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Thursday, November 15, 2012

David Cone: “Yankees are “not in the game” for free agents

Cone beam reconstructs Yankees.

Earlier today, David Cone and Joe Girardi helped assemble USO packages at Yankee Stadium, and I’m guessing Cone spoke for many of you when he said this:

“Free agents do not need to apply (with the Yankees), as far as right now. … It’s shaking up the free-agent market, that’s for sure — not just this year, but a couple of years; probably since ’09 or ’08. A lot of agents are out there waiting for the Yankees to get back in the game, and they’re not in the game. It may take a couple of more years. I think most people realize this is probably a one-year thing with the Yankees so they can reset the tax rate. If they get under one year, then maybe the Yankees will be back in play again.”

The Yankees have yet to make a splash this winter — then again, most teams have yet to make a real splash this winter — and it’s clear that the Yankees budget concerns going forward are a significant factor. Trying to get below the $189-million mark has left them hesitant to give multi-year deals, which has hurt their chances of landing players like Torii Hunter, who’s already signed with the Tigers.

Repoz Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:28 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, yankees

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   1. Gamingboy Posted: November 15, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4303675)
They're in the game.
   2. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: November 15, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4303742)
Unbalanced quotation marks. Relevant:
   3. Walt Davis Posted: November 15, 2012 at 07:06 PM (#4303779)
They're gonna be in on lots of FAs. Right now they've got no C, no RF, no DH, no bench, no closer and only 3 starting pitchers (only 1 of them good). That there's a good chance the FAs they sign will have been 2012 Yanks (Rivera, Pettitte and Kuroda almost for sure, Martin likely I think) doesn't really change things. Granted, I think they're likely to pass on the big names this offseason but Hamilton's the only one who strikes me as a particularly good fit. I could see some possibility of them signing Sanchez.
   4. Dr. Vaux Posted: November 15, 2012 at 08:39 PM (#4303853)
I don't think they're signing Kuroda for sure. He might go back to the Dodgers or back to Japan. They might have to do two years, and I don't know if they will.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: November 15, 2012 at 09:45 PM (#4303931)
2 years is certainly possible although, if he wanted it, you'd think he could have gotten a 2-year contract in any of 2010, 11 or 12.

As to the Dodgers -- for all I know they're going to spend $300 M this year but they already have under contract for 2013: Kershaw, Beckett, Billingsley, Harang, Capuano and Lilly (who's probably done). They could probably sign Kuroda then trade one of Harang/Capuano but it seems like an awful lot of effort.

I'm actually not expecting the Dodgers to do a whole lot more. They've already got 17 guys on guaranteed money, 3 arb-1 guys and a bunch of pre-arb relievers. They could use a starting SS/3B and have too many backup IF but their roster is pretty much set already.
   6. Downtown Bookie Posted: November 16, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4304414)
Perhaps I'm just reading way too much into this, but is this a topic where Cone should be speaking so authoritatively? I mean, shouldn't there be at least some hint of deference to the actual GM; i.e. "I don't know for sure what Brian Cashman intentions are for any specific free agent, but it seems to me...." rather than "“Free agents do not need to apply (with the Yankees), as far as right now...."

Or, again, am I just reading way too much into this?

   7. Walt Davis Posted: November 16, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4304655)
Or, again, am I just reading way too much into this?

Both? :-) Yes, he shouldn't be so definitive but he's also just a televised version of a guy posting on the internet. We overstate stuff all the time.

As I nitpicked, if asked about it, I'm sure he'd make it clear he's really only talking about the "big" names. I'm pretty sure he "knows" they're going to sign Pettitte, Rivera, etc. all of whom are FAs. All he's really saying is "the Yankees are not gonna sign anybody to a huge long-term contract this offseason." And that's almost certainly the case although it's possible they'll work out a Cano extension this offseason rather than wait.

Hmmm ... is that a way to avoid at least a little bit of the tax threshold? Cano will make $15 M in 2013. Let's say they negotiate a 5/$125 extension for 2014-18. (Actual years/dollars aren't important to the example.) That 5/$125 would count as $25 M against the threshold each year. But can they instead void the 2013 option and call it a 6/$140 contract that starts in 2013 (maybe even paying him $23 M in 2013) and then it counts only as $23.3 M against the threshold for 2014-18? Not a big difference but every little bit helps.

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