• Yanks Willing To Eat Part Of Ichiro’s Contract

    Posted by on March 24th, 2014 · Comments (16)

    Via Jon Heyman

    The Yankees are said willing to offset a part of Ichiro Suzuki’s $6.5-million salary in the right deal, sources said.

    The Yankees would seek to receive a good prospect back but are said by rival executives amendable to paying down a portion of his $6.5 million salary under those circumstances.

    Ichiro, 40, only fits as a backup outfielder with the Yankees, as their starting outfield is stacked with younger stars Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brett Gardner. The Yankees also have Alfonso Soriano, who’s looked very good this spring — “better than before,” one scout said — so Ichiro, the international icon, will be an unusually limited role.

    Yankees general manager Brian Cashman declined comment about any possible trades talks, though there is no evidence anything’s hot at the moment. That could change depending on team needs. the Tigers are one team that suffered a loss in the outfield when the lefty-hitting Andy Dirks was lost for a few months after having back surgery.

    Cashman, however, said he had “no concern” about Ichiro taking to a role as a fourth outfielder after being such a worldwide star throughout his illustrious career. Cashman actually said Ichiro would make a fine fourth outfielder.

    “He’s a great defender and he can steal a base,” Cashman said. “He provides us with options.”

    Ichiro hit .262 with seven home runs and a .639 OPS last year, and he’s hitting .225 so far this spring.

    Ownership gave Ichiro a two-year deal two winters ago likely in part because of his popularity and maketability.

    How come whenever the Yankees have a bad deal on their hand, it’s “ownership” that did it (and not credited to Brian Cashman)? It’s black magic…I suppose?

    In any event, this one is just the appetizer. Mark your calendars. The Yankees will be eating some of Beltran’s, Sabathia’s and Teixeira’s money in 2016, some of McCann’s money in 2017. And, don’t forget that they will be eating a ton of A-Rod’s money some time in the very near future. (And, most likely, they will be eating some money on Ellsbury in 2018 or sooner.)

    They Yankees will be leading the league in eating money. The only question when it happens will be: Will it be pinned to ownership or Cashman?

    Comments on Yanks Willing To Eat Part Of Ichiro’s Contract

    1. Raf
      March 24th, 2014 | 11:43 am

      The Yankees sending money to a team as part of a deal is nothing new and predates Cashman’s reign as GM.

      You forget the Yankees lead the league in making money, what were their revenues last year? What is their revenue in relation to their payroll?

    2. Mr. October
      March 24th, 2014 | 4:27 pm

      Raf wrote:

      What is their revenue in relation to their payroll?

      What is their record in relation to their payroll as compared to division rival Boston in the last ten years on that basis? Division rival Tampa Bay in the last six years? What is Team Cashman’s record in relation to its payroll as compared to every other MLB franchise in the last 10 years, and why is it better than any other franchise?

      It’s hard to come up with a valid argument favorable to Cashman’s tenure as Sr. Vice President and general moron of this franchise, or his continued “‘Reign’ of [T]error”… But that’s the position some people who’ve been supporting this GM for years find themselves in today, sadly enough…

    3. Evan3457
      March 25th, 2014 | 2:33 am

      The reason why people are saying Cashman opposed the re-signing of Suzuki before last season is…because he opposed the re-signing of Suzuki before last season.

    4. MJ Recanati
      March 25th, 2014 | 8:28 am

      Mr. October wrote:

      What is their record in relation to their payroll as compared to division rival Boston in the last ten years on that basis?

      If the owners are satisfied then that’s all that matters. You don’t like it? Too bad, go find something else to watch on TV.

    5. Mr. October
      March 25th, 2014 | 8:33 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      If the owners are satisfied then that’s all that matters. You don’t like it? Too bad, go find something else to watch on TV.

