Add Us:     MySpace     Facebook     StumbleUpon     Twitter

Archives

You are currently viewing archive for December 2008.

Posted by: Patrick
Share
From John Harper of the Daily News:

... a person in regular contact with Yankee brass said Tuesday he believes the club still wants Pettitte back and believes a deal will get done, perhaps as early as next week.

According to this person, someone in the Yankee organization was putting out that word as something of a scare tactic, knowing that Pettitte badly wants to pitch for the Yankees next season. "They just want him at their price, that's still the bottom line," the person said.

Not sure how much stock should be put in "a person in regular contact with Yankee brass," but there you have it.

Via Tim Dierkes.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Peter Abraham reports that Bernie Williams, playing winter ball in Puerto Rico in an attempt to participate in the World Baseball Classic, has a "serious quad injury." Definitely a shame.
Posted by: Seamus
Share
MLB.com's Bryan Hoch gives a nice review of 2008 in Yankeedom, highlighting month-by-month the final year in the House that Ruth Built.

The review also includes of course the busy start to this offseason. What I thought was most interesting was a comment by a poster called julianbino, who likened the 2009 Yankees to the "Redeem Team" (the 2008 U.S. Men's Olympic basketball squad).
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Newsday's Kat O'Brien has some interesting details of how the Teixeira negotiations went down, according to a source involved in them. First Boras wanted 10 years (with the 9th and 10th years being options), then he said they'd take 8 at $192 million. But, the Yankees held firm to their 8 year, $180 million offer - the offer that was accepted, 20 minutes after Boras told them that the free agent first baseman would likely be headed to the Red Sox.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
For SI.com, Alex Belth shares the final night at Yankee Stadium, September 22, from the perspective of Ray Negron, a Yankee special advisor who has been with the club since George Steinbrenner caught him spray painting on the stadium when he was a kid. It's a great read.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From Robb Kubatko of the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network:

Anyway, just one more note on Mark Teixeira: I've heard from a reliable source that the first baseman turned down about $5 million more from the Nationals to sign with the Yankees. And the Nats would have gone higher, but were never given the chance. Teixeira jumped at Brian Cashman's first offer.

Via Ben Jones.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From Ken Rosenthal:

The Cubs are confident of signing free-agent designated hitter Milton Bradley, but a number of teams remain interested in the free-agent designated hitter, including the Rays, Yankees and Nationals. The Yankees, as is their custom, are touching base with virtually every available offensive player. ...

Abreu remains in touch with the Yankees (who doesn't?) and also could become a candidate cross-town if the Mets trade Ryan Church. Abreu, 34, had to be encouraged by the three-year, $31.5 million contract that the Phillies awarded Raul Ibanez. He is two years younger than Ibanez, and his .903 career OPS is 85 points higher.

Via Andrew Fletcher.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the team has signed catcher Kevin Cash to a minor league deal. He'll earn $700,000 if he makes it to the Major League club. Cash has spent the last two seasons with the Boston Red Sox.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
SI.com's Jon Heyman and ESPN.com's Buster Olney are reporting that, according to sources, the Yankees have agreed (in principle, at least) to a deal with free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira. Supposedly, the deal is for $180 million dollars over 8 seasons or an average annual value of $22.5 million a season.

My reaction: No way. Absolutely no way. Wow, it's good to be a Yankees fan. CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett? Remarkable!

Via James.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
MLB.com's Tom Singer reports that the Yankees were one of two teams to exceed the luxury tax threshold in 2008 - the other being the Tigers - and they must pay $26.9 million dollars because of it.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Kat O'Brien spoke with Hal Steinbrenner, regarding the Impacto Deportivo report that the Yankees and Manny were close on a 3 year deal. Steinbrenner told her that if it's happening, he doesn't know about it.

However, this is what I thought was more interesting:

I'm told the Yankees want to keep payroll about what it was in 2008. They could sign Ramirez or Teixeira, but then they would not be able to add another starting pitcher (Pettitte) and stay at payroll. Or they could add Pettitte (or similar pitcher) and sign another hitter. I heard the names Pat Burrell and Jason Giambi (yes, really) mentioned.

Via Tim Dierkes.
Posted by: Seamus
Share
The Yankees announced through a press release that they've given a one-year contract worth $5 million to Chien-Ming Wang, who had been eligible for arbitration. Wang, who's won 46 games over the past three seasons, will be making about one-third of what A.J. Burnett will make next season, who has totaled 38 wins in that same span.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.com highlighted a report from Impacto Deportivo, a Dominican newspaper, which indicated that the Yankees and Manny Ramirez were close on a 3 year deal worth $75 million dollars.

Cashman denied the report and the paper persisted. Dierkes notes that the paper has a decent, though not spotless, record of MLB related scoops, so you never know. But, at this time, I'll take it as an unreliable report.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From Bryan Hoch:

Yankees prospect Damian Taveras was suspended for 50 games Monday after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance under baseball's Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment program.

Hoch notes that the drug was Stanozolol, which is an anabolic steroid.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From Newsday's Kat O'Brien:

Early yesterday, SI.com's Jon Heyman reported that in the wake of the Red Sox's decision to step away from the negotiating table, the Yankees (and Angels) were back in dialogue with Boras about Teixeira. The article also said the Yankees had discussed parameters of a possible deal with Boras.

Two sources confirmed that Boras and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman talked Friday, but they said it was Boras - not Cashman - who initiated contact.

