LAS VEGAS -- The New York Yankees were "very close" to a preliminary agreement with CC Sabathia on Wednesday morning, following an in-person meeting between Yankees GM Brian Cashman and Sabathia in California, a baseball source with knowledge of the deal told ESPN.com.
While a deal is not done, the source said there are "zero major road blocks" that would prevent the Yankees from reaching agreement with the Yankees.
"He's now excited about becoming a Yankee," said one source.
The New York Post first reported Wednesday that Sabathia, the prize of this year's free-agent class, had decided to go with the Yankees after fielding offers from a number of teams.
The terms of the deal are still being negotiated, and it's possible that the final deal will look different than the six-year, $140 million contract that the Yankees initially dangled -- perhaps with another year in some form, perhaps with more salary. (Source)
Though the Yankees are still very much at the center of the talks with free-agent left-hander CC Sabathia, they may be preparing to make a run at another ace -- Ben Sheets.
The Yankees met with Sheets on Monday at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, and the New York Daily News reported that according to a source, they will offer the right-hander a multiyear deal, believed to be for two years and about $30 million dollars. The offer is expected to be made before the Meetings wrap up on Thursday.
Sheets is 86-83 in his career with a 3.73 ERA, but has missed significant time due to injury in four of his eight seasons in the Major Leagues, all with the Milwaukee Brewers. Sheets missed the 2008 National League Division Series after suffering a muscle tear in his elbow near the end of the regular season. (Source)
Just how badly does CC Sabathia want to pitch at home in California? We may find out very soon.
Sources say the Giants are considering a play for Sabathia, although their only hope of landing the big lefthander would be for him to take an extreme hometown discount.
According to sources, the Giants are contemplating an offer of more than the $100 million the Brewers have bid for Sabathia for five years, but far less than the six years and $140 million the Yankees have offered.
Sabathia hails from Vallejo, Calif., roughly 30 miles outside of San Francisco.
Despite recent reports that the Angels had decided to move on without Mark Teixeira and make a hard charge at Sabathia, Los Angeles GM Tony Reagins told MLB.com that "there was nothing to" those stories, adding that Teixeira remains the club's top priority. (Source)
NEW YORK -- Robinson Cano's first cracks at a renewed 2009 are taking shape in the Dominican Winter League, where the Yankees second baseman is incorporating adjustments to his approach and finding success.
Cleared by the organization to play one month as a designated hitter for Las Estrellas de Oriente, the 26-year-old Cano is batting .303 (10-for-33) with eight runs scored, five doubles and seven RBIs in eight games.
Cano was dissatisfied with the way his '08 campaign played out. He finished batting .271 with 14 home runs and 72 RBIs in 159 games -- his first season after signing a four-year, $30 million pact with New York.
He vowed that he would take measures to avoid a repeat of the frustrating experience, and quickly linked with a personal trainer to help trim body fat and get in better shape for the spring.
"It's a year that I'm going to learn from and not be back in this situation again," Cano said in September. "This is a year that you can just say, 'OK, this is not happening again.'" (Source/Full Story)
So was it coincidence, coordinated scheduling or the power of kabbalah that brought them together?
The Bombers' cleanup hitter only said "very good" when asked if he knew Madonna was also in the Mexican capital.
Although the two were not seen in public together, the paparazzi had their telephoto lenses ready in case A-Rod showed up for Madonna's soldout "Sticky & Sweet" gig Sunday night at Mexico City's Foro Sol stadium.
A-Rod spent two hours Sunday running a hitting clinic for kids at at new sports center built by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim on a landfill in a poor suburb.
Melky Cabrera: 12 for 35 (.343), 6 R, 22B, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 SB in 9 games
Robbie Cano: 8 for 26 (.308), 6 R, 4 2B, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 SB in 6 games
Let's have a look at Mike's stats over the years.
The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Tohoku Rakuten Eagles are on the verge of acquiring the rights to New York Yankees hurler Darrell Rasner, it was learned on Sunday.
A club official said by phone the Eagles were "optimistic" about acquiring the 27-year-old right-hander, who made 20 starts for the Yankees last season.
ESPN.com reported that the Eagles had purchased his rights for 1 million dollars, and said the two sides were working on a two-year deal.
Rasner, a second-round draft pick by the Montreal Expos in 2002, is 9-14 with a 5.00 ERA in four major league seasons.
The Yankees have acquired first baseman Nick Swisher and Class AA right-hander Kanekoa Texeira from the White Sox.
Swisher, a switch-hitter, likely will play first base for the Yankees, replacing Jason Giambi, who is a free agent.
The White Sox will receive infielder Wilson Betemit and minor leaguers Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez.
The Yankees view Swisher as a flexible, affordable option as they try to improve upon their third-place finish in the AL East last season, which marked the first time they missed the postseason since 1993.
Swisher most likely will play first base, replacing Giambi, but he also provides depth in left and center field.
The Yankees are still looking for a center fielder, but as they are presently constituted, Xavier Nady could play left and Johnny Damon center.
Hideki Matsui, coming off knee surgery, could figure in left, enabling Nady to move to right, or serve as a designated hitter. (Source)
Mick Kelleher - first base coach
Rob Thomson - third base coach
Tony Pena - bench coach
Dave Eiland - pitching coach
Kevin Long - hitting coach
Mike Harkey - bullpen coach