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Hey, I just wanted you to know that I sent you an email. Thanks

Agreed. Excellent move by the Bombers.

Best to add a "D" to my name so as not to be confused with all the other Mikes around here.

This Mike agrees. Very good move on the part of the Yankees, but more significantly in the world of all things Yankee, I do think this signing signals a change in philosophy by the organization, most likely driven by Hal Steinbrenner, the now-acknowledged keeper of the Yankee cookie jar. If the Yankees went back and looked at how they handled the negotiations with their talent over the past decade-plus, they’d see their tactic of pushing home-grown talent to the brink of free-agency cost the team tens upon tens of millions of dollars. A less-than-intelligent approach considering they seemingly wanted to keep most, if not all, of those players.

If they locked up Bernie Williams before he filed for free agency after the 1998 season, he probably would have cost them half of what he ultimately accepted ($89.7). Jeter? The Yankees signed him one year short of free agency, but they did so when he was 26 and coming off his two best seasons and the Yankees were at the height of their most recent dynasty run. As great as Jeter was and has been, they ended up overpaying substantially. His $189 million contract over ten years is *still* pricey all these years later in today’s market. If they had taken a Robinson Cano approach with Jeter and hammered out a long-term contract after his third or fourth seasons, the Yankees could have locked him up anywhere from a six to eight years with an average annual salary of under ten million. And when his contract came due somewhere in the ’04-’06 time frame, they could have signed him to another six- to eight-year deal for much less than $19 million a season. Those years represented a lull post the initial A-Rod and Manny signings and the recent contract escalation. Pettitte would have never reached free agency and Houston, putting the Yankees, preventing the Yankees from being in the position to have to pay him $16 million per to return. Posada? Rivera? I’m sure what happened this off-season pushed Hal over the edge. The Yankees could have had both players for less money over less years if the team didn’t wait until this season to re-sign them.

I’m sure Hal ran some numbers, and figured with the luxury tax thrown in, the Yankees philosophy with their players may very well have cost them upwards of $200 million. Reducing Jeter’s contract and then factoring in the luxury tax represents more than half that figure. Add in all the other players, and that number is very conservative, but also staggering. No team, not even the Yankees, want to throw away more than $200 million that could have been expensed on other players or player development. The Yankees might not even be worried about how they’d pay for Johan Santana if they traded for him.

So the signing of Cano makes great fiscal sense and one I expect to see the Yankees practice more in the coming seasons, at least when it comes to position players. Pitchers are still a riskier proposition. It will be interesting to see how they approach Wang. They already had one shoulder scare with him.


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