Tag: New York Yankees

George Steinbrenner’s Daughter Comments on Family’s Ownership of Yankees

Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal, a New York Yankees general partner and the daughter of longtime team owner George Steinbrenner, stated Wednesday the family still has no plans to sell the organization.

Dan Martin of the New York Post passed along comments Swindal made during a team charitable event called “Winter Warm-up” for the elderly. She said the family’s long-term outlook hasn’t changed since her father’s death in 2010.

“We’re all in,” she said. “I hope we own the team for eternity. You never know what life will bring, but we’re in it for the long haul.”

Swindal noted her son, Steve Swindal Jr., has taken on a role in baseball operations to help set the stage for a smooth transition to the next generation. She also praised Hal Steinbrenner, her brother and the team’s principal owner, for his job handling the franchise in recent years.

“Initially, we were trying to figure out how we were all going to handle things and when my father got sick, all four of us [siblings] went to work,” she said. “Hal has been a leader and he’s been great.”

Although questions are raised about a potential sale on seemingly an annual basis, the remarks echo those made by Hal Steinbrenner last spring training. He told Wallace Matthews of ESPN.com his father would be happy with how the family has stuck together to make things work.

“This is a family business and we’re all involved,” Steinbrenner said. “We all love being a part of this. We all know our dad wanted us to be a part of us, and we all know he’s watching down on us and happy that we’re all a part of it. Believe it or not, to us, that’s a big deal. The idea is, let’s keep it going.”

A lot is made about the Yankees’ lack of marquee free-agent signings since the death of George Steinbrenner. The inclusion of a luxury tax paired with having to pay off massive contracts has forced the team to avoid those major offseason splashes for the most part, though.

Furthermore, New York ranks second in payroll average over the past three years, according to the Baseball Cube. The Bronx Bombers still rank first in that category over the past 10 and 15 years.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman expressed optimism the front office would have more flexibility in 2018 as contracts start coming off the books, per Randy Miller of NJ Advance Media:

Well, this is my hope: First and foremost, as you see we’re transitioning from contracts that we vested heavily in and it did pay off for us in ’09 (with a World Series championship). So at the end of the day we are going to be in a position to do a number of things, and maybe we can turn the clock back to be big-game hunters that we have been accustomed to being.

The current generation of Steinbrenners have been hamstrung by the team’s financial situation after working hard to chase down the 2009 title. But the fanbase will want them to become high-end buyers once again next winter with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper among the possible free agents.    


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How Yankees Must Handle Impossible Masahiro Tanaka Decision in 2017

When it comes to opt-out clauses, the New York Yankees tend to opt in.

They aren’t always happy about it. They don’t always do it right away. But when Alex Rodriguez opted out of his deal during the 2007 World Series, the Yankees turned around and gave him a bigger contract they would come to regret.

When CC Sabathia was ready to opt out of his contract four years later, the Yankees added what amounted to two years and $50 million, another deal they wouldn‘t mind having back.

So now we come to Masahiro Tanaka. As every Yankees fan knows, he’s the closest to a sure thing they have in their 2017 rotation. And as every Yankees fan knows by now, he can opt out of his contract when the 2017 season ends.

There’s no way the Yankees can make this work in their favor. If Tanaka has a great year, he obviously opts out of the final three years and $67 million of what was originally a seven-year, $155 million contract. Then the Yankees pay him market value—more than his current $22 million a year, and more years—or someone else does.

If Tanaka has a decent year and stays healthy, he still almost certainly opts out. Or threatens to, with the Yankees extending his contract.

Or maybe Tanaka gets hurt. He made 31 starts in 2016, but he is still pitching with a slight tear in the UCL in his right elbow. It could tear further, requiring Tommy John surgery. He could suffer a different injury. Either way, he sticks with his current contract, and the Yankees are stuck paying him.

The Yankees obviously know all this. They knew it when they agreed to Tanaka‘s original contract. Three years into the deal, they were either going to pay more to keep him or he wasn‘t going to be worth what they were paying him.

