Hope everyone’s enjoying the holiday season! Here’s a look back at the happenings of the last week here on MLBTR:
- If you haven’t heard this week’s top story, chances are you’ve been living under a rock, but we’ll tell you anyway: The Yankees signed Mark Teixeira to an eight-year, $180MM contract. That means they’ve combined to spend over $420MM this offseason on three players, including C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. Does this make them a clear favorite in the division, though? I personally don’t feel like it does. Sabathia will essentially replace retired Mike Mussina‘s 2009 production (he’ll be an upgrade, obviously, but Moose notched 20 wins in his final season), Burnett is a serious health liability, and adding Teixeira is a big improvement, but I don’t think he puts this team over the top. The Yankees have gotten better, but if I’m spending $420MM on three players, I’m making sure it makes me the team to beat, and I’m not sure they’ve done that. Here’s some additional reactions, and here’s a few more. Additionally, Tex reportedly had a higher offer from the Nationals. The Nats were willing to go higher, but weren’t given a chance to do so.
- The Yanks also signed Chien-Ming Wang to a one-year, $5MM deal, and inked Kevin Cash to a minor-league deal that could be worth $700K.
- The Giants added a third Cy Young winner to their rotation when they signed Randy Johnson to a one-year, $8MM deal that could potentially be worth $13MM with performance and award incentives. Giants fans will likely get the pleasure of seeing the Big Unit notch his 300th win, and he may serve as a mentor for their young staff. Johnson’s signing may cause the Giants to be more willing to trade Jonathan Sanchez.
- Ryan Doumit signed a three-year extension with the Pirates, with a guaranteed $11.5MM and potentially worth as much as $27MM over five years. Nice signing for Pittsburgh, as Doumit has proven his value with the bat at a weak catcher position, but you have to wonder what the motive is. Rebuilding for the future, or enhancing his value as a trade chip? What do you guys think?
- The Reds signed Willy Taveras to a two-year contract, though the terms of the deal are not yet known. You have to figure Taveras will work out better than Corey Patterson did in 2008.
- Joe Nelson agreed to terms with the Rays on a one-year, $1.3MM deal for 2009. Great low-risk addition for the Rays, if you ask me. Twenty teams had expressed interest in Nelson, who posted a strong 2008 campaign with the Marlins.
- Red Sox fans hoping that Kevin Youkilis would be next in line for an extension after Dustin Pedroia are going to be disappointed: Adam Kilgore at the Boston Globe says it’s not happening.
- One last bit of Rafael Furcal drama: Furcal stresses that there was never a deal in place with the Braves, not with him or with his agents.