      @ MJ Recanati:
      No it isn’t… You don’t like it? Too bad; or “boo-hoo.” And I won’t be watching re-runs of “Family Guy” on television this season, either…

    6. Mr. October
      March 25th, 2014 | 8:58 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The reason why people are saying Cashman opposed the re-signing of Suzuki before last season is…because he opposed the re-signing of Suzuki before last season….

      And, of course, Cashman left himself and this organization so many options in right field with a barren farm system and the very reasonable desire of ownership to reduce the payroll from a record $237 million in 2012…

      And now Cashman becomes the first GM in MLB history with a $6.5 million fifth outfielder on Opening Day (Cashman’s also the first GM in MLB history to have a $200 million team with its best starting pitcher not having thrown an inning in the Major Leagues as of Opening Day).

      Who’s idea was it to exercise an option on the .160 postseason career-hitting Nick Swisher before the 2012 season, and not sigh Beltran? Lonn Trost’s?

      Cashman could have: 1. exercised the option on Swisher; 2. signed Beltran; and 3. traded Swisher for three great, healthy pitching prospects like Cashman did so successfully with the Gary Sheffield trade in 2006-07…

    7. March 25th, 2014 | 9:58 pm

      Going back to the article for a minute, get a load of this:

      “The Yankees are said willing to offset a part of Ichiro Suzuki’s $6.5-million salary in the right deal, sources said.

      The Yankees would seek to receive a good prospect back but are said by rival executives amendable to paying down a portion of his $6.5 million salary under those circumstances.”

      “A portion of his salary”, “receive a good prospect”, good luck with any of that. Who in the world is going to want a 40 year old outfielder with no power and a low on base percentage.

    8. Evan3457
      March 26th, 2014 | 3:38 am

      Mr. October

      And, of course, Cashman left himself and this organization so many options in right field with a barren farm system and the very reasonable desire of ownership to reduce the payroll from a record $237 million in 2012…

      Which, of course…
      1) Doesn’t address what I wrote, but is, instead, a deflection, and…
      2) It’s an incorrect deflection, as there were other options, including one that was spoken of at the time, namely, Nate Schierholz, who could’ve been signed for about $2.5 million less a year, had Ichiro not been re-signed.

      And now Cashman becomes the first GM in MLB history with a $6.5 million fifth outfielder on Opening Day

      Well, no, not really, because Ichiro is the 4th outfielder, as Soriano is likely to be the regular DH.

      (Cashman’s also the first GM in MLB history to have a $200 million team with its best starting pitcher not having thrown an inning in the Major Leagues as of Opening Day).

      Not necessarily true, either. We’ll see as the season goes along who winds up being its best starting pitcher.

      Who’s idea was it to exercise an option on the .160 postseason career-hitting Nick Swisher before the 2012 season, and not sigh Beltran? Lonn Trost’s?

      Probably Cashman, and it turned out to be a decent idea, as Swisher provided nearly 4 WAR (bWAR 3.9, fWAR 3.8, take your pick), which ranked him 19th among 57 regular major league outfielders that year. As his salary was a relatively modest $10.25 million, and his marginal value was $17.1 million, this means Swisher was a positive value to the tune of nearly $7 million worth for 2012. Beltran, on the other hand, cost nearly $3 million more than Swisher, and his WAR was slightly lower (3.8 bWAR, 3.3 fWAR).

      Cashman could have: 1. exercised the option on Swisher; 2. signed Beltran; and 3. traded Swisher for three great, healthy pitching prospects like Cashman did so successfully with the Gary Sheffield trade in 2006-07…

      There was no reason to do any of that. Swisher was unlikely to be a “problem child” in the last year of his contract, as Sheffield frequently was when he wanted an extension.

    9. March 26th, 2014 | 7:00 am

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      Who in the world is going to want a 40 year old outfielder with no power and a low on base percentage.

      Besides Brian Cashman?

    10. Raf
      March 26th, 2014 | 1:15 pm

      The Giants, Phillies and Diamondbacks were rumored to be interested in Ichiro. It’s not a big deal if he stays or goes.

