Monday, November 24, 2008

No Deadline For CC

From Jon Heyman:

The Yankees have not yet set a deadline for their $140-million, six-year offer to free-agent starting pitcher CC Sabathia, and according to someone familiar with their thinking, they have no intention to pull the offer anytime soon.

New Yankees boss Hal Steinbrenner was responding to a reporter's question when he said, "We made an offer. It's not going to be there forever.'' And all he meant was exactly that. Not forever.

It appears now that the Yankees aren't about to set a deadline -- at least not yet. The Dodgers, Giants, Angels, Red Sox and incumbent Brewers all have interest in Sabathia. But to this point, no one has emerged to play in the Yankees' dollar stratosphere, and they remain the favorite to win the Sabathia Derby.
It seemed like posturing when it happened, and this verifies that. However, if an offer is "not going to be there forever" doesn't that mean that there is in fact some sort of deadline?

Anyway, I can't see any reason why the Yankees would pull this offer off the table. They want CC and they're not going to get him by withdrawing this offer.

In related news, ESPN radio is reporting that A.J. Burnett will not sign a contract until Sabathia is signed.


Rad said...

We are always on the front page, I want to hear more about Boston going after Tex, that really worries me. Papi isn't what he once was, and the lineup isn't the same, but Tex gives them another young player that will hurt the Yankees for year.
I still think $140 million is too much for Sabathia, and I hope they don't focus solely on him and let other teams pick up other valuable players.
Nice report.

Greg Cohen said...

Right now it's only talk about Tex to Boston - No offers have been made yet. Boston does like Teixeira a lot, but it has been said many times that he will go to whichever team offers him the most money. Right now that's his no. 1 priority. He's the perfect Boras client.

Danny said...

I really think the Yank's should start looking for pitching elsewhere. I don't get all the fuss over a guy that by year two of his contract is going to be boarder line obese and not nearly as effective. The Yankees need to stop bidding against themselves for talent at the tail end of their effectiveness.

yankspdx said...

It's pretty clear that CC doesn't have a strong desire to be a Yankee if he hasn't signed by now. Therefore, screw him. He'd only be a mercenary if he came to NY for the money and not a real Yankee. I can't imagine anyone matching the Yankees dollars. I think he's just waiting for a decent offer from a west coast team instead.

Greg Cohen said...


He's 28 years old, I don't think he's close to the tail end of his effectiveness. But yes, he does have to get his weight in order, hopefully $140 million is enough motivation to do so.


That may very well be true, but we don't know what he is thinking. Nor do we know what his agent is telling him.

It's still very early in the process, it's usually around the Winter Meetings that things start to really heat up.

Let's just see how this whole thing plays out.

pinstripes said...

This is how I interpret "not going to be there forever":

"We're not going to be held hostage by anyone, even the biggest free agent pitcher on the market right now."

It's a way of saying, yes, we really want you, but we're not so desperate that we're going to sit here hanging on your wishes all off-season. It's a way of trying to show that they're not that desperate to sign him.

As for Tiexiera, I do not believe Boston has any interest whatsoever. I believe Boston is going to look to fill some of their bullpen holes, find a catcher or re-sign Varitek if they can, and be done with it. I don't see them benching Lowell with that big of a salary, nor do I see many takers in the trade market, but you never know. I just get the sense that the Red Sox are not looking to pay $140M for a position they already have covered for the time being.

And on an somewhat unrelated note, the Red Sox apparently have made an offer to Tazawa, and according to one report (out of Japan), Tazawa has already decided on going to the Sox.

If true, that doesn't sit very well with me. We've heard virtually nothing about this guy's status, and I'm quite surprised we haven't heard anything about the Yankees interest in him. If indeed the Sox do sign him, especially if it's a bargain rate, I'm going to be a little bit upset about it. The chances that Tazawa becomes a great Major Leaguer may be small, but nevertheless those videos that were posted a while back showed me that he has some pretty good talent for a 22 year old, and that there's virtually no risk (other than money) in looking into him. I mean, if you're willing to give CC $140M, what's the harm in giving this guy a $7-$10M minor league deal to see if he can develop over the next two or three years.

The fact that the Red Sox might steal this guy out from under everyone is a bit... annoying. Again, he may turn out to be nothing, but when you can take a money-only risk on a young player that won't clog up your major league roster, I don't see the harm. Those are the kinds of moves that can only pay off, never hurt you.

Greg Cohen said...

I agree with you about CC, but I do think the Sox want Teixeira. But he will go to the highest bidder, hopefully the Yankees are that bidder.

