Odds And Ends

The GM meetings are essentially over and the Yankees haven’t done a lot.  The biggest moves are with the coaching staff where Tony Pena is now the bench coach (good), Rob Thompson is now the third base coach (we’ll see) and Mick Kelleher is now the first base coach (sounds like he will be a good addition)

The Yankees also declined the options of Carl Pavano and Jason Giambi, not any shocks there.  But, they have not declined the option on Damaso Marte yet.  I assume that means they are trying to negotiate a new deal with Marte, which is a bit of a surprise, but we will see how it shakes out.  

At this point we are a week away from the real action of the offseason, the opening of free agency.  Starting November 14th the market is open and all indications are the Yankees are going to make CC Sabathia a HUGE offer.  I am on board with trying to sign Sabathia, but the other names and ideas out there worry me.  Signing any pitcher to a long term deal is a risk, signing one like AJ Burnett with his injury history or Derek Lowe at his current age, are much bigger risks.  The rumors will fly all over the place the next week, we won’t know much until after the 14th.

UPDATE: The Yankees have declined the option on Marte.  He is a type A free agent and I would rather have the draft picks when you consider who the Yankees might sign this offseason.  

A Good Omen?

I would like to take this moment to point out that the Yankees have reached the World Series during every Democratic Administration since Woodrow Wilson.  Twenty of their twenty-six titles have come with a Democat in the White House and they haven’t won with a Republican there since Eisenhower. 

So, expect a trip to the Fall Classic sometime in the next four years.  Then again, maybe it’s more about the team on the field and not the person in the White House.  Hmmm…

For Red Sox, Not Much News…or Is There?

Back to baseball for a moment.  There has been very little news of the Red Sox in on any moves or deals.  The general theme so far this off-season has been that the Red Sox are in good shape and were one game away from making it back to the World Series.

That’s all fine and good, but I would be stunned if Theo Epstein and co. decide all that is needed is a catcher.

If it were up to me, I’d address catcher, evaluate Mike Lowell’s health and consider trying to upgrade there, granted his deal is a major roadblock in that regard, and see if any of the other positional starters can be improved.

As for the pitching staff, the bullpen and bottom of the rotation need work or at least attention.

I would be surprised if the Red Sox go back into regular season play in 2009 without at least 1 significant trade or free agent signing.  Varitek to me is not a major signing at this point in his career, by the way.

Anyway, what little news there is for the Red Sox involves Epstein getting a new 3-year deal with the Red Sox that was done "a few weeks ago."  I suppose this is big news, but not a surprise.

The Red Sox and Scott Boras are in the feeling out stage on what it will take to re-sign Varitek.

Apparently Mike Timlin and Sean Casey are not coming back.

All members of the coaching staff except Luis Alicea are coming back.  No word on why Alicea was dismissed.

MLBTradeRumors.com says that the Red Sox are a natural fit for Japanese League player Kenshin Kawakami.

The Red Sox are expected to be players for Mark Teixeira, although not front-runners, but it is expected he will take his time picking a team. 

Lastly and of greatest interest is that Sean McAdams, now of the Boston Herald, is reporting that the Red Sox lead in the chase for highly touted Japanese amateur Junichi Tazawa.  Tazawa’s story is much different from most Japanese players in that he has not turned pro and was not drafted by any of the Japanese League teams because he told them it would be a waste of their time (or as it was reported, they respected his decision to pursue a MLB job).

Instead, he has managed to bypass the "posting" process and is available as a free agent to any MLB team.  Obviously with no professional experience, he is no more or less risky than a draft pick is here, but there have at least been some good things said about him.

Of course, one player that isn’t available yet is Yu Darvish.  That kid can pitch…

News as it arrives…or as I get to it.

Just Do It

This site tries to bring together Yankee and Red Sox fans, so getting Democrats and Republicans to agree on something should be easy, right?

Ok, maybe not, but one thing I hope everyone, no matter what your political bias is, does tomorrow is vote.  It doesn’t matter what the weather is, or what else you have to do, just go and vote for someone or something.  And, if you have a young child take them with you.  I will take this moment to thank my Mother for always taking me with her when she voted and making me aware of my right to cast a ballot every year. 

If you are unsure of the issues in your particular area, try the League Of Women Voters website, particularly this link