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.

22 Comments

i’m going to keep saying it until it happens or i’m proven wrong…
the Yankees made a big mistake last year giving Arod a 10 year deal…who in baseball would have given a 32 year old that many years and who in baseball would have given him a guaranteed 27.5 mill…with a very possible 305 mill in homerun bonuses…nobody!!!!!
why couldn’t the Yankees let Arod walk…or at least only given him 8years and 20 to 22 mill without the homer bonuses…
and in hinsight they didn’t even make the Playoffs…
now there are several much cheaper alternatives out there…this year not on his level but production could have been made up elsewhere…
like Ty Wiggington or Casey Blake or a trade for Adrian Beltre and for the future 2010 or 11…they could have picked up Dayan Viciedo…he is only 19 so they could younger…and save money…if Arod walked then getting Tex and Manny is doable…especially if they don’t pick up Swisher expensive salary…
and why couldn’t the Yankees use the farm to trade for Matt Holliday…instead of Swisher or Cameron
with Manny Tex and Holliday…A-Rod is not really needed and Manny will not go for more than 4years 25 mill
Tex 8years 20 to 22 mill and Holliday this year is only 15mill
and with all that the Yankees could save money and get younger by trading Matsui…who could be traded to the Mariners with minor pitching to acquire Adrian Beltre if they chose to go that route…
The Yankees are starting to get old and age brings slow legs slow bats weak arms and less power…
but it also brings injuries…which means no production at all from expensive aging player…
the Yankees didn’t make the playoffs last year will it happen again this year…it’s unlikely but if injuries happen it could happen…and each year with the players they have increases the likelyhodd of them returning to that 2008 non playoff team…
we see them going for old and injury prone pitchers…
the only one the Yankees picked up that they should have went after is CC Sabathia…
i don’t think they should get AJ Lowe or Sheets…unless they could get them for less money and less years…
they should instead pick up Teixeira and Manny…
even with all Manny antics and the fact he is aging…he’s less of a risk production wise than the free agent pitchers out there…
with pitching always being a neccessary risk…i can see getting one of the free agents plus Pettitte if the spending can be kept under control
because they difinately over spent on A-Rod CC Giambi Posada and of course Burnett…even Jeter’s contract is too long for a short stop…
thats a speed position…he is losing range and arm strengh…
the Yankees have to start drawing lines in the sand and let some players walk if their cost is outrageous…if they do hard core nogotiating they will be able to make more moves and not get stuck with a bunch of past their prime over paid players…
the yankee fanatic…
a wanna be GM

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I THINK THE YANKEES ARE PAINTING THEMSELVES INTO A AGING PLAYERS CORNER…AND I HOPE IN THE NEXT OFFSEASON THEY TRADE A-ROD…
HE IS GOING TO BE A BIG BUST ON THE LAST 5 YEARS OF HIS CONTRACT…
HE IS KNOWN TO HAVE MVP NUMBERS EVERY OTHER SEASON…ALTHOUGH HE IS AGING AND THAT MIGHT NOT BE TRUE THIS YEAR…
IF THE MVP TREND HOLDS UP THEN NEXT YEAR MIGHT BE THE BEST YEAR TO TALK HIM INTO WAIVING HIS NO TRADE CLAUSE AND MOVING HIM FOR A BOAT LOAD OF YOUNG PROSPECTS…AND YES SENDING A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF CASH TO THOSE WHO TAKE HIM…SO A TEAM IS ONLY PAYING HIM AT ACTUAL VAULE…IF THE YANKEES ARE WILLING TO PAY 10 TO 15 MILLION PER YEAR ON HIS CONTRACT…THEY MIGHT BE ABLE TO REALLY GET A DYNASTY GOING…
MY PREDICTION IS EVEN IF THE YANKEES GET A WORLD SERIES IN THE NEXT TWO YEARS…WHICH I SERIOULY DOUBT…BECAUSE THEY SEEM UNWILLING TO GET TEIXEIRA…IF THEY STICK WITH AROD AND OTHER AGING PLAYERS AND KEEP SPENDING MONEY HOW THEY HAVE BEEN OVER THE LAST 6 YEARS…THEY WILL NOT SEE ANOTHER CHAMPIONSHIP AS LONG AS KEEP A-ROD…

