Olney: Yankees don’t expect to sign any more pricey free agents


Via Buster Olney: In the wake of the Masahiro Tanaka deal, the Yankees internally believe they are done adding pricey free agents this winter. “I don’t think it’s realistic to think there’ll be more heavy lifting that can take place,” said Brian Cashman during a press conference this afternoon.

The team has signed Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Hiroki Kuroda, and Carlos Beltran to deals worth more than $15M annually this winter. I don’t think it’s surprising the Yankees are done with the big money additions but they still have holes to fill, specifically in the bullpen. Adding another infielder and heck, even another starter would be nice as well.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. TWTR says:

    How heavy will Balfour be?

  2. Anthony says:

    I’ve been an advocate of the Yankees signing Stephen Drew, especially if he’s really willing to play another position in the infield. He’s someone you could put at 2nd or 3rd for the next few seasons and get some decent production, better than what you’ll get from Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson. I wonder if Drew’s price will dramatically come down because it doesn’t seem like the Red Sox are very eager to re-sign him and I would be surprised if the Mets opened their wallets anymore this offseason.

    • Chip Rodriguez says:

      Drew’s decent, not great enough to give up a pick and that much $ for, and unless YSIII miraculously turns into Fenway each time he’s at the plate, I think his production would drop.

      The guy made it clear last year he didn’t want to be a Yankee, even turning down a higher offer to go to the Sox. I’m fine giving Sizemore, Anna and Ryan some shots.

      • Anthony says:

        Very true.

        Years ago, Cashman stated in an interview that he will not sign a player that genuinely does not want to be a Yankee. He recalled a scenario where the Yankees were about to come to terms with a free agent but Cashman had heard from someone “reliable” that the free agent really didn’t want to play in NY and was in it just for the money. Cashman claims he immediately pulled the offer.

        I really wonder who that F.A. was?

    • Argenys says:

      I might be speaking out my butt, but I was under the assumption that Johnson’s bat was better while Drew has a better glove and is well regarded because he somewhat hits in a position that normally doesn’t. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Laz says:

      But not unless his price comes down. The last time he has topped 150 games was back in 2010. I wouldn’t mind him taking over one of the middle infield positions, but really wouldn’t want him at much more than $10m aav on a multiyear deal.

      People are quick to ignore the fact that they should pay drew $14m, when he can never stay healthy.

  3. dkidd says:

    thanks a lot, captain bringdown

  4. Chip Rodriguez says:

    In house options to fill in 3B, and some work on the bullpen sounds good. I’m content with the big FA signings at this stage.

    I’m really pleased with the way the offseason’s gone in terms of the major signings. We were all moaning in October about the fact that the catching situation sucked balls, we wanted to see better starting pitching (TANAKA!), and hated Wells/Ichiro starting so much, plus our DH offensive blackhole. Nice work from the FO addressing those.

    • dkidd says:


      to anyone complaining about

      not matching seattle’s batshit offer
      not throwing 4/55 at omar infante
      not signing stephen drew who has no interest in changing positions

      i feel no sympathy. thank you front office!

  5. RetroRob says:

    Guess it depends on what they mean by pricey.

  6. JoeyA says:

    I’m still baffled as to why Stephen Drew isn’t a fit, if he’s willing to accept a 2yr deal and play 3B.

    • Yanks20 says:

      He is not a fit because he sucks! He is not a better option than anyone we have…I’d rather bring up Anna and give him a shot. It baffles me how many people are giving love to a .250 (at best) hitter with no power. We have a glove at SS to back up Jeter in Ryan, spend that money on a bullpen!

    • Laz says:

      But at what price. And people ignore the fact that he has real injury problems, and no power

  7. Darren says:

    Um, who’s gonna play the infield? I can understand one question mark, or maybe two, but four? Doesn’t that undo all of the good work of getting Tanaka, McCann, Beltran and Ellsbury? At this point, why wouldn’t they sign an infielder who is a sure thing?

    • dkidd says:

      because there are none left, except for drew, who only plays shortstop and we have two of those already?

    • I'm One says:

      While there are no outstanding choice currently on the 40-man roster for the IF positions, they have many decent (or potentially decent) players to choose from, outside of 1B. Sure, none are sure things, but they should be able to piece together a pretty good infield if Teixiera and Jeter are anywhere near their normal selves.

