So after an entire year of speculating about the Yankees gigantic haul of draft picks, thanks to all their departing free agents, it turns out that they offered arbitration to no one. So yeah – no bonus draft picks this year.
I’m still trying to understand this. Are the Yankees really that desperate to cut payroll? Didn’t they just throw the largest contract ever for a pitcher at CC Sabathia? Aren’t they discussing paying Burnett upwards of $18 million a year to frequent their disabled list?
I really thought Abreu and Pettitte were no brainers. Of course I also thought they declined Marte’s option so that they could let him walk and collect picks. But instead they signed him to a more reasonable deal.
Let’s look at the financial side of this though: What is Abreu probably worth per year? Say $10 million? What is Pettite worth? Say 12? Both would have been looking at deals worth about $17 million if they accepted arbitration. That’s about $12 million saved, in theory. Even if you think they’re worth more like 12 and 14, and would have only received 16 in arb, that’s roughly $6 million saved.
Sure, it’s great to have high draft picks, but the reason why the Yankees have been able to have successful drafts recently is their financial advantage. That extra $6-12 million is enough to buy up a ton of young kids who dropped due to signability. It’s enough to sign the top players in Latin America.
Sure, the draft is great, but money is more important than positioning, unless you’re talking a top 10 pick. And no compensation pick can ever net that.
What we do know for sure now though is that the market isn’t great, for Abreu especially. If he’s only getting, say, 2 year offers, at maybe 10 or 11 per, he would have been crazy not to accept arbitration from the Yankees.
As for Pettitte, he already said he wants to return. So wouldn’t he obviously take arbitration in a heart beat? The Yankees want him on a one year deal around 12 and he wants closer to 16. Arbitration would have netted him at least 16, maybe more.
Sure, the Yankees would love more draft picks, but the bottom line is they need to protect their greatest asset and ultimately, that’s money.