Also…it’s really easy to use hindsight to say they should’ve negotiated extensions in the spring…but with players of their age, the likelihood was that they’d decrease their value. Also, it’s easy to say mo had the “worst season of his career” if you don’t take into account that most of his bad games were when he’d sit around for four days because his team was awful in April and May. Did you see him in October? Looked fine to me.

    Yes, $15 mil sounds ridiculous. But he’s getting paid for who he’s been and what he’s meant to the team, and for having been under-market for the last several years. The Phils happily gave Tom Gordon a 3 year deal at 38. Francisco Cordero got what, 10 or 11 mil per? You think Mo wouldn’t have gotten 3 year offers if he went on the market? You think he wouldn’t have gotten 12 per? So, the contract’s probably inflated by 2-3 mil per. It’s mo…that really doesn’t bother me that much.

  3. Matt January 9th, 2008 at 12:36 am

    More I think about it getting rid of Proctor was a pretty dumb move. Our bullpen is very inconsistent and you can count on Scotty to pitch 70 innings with an ERA under 4.

  4. whozat January 9th, 2008 at 12:40 am

    “Our bullpen is very inconsistent”

    So was Proctor. His walks were up, his Ks were down, his homers and hits were up…These are NOT good indicators.

  5. Old Yanks Fan January 9th, 2008 at 12:41 am

    While we paid through the nose for some of our guys, as Yankee fans, we should be very greatful that not only do the Yankees have money, but do feel an allegiance to keeping the ‘family intact’. We talk about winning, but as the ‘SAVE PHIL HUGHES’ movement has shown, sometimes keeping certain players has a higher priority then winning.

    I remember when Murcer was traded, it took weeks for me to enjoy a Yankee game. I literally cried when I first heard it. I felt so betrayed. I basically blew off that season. I’m very happy Mo & Po are still Yankees, and excited to see if ARod can shed some of his problems and cement his legacy as a Yankee.

  6. Peter Abraham January 9th, 2008 at 12:42 am

    Thanks for the post Andrew. Good luck in school and getting your career started.

  7. whozat January 9th, 2008 at 12:43 am

    “His production is irreplaceable, but the Yankees would’ve had more money to sign cheaper, quality players”

    Like?

    Which of the free agent 1B and 3B’s should they have gotten? Would they have needed to trade for one? Who do you go after?

  8. Andrew V. January 9th, 2008 at 12:45 am

    QU REPRESENT!

  9. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Save the Three Musketeers! January 9th, 2008 at 12:45 am

    Andrew: Not sure I agree with everything, but a great summation of the Yankees’ offseason moves thus far :)

  10. JBRO January 9th, 2008 at 12:46 am

    QU ay, both my brothers went/go there…

    Good post

    Go Bobcat Lax

  11. YankzFrenzy January 9th, 2008 at 12:58 am

    the only part of your post that I have to disagree with completely is the part about Pettitte and his 16 mil contract. he pitched much better than his record indicates. he had one or two REALLY bad games during the season and that totally inflated his ERA. his pitching late in the season is definately one reason we even made the postseason. not to mention his postseason performance this year.

  12. mel January 9th, 2008 at 1:02 am

    Lots of food for thought! Just 2 months ago, there was a lot of doom & gloom here, and Rebecca was trying her best to keep the optimism going.

    The only free agent I felt he HAD to have back was Jorge. I could not live with a year of Torrealba or, worse, LoDuca. He tried his best to make the Yankees squirm, but you could tell that Jorge couldn’t wait to come back. The money and years don’t bother me. The Yankees are odd in that they starve players in the early years and overpay in the later years for good service and loyalty. Kind of like a semi-retirement plan. Jorge has plenty of kick left and can always DH or play another position. And signing Molina on top of it was like a 5-point play in basketball. Sweet!

    There’s still angst on the blog, but none for me. I’m psyched that we’re going to battle with the hottest manager in the game, the hottest young pitchers in the league, the future homerun king, and the Captain. And if Santana comes along for the ride, even better.

