In a gigantic move, the Yankees have signed CC Sabathia to a record-setting 7 year,
161 million dollar contract. The contract also has an opt-out clause after the first 3 years. Finally! We see some action. The top starter and top closer will each head to New York in 2009.
This is a heck of a deal for Sabathia. Even if there wasn’t an opt-out clause it would still have looked good. He was patient by sitting on the Yankees’ original 6 year, 140 million dollar offer for a little less than a month. Most players would have snatched that up in a heartbeat. But CC waits until he gets an extra year, 21 extra million, and an opt-out clause. I’m pretty sure that Carsten Charles is ditching New York after 2011. He would be leaving 92 million on the table, but could easily get more than that on the open market if the next 3 seasons are anything like the previous 2. This is an outstanding move by Sabathia.
I think this is a solid move for the Yankees, also. However, it looks like it’s going to be a 3 year deal. Not that that’s a bad thing, because 3 years for CC is very nice, but it would have been smarter to give him 7 years, 160 million gauranteed. They will almost have to open up the check book for Sabathia a second time, or else let him leave. It’s a win-now move, and I like it. Since they could have done better, I will give them a C+ on this move.
The Yankees are definitely not done. They still would like to sign either AJ Burnett, Derek Lowe, or Ben Sheets along with resigning Andy Pettitte. I could definitely see this happening. They have still got about 27 million to spend.
There was finally a big move. I thought it would be January before CC signed. (just kidding, but the market was so slow) I can’t wait to find out where the other players go, now that the top target is off the board.
Mark Teixera’s agent, Scott Boras, says that he has recieved a number of offers for Teixera. He isn’t talking about teams that are interested, but actual offers that Tex could accept at any time. Boras didn’t say how many teams, or which teams, but Teixera has at least two offers on the table. The Angels haven’t made an offer yet. The 5 teams interested in Tex are the afermentioned Angels, Red Sox, Oriols, Nationals, and Yankees.
I doubt the Yanks have made a true offer, because they would be unable to sign CC Sabathia in that situation. They are interested in him as a backup plan to CC, but probably didn’t make an offer to Tex yet. It’s possible they could squeeze both Tex and CC into the payroll, but it seems they would prefer another starter like AJ Burnett or Derek Lowe.
So it is between the Red Sox, Nationals, and Oriols. At least 2 of those 3 teams have made offers. It might have even been all three. I find the Sox as the most likely team to make an offer. He is their offseason priority, and I have a feeling that he could end up in Boston when it’s all said and done. They probably already made him a contract offer that would exceed the 8 year, 160 million dollar contract they gave to Manny Ramirez. That was their biggest contract in club history. Tex will get paid more than that, from the Red Sox or a different team.
The Nationals and Oriols are the two sleepers in this market. I could see either team offering 10 years, yet I could see either team not even making an offer. I slightly edge toward the Nats. They seem like they’d be the team to spend a ton of money. Remember, there was a rumor that the Nats were preparing to offer Teixera 10 years, 200 million. If that were true, they would probably win him over. The Oriols also could have made an offer, but I’m guessing it’s more in the 6 year, 120 million range. That won’t get it done.
I have a feeling that Tex has gotten a big offer from some team. This might have been the reason that the Angels contacted CC Sabathia’s agent. It could be that there is a 10 year offer on the table from someone. 10 years is something the Angels will not do; they haven’t given an indication that they’d offer 8. The Angels may be moving on from Tex and moving onto Sabathia.
I used to hate the idea of the Nationals signing Teixera, but I’m starting to understand it. They are in a market that could potentially grow large. Washington DC has a lot of people in it. A 100 million dollar payroll isn’t out of the question. They won’t hit that range in ’09, but later on it’s possible. The Nats need someone to fill the seats, and hopefully Tex will be that player. Of course, they’d have to pull him away from the Red Sox, Angels, Yankees, and Oriols first.
