Who isn’t involved in the CC Sabathia trade talks? Based upon numerous reports, we know the Yankees and the Brewers have outstanding offers, and we know Yankee fans are getting restless. But that’s just silly. Anyway, we’ll get there in a second.

As Wednesday progressed, two new teams supposedly entered the mix. In the early afternoon, Dan Graziano noted an impending offer out of San Francisco.

(An aside: Would the Giants really commit nearly over $40 million a season — or more than half of their 2008 payroll — to two pitchers? I realize the team has few contractual commitments past next year, but if they land CC for $23 million a season, they’d be paying Sabathia, Zito and Aaron Rowand a combined $55-$60 million a year. For a team of limited financial means, that combination won’t bring in pennants.)

But the real news came just a few minutes ago when two Newsday reporters unveiled a not-so-shocking report: CC Sabathia will not be deciding upon anything until after Thanksgiving. While Sabathia is content to wait, these offers on which Graziano speculated aren’t quite as sure a bet, according to Ken Davidoff and Anthony Rieber:

The Yankees are content to let CC Sabathia take his time on his big decision, and Sabathia will do just that. As first reported by ESPN’s Peter Gammons, Sabathia doesn’t intend to decide on his next team until after the Thanksgiving weekend.

But for Sabathia, who is well known to prefer both the West Coast and the National League, alternatives to the Yankees’ six-year offer (for about $140 million) don’t appear to be materializing.

Although the Dodgers have some interest in Sabathia, they are not optimistic they can put together a package large enough to land the lefthander, a person familiar with their thinking said. The Dodgers “can’t afford him,” the person said.

It’s the same old story with the non-New York potentials. The Brewers can’t afford him; the Giants shouldn’t afford him; the Dodgers want Manny and can’t afford both. Why then is Sabathia sitting on a six-year, $140-million offer? Simple; he’s just being a good businessman.

Why would a player with the potential to become the richest pitcher in baseball make a decision with no leverage? Why shouldn’t Sabathia wait to see if a West Coast team plays its cards just right to make the Yankees up their offer to $150 million or tack on a seventh season? It doesn’t make sense to sign right away, and both the Yankees and Carsten Charles know that. New York’s offer isn’t going anywhere and neither is CC quite yet.

Doug Melvin, the Brewers’ GM, who probably wants Sabathia, knows that patience right now is the name of the game. In a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article focusing around the Giants, Melvin waxes philosophical on the CC situation. Sabathia and his agent will solicit counter-offers once all of the primary offers are in. That’s just the way business works.

So we wait. Some of us wait more impatiently than others, but it’s all just part of one big negotiation. In fact, we’re not the only ones waiting. Every other big-name free agent pitcher is waiting for CC to sign too. He and the team that signs him set the market, and everyone knows it.

The Yanks have done their part, and now the rest of the league will do its part as well. Be it ten days, two weeks or a month, we’ll find out before Spring Training which team lands Sabathia. Everything in between is just the Hot Stove League turned up high.

Categories : Hot Stove League
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  • Heyman: Yanks to offer Abreu arbitration

    According to Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman, the Yankees will offer arbitration to Bobby Abreu, which is basically the team’s way of saying good bye to the right fielder. Abreu, as Heyman notes, stands to make about $16 million through arbitration but should see three-year offers from at least the Cubs and the Mets. The Yanks don’t seem keen on bringing back Bobby for more than a year or two.

    If Abreu leaves, the Yanks will get some draft picks, but the team will also sport an outfield of Xavier Nady, Johnny Damon and some combination of Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera as things stand now. While Opening Day is still a few months out and there are many moves to be made, that outfield doesn’t fill me with much offensive confidence.
    · (54) ·

He’s been in the game since 1991. He’s pitched to Bo Jackson and Dave Winfield, Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols, and everyone in between. His first start came on Game 1,674 of Cal Ripken’s streak, less than two-thirds of the way through the Iron Man’s record.

And now, 3,562.2 innings and 270 wins later, he’s calling it a career. He spent his entire baseball lifetime pitching in the hell of the American League East, and at one point threw at least 200 innings in nine straight seasons. His streak of 10 or more wins in 17 straight seasons is an American League record.

He never won a Cy Young Award, never won a World Series, never led the league in ERA, and never led the league in strikeouts. The closest he’s been is second in each instance, seemingly defining Moose’s career as “almost.”

Mussina finishes his career with a record 100 games over .500 (117 games to be exact), something only 20 other men have accomplished. Of those twenty, 16 are in the Hall of Fame. The other four (Clemens, Maddux, Glavine, Pedro) will be some day. Moose should one day make it 21 for 21.

We’ve watched him thrive and we’ve watched him struggle, but most of all we’ve watched him be nothing but a class act. Talk about the Mooseman here, or whatever else is on your mind. Keep it classy, like Mike.

Categories : Open Thread
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Report: Mussina to retire

By in News. Tags: · Comments (81) ·

Via Ken Rosenthal, Mike Mussina has decided to call it quits and retire. The soon-to-be 40 year old leaves the game after his first 20 win season, having grossed over $144M in his 18 year career. Only 32 men have won more games in the big leagues than Moose, a rather remarkable number. The decision will be officially announced later in the week.