There was no way that could work in their favor. But opt-outs are part of getting big contracts done—David Price and Clayton Kershaw have them too—and the only way around them is to offer even more guaranteed money.

The problem for the Yankees is they’re short on dependable starting pitching. They likely need to shop in the starting pitching market next winter even if Tanaka stays.

Behind Tanaka, they have only Sabathia (who’s old) and Michael Pineda (who’s unreliable). Both of their contracts expire after 2017 (which isn‘t necessarily a bad thing).

Behind them, the guy with the most career major league starts on the Yankees roster is Luis Severino with 22. They’re not even sure he should be a starter.

The guy with the next most career starts is Adam Warren with 21. They don’t want him to be a starting pitcher.

You get the picture, and you get why the Yankees would rather not think about Tanaka leaving.

So why not just eliminate the risk and renegotiate his contract now? Why did general manager Brian Cashman tell reporters the Yankees have no plans to do that?

Simple. Even though a new contract eliminates the risk of Tanaka‘s walking away, it adds the risk of getting stuck with an even bigger contract the Yankees don’t want.

Remember the $21 million they’re still paying A-Rod in 2017. Remember the $25 million they have committed to a 36-year-old Sabathia.

When Sabathia was ready to opt out in November 2011, he was 31 years old and had just finished fourth in the American League Cy Young Award vote. The new contract wasn‘t ideal, but Sabathia had averaged 235 innings over his first three seasons as a Yankee. He seemed like a decent risk.

Tanaka will be two years younger when he reaches his opt-out date, but he has yet to finish higher than seventh in Cy Young voting. He has yet to pitch 200 innings in a major league season (he did it in Japan). He has pitched significantly better when he gets an extra day of rest, complicating how the Yankees set up their rotation. And he has that ligament tear.

He’s not an ideal candidate for a long, expensive contract. But maybe he doesn‘t need to be. Rich Hill, who is 36 and was hurt so much that he only made 20 regular-season starts in 2016, got a three-year, $48 million deal from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Starting pitching is expensive, and it’s only getting more expensive. The Yankees know that, and so does Tanaka.

They’ll take their chances and hope he pitches well enough to lift them into contention in the American League East this year. If it costs them more money and a contract they don’t love, so be it.

They have little choice at this point.

That opt-out clause is going to work out well for him, one way or another. It won’t work out as well for the Yankees.

Opt-out clauses rarely do.


Danny Knobler covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report.

Follow Danny on Twitter and talk baseball.

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Alex Rodriguez to Host ‘Back in the Game’ Reality Show

Former MLB star Alex Rodriguez is set to host a CNBC reality show, Back in the Game, according to Alex Weprin of Politico.

On the show—which includes former NFL player Michael Strahan as an executive producer—ex-athletes in dire financial straits will be paired with “money-savvy mentors who can help them get back on their feet.” These advisors may help the athletes launch a second career or pursue a new business opportunity.

Finances likely won’t ever be an issue for Rodriguez, who signed a 10-year, $252 million deal with the Texas Rangers in 2000, though he opted out of that agreement in 2007 to sign a 10-year, $275 million contract with the New York Yankees that year. 

And the money is still coming in from that Rangers deal, per SI.com:

Although the Yankees will not be responsible for his checks after 2017, he will still be getting paid by the Rangers. At the time he was traded, he was to receive $36 million in deferred money from that record deal. That was converted to an assignment bonus, which has racked up two percent in interest every year. He will continue to get paid by the Rangers until June 15, 2025.

The Yankees are also on the hook for the $21 million Rodriguez is owed on the final year of his deal with the team.

Rodriguez, 41, had one of the most polarizing careers in MLB history. He was an electrifying talent and hit 696 career home runs in his career, fourth in MLB history, but he also was suspended for the entirety of the 2014 season after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. He also admitted to using PEDs in 2009.

In his post-baseball career, Rodriguez has shown a natural knack for television and was a big hit on Fox’s postseason coverage. Ben Reiter of SI.com noted: “The hyper-prepared Rodriguez has exhibited his singular baseball mind by providing analysis that is both nuanced and well formulated.”

