"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

It's been kind of slow around these parts the last few days, and I don't expect this day to be any different.

Thus, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and healthy New Year! 2008 was not a great year for the Yankees, but it was another great year for this blog. Of course, I'd be nowhere without you, the reader. And for that, I am extremely grateful.

In case you missed some things, let's take a moment to look back at some of the memorable things that happened over the course of the blog year.

The blog title was mentioned in a newspaper article. I got many Yankees fans drunk during baseball games (you have Michael Kay to thank for that). I became a Rays fan. I made an unofficial soundtrack of infamous Yankee Stadium music (it's like the place never closed!). The Yankees signed CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett (prompting me to make this picture) and Mark Teixeira (on Festivus, no less). I'm sure other things happened along the way, but these are what I can think of off the top of my head.

Subscribe to my RSS feed, join my blog network, become a Facebook fan, follow me on Twitter and e-mail me if you have any questions, comments, tips, guest blog ideas, etc.

Let's make 2009 a great year, both for the blog and for our beloved New York Yankees. Once again, thanks for taking time out of your busy day to come here and talk Yankees baseball. Happy New Year to all!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bernie injured in Puerto Rico

Peter Abraham brings us the sad news that Bernie Williams has hurt himself playing Winter Ball in Puerto Rico.

After a 1-for-7 start, I’ve been told Bernie suffered a serious quad injury. No word on whether his comeback his finished. But at the age of 40, those sort of injuries are tough to rehab.
I'm sorry to hear this. It was a valiant effort by Bernie, but this just has to end his comeback bid.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dodgers interested in Abreu

MLB.com's Ken Gurnick is reporting that the Dodgers will soon open talks with Bobby Abreu, and have already started talks with Adam Dunn.

Poor Abreu. Raul Ibanez essentially set the market with a three-year, $31.5 million contract earlier this month, and Abreu will probably sign a contract less than what he expected.

Meanwhile, the Mets have talked to the Dodgers about trading for Andruw Jones. Vazzano hasn't commented on this, but if I were him, I'd run far, far away.

Showalter praises Teixeira

Kat O'Brien spoke to Buck Showalter this afternoon about the Mark Teixeira signing. Showalter, of course, managed Teixeira for four season in Texas and praised him as a player.

"I think he'll do well. All multi-year contracts have some risk, but I think he's a great health risk. He's not going to embarrass you on or off the field. He's going to be prepared. He's got a real passion for (the game). ... If there's such a thing as a safe eight-year contract, that would be it. He's been so consistent and so healthy."
...

"He's been a little bit of a slow starter, which doesn't necessarily play well in New York." (Will that be a problem for him, case him to get off on the wrong foot?) "I don't think so. I think Mark has a lot of self-confidence, and rightly so, because of the way he works and prepares."
...

"I think people will really appreciate what a good first baseman Mark is. He's really made himself into that -- you forget he was drafted as a third baseman. If I was Alex or Derek or Robby Cano, I'd be excited about getting him. He'll make all three of those guys better with his defense."
Good things to hear. To see everything Buck said, click the above link.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Todd Jones rants about Yankees

Todd Jones, a former closer, now writes for the Sporting News. Apparently he isn't too happy with the Yankees' recent wave of spending.

Now that the Yankees have spent so much and have future Hall of Famers up and down their roster, they're supposed to win. Anything short of reaching the World Series will be a disappointment. That is no way to go through a season. Baseball turns into a job really fast when you strap such an 800-pound gorilla on your back the first day of spring training and carry it around during a six-month-long regular season (and perhaps into the postseason).

At this point, the magic of being a baseball fan who doesn't root for the Yankees turns into cantankerous feeling toward those guys who make all this money. You look differently at them. They had better win every game.

I wonder if Yankees fans ever blush. What's so special about pulling for the bully at the end of the street who beats up on the smallest kid in town? What's cool is when you're rooting for a team that comes from nowhere. Most of us like the underdogs, and they still have their day in baseball, as we saw with the Rays this past season.

The Yankees should know by now that money can't buy a championship. You know, I have a feeling this won't turn how the Yankees are planning.
I don't disagree with him. Spending $423.5 million on free agents automatically puts a giant target on the backs of the Yankees players. And in the mind of the Yankees, anything short of winning No. 27 is a failure.

I also agree with what he says about the fans. It's only December, but as I think about this team, I realize that it will be somewhat hard to root for them. Would it really be fun winning the World Series after outbidding every team? I say this now, and my thoughts will probably change once the games start being played (we can't have it both ways - the team needed improvement, and this is certainly better than trading prospects away), but it's something to think about.

(H/T to Was Watching)

Thinking out loud: Teixeira's home run call

We all know John Sterling has silly home run calls for Yankees.

A thrilla from Godzilla, An A-Bomb for A-Rod, Georgie juiced one, etc.

However, John is going to have to come up with some new ones due to the recent signing of Mark Teixeira. Good thing I'm here to help him think of some.

On the Mark
Tex Marks the spot
Mark it down

Yes, it's an extremely slow news week.

Do you have a good one? Let's see it in the comments.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pettitte's offer still on table

Anthony McCarron spoke to an anonymous Yankee official about the fifth starter spot. According to the official, Andy Pettitte's one-year, $10 million deal is still in effect. But the Yankees aren't so sure he'll return.

Now that the Yanks have landed their new first baseman, the odds of Pettitte being a Yankee next year are "55-45 against," according to a baseball official familiar with the Yanks' plans.

Instead, the official said, the Yankees may turn to Phil Hughes, who blew his chance in the rotation last year because of a combination of injuries and ineffectiveness, as a starter behind CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain. Hughes is still considered one of the Yankees' best young players, and many in the organization are eager for him to have another shot.

"It's less likely" that Pettitte returns, the official said on condition of anonymity. "Most (Yankee executives) are thinking of another direction."
Your time is running out, Andy.

Would you be confident in Phil Hughes manning the fifth starter spot?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Yankee-related gifts

The Yankees had three big gifts - CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira - under their tree this Christmas.

I received a Sabathia T-shirt. What Yankee-related gifts were under your tree/menorah/Festivus pole?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas! Have a happy and safe holiday.

As for me, I'll probably be at the mall seeing a movie or two.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy your new CC Sabathia T-shirts like I have been the last couple of days.

Pettitte may not be back; Tex negotiation details

Kat O'Brien has some good stuff in her last post before Christmas.

