Monday’s CC rhetoric


Both the rhetoric and real news surrounding CC Sabathia are ramping up. After last night’s reported meeting between the two sides, everyone had something to say. Since the meeting went, according to Brian Cashman, “great,” let’s see where everything stands.

Bill Madden kicked off the fun with his analysis of the meeting. Sabathia and his agent are reportedly trying to stall. Writes Madden:

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.”

That last line is an interesting one. Sabathia basically is waiting for another offer to come along that approaches the Yanks’ deal. It doesn’t seem likely to happen.

Seemingly in response to the Madden piece, Dan Graziano offers up a even-keeled rebuttal:

The way it was put to me, it’s not that he’d hate playing in New York or couldn’t handle it — it’s that he knows the Yankees’ offer isn’t going to vanish, and he wants to make sure he knows what all of his options are before deciding where to sign. Sounds doggone sensible if you ask me.

Graziano’s conclusion is a lot more sensible that the doom-and-gloomers predicting that Sabathia hates New York and doesn’t want to play here. In that vein, my favorite article of the day comes from Jon Heyman who alleges that Sabathia hates going to Florida for Spring Training. I’ve been to both places, and let me just say that Arizona isn’t really any better.

Heyman also notes that the Brewers may have up their offer to six years and $110-$120 million with an opt-out clause. It sounds like a Hail Mary offer made with the expectation that Sabathia isn’t going to take it. The wheels, they are a-turnin’.

Update 4:11 p.m.: A few people have started to take the “Randy Johnson was unhappy” line of reasoning in the comments, and I just wanted to drop in one more link that I forgot to include up here originally. All reports indicate that the Yanks believe Sabathia will be fully invested in New York if he were to sign. He may prefer California, but he’s not resistant to the idea of New York. He’s not a cranky Randy Johnson-type. I’m not worried about his being unhappy in New York.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. Mike Pop says:

    Of course that’s the reason CC will not sign.. 140 million dollars is nowhere near enough to entice him to train in florida for a couple of weeks a year. Heyman’s is laughible.

    Madden is right though, if Genske blows this. Ouch !

    • Thomas says:

      I can’t blame Sabathia, being paid millions to spend about a month in Florida during March does sound pretty crappy.

  2. Frank says:

    Am I the only one getting sick of this whole process? Maybe I’m being a little over-the-top, but we’ve heard way too much of CC not wanting to take this deal than vice versa. At some point, do we not just go with Plan B? At some point really, really soon.

    • Ben K. says:

      I think Yankee fans are internalizing this process though. We’re sick of it because never in baseball history has a free agent been courted with this much attention paid to him. Basically, that’s because pitchers who are the best in baseball generally don’t become free agents in their peak years and the Internet wasn’t around when this last happened.

      Had blogs and beat writers been as prevalent in 2000 when A-Rod was a free agent, we all would have gone nuts. Remember: He didn’t sign until the middle of January with the Rangers.

      It’s annoying personally that it’s taking so long because we all want the instant gratification of knowing that Sabathia is going to be on the Yankees, but when push comes to shove, as long as Plan B isn’t slipping away — and it isn’t — there’s no baseball reason to grow impatient.

      • Steve H says:

        Thanks for being one step ahead of me.

      • radnom says:

        It’s annoying personally that it’s taking so long because we all want the instant gratification of knowing that Sabathia is going to be on the Yankees

        While that is always true, this is something of a special situation.
        Several factors are making this waiting more agonizing than usual:

        1. Endless speculation in the media that he does not want to play in New York. Because of this, everyone and their mothers is trying to analyze what is going on in the bowels of CC’s mind.

        2. Quote from CC saying before the offseason that he was going to get it done “quickly” and that he didn’t really need to be wined and dined because he already knew every city. At first glance this would seem to lend credance to the speculation listed in bullet 1, but I think the difference now is that he is just trusting his agent to get the most possible money…which means dragging it out.

        3. This one applies to more than just Yankees fans. This is an odd offseason, most likely because of the economic climate, but CC not signing has really held up the free agent market. I can’t even think of a legitimate upper-mid-level guy who has signed, its all been mediocre pitching and one question mark short stop. It really is just adding to the impatience we all have for this to be conlcuded.

      • Rich M. says:

        According to COT’s A-Rod signed in December of 2000, and in an article in USA Today Boras intimated that he was signed during or around the winter meetings of that year.

