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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Yankees Aiming Lower on the Payroll, but Higher on the Field - The New York Times

“I’ve been saying you can have a world-championship-caliber team and not have a $200-plus-million payroll,” Steinbrenner said shortly after arriving here for two days of owners’ meetings. “And I think we’re finally getting to a point where that’s coming true for us.”

The Yankees, who had a $209 million payroll last season, have a number of big contracts coming off the books: those of C. C. Sabathia ($25 million), Alex Rodriguez ($21 million), Matt Holliday ($13 million) and Michael Pineda ($7.4 million). But don’t expect that to lead to the type of binge that ensued four years ago, when the Yankees let Robinson Cano leave for Seattle only to go on a nearly $450 million free-agent bender that brought in Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury and Masahiro Tanaka.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2017 at 04:03 PM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Khrushin it bro Posted: November 16, 2017 at 06:22 PM (#5577680)
What do you guys think of the Robinson Cano contract for Seattle so far?

The Mariners finished 3rd twice, 4th and 2nd place in the first 4 years and no playoff games. They have paid him $96 million for 20.5 bWAR and he will be 41! when his contract expires.

He's making $24 million through 2023.

Similar contracts to his remaining contract are

David Wright, $138,000,000 (2013-20)
Alfonso Soriano, $136,000,000 (2007-14)
Freddie Freeman, $135,000,000 (2014-21)
Justin Upton, $132,750,000 (2016-21)
Shin-Soo Choo, $130,000,000 (2014-20)

I'd say that the Yankees should have signed this contract instead of getting Ellsbury and Brian Roberts. If there is any team that should sign their hometown guy to a long contract this was it. He would have hit a lot of HR's over that short porch in RF. They spent a ton of money on Tanaka, Ellsbury, McCann, Beltran and Kuroda so why let Cano go?

If Seattle had made the playoffs a few times it would have been a success but so far that hasn't been the case. Cano is a HOF type player so he might age well similar to an Adrian Beltre. I don't think he will hit well enough to be worth putting at DH so the last 2-3 years could get pretty ugly.
   2. Rally Posted: November 17, 2017 at 08:18 AM (#5577881)
What do you guys think of the Robinson Cano contract for Seattle so far?

They should try to work out an inter-division trade for another player who signed a 240 million dollar contract, but only has 4 years left to go instead of Cano's 6.
   3. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 17, 2017 at 08:50 AM (#5577891)
The problem with evaluating a contract like Cano's 40% into it is that only the absolute nightmare disasters don't look good at that point. Everyone suspected that Cano would absolutely be worth $24 million/year in the first part of the contract, and everyone suspected (and suspects) that he won't be worth that at the end of it. The unknowns are when he'll fall off, how badly he'll fall off, what player salaries will look like in 2022, and how much the money spent on Cano will constrain the Mariners' other ventures.
   4. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 17, 2017 at 09:05 AM (#5577896)
The Angels owe Pujols $114 million (plus an additional $10 million over 10 years starting in 2022), the Mariners own Cano $144 million. Pujols was terrible last year (when he earned $26 million), and assuming that he's never a valuable player again we can say that the last $140 million of Pujols' contract will have been spent on nothing. So if Cano is good for 27 games this year (the amount of time it takes him to earn $4 million) and then turns into a pumpkin, he'll have the same amount of entirely dead money on the end of the player contract that Pujols has. Even that's a bit wrong -- Pujols has the higer AAV and his 140 is spread over 5 years, while Cano's would be spread over 5.8 years. So really Cano has to suck out of the gate this year for the dead money period to match that on Pujols' contract.

(And of course in the good part of his contract, Pujols was worth a bit under 15 WAR over five years, while Cano's over 20 WAR (and 11 WAA) in four.)

