Thanksgiving eve open thread: Bluffing in Anaheim

Kennedy strong in latest winter ball start
Thankful for the Yanks

The Angels sure are being a bit of a thorn in everyone’s side. They may or may not be moving on Mark Teixeira. They may or may not be moving on CC Sabathia. While everyone else wants for a domino, any domino, to fall in this excruciatingly slow free agent season, the Angels are gumming up the works.

Now along comes word that perhaps the Angels aren’t too serious about CC Sabathia after all. Mark Feinsand serves as the outlet for a few unnamed Yankee sources and their intriguing speculation:

The Angels reportedly are readying themselves to jump into the CC Sabathia sweepstakes, but the Yankees met the news with relative indifference, still believing their offer ultimately will be the biggest and best…

One Yankees official didn’t seem too concerned with the news of the Angels’ supposed interest in Sabathia, which the Bombers believe is designed primarily to speed things up with Teixeira and his agent, Scott Boras.

“It sounds like they’re trying to get a message to Teixeira,” the official said. “That’s the guy they really want.”

The Angels have publicly said that Teixeira is their top priority, and the team probably needs him in the long-term more than they need CC Sabathia. So they bluff. They take the money they would have spent on Teixeira and toss it at Sabathia. At the same time, the Angels can drive up Sabathia’s price for the Yanks. My, how the wheel turns.

Could this bluff work? Sure. And if it doesn’t, then perhaps the Angels insert themselves into the Sabathia talks or go after Manny Ramirez. They need offense after all. In New York, we just sit and wait.

It’s Thanksgiving eve, and things are slow around baseball. To that end, this is your open thread for the next few hours. If something happens, we’ll have the news, but otherwise, enjoy the time with your family. Remember: Baseball news has a funny way of unfolding over Thanksgiving weekend.

Kennedy strong in latest winter ball start
Thankful for the Yanks
  • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

    This smelled like bunk yesterday and still does. I still think it might be best if we missed out on CC, as long as the money is spend on a few high risk high reward low year pitcher contracts and MANNY!

    • Chip

      What is everybody’s obsession with Manny? I mean the guy is a feared hitter and all but neither the stat guys (you know the nerdy ones who don’t actually watch baseball games) who look at how guys regress as they age or the “gut guys” who don’t like him because he doesn’t have a good beard and refuses to hustle sometimes.

      As far as high risk, high reward pitcher contracts. You run the risk of having another 2008 where you have one guy out there that can go every 5th day with a bunch of AAAA guys filling in all the holes.

      I’d be comfortable with a CC/Sheets/Dunn offseason. You fill in a certified ace who can give you 200+ innings a year and a guy who can be an ace if he can stay healthy. Also, Dunn will give you 50 HRs and a .380 OBP (don’t even start with batting averages and how they matter more than OBP). Having two guys like Dunn and Swisher in the lineup force pitchers out of games early because they just see so many pitches.

      • jsbrendog (rocks)

        cc/sheets/dunn would work for me but then you have to move matsui or nady or damon which becomes extremely hard because you dont want to move damon because then you have no leadoff htiter (and do not say jeter dan hit leadoff. HOGWASH)

        you could move nady true but for what and to who? and no one will take matsui if theyhave to give up anything because he has two fake knees and didn’t play last eyar. doesn’t he have a no trade too??

        but sheets is a definite if eel either way. no lowe NO GARLAND and no burnett. if all you get is sheets then sa la vie shit happens. but i do not advocate tex tying up 1b for 10 or even 7 years and i do not advocate shitty number 5 numbers from lowe or garland for that money. I would rather sign paul byrd for a year or two just because it will be just that a year or two, low cost and throw away if he sucks ( which he will but hopefully not as bad)

        basically I bring in Pettitte because its a year and who cares, we need depth and if he sucks, skip him and give hughes/kennedy/aceves/etc a spot start or whatever. depth is the key because someone who sucked could be good and someone who was good could suck so its all about warm bodies.

        if we don’t get cc, pettitte, sheets

        anybody consider juan rivera at a 2 or 3 year deal for the 8-10 mill he will command?

