The Red Sox struck yesterday, landing both John Lackey and Mike Cameron. How will the Yankees react? In short, they won’t. They might have to alter their plans, given yesterday’s activity, but they’re not going to make some huge signing just to keep up with the Red Sox. They did, after all, bring in a new center fielder last week. In the torrid pace of the hot stove we can lose sight of that.
We kicked off today with a question: which outfielder would you want under current circumstances: Holliday for eight years, Bay for five, Damon for three, or Melky for one. As happens frequently during the off-season, those circumstances have changed. One option appears all but eliminated, and another seems at least a little more attractive.
According to three reporters — Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports and Mark Feinsand of the Daily News — the Yankees have no interest in Jason Bay. Last night’s report that the Yankees had reached out to Bay’s agents was just another routine hot stove item. We shouldn’t have expected otherwise. Bay seems adamant about a five-year deal, and reportedly has one on the table.
That development brings the options down to three, though one of them got at least a little more attractive. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, reports of an eight-year offer to Holliday might not be true. He hears that the Cardinals will “stand on a five-year offer,” though they could alter it a bit. Then again, there aren’t many teams in on Holliday, so we could certainly see St. Louis stay at five years. Sources also tell Olney that they “cannot foresee a situation” in which the Yankees bid on Holliday. I wouldn’t be so sure of that, especially if they’re talking about a five-year deal.
Finally, Ken Rosenthal hears that the Yankees are “very interested” in Ben Sheets. That’s good news. He’s a high-risk arm, but he could be fresh after missing all of 2009 with a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. While any arm injury should give teams pause, Sheets’s case might not be severe. Andy Pettitte underwent the same procedure at the end of the 2004 season, and came back with perhaps the best year of his career in 2005.
There is, of course, the issue of money, and as we’ve discussed before Sheets is looking for about $12 million. It’s doubtful any team guarantees him that much, so it could come down to the team that puts together the best incentives package. Even with that, it could take $8 million guaranteed to sign Sheets. For a team in the Yankees position, that might be worth it.