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

Thursday, December 13, 2012

USA Today: Dodgers on track to pass Yankees in 2013 payroll

12:24AM EST December 13. 2012 - NEW YORK (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers are on track to become only the second major league team with a $200 million payroll and could end the New York Yankees’ streak of 14 years as baseball’s biggest spender.

The Dodgers are at $214.8 million for 21 signed players next season, according to a study of their contracts by The Associated Press. That follows last weekend’s additions of free agent pitcher Zack Greinke for a $147 million, six-year contract and South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin for a $36 million, six-year deal.

It looks like the next CBA may have a new a target.

--Posted at 9:03 am by SG / 87 Comments | - (0)


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Dempster to the Sox makes the division even closer, like a virtual tie between 4 teams in the AL East.

[0] And they’ll almost certainly exceed the Yankees 2014 payroll.

yeah, the Dodgers aren’t going to immediately be hit by the full penalty, so they have a couple years before they have the same incentive as the Yankees to get below $189.

[1] funny how Baltimore isn’t one of them.

Baltimore fans are not particularly amused by what CAIRO had to say about the AL East at this point.

Dempster probably make the Red Sox an 86 win team, which puts them right in the thick of the division.

It would be so embarrassing to finish behind them this year…

The more close the less probable to have Wild Cards from the division?

[3] - Correct me if I’m wrong, but the big reason the Yankees want to get under is to be able to deduct their expenses related to building the new stadium.  The Dodgers don’t have a new stadium so that isn’t an issue for them.

The more close the less probable to have Wild Cards from the division?

There’s a very good chance both wild cards will come out of the AL West anyway.  Houston is abysmal and Seattle stinks and getting to play them 38 times is a pretty significant advantage.

[7]  I don’t think that’s precisely true.  Every team contributes a certain percentage of their revenue to revenue sharing.  That money is then split - not evenly there is a formula - between all 30 clubs.  Some clubs become net-contributors - they contribute more to the pot than they take out.  The Yankees are one of those clubs, and have been since revenue sharing started. 

There is then another formula starting in 2014, which identifies teams who will be eligible for revenue sharing rebates.  The way I understand it, the lists of rebate teams and net-contributors are not quite the same.  There are 2 or 3 teams who are net contributors, who are not eligible for rebates, and 2 or 3 net beneficiaries, who are.  Either way, Yankees are on the rebate-eligible list.

So then finally, if you’re eligible, to actually get the rebates, you need to be under the $189MM threshold for the given year.  I think the Dodgers are ALSO on the rebate eligible list but could be mistaken.  IDK what goes into who gets on the list or how much of a rebate they are eligible for.  I wouldn’t doubt if stadium expenses contribute though.

Reports have varied, but I think the Yankees are due as much as $40MM in rebates for 2014.  That’s pretty significant.  However, on top of that, they also reset the luxury tax rate (which is what Tree is referring to).  I think the Yankees currently are taxed 40% for every dollar over the threshold.  If they are over the threshold in 2014, that goes up to 50%.  However, being under the threshold for one year resets the rate to the lowest level; I don’t recall the exact number but ~15%.  So, if the Yankees’ payroll in 2013 is $220MM, $189MM in 2014, and then back up to $220MM in 2015, it would save them an additional ~$10MM in 2015.

Put another way, if $220MM is the baseline and they go to $189MM for one year, and back up to $220MM in 2015, in those two years they’ll save close to $100MM in total ($40MM rebate, $31MM salary in 2014 plus $15.5MM taxes, and about $10MM in taxes in 2015).  IDK but that’s a LOT of money.

It is a lot of moneys they are feeding into our competitors’ war chests, which is also used to drive up FA prices. And when we choose to meet those prices, we get to pay 140% on the dollar.

A player worth $8mm can get $10mm, and we pay $14mm.

[9]  That’s a pretty idiotic system.  IMHO.

[10] Yep

[11] Yep

I think MLB is doing everything it can to contain player salaries, short of instituting a hard-cap which they know will be next to impossible.  With the Yankees at least, looks like they finally found a way to do so.  Whether the Dodgers are a short-term anomly or not…

Hamilton to the Angels!

Wow, that came out of nowhere.

