2013 Contract Issues: New York Yankees

The Yankees are next in MLBTR’s 2013 Contract Issues series:

Eligible For Free Agency (10)

  • Mariano Rivera – Though he's not expected to pitch again in 2012, Rivera says he plans to return in 2013. It's safe to assume he's not signing with another team.
  • Nick Swisher – Swisher, 32 in November, will hit free agency for the first time in his career. The Yankees figure to have interest and could extend a qualifying offer. But other teams will be willing to offer long-term deals, so there's no guarantee Swisher returns to the Bronx.
  • Hiroki Kuroda - The Yankees seem to be in the market for starting pitching every offseason. The 37-year-old is probably in line for another one-year deal if he decides to continue pitching.
  • Russell Martin – Martin appears to have turned down a three-year, $21MM deal this past spring, before long-term deals for Yadier Molina (five years, $75MM) and Miguel Montero (five years, $60MM) re-set the market for catchers. Martin's off to a slow start at the plate, but a multiyear deal with an average annual value of $10MM-plus remains within reach.
  • Freddy Garcia - Garcia is headed for a one-year or minor league deal next offseason.
  • Andy Pettitte - Three starts into Pettitte's 2012 season it's hard to question his effectiveness. There's another unknown to consider, however: does the left-hander want to keep pitching?
  • Andruw Jones - Jones continues to add value as a corner outfielder and source of right-handed power off of the bench. It wouldn't be surprising to see him return to New York in 2013.
  • Raul Ibanez - The 39-year-old has nine home runs in just 139 plate appearances. He's positioning himself for another starting job in 2013.
  • Eric Chavez - The Yankees front office deserves credit for bringing Chavez to New York. He has a .271/.318/.396 batting line in pinstripes and, health permitting, could re-sign as a backup infielder next offseason.
  • Dewayne Wise - Few players on the Yankees' roster have less job security than Wise.

Contract Options (5)

  • Robinson Cano: $15MM club option with a $2MM buyout. The Yankees will exercise this option. It's hard not to wonder if they'll break from team policy and discuss an extension with the star second baseman.
  • Rafael Soriano: $14MM player option. Soriano can opt out and take $1.5MM buyout after the season. If Soriano finishes the season with a gaudy save total and a sparkling ERA, he could opt out and test free agency. But the market for elite free agent closers can dry up unexpectedly, as fellow-Scott Boras client Ryan Madson found out this past winter. The safer bet would be staying put and accepting the $14MM salary.
  • Curtis Granderson: $13MM club option with a $2MM buyout. The Yankees will exercise the option. As with Cano, the extension question persists.
  • Pedro Feliciano: $4.5MM club option. The Yankees will decline this option, which means they won't get a single pitch for their investment in Feliciano.
  • David Aardsma: club option based on 2012 performance bonuses. The Yankees' decision will depend on Aardsma's recovery from Tommy John surgery and his performance upon returning to action midseason.

Arbitration Eligible (9)

Hughes is in line for a raise from $3.2MM, while Gardner's extended stint on the disabled list will reduce his bargaining power in arbitration. Nix could be non-tendered and if the Yankees aren't optimistic about Chamberlain's right ankle injury, they could release him as well. Pena and Cervelli are playing at Triple-A and won't necessarily accrue enough service time to qualify next offseason.

2013 Payroll Obligation

The Yankees have already committed more than $119MM to next year's payroll, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. That's exceptional for most franchises, but the Yankees have spent more than $200MM on their team in each of the past five seasons. Expect GM Brian Cashman to look for ways to reduce payroll, as the team aims to slip under the $189MM luxury tax threshold for 2014.

38 Responses to 2013 Contract Issues: New York Yankees Leave a Reply

  1. I was going to comment on how $10 million for Russel Martin is a ridiculous amount but then I saw the $14 million dollars for Rafael Soriano and the sheer insanity of it made me forget whatever I was going to say about him. 

    • burnboll 3 years ago

      Soriano makes Ryan Howard look like a bargain. And Barry Zito like a steal.

      • East Coast Bias 3 years ago

        Luckily, Soriano was a short term deal, and one that ends before the 2014 season where the team will try to get below the 189m mark. 

        Howard’s deal has just begun. And Zito has been under contract for 5 years and still has 2 more, plus a buyout for the third. 

        You’re fooling yourself if you actually believe your post. 

      • MB923 3 years ago

        That’s silly. Soriano is overpaid but he is doing well in a new important role. Thusfar Ryan Howard has played 0 games in a $125 million contract. And Zito while doing alright this year I think got one of the worst contracts in MLB history

        • LazerTown 3 years ago

          Zito really shouldn’t have gotten that contract.  In his last 3 years in Oak his era was 3.80 or above.  He has never had a problem with injures really, but I would be scared to give him that type of money especially with his lack of a fb.