    If you can’t get psyched about the changes, renewed optimism, and one last year in the old stadium, then you may have bigger problems than worrying about how Cashman’s going to work the rotation or fix the bullpen. ;)

    Good luck in your endeavors, Andrew.

  13. McLovin January 9th, 2008 at 1:06 am

    And Pettitte pitched great against bad teams.He had a 4 Era.Is implicated in the HGH scandal tainting anything we win and couldn’t past 5 innings against Boston and sucked and started the season in th DL and got schooled by Carmona in the ALDS.I can’t wait till he’s $16 million goes to a true Ace.

  14. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Save the Three Musketeers! January 9th, 2008 at 1:09 am

    McLovin: You’re confusing Pettitte with Wang and Carmona with Sabathia.

    Pettitte did not give up a single run in the ALDS to Cleveland. Joba did.

    In fact, Pettitte pitched one of the best games of his career.

  15. J-Dawg January 9th, 2008 at 1:10 am

    I think that the Yankees have had a fine offseason so far. Like others have said, this is basically the same team that was tearing it up during the second half of the season. Some things have changed, such as the manager and the youth of the rotation, but to me those sound like changes for the better. Roll with the changes, as REO Speedwagon once said. Keep on rollin’!!

  16. Vince January 9th, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Rick Hancock would be proud, Andrew.

    Go Bobcats!

  17. Scott Proctor's Arm January 9th, 2008 at 1:14 am

    I’m just worried that the lineup is going to be exactly the same – the same lineup that never shows up against the best pitchers of the American League a lot of the time.

  18. Brian January 9th, 2008 at 1:14 am

    “and got schooled by Carmona in the ALDS.”

    Did you watch that game? He left with a 1-0 lead after 8.

  19. Philo Farnsworth January 9th, 2008 at 1:17 am

    You say that Arod’s contract is a relative bargain because is not back-loaded. This is exactly backwards: the Yanks would be getting a better deal if they DID backload the contract, because money spent in later years is worth less than money spent now (due to inflation and time value of money).

  20. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Save the Three Musketeers! January 9th, 2008 at 1:18 am

    Andrew: They were awful in games one and two, sure, but they were great in game three, and would have been fine in game four if

    a) Wang wasn’t on three days rest and they had a legitimate pitcher

    and

    b) Jeter didn’t GIDP every at bat!

  21. mel January 9th, 2008 at 1:19 am

    Whew! Tough crowd.

  22. Evil Empire January 9th, 2008 at 1:21 am

    The post should be titled Summary of Offseason moves #501.

  23. raymagnetic January 9th, 2008 at 1:22 am

    I’m just worried that the lineup is going to be exactly the same – the same lineup that never shows up against the best pitchers of the American League a lot of the time.

    I’m sorry but you don’t score over 900 runs simply by beating up on scrub pitchers. Some of the runs have to come against good pitchers.

  24. raymagnetic January 9th, 2008 at 1:24 am

    You say that Arod’s contract is a relative bargain because is not back-loaded. This is exactly backwards: the Yanks would be getting a better deal if they DID backload the contract, because money spent in later years is worth less than money spent now (due to inflation and time value of money).

    Would you prefer to pay 20 or 30 mil to a 25 hr hitting DH in 2017?

  25. Scott Proctor's Arm January 9th, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Yeah, Giambi will make $26 million this season (+ the buyout) and won’t put up the numbers he did when he was making $8 million and $10 million.

  26. Smadar January 9th, 2008 at 1:30 am

    Philo has a point. If the Yankees back load the contract, they’d save more money overall. The dollar would be inflated most, when the Yankees have to pay the most. I’d rather pay $30 million when it’s worth more like $20 million than pay $30 million when it’s worth $30 million. It’s like asking whether someone would rather have to come up with $1,000 now or whether they’d rather go back in time to 1950 and try to earn it.

