There will be plenty to talk about at noon, when Sam and I host a live chat here at the LoHud Yankees Blog.
We’ll be chatting one hour after the Yankees officially introduce Curtis Granderson during a Yankee Stadium press conference, but the attention of the Yankees fan base seems to have shifted since the eventful Winter Meetings that brought Granderson, Andy Pettitte and Jamie Hoffmann to the Bronx. On Wednesday, the Red Sox, Angels and Phillies had their own press conferences to introduce John Lackey, Mike Cameron, Hideki Matsui and Roy Halladay.
All four came off the market on the same day, and it was a bit of a shock to the system. But I’m not sure it should have been. I’m not sure any of those four were ever likely to end up with the Yankees.
• Lackey agreed to a five-year deal worth $82.5 million, same as the A.J. Burnett contract of last year. Would the Yankees have really been interested another long-term contract with a pitcher who has some injury concerns and would be signed through his mid 30s? Lackey’s a very good pitcher, and he should make the Red Sox better, but the Yankees seem to be in a better position to take on a higher-risk, shorter-term contract (Sheets, Duchscherer, Escobar, etc.) than to tie themselves to Lackey. Having Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain gives them that luxury.
• Cameron took a two-year deal worth $15.5 million. Like Lackey, he’s good player who should make the Red Sox better, but a .250 hitting outfielder with 20-home-run power isn’t impossible to find. The Yankees certainly don’t have to be overly concerned about the first one to come off the board. Especially one who’s 37 years old and has some of his value tied to his ability to play center field, which the Yankees don’t need.
• Matsui went to Los Angeles on a one-year deal worth $6.5 million. For the past several weeks, Brian Cashman has been telling anyone who would listen that the Yankees are not focused on finding a designated hitter. The market is full of guys who can fill that role — that’s another reason losing out on Cameron isn’t such a big deal — and it was crystal clear that the Yankees weren’t going to actively pursue Matsui, especially not in December. Tough to see him leave, but it’s hardly surprising to see him go.
• Halladay went to the Phillies for three prospects, including the top young pitcher in the Philadelphia system. Without including Hughes or Chamberlain, the Yankees might not have been a match for what the Blue Jays were looking for in a Halladay trade. And after not giving up young pitching for Johan Santana, there was little reason to believe Cashman would have been willing to part with his top young pitchers for an even older Halladay.