The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Monday, October 29, 2012

NY Post: Yankees pick up options on Cano, Granderson, Aardsma

The Yankees exercised their options on Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano and David Aardsma Monday, the first of many moves expected this offseason in The Bronx.

Granderson and Cano both had $15 million options which were all but certain to be picked up despite their postseason struggles. Aardsma made it back from Tommy John surgery late in the year.

Now, GM Brian Cashman’s attention can shift to setting next season’s roster, since the Yankees have plenty of question marks and plan to get under the $189 million payroll threshold by 2014.

Nothing unexpected here.

For anyone who’s affected by Hurricane Sandy, be safe.

--Posted at 3:27 pm by SG / 19 Comments | - (0)


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Per RAB, Kuroda, Pettitte, Mo and Martin can be offered Qualifying Offers.

Kuroda and Pettitte seem like pretty good decisions to offer to. Who knows how the yankees handle Mo.

Would you give a qualifying offer to Martin? He’s clearly not worth 13.3 MM, but he might turn it down for a multi-year deal somewhere else or with the Yankees. If he does eaccept it, it doesn’t hurt the Yankees after 2013 since it’s only a one year deal. I think if I were the Yankees I’d risk it, at worst you end up overpaying a catcher with good defense and power for 1 year.

[1] Per RAB, Kuroda, Pettitte, Mo and Martin can be offered Qualifying Offers.

Can be? Seems to me that every single one of the twelve FA’s can be offered qualifying offers. I think your list is the list of the most likely, except it doesn’t include Nick Swisher, and doesn’t include Rafael Soriano, which is technically accurate since he hasn’t yet opted out.

Swisher and Soriano are no brainers; Swisher wants a big deal and Soriano is saying no to 1 yr/$14M so why wouldn’t he say no to 1 yr/$13.3M.

I’d be happy getting Kuroda on a 1 yr/$13.3M, so that’s also a no brainer. He likely won’t take it, but who knows. It’s a $13.3M raise for him. I thought I remember last year that he didn’t want a big commitment because he was more like Pettite - wanted to re-evaluate his desire each year.

Rivera? I don’t know if it makes much sense to do that - and it may complicate negotiations. There’s no point in it because you’ll never get a draft pick. He’ll pitch one more year for the Yankees or retire.

$13M is way too much to pay for Martin, even on a 1 year deal. I get your rationale - payroll flexibility for 2014 - but I think Cashman operates by thinking about whether or not he wants that player on that salary in any circumstance. If the answer is ‘no’, they don’t get the offer.  It’s not a question of likelihood that he’ll turn it down for a bigger deal.

[1] Not piling on, but RAB really has grown stale for me. They did a ‘payroll analysis’ the other day and, no shit, had a line in there that said “forget about the guys who make the minimum, because, who cares about guys who make the minimum?  The 15 guys on the 40 man that are not on the 25 man will contribute a few million to the payroll, which is non-trivial.

[2, 3] Sorry I forgot to list Swisher and Soriano. I considered them no-brainers.

I also doubt they offer to Rivera, but it’s not too far off (money wise) from his current contract.

Even though 13.3 is a massive overpay for Martin, I think there’s a very good chance he would turn it down in favor of more guaranteed money. I’d have to think about it some, but I’d probably offer to him.

RAB analysis if often kind of weak, but the consistent updates with more factual data and the minor league updates are very useful.

Are Qualifying Offers like arbitration, which are less guaranteed than proper MLB contracts? That would make a pretty big difference on Martin’s worse case scenario if he accepts an offer. If the money is guaranteed I think he takes it, no question.

Also, someone on my floor must have a window open or something, air is being sucked out my door, depending on the wind, it is impossible to open.

Actually, the problem is probably air conditioning vents.

