Free-agent first baseman Jason Giambi has told friends that he expects to sign with the A’s, but his former team has him “way down on its list of priorities,” according to a major-league source.
So basically, Jason really wants to be on the A’s, but the A’s don’t have plans for him quite yet. I guess Jason is just going to hold out in the hopes that someone, anyone, comes a-knockin’ and that the someone just happens to be Oakland. Otherwise, he may be waiting a while for that phone to ring.
Update by Joe (1:05 p.m. EST): I just talked to someone familiar with Davidoff’s situation (hah! I actually got to type that for once). He is not losing his job. Repeat: Not losing his job. Apparently, his title changed recently, which may have led to the speculation. It’s good to know that Davidoff’s job is safe, though. I was thinking about it this morning, and after considering everyone in the NYC sports media, I’m going to say he’s the best columnist out there. I’m glad he’ll continue to have an outlet for his writing.
As free agent rumors swirled on Monday, two pillars of the traditional media took a big hit.
The Tribune Company, published of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune as well as the owners of the Chicago Cubs, filed for bankruptcy protection while The New York Times Co. took out a $225 million home equity loan against its new building. Without that loan, The Times Co., publishers of The New York Times and part-owners of the Red Sox, would be facing a major cash-flow problem.
According to the major players, the Cubs and Red Sox are shielded from the economic downturn, and these moves shouldn’t impact the impending sale of the Cubs to someone who isn’t going to be Mark Cuban. But within the media, these developments were another sign of both economic unrest and deep-rooted problems with the business.
On a more local level, Newsday, a former Tribune holding sold to Cablevision in May, is facing its share of problems too, and this one will have an impact on how we receive some information. According to The Post, the Long Island-based daily will be slashing 100 jobs soon, and among those jobs lost may be Ken Davidoff’s.
With papers looking to save costs, columnists — even the good ones — that focus on national issues and not local teams often get the axe. The Post reports that Davidoff may be offered a lower-paid editorial position with the paper.
Davidoff has long been a well-respected reporter on the New York scene. He writes well; he’s engaging; and he does a great job with his Baseball Insider blog. But that’s why the media world works these days. The best reporters and columnists are the ones that are the highest paid, and they are often the first ones to go. Hopefully, Davidoff will stick around the city. His voice would be missed.
Mark Feinsand has a delicious rumor for us as we head into Tuesday morning. The Yanks, according to his sources, plan to make Ben Sheets a two-year, $30-million offer before leaving Las Vegas later this week. It will probably take a third year to get this one done, but I certainly like the sound of Sheets more than I like those five-year A.J. Burnett rumors that just won’t die. · (137) ·
Day 1 of the Winter Meetings, and nothing is going on. You’d think this wouldn’t make for interesting radio, but I think Mike and I do the best we can with what we’ve got.
First impression of the Winter Meetings: a bit of overwhelm. There are lots of people here who we only know through their quotes in the media and their goofy avatars. That wore off later in the day, but it was still awesome to walk right past Peter Gammons. Dislike him now if you want, but the man is a legend.
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The Yankee trainers checked in with the folks in Vegas, and it sounds like Jorge’s rehab is going well. The Yankee catcher is one week into his throwing program and seems determined to put his disappointing and injury-plagued 2008 behind him. A healthy Jorge would do wonders for the Yankees next season. · (39) ·
Just a quick follow-up on Joe’s latest: According to PeteAbe, the Yanks and CC Sabathia met again today. While Pete also has word of slight interest on the part of the Dodgers, this second meeting means one of two things: either Sabathia is going to say, “Thanks, but no” (unlikely) or he’s hammering out what it means to be a Yankee with the team. We’ll find out soon enough what’s going on. · (109) ·
Nothing much to pass along, so I thought I’d share a bit on the MLB Hot Stove blog about the Blue Jays meeting with Carl Pavano’s agent Tom O’Connell. He claims he’s going to talk to 10 teams this week, though there’s no indication that they’re all about Pavano. · (19) ·
We know that The Yanks are on CC Sabathia’s list. Now we hear via Jayson Stark that last night’s meeting was mostly a session for CC to gauge life in New York. That’s fair enough. As Stark notes, this is a major life decision for CC, as he’ll likely be signed through most of his remaining productive years. Why not have all the information possible at hand before making that decision.
(Though someone might disagree about obtaining as much info as possible to make a decision.)
The Yanks are also making moves on their second free agent target, A.J. Burnett. Jerry Crasick reports that the Yankees are looking to make an offer, and “might be willing to surpass the guaranteed dollar figure that Atlanta has on the table for the free agent right-hander.” The Atlanta deal is reportedly for four years and $60 million, with an option for a fifth year which could bring the package to $75 million. No one seems sure about the nature of the option; early word was that it would vesting, though it could just be a team one.
Oh, and Sheets is in the house. When asked about the Yankees, he replied: “I haven’t even given it thought.” That might not sound good, but he also had this to say about his prospects in general: “There’s nothing out there for me to contemplate right now.” So we will see.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com notes that the Manny – Dodgers relationship might be coming to a close. He acquired this quote from GM Ned Colletti:
“I just find it curious,” Colletti said. “We made a [contract] offer and never heard back. We made a [salary] arbitration offer and never heard back. Maybe we have to look into the communications we’re using.”
First off, they did hear back on the arbitration offer; Manny declined. Minus that nitpick, Colletti certainly isn’t projecting a feeling of optimism regarding Manny. Most telling, to me, is that he didn’t discuss an improved offer. When asked about the chances of Manny showing up to Dodgers’ Spring Training, Colletti gave a roundabout answer. Colletti also joked that he didn’t want to go out to the lobby and see Scott Boras.
This, of course, is going to open the rumors of the Yankees being interested. I wouldn’t put much stake in these until we hear something substantial. Which in many cases means until we get a confirmed report of a signing, or that Boras and the Yankees are “deep in talks.” I don’t expect to hear anything of that nature in the next few weeks, if ever.