A day after the Yankees endeavored to make free agent starter CC Sabathia the highest paid pitcher of all time, Newsday’s David Lennon reports “with a starting point of six years and roughly $140 million, the Steinbrenners need not worry about any competition from Flushing on this one.”
It’s not that the Mets don’t like Sabathia. Who wouldn’t? And his stated preference to pitch in the National League would seem to favor them. But the Mets do not have an operating budget of infinity for this offseason, and having one pitcher at the very top of the pay scale is enough for now. Plus, they have their spending cash targeted for other needs, specifically a closer.
To that end, the Mets did not make any offers Friday, the first day teams were allowed to do so, because there’s no rush to sign what they’re looking for. The agents for Francisco Rodriguez and Brian Fuentes know the Mets would trump any competing offer for the pitcher they want.
Another person familiar with the club’s thinking indicated that the Mets are not completely sold on K-Rod, but that could have more to do with the agent’s early talk of a five-year deal. With injured closer Billy Wagner still collecting $10.5 million this season as he rehabs from elbow surgery and the Mets’ reluctance to go long-term on pitchers, they’d happily sign Rodriguez to a three-year deal and increase the annual salary to make it more palatable for him.
While the Brewers are all but resigned to have been blown out of the water on the Sabathia front, Bugs & Cranks’ Tyler Maas advocates Milwaukee’s pursuit of free agent Eric Hinske (“Northeast Wisconsin™s most accomplished ball player since George Bernard œDave Koslowski took the mound from 1941-55”), and here’s just a few of the reasons why :
1) Unlike the now departed Craig Counsell, Hinske at least slightly resembles an adult.
2) 20 homers, 60 RBI and 10 stolen bases from a part-time player who made $1M last year? I™d take that any time.
3) His career .254 average guarantees that almost everything positive he™d do would be a pleasant surprise.
4) He™s the biggest thing to come from Menasha, WI since that girl who appeared on an amateur porn site and later manslaughtered some dude.
5) Though not the Rookie of the Year-caliber player he once was, he could still realistically be the eighth-year player of once each 7-10 days.
6) Lefty off the bench who can aptly play corner infield and outfield and seems 200 times less of a dick4 than Corey Hart.
7) A guy who once posted a .930 fielding percentage at third base in a season would enter the season as Milwaukee™s best defensive option with prior third baseman experience.
8) Though cursed with the range of Manny Ramirez with an inner thigh rash, Hinske has actually played pretty well in the outfield. 9) Remember that one highlight when he was with the Red Sox and his face bounced off the ground when making a sweet catch. Awesome!
10) How many other free agents in today™s market allegedly double-teamed their high school science teacher? You™re right, probably a decent amount.