Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

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Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

Post  RedMagma on Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:51 pm

Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals? One of the reasons the Yanks spend so much on payroll is because they do a very poor job of tying up their young talent to reasonable contracts. Rather than take a chance on someone from their farm system that they are familiar with, they wait until the player’s value goes up and then negotiate.
Cano and Wang love being a Yankees. Why not take advantage of their loyalty and happiness? It’s a win - win. I think it's time for Yankees to get rid their policy and locked up young players.

It’s not just farmhands that they do a poor job with.If the Yanks had been in Boston’s shoes, they would have waited Ortiz out rather than sign him to a longer term,more reasonably priced deal. They would have waited till they the last minute and paid a higher price. They would have saved a bundle on Posada if they offered him an extension 2 years ago. I don’t think they will learn their lesson anytime soon.


Drive 4-5 - I agree. Why not offer Cano and Wang multi-year deals into their first years of free agency like the Mets did with Wright and Reyes. I think this is the one time that the Yanks should follow the Mets.


Both Wang and Cano are kind of low but the players really hold no leverage here. Their fate lays with the panel. With some BIG contracts coming to an end this year, perhaps the Yankees want to hold some of the money until next season. How many years can they keep going over the $200 million threshold? I would hope the 2009 Yankees are somewhere around $175 million once they dump the $20 million on Giambi, $11 million for Mussina, $16 million on Pettite, $10 million on Pavano, etc…..

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Re: Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

Post  RedMagma on Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:51 pm

Arbitration figures for the unsigned Yankees

http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2008/01/18/arbitration-figures-for-the-unsigned-yankees/#comments

Here are the arbitration figures that were submitted today:

Brian Bruney submitted $845,000, the Yankees submittted $640,000.

Robinson Cano submitted $4.55 million, the Yankees submitted $3.2 million.

Chien-Ming Wang submitted $4.6 million, the Yankees submitted $4 million.

It seems like the Yankees lowballed Cano a little bit. Maybe it will take a hearing to come to some conclusion. Obviously a deal with Wang should come pretty easily since they’re only $600,000 apart.

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Re: Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

Post  RedMagma on Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:52 pm

#

give wang 5 mil… that’s half of pavano’s salary and wang is 1000000000x better.
# NJ January 18th, 2008 at 5:31 pm

We give idiots like Pavano, Giambi, Mussina tens of millions of dollars and we low ball Cano. Interesting.
# Jaewon January 18th, 2008 at 5:35 pm

NJ: The Yankees don’t want to spend money they don’t have to. I’m sure they want to keep Cano and understand his value. They probably just didn’t want to submit too high. that’s understandable
# Chris January 18th, 2008 at 5:42 pm

Cano and Wang are bargains
# Doreen January 18th, 2008 at 5:50 pm

If Cano goes to arbitration, my guess is his numbers will win. What do I base that on? Nothing! Smile
# NJ January 18th, 2008 at 5:52 pm

Jaewon, I know that but there is no need to disrespect him like that. I have no doubt Cano will get a pretty good deal, but still.
# Joe Buck ruins my life with his bad MLB/NFL playoff announcing January 18th, 2008 at 5:57 pm

They definitely low balled Cano.
# Phil January 18th, 2008 at 5:57 pm

It has nothing to do with disrespect…it is a negotiation, nothing more.
# whoa January 18th, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Wang and the Yankees should settle in the middle.
# yankeesmuse January 18th, 2008 at 6:04 pm

why keep Bruney i think he should be traded or DFA’d we have so much pitching talent in the minors
# Victor the Predictor January 18th, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Neither Cano or Wang were low-balled. They will both be given the higher figure should it go as far as an arbitrator’s decision or if George Mitchell is the arbitrator and resulting in both players pi$$ed off by the ruling.
This of course won’t be the case. Cano and Wang will be given nice raises for their contributions before hearings ever happen and will report to spring training financially happy.
# CaptainsCorner January 18th, 2008 at 6:05 pm

The Yanks offers were fair. Bruney I walk the ballpark will never win his case. They gave Betemit alittle too much. Cano should get about $3.5m. Wang at around $4.5m is what he will and should get. Wang deserves a 3 year deal and save some money now, but we know the Yanks never look to save money. But Cano I would make him earn it alittle bit more I wouldn’t trust him getting the money upfront. He still has to show he will pay more attention and earn the money instead of just giving it right to him and then who knows if he will slack off alittle bit.
# EricVA January 18th, 2008 at 6:06 pm

The whole idea that the Yankees are disrespecting and lowballing Wang and Cano are ridiculous. Of course they are a bargain, that’s why it’s good to have talented young players. They’ll get their payday when they become free agents.
# whoa January 18th, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Chris January 18th, 2008 at 5:42 pm

Cano and Wang are bargains

That’s how the system works. Players are bargains early in their careers and are overpaid late in their careers.
# LathamJoe January 18th, 2008 at 6:08 pm

Robbie’s peers: Second Basemen salaries:
Chase Utley - $7.5 M in 2008
Brian Roberts $6.3 M in 2008
Orlando Hudson $3.9 in 2007

$4.5 to $5.0 Million sounds about right at this stage of his career.
# Jim PA January 18th, 2008 at 6:10 pm

Pete the SuperBlogger! How many posts is that today? I can see where people might think they insulted Cano with a lowball offer, but it’s not personal, they do it to everybody (and he’ll get over it). These are special kids, like Derek. They know what they have, they’ll put in the time, and their big payday will come in due time.
# Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Save the Three Musketeers! January 18th, 2008 at 6:11 pm

They should be able to come to an agreement on Wang, but they definitely low-balled Robbie.
# CaptainsCorner January 18th, 2008 at 6:13 pm

Those 2nd baseman have also been playing longer then he has. They put there time in, produced and got payed. Cano will get his pay day. You prove yourself over a couple of years and then get the money. Even Ryan Howard, roy, mvp, in his first year put up huge numbers and he still has to wait for his day. The whole point of these young players is too try and have these players be as cheap for as long as possible.
# Drive 4-5 January 18th, 2008 at 6:25 pm

Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals? One of the reasons the Yanks spend so much on payroll is because they do a very poor job of tying up their young talent to reasonable contracts. Rather than take a chance on someone from their farm system that they are familiar with, they wait until the player’s value goes up and then negotiate.
Cano and Wang love being a Yankees. Why not take advantage of their loyalty and happiness? It’s a win - win.

It’s not just farmhands that they do a poor job with.If the Yanks had been in Boston’s shoes, they would have waited Ortiz out rather than sign him to a longer term,more reasonably priced deal. They would have waited till they the last minute and paid a higher price. They would have saved a bundle on Posada if they offered him an extension 2 years ago. I don’t think they will learn their lesson anytime soon.
# Fran January 18th, 2008 at 6:29 pm

Drive 4-5 - I agree. Why not offer Cano and Wang multi-year deals into their first years of free agency like the Mets did with Wright and Reyes. I think this is the one time that the Yanks should follow the Mets.
# 2008 Yankees January 18th, 2008 at 6:42 pm

Both Wang and Cano are kind of low but the players really hold no leverage here. Their fate lays with the panel. With some BIG contracts coming to an end this year, perhaps the Yankees want to hold some of the money until next season. How many years can they keep going over the $200 million threshold? I would hope the 2009 Yankees are somewhere around $175 million once they dump the $20 million on Giambi, $11 million for Mussina, $16 million on Pettite, $10 million on Pavano, etc…..

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Re: Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

Post  RedMagma on Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:52 pm

Agent optimistic regarding deal for Wang

http://yankees.lhblogs.com/

The salary arbitration figures were due today at 3 p.m. So as it stands right now, Brian Bruney, Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang are in the arbitration process.

The team submits a figure and the agent submits a figure. If no deal can be struck, a neutral party will determine the salary on a one-year contract. Hearings can get a little acrimonious and teams usually try and avoid them.

I just spoke to Alan Nero, who represents Wang. He said he and Brian Cashman have been discussing a one-year deal. “I’m optimistic we can get something done before a hearing,” he said. “We’re talking and it has been positive.”

But while Nero would not say what he is asking for, he made it clear that he doesn’t consider Wang to be an average case.