First, the $10 million offer to Andy Pettitte may no longer be available, as the Yankees are "pretty happy with our team as is," a source said. Pettitte has had this offer on the table for quite a while now, and apparently he's waited too long.

Also, O'Brien shed some light on how the Mark Teixeira negotiations went down, and how sneaky his agent, Scott Boras, could be. The Yankees made him an offer before the Winter Meetings, but withdrew once Boras told them what his client was seeking. They didn't make another offer until late Monday night.

Here's where the fun begins: On Tuesday, Boras said he wanted a 10-year deal, with years nine and 10 as option years. The Yankees immediately said no, offering the now-accepted eight-year, $180 million contract. Later in the day, Boras said Teixeira would accept eight years if the annual salary was $24 million. After conferring, the Yankees said their offer was firm, even though Boras told the Yankees Teixeira would likely go to Boston. The Yankees refused to change their stance, and were told 20 minutes later that Teixeira would accept the $180 million contract.

After reading this, the Yankees really handled these negotations well. They were unaffected by "Boras being Boras," and got what they wanted in the end.

Regarding Pettitte, it's sad that this is the way his Yankee career is ending (again). He hasn't realized he's not the pitcher he once was. A $10 million offer is much more than he's worth at this point.

Buying a championship?

There has been a lot of talk about how the Yankees are bad for baseball and owners want salary caps. Would there be this talk if the poverty-stricken Angels or Red Sox signed Mark Teixeira? Of course not. There's a double standard here. The Yankees are breaking no rules, and as they've proven year after year, money doesn't always solve everything. That's why they play the games. Having the highest payroll in the sport hasn't brought them the elusive 27th World Series championship.

Let's look at the 2007 Red Sox with their 25-man roster opening day payroll of $143,026,214 (according to Cot's Baseball Contracts).

Here are some of the players they acquired:

Jason Varitek
Mike Lowell
Julio Lugo
Manny Ramirez
Coco Crisp
J.D. Drew
David Ortiz
Daisuke Matsuzaka
Tim Wakefield
Josh Beckett
Curt Schilling
Julian Tavarez
Hideki Okajima
Mike Timlin

This is the game today, and you have to spend money to compete. The Yankees are paying the luxury tax levied on them and are sharing its revenue. It shouldn't be the Yankees' fault that the Pirates are pocketing the money they get.

If a team is so mad about the Yankees spending money, they should listen to Giuseppe Franco and "do somethin' about it." Complaining and whining isn't going to get anything done.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Yankees sign Kevin Cash

First Mark Teixeira. Now Kevin Cash. Take that, Red Sox!

According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees have signed the ex-Red Sox catcher to a minor league deal. It'll pay him $700,000 if he makes the majors.

Cash hit .225 with three home runs and 15 RBI in 142 at-bats last season.

Guess this means Posada's future is at catcher

Just thought about this now. By signing Mark Teixeira for eight years, the Yankees must truly expect Jorge Posada can catch, at the very least, for all of 2009.

Unless Hideki Matsui gets traded, the designated hitter spot is also filled.

This is a risk, but the Yankees had to take it. I'm just trying to look at both sides. Expecting someone who is coming off major arm surgery to spend an entire season behind the plate could be asking for trouble.

As was said here, the free agent class is lacking, and the Yankees couldn't pass up this opportunity to improve their offense while hurting the Red Sox at the same time. But don't be surprised if Posada can't throw to second base in May and there is no where else to put him.

Sherman's take on today's events

Joel Sherman said the Yankees signed Mark Teixeira with an eye on next year's free-agent class. In the interest of brevity, the class is pretty barren, save for Matt Holliday.

It also didn't hurt that the Yankees prevented him from going to Boston.

Sherman also says the Yankees will look to trade at least one of the following: Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Xavier Nady and Nick Swisher. All but Swisher are in their walk years.

BREAKING NEWS: Yankees sign Teixeira

It's a Festivus miracle!

I just saw this on ESPN's Bottom Line, as reported by Buster Olney:

Yankees and 1B Mark Teixeira agree to deal.

More to come as I hear it...

And once again, another preemptive hat comes true.

Update - 3:35 p.m.: Now that I've had a chance to calm down, Olney has some details. He said the contract is for eight years worth more than $170 million.

If it's for $170 million, that's $413.5 million spent on free agents thus far. However, the exact details aren't known yet.

The Yankees have signed three of four players in this picture. I'm a genius. And I guess everyone can go to sleep knowing Manny Ramirez won't be a Yankees. Can't win 'em all, I guess.

Olney said the Yankees will have the top four highest-paid players in the game. Jeez.

Update - 4:15 p.m.: Olney's article keeps updating. He says it's an eight-year deal worth $180 million, paying an average of $22.5 million per year.

The (soon-to-be-ex-) Star-Ledger's Dan Graziano said the contract has a full no-trade clause (I hate those) and may or may not include an opt-out clause after three years.

Update - 6:00 p.m.: The deal does not include an opt-out clause, according to Danny Knobler.

Yankees show interest in Bradley, remain in touch with Abreu

A couple of news items from Ken Rosenthal in his latest column.

According to the FoxSports.com writer, the Cubs are confident they'll sign Milton Bradley, but the Yankees, among others, remain interested. Bradley hit .321 with 22 home runs and 77 RBI for the Texas Rangers last year and served as the team's primary designated hitter. His .999 OPS was very nice as well.

If the Yankees can trade Hideki Matsui - they'll likely have to eat some salary - Bradley could be a nice option if talks with the Cubs fall through.

Meanwhile, Rosenthal said Bobby Abreu remains in touch with the Yankees and should be encouraged by the three-year deal Raul Ibanez signed because Abreu is younger and more productive than Ibanez has been.

Yankees 'seriously talking with Teixeira's people'

Jon Heyman's latest update on the Mark Teixeira front has the Yankees listed as one of the three teams involved.

Heyman said the Yankees are seriously talking with Teixeira's people and he is seriously considering signing with New York.

Heyman also said a decision could be made as early as this afternoon, agreeing with what Buster Olney and Peter Gammons reported earlier.

A Yankee Festivus (2nd annual!)

Today is Dec. 23, better known as Festivus, the holiday for the rest of us. For those who don't know, Festivus was a holiday created by Seinfeld character Frank Costanza and appeared in the episode called "The Strike." Frank created this holiday in opposition of the commercialization of Christmas because he got into a fight with someone while looking for a female doll for George, his son.

"As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way."

