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Money Makes an Offseason

I was poking around my three favorite sites (Fangraphs, Baseball-Reference, and Cot's Contracts) while thinking about the Yankees' offseason.

The 2010 WAR and Value are based on the Chone projections.

Granderson Winn Johnson Damon Matsui Melky
2009 WAR 3.4 1.7 2.4 3.0 2.4 1.6
2010 WAR 4.4 0.8 2.2 3.2 1.1 3.4
2009 Salary $3.5M $8.25M $5.5M $13M $13M $3.1M
2010 Salary $5.5M $2M $5.75M+$1M ? $6M $1.4M
2010 Value $19.9M $3.6M $9.8M $14.5M $4.7M $15.1M
Age 29 36 31 36 36 25


Chone sees a big rebound for Granderson.  It's Melky project is off the charts: 2009 was a career high in value, and it calls for him to double that production.  The projection system is also confused by Johnny Damon because his numbers have improved the last three years.  Winn posted a 1.7 last season when he was awful- to be worth only .8 wins in 2010 he would have to be putrid, then cut in June. 

The non-Yankee trio contributed 7 wins to the championship season, and they are projected for 7.7 wins next season.  The newcomers gave 7.5 wins to their teams last season, and are projected for 7.4 wins this season.  I think our guys will collectively beat their projects, and I'll be stunned if the other 3 meet theirs.

For value, it's not as big a drop off as people want to make the change in personnel out to be.

Now, about the money.

Assuming Johnson hits all of his incentives (the first comes at 400PA), for a little more than the cost of 2009 Hideki Matsui, the Yankees brought in 3 players.  In fairness, it cost them Phil Coke and Austin Jackson, too.

CC's contract went up $9M.  Jeter's went up $1M.  Cano went up $3M.  Swisher went up $1.5M.  That's the 2009 cost of Melky and Damon.

The nationally overlooked move of the offseason belongs to the Yankees, though.  With all the ink spilled about Halladay and Lee, Holiday and Bay, Matsui and Damon, I don't think enough attention has been paid to the addition of Javy Vazquez ($11.5M) for Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino.  For the price of hope and spare parts, the Yankees acquired a pitcher who averaged 5.5 WAR over the last 3 seasons.

The important part of that is that Vazquez is not a replacement, he's an addition.  Remember in September talk of would you start Aceves, Guadin, Joba or Hughes in the postseason?  That's done.

I would have enjoyed having Damon or Matsui back- they are both incredible hitters.  But the Yankees got younger, cheaper and better this off-season.  I can't help being happy with that.