You didn’t really think the New York Yankees would lay low for long, did you?
The Bronx Bombers, who have been uncharacteristically quiet over the last few offseasons, might be gearing up for something big this winter.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Saturday laid out the case for a big splash (or more) from New York this offseason. The Yankees have interest in two major free agents, reportedly eyeing All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman and outfielder Carlos Beltran, two players who began the 2016 season in the Bronx but were traded away for prospects.
Rosenthal also cited major league sources saying the Yankees would like to upgrade their bullpen beyond re-signing Chapman. But the reported four-year, $30.5 million deal that the St. Louis Cardinals just handed Brett Cecil indicates a strong reliever market won’t be a cheap pool in which to dip, even for the richest of teams like the Yankees.
As Rosenthal (and the New York Post) pointed out, the Yankees have the pieces to make a deal for relief help, and veterans Chase Headley and Brett Gardner are two players whom general manager Brian Cashman could use to acquire additional help.
“Gardner is our everyday left fielder and Headley is our everyday third baseman, unless trade opportunities provide themselves to put me in a position to consider making a move,” Cashman said, according to the Post. “But we have our everyday guys there. But I am open-minded to listen on everybody and anybody for the most part, so we will see how the winter shapes out.”
The Yankees’ infusion of young players such as Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Tyler Austin have made older veterans expendable. The Yankees proved that by trading Brian McCann to the Houston Astros last week.
As Rosenthal pointed out, the Yankees also put themselves in position to make a move for a big-name starting pitcher through the trade market, mentioning Chris Archer and Chris Sale as potential targets — should their respective teams listen to offers.
“Maybe the Yankees will decide that the acquisition costs are too high for them to act this offseason,” Rosenthal wrote. “But at some point, inevitably, they’re going to strike.”
The Yankees also are helped by the fact that they’ve shed a ton of payroll with the retirements of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, who combined to make nearly $45 million last season. Trading McCann also rids New York of his $17 million contract.
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