Sunday, December 05, 2010

Done Deal - Now Let's Move On

In terms of my least favorite, over commented on sports stories of the year, I'm going to place Jeter's contract negotiations just behind the Favre Retirement Saga.

3 years at $51mm is not as outrageous as it could have been - but it is still too much. I do not believe in the "bigger than the numbers" argument. His sub .200 batting average in the ALCS didn't any better or bigger than anyone else's sub .200. In baseball - you are what your numbers say you are.

Anyway - glad it is behind us, time to move on.


Mo for two years is a steal.

Hot Stove says Joba is on the block. Maybe we can trade him for Ian Kennedy or Phil Coke.

A serious upgrade is needed in the outfield.

Red Sox are the obvious favorites (or are they see below) to win the East with their Signing of Gonzalez.

My surprising favorite to win the East or Wild Card will be Baltimore - they had the best record post All-Star game, and Buck Showalter knows how to run a club.


Crash said...

The Red Sox failed to get a deal done to extend Gonzalez. And Gonzalez left Boston on a 4:30 flight. So a couple outlets are reporting the deal is dead. I don't get this line of thinking at all. A-Gon does not have a no trade clause so the trade can still go through, IF the Red Sox want it. I'm guessing that he wants Teixeira type money. If the Red Sox don't want to pony that up they can still trade for him...they just gave up 4 top prospects for a 1 year rental.

Now on to the most surprising news. Jayson Werth signs a deal with the Washington Nationals, the deal worth $126MM over 7 years.

This deal is significant for 2 reasons...First the Red Sox were pursuing Werth because he hits from the right side, pursuing Crawford and A-Gon would have made them very heavy from the left side. That poses a problem when you face the Yankees with CC, Pettitte, and possibly Lee (all lefties if you're not paying attention). If the Red Sox were holding money from A-Gon in an effort to get both he and Werth...well they should have plenty now for just A-Gon.

Secondly, the Nationals have long been rumored as a 3rd team for Cliff Lee. The signing of Werth to a long term rich deal says we'll spend money to win. And that may intrigue Lee. Especially if Wang stays with them(I think he was non-tendered but still could come back) and they end up with Webb who they were pursuing as well (another Wang-like project).

Yankees take care of internal business with Jeter and Mo. I would assumed they will sign Pettitte as soon as he makes his decision.

Both Lee and Crawford are the Yankees radar. Some are saying the Yankees are in on Crawford to either drive the price up for Boston or LA, or as a plan B if they don't land Lee and then would trade one of there other OF in a package for another pitcher.

Speaking of another pitcher Greinke says he will go anywhere that will win. I hope Yankees brass isn't interested in that.

A ton of deals will get dones this week as the Winter Meetings begin tomorrow. MLB Radio and MLB Network will have live coverage all week.

Mid said...


The Nats getting Jason Werth.

Are the Nats thinking about something with this signing - Jason Marquis, Strasburg, Wang, Bryce Harper

Could the Nats be the future big stick in the NL East????

Crash said...

Also as I indicated after Werth signed the Red Sox did not waste any time in doing the deal for A-Gon. Nothing official has been released as far as contract terms, but it's looking like 7 years $167MM.

old professor said...

The trade for Gonzalez has been finalized even though an extension was not reached. Apparently the red sox offered six years Gonzo is looking for eight. Sox believe they can complete deal in the future.

I was somewhat shocked by the Werth deal not necessarily the amount or years (though both may be an overstretch), but with who he signed with.

I cannot understand the Yankees basically bidding against themselves on Jeter. The fourth year option is a player option, which means we will continue to watch his skills defensively and offensively deteriorate over the next four years.

This team will get old very quickly if it is not already there. Jeter will be 37, A-Rod is 36, Mo will be 41, Pettitte will be 40 and Posada is or will be 40. Cano, Tex, Swisher, Gardner, and Granderson are still young. But there is still a lot of age on this team.

