Looks like I’m going to miss out on the Rafael Soriano conference call. I only get so many weeks off each year, and I have to take one of those weeks in the first three months, so I’m going to spend the next week skiing with a few friends in Colorado. While I’m gone, I’m sure Sam and Brian will hold down the fort.
Things to watch for next week:
1. Rafael Soriano becoming official. I have to think the physical will be finished and the signing complete in the next few days. That’s going to be an interesting conversation with Brian Cashman.
2. Andruw Jones pursuit continues. All indications are that the Yankees are making a push for Jones to be their fourth outfielder. At this point in the offseason, it wouldn’t be surprising for Jones to pick a destination any day now.
3. Andy Pettitte news, maybe. Every day brings the possibility of some sort of final decision from Pettitte. Maybe it will happen this week. Maybe it won’t happen until the middle of the season. Maybe Pettitte will simply fade away with no official announcement.
4. Added rotation depth. I have no idea how close the Yankees are to signing one of the many risk-reward starters on the market, but given the current rotation, signing someone like Justin Duchscherer would make some sense.
5. Spring training invitations. Two years ago, the Yankees announced their non-roster invitees on January 14. Last year, they didn’t make that announcement until February. It might happen this week. It might not.
A few Sunday night notes and links…
• Bill Madden reports that the Yankees have some concerns about Rafael Soriano’s attitude, but the team decided to move forward with the signing anyway. This isn’t the first time Soriano’s makeup has been questioned, but Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey told the Daily News that Soriano ultimately overcame a bad first impression to fit in really well in Tampa Bay. “I wish we were the ones signed up for three more years with him,” Hickey said.
• Russell Martin, who’s from Canada, was reportedly offered equal money to play for the Blue Jays, but chose the Yankees because he saw it as a better chance to win.
• The Athletics are reportedly closer to a deal with Brian Fuentes, a move that would further solidify a strong bullpen behind a good, young rotation.
• The Pirates have signed former Yankees reliever Jose Veras to a minor league deal.
• The organs of Christina Taylor Green — Dallas Green’s granddaughter who was killed in the Arizona shootings — were used to save the life of a young girl living in Boston.
• I goofed up yesterday. Maybe it was my Missouri bias coming out of me, but I accidentally listed Shaeffer Hall as coming out of Florida State when he actually went to Kansas. Embarrassing as it is, I honestly believe I saw Florida State League on Hall’s milb.com page and somehow got Florida State stuck in my head. Not good, and I really do apologize. I apparently greatly offended one reader who emailed me calling for a correction and a recall of my mistake about “Schaeffer” Hall. See, mistakes are easy to make. I’m sorry about mine.