"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 12/4/08

Powered by Love Train – The Sound of Philadelphia, here’s the news:

  • Pete Abe will be doing a live video chat event at LoHud today at 1pm.  Click here to access it.
  • In case you have nothing to do for about three hours, you can read a 153-page PDF file with all the e-mails that went back and forth between the City and the Yanks regarding the City’s use of a luxury box (big props to PeteAbe for the link).
  • Doing the Arbitration Tango: At BP.com, Joe Sheehan takes the Yanks to task for not offering arbitration to Abreu and Pettitte:

… to decline the services of above-average players or draft picks in the event of their departure is a stunning waste of resources. Bobby Abreu projects as a five- or six-win player, Pettitte a bit below that … those wins are valuable because they could be the difference between making the postseason and missing it.

… two days ago, the Yankees had assets in Abreu and Pettitte that could have been considered short-term investments with minimal risk and fairly certain benefit (were they to rejoin the club), or long-term investments with more risk and uncertain benefit, but higher upside (were they to become draft picks). Now, they have nothing. How a team with the cash reserves of the Yankees can make a choice like that is inexplicable …

  • Oh Atlanta!: Mark Feinsand of the News reports that the Braves are readying a five-year offer to A.J. Burnett:

Burnett, considered the No.2 starter on the market, was expected to wait for Sabathia to make the first move. But with the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays all apparently hesitant to give Burnett a fifth year, the 31-year-old might jump at Atlanta’s offer before Sabathia makes his decision.

  • Feinsand also has a blog entry on why Sabathia isn’t a Yankee yet:

It’s very simple. Sabathia clearly doesn’t have the Yankees listed first on his list, preferring to pitch in the National League and/or in California. He’s waiting to see if the Angels, Dodgers or Giants will get involved before he does anything, but it doesn’t mean he’s decided he won’t wind up in pinstripes.

  • Meanwhile, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark echoes the possibility of Sabathia ending up a Giant:

He loves the Bay Area in particular. He even loves the Warriors — enough that he showed up at a Warriors game in person this week.

And no matter how much the Giants might want to prioritize offense this winter, if the most alluring free agent in the solar system keeps suggesting he wants to play for your team if you can make it worth his while, how can you not think about it? So the Giants keep thinking. And the Giants keep talking. Talking to Sabathia’s agent, Greg Genske. And talking among themselves to determine whether this is a road worth seriously driving.

  • Over at MLB.com, Lyle Spencer notes that Angels GM Tony Reagins still places Teixeira at the top of his shopping list:

Regains said “there was nothing to” reports that had the Angels moving past Teixeira and focusing on starter CC Sabathia, adding that the club has “no concerns” about Teixeira’s left knee, which was subjected to arthroscopic surgery in 2007. A published report indicated the Angels were too concerned with the knee long-term to go past six years for Teixeira, triggering a move toward Sabathia.

  • Jeter second (base) to none?: Rob Neyer at ESPN.com chimes in on Steven Goldman wondering whether Jeter could play second base at some point in the near future:

… which isn’t to suggest the Yankees should throw a billion dollars at Jeter next winter (or sooner). Because if they’re paying him a ton of money for five years, they’re going to feel like they have to play him regularly for five years, and in four or five years he will not be good enough to play every day. For the Yankees the money isn’t the issue; the issue is the games, the at-bats, the plate appearances. And as Goldman suggests, second base probably isn’t the answer. Even if he can actually play second base, whatever you gain in defense you’re likely to lose in positional scarcity.

  • Andy come home!: Jack Curry of the Times writes that Pettitte’s agents are still working with the Yankees on bringing Andy back for ’09.  But they are far apart on dollars:

What Randy and Alan Hendricks, Pettitte’s agents, are trying to do is to make sure their client avoids a pay cut. Pettitte made $16 million last season, one of the highest salaries in the major leagues for a pitcher, and his agents have stressed that he wants the same salary. The Yankees have offered Pettitte $10 million, and they seemingly have no immediate plans to improve their offer.

“We’d like to have him back,” General Manager Brian Cashman said Wednesday. “It’s come to the arena of trying to achieve common ground on money, which is easier said than done.”

  • Cone for the Hall?: Back at BP.com, John Perrotto offers us a sneak peak at his HOF ballot.  It includes a bit of a surprise … David Cone.  After pointing out that Coney’s 194 wins is a respectable total in this era of five-man rotations, he points out some other facts :

For a statistical point of view, ERA+ is a good way to measure the effectiveness of a modern-day pitcher, and Cone had a career 120 mark. He also finished in the top three in ERA in his league seven times. Throw in the fact that he pitched in eight postseasons, and he’s a Hall of Famer. At least in my book.

  • MLB.com has a nice article on the Yanks’ Ray Negron, and how his children’s books are being turned in a film.
  • Happy 33rd birthday to Ed Yarnall, who was part of a package received by the Yanks when they traded a then-unknown named Mike Lowell to the Marlins.  Stan Jefferson (he of the 12 ABs for the team in 1989) turns 46.  Pat Sheridan, who finished out his career with one season as a Yankee in 1991, turns 51.  Also turning 51 is Lee Smith, whose Yankee career consisted of eight innings in 1993.  The immortal Tucker Ashford, part of one of the few Yankee/Met trades in history, turns 54.
  • On this date in 1968, the Dodgers trade P Mike Kekich to the Yankees for OF Andy Kosco.
  • On this date in 1969, the Yanks send veteran P Al Downing and C Frank Fernandez to Oakland for 1B Danny Cater and C Ossie Chavarria. They also trade 1B Joe Pepitone to the Astros for 1B Curt Blefary.
  • On this date in 1992, free agent SS Spike Owen is signed to a 3-year contract.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 4, 2008 11:58 am

This whole situation with not offering arbitration and particularly with what Jack Curry wrote reminds me of a story:

Years ago I wanted a brass bed and one day my Mom, my buddy and I were at a plumbing store that had a back lot; in that black lot was a barn and in that barn, an auction was being held. Among the items being auctioned was a brass bed frame; header, footer and railings all shiny and glowing in my eyes. Mom grabbed an auction paddle and we sat in the audience, watching the items being sold and waiting for the brass bed to come up.

