Tag Archives: Owens

This is what baffles me

It’s interesting to hear Jeter’s agent, Casey Close, describe the negotiations with the Yankees as “baffling.”

There’s nothing baffling about it. Now I understand that Close, like any agent (and I revile sports agents as I do, say, lawyers and politicians) is trying to get the most for his client—especially since he may get a percentage for his own services.

But since this is “baffling” to him, let’s try to put things in ways that he can understand.

  • Your client will be 37 next year. I have a friend who, when JoePa signed a multi-year deal a few years ago, exclaimed “who does he think he is, Methusaleh?” Great quote. (Look up Methusaleh in the Bible if you don’t know what I mean). Well, Casey, your client will be 37 next year. Salary based on projections of current and future performance. You can’t really believe that Derek will put up the numbers at 37-39 that he put up at 27-29. If you do, then you are delusional.   
  • Current or future performance. This is on projections based on Jeter coming off his worst year of his career. One in which his OPS+ was a 90. His BA 21 points lower than any other season in his career. One in which his numbers (.270-10-67, OPS+ 90 with 18 SB, Rtot of -10)  were close to Marco Scutaro’s (.275-11-56, 5 SB. OPS+ 92, -1 RTOT at SS). Scutaro made $5.5MM in 2010, didn’t have Jeter’s SB, but had a much better Rtot. Note, Casey, $5.5MM, not Jeter’s $22.6MM. See what Derek would get on the open market.
  • If I’m paying, I’m not paying on the past. The past doesn’t win you games in 2011. Only the present does. Like I stated. See what Jeter gets on the open market. But sell him as if his name were Joe Schmoe. As if there wasn’t a past with 2926 hits, 5 rings and all the rest. Sell him as he is now. Not as he was in 2000. See what you get.   
  • This contract is about him as a player. Yes, “everything he symbolizes” comes into play. His legacy as a Yankee. His iconic stature. His conduct. His popularity. Hell, all that fits 85 year old Yogi Berra, too! The Yanks aren’t paying Yogi to catch in 2010. Yogi is just as popular on Madison Avenue (as I remember that great AFLAC commercial…)
  • Personally, I don’t go over the age of 37 on a multi-year contract with ANY player. Once 37, I would hope every team goes year by year. No multi-year deals for ANY player once they hit 37. That’s just me. Won’t happen, though. But let me dream.
  • You know the Yanks won’t release Derek. Something will eventually get done. But asking for a multi-year deal over three years at anything over $18MM/per (Yanks apparently offered 3 years, $45MM) is insane. But remember that in Feb. 1935 the Yanks actually released 39 year old Babe Ruth. Who had a better legacy or meant more to the franchise than the Babe? But time marches on and waits for no one. The Babe hit .288-22-84, OPS+ 160 in 1934 at age 39. Granted he played in 30-35 less games in 1934 than Derek did in 2010, and he was a power-hitting OF, not a sleek SS who still could steal 18—but Babe’s 1934 numbers do look a bit better than Derek’s 2010 numbers. Of course, we know what happened in 1935, when the Babe was completely kaput while with the Boston Braves, and retired.
  • In Bernie Williams’ final year, he went .281-12-61. Granted, power-hitting OF again. Bernie was 37, 38 at season’s end. OPS+ 96. Just 2 SB. Numbers similar to what Jeter put up this year. After showing signs of slippage, Bernie worked on just a $1.5MM contract in 2006, that final year, after making over $12MM in 2005. Bernie got invited to spring training in 2007 on a minor league deal. He didn’t come. He still hasn’t “officially” retired.
  • Granted, the Yanks won’t do to Derek what they did to Babe and Bernie. After all, Babe and Bernie had showed signs of decline over a couple of years (Babe 1932 to 1934, Bernie 2003-2006). But neither Babe or Bernie were working on long-term deals by that point. Jeter has showed serious decline just this past year. But “baffling” negotiations? There isn’t anything baffling about it. Old player so you don’t want many years, decline starting don’t want to commit too long, numbers going down so not worth as much. What’s “baffling about that?”

I know he has to say the right things and protect his client. But there isn’t anything “baffling” about the Yankees more-than-fair offer. What’s baffling is that greedy agents don’t get it. But then we saw this last year with the Damon situation, didn’t we?

Happy b/day to Stan Musial, NINETY yesterday (and thanks to my local paper for pointing it out)! A true treasure.

