Beat That Horse. Beat It!

A few days late (but perhaps in response to Cashman's comments today), Peter Abraham weighs in with a series of tweets on the Rafael Soriano/Brian Cashman situation. The only reason I find this to be worth discussing is because Abraham was, until last year, the Yankee beat writer, and so I would think has a good perspective not only of whatever autonomy Cashman had after he essentially forced Tampa to butt out of his business but also of how his autonomy (or lack of same) in this situation compares to other GMs.

Maybe Soriano works out fine. But Cashman being nudged out of roster building by Hal + Levine not a great sign for the Yankees

$35 million and a 1st round pick for any set-up man is not good long-term business. Those sort of deals did them in post 2000

Autonomy also important for Cashman, which he had under Big Stein. If Hal wants a puppet, Cash ain't it. Interesting to watch

Apparently another tweeter had the same reaction to that last tweet as I had (which was that Cashman didn't have autonomy under King George). Pete's next tweet says Cashman had autonomy "from 2006 on." Another tweeter said the Soriano disagreement is "not Armageddon here," to which Pete replied:

Never said it was. But he said one thing, they went the revers[e]. That hasn't happened in 5 years.

This makes it sound like a bigger deal than the Heyman-esque "no GM has full autonomy" brushoff that has been used to downplay it. As I said before, if it's a big deal, we'll know it based on Cashman's actions at the end of the season, when his contract is up, but I have no problems admitting that a small portion of my happiness as a Red Sox fan is inversely related to the amount of control Brian Cashman has over Yankee personnel.

59 comments… add one

  • I sent him a message on Twitter after he titled his article something like the Yankees helped the Sox by signing Soriano, etc…that’s under the assumption that the Rangers ever even thought of signing Soriano. This was regarding the draft pick given to the Rays as compensation for Crawford. I just told him it was a stretch at best. I am not shocked he’s a homer for the Sox, he was a homer for the Yankees when he was at LoHud.
    This is why I laugh when people say bloggers aren’t legit…we just type our feelings, lol. The stuff Paul comes up with is head and shoulders above this finger pointing, name calling, team biased stuff you find elsewhere. Paul you are the MVP and clean up hitter on this site and while we don’t always agree, I do always agree you stuff is pretty amazing. Something I can’t say about other sites.

    John - YF January 19, 2011, 6:13 pm
  • “Maybe Soriano works out fine. But Cashman being nudged out of roster building by Hal + Levine not a great sign for the Yankees.”
    Nudged out? Why because in this one documented instance Cashman wasn’t on board with the decision? If Cashman didn’t come out and make his statement re: not trading a pick for Soriano we might have never known about the disconnect on this matter. Try as he might this is simply not a misinformed, crippling decision. They didn’t sign Steve Karsay, they signed a top line, legit closer. If Yu Darvish decided tomorrow he wants to come to the US and pitch would the $35M they gave to Soriano stop them? NO. Signing Soriano didn’t prevent the Yankees from anything and it won’t prevent them from signing anyone next year, or the year after.
    “$35 million and a 1st round pick for any set-up man is not good long-term business. Those sort of deals did them in post 2000.”
    A set-up man? Really, didn’t this “set-up” man save a boat load of games last year? He’s not Tony Womack, he’s a front end top of the line relief pitcher that could close for most teams. Was it a need, NO, but it certainly isn’t the bad decision he’s making it out to be.
    “Autonomy also important for Cashman, which he had under Big Stein. If Hal wants a puppet, Cash ain’t it. Interesting to watch.”
    It’s one FA! He’s a puppet over one move? How many people haven’t made a decision they didn’t believe in simply because their boss was behind it? I agree, I want Cash making most if not all decisions, but it wasn’t like Hal tried to sign Gary Sheffield! Relax.

    John - YF January 19, 2011, 6:36 pm
  • I’m with you, John, because it’s obvious that the questions are: “Who is really in charge, now,” and, “Who is really in charge now.”
    I know you are busy, STEIN*, but we need milk, TP, and a couple starters and a little less posturing while you are at the market. Thanks so much.

    attackgerbil January 19, 2011, 7:04 pm
  • God, I want Hank to be in charge.
    So. F*cking. Bad.

