It the world of sports it’s hard to avoid a signing agreement that would give a single baseball pitcher 160 million dollars over seven years. But that’s what the New York Yankees agreed to pay CC Sabathia, hoping the left-handed pitcher can lead the Yankees to the World Series.
New York desperately needed pitching and CC was the best available, even though he mentioned wanting to pitch on the West Coast and playing in the National League. Well, signing with the Yankees goes against everything the big lefty said.
While Sabathia fits a big need, there are a few concerns. CC has been a workhorse for the past two seasons with more than 250 innings pitched in 2008. And it remains to be seen how that workload will impact him in New York. Another problem is that the Yankees still need pitching – even with CC. They are in talks of adding the other three top starters on the market as well: A.J. Burnett, Derek Lowe and Ben Sheets. And of course there is the concern about seven years for Sabathia – seven years for any pitcher is an eternity.
The news of CC Sabathia picking the Yankees over the Dodgers and Giants dominated the headlines. But the other Big Apple team addressed a huge need as the Mets finished the much-needed overhaul of their bullpen by trading for Seattle Mariners closer J.J. Putz just one day after signing Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez. The Putz move is a tremendous one for the Mets, as long as they can convince Putz to relinquish his closer role and take over the eighth inning setup spot. But this trade – a three-team, 12-player monster – definitely improves the Mets’ chances of reaching the play-offs after the bullpen blew it the past two seasons.
The other big money free agent left on the market is first baseman Mark Teixeira, who has been offered an eight-year 160 million dollar deal from the Washington Nationals.
The NBA also saw two important deals go down.
The Phoenix Suns looked to add another scorer on the wing by trading for Jason Richardson, giving up to the Charlotte Bobcats Boris Diaw, Raja Bell and Sean Singletary while also getting back Jared Dudley. The Suns continue to trade to deal with the transition from Mike D’Antoni to new head coach Terry Porter. And Bobcats boss Larry Brown will love to have hard-working veterans like Diaw and Bell in the mix in Charlotte.
The other trade involved three teams as the Washington Wizards will receive New Orleans Hornets guard Mike James and Memphis Grizzlies guard Javaris Crittenton while the Hornets get Antonio Daniels from Washington and a conditional second round pick from Memphis and the Grizzlies pick up a future first round pick. Washington made the move to strengthen their back-court as Gilbert Arenas is still out.
And one more note, heading to Euroleague basketball and the reigning champions CSKA Moscow returned to their winning ways by thrashing Panionios.