Tuesday, December 14, 2010

BD Hot Stove: The Repercussions of Phil Lee

BD Hot Stove: The Repercussions of Phil Lee

The fallout from Cliff Lee signing with Philadelphia can be heard today from Texas to New York to Boston and everywhere in between. Lee left up to $50M on the table to play back in Philly, where he spent the latter half of 2009. You can go home again, and much to the dismay of the player’s association, you don’t have to take the most moneyed contract to do so.

In New York, Yankees fans cried, whined, and sighed. And Met fans applauded that the Yankees lost out on Lee. Apparently it hasn’t sunk in yet that the Mets will have to face the Phillies rotation 19 times a year.

In Arlington, Ron Washington’s gut is in hiding. After all, it was Washington’s gut that told him Lee was coming back to Texas. And the Rangers are back where they were before last season’s trade deadline; with a huge hole in their rotation.

The Red Sox fans joy is twofold. 1) The Yankees didn’t get Lee and 2) The Yankees didn’t get a top left-hander to negate their lefty-laden lineup.

Meanwhile, Yankees GM Brian Cashman has to go to plan ‘B’. He told area beat writers this morning, via a conference call, that means “patience”. For now the Yankees have just three definite spots in their rotation- CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, and A.J. Burnett. So the next logical step will be to see what Andy Pettitte’s status is. With no Lee in NY, Pettitte will probably ask for a higher amount of money than had the Yankees landed Lee. I can see a $15M asking price, though the Yankees will want the figure to be closer to $10M. Incentives can make both sides happy.

Another winner in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes is his agent Darek Braunecker, who is now a household name.

Rumors, News, and Transactions

Former Yankee Hideki Matsui finalized his one year deal with the Oakland A’s. It’s worth $4.25M. Good job by Billy Beane.

The Yankees may not have gotten Lee, but they did get the catcher they wanted. Russell Martin, recently non-tendered by the Dodgers, has agreed to a one year deal.

Lyle Overbay has agreed to a one year, $5M deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Overbay had a nice offensive year in 2010, but it’s not his norm. Still you would think there would be some upper echelon teams interested in him.

The Nationals have signed pinch-hitter extraordinaire Matt Stairs to a minor league deal.

One of the Rangers plan ‘B’ options is apparently Chien-Ming Wang. The former Yankee missed all of 2010 after undergoing shoulder surgery and was non-tendered by the Nationals. Nolan Ryan and company are reportedly also looking at Carl Pavano.

The Cardinals have agreed to a deal with Gerald Laird as a backup catcher to Yadier Molina. Laird will receive $1M for one year.

According to the Kansas City Star’s Terez Paylor, the Royals are still shopping Zack Greinke and looking for the best fit.

The Rays have re-signed lefty J.P. Howell to a one year deal. Howell, who had torn labrum surgery in May, will miss the start of the season and his exact return is in question.

The Mariners, looking for parts, inked Royce Ring, Ryan Langerhans, Denny Bautista, and Chris Giminez to minor league pacts.

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