Jorge is back at $53 mil for four years and somewhere Jesse is yelling and screaming and can't wait till Jorge breaks down in the middle of next season (or the season after) to mock us relentlessly. Clearly, no one expects Jorge to be our primary catcher in 2010 and 2011. Hopefully by 2009, we'll have a serious comer Jorge can mentor the way Girardi mentored him, with the kid handling 40% or more and then being the main catcher in 2010, with Jorge as backup and then dhing or whatever (if he hasn't broken down completely or moved to first) in 2011. Still the deal had to be done. Jorge is the rare player to improve late in his career as far as throwing out runners and he's always handled pitchers well enough and he'll be right in tune with Girardi.
BUT, it was idiotic of the Yankees not to tack on a year to Jorge's contract at the beginning of 2007 the way he requested. Here's a good rule: any time any core player wants to tag on a year to their contract which expires at the end of the season, DO IT. It's always going to be cheaper in the long run. Someone can get injured of course. That's what insurance is for. Someone can have a great year (like Jorge) and that means you got that first year added on cheap. (If we had given Jorge that extra year at the beginning of the season, we could have "rewarded him by adding on ANOTHER two years for more money, gotten the three year deal we always wanted and everyone would have felt loved and appreciated.) Someone can have a bad year or just break down, but for a core player whose proven themselves over the long haul, that's just part of a long career and you accept it and the goodwill spills over for the majority of the time when your "largesse" will save you money. ALWAYS tack on a year for a core player that asks for it. Did you really think we were gonna dump Jorge unless he had a career-ending injury? Of course not. So take advantage when you can.