• Yankees Sign RHP Rafael Soriano To Provisional 3Y/$35M Contract

    Posted by on January 13th, 2011 · Comments (55)

    Well, so much for Brian Cashman saying that he wouldn’t give up the team’s first round draft pick, huh?  In a somewhat stunning — and in my opinion utterly idiotic  – decision, the Yankees have signed Rafael Soriano to a three year, $35 million dollar deal to set up Mariano Rivera.  The deal, apparently, has a provisional clause that gives Soriano the right to opt out in each of the first two years.  Presumably a good season by Soriano and he’ll seek to resume his closing duties on another team next year.  Perhaps this is the only saving grace here; the Yankees may well be rid of this absurdly wasteful contract in just one calendar year…

    Perhaps this move means that the Yankees have reconsidered Joba Chamberlain’s future with the club.  Either he’s about to be traded or he’s about to be re-inserted into the rotation.  Only the former would satisfy me.  The latter…ugh, I’d rather not even think about it.

    For those that deem me a blatant Cashman apologist, take heed and remember this post.  I hate this move and I simply don’t see the logic behind it.  This is the Nick Johnson decision multiplied seven-fold.  I just hope it doesn’t suck seven times as much too.

    Update 9:57 p.m.: According to this Tweet from Tyler Kepner, the value of the contract depends on if Soriano exercises his options.  If he should opt out after the first year, he earns $11.5M.  If he should opt out after the second year, he earns $21.5M.  Obviously he earns the full $35M if he stays the full three years.

    As I said above, the hope here is that Soriano is lights out in 2011 and can find a closer’s job on another team, saving the Yankees the unearned $23.5M portion of the contract.  Theoretically, the Yankees could offer Soriano arbitration and recoup the lost draft picks although precedent shows that Cashman likely won’t go that route.

    Comments on Yankees Sign RHP Rafael Soriano To Provisional 3Y/$35M Contract

    1. jrk
      January 13th, 2011 | 9:58 pm

      MJ, what’s your reasoning on this? Do you think it’s a bad move because they lose their draft pick? Or because you don’t think Soriano is worth the money? A combo? Something else?

    2. Raf
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:01 pm

      *facepalm* at the move…

      jrk wrote:

      MJ, what’s your reasoning on this? Do you think it’s a bad move because they lose their draft pick? Or because you don’t think Soriano is worth the money? A combo? Something else?

      Mis-allocation of resources, and an overpay, and they lose a draft pick in one of the (allegedly) deeper drafts in recent years.

      I do wonder if this means Chamberlain will be moved to the rotation.

    3. MJ Recanati
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:08 pm

      jrk wrote:

      MJ, what’s your reasoning on this? Do you think it’s a bad move because they lose their draft pick? Or because you don’t think Soriano is worth the money? A combo? Something else?

      All of the above. It’s absurd to pay a reliever $35M over three years or, at minimum, $11.5M for one year as a set-up man. It’s absurd to allocate money to relief pitching when the Yankees have minimal need at best in the bullpen. It’s absurd to not only give up the 31st pick in the 1st round of one of the deepest drafts in years but to give up the pick to a team within the division that now has three picks in the first 33 and seven picks in the first 57.

      It’s completely disingenuous for Brian Cashman to ever talk about the value he places in the draft if he gives up draft picks for relievers. We’re not talking about the bumper crop of free agents the team signed in the 2008-2009 offseason. We’re talking about a reliever. You give up your first rounder for CC Sabathia or Mark Teixeira or Cliff Lee. You don’t give it up for a reliever. Ever.

    4. lordbyron
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:08 pm

      So much for ‘patience’ – CASH is back!

    5. Evan3457
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:10 pm

      The only part of the deal that makes sense is that the contract is backloaded to the 3rd season, with that year being worth $13.5 million, because if he stays for that year, he’ll likely be the closer.

    6. MJ Recanati
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:15 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      has three picks in the first 33 and seven picks in the first 57.

