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Posted by: Patrick
Chad Jennings has the news about today's deadline to offer arbitration. Johnny Damon, Jerry Hairston Jr., Eric Hinske, Hideki Matsui, Jose Molina, Xavier Nady and Andy Pettitte were eligible and the team offered arbitration to no one. As such, the team will receive no compensation if Damon, Pettitte or Nady sign elsewhere.

Posted by: Patrick
ESPN's Buster Olney reports that representatives for Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay have made it clear that, once he reports for spring training, he will not approve a trade from that point forward. So, the Blue Jays have effectively been put on notice: they have 2 and 1/2 months to work out a deal. Plenty of time.

Via Mike Axisa via Tim Dierkes.
Posted by: Patrick
You're Christmas Bonus Arrived, Clark: The Yankees have been awarded their postseason revenue shares, and they've set a new record with each share worth $365,052.73, according to's Alden Gonzalez. The Yankees voted to have 46 full shares distributed, along with 12.25 partial shares and two cash awards. NL champion Philadelphia was given shares of $265,357.50. The Angels voted to give on share worth $138,038.51 to the estate of Nick Adenhart, who passed away earlier this year. Good on them.

Spring Training Schedule Announced: Chad Jennings has the full spring training schedule for the team. Pitchers and catchers report on February 17 and the first workout for all players is set for February 24.

Decision Time for Arbitration: Finally, today is the deadline for the Yankees to decide on their arbitration eligible players, writes Jennings. Johnny Damon, Xavier Nady and Andy Pettitte are eligible. Damon, a Type-A player, would be worth a first round and supplemental pick if the team offers him arbitration, he declines and then goes to another team. Meanwhile, Nady and Pettitte would be worth a supplemental pick each in the same situation. Of course, arbitration means a raise and if the player says yes, then you're stuck.
Posted by: Patrick
On Twitter, Buster Olney posted this:

Heard this: Matsui's attraction as a marketable asset is no factor for the Yankees. It is about getting the right player at the right price.

This seems pretty straightforward. The right player for the right price is always the goal. But, how do you come to the right price? By considering the player's overall value and part of that value is in the money he can make for you. If Matsui is thought to be worth $15 million in additional revenue, then it would make sense for that to factor into the equation. But, if Matsui's not the right player, then no, it doesn't matter.

Via Joseph Pawlikowski.
Posted by: Patrick
Sports Illustrated has named Derek Jeter as their Sportsman of the Year for 2009. It's been a pretty good year for the captain.

Update: The AP has his reaction:

"It's unbelievable. It was completely unexpected. It came out of the blue," Jeter told The Associated Press during a break in the photo shoot. "When I heard it, what can you say? It's one of the greatest honors you can achieve in sports."

He's the first Yankee to pick up the honor.
Posted by: Patrick
Before he was the ESPN personality, Buster Olney was a Yankees beat writer from 1998-2001. In light of Bob Sheppard stepping away from mic, Olney shared an interesting story on his blog about how Sheppard and former team organist Eddie Layton would move toward the back of the press box when a game was nearing it's end. They did this because it put them in prime position to grab the first elevator down to the basement in an effort to beat the crowds leaving the stadium after a game. Olney had a similar routine and would join them.

"When the final out was actually registered, it was like a starting gun went off for the three of us," Olney writes. "We would race toward the elevator, at varying speeds. But Bob was more efficient than Eddie or I, actually; he would make his move at the crack of the bat that lifted a fly to the outfield, for example, assuming that somebody would catch the ball - and if the ball fell, I guess he figured the crowd's reaction would tell him that, and he would just backtrack." His post has more.

Via Zach Links.
Posted by: Patrick
The AP reports on the 2010 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. It consists of 26 candidates and the results will be announced on January 6.

15 of the 26 are new to the ballot, including former Yankees Fred McGriff (never played in the majors in New York), Robin Ventura (230 games) and Todd Zeile (66). Other first timers include Roberto Alomar, Kevin Appier, Ellis Burks, Andres Galarraga, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, Ray Lankford, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Shane Reynolds and David Segui.

They join former Yankees Don Mattingly, Tim Raines and Lee Smith, as well as Harold Baines, Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker and Alan Trammell.

Via Mike Axisa.
Posted by: Patrick
Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun reports that, according to a major league executive, Roy Halladay would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to play for the Yankees, if a trade can be worked out with the Blue Jays. Meanwhile, ESPN's Buster Olney says that the righty's preferred teams would be the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies and Angels.

Via Zach Links.
Posted by: Patrick
Ken Davidoff reports that former Padres general manager Kevin Towers will meet with the Yankees, as well as the Mets, Red Sox and Mariners, during the winter meetings in Indianapolis. A friend of Brian Cashman, Towers is looking to join a club in an advisory role and will make his decision after the meetings.

Via Ben Kabak.
Posted by: Patrick
In April of 2006, Bob Sheppard's streak of 55 consecutive home openers as the Yankees public address announcer came to an end. But, he got back to work and was at his regular post for 2006 and almost all of 2007. An infection led to his missing of the ALDS in 2007, ending a streak of 121 consecutive home postseason games.

He signed a two year extension during the offseason and hoped to return. But, it just never worked out. He hoped for a summer return and to be able to call the All-Star Game during the old Yankee Stadium's final season. Neither happened. He didn't call the final game at the old park, either. But, he still aimed to be back for 2009.

But, then he missed the opening game at the new park. Reports soon broke out that he planned to retire, but the Yankees categorically denied the reports, calling them untrue. And so, the season kicked off and there was still hope of a Sheppard return. The season ended, the postseason ended and we won the World Series. All without an appearance from the longtime PA announcer.

With his two year contract at it's end, Sheppard told's Bryan Hoch that he does not see himself back at the post again.

"I have no plans of coming back," Sheppard said. "Time has passed me by, I think. I had a good run for it. I enjoyed doing what I did. I don't think, at my age, I'm going to suddenly regain the stamina that is really needed if you do the job and do it well."

He also shared his thoughts on his successor Paul Olden and how he feels about Derek Jeter insisting that a recording of Sheppard introduce him for the rest of his career.

Sheppard has earned the rest. He's an unmistakable part of Yankee history (I still remember visiting the old Yankees website and hearing his voice), a legend and he'll be deeply missed as the public address announcer. We wish you nothing but happiness, Mr. Sheppard. Thank you.
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