  27. Math failure January 9th, 2008 at 1:32 am

    Too many numbers…

    Talk baseball…

  28. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Save the Three Musketeers! January 9th, 2008 at 1:32 am

    i’m off for the night.

    Catch you all on the morrow.

  29. McLovin January 9th, 2008 at 1:35 am

    REbecca-

    Sorry for the confusion but Pettitte wasn’t a Ace.WE are expecting WAng and Pettitte to anchor a very unstable pitching staff.

  30. Smadar January 9th, 2008 at 1:43 am

    Yes, SPA, but the Yankees can much more easily afford Giambi’s $26 million now when it’s 9.6% of their pay roll than they could in 2002 when that same salary would have accounted for 17% of their payroll. Plus, the luxury tax threshold goes up every year, so the Yankees would be less penalized in 2012 than they would be for the same salary in 2008. Phil is definitely right.

  31. Math failure January 9th, 2008 at 1:45 am

    Smadar:

    We’re still paying way too freakin’ much for a tainted piece of crap.

  32. Smadar January 9th, 2008 at 1:46 am

    Sorry, mixed up the figures, but the point remains the same. $26 million would account for 12% of the Yankees current payroll. In 2002, it would have accounted for 21% of their payroll. Backloaded contracts are easier to manage because the dollar is worth the least when the Yankees have to pay the most of them.

  33. Smadar January 9th, 2008 at 1:47 am

    He’s no Kevin Youkilis apparently…

  34. iYankees January 9th, 2008 at 2:33 am

    Andrew’s got a great blog, so it’s pretty cool to see him posting on here. Nice summary man. I agree with your assessment of the River contract, in particular. What were they thinking, I mean, come on.

  35. bardos January 9th, 2008 at 2:48 am

    new smoking gun video by clemens clears up all doubts

    http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1795065

  36. EY January 9th, 2008 at 5:42 am

    Great post.

    “Scott Proctor’s Arm” has to be my favorite blog name. I get a chuckle whenever I think of Joe Torre following Proctor all the way to LA.

  37. murphydog January 9th, 2008 at 7:14 am

    Andrew:

    Nice job. You raised all the right questions about the big contracts.

  38. Doreen January 9th, 2008 at 7:20 am

    Andrew, Good post. I mostly disagree with you, but that’s what makes all this fun, isn’t it??

    Posada was a must-sign at almost any cost with no viable replacements either on the free agent market or in-house. With Rodriguez out of the fold at the time, all the trade chips had to be held, but in any event, I don’t know that any catchers would have been available in trade — they’re such a rare commodity that good ones, even fair ones, are held onto pretty strongly.

    Rodriguez staying saved the Yankees from having to spend prospects, the best and brightest, to get Miguel Cabrera, arguably the only 3B out there to come close to “replacing” Rodriguez’ production.

    Mo is Mo, and again, what other closer was on the FA market? How much would a trade have cost in players/prospects? And again, as with catchers, teams hold onto their best relievers.

    Pettitte’s deal was a good deal.

    If Rodriguez isn’t re-signed, the Yankees can’t even dream about possibly making a trade for Santana, unless they were content to have Wilson Betemit as their everyday 3B.

    The money spent is a lot. There’s no disagreement there. But I think it was well-spent.

  39. Jorge Steinbrenner January 9th, 2008 at 7:39 am

    nice post as well, Andrew. not my point of view, as i’m ok with overspending a bit on individuals who have produced for this team for a decade, will continue to produce, and should finish their careers in pinstripes. it does not stop the development of young players in other positions.

    i spend a lot of time in Hamden (and on Sleeping Giant), since my wife’s originally from there. don’t hurt your ankle hiking in the ice this winter. :)

  40. Fran January 9th, 2008 at 7:45 am

    Agree with all of you who think that the Yankees money was well spent. These players all have produced for the Yankees and are critical to have any hope of making the playoffs.

  41. Jim PA January 9th, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Speaking of overspending, Hank Steinbrenner insists he’s not out of the Santana hunt. He told Newsday “bottom line is, it’s my decision, although there is disagreement within the organization. I have to keep everybody happy, including Brian (Cashman) and my partner, which is my brother. Of course, the payroll would be out of this world, but only this year.” So which is it, Hank?

