You can usually count on the week between Christmas and New Year being the slowest of the offseason. Players, agents and executives are all spending time with friends and family, and not much happens on either the trade or free agent markets.
True to form, the Yankees had a slow news week at the end of December, but this first week of January might have been the slowest of the winter.
Granted, it was more or less expected, but the news that Jorge Posada will in fact retire remains one of the biggest stories of the offseason. An iconic figure for the bulk of two decades, Posada is — at the very least — a borderline Hall of Famer who provided tremendous offense and durability for a catcher. He was fiery and passionate, and even after the worst regular season of his career, Posada went out with a productive postseason series against the Tigers.
He chose to retire as a lifelong Yankee rather than play one more season in another uniform.
The rest of this week in review.
• The window to sign Hiroyuki Nakajima came and went without a deal in place. The Yankees never had a place or him in the everyday lineup, and Nakajima chose not to accept a backup role. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent next year.
• With Nakajima off the board, speculation increased about a possible reunion with Eric Chavez. The Yankees have already agreed to bring back Andruw Jones. Chavez also seems like a perfect fit for the bench.
• Mariano Rivera made his first public comments since having surgery on his vocal cords, and he said everything is back to normal. He expects to be ready for spring training, but he’s not yet ready to announce whether this will be his final season.
• Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees posting bid for Yu Darvish was only $15 million, far below the winning bid of $51.7 million. There’s a good reason the Yankees never seemed remotely hopeful about landing Darvish.
• Four more player agreed to minor league deals with the Yankees: Right-handed pitcher Adam Miller (a former top prospect), infielder Doug Bernier (a veteran utility man for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre) and outfielders Dewayne Wise and Cole Garner (outfield depth likely heading for Triple-A).
• Former Yankees manager Joe Torre resigned from his position with Major League Baseball to pursue ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Associated Press photos