While Rodriguez won’t be breaking down baseball games for CNBC, it’s become clear he has a future in television.


You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.

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Yankees Spring Training 2017 Preview: Predictions, Players to Watch and More

Pitchers and catchers with a predilection for pre-planning (say that five times fast) have already begun packing their bags for Florida and Arizona. Spring training is almost here, people, and not a moment too soon.

As we prepare for the glory of fresh-cut grass and exhibition baseball, let’s zoom a lens on the New York Yankees.

The Yanks, as you’re no doubt aware, are in the midst of a youth movement and will balance their budding rebuild with an annual mandate to compete. 

New York’s camp will feature a handful of intriguing position battles, a rising star behind the dish looking to avoid a sophomore slump and talented youngsters hoping to break through all over the roster.

Stretch out those hammies, do a little long toss and proceed when ready.

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Predicting New York Yankees Depth Charts a Month Ahead of Spring Training

The New York Yankees remain a team in flux, heading into spring training with a roster that could contend—or fall short of the playoffs for the fourth time in the past five years.

Veterans like Brian McCann (traded) and Mark Teixeira (retired) are gone, replaced by youngsters who are big on upside—but light on experience. That could lead to some growing pains in 2017, but it’s a pain that general manager Brian Cashman believes fans are ready to endure.

“(The fans are) willing to walk through that (the ups and downs) with you as long as they have some legitimate players they can really grow with,” he recently told Mike Mazzeo of the New York Daily News. “We’re really now in a better position to provide a group of talent where hopefully some will really be part of the next championship core.”

Some of those players will be competing for a spot on the 25-man roster this spring. Others still need more minor league seasoning before they can officially join the fray. How will things shake out when it’s said and done?

Let’s take a look.

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Yankees’ Next Big Moves Will Make or Break New Era’s Future

It’s not easy to do what the New York Yankees have done. It’s even tougher to do what they have to do next. 

In this era in which total rebuilds are all the rage and tanking is rewarded, the Yankees rebuilt their farm system without also suffering through a 101-loss season (like the Chicago Cubs) or 324 losses over three campaigns (like the Houston Astros). Three years after MLB.com said they had none of the top 60 prospects in the game, they have five of the top 51.

That doesn’t even include Gary Sanchez, who turned 24 in December but graduated from prospect status when he hit 20 home runs in just 53 contests in 2016.

“The Yankees have the best (and deepest) farm system in the game,” MLB.com’s respected prospect analyst Jim Callis tweeted in December.

Great, so now they’ll start winning, just like the Cubs did?

Not so fast.

“This is still a building year for them,” said a National League scout who follows the Yankees and their farm system closely.

This is a building year, for sure, but it’s also a crucial year. For all the good work general manager Brian Cashman and his staff have done, and for all the patience managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner has shown, they haven’t yet built a team that can win.

You don’t win with a rotation headed by Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia, with nothing but question marks behind them. You don’t win with uncertainty at so many positions in the field.

The Yankees didn’t build to win last year (when they were the only team not to sign a major league free agent), and they haven’t built to win this season (when they spent big on closer Aroldis Chapman and basically swapped Brian McCann for Matt Holliday as their designated hitter).

They’re trying to remain competitive while building for what could be a bright future, and so far, they’ve done a good job with that.

The Yankees haven’t won a postseason game since the 2012 Division SeriesDerek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Raul Ibanez played in that gamebut they also haven’t had a losing season since 1992.

But how do they get from here (impressive rebuild) to there (true championship contender)?

“The biggest issue they have, by far, is starting pitching,” the NL scout said. 

In his view, the Yankees need to find a way to trade for Jose Quintana, who may not be an ace but is a 27-year-old left-hander who is already a solid major league starter. The problem, the scout acknowledged, is that the Chicago White Sox have been looking for prospect-heavy deals like the ones they made for Chris Sale (with the Boston Red Sox) and Adam Eaton (with the Washington Nationals).

