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Who might the Yankees target next winter?

Jan 27, 2011, 8:59 AM EDT

Mark Buehrle

Does the 2010-2011 offseason got you down, Yankees fans? Then why not look ahead to next winter? Larry Koestler of Yankeeist does that this morning. The upshot? Seems like the free agent pickins are a tad slim:

A quick glance at the free agent starting pitching list yields the following potentially interesting names: Mark Buehrle,Chris Carpenter (though he has a team option), Edwin Jackson, Joel Pineiro and C.J. Wilson … For fun, a quick perusal of position players — just in case the Yankees end up trading one of theirs — yields no one particularly interesting in the infield, and includes outfielders Jose BautistaDavid DeJesusJ.D. DrewCorey Hartand Yankeeist favorite Josh Willingham.

Larry’s list doesn’t include guys like Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols, probably because Larry seems like a reasonable guy and doesn’t engage in that “sure, we could sign Pujols to be our DH” nonsense that so many of you people like to traffic in down in the comments. Could it happen? Sure, nothing is impossible in Yankees land, but it’s just not reasonable to think that the Yankees are going to base their plans on that kind of thing.  Fielder and Pujols have every incentive to avoid DH situations as they head into free agency and I won’t believe that they’d go to the Bronx until the minute I see them wearing pinstripes at a press conference.

The overall lesson here? Teams are getting better and better about locking up young talent. There are fewer stud free agents hitting the market.  For the Yankees to maintain their dominance in the coming years they’re going to have to continue to improve their farm system — which they have done a good job of in recent years — and to be more aggressive in the trade market.

  1. Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 27, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    Well, Jeter can play CF and we can put Pujols in LF, right? That’ll work, no?

    • Alex K - Jan 27, 2011 at 9:08 AM

      You forgot the part where the Yankees trade for Hanley Ramirez to play SS. Come on, Jason!

    • marshmallowsnake - Jan 27, 2011 at 1:15 PM

      In Haiti.

  2. AK47 - Jan 27, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    a) Buerhle is not that good of a pitcher, certainly nothing to get “excited” about.
    b) My money is on him retiring after next year.

    • frug - Jan 27, 2011 at 9:52 PM

      Even if he doesn’t retire there is zero chance of him leaving Chicago.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 27, 2011 at 10:39 PM

        The question then is will the White Sox pay him the $15M that his contract calls for in 2012. If they do decide to pay him that will put their payroll commitments for 2012 at about $100M for 11 players before any other FA or arbitration eligible players. They could be looking at a total payroll of $130+M come 2012. Is that in their comfort level and budget?

  3. jehzsa - Jan 27, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    Andrew Friedman. Take the players might as well take some of the front office. Especially that front office.

  4. uyf1950 - Jan 27, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    Don’t forget Oswalt. He has a mutual option for 2012. It’s likely either the Phillies or Oswalt decline the option. Probably Oswalt, he’s going to want a raise from the $15M and probably an extension. He will be 35 before the end of the 2011 season and the Phillies will already be committed to both Halladay and Lee contract wise well past their 35th birthdays. Plus the Phillies are going to have to extend Hamels in the near future. As for money Oswalt’s probably going to want his share of at least $20M per that the Phillies are were/are paying both the other 2 guys. It’s unlikely that the Phillies will commit $20M plus per season to 3 pitchers who will be on the wrong side of 35 already or very soon. So I think he will be an option.

    • dodger88 - Jan 27, 2011 at 9:44 AM

      If I am not mistaken there was talk, before he was traded, that this may be Oswalt’s last contract as he is thinking of retiring when the dela is done. If that is the case, he make exercise the option and play his final year. Of course, playing on the Astros and enduring losing seasons the past few years may have fueled the desire to hang em’ up and now that his back playing for a winner he may want to play a few more years. Either way way, I see him finishing with the Phils or retiring.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 27, 2011 at 10:07 AM

        You are right playing for the Astros for any length of time. It would make a player think about retiring. But I disagree with you about him staying with the Phillies or about him wanting to retire now. Usually although not always one party or the other does not exercise their part of the “mutual” option. As I said I think it’s more then likely that Oswalt will want an extension and more money, and I thinks that’s something the Phillies will be reluctant to do with what will be a 35 year old pitcher when they have or will have 2 pitchers already in that category and they are going to have to extend Hamels and they will have about $100M committed to 7 players in payroll for 2012 (not including Oswalt). And over $80M committed to payroll in 2013 on just 4 players. The Phillies will have some big decisions to make after the 2011 season concerning players approaching FA and or arbitration. I just don’t see Oswalt in their long term plans and I don’t see him retiring.

