We heard the other day that the Yankees are likely to be quiet when it comes to free agent shopping this offseason, but Joel Sherman of the NY Post is reporting that if the Yankees do make a splash they prefer Japanese starter Yu Darvish over Texas lefty C.J. Wilson.
Even though they favor Darvish, Sherman gets the impression from the Yankees that they won’t be aggressive in bidding on him. Texas, Toronto, and Washington are identified as three teams that could be more seriously interested.
As for Wilson, one Yankees official told Sherman that the Yankees see him as more of a three or four starter on a championship team than a front end guy. Their biggest fear is that he does not command the strike zone well enough and there is also some concern that his time as a reliever was stressful on his arm.
Unlike they did with Kei Igawa, the Yankees have done their homework when it comes to Darvish. They have been scouting him for some time now. Darvish is young, throws hard, and compares favorably to any pitcher who has ever come over from Japan, however the Yankees have been burned badly on their last two international signings when it comes to pitchers (Jose Contreras being the other) and are understandbly shy. It sounds like they will bid conservatively and hope they get lucky.