“This player has done a lot for the Yankees,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll find some common ground. If not, it’ll be done for us. That’s how the system works.”

Nero said Wang will travel to the United States in the next week and start working out at a private facility in Arizona

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Re: Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

Post  RedMagma on Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:53 pm

1. mel January 18th, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Dude is due for some serious coin. Back to back 19-win seasons? Slotted as the 1/2 in a Yankee rotation?

Nero, tell your guy to take care of that fingernail!
2. Stephen January 18th, 2008 at 4:25 pm

A one-year deal? Are the Yankees worried about his arm?
3. hmmm January 18th, 2008 at 4:31 pm

nah, that’s just the way it works.

if the yankees want to give him a long term deal, next year is the time to do it. say 4 years: 2 arb years, 2 years of FA.

no point giving a 4 year deal now, it only gets you 1 year of FA.

5 years is too long.
4. raymagnetic ™ January 18th, 2008 at 4:32 pm

“This player has done a lot for the Yankees,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll find some common ground.”

I agree that Wang has done a lot for the Yankees. If it wasn’t for Wang and Cano and to a lesser extent Melky being as good as they are Cashman’s youth movement would have been derailed along time ago I believe.
5. Sean January 18th, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Private facility? What is wrong with Tampa?
6. Doreen January 18th, 2008 at 4:40 pm

Sean -

Probably just want to ease into the time change, no? Just a thought as to maybe why.

Wang and Cano need to be shown the money!
7. YankeeDiva January 18th, 2008 at 4:49 pm

hmmm- I still don’t get it (it happens from time to time Smile ) but why would the Yankees only sign him for one year? That means they’ll have to worry about him being a free agent next year, our rotation isn’t that sturdy that we can lose Wang. What would be the harm in giving him a 3 year deal now?
8. i miss bernie January 18th, 2008 at 4:52 pm

his agent should bring that bobblehead to the hearing! intimidation factor

what’s this ”

this player” stuff? this guy obiously never took a marketing class.
9. Joe January 18th, 2008 at 4:53 pm

This from the associated press…
Cano asked for $4.55 million while the Yankees offered $3.2 million; Wang requested $4.6 million with the team countering at $4 million; and Bruney submitted $845,000 while New York proposed $640,000
10. Buddy Biancalana January 18th, 2008 at 4:58 pm

So Cano settles for $4M, Wang gets $4.25M & Bruney gets $750K
11. Doreen January 18th, 2008 at 4:59 pm

Arbitration is either or, correct? They can’t split the difference?
12. hmmm January 18th, 2008 at 5:08 pm

“Arbitration is either or, correct? They can’t split the difference?”

you are correct, but i think Buddy meant they would “settle” before going to arbitration.
13. Buddy Biancalana January 18th, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Yes Doreen & hmmm , my point was they would most likely settle & split the difference.
14. Doreen January 18th, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Buddy -

Our posts crossed — I figured you meant before getting to arbitration.
15. Doreen January 18th, 2008 at 5:19 pm

I hope they settle - I’ve heard arbitration can be brutal.
16. whoa January 18th, 2008 at 6:00 pm

I have no idea what an “average case” is.

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Re: Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

Post  RedMagma on Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:58 pm

Rays Dealings: Pena, Kazmir, Shields

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

We discussed the Carlos Pena deal here, but now we have the breakdown via Marc Topkin. He'll get $6MM in '08, $8MM in '09, and $10.125MM in '10. Meanwhile fellow Boras client Matt Holliday will get $9.5MM in '08 and $13.5MM in '09. Holliday may be the superior player, but is he 60% better? Seems Pena just wanted the security and likes Tampa Bay.

Topkin wrote earlier today that Scott Kazmir expected to have an arbitration hearing with the Rays. However, Kazmir and the Rays were able to agree on a $3.785MM salary for '08. Avoiding a hearing might help a bit if the Rays attempt to sign Kazmir long-term in the future.

Topkin adds that the Rays are trying to sign Jamie Shields to a six or even seven-year deal (and he's not even arbitration-eligible yet). I believe he's not due for free agency until after the 2011 season. Marc Lancaster says it could be a five or six year deal with Shields and "it may be wrapped up within the next week."

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Re: Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

Post  RedMagma on Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:58 pm

Arbitration figures for the unsigned Yankees
http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2008/01/18/arbitration-figures-for-the-unsigned-yankees/


Here are the arbitration figures that were submitted today:

Brian Bruney submitted $845,000, the Yankees submittted $640,000.

Robinson Cano submitted $4.55 million, the Yankees submitted $3.2 million.

Chien-Ming Wang submitted $4.6 million, the Yankees submitted $4 million.
It seems like the Yankees lowballed Cano a little bit. Maybe it will take a hearing to come to some conclusion. Obviously a deal with Wang should come pretty easily since they?re only $600,000 apar



Agent optimistic regarding deal for Wang

The salary arbitration figures were due today at 3 p.m. So as it stands right now, Brian Bruney, Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang are in the arbitration process.

The team submits a figure and the agent submits a figure. If no deal can be struck, a neutral party will determine the salary on a one-year contract. Hearings can get a little acrimonious and teams usually try and avoid them.

I just spoke to Alan Nero, who represents Wang. He said he and Brian Cashman have been discussing a one-year deal. ?I?m optimistic we can get something done before a hearing,? he said. ?We?re talking and it has been positive.?

But while Nero would not say what he is asking for, he made it clear that he doesn?t consider Wang to be an average case.

?This player has done a lot for the Yankees,? he said. ?Hopefully we?ll find some common ground. If not, it?ll be done for us. That?s how the system works.?

Nero said Wang will travel to the United States in the next week and start working out at a private facility in Arizona

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Re: Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

Post  RedMagma on Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:33 pm

#

Peter, you wrote a book about Wang. Will you get a bonus gift from Wang? I hope so.lol
# Old Yanks Fan January 18th, 2008 at 7:50 pm

Look, the main benefit of growing your own is to save money. As stated above, both Cano and Wang will do very well over their careers if they stay healthy.

Dry thoise tears and put things in perspective. Making $3.5m/yr in their 4th year of MLB for kids that barely speak english isn’t a terrible fate.

I know athletes are ’special’, but I consider $3.5m fairly special. I’ll guess they will both make over $50m over their careers.
# RGK January 18th, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Just spreading the word:

http://www.trentonthunder.com/release/zRelease.asp?pYYYYMMDD=200801172#200801172
# ET90210 January 18th, 2008 at 8:01 pm

K-Rod asked for 12.5 million!! Geez.

Funny note on the Wang differnce. haha And I totally agree.

http://mlbfleecefactor.com/2008/01/18/k-rod-seeks-125-million/
# RangerRob January 18th, 2008 at 8:14 pm

say what you want about the Pavano deal but at the time it was a good signing by the Yankees. Every team in the league wanted him. It turned out to be a complete disaster but hindsight is 20/20.
# ray January 18th, 2008 at 8:22 pm

RangerRob is correct in his observation about Pavano. I’m a Sox fan and at the time I was really hoping the Sox would sign him. Of course it has turned horrible, but I don’t think anyone was predicting that back when he was signed.

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Re: Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

Post  RedMagma on Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:44 pm

The Herald said:
Manuel prefers the Red Sox' offer topped by lefty Jon Lester [stats] and center fielder Coco Crisp [stats] because he thinks Lester can be a middle-of-the-rotation starter and that the other offer features the Sox selling "high" with outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Each offer includes infielder Jed Lowrie and right-hander Justin Masterson. [...] Jim Callis, executive editor of Baseball America, said that even if the Yankees were to include right-hander Ian Kennedy in their offer or the Mets were to include hitting phenom Fernando Martinez, neither team's package would be better than the Lester-Crisp package (Callis' first choice) or the Ellsbury (No. 2 for Callis) offer.

Take that, Hank! In the same article Callis opines that the Mets' offer provides the highest ceiling. If I were the Twins I'd take the Mets' offer. Realistically they have no chance of contending in the next couple of years (which becomes even worse if Santana is traded to the Sox or Yanks), so BS should aim towards 2010 and beyond.