  5. proudlycanadian - Jan 27, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    After giving this much thought, I suspect that the Yankees will once again be targeting Andy Pettitte in 2012.

  6. BC - Jan 27, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    Oswalt or Buherle. Assuming both stay healthy this year, they’re innings-eaters, give you 14-16 wins. They have one of them as their #3 starter, that’s hot. I figure Pettitte comes back for this year than retires, and then WHAMMO you have the replacement.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 27, 2011 at 10:09 AM

      I agree with you about both and I’d include Carpenter in that list as a possible option.

      • BC - Jan 27, 2011 at 10:27 AM

        I wouldn’t go more than 2 years on Carpenter. He’s still very good, but he’s only a couple years younger than Andy Pettitte (I think Carpenter is 35 going on 36). Depends if you can throw two years, $20mil at him.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 27, 2011 at 10:48 AM

        BC – Two years sounds right with may be an option for a 3rd year at a reduced salary for the 3rd year based on games/innings pitched and no injuries. I think $35M for 2 years with the 3rd year say at $10 to $12M (if exercised). BTW Carpenter will be 36 this April. Just thinking out loud.

  7. BC - Jan 27, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    Let me add to my previous comment. Fielder as a DH makes a heck of a lot of sense. Especially if they get in a bidding war with Boston, as I suspect they will with Ortiz coming off the books. And you can put Fielder in the field (no pun intended) to spell Tex every so often. Watch that one.

    • Charles Gates - Jan 27, 2011 at 10:47 AM

      Devoting that much capital to Fielder is a big risk, not only from a How Does The Big Man Hold Up While He Eats And Ages perspective, but also because it constricts Girardi’s ability to ‘rest’ A-Rod/Jeter/Posada/Tex in the DH slot for a day.

      • BC - Jan 27, 2011 at 10:52 AM

        I’m figuring Posada is done after this year. So you rest Tex once in a while, and give A-Rod/Jeter a day off when they get nicked.
        Wish my Mets had this problem. Hmm…. how do we fit an elite power-hitting 1B/DH into our lineup….

      • uyf1950 - Jan 27, 2011 at 10:55 AM

        I doubt very seriously that the Yankees would be interested in any high priced DH mostly for the reasons you mentioned. Keep in mind Posada’s contract with the Yankees expires after this coming season. After that he’s going to retire. The Yankees won’t offer him a contract or shall I say if they were to offer him one it would probably wouldn’t be for about $2 or $3M. But I think with the catching prospects the Yankees have it’s time for Posada to retire.

      • BC - Jan 27, 2011 at 2:24 PM

        uyf1950 – That’s my point.
        Posada retires after this year. Figuring that he’ll DH a lot this year, and you have some combination of Martin, Cervelli, Montero to catch… and then I think Swisher comes off the books after this year as well… Why not sign the Human Jupiter to be your DH? And like I said, he can at least play the field once in a while if needed and be at least serviceable out there, maybe a C+/B-.
        (Someone will now bring up UZR or VORP or BURP or some other rating and totally trash me…. Just bear with me folks….)

      • uyf1950 - Jan 27, 2011 at 2:55 PM

        BC – Even the Yankees aren’t going to pay $20M per for 5 years or so for primarily a DH. Besides my friend why would the Yankees not resign Swisher after his 2012 club option for $10.25M. He will be far less expensive then Fielder and far more versatile then Fielder..and that doesn’t even take into account Swisher fills a need for the Yankees Fielder doesn’t.