O'Brien notes that a source told her that Boras told Cashman what it would take to sign the first baseman. Supposedly, he put it at $22-$23 million dollars a year, over 8 years.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From Peter Gammons:

Cashman backed off the Mike Cameron deal because Melky Cabrera has improved his plate discipline in winter ball, and there are voices in the organization who still believe Brett Gardner is going to be a useful major league player. No one will argue his energy and intensity, but watch him take batting practice, and you'll find out he's a lot stronger than he looks. Granted, he has to take it into games, but there is something on which to place hope.

Via Tim Dierkes.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From SI.com's Jon Heyman:

A day after Red Sox owner John Henry strongly suggested that he’d hit his limit with his latest bid for free-agent star first baseman Mark Teixeira, Teixiera’s agent Scott Boras was back in dialogue with the Yankees and Angels, people familiar with the talks told SI.com.

Via Ben.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Peter Abraham has the contract breakdowns and benefits for CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. Suffice to say, Burnett will make $16.5 a year in all 5 years of his deal and CC will make $23 million for the final 6 years, assuming he doesn't opt out after three, and $14 million in 2009, plus a $9 million dollar bonus, paid in 3 parts (December 31, March 1 and July 31). Both players get a no trade and CC gets a suite on road trips and his salary paid bi-monthly throughout the entire year, rather than just during the season, like most players.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Back in May, we wrote about Dock Ellis and the bad shape that he was in, suffering with Cirrhosis of the liver. On Friday, he passed away.

Our thoughts are with those that were close to him.
Posted by: Seamus
Share
Ken Rosenthal states that a source with "knowledge of the pitcher's intentions" has described Pettitte's return to the Bronx in 2009 as "virtually inevitable." Rosenthal also points out that a deal is not imminent, however.

I'm not sure that this is really news here. There aren't too many, if any, teams willing to give Pettitte the $10 million the Yankees have reportedly offered. And after shelling out over $200 million for Sabathia and Burnett, I doubt the Yankees would prefer handing out a multi-year deal to another pitcher over one year for Pettitte, especially with the offense still in need of some tweaking.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel spoke with Brewers GM Doug Melvin, who shared that Brian Cashman had called him after reports of silence between the two. In so many words, the Yankees GM apologized for reports stating that the Yankees didn't feel that Mike Cameron was worth the $10 million that he was owed, saying that those comments did not come from Cashman, himself. He also told Melvin that he hadn't called because he had been busy.

In turn, Melvin told Cashman that the Brewers are "probably going to hang on to Mike."

Via Ben Nicholson-Smith.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Kat O'Brien, Sam Borden, Ed Price, ESPN.com and Mark Feinsand have recaps from yesterday's press conference, where the Yankees announced the acquisitions of pitchers CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. For the most part, it was your average big signing press event.

Tyler Kepner talked about what happens to those jerseys they wear on stage when a press conference signing is held. Safely on the Yankees, CC Sabathia's website received a fresh coat of paint.

Via Diane Firstman and Mike.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From Kat O'Brien:

"We're monitoring the situation, but we have not made an offer," a team source said. "We may not make an offer. If the money gets too rich, then we won't."

Reports are that Teixeira has offers of $150 million-plus from the Red Sox, Angels, Nationals and Orioles. A Yankees source suggested that reports are not always accurate.

Via Andrew.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Peter Abraham reports that today's 1 PM ET press conference will introduce both CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
The AP reports that the Yankees will introduce both CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett at a press conference on Thursday. MLB.com's Bryan Hoch was unable to confirm that Burnett would be introduced, but says that the event will be held at 1 PM ET.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Newsday's Kat O'Brien spoke with Brewers GM Doug Melvin and he said that he hasn't spoken to to Brian Cashman since last week. On the trade, he said, "at this point, I don't anticipate it's something that we would [do]."
Posted by: Patrick
Share
While SI.com's Jon Heyman says that the Yankees "like the idea" of Manny Ramirez, reports from Newsday's Ken Davidoff and Mark Feinsaid of the Daily News indicate that members of team's front office are split on the free agent outfielder.

Davidoff:

... There appears to be a disagreement between upper management (pro) and Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi (both con) on this.

After Cashman worked so hard to rid the clubhouse of malcontents like Gary Sheffield and Randy Johnson, the Yankees are going to bring in Manny? After the Yankees saw the Rays ride youth, speed, defense and positive chemistry all the way to the World Series, they're going to invest multiple years in Manny?

Feinsand:

According to a source familiar with the Yankees' thinking, Brian Cashman has been lukewarm to the idea of signing Ramirez, but the rest of the front office - most notably Hal and Hank Steinbrenner - believes he is precisely what the Yankees need to bolster a lineup that underachieved in 2008.

Via Dave and Aziz and Yahoo! Sports.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
SI.com's Jon Heyman says that if Andy Pettitte fails to come to terms with the Yankees, the team may turn back to Derek Lowe.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
MLB.com's Corey Brock reports on remarks made by San Diego Padres CEO Sandy Alderson, on the prospects of a Jake Peavy trade. The team is no longer active in efforts to trade the pitcher, meaning he could start opening day for the club. But, it seems like they could still deal him in the right offer - or, they may just wait until the 2009 trade deadline and see what offers are made then.

Via Ken Davidoff.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
SportsBusiness Journal has named their Top 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business for 2008. Hal Steinbrenner is in at number 28.

