Yankees Dump A Money Truck at Another Free Agent

Yankees reach agreemant with Teixeira on 8-year, $180M deal

The newest uber rich Yankee.

The Yankees have reached an agreement in principle to sign Mark Teixeira, SI.com has learned, beating out the rival Red Sox for the free-agent slugger's services.

Teixeira, who hit .308 with 33 home runs and 121 RBIs in 2008, will receive an eight-year, $180 million deal from the Yankees with a full no-trade provision.

The final three teams in the race to sign Teixeira were the Red Sox, Nationals and Yankees. However, it was the Yankees who stepped up their heavy pursuit of Teixeira on Tuesday, as first reported by SI.com.

The Yankees quietly remained in contact with the Teixeira camp, but after spending $243.5 million on star starting pitchers CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, they didn't appear anxious to be the market setter.

The Red Sox threw a curveball late last week when owner John Henry announced they were no longer "going to be a factor'' following a meeting at Teixeira's Dallas-area house. But after a little while, it became clear that Henry only meant that they intended not to up their bid, not that they were pulling out of the derby entirely.

While Henry's team remained in the running, Angels owner Arte Moreno pulled out for real on Sunday, announcing they had given up the chase. Moreno had submitted a proposal believed to be for $160 million at the Winter Meetings and hadn't moved from that initial offer.

While there were rumors that the Severna Park, Md., product preferred to be on the East Coast, there never was any real evidence of that. He loved his time in Anaheim and continued to live in the Dallas area, so those suggestions may have been overplayed.

Teixeira's deal raises the Yankees' offseason spending spree to $423.5 million. Just last Thursday, they gave Sabathia a $161 million, seven-year contract and Burnett an $82.5 million, five-year deal.

The Yankees, preparing to move into their pricey new ballpark, will hold the four largest contracts in the sport. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez has baseball's highest deal at $275 million over 10 years, and shortstop Derek Jeter is second at $189 million over 10 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: SI.com
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Furcal Returns to Atlanta

Furcal agrees to terms with Braves

Homecoming for Rafael Furcal

ATLANTA -- The Braves are looking forward to the opportunity to once again place Rafael Furcal at the top of their lineup. At the same time, they're looking forward to having both Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar in that same lineup.
A Major League source confirmed Tuesday morning that Furcal and the Braves have agreed to the terms of a three-year contract that includes a vesting option for the 2012 season.

Furcal, who previously played in Atlanta from 2000-05, must undergo a physical, and it was unclear if he'd be able to do so on Tuesday. Until then, the Braves can only assume that they'll once again have his speedy presence in their leadoff spot.

Where Furcal would be positioned defensively remains to be seen. But the Braves have no intention to trade either Johnson or Escobar. Instead, they are planning to move Johnson back to left field, a position he played before moving to second base before the start of the 2007 season.

The opportunity to have both Furcal and Johnson in their lineup proved more appealing to the Braves than any of the options they were evaluating in their search to find a power-hitting outfielder.

With Johnson, they feel they have a player capable of hitting 15-20 homers. Matt Diaz could also see some time in left field.

It hasn't been revealed where Furcal will be positioned. But there's reason to believe he'll play second base and Escobar will remain at shortstop.

While previously playing for the Braves, Furcal hit .284 with a .348 on-base percentage and 189 stolen bases. The Braves haven't had a player record more than 17 stolen bases during any of the three seasons that Furcal has played for the Dodgers.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: MLB
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I Knew That I Should Have Kept Playing Baseball

Yankees Set to Sign Sabathia
Baseball's new $160 million man.


LAS VEGAS -- Free-agent pitcher CC Sabathia is about to sign with the Yankees, SI.com has confirmed. The deal being finalized now is expected to pay Sabathia about $160 million over seven years.

The two sides are on the verge of an agreement after three days of face-to-face talks between the Yankees and superstar Sabathia, who led the Milwaukee Brewers to the playoffs after a midseason trade by going 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA. He won the 2007 Cy Young Award with the Cleveland Indians.

Sabathia apparently became convinced after extensive meetings with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman that he and his family of five could be happy living in New York. Cashman flew to the Bay Area to meet with Sabathia on Tuesday and finalize the deal, which makes Sabathia the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history, eclipsing the contracts of the Mets' Johan Santana and the Giants' Barry Zito.

