Here's the latest on two fronts: There is no decision expected on Andy Pettitte until at least Monday, according to a club source. He's still taking the weekend to mull over the Yankees $10 million offer (there may be an additional $500,000 incentive as well). If he rejects it, the Dodgers, Rangers and retirement would seem to be in play, but we'll guess he takes the Yankee offer in the end.
There's a deal in place to swap Melky Cabrera for Mike Cameron, if the Yankees want it. Apparently, it's been signed off by Milwaukee -- and now awaits the Yankees OK. So, GM Brian Cashman is must now decide whether to pull the trigger.
If so, here's your potential Yankee lineup for 2009
1. Johnny Damon, LF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
4. Hideki Matsui, DH
5. Xavier Nady, RF
6. Jorge Posada, C
7. Robinson Cano, 2B
8. Nick Swisher, 1B
9. Mike Cameron, CF
That lineup seems devoid of a true fearsome cleanup hitter if A-Rod bats third. Bobby Abreu's absence changes that dynamic. Plus, Cano and Swisher back to back are a dangerous combination, given their high strikeout totals. They might have to be separated by Cano. Even so, that's a lot of strikeouts for the bottom half of the order. Like we said before, we'd explore other options before taking on Cameron.
The starting rotation could be dynamic, however:
1. LHP CC Sabathia
2. RHP A.J. Burnett
3. RHP Chien-Ming Wang
4. RHP Joba Chamberlain
5. LHP Andy Pettitte
The No. 5 starter could be Ben Sheets if Pettitte isn't on board. But if so, Burnett and Sheets give you some pause because of past injury histories, and Chamberlain still hasn't experienced a full big-league season as a starter.
But in two bold pitching moves, the Yanks have dramatically upgraded their club. Are they better than the Rays and Red Sox? They can obviously compete for an AL East crown as is, but I don't think they're done yet tinkering with the lineup. In the coming days, we'll do more to examine the Rays-Yanks-Sox match-ups.