Friday, November 29, 2013

Cano Denies Asking for $300 Million

Because he asked for $310 million. Over 10 years. Get it right stupid.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pre-Thanksgiving Post

Since I last wrote that Yankees have signed Brian McCann and emerged as the front-runner for Carlos Beltran. They haven't signed Beltran yet because they don't want to add a third year to his contract offer, on account of his old age/knees. The Yankees have also met with Cano's representatives in order to inform them that they are asking for way too much money and that Cano shouldn't be so greedy when negotiating with a strictly-for-profit corporation.

But there are much bigger issues on the horizon as Thanksgiving approaches. For example, if you're living in the world today, then you are probably familiar with a particularly troubling social phenomenon: people with ugly babies. It is a delicate situation to encounter such a person, but unfortunately there is only one way to deal with hideous baby havers: You gotta tell them. You gotta tell them their baby is impossible to look at. In daylight anyways. And to take that ugly @$$ baby and keep it indoors, away from my sensitive optical nerves. That's all there is to it.

This won't be a comfortable conversation. But ugly baby havers can't keep pretending their babies are beautiful. A plain looking baby is one thing, but you can't be showing off an ugly baby. Especially that #$&@ing ugly.

Hideous baby havers lying about their baby's good looks is how we end up with people like Brian Cashman, ugly and yet way too full of themselves. It's gotta stop. Now. Some babies are ugly. Deal with it.

Monday, November 25, 2013

In Case You Missed It...

The Yankees have signed catcher Brian McCann to a 5 year $85 million contract, placing $17 million towards next years payroll.  I think the message it sends is clear.  Cano has been pretty public about his desires for a mega deal in the $300 million range, and is willing to wait until January to get the best possible offer.  The Yankees cannot wait until then to figure out their 2014 roster, so they've begun to do what they need to do, which is fill holes.  The signing of McCann is a signal to Cano's camp that they're moving forward one way or another, and Cano either needs to start dealing now, or have the Yankees out of the picture when he's dealing with teams in January.  The truth is, there are teams that could sign a second baseman, it's just that there are 0 teams that are willing to go anywhere near Cano's asking price.  So far, Cano's new agency has met with the Mets and the Tigers.  The Mets have no money after losing it all to Bernie Madoff, and the Tigers just unloaded one of their larger contracts and got a really good second baseman in return.  My fear is that Cano and his representatives will overplay their hand, he'll wait until January and end up accepting a contract that is smaller than the $160 million, 7 year deal the Yankees have reportedly offered.  I mean, what teams are involved here?  The big market teams don't seem to be involved.  The Rangers just picked up Prince Fielder, the Angels and Dodgers are already saddled with big contracts, the Tigers just picked up Ian Kinsler, and none of these teams seem to be expressing a realistic interest in Cano to begin with.  Who are you left with?

Friday, November 22, 2013

A-Rod Hearing Over, But Decision Could Take A While

According to this article, the decision on the A-Rod hearing could take until January to come out.  This puts the Yankees in an odd position, because there is an easy $30 million wrapped up in A-Rod that they would like to spend, but cannot until the decision comes down.  It can be easy for us fans to get upset at the potentially long waiting time for this decision, but we have to consider the situation.  Just because juror's on murder trials, and drug convictions usually take a matter of hours to come to their decisions, doesn't mean that an arbitration hearing should follow their lead.  No, there are so many variables to consider when it comes to A-Rod's suspension, and his legacy is on the line here.  It's not as simple as putting someone behind bars for the rest of their lives.  Besides, think of the benefits of waiting until January to get their $30 million.  By then, there will be a number of bargain bin castaways that the Yankees can pick up for cheap, and the lack of options will ensure that the Yankees don't make anymore stupid signings (Wells anyone?).  So look to the positives Yankee fans.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Maybe It's Not Just Our Poor Player Development