    SF January 19, 2011, 7:10 pm
  • Just read an ESPN piece on the official intro of Soriano today. It is pretty remarkable how blunt Cashman is in his disavowal of the deal. I mean, on the day of the introduction he makes a very strong point in showing how little he had to do with it. It can’t be dismissed so simply, this. Something is going on in the front office, it has to be the case for things to be aired so publicly.

    SF January 19, 2011, 9:07 pm
  • To me, the strangest revelation is that Cashman didn’t even negotiate the contract. Levine did. Which probably explains how the deal ended up costing so much money despite there appearing to be very little market for Soriano’s services. But even if Cashman disagreed with the decision to go after Soriano, wouldn’t it still make sense for him to negotiate the best deal possible, i.e., mitigate the “damage” from signing him, so to speak? I could think of a range of possible motives, from fairly innocuous to “end of the Yankees as we know them” apocalyptic, but the first thing I thought was that if this really wasn’t that big a deal to Cashman, then he would’ve gone along and negotiated the contract. But obviously that’s just speculation (and maybe some wishful thinking).
    And thanks, John, for the kind words. Your check is in the mail. ;-)

    Paul SF January 20, 2011, 9:51 am
  • We’ll see how much this all means in say, August…not trying to rain on your parade guys as I know you just love to talk all things baseball, but this really is no big deal.
    Very simply, the Steinbrenners have to keep filling those seats in the Stadium. They felt doing this would help in that respect, Cash doesn’t care about that. Seems fairly obvious to me?

    krueg January 20, 2011, 10:01 am
  • but this really is no big deal.
    It will have little impact on the Yankees as a team, perhaps zero, in 2011. But Cashman’s contract is up after this year. So it could have an impact on the Yankees, if you think Cashman is important to the team.
    I don’t think it is a big deal if the Yankees signed a guy Cashman didn’t want. That happens – he isn’t the owner, it isn’t his money. I get that. But the stuff he said yesterday? That goes pretty far beyond what is necessary at an introductory press conference. For him to disavow the move so bluntly is obviously of meaning. It’s ultimate impact? We don’t know yet.

    SF January 20, 2011, 10:20 am
  • Cashman should try and blame Levine for the Nick Johson deal too while he’s at it! Heck if were going to pass the buck let’s go all out!
    Things have been relatively calm and uneventful for awhile in the Bronx until the fall of this year. From Jeter’s deal, to losing out on Lee, to this Soriano issue. I am with Krueg in that it’s this kinds of stuff that turns me off, but in the same breath I hope that this stuff does not become a distraction.

    John - YF January 20, 2011, 10:24 am
  • I’d be perfectly fine if this meant the beginning of the end for Cashman. All good things come to an end, see Joe Torre. Provided the Yankees bring in a baseball guy and not let Hank throw on his Yosimite Sam costume and turn this into the Wild Wild West, I am fine with Cashman walking away. I’d hope and pray the Yankees ownership isn’t foolish enough to stray from system based on research and sabermetrics (Theo/Beane) when hiring a new GM if that day comes. But I am sure it is the hope of most if not all SF’s (see SF’s comment above)that Hank just get to wear the Yosimite Sam costume.

    John - YF January 20, 2011, 10:31 am
  • Yep…Cashman is not the Yankees. He can go if needed.
    I think I should be the next GM. DC, John, AG and IH can be my staff, i.e do all the work!

    krueg January 20, 2011, 10:35 am
  • I would like to retract my “dishonest” statement made earlier towards Brian Cashman.
    He was very honest, and as suspected, told reporters as much yesterday. As noted above, it’s not the fact that he was plowed over in the decision process, but the fact that he felt obliged to tell everyone as much.
    I happen to think he does that to protect himself from the move in either way. He’s not going to be fired if Soriano throws his elbow out in June, because as stated, it’s not his move and he didn’t want it.
    I give Kudos to Cashman for being up front about this. I do find the “shoved down your throat” comment telling though. Even though he hid it in a good context, he’s basically saying that he had zero input on the situation, which is telling – to me anyhow.
    I wonder if the Yankees are going to take the same approach with Cashman in November as they did with Torre.