      • jdub says:

        CC’s a big guy. I’d make the argument that unless he’s doing spring training in Alaska, he won’t be happy anywhere he has to sweat a lot.

    • Steve H says:

      Ben, please post the signing dates of previous big time free agents (again) to compare the CC situation to previous situations to show that it’s the norm. In fact, can you add it to every single post to make sure everyone understands how and when the big guys usually sign, never mind in a recession?

  3. UWS says:

    Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick. For the sake of our sanities, he needs to sign with somebody lickety split, I don’t know how much longer I can handle all this BS…

  4. TurnTwo says:

    Heyman stinks. Even when he’s babbling of WFAN, i just know there’s nothing there. he speaks of baseball rumors like that John Edwards “Crossing Over” guy…

    CC Sabathia… i see a team that starts with a ‘A’… or has an ‘A’ in the team name, and is set on an American coast, but not the Gulf Coast… could be the East Coast or the West Cost… a team offering 5 years, but may or may not offer 6 if a team that is in the AL also offers 5 years with an option. he likes a team that wears pinstripes, but only in the home jerseys, or could be the other way around if the home jerseys could be of alternate colors or include vests on weekends.


  5. Ron says:

    I really think if the Yanks sign Sheets, CC signs quickly, for the reason Madden stated – fear of the offer being pulled. If that happens, there’s no reason for any team to even approach the Yankees offer. CC will still be a rich man, but like you said, earning < Barry Zito?

  6. Chris says:

    I know everyone loves to say he doesn’t want to play in NY because he hasn’t accepted the Yankees offer yet, but if that’s correct then what does it say about Milwaukee? He’s had their offer for longer than the Yankees.

  7. Joe says:

    Hey Ben, what Law School finals are you studying for…I’m currently in the library studying I’m a 2L

  8. A.D. says:

    Basically it’s how ballsy the Yanks front office is & badly the Yankee’s want CC. The differences in the 2 scenarios are the pressure the Yankees put on CC by signing other players/ potentially pulling the contract to put the pressure on CC & his agent that they get left without the biggest deal. Pretty much the same thing the Mets are doing with closers

  9. Chip says:

    This is getting rediculous. He doesn’t like spring training in Florida? Is this really news? Maybe he likes Chicago-style pizza too! He’s going to sign with the Yankees in the end, it’s just a matter of when. Like you said, Milwaukee won’t offer enough, the Angels need Tex, the Red Sox don’t need another starting pitcher when they still don’t have a catcher and nobody else has both the need and the money.

    I’m more interested to see who else we get

  10. Relaunch says:

    Whats up with heyman recently? His recently articles seem more like he works for the post than anything with credibility.

    • Chip says:

      I love the constant corrections on MLBTR from both Rosenthal and Heyman’s articles. I don’t believe anything I hear anymore unless it’s in a press conference

  11. Murph1010 says:

    He clearly doesn’t want to play here. Let’s get someone who does. I’m tired of all the optimism regarding this situation. I hate having a player who plays here only because he’s getting 40 million more

    • Jamal G. says:

      I hate having a player who plays here only because he’s getting 40 million more


      • Murph1010 says:

        Because if he’s happy it’s likely to hinder his performance and could be a distraction.

        Randy Johnson hated it here, are you telling me his unhappiness didn’t negatively affect the team?

        • Murph1010 says:


          • Chip says:

            If Randy Johnson loved New York, he’d have still got lit up. It’s not like we traded him to a dynamite division and suddenly he was good again, he’s making due in the NL West

          • andrew says:

            honestly i dont think his unhappiness affected his performance… he happens to be very old and only regained form when going back to the nl.

            his era in his two years with the yankees was 4.40 while his last two years with the dbacks it was 3.85 or so… considering the change of leagues, it amounts to being basically no change in performance. his whip was also lower in ny than it was his last two years in arizona

          • Jamal G. says:

            I think his declining Fastball, inconsistent Slider, problematic back and the six-and-a-half-years he spent away from the American League had more to do with his perceived failures as a New York Yankee than his “unhappiness”. I say perceived because the guy was not bad as a Yankee, he just wasn’t “The Big Unit” as a Yankee.

            In 2007, Johnson posted K/9, BB/9, K/BB and FIP rates of 8.42, 1.87, 4.49 and 3.78, respectively. The following season was a bit worse, but again, not horrid: 7.55 K/9; 2.63 BB/9; 2.87 K/BB; 4.27 FIP. So, in essence, what ever struggles were endured by Johnson had to do with the previously listed circumstances than his negative attitude or personal unhappiness with the city of New York, in my opinion.

