• Yankees Fading On Baseball Landscape?

    Posted by on December 29th, 2012 · Comments (46)

    Interesting thoughts from John Lott -

    In the past 18 years, the Yankees reached the playoffs 17 times. They led the AL East 13 times. They won five World Series. And they spent more money than anyone else.

    It is entirely possible that they will do all of those things again in 2013. Wise judges never count the Yankees out. But they are a weakened franchise, perhaps more vulnerable now than in the past two decades, and the off-season has seen the rise of two free-spending aspirants, the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Angels.

    As big spenders go, the Blue Jays are traversing unfamiliar terrain while the Angels cover old ground. A new dimension for the Angels is their battle with the suddenly well-heeled Dodgers for the hearts and minds of southern California fans.
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    Meanwhile, the AL East appears ripe for a reshuffle. The Yankees are old and hurting. The fallen Red Sox are retooling but unmenacing at the moment. Cash-strapped Tampa Bay remains a threat but is treading water. Baltimore, a surprise playoff team in 2012, is already the oddsmakers’ last-place pick for 2013.

    And speaking of odds (for what they are worth), the Blue Jays at 15-2 are favoured to win their first World Series in two decades, thanks mainly to a pair of eye-popping trades that brought R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes to Toronto within a month.

    Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos has heard all the conjecture about the aging Yankees, the stonewashed Red Sox and the wide-open AL East. He does not buy a bit of it.

    “The fact that the Yankees and Red Sox have the resources that they have, whatever the perception of [the division] being open can be closed in a minute with a trade, with a free-agent signing,” Anthopoulos said recently. “Those resources can open up so many things.”

    It is all relative, of course, but the Yankees are facing new limits on their resources, which is one reason they sat by quietly while the Blue Jays, Angels and Dodgers played bulls in the market.

    These are not the Yankees of George Steinbrenner, who, as one New York writer observed, would have snapped his fingers and signed both Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton this winter. George’s son, Hal, is in charge now, and has decreed that over the next year or two, the club will drop its payroll below US$189-million, the current threshold for baseball’s luxury tax.

    The Yankees have paid more than US$200-million in luxury tax since 2003, when revised rules were set in place to penalize baseball’s most extravagant spenders. The Bronx Bombers have surpassed the threshold every year. And because they did not miss a single year, each year they have been forced to pay an extra penalty above the luxury tax itself under what might be called a “thumb-your-nose” rule.

    Hal Steinbrenner insists this must stop.

    “I’m looking at it as a goal,” he said back in March. “But my goals are normally are considered a requirement.”

    The luxury-tax payroll threshold is well out of reach for most clubs. And given the Yankees’ current financial commitments to aging players, they will continue to push the limit, likely exceeding it again in 2013.

    But in what seems like Bronx blasphemy, we are finally hearing that even the Yankees have their spending limits. On the field, age is adding another limitation.

    At 32.7 years, last season’s Yankee offence was the oldest in the team’s history. The trend continues.

    So far this off-season, they have made no significant deals, unless you count the free-agent signing of Kevin Youkilis, who is coming off a lacklustre season and will be 34 on Opening Day. They re-signed Mariano Rivera, 43, Ichiro Suzuki, 39, and Andy Pettitte, 38.

    Although Jeter is expected to be ready for Opening Day and enjoyed a stellar season in 2012, he will turn 39 in June. Alex Rodriguez will be almost 38 when he returns from hip surgery at mid-season. Combined, they will collect US$45-million next year, roughly the total payroll projected for the Miami Marlins, whose fire sale helped the Blue Jays vault into overnight contention.

    For the record, the last time the Yankees finished lower than 3rd in the A.L. East was 1992. For those scoring at home, that was 20 years ago. Could it happen in 2013? Maybe…

    Comments on Yankees Fading On Baseball Landscape?

    1. Ricketson
      December 29th, 2012 | 4:51 pm

      “For the record, the last time the Yankees finished lower than 3rd in the A.L. East was 1992… Could it happen in 2013? Maybe…”
      2014 maybe – not 2013. And not lower than 2nd. in the A.L. East in 2013. The 2013 postseason? 2nd. straight W.S. appearance for Det.

