Couple mistakes I’ve made: losing a Type B free agent only nets the Yanks a sandwich pick. Not a second rounder and a sandwich pick. Also, if a player accepts arbitration, the contract is NOT guaranteed. The player can be released with the team owing them between 30 and 45 days worth of pay.
That being the case, how do the Yankees NOT give arbitration to everyone except Pavano? RAB suggests that the Yankees also decline Pettitte and Giambi. Pettitte could make some sense, because he’s almost certainly not going to sign with anyone else anyways and an arbitor may pay him more than he’s worth.
I don’t quite understand the lack of love for The Big G however. Let me preface with this: I think the Yankees will let both Abreu and Giambi go and I think that’s probably the right call. I earlier argued the Yankees might want to consider picking up Giambi’s option and similarly I don’t think it would be the end of the world of he accepted arbitration.
I realize that Giambi is only Type B most likely (but for those same reasons, he’ll get less in arbitration). I also realize the Yankees are trying to get younger and more athletic – things that Giambi is not. However, in many ways Giambi is a more valuable player than Abreu (who most people agree the Yankees should retain if it’s a 1 year commitment). He hits for more power, walks more, and plays better defense. That’s right, better defense; Abreu statistically cost the Yankees 22 runs because of his defense. Giambi was negative 8. A lot of this is because of the nature of first base, but still.
I guess it comes down to this: if both Abreu and Giambi said they would accept a 1 year, $15 million contract, most people would say it would be a no brainer “yes” for Bobby but a “no” for the Big G. Yes, Giambi is injury prone, but he is a better offensive player and he plays a position of need if the Yanks don’t sign Tex (or bring in another 1b option, put Posada there, etc).