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There’s corrosion, then there’s CORROSION.

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Arbitration hearings are a nasty business. The team is already getting the player well below open-market value. Now they’re trying to get the player for even less money than what both sides figure is the supressed-value midpoint. I’m not going Communist on you here; I’m just saying it leaves a bad taste in a player’s mouth, particularly after multiple years at the major league minimum. Market value might be $9 million, the historical arb midpoint might be $2.5 million, and here’s the team arguing before a panel that the player should be awarded even less. The optics are, as Trump or DAVID might say, “not good”.

Teams do win their share of these cases. The team offers less than the historical midpoint, the player asks for more, and the whim of the three-person arb panel chooses one figure or the other.

Sometimes the player asks for what’s mathematically too much. Enter Dellin Betances. MLB Trade Rumors, who are pretty good with midpoints, said $3.4 million, and sure enough the Yankees came in lower at $3 million. Betances asked for $5 million, and most observers thought he’d lose because he was so far away from $3.4 million.

He lost.

But here’s a top tip for front-office types: don’t spike the football. That’s exactly what Yanks’ prez  Randy Levine did. Nice, if slanted, summary here:

http://deadspin.com/yankees-president-randy-levine-devalues-and-dismisses-d-1792515203

Key bit:

[I]t apparently wasn’t enough for Yankees president Randy Levine simply to be able to underpay the three-time All-Star, because he then went off and accused Betances of requesting an “over the top” salary “not based on reality.”

 

Levine called a press conference this morning where he criticized Betances’s agent for “using” him to try to “change a marketplace.””

Oh.

My feelings on the rest of that article are mixed. This space has long argued that Saves are too important in the arbitration process, but we also don’t think the Yanks need to pay Betances $1.6 million above the arb-point just because they’ve got the money lying around. These are topics for another time (and we’ve criticised the Save-stat a lot here already in the last five years).

Where the Yankees have fucked up here is that this is only Betances’ first time through arbitration, and Levine’s mouthing off has left them with an unhappy camper.

So what, you say, since they’ve signed Aroldis Chapman to be their closer for five or six years? Well, again, putting aside saves-aren’t-everything, the team may have lost the chance to go back to Betances in a few weeks or months and sign him to a team-friendly deal. The Yankees, being the Evil Empire they are, could even sign him to, oh, I don’t know, 5 years and $36 million (3/5/8/10/10) and then trade his arse at the deadline this year or next for a boatlod of prospects.

Andrew Miller, anybody?

Instead, Betances will likely go year-to-year, and the Yanks will either get less for him in trade, or see him leave for nothing after 2019.

All because Levine had to call a press conference to gloat.

Revolutionary Saget

Saget goes to Yorktown to celebrate a war the Americans didn’t show up two years late for. Many more pictures after the jump.

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Read more…

Mailbag: The Old Married Couple

CL,

Are you and DAVID going to yell at each other all year?

Do you mind that he compared you to Jerry Sandusky?

Bored

Dear Bored,

I had to go find the Sandusky reference. No, I don’t care.

I missed it because I kind of zoned out reading that post when he referred to the university we went to as “Robie Street High”. To be sure, it’s not a good university. Copper will bear me out on that. But I was shocked DAVID was running it down: it took him six years to get through. If we’d gone to a real university, he’d be a 44-year-old sophomore…

CL

What might have happened yesterday.

As best I can tell:

Saget wanted to trade draft picks with Slumpy.

Saget sent the offer to Nookie by mistake.

Nookie said “sure”.

Saget wrote Mendoza and said he had a deal.

Mendoza wrote me to talk shit because I’d told him half an hour earlier that I had no trades on the go and here I (Nookie) was, trading.

I wrote Mendoza back saying the p[icks wree Slumpy’s.

Confusion ensues.

As far as this desk knows, there’s no deal yet.

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If anyone can explain this, go ahead.

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The Dog ate my Homework. Four Times.

Unreal. Via Rotoworld:

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Francisco Rodriguez will be late in reporting to Tigers camp due to a visa issue.
It will mark the fourth year in a row that K-Rod gets a late start to spring training because of a visa problem.

 

Mailbag: Phillips; Peraza

Hi CL,

a question…does Brandon Phillips lose value leaving hitter friendly Cincinnati and going to unknown Atlanta park?  How far up the draft board does Pereza shoot up?

–BOB SAGET

Hi Saget,

I don’t know about Phillips. He only had 12 and 11 HR his last two seasons anyway, and he’s yet another year older. So he’s a 10/10 type anywhere I think. He has much more value in AVG leagues where he’s a plus contributor (.290) as opposed to our OBP-league where he’s a drag (.320).

Peraza’s ADP before the Phillips trade (NFBC: #137) was too high, given that he had no position. It will rise again, and be too high again. I think he breaks into the top-100 now, and he has no place being there. He has no power at all, and he gets thrown out too much (37% last year). Further, the Reds also have Dilson Herrera, and Peraza is something of a head case. Scott Standberg at Fangraphs wrote about it at length two weeks ago:

http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/everyone-is-paying-too-much-for-jose-peraza/

and I simply won’t be spending a pick as early as is required to get him. Sure, maybe he steals 60 bases. But a part-time role with a .310 OBP is just as likely, and that’s not a risk I can afford in the 7th or 8th round.

Thanks for writing,

CL