“They’re asking for blood and more,” the scout said.

The Yankees weren’t going to gut the farm system they just rebuilt to get Sale, so they certainly won’t do it for Quintana. If they can get him for what they deem a reasonable price, though, a Quintana trade would be a good place to start.

If not, then just wait.

With or without Quintana, the Yankees likely won’t win in 2017. There aren’t other obvious rotation upgrades available right now, but there will be. Unless he signs an extension, Jake Arrieta will be a free agent next winter. The Detroit Tigers would trade Justin Verlander for the right price. Clayton Kershaw can opt out of his contract after 2018. So can David Price.

If they don’t do anything stupid between now and then, the Yankees will be in position to chase whichever ones they want.

Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez are already gone. Sabathia’s contract expires after this season. The Yankees might get under the luxury-tax threshold next winter, and in any case, they have just $74.2 million committed to five players for 2019.

There will always be speculation the Yankees will spend a big chunk of that money to sign Bryce Harper, who can be a free agent after 2018. In December, my friend Ken Davidoff of the New York Post named Harper “most likely to be a Yankee” out of the 2018 class.

I don’t doubt it, but so much depends on what happens between now and then. Can Harper recover from a subpar 2016 season? Will a big-hitting outfielder even be the Yankees’ most pressing need then? Would they be better off signing Manny Machado to play third base? Will they need to spend all their money on pitching?

Things change from year to year, as the Yankees know only too well. Twelve months ago, Luis Severino was one of the stars of the rebuilding process, a front-end starting pitcher ready to blossom. Now, the Yankees aren’t even sure he’s a starting pitcher at all.

They need to find out more this year about Severino and about fellow young starters Luis Cessa, Chad Green and Bryan Mitchell. They need to see if the progress James Kaprielian showed in the Arizona Fall League was real and whether fellow pitching prospects Justus Sheffield and Domingo Acevedo develop as true rotation options.

They need to find out if Greg Bird is the answer at first base and whether Aaron Judge can overcome his swing-and-miss issues to be a dependable power source in right field. They need to watch shortstop Gleyber Torres and outfielder Clint Fraziertheir reward for trading Chapman and Andrew Miller last summer.

“I think Frazier is playing right field for them before the year’s over,” the NL scout said. “And I wouldn’t be surprised if Torres plays second, with [Starlin] Castro moving to third.”

It’s nice for the Yankees and their fans to think about, because it’s fun to imagine talented players developing. But it’s also a challenge, because the next decisions will cost more (in money and/or prospects) and have bigger consequences.

Two decades ago, the Yankees made all the right decisions at a similar point. They kept Jeter and Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera while trading highly rated (but not as good) prospects like Matt Drews and Russ Davis.

They built a team that won year after year. They dream of doing it again.

The decisions they make over the next 24 months could determine whether it happens.


Danny Knobler covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report. 

Follow Danny on Twitter and talk baseball.

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New York Yankees’ Top Free Agent, Trade Targets Post New Year

The calendar may have flipped to 2017, but we’re still a couple of cold months away from baseball. That’s actually good news (hear me out) for many MLB clubs with unfinished items on their to-do lists.

Like, say, the New York Yankees, who have holes to plug in the starting rotation, the bullpen and behind the dish.

Let’s examine a few realistic trade and free-agent targets, with the key word being “realistic.” Not all of these deals will go down, but they’re tied to credible rumorsor at least informed speculationand a sense of the Yankees’ needs and resources.

They could hypothetically use Mark Trumbo’s pop, for example, but he’s not in the budgetary plans. Plus, where would they put him?

We’ll begin with a veteran backup catcher and work our way to a left-handed All-Star. Tap the (frozen) clay off your (proverbial) cleats and dig in when ready.

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Jose Quintana Trade Would Be Right Idea at Wrong Time for Yankees

Nobody can fault the New York Yankees if they’re getting cold feet with their plan to take the long way back to success, but the best advice for them right now is to stay the course.

