I was set to get started on a whole “who’s next?” posting, but came across this, which does a pretty good job of answering that question. I’ll get to this deeper in a bit as I am still trying to sift thru the rubble of the Sabathia ‘quake.
CC Sabathia has agreed to terms with the Yankees. If that wasn’t enough to get fans excited for next year’s rotation (judging by comments it is), then perhaps news of A.J. Burnett’s pending pinstripes will only fortify faith in the 2009 season.
The Star-Ledger’s Dan Graziano grazed the subject of A.J. Burnett while covering the winter meetings in Las Vegas:
Cashman also met Tuesday with free-agent right-hander A.J. Burnett. The Yankees are preparing a four-year, $64 million offer to Burnett, hoping to top the four-year, $60 million deal the Braves offered him. They’d like to sign both Sabathia and Burnett (or Derek Lowe, if Burnett goes elsewhere) and may not stop there.
Newsday also suggests the Yankees may look to better the Braves:
The Braves’ offer is believed to be for four years and $60-million with a vesting option. A Yankees source said, “We can do better.” And they plan to. That will likely mean guaranteeing the fifth year of the pact.
I’ve said many times that I like Burnett’s AL East track record but his injury history is being glossed over. I LOVE Burnett at 3 years, like at 4, hate at 5. That’s my range on Burnett. For Sheets (and Lowe), it’s LOVE at 1 year, like at 2, hate at 3.
Just saw on Mike & Mike on ESPN2: Buster Olney reported that the Sabathia deal is for SEVEN years and $160 million, or $22.857 million per year.
Um, wow. Just wow. Thankfully he’s just 28 now because by 35 (or sooner) and some 20 extra pounds, this might be really ugly. Go ahead, Sox fans, rip the guy apart. But look me in the eye and tell me if you would be doing the same ripping if he were coming to Boston. It’s only natural. Besides, it’s only money.
Loyal reader TadtheBad used the right word: rationalizing. All NYY fans are rationalizing this deal this morning. And anti-Yanks “fans” are doing the same on the other side of the fence.
Ken Rosenthal confirms Buster’s report:
Free-agent left-hander CC Sabathia has reached agreement with the Yankees on a seven-year contract worth approximately $160 million, according to a major-league source.
UPDATE (12pm 12/10/08): Update on Sabathia’s fine print
The deal, according to a source close to negotiations, gives Sabathia the right to opt out of the contract after the first three years, by which time he will have been paid $69 million. Sabathia appreciated the clause because it satisfied concerns he had about living in New York and the impact it might have on his wife and three children.
He will make his opt-out decision after the 2011 season with four years and $92 million remaining on the deal, at which time he could renegotiate, leave or stay.
So it’s happening: Sabathia’s coming to New York. So it’s about the money after all, eh?
After three straight days of face-to-face meetings between GM Brian Cashman and Sabathia, the big lefty decided he wants to spend the next six years of his career as a Yankee. The decision came late last night after Cashman flew to see Sabathia at his home in San Francisco. By the time the meeting was concluded, Sabathia had informed the New York Yankees that he had made his decision to call New York his baseball home, the Post has learned.
Jayson Stark posted this last night, before we learned that Sabathia appears to be headed to NY:
It was a visit, said one source familiar with the situation, that was “not about money.”
“This is a guy trying to come to grips with New York and whether he can play there,” the source said. “I think, in his mind, he’s trying to get there. But he’s not there yet.” So Sabathia called the GM of the Yankees late Tuesday afternoon and invited him for another chat — their third face-to-face visit in the past three days. Except this one included Amber Sabathia, the wife of CC and a woman who clearly has questions of her own about whether New York is right for both of them.
I asked another baseball man who has known Sabathia for years whether he thought CC could work himself into a New York state of mind, even for $140 million. The answer I got:
“Oh, he could play there. He could do it. CC is an amazing guy. There isn’t anything he couldn’t handle. But I don’t think it would be his ideal scenario. Let’s put it that way.”
While a deal is not done, the source said there are “zero major road blocks” that would prevent the Yankees from reaching agreement with the Yankees.
“He’s now excited about becoming a Yankee,” said one source.
The terms of the deal are still being negotiated, and it’s possible that the final deal will look different than the six-year, $140 million contract that the Yankees initially dangled — perhaps with another year in some form, perhaps with more salary.
Great line from IT IS HIGH, IT IS FAR… (emphasis mine)
Sounds like Cashman was the Lord of the Living Room last night, wooing Mrs. Sabathia and closing the deal with C.C.
More updates to come as I get to them (or you send them to me!)
You’ll have to click on the link above for the whole story, but it’s a fun read.
“Alex and Madonna are very, very cozy,” the insider reveals. “Yes, they are intimate, and they are intoxicated with one another. Alex can’t get over that he’s with Madonna.” But the insider has some sage words of wisdom for Rodriguez: “This isn’t a deep and serious love affair. It will last as long as Madonna wants it to,” our leak predicts. “She could get five or six years out of it – but only if it’s in her best interest to keep him around.”
Funny (if you find this sorta thing funny, that is) thing posted by Pete Caldera today: Brian Cashman loves a good fart prank. Who knew?
Ben Sheets apparently met with Cashman today, after Cash played his annual prank on the writers at his suite. Cash used an electronic “whoopie” cushion and couldn’t hold back the laughter after nailing his first unsuspecting victim by remote (thankfully, it wasn’t me). “It’s day one,” Comic Cash said. “I have to have teams calling to get a mock trade going,” he said, referring to his Dallas Winter Meetings prank of placing a Ben Sheets (what irony) trade proposal on his desk, visible to the writers. On the scrap of paper, it had Wang and Cano going to Milwaukee.
