|Tino Martinez officially became a free agent today when the Yanks passed on the $3 million option on his contract. Though Tino was essential during his first tenure in the Bronx in the late nineties, his performance in the 2005 season may have fallen a tad short of the Yankees’ expectations. In his heyday with the Yankees he hit as many as 44 homers and came close to hitting .300; his numbers this year topped out at .241 with 49 RBIs and 17 homers (ten of which occurred in May). His defense was top notch though, which the Yankees needed more than his bat. To call Tino’s year disappointing would be selling him short – he was there to serve a defensive purpose – though I can’t help but think that fans and management alike were expecting more.
At the GM meeting in California, Brian Cashman noted “at this stage, I’m just trying to reduce payroll”. He also discussed Andy Phillips, who has played 32 games at first base for the Yankees in the 2004 and 2005 seasons, as a possible backup for Giambi next season. It’s barely November, so Steinbrenner’s and Cashman’s master plans for their 2006 team are just beginning to show their shape….who knows what they’ll do with that extra (gasp!) $3 mil laying around on the payroll…
Labels: free agency/arbitration