One of the common themes in Yankees rumors this offseason is that they haven’t been willing to offer multi-year deals. They seem willing to for Russell Martin, but he seems like the lone exception as they have completely ruled it out in Nick Swisher‘s case and even lost out on a possible replacement in Torii Hunter because they were unwilling to offer two years.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman explained recently that while they would prefer to avoid multi-year deals, they aren’t dead set against it.
“I’ve never said we wouldn’t do multi-year deals. I never said we can’t,” Cashman told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. “We’re capable of a lot of different things, but we certainly have strong preferences. We will communicate those directly to the agents.”
I wonder if Martin is the only one they are considering. There has been mention that they might be willing to make a two year offer to Rafael Soriano, but talks have been quiet since Randy Levine lashed out against what he perceived to be a request for a four-year, $60 million deal from Soriano’s agent Scott Boras. Other than that though there hasn’t even been a peep about multi-year deals.
The only other even possibility to see them sign a huge contract that we used to see from the Yankees every offseason is if they extend Robinson Cano. The problem there is that Cano feels he already gave the Yankees one hometown discount and will be chasing every last dollar in free agency so it seems he’s destined to hit the market. The Yankees will probably have talks with him, but don’t expect anything to happen unless it happens on their terms. They don’t want to get stuck with another Alex Rodriguez-type contract again.
The reason for all of this, of course, has been the Yankees try to lower payroll below $189 million in time for next season when the new collective bargaining agreement brings harsher penalties for going into luxury tax territory. As it stands right now they only have four players under contract for 2014 which will provide them with a ton of flexibility going into next offseason.
Having said all of that, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees signed a low cost reliever to a multi-year deal. It also seems possible that they could go after Cody Ross and offer him a multi-year deal if they get it on very friendly terms. Basically if something actually helps them stay under the $189 million threshold, which apparently they didn’t think the 37-year-old Hunter did, then they could make a move.