Those of you in the New York area know how windy it’s been today so hopefully Chad’s flight back to The Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of (trademark: Jay-Z) isn’t too delayed. Now that the winter meetings are over, I’d expect things to quiet slightly but there are still some moves to be made. Here are a few things to keep an eye on:
• By getting Jamie Hoffmann in the Rule V draft, the Yankees will likely have a spring training competition for the final spot on the roster between Hoffmann and Brett Gardner — unless Gardner gets traded before then. Word is the Royals checked in on Gardner after the Granderson deal, and certainly The Grittiest One would be a cheap outfield option for a low-budget team.
Is that likely? Who knows. But it’s possible. And I wouldn’t rule out Melky Cabrera being shopped either (at one point the Cubs were said to be intrigued).
• Like everything else in this world right now, the free agent market isn’t nearly as lucrative this year as it has been in the past. With Granderson now in hand, the Yankees will use that obvious depression to put the screws to Johnny Damon, whose agent – Scott Boras – has claimed there’s money out there to be had.
Giving Damon a deadline – and knowing that New York is his first choice – could push this process along quicker. The Yankees don’t want to wait for Boras to shop and shop and then ultimately come back to them.
• Speaking of money drops, remember when Aroldis Chapman was going to get Dice-K money? Not so much. Now it seems like he’ll struggle to get $20 million, though the Cuban defector will have a workout for teams next week in Houston. The Yankees will attend, but one person I spoke to said the team is very leery; they don’t see Chapman as helping anytime soon and don’t want to get stuck with the bill if he doesn’t pan out.
• Reclamation project update: Rich Harden went to the Rangers for one-year, $7.5 million guaranteed. Instant reaction: Way too much. Ben Sheets is still out there and his agent has met with the Cubs and the Rangers (who were obviously checking out the reclamation project scrap heap).
The Yankees have talked about Sheets, as have the Mets. I still like Justin Duchscherer as a low-risk option. The Red Sox inquired about the 32-year-old, who is not only making his medicals available to teams but also his therapist (should teams want to ask about how he has handled his bout with depression).
• If Damon or Matsui doesn’t work out, don’t be surprised if the Yankees look closely at Mark DeRosa. I’ve always liked guys who can play – literally – anywhere and DeRosa is well-respected by players around the league and is a local guy (grew up in New Jersey). Like Mike Cameron, he’s a player who has been linked to the Yankees a few times in the past.
Don’t forget to send in e-mails for the mailbag. I’m hoping to post it tomorrow and am taking your questions on anything – the Yankees, me and Chad, pancakes for the table, you name it – right here.