Open Thread: So Long, Orlando


The lobby at The Dolphin, where all the magic happened.

The 2010 Winter Meetings are officially closed for business, and Joe and I are currently on our way back home. We want to take a second to thank everyone we came into contact this week, both new acquaintances and old friends.

The New York  writers were welcoming and helpful as always, especially Erik Boland, Chad Jennings, Andrew Marchand, and Marc Carig. Jack Curry was awesome as well. Then there’s the FanGraphs crew (Dave Cameron, Eno Sarris, and the dark overlord Dave Appelman who bought us not one but two amazing dinners), the ESPN gang (Amanda Rykoff, Keith Law, Jason Collette, Tommy Rancel), and then a laundry list of others (in no particular order): Craig Calcaterra (NBC), Maury Brown (Biz of Baseball), Andrew Johnson (AOL FanHouse), Alex Speier (WEEI),  Eric Hahmann (DRays Bay), Michael Fishman (Yanks’ director of quantitative analysis), the dude Glen that we met eating lunch that was part of the Texas Rangers ownership group, the other guy whose name I can’t remember that was wearing a 2000 Yankees World Series ring and now coaches in the Diamondbacks system that we met having drinks, Jayson Werth who we rode the elevator with minutes before his press conference but didn’t talk to because his family was with him, and the staff at both The Dolphin and Yacht Club resorts. My only regret is not eating more of those undercooked chocolate chip cookies. There’s a good chance I’ve forgotten someone, but I apologize if I did. We’ll be at next year’s meetings in Dallas, which will hopefully be just as awesome.

Oh, and of course, we can’t forget the readers. Thanks for the great although sometimes maddening week. As a reward, I present to you this open thread. The Isles, Rangers, and Nets are all in action, plus you’ve got the Colts and Titans on the NFL Network. Talk about whatever your heart desires, just be cool about it.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Total Dominication says:

    You have returned!!!!!!

    • Dustin says:

      Looks like Axisa stuck foot in mouth when he said last week “Who are afraid of the Red Sox”?

      1. Boston Red Sox

      They didn’t just have a great week by this offseason’s standards. They had one of the great winter meetings weeks ever. The two best offensive players available this winter were Adrian Gonzalez and Crawford. The Red Sox found a way to add both of them — and they pushed the Yankees’ buttons so adeptly, they just about forced their pals from the Bronx to go far beyond what they ever intended in their quest to sign Cliff Lee.

  2. Tom Zig says:

    Hoooraayyy welcome back!

  3. bexarama says:

    LOL Chuck Greenberg trolled everyone so badly.

  4. JobaWockeeZ says:

    Same elevator with Jayson Werth? Awesome.

  5. Ari G says:

    f chuck Greenberg seriously a press conference for that

  6. Salty Buggah says:

    About time. You should hold a conference call to announce your return.

  7. Steve H says:

    You guys were holding out like Cliff Lee.

    Thanks for all the work you guys put into the meetings, nice job.

  8. JobaWockeeZ says:

    Oh time to panic guys. Jayson Snark called us losers.

    • Sean C says:

      We’ve only retained Mo and Jeter. Yankees FO is a complete joke!!1!1

      Sadly I’ve heard people with this mentality. The Yankees are always after pitching (and elite starting pitching at that), so making a serious push for Cliff Lee makes perfect sense. However, Crawford and Werth did not represent enough of an upgrade (if any) to the current outfield. In my mind, the only things the Yankees really needed this winter was a good starter (just about anyone’s an upgrade over Javy), a lefty reliever, righty 4OF bench guy, and a better back-up catcher than Cervelli. If those are the only needs of our team, I’ll gladly be called a loser.

    • Chris says:

      Maybe, in the long run, this week will turn out to be just another blip on the Yankees’ $200 million radar screen. Nevertheless, this isn’t how they would have choreographed just about anything that unfolded.

      I think that having the Red Sox giving up 3 of their top 6 prospects and signing Crawford to a $142M deal, all while getting Jeter to take a pay cut (and 3 year deal) and having Mo on the same deal, would be EXACTLY the way the Yankees would have choreographed it.

      • Dustin says:

        But when the Yankees go out and overspend and acquire every FA out in the market it is because they want to win.