      • vinny_b 3 years ago

        why are we talking about other team’s contracts, when Arod and Teixeria are still on the payroll??


      • rogue 3 years ago

        Soriano is the team’s closer and has signed a short term deal. Knowing Boras, he’ll convince Soriano opt out if he puts up good numbers as the Yankees closer. Howard will cost the Phillies for years. Zito has already done that and continues to do so.

  2. burnboll 3 years ago

    Andy Pettitte is someone the Yankees should try to resign. But he may be most effective if he gets a little longer winter rest, like he did this year, so a deal where he prepares to join the team after the All-star break would be ideal. Then the Yankees could draw from his experience coming into the playoffs.

    Pettite, if he stays healthy, could be an asset for at least 2-3 more years IMO.

    The Yankees just needs to find a plan to nurture him. He’s a very good player, make it work.

    • rogue 3 years ago

      Andy has been fickle about returning in recent years. Plus the Yankees don’t want to give him more than one year because of 2014.

  3. The Yanks are better off just going with Romine next year and save money for Cano and Granderson.  Russell doesn’t provide much value with his bat anyway.  Take the 1st rounder we get when he leaves.

    • BlueJayMatt 3 years ago

      Unless they extend a qualifying offer (over $12.5M) and he declines then there’s no 1st rounder.

      And if he’s offered $12.5M then he won’t decline it.

      • Kevin Sagui 3 years ago

        I’m pretty sure the Yankees would have no problem bringing Russell Martin back on a one-year deal.  It gives the catchers in their system more time to develop without committing major money to the position in 2014.

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      Martin has struggled to hit, but still manages ~.325 obp (which by the way is higher than adam jones who got $85M manages)   If he can better manage the pitching staff than a replacement then they should keep him around.  He also helps the team alot by wearing down opposing pitchers, he has 20 walks for 113 ab’s, so i dont think he hurts his team as much as a .177 avg would appear.

      • Slopeboy 3 years ago

        While I’m truly disappointed with the way Martin has, or shall I say hasn’t hit, his overall play has been a Godsend. After suffering with the defensive decline of Posada the last few years,which was never great to begin with, Russel’s been a blast of fresh air.

        He’s taken charge of the pitching staff, calls a great game, blocks almost everything in the dirt and has controlled the opponents running game. This is one catcher who can truly say that most bases are stolen off his pitchers!

        I believe he’s looking for a long term deal @ about $10 mil per year and I’m not certain he’s going to get that with the way he’s hitting right now. I’m pulling for him because he looks to me like a keeper.

      • ursusfidelis 3 years ago

         @LazerTown:twitter , you can’t possibly be serious, comparing OBP in this case.  first off, martin is at .329 OBP, while jones is at .347 OBP, so you’re wrong to begin with.  Martin is drawing far more walks than his career average.  he’ll need to pick up his production by far to think about keeping him around.  wearing down pitchers?  he’s hitting .186 and slugging .339.

        but then again, these are the Yankees, so i wouldn’t be surprised if they signed him to a three year extension for $30 million with his numbers projected out to the end of the season the same as it is now.

        • rogue 3 years ago

          Martin’s BB% is currently a career high, but he’s averaged in double digit BB% his entire career. So, I wouldn’t call it an outlier. That said, his BA will eventually improve (at least cross the Mendoza line) which will offset any drop in his BB%.

  4. It would be interesting if Joba and Hughes both get nontendered when they were supposed to be the future of the Yankees’ rotation.

    • East Coast Bias 3 years ago

      It’s not as uncommon as you think. Because it’s the Yankees doesn’t change that fact. 

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      Hughes seems to be turning it around this year, and he had a very good 2nd half last year.

      Also hughes gets alot of flak because he is on the yankees, but he is not the only prospect that didn’t quite pan out.  Compare him to homer bailey, who BA had both nearby at the top of the rankings every year, and who both will be 26.  Hughes got drafted 15 picks later, yet over his career but has a better era 4.51 to 4.82 in the same amount of innings pitched.  Hughes would have had more innings but was a reliever for a whole year.

      What im trying to say is that it wasn’t the Yankees hyping up their prospects beyond control, but rather both players just not panning out.

      They could have traded the farm for santana, but he too missed a whole year, and is still making 20M, far more than hughes or joba makes.

      • Not sure what your definition of a very good 2nd half is, but he had an ERA of 4.55 and the other numbers were below career averages across the board.

        Also, the difference between him and Bailey is that Hughes has not really developed as hoped and has been going in the wrong direction the last few years. Bailey on the other hand has reduced his ERA each of the last 4 years. He’s not pitching like an ace right now, but at least he’s trending in the right direction and can be a solid #3 in the rotation, whereas Hughes is on the bubble of even being on a big league roster.

        • LazerTown 3 years ago

          I don’t get how you see him as a solid #3 yet.  He has never pitched more than 132 innings as a starter in the past.

