Daniel writes: I don’t know if I totally agree with your blog stating that we need to be patient with CC. I think the Yanks are being played. How can a player turn down that kind $$$$? This offer will not be matched it’s crazy money. He is waiting for another team to make him a offer close enough so he sign with them. If he does the Yanks will look like fools. I think the Yanks should pull the offer off the table and see what happens.
Answer: What is gained by CC deciding now unless he wants a signing bonus up front? The guy has never been a free agent before and he and his agent are taking their time. I see nothing wrong with that.
Matt from Connecticut writes: Any veracity to this idea that the MLB players union will not allow a free agent to take a lower offer when a significantly larger deal is on the table? We keep hearing about this in regards to Sabathia, but are you aware of any other situation(s) where this occurred? Also, what, if any, would be the repercussions for a player that went against the union’s desires?
Answer: Good question, Matt. The MLBPA does not have the power to prohibit a player from accepting any deal. They often discourage young players from making team-friendly deals that give away their arbitration rights. In terms of a guy like CC, he’s free to make any deal he wants. But if he decided to leave $40 million on the table, I’m sure he or his agent would get at least an informal call. The MLBPA, obviously, wants salaries to rise and the best way to do that is to have somebody raise the ceiling.
Mike writes: I would like to know why the Yankees or any other team feel that A.J. Burnett is such a great pick up. Sure compared to his contemporaries he looks good but he is injury prone. Additionally Burnett seems to much like the Carl Pavano deal from a few years ago. Both players were average statistically and both only won 18 games once. Now Burnett unlike Pavano is a strikeout pitcher but both seem to have their abilities inflated because they were able to win 18 games. Picking up Burnett would be a risky move. Why not sign him to a three-year deal with a club option for a fourth if he reaches X amount of innings and a fifth year player option on another innings goal?
Answer: I agree with you, Mike. Teams like Burnett because he has great stuff and there are games when he is dominant. They’re overlooking his history based on his apparent promise. Your contract parameters are reasonable. But in this market, with so many teams needing starters, agents aren’t going to be reasonable.
Israel writes: With the need for a quality center fielder as a top priority why can’t the Yankees plug in Austin Jackson as the 2009 center fielder? In my opinion Brett Gardner is not the answer. He is at best a fourth outfielder/pinch runner.
Answer: Austin has played only one year above Class A ball. He will be 22 in February. He’s not ready for the majors quite yet. But if he has a great spring training it’ll give them something to consider.
Manny writes: I think the Yankees need a big time bopper behind A-Rod. Why aren’t they going for one and getting the most out of what A-Rod can offer? Swisher, Posada, Matsui, is not the answer.
Answer: Speaking of the Big Bopper, why wasn’t there ever a movie made about him? The Big Bopper died in the same 1959 plane crash as Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens. There has been a Holly movie and one on Valens. But the poor Big Bopper gets no love. I should give up sportswriting and write a Big Bopper screenplay. Chantilly Lace is a good song, right? If there are any wealthy investors out there, send me an e-mail.
Brian in San Francisco writes: So you think the Yanks will sign Abreu? I read on your blog that Cashman says Nady is the starting RF? So, I guess they’re going to let Abreu walk?
Answer: I don’t think they’ll sign him, Brian. I do wonder if there is any chance he’ll accept arbitration. But I suspect he’ll get a solid multi-year offer from another team.
Ross and John write: We think the Yankees should sign Sabathia and Teixeira. And keep Mussina. (Note, this e-mail arrived after Mussina announced his retirement. I’m not kidding)
Answer: First off, it took two of you to write this? Secondly, Mussina has retired. They can’t keep him.
Thanks to everybody (except those last two guys) for writing in.