      Just to put that into context, the Rays had a top 5 farm system before they traded Matt Garza for four prospects. Now they have eight first round picks in this year’s draft and will likely have reduced their payroll by 40-45% from last year’s $72.8M. They’re currently on the hook for $18.4M (before arbitration hearings) and have 12 players on the roster. If we assume the other 13 players will cost a total of $20M that means the $30M in savings from last year’s payroll will go straight to signing bonuses for their eight first rounders.

      That’s an astounding amount of money (and an astounding number of draft picks) for a team to devote to the first round of the draft.

      The Yanks got worse today, if only because they let the Rays just get a lot better.

    7. MJ Recanati
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:17 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The only part of the deal that makes sense is that the contract is backloaded to the 3rd season, with that year being worth $13.5 million, because if he stays for that year, he’ll likely be the closer.

      By 2013 I can’t imagine it’ll matter if he’s closing or not. He’ll be entering his age-34 season and I wouldn’t predict he’ll be effective at that point.

      The only hope is that he’s dominant in 2011 and takes a job elsewhere. I pray that’s the case.

    8. ken
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:18 pm

      I’m generally a Cashman defender but I agree this one is stupid for so many reasons.

    9. MJ Recanati
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:23 pm

      ken wrote:

      I’m generally a Cashman defender but I agree this one is stupid for so many reasons.

      I’m a Cashman defender too, for the most part. This one is indefensible.

    10. Evan3457
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:26 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      The only part of the deal that makes sense is that the contract is backloaded to the 3rd season, with that year being worth $13.5 million, because if he stays for that year, he’ll likely be the closer.
      By 2013 I can’t imagine it’ll matter if he’s closing or not. He’ll be entering his age-34 season and I wouldn’t predict he’ll be effective at that point.
      The only hope is that he’s dominant in 2011 and takes a job elsewhere. I pray that’s the case.

      …and then it makes sense because more of the $ won’t have to be paid.

    11. Evan3457
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:29 pm

      Well, it does answer two questions:

      1) Will Mariano ever have to close three days in a row, again? A: No.
      2) Who do they use after Mariano in the 10th-11th inning of a tied game (assuming he hasn’t been used earlier)? A: Soriano

      ================================
      Eh, I’m just spitballing, trying to figure out a rationale for a move which seems very wasteful, on the surface.

    12. Zach
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:33 pm

      Paying a closer not named Mariano Rivera $35 million dollars is ridiculous. Paying a setup man $35 million dollars is insane.

      Marte: 3 yrs/ $12 million
      Rivera: 2yrs/$30 million
      Feliciano 2yrs/ $8 million
      Soriano 3yrs/ $35 million

      That’s a huge chunk of cash for a bullpen.

      That said, if Soriano excels as the setup man in New York, it’ll shorten our starters’ workload and maybe ease our blood pressure a bit during the season.

    13. ken
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:34 pm

      I like Buster Olney’s take on Twitter: “Give Scott Boras credit: He made chicken salad out of a chicken you-know market for Soriano. In this climate, that’s a heck of a deal.”

    14. ken
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:36 pm

      Zach wrote:

      That said, if Soriano excels as the setup man in New York, it’ll shorten our starters’ workload and maybe ease our blood pressure a bit during the season

      I think that is the only way to defend the signing: the starters stink (as a whole) with no easy way to fix it so shore up the ‘pen.

    15. jrk
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:37 pm

      After reading all of these responses, I totally understand why it could be viewed as a bad move. But just to play devil’s advocate – aren’t draft picks a crap shoot anyway? For every first rounder who pans out, there are how many who don’t? And over the last couple years, Soriano has been one of the best current relievers in the game.

    16. Raf
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:40 pm

      ken wrote:

      I like Buster Olney’s take on Twitter: “Give Scott Boras credit: He made chicken salad out of a chicken you-know market for Soriano. In this climate, that’s a heck of a deal.”

      Word.

    17. MJ Recanati
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:48 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      …and then it makes sense because more of the $ won’t have to be paid.

