Hal Steinbrenner spoke at the press conference the Yankees held yesterday to formally announce the trade for Curtis Granderson and he let it be known that while they are extremely happy getting Granderson, they weren’t done. Then they immediately went out and got Nick Johnson.
This morning Buster Olney reminded us that even with Johnson the Yankees are still not done. Let’s take a look at some of the remaining free agents the Yankees could possibly sign:
- Ben Sheets – The Yankees feel comfortable with their top three starters, they did just win them a World Series after all, but they don’t want a repeat of 2008 by keeping two young starters, Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, in the rotation. Not to mention that their bullpen would be better off with one of them apart of it. Sheets is probably the best starter remaining on the free agent market and seems willing to sign a one year deal. The Yankees will go hard after him.
- Erik Bedard - Sheets is expecting a $12 million deal even though he hasn’t pitched in quite some time and has a long past of injuries. If the Yankees feel he isn’t worth the risk they could opt to go with Bedard as he is also likely to sign a one-year deal. The reason these type of contracts are important is because next year there are three ace quality starters available next offseason, Josh Beckett, Cliff Lee, and Brandon Webb, and the Yankees want options a year from now.
- Aroldis Chapman – This could be a move that is either because they don’t get one of Bedard or Sheets, but it may end up being a move they make regardless of whom else they sign. Chapman is a 21-year-old fireballer, currently the Yankees are trying to get him to throw another tryout. If they like what they see, Chapman may be signed as a long-term investment type. Although don’t expect too much out of him in 2010.
- Chien-Ming Wang – This seems like a long shot at this point as he has already rejected a split minor/major league contract and the Yankees non-tendered him. This means to me that the Yankees clearly think his shoulder is a risk and Wang and his agent think he’s deserves a guaranteed deal. They may find a middle ground, but it could take some time.
- Matt Holliday – In a world where the Yankees have more payroll flexibility this would make perfect sense. Or in a world where Scott Boras wasn’t such a shrewd agent. Either way, it doesn’t appear that the Yankees are willing to make the commitment to him. That doesn’t mean they can’t change their minds as Steinbrenner said the payroll isn’t set in stone, but Cashman seems to want to save his big chips for next winter.
- Jason Bay – See Matt Holliday and also consider that he’s not as good offensively and even worse defensively. The Yankees would also have to surrender a draft pick to the Red Sox.
- Johnny Damon – Yes, it could technically still happen. The door is closed, but there is light coming through the cracks. Damon and Boras would have to significantly lower their demands or the Yankees would have to move a decent amount of salary. The Yankees would probably have to deal either Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner as well.
- Mark DeRosa – His asking price has already dropped 3-years and $27 million to 3-years and $18 million. That’s a start, but it’s probably going to have to come down a bit further for the Yankees to become real players. The Yankees would probably have to trade Melky or Gardner too.
- Matt Capps – Cashman has said he would like to add a reliever. He might not have to if the Yankees add another starter, but if they go with Joba and Hughes in the rotation then Capps would certainly help in the 8th inning. He has closer material though so the chances of him taking the Yankees setup roll are small.
- Eric Hinske – Hinske was a good piece for the Yankees off the bench in 2009 and he could fill the same roll in 2010. He has played in the past three World Series as well, no he’s not the main reason, but having a strong bat off the bench helps.
I’m sure there are others I’ve left out. These are just the 10 I figured the Yankees would have the most interest in. You can discuss any other candidates in the comments section.