Thursday, December 11, 2008

Winter Meetings Draw To A Close But The Real Fun Is Just Beginning

The winter meetings are over but the next few days will likely still produce a lot of rumors and talk about certain goings on. I'm sure various other sites have used this line but it's fitting. What happened in Vegas ain't going to stay there. The framework for many deals have probably been discussed and laid out before the GMs. It could take a few days to cross some tees and dot some eyes. The hot stove promises to keep roaring probably into sometime next week.

Pete Abraham posted on his blog earlier this evening that the on again off again Melky Cabrera for Mike Cameron Yankees-Brewers trade was indeed on again. One thing I love about the hot stove is the never-ending roller coaster ride. One minute you're sure something is happening. You turn around and it went belly up. Padres and Cubs fans probably know best what I'm talking about. This Cameron/Cabrera was thought to be DOA earlier today. Apparently, it's picked up full steam and the sides will probably reach something out. As I mentioned earlier today, the hang up was reportedly over who was eating Cameron's $10 million dollar salary. That question remains unanswered but I'd have to think some kind of compromise was reached. I don't see the Brewers coughing up that dough.

Joel Sherman of the NY Post reported earlier that Cashman left the meetings a little early to have some face time with Andy Pettitte. Sherman reports that the Yanks will offer Pettitte what they've offered him all along, which is a 1-year deal for $10 million. If you ask me, Pettitte is lucky to get even that. Andy, or maybe I should say his agents, is out of his mind if he thinks he's going to get close to the $16 million he made last year. A $16 mill per year pitcher doesn't go 14-14 with a 4.54 ERA. Andy was God-awful at the end of the year and he should thank his lucky stars that a team is willing to give him an 8-figure pay day. I thought at the end of the season that the team would be wise to just cut the cord and part ways with the beloved Yankee. With the way things are shaping up, I wouldn't mind seeing him back for 1 final year. If I'm Cashman I stick to my guns and I make it very clear. I've got one open spot and it's yours for $10 mill. Take it or leave it. The ball is in your court AP.

If AP turns the Yankees down I think they move their sights to Ben Sheets, assuming of course his medical records are satisfactory. I'm taking Cashman's visit to Texas as a sign that they're not looking to lock up the 5th spot in the rotation with a long-term deal. There were some reports that the Yankees would go after both Derek Lowe and A.J. Burnett. If that were the case, I don't think Cashman would have made a house call to the Pettitte residence. The 5th spot in the rotation is eventually going to Phil Hughes. Hughes is probably a year or two away at most of being ready for an everyday gig. If the Yanks were to sign both Lowe and Burnett, the rotation would be shored up for at least 3 years. There's no way they let Hughes stew in the minors for that long. I think the team would be best served by a low cost short term deal for spot #5. It's looking like it might shape up that way.

Mark Bowman of reported earlier that A.J. Burnett was either going to be a Brave or a Yankee. As I mentioned earlier, the Yankees offered A.J. a guaranteed 5-year deal somewhere in the $80-85 million dollar range. Per Ken Rosenthal at FoxSports, the Braves could be working on giving A.J. a guaranteed 5th year as well. Previously they offered 4 years plus what was billed as an "easily attainable" vesting option, meaning the 5th year was all but a given. I don't see the Braves matching the Yankees in terms of dollars but as my friend Jeff says they're now desperate so who knows. We still go back-and-forth with the "no you take him" bit. The Yankees seem like they're targeting Burnett more than they are Derek Lowe. I think I still prefer Lowe to A.J. only because he's proven to be more durable. I think A.J. will put up better numbers but I question whether or not he'll be another Carl Pavano. It's only a matter of time before A.J. signs his contract, whether it's with New York or Atlanta. I wouldn't be surprised if it happens overnight tonight.

And then of course there's Mark Teixeira. The prevailing school of thought is that the Yankees aren't that interested, but I wouldn't be surprised if they make a go at him. They could still drop $20 million on him and still have a payroll south of last year's, which is what Cashman is shooting for. Don't count them out.

It has definitely been a fun and interesting couple of days. Stay tuned because I have a feeling we're just getting started. The real fun is about to begin.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,



She-Fan said...

I bet Sheets' medical records weren't good, since we haven't heard anything more about him lately. As for Tex, we need him. Somebody's got to protect A-Rod in that lineup.