      • dkidd says:

        and again, who are these infielders out there to sign? michael young? no thanks. drew is a shortstop. we have two. if things in the infield truly hit the fan, the yanks will then look to trade for aramis ramirez

    • Kenny says:

      I have similar concerns. Yeah, it was a lot of dough, but that infield still looks dreary; the bullpen’s shaky; and there are serious questions about the SR.

      I distinguish these problems–a couple of which might be addressed by “heavy lifting”–from one that probably can’t be addressed yet. I mean this Teixeira’s “stiff” wrist. Probably best to wait and see what March brings.

    • Havok9120 says:

      Like who? Injury riddled Drew whose bat plays up only because it’s at SS? There are no sure things on the IF market. The closest thing (and he wasn’t particularly close) was Infante.

      Name the “sure things” you want signed to man IF positions. This isn’t a theoretical discussion.

  8. Dan says:

    I view this as if they’re not signing Garza, Jimenez, or Santana. But they know they have holes (bullpen), and they’re willing to sign a guy for $5-$10m per year for 2 years to fill them.

  9. Kosmo says:

    I would think with Bryant possibly arriving sometime in 2014 the Cubs might want to move Olt. He´d be a gamble but he does play 3B! 1B! and RF ! and would not cost NY big bucks.

  10. Tanaka (the Con Artist) says:

    A lesson that hopefully the Yankees learned from the last few years is (aside from the injuries) that platooning or “piecing together” one position can be just fine, but when it starts getting into multiple positions, you end up nullifying certain improvements.

    With that as the preface, I think Drew solves that issue. He can split time between third with Kelly Johnson and covering for Jeter a couple times a week. He can make Brendan Ryan less of the next Chris Stewart, I mean black hole, at the end of the lineup. He isn’t an offensive powerhouse, but that also takes away the pressure of Roberts coming back and being more than a shadow of his former self. Just my two cents.

    And Balfour– if that is possible.

  11. MD says:

    Cashman on with MK. Johnson is the 3rd baseman but looking for a platoon partner for him.

    And they were in heavy on Tanaka no matter what happened with A-Rod.

  12. I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

    We’re doomed. Spice mines of Kessel for sure.

  13. Anthony says:

    NYY could always add pieces as the season progresses. I’m not *too* worried about the bullpen, I’m much more concerned about that infield. Healthy Teix and Jeter would be so huge.

    • MD says:

      Cashman on with MK.

      Said nothing of the bullpen. No more big spending. Looking for platoon partner for Johnson at 3rd. Clearly pushed the idea of KJ as the 3rd baseman and BR as the 2nd baseman.

  14. dkidd says:

    after last year, i’m ecstatic with “if things break right, we could make the playoffs”

    i have friends that are met fans, brewer fans, white sox fans etc. they would love to be where we are

    the next half decade will require a reset of expectations

  15. emac2 says:

    I think you have to wait and see how things shake out in spring training before making any moves. (unless an easy trade deal comes along)

    If CC and Tex are healthy I would look at trading them in some sort of multi team deal for Price to get under 189.

    Dream rotation, assuming they earn it this spring.


    • I'm One says:

      If CC and Tex are healthy I would look at trading them in some sort of multi team deal for Price to get under 189.

      Umm …. Wow! Can I have some of what you’re smoking? I get the premise, but in reality, I don’t know what universe you’ll find a taker for CC and Teix that will somehow land you Price.

      • emac2 says:

        They don’t have any trade value but at 3/70 aren’t terrible deals if they are both healthy and playing well.

        The things that would have value and would have to be included are 50-75 million dollars.

        Players like Gary Sanchez, phelps, nuno, pineda, campos and such would also have to be on the table.

        It would cost a ton in prospects but if we get under 189 and get price we can restock the farm with the international overspend this summer.

        • RetroRob says:

          The Yankees don’t have anywhere near enough to get Price. The Rays do trades for young MLB-ready players. Think Will Myers. For someone like Price they’ll want a lot back and there are teams that have a lot more to offer than the Yankees. Also very unlikely they’ll make that type of trade within their division unless they’re blown away, and once again, there is no offer the Yankees can make that would blow them away.

          Getting past that, even if the Rays lost every bit of their trading intelligence, if the Yankees stripped their farm and landed Price, they would not be able to restock with an international overspend this year.

          CC and Teix could eventually have trade value again, but that would be at the end of 2014 after they re-establshed themselves. Right now the former is coming off his worst year and the latter is coming off a wrist injury/surgery.

