Right now, the Red Sox and, to a lesser extent, the Angels must be reeling. The Yankees just swooped in and captured the big offensive prize of 2008 a few weeks after signing two of the top pitchers out there as well.

But while baseball fans from across the country line up to boo the extravagant Yankees, the real loser in the Mark Teixeira hunt isn’t one of the Yanks’ fellow competitors. It is none other than Manuel Aristides Ramirez, a player just a few days ago who was rumored to be heading to the Yanks as early as today.

Over the weekend, it seemed as though the Red Sox would emerge with Mark Teixeira. They needed a bat to replace Manny and to back up David Ortiz in their lineup. While they have Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell, they were about to go all in to land Teixeira. Had the Red Sox landed Teixeira, the Yanks probably would have turned their attention to Manny as a response, and Manny and Scott Boras knew that.

In fact, according Dan Graziano, the Yankees were more than prepared to make Manny an offer. Had Teixeira left for the Red Sox, Manny would have quickly become a Yankee, according to Graziano’s sources, and those sources were probably feeding Impacto Deportivo too when it seemed as though Teixeira was about to sign with the Red Sox.

Then, the unthinkable happened. The Red Sox got cold feet over a long-term, high-dollar deal, and the Yanks, long rumored to be on the periphery of the Teixeira negotiations, swooped in and landed themselves a $180-million Christmas present, Manny be damned. As they had hoped all along, Boras came calling at the last hour, and the Yankees blocked their rivals from landing a big bat and a Gold Glove first baseman, but they’ve also halted the Manny market.

Right now, things are at an impasse for Ramirez. The outfielder claims to be searching for a four- or three-year deal, but none have materialized in weeks. The Dodgers have withdrawn their two-year offer, and the Angels say they are unequivocally not interested. Even the Mets, in need of some help, say they aren’t interested either. The only other team that makes sense — the Red Sox — separated less than amicably from Manny just five months ago. As hard as it is to believe, with the Yankees out of the picture, no team is currently bidding for the services of Manny Ramirez, a future Hall of Famer.

Of course, over the next few weeks, that will probably change. As evidenced by their $170-million Teixeira play, the Nationals clearly have money to spend, and Manny might help fill seats in D.C. The Dodgers say they’re still interested and now have little competition. Manny will get some of his millions, but he won’t get what he could have gotten from the Yankees. This time, only one of Scott Boras’ clients will win.

Still, despite Tuesday’s turn of events, the Manny-to-the-Yankees crowd just won’t stop. In a piece published mere minutes before the Teixeira signing and hastily edited a few minutes later, Stephen A. Smith claimed that the Yankees need Manny. He stands by that stance. Meanwhile, Jesse Spector of The Daily News thinks the Yanks can add Manny and still cut payroll. But I’d say it’s all over for Manny and the Yanks.

Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner probably aren’t completely through with their winter spending yet. Andy Pettitte is still out there, and the Yanks could choose to revisit the Mike Cameron talks next month. Manny, however, isn’t in the cards, and while Ramirez once thought the road to the bank went through the Bronx, he emerged from Tuesday as the biggest loser so far.

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Roxanne Geyer at WCBS Newsradio 880 sent along another batch of overheard shots of the new and old Yankee Stadiums. As you can see from Tom Kaminski’s photos, the weather is a far cry from the dog days of summer.

From the photo above, you can get a clear idea of the new stadium’s seating bowl. The new upper deck is a bit more recessed from the field than the more intimate one at the old stadium. We’ll have to find out in April what it’s like sitting up there. Meanwhile, someone has placed a Christmas tree on the pitchers mound. Clever, clever.

Categories : Yankee Stadium
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You know what the coolest part is? They actually have the pitching to go along with it this year.

Here’s your open thread for the night. I’m sure you’ll find something to talk about, but if not you can chat about the Rangers taking on the Caps at home. Oh, and make sure you check out the great stuff longtime RABer Dave is doing at his recently launched site, Blueseat Blogs.

Play nice.

