• Jeter’s Agent & Cashman Meet In Tampa

    Posted by on November 30th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    Via the fellas at the Daily News -

    According to a source, [Jeter's agent Casey] Close and general manager Brian Cashman met Tuesday in Tampa, the first face-to-face sit-down between the Yankees and Jeter since November 8. The meeting was first reported Tuesday night by FoxSports.com.

    Recognizing that they were winning the public relations war, the Yankees haven’t seemed inclined to increase their initial three-year, $45 million offer, leaving it in Close’s hands to close the gap between that offer and Jeter’s demands.

    It was unclear as to whether any significant progress was made during the session with Cashman and Close, however another source said there was “nothing imminent” and indicated the two sides still appeared to have a long ways to go toward a settlement on a new deal for Jeter.

    Neither Close nor Cashman responded to requests for comment.

    I wonder how long is a “long ways”? Spring Training starts in about 12 weeks.

    Cashman The Elf Takes To The Sky

    Posted by on November 30th, 2010 · Comments (11)

    Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a frog!
    A frog?
    Not bird, nor plane, nor even frog, it’s just little ‘ole Cash, Underdog!

    Via the Stamford Advocate:

    It appears New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman isn’t afraid of heights.

    The Stamford Downtown Special Services District has announced Cashman will join this year’s Heights and Lights event as a celebrity guest elf, accompanying Santa Claus on a 22-floor rappel the Landmark Building.

    “Brian Cashman will be there with smiles and his Yankee jacket, rappelling,” said Sandy Goldstein, director of the DSSD.

    Santa Claus is rarely unaccompanied in his acrobatic 350-foot descent down the side of the Landmark Building, a Stamford tradition.

    While the man in red is often escorted by the Grinch and Rudolph, this is the first time a member of the Yankees franchise is to take the plunge.

    Cashman, who lives in Darien, mentioned at a DSSD fundraiser this summer that he would be interested in participating, Goldstein said.

    “He mentioned something about wanting to rappel,” she said. “What could be better than having a star rappel?”

    The Yankees general manager will warm up for the weekend’s rappel at a rehearsal Friday morning, Goldstein said. Rick Reichmuth, weather anchor from Fox Channel 5, will also take a trip down the side of the Landmark building during rehearsal.

    Santa and Cashman will kick off the holiday season in Stamford Sunday, when they step off the Landmark building’s ledge at 4:30 p.m. Music performed by local students and a fireworks display will accompany the rappel.

    The DSSD is keeping the details of Cashman’s elf costume under wraps for now.

    “This is going to be a surprise for all,” Goldstein said. “Will he be an elf in Yankee clothing or a Yankee in elf clothing? You’ve got to come Sunday night to find out.”

    The real question is: If Cashman sharts himself while doing this, will his fans vehemently defend him claiming that it seemed like the right move at the time?

    Mo Suitors?

    Posted by on November 30th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    The Rangers have an interest in Andy Pettitte?  The Giants have called Derek Jeter’s agent?  How long until we start hearing that teams are contacting Mo Rivera?

    SS Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies Close To Seven-Year Extension

    Posted by on November 30th, 2010 · Comments (6)

    According to ESPN.com, All-Star shorstop Troy Tulowitzki is close to signing a seven-year, $134M contract extension with the Colorado Rockies.  This contract extension would start in 2014 and be tacked onto his already-existing contract which expires at the end of the 2013 season.

    Why is this significant?  Because as a younger player (Tulo turned 26 in early October) in the prime of his career, this contract extension should create further downward leverage on Derek Jeter’s contract demands.  The average annual value of Tulowitzki’s contract extension in Colorado is worth $19.1M.  Even if you add the $23.75M remaining on Tulowitzki’s original contract with the $134M offer and divide the total outstanding financial commitment ($157.7M) by the number of years he will remain in Denver, the Rockies’ remaining average annual obligation is $15.7M.

    Given Jeter’s age and the mounting evidence of his decline, it’s hard to imagine why the Yankees should feel the need to pay him more than $15M per season if the best young player at the position won’t be earning even $1M more, on average, over the next ten seasons.  At most, the Yankees could offer Jeter $16M to keep him as the game’s highest-paid shortstop over the life of the contract even if the truth is that Tulowitzki won’t earn more than $10M in any one season before his monster extension kicks in after 2013.

    Legacy is nice and lifetime achievements are wonderful.  But the Rockies — no big spenders — just set the market for what elite shortstops should be making right now.  Jeter is no longer an elite shorstop and certainly doesn’t project to be in the future.  Now, more than ever, the 3Y/$45M contract offer to Jeter looks like an appropriate offer.  I could understand some flexibility on the dollars, perhaps up to $16M or $17M annually.  But Jeter should stop dreaming if he sees more than three years $20M annual salaries out there for him.