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previous entry from the Yankee fanatic…
On another note…
i thought the Yankees were trying get younger and reduce payroll…
If that is so…then why didn’t the Yankees go out and get Dayan Viciedo…he has played alot of 3rd base but is capable of playing in a corner outfield spot…
he was given a 4year 10million dollar deal by the White Sox.
the Yankees could have probably gotten him for 5years 20 million…and that would have given them a young fairly cheap power hitting right fielder for 2010 after Nady departure…his numbers in international play are very good…he is only 19 is probably going to get alot better…
and he wouldn’t cost the Yankees any compensation picks or any trades for the farm…unless he was a Kie Igawa type bust…it would have been well worth it…almost every team sent someone to see him workout and alot of teams bid on him…i think the Yanks may have missed out on a good opportunity…
plus if he was just average and the Yankees wanted someone more proven and productive when Nady Matsui and Damon all come up from free agency…then they chose from the free agent pool and get someone like Matt Holliday and use Viciedo in a trade…because his contract would not be a big financial risk…
this could be another case of the yankees putting to much focus and money in the wrong place…
ie STARTING PITCHING(BURNETT POSSIBLY SHEETS AND OR PETTITTE)
THE YANKEE FANATIC

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every knowledgeable Yankee fan seems to be saying the same thing….we’re writng it on blogs we’re calling in to talk shows…why aren’t the Yankee brass listening…we buy the gear we buy the tickets…we cheer we root…
don’t they play the game for us…i could understand if was a question of money…in total but it isn’t it’s how and who they are spending it on…if they just shifted there investment…it could be worked out…
why don’t they get Teixeira…the money they are risking long term for Burnett…the money they are spending on Swisher and the money they seem to be willing to spend on Cameron…is equal to if not more than what they would have to spend on Tex…
whats up with that…
i think it’s going to be a big mistake…
they could probably get Tex for 8 years 22mill…
he is a much better investment and less risky as far as injuries…than pitchers A.J. or Sheets and Swisher and Cameron…

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I understand that we need a big bat, but I can’t understand why everyone is so hot for Manny. Remember how he left Boston? He purposely dogged it until Boston had no choice but to dump him and pay the rest of his salary. He said that he didn’t like the media exposure in Boston, how is he going to deal with the New York media? Sure he is an amazing hitter, but he has to be in the mood to play.

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Exactly what I’ve been thinking. We lose the .371 and .373 OBP of Abreu and Giambi and we replace it with the .332 and .331 of Mike Cameron and Nick Swisher. Abreu and Giambi would have cost the Yanks approximately 24 million while our new golden-sombrero due will cost us 19 million. Abreu (.298 BA) and Giambi (.252 BA) also gave us 52 homers and 192 RBI’s while these two gave their squads a combined 49 homers and 139 RBI’s. On top of that were going to lose Melky, Betemit, Marquez, Nunez and another mid-level prospect. I don’t see a single upside to these moves, it is completely lacking all logic.

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So is the Melky-Cameron deal on or off? I stayed up last night to write a blog post about it and now I see there’s still back and forth? I get that the Yankees were done with Melky and wanted a veteran to give AJax another year of seasoning, but do we really need a strikeout artist like Cameron? We already have Swisher for that.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

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Also, Ibanez signed with the Phillies, setting a standard for aging outfielders at 3 years/30 million. This could set the table for Abreu making an affordable 10 million a year over a similar three years. I’m sure the Yanks can dish that out for a guy who will hit 300/20homers/100rbi’s than trade a younger, developing center-fielder for a guy who will hit 240/20 homers/85rbi’s with much more downside. One thought, the White-Sox really like Aceves, and seeing how Cashman is so set on filling the rotation up with FA pitchers, why not trade Aceves for Dye. Dye has one year remaining and could be a good contributor this year, holding us off till next year’s FA crop (including Holliday, though the A’s will probably trade him at the deadline this year). Or an even better thought, keep Melky and Aceves and wait till the deadline, and give the A’s what they really like… cheap, young players who will be good players one day (than they will trade them once they get to that point for new ones!). I kind if got on a tangent there, I just hope both the Burnett deal and Cameron deal die.

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I have to completely agree with you. I have always been a Cashman supporter, especially when he kept Phil over Johan, but the combination of losing Melky for Cameron and paying Burnett for five years rather than Sheets for two are starting to make me lose my loyalty; Burnett is not the most talented pitcher in FA, Sheets is; Burnett is not the Cheapest, names like Sheets, Pettitte, Perez come to mind… even Lowe; Burnett is not the most determined (unless it’s a contract year); and most importantly, he is NOT healthy. Why give a guy Zambrano type money when he is nowhere close to that… I’m lost.