Just a curious question, but is Callis a Red Sox fan? It seems that he is really loving this team right now, but that could just be me.

Yes, he is.

I remember him saying that if he had to pick a team he'd pick the Cubs.

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Re: Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

Post  RedMagma on Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:45 pm

Twenty-seven a baseball number
Major League Baseball's 'perfect' digits take center stage
By Mark Newman / MLB.com


http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article_entertainment.jsp?ymd=20080118&content_id=2350439&vkey=entertainment&fext=.jsp


This is not a movie review about "27 Dresses" -- but we couldn't help noticing that everyone is getting worked up about a baseball number.

Yeah, that's right. It's a baseball number. It's not a wedding number.

There are certain numbers that are a little bit sacred, and that is one of them. In fact, it is what is known in baseball as a perfect number.

That is how many batters Don Larsen faced to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers at Yankee Stadium in the 1956 World Series, the only perfect game thrown in the Fall Classic. Unless someone duplicates it next October, there no longer will be an active Major League stadium where a perfect World Series game was thrown.

That is how many outs Bob Feller needed to throw the only Opening Day no-hitter in Major League Baseball history back in 1940.

That is a number divisible by three and by nine -- those being the other two most important numbers in the national pastime. Multiply three outs times nine innings and you get the minimum required number of outs for a game.

That is the number worn on the back of Carlton Fisk, who waved a home run fair at Fenway Park to beat Cincinnati's eventual champions in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series -- ending arguably the greatest game. Pudge, whose number was retired by Boston, reversed the number and wore 72 for the White Sox after that.

That is the number you hear whenever anyone asks the question: "What was the greatest baseball team of all-time?" It was the '27 Yankees. In fact, it is so associated with nonpareil greatness that in today's culture, the term "'27 Yankees" is often used simply as a flattering adjective: "We were like the '27 Yankees today."

That is the number of World Series championships the Yankees will have if new manager Joe Girardi can mix an inherited roster and send an old ballpark out the way it opened in 1923. To that end, Girardi will wear No. 27 on his pinstripes.

That was the number worn by Juan Marichal of the Giants and Catfish Hunter of the A's. Those Bay Area clubs no longer allow anyone else to wear 27.

That is how many players collected at least 3,000 hits. No. 27 is Roberto Clemente, who hit exactly 3,000 before he was lost to us all while on a mission to deliver relief supplies to Nicaragua after the 1971 season.

That is the number of home runs shortstop Khalil Greene hit last year for San Diego.

That was the 27th night of October in 2004, when the Red Sox finally broke the Curse of the Bambino to sweep at St. Louis, doing something so many of their longtime fans never really thought would happen in their lifetimes.

That is the number of years in which Nolan Ryan played all or part of a season. No one played longer.

That is the number of wins Bob Welch had for the A's in 1990 and Steve Carlton had for the Phillies in 1972 -- the most by a Major Leaguer since Denny McLain's 31-win season of 1968.

That would be an amazing total of consecutive games with a hit, but it would not even be halfway to Joe DiMaggio's record of 56 set in 1941.

"It's only 27.432 meters from home to first" -- for international supporters of the game.

Twenty-seven is the number worn by 14 active Major Leaguers, and all of their jerseys are customizable at the MLB.com Shop, just like the legendary 27s listed above.

That is the number of one of the most consistent fantasy studs in modern history: Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels. In 150 games last season, the outfielder batted .324 with 27 homers and 125 RBIs. OK, so he only had two stolen bases after a combined 43 in the three previous seasons. The Hall of Fame watch is on.

That is the number worn by both third basemen during the 2007 National League Championship Series. Garrett Atkins wore it while helping the Rockies sweep Mark Reynolds and the Diamondbacks, on the way to Colorado's first World Series. Reynolds made everyone take notice in the previous series, when he hit a stunning Game 1 homer at Chase Field to put Arizona ahead of the Cubs for good.

And there's another young NL third baseman wearing it: Jeff Keppinger of the Reds. Josh Fields wears it for the White Sox, and he is still listed second on the depth chart at third base behind Joe Crede, with whom the club just avoided salary arbitration. So it remains to be seen how much No. 27 will see at third at U.S. Cellular Field.

That is the number Matt Kemp will wear again for a Dodgers club now guided by Joe Torre. That is the number Jeremy Hermida will wear for the Marlins. It also is the number Carlos Gomez will wear for the Mets. Maybe one of those young outfielders will do in a 2008 NLDS what Reynolds did last fall.

That number is worn by the Pennsylvania battery of Pirates pitcher Ty Taubenheim and Phillies catcher Chris Coste.

That is the number Frank Catalanotto will wear again in a crowded Texas outfield. Same with Brent Clevlen in Detroit.

It is the number that reliever Scott Dohmann, who turns 30 the day before pitchers and catchers can report, will wear again for the Rays after a fairly impressive first year with the club in 2007. Kansas City has one of the newest MLB pitchers from Japan: No. 27 Yasuhiko Yabata; his mission: to help the Royals not finish 27 back this time.

Did you know that first base must be exactly 127 feet and 3 3/8 inches away from third base, and the same from home plate to second base?

That is how old Twins first baseman Justin Morneau will be this May. When baseball general managers think of the typical age of a player hitting his prime, that is the number.

Nothing against Katherine Heigl and everyone associated with the flick. So far, it has opened to sellouts just about everywhere, just like baseball itself, and really it is kind of flattering that the studio chose a title from the summer game.

But maybe "27 Jerseys" would be a better movie.

It's a baseball number.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Re: Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:13 am

Santana update

http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/13911521.html

There were no indications on Friday of any developments in the Santana trade situation. The Mets and Red Sox remain interested and, while the Yankees have pulled out for now, Twins officials expect to eventually hear from them before Santana is traded.

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Re: Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:21 am

Fixing the Knicks, Part I: Isiah doesn't make the grade

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&page=Knicks-080118a

When Knicks owner James Dolan hired Isiah Thomas to run the Knicks, expectations were enormous.

Former GM Scott Layden had been a dud. He had spent tens of millions of dollars on a team filled with role players and has-beens. And the Knicks weren't developing any significant young players despite Layden's reputation for having a great eye for talent.

Even when Layden's prize acquisition during his tenure, Antonio McDyess, was finally healthy, the team still struggled to come together.


Isiah Thomas said he would right the ship in New York. What gives?

When Thomas took over, he promised he'd be everything Layden wasn't. Layden was seen as tentative and risk averse and he seemed to value grit over star quality. Thomas vowed that everything would change. He would be aggressive. He would bring stars to New York. And ultimately, he promised, he would bring home a championship.

Four years into his tenure, the Knicks are now the laughing stock of the league. Over the past five seasons, they've spent more than any team in the NBA ... and have the fewest returns.

On a nightly basis, fans in Madison Square Garden call for Dolan to "Fire Isiah" but the axe has yet to fall.

Despite the jeers and the fact the Knicks have the second-worst record in the East, Thomas has remained defiant. In December, after Forbes claimed that the Knicks were the most valuable franchise in the NBA, he claimed the Knicks were better off than they were four years ago. Just last week, he spoke like someone who had laid the foundation for a championship team, as if the only question left was whether he'd still be around to reap the rewards.

"I've tried to put it in terms and I've told them we're kind of the concrete-layers, we're the cement-layers," Thomas told reporters. "When you move into your house, the guy who poured the concrete never really gets a chance to live in that beautiful house that he built. Our job right now is to make sure that we lay the concrete and that we lay it correctly."

Isiah's rhetoric has always been persuasive. He's been dealt a bad hand. He had to make extreme moves. Every trade he's made, the Knicks have come out ahead on talent. No one, he implies, could've done any more.

But to get a handle on what Isiah's done as a GM, I've evaluated every major move he's made during his tenure, from trades to free-agent signings to draft picks to coaching hires. The record seems to be seriously at odds with Isiah's claims.

Thomas took over as the Knicks' President of Basketball Operations on Dec. 23, 2003. The team had the highest payroll in the league at a whopping $89.1 million dollars and New York wasn't projected to have significant cap room until the summer of 2006.

