Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Yankee end near for Pettitte, Damon and Matsui?

The Yankees have decided not to offer arbitration to any of their free agents. But that doesn't necessarily signal the end of the Yankee careers of Andy Pettitte, Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. I still think at least one of them (probably Pettitte) will be back in pinstripes next year. Damon can still come back if he's willing to accept a one or two-year deal. Matsui is probably the odd man out.

Not offering the players arbitration seems to be more of a budget decision rather than a comment on their baseball abilities. If the Yanks had offered the players arbitration and they accepted, they would have probably gotten significant raises that the Yanks didn't want to pay considering their intent to cut payroll (or make room in the budget for Roy Halladay).

The downside of the arbitration decision is that the Yanks won't be eligible for draft pick compensation if Damon or Pettitte sign elsewhere (possible for Damon, very unlikely for Pettitte). But considering the state of the economy and it's potential impact on the free-agent market, it's the right decision for the Yanks.

Thanks to Alex Kim via Wikipedia for the photo.

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