Oh my goodness, its been six days and the Yankees haven’t signed a free agent yet!
Here now the news:
- As you probably already know (and we’ve all been expecting), Mike Mussina will be announcing his retirement (as per ESPN). Alex has a wonderful post on this, and I’ll chime in on it later today.
- The Times‘ Tyler Kepner has a quote on Mussina’s retirement from Jim Palmer:
“To be as good as Mike Mussina, you’ve got to be a little bit selfish,” Palmer, the Hall of Fame pitcher, said this week. “A lot of times, you have to put your career ahead of what’s good for your family. For him, he said: ‘I don’t want to miss this time. You can’t ever make it up.’ He proved he could still do it, but he didn’t have to do it anymore, and he could prioritize what’s important in his life.”
- The News has a nice photo retrospective on Moose’s time in pinstripes.
- Mike Lupica of the News pays tribute to Mussina:
The MVP of the Yankee season was not Alex Rodriguez, not Mo Rivera or Bobby Abreu or Johnny Damon. It was Mussina, who was pushing 40, who had finished the season before with a 5.15 earned-run average, who was reduced to getting pitching advice from Hank Steinbrenner when he started out the way he did in April of 2008. All Mussina did after that was remind you why he is going to have a full Hall of Fame shot in five years, even if he does walk away from baseball 30 wins shy of 300.
- For those of you who want to see C.C. in a Yankee uni next season, we have good news and bad news. As reported by Newsday, Sabathia won’t be making a decision on any offer(s) until after the Thanksgiving weekend, but …
… for Sabathia, who is well known to prefer both the West Coast and the National League, alternatives to the Yankees’ six-year offer (for about $140 million) don’t appear to be materializing.
Although the Dodgers have some interest in Sabathia, they are not optimistic they can put together a package large enough to land the lefthander, a person familiar with their thinking said. The Dodgers “can’t afford him,” the person said.
- The Boston Globe’s Tony Massarotti offers his opinion that the Sox are playing coy with just how badly they want Teixeira:
In the case of Teixeira, rest assured that the Sox want him, no matter what games are being paid by club officials. Publicly and privately, the Sox are saying nothing about their interest in Teixeira and playing dumb every time his name comes up. It’s as sure a sign as any that they are preparing to go to extraordinary lengths. Last year, in the midst of the Johan Santana trade talks, the Sox were far more forthcoming about who and what they were willing to offer. When all was said and done, the Sox were not interested in acquiring Santana so much as they were interested in driving up the price for the rival Yankees; as it turned out, they kept Santana out of the Bronx altogether.
- If the Yanks get Teixeira, Mark Feinsand of the News has an interesting trade scenario:
Signing Teixeira would mean either moving Swisher to center field, moving him to left and shifting Johnny Damon to center, or possibly trading one of the two since neither has a full no-trade clause. Several National League teams have had their eye on Swisher, who has three years and roughly $22 million left on his contract, so moving him wouldn’t be very difficult.
- More possible free agent/trade machinations … this time involving Roy Halladay (!), from the Star-Ledger’s Dan Graziano:
Sabathia and many others are waiting to see what happens with the Dodgers, who have emerged as a very interesting team this winter for a number of reasons. They may want to bring back Manny Ramirez. They may want Sabathia. And if the Blue Jays explore trading Roy Halladay (as some continue to insist they will), the Dodgers are believed to be his most likely destination.
… the Blue Jays actually will cut payroll. That wouldn’t necessitate trading Halladay, but he is slated to make $30 million over the next two years, could bring back a treasure trove of talent and may not want to stick around in Toronto if the Jays decide to rebuild. Toronto did some quiet snooping around the trade deadline to see what kind of package they could get if they did put Halladay on the market, and the Dodgers were said to be the potential trade partner they found most appealing.
If the Dodgers believe they can get Halladay, it may make them more likely to sign Ramirez than Sabathia. Halladay would give them their staff ace on a two-year commitment, rather than a six-year commitment …
- From the “Boras needs to get out more” department: Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports is reporting that Boras is seeking a “Zito-type” deal for Derek Lowe:
… according to executives with two different teams interested in Derek Lowe, (Boras) is telling clubs he wants “a Zito-type contract” for the free-agent right-hander.
Zito signed the deal before the season in which he turned 29. Lowe, who has averaged 208 innings and a 3.79 ERA the past seven seasons, turns 36 on June 1.
Boras could not be reached Tuesday night, but he has called Lowe “the safest bet” of any free-agent pitcher.
- Nick Swisher’s personal website has him in a Yankee uni already (don’t you love PhotoShop?)
- Happy 37th birthday to the non-descript Gabe White. Happy 63rd to the alliterative Jay Johnstone.
- On this date in 1962, Mickey Mantle collects his third AL MVP Award. Mantle, who hit .321 with 30 home runs, also led the AL in walks (122) and slugging percentage (.605).
- On this date in 1985, Don Mattingly, who hit .324 with 35 home runs and 145 RBI, easily wins the AL Most Valuable Player Award over George Brett (.335, 30, 103).
- On this date in 1995, the Yankees trade minor league pitcher Mike DeJean and a player to be named to the Colorado Rockies for catcher Joe Girardi.