  42. JRVJ January 9th, 2008 at 7:54 am

    “(A-ROD’s) production is irreplaceable, but the Yankees would’ve had more money to sign cheaper, quality players to stray away from the all-star lineup concept which has failed to win playoff games since 2004.”

    I think the Yankees are moving away from the all-star lineup concept, and I don’t buy the argument that the Yankees wil have less money to sign cheaper, quality players.

    There was no young, cheap, quality player out there this off-season that the Yankes should have gotten.

    $46.5MM will be coming off the books after 2008 of almost non-production ($17 from Giambi – there’s the $5MM buyout which I count as being off the books after 2009; $11MM for Moose; $10MM for Pavano; $5MM for Farns; $3.5M for Hawkins). Depending on what happens with Pettitte and Abreu, the Yanks could have up to $32MM extra coming off the books after 2008 (both are earning $16MM in 2008).

    And after 2009, Damon and Matsui are off the books ($13MM each).

    Arguably, the Yankees can pay $20MM to Santana (or Sabathia) and $15/16MM to Teixeira after this year, and still save $10MM (assuming they keep Pettitte and Abreu).

    On the OF front, I suspect the Yankees will be crossing their fingers that Jackson or Tabata are ready for 2009, so they don’t have to sign Abreu (though I think they’ll offer Abreu arbitration no matter what).

    So again, the Yanks will have more than enough money to sign anyone they need after 2008, and will still be saving money. And because of what’s coming up in the system, the Yanks should be able to save extra money in the OF in the future.

  43. whozat January 9th, 2008 at 8:05 am

    “You say that Arod’s contract is a relative bargain because is not back-loaded. This is exactly backwards”

    The people making this point are either unaware of, or forgetting, the fact that the new stadium lets the Yankees avoid most of either the luxury tax or revenue sharing burden for 08 and perhaps 09. I’m not sure exactly what the deal is, but I know they get to avoid paying a bunch of money for at least next year, and maybe another year or two. So, it makes sense to stick ARod’s big money in those years.

  44. Thomas January 9th, 2008 at 8:09 am

    Good Post!!….even though am not sure I agreed with you on 2/3 of what you said. But other than that Good Post!

  45. Yazman January 9th, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Well said, Doreen!

  46. Smadar January 9th, 2008 at 8:25 am

    whozat, the luxury tax was only a fraction of the reason why it’s more expensive to front load contract. the main purpose was because of inflation. go back and read the comments, i don’t think you understood the argument.

  47. Jesse January 9th, 2008 at 8:28 am

    As someone mentioned earlier this is the same lineup that came up short last year against quality pitching.

    Posada will most likely return to being a .260 ish hitter with the accompanying stats to go with it.

    Mo most likely will continue to accelerate towards mere mortal status.

    Andy given his age could very likely return to elbow trouble and a mediocre record.

    Alex will most likely be Alex; monster regular season player on the field while going into the witness protection program in the post-season and a PLAYA! off the field in any season.

    This team still needs an ACE (Santana)in the rotation and a STUD (Nathan)in the bullpen.

    Hughes, Kennedy, Cabera and a couple of B prospects for Santana and Nathan anyone?

    Offense delights the fans but pitching and defense win games both in the regular season and POST-season.

  48. TurnTwo January 9th, 2008 at 8:33 am

    I would not trade Hughes AND Kennedy in any single deal, even if you are getting Johan and Nathan. While the trade for Johan comes basically with a guaranteed extention, you would imagine Nathan would test the FA market following the 2008 season… still not worth giving up 2 of the big 3, IMO.

