The 2006 season is just weeks away from launch-time and there’s much to discuss! I apologize for the lack of updates as of late, but your Yankees Chick has been laid up with a kidney infection (which essentially feels like Babe Ruth smacked me in the kidney with a Louisville Slugger), but I’ll make it up to you with a comprehensive one-stop-shop review:
Sammy Sosa: Not only are the Yankees most certainly not interested in old Sammy (pish-posh to those rumors, I say!), it looks like Sammy will be making his miserable 2005 season in Baltimore his last in the majors. After turning down a $500,000 offer from the Nationals on Wednesday, Sammy’s agent admitted that Slammin’ Sammy will almost certainly bid the MLB farewell. Sammy has also not expressed any interest in playing in next month’s WBC, but Dominican Republic manager Manny Acta has said that he’ll be keeping a spot open for him in hopes he’ll change his tune.
Roger Clemens: We’ve been discussing Clemens future for months now, but the latest clue as to whether or not Clemens will continue to play in the MLB in 2006 comes from beyond the grave. On Tuesday, Roger revealed that his mother had expressed wishes for him to retire shortly before she died last September, leading many fans and journalists to fear that his retirement was ever more imminent. Clemens has made it clear that he will not make any decisions until the WBC has ended, and if he opts to stick with the MLB for another year, he’ll have plenty of choices: the Astros, Yankees, Rangers, and Red Sox are all interested.
Johnny Damon: New York’s newest big-name boy won’t have to feel too lonely in the Yankees’ clubhouse this spring: Ex A’s teammate Jason Giambi will be hanging out in the locker right next to his.
Scott Erickson: The Yanks signed this 38-year-old righty pitcher to a minor league deal worth $15,000 per month, or $500,000 per year if he gets added to the 40-man roster. Scott had some good years in the early 1990’s with the Twins, but his recent years have been far from impressive. In 19 games with the Dodgers last year, Scott sustained a weak 6.02 ERA and walked 25 batters; he struck out just 12. Cashman noted that Erickson will “somewhat of an insurance policy” in the unfortunate (but seemingly unavoidable) case that one of our starters suffers an injury.
Spring Training: Football is officially over, and baseball is one step closer to being back in the limelight: Our pitchers and catchers have already reported to Florida, where workouts will begin tomorrow. The Yanks haven’t added any new starting pitchers to the roster this off season, but the bullpen is loaded with new faces like Kyle Farnsworth, Octavio Dotel, and Mike Myers. Jeter, A-Rod and the rest of the crew will join the pitchers and catchers in Florida next Tuesday, and the first spring training game against the Phillies is just two weeks away….