Monday, December 8, 2008

Viva Las Vegas

Yankees Warm up Their Wallets
This year's winter meetings kick off in Las Vegas today with some big time names expecting to accept deals before the get together concludes on the 11th. While top names will probably get scooped up, there's a good chance that second tier free agents may not get the offers they're seeking because of the economy.

The Yankees big focus is of course CC Sabathia. They have a huge offering sitting out there that Sabathia is in no hurry to accept. The Brewers are reportedly so desperate to keep him, they may be willing to put in an opt out clause, so Sabathia can become a free agent again after 3 years.

If the Yankees can't land Sabathia, is Plan B to overwhelm A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe with offers? We've expressed our displeasure at this plan, since Burnett's mental and physical make up is up for debate, and Lowe, for the most part, didn't seem to love pitching in the AL East. Part of Plan B (maybe it's Plan C) is also to meet Andy Pettitte's salary demands.

The one advantage the Yankees have of course is the amount of money they can spend. This is an even bigger advantage in these tough economic times.

We've heard all about the need for pitching and totally agree with it, but the Yankees have to be looking to strengthen their lineup too. Mark Teixeira, Manny Ramirez, and Adam Dunn are among the names out there. While we put Teixeira and Ramirez on the top level, and Dunn a notch below, there's a significant drop off after that among the remaining free agents.

Rumors and Truths
A quick truth (well a rumored truth)...with Ivan Rodriguez gone and not enough confidence in Brandon Inge, the Tigers went out and acquired Gerald Laird from the Rangers last night for two prospects, one of which is Guillermo Moscoso. That news comes from Ken Rosenthal, who also says the Cardinals are ready to make a serious run at Burnett.

Jason Varitek's days in Boston are over. The Sox long time leader declined arbitration last night as he continues to look for a multi-year deal.

The White Sox reportedly dealt Jermaine Dye to the Reds, but both sides quickly shot it down as nonsense.

The Twins broke off talks with Casey Blake, who is insistent on getting a guaranteed third year.

The A's dropped out of the running for free agent Rafael Furcal after the shortstop rejected their four year offer.

Joel Sherman of the Post was on with Mike Francesa last night and expressed what a lot of the pundits feel - that Manny Ramirez will be back with the Dodgers. Part of Sherman's reasoning was that most teams haven't forgotten how Manny acted before he left Boston.

Will try to update you through the next 4 days as deals come down. In the meantime, take our new poll. After CC Sabathia, who is the most important player for the Yankees to sign?

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