    2. #15
      December 29th, 2012 | 5:47 pm

      Firstt, let’s not skip over the 17 years of playoffs in 18 years. It’s been a heck of a run and is largely unheard of in modern sports. As I like to remind people, we could be Met or Dodger fans, let alone Cub fans.

      I think there was an almost inevitable cycle that had to follow a long stretch of 1) success, and 2) aging of star players that commanded long term deals. I still think the Yankees would be in okay shape with just one change… Remove A-Rod’s contract or replace him with someone producing like a $25-27 million a year player. For that kind of money they could have 3rd and catcher covered very nicely. We’ll know by July if we are ready for a two to three year down phase. The longer they can stretch out decent performance by the team, the closer we get to crawling out from under a few big deals that are in their boat anchor phase.

    3. Greg H.
      December 29th, 2012 | 7:36 pm

      “Wise judges never count the Yankees out. ”

      That should have been the end of the article.

      The rest is just garbage and speculation on what the media loves the most – Yankees failure (or in this case the possibility thereof).

    4. Greg H.
      December 29th, 2012 | 7:38 pm

      Does everyone really think that Toronto will win the AL East? I don’t. I think the Yanks will, with the Rays finishing second.

    5. December 29th, 2012 | 7:42 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      2014 maybe – not 2013. And not lower than 2nd. in the A.L. East in 2013. The 2013 postseason? 2nd. straight W.S. appearance for Det.

      Not sure I agree.

      Tampa has been good and is still good. The Blue Jays are very much improved. And, the Orioles made great strides last year and you have to respect Showalter. If Boston bounces back, that’s ~80 very tough games for the Yankees in 2013 within the division.

      And, the Yankees have not improved or maintained from last year. Jeter is coming off an injury. A-Rod is out. Tex is trending down. Granderson was terrible in the 2nd half. Swisher is gone. Ichiro needs to prove that his Seattle slide doesn’t come back. The Yankees do not have a starting catcher or DH. Sabathia is coming off surgery. Pettitte is old. Rivera is old and coming off a major injury.

      There’s a great chance that the Yankees could finish 3rd in 2013.

    6. December 29th, 2012 | 7:44 pm

      Greg H. wrote:

      Does everyone really think that Toronto will win the AL East? I don’t. I think the Yanks will, with the Rays finishing second.

      I’m not sold on Reyes. But, you really have to like the Jays starting rotation. And, they have a bunch of other players who can rake – ‘tho I do suspect some of them may be juiced or have in the past.

    7. December 29th, 2012 | 7:46 pm

      @ #15:
      The keys, to me, are Tex and CC. They need to perform big in 2013. If not, then the rest of their deals fall into the A-Rod bucket…meaning a huge drain on the payroll budget.

    8. Greg H.
      December 29th, 2012 | 8:01 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      I’m not sold on Reyes. But, you really have to like the Jays starting rotation. And, they have a bunch of other players who can rake

      Agree on Reyes. Injury risk, especially on turf. Johnson moving from NL to AL, also an injury risk. Buerhle a servicable 3 or 4 starter. Encarnacion and Bautista can definitely hit. Dickey? Very good pitcher, but also a regression risk, also moving from NL to AL. These moves put them in the mix, but I’m not buying yet. Also the big pressure is on for them to win now. This is easily understated – it will be interesting to see how it affects the Dodgers, Angels and Jays. I’ll bet it’s a negative for all three.

      Steve L. wrote:

      @ #15:
      The keys, to me, are Tex and CC. They need to perform big in 2013. If not, then the rest of their deals fall into the A-Rod bucket…meaning a huge drain on the payroll budget.

      I think CC will be just fine. Tex is another story, but at least you get good defense and a switch hitter. But his last few seasons have been disappointing at the dish. Youk will get a lot of ABs this year if healthy. He and Ichiro can make a big difference if they have good results at the plate.

    9. Ricketson
      December 29th, 2012 | 8:43 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      There’s a great chance that the Yankees could finish 3rd in 2013.

      I think we agree more than we disagree. For all of the reasons you cited, a third-place finish is certainly a possibility. I’m not concerned about Jeter; I think that he will put up some very good numbers. And I think that Youkilis will produce.
      Because the starting pitching can remain healthy and perhaps improve somewhat over last year, and one or two important acquisitions can be made or there remain some unanswered questions, I’m reluctant to place this team lower than 2nd; 3rd place is not something I have any difficulty imagining either, given the current makeup of the roster, and the fact that spring training is only six weeks away.
      I do not see this team advancing far into the postseason if it manages to secure a playoff spot, one way or another.