      Still doesn’t make sense. $11.5M plus the lost draft pick just for 2011 is asinine. In WAR dollars, we’re talking about a reliever being worth between 2.5-3 WAR. Do you realistically think he’s going to repeat his 2010 season (2.6 bWAR)? I sure don’t, not with a 2010 LOB%, xFIP and BABIP that seem pretty out of whack with career norms and league averages.

    18. Evan3457
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:49 pm

      Side-issue: Soriano is an extreme flyball pitcher, and his K rate is only good, not great (dropped from 12 per 9 in the NL to 8.2 in the AL last year).

      He’s now a RH flyball pitcher pitching in the new Yankee Stadium.
      I know he plays half his games on the road, but still…

      …it would not surprise me to see his ERA jump to 3.00-3.50 next season.
      Hmmm…last year’s FIP: 2.89, xFIP….(gulp!) 3.81

    19. Evan3457
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:50 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      …and then it makes sense because more of the $ won’t have to be paid.
      Still doesn’t make sense. $11.5M plus the lost draft pick just for 2011 is asinine. In WAR dollars, we’re talking about a reliever being worth between 2.5-3 WAR. Do you realistically think he’s going to repeat his 2010 season (2.6 bWAR)? I sure don’t, not with a 2010 LOB%, xFIP and BABIP that seem pretty out of whack with career norms and league averages.

      No, I’m not saying the deal makes sense overall in any way. Just saying it makes slightly less bad sense to backload the 3rd year.

    20. MJ Recanati
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:50 pm

      ken wrote:

      I think that is the only way to defend the signing: the starters stink (as a whole) with no easy way to fix it so shore up the ‘pen.

      I’ve never understood this line of thinking. If our supposedly horrendous staff is getting blown out in 5 innings, the Yankees aren’t going to Soriano in the 6th inning to stop the bleeding. Traditional bullpen roles will not be usurped under any circumstances so I don’t see why people think this helps a bad pitching staff. This only helps a good pitching staff by keeping leads. Since Soriano won’t be protecting leads in the 6th, it’s a moot point.

    21. jrk
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:51 pm

      Just to clarify, I totally agree that the Yankees outbid themselves here and have committed too much money. But I’m just not completely sold on the true value of a draft pick. Granted it’s first round, but you just never know whether that will pan out. We don’t know whether Soriano will pan out, but we do have a proven Major League track record of success to go by.

    22. Evan3457
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:51 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      …and then it makes sense because more of the $ won’t have to be paid.
      Still doesn’t make sense. $11.5M plus the lost draft pick just for 2011 is asinine. In WAR dollars, we’re talking about a reliever being worth between 2.5-3 WAR. Do you realistically think he’s going to repeat his 2010 season (2.6 bWAR)? I sure don’t, not with a 2010 LOB%, xFIP and BABIP that seem pretty out of whack with career norms and league averages.

      Not to mention the low HR/flyball percentage of 5%. Extreme flyball pitcher is Mr. Soriano. Not good with short porch in right.

    23. MJ Recanati
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:53 pm

      jrk wrote:

      But just to play devil’s advocate – aren’t draft picks a crap shoot anyway? For every first rounder who pans out, there are how many who don’t?

      True. So if the Yankees had given up their first rounder for an investment under $4M then it might’ve been a fine move. But to give up the draft pick for a minimum of $11.5M and as much as $35M is absurd because draft picks are cheaper (the highest bonus ever paid was Strasburg’s $15M; the next closest was Bryce Harper’s $9.9M) and come with six years of control.

      You don’t give up a draft pick for a deal that can be voided after one year and $11.5M.

    24. MJ Recanati
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:56 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Not to mention the low HR/flyball percentage of 5%. Extreme flyball pitcher is Mr. Soriano. Not good with short porch in right.

      In this particular instance, Steve is 100% correct: Cashman is an idiot. This move is flat out indefensible and once again demonstrates that Cashman’s biggest blind spot is repeating mistakes.

      Farnsworth/Marte and now Soriano. Three horrendous bullpen decisions in the past few seasons. Unacceptable.

