The word on the wire is that Brian Cashman is off to meet with CC Sabathia and nail him down before the winter meetings. Joel Sherman put it this way.
Cashman needs to look in Sabathia’s eyes and know for sure that if he takes all the Yankee money that the big lefty definitely wants to be a Yankee after all the talk that Sabathia wants the NL or West Coast.
One hopes that goes better than when George Bush looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and saw a fellow Texas Rangers fan, or something like that. Yeah, they love Pete Incaviglia in the Caucasus, but that doesn’t mean they’re pro-democracy.
Similarly, Sabathia may say he’s comfortable with the idea of a New York address, but the proof is in the performance. What makes that terrible to contemplate is that if he does come to the Yankees and the performance isn’t good, there could be a million reasons — a slump after a career year, the heavy workload of previous seasons, an injury, Jupiter being in the House of Mars — but all of us (you, me, Cashman, Sabathia) will have to wonder if he’s just not that into musicals.
Note: you can sing “Sabathia!” to the tune of “Camelot.” Just thought I would point that out, in case CC needed any added persuasion on the whole show tunes thing.
There is a lot hanging on this meeting. The organization has seemingly put all its eggs in the Sabathia basket. If the deal isn’t made, that egg is going to be on somebody’s face, as Derek Lowe and A.J. Burnett seem to be drifting into other team’s orbits — and Mark Teixeira could end up with the Red Sox. That would leave Boston with a Mike Lowell problem given that the old man is through 2010 at $12 million a pop, but would upgrade their offense considerably both now and well beyond 2010. That may explain why Cashman made a stop in Washington to visit with Teixeira on his way to see Sabathia, albeit at Scott Boras’s request. The Yankees can’t afford for Teixeira to feel unloved by the Pinstripers, and it’s good that Boras realized that.
While it seems certain that the Yankees do not have, or choose not to spend, enough money to sign both Teixeira and Sabathia, that doesn’t change the fact that they need both, or to put it the proper way, they need a major bat at first base or right field, and they need a top starting pitcher. Getting one doesn’t eliminate the need for the other. As such, devoting all their financial resources to bribing Sabathia out of his desire to play on the other side of the country may prove to be self-defeating. In fact, the Sabathia scenario may be self-defeating in one of two possible ways: (1) He signs but as a result the Yankees don’t invest appropriately in the rest of their lineup or, (2) he doesn’t sign, but takes so long doing so that the Yankees don’t have the opportunity to resort to plan B.
No one player can put any team over the top, and in their Ahab-like pursuit of Sabathia, one wonders if the Yankees are remembering that. If their financial resources are as circumscribed as everyone else’s in this dire economy, it would make a great deal of sense to spread those resources out. After all, Sabathia’s teams have how many World Series rings? It takes a full cast.
O.J. GOING AWAY FOR AT LEAST NINE YEARS
Couldn’t have happened to a better guy. I am reminded of one of the most inscrutable quotes in baseball history. After Pinky Higgins, the openly bigoted former manager and GM of the Red Sox, died , his former pitcher, the African American Earl Wilson said, “Good things happen to some people.” I’m not sure what he meant, but the words came to mind when I read about O.J’s sentencing.
MORE FROM ME
I’ve been slow on Wholesome Reading again this week as I’ve had to devote considerable time to the BP annual, but now that the weekend is upon us I will be doing my usual catching up. Which is not to say that there’s nothing to look at: we page Franz Josef, a regret for suicides on my birthday, and the plan to reinflate the housing market through cheaper mortgages. Warning! Politics! And bad cake!
Look for more frequent updates in this space as we react to all the news from the winter meetings.