Congrats on the wonderful career Mike, few have done it better.

Update by Ben: From a personnel perspective, this leaves Yanks now with just Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain as their starters under contract. The Yanks will probably now try to wrap up a deal with Andy Pettitte in short order and may increase the team’s push to sign CC Sabathia and either A.J. Burnett or Derek Lowe. Of the two Yankee starters from 2008, I was hoping Moose would be back instead of Andy, but you have to respect Mussina’s decision. He’s definitely going out on top.

Categories : News
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Jeremy Bleich | LHP

Born and raised in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, Bleich is the son of Stan the Cardiologist, a die-hard Yankees’ fan from Brooklyn. Jeremy attended the prestigious Isidore Newman High School, which also produced The Mannings and Moneyball author Michael Lewis. During his final three years with the Greenies, Bleich went 23-7 with 348 strikeouts and a sub-2.00 ERA in 206.2 IP while also hitting north of .360. He helped the school to the 2003 state championship and 2005 district championship as a sophomore and senior, respectively.

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Categories : Prospect Profiles
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So I got to thinking about the 2008 season and where we failed, and the answer came to me in a flash: Bernie Williams! If they had Bernie patrolling the outfield, they would have made the playoffs. He brings the mystique and aura!

Seriously, though, the only reason I bring up Bernie is because of his feature role in a movie, “Keeper of the Pinstripes.” Newsday’s David Lennon caught up with the Yanks legend to get his thoughts on retirement.

“I’ll be 75 and still not announce my retirement,” Williams said last night at a pre-production party in Manhattan. “I’m still within this two- or three-year period where I can say, ‘You know what? Let me just work out … ‘”

It’s nice that he’s keeping himself in shape, but the prospect of him coming back isn’t exactly realistic. Brian Cashman invited him to Spring Training in 2007, but Bern declined. It’s now two years later. It seems that ship has sailed. Bernie seems to know it, too: “But I’m not really thinking about baseball right now. It’s always in the back of my mind, but I’m not really thinking of getting out there.”

We’ll always remember Bernie’s contributions to the dynasty. I just don’t want to see him trying to make a (probably futile) comeback.

Categories : Days of Yore
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Are they or aren’t they? That seems to be the question surrounding the Jake Peavy trade talks. While yesterday, Peter Gammons claimed that the Yankees were not in the running for Peavy, today, Ken Rosenthal has a conflicting report.

Writes Kenny:

The Yankees’ farm system is strong enough to match up with the Padres if the teams revive their discussions on right-hander Jake Peavy. The Padres, according to one major-league source, told the Yankees that a deal would be possible even if the Yankees declined to offer right-hander Phil Hughes.

The Padres scouted Hughes in a recent Arizona Fall League game, but the Yankees have zero intention of trading him.

There is, of course, one problem. Joel Sherman, the man behind yesterday’s five-year/$80-million A.J. Burnett offer that was shot down before the day was out (Oops. That was George King. The Post writers are all the same to me.), claims that Jake Peavy will not pitch for the Yankees. (If you insist on a link, tough. You know where to find Sherman, and you all should know our position on linking to The Post.)

Now over the last few weeks, we’ve heard a lot of back and forth on Peavy. Some claim he’ll pitch in New York; others say he won’t leave the NL or at least Southern California. Who knows? Certainly not Ken Rosenthal’s or Joel Sherman’s sources with any degree of certainty. If the unnamed folks knew, we wouldn’t be engaged in some investigation into Jake Peavy’s true motives.

What does seem clear, however, is that the Padres are viewing this trade more and more in terms of a salary dump. If the Padres are willing to put it out there that this deal can be consummated without Phil Hughes, they’re signaling that they need to dump Peavy’s contract while losing some negotiating leverage.

In the end, I doubt that this trade will get done or ever come close to completion, but it does provide us an interesting exercise in interpreting unsourced rumors and varying positions. In other words, don’t read too much into anything that isn’t a done deal.

Categories : Hot Stove League
Comments (129)
  • Coco Crisp traded to Royals

    Via MLBTR, the Boy Genius has reportedly traded Coco Crisp – perhaps the best available center fielder on the trade market – to the Royals for middle reliever Ramon Ramirez. Ramirez, as you may recall, was one of the two minor leaguers the Yanks shipped to Colorado for Shawn Chacon back in the day. He had a nice year in 2008, but really? It doesn’t seem like enough return. · (65) ·

  • Russo finalist for Stenson Award

    Kevin Russo is one of six finalists for this year’s Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award in the Arizona Fall League. The award was created to honor the late Dernell Stenson, an ex-Reds & Red Sox prospect who was murdered during a car jacking while playing in the AzFL back in 2003, and is given to the player who best exemplifies unselfishness, hard work and leadership. The winner of the league’s most prestigous award will be announced prior to tonight’s Peoria-Scottsdale game. · (1) ·