While the Yanks have certainly made the most noise with their proclamations that they want to sign every possible free agent, I don't think they are the most important team this off-season. The Yanks don't hold the singularly most important key; though they certainly hold the most cash. So who's the keymaster?
The Angels, unwilling to meet Mark Teixeira's desire for a 10-year contract, are in discussions with CC Sabathia and could offer him a contract that approaches the $140-million bid extended to him by the New York Yankees.
If Sabathia lands in Anaheim (talk about a great rotation!), you can bet that the Yanks would not only shift their focus on Teix, but also go harder after Burnett, Lowe and Sheets. I can hear it now:
- to Burnett: "You want a fifth year? If you agree right now, we'll go to 5 years, $75 million"
- to Lowe: "You're 36 but if you agree right now, we'll go to 4 years, $55 million"
- to Sheets: "You're coming off an arm injury, but if you agree right now, we'll go to 3 years, $40 million"
- to Teix: "How's 7 years, $150 million grab you? Look at that short porch in right. Batting in front of ARod. Manning first base, where your idol, Donnie Baseball, earned his pinstripes."
I honestly don't think the Yanks are going to go 4 years on Lowe, or at least I would hope they don't get that desperate. I would like to see Sheets, though. I would also be shocked to see any team go to 10 years on Teix. Seven or eight, maybe.