For a more detailed look at the holiday, please click here.

I did A Yankee Festivus last year, and it was very successful. After the Yankees missed the playoffs this year, it's impossible not to do it again this year.

The first thing one thinks of when they think of Festivus is the pole, shown above. This, of course, replaces the Christmas tree. It's made out of aluminum, requires no decoration (Frank finds tinsel distracting) and has a very high strength-to-weight ratio.

Another aspect of the celebration is the Airing of Grievances. This is certainly the most fun part. I'll let Frank tell you how it works:

"At the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year! ... I got a lot of problems with you people! And now you're gonna hear about it!"

Robinson Cano: I don't think it'd make sense if I didn't air out my grievances against you first. After signing a four-year, $30 million contract last off-season, you got off to a slow start and never recovered. You finished with a .271 batting average, well below your .306 average from 2007. You also hit five less home runs and drove in 25 less runs. You were even benched for not hustling. Don't make us regret our investment in you, Robinson. Go to your room.

Melky Cabrera: Jeez, where to begin with you. After hitting five home runs in April, you only hit three more the rest of the season. Your OBP barely cracked .300 and you were even demoted to Triple-A. You either will be traded or will begin the season in the minors again.

Derek Jeter: All of your offensive numbers were down from a year ago. Is age catching up to you? Prove us wrong next year.

Jorge Posada: You signed a huge deal last year and barely played. I know you got hurt and all, but your catching days could be over relatively soon. If you keep pronouncing that you are going to catch for the remainder of your contract, I think you are sorely mistaken.

Hideki Matsui: You have the knees of a 70-year-old. You've been great for us over the years, but you're clogging the roster at this point. It'll be nice if you can produce like old times next year, but I'm glad it's the last year of your contract.

Wilson Betemit: I'm glad you're finally gone.

Andy Pettitte: You have a 14-14 record with a 5.45 ERA and you still want to make $16 million? Are you out of your mind? You still give us innings and that's nice and all, but it's time for a reality check.

The so-called Big Three: You guys (Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy) only combined for four wins last year - all four going to Joba - and each and every one of you spent time on the disabled list. You're all young and it's likely only one of you will begin the year in the rotation, but you all have to prove you can stay healthy and effective for the course of an entire year.

Darrell Rasner: Hope you like sushi.

Sidney Ponson: I can't believe you actually pitched 80 innings for us last year.

Kei Igawa: Four major-league innings this year for $4 million. Not a bad deal.

Kyle Farnsworth: Enjoy Kansas City.

Joe Girardi: You struggled in your first season as Yankees skipper. You got testy with the media and, at times, looked lost. The Yankees have invested a lot of money so far this off-season. If you miss the playoffs again, I'm afraid you'll be out of a job. You were my pick for manager last year...don't make me regret that.

Boy, that felt good to get off my chest!

During the Festivus dinner, there were two "Festivus miracles." Because they're miracles, you don't expect them, and thus are not an official part of Festivus. However, I can think of a few Festivus miracles.
  • Signing CC Sabathia. We all heard the reports he wanted to pitch in California. It took a lot of convincing ($$$), but we got him and I think he'll be big (no pun intended) for us.

  • The opening of the new Stadium. It was sad watching the last few games at the old Yankee Stadium, but Yankees fans are getting a beautiful new ballpark this year and I can't wait.
The Feats of Strength are the final part of the Festivus celebration. The head of household picks one person at the dinner to wrestle. The Festivus celebration is not over until the head of household is pinned.

"Let's rumble!"

For the purposes of this celebration, the Yankees being in the AL East is enough. The top two teams, the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, met in the ALCS last year. With the Yankees signing both Sabathia and A.J. Burnett (they're probably not done yet), the AL East looks even tougher this year. The Yankees have the pitching to compete, though their hitting can use a boost. It'll be a fun year of division play.

This concludes my Yankees Festivus celebration. Below is a YouTube clip of the Seinfeld celebration.



Last year, I celebrated Festivus with my roommates at college.

This is a picture of us preparing our pole. It's an old flagpole and I'm not sure if it's made out of aluminum, but it served its purpose. The man on the right is none other than Andrew Vazzano from The 'Ropolitans.

Getting the pole to stand up with help from the soda bottle was one of our Festivus miracles. The other Festivus miracle was that the pole didn't fall down during the Feats of Strength (pictured below). I was so happy that we actually had two unplanned Festivus miracles.

The beginning of the Feats of Strength. I'm fighting my roommate Dan (light hat) and Mike (Red Sox fan) is reffing.

During the Feats of Strength.

Fighting

More fighting

Even more fighting

Losing badly to Dan the former hockey player (this explains how we had hockey gloves)

And the gloves come off

Unfortunately, we forgot to celebrate it in our room this year. Silly us.

This really concludes my Festivus celebration. Have a Happy Festivus, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Joyous (?) Kwanzaa and Happy New Year!

This has been another great year of blogging for me. Thanks for continuing to read. I appreciate it very much.

And while we're at it, please check out the Mets "Metstivus" celebration at The 'Ropolitans (but it was my idea first). :)

Yankees hit with $26.9 million luxury tax bill

The Commissioner's office announced today that the Yankees will have to pay $26.9 million for exceeding the luxury tax threshold. A bad season just got worse.

The Tigers, the only other team that had to pay, only had to put forth $1.3 million.

On a happier note, today is Festivus! My second annual Festivus post will be up at 10 a.m. ET. In the meantime, check out what I did for Festivus last year.

A fun time will be had by all. I can promise you this year's post will be 10 times better than last year's, and I thought last year's was pretty good. That's good news for you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wang avoids arbitration, signs one-year deal

The Yankees announced today that they have signed Chien-Ming Wang to a one-year, $5 million deal, thus avoid arbitration.

Wang made $4 million last year, but his season was shortened due to reaching first base on a fielder's choice - the rest is history.

Wang was 8-2 with a 4.07 ERA in 95 innings before injuring his foot.

Cool Phil Hughes story

We now take a break from your regularly scheduled hot stove reports to talk about a player who is already a Yankee.

Phil Hughes is no stranger to the Internet, having his own blog and all. But as Kevin from Zell's Pinstripe Blog tells us, Hughes used to post on a trading card message board and sent him free, autographed memorabilia.

Pretty cool stuff. It really shows you the kind of guy Hughes is.

With players having their own Web sites nowadays, fans have a unique opportunity to electronically interact with the athletes they watch everyday. It's fascinating how far we've come.

