"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Posada wants to test the free agent waters

According to the Bergen Record via Was Watching, catcher Jorge Posada wants to become a free agent at the end of the year.

"I'll treat every team the same," Posada said in his first detailed comments about his contract since spring training. "That's what free agency is. It's my first time as a free agent."

Posada is certain he is headed that way. He's not interested in negotiating during the season, and not because of the potential daily distraction, but because "They had a lot of time to do it already."

Spring training came and went without an extension, and as far as Posada is concerned, that was the hinge that swung the door open to a potentially different future. All he has managed since is to become the Yankees' most valuable player, his .353 average, seven home runs and 40 RBI among league or team leaders. Contract-year motivation? But the Yankees don't mind reaping the benefit.
For starters, he shouldn't be talking about this now. They have just won seven games in a row and 10 of their last 12 to get back to .500. Just shut up and play.

Posada will be 36 before the season is over. That is extremely old for a catcher, although he is showing no signs of slowing down despite having an awful backup and playing six times a week.

I don't know how many years I'd be willing to give him. Two years with an option maybe? If he wants four or five years, Brian Cashman has to let him walk at that point.

I don't think Posada will walk. I'm sure he knows his place and will not ask for more than three years. My guess (which means absolutely nothing) is three years for $45 million. The Yankees will give in to his demands, simply because they have to. There are no catchers close to making the Majors in their system now, and the only interesting free agent catcher is Ivan Rodriguez, but he has an option for 2008. After him, the list is rather barren.

Closer Mariano Rivera is also a free agent at the end of the season, and he expressed his displeasure during Spring Training when he was told the Yankees weren't going to negotiate until the offseason.

I can't see the Yankees without both Posada and Rivera next year. I think (and hope) the front office has learned from the Andy Pettitte debacle in 2003.


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