    11. Mr. October
      March 26th, 2014 | 7:31 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Well, no, not really, because Ichiro is the 4th outfielder, as Soriano is likely to be the regular DH.

      Soriano will not be the “regular DH.” The DH spot is going to be used extensively by McCann and Jeter, as well as other players on this aged and injury-prone roster. Suzuki is the 5th OF behind Soriano, Gardner, Beltran, and Ellsbury.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      There was no reason to do any of that. Swisher was unlikely to be a “problem child” in the last year of his contract, as Sheffield frequently was when he wanted an extension.

      Ridiculous. It was the right move. And not one of “hindsight,” as it was suggested by many journalists in the New York media “at the time.”

      Team Cashman passed on Beltran in 2011-12, one of the best postseason hitters in the history of the game, exercised the option on one of the worst postseason hitters in the game to play right field in 2012, Swisher was perhaps the worst postseason performer of the 2012 postseason, and in 2013-14, Cashman signed the same Carlos Beltran to play right field until the age of 40 in 2016 while relegating a $6.5 million 40-year old outfielder to fifth outfielder status…

      And all of these were the right moves “at the time?” Of course they were.

      Brian Cashman is most responsible for this team having a 40 year-old $6.5 million fifthoutfielder; it is not simply a question of looking back at the 2012-13 offseason when this organization was still trying to figure out whether or not it would be able to field a “championship-caliber” team in 2014 for less than $189 million, or understand the financial implications of such a decision…

      Raf wrote:

      The Giants, Phillies and Diamondbacks were rumored to be interested in Ichiro.

      Why wouldn’t they be, with Team Cashman swallowing most of Suzuki’s salary? There was a team rumored to be interested in Kei Igawa too, if Brian Cashman would pick up most, or all, of his $20 million salary…

    12. Mr. October
      March 26th, 2014 | 9:15 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Probably Cashman, and it turned out to be a decent idea, as Swisher provided nearly 4 WAR (bWAR 3.9, fWAR 3.8, take your pick), which ranked him 19th among 57 regular major league outfielders that year.

      @ Evan3457:
      I know how much you like “The Belcher Report:”

      New York Yankees: Passing on Carlos Beltran for Nick Swisher Was the Wrong Move

      “… [Swisher] is hitting .153 in the postseason… Over the last four years, [Swisher's] postseason numbers have been awful… After the Yankees passed on Beltran to keep Swisher, [Beltran] signed a two-year, $26 million deal with St. Louis…

      Beltran hit .269 with 32 home runs and 97 RBI [in 2012], while Swisher hit .272 with 24 home runs and 93 RBI. The postseason numbers, however, is where Beltran and Swisher differ dramatically.

      Swisher is hitting .153 with no home runs and one RBI with eight strikeouts… Beltran… is hitting .384 with three home runs and six RBI with two strikeouts… last October… I had written a story suggesting the Yankees go for Beltran over Swisher

      I would have done it. And I think Brian Cashman knows he should have too, but now it’s too late… Instead… Cashman will be trying to figure out who is manning right field in [April, 2013]… This is clearly a move that did not work out in the Yankees’ favor.”

      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1372644-new-york-yankees-passing-on-carlos-beltran-for-nick-swisher-was-the-wrong-move

      In “hindsight,” Cashman did mean well, but if Cashman signed Beltran and traded Swisher for a Sanchez, Whelan, or Claggett, for example, the Yankees would have had: 1. Beltran for 2012-13; 2 a Sanchez, Whelan, or Claggett; and 3. the prospects traded for Suzuki (Mitchell and Farquhar)… And Team Cashman would not be in the position of having to swallow Suzuki’s salary in 2014…

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I didn’t value [Swisher] at $17M. Fangraphs puts the value of 1 WAR for 2011 at roughly $4.5M, and Swisher had 3.8 WAR, so multiply the two and you get 17M.

      http://waswatching.com/2011/10/10/the-great-nick-swisher/
      … Beltran was worth more, and thus paid more, in 2012. Both you and Brian Cashman knew what Beltran and Swisher’s 2012 regular season WAR numbers would be? “Do you and Cashman have the Powerball numbers for the next drawing, too?”

