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Yanks To Pursue Rowand?

A source of mine with Yankee connections had some good info for me today.  Much was discussed yesterday in Tampa.

For starters, the Yanks are expected to make "eye-popping" offers to retain Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera before the World Series ends.  The team does not want the pair to file for free agency.

Additionally, the Yankees may make a big play for Aaron Rowand.  They believe a package of Melky Cabrera, Chien-Ming Wang, and Ian Kennedy would entice the Twins for Johan Santana.  That's a huge price, but doesn't seem out of line to me for the best pitcher in baseball.

My source didn't have anything about Andy Pettitte, who hated seeing Joe Torre go and will take a month to decide if he's even going to play next year.


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would this mean the twins would keep Torii if they trade Santana?


It looks like the Torre firing really is going to be the beginning of a shake up in the Bronx.

A Rowand signing, corresponding with a Santana trade would be massive. If the Yankees trusted Giambi with 1B, they could exercise Abreu's option and have a revolving LF/RF/DH of Abreu, Damon & Matsui.

With that said, I can't see a Santana trade happening without Pettite coming back. I agree that it will take Wang and Kennedy to get it done and they'll need Pettite to hold down the rotation with Santana, Hughes, Chamberlain and Mussina. To lose your #1 and potentiial #5 in Wang & Kennedy will certainly make it crucial for Pettite to come back. Maybe the Yankees work out an extension for him for 2 years and $35mm. That'd be hard to pass up...

I see what the Yankees are doing. Trying to trade spare parts without giving up anything of premier value for Santana. Not that those players aren't good...I guess its a good value for 1 year of Santana. I guess they are reluctant to part with Joba or Hughes to get the best pitcher in baseball, but you'd think that's what it'd take. Wang at least is established.

My guess at eye-popping figures: Posada for 3/45 and Rivera for 2/32.

Interesting scenario, will require a lot of dominoes falling in place, but interesting nonetheless.

*grabs popcorn and wait for all the Twins fans to come out of the woodworks and scream how this package would rip the Twins off*

It'd be foolish to trade a guy who has won 38 games with an ERA under 4 over the past 2 seasons plus a top pitching prospect plus a solid young outfielder for just one year of Santana. I think whoever looks into getting Johan will want an immediate extension window.

I don't see any way the Twins accept an offer like that. They can do much better than a good #2 who is close to arbitration, a good 4th OF, and a #4/5 starter who is not as good as about 7 pitchers on their team right now. Kennedy doesn't project as good as ANY of Liriano/Garza/Baker/Slowey/Perkins/Boof, and that's not even counting Swarzak, who is getting close, or Blackburn, who is similar.

I don't see any incentive to do a deal like that for the Twins.

To tack on, why does everyone always seem to think the Twins would want PITCHERS back for Santana. Maybe 1, but their problem is offense. They have plenty of pitching even without Santana.

Heck, Liriano and Garza should BOTH be better than Wang by the end of this year.

I just really don't see it; this deal doesn't make any sense.

Sorry but the Twins aren't stupid. If they want Santana, they aren't taking Wang over Hughes or Joba. I'm sure they already took into account Wang's meltdown against the Indians. I doubt they want their ace to choke against their main division rival.

i think that is a terrible move for the yankees, rowand over priced and trading away 2/5 of the rotation isnt good. they trade kennedy that means moose is in the rotation

Gotta agree with the pitching comments, Twins are loaded with good young pitchers, they need offense, or at least an experienced head to lead a young rotation (Someone like, say, Santana)

Melky, Tabata and Cano seems closer to reality.

And with all the teams interested in Santana, it is going to take a top prosepct. Even if you only get him for a year, you can replace that top prospect with a 2 early draft picks.

Wang, Kennedy Melky wouldn't get this deal done, it is a good haul, but its not what the Twins want. Someone WILL offer them what they want.

Should the Dodgers part with Kemp.. and someone else.

As djskibr said, Liriano/Garza/Baker/Slowey/Boof - thats a rotation right there, without anyone else.

IF the Twins bring in Kennedy, he will HAVE to go out to another team, just make it easier and offer the Twins what they want and need.

Still pretty confident Santana signs an extension anyway.

