Yesterday, the Yankees signed Roger Clemens to a deal with the Yankees for a pro-rated share of $28 million. Depending on how quickly he gets ready, he should make between $18-19 million. Based on his 2006 performance, I estimate he’ll be worth about $11.9 million if he starts 23 games at six innings a piece.
I think it is interesting that the Red Sox supposedly offered him $10 million less and to start pitching later in the season. If he pitched the time frame he pitched last year that would put his value at about $9.8 million, which is similar to the amount my system values him (see The Baseball Economist).
Does this mean the Yankees “overpaid” Clemens, as I insinuated in this post’s title? Not necessarily. There are many things that Roger might bring to the table that my system doesn’t value: star appeal, veteran leadership, unique characteristics of the Yankee market, or how much much George Steinbrenner values attention. However, I do think it’s a sign that the Yankees are hitting the panic button. I don’t think the Red Sox were serious about Roger, and I doubt Houston was willing to go this high. Maybe that’s the premium to get him to play in NYC.