Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has been busy this week as he has reached out to Roy Oswalt, C.J. Wilson, Edwin Jackson and now he has reached out to free agent starter Mark Buehrle too, according to Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News.
Cashman has not extended any offers to any of these pitchers, he has merely let their agents know that he is interested in discussing a deal further. In doing this he is able to get a feel for what these pitchers are looking for and gain a better understanding of the market.
Like many have said, this is Cashman doing his due diligence. It sets the Yankees up so they won’t be forced to overpay for a free agent. It also keeps other teams from getting a deal that the Yankees themselves would find favorable.
It’s hard to say right now which of these pitchers the Yankees will make their top target. Cashman has said that he thinks Wilson is the best pitcher on the market, but that is based on talent alone and does not factor in the size of the contract that they are looking for, which could be prohibitive in some cases.
The Yankees will probably reach out to more free agent pitchers in the coming days and hopefully we will get an idea of whom they will target soon. It may take up to a month for the market to really materialize as the Yankees may want to wait until the Winter Meetings before they make a move on anybody.
For what it’s worth, Buster Olney of ESPN said that it is highly unlikely that the Yankees will make a serious run at Buehrle, but it seems to be too early to tell that. He very well may have heard that from a Yankee official, but until teams start making offers to pitchers anything can happen and things could change.