Four baseball people rank ahead of the younger Steinbrenner brother. Three of them work for Major League Baseball - Bub Selig at 6, MLB COO Bob DuPuy at 18 and MLB executive VP for business Tim Brosnan at 22. Red Sox owner John Henry is the only baseball owner to rank above him, at 20.

Via Peter Abraham.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From MLB.com's Tom Singer:

According to an ESPN report, the recruiting by five suitors of Teixeira is "nearing a conclusion." ...

"I want to know where I'll be by Christmas," he told ESPN on Nov. 19 while patrolling the sidelines during a football game at Georgia Tech -- his alma mater.

It remains highly unlikely that the Yankees will land, or even make a competitive offer, to the free agent first baseman.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From Jon Heyman:

It's been a mystery to many why veteran left-hander Andy Pettitte hasn't taken the Yankees' $10-million offer. But here could be a clue as to why he hasn't: Pettitte's people apparently are telling folks he has a $36-million, three-year offer from another, unnamed team.

Via Andrew.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Having spoken with some of the people involved in the deal, Tyler Kepner feels that the Yankees may be taking a step back from acquiring Mike Cameron from the Brewers. He says that it has less to do with financials and more to do with baseball and the potential value of adding yet another mid-30s plus outfielder to the roster.

Mark Feinsand of the Daily News reports that the deal is on hold, but has a Yankees official who told him that it should still happen at some point. Ed Price also says that a deal remains a possibility.

Via Yahoo! Sports.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From the press release:

Star New York outfielders from yesterday and today, great catches and great plays will be the focal point of the award recipients cited at the 29th Annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner set for Tuesday night, February 3, at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.

New York Mets Gold Glove center fielder Carlos Beltran, New York Yankees standout Johnny Damon, former Mets right fielder Ron Swoboda, Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree, former Knicks All Star guard Allan Houston and Olympic gold medalist Dara Torres will all receive the Thurman Awards from the AHRC-NYC Foundation, it was announced today.

Diana Munson, Thurman’s widow, has been involved in the benefit since its inception, raising nearly $9 million to assist children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Len Berman of NBC Sports will once again serve as the master of ceremonies. For tickets and information on the Munson Awards Dinner contact (212) 249-6188. The honorees will be cited for their accomplishments on the field of play and philanthropic efforts.

The AHRC New York City Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that supports programs enabling children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead richer, more productive lives, including programs of AHRC New York City. AHRC New York City is one of the largest organizations of its kind, serving 11,000 children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries and other disabilities.

Congrats to him.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Our next interview is with Andrew Fletcher, prolific blogger at Scott Proctor's Arm.

When you aren't doing something related to or depending on the Yankees, what are you up to?

I'm a junior print journalism major at Quinnipiac University, so I'm trying to graduate and get a job in the field. I also work for the school's newspaper, The Quinnipiac Chronicle, and have been a summer camp counselor for the last five years. I'm also a huge New York Giants fan.

How long have you been blogging about the Yankees?

I started Scott Proctor's Arm on May 26, 2007. I had no idea I'd still be doing it to this day. It's been a lot of fun.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Share
Tom Krasovic of The San Diego Union-Tribune had an interesting conversation with Jake Peavy's agent, Barry Axelrod.

“He prefers the NL, definitely,” Axelrod said. “But you know, who knows where things will go from here?

“Jake has a strong preference to stay in the National League. If Jake's ever going to accept anything to the American League – and I don't want this to be taken wrong – I can safely say that it's going to be the Yankees or Red Sox or maybe the Angels. Those teams are going to be in contention and are going to spend money. If there were circumstances where he would be asked to go to the AL, kicking and screaming, those are the three places.”

"Kicking and screaming" doesn't exactly attract potential suitors, does it? Nonetheless, I thought it was interesting that he's left the door open to American League teams. Maybe he's done it before. And, yeah, what agent wants to limit the field. He could be trying to get the Yanks and Sox involved just to raise the bidding and make his client a more attractive commodity. Still, we can dream.

Via Tim Dierkes.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
George King at the Post says that the Yankees and Brewers are negotiating over the $12 million dollars that is owed to Kei Igawa, who they apparently want. So, Kei Igawa, Melky Cabrera and some money might get the deal for Mike Cameron done.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Peter Abraham reports that reliever Chris Britton and outfielder Just Christian have been non-tendered and are now free agents. Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.com has a list of non-tendered players. There are some interesting names on the list.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports that, according to a baseball source, the Yankees have reached a preliminary agreement with free agent pitcher A.J. Burnett. The deal is said to be worth $82.5 million dollars over five seasons.

The article notes that Brian Cashman and Burnett's agent, Darek Braunecker, are working out the final details, but the deal should be good to go by the time Burnett passes a physical.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
With the holiday season upon us, it may be a little quiet around here toward the end of this month, but I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very happy holiday and a happy, healthy and successful 2009!

Thank you to everyone who has read, commented, linked and contributed to YanksBlog.com in 2008. We appreciate all of the support!

Thank you for visiting YanksBlog.com.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
The up and down roller coaster known as the Mike Cameron trade negotiations have taken another turn, as talks have been revived between the two clubs, reports Bryan Hoch and Peter Abraham.

