What the Yankees got done at the Winter Meetings
Ladies and gentlemen, the Yankees have left the building, and so concludes the 2008 Winter Meetings. Last year in Nashville, there was a huge banner that made you smile on the last day that said, “See you in Las Vegas.” The Bellagio has put up no such banner for Indianapolis this time next year, and quite frankly, I’d prefer not to think about December in Indiana.
Anyway, Brian Cashman is off the premises yet again, and pretty soon we’ll have to come up with a Carmen Sandiego game for him. Is he lunching with A.J. Burnett? Derek Lowe? Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly? Wherever he is, a source said that his first stop is not New York City, and that opens up a world of possibilities.
The rumored trade for Mike Cameron appears to have hit a financial snag, and it’s not difficult to understand why. While the Yankees were willing to give up Melky Cabrera, they asked the Brewers for some help with the $10 million that Cameron is owed for 2009.
The entire baseball world heard the thud when Cashman dropped $161 million on CC Sabathia’s doorstep in Vallejo, so you can just imagine their reaction when the Yankees rattled the tin cup.
Either way, the groundwork the Yankees cranked out in Las Vegas will influence the rest of their winter. Club executives left following the Rule V Draft and you have to imagine they are pretty happy about what the team accomplished at the Bellagio.
Deals done: Officially, none. But the Yankees have reached agreement with Sabathia and agent Greg Genske on the parameters of a historic seven-year, $161 million contract that gives them the ace they have coveted.
Rule 5 activity: The Yankees did not select any players and lost four in the Major League phase of Thursday’s draft. IF Reegie Corona (Mariners), LHP Zach Kroenke (Marlins), RHP Jason Jones (Twins) and RHP Ivan Nova (Padres) were selected from the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre roster. The Yankees also had two players selected in the Triple-A phase, losing LHP Andres Santos (Pirates) and RHP Josue Selenes (Athletics).
Goals accomplished: It was worth the trip just for the Yankees to finally wrap up their man in Sabathia, who was given a six-year, $140 million pact to think about on Nov. 14 and still scored an extra year and $21 million for making them wait. New York has also engaged with almost every starting pitcher on the market as they attempt to expand their rotation beyond just Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain.
Unfinished business: Now the debate about who the No. 2 starter will be can begin. Burnett comes with a hunger for a fifth year contractually, a department the Yankees appear willing to enter if that will keep him from going to the Braves. But they also like Lowe’s sinkerballing style and could add him, as well, or just retain Andy Pettitte for the back end. If they can add three starting pitchers this winter and bump Phil Hughes to the Triple-A rotation, so be it. The deal for Cameron has gone through ebbs and flows over two months but also may find resolution soon. After winning 89 games and missing the playoffs in ’08, the Yankees are operating like a team on a mission.