Mo as usual was a complete professional and gentleman when talking about the Red Sox offer to him. He indicated he respects their management, their team and their approach. A lot of players can learn from his approach.

Mid as for the Nationals, they will be a player in the future, but when you look at the rotation, there are a lot of question marks. Strasburg will not be back for the 2011 season, Wang has been released, Marquis is a number 3 at best. It is also questionable whether Werth will be able to replace the numbers put up by Dunn.

I do not see them signing Cliff Lee. Lee comes down to Yankees or Rangers and I am not convinced he is going to sign with the Yankees. He may be using them as leverage to get a more generous contract from the Rangers.

Crash said...

Lee will be a Yankee...BOOK IT! It's just a matter if they sign Crawford. A Yankee OF of Gardner, Crawford, and Granderson is sick.

Everything I've heard about Adam Dunn is very positive. Great club house guy, a team leader both on and off the field, hard worker, and puts up monster numbers. He wanted to go back to DC and play for the Nationals. Given what he signed for, the Nationals could have paid it and probably got Werth too. Bad decision by Mike Rizzo not keeping Dunn. Washington won't get out of the basement until 2012 or 2013. Werth will not come close to Dunn's production. Werth really only has 2 full seasons under his belt and has never put up 100 RBI's in a season, yet he got a deal worthy of a superstar. I smell a bust deal.

Crash said...

Some other odds and ends I'm seeing...
Wang is looking for a major league deal, despite not pitching in the majors for 2 years. If he can't find one he'll go back to the Nationals on a minor league deal. If I'm the Yankees I'm looking at this closely. He pitched well in the instructional league and could be back to his old form.

The Rockies are looking at Aceves.

The Werth deal, raises the price on Carl Crawford in a "big, big way" according to Jason Stark talking with one AL Official. Some are talking 10 years $180-190MM. Wonder if this prices him out of some previously interested teams. I don't see any team giving him 10 years, even at 29 years old.

Konerko has had talks with both the White Sox and Diamondbacks.

Neither the Yankees nor the Rangers have made "official" offers to Lee.

A-Gon does not have a deal in place yet, just an understanding of common ground of what it will take to sign him. Sox will get him the extension sometime during the season so he doesn't hit the open market.

Crash said...

A-Gon already trying to make nice with Boston fans...saying he's ready to beat the Yankees. Not gonna happen. Jed Hoyer, the SD GM, was formerly with the Red Sox when Teixeira the market a couple years ago. He said not getting Tex was a "kick in the stomach" and he knew Boston wouldn't let another high quality 1B escape.

Also hearing Baltimore is making a trade for Mark Reynolds. Nice to add 40 HRs, but also adding 200+ strike outs.

Neither George Steinbrenner nor Marvin Miller made the HOF from veterans committee. That's pretty sad. Both of these guys redefined the game, both should be in. One has already passed and the other I believe is in his 90's. They should elect these guys in while they're still here to enjoy it.

old professor said...

It is nice that Gonzalez is already making comments about beating the Yankees. Every year the comments are the same coming from Beantown.

The universe will return to normal this coming season with the Yankees and Boston competing for the division title. I believe that Tampa will have lost two much to be competitive. They will lose their closer, they will lose Crawford, they have lost Benoit, they will lose Pena and will lose one or two more before it is all said and done. They will maintain their rotation but it is a big question mark if some of those guys will repeat their 2010 performance. Price is a stud and will do well and the kid coming up from the minors that will be in the rotation is well - a prospect.

If Crawford uses the Werth contract as a benchmark to work a new contract, he will be eliminating a lot of teams from contention.

Mid said...

I guess I didn't see that Wang elected for FA.

I will always have a soft spot in my heart for that guy, so I'm saying it now - I hope the Yanks bid on him and sign him.

I think the Werth deal was big time - I'd much rather see him than Swisher, Granderson, Thames or Gardner.

Not that Garnder is bad, I'm just saying if giving the choice - I would opt for Werth.

old professor said...

