The Dodgers asked the Yankees about the possibility of acquiring first baseman Mark Teixeira, left, and pitcher CC Sabathia. (Anne Ryan, USA TODAY)
(USA TODAY) The Los Angeles Dodgers' free-wheeling spending spree that brought former Boston Red Sox players Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to the team has many in baseball calling them the New York Yankees of the West.
So it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Dodgers, managed by former Yankee Don Mattingly, initially reached out to the New York club in an attempt at scooping some of its talent, according to the New York Post.
The new ownership group in Chavez Ravine, led by Mark Walter, inquired about left-hander CC Sabathia and first baseman Mark Teixeira. It appears the Bronx door was shut on that inquiry pretty quickly, which might have led to the phone call to Boston.
But it would have made an interesting deal for a club that absorbed nearly a quarter of a billion dollars of the Red Sox's payroll. And that was after getting Miami Marlins third baseman Hanley Ramirez with a cool $37 million remaining on his deal.
So let's suppose for a moment that the Yankees had played ball, so to speak.
Sabathia is signed through 2017 to a five-year, $122 million deal that pays him $23 million annually through 2015, then $25 million in 2016 with a $25 million vesting option in 2017. Teixeira wouldn't have been cheap, either, pulling in $22.5 million annually through 2016.
Sabathia, who grew up in Vallejo, Calif., and attended Oakland Athletics games growing up, is 13-3 with a 3.44 ERA, a bit better than Beckett, whose Dodgers debut Monday night was lackluster. And Sabathia doesn't carry the baggage of a sometimes emotional guy who didn't exactly bring the team together in Beantown, unless you count chicken and beer picnics in the clubhouse.
Teixeira is hitting .255 with 23 home runs and 81 RBI and has missed time with a nagging cough (yes, really) and now has a left calf strain. Gonzalez, who homered in his first game with L.A., is hitting .298 with 16 homers and 90 RBI. Perhaps a wash there, but Teixeira brings some serious glove love on defense.
While Dodgers faithful surely aren't crying in their beers over the trade that might have been, let's add Cliff Lee to the equation.
L.A. acquired his waiver rights from the Philadelphia Phillies, where Lee, another lefty, is mired in his worst season to date at 3-7. In fact, he won his first game at Citizens Bank Park in nearly a year Sunday.
Had the Dodgers picked off the Yankees' talented duo and signed Lee, Sabathia would have been reunited with his friend and teammate with the Cleveland Indians from 2002 to 2008. They both won Cy Young Awards there. Talk about pitching synergy. Rejoining Sabathia and having the offensive punch the Dodgers lineup provides surely could have helped rejuvenate Lee.
But it was not to be. And now Dodgers fans pin their hopes on their retooled lineup getting them to the playoffs -- no, the World Series, for the first time since they won it all in 1988.
And Yankees fans can snuggle up in October with their familiar faces -- and the hopes of a 28th World Series crown.
Heather Tucker, USA TODAY