Soriano to the Bronx

Yanks sign Rafael Soriano to a three year contract worth $35M (that's 23x the total value of what Kerry Wood signed for with the Cubs, for reference). To set up. They lose a first round draft pick in the process, and also gave Soriano opt-outs after each season (not that he'd opt out with such a large contract, but it's still a lot of leverage to the player, especially if a certain Rivera retires soon). Yankee fans should love the move baseball-wise, which is really all that matters in the end. A corollary benefit being that (hopefully) we won't be hearing any more about how much the Sox are overpaying Bobby Jenks with their 2/$12M deal.

66 comments… add one

  • I just went back and looked over Soriano’s career stats and I have to say he’s far better than I thought he was. I am not a company line guy, but I don’t get why some people are so upset over this signing? The guys at NoMaas are going to explode…Peter Abraham had some snark, and so on and so on…It’s a draft pick at the bottom of the first round and you paid a closer, closer money to be a set up guy on a team that has 2 reliable starting pitchers at the moment…Provided Mariano and Soriano stay healthy they’ve locked down the 8th and 9th, especially important when you need to maximize the ability to capitalize on the starts of Sabathia and Hughes. Is it Cliff Lee, no obviously, but it’s not like they just signed LaTroy Hawkins people.
    Excluding 2004,2005 and 2008 (I believe he was injured or coming off injuries in those seasons) his numbers are also significantly better than Jenks. I am sure someone will break out some WAR, RAR, poppycock that says otherwise, but purely WHIP, K’s, ERA, BAA, etc…Soriano’s demand more money than Jenks.
    Did anyone really complain that Jenks deal was too high? I for one was disappointed that the Yankees didn’t land him.

    John - YF January 14, 2011, 9:43 am
  • Now imagine if Pettitte comes back…
    Great move. Solidifies the bullpen not only with a lockdown 8th and 9th but also provides some insurance if Mo gets banged up and also gives us a second closer to give Mo a break when needed. I love this move.
    Science bless the USA and the New York Yankees.

    krueg January 14, 2011, 10:10 am
  • Buster Olney just tweeted a random thought about the Yankees now going after Grant Balfour since he wouldn’t cost the Yankees a 1st rounder and would come fairly cheap. Maybe the Yankees are trying to eliminate the need for starters all together? Just sign RP’s and lock down the 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9th…Certainly Mitre can pitch 4 innings, right? ;)

    John - YF January 14, 2011, 10:14 am
  • Great move for the Yanks. A lot of money for a set-up guy, but the Yanks can certainly afford it. Now imagine if Joba bounces back to his previous form. That’s a tough 7-8-9.

    Atheose - SF January 14, 2011, 10:20 am
  • Oh, that crazy Cashman. “We won’t give up a first-round pick for a reliever.”

    Paul SF January 14, 2011, 10:23 am
  • “We won’t give up a first-round pick for a reliever.”
    But we will give it up for TWO relievers…Maybe he does have his sights set on Balfour? Hmmmm…

    John - YF January 14, 2011, 10:27 am
  • It’s a good move by NY for sure, but all of the risk is on them. They gave up a first rounder in the deepest draft in years to a division rival, and he opts out whenever he wants to opt out, unless he’s hurt or sucks, at which point he just collects.
    On paper right now, however, it’s a good move talent wise.

    Brad January 14, 2011, 10:34 am
  • yeah, i don’t remember thinking or saying that jenks was a bad signing for the sox, so if i did, it was really my evil twin brother…
    you can’t really use kerry woods as the example here sf, because the yanks only had an option on him for ’11, and he would likely be gone after that…the option was for $11m, or about the same as they’ll be paying soriano

    dc January 14, 2011, 10:35 am
  • It is a good strategy by Cashman, though. If you can’t get decent starters VIA FA or trade, shorten the game with good relievers. If Joba and Robertson have decent years, you could essentially have a great pen to pick up slack on days 3 through 5.

    Brad January 14, 2011, 10:36 am
  • hit post before i was done…actually soriano’s ’11 salary will be $10m or 10% less than what the yanks would’ve had to pay woods for ’11…also, i’m sure i read somewhere that woods turned down more money from another team because he wanted to return to chicago…now if he had another good year for the yanks, maybe they could have bribed him to stay…how did that work out with cliff lee?…

    dc January 14, 2011, 10:39 am
  • Not to mention Wood took far less than he could have simply to go back and play for the Cubs and secure a place in their front office. If not he gets 6X, 7X what he took from the Cubs.

