CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENTS, CONTINUED…
Upon second thought, I will acquiesce to the opinion that confidentiality agreements would not be a good thing. First and foremost, it would have to be cleared through a collective bargaining agreement between management and the player’s association, and that would never happen. If the Yankees were able to incorporate the language into their contracts for players, coaches and management without league consent, there would be potential negative implications in terms of trying to attract future free agents to New York. It doesn’t seem that long ago when it was difficult for the Yankees to attract top free agent talent without severely overpaying. The Yankees successfully changed the perception in recent years, and the Bronx became a very attractive place to play. But the presence of a confidentiality agreement or clause in a Yankees contract could cause player to accept less from other teams without the same verbiage (knowing that they potentially would have greater revenue opportunities after baseball).
In the end, I think the person most hurt by Joe Torre’s book, The Yankee Years, is Joe Torre. Regardless of whether the negative backlash was deserved or not, Torre will have to work hard to make amends.
I would not want to lose the opportunity to read future books that provide actual insight into the details of specific seasons and teams. So, I agree that a disparagement clause in Yankee contracts would be inappropriate.
NO MORE FREE AGENTS
As I read MLB.com’s report that the Yankees cannot sign more than three Type A or B Free Agents (excluding their own) under the terms of the collectively bargained rules established by management and the player’s association, I can’t help but wonder why this wasn’t brought to light sooner. I personally do not think that the rule plays any part in the Yankees desire to add no further free agents. I think economics played a greater part (the state of the US economy and the Steinbrenner family’s desire to stay under last year’s payroll). But it’s funny that this rule wasn’t mentioned by anyone sooner. Apparently, the Yankees could have requested an increase in the quota since the total number of Type A and B Free Agents exceeded 62, but they did not (which supports the argument that they’ve simply reached their appetite for player salaries).
So much for my gluttonous dream of Manny in pinstripes!
UPDATE: It is now being reported that this was revised to no more than 8 Type A or B free agent signings due to the expanded pool of free agent players. I thought it was weird that nothing was said about the limit before. Nevertheless, I think the Yankees are done. With the settlement of the arbitration case with Brian Bruney, the Yankees’ total salary is just under $200M with a few more contract issues to be resolved (however, no more arbitration cases remain). Unless salaries are going out, I just don’t see any further free agent signings…
It’s almost humorous to hear David Wells’ comments about Joe Torre given how much time and energy Wells put into being a distraction himself. But, based on quotes over the years and the recent events, I find much truth in the following Wells’ quote:
“I’ve always said if you weren’t Joe’s boy, he could care less about you. … Don’t get me wrong, he is not a bad manager. I just thought he was a bad individual, because of the fact he didn’t treat everybody the same.”
And of course, to hear comments from Carl Pavano is even more humorous. For all the negative things that have been said about Pavano (and deservedly so), I also think he has displayed the right attitude in his response. I particularly liked the quote that ended with “…it does explain why I haven’t received any Christmas cards from Joe the last few years.”
In addition to reading the book, I will be anxious to hear what Torre has to say on David Letterman next week (Wednesday, February 3rd). Hopefully, Dave won’t pitch softballs to Torre…
Torre’s first interview is scheduled for tonight on “Larry King Live”.
Today is deadline day for Jason Varitek. On the surface, it doesn’t look like this is going to end well. Hopefully, Jason can set aside his pride, and accept the Red Sox offer. It’s not like it would be a struggle to get by on only $5 million (at least not from my perspective). I do feel that the Red Sox have handled the negotiations fairly, and to a degree, you could say they’ve been generous to a player who has meant so much to them. Hopefully, the two sides can come together later today. The Yankees-Red Sox battles just wouldn’t be the same without Varitek in the Boston dugout. Hopefully, there will be another scene like this later today…
(Courtesy Associated Press and the New York Times)
UPDATE: Varitek agreed to the contract later in the day. One year at $5 million, plus a second year club option for $5 million or player option for $3 million.