Friday, March 29, 2013

Randy Levine Baffles Everyone

Recently, Randy Levine issued the following quote:

"We've actually increased our payroll this year...As sometimes happens, certain people like to ignore the facts instead of the reality. These are the same people who one day criticize us for spending too much money, the next day criticize us for spending too little. The goal of the team every year is to do what's necessary to field a championship team. That goes for this year and, as Hal Steinbrenner has said, next year and every year going forward."

The Yankees had a number of players leave during the off season, and appeared uninterested in replacing them with an equivalent player.  Instead, the Yankees either signed players that could play the position but not replace the offense (Swisher for Ichiro), or left the position open to spring training competition (catcher).  The Yankees did re-sign a number of players from the 2012 team, but they also let a lot of good players walk, in what appeared to be a cost cutting move.  Soriano, Swisher, and Martin, all signed with other teams, and all had an impact on the 2012 team.  So if what Randy Levine is saying is true, then the Yankees are spending more this season, while losing Swisher's offense in right, have a minor league player replace Martin, and have no one replace Soriano.  Sure, needing to pay someone to play 3rd base because your $29 million 3rd baseman is out for half the season doesn't help, but still I'm quite baffled by this.


Rich Mahogany said...

Here are some facts, Randy:

-The team's catching situation is unacceptable, and the money spent on the horrible Vernon Wells could have spent on Martin or Pierzynski instead.

-For a marginal increase over the money spent on Ichiro, the team could have got a younger and superior player in Swisher or Bourn. The extra years spent on those better players would be ok because there will be no one better available to play the OF in the next few years.

-The team's plan makes no sense. The team is saving up money for FA spending, but the elite players aren't hitting FA anymore. They are getting extended by their teams, like Verlander and Posey. The kind of players that will hit FA and that the Yankees should target are the good but not elite players - like Martin, Pierzynski, Swisher, and Bourn.

The only non-move I agree with is not signing an expensive bullpen arm. We're lucky Levine didn't give Soriano that $28 million contract the Nationals gave him. Instead, Girardi should continue to get good results from Rivera, Robertson, Joba, Logan, and spare parts.

The Yankees spent heavily this offseason - over $100 million in deals and extensions (those $15 million deals add up fast). But their moves mostly represent either no-brainers (Rivera, Kuroda, Pettitte, options on Granderson and Cano), or desperation moves (Wells, maybe Youkilis). So Levin is making a straw man argument against not spending enough. What's missing is shrewd spending - finding players who are useful and affordable. Trading for Wells, signing Ichiro over more expensive but much better options, and doing nothing at catcher represent the opposite kind of thinking.

Fernando Alejandro said...

I agree, they've spent more money this year than they have last year, and are fielding a worse team. At some point, poor spending choices had to play a role. Opening day tomorrow Rich! I'm excited for opening day, cautiously hoping about the season.

Rich Mahogany said...

A 1:05 start time for Red Sox/Yankeees on Opening Day. That will impact my productivity.

The Rangers extended Elvis Andrus for eight years, $120 million, based on his fielding and speed. Another player who would fill a need on the Yankees (even Jeter can't play SS forever) but won't hit FA.