The clubs had reportedly been close to a deal on Wednesday/Thursday, but later in the day, the teams hit a roadblock. This came in the form of a request from the Yankees that the Brewers pay some of the $10 million dollars that Cameron is owed this season. If the reports are accurate, the Brewers were a little miffed, having just seen the Yankees dish out $161 million to acquire their former ace, CC Sabathia.

But, even later in the day, Joel Sherman of the Post says that the financial issues were cleared during a telephone conversation between Brian Cashman and Brewers GM Doug Melvin. So, the talks are back on again.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
I was just watching ESPN and they were talking about how Bernie Williams is flying to Puerto Rico to play in winter ball with the hope of joining the Puerto Rican team in the World Baseball Classic. John Schlegel of MLB.com has the story in text version.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
The Yankees were interested, but in the end, Nick Punto decided to go back to the Twins. He signed a new two year, $8.5 million dollar deal with an option for 2011.

Via Tim Dierkes.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Unfortunately, I have some bad (in one way, anyway) news to share. Long time YanksBlog.com Blogger James Varghese has left our team. I am sad to see him go and I've appreciated his contributions, writing, humor and his general good nature. He's a great guy and we'll miss him.

In a way, it's a good thing, though, because his leaving is the result of professional success, increased responsibility and, as such, a busier schedule. So, we're happy for him in that regard. But, that doesn't mean we won't miss him around here.

If his schedule clears up (one day!), the door will always be open for his return.

Thank you, James, for all of your work and contributions here at YanksBlog.com.
Posted by: Seamus
Share
To update a previous story, it seems as if the rumored Mike Cameron for Melky Cabrera deal has hit a bit of a snag. According to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, the Brewers seem unwilling to pay any portion of the $10 million Cameron is owed next season. Apparently, the Brewers don't feel willing to cooperate because of the money the Yankees are able to spend on free agent pitching.

This is all on Milwaukee if this deal doesn't get done. The Brewers have the wrong idea here. The Yankees aren't claiming they can't afford Cameron's $10 million. He's just simply not worth that much. Why would the Yankees give away Melky just to pay $10 million for nothing more than a slight upgrade? If you had the choice of paying a million or less for .249/.301/.341 or $10 million for .243/.331/.477, what would you do? Yeah, thought so. I've said on here before that the Brewers were making a mistake when they picked up Cameron's option in the first place.

I understand Milwaukee's thinking here. They felt it was best to pick up the option and try to get something in return for him via trade, rather than just letting him go via free agency. Well, that's going to backfire, because Mike Cameron is not a $10M/year player. And now that the Yankees are on the verge of shelling out $200M+ for CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, the Brewers feel as if the Yankees should be obligated to overpay for their mistakes, as well.

The ironic thing is, this deal could go through and then the Brewers and/or some of their fans may complain before the end of 2009 about how the Yankees outspend everybody and we need a salary cap.
Posted by: Seamus
Share
From Ken Davidoff:

LAS VEGAS - Brian Cashman left the winter meetings early Thursday morning to meet with Andy Pettitte in the lefthander's Houston home, Newsday has confirmed.

The Yankees' general manager wants to give Pettitte one last chance to accept the team's $10 million offer to pitch for the Yankees in 2009. If Pettitte declines -- he has insisted that he wants the same $16 million salary he received each of the past two seasons -- then the Yankees will probably move aggressively to sign free agent Ben Sheets to a two-year deal.

I'm surprised that Pettitte has been so stingy about retaining the $16M salary he received last season. Hopefully the two parties get this worked out.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
SI.com's Jon Heyman is reporting, according to sources, that the Yankees are interested in free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira, even with the signing of CC Sabathia.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Update: Mark Feinsand of the Daily News, says that, according to two Major League, the Yankees are "set" to make the deal. There is no mention of a pitching prospect, just Melky.

Dan Graziano of The Star-Ledger quotes an official with the Yankees or the Brewers (one of them) in saying that the teams have made "good progress" on a swap that would send center fielder Mike Cameron to the Yankees in exchange for Melky Cabrera and a pitching prospect. A deal could be completed in the next day or so.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick has a "baseball source" telling him that the Yankees have offered free agent starter A.J. Burnett a guaranteed fifth year. The deal is said to be worth around $85 million, or $17 million a year.

Via Dave and Aziz.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
SI.com's Jon Heyman says that "people close" to Hank Steinbrenner say that he wants Manny Ramirez. I want the Yankees to pass on Manny, honestly, even if his price drops. I respect him as a hitter, I just don't want him on the team I root for.

Via Yahoo!
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From Bryan Hoch:

Upon arriving at Sabathia's palatial estate in Vallejo, Calif., Cashman said he was struck by the familiarity of the residence. In a random coincidence, the GM had been channel-surfing at home in Connecticut and happened across the episode of "MTV Cribs" that featured Sabathia's home.

Meanwhile, Cliff over at Bronx Banter has a great, in depth analysis of the CC Sabathia deal.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Tim Brown and Gordon Edes of Yahoo! Sports report:

The deal, according to a source close to negotiations, gives Sabathia the right to opt out of the contract after the first three years, by which time he will have been paid $69 million. Sabathia appreciated the clause because it satisfied concerns he had about living in New York and the impact it might have on his wife and three children.

They are reporting the deal as 7 years, $161 million.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Reports this morning from Jayson Stark, Jon Heyman, Joel Sherman, Ken Rosenthal and Buster Olney have the Yankees getting what they came for, so to speak, and bringing CC Sabathia to New York.

