Red Sox sign Edward Mujica to 2-year/$9.5M deal

Tyrone Biggums

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DanoooME said:
 
This nails it.  Compared to the Joe Smith contract (and his borderline ROOGYness), this is an absolute steal.
I actually nailed this signing in a contest with another site. Not the dollars but the fact the Sox would bring this guy in for insurance. He's 29, throws strikes and is a good gamble going forward. Who does this sound like? Minus the age of course. Great signing


I have the bullpen as

Miller
Workman/Breslow
Badenhop
Mujica
Tazawa
Koji

Fair assessment?
 

Stan Papi Was Framed

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Tyrone Biggums said:
I actually nailed this signing in a contest with another site. Not the dollars but the fact the Sox would bring this guy in for insurance. He's 29, throws strikes and is a good gamble going forward. Who does this sound like? Minus the age of course. Great signing


I have the bullpen as

Miller
Workman/Breslow
Badenhop
Mujica
Tazawa
Koji

Fair assessment?
well, as of now you'd probably have to slot Dempster into the bullpen too...could change of course
 
Mujica signing looks good--one commenter questioned whether it might somehow hurt the Sox to have 2 similar pitchers (in Koji and Mujica)--I guess the idea is hitters might have more chance to adjust if they see both in the same game?  I don't buy that though.  Looks like a good signing to me--agree with others who love the low BB totals
 

Minneapolis Millers

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And for those suggesting this was a better alternative move to tendering Bailey at $4M... yes it is, although I wouldn't be at all surprised if they ALSO sign Bailey back to a much more reasonable figure ($1M plus PT incentives) to stash and add more deep depth.
 

KillerBs

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This has to be a prelude to dealing some pitching doesn't it?
 
As things stand now, with Dempster to the pen, both Workman and Morales would appear to off the ML roster, to start the year. 
 
Strong candidates for starters at PAW would then be 8: Workman, Morales, Webster, Britton, DeLaRosa, Wright, Ranaudo and Barnes.
 
Maybe Tazawa is on the move, which would explain the focus on picking up righty relievers.
 

ivanvamp

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Tyrone Biggums said:
I actually nailed this signing in a contest with another site. Not the dollars but the fact the Sox would bring this guy in for insurance. He's 29, throws strikes and is a good gamble going forward. Who does this sound like? Minus the age of course. Great signing


I have the bullpen as

Miller
Workman/Breslow
Badenhop
Mujica
Tazawa
Koji

Fair assessment?
 
Really nice bullpen.  As we know, of course, it seems like every year a few guys go down, so by year's end it isn't likely to look like this.  But I'm thrilled with that group.  A lot of quality there.
 

Merkle's Boner

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KillerBs said:
This has to be a prelude to dealing some pitching doesn't it?
 
As things stand now, with Dempster to the pen, both Workman and Morales would appear to off the ML roster, to start the year. 
 
Strong candidates for starters at PAW would then be 8: Workman, Morales, Webster, Britton, DeLaRosa, Wright, Ranaudo and Barnes.
 
Maybe Tazawa is on the move, which would explain the focus on picking up righty relievers.
Agreed. Seems like between their SP depth of Dempster/Peavy, their RP depth of Workman/Morales/Miller/Britton?, and all of the Prospects, they could really build a package for someone. Felix? Stanton?
 

YouDownWithOBP?

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KillerBs said:
This has to be a prelude to dealing some pitching doesn't it?
 
As things stand now, with Dempster to the pen, both Workman and Morales would appear to off the ML roster, to start the year. 
 
Strong candidates for starters at PAW would then be 8: Workman, Morales, Webster, Britton, DeLaRosa, Wright, Ranaudo and Barnes.
 
Maybe Tazawa is on the move, which would explain the focus on picking up righty relievers.
 
I see the PAW rotation as Workman, Webster, Wright, Ranaudo, & Barnes from that list. Britton and DLR to the AAA bullpen, and Dempster traded for salary relief. Not sure where Morales ends up though, being the third lefty. Maybe he is kept around until they see Miller is fully healed.
 

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Since they've said they see Workman as a starter, I think the long guy is going to be one of Morales, Britton or de la Rosa.
 
I think Mujica, with his pedigree, may slot later than Tazawa. So I would handicap it as:
 
Koji -- closer
Mujica -- setup & backup closer
Breslow / Tazawa -- middle relief
Miller -- LOOGY
Badenhop -- ROOGY/GB specialist
Morales, Britton or de la Rosa -- long guy
That's a hell of a bullpen, on the face of it. Of course we said that last year too. Relief pitching is so charmingly unpredictable.
 

