Yankee rumors: Cano, Sabathia, Lowe, Teixeira

Following up on everything…

  • While watching the O.J. Simpson sentencing, my eyes wandered to the ESPN crawl, and I saw some news that Yankee fans will both bemoan and appreciate. As part of the free agent transaction chain, we should now be rooting for Mark Teixeira to sign sooner rather than later. Peter Gammons reports that CC Sabathia is waiting to see what happens between Teixeira and the Angels, and Derek Lowe is waiting to see what happens with Sabathia. From a business perspective, that all makes perfect sense. Those of you impatient for no reason with the seemingly slow pace of the Hot Stove League won’t like it.
  • This news will of course rekindle the misguided line of reasoning that Sabathia hates New York and wants to pitch only for a West Coast team closer to his home. To combat that, check out Tyler Kepner’s latest. He writes:

    “It’s not that he doesn’t want to be a Yankee; that’s not it at all,” said a friend of Sabathia’s, who was granted anonymity because Sabathia had not authorized him to speak on his behalf. “It’s just the aspect of being out there, his family, that kind of stuff.”

    That’s all it is. Sabathia would prefer to be on the West Coast and is waiting to see what shakes down. If the Yanks’ offer emerges as the best, he’ll come to the Bronx with open arms. Just because he is waiting, smartly, doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to be here.

  • Finally, Robinson Cano‘s name keeps popping up in various rumors. The Yanks have committed a lot of resources and time to Cano this off-season, and I doubt they would move him. If they’re so inclined, however, Buster Olney has word of the asking price. The Yanks would first ask the Dodgers for Clayton Kershaw or Chad Billingsley. When they can’t get one of those two pitching studs, they’d turn their attention to Matt Kemp. In other words, Cano ain’t goin’ nowhere.

Giants may but interested, but Yanks pressing hard for CC

Update 10:14 p.m.: I worte this rest of this post this afternoon. Since then, the AP is reporting that the Yankees and CC Sabathia will meet this weekend. It appears that the market is starting to move.

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Sources sure are saying a lot about CC Sabathia these days, but I’m not buying it. After last night’s Jayson Stark speculation about Sabathia and the Giants, Mark Feinsand’s sources said that the Giants were “considering” Sabathia, but only if he’s willing to accept “an extreme hometown discount.”

I just don’t buy it and neither does Ken Davidoff. To me, this sounds remarkably similar to the reports about the Angels’ supposedly interest in Sabathia that later turned out to be false. It could very well be a ploy by Sabathia’s agents to get more money from the Yanks.

We know the Yanks would be willing to up their offer if another team steps in, and perhaps Greg Genske is attempting a Scott Boras-like tactic. The Giants have major offensive woes, and signing CC would tie up nearly half their payroll in two pitchers. While Sabathia may want to pitch in the Bay Area, he won’t leave at least $30 million on the table, and if the Giants were to make a real offer, that would be the difference.

In an interview today, Giants’ GM Brian Sabean seemed to dance around the Sabathia issue. He knows the Giants can’t compete and dollars, and he knows it wouldn’t make much sense for San Francisco to commit so much to another pitcher. They may, in principle, be interested, but I don’t see a fit here.

Stark bites on the Sabathia/Golden State Warriors report

Just this morning, we predicted that some reporter somewhere would make note of the fact that Bay Area native and resident CC Sabathia attended a game of his home-town Golden State Warriors as a sign that he maybe, might, could sign with the Giants. Little did I realize it would be ESPN national baseball writer Jayson Stark. In a blog post that lists every reason why the Giants shouldn’t sign Sabathia and then posits that they might anyway, Stark plays up the fact that CC went to a Warriors game. When will the media ever learn?

Report: Angels not interested in CC

We haven’t checked in on CC Sabathia in a few days, and it looks like there’s a new development. The Angels’ GM has told MLB.com that the team is still focused on Mark Teixeira and hasn’t been in on the CC Sabathia sweeps. This story is contrary to a report last week, and it’s beginning to make me wonder what Sabathia is waiting. Of course, I understand that he wants more offers to push up his eventual price, but right now, the Yanks are clearly the only team with an offer on the table. If this isn’t resolved by the Winter Meetings, the Yanks would certainly have reason to start pushing Sabathia’s agent for a response.

