Alex over at Bronx Banter has what I think is a fascinating take on the Winter Meetings. Do yourself a favor and go check it out.
Tejada Going To Baltimore
Free-agent shortstop Miguel Tejada has agreed to a six-year, $54 millon deal with the Baltimore Orioles, reports ESPN’s Peter Gammons. With incentives, the former A’s star could make $65 million.
So a base of $9 million a year, with a potential for $11 million a year. Methinks this doesn’t help Nomar’s case too much. Seems that the $12 million a year is looking pretty good now, eh?
BREAKING NEWS: ARod has a message for PSF.commers. Check it out here.
Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks confirmed last night that he and Boston counterpart John Henry have decided to shelve talks on a blockbuster deal that would lead to the swap of Manny Ramirez for Rodriguez. The owners agreed to explore other options over the weekend at baseball’s annual winter meetings and then speak again early next week if their respective needs aren’t filled.
By all indications, the trade has been shelved in order to permit the Sox to make one more stab at signing current shortstop Nomar Garciaparra to a contract extension. Even though Henry and agent Arn Tellem exchanged harsh words during the week, sources said last night the sides had re-opened dialogue and that the Sox had presented or were preparing to make another contract offer that would keep Garciaparra in Boston beyond next year, which is the final year of his current contract.
If the effort fails and the Sox continue to get signals the sides can’t reach a middle ground, it appears that Henry and Hicks – who have conducted the trade negotiations themselves – will talk again after the completion of the meetings on Monday. Boston may also attempt to sign free agent shortstop Miguel Tejada.
If Nomar is destined not to come back, I can live with replacing him with ARod. NOT Miggy, or whatever the hell his cute little nickname is.
I would think that if Nomar negotiations have re-opened, then Tellem and Garciaparra have a clearer understanding of where they stand (i.e. he ain’t getting 17 million a year.) My guess is that this gets hammered out for something in the 13-14 million a year range.
Still need a second baseman…
December 11, 2003, 9:07 AM EST
Andy Pettitte’s days as a Yankee are over. The Astros have scheduled a press conference at 11 a.m. Central time to announce they have signed Pettite to a three-year deal worth between $32 and $34 million.
The Yankees made an unsuccessful last-ditch to re-sign the lefty late Wednesday night, offering Pettitte, 31, a deal similar to the one he agreed to with Houston. In the end, however, Pettitte chose to sign with his hometown team.
That is a huge, huge blow to the Yankees.
Reports from a couple places say Pettite has gone to the Astros. Stay tuned.
Follow here for updates.
From Hohler today:
Sources familiar with the talks said Garciaparra rejected a four-year, $60 million offer from the Sox in spring training. Garciaparra asked for $68 million, and when the Sox declined to split the $2 million difference in average annual salary, he opted to wait until after the season to renew negotiations.
By then, the Sox sensed a substantial change in the market and altered their proposal to $48 million over four years. Garciaparra not only rebuffed the offer but considered the package so inadequate that his camp apparently considered the talks near impasse.
“We’ve been told to pursue alternatives,” Henry said.
General manager Theo Epstein, who struck a more conciliatory tone than Henry, indicated that Garciaparra should not have been blindsided, as Tellem suggested, when he read in a newspaper last week on his honeymoon in Hawaii that Henry had sat down with Rodriguez. Epstein said he explained the situation to Tellem after the team’s contacts with Texas first became public.
“Arn asked me what was going on with Texas, and I said Texas had made overtures to us, which was correct,” Epstein said. “We felt obliged to listen because we weren’t sure we could sign Nomar.”
“Our first choice was — and is — to sign Nomar,” Epstein said, “but if we can’t, we need to pursue alternatives.”
If this is accurate, then it’s too bad. Seems to me that either Tellem is brainwashing Nomar, or Nomar has seriously overestimated his value.