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Given Farrell's past comments about Workman, I don't think there's a chance he'll be in AAA.
 

joe dokes

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YouDownWithOBP? said:
 
I see the PAW rotation as Workman, Webster, Wright, Ranaudo, & Barnes from that list. Britton and DLR to the AAA bullpen, and Dempster traded for salary relief. Not sure where Morales ends up though, being the third lefty. Maybe he is kept around until they see Miller is fully healed.
 
Its sort of a copout, but when was the last time that every single pitcher started the season ready to start the season. And, as always, these discussions *have* to inlcude mention of who has options. (something, I freely admit, I seem incapable of doing).  The Sox M.O. in the past has been that April is "unless you're a top guy, we're going to send you down if we can, unless the alternative is hurt (i.e. can go on the DL) or just really really really sucks."
 
So that most likely tickets Workman among the "he could be a major leage reliever today but wont be."  Does Morales have options?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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There's no stashing/starting Morales in AAA without DFAing him first to move him off the 40-man.  He has no options left.
 

The Mort Report

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Stan Papi Was Framed said:
 
Mujica signing looks good--one commenter questioned whether it might somehow hurt the Sox to have 2 similar pitchers (in Koji and Mujica)--I guess the idea is hitters might have more chance to adjust if they see both in the same game?  I don't buy that though.  Looks like a good signing to me--agree with others who love the low BB totals
 
I think this is more relevant if you have two starters going through the lineup a couple times 2 games in a row, or a reliever following a starter that are similar pitchers.  But if Mujica comes in and faces 2-4 hitters, then Koji 5-7, I don't think it has much of an effect
 

Stan Papi Was Framed

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Savin Hillbilly said:
Since they've said they see Workman as a starter, I think the long guy is going to be one of Morales, Britton or de la Rosa.
 
I think Mujica, with his pedigree, may slot later than Tazawa. So I would handicap it as:
 
Koji -- closer
Mujica -- setup & backup closer
Breslow / Tazawa -- middle relief
Miller -- LOOGY
Badenhop -- ROOGY/GB specialist
Morales, Britton or de la Rosa -- long guy
That's a hell of a bullpen, on the face of it. Of course we said that last year too. Relief pitching is so charmingly unpredictable.
yep, looks good as drawn up right now...though you rightly point out that this is hard to predict.  But it looks like a well-thought out plan at work here.
 
Only quibble I'd have with the roles you describe is that Miller, at least if he pitches like last year, won't be a LOOGY.  hopefully he comes back strong from his injury and can be a high-leverage guy
 

Stan Papi Was Framed

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The Mort Report said:
 
I think this is more relevant if you have two starters going through the lineup a couple times 2 games in a row, or a reliever following a starter that are similar pitchers.  But if Mujica comes in and faces 2-4 hitters, then Koji 5-7, I don't think it has much of an effect
good point, that makes sense
 

Savin Hillbilly

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Stan Papi Was Framed said:
Only quibble I'd have with the roles you describe is that Miller, at least if he pitches like last year, won't be a LOOGY.  hopefully he comes back strong from his injury and can be a high-leverage guy
 
He had a weird reverse wOBA split last year that was all about batted ball results. I think I would trust more to the xFIP split (vs. L: 1.33; vs. R: 3.34) and the K/BB split (4.8 vs. 2.0).
 
Maybe LOOGY is overstating it, but I see him as a guy you bring in when the main batter of concern is a LHH. You could also say "lefty specialist late-inning guy" if you want.
 

The Gray Eagle

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I wonder if he is the last of the Mujicans?
 
I too love relievers who throw strikes, so this should be a good pickup. Cost only money, no draft pick, so even better.
 
It's just funny that Cherington added another NL Central closer, after Melancon and Hanrahan.
 
Those two, plus Mujica and Bailey make it 4 "proven closers" he's given up useful assets for since taking over. 5 if you count Koji, who closed for a while in Baltimore, actually. So I don't see any evidence whatsoever that Cherington and the Red Sox think closing is overrated, as they keep buying guys who have done it.
 

Stan Papi Was Framed

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Savin Hillbilly said:
 
He had a weird reverse wOBA split last year that was all about batted ball results. I think I would trust more to the xFIP split (vs. L: 1.33; vs. R: 3.34) and the K/BB split (4.8 vs. 2.0).
 
