• Yanks Cannot Sign Any More Star Free Agents This Year

    Posted by on January 30th, 2009 · Comments (16)

    Via Barry M. Bloom of mlb.com -

    The most commonly held misconception of this offseason is that the Yankees could have signed pitcher Ben Sheets or could still sign left-fielder Manny Ramirez if only there were a few million dollars remaining in the Steinbrenner bank.

    Both assumptions are incorrect. According to the Basic Agreement, and confirmed by a top Major League Baseball official, once the Yankees signed CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira, they had signed their quota of Type A or Type B free agents under the collectively bargained rules established by management and the Players Association.

    All three were Type A free agents who played for other teams last season aside from the Yankees. The Yankees could re-sign their own Type A or Type B free agents without it affecting the quota.

    Under the rules, “if there are from 39 to 62 [Type A and B] players [during a given offseason], no team can sign more than three.”

    “Frankly, it’s an unusual year to have that many ranked players,” Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of labor relations, told MLB.com this week.

    According to an unofficial list compiled by the Sports City Sports News Service, this year there were 63 Type A and Type B free agents — 29 Type As and 34 of the Type B variety. A Type A player is one who’s ranked among the top 20 percent of his group — pitcher or position player. A Type B player is among the top 40 percent. The Elias Sports Bureau does the annual independent rankings.

    “If there are more than 62 such players, the club quota shall be increased accordingly,” the Basic Agreement also says.

    “If there were more than 62 this year, we should have agreed on an increased quota,” Manfred said. “We did not. I think if [the Yankees] were contemplating signing another Type A player, they would’ve read the agreement and asked us what we wanted to do. They would’ve said they wanted to sign a fourth player and we would’ve had to do something with the union.”

    The Yankees didn’t ask, Manfred said.

    They did sign another Type A player this week, pitcher Andy Pettitte. But Pettitte played for the Yankees in 2008. The same goes for Damaso Marte, a Type A reliever the Yanks re-signed early in the offseason.

    …The Yankees didn’t ask…

    Brian Cashman and Jean Afterman, some team, huh?

    Really, why would you not ask, just in case? What if one of your stars broke both his legs in a car accident during January and was then out for the year? Would you then, if you’re the Yankees, not want the option to make an offer to one of these ranked Free Agents, say, for a one year deal…which they may accept given the market these days, etc.?

    Once again, Cashman and Company do not ensure that they have a “Plan B” just in case their “Plan A” doesn’t work…

    Comments on Yanks Cannot Sign Any More Star Free Agents This Year

    1. yagottagotomo1
      January 30th, 2009 | 11:33 am

      Umm, Steve, this report has already been refuted. It is funny how so many people can read the same article and you are the first I have seen to criticize Cashman over it. Shocking.

    2. rtnichols
      January 30th, 2009 | 11:39 am

      Once again, Cashman and Company do not ensure that they have a “Plan B” just in case their “Plan A” doesn’t work…

      ———————————————-

      Once again, another unfair criticism of Brian Cashman. Seriously man, did he take your first-born child or something?

    3. thenewguy
      January 30th, 2009 | 11:40 am

      Really, why would you not ask, just in case? What if one of your stars broke both his legs in a car accident during January and was then out for the year? Would you then, if you’re the Yankees, not want the option to make an offer to one of these ranked Free Agents, say, for a one year deal…which they may accept given the market these days, etc.?
      Once again, Cashman and Company do not ensure that they have a “Plan B” just in case their “Plan A” doesn’t work…
      —————————–

      I think that is being VERY nitpicky Steve. From what I understand, the Yankees could still go out and sign a Type B free agent something happens to one of their players. In a year when the Yanks sign CC, AJ, and Teix, you are complaining because Cashman didn’t make it technically possible for the Yankees to sign Manny or Sheets? If someone got hurt, would the Yanks even be willing to add at least 10 mil for Sheets and probably at least 20 mil for Manny.

      Getting upset at Cashman for this is overdoing it a little bit, Steve.

    4. yanksofny
      January 30th, 2009 | 11:40 am

      I don’t think this article is very accurate. Two posts over at mlbtraderumors.com:

      “10:05am: One reader asks a question I can’t answer: if the quota is three Type A/Bs, how were the Giants able to sign Jeremy Affeldt (B), Bob Howry (A), Randy Johnson (B), Edgar Renteria (A), and Juan Uribe (B)?”

      “7:45am: Just wanted to add the info from a January 6th Nick Cafardo article, where he stated that this year’s quota is nine Type A or B free agents. Everyone I’d spoken previously to believed the Yankees have not approached any quota. I know the CBA allows for more Type A/Bs to be signed if you lose them, and the Yankees lost Bobby Abreu and Mike Mussina. We attempted to tackle this in October and came away confused.”

      And yet another post from Peter Abraham http://tinyurl.com/bck7ms:

      Fear not, greedy Yankee fans, the Yankees can sign all the Type A free agents if they want.

      A story on MLB.com today said the Yankees had reached the quota on Type A free agents.

      This led to — seriously — a dozen e-mails from fans who want Juan Cruz, Adam Dunn and/or Manny Ramirez.

      The story is not true. Brian Cashman said the Yankees could sign up to eight if they want. “I’m not sure of the exact number, but it’s one we won’t worry about either way,” he said.

