• Sabathia & Burnett Not Interested In Yanks?

    Posted by on October 26th, 2008 · Comments (9)

    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…

    Comments on Sabathia & Burnett Not Interested In Yanks?

    1. antone
      October 26th, 2008 | 10:53 am

      This is the part that scares me. Not that I’m dead set on bringing in Sabathia, Burnett, or Teixeira, but I don’t trust Cashman to make the right smaller moves if the big names don’t come here. I’d rather take my chances with the big guns.

    2. OldYanksFan
      October 26th, 2008 | 11:57 am

      I disagree Antone. The big, splashy, expensive names have ALWAYS been the work of Steinbrenner, just like Hank wanted Santana. Cashman is much more a bang for the buck guy. We already have expensive ‘names’ in ARod, Jeter, Posada and Mo. Cashman sees the Sox with a number of very good but-not-great players. This is what the Yankees need. Guys who are above league average but not expensive stars.

      If we can’t get stud pitching, we will get stud offense instead, and bolster the defense. People cry about ‘you need pitching to win’, but you also need offense and defense. You need balance and quality in all 4 categories. SP, RP, O and D.

      Last year, even with injuries to Wang and Joba, we had a better ERA then the PS 2007 Yankees. We also allowed less RS then 3 of the 4 WS Yankee teams. We also have some, although we won’t know who until it happens, MLB quality pitchers on the farm.

      Our problem is O and D. Our fielding independent ERA in 2008 was in the the top 25% of the AL… again, withOUT Wang and Joba.

      Sabathia or Burnett would be fine, but we can still build a winning team without them.

      Writers are desparate for ‘news’ and will rehash any old news (Santana) or try to create new ‘news’. Reacting to media drivel is silly.

      I also think if the Yankees want to be strong for 2010 and beyond, 2009 may NOT be a PS year. I know many fans will freak at that idea, but the Yankees have a LOT of work to do to compete with Boston and TB over the next 5-10 years. There is no quick fix, and mimicking the habits of 1998-2005, which is what got us in this (weak) position, is not exactly learning from history.

      Tex, CC, et al ares NOT as important as improving and stocking our farm and international signings. The Dynasty was build on many factors, but the foundation was cost controlled, quality kids…. named Bernie, Jeter, Posada, Pettitte and Rivera.

      It easy with Yankee money to go out and buy big names. But our future depends on an ongoing ability to develop our own players, and use our big money to augment that.

      Our future is in youth… not FAs. And Cashman knows this.

    3. SC YankFan Pat
      October 26th, 2008 | 2:24 pm

      I for one, won’t worry about it….if they don’t want to play here and they use the Yanks to drive up the contract…at least other teams are paying more than they can afford, and we don’t want them if they aren’t going to be happy here. Which, btw, is another reason to focus on youth through our system.

    4. butchie22
      October 26th, 2008 | 2:43 pm

      OLd Yank Fan nice post. Both free agents will use the Yanks but probably won’t come here. Burnett is comfortable in Toronto, his best friend is Doc Halladay and his Marlins pitching coach, Brad Arnsberg is up there. The fans up there don’t like the fact that he is Pavano Lite, but have grown to accept him. There is no way that Yankee fans would accept another pricey bust like AJ who also has an almost 5 ERA! Antone, Burnett is not a big gun AND he can’t hack it here in NYC. Toronto is like NYC lite, where hockey is king. He can float under the radar up there, he’d be a goat here.

      CC will come to the highest bidder. If he likes to hit so much let him DH! Doug M might be right but I have a feeling that Cash Man will blow away any other offer. CC is a gamer and he might not come here BUT the Yankees will move heaven and earth to get him here.

    5. antone
      October 26th, 2008 | 4:46 pm

      Burnett is the second best pitcher on the free agent market..he’s a solid # 3 at worst.

      Old Yanks Fan…it’s great if you want to build the farm system but you usually do that through the draft. It’s going to be tough to bring in quality minor leaguers through trades unless you plan on giving up something valuable.

      The Yanks have a lot of holes to fill this season and my point was that I don’t have faith in Cashman to fill those holes by making shrewd moves and getting quality players that are solid but not All-Star talent through trades or low money free agent signings. This is a big offseason for Cashman, if he doesn’t improve the team then I think the Yanks could be in trouble for the next 5-10 years that you are talking about.

      I think we should just wait and see what happens but I fear what the Yanks will do if they don’t get any big names. I believe you can improve the team without those big names, but I’m not sure Cashman knows how to do that.

    6. butchie22
      October 26th, 2008 | 6:38 pm

      Antone, I would much rather have Lowe who is a winner and a grinder. Burnett has a 5 ERA and only pitches well against the NYY and Boston. There are how many other teams in the AL like Tampa who he has to pitch to? Aj has the stuff of a 1a BUT the head of a number 5. BUrnett is soft, he could never hack it in NYC. Kay and Kim Jones were parroting crap that he is a big game pitcher….yeah, when he’s not injured. If the Yanks get Burnett, I will count the days until Kay, Waldman, Jones, and Sterling turn against him (which will be when he gets his first blister)!

    7. matcohen
      October 27th, 2008 | 1:01 am

      What would Billy Beane do?

      Trade Matsui and Damon for some high impact prospects.

      Spend the saved cash on young players in the draft and Latin America.

      See which combination of Coke, Aceves, Joba, Hughes and Kennedy can pitch behind Wang.

      The Yanks can’t compete in the AL East in the near term. The Rays are going to get stronger and the Sox are too well managed with a cadre of young players.

    8. Raf
      October 27th, 2008 | 9:53 am

      The Yanks can’t compete in the AL East in the near term.
      I doubt that the Yanks will be nonplayers in the AL East in the near term.

    9. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      October 27th, 2008 | 10:35 am

      If the Yanks sign Sabathia and Teixeira, they will surely compete in the AL East in the near-term.

      The question will be, will they be competitive over the long haul as those players and others enter their decline years, or simply break down? What do the Yanks do if they actually have too many players who are 1B/DH types, between Posada, Jeter (during his next contract), Teix and A-Rod? I mean they could reach a point where there simply isn’t playing time for everyone. Is a salary dump or two in the cards if Teixeira comes on board for 8 years?

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