New York and A. J. Burnett have just agreed to a 5-year, $82.5 million deal, merely hours after the Yanks opened the coffers to sign C.C. Sabathia to a 7-year, $161 million contract.
First-name initials must be all the buzz in the Bronx this offseason. Too bad B. J. Ryan wasn't available.
The scary part after these two signings is that the Yankees might not be done. How can that be, after cutting checks worth $243.5 million in the past 48 hours? Consider both Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi had huge contracts both come off the books.
And don't forget the Yankees open up a new revenue-streaming stadium in April.
But even with the deepest pockets in pro sports, landing a third big fish, Mark Teixeira, is probably not doable. Teixeira reportedly has 8- and 9-year offers on the table from Baltimore and Washington in the $150-$160 million range and the Red Sox are said to be serious bidders as well.
Look for Teixeira, a Maryland native, to sign with either the Red Sox, Orioles or Nationals -- probably in that order -- as the Angels appear to be both too far from home and not desperate enough to hand out a 10-year deal, which Teixeira reportedly covets.
The aging Yanks, however, will still try to upgrade their lineup as a Melky Cabrera-Mike Cameron swap is very possible. A Robinson Cano-Matt Kemp swap has also been rumored.
Peavy-Cubs deal dead: In the end, Cubs GM Jim Hendry just couldn't justify adding to the already bloated payroll of the Cubs, without adding the coveted left-handed bat.
The sticking point in a complicated three- or four-team deal was how much money the Cubs would have to eat of Jason Marquis' $9.5 million contract.
As a Cubs fan, it pains me to see the Cubs getting cheap, right at the doorstep of adding one of the Top 5 pitchers in baseball. After all, what is the best way to get out of the first round? Exactly. Elite pitching.
But I understand the ownership situation is dicey at best. And I would love the chance to land a Brian Roberts or Rafael Furcal, although it sounds like Milton Bradley is the most likely bat headed to the Windy City.
Phillies sign Ibanez: The biggest news out from the World Champs had been Cole Hamels calling the Mets, "Choke artists," until Philadelphia shored up its outfield by giving Raul Ibanez a three-year, $30 million contract.
Indians close with Wood: Talk about a deal taking forever to close. Sounds like this deal is done, just held up by Kerry Wood passing a physical, which is no small feat. Terms are reportedly $20 million over 2 years, with a third-year option.
In other news: The Blue Jays are buying into the Matt Clement comeback trail, giving the rotator-cuffed pitcher a minor league contract... the Orioles are trying to move the control-plagued, strikeout phenom Daniel Cabrera ... a Julio Lugo-Eric Byrnes deal fell apart, probably after the Diamondbacks looked at splits of Lugo last season ... on a related note, Felipe Lopez, who was a stolen base fool for the Reds before falling off the fantasy map in Washington, signed a one year deal worth $3.5 million with Arizona to replace free agent Orlando Hudson ... the Indians tendered a contract for C Kelly Shoppach and why not after the backup catcher hit 21 HR, filling in for Victor Martinez ... the Cubs, Rays, Angels and Dodgers expressed interest in RBI-machine Bobby Abreu, although the Angels and Dodgers appear to have a glut in the OF, especially if the Dodgers sign Manny Ramirez, who is reportedly miffed at the lack of offers flooding in ... the Mets traded for J.J. Putz on Thursday, giving them possibly the best back end of the rotation, after having arguably the worst before the week began.