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Ok. I don’t want anything bad to happen to anyone. I’m not sadistic by any means. But I sincerely hope we sign Burnett for 5 years and he never puts in a full season and is an abject failure in NY, never winning more than 12 or 13 games a season with no more than 20-25 starts. And I hope that Cameron comes in and barely puts up 20 homers a year while batting sub-.250 and that the Yankees miss the playoffs again next year and in ’11 and maybe ’12. Then, Cashman gets fired. He really has learned nothing from his history. Right now, he has a rotation that looks thus: CC, Wang, Hughes, Joba. It sounds like he is in Texas planning to make that look like CC, Wang, Andy, Hughes, Joba and he’s got arms like Aceves and Coke who can spot fill for Joba to keep his innings down. He’s got Kennedy still. Zambrano. Heck, Igawa. But he’s going to take a 5-year CHANCE (and that is EXACTLY what it is, a chance) with a pitcher who has a 10 year career with a history of injuries? I just don’t understand it. Sheets is younger. Still a chance but it’s a 2 year chance for less than 1/3 the price and if after two years it was a flop, so long. If after two years we have a CY runner up, offer our 30 year old pitcher another contract. I just don’t get it.
BRYAN! You have to help us out here. Give us some insight! PLEASE!

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Gerhig,
Though I agree with the #3 and #5 spots in the order are a problem, I do believe that Nady could be a suitable number 5 if he repeats last year and Cano would be a fantastic number 3 if and when he returns to his 06′ 07′ form. Cano had 19 homers last year and 97RBI’s, though they are not Teix numbers they are Teix like, especially in his younger years. Lets not forget the faith we were all placing in Cano in 06-08, it seems after one year players fade (Wang too).Damon/Jeter/Cano/A-Rod/Nady/ is not that far beyond (though it is) Elsbury/Pedroia/Papi/Youkillis/Bay; however, putting a Teix in either one of those 3 holes would be deadly, especially for Boston. Plus, our pitching is better than the Sox, rotation and bullpen. I’m far more comfortable with CC/Wang/Joba/ than Beckett/Dice-K/Lester. Our bullpen was lights out last year, and will be even more effective seeing how they are all younger and getting better, compared to Boston’s flimsy bullpen that does not look any better (aside for the guy that they got from KC).

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Cashman went to Texas to talk to Pettitte. It sounds logical. He should be signed (but not for 16 million, come on, Andy must get serious and concede he is more a 10-12 million pitcher at best). And if the other pitcher in the starting rotation is -for example- Ben Sheets, it would bring two pitchers with short-time contracts (Pettite and Sheets) and time to develop the rookies (Hughes, etc.) in 2009. Burnett, for a long ride (it seems 5 years), sounds too risky given his health curriculum. But Petttitte and Sheets, if injured, would at least not bring back a new Pavano scenario, of signing a pitcher, he gets hurt, and the team has to keep paying his salary for several years…

Another advantage: being Sheets and Pettitte, each one, cheaper than Burnett, it would clear money for Teixeira. Or somebody else. At present, the Yankees have no proven 3rd and 5th batters. Cano with his indiscipline with the bat would be quite the opposite of Abreu, and Matsui or Posada were not always 5th batters when they were healthy, now that they are older and returning from injuries, will they be able to bat after A-Rod? Wishful thinking.

And, this is always a factor: it would prevent the possibility of Teixeira going to Boston, which would heavily improve (and give greater leverage to) an already quite competitive team. It would give them a young, very good player, for years to come. And first basemen like Teixeira don´t appear every year as free agents. Wan to become younger and better defensivley? what better example?

On the other hand, imagine a Boston with Pedroia-Teixeira-Youkilis-Bay-Ellsbury, plus Lester, Beckett, Matsuzaka, Papelbon, and money to build a great team with these guys as a proven, healthy, young and powerful foundation…

2009 Yankees, on these positions would be, so far: Cano-Swisher-A Rod-Damon-Cabrera/Gardner and Chamberlain, Wang, Sabathia and Rivera. The pitching scenario starts to look very good, but the infield-outfield lineups, future-wise, are waaaay behind…

Given the limited possibilities, maybe they should also try to trade Matsui and bring back Abreu (2-3 years at most) as DH and/or outfielder, if anybody out there gets hurt, etc. Abreu is a better and healthier option than Matsui or Cameron (I cannot see the logic of the latter!)