Finally, the brass bed came up and the auctioneer went into his babbling routine. The opening offer dropped lower and lower. My friend and I were sitting on the edge of our seats, while Mom was leaning forward with her chin on her hand, a look of deep concentration on her face. "Wow, she's really good at this," my friend said, and I agreed, "Look at how focused she is, she's waiting for the right price." Soon someone made a bid and the competition was on. Paddles went up in the air and the bids went higher and higher. I looked over at Mom and her chin was resting in her hand, a look of deep concentration still on her face. I was getting nervous, but I thought, well she's waiting for all the bids and will top the last one.

Suddenly, we heard, "Going once... going twice... SOLD!" My friend and I sat up in our seats, stunned. "Mom, what happened??" I sputtered.

She sat up slowly, looked over with a sheepish grin and said, "I couldn't understand a word he was saying!"


2 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 4, 2008 12:16 pm

On the other hand, it's interesting that many people will criticize the Yankees as big bankers who throw tons of money at their problems and make it difficult for other teams to afford other players at market rate, but then many of those same people will scratch their heads when the Yanks decide to not do that at all. Cliff gave us the real numbers that Yanks are having come off the books this off season, so it shouldn't be a totally negative thing for them to put the breaks on spending when they're looking at tough times in the most expensive place in the country to operate.

And it doesn't mean they're automatically punting if they can't or don't sign any free agents, it just means they have to find alternative methods to fill those spots that aren't as easy as just signing someone. Who knows, maybe the answer already is here, even if the likelihood isn't. At least we'll know if it does play out without any FA signings where our strengths and weaknesses are in the front office when it seems like all things are equal... is Cash as smart as we say (and hope) he is?

3 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 4, 2008 12:34 pm

[2] Yeah, as Cliff pointed out, the Yanks basically have only $32M more to play around with IF they sign CC (or Tex) for ~$24M/year. Unless they want to increase payroll. Pettitte would definitely take arb, he'd get his $16M easily that way. Abreu probably would too, given that I've heard no rumors about him going anywhere. There's the $32M right there.

4 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 4, 2008 1:08 pm

[3] And it's easy for people to say, "why don't you just sign these guys; Pettitte at $12 million and others at such-and-such", but what if the problem, as implied, is that those guys want more? Why in the world is that Cashman's fault? If Theo or Stick were in charge, would that be their fault as well? I'm not so much defending Cash as much as the principle that teams can sign a guy for whatever they are willing to pay, not what everyone else says they're supposed to pay him.

5 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 4, 2008 1:26 pm

[4] Its also easy to say, as a counter to every argument, that the Yanks have plenty of money and who cares if their payroll is $230M? (Or whatever.) I'm loathe to trust teams when it comes to their finances, because we know they lie at every opportunity to try to keep player salaries down - but new Stadium or no, I think its reasonable to expect that the Yanks do have some limit on their payroll.

6 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 4, 2008 2:13 pm

some random thoughts:

.... there are still rumors about a Cano/Kemp swap. I don't know if there would be other players involved. Kemp is 2 years younger and plays a more important defensive position.
How good a CFer is kemp?
From what Long says, I'm really looking foward to seeing him this year. They both have an OPS+ 109, although this is after a year of 86 for Cano. I personally am a 'bird in the hand' kind if guy.
Opinions if that swap would be an upgrade?

... Cashman RARELY talks publicly about startegy. This talk about 2 or 3 pitchers is uncharacteristic. I wonder if they are going to try a JD (stealth) like deal with Tex. Good offer, limited time frame. Cashman knows we are stocked with pitching, have little defense, and are short of position players. With all the arms that might be up by 2011, why would you want to take a risk on AJ for FIVE years? CC I understand... but why the need for more? A Core of CC, Wang and Joba seems pretty good... especially with Phil still in the mix.

... I think Cashman is gambling a bit with Andy, but also with the odds. Andy almost retired LAST year. His motivation to play THIS year was to open the new stadium. He doesn't need money. Would he really choose LA over the Yanks? We offered $10m, so he could negotiate for $11m... maybe $12m, He ain't gonna get much more on the market. Would he leave the Yankees simply because he is angry/insulted that we don't think he's worth more then $12m (in this economy)?

... While I believe CC would rather play on the WC, I don't think he's a Yankee hater (like RJ was). For $10m-$15m less, IF he gets an offer, he might lose that amount of money. But not more. I say CC ends up in Pinstrips.

Cliff and Alex.
Please make the comment INPUT box a little larger (especially horizontally... there's room) and INCREASE the text size a notch. It should be the same size as the preview/comments task. HTML wise, this is literally a one minute task.

7 Raf   ~  Dec 4, 2008 4:43 pm

On this date in 1992, free agent SS Spike Owen is signed to a 3-year contract.

I'm still trying to figure that one out...

8 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 4, 2008 8:17 pm

[7] hahaahahahahah!

[1] Chyll, love that story...ever see the film "Strozek" by Werner Herzog? best auction scene in movie history...

every morning i wake up and check the Banter and ESPN for a photo of CC in pinstripes..but it never appears...this is odd, where is CC????

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