See You Next Year

Remember when you were in elementary school, and the 'cool' teacher used to say that the last winter break? Then you grow up and go back to find out that the very same teacher is a card carrying tool bag? Kids are so impressionable and dumb. That's why they are so easily lured by pedophiles.

Anyways, there will be a break in the action here at The Fowl Balls. Posting will resume on January 5th. Lots of surprises coming for a big 2009!!!!1!!11!!!!


Merry Christmas from The Fowl Balls

With CC, AJ, and Tex already under the tree, what more could you ask for?

PS - to John Henry and the Red Sox;
Happy Hannukah!


Our Christmas card from Brian Cashman

Dear Jimmy Dugan and The Fowl Balls,

Go f*ck yourselves, you have no idea what you are talking about. Happy Holidays and see you at the Stadium.


We reiterate

3 years of Manny > 8 years of Teixeira.
The Fowl Balls has spoken.


Permission to freak out?

Some Spanish newspaper is reporting that the Yankees are close to (or have already executed, depending on how well you read Spanish) a three year, $75 million deal with Manny Ramirez.
Source: http://www.impactodeportivo.com.do/?op=displaystory&story_id=4836&format=html

Although Brian Cashman has already denied this rumor to MLB.com's Brian Hoch, Impacto Deportivo does have a track record of breaking a story here and there, so who knows.
Source: http://bombersbeat.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/12/cashman_manny_375_report_not_t.html

Due to the marginal believability of this rumor, the Jimmy Dugan Boner Meter stands at "half mast".


...all the way to the bank

Courtesy of the LoHud Yankees blog, this picture represents 243,500,000 reasons that the Yankees can not miss the playoffs in 2009.


CC You in April

Tip of the cap to Peter Abraham for posting this pic, provided by the Yankees. Although the baggy attire is probably helping, Mr. Sabathia does look especially slim. Another pic was released of CC in a hard hat, but he looked too much like one of the village people to post it here. A.J. Burnett was also scheduled to take pictures in the new stadium, but apparently he never made it out of the training room.

Manny Threat Level = ORANGE

According to Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News, the Yankees are "going hard" after Manny Ramirez (that's what she said". This is sure to send beat-writers, bloggers, and fans into an uproar. We at The Fowl Balls, however, recognize that Manny is the only viable candidate to protect the increasingly fragile Alex Rodriguez in the lineup that is not named Mark Teixeira. So, everyone who is against the signing of Manny is dumb and we are smart. We take Manny for two years, $50 million over Tex at eight years, $160 million every day of the week, and twice on Sunday. I don't even know what that means.
Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2008/12/16/2008-12-16_source_sees_yankees_pursuit_of_manny_ram-1.html


Report: There is a Major League team run by morons

According to SI's John Heyman, Andy Pettitte's agents claim that they have received a three year offer for $36 million from another team. Apparently, they are also selling a bridge. Needless to say, the Yankees offer still stands at $10 million or go bang yourself.

Source: http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/hot_stove/posts/32601


As first reported by ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, the Yankees signed AJ Burnett to a five year, $82.5 million contract. Color us baffled. Making a five year commetment to a 32 year old pitcher who has made 30+ starts two twice in his career (once in a contract year) is an overextension. We would have been happier with the lesser of two evils; giving a four year deal to the older, yet much more predictable Derek Lowe. As of this moment on December 15th, the Yankees rotation looks like this:

1 - Sabathia
2 - Wang
3 - Chamberlain
4 - Burnett
5 - Aceves/Hughes/Kennedy/Ponson/Kameneicki/Militello

It looks as though the Yankees are convinced that Andy Pettitte will accept the $10 million offer that they have put before him, but as we have found out in the past nothing is a lock.

Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3765754


Winter Meetings: Day 4

Mike Cameron - This trade was off, then on, then off, and is now on again. With Cameron and Melky being the center of the deal, the teams are now haggling over money and possibly another pitching prospect from the Yankees. Brewers GM Doug Melvin said to Brewers beat reporter Tim Hardicourt that there is a "strong possibility" that the trade goes down, which is GM speak for I have no fucking clue what is going on.
Source: http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/35999269.html

AJ Burnett - The Yankees are by all accounts the front runners, putting up 5 years and $80-85 million. The Braves are still involved, meaning there is still a chance that this albatross-in-the-making has a chance to fall through (our fingers are crossed).
Source: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081211&content_id=3714587&vkey=news_nyy&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy&partnerId=rss_nyy

Derek Lowe - ESPN's Jayson Stark reports that the Yankees would not rule out signing Lowe if they agreed to terms with Burnett.
Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=3762149&type=blogEntry

Manny Ramirez - There has been limited talk linking Ramirez to the Yankees yet. However, we think that if Manny is still ahnging around in January, the Yankees could and (should) throw a big one or two year offer at him.
Source: None, because I made it up.