  49. Jim from Dalton January 9th, 2008 at 8:35 am

    If JT his best year for winning 94 after the bad start, then he should get the heat for the bad start..

    and nobody wanted to give the free agents those big contracts..THAT was Cashman’s fault in the spring…

    and give Mo two year w/ an option? Yeah give him what you want…doesn’t mean he was gonna take it…

    and this ‘bargin’ deal for a-Rod cause the deal was back loaded??…and you go to college?? Tell me this…think the Yanks would rather pay him NOTHING for nine years…and $275,000,000 on the tenth..[and keep the interest on the 275 mil COMPOUNDED for nine years???]

    Yeah..pay me upfront baby…better take a coupe classes in economics bud…

  50. Doreen January 9th, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Jesse,

    I could support Hughes OR Kennedy, but not both.

  51. randy l. January 9th, 2008 at 8:40 am

    andrew
    well written piece. one thing that i noticed was that while being excited about the youth movement and girardi and unexcited about overpaying for posada and rivera because of the policy not signing an extension in the pre season, you never mentioned cashman who was the chief implementer of both the youth movement you like and the delayed signings that you don’t like.

    any reason that you didn’t mention cashman by name? isn’t he still a key part of the management team?

  52. Boston Dave January 9th, 2008 at 8:45 am

    “The contract is a relative bargain, as it is not back-loaded when he’s past his prime.”

    The fact that it is front-loaded means that it is less of a bargain. Why is it a bargain because its not back-loaded?? According to that logic, they should have given him $40M/yr up front and only $20M/yr the last 5 yrs. Genius!

  53. TurnTwo January 9th, 2008 at 8:52 am

    i think the argument can be made, and what we’re seeing now in the sport, is that the contracts that are backloaded are very difficult to move when a player is past his prime, and a team would want to either dump his salary or sign another player perhaps to step in to compete for the job… and with back-loaded deals, such as Giambi’s, this hampers the team’s ability to accomplish this.

    i like the fact the yankees are paying him more salary now, and less at the end of the contract when he’s prob not going to put up the same numbers, thus hold the same value, but the positives of not back-loading a deal like this for purposes of dumping salary or signing another player for the position is really lost with ARod, because he’ll have full no-trade, so he wouldnt be going anywhere anyway.

  54. Old Yanks Fan January 9th, 2008 at 8:54 am

    “If JT his best year for winning 94 after the bad start, then he should get the heat for the bad start..”
    —————————————————–
    Absolutely. When I ran the numbers and saw FOUR players; Melky, Abreu, Damon and Matsui all post an OPS around .700 and below, my first thought was: What the hell is wrong with Joe Torre?

  55. Andrea January 9th, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Andrew said something a lot of people disagree with and that’s cool cause it creates discussion. Love the blog…its one of the first Yankee blogs I started reading.

    As far as the “same roster” that couldn’t get past the first round and such, sure, but they also won’t be exhausted from crawling back from the hole they found themselves in because of all the early season injuries. And they won’t have Joe Torre’s stellar bullpen management. I think even if they had last year’s roster, with girardi at the helm and barring all the injuries, they would have won the division and gotten much farther. Just my two cents. :)

  56. george January 9th, 2008 at 9:01 am

    The thing about the Mo/Posada contracts is that their wisdom/folly factor depends upon the unknown. the contracts make sense if the Yanks thought people might make competitive bids; they needed to avoid that w/these 2 guys. if Mariano and/or Posada was still sitting out there, i suspect some team would make an insane financial run at them.

    I’d like to say that i enjoy the “Scott Proctor’s Arm” blog.

  57. Old Yanks Fan January 9th, 2008 at 9:05 am

    oops… that was Cano hitting like crap, not Matsui.
    Many Yankee players admitted that at the ASB, they believed they were cooked. Torre acted the same as always. No panic, one game at a time, just play your game, and maintained faith in his slimping players. Ever blog on the Net was calling for Abreu and JD to be beheaded, and many suggested trading Cano while he still had ‘some value’.

    Playing .650 ball after the ASB was a great feat for a team that was slumping and emotionally defeated. I believe a manager has little to do with a teams success or failure. It’s the players on the field that play the game. However, Joe’s lack of panic and continued confidence in Abreu, Damon, et al, did help these guys come back and start to play their game.

