Nov
23

In the weeks leading up to the Winter Meetings

By

We know there’s plenty of big news to come in the baseball world. Nearly every free agent is still in play, so we’re not only going to get news of their signings, but we’re also going to get news from teams of interest. Who’s in on whom; who just made a mega-offer; where does Player X really want to play? It’s what makes the Hot Stove so damn exciting.

However, we shouldn’t expect anything huge to happen over the next few weeks. There’s going to be a lull this week because of the holiday, and then next week because it’s the week before the biggest event of the off-season, the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. You might hear some rumblings, but it’s doubtful that anything gets done before December 8.

Writers, of course, still need to file material. You’ll probably see some regurgitated news here at RAB over the next two weeks. It’s just the nature of the beast. That doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t make fun of the kind of news that’s popping up. Perhaps that’s the best way to deal with the dearth of activity to come.

Today we first turn to Buster Olney, who riffs on the idea of CC Sabathia and LeBron James playing in New York. This on the heels of the Knicks recent trades, which gives them significant cap relief in the 2010 off-season, when James will be a free agent. Olney notes the friendship between the two:

Sabathia developed a friendship, through his years in Cleveland, with LeBron James, as the two became the biggest stars in a small town. They have bopped around New York together in the past, and on Friday, the Knicks made trades that are being viewed as precursors to their pursuit, in another 20 months, of James.

Presumably, at some point, Sabathia and James have shared a conversation about living and playing in New York at the same time — Sabathia for the Yankees, James for the Knicks. James, as the world famously learned in the playoffs of 2007, is a Yankees fan.

Olney makes the conclusion that this could potentially be one of the intangibles which attracts CC to the Yanks. You come into California and conquer, yeah, big whoop. You come to New York and conquer, man, that’s something else. It’s not like it’s easy to do, even for the most elite athlete. Just ask A-Rod.

Then we have Randy Youngman, columnist for the Orange County Register. His Saturday article features the headline “Angels likely not on Teixeira’s wish list,” and the subhead is “The free-agent first baseman seems to be leaning towards and East Coast team.” The key word in that header is “seems.” Because what follows is nothing more than an ill-informed opinion.

Knowing agent Scott Boras’ affinity for the big stage, I’m guessing Teixeira’s headline-grabbing signing will be announced during baseball’s winter meetings Dec. 8-11 in Las Vegas. What better place for the rich to get richer?

But I don’t think it will be with the Angels. If he were going to re-sign in Anaheim, I think it already would have happened. Just a gut feeling. Even the people I talk to in the organization don’t seem optimistic.

Has Youngman never experienced a hot stove season before? Thing like this take time to develop. If Scott Boras is your agent, you probably aren’t going to give a hometown discount (there was apparently a lot of strife between the agent and Andruw Jones after he took a discount to stay in Atlanta a few years ago). The Angels will surely make an offer, and it could very well be competitive enough to keep him. If the rumblings have any merit — eight years, $160 million — you can probably pencil Tex into the Angels’ starting line up for 2009 and beyond.

These are just some examples of what you can expect to see in the coming weeks. We’ll try to be on our best behavior, but sometimes you just gotta point these things out.

Categories : Hot Stove League

23 Comments»

  1. Steve says:

    Tex has been described as “The Ultimate Boras Client”. He was so intent on not establishing any roots in LA that he stayed in Boras’ guest house the entire season.

    He’ll go to the highest bidder, and at age 28 a 7-8 year deal in the 150-175 mil range will be reasonable.

  2. YankCrank20 says:

    It has to be hard to essentially make up relevant baseball stories and still keep your journalistic credibility.

    • Steve says:

      I love Buster, but he’s had a rough off season. He actually buys the Red Sox spin about them seriously going after Tex. Which means half the team would change fielding positions and either the popular Lowell (bad hip/24 mil) or the even MORE popular Ortiz (Bad wrist/25 mil) will be traded. That’s tough to take seriously.

      • Steve says:

        Oh, and 1B Lars Anderson is their #1 prospect and should be called up within a year or so. Maybe sooner, he destroyed AA last year.

        • Jim says:

          Your skepticism about the Red Sox’ interest in Texeira is ill-founded. Only the injured Lowell will be displaced, and Youkilis has shown he can play 3b. Anderson replaces Ortiz part-time in 2010, full-time later. Texeira is the the perfect fit for the Red Sox, and they for him: only they can offer him top dollar, a sane management team, and a chance to win every year

          • YankCrank20 says:

            I agree with Jim’s analysis of genuine interest in Tex by the Sox, but with Boras being his agent all Tex really cares the most about in all of your reasons is top dollar. In that theory, I don’t understand how the Sox are the only team that can offer him top dollar? Maybe the Sox (we don’t know this) would be more willing to spend an insane amount for him, but if we’re talking top dollar we all know the Yanks, if they wanted to, will offer top dollar over anybody.

