Checking in on Brandon Weeden

Anyone out there remember Brandon Weeden? The Yankees made him their top draft pick in 2002, a second round pick they received from the Cardinals as compensation for the loss of Tino Martinez. His career in the Yankees organization lasted 60.2 IP and a little more than a year; he was traded to Dodgers as part of the package for Kevin Brown after the 2003 season. Injuries and ineffectiveness set in, and Weeden’s baseball career was over after 2006. That’s when he went back to college, and walked on at Oklahoma State and is now the Cowboys starting quarterback.

Tom Spousta of The NY Times checked in with the former Yankees farmhand, who is in the running for the Heisman Trophy this year, at age 28. “The opportunity was too good, and baseball was always my thing,” said Weeden, who said he grew up a Yankees fan in Oklahoma. “The day I signed the contract, I remember thinking, if this doesn’t work out, then I’ve always got college football. My goal was to make it to the big leagues the entire time, but unfortunately it didn’t work out.”

Saturday Night Open Thread

CC gonna do the other arm up once he inks his new deal?

It’s a little chilly out, but it’s an otherwise glorious evening here in New York. Hopefully you’re outside enjoying it, but if not, use this open thread to talk about anything your heart desires. The Rangers have a chance to clinch their second consecutive AL pennant with a win over the Tigers starting at 8pm ET on FOX (Holland vs. Scherzer). The Rangers are playing the Islanders, and the Devils are also in action. Anything goes, so have at it.

Phelps hit around again in Arizona

In case you missed it, Hector Noesi is starting in the Dominican Winter League in order to build up some innings. Abe Almonte is also playing in the DR this winter. Here’s some other winter ball assignments.

AzFL Phoenix Desert Dogs (6-2 loss to Surprise) Thursday’s game
Corban Joseph, 2B: 1 for 5, 1 K
Rob Segedin, LF: 1 for 4, 1, R, 2 K, 1 HBP
David Phelps, RHP: 3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2-1 GB/FB – 39 of 60 pitches were strikes (65%) … nearly identical lines each time out, it’s probably just rust and the hitter friendly league, I wouldn’t worry too much after two starts

AzFL Phoenix Desert Dogs (7-5 loss to Salt River) Friday’s game
Rob Segedin, LF: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K – threw runners out at second and home … he’s been hitting since he got here
Corban Joseph, 2B: 2 for 3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K, 1 CS – got picked off first … slow start, but he’s beginning to come around
Dan Burawa, RHP: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3-0 GB/FB – 17 of 27 pitches were strikes (63%)

CC’s Agent: “I’ve got nothing new to report.”

It’s only a matter of time (about two weeks) before CC Sabathia exercises his opt-out clause in search of greener pastures. There’s been some speculation that the Yankees would approach their ace about a new deal before he uses the opt-out, but agent Brian Peters told Buster Olney (Insider req’d) that no such talks have taken place between the two sides yet…

For now, Sabathia’s focus is entirely on remaining with the Yankees, according to his agent, Brian Peters. “CC has been clear about how he feels about New York and the Yankees,” Peters said on Saturday morning, “and we will exhaust all of our efforts to reach a new agreement (with the Yankees).”

Asked if the negotiations had started, Peters said, “As of today, I’ve got nothing new to report.”

Olney also mentioned that some in the organization are concerned about how/if Sabathia’s weight affected him towards the end of the season, which is completely reasonable. You also have to worry about his weight with regards to his right knee, which required surgery to repair a slightly torn meniscus last offseason as well as five years ago.

The other day we heard that the Rangers are going to throw a boatload of cash at Sabathia, and chances are they won’t be the only team willing to spend on one of the game’s few legitimate left-handed aces. Every big market club will be connected to CC at some point this offseason, even if their only intention is to drive up the price for everyone else. Peters indicated that the two sides have yet to discuss a new deal, but once Brian Cashman‘s situation is wrapped up, I think it would be rather prudent of the Yankees to start talks as soon as possible.

Cashman, Hal to meet next week

Via Joel Sherman, Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner are scheduled to meet sometime next week to hammer out the GMs new contract. Last week we heard that talks were going well, but it looks like they’re getting ready to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. The World Series will end exactly two weeks from today, assuming it goes the full seven games, and CC Sabathia will be able to opt out of his contract three days after that. That’s when the offseason really starts for Cashman and the Yanks.

Open Thread: Big Changes in Little Boston

My favorite part? The fat Josh Beckett.

Anyway, here’s your open thread for this rainy Friday night in New York. The NLDS resumes at 8pm ET on TBS (Greinke vs. Garcia), at that’s pretty much it. The NHL schedule seems to have either 15 games or two games on a given night so far. Eh, whatever. You all know what to do, so have at it.