The majority of them indicate that the Yankees have raised their offer, from 6 years and $140 million to 7 years and $160 million. This drops the average annual salary from $23.3 million a year to $22.8. So, an odd $500,000 a year less, with a higher total value. Sabathia hasn't yet put his name on the dotted line, but the various sources say that he's selected the Yankees as his destination and now they are just working out the final, minor details and having the big lefty take a physical. A source told Stark that there are "zero major road blocks" that could prevent this from happening. The holidays may have come early for Yankees fans. Here's Olney discussing the deal:


Via Ben and Frank.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Peter Abraham and Ken Davidoff are both reporting the Yankees interest in free agent infielder Nick Punto. Davidoff says the team is in talks to sign him.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From MLB.com's Bryan Hoch and Barry M. Bloom:

Since the day he walked out of the broadcast booth in 1994, Tony Kubek has mostly steered clear of Major League Baseball, not even tuning in to a single game on television over all the years that have passed.

So it will be a surreal event when the former New York Yankees shortstop is reintroduced to the game on its most celebrated stage next summer.

A standout analyst in his post-playing career on the NBC "Game of the Week" telecasts, Kubek is the winner of the 2009 Ford C. Frick Award, an honor bestowed on broadcasters by the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Posted by: Seamus
Share
As fans and radio talk show hosts everywhere were bashing CC Sabathia all day for his seeming unwillingness to play in New York, it turns out Brian Cashman was in San Francisco meeting with Sabathia for the third time in as many days. This has led to increased optimism that the Yankees will be able to land the coveted free agent, or at least optimism that CC is actually seriously considering the Yankees' offer.

SI's John Heyman also reports in the article that the Yankees are going hard at A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe, and may attempt to sign all three pitchers (including Sabathia). The article states that the Yankees have made an offer to Lowe that was "thought to be at least $64 million over four years."

This is pretty encouraging news regarding CC, but I'll have to admit I was becoming a fan of the idea of two years for Ben Sheets. I'd actually be pretty disappointed if the Yankees signed both Burnett and Lowe to go along with Sabathia, although I don't believe the Yankees actually believe that will happen. The Yankees do need pitching, but they don't need $300 million worth of it. I would much prefer cheaper deals for Andy Pettitte and Ben Sheets to long-term commitments to an aging Lowe and an erratic Burnett.

It's all speculation, though, so we'll see what happens.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
The Post's Joel Sherman is reporting that the Yankees, among with at least four others, have expressed interest in outfielder Rick Ankiel. He lists the Cardinals' needs as closer and starting pitcher and says that that the team has interest in Ian Kennedy.

Via Andrew.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Mark Feinsand of the Daily News reports that, according to a source, the Yankees are preparing a contract offer for Ben Sheets that will likely be for 2 years and somewhere around $26 million. Conflicting with that, Joel Sherman of the Post says that the Yankees have not made a decision on whether or not to extend an offer to the pitcher.

Via Andrew and Andrew.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Brewers may be looking to deal Bill Hall, if they can get the Mike Lamb deal finalized. He lists the Yankees as a team that has expressed interested in the utility player.

Hall has spent substantial amounts of time at shortstop, third base, center field and second base. His offense numbers are atrocious. He's a lifetime .258 AVG/.316 OBA/.455 SLG hitter and his line last year was .225/.293/.396. Somehow, he hit 30 home runs in 2006, which led to him getting a raise that now sticks out pretty badly. He's set to make $6.8 million in 2009 and $8.4 million in 2010. He also has an option for 2011 with a $500,000 buyout. Ouch. He'll be 29 this month.

Rosenthal says that Hall is close friends with free agent starter CC Sabathia, as Mike Cameron is. CC was on the team for a few months - he must make friends really easy. He can make some new ones! We don't need to import friends to sign the lefty.

That's not all from Rosenthal. Though it's most likely that John Smoltz will go back to the Braves, if he is healthy enough, Rosenthal says that the Braves are waiting to make an offer until they are sure he'll be ready to pitch. This is creating an opportunity where other teams could, at least, make a pitch to the 41 year old Smoltz. But, again, after 20 years in Atlanta, it's hard for me to see him moving on to another team.

Via Yahoo! Sports and Yahoo! Sports.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Brian Cashman told MLB.com's Bryan Hoch that the Yankees have not made any sort of offer to free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira, but refused to dismiss the possibility of signing both Teixiera and pitcher CC Sabathia.

On a related note, a "team official" told Newsday's Kat O'Brien that if the Yankees decided to go after both Teixiera and Sabathia, as well as another starting pitcher, they could afford to do so.

This doesn't really mean much as, even if we have little interest in Teixiera or only have interest if we miss out on Sabathia, what could be gained by saying that we aren't interested in him? Nothing, really. We'll just have to wait and see how it plays out.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Tyler Kepner of the Times reports that the Yankees and Ben Sheets met yesterday. Kepner notes that Sheets is represented by Casey Close, who also counts one Derek Jeter as a client. The Yankees have a good relationship with the agent.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Kat O'Brien of Newsday and Peter Abraham of The Journal News share details of Brian Cashman's meetings with free agent lefty CC Sabathia.

"If I learned anything, I learned that our assessments are accurate about him as a person," Cashman said. "He's a quality guy, whether he picks us or doesn't pick us.

"I think he's going through this process with a genuine sincere effort to make the best decision for himself and his family. We're not being played, we're not being manipulated. We're not being used."