    Brad January 20, 2011, 12:11 pm
  • i’m in krueg…i’d be honored to work on the team you’ve assembled…
    i still think you sox fans are wishing way too hard on this one…perhaps your team is just much better at hiding their own dysfunction ever since the gorilla suit and lucky larry days…can the yankees survive a cashman departure at the end of the season?…sure, although i don’t see him giving up the highest profile [and probably paying] gm job in sports…can the yanks survive hank donning the proverbial gorilla suit?…probably not…i still think hal is in charge…you guys don’t give george enough credit not to have left the leadership of the team in flux…and so what if levine negotiated the contract?…that doesn’t automatically mean it was a bad one…they got the services of 10’s best closer in baseball…they will pay him a max of $11.5m for ’11 to either set up for mo, close occasionally, or carry mo’s water, i don’t care frankly…in the meantime you guys agreed to pay papelbon $12m for ’11…yep, i know, that’s as a closer…it’s a luxury to have an $11.5m 7th/8th inning guy, but you have to pay for luxuries…i figure the sox will punt papelbon after this season anyway and enter the bidding for soriano after he opts out…

    dc January 20, 2011, 1:40 pm
  • i figure the sox will punt papelbon after this season anyway and enter the bidding for soriano after he opts out…
    Not a chance. Bard will be the closer next year as long as he’s not injured.
    Dc, buddy you can downplay this all you want, but when was the last time you heard a GM talk like that? He essentially threw the decision to sign Soriano under the bus and removed himself from any of the credit or blame that will go with it.
    What the hell does Papelbon have to do with this? Why continue to reference the gorilla suit and such? We’re not starting a fire here, but simply speculating on a very public, very adamant differnce in opinion and authority in the Yankees.
    When was the last time you saw such a thing…on any team?
    I appreciate the “gorilla suit, gorilla suit”!! public alert you’re pointing out, but we’re not talking about difference in opinion in the Sox office 5 years ago, but rather, the Yankees one from this week.
    We get it…Theo quit, then put on a rediculous outfit and snuck out of fenway on a Ducati.
    and so what if levine negotiated the contract?
    Again, when have you ever seen such a thing? It’s rediculous to assume that an owner overrides his GM so blatantly and the GM goes public with such and assume that there isn’t a serious problem. It’s like you telling your boss that “if this doesn’t work, I’m throwing you under the bus at next quarters meetings”.
    Am I wrong here?
    sure, although i don’t see him giving up the highest profile [and probably paying] gm job in sports.
    I don’t see him giving it up either. I see him being asked to leave.

    Brad January 20, 2011, 2:27 pm
  • What scares me DC is how well the Sox are set up for the near future…really other than Catcher they are set for the next few years.
    Once Papelbon is gone I assume they’d just move on to Bard. Drew, Cameron = Kalish/Reddick. The biggest shoes to fill will be Ortiz, but I am sure they could just go out and sign a DH with the money they will have freed up. Lowrie keeps SS warm until Iglesias is ready…They are really in good shape, as difficult as that is to say, it’s true.

    John - YF January 20, 2011, 2:35 pm
  • As an aside,
    Has anyone seen my new favorite thing ever in the world?
    http://www.baconsalt.com/
    I haven’t had it yet, but I’m gonna!!