Olney's latest on Teixeira

ESPN's Buster Olney has a good read on the Mark Teixeira negotiations. In it, he maintains the Red Sox will still eventually sign him. He also has some Yankees news in there, specifically their role in the negotiations.

The Yankees made an initial offer that was believed to be markedly less than what the other offers have been, and since then they have withdrawn that offer. They are pushing to cut their payroll in 2009, and they cannot sign Teixeira and accomplish that unless they could dump the contract of Hideki Matsui and others, in a market flush with corner outfielders. Their focus continues to be on starting pitching, and at some point they could re-engage a free agent who could come cheaply.
Focus still on starting pitching? They just spent $243.5 million on starting pitching! It's time to upgrade the offense, whether it's Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, etc.

If Andy Pettitte's return is "virtually inevitable," how much more do they need to focus on starting pitching? Think offense, folks.

Cashman denies Manny report

Last night, we heard from some Dominican paper that Manny Ramirez was on the verge of signing a three-year, $75 million deal. It just didn't make sense that he'd sign this early.

Luckily, Bryan Hoch was text messaging Brian Cashman and relayed this report:
Just swapped text messages with Brian Cashman, who wrote two words to splash some cold water on the Impacto Deportivo report of Manny Ramirez receiving a three-year, $75 million offer from the Yankees:

"Not true."
Couldn't have said it any better myself.

Dominican paper says Manny nearing deal with Yankees

The day I'll believe this report (via MLBTR) is the day I'll believe anyone who says they're withdrawing their offer to a Scott Boras client.

Basically, the report says the Yankees are on the verge of signing Manny Ramirez to a three-year, $75 million deal. I'll believe it when I see the press conference or listen to the conference call.

Tim Dierkes has a rundown of this newspaper's recent history regarding free-agent proclamations:

So there you have it. We all have reason to be skeptical.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Report: Angels withdraw Tex offer

Jerry Crasnick, citing a baseball source, is reporting the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have withdrawn their eight-year offer for Mark Teixeira's services.

I believed it when the Red Sox first did it, but since they're back to being a factor (Crasnick lists Boston, the Yankees, Baltimore and Washington as players), I'm going to take this news with a grain of salt...for now.

But one thing is certain: this story is just flat-out weird.

Britton finds a home

Apparently the Padres signed Chris Britton shortly after the Yankees non-tendered him. I didn't see this anywhere until Tim Dierkes linked to a San Diego Union-Tribune article today.

Tom Krasovic said the Padres expect him to pitch the seventh innings.

It's good to see Britton get a chance. He was always on the Scranton shuttle during his brief stint with the Yankees, only amassing 35 2/3 innings in two seasons.

Boras called Yankees about Teixeira

We learned yesterday that the Yankees were back to talking Mark Teixeira. However, as Kat O'Brien reported this morning, it was Scott Boras who initiated the talks.

One source said Boras gave Cashman an estimate of what it would cost to land Teixeira, a superb defensive and offensive first baseman. The ballpark figure reportedly was about $22 million to $23 million per year on an eight-year contract, for a total of $180 million to $185 million.

The source said Boras wanted to give the Yankees an opportunity to make an offer. The Yankees currently do not have an offer on the table for Teixeira.
...

Cashman met personally with Teixeira and Boras before the winter meetings but reportedly made no offer. A source said the Yankees have not ruled out making an offer for Teixeira, saying: "We're debating it. Some in the organization want to do it."
"Some in the organization want to do it."

My guess is that should read: "Hank and Hal Steinbrenner want to do it."

O'Brien goes on to suggest the Yankees will remain on the sideline of these talks. She also said Brian Cashman said earlier this week that the Yankees plan to have a lower payroll this year.

So there you have it. The Yankees are debating offering Teixeira a contract.

Introducing: Scott Proctor's Arm 2.0

I'd like to introduce to you the revamped Scott Proctor's Arm, dubbed "The 2009 Project," "Scott Proctor's Arm HD" or "Scott Proctor's Arm 2.0." I don't know which one I like best.

First, I bought the domain name earlier this week, back when I had no plans to add anything else to the site except the usual wonderful content.

However, things changed yesterday when I was bored and thought of things I could do to change the template. I spent most of the day trying to install a third column (the new left-hand sidebar). Believe me, it's harder than you think. I'm not going to go bore you with the details, but it wouldn't work right and I was trying to fix things for many, many hours.

Because of the width of the extra column, a new banner had to be made. I found the picture on Greg Cohen's construction updates page. Thank you.

Now that this is settled, what do you think of the changes? Would you like me to try and change anything? I'm working for you guys.

Also, just a tiny housekeeping note. If you subscribe with the old Feedburner URL, please change your subscription to this URL: http://www.scottproctorsarm.com/feeds/posts/default

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Yanks and Angels talking Teixeira

According to Jon Heyman, the Yankees and Angels are back to discussing Mark Teixeira on the heels of Boston dropping out of the race. Here are the Yankee-centric details:

Yankees people were thought on Friday to be debating the merits of Teixeira vs. Manny Ramirez, Boras’ other available slugging superstar, and there may be a split vote in the pinstripe hierarchy. While they all love Teixiera’s all-around play and character, Ramirez may be favored by some for his unmatched clutch hitting prowess, unique ability to tweak the rival Red Sox and to draw attention and dollars, but especially because he’d require a shorter term (perhaps three or four years as opposed to at least eight for Teixeira).

Some have suggested the Yankees are merely monitoring the Teixeira situation since he’s Boston’s top priority, and there’s no concrete evidence they’ve outbid the Red Sox yet. Although, the sides were believed to be discussing parameters on Friday, and the Yankees also know that if they steal Teixeira from Boston they’ve clinched the winter in a landslide.
Knowing how the Yankees operate, nothing should surprise me. However, this news is somewhat surprising to me. I think when all is settled, Teixeira won't be in New York. I doubt they'll give out an eight-year deal nearing or surpassing $200 million.

Stay tuned.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sabathia's contract calls for $9.5MM bonus in '09

According to Ronald Blum, the Yankees got creative with CC Sabathia's contract. He will receive a $9.5 million signing bonus which results in a lower salary in 2009. Here are the details:

_The signing bonus is payable in three equal installments by Dec. 31 and by March 1 and July 31 next year.

_He will get a $14 million salary in 2009 and $23 million in each of the final six seasons of the deal, the largest contract ever for a pitcher both in total dollars and average salary.

