Tuesday, December 2, 2008

No arb-eligible Yanks

I saw this post from Pete Abraham last night, but I wanted to wait to post something because I wasn't sure how I felt.

It came down to economics. The Yankees did not want to risk going to arbitration with any of their players given the salaries they made last season. To refresh your memories:

Bobby Abreu made $16 million, Andy Pettitte made $16 million and Pudge Rodriguez made $13 million. All three would have been in a position to get at least as much via arbitration and likely some sort of raise.

Meanwhile, if Mike Mussina suddenly decides to play for somebody else, the Yankees get nothing in return. Sure, that’s extremely unlikely. But that was supposedly the case for Roger Clemens, too.

Regarding Andy Pettitte: I agree, not offering arbitration was a good move. Pettitte is not worth risking a salary INCREASE and the (I believe, though I am researching this; correct me if I am wrong) biggest decrease the Yanks could offer is 20%. I like Andy, but a raise over $16M is silly given his performance and risk. I'd rather negotiate directly than be forced into binding arbitration. If Pettitte demands are on par with his 2008 salary, I'd wish him the best in finding it elsewhere.

Regarding Pudge: Obvious move.

Regarding Moose: There is no harm in offering Moose arbitration. Just in case.

Regarding Abreu: I have been wavering on Abreu which is why I decided to sleep on it. And I awoke still in conflict. On one hand, he's a solid ballplayer, quiet and steady. On the other, he's clearly a poor outfielder and would worsen an already clogged OF situation. He's also not worth a raise over his $16M last year.

The Yanks are preaching fiscal sanity out of one side of their mouth while offering Ft. Knox to Sabathia and others. Hypocrisy? Maybe. Maybe Cashman & Co. have decided it's time to go a new direction from some of these older guys.

The kneejerk reaction was to bash Cashman for not getting the arbitration draft picks (assuming those offered arbitration did not accept and signed elsewhere). Every team needs more draft picks; it's the new currency. Cashman decided that they could forego those picks in order to keep "other" salaries down so they could spend that money on areas they need more help.

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