Mark Teixeira - Apparently, the Yankees have thrown their hat back in the ring on Big Tex, according to John Heyman at SI. We can't see this as anything but an attempt to drive up the price on the Red Sox, but it is fun to dream.
Source: http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/hot_stove/posts/31261-yankees-back-in-teixeira-sweepstakes


Thoughts on the reported Mike Cameron deal

Though we are not doing backflips about it, this is a good trade. The Yankee organization had given up on Melly Cabrera, and Brett Gardner was not going to be the everyday centerfielder.

Cameron adds good defense and pop that could net him 25+ home runs. He strikes out a ton, but he will still put up an OPS+ in the low 100's. Long story short Cameron is an upgrade, but the team cannot be done improving the offense.

So, what should come next, you ask? The next moves to make this team work would be trading Matsui and signing Manny Ramirez. This would allow for a Damon/Manny platoon at LF/DH. We have seen a lot of media outlets endorsing Adam Dunn, but the signing of Cameron as a high strikeout risk negates that point.

So, in short, Cameron is a solid stopgap as the team awaits Austin Jackson but more needs to be done for this team to make a run at the division.

Mets make a shocking acquisition

According to Ken Rosenthal:

Under terms of the deal, the Mets would get Putz, outfielder Jeremy Reed and reliever Sean Green. The Mariners would receive reliever Aaron Heilman, outfielder Endy Chavez and first baseman Mike Carp from the Mets. They'd also get Franklin Gutierrez from the Indians and minor leaguers. The Indians would get reliever Joe Smith from the Mets and infielder Luis Valbuena from Seattle.

According to reports, Omar Minaya is working frantically to flip Putz to another team to acquire another 2-3 players of Latin descent.

Winter Meetings: Day 3

CC Sabathia - Done. Here's some more details.

Source: nypost.com/seven/12102008/sports/yankees/how_the_sabathia_deal_was_made_143549.htm

Derek Lowe - Reports of his signing were pre-mature, but the Yankees are continuing in negotiations. Gordon Edes says that Lowe is not, in fact, on the verge of signing.
Source: sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ge-loweupdate121008&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Mike Cameron - WFAN in New York is reporting that the Yanks have acquired Cameron for Melky Cabrera. Good move defensively, but still leaving some to be desired with the bat.
Source: http://www.wfan.com/

AJ Burnett - The Yankees are in active discussions with Burnett also, according to Ken Rosenthal. ESPN radio reported that it was possible that the deal was appraoching $90 million. For a guy that has made 30+ starts twice in his career. TWICE. Wow.

Source: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8922020/Wednesday-MLB-winter-meetings-blog

Ben Sheets - No new news here.


"Hey Mister, what's your name?"

According to the New York Post, the Yankees have called the Cardinals about Roy Hobbs, er, Rick Ankiel.

Source - http://www.nypost.com/seven/12102008/sports/moresports/ankiel_shows_up_on_bombers_radar_143473.htm

Report: Derek Lowe now a Yankee

Accordnig to WFAN, Derek Lowe has agreed in principle to a deal totaling four years, $62 million.

Update: Yet another innaccurate rumor is shot down, and we look like a monkey fucking a football over here. We are done reporting these things.

Can CC Play Centerfield on Off Days?

Now that theYankees have acquired (arguably) the best pitcher in baseball and appear to be on the verge of signing up to three more pitchers, it's time to turn our attention to what they will do about the offense. It is clear that a Melky/Gardner centerfield is not what championships are built on, so what is the plan? The Fowl Balls wants to hear from you. Who completes the offense? Dunn? Cameron? Teixeira (HA!)? Manny?

Use the comments section to make your suggestions, seeing as though we have already established that the Yankees are reading...

