Who’s next? Derek Jeter took his turn as the most discussed player of the Yankees offseason. Then Cliff Lee. Then Zack Greinke. So who’s next in the center of trade speculation and free agent guesswork? Five candidates:
For those not looking for pie-in-the-sky scenarios, Floyd might be the reasonable alternative. Fausto Carmona or Matt Garza might also fit into this category. Floyd could legitimately help the Yankees rotation, and he’s currently with a team that might actually have reason to trade him.
Joel Sherman has already made the case that the Yankees should immediately do whatever it takes to land the Mariners ace. Seattle, predictably, seems against the idea of trading him, but I don’t think that will stop anyone from wondering and dreaming.
He’s so far been in the background. Every time Pettitte’s situation has nearly bubbled to the surface, it’s been overshadowed by some other move or potential move. Throughout the Winter Meetings he was secondary to Lee, then the Mariano Rivera signing became official, then Russell Martin signed, then Greinke came to the front of the trade market. Could be time for the Pettitte discussion to take center stage.
Adrian Beltre isn’t a fit for the Yankees, so Soriano seems to be the top remaining free agent who could make a significant difference next season. The cost would surely be extreme — the Yankees are going to have to battle with closer money — and it’s still unclear whether Soriano would be open to taking a setup gig.
He might be leader in the clubhouse because — whether legitimate or not — Zambrano already seems to have generated some Yankees speculation this winter. The pros are obvious (been an elite pitcher in the past, familiar with Larry Rothschild), but the cons are just as obvious (massive contract, unreliable at best).
Associated Press photo