Maybe LOOGY is overstating it, but I see him as a guy you bring in when the main batter of concern is a LHH. You could also say "lefty specialist late-inning guy" if you want.
ah, good point.  I didn't look closely enough at his splits
 

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The Gray Eagle said:
I wonder if he is the last of the Mujicans?
 
I too love relievers who throw strikes, so this should be a good pickup. Cost only money, no draft pick, so even better.
 
It's just funny that Cherington added another NL Central closer, after Melancon and Hanrahan.
 
Those two, plus Mujica and Bailey make it 4 "proven closers" he's given up useful assets for since taking over. 5 if you count Koji, who closed for a while in Baltimore, actually. So I don't see any evidence whatsoever that Cherington and the Red Sox think closing is overrated, as they keep buying guys who have done it.
 
Is it that he's collecting pitchers with closer pedigree/experience specifically for that reason, or is it that pitchers that tend to end up as closers at one point or another are simply more quality pitchers in general?
 
I tend to think it's the latter more so than the former.  No better case in point than Koji himself.  Yes he had closer experience, but when he was brought in, he wasn't brought in or expected to close (wasn't the prevailing thought that he was, at best, the 4th option as closer when the season opened).  He was brought in because he was a good relief pitcher, not because he could close games.
 

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KillerBs said:
This has to be a prelude to dealing some pitching doesn't it?
 
As things stand now, with Dempster to the pen, both Workman and Morales would appear to off the ML roster, to start the year. 
 
Strong candidates for starters at PAW would then be 8: Workman, Morales, Webster, Britton, DeLaRosa, Wright, Ranaudo and Barnes.
 
Maybe Tazawa is on the move, which would explain the focus on picking up righty relievers.
Damn, that is one hell of a AAA staff.
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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TGE's point was that Ben has a history of going after people who have some closing experience.  That of course is very different than pursuing them because they have some closing experience, rather than because they're great pitchers (as RHF pointed out)
 

dbn

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Every time the Red Sox beat the Cardinals in the World Series they sign one of the Cardinals' FAs.
 

Tyrone Biggums

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dbn said:
Every time the Red Sox beat the Cardinals in the World Series they sign one of the Cardinals' FAs.
Yeah let's hope for a better result this time around. Renteria was a disaster
 

koufax37

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MentalDisabldLst said:
B-ref page.
 
Great BB rates, throughout his career.  Middling K rates, but primo K/BB as a result of the combination.  And is still only 29.  That said, those rates are from being in the NL, where 90% of his career innings have been: 2 years each with SDP, MIA and most recently STL.
 
I like the signing.  Short money and years but they didn't "go cheap".
 
I have followed him along pretty closely as a member of a fantasy team this year, and have seen him in person a lot when he was here with the Padres, and I like the signing.
 
I assume they checked out on his end of the year mini slump and that it isn't concerning to them, as I would imagine it wouldn't be.
 
As far as the NL thing, keep in mind that late inning relievers don't face the pitcher's slot, but usually matchup pinch hitters instead.  I'm not sure of the deep statistical impact of this, but I imagine makes the NL/AL conversion much closer than for a starter.  Does anyone have any hard data on that?
 
As awesome as Koji and friends were, we rode our top three relievers really hard down the stretch and through the playoffs.  Every possible inning we can take off their shoulders in 2014 without it hurting the ballclub is a positive, and I think the contract terms are very reasonable.
 

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I think this is a solid signing. In this day and age of defined roles, I love the depth the Sox seem to have built and fact that this bullpen (especially the back end) looks pretty flexible in that you can swap around the set up and closer roles on those days when certain guys are unavailable and feel confident that the job will get done.
 

FanSinceBoggs

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I like this move.  The more relievers the Red Sox bring in, the more likely the Red Sox will continue to develop De La Rosa, Workman, and Britton as starters, which is the right decision in my opinion.  Britton, in particular, shoud get an extended look as a starter in AAA.  In the worst case scenario, Britton is a quality bullpen arm.  In the best case scenario, Britton could develop into a quality left-handed starter.
 

staz

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I'd be interested to learn what, if any, offer St. Louis made to Mujica. Letting him sign elsewhere indicates either they feel like their pen is set with all the cheap young fireballers that they trotted out in Sept/Oct, or they have some concerns about Mujica's health. My guess is the former, but for St. Louis, with it's proven abilities to scout pitching, to let a guy like this walk, it does raise questions.

