Adding Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth would have improved the Yankees outfield, but I’m not sure those contracts would have been the best use of the team’s budget. I’m sure they’d love to have added Brett Lawrie to the farm sytem, but they don’t have an expendable piece that could have matched that Shaun Marcum trade.
In reality, I’m not sure there were many Winter Meetings moves that would have perfectly matched the Yankees needs. These three would have helped them, but all three are replaceable, which helps explain why Brian Cashman has been so patient.
Two years, $4.25 million
Diaz was connected to the Yankees at one point this week, and at the time I wrote that I liked him as a fit on the bench. Even on a two-year deal, I think it would have worked. Most of the Yankees outfield talent is at least two years away, so they could very well be looking for a fourth outfielder again next year, and Diaz seems to match their needs (right-handed hitter, good vs. lefties, everyday experience). The price isn’t outrageous. Clearly there are plenty of alternatives, but Diaz seems like a fit. Might have been hard for him to pass on a starting job, though.
One year, $1.2 million
There are incentives that could bring the contract up to $1.4 million, which is a lot to pay for a guy who really can’t get right handers out, but Sherrill is terrific against lefties. Boone Logan has shown he can give the Yankees a full inning or more. With Sherrill, Logan could become an early-inning left-hander, with Sherrill still available for a key at-bat or two late in the game. Like with Diaz, Sherrill is far from the only pitcher who could fit the Yankees need for a second lefty, but he could work in that role. And a $1.2 million deal isn’t going to hurt the Yankees chances of landing Cliff Lee.
Harris is going to make $1.75 million next season, and the Twins made him available in a trade that was primarily built around J.J. Hardy. If the Yankees could have traded for Harris only, the prospect cost would have been minimal. Personally, I don’t think it would have been a particularly worthwhile addition for the Yankees, but if they want someone who’s more experienced that Eduardo Nunez and a better hitter than Ramiro Pena, Harris would fit the mold. He’s coming off a down season, but he’s not a bad hitter for a utility infielder. Again, I’m not saying the Yankees should have traded for him, only noting that he’s one of the few players who changed teams this week who would might have fit on the Yankees roster.