Just a reminder to start phoning in now to ask your questions for The Geoff Baker Show here in Las Vegas. The number to call is 206-464-8286. Hear last night’s broadcast right here by clicking on the link.
You may have already heard the numbers. But seven years, $160 million is one whopper of a contract for one big whopper of a pitcher in C.C. Sabathia. He’ll be a Yankee once that contract is finalized. That team is also going after Derek Lowe and Ben Sheets. Every year, we hear talk about how baseball’s free-agent market is going to be shut down by economic belt-tightening. This year, talk of a nation-wide recession was supposed to curb free-spending. But every year, it seems, somebody breaks the bank. The players who wind up getting shut out money-wise tend to be those of lesser reputation. But the big names, it seems, always hit paydirt. There is always money around for quality numbers-producers.
Sure, the market for closers isn’t what it was expected to be. But that’s because there are a glut of them on the market. So, there is money around for the absolute difference-makers. The ones head and shoulders above their peers. Or so it seems.
One interesting sidenote to all this is that there’s now talk in New York that converted starting pitcher Joba Chamberlain might head back to the bullpen with the Yankees rotation poised to get crowded. Sound familliar? Not quite the same situation as in Seattle with Brandon Morrow. If the M’s make that move — and Jack Zduriencik is keeping his options open — it would be borne more out of the neccessity of needing a closer. But if the rotation is more crowded than expected with the return of Erik Bedard and non-trading of Jarrod Washburn, it makes that option more reasonable for Zduriencik. Food for thought.
On another Mariners note, the signing of Sabathia by the Yankees now gives the Milwaukee Brewers the green light to go after some other starting pitchers full-throttle. Before, the Brew Crew had been in a holding pattern of sorts. There was always a slight possibility Sabathia would re-sign with them. Less of a possibility that he would agree to arbitration for 2009 and return to Milwaukee for one season. Now, there’s zero chance he’s coming back and the Brewers have to get cracking. I’m sure they’ll be speaking to Zduriencik again at some point.
Photo Credit: Morry Gash/AP
December 10, 2008 at 9:50 AM