Cashman On The Move Again

Maybe he just doesn’t like the Bellagio, but Brian Cashman left Vegas before the Rule 5 Draft today. Who knows where he went, but it is a safe bet is was an attempt to recruit someone.

As for the Rule 5, the Yankees lost four players in the major league portion and two in the minor league.  That is a good indication that the Yankees have a lot of talent in their minors.  The Yankees couldn’t take anyone because their 40-man was already full, which brings up an issue.  When they officially sign some free agents they will need to remove some players from the 40-man.  I would guess Duncan and Britton are goners, but after that it gets interesting.  Chase Wright?  Cervelli?  I don’t know where the Yankees go after that, but it is worth remembering that every player they sign means somebody has to go. 

UPDATE: The Post has tracked him down in Houston, making a last effort to get Pettitte to sign.  

Sign Them All!

Here’s the latest from Heyman and he has the Yankees in the Teixeira sweepstakes.  The Yankees are also supposedly on the verge of trading for Mike Cameron and possibly Bill Hall.  (Why would you want to trade for Bill Hall?)  They are negotiating with Burnett, Lowe, Pettitte and Sheets and hope to possibly sign two of them. 

Wow 

Eric “Montgomery” Brynes

ESPN’s Steve Phillips is reporting that the Red Sox and Diamondbacks are discussing a Julio Lugo for Eric Brynes swap.  Here is the copy/paste:

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Red Sox, D-Backs talking Lugo-Byrnes swap

"Posted by Steve Phillips

The Red Sox are having discussions with the Diamondbacks about a Julio Lugo-for-Eric Byrnes swap. Brynes would serve as a fourth outfielder for Boston; Lugo would play second base for the Diamondbacks."

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Lugo has 2 years left for $18mm and Brynes has 2 years left for $22mm.

If the Red Sox can unload Lugo straight up for Byrnes, I’d be happy.  Why?  Byrnes has energy that no one can match.  Just 2 seasons (2007) ago he his 21 HRs and stole 50 bases.  He can play all 3 outfield positions and can even DH!  That DH reference was a joke.

Boiling this down, it is a swap of lousy contracts.  I just think Brynes offers more to this a team than does Lugo.  Lugo got to Boston and has produced 2 years of sub-standard offense.  Byrnes has done it in just his last season, a season, like Lugo’s, filled with injury.

Plus, Byrnes is far more interesting to watch play baseball than is Lugo.  The guy has so much energy that he practically hovers.  All in all, this story is probably just a low-chance rumor, but we tackle all that we see here at YankeesRedSox.com.

CF Swap

Mark Feinsand of the Daily News is reporting that the Yankees are going to trade Melky Cabrera to the Milwaukee Brewers for Mike Cameron.

From Feinsand:

"Cameron, a former Met, hit .243 with 25 HRs and 70 RBIs in 120 games last season. He will earn $10 million in 2009."

Smoke, But no Fire

Many news sources have the Red Sox as the favorite for Mark Teixeira given his preference to be close to family on the East Coast.  That said, his price tag has been rumored to be 8 years and a minimum $160mm with $180mm closer to reality, on other words, the same committment the Red Sox made to Manny Ramirez in 2000.

Teixeira said he wants a deal done before Christmas, so we’ve got that going for us, but I think he will sign with however he is going to sign with in the next 2-3 days.

With New York landing their 300 pounder the Red Sox, while they will never admit this, will feel pressure to upgrade as well.  Adding Teixeira will add youth and quality to the middle of the order, both good things, but at great cost.

As for pitching, there has been talk of AJ Burnett, but I think that is crazy.  If they sign him, it’ll be similar to the Matt Clement signing, unnecessary and a bad idea.   Burnett is a train wreck waiting to happen.  If New York does land him (or Boston or whoever), he won’t pull a Carl Pavano, but he won’t give them more than 550 IP over 4 years.  In other words, Bad Idea Jeans.

Lastly the news on just what Boston will do for the catching situation has been few and far between.  I think Teixeira needs to sign before we start hearing more on a catcher solution.

The Yankees made a big splash last night/today and this site has had plenty of news on it.  I’m feeling left out and want some positive Red Sox news to strike.

Time To Pass

You never know what story to believe with the Winter Meetings, but there are two stories, that if true, mean the Yankees need to drop out of the bidding. 

The first is on Mark Teixeira.  He is a wonderful player and the Yankees could use him, but ten years at $20 million per is simply too high a dollar figure. 

The second is on AJ Burnett who has repotedly gotten an offer of five years and $80 million from the Braves.  That is crazy money as well and the Yankees should get out of that bidding contest too.

 

Opting Out

According to multiple reports, the new deal with Sabathia includes an opt-out clause after three years.  This could really work to the Yankees advantage if they are smart.  If Sabathia pitches the way he should over the next three years there is a good chance he opts out.  By then we will know if Chamberlain and Hughes are truly top starters and if players like Brackman were worth the risk.  They could then let Sabathia walk, get a bigger deal elsewhere and therefore be off the hook for the downside of his deal. 

Some will argue that the clause gives Sabathia all of the upside and the Yankees all of the downside, but what MLB contract doesn’t give all the upside to the player?  With this clause, the Yankees will be able to reasses their need for Sabathia after 2011 when they may not have the same need for him as they do now.

Don’t Get Foolish

If this report is true, the Yankees have signed Sabathia.  That’s a huge hole they filled at the front of the rotation and while the contract is too long and too expensive, they got their ace.  A 28-year old lefty, who struck out 251 batters last year will head their rotation.  That is a wonderful thing if you are a Yankees’ fan. (Side note, this story is developing and now multiple sources are reporting the deal is seven years and $160 million.  Interesting that the average per year is actually slightly lower in the new deal from the original offer of $140/6.  Either way, Sabathia won’t have any money worries)

Now the next job on Brian Cashman’s list is to not screw things up by signing another pitcher to another enormous deal.  AJ Burnett has great talent, but since he broke into the majors in 2000 he has pitched 200 innings three times and two of those times were when he was trying for a new deal.  I don’t know if that is just a coincidence, but it is something to think about before throwing money at him.

Derek Lowe last pitched in the AL in 2004 and compiled a 5.42 ERA.  He is going to be 36 and do you really want to give a pitcher that old a four-year deal?  Isn’t it a much safer bet to bring back Pettitte for one year or try Sheets on a short deal?

If you look at the payroll, the Yankees could spend $55 million more and still lower the overall number from last year. I would suspect somewhere around $30 of that is going to starters (say a combo of Pettitte and Burnett for example), but that still leaves a big chunk of cash if the Yankees wanted to go after a big bat. Stay tuned….

Sabathia a Yankee

Or at least Joel Sherman of the NY Post says so.

Wow!

So Brian Cashman ducked out of the Winter Meetings tonight and headed to San Francisco to meet with CC Sabathia, according to Newsday.  I don’t recall ever hearing a GM leave in the middle of the Winter Meetings before, but with Sabathia we shouldn’t jump to conclusions yet.  (Right?)

UPDATE (10:30pm): Ok spent five more minutes thinking about this and I can see both sides of the coin on this one, so to speak.  Maybe this is Cashman giving a deadline to CC, maybe it is CC trying to finalize something with Cashman.  I would guess that at the very least, we have some sort of resolution soon.