          Last, why even attempt to get under 189? Plan 189 is dead…thankfully.

        • vicki says:

          both those players will bring down the no-trade hammer so fast it will blow your mind.

          also, who do you have playing first base for the yankees?

          also, the days of international overspends are over.

          also, wow.

          • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

            Agreed except for the international overspend. The Yanks have made it known that they are going to blow way past the limits on IFA signings next time around, having figured out that it’s much better to go way over in one year and blow everyone else away and pay the consequences than it is to squeak their way over.

    • Dars says:

      Please lay off the dope….

    • JobaTheHeat62 says:


  16. Dicka24 says:

    I have to think that while the Yankees are not looking to add another significant contract to the payroll, that they will still be open to adding a player or two should their price come down.

    I honestly hope they sign a legit closer. I’m not sold on Robertson as the closer. I think the Yankees would be best served by signing a Balfour type to close, and keeping Drob in the set up role. It would be foolish to spend all this money, only to rely on such an unproven bullpen. We in the real world call that penny cheap, dollar foolish. Balfour’s price seems to be down. Might be a good time to jump in on him.

    I’ve thought about signing Drew for 3B, or 2B even, at a discount rate. My guess is it would still take 3/$30 to sign him. These players are stubborn SOB’s. Thing is, I wonder if he’s that much of an upgrade over Kelly Johnson. Drew is no doubt a better player, but is he $25-30 million or more better? I don’t think so. I’d rather they sign a proven closer, if not trade for one (Putz).

    • TWTR says:

      Robertson deserves an extended chance to fail as the closer.

    • I'm One says:

      While I wouldn’t mind another proven late inning reliever on the team, I’m perfectly fine with Robertson as the closer. I’m sure there were plenty of people that were concerned when Mariano took over for Wettland, and while there will never be another Mo, I think Robertson will be just fine. Spend the money elsewhere.

    • Laz says:

      Is it worth it though?

      Over past 3 years
      Johnson 407 games, 92 wRC+
      Drew 289 games, 96 wRC+

      Kelly has fewer injuries, but bat is only slightly worse, and is only $3M. Drew really shouldve take the QO.

  17. Bill says:

    Call Nationals and find out what we would have to give up to get Drew Storen, Zachary Walters and Tyler Moore. Offer Nunez, Romine, Betances and Flores, and some type of mid level prospect not on the 40 man.

    Completing this trade completes the bullpen, gives you a solid back- up 1B and corner OF and also gives you a 3B/SS candidate for the VERY NEAR future.

    Start the season with a rotation of CC, Kuroda, Tanaka, Nova and Phelps. Pen of Robertson, Storen, Kelley, Thorton,Claiborne, Warren and Cabral. McCann and Cervelli behind plate. Infield of Tex, Roberts, Jeter and Johnson, with Ryan and Moore as back-ups. Outfield of Gardner, Ellsbury and Beltran, with Soriano and Ichiro as DH and back up outfielders.

    Keep trying to trade Ichiro, and when you do, bring up Walters to be RH 3B.

  18. Kosmo says:

    Jeff Baker, Scott Baker, Ballfour and call it a day.

    • Bill says:

      Storen, Moore and Walters are younger, less expensive and better fits.

      • Kosmo says:

        Moore and Walters can barely touch an OBP of .300. Storen is OK. Washington does not really need the 4 players you want to dump on them. Betances has a good chance of turning into a very solid RP.

        • Bill says:

          I think Moore and Walters are both young enough to turn into solid RH platoon players who are cheap for the next few years. Also think Walters could turn into a starting 3B in a year or two. If the Yanks are going to be able to keep signing stars for 15-20 mil per year contracts, they are going to have to have a few younger and cheaper players on the bench.

      • vicki says:

        balfour, baker and baker only cost money though.

  19. Yanks20 says:

    And what makes you think that if they can’t afford Price, the Rays can afford Tex and CC?

    • emac2 says:

      They couldn’t and both players have no trade clauses. It would have to be multi team trades where Tex and CC get to choose their teams.

  20. Frank says:

    Yanks still have issues. While thay are better, they still need another proven BP arm, be it Balfour, F-Rod or whomever. They need a back up first baseman. I am not sold on Tex being 100% healthy. And, if by chance, he doesn’t recover from the surgery, Yanks are screwed. Same at SS. Jeter will not be able to play FT and his range should be even more limited than before he broke his ankle. It wouldn’t shock me at all if he’s being platooned by June, if not sooner. I think Jeff Baker is a must sign as he can play both 3B and 1B, and he’s a right bat who mashes lefties. Otherwise, they better pray Nunez suddnly blossoms into a star.