    10. Raf
      December 29th, 2012 | 10:31 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Not sure I agree.

      Tampa has been good and is still good. The Blue Jays are very much improved. And, the Orioles made great strides last year and you have to respect Showalter. If Boston bounces back, that’s ~80 very tough games for the Yankees in 2013 within the division.

      And, the Yankees have not improved or maintained from last year. Jeter is coming off an injury. A-Rod is out. Tex is trending down. Granderson was terrible in the 2nd half. Swisher is gone. Ichiro needs to prove that his Seattle slide doesn’t come back. The Yankees do not have a starting catcher or DH. Sabathia is coming off surgery. Pettitte is old. Rivera is old and coming off a major injury.

      There’s a great chance that the Yankees could finish 3rd in 2013.

      Tampa, maybe. Toronto, possibly; I’ve seen many teams make moves and been anointed as WS champs, most recently the 2011 Red Sox. I’ll believe it when I see it, especially since they’ve been on the verge of breaking through for years. Baltimore rode a ridiculous record in 1-run games to their 93 win season last year.

      Just like I’ll have to see Toronto’s success to believe it, I’ll believe the Yankees won’t contend when I see it.

    11. LMJ229
      December 30th, 2012 | 12:08 am

      One thing is for sure: if the goal is to improve, this off-season has been a complete failure. Management has done nothing to improve the team. In fact, with the loss of Swisher, Martin, and Soriano one can argue that we have taken a step backward.

      That is the most disconcerting thing to me. I have always felt that the Yankees would do whatever it takes to improve the team. Yet, the current management team seems unwilling to do so.

    12. December 30th, 2012 | 7:52 am

      @ LMJ229:

      The difference is George and Hal.

      In the end, George cared more about winning, and getting his fame, than making money. Hal, on the other hand, wants no part of fame and cares more about the bottom line than anything else.

      And, don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that the Yankees are trying to get their payroll closer to the other teams. It’s obscene, the levels that it’s hit in the last few years.

      But, that said, it’s still going to be a monster payroll, and lowering it is not an excuse, or should not be, for having a shitty team.

    13. LMJ229
      December 30th, 2012 | 11:15 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      And, don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that the Yankees are trying to get their payroll closer to the other teams. It’s obscene, the levels that it’s hit in the last few years.

      I agree. I don’t blame the Yankees at all for wanting to reduce their payroll to below the luxury tax threshold. However, with their existing contracts and the lack of MLB-ready talent in the minors, the Yankees may be forced to choose between exceeding the threshold and fielding a winning team. As you pointed out, George would have chosen the latter. I don’t see the current management team doing that.

    14. LMJ229
      December 30th, 2012 | 11:25 am

      Hal Steinbrenner in Spring Training 2011:
      “I’m a finance geek. I guess I always have been. That’s my background; budgets matter and balance sheets matter. I just feel that if you do well on the player development side and you have a good farm system, you don’t need a $220 million payroll. You can field every bit as good a team with young talent.”
      Well you can’t really argue with that statement. But what happens if you don’t do well on the player development side and you don’t have the young talent?

    15. Greg H.
      December 30th, 2012 | 2:04 pm

      I don’t believe in sanctifying the Boss just because he’s not around anymore. True, there was never a dull moment during his tenure, but his way wasn’t always the best. He did some things very well, better that anyone; and he was entirely incapable of certain things, like not meddling, not spending on ridiculous contracts, and lowering payroll.

      The Yankees are transitioning from spending freely to bringing the payroll below the luxury threshold, so I’m surprised that Steve and LMJ229 are so impatient with that process. If you:
      LMJ229 wrote:

      think it’s great that the Yankees are trying to get their payroll closer to the other teams.

      then you had better be prepared to take the hit and the risk that that might imply – we need to retool in order to accomplish the goal. Given the goal of reducing payroll in 2014, I do not view this offseason as a failure. In fact, I expect the team to compete quite adequately this year.