    Gil McDougald Passes

    Posted by on November 29th, 2010 · Comments (2)

    Via Bill Madden -

    Gil McDougald, the versatile 1950s Yankee who, along with Pete Rose, had the unique distinction of being selected to the All-Star team at three different positions, died Sunday at his home in Wall Township, N.J., after a long bout with prostate cancer. He was 82.

    McDougald played a pivotal role on eight Yankee pennant-winning teams from 1951-60, winning Rookie of the Year honors in 1951 when he hit .306 with 14 homers and 63 RBI. He was named to the All-Star team five times, as a third baseman in 1952, a shortstop in 1957 and a second baseman in 1958. But as fine an all-around player as McDougald was, hitting .276 during a 10-year career all with the Yankees, it was his fate to be remembered for hitting a line drive that struck Indians pitcher Herb Score in the right eye on May 7, 1957. At the time, the fireballing lefthander seemed destined for a Hall of Fame career, but was never the same after the incident.

    Two years earlier, McDougald had been struck in the left ear by a line drive off the bat of teammate Bob Cerv during batting practice. It shattered a bone in his ear, eventually causing him to go deaf after his career had ended. The condition was corrected in 1995 when he underwent a cochlea implant performed by Dr. Noel Cohen, head of otolaryngology at NYU Medical Center.

    From 1951 to 1960, McDougal was a big part of the Yankees – see these Yankees stats from covering that time period:

    Player                          RCAA      OWP      PA
    1    Mickey Mantle               704     .806     6053
    2    Yogi Berra                  241     .644     5566
    3    Bill Skowron                125     .636     2971
    4    Hank Bauer                  118     .592     4515
    5    Gil McDougald               100     .567     5395
    6    Gene Woodling                93     .676     1798
    7    Roger Maris                  51     .751      578
    8    Joe Collins                  48     .572     2440
    9    Irv Noren                    27     .562     1649
    10   Hector Lopez                 25     .601      916

    source: Complete Baseball Encyclopedia

    McDougald played on 8 pennant winning teams and has 5 World Series rings. Not a bad career, eh?

    The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2011

    Posted by on November 29th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    For the past few days, I’ve been going through The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2011.

    As usual, it’s full of good stuff.

    This edition contains all the advanced metrics and performance data that a sabermetric fan wants to see in an annual. And, this includes all the granular stuff which is the latest craze. But, it also has some very entertaining essays that any baseball fan can enjoy – such as Anna McDonald’s “A Perfect Summer Dream” and Craig Wright’s “A Gentleman Remembered.”

    Oh, and, if you’re into fielding stats, it has an entire section on “The Future of Fielding” with everything that you need to know about FIELDf/x.

    Heck, you can even get little morsels of information within the essays that jump out at you. For example, in Chris Jaffe’s “The Best and Worst Benches of All Time,” we see that the Yankees bench in 2005 was the 5th worst in baseball history. And, in “The Leaders of 2011,” we see that “Oliver” (which is The Hardball Times projection system) predicts that Alex Rodriguez will not hit 29 homeruns in 2011.

    There are essays in The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2011 by a lot of the names that you know from around the internet. These include, but are not limited to, Geoff Young, John Beamer, Steve Treder, Craig Calcaterra, Dave Studenmund, Richard Barbieri, Brian Borawski, Vince Gennaro, Dave Cameron, John Dewan, Rob Neyer, Jon Daly, Sean Smith, John Walsh, Tom Tango, Greg Rybarczyk and the aforementioned Jaffe and Wright.

    On sale now, The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2011 is a great hot stove companion for baseball fans of all levels. It gets your attention, makes you think, and teaches you a thing or two in the process.

    Report: Yankees Done Talking To Jeter Until He “Drinks The Reality Potion”

    Posted by on November 29th, 2010 · Comments (10)

    Is that the new Gatorade product?

    Via Wally Matthews

    Negotiations between the Yankees and Derek Jeter are at a standstill until Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, “drink the reality potion,” according to a source close to the negotiations.

    According to the source, a baseball industry executive who has knowledge of both sides’ position, the Yankees are not budging from the three-year, $45 million offer they made to Jeter earlier this month, nor has Jeter moved off his demand for a longer contract believed to be in the area of $23-$25 million per season.

    No talks took place over the holiday weekend and none are currently scheduled. Neither Yankees general manager Brian Cashman nor Close immediately returned messages seeking comment early Monday.

    Complete Baseball Encyclopedia

    Posted by on November 29th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    In honor of today being “Cyber Monday”, it’s a good time to provide a reminder that the new edition of the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia makes an excellent holiday gift and is currently shipping.

    The encyclopedia can be ordered via this link.

    How To Get The Jeter Deal Done

    Posted by on November 28th, 2010 · Comments (55)

    We know the Yankees want to sign Derek Jeter for three years at $45 million. And, reportedly, Jeter’s camp wants either four years at $92 million or five years at $115 million. Seems like a wide gap, no? But, actually, there’s a simple way to get this one.