_While most players are paid semimonthly during the six months of the regular season, Sabathia's salary will be paid in semimonthly installments over all 12 months of the year. That means he will have received six payments of $583,333 before the opener.
It's a nice chunk of change any way you slice it. I love this quote from Sabathia:

"With the economy being the way it is ... the huge amount of money, it was, you know pretty crazy. But that's our game, I guess." Truer words have never been spoken.

Sabathia will also receive a suite on road trips and, of course, can opt out after three seasons.

Rosenthal: Pettitte's return 'virtually inevitable'

Andy Pettitte will return to the Yankees. That's if you believe Ken Rosenthal's source, who says his return is "virtually inevitable." The source said no deal is imminent but it is believed the two sides will eventually come to an agreement.

The Yankees have offered Pettitte a one-year deal worth $10 million and there has been no further news on the mysterious three-year, $36 million offer, leading me to believe it doesn't exist.

While Pettitte struggled last year, he still logged over 200 innings and would be a nice addition to the revamped rotation. As long as he makes under $16 million, I'll be thrilled.

Snow day links

I have a couple of fun links to post while those in the New York area are snowed in.

First, from the Serious Sports News Network, we have "Pavano to Yankees: 'Be careful with long-term, high-dollar for generally-unproven, injury-prone free agent pitchers." This site is pretty hilarious, so check out some of the other stuff they have going on.

Also, I received this quiz from JetPunk.com in my e-mail last night. You have three minutes to name all of the 30 Major League teams. It's harder than you think. And be careful because the clock starts right after the page loads.

Jeter's speech wins Moment of the Year

Remember Derek Jeter's speech following the final game at Yankee Stadium in September? Well, that was voted Moment of the Year in the This Year in Baseball Awards.

Moment of the Year -- Derek Jeter, Yankees: The Yankees faced an end to their streak of 13 consecutive postseason appearances in the Stadium finale on Sept. 21, but that did little to dampen the celebration after a 7-3 win over the Orioles. Leading the rousing sendoff was Jeter, who took the microphone to address the Stadium faithful. "For all of us up here, it's a huge honor to put this uniform on every day and come out here and play," said the veteran shortstop, who earned 34.7 percent of the TYIB votes. Finishing second at 22.3 percent was Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, who blasted a record 28 long balls in the first round of the Home Run Derby -- at Yankee Stadium, no less.
Mike Mussina finished second in the Starter of the Year award, Mariano Rivera finished second in the Closer of the Year award and Johnny Damon's non-catch when the ball rolled on top of the wall against the Red Sox won Oddity of the Year.

Here is video of Jeter's speech:

Yankees avoiding Sheets like the plague

Tireless Joel Sherman, who's supposed to be on vacation, threw up yet another post this week. He talks mainly about Ben Sheets, but has other bits of information on A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe.

Sherman said he's heard from sources who said the Yankees have real concerns about Sheets' health history, especially his back. He also said the Yankees have already taken their "health gamble" by signing Burnett to a five-year deal and want nothing to do with Sheets.

He also has news on why the Yankees chose Burnett over Lowe. He said the Yankees built their plans around CC Sabathia, but knew they needed a second pitcher. The Yankees used both pitchers' numbers in and against the AL East as comparison, and it was ultimately the deal breaker.

Lowe had a 5.42 ERA in his last year in the AL East, and he's already up there in age (he'll turn 36 in June). Burnett was 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA against the Yankees last year, and because of that, the Yankees felt he could dominant other AL opponents. He pitched to a 2.60 ERA against the Boston Red Sox last year and only gave up one run (zero earned) in 13 2/3 innings pitched at Fenway Park.

Sherman said the Yankees valued Burnett's dominant potential over Lowe's dependability.

Nothing surprising here. Had the Yankees been unable to sign Burnett, Sheets would've been a nice option. He would've required less years and less annual money than Burnett. Both pitchers, however, are injury risks. Lowe also probably would've received a contract like Burnett's, and I would be extremely hesitant to give a four- or five-year to a pitcher in his mid-30s.

Yankees not in on Teixeira

Last night, I reported the news that the Red Sox were out of the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes. According to George King, the Yankees were not the ones who outbid the Red Sox.

"Not us," GM Brian Cashman told The Post late last night.
So I guess the dream of signing CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Teixeira could be put to rest.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sox owner on Teixeira: 'We are not going to be a factor'

Wow. Shocking news coming out of Boston.

According to Adam Kilgore of the Boston Globe, John Henry, the Red Sox owner, e-mailed the media saying they're out of the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes.

Henry's words: "We met with Mr. Teixeira and were very much impressed with him. After hearing about his other offers, however, it seems clear that we are not going to be a factor."
This is contrary to this report.

I doubt the Yankees will swoop in here, but anything can happen. I'll post this picture anyway.

Teixeira could be headed to Boston

Mark Bowman cites a Boston television report, saying the Red Sox brass is in Texas speaking to Scott Boras, Mark Teixeira's agent, and that the team could be close to inking the first baseman.

The same report said Boston's offer is eight years for $184 million ($23 million per).

Well...good pitching beats good hitting - hopefully.

Photos of the day

AP Photo

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

I like A.J.

I hate his contract, but I like A.J. Burnett as a person.

If you saw the press conference or heard what he said, you'll know what I'm talking about. He exuded confidence and was honest. When asked about if he came here for the money, he didn't say "no," because obviously money factors into the equation. Aside from money, it sounded like he legitimately wants to be a Yankee and play for a winner.

After listening to people like Alex Rodriguez speak over the last few years, Burnett seems like a breath of fresh air.

Hopefully he can stay healthy. Let's start the season.

AP Photo

CC and A.J. live chat

Reminder: Live chat at 12:45



Just reminding you that our first ever live chat will commence at 12:45 p.m. ET today in advance of the 1:00 p.m. dual press conference. Hope to see you all there!

Also, keep the votes coming in the Yankee of the Year (YoY) poll!

New update regarding bids to Manny and Teixeira

The news? There is no news.

According to Kat O'Brien, the Yankees have not made offers to Mark Teixeira or Manny Ramirez, and may not at all. One of O'Brien's sources said the Yankees haven't even discussed Ramirez at any length, contrary to this report.

"We're monitoring the situation, but we have not made an offer," a team source said. "We may not make an offer. If the money gets too rich, then we won't."
So this is the absolute latest. You can now go to bed and not worry about Ramirez being a Yankee, if you're against the move, obviously.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sabathia meets new Stadium

Ed Price posted some pictures of CC Sabathia (provided by the New York Yankees) touring the new Yankee Stadium.