  21. Jersey Joe says:

    I think people are forgetting that Stephen Drew is basically Kelly Johnson in the role that we want him to play. Both low average hitters with 15-20 HR potential. We got KJ for cheap; we don’t need a duplicate for a much higher price.

    I would like to see what KJ can do, actually. People are calling for a platoon partner for him, but he actually hits lefties quite well (.291 last season). With the short porch helping his pull swing, there’s reason to believe that he could be an effective full-time 3rd baseman with some help from Kevin Long.

    That does not mean that some depth at 2B/3B is unneeded. I’d like to see a few more signings like Sizemore – someone who has succeeded in the past and could produce as a role player.

  22. Betty Lizard says:

    FEED ME!!!!!!!

  23. Nick says:

    I dont think much more is needed re starting pitching. Let Phelps, Nuno, Warren, Pineda figure out the last spot, swing-man, pen, AAA rotation, etc. That’s a plenty of depth plus a few spare parts at low costs along the way. Also a few AA/AAA guys there too who are there.

    • Nick says:

      yeah next time I’ll use English, that’s what I get for being on stationary bike plus typing at same time smh.

      • MD says:

        Don’t worry. Francesa does the same thing with his mouth. He referred to Vidal Nuno as ‘NoNo’ a half-dozen times today while talking about the 5th spot in the rotation.

  24. Mike says:

    I say give the young pitchers a chance !!!!!!!!!!
    warren, phelps, pineda and a few others can do a great job if we believe in them and let them grow.
    enough with all the overpaid players.
    look at oakland !


  25. Farewell Mo says:

    There was no way to fill all their holes in a single offseason and while I would have liked for them to make Cano turn down an 8/$200 offer, I think they’ve done a pretty damn good job plugging major holes in the outfield, catcher and front of the rotation. If they can land a Balfour or Rodney to set up, I think they enter the season in as good a position as could have been possibly expected.

    Next year they may be able to fix 3rd base with Headley or Sandoval and there could be some nice starters available to replace Kuroda.

  26. Zachariah says:

    Id look in to Storen as well but I have no clue what it would take to get him. Nothing to big I would assume. But as another poster mentioned…We have had some success with younger guys in the pen. Id “like” Pineda to win the 5th starter job…I think Phelps and Warren are both better fits for the pen and could both have a place as swingmen/longmen in the same bullpen. However, If Pineda fails to impress then again Phelps/Warren/Nuno should all get fair looks as well.

    It would be really nice if both Betances and maybe by midseason Montgomery could emerge as legitimate weapons in the bullpen.

  27. Alkaline says:

    But I want a wheelchair!!

  28. Grover says:

    Do you really think Cashman would tell anyone outside of the inner circle he has entered swoop mode? Now that $189M is in the rearview mirror and the tax will not be reset, Garza, Balfour, Drew and even Morales as Tex insurance are all in play for the right price and number of years with one being the ideal. My money would be on Garza but Gardner should also be safe now, Ichiro doesn’t need to be moved and in season additions become probable instead of impossible. Brilliance unless they fall short, Sherzer listens to Boras and becomes a free agent next year and Hal doesn’t want to pay $15M tax on his $30M/year deal.

  29. Willie says:

    Big Money Hal supprised me with the Tanaka signing never thought he was going to do it.

    It would be nice if they sign the Cuban shortstop Diaz who according to scouts is the real deal.

    He can either play second or shortstop and the Yankees need help with both positoions.

  30. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    A bullpen arm and see what becomes available IF-wise in ST but, otherwise, our work until October is done.

    Yankee fucking baseball.

  31. AllyinCt says:

    Can we please have Jeff Baker now? I would also be interested, on a minor league deal, in Daisuke Matsuzaka.

    • Blubber123 says:

      I thought about Masuzaka as a #5 as well but if they’re not going to give the in house guys a chance, I’d probably roll the dice with Bedard on the cheap. His K’s are still good (BB’s not so much) and would give them another lefty.

  32. Steve_Balboni says:

    Blah blah blah, once you are over 189 it doesn’t make sense to skimp now. Let’s get a 3rd baseman and another bullpen arm.

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