Yanks out to sign every free agent available


A few months after the Yankees’ unceremonious loss to the Angels in the 2002 playoffs, The Onion, the nation’s finest satirical news source, ran one of their better sports articles. “Yankees Ensure 2003 Pennant By Signing Every Player in Baseball” screamed the headline. Kat O’Brien’s latest for Newsday could almost be that article, except Kat is dead serious.

She writes:

The Yankees have expressed strong interest in righthanded pitchers Derek Lowe and A.J. Burnett in the past couple of days, according to sources familiar with the talks, after offering ace lefty CC Sabathia a contract in the ballpark of six years and $140 million…

Although pitching is the Yankees’ priority, and they traded for first baseman/outfielder Nick Swisher last week, a source said the Yankees have expressed an interest in first baseman Mark Teixeira. The Gold Glover is, with Manny Ramirez, the top free-agent offensive player available. The Yankees might simply be trying to drive the price up for the Red Sox and Angels by indicating interest in Teixeira, or they could be hedging their bets in case something falls through on the pitching front and they have money to spend.

So based on O’Brien’s sources, the Yanks have contacted every top free agent except for Manny Ramirez in the last few days. I wonder when Manny gets his phone call.

Meanwhile, these unnamed sources also answered Joe’s overnight query. CC is reportedly “mulling things over” while in Houston this weekend. As the Yankees turn, so baseball turns. The dominoes, I predict, won’t fall until someone signs with the Yankees first. So we wait.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. Stryker says:

    word is from the ny post that the yanks are prepared to offer burnett 5/80. what a mistake..

    • Alan says:

      That offer would be pure insanity. Burnett is an injury risk as it is. I’m actually a big fan of Burnett and I think he’d do well here, but he’s definitely the type of player I’d offer a Damon-esque (More money, fewer years) contract to.

      • MasterShake says:

        With you 100% on that…I would like to see Burnett out of him/Lowe/Sheets…but for 80 million over 5 years?? Pass, go after Lowe for less years and less money.

      • Brian says:

        Damon was 4/52, right? Fewer years, but by no means more dollars or per annum. In general, I agree that four years would be preferable….heck, with AJ, three years, but if they’re serious….

        • Chris C. says:

          I just love when Yankee fans propose moves based on fiscal responsibility. Because you just know at those meetings behind closed doors that Hank Steinbrenner isn’t even capable of taking any of this into consideration.

          • Because you just know at those meetings behind closed doors that Hank Steinbrenner isn’t even capable of taking any of this into consideration.

            Hank does not run this team by fiat. He is part of a braintrust. Other members of that braintrust understand that totally ignoring fiscal responsibility is bad business.

            We agree that we can and should outspend our competition. However, there is definitely such thing as a bad contract, and we should try to stay out of them.

            • Chris C. says:

              Look, I agree with you.

              But does it look to you like the Yankees are trying to avoid bad contracts? Or does it look like the Yankees are just going to willy-nilly throw a fortune at each and every top Free Agent pitcher?

              They have little interest in Teixeira, but a ton of interest in Burnett and Lowe? Are you shitting me?

    • Chris C. says:

      Yup… sooner are the Yankees able to shed their payroll of a ton of overpaid, out of shape, injury-prone ballplayers, they’re all to eager to replace them with more of the same.

      Boy, that Brian Cashman is a genius. He’s so crafty.
      How does he manage to come up with such amazing finds like Sabathia, Teixeira, Burnett, and Lowe?

      • i have no idea what you are even trying to argue.

        that the yankees SHOULDN’T pursue guys like Sabathia and Teixeira?

        • Chris C. says:

          Sabathia is a great pitcher right now, but he’s got alot of miles on his arm, and appears to look in worse physical shape ever year. But since the Yankees don’t care what they spend, I guess he’s worth the risk. As is Teixeira, who would be tremendous in the middle of the order, and a defensive stalwart at 1st.

          But Burnett and Lowe will soon be overpaid, injury-prone crap.
          Do the Yankees really need a GM if this is the way they plan on doing business?

          • Your propensity for arguing both sides of an issue and wildly leaping to hyperbolic extremes is unparalleled.

            You are a national treasure.

            • Chris C. says:

              Because I’m responding to different posts.

              I agree with your side of the argument, but I’m trying to guess what the Yankees are thinking. It’s looking like I’m agreeing with their strategy, but I’m not.