        • steve (different one) says:

          Randy Johnson hated it here, are you telling me his unhappiness didn’t negatively affect the team?

          not as much as his being-41ness and having-no-cartilidge-in-his-knee-ness did.

          • Ben K. says:

            And to think, Randy won 34 games over two seasons while in New York. He probably would have won, like, 50 games had he been happy, right?

            • UWS says:

              Absolutely. After all, his UHORP (unhappiness over replacement level) was a whopping 16.8! That’s nearly double the next guy (Juan Piere, 9.3).

            • radnom says:

              Oh, so wins a valid statistic when they support your point?


              • UWS says:

                Well, if he’s going to use “unhappiness” as a valid statistic to measure why RJ declined while in NYC, it’s only fair to use “wins” to evaluate his performance.

          • Murph1010 says:

            Regardless of ability, unhappiness and attitude wears on your teammates, just like it did David Wells, just like it did with RJ, just like Milwood in Texas.

            Playing here when your heart is somewhere else is not a good thing no matter how you slice it.

            If the 6/140 offer was from the Brewers, I guarantee he’d already be signed. And he’s not from Milwaukee, and Milwaukee sucks, I’ve been there, I know.

            The fact that he’s waiting for MILWAUKEE to up their offer to the yankees is disturbing. That says a lot about his feelings for NY, especially since he’s not from there and it doesn’t fit in with his West Coast preference.

            • Chip says:

              He’s waiting for Milwaukee to up their offer so the Yankees up theiers and he makes another 10 million. Have a little bit of patience, nobody other than “anonymous sources” have said he hates New York. In fact, I have my own anonymous sources and “rival GMs” that say he loves NY and can’t wait to pitch on the first day of the new stadium! See, I just made up a rumor, you can do it to!

              • Murph1010 says:

                It’s not about hearing rumors that he hates NY, it’s judging his actions that he hates NY. He has an offer for the biggest contract for a pitcher in baseball history. He’s gonna make nearly 24M per year. That’s not enough for the guy?

                You guys keep tossing the whole tired “he’s trying to drive it up another 10M” thing at me, but that’s not it at all. If the brewers offer 6/140 at these meetings, he’s gonna be a brewer, without the constant stalling to allegedly drive up the price

                Everyone here is using the “drive up the price” argument as an excuse for his stalling for ANY other legitimate offer.

                • It’s not about hearing rumors that he hates NY, it’s judging his actions that he hates NY.

                  Dude, there are NO ACTIONS AT ALL HERE that indicate that he hates New York. It’s freaking December 8th. The Winter Meetings just started. CC not being signed yet does NOT mean he hates NYC and doesn’t want to come here. It means that he’s trying to get paid. Until the Yankees start grumbling about pulling an offer off the table, it behooves CC to wait to see if he can scare the Yanks into kicking in a few more bucks, or possibly seeing if somebody else jumps in and forces the team to kick in a few more bucks.

                  CALM DOWN. These processes take time. Like many of us have said over and over, tons and tons of big-ticket free agents don’t sign until during, or after, the winter meetings. Tex hasn’t signed with anybody yet, and that doesn’t mean that he hates Anaheim or Baltimore or Washington. CALM DOWN.

                • Jack says:

                  Has he ever even said he doesn’t want to come here? I know he’s from California, but I’ve never seen where he’s actually come out and said anything. Did I miss something?

            • A.D. says:

              If Milwaukee would have offered 6/140 he wouldn’t have signed yet, means the Yanks probably would have offered more and they’d be in the same situation but with more money on the table.

        • andrew says:

          Randy Johnson hated it here, are you telling me his unhappiness didn’t negatively affect the team?

          so yea… i think thats what we’re telling you

          • andrew says:

            not to mention this whole conversation started when you said:

            He clearly doesn’t want to play here. Let’s get someone who does. I’m tired of all the optimism regarding this situation.

            which you have very little basis for… almost all the sources that they’ve been citing here have said that he is not opposed to ny, just wants to get all his options covered before committing

            • Murph1010 says:

              How can he NOT be opposed to NY?? He’s desperately waiting for ANYONE ELSE to match their offer, so he can go to that team instead. If the dodgers, giants, angels, brewers had made the same 6/140 offer the yankees did, he would have signed a long time ago.

