Tuesday, December 16, 2008

There's been a lot going on in baseball since a slow start to the Winter Meetings in Vegas. Here are a few thoughts on the bigger bits of news.
  • The biggest story was the Yankees spending nearly a quarter of a billion dollars on the front two for their starting rotation. They lavished $161 million of that new Yankee Stadium money on C.C. Sabathia and another $82.5 million on A.J. Burnett. The Sabathia signing is risky, but that would be true of signing any pitcher to a seven year contract for huge money. I actually think the Burnett signing is more risky - he's been fragile. His best two years have been his contract years. He undeniably has great stuff, but if he's not out on the mound to use it, it's not going to do the Yankees much good. I think the Yankees were desperate to do something after missing the playoffs last season, and I think it was obvious in the way they overspent on both of these pitchers.
  • The Mets bolstered the area that was probably responsible for keeping them out of the playoffs last season by signing Francisco Rodriguez to close for them for the next three years. They also entered into a blockbuster 12-player, three way trade with the Indians and Mariners and ended up with J.J. Putz to pitch the 8th inning in front of K-Rod. Putz could close for most teams, and of course K-Rod is coming off a record breaking season. After two straight September collapses, the Mets needed to do something and they certainly upgraded the bullpen.
  • Things are heating up in the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes. There seem to be five teams in the bidding: Angels, Orioles, Red Sox, Nationals and Yankees. Although Teixeira is from the Baltimore area, it seems pretty unlikely that the Orioles and Nats have a serious chance of signing him given both teams lack of recent success. Teixeira is pretty much Theo Epstein's dream player: high OPS, hits for power, plus defense, so you have to think the Sox are putting the full court press on signing him. It seems that the bidding is starting in the 8-year, $160 million range and is going up from there. Of course, if there is a guy in the market worth the big bucks, Teixeira is the one.


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