    13. Evan3457
      March 29th, 2014 | 3:46 am

      Mr. October wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Soriano will not be the “regular DH.” The DH spot is going to be used extensively by McCann and Jeter, as well as other players on this aged and injury-prone roster. Suzuki is the 5th OF behind Soriano, Gardner, Beltran, and Ellsbury.

      Soriano will be the regular DH. Regular does not mean “everyday”.
      The depth charts at Rotoworld, MLB Depth Charts, and Baseball HQ all say so.

      Ridiculous. It was the right move. And not one of “hindsight,” as it was suggested by many journalists in the New York media “at the time.”

      Your assertion that my comment is ridiculous is itself ridiculous. Swisher performed better in the regular season, and for less money.

      The post-season failures on offense were all over the lineup in 2012. Jeter, Teixeira and Ibanez were the only regulars to hit well vs. the Orioles. Besides Suzuki, Swisher was the only regular to manage a .250 BAVG vs. the Tigers.

      Team Cashman passed on Beltran in 2011-12, one of the best postseason hitters in the history of the game, exercised the option on one of the worst postseason hitters in the game to play right field in 2012

      True.

      Swisher was perhaps the worst postseason performer of the 2012 postseason

      Not true; Cano was considerably worse.

      and in 2013-14, Cashman signed the same Carlos Beltran to play right field until the age of 40 in 2016 while relegating a $6.5 million 40-year old outfielder to fifth outfielder status…

      Suzuki’s re-signing, instigated by those above Cashman, put him on the roster for 2013 and 2014. That’s not a reason to sign a better player, if one can be signed.

      And all of these were the right moves “at the time?” Of course they were.
      Brian Cashman is most responsible for this team having a 40 year-old $6.5 million fifthoutfielder;

      No, Cashman is not, and you know he’s not.

    14. Evan3457
      March 29th, 2014 | 4:05 am

      Mr. October wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Probably Cashman, and it turned out to be a decent idea, as Swisher provided nearly 4 WAR (bWAR 3.9, fWAR 3.8, take your pick), which ranked him 19th among 57 regular major league outfielders that year.
      @ Evan3457:
      I know how much you like “The Belcher Report:”
      New York Yankees: Passing on Carlos Beltran for Nick Swisher Was the Wrong Move
      “… [Swisher] is hitting .153 in the postseason… Over the last four years, [Swisher's] postseason numbers have been awful… After the Yankees passed on Beltran to keep Swisher, [Beltran] signed a two-year, $26 million deal with St. Louis…
      Beltran hit .269 with 32 home runs and 97 RBI [in 2012], while Swisher hit .272 with 24 home runs and 93 RBI. The postseason numbers, however, is where Beltran and Swisher differ dramatically.
      Swisher is hitting .153 with no home runs and one RBI with eight strikeouts… Beltran… is hitting .384 with three home runs and six RBI with two strikeouts… last October… I had written a story suggesting the Yankees go for Beltran over Swisher…
      I would have done it. And I think Brian Cashman knows he should have too, but now it’s too late… Instead… Cashman will be trying to figure out who is manning right field in [April, 2013]… This is clearly a move that did not work out in the Yankees’ favor.”
      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1372644-new-york-yankees-passing-on-carlos-beltran-for-nick-swisher-was-the-wrong-move

      Ok, so one writer said the Yanks were wrong to pick up the option.
      WAR tells a different story. Swisher had more, and for less money.