    Everyone knows that Torre is lucky to have a team with big dollars and big talent. As a result, he rarely won the MOY award regardless of how well the yanks played. But last year, most people wrote the Yankees off, and eventually admitted that Torre’s influence definitely helped take a sinking ship and get it ‘afloat’ again.

    But again, haters can never see straight. If Torre turned water into wine, you would still complain he was turning his team into alcoholics.

  58. i miss bernie January 9th, 2008 at 9:10 am

    old fan
    you called me a hater yesterday because i dont like Arod
    now you’re calling anyone who disagrees with you on Torre a hater.
    whats up with that?

  59. GreenBeret7 January 9th, 2008 at 9:17 am

    Old Yanks Fan
    January 9th, 2008 at 8:54 am
    “If JT his best year for winning 94 after the bad start, then he should get the heat for the bad start..”
    —————————————————–
    Absolutely. When I ran the numbers and saw FOUR players; Melky, Abreu, Damon and Matsui all post an OPS around .700 and below, my first thought was: What the hell is wrong with Joe Torre?

    ________________________________________________
    Can you think of another second baseman or three more outfielders to put out there?

  60. Pat January 9th, 2008 at 9:20 am

    “His production last season (15-9, 4.05 ERA), however, probably doesn’t warrant a deal worth that much.”
    you do realize what lesser pitchers are getting now-a-days right?

  61. whozat January 9th, 2008 at 10:34 am

    “whozat, the luxury tax was only a fraction of the reason why it’s more expensive to front load contract. the main purpose was because of inflation. go back and read the comments, i don’t think you understood the argument.”

    Yes, I did understand the argument.

    However, lux tax is 40% and increasing. Let’s flip the deal around and assume they pay ARod 32mil in each of the last few years of his deal instead of the first few. Yes, that’s discounted by inflation. But then it’s increased by the luxury tax.

    If I knew all the percentages and numbers, I could probably work it out for you.

    However, I’m reasonably certain that the Yankees are cognizant of their financial situation and have structured the deal in the way that makes the most sense for them. Sure, we could sit here and say they spent too much money on Alex, but do people REALLY think that we understand all the exemptions and taxes and revenue sharing better than the Yankees do?

  62. whozat January 9th, 2008 at 10:36 am

    “His production last season (15-9, 4.05 ERA), however, probably doesn’t warrant a deal worth that much.”

    Also, did this guy watch the season? Andy was brilliant early in the season and had numerous wins blown by the pen, and/or was failed by terrible run support. Also, his ERA went from 3.81 to 4.05 in his last start, because the game didn’t matter.

  63. Rockin' Rich January 9th, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Largely, the problems in re-signing vets were the results of not signing them earlier, when they could have gotten them cheaper. Yes, it’s agamble, but that’s what insurance is for… sometimes, anyway.

    Good post, though.

    (Thinking of changing the name of your blog, perhaps?)

  64. Drew January 9th, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Good job jr. You already know how I feel about the contracts.

  65. Paul Fiore January 9th, 2008 at 11:36 am

    I think Mr. Scott Proctor’s Arm really summarized the off-season well. I’ll admit Posada and Rivera’s contract are kind of bloated because they are both getting older. I also understand why they did because maybe they are going to develop Chamberlain as the closer or bring up J.B. Cox. With Posada, they probably have one catcher that could be a starter in the future from what I understand and he’s about 3 years away.

    I wanted Girardi to be the Yankees manager but I had second thoughts when they fired Torre and wanted to bring in Mattingly. I wondered if maybe Mattingly could’ve been the better choice but I think in the end going from 2008 and beyond Girardi is the choice.

  66. dooty January 9th, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    When are people going to realize that the “all-star lineup concept” is not why the Yankees have not won a title since 2000?