With so many teams seriously interested in Mark Teixera, the Angels are contemplating the idea of signing CC Sabathia instead. Talks have recently begun with CC and his agent. It is possible that the Angels could offer Sabathia a contract close to the one Johan Santana got; only 3 million less the the Yankees’ offer. This would almost definately get a deal done unless the Yanks raised their offer to the 7 year, 180 million range. If the Yankees do that, Sabathia would be in the same situation he is in now. The Angels wouldn’t go after Sabathia unless Mark Teixera declined his contract offer first. They are preparing to make him a 7 year, 140 million offer, but Tex and Boras are still pushing for 10 years. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Angels offered Teixera 8 years, 160 million; that’s only 1 extra year than the initial offer they are planning to make. The Red Sox, desperate to counter any Yankees signing, might be willing to throw even more money toward Tex. 9 years, 180 million isn’t out of the question for them. So, if the Angels can’t get Teixera for whatever reason, and he is lost to the Red Sox, Oriols, Nationals, or Yankees, the Halos will turn to Sabathia.
I know this might be confusing, because Sabathia is expected to sign before Tex. The Angels, however, plan on making Teixera their highest offer with a deadline. If Tex accepts, then great. If he declines, they will aggressively pursue CC Sabathia. The Yankees might be trying to do the same thing. They could put a deadline on the offer they made to CC, and then if they don’t get him they can turn to Tex. It would be ironic to see Sabathia sign with the Angels, who need hitting more than pitching, and then see Teixera sign with the Yankees, who need pitching more than hitting. The Dodgers could also follow this idea. Offer Manny a contract with a deadline, and if he doesn’t accept, go after Sabathia. It’s kind of different in their situation, because Manny is almost definately going to resign with the Dodgers. No one else in even interested.
Free agency is a very confusing, tough puzzle to solve. It is almost impossible to truly know who will sign where. I just try my best.
Almost everyone thinks CC Sabathia will end up signing with the Yankees. But, he has made it known that he doesn’t want to sign in New York. He would much rather go home to the west coast and/or the national league. The Dodgers, Angels, and Giants seem like other interested parties, but none of them are particuarly great fits. The Dodgers and Angels would rather resign their former sluggers, Manny Ramirez and Mark Teixera.
I see no way Manny doesn’t return to LA. There are no other teams that make any sense besides the Dodgers. The Yankees are possible if they miss CC and Tex, but what are the chances the rich Yankees go all the way to plan C? Manny would like to wait for a while before he signs on. He seems like he will be the last major free agent to sign. Manny and CC could both be squeezed into the payroll, but that would leave little room for other free agent signings. They have a lot of holes, so this might not be a good idea. The Dodgers aren’t a very likely Sabathia suitor.
The Angels are more likely. They will present Teixera with a big offer and a deadline. If Tex doesn’t agree to the contract before the deadline, the Angels will abandon him and move on to Sabathia. They would pose a big threat to the Yankees if Tex does not return. So they’re more likely than the Dodgers, but I would still favor the Yankees.
The Giants have not made an offer yet for 2 reasons.
- The Barry Zito signing scared them to death. I don’t know if they want to give out another 100 million+ contract after seeing how bad the first one ended up. Sabathia is a completely different type of pitcher, so they might still consider it. Even if they do decide to pursue Sabathia and eventually sign him, they have to worry about the 2nd reason.
- They don’t need CC Sabathia. That is very obvious. The reason they’re considering him is because they could then flip Matt Cain to a different team for a big bat without creating a hole in the starting pitching. Cain for Prince Fielder has been discussed, but the Brewers might be able to aquire a pitcher in a different transaction. Or, payroll could become an issue. Fielder will probably make 7 or 8 million through arbitration while Sabathia will take at least 20 million per year. So Sabathia to the Giants is possible, but I don’t think it’s going to happen because of the above two reasons.
So CC Sabathia is still probably going to wear pinstripes next year, but these are some other possibilities.
If the Yankees are unable to sign 2 of CC Sabathia, Derek Lowe, and AJ Burnett, they will make an agressive bid for Mark Teixera. Not being able to sign two of those three is a very real possibility, despite what most Yankees’ fans say. Sabathia has pretty much said that he doesn’t want to play for the Yanks by not accepting their 6 year, 140 million offer yet. They seem unwilling to offer Burnett 5 years, but losing CC could change that. Lowe doesn’t want to go to New York either. If they sign one, they still have the money for Tex. I know they traded for Nick Swisher, but he could be moved to center field or to a different team. Tex would certainly fit in nicely in the middle of their lineup. Plus, there is the added bonus of keeping him away from the Red Sox. If the Yanks really want to add payroll they might be able to sign Sabathia, Tex, and Burnett. This could work if it were OK for the payroll to be in the 210 million range like it was last year. Or if they just backloaded contracts this idea could work. Overall, I think they’ll just end up spending their money on starting pitching while letting Tex go somewhere else.
