Rocco Baldelli‘s name has been connected to the Yankees quite a bit this offseason. As a right handed hitting outfielder he would be a good compliment to Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner, a pair of lefties currently in the Yankees stable of outfielders.
Even after they’ve closed the door on Johnny Damon, they’re still interested in bringing Baldelli on board. The only catch for any outfielder they’d be willing to add now, they’d rather bring them in on a non-guaranteed contract. That might take the Yankees out of the running for Baldelli.
Baldelli spoke with Joe McDonald from his hometown Providence Journal and said that there are about three or four teams interested in signing him. There may be options beyond that, but nothing would be of the non-guaranteed spring training invite variety, like the Yankees would prefer to offer him, but that he doesn’t want to go that route.
“I have to look at whatever opportunities present themselves by the middle of February,” he said. “Every player would like to be signed and ready to go at Christmas. If everyone had their choice, that’s what would happen. But this is the reality and I’ll deal with it. I’ll look at my opportunities and I’ll take the best one.”
Unfortunately ol’ McDonald’s article didn’t say much beyond the fact that he’s looking for a non-guaranteed offer. If he insists on that it’s unlikely the Yankees would sign him, a thought that I’ve speculated on before. But this article moves that idea past pure speculation.
Who knows, maybe some of the other teams interested in him, the Mariners and the Rangers are two rumored teams, won’t be willing to offer him guaranteed money either. If that’s the case, the Yankees might have a decent shot at him.