    First, forget five years. That’s not happening.

    And, while the Yankees don’t want to go to four years, they can offer him four – with a team option/buy-out on the fourth year – by front loading the contract with “milestone marketing agreement bonuses” (like they have with A-Rod!) on the front end. Here’s how I would do it:

    Pay Derek Jeter $19 million in base salary for 2011 (splitting the difference between $15 and $23 million) and give him a $6 million “marketing agreement” bonus this season when he gets his 3,000th career hit. This is the same amount of bonus that A-Rod will get for hitting his 660th career homerun.) This gives Jeter $25 million in 2011 – a number that he cannot be unhappy about, right?

    Pay Jeter $20 million in base salary for 2012. Period.

    Pay Jeter $20 million in base salary for 2013 and give him a $6 million “marketing agreement” bonus this season when he gets his 3,320th career hit – setting the record for hits by a right-handed batter, lifetime, in the American League. (Note, if Jeter is productive for three seasons, he should get this mark. But, if not, the Yankees could save $6 million here.)

    Pay Jeter $17 milion for 2014. But, have a team option on this season. If they Yankees take the option, they pay Jeter the $17 million. But, if they don’t exercise the option, they have to “buy out” Jeter for $6 million.

    With this deal, the Jeter has the potential to earn $88 million over four years – which is an average of $22 million per season. There’s no way he cannot be happy with that. And, if Jeter blows up, at the worst, the Yankees would owe him $71 million and only have him for three seasons. Granted, that’s $26 million more than they are offering him now. But, the Yankees can figure out where to get that extra $8.67 million a year (for three years)…of this I have no doubt.

    And, if the Yankees offer this to Jeter and be balks, then you let him go and hold your head high – because you more than made him a fair offer and no one could beef about it.

    Tino & Damon Support Jeter

    Posted by on November 28th, 2010 · Comments (4)

    Via George King -

    A byproduct of this process is the perception that Jeter has gotten greedy. That bothers Tino Martinez, a close friend of Jeter and a special assistant to Cashman.

    “It’s making it seem like he is greedy, Martinez said of the public opinion. “He is not being greedy. He is going through a baseball negotiation like everybody else. It’s made him look like he doesn’t know what’s happening in the real world, and he is not like that.

    “This guy gives millions to charity. He is only going through a baseball negotiation and for people to think he is greedy, that bothers me. Derek is my friend, and I would say the same thing about Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. They all are quality people.

    Johnny Damon knows about the business side of baseball. He left the Red Sox for the Yankees as a free agent and went through a testy free agent dance with the Yankees last offseason that landed him in Detroit. He is a free agent again.

    “There is no way around it, older players are being looked at differently,” he said. “But what a lot of people forget is that guys like me and Jeter, we came out at the same time and we are special players. If things need to get done on a baseball field, we get it done.”

    Damon doesn’t put much stock in Jeter, who will be 37 in August, hitting a career-low .270 last year.

    “He is still a guy who puts fear into other pitchers,” Damon said. “You may get him out, but it’s a grind because he keeps competing, and you can’t say that about everybody.”

    I suspect that we’ll see a lot of players, soon, come up in support of Jeter. But, that’s expected…

    The Jeter Market

    Posted by on November 28th, 2010 · Comments (3)

    Phil Rogers looks at teams other than the Yankees who could use Derek Jeter.  Betcha Casey Close is hoping one of those teams picks up the phone soon.

    Yanks Sign Two “Pitchers”

    Posted by on November 27th, 2010 · Comments (4)

    Via mlb.com -

    The Yankees added some depth to their pitching ranks on Saturday, signing right-hander Brian Anderson and left-hander Andy Sisco to Minor League deals, according to a published report.

    The Yankees have neither confirmed nor commented on the reported signings.

    According to FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, both Anderson and Sisco were also given invitations to the Yankees’ Major League Spring Training camp.

    Anderson is an outfielder trying to become a pitcher. Andy Sisco wants to be like A.J. Burnett.

    File these two signings under:  G.M. Eyewash.

    New Report: Jeter Wants 4-5 Years & $23-24 Million A Year

    Posted by on November 27th, 2010 · Comments (9)

    Via Michael S. Schmidt

    Derek Jeter’s agent, Casey Close, is currently asking the Yankees to agree to a new contract of either four or five years at $23 to $24 million a year, according to a person in baseball who had been briefed on the matter.

    The disclosure of what Close is seeking on behalf of Jeter, the 36-year-old Yankee captain and icon, comes just days after it was revealed that the Yankees are offering Jeter a three-year contract for $15 million a year.

    That leaves a substantial gap between the sides in a contract standoff that has taken on a surprisingly tough edge and has left many Yankee fans confused and dismayed.

    The person familiar with the bargaining, said the Yankees and Close have been frozen at their offers for the last week and that in recent days there had been little, if any, negotiating.