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So I spend my day having lunch with my parents, and I come home to this news. It’s fairly shocking, but as my dad said, “I expected that.” Mark Teixeira and the New York Yankees just made too much sense. He fills an obvious need right away, and even if the deal includes the ever-popular opt-out, the Yanks will get a few years of Teixeira’s peak.

As details about the signing emerge, Dan Granziano runs them down. The deal — eight years and $180 million — will contain a no-trade clause, and we’ve just learned via Danny Knobler that it will not contain an opt-out clause.

What this Teixeira signing indicates though is that a new generation of Steinbrenners is willing to spend what it takes to win just like George. They’ve also managed to do so without trading any of their prized young arms. Here’s what they have, as per Graziano:

Alex Rodriguez (2008-17): 10 years, $275 million
Derek Jeter (2001-10): 10 years, $189 million
Mark Teixeira (2009-2016): 8 years, $180 million
CC Sabathia (2009-2015): 7 years, $161 million

He writes further:

Those are also four of the five largest contracts in baseball history — the fifth being the 10-year, $252 million deal Rodriguez signed with the Rangers prior to 2001. Rodriguez was traded to the Yankees after the 2003 season and opted out of that deal to sign a larger one after the 2007 season.

Also, assuming the deal goes through, the Yankees will have signed six major free agents since the end of the 2007 season (when George Steinbrenner‘s sons took control of the team) for a total of just under $800 million:

Alex Rodriguez: 10 years, $275 million
Mark Teixeira: 8 years, $180 million
CC Sabathia: 7 years, $161 million
A.J. Burnett: 5 years, $82.5 million
Jorge Posada: 4 years, $52.4 million
Mariano Rivera: 3 years, $45 million

The Yankees are playing with house money. They’ve bought the pieces they need to supplement the prospects they’re developing. We’ll find out starting in April how it all works. Right now, the Yanks are rich, and they’re not afraid to spend, spend, spend.

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As first reported by Jon Heyman and confirmed by Buster Olney, the Yankees are finalizing a deal with first baseman Mark Teixeira on an eight year deal worth $180 million. The deal reportedly includes a full no-trade clause. There is no word on a possible opt-out.

This comes in on the heels of a confusing morning in which many sources thought Teixeira would sign with Boston today. Some questionable sources even said that the two parties had an agreement in principle. That doesn’t appear to have been true, though.

Categories : Hot Stove League
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  • Bernie’s baseball return
    By

    The not-retired Bernie Williams made his Puerto Rican League debut last night. Bernie, DHing, went 1 for 3 with a single and a strike out as he prepares to make his case for the World Baseball Classic. As long as Bernie doesn’t embarrass himself, this should be his last baseball hurrah. Perhaps, after this, the Yanks can have the long-awaited Bernie Williams Day at the new Stadium this year. · (28) ·

  • Yanks roll back ticket prices for exhibition games
    By

    Ticket prices for the Cubs-Yanks exhibition games on April 3rd & 4th will be set a 1923 prices, when the original Stadium opened. Bleacher seats will go for $0.25, and tier will go for $1.10. The best seats will be available for anywhere between $20 and $50. Season ticket holders will be given their seats for free (bastards), and there will be a presale for people with partial plans. I am so there. · (15) ·

  • Murti: Spend on Teixeira
    By

    Courtesy of Sweeny Murti, here is an interesting take on the path the Yanks should follow. The WFAN personality wants the Yanks to swoop in as they did with Johnny Damon and sign Tex to a short-term deal with a high average annual value. He’d then be able to cash in on another payday while still producing, and the Yanks could fill an obvious hole with the proper piece. While I disagree with Murti’s second plan — trading for Aaron Roward is a waste of money and resources — I like this stealth move he proposes. It’s probably just crazy enough to work.

    Update by Mike (11:41 a.m.): Looks like we’ll get a Tex announcement today. My guess: BoSox for 8/188.

    Update by Ben (11:44 a.m.): Buster Olney ponders the Yanks’ receiving an offer they couldn’t refuse from Boras for Teixeira. I guess we’ll know soon.
    · (211) ·

We have some Manny updates we never got around to mentioning yesterday. It seems as though a rather amusing game of “nuh-uh, uh-huh” is developing between some random news site in the Dominican and the Yankee front office.