    John - YF January 14, 2011, 10:40 am
  • I’m not really sure what I think about this signing because while it obviously adds value to the Yankees, it’s equally obviously a big overpay for the value they’ll be receiving, and it does nothing to address the Yankees’ biggest hole, which of course is starting pitching.
    So I went to other Yankee blogs to see what they thought, and they pretty uniformly hate this signing unless it means Joba is going back to the rotation, which it appears is off the table, but I honestly don’t know how we can assess anything the Yankee front office says at face value.
    SG at RLYW ran the numbers on how adding Soriano would change the projections for the Yankees, and said the ceiling for added value would be two wins, and that he expected more in the neighborhood of one win. Then there’s the question of health. Soriano’s been injured three times in the past six years, but he’s been healthy for the past two. Someone else noted that Soriano’s K/9 dropped precipitously last season.
    So it obviously makes the Yankees better in 2011, but the signing carries some significant risks, not least of which is that Soriano can pitch like Mariano Rivera c. 1996 and not help the Yankees functionally one bit because he’s simply not being asked to protect enough leads to make that performance a difference-maker in the division.
    So I guess I’m disappointed because I’d obviously rather the Yankees make moves that don’t improve the team next season, but given the inevitability of team-improving moves, I think I’d rather they be of this caliber.

    Paul SF January 14, 2011, 10:57 am
  • “…but I honestly don’t know how we can assess anything the Yankee front office says at face value….”
    agree paul…after a few weeks of saying that he wouldn’t sacrifice a draft pick to get a reliever, what does cashman do?…yep
    i guess i’m still not going to get hung up on hair-splitting projections…1 game, 1.8 games, whatever…the fact is that the signing makes the yankees better to some degree than they were before…i’m not buying the notion that this doesn’t mean joba will be a starter, of course that presumes that i think he will be at least somewhat effective [better than javy]…it just doesn’t make sense to start a lesser starter in order to save joba for a 7th inning “situation” that may never materialize…of course my rant is moot if the yanks have simply determined that joba isn’t good enough to be a starter…

    dc January 14, 2011, 11:19 am
  • “…but I honestly don’t know how we can assess anything the Yankee front office says at face value….”
    agree paul…after a few weeks of saying that he wouldn’t sacrifice a draft pick to get a reliever, what does cashman do?…yep”
    Because GM’s and front office people are always up front and honest with the media? You guys were under this illusion?

    krueg January 14, 2011, 11:31 am
  • Because GM’s and front office people are always up front and honest with the media? You guys were under this illusion?
    I think there is a decided difference between being “up front” or honest in answering questions, or just flat out lying about things.
    “I’m not giving up a draft pick to sign Soria” is a lot different than “I don’t think we’re going to do that”.
    But, through the years, I’ve learned that Cashman is nothing if not a liar.
    In his defense, not that he needs it, I think this time it wasn’t his choice.

    Brad January 14, 2011, 11:41 am
  • ….also really hope they pass on Soriano. I know that it’s appealing to have a Soriano – Rivera bridge, but between the draft pick and his desired salary I’d pass. Let’s try and lock down that 4th OF and get ready for ST!
    ________________________________
    …just went back and looked over Soriano’s career stats and I have to say he’s far better than I thought he was. I am not a company line guy, but I don’t get why some people are so upset over this signing? The guys at NoMaas are going to explode…Peter Abraham had some snark, and so on and so on…It’s a draft pick at the bottom of the first round and you paid a closer, closer money to be a set up guy on a team that has 2 reliable starting pitchers at the moment…Provided Mariano and Soriano stay healthy they’ve locked down the 8th and 9th, especially important when you need to maximize the ability to capitalize on the starts of Sabathia and Hughes. Is it Cliff Lee, no obviously, but it’s not like they just signed LaTroy Hawkins people.
    Come on, John…Can’t go both ways that fast!!

