Man, I just hate the Yankees and what they stand for. I'll admit that a lot of that has to do with them dominating the Twins in the 2000's. Is this a bad idea for them? No, they can afford it. The problem is that it's like your playing chess against someone who gets extra moves every once in a while. Then you find out that half their pieces are taking steroids.
Isn't the book The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant and the play Damn Yankees, all about how unstoppable the Yankees are, and the only way to beat them is to sell your soul to the devil?
The more things change, the more they stay the same. There's a certain comfort in that.
This is a bad deal simply because the market was laughably inflated. Tanaka was not orignially pegged as the top free agent arm, in fact he was originally such a dark horse that the Twins were connected to him.
Now a guy who's never pitched in the MLB and has been seriously abused in the NPL in terms of both innings and pitches per game is going to make $50?, $60?, $70 million more than the more accomplished Garza, Jiminez and Santana? Ha, suckers.
Sure the Yankees can afford the money, but there's only 25 roster spots, you don't have a ton of flexibility when you have four unmovalbe albatross'.
The other crazy thing is they held firm on Cano, the best 2B in the game. Then they give more annually to a question mark. I know Cano's deal was longer, but many think if the Yankees were close to Seattle's offer Cano would have stayed in New York. Over the next 3-4 years you can say that Cano will be the best 2B in the game. You can't say anything like that for Tanaka.
That this is evidence of either an outstanding Yankee's offseason or the Twins systemic failures in free agency doesn't really fly with me. It isn't just money the Yankees are throwing at Tanaka, it also affects how players will enter in negotation with them. And the Yankees wonder why Cano insisted on 300 million? That he didn't get it, and Seattle gave him a less-absurd contract, doesn't make the Yankees smart. Cano is worth far more to the Yankees both in terms of brand and production, and it's the Yankees who are mostly at fault for pricing Cano out of their acceptable budget.
Maybe things go alright for the Yankees the next couple of years. But don't be surprised when McCann moves from behind the plate, Ellbury's wheels continue to slow and break down, and Tanaka unforseeably gives up a succession of gopher balls in Yankee's stadium, people point back to this offseason as the end of the Cashman era.
The Yankees have ended up giving almost as much per year to a guy with a 108 OPS+ over his career (heavily weighted by a flukey season) and a guy whose never thrown a pitch in the majors as they would have to retain a player who has been a 140 OPS+ guy for the last four years.
Sorry, but that's stupid.
Outside of McCann, I can't understand what the Yankees are thinking but as a fan of another team, I think it's great because they've really worked hard on saddling themselves with albatross contracts this offseason.
Starting in the mid-1990s the Yanks farm system produced Jeter, Posada, Pettite and Rivera. These four players were the core for the Yankees for many years except for the couple of years Pettite went to the Asros. Cano came later but was a key development. Here's hoping the Yankees can't buy a pennant.
Ellsbury has missed 250 games in the last four years and they gave him a 7 year deal, through 38. He has 65 career HR and 32 of those were in one year. Tanaka has not thrown a pitch here. They are paying for Beltran through ages 36-39. I think at the beginning of the off-season they would have preferred Cano to these guys.
Big picture, when the Yankees could land anyone they wanted they assembled good teams every year. Now the Dodgers, Tigers, Rangers, and Red Sox spend money and the Yankees lack of farm system has been exposed.
Personally, I don't give a rip about Yanquis' historic spending habits, or Tanakas' '14 projections.
That's why I liked the 8 mil jibe- too true to Twins form.
The funny thing is, we have 83m on the books, so to give him 25/yr = 108. How far does that exceed the 2010 'cap"?
The kicker: he gets an opt-out at year four (!), and dollars to donuts, he takes it. Bargaining-wise, I'd guess Twins went short on years and failed to call his bluff.
And yes, I realize that there is a lot more that WAR that goes into team wins and losses.
Ellsbury is a 4.5-5.0 WAR player IF and its a big If he stays healthy. McCann is a 4 WAR player (Again I like this move) and frankly Tanaka could be anything from a 1.5-3.5 WAR guy this year IMO.
I really don't like this off-season one bit for them, they ended up spending a ton more money (especially when you consider A-Rods contract will likely be back on the books in 2015) and I honestly don't think they got any better. Especially when you realize they lost Cano, Rivera, Pettite and A-Rod for 2014. Can't wait to see them finish 4th in that division, I see lots of summer days at Yankee stadium with me and my buddies where tickets will be about $5 each.