You can kiss Jon Lieber good-bye as the Yanks signed former nemesis Jaret Wright to a three-year, $21 million deal. (Lieber is reportedly close to signing a three-year contract with the Phillies.) Wright was an easy guy to dislike when he was with Cleveland but I don't have much of a feeling for him one way or the other anymore. I know that Jay Jaffe was high on the Yankees getting him. The big question is whether Wright can continue his comeback without Leo Mazzone.
Meanwhile, many of the Yankee fans who have been bracing themselves for the Bombers to ink Eric Milton received a surprise body blow last night when the team signed Tony Womack to a two-year contract. Miguel Cairo is five years younger than Womack, but was apparently asking for too much money to return as the staring second base man. The logic behind not bringing Cairo back is not at fault here. In fact, it's promising that the team didn't fall in love with a utility player who simply had a solid season. But the cherce of Womack is uninspiring at best. And this was not a George move either. According to the Post:
The lefty-hitting Womack, who came highly recommended by super scout Gene Michael, can hit leadoff or ninth and provides a base-stealing threat.
What about Cliff Corcoran's man, Placido Planco? Not enough defense? What? And now, who do you suppose will be the utility man? This might be nuts, but what about Robbie Alomar? If he is mentally prepared for it, I think he'd be a good selection. He would be cheap, can still play defense, and can come off the bench and swipe a base if needed. Or will this open the door for Yankee farm hand Robinson Cano?
Oh well. John Olerud was not offered arbitration, but Ruben Sierra was. Man, oh man. Seeing Womack on the back page of the Post this morning was not a terrific way to start the day. Maybe I'm wrong here. I know Larry Mahknen sure ain't happy about it. What do you guys think?