I think Moose would have been in the rotation over Kennedy regardless of the trade. They still need to keep innings low on all the young arms. Definitely will try Moose to start out and see if he can find it again (He was decent at start of last season) and if not, put Kennedy in. Kennedy can't pitch the whole season anyways at this point. (only 147 IP last season, can only increase it by 10-15%)

Including the minors and majors, Kennedy pitched about 165 innings this past year, so if you increase it by 10-15%, still not a bad total for a back end starter. As a Yankee fan, I don't think it's a good deal for either team. The Twins, for the reasons mentioned and the Yankees because there's only one guaranteed year from Santana. I think he should want to hit the open market.

Agreed. I think from the Twins' perspective, it would take at LEAST 2 of Cano/Hughes/Joba.

Remember that the price would probably be higher to trade within their own league as well.

I still think Johan will be extended, but if not, it will take far more than that package for the Yanks.

Oops, I guess I missed the innings in the majors. They are paying Moose a ton of money for this season though, hard to not at least give him a chance to pitch and he can't pitch from the bullpen.

Also, I think Melky gets undervalued by being called a 4th outfielder. Granted, his OPS this year was only a bit above .700, but he had 73 RBI's from mostly the bottom of the lineup and his Range Factor in center field was 3.02. Coco Crisp led the AL at CF with 3.05. He's also only 23, so there is room for improvement.

You're using RBI's (in the Yankees' lineup no less) as an indicator above OPS? Seriously?

Melky is a great 4th OF, nothing more. Simple as that.

yep...on the surface it seems like a good deal but its really not. I'd take Kemp and Kershaw before I take that one. Do the Yankees evenhave any hitters good enough in this trade? What happened to Tabata

No they don't.

We keep coming back to this, but ask yourself this; is that package even CLOSE to as good as Texas got for Teixeira? If your answer is no (which it better be) then no way it gets done. Johan is the most valuable player in the game, much more valuable than Tex. It will take at LEAST 4 top prospects to get it done, including one "ready" superstar in the making ala Salty.

"I would take Kemp and Kershaw", was that officially offered even? We all heard the rumor but I'm not sure why the Dodgers would do that, they have a pretty decent rotation with Billingsley, Penny, and Lowe, with Schmidt coming back(not sure if he can still be effective but with all that money paid to him, they've got to try him out). They also have Randy Wolf coming back from injury who is willing to take reduced pay to stay it sounds like. (I imagine they'll take it with the market condition). Some injury question marks, certainly, but on paper they're in decent shape.

As for Tabata, nagging wrist/hand injury this season and they shut him down. It was sapping his power and wasn't getting better. Still hit pretty well, possibly All-Star CF/RF eventually, depending on what happens with Austin Jackson.

Melky's OPS was 6 points below Andruw Jones. And yes, everyone will agree Jones had a down year, but I think everyone can also agree that this was Melky's second full season and he has never been made the starting center fielder out of the gate. He's always had to be put in after an injury to someone and has done exceptionally well in his time as a replacement. He has shown streaks of having solid power to the gaps. I'm not saying he makes this deal for Santana fair, by any stretch. I just think at the age of 23, it's unfair to judge him as a 4th outfielder, the end.

Heh, that's laughable, I bet Atlanta would be more than willing to ship that package for Wang alone if they could have. They need pitching a lot more than hitting, 4 years of Wang at the price is way more helpful than 1.5 years of Texeira. Both for this season and future.

Salty is a potential all-star, by no means a superstar. The other 4 guys are two raw prospects with good ceilings (Andrus with questionable bat and the closer who is in rookie ball) and two medium ceiling guys (Harrison and the late addition guy).

I'm not disputing that the Yanks' offer doesn't fit the Twins' needs talent wise, but financially it can possibly make sense, if the Twins' front office thinks they can't resign Santana.

John, yes, Andruw had a TERRIBLE year. Bottomline is that Melky has not shown ANYTHING to make him MORE than a 4th OF. A .716 OPS sure isn't going to get it done. And it's a bit unreasonable to think that he's going to tack on another 100 points in that category within the next couple years.

His minor league record also does not impress. He had a good 30 games in that department before being called up the Yanks, but other than that, he's been poor in the minors as well in OPS.

I just don't see it, and there's nothing to suggest ANYONE seeing it so far.