That would involve not making a trade for Chicago White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana. As Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported Monday, that’s something the Yankees are at least interested in doing:

What we have here is a team with a square hole to fill casting its gaze on a square peg.

The Yankees added a major piece to their bullpen when they brought back Aroldis Chapman on an $86 million contract. However, even he and Dellin Betances can only pick up so much slack for a starting rotation that’s littered with question marks beyond Masahiro Tanaka.

Quintana would be quite the answer to that problem.

Although he’s so far spent his big league career playing Garfunkel to Chris Sale’s Simon, Quintana’s no slouch. He’s posted a 3.35 ERA across 814.2 innings over the last four seasons. He’s actually produced more wins above replacement than Sale, who turned his Sox from White to Red during the winter meetings, since the start of 2015.

As if that alone didn’t give him enough value, Quintana also offers something that makes baseball executives swoon: cheap control. Including options, his contract runs through 2020 for $37.85 million.

For the rebuilding White Sox, Quintana’s oodles of value are worth a big ol’ bucket of prospects in a trade. Morosi’s right about that being another thing that makes him a fit for the Yankees.

They went into 2016 with a decent farm system and came out of it with an elite one. That was thanks to the Yanks accepting their grim reality and aiming for a bright future by trading Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran. When Jim Callis of MLB.com sized up the league’s farm systems in August, he ranked the Yankees’ system at No. 2.

However, there is a difference between a trade that can be made and a trade that should be made. Quintana to the Yankees is certainly the former, but it falls short of the latter.

If anyone were to drop in on Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and tell him as much, he might say they’re preaching to the choir. This was ESPN.com’s Andrew Marchand’s response to the Quintana report:

Cashman touches base for nearly every available player; especially when it is need based. However, the White Sox want a boatload of prospects. The Yankees have been disinclined to trade any of them so, unless that changes, it seems unlikely Quintana will end up in the Bronx.

If so, Cashman would be sticking to what he said in early October about not wanting to take a newly minted elite farm system and immediately empty it again.

“You’d have to be one piece away, and I would not recommend that type of decision-making as we approach the 2017 season,” he said of the possibility of making any big trades, per the Associated Press via ESPN.com. “I think that would be a dangerous approach.”

Still, it’s possible Cashman’s trade finger is itchier now than it was before.

The Yankees did end 2016 on a positive note, riding a boost from Gary Sanchez and other youngsters to a 40-34 record in the second half. And while he’ll be sticking around through at least 2019 and possibly through 2021, signing Chapman was more of a win-now move than a win-later move.

Right now, the Yankees are on the Kansas City Royals/Chicago Cubs path to success. But from the above seeds could grow a desire to shorten the road to contention.

FanGraphs’ projections for 2017 now have the Yankees in the “not quite in it, not quite out of it” range with an 83-79 record. Adding Quintana would put them closer to the Red Sox in the AL East power structure and perhaps elevate them above all other American League wild-card contenders.

But at what cost? Glad you asked, Anonymous Internet Person.

Craig Edwards of FanGraphs put the rough estimate for Quintana’s surplus value on top of his contract at $80 to $90 million. That’s not far off what the White Sox received in the Sale trade, which netted them No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada and more, and it makes it possible to guess at what the Yankees would have to give up to get Quintana.

Going off the prospect values offered by Kevin Creagh and Steve DiMiceli at The Point of Pittsburgh, the Yankees would likely have to base an offer around a hitter ranked in the 11-25 range of Baseball America‘s top 100. Such players carry $62 million in surplus value.

Per Baseball America‘s most recent top 100, that would mean a trade based around shortstop Jorge Mateo (No. 19) or outfielder Clint Frazier (No. 21), with shortstop Gleyber Torres (No. 27) possibly being close enough to make the grade.

And that’s just to start.

The Yankees might have to add outfielder Aaron Judge (No. 42) or outfielder Blake Rutherford, a 2016 first-round pick who checks in at No. 51 for MLB.com. If not, surely the worst secondary piece the White Sox would settle for is left-hander Justus Sheffield, who’s No. 69 for Baseball America.

