The view from above at night. (Photo by Tom Kaminski/WCBS 880)
For five hours a day, Tom Kaminski patrols the skies above New York in WCBS 880 AM’s helicopter. Last night, he happened to swing by Yankee Stadium following the Sabathia-Burnett press conference, and the Yanks had seemingly left the line on for him. It’s hard not to get excited over the new stadium when the shots look as good as the one above.
Kaminski also shot the interior of the new stadium with the lights on from a few angles. You can see the full gallery by following either of those links, and as a bonus, check out the half-deconstructed Shea Stadium too.
During the Winter Meetings, as it became clear that the Yankees would indeed land CC Sabathia, Joe wrote a piece about the importance of patience. He talked about the Sabathia signing through the lens of the Johan Santana shenanigans that went on during the winter of 2007.
On Thursday, as the Yankees introduced CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett to New York, one team official expounded on this idea. Long after the press conference was over, Brian Cashman sat down with one of the YES Network reporters and talked about the courting of Sabathia. It obviously wasn’t just some spurt-of-the-moment idea that formed since the 2008 season ended.
It had, in fact, been a goal of the Yankee front office since last season and Sabathia’s impending free agency was one of the primary reasons why the Yankees never completed the Santana trade. As Cashman said, the Sabathia signing was the “completion of the concept.” Cashman noted that the Yanks had CC on the radar since being bounced by Cleveland in 2007. Sabathia was, after all, a “premiere player available for just a draft choice.”
It’s interesting to hear Cashman use these words so unequivocally. The Yankees understand — better, at times, than many of their fans do — that it pays to wait one season to land that top tier pitcher through free agency. There is no need to overpay in prospects, players and money for a pitcher when you can land one nearly as good six or eight months later for just money and a draft pick.
Of course, at the same time, Cashman realized that this wasn’t an easy wait. “We took a lot of hits going through that process,” he said. The Yanks GM also was well aware that there was “no guarantee” that Sabathia woud sign with the Yanks.
In the end, though, these words were telling. Behind Cashman’s rational lies the reason for the Yanks’ huge offer for Sabathia. They wanted to ensure that no one would outbid them a season after intentionally losing out on Santana. Who knows how the move will pan out? Nothing suggests Sabathia won’t excel in New York. But as Brian Cashman knows, a lot depends on CC. Right now, passing on Santana to wait for Sabathia was the right move. Now we just have to wait for the games to start to make sure it remains the right move ten months from now.
Can you believe it? I can’t. Yet it’s coming from up top. Red Sox owner John Henry has said, in so many words, that his team will not sign Mark Teixeira. His exact words:
“We met with Mr. Teixeira and were very much impressed with him. After hearing about his other offers, however, it seems clear that we are not going to be a factor.”
You can follow the entire saga on MLB Trade Rumors. No one expected this, at least not this soon. The Red Sox, the team so many considered the frontrunners for Teixeira, will, in the words of the owner himself, not be factors. It appears, from Henry’s words, the price tag is a bit too high. Reports of the Red Sox offer varied, though WCVB-TV claims it was eight years and $184 million, or a $23 million average annual value.
Boston could obviously jump back into the picture, but for now it appears they’ll let the first baseman sign elsewhere. Clearly, I expect a flurry of “now the Yankees have to get him” comments. Think about this, though. There’s at least one offer out there better than eight years and $184 million. Should the Yankees go higher than $25 million a season for Teixeira?
Funny how quickly this:
The [unnamed baseball] official believes that the Yankees are “going hard” after Ramirez, to the point where they are willing to give him a three-year deal worth from $22 million to $25 million per year.
Turns into this:
The New York Daily News has already reported the Yankees have a three-year, $66 million offer out to Manny.
Thanks, Cafardo, for totally and completely playing telephone with this one.
Oh, and this is the open thread for tonight. So discuss away.
During yesterday’s somewhat heated discussion on the sketcy goings-on surrounding the land deal for the new Yankee Stadium, one of the RAB commenters asked exactly what the penalty could be for any illegal dealings. At the time, I had no idea, but I shot off an e-mail to Neil deMause who I knew would an answer.