That said,very nice acquisition. I jumped on him the moment he started closing games and reaped serious fantasy rewards this year because of it. The guy was nails for 4 months, often setting down the opposition in order to close out games. Made everyone forget about Jason Motte.
 

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FanSinceBoggs said:
I like this move.  The more relievers the Red Sox bring in, the more likely the Red Sox will continue to develop De La Rosa, Workman, and Britton as starters, which is the right decision in my opinion.  Britton, in particular, shoud get an extended look as a starter in AAA.  In the worst case scenario, Britton is a quality bullpen arm.  In the best case scenario, Britton could develop into a quality  left-handed starter.
 
 
Doubront and Workman might be their best #4 and #5 starter combination, particularly if they can trade Dempster plus Peavey or Lackey to fill another need.
 
Mujica's deal for his expected role seems like a huge bargain, particularly if you get the April-August version of him.  The sss for those probably aberrational September innings clearly cost him money.  The market is crazy and irrational.  Forgetting his full year lost to surgery, the Dodgers committed $10 million this year and maybe $8.5 million next year to their set up man and backup closer based on 13 good sss September innings hurled by Brian Wilson.  That's an awesome salary after pitching only those 13 late season innings last year. Cherington somehow got both Uehara and Mujica for (for 2 partly overlapping seasons each) for what Wilson could make alone.  They make less combined this season than Wilson will.
 
During my drive home listening to MLB talking about the Pierzynski and Mujica signings, the commentator, in praising these and last year's off season moves ventured that they would start using Cherington as a verb when describing such bargain upgrades.  Rizzo acquiring Fister for the Nationals, considering what he will cost and what they will give up, Cheringtoned the Tigers.
 

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SouthernBoSox said:
The feeling was he was going to command a deal in the 3 year 15+ millions territory. Coming in below both is nice.

The command coming out of that bullpen is going to be bananas. Strike throwing machines.
 
Power Starters, Offspeed Relievers.
 
Jnai said:
Extremely, extremely similar pitcher to one Koji Uehara.
 
I believe he and Mujica are the only two pitchers in baseball that use more offspeed (note: offspeed, not breaking) than hard pitches, and both rely extremely heavily on the split.
The Red Sox 2014: The Apotheosis of the Split-Change. Okajima should be proud.


Uehara-Mujica-Tazawa is a killer splitter formation. Provided the change-of-pace doesn't go more than once through the order, they should be fine.
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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Doubront and Workman might be their best #4 and #5 starter combination, particularly if they can trade Dempster plus Peavey or Lackey to fill another need.
 
Trade Lackey?  Why?  He was our best pitcher this year.  He outpitched an in-his-prime Justin f'ing Verlander to win a vital 1-0 game in the ALCS.  He owes us service in 2015 at the league minimum.
 
Dempster is fungible and Doubie and Workman are likely to outpitch him, certainly one of them will.  I trade RD (if his $13M salary doesn't stop me) and listen to offers on FD and BW.
 

The Boomer

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MentalDisabldLst said:
 
Trade Lackey?  Why?  He was our best pitcher this year.  He outpitched an in-his-prime Justin f'ing Verlander to win a vital 1-0 game in the ALCS.  He owes us service in 2015 at the league minimum.
 
Dempster is fungible and Doubie and Workman are likely to outpitch him, certainly one of them will.  I trade RD (if his $13M salary doesn't stop me) and listen to offers on FD and BW.
 
Sell high on Lackey.  His trade value (don't forget he is aging) has never been higher since the day they overpaid to sign him.  With 1 year and the almost free option year left on his contract, he is one of their most valuable pitching trading chips.  What they can get in return is unknown.  However, if Napoli leaves, trading Lackey possibly with others might be their best option to find his replacement.
 

staz

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I will attempt to be (uncharacteristically) respectful by simply saying this is not at all the direction I hope they go with JL.
 

joe dokes

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The Boomer said:
 
Sell high on Lackey.  His trade value (don't forget he is aging) has never been higher since the day they overpaid to sign him.  With 1 year and the almost free option year left on his contract, he is one of their most valuable pitching trading chips.  What they can get in return is unknown.  However, if Napoli leaves, trading Lackey possibly with others might be their best option to find his replacement.
 
"Selling high" is a nice idea if you think the guy you're selling wont ever get that high again AND, if the guy is important, you have a ready replacement.  I dont think that's the case with Lackey and I dont think the Sox think it is. And he's a pretty important member of the rotation.  If we assume a team needs 3 premium starters (60%), he's one of them. Lester's in. One of the others of them -- Buchholz -- had some trouble last year. After that its Doubront, Demspter and Peavy and rookies. None of whom qualify.  Unless someone better than Lackey *right now* is part of a trade, trading Lackey is non-sensical.
 