I’m quite sure it wasn’t intentional, but I chuckled reading this (emphasis mine):
“Honestly,” [Cubs GM Jim] Hendry said, “it’s my job – if you want to add significant dollars, then I should be able to move some, too. That’s part of my job. It doesn’t take a lot of creativity if you just spend the most money and buy the most expensive player all the time. As a general manager, I feel an obligation that if we want to do a few things — instead of one thing or two things — then we’ve got to get creative.”
And not for nothing, I still don’t buy the “Peavy to the Cubs by Christmas or bust” stuff. If the Padres need to cut salary and we enter February, there’s no reason why a trade can’t be done then. Doesn’t have to be with the Yanks (and leave my obsession alone, will ya!), but the need to free up cash is very real in San Diego.
And you wonder what that financial pressure looks like and why I so adamant that Peavy WILL be dealt:
One of the big questions hovering over that chat will be how much pressure the Padres are under to move Peavy, who is scheduled to make $11 million next season for a team whose payroll is in the midst of plummeting as close to $40 million as Towers can cut it.
“That will be tough,” Towers said. “That’s almost a quarter of our payroll. And it makes it tough to improve a great deal on the field. But I still consider Jake to be a tremendous asset. He’s one of the best pitchers in the game. I’d much rather go into the season with a guy who’s an established No. 1 [starter], and hopefully our young players are as good as we think they are, and improve that way, versus doing a poor baseball deal just because he’s making a quarter of our payroll.”
A quarter of their payroll. That’s significant, dontchya think? If your salary was halved, wouldn’t you do what you had to do to survive under the new conditions? And that BMW in your driveway…. time to get rid of it, even if it’s in a deal that you KNOW favors the buyer. The Padres have become the MLB example of what the current economic crisis looks like. They are suffering through the equivalent of having just lost their job, their mortgage is about to adjust, they are mid-divorce. Not a position of negotiating strength. Time to sell the assets that they must in order to survive the New World Order.
While the Sabathia waiting game goes on, it seems the Yanks are getting ready to throw some bigtime loot around at the other top pitching free agents. It doesn’t seem that this would preclude the Yanks from still offering Sabathia his golden ticket.
I’m not your source for every rumor (I’ll defer to the more-than-able and adequately-staffed MLBTradeRumors.com for that), but here are the headlines on Burnett and Sheets:
- Yankees going full throttle after Burnett
But another offer may be in the works for Burnett, as the Yankees are said to be willing to go beyond the reported four-year, $60 million offer the Braves have put forth, according to reports on ESPN.com and SI.com.
“We’re dealing with other free agents at the same time,” Cashman said. “We hope to engage some clubs while we’re here. Obviously, today is Day 1 and we have needs we have to fill. I can tell you we’re not waiting, per se, for CC. We’re trying to affect change in our roster in a positive way with quality additions, but it’s just been a slow winter so far.”
- Yankees Brewin’ up multi-year offer for free agent Ben Sheets (The Daily News updated their dollar range; updated below)
According to a source, the Yankees will offer Ben Sheets a multiyear deal – most likely for two years in the $26 million range – before the winter meetings conclude on Thursday
Sheets and Burnett. Tell me with certainty that this won’t be another Wright and Pavano and I’ll exhale. It’s the extra year for Burnett that concerns me. I do like the 2 year term on Sheets.
Could the Yanks really land both Sheets and Burnett, lose out on Sabathia, and then decide to go for Lowe? Sheets, Burnett and Lowe. Probably for something in the same total price as Sabathia alone. Though, what if the Yanks land Sheets (or Burnett) before CC makes up his mind? Would that help sway the Big Guy?
What if the Yanks really DID pull their offer to CC and stuck by it? (I don’t think that’s going to happen, but play along for a moment) According to a contact of Bill Maddon from the Daily News, it could be the professional death of Sabathia’s agent:
According to industry sources, it was Genske and not Cashman who asked for the meeting, although the Yankee GM is just as anxious to find out Sabathia’s intentions now that the big lefty has had a couple of weeks to mull the six-year, $140 million offer that would make him the highest-paid pitcher in history. The reason Genske wanted the meeting, said one source, is that the agent is trying to buy more time for another team more to Sabathia’s liking to approach the Yankee bid.
With each passing day, the likelihood of that lessens considerably. “(Genske) has to be concerned about them pulling the offer and moving on to the other (free agent) pitchers,” the source said. “If he blows this deal, he’s dead as an agent. For one thing, who’s going to approach that $140 million if the Yankees are out of it? Sabathia winds up with a deal $20 million less than Barry Zito? Like I said, (Genske’s) dead.”
Also in Maddon’s article, he hints that Cashman might go to a 5th year on Burnett, if need be. This must be spooking Genske. And they like Sheets, too. And they make and spend a lot of money. And the sun rises in the East.
Now that the Atlanta Braves have established the A.J. Burnett market at four years, $15 million per with an easily attainable vesting fifth-year option, it is believed the Yankees now were willing to go a fifth year for the oft-injured righty. Similarly, they were prepared to make a multiyear offer to Ben Sheets, who has a far worse injury history than Burnett.
“There’s nothing more ominous for all the clubs here operating in this economy than the Yankees being desperate for pitching,” said one agent Sunday night. “They don’t seem to care what it costs them to get it.”