You don’t have to be in Las Vegas to get the sense of uncertainty surrounding Major League Baseball. There haven’t been any major signings in this free agency period, and it appears that the most sought-after free agents — Sabathia, Teixeira, Burnett — will end the week still unemployed. So what gives?
It appears that teams are playing everything close to their chests. Information continues to leak out, but in most cases it is quickly debunked. Just check out MLB Trade Rumors, where the tireless Tim Dierkes is not only reporting on every rumor he sees, but is constantly updating posts with new information, most of which contradicts the original reports.
Let’s take the Ben Sheets situation for example. Last night, while I was losing $100 on blackjack, Ben found a Mark Feinsand report that the Yanks were preparing an offer to the righty in the two-year, $30 million range. A bit later, Joel Sherman, who like most people here is shorter than I imagined him, said that the Yankees aren’t quite sure they’ll make an offer. Then, later in the night (or early in the morning), Feinsand updated his post to say that the offer would be in the $26 million range.
So are they going to make an offer? How much will it guarantee Sheets? What are his other prospects? At this time we don’t have answers to those questions. Everyone will do some digging, though, and I’m sure we’ll hear something later today about another team, possibly the Red Sox, becoming interested. Little will come of it, at least in the immediate future.
Even in the cases of players who seem closer to signing or being traded — Francisco Rodriguez and Jake Peavy, most notably — we’re still not sure exactly what’s going on. Omar Minaya and his crew supposedly met with the closer on Sunday and made an offer. That was rumored to be for three years, then we heard two and a vesting option. Now we’re back to hearing three guaranteed, for $37 million. The Peavy trade now supposedly involves four teams, and could go down as early as today.
I’m really hoping these moves do happen. It would at least be good for the mood around here. However, even though they’re proclaimed to be close, I’m not quite sure. I’m not quite sure of anything out here in Vegas.