The qualifier "overpaying to sign him" is a red herring that suggests that you simply dont like the guy, because what he has already been paid isn't really relevant to this year or next.
 

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KillerBs said:
This has to be a prelude to dealing some pitching doesn't it?
 
As things stand now, with Dempster to the pen, both Workman and Morales would appear to off the ML roster, to start the year. 
 
Strong candidates for starters at PAW would then be 8: Workman, Morales, Webster, Britton, DeLaRosa, Wright, Ranaudo and Barnes.
 
Maybe Tazawa is on the move, which would explain the focus on picking up righty relievers.
I was thinking the same thing, except I was thinking 1 of our 6 MLB starters AND/OR one of our many near ready pitching prospects, and/or possibly Morales as well.
Even with the caveat that you can never have enough pitching, we have more than enough. We also have open roster spots to fill. Ben must be working on a deal as we speak. Most off-season initial moves by good GM's are the often of the overlooked variety (akin to moving the pawns in a chess match) that allows trades or other signings to happen.He's allready made several smaller moves since the end of last season, including the often forgotten International Free Agent signing, 27 YO Dalier H whose role as Starter or Reliver has not been determined yet.  I'm expecting the other shoe to drop before long now. 
 

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Since they've said they see Workman as a starter, I think the long guy is going to be one of Morales, Britton or de la Rosa.

I think Mujica, with his pedigree, may slot later than Tazawa. So I would handicap it as:

Koji -- closer
Mujica -- setup & backup closer
Breslow / Tazawa -- middle relief
Miller -- LOOGY
Badenhop -- ROOGY/GB specialist
Morales, Britton or de la Rosa -- long guy
That's a hell of a bullpen, on the face of it. Of course we said that last year too. Relief pitching is so charmingly unpredictable.
Dempster takes the long relief slot if all six SPs are healthy. One of the SPs might be traded of course, but I don't think that's as certain to happen as most of SoSH does.

If the Sox have the money, I'd like to see one more relief signing, with Morales getting DFA'd unless two pitchers need to start the season on the DL. I see a lot of question marks here -- Breslow was smoke and mirrors, Miller is coming off serious injury, Badenhop is terrible against LHBs and will be tough for Farrell to use effectively, the Cards were a bit too willing to let Mujica go (which is not to say I don't like the signing), and even Koji is no lock to be an ace again given his age and 2013 workload.

Maybe I'm just a pessimist by nature when it comes to relief pitching -- I felt the same way a year ago when SoSH was agog about the bullpen depth. I suspect I won't get my wish, because after the Sox re-sign or replace Napoli and overpay a veteran SS to be the utility guy (and also provide X insurance, and maybe even push him in Spring Training), there isn't going to be money left to do anything of note.
 

JimD

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As if this deal wasn't great enough already - the Yankees signed Matt Thornton yesterday to a 2-year $7 million contract.
 

joe dokes

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JimD said:
As if this deal wasn't great enough already - the Yankees signed Matt Thornton yesterday to a 2-year $7 million contract.
 
And I see that Boone Logan got 3/16.5 from COL.
 
Mujica and Badenhop were two early, sort of under the radar moves where GMs really earn their pay. They might not pan out, but that's the point. ALL (OK 99% of) relievers "might not pan out," so a team should never pay big for one, but instead pay less-than-big for a few of them.
 

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JimD said:
As if this deal wasn't great enough already - the Yankees signed Matt Thornton yesterday to a 2-year $7 million contract.
 
 
brandonchristensen said:
 
Eh, 2 years at 3.5 million per year isn't a bad risk to take on the hope that Thornton can be a useful lefty in the middle innings or a LOOGY.
 

alwyn96

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Snodgrass'Muff said:
 
 
 
Eh, 2 years at 3.5 million per year isn't a bad risk to take on the hope that Thornton can be a useful lefty in the middle innings or a LOOGY.
I don't know. If the Yankees are trying to get under the luxury tax, I can think of better uses of money than a 37 year old guy who couldn't even make the postseason roster as a LOOGY. Thornton really had to pitch terribly to not get that spot, and he pitched terribly. 
 

Plympton91

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This signing becomes even more unbelievably good with every subsequent contract handed out to a reliever.