The Red Sox have 30 million to spend without anything to spend it on. Their only holes: catcher and middle reliever. Niether position have superstars available that would take up 30 million. So if the Red Sox fill those holes cheaply, what else will they do? Mark Teixera has been a pretty popular rumor. I like this idea for them because it would take their lineup to a whole new demension while getting protection behind David Ortiz. Ortiz-Tex is just as good of a 3-4 punch as Ortiz-Manny Ramirez. Mike Lowell would have to be traded for this idea to come to fruition, but he should be moveable on a salary dump trade. Some team will take a chance on him. If they strike out on Tex, they could turn to starting pitching. I know that you aren’t hearing any rumors about it, but CC Sabathia could be an intriging free agent for two big reasons. 1: He could make them the unquestioned best team in the MLB, and 2: He won’t become a Yankee. They seem unhappy about the price, though, so don’t expect to see CC in Red Sox next summer. The next tier of starters are all possible. The Sox will be in the bidding for Derek Lowe, AJ Burnett, and Ben Sheets. Lowe has familiarity which makes him the most attractive; you can rest assured he won’t fall apart under the pressure of Boston. Burnett is also a target because the Yankees want him. He could help their team out a ton. If they miss out on Burnett and Lowe, they could turn to Sheets. They might be the best fit for him because it won’t kill them if he gets injured since they have such great depth. It is very possible that they don’t land anyone because they don’t feel they have to overpay since they don’t have a need at any of these positions. It is also possible that they add Teixera and a starter. Let’s say that Tex takes 20 million per year and the starter takes 16 million per. That would be 36 million, but after aquiring Tex they must trade Lowell and his 12 million. If they bring in Teixera along with either Lowe or Burnett, they will be a very tough team to beat in 2009 and should challenge for the world series again, let alone the AL East.
The Giants are considering some of the top names on the free agent market. Guys like CC Sabathia, Rafael Furcal, Orlando Cabrera, Casey Blake, Joe Crede, and Orlando Hudson are possible players the Giants could have interest in. The goal is to upgrade the infield where there is no sure thing. A couple of young, decent players are on the team, but they really need a veteran. Emmanuel Burres could be a solid middle infielder. Pablo Sandoval could take a corner position. John Bowker is decent and so is Kevin Frandsen. Overall, I think they just have to add somebody.
Sabathia makes some sense as they could then deal Matt Cain to the Brewers for Prince Fielder. Or just trade Jonathan Sanchez and head into ’09 with 3 stud pitchers. I talked in depth about CC to the Giants here.
Furcal would make a particually good aquisition. He could lead off for them and would really change their image as a slow, old team. I would shy away from Furcal, however, because of the price. It will take a lot of money to lure Furcal away from all the other teams seriously interested in him such as the Dodgers, A’s, Royals, Cardinals, and Blue Jays.
Cabrera would be easier to sign than Furcal, but he doesn’t do much anymore. Yes he can play good defense and hit for a decent average, but he has no power and little speed. It might be a better idea to save the money for a different position and continue playing Frandsen and Burres everyday.
Blake and Crede could be solid additions as well. I would rather pursue middle infield help, though. Pablo Sandoval is a pretty solid prospect. I know he could move to first if there is a third baseman aquisition, but he would then block top prospect Akinori Iwamura.
Hudson is the one that makes the most sense to me. There won’t be many serious bidders for him; only the Cardinals and Indians seem truly interested. Both teams have other big holes, so it wouldn’t be that hard to make them shy away to fill a different hole. Hudson would make a very nice aquisition for San Fran.
The Giants don’t have to get the infield bat via free agency, however. They could always just trade Jonathan Sanchez for an infield bat. They might even make a signing and a trade. Sign Furcal and trade Sanchez for Kelly Johnson. Just like that you have a middle infield. Whatever they do, it will be tough to compete in 2009 unless the Dodgers screw up in free agency.