After Brian Cashman denied Sunday night’s Impacto Deportivo story about an impending deal between Manny and the Yankees, the Dominican-based site reiterated its story yesterday afternoon. The latest report says that Manny is currently in Brazil but will be featured at a press conference once he returns. The story also notes that the negotiations between the two sides are ongoing.

This latest salvo from the Dominican prompted Hal Steinbrenner to deny the rumors as well. “If we are, I don’t know about it,” the younger Steinbrenner told Kat O’Brien yesterday.

At this point, the story has moved from the realm of the odd into the world of the weird. I can’t quite figure why a Dominican sports site would be so vehement in pushing this rumor while two members of the Yankee front office continue to deny it. It is possible that the Yankees are denying it because negotiations are indeed ongoing and a deal hasn’t been reached yet, but in an off-season rife with leaks, no one else has reported this story.

If the Yanks don’t emerge in the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Manny land in the Bronx, but I don’t think it’s going to happen “en unos dias” as Impacto Deportivo continues to report. Teixeira’s saga may wrap up by Christmas, but Manny will remain unsigned into 2009. Maybe we’ll all be surprised, but I doubt it. I do wonder though what’s happening down there in the Dominican with Franklin Mirabal and Impacto Deportivo. How strange.

Categories : Hot Stove League
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One of these days we’ll finally get sick of discussing Mark Teixeira. For many of you that time has already come, but for me it hasn’t, so I’m going to link to this Jon Heyman article in which he speaks ambiguously of the first baseman’s situation. Word comes from “baseball people” that Teixeira will sign today or tomorrow. You know what kind of person knows baseball? A baseball person. So clearly this is accurate information. Moving on.

What team will have the privilege of paying Mark Teixeira over $20 million over the next at least eight years? That we don’t know, and that we must know soon, or we will go crazy. Heyman tells us that despite John Henry’s statements last week, Boston will indeed be a factor. The Red Sox “are still viewed as the favorite by most executives on other teams.” I’ve always wondered if the word “most” in statements like this means “majority” or “a bunch of people I’ve spoken to.”

Washington could be launching a last-minute offensive with an new, improved offer. Roch Kubatko, who has a cool name, is hearing eight years and $178 to $184 million, with the possibility of a ninth or even tenth year under discussion. For commentary I’ll quote Mike: “I find it hilarious that the Nats are willing to up their offer for Tex, but wouldn’t pony up the extra $500,000 to sign Aaron Crow.” I do too, Mike. I do too.

Back to Heyman. Now he says that the Yankees met this weekend to consider whether to “make room on their payroll” for Teixeira. Then, in the next paragraph, he said that they only want to spend “slightly more than the $161 million given to [CC] Sabathia.” Thankfully, slightly is yet another ambiguous term, so for all we know slightly could be another $19 million. I guess we’ll find out in the next two days.

Okay, now I’m sick of discussing Mark Teixeira. Glad I got that out of my system.

Bonus section!

Made me laugh: Ed Price and Bryan Hoch, among other beat writers I’m sure, got some quotes from Derek Jeter yesterday afternoon at an event for his Turn 2 Foundation. Apparently, Jeter gave the impression that Manny would fit with the Yanks and that they don’t need him. The funny part is that despite the headlines, there is no quote from Jeter saying that Manny would fit or that they don’t need him.

Here’s Reds Commentator Marty Brennaman getting cranky about on-base percentage. This is priceless:

Caller: People here don’t realize that Pat Burrell and Adam Dunn don’t get paid $12 million to hit .300. They get paid to hit home runs; that’s it.
Marty: No, they get paid to drive in runs, is what they get paid to do.
Caller: And hit home runs.
Marty: No, unh-uh. Home runs are incidental.

Then, what had to be only seconds later:

Adam Dunn’s paid to hit home runs

And then a little bit later:

I’m tired of hearing about how many times he walks. He was paid to hit home runs

Also, listen to this a couple of times and it’ll be stuck in your head:

Categories : Hot Stove League
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