Is it me, or has the three-week time frame since the Yankees extended the six-year, $140 million offer to CC Sabathia represented a Dead Zone? John Harper noted as much in today’s Daily News.
Perhaps the greatest hitch in the lack of offseason movement so far, as many local scribes have hinted, is Scott Boras, who not only represents Sabathia, but the three other major names in whom the Yankees are reportedly interested: Mark Teixeira, A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe. Maybe it’s also because the local headlines have reflected a fascination with the Plaxico Burress PR disaster and the BCS College Football mess.
As we all know, New York, despite its fervor for the Giants, Jets, Rangers and the Knicks, is a baseball town. Keeping up with everything at this time of year is no small feat. I applaud our Diane Firstman for linking the hell out of the coverage, which can get messy.
Every year, I try to observe which reporter has the goods on the story — or stories — and gets the jump on his competition. Here’s how you know: When a reporter from a competing newspaper — and yes, they all read each other — credits you by name in a column, you’re on point.
From Dan Graziano in the paper of Tony Soprano, the Newark Star-Ledger:
Nice reporting from Tyler Kepner at the New York Times, who found out that the Yankees’ GM was in Washington D.C. Thursday meeting with Mark Teixeira and his agent. A person familiar with Cashman’s itinerary, who declined to be identified because he’s not authorized to speak for Cashman, confirmed this information as well as the news that Cashman would be meeting with free-agent lefty CC Sabathia in Las Vegas in the coming days.
Expect to see more of that in the coming weeks, as more news begins to break with roster moves, and beat writers and columnist invariably get scooped.
If history is an indicator, the Winter Meetings will be a bastion of activity. The Meetings used to be the focal point of offseason roster activity. The fact that this year’s installment is in Las Vegas adds to the anticipation, and leads me to believe that a lot can – and will – happen. It’s a five-year cycle. I covered the Meetings in New Orleans five years ago. In the span of three days, the following deals were announced:
• Yankees confirmed the Jeff Weaver-for-Kevin Brown trade with the Dodgers.
• Yankees signed Gary Sheffield.
• Orioles signed free-agent shortstop Miguel Tejada to a six-year deal.
• Red Sox signed free-agent closer Keith Foulke to a three-year deal with a fourth-year option.
• Blue Jays signed free-agent righty Miguel Batista.
• Cardinals and Braves orchestraded a trade, with the key components being Eli Marrero going to Atlanta and Adam Wainwright, a AAA prospect at the time, going to St. Louis.
• Less than 48 hours after Andy Pettitte signed with the Houston Astros and was introduced, Roger Clemens appeared at a memorabilia signing and stopped by, hinting to everyone that he would come out of “retirement.”
That year, the Yankees did not send a team representative to the meetings. They had just come off a World Series appearance and the internal sense was that a great deal of roster jockeying was unnecessary. This year is a different story. Despite the unattributed quotes coming from the organization regarding Sabathia signifying a sense of confidence/arrogance/smugness (you can play Mad Libs with this), if the Yankees really believed landing him was a sure thing, Brian Cashman would not have made an early trip West to meet him. It’s not a make-or-break offseason for the Yankees, but reading between the lines, it’s clear that not landing either Sabathia or Teixeira would be an abject failure for Brian Cashman and the Yankees, given the number of holes they need to fill.
Now to the coverage of the Meetings. A couple of posts ago, I mentioned how the blogosphere has taken on greater significance in general presentation of news events, namely on the political spectrum. This week, all eyes will be on Vegas and MLB. The best way to follow it will be to check in online every hour or so. The editors know this, and have resigned themselves to it. And if you review the local news sites, the reporters and columnists are becoming more amenable to it.
Should be good times.
FROM THE VISUAL WORLD…
Anyone who didn’t see Steven Goldman on Yankees Hot Stove this past Thursday, check it out here. I congratulate Steve on this appearance. He was poised, knowledgeable, concise and direct. Steve’s appearance on YHS is something he and I talked about going back five and six years ago when he first began contributing to YESNetwork.com. To see that the production group and Kevin Sullivan, who oversees YESNetwork.com, have figured out a way to incorporate him into the program is tremendous progress. It’s the kind of dot.com / TV integration I, along with Fred Harner — who’s now the GM of SNY.tv — tried to establish in our time at YES, but it was probably too early in the Network’s existence to make it work.
Steve’s next appearance: December 18th.
Happy reading, and good luck sifting through rumor, B.S. Boras and the truth. Maybe now the offseason will finally get interesting.
Until next week …