"We're not being played. We're not being manipulated. We're not being used. I just think he's making an informed decision."
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From Kat O'Brien:

Bobby Meacham, who was fired as the third base coach after the season, is in Vegas trying to get a new job. He said Derek Jeter was the only player to call him after he was let go, and that Jeter thanked him for everything. You might not have liked Meacham as a coach, but he's a really, really nice guy. Hopefully he finds something good for him and his family.

If that's the case, the Yankees players handled this pretty poorly.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Jerry Crasnick, Jayson Stark and Peter Abraham have updates on CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett from the first day of the Baseball Winter Meetings.

Stark spoke with a source with knowledge of Sunday's meeting between Cashman, Sabathia and his agent. The source says that the purpose of the meeting was to gather information about life in New York. Cashman said that the Yankees are "on his list." Dodgers GM Ned Colletti says that Sabathia told him that he wants to play for the Dodgers. Colletti says it is "a possibility," but the Dodgers have not made an offer to the lefty.

Meanwhile, on the Burnett front, Crasnick says that the Yankees are aiming to meet with his agent and could potentially be able to top the amount of guaranteed money that the Braves offered Burnett. The deal the Braves offered was four years, $60 million plus a buyout and an option on a fifth year. The option would bring it to $75 million.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Peter Abraham has a small update on Jorge Posada's rehab progress. There's not much, outside of the fact that he has been in a throwing program for a week and it's going well.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
According to Peter Abraham, George Steinbrenner has issued a statement about the Hall of Fame election of former Yankee Joe Gordon.

“As a young man in Cleveland, I remember what a spectacular ballplayer Joe Gordon was. He was a great second baseman, a great Yankee and an inspiration to millions of Americans for many years. The Yankees are proud of his election.”
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Peter Abraham, reporting from the Baseball Winter Meetings, says that Padres GM Kevin Towers made it abundantly clear that Jake Peavy has no interest in pitching in the American League.

Meanwhile, Dodgers' GM Ned Colletti says that he has not spoken with the Yankees since July, putting to rest rumors that a Cano to the Dodgers deal had been discussed.
Posted by: Seamus
Share
It was announced today that former Yankee second baseman Joe Gordon was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. Gordon played for the Yanks from 1938-1946 before finishing his career with a four-year stint with the Indians that ended in 1950. In his 13 years in the majors, Gordon hit for a line of .268/.357/.466 to go along with 253 home runs and 975 RBI.

I'm not really a huge fan of numbers when it comes to the Hall, but by comparison, Bret Boone put up pretty similar numbers in his 14-year career (.266/.325/.442 with 252 homers and 1,021 RBI). Having not been able to watch Gordon play myself, that's all I really have to go by. I guess the committee saw something I didn't. Maybe it was the 5 World Series rings?
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Bill Madden of the Daily News reports that Brian Cashman's meeting with CC Sabathia and his agent took place last night. No details on what happened but, apparently, Sabathia's agent is the person who requested the meeting and not Brian Cashman.

Via Yahoo!
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Larry LaRue of Washington newspaper The News Tribune reports that the Yankees are one of several teams interested in free agent outfielder Raul Ibanez. Ibanez turned down salary arbitration offered by the Mariners and, as a Type A free agent, would cost the Yankees a draft pick if signed.

LaRue notes that he earned $5.5 million last year and is looking for a multi-year deal. He'll be 36 in June. Unless the Yankees are planning to trade a corner outfielder or play Damon in center, I don't think Ibanez makes much sense. He has put together solid, if not spectacular numbers, since 2001, but we just don't have a place for him.

Via Ben.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Our next interview is with Travis Goldman, perhaps better known as Travis G, who blogs for Pinstripe Alley.

When you aren't doing something related to or depending on the Yankees, what are you up to?

Since I moved to Philly last April, I've been focusing primarily on trying to make a career of writing. I wrote a book a while back and would love to write another.

Other than that, taking care of my dog, cooking a lot (which I used to hate) and getting to know Philly. The Trenton Thunder are 40 minutes away, so I try to hit their games as much as possible.

How long have you been blogging about the Yankees?

Since the summer of 2005, when I first began following the farm system and learned about Phil Hughes and Jose Tabata (who I still think Cash sold low on).

What's the best and worst part of blogging?

I love interacting and having passionate debates with other fans. The worst part is that I can get addicted to it. I'm constantly checking news sites for updates and feel a sometimes unnatural obligation to write even when I'm on vacation or with family.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Share
Anthony McCarron of the Daily News has an interview with former Yankees pitcher Ed Figueroa, who runs a pair of restaurants in his native Puerto Rico.

Via Ben.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
The Associated Press reports that A-Rod will play for the Dominican team in the World Baseball Classic, as David Ortiz said.

"I am 100 percent sure that I will play for the Dominican Republic team," he said. "This time, there will be no doubts and it is a dream of my mom's that I intend to fulfill."

I'm kind of wondering why David Ortiz is the way that we find out.

Via Seamus.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From Buster Olney:

... The Yankees also have had internal discussions about second baseman Orlando Hudson, whom they would sign, presumably, if they were to move closer to the long-considered swap of Robinson Cano to the Dodgers (or some other team). If the Yankees were to trade Cano to L.A., they almost certainly would insist upon an elite pitcher like Clayton Kershaw or Chad Billingsley in return, and in failing to get that, they'd lock in on outfielder Matt Kemp.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Buster Olney reports that the Red Sox are planning to meet with CC Sabathia over the next few days. It is not known if the Sox are planning on making a run at the free agent starter.