    The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to jeopardize his access to sensitive information.

    Still, the current offers — three years at $15 million a year by the Yankees and a maximum five years at $23 to $24 million by Close — suggest an obvious compromise in which the two sides would settle at four years and, say, $19 million a year.

    If they did agree on those numbers, it would actually represent a small, but symbolic, annual increase over Jeter’s last contract, which, at the behest of George Steinbrenner, was designed to average a sliver below $19 million a year.

    A deal that paid $19 million a year would also allow Jeter to rationalize that he was not taking a pay cut, a point that was emphasized on Friday by one National League executive who has been watching the Jeter situation with interest. That executive said that established stars like Jeter typically found it difficult to take any kind of reduction of pay, even when they have already made enormous amounts of money.

    Well, that’s not as bad as the other report that suggested Jeter wanted $150 million over six years. And, if the Yankees offered Jeter four years at $19 million per, I would say that they’ve done everything that was reasonable – and, if Derek walks from that, then Jeter is the “bad guy” here. But, of course, the Yankees have yet to offer anything, reportedly, beyond three years and $45 million.

    I wonder if A-Rod, at some point, will offer any opinion on this? Remember, back in the day, when Jeter reportedly would not tell the fans not to “boo” A-Rod…how many in Yankeeland were down on Jeter for not having his teammate’s back? Well, if the fans, during this process, turn on Derek, will Alex throw his two cents into it? You know that Posada, Pettitte and Rivera will have something to say. And, if some others don’t, I doubt it anyone will blame them. Will that extend to A-Rod too? And, was that only a one-way street back when Jeter didn’t ask the fans to support Rodriguez?

    Mathews and Jeter: “Legacy Players” Then and Now

    Posted by on November 27th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    If the  term ”legacy player” had existed in the 1960′s,  Eddie Mathews would have qualified.  Mathews played 3rd base for the Braves, not just the Atlanta Braves, but the Milwaukee Braves, and the Boston Braves.  Mathews is the only man to play for the team in the the three cities the Braves called home.  In 1966, Mathews hit 16 homers and drove in 53 runs with an OBP of .341. .  Did I mention Mathews finished the 1966 season with 493 career homers.  At that point in time only Ruth (714), Mays (542), Foxx (534), Ted Williams (521) and Ott (511) had over 500 homers.  Mathews at 493 was racing Mickey Mantle at 496 to see who would be the next to break the 500 career home run mark.  On December 31, 1966, Mathews the all time Braves 3rd basemen, the only player to have played for the team in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta, 7 home runs from 500  was traded along with two others to Houston for a pitcher named Bob Bruce (3-13 ERA 5.34) and Dave Nicholson (10 homers 31 RBI and 92 strike outs with a .246 average). In 1967 Bruce  was 2-3 for the Braves in 12 appearances, and Nicholson played in 10 games driving in 1 run in what would be the final major league season for both.  Mathews went on to the Hall of Fame, and his number (41) is retired by the Braves.  Anyone who remembers Mathews will always think of him as a Brave.

    I thought of Mathews as I was mulling over the Jeter situation.  Things have sure changed for legacy players.   As much as I would love to see Jeter get hit number 3,000 in a Yankee uniform it just may not happen.    If $45 million over three years won’t get  this thing done then I say wish him the best and prepare to move on.   When old timers day 2021 rolls around, and number 2 exits the dugout, the stadium will rock and all this will be long forgotten.     

    The Yankees need to plan for 2011, either Jeter recognizes his marketplace reality and signs, or the Yankees start looking in a different direction.  This needs to get done in the next few weeks.

    Report: Jeter Wants 6 Years & $150 Million

    Posted by on November 26th, 2010 · Comments (18)

    Via Bill Madden

    Throughout this process, Close and Jeter have never revealed what they’re actually looking for – which is why so many Yankee fans, opposing club officials and nationwide media types are asking: Why are the Yankees treating Jeter this way? But sources close to the Jeter/Close camp have said their starting point was six years, $150 million and that they aren’t budging on $25 million per year – which would effectively get the captain about even in annual average salary to Alex Rodriguez, the real benchmark from their standpoint in this negotiation.

    I suspect this is why Yankee GM Brian Cashman lashed out the way he did the other day after Close told the Daily News’ Mike Lupica he was “baffled” by the Yankees’ hard-line stance with Jeter.

    Cashman is clearly frustrated. The Yankees made no secret of where they were coming from in this negotiation – that it was a baseball negotiation, a business negotiation, and not a public relations and marketing negotiation. Just the same, they structured their offer to be significantly higher in both years and dollars than any 36-year-old shortstop, coming off a season in which he hit a career-low .270 and his OPS dropped 161 points to .710, also a career low, could expect in the open market. They did that because, as everyone knows, Jeter is not just any shortstop. He is an iconic Yankee shortstop, and, as such, the Yankees are prepared to pay him upwards of $2 million more than any middle infielder in baseball today for the next three years. Add the $45 million to the $200 million they’ve already paid him and, at nearly $250 million, Jeter will have been paid more than any other player in the history of baseball except A-Rod and (when he gets his next deal) Albert Pujols.