Uh…maybe we can get them to put in a 3rd wild card?

Hamilton, Pujols and Trout are arguably 3 of the top 5 offensive players in the AL, now all in the same lineup.

Congratulations to the Angels on their 2013 World Series title.

Also a rumor circulating that they’re shopping Trumbo to the Mets for Dickey.

Hmm, Trumbo bats righty…

You can’t build a contender simply by buying all the shiny baubles.  You need grit, chemistry, dirty uniforms.

Angels now project as a 100-win team, according to CAIRO.  Yankees now project as a replacement-level team, according to dakranker.

[20] I laughed

Hughes and Phelps for Trumbo?

[17] That would make the Angels very very scary.

[18] I was thinking the same thing.

Well I’m sure not many wanted Hamilton for 5/125 guaranteed.  I know I didn’t.

[15] Arguably.  I would argue against it.  Last year they were #2 (Trout), #8 (Hamilton), and number #14 (Pujols) by wRC+.  I would imagine Hamilton and Pujols would fall further down that list.  Trout could stick on top.  If you want top-heavy like that, Tigers are better.  Cabrera (1), Fielder (3), Jackson (13).

[20] IDK Mel, I don’t think he believes they can win 40 games.

I don’t like Hamilton’s contract at all.

[22] I don’t think the Yankees can give up both.

Don’t think the Yankees can afford to trade their 4th and 5/6th starters.

damn you Snuggles.

[22] No.

[23] Trumbo isn’t that good, and the Yankees don’t have anything as good as Dickey to dangle.

Dempster for 26/2 is a great signing for the Red Sox.

Hamilton Ranger jerseys have just gone on immediate discount prices at most stores in the Metroplex.

How many titles will the Angels and Dodgers need to win before they get the treatment Yankees have enjoyed about buying success?

[30] More than they will win.  I think they’d need to win either 3 in 5 or 5 in 10 - and be consistently importing FA players - before anyone starts to call them out.

[23] Trumbo is decent and has crazy power, I’d swap Phelps+ for him.

[30] Well, the Dodgers haven’t won since 1988 and the Angels have only won once.  So it’ll be a while.

I think Trumbo has a lot of upside, I love his swing for the DNYS.

[30]  I wonder if you can correlate prices for memorabilia/gear with FA rumors & signings.  Useless but interesting.

Sucks to be a Ranger fan. With all their sucess they still didn’t win the big trophy and now team is losing main star and just traded away former biggest star in Young.  Just think about how it is dreaming of seeing Cruz going back in rf and misjudging the last out of the WS. They still have a good team, but LAA just put some distance between them in terms of talent and they may not be done even yet.  Shamelss spending on west coast.
Also even if Yanks had the chips for Trumbo, don’t see Moreno doing business with Cashman. Name last trade with LAA?

[36]  Yeah, but also name the last deal with, say, the Rockies.  Does Anaheim ever have anything the Yankees want?

Trumbo is under control for 4 more years. He is a .800 OPS hitter with upside and you can make Tex available in the right trade.

Yeah, but also name the last deal with, say, the Rockies.


125/5 for Hambone

And I think the last Yankee/Angel trade was Jose Molina.

Okay, but my point was that just because deals are infrequent doesn’t mean there’s an animus.

Okay, but my point was that just because deals are infrequent doesn’t mean there’s an animus.

Agreed.  Didn’t the Angels and Yankees agree to a Burnett/Abreu trade last year which Burnett nixed?

(43) there’s deals and then there’s trading problems

[43] I thought it fell apart over how much AJ salary the Yankees would cover based on also taking back Abreu’s full salary? I don’t care enough to look it up, so I’ll just speculate.

[40] Yeah, I wouldn’t have wanted the Yankees anywhere near 5 years for Hambone. He’s just as likely to become an ARod-esque albatross of a contract as he is to give equal value for that contract. Which isn’t a big deal for big market LA teams, but is too much for small market underdogs like the Yankees.

[43] I thought it fell apart over how much AJ salary the Yankees would cover based on also taking back Abreu’s full salary? I don’t care enough to look it up, so I’ll just speculate.