    25. jrk
      January 13th, 2011 | 10:57 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      But to give up the draft pick for a minimum of $11.5M and as much as $35M is absurd because draft picks are cheaper (the highest bonus ever paid was Strasburg’s $15M; the next closest was Bryce Harper’s $9.9M) and come with six years of control.

      True. But draft picks haven’t proven anything at the Major League level, let along any professional level. So the price comparison doesn’t seem like apples to apples to me.

    26. MJ Recanati
      January 13th, 2011 | 11:02 pm

      jrk wrote:

      True. But draft picks haven’t proven anything at the Major League level, let along any professional level. So the price comparison doesn’t seem like apples to apples to me.

      By that logic, a bad major leaguer is worth more than a good minor leaguer by virtue of the fact that a bad major leaguer has at least proven that he can be in the majors. Why would that make sense?

      You’re underestimating the value of minor leaguers as trade chips, if not as valuable members of a major league roster. Think about it this way: the 31st pick may end up doing nothing in the big leagues but, by virtue of the fact that he’s cheap and controlled for six years, he’s attractive to other teams in trades.

    27. jrk
      January 13th, 2011 | 11:07 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      By that logic, a bad major leaguer is worth more than a good minor leaguer by virtue of the fact that a bad major leaguer has at least proven that he can be in the majors.

      When I said a proven Major Leaguer, I meant proven as in good in the Majors, not as in “is in the Majors”. This doesn’t include bad ones. So therefore my logic doesn’t apply to your hypothetical of a bad Major Leaguer. So I value a GOOD Major Leaguer more than a prospect.

    28. Scout
      January 13th, 2011 | 11:09 pm

      For reasons others have already expressed, a move of breathtaking stupidity and shortsightedness, worthy of the late Boss at his impetuous worst.

    29. MJ Recanati
      January 13th, 2011 | 11:12 pm

      @ jrk:
      We have enough evidence to know that relievers are the most volatile of the lot of “good” major leaguers. Even the consistently good ones shouldn’t be earning an average of $11.5M because most relievers don’t provide the requisite 2.5-3 WAR it takes to justify the contract.

      Speculative as first round picks might be, they nevertheless provide far greater financial value to a team than an overpaid reliever pitching between 60-70 innings per year.

      Bottom line: the Yankees didn’t have a need in the bullpen unless there are plans for Joba Chamberlain that require his replacement in the bullpen. And even if the Yankees suddenly have a need to replace Joba Chamberlain in the bullpen, they didn’t need to fill it with a $35M contract.

      Forget the first round pick if you want and focus on the fact that the Yankees just grossly overpaid a reliever.

    30. MJ Recanati
      January 13th, 2011 | 11:15 pm

      Scout wrote:

      For reasons others have already expressed, a move of breathtaking stupidity and shortsightedness, worthy of the late Boss at his impetuous worst.

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. Cashman totally failed today after demonstrating admirable levels of patience over the past several weeks. I can’t tell if this is a panic move or a prelude to dumping Joba Chamberlain’s arbitration raise on some other team. Either way, it’s absurd and Cashman just gave people a good argument that he isn’t a good GM.

    31. jrk
      January 13th, 2011 | 11:17 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Forget the first round pick if you want and focus on the fact that the Yankees just grossly overpaid a reliever.

      Agreed, I stated earlier that they outbid themselves. The weirdest part is that I never really believed Cashman when he said he wouldn’t give up the 1st round pick for Soriano, but I thought it was a ploy in order to get the price to come down. But in the end, he ended up overpaying anyway.

    32. Raf
      January 13th, 2011 | 11:27 pm

      jrk wrote:

      I thought it was a ploy in order to get the price to come down.

      There was no need for a ploy, if there weren’t any other suitors.

    33. KPOcala
      January 14th, 2011 | 12:05 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      “It’s completely disingenuous for Brian Cashman to ever talk about the value he places in the draft if he gives up draft picks for relievers”.
      MJ, that’s right up there with “I’m shocked, shocked, to find gambling in Casablanca”!!! I respect your opinion, but,let’s not get too choked up about losing a draft pick. People tend to remember the feel-good stories of players being drafted and then turning into stars for their respective teams. Soriano has had success, high success over the last couple of years. The draft pick? Who knows for sure. And don’t get too down about the idea of Joba going into the rotation. “IF” he doesn’t have any health issues he could still turn into a top pitcher. The money issues, well, “they” must know how it plays on their books….

