"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 12/9/08

Powered by the new Monty Python website, here’s the news:

  • A C.C. (opt-out) Rider included?: MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy has some interesting news regarding the Brewers’ offer to Sabathia:

The Brewers may have upped their offer to free-agent ace CC Sabathia before a face-to-face meeting at the Bellagio, and team officials may be mulling another new twist: an opt-out clause midway through the deal.

The Chicago Tribune cited “sources” Monday indicating that the Brewers had already added a sixth year to their initial proposal, and that general manager Doug Melvin was “considering a willingness” to add a clause that would give Sabathia the opportunity to opt out after three seasons. In that scenario, Sabathia could be a free agent again in the 2011-12 offseason as a 31-year-old.

But that report was topped by SI.com, which reported that the opt-out clause could be presented after just two years, when Sabathia would be 30. SI.com was among the outlets reporting that the Brewers were only considering adding the sixth year, and had not yet done so formally.

  • However, C.C. may have already made up his mind … or Ned Colletti may be playing games …. if ESPN.com is to be believed:

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark on Monday that he ran into the free agent on Sunday night in a hotel lobby and the left-hander told him that he wants to be a Dodger.

  • According to the MLB.com “Hot Stove Blog”, the Colletti has not even begun speaking to the Yankees about the availability of Robinson Cano.
  • Jayson Stark and Jerry Crasnick are noting that the Yanks are making motions towards A.J. Burnett, possibly offering more money per year than other suitors but not the fifth year Burnett is seeking.  Nonetheless, it appears Burnett is leaning towards Atlanta.
  • Joel Sherman of the Post writes that none other than Mr. October was brought into the Yanks’ meeting with C.C. Sabathia on Sunday.  A little star power never hurts, right?  Sherman also reports that Jorge Posada began his throwing program at the team’s minor league complex in Tampa.
  • Yanks want to be short-Sheeted?: Mark Feinsand of the News reports that the Yankees plan to offer Ben Sheets a two-year, $26 million deal.
  • According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, Bobby Abreu (along with Raul Ibanez) is drawing interest from the Cubs.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Cardinals may be a new suitor for A.J. Burnett.

  • Jack Curry of the Times speaks to Jay Rood, Race and Sports Book Director of the MGM Mirage, on how the goings-on of the Meetings may impact the World Series futures odds for 2009.  It appears that Mr. Rood knows what the Yankees need … at a minimum.

When Rood was asked how quickly he would adjust the Yankees’ 6-1 odds if they signed the pitchers C. C. Sabathia and A. J. Burnett and first baseman Mark Teixeira on Monday, he said it would be instantaneous. To protect against bettors hustling to pick the Yankees, Rood would lower the odds.

Since Rood said the Yankees needed “more than one arm” in their starting rotation and had “some holes,” he would not be in a rush to do much if they added only Sabathia.

“If it was just C. C., I might not even touch it,” Rood said.

  • The Times reports on additional bond offerings being granted for the construction of the Yanks and Mets new stadia.  Similarly, the AP is reporting:

In the Yankees’ application, the team is asking for another $259 million in tax-exempt bonds and $111 million in taxable bonds, on top of $940 million in tax-exempt bonds and $25 million in taxable bonds already granted for its $1.3 billion stadium.

  • For you vegans out there, I stumbled upon PETA’s ranking of the most vegetarian-friendly major league parks of 2008.  The old Yankee Stadium didn’t make the top 10, but did nab an honorable mention.
  • You can “meet and greet” Goose Gossage this Thursday at the Sports Museum of America in downtown Manhattan (autograph purchase required … but they don’t list how much that costs).
  • Speaking of food …. donating food can get you into the new Yankee Stadium, as per MLB.com:

The Yankees will once again be looking to help out those in need throughout the Bronx and partnering with Goya Foods to put together the 15th annual Yankees Food Drive, the club announced Monday.

The event will take place Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Gate 2 of the old Yankee Stadium …. Any fan bringing 25 pounds of non-perishable food or making a $25 donation will receive a voucher good for two grandstand or bleacher tickets to a Monday-Thursday, non-premium, April or May 2009 home game at the new Yankee Stadium.