    Brad January 14, 2011, 11:47 am
  • “…Because GM’s and front office people are always up front and honest with the media? You guys were under this illusion?…”
    no, of course not krueg…gm’s have to play this cat and mouse game all the time…it’s the nature of the business…if he appears to want soriano too much, the price goes up, right?…he was obligated not to sound desparate, even though in reality he was…
    calling cashman a “liar” is a little strong isn’t it brad?….i assume that you think theo is not, or what’s the point of throwing that out there?…

    dc January 14, 2011, 12:02 pm
  • There’s a difference between making a qualifying statement, “Right now we’re looking at doing x and y” where x and y are not what actually happen, but there are numeous reasons why that could be the case, and “right now” is the operative phrase..
    It’s far different to say “I’m not going to do this,” and then do it.
    For example, back in the Texieria business, as I recall it, Cashman said something like, “We’re comfortable with Bubba Crosby (or whoever it was) at first base.” Well, maybe the Yankees were, but they were obviously more comfortable with having Teixeira there. That’s misdirection, sure, but it’s still potentially true and a bit different than saying, “We’re not giving up the draft pick for anyone but Lee,” then giving up the draft pick for Soriano, or saying, “If A-Rod opts out, we’re not going to negotiate with him,” then negotiating with him.
    Now maybe Theo has done the same things. I just don’t recall them. I’m happy to be proven wrong. I’d consider it distasteful regardless of who did it.

    Paul SF January 14, 2011, 12:37 pm
  • Other news:
    Jeff Francis signs with the Royals.
    Grant Balfour signs with the A’s.
    And Buster Olney drops what appears to be a small bomb:
    There’s a “major divide of opinion on Soriano within the [Yankee] organization, and … Cashman’s autonomy in matters of baseball operations may have eroded.”
    The Yankees had been connected to Francis to at least some extent as a potential back-end guy, and apparently the Balfour-to-the-Yanks thing was just idle speculation.
    Does Olney’s comment mean Cashman isn’t a Soriano fan, and someone like Hank or Hal is now starting to exert more influence on the operations decision-making?

    Paul SF January 14, 2011, 12:43 pm
  • “Maybe the Yankees are trying to eliminate the need for starters all together? Just sign RP’s and lock down the 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9th” – It works with the right bullpenn. See the Indians in the 90s.
    How does that contract work? Do the yanks get a new draft pick if he opts out of the contract after year one or year two?

    Mike Covell January 14, 2011, 12:46 pm
  • Brad, when did I applaud the move? I stick by what I have been saying all along: 4th OF’r and Starting Pitcher depth…To me that was the priority. With that said this isn’t a bad move by any means, certainly not one to go bananas over either (either direction). The level that Abraham and NoMaas have taken it to make it sound like (again) the Yankees signed LaTroy Hawkins. If I am Brian Cashman this is not my first priority, but by all means Brad I never said I’d be up in arms if they made the move. It is what it is and it’s done. I still stick by both comments I made.

    John - YF January 14, 2011, 12:53 pm
  • Well, there’s no guarantee of compensation picks after the upcoming draft because of the likely changes in the CBA, over which negotiations are about to begin.
    Most observers seem to think we’ll see some changes to the draft system in 2012, perhaps the end of teams giving up their own draft picks and almost certainly the introduction of a hard slotting system, which would reduce the value of the draft picks the Sox and Yanks typically have.
    But, yes, if Soriano opts out (unlikely), and the arbitration system exists as presently constituted (probable), and the Yankees offer him arbitration (likely), and he declines it (likely), and there is still a free agency compensation/ranking system similar to the current one (unsure), then the Yankees would probably get a draft pick.

    Paul SF January 14, 2011, 12:58 pm
  • The Olney quote says he “suggests”…While it makes sense that it may very well be the case, it’s just his thoughts based on nothing other than well, his thoughts. Until Cashman comes out and says there’s no divide, I won’t worry…(Get it because it’s always the opposite…) It’s baseball, it’s a business. People lie and people don’t always see eye to eye. Sometimes GM’s make decisions all on their own, sometimes their hand is forced, is this new information? Owners and GM’s not always being happy with the others decisions…Do we honestly think the Sox ownership is super psyched they are paying Mike Cameron, their 4th OF’r $7M+ this season? As long as the end result is a good product who cares how they get there.