Frankly, after the events of the past couple of days, I’m not sure this is repairable. If it isn’t, what an ugly way for the Red Sox/Nomar relationship to end.
Since that’s all that is in the last thread’s comments.
If this article is to be believed, then my comments below about thinking the Sox felt after their latest offer was rebuffed, it would be difficult to sign Nomar at a market (or even slightly above market) price:
Henry: Nomar contract negotiations strained
By Bob Hohler, Globe Staff, 12/9/2003
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Red Sox owner John Henry said today that negotiations for a contract extension with shortstop Nomar Garciaparra are strained.
Calling it the “height of hypocrisy,” Henry criticized Garciaparra’s agent Arn Tellem for his recent comments about the team’s trade talks involving Alex Rodriguez.
Tellem told the Globe earlier this week that the Red Sox’ pursuit of Rodriguez was a “slap in the face” to his client and that Garciaparra’s goal “has always been to return to the Red Sox and play out his entire career in Boston.”
“He says we are being disingenuous,” Henry said from the Dominican Republic where the Red Sox are opening a new facility. “I take great umbrage in that. It is the height of hypocrisy to make statements like that. I hope he is being more honest with his client than he is with media.”
Garciaparra, who is in the final year of his contract and will make $11.5 million in 2004, has been negotiating with the Red Sox for an extension. Henry said the Red Sox made substantial offers to Garciaparra in the spring and again after the playoffs but those offers were rejected by Tellem.
According to one team source, the Red Sox offered $60 million over four years in spring training. In November, as the baseball market began to show effects of the new collective bargaining agreement with less money being offered to top players, the Red Sox changed their offer to between $12 and $13 million per year for four years. When Tellem objected to the market contraction, according to another team source, the Red Sox began looking into a trade for Rodriguez, which had been initiated by an earlier inquiry from the Rangers. The Sox and Rangers have been looking at a trade of Manny Ramirez to Texas for Rodriguez. If that move were made, the Sox likely would then look to trade Garciaparra.
“We have made incredible offers and the reason we are proceeding as if we’re not going to be able to sign Nomar is because his agent has given us every indication that there is no common ground,” Henry said. “He seems to believe it is the winter of 2000.”
In December of 2000, for example, Rodriguez signed a $252 million deal for 10 years with Texas, and the Red Sox signed Manny Ramirez for $160 million for eight years. This year, Seattle offered Oakland A’s free agent shortstop Miguel Tejada, the AL MVP in 2002, a deal worth approximately $8 million per year.
Henry said Tellem’s comments could damage the negotiations. “When someone says that your are being disingenuous and you should be honest with the player — and he said that publicly — he (should) not dare say it publicly because he knows it’s hooey,” Henry said.
On Monday, Garciaparra told WEEI “to hear from your employers, you know, that they’re even thinking about doing this after all the stuff that you’ve done … it leaves you scratching your head and has people wondering.”
-? Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company
…for the Yanks to pick up.
The Angels have reportedly agreed to terms with Bartolo Colon to the tune of 4 years, $48 million.
Millwood will apparantly accept arbitration from the Phillies.
And landing Pettite is far from a sure thing.
Wow, the market really is changing, isn’t it?
Nomar is on a PR push to dispute the longtime rumor that he would prefer to play on the Left Coast. He and his agent are miffed that nobody called him about the Sox potential dealings.
I’m sorry; but that’s a load of you-know-what. If the Sox are going to play close to the vest this offseason, then they don’t need to be calling players and asking their opinion about deals they are considering. That’s how people know what your are doing.
Regarding Nomar’s talk that he does indeed want to finish his career here; I’ll take him at his word for that. And it would be nice if it worked out that way.
In other FA news, Everyday Eddie Guardado signed with the Mariners. Oh, and looks like Sheffield might not be coming to the Yanks after all.
Rumblings that Foulke becomes final soon…
And ARod/Manny/Nomar refuses to die…
And a freaking BLIZZARD the first weekend of December? Gimmie a break!
