Tomorrow is Last Day to Offer Free Agents Abritration

Tomorrow is the last day that teams can offer free agents arbitration. You know the deal, teams can get draft pick compensation by offering Type-A or B free agents arbitration if they reject it and sign somewhere else. If they aren’t offered arbitration it doesn’t matter where they sign, no draft pick compensation is awarded.

The Yankees have three Type-A free agents, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera, and they have three Type-B free agents, Kerry Wood, Javier Vazquez, and Lance Berkman.

They typically don’t offer arbitration to anyone that they don’t want back because the risk is that the player can accept and the Yankees get stuck with them. Because of this – Berkman, Wood, and Vazquez will almost definitely not be offered arbitration.

At first I thought that since Berkman forced the Yankees to not pick up his $15 million option for next season they should offer him arbitration, but since then the Astros have made it known that they don’t want him back in 2011. That changes things as Berkman may decide to accept arbitration so he can at least get a big payday next year if he can’t go back home.

Also, things have changed with Vazquez a bit too. About a month ago the idea to offer him arbitration seemed silly, but now it seems it may not be so silly. The reason is because he’s actually received a lot of attention this offseason. The Dodgers, Nationals, Marlins, Rockies, and possibly even other teams have expressed interest in him and word is that he’s looking for a multi-year deal. With all of this attention he’s getting it doesn’t seem like he’ll have trouble finding a job and would reject arbitration if the Yankees offered it. It’s risky, but the Yankees might want to take that risk. They probably won’t though.

Wood’s situation is a simple one, the Yankees would like him back, but if they offer him arbitration they’ll be stuck paying an injury prone setup man over $10 million next year. Pass.

Finally there are the Type-A guys Jeter, Pettitte, and Rivera. None of them are going anywhere so this isn’t really that big of a deal. The Yankees should probably offer them each of them arbitration just in case though. They got burned by Roger Clemens after 2003 because they assumed he would retire.

There is also the case that if Jeter accepts arbitration they would end up paying him a lot more next season than they are looking to. The upside would be that the Yankees could keep him on a one year deal though.

I would like to see the Yankees take a risk here, but my guess is that they end up offering arbitration to all of the Type-A’s and none of the Type-B’s.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.

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2 Responses to Tomorrow is Last Day to Offer Free Agents Abritration

  1. Russ says:

    Vazquez can’t really want to return to NY under any circumstances and if the rumors of the braves offering him 3 years for 18 mil are true, I don’t see why we shouldn’t offer him arbitration.

    Houston publicly saying they want no part of bringing Berkman back really screwed us out of what looked like a free pick at the time of the trade. If they don’t say that, we could have gotten a #2 for him, then if we sign Lee, that #2 could be used to replace the pick if we signed Downs. Now, Downs is out of the question.

    I’d offer arbitration to Wood. If he accepts, there is no way he can get close to his previous 10 million dollar salary since he pitched half a year and that was as a set up guy. Yet he was so good, I’d want the potential to negotiate with him for as long as possible just in case.

  2. Russ, the thing with Wood and arbitration is that he can't make less than 80 percent of his previous year's salary. Which in his case would be $8.4 million. And the Yankees are not going to pay that to an injury prone setupman. Also, I'm not sure they could even trade him at that salary. Out of all these free agents, he's the only one I'm comfortable saying that he has a zero chance of getting offered arbitration.

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