        • Chip

          Your basic lineup would be

          Damon – LF
          Swisher – CF
          Nady – RF
          Dunn – 1B
          Matsui – DH

          I’d imagine Gardner would still start 4 out of 5 games in center but all of those guys except Matsui have more than one position so you can vary the lineup a lot. Plus, if any of those five get hurt, you’re not losing a whole lot of offense. I mean if Matsui still isn’t 100% after this season, who is the primary DH if Dunn isn’t signed? Miranda?

          Plus, with Nady/Damon/Matsui hitting free agency next season, you would then have Swisher, Gardner and Dunn under contract so you can add an outfielder if the price is right but you’re not in desperate need for one.

          And before everybody pounces, I know Dunn is probably worse than Giambi at first with the glove. You can’t deny that kind of production though, especially if it comes on a 3 year contract

          • Bruno

            Ya know, Matsui doesn’t HAVE to start ;) he could be a helluva hitter to have on the bench.

            DH-Damon
            SS-Jeter
            3B-A-Rod
            1B-Dunn
            C-Posada
            LF-Nady
            RF-Swisher
            2B-Cano
            CF-Gardner

            Matsui
            Ransom
            Melky
            Molina

            put Damon in LF and platoon Nady/Swish in RF when in the NL

            • http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/02_01/burressDM0402_468x305.jpg Nady Nation

              Assuming Matsui is healthy, it’s an absolute joke to have Brett Gardner playing everyday and Matsui riding the pine.

              • Jay CT

                I know I said this earlier today (before it got on MLBTR), but again, I really believe that there is no way they want to get serious with Sabathia since Lackey will be free the next season. No team wants 2 pitchers in the 20 million dollar range for obvious reasons. Lackey has been a great pitcher, and he already made comments about possibly not returning unless the offense is improved. I don’t know, I think Lackey plays into this more then people might think.

        • whozat

          anybody consider juan rivera at a 2 or 3 year deal for the 8-10 mill he will command?

          I was pondering that, but timd at mlbtr pointed out that he will probably find more playing time with the Mets, Phils, maybe the Cubs. So he’d be likely to sign with one of those teams if they make an offer. I’d not mind putting him in the corner OF/1B mix, though.

      • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

        I like getting CC and Sheets but that does not address our hitting problems. I do not think Dunn is not the answer. I see where he may be a value at whatever deal he ends up getting and if we sign CC and Sheets no way we get Manny.

        Not being a stat guy one thing I do believe is not getting OLD guys, especially for multi year deals. Manny is my exception to that rule. He hits good to great pitching, especially in big spots… something we sorely need.

        Anybody on here ever watch Dunn a lot? I have not, but from what I have seen over his career I am not impressed. A friend of mine has seen him play 70 or 80 times a year for most of his career said that he is a pretty half ass player outside of the taters and OBP (i know somebody wants to quote that last sentence I KNOW IT)

        As for beards we are the Yankees man we dont got no stinkin beards.

        • Eric

          Adam Dunn’s “taters and OBP” approach would be fanTASTIC for the Yankees.

          He’s also relatively young and the market for him has been dead silent. I think the Yankees could get him at a very good deal.

          He projects not so great at D at first base, and like we’ve said, getting him means having to trade Matsui or Damon or Nady. I think Nady is most likely to be moved because of his age and he’s coming off of a “hot” year.

