The Yankees had to wait until yesterday to find out that Nick Swisher, Hiroki Kuroda, and Rafael Soriano turned down their qualifying offers and they will now begin to negotiate with free agents with a better idea of how much financial flexibility they will have.
They are expected to continue to negotiate with Kuroda and Soriano, but they aren’t likely to re-sign Soriano and it could be harder than expected to re-sign Kuroda. It could end up costing them quite a bit of money to sign Kuroda too if they insist on a one-year deal.
As far as how soon they might re-sign Kuroda, or any of the free agents they’d like to have back, it doesn’t look like it’s happening soon.
“We’re not on the verge of signing anyone,” Cashman told Chad Jennings of the Journal News. “At least, I don’t get the feeling from my conversations that anybody on the other side of the fence is ready to jump in on whatever I’ve discussed yet. It’s just early in the process. And I certainly hope no one is going to steal whatever I want.”
Aside from Kuroda, they also have to discuss a deal for Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte. They are expected to offer Mo a pay cut from the $15 million he was paid last year and are still waiting to hear from Pettitte about possible retirement.
Re-signing Russell Martin will be a bit trickier. They tried to discuss an extension with him last year and the Yankees didn’t offer him a big enough contract to entice him. This time around he’s going to have other suitors possibly including the Red Sox. If they don’t work out a deal with Martin they may have to turn their attention to former Braves backup David Ross.
There is of course Swisher to replace. The Yankees are interested in Torii Hunter, but a multi-year offer might be too rich for them. It’s also a no on Justin Upton for now. So there is Ichiro Suzuki to fall back on or maybe Cody Ross, but we haven’t heard any rumors about him since the summer.
After all of that the Yankees can turn their attention to potentially extending Robinson Cano‘s contract or maybe trading Alex Rodriguez. The Latter is extremely unlikely though, but it’s not like an extension for Cano is a slam dunk. Rumor is, he wants a 10-year deal and if that’s the case then there is no way a deal is happening now.
Nothing is going on now. I expect that it could be slow with the Yankees only signing for depth at first until we get close to the Winter Meetings in December. Hopefully they can at least take care of Pettitte and Rivera by then, but even that isn’t likely.