    Geez, while he’s at it, could Jeter at least ask for world peace too?

    Happy Tryptophan Day 2010!

    Posted by on November 25th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    I justed wanted to take a quick moment to wish all the readers of WasWatching.com (and their loved ones) a happy, and a safe, Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy.

    Tom Underwood Passes

    Posted by on November 25th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Sad news -

    Tom Underwood, who pitched in the major leagues in 1974-84, died around midnight on Monday in West Palm Beach, Fla., following an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56.

    (h/t BBTF.)

    Underwood threw some really good games for the Yankees back in 1980:

    Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR GSc 6
    1 1980-05-17 NYY TEX W 3-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 4 0 0 1 6 0 84
    2 1980-09-01 NYY OAK W 5-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 4 0 0 2 6 0 83
    3 1980-05-10 NYY MIN L 0-1 GS-9 8.2 3 0 0 1 6 0 83
    4 1980-06-07 NYY SEA W 1-0 GS-9 ,W 8.2 3 0 0 2 6 0 82
    5 1980-07-16 NYY MIN W 11-1 GS-7 ,W 7.0 3 1 1 1 3 0 69
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 11/25/2010.

    .

    Whenever I think of Underwood, I think of my dad. Back in the day, when Tom was pitching for the Yankees, we had an ongoing joke. Underwood was not the tallest pitcher in the world. And, with each start, it seemed like he was getting shorter up on the hill. After a while, we started calling him “The Incredible Shrinking Pitcher.” Granted, this was part because of his height – generously listed at five-eleven – and part the effect of camera angles. But, it added a layer of entertainment for us watching a really good Yankees team that was an odd collection of players.  Sad to think now that Underwood has passed on at such an early age.

    Javy Vazquez Does The Yanks A Solid?

    Posted by on November 24th, 2010 · Comments (4)

    Via Aaron Gleeman

    While the Yankees have no interest in re-signing Javier Vazquez following a disastrous one-season return to New York, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com they’ll offer him arbitration because Vazquez has agreed ahead of time to decline the offer.

    In other words, the Yankees will be able to collect a supplemental draft pick between the first and second rounds as compensation for Vazquez signing elsewhere without having to actually risk him accepting their arbitration offer. They never would have taken that risk without Vazquez agreeing ahead of time to decline arbitration, so this essentially gives the Yankees a free draft pick.

    I’m not exactly sure what benefit Vazquez gets for agreeing to decline the offer and hand the Yankees a sandwich-round pick, but he’s not the first Type B free agent to agree to such an arrangement. Rosenthal notes that general manager Brian Cashman “enjoys a strong relationship” with Vazquez’s agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, so presumably they encouraged him to do the Yankees a favor.

    If I’m the Pirates, Royals, Diamondbacks, Mariners, Orioles or Nationals, I’m protesting this one. That supplemental draft pick between the first and second rounds could just be the player who they want to take early in the second round. Heck, if I’m the Red Sox or Rays, I’m protesting this one just to get a shot in on the Yankees. Something tells me this one isn’t over yet…

    Jeter’s Captain

    Posted by on November 24th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Richard Sandomir tells us all about Casey Close. It’s a good read.

    Those Crazy Days Of Yore

    Posted by on November 24th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Cool stuff. Click on that icon at the far right on the bottom status bar to get a full and much better view of these. It’s the icon that looks like a portable movie screen. Pretty sure that some of these date back to when Brian Cashman last thought Derek Jeter was a useful player…

    Jeter’s Contribution To The Yankees Franchise

    Posted by on November 24th, 2010 · Comments (13)

    Well, here’s one way to place a number on it.

    And, of course, this doesn’t factor in all those jerseys and T-shirts sold with a “2″ on the back of them since 1996…

    Cashman To Jeter: Go Test Free Agent Market

    Posted by on November 24th, 2010 · Comments (32)

    Via the AP -

    Hank Steinbrenner has a message as the New York Yankees negotiate to re-sign Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.

    “As much as we want to keep everybody, we’ve already made these guys very, very rich, and I don’t feel we owe anybody anything monetarily,” the Yankees co-chairman said Tuesday. “Some of these players are wealthier than their bosses.”

    New York has made a $45 million, three-year offer to Jeter, a baseball executive with knowledge of the proposal said, speaking on condition of anonymity because it wasn’t made public.

    “We’ve encouraged him to test the market and see if there’s something he would prefer other than this,” general manager Brian Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com, without confirming the figure. “If he can, fine. That’s the way it works.”