          A Matsui-less lineup could look like:

          1. Damon LF
          2 Jeter SS
          3. Dunn DH
          4. Rodriguez 3B
          5. Posada C
          6. Swisher 1B
          7. Cano 2B
          8. Nady RF
          9. Gardner CF

          A Nady-less lineup could look like (I’m pretending Nady and 2 B-level guys can fetch Mike Cameron):

          1. Damon LF
          2. Jeter SS
          3. Dunn DH
          4. Rodriguez SS
          5. Posada C
          6. Swisher RF
          7. Matsui 1B (bear with me)
          8. Cano 2B
          9. Cameron CF, if Nady can’t get Cameron, then Gardner

          A Damon-less lineup could look like:

          1. Jeter SS
          2. Swisher 1B
          3. Dunn LF/DH
          4. Rodriguez 3B
          5. Posada C
          6. Matsui DH/LF
          7. Cano 2B
          8. Nady RF
          9. Gardner CF

          • Old Ranger

            Sorry but, Dunn is useless and Cameron is on his last legs in CF. SO i must disagree with your assessment of the team needing/wanting either one of those guys. 27/09.

      • Jay CT

        What is everyone obsession with Manny? I think, I could be wrong here, but I think that it has something to do with him being one of the best hitters ever.

  • Chip

    Didn’t CC originally say he wanted to know where he was going to be playing next season by Thanksgiving?

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

      I do not recall him saying Thanksgiving, I thought he just said he was not going to be going around touring ballparks and that he would pick where he wanted to go and get it done quick. If it is done within the next week or two thats still considered quick.

      I think the rest of the free agents in the league would like him to hurry up and sign though.

      • Chip

        Yeah, maybe it was someone else speculating that he’d like to have it done by Thanksgiving

        • Jay CT

          No it was him but I thought he said it was around Thanksgiving. I bet we have a clear picture within the next 5 days.

    • Brett

      I would argue he does know where he is going to play. We are the ones that don’t

      • Bruno

        I thought he said he wouldn’t decide untill AFTER Thanksgiving

        • steve (different one)

          right now, CC has to focus on frying his turkey.

          • Steve H

            turkey? turkeys

    • The Scout

      Perhaps he DOES know. It’s the rest of us who have to wait…

    • Steve

      I think you have that confused. He said that he wanted to know where he was going to eat for Thanksgiving.

      For a man his size, that takes a lot of planning. There are deliveries that require a loading dock, forklifts, and industrial sized kitchen facilities to get organized. Its quite an operation.

  • http://adios,andy? godfather

    so andy is thinking he might like to pitch in south brooklyn and rejoin joe; makes sense, much more sense than nyy overpaying after his journeyman work last year; if nyy were to get two starters in the freebie chase, a rotation that ended with a no. 1, no. 2 or no. 3 (three on either side of wang), joba at no. 4 and a shootout for the fifth spot among the phils (hughes/coke), aceves and whomever, wouldn’t be the worst way to begin; it would leave money for a bat, perhaps…or it better, i’d hope

    • Chip

      I think everybody forgets quickly how good Andy was in the first half. He ended the year being almost exactly league average. If he gives us 200 innings, I’m fine with that

      • TheLastClown

        And Andy’s a conditioning-centric guy, who missed a good chunk of it going to court & being tied up with the PED/Clemens deal.

        If he trains himself, I think Andy has a final, bounceback year for us.

        CC
        Sheets
        Wang
        Andy
        Joba

        And so far as spotting Joba starts here & there to limit innings, I’d like to see Aceves get first look, followed by Hughes and then Kennedy. People don’t seem to have a great opinion of Aceves, was it the BB total? I liked what I saw. He seems to enjoy the competition a lot.

        Of course that all depends on ST.

  • Bruno

    Red Sox signed Billy Traber lol

  • B.George

    Angels are without a doubt bluffing with this offer to CC and they want Tex demands to come down. THey traded for Tex last year because they couldnt score any runs and now they are going to let him and Anderson walk? Makes no sense to me. Also without Sabathia they have one of the best rotations in baseball with 3 all stars in there rotation. Hitting is there achillies heal not there pitching. They need Tex more then they need Sabathia.

    • TheLastClown

      Do you think Boras will allow Tex’ demands to come down?