Via Dave and Aziz Nekoukar.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From Kevin Kernan of the Post:

As with all journeys it began with one vital step - the first one. The right-hander made a House call that helped send him on the right path.

The former USC star went home and worked with pitching guru Tom House, who has been the Trojans' pitching coach the past two years.

"I got some tips and started applying those and it made the break of my curveball better and the command of it extremely better," Kennedy said from Puerto Rico. "Now I know what I have to do. Before I was just throwing it to throw it and try to throw it for a strike and not have any idea."

Via Ben via Dave Pinto.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From Jayson Stark of ESPN.com:

There's increasing buzz about the Yankees' interest in Ben Sheets, possibly an indication that they're not confident they're going to be able to sign Burnett. As this blog noted two weeks ago, the difference between Burnett's and Sheets' 2008 and career numbers are smaller than you'd think.

A.J. Burnett to the Braves with a contract that will likely earn him around $80 million over 5 years? And Ben Sheets to the Yankees for a smaller sum with less years? Sign me up.

Via Ben.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From Gordon Edes of Yahoo! Sports:

Ortiz is hosting a charity golf tournament in the Dominican city of Punta Cana this weekend. He said Rodriguez, who is playing in the tournament, is expected to announce his decision at the function. Rodriguez and Ortiz are close friends.

“He wants to play for the Dominican team,” Ortiz said by telephone Thursday. “We’ll talk about it now after he gets here, and he’ll probably announce it here.”

Ortiz said he has not spoken recently with Rodriguez about his intentions, but that as far back as the All-Star Game last July in New York, he said A-Rod had expressed a desire to play for the Dominican Republic.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Peter Abraham reports that it seems "likely" that A.J. Burnett will be off the market before the winter meetings open up next Monday.

According to a Major League source, MLB.com's Mark Bowman says that the Braves have offered the pitcher a guaranteed four year deal with a "very attainable" option for a fifth season.

Abraham suggests that the Yankees will counter, if they haven't done so already, but that such an offer will likely not match the Braves in years, but could exceed them in average annual salary, which is thought to be $16 million a season.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Ronald Blum of the Associated Press reports that, according to sources, Brian Cashman and Scott Boras met on Thursday. Edit: Boras doesn't represent Sabathia, my mind was elsewhere. Greg Genske represents Sabathia. But, Boras represents Derek Lowe, Oliver Perez, Mark Teixeira and Manny Ramirez, among others.

Blum notes that Cashman is planning to meet with Sabathia, as well, before the winter meetings, which begin on December 8.
Posted by: Seamus
Share
It seems even the man who some think could be the primary reason Andy Pettitte might join the Dodgers doesn't think he's going to be playing there in 2009. When asked about the possibility, Torre reportedly responded by saying, "I don't think that's going to happen."

From Newsday's Ken Davidoff:

While Torre and Pettitte have a strong relationship built during those championship years, Torre said that he didn't initiate contact with Pettitte this offseason, and that he thinks Pettitte's strong desire is to return to the Yankees. Pettitte, nevertheless, has refused to agree to a $10 million salary for 2009, after making $16 million each of the last two seasons.

"I talked to Andy," Torre said. "His agent had called the Dodgers to find out about interest, and that's when I called him. I had talked to Andy much earlier, asking him to come to my (Safe at Home) Foundation dinner. He was always married to the Yankees, the excitement playing for the Yankees.

Seems more and more like any inquiry by the agent into the Dodgers' interest in Pettitte was simply a move to draw in a competitor and bump up the Yankees' offer a bit.
Posted by: Seamus
Share
Newsday has put up new photos of the new Yankee Stadium as the stadium reaches completion. Most of the photos depict the uprooting of the Babe Ruth monument from the old Monument Park. On November 21, it was reported that the stadium was around 90% complete.

New photo galleries posted on the Yanks' official website can also be found here and here. Pretty cool stuff.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Jack Curry of the Times reports that the Yankees have extended a one year, $10 million dollar to free agent Andy Pettitte. However, his agents are insisting that he wants the same salary that he had in 2008, $16 million. For his part, Pettitte maintains that he wants to remain in the Bronx.

"I mean, to tell you the truth, like I’ve told you all a hundred times, I’ve made it loud and clear where I’d like to play at," Pettitte told Curry. "I’m just basically sitting here letting my agents do their job really."

Via Yahoo!
Posted by: Patrick
Share
"Sources" have told Mark Feinsand of the Daily News that the Braves are preparing to offer free agent starter A.J. Burnett a five year deal. It has been reported previously that the Yankees were not willing to offer that many years.

Honestly, I'm not in love with Burnett and, as long as he's out of the AL East, I'm not bothered by the Yankees failing to sign him, especially with the length of the deal and the investment needed. He'll be 32 on opening day and last season was just the third season in which he's pitched more than 173.1 innings. Against the Yankees, he's 6-3 with a 2.43 ERA. Against everyone else, he's 81-73 with a 3.89 ERA.

Via Dave and Aziz.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
From MLB.com's Lyle Spencer spoke with Angels general manager Tony Reagins, who said that free agent first baseman Mark Teixeria remains the club's top priority. He denied reports that the Angels have turned their attention to CC Sabathia.

