Wednesday, December 5, 2012
NASHVILLE — In most years, the Yankees are the team that wreaks havoc on the free-agent marketplace and makes it difficult for other teams to fill openings on their rosters. But in a surprising twist this off-season, the Yankees — fearful of luxury tax penalties in 2014 — are seeing the market price them out of the most attractive free agents, causing them to set priorities as they try to fill their many needs.
“I’m not optimistic on the catching side that this market via trade or free agency is going to produce something that I can feel comfortable with,” General Manager Brian Cashman said. “To be honest, if you’re watching what we’re trying to do, you need to focus on the outfield and the left side of the infield. That’s where your priorities should be, because that’s where mine are.”
As uneventful as the Yankees’ offseason has been, the truth is that this year’s free agent class isn’t very good and they are better off not doing anything than paying more than a player is worth just to fill a hole. When Shane Victorino is getting 3 years and $37.5M and a 36 year old Marco Scutaro is getting 3 years and $24M I’m not sure I want the Yankees involved.
I do agree with Cashman that they are better off fixing RF and the left side of the infield than trying to find a catcher unless one falls into their lap via a good trade or something. You can get more offense for less money from the outfield than you can at catcher and this team really needs offense.
My guess is they’ll go with the catchers they have on hand, eventually bring back Ichiro and Eric Chavez and could end up signing Jeff Keppinger and will call it a day. While signing Keppinger will affect 2014 at the very least, it’s not a huge impact and he’s a pretty useful player.
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