Tuesday, September 14, 2021

When he sees what he'll have to pay Aaron Judge next year, Food Stamps Hal Steinbrenner is gonna blow a fuse

From Cot's Baseball Contracts
Let's face it: The face and future of the Yankees - if either truly exists - is Aaron Judge. Old number Ninety Nine.

In a season where everything else turned to crapola, Judge reclaimed his status as an MVP candidate and the Yankees' best player. When Judge hits, the Yankees win. When he flops, they lose. 

This year, he was supposed to get backup help from the likes of Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit and Gary Sanchez. But the cavalry never came. We had Judge and, at times, Stanton - and then... zip. No one will hit .300. No one will drive in 100 runs. No one will score 100 runs. 

Judge leads in almost every offensive category - because he had no competition on the roster. 

And next year, to keep him, Hal Steinbrenner must shell out twice as much money. 

Currently, Judge earns less than LeMahieu, Stanton, Corey Kluber, Luis Severino, Aaron Hicks, Zack Britton, Aroldis Chapman and Gerrit Cole. Next year, he'll go to arbitration, where he will win a massive settlement - probably more than $20 million. Will the Yankees pay up? Can they afford not to?

To pay Judge what arbitration says he's worth, the Yankees must make cuts. Brett Gardner should retire, Anthony Rizzo will leave, Corey Kluber won't return - there's an extra $16 million. (But what about signing a starter? Or bullpen help? Yeesh, we just traded away an arsenal of young arms.)  

And here's the real turd: For all their failures this year, the Yankees actually enjoyed a wave of inexpensive players. Thus, they could supplement their roster with free agents and deadline trades (such as Joey Gallo and Rizzo.) 

That wave of cheapo talent is ending. Unless Hal decides to spend more - he's refused to go above the luxury tax limit - the '22 Yankees will have little flexibility in signing free agents. 

It's been a long hard season. We're chasing the last slot in the wild card. Get used to it. 


DickAllen said...

It’s so much fucking worse than that - this team is truly fucking fucked for the next five-seven years with all the bloated contracts they’re holding. Harold go over the threshold? Fire The Intern? Release us from the misery of Boooooone (The Company Man)?

Never happen. I’ll have another heart attack if any of this comes to pass.

JM said...

The problem with big money, long-term contracts is...well, Chapman. DJ. Stanton. And Cole is great, no question, but $36 million? Isn't that bigger than KC's entire roster?

Hal is an odd guy. He takes on gigantic salaries--or agrees to inaugurate them--and then cries about staying under the cap. It's a contradiction. We aren't going to unload a couple of the big money guys because nobody else is going to pay what we're paying them. So when you have five or six guys sucking up so much of the money you're willing to spend, how do you field a team? Much less a good team.

Maybe we should worry less about stars and more about the Valasquezes and Wades and Allens of the world. Guys who make peanuts but have something to prove. And actually look like they have fun playing the game.

But keep Judge. Every team needs someone like him.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

They lose Judge, they lose me.

That comes from a lifelong NYY fan. Born in 1953, Dodgers left Brooklyn before I could tie my shoes.

Then again, I'm still having trouble with that -

Celerino Sanchez said...

Let's face it, the whole spending $200m+ is an outdated business model. Yes, The Dodgers keep spending but they have won 1 WS and that was in a Pandemic year. Cashman has shown he is incapable of building a team w/o spending. So unless he's gone, the team will be 82-88 wins maybe a WC team but will never challenge for a WS.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say this, but the Yankees need to trade Judge (and every other big salary they can). We shouldn't get emotional about keeping guys like Judge or Gardner. We really don't need free agents. We need to start building up the farm system and then moving young players up as soon as they're ready. As it is currently constituted, this team is going down the drain. It will be worse next year than it was this year. Guys like Judge and Cole are going to be wasted on a team that won't even qualify for the playoffs. But bring the kids back up (and maybe some new talent that we get from trading Judge and Cole), and we could be back in contention again in a couple of years.

And if idiots like Cashman cannot be fired, then the next reasonable move is to get rid of the buffoons who are advising him and bring in some top baseball minds who can help the idiot make the right decisions.

And I'm sure the right people will get re-wire the analytics department and re-set the scouting and management/coaching. That would make a big difference too.

The Hammer of God

ZacharyA said...

Aaron Judge is hitting .330/.433/.544 (.977 OPS) with runners in scoring position, while the rest of the team is hitting .222/.315/.336 (.652 OPS) in those situations.

You think this team is tough to watch *now*? Imagine the post-Aaron Judge era. That'll be brutal.

HoraceClarke67 said...

I agree with all of the above—completely contradictory as that may sound.

Once again, we're confronting...THE CASHMAN CONUNDRUM!!!

You know, I hate the tanking trend in baseball. And if I were a Red Sox fan, I would hate getting rid of great baseball players such as Mookie Betts. To me, seeing a great star through his whole career is one of the joys of being a fan.

But at least, trading Betts makes logical sense IF you're going to use him to build a contender again.

The Sox have a front office that is capable of doing that. Your New York Yankees do not...

HoraceClarke67 said...

So yeah, much as I put Judge down here—and as likely it is that a huge, long-term contract will probably be money ill-spent—I would rather see him stay than dealt off for another brace of Gallo-Rizzos (Sounds like a 1930s Italian roadster.)

Similarly, re-signing DJ for so much was probably a bad idea—except for all the alternative Cashman ideas to replace him...

HoraceClarke67 said...

What Cashie doesn't seem to grasp in the modern game—no matter how many times it comes back to bite him in the playoffs—is that you splurge on certain guys who can take you over the top, such as top starting pitchers.

There's a big risk there, to be sure. But they will take you through the playoffs, if you can get there.

So many of the others are interchangeable. For every Stanton, there is going to be a J.D. Martinez. For every Hicks, there is going to be a...I dunno, pretty much anyone.

And then there's the utter nonsense like signing someone like Sevvy...AFTER he's already been severely injured...

HoraceClarke67 said...

Again, everything comes back to having someone who is essentially incompetent in a key position. You want to rebuild? Find someone who can put together a great minor-league system. You want to play Three True Outcomes ball? Find someone who is an analytics whiz. You want to make amazing trades? Find someone who truly understands the game and knows the players.

You want to find someone who can sometimes come up with a good, cheap, mid-season acquisition that still won't get you a championship? Keep Brian Cashman.

What HAL is doing is the equivalent of an enormous, hugely wealthy, international corporation—the Yankees are what, the second or third wealthiest sports franchise IN THE WORLD?—and hiring the branch manager from Dubuque as your CEO because he kisses your ass, gets on with the press, and keeps a neat spreadsheet.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I'm with JimmyEatsHotDogs.

Even though my arthritis flairs up typing his name.