    Brad January 20, 2011, 2:50 pm
  • I’m surprised to hear Yankee fans say they’d be fine without Cashman. I guess maybe it’s because Cashman succeeded a highly successful GM in Gene Michael, and the Yankee legacy is winning under all manner of GMs and owners.
    But the thought of Theo leaving the Red Sox terrifies me. I just think of guys like Duquette and Gorman and Sullivan, and I want to retch. Of course, the ownership is far different, too; I doubt Henry would hire jokers like those guys, but still…

    Paul SF January 20, 2011, 2:59 pm
  • But all that stuff in Boston a few years ago led to Theo actually quitting…then something happened…and he was back. That to me is much bigger a deal than this and I think that is what dc is speaking to?
    Bottom line, I think most YF’s could really care less who is running the team in terms of a general manager. It’s not like Cash really put together the core…it was Gene. I don’t mean this as an insult or a flame, it seems to be a Boston thing to hold a GM (Theo) in such high regard and as some kind of genius.

    krueg January 20, 2011, 3:01 pm
  • Ditto that, Paul.
    Theo has played this offseason perfectly, and while overpaying for some parts, he did manage to fix that bridge.

    Brad January 20, 2011, 3:01 pm
  • I don’t mean this as an insult or a flame, it seems to be a Boston thing to hold a GM (Theo) in such high regard and as some kind of genius.
    I think this sentiment is a New York thing, and like you, not meant as in insult. I think most New Yorkers look at their team, and understand that the GM has over 200M dollars a year to work with, and is given an unlimited resource from which to pull from during the season if need be. Who couldn’t do it. Not as a slight at any GM in New York, but I feel that’s the general consenus from you guys. Like, “I don’t care really if Cashman leaves or not”, which is astounding to me because I would really really be worried if Theo did.
    I do think that building a championship caliber team, and staying under the luxury threshold, again and again is a thing of genius in today’s baseball. A perfect mix of overpaid stars, homegrown talent under cost control to some extent, and building a good bullpen are all things that must be gained from that position.
    Also, and again, not a slight: Know when to cut loose players who aren’t what they were vs. giving them silly contracts.

    Brad January 20, 2011, 3:09 pm
  • But all that stuff in Boston a few years ago led to Theo actually quitting…then something happened…and he was back.
    Yes. He stood his ground, and decided that if he was going to be questioned and walked on, he was leaving. It took them one draft and one off season to realize how much of a mistake that was, and fixed his problem for him.
    The only difference is that Cashman stood his ground, but didn’t go anywhere.
    This much I believe to be true: if Henry were to give Soriano 35M dollars, negotiate the contract himself, include all kinds of silly opt-outs for the player, and lose the draft pick, Theo would be gone. No press conference needed.

    Brad January 20, 2011, 3:12 pm
  • There is that element of the payroll, but more than that it’s the guys that have been here forever and are proven winners and the backbone of the team. I have no problem with Cashman, he does a good job but who is to say someone else couldn’t as well? The money is certainly an advantage, but so is have #2, #42, #20 and #46 (hopefully). I really don’t think Cashman when I think about the Yankees. Not to mention, I am no where near as big a baseball fan as most of you guys. Maybe one of the more well versed YF’s can pick this point up and run with it?
    Theo is a great GM, and he got you guys 2 rings so I get why you all love him. I’m just not so quick to call him a genius nor bow in reverence seeing as he too has all the advantages of the Yankees…just not ON the Yankees…(and we’re back to our normal talking point!) ;)

    krueg January 20, 2011, 3:14 pm
  • Like my favorite Yankee blog reads:
    “If we had 200M to burn, the Yankees would never lose a game”
    I think this is the general feeling among most people, which is why I think you downplay this thing so much. Or maybe I’m overplaying it? I dunno, either way it’s a shaky thing to me.

    Brad January 20, 2011, 3:15 pm
  • “Yes. He stood his ground, and decided that if he was going to be questioned and walked on, he was leaving. It took them one draft and one off season to realize how much of a mistake that was, and fixed his problem for him.”
    Right. And this to me seems to be a much bigger deal than Cash getting overruled and saying so. It’s the Bronx man, WAY crazier shit has happened over there!

    krueg January 20, 2011, 3:18 pm
  • Like my favorite Yankee blog reads:
    “If we had 200M to burn, the Yankees would never lose a game”
    I think this is the general feeling among most people, which is why I think you downplay this thing so much. Or maybe I’m overplaying it? I dunno, either way it’s a shaky thing to me.
    I think you and I both know that is a stupid thing to say…as if running a baseball team is just as simple as money spent. If that were true, the Cubs would win at least once in awhile.