          Hughes has thrown 175 in 2010.  He did very good in the first half and then faded out.  It then carried into ’11, but aside from a few bad starts in the 2nd half he was a solid pitcher.  He also strikes out more batters, and walks less, has better whip, and hold opponents to less hits.

          *Reducing your era from 4.53 to 4.43 over 3 years is a good trend?  That is not a significant difference. It is still roughly the same pitchers and is like 3 runs difference over the season.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            “He has never pitched more than 132 innings as a starter in the past.”

            “Hughes has thrown 175 in 2010. ”

            Um, what?

          • I didn’t say I see him as a solid #3 yet, so stop putting words in my mouth. I said, word for word, “and can be a solid #3 in the rotation”.

            And so let me get this straight about Hughes. He threw 175 innings in 2010 and was very good…oh except the second half when he posted an ERA of 4.90. It carried into 2011, but he was very solid in the second half…oh except for some bad starts which led to an ERA of 4.55. And in 2012 he’s turning it around…oh except some bad starts which leads to his current 4.94 ERA. So Hughes is a great pitcher…oh but that’s only true when you take out his bad starts. Great, thanks for dropping that knowledge buddy.

            And reducing your ERA is a trend, regardless of the significant difference. If anything, Bailey has at least been a steady performer and you can count on an ERA in the low to mid 4’s. Like I said, he’s not an ace, but he’s trending in the right direction (or even if you want to ignore the trend, he’s at least steady). What can you count on from Hughes? A great season if you take out all his bad starts?

        • rogue 3 years ago

          Hughes took a big step backward when he flushed a 3-0 lead in Anaheim the other night. IMO, he’ll never be more than a 4th starter on a contending team.

  5. InvalidUserID 3 years ago

    I think the Yankees resign Swisher on a three year contract. He’s a nice fit in the lineup and a good clubhouse figure.

    • Tyler Gresham 3 years ago

      It is probable that Swisher will be a Brave next season. Jim Bowden reported back in February that the Braves will make Swisher their top target this offseason. It makes sense that he will be able to get a long term deal in Atlanta since both Chipper Jones and Derek Lowe will be off the books this winter.

    • rogue 3 years ago

      No. Swish is having a terrible 2012 and coming off a terrible postseason. He’ll be 32, and with 2014 looming, giving Swish a 3 year deal makes no sense. The Yankees will likely give him a QO. If he walks, so be it.

  6. BlueJayMatt 3 years ago

    The $119M is a bit misleading, it assumes that they buy out Cano and Granderson which is possible but not particularly likely.

    Assuming Yankees picl up Granderson and Cano’s options, resign Rivera for $15M, resign Swisher for $10M and resign Martin for $10M then that’s already $177M.

    Not much room left under the $189M that they’re aiming for and they still need some starting pitchers plus they have the arbitration cases.

    • Havok9120 3 years ago

      189 is 2 years from now. The idea is that Mo, Sori, Kuroda, and Pettitte will all be off the payroll by then.

      • LazerTown 3 years ago

        Jeter too….

        • Slopeboy 3 years ago

          You’re not totally accurate… Jeter has a player’s option for 2014 for $8 Mil that could go up to $17 Mil if he reaches certain clauses in his contract. Unless he’s hit by a truck, he’s returning in ’14.

          • MB923 3 years ago

            Here are Jeter’s options in 2014:

            $4M for AL MVP; $2M for 2nd-6th in MVP vote; $1.5M for Silver Slugger; $0.5M each for Gold Glove, ALCS MVP, WS MVP 

            AL MVP? Doubt it, ALCS and WS MVP, Doubt it. 2nd-6th in the MVP, possibly but I doubt it too. Silger Slugger, maybe. Gold glove, probably lol. 

            If anything, I say he makes no more than $10 million in 2014.

  7. Granderson 2013 option jumped from $13M to $15M with the MVP voting last year. It is still a no brainer for the Yankees. 

  8. weaselpuppy 3 years ago

    119 plus Granderson and Cano’s net pickups ($26m) plus Rivera at $12m Kuroda at 10m Jones at 2.5m, Ibanez at $4m and Chavez at $1m is $175m, now add in the arby on HUghes ($5m) Gardner 3.5, Logan 2.5 Robertson (3.5)Wade 1m Cervelli 1m and $500K contracts for Nova, Pineda Romine Rapada Nunez 2.5 total is about $194m for 22 roster spots….with Garcia, Petite, Swisher, Joba and Martin being jettisoned…add back Petite for depth in case Pineda’s shoulder is wrecked and it’s $200m easy, with no upgrades, losing a starting RF and C….

    • jpg1200 3 years ago

      i think mo would be willing to come back for less than that knowing him he may even offer to pitch for the vets minimum since he’ll feel like his 2012 salary went to waste and he owes the team for the year

    • rogue 3 years ago

      Unless Kuroda has a big turnaround, the team won’t bring him back.

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