This quiet offseason had a turning point. It came the very moment CC Sabathia signed his extension.
“We’re in a position now to take our time,” Brian Cashman said when the deal was done. “Explore and digest — as well as pursue — but at our own pace; not have to be in an emotional or reactive state because we’re vulnerable. CC provides us a lot of security. That’s obviously why he makes what he makes, why we committed to what we did. It allows us to survey the landscape in a more conservative way than we would have had to if we didn’t have him here moving forward.”
Without Sabathia, who knows what this winter would have involved? Maybe a cross-your-fingers bid on Yu Darvish, or a gut-the-farm trade for Gio Gonzalez, or a high-dollar, high-risk contract with Mark Buehrle. Who knows?
What we do know is this: It’s been more than two months since the Sabathia deal, and the biggest Yankees moves have been one-year, relatively low-budget agreements with Freddy Garcia and Andruw Jones.
Cashman promised a conservative approach, and he’s delivered.
Now, more than halfway through this conservative winter, the latest trendy topic is the possible pursuit of Edwin Jackson, a pretty good starting pitcher who’s 28 years old with a 4.04 ERA the past four seasons. He’s believed to be looking for a five-year deal worth well over $10 million per season.
Does that sound like the kind of deal the Yankees are looking for this winter? Not at all.
The Yankees have picked up expensive options on Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher. They’re about to give raises to six key arbitration-eligible players. They have the highest payroll in the game, and they’re already locked into lengthy deals with Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez. They’re paying regrettable, multi-million-dollar contracts with A.J. Burnett, Pedro Feliciano and — perhaps a cautionary tale for this winter — Rafael Soriano.
Yes, the Yankees would like to add a starter, and yes, Jackson is a durable option who’s readily available. But that doesn’t mean Jackson fits the profile of what the Yankees are trying to do this summer.
They committed a lot of years and a lot of money to one starting pitcher already this winter. So far, they haven’t been willing to do that with any other.
Associated Press photo