The Boston Globe‘s “The Buzz” is proving to be a strong Hot Stove roundup, and a helpful one given the local tendency to see every free agent through pinstriped glasses. Here’s some of the latest they’ve collected, the top two of which were updated this afternoon:
According to a report in the Toronto Star, the Blue Jays have an offer ready for Burnett for $54 million for four years that they have been waiting to make to his agent . . . According to the Globe’s Nick Cafardo, the [Red] Sox don’t want to extend themselves that long contractually or money-wise for Burnett . . . The New York Post’s George King writes . . . “word is spreading that A.J. Burnett will shy away from The Bronx.”
According to the Globe’s Tony Massarotti, Derek Lowe is among the most probable targets for the Red Sox . . . “a major league source has confirmed that the Sox have inquired with agent Scott Boras about Lowe, interest deemed sincere enough that Boras has equipped the Sox with one of his famed marketing portfolios, or ‘books,’ on the player’s value.” Massarotti writes that Lowe “has never has been shy about declaring his fondness for Boston and East Coast baseball . . . Lowe has made Boston his No. 1 preference according to the Globe’s Nick Cafardo. . . . Cafardo also reported that the Mets are going after him strong and have the resources to land him. The Mets also employ Lowe’s personal trainer, Chris Correnti, but Lowe, who wants to play for a winning organization in a place where he’s comfortable, may not see the Mets fitting his criteria. St. Louis, Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Detroit might be better fits, writes Cafardo.
These two pitchers are the Yankees’ top two targets after CC Sabathia (though Burnett shouldn’t be), but it just might be that neither wants to pitch for the Yankees, which could either pass those Yankee bucks on to the likes of Ryan Dempster and Oliver Perez, or, better yet (much better) into an increased offer to Mark Teixiera. Speaking of . . .
From the Globe’s Nick Cafardo: “The Sox also should be in the mix for Teixeira, in whom they have long had interest. The early chatter is a contract in the vicinity of 7-10 years at more than $20 million annually might whittle the field, though the Angels, Red Sox, and Yankees won’t likely feel their pockets burn no matter what they have to pay. . . . It would be a surprise if they don’t make a substantial offer, though it might not come on Day 1.” According to a report in the Washington Post, the Nationals may be making a run at Teixeira: “Against all odds and logic, the Nationals envision themselves as serious players in the Teixeira sweepstakes, according to team and league sources, and are believed to be preparing an offer they feel will be competitive with the others Teixeira is likely to receive. In other words, it would almost certainly be north of $100 million, if not $150 million.”
I don’t know about you, but the thought of a Boston infield with Kevin Youkilis at third, Jed Lowrie at short, Dustin Pedroia at second, and Mark Teixeira at first base is going to ruin my sleep until Teixeira (hopefully) signs elsewhere. I doubt Teixeira will quarantine himself on a losing team like the Nats, but he’s a Baltimore native, so it’s slightly less than ludicrous.
Meanwhile, heres something I stuck in comments earlier today that I’d be interested in getting your reaction to:
I don’t doubt the accuracy of the estimates of the Yankees offer to Sabathia, but I think a lot of the speculation about how much money the Yankees have to throw around beyond Sabathia is misguided and uninformed. Dealing in 2009 dollars only, I’ve heard estimates that the Yankees have as much as $80 million coming off the books, but my accounting shows something closer to $65, and that was before they spent roughly $9 million on Marte and Swisher for 2009. So $56 million minus $24M for CC . . . that’s $32M. That’s just a pair of $16M pitcher contracts before the payroll starts going up. That means no money for another hitter unless they’re willing to push the payroll past $230 million [or punt on one or both of those other pitchers, or if they don't land CC]. With unsold suites, $11 million in unpaid taxes being collected by the city comptroller, and a federal investigation into their tax-exempt bonds for the new stadium, I’m not sure they have that much flexibility.