And the roster Isiah inherited was underwhelming:

C: Dikembe Mutombo, Michael Doleac, Maciej Lampe, Slavko Vranes
PF: McDyess, Kurt Thomas, Clarence Weatherspoon, Othella Harrington, Michael Sweetney
SF: Keith Van Horn, Shandon Anderson
SG: Allan Houston
PG: Charlie Ward, Howard Eisley, Frank Williams

Here now is a chronological look, transaction by transaction, of what he did with the roster:

Dec 30, 2003: Traded Clarence Weatherspoon to Houston for Moochie Norris and John Amaechi

ANALYSIS: Isiah's first move running the Knicks was essentially a lateral one. Actually, it's one of the only deals in his tenure on which the Knicks saved a little bit of money.

Norris didn't have much of an impact on the Knicks once Stephon Marbury joined the team less than a week later, but he did relieve a logjam at power forward. Weatherspoon never amounted to much in Houston. Overall this one was a wash.

GRADE: C

Marbury
Jan. 5, 2004: Traded Antonio McDyess, Howard Eisley, Charlie Ward and Maciej Lampe, the rights to Milos Vujanic and two first-round picks to Phoenix for Stephon Marbury, Penny Hardaway and Cezary Trybanski.

ANALYSIS: On paper, this trade appeared to be a home run for the Knicks. They gave away some talent in McDyess and the two first-round picks but, just as Isiah promised when he took over the team, he was able to deliver a star -- and a hometown hero at that. The reviews of the trade at the time were overwhelmingly in favor of the Knicks.

Phoenix, however, would get the better end of the deal, and I think then-Suns GM Bryan Colangelo knew it from the get-go. Marbury had already become a problem in Phoenix, just months after signing a huge extension. The feeling in the organization was that he was a cancer and the decision-makers wanted him out.

Although Marbury brought an initial burst of excitement to the Garden, his luster quickly faded. He was a shoot-first point guard who had never led a team past the first round of the playoffs. Marbury was undoubtedly talented, but his lack of leadership came to epitomize a rudderless team. And after defending Marbury for years in New York, Thomas ultimately had a falling out with him and would trade him if the Knicks could find any takers.

Hardaway was already on the downward arc of his career, but the bottom fell out in New York. Injuries were mostly to blame, though his style of play never fit with Marbury to begin with.

Financially, this was one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history. The Knicks sent out roughly $40 million in guaranteed salaries and took back a whopping $149 million in combined salaries due to Marbury and Hardaway. This move essentially sealed the Knicks' long-term salary cap fate. Now the Knicks weren't due for salary cap relief until the summer of 2007 when only Marbury's contract would still be on the books.

As for the Suns, they used the deal to get under the salary cap and signed Steve Nash as a free agent that summer. They've been rolling ever since.

GRADE: C-minus

Jan. 14, 2004: Fired head coach Don Chaney and signed Lenny Wilkens

ANALYSIS: Wilkens was supposed to be the second "big name" to come to the Knicks after Marbury. He symbolized a winning tradition and an old-school approach to the game, which Isiah loved. Wilkens was a mentor to Isiah; he was supposed to provide the stability and experience that Isiah lacked. But the absence of chemistry on the court with the team and off the court with Isiah proved impossible to manage, and Wilkens resigned a year later. Wilkens wasn't a total disaster as the Knicks' head coach. In fact, as far as records go (40-41), his is the best in the Isiah era. However, the settlement with Wilkens cost the Knicks millions.

GRADE: C

Thomas
Feb. 16, 2004: Traded Keith Van Horn to Milwaukee and Michael Doleac and a 2005 second-round pick to the Hawks for Tim Thomas and Nazr Mohammed

ANALYSIS: Isiah immediately targeted Van Horn as someone who wasn't his type of player. Van Horn lacked the grit and toughness that Isiah wanted on his team.

For the most part the trade was a wash -- though like the Marbury trade, it generally played to positive reviews at the time. While Thomas was far from a tough guy, he was athletic and versatile, and the Knicks were trying to change their style of play into a more entertaining up-tempo style.

Like the Marbury deal, this trade was much better for Milwaukee and Atlanta financially than it was for the Knicks. The Knicks sent out $30 million in guaranteed contracts and took back $54 million in return.

GRADE: C

Thomas
March 10, 2004: Signed Kurt Thomas to a 4-year, $30-million extension

ANALYSIS: Thomas was a tough defender and somewhat of a fan favorite in New York, but the extension didn't make a lot of sense. The Knicks had just spent a lot of money on Tim Thomas and Mohammed and they still had Harrington and Sweetney who played the same position.

The contract itself wasn't outrageous, but it cost the Knicks cap flexibility down the road. People accused Layden of overspending when it came to the cap, but he had nothing on Isiah. By the end of the first season of Thomas' tenure he had added nearly $160 million to the Knicks' long-term payroll.

Isiah was quickly painting himself into a corner. If the core of Marbury, Hardaway, Houston, Mohammed and the two Thomases could be a championship contender, there would be no worries. But if they fell short (and they fell short by a mile), he'd have little flexibility to make course corrections down the road.

In fact, while the Knicks would make several more major transactions over the years, Isiah was never able to be as active as he was in his first three months on the job.

GRADE: B-minus

March 13, 2004: Signed forward Vin Baker

ANALYSIS: Baker was another attempt to add a veteran with a history to the team. There was a time when Baker was an All-Star, but his alcoholism eventually cost him a guaranteed contract with the Celtics. The Knicks were supposed to be his comeback. He signed for the rest of the season and played well enough that the team re-signed him to a two-year, $7.35-million deal. Baker's play fell off dramatically after those first few months and he never made a significant contribution to the team.

GRADE: D

Ariza
2004 NBA draft: Drafted Trevor Ariza with the 43rd pick

ANALYSIS: Analyzing this draft requires looking at two separate things. For starters, the Knicks had to send Phoenix their first-round pick (No. 16) as part of the Marbury trade. The Suns then sent it to the Jazz, who drafted a dud in Kirk Snyder. However, there were some prospects available at No. 16 who could've helped the Knicks greatly if they'd kept the pick -- primarily Josh Smith and Kevin Martin. So, in addition to taking back more that $149 million in long-term salaries as part of the Marbury deal, they also lost a chance to add a talented, young player to begin rebuilding with.

The second round went much better for the Knicks. Ariza now looks like he was the best player on the board at that point. Too bad he wears a Lakers uniform today.

GRADE: A-minus (for drafting Ariza)

Crawford
Aug. 6, 2004: Completed a sign-and-trade with the Bulls that sent Dikembe Mutombo, Othella Harrington, Frank Williams and Cezary Trybanski to Chicago for Jamal Crawford and Jerome Williams

ANALYSIS: After Marbury, Crawford could be considered Isiah's other signature acquisition (Crawford got a 7-year, $56 million deal from the Knicks). Thomas raved about Crawford's versatility, youth and ability to score. The Bulls, however, didn't seem all that impressed and basically gave him away for long-term salary cap relief.

No one was sure how Crawford would fit in with Marbury, Houston and Hardaway. It appeared that Isiah was building a team of shooting guards. And Wilkens could never figure out how to make them all happy, which would be part of his downfall.

In a way, this wasn't a bad deal for the Knicks. Crawford has been the steadiest player Isiah has acquired. Although he's overpaid and more of a gunner than anything else, at least he has competed night in and night out despite pretty miserable conditions.

Of the four main guards Isiah had on his team, Crawford has had the most success in a Knicks uniform.

Jerome Williams had energy and fire, but eventually would be waived by the club.

Financially, this was another major blow to the Knicks' cap, though. The team sent out $10 million in expiring contracts and took back $76 million in long-term deals. This move combined with the contract extension to Kurt Thomas, meant the Knicks wouldn't get significant cap room until the summer 2008.

It also meant that only three players (Houston, Anderson and Sweetney) were left from the team Thomas inherited nine months previously.

GRADE: B-minus

Sept. 9, 2004: Signed free agent Bruno Sundov

ANALYSIS: What can we say? Sundov was a dud.

