Blog Entry

Burnett, Lowe on deck after Sabathia

Posted on: December 10, 2008 10:29 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2008 4:56 am

LAS VEGAS -- The expectation is, with CC Sabathia now off the board, the path is cleared for other pitchers to begin signing. And right-handers A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe are in prime position to move quickly.

Negotiations intensified Wednesday for each of them, according to sources with knowledge of the talks, so much so that either -- or both -- could sign soon.

The New York Yankees are in hard on both, which could make life miserable for the Atlanta Braves where Burnett is concerned. The Braves arrived at these meetings with the intention of doing everything they could to sign the right-hander, according to a person with knowledge of Atlanta's thinking.

But the Yankees are pushing hard enough with a five-year offer, according to a person close to the talks, that it could hike the salary beyond the Braves' capability. Burnett is expected to command somewhere between $16 and $17 million a season, which might result in four years in the $64-$68 million range or five years in the $80-$85 million range.

The Braves were at four years for Burnett and reluctant to go to a fifth year, which could leave Burnett with a decision of whether to take a shorter term deal (four years) worth a little more money per year or a longer term deal (five years) worth a little less money per year but more money overall.

Early Thursday morning, a source with knowledge of the negotiations said that Burnett has reduced the field of interested teams down to three -- the Yankees, the Braves and Toronto.

Burnett exercised his opt-out clause to escape from a five-year, $55 million deal with Toronto at season's end. He was three years and $31 million in at the time.

Darek Braunecker, Burnett's agent, has always believed he could command a five-year deal for Burnett, though the opening bidding started at four years. Braunecker agreed that Sabathia's agreement should break the current logjam, but said he couldn't pinpoint how quickly the market will free up.

"It's hard to say," Braunecker said here Wednesday. "Obviously, that's kind of an important piece to determine what the market will bear and who remains in the mix and where the money could be headed. It's probably beneficial."

With the average annual value (AAV) of the Sabathia contract at $23 million a year, Burnett, Lowe and perhaps Ben Sheets would slot in accordingly. The New York Yankees and Texas have expressed interest in Sheets.

Meantime, even though the Yankees bumped Sabathia's deal up to seven years and $161 million from their original offer of six years and $140 million, the AAV is less. In the six-year offer, it was $23.3 million.

What does that mean? Well, for one thing, the Yankees, according to sources, remain interested in signing two more starting pitchers even after bagging Sabathia. And their resources still seem strong. The Yankees told Braunecker that Sabathia was completely separate from Burnett, who will turn 32 next month, and that one was not related to the other in negotiations.

"We've known all along that they intended to sign CC and another pitcher," Braunecker said. "The deals were always independent of each other."

Meantime, Atlanta was far down the path in talks with Burnett before Wednesday afternoon, when the Braves believe the Yankees increased their offer to five years.

Could there be a resolution with Burnett by, say, the end of the night?

"Anything is possible if the right deal presents itself," Braunecker said.

Lowe, aside from the Yankees, is being courted by Philadelphia and the New York Mets, and if they fail to land Burnett, the Braves could turn their attention Lowe's way. Boston also has expressed interest in Lowe, but the Red Sox right now have other priorities.

Lowe, 35, has some interest in returning to Boston, said a source with knowledge of his thinking, but it is not a priority for him. Meantime, despite the Los Angeles Dodgers' casting about for starting pitching, Lowe has no interest in returning there.

Regarding whether Sabathia's arrival would make the Yankees more attractive for Lowe or any other player, Scott Boras, his agent, said, "I think it gives payers more of a road map as to where the Yankees are going. If I was a baseball player and one team had CC Sabathia on it, that would be very welcome."


Since: Sep 27, 2007
Posted on: December 11, 2008 5:44 pm

Burnett, Lowe on deck after Sabathia

While I"m at it.

Sabatia, Burnett, Lowe, Sheets

Obvioulsy, Lowe is probably # 3 on that list as far as ability, however ---

Sabathia has logged a HUGE ammount of innings the past 2 years, and his arm will probably fall off long before he completes his 7 year, joke of a contract

Sheets is one of the best, when he's healthy, which is rare. Last year was the closest to a full season he's ever had ---- Ironically, in a CONTRACT year. Cooncidence ?? Dont think so

Burnett : See comments on Sheets. Same deal here.

When the smoke clears in 4-5 years on these  4 guys, 3 will be done, or on the DL as usual, and only one will actually earn the money he is about to receive ---- DEREK LOWE.

Come on baseball, and PHILADELPHIA especially. Wake up, and stop tossing outrageous ammounts of money on pitchers who are unreliable, or past their prime, or about to be.