              I think I’ve made it perfectly clear that I have little to no interest in Burnett, Lowe, or Pettitte. And that’s where the GM needs to step in and figure out a way to fill the rest of the rotation, without having ot outspend the world.

              ?????? (Mussina or Sheets at a good price)

              But instead, the Yankees will spend an extra 30 million not improving the staff any more than the above rotation I listed.
              They have so much faith in their young players, they need to spend 8 digits on a vet to shut them all out of the rotation.

              So much for mimmicking Boston and Tampa Bay.

      • Nady Nation says:

        Couldn’t agree more. Teixeira is such garbage, same with CC. Who needs them?

  2. Mike W. says:

    I wish they would get in on Ben Sheets.

    • Spaceman.Spiff says:

      Sheets > Burnett > Lowe.

      • Yup.

        Picking Burnett over Sheets reminds me of picking Sheffield over Vlad.

        • really?

          Sheets has a tear near his elbow. his agent says he will be healthy, but who knows?

          i would call Sheets a MUCH bigger injury risk than Burnett.

          i say this as someone who was VERY interested in signing Sheets all the way up until September. i really like Sheets, but i just don’t know what to think about his elbow. if he needs TJS, that’s it. you basically pissed away 2 years on his contract.

          all pitchers are injury risks, but Sheets is actually currently injured.

          • i would call Sheets a MUCH bigger injury risk than Burnett.

            But you also have to counterbalance that against that fact that since Sheets is currently injured, he likely won’t be priced at 5/80. Burnett is probably just as big an injury risk because we’d be committing more years/dollars to an extremely injury prone guy in Burnett than we would to an injury prone guy in Sheets.

            And again, when heathly, this is not even remotely a fair fight. It’s Sheets by a landslide.

            • Chris C. says:

              “But you also have to counterbalance that against that fact that since Sheets is currently injured, he likely won’t be priced at 5/80.”

              If the Yankees don’t care about what they spend, why do you?
              They’re shedding 80 mill off the payroll. They don’t care about getting a guy that may save them about 4-6 mill per season, if they feel he stands to be injured more often. Whether that’s true or not, that’s what they believe.

              “Burnett is probably just as big an injury risk because we’d be committing more years/dollars to an extremely injury prone guy in Burnett than we would to an injury prone guy in Sheets.”

              You are definitely right, but it’s become abundantly clear over the past few seasons that the Yankee philosophy is that if you weren’t injured the previous season, then you’re not injury-prone. They didn’t seem at all bothered by the injury histories of Pavano or Wright or even Damon.

              “And again, when heathly, this is not even remotely a fair fight. It’s Sheets by a landslide.”

              Burnett just posted a 4.07 ERA, and people are calling it a “career year” for him. So needless to say, I completely agree with you.

              • They didn’t seem at all bothered by the injury histories of Pavano or Wright or even Damon.

                what injury history of Damon? averaging 150+ games for a decade?

                Wright was ridiculous, of course.

                • Chris C. says:

                  Damon had been playing through injuries the last few seasons with Boston, which was the main reason they weren’t meeting his price.

                  I like Damon. If the guy can walk, he’s in the line-up.
                  But he hasn’t been close to 100% since he arrived.
                  The Yankees threw money at him like he was.

              • If the Yankees don’t care about what they spend, why do you? They don’t care about getting a guy that may save them about 4-6 mill per season.

                A) the Yankees do care what they spend. I agree with you that this floated $180M payroll cap in not true, but this statement is hyperbolic and misleading. Every decision/contract has opportunity costs.
                B) The point is not the 4M savings. The point is, the fact that Sheets is a larger injury risk than Burnett is mitigated by the fact that his contract would be smaller, so while Sheets may get injured and the contract blows up in our face, Burnett could also get injured (albeit a slightly smaller likelihood) and his larger, more crippling contract blows up in our face.

                So, on the injury question, tip the scales in Burnett’s favor. On the contract length, contract AAV, player age, and player talent level questions, tip the scales in Sheets favor. I’m granting that the injury question is a negative for Sheets, but I contend that the above agglomeration of the other negatives for Burnett are greater.

                • Chris C. says:

                  You’re right. But the YANKEES believe that Burnett will not get injured.