This doesn't mean anything, just fun to compare AL West mega-contracts. Not much mystery as to which is the better deal for the team.
   5. Rally Posted: November 17, 2017 at 09:10 AM (#5577897)
The expectation in such a case is that the player will be worth well more than his contract for the first half, and less over the second half.

Cano has provided 20 wins to the Mariners so far. That's certainly surplus value. If he had signed a 4 year, 96 million dollar contract they would have gotten a great bargain. Even if he's to some extent negative value from here on out, it can still be a good or fair contract overall.
   6. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 17, 2017 at 09:24 AM (#5577904)
I'd say that the Yankees should have signed this contract instead of getting Ellsbury and Brian Roberts.

I think they should have done neither. The Seattle contract was simply more than the team should have to take on for the long-term health of the franchise. A 7-year deal would have been defensible but 10 years in an awfully long time, and as we see with the terrible Ellsbury deal, having highly-paid dead weight on the roster for multiple years can absolutely hamstring a talented young franchise like the Yankees and prevent the proper development of young players.

No, they followed up a smart decision with a dumb one and somewhat negated the value of the smart decision as a result.
   7. Captain Supporter Posted: November 17, 2017 at 09:52 AM (#5577912)
The Cano decision was fine as the Yankees needed to go through a (sort of) rebuilding stage and weren't going to be in a position to fully benefit from the first few years of Cano's mega contract. The Yankees certainly did not need to work through their retool only to then be stuck with the back end of that contract. I'm more than glad to have the next five years of Gleyber Torres for virtually no money rather than the next five years of Cano for crazy money that inhibits their ability to improve other positions. The argument that Seattle got its money's worth does not take into account the fact that Cano's contract could be fatally harmful to their efforts to win going forward. Personally, I would never make long term signings like that one because I simply don't want to chance an Albert Pujols situation which could screw up my team for a decade; I would rather spend my money on multiple shorter term contracts for lesser players so I always have roster flexibility.

It was the Ellsbury decision that was downright stupid. It does appear that Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner have learned a lesson about the need to avoid encumbering a roster, but time will tell.
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: November 17, 2017 at 10:15 AM (#5577926)
weren't going to be in a position to fully benefit from the first few years of Cano's mega contract.
The contract was bad in a vacuum, but come on; the first 3 years he was in Seattle, the Yankees won mid-80's games each year using multiple roster spots to get average or worse play at 2B. Meanwhile Cano was giving 155 games of excellent performance.
   9. Blastin Posted: November 17, 2017 at 10:54 AM (#5577953)
Not that the Girardi decision wasn't silly, but I think they should, among their candidates, give Meulens a shot.

If their whole thing is communication, he, like everyone from Curacao (including Sir Didi), speaks a million languages, and having played in Japan, he actually speaks Japanese fluently. They will not find anyone else who speaks English, Spanish, and Japanese. (Side note - I went there in September to get my scuba Cert, and Curacao is a really really nice place that doesn't get hurricanes. Go if you can.)

On top of that, he's been right next to Bochy for 8 years (and has plenty of Intense Playoff Experience As A Coach TM). And he was the manager for the last two Dutch WBC teams, which are full of the youths.

And, well, I'm biased, but it would be cool to have a black manager for my favorite team.

If they hire Aaron ####### Boone I can't even.
   10. Rally Posted: November 17, 2017 at 11:03 AM (#5577957)
I just think it would be cool to have a manager with the nickname "Bam-Bam". It's hard to comment on managerial candidates because I have never met these guys personally, but Meulens does seem extremely well qualified.
   11. Blastin Posted: November 17, 2017 at 11:05 AM (#5577958)
I just think it would be cool to have a manager with the nickname "Bam-Bam".

Imagine the Daily News puns!
   12. Rally Posted: November 17, 2017 at 11:16 AM (#5577966)
Looking back at his career Meulens would have been a good comp at one point for Brandon Wood. Both were hyped power hitting 3rd base prospects, hit well enough through the minors to put up good power stats but had the big red flag of high strikeout rates. Meulens failed at the MLB level, but it was an ordinary, run of the mill failure. Wood on the other hand just could not handle it. Going from a decent AAA player to a replacement level MLBer is normal. Going from decent AAA to hitting like a pitcher in an extended trial is more shocking.

