The Kid Who Wouldn’t Share

Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Hot Stove, Management

I don’t pick on Mike Francesa just for the sake of it as many others do. A lot of times, it’s done with a clear and blatant agenda for things he says and does that are either meaningless and blown out of proportion or come from an understandable position.

For those that find nothing redeeming in what Francesa says and does, I have to ask: Why do they listen to and/or watch him?

I critique when applicable, credit when deserved. A short while ago, Francesa was talking about the possibility of the Yankees pursuing Prince Fielder.

Of course in the world of baseball and America, the Yankees have every right to go after Fielder. But do they need him? Would they and should they want to pay him? And is it good for baseball and for the Yankees?

A team with the firepower and guaranteed contracts of the Yankees—who are enduring a $35 million disaster from Rafael Soriano—doesn’t need to sign Fielder in any context.

For reasons I’ve never quite understood, GM Brian Cashman has wanted to reduce the payroll for years. What difference it makes to him how much money the club spends is a mystery and it’s a window into the feeding of the GM’s own ego to receive credit as the likes of Billy Beane and Andrew Friedman have for doing more with less; that Theo Epstein has gotten for drawing lines in the sand and being ruthless in his dealings with Red Sox heroes Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez.

If Cashman’s still the GM (he too is a free agent at the end of the season), he is not going to want Fielder—a mercurial player and person who’s fat and, if he’s paid and being used strictly as a DH, is bound to get fatter as he ages.

But never mind that. Here are the current guaranteed contracts on the Yankees books:

Alex Rodriguez: $143 million.

Mark Teixeira: $112.5 million.

CC Sabathia: Either $92 million or more if he opts out at the end of this season and they try to re-sign him, and they don’t have much choice.

A.J. Burnett: $33 million.

Derek Jeter: $36 million.

Mariano Rivera: $15 million.

Robinson Cano: signed through 2014 at $29 million with $4 million in buyouts—they have to extend him.

Soriano: $25 million. (He’s not opting out to go anywhere.)

Curtis Granderson: $12 million guaranteed through 2012 with a 2013 option at $13 million.

And that’s before getting to Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain who are both arbitration-eligible.

Francesa wants to add Fielder and his $150-180 million demand to the bill? With Scott Boras as his agent? And surrender the draft picks?

How much is enough? Does he have a concept anymore? Or is he so addled by the Yankees success in the past 16 years that he can no longer understand reality?

Francesa’s the kid who won’t let anyone else play with his toys.

It’s no fun to hang around with a kid like that.

No fun at all.


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