The Half-Billion Dollar Investment
So, the Yankees went out and signed a trio of players that equalled contracts out to nearly a half billion dollars. Will it prove to be worth the investment?
So far, we have seen them in pinstripes for just a week into the regular season. How have they been doing?
C.C. Sabathia, who signed a seven-year, $161 million deal, saw two starts in his first week, with his first coming on opening day against the Orioles and one to forget.
The near 300-pound southpaw tossed 4.1 innings, but gave up six earned runs on eight hits, and received the loss. Sabathia redeemed himself Saturday night when he took a shutout into the eighth inning and struck out six.
A.J. Burnett put his ink on a five-year, $82.5 million deal this offseason. He got the start against Baltimore on Thursday and did a fine job, going 5.1 innings, allowing just two earned runs while striking out six in the Yankees 11-2 win over the Orioles.
Mark Teixeira signed an eight-year, $180 million deal to become the Yankees starting first baseman for nearly the next decade. Over his first week in a Yankees uniform, he went 4-for-16 with one round-tripper and two RBIs.
Teixeira sat out Saturday's game against the Royals due to a sore wrist, but is expected to be in the lineup Sunday.
It has been an interesting first week for this wealthy trio.
New York Jets looking at Miles Austin?
An interesting name popped up this week on the Jets radar. Head coach Rex Ryan has decided to bring Dallas Cowboys restricted free agent wide receiver Miles Austin in for a visit.
The Cowboys tendered Austin at the third level, making the compensation for signing him a second-round draft choice.
As it stands, the latest report says that the Jets are preparing an offer sheet for Austin to sign, which would then be sent to the Cowboys to either match it or let him sign with the Jets.
The Cowboys, who are already short-handed at receiver, believe Austin has big game ability and could be a rising star. Last season, Austin recorded 13 catches for 278 yards and took three into the endzone.
The Jets must really see some potential in him if they are willing to give up a second round pick.
Perhaps the Jets are targeting a different position in the first round of the draft and were planning on grabbing the best wideout with their second round pick, but don't see anything that excites them as much as Austin could bring to the table.
New York Giants targeting a red bird?
It appears that despite a report out of a Philadelphia radio station, the Giants are not targeting Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards.
Matt Mosley of ESPN noted that Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin is still the leading candidate to join the G-Men before the 2009 season commences.
What exactly would it take to get Boldin remains a mystery. It would surely take a couple of high draft picks in this year's draft. The Giants have the 29th, 45th, 60th, 91st, and 100th in the first three rounds of this year's draft.
The rival Eagles, who are also in the market for a wide receiver, have the 21st, 53rd, and 85th picks in the first three rounds. I could definitely see these two teams battling it out for a top name wide receiver a week or so before draft day.
Rangers slide in through the back door
The Rangers won their last two games and now have one more to go against Philadelphia. However, with the win over Philadelphia, the Rangers were guaranteed a playoff spot, but it has not yet been determined if it will be the seventh or eighth seed just yet.
Henrik Lundqvist's solid play against the Canadiens and Flyers this week proved that he is one of the best in the league. Captain Chris Drury had an outstanding week, recording two goals against Montreal and two assists against Philadelphia.
Rangers fans should be happy that they are in. Just how far will they go remains a mystery.
Devils clinch the Atlantic and No. 3 seed
After the Devils left Ottawa on Thursday night, they left knowing that they have clinched yet another division title and secured their spot in the playoffs as the No. 3 seed.
The Penguins beat the Canadiens on Saturday, which guarantees that the Devils will face the sixth-place Hurricanes in the first-round of the Eastern Conference side of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Martin Brodeur got the start tonight in the final game of the regular season, oddly enough against their first-round opponent, the Hurricanes.
"I feel good," Brodeur said. "I'm happy that I got some wins, some tough wins. We won in Buffalo and it was a tight game and tonight and in Ottawa also.
"I think these are good wins for me. I haven't played these type of games in a while. When I came back, I didn't have. I had a couple of them, but not many."
Knicks offseason will be an interesting one
The Knicks are heading into the final offseason before they go after one of the marquee names of the 2010 free agent class. What is going to be the offseason philosophy for Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni?
The Knicks have two significant players heading to free agency, when Nate Robinson and David Lee both become restricted free agents.
It begs the question as to whether or not the Knicks will attempt to bring back one of them or let them both go.
If they choose to bring back one, who do you bring back? Lee gives you a guaranteed double-double every night, but then you have Robinson who is a two guard, who plays no defense, but is arguably a contender for the NBA's Sixth Man award.
Who would you rather see back with the Knicks in the long term?
Is Vinsanity's time up in New Jersey?
Could this be the end of Nets forward Vince Carter's tenure as a member of New Jersey? For the past two years we have heard all of the rumors about the Nets wanting to deal Vince Carter, but they chose to deal the other two players of the once Big Three, sending Jason Kidd to the Mavericks and Richard Jefferson to the Bucks.
Carter would like New Jersey to keep him in the fold for the 2009 season. "Absolutely," Carter said. "Like I said, I'd love to finish what we started. I think we've built some good things together."
Right now, money talks. Carter's salary hits $16.1 million next season and $17.5 million the following year. If the Nets want to make a run at one of the many big-name free agents in 2010, it might be a wise decision to find a taker for Carter.
Should have they signed Lowe?
The Mets had quite the interesting first week this season. They got a solid performance from ace Johan Santana, going 5.2 innings with seven strikeouts and allowing just one run.
However, during game two against the Reds, the Mets sent Mike Pelfrey to the mound, and he let up four runs in the first inning before finally settling down. In the end, he put up the W.
Oliver Perez pitched game three and he was every bit erratic as ever, giving up eight earned runs in just 4.1 innings.
I was against signing Perez all offseason. I absolutely did not want him back for this reason along. Yes, he can be very dominant at times, but when he is off, he is really off.
The Mets had the opportunity to grab Derek Lowe and to fill Perez's hole in the rotation with a top of the line starter, but chose not to and let him walk to the Braves on a four-year, $60 million deal.
Did you see Derek Lowe's first game? He blanked the World Champion Phillies with an eight-inning, two hit shutout. Looks every bit worth the $15 million the Braves are paying him this year.
Islanders worst NHL team, but yet, still winners
As the NHL season comes to a close, the New York Islanders finished the season out as the worst team in the NHL. The Islanders will find out what their future holds when the NHL conducts the draft lottery on Tuesday. They are guaranteed either the first or second spot in the June entry draft.
The Islanders will entertain the idea of likely drafting either forward John Taveras or defenseman Victor Hedman.
They will be looking to restock their farm system in this draft. They currently have 11 picks going into the draft, including two first round selections.
The Skyline is a once or twice weekly sports column written based around the world of New York-area sports.
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