        The Yankees master plan this offseason was to piss off Jeter, not get Lee (who Cashman failed to acquire in both trade and signing) and have the Red Sox improve.

        Yankees cool aid taste so good.

  9. RAB was down for a while? Server problem?

    Anyways, today is my burffffdayyyyy!

  10. Well, I’m going to curl up in a fetal position and cry. These last 5.5 hours have been – shall we say – not exactly unstressful.

    It’s good to have you back, buddy. It’s good to have you back.

  11. Granderslam says:

    Hey Lee, you have a 7-year offer from the Yankees. What are you waiting for?! These negotiations are officially frustrating.

  12. Bryan L says:

    “Getting ready to take off, see you in New York. And @midphase, see you in hell.”

    This had me laughing uncontrollably.

  13. joeytime says:

    I’ve been tracking this Lee thing now… why do I have a bad feeling about it???
    I know we offered the more attractive deal, but it seems like Lee either wants to play near home, or he’s doing this to get more dollars annually, something like 7/175 (25m/year)… anyone else not have a god feeling about this?? Make me feel better guys! I want Lee!!!

    • I don’t know if it’s a “bad” or just a feeling, but I’m not high on the Yanks’ chances. Just a hunch. If Lee signs elsewhere for seven years, that’s ok with me.

    • bexarama says:

      If Cliff Lee wanted to play near home so desperately, when they offered him a supposedly very competitive deal to what the Yankees offered, wouldn’t he just take it? Honestly, if Texas wants to offer 7/$175 and he goes to their team, I wouldn’t be crying. That’s a LOT of years and money

      • mbonzo says:

        Don’t think they would be fielding offers from Texas so long if Lee had his eyes set there. They’re more likely to just give up on him and go in another direction, he’s either 50-50 between the two or wants to go to NY.
        If he wants to be close to home so badly he should just sign with the University of Arkansas.

      • djh says:

        I would be okay with Lee going back to Texas as well if they made a big 7 yr offer, but I also feel like Pettitte will retire and that plus losing Lee will hurt me.

        If they do not get Lee though I hope they get involved with Greinke more seriously or Cashman goes out and gets us some other young No.1 ninja style.

        • mbonzo says:

          I’m sure they will. I’ll be disappointed if they can’t land Lee but the Yankees have the money and farm system to trade for another ace. Cashman wouldn’t let the opening day roster be CC, Hughes, Burnett, and 2 scrubs.

    • YankeesJunkie says:

      It is all about the money. I can’t see the Rangers going out and being able to outbid the Yankees on any length of a deal unless there is quite of bit of deferred money (a la Randy Johnson). Now that both the Yankees and the Rangers have made offers I could see this thing being done in the next couple days.

    • JerseyDutch says:

      Not signing Lee would be a blow but they’ll find another way to build a team. This is the Yankees fer goshakes…

  14. Mark says:

    Good to have the site back, and great job on the coverage this week, loved all the chats, always love the annual rule 5 chat, cheers guys!

  15. Slappy White says:

    Do you guys have a figure on what Bostons payroll is up to now ? Seems like they may be closing the gap a bit

  16. Steve H says:

    Yankees made the 1st offer, Rangers made the 2nd. If the Rangers was better, wouldn’t Lee either take it, or go back to the Yankees for more? I think if he goes back to the Yankees, he’s there for the taking if they want him. Sure he’ll need some more time to decide, but he’s already had a shitload of time to know what he wants to do.

    • mbonzo says:

      Pretty clear he just wants the most money from whatever team. He wouldn’t be pushing this negotiation this far if he had a clear favorite team to go to. Unless the Yankees get Madoff’s soon and lose all their money, I think this is a win for the Yankees.

    • BklynJT says:

      Any chances the Rangers matched the Yankees offer, at least for a total value that is equal to the Yankees offer minus the ~81 games of tax/year that you would have to pay for playing in NY.

      • mbonzo says:

        I’ve heard the Yankees offered 7/$161, if the Rangers offered 6/$161 that would be about $27m a year. Don’t think they touched that.

        • BklynJT says:

          In the Rangers mind, 6/15Xmil would do because of the tax differences between NY and Texas, for at least 81 games out of each year.

  17. ultimate913 says:

    This is getting ridiculous. Throw in the fact that pretty much everyone else is off the board now, I hate this ALOT.