Guitar Hero:

Tabata is really young, about a year or two away from the Majors which is probably why he isn't being mentioned. Also, Cashman, I believe, considers him untouchable.

To everyone who says that Hughes/Joba/Tabata are moving: they're not.

Cashman isn't going to give those 3 players up. You're talking 2 #1/#2 quality starters who are both about 21 years old and a 5 tool RF who hits with patience and gap power at 19 years old. They're not going anywhere.

As for the trade:

Cabrera is a 4th OF right now with a good arm/defense. He's only 23 though so he might get better. Not too big of a loss.

Wang: losing him would hurt. He eats innings and is reliable as hell.

Kennedy: Not a #1/#2 in terms of stuff, but looks like a smart tough pitcher. I hate it when teams trade away cheap young starting pitching, but losing him isn't that bad.

If I were the Yankees, I'd be ecstatic if the Twins took that trade.

I wouldn't offer more than that though. Looking ahead to next year, even if ARod/Posada/Rivera are signed to big contracts, there is a ton of money coming off the books. And the same goes for the year after that. This FA class is absolute crap but the next two should be blockbusters (Teixeira, Santana, Bonderman, Sabathia, Peavy and others).

So if the price is too high in terms of prospects, Cashman will probably just wait and overpay in cash or at least I hope.

Next year's rotation: Pettite, Wang, Hughes, Joba, Mussina, Kennedy. 6 men = lower innings, more rest.

Too bad 3 ways seldom work out as the DBacks would love to get in on that deal.

We've got a few young, cheap hitters to spare and I think Wang would be an extremely nice pickup for the NLW.

I don't buy Pettite going anywhere, irrespective of Torre. Last year he claimed he returned to the Yankees because God told him to. God, being a solid investor, will no doubt tell him to pull the trigger on his $16 million option.

henry, if those guys aren't going anywhere, then Johan's not going anywhere, at least not to the Yanks.

It takes talent to get talent in return.


You know... David Ortiz posted ~800 OPS for a couple of years and then jumped to a high 900s OPS after he hit age 27/28.

Melky is not David Ortiz in any way, shape or form when it comes to hitting, but it isn't ridiculous to think that Melky can eventually hit for ~850 OPS and provide plus defense at one of the OF spots.

He's like.. 23. Give him a break.


I agree. Cashman won't give up major league ready, ace level pitchers or blue chip hitters for Santana.

I'm fairly sure that unless the Twins do something boneheaded or the Boss forces something to happen, Santana will not go to the Yanks this off-season and I'm fine with that.

As a Yankees fan, I'd much rather trade Wang and spare pitching parts for young hitters. DBacks, Atlanta, Devil Rays all have a surplus of good, young hitters and the Yanks have a surplus of good, young pitching (yes, beyond Hughes/Kennedy/Joba).

Is Bavasi still in Seattle? Cashman should get him on the horn and offer Clippard and Karstens for Adam Jones :D

Melky is a good player, bettter than a 4th outfielder.

He has hit .280 and .273 the last 2 seasons, which makes his ceiling to hit probably around .270-.300.

He has stolen 25 bases the last 2 seasons combine, once he gets a little more expierence I see no reason why he cant hit 20 bases.

His defense is great.

He has below power but he can still hit close to 15 homers once he reaches his potential and drive in around 80 runs.

I see no reason why he cant hit .285, 15 homers, 20 SB, 80 RBI, and a gold glove and he's cheap.

That may be a 4th outfielder in some people's opinion, but I think the Twins would gladly take 5 years of that to replace Hunter.

The jump from hitting over .800 OPS (already above average) to .900 OPS is a lot bigger than the jump from .700 to .800. Ortiz finally stayed healthy and got away from the Twins, where they told him to hit the opposite way, that's when he fully blossomed.

Melky doesn't have the same problems right now. Again, he COULD develop into something, but there's nothing to suggest stardom at all at this point. Not even close really.

The main point is that if the Twins are going to trade Johan, it's going to take players that show signs of stardom in return. Not guys who have shown the ability to be 4th OF's and 5th starters.

"Is Bavasi still in Seattle? Cashman should get him on the horn and offer Clippard and Karstens for Adam Jones"

I assume that's sarcasm.


Hence the ":D" smiley after it.

obviously, but it's Bavasi, there is nothing too stupid for him to do =)

Hell, everyone should be on the phone with Bavasi.

