I see where everybody is picking what free agents they want the Yankees to sign to make everything all better. A few things:
* Money talks. Forget everything else. It doesn’t matter where a guy is from, whether he likes to surf or if he hates cold weather. It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.
* But if the money is basically equal, the Yankees are not the the Yankees of five years ago. They don’t always go to the World Series like they used to. There’s a different manager. George Steinbrenner, who was an effective recruiter, isn’t involved. It’s a different atmosphere. They might have to actually be nice.
But in the end, money is what matters.
As for specific players:
CC Sabathia: He could finish his season with 270+ innings on top of 241 in 2008. For those of you who went to a state school, that’s 511 innings over two seasons. Tremendous risk there. But probably worth the risk. If he shows up in spring training with a sore arm, however, don’t act all surprised.
A.J. Burnett: He was great against the Yankees. He was pretty good against everybody else. Don’t forget, he was Toronto’s Carl Pavano for a while, a player they accused of being a dog. I’d be cautious of him. And don’t believe the “He wants to play for the Yankees!” stuff. What do you expect him to say?
Mark Teixeira: No problems here, except for Scott Boras. Well, and you might need someplace for Jorge Posada to play in a year – or sooner.
Derek Lowe: Knows the league, has pitched well, would love to beat the Red Sox. But Boston got rid of him for a reason when they did. They thought he partied too much and wasn’t putting the time in. If the Yankees think he’s changed, he’d fit.
Manny Ramirez: If he plays hard like he did for two months for the Dodgers, sure. You really think he will? Manny’s history is one of basically quitting at certain points and he doesn’t like it when everybody cares who wins the game. It’s also virtually impossible to imagine a Joe Girardi-Manny relationship working out. One guy gets his hair cut every 20 minutes. The other guy once every three years.
Ben Sheets: No, no, a thousand times no. His arm is a ticking time bomb.
Oliver Perez: Boras will put him on the market. A lefty in the new Stadium. He gets his innings. It hurts the Mets. It kind of makes sense, no?
Orlando Hudson: If Cano is traded, you need a second baseman.
Casey Blake: The Yankees could use an actual good, versatile bench player. It’s not Wilson Betemit.
Adam Dunn: If Giambi and Abreu are gone, somebody has to drive in runs. But they should try and keep Bobby. The FA outfield crop isn’t good.
We have a long time before guys can file and start talking with teams. But it’s pretty obvious the Yankees will be buyers. Don’t forget, this is what they have coming off the payroll:
Giambi: $21 million
Abreu: $16 million
Pettitte: $16 million
Mussina: $11 million
Idle: $11 million
That’s $75 million plus a few million for Ensberg, Pudge, Ponson, etc.
Just a reminder, we’re going to have a live video chat today at 4 p.m. ET.
Go to this link and ask whatever you want. I’ll get your questions and answer them on video.
This is something LoHud.com plans to do throughout the winter.