You can constrain the payroll, but the imbalances will remain

Earlier this week Joel Sherman, RAB and our very own EJ Fagan all reported that baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement may finally succeed at one of the game’s least achievable goals. It may successfully constrain the bloated Yankee payroll. This revelation prompted lots of speculation about what life would be life for the Yankees with a hard budget constraint. The team will remain one of the games wealthiest, and therefore one of its best, but the hypothesis was that it won’t be as lonely at the top. I’d like politely to disagree. Baseball operates under the incorrect assumption that the Continue reading You can constrain the payroll, but the imbalances will remain

Parsing the Yankee quotes on Darvish

As the deadline for placing a bid on Japanese sensation Yu Darvish draws near, increasingly we are hearing various Yankee beat reporters downplaying the idea that the Yanks will be aggressive in pursuing him. Newsday’s Eric Boland says there are elements for and against bidding on Darvish, and that the final decision will rest with Hal Stienbrenner. Joel Sherman wrote earlier this week that he doubts the Yanks will even place a bid. (TYA fave) Marc Carig followed up with a similar piece on Thursday. In his latest post at ESPN-NY Wallace Matthews speculates that after speaking to sources in Continue reading Parsing the Yankee quotes on Darvish

Rule 5 Draft and Minor League Notes

Lost in the excitement of the Albert Pujols/C.J. Wilson signings, Yu Darvish posting and questions over the Yankees’ ability to sign Hiroyuki Nakajima was yesterday’s Rule 5 Draft.  The Yankees picked up a pair of pitchers through the draft and didn’t lose any of their available players, though they released Greg Golson to make room on the 40-man roster.

With their pick, the Yankees took Brad Meyers from the Nationals.  Meyers is a right-handed pitcher who is a starter, but is being looked at for long-relief for the Yankees’ more immediate needs.  He was drafted by the Nationals in 2007 and was their 2009 Pitcher of the Year.  In 2011 he made 24 starts across Class A, Double-A and Triple-A ball, going 9-7 with a 3.18 ERA.  Cashman wants Meyers to come out of the pen in 2012 so that the Yankees can work on getting Hector Noesi back to a regular starting job.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Rule 5 Draft and Minor League Notes

Serious “budget” question

Here’s Wallace Matthews adding some detail to the Hiroki Kuroda rumors from this morning:

The source says the Yankees, who tried to trade for Kuroda in 2010, “certainly like” the Japanese-born righty but given the current state of the team budget for 2012 — you read that correctly — it was “unlikely” that any big moves were coming this off-season.

At the risk of playing the role of spoiled Yankees’ fan, I’m just not buying this poverty routine from the front-office. Don’t want to commit to another big long-term contract? That I understand. But a reasonably priced one year deal for a starting pitching upgrade? They don’t have the money for that? If that’s the case, why has Brian Cashman even paid lip service to the idea that they want to add pitching help? Because if Hiroki Kuroda is too rich for their blood and they’re not willing to trade Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos, or Dellin Betances, there’s just no conceivable way they could upgrade the staff.

But here’s what I find really curious. Last year the Yankees made a substantial offer to Cliff Lee that would have paid him a $25 million salary, give or take, in 2012. If the Yankees suddenly don’t have any extra money for next year’s budget, what the heck happened to the money they were going to pay Lee?

Look, I understand that the new CBA contains some pretty nice incentives for the Yankees to get their payroll down, and even more than that the entire process of the last bargain has shown that the league is serious about finding salary cap workarounds and that the union is willing to go along with anything short of a formal cap. Given all that, and knowing what we already knew about Hal Steinbrenner, in particular, I can understand that the brothers are not going to thumb their nose at the commissioner like George Steinbrenner was fond of and are going to be good boys by Bud.

But please don’t insult our intelligence by telling us the sky is fire engine red. If the Yankees don’t have money in the budget to sign Kuroda to a one year deal, it’s an entirely self-imposed limitation, not a shortage of cash. Continue reading Serious “budget” question

More reason to hate the Rays

I don’t know how they keep doing this:

Not counting the playoffs, Matt Moore has a grand total of three games and nine and one-third innings of major league experience. But as first reported by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, he is now locked up on a five-year, $14 million deal. That part of it takes him through arbitration. Marc Topkin adds that the Rays hold options for 2017-19, which could make this into an eight-year, $39.75 million deal over the 8 years.

Obviously it’s way too early to be certain of much of anything with Moore, but given his current status as the top pitching prospect in all of baseball and the sort of talent he obviously has, this is a huge steal for the Rays. Moore could flop spectacularly, of course, but the risk-reward quotient here is tilted so heavily in the Rays’ favor it should almost be illegal.

I just don’t know how the Rays keep getting these guys to sign such team friendly contracts, and this presumably puts them in a position to shop James Shields, or even David Price, for some offensive help. John Fay is reporting that the Reds are in talks with Tampa Bay, and assumes the focus is likely Shields, and given his performance last season and the team friendly nature of his contract, a return of Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal seems fair to me.

It seems like I say this a lot, but; don’t count on the Rays going away anytime soon. Continue reading More reason to hate the Rays

On the lack of signings

This week, the Yankees did next to nothing at the winter meetings. They did win the rights to Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, but that’s nothing overly significant. While the Marlins and the Angels went absolutely nuts, the Yankees sat back contently and didn’t do anything. Some wondered aloud if the Yankees were lacking in activity out of financial restraint and others augmented that thought, saying the Yankees were being a little too careful with their money. I can see that line of reasoning, considering that the money that C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle got wasn’t exorbitant. But, I cannot bring Continue reading On the lack of signings

Rumor: Yankees have made offer to Kuroda. UPDATE: Well, maybe not

UPDATE (h/t to MLBTR):

8:55am: The Yankees haven’t made Kuroda an offer, tweets’s Bryan Hoch.



Via Sponichi, (with a translation here via RAB) the Yankees have made an offer to free agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. The report indicates that it’s a one year offer worth about $12 million, which would fit within the salary range we’ve heard Kuroda is looking for. The Yankees had interest in him last year, but Kuroda first resigned with the Dodgers before other teams were allowed to negotiate with him last fall, and then exercised his no-trade clause to block a trade east at the deadline. The Japanese pitcher has been believed to not want to pitch on the East Coast, and that he really wanted to either stay in Los Angeles or return to Japan, but with the Dodgers moving on by signing Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano, Kuroda has apparently had a change of heart.

Kuroda has a career 3.45 ERA and 3.55 FIP with the Dodgers and had a 3.07 ERA and 3.78 FIP in 204 innings pitched in 2011. This would be a move I would heartily approve of, and probably the most sensible move they could make this winter. Continue reading Rumor: Yankees have made offer to Kuroda. UPDATE: Well, maybe not

Your 2011 Anti-IIATMS HOF selections

With a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, both Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson inked big time contracts with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. While both are particularly noteworthy for different reasons, recent reports have surfaced that indicate that they chose to forgo contractual offers of greater money. Now, I don’t yet know (nor will I ever really know) the particulars of each offer not taken so we can only react to the face value of the purported deal. We have to ignore, for now, the likely inclusion of significant deferrals and other fiscal levers which would shift the time value of money into the longer term, thereby devaluing the current value of the offers.

Given that, let’s welcome each to the Anti-IIATMS Hall of Fame.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Your 2011 Anti-IIATMS HOF selections