The Yankees more than a month ago made an initial market-setting $140 million, six-year offer to Sabathia, and no other team stepped forward to challenge that figure. The Brewers, Angels and Red Sox are all believed to have made offers. The Giants also were starting to consider whether to step into the fray. But no team was willing to come close to matching the Yankees' money.

Sabathia expressed some concerns in the first two talks with Cashman about coming to New York after starring for six seasons in Cleveland and Milwaukee and dreaming of going home to pitch in California. Sabathia's clear preference was to play in the National League, as well, and he is said to prefer the idea of spending spring training in Arizona. So the Yankees clearly had some hurdles to clear to land him. That it is why they were intent on standing out monetarily, and they did that.

The Yankees are intent on making the playoffs in 2009 after their streak of 13 consecutive postseason berths ended last season. The Yankees are moving into a new ballpark and have $88 million in contracts coming off the books. While they aren't insulated from the economic crash in the country, they are somewhat less affected than the other 29 teams.

The Yankees' new rotation is starting to take shape, as they are also in serious negotiations with free-agent Derek Lowe. An agreement with Lowe appears likely to be finalized in the coming days, as well. The sides were discussing a contract for four years and about $66 million late Tuesday.

The Yankees, though, are intent on adding three starters and are also talking with A.J. Burnett and Ben Sheets. They are hopeful of adding one of those two pitchers to round out their rotation.

Burnett is talking to the Braves, as well, and there is a feeling that Atlanta is the favorite to lock him up. If Burnett does go to Atlanta, Sheets looks like the next pitcher the Yankees will target. The New York Post first mentioned Sabathia was set to sign on its Web site on Wednesday morning.

Source: Sports Illustrated

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Places Where I Will Never Live Issue #1: Port Arthur, Texas

For this Thanksgiving week, my family and I have been staying with my dad in Beaumont, Texas(He works for Small Business Association).  Earlier today today, we took a trip through some of the towns devastated by the hurricanes earlier this year.  The last city we drove through was Port Arthur, Texas.  Now, I have been through some "rough" towns in my 20 years of existence, but this place tops them all and then some.

It was understandable going through the other cities because you can easily tell that it was because of the storm damage, but in Port Arthur that excuse only goes so far.  Easily 85-90% of the damage in Port Arthur has been decades in the making.  It seriously made me think I was in the Capital Wastelands in Fallout 3.  It looks like it was a bustling port city 30 or 40 years ago, but suddenly everybody just left and let it decay.  It is that bad.  Buildings collapsing and boarded up, windows broken, streets unkempt.  It is definitely the most depressed I have ever been driving through a city/town.  I only saw about one or two businesses open and running.  The only buildings that were respectable were the city government office building and the local junior college, which begs the questions of who exactly attends the college and where do they go after graduating(well, this question not so perplexing).  The nicest residential areas were the public housing, which definitely tells you the shape the city is in.

I wish I had my camera with me so I could show you guys pictures, because words don't to it justice.  For those of you who have also had the displeasure of being in or around Port Arthur recently, you know what I mean.  Needless to say, it is one town that I can scratch off my list of cities where I will never live.  Ever.

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I have the worst luck with flash drives.

Between class and work today I walked across the street to the mall to get my hair cut and to pick up a new USB flash drive at the Best Buy.  This is seriously at least thr 4th flash drive I have had this year and the second in just the past few weeks.  The others either malfunctioned or I simply lost them.  I can't remember having this much trouble holding on to a particular electronic device, or any device for that matter.  Good thing they have come down in price and got a Geek Squad 4GB for $22.  Hopefully this one will last me a while before I lose it or it breaks down.

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Only for Halo 3.

I was in line for about 3 hours.  It was really fun.  The people at the Gamestop set up some TVs where we got turns to play Halo 2 and watch some Red v. Blue episodes.  All-in-all, it was a great time

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It's a pretty tough decision.

It's between Fallout 3 and Gears of War 2.  I don't know if I can choose between the two.  Obviously Fallout 3 will take up more of my time due to it being an open-ended action RPG.  Gears of War 2 keeps getting me more and more hyped about it every time I see a new gameplay clip or trailer.

I'm just glad that I have the only system that both of these amazing games are on.

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