    34. #15
      January 14th, 2011 | 6:53 am

      Hmmmm…. Our team just added one of the best relief pitchers in the league from 2010 and people are pissed. We may now have the best 8-9th combo in the majors and people are pissed. The vaunted “bridge to Mo” is arguably the best it’s been in years, if not the best ever and people are pissed. With no better options, the Yankees can still add a reclaimation-type starter off the injury pile, Andy (should he choose to play), or a decent 3-4 starter at salary dump time and people are pissed. We still have whatever financial resource we need to aggressively pursue the next best pitcher to become available in the FA market and, still, people are pissed.

      I’ll agree that it seems like too much money by what others might have paid right now. I would have thought 3/27 or 3/30 should have gotten him at this stage of the offseason. But we have, manifestly, improved the bullpen. We’ll likely lose very few games where we have the lead after 6-7 innings.

    35. MJ Recanati
      January 14th, 2011 | 6:53 am

      Raf wrote:

      There was no need for a ploy, if there weren’t any other suitors.

      Bingo. Classic overbid.

    36. MJ Recanati
      January 14th, 2011 | 6:59 am

      KPOcala wrote:

      et’s not get too choked up about losing a draft pick. People tend to remember the feel-good stories of players being drafted and then turning into stars for their respective teams. Soriano has had success, high success over the last couple of years. The draft pick? Who knows for sure.

      I’ve responded to this too many times in our other thread for me to discuss it again. Suffice it to say that you’re missing the point of why it’s bad to give up draft picks for relievers.

      KPOcala wrote:

      And don’t get too down about the idea of Joba going into the rotation. “IF” he doesn’t have any health issues he could still turn into a top pitcher.

      On this point I vehemently disagree. At his absolute best, he’s a two-pitch pitcher. There have been some really good pitchers that only had two pitches (Randy Johnson, for instance) but the difference here is one of command and control. Chamberlain just doesn’t command the strikezone well enough with either of his two pitches to be an effective starter and we’ve already seen how work in the rotation diminishes his velocity. There was a time where Chamberlain showed promise in the rotation but I think those days ended in 2008 after he hurt his shoulder. Chamberlain hasn’t been the same pitcher since.

      KPOcala wrote:

      The money issues, well, “they” must know how it plays on their books….

      The question isn’t whether the Yankees can afford this contract — there is no doubt that they can — the issue is if it’s a good allocation of resources. In that regard I think we have enough evidence to say that long term contracts don’t work out for relief pitchers. The Yankees didn’t break their bank account with this signing, they merely took surplus dollars and flushed them down the toilet, the way only the truly wealthy can afford to do. It’s a stupid way to treat money, even if there is a near-infinite supply of it.

    37. MJ Recanati
      January 14th, 2011 | 7:20 am

      #15 wrote:

      Our team just added one of the best relief pitchers in the league from 2010 and people are pissed. We may now have the best 8-9th combo in the majors and people are pissed. The vaunted “bridge to Mo” is arguably the best it’s been in years, if not the best ever and people are pissed.

      People are pissed because the Yankees have a need in the starting rotation and on the bench, not in the bullpen. People are pissed because the Yankees just grossly overspent by giving a lucrative multi-year contract to a relief pitcher when the history of such contracts is terrible.

      The “bridge to Mo” stuff is overrated in my opinion. The Yankees were 80-7 when leading in the 8th inning. Clearly the Yankees didn’t have a big late-inning problem last year and therefore shouldn’t have felt an urgency to add Soriano.

      #15 wrote:

      would have thought 3/27 or 3/30 should have gotten him at this stage of the offseason.

      Even that would’ve been a gross overpay.

    38. ken
      January 14th, 2011 | 9:05 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Ditto to everything you wrote in reply to #15.

