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September 11, 2007

Cashman To Allard: If A-Rod Opts Out, Yanks Will Take A Different Direction

Phil Allard has a must read interview with Brian Cashman. Great job by Phil on asking the important questions - including this one:

And if Alex opts out, the Yanks will not pursue him?

[Cashman] If he opts out, we won’t pursue him. It’s basically economics. Any discussions will have to be prior to opting out. If he opts out, we will have to go in a different direction.

Rodriguez has until 10 days after the World Series - November 10th the latest - to opt out of the contract. That's 60 days from today.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at September 11, 2007 04:40 PM

Comments

this bluff is getting annoying now...he will opt, and we will pay. simple as that

Posted by: Corey [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2007 04:56 PM

Cashman held his guns by not dealing young pitchers when he said that he would not deal them. Why would he start bluffing now?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2007 04:58 PM

Cashman held his guns by not dealing young pitchers when he said that he would not deal them. Why would he start bluffing now?
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Not exactly the same thing Steve.

And, further to your posting of the Marchman piece, if Marchman's justification that the Red Sox and Dodgers can add A-Rod because of all the money they're shedding in the next 1-2 years, you ignore the $80.5M that the Yanks have in expiring contracts after the 2009 season. That's Farnsworth, Abreu, Giambi, Mussina, and Pettitte. So if you think Marchman makes a compelling case then so do I.

Having said all that, Cashman would be well-served to shut up about this for a change. In the event that A-Rod does opt out, you don't want to make the guy feel like the GM doesn't want you. Money talks, I know, but a guy like A-Rod is just sensitive enough that he might want to get his ass kissed too. You never know. Point is, Cashman's made his point already. Say it too many times and you start to look like you don't even want the guy...

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2007 05:06 PM

What does anyone expect Cashman to say? "Yes, if he opts out we'd be happy to get into a bidding war with 3 or 4 other teams and pay him $10 million more per year than we're paying him now."

Cashman is the same guy who said that Bubba Crosby would be our centerfielder a few days before signing Damon.

Posted by: christopher [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2007 05:09 PM

Didn't Cashman always say something like "It will be Bubba if we don't come up with something through free agency or a trade"? Did he ever really say Bubba will be our CF?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2007 05:15 PM

I just found it - this is what Cashman said:

"It's going to be hard for me to predict on center field," Cashman said. "It's going to be something that will evolve over time. Right now, it's Bubba Crosby on paper or somebody else from our system. But over time, maybe as early as [the winter meetings that start Monday in Dallas], we are hoping some more legitimate choices that the price tag, whether it's a free agent or a trade, hopefully the price tag make sense to us.

If it does, we will be very aggressive. It's a developing situation, one that I can't really handicap."

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2007 05:16 PM

~~~What does anyone expect Cashman to say? "Yes, if he opts out we'd be happy to get into a bidding war with 3 or 4 other teams and pay him $10 million more per year than we're paying him now." ~~~

No, but, could Cash not also just say "Alex has earned the right to opt out, as per his contract. We value having Alex on this team. If he opts out, we will look to keep Alex on the team while also keeping our eye on the big picture as well...."

But, he's not. Cash keeps saying "If he opts, we're out." I don't think he's bluffing.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2007 05:24 PM

~~~you ignore the $80.5M that the Yanks have in expiring contracts after the 2009 season. That's Farnsworth, Abreu, Giambi, Mussina, and Pettitte. So if you think Marchman makes a compelling case then so do I.~~~

What about 2008? And, what about the extra money that you will have to pay Posada, Mo, and the replacements for Farnsworth, Abreu, Giambi, Mussina, and Pettitte? That's why you can't afford Alex then too.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2007 05:26 PM

My guess is that Cashman's decision may involve the specific terms of the Yanks' contract with Texas. As long as ARod stays in the current contract, Texas pays a substantial share of his annual income. (Around $8m IIRC) If ARod stays in his contract, then the Yanks will pay him around $20m and Texas will pay him $8m.

But, suppose ARod opted out and the Yanks signed him for, say, $30m/year. This would be a new contract. I assume Texas would pay no part of the $30m and the Yanks would pay it all. If so, that would help explain Cashman's refusal to negotiate should ARod opt out.

For all I know, it might be possible for the Yanks to pay ARod more as a part of the current contract, so as to maintain Texas's annual contribution. If so, that could be a good compromise. In the open market, I don't doubt that ARod could get more than the Yanks are paying him, after the unreal 2007 year.

I'd welcome anyone knowing more than I do comfirming or correcting the above guesses.

Posted by: David [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2007 05:39 PM

This sort of continues our conversation from the previous thread, but like I said, I just don't see it happening. ARod has a lot of leverage here, but not all the leverage, that's for sure. The points about the Yankees removing themselves from the free agent market is valid - how many times has a bidding war been decided by a number that had the Yankees offer factored into it? Also, isn't Boras notorious for conjuring rumors that the Yankees are interesting in client X to drive up the market price?

I think this is how it will work out:

(1) Boras/Roriguez will negotiate with Cashman based on what they feel he could get if he opts out. There has been tons of speculation on what this number/year figure is, but if it's $189M AAV for, say, 7 years, that's $189M. Cashman will argue that Alex can only claim he's worth that if teams like the Dodgers and Red Sox are bidding knowing that the Yankees are in the game, which they aren't. But still, let's just say $189M.

(2) Whatever that figure becomes (in my hypothetical, it's $189M), Cashman extends ARod so that he gets that number. It's worth it for the Yankees because of the money from Texas (it was originally $67M of the remaining $179M and the $4M deferred signing bonus, and I think ~ $33M is left. So the Yankees would still be getting ARod effectively for 7 years/$156M (about $22M/year).