Mid, Werth has been a starter for 2 years and is 31 years old. He does not have the resume or experience to warrant the contract that he got. The Nats will own that contract until the guy is 38 years old. I believe ownership was stung by the reaction of team members when Dunn was allowed to leave as a free agent without even an offer. So ownership had to do something and they signed worth.

On the Yankee front, word is Pettitte is leaning toward retirement. As for Wang, he wants a major league contract. Before he went to the Nationals, the Yankees offered a minor league deal, which he turned down. It would not be really expensive for the Yankees to take a flyer on him.

Crash said...

A major league deal doesn't necessarily guarantee a spot on the team though. Brackman has a major league deal. He's been on the 40 man roster since he signed 3 years ago and hasn't sniffed the big club yet. Maybe this year.

As for Pettitte, I think he retires if the Yankees don't get Cliff Lee. If they do sign Lee then Andy comes back because it gives them a better chance to win it all.

I would expect Cliff Lee will be signed this week there will be significant process today, and by tomorrow afternoon we will begin to get details of the deal.

It will be interesting to see what happens if they don't get Lee and Pettitte does retire. That only leaves CC, AJ, and Hughes. Maybe we see Pavano part 2 and a significant trade, or maybe they give Nova a chance to start.

Crash said...

I have 2 reports that the Yankees will offer CLiff Lee a max of 6 years and up to $150MM. They will not go 7 years. There is at least one team that has confirmed they will do a 7 year deal...hope that confirmed team is the Nationals.

The Blue Jays have been linked to the Greinke talks for some time. Royals are asking for Kyle Drabek and Travis Snyder as part of the deal. Drabek has huge up side, he was the main prospect in the Halladay trade. That's a pretty steep price. If I'm the Yankees I avoid that at all cost.

Crash said...

My hunch was right...Nationals will offer Cliff Lee 7 year deal and according to Buster Olney will throw "a huge Number at Lee".

Crash said...

The Nationals, Rangers, and Cubs have all been in contact with Brandon Webb as well.

old professor said...

The Nats are in a building phase for contention within the next two years. If they want to offer Lee seven years let them. I don't see Lee signing with the Nats. He wants to be on a winner and that adjective does not come close to the Nats.

Yankees could consider seven, but that would place Lee at 39 years of age and being guaranteed something in the neighborhood of 23 million.

Crash said...

A "Yankee Official" has said someone offering Lee 7 years doesn't impact what they will offer.

We'll see if money is more important than winning for Lee. That obviously was the case for Jayson Werth.

Crash said...

Lee has multiple 7 year deals on the table apparently, estimated at $20-25$MM per. Coincidently Nolan Ryan was more optimistic of his teams chances of signing Lee. If the Rangers do offer 7 years and the Yankees "only" offer 6, I can't see him signing with the Yankees.

As for Crawford, Angels and Red Sox seem to be the only teams really interested. The Tigers were in on him until he raised his asking price in light of the Werth contract.

Yankees are interested in Kerry Wood but want to wrap up Lee talks first.

old professor said...

Those "other" teams could have entered the talks just to drive up the cost for the Yankees to keep the team out of the Crawford sweepstakes. However, if the Yankees won't go seven with Lee, I don't expect them to go eight for Crawford.

The Yankees may also want to start looking at other pitching options other than Lee. The market is getting very thin and if they don't sign Lee, they will have at least one and possibly two holes to fill with the free agent likes of Carl Pavano.

It was nice to hear that CC has indicated he will not opt out of his contract.

Crash said...

Yankees are in on Crawford for more than just to drive the price up on the other teams.

Word is Pettitte is almost certainly retiring. If that's the case that gives the Yankees an extra $13MM or so off the books and that is enough to sign both Lee and Crawford and then trade one of their other OF (please be Swisher) for a starter.

So Crawford is there plan B if they don't get Lee, or if Pettitte retires.

Cashman had "extensive" meetings with Crawford's agent last night.