    16. Evan3457
      December 30th, 2012 | 2:20 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      @ LMJ229:
      The difference is George and Hal.
      In the end, George cared more about winning, and getting his fame, than making money. Hal, on the other hand, wants no part of fame and cares more about the bottom line than anything else.
      And, don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that the Yankees are trying to get their payroll closer to the other teams. It’s obscene, the levels that it’s hit in the last few years.
      But, that said, it’s still going to be a monster payroll, and lowering it is not an excuse, or should not be, for having a shitty team.

      Yes, lowering it is an excuse for a shitty team, if a lot of that high payroll is tied up in declining players, because you sign 29-30 years old players to 8 year contracts and 32 year old players to 10 year contracts. It’s the deal you make with the devil to keep A-Rod and sign Tex. There’s no escaping it.

      Unless you get unusually lucky.

    17. Ricketson
      December 30th, 2012 | 3:04 pm

      Greg H. wrote:

      The Yankees are transitioning from spending freely to bringing the payroll below the luxury threshold, so I’m surprised that Steve and LMJ229 are so impatient with that process.

      If the management of the team had been a little more prudent and its spending less free, the team might have been more successful in the last few years, its transition below the threshold might have been a less substantial process that required less patience, and the prospects for the 2013 and 2014 seasons might have been better…
      Greg H. wrote:

      We need to retool… I do not view this offseason as a failure. In fact, I expect the team to compete quite adequately this year.

      The need to retool comes from having had a payroll of more than $223 million in 2012. This offseason or “winter program” in isolation was not a failure: but it was the failures of the organization’s management in previous years and one injury that dictated this “program” – if simply resigning players that did not want to play anywhere else before retirement to 1-yr. contracts can be called a “program.”

    18. Greg H.
      December 30th, 2012 | 3:49 pm

      @ Ricketson:
      By “More successful in the last few years,” do you mean reaching the World Series, or winning the World Series?

      By “Failure of the organization’s management in previous years,” do you mean not reaching the World Series, or not winning the World Series?

    19. LMJ229
      December 30th, 2012 | 4:53 pm

      @ Greg H.:
      I also expect the Yankees to compete adequately this year. It’s 2014 and beyond that I have serious doubts about. I’m not sure my comments should be construed as “impatient”. If you read any of my prior posts you will see that Raf and MJ regularly argue against my pleas for internal options. In fact, I think management is impatient – they do not give our young players adequate time to establish themselves. (In some cases, like Austin Jackson, they don’t even give them a shot.) I’d love to see guys like Mark Montgomery, Melky Mesa, and David Phelps given a shot this year. With the Yankees resources, they should have a good mixture of high priced, free agent superstars and home-grown talent. But the Yankees made an organizational decision to forgo their young players in favor of signing aging veterans to one-year deals. They’ve been doing that for at least the last two years now.

      Now, in 2014, eveything comes to a head – they will be forced to go with young players who will be thrown into the fire out of sheer necessity when they should have been worked in over time. That’s a recipe for disaster.

    20. LMJ229
      December 30th, 2012 | 4:59 pm

      @ Ricketson:
      Thanks, you said it better than I did.

    21. Greg H.
      December 30th, 2012 | 5:53 pm

      @ LMJ229:
      I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised that these players will get a shot, beginning with Romine, and including Montgomery, and definitely Phelps, who pitched quite a bit last year as well. Other young players who have had their shot the past few years were Nova, Montero, Gardner, Robertson, Melky, and of course Joba and Hughes. Whether you like it or not, Kennedy had his chance too. You will also see Pineda this year, and probably David Adams and Adam Warren as well. I disagree that the team has not developed players. We haven’t had a Mike Trout quality player since Cano, but the Yanks of the past decade have in fact been a mix of high priced free agents, trade acquisitions and home grown talent. It’s just that this year and next we are weighed down by a couple of high priced FA’s on the downside of their productive years – A-Rod and Tex to be exact. We knew that when we made those deals, and to be honest, only A-Rod’s really hurts. In a few years and the Dodgers and Angels will be wishing they can unload theirs.

    22. Ricketson
      December 30th, 2012 | 9:40 pm

      Greg H. wrote:

      By “More successful in the last few years,” do you mean reaching the World Series, or winning the World Series?
      By “Failure of the organization’s management in previous years,” do you mean not reaching the World Series, or not winning the World Series?

