• Rogers: Yanks, With A-Rod & Tex, Try & Buy Ring

    Posted by on December 27th, 2008 · Comments (7)

    Via Phil Rogers:

    Impatience rarely is rewarded in baseball.

    It happens, sure. The World Series the infant franchises in Florida (1997) and Arizona (2001) won come to mind. But there have been a lot more spectacular failures than successes from teams that spend heavily to get themselves to the top.

    None of the great teams ever really have been purchased, but the Yankees of 2009-11 now are poised to become the first.

    It’s true the Yankees still have stars they developed in Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera. But after committing $796 million to elite free agents with an average age of 32.4 years the last two years — retaining Alex Rodriguez, Posada and Rivera while adding Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett—there’s little comparison to the franchise that won with guys like Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, Scott Brosius and a young Andy Pettitte.

    With a new, heavily subsidized—and possibly criminally financed stadium (someone could go to jail over the inflated appraisal of the land)—the Yankees conduct business as if they live in a booming economy. Their fans are thrilled; fans of the other 29 teams, not so much.

    The meter is still running, of course. But as of Christmas, the Yankees had outspent the other 29 teams in free agency this winter—$423.5 million to $296.6 million. That’s staggering.

    Will it work? We won’t know until next October, and history suggests the odds are against a team built around the superbly talented, minimally impactful Rodriguez and Teixeira.

    Rodriguez (especially) and Teixeira seem to want it both ways. The skills that put them in the middle of the lineup, as well as their paychecks, suggest they should be leaders, but they never have led their franchises. Rodriguez seems to want to be Jeter—a regular guy who drives in runs as he helps little old ladies across the street—and Teixeira seemingly just wants to be left alone.

    Imagine the contract Teixeira would have gotten if he ever had done anything except put up stats. After all, this is a star who in his first six seasons never has been higher than seventh in MVP voting.

    Between them, Rodriguez and Teixeira have played in 11 postseason series. Their teams are a combined 22-29, advancing to the next round only three times.

    Sabathia’s teams have won one of his four postseason series. Burnett never has played in the postseason (he was hurt when Florida won in 2003).

    For what it’s worth, post-2000, the Yankees went out and “bought” Hideki Matsui, Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon, Gary Sheffield, Mike Mussina, Kyle Farnsworth, Tom Gordon, Paul Quantrill, Tony Womack, Steve Karsay, Kenny Lofton, Jaret Wright, Rondell White, Jose Contreras, Jon Lieber, Kei Igawa, Octavio Dotel and Carl Pavano. And, in a way, they “bought” Alex Rodriguez, Bobby Abreu, Raul Mondesi, and Kevin Brown – by taking on their contracts when their former team no longer wanted to pay them.

    And, none of that “buying” ended up in a ring, did it?

    Comments on Rogers: Yanks, With A-Rod & Tex, Try & Buy Ring

    1. Raf
      December 28th, 2008 | 1:30 am

      And, none of that “buying” ended up in a ring, did it?
      Thanks to the failures of homegrown talent like Rivera, Pettitte and Wang.

    2. throwstrikes
      December 28th, 2008 | 1:44 am

      Yankees “buying” free agents is nothing new- Boggs, Gooden, Strawberry, Key, Rogers, Duncan, Stanton, Wells, Duncan, Rogers, Davis to name a few.

      The difference is prior to 2001, they succeeded in buying the ring.

    3. Rambis35
      December 28th, 2008 | 1:54 am

      “Imagine the contract Teixeira would have gotten if he ever had done anything except put up stats. After all, this is a star who in his first six seasons never has been higher than seventh in MVP voting.”

      Really? Not that MVP voting is actually an indication of a player’s value, but it is obvious that switching leagues has affected Teixeira’s MVP votes for the last two years. If Teixeira had been in the AL all of last year, his RCAA total would have been the best in the league. He could very well have been the AL MVP if he was the Angels all year. This is really, really faulty analysis.

    4. Raf
      December 28th, 2008 | 9:01 am

      This is really, really faulty analysis.
      Consider the source 😉

    5. YankCrank
      December 28th, 2008 | 10:58 am

      Yankees have been “buying” free agents since the 70s and trading for them since the organization started. Last time I checked we had 26 rings…so it has certainly worked in the past. The recent past? No, but it has worked.

    6. deadrody
      December 28th, 2008 | 8:05 pm

      hhmmm… So is there really any reason to read this site anymore ? Whatever Cashman does, it clearly SUX. So, buh bye, Steve, enjoy your emptiness.

    7. butchie22
      December 28th, 2008 | 10:34 pm

      Cash Man clearly does SUCK! Anyone who spends well over 1.3 billion since 2000 and has no championships since then deserves a certain amount of derision. Unlike the Red Sox, who have smartly drafted lo these many years, they have the next generation of players coming in at a relatively cheap cost whereas the Yanks have to spend gazillions of dollars to bring in theirs. The Red Sox aren’t like Tampa, getting first round draft picks and the like, so could it be that Theo and Co are better talent evaluators? YEAH!

      I’m of the mentality that all this buying of free agents has’t helped them win anything BUT has made them into Yankees Inc. They have their new stadium with their great cash flows , the Yes network, and the biggest revenues. They need to perpetuate these crowds and by Cash Man’s measure signing big ass/well paid stars to try and win will do just that. They need to go to a system similar to Boston, where they make better decisions regarding drafting, change the GM and choose selective free agents that can help them win. They spent all this money for CC(who hasn’t been that great in the post season), Burnit( who has never pitched a big game in his life) and Teix( who is a necessary upgrade in terms of defense and offense, so he’s not bad) because they don’t have position players or pitchers right now to jump in and take over. Who can really come in this season either, does anybody remember the failed Hughes /Kennedy experiment of last year? Instead over 400 mill is thrown around like it’s monopoly money……And what is that crap about not being able to sign Pettitte because this is their budget right now? I would rather have 1 year of Pettitte, than 5 years of that rube from Toronto/Miami! Talk about being pennywise and pound foolish…….

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