    John - YF January 14, 2011, 1:09 pm
  • “…But, through the years, I’ve learned that Cashman is nothing if not a liar. …”
    that was the comment i reacted to: “through the years”…yet there’s only one example [assuming you agree that he didn’t lie about tex], and his handling of the soriano transaction may not even be an example after all…if you have any faith in olney’s report, cashman may have been overruled…he may have been “ordered” to sign soriano and sacrifice the draft pick…sorry guys, but that ain’t lying…
    frankly i don’t really care if theo is a liar or not, or if we have dna, videotape, whatever…my only point is that it is naive to think gm’s don’t torture the truth with players, media, fans, their bosses, each other…

    dc January 14, 2011, 1:09 pm
  • my only point is that it is naive to think gm’s don’t torture the truth with players, media, fans, their bosses, each other…
    Well, hopefully, not their bosses, but I agree with this. It’s just shocking to me to hear such a firmly stated comment go by the boards in such a short time.
    I don’t have ESPN Insider, so I’m going by MLBTR’s summary of Olney’s comments. Is he basically speculating about the divide based on Cashman’s stark reversal? It might make sense: There was some talk that he was overruled on not negotiating with A-Rod, too.
    It could be a bunch of nothing, but if I’m a Yankee fan, I don’t want anyone other than Cashman making these decisions.

    Paul SF January 14, 2011, 1:26 pm
  • Olney confirmed via Twitter that it’s fact and not speculation.

    John - YF January 14, 2011, 1:26 pm
  • Paul, his initial quote was speculation. 50 minutes ago on Twitter he said it’s fact.

    John - YF January 14, 2011, 1:33 pm
  • John, I was just kidding man. I got the just of both quotes, and was just busting stones.
    @dc: maybe you’re right: liar is a strong set of words. I just remember the Crosby, Tex, and now Soriano stuff. He publicly states a difinitive idea, then goes directly against it later.
    But, as Paul states, saying you’re absolutely not going to do something, then do it, is a lie.
    But again ,as is being reported, there might be a chance that Cashman actually wanted to stand by what he said.
    Apparently, Hank and Hal read Lohud, where the Soriano signing was as important, if not more so, than oxygen.:)

    Brad January 14, 2011, 2:31 pm
  • “”…But, through the years, I’ve learned that Cashman is nothing if not a liar. …”
    that was the comment i reacted to: “through the years”…yet there’s only one example [assuming you agree that he didn’t lie about tex], and his handling of the soriano transaction may not even be an example after all…if you have any faith in olney’s report, cashman may have been overruled…he may have been “ordered” to sign soriano and sacrifice the draft pick…sorry guys, but that ain’t lying…
    frankly i don’t really care if theo is a liar or not, or if we have dna, videotape, whatever…my only point is that it is naive to think gm’s don’t torture the truth with players, media, fans, their bosses, each other…”
    Exactly. Why on earth would a gm show his cards to anyone…let alone the media???
    But sure, Cashman is a dirty liar. (rolling my eyes to the point they have fallen out of my fucking head)

    krueg January 14, 2011, 2:52 pm
  • But sure, Cashman is a dirty liar. (rolling my eyes to the point they have fallen out of my fucking head)
    I think you’re missing the context here. You can hide your cards without out and out lying about your intentions. But, to a point, I agree with your argument’s intent.

    Brad January 14, 2011, 3:01 pm
  • http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2005/10/theos_statement.html
    “In my time as general manager of the Red Sox, I gave my entire heart and soul to the organization,” Epstein said in a statement. “During the process leading up to today’s decision, I came to the conclusion that I can no longer do so.”
    And I can’t even find a statement from him upon his return a couple months later.
    What a liar. Seems he could still do so, huh?
    (of course I don’t believe he is, but this is just as ridiculous as the statement made earlier)

    krueg January 14, 2011, 3:09 pm
  • Why does Cashman have to tell the truth to the media? Seriously, why? Especially in regards to personnel moves? Why should he give all his leverage away with players and their agents?
    Now, I don’t think this deal is evidence that Cashman or the Yankees were able to maintain any leverage with Scott Boras whatsoever (really, $12M per year AND an opt-out, for a setup guy?!), but really, there should be no outrage or even disdain for the fact that Cashman said one thing and did another. To me that’s pretty silly. I like my GMs guarded and deceptive, smart, canny, and maybe even occasionally dishonest, if that’s what it takes.
    As for the move, what’s not to like (ignoring money, for argument’s sake)? It locks in basically 130-150 innings at what will be a minuscule ERA. How is that BAD?

