New York Yankees Winter Meeting Notes
The Yankees are in the market for a starting pitcher but may not get it. The general manager Brian Cashman acknowledged on Wednesday afternoon that the trade market or the free agent market is not really encouraging right now. The Yankees preference is adding a high-end starter such as Tanaka from Japan. The Yankees may have to take what they can get though, if they have to sign a back of the rotation innings eater like Bronson Arroyo they will.
The Tanaka situation is clearly affecting the pitching market. We still don’t know when and if Tanaka will be posted. Teams want to go after him especially the Yankees, Dodgers and apparently the Diamondbacks. I personally don’t think the Yankees pitching are as bad as people say it is. I expect CC Sabathia to bounce back and Michael Pineda to be a good pitcher for the Yankees. I think Ivan Nova has taken a step forward and Hiroki Kuroda is a solid pitcher. The Yankees have several options like David Phelps, Vidal Nuno, Adam Warren for the fifth spot and none of them are that bad.
Brian Cashman hinted at trying to get some good value out of non-roster invitees. He said he could add a couple of bullpen pieces and then get a lesser starter. The Yankees clearly are all about Tanaka and then after that they will go to plan B. Dellin Betances has a fourth year option now and can be sent down to AAA. Eduardo Nunez also has an option left. Brendan Ryan and Kelly Johnson are on the team so he may end up back in AAA. I personally would start him at third and play Kelly Johnson at second. If they do sign someone like Omar Infante then that changes that thought process. The Yankees have spoken to Johan Santana agent but not really about him. It doesn’t sound like the Yankees are too interested but they may take a flier on a guy like that.
Matt Krause is the new strength coach and has met with Derek Jeter and CC Sabathia already. Cashman said he wasn’t sure of the exact details but there has been nothing negative in Jeter’s rehab. The Yankees 40 man roster is full so they won’t claim anyone in the Rule V Draft. They could lose a couple of guys though.
Cashman said he thinks it will be easier to get a second baseman then a third baseman. He said second base is deeper in terms of options they have. Cashman said that in any of his talks with relievers no one has stated they want to be a closer and that has to be guaranteed in a contract. The Yankees did a lot of their heavy lifting before the Winter Meetings. They still have some work to do and I am sure Cashman is working the phones like crazy.