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December 18, 2006

NY Times: Yanks May Deal Cabrera; Igawa Contract Is Close
by SG

The Yankees are in discussions with the Atlanta Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates about a three-way deal that would send outfielder Melky Cabrera to the Braves from the Yankees, reliever Mike Gonzalez to the Yankees from the Pirates, and first baseman Adam LaRoche to the Pirates from the Braves, according to a baseball official.

The official, who was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss trade possibilities publicly, also said that the Yankees were close to completing a five-year, $20 million deal with the Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa. The deal is likely to be completed tomorrow and is pending a physical

A possible Cabrera/Laroche/Gonzalez trade was a hot topic over the weekend, but seems to have cooled down quite a bit. While I'd hate to see Melky go, Gonzalez is a potentially great setup man, especially if he can recover his control to go with his mid 90s fastball.

If the Igawa deal is correct, the Yankees will have paid $46 million for 5 years. I guess he can't be worse than Carl Pavano, right?

Update: Regarding Melky and what his potential is, I noticed that his Baseball Reference Page did not have his list of similar players. However, I used their methodology to figure them out, and here's a list.

Gregg Jefferies 1989 (868)
Luis Rivas 2001 (861)
Adrian Beltre 2000 (844)
Wil Cordero (829)
Alan Trammel 1979 (823)
Harold Baines 1980 (821)
Mike Caruso 1998 (818)
Gary Sheffield 1990 (818)
Ivan Rodriguez 1993 (811)
Ozzie Guillen 1985 (804)

I guess he could end up being really good, or really bad.

Update 2: Igawa, Yanks reach 5-year deal.

The New York Yankees and Kei Igawa both played second fiddle in the posting sweepstakes. Igawa, though, got a first-rate deal it was learned on Monday, agreeing to a five-year, 20 million dollars contract with the Bronx Bombers.

The Yanks earned the right to negotiate with Igawa in late November and wasted little time getting the southpaw in pinstripes.

The deal for the 27-year-old, who was 14-9 this past season with a 2.97 ERA for the Hanshin Tigers, also includes incentives.

Negotiations were smooth thanks Igawa's agent, Arn Tellem, who has strong ties with the Yankees. Talks opened on Nov. 29 and Tellem made it clear that Igawa wanted a long-term deal.

The Yanks, who earned negotiating rights with a bid of a little more than 26 million dollars, thought highly of the Hanshin ace and both sides were determined to hammer out a deal before the 30-day negotiating deadline.