ANAHEIM—The Angels and Yankees had the parameters in place for a deal that would’ve swapped designated hitter Bobby Abreu for starter A.J. Burnett, but talks broke down once Burnett utilized his limited no-trade clause, industry sources confirmed to

The proposed trade essentially involved both teams dealing expensive players who no longer had a fit—the Yanks have two other pitchers vying for the fifth spot in their rotation, and the Halos have multiple options at DH now that Albert Pujols is on board.

It looks like Ichiro is going to get a two-year deal, which I hate.  But he apparently has the leverage of other two-year deal offers.  I’d rather give AJ Prznxnyskyzxynzi a two-year deal.

Dempster is on the decline and will be so so in the AL again.  I’m not sure how much of an upgrade over anyone already in the Sox rotation.

They’d give Ichiro 2 years but not Martin?

[47] He significantly underperformed his peripherals in Texas. I don’t think it’s a game changing signing for the Sox, but its certainly an upgrade on their current rotation. The Red Sox haven’t made and great or terrible signings this year, just reasonable, market value signings.

Not all that far off from the signings the Yankees have made really. Signing Ichiro to 2 years would be an objectively bad signing, unless its like 2/14.

[48] exactly

I heard people elsewhere talking about Ichiro’s numbers as a Yankee but most of that was due to a 5 game stretch where he hit .700/.727/1.150/1.877
Before those 5 games as a Yankee he hit .288/.311/.404/.714
After those 5 games as a Yankee he hit .275/.269/.333/.603

Overall for the year he hit .283/.307/.390/.696
Which isn’t significantly out of line with his previous season of .272/.310/.335/.645.

He has almost no power. He hardly walks at all. He is a 39 year old player whose value is dependent on speed. So what about this instills you with confidence and shows he is worthy of a multi year deal, even more so than a 29 year old catcher? Are we to expect that Ichiro will go on insane tears like this every two months? Or was it likely just a fluke stretch? Someone please give me some logical explanation that a bounce back from previous seasons is to be expected other than “The professional baseball player who was being paid 8 figures a year was just too bored while playing in Seattle and couldn’t be bothered to focus on 4 or 5 PA a night for 3 minutes at a time but now playing on the Yankees has rejuvenated him and he is more focused.”

Hoping Hairston gets announced with Ichiro. That platoon would be pretty decent. I think swinging a deal for Kendrys Morales is more realistic than Trumbo. Morales could go two ways: continued improvement another year removed from that disastrous injury. Or even more decline. Honestly, I would think a 30 year old, switch-htting DH with some power should have upside, but you never know. I’d take a chance though. Would do Phelps for Morales straight-up. Not a Phelps fan whatsoever.

51. Impatient hitters in bad lineups tend to see their performance suffer. It’s not out of line to think Ichiro could hit .300 and contribute to the Yankees while playing mostly against right-handers. When an impatient hitter is asked to carry a lineup, it’s going to go poorly. He will be pitched around and not accept walks, then usually start to press. The same thing happened to Hunter Pence with the Phillies. He never really recovered, even after being traded to a better team. Hackers need a good support system. They need to see fastballs. And they definitely can’t be asked to carry an offense. Ichiro, playing at Yankees Stadium, against right-handers: it can definitely work. Considering the atrociousness of the Seattle lineup, and the difficulty of hitting at Safeco Field, I think you are being way too hard on Ichiro. In 227 AB’s with the Yankees, he had what would have been the highest .OPS of his career. Also, to say Ichiro’s is entirely dependent on speed is incorrect. He probably has the best bat control in the game. He’s also probably the best defensive right-fielder in baseball.

I think there’s a good chance that the Red Sox are going to look terrible for paying Shane Victorino and Ryan Dempster a combined 26 million in 2014. Dempster will be 37, Victorino another year older. I think those are very suspect contracts. I like what the Yankees are doing in this market. Their massive mistake was passing on Cespedes, but you can’t go back and change that now.

EDIT: Comparison with Pence was a reach, didn’t realize just how much time with SF dragged down his numbers. His .OBP has also fluctuated during his career. Still stand by my thesis that lineup protection matters more to players dependent on batting average for their offensive value.

No word yet from GoHalos.