    SF January 14, 2011, 3:16 pm
  • Virtually anything that puts an effective and reliable hurler on that mound for any portion of a game in 2011 is welcome news to me.
    As for rumored erosion of Cashman’s authority, I certainly hope that these are just rumors because Paul is right – if the Steinbrenners are increasing their engagement in baseball decisions I fear for the Yanks.
    And as for who lies, I think this is really rather ridiculous. Cashman did not lie about A-Rod. A-Rod went crawling back via an intermediary to George Steinbrenner directly. Whatever stances the organization had taken until that point became moot. Some of you guys are trying to hold up your GM in a favorable light vs. the GM of the team you dislike. Please drop it, before you force me to start diagnosing the personality flaws that lead someone to don gorilla suits at the office.

    IronHorse (YF) January 14, 2011, 3:25 pm
  • Well, from what I read, people aren’t happy about giving up the draft pick, the length of the deal, the injury history and the general inconsistency of relievers not named Mariano. Although, granted, Soriano rhymes with Mariano.
    “In my time as general manager of the Red Sox, I gave my entire heart and soul to the organization,” Epstein said in a statement. “During the process leading up to today’s decision, I came to the conclusion that I can no longer do so.”
    And I can’t even find a statement from him upon his return a couple months later.
    What a liar. Seems he could still do so, huh?

    I don’t understand this. The man *did* resign, so it’s not like he said that as some sort of negotiating ploy. And, as was ultimately reported, his resignation came as a result of major differences between him and Luchhino, and he returned after John Henry essentially stepped in to neuter Luchhino’s influence over baseball operations. Circumstances changed, so he returned. It doesn’t affect the truthfulness of a statement made when those circumstances had not yet changed.
    I think there is a line between the game-playing everyone understands is going on — misdirection, playing cards close, even putting out some hints of false interest or what-have-you anonymously — and making a flat-out statement and doing the exact opposite without any noticeable change in circumstances in the interim. And I think — think — most GMs walk that line carefully. But I could be wrong. At any rate, Krueg’s above-cited quote is not an example of Epstein lying to the media.
    I think this whole discussion is pretty much irrelevant anyway, given Olney’s statements. It sounds to me that Cashman meant what he said but was overruled. Which still casts doubt on the credibility of his statements, but for an entirely different — and not altogether new — reason.

    Paul SF January 14, 2011, 3:27 pm
  • “It locks in basically 130-150 innings at what will be a minuscule ERA. How is that BAD?”
    On paper, you’re right. Or, one could say that it locks in 25M for 2 relievers: one well over 40yrs old and the other oft injured.
    Either way, that’s why they play their games.
    “(ignoring money, for argument’s sake)? ”
    hahaah. When was the last time that happened? hahahaha.
    Well played with the Theo quote.
    “like my GMs guarded and deceptive, smart, canny, and maybe even occasionally dishonest, if that’s what it takes”
    Three of four ‘aint bad!:)

    Brad January 14, 2011, 3:28 pm
  • Some of you guys are trying to hold up your GM in a favorable light vs. the GM of the team you dislike. Please drop it
    I agree with this. I’m sorry I brought up Theo at all, though the record will reflect that I did so only to say that I’d find it distasteful regardless of who the GM in question was.
    Also, thanks for the info on the A-Rod deal, IH. I’d forgotten that. It seems to me, then, that there aren’t any examples I can remember of Cashman outright lying to the media either, assuming he was overruled on the Soriano deal.

    Paul SF January 14, 2011, 3:33 pm
  • the media either, assuming he was overruled on the Soriano deal.
    Which I think he was. This deal, while great to have him, is even beyond what I’d expect from Cashman for a reliever. The money AND the pick for a reliever? To a division rival with 9 picks before the second round in the deepest draft in years? That just doesn’t seem logical from a logical GM, but in the immediate, it does help them for sure.