      My comments were in reference to a number of different bases of evaluation of the organization’s management overall in previous years, not simply World Series appearances or championships.

    23. Ricketson
      December 30th, 2012 | 9:50 pm

      Greg H. wrote:

      You will also see Pineda this year…

      For those than can not wait until spring training to see PIneda, the mugshot for his recent arrest can be found at the following site: http://mugshots.com/Sport/Michael-Pineda.20663631.html
      Greg H. wrote:

      We haven’t had a Mike Trout quality player since Cano, but the Yanks of the past decade have in fact been a mix of high priced free agents, trade acquisitions and home grown talent.

      A mix consisting of trade acquisitions in the past decade?

    24. Raf
      December 30th, 2012 | 9:52 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      And, don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that the Yankees are trying to get their payroll closer to the other teams. It’s obscene, the levels that it’s hit in the last few years.

      They’re not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts, they’re doing it because the CBA (last few agreements, actually) have been targeted towards them. Before, the Yanks were like “f–k all y’all, here’s a check.” Now, not so much. Heck, even saying that, it’s not like they can change their mind and decide they want to start signing players; Soriano was signed in mid January. As for acquisitions, Rodriguez, Clemens & Knoblauch were traded for in February.

      Has anyone ever bothered to look at the Yankees’ revenue, or what percentage payroll is of it?

      George was about getting names that put fannies in the seats. He was also about searching for talent wherever. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. That’s probably the only thing that bugs me nowadays, that they weren’t able to come up with Chapman, Cespedes, Darvish, among others.

      LMJ229 wrote:

      However, with their existing contracts and the lack of MLB-ready talent in the minors, the Yankees may be forced to choose between exceeding the threshold and fielding a winning team.

      Probably not. A common theme here is that things are black and white, when they aren’t. A lot can happen between now and Opening Day, a lot more can happen between now and the trading deadlines in July and August.

      Greg H. wrote:

      Given the goal of reducing payroll in 2014, I do not view this offseason as a failure. In fact, I expect the team to compete quite adequately this year.

      I don’t view the offseason as a failure, it’s not even over yet. Not even sure why this is even a topic given that a lot can happen between now and opening day. FWIW, I expect the team to contend.

      Did anyone see the O’s & A’s contending in 2012? I certainly didn’t.

      LMJ229 wrote:

      If you read any of my prior posts you will see that Raf and MJ regularly argue against my pleas for internal options.

      Actually, I’m agnostic towards prospects. My thing is if a player hits .300-30-100, I couldn’t care less if it were a prospect, if it were a veteran or a free agent. They don’t give extra points for going with in-house options. I’ve seen all types succeed and fail here.

      The Yankees are, and have been for the past 20 years, at the point at their win curve that they don’t have to wait and see if their prospects pan out. And that’s the way it always has been, for better or for worse. They originally didn’t want to go with Derek Jeter at short. They almost traded Robinson Cano, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams & Andy Pettitte on several occasions. Jorge Posada lost 2-3 years because the organization preferred to go with Leyritz or Girardi. Posada was done mid 2011, Montero didn’t get the call. Lowell was blocked by Brosius, Johnson was blocked by Giambi. So on and so forth.

      Greg H. wrote:

      Whether you like it or not, Kennedy had his chance too.

      Kennedy was only given around 60 innings. Between that and his injuries, I don’t think he got a fair shot. And given the way he seemed to be buried, I don’t think he ever figured into the long term plans.

    25. December 30th, 2012 | 11:13 pm

      The Yankees are really in a holding pattern. Baseball is about pitching and I think the team has enough pitching to make them relevant in the watered down race for postseason berths that’s now part of the baseball world. The one warning label is of course Andy’s age (41) and Rivera (43). Things could go wrong, and then we could see a freefall not witnessed since the 65 team. The real problem here is the family who I believe are in the process of sorting all the pieces out with the ultimate goal being the selling of the team. Until that happens, and it could take another two years (a lot of moving parts with different interests) the team will be in decline with things looking pretty bleak. Fasten your seatbelts.

    26. MJ Recanati
      December 31st, 2012 | 10:22 am

      Ricketson wrote:

      A mix consisting of trade acquisitions in the past decade?