  3. ortforshort says:

    I’m a believer in teams jsutifying spending the big bucks when they have a pressing need. The Angels gave up prospects for Teixeira last summer and it looks, on the surface, that that’s where their focus is. The same with the Dodgers and Manny Ramirez. Neither of those clubs have the starting pitching shorts that the Yankees do and with their focus on landing the big hitters, it doesn’t seem that the Yankees will have much competition from either of them for Sabathia. On the other hand, it looks like the Angels are all alone in the Teixeira sweepstakes. I agree that there doesn’t seem to be a compelling reason for the Sox to go all out for Teixeira. They’re better off locking up Jason Bay long term. Unfortunately, I get the feeling that Cashman isn’t looking to pursue Teixeira very rigorously. Cashman seems to be focused on starters, which we need, but its too bad about Teixeira because the Yankees desperately need him. To me, the Swisher deal was a very bad sign of what Cashman’s got on his mind.

    • YankCrank20 says:

      Swisher a bad sign? Where exactly is it bad to give up nothing for a player who is young, cheap, cost-controlled, versatile, switch-hititng, defensively-superior to any 1b we’ve had since Tino not named Mietncwiethcuz and a guy who can hit 25-30 home runs and walk 100 times? If that’s a bad sign to you than you may want to move to DC and be a Nationals fan.

  4. pat says:

    it looks like the Angels are all alone in the Teixeira sweepstakes
    I get the feeling that Cashman isn’t looking to pursue Teixeira very rigorously. Cashman seems to be focused on starters

    Please keep in mind that about %99.99 of the information out there is pure bs conjecture from bored reporters. In case u hadn’t noticed cashman has not made any public comments about what specific free agents he is targeting. Did anybody think we were interested in swisher? How about the farns for pudge swap? Marte and nady? Cashman plays it close to the vest at all times, and until a deal is made public all you have to go on is peter gammons and buster olney talking out their asses. As for swisher, we’re going to have at least 2 holes in the lineup at corner OF positions next year, both of which could be occupied by swisher.

  5. Mike Pop says:

    Its going to be rumor-mania during the meetings.. God its gonna suck cause I have finals around that time.. Darn-it

  6. zachy says:

    what do you guys think about plan B (or C’s) for the rotation, high-potential, low-risk guys like freddy garcia, maybe jason jennings?

  7. ortforshort says:

    I’m curious as to why everyone thinks Swisher is going to be something other than the mediocre player he’s always been and why the Swisher deal was this unbelievable coup. He’s got a bit of power, takes a lot of walks, but is not much of a hitter (.219 last year and .244 lifetime). He’s a nice addition as a utility player, but he shouldn’t be mentioned in any way as someone who mitigates the need to get Teixeira which is my fear (maybe unfounded) as to what Cashman thinks.
    As far as payroll. If you’re the Yankees, you need to spend money to make money. Its the only advantage the Yankees have – and the only way they can compete consistently on a high level. When your team just missed the playoffs for the first time in fourteen years and is on a definite downward spiral, focusing on cutting payroll seems absurd to me, especially when the team has money to burn. To me, the goal should be to put the best team you can on the field using the resources at your disposal (money), but Cashman’s goal appears to be focusing on a self imposed payroll limit of 180 million. Unclear to me why any Yankee fans would be applauding that.

    • Rich says:

      Maybe no ones “thinks Swisher is going to be something other than the mediocre player he’s always been and why the Swisher deal was this unbelievable coup”

      Because Swisher hasn’t always been mediocre, nor anywhere close to mediocre. He had a poor year last year. Other than 2008 he’s been very good.

      Unless you’ve spoken to Cashman recently and he was straight with you all you’re doing is guessing / projecting.

  8. Derek says:

    just have a quick question. I read some where that tex dislikes boston for something they did to him when he was still in school and got drafted. to hurt his ranking or salary or something. Is there any truth to this.Does he still possibly hold a grudge against boston. Any info appreciated. Not trying to start false rumors just trying to verify facts.

  9. nick blasioli says:

    i dont understand why the yankees just dont offer tex an eight year deal for l60 mil and let the other teams feed off of that…the yanks could counter offer and away we go….what the heck is the holdup….heres hoping we get tex…..

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