Via Ben.
Posted by: Seamus
Share
Definitely a stretch, but Buster Olney speculates that the fact that LeBron James might possibly play in New York in two years will factor into CC Sabathia's decision on whether to join the Yankees. To be fair to Buster, it's not as if he came out and said that it would be the #1 factor, but it's somehow all tied into the fact that CC was happy to reunite with his buddy David Riske when he was traded to Milwaukee.

Sabathia developed a friendship, through his years in Cleveland, with LeBron James, as the two became the biggest stars in a small town. They have bopped around New York together in the past, and Friday the Knicks made trades that are being viewed as precursors to their pursuit, in another 20 months, of James.

Presumably, at some point, Sabathia and James have shared a conversation about living and playing in New York at the same time -- Sabathia for the Yankees, James for the Knicks. James, as the world famously learned in the playoffs of 2007, is a Yankees fan.

What does this all mean? It means that every other player waiting on CC to set the market has made for a pretty slow start to this offseason. I would guess that CC will be a Yankee, but if it comes down to friendships or something like that, I don't really see New York in his future. I'm not going to go write on a different blog because I feel like a friend might start writing there in two years.

I think if it came to something like that, he'd want to be closer to his hometown. But just how interested are the Angels really in pursuing CC Sabathia? I'm not sure why they would put that kind of emphasis on starting pitching when they already have such an abundance of it. I mean that would be kind of like the Yankees trading for the best shortstop in baseball when they already have Derek Je...oh, wait.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
The SportsBusiness Journal reports on the results of the Turnkey Brand Index survey. From the article:

While the Turnkey Brand Index measures the strength of a brand in its market, the study did ask fans if they root for teams from outside their markets. The results yield a strong indication of which teams truly carry strong, national brands.

The Yankees placed first with a score of 400.76, which indicates that they have three times as many fans, outside of their local market, than the average team does. The Green Bay Packers (381.73) and Boston Red Sox (337.29) came in second and third, respectively.

Via Peter Abraham via Maury Brown.
Posted by: Seamus
Share
That's right, folks. After much speculation, it turns out that Andy Pettitte, Bobby Abreu and Pudge Rodriguez will all be waking up on Christmas morning to find no present under the tree from the Yankees. Peter Abraham says that the Yankees "remain engaged with Pettitte and Abreu," however.

When you actually sit down and look at it, there aren't any real surprises here. Not quite sure why Mr. Abraham expected Pettitte to get an offer. If the Yankees were going to give him $16 million again he'd be on the books already. I'd like to have Pettitte back, but it would be rediculous at that price. $10-12 million seems like enough.

Pudge's case is obvious, of course. He isn't going to turn down $13.5 million+.

The only real tough decision here was on Bobby Abreu. Abreu is not THAT old (he is 34) and he can still rake. I don't think he's a $16M/yr player anymore, but one would think that he'd at least be able to get a two or three-year deal from somebody. Seemingly, though, he hasn't been getting too many calls so the Yanks went ahead and weighed the risk of losing a draft pick versus having to pay him $16 million again next season. When you're looking into possibly throwing a combined $200 million this offseason into CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett/Derek Lowe, I guess the bigger risk is in having to fork over the dough to Abreu.
Posted by: Patrick
Share
Today marks the deadline for team's to offer arbitration to their free agents to be. Arbitration isn't just about securing a player, but also about securing draft picks in the event that the player moves on to another team. For the sake of draft pick compensation, players are organized into two categories: Type A and Type B.

Type A free agents net the losing team two picks, one of which is forfeited by the team that signs the player. Type B free agents net the losing team one pick, but it is a supplemental pick and is not taken away from another team.

The Yankees Type A free agents include Bobby Abreu, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte and Ivan Rodriguez. The Type B free agents are Jason Giambi and Carl Pavano. The downside of offering a player arbitration is that he might actually take it (*cough* Pavano *cough*). That's why you don't want to offer arbitration to everyone. While suggesting that we should offer arbitration to Pettitte, Mike says that no one has ever had their salary decreased through arbitration.

Part of me would like to see the Yankees offer Carl Pavano arbitration just so that we could see how that case would play out. Would the arbiter really give him a raise? It's also hard for me to think that Jason Giambi would be worth more than the $21 million he was paid in 2008.

What will the Yankees do? Peter Abraham guesses that they will make offers to Abreu, Mussina and Pettitte. Meanwhile, Ken Davidoff says that only Abreu is "likely" to receive an offer.

I would like to see them do as Abraham suggests. Mussina is retired, but in case he has any second thoughts, there is no risk in offering it. Pettitte would be good to get back, even at a slight raise.

Though I would consider Abreu to be overpaid, the truth is that the free agent market for corner outfielders doesn't exactly knock you over. And Xavier Nady isn't what I would call a proven commodity at this point, being that he is a .280 average/.335 on base percentage/.458 slugging percentage hitter for his career. Abreu may be on the decline, but given our roster and the market, he's worth having.

Jason Giambi, Carl Pavano and Ivan Rodriguez all make too much to be seriously considered. We have no place for Pudge. Really, we've been counting the days until the contracts of Giambi and, especially, Pavano would be up. Giambi has been a valuable player, but his inconsistency has been an issue. I wouldn't mind having him back in a lesser role, but him leaving might be for the best. We can give Hideki Matsui the DH role and find a first baseman who is better with the glove than Giambi was.