GRADE: F

Nov. 11, 2004: Waived Shandon Anderson

ANALYSIS: Anderson was sick of playing for a dysfunctional team and didn't like his diminishing role on it. Isiah shopped Anderson around the league a little bit, but he wasn't going to find any takers for his contract. Anderson had three years, $23.7 million left on his deal, and the Knicks ate almost all of it.

GRADE: D

Jan. 22, 2005: Lenny Wilkens resigned. Herb Williams promoted to head coach.

ANALYSIS: Williams was a dead man walking, and the Knicks played that way. He would be ousted in a few months in favor of Larry Brown.

GRADE: C

Taylor
Feb. 25, 2005: Traded Moochie Norris, Vin Baker and a 2006 second-round pick to Houston for Maurice Taylor.

ANALYSIS: By now Isiah was falling into a familiar pattern. He'd send out expiring contracts and youth for the contracts of overpaid veterans. The Knicks were weak up front, so Isiah thought the team could use Taylor's scoring in the front court. But it was another bad fit. There just weren't enough basketballs to go around and Taylor didn't really have any other skills -- on the boards or defensively -- to help out the team. A year later the team would waive him.

Financially, it was the same old story. Both Norris and Baker had one year remaining on their respective contracts. The total was $8.8 million. Taylor had two years and $18.5 million left on his contract so the Knicks took back an extra $10 million.

GRADE: C-minus

Mohammed
Feb. 25, 2005: Traded Nazr Mohammed and Jamison Brewer to San Antonio for Malik Rose and conditional picks in 2005 and 2006. The picks were the Suns' 2005 first-round pick and the Spurs' 2006 first-round pick.

ANALYSIS: This was the second trade-deadline deal for the Knicks on the same night. And it was one of the most mind-boggling deals of Isiah's tenure. Mohammed was the only true center on the team and he was having a decent year. In return, Isiah got back his second overpaid, undersized power forward of the night.

Rose has never been a significant contributor on the Knicks and, as we write this, is still looking for a way out of New York. Mohammed ended up playing a pivotal role in the Spurs' 2005 championship run.

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Re: Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:21 am

Rose
Financially, this was another lopsided trade against the Knicks. Mohammed had one-year and $5.5 million left on his contract. Rose had four years, $27 million left on his. These two moves at the trade deadline inspired the NY Post to run the headline "Dunce Cap" the next day. With these two moves, Isiah guaranteed that the Knicks wouldn't have significant cap flexibility until the summer of 2009.

The silver lining of this trade? That 2005 Suns pick they got from the Spurs turned into David Lee. It's the only thing that keeps this grade from being an F.

GRADE: C

Feb. 28, 2005: Signed free agent center Jackie Butler

ANALYSIS: Butler showed some promise as a big guy who might turn into something someday. However, after some promising performances at the start of his career, he's never taken the next big step.

GRADE: C

Lee
2005 draft: Drafted Channing Frye with the 8th pick and David Lee with the 30th pick in the draft.

ANALYSIS: Lee was an A-plus with the 30th pick in the draft. I think, hands down, he was the best move Isiah's made in his tenure with the Knicks.

Frye was excellent as a rookie but has since dropped off. In retrospect, Andrew Bynum and Danny Granger both would've been better fits for the Knicks. Within two seasons, Frye would be wearing a Blazers jersey.

GRADE: B

Richardson
June 29, 2005: Traded forward Kurt Thomas and the draft rights to Dijon Thompson to the Suns for Quentin Richardson and the draft rights to Nate Robinson

ANALYSIS: Since acquiring Rose and Taylor at the trade deadline, the Knicks had a glut of undersized power forwards and Thomas was the only one with any real trade value. He also happened to be the most talented of the group.

The Knicks got a mixed bag in return. Richardson was a young, good shooter -- something the Knicks needed badly since Allan Houston looked like he was done. But Richardson had major back issues and the Suns weren't convinced he could be healthy enough to justify his contract. They were right. Richardson has shot 34 percent from 3 the past few years and has been constantly shuttled in and out of the rotation -- when he's been healthy.

Kurt Thomas went on to give the Suns a much needed defensive enforcer in the middle.

Robinson
The upside is that the Knicks did come away with Robinson, a spunky, energetic scoring guard who's shown some promise in New York. Robinson, however, didn't fill a need at the time. The Knicks' backcourt was already loaded with gunners. What they needed was a player who could be a point guard and a floor leader.

Financially, Kurt Thomas had four years, $30 million left on his deal. Richardson had five years, $39 million left on his. The money wasn't far apart, but the length of Richardson's contract -- combined with the fact that it's uninsured -- meant the Knicks were moving further and further away from cap flexibility.

GRADE: C-plus

July 29, 2005: Named Larry Brown head coach.

ANALYSIS: After Isiah collected all of this hand-picked talent, he turned to the master, Larry Brown, to mold it into a team. Brown had just had a highly successful two-year stint with the Pistons and had won his first championship by getting his team to "play the right way." Isiah knew he had a nightmare as far as team chemistry, so he hired Brown -- giving the coach a lucrative five-year, $50-million deal -- to get the most out of all the talent he assembled.

However, it was a disaster from Day 1. Brown was still recovering from offseason surgery and didn't seem to have the same vitality for the job. He hated most of the roster and, instead of trying to get the team to play together, he tried to prove to Isiah that the team needed massive changes.

Throughout the season, Brown pushed for trades (something he did at every stop). Isiah, on the other hand, pushed him to make do with what he had. The result was a bizarre number of starting lineups, team-wide discontent and a falling out between Brown and Isiah.

One year later, Brown was out in New York. After Brown was fired, the two sides went to arbitration over the $40 million the Knicks still owed Brown. Later, with some strong arming from David Stern, the Knicks settled with Brown for $18.5 million.

GRADE: F

James
Aug. 3, 2005: Signed free agent Jerome James to a 5-year, $29 million deal

ANALYSIS: The James signing was the biggest dud of Isiah's tenure. James had been, for the most part, a do-nothing in Seattle. But several big games in the playoffs, convinced Isiah to offer him the full midlevel exception. This came after Isiah was unsuccessful in his attempt to pull off a sign-and-trade for Erick Dampier (be thankful, Knicks fans, that Isiah couldn't find a way to pay Dampier $70 million).

James reported to camp out of shape and has never played a significant role on the team.

GRADE: F

Aug. 16, 2005: Waived Jerome Williams and designated him their amnesty player

ANALYSIS: In the new collective bargaining agreement, each team was allowed to waive one player and have the remainder of his contract not count against the luxury tax. The rule was nicknamed the "Allan Houston rule" because everyone in the league was sure that the Knicks would waive Houston because of his high salary and multiple injuries. The Knicks shocked everyone by choosing Williams instead, though it turned out to be the right move for the Knicks; Houston would retire a few months later.

GRADE: B

Curry
Oct. 4, 2005: Traded Tim Thomas, Michael Sweetney, their 2006 first-round pick and the right to swap picks in 2007 to the Bulls for Antonio Davis and Eddy Curry in a sign-and-trade (Curry signed for a 6 years, $56 million)

ANALYSIS: The Curry deal has been the most controversial and devastating of Isiah's tenure. On paper, it appeared the Knicks were getting a young center with a knack for scoring in the paint. In return they were giving up draft picks and expiring salaries.

The move seemed risky at the time because Curry had a heart condition and there was uncertainty about whether it would allow him to continue playing basketball. But on the merits, it seemed like a good deal for the Knicks. They finally got a big-time center and, with Larry Brown at the helm, they looked like a potential playoff contender.

More than two years later, it looks like the Curry trade was the final nail in the coffin for the Knicks. It turns out that Curry did have a heart problem, just not the one the doctors were worried about. His inability to play defense, grab a rebound, block a shot or give a consistent effort on the defensive end frustrated Brown, and then Isiah, to no end. By the end of 2007, Isiah was experimenting with Curry coming off the bench.

The Knicks lost two key draft picks in the process. They would've had the No. 2 pick in the 2006 draft and their choice of Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay or LaMarcus Aldridge. And they were forced to swap picks with the Bulls in 2007 and lost out at a chance to land Joakim Noah or a strong prospect like Rodney Stuckey.