      I’m not clear on the exact reasons why, but it has to do with the size of the FA pool and how many ranked FAs the Yankees had.

      Panic over. Think big thoughts.

      And, no, Cash wouldn’t way whether than plan to sign anybody else.

    5. MJ
      January 30th, 2009 | 11:43 am

      I think if [the Yankees] were contemplating signing another Type A player, they would’ve read the agreement and asked us what we wanted to do.
      ——————
      Steve, re-read that quote. It says “IF” the Yanks were contemplating signing someone else. So under your scenario where a player is out for the season, then the Yanks would have a need to sign someone else and they’d THEN ask the question (as Manfred says). That they didn’t ask the question should tell us that they don’t intend on signing anyone right now. They’ll ask if they have to ask.

      Furthermore, just because they didn’t ask Manfred, doesn’t mean they don’t know the answer to the question from another source.

      JEEZ!

    6. thenewguy
      January 30th, 2009 | 11:44 am

      also, who knows how true this is, but the guys at River Ave Blues say something that I think is true also:

      Update 10:40 a.m.: After pouring over the CBA and a few of my older columns on this, the conclusion stands that Bloom is wrong. The Yanks can sign a free agent for every ranked free agent they’ve lost — Pudge and Abreu can still be replaced, and I’m pretty sure Mussina can be too — in addition to the number they allotted under the CBA’s quota.

      So the Yankees can sign more free agents and Barry Bloom is wrong. In which case Cashman’s job was fine.

    7. Raf
      January 30th, 2009 | 11:45 am

      What if one of your stars broke both his legs in a car accident during January and was then out for the year?
      —————–
      Then you make a trade, or call up a player. You know, like when the Yanks lost Matsui, Sheffield & Posada for an extended period of time.

      Once again, Cashman and Company do not ensure that they have a “Plan B” just in case their “Plan A” doesn’t work…
      —————–
      Riiiight. Seems to me plan b is to call someone up from the minors, or make a trade. When Dave Winfield went down with a back injury, did the Yanks not field a RF? Did they bat 8 players in the lineup?

    8. thenewguy
      January 30th, 2009 | 11:48 am

      Further, Cashman said the Yankees can sign more Type A’s if they want to, maybe up to 8 total. From Pete Abraham:

      http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2009/01/30/yankees-can-sign-whoever-they-want/

      So you can let this most recent attack on Cashman rest, Steve. Look for something else to deride him for.

    9. bfriley76
      January 30th, 2009 | 11:51 am

      Steve…I’d suggest you check Peter Abraham’s latest blog post. Turns our the story was incorrect. The Yanks can sign several more Type A or B free agents. Apparently Cashman does have his stuff together.

      I can’t believe you wouldn’t at least ask around or do a little research on this. You know…for YOUR Plan B.

    10. Pat F
      January 30th, 2009 | 12:21 pm

      nice work with this one steve. the yankees didn’t ask because they didn’t need to, they actually know what is going on. totally inaccurate reporting by this dude, and a bad job by you running with it (though i would expect nothing less).

    11. January 30th, 2009 | 12:47 pm

      OK, I stand corrected. Thanks to all for bringing this to my attention…but, maybe some of you should look at the way you did…

      Geez, talk about bashers, huh?

      Funny, so many are so quick to get on me for getting on Cashman – but, they’re just as quick to come after me.

      Look in the mirror guys. You’re no different from me, huh?

    12. Pat F
      January 30th, 2009 | 1:02 pm

      fair point steve. my apologies.

    13. thenewguy
      January 30th, 2009 | 1:51 pm

      Look in the mirror guys. You’re no different from me, huh?
      —————

      I agree. However, with Cashman material, you readers are always going to feel that you jump at the bit for any little nugget of information that would put him down, and then you present it in a smug manner. To be fair, I would say that your readers are equally ready to attack you for anything you say about Cashman. It’s sort of a vicious cycle, I suppose. But I do believe we should be civil about it.

    14. Evan3457
      January 30th, 2009 | 8:57 pm

      I’m sorry, Steve, but once again, you assume the worst about Cashman because it fits your prior thoughts and opinions about the GM.

      You didn’t even wait to see if the attack you were making was based on accurate information, or even for a comment from the Yankees that the info was correct. In fact, given Cashman’s track record, it was very unlikely he’d have been caught short like this on a technical/rules/business/money matter. After all, this was not a talent/judgment issue.

      Given the snark of the original attack, a little snark in response is simply restoring the balance of cosmic snark. If that makes us just like you, consider this: no original snark means no snarky replies. Had you simply noted the “problem”, and asked why, I think you simply would have been corrected when the facts came out.

    15. January 30th, 2009 | 11:16 pm

      ~~~You didn’t even wait to see if the attack you were making was based on accurate information,~~

      Why should I? It was reported on “MLB.com” – not, “I wanna pretend like I’m my own newspaper blogger.com”

      If you can’t trust an outlet like MLB.com to check it’s facts, who can you trust?

      Saying that I needed to ensure that the story was true is just another cheap shot at me.

    16. February 2nd, 2009 | 11:12 pm

      http://tinyurl.com/b8rnyu

      Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of labor relations, who at first said the Yanks hit their limit, which is why I believed this story, is not changing his story.

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