LA Times: Bidding War for Sabathia Imminent?

John Shabe of The Star-Ledger cites an LA Times story that the Angels might well be preparing to make a big offer to CC Sabathia.  Bill Shaikin, the LA Times reporter, said:

The Angels, unwilling to meet Mark Teixeira’s desire for a 10-year contract, are in discussions with CC Sabathia and could offer him a contract that approaches the $140-million bid extended to him by the New York Yankees.

The Angels appear reluctant to guarantee more than seven years in a contract for Teixeira, said a source familiar with the club’s thinking. They appear more likely at this time to pursue Sabathia, with an offer in the range of Johan Santana’s six-year, $137.5-million contract with the New York Mets.

Teixeira remains the Angels’ top priority — the club would sign him but does not want to miss out on Sabathia while waiting to see whether Teixeira’s asking price falls. The Angels are not believed to have made a formal offer to either player.

General Manager Tony Reagins said the club has not ruled out retaining Teixeira.

“We’ve had discussions about what the potential framework of a deal might be,” Reagins said. “At this time, I would say we still have interest at a high level. We understood going into this that it was going to take some time to accomplish.”

Given Sabathia’s expressed desire to stay on the West coast, this might hurt the Yankees a lot–to say nothing of Sabathia possibly going to a team in the Angels with whom the Yankees always struggle.  Remember Joel Sherman’s column the other day speculating about this in some form?  Wallace Matthews of Newsday has a different take, neither of which treats Sabathia’s becoming a Yankee as any kind of sure thing.  However, it is important to remember that all this is still early in the process, and the Yankees have deep pockets to muster to package an even bigger, more lucrative bid to Sabathia if necessary.  That may be a tactic for Sabathia in negotiations, and it wouldn’t exactly be a surprise if the Angels offered him a deal.  Moreno too has deep pockets and the propensity to dig into them.

Still, tell me that this news doesn’t worry you as Yankees fans at least a little bit.  It does me.

Published in: on November 25, 2008 at 12:58 pm  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ten years is ridiculous. I wouldn’t even want him for that long.

  2. Yeah, I agree Joe. Seven years max is about enough, especially after the Giambi Experiment. That’s not to say that Teixeira is Giambi, but rather that it’s such a long commitment that, after such a length of time, much can happen to make such a deal onerous.

    BTW, I’m really sorry that your comments keep getting moderated Joe. I honestly don’t know why it’s happening. It’s also been happening to Jane.

  3. Have my comments been moderated? Maybe I deserved it!!! Regarding the Angels and CC, I think it’s interesting that in one head-spinning second they go from drooling over Teixeira to coveting Sabathia. One’s a first baseman. The other’s a pitcher. Have they not noticed this? If their need was to re-sign Tex, why would they suddenly want the most expensive pitcher in baseball? Just seems odd to me and I’m not sure I buy the story.

  4. I really haven’t figured out why your comments and Joe’s get sent to my dashboard as if you were new commenters, Jane. Now worries, though. I too find this latest maneuver intriguing regarding the bargaining. I think on one level, it illustrates that pattern bargaining exists in sports, certainly in baseball. Whether or not it’s been set, and it’s possible that it has tacitly, Sabathia, Teixeira, and Ramirez as the top free agents are setting the pattern for the rest of the free agents. What they are offered and eventually accept become the benchmarks for the rest of the free agents.

    Concerning your mentioning the switch toward Sabathia, I still think the Angels are very interested in Teixeira, and he might well still be their first priority. I think they’re sending a message to Teixeira that his asking price is too high. I also think, since the Angels will likely lose K-Rod, they could use a top-flight starter, especially one who can eat innings. I honestly wouldn’t put it past Moreno to bid on both Sabathia and Teixeira. Moreno’s bold and has lots of cash, and he might not be beholden to the same model as the Yankees which, at least publicly, is to focus on pitching and not spend all the money coming off the books. Who knows, the Angels might not have any such restraints, especially after stacking the deck but still losing in the 2008 playoffs. Then again, they just might be driving up the price for Sabathia for the Yanks–or anyone–as well as driving down the price for Teixeira, whom they still may prioritize.

    Lots of intrigue, especially with some offers on the table and nothing accepted.

  5. Where was all the uproar when A-Rod signed on with Yanks through 2017? This is the reason why Teixeira is asking for a decade-long deal. It’s the new benchmark for a player in his prime. Tex is no A-Rod, but he is five years younger. Of course, I’d be more comfortable with a 6-year deal, but I’m afraid those days may be gone.

    Steve T.

  6. Actually Steve, there was a fair amount of concern about the length of A-Rod’s contract. I have harbored some but have figured that, if anyone can produce at the age of 42, I’d put my money on A-Rod. But anything over 8 years for A-Rod was too high. I too would prefer an expensive but shorter deal for Teixeira, 6-7 years but, after the Giambi Experiment, 7 years makes me wary. Plus, the Angels apparently have concerns about his knee holding up over that length of time.

    I’d rather see lots of money over a shorter period of time than almost as much per year stretched out over a decade.

  7. Yep, totally agree. Perhaps $23 million for 5 years?

    But…for which team? 😉

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