Saturday, December 5, 2009

Yanks have their priorities straight

Unlike in previous years when the Yankee brass would go gaga over other clubs' players while ignoring their own, Brian Cashman & Co. intend to pursue their free agents first. Number 1 on the list is Andy Pettitte, which makes sense considering that strong starting pitching was the cornerstone behind the Yankees successful playoff run. Let's hope Pettitte soon decides to pitch one more year so the Yanks can quickly sign him and move on to other issues.

Settling on a left fielder is priority #2, with the Yankees starting to feel out Johnny Damon's expectations for a new contract. The Yankees are reportedly looking to cut their payroll by $15 million (I'll believe it when I see it) so I imagine they will be completely inflexible if Damon's agent Scott Boras asks for more than two years or more than $10 million per year. Cashman also talked to Hideki Matsui's agent, perhaps Matsui's pinstripe career isn't over if he is willing to sign for a much-lower salary.

While they will actively monitor the free-agent market, it doesn't sound like the Yankees have any inclination to pursue free-agent outfielders Jason Bay or Matt Holliday, which makes sense. Unless the bottom completely falls out, either player will be expensive and I don't think the Yanks need to spend that much on an outfielder. But if they do, I would prefer Bay, who proved he can perform at the highest level in baseball's most heated rivalry.

The Yankees also discussed players that could be acquired via trade, with Roy Halladay being the biggest fish out there. Honestly, he is the only one I would actively pursue. Curtis Granderson is a name that keeps popping up, but I don't have much interest in him and would be unwilling to give up a player like Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes, or even a top-level prospect, for him. We'll see how the Yankees play it.

Thanks to kidsire via Wikipedia for the photo.

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