I’m wearing a “My web browser went to the Winter Meetings and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” … umm … t-shirt, and I bring you this news:
- BP.com’s (and new BBWAA member) Christina Kahrl analyzes the Sabathia signing:
Which brings us back to the simple fact that having Sabathia set for three seasons is a great bet, and an absolutely worthwhile risk to take on if you want to win in baseball’s best division, regardless of whether the deal’s segmented or not. Is it a gamble? Of course it is, but if the Yankees get seven years of good work, or even three or four of great work and some less so, it will have been worth it. With Wang lined up as an extremely different kind of rotation regular, and with the gaggle of young talent lined up behind them, they’ve got a good front end on a staff already operating with the benefit of better depth in the pen. If the bet was on Sabathia’s being a unique talent who might make all the difference over Mark Teixeira being a great first baseman over seven years (for the sake of argument), I’ll take the pitcher in this instance, acknowledging that finding a first baseman who can help you score runs is easier than the Yankees have made it for themselves in recent seasons.
- Staying with BP.com, here’s an interesting Q&A from a chat with BP’s John Perrotto:
Dante (NY): With the Yankees signing CC and most likely add Burnett or Sheets, is Phil Hughes still as untouchable as ever, even with their huge need for a young/solid catcher?
John Perrotto: They are willing to trade Phil Hughes, who other teams are starting to see as really nothing more than a No. 3 or No. 4 starter.
- Mark Feinsand of the News reports that the Yanks are still leaving the door open for Andy Pettitte, but that the door will be closing if they secure one or two more FA pitchers. Also in the article is this little tidbit on a potential new revenue source for the team:
One of those may come in the press box at the new Yankee Stadium, where a source said the club is considering charging media members for wireless Internet access at every home game.
A Yankees official said the idea has been thrown around, although it is unclear whether it will happen or how much the team plans to charge if it decided to go ahead with the plan.
- Newsday’s Ken Davidoff wraps up his coverage of the Meetings with an analysis of the Yankee moves:
Yes, it was obnoxious that the Yankees had to bid against themselves and offer $61 million more than the next offer to convince Sabathia to come to New York. But look, if we had said a month ago that the Yankees would sign Sabathia to a three-year, $69-million deal, wouldn’t Bud Selig have said, “Where do I sign up?”
While this technically is a seven-year, $161-million deal, it’s spiritually three years for $69 million. Is there any doubt Sabathia will use that opt-out after 2011? In signing this deal, he has sent a telegram to the Giants: “You have three years to get your house in order for my arrival! See you then!”
Burnett, though? People love his stuff, which he displayed in fine form by leading the American League with 231 strikeouts this past season. But he just doesn’t take the mound enough, most industry people agree, to justify five years and $80 million.
“We know him better than anyone,” a Blue Jays official said Thursday on the condition of anonymity, “and we wouldn’t give him five years.”
- The Post’s Joel Sherman points out why the Yanks may be targeting certain pitchers over others this off-season:
If you want to know what is so alluring to the Yankees about Sabathia and Burnett, take a look at the strikeouts-per-nine-innings leaders in the majors: Burnett was third (9.39) and Sabathia was fifth (8.93).
Yankees starters have finished in the bottom half of the AL in strikeouts per nine innings each of the past three years, which has put more balls in play to expose a poor defense. But the Yankees also are thinking about more than just getting back to the playoffs with a swing-and-miss brigade. They believe power arms win in October, and they envision lining up Sabathia, Burnett, Joba Chamberlain a Joba Chamberlain nd maybe even Ben Sheets and blowing away playoff opponents.
That is why they agreed to pay a pitching record $161 million to secure Sabathia. And that is why they seem to favor Burnett over Derek Lowe, although Burnett is an annual injury risk and Lowe is one of the best bets for 30-plus starts and 12-plus wins around …
But their organizational philosophy has become, it is the job of the manager, pitching coach and training staff to get the talented players on the field. One Yankees official recently said, “Darrell Rasner is a great guy, but I can’t teach him to miss a bat.”
- The Post also reports on Brian Cashman flying out to Texas to meet with Andy Pettitte, perhaps for the final time:
One team executive said recently that “in the real world, Andy is probably now an $8 million-a-year pitcher at most. We are willing to pay $2 million more because we love him, because he is a Yankee and we want it to stay that way.”
Cashman almost certainly wanted to look Pettitte in the eye and express that organizational love. Maybe he was even willing to offer a face-saving gesture by throwing out some reachable incentives that will raise the payday beyond $10 million in 2009.
But it was clear Cashman also was ready to tell Pettitte this was the moment of truth: That if Pettitte really wanted to pitch as a Yankee in the new Stadium in 2009 he must act rather quickly to accept an offer — or else the Yankees are prepared to move on elsewhere, perhaps to Ben Sheets or another option or two, including simply using youngsters Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy to battle for the job.
- Cameron our wayward son?: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Cabrera for Cameron deal is back on, and will probably get hammered out Friday or soon thereafter. The Yanks may be throwing a second player into the mix, and the Brewers may be paying some of Cameron’s salary.
- Don’t call it a comeback, but …. : Bernie Williams wants to play for his native Puerto Rico in the upcoming WBC, as per ESPN.
- The Yanks lost four players during the “Major League” portion of the Rule 5 draft: INF Reegie Corona, P Zachary Kroenke, P Jason Jones and P Ivan Nova. They also lost P Andres Santos and P Josue Selenes during the “Minor League” portion. They did not draft any players. Oh and by the way, Kei Igawa was NOT left unprotected.
- Chat transcript snippet of the day/week/year - Keith Law on ESPN.COM, responding to a “reader”:
Allen (PA): Your an idiot.
Keith Law: But at least I know how to use an apostrophe, you twit.
- Happy 38th birthday to Mike (I’m not your) Buddie, who took up space on the 1998 roster for a little while. Steve Farr, who had a couple of nice seasons as closer for bad Yankee teams in 1991 and 1992, turns 52.
- On this date in 1922, Jake Ruppert agrees to buy out his partner Colonel Huston and gains full control of the Yankees.
- On this date in 1985, the Bombers trade P Joe Cowley and C Ron Hassey to the White Sox for P Britt Burns (18 – 11) and minor leaguers Mike Soper and Glen Braxton. Hassey will come back to New York before the season’s start. A degenerative hip condition ends Burns’ career before he has a chance to pitch for the Yanks.