New York Yankees Rumors

New York Yankees trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

AL Notes: Moss, Samardzija, Yankees, Tigers

Here’s a morning links roundup from the American League:

  • The Athletics are still “inching” toward a deal with the Indians on Brandon Moss, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets. A swap is likely to go down over the next few days, Sherman adds.
  • Clubs that have spoken with the Athletics about Jeff Samardzija have been left with the impression that Oakland would not be willing to grant an extension negotiation window as part of the deal, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports on Twitter. That is perhaps not terribly surprising, as Samardzija does not appear particularly likely to forego a chance at testing the open market.
  • For the Yankees, one side benefit of adding Martin Prado (last summer) and Andrew Miller (just a few days ago) is that it conveys leverage in talks with now-free agent third baseman Chase Headley and closer David Robertson, Sherman writes. While New York is now willing to put a fourth year on the table for both players, says Sherman, it will not match the reported four-year, $65MM offer out to Headley or the $50MM+ asking price of Robertson.
  • While there are several intriguing possibilities for the Tigers at the Winter Meetings, the odds are that the team will make only smaller moves,  if any, per Chris Iott of MLive.com. Iott takes a look at Detroit’s various options for improvement, concluding that most are rather unlikely to take place.

AL East Notes: Yankees, Stubbs, O’s, Marrero

The Yankees aren’t looking into the Padres‘ trio of starters (Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross and former Yankee Ian Kennedy) right now, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News tweets.  San Diego is known to be listening to offers on the three right-handers but the Yankees aren’t sure any of them are actually available.  Here’s some more from around the AL East…

  • The Rockies contacted the Orioles about a trade that would’ve sent Drew Stubbs to Baltimore in exchange for pitching, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports (Twitter link).  The departures of Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis has left the O’s thin in the corner outfield spots, with Alejandro De Aza, David Lough and Steve Pearce (who will also see a lot of DH time) as the current candidates.  The right-handed hitting Stubbs seems like a good complement for De Aza and Lough, who both hit left-handed.
  • In an interview with MLB Network Radio yesterday (hat tip to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun), Orioles executive VP Dan Duquette said he is looking to add catching depth.  Matt Wieters may not be fully recovered from Tommy John surgery in time for Opening Day, so the O’s may pursue a veteran backup to at least share the job with Caleb Joseph.
  • Prospect Deven Marrero makes sense as a trade chip for the Red Sox to offer to teams in need of a young shortstop, though WEEI.com’s Alex Speier reports that the Mets and Athletics have doubts that Marrero can hit enough for an everyday role.

White Sox Interested In David Robertson

The White Sox are the latest team to express interest in closer David Robertson, George A. King III of the New York Post reports.  “They like him a lot and he is definitely on their radar,’’ a source tells King. “They have several things they want to do and he is one of them.”

Robertson is looking for a contract in the four-year, $50MM range and the Sox are reportedly “aren’t blanching” over the idea of giving the closer that big a guarantee, King writes.  Chicago’s first round pick (eighth overall) is protected, so they’d only have to give up their second-rounder as compensation to sign Robertson, who rejected the Yankees’ qualifying offer.  Robertson would provide a major boost to a White Sox bullpen that posted a cumulative 4.38 ERA in 2014, the third-highest mark in baseball.

The Astros, Blue Jays and Yankees are three of at least a half-dozen clubs who have shown interest in Robertson, though King cites reasons why all three could bow out of the race.  The Jays may not be willing to meet Robertson’s asking price, the Astros “don’t believe Robertson wants to pitch for them” and the Yankees would prefer to give their former stopper a deal closer to the $40MM threshold.  New York had also been hesitant to give Robertson more than three guaranteed years, though the team “may be softening” in that respect.



Chase Headley Rumors: Sunday

The Yankees would like to re-sign Chase Headley, but they refuse to go overboard in order to do so.  Meanwhile, the Marlins are interested in the third baseman and the Giants are reportedly getting “aggressive” in their pursuit.  The latest on Headley..

Earlier Updates

  • Headley is said to have gone so far as to suggest to some that the Yankees are his top choice, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  The Bombers were hoping to work out a three-year deal with Headley but a four-year deal – below $65MM – is something to consider.  The Yankees met with Headley recently.
  • Headley reportedly has an offer for $65MM over four years but sources tell Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter) that the Giants are not in on him at that level.  The Marlins had not yet reached out to Headley’s camp when talk of the the four-year, $65MM first started up, so it would seem that they are not the source of that offer either.