      He’s the hottest offensive commodity on the market, and if someone knows how to milk that situation for all it’s worth, it’s Scott Boras.

      Guy’s just predatorially good at his job.

      • whozat

        From 10 years? I think so. Unless there’s an ARod-to-the-Rangers situation out there, I just can’t see any team doing that.

        • TheLastClown

          10 years is the highball. I don’t think that’s the “demand” which obviously we don’t know since it’s behind closed doors. Like telling the Yankees A-Rod would start at $350M/10.

          I don’t think he’ll get 10 years either, but wherever Tex’ bar is set, I don’t think it’ll come down.

          • whozat

            Ok…but that’s kind of a content-free statement, since you also assert that we don’t know where his bar is currently set.

            I figured that, when people are talking about a “player’s demands”, they’re talking about the numbers we’re hearing tossed about by their agents.

            • B.George

              He let Beltrans demands come down because he wanted to come to the Yanks but Cash said no like an idiot.

              • Mike Pop

                I agree, Cashman’s biggest mistake

                • Ed

                  It wasn’t Cashman’s mistake. When the offseason started, the front office agreed they had the budget to make one big acquisition. George wanted it to be Randy Johnson, so, Cashman couldn’t get Beltran if he wanted to.

  • Tooch

    I’m fairly confident there’s a west coast team, pulling off of Matsui’s popularity within the Asian market, that would take a low-cost chance on him. We don’t even need much in return, just a prospect or two as insurance. Plus, I think Matsui would approve a trade to the West Coast, where I’m sure he’d be popular. He’s been mentioned before in the same breath as the Giants and the Mariners, plus we know Oakland is trying to improve offensively.

    I’d love to see Dunn as the DH, Swish at 1B, and still have Damon in left and Nady in right. I think it’s feasible.

  • MS

    I don’t understand how the Angels making an offer to CC is a problem for Tex. If the Angels sign CC then Tex. knows he still has the Yanks and Sox fighting for him (supposedly he wants to go East anyway). If the Yanks sign CC then he still has the Angels and Sox. SO I don’t see Tex and Boros getting too nervous over all of this.

  • joe kappa

    cc/(burnett or sheets maybe both)/manny

    not dunn i’ve seen him play plenty of times and he is not worth it he just hits homeruns in groups but when he is in a slump he cant do nothing but strikeout, manny wants to play for the yanks and he wants to win so get him

    • whozat

      “he cant do nothing but strikeout”

      Grammar aside, this isn’t true. He also walks. That’s what makes him a valuable offensive player, despite his K rate. Not someone you’d want until he’s 35, but if he winds up available for a 4 year deal…I think it’s something you’ve got to look at. He’s a source of biiiiiig OBP, which is something the Yanks would do well to get some more of.

      Do you make do with Dunn as the primary 1B for one year, with Swish moving to the IF from the OF late in games and inserting Gardner in the OF, and then move him to DH after 2009? If Tex is not available, or requires 8 years…maybe that’s a more appealing option. Certainly more appealing to me than signing Manny until he’s 42 years old.

      • Jay CT

        I think every comment you have made tonight has been spot on man. I think Dunn would be a great addition. I think CC still winds up a Yankee, and the longer it draws out the more likely I see him here (I am sticking to the Lackey payout thing). Well done man

  • Matt

    I dont think were getting cc. I think cc will sign with the angels. Once the angels sign cc, then they wont have enough money for tex since they have lackey to worry about next year. I dont see Boston going after anyone big since josh beckett is a free agent next year.
    Wang
    Lowe
    Pettite
    Joba
    Hughes

    • AndrewYF

      Beckett has a $12 million option which will (unless Beckett comes down with some serious injuries this year…not unlikely) be picked up.

