Bizarro World

Raise your hand if you guessed that the only free agent the Yankees would offer arbitration to this year would be Javier Vazquez. Anyone…Bueller…anyone? Now, they apparently have Vazquez’s assurance that he will turn it down, but it is a bizarre turn of events.

I understand the Yankees reluctance to offer arbitration to Jeter or Rivera because of the danger they might accept it, but why would that be such a bad thing? In either case, the player would be signed for a one-year deal and the Yankees wouldn’t have to worry about length of contracts. Furthermore, while Jeter’s arbitration number would be based on his $21 million last year, does anyone think he would actually earn a raise in the process? I just find it hard to fathom how the Yankees would have lost an arbitration hearing with Jeter and I would much rather pay more for Jeter in 2011 on a one-year deal than the three-year/$45 million deal he apparently doesn’t like.

Furthermore, offering arbitration might have cooled the rhetoric which has really ramped up today. Consider this quote from Cashman:

“We’ve encouraged him to test the market and see if there’s something he would prefer other than this. If he can, fine. That’s the way it works.”

That’s about as close to anger as you are going to hear from Cashman and it’s somewhat surprising to me that he took that harsh a tone. It also makes me wonder what exactly “Plan B” is if Jeter actually jumped ship. I don’t think Derek is going to take a torch to his legacy, but he provoking him to do so is never wise.