Winter Meetings: Day 2

CC Sabathia - This is the biggest news in all the league today. As reported here earlier, Joel Sherman broke the story at abuot 4:30am - CC has accepted the offer. This comes after Newsday reported that Cashman blew off his media time to fly to San Fran and meet with Sabathia and his family. This is a big day for the Yankees, as they have gotten their man. In listening to fan feedback, many felt that the Yankees have been made to look bad during the process, but honestly, who cares? This is exactly what they needed; an ace in his prime. This is the first time that the team can say that since Ron Guidry in the late 70's, so get over it.
Source - http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-spwebyanks1210,0,3840560.story

AJ Burnett - John Heyman over at SI reports that the Yankees have topped the offer set forth by the Braves. God help us all
Source - http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/hot_stove/posts/30781-yankees-may-consider-fifth-year-for-burnett

Derek Lowe - In that same article, Heyman suggests that the Yankees are working on a four year deal for low worth over $65million. This sits a lot better with me than the $80 million+ that they are throwing at Pavano v2.0

Ben Sheets - It seems as though the team has offered Sheets a two year deal worth around $26million, according to Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News
Source - http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2008/12/08/2008-12-08_yankees_brewin_up_multiyear_offer_for_fr-2.html

Mark Teixeira - No source here, but in my own estimation the Yankees are out on Teixeira after offering approximately $300 million to three pitchers. Although I have heard ignorant Yankee fans suggesting otherwise.

Report: CC is a Yankee

Joel Sherman of the NY Post reports that the deal is done. More to come.


Winter Meetings: Day 1

Here is the latest news on the Yankees' activity at the Winter Meetings, with links included:

CC Sabathia - There seems to be reason piling up as to why CC does not want to play in New York, with the most recent being that he wants to train in Arizona according to SI's John Heyman. However, the Yankees seem to be confident that the 140,000,000 reasons that they will land Sabathia will be enough. Also, according to Peter Abraham, the Yankees have met with CC twice since the meetings started.
Sources - http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/hot_stove/posts/30144-brewers-open-to-upping-efforts-to-keep-cc, http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2008/12/08/update-from-the-suite/

Robinson Cano - Somebody is lying here. First there was a report by Fox's Ken Rosenthal that teased our collective penis that the Dodgers had re-opened discussions about Cano and possibly Melky Cabrera for Matt Kemp, and about ten minutes later Dodgers GM Ned Colletti stated that he hadn't spoken with the Yankees since July.
Sources - http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8912072, http://www.yankees.lhblogs.com/

AJ Burnett - Lots of buzz around the injury-waiting-to-happen today. Heyman reported that the Yankees are aggressive, and about to make an offer. Ken Rosenthal also reported that Burnett reached out to training room buddy Carl Pavano to ask about the Yankees. I wonder how that conversation went...

AJ - Hey Carl, what do you have to say about the Yankees?
Carl - They have a beautiful facility in Tampa.
AJ - What about playing in New York City?
Carl - I heard it is wonderful.
Sources - http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/hot_stove/posts/30383-yanks-ready-to-top-braves-offer-for-burnett, http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8912072

Mark Teixeira - Though Cashman flew to DC to meet with Teixeira last week, there was no offer made according to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.
Source - http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/08/yanks-meet-with-sabathia-again/

Andy Pettitte - Abraham says that the Yankees have no meeting scheduled with Pettitte's agents.
Source - http://yankees.lhblogs.com/

Ben Sheets - In maintaining the "pitchers that are a strain away from a career ending injury" theme, the Yankees met with Sheets, and are about to extend an offer.
Source - http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2008/12/08/2008-12-08_yankees_brewin_up_multiyear_offer_for_fr.html

Derek Lowe - Not a whole lot on Lowe today, except that his "priority is winning" when searching for a new team according to Ken Gurnick of mlb.com. This may be an advantage for the Yankees, unless they fail to make significant improvements before spring training.
Source - http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081206&content_id=3704514&vkey=hotstove2008&fext=.jsp&partnerId=rss_mlb

Check back tomorrow for a recap of Day 2, and keep checking http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/ for information. Tim Dierkes is doing one hell of a job compiling information on the Yankees and the rest of the MLB, totaling over 70 posts today.


Winter Meetings Coverage

Though The Fowl Balls was inexplicably excluded from the proceedings in Sin City, I will be updating nightly during the event. Beginning tonight, I will do my best to search out and compile all the news pertinent to the Yankees. Maybe I would even include some Mets rumors for good measure. Probably not though.


Third Baseman or Wide Receiver?

Ok, its not odd to see a man with a beautiful face, frosted hair, an undersized vest, and a scarf in Miami watching a Madonna concert. But then again, its not always your All-Star cleanup hitter.

Hall of Fame Moose?

Si's Tom Verducci, a favorite of The Fowl Balls, has provided this excellent argument for the induction of Mike Mussina. I have to say, I was not fuly convinced of the worthiness of Mussina, but this article makes it very clear that Moose belongs with the best.

