You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2008.

I cannot find any more information on Bernie Williams and his quad injury that reportedly is pretty serious.  No word on how it happened or how long he will be sidelined for.  If Bernie cannot recover in time for the March WBC, he is pretty much out of luck – the next WBC is reportedly not until 2013.  I’ll keep trying to find more information.

I want to wish everyone a safe and happy New Year.  And stay warm!  Upstate NY temperature is supposed to be in the single digits, with a wind chill of -15.


Now that the Yankees appear to have finished their spending spree this offseason, attention turns to the rest of the free agent pool.  Most notably, Manny Ramirez, Derek Lowe, Adam Dunn, Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi.  (Disclaimer:  I never really assume the Yankees have ever stopped spending money, that’s why I used the word “appear.”)  But back to the free agents.

Buster Olney addresses the Ramirez situation quite nicely in his blog.  How can any team offer him what he wants (4 years $100 Million) when it doesn’t need to and because of the risk involved.  ESPN has reported that the Dodgers have reopened negotiations with Ramirez, although its doubted they will offer him the $22.5 Million per season they had in November.   Since the only top outfielders left are Abreu and Dunn, its clear that no other outfielder will get anywhere above $14 Million – thus simple economics teaches us that the price for Ramirez should come down, possibly to around $18 Million.

But then again, here we are questioning the risk behind having Ramirez on your team: How do we know Manny will play hard; especially if he is given a salary less then he wanted?  Because of this, Olney asks in his blog if it would be worth it for the Dodgers to overpay for Ramirez in order to ensure he is happy and plays hard.  This is a tough question to ask and supports why I was scared when I heard the Yankees were interested in Ramirez and Derek Jeter say Manny would be a good fit for the team.  Scared because the man is too volatile.  He has amazing skill, but not the attitude the Yankees need or want.  We needed a work horse.  The type of guy that Sabathia and Teixeira embody.  Not a guy who takes a bathroom break in the green monster during a stoppage in play.

Its in this situation, that I am glad I am not a general manager.  Ramirez at his best would be a great addition to any team but how do we know we get the best every game?  Or even at least half of them?  Is an extra $7 Million/year worth it?

So here comes Adam Dunn into the situation.  Dunn has quietly made himself into quite the commodity.  Not the most amazing player but someone who is a decent hitter and can be an average outfielder.  Best of all, he probably comes at a bargain price of $12-14 Million, simply because of how horrible the market is for outfielders.  This is a steal.

Then we are left with Bobby Abreu.  Poor, poor Bobby Abreu.  The man made a cool $16 Million with the Yankees last season.  This year, he’ll be lucky to get $10 Million.  Olney thinks he’ll get $8 Mil.  Either way, that’s a steal.  The man was clutch for the Yankees last year, one of our only consistent hitters.  He is slow on defense, but most corner outfielders are these days.

The market is even bad for pitchers and infielders.  Very few teams seem to be interested in Derek Lowe, and Scott “obnoxious” Boras (Lowe’s agent) wanted $18 Million for him.  Granted Boras always wants the moon and the stars for his clients, but still, the market for Lowe is very, well, low.  Only the Mets appear to have made an offer, and that’s rumored to be in the $12 Mil/year range.

And Jason Giambi – who, by the way, I still think should call Hal Steinbrenner up and say, “Listen, I owe you guys for paying me $160 Million over eight seasons, even though I was only worth it for 2 because I turned out to be a juicer who lost his power when I stopped the juice. So, I will play for you for free,”  Giambi will be lucky to get double digit millions.  And I cannot find any team who appears to be interested in him at this point.  He is 38 and a former juicer.  At the most, he’s got 2 years left.  And that’s not saying much, considering he’ll probably hit only .260.

Jack Curry of The New York Times is reporting that the Mets have made an offer to free agent pitcher Derek Lowe.   The offer is said to be in the 3 Year, $36 Million range.  Lowe’s agent, the obnoxious Scott Boras, confirmed that the Mets made an offer, but not the dollar amount.  If this is indeed the actual monetary amount of the Met’s offer, it is significantly lower then what Boras reportedly wanted for his client ($18 Million for 5 years) or what the Yankees were rumored to be willing to offer (4 years, $15-17 Million) during the Winter Meetings before they moved on to CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett.

Much has been discussed the last few weeks about the Yankees’ revamped rotation now that they have acquired arguably the best pitcher in the league and an efficient, albeit often injured, pitcher to bolster their rotation. Now, the question is, are they better than the Red Sox?

Cliff Corcoran, a frequent writer at Bronx Banter, wrote this special at, and I’ll quote some things he says.

Consider the similarities between the two starting staffs now that Sabathia and Burnett have joined the Evil Empire. Both are led by young left-handed aces (Sabathia and Jon Lester). Even before Boston signed Penny, both featured overrated and injury-plagued former Florida Marlins (Burnett and Josh Beckett). Both include foreign imports in their twenties who succeed despite sketchy peripherals (Chien-Ming Wang and Daisuke Matsuzaka). Both are also hoping for big seasons from one of the game’s top prospects (Joba Chamberlain and Clay Buchholz). And, should the Yankees eventually re-sign Andy Pettitte, both rotations will be rounded out by reliable veterans whose tenure with their respective teams dates back to 1995 (Pettitte and Tim Wakefield).

First, I love how Corcoran pairs up these pitchers according to attributes (leftys, former Marlins, imports, youngsters, veterans).

Corcoran goes on to compare the rotations. He says the Yankees have the advantage with Sabathia and Chamberlain. The Sox have the advantage with Beckett and Wakefield (until the Yankees resign Pettitte). Corcoran considers Wang and Dice-K a draw, but gives the edge to Wang for his ability to induce groundballs compared to Dice-K’s high walk rate.

Now, with the signing of Brad Penny, the Sox have the slight edge now to make it over the Yankees in the event Wakefield or Buchholz does not do well. I think the Yankees can supplement this with another low-end free agent signing, or rely on the young arms in Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves.

But, that is only if Penny recovers from his shoulder problems in 2008. The Yankees struggled with their rotation last year, so one of the AL East teams needs to be next, hopefully it’ll be the Sox.

So let me apologize for the lack of posts today, especially if you showed up looking for Yankee news.  Chris was traveling from our parent’s home in Upstate New York to his home in Maryland.  I was stuck making sales calls all day for my job and just got home at 10:30 PM.  Needless to say, I am dead tired.  Only my love of the Yankees is giving me the energy to blog.  Fortunately for me, not much happened in the Yankee World Today.  Here are the main stories:

Veteran Bernie Williams has reportedly suffered a serious quad injury in his quest to make the Puerto Rican national team for this spring’s World Baseball Classic.  This news comes from PeteAbe at Lohud Yankees, and PeteAbe is a very reliable source.  I am very sad to hear this – I really wanted Bernie to make that comeback.  I will try to find out more news on Wednesday.

The MLB Network kicks off on Thursday – and I’m glad I have it.  My cable company won’t carry the NFL Network, but at least I will get MLB.  I have Cablevision, and it will be featured on channel 149 or 400.  Anyways, they will kick things off with a new show called Hot Stove Live at 6pm.  That will be followed by a classic game – Don Larsen’s Perfect Game in the 1956 World Series.  Larsen and Yogi Berra will provide commentary.  Check out the MLB Network website to see if you will have it.

Finally, another cranky owner has come out complaining about the Yankees spending money and how the sport needs a salary cap, blah, blah, blah.  This time it is Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane.  I am not even going to comment any further then I did last week.  Feel free to read the article with McLane’s comments here.

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