    The Yankees offense has been BY FAR the best in baseball over the last 5 years. Now come playoff time they have had their struggles, but guess what, so did the championship Yankee offenses of the late 90′s. The main difference is that the 90′s champiosnhip teams had great pitching depth throughout the rotation and the bullpen. Chances were pretty good that you would get a quality start in most games combined with reliable relief, and the most dominant closer ever.

    You say you prefer a “quality” lineup over the all-star lineup idea. Guess what, the guys who are all-stars are generally the highest quality hitters in the game. Why do you talk like they are mutually exclusive? Would you really prefer to have a guy like Brosius over A-Rod? WE should also dump that all-star Cano. He’s too all-starry and his quality is lacking. Let’s go trade for Kaz Matsui to play 2B. Do you realize how ridiculous it sounds to say “I’d rather have a non-all star than an all-star” in my lineup? It’s one thing if that all-star is over-the-hill and is a shell of himself (like say, Pudge). But that’s not the case with the Yankees. ARod, Jeter, Posada, and Cano are high-quality hitters. Abreu isn’t the force he used to be but is still pretty good. Giambi is the over-the-hill guy. Damon seemed to be pretty good once he got healthy in the second half of 2007, and he was great in 2006. The worst regular hitter on the team last year (outside of the 1st base platoon) was Melky, the one main guy who is not an all-star. I mean, come on.

    Seriously, if you want a high quality lineup then you should be more than happy with the Yankee lineups of recent years.

    The Yankee teams of the late 90′s had great pitching in the playoffs. Do you remember the Arizona series, where Brosius/Tino/Jeter hit those memorable homers in Games 4 and 5? Boy, these current Yankee all-star lineups just can’t compete with that type of clutch hitting, right? But here’s the thing: how many runs did the Yankee offense score on innings 1 through 8 of those games? In Game 4 the Yankees had scored zero runs through the first 8 innings. In Game 5 they scored 1 run through the first 8 innings. Yeah, they couldn’t muster up anything against a great pitcher (Schilling) and a mediocre at-best starter (Batista) in those games. But the thing is, the Yankee pitching wa salso solid. Moose and El Duque were real good, and so the Yankees were only losing by 2 runs in the 9th inning despite the complete lack of offense. So guys like Brosius and Tino, who were terrible career postseason hitters, were put in great position to hit a dramatic homer. Good for them for cashing in. But then look at this year. Game 4 against Cleveland, Abreu and ARod hit late inning homers. Does anybody remember those? No? Oh, those were just meaningless homers I guess? Please, the only difference with their homers is that the Yankee pitching that day (Wang/Moose) let the game get completely out of hand. Not even Ortiz/Manny would have been able to come back from that deficit.

    So the main point here is: the yankee pitchers of the late 90′s teams put the decent Yankee offenses in good position to do something dramatic. These recent Yankee pitching staffs have not done the same.

    2005: Johnson/Mussina tank 2 games of a 5 game series
    2006: Johnson/Wright tank 2 games of a 5 game series
    2007: Wang tanks 2 games of a 5 game series, and Clemens only lasts a couple of inninfs in his start. That’s 3 terrible starts in a 5 game series.

    Sorry, but when your pitching is that terrible, it doesn’t matter how great your offense is.

    Seriously think about this: if you had to pick one thing that has been the bigger thorn in the Yankee side since 2004, would you choose hitting or pitching? There are so many stats to answer this question clearly: the pitching quality for the Yankees has been much worse from 2004-2007 than it was prior to that (Brown, Weaver, Contreras, Vazquez, Johnson, Wright, old Mussina, Igawa, Pavano, etc). This is why it is so important for some guys like Hughes and Chamberlain and Kennedy to become awesome for the Yankees. The Yankees need the pitching to improve. The offense is the biggest asset the team has, and it is clearly not the reason they have not won world titles in recent years. The pitching needs to step up and match the greatness of the lineup.

  67. dooty January 9th, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    also take quick notice of who the worst 2 yankee hitters were in the 2007 postseason: jeter and posada. Yeah, so let’s use a small 4 game sample size to do something rash and let’s get rid of those non-clutch all-starry overpaid guys that can’t hit when it really counts. Those bums. Brosius would have hit 10 homers in that series. So Let’s find a quality non-all star like him to replace all the all-star hitters.