Some things to keep in mind when weighing the Hall of Fame chances of Mike Mussina:
• He pitched his entire prime in one of the toughest environments ever for pitching: in the American League in the steroid era. He did more than just survive the onslaught of the greatest extended era of slugging. He thrived. From 1994 through 2003, among all pitchers, not just AL pitchers, Mussina won more games and threw more innings than everyone except Greg Maddux.
• He pitched in the same division as the World Series champion eight times. He was 3-8 in 16 games against those eventual champions.
• Mussina finished in the top five in ERA eight times -- more than such greats as Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, Nolan Ryan, Juan Marichal, Whitey Ford and Bob Feller. Of the 34 pitchers to win 270 games, only seven pitchers had more top five ERA finishes than Mussina.
• His "failure" to win 20 games prior to this season needs explanation. He won 16 games in 1994 but lost nine starts to the strike. He won 19 games in 1995 but lost at least one start to the strike. He won 19 games in 1996 but watched Armando Benitez blow his 20th win in his final start by giving up a tying home run with one out in the ninth to Toronto third baseman Ed Sprague -- the same Ed Sprague who hit a career-high 36 home runs that year and later admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs in his career.
• He finished among the top three winners in his league five times - more than Ford, Gibson, Ryan, Phil Niekro, Gaylord Perry, and Don Sutton and just as many as Marichal, Jim Palmer and Tom Glavine.
When you judge Mussina against his peers, he never had the peak of Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson or Roger Clemens. But his durability and elite consistency in a hostile environment makes him worthy of Cooperstown.

Source: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/tom_verducci/12/02/verducci.shortstops/index.html?eref=T1

Yankees Universe > Red Sox Nation

Yankees #1 in out-of-market- brand loyalty amongst the teams in the 4 major sports, Red Sox third.

Though this is quite an achievement, the Red Sox were much more proud of earning the distinction of "Least Diverse Fanbase".Source:http://bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2657:yankees-the-king-of-out-of-market-brand-loyalty&catid=30:mlb-news&Itemid=42

The New York Post: Almost a real paper

Yankees beat writer Joel Sherman accused Andy Pettitte of being a "phony" if he decided to take an offer from any team but the Yankees in his column this morning. We here at The Fowl Balls urge our loyal minions to read this article, then proceed to urinate on it.

Let us break this down for you:

In the article, Sherman cites a source telling him that the Yankees have offered Pettitte a one year deal worth approximately $10 million. This would represent a roughly 38% pay cut from Andy's $16 million salary in 2008, which may or may not be relevant. Regardless, this offer is probably about $2-5 million below the market value for a 200+ inning left handed pitcher.

Now, lets add in the variables. Pettitte's camp has said that he could be looking for a two year deal. So if another team say, the Dodgers, were to offer a two year contract at the low end of Andy's market value, that would equate to approximately $24 million over the next two seasons.

It somes down to simple math. Even if it were only a one year deal offered by another team, Pettitte would still be forfeiting at least $2 million dollars to stay with the Yankees in 2009. In the event that he was offered the two year contract he is seeking, that would mean Pettitte leaving upwards of $14-20 million on the table. How do you ask any man to walk away from roughly 15% of his life's earnings in the twilight of his career?

The point is, the New York Yankees need Andy Pettitte a whole lot more than he needs them. The smarter move would have been to offer arbitration and , if need be, paying Pettitte the $16 million+ that he would have been awarded upon acceptance. Even if he declined to sign elsewhere, the Yankees would recover a draft pick. This is a business, Mr. Sherman. Stop playing fanboy.


We don't need no stinking arbitrator

According to Friend of The Fowl Balls Peter Abraham, the Yankees have not offered a single player arbitration. As Pete Abe put it, it "came down to economics". At the beginning of the offseason we were proponents of offering arbitration to Abreu with hopes of recovering draft picks for the Type A free agent. Apparently, as the entire economy has gone in the crapper, the Yankees would not take the risk of having to pay an offensively declining, defensively inept outfielder $16-17 million for a year. Fine. We will accept the fact that the draft will not be as strong, especially after the Yanks hand their first round pick to the Brewers, so long as the rest of our demands are met.

Source: http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2008/12/01/the-yankees-offer-nobody/

I also read another great article at http://www.nomaas.org/. Now that multiple teams have declined to offer free agents arbitration, there is increased appeal to those would-be Type A free agents. Now the market can look at players differently, including NoMaas favorite and OBP machine Adam Dunn. Although we at The Fowl Balls would stil prefer an All-Time great in left field like Manny Ramirez, Dunn presents an interesting idea. He would be considerably cheaper, and would not cost the Yankees a draft pick. Hmmmm....