    Brad January 14, 2011, 3:37 pm
  • I don’t know that it’s fair to call him “oft injured” or injury prone. The guy had TJS and a torn UCL…and got hit with a line drive. It’s not like he has a balky back, prone to knee issues, etc…Besides that he’s been pretty reliable.

    John - YF January 14, 2011, 3:39 pm
  • Thanks Paul. Frankly, and very much in line with the point you allude to above, the possibility that Cashman’s authority may be getting undercut by panicky owners is a much bigger deal and concern to me anyway. I think I’d rather Cashman be a liar with power than an honest figurehead. Not that those are the only two choices with which I’d want to be presented, but you get the point…

    IronHorse (YF) January 14, 2011, 3:53 pm
  • I don’t understand the problem with losing a late round 1st round pick…we’re the Yankees. We have a fine farm system from all I’ve written and have the cash to supplement homegrown players with pretty much whoever they want…so what’s the big deal here? Soriano gives us the best bullpen in baseball on paper. Basically the two best closers in the AL on the same team. In light of the obvious starting rotation issues (see AJ’s thick skull) it seems like this was not only a good move, but a rational one. Since when do the Yankees care about a first round pick anyway? Who is the last great Yankee drafted in the 1st round? Jeter?
    It’s basically the same old thing of other teams fans trying to disparage the Yankees in any way possible. (not the SF’s here necessarily, but fans in general) As far as YF’s that are freaking out about draft picks? I cannot understand that. Who cares if the Rays have 10 first round picks…they are essentially the Sox and Yankees farm system anyway, right?
    Fuck…start the season already. Speculation is just that.

    krueg January 14, 2011, 4:06 pm
  • “…all I’ve read…”

    krueg January 14, 2011, 4:06 pm
  • “I don’t understand this. The man *did* resign, so it’s not like he said that as some sort of negotiating ploy. And, as was ultimately reported, his resignation came as a result of major differences between him and Luchhino, and he returned after John Henry essentially stepped in to neuter Luchhino’s influence over baseball operations. Circumstances changed, so he returned. It doesn’t affect the truthfulness of a statement made when those circumstances had not yet changed.”
    And it isn’t possible that “circumstances” changed since Cashman said what he said? Even going under the assumption that “truthiness” is implied in anything a GM says to the media…
    Much in the same way you just out and called Cashman a “liar”, Theo is too then. He said he couldn’t be the Sox GM anymore…yet he obviously could. Lie.
    Just using your thin logic Paul.
    “And I think — think — most GMs walk that line carefully. But I could be wrong. At any rate, Krueg’s above-cited quote is not an example of Epstein lying to the media.”
    Well brother, you seem to be the only person on the planet that thinks that so…and of course it isn’t, anymore than your’s is…which was my point.
    “I think this whole discussion is pretty much irrelevant anyway, given Olney’s statements. It sounds to me that Cashman meant what he said but was overruled. Which still casts doubt on the credibility of his statements, but for an entirely different — and not altogether new — reason.”
    It was irrelevant and pointless from the moment you hit “post”. In terms of Cashman being a liar anyways…

    krueg January 14, 2011, 4:11 pm
  • Hey, Krueg, do me a favor and point out where I called Cashman a liar. Thanks.

    Paul SF January 14, 2011, 4:21 pm
  • Holy shit…I truly apologize Paul…it was actually Brad that said that…
    Replace “Paul” with “Brad” on all my posts on the matter.
    Again, I am sorry for the mix up Paul.

    krueg January 14, 2011, 4:41 pm
  • Damn right. You’re arguing with the invisible man.
    I actually retracted the “liar” as I thought even myself it was a bit harsh.
    And I’ve said a few times now, I agree with the sentiment of your argument on GM’s and the press.

    Brad January 14, 2011, 5:11 pm
  • Who is the last great Yankee drafted in the 1st round? Jeter?
    Yes.

    Brad January 14, 2011, 5:11 pm
  • Who cares if Cashman lied or merely “reversed his position”. Lies, damned, and statistics.

    attackgerbil January 14, 2011, 5:14 pm
  • Since 1977 on 12 major leaguers have been drafted with the 31st pick – Tyler Kepner
    What’s that a 1/3 chance of that surrendered pick turning into a ML’r?