The upside of sacrificing this much prospect depth would be a couple extra wins on the Yankees’ 2017 projection. But not even a trade for Clayton Kershaw would be enough to make up the gap between them and the Red Sox, which currently stands at 10 games. To be safe, the Yankees would need more.

To be sure, they could indeed add more. They would still have pieces to trade for another starter. They could also sign one of the market’s remaining sluggers (Edwin Encarnacion, Mark Trumbo, et al) to lengthen out their lineup.

But if the Yankees were to go that route, they’ll have fallen right back in the same trap that necessitated them finally stockpiling prospects in the first place. They would have a team that would be good without being heavy favorites now, and which would have little young talent or payroll space with which to fix problems in the future.

The alternative is remaining patient and building something much stronger from the ground up.

The Yankees have already started doing this with Sanchez, Judge and Greg Bird lined up for regular roles in 2017. When their other young talents arrive, they’ll be sitting on a young core the likes of which the franchise hasn’t seen since the Core Four materialized two decades ago—yes, it has been that long.

It worked for the Royals. It worked for the Cubs. If they let it, it can work for the Yankees too.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted/linked.

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How Yankees Can Still Make Impact Upgrade to Questionable Rotation

The New York Yankees are rebuilding. They’re also trying to win. That’s how it works in the Bronx.

Those aren’t mutually exclusive goals. Last season, the Yankees sold at the trade deadline and restocked a farm system that Bleacher Report’s Joel Reuter subsequently ranked No. 1 in the game. They also stayed in the playoff picture until late September thanks to contributions from youngsters such as catcher and American League Rookie of the Year runner-up Gary Sanchez.

It’s possible to shed costly pieces and compete at the same time.

This winter, the Yanks traded veteran backstop Brian McCann to the Houston Astros for prospects. They also handed one year and $13 million to aging slugger Matt Holliday and a whopping five years and $86 million to closer Aroldis Chapman.

Clearly, general manager Brian Cashman is treading the line between a full-blown fire sale and keeping his team competitive. Hardcore fans are surely rejoicing the burgeoning youth movement, but the casual observers who put butts in seats at Yankee Stadium want to watch a winner.

To that end, Cashman has work left to do. Specifically, he has to improve a starting rotation that’s littered with question marks and could be the club’s undoing.

We’ll explore how he can accomplish that in a moment. First, let’s drill a little deeper on where the Yankees stand.

New York is in decent shape on offense, with seasoned bats such as Jacoby Ellsbury, Chase Headley and Brett Gardner joining the nascent brigade led by Sanchez, masher Aaron Judge and top-rated outfield prospect Clint Frazier.

The bullpen is robust behind the dual threats of Chapman and super-setup man Dellin Betances.

The starting five, meanwhile, is a concerning mishmash.

Ace Masahiro Tanaka threw 199.2 innings in 2016, his highest total since coming over from Japan three seasons ago, and posted a 3.07 ERA.

Behind him, there’s hard-throwing right-hander Michael Pineda, who has shown flashes of brilliance but posted a 4.82 ERA in 2016, and 36-year-old southpaw CC Sabathia.

After that, the Yankees are counting on some combination of Luis Severino, Bryan Mitchell, Luis Cessa, Chad Green and Adam Warren. All except Mitchell owned ERAs north of 4.00 last season, and Green has a grand total of eight big league starts under his belt.

That’s not a disaster if everything breaks right, but it’s uncertainty on stilts.

So what are New York’s options? The club could mortgage the farm and go after a top-tier trade candidate such as the Tampa Bay Rays‘ Chris Archer or the Chicago White Sox‘s Jose Quintana.

The Yankees, however, didn’t make a serious play for White Sox ace Chris Sale, who wound up with the archrival Boston Red Sox. It’s unlikely New York will suddenly become a big-time buyer.