He's got a $161-million smile.

REMINDER!!! 1:00 press conference tomorrow. The live chat will be up at 12:45 so drop by and talk Yankees baseball with yours truly. Hopefully we get a decent turn out.

Also, please vote in the poll on the right-hand side of the page. I'm going to make a special award for the winner, so I want to get as many votes as possible!

Poll: 2008 Yankee of the Year

Update - 5:45 p.m.: If you've already voted, please vote again. I added a different poll (same choices), but this one is easier to read.


It's poll time again. This is a big one, Scott Proctor's Arm Nation.

I know this was a down year for the New York Yankees, but we need some closure here. So, I ask:

Who is your vote for 2008 Yankee of the Year?

Bobby Abreu: .296 BA, 20 HR, 100 RBI
Johnny Damon: .303 BA, 17 HR, 71 RBI
Derek Jeter: .300 BA, 11 HR, 69 RBI
Mike Mussina: 20-9, 3.37 ERA
Alex Rodriguez: .302 BA, 35 HR, 103 RBI
Mariano Rivera: 39 saves, 1.40 ERA

The poll is located in the right-hand sidebar (I'm aware of the problems with the color scheme. I can't control that.) The choices are in alphabetical order by last name. The poll will be open until Dec. 31 at 11:59 p.m.

Discuss your choice here.

Cameron trade talks off

Kat O'Brien from Newsday spoke to Brewers GM Doug Melvin about the Mike Cameron trade talks. He didn't seem too optimistic about getting something done.

"Nothing new. At this point, I don't anticipate it's something that we would (do). ... I haven't talked to Brian (Cashman) since last week."

Melvin said they had originally looked at moving Cameron to gain some flexibility on the pitching front but that is no longer such a need.

Said Melvin: "I like Mike Cameron a lot. He means a lot in our clubhouse. He's a very positive presence. He's a good player. He's played on a lot of playoff teams -- maybe more than anybody. He's got a lot of intangibles. (A trade is) not something that we're pushing at this time."
Good think I didn't make a hat for Cameron yet.

The Yankees have devoted much of their time since the Winter Meetings to finalizing the contracts of their pitching acquisitions. They have also been making a push for Manny Ramirez's services. It's not surprising Brian Cashman hasn't talked to Melvin in a week.

Off-topic link

My good friend Jeremy Schilling (two L's) asked me to guest blog on his blog, J Schil's Blog (one L). I happily obliged.

Needing an idea, I asked another good friend of mine, Andrew Vazzano (two Z's) of The 'Ropolitans (no Metro). Having already written about how he hates tomatoes, he suggested writing about how much I hate headphones. Enjoy.

During the course of the school year, I will post my articles from The Quinnipiac Chronicle as well. Hopefully they won't be as ridiculous and nonsensical as what I wrote for Jeremy was.

Joba's repenting

The Daily News has some quotes from Joba Chamberlain at the Police Athletic League dinner last night regarding his arrest earlier this off-season.

"I had to deal with some situations growing up and now I have this situation. It's all part of the growing experience," Chamberlain said before accepting an award from the Police Athletic League Tuesday night at the Grand Hyatt in midtown.

"As a 23-year-old man I am still trying to grow up. We all make mistakes. That is part of being human. I am not trying to hide from it, not trying to run from it. I am going to take the bull by the horns. Everybody makes mistakes, and that's part of growing up."
...

"It's been a blessing in disguise," Chamberlain said of the incident. "It happened once and it was a mistake, but it allows me to teach kids from my experience."
It's good to hear these words from him. He has a great future ahead of him, and hopefully he won't screw it up.

'Going hard' at Manny

Mark Feinsand is reporting that the Yankees' interest in Manny Ramirez is growing. He cites a baseball official who says the Yankees are "going hard" after Ramirez, and could be willing to offer him a three-year contract between $22 and $25 million per year.

Feinsand also has reports from another source, saying Brian Cashman is skeptical about signing Ramirez, but the brothers Steinbrenner are on board.

I know some of you don't want Ramirez at all, but for those who do, do you think three years is too many? Personally, I'd only sign him for two. Three years is pushing it in my eyes.

Update on press conferences

Earlier today (well, yesterday, technically), I quoted George King regarding the introductions of CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.

At the time, King said the Yankees could introduce both pitchers at the same time, but it was unclear at the time. Well, he has since updated the article, saying both pitchers will be introduced at 1:00 p.m. Thursday.

Here's the fun part: I will be here, liveblogging the press conference. I will be using Cover It Live, so if you're also watching and want to chat along with me, you can. If you're at work, don't have YES, etc., you can also check it to see what's going on at Yankee Stadium. This is my first time doing something like this, and hopefully some good discussion will take place.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yankees still expect Pettitte to sign; Lowe update

Jon Heyman said the Yankees still expect Andy Pettitte to be a member of the 2009 New York Yankees.

Heyman said the Yankees haven't set a deadline, but they expect an answer before Christmas. He also said Pettitte wants to pitch in the new Yankee Stadium.

In a separate article, Heyman suggests the Yankees can resume their talks with Derek Lowe if Pettitte rejects the Yankees' offer. They were in serious talks with him before signing A.J. Burnett.

At this rate, I'd resort to taking back Pettitte for a year instead of signing Lowe to a multi-year deal.

Joba honored by police, misses court date

Joba Chamberlain missed his court date to attend a Police Athletic League event tonight. Kat O'Brien was there, and delivered some details about the evening:

On his way into the dinner, he talked about trying to turn a negative (his DUI arrest) into a positive by talking to kids about his mistake. He says they might listen more to somebody who has actually had that problem.

Joba also talked about being excited about the upcoming season and the new additions of CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.
Hopefully Joba keeps doing events like this to ensure himself (and the team) that what happened this off-season won't happen again in the future.

Regarding the court appearance, don't worry. Joba has already filed his plea and requested a waiver in writing.

O'Brien also has quotes from Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal who was on hand representing the Yankees. She really said nothing of importance, but you can what she said in the link above the blockquote.

Both pitchers take physicals










A.J. Burnett
took his physical yesterday, and CC Sabathia's physical was scheduled for today, according to George King.

As a result, the Yankees have scheduled a 1 p.m. news conference on Thursday. There is a chance both could be introduced at the same time, but King's source said those plans weren't finalized.