[5] I’m going a little nuts over here with a spreadsheet because I’m really into making 2013 decisions with 2014 in mind. Here’s the conclusions I came to:

Starting pitchers; 1 year deals for Kuroda and Pettite are the best plan. I wouldn’t mind some forward leaning with the risk to lean on Phelps and Nova, but at the very least you can pencil 5 names into 2014 and it’s not a train wreck.  Also, there are some very interesting FA SP’s for 2014, of course assuming some of these guys don’t get extended.  Halladay’s option won’t vest, Josh Johnson, Lincecum, Braden coming off injury, Johan Santana, Volquez, Haren, Peavy, Shields. Maybe we sign Hughes, maybe Banuelos is helping by mid-season. I guess my point there is - go ahead and push to 2014. Lot of in house and FA options that we can put together a quality 5 man rotation with 2 pitchers waiting in the wings. My 5 man rotation in the spreadsheet is Sabathia, Hughes ($10M), Nova (arb 1), Phelps, and Pineda. Certainly room to argue in there and that probably is not a championship rotation.

Bullpen: I say leave it alone. Another year of Rivera would be great, and we’ll need a closer in 2014.  Maybe it’s Robertson, maybe it’s Chamberlain, maybe we go outside of the organization. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Cashman get his hooks into Soria or Madson on a 2 year-rebuild-your-value type of deal. Cashman has earned a long leash when it comes to building a cost effective bullpen. I have $13M for a closer and two set up guys in 2014.

Catchers:  Call me crazy, but McCann’s warts make him attractive (gross?) No way you were getting him on anything less than 4 years if he didn’t have a bad shoulder. Maybe you take a gamble on a 3 year deal and end up with a good hitting catcher if it works out, or a decent hitting DH if it doesn’t.  Back up plan is Martin for 3/$21M or thereabouts. That won’t break any 2014 budget.

A few options on the backup corner infielder front - Chavez, Youkilis, Berkman, Utley, Betemit, Reynolds, Young. Maybe it’s Jeter and Nunez is playing SS. Lot’s of different stories. I’ll put $5M there.

I put $1.5M for a 4th OF and $1M for a 5th OF.

Now comes the hard part. I’ve got $132M, no Cano and I need 2 OF. I also don’t have a DH, and I don’t know if that’s a smart move considering that the rotating DH plan will be using players who are 2 years older than they are now.

Figure the 15 guys on the 40 man add $13M.

I’ll give Cano a big time contract at $22M AAV.

SP: $36M
BP: $18.2M
C: $8M
IF: $85.3M
OF (Gardner, 4th and 5th): $6.2M
40 man players: $13M
Add $1.5M because Rodriguez’s AAV is $27.5M and his 2014 salary is $26M.
There’s also the other non-pay benefits that get added, but I was fast and loose with the arb raises and estimated salaries so add it into the noise.

That leaves me with $20.5M for 2 OFs. Here’s the list of candidates that could even be considered:

2013- Cabrera, Hamilton, Hairston/Suzuki, Young, Pagan, Upton
Reclaimation projects: Nady, Sizemore, Buck,
In house: Mustelier, Russo (yikes!)

2014- Morse, Murphy, Ellsbury, Beltran, Choo
In house: Austin, Williams

So is our challenge really to get 2 productive OF for a ~$20m? Maybe we have a little less if we want an upgrade at SP, or a little more if one of our minor leaguers pan out? Am I wrong in realizing this doesn’t seem so tough?

I really like i’s post because it’s comprehensive and creates a framework for discussion.  I’ve been wondering about roster construction too because there are a lot of decisions to make for 2013, and those decisions presumably can’t bust the 189m 2014 budget.  You’ve got to know what’s out there, what’s on the farm and how to do a rubic’s cube.

The question would not be whether the Yankees can get two productive OFs for 20m provided that the Yankees can count on Austin, Williams or both by 2014, because they’ll be cheap.  The Yankees probably wouldn’t need to spend 19m for two outfielders in 2013 if Williams and Austin come up in 2014.  I would be interested in trying to get Melky on the cheap in 2013, though query how good he’ll be without the roids coursing through his bloodstream.