Meulens never really got another extended chance as an MLB player, but remained a good enough AAA player, then Japan, and Mexico, that he could at least contribute there. Wood seems to have been broken by his MLB failure. He played AAA at 27-28 but not well enough to make anyone consider another big league trial, and then at 29 he hit .098 in the Atlantic league and as far as BBref knows, never played again.
   13. Rally Posted: November 17, 2017 at 11:20 AM (#5577970)
Looks like a better comp than I thought - Wood is a minor league manager now, for the Tri City Dust Devils.
   14. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 17, 2017 at 11:22 AM (#5577973)
Cano is currently 15th place in defensive games at 2B. Barring injury, he will pass Biggio, Sandberg, Kent, and Lajoie next year, and has a shot at Mazeroski (138 away) to crack the top 10.
   15. Blastin Posted: November 17, 2017 at 01:00 PM (#5578044)
Barring injury, he will pass Biggio, Sandberg, Kent, and Lajoie next year, and has a shot at Mazeroski (138 away) to crack the top 10.

So basically, only 10 men have played 14ish full seasons at 2B. Damn.
   16. Khrushin it bro Posted: November 17, 2017 at 03:33 PM (#5578187)
The Cano decision was fine as the Yankees needed to go through a (sort of) rebuilding stage and weren't going to be in a position to fully benefit from the first few years of Cano's mega contract.

If they had made better moves they would have competed and would benefit now from having him. Cano was 1.5 to 2 wins better than Ellsbury last year. I think Gardner would have covered CF better than the 2B guys the Yankees have trotted out there the last 4 years. They are better off in 2021 assuming Cano keeps declining at a normal rate. If the Yankees are going to have a $200 million a year payroll then pay for HOF talent.
   17. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: November 17, 2017 at 04:35 PM (#5578223)
As a Mariners fan, I've been pleased with the contract, for a variety of reasons:

1. It was a way of keeping faith with a fanbase that has been badly battered over the last decade-plus -- the M's hadn't been consistently any good since the glory days of Mike Cameron, Ichiro, and Edgar Martinez, and hadn't really showed any interest in changing their ways as long as the team was a cash cow for Nintendo. It wasn't the smartest mega-contract of all time (I mean, the way to keep faith with the fans would have been to spend this money on A-Rod when he was 26, not Cano when he was 31), but Cano is a bona fide future Hall of Famer who sustained his peak performance through the first few years of the contract. (His off season in 2015 was actually an off half-season caused by a stomach infection; healthy Cano was a 7-win player for the first three years of his deal.)

2. The M's haven't been in the playoffs in Cano's time in Seattle, but they've played meaningful baseball in September two of those seasons, and that absolutely wouldn't have been the case with out Robby. A couple of different bounces last year and we're not talking about this in these terms.

3. Aside from the fact that he's basically been everything you could have asked as far as quality of play, Cano is a joy to watch, in a way I didn't appreciate when he was in New York, and a way that no M's player has been in a long time -- probably since Ichiro. On a team that has been so conspicuously lacking in fun for so long, that's important. Also, inasfar as "intangibles" go, in Seattle Cano has been precisely the opposite of how he was portrayed in the NY press: a consummate professional, a solid leader in the clubhouse, a durable guy who keeps in shape and takes his reps even when he's not 100%. He's everything you could want from a team MVP.

It's mostly a shame that his advent coincided with the King's decline. It's not a coincidence that 2014 saw the team win 87 games and Felix and Robby both performing at the top of their game. Since then, Felix has been on the long slide to the great bullpen in the sky, and Robby hasn't had a great supporting cast beyond Cruz and Seager.

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