Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Arbitrate this! Yanks decline arbitration on Abreu, Pettitte

So, the Yanks announced yesterday that they were offering salary arbitration to - nobody.

Maybe I'm a worrywart, but I have to say that I have a bad feeling about the Bombers declining arbitration on Bobby Abreu and Andy Pettitte, and I'm afraid this decision will turn out badly.

While I do want Andy back, I'm mixed on having Abreu return, but at any rate, I'd like the Yanks to get those draft picks. And if Pettitte walks out the door, the way Roger Clemens did after 2003, without the Yanks even getting any draft picks for him, I will be doubly peeved. Especially if Andy goes to the Dodgers. Don't forget, of course, that Clemens and Pettitte share the same agents - the Hendricks brothers.

And while Brian Cashman claimed the Bombers were engaged in contract discussions with Abreu, the right fielder's people said they hadn't talked with the GM since the season ended. I wouldn't be surprised to see Abreu as a Met next year. What say you, Squawker Jon?

Other Yankee free agents not to get arbitration offers include Jason Giambi, Ivan Rodriguez, Carl Pavano, Mike Mussina, Chad Moeller and Sidney Ponson. I don't have a problem with not trying to keep any of these guys, particularly Pavano. What would he have gotten, any way? Would it have been like a game of "Operation," where he received money for each injured body part?

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports suggests that yesterday's events are an austerity move due to the bad economy, writing, "Yes, even the filthy-rich Yankees are cutting back. By their definition, anyway."

The Yankees planned this new stadium on a faulty assumption - that the amount of money they could raise the ticket prices for was infinite. And now they're going to have to realize that there aren't that many people who can afford to pay $2500 a ticket for a baseball game. Not that I have a whole lot of sympathy for the Bombers on this. While I did think it was time to build a new stadium, I wish they had kept the average fan in mind, instead of focusing on the martini bar, steakhouse, and luxury boxes.

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In these bad economic times, we're offering a great giveaway, where 15 of our readers will win A&E Essential Games 6-DVD sets. Just let us know if you'd like the Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, or Fenway park discs, and enter the contest here.

And thanks to Bombers Beat, Confessions of a She-Fan, and Ultimate Banter for talking up our giveaway, and linking to us.

What do you think the arbitration non-moves? Leave us a comment!


Anonymous said...

Althought I am not a fan of Joel Sherman I do agree with this article today on Andy Pettitte. Not offering Arbitration was the right thing to do, he is not worth any where near $16.mill, $10 mill was generous with what Andy has left. Andy's honesty and character have come under scrutiney and rightfully so, walking away from "the only team I will pitch for" and signing elsewhere just makes him the same as all the other money hungry hypocrites.

mcgreevey1903 said...

Hate to say it Lisa, but this is an example of how front office shortsightedness hurts the Yankees player development system. Most of these guys are no loss, but not offering arbitration to Abreu, Pettite, and Pudge is a serious error. Abreu and Pettite are Type A free agents. Had they been offered arbitration, refused it, and signed with another team, the Yankees would have been compensated with a regular draft choice of the signing team and a sandwich pick; Pudge is a Type B, and compensation would be just the sandwich pick. However, by not offering arbitration, the Yankees forfeit any compensation if they lose these free agents. (See the MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement at http://mlbplayers.mlb.com/pa/pdf/cba_english.pdf pages 72 and 73 for more details.)

Befor you scoff at these picks, keep in mind that the Red Sox drafted the following players using compensation picks from losing free agents:

- Jacoby Ellsbury (1st round, 2005, compensation for Orlando Cabrera)
- Clay Buchholz (1st sandwich, 2005, compensation for Pedro Martinez)
- Jed Lowrie (1st sandwich, 2005, compensation for Orlando Cabrera)
- Michael Bowden (1st sandwich, 2005, compensation for Derek Lowe)

The one danger, of course, is if a player accepts arbitration. However, I don't see why the Yankees would be in a hurry to cut ties with Abreu. Pettite I can understand after his second half, but I don't see your other outfielders being his equal, much less his superior.

She-Fan said...

I, too, wonder why the Yankees would cut ties with Pettitte if he's willing to take a pay cut (big "if"). We could use a veteran presence in the rotation now that Moose is gone and we've got several vacancies to fill. As for Abreu, he DID give us 100 RBIs every year. Is Nady really better?

cazzie said...

Pettite wasn't taking a pay cut. Plus do you want an arbitrator deciding you have to pay these guys more than 16 mil/yr.
Wait and see, in a couple years MLB owners will be in Washington looking for a bailout.

Uncle Mike said...

mcgreevey: Of the four players you mentioned, only Ellsbury was worth anything last season. If Buchholz had been even 5-6 instead of 2-9, the Red Sox would've won the Division, gotten home-field advantage over the Rays, and probably won at least the Pennant. If this were ESPN's "Around the Horn," you'd have gotten the Mute Button.

I don't like getting rid of Abreu, but he has been inconsistent, looking great at times during the season, awful at other times. He'll be 35 next season, and while that shouldn't be an automatic red flag, there is an old saying, usually attributed to Branch Rickey: Better to trade a player a year too early than a year too late.

mcgreevey1903 said...

Uncle Mike: In rebuttal, as bad as Buchholz was last season, he was still better than your combination of Hughes and Kennedy. Hell, even Bowden has one more win than both Hughes and Kennedy! As for Lowrie, he was a heck of alot better than the player he replaced - Lugo was absolutely brutal at the plate and in the field. They may not seem to have contributed much in your eyes, but I like their upside a hell of a lot better than your young players (with the exception of Joba if the Yankees organization ever learns to handle him correctly).

Uncle Mike said...

mcgreevey: I didn't use Hughes and Kennedy as justification for continuing a policy, at least not in this case. You used Buchholz as justification for saying the Red Sox' current policy works. While it worked better than the Yankees' did this past season, Buchholz was not only not a justifiable part of it, he was arguably a part of its undoing, i.e. winning the Wild Card instead of the Division, thus costing the Sox the extra home game in the ALCS and probably the Pennant. He probably cost the Sox as much as Hughes and Kennedy combined cost the Yankees.

Between them, Hughes, Kennedy and Darrell Rasner were 5-18. Turn that into one game over .500, 12-11, and the Yankees are the Wild Card; turn it into 14-9, not hard to imagine from a healthy Hughes all by himself, and the Yankees win the Division. So it took three guys to cost the Yankees what it took one guy, Buchholz, to cost the Red Sox.

Time for you to leave the Third Base Saloon and come home. And as long as we're on THAT subject, Tessie is still... For our host Lisa's sake, I'll use the euphemism "easy."

mcgreevey1903 said...

Well, Uncle Mike, since you mentioned it, I am leaving the Third Base. I've been recalled to active duty and will leave for the Sandbox in a month.

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