Mike Mussina Rumors
8:33pm: Yankees GM Brian Cashman says there's mutual interest with Pettitte.
4:44pm: We know Andy Pettitte wants to pitch in 2009, and he prefers the Yankees. However, the Yanks want to hear from Mike Mussina before they talk to Pettitte. Further complicating matters, Ken Davidoff says Pettitte may desire a two-year deal.
Davidoff figures the Astros will try to jump in and sign Pettitte. The Astros seem to have room in the budget for one free agent starter.
Here's a look at the latest column from SI.com's Jon Heyman.
- C.C. Sabathia is the Yankees' top offseason target, and they'll make him an offer beyond Johan Santana's $137.5MM. Heyman also sees the Yanks pursuing A.J. Burnett, Derek Lowe, and Oliver Perez (with Ben Sheets a less likely target). Heyman's sources believe the Yanks could even attempt to sign three free agent starters.
- The Yankees aren't counting on Mike Mussina, and may wait on him before considering Andy Pettitte.
- Contradictory note from Heyman: the White Sox have no plans to try to keep Joe Crede or Juan Uribe, but might consider bringing Uribe back as a utility man.
- Heyman dismisses vague rumors about Hideki Matsui trade talks.
According to Newsday's Ken Davidoff, a Yankees insider thinks that Manny Ramirez is more likely than Mark Teixeira to sign with the club. Hank Steinbrenner and the Yankees haven't ruled Manny out of their plans, but that doesn’t mean they’re likely to sign either Manny or Teixeira. The Yankees’ priority is starting pitching this offseason.
Davidoff wrote Thursday that “it would be a shocker” to see the Yankees offer Teixeira a contract of 10 years and $200MM. Last year, Tex turned down an eight-year offer from the Rangers worth around $140MM.
According to Peter Abraham, Mike Mussina’s agent, Arn Tellem, arrived in Pennsylvania to talk with Mussina about his future. Abraham speculates that Mussina will announce his retirement "sometime soon." In September, Mussina said if he comes back he would play three more years to try and reach 300 wins.
George King of the New York Post has a handful of Yankees rumors this morning.
- Mike Mussina's agent, Arn Tellem, will travel to his client's Pennsylvania home this week to talk about the pitcher's future. The general vibe is that Moose will retire, but he may file for free agency after the World Series to keep his options open. I imagine the Yankees would like to resolve this quickly. Currently, GM Brian Cashman is not counting on Mussina.
- Tellem told King that Jason Giambi would like to stay in New York if they'll have him. While it may not be the ideal solution, 30 home run bats are rare and it's worth considering.
- King says the Yankees "haven't been wild" so far about chasing Mark Teixeira. Tex hasn't even filed for free agency yet, so there's still plenty of time to get wild.
- The Yankees are counting on a healthy Jorge Posada behind the dish in '09.
Ken Davidoff of Newsday has some new hot stove info in a blog post.
- Davidoff would be shocked if Mike Mussina does not retire. He expects a news conference after the World Series, and gives a 1% margin of error for his prediction. Bold prediction; Buster Olney felt differently in his blog a week ago. Yankees beat writer Peter Abraham agrees with Davidoff that Mussina will retire.
- The Mets apparently do not believe Francisco Rodriguez is worth his asking price. They're also not intending to pursue Manny Ramirez. Not exciting news for fans, but Omar Minaya can't acquire players based on media or fan pressure.
The latest column by Jon Heyman of SI.com is full of all kinds of Yankees notes:
- They will pursue a top-of-the-rotation starter, and yes, C.C. Sabathia is one of them, but the list also includes A.J. Burnett, Jake Peavy, Derek Lowe, and possibly Ben Sheets. As we wrote yesterday, Peavy's agent said he'd need "a lot of convincing" to approve a deal to the American League.
- According to Heyman the goal is for the Bombers to "secure more than one of them."
- The Yankees have targeted Mark Teixeira but may also take a look at Manny Ramirez (Heyman has mentioned the Manny to the Yankees possibility before, as has Ken Rosenthal).
- Interest in Teixeira almost certainly means that Jason Giambi is not returning in 2009.
- Center field is another position the Yankees hope to fill, but they may go the trade route and Heyman mentions Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy as possible bait.
- If Mike Mussina decides to pitch again in 2009, the Yankees would want him back. A couple of weeks ago, Buster Olney wrote about a "growing sense" that Mussina would be returning for another season.
Alejandro A. Leal writes for UmpBump.com and can be reached here: alexo05 -at- umpbump -dot- com.
