As unbelievable as it may seem, the Yankees played the budget-concerns card when explaining why they didn't offer arbitration
to Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, Bobby Abreu and Ivan Rodriguez.
To be honest, this move has me baffled and more than a little bit angry. I can understand Pettitte, I suppose. I don't want him back at $16M, actually I don't want him back at all, but Abreu and Moose? Jesus, if those guys came back on one-year deals it would be a steal. Mussina especially, I mean, I was hoping they'd beg him to come back. Now, if he changes his mind he can sign with anyone and the Yanks won't get a thing. Why? What's the harm in offering him arbitration?
As far as I was concerned, the only reason not to bring Abreu back was that it would take a three or maybe four-year deal and there's no way they wanted to commit to him that long. Someone is going to sign Abreu, and someone was always going to offer him a deal for at least two years. There is no risk in offering him arb.
The only logic I can even begin to apply to this clusterfuck is that the Yanks know something I don't about how the floundering economy and how it's going to affect the free agent market. Although their $140M offer to Sabathia seems to indicate that salaries aren't going to drop that much. Did they think a guy like Abreu would get nervous and jump at the arb offer?
This is a stupid, stupid move and the Yanks just made at least one team very happy. My predictions: Abreu to the Mets, maybe for 2 years, $30M, and Pettitte to the Dodgers for 1 year $12M.