    John - YF January 14, 2011, 6:59 pm
  • I suck. I’m going on self-imposed exile until we sign the next big money dude…and then only to say something profound like “FUCKING SWEET”…
    Again, I’m sorry Paul.
    And yes Brad, I saw your retraction. You are good people dude.

    krueg January 14, 2011, 7:01 pm
  • Don’t go away Krueg. If you do, I will think that I am alone and no one will remind me that as bad as the Sabres be, at least I’m cursed with being a Devils fan.

    attackgerbil January 14, 2011, 7:37 pm
  • Can’t believe I’m saying this but I agree with most of what krueg is saying here. And on what they are paying Soriano…who cares. Money and the Yankees, Sox and any other “big market” teams can spend the money. On the GMs, I’d like to think that if John Henry wanted to pay a player more than they are worth or give up a draft pick for a player that Theo wanted but didn’t want to give up the pick, I’d expect that player on the Sox roster. That is the owner’s prerogative.
    Maybe this was the conversation:
    Cash: I really like Soriano for our pen.
    Hank (or Hal): Well let’s get him.
    Cash: It will cost us a draft pick.
    Hal (or Hank): If he is that important to our success then it is worth the pick, our farm system is one of the best in baseball.
    Cash: But I said I wouldn’t give up the pick to the media
    Hank (or Hal): So…….

    BillsBurgSF January 14, 2011, 9:45 pm
  • Oh – and 50+ comments on a setup guy’s signing by the Yankees – I LOVE THIS SITE!!!!!!!!!!!

    BillsBurgSF January 14, 2011, 9:56 pm
  • Again, I am sorry for the mix up Paul.
    No worries. :-)

    Paul SF January 14, 2011, 10:00 pm
  • “Frankly, and very much in line with the point you allude to above, the possibility that Cashman’s authority may be getting undercut by panicky owners is a much bigger deal and concern to me anyway.”
    Yeah, this is a concern. There is, however, the possibility that Cashman didn’t dig his heels in about this issue, or that his view of the Soriano deal was a bit more nuanced than “we should absolutely avoid signing this guy.” But who knows at this point? His contract is up when? At the end of this year? We’ll see if this episode and other things have dimmed his view of the job.
    As for the contract, I find the opt outs interesting because basically the Yanks, no matter how great Soriano is, are going to want him to opt out when he can. And if he pitches as he’s pitched the last two years, I’m willing to bet that he will opt out after the first year to become a closer elsewhere. Of course, he gets injured (always a possibility, and a distinct one for Soriano) then the Yanks are eating a ton of money. So it’s a high risk, high reward deal.

    Nick-YF January 14, 2011, 10:22 pm
  • Huh, Nick? Opt-outs are of no value to teams. They are only of value to players. Soriano will only opt-out if he has exceeeded his value in performance and his agent thinks the market will allow the player to take advantage of this. If the Yankees are in the position of “wanting” Soriano to opt-out they are in a position of weakness.
    The opt-out benefits only two people: Soriano and Boras. It is a valuable power, and teams don’t give them out cavalierly. My bet is Boras held this one over the Yankees’ head, squeezed it out of them. This deal is proof, once again, of just how f*cking good Scott Boras is at his job.

    SF January 15, 2011, 6:27 am
  • i agree sf…there’s no way the yanks give a player controlled opt-out willingly…it has absolutely no advantange to the team that i can think of…
    i’m not sure all the hubbub over a draft pick anyway…yep, i’ve heard all the talk about what a deep draft it is…so what…the yankees tend to be built for the present, and this year’s edition is a good example…despite what cashman said, does anyone really think the yanks are willing to sacrifice the ’11 season for some kid that may take 5 years to develop, if he makes it at all?…getting soriano just made them a little better now, and that’s what matters…seriously, this all sounds like posturing so that cashman didn’t appear desparate…the debate isn’t whether it’s the best move, it was the only [apparent] move for now…the money?, not that big a deal to a team that had earmarked $25m for a starter that jilted them, and a few more mil they ended up not spending…and count me among those that think the yankees probably aren’t done yet…we could see more moves…what makes boras good sf is that he sees through that stuff…

    dc January 15, 2011, 9:50 am
  • dc January 15, 2011, 9:58 am
  • We’re getting a new owner AG…hopefully before the trade deadline. Things are actually looking up in that department…google Pegula if you weren’t aware.
    I read the same thing dc…
    http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/columns/story?columnist=matthews_wallace&id=6020636
    VERY interesting…i.e. perhaps Mo is definitely done after his 2 year contract is up.

