Dec 1, 2009, 5:20 PM EDT
The Yankees declined to offer arbitration to any of their free agents, a group that included Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Xavier Nady.
Damon and Pettitte were the candidates to get offers. Damon, a Type A free agent, could have brought in two draft picks had he left. However, he also had a case for a $15 million+ award in arbitration and he might well have accepted the offer. The Yankees would like him back, but probably at something much closer to $9 million-$10 million per year.
Pettitte is a Type B free agent. It’s very unlikely that he’ll sign with another team this winter, so the offer wasn’t really necessary. He figures to either re-sign with the Yankees or head into retirement.
Matsui, who finished 2009 with 28 homers, 90 RBI and an 876 OPS, was an unranked free agent, leaving nothing to be gained from offering him arbitration. Nady, on the other hand, was a Type B free agent, even though he received all of 28 at-bats last season.
The Yankees can continue to negotiate with every player on their list of free agents. Damon, Pettitte and Matsui are all candidates to return, while Nady, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Eric Hinske are expected to depart.
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