How he and Jim Bowden still have jobs is beyond me. They are just AWFUL.

Oh, by the way, David Ortiz' OPS in the minors was over .900.

djskilbr: Fair enough :)

Glad we settled that, Henry. :)

It'll be interesting to see what the Yankees do. I just think Johan is a fantasy for their team unless they really are willing to part with at least two of Cano/Joba/Hughes.

There are just other teams that fit the Twins much better as trade partners, like the Dodgers, who have better prospects, at better fits positionally, and are in the opposite league where the Twins won't have to face them in the playoffs for the next 5 years.

And I think it goes without saying that if Johan is dealt, he will likely be extended by that team, especially for the bounty it will require. So I think it's kind of dumb for anyone to bring up the "one year" garbage anymore.

How can you say that Kennedy is not good? He proved himself over 4 levels this year. He did not have an ERA over 2.59 at any level and he had a 1.89 ERA in the majors in 3 starts. Obviously his stuff is not as good as Hughes or Chamberlain, but he has proven he can get major league hitters out effectively. I think he has a lot of potential, and he is worth a lot more than people think.

I've seen the guy pitch since college. He's just not that good. He's a 4th or 5th starter, nothing more.

Again, the Twins have SEVEN starters right now that either are better or project better than Kennedy, and that's not counting a couple that are on the way. He doesn't make sense for them; end of story.

Your right, Kennedy makes no sense at all for the Twins, but he is a decent pitcher. The Twins don't need pitching, the need offense at 2B, 3B,OF,and DH.

Here's an Angel fan doing his best impersonation of a Yankee fan:

I think a fair trade for Santana would be Casey Kotchman (future MVP 1st baseman), Reggie Willits (future challenger to Rickey Henderson's career SB records) and Ervin Santana for Johan.

In Willits' rookie year he posted a solid .735 OPS w/ 27 SB's. Kotchman is only 24 and posted an .839 OPS. While he only hit 11 HR's, my personal projection is that he will grow into his power. Ervin Santana is 24. Went 28-16 in his first 2 seasons. His stuff projects to a #1/#2.

The key to valuing prospects is to assume that whatever they accomplished this year (regardless of sample size - see Joba/Kennedy) will only be the beginning to their inevitable success. So while Willits only stole 27 SB's I am free to project 100 SB's for next year. Santana had a rough year but his STUFF projects to be #1/#2. Kotchman's only 24 so of course his power will blossom from 11 to 40.

It's fun using the Yankee fan standard to review your own prospects. You'll be shocked at how great your farm system has become.

That is an excellent post, BJ. And so true.

"I don't buy Pettite going anywhere, irrespective of Torre. Last year he claimed he returned to the Yankees because God told him to."

Yeah, after he looked at all the money the Yankees were going to offer and realized... "in god we trust".

djs -- Your hatred for anything and everything Yankee is fairly obvious. I can live with that, but I do want to pass along that PECOTA saw Melky coming into this year as the 4th most valuable LF in baseball over the next 5 years, with a projected value of $74.9M.

I'm sure the nice folks at BP are just Yankee biased fans as well who rig the system to shine on Yankee prospects more then any other.

I see a problem with everyone that says the Twins can do better than this. Johan has come out and said he's not happy with the Twins. And talks like he's already made his mind up to leave after next season. So taking the possibility off the table really hurts his value some. Twins have 2 choices, trade him or let him walk and take the 2 draft picks. Problem here is, They haven't spent big money on the draft since Mauer. And you really can't blame Johan for wanting to abandon ship either, it's a given that Hunter is gone this winter, with Nathan and Cuddyer to follow probably during the 2008 season. Plus you already have rumors rumbling that they cant afford Morneau much longer. Twins are going to have the most amazing young pitching staff in Garza, Liriano, and the others, but they will lose every game 1-0 or 2-0 because they will have Joe Mauer and a bunch of scrubs in the field.

Well it will be interesting if Santana is traded in the off season, if only to settle the debate over what he is worth. Personally I think with so much competition for him, the Twins will be very happy with the package they end up with.

dproc, I fully admit that I don't like the Yankees. But I think I'm realistic about their players. I think Cano is a stud. I think Hughes and Joba should both be very good (jury's out on Joba as a longterm starter right now though). I actually like Wang. But sorry, I don't think Kennedy is all that at all. And I don't think Melky is either. That's really interesting on Pecota, because it doesn't make sense to me at all. What numbers suggest that? Or even close to that? Pecota is certainly an imperfect system, and I would strongly disagree here.