Meanwhile, as long as Sabathia remains unsigned, Richard Justice will continue to publish drivel alleging that Joe Torre would have wrapped up the Sabathia deal weeks ago. Give me a break. It’s about economics, not some call from the manager.

The Sabathia dance

To raise or not to raise? That is the question, and it’s one on which Ken Davidoff can’t quite get a handle. As MLBTR notes, yesterday, Davidoff’s sources said the Yanks would not raise their offer to CC Sabathia. Today, Davidoff reports that the Yankees would go higher if the Angels ever get around to making a bid. Meanwhile, unless something drastic happens, it seems as though CC will remain unsigned through the weekend. Alas.

Thanksgiving eve open thread: Bluffing in Anaheim

The Angels sure are being a bit of a thorn in everyone’s side. They may or may not be moving on Mark Teixeira. They may or may not be moving on CC Sabathia. While everyone else wants for a domino, any domino, to fall in this excruciatingly slow free agent season, the Angels are gumming up the works.

Now along comes word that perhaps the Angels aren’t too serious about CC Sabathia after all. Mark Feinsand serves as the outlet for a few unnamed Yankee sources and their intriguing speculation:

The Angels reportedly are readying themselves to jump into the CC Sabathia sweepstakes, but the Yankees met the news with relative indifference, still believing their offer ultimately will be the biggest and best…

One Yankees official didn’t seem too concerned with the news of the Angels’ supposed interest in Sabathia, which the Bombers believe is designed primarily to speed things up with Teixeira and his agent, Scott Boras.

“It sounds like they’re trying to get a message to Teixeira,” the official said. “That’s the guy they really want.”

The Angels have publicly said that Teixeira is their top priority, and the team probably needs him in the long-term more than they need CC Sabathia. So they bluff. They take the money they would have spent on Teixeira and toss it at Sabathia. At the same time, the Angels can drive up Sabathia’s price for the Yanks. My, how the wheel turns.

Could this bluff work? Sure. And if it doesn’t, then perhaps the Angels insert themselves into the Sabathia talks or go after Manny Ramirez. They need offense after all. In New York, we just sit and wait.

It’s Thanksgiving eve, and things are slow around baseball. To that end, this is your open thread for the next few hours. If something happens, we’ll have the news, but otherwise, enjoy the time with your family. Remember: Baseball news has a funny way of unfolding over Thanksgiving weekend.

Angels getting in on the CC show

Via MLB Trade Rumors we learn that the Angels are having discussions with CC Sabathia. While the timing comes somewhat of a surprise — the Angels still haven’t made an offer to Mark Teixeira — it was assumed from the start that the Halos would get involved. LA Times scribe Bill Shaikin notes that the Angels are reluctant to offer Tex the 10 years he seeks. Of course, Scott Boras will neither confirm nor deny the first baseman’s intentions.

No offer has been officially extended, however it is believed that the Angels could offer something “in the range of Johan Santana’s six-year, $137.5-million contract.” Clearly, the term “in the range” could mean a number of things. Will they offer a little less? A little more? Will they match the Yankees reported six-year, $140 million offer? Or did they just leak this story to show Teixeira that they’re serious?

(You have 24 hours to sign our contract. And to show you we’re serious…you have 12 hours.)

We know that Sabathia could opt for the West Coast, even if the Yankees offer the largest contract. That scenario becomes more likely if the Angels offer him a deal better than Santana’s, even if it’s not by much. The Yanks would surely up their bid under that scenario, but how much, if anything, would be enough?

Missing out on CC could mean a number of changes to the off-season plan. The focus could shift to Teixeira. If signed, Nick Swisher would move to the outfield. Do you dish Damon or Nady at that point? Do you go into the season with an OF of Nady-Damon-Swisher and hope for the best defensively?

There aren’t any easy answers to these questions. Yet the Yankees may be faced with them in the coming weeks. I do not envy Brian Cashman right now.