    Jeter is coming off a $189 million, 10-year contract that was second only to Alex Rodriguez’s deals of $252 million and $275 million, both over a decade.

    “Negotiating is always a process,” Steinbrenner said. “I know he wants to stay. It’s going to come down to what’s fair for everybody considering all circumstances.”

    This is starting to remind me of how the Red Sox treated Wade Boggs at the end of the 1992 season. Granted, Boggs was two years younger, then, than Jeter is now. But, he was coming off a bad season, etc. And, at this point, I would love to see Jeter sign with another team and win a World Championship with them and stick it to the Yankees.

    Really, I have no issue with New York only offering three years. I understand the logic behind that. And, I understand them wanting to get this done at $15 million a season. But, I hate the hard line that Cashman and his boys are taking with this Yankees legend. Enough with the claims that you don’t want to do this through the press – and then issuing all these statements through the media anyway. And, enough with the take it or leave it threats. Make an offer, as they have, and allow the player to come back with a counter. And, work with them on getting this done in a manner that fosters good feelings on both sides.

    You know, Pettitte may not come back. And, we know this is Posada’s last year. Now, Rivera’s contract is not a lock anymore. Add Jeter to that. There’s a great chance that the “Core Four” are done in New York. Again, I get that. Players get older, etc.

    I just not sure how likeable this Yankees team is going to be when its face is going to be an aging A-Rod, Tex, Swisher, Granderson, Burnett, etc. Sure, there’s CC, Cano and Gardner. And, some people really like Phil Hughes. And, maybe Montero clicks. But, these guys are not Jeter/Rivera/Pettitte/Posada.

    There’s really not much that can be done with Pettitte and Posada. But, you can bring back Rivera and Jeter for a few years. Yes, they’re older and not as productive as they were in the past. But, they’re future Yankees Hall of Famers and deserve more respect than the Yankees are showing them now.

    Again, I’m not for giving them more years than makes sense. And, I’m not for grossly over-paying them as Hank did A-Rod in the past. I just want the Yankees to handle this process in a manner that shows the players some more respect and works out to everyone’s benefit. Is that too much to ask for here?

    Willow The Oriole

    Posted by on November 24th, 2010 · Comments (2)

    Yup, Willie Randolph is the new Baltimore bench coach.  I wonder if he’s going to be placing any calls to that shortstop on the Free Agent market that no one in New York seems to want any more?

    Hamilton Wins A.L. MVP, Cano Places Third

    Posted by on November 23rd, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Via the BBWAA -

    Josh Hamilton, who was a central figure in the Texas Rangers reaching the World Series for the first time in the franchise’s 50th season, was voted the American League Most Valuable Player in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

    Hamilton, 29, won the batting title with a .359 average and also finished first in the league in slugging percentage (.633), on-base percentage plus slugging (1.044) and batting with runners in scoring position (.369). Despite missing 29 games in September due to a bruised ribcage, Hamilton had 32 home runs and 100 runs batted in and also put together the longest hitting streak in the majors of 23 games from June 6-30.

    He was listed first on 22 of the 28 ballots cast by two writers in each league city, second on four and fourth on two for a total of 358 points, based on a tabulation system rewarding 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third on down to one for 10th. Hamilton being named MVP of the AL Championship Series had no bearing on this election because balloting is conducted prior to the start of post-season play.

    Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera received five first-place votes and was runner-up in the balloting with 262 points. Cabrera led the league in RBI (126) and on base percentage (.420), was second in batting (.328), slugging (.622), total bases (341) and runs (111) and third in home runs (38). Cabrera, who ranked fourth in the 2009 election, has placed in the top five in MVP balloting in four of the past six years.

    The other first-place vote went to Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista, who finished fourth with 165 points, behind New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, who placed second on the most ballots (12) and totaled 229 points.

    No votes for Nick Swisher? Not a one…? Yet, Ichiro got three votes. Go figure.

    Mo Rivera Wants Two-Year Deal, Yanks Offering One

    Posted by on November 23rd, 2010 · Comments (13)

    Via Jeff Passan:

    The quickly devolving Derek Jeter negotiations might not be the New York Yankees’ only problem. They’re playing hardball with Mariano Rivera too.

    While the free-agent closer is seeking a two-year deal, the Yankees are currently inclined to offer him only one year, according to a source familiar with the team’s thinking. And by doing so, they risk doing to Rivera what they’ve already done with Jeter: muck up talks that could’ve – and should’ve – gone smoothly.

    In taking a hard line with their two biggest stars since Mickey Mantle, the Yankees are banking on the greatest leverage they’ve got: the notion that Jeter and Rivera wouldn’t fathom wearing another uniform. It is a canny strategy. For Jeter or Rivera to walk away wouldn’t merely take a contract offer of less than they believe they’re worth. It would necessitate a profound insult, and the Yankees expect the players to interpret the team’s tack as business, not personal.

