• Buster Olney reports that the industry is beginning to view the Royals as the favorites to sign Carlos Beltran to something like three years, $48 million. It’s a huge contract for a Royals team that clearly wants to win now, and the Yankees obviously would rather not go three years. Losing out on Beltran could send the Yankees spinning in a completely different direction. Impact outfielder alternatives Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo are likely to require a much longer deal. How would that impact the Yankees ability to stay in the Robinson Cano bidding?
• Oakland is building a terrific bullpen — in the past two days it’s trade for Jim Johnson and Luke Gregerson — but the A’s are also said to be actively shopping left-handed starter Brian Anderson, and Jeff Passan reports that the Yankees are one of several teams to have explored the idea. At his best, Anderson is a terrific young starter who’s still just 25 years old, but a series of injuries have limited him to 163 innings — plus a few in the minors — in the past three years combined. He had a 6.04 ERA this season, and he’s making $8 million, so there’s significant risk and cost associated with him. Could be a bargain, could be a bust, and that uncertainty might keep the prospect cost low enough that the Yankees take a shot. Hard to estimate what exactly a guy like Anderson is worth on the trade market. Probably varies significantly from team to team.
• Adding some veteran depth to the Triple-A pitching staff, the Yankees have signed Brian Gordon to a minor league deal, according to Ken Davidoff. You might remember Gordon as the guy who emerged from complete anonymity to make two spot starts for the Yankees back in 2011. He was a Triple-A closer in the A’s system last year. In 63 innings, he had 66 strikeouts, three walks and a 1.11 WHIP in a hitter-friendly league. Not bad as a depth move, especially considering the Yankees current pitching situation.
• If you’re interested, here’s audio of Chris Stewart speaking to MLB Network Radio earlier today. Nothing particularly surprising, just Stewart talking about the things you’d expect about wanting to stay with the Yankees but seeing the writing on the wall after the Brian McCann signing. He confirmed that the trade had been in place for several days, but he had to work out a new contract with the Pirates before the trade could be completed.
• Today the Rays traded for catcher Ryan Hanigan (they also got reliever Heath Bell in the deal), and the Red Sox signed a one-year deal with catcher A.J. Pierzynski. All of this on the same day the Yankees announced their deal with Brian McCann, and one day after the Blue Jays non-tendered catcher J.P. Arencibia. Nothing gets the world buzzing like catching news in the A.L. East!
• Short-term Yankees corner infielder/outfielder Eric Hinske has joined the Cubs as their first-base coach.
Associated Press photo