      You gotta believe the Sox love Tex, even long-term. Their lineup has lost Manny, and likely has lost the near-MVP Ortiz. Pedroia and Youkilis are going to come down to earth (and Youkilis, as a free agent at 31, will want a nice $15 or $16 million a year deal, for 5 years, at the least, which Boston will likely scoff at while making every attempt to make all of New England despise him just as much as we do now), who knows how many games Drew will play, they have no catcher, Lowrie is very, very far from a sure thing at SS, as is Ellsbury in CF. Jason Bay is also going to require a massive extension after this season, which the Sox will likely just not give him. Tex offers them a great deal of stability.

      • Mike Pop

        Wait a minute, Lowrie isnt the best shortstop in the AL yet ?

  • BigBlueAL

    I believe it was Thanksgiving Eve 1998 when word got out that Bernie was indeed re-signing with the Yankees after it seemed he was gone for sure. THANK GOD he did re-sign, because if I recall correctly Plan B was signing Albert Belle to play LF and acquiring Rondell White of all players to play CF!!!!

    Bern, Baby Bern….

    • steve (different one)

      it was that night. i remember where i was when it happened.

      good call.

      • Elston32

        Ron DL White – those were the days. 4 years later he did manage to post his worst full season numbers while wearing a Yankee uniform:
        http://www.baseball-reference.com/w/whitero02.shtml

        Happy Thanksgiving to all.

        • BigBlueAL

          He did hit a HR off Jarrod Washburn in Game 1 of the ALDS that season, then promptly missed the rest of the series due to an injury that occured during that game (while he was the DH). Sigh….

        • Steve H

          His arm made Damon’s look like Dave Winfield.

          • Elston32

            BigBlueAL & Steve H – those 2 comments are classic.

            Thanks (or maybe not) for the memories!

  • Ivan
  • Steve

    I’m sure most of the regulars around here will be doing family stuff tomorrow and won’t be posting, so I just wanted to wish everyone (except TSJC! Grrrr!) a very happy Thanksgiving.

    • Mike Pop

      Ya TSJC = Huge Asshole

      • Steve

        I was kidding. He’s one of my faves around here.

        Happy Thanksgiving to TSJC, and all my fellow River Ave buddies.

        • Mike Pop

          Lol I know TSJC is the man

  • Old Ranger

    It seems as though CC is the epicenter of all the FA signings. It also looks as if the main theme here is patience.
    CC will go where he wants to go, regardless of the money involved. Hell, if he will get 20mm+ for even 5 years=100mm…he’ll be set for life anyhow.
    No CC in pinstripes, ok plan “B”. Sheets is a good fit, if we could get one of the two…i’m fine with that. Sheets/CC, CMW, Joba, Andy, Phil/Aceves/Giese, this wouldn’t be as dominant as both CC and Sheets but it would be good enough to win it all if, we get Tex. I can’t see a justification for Dunn or Manny, sorry…but that’s my take on those two. One is old (slowing bat) and the other can’t seem to play baseball…other then hitting.
    This team can win with good defence in the OF and 1st base/catcher, even without the great CC and AJ. Just ad one of these good pitchers; CC, AJ, Sheets, Peavey along with Tex…more balance, defence, youth, and money left over for one really good OF in 2010. Granted we need bounce back from Jorge, Matsui, Cano, Jeter and improvement from Brett, Swish, X-man, Andy and Phil. Nine guys, if underachiever never appears in relation to these guys in 2009 we can do it…it will be tough, but do-able. 27/09.

  • Steve

    MLBTR

    “A.J. Burnett Rumors: Wednesday
    By Tim Dierkes [November 26 at 7:23pm CST]

    MLB.com’s Mark Bowman chatted with A.J. Burnett’s agent, Darek Braunecker. Braunecker is confident he can get a five-year deal for Burnett, though a fifth year is not necessarily a requirement. A four-year deal is possible if the average annual value is significantly higher. My feeling: why pay Burnett $72MM over four years if you could get that fifth year for a marginal $8MM?”

    So it appears the 5th year isn’t a minimum requirement after all.