Since: Sep 27, 2007
Posted on: December 11, 2008 5:36 pm

Phillies / Derek Lowe

Is is me, or would Derek Lowe not be a perfect fit in Philadelphia ?? Sinkerball pitcher, and an innings eater, in that launching pad of a stadium --- To me, it would be a perfect addition to a World Series winner, and give them a terrific chance to repeat.  Moyer is old, and after Hamels , everyone is a question mark. They dont have a ton of talent in the minors, and who knows what to expect out of Blanton and Myers next year.

Ruben, stop worrying about replacing Utley for 2 months, re-sign Pat Burrell, and go out and get a top pitcher ----- PLEASE !!!

Speaking of Burrell, am I the only one cringing at the thought of Raul Ibanez replacing him next year ? The last thing we need is another left handed bat. All the talk of Ibanez and DeRosa is nice. Derosa could fill in for Utley, then platoon with Ibanez, (assuming they make a mistake and let Burrell walk) or fill in at 3rd now and then. DeRosa's bat would do big things in Philly. But if signing/dealing for those 2 takes us out of the running for Lowe... Not a good idea.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: December 11, 2008 5:05 pm


Please don't compare the two leagues. Is there really parity in basketball? Really? 14 NBA teams have never won a championship ever. Compare that to 8 in MLB. Yes the MLB has been around longer, but the Yankees have been around longer too. Let's remember that of their 26 WS only 4 came after big time spending. That is 4 WS rings in 30 years. Let's look at basketball in that same span. Lakers 8, Bulls 6, Celtics 4, Spurs 4, Pistons 3 = 25 of 30 championships by 5 teams. That's parity?. 8 total champion teams in 30 years. MLB has 15 teams that have pulled down a title in the last 30 years.

Sure the Yankees spend a lot of money and they waste that money too. I'm a Mets fan and we waste money too (not even close to the Yankees though). Sure the Pirates haven't figured it out yet, but they are more of an exception than the rule. Look at teams that have lesser payrolls and have good years: Rays, Diamondbacks, Indians, Marlins, Padres, Rockies, Cardinals, Brewers, Oakland, and Twins. Shoot the Phillies payroll was even under 100,000,000.

These big salary guys often get their salary after producing for these small maket teams and then fade once the money comes in . . . shh - don't tell anyone, but that is the case in the NBA too. Top NBA salaries - Garnet, Kidd, Jermain O'Neal, Kobe, Shaq, Iverson, Marbury, Duncan, McGrady, Allen. Tell me - would you rather have Deron Williams and Chris Paul or Kidd, Iverson, and Marbury. Not close. Same could be said of many of the players in baseball. Look at last season - Giambi or Carlos Pena? Derek Jeter or Hanley Ramirez? Mike Hampton or well anyobody? These players give the big clubs high salaries which equate to money over the luxury tax mark which goes to the Royals who sit on it.

In the end winners win and losers lose. Money is nice but doesn't make a loser into a winner.

Since: Sep 18, 2008
Posted on: December 11, 2008 4:29 pm

Burnett, Lowe on deck after Sabathia

first of all you are stupid!!! Baseball if you cannot remember from last year didn't have the yankees in the was the Devil Rays who do have the lostest salary cap in baseball...and the only reason the yankees are spending so much money is to get back into the championship, because pitching is the only way to get there.... On another hand BASEBALL IS A SPORT OF SKILL, I WOULD LIKE YOU TO GET INTO THE BATTER'S BOX WITH A PITCHER WHO IS THROWING A BALL 90MPH OR FASTER. I KNOW FOR SURE THAT YOU COULDN'T HIT IT!!!  AND HOCKEY, SOCCER OR LACROSSE IS NOT MORE SKILLFUL OF A SPORT THAN BASEBALL....PERIOD...!!! 

Since: Sep 18, 2008
Posted on: December 11, 2008 4:29 pm

Burnett, Lowe on deck after Sabathia

first of all you are stupid!!! Baseball if you cannot remember from last year didn't have the yankees in the was the Devil Rays who do have the lostest salary cap in baseball...and the only reason the yankees are spending so much money is to get back into the championship, because pitching is the only way to get there.... On another hand BASEBALL IS A SPORT OF SKILL, I WOULD LIKE YOU TO GET INTO THE BATTER'S BOX WITH A PITCHER WHO IS THROWING A BALL 90MPH OR FASTER. I KNOW FOR SURE THAT YOU COULDN'T HIT IT!!!  AND HOCKEY, SOCCER OR LACROSSE IS NOT MORE SKILLFUL OF A SPORT THAN BASEBALL....PERIOD...!!! 

Since: Mar 28, 2007
Posted on: December 11, 2008 4:17 pm

Burnett, Lowe on deck after Sabathia

I agree to the majority of your well written post. 

I am a ST. Louis Cardinal fan, while we will never spend like Boston, NY or California I think our brand of baseball is more true to the game.  Cardinals have year and year out taken a "washed out" player spent little for him and made him a winner again.