      And I’m not convinced that Soriano is anywhere near the pitcher people seem to think he is.

    39. ken
      January 14th, 2011 | 9:09 am

      Nice analysis on Lohud:

      http://bit.ly/f0nMpj

    40. G.I. Joey
      January 14th, 2011 | 11:17 am

      I’m pretty confident that Boras would have Soriano opt out if he is lights out in 2011. Although there is an eject button on this wasteful contract, the Yanks are not the ones who get to push it. Stupid move by Cash.

    41. MJ Recanati
      January 14th, 2011 | 11:23 am

      G.I. Joey wrote:

      I’m pretty confident that Boras would have Soriano opt out if he is lights out in 2011.

      I’m confident of that too. But given certain peripheral metrics which indicate that Soriano may not be as good as advertised, coupled with his injury history, I’d say there’s at least a decent chance that the Yanks are stuck with Soriano for two years, if not all three. He wouldn’t opt out after a mediocre year since it took him until mid-January to find a contract coming after an amazing year.

      Awful.

    42. KPOcala
      January 14th, 2011 | 12:56 pm

      @ MJ Recanati: “I’ve responded to this too many times in our other thread for me to discuss it again. Suffice it to say that you’re missing the point of why it’s bad to give up draft picks for relievers”.

      “On this point I vehemently disagree. At his absolute best, he’s a two-pitch pitcher. There have been some really good pitchers that only had two pitches (Randy Johnson, for instance) but the difference here is one of command and control”.

      “they merely took surplus dollars and flushed them down the toilet, the way only the truly wealthy can afford to do. It’s a stupid way to treat money, even if there is a near-infinite supply of it”.

      Please allow me to retort: 1. Don’t underestimate the psychological impact that shut-down relievers have on both sides of the field. I don’t believe that metrics really take this into account. But I’ve sure as heck watched baseball for enough decades to know that it exists.

      2:I clearly remember when Randy Johnson, even when he was older than Joba was far from a sure thing. And weren’t the pundits talking about how that Joba was a true 4 pitch pitcher when he was only 22? I suspect that Yankee management has been alarmed w/ Joba’s work/party ethic and are prepared to allow him to either “reach for the ring” and make a lot of money, or squander his talent and sit in the’pen. That remains to be seen, of course.

      3. On this point I agree with you, but the Yankees must make “splashes” to sell tickets in NY. That was always, since the beginning, The Bosses’ modus operandi, and it made him a billionaire. Must be nice, no?

    43. January 14th, 2011 | 12:58 pm

      From Buster Olney: http://mobile.twitter.com/buster_espn/status/25969283402043392

      “Confirmed: There was a split of opinion in NYY front office on signing of Soriano. More ownership-driven deal than from baseball operations.”

      This has me to believe that this was either a Tampa or Hank-driven deal.

      Thoughts?

    44. January 14th, 2011 | 1:35 pm

      In addition, from Bob Klapisch: “Cashman was feeling pressure from ownership to make a move; he agreed to take on Soriano against his wishes. This was one of the few times since 2006, when George Steinbrenner withdrew from the day-to-day operations, that Cashman had been overruled.”

      With these two reports, it seems that the deal was pushed from ownership on top, overruling Cashman and pressuring him to make a move, this move specifically. Hmm.

    45. LMJ229
      January 14th, 2011 | 1:38 pm

      MLB radio just reported that this was an “ownership driven” deal as opposed to an “organizational” one.

    46. Raf
      January 14th, 2011 | 2:00 pm

      KPOcala wrote:

      Please allow me to retort: 1. Don’t underestimate the psychological impact that shut-down relievers have on both sides of the field. I don’t believe that metrics really take this into account. But I’ve sure as heck watched baseball for enough decades to know that it exists.

      Wouldn’t it make sense then, to say Soriano won’t be as effective because he isn’t closing?

    47. Raf
      January 14th, 2011 | 2:02 pm

      Brent wrote:

      With these two reports, it seems that the deal was pushed from ownership on top, overruling Cashman and pressuring him to make a move, this move specifically. Hmm.