The stadium deal guru had just finished his own Village Voice piece on the topic, and it featured an answer in the last paragraph:
So what happens if it turns out the city cooked the books? Kucinich’s subcommittee staffers say the IRS could conduct an audit; if it turns out there were “material misrepresentations” by the city, the bonds could be stripped of their tax-exempt status. (An IRS spokesperson said he’d have to get back to us on this.) And if nothing else, this should make for some fireworks when the IDA considers the Yanks’ request for $259 million in new tax-exempt bonds — now slated for a public hearing on January 15 at 10 am at 110 William Street.
So that’s that. It’s not that much of a big deal for the Yankees or the City. Someone will get slapped with a fine, and they’ll have to pony up the dough. But no one is going to cart Lonn Trost off to jail or anything drastic like that.
Is anyone else psyched after the press conference? Mike and I are. Yeah, I know they don’t mean much, and that the players pretty much script what they’ll say. Still, it’s good to have an exciting feeling about the team in the depths of winter. We’re just under two months away from pitchers and catchers, so events like this are appreciated. I wonder if we’ll see another one before February…
Will the Yankees add a bat? We’ve been talking about it all week, but there’s no real consensus. I think the Yankees could do a lot worse than the lineup they currently plan to field. It relies heavily on some players to bounce back from poor 2008 seasons, but a few of them, Swisher and Cano, are young and have histories of being good hitters. Unfortunately, until they prove otherwise Posada and Matsui will remain red flags. That’s what happens when you’re in your mid- to late-thirties and are coming off injuries.
We also take questions from readers. There were some really good ones this week. Not to be a spoiler, but there’s one about Joba and the bullpen.
Onto the podcast. It is available in a number of formats. You can download it here by right clicking on that link and selecting Save As. If you want to play it in your browser, just left click the link. You can also subscribe to the podcast feed, which will send it to you every Thursday. You can also subscribe in iTunes. Finally, we have the embedded audio player below.
We appreciate any feedback. You can leave it in the comments or email either of us.
So today’s the day: the Yanks will be introducing their two new prize pitchers at a 1pm press conference at the Old Yankee Stadium. Supposedly you can watch it on YES, but their TV schedule doesn’t agree. You will, however, be able to follow along on MLB.TV or ESPN/ESPNEWS. If you can’t get near a TV (stupid work), then follow along here, I’ll be liveblogging the whole schabang.
Now that the signings are official, I’ve updated the 2009 Draft Order Tracker. The Yanks surrender their first rounder to the Brewers and their second rounder to the Jays. Remember, they can’t lose the comp picks for Gerrit Cole and Scott Bittle, so their top pick is #29 overall, followed by #76 overall. There’s no possibility of that changing; that’s when they’ll pick come June no matter who else they sign. As it stands right now, the Brewers have three of the top 36 picks with the potential to add two more if Ben Sheets signs elsewhere.
So stick around for the next … I dunno, half-hour to an hour and follow along as CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett are thrown to the media wolves welcomed to New York.
According to Kat O’Brien, the Mike Cameron trade talks are “officially” dead. I say “officially” in quotes because a trade such as this one is never dead. However, the Yanks seem to have taken Joe’s plea to heart and aren’t rushing things when they don’t have to. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this deal consummated before Spring Training, but the free agent market has to shake down first. There’s a long way to go on that front. · (36) ·
We’ll pay this one lip service because there’s not a ton moving in baseball right now. We know that talks to send Jake Peavy to the Braves and to the Cubs have broken down, possibly beyond repair with the Braves. Peavy’s agent, Barry Axelrod, has said that while his client prefers the National League, he would consider moving to the Yankees, Angels, or Red Sox in the AL, but that’s it. So it comes as no surprise that we hear, via MLBTR, that Boston has “some” interest in Peavy. Of course they do. Just like they had some interest in CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. Check out this line, though, by Nick Cafardo at the end of the article:
“But if there’s a Teixeira splash, the Red Sox might not have the money to entertain it.”
Laughable. If the Red Sox wanted both Teixeira and Peavy, they could afford them. No question.
(By the way, don’t forget to submit your questions for the podcast.) · (41) ·