Thursday, December 11, 2008
MARK TEIXEIRA, CC SABATHIA, AND MEMORIES OF 2000
November 30, 2000: The New York Yankees sign free agent Mike Mussina to a 5 year, $68 million deal. Which seemed big at the time.
December 19, 2000: Seemingly in response to the Mussina signing (the Sox had made offers, but they fell on deaf ears), the Red Sox sign slugger Manny Ramirez to an 8 year, $160 million deal.
December 10, 2008: The Yankees sign top free agent pitcher CC Sabathia to a 6 year, $160 million deal. But this time, Red Sox Nation laughs at the Yanks for overspending. What a difference two Championships make.
December ?, 2008: the Red Sox overpay to sign Mark Teixeira.
It's going to happen, it's just a question of when and for how much. And I can't help but remember 2000 when we all labeled Dan Duquette a reactionist for signing Manny Ramirez to such a huge contract. We all figured Mussina would extend the Yankee dynasty into the 21st century. Thankfully we were wrong.
But CC Sabathia is not Mike Mussina. We might all laugh at how much extra the Yankees have to pay in order to convince him to come to the Bronx. We might predict he'll break down for some reason. But the Yankees can afford to overpay him. And there's no reason to believe Sabathia will falter physically in the next 6 years.
However, the Yankees just acquired one of the best pitchers in baseball. A pitcher who has proven he can succeed in the AL. A pitcher who has never started fewer than 28 games.
And they're not done spending. They might also acquire former Sox and former Dodgers Derek Lowe and Manny Ramirez.
The AL East just became a three horse race. And Mark Teixiera's production replacing Mike Lowell's won't be enough to give the Sox the inside track.