  8. pisano - Jan 27, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    If I were the Yankees I’d be more concerned about 2011. They still need a front line pitcher and who do they sign ? the human bowling ball Bartolo Colon. I know he only has a minor league contract, but these type of signings remind me of the Red Sox of last year with their reclamation projects of which none of them worked out. Cashman you can do better than Colon.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 27, 2011 at 11:31 AM

      Pisano – Forget about Colon and Prior. If Andy comes back and it looks good at this point the Yankee starting rotation looks pretty good (CC, Andy, Hughes, AJ and Nova or possibly Duchscherer (if they sign him). That and the bullpen and the Yankee offense match up well against any team. Then Brian can take his time to see what options are available at the trade deadline.

      • pisano - Jan 27, 2011 at 12:13 PM

        uyf1950…It seems everytime I go off the charts about a pitcher your sensibility steps in to calm me down, for that my friend I thank you. Your post sounds real good especially if Pettitte comes back. I’m also hoping for JD, I think if healthy he’d be a real plus.The pitching rotation you have posted could compete with any team in the AL. We know that the Red Sox rotation is overrated anyone of those starters could be up for an ass whipping at any one of their starts. They are night and day away from being a dominant rotation. The Yankee rotation as you outlined will compete with them favorably.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 27, 2011 at 12:19 PM

        Pisano, my friend. We both as do most Yankee fans eat, breathe Yankee Pinstripes. Keep the faith. The one thing I do agree with Cashman on what he has said this off season is the Yankees are just one starter from being a World Series contender. Pettitte is that starter if he comes back and JD (as he’s now called here) would be icing on the cake.

  9. yankeeprophet - Jan 27, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    Yankees will throw 5-6 years $150 million towards Adam Wainwright (RHP, St. Louis Cardinals). With all the money St. Louis will throw at Albert Pujols (probably $200 million +) they certainly can’t afford to extend Wainwright a contract. Think about it. Does anyone believe St. Louis has the clout to spend $300 million plus for Pujols and Wainwright in one off-season? Cashman needs to convince Adam Wainwright, RIGHT NOW, that New York is his future and his retirement. Bank on that.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 27, 2011 at 12:13 PM

      Unfortunately, there is one very big problem with your proposal. Wainwright is under team control through 2013 with 2 very friendly team options in 2012 and 2013. He’s not going anywhere. Carpenter, or even Westbrook (while less desirable then Carpenter), are far more likely to be traded then Wainwright ever will be.

    • spudchukar - Jan 27, 2011 at 12:15 PM

      They have the clout, maybe not the willingness. 30 mil for a pitcher? This is why the Yankees find themselves so disliked, the entitlement attitude. I am one who believes the Cardinals will sign both. Carpenter may go, his 16 mil next year may exceed his worth. Depends on how the year goes, both for him and the Cards. I hope Cashman is trying to persuade Wainwright now, the fine MLB would give the Yanks, for tampering would help the Cards sign Waino next winter.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 27, 2011 at 12:26 PM

        spudchukar – If I were the Cardinals I wouldn’t go spending that money just yet. Of course the Yankees are not doing anything with Wainwright. I’m sure for the reasons I mentioned he’s not even on their radar screen for 2011 or 2012 and even if he were everyone knows they would have to approach the Cardinals. Besides the free agency class for 2013 as of right now looks pretty decent.

      • spudchukar - Jan 27, 2011 at 12:54 PM

        Thanks for the accurate info. I thought Wainwright was locked up for awhile, but “the prophet” threw me off, I think Westbrook signed a 2-year deal, not sure about trade veto power, will research.

      • BC - Jan 27, 2011 at 2:27 PM

        Would gladly trade the Yankees Oliver Perez for a hamburger on Tuesday…..

      • uyf1950 - Jan 27, 2011 at 2:45 PM

        BC – You’ve been watching to many Popeye cartoons.

  10. schlom - Jan 27, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Do people seriously think that the Yankees won’t attempt to sign Pujols (if he actually makes it to free agency) because they have Mark Teixeira at 1B?

  11. ta192 - Jan 27, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    Does anyone get tired of reading about/talking about/thinking about/wishing a pox on the Yankees besides me?

  12. jfk69 - Jan 27, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    This is an outrage. No thirty something on the down hill players for the Yankees to target. They will never catch the New York Rangers in senior signings now. I don’t worry as they will trade for one.
    We will have the most senior and playoff tested team or i will have Cashmans head.
    Love
    Hank S.

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