I think the multiple 7 year deal rumor was started by Lee's agent and their is no substance to that rumor. You can draw that conclusion through process of elimination. Rangers and Yankees have yet to make their offers...Angels have not made an offer. Nationals, Dodgers, Brewers, and Cubs who have been on the fringe of discussions have denied that they have made 7 year offers. Boston can't afford Lee at any length. There just isn't anyone, let alone 2, out there to make that 7 year offer.

Crash said...

Also seeing Yankees and Red Sox are both heavily involved with Russel Martin who was non-tendered by the Dodgers. Think that says volumes of how the Yankees don't want Jorge behind the plate at all, and how they aren't quite ready to hand over the catching duties to Montero or Romine. And as we all knew Cervelli is nothing more than a backup. Yankees nearlly traded Cervelli for Martin, so if Martin does sign with NY, expect Cervelli to be released or traded.

old professor said...

The Yankees apparently have made an offer to Lee. It is rumored to be six years for $140-150 million. That would fit the 23-25 million per year as most writers said it would take to sign Lee. Now let's see if those other teams with seven years on the table match the money - anyone actually believe there are other teams competing at this point?

Crash said...

That is the deal everyone was speculating about...I haven't seen that it was actually offered yet though. Which to me doesn't make sense. Lee's agent is holding up the process. Why would you not accept offers at any time.

The Rangers have met with Lee's agent and Crawford's agent today. Cubs do the Yankees a favor and sign Carlos Pena. I swear he hit a HR in every AB against the Yanks for the last 5 years.

Crash said...

Just read that it wasn't just Cashman and Crawford's agent at the offsite dinner meeting...Crawford was there too and the Yankees are "very interested" in him, and may pursue even if they get Lee.

Crash said...

Lee's agent has left the Winter Meetings and without offers from the Rangers or Yankees. This guy is a complete idiot and is ticking me off. This will only slow the process more.

Crash said...

Cliff Lee will make a decision by weeks end. Heard Brian Cashman on Michael Kay today say that "he knows where we stand" when asked about an offer to Lee.

He made a couple statements that would leave me to believe they will be in full pursuit of Crawford and will trade for a starter if Pettitte retires.

Crash said...

So the Yankees talks with Crawford, while I'm sure there may have some interest in him, appear to have been a strategic move to force the Red Sox to move on him to get them out of the Lee talks. The Red Sox were at least one of the teams that offered Lee 7 years. Yankees leak that Cashman has a private dinner with Crawford and that they're interested in both and all of sudden Red Sox sign him up for some ungodly contract.

Personally I'm glad the Yankees decided to spend $17MM on an aging, declining shortstop rather than spend it on a guy that can still hit .300 20 HRs and steal 65 bases.

That makes the Red Sox OF a little crowded Ellsbury, Cameron, JD Drew now Crawford...I don't think it is by accident that Theo has made it public that Ellsbury is healthy. He fell out of favor last season with the fans and front office. I would bet he's traded for some bullpen help.

And lastly I don't want to hear from any Red Sox fan about how the Yankees always "buy World Championships", because that is exactly what the Red Sox are trying to do this offseason. They should change their logo to Red $ox.

old professor said...

The Red Sox signing of Crawford came out of the blue and makes them very strong offensively. Yuk will be moved to third where he can replace Beltre, Gonzo will add defense and power at first. Crawford will give them speed, great defense and great on base percentage. There had been a lot of talk at the end of this last season that the Red Sox were open to moving Ellsbury in a trade. I would be surprised if they did, because Ellsbury and Crawford create a pitchers nightmare at the top of the order. But it gives them flexibility and allows them to cut Cameron loose.

With their rotation and the projected line-up, the Yankees may have to win 102 games to win the division. The rivalry is BACK.

Crash said...

Yankees just increased their offer to Cliff Lee to include a 7th year!

old professor said...

Yankees seem to be acting in a desperate fashion. Lee probably did not even have time to consider a six year before they called and said seven.

