We’re not entirely sure what’s going on with Andy Pettitte. He has a $10 million offer on the table and has yet to accept it. After the Yankees inked Mark Teixeira, some said that the Yanks considered pulling the offer, but that apparently has not happened yet. So we could still see Andy re-up with the Yankees, but it’s far from a guarantee.
The alternative to Pettitte as the fifth starter is a competition among those already in the organization. I’ve frequently seen the suitors listed as Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves, etc., though I’m not quite sure whom would be considered etc. Dan Giese? Maybe as a short-term option, but he looks like a better option in the bullpen. Chase Wright? Kei Igawa? Other than throwing left-handed, these two offer little to the major league club right now.
Picking the best from Aceves, Hughes, and Kennedy isn’t the worst plan in the world — certainly it’s better than implicitly handing any of them a spot outright. What do those three have in common, though? A lack of major league experience. Not that it’s a bad thing. Everyone has to start somewhere. Yet I can’t help but think it might behoove the Yankees to bring in a veteran to add to the competition.
We’re not talking about someone like Ben Sheets here, who would certainly require a guaranteed rotation spot before signing, and perhaps a multi-year deal as well. I’m talking about someone like Brad Penny. Buster Olney mentioned Penny’s situation in his blog today, noting that the veteran righty “may soon make his decision about where he wants to pitch in 2009,” noting that he wants a one-year deal to re-establish his credibility.
Unfortunately, it looks like Penny is the only attractive name among the available free agents. By attractive, I mean someone who has had past success at the major league level, preferably on a consistent basis. Even Penny himself might be a stretch, since he could easily land a guaranteed major league deal, rather than the minor league deal which would be ideal for a competition scenario.
So while it’s nice to think about adding a new element to a fifth starter competition, it doesn’t seem very likely. There might be some names on the board right now, but they’ll start dropping once we hit mid-January and teams start to fill out their rosters. But just for the hell of it, who would you guys target as some fifth starter competition for the youngsters?
In the ongoing Andy Pettitte saga, Anthony McCarron says the Yanks’ one-year, $10-million is still on the table, but Yankee officials don’t seem confident that Pettitte will return to the Bronx. McCarron’s sources put the lefty’s return at 55-45 against, and the team is fully prepared to hand over the final rotation spot to Phil Hughes. The clock is ticking on Pettitte, and I wouldn’t be surprised at either outcome of this saga. · (58) ·
John Sickels over at Minor League Ball has posted this year’s list of the Yanks top prospects, and went against the grain by naming Jesus Montero the #1 prospect. Usual caveats with the list: some guys are too high, some too low, and it seems heavy on relievers. I don’t like the Eduardo Sosa ranking at all, Dominican Summer League guys are so far away they might as well be sophomores in high school. Phil Coke & Al Aceves … man who saw this coming a year ago? · (83) ·
While the Yankees are sleeping soundly this week knowing that their Christmas presents are safe and sound in New York, across the coast, some former Yankees are making headlines. In concrete news, the Giants have signed the Big Unit to a one-year, $8-million deal. He will join a rotation that includes Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Barry Zito and Jonathan Sanchez. If the team can find some offense, they may just have the pitching to compete in the NL West in 2009. The Giants appear to be a potential trade partner for the Yanks in their efforts to move a spare outfielder.
Across the Bay, we know that the A’s are interested in bringing back Jason Giambi, and according to recent reports, they’ve been in touch with Bobby Abreu too. Abreu is the classic Billy Beane guy. He’s a high-OBP outfielder who should come at a decent price. The A’s would be well served to have both Giambi and Abreu around for 2009. · (146) ·
It’s a quiet day for baseball news. The Yanks’ Front Office is shut after a wildly successful December, and most of baseball is quiet for Christmas. Use this thread to discuss anything you wish. Just play nicer than India and Pakistan right now.
As The New York Times Co. continues to see its newspaper holdings shed money, the company is looking to move one of its profitable ventures. According to The Wall Street Journal, The Times Co. wants to sell its 17.5 percent stake in the Red Sox for $300 million. While Barclays Capital believes this share to be worth about $166 million, The Times is shooting for the stars in a bad economy. If they are successful in getting their asking price, the Red Sox as a whole would be worth around $1.7 billion. Fundraiser, anyone? · (11) ·
Even Tuesday, hours before Teixeira agreed to terms, the Yankees were pessimistic about getting the 28-year-old slugger, the source said. Boras told the Yankees they needed a 10-year deal, with the last two years as player options. That got an absolute no from the Yankees, who had offered eight years and $180 million ($22.5 million per year).
Around midday Tuesday, Boras said Teixeira would agree to an eight-year contract, but only if the average annual value was $24 million per year, making the total contract value $192 million. The Yankees conferred, then told Boras no, that they had made a fair yet firm offer and would stand pat, the source said. Boras responded by saying that Teixeira likely would be a Red Sox.
The Yankees refused to budge from their offer, and 20 minutes later, Boras called back and said Teixeira would take their eight-year, $180-million offer.
Also working in the Yanks favor, according to Murray Chass, is that “[Teixeira] and his wife, especially his wife, didn’t want to live in Boston.” Boras says that the issue wouldn’t have disqualified Boston, but that’s easy to say after the fact.
With Mark Teixeira now in the fold, it appears the Yankees have more potential starters than they do positions for them to fill. There has been some speculation, though for the most part not based on anything said from within the organization, that the Yankees could shop one of their outfielders. They have Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, Xavier Nady, Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner, and Melky Cabrera all vying for the three outfield and the DH spots. While it stands to reason that they could try to trade one, Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News says they could shop two.
The Yankees are looking to move two from a group of outfielders of Xavier Nady, Swisher and Hideki Matsui. The Angels, Texas, Oakland and Atlanta are considered to have interest.
Wow. Two from that group. I still say it’s doubtful that they trade Matsui. What you get back for him won’t come close to what he could potentially add to the lineup. If healthy — and that’s clearly a longshot — he could replicate Bobby Abreu’s 2008 numbers. If traded, he’d bring back little more than a C prospect (of course, that’s just my own speculation). It’s tough to foist a 35-year-old outfielder making $13 million and coming off two knee surgeries on another team.
I also don’t think trading Swisher is a great idea. He’s the only corner guy under contract for 2010. Xavier Nady would have the highest value, I think, since he has one year left until free agency and stands to make around $6 million for 2009. He’ll make less next year than Adam Dunn or Pat Burrell, and won’t hav the long-term commitment attached.
The best offensive alignment is obviously Nady-Damon-Swisher. There are plenty of question marks to go along with that, most notably Damon’s ability to play center. In any case, though, it’ll be interesting to see how the Yankees approach their surplus.
The Yankees may be able to outspend the field, but when push comes to shove, they are going to have to win on the field as well. Jonah Keri, for one, isn’t quite ready hand the World Series trophy over to the Yanks. With so much money on the table, anything short of a World Series title will be a huge disappointment, but Yankee fans know as well as anyone that the highest payroll doesn’t lead to winning. After all, the Yanks have doled out the most per year since 2001 with nary a championship. This time, the money seems to be well spent, but can that translate to success on the field? · (9) ·
It seems that the Red Sox and Mark Teixeira have a decade-long history that goes back to the 1998 draft. According to Justin Sablich, Boston tried to draft and sign Teixeira in the first round, and when the then-18-year-old expressed his desire to go to college, the Red Sox made sure Teixeira wasn’t drafted by anyone else. A jilted lover — or, in this case, a first baseman — never forgets. · (13) ·