Looking at contracts

So I thought I’d look at what some of the current Yankees have remaining on their current deals and compare that to what (I think) they’d currently be worth on the open market. This does not include players who are currently still under “cost control,” but rather only players who have signed free agent deals.

Alex Rodriguez – 10 years, $275 Million

We’ve gone over this one enough. A-Rod probably would have gotten around $250 million from another team, so the Yankees do overpay slightly.

Mariano Rivera – 3 years, $45 Million

As much as it pains me to say this about the inspiration for the blog, but I don’t think he would have gotten more than 2 years, $24 Million on the open market, with maybe a 3rd year option. Of course, if Francisco Cordero is worth $46 million…

Jorge Posada – 4 years, $54.4 Million

Yanks overpay here, but not by as much as you’d think: The Mets would have gone to 4 years at over $10Million per, and probably would have done 3 years at $13 or $14 Million. And it would have been worth it as they wouldn’t have had to trade for catchers who can’t hit in 2 separate deals, one of which cost them one of their few decent prospects in Milledge.

Jose Molina – 2 years, $4 million

A bargain for the Yankees. He could get this money elsewhere with a chance to play more.

LaTroy Hawkins – 1 year, $3.75

I think this is exactly market value. Maybe even below if you look at Linebrink’s deal, though I don’t think Linebrink affected other relievers contracts like it was speculated he would. Essentially the other GMs just assumed Linebrink had Kenny Williams’ kids hostage or something, and ignored it.

Jason Giambi – 1 year, $21 Million with a $22 Million option for ’09 ($5M buyout)

This is still a bad contract, even with only one year remaining, especially when you look at the buyout. That comes to $26 Million. Even if the Big G is healthy all year, he’s not worth that.

Due to his health concerns, I couldn’t see any team going past 1 year with him. His current value would probably be a 1 year deal worth $5 – $6 Million. Possibly less guaranteed with lots of incentives.

Derek Jeter – 3 year, $61 Million

I was expecting The Captain to be overpaid and he probably is, but it’s not that bad and clearly the Yankees are more than willing to overpay for a guy like Jeter (see Rivera, Mariano). On the open market he could probably fetch as high as a 5 year deal, but I don’t think anyone would give him more than $15 – $16 Million per.

Bobby Abreu – 1 year, $16 Million

A relative bargain, only because of the years. On the market right now he probably gets a 3-4 year deal worth $10-12 Million per.

Andy Pettitte – 1 year, $16 Million

Similar to Abreu but probably even more of a bargain considering the lack of pitching in baseball. Could likely get a 3 year, $45 Million deal if he wanted it, despite all the HGH hoopla.

Johnny Damon – 2 years, $26 Million

Went from being a decent contract, to a terrible one, to a decent one again. Gotta love inflation. Probably not worth quite $13 Million a year, but could still likely get $10 and certainly could get 3 – 4 years, maybe even with an option. Keep in mind what Torii Hunter got, and remember that despite an off year last year, when healthy Damon is a tougher out. Even if calling his arm spaghetti would be a compliment at this point.

Hideki Matsui – 2 years, $26 Million

Like Damon, another deal that is reasonable. Also like Damon, not much of an arm and there were injury concerns last year. And Matsui has significantly less range than Damon. But as a hitter, Matsui consistently gets on base and hits for power. He could hit in the middle of the order for any team in baseball, and that gives him a little more value. Would also probably only get 3-4 years on the market, but would likely get a higher annual value: probably in the $12-14 Million range. So, pretty much exactly where he’s at.

Mike Mussina – 1 year, $11 Million

Hard to imagine the deal he signed last year was at the time a bargain for the Yankees. Still, amazingly enough, this isn’t as bad as it seems, despite Moose’s struggles last year. Tom Glavine looked even more cooked by the end of last year and the Braves gave him a 1 year deal at $8 Million (in one of the worst deals the Braves have ever done btw. Do you realize they also lost their first round draft pick? Unreal).

Would you rather have Moose for 11 or Glavine for 8? I’ll take the Moose.

Carl Pavano – 1 year, $11 Million, plus $13 Million ’09 option (1.95M buyout)

Speaking of worse ways you could spend $11 Million. Giving him access to rehab facilities is really paying too much at this point. Not even I can find any positive way to spin this contract. Let’s just move on.

Kyle Farnsworth – 1 year, $5.5 Million

Now here is a hated contract I can spin positively. Look, I don’t trust him. You don’t trust him. My mom doesn’t trust him. And if he turns up missing one day, there is a 70% chance they’ll find him tied up in Pete Abraham’s backyard. But some team would give him more than $5.5 Million in a contract. Perhaps even more annually. Again, Cordero anyone? The Brewers had to give Gagne $10 million to replace Cordero! Say what you will about Farnsworth, but I wouldn’t trade him for Gagne even if steroids were made legal.

Kei Igawa – 4 years, $16 Million

I hate to call this deal reasonable. Because it’s not in the grand scheme of things. But Igawa is young and left handed and can miss bats. Is he consistent enough to handle the Bronx? Highly doubtful. And paying the $26 million dollar posting fee was in retrospect an awful move. But for a NL team, he’d probably be a nice addition at $4 Million a year. The number of years would probably still scare you, but look at the National League. Wouldn’t Igawa be like the Mets #3 starter, 4 if Pedro becomes Pedro again? Where would Igawa slot in on an NL team that didn’t win over 80 games last year?

The sad part of this is because of the insane posting fee, the Yankees really can’t give up on Igawa yet until they’re sure he can’t help them, at least not without getting something of value in return. I think you could find someone to pick up his remaining years at this point, but not give the Yankees back anything of value.

So breaking it down, the Yanks have overpaid on a majority of their guys to some extent. But they are the Yankees after all: they can afford it and it’s the price of doing business for them. But luckily most of the pieces they have still have some relative value, with the exception of Pavano (and probably Giambi as well).

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