Generally, I give HUGE Kudos to the Hartford Courant for their baseball coverage. Their Sox and Yankee beat writers can’t be…well…beat.
I’ve never paid the same compliments to their columnists, however. And what Jeff Jacobs did today shows why. What follows is the most petty, irritating piece of trash I’ve ever seen on the Courant’s pages. And I’m shocked that an editor let it through. (My apologies, Sam, for leaving your name here…but the damage is already done, no?).
CHAT ROOM’S RESPONSES NOT SO CURT (entire article here)
His name is Sameer Ohri and he is 25 years old. He is a 30-hour-a-week employee of The Courant sports department. He puts together the scoreboard page, edits some copy and answers the phones. He is single and lives with his parents in South Windsor.
Sam is a nice young man who does a good job and is well liked at the newspaper. Sam is also a young man who serves two masters.
Even in the November chill, Sam wears one master’s symbol for the world to see. When he sits down to work, the Red Sox cap stays on his head. He keeps the second master better hidden, for the second master has many faces. One is Andrew Jackson. Another is Alexander Hamilton. A third is Abraham Lincoln. The second master is a paycheck and a budding career in journalism.
What happened Friday morning at about 3 o’clock was more than fun for a handful of posters with names such as Juan Bustabad Epstein and Spacemans Bong. It was damn near orgasmic. Somebody named gehrig38 moved into the chat room. Gehrig38 turned out to be Curt Schilling. He identified himself as soon as he arrived. And later that day as a press conference was held in Arizona to celebrate his signing with the Red Sox, Schilling confirmed his visit to the Sons of Sam Horn site. Owner John Henry, in fact, is a SoSH member. He broke the news of Schilling’s signing there and congratulated SoSH for helping to bring him to Boston. Schilling has gone back several times since, the contents of more carefully crafted chats posted on public threads. It has been portrayed as an innocent love affair and Sons of Sam Horn has been publicly anointed as a force by the Red Sox. Yet at 3 a.m. Friday, Schilling was asking for privacy.
“Done deal,” GodSamGod wrote.
And for nearly three hours, Schilling engaged in extraordinary conversation. I know. I have read the transcripts. Schilling had some explosive opinions about people in and around the game. There were negotiation predictions that would come true and details of his contract that still haven’t been made public. There’s a lot of juicy stuff, big headline stuff when it finally comes out. SoSH members must have known it was juicy because in the following days a number of them were begging for the transcripts.
Sam refused. He kept his word. He honored Schilling’s request.
Sam protected Schilling, but he didn’t protect himself and the transcripts have made the rounds. Some respected Boston sports writers already had it and surely others with less integrity do, too. Sam agreed to step forward and apologize for embarrassing the newspaper before somebody else makes public what a knucklehead he had been.
Among a number of inappropriate comments, GodSamGod advised Schilling, who was having trouble sleeping, that “bong hits usually do it for me.”
And then when the conversation turned to what chance Schilling had of signing, GodSamGod said The Courant listed it as no better than 50-50 and he told Schilling that Larry Lucchino or John Henry was our source.
“I didn’t think there was any chance of that stuff ever leaving the room,” Sam said.
There is an odd samba developing with the media with these sites as they grow and are empowered. And make no mistake they are growing. Bill Simmons, a cult hero to many in the Internet crowd and one never to miss taking a vicious shot at mainstream New England media, rose from his own Boston-based website to ESPN.com and a job as a writer with ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Simmons made his mark with a combination of effective storytelling and statements such as saying he hoped Geno Auriemma or Coach K were caught having sex with animals.
Sam admires Bill Simmons.
Sam still needs to learn which master to serve.
Ironically, Sam and I were discussing the Courant sports pages in an online chat the other day, and I told him that I really never cared for Jacobs…(I think I called him a Shaugnessey wanna-be, and a dink)…and Sam defended him and called him a great writer.