                  You’re talking logic, but the Yankees do not always operate that way. You’re speaking from the point of view of a fiscally responsible organization, and the Yankees are anything but that.

                  The Yankees are not “crippled” by an contract blowing up in their face. Not ANY contract. They are making a fortune off ticket sales from their new palace, they’ve barely paid a red cent of their own to build it, they stand to re-pay the loan IN PLACE OF paying taxes on it heading into the future, and regardless of what they spend, their payroll will not be as high as it was last season.

                  Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman can pretend the Yankees are blue collar hard-hats all he wants.
                  But Hank tips their hand eery time.

            • And again, when heathly, this is not even remotely a fair fight. It’s Sheets by a landslide.

              sure, no doubt.

              but Sheets hasn’t been healthy for an entire season since 2004.

              and he is currently injured.

              i REALLY like Sheets. i just think you want to stay away from elbow and shoulder injuries. Sheets currently has an elbow injury.

              look, if the Yankees got Sheets on some sort of short-term discounted deal, i’d be ecstatic. it’s a risk i’d love to take.

              but i don’t know if that is realistic.

  3. blee says:

    Why arent the Yankees giving any attention to Sheets? Doesnt he have better stuff than Burnett? Similar health risks? Better attitude?

    • Mike Pop says:

      Na dude… Torn tendon = no no

      • radnom says:

        I’d rather bring back Pavano than sign Burnett.

      • Thomas says:

        I really don’t see the big deal with the torn tendon. Obviously it is a big injury, but Sheets and his agent say he’ll be ready (which may or may not be true). But more importantly, I’d assume if the Yankees were going to sign any pitcher, especially an injury risk like Sheets, they’d send him through a rigorous physical. If he passes, sign him; if he fails, don’t sign him.

        I see no downside to inquiring about Sheets.

        • I’d rather gamble on Sheets not being 100% healed with that torn tendon/torn muscle than I’d like to gamble on A.J. Burnett giving us more than one good year out of five…

          • Thomas says:

            My thoughts exactly.

          • Spaceman.Spiff says:

            Agreed. It seems like half of AJ’s good starts came against us last year. I think people here have an inflated view of how good he really is. Sheets if healthy is a potential ace, take a chance on him since we won’t be depending on him to be our ace.

            • Sheets if healthy is a potential ace, take a chance on him since we won’t be depending on him to be our ace.

              Exactly. Assuming that we get CC, our 1-2-3 is CC -Wang-Joba, which means the Sheets-Burnett question is a 4th starter question. For a 4th starter, I’d rather gamble on the upside of Sheets. When they’ve both been healthy, Sheets has been the better pitcher by far. I understand you worry that he won’t be healthy enough to make 33 starts, but we’ve got plenty of decent-to-great Hughes/Kennedy/Aceves/Coke/Giese/Sanchez/Jones/Hacker cannon fodder to spot-start for Sheets when he misses his turn in the rotation.

              Plus, Sheets would likely cost less and be a shorter deal, making him even less of an injury risk than Burnett, all things considered.

              I don’t get this move.

              • Yank Crank 20 says:

                I see your point but we need to look at something realistically.

                Joba is not our number 3. Joba needs to have his innings reduced, thus making him our number 5 so he can occasionally be skipped in the rotation. So assuming we get CC (which we shouldn’t assume, or we’ll feel fucked and helpless if he signs elsewhere), we have a top 2 of CC, Wang, then two holes to fill before you get to Joba at 5.

                • I listed Joba at #3 not because he’ll be our third best pitcher. I agree with you that due to 2009 innings restrictions, he’s effectively a #5, but in the grand organizational scheme, the core of our pitching staff–the guys we’ll have under contract for the foreseeable future and build around–that core is CC, Wang, and Joba. All other options , both in house (Hughes, IPK, Brackman, Betances, etc.) or acquired (Burnett, Sheets, Lowe, etc.) are merely supplementing/joining that core.

              • Chris C. says:

                The Yankees are in love with the fact that Burnett shut them down in 2008, and does almost as well against Boston.

                That’s all there is to it.

                Well that, and maybe the Yankees are tired of bringing over National League pitchers and watching them flop.

                I do think Sheets is better than Burnett, but I think the Yankees like what Burnett has done in the AL East.

            • MrJigginz says:

              Burnett last season against the Yankees:3-1 1.64ERA.Rest of the league?15-9 4.66ERA.Take out his stats against both the Yankees and Red Sox:13-9 5.02 ERA.

