A Modest Proposal for Derek

Some fans have argued that the Yanks are treating Derek unfairly, saying “How can you give all that money to A-Rod and NOT pay Derek?” and they’re right. We should treat both of these players exactly the same. Hence, I would like to propose the following clause be added to Derek Jeter’s contract: An additional performance bonus of $6 mil plus a $30 mil marketing agreement for each of the following milestones- -Passes 500 Home Runs -Passes 600 Home Runs -Hits HR #714, 755 and 762 Just like Alex. (h/t to Dirty Pena of RAB)

Crazy Talk

It is day 16 of Derek Jeter’s free agency. It only seems longer than 16 days. Jeter and the Yankees continue to negotiate their deal in public. The latest contributor to this public negotiation is Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman. Cashman said this afternoon that the Yankees’ offer to Jeter (reportedly three years at $15 million per season) is “fair and appropriate”, and that Jeter should shop himself around if he thinks otherwise.

Worse: Cashman also said that the Yankees have “concerns” with both Jeter’s age and his recent on-field performance, and that both needed to be factored into any new multiyear contract. Ouch!

(By “recent”, Cashman must be referring to Jeter’s most recent performance in 2010. Cashman is probably not referring to Jeter’s next-to-most recent performance, from 2009, when Jeter finished in third place in the voting for American League Most Valuable Player.)

The common wisdom (see for example here) is that Jeter will not get a better offer than the one the Yanks have put forward, and that Jeter will eventually sign the deal proposed by the Yankees. Dave Cameron on FanGraphs went so far as to compare Jeter’s situation to the one Manny Ramirez faced in the 2008-09 off-season: the Dodgers made Manny an opening offer of $45 million over two years, and never budged from that offer. After realizing that this was the best offer he could get, Manny signed it. There was no haggling, no compromise: the Dodgers said “take it or leave it” and eventually Manny took it.

Cameron’s point is a good one. Manny had no other suitors two years ago. At the moment, there are also no suitors for Jeter (other than the Yankees, of course). In his article, Cameron looks (and dismisses) all of the usual candidates for a player like Jeter: the Red Sox have two shortstops, the Angels are committed to Erick Aybar, the Phillies have Jimmy Rollins, the Mets have Jose Reyes and the Tigers just signed Jhonny Peralta. Seemingly, there’s no one left to sign Jeter away from the Yanks.

No one? I think Cameron missed a possible candidate team, maybe because it would be crazy to think that the team in question would be a candidate for Jeter’s services. When I say crazy, I mean it. The idea is so crazy, I’m convinced that Jason and Brien and Tamar and the others here at IIATMS will pull this post from cyberspace once they’ve read it (so if you’re reading this now, read quickly, because this piece may disappear without warning). My only defense is that I write so many rational pieces, I’m entitled to a crazy piece ever now and then. So I’ve warned you. The following idea is a crazy thought.

The crazy thought is: Jeter might sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Crazy Talk

Pettitte leaning towards playing; Cliff Lee rumor

I can’t say I have been counting on this, but this does not shock me (Davidoff Twitter) at all:

Andy Pettitte is leaning toward a 2011 return to the #Yankees, according to an industry source.

Qualifies as news, I guess. It’d be great to have Andy back for a final go-round. Although his leverage would be infinitely higher if the Yanks didn’t land Cliff Lee.

Oh, maybe you heard this today, too:

An industry source said Monday the Yankees have offered Cliff Lee nearly $140 million over six years, but Lee continues to hold out for a seventh year. Neither Lee’s camp nor the Yankees would confirm those numbers. The Boston Globe has reported the Yankees offered as much as $120 million over five years.