Pinstripes, I wouldn't worry about Tazawa, he supposedly can barely hit 90 and can't keep the ball down. Sound familiar? He is supposed to have good breaking stuff though.

Anyway, another reason the Yankees as well as many other MLB teams did not show interest in Tazawa is because of an a decades-old informal agreement between the Major Leagues and the Japanese leagues not to pilfer amateur players from each other’s country.

The Red Sox are breaking this agreement, and may be creating a bit of a mess for MLB as well as Japanese baseball.

Peter Abraham had a nice post about it on his blog today. Here's the link.

pinstripes said...

Yeah, I had read about some people suggesting that it was an unwritten rule so to speak about signing young talent, but part of me is a bit confused over that, becuase Tazawa is the one who reached out to the US. Is everyone supposed to say no? And if they ARE supposed to say no, what's the harm? It's a touchy subject, but clearly the Red Sox have no problem with it.

As for him only hitting 90, I can only go by the videos that you posted here about a month or so ago. In them, the radar readings in KPH translated to 93-94. Maybe he's lost velocity since those videos were taken, I don't know. I doubt highly that he throws 97+ like some reports had said, but I think any reports of him topping out at 90 or less may be a case of Japanese scouts/media not wanting him to get big money in the US. They know that if a guy like him with questionable stuff signs for big money in the US, it's going to cause two problems. First, players are going to ask for more from the Japanese teams, and secondly, many players are going to want to play in the US before even playing in Japan.

So it wouldn't surprise me if many of these "negative" scouting reports are coming from Japanese scouts, scouts of teams that want to sign him over in Japan, and/or Red Sox scouts who want him on the cheap.

I can only go by the video I saw (which admittedly I'm not a pro scout), but from the videos I saw a low 90s fastball topping out around 93-94, a good tailing fastball, and some excellent off speed pitches including a nice curve and a good change up. He seemed to do a decent job of locating them all, as well.

Maybe this is just a case of the Yankees, among other teams, sticking to this "unwritten rule", but nevertheless, it's unfair if Boston gets to break this rule with no consequences. And I highly doubt that teams are going to "block" the Red Sox from future posting bids on players, as they know that it might cost them millions. It's funny how everyone overlooks unwritten rules when it comes to money.

I guess I just figure that at 22 years old, a kid with decent off speed pitches that he can locate, along with a low 90s fastball has all the tools to be successful in the majors. Whether or not that's true... well, if anyone was that good at scouting they'd be the richest man in the world.

Anonymous said...

F Boston. and if CC does not sign then the yanks have more money to spread around, to more players, not just 1 player. it's a win-win for the yanks if no CC. look at tampa, they got to the W.S without somebody like CC.

Anonymous said...

The Yankees don't need to buy a Japanese pitcher for their pen. They have plenty of 22 y/o like Tazawa coming through their system. The Red Sox bid for him because unlike the Yankees they don't have the pitching talent for the pen coming through their system.
It's a waste money when you have guys like Roberston, Melancon, Coke, Dunn, De La Rosa, along with Bruney, Vares, Aceves ect...

Anonymous said...

true, cashman and others have done a nice job getting these young kids for the pen, in short time. it wasnt like this before 2006 or before 2005. credit the scouting and others i guess.

Greg Cohen said...

Yes, the teams are supposed to say no. I have no idea why the Red Sox don't seem to care about that.

Are you sure you're not confusing Tazawa with Yu Darvish? I've never heard anywhere that Tazawa throws that hard, Darvish on the other hand does. Most of the reports I've read about his velocity come from American scouts.

Regardless, I would have liked the Yankees to take a chance on him, but I also agree that they should stick to the unwritten rule. This is a classy move by all the teams who honored the agreement. And a classless move on the Red Sox part.

pinstripes said...

Greg - here's the article that mentions the 97:

The headline is "Hard-throwing righty Tazawa hopes to pitch in majors in 2009"

Greg Cohen said...

Wow, that's very surprising. I hope it's not true. If it is the Red Sox may have another gem on their hands.

But still, I'm glad the Yankees honored that agreement. The Red Sox have just proven once again that they are and always will be a classless organization.

pinstripes said...

I agree Greg. If there really is a somewhat important unwritten agreement not to sign Japanese amateurs, then I'd rather not have the Yankees be the ones to break into uncharted ground like that.

At the same time, there should be repercussions for the Sox if they do this. If (and of course it's a big if) this kid becomes a star, I could see the Japanese media, Sox fans, etc going crazy over the kid, hailing the Red Sox as geniuses and all that, and we'd hear nary a whisper about how underhanded it was the way they obtained him.