Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spin, spin, spin: Media pushes ridiculous idea that Vernon Wells trade is financially responsible

I always have to laugh when I hear people talk about the tough New York sports media. You mean the ones who are Brian Cashman's spin doctors, who will carry his water for whatever ridiculous move he makes? Even now claiming that the Vernon Wells deal is somehow smart? Spare me.

Look at the morning papers' headlines and tell me that the mainstream media has any common sense when it comes to the state of the Yankees:

The New York Post claims: "Deal for Wells makes $ense for Yankees," while the New York Daily News sez that "Vernon Wells, despite his hefty contract, could actually help Yankees get under luxury tax threshold."

The basic claim from Cashman, happily spun by the NYC media, is that trading for Wells is somehow a smart, financially savvy move. This, even though he will 1) cost the Yankees $13 million for a player with below-replacement level value over the past two years, 2) will also cost the Yankees not one but two players in the trade, 3) will cost them flexibility this year. (Think such players in trades don't matter? The Indians got Zach McAllister, their fourth starter, from the Yankees as their player to be named later in the Austin Kearns trade. Shockingly, Cashman's minions in the NYC sports media never really want to talk about that deal.)

Only in the crazy world of Cashman's feeble mind is this a good deal. This is like putting in $100 in the slot machines, getting back $10, and thinking that you "won." Even if the Yankees somehow get a million or so "credit" -- which I doubt will happen -- next year, how is raising the payroll to $221 million this year by spending $13 million on Wells a good idea?

None of the knuckleheads in the media seem to acknowledge that the Yanks will have to pay luxury tax this year on the money, arguably making the $13 million a lot more than that when all is said and done. Or that this sort of deal can financially hobble the team this year, keeping them from making real changes.

The Yankees are paying $13+ million -- plus two players in the Yankee farm system -- for a fourth outfielder who will offer this, as David Schoenfield of ESPN notes:
 ...even if Wells can hit left-handers, why pay $13 million for that skill? The easiest thing to find in baseball is a right-handed corner outfielder who can hit lefties. There are guys in Triple-A who can do that for the league minimum. So the Yankees just acquired a hitter who was bad in 2007, bad in 2009, historically awful in 2011 (.248 OBP, lowest OBP by a full-time outfielder since 1904) and bad again in 2012.
But it's all good, because they are really somehow "saving" money on this. Good grief.

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