On Tuesday evening, 3 Yankees filed for arbitration since they couldn’t reach an agreement with the Yankees: Brett Gardner, Boone Logan & Russell Martin. With the Yankees only getting 3 players (Phil Hughes, David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain) out of the way, we might not know how ugly it could have gotten if all 6 of them filed for arbitration. Each of the Yankees had an asking price which competed with what the Yankees had offered them and I couldn’t help but have mixed opinions. Here was what it got me thinking, are the players really worth the asking price?
1. Russell Martin (Wanted $8.2 million, Offered $7 million)
Yankees catcher Russell Martin
Russell Martin made approximately $4 million in 2011, so to find that Martin is asking for double of what he made in 2011 was pretty shocking. Martin was a good asset to the Yankees in 2011 since he was able to whip the rotation into shape but his offensive performance faltered since he was constantly used by Joe Girardi. Martin was good defensively and he did hit 18 HR’s in 2011, but I doubt we will see Martin hit 18 HR’s again in 2012 if he becomes overused once again behind the plate.
If I Were Russell Martin: If I were him, I would have taken the $7 million and walked. He was getting a $3 million raise, so trying to push it by adding $1.2 million kind of shows that Martin really wants as much money as he could possibly get. Martin is a great catcher, but if I were him, I wouldn’t expect to see $8.2 million in 2012.
2. Boone Logan (Wanted $2.4 million, Offered $1.7 million)
Yankees LHP Boone Logan
In 2011, Boone Logan made $1.2 million for doing what he is supposed to do: come in and face lefties and that was exactly what he did. During the 2011 campaign vs. lefties, in 27.1 innings pitched, Logan had a 2.96 ERA, struck out 34 batters, held them to a .260 AVG and had a 1.24 WHIP. If I was just basing his lefty numbers on whether he deserves the $2.4 million I would say “why not,” but we aren’t basing everything just off of his lefty numbers, are we? Versus right handed hitters, Logan had a 4.40 ERA while pitching 14.1 innings. Logan struck out 12, held batters to a .262 AVG & had a 1.53 WHIP.
If I Were Boone Logan: If I were Boone Logan, I would have taken the $1.7 million that the Yankees offered. There had to be a reason that the Yankees said no to the $2.4 million in the first place and that had to be because Boone Logan can only pitch to left handed hitters. Honestly, just take the money and go Boone. Why make things difficult.
3. Brett Gardner (Wanted $3.2 million, Offered $2.4 million)
Yankees OF Brett Gardner
In 2011, Brett Gardner was paid a mere $529,000 for his civil service in left field. Before the 2011 season, the Yankees were thinking of platooning Gardner & Derek Jeter for the lead off spot just to see how the experiment worked out. Girardi pulled Gardner from the lead off spot so fast, Yankees fans didn’t even have time to blink. But if you take away the abysmal start to the 2011 campaign, Gardner performed to expectations. He had 49 stolen bases, a .345 OBP (which matched his 2009 OBP) & played remarkable defense for the Yankees, taking home the Fielding Bible Award for the second straight year.
If I Were Brett Gardner: If I were Brett Gardner I would have filed for arbitration the moment the Yankees tried to offer him $1.2 million less than what he deserves. Gardner has given service to the Yankees since coming up to the big leagues in June of 2008 and he is still making minor league money. It was time that Gardner got the raise that he deserved going into the 2012 campaign and hopefully the arbitrator can see that for himself.
These 3 Yankees are scheduled to meet with arbitrators sometime starting in February in Tampa, Florida. It is up to the arbitrators to see if they deserve the money, or if they should get what the Yankees offered them and stay quiet until next off season.