And ozzie, what suggests that on money? First, Morneau is under control no matter what through 2010 at least through arbitration. Second, they have the money. Payroll rises to $80 million this year, and at least $100 million by 2010 with the new stadium. How are Hunter/Nathan/Cuddyer "givens" to be gone? That makes no sense to me. Again, they have the money. Cuddyer figures to be extended for at least a couple years this offseason, as well as Morneau, while their value is low. Nathan I think might be gone soon, but that's more for the fact that it's not worth him to pay that with the great internal options they have and the fact that he's a CL, which tons of guys can do.

Plus I think you underestimate their bargaining position. Again, was Texas forced to get low value for Tex? Johan will have virtually every team going for him tha can afford him. The price will be high. tmar said it well.

Actually, I think I see the flaw in Pecota re: Melky. You said coming into this year. His numbers were much better than this year when he was in a bit more limited time. I would venture a guess that Pecota's projection will not be NEARLY as high this year.

That trade proposal is ludicrous. How does any team trade for the best pitcher in baseball and not give up either of their top 2 trade chips? That's bull, you can't do it. Wang is a huge groundball pitcher, pitching in the Metrodome (and not getting to face the bad Twins lineup) his hit rate will go way up.

Kennedy does not excite, Cabrera does not excite. I repeat: what is this fantasy world where Team A says "We want the best pitcher in baseball the past few years who is proven in the AL and still young. In return we'll give you a grab bag and lesser prospects, you can't have our Top 2." And Team B says "Booya! Awesome!"

PECOTA also projected pretty great stats for Matt Murton as well. The only reason PECOTA's Melky projection was so good was because of his age.

Cabrera is too iffy. His minor league career wasn't great, his 2007 in a loaded lineup wasn't great... he's not the centerpiece of anything really. Tabata is another guy you can't tell anything about. I'm not a fan of guys whose main asset is youth. Before you say I hate the Yankees, I'm not huge on guys like Elvis Andrus and Fernando Martinez either. You need more than that, too many of these guys have flamed out. I remember Yankees fans being all excited about Dioner Navarro being 20 in Triple A. Yeah, where is he now? Okay.

"A source of mine with Yankee connections had some good info for me today"

This is going to be an awesome off-season.

Melky is a scrub.

"I see what the Yankees are doing. Trying to trade spare parts without giving up anything of premier value for Santana. Not that those players aren't good...I guess its a good value for 1 year of Santana. I guess they are reluctant to part with Joba or Hughes to get the best pitcher in baseball, but you'd think that's what it'd take. Wang at least is established."

Wang is hardly a spare part. He was in contention for the Cy Young until Beckett blew him out of the running in their last match-up.

"He was in contention for the Cy Young"

Um, no, actually he wasnt. Haren, Sabathia, Carmona,Beckett,Lackey,Escobar,Bedard and Santana will all probably finish higher than him in cy young voting.

"It's fun using the Yankee fan standard to review your own prospects. You'll be shocked at how great your farm system has become."


As a Yankee fan i would hate to give up Melky and Kennedy. Wang disappoints me but i believe Kennedy has a lot of potential and Melky is great on defense and has a descent bat. That said...Johan is the best pitcher in the majors and it would kill Boston to see us get him.

"grab bag and lesser prospects,"

Wow, that about sums it up for half the fanboy trades suggested here. Funny, I love it.


Who hasn't projected the Twins financial woes is a better question? Even Terry Ryan admitted before retiring there was no way to avoid trading Nathan and Cuddyer before they walk as FAs. Hunter isn't going to give a home town discount, he's already said as much. The Twins are never involved in the talks about him. It's always Rangers, White Sox, Phils and etc. Johan has said on the record 2-3 times since the All-Star break that he has enjoyed his time with the Twins but sees no future for himself there. That alone hurts his trade value. Especially if he doesn't want an extension right away and wants to test the FA waters. No team is gonna break the bank and give full value for him unless there's an extension involved. But at the same time, the Twins have to weight the option of what's better 3 major league ready good but maybe not superstar players or 2 risky draft picks? And Morneau? That came from an ESPN interview sometime in August where he said that after seeing the writing on the wall with the team allowing all these top players to walk, that he's looking forward to the option to test FA.