    krueg January 20, 2011, 3:19 pm
  • It’s the Bronx man, WAY crazier shit has happened over there!
    To this, we agree. :)

    Brad January 20, 2011, 3:20 pm
  • Sidenote:
    I am home from work because we are supposed to get MAYBE 2 inches of snow. After living in the South for almost 18 years now, it still trips me out…the Buffalo in me enjoys all the time off thought to talk smack with Brad!

    krueg January 20, 2011, 3:21 pm
  • …though, not thought…duh

    krueg January 20, 2011, 3:22 pm
  • I think it’s a bigger deal because Theo didn’t cower at a presser and say that it’s okay that it happens. He left. He told Henry (I assume) that I’m the GM, and I’m not goint to let baseball decisions fall to your lackeys (no pun).
    It’s a bigger story because Theo packed his shit, and walked out (in a gorilla suit) while Cashman simply stepped back in the role he had for years with Tampa contingent.
    I see your point, though.

    Brad January 20, 2011, 3:22 pm
  • think you and I both know that is a stupid thing to say…as if running a baseball team is just as simple as money spent. If that were true, the Cubs would win at least once in awhile.
    Right, I agree. But, I also feel that this is how A LOT of people feel – especially those who don’t root for a top ten payroll team. Which is why I think people downplay Casham (and Theo to an extent).

    Brad January 20, 2011, 3:24 pm
  • am home from work because we are supposed to get MAYBE 2 inches of snow.
    hahah. I currently have piles of snow in my driveway taller than me (and I’m 6′). The tread on my tires are about an inch and a half. haha.

    Brad January 20, 2011, 3:25 pm
  • I don’t think my fear of who’s next or the idea that anyone can do it is what makes Cashman so replaceable to me. Listen Joe Torre was successful. Bill Cowher was successful and so on down the line. If teams are run the right way from the bottom up there should never be a fear about the unknown. If Cashman wants to leave or the ownership thinks it’s time to move on, then goodbye. I have to put my faith in the Yankees that they will not regress but progress forward with their somewhat new game plan of maintaining a farm system and staying competitive through the use of something more than the human eye. The Raiders are awful because they are run that way. The Lions were awful because they were run that way. The Mets are/were awful because they were run that way. The Yankees were only less awful because they threw money at their mistakes. Those days appear to be over and I can only put my faith in the fact that I believe that can be maintained.

    John - YF January 20, 2011, 4:22 pm
  • With that said the Yankees just signed Andruw Jones. Base salary of $2M with $1.2M in incentives (that hopefully we don’t need him to reach!)

    John - YF January 20, 2011, 4:23 pm
  • “Right, I agree. But, I also feel that this is how A LOT of people feel – especially those who don’t root for a top ten payroll team. Which is why I think people downplay Casham (and Theo to an extent).”
    Oh for sure, and Sarah Palin actually has thousands of people that support her so we both know there are alot of let’s say…fucking stupid…people in this country. :)
    Andruw Jones…yawn, I mean YAY!!!! Better in the field than Thames at least. Of course I’M better in the field than Thames.

    krueg January 20, 2011, 4:49 pm
  • Jeez…there goes the Yankees being frugal in the outfield again. :)
    Jones is neither high risk or high reward, therefor, not an issue either way. He’ll accidentally guess every now and then and send one deep, and he’ll play decent defense.
    Nothing wrong with this signing at all.
    On another note, Heyman just tweeted:
    Yanks now have maybe 8 HOFers on the roster in Jeter, ARod, Mo, Posada, Tex, Cano, Pettitte, and Jones.
    Really? If not for Boras’ inside track, this guy wouldn’t have a job.

    Brad January 20, 2011, 5:06 pm
  • He’s a serviceable 4th OF’r…not all teams have the luxury of having spending $7.5M on their 4th OF’r… ;)
    He’s still good vs lefties and he can play defense. Something they did not have last year with Thames. I’m fine with it.

