A lot of Yankees fans were upset this past July when they watched their team stand pat at the trade deadline. They better get ready to see more of the same this winter as Joel Sherman of the NY Post writes that after speaking with club officials he has come away with the feeling that there are no big plans to change the team this offseason as well.
Let’s assume they keep Sabathia, because that is the most likely scenario. Will they look to add another starter, preferably left-handed? Yes. But I did not sense they had any real affinity for C.J. Wilson, even before his postseason record fell to 1-4 with a 5.40 ERA and 10 homers allowed in 40 innings. The valuation the Yankees see is a No. 3-4 starter, not a No. 1-2, and Wilson seems headed toward receiving more than A.J. Burnett’s five-year, $82.5 million contract.
For those on the Matt Cain bandwagon, I heard the Giants have made it so clear they are not trading him that the Yankees have not asked about the righty in “years.” The A’s want a No. 1 starter return for Gio Gonzalez, and the Yankees don’t view him as an ace. John Danks took a step back this past year. Many key Yankee voices like Yu Darvish, but the internal sense is Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman are not going to authorize a big outlay after the Kei Igawa disaster and Daisuke Matsuzaka’s plummet for Boston.
The only free agent that Sherman realistically thinks the Yankees could persue is Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda. The team seems to like it’s offense and are prepared to handle the 2012 pitching staff the same way they handled the 2011 staff, take what they have, hope some of the kids can come up and help, and in the meantime try to find some risk/reward type guys like Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon.
This doesn’t mean that the 2012 Yankees will look exactly the same as the 2011 Yankees, but it does mean that the free agent market is going to be the way to change. Instead if the Yankees do make some moves this offseason it will likely be through trades.
Sherman identifies the Marlins’ Anibal Sanchez and the Cubs’ Matt Garza as two potential trade targets if they become available. James Shields of the Rays and Josh Johnson of the Marlins could also be possibilities although the former probably wouldn’t be traded in division and the latter is coming off a shoulder problem so both of those are unlikely. It’s always possible that somebody unforeseen hits the market and if they do expect the Yankees to jump at any opportunity.
They like their lineup and the bullpen is mostly set as Rafael Soriano is unlikely to opt-out of his deal and Joba Chamberlain will be back early next season. The bench will really be the only place the Yankees go shopping for. Even there though it might not be for much as they will probably want Andruw Jones back and Brandon Laird could replace Eric Chavez.
A lot of trade rumors will pop up around the winter meetings in December, otherwise it may be a long cold winter in the Bronx this year.