THURSDAY: Olney says Pettitte's agent Randy Hendricks informed the Yankees that his client wants to pitch for them in 2009. Olney says the interest is mutual.
WEDNESDAY: Lots of good stuff from ESPN's Buster Olney today. His scoop on the Yankees' free agent starters:
A longtime friend of Andy Pettitte reiterated that the left-hander intends to pitch in 2009 -- and there is a growing sense that Mike Mussina may return for another season, as well, although Mussina has not indicated a final decision, one way or another.
Intriguing news on Mussina, since he's suggested it'll be either three more seasons or retirement. The general vibe among the media as well as Yankees GM Brian Cashman had been that Mussina is leaning toward retirement.
I imagine the Yankees will scrap the plan to sign two of C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Derek Lowe if both Mussina and Pettitte return. Or perhaps they'd turn Pettitte away?
Ken Rosenthal's latest column at FOX Sports is jam-packed with rumors.
- Manny Ramirez will generate plenty of interest on the free agent market; he wants at least four years. There was a report earlier this month that Scott Boras expected to get five years. The term will be a crucial factor. Rosenthal names the Phillies, Mets, and Yankees as three teams that may pursue Manny.
- The Mariners' rebuilding effort will likely be spearheaded by a first-time GM, not an ideal scenario in the opinion of some baseball people.
- The Dodgers lost Shane Victorino twice in the Rule 5 draft. Tony Jackson had more details on that history a few days ago.
- Rosenthal talked to friends of Mike Mussina who remain convinced he will retire. Buster Olney got a different vibe recently.
- Rosenthal notes that the Dodgers' interest in Robinson Cano is "sincere," but it's unknown what they'd give up for him.
- Derek Lowe's teammates say he has little interest in playing for the Mets or Yankees.
- Back in '07, Blake DeWitt was considered a possible throw-in in a proposed Joe Blanton to the Dodgers deal. Rumor was the A's wanted three frontline prospects from the Dodgers, DeWitt not among them.
Reading material for Thursday...
- NBC San Diego reports that John Moores plans to sell his 49% of the Padres as part of his divorce settlement.
- Derrick Goold looks at the many teams that might consider Rafael Furcal, including the Cardinals. Imagine the kind of contract he'd be looking at if he'd been healthy all year.
- I did a Q&A with Sox and Pinstripes recently.
- According to Mariners president Chuck Armstrong, the new GM will have less power and a smaller payroll than Bill Bavasi. The list of candidates is down to ten.
- MLB.com's Dick Kaegel talked to Royals GM Dayton Moore, who wants to add an offensive player (a hitter, not a guy who offends). Moore won't be moving Joakim Soria to the rotation, though some in the organization support it. Also, MLB Interviews chatted Royals with Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post sees a parallel between Mike Mussina and Jimmy Key. Some Yankees officials expect Mussina to file for free agency to keep his options open.
- In another article, Sherman warns suitors that Manny Ramirez is a "con man."
- ESPN's Buster Olney runs through possible destinations for Orlando Hudson, including the Mets, White Sox, Indians, and Angels.
- Anthony Marenna of DC Metroblog provides an offseason plan for the Nationals, while Jacob Jackson takes on the A's at Athletics Nation.
A look at what is being written around the Blogosphere...
- MetsBlog recognizes that Francisco Rodriguez will improve the team and appease fans, but is not sure he is worth a four or five-year deal.
- Mets Geek projects the Mets '09 roster and looks at some options from outside the organization with Pat Burrell and Derek Lowe being the biggest offseason targets.
- Was Watching says bringing back Brian Cashman was a mistake.
- River Ave. Blues assesses the Matt Holliday market and feels that Phil Hughes and Robinson Cano for Holliday "doesn't make much sense."
- Sox and Pinstripes provides an in-depth preview of the upcoming offseasons for the Yankees and Red Sox and wonders if Theo Epstein can convince the Rockies to take J.D. Drew and a top prospect for Matt Holliday.
- iYankees notes that Brian Cashman wants to make the Yankees' OBP a priority this winter and feels Mark Teixeira fits the bill.
- Oriole Post does not want to see Mike Mussina return to the O's and would prefer they "stay the course" with young players.
- C70 At The Bat takes a look at the Cardinals' decision to sign Kyle Lohse and what it could mean for the offseason ahead.
- Viva el Birdos projects the Cardinals '09 roster and payroll.
- McCovey Chronicles reacts to some quotes from Brian Sabean and what they mean for the Giants' offseason.
- Newberg Report thinks the price for the Rangers to acquire Jake Peavy would be too high, even if he'd waive his no-trade clause to go there.
- Athletics Nation sees no point in signing Jason Giambi.