We’re moving out of one Hot Stove League and into another. This morning, C.C. Sabathia announced that he will wait until the end of the season to negotiate a new deal with the Indians. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll test the free agency waters. There will be time between the end of the season and the free agency filing period, even if the Indians do go to the World Series. But for now, it appears Sabathia will pitch out the final year of his contract.

Then again, this doesn’t really mean that negotiations are dead. If you’ll remember back to last year, Carlos Zambrano not only said that he wanted a deal done before the season started, he said he’d leave the Cubs if that wasn’t the case. Four and a half months after the season began, he signed a five year, $91.5 million extension. So we can’t really take this as the be all, end all. I’m sure if Mark Shapiro blew him away with an offer, he wouldn’t outright refuse it.

This is good news for the Yanks, though, who have a ton of money coming off the books after this season. We have Farnsworth ($5.5 million), Pavano ($11 million), Giambi ($21 million), Abreu ($16 million), and Mussina ($11 million) this season, and both Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui at $13 million each next year. So there will be funds for this transaction. It’s just a matter of Mr. Sabathia’s demands.

He’s probably going to want six years, and I’d say somewhere around the $137.5 million given to Johan Santana. Is that something you’d do as a free agent signing? It’s very tempting, especially for a horse like Sabathia. Then again, when we were debating the merits of Santana, many of us pointed out the high innings total as a red flag, an indication that he might break down sometime during the deal.

But someone is going to pay CC. Might as well be us.

Categories : Hot Stove League
Comments (23)

It’s October. The Yankees lose a stunner to the Indians when former Manager Joe Torre fails to get his team off the field in the face of a Biblical plague of blood. Fade out on the season.

Except this is New York, and while the Giants won the Super Bowl, while the Knicks are epically bad, we never really fade out on the season. After the Yanks’ last game in October, Joe Torre left as manager and A-Rod opted out of his contract. Then, the World Series ended.

A-Rod came back. The Yanks re-signed Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera. They almost traded for Johan Santana, and then, they didn’t. The Mitchell Report hit, and we’ve been inundated with steroid news for the last two months. Now, Andy Pettitte, who hopefully won’t retire, won’t report to Spring Training until Monday.

Meanwhile, on the blog, we debated A-Rod, replacement third basemen, Johan Santana, Joba’s role and the future of Melky Cabrera. We saved the Big Three and had our biggest day for traffic during the cold days of December.

And here we are on February 14, and the countdown on the right just hit 0. I used to say forget Opening Day; life can begin again when pitchers and catchers report. But this year, baseball season never ended. It’s just a circle that keeps on going.

For a few minutes, we can forget about steroids. We can forget about yesterday’s circus or tomorrow’s hordes of reporters. We can forget about bullpen make-ups and starting pitchers on pitch counts and innings limits.

For a few minutes, we can remember opening day — six weeks away. We can remember the joys of a nine-inning baseball game on a warm summer night. We can remember the thrill of a pennant race and the tenseness that surrounds a pivotal three-game series when the Red Sox come to town. We can remember the electric air of Yankee Stadium in October (and forget that this is the Stadium’s last year).

We can remember this and smile because today, the action moves on the field, for today pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. And everything is good again.

Categories : Spring Training
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  • Some non-steroids reading

    In case you want to get away from the steroids thing, I’m working on a series over at MLB Trade Rumors detailing the remaining free agent starters and their likely destinations. It’s going by division, and I’m through two right now:

    AL East
    AL Central
    · (4) ·

No fancy intro today, I gave you the schpeel yesterday. The Yanks have a pretty obvious top 4 prospects, and an even more obvious #1. After that though, opinions vary because everybody has their own preferences, and that’s perfectly fine. I’m hear to tell you what mine are. One thing we can all agree on is that it’s a great time to be fan of the farm system, because the system hasn’t been this stacked since the law firm of Johnson, Soriano & Henson roamed the upper levels.

Yesterday I gave you the guys who just missed the cut, today you get the rest of the list. I find the last 8 guys on the list (plus the 5 just misses) to be very interchangeable, which is a good thing because they’re all #23 caliber prospects, not #30 types. Lemme know what you think in the comments. The good stuff is comes after the jump.

Read More→

Categories : Minors
Comments (44)
  • Great moments in Congressional hearings

    One of the members of the House Oversight Committee just asked Roger Clemens if he is or ever was a vegan. Clemens looked bewildered, glanced around the room, and basically said, “Uhhh, what is a vegan? I don’t know what that is.” Apparently, the House Oversight Committee really has nothing better to do. · (22) ·

  • Yanks will not give long-term deal to Wang, yet

    Enough of this steroid talk. This hearing is a joke. In other Yankee news, Kat O’Brien reports in Newsday that Chien-Ming Wang wanted a long-term deal, but the Yankees said no. As Wang put, the Yanks told him that they would rather not sign a deal because it’s tough for pitchers to stay healthy. I wonder if the Yanks are concerned about Wang’s October performance. 5.2 innings do not a career make. · (15) ·