What is it with ex-Florida Marlin pitchers that makes Cashman offer them expensive free agent contracts? Anyhow, here’s the news:
- The Yanks continue their accumulation of starting pitchers with initials for their “first name”, as ESPN reports that A.J. Burnett will be signing on for five years and $82.5 million.
- Mark Bowman of MLB.com points out that the Yankees may have had a geographical edge over the Braves in signing Burnett:
“All I will say is that we made a very competitive offer,” said Braves general manager Frank Wren, while only confirming that Burnett wouldn’t be coming to Atlanta. “I would say geography was a primary factor.”
When Wren returned from the Winter Meetings late Thursday night, Burnett’s agent, Darek Braunecker, informed him that Burnett was having difficulty with his decision and needed more time.
One thing the Braves couldn’t offer was a geographical overhaul that might have made Atlanta more appealing to Burnett’s wife, Karen, who chooses not to fly.
Now she’ll have the opportunity to take a three-hour train ride from their Baltimore-area home to see her husband in New York.
“We knew we couldn’t move Maryland closer to Atlanta,” Wren said. “We were swimming upstream all along.”
- Will eight be enough for Teixeira? During the Winter Meetings, the Angels apparently presented their FA first baseman with an eight-year offer of unspecified dollar value (but rumored to be at least $160 million but more likely upwards of $180 million).
- The Cabrera for Cameron deal has apparently been put on temporary hold as the Yanks focused on getting Burnett.
- To make room for C.C. and A.J., the Yanks non-tendered P Chris Britton and OF Justin Christian (MLB.com).
- MLB.com notes that if the Yankees are still interested in FA Ben Sheets, they should know that the Rangers are also on the radar, and Sheets is from Louisiana with a house in Dallas.
- Following up on a story yesterday, Yahoo!Sports reports Bernie Williams will be joining the Carolina Giants (Winter League), as a step towards making the Puerto Rican WBC team.
- The signing of Sabathia has improved the World Series odds for the Bombers from 6-1 to 3-1, reports the Times.
- You can pre-order your authentic Sabathia jersey from the MLB shop.
- Over at BP.com, tucked into an article on the costs of new stadia, is an amusing little CC Sabathia nickname from Neil DeMause: mL Sabathia (yes, I’m a math/science geek … and I approve of this humor).
- Jeff Robinson turns 48 today. The Yanks got him from the Pirates (along with Willie Smith) after the ’89 season for (D)on Slaught.
- Dale Berra turns 52 today. Like Robinson, Berra was also acquired from the Pirates, along with Jay Buhner (!) and Alfonso Pulido for Steve Kemp, Tim Foli and cash afther the ’84 season. Berra amassed 217 ABs with the Bombers in his two season with them. Buhner of course was notoriously dealt for Ken Phelps (grumble grumble … sigh) in 1988.
- Happy 73rd birthday to Lindy McDaniel. Lindy pitched 111.7 innings of relief (in only 62 games) in 1970, amassing 29 saves along the way. More importantly perhaps, he was traded to the Royals after 1973 for Ken Wright and a guy named Lou Piniella.
- On this date in 1961, after his amazing 54-homer campaign, Mickey Mantle signs a one-year contract for $82,000.
- On this date in 2001, the Bombers sign Jason Giambi to a seven-year deal worth $120 million. The 2000 MVP and 2001 runner-up drove in 120 runs, hit 38 home runs, and had a .342 batting average for the wild card Oakland A’s.
- On this date in 2003, Kevin Brown is obtained from the Dodgers for Jeff Weaver, Yhency Brazoban, Brandon Weeden (minors), and cash.