Thanks for completely making things up Ozzie. I read the MN papers everyday and those guys have never said anything of the sort, especially Terry Ryan.

"As a Yankee fan i would hate to give up Melky and Kennedy."

I know, it must be hard to part with a 4th outfielder and a potential 5th starter when you only have 200 million to work with.

any rumour going around that has the Yankees only giving up Wang, Kennedy, and Cabrera for Santana i can almost guarantee is coming from a Yankee source.. because theres just no way the Twins would agree on those players, botton line.
Wang's name keeps getting mentioned because the Yankees know his price is higher right now than it should be. i can just hear a Yankee guy saying Wang, Wang? how about Wang? want some Wang? come on how about Wang, Wang? Wang is good, take Wang, how about Wang? Wang, Wang is good, would you like some Wang? Wang, take Wang, you should take Wang, Wang? Wang, Wang is good, would you like Wang? Wang, take Wang, you should take Wang, Wang? ..i want to tell the Yankees, shut the F UP! ..its going to take more than Wang as the key piece of deal. shut up about Wang, hes not an ace, hes a decent #2 if that. i dont want to hear anything about his wins, wins come from run support, something the Yankee offense can supply alot of. look at his other stats, and take a close look at his away splits, terrible away from Yankee stadium. Wang is NOT an ace, done.


"Justin Morneau entered the offseason last year hoping he could reach a long-term contract agreement with the Twins.

After seeing how they've operated the past 12 months, he's less optimistic."
From Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Joe Nathan:
"There's little doubt that 2008 will be Twins closer Joe Nathan's last season in Minnesota."
From Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press

Johan Santana:
"You always talk about future, future. ... But if you only worry about the future, then I guess a lot of us won't be part of it," Santana said.
"Why waste time when you're talking about something that's always going to be like that? It's never going to be beyond this point. It doesn't make any sense for me to be here, you know?"
"I've been here for eight years, and I've seen a lot of those kind of things," he said. "I've seen a lot of those guys [like Castillo] come in and leave. [The decision makers] don't care. They always talk about caring about it; I don't think they care.

"Because if you're always talking about having young players — that's the philosophy the team has, and I respect all that — but it's been proven that it's not enough to go all the way to the World Series."
Those are Direct Quotes from Johan Santana.

As far as the others,
Hunter, I can't find the specific article, but he's stated that he wants to go home and play for Texas. I know I've heard Cuddyer mentioned too, but anyways here's enough proof to debunk your theory of me "making" things up

djs -- I'm not sure how much his projection will fall based on his '07 numbers.

PECOTA projected him to have a .282/.341/.408, and he hit .273/.327/.391. That said, his projected WARP was 4.0, and his actual was 4.9.

Melky definitely has some room to improve, but I think he is better then a 4th OF.

Thanks for posting to prove my point, Ozzie. What you said was completely wrong.

Johan was frustrated ONCE, but never said what you said.

You quoted Charley Walters, the worst source in all of MN, on Nathan.

Morneau didn't think a long-term deal was imminent NOW. Said nothing about FA.

And nothing on Hunter/Cuddyer.

Nice work. Thanks for making stuff up.

And dproc, I meant that it would probably drop just from him being a year older even, plus the drop.

djs -- His age has already been accounted for in his projection. Yes, he is a year older, but they took that into account in arriving at his projections.

We'll see when the new ones come out, but I don't see much of a drop happening ...

This isn't the Yanks' style... I'd expect them to just wait for his free agency then shell out more than anyone else for a big contract. Trading 3 young guys for a top pitcher isn't their M.O.

I'd say there's little doubt the Yankees will bring back Bobby Abreu next year. The question is under what type of contract. At worst, the Yankees will simply pick up his option year for $16 million. That's expensive, even by today's standards, but it's only for one year, and the Yankees may prefer the certainty of having Abreu locked in. The other option is the Yankees may offer him a new contract, say for three years, at $10-12 million per. That will lower their payroll, which will benefit the Yankees, and Abreu will benefit by locking in two additional years now.

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