    I’m not looking foward to Nova and ??? in our rotation.

  18. Rick says:

    Could the Rangers really have topped the Yankees 7 year offer? They played one hell of a game in the media if they did.

  19. ZZ says:

    That so many Yankee fans are worried or in doubt about Lee really shows how fantastic of a job Braunecker has done with these negotiations.

    If the Rangers topped the Yankees offer there wouldn’t be any silly press conference announcing that the Rangers put their “best foot forward.”

    As long as Cliff Lee takes the highest offer he will be a Yankee. Good money says the coveted free agent takes the highest offer.

    • Adam says:

      Fantastic point. Greenberg basically scheduled a conference call to say everything Cashman did to the mass media: We made a very fair offer and it’s up to Lee now.

      The conference call struck me as odd originally because I didn’t think they would officially announce signing Lee at 8/9:00 depending on where you live. The info would have leaked first the way it did for Werth and Crawford before any of the teams officially confirmed it.

  20. Rick says:

    The one thing that is comforting is the quotes of Greenberg. “We made a variety of offers competitive in the market place.” Sounds like he’s trying to save face and say they gave it their best effort but are going to come up short.

  21. Big Bertha says:

    If we want to compete for the WS next year we have to get Cliff Lee. What Boston is doing reminds me of what we did in 08 to put us over the top. If Andy retires and we go into the season with CC-Phil-AJ-Mitre-Sidney Ponson as our 5 starters we just ain’t even gonna make the playoffs. Imagine what Boston would have done last year with better health and now they’ve added two great hitters. If we don’t get Lee it’s over.

    • bexarama says:

      Sidney Ponson is a nice touch

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      FACT: The Yankees have other plans than buying the best FA.

    • JerseyDutch says:

      Nova will make the rotation long before El Mariachi Mitre. I’d be willing to bet Joba would, too.

      • Rick says:

        The Yanks won’t have to worry about this because if they don’t sign Cliff, they’ll buy the Marlins for about half the price they would have payed for Cliff.

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      now they’ve added two great hitters.

      While this is certainly true, it must be remembered that they also lost two great hitters.

      2010 season numbers:

      Crawford 307/356/495
      Gonzalez 298/393/511

      Beltre 321/365/553
      Martinez 302/351/493

      When viewed in that context, it doesn’t seem as bad.

      Having said that, I still believed they improved their team, just not as much as the MSM would have you believe.

      • Avi says:

        Absolutely. Their improvement is gonna come from Youkilis, Pedroia and Ellsbury playing a full season. The improvement that crawford and gonzalez bring is marginal at best over martinez and beltre.
        I give the Red Sox credit though for not buying into Beltre’s big year and letting him walk and instead getting gonzalez.

  22. ZZ says:

    Bottom line. You don’t hold some bizarre press conference announcing you made a competitive offer if you just topped the Yankees offer.

    • Steve H says:

      Totally agree, I don’t see what purpose it would serve. If you knew you had the best offer on the table wouldn’t you just bide your time and let him decide. I almost wonder if it’s a pre-emptive “we did all we could but he wanted every last dollar.”

  23. bonestock94 says:

    Yankee bashing sells, it’s what the people want to hear. Minus the millions of fans of course.

  24. RAB is the puppy that found its way.

  25. joeytime says:

    I heard Nolan ryan on 1050 espn radio this morning, I think it was with Joe and Evan… He Sounded kind f down about the whole deal…he never said anything concrete of course but he could have been putting n a act…. I’m so torn between Lee wanting a 7th year @ 22m from tex, or he’s using them to get this closer to 7/170 from us…. either way, I also heard a proposal that I know Seattle would never do but how’s King Felix for Hughes , Joba , Montero , and Manny B.+ 1 more top prospect of their choice… It doesn’t sound crazy to me… anyone else???

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Despite what others may think, the package for the King is simple.

    • pete says:

      That Seattle would never do it is kinda like…the whole point

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      how’s King Felix for Hughes , Joba , Montero , and Manny B.+ 1 more top prospect of their choice

      How does that solve the pitching problem? You’ve swapped one started for another, albeit a much better one. Plus given up 3 of the top 5 prospects, and a serviceable RP.