AL East Notes: Yankees, Scherzer, Red Sox

David Ortiz plans to give some guidance to Hanley Ramirez as he begins his next chapter with the Red Sox, writes Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.  “He looks at me as one of his older brothers,” Ortiz said. “I’m going to try to encourage him to do the right thing as long we keep on playing [together] and probably beyond that because I don’t have the time that he has left. I’m going to, like we normally say, take him under my wing and show him whatever I can help him with and make sure he’s really successful in Boston.”  More from the AL East..


Heyman On Wilson, Tulowitzki, Drew

The latest from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com..

  • Rival GMs tell tell Heyman that the Angels have made left-hander C.J. Wilson available, causing some to wonder if they might be trying to set up a run at a bigger pitcher via free agency or trade.  The Angels have suggested they aren’t inclined to eat any of his $18MM annual salary and it’s pretty hard to see a deal coming together if they stick to that position.  If they’re able to move Wilson, however, that could open the door for the likes of James Shields or Max Scherzer.
  • People familiar with Troy Tulowitzki‘s thinking believe that he’d only have interest in leaving the Rockies for about a half-dozen clubs, writes Heyman.  That list is believed to include the Yankees (who filled their shortstop need last week), Dodgers, Angels, Giants, possibly the Cardinals, and one or two others.  Still, owner Dick Monfort has suggested to inquiring teams that 30-year-old is not available.
  • The Braves have interest in Stephen Drew as a possibility at second base, according to Heyman.  The Yankees, Mets and A’s are among other teams that have been tied to the 31-year-old, though the Bombers now seem less likely after acquiring Didi Gregorius.

Quick Hits: Red Sox Pitching, Gregorius, Pirates, A’s

The Red Sox could avoid damaging, long term contracts to starting pitchers, suggests Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. There are as many as seven or eight high quality hurlers on the trade market with one year of club control. Boston can trade from its depth to acquire one of those names – like Jeff Samardzija – rather than commit big money to Jon Lester or assume Cole Hamels‘ contract.

  • Along a similar vein, the Red Sox don’t need Lester, writes Tony Massarotti of Boston.com. The Sox do need pitching and Lester is one of the best starters available. But the market is flooded with great substitutes. If the bidding on Lester goes beyond a reasonable comfort zone, why not look at a more affordable alternative?
  • The Pirates have at least $15MM to spend and would like to add a starting pitcher, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Gerrit Cole, A.J. Burnett, and Vance Worley are the current rotation members with Charlie Morton expected to open the season on the disabled list. The club recently added Clayton Richard on a minor league deal for depth, and Pittsburgh is expected to finalize a deal with Radhames Liz soon. Both are viewed as insurance rather than an opening day rotation candidate. The club is keeping close tabs on Francisco Liriano and would like to re-sign him.
  • Didi Gregorius might not have the right psychology to thrive with the Yankees, opines Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic. McManaman spoke with a scout and ex-teammate who both said Gregorius can let things get to him. In the New York pressure cooker, that could be a problem. McManaman also criticizes Gregorius’ bat, but I’m more optimistic on that count. He hits relatively well (for a shortstop) against right-handed pitchers and his defense easily makes up for his other offensive shortcomings. He’s demonstrated surprising pop on occasion and a slightly fly-ball centric approach. Those should play very well at Yankee Stadium.
  • The A’s have a busy offseason ahead of them, writes Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area. Traditionally, they use the Winter Meetings to lay groundwork for future trades. A deal involving Brandon Moss is already in the works, and Samardzija is expected to receive plenty of attention. Oakland would like to find a shortstop with one of those two players. They may turn to the free agent market to add a right-handed reliever. Buy low candidates like Jason Grilli, Casey Janssen, Francisco Rodriguez, and Rafael Soriano fit the club’s modus operandi.

Quick Hits: Upton, Robertson, Headley, Ethier, Mets Shortstop

Justin Upton might be the best hitter on the market, but that’s not the only reason teams want him, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports. With one year and $14.5MM remaining on his contract, Upton is a financial steal. If a team acquires him this offseason, they’ll also be looking at a free draft pick when he declines their qualifying offer. He’s in his physical prime at 27 years old, and he’s a former number one overall pick. Heyman lists the Royals, Tigers, Mariners, Orioles, and Padres as possible destinations. We can expect the Braves to receive a notable player in return – after all, they netted Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins for Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden.