So, as I see it, the only way Alex walks is if he claims he's worth something much higher than my hypothetical (or for a much longer or worse-clause-wise contract) and Cashman says no. And if that happens, it's very likely that the team that gets him will get him for < $25M year, which is what he's got now through 2010. Add that to the fact that he'll be labeled a money chaser and probably booed by Yankee fans everywhere (whether or not it's justified).

I don't know, I just see the Yankees getting it done. It's not like ARod has had a monster year. He's really been a monster every year we've had him (even in his bad years) and even more than, he's basically been a monster jsut about every year of his career. There's no reason to not secure the middle of the lineup with Alex Rodriguez for $22M (give or take) for the next 7 or 8 years.

Posted by: j [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2007 06:32 PM

... to add to an already obnoxiuosly long post, ARod's contract has a bunch of deferred money (@ some nominal interest rate) still owed him by Texas. I'm assuming that stays even if he's traded, but if it doesn't or if opting out in some way changes those circumstances, then that's even more leverage on the Cashman's side.

The deferred money also matters when you think about how Alex could be thinking about the money. He is living large of course, and has $45M of deferred money rolling in from Texas from 2011-2020 on top of whatever big contract extension Cashman offers him.

Do you think he's really going to want that extra $2M - $4M per year over 7 years? Yes, it's $28M. But I'm sure his financial advisor can give him the broad picture of his marketability as a, say, Los Angeles Angel instead of a New York Yankee.

Posted by: j [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2007 06:37 PM

Some clarification:

(1) I speculated Alex would say he's worth $27M year (for 7 years, that $189M). He's actually already earning that, so let's kick it to $30M year, making the number $210M. If the Yankees extend him and make the sum of the contract $210 for 7 years, they're getting him at 7 years/$25.2M per year (with the money from Texas.)

(2) The flip side of that is that I think, without the Yankees, Boras and Alex would be hard pressed to find a team interested in signing him for much more than the $27M/year he's making now. Even if they do and it's $30M, it'll probably come with a small term of the contract. Is that enough to make him leave New York? This is a guy in the prime of his career who is thought to be the future home run king. If he does it as a Yankee and wins a few rings in the process, I'd have to think that's worth something to him.

Posted by: j [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2007 06:45 PM

Thanks for linking to the article, Steve.

After talking to Cashman about this...I believe him.
I think it would be a disaster for the Yanks if they don't retain Alex -- but I believe Cashman means what he says...He really reminds me of Michael Corleone.

I say Yanks get it done on Nov. 9

Posted by: Flaxseed Oil Salesman [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2007 08:29 PM

My pleasure on the link Phil. Again, great job. I'm green with envy too! I would love to interview B.C.....someday.....

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2007 10:34 PM

Man, I don't care what anyone says, letting A-Rod go would be such a disaster. Personally, I think he's happy here (look at the stuff with him, Cano, and Melky, for instance), and he's already left one place where he was happy and it's taken him 6 or so years to find another home. The one thing that does concern me is that his wife will put pressure on him to leave, or I suppose his agent could as well.

Posted by: JeremyM [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2007 11:01 PM

Per J's analysis, I think what Cashman implies is that the Yanks will make a go at extending A-Rod (to keep Texas paying part of his contract) and then if there's no deal there, that's it, why bother moving on to an open bidding war. Before they give all this money to A-Rod by Nov. 10 though, I think the team has to have some sort of plan to resign Mo and Posada. Even though their deals with be shorter and thus smaller, there will be a ton of money promised by these three contracts. Worst case scenario: let A-Rod walk if he doesn't accept an extension, resign Rivera and Posada and have first crack at Miguel Cabrera.

Posted by: RichDank [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 12, 2007 12:40 AM

The scenario as it plays out will probably be something like so:

During the 10 days Cash has after the WS, Cash will offer good money (I expect $32 mil - $35 mil per range) to keep Arod (no low-balling), knowing what is coming off the books in 09 and keeping the $30 mil owed by Texas on the books. If Arod opts out, Cash can legitimately say, we offered him the moon, but he's opted out anyway so he doesn't really want to be a Yankee. Then all of the attention/blame is in Arod's camp because Cash offered Arod a legitimately good contract that he declined. If Arod is smart, he'll take the good offer, but if Arod listens to Boras, Arod will be an Angel or Red Sock next year and Yankee fans everywhere will be armed with the "Cash excuse/reason", and he'll be viewed as a mercenary (and rightfully so) and become truly hated in NY. Cash is nothing if not shrewd. By putting Arod on the defensive, Cash shoulders very little of the outcome.

Posted by: sunny615 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 12, 2007 12:24 PM

During the 10 days Cash has after the WS, Cash will offer good money (I expect $32 mil - $35 mil per range) to keep Arod (no low-balling),
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Boras was quoted in July as saying ARod will get a minimum of $30 mill and that's just to start. His current contract pays him $34 mill by 2010. $35 mill MIGHT be lowballing. Although, who would pay that or more is the question.

Will the Yanks pay that kind of money when Jeter will be at $21 mill in 2010? Maybe. They're paying Clemens $28 mill this yr.

Posted by: redbug [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 12, 2007 12:48 PM

No matter what they need to keep AROD in New York. Cashman needs to fork out the money. If he doesn't then the yankees will struggle next year. They need to sign people long term so they will remain in new york for a few years. Rather then these one year or two year contracts that they are offering. They aren't getting anywhere by signing players short term so they can win the title.

In the end ARod will stay if the price is right.

Posted by: Tifany [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 12, 2007 04:12 PM