      Sure, CC, Felix & AJ >>>> CC, Phil & AJ, but in both scenarios, you still need TWO starting pitchers.

      That is why your trade proposal sucks.

  26. Tom Zig says:

    Clifton where art thou

  27. BklynJT says:

    The Yankees are definitely in trouble for 2011 if they don’t sign Lee, but Boston only marginally improved over the performances that they got from Beltre and VMart in 2010. Sure they had alot of injuries, but dare I say… fallacy of the predetermined outcome… /mkay’d

  28. bonestock94 says:

    This whole Lee thing is really fucking up my finals studying. Read 4 pages, open twitter and MLBTR press F5 40 times, and repeat.

  29. Rick says:

    I blame MLB for this… If they had held firm last year by not letting Texas add payroll, we’d have Clifton already… Only half kidding, I think

  30. Chris says:

    If the Yankees can’t sign Cliff Lee, they are screwed with a capital S. They’ll have to gut their minor league system to trade for a pitcher who in all likelihood isn’t close to being as good as Lee. God forbid Pettite retires too, the Yankees will end up fighting it out with the Blue Jays for 3rd place.

    • ultimate913 says:

      the Yankees will end up fighting it out with the Blue Jays for 3rd place.

      Will the Red Sox be so good, they become 1st AND 2nd in the AL East?

      If you’re trying to say that the Rays got better by losing Crawford(to a division rival nonetheless), Benoit, Soriano and Pena, then lay off the crack.

    • bexarama says:


    • Chris says:

      Yankee offense > Boston offense

      Without Lee, Yankee pitching = Boston pitching (one ace, one young starter and 3 crap shots leans slightly towards Boston, but Yankees have a significant edge in the pen)

  31. Stratman9652 says:

    Great the winter meetings are over and we don’t have Cliff Lee yet. Next logical step? Ledge jumping! YAY!

  32. Damn, it’s bridge jumping season already, huh?

  33. bexarama says:

    the Yankees’ secret plan: get Texas to take Lee’s offer to seven years and $25M each year, and then have him take it, basically turning it into A-Rod’s contract with Texas Part The Second. Then we’ll buy every other team and roll out whatever pitcher we feel like on any given day.

  34. Betty Lizard says:

    Welcome back, guys! To celebrate your return, I left a review of your (great) podcast on iTunes. Thank you, again, for your smart, funny and comprehensive coverage and analysis.

  35. Mike HC says:

    Same elevator with Werth sounds like the highlight, ha. I would have definitely said something.

  36. In the unlikely event we don’t sign Lee, who do we go after? Greinke is available, but I don’t know who else. Any suggestions?

  37. bexarama says:

    I’m very pleased to see “the Yankees and the Red Sox are ruining baseball” dumb articles today (I wonder if Henry still thinks there needs to be a salary cap?). Though it’s made up for by like, Olney saying Crawford went to Boston because he wanted to be with “grinders” like Pedroia and Youk. Yes, that’s the entire reason, the $20M per year had nothing to do with it.

    • Steve H says:

      Did Passan write anything today? His piece after the A-Gonz trade nailed it.

    • Pat D says:

      Did he actually say he wanted to be a grinder with them, or that’s just what they have now. I read that article too quickly because I just can’t stomach the Red Sox praise.

      But, yea, I’m actually happy to see the Red Sox finally get called out for, you know, emulating the Yankees to the T.

      • bexarama says:

        Seriously. There’s nothing wrong with emulating the Yankees’ way of doing things if you have the money and you’re willing to spend it… which most owners do, and most teams should do. Just don’t then go crying small market, salary cap, waaaahhh!

        • Pat D says:

          Henry’s just a cryer. He pretty much proved it way back in the, was it 2003 or 2004 ALCS following that brawl where Pedro tossed Zimmer. I remember Selig and MLB ordering both teams to not talk about it, and then Henry and othe Red Sox FO crybabies hold that big press conference where they blame the Yankees for everything, forgetting the fact that Pedro threw a 60-something-year old man to the ground.

          I knew what Henry was then.

          • Adam B says:

            there is one thing I will say about the red sox and their fans and that is that all they do is whine, cry, and biatch. I mean seriously you’ve won two series recently.

