Via George King -
The Yankees are willing to spend big glue to repair their starting rotation. But are they able?
With C.C. Sabathia looking to stay in the NL and liking Southern California, the only way the Yankees land the left-handed stud is by offering him far more than anybody else. He is expected to exceed the $137.5 million the Mets dropped on Johan Santana after acquiring him from the Twins last year.
And now word is spreading that A.J. Burnett will shy away from The Bronx, too.
If Sabathia and Burnett don’t want the Yankees’ money, the Yanks will be left to dance with Ben Sheets, Derek Lowe, Ryan Dempster and Oliver Perez.
Burnett’s agent, Darek Braunecker, denied his client has ruled out the Yankees.
“That is 100-percent wrong,” Braunecker said. “If he does indeed opt out of the deal [with Toronto] he will see if the Yankees are interested.”
And, via Anthony McCarron -
[CC] Sabathia’s combination of talent, grit and charm might make him a perfect fit for New York. At least that’s what the pitching-needy Yankees are hoping. The 28-year-old Sabathia is the No. 1 starter available for the Yanks’ No. 1 need and many in baseball believe if Sabathia is simply interested in getting the biggest, longest contract, he’ll be fitted for pinstripes.
But nothing is certain Saturday ex-Yankee Doug Mientkiewicz was quoted in USA Today in September saying that Sabathia had told him of New York, “I’m not going to go there.”
Those who know Sabathia Saturday the same people who talk glowingly about his sweet, easygoing nature and his “big ole smile,” as Abe Hobbs, his high school coach described it Saturday say money won’t be Sabathia’s only consideration. Sabathia, who is married with two kids and another due this month, is looking to build a house near Los Angeles. Some believe he’d prefer to play in California, in the National League, because he loves to hit.
“I know he wants to put on some World Series rings before he leaves the game and do some special things,” Hobbs says. “He’s a guy who, in a couple years, people will start talking about the Hall of Fame. He’s smart enough to know that it’s a much shorter road to the Hall of Fame through New York. I could see him playing in New York.…I don’t think anything in California is a lock right now.”
“This is just my guess, but the challenge of playing in New York might be intriguing to him, knowing him the way I do,” adds Paul Cogan, the scout who signed Sabathia as the 20th pick of the 1998 draft. “He could handle it. But he really likes to hit, too. In the past, he’s grabbed me and said, ‘Tell these people that I can hit!’”
There’s a part of me that says the Yankees are going to get played by all these big name free agent pitchers…just to drive up the prices for the other teams who eventually sign them…and, in the end, none of them will come to the Bronx. So, perhaps, it’s better for the Yankees to spend their time identifying which pitchers are out there, currently on other teams, who are maybe arbitration-eligible and/or a year or two away from free agency – where their current team will be hard pressed to pay them – and start working on some trades to get those “ace” starting pitchers for their rotation.
And, that part of me that’s saying that is starting to talk louder, and louder, each day…