Damaso Marte’s $6 million option seemed like a no-brainer. After all, the guy put up some decent numbers and would probably get a 3 year deal worth at least $3 – 4 million per elsewhere. It’s worth it for the Yankees to pay a little more for a one year commitment.
However, it looks like Marte will be a Type A free agent and that changes everything. In a year when the Yankees figure to be big players in the free agent market, it makes a lot of sense to accumulate as many draft picks as possible.
Really, what do the Yankees have to lose? I know they want to try Phil Coke as a starter, but if they had to use him in the bullpen it wouldn’t be a terrible thing. If Marte decides to accept arbitration, then he’ll end up coming back on a reasonable one year deal – no worse than picking up his option.
If Marte signs with a team who finished in the top half of the league, the Yankees will get a 1st round pick and a sandwich pick – and this is likely since generally it’s competitive teams who are in the market for middle relief. Even if it is a bottom 15 team that signs him, the Yankees still get a 2nd round pick and a sandwich pick.
So it is possible that even if the Yankees sign two major free agents, say Sabathia and Tex, that they could get 2 first round picks and 2 sandwich picks for Marte and Abreu. They’d lose their 1st round pick for Tex and their 2nd round pick for Sabathia. But at the end of the day, they’d still have 3 1st round picks (remember, they still have last year’s), 2 sandwich picks, and a 2nd round pick (also from last year). That’s still a ton of picks AND that’s after having signed two top free agents. Even if Abreu and Marte sign with bottom 15 teams, 3 second round picks are very valuable to the Yankees (and of course they still have the sandwich picks too).
Also worth noting if that Kyle Farnsworth is not even a Type B free agent. So the Pudge trade will not end up hurting them in that area (since I don’t think there is any way the Yanks can risk offering Pudge arbitration).
What’s not worth noting is that Mussina and Pettitte are Type A free agent’s also. Yeah, the Yankees will offer both arbitration, but I can’t see either playing for a team that isn’t the Yankees.