At the end of this article, there is a quote from a Yankees source regarding the stalled Mike Cameron trade. "It's not dead but it might not get done," the source said.

Heyman on Manny

The latest on the Manny Ramirez front, from Jon Heyman:

The Yankees are in on the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes but don't appear overly optimistic to outbid the determined Angels or Red Sox. Should the Yankees lose out for Teixeira, who's drawing interest from the perennially also-ran Nationals and Orioles in addition to the three aforementioned clubs, they seem ready to pounce for Manny Ramirez.
Heyman says there are those suggesting that the Yankees are in on Mark Teixeira only to drive up his price. Also, if Teixeira goes to Boston, the Angels could involved in Ramirez talks.

I think there's zero chance Teixeira winds up a Yankee. But I have a strange feeling Ramirez will be batting behind Alex Rodriguez next year.

CC introduction may be on Thursday

Both Kat O'Brien and George King believe CC Sabathia's press conference will take place on Thursday after likely taking his physical today.

King said that the Mets introducing Francisco Rodriguez at their Christmas Party tomorrow is the likely reason for the Yankees waiting another day, but I'm sure the Thursday papers will have giant pictures of Sabathia with clever headlines, like "WelCCome" or "Sabathiarrival." Hehe.

There is still no word on when A.J. Burnett will take his physical and subsequently be introduced, but O'Brien said the Yankees would like to do both this week while Joe Girardi is in town. She said it's unsure, however, if Burnett will be done with his physical by then.

Monday, December 15, 2008

www.ScottProctorsArm.com

Big news, folks. I bought the domain www.scottproctorsarm.com this evening. No more having to say ".blogspot.com" when I tell people where to find my site.

http://scottproctorsarm.blogspot.com will simply redirect to the regular .com, so you don't have to update your bookmarks. Though you can if you want to.

Kepner's latest on Cameron

Tyler Kepner posted his latest update on the Mike Cameron for Melky Cabrera trade.

In talking to some people involved today, I get the feeling the Yankees are backing away from a potential Melky Cabrera-for-Mike Cameron trade with the Milwaukee Brewers, at least for now. There’s a deal the teams could make, and while I’m not sure of the particulars, at this point the Yankees’ main question is baseball-related, not financial.

We know they do not value Cameron at $10 million, which is why they wanted the Brewers to include some money — or take on Kei Igawa — to make the deal happen. Now that a fair deal seems to be in place, the question is whether it makes baseball sense.

I’m not sure it does. If the Yankees add Cameron, he would bat in the bottom third of the order. Presumably, Nick Swisher will be there, too. Those two hitters are good for a combined 300 strikeouts a season.
Good news. The more I think about this trade, the Yankees are better off not going through with it, even if it means getting rid of both Cabrera and Kei Igawa.

Kepner also doesn't expect anything regarding Manny Ramirez soon.

Breaking news: Phil Hughes likes Christian rock

Phil Hughes is back and blogging. Here's a snippet from his latest post:

Also, what would one of my posts be without a music mention? If you've never heard of the band Skillet you should really have a listen. They're an awesome Christian group. If that's not your thing then you should check em out anyways. They play some great hard rock tunes. The song "Savior" is a good one.
Oh yeah, he also said he started working out at Athletes' Performance last week.

"Staying healthy is my number one priority and I feel like if I can do that then I will have a successful season," Hughes said.

My interview with YanksBlog

I was Patrick's latest guest on YanksBlog's Interviewing the Yankees Blogosphere.

Check out what I said in the above link.

Thanks, Patrick, for thinking of me.

Pettitte has another offer?

From the "are you kidding me?" files, Jon Heyman has interesting news regarding Andy Pettitte.

It's been a mystery to many why veteran left-hander Andy Pettitte hasn't taken the Yankees' $10-million offer. But here could be a clue as to why he hasn't: Pettitte's people apparently are telling folks he has a $36-million, three-year offer from another, unnamed team.
I honestly don't believe that for a second.

Heyman says the news of this mysterious offer hasn't caused the Yankees to change their one-year, $10 million offer, nor has Pettitte received a deadline from the team.

He suggests the Yankees will turn their attention to Ben Sheets or Derek Lowe is talks with Pettitte fall through, even though I've heard rumors that the Yankees saw red flags in Sheets' medical history.

Negative Lofton tried to influence CC

According to George King, ex-Yankee malcontent Kenny Lofton tried to influence CC Sabathia's free-agent decision.

"He painted a bad picture of New York and the Yankees," a person in the know said. "A lot of negative things."
Lofton, of course, spent 2004 with the Yankees, and was unhappy. But it wasn't New York's fault.

I really hate hearing stories like this.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Trade talks expected to 'intensify'

George King is reporting that trade talks between the Yankees and Brewers regarding Mike Cameron and Melky Cabrera are expected to intensify tomorrow. Whatever that means.

Apparently the Brewers don't mind Kei Igawa, but they don't want to pay him. Seems reasonable enough.

I still don't see the need for this trade. If the Yankees are looking to upgrade their offense, Cameron isn't exactly the answer.

Latest on Tex, Manny, Cameron, CC and A.J.

George King (I'm still refusing to call him George A. King III) had a bunch of news items spaced out over two articles today.

In the first piece, CC Sabathia is expected in town tomorrow, will take his physical Tuesday and could be formally introduced as early as Wednesday. According to A.J. Burnett's agent, there has been no date set for his physical.

Later, King writes that Kei Igawa's salary has been the latest hold up in the long rumored Mike Cameron for Melky Cabrera trade. Igawa makes $4 million per year, so they don't want to spend that after saving Cameron's $10-million salary. The Yankees have told the Brewers that no pitchers on their 40-man roster are available, so that's why they're settled on the enigmatic lefty. The Brewers asked for Phil Coke, Mark Melancon and Jose Veras, but the Yankees quickly shot that down. King says both sides expect to get the deal done eventually.

I hope they don't.

Now, his second article - Yankee-related news regarding Mark Teixeira and Manny Ramirez.

According to several baseball officials, the Yankees New York Yankees remain in the Mark Teixeira hunt. But the same connected voices insist if the Yankees don't land the switch-hitting first baseman, they will turn their money toward controversial slugger Manny Ramirez.