But the same paper suggests Phillies alternatives to Werth. Plan B is trading for Swisher. Sorry to rain on the parade, but the Plan B that the columnist has for the Phillies (trade for Swisher to replace the departing Werth) won’t come off, I don’t think. Sorry, but the Yankees are not after Carl Crawford (the Yanks getting him being the prereq for getting Swish). Their top target is Cliff Lee. There is no room or need for Crawford. If, somehow, the Yanks don’t get Lee, then maybe they target Crawford and try to trade an OF for pitching. But there isn’t any real decent pitching out there to trade for. Predictions? Yanks get Lee. Crawford to Angels. Werth to Boston. Maybe the Phils do the columnist’s  #1 alternative for replacing Werth—that is trade for Corey Hart of the Brewers. But maybe the columnist should contact me or other Yankees bloggers about the Yanks before she writes about them. The Yanks will keep their toes in the water to drive up the price on Crawford. But they aren’t interested in him unless they can’t get Lee. Your thoughts? But hey, the columnist covers the Phils. I really don’t think she knows the Yanks as well. 

But then, some columnists and reporters automatically tie the Yanks to everyone without looking into matters (need, what minor league prospects they have, budget [yes, they do have that]) and think they will throw money at everyone and everything. It’s like they refuse to think that Cashman may actually have a plan

Interesting show. T.O. and Ochocinco. I don’t know how the ratings are, but they better be better than the Bungles sorry 2-8 record.

Final AFL numbers of Yankee prospects:

Austin Romine 16 g. 61 AB. .279-0-7.
Manny Banuelos. 7 starts. 0-2, 3.60
Brandon Laird 27 g. 110 AB. 0236-4-22.
Craig Heyer 7 G. 3 starts. 1-2, 2.50
George Kontos. 10 g. All relief. 1-2, 12.08
Ryan Pope. 9 g. All relief. 0-1, 3.18
Jose Pirela 23 g. 89 AB. .180-1-5

You may want to read about Yankees prospects on milb.com.  But as you do, remember that Miranda has been traded to Arizona and Albaladejo was released so that he can sign in Japan.

New managerial signings recently. Hurdle to the Pirates, Terry Collins to the Mets.

Oh yeah, final thing for now. Rumors have the Yanks offering Lee $115-$120MM for five years. That’s $23-$24MM per.






T.O. to Bills

…and I have a feeling that one of our readers (a Bills fan) can’t be too happy.

Who’s on third? I don’t know.

Only they know our 2009 3B

Only they know our 2009 3B.  I don’t know.


On the day when it comes out that Terrell Owens is being released by the Cowboys, leave it to A-Rod to be a bigger story than Owens.

As of now, we have no clue who is the Yankees 3B. There is no clue if A-Rod will be out or for how long. If he is out, who is the 3B? Cody Ransom? Trade for a Chone Figgins (hello speed, goodbye power. Not the Bronx Bombers but [with Gardner] the Bronx Burners?)?   

It’s more than a cyst in A-Rod’s hip. He has a torn labrum. The rumors have been hot and heavy today. The first rumor had A-Rod getting surgery for the hip and the cyst on Monday—surgery that would take him out for 10 weeks, basically until Memorial Day.

Now we find out that Brian Cashman is stating that the injury will be treated conservatively in the hopes of avoiding an operation. The WBC is out for Alex. Here is the scary news for Yankees fans. Cashman says if surgery is needed, it isn’t 10 weeks. It’s four months. Meaning after the all-star break. Kiss the first half of the season goodbye.

The idea could be rest and see if he is able to play through it, then have the surgery after the season. But could Alex make it through the whole year? Poor Girardi. He’ll have to watch Rivera, Posada and Matsui for starters, all coming back from surgeries. He’ll have to monitor Joba’s innings. Now Alex.

Handle with Care

The Yanks’ new theme song. Handle me with care.

So we don’t know if surgery will be forthcoming. We don’t know yet if A-Rod will be out and if so, for how long. We don’t know who’ll be at 3B. Right now the leading candidate is Cody Ransom with 183 major league ABs.

 …and right now, if A-Rod goes down, the coming-off-surgeries Posada and/or Matsui become Teixeira’s protection in the lineup.

You wonder if the Yanks aren’t able to make a move and A-Rod is out, what they would do. Should Gardner prove himself, you could put Gardner leadoff and drop Damon to 3.  By necessity, Teixeira has to go to cleanup. Radical, I know. Some would want Jeter to go to 3. I disagree there, because I’d 1) want L/R/L Gardner/Jeter/Damon. 2) Damon is lefty and at the Stadium, would be better suited to 3 than Jeter. 3) Damon had a .461 SA last year, Jeter a .408.

