The Yankees want to complete a deal for a left handed hitting DH, but insist that they only have up to $2 million to spend and that prices are still too high, according to Joel Sherman of the NY Post.
Sherman reports that the Yankees signing of Hiroki Kuroda has already put them over budget so they have just $2 million left to sign a DH and listed Raul Ibanez, Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, and Eric Chavez as possibilities. Ibanez has already negotiated with the Yankees once already, but did not strike a deal although it seems that one may be coming.
By the Yankees leading to Sherman what they are willing to spend on a DH, in a way they are sending a message to the four candidates signalling what they are willing to pay. Now they just have to wait to see which ones are willing to play for such little money and sign the best one.
Aside from Damon, who is rumored to be seeking $5 million, the demands of the other candidates are not known. Whoever does sign, it will probably be a deal that has between $1 and $2 million in guaranteed money plus incentives based on plate appearances.
From what it sounds like Ibanez is the favorite because he has been talked about the most, but it seems like Chavez could have the inside track as he plays third base and could also backup Alex Rodriguez. Damon might have a slight edge over Matsui just because Damon can also play in the outfield while Matsui has been a full-time DH for a while now.