Heard a great analogy this morning regarding what the sox and Yankees have been doing. Yankees concentrated on signing Jeter - must sign Jeter who will be 37 and is well passed his prime. Red Sox go out and add two stud athletes to their lineup. Who do you think will have the better shot a winning the division next year and into the future - Yankees will continue to get older and older and older. Red Sox have a great minor league system that with all of the injuries kept the sox in the race until late September. Where would the Yankees have been if they suffered similar injuries to the same number of players. Sox lost their centerfielder, shortstop, second baseman, first baseman, catcher and left fielder and still won over 90 games.

Crash said...

Old Prof I couldn't agree more. Kind of the point I was trying to make a little earlier. While I feel the Yankees need Mo and even Pettitte. The time, energy, and money wasted on Jeter's "negotiation" was a complete waste. Cashman is in charge of putting the best team on the field and by concentrating on Jeter he has hurt the ballclub more than helped it.

Just heard that the Rangers initial offer was only 5 years, this is why the entire Ranger front office and owner is flying to Arkansas to have a 3rd face to face meeting with Lee. Rangers are apparently desperate. They are asking Lee and his agent "What number does he want?" and their response is more less we're not giving a number, bring your best.

old professor said...

Crash, the issue with the Rangers in not money but years. They are not willing to move off of five years. Nolan Ryan was interviewed this morning on ESPN and was not optimistic about resigning Lee. They were already aware of the Yankee seven year offer and know they can't or won't match that and will not be able to match the eventual dollars the Yankees are going to throw on the table.

My problem with the Yankees right now is age. Jeter, Mo, Posada, and A-Rod are all past their prime. If Pettitte comes back, he will be forty before the end of the season.

Cano is young and not yet to his prime, Tex is 30, Swisher is almost 30. If they sign Lee, he is 32. Granderson is still young - but no Crawford. Gardner is young, but again not Crawford. I am impressed with what the Red Sox have done. They are young and athletic.

Crash said...

So the Winter Meetings have come to a close and 22 teams made some form of an acquisition/addition to their club (excluding the Rule 5 draft selections)...and the Yankees were not one of them. I'm extremely disappointed with that. I thought for sure they would have at least one prized free agent if not 2. Hell they can't even sign a catcher that was non-tendered 2 weeks ago. Red Sox are going to beat them to Martin. All I know is coming out of this meeting is the Yankees will need left handed pitching to offset the heavy left sided hitting of the Red Sox...and they will need a catcher that can actually throw runners out at second when they attempt to steal. With Crawford, Ellsbury, Pedrioa, Cameron, and even JD Drew they will run all day on Yankee catchers.

Crash said...

Yankees have multiple offers out to Cliff Lee. Joel Sherman says they're: 5 years @ $25 per, 6 @ $24, or 7 @ $23. And Rangers expect to know by tonight if he will sign with them. I guess by default does that mean the Yankees will know if they have him by tonight?

old professor said...

The fact that only two teams have offers on the table to Lee, it does not look good for the Yankees. If years and dollars mattered, Lee would have announced already.

As for rule 5 the Yankees don't need to take a flyer on a person to add to their active roster just to return him to the original club later - reference Hoffman from last year.

Did the Yankees lose anyone?

For a team that needed left handed relief, the Yankees have lost out on two: George Sherrill and Scott Downs. Downs would have been a good addition to the bullpen. Not sure how you can rebuild a pen without looking at what is available.

Crash said...

I think Lee is trying to decide between going with his heart(Texas) or going with his head (NYY). I hope this thing ends today.

Yankees did lose 2 players in the Rule 5 draft. San Diego selected George Kontos (RHP from SWB) and Houston selected Lance Pendleton(RHP SWB). Kontos is 25 and has spent a total of 9 games at the AAA level and didn't do to well.

Pendleton is 26 and just made the jump to AAA last year, looks like he was hurt in 2006. I would be surprised if either of these guys had an impact at the MLB level.

Crash said...

