Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another Owner Wants A Salary Cap Because Of The Big Bad Yankees

First is was Mark Attanasio saying "At the rate the Yankees are going, I'm not sure anyone can compete with them," Attanasio said in an e-mail. "Frankly, the sport might need a salary cap."

Now, Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane adds his two cents:

Astros owner Drayton McLane is one of the wealthiest men in the country and is accustomed to hearing about multimillion-dollar deals being made in any of his numerous business ventures.

But even McLane finds himself astonished at the kinds of cash the New York Yankees have been throwing around this winter. So much so that McLane said he would be in favor of Major League Baseball adopting a salary cap.

“We would love to have a salary cap, but the (players’) union has been very resistant to that,” McLane said this past week.

Enough with the salary cap nonsense.First of all, like Mr. McLane said the players' association will never go for it. And second, the Yankees spending hasn't really gotten them much. The last time I checked the Yankees hadn't won a World Series since 2000, so this whole idea of buy championships is nonsense. When the Yankees win 10 World Series in a row, then you can start bitching about the league needing a salary cap, until then, shut up. Move on and find something else to worry about. How about your own teams for example?


pinstripes said...

Notice it's the teams that don't want to spend money that are always the ones complaining? If you're not in baseball to win, then sell the damn team. There are tons of billionaires out there that I bet would love to get their hands on an MLB franchise and give it shot.

Before they talk of a salary cap, they should have a look at a salary floor for these bottom feeders that get more money from revenue sharing than they even spend.

Anonymous said...

Oh NO he didn't!

Bostowned said...

Theres to many teams out there that make a ton of cash and NEVER use it for their teams. Cleveland is the most popular team in all of Ohio, over the Reds by a large margin. They have cash and yet never use it. Why use it when you can complain about the Yankees and still line your pockets each year? I live in Ohio but Im from NY originally. I hate it here because I hear this argument EVERYTIME the Yanks sign someone. Stupid shit man.

The Yanks will pay their luxury tax and Houston will enjoy accepting their check from it. Think McLane will use that money to sign a few free agents or pad his bank account? THAT'S whats wrong with baseball. Even Selig has said the teams need to use their luxury checks to better their teams.

logan69 said...

If he wants a salary cap, then he should refund the money that he charged when the Yankees visited the Astros last year. He tripled the price for all tickets for that series, but he didn't complain that they were coming since he got a full house for all the games.


jmas12 said...

I actually don't mind a salary cap. It would force the Yankees to restructure their front office with competent management. I think the Yankees front office is extremely inefficient and would not be able to compete on a level playing field. I agree that other teams do have the money to spend to compete with the Yankees but refuse to (although it may not be economically feasible in terms of some small-market teams revenue, regardless of the owner's net wealth). However I feel that the Steinbrenner's willingness to spend allows the Yankees front office to get away with alot of their shortcomings, such as being poor talent evaluators. A salary cap would force the Yankees to clean house at the upper level and bring in a more efficient management team. I mean, could you imagine what a GM like Billy Beane or Andrew Friedman could do with the Steinbrenner's money? I think the Yankees would be much better off than they are right now.

Will said...

How about a ticket price cap?

Greg Cohen said...


The big problem with the Yankees front office was the "Tampa faction." Since Cashman took over after 2005 things have been heading in the right direction; the farm system is getting stronger and stronger and the Yankees have been making smart moves at the MLB level.

As far as Billy Beane and other top of the line GMs, yes they would do a great job with Cashman's money. But to be honest I don't think Cashman has done too poorly of a job since he got full control.

Daniel said...

I have to agree with the poster who said the front office really has been filled with bad talent evaluators and money corrects their mistakes. Though I also feel since when is it a crime to reinvest your own profits in your own business?

Most of these owners are far wealthier than the Steinbrenners but treat owning a sports franchise as being simply a tanageble asset to store money, instead of playing the market, for show on a portfolio. The Yankees are the Steinbrenners business.

jmas12 said...

