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Arbitration Time for Small and Chacon
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
After their season-saving pitching triumphs last year, arbitration eligibility comes at a perfect time for Aaron Small and Shawn Chacon. Both begun salary talks with the Yankees this week and it looks like they will both be getting sizable raises for 2006.

Small earned just $350,000 for his time in the major leagues last year (and $13,000 per month in the minors), and has requested a salary of $1.45 million; the Yanks have reportedly offered $1.025 million. Chacon, who earned $2.55 million during his 7-3 season last year, has been offered $3.1 million. Though no contracts have been agreed upon yet, the Yankees have made it clear that they intend to come to terms with Small and Chacon without necessitating hearings or outside mediation.
posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, January 18, 2006  
  • At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Captain Scurvy said…

    I'd like to see the Yankees not be tightwads in this arbitration case. Think about it this way: Jaret "Object Magnet" Wright and Carl "Glass Arm" Pavano will combine for just shy of $17M this season, which is what they made last year. Their combined contribution last year was: 163.2 IP, 96 ER for an ERA of 5.28.

    The difference between what Chacon and Small are asking and what the Yankees are offering them is approx. $1.5M. Last year the two combined for 155 IP and 52 ER for an ERA of 3.02.

    I've heard the sabermetric arguments that Chacon and Small will probably not be as good this year as they were last year, particularly in Small's case, due to their peripheral numbers. However, they're more durable than our expensive surgically-reconstructed "youngsters" and, whether they were lucky or good or both, they stepped up for the Yankees when the team desperately needed it. Both will contribute again this year, possibly as well as they did last year, and given the age/injury situation of the roster it is probable they will see more action-- and more pressure situations-- than intended by management as of opening day.

    For all these reasons and the added possibility of a little financial "thank you" for last year, I return to my original statement: I'd like to see the Yankees not be tightwads with Chacon and Small.

  • At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great post by captain scurvy. Right on, brother. I'll amp up your argument one more notch: the Yanks will need Chacon and Small to bail them out in 2006 when Pavano and Wright fail to produce again.

    The Yanks would do well to remember that last year, Pavano was winning the contest with Brad Radke to see who could give up the most home runs early in the game. Unlike Radke, however, he never did settle down later in the game. He was rescued from a total meltdown by seeking sanctuary on the DL. He literally disappeared with a relatively minor injury for the entire year, perhaps taking a page out of the book of his new battery mate, Jaret Wright. After all, why risk your reputation when you can simply avoid doing badly by hiding on the DL. It's worked for Wright quite well. In fact, he's an especially interesting case who may go down in history as the pitcher who has made the most while delivering the least. He has literally made a career living on the DL while inexplicably still managing to parlay a very average career era of 5.11 into big contracts. So much for the credibility of Sabermetrics.

    So I think it's a legitimate question to ask how the Yankees can refuse to pay Chacon and Small what they deserve with these two clowns making the kind of dough they are for doing almost nothing?

    But there is even more leverage out there for Chacon and Small: The Yanks have to be concerned that Mussina has far fewer days ahead than he has behind. His fastball better top 90 consistently this year or he is going to get lit up. His performance last year was cranky at best - he managed to even up his playoff record at 7-7 after the game 5 loss in the ALDS.

    And then there is Johnson. Is he at the end of the road? Last year's performance suggest that he could be. We could debate that back and forth, but the bottom line is this: Johnson better have the year this year that the Yanks expected him to have last year or they are going to be shopping early not just for another starter, but for a stopper - and at a competitive disadvantage.

    Finally, there is the question of just how many innings Wang can contribute this year? Any extended trip on the DL for him could spell disaster.

    If I were Chacon or Small's agent, I'd put the "wood" to the Yankee front office big time. They are in no position to negotiate in anything other than good faith.

    And Pavano and Wright suggest that maybe it's time for players to be paid based on merit, rather than some figment of a scout's imagination - or some ridiculous sabermetric formula.

  • At 4:15 PM, Blogger mayday said…

    Yeesh. Don't know much about Yankees negotiating tactics, but I'm surprised there's a negotiation going on at all. The Yankees are over a barrel and would be best served just capitulating now and giving Chacon and Small what they want.

    Without them, I can't even see how the team will fill out its rotation. Almost-As-Fat Jaret cannot be counted on for a comeback; Pavano looks like a classic case of production in an MLB backwater/diarrhea in an actual pressure situation; and Randy Johnson is going to need EXTENSIVE rest if anyone expects him to approach his usual self by September and October.

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