Yankees Set to Offer Arbitration to Vazquez and Wood

Tonight is the last night to offer free agents arbitration. The Yankees can offer arbitration to any of their free agents, but only six are Type-A or B free agents, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Kerry Wood, Javier Vazquez, and Lance Berkman.

My guess was that the Yankees would offer all of their Type-A’s arbitration and none of their Type-B’s. I was already wrong on one call – Jeter, whom they will not offer arbitration to so they avoid getting stuck paying him $21+ million.

It looks like I might be wrong on a couple other calls in Vazquez and Wood’s cases too. I actually said that the Yankees should offer Vazquez arbitration, but figured that with their history of being cautious with these cases they would avoid it.

But Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting that the Yankees have agreed with his agents ahead of time that he will reject their offer so they make sure they can salvage a draft pick out of him.

If it’s true and Vazquez will reject arbitration than it’s a no brainer. There really is nothing in it for Vazquez to do that, but it doesn’t hurt him if he does help them. As a Type-B free agent the Yankees will get a draft pick, but a team that signs him does not have to surrender a pick.

The one call I was way off on was Wood’s. Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York is reporting that the Yankees will offer Wood arbitration.

He earned $10.5 million in 2010 so through arbitration he can earn no less than $8.4 million . The Yankees already rejected his $11 million 2011 option and said publicly that they don’t want to pay a setupman reliever money. On top of the money though there is Wood’s troubling injury history.

It does appear though that the Yankees are serious about bringing him back next year and are willing to risk it while they negotiate a deal. Perhaps their thinking is that he may settle for a multi-year deal worth less annually to avoid arbitration. At any rate, it’s also possible that they have worked out an agreement like Vazquez or just changed their minds and definitely want him back no matter what the cost.

No word yet on the other free agents at this time.

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