Looking Ahead

We’re all focused on the present. The Yankees have a bunch of pending transactions. They’ve made an offer to Derek Jeter; they’ll probably do the same to Mariano Rivera and Cliff Lee shortly. I’m sure there are other signings and trades that the front office is mulling over right now, too. But what about next year? There are some interesting personnel decisions to be made in a year’s time. Let’s run down some of them.

The biggest one involves CC Sabathia. While his contract does run to 2015, CC does have an opt out clause he can use after the 2011 season. No matter what, I think CC is going to exercise this option. I can see him hanging on if he has a bad year just because his value will be a little down. However, if he has an average CC year, I think he’ll opt out. If he does, the Yankees could just let him walk, or try to renegotiate at a lower AAV. While he’s been nothing but reliable in his career, CC will be approaching his mid thirties. Maybe the Yankees will want to let someone else pay for Sabathia’s decline phase.

Jorge Posada’s four year deal is up after 2011. Hopefully, this one won’t be an issue. Jorge will ride off into the sunset (hopefully to a sunset in Cooperstown) and Jesus Montero (happy belated birthday, Jesus!) takes over. Whether or not he retires, though, I’d bet on 2011 being Jorge’s last year with the Yankees. The only way I see him coming back is if he really mashes the ball as a DH and Jesus Montero can handle catching 120+ times a year, letting Jorge DH full time.

After 2011, Robinson Cano has a $14MM club option with a $2MM buy out. This is going to be a tough one. Cano just had his best season and it’s unlikely for him to repeat it. He’s still the best second baseman in the A.L., though. Unless he just tanks or gets injured, I’m relatively sure the Yankees will pick up Robbie’s option.

Like Cano, Nick Swisher has an option for the 2012 season ($10.25MM) with a $1MM buy out. The OF FA class of 2012 doesn’t look particularly strong and Swisher’s got a skill set that should age well. He’s also gotten himself into very good shape and doesn’t have a body that is likely to break down. I’d bet on the Yankees picking up that relatively cheap option and keeping Nick on patrol in YSIII’s right field.

This isn’t worth discussing much, but let’s give it one sentence. Damaso Marte has a $4MM option for 2012 with a $0.25MM buyout; it will be bought out.

A native and resident of the Mean Streets of Southwestern Connecticut, Matt is a narcissistic, misanthropic 20something English teacher who lives by a simple creed: Yankees Only.

6 thoughts on “Looking Ahead

  1. EdB

    Good bet that CC opts out, especially if they land Lee because Lee’s contract becomes the new jumping off point for CCs. Two 31 yr old left handers with playoff experience and ace pedigree…Might as well photo copy Lee’s deal and hand it to CC.

  2. T.O. Chris

    I really don’t understand the notion that Robinson Cano has just had his career year and will never touch the numbers he just put up again, heck I’ve even seen people suggest we trade him since he wo’t duplicate these numbers ever again.

    I just don’t see it, he’s young, just coming into his own with the bat and his power has just started to reach it’s full potential…. Does noone believe that Robby can hit .320 with 30 HRs? I do and I don’t think this is a career year or the best year he will ever have, in fact I could very easily see Cano going to the Hall of Fame one day, we’re years off from that being anything more than a fantasy but I just don’t get the write off. From what I read from fans it’s like Robby lucked into this year and exhausted himself playing above his head, if anything he should have had a better year and will if he learns to cut down on slumps at the end of the season.

  3. T.O. Chris

    If the Yankees would be 1. Letting him walk or 2. Re-negotiating for less average anual salarythen why would he opt out? If the Yankees make it clear to him those are the only 2 outcomes of an opt out it would almost seem stupid to do so especially if the Yankees sign Lee and Sabathia loses leverage as the club ace.

    Is there any club who can actually afford to give him more than what he is making now? The Sox will be out of any running I’m sure since their rotation is chock full of overpaid mid 30’s starters, The Rangers are likely to adress any problem from not signing Lee this offseason and I really doubt a team like the Dodgers or Angels can come up with 22-24 million per year for a past his best years Sabathia. I really see no smart reason to opt out if you are CC.

    I would say there is about a 1-3% chance that if he opted out the Yankees would re-sign him for money than he currently stands to make, that did that once already with Alex and I don’t see any reason they would it again especially since this time they would already have the replacement internally.

  4. EdB

    Re-negotiating the salary would have the exact same effect as him opting out and re-signing so I don’t understand how that’s part of your argument. And he would opt out because Cliff Lee is about to prove that 31 yr old lefties are worth more than 3 yrs 92 million. Without the threat of the opt-out the yanks would never consider adding years on to that deal. The market for 31 yr old healthy pitchers with previous recent success is usually better than the market for 34-35 yr old maybe healthy pitchers with maybe recent success. So if he chooses to opt-out and re-sign or just negotiate a longer contract with lower AAV, if CC wants more money…he’s gonna get it.

  5. Tom Swift

    The only problem with this analysis is that CC said that he would not opt out to get more money. If CC opts out, he would be breaking his word. I don’t see CC as that kind of person. Even if he is, Cashman will have a strong negative reaction to the maneuver, even stronger than when A-Rod opted out. If Cliff Lee is on the payroll then, it will be less critical to have CC. Who knows, the Killer B’s may be ready to start by 2012, too. I think that, from a game theory point of view, there are enough risks to CC opting out (if he wants to) that perhaps the likeliest outcome is no opt out.

  6. Shaun

    Cano has always hit for a high average, and his power has developed where he can knock 20-30 homers a year easy, he’s also developed patience. I don’t know how you can say he can’t do it, he’s already done it 3 times in a 6 year career. Take away the April of 2008, where he hit .156 Cano’s numbers suggest the Robbie we’ve seen the past two years is what he actually is as a player.

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