I’ll believe it when I see it. Six years is a lot; seven is crazy for a 32 year old. At some point, this deck of high priced cards is going to collapse, or someone’s going to be eating a ton of dead cash. Continue reading Pettitte leaning towards playing; Cliff Lee rumor

News Day: Pettitte, Arbitration Decisions, MVP, Cashman (Update)

Today was a day loaded with news, so let’s dive right in. 1) Ken Davidoff is reporting that Andy Pettitte is leaning towards a return to the Yankees in 2011. This is fantastic news, as it makes the Yankees a bit less reliant on signing Cliff Lee and means that they are likely to be at least as good in the rotation this coming year as they were last season. 2) The Yankees are going to offer arbitration to Kerry Wood and Javy Vazquez, but not Derek Jeter. The Jeter decision likely stems from a fear that he would accept Continue reading News Day: Pettitte, Arbitration Decisions, MVP, Cashman (Update)

Al Jeterzeera in full effect

The presses are amping up in advance of Thanksgiving. Grab your plate, have a seat at the big table and help yourself to these heaping portions of posturing, scuttlebutt, jousting, positioning, ego and disdain (emphasis on all below is mine).

First course:

Yankees General Manager Speaks Bluntly on Jeter

According to a lawyer in baseball briefed on the negotiations, the Yankees have made Jeter a three-year, $45 million offer that was arrived at in part by comparing him with other middle infielders and with players close to his age.

The lawyer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to jeopardize his access to sensitive information, said that the Yankees and Jeter were “not even in the same ballpark” in terms of a new deal.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Al Jeterzeera in full effect

Playoff Expansion the Right Way

So it looks as though the addition of a second wild card team in both leagues is probably going to happen as early as 2012 and, predictably, the reaction to the Commissioner’s proposal has been overwhelmingly negative, at least on the internet. And I confess, my initial reaction was to hate the idea as well. But the more I think about it, the more I’m not sure it’s such a terrible idea after all.

First of all, let’s get one thing out of the way. There’s no such thing as a “fair” playoff system. Any sort of playoff structure beyond having every team play each other an equal number of times split evenly between home and away games with uniform DH rules between the leagues and simply giving the trophy to the team with th best record at the end of things is going to involve some level of arbitrariness. I blame the incessant arguing over college football for this, but we need to get over the idea that the “champion” is, or should be, the best team every time. There’s just no way to insure that that happens when you introduce a playoff system. The league that probably comes the closest is the NBA, and no one is going to propose baseball adopting anything like what they do. SO let’s just stipulate that there’s going to be a certain amount of unfairness in the system no matter what we do.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Playoff Expansion the Right Way

2011 CAIRO projections: Yankee pitching

SG has released the first round of 2011 Yankee pitcher projections. Please click here for my analysis of CAIRO’s 2011 hitting projections. The below pitching projection table shows what I expect would be the starting rotation (in the event that Cliff Lee doesn’t sign), the four known members of the bullpen, and everyone else (sorted by FIP). The “everyone else” batch is primarily made up of the guys in the Yankees’ minor league system who appear to be closest to reaching The Show, but obviously most of them have never thrown a pitch in the Majors (and most are still Continue reading 2011 CAIRO projections: Yankee pitching

Hamilton wins 2010 AL MVP; Cano third

Little surprise here:

Hamilton, 29, won the batting title with a .359 average and also finished first in the league in slugging percentage (.633), on-base percentage plus slugging (1.044) and batting with runners in scoring position (.369). Despite missing 29 games in September due to a bruised ribcage, Hamilton had 32 home runs and 100 runs batted in and also put together the longest hitting streak in the majors of 23 games from June 6-30.

Yanks’ own Robinson Cano finished third, which seems about right. There was a good deal of respect for Cano from the voters, too:

…Robinson Cano […] placed second on the most ballots (12) and totaled 229 points.

(click “view full post” to view the voting totals)

Continue reading Hamilton wins 2010 AL MVP; Cano third

A Look Back at Past Contract Talks Between Derek Jeter and the Yankees

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog). Derek Jeter’s contract negotiations have easily been the most widely discussed topic in Yankeeland, despite there really not being much news to report. For some reason, several media types have used the off-season lull to repeatedly denigrate Jeter to the point of portraying him as a charity case (e.g., Joel Sherman’s “I am Derek Jeter, pay me” scoff in today’s New York Post). One hopes this sentiment is merely an example of the human condition’s disposition toward kicking a man when he is down, and not evidence of the Yankees’ brass negotiating Continue reading A Look Back at Past Contract Talks Between Derek Jeter and the Yankees