See, I was on the Cashman bandwagon until this offseason. I thought the Yankees would need to make one major signing only: Sabathia. Burnett is extremely risky, and Teixeira, while he will be a great ballplayer for the Yankees, was also a huge gamble. Burnett is easy enough to explain, but the reason that Teixeira is a huge risk is because of the contracts issued earlier in Cashman's tenure. Jeter is declining rapidly, right in front of our eyes, both in terms of defensive range and offensive production. And it's not realistic to assume Posada can catch even 130 games at his age. However, with Teixeira locked up until he's 37 (and Arod until he's 40) Jeter and Posada are both kind of stuck. First base was a realistic destination for both, now it's not. Jeter might be able to move to the outfield, but that's going to be a more difficult transition for him than a move to first would be.

Also, in terms of strengthening the farm system, it's not as strong as everyone believes. We're extremely weak in terms of position players. We have Jesus Montero, a stud by all indications regardless of how young he is, and Austin Jackson, who is very overrated. Doesn't display good patience at the plate. I think he's simply Brett Gardner who's right handed with less patience and a little more power (not saying much considering Gardner has now power). Some of our pitchers are overrated (Betances and Brackman) and those who aren't (Hughes and Kennedy) were rushed and didn't log the necessary innings in the minors. With that said, we basically just forefeited our 2009 draft in signing 3 type As. We still have a first rounder only because Damon Oppenheimer blew the Gerrit Cole deal last summer.

I think the importance of roster flexibility and depth is greatly underappreciated by most fans. The Red Sox and Rays both have it, the Yankees don't. And it's not just important for smaller market teams, it's important if you want to be successful.

Basically, that's why I'm off the Cashman bandwagon in a nutshell.

Mike B. said...

Make the teams that get checks based on other teams' luxury taxes spend the money on improving their teams. Simple as that.


Greg Cohen said...

I disagree about Teixeira. Yea the contract is a little long, but the guy is only 29 and very durable. There's no reason why the Yankees shouldn't get six very good years out of him, with the final two being less than great, but still good. It also bolstered their lineup a lot and filled a need. They couldn't go into 2009 with Nick Swisher as their first baseman. When you can bring in one of the top all around 1st basemen in the game and you need a 1st baseman, you have to do it.

As far as position players go in the system, besides Jackson (who a lot of people think is a lot better than you are giving him credit for) they're not good at the top, you're right. But there are some talented players at lower levels.

I also think you are underrating Betances and Brackman. Every scout agree that they both have filthy stuff, they are just raw talent at this point. Typical of younger pitchers.

"I think the importance of roster flexibility and depth is greatly underappreciated by most fans. The Red Sox and Rays both have it, the Yankees don't."

Roster flexibility is very important, but so is having a complete roster, and for the most part the Yankees have that. Adding a player like Teixiera is never a bad thing. Yes, I realize Jeter or Posada can't move to first base now, but is that really a bad thing? Posada is a terrible first baseman and Jeter is staying at short for at least the remainder of his contract. And if he can no longer play SS when his contract runs out in 2011, I'm sorry to say it - I know this will bother people, but the best thing to do would be letting him walk. Re-signing him at that point would severely hurt the team's flexibility.

One thing I will say is they went overboard on two key signings last off-season; Posada and A-Rod. Both because of Hank Steinbrenner. Signing A-Rod until he's 40 is insane, and giving a 36 year old catcher four years is equally insane. With that said the Yankees should be able to put Posada in a DH role as soon as 2010 and A-Rod will also eventually move there when he can't play third anymore. So while they were both silly contracts the Yankees should be able to navigate around them.

The Yankees also did not forfeit the 2009 draft. They still get a first-round and second-round pick as compensation for not signing Gerrit Cole (as you said) and Scott Bittle last year.

jmas12 said...