    With Rivera, it could easily remain so. The chasm between one year and two years isn’t insurmountable, and the Yankees are already prepared to give him a raise from the $15 million he made in 2010. Whether Rivera meets the Yankees in the middle at one year with a club option or holds firm at two years and expects the team to honor his contributions and continued dominance will determine whether the negotiations turn as contentious as Jeter’s.

    And do not undersell the three-year, $45 million offer the Yankees sent their shortstop’s way as a mere negotiating parry. It was, to the Jeter camp, a declaration – not of war, not yet, but not of an easily obtained, peaceful treatise, either. Between asking Jeter to take a nearly one-third pay cut from last season and spinning in the media that any delay is Jeter’s fault, the Yankees are playing a dangerous game – one fueled by an arrogant belief that Jeter wouldn’t at least entertain the possibility of going elsewhere.

    This is a referendum on what two men mean to a franchise – whether the Yankees are the Yankees because of their history or because of who constitutes them at any particular moment. The mystique died in the ’80s when the team was bereft of stars beyond Don Mattingly as well as befallen by a miserable record, so an answer isn’t obvious. If the Yankees don’t bend with Jeter and Rivera, their thinking is obvious: The uniform is more important than those wearing it.

    Jeter and Rivera each realize the Yankees don’t want to make another mistake with an aging player, not with Alex Rodriguez and his bum hip contracted for another seven years and, if he breaks Barry Bonds’ home run record, $204 million. The players also don’t want to be penalized for mistakes Yankees leadership made, and if anyone deserves special treatment, it is them.

    So their agents counteroffer, and they wait and wonder whether the Yankees will budge. Jeter’s desires are unknown, but they’re surely more than three years and more than $15 million a pop. Rivera wants a second year, and because the news so revolves around Jeter, the Yankees haven’t bothered making an issue of it publicly. Which is, by no means, to say they’re above that.

    Jeter aside, betcha there’s a market outside of Yankeeland for Rivera – even at his age. And, I would not put it past him to go somewhere else if Brian Cashman plays chicken for too long on this one.

    Cashman: Yanks Offer To Jeter Is “Appropriate & Fair”

    Posted by on November 23rd, 2010 · Comments (14)

    Via George King

    According to the Yankees, there hasn’t been anything confusing about contract negotiations with Derek Jeter.

    Agent Casey Close described the Yankees’ negotiating strategy on Sunday as “baffling” and accused the Yankees of using the press and not acknowledging Jeter’s contributions to the club.

    Yesterday, general manager Brian Cashman strongly denied the organization has acted that way with its shortstop, captain and all-time hits leader.

    “There is nothing baffling about our position,” Cashman said. “We have been very honest and direct with them, not through the press. We feel our offer is appropriate and fair. We appreciate the contributions Derek has made to our organization and we have made it clear to them. Our primary focus is his on-the-field performance the last couple of years in conjunction with his age, and we have some concerns in that area that need to be addressed in a multiyear deal going forward.

    “I restate Derek Jeter is the best shortstop for this franchise as we move forward. The difficulty is finding out what is fair between both sides.”

    Cashman said the Yankees won’t offer Jeter arbitration by tonight’s deadline.

    When Jeter became a free agent five days after the World Series, the two most delicious points were: Jeter’s value to the Yankees was greater than any other team, and the Yankees had no legitimate replacement and would be smothered under an avalanche of angry backlash if Jeter left.

    Nothing has changed. Early in the process, owner Hal Steinbrenner admitted there was a chance negotiations could get “messy,” and the words the past few days have proven that.

    Working in the Yankees’ favor is Jeter’s value on the open market is in the $7 million-to-$10 million range, that his career-low .270 batting average last year raises questions, and doubts over how much longer can he play shortstop.

    In Jeter’s favor is his .334 batting average in 2009, and his stature as a career .314 hitter.

    Also in the Yankees’ favor is the average annual value of other middle infielders. At $15 million per, Jeter would be on top.

    Man, this is getting acrimonious. Do the Yankees realize that, even if they get Jeter to take three years at $45 million, he’s not going to get over this bad blood any time soon? The dude is extremely full of pride. Maybe it’s time for Jeter and his agent to start working the Orioles and/or Rays on a one-year pillow contract and then the Yankees can watch Jeter get his 3,000th career hit in some other uniform?

    Putting A Number On Cano’s 2010 & MVP Chances

    Posted by on November 22nd, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Wally Matthews thinks Robbie Cano should be the A.L. MVP Award winner this season:

    Tuesday is the day for the Yankees to find out if they are going to be shut out of the post-season awards and for Robbie Cano to learn if he will join the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Thurman Munson, Don Mattingly, Phil Rizzuto, Elston Howard and of course, Alex Rodriguez on the list of Yankees to win the AL Most Valuable Player Award.