"If they can't get Teixeira, they are right there on Manny," an official with knowledge of the Yankees' plan said yesterday.
Imagine getting Teixeira or Ramirez after already signing Sabathia and Burnett? Teixeira has already received an eight-year, $160 million offer from the Angels, so he probably won't get an offer from the Yankees, but according to King, the Yankees "are likely" to offer Ramirez three years at $20 million per.

That would be $59.5 million tied up in free agents, and we're not even talking about Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera. But the Yankees were given a lot of money to spend. No matter what, it still sounds like a lot, and it's fascinating to see how much the organizational philosophy has changed after a down year.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A look back at Burnett's career

I meant to post this yesterday, but better late than never. Anthony McCarron takes a (scary) look back at A.J. Burnett's career to date.

July 1, 1997: Returns from a two-week stint on the minor-league disabled list because of a broken left foot.

May 16, 1998: Makes his minor-league season debut after missing the first six weeks after surgery to repair a broken right hand.

March 14, 2000: Suffers a torn thumb ligament during fielding practice in spring training and has surgery a week later. It keeps him out of the majors until July 20.

Feb. 22, 2001: Marlins' doctors find a stress fracture in his right foot, so he starts the season on the disabled list and makes his season debut May 1.

Aug. 19, 2002: Goes on the DL with a bone bruise. Returns nearly a month later.

March 21, 2003: Placed on the DL with an elbow problem which leads to Tommy John surgery.

April 29, 2003: After opening the season on the disabled list because of elbow problems, undergoes Tommy John surgery, a 90-minute procedure performed by Dr. James Andrews.

April 15, 2006: Is activated from the disabled list, where he starts the season because of scar tissue breakup from his previous elbow surgery. Makes two starts before returning to the DL April 22.

June 13, 2007: Goes on the disabled list with a shoulder strain and makes one start when he comes off before going right back on. But after he returns Aug. 12, he goes 5-2 in 10 starts.

Those are only the injuries. Of course, there are 87 wins in 10 years in there somewhere.

I'm scared folks. I understand there's great upside here, but there's also a lot of risk. I can't fathom giving five years to a man with this kind of history. I just can't.

Damon and Joba on the recent signings

Here are some quotes from Johnny Damon and Joba Chamberlain regarding the Yankees' recent signings.

Damon:

"All of us saw how he dominated us," Damon said of the right-hander, who was 5-3 with a 2.39 ERA and held Yankee hitters to a .213 batting average and fanned 72 batters in 71 2/3 innings. "We always said if we had this guy we would have won the past three years."

"On most teams, Sabathia, Burnett and Wang would be No. 1 starters," Damon said. "We have three No. 1 guys."
Chamberlain:
"It is great. It's going to be exciting for us," said Joba Chamberlain Joba Chamberlain , who was at Last Licks in Manhattan yesterday for an autograph signing. "[Sabathia] is a great competitor, and he brings a lot to the table."

"[Burnett] is just another guy who goes out and competes and knows how to win," the Chamberlain said. "He is a great addition and another top of the rotation guy for us."

"The way our front office did things today was fantastic," he said. "They went about their business and got things done, and it is very exciting."

"I feel less stress because you have all these guys around to be leaders for you," Chamberlain said. "It takes a little pressure off of everybody."
So there you have it. At least two people like the Burnett signing.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cashman's breakfast

Brian Cashman was hungry for some cereal earlier this week in Las Vegas. Little did we know that some pieces of Alpha-Bits would cause him to have an epiphany, dramatically altering the Yankees' starting rotation.

Scott Proctor non-tendered

Scott Proctor was non-tendered by the Los Angeles Dodgers today, thus making him a free agent, according to Tony Jackson.

Proctor had elbow surgery in October to repair a partially-torn flexor tendon and shave down a bone spur in the back of his elbow.

In Yankees non-tender news, Chris Britton and Justin Christian made the list. Britton only pitched 35 2/3 innings as a Yankee and Christian stole seven bases last year.

Time to think offense

With the latest signing, the Yankees have spent $243.5 million this off-season on two contracts, both belonging to pitchers. While the pitching was bad last year, hitting was also an issue. The Yankees scored almost 200 less runs in 2008 than they did the previous year.

As it stands, two players who scored 168 of those runs last year will be gone. Those two players, of course, are Jason Giambi and Bobby Abreu.

At 34, Abreu hit .296/.371/.471 with 20 home runs, 100 RBI and 100 runs scored in 684 plate appearances. Giambi hit .247 with 32 home runs and 96 RBI. Both players had an OPS over .800.

Earlier this off-season, the Yankees refused to offer both arbitration, even though Abreu had Type A free-agent status, meaning they won't get two draft picks if he signs elsewhere.

The question is, should the Yankees think about bringing back Abreu or Giambi? The outfield and DH spots are congested, so there may not be room, but the Yankees need a bat. The lineup is lacking as of now.

Despite spending all of that money already, the Yankees have a lot of to play around with.

I hope Brian Cashman is thinking here, because I don't think Nick Swisher and (possibly) Mike Cameron will cut it. It's great that the rotation has been upgraded, but there are two sides to the game of baseball.

By the way, Mark Teixeira is still available. Imagine the uproar around baseball if the Yankees sign him to go along with CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett? There is money to be spent...

Crasnick: Burnett signs with Yankees

Get ready for five years of A.J. Burnett, Yankees fans.

According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, Burnett and the Yankees have reached a preliminary agreement on a five-year, $82.5 million deal. That works out to an average of $16.5 million per season, but the two sides are still negotiating contract terms.

Burnett, 31, went 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA in a career-high 221 1/3 innings last year. His 231 strikeouts led the American League.

This obviously isn't a shock by any means, but I'm still not thrilled. It's too much money for too long for someone who's too much of an injury risk. Hopefully he's not on the disabled list for the majority of the contract like I think he could be.

And once again, the Yankees signed someone who I've preemptively made a hat for.

Cameron trade could happen, but nothing imminent

Kat O'Brien has the latest news on the proposed Mike Cameron trade. The trade could happen, according to Brewers GM Doug Melvin, but nothing is imminent, and he hasn't spoken to Brian Cashman since they both left Las Vegas yesterday.

"Right now there's nothing," Melvin said. " ... I think people get ahead of themselves a little bit, which happens at the winter meetings. I would hope to talk to (Cashman) and see if we can work something out. There's still a possibility."
Melvin also cleared the air about the money issue, saying the fact that the Yankees asked for some money in return "didn't bother me."

I will continue to update this news as well as anything that happens with A.J. Burnett as soon as I hear it, so keep checking in.