Thursday, October 16, 2008

Possible landing spots for top FA's

And now with their longest winter since 1994, the New York Yankees have time and loads of money on their hands, willing to dole it out to whoever will help them return to October.

USA Today's Bob Nightengale takes a look at the best available free agents and their likely landing spots.
  • Sabathia, Brewers: ... He would like to stay in the National League and out of New York. Look for the Dodgers and Angels to be the final two bidders
  • Teixeira, Angels: He is one of the most feared first basemen in the game and can also beat you with his glove. Guess who has plenty of money to burn and need a first baseman? The Yankees, of course. They have about $88 million coming off their books.
  • A.J. Burnett, Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays have offered a two-year, $30 million extension, to go on top of the two years, $24 million remaining on his deal. Burnett, who can opt out of his contract, knows he can get more. The Yankees, knowing he can pitch in the AL East after watching him go 18-10 with a league-leading 231 strikeouts, might make him their priority.
  • Derek Lowe, Dodgers: He doesn't want to stay in Los Angeles. He might even go home to play for the Detroit Tigers. But it's hard to believe the Tigers can compete with the Yankees.
  • Ramirez, Dodgers: The Dodgers can't afford to let him go, can they? Ramirez wants four years, which figures to be a year more than the Dodgers are willing to offer. The question is who else will be in the bidding? The New York Mets might be the only true suitor.

Here's my take on these guys:

  • Sabathia: As much as I'd LOVE to see him looking svelte in pinstripes, I can't see him coming unless the offers to stay out West (or even in MLW) are 50% lower than what the Yanks offer. Can anyone else offer $150M over 7 years? I don't think so.
  • Teixeira: I don't believe Cashman wants to pay asking for Teix. He's a wonderful gloveman and a solid hitter, but he's not an MVP-type, transcendent type of player that makes others demonstrably better. With Boras doing the tub-thumping, he won't be cheap and it won't be for 5 years. I suspect if Cashman could go 5/$20 million per, he would consider that strongly. But 7+ years at $20m per is excessive.
  • Burnett: Looking at his record is deceiving; he still had an ERA over 4. Maybe that's great for batting the Sox, Yanks and TB all year. He's a big K guy but he's doesn't have that resume of sterling health. Would it surprise anyone if he became American Idle part II or Darren Dreifort? Having watched Burnett closely this year (on the fantasy team, sorry), he's been prone to that one bad inning (like Pettitte). He's been frustrating. If the Yanks go 4 years, $60 million ($6m more than the Jays extension offer), it'd be in line with his 2008 performance but I'd be very concerned. He's got the bulldog personality but I worry about his history. All that said, the Yanks have lacked that big K pitcher that usually helps in the post-season.
  • Lowe: Wow, where to start? I suspect if he's pitching for NY, the team overpaid for a mid-30's pitcher. He's no ace but a good part of any rotation. And there's a very real part of me that hates chasing the past-the-prime Red Sox. Why don't we go sign Varitek, too? Don't dare get me started about Manny.
  • Manny: So help me, if he lands a multi-year deal to play for the Yanks, I will scream from every hilltop I can find. Let Boras fleece someone else.

Anyways, that's about it for now.


tHeMARksMiTh said...

As much as I want to agree about Teixeira, you have to agree that he's put up great numbers and hasn't even peaked yet (according to the "prime" theory). If that's the case, he could be an MVP candidate over the next 5-6 years. If you have the money and need, why not? It's not like he'd handicap you all that much. Somehow, I think the Yankees realize, "Hey we have $88M to play with. Let's use it." Then, they end up with Sabathia and Teixeira.

Jason @ IIATMS said...


I hear ya with his numbers but when you see him in the lineup (imagine yourself as a competing manager/player), does he scare you? He would "concern" me but I don't think he'd scare me. for $20M over 7+ years, he better SCARE THE BEJESUS outta me.

He's a very good player, but not a transcendent one. Will he continue to escalate to that level? Perhaps. Are you prepared to be wrong? What if he devolves into a Giambi-like player (leave the causes aside and focus on the result)?

The Yanks have finally extricated themselves from that Giambi contract and I am just thinking they are a bit gunshy to get back into bed with another big contract at 1B.

They have some kids that might develop, plus you KNOW they might need to "hide" Posada and others there, especially next year. Matsui/Damon will have to DH a bunch, too.

I think Teix is a quality person and would be a dynamite fit for this team. I really do. Would be thrilled as hell if he landed in pinstripes. But, at what cost?