December 2, 2008
C.C. Sabathia (Brewers), Mark Teixeira (Angels), and Manny Ramirez (Dodgers) were among the top free agents whose teams are willing to pay more to have them stay around. Altogether, 24 players in that category were given contract offers, subject to arbitration. Those players have until December 7 (Sunday) to decide. Teams that extended such offers will get compensatory draft picks if one of their free agents signs elsewhere. Many Major League teams, however, decided not to offer new contracts to their arbitration-eligible players: The Cubs have given Kerry Wood a free pass to negotiate with other teams, the Yankees did likewise for Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi, and Bobby Abreu, as have the Padres for Trevor Hoffman, etc., etc. See MLB.com. This situation may be a side-effect of the economic recession, as teams cut costs in anticipation of declining ticket sales and TV revenue.
In Washington, the Nationals front office declined to make an offer to outfielder Austin Kearns or pitcher Odalis Perez, but say they would like them to stay with the team. Neither of them played particularly well this year, but there is always room for improvement. Kearns recently said he would like to stay with the Nationals. See MLB.com.
I made a minor revision to the Citi Field diagram: the grandstand between the dugouts does not consist of a small number of long line segments similar to Fenway Park, as I had previously inferred, but is an approximate curve, with many short line segments that connect the structural beams. Thanks to John Crozier for that tip. Also, Brian Hughes informed me that the distance marker in right center will be closer to center field than was originally planned, at 391 feet, but this may be subject to last-minute change.