I don't disagree with your assessment on Teixeira. While it's dangerous to extrapolate his stats out too far, I think he's a terrific ballplayer and has his head on straight, and will likley be a productive Yankee. I kind of see him as being Tino with better plate discipline and a little younger than when the Yanks got him in '96. My main concern is Jeter. I think having him at short stop even through this contract is a huge risk. Forget the range factors which everone loves to bring up. From a standpoint of watching games, how many times have you seen a weakly hit ball get through the middle that when it was hit you thought "out"? It happens alot, and that hurts our entire pitching staff. Everyone preaches "pitching, pitching, pitching" but infield defense has alot to do with our pitching woes in recent years. If you are strong defensively up the middle (Catcher, Short, Second, Center) and have a good pitching staff that is generally the formula for success. Teixeira might be the best defensive first baseman in the game, but his signing hurts the Yankees defensively because Jeter's stuck at short, like you mentioned, likely for the rest of his contract. It might be treason to say this, but I hope Jeter lands on the DL at some point this season so everyone can see how having a shortstop with good range helps your pitching staff. That might be the only way for the front office to consider a position shift because otherwise I think they're blind to it.

As far as Betances and Brackman, all I see is raw talent. Looking at the numbers always is the way to do a player true justice, and right now they're not there. A lot of people like to compare them to Randy Johnson because of their size, and that it took a while him to learn command of the strikezone. However, Randy Johnson also didn't harness his command until he was on his second team and was 29 years old, and even then he still walked 99 hitters. Basically, when I look at these two, I think Daniel Cabrera.

As far as Jackson, he's got legs but only hit 9 bombs last year (13 the year before) in AA, and struck out slightly more than twice as much as he walked. Not only that but he really struggled in the AFL. I know he's still very young, but everyone seems to think he'll be our centerfielder in 2010. If that's the case, I don't see him putting up numbers better than Melky. That might be a better comparison than Gardner, Melky with more speed (less than Gardner), right handed, and less plate discipline.

My argument in both cases: command of the strikezone and plate discipline are the two most difficult things to teach a ballplayer, and that's what the Yankees are trying to do with these three players, respective to their positions.

owine said...

Since the start of free agency in 1977, the Yankees have spent the most money of any team and have also won the most championships during that timeframe.

Anonymous said...

jmas12, do you actually watch minor league games? If you do you would know Austin Jackson is very talented.
Unlike most of the other prospects he hasn't been playing baseball his whole life. So from a baseball stand point he's raw. You can't put a lot of stock in HR numbers with a prospect either. Most prospects develop power around 25 perhaps 26 years old. Mean while he didn't do too bad in the power department. Had a ton of doubles some triples. For someone who is new to baseball that's pretty good for AA.
Also no one is overrating him. Scouts, fans and Yankee people knows he very talented and could be a very good player in the majors.
It seems like you along with other Yankee fans want every prospect to be a super star. Anything less is not acceptable.
Sorry to disappoint you but most prospects aren't going to be super stars.
BTW your comparison of Jackson to Garner is stupid. Jackson has way more power even being raw then Gardner does.
I suggest you start actually watch minor league games.

Greg Cohen said...


I agree that Jeter's defense isn't good and hurts the team. But until 2011 it is what it is. What can they do?

With Betances and Brackman, raw talent at this age is OK. Brackman is just coming off of TJ surgery and has pitched a grand total of 8 games in professional ball, and Betances is 20 and has pitched in just 25 professional games. Give them time to grow.

jmas12 said...

Anonymous, I can concede that Jackson is young and raw. I can also concede that about Betances and Brackman. However, I'm not going to concede that any of them are on the cusp of major league success. There have been a ton of guys with a ton of talent who never made it to the show.

I've seen Jackson play, however as an out of market fan I've seldom seen him play. As a talent evaluator, I value statistical evaluation more than "what you see" because often "what you see" can be deceiving. Don't get me wrong, I think traditional scouting has it's value, and certain stats are overrated (batting average and RBIis are two). Yes, I'm a little bit of a Moneyball guy, but the best ballplayers aren't necessarily the best athletes. I think this fits in with Cashman's drafting strategy; he argues that the Yankees have to take more risks because they usually pick low in the draft. Thus they are getting great athletes with the hope that they can teach them to be great ballplayers. That indeed is a risky way of developing talent.

I will say this though about all three players, they need to put their time in, not rushed to the majors at the first sign of success. That's the way the Minnesota Twins operate, and it's worked pretty well for their young players. I don't think he should come up until we consistently see better patience at the plate or better power numbers. Same with Betances and Brackman: the walks have to go away.