    krueg January 15, 2011, 10:36 am
  • I can’t think of one GM that truly has full autonomy. And don’t think that Theo does – you think he really wanted to sign Lackey to that contract? You think he really wanted to piss Teixeira off enough so that he wouldn’t sign? John Henry has the last word in the Red Sox organization, and it’s the same situation throughout baseball. Except maybe for Billy Beane. The only guy I can think of that has 100% full control of the on-field product is Bill Belichick – and he’s going into the Hall of Fame as football’s version of Earl Weaver.
    Cashman, like most GMs, has had to deal with outside influences and pressures from owners and the like his whole career. The last word has never landed with him. If he thinks being pressured into signing Soriano is such an insult to him, then he’s a baby and should look elsewhere after this year. But I suspect that’s not the case.

    AndrewYF January 15, 2011, 4:28 pm
  • Owners push to sign Soriano = Outrage!!!@$&!!!
    Mo pushes owners and Cash to sign Soriano = Genius!!!
    Let the baseball begin please!

    John - YF January 15, 2011, 6:08 pm
  • I don’t doubt that Rivera would have pushed the Yankees to sign Soriano as a successor, but to count on a 30-year-old reliever to sustain a level of excellence such that he will be a viable replacement for Mariano Rivera in three years strikes me as, well, not very bright from a team-building perspective. I’m sure Rivera doesn’t think the prospect of signing your 2013 closer in 2011 is all that strange — after all, he’s been awesome for 14 straight years. But I can definitely see why such a pitch would have been rejected by someone like Cashman yet accepted by the Steinbrenners.

    Paul SF January 15, 2011, 8:02 pm
  • i was thinking the same thing paul…30’s kind of old to need the kind of mentoring that is hinted at in those articles…i only shared it because of the notion that perhaps this was not cashman’s decision entirely…and i get your point, the idea that another closer will ever approach mo’s level excellence for that length of time is not realistic…the yankees may wind up regretting this signing and have to go back to the drawing board to identify mo’s eventual successor…

    dc January 15, 2011, 8:24 pm
  • I’m not sure I was saying the Yanks willingly added those opts outs, although I do think player opt outs are a lot less daunting to the Yanks than they are to just about any other team. The irony to me, and I’m projecting my wishes onto the front office’s, is that Soriano opting out after the first season might actually represent a best case scenario–especially if the type A arbitration picks are still around. It would mean, in all likelihood, that Soriano had a strong season, his contract would be off the books, and they’d be in line to get two first round picks. But maybe my view is unusual in that I think Soriano is more a need in the short term and a luxury, at best, in the long term. I understand why the Yanks felt the need to strengthen their bullpen going into 2010 because of a weak starting rotation. I don’t exactly think they need to be worried about Mo’s successory just yet.

    Nick-YF January 15, 2011, 9:00 pm
  • krueg January 16, 2011, 11:59 am
  • “but to count on a 30-year-old reliever to sustain a level of excellence such that he will be a viable replacement for Mariano Rivera in three years strikes me as, well, not very bright from a team-building perspective”
    Not to mention that the guy your touting as the replacement can opt out at any point! Who’s to say the Phillies (everyones darlings) decide they are going to break the bank for a much needed closer in 2012…count me in as a guy that really doubts (regardless of age or need) Soriano is being counted on as a year three closer. The only good part of the opt outs is he’s going to be motivated to succeed because if the Yankees will pay $11.5 for a setup man that they in theory don’t have to have what would the phillies and other teams on the brink of greatness minus a closer pay?
    Rangers would have been wise to do so and move Feliz back to SP…after missing out on Lee I wouldn’t be shocked to see him opt out and head to Texas in 2012.
    All speculation of course.

    John - YF January 16, 2011, 12:44 pm
  • > mo’s eventual successor
    Gotta have stones the size of casabas to want that job.

    attackgerbil January 16, 2011, 2:35 pm

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