Hindsight is 20-20, no one wants to pay an expert just to recount what has already happened.  That's why History majors are always broke.  You pay experts instead to give some clarity into the future, and the more accurate their projections are, the more valuable they are.  Today I read this article, which takes us back to 2007, when the Yankees declined to negotiate a trade with the Marlins for Miguel Cabrera, because they wanted Phil Hughes and either Joba Chamberlain or Ian Kennedy.  In hindsight, we see this as the best trade idea ever.  In the moment, the Yankees declined.  That was back when Phil Hughes was the next Roger Clemens, Chamberlain was the next Mariano, and Kennedy was the next Mussina.  At least that's what the hype said, and I'm sure the experts projected them along that trajectory as well.  Why else would you pass on Miguel Cabrera?  Instead, Hughes became a 6th starter, Joba became a middle releiver, Kennedy has become a back end starter in the national league, and Cabrera has been one of the more prolific hitters in the majors.  Could we have seen this coming?  Well given that Cabrera was already a great hitter in 2007, and only 24, I have to think that they saw something there.  But back then, Cabrera had attitude problems, the Yankees had lots of offense, and the Yankees needed pitching.  Hindsight is 20-20, but man do I wish we made that trade!

Friday, November 15, 2013

RJG on the NFL Bullying Scandal

News in the baseball world is a bit slow, and probably won't pick up until the Winter Meetings which take place before winter even begins. Stupid. So I'm going to discuss the ongoing bullying scandal in the NFL.

I realize that being a professional athlete may mean operating in a state of perpetual adolescence, but at some point your job is to go to a stadium and play a game. If you work in an office, or anywhere else on earth, you can't go to work and behave like Richie Incognito has. You have to at least pretend to be an adult.

For a long time, other work environments excused boorish behavior, but now that sort of thing leads to all sorts of discrimination and harassment suits. I'm sorry pro athletes, you make millions of dollars to play a game we teach children so they'll leave us alone for a few hours, you're just going to have to live with the fact that when you go to the locker room, you are at the office not the frat house.

What's particularly troubling to me about what happened in Miami is that Incognito is 30 years old. If he was 23, I'd still say it was inappropriate, but the average 23 year old is only a person in the most minimal sense of the word, and so it would not surprise me. At 30 though, you have to be better than this. You are 30 years old, grow up already. Really.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

How Drunk Are the Yankees?

The Post is reporting that the Yankees are not currently pursuing David Freese of the Cardinals because they still don't know how many games they'll have A-Rod for. Here's the thing: A-Rod is no longer a third baseman. It's not that he can't play the position, it's that he can't play the position AND stay healthy.

A-Rod needs to be a full-time DH, with maybe an exception for National League parks and days when the regular third baseman needs a rest. He hit brilliantly out of the two-spot, but then playing in the field everyday took its toll.

I'm not saying we need to pursue Freese per se, but we need a new everyday third baseman. If the Yanks think they can keep A-Rod at third then everyone in the organization is about as competent as the team that built, which I understand actually consisted of Cano and some of his buddies, who took the job despite their lack of coding knowledge because they love money so much.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yanks GM Tries to Manipulate Cano

"He loves the money."

Those were Cashman's words. As in, he loves the money more than the team. The team who taught him how to play baseball and rescued him from that cave where he was being raised by wolves to be an accountant. As in, doesn't Robinson Cano realize how ungrateful he'll appear if he doesn't resign with us? If he's greedy instead of loyal?

Frankly, Cano is lucky the Yankees have even made an offer considering what a capitalist son of a #*&@ he is. I mean, how much money does he really even need?! Why can't he be more loyal to the team that taught him to hit, whose wealthy-beyond-imagination owner is currently attempting to lower payroll in order to keep more money in his own pocket rather than in Cano's. But it's not because he loves money, it's because he's fiscally responsible. Greed isn't a really a white-male vice anyway. It's those materialist coloreds who don't know what to do with money once they have it, and quickly forget everything the Yankees have done for him at no profit to themselves.

