This week was the Winter Meetings and while the Yankees didn’t make much noise, the American League East got tougher with the multiple moves the Red Sox made in trading for Rick Porcello and Wade Miley.
In related Yankees moves, two of their former players signed to different ball clubs, there’s a rumor their third basemen last season has interest in returning, their former outfielder isn’t getting much attention from the free agent market and we got to know a little more about Derek Jeter‘s successor. With that, I give you a week in review:
— Didi Gregorius formally introduced himself in a conference call with the Yankees, and said he felt he was physically ready for Spring Training. It was also interesting to know the reason Gregorius refers to himself as ‘Sir Didi Gregorius’ on Twitter: He was actually knighted in the Netherlands in 2011. So ‘The Knight’ replaces ‘The Captain’.
— Chase Headley still hasn’t signed with a team, but it was rumored Headley was interested in returning to the Yankees. The Yankees retaining Headley could be viewed as a bright spot or a chance the kids Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela won’t get an opportunity to compete for the second base position.
— Jon Lester finally picked his team, but it wasn’t with the Boston Red Sox. Lester agreed on a six-year deal with the Chicago Cubs, which didn’t surprise anyone; Lester and the Red Sox relationship turned pretty sour in 2014 when they didn’t sign him to a contract extension in Spring Training and then traded him in the middle of the season. While it was a possibility, a reunion with Lester and the Red Sox wasn’t likely.
— Ex-Yankee Brandon McCarthy is taking his talents to California: He signed a four-year, $48 Million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a move that shocked baseball executives given McCarthy’s injury history. McCarthy pitched well for the Yankees, but not well enough for the Yankees to extend him a contract offer.
— The Yankees made one signing during the Winter Meetings, but it was more for minor league depth: they signed infielder Nick Noonan to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training. Noonan has some Major League experience as he played for the San Francisco Giants in 2013. Noonan can play second, third and shortstop.
— Not only did the Yankees lose Brandon McCarthy, they also lost their closer David Robertson to the Chicago White Sox. Following Robertson’s signing, the Yankees revealed they never offered Robertson a contract, which probably meant they didn’t value him as much as the fans did. In a conference call, Robertson said he wasn’t surprised the Yankees didn’t offer him a deal, and knew it was all business.
— With Jon Lester off the board, the Yankees still need rotation help, and it’s worth mentioning Max Scherzer is still available on the free agent market. His price is extremely steep ($200 Million) so I don’t think it’s a deal the Yankees would feel comfortable in doing, but Scherzer’s agent Scott Boras put up a convincing argument on why the Yankees need Scherzer. The Yankees might need him, but do they want him?.
— One of the more forgotten Yankees free agents is Ichiro Suzuki, and his agent admits Ichiro hasn’t been getting a lot of calls about his services. Ichiro may be 40-years-0ld, but he’s incredibly athletic and there should be a team that would eventually want to sign him–just not the Yankees.