The Soriano Saga

So, it sounds like the truth is that Hank, Hal and Randy Levine decided that they wanted Soriano and overruled Brian Cashman. I have no problem with that for a number of reasons.

1- I think Cashman was wrong about this decision. Yes, losing the draft pick is a downer, but this Yankee team is built for winning right now. Jeter, A-Rod, Mo, none of them are getting any younger. If the plan was to rebuild in 2011, Jeter and Rivera should not have been brought back. Since they were, I assume the plan is to go for a championship and Soriano helps them in that regard.

2- I think the Yankees structured this move brilliantly. People keep complaining about the opt-outs Soriano has because they make this a one-sided risk for the Yankees, but when is a free agent signing anything but a one-sided risk? What the Yankees have done is bet that Soriano will have a good 2011 and given him a way to cash in on that by opting out. Then the Yankees can offer arbitration and recoup the draft pick if Soriano signs elsewhere and would you expect a Scott Boras client not to opt-out if he could? Now, if Soriano gets hurt or sucks, the Yankees are stuck with him for at least another year, but that’s the risk with any free agent signing. (Not to open a different can of worms, but I am sort of plagiarizing myself here because I felt the same way in 2008)

3- Ultimately, this is their team. Cashman works for the Steinbrenners, not the other way around. I think people tend to see “Steinbrenner” and “overrule the GM” in the same sentence and think back to the reign of George. But these cats are different. Hal is not his father and he runs the ship. I see this as an anomaly instead of the start of a new (or old) way of doing business.

4- Jon Heyman pointed out in one of his stories that even with the signing of Soriano, the Yankees have $20 million left in their 2011 budget. Even if Andy Pettitte comes back, you have to figure they have money to spend. Now, just because they have money to spend, doesn’t mean they should spend it, but go back to point #1. This move made them better and they can afford it.