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I’m home sick with a cold, sinus, and congestion. So while I’m sitting in bed blowing my nose every five minutes, I’ve been reading blogs and people’s tweets on Twitter.  Here are some things for you all to read about this morning.

Top stories from last week:

The Yankees are dominating the news from baseball’s Winter Meetings in Indy.  In one busy day, the Yankees completed the rumors Generation Third had already reported on. Andy Pettitte was signed to a one-year deal worth $11.75 Million and the Yankees, Tigers and Diamondbacks completed a 3-team trade that sent all-star center fielder Curtis Granderson to the Yankees.

Pettitte was the rock the Yankees needed in their starting rotation to secure another serious run at back-to-back titles.  The Yankees rotation now officially includes CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Pettitte.  The other two slots will be filled by trades, signings and/or Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain.

Granderson was a first-time all-star for the Detroit Tigers in 2009, despite only hitting .249.  He had 30 stolen bases and 30 home runs and is phenomenal on defense.  The Yankees had to give up Triple-A starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, reliever Phil Coke and outfield prospect Austin Jackson to make the trade go through.

I could care less about Kennedy – I don’t think he’ll amount to much (injured too often) but I am a little sad about the loss of Coke, who was a big part of the Yankee bullpen in 2009, and Jackson, who was one of the most respected prospects in the game today.  But, we gotta look at the positive that Granderson brings the Yankees – great defense and speed and power in the  lineup.  He’ll be a great #2 or #6 hitter.  For more information on Granderson, read some posts here from the last few days.

What was not answered today is what the Yankees plan to do with Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon.  GM Brian Cashman said that this trade does not affect the Yankees plans with those two, but how could it not?  The Yankees have already made it clear that they intend to cut payroll this season, and I am hard pressed to see how adding Granderson and the $25 Million he is owed between now and 2012 is cutting payroll – unless either Matsui or Damon will not return in 2010.

It looks like Monday was a busier day for the Yankees than appeared.  Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported a three-way trade with the Tigers and Diamondbacks that would have sent Curtis Granderson to New York and Edwin Jackson to Arizona. Talks, however, reached an impasse. The D-Backs are pushing hard, but the deal “was rejected by at least one of the other two teams.”

Joel Sherman confirmed via Twitter that the Yanks thought the costs were too high, and the Tigers were lukewarm on their returns as well. Although the three-way talks are dead, the Yankees are still very much interested in Granderson, not least because their interest could drive Johnny Damon’s price down.

If (and that’s a big if) the deal had gone through, the Yankees would have lost Ian Kennedy, Mike Dunn, Phil Coke, and Austin Jackson in the trade and gotten back Granderson and “one or two prospects from the Diamondbacks.”

The deal breakers are not Dunn and Coke, because they’re not the ones who were holding up this deal. Nor was Kennedy, either. If the Yanks are indeed the ones stalling, it’s likely over Austin Jackson. He’s still developing, and his lack of power in 2009 is concerning, but he’s still a good prospect, probably the second best in the Yankees system. If that power tool comes around, he could be a very good MLB center fielder.

I can definitely see Granderson a good fit for centerfield, which would be great news for the Yankees. He could instantly replace Johnny Damon in the outfield and in the two-hole.

Getting two prospects back from the Diamondbacks would have helped soften the blow of losing Jackson, but we still don’t know which prospects were under discussion.

More information is probably going to come throughout Tuesday. The quickest way to get information is to follow beat writers through Twitter.

The ink isn’t dry yet, but when all things are said and done, one CC Sabathia will be introduced in New York City as the Yankees’ new pitching ace in a few days.

Today, it has been reported on multiple media sites that Sabathia has agreed to a seven year, $161 million contract, with an opt out clause and a no trade clause in the deal. The contract was agreed upon at 12:36 am Pacific Coast Time. Brian Cashman flew commercial jet to San Francisco to meet with CC and his wife Amber to discuss things and to finalize the contract parameters.

There are a few things to point out here, notably the value of the contract, the opt out clause, and the big man himself.

The Yankees originally offered 6 years at $140, to make Sabathia the richest pitcher in MLB history (to date) and that offer was made the first day of free agent negotiations. Through the last four weeks, there was not much out of Sabathia or his agent Greg Genske, and the media interpreted the silence as an indicator that Sabathia did not want to pitch in NY and he preferred a West Coast team. That may be possible, but in the end, Sabathia and his agent played smart, and so did the Yankees. They did not sweat, they did not panic, and they did not worry.

With the additional year and the additional $21 million, it is more symbolic for the Yankees and Sabathia as it would have outdone the contract the Mets gave Johan Santana last year. The opt out clause is for 3 years and $69 million, and it’s reportedly for Amber and CC’s three kids if they find themselves unable to adjust to Westchester County living.

The opt out clause is a good thing in my opinion. The Yankees get a good pitcher in his prime for a minimum of three years. Knowing how rich the Yankees’ farm system is and how ready it will be in two to three years, this plays nicely into the Yankees’ hands as they can either retain Sabathia’s services for the duration of the contract, or they can bid him adieu and have their crop of young pitchers ready, most notably Phil Hughes and Mark Melancon (along with Phil Coke, Al Aceves, and Ian Patrick Kennedy).  The opt out is also good for Sabathia as he may want to test the market in three years, but be assure the Yankees will make sure that he and his family will be comfortable enough to want to stay for seven (or more) years.

New York had to get him. No matter what. They clearly have the need, and the money. With more than $88 million coming off the books and a new stadium and a network deal, the Yankees are swimming in money and they could afford it. It may look like the Yankees overbid themselves and gave Sabathia too much, but that’s what they needed in order to get this deal done.

If you think about it carefully, this deal did not cost the Yankees anything they would have lost over the Santana deal. They would have to trade Phil Hughes and possibly two more position players to get him from the Twins. Here the Yankees lost nothing and gained themselves one of the best one-two punches in all of baseball.

It’s easy to criticize the Yankees over the price, but think about it carefully, the Yankees did not start this. The San Francisco Giants did with Barry Zito and the Mets did it with Santana. What about A-Rod, you say? Again, it wasn’t the Yankees, it was the Texas Rangers and their initial offer of 10 years at $252 million. Jealously may be a factor here, but it’s pretty logical if you have an abundance of money to spend and there’s a pitcher who greatly improves your team out there and it doesn’t cost any players, you go for it, no matter the cost. That’s what the Yankees did.

Now the Yankees can proceed to focus on the next part of their off season planning, acquiring one or two of the following: AJ Burnett, Ben Sheets, Derek Lowe, and Oliver Perez, and resigning Andy Pettitte. That will give the Yankees Sabathia, Wang, Chamberlain, _______, and Pettitte. That will be among in my opinion, the top three rotations in baseball.

Over the next few days as we start to hear more details and hear from Cashman (who is notorious for being quiet during contract negotiations) and Joe Girardi and see more break-downs and “expert” analysis, we will continue to evaluate the merits of the signing of the Yankees’ new pitching ace.

3:37 PM: The Yankees and Sabathia are close to a preliminary agreement, but not all terms are agreed to yet.  According to sources, the terms are minor.  The deal is said to be for 7 years/$161 Million which comes out to exactly $23 Million a year.  The deal is also said to include a no trade agreement and a player opt-out clause after three years.  So if Sabathia does not like the NY lifestyle (or cannot deal with the NY media or fans) he can opt out and become a free agent.

The opt-out clause would also allow him to do what A-Rod did at the end of last season – opt-out of his contract and renegotiate for a better deal.

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