      In “hindsight,” Cashman did mean well, but if Cashman signed Beltran and traded Swisher for a Sanchez, Whelan, or Claggett, for example, the Yankees would have had: 1. Beltran for 2012-13; 2 a Sanchez, Whelan, or Claggett; and 3. the prospects traded for Suzuki (Mitchell and Farquhar)… And Team Cashman would not be in the position of having to swallow Suzuki’s salary in 2014…

      Again, no reason to do any of that.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      I didn’t value [Swisher] at $17M. Fangraphs puts the value of 1 WAR for 2011 at roughly $4.5M, and Swisher had 3.8 WAR, so multiply the two and you get 17M.
      http://waswatching.com/2011/10/10/the-great-nick-swisher/
      … Beltran was worth more, and thus paid more, in 2012. Both you and Brian Cashman knew what Beltran and Swisher’s 2012 regular season WAR numbers would be? “Do you and Cashman have the Powerball numbers for the next drawing, too?”

      No, but they knew what Swisher’s WAR and Beltran’s WAR had been for the previous 3 years, and that they were about equal, (Swisher had more fWAR, 10.5 to 7.9, Belran had more bWAR, 9.4 to 7.7), that Swisher was less expensive, and that they were trying to get the payroll down. It was a reasonable judgement, and as far as the regular season goes, it worked.

    15. Mr. October
      March 29th, 2014 | 6:19 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Soriano will be the regular DH.

      Soriano is the fourth outfielder who is expected to get more at-bats at DH than any other player; Suzuki is the fifth outfielder on this team:

      Yanks stuck with most famous fifth outfielder if they can’t deal Ichiro

      “… [Team Cashman has] a four-man outfield/DH rotation with Beltran, Ellsbury, Gardner and Soriano. That makes Ichiro the majors’ most famous fifth outfielder.

      http://nypost.com/2014/03/12/yanks-stuck-with-most-famous-fifth-outfielder-if-they-cant-deal-ichiro/

      And that is what was written to begin with:

      Mr. October wrote:

      … Cashman becomes the first GM in MLB history with a [40 year-old] $6.5 million fifth outfielder on Opening Day (Cashman’s also the first GM in MLB history to have a $200 mil. team with its best starting pitcher not having thrown an inning in the Major Leagues as of Opening Day).

    16. Mr. October
      March 29th, 2014 | 7:05 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Your assertion that my comment is ridiculous is itself ridiculous. Swisher performed better in the [2012] regular season, and for less money… It was a reasonable judgement, and as far as the regular season goes, it worked.

      @ Evan3457:
      What’s ridiculous is that when the Lilly for Jeff Weaver trade, for example, is criticized and the statistics of the players in the years immediately following the trade are provided to support that criticism, you and others label it “hindsight.” …But you yourself provide statistics of Swisher’s performance in the regular season one year immediately following Cashman passing on Beltran and exercising Swisher’s option to rebut criticisms of the move, and for some reason that is not “hindsight.” That’s what is ridiculous, or amusing.

      Signing Beltran was the right move: more than one sports journalist was suggesting the signing “at the time” during the 2011-12 offseason; and “in hindsight,” they were correct in their “judgement.”

      You’re on record as writing that Swisher was on the roster since 2009, so there was nothing that could have been done with his presence in a 2012 lineup of hitters that historically did not produce in the postseason, so I’m not surprised that you’re “defending” the move now… Further, if Beltran had been in RF, Pierzynski had been signed to a one-year contract to share catching responsibilities, Ibanez had been signed to DH, etc., in 2013 – this team might have had the offense to get to the postseason and not all of the excuses that would come with that failed season (if only to be eliminated in an LDS with a rotation of Sabathia, Kuroda, Pettitte, and Nova, anyway).

      The mess in right field is on Cashman, no one else. Cashman is the one executive in the New York Yankees front office who writes fraudulent letters of recommendation for mentally-imbalanced women he has extramarital affairs with on stationary with the title “Senior Vice President and General Manager” next to his name; no one else does… He’s the GM. Suzuki’s on him.

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