Results tagged ‘ A.J. Burnett ’
Brian Cashman’s charity discussion out in Pleasantville, N.Y. for Ed Randall’s ‘Bat for the Cure‘ ran long tonight, but if you were as passionate about the Yankees as most of the audience seemed to be, it probably wasn’t a big deal. Just about the only topic Cash wouldn’t discuss was Joe Torre’s book, but there was plenty to go around. Some of the highlights to chew on:
Manny to the Yankees — officially dead: The Yankees are done with their big spending and have no room left to pursue Manny Ramirez. Sorry, folks, but right now the Yankees are trying to sign more guys like Angel Berroa. The Yankees payroll will be reduced in ’09 and Manny’s bat isn’t going to change that.
“Ultimately, we’ve made our decision,” Cashman said. “We chose to put that money into Mark Teixeira to play first base. I do hear rumblings about people actually expect us to get in on Manny. That’s not going to happen. We respect his abilities, there’s no doubt about it, but we’re now in the non-roster invite mode.”
Cashman knows the Yankees have been anointed the Hot Stove champs. It doesn’t mean anything: “I don’t care about headlines in December or January. What ultimately translates is getting enough W’s to be the last team standing.”
Career paths: Cashman wasn’t one of those kids who lies awake at night dreaming of being the Yankees GM. Actually, out in Kentucky, young Cash grew up a Dodgers fan and a Yankee hater. In fact, when Bob Watson gave up the GM post in ’98, Cashman first begged him to stay. Then he asked George Steinbrenner not to give him a contract, instead operating on a handshake agreement so Cashman could be easily dismissed if it didn’t work out.
Tough crowd: Cashman is very wary of the Rays, of whom he said has seen the talent coming for years. On the traditional 20 to 80 scouting scale (50 being an average big leaguer), Cashman said too many of Tampa Bay’s young prospects are coming in around 80. Such is the advantage of smart drafting and terrible in-season results.
But the Yankees have some names Cashman is excited about — he thinks the ’06 crop of Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, Zach McAllister, Dellin Betances and Dave Robertson could go down as an all-time great one. The Yankees are still top-heavy in pitching prospects and would love to develop more big bats, but most of the really promising position players are at the A-ball level and below.
What if: Yes, the four-year, $40 million deal to Carl Pavano was a bust. But Cashman said Pavano turned down even more money from the Tigers, Mariners and Orioles. The Red Sox were also hot on Pavano.
Flight cancelled: Cashman almost flew to Baltimore from Houston to meet with A.J. Burnett after his meeting with Andy Pettitte in December. It turned out not to be necessary – things had progressed far enough with Burnett that the Yankees were confident it’d get done.
Will the Melk-man deliver?: As of right now, it’s Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner for center field. Cashman believes Melky is a better player than he showed in ’08 and will be out to prove that. But here’s an ominous warning: “The ones that are good enough will find a way. The ones that aren’t good enough will find excuses.” Cash compared Gardner to “Juan Pierre, who takes a walk.”
Better days?: Cashman said he’s not a big souvenir guy, but one of the things he’s kept was the lineup card from his first win as Yankees GM – April 5, 1998 at Oakland. Cash was actually in Oakland the day earlier, but Steinbrenner had called him back to New York in a fit after the Yankees started the year 0-3. They won 125 games.
The inscription on the lineup card from Joe Torre reads: “Crash – the first of many.” That’s not a typo. The nickname ‘Crash’ stuck to Cashman in his younger, wilder days.
Driving Mr. Steinbrenner: Cash told a great story about his early days back in the Yankees organization, when George Steinbrenner’s personal drivers were all out shuttling around dignitaries or guests. Cashman got stuck with the assignment and found himself on the FDR Drive with the Boss, who wanted to get a quick haircut before flying to Tampa out of Teterboro.
Long story short, Cash tried to get cute with a shortcut and wound up hearing a full-on assault of the 1980s Steinbrenner in his right ear for the whole rest of the trip. Steinbrenner actually threatened at one point to “just take the subway.” He got the haircut with Cashman but found a different driver to take him across to New Jersey.
The Yankees have not pulled their offer to Andy Pettitte, though it appears the club may be preparing to complete the roster without their veteran left-hander. In the time since the Yankees offered Pettitte one year at $10 million, the club has been able to get CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira to sign on the dotted line.
But still nothing from Pettitte, who could be the odd man out as they look to complete the rotation. The New York Post reports that it is now “doubtful” the Yankees will sign Pettitte, and Newsday reports the club is happy with their team as is.
“Right now it’s doubtful on Pettitte, given where we are financially
with this stuff,” a Yankees official told the Post. “But things change,
especially here, if Hank and Hal [Steinbrenner] decide to do something.”
Pettitte wants to pitch for the Yankees, and the Yankees still would like him back – just not at $16 million. It still makes enough sense that it could happen, but reading comments like these should be a jolt to Pettitte that the Yankees are ready to move on.
Received this transcript from our friends at XM Radio, where Derek Jeter appeared Wednesday on the MLB Home Plate channel with hosts Jeff Joyce and Buck Martinez:
On new Yankees CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett:
XM Host Buck Martinez: “What will it be like playing behind these two great pitchers you’ve faced so much?”
