CC Sabathia

Did the Yankees lowball Sabathia?

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The Associated Press said yesterday that the Yankees have made Sabathia a new offer in an attempt to get him to forgo opting out of his deal. Yet, he appears to be opting out. Today Buster Olney speculates that they may have lowballed him, at least in terms of years:

Let’s say that the New York Yankees’ extension offer to CC Sabathia had been for two years at his current salary, $23 million a year … In that case, there almost certainly wouldn’t have been any deliberation, no reason to pause … But if the Yankees’ offer was for only one additional year, on top of the four years and $92 million that is already owed, that takes him into a gray area — which is where he seems to be today, in deciding whether to take what the Yankees are dangling or whether to opt out of his contract and test the free-agent market again.

Possible, I suppose. It’s also possible that he got that two-year offer and he’s just trying to sweeten it a bit anyway. It’s not like there’s a big downside to that. The Yankees aren’t so pitching rich right now that they can play the “the offer goes down by $2 million every day you wait, big guy!” game.  It’s all fun to wonder about.

Also fun to wonder about is what inspire Sabathia to actually take another team’s offer rather than go back to the Yankees.  Buster throws many idea out there — ones that would keep him in New York and ones that would make him leave. This one was fun:

If Sabathia goes to the National League, he could hit, something he loves to do.

To be fair to Buster, that wasn’t a major reason listed, but that reason makes me laugh anyway.  It seems every time there’s a big free agent pitcher that someone notes that they like to hit so watch out for the NL teams.

Has that ever really been a reason for a pitcher signing someplace? Sure, some people on Twitter said “Micah Owings” when I observed it a few minutes ago, but for a top flight guy?  Cliff Lee said something about liking to hit next year, but honestly, that can’t be in the top 15 reasons a pitcher signs someplace can it?  I think Buster is way more on point when he talks about the easier opposition and weaker offenses in the NL than a pitcher hitting.

As always, we know nothing until we know something.

 

Report: Mariners’ Taijuan Walker drawing “strong” trade interest

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 08:  Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker #44 of the Seattle Mariners looks on from the dugout after completing eight innings against the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field on June 8, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot.  He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.

Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.

The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.

Report: Mets, Brewers continue discussing Jonathan Lucroy

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 20:  Jonathan Lucroy #20 of the Milwaukee Brewers walks back to the dugout in the eighth inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 20, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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On Monday, we learned that the Mets offered to swap catchers with the Brewers, Travis d'Arnaud for Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers, as expected, turned that down. The two still continue to discuss a trade involving Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.

The Mets certainly could use some help at catcher. The club has gotten an aggregate .608 OPS from their backstops, the fourth-lowest mark in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates, Rays, and Indians. However, the Mets seem to be behind other teams — including a “mystery” team — in the bidding, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.

Lucroy, who took Thursday off, is batting .300/.361/.486 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 371 plate appearances for the Brewers this season. He can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club opts against picking up his $5.25 million option for the 2017 season.