McCullough: Yankees monitoring Johan’s rehab; could repeat 2011 pitching strategy

Mailbag: Ellsbury, Damon, Blanton, Soriano
Update: Dodgers "won't spend wildly" to sign Masahiro Tanaka

Via Andy McCullough: The Yankees are one of several teams monitoring Johan Santana as he rehabs from his second torn shoulder capsule. He has not yet thrown off a mound. “I don’t know what to think of Johan right now. I haven’t looked at his medicals,” said Brian Cashman at the Winter Meetings. Joe wrote about Santana as a potential target last month.

Aside from monitoring Johan, McCullough also mentions Cashman has discussed replicating the team’s 2010-11 offseason pitching plan. They signed cheap guys like Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon after missing out on Cliff Lee, as I’m sure you remember. If the Yankees fail to sign Masahiro Tanaka before his deadline in two weeks, the alternative might not be Ubaldo Jimenez or Matt Garza. They could target cheaper options and that’s not necessarily a bad idea.

Mailbag: Ellsbury, Damon, Blanton, Soriano
Update: Dodgers "won't spend wildly" to sign Masahiro Tanaka
  • Andrew

    If it’s Tanaka or bust, with “bust” meaning lower-level guys on shorter commitments rather than dropping a 4 or 5 year deal on Ubaldo or Garza, it makes sense as a strategy. But it also increases the importance of Sabathia and Kuroda being both effective and healthy for the majority of hte season which given their age and recent performances, is far from a sure thing. Not to mention the pressure it puts on Nova and the actual development of another viable homegrown starter, which is slightly horrifying.

  • Chris in Maine

    Sounds good to me, the list of potential FAs for 2015 is very strong. Strongest group of FA pitching at one time in years (if not ever)

    • I’m One

      At least now, on paper. Let’s hope the class retains its luster a year from now. Who knows how many of those players will extend before reaching Free Agency?

  • LK

    I’d probably favor going cheap than giving money to Santana/Garza/Jimenez, but I don’t think this team has the lineup or the top of the rotation to compete in 2014 in that case. Then again, I’m pretty skeptical of this team’s ability to contend even if they get Tanaka.

    • mitch

      It’d be okay with that as well, but only if it’s a guy like Capuano or Maholm. Santana is a minor league contract guy in my opinion.

  • The Great Gonzo

    I am PERFECTLY fine with this as a ‘life after Tanaka’ strategy, although I have been slowly talking myself into the Ubaldo Jimienez era…

    • entonces

      Good to hear that everybody is content to challenge for third place again in the AL East. No way Yanks compete without top-notch mound additions– and that means back end bullpen help too. Going cheap will only insure mediocrity and lower gate/TV receipts.

  • TWTR

    I’m fine with signing Santana, but they can’t rely on him. They need Tanaka.

  • chris Z.


  • Dale Mohorcic

    There’s an open spot on the roster now that Vernon is gone.

  • Cool Lester Smooth

    I think it would be a lot easier to just sign Tanaka…

    Make it happen, Cashmoney!

  • Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

    I am all for Johan to compete with the Pinedas/Phelps/Warrens types for the 5th starters job. The more quality depth the better. That being said, sign Tanaka already.

  • Anthony

    BNightengale: The #Dodgers have let it be known they plan to go all-out in their efforts to sign Tanaka, saying they and certainly won’t be out-bid.

    Looking forward to those Johan Santana starts, you guys!

  • CS Yankee

    1) sign Tanaka
    2) if you fail at #1, sign Ulbaldo & Balfour
    3-6) If not Ulbaldo…Garza, Maholm, Santana, Arroyo, etc with Balfour
    7) Go dumpster diving, forget Balfour
    8) stand pat & waste Jeet’s (likely) last year, too (as Mo/Andy)

  • Frank

    Yankees stupid facial policy vs. Santana goatee.
    Policy wins.

  • RetroRob

    Could also be disinformation and most likely is.

  • Frank

    This is why you need to draft/develop, specifically pitching. What a mess. I don’t think tanaka is the end all be all, but if they miss on him…

    You can’t fail to develop pitching, not have the bullets to trade for pitching when it’s available and then miss on FA pitchers when they’re available. What a mess.

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    If Johan is half his former self, and even then can only come out of the pen, damn, what an asset he would be. At the right price a AAA contract with MLB-level bonuses would be wonderful for both sides.

  • Kany

    When in God’s name are the Yankees going to be the Yankees again? When they are not the Seattle Mariners?