According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, the Yankees are interested in signing free agent outfielder Rocco Baldelli, but are only willing to offer the 28 year-old a minor league deal.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Yankees won’t sign Baldelli, but it probably does mean that Baldelli will shop himself around first looking for a guaranteed offer before settling with the Yankees.
As far as the Yankees interest goes, Johnny Damon on a reasonable contract is probably their first choice and I’d have to imagine that outfielder Reed Johnson would be their second choice at this point. Baldelli is probably a close third and then who knows, but there are a couple of options still left on the market like Fernando Tatis and Jonny Gomes.
Standing firm on a minor league deal for Baldelli is probably a smart choice. I doubt the Red Sox got exactly what they expected out of him last season as there was never any interest in their part to bring him back. Plus, like I said, there are other options still left out there. If he becomes the only name on the board they can always upgrade their offer.
In 62 games with the Red Sox last season Baldelli had a 89 OPS+ with a poor OBP of .311. He also dealt with consistent injuries, landing on the 15-day DL twice and even sat out a few times with minor issues.