In the wake of the Cliff Lee signing, the crew over at MLBTradeRumors posted a poll question asking, who is the top remaining free agent? Of their seven candidates, only one or two seem to fit for the Yankees.
The most complete player left on the market obviously doesn’t fit for the Yankees. The last thing the Yankees need is an everyday infielder. Beltre would be a defensive upgrade and a nice boost to the lineup, but he just doesn’t fit with Alex Rodriguez at third base and Jorge Posada at DH.
Put up big numbers last year, but he proved in the World Series that he’s a bad idea in the outfield. Might be worse than Marcus Thames. Even on a short-term contract, it’s hard to imagine the Yankees going after this sort of DH-only kind of player.
Consistently productive hitter when he’s healthy, but he turns 37 in January and had season-ending ankle surgery last season. It’s a recurring theme on this list that a lot of the top available hitters are going to need significant time at DH, and that spot is pretty full for the Yankees. If the Yankees had reason to trust Ordonez to stay healthy, he might be an outfield option — with an eye on a trade — but he’s a significant risk.
For every other team in baseball, Pavano is the best available starting pitcher. For the Yankees, though, Pavano is a hard sell and the best pitcher still on their radar is the next name on this list.
The two sides would still have to figure out a contract that works for both, but ultimately this seems to be a matter of Pettitte simply making a decision about retirement. If he wants to come back, the Yankees will gladly take him back. Cashman said yesterday that he still doesn’t know what Pettitte is going to do.
I have no idea whether the Yankees would be willing to pay Soriano closer money, and I have no idea whether Soriano would be willing to accept an eighth-inning job, but he would certainly make the Yankees bullpen significantly better.
Put up impressive numbers last season, absolutely crushes right-handed pitching and he has a terrific reputation as a clubhouse guy. But it’s been three years since Thome played the field, and the Yankees are clearly not in the market for a designated hitter.
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