Thursday, December 6, 2012

Random baseball thoughts: winter meetings edition

The New York Yankees are in such a tight spot with their unexpected third base vacancy that they are willing to throw $12 million at aging nemesis Kevin Youkilis, formerly of the Boston Red Sox, to try to fill the hole left by Alex Rodriguez’s injury. The Yankees have long had a reputation for spending whatever it takes to get their man. But the Yankees are only trying to overpay Youkilis because they were rejected by several other third basemen, including Eric Chavez, due to their newfound stinginess.

There can be no mistaking that the Yankees are serious about sticking to their budget, which means Yankee fans will probably not get Josh Hamilton under their Christmas tree (and despite his talent and home-run prowess, I don’t think New York is the right place for him anyway). While a blockbuster move can never be ruled out, I suspect the Yankees are more likely to make do with what they already have.

 ·         The Yankees’ stinginess is making Scott Boras’ job a lot more difficult. He convinced Rafael Soriano to opt out of his contract after Soriano had a terrific year closing games in place of the injured Mariano Rivera. But without the Yankees, Soriano’s market is very limited. I’m sure Boras never expected to see the day when the Yankees closed their wallets this tightly, but now that it’s here, the super agent is going to have to figure out a new strategy to get his clients the megadeals that they have gotten used to.

·         It was nice to see the New York Mets lock up their only remaining franchise player in David Wright. As the Yankees are learning, good third baseman are very expensive and letting Wright test the free agent waters would have bitten the Mets in the ass. Now if they can only get RA Dickey signed to a long-term deal, they can go a long way toward making their disillusioned fan base happy again. I know they can get a nice package in return for Dickey following his Cy Young campaign, but you have to give Mets fans a reason to keep coming to the ballpark and signing Wright alone just won’t do it.

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