Financially, the Knicks sent out $25 million to the Bulls and took back $69 million in salaries. The move meant the Knicks were unlikely to have cap room until the summer of 2010.

This was their team for better or, as it's turned out, for worse:

C: Eddy Curry, Antonio Davis, Jerome James, Jackie Butler
PF: Maurice Taylor, Malik Rose, Channing Frye, David Lee
SF: Quentin Richardson, Trevor Ariza
SG: Jamal Crawford, Penny Hardaway
PG: Stephon Marbury, Nate Robinson

GRADE: C-minus

Davis
Feb. 3, 2006: Traded Antonio Davis to the Raptors for Jalen Rose and the Nuggets' 2006 first-round pick

ANALYSIS: The Knicks were front-court heavy and Davis was unhappy in New York. The team also was unhappy with Richardson and thought adding another swingman to the mix would help with the team's ability to score. Rose, too, was unhappy in Toronto and the Raptors were looking for cap relief.

It was another disaster for the Knicks both on the court and in the books. The Knicks sent out $13 million in expiring contracts and took back $32 million in Rose's salary.

GRADE: F

Francis
Feb. 23, 2006: Traded Trevor Ariza and Penny Hardaway to the Magic for Steve Francis

ANALYSIS: Larry Brown was still pushing for wholesale changes and perhaps a lot of the blame for this one should lie at Brown's feet. He seemed to think that adding yet another scoring guard to the backcourt would turn his team's fortunes around. It ended up as a disaster.

No one other than Brown and Isiah thought Francis and Marbury could coexist in the backcourt. Within a few weeks, Brown was unhappy with Francis and you could hear Isiah beating his head on a table. The Knicks gave away cap flexibility and one of Isiah's favorite young players in Ariza.

The move was a godsend for Orlando. The Magic desperately wanted to get the surly Francis out of Orlando and couldn't have gotten a better deal. All the room that deal created for Orlando eventually went to Rashard Lewis this past summer.

Financially, it was another disaster for the Knicks. They sent two expiring contracts to Orlando and took back the last three years and $49 million of Francis' contract.

The only saving grace for New York was that Francis became a key part of the Zach Randolph deal the following summer.

GRADE: D

June 23, 2006: Fired Larry Brown. Isiah named himself coach.

ANALYSIS: You can't blame Isiah for firing Brown (23-59). He spent more time complaining than coaching and seemed to be holding back the Knicks' only few bright spots -- Frye, Lee and Robinson.

Isiah had success as the coach of the Pacers, but I don't think that's why he got the job. I think Dolan told him, if we're going to pay Brown all of this money not to coach, you do it. Isiah had made his bed, now he had to lie in it.

Although I actually think Isiah has talent as a coach, there were two reasons he was in big trouble. First, he believed he had more talent on the team than he actually had. He had, to a certain extent, drunk his own Kool-Aid and couldn't see the problems that were about to come.

Second, he's such an intense competitor that, at times, it seemed like he was competing against his own team -- not working with it. He's had several highly public standoffs with players. Puffing out your chest, as a coaching strategy, never really seems to work.

Within the past few weeks Isiah had been hinting that he might step down as coach to concentrate on running the front office. To that, I'd have to scream, "NOOOOOOO."

The one upside to his stint as coach is that he's been much less active in the front office. At this point, that's a good thing.

GRADE: C-minus

Balkman
2006 NBA draft: Drafted Renaldo Balkman with the No. 20 pick and Mardy Collins (from San Antonio) with the No. 29 pick

ANALYSIS: The Knicks should have had the No. 2 pick in the draft and a chance to land a future All-Star like Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay or LaMarcus Aldridge. That was a heavy price to pay for Curry.

At No. 20, most felt they really reached for Balkman. Balkman has great energy and was surprisingly effective his rookie year. But he's leveled off this season and there were better players available like Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry, Jordan Farmar and Sergio Rodriguez.

At No. 29, Collins has been mostly a bust. The Knicks missed on better prospects like Paul Millsap, Daniel Gibson and Craig Smith.

GRADE: C

Jeffries
Aug. 1, 2006: Signed free agent Jared Jeffries to a 5-year, $30 million offer sheet. On Aug. 9, the Wizards declined to match and the Knicks got him.

ANALYSIS: The Wizards needed a small forward and declined to match. That should've told him something. Jeffries duplicated much of what Balkman was supposed to give Isiah and by midseason Balkman was playing better than Jeffries.

You wonder if Isiah's bizarre loyalties clouded his judgment here -- with Jeffries being an Indiana kid. It's just hard to come up with another explanation.

GRADE: D-plus

Sept. 30, 2006: Waived Maurice Taylor

ANALYSIS: This was the first sign that Isiah was seriously in trouble. In the past, the Knicks had been able to parlay expiring contracts into players at the trade deadline. Now, Dolan wasn't going to spend any more money. Taylor had no role on the team so they just waived him. It likely cost the Knicks the ability to make a trade deadline deal though. However, given the team's track record in that department, maybe it wasn't such a bad thing after all.

GRADE: F

Oct. 30, 2006: Waived Jalen Rose

ANALYSIS: The same analysis could be made for Rose. He was potentially a valuable asset because of his expiring contract, but once he was waived, the Knicks essentially just paid him $15 million not to be on the team. Considering they traded an expiring contract for him six months earlier, it could be the most colossal waste of money in NBA history. Rose cost the Knicks roughly $30 million (once you add in the luxury tax) for three months of play. That's $10 million a month.

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Re: Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:24 am

Fixing the Knicks, Part II: Four steps to success



http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&page=Knicks-080118b



The Isiah Thomas era in New York has been dying a slow death for the past two seasons. A three-game win streak not withstanding, owner James Dolan has had all the ammunition he needs to kick Isiah to the curb for more than a year now. (Here's a transaction-by-transaction case for why the Knicks' president of basketball operations needs to go.)

At this point, it seems to be a matter of "when", not "if", Isiah will get fired.


Isiah's deal for Zach Randolph has backfired in New York so far.

And at some juncture, whether Isiah loses his job now or at the end of the season, someone is going to have to come in, sift through the rubble and try to salvage a basketball team out of the Knicks.

Dubbed "Mission Impossible" by several prominent GMs, the once-coveted Knicks job is now considered a quagmire of salary-cap hell mingled with combustible chemistry.

Big name executives with stellar reputations -- like Jerry West, Jerry and Bryan Colangelo and Donnie Walsh -- have been mentioned as possible candidates for the job. But this mission, should any executive choose to accept it, would be the most challenging of their career.

For more than a year I've been talking with GMs about what they would do to fix the Knicks. The answer, invariably, has been a chuckle followed with a rejoinder: What would you do?

It's easy to criticize Isiah Thomas for the moves he has made. Suggesting a course correction is more difficult … but I'm up for the challenge.

The Knicks' situation is salvageable. Bring in the right people at the top, change the culture, hire a great head coach, manage the cap carefully, develop the young guys and the Knicks might actually look like a basketball team in a few years.

I think the model to follow is the Blazers. Four years ago they were the "Jail Blazers" -- a team filled with talented players, zero chemistry and plenty of problems. Now? They are the hottest team in basketball, with a young core fans can stand behind.

Mr. Dolan, I hope you're taking notes.

Step One: Buy out Stephon Marbury

When Isiah acquired Marbury three years ago, just about everyone thought it was a slam dunk of a deal. The Knicks gave up a few expiring contracts and draft picks and in turn landed a young point guard who could re-energize the Garden.

Only Marbury hasn't been nearly as good as Isiah (or Stephon, for that matter) thought he'd be, and the Knicks haven't been able to put together a winning season in New York.

Marbury has one more year and nearly $20 million left on his contract after this season. The Knicks have tried to trade him or the past 2½ years, but no one's biting. He hasn't had a good season in several years, he's been at odds with his past two coaches and he's been missing in action since his father died.

At this point, no one is trading for him. So the Knicks should fire him. Yes, it would cost them a fortune, but it would be worth every penny.

