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I was surfing the web this afternoon (do people even say that still?) and I came across a great article about how the Yankees payroll relates to their overall revenues.  For the umpteenth year, the Yankees lead the majors in payroll but they are actually average in one category: the percentage of revenues spent on payroll.

For 2010, the Yankees are slotted to payout only 46.8% of their gross revenue in payroll, while the league average is 46.4%.  In fact, out of the 8 major league teams with the highest payrolls, the Yankees spend the least amount of their revenues in payroll.

Check out the all-encompassing story from Larry @ Its All About the Money, Stupid.

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So much for Melky Cabrera being the starting left fielder. The Yankees and the Braves have agreed to a trade that will send Melky, Mike Dunn, and righty Arodys Vizcaino to the Braves in exchange for starter Javier Vazquez and lefty Boone Logan.

Vazquez would become the Yankees #4 starter. He went 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA and 238 strikeouts for the Braves last year, and finished 4th in the AL Cy Young voting. He also posted a WHIP of 1.03 and threw 219.1 innings.

Many fans remember him for his ugly performance in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS in which the Red Sox clobbered him, but he’s a very good pitcher and is a great acquisition for the Yanks.

Logan on the other hand, hasn’t been a great pitcher in the first couple years of his young career. The 25-year old lefty posted a 5.19 ERA in 20 games for the Braves this past season, and has a career ERA of 5.78. I think the Yankees accepted him just to make this deal happen. They will probably let Logan go.

I’m sad to see Melky go, but his batting average was poor. His defense was fundamentally sound, but you can easily get that from another prospect or free agent. This opens the door a bit more for the Yankees to consider Damon, or even move someone there, or yet sign or trade for another outfielder.

I’m home sick with a cold, sinus, and congestion. So while I’m sitting in bed blowing my nose every five minutes, I’ve been reading blogs and people’s tweets on Twitter.  Here are some things for you all to read about this morning.

Top stories from last week:

The Yankees are dominating the news from baseball’s Winter Meetings in Indy.  In one busy day, the Yankees completed the rumors Generation Third had already reported on. Andy Pettitte was signed to a one-year deal worth $11.75 Million and the Yankees, Tigers and Diamondbacks completed a 3-team trade that sent all-star center fielder Curtis Granderson to the Yankees.

Pettitte was the rock the Yankees needed in their starting rotation to secure another serious run at back-to-back titles.  The Yankees rotation now officially includes CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Pettitte.  The other two slots will be filled by trades, signings and/or Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain.

Granderson was a first-time all-star for the Detroit Tigers in 2009, despite only hitting .249.  He had 30 stolen bases and 30 home runs and is phenomenal on defense.  The Yankees had to give up Triple-A starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, reliever Phil Coke and outfield prospect Austin Jackson to make the trade go through.

I could care less about Kennedy – I don’t think he’ll amount to much (injured too often) but I am a little sad about the loss of Coke, who was a big part of the Yankee bullpen in 2009, and Jackson, who was one of the most respected prospects in the game today.  But, we gotta look at the positive that Granderson brings the Yankees – great defense and speed and power in the  lineup.  He’ll be a great #2 or #6 hitter.  For more information on Granderson, read some posts here from the last few days.

What was not answered today is what the Yankees plan to do with Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon.  GM Brian Cashman said that this trade does not affect the Yankees plans with those two, but how could it not?  The Yankees have already made it clear that they intend to cut payroll this season, and I am hard pressed to see how adding Granderson and the $25 Million he is owed between now and 2012 is cutting payroll – unless either Matsui or Damon will not return in 2010.

The Yankees announced Tuesday that they are not going to offer arbitration to any of the potential free agents they have, meaning the players are free to sign with any club they want to and that club does not have to worry about giving the Yankees draft picks in return.

For the Yankees, it means that they can set and offer the contract prices they want to for those players and don’t have to rely on what an arbitrator might decide on.  It appears the Yankees feel that this off-season’s free agent market will be the same as last year’s.

Last year, the free agent market did not pay well outside of high-caliber players such as CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, AJ Burnett, Derek Lowe and a few others.  Instead, consistently good players were forced to sign for much lower than in previous years.  For example, Bobby Abreu had to sign with the LA Angels for $5 Million, after a 3 year contract with the Phillies and Yankees that saw him earn $16 Million in his final year of his previous contract.

The Yankees have one Type-A free agent in Johnny Damon.  Had the Yankees offered him arbitration and he signed with another team, they would have received a first or second round draft pick as compensation – but they also would hypothetically have to pay him higher then they might be planning to.

Xavier Nady, Jerry Hairston Jr, Erik Hinske, Andy Pettitte, Jose Molina and Hideki Matsui are all Type-B free agents, meaning the Yankees would have received supplemental round picks for each.

I do think the Yankees have made a smart decision here.  Nostalgia and team pride makes you want the Yankee Brass to keep everyone together, but we all know this is a business and all 7 of those free agents are replaceable.  If it was Derek Jeter in this situation, I’d go nuts about it.  However, when the dust settles, I would like to see at least Matsui and Damon still on the team, at least for the next 1-2 seasons.  I’d offer them both a 1 year contract with a team option for a second year that could become guaranteed based on plate appearances or some other performance measure.

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