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News of the Day – 11/15/08

Today’s news (now with 37% more Nick Swisher in it!):

  • The Mets have put their hat into the Sabathia ring, states the News.  This makes one unnamed Yankee exec happy:

A high-placed Yankee source Thursday reacted to the development by saying: “The Mets are in it? Great. Bring it on.”

  • Add ESPN’s Buster Olney to the list of writers who think the country’s economic slowdown won’t impact the Yankees this off-season.  He estimates the Yanks opening offer to Sabathia at around $140 to $142 million over six years. Update: Olney states the offer became official Friday night, rumored to be 6 years and slightly over Santana’s $137.5 million contract.

Folks with other teams don’t know how Sabathia possibly can turn down the Yankees’ offer. But regardless of whether the Yankees sign him or not, their intention is to plow ahead and pursue other pitchers, as well. If they can sign Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, they will do so. If they can sign Sabathia and Derek Lowe, they will do it. If they can sign Burnett and Lowe, they will do it. If they can sign Sabathia and Burnett and Lowe, they will do it. If they can sign Sabathia, Burnett and Andy Pettitte, they will do that. They have the room to themselves, and their choices will largely dictate what leftovers will remain for others to choose from.

If the Yankees, as expected, come roaring out of the free-agent blocks, offering CC Sabathia a six-year deal in the neighborhood of $140 million, how many teams can possibly even hang in there with them in the CC Derby? ….  So the honest answer is: There is probably no team that can shower money on Sabathia the way the Yankees can, especially in this economy. And it’s becoming increasingly clear they know it, too.

  • ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick puts the Yankees under the microscope, and comes up with their probable plan for the off-season.  Most of the ideas you can guess already, but there is one quote I found interesting.

As Cashman points out, the Yankees weren’t exactly hoarding their resources last winter just because they passed on Torii Hunter, Carlos Silva et al. They spent $382 million on long-term deals for A-Rod, Rivera and Posada, signed Robinson Cano for four years and $30 million and shelled out $32 million more on Andy Pettitte and Bobby Abreu’s one-year option.

“Even if everything that we hope and dream for happens, we’ll spend less money this free-agent market than we did last free-agent market,” Cashman said.

  • Here’s the Swisher portion of today’s news.  Newsday’s Ken Davidoff thinks the acquisition of Swisher shows that Cashman is still exerting some restraint in his team-building:

It means Cashman still values roster and payroll flexibility, a concept he put in doubt with his questionable three-year, $12-million commitment to setup man Damaso Marte on Wednesday.

It means that the Yankees appreciate the risk in giving a nine-figure contract to someone they don’t know firsthand — and that they’re certainly not going to give out two such deals in the same winter.

  • Christina Kahrl of BP.com does her usual excellent job of analyzing transactions.  Here is a bit of her take on the Swisher trade:

The genius to the Swisher deal is that it’s a down-market solution for an up-market franchise.  … getting a player with experience at all three positions this early in the Hot Stove season engenders all sorts of follow-on possibilities. The Yankees can look at fixes at all three problem positions, but they can afford to be flexible and pick the best two fits instead of locking in on any one option. They can still pursue Mark Teixeira to play first for them, but they can also keep Bobby Abreu informed of where they’re at on that front, and that might help keep the latter’s price down if he’s determined to stay in pinstripes. It might even deke him into the kind of discounted, short-term deal that would really be in the Yankees’ best interest, whether Tex signs with the Yankees or not.

Swisher’s success in New York will be the key to the deal from New York’s standpoint; Texeira is redundant in a system full of similar fastball-slider relief pitchers, such as Anthony Claggett. The White Sox hope pitching coach Don Cooper and pitching coordinator Kirk Champion can work the same magic with Marquez that they have for the likes of Gavin Floyd and John Danks and pick up a potential power arm for the ’09 bullpen in Nunez.

  • Even more opinion on the Swisher acquisition, this time from the Times‘ Tyler Kepner:

… Swisher is popular throughout the game, and he has some attributes the Yankees really like: he draws a ton of walks, he’s got a good glove at first, and he’s a switch-hitter with power who can also fill in at all three outfield spots.

  • Meanwhile, the Post’s Joel Sherman believes that the Swisher deal means that Teixeira probably won’t become a Yankee:

The plan is to concentrate on starting pitching, namely Sabathia, and – at best – Teixeira is a backburner issue in case all the rotation avenues prove fruitless. Teixeira was pushed further to the backburner yesterday when the Yanks obtained Nick Swisher, who, as of now, projects to be the starting first baseman.

and …

Swisher’s acquisition from the White Sox helps Cashman avoid the Teixeira market. Swisher is not a Gold Glover like Teixeira, but is considered above average at first. He also can play any of the three outfield positions. But even if he ended up there (with a trade of Johnny Damon or Xavier Nady), the Yanks would likely still avoid Teixeira. They worry Posada, Rodriguez or Derek Jeter could end up needing to play first during the life of what would be a long-term deal for Teixeira.

  • Tyler Kepner also got a walkthru of the clubhouse and the media facilities at the new stadium.
  • A-Rod strikes out with condo in selling position!  As reported in the Post (via Boston Herald), Alex has slashed $1.5 million from his original $14 million asking price on his Manhattan condo.  Here’s a link to the listing.
  • On this date in 1961, Roger Maris won his 2nd consecutive AL MVP award, edging Mickey Mantle by four votes, 202-198.
  • On this date in 2001, Roger Clemens, who posted a 20-3 record with 213 strikeouts and a 3.51 ERA, wins the AL Cy Young Award for an unprecedented sixth time.
  • Finally, a little bit of non-Yankee news …. the folks at the endearing and entertaining FireJoeMorgan site are hanging up their keyboards.  Thanks for all the good times, guys!

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Nov 15, 2008 10:46 am

Mussina was robbed in 2001! Check it:

Quality starts: Mussina 23, Clemens 20
ERA: Mussina 3.15, Clemens 3.51
WHIP: Mussina 1.07, Clemens 1.26
K/BB: Mussina 5.10, Clemens 2.96
Opposing hitters: Mussina .237/.274/.358 (.632 OPS), Clemens .246/.309/.375 (.684)
Run Support: Clemens 5.74, Mussina 4.21
Record: Clemens 20-3, Mussina 17-11


2 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Nov 15, 2008 10:52 am

Also, I posted this on the last thread, but it pertains here as well . . .

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. 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.

3 Mattpat11   ~  Nov 15, 2008 2:05 pm

AJ Burnett is going to be a Yankee.

God I hate this team.

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