  • Tony Tarasco (.161/.229/.226 in 31 ABs in 1999) turns 38 today.  BTW, Tony is a cousin of Jimmy Rollins.  Happy 60th birthday to George (Doc) Medich.  Medich was traded to the Pirates in December of ’75 for Willie Randolph and two other players.  As you may know, Medich IS actually a doctor, and while playing in Texas, he went into the stands to give CPR to a stricken fan, saving the fan’s life.  Rich Bladt turns 62.  Bladt played in ten games for the Cubs in 1969, got traded to the Yanks following that season, then didn’t see any more major league action he amassed 117 ABs with the Bombers in 1975.
  • (This isn’t a Yankee “on this day” note, but its relevant to what’s going on in our country lately …) On this day in 1931, baseball owners, fearful of the effects of the Depression, vote to cut squads from 25 players to 23. Both leagues will stop awarding MVP trophies. The National League continues to prohibit uniform numbers. As noted by historian (the late) Doug Pappas, the NL loans the Phillies $35,000 and loans Judge Emil Fuchs, owner of the Braves, $20,000 secured by his stock. Fuchs’ finances are such that he won’t even pay the interest from 1935-37, and will file for bankruptcy in 1938, three years after retiring from the Braves.
  • On this day in 1981, one day after announcing that manager Bob Lemon will return in 1982, the Yankees announce that former manager Gene Michael, whom Lemon replaced on September 6th, will return as manager for the 1983 season.
  • On this day in 1982, the Yankees sign FA Steve Kemp to a five-year contract, and trade OF Dave Collins, pitcher Mike Morgan, and minor leaguer Fred McGriff to the Blue Jays for P Dale Murray and minor leaguer Tom Dodd.  (yes …. THAT Fred McGriff … oy … oh well, he would have been blocking Mattingly in a year or so … right?) 🙂
  • On this day in 1988, the Yanks sign a 12-year, $493.5 million TV contract with the Madison Square Garden Network.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 9, 2008 8:37 am

D, you are absolutely on FIRE. Great job as always. So many rumors, so little brain space...Oh, and thanks for the lovely reminded re: the Fred McGriff deal...OY.

2 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 9, 2008 8:58 am

As per my post yesterday, I'm REALLY psyched about the Sheets thing. I think 2 years for $30mm is great, and I'd even throw in a vesting 3rd year based on starts in years 1 and 2. Say 55 starts total = $18mm in year 3, which he will have more than earned if he makes 55+ starts over two years.

Interesting times indeed.

3 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 9, 2008 10:13 am

Well, I'd much rather a high risk/high reward scenerio if you are talking about two years rather than four or five which is what it looks like it'll take to nab Burnett.

4 Raf   ~  Dec 9, 2008 10:58 am

Just to clarify, Mattingly was in the system before McGriff. Interesting that Mattingly was blocked by Steve Balboni, despite tearing up the Sally, Southern & Int'l leagues.

5 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 9, 2008 11:09 am

[4] Mattingly was never the type of player that scouts loved. Only his hardwork got him to the majors, which is one of the reasons I think he is such a beloved figure.

The C.C. tea leaves really do not look good at all. Last year, I ultimately came down against the Santana deal because I felt having C.C. and Hughes would be better than just Santana. If the Yankees can't land Sabathia, I think it shines light back upon that decision. Cashman has to be desperate for Sabathia, but more and more I get the feeling he isn't going to sign here.

6 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 9, 2008 11:10 am


You are right on Mattingly being Yankee property before McGriff ... I stand corrected.

7 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 9, 2008 11:34 am

It's funny William, after reading everything this morning about the 2nd meeting (requested by CC), the people present, the nature and tenor of the discussions - at least as they were reported - the tea leaves feel better to me than they have since the day the $140mm offer was extended.

Maybe I'm just wishing here, but it feels good to me today...

8 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 9, 2008 11:38 am

[7] I guess the tea leaves I am reading are: (1) the Yankees still by far have the highest offer; (2) there was a report saying C.C. wasn't expected to make a decision this week; and (3) the Yankees seem to be interested in Sheets and Burnett again.