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Cashman blew it with Beltran to the Mets then Santana. Now he has tunnel focus. CC is a good signing, but the anemic offense will not be saved by a bad knees left fielder and a bad shoulder catcher. Sign Teixeira and have a franchise winner for the next five to ten years. Look at the world series winners of the recent past and all you see are90s plus BB throwing youngsters. Go with the three big names now and add Andy plus the youth in the minors along with Mark T and even Manny and let the champaigne flow!!

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The Yankees have Money to spend get Burnett for 5 years and get Sheets 2 years 26 million. They still have crazy money sign Tex for 8 years 160 million and manny 3 years 70 million.

1 Wang ( CC will be more relaxed in 2)
2 CC
3 burnett
4 Sheets
5 Joba

1 Damon LF
2 Jeter SS
3 A Rod 3B
4 Manny DH
5 Tex 1st
6 Nady RF
7 Swisher CF
8 Cano 2B
9 Jorge C

Thats world seris 3 years straight

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Nodigidee,

Any day of the week I would put Teix in the number 3 whole between Jeter and A-Rod but that is a pipe-dream. It is clear that the bombers are going to focus less on their destructive capabilities and more on their defensive woes: pitching. That said, barring a deal that will send a potent bat to our line-up — not Cameron… 331/481/243 is not number 3 material–, Cano is our best option at the number 3 hole in my opinion. Arguments, of course, can be made for Nady, Matsui and Posada but I believe they should give Cano at shot at the #3 hole. I’ve been hearing rumors flying around that Abreu might sign back with the Yanks, that would solve the 3-hole problem. I wonder what the Yank’s would have to send to the Brewers to get Fielder with Cameron, it would have to be something big. Aveves, Kennedy, Sanchez and Melky for Fielder and Cameron. The Yanks could take on all of Cameron’s salary plus they could fill the holes left by C.C. and Sheets. Just a thought.

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make my URL at the bottom of that last comment http://mlblogs.mlblogs.com — am slash-happy tonight

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Oh, and that way our bench gets picked up with Swisher. And if cashman wants a CF so bad, package up a couple of pitching prospects with Melky and get us someone who isn’t a 36 year old roid head.

Replace Melky with Austin Jackson if he must, but bring home someone on the right side of 30(McLouth, Granderson………..). We keep Melky for our bench, which is getting stronger by the minute. Deal from a position of strength(pitching), make our team awesome, and still we could cut salary from 08.

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Wang is our No.2. Period.

Instead of Burnett and Lowe, lets sign Sheets as no.3, Joba as no.4, and have open tryouts for no.5 (Hughes, Aceves,Kennedy…….)

Spend the money we saved on (you guessed it) Teix. Seriously. Why is Cashman not even considering this?

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If Melky goes, we have no one with a good arm to back up Nady in right field. Could there be a plan to sign Abreu?

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Bryan, On a mission is right. But they are using the game plan they always have, buy buy buy the specialty du jour…. Who cares if Burnett goes to the Braves. They aren’t going anywhere. What scares me the most is that the mentality that prevailed last season seems to be being an admitted mistake now. Let Santana go and keep Kennedy and Hughes and Joba and allow the youth to develop behind the veteran presences. But now it’s an almost “to hell with the youth movement, we tried it once and it didn’t work” attitude. We’re looking for a number 2 now? What is Wang? Chopped liver? Hughes in AAA? This less than a year from when he was the number 3? And sign a 32 year old pitcher with a career history of injuries? At least Pavano was was healthy when we wrote him the check. Or maybe a 36 year old sinkerballer (one on the staff isn’t enough? How about we get a couple of knuckle ballers to go with them?) who wants to be signed somewhere until he’s 41? Trade Melky who had more assists in CF for us than anyone in recent memory for some 35 year old never-was who hit home runs while rubbing the cream and clear his guns? It just seems like a near complete repudiation of what was the intended goal from last year. Are they REALLY that gun shy now? After 1 season?

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YankNuck,
To answer your question from a previous post, I’d put Tex in the 3 hole. Despite Cano looking good in Winter ball, he’s hitting in the Dominican League.
If the Yanks offer Burnett a 5-Yr deal, they should throw in an opt-out too as well as performance based incentives.

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