There are lesser trade targets. The Kansas City Royals may be looking to shed payroll with multiple key pieces due to hit free agency next offseason.

Mercurial right-hander Yordano Ventura is Kansas City’s flashiest pitching piece, but southpaw Danny Duffy is an interesting, under-the-radar possibility.

The 27-year-old went 12-3 with a 3.51 ERA in 179.2 innings last season with 188 strikeouts next to 42 walks.

He has a final year of arbitration remaining before he tastes the market, which means he doesn’t necessarily fit with a long-term vision. It also means he won’t cost a massive haul in prospects.

Duffy is a fly-ball pitcher, which could hurt him in the home run-happy confines at 1 East 161st Street. He’d slot in nicely behind Sabathia, however, and give New York another proven mid-rotation arm.

Turning to the free-agent stew, there’s meat to be picked from the bones.

“I think it’s less likely that we wind up with a starter,” Cashman said of the free-agent options, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). “It’s a tough market to be finding one in it.”

Tough, but not impossible.

Right-hander Jason Hammel was a workmanlike contributor for the Chicago Cubs rotation with a 3.83 ERA in 166.2 innings last season.

The Yanks were “sniffing around” Hammel in November, per the New York Post‘s George A. King III, and he’s unsigned as of this writing.

Another name that could pique their olfactory response is Ivan Nova. New York traded Nova and his 4.90 ERA to the Pittsburgh Pirates at the deadline last season.

He excelled with the Bucs to the tune of a 3.06 ERA in 11 starts. The 29-year-old Dominican Republic native was stellar in stretches after making his MLB debut with the Yankees in 2010 and could be a bounce-back candidate.

Speaking of which, here’s one more option: Doug Fister.

Yes, Fister put up a career-worst 4.64 ERA last season and will turn 33 in February. As CBSSports.com’s Mike Axisa put it, “The trend is not pretty.”

Fister, however, has been a ground-ball pitcher throughout his career. He was a top-10 Cy Young Award finisher with the Washington Nationals in 2014. He could be had on a short-term, show-me contract that won’t bust the bank.

None of these names will make the Yankees instant World Series favorites. Some may argue they’d be better off cashing in a gaggle of minor league chips for an Archer or a Quintana, or standing pat.

As Cashman threads the needle between retooling and relevance, however, he’d be wise to add some impact depth to his stable of arms.

He has a mandate to play the kids and grow the farm. He also has to try to win.

That’s how it works in the Bronx. And this is how it goes when you’re chasing starting pitching in the thin, cold winter of 2016.

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Brett Gardner Trade Rumors: Latest News and Speculation on Yankees OF

It looks as though the New York Yankees‘ offseason spending could remain dormant for the rest of the winter; however, veteran outfielder Brett Gardner‘s name has emerged in trade talks. 

Continue for updates. 

Yankees Shopping Gardner

Tuesday, Dec. 13

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees have continued to “gauge interest” in Gardner in an attempt to cut salary. 

The 33-year-old is owed $23 million over the next two seasons, which are the final portions of his four-year, $52 million deal, per Spotrac

Gardner has spent each of his first nine MLB seasons with the Yankees, compiling a career .264 batting average and .346 on-base percentage as a bat near the top of the lineup. 

While his power numbers fluctuated from 17 home runs in 2015 to just seven in 2016, Gardner can still add speed on the basepaths and in a corner outfield spot. That could make him an attractive trade option to teams looking for a veteran spark.

Shedding his deal would be a step in the right direction for New York to get under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold for 2018, which is a goal of owner Hal Steinbrenner, according to Sherman. 

The Yankees were busy, though, around and during the winter meetings, signing veteran outfielder Matt Holliday to a one-year, $13 million deal and closer Aroldis Chapman to a five-year, $86 million contract. 

Per Sherman, that has the Yankees hovering near a $210 million payroll heading into 2017, which makes the prospects of adding another reliever like Boone Logan or Brad Ziegler to join Chapman and setup man Dellin Betances unlikely unless they can get a contract like Gardner’s off the books. 


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