Some will argue that he'll be a valuable trading chip next summer because of his expiring contract. But using expiring contracts to collect talent hasn't worked out well for the Knicks. With this strategy, they have gotten back overpaid, third-tier type players in return; generally teams that want cap room won't give up great talent to get it.

Although Marbury could bring the Knicks something in return, it most likely won't be as valuable as getting back some cap flexibility down the road.

And whether Marbury goes on to resurrect his career elsewhere is not an issue. It's not happening in New York. The quicker the Knicks get him out, the quicker the team can begin to move away from the Isiah era. Making a bold move like dumping him sends a message to the team's next coach: The front office is serious about creating a different atmosphere in New York.

Step Two: Trade Eddy Curry or Zach Randolph

If the Marbury deal was the one that started the Knicks' descent into hell, it was the Curry trade that sealed the door. The Knicks gave up two lottery picks and paid a boatload of cash for Curry, a talented low-post scorer who does little else on the court. And, so far, he's been unable to coexist with Randolph.

[+] Enlarge
Eddy Curry

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

As disappointing as Eddy Curry has been, he might have trade value.

Although it may be Randolph who is begging for a trade, I think Curry may be easier to pawn off. Randolph is the more talented of the two, but he also has more off-the-court baggage. Curry's deal is also for far less money, and the fact that he's a center may make him attractive to a team with a huge hole in the middle.

Although it may seem crazy to give away a guy the Knicks spent so much money on, cost is irrelevant at this point. He's a bad fit and the Knicks need flexibility and chemistry.

What type of deal might make sense for the Knicks?

First I'd hit up the Hawks, who are making a push for the playoffs. Although Al Horford has been great for them in the middle, he's much more suited for the power forward position. A deal that sends Zaza Pachulia and Tyronn Lue to the Knicks for Curry (or if the Hawks won't part with Pachulia, then Lorenzen Wright) would give the Knicks cap relief.

Another team that might be willing to take Curry is the Magic. They have Dwight Howard dominating in the middle, but he and Curry could play together in the front court. Two expiring contracts (take your pick of Carlos Arroyo, Keyon Dooling, Keith Bogans and Pat Garrity) along with J.J. Redick might be enough for the Knicks.

They may also try to entice the Wizards with a deal of Curry and Malik Rose for Antawn Jamison, whose contract comes off the books at the end of the season.

If the Knicks can't trade Curry, they can keep trying to find a home for Randolph. There's been talk in the media about Randolph being sent to the Bucks. However, if you look at the long-term salary cap implications of the rumored deal, it doesn't make sense for the Knicks -- even if Charlie Villanueva is in the deal.

The Lakers could also put together a deal that included Kwame Brown's expiring contract and one or two of their young players like Jordan Farmar, Javaris Crittenton and/or Trevor Ariza.

Or the Knicks could try to get Jamison for Randolph if the Wizards won't bite on Curry.

They also could try a swap with the Cavs to get Drew Gooden and expiring contracts in return.

Still, getting rid of Curry or Randolph is only half the battle. For the Knicks to have real cap flexibility in the next few years, they need to find a way to get one more guy off their roster. Whether that's Jared Jeffries, Jamal Crawford or whoever's left between Curry and Randolph, they'll have to find a way to get a player whose contract expires in the summer of 2010.

Step Three: Start to dig the Knicks out of salary-cap hell

The Knicks' payroll issues are bleak. The team has committed to a whopping $95.2 million in payroll this season. Add in the roughly $27 million they'll owe the league in luxury=tax penalties and it gets even uglier.

Things don't get much better next season -- they only drop one contract, Fred Jones', from the books. As it stands now, the Knicks' payroll goes down to $89.8 million in 2008-09.

The watershed year is the summer of 2009. Marbury, Rose and Mardy Collins all come off the books and the Knicks' payroll plummets to $62 million. That's not enough to sign free agents, but for the first time in a long time the Knicks will have breathing room from the luxury tax.

Of course, had they not pulled the trigger on the Randolph deal this past summer, they could've been $10-$15 million under the cap in 2009.

If the Knicks are patient for one more year after that, Quentin Richardson and Jerome James can come off the books, too. However, by then they'll have to decide how much to pay David Lee and Nate Robinson.

So, in the summer of 2010 -- the same summer that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh become unrestricted free agents -- the Knicks could conceivably have cap room, especially if they move Curry or Randolph for cap space down the road.

Patience is a virtue here. If Isiah had bit the bullet and whittled away the Knicks' salary cap when he got to New York, he would have had serious cap room this past summer.

Instead, the Knicks are in worse shape than when he arrived. The next guy can't make the same mistake.

Cap room doesn't win championships, but it gives teams the flexibility to make things happen. Right now the Knicks have zero flexibility, essentially neutralizing anything intelligent that a GM can do.

If the Knicks can find a way to get rid of some combination of Curry or Randolph plus either Jeffries or Crawford for a contract that expires after the 2009-10 season, they could be major players on the free-agent market in 2010.

Step Four: Start collecting lottery balls

With the exception of Lee and Robinson, the Knicks have done a poor job of cultivating their young talent. That has to change.

If the Knicks start rebuilding, it should produce high lottery picks the next few years. If they can get a high pick this season and use it to draft a franchise player like Memphis' Derrick Rose, the Knicks suddenly would have some talent to build around.

Two draft picks combined with Lee and Robinson could form a nice core. And it needs to happen now -- Utah owns the Knicks' 2010 pick, which is unprotected. So they need to score big in the next two drafts.

Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider

RedMagma

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Re: Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:33 am

Good morning my good friends on this Red Sox message board.


http://boards.boston.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?tsn=1&nav=display&webtag=bc-redsox&tid=42852


Postion Players:
Yankees Red Sox Edge
Catcher Jorge Posada Jason Varitek Yankees
First Base Wilson Betemit/Shelley Duncan Kevin Youkilis Red Sox
Second Base Robinson Cano Dustin Pedroia Yankees
Third Base Alex Rodriguez Mike Lowell Yankees
Shortstop Derek Jeter Julio Lugo Yankees
Left Field Hideki Matsui Manny Ramirez Red Sox
Center Field Melky Cabrera/Johnny Damon Jacoby Ellsbury Red Sox
Right Field Bobby Abreu J.D. Drew Yankees
DH Jason Giambi/Johnny Damon David Ortiz Red Sox

Overall, Yankees do have an edge on offense.. But Boston has a better defense..

Posada and Varitek are equally important for their clubs behind the plate, while Variteks numbers have been dropping off the last few years, while i dont believe Posada will repeat the numbers he put up last year i still think he is ahead of Varitek.

No question at first base..

Cano has more tools offensively than Pedroia.. But Pedroia gets on base, and plays better defense..

No question at third base..

No question at short stop..

Manny Ramirez has his moments out there on defense in left field.. But given that i guarentee you any manager in the league would find a spot for him in their outfield to fit his bat into the lineup. He is still one of the best hitters in the game.

Whether its Ellsbury or Crisp starting in center field opening day, I give the edge to the sox. Both players can cover alot of ground and play great defense, while Ellsbury gives you a little more offensively. I think Melkey is better suited to be a corner outfielder. He has a great arm, but last year took a lot of bad routes to the ball and there were times he couldnt get to routine fly balls.

Bobby Abreu the last 3 years has put up around .285 BA, 100 Runs, 15 HR, 100 RBI, 25 SB as numbers.. I think that J.D. Drew is going to improve from his numbers from last year, he had a good september and postseason.. But i have to see him do it for a full season first. And I think its safe to say if he gave us the production that Abreu has the last 3 years in Philadelphia and New York we wouldnt have been booing him last year.

No question at DH..

Pitching:

Ace Chien Ming Wang Josh Beckett Red Sox

2 Andy Pettite Daisuke Matsuzaka Even

3 Joba Chamberlain Curt Schilling Red Sox

4 Philip Hughes Tim Wakefield Even

5 Ian Kennedy Lester / Buccholz Even

Set Up LaTroy Hawkins Hideki Okajima Red Sox

Closer Mariano Rivera Jonathan Papelbon Red Sox

Rest of Bullpen Red Sox

No question at Ace..

