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 Money not an issue with C.C. Sabathia, length of contract is

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PostSubject: Money not an issue with C.C. Sabathia, length of contract is   Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:01 pm

BASEBALL INSIDER
Money not an issue with Cleveland Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia, length of contract is
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Paul Hoynes
Plain Dealer Reporter

Now that the revised terms of Johan Santana's contract with the New York Mets have come out, the numbers aren't as bad as previously thought in terms of keeping C.C. Sabathia in Cleveland. Still, they represent a challenge for the Indians.

The present-day value of Santana's six-year contract, as first reported by FoxSports.com, is $123.1 million as opposed to $137.5 million. The change is because of deferred money.

In those terms, the average annual value of Santana's deal drops from nearly $23 million to $20.5 million. It reduces the gap between Santana and Sabathia, regarding the five-year offer, including a four-year extension, the Indians made to Sabathia at the end of December.

The four-year extension is believed to be worth $17 million to $18 million a year. The offer includes 2008, the last year of Sabathia's current deal, in which he'll make $11.25 million. When the Indians have extended existing contracts in the past, they've almost always sweetened the final years of the original deal. It's not known what kind of raise the Indians offered Sabathia for 2008, but the Mets bumped Santana's 2008 salary - the last year of his deal with the Twins - to $19 million from $13.25 million.

"It's important that we have a better understanding of the actual contract," said Chris Antonetti, Indians assistant general manager, "but as far as how it influences our negotiations with C.C., that's a better question for C.C. or Scott Parker."

Parker and Legacy Sports represent Sabathia.

Length of contract, more than money, could be the deciding factor. The Mets gave Santana a sixth year, along with a club option for a seventh.

"There's no question C.C. wants to stay here and there's no question we want to keep him here," said Indians General Manager Mark Shapiro. "The only question is can we find a business deal that is deemed to be equitable and fair by both parties? Any deal we could reach will cause both parties to reach and stretch past their point of comfort. The question is can we arrive at a point we both feel good about?"

Young talent:

The Indians are still negotiating with agent Scott Boras for 16-year-old Dominican Republic shortstop Edward Salcedo. The Tribe's main competition is the New York Yankees.

"We've talked to Scott a couple of times," Antonetti said.

The Indians have a good relationship with the 6-2, 197-pound Salcedo. He's trained in their academy in the Dominican and he's from the same hometown as Junior Betances, one of the Tribe's staff members.

A rumor recently had the Indians signing Salcedo to a $4 million to $5 million contract. The Indians denied it, but they are trying to find a creative way to get the deal done.

Salcedo has been described as a potential five-tool player. Speed reportedly could be his one shortcoming.

Relatively speaking:

Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore finished second in the American League with 155 strikeouts last season. It's not a good stat for a leadoff hitter, but the Indians look at it differently.

Because Sizemore led the league with 748 plate appearances, they feel it softens the impact of the strikeouts because he's getting so many opportunities to reach base. Sizemore's ratio between plate appearances and strikeouts was 7.41 last season, 23rd in the big leagues and well behind MLB leader Jack Cust of Oakland with a 4.83 ratio.

Sizemore's 748 plate appearances consisted of 628 at-bats, 101 walks, two sacrifice flies and 17 hit by pitches. Sacrifice bunts and defensive interference also count as plate appearances.

Just wondering:

Five questions I'd like answered: No. 1. What else must Brian McNamee have in his junk drawer besides blood-stained gauze and syringes reportedly linking Roger Clemens to steroid use? No. 2. Wouldn't new team President Nolan Ryan help Texas more if he could still pitch? No. 3. How long will it take the Twins to recover from losing Torii Hunter and Santana in the same off-season? No. 4. With Erik Bedard finally traded to Seattle, does that make Jeremy Guthrie Baltimore's Opening Day starter? No. 5. Who's going to play third base for the Dodgers, Nomar Garciaparra or Adam LaRoche?

Backup plans:

The recent signings of veteran relievers Jorge Julio and Brendan Donnelly give the Tribe's bullpen depth.

"It's always good to have options," Antonetti said.

Donnelly, recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, won't be ready until after the All-Star break. He'll make $750,000 this year. The deal includes an interesting incentive package that could pay him $325,000 if he's on the active 25-man roster for 90 days. . . . Right-hander J.D. Martin, headed to Winter Haven, Fla., Wednesday, will make $75,000 in the minors or $390,000 in the big leagues this year.

Department of former Indians:

Left-hander Brian Anderson, trying a comeback after two ligament transplant operations on his left elbow, will get $72,000 for going to camp with Tampa Bay. He'll make $475,000 if he makes the team. . . . Texas is willing to pay fragile outfielder Milton Bradley big incentives if he can stay healthy. Bradley will make $325,000 for 400 plate appearances, $450,000 for 450 plate appearances, $525,000 for 500 plate appearances, $700,000 for 550 plate appearances and $750,000 for 600 plate appearances. His base pay is $5.25 million.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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