  • The Yankees would like to re-sign Chase Headley and David Robertson, reports Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. However, New York refuses to go overboard, which may let other clubs swoop in on the pair of free agents. Headley is said to have a four-year, $65MM offer on the table, and the Giants are reportedly “getting aggressive.” It’s unknown at this time if San Francisco is the team that offered the $65MM deal. The Yankees aren’t expected to value Headley that highly. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays supposedly “love” Robertson, and the Astros are in on him too. After New York signed Andrew Miller last week, there is less urgency to sign another relief ace.
  • A proposed swap of Andre Ethier and Miguel Montero fell through, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Diamondbacks would have received Ethier and catcher Tim Federowicz for Montero and lower level prospects. The Dodgers would have also kicked in money to help balance the extra $16MM guaranteed to Ethier over the next three seasons. Rosenthal lists a couple reasons the deal may have fallen through. DBacks owner Ken Kendrick is a fan of Montero, and Arizona may be hesitant to trade with their former GM Josh Byrnes on the other side of the negotiations (Byrnes is now the Dodgers Sr. VP of Baseball Operations).
  • Shortstop tops the Mets wish list at the winter meetings, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. While club officials keep saying they’re comfortable with Wilmer Flores, an upgrade would be welcomed. Unfortunately for the Mets, there aren’t many options available. The Mariners have a couple shortstops, but they have talked about using Brad Miller in the outfield. Other trade targets like Alexei Ramirez, Starlin Castro, and Troy Tulowitzki strike me as unlikely to move. As we know, the free agent market is bleak. Many clubs prefer Asdrubal Cabrera and Jed Lowrie at second base. The next best options, Stephen Drew and Everth Cabrera, have a lot to prove before a team trusts them as a starter.

New York Notes: Gregorius, Mets Chips, Thames, Reed

The Yankees acquired shortstop Didi Gregorius as part of a three team trade yesterday, but he won’t be expected to fill Derek Jeter‘s shoes, writes Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com. Gammons explores the experience of similar infielders like Andrelton Simmons, Xander Bogaerts, Jurickson Profar, and Jonathan Schoop. All reached the majors at a young age and stumbled. It’s likely that most of these skilled athletes simply need to adjust to life in the majors. Gregorius may be experiencing the same growing pains.

  • The Bombers acquired Gregorius to play a steady shortstop, reports Richard Justice of MLB.com in an evaluation of the trade. Gammons’ piece (linked above), noted the young shortstop’s platoon splits, which could open playing time for Brendan Ryan. Gregorius hit .247/.304/.402 against right-handed pitchers while struggling to a .137/.228/.196 line versus fellow lefties. For development purposes, the Yankees won’t want to completely hide him against southpaws.
  • The Mets will be patient with their starting pitching depth, writes Newday’s Marc Carig. Unlike with hitters, the market for pitchers has been slow to develop. Between free agents and a glut of trade targets, teams in need of pitching have a slew of choices. As those go off the board, demand for the Mets’ hurlers should increase. Among those most readily available are Jon Niese, Bartolo Colon, and Dillon Gee. GM Sandy Alderson isn’t concerned, saying “there’s always somebody that needs more pitching.”
  • The Yankees will promote Marcus Thames to assistant hitting coach, reports Anthony McCarron and Bill Madden of the New York Daily News. He spent last season as the hitting coach for Double-A Trenton. The former major leaguer retired after 2011.
  • The Yankees also looking to fill the primary hitting coach role. Jody Reed, the Yankees’ minor league field coordinator, is thought to be the favorite. GM Brian Cashman reportedly wanted input from the next hitting coach before hiring an assistant, so the decision to promote Thames may indicate that a move is already being finalized.

Jon Lester Rumors: Saturday

Here’s the latest on left-hander Jon Lester

  • Lester was visited at his Atlanta home by Red Sox owner John Henry on Friday, according to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford and Alex Speier.  This is Henry’s second visit to Atlanta this winter, as he and other members of Boston’s ownership group met with Lester earlier this offseason.
  • The relationship between Lester and Red Sox ownership was addressed by Joel Sherman of the New York Post in his recent analysis of Lester’s market.  A source involved in the negotiations described the two sides as “frenemies,” as Lester’s trust in the Sox organization was badly damaged by their lowball extension offer to him last spring.  In pursuing Lester, then, the Sox have been doing everything they can to repair that trust, with Sherman comparing it to how Dan Gilbert (owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers) had to atone for his past errors when convincing LeBron James to rejoin the Cavs last summer.
  • Lester “never even comes up in discussions” in the Yankees front office, one team executive tells Sherman.  It is looking less and less likely that the Yankees will make a last-minute entry into the Lester sweepstakes, leaving perhaps the Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers and Giants as the four finalists.
  • Also from Sherman, Lester’s good friend Tim Hudson is working hard to convince the lefty to join him in the Giants rotation.  Lester was reportedly “very impressed” by a meeting with manager Bruce Bochy.