    See how silly that sounds? Don’t overreact to a short series.

  68. dooty January 9th, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    And to finish this thought off I will mention this one again:

    “the Yankees would’ve had more money to sign cheaper, quality players to stray away from the all-star lineup concept which has failed to win playoff games since 2004.”

    Ok so why don’t you list for me exactly which non-allstar the yankees should have signed rather than the guys that they did sign or trade for. Take your pick. Instead of the all-star lineup of Abreu/Damon/ARod/Cano/Sheffield/Posada/Jeter/Matsui/Giambi, who should the Yankees have signed? Hmm? Remember, it can’t be an all-star since you believe that the all-star lineup concept is the reason for the lack of titles in recent years. That means no Vlad (instead of Sheffield in 2003), no Rowand, no crazy made up trade for Pujols, etc. All-stars are not wecloem here since most of them probably will choke in the playoffs. Give me the names of the players that are better equipped for the playoffs but also reasonably equipped for getting the Yankees to the playoffs over 162 games despite the shortcomings of a below average pitching staff.

    So the bottom line is, I am more than happy with the current Yankee offense. You propose your non-allstar lineup that apparently has better potential at winning the world series than the current Yankee lineup, and most likely it will result in me getting a good chuckle out of it.

    Instead, you will find it a lot easier and much more reasonable to pick apart the Yankee pitching acquisitions over the years. That’s where your disappointment should be focused.

  69. TampaBayBomber January 9th, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Amen, Dooty. Yours was the initial reaction I had to that “all-star lineup that hasn’t won a playoff series since 2004″ comment, and as I scrolled through the comments, I was formulating a similar response in my head until I read yours.

    The only other point I’d like to add is that the “all-star lineup” has GOTTEN THEM IN THE PLAYOFFS EVERY SEASON in the current era. And in recent years, the “all-star lineup” has gotten them there despite a serious lack of depth in the pitching staff. Once you get in the playoffs, you’re dealing with short series in which anything can happen, and will if your pitching sucks. It’s not A-Rod or Abreu that’s been the problem, it’s the Johnsons, Pavanos and Wrights.

    That’s why developing the pitching is such a key. Hitters can always be bought or traded for; honestly, I can’t remember the last team that had an incredible pitching staff but missed the playoffs for a lack of bats.

  70. Oscar Gamble January 9th, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Would Posada have done as well if he had signed a contract in the Spring that would take him through the next few years? I don’t know, but I know he is a proud man and I know that he took the failure to offer him in the spring as a sign that he needed to step up and earn it and he did. I also know he could have gotten the same deal elsewhere, so if he had not been offered, he would have been gone. Couldn’t possibly let that happen with AROD leaving. Mo wouldn’t have signed at 2 years plus a club option, so you can’t consider whether he should have been signed to that deal instead. He wouldn’t have, so it is a non-issue. The question is are you better off with him and without $15 mil or without him and with an extra $15 mil. Steinbrenner(s)again showed how willing he is to invest in this team to make it the best team he can put on the field for us fans. AROD will be a huge bargain by the end of his contract. How long do you think it will be before a player who is not even the best at his position will be making $30 mil/year? Manny and Giambi make over $20 mil/yr now. 5 yrs from now if baseball is still doing as well as it is right now, more than 1 player at a single position will be making $30 mil/yr.

  71. Corey January 9th, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    dont forget pettite’s era is inflated due to his last start.

  72. kenxe January 9th, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Give the kids a chance! What do we have to lose, we lost last year? We have Wang, Pettitte as a base, when we add Joba and Hughes I think the pitching will be fine. You also have Kennedy/Mussina, I think Kennedy will surprise some people I have seen most of these guys (multi times) they are better than you think they are. So, I think…being an old pitcher myself…Joba can be the ace with Hughes pushing him hard.

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