Was Ichiro projected to be that much better than Chris Dickerson

I saw a headline that the Yanks signed a former Angels catcher.  Alas, it isn’t Jeff Mathis.  Its Bobby Wilson.

Are we really complaining about 2/12 or 2/13?

[56]  Yeah, because in 2014 you could probably get Ichiro’s production for league minimum.

Is Ichiro + Cervelli + $3M better than Martin + Dickerson?

[57] True, but Ichiro doesn’t even need to be average to be worth his contract. And for 6.5MM he is not going to block Austin if ready.

This offseason has been worse than the ALCS

Martin is going to hit better than Ichiro while playing catcher and Ichiro RF! Unfuckingreal!

The Yankees just signed Ichiro to bring the mean age down

It’s not a good contract, nor is it really a bad contract.

It’s a bad contract. The guy is the worst hitting RF in the majors!

Was Ichiro projected to be that much better than Chris Dickerson?

No, although I guess we can say we have more certainty with Ichiro’s projection.

Over 600 PA:

Ichiro: .304/.338/.408, 5 BRAR
Dickerson: .256/.349/.401, 7 BRAR

Not really digging the fact that they had to go to two years either, but whatever.

[63] They are paying him for like 2.4 wins over 2 years. There is almost no way Ichiro! is not worth that.

It’s not the greatest move in the world but it’s not a disaster.

But it still doesn’t answer why they were willing to go 2 years for Ichiro, who can be replaced by someone in-house making the minimum, but not Martin, who probably can’t.

[65]  But you’d like to get more than that out of that roster spot.  If you’re willing to accept that level of production, why pay more for it?

Perhaps they think that people will come to watch Ichiro! who would not come to watch Dickerson? - is that possible?  Perhaps it’s trying to buffer the effects of a possible loss of wins on ticket sales by keeping a famous name?
I’d be shocked if it helped, but I could imagine it.  I have to agree with [67] - this deal makes very little sense (which is nothing like saying that it’s a big problem).

My issue is just because wins are generally worth $5M per doesn’t mean I want to pay $5M for a 1 win player. Especially from an old speed based player that has more downside risk than upside potential and requires a two year commitment.

That kind of production I’d hope to get from within or from a very minor trade.

[20] Are you sure? Did you replace a player with Hamilton or just add him on top of their projection? LAA already has 3 OF and a DH. I find it difficult to believe he projects +5 WAR over any of those 4.

[69] I agree, it’s not a great deal, but it’s not a complete disaster like everyone seems to be treating it. I’m not overjoyed but I’m not completely unhappy either it’s more “meh.”

One year si; two no.  What’s with our F.O.?

[72]  But you have to take it in context of everything else that’s happening and not happening.  If there were no 2013 payroll limit, and the Yankees had just signed a couple marquee free agents, and Ichiro was a spare part, then yeah, meh.  I’m not freaking out about Ichiro, or anything, but this offseason has been…sub-meh.

Impatient hitters in bad lineups tend to see their performance suffer.

I’m trying to figure out whether this is a crack at A-Rod, Teixeira, Granderson, Swisher, Nunez, Andruoo, or perhaps the entire TWN franchise in an attempt to generate optimism regarding Youkilis.

I’ll probably lose interest before I figure it out, so why even bother ?

I agree with Ugly Johnathan Dickshot, sub-meh has been this offseason.  I’m not saying it has been a catastrophe.  I’m not locking myself in the bathroom and overdosing on percosets and darvons yet.  But letting Martin walk and re-signing Ichiro for two years when Ugly Eric Dickerson could have given us as much at a fraction of the cost wasn’t smart and wasn’t an efficient use of resources, as yankz pointed out.

Just trying to figure out why they would give Ichiro 2 years and not Martin, the only thing I could think of was they have already decided to let Granderson walk for the draft pick after this season, so they KNOW going into 2014 they would only have Gardner remaining in the OF. Ichiro gives them until 2015 to figure out which of the OF prospects is ready to takeover. But yeah, I’d rather find out if Dickerson can give them the production while platooning him with (hopefully) Hairston this season rather than hoping for Ichiro to remain productive for 2 more seasons.

Meanwhile, they have Stewart, Cervelli, and Romine to catch this year and going forward. Plus, some a couple high ceiling prospects on the way.