    John - YF January 20, 2011, 5:28 pm
  • We HAVE to be the favorites to win it all now…first Soriano and now ANDRUW JONES???? #28 is all but assured… ;)

    krueg January 20, 2011, 5:51 pm
  • I guess Heyman buried the lede, since he has Pettitte on the Yankees’ roster. Or is the “maybe” supposed to cover guys who might go into the Hall AND guys who might be on the roster? In which case the Yankees have maybe FIVE HUNDRED Hall of Famers on their roster!
    and Sarah Palin actually has thousands of people that support her
    If only there were so few. Sigh.

    Paul SF January 20, 2011, 5:52 pm
  • Jon Heyman really thinks Andruw Jones is a Hall of Famer? Seriously?
    Let me guess: Jones has a lot of Gold Gloves so of course he’s a valid candidate!

    SF January 20, 2011, 6:01 pm
  • I couldn’t find that tweet, looks like Heyman deleted and replaced/corrected with this:
    “if pettitte pitches, is it overstating to say #yankees to have 9 hall candidates? other 8: jeter, arod, mo, jorge, cc, andruw, cano, teix”
    This guy is such a total jackass. I mean, just because the medium is quick shouldn’t prevent someone from offering acknowledgment of self-correction. What an insecure a-hole Heyman is.

    SF January 20, 2011, 6:03 pm
  • “and Sarah Palin actually has thousands of people that support her
    If only there were so few. Sigh.”
    Common ground my friend…I was being conservative in my estimate. Most of them seem to live around me.
    Now back to the hatred!!! ;)

    krueg January 20, 2011, 6:13 pm
  • “Sarah Palin actually has thousands of people that support her.”
    Were that truth. Sigh.

    attackgerbil January 20, 2011, 7:25 pm
  • Sabres suck AG..0-1 to the Bruins after 1 period.

    krueg January 20, 2011, 7:43 pm
  • brad perhaps there’s some middle ground…i may be underplaying and you guys may be overplaying the distraction, tension, dysfunction, and potential loss of the gm…all i’m saying is that if cashman leaves, he leaves…prior to this the yankees have survived the loss of players, coaching, staff, management and ownership, and i’m sure they can survive the eventual loss of cashman, whether it’s this year or down the road…

    dc January 20, 2011, 8:24 pm
  • “The Red Sox talked to the A’s and White Sox about Jonathan Papelbon. Boston appeared willing to offer Rafael Soriano a one-year deal and make him their closer. If the sides had agreed to a deal, the Red Sox would have sent Papelbon elsewhere, likely to Oakland or Chicago” – MLBTradeRumors
    Maybe Soriano isn’t so bad after all?

    John - YF January 21, 2011, 2:51 pm
  • krueg, it appears your reverse mojo worked, what with the Sabres coming from behind, and at The Gahdin no less. There’s still hope. Only 7 points out from the 8-slot.

    attackgerbil January 21, 2011, 3:08 pm
  • Nobody argued the fact that Soriano is good – of course he is.

    Brad January 21, 2011, 3:19 pm
  • On a one-year deal, Soriano is great.
    On a three-year deal, Soriano is great … for the first year.
    No one has yet to argue the Yankees are a worse team in 2011 for signing Soriano. In fact, I for one have said just the opposite several times.
    Having already given up their first-rounder to sign Crawford, the Sox would have been signing Soriano to a one-year deal at the cost of a second-round pick, as opposed to a three-year deal and a first rounder. Pretty much apples and oranges at that point.

    Paul SF January 21, 2011, 3:21 pm
  • wait, when i suggested that earlier, i was pooh-poohed…bard is the answer when they finally punt pap…

    dc January 21, 2011, 3:23 pm
  • Bard is pitching higher leverage innings by not closing, I believe. I am therefore happy with him not closing.

    SF January 21, 2011, 3:40 pm
  • he is.
    Bard has more talent in his left arm than Papelbon and Soriano have in both.
    He’s right handed.

