Wakefield and Tavarez Exercised

The Red Sox made one expected move today and one unexpected move.  They exercised Tim Wakefield’s annual option @ $4m.  That was the expected move.  They also exercised Julian Tavarez’s $3.85m option.

Wakefield won 17 games in 2007 before getting injured.  He is a useful play to have and provides innings and leadership.  Tavarez offers so many things including comic (unintentional) relief and excellent flexibility on the pitching staff.

I was surprised by the Tavarez deal because his performance really slipped in the second half, but obviously the Red Sox like having him around, even if they don’t think he is worth a roster spot on for the playoffs.

Not much to offer on the Mike Lowell and Curt Schilling situations.  With the GM Meetings running Nov 5-8 in Orlando, we can all expect more news soon.

Lastly, check out this site.  Cot’s Baseball Contracts has tons of useful financial info on MLB teams and players.  One of their pages contains a historical look at notable salaries.  Interesting.

Abreu’s Option Exercised

Not a shocker, but the Yankees picked up Abreu’s option today.  This move was a no-brainer because keeping control of Abreu gives the Yankees the option to play him or trade him in 2008.  If you throw out Abreu’s April and May, he had a great season.  As it was, .283/.369/.445 is almost equal to what AL Rightfielders averaged in 2007 (.288/.359/.465)  $16-million is a lot for that and I think the Yankees would be wise to at least kick the tires on trading him.  It would make them worse in 2008, but young position players are something the Yankees need right now and Abreu might be able to help them get some. 

Managerial Compensation

Joe Torre pay with the Yankees:

2005 – $6.1m

2006 – $6.1m

2007 – $7.0m

Joe Torre with the Dodgers:

2008 – $4.33m

2009 – $4.33m

2010 – $4.33m (I couldn’t find exact terms, so I took average annual value of the deal)

Joe Girardi with Yankees:

2008 – $2.5m

2009 – $2.5m

2010 – $2.5m (again, didn’t have details, so I averaged out the deal).

Terry Francona with Red Sox:

2004 – $0.5m

2005 – $0.55m

2006 – $1.25m (base $0.75m plus a $0.65m signing bonus for new deal)

2007 – $1.65m

2008 – $1.75m

2009 and beyond?  2 year deal pending according to rumor, no details available.

It is tough to argue that in recent history (like under 5 years), Francona has been the most successful manager.  Over a 12 year period, Torre has been with most of his success over 7 years old.  And Girardi?  He hasn’t had any success other than managing an under talented team to a 78-84 record in 2006.

Yet somehow the Yankees thought it a good idea to give Girardi $2.5m per year.  I’ll be interested to see how much Francona gets in his extension.  I just found these contracts very interesting and I have to assume it means a payday for Francona and if not, couldn’t one argue the Dodgers and Yankees have overpaid?

Now keep in mind, I thought, if I were a Yankees fan, which I’m not and never will be, that Torre was the right man for the job.  But I also felt he was deserving of a contract in line to what he was earning through 2007.  That didn’t happen and I am also beginning to feel that perhaps this separation was a good one for the Yankees.  Time changes perspective and I think I am swinging over to wondering just what Girardi will bring to the Yankees.  Maybe it was the right move.  New blood after all can shake things up and if there was ever a team that needs a shake-up, it’s the Yanks.

Ok, too much Yankee talk, time for a sulfuric acid shower.