Here’s a strange feeling: It’s the first day of the Winter Meetings, and it seems things are surely going to be quieter this week than last week. Maybe not for every team, but surely for the Yankees.
I mean, let’s be honest, last week is going to be tough to top.
The Yankees have already lost their best player, drastically restructured their starting lineup, added some infield depth, and re-signed a much-needed veteran starter. A month ago, MLB Trade Rumors ranked baseball’s top 50 free agents. Four of the top eight have signed, three with the Yankees. Six of the top 12 have signed, four with the Yankees.
But there is still work to be done, and these next four days won’t necessarily be quiet.
The Yankees are still in the market for at least one infielder and quite a bit of pitching. They could use another piece for the rotation, and it’s hard to believe they’ll completely ignore their depleted bullpen. Omar Infante is on their radar and could very well be their replacement for Robinson Cano if the two sides come together. The free agent pitching market has not been encouraging so far, and the Yankees are still looking for clarity on the Masahiro Tanaka situation. Closer candidates Grant Balfour, Joaquin Benoit and Fernando Rodney are still floating out there.
Free agency, though, is so last week.
The Swan and Dolphin hotel complex here in Orlando is crawling with executives from every team in baseball, and it’s blatantly obvious that the Yankees are open for business. Their outfield is overcrowded, which might make Brett Gardner available (and surely makes Ichiro Suzuki available). They’ve signed a long-term deal with a left-handed center fielder, which means either Slade Heathcott or Mason Williams could be trade bait. They’ve also signed a long-term deal with a catcher, which means Gary Sanchez could be available (though there’s certainly no overwhelming need to trade him).
It’s been a wild winter already, and the Winter Meetings are just getting started. Among the first orders of business: Finding out whether Joe Torre or George Steinbrenner is elected to the Hall of Fame this year.
Associated Press photo