The Yankees have four more days to negotiate exclusively with their own free agents, but that might not mean much.
Unless Derek Jeter or Mariano Rivera sign much sooner than expected, those two are going to hit the open market at 12:01 Sunday morning. Andy Pettitte is certainly going to reach that point.
I’m honestly not sure whether the five-day exclusive negotiation window applies to players who had an option declined, but I don’t think it matters in the case of Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood or Nick Johnson. Those three either don’t have a place on next year’s Yankees or would be better off testing the market.
The Yankees could use this time to negotiate with Javier Vazquez, but I can’t imagine that happening.
That leaves the Yankees to potentially use this window to talk to Marcus Thames about resuming his role as a platoon designated hitter, or perhaps talk to Austin Kearns about playing a cheap bench role, but ultimately the exclusive negotiating window doesn’t seem to mean much for the Yankees the year.
Associated Press photo of Kearns