Yankees GM Brian Cashman is downplaying the team’s interest in free agents, writes George A. King III of the New York Post. The Yankees are shopping veterans Ivan Nova, Brett Gardner, and Andrew Miller, but talks have subsided for the moment. According to Cashman, “I think it’s more likely that we keep them than move them. I say that recognizing that if someone wants to ring a bell that I’ve put out there, that could happen.”
Here’s more from the AL East:
- The Yankees don’t have a spot for recently non-tendered slugger Pedro Alvarez, writes King. Before considering the roster, Alvarez sounds like a decent fit. As a youth, Alvarez attended school in the Bronx and played for the Bayside Bombers – an elite travel team based in the area. Yankee Stadium is also extremely friendly to left-handed power. However, the Yankees are swamped with designated hitters. Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, and prospect Greg Bird all overlap to some degree.
- New York could try to upgrade in the middle infield next week, writes Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. Rob Refsnyder and Dustin Ackley are expected to platoon at second base, but Cashman will continue to monitor the market for more reliable alternatives. Feinsand offers Howie Kendrick, Brandon Phillips, and Martin Prado as three players to watch. Kendrick is a free agent while Phillips and Prado would have to be acquired via trade.
- Owner John Henry says the Red Sox could add another starter, writes John Tomase of WEEI.com. Boston inked David Price to a record breaking contract earlier in the week. Per Henry, “I do think there is trade potential. We have a lot of pitching and we have a lot of talent. We’re not going to trade away our core young players, but we might be able to get a core young pitcher.” Henry did mention that the asking price for high quality pitchers is probably out of their range.
- The Rays also aren’t a fit for designated hitters Alvarez or Chris Carter, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Tampa would have to make a trade to open playing time for them. The club is likely looking to trade pitching for young hitters like Jorge Soler or Javier Baez.
- The large contracts signed by Price and Zack Greinke could take the Orioles out of the market for Chris Davis, opines Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun. Schmuck figures the floor for Davis is probably around $150MM – more than double the biggest free agent deal ever inked by the Orioles. The market for hitters has been much slower to establish itself, so there is still a change we’ll be surprised. For now, I agree Davis may wind up outside of Baltimore’s price range.
- The Orioles aren’t usually flashy participants at the Winter Meetings, but they do have a few needs to fill, write Eduardo A. Encina and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Davis, the rotation, and the outfield are obvious concerns. The bullpen could be a challenge to buoy if Darren O’Day signs elsewhere. The Nationals and Orioles are considered front runners for his services. Baltimore likes to make Rule 5 picks under Dan Duquette. The club already has to roster Dylan Bundy who is out of options – possibly preventing them from keeping a pick.