Derek Jeter: “It’s going to be fun. I mean, CC [Sabathia], we’ve had plenty of battles with in Cleveland. He pitched against us in the playoffs a couple years ago. He had a tremendous year last year. I think the thing that sticks out with him is he’s always out there. He’s a horse. He throws a lot of innings. [He's a] power pitcher. And with AJ [Burnett], we saw too much of him this year, this past year. It seemed like every time we played Toronto we were facing him and Halladay and they beat us more often than not. So it’ll be fun to finally be behind him, but we added two guys, two power pitchers. Their stuff is as good as any pitcher in baseball.”
On Alex Rodriguez’ choice to play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic:
XM Host Buck Martinez: “What’s your feeling about Alex Rodriguez playing for the Dominican Republic?”
Derek Jeter: “Well, he has options. I think that’s the biggest thing. Everyone doesn’t have that option. I know it was tough for him the first time around making that decision and I’m sure it was tough this time around, too. I don’t think he’s addressed his reasons for it so we’ll let him do that first but it’s a good spot for him to be in.”
XM Host Jeff Joyce: “Any friendly trash-talking that will go on or already has gone on now that A-Rod’s going to play for the Dominican and not for you like he did in 2006?”
Jeter: “No, I haven’t spoken to him about it yet so we’ll see what happens. Hopefully, we’ll win and we’ll be able to do that.”
On Red Sox second baseman and WBC teammate Dustin Pedroia:
Derek Jeter: “He’s a great player. More importantly, he’s a good person. He was fun to be around [at the All-Star Game]. The thing about Dustin that I like is every game he’s playing all out. I mean, he’s a player that you really enjoy to watch play. I mean, I really don’t enjoy it because we see enough of him but you really appreciate the way he goes about playing the game everyday. He’s a spark plug for the team. He deserved to win the MVP award and he’s going to have a bright future. It might be all downhill for him now. He won a championship his first year, the MVP his second year, but I’m sure he’s going to have a long and successful career.”
On Yankees C Jorge Posada:
XM Host Buck Martinez: “Talk about your pal, Jorge Posada. How is he progressing and what are the prospects for his 100% return to back behind the plate?”
Derek Jeter: “He’s progressing well. He’s down here in Florida. He’s working hard. He’s starting to throw already. He’s really optimistic about being ready to go when spring training starts and the regular season. I know it was a frustrating year for him last year, never really being on the disabled list or being hurt and missing basically the whole second half of the season. I know he’s itching to get back out there and hopefully he won’t have any setbacks.”
Cross the top two items off Brian Cashman’s holiday shopping list, as the Yankees have added A.J. Burnett to the party behind CC Sabathia in the rotation. That makes the starting pitching department almost complete, leaving it up to Andy Pettitte to decide if he wants to be the Yankees’ fourth or fifth starter for a one-year, $10 million deal.
Once again, and maybe now more than ever, the smart money is that Pettitte will accept. Burnett would have had incredible leverage on the Yankees if Sabathia had gone elsewhere, but it’s win-win for him — he can now slip in behind Sabathia and use that big shadow to escape a lot of the New York media spotlight. His personality isn’t perfectly suited for New York, but he has 82.5 million reasons to make it work.
What also played into this was the geographical location to Maryland. Burnett’s wife, Karen, does not choose to fly, and because of this, New York suddenly looked a whole lot more geographically appealing than Atlanta. The Blue Jays used to have a clause in Burnett’s contract that provided for limo service between Maryland and Toronto — the ride just got a whole lot shorter.
Back in New York after catching the red-eye from Las Vegas. In case you’re wondering, chalk these Winter Meetings up as a big ‘L’ for me at the tables … but more importantly, a huge ‘W’ for the Yankees. CC Sabathia is in the fold, the talks are still warm for Mike Cameron, and here’s a note we just put up over on the MLB Hot Stove blog:
Hal Steinbrenner is optimistic that A.J. Burnett will soon join the New York Yankees’ rotation behind CC Sabathia, accomplishing the club’s primary objective of upgrading their starting pitching.
The Yankees co-chairman told Newsday in a telephone interview Friday that Burnett – who is said to be in decision-making mode – could soon accept the Yankees’ five-year, $80 million offer.
“We’re interested in him and he’s interested in us,” Steinbrenner told the newspaper. “Obviously, New York has a lot to offer, and playing for the Yankees is just a great thing.”
The Atlanta Braves are pushing to acquire Burnett and are prepared to provide a similar offer, and agent Darek Braunecker said that a third unidentified team could serve as a potential suitor.
Phil Hughes received some of the loudest cheers when the Yankees were introduced before Tuesday’s game, and it’s clear the fan base has high hopes for the youngest member of their pitching staff. It’s almost strange to say that just because Hughes’ demeanor really doesn’t lend itself to youth. He may be 21 but, to me, he carries himself like a veteran already.
Hughes gets the ball rolling on his 2008 campaign tonight in the rubber game of a three-game series with the Blue Jays. Will Jorge Posada appear in the lineup? Will Jason Giambi continue to resemble a dancing bear at first base? Stay tuned. I thought an excellent defensive first baseman — hi, Doug Mientkiewicz — would have caught the ball that Giambi fell into the photo box chasing, but when you throw Giambi out there, you’re basically hoping he’ll knock everything around him down and scoop throws, which he actually is quite adept at doing.
Lessons from yesterday — don’t steal from the Yankees and don’t talk on your cell phone while driving. Mike Mussina looked just OK to me but I was impressed with his ability to spot his curveball, the Frank Thomas hit-by-pitch notwithstanding. If Mussina gives you three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings every time out, I think you have to take that. They won’t face A.J. Burnett every day.