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Saturday December 13, 2008 7:54 am

New York Yankees and Mets Pitching Acquisitions

C.C. Sabathia

It took some fancy footwork and a bundle of buckaroos but the New York Yankees landed top pitching free agent, C.C. Sabathia, to a record shattering seven-year $161 million dollar contract. The Steinbrenners and general manager Brian Cashman enlisted the help of Hall of Famer and former Yankees great Reggie Jackson to ice the deal. Reggie of course was only too happy to - pardon the pun - “pitch” his glory days in the Bronx to Sabathia. Well, it’s the thought that counts, right? Go waving around a $23 million dollar a year contract and it’s a pretty safe bet that that player’s agent will recommend that his client sign on the dotted line.



The advent of Sabathia now gives the Bronx Bombers a number of pluses. The Yanks can readily move at least five games from the loss column over to the win column. C.C. is a knock out punch with a blazing fastball, nasty curve and a better than average slider. He’ll easily log 200 innings, 18 wins, 200+ strikeouts and a low WHIP (walks and hits to innings pitched). With Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera waiting in the wings for the last two frames, the Yanks will be tough to beat when Sabathia is on the hill.

With Sabathia safely under contract, the also signed A.J. Burnett to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Problem, however, is Burnett only seems to post good numbers in his option years. Burnett has a history of grinding Yankee bats into a fine mulch as he did with the Florida Marlins in the ’03 World Series and the last couple of years with the Toronto Blue Jays, which is one minor reason to bring him into the fold. Most of the time though he resembles an average pitcher who struts his stuff in walk years. With Burnett signing on for a tour of duty in the Bronx, unless he pitches his heart out every five days, there will always be lingering doubts if the Yankees management did the right thing in signing him to a multi-year deal.

From the files of “Enjoy It While You Got It” is World Series MVP Cole Hamels. Hamel recently calling N.L. East rivals, the New York Mets “choke artists.” Uh huh. Now that Mr. Hamel’s team the Philadelphia Phillies have logged their second World Championship in, oh, 126 years, maybe he’s thinking that gives him the right to go mouthing off in the press. It’s gonna be a long wait before the Phillies hoist another championship flag now that the Mets have signed lights out closer Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez and traded for J.J. Putz.  The next choking sound you hear will come from the City of Brotherly Love. Signing K-Rod means that the Phillies will no longer have the luxury of waiting for the Mets to lose the division in the last month of the regular season In ’09 the Phillies will have to actually go out and win the NL East crown.

Don’t hold your breath.



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