Some Lee news starting to happen. Braunecker (Lee's agent) has contacted the Yankees today. Have also heard that the Rangers have begun aggressively pursuing Adrian Beltre. This is interesting because Beltre was the free agent "Plan B" option for the Rangers if they didn't get Lee. Rangers were not optimistic about signing Lee and are apparently moving on.

Yankee fan favorite Hideki Matsui is on the verge of signing a contract with the Oakland A's.

Crash said...

Yankees are also very close to an agreement with Russel Martin. Buster Olny is saying "wouldn't be surprise if we hear at any time of an agreement"

old professor said...

If the Yankees sign Martin, it sucks to be Cervelli. Martin would become the primary catcher with Posada doing the occassional gig behind the plate. That would also mean you won't see Jesus Montero with the big club. He needs to have the work - unless he us given the starting job with Martin being the backup and fallback should Montero crap the sheets.

There are some other interestiing free agents the Yankees could look at to fillout the rotation - Freddie Garcia was 12-6 last year and pitched well, Chris Capuano had a 3.95 ERA with the Brewers and is a free agent - he is left handed and only 31. A young pitcher from the Yankee's past is also a free agent (minor league free agent) - steven Jackson.

Dotel and Farnsworth are also looking for work. Jerry Hairston is a free agent again as is his brother (gives you more flexibility in the infield and as an occassional leftfielder). They could have used Hairston last year.

If Matsui goes to the A's, he will bring a high degree of professionalism with him. The Angels gave up on him because they wanted him to replace Vlad - never can happen.

It will be interesting to see where some of the older free agents go: Damon, Farnsworth, Dotel, Giambi, etc..

Crash said...

Matsui's stats last year were not bad: .274 21 HR 84 RBI. Had he stayed in NY his power numbers would have been slightly higher. Everyone knew Vlad's numbers would increase, or return close to his norm, in Texas.

Capuano isn't worth a minor league deal. He never fulfilled his promise with the Brewers. He could be a candidate for Dave Duncan's magic in St Louis.

Yankees would make Martin the starting catcher, Montero would most likely be the back up, Posada would not be catching at all (sparingly at best). Cashman has already told Jorge he is there DH.

Crash said...

Padres announce signing of Dustin Mosley.

Nationals officially out on Cliff Lee. Think that truly means Yankees and Angels at this point...some are still saying Angels could be the mystery team, but if they weren't willing to go 7 years on Crawford and coming up way short on $$, I can't see them even being in the ballpark for Cliff Lee.

Crash said...

Jayson Stark speculating that the Phillies are the Cliff Lee "mystery team". Rotation of Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, & Hammels??? WOW,now that would be ridiculous!!!

Crash said...

Several reports that Phillies are suddenly the favorite for Cliff Lee, even though they are offering fewer years and less (a lot less) $$ than Yankees.

Crash said...

It's official Lee signs with the Phillies. He agrees to a 5 year $120MM. The Yankees best offer was a 6 year $132MM with a 7th year $16MM player option. Texas offered 6 years $130.

I'm shocked. And have no idea what will happen now. Yankees may be forced to throw a lot of $$ at Pettitte to make him want to come back. Not a ton of quality out there. I hope the Yankees do not panic and mortgage the farm for Greinke.

I will say it is refreshing that a player turns down a lot more money to play where he wants to though. He esentially leaves $29MM on the table.

old professor said...

This may actually work out better for the Yankees. They can pursue more needs including Pettitte with the money they would have locked up on Lee. The long-term benefit is one less player locked up into his late 30's or 40's. Think about this Jeter is now under contract until he is 42, Posada will be 40, Mo will be 42 or 43 when his contract expires A-Rod will be 43, Tex will be 39 when is expires and AJ Burnett will be 40. That is a lot of age, a lot of years and a lot of money. The team will be better served going younger and more athletic. Maybe now they can actually sign Pettitte and Wood and a couple of more arms that would help.

Cashman keeps saying the farm system is one of the top ten so maybe it is time to rely on it.

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