How Not to Negotiate

Tony Jackson, December 6th:

Was just informed of this by my buddy LaVelle Neal of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, who said the Twins have decided to move on to other 3B options. If that’s true, and if it’s also true that Blake’s list had been narrowed to the Twins and Dodgers (and that’s what is being widely reported out there), then that would seem to suggest the Dodgers now have a golden opportunity to re-sign this guy and move Blake DeWitt to 2B. The Twins reportedly offered Blake a two-year, $6 million deal with an option for 2011.

Casey Blake, from all accounts (not just Jackson here, we’ve heard this many places) had only two main suitors: the Twins and Dodgers. Blake wanted a three-year deal, and Minnesota declined. Therefore, the Dodgers have no other competition that we know of for Blake, and while I won’t get into why I don’t want him back in Los Angeles yet again, at least it’d only be for two years. Because since it appears that absolutely no one is willing to go three years on Blake, all the Dodgers should have to do is beat the two year offer by a few dollars. Right? Right?

Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports, December 8th:

The Los Angeles Dodgers are nearing a contract agreement with third baseman Casey Blake after raising their offer to three years, sources said Monday morning.

The team expected to hear more from Blake’s representative, Jim McDowell, as the meetings went on. Blake batted .271 with 21 home runs and 74 RBIs, splitting season between the Cleveland Indians and the Dodgers. Blake rejected an offer from the Minnesota Twins a few days ago because they wouldn’t agree to a third year.

(bashes self in head)

Why. Why? Why does this always have to happen to us? Forget for a moment that I don’t even like Blake, because this could happen with any player, no matter how much we like or dislike him. Bidding against yourself never works, because there’s only two options here (assuming this is how it goes down): either that Colletti’s getting played, or that he really really wants to see Casey Blake in 2011. Much as I don’t really want to see Blake return, you could make the case that there’s not a lot of other options out there for 2009. I wouldn’t agree, but you could make the case, and since you’re not getting him for one year, you live with him for 2010 as well. But 2011, too? When he’ll be 38? Why?! There’s just no good reason for this. If he turned down two years and $12 million from Minnesota, we should be offering him two years and $12.1 million, because it sounds like no one’s going higher – and that’s if, you know, you really want to give Casey Blake 12 million dollars. 

Of course, this is hardly a done deal, so we’ll see how the details work out if it actually goes down. Not off to a good start here, though.  

As for the rest of the winter meetings… well, what makes it so fun is also what makes it so awful: the ludicrous number of unsubstantiated rumors flying around. I’m not going to touch on all of them here (although I do like that apparently CC Sabathia told Colletti that he “wants to be a Dodger“), but I think I’ll go with my favorite one of the day. 

ken_rosenthal.jpgAlternate title for this section: Ken Rosenthal is the worst national baseball writer alive.

Point: Ken Rosenthal, FOXsports

12:49 p.m. — Dodgers, Yanks talk trade

As the Dodgers try to resolve their infield, they are again talking to the Yankees about a trade for second baseman Robinson Cano. The teams have resumed their discussions about Cano at the winter meetings, according to one source.

The Dodgers also are interested in Yankees center fielder Melky Cabrera, and the Yankees likely would want outfielder Matt Kemp and pitching in return.

No, I’m not even going to do what you think. You don’t need me to say that the idea of trading Matt Kemp and pitching for a 5th outfielder and a decent second baseman is a terrible idea. You know why? Because even other writers are saying it.

Counterpoint: Ken Gurnick, Dodgers.com 

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti knocked down a Foxsports.com report that he is “again talking” to the Yankees about acquiring second baseman Robinson Cano, with the Yankees interested in Matt Kemp and pitching.

“It’d be nice to talk first,” Colletti said.

Ken Gurnick completely refutes Ken Rosenthal. Well, okay, that might not mean much; Gurnick’s a Dodger writer. I’m sure if we hear from a Yankee writer….

Counterpoint: Peter Abraham, Lohud.com

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti just said, literally two minutes ago, that has not had any talks with the Yankees since July.

So those rumors about talks involving Robinson Cano and Matt Kemp are false.

Oh, Kenny. It’s just not looking too good for you, is it?

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  1. [...] I just think that far too much was given up in the trade that brought him to LA, and I think that giving him a guaranteed third year for 2011 last offseason was unneccessary. That’s all. Look, this is even what I said in the very first post regarding his arrival: [...]

  2. [...] it around, and hasn’t seen his best days despite his advancing age. You may remember that I wasn’t completely thrilled when he signed this contract, and that was mainly because I didn’t think he required a third [...]

  3. [...] under .170 for the month and making that guaranteed 2011 in his contract look even worse than I feared it’d be when they signed him nearly two years ago, but it’s hard to pretend he’s the only [...]

  4. [...] going to be the regular third baseman in 2011, but it’s not what’s best for the team (and is exactly what I feared when they signed him back in 2008). If Blake’s going to be back, he really ought to be a [...]

  5. [...] I’m not arguing that he wouldn’t have found a contract like that on the market, because he would have. I would have just preferred it be some other team to make a foolish investment. Spending money does not equal spending wisely, because while Lilly’s a good pitcher, he’s hardly a difference-maker, yet he’s being paid like one. Though I’m glad he’s back for 2011, I really think we’re going to regret this deal in 2012 and 2013 – which is basically exactly what I said about Blake’s deal after 2008. [...]

  6. [...] say, I don’t have high hopes for Blake in 2011. This is exactly what I was afraid of back in December of 2008, when he signed his three-year deal – that while he’d be fine in 2009, he’d be [...]

  7. [...] I’m not arguing that he wouldn’t have found a contract like that on the market, because he would have. I would have just preferred it be some other team to make a foolish investment. Spending money does not equal spending wisely, because while Lilly’s a good pitcher, he’s hardly a difference-maker, yet he’s being paid like one. Though I’m glad he’s back for 2011, I really think we’re going to regret this deal in 2012 and 2013 – which is basically exactly what I said about Blake’s deal after 2008. [...]

  8. [...] I’m not arguing that he wouldn’t have found a contract like that on the market, because he would have. I would have just preferred it be some other team to make a foolish investment. Spending money does not equal spending wisely, because while Lilly’s a good pitcher, he’s hardly a difference-maker, yet he’s being paid like one. Though I’m glad he’s back for 2011, I really think we’re going to regret this deal in 2012 and 2013 – which is basically exactly what I said about Blake’s deal after 2008. [...]

  9. [...] It’s hard to say that Casey Blake underachieved in 2011, since coming off a disappointing 2010 and with the injury history of third basemen his age being what it is, expectations were pretty much as low as they could be; if anything, we’ve been saying “Casey Blake” + “2011″ = “disaster” since as far back as December of 2008. [...]

  10. [...] under .170 for the month and making that guaranteed 2011 in his contract look even worse than I feared it’d be when they signed him nearly two years ago, but it’s hard to pretend he’s the only problem when [...]

  11. [...] Here’s what I said back in 2010 when Ted Lilly signed his 3/$33m deal: I’m not arguing that he wouldn’t have found a contract like that on the market, because he would have. I would have just preferred it be some other team to make a foolish investment. Spending money does not equal spending wisely, because while Lilly’s a good pitcher, he’s hardly a difference-maker, yet he’s being paid like one. Though I’m glad he’s back for 2011, I really think we’re going to regret this deal in 2012 and 2013 – which is basically exactly what I said about Blake’s deal after 2008. [...]