              How many more times can you guys give the whole “he’s weighing his options” speech with a straight face? Is it not clear that nobody is gonna match the yankees’ offer? I mean, what “other options” do you guys keep talking about? What team is preparing some offer? I don’t get the blind optimism about it. You guys act like the agnels, giants, dodgers are all preparing offers. By any and all indications, they aren’t.

              It’s been clear for some time that nobody is going to approach the yankees offer, and he STILL hasn’t signed. That’s the bottom line.

              • Mike Pop says:

                It’s been clear for some time that nobody is going to approach the yankees offer, and he STILL hasn’t signed. That’s the bottom line.

                Umm no

                • Murph1010 says:

                  Ok Mike Pop… what indications are there that any team will approach the yankees offer?

                  Don’t just say “ummm no” with no basis or reasoning

                • Mike Pop says:

                  Ok example right here.

                  Tex goes to Boston then LAA makes an offer to CC for 6 126.. What are the Yanks going to do ? Not up their offer ? Don’t you think that Yanks will up their offer to maybe 156 or so ? He wants to see how high the market will go for him.

                  He might want to play on the west coast but unless a team offers dollar for dollar what we are offering dont count us out yet

              • Chip says:

                He wants somebody to approach the Yankees offer because everyone knows they’d go up another 10 or 20 million if they did. I’d be doing the exact same thing

              • steve (different one) says:

                thank God you aren’t my agent.

              • andrew says:

                what if texiera goes to the nationals? why wouldnt the angels offer texieras money to cc? there are so many other factors… big time free agents are almost never signed by december 8th

                please stop yelling about cc hating new york… its just annoying, and false.

    • I hate having a player who plays here only because he’s getting 40 million more.

      Me too. Problem is, I also love having players here who are really, really good. Hence, a conundrum.

      In the end, I’ll take the gamble. No use talking ourselves out of CC, let CC talk himself out of us instead.

      • Murph1010 says:

        “Let CC talk himself out of us instead”

        I think that’s what he has already done. Everyone else keeps offering these double standards. If the angels, dodgers, brewers offered 6/140, he would be signed already. There wouldn’t be this “let’s drive up the offer” bs.

        • A.D. says:

          How do you know?

          • Murph1010 says:

            What is he holding out for? Is he demanding the biggest contract for a pitcher in baseball history? Does he want nearly 24M annually? If that’s the case he damn well should wait for those offers

            Oh, wait……

            • Steve H says:

              If those other teams had offered 6/140, I doubt he would have signed by now, and the Yankees probably would have raised their offer. That’s the whole point. It’s negotiation. That’s what he’s waiting for. Athletes don’t leave money on the table, and if necessary, the Yankees will outdo 6/140. Until they get a competitive offer, they won’t up their bid, and CC won’t sign. If it looks like that comparable offer isn’t coming, he’ll address the 6/140. Giambi wanted to be a Yankee, the Yankees had the most money and a need for a 1b. Giambi, despite all that, still didn’t sign until December 13th. Today is December 8th.

            • Murph, I’ve got a burrito and a microwave I’d like to give you for Christmas. Shoot Mike, Ben, or Joe an email with your address and I’ll FedEx it to you.

              Overnight express, of course.

  12. Joe says:

    I think I would much rather have Tex with some sort of AJ/Lowe/Sheets/Perez combination then CC

    • andrew says:

      take perez off that list and im down for that.
      unfortunately i think texiera will ultimately stay with the angels

      although i really think the yankees should keep the offer to cc on the table, and try to negotiate with sheets/lowe. signing one of them will help in two ways: we will become more of a contender in cc’s eyes, as well not be as desperate

      condsidering the lack of news or rumors out there about sheets, i think he could be had at a very reasonable deal, in the 2/30 or 3/40 range

      • Joe says:

        I think Sheets could be the best bargain out there…everyone seems to be terrified of him because of his injuries…but everyone forgets that before CC he was a legitimate ace on the Brewers who were in the mix for the playoffs…and started the all-star game

        If he can be had by throwing a bunch of money at him for 2 years with a 3rd year option I think it would be a no-brainer…as long as they pick up one other pitcher

  13. MOOSE says:

    Hey, not sure if this was touched upon earlier, but I just noticed an interesting piece on

    I personally think this guys on crack with some of his suggesstions – whatta you guys think?

