Yankees Notes: Sabathia, Swisher, Blake, Soriano

Two Yankee legends were born on October 20: longtime Yankee Stadium PA announcer Bob Sheppard (born in 1910) and number #7 himself, Mickey Mantle (born in 1931).  As coincidence would have it, both Sheppard and Mantle debuted at Yankee Stadium in 1951.

Here's the latest from the modern-day Bronx Bombers….

  • There haven't been any negotiations between the Yankees and C.C. Sabathia since the end of the ALDS, reports Ken Davidoff from Newsday.  The club "told Sabathia to take his time in sorting things out," though the Yankees hope to begin talks before the trigger date of Sabathia's opt-out clause, which is three days after the World Series ends.  Davidoff writes the Yankees would rather give Sabathia a larger annual salary in a new contract rather than add more years.
  • The Yankees are "very likely" to pick up Nick Swisher's $10.25MM option for 2012, reports ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews, though they may wait "until the very last minute" (i.e. three days after the World Series) to do so.
  • If Eric Chavez retires, Matthews reports the Yankees are weighing whether to make rookie Brandon Laird the primary third base backup or to acquire a veteran like Casey Blake for the spot.  Blake's $6MM option for 2012 was bought out by the Dodgers for $1.25MM two weeks ago, making him a free agent.
  • Scott Boras, Rafael Soriano's agent, tells Matthews it is "highly unlikely" that Soriano will opt out of the two years and $25MM remaining on his contract with New York.
  • The Yankees can't be blamed for their lack of pitching acquisitions at the trade deadline, writes Joe Pawlikowski of the River Ave Blues blog, given the lack of obvious upgrades on the market.

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