Personally, I would have just signed Martin to the 2 year deal and then traded him next off-season (since they clearly are holding off on any youth movements until 2014), but maybe they have decided now is the time to pull the trigger on seeing what Cervelli and/or Romine can do.

I am not sure why people are so worried Dickerson will be blocked by Ichiro. They still need a lefty DH and a 4th OF, right? They will surely cycle Jeter, Youk, Teix and eventually A-Rod through the DH, but all those guys are righties and unless the Yanks bring in a lefty to DH I would think that Dickerson will get his chance to prove he is league average or better against right handed pitching.

Just trying to figure out why they would give Ichiro 2 years and not Martin

Don’t hurt your head thinking too hard. They fucked up the Martin signing by not having their act together and Martin felt insulted and unwanted and got tired of waiting. I am sure he was gone before they figured out what their final plan was. That sort of screw up probably happens a lot more often than those of us on the outside generally realize.

I wish they had signed Jason Kidd instead of Ichiro because as 39-year olds go, Kidd! is teh awesome.  Can’t you just see him picking it at SS, too?

Surely we can find out what Jason Kidd’s vertical leap is, no ?

75. Check my edit, what I said really made no sense, but I did a decent job boiling some sensibility into a paragraph there, in the edit, after unmercifully rambling prior to that.

[32] After sleeping on it…I don’t think Trumbo will ever be more than an average player, given his defense, walk rate, etc.  But he definitely has some upside that he could figure things out and be much more than that.  However, he’s also limited on defense; he really isn’t an OF.  But for the right price - Phelps+ would do, preferably Nova+ - sure I’d go for him.  He’d be okay as a DH vs righties, corner OF vs lefties, and backup 1B this year, and may be able to fake an every day OF’er next year.  After that they can either trade him to a team that needs a 1B, or maybe move him to 1B if Teix is ready to DH full time.

[38] Teix isn’t being traded.  Not happening.  He has an NTC, and Yankees aren’t eating enough of his contract to trade him even if possible.  So any plan that has, “and then we could trade Teix” in it, isn’t a plan.  That’s the problem with acquring a player like Trumbo.  With Teix and ARod, DH/1B are pretty well occupied from 2014 and on.  However, Trumbo can be traded again in a couple of years, so…

[51] Jeff Sullivan penned an article for FanGraphs yesterday about Ichiro and the short porch in DNYS.  He opined that NYC may be the one stadium that would allow Ichiro to be a HR hitter, and may benefit him above and beyond the normal adjustments.  So maybe on the road Ichiro is an 80 wRC+ hitter (yes, that is a little generous but it isn’t impossible playing for the Yankees is helpful to his mindset).  Even with the baserunning and defense, over the course of a season he probably is like a 1 WAR player.  However, maybe at home he’s a 110 wRC+ player, and with his speed and defense is a +3 WAR RF over a full season.  Average out to +2 wins.

Yeah, it’s a bit of a stretch, but there are some logical underpinnings to it.  And of course the Yankees have some better information.  Also, one of the ideas going around is that the Yankees have replacements at C.  Maybe not as good as Martin, but whether it’s 50% of Martin or 85% of Martin, they probably have at least 1 WAR of catcher in house.  RF…for whatever reason they don’t like Dickerson.  Maybe justified, maybe not.  But the Yankees at least feel they don’t have better than replacement level for RF.  Looked at that way - if Ichiro and Martin are both 2 win players - they would be paying Martin $8.5MM per win (2 wins minus 1 win for his replacement), and Ichiro $3MM per win (if it’s the lower 2/12 deal).  Even if Ichiro is only a 1 win player, it’s still $6MM per win, a better deal.

After that they can either trade him to a team that needs a 1B, or maybe move him to 1B if Teix is ready to DH full time.

Teix’s defense is not the problem. His offense is offensive. Moving him to DH would maximize his suckage and throw away his primary contribution, vis, his ability to dig out terrible throws from Jeter and A-Rod.

[86] I’m talking 2015 season.  I don’t think Trumbo will be an OF by then, so their options are trade, 1B, or DH.  By 2015 Teix may need to DH more often than not.  Or he could still be fine at 1B.  But it’s an option for Trumbo.

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