              • conversely:

                Burnett vs. Orioles: 9.82 ERA
                Burnett vs. rest of league? 3.65 ERA

                he had 2 bad starts against the Orioles.

                if we are going to start taking a sample and splitting it up, there are more ways to do it.

                you’re implying he didn’t pitch well against anyone except NY and Boston.

                it’s simply not true.

                • MrJigginz says:

                  Well,as my Met fan friend would say,”To Shea”…I guess my point was that,besides the injury”issues” there is a certain lack of consistency to him as well.Enough of one to be very hesitant to signing him to 5 years for 80 million.3 years,maybe,but 5 years?Woof…

              • Chris C. says:

                And you think Hank Steinbrenner does any homework before ordering Cashman to throw the house at certain players?

                You’ve just done more work digging up splits on Burnett than Steinbrenner’s done in a full year!

  4. blee says:

    hey Mike A., write a post about a Kei Igawa trade for Albert Pujols.. It will come true..

  5. Bo says:

    They should be in on every free agent even if they have no interest just to drive the price up for every team involved. Especially Tex.

  6. Double-J says:

    No love for Manny, but Burnett and Lowe? Ugh.

    I may be in the minority, but I wish they’d push for Manny.

  7. Adam says:

    can’t the yankees just sign nomar so i can see my late 90′s dream infield in action?

  8. Clay Parrish says:

    On MLBTradeRumors, it says that Pettite’s agent doesn’t want a pay cut from $16M. To me, that is a turn off from somebody who suffered from arm trouble and a lack of effectiveness in the second half (regardless of whether or not it was caused by his lack of spring training, once arm trouble happens, it’s more likely to happen again).

    At this point, I am hoping that Mussina comes back, because if he does, then I think he can be a good 3 or 4, assuming that he regresses (which is no guarantee). Either way, with Mussina, Joba, and Wang, we only need to sign one really big free agent, which obviously would hopefully be CC. I realize that Mussina not wanting to play may make all of this a mute point, but, in my opinion, Mussina is better than Pettite at this point in their respective careers.

    • Nady Nation says:

      People could’ve said the exact opposite about Pettitte and Moose at their respective stages of their careers just one year ago today. A lefty who gives you 200 innings every year is nothing to sneeze at, especially when he doesn’t even need to be relied on at the front end of the rotation. Is he worth the $16 mil he made last year? Of course not, but obviously his agent doesn’t want his client to take a paycut, what kind of agent would be OK with that? It’s just posturing, Andy probably won’t have any other choice but to take one if he wants to pitch again. And just an FYI, it’s “moot point”, not “mute point” (not trying to be a dick).

      • Clay Parrish says:

        bwahaha i knew that mute point sounded wrong, but i was too lazy to think about it more…oh well…thanks for letting me know

        yeah i know he gives 200 innings, but his stuff was really down last year, and he was barely hanging in every game, i don’t know how much people were able to watch games, i going to assume for the most part people watched most games, but to me, his stuff looked really flat.

        and yes, i decided to forgo grammar in this post

        • Nady Nation says:

          I’m by no means defending his season last year. But I also am definitely willing to give Andy the opportunity to pull a Moose, if you will, and have a bounceback year, which I think he’s very capable of. I’m also not ruling out a Moose return if he decides not to retire. Ideally, I’d like both back. You really can never have too much pitching

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

      I say piss both Andy and Moose off to a point where they want to play next year for someone else and get draft picks for them. (I’m not serious….or am I?)

  9. Stryker says:

    so, who would you rather have?

    lowe or burnett?

  10. Both Craig Carton and Max Kellerman said on their radio shows this morning that they were in favor of signing CC, Burnett, and Pettitte, putting those four plus Wang as the cornerstones of our rotation… and moving Joba back to the pen.


  11. Matt says:

    2009 Yanks Lineup:

    1. Damon, CF
    2. Jeter, SS
    3. Manny, LF
    4. ARod, 3B
    5. Jorge, C
    6. Nady, RF
    7. Matsui, DH
    8. Swisher, 1B
    9. Cano, 2B

    1. CC
    2. Wang
    3. Burnett
    4. Andy
    5. Joba

    Why the fuck not?

    • Mike W. says:

      Replace Andy with Phil Hughes and you have nailed my dream.