      If that’s the case, I’m not particularly impressed with Cashman’s work under “pressure”

    48. LMJ229
      January 14th, 2011 | 2:58 pm

      I have absolutely no problem losing our draft pick since most of our first round picks do not pan out at all. The contract, however, is another thing. But this is Cashman’s MO so we really shouldn’t be surprised at all. He overpaid or otherwise outbid himself for a number of players – see A-Rod, Sabathia, Jeter, etc. – the list goes on and on. The same would have applied to Cliff Lee at 7 years, $161M.

      The fact is, this is the way the Yankees operate. They must have a back room where they print money because they have a complete lack of regard for finances. This angers some people who believe that the fans are the ones who ultimately bear the expense of player salaries. Other people would argue otherwise, maintaining that the market drives the prices, regardless of player salaries. Finally, there are those of us who are angry over the mere wastefulness of it all.

      If you really want to get sick, compare some of the contracts of the star players for the Yankees to the star players for the Rays and Red Sox. If the Yankee management ran any other business, they’d be out of business.

    49. Raf
      January 14th, 2011 | 4:18 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      If the Yankee management ran any other business, they’d be out of business.

      The Yankees aren’t in “any other business,” they’re in the business of baseball. What was once a moribund franchise under CBS is a billion dollar entity. In the places I’ve traveled, I’ve always seen Yankees merchandise. When I was in Peru, I’ve seen Yankees games broadcast over the local ESPN channel. Same when I was in Honduras.

      Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

    50. KPOcala
      January 14th, 2011 | 5:33 pm

      @ Raf:
      Raf, it is possible, this situation developed in ’78 when the Yankees brought in the Goose to “co-close” with Cy Young winner Sparky Lyle. That didn’t work out, but it’s possible that it was age catching up to Lyle and not the usage patterns that he talked about in his book. Now in this case Soriano gets to caddy for “The Great Mariano”, which shouldn’t turn into an ego issue. Soriano may blow his body out the first game, but it’s still a good gamble because if Mariano’s body blows out…..

    51. Evan3457
      January 14th, 2011 | 5:45 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Brent wrote:
      With these two reports, it seems that the deal was pushed from ownership on top, overruling Cashman and pressuring him to make a move, this move specifically. Hmm.
      If that’s the case, I’m not particularly impressed with Cashman’s work under “pressure”

      If that’s the case, you can’t blame Cashman.

      Unless you think he should’ve re-signed to protest being forced to make this move. He probably argued for alternatives that were cheaper, and was probably pushed by Hank and/or Randy Levine.

      ==========================================
      In one sense this makes me happier; at least Cashman had the good sense to oppose this within the organization.

      In the other sense, it makes me unhappy; The Powers That Be within the Yankees organization are not will to follow the plan of their GM, and don’t have the stones to be patient and take fire from the fans and media (possibly slow ticket sales as well). This bodes badly for the future, possibly Angelos-badly.

    52. Raf
      January 14th, 2011 | 6:25 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Unless you think he should’ve re-signed to protest being forced to make this move. He probably argued for alternatives that were cheaper, and was probably pushed by Hank and/or Randy Levine.

      I don’t think that he should’ve resigned, but it would’ve been nice to sign Soriano to a better contract than the one he signed. Cashman, the Yankees, or whoever’s behind this had all the leverage and they still blew it. Maybe Boras has mastered Jedi Mind Tricks?

    53. Evan3457
      January 15th, 2011 | 1:47 am

      Cashman lost leverage when whoever higher than him in the organization told him to make the move NOW.

      BOOM! No more leverage.

    54. LMJ229
      January 15th, 2011 | 10:54 am

      It seems to me as if Boras has a direct line to the Yankees ownership.

    55. PHMDen
      January 21st, 2014 | 2:50 pm

      KPOcala wrote:

      … let’s not get too choked up about losing a draft pick.

      It’s too bad Cashman lost a shot a Mikie Mahtook, but at least he came away with Dante Bichette, Jr., 20 picks later in the 1st round. And Rafael Soriano could’ve worked out worse.

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