    Over the years, this award seems to have morphed into a Best Offensive Player Award, which means Cano probably doesn;t have a shot up against the likes of Josh Hamilton and Miguel Cabrera, both of whom blew him away offensively. Cano’s .319-29-109, plus .381 OBP and .914 OPS is a terrific season by anyone’s standards and on a team boasting the likes of A-Rod, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter, Cano was clearly the best hitter on the team. But Hamilton led the league in hitting (.359) plus hit 32 HRs, and Cabrera had 38 HRs, led the league in RBI (126) and OBP (.420). So if it’s strictly a numbers game, Cano comes up no better than third.

    But to me, that word “Valuable” is the operative word in this award, and too often overlooked or ignored. Cabrera’s Detroit Tigers did not make the playoffs, something they could have accomplished just as easily without him. And Hamilton missed 25 games in September, a stretch over which his team played some of its best ball of the season –the Rangers went 15-10in those 25 games — and increased their lead in the divison by a half-game, all without Hamilton. His is a feel-good story but for sheer value, that final month seems to tell a significant tale.

    Cano, on the other hand, seemed to be the one everyday player the Yankees simply could not do without.

    Now, Robbie Cano did have a fine season in 2010. But, in terms of Yankees seasons since 1973, which player/seasons were the most like his production this past year? Check out this via the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia -

    Player                        YEAR    RCAA      OWP     RC/G      BPA 
    1    Gary Sheffield           2004       40     .676     7.41     .573
    2    Paul O'Neill             1997       39     .682     7.45     .543
    T3   Gary Sheffield           2005       37     .666     7.31     .566
    T3   Robinson Cano            2010       37     .661     7.29     .547
    T3   Bernie Williams          2001       37     .670     7.50     .564
    6    Alex Rodriguez           2006       36     .663     7.18     .573
    

    To get this group, I used the following sorting criteria:

    NEW YORK YANKEES, 1973-2010, OWP BETWEEN .66 AND .69, RUNS CREATED/GAME <= 8, BPA BETWEEN .54 AND .58, and RCAA BETWEEN 40 AND 35

    For me, it’s interesting to see Sheffield at the top of this list because I really felt he deserved the A.L. MVP in 2004. But, did he win it? Nope. “Sheff” finished second in the voting in 2004. And, I suspect the Cano will not finish first in the voting this season as well. The award will go to either Evan Longoria or Josh Hamilton. Why? Just a feeling…their teams finished first and those guys are the ones who many think made their teams go, etc. And, Cano will place among Joe Mauer, Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera in the voting. By the way, there’s nothing shabby ’bout that, if that’s the way it goes down.

    2011 Yankees Season Tickets

    Posted by on November 22nd, 2010 · Comments (0)

    I’ve mentioned in the past that I’ve been a Yankees season ticket holder since 2001. The seats that I have offer a great view – they’re in Section 213 of the Main Level, right by 1B.

    I get the full 81-game season package – and then I split the games with eight other parties. (For examples of how we split the games, click here.)

    It’s not a cheap thing to do – as I estimate that one “share” in the group this year will run about $1,443 – but, if you like to go to games, have great seats (as you stay dry and cool under cover in the Main Level – to go along with the great view), and have a chance for great seats to a post-season game (as we get the same exact seats in the post-season), it’s not a bad deal.

    We may have an opening in our group (for a share) in 2011. I will know soon – for sure. If anyone is interested in joining the group – knowing the price now (and that the money will be due very, very, soon) – drop me a note and we can talk about it off-line.

    Thanks.

    Globe Report: Yanks To Offer Lee 5 Years & $120 Million

    Posted by on November 22nd, 2010 · Comments (3)

    Via FOXSportsSouthwest.com:

    The Texas Rangers are determined to keep ace Cliff Lee, but reports indicate that their ceiling just might be the starting point for the New York Yankees.

    The Boston Globe reports the Yankees are offering Lee a five year deal in the $115 million-$120 range.

    Do the math…that’s $23 million to $24 million per season.

    The Rangers want to match the Yankees offer, can could match the one that is being put on the table right now, but they will have to decide just how far they want to go in a bidding war with a team that isn’t afraid to drive the price through the roof.

    Texas will have to decide if they can afford to pay a pitch $20 million plus to a pitcher who will be 37 at the end of the contract.

    The Yankees are no stranger to paying pitchers this kind of money. CC Sabathia currently makes $23 million a season after signing the largest contract ever by a pitcher in 2009 – seven –years for $161 million.

    I’m not overly concerned about the five years – assuming you do a very good job at checking out his medical history. But, the money is much more than I would spend…about $15 to $20 million more than I think they need to go here…

    Push

    Posted by on November 22nd, 2010 · Comments (0)

    I caught the first hour of this on Showtime the other night. Still need to see the second half. Yeah, it’s a rip on X-Men mutants. But, on what I saw, it seemed pretty well done and interesting. Anyone else see this one and have an opinion on it?

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