Monday night open thread

We don’t do these things very often, but there was a request for one today, so here you go. This is a thread for you to talk about any topics you want. Raise them yourself, ask us questions, request a post on a topic, share your best recipes so that I may poach them and make them, and so on. Anything you want, just keep it friendly.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

19 thoughts on “Monday night open thread

  1. the Yankees wanting to get under $189 million to save a few extra million dollars, especially with the money from the whole YES thing is absurd.

      • Doesn't it make you kind of sick though? I'm gonna keep it nice, but who gives a hoot if they get a little richer? Do the Steinburglers? If they do, should they? It makes me kind of mad to think that they want to sacrifice a noble tradition for the sake of a few dollars. And I'm a socialist!

        • As much as everyone (including me) would like to think otherwise, baseball is ultimately a business. Yes, I'd love if the Yankees spent with total disregard for luxury taxes and the like, but from a financial standpoint, I understand why they're doing what they're doing. But I'm a capitalist! That being said, even if they want to play a hard line with elite players like Cano because it makes financial sense, the Yanks better not let him walk because he wants a ridiculously huge contract. Some players are worth keeping on the payroll through their decline just for the sake of not pissing off us fans. I don't think the Yankees would ever let Cano walk, and that makes the Yankees the premier franchise/brand in sports. Hopefully Cashman & Co. doesn't prove me wrong.

          • Weakening your product in the name of pinching every penny and extracting every dime you can is not a recipe for long term success in any business.

          • True, although to give another possible view, the Yankees may simply (although painfully for fans) be trying to build a bit more fiscal responsibility into planning. Part of this might be resetting market expectations so players know they can not squeeze an extra million or ten out of every deal.

            The Yankees might have decided they're in a transition period. They plan to remain competitive, but they're really pointing a couple years out. They want to reset the luxury tax rate, incorporate some younger players and sign more big-name deals as the current ones get closer to expiration.


    Players enjoy the obvious security bestowed by no trade clauses. Sometimes players are asked to waive them. I can't help looking at these clauses without feeling that there should be some additional intrinsic value in them. Value that never seems to get recognized. I can't recall a single incident of a player seeking to negotiate a buyout value in exchange for waiving his no trade clause. I can't recall a single incident of an agent seeking to include a no trade clause buyout value in a contract. It seems to me that such practices ought to be common. Does anyone have an explanation for this apparent oversight?

      • Some comments get autofiltered. Its been approved. We don't censor much, other than blatant spam. Or hateful stuff, but we don't see much here, thankfully.

    • No-trade clauses provide a level of security on two levels. At the most obvious level, the player knows where he is going to play. The second level is financial. My guess is the majority of players will never actually veto a trade because it's a clear sign his current club doesn't want him. They will, however, use the no-trade clause as leverage, to control which team he will be traded to, and/or to get some additional money to waive the deal.

  3. As it stands right now after the 2014 season the Yankees will have 3 expensive long term contracts still on the books A-Rod, CC and Tex for about $75MM in total AAV for MLB Luxury Tax purposes. Now assuming they re-sign Cano for about $22 to $25MM that will bring their payroll to $100MM for 4 players. Leaving effectively $79MM in payroll left to get under the $189MM threshold after 2014. Since MLB charges each MLB Team about $10MM in benefits etc…
    Here's my question: Is it realistic for fans to think/believe that the Yankees can field a competitive, no make that a championship caliber team when they only have $79MM to fill 5 additional starting position players, 4 more starters a bullpen of 7, 5 role/bench players and 15 players to round out their 40 man roster?

    • Yes, I think so, although they may not be quite the players we all want, meaning brand-name players. A quick check of Cots shows the Yankees payroll for 2012 was $209 million. That means by 2014, they need to shed probably a little more than $30 million off that, taking into account the approximate $10 million in benefits. That's one of the reasons why Swisher is going, and why Granderson maybe gone after 2013. It's also a reason why this will almost assuredly be Mariano's final year, because even if he wants to come back, the Yankees will not be motivated to pay $15 mil for a closer. Derek Jeter might want to take warning too if he decides to trip his opt-out after 2013 expecting a large raise. The Yankees have served notice.

      • Boras is not going to consider any extension, even if the Yanks were willing to offer one, so we all know that Cano is heading for free agency. With this $189m collar around our necks, I'm wondering whether we'll be able to sign him. What are the chances that Cash(less)man trades him away this offseason in a blockbuster?

      • Actually that's not exactly correct, mainly because Cot's calculates the teams payroll at the beginning of the year. I've done some calculations and the Yankees payroll in 2012 for MLB Luxury Tax purposes is between $218 and $220MM +/- NOT the $209MM Cot's shows.

        You'll notice for example Cot's shows Ibanez payroll for 2012 at $1.1MM, he actually earned $3.35MM with incentives. Cot's also did not include the $1.5MM Soriano received as a buyout. There are other examples but I think you get my point. Cot's numers are nice but should not be used as the gospel to figure a teams MLB payroll for tax purposes.

        • No disagreement that Cots is not 100% since it's calculated at the start of the season. Just using it as a general guideline. It's reasonable to think it's $5 to 10M higher. At the same time, the starting base might be a little lower at $95M for the four players if Cano comes in at $20M per, yet as you correctly noted, if he gets an AAV of $25M, then the starting base is at about $100M.

          Hadn't thought about this before, but I wonder if the AAV might work to Cano's advantage here in securing a longer-term contract? The Yankees might be willing to add another year or two in return for a lower AAV from Cano to help them get under $189M. (BTW I feel we should all start thinking in terms of about $178M, because all of the reported figures do not include benefits, so the gap the Yankees has to close is larger than many people realize.)

          • That's why if you notice in my original reply above I' talk about the Yankees only having $179MM to spend then you add the $10MM MLB charges teams and there is your $189MM Luxury Tax Threshold.
            Normally I would agree with you about the Yankees just tacking on an extra year and to a contract and figuring a smaller dollar amount for that year to lower the AAV of a players contract but I don't necessarily think it works here. First, Cano is 30 years old I don't think the Yankees want another A-Rod type contract on their hands. Buy that I mean 9 or 10 year deal. Second, I think Boras/Cano are looking minimally for Tex type money about $23MM per year and at least 8 years. So even if the Yankees say offered him 8 years at $23MM per average and then added another year on at say $15MM for just that year to try and lower the AAV it still comes to an AAV for 9 years of over $22MM per. not enough of a saving I don't think for the the Yankees to make a difference. And as everyone knows Boras isn't about to give any team a break payroll wise. That's just my opinion.
            So I think the bottom line is if the Yankees intend on re-signing Cano it's going to take an 8 or 9 year deal and something in the area of $23MM per.

  4. Here is a very odd thought and certainly not based on anything that's been rumored. But the market for Josh Hamilton right now appears to be pretty stagnant. Since the Ichiro signing appears pretty close how about this scenario.
    1) The Yankees sign Hamilton to a massive 1 year deal say $30MM +/- . Then if he can prove he make it there his value should increase when he hit FA in 2014.
    2) The Yankees trade Granderson for a decent package of prospects

    Offensively and defensively Hamilton is a much better player then Granderson. This way the Yankees are far move competitive in 2013 with Hamilton and his sweet swing in Yankee Stadium and they probably get more for Granderson trading him now then either during the trade deadline of just getting a pick for him when they let him walk at the end of the season. Since they can't afford both Granderson and Cano in 2014 and stay under the tax threshold.