Here's what's happening and being said in Yankeeland:
- If you're an undecided voter and a fan of the Yanks, this little nugget from the Daily News might help you decide: With a Democratic rather than Republican commander in chief, the
Yankees have won several more pennants (22 compared to 17) and nearly
three times as many championships (19 to 7). In fact, the team has a
losing World Series record when the GOP controls the Executive Branch, going 7-10 for a .412 clip.
- George King III reports that the Yanks are likely to decline Damaso Marte's $6 million option. My guess is that Marte's designation as a Type-A free agent influenced Brian Cashman's thinking here. Otherwise, I don't see why the Yanks wouldn't take on a slightly pricey one-year deal for one of the better lefty relievers in baseball. King, however, says the Yanks are willing to bring him back at a cheaper price. Maybe Cashman is thinking that other teams will be hesitant to sign a middle reliever that will cost them a draft pick and that his market price will be depressed as a result.
And now the longest bullet ever: There are different stories about the Yanks' off-season plans
according to the rumor monger you read. I've read that Sabathia is
target #1. Then I've read that the Yanks don't think they can get the
big lefty. The Yanks are supposedly honing in on Teixeira. Then another
writer reports that the Yanks think Manny is a more likely signing than
the Angels first baseman. In other words, everybody is speculating. So
I'll do some speculating myself: While I want the Yanks to sign
Teixeira, I wonder if some people in the front office are reluctant to
give a long-term deal to a first baseman considering the futures of
Derek Jeter and A-Rod, who both might need to be moved from their
positions in a few years due to declining athleticism. I think the
Yanks will get Sabathia for a record-setting contract, bring back Andy
Pettitte, watch Mussina's retirement press conference, sign AJ Burnett
for a lot of money, trade for a first baseman (Hughes for Casey
Kotchman), and make a surprising run at Adam Dunn. I cannot see the
Yanks going after Manny Ramirez because of his knee issues and the good
chance he'll need to be a full-time DH sooner than later.The Yanks will also try to shed Hideki Matsui's contract. Perhaps, they can convince the Giants to take on Matsui's one-year deal by playing up his appeal among San Francisco's Japanese-American fanbase. If we're to believe last year's rumors, Cashman almost pulled off a very good deal for the very talented Jonathan Sanchez. The Yanks would be very lucky if they could get him this time around. The Yanks could try to deal Johnny Damon in a similar salary-shedding deal, but he's more essential and valuable for the Yanks' plans to compete in 2009. He'll be the everyday left-fielder. The Yanks will take their chances with Brett Gardner manning center, praying that Austin Jackson can be in the line-up by July. Will these plans make the team better? I'm not sure. Now back to Teixeira. Where will he end up? In Boston, of course. The Sox will then turn around and trade Kevin Youkilis to the Dodgers for Russell Martin (whom a Dodgers' front office guy said was just average in 2008). The Sox will gamble that a combination of Lowrie, Lowell and Lugo can handle SS and 3b.Crazy? Indeed. But it's speculation season. Now's the time to be crazy.