The free agent market seems to have stalled a little bit. The pitching market is waiting for the Masahiro Tanaka situation to be resolved, and the position market has been thinned out considerably. Here’s a look at the best of what’s left on the market. The good news for the Yankees is that they’re in much greater need for pitching than hitting.
Maybe Reed Johnson is a better choice in center field? Really, there just aren’t many everyday hitters still out there. Drew, Morales and Cruz are the clear standouts. Even without having to worry about ability to play the field, the finding a true DH option is pretty tough (unless you count Morales or Cruz, of course). The hitting market was thinned out by early December, and this is what’s left.
Alexi Casilla INF
Jeff Baker UT
Yorvit Torrealba C
Brennan Boesch OF
Maybe Elliott Johnson is a better choice in one of those utility spots? Truth is, most of the top bench options still on the market are in the lineup for this fictional team. Baker remains an interesting platoon bat who can play several positions and could be another low-cost option at third base if he signs with the Yankees. He does have some power against lefties.
This is a pretty good group. The rotation market is still think enough to leave out guys like Paul Maholm, Aaron Harang, Scott Baker and Johan Santana (and several other familiar names). It’s going to be interesting to watch these dominoes fall once the market has a good sense of where Tanaka is going to land. He’s clearly at the top of the pack, but with pitchers and catchers reporting in less than four weeks, there are still plenty of legitimate big league starters who don’t have a team.
Plenty of options here as well. There aren’t many closer types still on the board, but there are plenty of guys like Ayala (middle relievers who’ve had some success in recent years) and a handful of guys like Hanrahan (former closers coming back from injury). You could certainly argue for taking a shot on Andrew Bailey or Ryan Madson, or maybe even trying Barry Zito in a bullpen role. I suppose you could also roll the dice on Jose Valverde, if you’re feeling especially adventurous when picking completely make-believe bullpens.
Associated Press photos