    • Chip says:

      Yeah we touched on that the day it came out. The general consensus is that Jaffe is a crack addict. Randy Winn for Hidek Matsui? Why exactly would the Giants not laugh at that? And Swisher and Nady to platoon? Not very realistic, which is why he’s a writter and not a GM

    • A.D. says:

      I actually think his pitching plan isn’t a terrible idea, and certainly a plan B if CC isn’t going to sign. However outside of the Tex signing his position moves either wouldn’t happen, or shouldn’t happen, and he has some strange love for veteran bench players..

      “an offense-minded third catcher would be nice. Greg Zaun or Javier Valentin, both switch-hitters, would be my top choices there; since Joe called dibs on Valentin for the Dodgers, I’ll take the former, and work him into the DH rotation as well.”

      Apparently a career 90 OPS+ and coming off a 237/340/359 season makes you “offensive minded”

  14. Ron says:

    From Pete Abe:

    “Towers made it clear that Peavy has no interest in playing in the American League. Towers has even gone so far as tried to come up with a trade with the NL West, something he would rather not do.”

    Well at least we can put that puppy to bed.

    • Murph1010 says:

      It’s becoming nearly impossible for me to put ANY stock even at its SMALLEST value to any jake peavy rumor anymore. At this point, if I see one, I just skip over it to the rest of the article/whatever I’m reading.

      • Ron says:

        If it’s coming directly from Towers, it’s not exactly a rumor.

        • Murph1010 says:

          If you quoted it from PeteAbe, then it IS a rumor. Is PeteAbe different from any other source for rumors the last 2 months who have been telling us about things Axelrod and Towers have said?

          • Ron says:

            Pete Abe posted Kevin Towers direct quote on his website. That’s not the same thing as Pete Abe offering his opinion.

            • radnom says:

              What you quoted was a rumor..”Towsers made it clear” does not indicate a direct quote.’

              If there is a direct quote on Lohud, post it.

            • Murph1010 says:

              Guy, when you say “PeteAbe made it clear……” that is the definition of a rumor. Look it up in the dictionary. PeteAbe “making something clear” is no different than any other rumor about Peavy that has been heard the last 2 months because EVERYONE starts their rumor by stating “Towers said” or “Axelrod” said.

  15. Baseballnation says:

    The yankees really have the ball in their court. If they pull the offer ala Boras/Arod, it would cause so much negativity on Sabathia’s agent when everyone realizes the next closest offer is 20-30 million less. The frenzy would all but force them to a table and sign with the yankees…

    • Murph1010 says:

      No, he would just sign with the inevitable angels offer of 6/120 or sign with the brewers

      • Mike Pop says:

        Eh, I dont know bout that

      • Baseballnation says:

        I don’t think so, would you leave 20 million on the table? would you want to make zito money or Johan money? 20 million might not seem like alot of difference to us other than its still a ton of money, but if a ball player can tact 4-5 million a year annually to his deal then it would be hard to balk at that. I think he would have to gauge the interest of reigniting a possible deal with the yankees under the heavy public scrutiny.

        • Mike Pop says:

          I wanna see him leave 20 mill on the table but Amber might have him by the balls

        • Murph1010 says:

          I’m saying if the yankees withdrew their offer, I don’t see him crawling back to them like Arod did. He would just take the brewers offer, which I think he is going to do anyway.

          • Mike Pop says:

            Everyone has their opinions. Where ever he goes he goes. Nothing us fans can do about it except add him to our myspace or facebook page haha

  16. Chip says:

    Just think, at least he’s talking to us! Manny won’t even return the Dodger’s phone calls

    • Baseballnation says:

      The Dodgers already got what they dealt for Manny, They now got to comp picks which will hopefully go into pitching prospects.

  17. Kayp says:

    First time commenter, but if i was in his shoes i would wait out to get the last penny. Its not everyday that you get to sign a 150+ Mill contract. Plus If the yanks pull their offer decide not to negotiate with him like they did with A-Rod last yr, no one is gonna sign him with the kind of money he is lookin for so in the end he will come back like A-Rod did b/c yanks are the only one who can afford him. I like the idea of withdrawin the offer and going after sheets and maybe pettitte and scarin CC like we did with A-rod and going with W Betimit, man that would have been nightmare this yr.

    • Chuck says:

      yeah i think there at least needs to be a deadline thrown out there. If he wants the $140 million and to play with the yanks he knows it will be there whether the offer is out there or not. Maybe signing sheets or someone of that nature will speed the process up.

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.