Okay, enough sarcasm. We have to ask the question though, should Cano even want to sign with New York at this point. Let's not forget that Cashman alienated Jeter during their last negotiation, which may be why Jeter went to Steinbrenner directly when he was interested in negotiating a new deal this offseason. And let's not forget that Cashman has completely alienated A-Rod, a friend of Cano's and, for better or worse, one of the team's remaining stars. Is that the sort of boss you want to work for? A guy whose first move in the negotiation is to question your integrity as a human being, hoping that cows you into accepting whatever the Yanks offer in some effort to protect your legacy?

Here's the thing, it's not 1955. Nobody really cares whether you play with one franchise your whole career anymore. When was the last time you heard this conversation:

Person 1: Should this guy get into the Hall of Fame?

Person 2: No, he played for more than one franchise.

Person 1: Good point.

Sure, these guys get paid more than well enough to stay with one team, but there isn't actually a good reason for them to limit their earnings just to do so. We may have grown up as Yankee fans, but the players aren't fans, they're employees. How loyal are you to the first place that gave you a job? Still working there? Exactly.

Increasingly, I am not only skeptical of the Yankees's approach to building a roster, both from a free agency and player development standpoint, I dislike the personalities in the front office. True, we root for the players, but in this day and age the front office is much more the face of the franchise than the players because of free agency, and these guys are not easy to root for. We have a d*#kish GM whose personal woes increasingly seem to stem from an all-around d*#kishness, and an owner whose biggest concern seems to be not spending money he'd never miss anyway.

Go team.

Yankees Hot Stove

There are many exciting thoughts early on in the hot stove season, though not much has happened.  So far Kuroda, Cano, and Granderson have declined the qualifying offers, as they were expected to, and are now free agents.  The Yankees continue to be linked to Japanese pitching phenom Masahiro Tanaka.  The posting system is an interesting exercise as it is essentially a blind bid, which requires theatricality and deception to win as opposed to calculated business processes.  However, blind bidding is something the Yankees are experts in, as it has seemingly been their strategy on the amateur draft for over a decade.  The Yankees stated that they would like to add 400 innings to their rotation, and Tanaka may be the best bet to do so without effecting the payroll limit the Yankees are trying to reach.  The posting fee would not apply towards the total payroll.  If Tanaka can eat up 200 innings, the Yankees could try to bring back Kuroda to fill the other innings.  If that fails, there are some intriguing possibilities.  Following the strategy of signing formerly hated Red Sox players, the Yankees could go after Bronson Arroyo, a perennial innings eater who may not break the bank.  Another intriguing possibility is looking to conduct a trade with the Tigers.  Detroit is allegedly open to trading either Max Scherzer or Rick Porcello.  It is yet to be seen if the Yankees can lure Detroit into a trade with their wasteland of a farm system, but if Scott Boras could convince the Mets on the merits of Oliver Perez, perhaps the Yankees could sell Detroit on the come back story of the Killer B's. 

On the bad news front, Cashman has already begun to lay the groundwork for being outbid on Cano.  He didn't say anything that we didn't already know.  Basically that another team could pay Cano a lot more than the Yankees are willing to offer, and Cano may choose to follow the money, which is certainly his right.  The Yankees could also be out of range on Shin-Soo Choo.  He will likely command a good contract with many years, and with Boras by his side, it is unlikely that he will come at a bargain.  Beltran seems like a more likely fit.  These are just some of the musings on the free agent market.  We will see what transpires next!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Yankees Re-Sign Jeter, Confuse All of Baseball

Derek Jeter had a $9.5 million player option that he could take to play in 2014, and most people believed he would pick this option up.  But the Yankees decided this was too easy, and instead offered him a new deal valued at $12 million.  This triggered a series of calculations about the luxury tax that has confused the baseball world.  Joel Sherman has the deal as costing more towards the luxury tax than the option would have, while the good people at fangraphs have it costing less.  Given Sherman's explanation, I believe he is correct in saying that the Yankees just upped the value set against the luxury tax.  It certainly wouldn't be the first time the Yankees bid against themselves to acquire a player they wanted, but it would be the first time they did so while attempting to get their payroll under a certain level.  It's a curious tactic to be sure, but it could work in their favor.  In giving Jeter a few extra million dollars, maybe they can convince Cano that he needs to take a few million dollars less.  Maybe.