    Brad January 21, 2011, 3:42 pm
  • #1: I was referring to this “Maybe Soriano works out fine.” Fine just seems like a word you’d use to describe something far from good. I already know you guys aren’t the homers.
    #2: I have a feeling that if there was a deal Paul it would have been a sign and trade and the Sox wouldn’t have given up even the 2nd round pick. Just a feeling I get because I assume the perceived value of Paps is higher than Soriano.
    #3: Why is a 3 year deal with a 32 year old a bad thing? If it’s injuries, we need to look at what injuries he’s had. Elbow and Ulnar nerve…He’s not a walking trip to the DL, these are severe issues, but they aren’t chronic. He’s not Nick Johnson…

    John - YF January 21, 2011, 3:42 pm
  • bard is the answer when they finally punt pap…
    I am counting down the days till this happens.

    Brad January 21, 2011, 3:44 pm
  • but sf just said that “…bard is pitching higher leverage innings by not closing, I believe. I am therefore happy with him not closing….”
    is it possible this superman can do both?…pitch the higher leverage innings of setup relief, then close for himself…now that would be something…

    dc January 21, 2011, 3:56 pm
  • I was more talking about Papelbon being off the team, dc.
    But yes, I’m happy with Bard closing games right now.

    Brad January 21, 2011, 4:01 pm
  • To DC’s point, I would have pooh-pooed such a suggestion because the Sox already have Papelbon, Jenks and Bard. Why add a fourth closer? The fact that they could even find someone to take Papelbon would surprise me, and would make me wonder how much salary they’d be eating, on top of the money they’d be paying Soriano and Jenks. The more I think about it, the more I think Heyman might be just plain wrong. Which actually makes much more sense to me.
    John, I think most people are in agreement that three-year deals for relievers of any kind are bad news, never mind ones for $12M per year. Not even Soriano has ever put together three consecutive solid and healthy seasons, so the Yankees are basically asking him to put up five in a row (the two he’s had leading into this deal, plus the three in this deal). How many elite relievers have managed even three consecutive years of greatness? Off the top of my head, I name Mariano. Papelbon. Nathan. K-Rod. Mariano is of course insane. Papelbon had four incredible years and imploded in Year 5. Rodriguez had four solid years as a closer and imploded in Year 5. Nathan was awesome for six years, but then lost all of 2010 to TJ surgery. You get the picture. The track record for relievers being elite even for three consecutive years is slim. For five or longer, it’s been essentially two relievers in the current era of reliever usage (that I can think of. I’m sure I’m forgetting someone).
    The counterargument, of course, is that the Yankees can afford two years of dead weight if that’s what happens. I think some of the more sabermetrically oriented Yankee bloggers question whether this is true, given the large amounts being paid to Rivera, Teixeira, A-Rod, Jeter, Sabathia and Burnett over that same time period, but I don’t really know one way or the other. I hope those bloggers are right, of course.
    Like I said before, I’m pretty apathetic about this move. It makes the Yanks better next year, which kind of sucks for me, but if this is the official Big Move of the Offseason for the Yankees, that’s pretty awesome from my perspective.

    Paul SF January 21, 2011, 5:52 pm
  • > elite relievers have managed even three consecutive years of greatness?
    Paul, I know you were winging it and I might be missing the point, but Eck, Rollie, Smith, Goose, and Smoltz all go to your list off the top of my head and I wasn’t even trying. I agree with you because this move perplexes me, and makes me wonder what is going on. I’m hoping for the best, but absolutely confused by this move.

    attackgerbil January 21, 2011, 6:15 pm
  • Beating Boston in any sport is fun AG! :)
    Bard, Paps…either one of them is fine with me. Straight 99 mph fastballs go a long way off Yankee bats!!!

    krueg January 21, 2011, 7:17 pm
  • All VERY good points Paul but I’m betting he’s not a yankee in 2012…
    Vernon Wells to Angels for Napoli and Rivera.

    John - YF January 21, 2011, 9:41 pm

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