Last year although Pettites ERA was 0.35 points lower than Dice-K's.. Dice K had 60 more strikeouts, a lower WHIP, and they both had 15 wins. It was Dice-K's first time around the league and i believe is only going to get better. But if both pitchers can stay healthy the entire year.. I say its a toss up..

Who knows where Joba is going to start the year, in the bullpen or rotation.. But he should be their #3 starter.. I hate to admitt he does have a nasty fastball and slider.. but his scoreless inning streak.. He hasnt faced any batter more than twice.. I think he will be a good pitcher but before everybody crowns him as the next best thing since sliced bread lets see him go around the league, and let batters see him more than once or twice.. While Schilling has been through the league.. Well just about as many times you can in a career.. And no hes not the Schilling of 3 years ago but he showed in the playoffs.. In a big game hes still got it.. As I think thats what made the sox front office give him 1 more year.. So they can have that veteran starter who can step up for them in the playoffs this year.

Now, everybody that is a Red Sox fan should know by now that when Tim Wakefield takes the mound, you are either going to get a great game out of him.. Or it is going to be a slugfest.. Usually thats the way it goes. Well with Phil Hughes last year in 7 starts, 35.2 IP he gave up 29 Earned Runs.. while in a different 6 starts, 37 IP he gave up 5 Earned Runs.. Sound familiar? While given time Phil Hughes might turn out to be a top of the rotation starter.. even with improvement as i expect.. He isnt ready to lead his pitching staff and be a top of the rotation starter..

Ian Kennedy was great last year in his limited time up with the Yankees.. While Jon Lester I believe will get his shot first at the 5th spot in the rotation.. If he struggles Clay Buccholz will only be a triple-A call up away. Stuff wise all 3 pitchers have good stuff i would say it goes Buccholz, Kennedy, then Lester.. But if you take away Clays no-hitter, and Lesters game 4 world series performance.. These pitchers are relatively inexperienced and who knows what to expect from them over a full season.

No question at set up.

Not to take anything away from Mariano Rivera, he is probably the best closer of all time, and i still get scared everytime i see him walk to the mound when playing the Red Sox.. But his age is starting to catch up to him.. Papelbon just has better stuff than Rivera does at this point in his career, and Papelbon has shown he has that feerless mentality that you need to be a closer.. But i still wouldnt want to see Rivera pitching against us in the postseason. haha

The Rest of the Bullpen:

Yankees: Kyle Farnsworth, Brian Bruney, Sean Henn, Jose Veras, Mike Mussina

Red Sox: Manny Delcarmen, Julian Tavarez, Javy Lopez, Kyle Snyder

I give the edge to the red sox, both teams have a spot starter with experience (Mussina and Tavarez), but last year in 61 games Javy Lopez had a 3.10 ERA, thats very good for a reliever in the back end of your bullpen. Also if something ever happened to Papelbon, or Okajima.. Manny Delcarmen had a 2.05 ERA and i would feel confident with him filling in for either of them for a temporary basis. While Kyle Farnsworth last year struggled to throw a strike, and half of the state of New York probably wrote letters to the yankees asking for a tryout for his job.

Manager

Joe Girardi may have won NL manager of the year award in his only season as a manager.. But until he can win 2 titles in 4 years with a 8-0 World Series record like Tito Francona has.. im going with the guy who has proven he knows how to get his guys to play their best when it matters most.. What other managers can you think of that rallied their team when it counts like he has when he was down 3-0 vs the Yankees in 2004 and 3-1 vs the Indians in 2007?

Overall

Look for the Red Sox to win their second straight division.. But lets face it when the Red Sox play the Yankees it doesnt seem to matter what players are on the field.. It usually comes down to the 9th inning.. or in a playoff series Game 7.. and in that case.. its a toss up a Yankees fan is as good of a guess as mine

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Re: Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:14 am

Robinson Cano & Chien-Ming Wang seek hefty raises from Yankees

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2008/01/19/2008-01-19_robinson_cano__chienming_wang_seek_hefty-2.html


BY PETER BOTTE
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Saturday, January 19th 2008, 4:00 AM
Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang (below) want salary increases for 2008. Antonelli/News

Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang (below) want salary increases for 2008.
Kostroun/AP

The Yankees received bargain-rate production for most of the past three seasons from Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang.

No more.

The youthful Yanks want hefty pay raises more in line with the salaries of many of their veteran teammates in 2008, as revealed Friday by the arbitration figures exchanged between the Bombers and the players' respective agents.

The 25-year-old Cano, who followed up a .342 season in 2006 by batting .306 with a career-high 97RBI for just $490,800 last year, has requested a 2008 salary of $4.55 million, 42% more than the Yanks' offer of $3.2 million.

One Yankees official pointed out that Cano's submitted figure also is slightly higher than the amount earned by Minnesota's Justin Morneau last year ($4.5 million) following his MVP season in 2006.

Wang, 27, posted his second straight 19-win campaign despite spending much of April on the disabled list - and earning even less than Cano, at $489,500.

Still, despite his high run support and a 19.06ERA in two postseason starts, Wang is seeking a raise to $4.6 million, which exceeds what Dontrelle Willis, now with Detroit, earned with Florida in 2006 ($4.35million) after going 22-10 the previous year.

The Yanks' $4 million counteroffer perhaps bodes well for a settlement with Wang, with hearings set to take place the first three weeks of February in St. Petersburg if agreements cannot be reached.

Of their six eligible players, the Mets avoided arbitration only with reliever Aaron Heilman, who agreed to a one-year deal yesterday worth $1.2 million, a raise from $453,000.

The Mets' toughest case figures to involve lefty starter Oliver Perez, whom they offered $4.725 million. Perez, whose agent Scott Boras requested a raise from $2.325 million to $6.5 million, went 15-10 with a 3.56 ERA in 29 starts last year.

Lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano, outfielders Ryan Church and Endy Chavez and pitcher Jorge Sosa also exchanged arbitration figures with the Mets.

In addition to Wang and Cano, the Yankees other remaining arbitration-eligible player is reliever Brian Bruney after infielder Wilson Betemit agreed to a one-year, $1.165 million contract yesterday. The Yanks submitted an offer of $640,000 to Bruney, who is seeking $845,000.

Several young stars across baseball also were among the arbitration-eligible players to avoid the process by cutting deals in the last two days.

Those included Morneau (one year, $7.4million), Colorado's Matt Holliday (two years, $23 million), Tampa Bay's Carlos Peña (three years, $24 million) and Scott Kazmir (one year, $3.785 million), Atlanta's Mark Teixeira (one year, $12.5 million), Detroit's Miguel Cabrera (one-year, $11.3 million), Oakland's Huston Street (one year, $3.3 million) and Joe Blanton (one year, $3.7 million), Philadelphia's Brad Lidge (one year, $6.35 million) and St. Louis' Rick Ankiel (one year, $900,000).

VALENTIN'S DAY: The Mets officially announced the re-signing of 2B Jose Valentin to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training. Valentin, who batted .271 with 18 homers in 137 games for the Mets in 2006, was limited to 166 at-bats last season, while spending two stints on the disabled list. In late April, he suffered a partially torn ACL, requiring offseason surgery, before a broken right leg ended his season July 20.

"We hope he can bounce back and help us in a variety of ways," GM Omar Minaya said in a statement.

Valentin, 38, who hopes to be game-ready by mid-March, will compete with Damion Easley, Ruben Gotay and Anderson Hernandez for middle-infield playing time off the bench.

"The main reason I came back is that the team is focused on returning to the postseason and I want to do my part to help us win," Valentin said.

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Re: Why wouldnt they offer Cano and Wang multi year deals?

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:37 am

ARod Mentors College Ballplayer
http://www.miamiherald.com/519/story/385553.html

"New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez is used to being followed by fans.

But one college-age kid who followed Rodriguez around the University of Miami athletic facilities for days was not after an autograph.

Hurricanes first baseman Yonder Alonso, 20, wanted to completely emulate the reigning MVP in his workout regimen -- from the stationary bike and lifting weights to running 120-yard sprints, batting practice and fielding ground balls.

Does anyone if this kid is draft eligible in this year draft? Thanks

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