Another possibility is to keep JD and Jeter where they are, and move Cano to 3. I’m not sold on that due to Cano’s impatience.

Say they trade for a Chone Figgins. Then I guess Figgins leads off, do the Damon to 3 as I suggested above, have Gardner at 9 and…. become like a track meet.

We’ll see what happens. For all his controversy and ability to open mouth and insert foot, A-Rod would still be missed. Fans could talk about his postseasons, inability to hit in the clutch, RISP, RISP in close and late, etc. You still were looking and hoping for 40/120 this year.

Figgins last year was .276-1-22. OPS+ 82 with 34 SB. 162 g. average .290-5-60 50 SB, OPS+ 96. D at 3B slightly below average.

But you wonder….McGwire’s body broke down. Jason Giambi and the pituitary tumor. A-Roid with the cyst and torn labrum. Bonds and his knee. The steroids break you down. This is the second year of Alex’s nine year deal. Is it a sign of what the next eight years will bring?

One thing I’ve worried about for a while with the Yanks is top-heaviness. People talk about the big $ all they want. But lots of big money at the top leave little for the bench. Little for depth. You can have a $27M 3B but if he goes down, what’s with a $400K backup? Would you rather have two $10M guys? That way if one goes down you have someone else about equal in ability? This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have a star. It is to wonder about depth.

Outside of say, Ransom or Figgins (and if there is a trade, expect the Yanks to have to give up some of their pitching depth…say, Ian Kennedy?) who is out there?    

Teixeira had 15 games at 3B as a rookie, but don’t expect him to move to 3B (and Swisher play 1B). That isn’t going to happen.       

Good points by Gammons. Utley played through it. Lowell couldn’t. So there is a sense of what the Yanks are dealing with. As Cashman said, day by day. Conservative treatment. Gammons mentioned Grudzielanek, but Grudzielanek only has 31 games at 3B under his belt and will be 39 this summer. .299-3-24 for KC last year. OPS+ 100. 86 games. He mentioned Garrett Atkins, who is a free agent after 2009. He’s 29, but will cost a lot.  .286-21-99 for the Rockies last year. OPS+ 97. 162 g. average .298-22-108, OPS+ 108. … and yes, huge difference in the numbers Home (Colorado) and Away. … and won’t come cheaply. 

Damion Easley is out there and unsigned. He’s 39. .269-6-44 with the Mets last year. OPS+ 82. hmmmm…. and there are others but in the utility mode. Ugh. Berroa? 1 game at 3B. Justin Leone? 28. If only Eric Duncan actually was doing something the past couple of years at SWB (2008, .233-11-60). Chad Jennings has an article on how thin the Yanks are at 3B in the system.  Funny, Jennings thinks the same with Figgins and Damon as I do (move Damon into an RBI spot).  An interesting name in Hank Blalock. We know Texas ALWAYS needs pitching (back to Kennedy and others again).  Lefty bat, .287-12-38 last year. OPS+ 121. 162 ga. average of .274-26-97, OPS+ 104. Interesting in that Jennings mentions Blake Dewitt. Yup, not cheap. Blalock could be the best bet. But with Alex’s contract, what do you give up for a short-term solution? Maybe it’s four months, maybe 10 weeks. How much do you have to give up for the short fix? You know a team will now “hold the Yanks up.”  

As for Alex’s comments on Reyes, he just put his foot in his mouth. I didn’t take it as a knock on Jeter or Damon, but as with anything Alex does, it comes out wrong. He means to compliment Jose Reyes, and by saying he’d like the SS leading off on his team it comes out as a slap at leadoff-hitting Damon and SS Jeter. I don’t think he meant it that way. I think he meant to say what he thought of Reyes and his abilities. But as with anything with A-Rod (or, for that matter, T.O.), it comes out wrong….and of course Reyes has his own problems. Like Alex, he comes across as a me-first guy and not a team player (the story of the Phils putting Reyes’ pic in Victorino’s locker, as if to say “dont hotdog it like him” is classic).  

Boston used to say “Reverse the Curse.” Maybe they have. It’s called A-Rod.

We still don’t know what will happen. Surgery or no. Out or not. If out, how long? Trade or not.

Everything’s up in the air.

Only Abbott and Costello know the 3B situation as of now.