    • RollingWave says:

      similar per year money can net us Teix instead of Manny, I’d take him instead and use Swisher in LF, that’s a massive glove upgrade in both position

      • Good point. I’m pro-Manny, but I’ve always said Tex is the bigger priority.

        1) Sign CC
        2) Sign Tex
        3) Pay Jim Fowler to shoot a tranquilizer dart into Hank’s fat ass, tie him up, and lock him in a closet to keep him from bidding on A.J. Burnett


        4) Wait for one of Moose or Andy to bite on our one year offers
        4) If his elbow looks in decent shape, try to buy low on Sheets (say, maybe 3/42 with a Peavyesque 18M 4th year vesting option?)
        4) Sign Manny to a 4/100


        5) Pay Jim Fowler to shoot Lupica, Francesca, and Sherman with tranquilizer darts, just as a precautionary measure for the idiotic pieces they’d be writing about our stupid, evil ways
        6) Sent lovely fruitbaskets to Peter Angelos and J.P. Riccardi, thanking them for overpaying for Burnett and Burrell and thus ensuring themselves 4th and 5th place again

        • Ivan says:

          Nah send hypnotist to Peter Angelos and put him in a trans and tell him to get AJ Burnett at all cost no matter what. That will work.

    • Yank Crank 20 says:

      I’d rather see this:

      1. Damon, CF
      2. Jeter, SS
      3. A-Rod, 3B
      4. Tex, 1B
      5. Jorge, C
      6. Nady, LF
      7. Matsui, DH
      8. Swisher, RF
      9. Cano, 2B

      1. CC
      2. Wang
      3. Mussina
      4. Andy
      5. Joba

  12. Ivan says:

    I just read that the yanks might give Burnett 80M for 5 years. Great just great. Where’s Peter Angelos when you need him to give out awful contracts.

  13. Mike Pop says:

    Pettites agent said he doesnt want a paycut

  14. Brian says:

    Seems like they definitely want two of CC, Burnett, and Lowe. If they get only one, they’ll check in with Pettitte and Moose (the delay to announce his intent may–?– be in concert with these simultaneous, strong offers), and then after that, they’ll look more closely at Teixeira if any budgeted money remains.

    In other news, America is broke. Thank the Good Lord for the NYY! While every other team contracts (and maybe we will manage to as well), it’s good therapy to see all these dollar signs, five years, 80 mil or not.

  15. Zack says:

    Have you people arguing so hard for Sheets and citing him as a better deal over Burnett actually looked at their #s? Sheets, over the last 4 years, has thrown 130 LESS innings, and is injured AGAIN. The guy simply cannot stay healthy. he hasn’t throw 200 innings since 2004, and when he came close this season, he destroyed his arm. Again.

    You also assume that Sheets will magically come at a discount because he’s hurt. Really? There’s a reason his agent and him are saying he’ll be ready to pitch: for the money! There is no way that Sheets will command anything substantially less than Burnett. Period.

    Yes, giving Burnett 5 years is idiotic. But claiming that Sheets is somehow this much better option, or that “taking a risk” on a guy that very likely needs surgery that will cost him all of one year and affect him for the next at which point he will be 32 is a good idea is just plain wrong.

    Even ignoring that Sheets would have to transition to the AL East from the NL Central, there is really no way to argue for Sheets other than hoping he would sign for less years, at which point you may only be getting him for one.

    The argument is really about if Burnett for five years is a good idea, which we all know it isn’t. Stick to that

  16. [...] the a post summarizing this morning’s ridiculous Yankee developments, MLB Trade Rumors points us to an Andy Pettitte story. Apparently, Pettitte’s agent is still [...]

  17. ko says:

    The Yankees don’t need to sign every free agent out there, but they do need to sign two if they want to continue to compete at a high level. First is Teixeira, second is Sabathia. After that is gravy. (I like gravy, by the way)

  18. deadrody says:

    I want Texeira, regardless. But if the Sox have a legit shot at signing him, the Yankees and their league leading revenues CAN NOT allow that to happen. CAN NOT.

    Is there really any other use for the money the Yankees make than to outbid their bitter rival for one of the top 5 hitters in the game ? Seriously. If that money is not for signing a guy like Texiera AND keeping him from the Red Sox, they might as well have a payroll like KC.

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