Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Is anyone really surprised?

In case you missed it, the Yankees swept in and topped the Red Sox, the Nationals and everyone else, giving Mark Teixeira an 8 year, $180 million contract. The Red Sox last reported offer was 8 years/$170 million.

Perhaps that's what John Henry meant when he said that the Red Sox would not be a factor in signing Teixeira. Maybe Boras told him that the Yankees planned to top any conceivable offer. With $80 million coming off the payroll from last season and the opening of the new Yankee Stadium next year, the Yankees have money to burn. And burn it they have, committing over $400 million to Teixeira, A.J. Burnett and C.C. Sabathia. They have the four highest paid players in baseball (A-Rod, Jeter, Sabathia and Teixeira).

These signings obviously change the balance of power in the A.L. East. The Yankees are back in it after falling out of the playoffs last year. Let's not count out the Sox, though. They still have a very good starting rotation (assuming Beckett is healthy), a deep bullpen and a pretty good offense assuming Papi and Lowell return to form. And, oh yeah, there are the Rays, last years A.L. champs. Remember them?

By the way, wondering where that $80 million came from? The bulk of it is from Jason Giambi ($23.4 million), Bobby Abreu ($16 million), Andy Pettite ($16 million), Carl Pavano and Mike Mussina ($11 million each). The Yankees will probably resign Pettite in the $10 million range.

One final thought: if the Yankees don't at least reach the ALCS next year, Brian Cashman shouldn't even be allowed to run a fantasy team.


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