- Friday, November 4, 2011 9:23 AM
- Written By: Andrew Simon
Somewhere out in the great beyond, there exists an alternate universe with an alternate Major League Baseball. Here are some recent headlines from this league's Hot Stove season.
Yanks’ Sabathia Opts Out of Contract, Eyes Homecoming With A's
By Buster Olney, ESPN.com
The New York Yankees drafted, developed and groomed CC Sabathia, but it appears the chronically cash-strapped organization is going to lose yet another homegrown talent to a team with considerably more payroll power.
Sabathia's agent Brian Peters said Monday that the left-handed former Cy Young winner will opt out of his current deal with the Yankees, with four years remaining, and become a free agent. Speculation among several high-ranking baseball front office personnel indicates that Sabathia wants to sign with his hometown team, the Oakland Athletics, who are looking to significantly increase their payroll thanks to their brand new stadium that will open next season.
Oakland general manager Billy Beane declined comment, but one American League GM said he would set the chances of a Sabathia-to-Oakland deal at “above 80 percent.”
Sabathia signed an extension with the Yankees when he first reached free agency after the 2008 season, but demanded the opt-out clause in case he felt the organization did not come through on its promises to field a competitive team. ...
Three Hospitalized After Camden Yards Stampede
By Baltimore Sun Staff Reports
Seven unidentified men were taken to a Baltimore hospital and three will be held overnight for observation after sustaining injuries in a stampede at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Thursday afternoon.
Details remain scarce about the incident, but witnesses told The Sun the stampede was caused by a large group of candidates for the Orioles’ open general manager position all trying to rush into an interview room at once. Only eight candidates were officially scheduled to interview for the much sought-after job, but at least three times that many people showed up at the ballpark Thursday in an attempt to gain consideration.
“This is the job that everyone wants, and so we all were trying desperately to be first to speak to (Orioles owner Peter Angelos),” said one of the potential GMs, who was released from the hospital with minor injuries and asked not to be identified by name. “We’re talking about a successful, stable organization with the best owner in baseball. Who wouldn’t want to step into that situation?” ...
Padres Said to Be Leading Charge for Fielder
By Ken Rosenthal, FoxSports.com
The San Diego Padres could be close to adding another big bat to their stable of sluggers.
According to multiple baseball sources, the team is currently the favorite to land free agent first baseman Prince Fielder, whose contract with the Milwaukee Brewers expired after this past season.
With chunks of excess cash burning a hole in the pockets of new general manager Josh Byrnes and Fielder said to be keen on playing 81 games a year at the bandbox known at PETCO Park, there is reason for both sides to be optimistic about an agreement.
“Money, as we all know, is no object for the Padres,” said a source with knowledge of the negotiations. “And even though they already led the National League in home runs last season, they have an opening at first base. Plus, Prince feels he could hit 60 homers a year thanks to PETCO’s practically Little League-sized right field.” ...
Red Sox Lock Up Epstein, Francona For Long Term
By Gordon Edes, ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- Just days after finishing off their third World Series Championship in eight years, the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday ensured that two key pieces of their operation will remain with the team for years to come.
Team officials confirmed that general manager Theo Epstein will receive a five-year contract extension that will kick in when his current deal expires after next season; they also confirmed that manager Terry Francona’s 2012 and 2013 options, worth a total of $8.75 million, will be picked up and supplemented with two additional years at a slightly higher rate. Exact terms of the extensions were not disclosed, but a press conference has been scheduled for Wednesday at Fenway Park.
Epstein and Francona presided over a Red Sox club that won 93 games in the regular season, holding off the Tampa Bay Rays for the American League wild card, then breezed through the postseason, beating the Atlanta Braves in five games in the World Series.
Epstein has been lauded for his recent signings of Carl Crawford and John Lackey, key pieces of the team’s 2011 success, while Francona’s relaxed clubhouse -- characterized by in-game sessions of fried chicken, beer and video games -- is said to have been crucial in preventing panic as the Rays made a late-season push. ...
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