            The signings do surprise me cuz the sux usually dont dole out these huge commitments cuz they usually dont need to considering the depth they have… before this they had always done things the right way… relying on their farm system so they don’t ever put themselves in a position like the one we are in now… Having no alternative to signing a 32 year old to 7 years.

            • bexarama says:

              The signings do surprise me cuz the sux usually dont dole out these huge commitments cuz they usually dont need to considering the depth they have… before this they had always done things the right way… relying on their farm system

              The 2004 Red Sox had one homegrown player on their team. One. And it was Trot Nixon.

  38. AJ says:

    Man…I could really go for an RAB Radio Show right about now.

  39. Jimmy McNulty says:

    Do what it takes to get Lee. The future free agent pitchers are pretty mediocre.

    • candyforstalin says:

      cliff lee: the last of the greats.

    • mbonzo says:

      Mark Buehrle says he might be retiring but the guys is very underrated. He’s incredibly reliable and has experience as the White Sox ace. He’d be an incredible pickup if the Yankees can get him to replace Pettitte on a short contract.

  40. mbonzo says:

    What are everyone’s predictions for when Lee signs?
    I’m saying tomorrow night, at this point I wish it was like the LeBron announcement since we at least knew when we’d hear something instead of all this BS news.

  41. Avi says:

    Boston has about $50M coming off the books this upcoming season. Drew, Scutaro, Ortiz, Papelbon and Cameron are all free agents. So they’ll have a whole a DH and the money to spend to add a premium bat. Can anyone say Albert Pujols? How about Prince Fielder?

    • Avi says:

      $50M coming off the books *AFTER this upcoming season

    • bexarama says:

      They wouldn’t be going after Pujols and Fielder unless they don’t get Gonzo to an extension, and even then I’d rather re-sign Gonzo and get Pujols (this is crazy hypothetical world, of course). Plus if Pujols doesn’t re-sign with the Cardinals I will eat my hat.

    • bonestock94 says:

      I bet Pujols gets extended, an epic one, they can’t risk having him on the open market. Especially after this offseason.

      But yea, I guess it was just a 1 year reprieve from the red sox being really good.

    • JGS says:

      They also have 20+ million coming on the books from Adrian’s extension kicking in, not to mention another 5M in raises to Lester and Pedroia (Youkilis, Beckett and Dice-K’s raises kick in next season) and first time arbitration deals to Buchholz and Ellsbury. Buchholz’s at least is probably going to be fairly significant.

      And after just trading for their first baseman of the future, that’s an awful lot of salary to pay for a DH.

      Plus, Pujols won’t hit the open market. The Cardinals can’t allow him to.

      • Avi says:

        They’ll still have about $30M to spend without increasing they’re 2011 payroll. I also doubt St Louis would ever let Pujols hit free agency but even adding Prince would make them really scary. I’d love to see the Yanks get him and watch him assault the right field stands.

  42. mbonzo says:

    So I am kind of surprised no one has talked about this, but I think I might actually have a trade proposal which won’t suck. I’ve heard people talk about Gavin Floyd from the White Sox, what about Mark Buehrle to replace Pettitte?

    Yankees get:
    White Sox get:
    Nunez, Brackman, +scrub

    White Sox have 6 starting pitchers right now and Buerhle is the most expensive. He’d also probably be a type A free agent in 2011/2012. This deal would be very similar to the deal for Vazquez last year. He’s not gonna replace Cliff Lee, but he’d be the best number number 3 starting pitcher in the game, he’s incredibly reliable.

    1. Sabathia
    2. Lee
    3. Buerhle
    4. Hughes
    5. Burnett

    Does my trade proposal suck?

  43. bonestock94 says:

    Love the Bruce extension, I hope he makes that it look like a massive steal (for the reds) soon.

  44. Mattchu12 says:

    “The Yankees have extended an offer to free agent Russell Martin and explained to his agent they view him as a starting catcher.”

    Does this mean the Yankees are considering trading Montero for Grienke? I hope not. Not that I don’t want Greinke, I just don’t want to deal Montero for anybody not named Tim Lincecum or Felix Hernandez.

    • djh says:

      I think they just want to give Montero more time to work on his D, delay his arb/FA, plus yes I bet they are hedging their bets and are prepared to deal Montero in case Lee falls through.

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