The Yankees have put in a claim on the Cubs’ Carlos Pena, as first reported by SI’s Jon Heyman. Brian Cashman couldn’t speak publicly to the waiver process but said on the field at Yankee Stadium that an August trade involving his team still seems unlikely.
“I said I think it’d be very unlikely we made a trade,” Cashman said. “I’d be surprised if we wound up doing it. … I’m going to continue to scan everything, but no, I’m not optimistic of doing anything. I think this is most likely what we’ve got.”
Cashman pointed out that he has imported two players off waivers this month, however — pitchers Raul Valdes and Aaron Laffey.
The drop-off between Cliff Lee and the rest of the free agent starting pitching market is sizable, and that allows the left-hander a certain amount of comfort as his representatives approach the task of securing a large contract this winter.
Lee’s agent, Darek Braunecker, told The Associated Press on Monday that his camp is only “gathering information” at this point, and that no deal is expected to be reached quickly.
“This one certainly is a little bit unique in that he’s clearly the best player on the free-agent market and not a lot of other things are going to impact our position on Cliff,” Braunecker said.
Braunecker may not even attend next week’s General Manager’s meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., not needing to drum up interest in Lee. There is also no need to take Lee on a tour of the cities where he could pitch next year.
The Yankees and Rangers are thought to be among his most interested suitors, while the Phillies, Brewers, Cubs, Nationals and Angels could also jump in. Lee’s eventual contract may be a five or six year deal, worth upwards of the $23 million per season the Yankees are paying CC Sabathia.
“We’re going to take it on of kind of a team-by-team, case-by-case basis. I don’t expect Cliff to be flying all over the country,” Braunecker said. “We’re really in just the infancy stages of it all. We don’t really ever handicap the timing of any of this stuff. We believe that when the right deal presents itself, we’ll be prepared to act. And when that might be, that’s anybody’s guess at this point.”
The Yankees will “almost certainly” add a starting pitcher by New
Year’s Day, the New York Post reported on Monday, according to a Major
The Post reported that Yankees GM Brian Cashman
is believed to have inquired about Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano, but it
is more probable the Yankees will go the free-agent route, selecting
from a pool that includes Jason Marquis, Joel Pineiro and Ben Sheets,
any of whom would fit into the No. 4 rotation slot.
acknowledged at the Winter Meetings that he has interest in Marquis.
The Yankees have been cautious regarding Sheets’ high salary requests
and Pineiro is seeking a four-year deal which the Yankees would be
reluctant to offer.
UPDATE 3:44 p.m. Looks like you can cross Marquis off that short list. He has reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with the Nationals.