      David Justice, Alex Rodriguez, Bobby Abreu, Raul Mondesi, Randy Johnson, Kerry Wood, Lance Berkman, Nick Swisher, Ichiro Suzuki, Javier Vazquez (twice), Ivan Rodriguez, Kevin Brown all come to mind as members of the team that were acquired via trade in this last decade.

    27. LMJ229
      December 31st, 2012 | 10:48 am

      Raf wrote:

      Actually, I’m agnostic towards prospects. My thing is if a player hits .300-30-100, I couldn’t care less if it were a prospect, if it were a veteran or a free agent. They don’t give extra points for going with in-house options.

      Your agnostic view is certainly sensible under the “old rules”. The problem is, going forward with the new salary constraints, the Yankees will need to rely on their prospects to be competitive.

    28. LMJ229
      December 31st, 2012 | 10:54 am

      Raf wrote:

      Kennedy was only given around 60 innings. Between that and his injuries, I don’t think he got a fair shot.

      Couldn’t agree more. Kennedy got 12 starts as a Yankee and he pitched pretty well in about half of those. I don’t think 12 starts is enough to gauge a young starter. He got into their doghouse when he complained about being sent down and he never got out of it.

    29. LMJ229
      December 31st, 2012 | 11:06 am

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      The Yankees are really in a holding pattern. Baseball is about pitching and I think the team has enough pitching to make them relevant in the watered down race for postseason berths that’s now part of the baseball world. The one warning label is of course Andy’s age (41) and Rivera (43). Things could go wrong, and then we could see a freefall not witnessed since the 65 team. The real problem here is the family who I believe are in the process of sorting all the pieces out with the ultimate goal being the selling of the team. Until that happens, and it could take another two years (a lot of moving parts with different interests) the team will be in decline with things looking pretty bleak. Fasten your seatbelts.

      It is an interesting question. Is the team unwilling to commit to any high priced, long term contracts because of the new CBA rules or because they are looking to sell the team? Of course, they’d want to stay competitive in the short term to keep their value up, so signing all these veterans to one-year deals accomplishes that while not burdening future ownership. I think we’d all be kidding ourselves if we didn’t consider the fact that the Steinbrenner family is probably at odds over what to do with the team.

    30. December 31st, 2012 | 11:30 am

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I think we’d all be kidding ourselves if we didn’t consider the fact that the Steinbrenner family is probably at odds over what to do with the team.

      Yup. And, it’s more complex when you factor in that it’s so many kids – two boys and two girls, IIRC. Even if one or two wants to keep the team, I bet there’s someone in that group who is lobbying to cash out. And, as long as there’s at least one, that’s one voice to keep nagging the other siblings about it. I suspect, once the mother passes, then it’s really going to get interesting. For all we know, she may be the Rose Kennedy of the bunch holding this group together. And, when she’s gone, it’s going to be like the Marras was with the Giants.

    31. Ricketson
      December 31st, 2012 | 11:39 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      David Justice, Alex Rodriguez, Bobby Abreu, Raul Mondesi, Randy Johnson, Kerry Wood, Lance Berkman, Nick Swisher, Ichiro Suzuki, Javier Vazquez (twice), Ivan Rodriguez, Kevin Brown all come to mind as members of the team that were acquired via trade in this last decade.

      Exactly.

    32. MJ Recanati
      December 31st, 2012 | 12:28 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Of course, they’d want to stay competitive in the short term to keep their value up, so signing all these veterans to one-year deals accomplishes that while not burdening future ownership.

      But to hear you and others complain about this offseason, it would appear that you don’t think the Yankees will be competitive at all. If that’s the case, then these one-year deals are actually not accomplishing the goal of maintaining the team’s short-term value.

    33. MJ Recanati
      December 31st, 2012 | 12:30 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      The problem is, going forward with the new salary constraints, the Yankees will need to rely on their prospects to be competitive.

      Not necessarily. At this point we simply don’t know if the Yankees will return to their free-spending ways after the 2015 luxury tax rate is reset to 17.5%.

    34. Raf
      December 31st, 2012 | 7:11 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Your agnostic view is certainly sensible under the “old rules”. The problem is, going forward with the new salary constraints, the Yankees will need to rely on their prospects to be competitive.

      No, not really.

      Funny you say that given all the spending currently going on around the league.

