I’m sure you know by now that the Yankees didn’t make a transaction during the Winter Meetings, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t productive. Yesterday was the final day of negotiations in Nashville, and although they left with one more need, a vacant third base, it wasn’t necessarily a failure.
- The Braves agreed to a one-year deal with outfielder Reed Johnson.
- Koji Uehara and the Red Sox agreed to a one-year deal worth $4.25 million.
- The Cubs had agreed to re-sign third baseman Ian Stewart to a one-year $2 million contract with incentives. The deal also has some sort of team option that the Cubs can use during the 2013 Spring Training.
- The Twins extended reliever Jared Burton to a two-year $5.5 million deal that includes a $2.6 million team option for 2015.
- It’s not completed yet, but it seems that the Phillies and Rangers have agreed to trade Michael Young, however the infielder has a no-trade clause, and the decision is now in his hands.
- The Phillies acquired outfielder Ben Revere from the Twins for starting pitcher Vance Worley and pitching prospect Trevor May.
Yankees News And Notes
- Scott Boras met with Giants’ personnel sometime during the meetings to discuss one of his closers, that would be Jose Valverde or ex-Yankee Rafael Soriano.
- Don’t get your hopes up about trading for Corey Hart, because the outfielder has a limited no-trade clause and dislikes Spring Training in Florida.
- Though there seemed to be a lot of interest in Nick Swisher on Wednesday, many teams were ruled out on yesterday. The Giants, Orioles, and Red Sox have all fallen out of the race.
- Supposedly, the Yankees offered Kevin Youkilis a one-year $12 million contract. He also has other offers, one of which is from the Indians, where former buddy Terry Francona now manages. Unless he holds a massive vendetta against the Red Sox (which he may) and their fans, I really wouldn’t count on him signing with the Yankees.
- The Mickey Storey era is now over. The right handed reliever was claimed by the Houston Astros, who the Yankees claimed him from originally.
- The Yankees and Mets had talks about R.A. Dickey, but the teams didn’t end up matching up.
- For a third day in a row, the Yankees were said to be listening on Curtis Granderson trades. Yesterday, they added Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova to the trade block, but acknowledged that losing Granderson or Hughes would hurt them in the short term.
- Agents have been discussing the Yankees’ funds, and they’re saying that ownership has taken the money out of Cashman’s hands. Word is that he wasn’t allowed to spend anything without ownership’s approval, which would be a new thing. This might sound like doomsday, but in reality it’s more likely that agents are just trying to fish the Yankees back into the free agent market without angering Cashman.
- Finally, the Rule 5 Draft was held yesterday morning and the Yankees didn’t pick anybody, nor did they lose anybody. The draft was rather limited anyway.
Overall, it was a pretty disappointing Winter Meetings from a fan’s perspective. Not only did the team fail to make a single acquisition, but they announced that they lost Alex Rodriguez for the first few months of the 2013 season. They’ve gone backwards, but at the same time, the team certainly didn’t miss any opportunities on the free agent market. Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Dan Haren, and Angel Pagan were perhaps the biggest signings, and none of them fit very well into the Yankees’ plans.
There are two ways I see the team moving from here. The first is to actually trade Granderson and Hughes for young major league ready prospects. I’m not sure who they could obtain, but it could leave them with a high upside team below this year’s $178 million luxury tax. That would mean they take care of the budget a year early, but at the risk of the 2013 season.
The second direction would be to empty the farm system for the cheaper position players closer to their prime. They’d be going all out in 2013, the swan song year for Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera, but at the cost of the future. It wouldn’t entirely destroy the farm though, since the team projects to have 3 first round picks during the 2013 amateur draft.
What I am certain of, is that the team won’t enter next season with this roster. They haven’t re-signed Hiroki Kuroda, Pettitte, and Rivera just to give up. Something is brewing, and the front office planted plenty of seeds this week. Brian Cashman is no dummy, and after making the Yankees the best team in baseball over the last 15 seasons, we should really trust in him. Sure, he had his Kei Igawas and Carl Pavanos, but he’s also carried the team to 14 playoff appearances, while making the idea of “rebuilding” obsolete. He might be the best GM in the game, but for now…
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