There has to be a cap in this league soon.  I hear people talk more and more about how much money teams are spending and players are making. Most  Americans are facing the toughest times they have ever known, and baseball just keeps spending like there is no tommorrow. Hey MLB how has that type of thinking worked for America? I feel the fans will tire of the raising ticket prices and millionaire cry babies and the game will decrease once again in popularity. Good luck tyring to get fans back if that happens, MLB. Ask the NHL how they are doing these days.

Another point is the love affair media has with big market teams. So tired of hearing about NY, Boston, Dodgers, etc. 

Hey here is an idea why don't the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Dodgers, Angels,  and even the Cubs (these days) take their big dollars and start thier own league. Then the other teams can have a seperate league receiving equal amounts of press. We could start a new World Series with the rest of the league against the winner of the new league!

Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: December 11, 2008 3:46 pm

Burnett, Lowe on deck after Sabathia

I never advocated a salary cap of any kind.  Free market all the way.  Let the teams move any place they want, make the teams pay for all the operating expenses out of revenue, and have at it.  We might see 4 or 5 teams in NY or we might see more teams in lower rent areas where they could afford to build stadiums...  I'm offended when the teams go crying to the governments and extort tax dollars to pay for stadiums and other expnses that then frees the teams to spend outrageous amounts on salaries.  I say LA got it right when they let the NFL walk away.  If more cities did that with professional sports franchises rather than subsidize them we'd all be better off.

Since: Nov 7, 2008
Posted on: December 11, 2008 2:50 pm

Burnett, Lowe on deck after Sabathia

Finally someone has it right. Thanks Scooter28.  Most of these small market teams don't know how to sell a product and put the MIllions of $$ that the Yanks, Mets, Red sox, Dodgers, Cubs, etc... in their pocket to cut their loses.  MLB should instead make sure that the 60-100 million dollars a year the Yanks and others give to the smaller markets go to a product on the field, not their bank accounts.  The money is out there, some of these owners need to learn how to sell their product better!

Since: Dec 11, 2008
Posted on: December 11, 2008 2:14 pm

Burnett, Lowe on deck after Sabathia

Well i see your frustration, in the last 13 years the Yankees and RedSox have won 6 championships almost half however it is not a guarantee...the Marlins have won twice, Diamonbacks, Angels, Whitesox, Cardinals and Phillies...for every big contract guy that has been signed or traded for that worked out  Cone,El Duque,Clemens, Tino, Beckett, Manny, Lowell, Matsuzaka the Majority have not worked out...Arod, Mussina, Abreu, Pavano,Giambi and Santana with the Mets still have not won a championship... Paying alot for players certainly doesn't guarantee a title...and with all that money wasted and no titles do the Yankees get any of the Luxary tax money back from the teams that benefited from this but refused to put it back in their team???? 

Since: Nov 11, 2006
Posted on: December 11, 2008 1:39 pm

Burnett, Lowe on deck after Sabathia

Not and even playing field? lol?

You have the Patriots as a dynasty winning I don't know how many superbowls in the last half a dozen years, and you have the Yankees who haven't even won ONE in that long. You have Tampa Bay in the worlds series (the lowest overall salary IIRC) and the Giants win the Superbowl (big market = big revenue from TV etc.) I looks more like the NFL has the so-called "even playing field" problem.

NBA: Lakers are good every year, so is San Antonio, the Celtics, and the Pistons. Philly, Golden State, and the Clippers suck every year. Really really even. ;)

NHL: The Kings have sucks for who knows how long, and the Red Wings are always good. Very even again.

MLB: Yes, some teams are alway's good, but the worst team going the World Series the next year? (Tampa) Wow...that's really not fair! :P

In addition, I think making the playing field artificially "even" is stupid. I mean I really want to see every team in the NFL go 8-8. That would be so much fun to watch! And all the teams in Baseball going 81-81! Wow! That's called mediocrity, not  and even playing field. :P Money doesn't buy championships (Yankees haven't won a series in 6-7 years, they missed the playoffs, and the team with the lowest payroll was the AL champs. Year before Colorado goes to the Series out of no where. Oakland is usually a very good team...with one of the lowest payrolls. So is Minnesota. See a trend?) let them spend what they want. We don't need socialist sports too.

MLB is actualy a purer sport than the sports that are manipulated by the "commish" and his underlings. Remember the NBA fixing game 6 of the Western Conference finals a few years ago to guarantee a game 7 for money reasons? Is that really purer sports? The leagues with caps are so intent on making every team "relavant" and every series "interesting" (as well as go 7 games for money and drama :P) that it borders on becoming the WWE!

Give me a break about this "level playing field" crap. Sports don't depend on one or two free agent signings. (If they really do, then the inevitable injuries really must help even that out, because the results say otherwise

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