The Yankees have reached an agreement in principle to sign Mark Teixeira, SI.com has learned, beating out the rival Red Sox for the free-agent slugger's services.
Teixeira, who hit .308 with 33 home runs and 121 RBIs in 2008, will receive an eight-year, $180 million deal from the Yankees with a full no-trade provision.
The final three teams in the race to sign Teixeira were the Red Sox, Nationals and Yankees. However, it was the Yankees who stepped up their heavy pursuit of Teixeira on Tuesday, as first reported by SI.com.
The Yankees quietly remained in contact with the Teixeira camp, but after spending $243.5 million on star starting pitchers CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, they didn't appear anxious to be the market setter.
The Red Sox threw a curveball late last week when owner John Henry announced they were no longer "going to be a factor'' following a meeting at Teixeira's Dallas-area house. But after a little while, it became clear that Henry only meant that they intended not to up their bid, not that they were pulling out of the derby entirely.
The Yankees landed their second premier starting pitcher in 72 hours Friday when righthander A.J. Burnett agreed to a five-year, $82.5-million contract.
The office of Burnett's agent confirmed to The Associated Press that Burnett picked the Yankees over the Braves, though the deal is pending a physical. As of early Friday evening, the Yankees had not received official word that Burnett was joining the fold, but they were extremely confident that this was the case. Braves general manager Frank Wren conceded to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that his team had lost out.
Although the additions of Burnett and CC Sabathia give the Yankees one of baseball's best rotations, they aren't done yet. They have ruled out going after oft-injured Ben Sheets, someone familiar with their plans said, because of too many "red flags." Instead, they will await a decision from Andy Pettitte.
The Yankees, who had hoped to sign Pettitte or Sheets to round out their starting rotation, have decided that Pettitte would be a better fit. Sheets did make 31 starts in 2008, going 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA for the Brewers, but injuries kept him from topping 160 innings between 2005 and 2007. (Source)
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The Yankees are prepared to trade Melky Cabrera to the Milwaukee Brewers for center fielder Mike Cameron, according to a report in the New York Daily News.
Cameron, who has played for six teams in 14 seasons in the big leagues, hit .243 with 25 home runs and 70 RBIs last year with Milwaukee and will make $10 million in 2009.
It was believed that Cabrera and Brett Gardner would fight over the starting job in center field in 2009, but Cameron's addition would had a veteran presence at the position, according to the report, which cited two major league sources.
Cabrera hit .249 with eight home runs and 37 RBIs in 129 games in 2008. His early struggles led to the call up of Gardner, who batted .228 in 42 games. Gardner's biggest asset was his speed, stealing 13 bases in 14 attempts.
Ken Davidoff's baseball blog The Yankees have a top prospect at center field in Austin Jackson, but it has been widely reported that he would not be ready for full-time, big league duty until 2010. (Source)
Look out Bernie. There is another certain ex Yankee great taking a stab at his musical talent.
The number #2 slob (behind Irabu)is learning to play the flute.
Photo by the AP
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)