    • Ivan

      yea but the yearly salary might be pretty high. Pay AJ Burnett 18M a year, yikes.

      • Steve

        The news I got from that was that the 5th year stuff was bullshit. His agent clearly dried up his market, so now he’s backing off those comments.

        As far as the AAV goes, that’s the going rate these days for a #2 starter. Don’t forget, Santana got 23 per and CC’s looking at 24 or more.

        • Ivan

          To Think Mussina average 18M couple seasons ago when he was considered the crown jewel of pitching when he was a FA.

  • Steve

    http://www.nomaas.org/gennaro2.html

    Great read, Sports economist Vince Gennaro answering NoMaas reader questions. Part 1 was a good read as well.

    • Steve

      Here’s a good tidbit about the economy affecting free agents

      “This is all happening at the same time Yankee and Met revenues are jumping by $100+ million each, probably leading to a robust top end of the FA market. I think mid-market teams will be more conservative in the free agent market. You may have to look closely to see it, as I would think the pullback might (and should) come in terms of the number of years rather than average annual value of contracts.”

      That’s not surprising. Agents and GM’s typically look at contracts in terms of total offered, not necessarily the AAV. So a pull back would mean a mid tier starter would still get around 14 mil per season, but instead of getting 56-70 mil/4-5 year deal, they get 3 years and 42mil.

  • VO

    I would say get CC, sheets,pettite this will get rid of the 15 or whatever amount of money they would offer to brunett as sheets will go for cheaper, make a good bid for teixiera DO NOT get into a bidding war make a bid and make it final. Then make matsui DH, put swisher on the pine damon in left melky/gardner spliting time in cf and nady in right (lets remember guys with an infield of teixiera,cano,jeter,arod you dont need 3 prime guys in the outfield) hopefully posada can catch, now you have a rotation of: CC, Wang, Joba,Sheets,Pettite and let Hughes or whoever is proven in AAA go when Joba can’t. Then you have a lineup of: Damon LF, Jeter SS, Cano 2B (provide a good spring) Arod 3B, Teixiera 1B, Matsui DH, Posada C, Nady RF, Melky/Gardner CF.

    • Tooch

      I’m pretty sure not even the Yanks could afford to sign CC, Sheets, Pettitte and Tex. That’s $75-80 million in payroll just for 2009, plus two of those guys will be signing for 6+ years…

      • VO

        I understand your thinking with the 6 years for 2 of those guys but i wouldnt mind CC and Tex for 6 years if they can keep producing,

  • Old Ranger

    I’m sure most people will be celebrating with family, traveling and won’t be posting, so I just wanted to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving…may God watch over the travelers. 27/09.
    PC police…get over it!

  • Bruno

    Happy Thanksgiving to all

  • Manimal

    Theres alot of bluffing going around. I think the Angels and Yankees should agree to stay on their own Free agents, No one wins if the yanks ends up with Tex and Angels end up with sabathia.

    • Reggie C.

      I agree. Have the Angels even submitted an offer yet to Teixeira? I would think that word would’ve gotten out and made the rounds. Boras made public the first Dodgers offer for Manny, so I’m pretty sure Boras would’ve made public a pathetic offer on Tex had one been made.

      Imo, Its all chatter created by the writers who are bored of CC’s wait-and-see approach.

  • Beau

    Sabathia will be a Yankee… I know it’s a bold statement, but the Yankees already showed what they think he’s worth with their initial offer. They wanted Johan too, but did the conservative thing and held on to their young talent. This is much different. C.C. is a free agent and one of the few ace lefties in the last 10 years. With the team freeing up some salary space they are in a great position to be aggressive in order to land him. Bidding is always going to happen to drive up another teams price, but the Yankees want Sabathia and I think will get him at almost any cost. I don’t care that he prefers to play on the west coast. Baseball players want the highest payout and I don’t see him settling for anything other then the highest offer.