Quick Hits: Scheduling quirks and Kate Hudson

So two quick notes that nearly got lost in the crush earlier today: MLB announced this afternoon that the Yankees and Red Sox will open the 2010 season on Sunday, April 4. The game will start at 8:05 p.m. and air on ESPN2. The average temperate for Boston on April 4 at 8 p.m. is around 42 degrees. What a brilliant move by Major League Baseball.

Finally, capping off a busy day of news came the worst development possible for the Yankees. This has nothing to do with a free agent signing or some big trade. No, this one is all about A-Rod for he and Kate Hudson have reportedly broken up. At this point, the Yanks might as well just forfeit the 2010 season for she was the only reason they won. It is truly a sad day in the Bronx.

Open Thread: Neyer’s top 100 players of the decade

With only 17 full days left in the decade, there’s all sorts of  “the best of the decade” lists coming out. The best movies, the best albums, all sorts of stuff. So naturally, Rob Neyer put together a list of the 100 best baseball players of the decade, and as you can imagine, the Yankees are well-represented. Let’s round it up:

  • Alex Rodriguez ranked as the second best player in the decade, behind only Albert Pujols.
  • Derek Jeter wasn’t far behind him, coming in at number four. Barry Bonds was between the two.
  • Jorge Posada comes in at number 15, sandwiched between Vlad Guerrero and Bobby Abreu. He was the top ranked catcher on the list.
  • The Almighty Mariano Rivera checks in at number 24, the highest ranked reliever.
  • CC Sabathia was right behind him at number 25, and Johnny Damon not far off at number 32.
  • Mark Teixeira was named the 43rd best player of the decade despite not making his debut until 2003.
  • Good ol’ Andy Pettitte comes in right at the halfway mark, number 50.
  • Former Yanks: Abreu (16), Randy Johnson (18), Jason Giambi (19), Javy Vazquez (29), Gary Sheffield (34), Mike Mussina (35), Pudge Rodriguez (41), Roger Clemens (42).

That’s seven players on the Yanks 40-man roster that rank among the 50 best players of the last ten years. Including former players, 17 members of the decade’s 50 best players have worn pinstripes in that time. Dayum. Without doing the math, I’m going to guess no other team approaches that number.

Anyway, here’s your open thread for the night. The MNF game features the Cardinals in San Francisco, plus the Rangers and Isles are in action in separate games. There’s been a ton of hot stove action throughout the day, so talk about it here. Just make sure you follow the guidelines and be cool.

Rosenthal: Sox, Cameron in ‘serious talks’

The headline pretty much says it all, but Ken Rosenthal just reported on Twitter that the Red Sox and Mike Cameron are engaged in “serious talks.” Yankee fans have lusted after Cameron for the last few years. He brings a power bat and great defense to the table. With this move and their earlier signing of John Lackey, the Red Sox seem out of the market for Jason Bay or Matt Holliday. Will the Yankees jump in on a left fielder who isn’t Johnny Damon?

Getting to know Curtis Granderson

It’s been hardly a week, but we’ve already heard about all the wonderful things Curtis Granderson does both on and off the field. Anthony McCarron profiled the Yanks’ new centerfielder over the weekend, writing about his children’s book, how he was still getting A’s and B’s as a double major while playing in the minors, the money he’s donated to charity, and plenty of other great stuff. Make sure you check it out, fantastic read.

Halladay set to join Phils in three team blockbuster

Via MLBTR, Blue Jays’ ace Roy Halladay is set to join the defending NL Champs … as soon as he agrees to a contract extension. Based on what we know right now, Cliff Lee would go to the Mariners, and presumably a boatload of young players would go to Toronto. The Yanks have been connected to Halladay all offseason, and Joel Sherman mentions that they talked to Phightin’s about Lee, however didn’t like the price.

Wang’s in no rush to sign

Chien-Ming Wang chuckin'Last week was a pretty eventful one for the Yankees, who brought back Andy Pettitte and added two players to their outfield while trimming the fat in the bullpen. The weekend was just as eventful for ex-Yanks’ ace Chien-Ming Wang, who was handed his walking papers on Saturday night. Six teams (three AL, three NL) immediately expressed interest in the sinkerballer, though the Yanks tried to woo him back with a split contract that guaranteed he’d be in the big leagues once his surgically repaired shoulder was good to go.

Despite all the interest in the former Cy Young runner up, Buster Olney is reporting that Wang might not sign for a few months according to his agent, Alan Nero. His client’s plans for the immediate future including getting checked out by Dr. James Andrews in early January, heading to Taiwan for some R&R, then returning to Arizona to keep working out. Doesn’t sound like the agenda of someone desperate to find a job.

Waiting until early in the season – or even midseason – to sign a contract is one of the newest trends hitting baseball these days. We’ve seen Roger Clemens successfully pull it off numerous times, and Pedro Martinez did the same thing with the Phillies this season. There’s also another guy that tried to pull this off in 2009, though things didn’t go so well for him: Ben Sheets.

Sheets started the offseason as one of the most sought after free agent pitchers, then had a little bit of a setback that was going to push his 2009 debut back, and before you knew it he was having elbow surgery that would sideline him the entire season. Shoulders are much trickier than elbows (remember, there wasn’t any ligament damage in Sheets’ elbow), but if Wang is confident in his health and his ability to recover, then he should (in the words of his agent) “be prudent” and explore what’s out there for him.

Teams will surely be looking for rotation help in March and April and May, and Wang will likely be the best available pitcher on the free market. And, of course, he won’t be ready until basically mid-season anyway, so it makes sense for him to remain patient and see what’s out there. Nero said Wang could eventually re-sign with the Yanks, and if a scenario plays out in which Phil Hughes and/or Joba Chamberlain is struggling, or one of the front three is on the shelf, or basically anything that would open a gaping hole in the rotation, then suddenly that split contract could turn into a Major League guaranteed deal worth more than it might be right now.

Hopefully for Wang, who I’m certain has made millions in endorsements, it’s the right decision.

Photo Credit: Reuters

Report: Angels in serious discussions with Matsui

Via Jayson Stark, the Angels are in serious talks with free agent Hideki Matsui, presumably to have him replace Vladimir Guerrero at DH. Brian Cashman‘s made it clear that the team’s priorities this offseason are pitching and leftfield, going so far as to say that it’s easy to find another DH, so Matsui probably didn’t want to sit around and wait. Hard to picture the World Series MVP in another uni, no?

Update (2:40pm): Buster Olney says Matsui will get $6.5M over one year. The Yanks have to match that, right?

Update (3:17pm): Joel Sherman says that the Yanks told Matsui they couldn’t do anything with him until they addressed their pitching and leftfield issues, but Godzilla wanted a quicker resolution. He also mentions that The Halos will give Matsui a chance to play the outfield. Good luck with that.