It’s already been noted that the Yankees and Rays have similar interests this offseason. Both have an outfield spot to fill, and both could use the free agent market to bolster their bullpens.
Now its been reported that the Rays are interested in Andruw Jones, who is pretty much the only free agent consistently linked to the Yankees these days. Jon Heyman mentions that Johnny Damon could also be a possibility for both teams. The Yankees would use Jones or Damon as a bench player, ideally giving either one occasional outfield starts against left-handers, similar to the role Marcus Thames played last year, only in the outfield and not at DH.
The Rays might be able to offer more regular playing time, with their outfield corners and designated hitter spots more or less up for grabs.
Actually, Tampa might have done the Yankees a favor yesterday by agreeing to a $3.25-million deal with Kyle Farnsworth. I can’t say with any certainty whether the Yankees were or were not interested in their former reliever, but a Farnsworth reunion would have been difficult to imagine. The Rays at least partially addresses their bullpen concerns without taking any of the more prominent relievers off the market, and that seems like a good thing for the Yankees.