It looks like Sabathia is just waiting for an NL/CA team to make a better offer...maybe that wont come, but maybe it will.

Could the AL be that much harder that pitchers like Sabathia and Peavy want to remain in the NL for competitive reasons?

9 ms october   ~  Dec 9, 2008 12:03 pm

i also had a more positive reading of the tea leaves (albeit all these tea leaves are pretty salty with how much grains of salt you have to take this stuff with - for example how do we really know what if anything cc said to ned colleti) after the yankee/cc meeting.

i do agree with you william that cc would like to at least have a serious offer from a ca/nl team to make his decision, but it doesn't seem the dodgers, giants, or angels are in and that basically leaves brewers or yanks.

i am sure someone has done the analysis, but i would be interested to see just how much being in the nl does help a pitcher. qualitatively it seems like a lot. not to pick on him, but since he just had his pc yesterday, i don't think greg maddux could have done anything in the al the last year or so. santana probably bought himself a a couple of more years as an elite pitcher by switching leagues - so maybe that is in part what is driving peavy and sabathia.

10 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 9, 2008 12:20 pm

Greg Maddux - Lifetime stats in AL stadia ...
22 9 7 4 3 145 4.16 160 73 67 13 22 99 5

11 Raf   ~  Dec 9, 2008 12:33 pm


Still, a player posts the following lines

.349, .444/.488
.358, .422/.498
.316, .384/.433
.315, .378/.437

All the while being a "professional hitter," (given the AVG) and a "run producer," (given the RBI's), you'd have to give him a look, Balboni's power potential or not.

[8] My impression is that it looks like Peavy & Sabathia want to remain close to home.

12 Yankee Mama   ~  Dec 9, 2008 1:25 pm


I could live with that.

13 The Hawk   ~  Dec 9, 2008 1:28 pm

I have completed my 180 and am now firmly AGAINST Proposition CC. Enough is enough. Not only do I not want him here, I want him to go elsewhere ASAP, so that the Yankees might stop embrassing themselves.

14 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 9, 2008 2:27 pm

The thing about the CA teams is that it seems like the smaller moves they're making, and their needs/wants in general, are boxing them further out of making a meaningful (>$100mm) offer to CC. Thinking here mostly of SF so far, and some of the stuff the Dodgers are leaning toward.

To me the wild card is Anaheim who everyone knows would prefer Tex. But if Boston makes a strong move and signs him, then I wouldn't be surprised if Anaheim ownership makes a quick, decisive move toward CC - offering "just enough" ($125mm for 6 years?) to sign him out from under the Yanks. We may not even get a chance to counter at 150-160 which I actually think we would, given the chance...

15 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 9, 2008 4:23 pm

[13] I think the longer CC waits, the more risk he runs of losing not only the Yanks' interest, but of getting top dollar. With the Yanks out of the picture, the California teams are free to offer him little more than what Burnett is likely to get, and that would be his and his agent's fault and no one else. As Bill Madden says in his column, CC's agent would be "dead". Whatever CC's intentions are, who else would hire an agent who leaves that much money on the table? The CA teams are hoping the Yanks drop out so they can save a ton.

Of course if he were to come back and see if the Yanks were still interested, it should only be contingent on the idea that he sign immediately. So I've not given up on signing CC, but I'm anxious to see when the Yanks publicly pull the plug, and in doing so slash his leverage.

16 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 9, 2008 4:27 pm

[15]... anxious to see what happens when the Yanks publicly pull the plug...

17 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 9, 2008 5:57 pm

Yeah I thought about this scenario too: make a public announcement of a reasonable deadline for our offer, say 5 business days from now. That forces the west coast teams hands somewhat - either they make a competitive offer in the next few days or risk losing CC to the Yanks.

The risk though is as you say - no one makes an offer, the Yanks pull, and now CC loses leverage. That said, we all know if he comes knocking on the door again we'd probably pull the trigger (unless we've already thrown $200mm at Tex...) though I agree [15] that it'd have to be 'now or never' at that point.

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