Is Torii Hunter out there?  Could he be had on a one-year deal?

Yeah, forgot to add Hunter to my list.

The team under contract for 2013 (I think this is about 150MM) basically looks like this:

1:SP Sabathia
2:SP Hughes
3:SP Nova
4:SP Phelps
5:SP Warren
6:RP Robertson
7:RP Chamberlain
8:RP Aardsma
9:RP Eppley
10:RP Logan
11:RP Rapada
12:RP Whitley
13:C Cervelli
14:BUC Romine
15:1B Teixeira
16:2B Cano
17:3B Rodriguez
18:SS Jeter
19:BUI Adams
20:BUI Nunez
21:OF Gardner
22:OF Granderson
23:OF Dickerson
24:OF Mustelier

Overall, this is not a bad team, but clearly some holes need to be filled

Assuming the Yankees are going to spend 200-210 MM in 2013 they have about 50MM to sign 1-2 starters, a corner outfielder, a catcher, a DH of some sort and various odds and ends.

The free agent list this year is pretty underwhelming (Edwin Jackson might not be a terrible sign), the OF options are headlined by Upton and Hamilton, 2 talented OF with warts. McCann and Martin are the only big name catchers available this year. And who knows with DH, I think it’s pretty likely that the Yankees sign another “Ibanez.”

A few options on the backup corner infielder front - Chavez, Youkilis, Berkman, Utley, Betemit, Reynolds, Young. Maybe it’s Jeter and Nunez is playing SS. Lot’s of different stories. I’ll put $5M there.

I say no for Jeter at the corner. If his ankle lets him play an infield position, let it be SS. A-Rod is still superior defense to Jeter.

What we need in the infield is a non-Nunez option for SS, pronto.

2013- Cabrera, Hamilton, Hairston/Suzuki, Young, Pagan, Upton
Reclaimation projects: Nady, Sizemore, Buck,
In house: Mustelier, Russo (yikes!)

My “yikes!” threshold happens at Hamilton. Nady - been there, done that, wrote the check, got bubkis for it. I’m already on record as pro-Upton - BJ, Justin, Kate, whatever. I could be talked into Pagan, so long as we pronounce it pay-gun.

Am I nuts for wanting to run Dickerson and Cervelli out there until they show they can’t handle it?

Youkilis/Utley as backup corner infielder/DH would both be good options.

The Yankees will probably be able to get a catcher for 8-10MM (McCann on the cheap, certainly Martin).

Assuming 15MM across the 2 positions, that leaves the Yankees with ~35MM for 1-2 SP and a starting OF.

[14] What version of Cervelli? 2010 - all for it. 2011 - no. Dickerson as part of a cheap platoon might not be a bad idea.

[14] I’m down with Cervelli and Dickerson, so long as you are prepared for the possibility - nay, the likelihood - of suckage that transforms a half-hearted last gasp into a premature rebuilding/transition year that comes without the financial benefit and must still be followed by intentional suckage as we dodge the luxury tax in 2014.

Not saying it WILL happen that way, only that it very well could if you don’t draw the inside straight.

Edit: Full disclosure, I am so prepared. You’re no less sane than me.

Edit Edit: So yes, you are in fact nuts.

Edit Edit Edit: But that doesn’t make you wrong.

[17] At this point, with raises/FA incoming for a number of the current cheap players I don’t see how the Yankees are going to be good in 2014 at 189MM. Not without moving ARod or Tex anyway.

I really don’t see any of their position players being ready until 2015, leaving all of their cheap players to show up in the rotation, while they have the parts for it, I have a hard time believing all of Pineda, Phelps, Banuelos and Nova are going to be contributing at a significantly positive level in 2014.

[18] We have a steady supply of long term shitty contracts that always puts us in the position of being near enough to the luxury tax that we may as well “go all in” again every year.

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