      Also, it should be noted that the CBA did a bang-up job of throttling minor leaguers too.

    35. LMJ229
      January 1st, 2013 | 4:01 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      But to hear you and others complain about this offseason, it would appear that you don’t think the Yankees will be competitive at all. If that’s the case, then these one-year deals are actually not accomplishing the goal of maintaining the team’s short-term value.

      I do think the Yanks will be competitive in 2013. I believe I’ve stated that several times now. I’m not so sure for 2014 and beyond.

    36. LMJ229
      January 1st, 2013 | 4:19 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Here’s my “complaint” as you called it. Do you disagree?
      LMJ229 wrote:

      One thing is for sure: if the goal is to improve, this off-season has been a complete failure. Management has done nothing to improve the team. In fact, with the loss of Swisher, Martin, and Soriano one can argue that we have taken a step backward.

    37. Evan3457
      January 1st, 2013 | 10:16 am

      The off-season isn’t over.

    38. Ricketson
      January 1st, 2013 | 10:52 am

      Evan3457 wrote (Dec. 17):

      And if the Yanks sign or trade for a solid DH, then the offensive dropoff decreases to nil

      Evan3457 wrote (Dec.27):

      [Matt Diaz] Coming off an injury. Might be finished. Signed to minor league deal. Team spends $1.2 million only if he makes the team. Another $800,000 in incentives if he does well. Low risk, modest upside.

      LMJ229 wrote:

      if the goal is to improve, this off-season has been a complete failure.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The off-season isn’t over.

      And the July 31, 2013 trade deadline is still 212 days away…

    39. January 1st, 2013 | 11:06 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The off-season isn’t over.

      Maybe. But, there’s slim picken’s left at the market.

    40. Raf
      January 1st, 2013 | 11:15 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      Maybe. But, there’s slim picken’s left at the market.

      Especially after the Royals picked up Endy Chavez & Miguel Tejada, and the Red Sox looking into Bobby Abreu @ 1B. :P

      Seriously, the Tejada deal is a bit of a head scratcher, I can see why they’d be interested in Chavez (spare OF’er LIDR coming off the bench) & Nady (spare OF’er, 1B), not so much Tejada.

    41. LMJ229
      January 1st, 2013 | 1:48 pm

      Evan3457 wrote (Dec. 17):
      And if the Yanks sign or trade for a solid DH, then the offensive dropoff decreases to nil

      I’m not sure the Yankees are looking to sign a DH. My guess is they will look to use the position to give guys a “rest”.

    42. Ricketson
      January 1st, 2013 | 2:22 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I’m not sure the Yankees are looking to sign a DH.

      Not since Hideki Matsui turned down their offer of a 1-yr. contract having decided to retire.

    43. Evan3457
      January 1st, 2013 | 8:37 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote (Dec. 17):
      And if the Yanks sign or trade for a solid DH, then the offensive dropoff decreases to nil
      Evan3457 wrote (Dec.27):
      [Matt Diaz] Coming off an injury. Might be finished. Signed to minor league deal. Team spends $1.2 million only if he makes the team. Another $800,000 in incentives if he does well. Low risk, modest upside.
      LMJ229 wrote:
      if the goal is to improve, this off-season has been a complete failure.
      Evan3457 wrote:
      The off-season isn’t over.
      And the July 31, 2013 trade deadline is still 212 days away…

      Matt Diaz is NOT the full-time DH. He doesn’t even have a major league contract, for gosh sakes. Stop pretending there’s a point.

      I said the off-season isn’t over because…the off-season isn’t over.

      And it isn’t.

    44. Evan3457
      January 1st, 2013 | 8:37 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      LMJ229 wrote:
      I’m not sure the Yankees are looking to sign a DH.
      Not since Hideki Matsui turned down their offer of a 1-yr. contract having decided to retire.

      Even as a joke, that’s a fail.

    45. Ricketson
      January 1st, 2013 | 9:16 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I said the off-season isn’t over because…the off-season isn’t over.
      And it isn’t.

      No one suggested it was…

    46. McMillan
      October 21st, 2013 | 11:19 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I said the off-season isn’t over because…the off-season isn’t over.

      And it isn’t.

      @ Evan3457:
      It is now. So is the regular season, and postseason, for every team with a $235 million payroll.

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