The Yankees have never seemed to be a likely landing spot for Cuban outfield prospect Yoenis Cespedes. There was further evidence of that on Friday, as Cespedes told the Associated Press that the Yankees are not among six teams in pursuit of his services.
According to the AP, Cespedes listed the Marlins, Cubs, White Sox, Orioles, Tigers and Indians as the potential suitors who have shown the most interest in him. Cespedes is in the Dominican Republic and has not officially become a free agent, though that could happen very soon.
The Yankees have shied away from adding long-term contracts this winter and do not have a ready-made fit for Cespedes to step into their lineup. New York figures to again open the season with an outfield of Brett Gardner in left field, Curtis Granderson in center field and Nick Swisher in right field.
The Yankees are balking at a high asking price for the Cubs’ Matt Garza and have instead turned their attention to free agent right-hander Edwin Jackson, CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reported Tuesday.
Noting that the Yankees and Jackson “aren’t in any way close to a deal,” Heyman suggests that New York and agent Scott Boras could eventually find middle ground. Boras has been reported to be looking for a four or five year pact for Jackson worth approximately $15 million per season.
That could prove too high for the Yankees, who have been preaching fiscal responsibility this winter and would not get involved with free agents C.J. Wilson or Mark Buehrle, despite their stated need for a starting pitcher to slot behind CC Sabathia in the rotation.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post noted on Tuesday that the Yankees like Jackson, but not enough to give him a big multi-year contract. They’d be more inclined to offer Hiroki Kuroda a one-year contract, but even that is too costly for their budget at the time.
The Yankees may have some company in trying to secure Andruw Jones for their bench. The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that the Red Sox are believed to have joined New York in pursuit of the 34-year-old outfielder, and that there are multiple teams with interest.
Jones provided right-handed power for the Yankees last year, slugging 13 homers in limited playing time, with most of his 48 starts coming against left-handed hurlers. The Daily News noted that while J.D. Drew’s contract has expired in Boston, neither Ryan Kalish nor Josh Reddick have a great track record against left-handed pitching.
There have been rumblings that the Yankees could pull off a sign-and-trade with Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima, who otherwise figures as a backup to Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano if they sign the player.
MLB.com looks a little deeper into the situation and speculates the Yankees were actually surprised to land Nakajima with their $2.5 million posting bid, suggesting that the San Francisco Giants might be interested (video link):
NEW YORK – The Yankees have not made an offer to free agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, according to a person with knowledge of the club’s thinking.
A report by the Japanese news outlet Sponichi suggested that the Yankees had already presented a one-year, $12 million offer to the hurler, who turns 37 in February.
The Yankees continue to look for ways to add starting pitching that could slide behind ace CC Sabathia, and they did show a level of trade interest in Kuroda last summer when he was with the Dodgers. But the person said that the report of an offer is not true.
Kuroda finished 2011 with a 13-16 record and 3.07 ERA in 32 starts for Los Angeles, striking out 161 and walking 49 in 202 innings.
In four Major League seasons, Kuroda is 41-46 with a 3.45 ERA in 115 games (114 starts). His catcher for the first three seasons with the Dodgers was Russell Martin, who is entering his second season in New York.